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Author Topic: God's in his Heaven. All's right with the World  (Read 14360 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.

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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...

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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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Offline Taleweaver

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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2006, 02:10:50 PM »
Quote
Author's intent overrides interpreter's dreams.

My professor of literary theory would have killed you for that line, Kuma. How can you tell what the "author's intent" was? Because the author "said so"? And what if he lied for no reason but to make fun of the world?

However, sometimes it might seem as though the author was trying to relay a message or wanted his "intent" known. As you cannot be sure whether that is really the author, you talk about the implicit author in literary theory.The definiton of "implicit author" is generally this: if you, by some part of the plot, get the idea that it is used with a certain intent in mind, that intent comes from the implicit author. So if Shinji in EVA has major problems with his dad, you MIGHT get the idea that the implicit Hideaki Anno is trying to relate to his own childhood troubles with the character, however, this is but one (viable) interpretation. Any other which does not involve the person of Hideaki Anno is at least equally viable, if not stronger (when supported by other parts of the plot).

By the way, if you remember old "Masters of the Universe" shows and in the end, Prince Adam told you an important lesson about not lying, that's not the implicit author. That is the explicit author.  ;)

Offline Tamashii

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« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2006, 09:59:28 PM »
This has come to question at times, and I have thought about it: what if Anno's lying? But when reasoned out, such a conclusion is only paranoia with no substantial logic based on the evidence presented. To some degree, the viewer must trust the creator, just as the reader must trust the author. That trust is further defined into what is known as 'the truth' upon other instances of support and facts. If this were some other case, perhaps the explicit author, Anno, cannot be justified. But here, it's possible.

It is common knowledge that Anno was depressed. It's hard to convince oneself that, "Indeed, no, Anno was not depressed. It was all a farce." Anno had written his "tribulations and trials" out on paper as he went through the stages of his depression. Can one call this false? It then becomes evident that Evangelion must have, either conciously or subconciously, been affected by Anno's mindset. It's especially hard to argue that the explicit author could be nothing more than an implicit author for cases where the author has been interviewed or has revealed some fact that is hard to dismiss, which is the case here.



Thanks, Wiki. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hideaki_Anno)

Offline Kurier

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« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2006, 10:53:28 PM »
The Notenki Memiors describe Eva as what brough Anno out of the depression, but I need to re-read over that part.

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Offline C0MPL3X

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« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2006, 12:42:43 PM »
Quote
Author's intent overrides interpreter's dreams.
 
 
My professor of literary theory would have killed you for that line, Kuma. How can you tell what the "author's intent" was? Because the author "said so"?
Yes. The intent of creator, is merely an interpretation of the work he came up with. Just like him, we should come to our own interpretation. It is said, that the creators of FLCL admitted that they came up with that absurd title because they thought it sounded cool. Ever thought that the title meant something else?
 
As for eva, a lot of elitist people attack the lack of coherency in the plot. In some cases, they stand corrected (for example, absurd speed in which the story progresses towards the last episode, you would need a very very good concentration to keep the flow of traffic). But in order to truly appreciate the story, you might need some background knowledge to interpretate some of the meanings behind the symbols.
 
Like Oshii, I believe that the religious symbols are used not to discuss ideas on faith, religion, etc. but as plot devices. Through the biblical references behind these symbolic images, they foreshadow the next events for more dramatic effect, or reinforce what kind of character he or she is, etc.
 
But the creators said that they used religious symbols just to be cool! Again, it is irrelevant. Some eva sites are floored with explanations behind these symbols and I myself have tried to use some examples to show that 'they are not just there to be cool!' for some time but at last, I have come to a realisation that the best way is to put up some evasites. Or say n othing at all.
...which I am not doing here.
 
Another thing. Can we really call the fact that one must have a reasonable amount of biblical knowledge in order to better understand the flow of the story hence better access to the concepts behind it a flaw? No.
After visiting to many art museums, when I look at these so-called masterpieces and feel not much emotion, MOST of the time, it is because I dont know much about art to fully appreciate them. Only when I acquire an audioguide, or a guidebook, or a tour guide, and have these things explain to me the most innovating techniques never before used in that time, almost magical use of colours, composition of the objects to control the way we see certain objects, the way it tells stories and histories in the most subtle and devious methods and poetic meanings behind them...after that, you can say without a shred of doubt, that this is beautiful and this is a masterpiece.
 
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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.
Hmm. Millers play 'death of the salesman' had a protagonist called 'willy' and he didnt learn much. And if shinji is a stupid character, than willy certainly is a stupid character. My english teacher once asked the class 'do you like this man' and of course, the general response was 'not really' but when she asked, 'but do you feel sorry for him?'
There was a bit of awkward silence and a murmur of yes. But no 'not really'.
Maybe main characters can have something else that drives that intensity of the drama.
 
And I by no means, am trying to come up with a notion that eva is a masterpiece. I can understand why some people would say that, but that is not my opinion, due to some unnecessary fanservice, some gay music, lack of unity in the series due to the last episodes looking like a...well, it WAS a desperate attempt to save budget...
« Last Edit: January 24, 2006, 12:52:55 PM by C0MPL3X »

Offline Kuma

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« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2006, 08:53:38 PM »
Quote from: C0MPL3X
It is said, that the creators of FLCL admitted that they came up with that absurd title because they thought it sounded cool. Ever thought that the title meant something else?


Perhaps you could explain why all the words flashed in the episode preview in episode 5 all point towards Fooly Cooly meaning teen angst and the process of becoming an adult?  Maybe it was done after the fact, but the title is far from meaningless even if it initially was intended to be so.

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« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2006, 08:31:28 AM »
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Like Oshii, I believe that the religious symbols are used not to discuss ideas on faith, religion, etc. but as plot devices. Through the biblical references behind these symbolic images, they foreshadow the next events for more dramatic effect, or reinforce what kind of character he or she is, etc.


Like? o.O

So cross-shaped explosions and the Sephiroth tree enforces what kind of character [Insert Name] is? It foreshadows future events? You cannot correlate Oshii's style with Evangelion's, they're two different things. Oshii had a different purpose. I'm still not convinced that the symbols were not used to "look cool." What I think is that the symbols either were meant to "look cool" or as motifs for the theme of "God," nothing too complicated.

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Another thing. Can we really call the fact that one must have a reasonable amount of biblical knowledge in order to better understand the flow of the story hence better access to the concepts behind it a flaw? No.


That is true. RahXephon needed some background knowledge about the "Mu" and about the guy who discovered the book of the Mu (trust me, it was mentioned in ONE sentence! What! Don't forget that RahXephon also ignored telling us the dates) to entirely understand the plot. However, I do not believe such applies to Evangelion because of the previous statements I've made: the symbolism was not very relevant, and on the level that it was (as a motif for the theme), it required no real background knowledge other than knowing that those are Judeo-Christian symbols. Therefore, Evangelion needed no background to fully understand.

Offline C0MPL3X

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« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2006, 08:42:29 AM »
Quote
Perhaps you could explain why all the words flashed in the episode preview in episode 5 all point towards Fooly Cooly meaning teen angst and the process of becoming an adult? Maybe it was done after the fact, but the title is far from meaningless even if it initially was intended to be so.
I'm terribly sorry you have come to an interpretation that I know FLCL inside out, I can't see where I said anything like that. But if you really insist, I shall give you my interpretation after my 2nd viewing of that episode once I return to my home 3 days later. Because forgive my lack of intellect, but I can not remember all the words.
And I never said anything about title being meaningless. Actually, if you read carefully, I am questioning whether there is deeper meaning to the title when in fact, the creators are claiming that the title is a gibberish.
 
 
And tamashii, I don't know whether it is my fault for lack of conveying message, or yours in understanding message, but there has been a miscommunication. You are saying that, I am referring to Oshii's style. I have never said anything about Oshii's style. What I was said was, Oshii referred to Evangelion's use of religious symbolisms as plot device. Oshii was commenting, and I stated  my opinion that I agree with him. How?
 
You have mentioned the cross shaped explosion. Most people who attacks eva for using religious symbolisms to look cool, use that as their argument. Because it's true. I too think its just for a shock effect.
 
However, what they don't do is, look beyond that. Is that ALL the symbolisms in the eva? Not a chance. One can find loads of infos on net if one tries hard enough, some valid, some bit overanalytical to the point of being desperate, but some makes sense. I'm going to use 2 examples which I have already used in Anime Academy forum, kind of cheating I know but those are the only 2 I can remember from my memory right now without revisiting the anime.
 
First, is the christ like figure of Gendo Ikari. I don't know which episode, but there is an episode where the shadow cast by the Gendo and the window frame is a shape of a cross behind a man. Obviously a christ. It is a common knowledge that the christ died for humanity. There are many who regard Gendo as a 'bad guy' and what he is doing is wrong. But can we really say that? If you look at all that pains resulting from human emotions, hedgehog's dilemma, unrefutable presence of at field that repels us from becoming one thus making us sad, Gendo's idea of eliminatig that at field and reuniting all men as one, ultimate being, ultimate happiness, Gendo's ideal salvation is not such a far fetched idea. But of course, many of us feel something is wrong. Can we really call this ultimate happiness? Not really and there are parts where we can see that. So the debate goes on and viewers come to their own interpretation of happiness and so on,
 
BUT
 
the point is, this strong image has later intensified the drama in which Gendo put into motion. It gives a subtle, not direct idea, a hint, that what Gendo is doing maybe a salvation just like Christ's crucifixition. This technique is powerful because it's not telling us, but it indirectly reaches us through subtletey. It's undeniable that we can see the cross there, but what it means is upto us to decide. However, its goal is achieved. To make us think.
 
Another thing. I am going to be lazy and just copy and paste what I wrote in Anime Academy. Because otherwise, I feel like I'm repeating myself.
 
Quote from: me
symbolic figure in Kabbalism (A esoteric sect of Judaism centering around mystical interpretations of the Torah) representing in essence a 3-dimensional image of the spiritual realm in the form of a diagram. This same diagram is also drawn in Gendo's ofice. The figure is comprised of ten spheres linked by 22 paths, and shows the route for humans to attain the highest possible spiritual level. Notice this part: shows the route for humans to attain the highest possible spiritual level. One can deduce from this, that Nerv led by Gendo is ultimately trying to 'attain the highest possible spiritual level', return to nothingness through human instrumentality project. Wow, symbolism actually acted as a plot device, as a foreshadowing device to those who are more knowledgable. The diagram that anno put there, describes exactly what the fuk Gendo is trying to do! Now, it maybe a coincident, which is acceptable. But how can you say, that this is not a symbolism?

Tamashii, you have made a statement that eva requires no compulsory knowledge to fully appreciate what is going on based on sole evidence that cross like evidence means nothing. But I dare say, you haven't even bothered trying to see what else was there. It's okay if you don't,  but it's being ignorant when you say there is nothing when you haven 't even tried to look beyond what you know. If you can make a solid argument that proves that the 2 symbolims I listed as plot device that has effects of reinforcing meaning/foreshadowing events therefore creating more drama hence engaging audience better into this world therefore conveying its message more clearly as a gibberish, and same for tons of other symbolisms out there in eva sites, then I will write in shame that I was wrong and the symbols in eva truly means nothing.

Offline Kuma

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« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2006, 08:02:29 PM »
Quote from: C0MPL3X
I'm terribly sorry you have come to an interpretation that I know FLCL inside out, I can't see where I said anything like that. But if you really insist, I shall give you my interpretation after my 2nd viewing of that episode once I return to my home 3 days later. Because forgive my lack of intellect, but I can not remember all the words.
And I never said anything about title being meaningless. Actually, if you read carefully, I am questioning whether there is deeper meaning to the title when in fact, the creators are claiming that the title is a gibberish.


My bad, dude.  I should have phrased that differently.  No hard feelings :)

No, I don't need an interpretation.  Wow, I can't imagine what kind of mindset I was in when I wrote that.

I do however disagree with the sentiment that the author's intent is only his interpretation of his own work.  I don't see why someone can't create an anime with a set idea in mind and intend for it to mean something specific.  If I create an anime to depict war as a necessary evil and someone interprets my anime as a negative critique of capitalism when I didn't intend that at all, IMO they have missed the point not created a new objective meaning.  How can my intent be an interpretation if it came before the work was made?

We can't assume an author is lying if he states his intent.  To do so leads to endless second-guessing and paranoia.  In the case of FLCL, maybe they originally intended the name to be gibberish but changed their minds during production.  Your statement allows for that.

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« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2006, 10:29:17 PM »
"Sometimes an object is just an object"

"To every man, his own"

If an author intended something, it usually will be a little obvious. From there, the series (novel, short story, music video, manga, anime, etc) will most likely be interpreted a different way by every person.

Ex:

I see Bible Black as a metaphor for the wrongs of man in his pursuit for power. Someone else might see it as a warning not to sacrifice a tainted offering. The writer probably intended it to be a porno.
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« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2006, 12:54:41 AM »
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And tamashii, I don't know whether it is my fault for lack of conveying message, or yours in understanding message, but there has been a miscommunication. You are saying that, I am referring to Oshii's style. I have never said anything about Oshii's style. What I was said was, Oshii referred to Evangelion's use of religious symbolisms as plot device. Oshii was commenting, and I stated my opinion that I agree with him. How?


From what I read, I did not perceive that you were referring to Oshii commenting on Eva. When I say style, it means one's fashion of going about things. It is not aesthetic. Oshii's "style" is to use religious symbolism as plot devices.

Quote
Tamashii, you have made a statement that eva requires no compulsory knowledge to fully appreciate what is going on based on sole evidence that cross like evidence means nothing. But I dare say, you haven't even bothered trying to see what else was there. It's okay if you don't, but it's being ignorant when you say there is nothing when you haven 't even tried to look beyond what you know. If you can make a solid argument that proves that the 2 symbolims I listed as plot device that has effects of reinforcing meaning/foreshadowing events therefore creating more drama hence engaging audience better into this world therefore conveying its message more clearly as a gibberish, and same for tons of other symbolisms out there in eva sites, then I will write in shame that I was wrong and the symbols in eva truly means nothing.


That is true, I am ignorant because I have not bothered to explore the many other symbols in Evangelion; however, it is not safe, nor courteous, to assume that I am "ignorant" believing that the symbols "mean nothing" (you have conveniently ignored the statement that "the symbols may be motifs for the theme").

What I was saying with my original response was that the symbolism did not mean anything "deep" as if they worked together as a whole to represent an "inner truth." I did say that they could be elements of the theme and your examples show that: Gendo's shadow and Gendo himself work as "symbols" or "motifs" for the theme of God. Even if the Sephiroth tree "foreshadowed" the plot and the characters' intentions, it does not mean anything significant. It is just foreshadowing--it's "cool." Even without background knowledge of the tree, one would still get the idea that the plot will unfold in such a manner and that NERV does have such intentions (if not, then just leave Earth :( ).

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...plot device that has effects of reinforcing meaning/foreshadowing events therefore creating more drama hence engaging audience better into this world therefore conveying its message more clearly...


Oh really? From what I understand, almost everyone was confused by the symbolism. So much so that they had to research it for hours to almost comprehend it. So while you're watching Evangelion, all of these subtle symbolism is doing a lot of drama enhancing, engaging you more, and conveying its message more clearly? I don't know. You?

I do agree with the symbolism reinforcing meaning in that it works as good motifs for the theme of God; however, that "meaning" is only implicitly stated and further confuses the viewer because they are uncertain of what the "true" meaning is--they're getting all sorts of mixed messages.

In the end, I do agree with you that the symbols work as plot devices (your tree example was good), however meager its importance may be in the end.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2006, 12:59:13 AM by Tamashii »

Offline C0MPL3X

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« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2006, 05:12:44 PM »
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it is not safe, nor courteous, to assume that I am "ignorant" believing that the symbols "mean nothing"
thats true. I did assume that you didn't bother researching those meanings and coming up with your own judgement, making me ignorant. And yes, your second paragraph was what I have included in my response, which I obviously missed from your original post.
 
Quote
Oh really? From what I understand, almost everyone was confused by the symbolism. So much so that they had to research it for hours to almost comprehend it. So while you're watching Evangelion, all of these subtle symbolism is doing a lot of drama enhancing, engaging you more, and conveying its message more clearly? I don't know. You?
Almost everyone was confused because they didn't know the symbolisms, 'so much so that they had to research it for hours to almost comprehend it'. I am sure I said something about having necessary knowledge on symbolisms to understand the reinforcement of meanings. Also, the absurd speed at which the story progresses towards the end is probably a larger factor than the symbolisms that manages to confuse the viewers. Not many can process that much information in such a short time, which leads to confusion. If you have better understanding of the symbolism, and having viewed it for 2nd time, then yes, I think it has stronger impact on the viewer.
 
And no, I didn't understand everything at first, and had to surf net for something which I might have missed (which I apparently have). I don't know if you did a second viewing on this show but my understanding of the show and appreciation for the characters and the ideas were significantly more rich than the first.

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« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2006, 03:05:00 PM »
I saw End of Evangelion again today and have acquired a newfound understanding and appreciation. Those that have accused EoE as being "pointless," "just some more of Anno's banter against his angry fans," or "mediocre" should be shot, ostracized, then stuffed inside an N2 mine.

EoE had achieved more in 90 minutes than the series had done in ten episodes. Many questions regarding the plot had been answered and many questions regarding the development of the characters had been fulfilled. How could one deny the one-minute scene where Gendo's character is finally fleshed out in its entirety? I did not completely sympathize or understand him until that very last moment. Also, let's not forget about Shinji. He had come to a greater understanding of his position in life and he developed beyond the elementary, childish whining. The few words of dialogue in the end and the minimalist scene of Shinji choking Asuka in the last few seconds proved Shinji's worth as a character. Other hints of characterization were given, too, including Maya's affection for Ritsuko (hinting that she was a lesbian) and Kensuke's adoration of Katsuragi.

The animation was superior, indeed. The choreography was stunning, especially during Asuka's fight scene, where the Evas (and Asuka) moved fluidly, though somewhat in an unrealistic, too ninja-like manner. It was cool, nonetheless. If one has a sharp eye, one would have noticed the careful effort in each scene, even during the battle scenes, where explosions are realistic as the leaves shaking in the shockwaves. The transitions were very clever; most incorporated visual and audio cues, a sign that Anno is no ordinary filmmaker.

Sensational and riveting, the music, demonstrating some new works, was magnifico. Anyone who had claimed that Evangelion's music was "subpar" should be slapped around a bit, maybe even tossed in the stratosphere. The orchestral pieces, some of them re-tunings of past Evangelion tracks, were sweeping just like the motions on the screen. Playing as a complement to the movie, the music did not fail in its role.

Some additional thoughts: SPOILERS
I remember someone calling up that Evangelion's second director, Tsurumaki, had said, "I'm surprised that no one realized that Evangelion was an entire dream!" In fact, this theory does hold up upon analysis of EoE. In Complementation, Shinji and Rei converse back and forth, and an implication that Shinji's previous life could have all been just a dream. The conversation ends with Shinji laying down, merged with Rei, implying that he had just "woken" up. The SEELE had said that there was no difference between the end and the beginning, and it could be seen that Shinji's awakening in this world of LCL was actually "the beginning." Other evidence is found in the very first episode, where Shinji "sees" Rei, only to have her vanish away a second later. It feels too out-of-place and too obvious to be a "mistake;" clearly, Anno was trying to cue us into something. However much I see this theory as being very interesting (I may have to explore it a bit more, too), I have to reject it. There is plenty of evidence that Shinji did not live a dream. Rei's dialogue used words such as "come back to life" and "return," making it hard to believe that Shinji's "dream" was false. Also, the inherent ambiguity of the theory makes it even more questionable. Does this "dream" apply to only Shinji? If not, then who's "dream" is it? Why is Asuka there? So if Asuka is real, then the dream must be reality? We see Asuka with bandages, but she was clear of those when she died in the fight against the Eva Series. Which parts of the series were "dreams"? Again, this needs more investigation...!
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