Yoko Takahashi’s “残酷な天使のテーゼ (A Cruel Angel’s Thesis)” is the theme song to Neon Genesis Evangelion, the greatest anime of all time. You might not believe me, but this show is more complex and emotionally engaging than The Wire or The Sopranos. It’s an anime that uses the popular mecha theme to deconstruct the idea of popular anime (why do we care so much about teenagers fighting monsters in giant robots?) while tackling themes of depression, faith, and parent-child relationships. It’s not for everyone – the show’s enigmatic writing refuses to spoon-feed all the answers – but this show is the best proof for anime being among the best television in the world. And like The Sopranos, NGE has one of the greatest WTF endings of any TV series (show creator Hideaki Anno received so many death threats for his absurd ending that Gainax studios pressured him to directed a companion film to give fans a “normal” ending, though the film is just as crazy as the show).
One day J-Pop is going to make it big in the states, so it might as well be now (hello Grimes).