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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) * <eldavojohn@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:52PM (#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@comcasTEAt.net minus caffeine> on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:55PM (#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.
  • Re:GITS (Score:5, Informative)

    by irritating environme (529534) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:05PM (#15271770)
    Considering she's 99% cyborg, how is GITS any different than other inside-a-robot animes? It's one of the underlying themes of the series.

    Just like evangelion just uses the powerful imagery of mecha as a vehicle of introspection into human psychology.
  • by meringuoid (568297) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:20PM (#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.

  • Re:GITS (Score:3, Informative)

    by vertinox (846076) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:52PM (#15272184)
    "Considering she's 99% cyborg, how is GITS any different than other inside-a-robot animes?"

    Well... She can't just pop out of her body like a pilot. If she is a Robo-mecha that pretty much anyone else is.

    And gits follows a different plot line. 99.9% she is in her own body unless you count her being in cyberspace not.

    In a Giant-robo movie. Most of the time the lead character does his thing outside the robot... The conversation... The drama... And then all of a sudden a big baddy arrives in the city to wreck havok and they lead character jumps in his big robot and fights the thing off and then you have the ending scene with the character usually leaving the robot.

    In GITS (especially Stand Alone Complex I and II)... You are treated to very dynamic and well thought out plots. Yes there are guys in mechanized suits and the spider robots (tachikoma's) but these are done realistically and not key feature of the plot. Tachikoma's are often thought of as comic humor relief, but during many episodes these robots are contemplating deeper issues like "The Meaning of Life" and what happens to you after you die while the lead characters often kept a more serious down to earth attitudes.

    Most of the plots are semi-realistic or believable enough but still "out there" enough to be considered sci-fi. That and the technobabble is kept to a minimum.

    Overall I do have some minor complaints about the second series plot direction (but it maybe because the viewer is supposed to be frustrated with the current events), but it is far better than most average Giant-Robot anime.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by fireboy1919 (257783) <rustyp@freeshellLION.org minus cat> on Friday May 05, 2006 @03:02PM (#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.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by BJH (11355) on Friday May 05, 2006 @03:28PM (#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.
  • RahXephon (Score:3, Informative)

    by Paladin144 (676391) on Friday May 05, 2006 @04:01PM (#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...
  • Re:Huh? (Score:2, Informative)

    by TychoCelchuuu (835690) on Friday May 05, 2006 @07:14PM (#15274202) Journal
    Nice overview but I can do you one better.

    The Three-Word Summary of NGE

    Giant fighting robots.
  • My interpretation (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 06, 2006 @07:54AM (#15276307)
    Here's my interpretation:

    Billions of years ago, an advanced alien civilization launched giant spheres into space to spread life to other planets. The spheres contains different kinds of "seed". The thought was, one sphere for every planet. On Earth, however, we got two - one in Japan, one on the South Pole. The Japanese seed is a giant, snow-white, naked "woman" ("homo sapiens"-ish). The one on the pole looks like a giant monster, reminiscent of the original alien civilization. The giant in Japan creates weak life in diversity and multitude (mainly humans, but possibly all other life we know on earth). The giant on the South Pole, also female (possibly there is no male counterpart), laid eggs that were to hibernate for thousands of years, hatching to super-powerful giants with infinite energy supplies and the ability to shape-shift.

    Humans thousands of years ago knew something about this. The "missing pieces" of the Dead Sea Scrolls were taken by a secret organization. The scrolls tells them that when the South Pole giant and it's children awaken, they will have to fight over the Earth (one seed per planet, remember?). The giant on the South Pole is called Adam, the one in Japan is Lilith (they are related to the Adam/Lilith/Eva-stories in name only). Researchers went to the South Pole, found Adam, and tried to revert it into a fetal state so it could be hidden or used. In the process, when using the Spear of Longinus (a failsafe device probably found with Lilith), Adam awakened, and unleashed a whole lot of energy and an anti-AT-field. Personally, I suspect the field removes cellular walls, and the wish for the "soul" to remain with the body (or some other mumbo jumbo). The field made it so that all life, even bacteria, died on the South Pole. But they at least got Adam in a tiny form. A doctor Katsuragi was there, but manages to save his daughter Misato.

    The secret organization, SEELE, uses the UN to fund and control some projects and sub-organizations, like Gehirn. This is for two reasons: To beat the "aliens", and to remake humanity. A college professor, Fuyutsuki, is asked to help their projects. One of his students, Yui Ikari (a daughter of a SEELE-member; she knows their plan) starts dating Gendo Rokobungi. Gendo does it to get into the project, but falls in love for real. They marry and have a son, Shinji. To make Lilith their puppet, they extract her "soul", while SEELE extracts the soul from Adam. Gehirn uses Adam's genes with Lilith, and "pull" the result out from her (kind of like a birth, with the result of her losing mass: her legs). These are the Evangelion units. They experiment with controlling the Evas, using the "menstrual" fluids from Lilith as a contact medium. Somehow, the test pilot Yui Ikari willfully disappears into the Eva-01, and only her dissolved remains are found. This is part of her personal plan to take control of humanity's future. With her remains, Gendo Ikari creates Rei, a Yui-clone, and infuses the soul-less puppet with Lilith's soul. A computer scientist, Naoko Akagi, creates the MAGI super-computers, but falls in love with Gendo, and kills herself when hearing the truth of how he's using her from Rei - whom Naoko first strangles to death. Gendo makes a new Rei, and employ Akagi's daughter Ritsuko, who happens to be college friends with Misato. After Yui disappeared in 2004, Gendo's son was sent away for ten years. 2015 he wants him back to control Unit-01, because successful controlling of the "robots" require a mother-child relationship between the pilot and the soul inside the robot.

    So Adam's spawn awaken, and try to get where they think Adam is - in Nerv's headquarters. The Eva defeats all obstacles - angels - including the boy with Adam's soul in him. SEELE gets pissed off when they learn of Gendo's personal plan (he just wants to be see Yui again), so they attack Nerv. Rei/Lilith refuses to help Gendo, but wants to help Shinji instead, so she fuses with the body of Lilith and fetal-Adam, offering control of the "rebirth" to Yui/Shinji. An anti-AT-f

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