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10 Years of Neon Genesis Evangelion 312

Posted by Zonk
from the get-in-the-robot-shinji dept.
smooth wombat writes "Mainichi Daily News has a lengthy, multi-part article on the history of Neon Genesis Evangelion. The article looks back at the 10 years since Evangelion appeared and how it changed the world of manga." From the article: "In a series of 26 episodes, Evangelion told the story of a 14-year-old boy called Shinji Ikari, who piloted a biomechanical combat robot called an Evangelion, which fought against mysterious extraterrestrial monsters known as Angels. But Shinji was also a regular junior high school pupil, and his school life featured strongly in the anime's plot too. As did psychotherapy and the Old Testament, which director Hideaki Anno attributed as influences while creating the series. Evangelion become a huge hit across Japan, attracting fans across generations, sparking a massive public debate over its controversial final episode -- which many criticized for leaving the work unfinished -- and sparking unprecedented merchandising sales that set the scene for the current manga market."
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10 Years of Neon Genesis Evangelion

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  • Congratulations! (Score:4, Informative)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday May 05, 2006 @12:52PM (#15271645) Journal
    Two of my friends collected all of these DVDs--yes, I realize there's cheaper unlicensed versions that are possibly of lower quality. One Saturday (with nothing else to do) we watched them all from morning to night.

    I couldn't believe they had spent the ~$30 per 4 episodes [amazon.com] to collect this set!

    If you don't care about spoilers or have seen all the episodes and movies, check out the Wiki page on it [wikipedia.org]. That has the best definitive analysis of this series that I've ever read. I know that since I am not a native Japanese speaker, I probably missed a lot of this implied meaning just by being preoccupied with reading the subbed script. I honestly always predicted something very Freudian about every relationship in the series but I think it was just because of the father figure and strange emotions that were sometimes appearant.

    There's not much I can say without ruining any plot so I believe I'll hold my tongue.

    Yes the episodes were good but I don't agree with:
    ...sparking a massive public debate over its controversial final episode -- which many criticized for leaving the work unfinished...
    That's both ridiculous and preposterous! The episode completely wrapped up and
    Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations!
    • Re:Congratulations! (Score:5, Informative)

      by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768.comcast@net> on Friday May 05, 2006 @12:55PM (#15271663) Journal
      the whole series remastered on DVD is now 50 bucks and you can find it much cheaper. This is why I NEVER buy DVDs when they first come out, especially anime which is always extreamly overpriced to take advantage of the screaming more money than they know what to do with sex deprived otaku out there.
    • I think the most annoying thing about the ending was the repeated "I'm ME!"

      ?????

      What's up with that?
      Of course you're you. You're also annoying.
    • You can get the whole series ("Platinum Edition" - remastered, with none of the stupid "digital paint" text translations) in a boxset for about $80 CDN (~US$72 or something) now.
    • if you really want to mess yourself, or some of your friends up, do what we did. Start at 7PM, get a group of whoever you can find in the dorms, and watch straight through... all of Neon genesis Evangelion, and then Lain [angelic-trust.net]. Guaranteed mind f*ck.

      By the way that's not the end of Evangelion. There were 2 full-length movies. The first (End of Evangelion) was basically a re-hash of the series, very little new content. The second is "Death and Rebirth" which was Hideko Anno's response to people complaints about
      • I beg to differ. Death and Rebirth was basically the creator going "What, you didn't like my ending? FINE. HERE. Everyone dies and is miserable, you happy now?" The ending of the anime was fine as is, if you bothered to think about it. I highly reccomend ignoring the two movies that followed it.
        • I haven't seen the movies for that precise reason. Personally, I was shocked that people didn't like the ending to the series. I loved it. Really, the series was more about how these characters thought and acted than it was about giant robots and Biblical references (IMHO, anyway).

          But then again, I also actually liked Shinji, so I know I'm in the minority. (Sure, he did complain a lot, but I consider going from lonely schoolboy to robot pilot fighting to save the human race with little say in the matter to
          • by meringuoid (568297) on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:45PM (#15272106)
            Could never stand Shinji. But the point of Shinji, as I saw it, was that he's the part every geek hates about himself. I frequently wanted to punch Shinji because his continuous weakness hit way too close to home. Would I go pilot the giant robot? HELL YEAH! Would I dare even try to talk to Ayanami? Nope. I'd go to pieces. Melt into yellow goo twenty episodes early.

            So I scream at Shinji for his pathetic weakness when he runs away from having to pilot Eva, because I can't scream at his weakness in dealing with Rei, Asuka and Misato...

            • I don't think you were really meant to like Shinji.

              The unifying feature of all the Eva pilots was that they were neglected and/or abandoned children.

              The unifying feature of the entire cast was that they were all completely disfunctional.

              I mostly didn't care for Death and Rebirth, but the hospital scene when Shinji visits the unconscious Asuka has got to be one of the most creepy and disturbing moments I've ever seen in a motion picture. "Requiem for a Dream" was a light-hearted romp compared to that scene.
        • It may not have been the intention, but I think EoE actually supplements the ending rather than replaces it. D&R was a very nice recap of the whole thing and can be skipped unless you're still very, very confused.

          Spoiler warning, if anyone has managed to not see it yet and yet still wants to...

          --

          Basically, insert the movies between episodes 24 and 25 and it seems to fit really well. Left by itself, you end up halfway through Ep. 26 before you figure out that everyone is dead and we're just watching a le
        • I beg to differ. Death and Rebirth was basically the creator going "What, you didn't like my ending? FINE. HERE. Everyone dies and is miserable, you happy now?"

          Er, you guys have both got it backwards, and you specifically have got it backwards in two different ways.

          "Death & Rebirth" was a recap of the series; not much more. It had a few minutes of extra footage but it was basically intended as the equivalent of a clip show.

          "The End of Evangelion" is the real ending of the series. Hideaki Anno has sai
      • by meringuoid (568297) on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:20PM (#15271901)
        The first (End of Evangelion) was basically a re-hash of the series, very little new content. The second is "Death and Rebirth" which was Hideko Anno's response to people complaints about episodes 25 and 26.

        Other way round. Death and Rebirth was a clip-show of the series, followed by the first half of End of Evangelion (Air). EoE was the full alternate ending, consisting of some awesome battles followed by a brainfuck.

        • Agreed. EoE was a "better" ending, but either way, we still f-ing hate Shinji because he's such a worthless turd of a kid. You're right, Aska kicked some major butt in EoE. But what happens to her right at the end is so disturbing....

          Oh, and pertaining to the GP poster's comment, I've watch both Evangelion and all of Lain in one sitting (not both in the same sitting). Lain is only a mindf--- if you try to make sense of it. When it comes down to it, all Lain seems to be about is your standard teenage la

      • You actually have the movies backwards. End of Evangelion is the ending/alt-ending/other of the series. Death from Death & Rebirth was a retelling of the series, and Rebirth was the first half of End of Evangelion.

        End of Evangelion is rather twisted, which is rather obvious from the very first scene and words. Anyone that has seen it knows specifically what I'm talking about.
      • reversed the names on the moves. Guess that means its time to watch them again :)
      • Lain was terrific, but ABe's best series was neither Lain nor TeXnolyze.

        "Haibane Renmei" is a 13-part series which I feel is the best dramatic animation series ever made.

        YMMV, obviously.
    • Are you kidding? Some of us bought EVA when it first came out at 29.99 per two episodes on VHS. (It was only 19.99 if you got it subbed...)
  • Huh? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by IAmTheDave (746256)
    I understood about two words of that. Anyone else just not that impressed with Manga and Anime in general? I feel that I'm doing an injustice to my geek heritage, but I just don't appreciate it like some do.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by torchdragon (816357)
      Not all Anime is good. In fact, I'd go out on a limb and apply the 80/20 rule to it. Fortunately, NGE is part of the 20% that isn't crap. Is about big robots? Not really. You have to think a little harder about that. Is it about aliens? Not really. Can it really be described in a summary without giving it all away? Eesh, probably not. I *thumbs up* this anime specifically, but I don't think you can generalize about NGE and anime any more than you could generalize about most everything else. All governments
      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

        by BJH (11355) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:28PM (#15272510)
        OK, here goes:

        The Three-Minute Summary of NGE

        NGE is the story of a program initiated by a secret council of powerful old men in order to make themselves immortal. The program uses genetic material from "aliens" (who are actually not aliens, but rather the original inhabitants of Earth, related to humans but not the same species) to create living "robots" that can only be operated by children who have been traumatically separated from their mothers - the bodily fluids of the mothers are used to provide an interface to the "robots". The original plan was to have the old men take over an immortal fusion of human and "robot", but this was hijacked by the lead scientist on the project who was aiming to be reunited with his dead wife (the mother of one of the child pilots). This also goes awry, and the result is that all of humanity undergoes an involuntary fusion with everybody else, but this is interrupted by the rejection of this union by the child pilot who acts as the medium for the unification, when he realises it will mean those closest to him being able to know his most secret thoughts. The ending is ambiguous as to how the whole mess works out.
    • Blasphemy! (Score:3, Funny)

      by servognome (738846)
      Anyone else just not that impressed with Manga and Anime in general? I feel that I'm doing an injustice to my geek heritage, but I just don't appreciate it like some do.

      Can't you see how NGE completely changed anime! It brought a new and inspired story line of a teenage kid with social problems battling aliens in a giant robot... innovative ideas that had never been examined before!
      Err wait... I guess I'm with you, anime is just like any other genre/media, there are a few great pearls of human insight, b
      • Can't you see how NGE completely changed anime! It brought a new and inspired story line of a teenage kid with social problems battling aliens in a giant robot... innovative ideas that had never been examined before!

        That's the idea you have of the anime when seeing only the 2 first episodes of it ...

        Err wait... I guess I'm with you, anime is just like any other genre/media, there are a few great pearls of human insight, but in general its mass marketed garbage

        This view explains why you could never pass the
    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by theJML (911853) on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:05PM (#15271776) Homepage
      Honestly, my main reason for liking Anime (some atleast, not all... it is a rather broad spectrum you know) is that it's not American TV. It's not crappy re-runs, it's not "reality tv" which sucks the perverbal donkey, nor is it overhyped "funny" shows that aren't that funny. It is what it is and it's different. The perspectives on issues are different, the way it's drawn is different, the plot and humor is different, etc. It's like drinking a glass of soda after having nothing but water for years. Sure they're both refreshing, but the soda is more interesting to your palette.

      I used to watch a lot of it, I still watch a decent amount when taken in a percentage to the amount of TV/movies I watch, but in the end I it's because I end up choosing the Anime, it wasn't forced on me.
      • Hum... well... I'm a lot into animes too but I have to tell you that I think you are dead wrong when you say that animes dont carry the same popular crap & cliches that american shows do.

        It is in fact a huge nippon pop culture invasion on the american land. what i mean is, this is to japan as what jerry springer is to america.

        Mangas are the pulse of japan, it reflects their values, what they like, dont like...etc.. just like what american shows do here.

        I have to agree that it is different, thats what i
        • I have to agree that it is different, thats what i like about it but i dont kid myself, i know what whenever I watch something like this, I'm filling my mind with the same crappy quality as if I'd be watching survivor or whatever other american show.
          What if you were watching Twin Peaks?
          • I havent seen Twin Peaks so I wouldnt know but I think I know where you're going, there are genuine good animes out there. Either because they're original or just lovable (like Ebichu.. lol)

            I'm not saying all animes are in the same basket, I'm saying animes arent largely different from the kind of culture we're being submitted to on this side of the continent. There are plenty of US-made shows I liked too - Carnivale for instance, or Schindler's list in the movie department.

            But now you got my interest, I'll
      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

        by fireboy1919 (257783) <rustyp.freeshell@org> on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:02PM (#15272283) Homepage Journal
        Yes, but haven't you seen a bunch of this before, too?

        I liked the giant robot teens in Voltron.

        It wasn't particularly well-drawn or anything, but it was different. And there were a lot of shows like that.

        Now, though, anime kids with giant robots has become a genre. And the differences are smaller even than the differences between sitcoms! Dexter's lab actually spent a whole episode making fun of it. At this point, that's what it's good for.

        Right now, I see three genres of anime that are on TV:
        1) actual new stories
        2) giant robots - same old shows, but now designed to get kids to buy giant robot action figures to play with.
        3) cards/animals/toys that help people fight or fight themselves. Designed to get kids to buy cards/animals/toys because those things make the kid better at the things the characters on the show do, and therefore better people.

        I can't stomach the last kind at all. The second kind is just annoying. The only ones I even consider are the first kind.

        • Right now, I see three genres of anime that are on TV:

          As opposed to the three major types of American TV:

          1) "Reality" based shows
          2) Imported and dubbed anime or worse, 'original' series in 'anime style' (Ironic?)
          3) Rehashes of older shows with the same jokes updated with current cultural/political references.

          Of course, a good portion of anime is exactly as you describe. Also, there are occasionally good non-anime TV shows that may not break any new ground but just do a really good job of it. "House" comes t
    • I'm going to go out on a limb and say you just havent been properly introduced to it. As with any other medium, there are forms of anime or manga that will appeal to you, and some that will not. Do you like the simpsons? Do you like 24? Do you like Star Trek? Do you like Debbie Does Dallas? Each of these will have parallels in anime, just as they each have parallels in north american media. Simpsons has Family Guy, 24 has CSI, Star Trek has babylon 5 or star wars or firefly. I'm gonna avoid trying t
      • I'm gonna avoid trying to compare anything to Debbie Does Dallas, since I havent actually seen it.

        Desperate Housewives? Or pretty much anything on Cinemax...

    • I like anime and manga. I just like good anime and manga.

      Like "Field of Dreams" Evangelion gets worse every time I see it. The stupid religous references, the gaping plot holes, the third grade technobabble, the expostiton by blunt trauma, and the absolutely inexplicable ending all add up to something I'm ashamed I sat through.

      Anyone can flame me all they want, but this is only my opinion.

      That series embodies everything that is bad about anime. Give me a Cowboy Bebop over an Evangelion anyday.
    • by PCM2 (4486) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:15PM (#15272388) Homepage
      I really dig Evangelion. I recognize it for being a fairly uneven mess, which tends to be very repetitive. One of its biggest problems is that you sort of have to watch the whole thing, or at least most of it, to get everything that's going on -- and yet it's way too long to ask anyone to actually sit down and do that.

      I also thought the original ending was pretty lame... but if you add to it the re-done, arguably "real" ending seen in End of Evangelion, [imdb.com] it's great! Really harrowing, and leaves you scratching your head with that "what the fuck?" feeling you get after seeing "2001: A Space Odyssey" for the first time. (Interestingly enough, that article includes at least one screen cap from End of Evangelion, without ever mentioning that exists and wasn't part of the original 26 episodes.)

      Yeah, a lot of the religious stuff in Evangelion seems tacked-on. It's more accurately described as "pseudo-religious" anyway, because aside from stealing a bunch of names from old Christian mythology it doesn't really have much of anything to do with Christianity. That's OK, though -- it makes it interesting. I'll take a show that even pretends to make you think, as some people are accusing Evangelion of, than one that doesn't even try at all. Patrick McGoohan's "The Prisoner" is another show that comes to mind that's vulnerable to a lot of criticism, but if you watch it with an open mind it can be very rewarding.

      The psychoanalytical stuff in Evangelion is more interesting than the religious stuff. A lot of people here describe it as "Freudian," but while I don't know a whole lot about the various schools of psychoanalysis, I don't know if that's strictly accurate. What it does do is try to get inside the heads of these characters in a way that is, at times, profoundly disturbing (if you've managed to pay attention through the whole show).

      One thing that's probably lost on a lot of American, non-otaku audiences, though, is that much of what was going on in Evangelion was meant to be sort of a criticism of otaku culture. Early episodes of Evangelion regularly feature teasers of the next episode that promise lots of "fan service" [wikipedia.org] and seem to make it clear that it's meant to be the ultimate show for fans. But the later, more psychological episodes try to delve in to the characters' minds, many of whom have personality traits that the producers of the show thought were common in anime fandom in Japan.

      The long and the short of it: That joke about Slashdot people living in their parents' basements, watching anime? That's how the creator of Evangelion saw anime fandom, basically.

      The main character of Evangelion, Shinji, is extremely introverted in a way that a lot of Japanese anime fans are. He can't connect with girls, or with anyone really. He feels his parents can't understand him, and has a bad relationship with him. Then he discovers that he can pilot this giant robot and it makes him feel worthwhile. His fellow pilots have this same feeling too; they begin to feel worthless if they are no longer able to fly the giant robots. In that sense, you could say the purpose of the larger pseudo-religious conspiracy storyline going on in the background is really just to point out, Meanwhile there's a whole big world going on out there. All the characters are just too wrapped up in themselves and their angst to see it at first. Shinji's main character arc is his discovery of himself as an individual and coming to terms with what it means to be an adult living in the world.

      This subject matter isn't going to appeal to everyone. If you aren't interested in fun stories about cool-looking giant robots battling alien monsters, then the first few episodes aren't going to appeal to you at all. But if you can't get that far, then the later episodes are going to seem hollow, silly, and contrived. Basically, though Evangelion has a broad audience, if there's no part of y

      • It's more accurately described as "pseudo-religious" anyway, because aside from stealing a bunch of names from old Christian mythology it doesn't really have much of anything to do with Christianity.

        So ... just like Christianity itself, eh? :)
    • It really depends on the show. Some are good. Some I think suck also.
      I just don't any of the Dragonball shows. I love Kenshin and Full Metal Alchemist. Everybody is different. I don't get the love that some people have for Firefly. To me it is just "The Outlaw Josie Wales" in space. I like it but It isn't the end all and be all. On the other hand I really liked DS-9 and Babylon 5.
      It is okay not to like anime. Heck I love old Hepburn and Tracy movies. I thought part of being a geek was not feeling like you
  • For those who want the spoilers, here's the summarized plot of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

    Shinji: My life sucks, I want to die! :'(
    Rei: ...
    Asuka: Stupid Shinji.

    THE END.
    • You left out:

      His Dad: You suck.
    • by oni (41625) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:48PM (#15272745) Homepage
      That was a summary of a single episode. Here is a summary of the entire series:

      First couple of episode: OMFG THIS IS AN AWESOME GIANT ROBOT ANIME!!11oneone

      Next dozen or so episode: actually, we can stretch this out a lot farther if we make it an underage sex comedy, because there aren't nearly enough of those.

      Last few episode: ok ok sorry, we'll get serious. there, look, we killed someone. isn't that cool?

      Final episode: whatever. it was all a dream. we don't even care anymore.

      Fans: w-t-f ??? we are going murder you!

      Movie: fine, he's a movie. Just pretend that the last episode never happened and watch this movie.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    but is it faster than an electric car?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:00PM (#15271729)
    For creating a generation of anime and video game creators who
    • don't finish the story they started writing
    • just throw in random religious and psychological references and think they have a "deep" story
    • star whiny teenage wimps as the hero of the show
    • by fudoniten (918077) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:40PM (#15272656)
      C'mon, now, be fair:

      - Thank you, Star Wars, for inspiring a generation of crappy Sci-Fi space operas
      - Thank you, Seinfeld, for causing another cycle of lousy sitcoms, just when the idea seemed to have run it's course
      - Thank you, Doom, for all the dozens of shitty FPS that flooded the game industry in the mid-90's

      All dated examples, but they've already run their course, so they're good examples. LotR will be responsible for lousy new fantasy, you can be sure; and Spiderman is to blame for all the lousy new superhero movies in theatres these days. Any classic will be imitated, badly; that doesn't mean you should stop making classics. IMHO, Neon Genesis is a really, really weird sorta classic. It's weirdness is classic, and oh-so-refreshing. I agree with theJML here; Anime is Japanese TV, nothing more or less; but when you're sick as hell of sitcoms, reality TV, home renovation shows, and music videos, discovering Anime is like reaching the New World and discovering chocolate and potatoes. It's still just food, but it's a welcome change from old salt pork and pickled cabbage.
  • ...as Shinji.

    Er, so I've heard.
  • by Rydia (556444) on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:04PM (#15271762)
    I don't mean to troll, but I find zero appeal in the show. It falls in the category I call "psuedo-literature," a group which includes works that try so very hard to actually be quality literature, but ironically, trying so hard ruins the whole exercise. The writers for the show obviously through from the start that they were going to write a grand epic; they put enough twists and turns into the plot to get people convinced, even. If it's that complicated, it HAS to be good, right?

    Wrong. The quality of a piece of literature isn't in its complexity, it's actually in the simple, easily apparent parts. The complexity adds dimensions to the simple story, but it does not add meaning itself, and often *confuses* meaning by adding extraneous material in the attempt to make "a really cool story."

    So that leaves us with Evangelion, admired by hordes and spurned by people who are described by said hordes as "not getting it." Perhaps there's just not that much to get? Perhaps you're adding too much into a reading, because they left so much hanging you constructed around the work? That's not literature. Literature guides your faculties, it doesn't fool them and then expect them to expand things past the breaking point.

    To wit, look at shakespeare. Generally, a couple rich people who get in trouble with someone else, and either laugh it off or die. The end. The complexity is internalized in the characters; the plot itself is simple. That is why Shakespeare is Shakespeare, and Evangelion is just another mecha anime.
    • To quote the hippie teacher from Beavis and Butthead: "They say great art is difficult to understand but easy to enjoy"

      Followed up by Butthead saying "It's hard, but it's not hard" while looking a copy of the statue of David.
    • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:44PM (#15272092)
      "So that leaves us with Evangelion, admired by hordes and spurned by people who are described by said hordes as "not getting it." Perhaps there's just not that much to get?"

      Frankly, I think you've hit the nail on the head - and I think you'll probably be crucified on /. for it.

      I've got to admit I wasted a few hours of my life watching Evangelion recently, after hearing so much about it from a couple friends. Here's my impressions of the series:

      Start of series
      Producer: "Hey, let's make an anime about mecha! That always sells!
      Writer: "Great idea!"

      Roughly halfway through the series
      Producer: "This really isn't very good - let's turn it into a mystical/psychological story!"
      Writer: "Great idea!"

      Three episodes before the end
      Producer: "I have no idea how to wrap this up - let's get totally hammered for the next few weeks!"
      Writer: "GREAT IDEA!!"
      • by MsGeek (162936) on Friday May 05, 2006 @03:20PM (#15273046) Homepage Journal

        Start of series
        Producer: "Hey, let's make an anime about mecha! That always sells!
        Writer: "Great idea!"


        No, more like:
        Producer: Anno-san! We really like your mecha! Could you do a series with lots of mecha?
        Anno Hideaki: Hai hai...if it's mecha you want, mecha you get...

        Roughly halfway through the series
        Producer: "This really isn't very good - let's turn it into a mystical/psychological story!"
        Writer: "Great idea!"


        Producer: Anno-san, WTF is all this mystical/psychological/Qabalistic crap you're throwing into the series?
        Anno Hideaki: Trust me.

        Three episodes before the end
        Producer: "I have no idea how to wrap this up - let's get totally hammered for the next few weeks!"
        Writer: "GREAT IDEA!!"


        Producer: Anno! We aren't happy with the most recent shows, ratings are diving, we're cutting your funding...now finish it!
        Anno Hideaki: (has nervous breakdown)
    • To wit, look at shakespeare. Generally, a couple rich people who get in trouble with someone else, and either laugh it off or die. The end. The complexity is internalized in the characters; the plot itself is simple. That is why Shakespeare is Shakespeare, and Evangelion is just another mecha anime.

      Except that ... Eva is exactly what you describe : the complexity is internalized in the characters.
      Though I'm not really a fan of Eva, it's not just another mecha anime. The mecha part is just a decoy and you fe
      • Evangelion Otaku (Score:3, Interesting)

        by meringuoid (568297)
        Eva is done by an otaku, targeted to otaku, to shake them.

        An interesting thought. I've mentioned already [slashdot.org] that I think of Shinji as an archetype of what geeks hate in themselves. But that's my own impression of Shinji, as a foreign geek watching Evangelion in isolation.

        Looking at him in the Japanese cultural context from which he came, might Shinji be on the borderline of becoming a hikikomori [wikipedia.org]? Look at his position: his father is distant and entirely consumed with his work, he himself has great difficu

    • So that leaves us with Evangelion, admired by hordes and spurned by people who are described by said hordes as "not getting it." Perhaps there's just not that much to get? Perhaps you're adding too much into a reading, because they left so much hanging you constructed around the work? That's not literature. Literature guides your faculties, it doesn't fool them and then expect them to expand things past the breaking point.

      I'd bet you say the same thing about Dada art [wikipedia.org]. ;)

      Sometimes the point of art is to "not
    • I don't mean to troll, but I find zero appeal in the show. It falls in the category I call "psuedo-literature,"

      1- You are trolling: Going in a thread about a show and saying "this show sucks and people who like it are dumb", even if obfuscated in a lot of big words, is trolling.
      2- Literature is for books [m-w.com]. This is a television show. You just wrote 4 paragraphs about how you don't think a televesion show is litterature. Four paragraphs based on an obvious fallacy!

      The complexity is internalized in the charact
    • I agree completely with your post. Very well said.
      (except the "zero appeal"... I think it's still got some appeal, even if only for the angel battles)

      It seems to me that NGE fell prey to "X-files syndrome":

      Just keep hinting at something.

      You have no idea what this something is, per se, but *wink**wink* *nudge**nudge* it's a HUGE secret. Big hints, little hints, obscure hints...all sorts of hints; but, and this is the important part, the writers have no big picture in mind.

  • It reminded me alot of the end of Kubrick's 2001. Alot of weird cutscenes and other stuff that didnt flow much with the rest of the series, other than Shinji's constant whining about his meaningless life. The only thing the final episode seemed to accomplish was his breakthrough in finding meaning and definition for his life, which was completely distracted from the main plot (destroying the Angels with the Eva's). I heard that the Evangelion movie (possibly more than 1?) that he made after the end of the s
    • I heard that the Evangelion movie (possibly more than 1?) that he made after the end of the series cleared up alot more, but I have yet to see it/them.

      Ahahahaahahahahahahahahaha hah hahahaha!

      No.

      But go ahead. Pick up The End of Evangelion and watch it if you like. Feel free, go right ahead. It makes even less sense than the original ending, but before it goes entirely bananas there are some supremely cool mecha battles.

      • Re:Final Episode (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Smidge204 (605297) on Friday May 05, 2006 @03:44PM (#15273252) Journal
        The actual, underlying premise and plot is pretty straightforward and coherent... at least what I see. They just didn't drop it in your lap like many other stories do, and instead presented you with a "giant robot anime" facade and a lot of character development.

        Spoiler warning, although this is strictly my personal interpretation of the story.

        --

        The underlying premise is an attempt to describe the nature of the human soul.

        When you are first conceived, you have no soul. (Rei is the key to this interpretation, as this is pretty much the reason she exists IMHO)

        As you grow, your soul is constructed by copying parts of the souls belonging to the people you interact with (including pre-birth interactions though the womb). Individuality and personality arises from the unique mixture of these copied portions and personal experiences. This is important to understand the ending.

        The concept of the "Absolute Terror Field" is introduces as a barrier that keeps each soul separate. (Although throughout the series it is also manifested as a physical barrier). This is also important to understand the ending, as well as a few things throughout the story.

        Because of the above, no single soul can ever be "complete", with the exception of the "First" - Adam and Eve (From the Genesis account of the creation of life) and, from a particular interpretation/version, Adam's first wife Lilith - Eve being the third with an unnamed second wife - who is actually the one who mankind is descended from). The creation of man caused the separation of these "perfect" souls.

        Man discovers the "First Angel" - which they name Adam - In Antarctica. While trying to capture him/it, it self destructs and causes what is refereed to as "Second Impact". However, man was able to recover a portion of Adam. (And, apparently, most of Lilith)

        The "Human Instrumentality Project" mentioned in the series intended to 'fix' this problem and get all of the imperfect, partial souls to recombine into a new perfect soul - and supposedly usher in the next major step in man's evolution, and becoming closer to God.

        NERV and the EVAs were essentially a front for the whole operation. (I still haven't been able to pin down exactly how the Angels themselves work into it. Maybe they're pissed that man has stolen Adam and want him back?)

        At the end (This is in EoE), Rei rejoins Lilith - from which she was directly created. Lilith's/Rei's soul is thus completed, and begins the "Third Impact" by neutralizing the AT fields of all life on the planet, which removed the barriers keeping the souls apart.

        Rei's soul then becomes the nexus of this event, in which all souls are being recombined into a single, "perfect" soul. But Rei was created by Gendo Ikari without a soul of her own. His plan was to impress enough of his soul into Rei so he could be at the center of the event, which is why he was always so protective of and spent so much time with her. Ultimately, it was Shinji's soul who had the most influence, and so he became the center of it all.

        In the end, all life on the planet was essentially destroyed and Shinji (with his now perfect, complete soul) effectively becomes God. The last two episodes are basically about him thinking about his life, having dialog with the other character's, reflecting on everything, and eventually deciding he would like to continue existing along with everyone else.

        Pretentious? You bet! But the whole giant robot thing was actually very superficial to the actual story. Inserting EoE before the last two episiodes really, really helped put it all together.
        =Smidge=
  • 10 years... (Score:5, Funny)

    by HitScan (180399) on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:08PM (#15271806)
    And they still don't know what the fuck it's about.
  • by tenchiken (22661) on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:21PM (#15271909)
    One of the more controversial things about Eva is some of the scarier linkups that (thankfully for ADV) havn't been widely reported. A few years back I was on staff with a large anime con, and talked with ADV staff about Eva. One of the things they mentioned was that they got heat from the police because both the Columbine Killers [wikipedia.org] and Hale Bopp Crowd [wikipedia.org] apparently were big fans of Eva, and the police stopped by to have a word with ADV.

    One of the more interesting connections was also with Aum Shinrikyo. Apparently at least one of the assistant directors on Eva was a member of Aum Shinrikyo. Anno himself mentions this, and also mentions that he started writing eva right around when the Aum Shinrikyo attack occured. Aum Shinrikyo apparently also used Eva tapes for recuriting afterwords, but apparently stopped after GAINAX started complaining.
  • Overrated (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lbbros (900904)
    Neon Genesis Evangelion was widely acclaimed, and IMO overrated. The main reason for the weird ending on first show was caused by lack of funds (did you see the drop in animation from episode 21?) Hideaki Anno, the director, and surely a person with a huge ego, didn't like the criticisms and lashed out at everyone in a Newtype interview published shortly after the end of the series. The subsequent movies and "final episodes", aside being a display of an incoherent plot, are just his revenge against those wh
    • As for the so-called references... I firmly believe there is no "second meaning" in Evangelion. There are a lot of things thrown at the viewer, but I don't find any real sense. I suspect they were put in just to "look cool" and have people think a lot about nothing.

      This is perhaps a good thing, though. Mythology is less interesting when everything is understood and concrete.

      Switching to a Western example, I remember when I first read Lord of the Rings. The world was huge and deep, with occasional iceber

  • How suprising ? Actually I am suprised how much this series has got flamed here. Comparisons to Starwars ? Are you joking ? Starwards is for 5year olds, please, the only deep references it has are swords and magic powers. Hellboy, oh my god, what a piece of crap that was. Honestly if your going to shoot down an animation like Evangelion at least have something better as an example of what works. Evangelion transcends ANY sci-fi I have watched since 2001(the film). Anyone who does not understand it's referen
  • by sc0ttyb (833038) * on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:42PM (#15272672)
    In fact, they weren't robots at all. Labeling them as such is actually very misleading and contradictory to the plot. If I were to label them anything, cyborg is probably the closest word I'd use to describe them, and even that's not really very accurate. I can't say further without spoiling anything for folks who may or may not have watched or read anything related to the series.

    The Evas are very, very important to the plot. They aren't just some mechs that were added in just for the coolness factor (though they certainly do add that). There is a very lengthy background concerning their creation, origin, and ultimate purpose. The fact that most people will watch maybe the first handful of episodes and then dismiss it as nothing more than a "mechs kill shit" series leads to the wrong ideas about what this series actually is. The Evas aren't just used for killing humanity's enemies. They're used in both political and personal agendas, and oddly enough, the Evas, well, damn, almost gave something else away.

    I made it a point to watch the entire series several times to try and pick up on things I missed. End of Evangelion pretty much confirmed a lot of my suspicions about the true motivations behind the simultaneous projects going on, almost all of which were connected somehow. Granted, it went almost a bit too far with the "what the hell?" mindfuck aspect near the end of the movie, but it was an interesting picture and merely one person's interpretation of Judeo-Christian themes.

    So, to dismiss this series as "just another giant robot anime" is pretty short-sighted, in my humble opinion. I'll admit that it takes a while for it to really get started, but when it does, it runs full-on.
  • RahXephon (Score:3, Informative)

    by Paladin144 (676391) on Friday May 05, 2006 @03:01PM (#15272887) Homepage
    If you want a series similar to Evagelion, I suggest checking out RahXephon [wikipedia.org]. In my opinion it's vastly superior to Neon Genesis in almost every way. Better artwork, better story (and more understandable), less annoying characters and some decent humor. Oh, and giant frickin' robots. Where would anime be without giant robots? RahXephon also has a lot of symbolism and mystery, and a lot of things that really set it apart from NGE. I shouldn't give anything away. I'm only on episode 20 myself...
  • There's a lot of "Eva sucks" posts here at the moment. They're right of course; Eva featured some pretty awful characters, crashed and burned on the ending etc. But the point of the article isn't that Eva was a fantastic work of literature. Rather, Eva was the genesis of a new form of shows, unafraid of losing the children's audience in the pursuit of creating something wonderful. Whether Eva itself accomplished this is moot; the point is that it inspired a broad following within the author's community to c

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