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Discuss all topics related to anime.
561

Evangelion - Freudian thought provoking anime or pretentious japanese melodrama
Topic by: MHeise
Posted: August 28, 2008 - 2:21 PM PDT
Last Reply: December 20, 2008 - 7:47 PM PST

author topic: Evangelion - Freudian thought provoking anime or pretentious japanese melodrama
MHeise
post #1  on August 28, 2008 - 2:21 PM PDT  
Okay I'm dropping the bomb, I just finished watching Evangelion, I watched the complete series and the feature films. great characters, great story, very compelling..

There is something I don't get, The end, I know you will hate me for this but I didn't get it. It felt like was watching 2001 and feeling mindf**ked in the end.

shed some light on my life and explain this to me....

Catullus
post #2  on August 28, 2008 - 2:42 PM PDT  
the end is stupid, watch the movie called "end of evangelion" for a much much much better ending.

Thank me later.
Catullus
post #3  on August 28, 2008 - 2:46 PM PDT  
oh sorry you said you watched the movies... lol im not going to explain it because there is way too much going on and im lazy sorry :(

ill try and find a link that explains it
underdog
post #4  on August 28, 2008 - 2:49 PM PDT  
So we should watch The End of Evangelion if we've only watched the show to get a better ending? Which did you watch, MH?
hamano
post #5  on August 28, 2008 - 2:52 PM PDT  
I chalk it up to "pretentious Japanese" sh** not really melodrama. It was fun while it lasted but the ending was just so-so, like the 2001 Space Odyssey movie. For me FLCL was much better.

It's great for pimply teens looking for something AWESOME they can talk about with other pimply teens, I guess. I place NGE on a pile of "could have been truly great anime but turned out to be sort of a dud" along with Lain and Noir.
Catullus
post #6  on August 28, 2008 - 2:52 PM PDT  
> On August 28, 2008 - 2:49 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> So we should watch The End of Evangelion if we've only watched the show to get a better ending? Which did you watch, MH?
> ---------------------------------

exactly underdog as it is definitely filled with ending spoilers

anyway for analysis after you watch end of eva and presumably the rest of the tv series before that click here
MHeise
post #7  on August 28, 2008 - 2:52 PM PDT  
> On August 28, 2008 - 2:49 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> So we should watch The End of Evangelion if we've only watched the show to get a better ending? Which did you watch, MH?
> ---------------------------------

I watched the whole series and the 2 movies.
the entire thing man and I still don't get the ending. Okay he was choking the girl on the beach in the end, what kind of sick joke is that?
hamano
post #8  on August 28, 2008 - 3:05 PM PDT  
> On August 28, 2008 - 2:52 PM PDT MHeise wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Okay he was choking the girl on the beach in the end, what kind of sick joke is that?
> ---------------------------------

I think Hideaki Anno watche River's Edge too many times....
;-)

doozer
post #9  on August 28, 2008 - 3:23 PM PDT  
> On August 28, 2008 - 2:52 PM PDT MHeise wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>
> I watched the whole series and the 2 movies.
> the entire thing man and I still don't get the ending. Okay he was choking the girl on the beach in the end, what kind of sick joke is that?
> ---------------------------------


Maybe she shouldn't have left the kitchen?


jk, I agree, watch The End of Evangelion. It will clarify. You might not like it, but at least you'll get it.

I was going to say save some time and read the wiki but Catullus had it covered.
underdog
post #10  on August 28, 2008 - 3:32 PM PDT  
I confess I didn't make it through the whole series as it already started to feel it was heading in the directions that Hamano mentioned. It was very cool at first. And then just streeeetttttchhhhhed out and pretentious. That wiki entry helps though, and I'll definitely check out The End Of...
shiftless
post #11  on August 28, 2008 - 3:46 PM PDT  
I was perfectly happy with the series ending, the "movies" tacked on the end were unwatchable, horribly written messes. I like good character and a good story constructs, when it becomes that pseudo-philosophical dreck, I just have to tune out and look for something else. The vague ending of the series was much more my kind of thing, better to imagine how it continues in your own imagination.
hamano
post #12  on August 28, 2008 - 4:20 PM PDT  
I just don't see the point of adding multiple layers of allegory, religious symbolism, mysticism and stuff like that just to add texture to a show. Adding all the biblical mumbo jumbo makes NGE seem epic in a way that it really never quite lived up to. Visually the series WAS sorta epic, so it was kinda disappointing that the elaborate system of meanings never really added up to something that equaled the level of visual story-telling.

I guess making a narrative epic that is truly awesome and meaningful is really actually quite difficult... You need to make an emotional connection with the viewer that makes all the symbolic complexity matter in the end.
Catullus
post #13  on August 28, 2008 - 6:56 PM PDT  
> On August 28, 2008 - 4:20 PM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I just don't see the point of adding multiple layers of allegory, religious symbolism, mysticism and stuff like that just to add texture to a show. Adding all the biblical mumbo jumbo makes NGE seem epic in a way that it really never quite lived up to. Visually the series WAS sorta epic, so it was kinda disappointing that the elaborate system of meanings never really added up to something that equaled the level of visual story-telling.
>
> I guess making a narrative epic that is truly awesome and meaningful is really actually quite difficult... You need to make an emotional connection with the viewer that makes all the symbolic complexity matter in the end.
> ---------------------------------

While I would agree with you that eva is overrated, Its not nearly as bad as you would make it out to be. Personally I liked it alright but what kept it from being great more than anything is Shinji... I hate Shinji with a burning hot passion >_<

Id rate the series a 7.5 and the End Of Evangelion a solid 9.
hamano
post #14  on August 29, 2008 - 4:27 AM PDT  
> On August 28, 2008 - 6:56 PM PDT Catullus wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Its not nearly as bad as you would make it out to be. Personally I liked it alright but what kept it from being great more than anything is Shinji... I hate Shinji with a burning hot passion >_<

Oh, I didn't think it was so bad either... I just hate anime that could have been a 10 but end up being about 7. Those are the worst because they get your hopes up then slam you down. Sometimes a series that I would rate a 5 is almost better if it's consistent.

I'm grateful for NGE if only for the multitude of amusing knock-offs and parodies that followed...
FGaipa
post #15  on August 29, 2008 - 11:18 PM PDT  
Saw it early on, half-pretending to appreciate its pretentions. But I've seen sooooo much since, even vaguely mecha things possibly derivative from it, that's clearly better or at least less work to sit through.

I agree with Hamano. The genre's maturing.

To take one archane example, I believe the same guy made Gasaraki and Flag. They have a similar look and tone. But the former was, to me anyway, a miltaristic bore clearly spotted on NGE. The latter, Flag, is super cool for turning the look inside out.

But maybe my standards are slipping. I've enjoying R.O.D. paper-shift sisters lately (actually only the hometown episodes alternated between the spy-stuff ones are okay), while waiting for the next Death Note to show.

fg
Vanamonde
post #16  on August 30, 2008 - 8:10 PM PDT  
Eva is the series that has inspired me to warn peeps to only watch these kind of films with a condom on your hand. That refers to a verb I shall not type but you can find in the lyrics of "The Time Warp" from Rocky Horror.

I was unemployed at the time I discovered Eva and I a lot of time researching the Kabbalic and other symbolism in the film. Some of the latter-day version DVD's have info on this. But the best primer for me is the commentary track on "The End of Evangelion" with the ADV voice actors (from Houston, Texas) along a friend and Evaphile (I think it was Talisan Jaffe, a voice actor also and gets me vote for one of the coolest names in Planet Houston).

SPOILAGE MAXIMUS

Many know about the two endings, I call the inside ending and the outside ending. The original ending, eps 25 and 26 go deep into the mind of Shinji who mates with the Great Collective Unconcisous of Us All and has a hyperdimensional coming out at the end. It never feels to bring tears to my eyes and as it is deeply pschyological, non-linear, and make Goddard himself look like a linear storyteller. But plays to that unspeakable part of the deep soul with us. I have always loved it.

The movies are the outside ending, show how we get to Third Impact and was it looks like in the Real World. I found it shocking and disturbing at first, as it is some of the gory stuff ever since in anime (especially the death of poor Asuka, who I hated so much until she made contact with her mother at the bottom of the lake and rose to kick Seele's Nu Style Evas well-deserved asses until they resurrected to literally eat her alive after impaling here through the eye socket. And then the union of Shinji with Rei-Litith-MOMMY(!!!) at the crouch, reassuring him that it is okay to separate back into a normal body after all of the trouble to destroy the entire surface of our planet and unite all living souls into a sea of LCL. All so he can start up with his love me/abuse me sick passion with a resurrected Asuka.

But yet after several watches, it becomes compelling. And that somewhat scares me.

I cannot wait until Eva 4.01 or whatever....if I live that long. I will be interested to see how Anno ends it this time. And the new animation, as seen in a 1.0 fansub, is sooo much better!!!

Both the Japanese and the English dubs have some of my all time favorite voice actors.

I just finished watching the first season of "Aquarion". It owe much to Eva, but with the new hyperclean computer anime style and some of the greatest music by the great Kanno Yuko. Highly recommended but so much more linear in the storytelling, even the end. But I do not think it would have ever been made if Eva was not.

So, in closing, whenever I think or heard the words, "Neon Genesis Evangelion", I have to say, "HAVE MERCY!"
Vanamonde
post #17  on August 30, 2008 - 8:22 PM PDT  
> On August 30, 2008 - 8:10 PM PDT Vanamonde wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Eva is the series that has inspired me to warn peeps to only watch these kind of films with a condom on your hand.
>

AAAAGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH! HEAD! I meant HEAD, not hand.

my finger never once, left my hands. Sorry.
ahogue
post #18  on December 20, 2008 - 7:45 AM PST  
It is definitely pretentious, but still very good. It's too bad people feel the need to make sense of it.
ahogue
post #19  on December 20, 2008 - 7:29 PM PST  
> On December 20, 2008 - 7:45 AM PST ahogue wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> It is definitely pretentious, but still very good. It's too bad people feel the need to make sense of it.
> ---------------------------------

Aw heck, maybe I should expand on that a bit. I honestly don't think EVA works at all if one looks for any kind of logic behind it, let alone a coherent philosophical point. I maintain that EVA only works as an extremely visceral, and at times brutal, emotional roller coaster. That's why it tends to have the effect it does on teens, as Hamano points out, because adults typically have little patience for that kind of manipulation, whereas young people often get a real masochistic rush from it. This isn't saying that the adult way is better or yada yada, by the way, so no flames please.

I'm right. Trust me.

I still loved the show and was astounded by it, for the most part.
ahogue
post #20  on December 20, 2008 - 7:47 PM PST  
Oh, and another thing, when narrative artists make something so intractable to analysis, there are two possible reasons. In some cases inscrutability is used to fake deepness. I can't think of a good example of this off the top of my head, but you see it everywhere in, for instance, certain kinds of academic writing. I'm sure there are many experimental filmmakers who fall into this category. Some say Lain does, not without reason, although I still rather liked that show. Perfect Blue might be another example.

Then there are artists who use ambiguity as an aesthetic device. Kafka is the great pioneer of this, contemporary examples would be David Lynch, Thomas Pynchon, etc. This ambiguity, used properly, is not meant to be resolved. If it can be resolved, it loses its power, hence it is generally impossible to do so in a reasonable way without doing total violence to the work of art in question.

This isn't to say that such works are meaningless, just that whatever meaning they might have, if you want to look for it, does not lie in the decoding of a symbolic language, but in the ambiguity itself and how it's used.

For instance, Anno places mystical imagery at random throughout EVA. The symbols themselves have no determinable meaning, and that's why they are powerful. Human mysticism has always crucially relied on the contemplation of the inscrutable, of "mysteries" that cannot be solved in any conventional way. In this sense Anno's cavalier use of mystical imagery is actually what makes it interesting. It hooks directly into what made all that hermetic symbolism compelling to people in the first place.

This isn't an apologia for EVA. It is not coherent, but to me, and I would wager for many people, this is actually what makes it so effective.

Whew, had to get that off my chest.

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