EVANGELION FRANCHISE DISCUSSION

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Your thoughts on Neon Genesis Evangelion (the original series)?

OH GOD AWESOME I LOVE IT YEAH
13
39%
It's pretty cool.
11
33%
Feh. You know, whatever.
3
9%
Couldn't really get into, honestly.
3
9%
ANNO, I'LL KILL YOU. ANNO, I'LL KILL YOU.
3
9%
 
Total votes : 33

EVANGELION FRANCHISE DISCUSSION

Postby kiryugoji04 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:00 am

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So with all the recent chitter-chatter about the Eva franchise that's been going on both here on the forums and amongst my own social circle (all board members here, in this case :lol: ) I thought it was high time MZ had a thread devoted to all this stuff!

I've recently (finally) seen the first two of the Rebuild or "New Movie Edition" Eva films and, as someone who felt like the original series left me kind of cold, I'm actually really enjoying them! I've always loved a lot of the elements that make up Eva and, at least for me, Rebuild tightens it up in ways that just feel better. Again, for me, because it definitely gives different people different things but I'll let those others speak for themselves. I was always far more fascinated with the overarching world plot than I was with the psychobabble and the refocusing just works for me. It wouldn't be Eva without said psychobabble, though, and I'm appreciative that it's not gone entirely - I do like it to an extent but amount the series rams it down our throats...

I think there's one thing we all can agree on: the theme song is f*cking awesome. One of my favorites, no matter how I feel about the show.

For that matter, I'm going to start working my way through the series once more and I'll post my thoughts here for each episode. LET'S SEE IF I CHANGE MY MIND.

One final note: I'd like Mouthforwar to be able to join in the discussion so for his sake (and others, if they're out there) let's try and keep Rebuild discussion spoilered. Let's definitely discuss it though! >8D

OKAY, SO YEAH. LET'S GO.
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:05 am

[This post reserved for listing the crazy amount of Ultraman/Tokusatsu references in Eva. Because Jesus Christ.]
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:05 am

I have a deep love of Evangelion in almost all forms. I loved the series, and its subsequent films. Thus far, I've been enjoying the Rebuild series.

Right now, as mentioned elsewhere, I'm re-watching the original series trying to take off my fanboy goggles. I'm up to episode 15, and I really only have minor claims.

Yeah, the opening is amazing. Its use as a preview, as well as one set to Ode to Joy on my ADV Gamera: GOTU and Destroy All Monsters VHS tapes are what set me on the path to watching this.
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:07 am

Minor stuff like what?
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:10 am

kiryugoji04 wrote:Minor stuff like what?


Mostly the OBVIOUS cost cutting stuff, and how episodes like "The Day Tokyo-3 Stood Still" and "Rei I"/"Rei II" feature Angels using almost the exact same methods to get into the geofront. (Ramiel's dril and Matariel's stream of acid) At the same time, the fact that the rest of those episodes do such different and (especially in the case of Tokyo-3 Stood Still) wonderful things sort of helps me see them as very minor issues.
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Postby planetxleader » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:43 am

So this thread was pretty much born from last night, when Jared invited me over to watch 2.22. I too was left cold by the show, and our mutual friend (this forum's Inferior Rodan) eagerly wanted us to watch the Rebuild to see how our opinions morphed.

Jared's did. Mine didn't. :\

Alex, Jared said you (and another of our mutual friends) were heartbroken that I didn't like 2.22, and you're puzzled why I didn't like the series. So, without further ado:

Image

Let's see if I can get this off my chest before I finish breakfast.

I was interested in the show long ago, back when I saw the trailer on the ADV DAM VHS (lotta acronyms there). Never got around to seeing it until last year abouts, where a friend of mine lent me the whole series. It was 'aite. As a whole, I will say Evangelion—and this includes the Rebuild—is a collection of good characters, giant battles, and philosophy that could possibly be stitched together in a riveting story. One day. :\

The early part of the show felt like a pretty straightforward sci-fi story and I somewhat enjoyed it. I think my favorite episode was number ten, where Asuka was introduced. It felt free-wheeling and fun, and Unit 02 jumping from freighter to freighter was awesome. I felt truly exhilarated. Most of the other episodes felt "average" and I never felt like I was experiencing a great, exciting tale, merely a serviceable giant robot show.

Then the weird stuff happened, but that's not what bothered me. The final two episodes I actually liked. I never really hated Shinji. I was more fascinated by him. I have a weird curiosity for the socially awkward, and while yes, I think Shinji desperately needed to grow a pair, I was kind of glued to him with a cruel fascination (c'mon you sissy!) and with a desire to see him get off his arse. The last two episodes stripped everything away and addressed the question "Shinji, why are you such a pansy?" and then answered that, and I actually felt kind of fulfilled. Plus, it was artsy and weird, and I liked it.

And I actually liked Shinji's descent, probably because of said fascination. Those long stretches of inner monologue (with really creepy music backing it up) are where I started to snuggle up in my chair and get interested.

The rest of the weirdness... :? The "psychobabble?" It was just that. Babble. The whole overarching plot, the Angels, the Human Instrumentality project, the Second Impact, yada yada.. was so damn vague and cryptic for so long that it ceased to be interesting. And Jared, last night during a 2 am conversation in the middle of the road in front of his house, discussed with me Eva's backstory and how it plays into the show, which is a slice-of-life, "people going about their lives" kind of story set amidst an Ultraman-esque setting. It made sense, and sounded kinda cool in how it wanted to go about things, but....

....but the concept is so... alien... foreign, and weird... and cryptic, that it doesn't make for an interesting backstory. And that's without being muddled to death like it is in the show. And the whole idea of Human Instrumentality pretty much boils down to the idea of somehow ridding mankind of the unpleasantness of life; jealousy, angst, yada yada, but to me that seems... kind of silly and naive. Negative emotions are part of life and all beings must go through with the bad as well as the good. That's how it is and that can never change. Eureka7, on the other hand, which owes a lot to Evangelion, dealt with a much more concrete and real world problem: why the cultures of the world always want to be at war with each other.

....okay, looks like I can't finish this before I got done eating. :lol: I definitely have more to say, but I'll leave this here for now. So pretty much, I was "meh" with the series last year, and as of right now, the Rebuild, for me, has taken the series, snipped it apart, streamlined it, changed direction, and put it all back together with the same results.

More later! :D
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:51 am

"Heartbroken" was hyperbole on my part, Josh. :lol:

And I feel the need to add a disclaimer: until I rewatch the series, I consider my grasp on some of the series concepts to be a little tenuous at best so don't take everything I say as absolute gospel.
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Postby planetxleader » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:27 am

kiryugoji04 wrote:"Heartbroken" was hyperbole on my part, Josh. :lol:


I don't think it's that much of a blunder. I'm sure the hyperbole was present in my post. Alex, I know you weren't really heartbroken! :lol:

Jae, though, might be, considering how much he was looking forward to my reaction of Rebuild. Sorry Jae!

So basically, Rebuild: it's taken a lot of things and changed them, some for the better, but the improvements matter little because the overall experience (for me) is identical to watching the show. I will still watch the next two films and am totally prepared to have my thoughts shifted. There's no telling where they will go, especially with how 2.22 ended. All's I hope is that the story becomes more engaging, and if that means making all the psychobabble more clear, than all the better.

As far as the things that were changed: for 1.11, it was pretty much streamlining, which was cool, though I think a bit was taken away from Toji and Shinji's relationship, as well as the revelation of Gendo and Rei's bond. They both felt more "full" in the series, while in the Rebuild they kinda feel... glossed over.

Likewise, Asuka's introduction in 2.22 is efficient and economical, as well as badass and amazing, but I much more enjoyed the previously mentioned free-wheeling and fun introcutory episode she had in the show (mind you, this is not a fault of the film I think in this case, just a personal feeling).

2.22 excelled in the character relationships, though. The whole added bit with the aquarium and the little dinner party subplot were wonderful. I enjoyed those. And switching Toji for Asuka for Shinji's traumatic turning point was hella-effective.

Overall, though, I felt like I was watching the same story. The characters within it were interesting, the setup is promising, but the experience is tepid. The visuals are knockouts, but they're not enough. I hope the next two installments do something to stir some emotions within me.
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Postby MouthForWar » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:46 pm

The original Evangelion (series and movie) are perfect and Jared and Josh are wrong.

That is all.


END OF DISCUSSION! :lol:

PS- Can't wait to watch Rebuild, but I'm trying to be patient and wait for all the parts to be released so I can just take it in all at once.
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Postby MouthForWar » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:58 pm

Hopefully people actually post in here or else it will disappear in like 10 minutes like all the other anime threads do.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:27 pm

MouthForWar wrote:The original Evangelion (series and movie) are perfect and Jared and Josh are wrong.

That is all.


*highfives*

Well, yeah, I wasn't heartbroken, just confused, but I get where you're coming from now. I COMPLETELY disagree that the backstory isn't interesting, but that's fine. Also, I don't think Eureka Seven's problem is anymore real world than the fact people constantly hurt one another through misunderstandings and differences. I mean, Instrumentality would solve MORE than people just being sad.
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Postby planetxleader » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:33 pm

MouthForWar wrote:The original Evangelion (series and movie) are perfect and Jared and Josh are wrong.

That is all.


END OF DISCUSSION! :lol:


Peh. :\ :P

I actually wouldn't mind re-watching the series again. Just not anytime soon. :\ Maybe after Jared's done watching it I'll borrow it again, but we'll see how I feel.

In the meantime, I wikied the episodes to get a feel of my genesis through it.

Episode 8 was Asuka's intro, not ten, so whoops. But by that point, and the following episode where Asuka and Shnji are forced to cooperate, I was starting to have fun (I actually forgot how much I liked episode 9. It was a really entertaining one). Then after that, while serviceable, the story never really climbed higher for me, just going episode-after-episode of Angel encounters and phsychobabble.

Though episode 18 truly made me go "oh my god!" and got me invested in what was going on (you know what happens...). Then it fizzled out. Good thing it's handled better in Rebuild. The only enjoyment I found after that episode was becoming fascinated with the introspective stuff, and then the final two episodes. Everything else in between just sorta moved along for me.

Hopefully people actually post in here or else it will disappear in like 10 minutes like all the other anime threads do.


Let's hope. I was honestly expecting to be schooled here. :lol:
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Postby planetxleader » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:40 pm

MekaGojira3k wrote:Well, yeah, I wasn't heartbroken, just confused, but I get where you're coming from now. I COMPLETELY disagree that the backstory isn't interesting, but that's fine.


The way I understand it, it's a neat world-building concept, and it has the potential to be part of a great, engrossing story, but I never felt like it was explained well enough to be fascinating. It's not so much that its cryptic, just that it's cryptic and treated almost matter-of-factly for the length of the series that I just started to not care.

Or, perhaps, maybe part of that is me. I recall renting David Lynch's Dune and instantly becoming bored because so much of the beginning was exposition and introduction of a foreign world that I instantly felt lost and uninvested in.

Also, I don't think Eureka Seven's problem is anymore real world than the fact people constantly hurt one another through misunderstandings and differences. I mean, Instrumentality would solve MORE than people just being sad.


Mmm. Perhaps then, Eureka7's problem is more... tangible? While Eva's is more broad and philosophical?
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Postby MouthForWar » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:42 pm

I don't find Evangelion to be all that vague in its mythology. :dunno:

It introduces us to the world very well in the first few episodes, and I feel it does a fine job of explaining more gradually enough throughout the series. I feel like it advances in every episode just enough.
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:52 pm

MouthForWar wrote:Hopefully people actually post in here or else it will disappear in like 10 minutes like all the other anime threads do.


There's a reason I added the poll. :lol:
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Postby planetxleader » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:15 pm

MouthForWar wrote:I don't find Evangelion to be all that vague in its mythology. :dunno:

It introduces us to the world very well in the first few episodes, and I feel it does a fine job of explaining more gradually enough throughout the series. I feel like it advances in every episode just enough.


For me, after sitting through several dialouge exchanges about scripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Commander Ikari and his general talking like characters out of a Bible story, recovery of the Lance, and declarations of Evas reaching their "true power" after doing something freaky, I just sort of glazed over. I felt like there could be a fascinating universe under all that, but I sure wasn't feeling it.

Also, in the first couple of episodes, I was unclear whether or not the above ground world has inhabited. It wasn't initially clear to me that people actually lived there (that is, however, rectified in Rebuild).
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:29 pm

The thing about those dialogue exchanges, just from re-watching what little I have, they're not really one after another. They're just spread throughout. They're dropped here and there as a hint towards the greater purpose and conclusion of the series "Instrumentality".
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Postby planetxleader » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:34 pm

Pshychobabble. :P

I recall a similar exchange in Ultraman Nexus, a conversation between The Illustrator and the head of Night Raiders, that is equally cryptic and left me going "....huh?" But it didn't bother me nearly as much, and didn't reoccur as often. And the end result was a backstory that was mystifying and interesting.

Eva's backstory, as it's revealed, felt like the writers imbuing the story with spiritual symbolism for the sake of it. And that's partly true, from what I understand.
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:36 pm

MouthForWar wrote:PS- Can't wait to watch Rebuild, but I'm trying to be patient and wait for all the parts to be released so I can just take it in all at once.


I wish you'd change your mind so you can join that side of discussion soon rather than, oh, say, two or four years from now. :lol:
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:47 pm

planetxleader wrote:Pshychobabble. :P

I recall a similar exchange in Ultraman Nexus, a conversation between The Illustrator and the head of Night Raiders, that is equally cryptic and left me going "....huh?" But it didn't bother me nearly as much, and didn't reoccur as often. And the end result was a backstory that was mystifying and interesting.

Eva's backstory, as it's revealed, felt like the writers imbuing the story with spiritual symbolism for the sake of it. And that's partly true, from what I understand.


Well, I don't really consider it Psychobabble. I always thought that stuff wass what goes on in things like Episode 14, and any time somebody has a mental breakdown.

Yeah, they just chose some of the imagery and stuff because it looked or sounded cool, which is fine by me.

Though, I must say "PFFFFTTT" to Nexus (as enjoyable as that show was) somehow managing to be more interesting than Evangelion's story.
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Postby MouthForWar » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:04 pm

MekaGojira3k wrote:
planetxleader wrote:Pshychobabble. :P

I recall a similar exchange in Ultraman Nexus, a conversation between The Illustrator and the head of Night Raiders, that is equally cryptic and left me going "....huh?" But it didn't bother me nearly as much, and didn't reoccur as often. And the end result was a backstory that was mystifying and interesting.

Eva's backstory, as it's revealed, felt like the writers imbuing the story with spiritual symbolism for the sake of it. And that's partly true, from what I understand.


Well, I don't really consider it Psychobabble. I always thought that stuff wass what goes on in things like Episode 14, and any time somebody has a mental breakdown.

Yeah, they just chose some of the imagery and stuff because it looked or sounded cool, which is fine by me.

Though, I must say "PFFFFTTT" to Nexus (as enjoyable as that show was) somehow managing to be more interesting than Evangelion's story.


Agreed on all counts. And I never considered anything in Eva to be "psychobabble" since it all made sense to me. Psychobabble doesn't have meaning. The psychology in Eva does. The "babble" part is missing if you ask me.

And as far as religious imagery used for the sake of looking cool? Most of my favorite bands are heavy metal bands, where doing something like that has become a long lasting cliche. I have no problem with it.
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Postby planetxleader » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:06 pm

I think the introspective stuff was way more interesting than the backstory revealed through dialouge, as the former dealt with the characters, which I felt were more interesting.

I have a problem of using the symbolism for the sake of it when the show is so inundated with it and seems dependent on it.

MekaGojira3k wrote:Though, I must say "PFFFFTTT" to Nexus (as enjoyable as that show was) somehow managing to be more interesting than Evangelion's story.


Whaaaaa???!!!! Now to me, Nexus's backstory was a simple yarn that had enough mystery and symbolism of optimism that it was engrossing. I really liked the wonderment of what Ultraman was, and why he "chose" people when he did, the transformation device seemingly jumping into people's pockets at random.
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Postby MouthForWar » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:09 pm

I don't think the show was dependent on religious iconography. So they use words like Angels and Longinus, etc? Ok, yeah its done to sound and look cool (which it DOES, by the way), but the story itself would be exactly the same if those things had non religious names and imagery attached to them. So I just can't agree that the series was dependent on the religious imagery. Its a stylistic thing and without it, the story itself is very much the same, barring the religious ideas that WERE there for purely story reasons (Adam essentially being god and such).

And Eva >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Nexus.
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Postby planetxleader » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:14 pm

Sure, take away all the Biblical names and such, and you're left with an identical story and a lot less of the appeal (though honestly I don't see the appeal of the symbolism).

Perhaps its popularity is dependent on it. :lol:

Eva better than Nexus? Grrr.... :x 'Course, it does have more fans... :(
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Postby MouthForWar » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:19 pm

Don't get me wrong, I like Nexus for what it is, but I feel it was just a little less consistent as a series. I do feel that its overhyped by a certain portion of Ultra fans (kind of like that series' equivalent of GMK).

It was a good series, but I just prefer my Ultra to be more in line with stuff like the original series or Max. Having a more dramatic, angsty, and "adult serial" type of Ultra series was a cool experiment and it worked (well, not 100% IMO... but most of the time it did).... it was good, but I'm glad its the only series that followed that route.
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