Terminal Dogma: Essays on Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Magami No ER [ANF]
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Postby Magami No ER [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:17 pm

^I think who actually have themselves whiped and crucified intentually(I don't believe fatally) Middle East are what we'd liken to "professional cosplayers who show up the wannabin00bs" everytime.

Originally posted on: 22-Nov-2006, 07:36 GMT

JFaulkner [ANF]
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Postby JFaulkner [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:17 pm

I actually have had some spare time recently .... won't last though. But here are some replies:

Dr. Nick wrote:Okay, what's going on in this th- oh Jesus what have I started?!?

Well, as a closing comment I have to say that AA and Faulkner's debate seems like one of those "apples and oranges" sort of cases. I apologize if I happen to misrepresent said persons' views here, but it seems to me you guys are talking about two different things: AA says that "only Eva explains Eva", intra-canon. In other words, he's talking about the story's literal dimension, and his assertion is correct: unrelated outside sources can't tell us "what's actually going on" in it.
I was under the impression, if memory serves, that AA was basically saying anything outside Eva was useless at explaining not just the literal dimension, but its meaning, which is not restricted to its literal dimension.

Dr. Nick wrote:JFaulkner, on the other hand, is talking about the metatextual level, which is a different thing altogether: he's saying that we can also interpret the show through external frameworks, some frameworks are better suited for this purpose than others, and that by applying a carefully-selected framework greater meaning can be extracted from the story. At least that's what it looks to me. I completely agree with the first two arguments, but I'm still convinced that the third one is wholly subjective.
From my earlier posts, I have tried to show that yes, any interpretation over and above the presented material is going to include an element of subjectivity. But, if one framework offers a meaning which is tied more closely to the presented material and shows links between presented concepts that fits in with the overall themes of the material, then it is better, in that sense, than another framework. Thus, the framework is not "wholly" subjective, because it is linked to the ("objective", in your sense) presented material and does not contradict it; rather it supports it and gives it greater meaning by virtue of the links established through the framework.

This also means there is criteria on which it can be decided which framework is better than another.

Dr. Nick wrote:I had some questions I'd wanted to ask Mr. Faulkner, concerning among other things the framework selection process and the way these meta-level interpretations take original artistic intent into account, but oh well, I guess we can return to our scheduled on-topic programming. Sorry about the OT.
Now that I'm here, please fire away. If they are complex though, don't expect a quick answer!

Leader Desslock wrote:As one of the normally silent majority to whom Dr. Nick was likely referring, I find it especially annoying when someone says that I don't "get" Evangelion. This appears to be a conclusion that some people reach when they're told that I've seen Evangelion, but that I don't think it was the penultimate work of our era.
You've conveniently missed out what I said just before. Which part of
"Now, I am not aiming this at anyone here since I am not familiar with this place:" did you not get? My opinion was based on the observation that most threads in the messageboards I have been to (and when I made the comment, that excluded AN because I was only there for about a week), and most of the material on websites I have been to, do not focus enough on what I see to be the core issues, which are the mental processes pertaining to the characters and the actions arising from these.

Leader Desslock wrote:With all due respect, I "got" Evangelion just fine, just as I've "gotten" many other arcane works of literature and film that I've studied over the years. No offense, but Evangelion doesn't even rank up in the top ten most difficult to understand works I've ever studied.

Despite "getting" Evangelion just fine and dandy from my perspective, I've never felt any genuine connection to the work, and I've never considered it that profound a show. Anno went through a lot; he spilled his guts in animated form. A lot of writers and artists have gone through a hell iof a lot more than Anno ever did, and they've done a hell of a lot better job of portraying the process by which they got through it. That's not to say Evangelion's bad. It's an above average work that's certainly worth critical attention; but it doesn't contain the one universal key to common humanity. It's, you know, kind of interesting in its way, and it might resound a bit more with some people than others. That's about it. Academically, I think Evangelion's best purpose is as a study in film technique.
I totally agree Evangelion is not the most profound piece of work ever, and that it is not the most obscure piece of work by all means - e.g. I would consider works such as "Thus Spake Zarathustra" by Nietzsche, "The Dialectic of Enlightenment" by Adorno&Horkheimer and "Christian Discourses and the Lilies of the Field and the Birds of the Air" by Kierkegaard, as well as various religious texts such as the Gospel of Truth and some scientific texts much more difficult to understand.

I also agree that other writers and artists have gone through a hell of a lot more, e.g. Dostoevski and his imprisonment in Siberia. And not just writers and artists, as the hundreds of thousands in Darfur show. But that doesn't make what Anno went through any less painful for him. The fact that there are people worse off than someone doesn't make the pain that someone is in any less real. I agree Evangelion on its own doesn't provide the magic bullet towards eternal enlightenment into the human condition. But it does show some of the processes of the human mind, including aspects which we tend to ignore. Learning about these processes is far more important than film technique, unless you want to be a film maker.

At the end of the day, I'm little interested in where Evangelion is on the scale of "greatness"; I just see it makes interesting points about how people think, and that these are relevant to real life (note: it won't make you into a brand new person, or some wise sage).

Leader Desslock wrote:If you'd kindly refrain from the "they just don't GET it" school of Eva fandom, I think your ideas might get a bit more mileage outside the fanboy cult ranks. That's an FYI from a member of the silent majority who really doesn't take well to condescending tones. I really don't care what you want to personally believe, but if you want people like me to listen to any of it, you might want to remember that disagreeing viewpoints and interpretations of Evangelion are perfectly acceptable.
Seems like I struck a nerve with you - if you, or other people, get it, then fine. Different viewpoints of Evangelion are certainly acceptable, but it certainly doesn't mean they are of equal validity. My previous posts were a clarification of why I think a certain approach is "better" than some others, in terms of getting at the meaning in Evangelion. If you wish to disagree with me on this point, then look at my arguments and take it from there, rather than erroneously taking offense at one sentence.

Leader Desslock wrote:Edit: I'm familiar with Jung, too. Never been a big fan. His observations are fine, but he tends to pull his conclusions right out of his backside.
I agree that he makes great exaggerations and unjustified claims in some of his conclusions ("pulls them out of his backside"). Yet I also think he has some important conclusions which do make sense. But it's like this for any author or piece of work. When you subject it to critical thought, the point is to separate the sewage from the gold. But exactly how familiar are you with Jung? Which of his material have you read? I ask because I notice that some works by Jung are more outrageous than others, and it'd be interesting to know which works you have based your view on.

Leader Desslock wrote:^ My viewpoint would be more correctly summed up "It's a semi-allegorical story designed to represent facets of one man's subjective experience, all within the context of a compelling narrative." I don't think Evangelion has much relevance outside that scope.
That is still quite a wide scope. Because it is based on one man's subjective experience (like certain philosophies are based on one person's experiences), it shows the thought processes of a person, defined uniquely for one particular instance. But you can then try to extract the underlying form of the thought processes, which are applicable to not just Anno Hideaki, but the human mind in general.

Jabberwok wrote:I agree with your assessment of the show as well, though. Unless you're Jesus-tap-dancing-Christ or other semi-divine being, any work of fiction you whip up, no matter hard you try to capture the "Human Condition", is going to be far from a 100% accurate representation of reality. Unique snowflakes and all that.
At the other end of the scale, such a work of fiction is hardly going to be a 0% accurate representation of reality. So we can try and interpret it to get that x% to which pertains to reality, or to use the grandiose label, "Human Condition."

More in next post.

Originally posted on: 02-Apr-2007, 21:26 GMT

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Postby CrossboneGundam [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:17 pm

Are people here seriously suggesting that Evangelion is somehow as significant as religious texts which have influenced thousands of years of human behavior and world history? A Japanese cartoon meant to generate advertising revenue for a TV station and licensing revenue for the animation studio?

Originally posted on: 02-Apr-2007, 21:39 GMT

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Postby JFaulkner [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:17 pm

Ornette wrote:Either way, whenever you finish writing your analysis of Evangelion using a Jungian framework, I'd be interested in reading it.
Are you still interested in my theories? If so, and if anyone else is interested, I recently made a post at Animeboards here, which describes some of them very roughly: http://www.animeboards.com/showthrea...#post537837969

The post was made on the spur of the moment, so I wrote most of it from the top of my head. What I've written is even rougher than that unfinished essay I have written. So the point of showing it is just to put a flag on the ground showing that the relevance of Jung, and hence psychoanalysis, to Evangelion is not shallow. Given that I've written this on the fly, it isn't fully referenced to Jung's work, but I have referenced any quotes. It also means that I don't claim the arguments are perfect, so feel free to raise any issues.

I will reproduce the relevant parts of the post here, and in the next post (character limit exceeded):

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Very rough introduction to Jung:

Jung studied people with mental problems. From his studies, he postulated two mental domains. 1. Consciousness (= ego) - pretty self explanatory. 2. Unconscious - this part consists of repressed (either voluntarily or involuntarily) thoughts and those irrational mental processes which cannot be conceptualized fully in a rational way (and hence perceived by consciousness). Our psyche is the totality of all psychic (mental) processes, and obviously includes both 1 and 2. Analogous to the physical body, the psyche needs energy to function (probably has parallels to nerve impulses). This psychic energy Jung called "Libido" (not to be confused with Freud's usage). Energy can come in different forms (analogous to heat, kinetic etc.) - hence Libido can be found giving rise to conscious or unconscious phenomena. The development of the human mind from that similar to the first human's (through evolutionary history) takes the course of an increasing consciousness - being able to see the big picture, think long-term, form strategies, reason using logic, perceive the whole shebang etc. Thus, Jung conceptualized the unconscious as the original source of Libido and within it there is a store of undifferentiated (not of any form) Libido which can then differentiate and give rise to unconscious and conscious phenomena.

Now, as one's mind becomes more unconscious, we lose some or a lot of conscious control of ourselves - imagine just before going to sleep, swimming until you get really out of breath, being really tired, etc. Thus, Jung uses the phrase that we are like the object to which other people are the subject - that is, we don't feel ourselves in control as the subject, but feel like an object pulled in different directions by forces we cannot control. This led Jung to conceptualize unconscious contents as similar to the "soul." Plato et al. saw the soul as "that which moves itself" - some sort of force of unknown origin. From the preceding consideration, unconscious contents seem to control us from an unknown source, to give a sort of life to inanimate material. Thus, Jung used the word soul, or anima to denote part of the unconscious contents. Now in dreams, fantasies and daydreams, some unconscious contents break out into our consciousness because our threshold of consciousness has been lowered. From his studies, Jung found that images pertaining to one's mother is common. Thus, he associated these mother-images to the anima - the mother symbolizes the anima, because like the anima, the mother is seen as a life-giver (through birth). Now this sounds all a bit pointless, but the raison d'etre is that Jung wanted to interpret dreams, and to do this, he had to conceptualize images according to some framework which render a meaning. And seeing the mother as an unconscious force allowed Jung to postulate a route towards sanity, for people suffering from, or in danger of, schizophrenia. For Jung, schizophrenia means a sort of conscious/unconscious split - think of someone who has lost some sort of conscious reasoning ability and who seems to be governed by unconscious contents beyond his control - one is "not oneself". So the basic idea is that these cases occur because his patients are running away from something which is hidden in their unconscious - these unconscious contents can become energetic enough to disturb our consciousness; thus, we need to dredge them out and forge them into our conscious way of life. Dreams help to resolve the conflict, because say, you had dreamt about a long series of mother images. This shows that your unconscious activity is overflowing, and that indicates you might be heading towards schizophrenia, because you are hiding a hell of a lot of baggage in your unconscious. Thus, in a dream, if one escapes from this "devouring mother," perhaps with a rebirth through her womb, then this signifies that one is at last free from the binds of the unconscious. Jung saw many parallels with dreams such as these and myths of yore. Thus, the somewhat cryptic sentence by Jung "I took it upon myself to get to know "my" myth, and I regarded this as the task of tasks" (http://www.animeboards.com/showthrea...#post537837802) - that is, he wanted to get to know his unconscious contents, to get a better idea of his whole psyche.

Now onto Evangelion.


Propositions:
The Evangelions represent the unconscious, LCL represents the Libido, the soul inside EVA-01 represents part of Shinji's anima, the soul inside EVA-02 represents Asuka's anima, Rei is part of Shinji's anima, Eva-00 has no resident soul and AT Field represents barrier between consciousness and unconscious.


Rough argument
Eva-01 and Eva-02 have the souls of Shinji and Asuka's mothers. Soul (or anima) is what Jung uses to refer to unconscious contents, and thus, which of the two mothers is present tells you whose unconscious each refers to. LCL is a fluid, dynamic, undifferentiated liquid-like substance, just like Libido in its undifferentiated state. Thus LCL symbolizes undifferentiated Libido, which, as per above, resides in the unconscious (and thus, the Evangelion symbolizes the unconscious as a whole). Also, it has been referred to as the "soup of life" in Eva, and undifferentiated Libido is like the source of all our psychic activities ("life"). There is also a remarkable passage in Jung's Collected Works Part 9 (i) (PG21-2) - here Jung is describing what the unconscious is like [my italics, bold lettering and numbering]:

"a boundless expanse full of unprecedented uncertainty, with apparently no inside and no outside, no above and no below, no here and no there, no mine and no thine, no good and no bad. It is the world of water (1) , where all life floats in suspension; where .... the soul of everything living, begins (2) ; where I am indivisibly this and that; where I experience the other in myself and the other-than-myself experiences me (3) ....

There I am utterly one with the world (4) , so much a part of it that I forget all too easily who I really am. "Lost in oneself" is a good way of describing this state. But this self is the world, if only a consciousness could see it. (5) "
Compare this with what Rei drones out in EoE [my italics, bold lettering and numbering]:

"Shinji:
Ayanami - where are we?

Rei:
This is the sea of LCL (1) - The primordial soup of life (2).
A world without AT Fields - without your own shape.
An ambiguous world where it is impossible to tell where you end and other people start.
A fragile world where you exist everywhere, and thus exist nowhere. (3)


Shinji:
Have I died?

Rei:
No, everything has just been joined into one (4) .
This is the world you have been hoping for... your world. (5) "
I've paired off sections which are similar using numbers. The similarities are so striking that I don't even need to point them out. This shows in clear fashion, that there are real similarities to Jung. This is also why I am interested to see what Jung material Anno has read. The point of the comparison is to show that Jung's Libido ("water") equates to LCL, and further, if the AT Fields are lost, then we are left with a collapse of consciousness (similar to that seen in schizophrenia - which argues for the case that Shinji suffered from this - must stress Jung's definition of schizophrenia, not the modern one), and we are left wallowing in our unconscious thoughts (the soup of life or whatever the hell you want to call it).

Other evidence for AT-Field being barrier between consciousness and unconscious: Evangelions exhibit an AT-Field to separate it from the outside (consciously perceived) world. When Third Impact occurs, AT-Fields are dissolved and Maya, Hyuga and Fuyutsuki's personal unconscious wishes were manifest, before they all explode into undifferentiated (i.e. non-personal) LCL (i.e. consciousness slowly deteriorates). Third Impact is the dissolution of consciousness into the unconscious, by the breakdown of the barrier between them. Notice how the characters were all forced to confront all the thoughts they have stashed away in the unconscious in both series and movie endings. So:

Consciousness (=Ego) | Unconscious;
| = AT Field

Also note that Shinji popping back up from the sea of LCL and saying goodbye to mother is an obvious example of a rebirth-myth (return to "sanity").

Originally posted on: 02-Apr-2007, 21:40 GMT

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Postby JFaulkner [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:17 pm

(cont. from previous post)

Now why is Rei part of Shinji's anima - well we have Yui' s soul is Shinji's anima, but in this framework, this anima is incomplete. Rei is the missing part, and Rei resembles Yui and has the soul of Lilith (Red Cross Book - note that Jung also had a book called the "Red Book," whether this is of any relevance or not is another thing). Lilith is a generic life-source, from which we immediately see the resemblance to undifferentiated Libido, from which we see that Rei is a mixture of the conscious Yui and a generic unconscious part. This points to Rei being another mother-image, although representing contents which are slightly more conscious than the contents represented by Yui's soul, because of the conscious body. Also, having a generic unconscious part (or soul), Rei can synch with EVA-00 even if it has no resident soul (i.e. EVA-00 symbolizes an unconscious not designated to any particular person), and being part of Shinji's anima, she can synch with EVA-01 as well. Ramifications: EVA-00 going berserk is due to the influence of Yui in Rei through the generic unconscious (i.e. Shinji's unconscious), and Ritsuko thinking EVA-00 is after her is probably due to her guilt rather than EVA-00 aiming for her (unless the young Shinji saw something indecent or something concerning Ritsuko).*** Also, I think there is an argument for the case that since Rei has a generic unconscious part in Yui's body, she needs to align this generic unconscious part to Yui's consciousness and thus realize that she is part of Shinji's psyche - which she does eventually and "Becomes one" with Shinji to complete his psyche and return to sanity (a hieros gamos or "holy wedding") - so Shinji must get to know his unconscious and Rei (Shinji's unconscious) needs to get to know his consciousness; they meet in the middle to the delight of everyone (series ending).

As for the prominence of 3's (and even 4's) and the cross motif, I think I can explain these using this framework as well. Also, there's probably more fun and games explaining the other character and Eva actions using this framework. But I'll leave this for the future.

***[EDIT] Need here to explain why Shinji could synch with EVA-00. Possibility that Rei's soul (derived or of Lilith, with hints of Yui) is so strong that it has left an aura in EVA-00 for Shinji to synch with. This aura then starts to fade, such that Shinji's consciousness might become subsumed by the LCL (undifferentiated Libido) because the path to consciousness, as provided by the aura of Rei's soul, is lost. Psychological contamination occurs and EVA-00 goes berserk. This sounds convoluted, so I may think about EVA-00 having some sort of soul derived from Lillith or something in the future. This wouldn't change the other conclusions reached in this post.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Summary
Jungian framework used to explain some of the symbols in Evangelion. By doing so, the events in Evangelion can be related to the workings of the human psyche and hence our world and the phenomena of mental "illness". More broadly, it shows the dangers of chucking everything we don't like in our unconscious and not facing up to them, something which we can all fall into. What I've written here is not detailed and fully referenced, but just getting some ideas floating around in my head down.

I conjecture that what Anno really tried to show in this anime is what he went through in his mental breakdown, in symbolic form: e.g. famous Anno quote [my italics and bold lettering]:
"I tried to include everything of myself in Neon Genesis Evangelion -- myself, a broken man who could do nothing for four years.

A man who ran away for four years, one who was simply not dead.

Then one thought:

"You can't run away,"

came to me, and I restarted this production.

It is a production where my only thought was to burn my feelings into film.

....

That is because within me, the story is not yet finished."
The story is within him. Thus, it represents part of his psyche. It is his myth, which he has found and is living, just like Shinji (Anno's avatar) must find and live his myth (see Jung quote above and lyrics to theme song). I think that

Evangelion is the myth of Anno in anime form

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted on: 02-Apr-2007, 21:41 GMT

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Postby Dan [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:18 pm

So did this book ever happen?

Originally posted on: 02-Apr-2007, 21:47 GMT

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Postby JFaulkner [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:18 pm

CrossboneGundam wrote:Are people here seriously suggesting that Evangelion is somehow as significant as religious texts which have influenced thousands of years of human behavior and world history? A Japanese cartoon meant to generate advertising revenue for a TV station and licensing revenue for the animation studio?
Depends on what you mean by "significance". If by "significant," you mean that something has influenced world leaders and altered the course of history, then religious texts are more significant. If by "significant," you mean that something has something important to say about how humans act and behave, then it depends on which religious text you read. Evangelion, in my opinion, is "significant" in the latter sense. At the same time as generating cash (and God knows how much merchandise there is out for it), Anno Hideaki tried to show what he felt in his time of mental distress, in the anime. Now this isn't a statement proclaiming Evangelion to be a wonderful piece of majestic art, and only it can give the true insight into human behaviour. It just states that one can deduce aspects of human behaviour and thought from the Evangelion anime.

Originally posted on: 02-Apr-2007, 21:48 GMT

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Postby Shiroiyuki [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:22 pm

CrossboneGundam wrote:Are people here seriously suggesting that Evangelion is somehow as significant as religious texts which have influenced thousands of years of human behavior and world history?
Yep, I guess so. This is what I've gathered from reading...oh....100 or so posts around this forum in search of a few questions I had on this subject.

CrossboneGundam wrote:A Japanese cartoon meant to generate advertising revenue for a TV station and licensing revenue for the animation studio?
EXACTLY. You'd think if there were secret religious undertones that were meant to be 'solved' and 'figured out' like a puzzle, Anno would have put them in a different medium (say, a book perhaps), rather than an anime aimed at 14 year old fangirls (stereotyping here, but seriously...anime....at least here in America it attracts children mostly). If it was proven that important religious undertones could be found in Eva, wouldn't it make more sense to put that information into a medium where your core demographic WASN'T 14-17 year old children? What's a child going to do with this sort of information? Will he/she comprehend, understand, value, or know what to do with such knowledge?

There have been anime with much more prominent religious undertones, yet they are not dissected with such fever and vehemence towards the medium as NGE is. Why is Evangelion so important to overanalyze to death? What do you hope to gain by scrutinizing every last detail of the show? Why put it under a microscope, why not just enjoy it for the entertainment value it presents?

Originally posted on: 02-Apr-2007, 21:50 GMT

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Postby Dan [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:22 pm

Are people here seriously suggesting that Evangelion is somehow as significant as religious texts which have influenced thousands of years of human behavior and world history?
Its a shame when it turns out that way. Although no religous, there is more than enough antropologic and social scientific information we can glean from it as a representation of its time and place.

Originally posted on: 02-Apr-2007, 22:03 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:22 pm

Shiroiyuki wrote:You'd think if there were secret religious undertones that were meant to be 'solved' and 'figured out' like a puzzle
You're blowing the "secret religious undertones" part WAYYYYY out of proportion. Drawing from religious sources was done to give NGE an "identity", let the creators practice excessive pedantry, and provide context to the narrative (religious cult of old geezers who pull the puppet-strings of the world, etc.). The end.

Anno would have put them in a different medium (say, a book perhaps), rather than an anime aimed at 14 year old fangirls
Animation was the natural medium for Anno to use, considering he has a background in animation and otakudom.

(stereotyping here, but seriously...anime....at least here in America it attracts children mostly).
In Japan, anime is essentially "children and otaku only". With NGE, Anno and the others hoped to revolutionize the industry and break it out of the niche it had regrettably settled into, but...

Why is Evangelion so important to overanalyze to death? What do you hope to gain by scrutinizing every last detail of the show? Why put it under a microscope, why not just enjoy it for the entertainment value it presents?
Because not everyone would be satisfied to leave it at that.

If you don't have a streak of "geek" in you, then odds are it will never, ever make sense.

Originally posted on: 02-Apr-2007, 22:16 GMT

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Postby Ornette [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:22 pm

Shiroiyuki wrote:That was in no way my intent. I was trying to figure out what fuels the phenomenon, why Evangelion is so popular, why people analyze it so fervently. I am not criticizing anyone for watching/enjoying the show; I am trying to understand why so many flock to Eva and hold it in such high regard/examine its details/analyze everything/etc.
For example:
Shiroiyuki wrote:And the Understatement of the Year Award goes to....


You...you guys do remember that this is just an anime, right? I'm not flaming here (please don't think that. I'm only curious as to why), but from time to time I notice how deeply everyone digs into this anime, examining and scrutinizing every single last detail like it was a matter of life or death. From symbols used, to what the ending actually meant, to the inner psyche of the characters and how that corresponds to the bible....pretty much everything in this anime has been beaten to death by research, opinion, and reasoning.
Shiroiyuki wrote:Yep, I guess so. This is what I've gathered from reading...oh....100 or so posts around this forum in search of a few questions I had on this subject.



EXACTLY. You'd think if there were secret religious undertones that were meant to be 'solved' and 'figured out' like a puzzle, Anno would have put them in a different medium (say, a book perhaps), rather than an anime aimed at 14 year old fangirls (stereotyping here, but seriously...anime....at least here in America it attracts children mostly). If it was proven that important religious undertones could be found in Eva, wouldn't it make more sense to put that information into a medium where your core demographic WASN'T 14-17 year old children? What's a child going to do with this sort of information? Will he/she comprehend, understand, value, or know what to do with such knowledge?

There have been anime with much more prominent religious undertones, yet they are not dissected with such fever and vehemence towards the medium as NGE is. Why is Evangelion so important to overanalyze to death? What do you hope to gain by scrutinizing every last detail of the show? Why put it under a microscope, why not just enjoy it for the entertainment value it presents?
When people automatically assume we're crazy and we think there are "secret religious undertones" we're trying to solve here, and it happens over and over again and has already been discussed in previous threads, some people get tired of rehashing the same arguments. Reichu linked to a thread where Leader Desslock asked (in a more eloquent manner) what you were asking. But I can understand where you're coming from. I've seen rabid fans on forums before, and even I think they're crazy. However, I think most of those people who freak out anytime someone says Eva isn't the greatest thing in the world have left the ANF boards and not much heavy discussion has happened here for about a year.

Either way, I'm glad someone was able to adequately answer your question.

Originally posted on: 04-Apr-2007, 02:03 GMT

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Postby Shiroiyuki [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:22 pm

Ornette wrote:For example:
I have a very dry sense of humor. I thought the 'And the Understatement of the Year Award goes to...' bit was very fitting, considering how often people scrutinize every little detail in Evangelion. He asked if he was examining too much into something, I saw an opportunity to segue into my question. I never actually insulted anyone, or at least, didn't intend to insult anyone; I just saw an opportunity there. If you took it to mean something else, I’m sorry.

And about the rest: Probing for answers is no good unless you specifically tell what you are interested in learning about (i.e. ...but from time to time I notice how deeply everyone digs into this anime, examining and scrutinizing every single last detail like it was a matter of life or death...Why is Evangelion so important to overanalyze to death? What do you hope to gain by scrutinizing every last detail of the show? Why put it under a microscope, why not just enjoy it for the entertainment value it presents?) and go from there. Sure, I could have just asked 'Why Eva?', but that wouldn't have reaped anything besides generic, curt answers that probably wouldn’t have helped me at all. Like 'Because, we like it' or 'Eva is awesome, it’s very deep'. Yes, because that would have answered my questions. I got specific, I aimed for the jugular. I didn't just ask some watered down general question hoping to get the answers I was looking for. I thought it was the best approach.

Ornette wrote:When people automatically assume we're crazy and we think there are "secret religious undertones" we're trying to solve here, and it happens over and over again and has already been discussed in previous threads, some people get tired of rehashing the same arguments.
Like I said in another post of mine, all experiences with Eva fans and discussions on the topic have included allusions to religious aspects ‘hidden’ within the context of Evangelion. I formed a bias over time, as stated in another thread. I assumed, since this had not just happened the one time but every time, that most Evangelion fans also thought this way, and this was a driving force to the phenomenon. Instead, as I found out from JFaulker and his responses, I was mistaking the whole of Eva Fandom for very radical rarities amongst the group. I never said I thought anyone was crazy; I simply gave you rough examples of my perspective (seasoned by what I have learned/gathered in the past from listening in on Eva discussions) and asked why from you fans (who appeared to be quite devoted, discussing symbols in the anime and their meaning).

Ornette wrote:Reichu linked to a thread where Leader Desslock asked (in a more eloquent manner) what you were asking.
I don't believe in thread necromancy, and seeing how all those topics had been dead for at least a year or so, I didn't feel the need to revive them for this cause. Actually, Bernard Monsha, one of our moderators, even frowns on reviving dead threads. I wanted answers, and after reading around 100 or so posts in both threads (100 or so spanning the two threads, I don't remember how far I got in each respected thread before giving up my futile search), I discovered that the posts there didn't really answer any of the questions I was asking, or had in mind. The posts there were generic for the most part, they didn't go into detail, and they danced around the topic at hand. I felt the need to continue my quest for knowledge elsewhere.

Ornette wrote:However, I think most of those people who freak out anytime someone says Eva isn't the greatest thing in the world have left the ANF boards and not much heavy discussion has happened here for about a year.
Well, I guess that's a shame in its own right. Not that those people would have been a great help to me, seeing as they 'freaked out' when asked about Eva (from a non-fan's perspective), but it would have been interesting to see their arguments as well.
Ornette wrote:Either way, I'm glad someone was able to adequately answer your question.
Me too Image.

Originally posted on: 04-Apr-2007, 13:09 GMT

Ornette [ANF]
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Postby Ornette [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:22 pm

Shiroiyuki wrote:I have a very dry sense of humor. I thought the 'And the Understatement of the Year Award goes to...' bit was very fitting, considering how often people scrutinize every little detail in Evangelion. He asked if he was examining too much into something, I saw an opportunity to segue into my question. I never actually insulted anyone, or at least, didn't intend to insult anyone; I just saw an opportunity there. If you took it to mean something else, I?m sorry.
I didn't think anything you said was insulting anyone in particular, just that I've seen and participated in threads where someone asks something similar from the point of view that we don't think we're watching just an anime anymore and it was a matter of life and death that we analyze these things. 9 out of 10 times, it turns into a flame war, where people are just insulting others about the stupidest things, or it turns out that the person just hates Eva or Eva-fans, was just trolling and never really cared about the answers to their questions. Fortunately, stuff like that doesn't happen very often on ANF. I'm not accusing you of being one of these people, just that I didn't know who you were and that was my first impression. I suppose part of that is my fault, for having witnessed threads like that countless times in the past and being fairly used to non-fans thinking that I'm crazy.

Oh, and I didn't think the humor part was wrong. I just didn't bother to edit the quoted parts.

Originally posted on: 04-Apr-2007, 13:52 GMT


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