My tale of madness and obsession starts exactly like tv33's story, so I can handle this first paragraph by quoting him:
It was over two years ago, I had just turned 17, and was somewhat getting into anime at the time, I had only seen one or two things and been consciously aware that they were Japanese animation.
To be precise, those anime titles I had seen at that point were Porco Rosso (sub), GitS (sub), Wings of Honneamise (sub) and Akira (dub). Well, when I was a fire-extinguisher sized n00b of a human I had seen Moomin, which was a mighty good Finnish-Japanese joint production kids's show, and Alfred J. Quack which totally warped my young fragile mind, but I don't really count those as true anime experiences because at that time I didn't knew the were from Japan. (AJQ was an excellent kids' show, let me tell you that: it featured transforming helicopters, giant monsters, arab terrorists, military coup d'etats, guillotines, aliens, snowmen, Atlantians, teen angst and blood, death & destruction. It also had one character who was obviously supposed to be Hitler!)
My first exposure to this nerd-drug happened during one of those backwoods LAN-games, held by the infamous clan Loozers. At that time I still had the energy to play Camper-Strike, and my role was to protect the skilled players of our team with my body (I've heard that the newest version of CS features an actual assault shield, so I guess I'm unemployed now). Of course we weren't playing all the time, and during these breaks I used to wander around the place oogling at other people's computers, making n00bish comments ("OMG a wireless mouse!!1!"). Well, then I happened to see that my friend Leijona was watching some weird, bloody animated crap on his comp - yes, you guessed right: End of Eva and the harpy-fight.
Soon L. noticed my presence and said something like "this is a really kewl series, and you see pretty soon the whole world's gonna end and these two dudes are gonna be the only survivors, like new Adam and Eve" (yeah, he was a n00b then). I kept on watching for ten-fifteen minutes or so, then left for a moment to get some more pizza, and when I returned things had gotten really, really weird. I shaked my head, returned to my seat and soon forgot the damn thing altogether.
Then about a year later I noticed this article in a Finnish gaming magazine, named "the short history of mecha-anime", and its short description of Evangelion caught my eye and got me interested again. Later on when I read the article again I noticed that it was full of classic n00b mistakes, and it generated even more n00b mistakes when an idiot named Das Saunamies wrote a letter which was published in the next issue; in this letter he said he wanted to correct some of those mistakes and "set things straight". Well, he didn't actually correct anything, but managed to create a whole lot of new misinformation. Not surprisingly I was later told by MDWigs that in the past mr. Saunamies used to be the laughingstock of the Evangelion.com forums. Go figure.
But that doesn't matter here. At that time I was severely scifi-deprived because Babylon 5 had ended and there was nothing good on the telly anymore, just some crap like Stargåte. I maintained my sanity by reading Clarke, Asimov, Lem and Ellison, but I craved for moving images. So, in my desperation I decided to try anime, and contacted L. and asked him if he still had those Evangelion episodes on his comp. Luckily he still had the 16 first episodes fansubbed (and with mindbogglingly bad image quality) and during the next LAN-games I watched them all almost straight through and dear lord was I hooked. After that I watched the movies, but as you can imagine I didn't understand anything about the ending then. I just mostly stared at the visuals and drooled.
I didn't get to see the rest of the episodes until several months later when I bought my "perfect" collection. Before the boxset arrived I had been lurking around on Animeboards so I knew beforehand about the unconventional nature of the last two episodes. Thus I wasn't really shocked or disappointed when I saw them, I merely considered them as an interesting supplement - although I have to say the AU-sequence almost scared the crap out of me: I was afraid Shinji would choose to remain in that harem anime -esque universe and WHAM! the ending credits would roll. Thank Jebus that didn't happen. (Well, it did happen in Eva-R, though...)
After that I bought the movies, watched EoE carefully through and hot damn, slowly I started to understand things! At first I also planned to join the Animeboards forum community (Leijona had been a member there before the Great Crash), but then that place started to stagnate and I changed my plans and came here. And I must say I haven't had to regret that decision.
Interestingly enough, when I searched Google for "Das Saunamies", this profile
was the first thing to pop up...Originally posted on: 30-Jun-2004, 14:15 GMT