I've never understood why Evangelion gets called a pretentious anime as much as it does, even accounting for its popularity. There are many shows like pic related that I would think would be criticized for being 2deep4u before Eva.
The difference is that Lain asks questions, and leaves to the viewer the discretion of coming up with their own answers. Eva is Anno's masturbatory in-your-face self-proclaimed truths, this is why it comes off as pretentious.
Lain asks "Is this how we are? Can we be sure about this? How much do we know about that?"
Eva states "Humans are like this. You're dumb if you disagree with me."
I think being pretentious would be saying that there is a deeper meaning when clearly there isn't any, and then saying that anyone who doesn't get it is a fucking moron.
Which I suppose does happen within the Eva fanbase.
lain comes off as pretentious, it's regularly called just that on /a/. OP is new as fuck.
It's a good show, don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, but it does sometimes get a little 2deep4u
There's not even anything 2deep in the fucking episode, you're just impatient. For fucks sake, this is such a stupid reaction I see all over the place. Do you really expect to be fed everything in the first episode of a show? It's a show don't tell episode with regards to actual plot elements which are more clearly explained later anyway, and it's not even difficult to follow.
It's catchall term that makes the user think they have an actual clue what they're talking about when they're too lazy to think on something for more than a minute at a time. There are few things more pretentious than people using the word 'pretentious' as a criticism.
The only reason people call Eva deep is because the plot is intentionally obtuse and difficult to follow, the actual theme behind it is simple.
Compare that to SEL, people still don't know what the fuck the theme is, people have literally written dissertations on it trying to work it out (it's true, google it, it's crazy), that probably says something about just how pretentious it is. The directing is some of the best I've ever seen in anime, though, so it is still a great show in other respects.
Texhnolyze isn't even deep, it's just slow, it's like calling The Dark Tower series deep because it takes a long time to read. Every single question is clearly answered by the end of the show, unlike Lain and other truly pretentious anime.