SF Debris reviews Evangelion 1.11, and gets completely lost

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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SF Debris reviews Evangelion 1.11, and gets completely lost

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Postby Cody MacArthur Fett » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:11 am

For those of you that don't know, SF Debris is an Internet reviewer who gives a critical eye to visual entertainment in science fiction and fantasy, most notably Star Trek. (Site link. / YouTube link. / TV Tropes page.) His reviews are sometimes positive, sometimes negative, but always entertaining and heartfelt in his analysis. Recently he started reviewing animation in addition to his live action stuff, and the first request he got after My Little Pony was Evangelion.

Well, months later he's finally getting down to reviewing the first Rebuild movie, and in contrast to every single one of his other reviews from Star Trek: Voyager to Ghost in the Shell, where he tries to study the work as much as possible before making the review, he's going into this completely blind. The results are, of course, extremely amusing to watch.

The review can be found here: http://sfdebris.com/videos/animation/evangelion1.asp

If the site isn't working you can try reloading the page several times at different times, or you can just skip right to his Blip TV channel: http://blip.tv/sf-debris-opinionated-reviews

Trailers for reviews can be found at his YouTube channel, where you can also leave your comment about the full review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_eLvSclODU

So . . . Thoughts?

EDIT: Added YouTube trailer link.
Last edited by Cody MacArthur Fett on Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SaltyJoe » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:08 am

I got T-shirts older than this kid!

Heh, that was a good one.

I have to say that if that if the reviewer's first thought upon seeing Shamshel is cuttlefish instead of flying dong, Eva is just not for him, period.
Last edited by SaltyJoe on Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby transcendent12 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:15 pm

Whisky bottle farm lol.
Let us know when his 2.22 opinion comes through ^^

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Postby Jayfive » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:18 pm

'this is the WKLR traffic copter, looks like traffic is a standstill on the border of the river styx'

This is going to be a review crossed with Rifftrax. I think im going to enjoy this :D

Edit: Heeeey, He called the 'religious symbols = there to look cool' thing all by himself. This guy gets my vote :)
Last edited by Jayfive on Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby BornIn1142 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:24 pm

So far the action and the visuals have been a lot more impressive than the character-stuff.


Oh indeed?

Anyway, there isn't really anything I didn't expect here. I think we all know that NME's raison d'etre of appealing to newbies is a bit of a failure. That said, while Chuck is my favorite Internet reviewer and I appreciate his insights, I am currently mulling over how best to formulate a response defending the parts worth defending and condemning everything else compact enough to fit in one or two YouTube comments.
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Postby SaltyJoe » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:25 pm

View Original PostBornIn1142 wrote:I think we all know that NME's raison d'etre of appealing to newbies is a bit of a failure.

Is it, though? The ideal new viewer for these movies is Japanese, male, thirteen or older, most likely already exposed to (even if not exactly a fan of) anime and Japanese pop-culture in general. At least if we go by Anno's mission statement (link here):
To support the fans that support animation, we felt that a work that would appeal to middle and high school-aged men, who quickly grow away from Anime, was necessary.

Every other demographic, including pretty much every person outside Japan, is ancillary in determining whether the movies succeed in their goal of drawing in new viewers from this pool of intended neophytes or not. Now I don't know how the movies are doing over there within the set of people in question, and I would wager that neither does anyone on the forum, so I think it's safe to say that it's somewhat unfair to dub the endeavor a failure in this regard.

Reviewing NME with fresh eyes still seem like a fun experiment, and i won't deny that i got more than a few chuckles out of the videos. Particularly, the way he highlighted bits from the sequence where Shinji is getting coaxed into piltoing Eva-01 really made me see how melodramatic and downright corny the dialog can get (and before anyone points to the good old days, this bit was lifted from NGE mostly ad verbatim).

Also, since he wasn't impressed at all with the opacity of the general plot, inconsistency in tone, teenage nudity and the incest subtext between Shinji and Rei, i predict that he's going to push 2.22 over the cliff.
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Postby JoeD80 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:48 pm

It's odd that Anno said that; in the proposal it says middle school and *elementary school* students (primary school for Brits) are the target audience. (and there's nothing about gender).

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:52 pm

Eh. There's a million of these things across the internet & pretty much none are better than the rest.

... though knocking Shinji's vocal performance at one point is a pretty flat issue to make since he's watching a dub made by people who were not involved with the actual production.

Whatever. It's cute. And I've completely forgotten it .... now.

PS. Where was the humor exactly? Yes humor is subjective & all that but I really can't believe there are people who follow this guy & are interested in his opinion.
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Postby Warren Peace » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:03 pm

He starts out saying that he can't figure out which Asian country the film takes place in. The movie may not be responsible for his confusion. The reviews would be better if he didn't treat them like he's hoping to get a gig writing for Conan.

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Postby Jayfive » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:18 pm

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote: Yes humor is subjective & all that but I really can't believe there are people who follow this guy & are interested in his opinion.


Ive never heard of the site until today. I found him funny in parts but occasionally felt like he was trying too hard.

I was disappointed that none of his Red Dwarf review appear to work.

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Postby ehh123 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:21 pm

I chuckled when he called Gendo "Evil Abe Lincoln clone".
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Re: SF Debris reviews Evangelion 1.11, and gets completely l

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Postby Bagheera » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:40 pm

View Original PostCody MacArthur Fett wrote:So . . . Thoughts?


This? This is FUCKING FANTASTIC. I mean, it's a shame he watched the dub (his complaint about Shinji's monotone stems from that), but his critique of the story is 100% spot on. This is what JesuOtaku's review should have been: no dithering about philosophy or any of that bullshit, just brass tacks "DUDE YOU'RE USING A TEENAGER TO DEFEND HUMANITY AND YOU'RE NOT TAKING CARE OF HIM OR PROTECTING HIM OR ANYTHING WTF?!? Naturally he can't know that the whole point of the exercise was to break Shinji so completely that he'd accept Instrumentality (at least in the original show), but his reaction as a first-time viewer is completely compelling.

10/10, would watch again, will watch future installments.
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Postby Alaska Slim » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:11 am

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:PS. Where was the humor exactly? Yes humor is subjective & all that but I really can't believe there are people who follow this guy & are interested in his opinion.

His reviews of the Star Trek series have been spot on in my eyes. He's awkward here because, as he said, he has no familiarity with the material (which in this case is part of the fun).

But where he is on his home ground he strikes a pretty good balance between humor and insight, and sometimes all-out rants when Neelix becomes too stupid to comprehend (Or Janeway too sadistic to believe, and I think he's channeling some of that at Misato).

View Original Postehh123 wrote:I chuckled when he called Gendo "Evil Abe Lincoln clone".

And I realize now I've been thinking the same thing, or at least making superficial build comparisons. It's part of what I love about the guy, he shines a light on a lot of details that I personally tend to note only subconsciously, along with many others I didn't notice at all.
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Postby Warren Peace » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:42 am

If he reviewed Phantom of the Opera, there'd be a lot of "WHY THE SINGING!? PEOPLE GETTING MURDERED DO NOT SING!" and "HOW COULD HE LIVE UNDER THERE SO LONG WITHOUT A POLICE INVESTIGATION!?"

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No issue. Bl

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Postby Alaska Slim » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:03 am

View Original PostWarren Peace wrote:If he reviewed Phantom of the Opera, there'd be a lot of "WHY THE SINGING!? PEOPLE GETTING MURDERED DO NOT SING!"

He tends to judge works on their own terms first, then evaluates them in functionality. Here, to judge Rebuild on it own terms required ignorance, and that's exactly what he's done.

If he knew [i]Phantom
was part Opera, he would have taken that into consideration.
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Postby SaVaGe » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:26 am

Well, it was very understandable. I think most Eva fans were introduced in a very peculiar way, as a opposed just straight up diving in. And with no anime experience at all? Yikes.

Sidenote: That was hilarious. I want more videos like this.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:54 am

View Original PostAlaska Slim wrote:Here, to judge Rebuild on it own terms required ignorance, and that's exactly what he's done.
However, the home audience would already know about Eva -- and mecha in general -- on the level that an American would know about Star Trek or Star Wars; there are different levels of unfamiliarity with what's going on involved here. Though, for a devotee of SFnal media to not know much about anime stereotypes at broad level, even if just by osmosis, would involve being of a "don't know, don't want to know" disposition to a fair degree.

Heck, even out of the loop as I was at the time, I had a fair idea about teens getting to pilot their dad/grandad's home-built giant robot against alien invaders being a standard thing (even if I didn't know that episode 5 should have involved Shinji retreating from apartment 402 under projectile fire, with accompanying shouts of "Baka hentai!!").




Well, having watched these reviews, I can't help but notice the terrible USAn prudery at work; yet failing to point out the shots where Shinji is centre-screen surrounded by Misato's and Ritsuko's breasts which are conveniently at his eye level -- not even a comment about "the face is up here".
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Re: SF Debris reviews Evangelion 1.11, and gets completely l

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Postby Blue Monday » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:25 am

View Original PostCody MacArthur Fett wrote:Trailers for reviews can be found at his YouTube channel, where you can also leave your comment about the full review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_eLvSclODU

Trailers for reviews? What an age we live in...

I take it he wants more visits to his own site so he only puts tid-bits up on YouTube or something.
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Re: SF Debris reviews Evangelion 1.11, and gets completely l

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Postby Cody MacArthur Fett » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:35 am

View Original PostBlue Monday wrote:Trailers for reviews? What an age we live in...

I take it he wants more visits to his own site so he only puts tid-bits up on YouTube or something.

That's not the case at all. Chuck got hit with some copyright claims from the BBC and CBS, so rather than have his site taken down or get involved with some legal battle he instead started an entirely new site to host his reviews and took them all off YouTube, so many of the videos on his site on just reposts from his YouTube channel (like his "Threshold" review). The "previews" are basically just places for people to comment, and a way to tell people, "Hey, the review's up now!"
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Postby Alaska Slim » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:41 pm

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:Well, having watched these reviews, I can't help but notice the terrible USAn prudery at work;

Professor, is that about the nudity? As you've yourself noted several times the naughty-bits shots in 2.22 of emotionally vulnerable teenage girls. What's off-putting is off-putting, we can't expect SF to not respond to that since he doesn't know what the intention behind it is.

He's also let on that he's a teacher whose taught middle school students, so this would be even more off-putting to him than most.
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