I finally got around to watching Neon Genesis Evanglion. Everything started off so well. There was giant robots, fighting, and horrendous amounts of techno babble. There was even that great brick joke about the pilots in the MAGI hacking episode. Then (from what Wikipedia tells me) GAINAX decided they weren't going to follow the script they had written and decided to derail the plot train.
The finale is one of the worst finales I've seen of any show. There's some cool character stuff. As if Asuka couldn't have bigger mommy issues, and there's the reasoning behind Misato's alcoholism, but its all shrouded in philosophical nonsense. I already dislike incoherent storytelling but this takes the cake--and I already knew it would be a mindscrew at the end. I can't imagine watching this when it first aired and seeing that last episode. Having nothing resolved and the vaguely hinted at Instrumentality--the entire thing the plot of the show is built upon--happening off camera while telling instead of showing is happening, and not even useful telling, but "I think therefore I am." and "What is a man? A miserable pile of secrets!" level philosophical BS.
On the bright side, it wasn't nearly as dark or depressing as I had been lead to believe. Everyone kept saying how "infamous" the Ode to Joy stuff was, but I just hummed along to Asuka's mind rape. Maybe they were referring to one of the adaptions.
Had they stuck to the original plan/not ran out of money/whatever reason they had for doing that crap ending, I think it would have been much better. Then again, it probably wouldn't be nearly as famous.