I’ve been absolutely enthralled with Evangelion since I caught a random episode on adult swim one afternoon while ditching middle school. It’s a masterpiece. Excellent review, and thank you for reviewing it in a venue such as this. I hate to say it, but I think the love/hate split between fans and haters happens because some people are sensitive to the messages of the work, while others are of the special effects and horror-show type and were expecting a senseless spectacle of giant robots and tits. Inspite of the fact that the series offers plenty of this, they are pissed to have to listen to Shinji’s introspections.
Masculinity seems to be an issue as well. One of my friends (who later joined the Marines) hated the show because he said that Shinji acts like a “fag” and a “little girl” all the time. The show is all about the failure and pressure to be a man, and a hero, so he was experiencing the content; he just didn’t appreciate being asked to identify with such an anti-masculine avatar.