It just seems like they put all those symbolism for no reason, and it sounds and looks pretty stupid IMO. The series would have been a lot better without all the nonsense.

  • Possible duplicate: anime.stackexchange.com/a/4786/49
    – JNat
    Aug 28 '13 at 21:12
  • Your question a bit vague and overly broad. Anno putting in references to Christianity while being from a predominantly Shinto society is like the Americans doing a series on Norse mythology, more so on mystique than symbolic meaning. That aside, there are a lot of theories on the subject, but they're mostly just other people's opinions and interpretations. Anno himself even admitted that there's no deeper meaning behind the symbolism.
    – кяαzєя
    Aug 28 '13 at 21:22

In a few interviews:

Hiroyuki Yamaga: May 1998 issue of "Evangelion":

On the reasons for use of Judeo-Christian symbology in Eva

YAMAGA: I don’t know exactly why. I suspect that Mr. Anno may have read some book on it, and there was some thoughts he wanted to express on it. I personally am glad that, rather than Christianity, he didn’t express some obscure Buddhist theme, because then it would have been linked more with Aum Shinri Kyo. [LAUGHS]

Kazuya Tsurumaki: Q&A from "Amusing Himself to Death":

Can you explain the symbolism of the cross in Evangelion?

Kazuya Tsurumaki: There are a lot of giant robot shows in Japan, and we did want our story to have a religious theme to help distinguish us. Because Christianity is an uncommon religion in Japan we thought it would be mysterious. None of the staff who worked on Eva are Christians. There is no actual Christian meaning to the show, we just thought the visual symbols of Christianity look cool. If we had known the show would get distributed in the US and Europe we might have rethought that choice.

and from an NHK special "Extra Curricular Lesson with Hideaki Anno", a student asks:

"Why is that robot-looking thing called an Evangelion"?

Anno: "It is a Christian word meaning Fukuin or Gospel and it's supposed to bring blessings. Actually, it's a Greek word. I used it because it sounds complicated"

So it seems the creators didn't mean for there to be any deeper religious meaning from all the religious symbolism. That doesn't mean that there isn't in-universe meaning to the show. For example, the name of the Angels correspond to their features (e.g. "Gaghiel" = "Fish", "Israfel" = "Music", "Sahaquiel" = "Sky", etc), and the symbols themselves aren't haphazardly placed. There could very well be an in-universe explanation for why the symbolism is there at all, possibly inherited from the Angels themselves or created by Seele.

Additionally, there could be meaning derived from the symbolism beyond what the creators originally intended.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.