I've been on this board for a couple of years but this question is something I always wondered if I should ask. It's nothing groundbreaking or shocking, but it's something that's been on my mind for a long time. I'll try to make my question as clear as possible. It's a bit difficult to phrase because it's kind of an abstract concept so I'll give a brief explanation of my case before.
When I watched The End of Evangelion I was about 14. I remember that back then I owned the original series on VHS and I had watched it a couple of times. I had read the manga even more times (up to volume 6) and I felt very familiar with the characters, the locations and the overall setting of Eva. Anime was still something new to me, but Evangelion felt like something I could relate to on a deeper level. I loved the characters and the story, but I also enjoyed a lot of the more visual aspects of the show. This is what I'll try to focus on and explain.
I've always payed a lot of attention to the scenery/setting a story takes place in. I never understood why, but it's something that seems to have a lot of importance for me. In Evangelion I always loved the various locations; Misato's apartment, Tokyo III, the Fortress City and it's various buildings (weapon cache, turrets, cables, missile launchers, elevators, etc), the flooded ruins (I drew these ruins so much), Shinji's school, NERV HQ...
[I could go on about the locations for a while and describe everything they evoke to me in detail, but not only would that be a massive wall of text, but also I don't think it would keep a lot of people's interest. It's really a personal quirk, it seems. I'll get back to the main subject:]
When I watched The End of Evangelion, some pretty powerful images were forever imprited into my memory. Maybe it's because I'm very visual, I don't know, but I can clearly say that after seeing The End of Evangelion I could never see the original series in the same way. I know that this much is obvious and is (probably?) the case for everybody, but I'll try to explain why I mentioned the locations before.
In the movie, we see a lot of the familiar locations we grew accustomed too during the series be violently destroyed or used as the setting for sometimes disturbing, sometimes violent or sometimes even scary scenes. I'll give a couple of the first examples that come to mind:
-Tokyo III, now completely destroyed and flooded.
-The gates (where we see Shinji, Rei and Asuka scan their cards to access Central Dogma during the series) where the NERV guards get killed at the beginning of the invasion.
-The footbridges (where we see Misato and Shinji being lost at the beginning of the series) where the UN forces are engaging NERV personel.
-The vending machines (we see quite a bit of them in NERV HQ during the series) when we see a NERV officer desperately trying to pull her fellow coworker and being shot multiple times.
-The corridors of NERV HQ filled with the corpses of the personel killed by the invading forces.
-The MAGI, more specifically where the three bridge bunnies and Fuyutsuki make their last stand and spend their final moments during 3rd Impact.
(and that poor Ibuki... )
-The Geofront completely exposed.
-The NERV ''pyramid'' after suffering some abuse.
-Misato's apartement, when Shinji strangles Asuka (that scene...)
Plus some moments that sent shivers down my spine, not all ''location related'', but more ''hard to forget imagery'':
(I will spare myself from taking screenshots of the Eva Series growing Rei faces...)
...and to finish, this final appearance of Rei, which is far too reminiscent of her first:
ALRIGHT. The exemples end here. (writing this post sure has taken me more time and work than I originally thought it would... ) Let's get back to the topic at hand:
When I watched The End of Evangelion, seeing the locations I had grown acustomed to during the series being the stage to these events (and/or being destroyed) really made me feel uneasy. Of course seeing the characters go through all that was MUCH MUCH worse. I had never been so horrified by a movie before, and the fact that it served as the conclusion to a series I had grown to love deeply made it all the more unsettling. I didn't understand it well back then and the ending had left me feeling a large emptiness inside, as well a nauseous feeling. I didn't feel like eating, talking to anyone or doing anything. I just went for a long walk under the rain. It took me days to even dare get close to anything Eva related, but I just couldn't get the movie out of my mind. I wanted to understand.
I decided to rewatch the series to give myself a fresh start.
That's when it happened. Memories of the movie began to come back to me when certain things showed up in the series.
When I saw Misato's apartement, I thought of the strangling scene.
When I saw the Magi, I thought of the bridge bunnies and their final moments during 3rd Impact.
When I saw the vending machines in NERV HQ, I thought of that horrible scene with that poor officer.
When I saw the gates to Central Dogma, I thought of the invasion.
When I saw Tokyo III in all its epicness, I thought of how it would be a giant flooded crater in the end.
...and so forth.
I began to realize that the pictures I had seen in the movie had truly scarred me when it came to watching Eva. All the characters' struggles, all the events of the series, the action scenes, the tender moments, the humorous scenes, all leading to THAT MOVIE. I couldn't forget what I had seen, it was done. It would never be the same. I would never be the same.
It took me A LOT of time to come to terms with The End of Evangelion and be able to admit with certainty that I can enjoy watching it from time to time. I was able to watch it with friends and discuss it here several years later, and now in retrospective I can even make fun of the movie and it quirks. I'm glad I saw it, but the impression it left on me is nothing short of memorable.
So here's my question:
Did any of you experience something similar after watching The End of Evangelion? Is anyone as focused on the locations seen in the series as me? I would love to read your thoughts on this subject!