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Author Topic: God's in his Heaven. All's right with the World  (Read 14355 times)

Offline Kurier

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God's in his Heaven. All's right with the World
« on: January 12, 2006, 11:20:52 PM »
*Note: I just felt this was missing, and because I am an Eva-Fanboy, I felt like I should make this thread*

Shinseiki Evangelion
a.k.a Neon Genesis Evangelion

Probably my favorite anime series to date. Created by Studio GAINAX, and directed by Hideaki Anno (with character design and Manga Version by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto).

I have found it hardset to find a fellow anime fan (even some non-fans) who do not know the title "Evangelion", which speaks volumes for its popularity. However, Evangelion is most well known for being one of the most controversial anime titles to be produced.

Evangelion spans 26 episodes, potential 12 (unofficial number) volumes of Sadamoto's manga and 2 movies (Death and Rebirth & The End of Evangelion). Countless garage kit designs, model kits, action figures, pencil cases, wall scrolls, etc. have been created under its name.

*Suggested Related Reading:
+The Notenki Memoirs
+Red Cross Book
+Neon Genesis Evangelion (Manga)

*Suggested Sites
+Eva Otaku  Read the FAQ, Red Cross Book can be found here (along with alternate scripts)
+The Eva Monkey Great Evangelion Resource site -Seven

So, what more is there to say, other than "What Do You Think?"
« Last Edit: January 31, 2006, 06:00:32 PM by Seven »
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Offline DarkKanti

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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2006, 04:33:50 AM »
I like it.  Eva is a pretty good show.  No matter what people say about it, that won't chnge my opinion of it.  Do I feel it's often times overrated?  Maybe, but that doesn't take away from the fact that I enjoyed it.  I have also heard good things about the manga, but in all honesty, there are alot more manga out there that demand my attention much more than Eva, and they alone are draining my wallet of all it's blood as it is, so for now I'll have to pass.  

XD  What a coincidence.  As I was writing all this, Eva popped on [as].  Just thought I'd point that out for no apparent reason.

The Nihon Review Presents 2006: A Year in Review

Offline Sorrow-kun

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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2006, 12:31:57 PM »
Let me start by saying welcome to the team.  I'm very much anticipating seeing your work, and hope that your loyalty and dedication will play a part in seeing NHRV reach the heights that it deserves.

It's been a long while since I saw Eva, but I have to admit I'm not a fan.  Apart from being overrated, I think the series gets bogged down in a lot of flawed and overly confusing story telling.  It's themes are difficult to interpret, and fail to come across crystal clear.  It's characters are very unlikable, apart from a few instances where they make fairly blatant attempts to plead for sympathy.  A large part of the series is poorly paced and plagued by monster-of-the-week.

Personally, I'm of the philosophy that anime is a medium through which a story is told.  If that story isn't told clearly and ends up being confusing, I can't help but think it's a case of poor storytelling.  A lot of people argue that Eva has a "deeper message", but, as someone much wiser than me has said, ask 15 people what that message is, and you get 15 different answer.  A lot of people then argue that because the series is so often differently (mis)interpreted, that only the greatest of intellects can really appreciate the truth behind it.  The constant fanservice and annoying characters (Misato and Asuka, eg) makes this claim difficult for me to believe.

So that's my opinion on Eva.  It's a nice smoke and mirror show, but the illusion here is real substance.

Offline Kurier

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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2006, 05:45:03 PM »
I stumbled upon a funny statement in The Notenki Memoirs, in which Takeda states that Anno was upset about a title he was to direct not being greenlighted. Anno was pulled out of the dark to direct Evangelion, and he wanted to keep the theme. After thinking it over, he decided not to make it the general theme but more of a background theme to be used as a platform.

The Theme? "Never give up, or Run away"

I will agree with you, Eva's story it extremely hard to understand without jumping through the hoops to learn what everything means. Atleast it has more of a plot than other GAINAX titles (FLCL).

Sorrow-kun, did you watch Eva in English dubs or Japanese (w/ or w/out subs)? I agree that Asuka and Misato are every annoying, but mainly in terms of English VAs.
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Offline DarkKanti

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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2006, 09:09:17 PM »
SK:  I know what you mean, and as a reviewer I would rate Eva lower for the reasons you stated, but putting bad story-telling aside, I was still very much entertained with this title.  Be it the interesting mecha designs, high octane fighting sequences (the Asuka/Shinji teaming up episode, can't remember the name of the episode, was one of my favorites), or humorous side events, I enjoyed it for what it was.  The characters I found most annoying were Shinji's friends (especially the little military obsessed one).

Another flaw I found in the series is that it starts to really slow down during the middle.  My favorite part of the show was honestly about the first third of it, after that it went down hill for a while, but then it started to speed up again near the end.  Overall, I think it was a good show, and I'd probably rate it as such on the NHRV grading scale (7).

Anyways, that's my two cents.  Now, I'll take my leave of this thread before Seven gets here and goes on and on about him fapping to Rei every night.

Edit- Damn he got here all ready...

The Nihon Review Presents 2006: A Year in Review

Offline Tamashii

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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2006, 09:45:08 PM »
I have not seen Evangelion in over a year. I think that if I viewed it again, I might have a different perspective seeing as how I am now more intelligent and more articulate. I could like it even more. I could hate it like hell.

Offline Kurier

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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2006, 10:05:51 PM »
Quote from: DarkKanti
SK:  I know what you mean, and as a reviewer I would rate Eva lower for the reasons you stated, but putting bad story-telling aside, I was still very much entertained with this title.  Be it the interesting mecha designs, high octane fighting sequences (the Asuka/Shinji teaming up episode, can't remember the name of the episode, was one of my favorites), or humorous side events, I enjoyed it for what it was.  The characters I found most annoying were Shinji's friends (especially the little military obsessed one).

Another flaw I found in the series is that it starts to really slow down during the middle.  My favorite part of the show was honestly about the first third of it, after that it went down hill for a while, but then it started to speed up again near the end.  Overall, I think it was a good show, and I'd probably rate it as such on the NHRV grading scale (7).

Anyways, that's my two cents.  Now, I'll take my leave of this thread before Seven gets here and goes on and on about him fapping to Rei every night.

Edit- Damn he got here all ready...


I believe the episode (and battle) you are referring to is "Both of you, Dance like you want to win!"

I agree with your seven, but if I wanted to grade Eva without a bias and by wiping the slate of my Eva knowledge clean, I would probably give it a 6. Mainly due to the budget slump (which I found out was caused by a Tax fraud, really interesting).

Eva's mecha design was one of the things that drew in. I was fresh off the string of Gundam anime titles, and the EVA units didn't seem conventional. It only took one Angel beat down (I have never seen such an awesome ass-kicking involving the victems own rip) to hook me.
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Offline Kuma

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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2006, 10:21:36 PM »
Quote from: Sorrow-kun

It's been a long while since I saw Eva, but I have to admit I'm not a fan.  Apart from being overrated, I think the series gets bogged down in a lot of flawed and overly confusing story telling.


I never found the storytelling confusing except for the plot hole between Eps 24-25 and the second half of EoE.  Eva, to me, is a great story - a great conclusion.

Quote from: Sorrow-kun
It's themes are difficult to interpret, and fail to come across crystal clear.


That's fair, but the themes are still there, you just have to have some outside knowledge to see the big picture.  Not that that's a good thing.

Quote from: Sorrow-kun
It's characters are very unlikable

That's part of the point.  Eva is out to paint a very negative picture of humanity, and if the characters were loveable it would have grossly failed at that.  In the end (TV) Shinji decides to try to live with people, despite all the B.S. he has seen and even though no one will ever truly understand him.  I believe a character you can truly loathe is as well done as a character you truly like.

Quote from: Sorrow-kun
Personally, I'm of the philosophy that anime is a medium through which a story is told.  If that story isn't told clearly and ends up being confusing, I can't help but think it's a case of poor storytelling.


Story is fine, themes are obscure.  Just a semantic problem I'm sure.

Quote from: Sorrow-kun
A lot of people argue that Eva has a "deeper message", but, as someone much wiser than me has said, ask 15 people what that message is, and you get 15 different answer.


Irrelevant.  Anno put a message into Eva and it really doesn't matter what everyone thinks.  Author's intent overrides interpreter's dreams.

There is a certain genius to Evangelion.  It's hard to create something that says a lot and yet nothing at all.  Eva is full of flaws, but is still a brilliant masterpiece and a wonderful journey down the trains of thought of a depressed man leading to his ultimate redemption.  Maybe I'm just overly nostalgic or it's the fact that I place higher regard on symbolism and themes than everyone else here, but I give Eva an 8-9.  Even though that's a little unpopular in the serious anime community.

Offline DarkKanti

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« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2006, 10:31:10 PM »
Quote from: Kuma
I give Eva an 8-9. Even though that's a little unpopular in the serious anime community.


Well, everybody has their own opinion.  Unpopular or not, I can understand a grade of 8 or 9.  I do however feel that 10 would be pushing it (I don't really like giving out 10's...  FLCL excluded).

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Offline Kurier

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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2006, 10:44:27 PM »
I tremple before the beauty of that post...

Well defended indeed.

Although, I wouldn't say Eva is unpopular in the serious anime community. I would say it is less popular among the non-diehards. It takes Diehards like us to really appreciate the subtle symbolism and underlying themes. Not to mention the lengths we go for that rare Artbook or Laserdisc collection...

Quote from: DarkKanti
Well, everybody has their own opinion.  Unpopular or not, I can understand a grade of 8 or 9.  I do however feel that 10 would be pushing it (I don't really like giving out 10's...  FLCL excluded).


I would say FLCL is less comprehendable then Eva, so IMO 10 is pushing it for titles with hard to understand plots (FLCL and Eva included).
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Offline Tamashii

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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2006, 11:05:53 PM »
Quote from: Kuma
That's fair, but the themes are still there, you just have to have some outside knowledge to see the big picture.  Not that that's a good thing.


Sorrow-kun probably has a predisposition against ambiguity (which is all right, because without a background, one would have no opinions). That's understandable as not all persons want to be sent on The Great Hunt. How I see it is that there is a blurry line between what's too vague and what's "vague enough." Now where Evangelion fits is debatable. In general, it's pointless to argue over Evangelion's airy, out-there, I'm-not-so-sure-if-that's-true characteristic. No one's right and no one's wrong. (somewhat of a cowardly way to avoid Clashes of Titans, heh)


Quote from: Kuma
That's part of the point.  Eva is out to paint a very negative picture of humanity, and if the characters were loveable it would have grossly failed at that.  In the end (TV) Shinji decides to try to live with people, despite all the B.S. he has seen and even though no one will ever truly understand him.  I believe a character you can truly loathe is as well done as a character you truly like.


In that Anno does this, I believe is very clever. He's set us up with three characters, all fairly disgusting, all fairly "anti-hero;" it truly breaks the mold in animation. We've suddenly discarded the Happy Panty Shots and slapstick from the 80s and early 90s and taken on a new form with a serious tone (though all of has come back in the last five years). I bothers me that people are bothered by Shinji. Need we more Mr. Bishounen's, "I've got the situation under control. I'm cool"? Nope.

Quote from: Kuma
Irrelevant.  Anno put a message into Eva and it really doesn't matter what everyone thinks.  Author's intent overrides interpreter's dreams.


Indeed, Anno did have a certain message and it has come through clearly for most people. He had been depressed during half of the show's making, and that depression had played a role in shaping the themes. I think that Evangelion is just overestimated. It's not incredibly intelligent. Because of Anno's style (To Confuse or Not To Confuse?), or perhaps because of ridiculous carelessness, the show has become this enigma, with a lot of "meaningless" symbolism that serves only to distract.

Quote from: kuma
There is a certain genius to Evangelion.  It's hard to create something that says a lot and yet nothing at all.  Eva is full of flaws, but is still a brilliant masterpiece and a wonderful journey down the trains of thought of a depressed man leading to his ultimate redemption.


If that is what a masterpiece is, something that says a lot, but says nothing, then you're crazy. That's not genius. That's a poorly made anime. But that is not what I'm saying Evangelion is. Evangelion does not say 'nothing.' It definitely says, "Oh well." That's how I believe the ending went.

 I also think your next sentence is contrived: "full of flaws, yet is still a masterpiece." What are these flaws? And would a masterpiece have such flaws? Hmm...

;)

Offline Sorrow-kun

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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2006, 03:10:17 AM »
Yeah, that's what I think.  It's an interesting anime, but the fact that it's so flawed sees it short of being a "masterpiece".  But, I suppose that depends on one's definition of a masterpiece.  If a masterpiece is something that's controversial and talked-about, then Eva is certainly that.  If a masterpiece is something that comes close to attaining perfection, then no, Eva is not that.

Quote from: Kurier
I would say FLCL is less comprehendable then Eva, so IMO 10 is pushing it for titles with hard to understand plots (FLCL and Eva included).
I agree, I wouldn't give FLCL a "10" either.  But, DK did, and he justified why he thought it deserved "10".  As much as some would like to say otherwise, a lot of reviewing is subjective and based on opinion - it must be, after all.  Personally I'd give FLCL an "8" and find myself repeating much of what I said in my Futakoi Alternative review.  The music is top.  The art, animation and cinemotography are great, and create the perfect atmosphere.  The way every little thing it does completely goes against convention is great as well.  But it does get overly confusing, it's themes are difficult to interpret and it's plot is hard to follow.  Sure, a few rewatches help, but that's not something I like giving thumbs up to.  And, for the record, I'd give Eva somewhere between a "5" and a "6".

Quote from: Tamashii
In that Anno does this, I believe is very clever. He's set us up with three characters, all fairly disgusting, all fairly "anti-hero;" it truly breaks the mold in animation. We've suddenly discarded the Happy Panty Shots and slapstick from the 80s and early 90s and taken on a new form with a serious tone (though all of has come back in the last five years). I bothers me that people are bothered by Shinji. Need we more Mr. Bishounen's, "I've got the situation under control. I'm cool"? Nope.
I, too, find flawed heroes interesting.  Humans are, after all, by definition, flawed.  Giving heroes various flaws makes them more believable and thus makes them easier to sympathize with.  That's why I hate Agate from Cluster Edge.  The fact that he has god-like powers and a perfect demeaner in every situation makes him difficult to take seriously, and almost makes him laughable when he faces any sort of conflict or drama.  For the same reason, I really like Rentarou from Futakoi Alternative.  He is flawed in numerous ways, living in his late father's shadow and being generally unmotivated to do anything (if it weren't for the twins, that is).  But, what really makes Rentarou a great character is the way he digs to find the motivation to fight to protect what he loves.  It's a great example of character development, and it's done in a way that's believable (the character, not the story), but respectable.

Admittedly it's been a long time since I last saw Eva, but Shinji really didn't win me over.  I found his complete lack of self-esteem difficult to believe and too blatantly a cry for attention.  In my books, a similar character which is slightly more fresh in my memory is Takayuki from KGNE.  His part in the story was to play this pathetic individual who spent the entire series crying for sympathy.  And he got it.  Not just from his fellow characters in the story, but from a lot of people in the audience, who, for some reason came to respect him after the story was over.  Not me, though.  I think a well developed character needs to grow from his struggles, maybe not to become someone necessarily better, but to become someone different.  When a person is doomed to make the exact same mistakes at the end of the series that they were to make at the beginning of the series, then they haven't learnt their lessons.  It's either a case of bad character development or a really stupid character, and either I don't appreciate much.

Quote from: Tamashii
Sorrow-kun probably has a predisposition against ambiguity (which is all right, because without a background, one would have no opinions).
This is true.  After watching Paranoia Agent for example, I was so overly confused by what I saw, I couldn't help but suspect I was being personally insulted.

Offline Kuma

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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2006, 11:28:00 AM »
Quote from: Tamashii

If that is what a masterpiece is, something that says a lot, but says nothing, then you're crazy. That's not genius. That's a poorly made anime. But that is not what I'm saying Evangelion is. Evangelion does not say 'nothing.' It definitely says, "Oh well." That's how I believe the ending went.

 I also think your next sentence is contrived: "full of flaws, yet is still a masterpiece." What are these flaws? And would a masterpiece have such flaws? Hmm...

;)


Ok, it was late, and I'm sick as hell, so let me better explain what I meant with that statement.  What I'm trying to say is that there are tons of avenues for analyzing Eva and in the end they are all red herrings.  The only way to truly understand Eva is to have outside knowledge of Hideaki Anno and his thought processes.  Eva doesn't explicitly deliver Anno's theme (...or does it?).  Hence my statement, "says a lot (numerous pseudo-themes such as condemning science for failing to solve man's most important problems and condemning man for having the arrogance to play God) and yet says nothing" to the real theme of Anno's thought processes as he battled depression (without outside knowledge).  This is a flaw in the series, but a small one really.

From a technical standpoint Eva is quite flawed.  The pacing suffers at times, the animation quality takes a huge dip at the end, and the ending could have been better.  However, Eva scores big on intangibles.  There's a certain something about Eva that drives people to talk about it years after everyone should have let it die.  There's a certain charm to Eva that leads people to obsess about it and never let it die.  It's popularity seems to grow stronger by the day.  We've probably had more threads discussing Eva on NHRV than any other anime.  The fact that you can talk about it forever scores it major points in my book.  I don't understand how anyone can give Eva an average grade (no offense).  Eva is anything but average, anything but ordinary, and anything but forgettable.  There isn't anything like it out there.  That is what I mean by flawed masterpiece.

Offline Kurier

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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2006, 03:49:03 PM »
Quote from: Kuma
Ok, it was late, and I'm sick as hell, so let me better explain what I meant with that statement.  What I'm trying to say is that there are tons of avenues for analyzing Eva and in the end they are all red herrings.  The only way to truly understand Eva is to have outside knowledge of Hideaki Anno and his thought processes.  Eva doesn't explicitly deliver Anno's theme (...or does it?).  Hence my statement, "says a lot (numerous pseudo-themes such as condemning science for failing to solve man's most important problems and condemning man for having the arrogance to play God) and yet says nothing" to the real theme of Anno's thought processes as he battled depression (without outside knowledge).  This is a flaw in the series, but a small one really.

From a technical standpoint Eva is quite flawed.  The pacing suffers at times, the animation quality takes a huge dip at the end, and the ending could have been better.  However, Eva scores big on intangibles.  There's a certain something about Eva that drives people to talk about it years after everyone should have let it die.  There's a certain charm to Eva that leads people to obsess about it and never let it die.  It's popularity seems to grow stronger by the day.  We've probably had more threads discussing Eva on NHRV than any other anime.  The fact that you can talk about it forever scores it major points in my book.  I don't understand how anyone can give Eva an average grade (no offense).  Eva is anything but average, anything but ordinary, and anything but forgettable.  There isn't anything like it out there.  That is what I mean by flawed masterpiece.


After reading that, I see Eva as a Human Being. Are bodies are so flawed, yet from a scientifical standpoint, they are masterpieces.

I couldn't agree more that Eva is anything but forgettable. Just to see how this thread exploded is proof enough that Eva is a subject not easily set aside. Like everything, nothing great is forgotten. I do not see Eva being forgotten any time soon.

That was a pathedic attempt at adding something new.
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Offline Kurier

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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2006, 07:59:47 PM »
^little Kurie...haha

To advance into a new subject with in the Eva-Realm, what are your thoughts on Sadamoto's version of the Eva Universe (which is pointed out by Sadamoto himself to be different from Anno's after about the 7th vol of Eva manga)?

I have not made up my mind, I want to see how Sadamoto finishes up the series first. I am disappointed on how long it is taking (I believe chapter 128-130 took about a year), but I can see it now "All great things come in time."
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