Moments where you hated characters you usually like

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Postby Azathoth » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:49 pm

What makes for an accurate reflection of experience does not necessarily make for good narrative. Although personally I've never understood the argument that NGE stops being a coherent narrative halfway through. It certainly changes focus (from building up Shinji's support mechanisms to tearing them away from him), but really, there's a lot more to the narrative beyond episode 12 and I wouldn't say it becomes entirely incoherent until 24.
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Postby Born of Lilith » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:07 pm

View Original PostAllemann wrote:Rei's smile in ep. 6 is one of the best moments in the show, as it shows there's a glimmer of hope in humanity. Anno hates humans in general, so he didn't develop that strand but went on with his crypto-nihilism until the very end.


Yeah, Anno definitely seems like a misanthropic mofo. I bet he became a vegetarian right before that extra-curricular school lesson just to keep himself from eating the kids!

Also, lol @ Evangelion having "crypto-nihilism." Best be trollin.
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:21 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:As with Shinji it's a point that bears repeating. It's also the first time we see her actively trying to address it, which is important.
I guess I just prefer more subtle ways of addressing/developing such issues. Ep. 4 is a prime example of subtle, visual character development that doesn't really cross that line.

View Original PostBagheera wrote:That's because most shows make the chase the central plot, instead of making it a side plot to other, more important things. So long as the show isn't about the chase the transition can work just fine. Look at Friends, for example. I'll never defend the show, but it has multiple examples of chase-relationship transitions and they didn't seem to hurt its success much.
Well, Friends isn't a good example because it had a central cast of six and only two were ever involved in any kind of chase and it was only sporadically the central focus.

View Original PostReichu wrote:The sorts of situations where you go "round and round in circles" without achieving resolutions are part of the human condition and help make NGE the brutally honest work it is. Or am I missing something here?
Does it even really go "round and round"? I think of it as a slow descent punctuated by moments of ascent more than an endless spiral. The characters develop, but they simply get worse, with Shinji having moments of heroic inspiration and reflection and just complete dejection. I mean, in terms of plot development, ep. 18-19 are crucial for Shinji's development because he finally confronts his father and gets his ultimate beatdown and melding with mommy. How that doesn't count as narrative drama/development I'll never understand. Or how about ep. 24 that finally breaks him? Like I said, I think Xard and Merri are just way off on this point.
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Postby Bagheera » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:34 pm

View Original PostEva Yojimbo wrote:I guess I just prefer more subtle ways of addressing/developing such issues. Ep. 4 is a prime example of subtle, visual character development that doesn't really cross that line.


Subtle has its place, but it isn't everything.

Well, Friends isn't a good example because it had a central cast of six and only two were ever involved in any kind of chase and it was only sporadically the central focus.


Two, actually. But that aside that's the point -- the chase shouldn't be the central focus. When you focus on a single issue like that you can't help but leave the audience feeling the show's played out when it's resolved. But there's more to life than that! If you frame it that way to begin with, and the audience goes in knowing there's more to the story than one silly romantic chase, it's easier to transition to other things once any given storyline runs its course.

In the case at hand the problem with Rei is that Anno didn't leave her much room to do anything other than develop an emotion or two. That's all she had going for her; she didn't have any plot relevance beyond that. If he'd made her a more active participant in the plot and given her something to do she could have worked quite well even with Asuka taking center stage. The "chase" analogy would be irrelevant because that would just be one facet of her character.

Does it even really go "round and round"? I think of it as a slow descent punctuated by moments of ascent more than an endless spiral. The characters develop, but they simply get worse, with Shinji having moments of heroic inspiration and reflection and just complete dejection. I mean, in terms of plot development, ep. 18-19 are crucial for Shinji's development because he finally confronts his father and gets his ultimate beatdown and melding with mommy. How that doesn't count as narrative drama/development I'll never understand. Or how about ep. 24 that finally breaks him? Like I said, I think Xard and Merri are just way off on this point.


And of course, all of the relevant development for Asuka is in episodes 15-24. Hell, Misato and Kaji only really start to come around during that timeframe as well, for that matter. And of course there's the HIP, the backstory for the Evas...sure Rei's pretty much done by 6 and Shinji starts looping a bit after that, but there's a lot more to the show than just those two and a lot of it is later arc stuff.
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:26 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:But that aside that's the point -- the chase shouldn't be the central focus... In the case at hand the problem with Rei is that Anno didn't leave her much room to do anything other than develop an emotion or two.
I agree with you about the chase shouldn't be the central conflict, but, IYRC, it came up because I compared Rei to a sit-com where the chase WAS the central conflict because, in both cases, there's nowhere left to go after it's resolved. At least NGE had many other areas of focus but, yeah, Rei kinda got shafted after ep. 6. Although, honestly, like I said, I think it helped that she stayed at a bit of a distance. More mysterious and all that.

Bagheera wrote:And of course, all of the relevant development for Asuka is in episodes 15-24. Hell, Misato and Kaji only really start to come around during that timeframe as well, for that matter. And of course there's the HIP, the backstory for the Evas...sure Rei's pretty much done by 6 and Shinji starts looping a bit after that, but there's a lot more to the show than just those two and a lot of it is later arc stuff.
Indeed. So that's essentially three votes for "Xard and Merri are off their rocker" on this subject.
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Jimbo has posted enough to be considered greater than or equal to everyone, and or synonymous with the concept of 'everyone'. - Muggy
I've seen so many changeful years, / to Earth I am a stranger grown: / I wander in the ways of men, / alike unknowing and unknown: / Unheard, unpitied, unrelieved, / I bear alone my load of care; / For silent, low, on beds of dust, / Lie all that would my sorrows share. - Robert Burns' Lament for James

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Postby Born of Lilith » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:48 am

Yeah, I think the non-linear, "one step forward, two steps back" progression of the characters (and, by extension, plot) seems more like an intentional attempt to document the characters' heavy-hearted struggle with everything that's being thrown at them, than lopsided or unfocused writing (the storyline deterioration at the tail-end of the series [which might be a "flaw" but isn't at all detrimental to the viewing experience, IMO] notwithstanding, of course).
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:59 am

View Original PostBorn of Lilith wrote:(the storyline deterioration at the tail-end of the series [which might be a "flaw" but isn't at all detrimental to the viewing experience, IMO] notwithstanding, of course).
The ironic thing about the "storyline deterioration" towards the end is that I always got the sense that Anno was never more sure of what he wanted to do and where he wanted to go at that point. Where he wanted to go just didn't really conform to any reasonably resolvable narrative!
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We're all adrift on the stormy seas of Evangelion, desperately trying to gather what flotsam can be snatched from the gale into a somewhat seaworthy interpretation so that we can at last reach the shores of reason and respite. - ObsessiveMathsFreak
Jimbo has posted enough to be considered greater than or equal to everyone, and or synonymous with the concept of 'everyone'. - Muggy
I've seen so many changeful years, / to Earth I am a stranger grown: / I wander in the ways of men, / alike unknowing and unknown: / Unheard, unpitied, unrelieved, / I bear alone my load of care; / For silent, low, on beds of dust, / Lie all that would my sorrows share. - Robert Burns' Lament for James

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Postby Allemann » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:28 am

View Original PostBorn of Lilith wrote:Yeah, Anno definitely seems like a misanthropic mofo. I bet he became a vegetarian right before that extra-curricular school lesson just to keep himself from eating the kids!


Anno's message is that humans are incapable of selfless and loving actions, and that the only meaningful response to this is to learn to live with it.

Also, lol @ Evangelion having "crypto-nihilism." Best be trollin.


The last shot in EoE says only one: life is a wasteland.

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Postby Bagheera » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:32 am

View Original PostAllemann wrote:Anno's message is that humans are incapable of selfless and loving actions, and that the only meaningful response to this is to learn to live with it.



The last shot in EoE says only one: life is a wasteland.


Someone wasn't paying attention.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:44 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Someone wasn't paying attention.
Allemann in a nuthsell. ^_^
Cinelogue & Forced Perspective Cinema
^ Writing as Jonathan Henderson ^
We're all adrift on the stormy seas of Evangelion, desperately trying to gather what flotsam can be snatched from the gale into a somewhat seaworthy interpretation so that we can at last reach the shores of reason and respite. - ObsessiveMathsFreak
Jimbo has posted enough to be considered greater than or equal to everyone, and or synonymous with the concept of 'everyone'. - Muggy
I've seen so many changeful years, / to Earth I am a stranger grown: / I wander in the ways of men, / alike unknowing and unknown: / Unheard, unpitied, unrelieved, / I bear alone my load of care; / For silent, low, on beds of dust, / Lie all that would my sorrows share. - Robert Burns' Lament for James

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Postby ReiAyanami25 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:35 am

I seriously thought that Shinji was a wimp for not piloting unit 01 after the first battle with Ramiel. and I also thought it was horrible the first time he piloted unit 01, he tried to pass off the Responsibility to Rei even though she was badly hurt.........
I wished I could slap him at those points.

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Postby Bagheera » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:45 am

View Original PostReiAyanami25 wrote:I seriously thought that Shinji was a wimp for not piloting unit 01 after the first battle with Ramiel.


I know, right? I mean, he was just boiled alive and stuff. Walk it off man!

and I also thought it was horrible the first time he piloted unit 01, he tried to pass off the Responsibility to Rei even though she was badly hurt.........


:???: But the reason he piloted to begin with was because she was badly hurt . . .
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby NemZ » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:26 am

Really it's all Misato's fault for being too soft on Shinji... she should have flat-out told Shinji on day 1 that either they stop the angels or everyone everywhere dies, full stop.
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Postby SaVaGe » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:00 am

Come to think of it, I hated Rei when she smiled at Shinji, simply for the reason that she had imagined Gendo first. I wanted her so badly to smile because of/for Shinji himself.

I strongly prefer the Rebuild version of that scene.
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Postby Bagheera » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:14 am

View Original PostNemZ wrote:Really it's all Misato's fault for being too soft on Shinji... she should have flat-out told Shinji on day 1 that either they stop the angels or everyone everywhere dies, full stop.


"You have no clue what's going on and you've never done anything like this before, ever. If you fuck up the world dies."

I can't see that going well. She should have given him more of an infodump later on, though; sometime around when Ramiel shows up maybe (a la 1.xx).
Last edited by Bagheera on Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Xard » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:50 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:Really it's all Misato's fault for being too soft on Shinji... she should have flat-out told Shinji on day 1 that either they stop the angels or everyone everywhere dies, full stop.


Yeah, Rebuild thankfully changed this

View Original PostSaVaGe wrote:Come to think of it, I hated Rei when she smiled at Shinji, simply for the reason that she had imagined Gendo first. I wanted her so badly to smile because of/for Shinji himself.

I strongly prefer the Rebuild version of that scene.


but...she's just remembering the one previous instance someone had smiled at her like that (so it's "ahh so that's how smile is" kind of realization more than anything). It's not like she's smiling at Gendo in her mind or something.
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Postby NemZ » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:08 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:"You have no clue what's going on and you've never done anything like this before, ever. If you fuck up the world dies."


More like:

"Shinji, I know you probably feel overwhelmed and confused by all this, but you have to understand that either we stop that thing here or it's going to kill everyone and everything on this planet, starting with us. If I could get in the cockpit instead of you I would, but unfortunately only a very specific group of people have the ability to make it work and we believe you're one of them.

Now nobody is going to force you and I'm not going to lie and say there isn't a good chance you'll be killed if you go out and fight that thing, but you have to understand that if you don't try there's no hope for any of us, anywhere, to survive the day. Please Shinji, give us that chance. Give yourself that chance."
Rest In Peace ~ 1978 - 2017
"I'd consider myself a realist, alright? but in philosophical terms I'm what's called a pessimist. It means I'm bad at parties." - Rust Cohle
"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize that half of 'em are stupider than that." - George Carlin
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Postby SaVaGe » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:28 pm

View Original PostXard wrote:but...she's just remembering the one previous instance someone had smiled at her like that (so it's "ahh so that's how smile is" kind of realization more than anything). It's not like she's smiling at Gendo in her mind or something.


Ah. I had always interpretted it as her smiling at Gendo in a sense..I have read it interpretted both ways. I've always taken it the first way, for some reason.
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Postby Xard » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:37 pm

Keeping in mind how Anno felt he had fucked up Rei's arc with that scene by having her and Shinji succesfully, truly communicated at the scene it's hard to see how "smiling at imaginary Gendo" would be feasible. This is first time I've heard anyone interprept it like that to be honest. The Gendo flashback comes at the moment when Rei is pondering on Shinji's words "you should smile" and after the flashback the camera pulls kind of "ah, I understand" realization trick common in anime. If I remember Rei even blinked and/or gasped there, further keys that usually signify realization when done like this.

There's enough time pass between that moment and her smile anyway to make it somewhat strenuous :shrug:
ran1: Oh gosh this sentence gave me an internet boner. You're so tsundere.
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And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
Eva Yojimbo: You really are the Otaku equivalent of a Catholic and Jew rolled up into one giant dakimakura of guilt.
Gob Hobblin: Sanctimonious, subtly racist, vaguely misogynist, somehow says something while at the same time saying...nothing, really, at all....

Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby Bagheera » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:33 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:More like:

"Shinji, I know you probably feel overwhelmed and confused by all this, but you have to understand that either we stop that thing here or it's going to kill everyone and everything on this planet, starting with us. If I could get in the cockpit instead of you I would, but unfortunately only a very specific group of people have the ability to make it work and we believe you're one of them.

Now nobody is going to force you and I'm not going to lie and say there isn't a good chance you'll be killed if you go out and fight that thing, but you have to understand that if you don't try there's no hope for any of us, anywhere, to survive the day. Please Shinji, give us that chance. Give yourself that chance."


That's really not meaningfully different from what she did say, though. Gendo had a lot of fail at the beginning there, but Misato did okay. Ritsuko too, far as that goes.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.


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