Neon Genesis Evangelion commonly referred to as Evangelion, is a Japanese anime series, created by Gainax, that began in October 1995. The anime was written and directed by Hideaki Anno, and co-produced by TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad Systems (NAS). It gained international renown and won several animation awards, and was the start of the Neon Genesis Evangelion series.
The name Shin Seiki Evangerion, which translates directly as "New Century Evangelion" or "New Era Evangelion". The term "Evangelion" is in relation to the ancient Greek term for "good messenger" or "good news" (unrelated to the Hebrew word "Eva"). The name was chosen in part for its religious symbolism, as well as for the fact that Hideaki Anno said he liked the word "Evangelion" because it, "sound[ed] complicated."
The Evangelion series revolves around the organization NERV, using large mechas called Evangelions to combat monstrous beings called Angels. They are piloted by several of the main characters, including Shinji Ikari, Asuka Sohryu, and Rei Ayanami. While the initial episodes focus largely on religious symbols and specific references to the Bible, the later episodes tend to go deeper into the psyches of the characters, where it is learned that many of them have deep-seeded emotional and mental issues. Through the exploration of these issues, the show begins to question reality and the existences therein. Much of the series's content was based on Hideaki Anno's own clinical depression.