Wes Anderson’s favorite anime isn’t a movie, but a television show, the 1995 cult classic “Neon Genesis Evangelion” created by Hideaki Anno. In a Goop article where directors cited their favorite films, Anderson actually named the series and described watching all 26 episodes quite eagerly. “We watched them all in less than a week because you start to want to believe it’s real,” he said. “This could spawn something like Scientology.
It might be hard to believe Anderson is such a fan of “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” a show where a teenager must battle ancient monsters while using bio-machines called Evangelions. This science fiction plot seems like a far cry from Anderson’s interest in 20th-century culture and deadpan, even goofy humor. But the anime’s themes of sons estranged from their families, human alienation and loneliness, and personal freedom are all very present in the Texas filmmaker’s body of work as well. It’s no wonder he connected so deeply with the story.
And while Anderson hasn’t really engaged with science fiction in his movies, one of his most recent films, “Isle of Dogs,” was a full-scale tribute to Japanese culture and history. Who knows? Maybe “Neon Genesis Evangelion” influenced his work more than anybody even knew.