How Evangelion Gets Away With Being Terrible

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition").
The third installment debuted in Japan on November 17, 2012.

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Re: How Evangelion Gets Away With Being Terrible

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Postby imprimatur13 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:56 pm

Nahash wrote:I am not a native-english speaker. And I not understand much.
But the subject interests me very much.
Could someone give me a brief summary of what he saying?

Well, he is saying that, the video says that the Rebuild movies are simply worse than the original Evangelion TV show. And that the video says things that are not true, to support that claim. Instead, the video should have said that he did not like the movies as much as the TV show, without saying false things.
(Correct me if I'm wrong, FreakyFilmFan)

What is your native language, by the way, Nahash?
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Postby CommanderFish » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:08 pm

FreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Yeah, I saw DD's videos, and they're only slightly better than this. His claims still lack the proper context of both the series, the movies, and the other titles he compares them to. He'll claim that it wasn't the multiple characters and short duration that made NTE "fail" in character development (that the problem must somehow lay deeper than mere time restrictments), and then compare NTE to Angel's Egg as an example, which has nowhere near the 13 characters NTE has. The fact that he doesn't address his fallacious claims suggest either ignorance or intentional omission on his part, neither of which make for a well researched and detailed video analysis.

You're really gonna discard his entire argument just because of a single point he made (which is still true, imo) that's not backed exceptionally well by evidence?
That doesn't really seem all that reasonable to me.
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Re: How Evangelion Gets Away With Being Terrible

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:02 am

View Original Postimprimatur13 wrote:Well, he is saying that, the video says that the Rebuild movies are simply worse than the original Evangelion TV show. And that the video says things that are not true, to support that claim. Instead, the video should have said that he did not like the movies as much as the TV show, without saying false things.
(Correct me if I'm wrong, FreakyFilmFan)?

That's what I'm saying.

View Original PostCommanderFish wrote:You're really gonna discard his entire argument just because of a single point he made (which is still true, imo) that's not backed exceptionally well by evidence?
That doesn't really seem all that reasonable to me.

The claim becomes foundational to a rather large portion of his argument. This issue occurs often enough with reviews of foreign movies that I feel it does need to be addressed.

I am not dismissing his claim that NTE isn't as good as NGE. I'm only challenging his logic getting there. I don't think NTE is as good as NGE either. Asuka's story arc in the TV show was perhaps the most intense and earnest arc among the pilot characters, and does a good job pointing out the major themes in Shinji's arc and in the story as a whole. Cutting her story down to be as short as it is in NTE doesn't allow the themes of the story to be highlighted as well by her arc.

But that doesn't keep NTE from being good or even impressive in its own right. Watching NTE to me feels like I'm watching something good as (if not better than) the Terminator franchise, but a Terminator franchise that had 3 amazing movies in a row. (Not even James Cameron could keep it up for 3 movies straight, and let anyone do whatever to the franchise after the second one.) It's truley impressive that the movies were able to keep that consistency and that quality up for as long as it has. (Not even Marvel movies are as consistently narratively engaging as NTE continues to be, and everyone raves over those productions.) Ultimately, with how good NTE is despite its changes, anytime someone does try to convince me that it's bad they sound like people who complain about film adaptations of books only because "it's different, and different things are bad." To claim that the essence of Eva is lost in NTE simply because it isn't as complex or as long as NGE is to say that the essence of Eva is simply its complexity and its duration. If those elements are important to the viewers, might I suggest reading a thick NASA user manual?

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Re: How Evangelion Gets Away With Being Terrible

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Postby Shinji Ikari Expy » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:24 pm

At risk of falling into the "my opinion is superior" mindset that Gendo's Papa ranted about (I'm probably falling into it but hear me out) — the reactions to 3.0 make me feel like a lot of these Youtube Eva critics are just full of it.

The fact that so many critics dismiss a movie series that clearly retains many of the themes of the original — but articulates them in a different way — as popcorn fodder just makes me think they're not paying attention or aren't good critics.

An attentive reviewer would notice that NTE retained many of the themes of the original series — how could 3.0 have been anymore clear? The main character, distraught that he's lost the only thing that gave him a purpose and self-worth, acts on a delusion that he can restore his old place in the world and fucks everything up in the process. Do you really need SparkNotes to know that is thematically in line with the original? You can dislike it if you want (I have some problems with the movie and I agree that the supporting cast was much more interesting in the original series) but Anno & Co. did not abandon the original "message" of Evangelion and it's simply incorrect to say they did.

So we're subjected to the same old complaints about how every change to the sacred Evangelion formula sucks, along with a bunch of conjecture about Anno's psychological state and his intentions: "he hates the fans," "he's just a troll," "he hates my favorite character," "he's just wants money now." Worst of all is that these reviewers are trendsetters and a lot of "highbrow" fans think they have to agree with them.

It makes you wonder how these guys would've reviewed the original series and EoE if they didn't have the benefit of 10-plus years of Evageeks and /a/ archives to give them ideas!

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Re: How Evangelion Gets Away With Being Terrible

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Postby cyharding » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:45 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote: To claim that the essence of Eva is lost in NTE simply because it isn't as complex or as long as NGE is to say that the essence of Eva is simply its complexity and its duration.

I remember reading an issue of the US edition of Newtype where they had a feature on 1.0 and one of the people on staff remarked, and I'm paraphrasing here, that while they wouldn't lay everything out on the table, they weren't going to make NTE as obtuse as NGE. It's been a while as I might still have that issue in a box in the basement. Could it be that these complaints over the lack of complexity stem from the fullfilment of that idea?

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Re: How Evangelion Gets Away With Being Terrible

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Postby Reichu » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:30 am

Here you go.

Toshimichi Otsuki wrote:The complexity has been somewhat lessened to make it more accesible to newbies, but it'll still take a bit of thought to understand." Otsuki adds that they're removing much of the deliberate obfuscation that made Eva infamous: "Filling works with difficult words and concepts in order to create confusion among viewers was a good technique 12 years ago, but not anymore, and one of our primary goals for this project is to turn everyone's expectations upside down."

The dialogue and visuals are still bursting with "deliberate obfuscation", so I don't really take Otsuki too seriously on this point.
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Re: How Evangelion Gets Away With Being Terrible

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:07 am

View Original PostShinji Ikari Expy wrote:You can dislike it if you want (I have some problems with the movie and I agree that the supporting cast was much more interesting in the original series) but Anno & Co. did not abandon the original "message" of Evangelion and it's simply incorrect to say they did.

I'm actually a little on the fence about how NTE handles the supporting cast.

For example, I really like how Anno handles Asuka's arc in NGE. It's one of the things that really resonated with me emotionally. But, Asuka's arc is really there to highlight the mother complex themes that is also within Shinji's arc, which is needed because his arc is spread across 26 episodes and a movie, approximately 11 hours of storytelling. When NTE is all said and done, it'll probably clock itself in at about 6-7 hours of storytelling. When your story is so short, you don't really need a supporting cast to highlight the main character's arc with their own. The pacing it set so well to Shinji's arc that having Asuka's arc interrupt every so often just to highlight it becomes superfluous. So, on a structural narrative level, this isn't really detrimental to NTE. In fact, this approach to NTE's shorter run time strengthens the overall flow of story.

....But I still like Asuka's arc in NGE better, so....

This argument can really be applied to almost any supporting character in Eva that was cut down in NTE. Ritsuko highlights aspects of Shinji's mother complex in a way that contains more exposition about female scientists who are also mothers. (And have had sex with Gendo.) Aspects of Ritsuko's arc even present it in a slightly different angle. Toji's arc highlights Shinji's anxieties as they relate to the responsibility of piloting an Eva. Kaji presents a way how Shinji could grow up to become different from his father. These are all wonderful characters whose sole purpose was to highlight or present different aspects of Shinji's arc, but they aren't needed in a shorter story. Anno couldn't completely remove the characters either, since Nerv needs that many warm bodies performing those roles in order to believably function. So the supporting cast still need to be there, they just don't have to highlight Shinji's arc in NTE like they did in NGE.

Basically, a lot of people are complaining because they have to focus more on Shinji, the main character, in order to fully understand his arc, and those complaints just don't sit well with me.

....But I still like Asuka's arc in NGE better, so....

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Postby Shinji Ikari Expy » Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:07 pm

I get that NTE doesn't have the time or format to develop everyone's backstories, and I don't think they should have tried. But it's impossible not to compare the movies to the original, even if it's apples and oranges, and think "gosh, they explained that so much better in the original."

Bad habit? Maybe, but I think it's a natural response.

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Postby Settie » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:41 pm

Well when you think about it, at the surface Shikinamis arc seems "less" than Soryus but i think it got simplified and a lot of superfluous things were removed. Instead of going for the mother complex and all the issues that came from that, it focused on the core issue of eva, the hedgehog dilemma. When you look at it that way then the Asuka arc is simplified without losing its core, Asuka is a lonely girl that didn't know how to get close to others, and that still remains in the NTE. It still highlights and complements Shinjis arc as he too has a difficult time with getting close to others. Different but the same, just like the NTE and NGE.

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Re: How Evangelion Gets Away With Being Terrible

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Postby DarkBluePhoenix » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:50 pm

Settie wrote:When you look at it that way then the Asuka arc is simplified without losing its core, Asuka is a lonely girl that didn't know how to get close to others, and that still remains in the NTE. It still highlights and complements Shinji's arc as he too has a difficult time with getting close to others.

No, when you take away that much backstory, some things get lost in translation, and you lose character motivations in hte process, and it affected the character negatively. Without the added issues to explain why Shikinami is such an anti-social pain in the ass, she just looks like a spoiled brat with the honorary rank of Captain in the European Air Force. Plus, when she gives up on chasing Shinji rto let Rei win and have her dinner party, Soryu wouldn't have done that, she's far too stubborn to have done so.

This is why Soryu > Shikinami.
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Re: How Evangelion Gets Away With Being Terrible

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Postby Settie » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:44 pm

Again, the core of Asukas' character is the hedgehog dilemma, the why can be damn near anything and it still wouldn't change the core, as that is what ultimately defines her character, the background information is a bonus but with the limitations of a movie series i don't mind the loss of background if the core remains. Besides, comparing a finished arc to an unfinished arc is premature, and unlike NGE, there's a chance that Asuka will be present throughout the ending process.

SPOILER: Show
I do prefer Soryu to Shikinami for now though. :devil:

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Postby Reichu » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:05 pm

Shikinami has the visual motif of the doll that's been stitched back together, supplemented by the Bardiel infection being represented by staples... But of course this has no bearing whatsoever on Shikinami's past, since she doesn't have one. At best, it's foreshadowing for how she'll need to stitch herself back together AFTER Bardiel. Quite the waste, if you ask me. It really wouldn't have taken much more to give Shikinami an actual background.
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Re: How Evangelion Gets Away With Being Terrible

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:40 pm

View Original PostDarkBluePhoenix wrote:No, when you take away that much backstory, some things get lost in translation, and you lose character motivations in hte process, and it affected the character negatively.

Nothing got "lost in transition" because Soryu isn't being "translated" to Shikinami. The two are very different characters that have nothing to do with one another other than appearance, given names, and job description. (Rei, Gendo, Misato, Kaji, Toji, Kensuke, and Shinji have more or less been "translated" to NTE, since they all start off with nearly the same known backstories and motivations, but Asuka and maybe even Kaworu are shown to be different from their NGE counterparts.) The two are so different that they would actually end up becoming each other's bitter rivals if they were to ever meet in the same canon, with the relationship between Soryu and Shikinami mirroring that of Goku and Vageta respectively.

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Postby CommanderFish » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:11 am

FreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:I am not dismissing his claim that NTE isn't as good as NGE. I'm only challenging his logic getting there. I don't think NTE is as good as NGE either.

Okay, that makes much more sense to me. Sorry for misinterpreting.

FreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:But that doesn't keep NTE from being good or even impressive in its own right.

I think everyone in this thread and everyone discussed in this thread except for OP agrees with you.

FreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:To claim that the essence of Eva is lost in NTE simply because it isn't as complex or as long as NGE is to say that the essence of Eva is simply its complexity and its duration. If those elements are important to the viewers, might I suggest reading a thick NASA user manual?

I've never heard of this (underlined) complaint before. Is that even possible? People know that the Rebuilds are movies going in, so it's not like you can expect more than that.

Shinji Ikari Expy wrote:how could 3.0 have been anymore clear? The main character, distraught that he's lost the only thing that gave him a purpose and self-worth, acts on a delusion that he can restore his old place in the world and fucks everything up in the process. Do you really need SparkNotes to know that is thematically in line with the original?

Well, see, this is kind of the problem (for me, anyways). NTE lays this all out, while NGE more often leaves things like this open to interpretation, which makes it a much more emotionally and intellectually stimulating work as a whole.

Shinji Ikari Expy wrote:It makes you wonder how these guys would've reviewed the original series and EoE if they didn't have the benefit of 10-plus years of Evageeks and /a/ archives to give them ideas!

I sincerely hope that this is not your final judgement.

P.S. Sorry for the omnislashing
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:00 am

I don't think dissenters of NTE are expecting a series as long as NGE. Rather, they're expecting to complain about a series that's shorter than NGE. Many of them (Mr. Tines, for example) have dismissed NTE without having ever watched it simply because he knows it can never be the lightning-in-a-bottle that was NGE. It's fine if people don't want to see NTE for that reason only. Any reason to not watch something is probably a good reason in and of itself. However, if a few of those dissenters do actually bother to watch the show, they generally tend to watch it in order to "subtract points" every time Ritsuko shows up without admitting to boning Gendo or hating her mother. This is also a valid complaint against NTE, especially of certain audience members are really drawn to such confessions within Eva, but I don't know if this complaint (or others like it) has anything to do with some assumed "quality" of either NGE or NTE.

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Postby Shinji Ikari Expy » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:05 am

View Original PostCommanderFish wrote:Okay, that makes much more sense to me. Sorry for misinterpreting.

Well, see, this is kind of the problem (for me, anyways). NTE lays this all out, while NGE more often leaves things like this open to interpretation, which makes it a much more emotionally and intellectually stimulating work as a whole.



I really disagree with this. As one of the regular posters here points out, NGE was often guilty of telling us its point instead of showing, e.g. Shinji's conversations with his subconscious self on the traincar. EoE actually tells you the point it's trying to make through Yui's monologue at the end. The plot, on the other hand, with its mysteries about Instrumentality and SEELE, was pretty open to interpretation. But thematically, it doesn't leave much room for doubt.

NTE is attempting to convey similar themes through storytelling — Shinji is not telling the audience what he's thinking through inner monologues. It's embedded in the story, which requires a little more attention and imagination on the part of the viewer. That's why I'm so unimpressed with the Youtube Evangelion analysis crowd — they take everything at face value and miss the point.

CommanderFish wrote:I sincerely hope that this is not your final judgement.


I was half-joking. I know there have been problems in the past with reviewers lifting entire pages from the wiki, although I don't think that's very common. I think these people have the benefit of hindsight because NGE and EoE both aired and became iconic before Youtube. By the time Youtube was a thing, they'd had almost a decade of discussing it among themselves, debunking dumb theories and combing the material for obscure references. Not the case with NTE.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:35 am

View Original PostShinji Ikari Expy wrote:As one of the regular posters here points out, NGE was often guilty of telling us its point instead of showing, e.g. Shinji's conversations with his subconscious self on the traincar. EoE actually tells you the point it's trying to make through Yui's monologue at the end. The plot, on the other hand, with its mysteries about Instrumentality and SEELE, was pretty open to interpretation. But thematically, it doesn't leave much room for doubt.

NTE is attempting to convey similar themes through storytelling — Shinji is not telling the audience what he's thinking through inner monologues. It's embedded in the story, which requires a little more attention and imagination on the part of the viewer. That's why I'm so unimpressed with the Youtube Evangelion analysis crowd — they take everything at face value and miss the point.

NGE and EoE also embedded Shinji's emotions to the plot in non-verbal ways. Episode 4 is a good example of this. Sure, there's some discussion of Shinji's behavior in the beginning of the Episode 3 between Ritsuko, Misato, and Maya, but that's just set-up to the visual story-telling that is all of of Episode 4.

Shinji's conversations with his sub-conscious self in the Eva train simply highlights what the series had already done as far as Shinji arc was concerned, while also showing Shinji being confronted by his emotions in a more direct way than he's used to.

"Show, Don't Tell" is usually applied to much simpler concepts in film as well (such as fight scenes, explosions, and Asuka's doll in 2.22), while dialogue handles the much more complicated parts (like the curvature of the Earth and how it effects shooting Angels at the end of 1.11.)

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Postby Joseki » Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:41 am

View Original PostCommanderFish wrote:Well, see, this is kind of the problem (for me, anyways). NTE lays this all out, while NGE more often leaves things like this open to interpretation, which makes it a much more emotionally and intellectually stimulating work as a whole.


I actually have the opposite opinion on this: NGE has extremely long monologues or internal dialogues that explain every emotion the character feel, 3.0 instead gives the viewer a puzzle made of short phrases, body language and facial expressions.

An example is Asuka's relationship with Shinji: in NGE is fully explained and showed while in the movies is set up as a standard friendly/romantic relationship, then it evolves and in 3.0 and it's the viewer that has to fill the gaps.
I think she still has romantic feelings for him, some think she no longer see him that way and some doubt she even had them at all. I don't think that NGE up to episode 24 was so open to interpretations.
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Postby CommanderFish » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:25 pm

Shinji Ikari Expy wrote:I really disagree with this. As one of the regular posters here points out, NGE was often guilty of telling us its point instead of showing, e.g. Shinji's conversations with his subconscious self on the traincar. EoE actually tells you the point it's trying to make through Yui's monologue at the end. The plot, on the other hand, with its mysteries about Instrumentality and SEELE, was pretty open to interpretation. But thematically, it doesn't leave much room for doubt.

I see your point, but every train-car dialogue is balanced out by scenes like Eva-01 holding Kaworu, and every monologue by scenes like ONE MORE FINAL (the beach). My point is that just because NGE often spells out many of the points it's making, doesn't mean that that's all it does; and that the truth is pretty far from that, actually. What's also important to note is that NGE sometimes tells the audience one thing, while at the same time showing us another. In these cases, it is up to the audience to determine where the truth lies.

Joseki wrote:An example is Asuka's relationship with Shinji: in NGE is fully explained and showed while in the movies is set up as a standard friendly/romantic relationship, then it evolves and in 3.0 and it's the viewer that has to fill the gaps.
I think she still has romantic feelings for him, some think she no longer see him that way and some doubt she even had them at all. I don't think that NGE up to episode 24 was so open to interpretations.

If their relationship was really "fully explained" in NGE as you say, then why are we still having threads about it to this day?

As an aside, my problem with Shikinami has less to do with her relationship with Shinji and more to do with the fact that I don't really care about the character all that much, because it feels like I never got the chance to "know" her all that deeply, and as a result she just feels like a shallow re-imagining of someone else (who need not be named). YMMV on this though, obviously. Like if you are able to relate to Shikinami well enough the way she is, then more power to you. I've just never really gotten much from her.
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Re: How Evangelion Gets Away With Being Terrible

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Postby Joseki » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:50 pm

View Original PostCommanderFish wrote:If their relationship was really "fully explained" in NGE as you say, then why are we still having threads about it to this day?


A single explanation can generate hundreds of interpretations. Human interactions aren't a fixed value, 0 or 1,they can be every value in between and can be read in many ways.
Maybe I should have used "extensively documented" instead of "fully explained" to better explain what I wanted to say.

View Original PostCommanderFish wrote:And my problem with Shikinami has less to do with her relationship with Shinji and more to do with the fact that I don't really care about the character all that much, because it feels like I never got the chance to "know" her all that deeply, and as a result she just feels like a shallow re-imagining of someone else (who need not be named). YMMV on this though, obviously. Like if you are able to relate to Shikinami well enough the way she is, then more power to you. I've just never really gotten much from her.


I wasn't arguing about your problems with Shikinami, I was simply using her as an example.
However now I'm curious about the "shallow re-imagining of someone else (who need not be named)" part. Who are you talking about?
To me Shikinami in 2.0 feels very similar to Shinji, two total loners without a family that connects through the Evangelions, but with opposite defense mechanisms, he's a yes-man while she's extremely proud.
Last edited by Joseki on Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
「希望は残っているよ。どんな時にもね」

29/07/2017


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