Neon Genesis Evangelion has actually been a robot anime this entire time, according to creator Hideaki Anno.
Although Neon Genesis Evangelion has been marketed as a mecha anime ever since it debuted in 1995, fans have always argued that the mechas piloted in the show are not exactly robots. However, in an interview promoting the latest Evangelion film, Anno declared, "Evangelion is a robot anime." He later added, "I’m truly thankful that with a niche robot anime like this we can aim at 10 billion yen."
According to the Evangelion wiki, "Evangelions are often mistaken for giant robots, but as early as Episode 02 Evangelion Unit-01 is seen without its helmet on, revealing that Evangelions are clearly not robots, but cyborgs, living creatures with mechanical components incorporated into their bodies." The wiki further clarifies the true nature of Evangelions or Evas, referring to them as "giant, cybernetically modified humanoid [entities]." That said, while fans might consider Evas cyborgs and consequently question Evangelion's status as a robot anime, Anno is clearly not as concerned with making a distinction between sentient, living robots and suits of armor to pilot.
The most recent film in the franchise, Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon a Time, has been a smash hit, making 7.42 billion yen ($67.7 million) in only its first three weeks since release. It has already surpassed Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo's total box office earnings of $48.6 million and has set a record for opening day IMAX earnings in Japan.
Anno has left a massive mark on the anime industry and Japanese media in general. Neon Genesis Evangelion remains one of the most successful and influential anime of all time, and he's also helming the upcoming live-action reboot of Shin Kamen Rider and Shin Ultraman.
Source: YouTube, via Kotaku