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I have watched both Neon Genesis Evangelion and RahXephon. Since they have the same story and the same structure, I think that RahXephon is a copy of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

What is the actual relationship between Neon Genesis Evangelion and RahXephon?

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My understanding is that there's no official relationship between the two, though RahXephon is certainly inspired by Eva in many ways (as were many shows around the same time). For now I'll leave this for someone who knows more about these series to answer definitively. –  Logan M Feb 2 at 5:41

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The creator of RahXephon, Yutaka Izubuchi, admits to having heavily used Brave Raideen as the influence for RahXephon. There's a really great interview of both Izubuchi and Anno (creator of Evangelion) that's really revealing about the influences between the two. Relevant quote:

Mr. Izubuchi said before that "Eva" was Combattler [Chōdenji Robo Combattler V] and RahXephon was Brave Raideen, didn't you?

If you read the entire interview, it never insinuates that there was any copying of Evangelion in Rahxephon. Instead, these are two contemporaries who believe they are equals that have both been influenced by the same shows, like Mazinger, Combattler V, Tokusatsu, Gowapper 5, etc.

Eventhough they never directly admit it, I'm sure there's some amount of influence that Evangelion had on Rahxephon, intended or not, simply because Evangelion was an incredibly influential show, at a time when it seemed anime in general was stagnating. So everything that came after that, for better or worse, could have had some influence from Evangelion.

With Rahxephon in particular, your mileage may vary on how similar the shows really are. If you've seen Brave Raideen, you'll instantly realize that the show is pretty much a modern spin of that old show, while a lot of that spin could be argued to be influenced by Evangelion. There's some people who believe it's a blatant rip-off, but Izubuchi doesn't say that it is, and Anno doesn't seem to think the similarities are even worth mentioning.

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There is actually a site dedicated to pointing out similarities with the shows: EvaXephon. –  キルア Feb 2 at 17:19
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@Eric I had thought about linking to that site under "some people who believe it's a blatant rip-off" but the percentage of legitimate links between the two shows is so low that I don't consider it a credible source. Lots of those similarities are common anime/mecha/sci-fi tropes, unique to neither show, some are horribly forced comparisons, some are barely comparisons at all, so I thought it would be more misleading to link it. –  Jon Lin Feb 2 at 20:18
    
@Eric Also, when that site was first started, the guy who ran it started several threads on the animenation.net forums back in 2006, and the more knowledgeable users there went through each comparison and thoroughly took them apart and the guy was eventually laughed out of the forums. Unfortunately, those 2 or 3 threads were all locked and disposed of because of the ruckus it caused. –  Jon Lin Feb 2 at 20:20
    
Fair enough--good information to have, and thusly reasonable to take that site with a grain of salt. –  キルア Feb 2 at 22:21
    
I just went through that whole site and I think what is a little laughable is the sheer amount of sort of/kind of similarities chronologically and structurally and with character archetypes. Granted I liked both shows but there is a huge amount of overlap (at least when taken out of context) that is only ever rarely at that level. I'd be interested in what it would be like to watch both series side-by-side from start to finish. A lot of it can be chalked up to coincidence but a lot of it really really is just too similar to not be funny (in a funny way). –  Enigma 2 days ago

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