Anno vs. Otaku (critcism, self-reflection, etc)

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Re: Is Anno really that critical of otaku?

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Postby GAP » Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:26 am

Reichu wrote:Anno is an otaku himself (check out Insufficient Direction by his wife Moyoco for an illustration of this), albeit one who has struggled with the notion of reconciling the otaku's reputation (as a disconnected recluse, etc.) with his own desire to be, well, better than that. I think most of the supposed anti-otaku commentary in his work is first and foremost self-directed, a way to resolve his own sense of conflict.

It's far from unprecedented, however, that some of this self-analysis and -critique would bleed out into his take on the world around him. I've noticed, for instance, that I have an especially critical eye toward deficits in others that I work hardest to overcome in myself. It's a complicated phenomenon and I suspect most of us exhibit some form of it.


Bagheera wrote:He's critical of escapist otaku, basically neets. I don't think he has an issue with otaku who are fully functioning members of society, with work and social lives and everything.


Those reasons explain a lot of things about Anno and his relationship with escapist otaku. So Anno is critical of otaku because he is one himself and he sees those same flaws that he sees in himself?
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Re: Is Anno really that critical of otaku?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:51 pm

^ I think this about sums it all up.

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Re: Is Anno really that critical of otaku?

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Postby GAP » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:53 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:^ I think this about sums it all up.


I see. I guess it makes sense as to why Anno is critical of otaku but I also wondered if he has calmed down over the years?
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Re: Is Anno really that critical of otaku?

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Postby NFWStateMachine » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:55 am

I always thought that Shinji, especial from the rest of the characters, was a representation of what Anno hated about himself in his bouts of depression when he was younger, and possibly even now. A life lived fluctuating between elation and nearly endless depression. I mean, Evangelion has always seemed like a deeply personal deconstruction of Anno, otherwise it wouldn't be as great as it is, at least to people who can empathize with the ideas.

Does he hate otakus? I don't think so. It's clear to me that he wouldn't have created Evangelion if it wasn't important to him and as a message to otakus (he being one), to realize that the world can be more interesting and worthwhile to experience than jerking off to cartoons. The two endings of the original series seem to represent that, ie., Shinji decided to live in a world of both elation and suffering (truth) rather than in a state of "artificial" bliss where nothing bad ever happens.

Anno didn't have to make Evangelion. He doesn't have to do anything at all, but he "chooses" to. Why would he do anything? Because he still cares. It aligns with an idea that's prevalent in both series where Shinji accepts any form of communication from others as being worthwhile. When he doesn't get what he wants, he reacts violently like a child (ie. a younger child, only being able to express themselves in extremes) instead of learning from the experience and continuing to "do better things".

With the Rebuild, I do get the feeling he's 'softened' or "calmed down" over the years, as is often an observable case with anyone that more fully understands how the world works and their own behaviour. In the act of aging, there are many things you have no control over. A pain in your lower back that keeps resurfacing that you never had as a teenager. Balding or gaining excessive weight after bearing children. Gradually losing one's sexual drive to be temporarily replaced with mid-life crisis devices. Wanting to be a child again because of one's self-defined excessive awareness to one's own suffering. As such, people tend to become more gentle both physically and mentally. So, he creates Rebuild which often seems like it deals less with existential quandaries and mental exercises (mind-fuckery), and devolves more into 3D bombastic battles with Shinji being a listless or confused dickhead, but still a sympathetic character, at least to a point before one can get 'annoyed' by the real net-negative human attributes he's representing sometimes.

Secondarily, Anno wants to make money and he knows he has an audience for his work who are willing to pay for it. They pay for it because they care. They pay a lot of money because his material connects with them (I only own the DVDs and not extraneous merchanidise). And many consume the Evangelion machine because it all says something with worthwhile utility.

No. He can't possibly hate otakus. If he did, he wouldn't have done what he's done and will seemingly continue to do. Hating something that doesn't necessarily have to affect you is, again, something a juvenile would do. Do people honestly think Anno is that juvenile? Yes, because people are naturally inclined to efficiently and irrationally reject things that don't align with their perspectives or that which entertains them ("It's not fun, Mommy"), so it's no surprise that a subset of anime fans would cowardly attack his fiction. Are they right? Maybe some of the time, but everyone can be right even when they're mostly wrong.

At some point, labels are over-simplifications of what people are, but then people are not as complex as they think they are. Often, most will wish to appear strong, intelligent, or worthwhile, when that's never been the case for anyone at all. We're fickle creatures.

I would urge not using the word "hate" when you're not implying what would be the result of hate: A complete indifference of suffering or active destruction of things they hate. People who "hate" are often fulfilling a definition of themselves that they never had a choice about, which is often ironically hypocritical (at least to an audience that is aware of it). Words have meaning and should be used with more care, despite what the echo-chamber of bad ideas that the internet can be, where having and expressing an opinion is more important than being right. Intentions are a significant part of the puzzle that are often ignored to satisfy a sense of righteousness, when there is none to be found.

Just ask, what are Anno's intentions? It seems it's mostly good will. If people can't see that, well, bad for them, for them, for them, for them.

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Anno vs. Otaku (critcism, self-reflection, etc)

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Postby Nahash » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:02 am

I often hear that Evangelion's purpose is to expose the woes of Otaku life.
I feel that this view is wide spread. Yet, I have never seen interviews with Anno go in that direction.
I question myself. Is this pure speculation? Or is it my research that is incomplete? Something in between?
My question would be:
Have you heard interviews where Anno goes in this direction? And if so, do you have links point to his interviews?
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Re: The criticism of the otaku, speculation, reality or something else?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:41 am

Anno is, himself, an otaku. That he pretty much admits in a few interviews. (Also, read his wife's manga "Insufficient Direction," which is all about their married life together.) Anno said in a few interviews that Shinji is his self-insert character. Anno has also stated that the parts of Eva he didn't like are the parts where he sees himself.

So, Anno doesn't like the parts of Eva that reflect his otaku self, and it shows in his work. Other people read it as an attack on other otaku, when it's really Anno attacking himself.

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Re: The criticism of the otaku, speculation, reality or something else?

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Postby Nahash » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:34 am

And do you have links points to these interviews?

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Re: The criticism of the otaku, speculation, reality or something else?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:50 pm

Hideaki Anno is one of the co-founders of Gainax, a studio that claimed to be "for otaku, by otaku." That much has pretty much been public knowledge, and it was especially highlighted in their production of Otaku no Video in 1985. For a more intimate perspective on Anno's otaku lifestyle one should just read "Insufficient Direction," written by his wife, Moyoco Anno.

Hideaki Anno's statement about Shinji Ikari reflecting "[his] own character" were spoken at a round table interview at Anime Expo in 1996, and can be found here and here.

And finally, the video source where Anno says he doesn't like it when he sees himself in his own work.

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Re: The criticism of the otaku, speculation, reality or something else?

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Postby Joseki » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:33 pm

View Original PostNahash wrote:I often hear that Evangelion's purpose is to expose the woes of Otaku life.
I feel that this view is wide spread. Yet, I have never seen interviews with Anno go in that direction.
I question myself. Is this pure speculation? Or is it my research that is incomplete? Something in between?
My question would be:
Have you heard interviews where Anno goes in this direction? And if so, do you have links point to his interviews?


Before the release of Q he said this:

“As for the previous Evangelion, many people took what I made as ‘entertainment’ and turned it into a ‘target of dependence.’ I wanted to take responsibility for those people becoming impudent. I wanted to bring the work back to the level of entertainment. However, I’ve started to pull back from that subject (criticizing ‘escapist otaku.’) Those kind of people don’t understand, no matter what you say. I finally realized there’s nothing you can do.”


I think that he started criticizing okatus in a period of time between NGE and Q, and just by feeling I would believe that his "fight" probably started sometime after the end of NGE and it was probably over a few years after EoE.
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Re: The criticism of the otaku, speculation, reality or something else?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:30 am

From what I could tell, Anno's fall out with otaku coincided with his fall out with the animation industry in 1998 right after he was booted off of Kare Kano. That's when he started working more with live-action filmmaking, like Love & Pop and Ritual. I think Anno was simply upset with the animation industry as a whole, and simply didn't exclude the adult demographic for animations from his misgivings. I can't find any evidence that those misgivings were present during the production of NGE.


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