They throw so much spaghetti at the wall that some of it even seems to stick. In an interview one of the writers admitted all of the Christian imagery was picked because it seemed foreign and alien and therefore cool, pretty much the same amount of thought a typical 20-something puts into their Chinese character tattoo.
Yeah, the thing is? The Judeo-Christian imagery? That's not all there is to Evangelion.
What exactly did you think it was about then, that you were so disappointed?
The truth is that it's incredibly reductive to say that because they threw a couple of crosses on the screen to look cool, nothing matters. I'm sorry to pull out this particular old hat of a criticism, but I find that most people trying to claim that "what the creators were actually doing wasn't as interesting or meaningful" probably don't really understand what they were doing. I don't mean that as a slight either. Comprehending NGE's themes is greatly helped by contextual knowledge of Japanese culture (and of course the tropes of anime). Particularly important is the hikikomori phenomenon
and how it relates to obsessive anime fandom.
I don't see how anyone can read this interview
and claim that no thought was put into it. See, for instance, this particular quote:
Kazuya Tsurumaki wrote:
For example, Hideaki Anno says that, "Anime fans are too introverted, and need to get out more." Further, he should be happy that non-anime fans are watching his work, right? But when all is said and done, Hideaki Anno's comments on "Evangelion" + "Evangelion" are that it is a message aimed at anime fans including himself, and of course, me too. In other words, it's useless for non-anime fans to watch it. If a person who can already live and communicate normally watches it, they won't learn anything.
I don't even agree with that last part, but it does illustrate what they were trying to do. The series has plenty of meaning to it - not on the subject of religion or philosophy, but on psychology and sociology. EoE has a couple of pretty simple, conclusive moral messages at its heart. I'm going to be reductive myself now: the whole series is essentially Hideaki Anno telling obsessive anime fans to get a life. The theme of escapism is prevalent throughout the show and particularly the movie, and it comes down to cautioning socially awkward teenagers and young adults, many of whom had issues with psychological problems and depression like Anno himself, not to run away from reality by tucking into their apartments with their anime merchandise. The movie has a pretty strong anti-suicide bent to it as well, which is not too surprising, considering Anno came this
close to jumping off a roof. I don't know about you, but this is the sort of self-expression that I prize about art.