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Evangelion Featured in BBC’s University Challenge – Interest


A question about Lilith’s representation in a mecha anime defeats Cambridge University students

Anime occasionally figures on British TV quizzes and gameshows, with an especially memorable case in 2019 when a contestant on the series Countdown won a round with the word “hentai.”

On a recent edition of the venerable series University Challenge, broadcast on August 23, the students were faced with three questions relating to depictions of Lilith in television series. One of these depictions was in the vampire series True Blood; another was in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. As for the third…

Jeremy Paxman, University Challenge‘s host: “Set in the future city of Tokyo-3, which mecha anime represents Lilith as a seed of life, an alien being created to spread life across the universe? The series is known for a dense internal mythology that draws on various religious traditions. I need a three-word title.”

Student 1: “It’s like Evangelion Genesis something, but that’s not three words…”

Student 2: “Is it Full Metal Al…”

Student 1: “Oh, it could be that.”

Student 2: “I’ve never seen that. Fullmetal Alchemist.”

Paxman: No, you were right first time. Neon Genesis Evangelion [pronounced evan-jel-eon].

The students, from Trinity College, Cambridge, failed to get the other Lilith questions right either, but were the overall winners in this episode.

The episode is currently available on the BBC iPlayer.

For the record, Anime Encyclopedia co-author Jonathan Clements appeared on Christmas University Challenge in 2019, as one of a team of alumni from the University of Leeds.


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