3.0 as Anno's criticism of classic NGE fans

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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3.0 as Anno's criticism of classic NGE fans

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Postby Angel of Will » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:52 am

One way that I enjoy interpreting 3.0 in isolation of its impending sequel, is thematically through the lens of it anticipating the negative reaction it will receive from fans of the original series.

Just as the viewer might long for the 'good old days', Shinji does so as well. Just as the viewer is shocked and confused by what has happened in the 14 intervening years (which is roughly the amount of time between End of Evangelion and 3.0), Shinji is as well. He looks up at the unchanging stars and takes comfort in them, but Kaworu criticizes him for it. In Shinji's room, Kaworu tells him that there's no point replaying the past over and over again (in the original series, there was a scene on the psychological train when Shinji's subconscious/Leliel told him that he can not survive by clinging onto and reciting his few good memories like a kind of rosary.)

Perhaps as the original series was Anno's plea for viewers to let go of fantasy retreats, 3.0 may be his plea for fans to let go of Neon Genesis Evangelion (at least as a fantasy retreat in itself).
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:16 pm

Wouldn't surprise me if that's the case with what Anno's trying to say. In NGE/EoE, part of his message was "go out and live your life" but it backfired due to Eva's popularity. Him saying it in an alternate way through 3.0 might be more effective, we'll see.

Thanks to the time-skip/its effects, 3.0 got people talking a lot more than 1.0 or 2.0 did!
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Postby Angel of Will » Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:35 pm

Imagine if he features new love and hate mail in 4.0, like he did in End of Eva; Then with however he ends it, the viewership turns on itself in classic "Pretentious fans vs. Mouth-breathing haters" fashion.
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Postby Chuckman » Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:19 pm

This sort of reading is why I mildly dislike Anno's ideas (I was going to say 'dislike him', but that's not very fair, I haven't met the guy) and choose to read what's on screen rather than worry about what Anno specifically meant to say.

Frankly, this rings a little paranoid. The film challenged me and made me uncomortable, so Anno must hate me.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:47 pm

^ Well, even then if you take into account what Anno’s trying to say, he’s not really criticizing fans at all. It always seemed odd to me that Anno calls Shinji his “self insert,” yet the rest of us see Shinji doing something bad and immediately read it is a negative commentary on us. The two ideas aren’t congruent. If Shinji’s doing something bad or unpleasant then it’s Anno commenting on himself, not commenting on his fans.

Anno does say that he considers his fans while he made the original Eva. But that’s not the same thing as commenting on them, negatively or otherwise. Any time I see Shinji making a mistake, I read it as Anno commenting on his own missteps in life. Any time I see Shinji cry, I read it as Anno commenting on his own sadness. Any time I see Shinji masturbate, I read it as Anno commenting on his own thoughts on sexuality. His consideration of his fans, I think, goes only as far as how he ultimately decides to present to us on film these thoughts he’s had of himself, trying to figure out the best way to get us to understand where he comes from.

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Postby Chuckman » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:30 pm

The scene to which you refer there is so painfully aimed at the audience that the only way it could be more aimed at the audience is if it was intercut with Russel Crowe.

People suggest Eva is a targeted criticism of the audience because parts of it undeniably are. The problem is when people want to apply that to everything.
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Postby Angel of Will » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:38 pm

Under that interpretation, FreakyFilm, it might be a comment on Anno's original intent to remake the series with these films. In shattering such an intention, it also rubs up against the viewers' expectations. (Not that I'm distancing my own opinion so much from my post.) This is assuming though that Anno didn't set out to veer the plot in a new direction from the get-go. Even in 1.0, he did include conspicuous alterations in key plot elements, even if they were in the background.

Edit: To Chuckman, my interpretation was read straight from my first viewing (before the film was even over), and encouraged by the complaints the film received from fans. So while I'm not just reading meaning 'from the screen', I don't regard myself was reading too much into it. Interpretations are necessarily relative, so what seems like a natural meaning to one will come across as putting square pegs into circles to another.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:54 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:The scene to which you refer there is so painfully aimed at the audience that the only way it could be more aimed at the audience is if it was intercut with Russel Crowe.

It can only be applied to the audience if the audience has a history of obsession similar to Anno’s. Not everyone in the audience is as obsessive over their fandom as Anno was. In fact, since EoE had a mix of viewers who both had and hadn’t seen the films (hence, in part, the reason Death was made; it helps catch up the folks who hadn’t sent he TV series yet, as well as refreshing certain themes in the minds of those who have), so a lot of people in the theaters watching EoE weren’t even along for the previous NGE TV episodes. This message can’t be directed at them if they weren’t obsessed enough with anime to even watch the most popular one airing in 1995.

That being said, GAINAX is a studio that holds itself as being built by otaku creating materials for otaku. The only reason why Shinji’s little masturbation scene would be directed towards or mirror in some way a large portion of the audience is only because Anno managed to attract a large portion of people who were struggling with the same things he struggled with. Misery loves company, after all. Shinji is always Anno’s self insert, though the levels at which he may appear like the audience varies depending on the on-screen events and the audience member viewing them.
Last edited by FreakyFilmFan4ever on Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Ray » Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:02 pm

It's obviously a criticism of fans! It has to be! Things are way too specific to not be! He gave us everything we'd asked for in the original series with 2.0. only to purposefully pull the rug out from under us with 3.0.

We wanted Eva without the Angst, classic NGE fans wanted to see our (and Anno's) audience surrogate succeed, beat the bad guy, and maybe get the love he's deserved and been denied since the original series. The classic fans thought all the problems the original series had were going to be fixed.

Instead, Anno basically said 'nope' and put Shinji so far into the pit, it's all but impossible for him to ever come back, made him guilty of a HUGE crime, and every person who supposedly loved him has now rejected him (I''m oversimplifying this of course, I know there is more too it than that).

Why? Because we wanted NGE the way we thought it was supposed to be, instead of the way it needed and he always intended it to be.

Shinji can (Not) redo. and by extent neither can we. He's been denied, and will likely forever be denied everything he's ever wanted from the world of Evangelion, and by extension so have the fans of the originals series. Why did Anno do this?

With 3.0 obviously he is saying to his fans that he's doing something completely different with both the setting and the characters, and that like Shinji, we all need to get over it and accept that.

We're never getting what we wanted out of the original series or the Rebuils, never having all our questions answered, and we just need to accept that and learn to live with unanswered questions, and subverted expectations.

Just like Shinji needs to learn to live with the fact that, Rei and Kaworu are dead, he's guilty of killing the planet, and that all his old friends are either dead or may as well be completely different people.

Thats the way I see it at least.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:47 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:He gave us everything we'd asked for in the original series with 2.0
You mean the installment that has been described as "Eva for people who didn't like Eva"?

I would concede the thesis that sum of the twists and turns in NTE might be intended to dislodge the obsessives -- but not that Q was when it happened all of a sudden.
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Postby ChaddyManPrime » Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:54 pm

^
We're already well aware of how you see it broham

Actually I wouldn't mind Anno scolding us again, it'd probably be the most interesting thing he did since EoE...And Q was the most interesting thing he's done since EoE.

Though I find NGE being called the good ol' days for Shinji a tough pill to swallow.
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Postby Chuckman » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:10 pm

If you think Q was written to a calculation of the audience's reaction, you're barking up the wrong tree.

It is weird, though, how NTE so far mirrors the plot arc of 90% of the fanfic out there.
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Postby Sachi » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:12 pm

@Ray: Speak for yourself. Like Tines just said, 2.0 pissed off a lot of classic Eva fans for those very reasons. I personally enjoyed 2.0, but as an extension of 1.0; otherwise, it didn't really do much for me or catch my attention the way Q did. Q really piqued my interest in the new franchise and has me really excited to experience the full tetralogy. Then again, I'm a twisted self-loathing bastard, and I love seeing the character I relate to most get sent through the grinder; he'll come out better for it.

A work like Eva is naturally inclined to work as a back and forth dialogue between Anno and his audience; with NTE he seems to be hyper-aware of this, which is why the contrast between 2.0 and 3.0 was so effective.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:18 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:It is weird, though, how NTE so far mirrors the plot arc of 90% of the fanfic out there.
I always got my wrists slapped -- by Reichu in particular -- whenever I likened NTE to fanfic.
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Postby Ray » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:21 pm

Meh, compared to most Fanfic, 3.0 is actually quite tame.

Do creators these days rip their fans off by plagiarizing Ideas from their fanfic?
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Postby ElMariachi » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:22 pm

There was so many fanfics of Eva that it's nearly impossible to do something new with the franchise that wasn't already in a fanfic.
And yet Anno still managed to surprise everyone!
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Postby Chuckman » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:27 pm

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:I always got my wrists slapped -- by Reichu in particular -- whenever I likened NTE to fanfic.


They're the same.

Starts off slow, similar to NGE. A few tweaks or changes are introduced. Goes through the Ramiel battle. After that, the writer starts getting bored with rewriting the series point for point. The uninteresting/weird stuff is cut out (Jet Alone), the relationships are amped up and cliche romance tropes start worming their way in. The angels are reordered, deleted or condensed. Zeruel is the end boss. There's a shocking twist. The fanfic turns into the writer's favorite genre with Eva characters.

In any case a comparison of 2.0 to fanfic is inevitable. "Eva for people who don't like Eva" is pretty much the mission statement of the Eva fanfic community.
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Postby Sachi » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:38 pm

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:I always got my wrists slapped -- by Reichu in particular -- whenever I likened NTE to fanfic.

I forget if it was you that originally said it, or if you only sigged it, or if you had nothing at all to do it with, but I remember from around the 2.0 release a particular quote saying something along the lines of "Anno saw everybody else making Eva fan fics, so he decided to make one of his own!" :lol:

I personally like to view it simply as an alternative interpretation of the setting, characters and themes, whereas most fanfics are self indulgent and poorly written shipping fests... oh wait a minute. (jk) Rebuild is different because many of the core individuals responsible for the original are heavily involved this time around as well, Anno in particular, and well, copyright is in his favor; the original creator of anything copyrighted has the right to create changes or make derivative works of the original material.
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Postby Angel of Will » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:51 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:If you think Q was written to a calculation of the audience's reaction, you're barking up the wrong treee.


If by wrong tree, you mean this forum, it was my understanding that those who hated Q were as plentiful as those who liked it.

If on the other hand, you mean tree by Anno, I think he'd have to be way less intelligent than he's made himself out to be to not predict a large segment of the original audience would dislike the changes.
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Postby ElMariachi » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:54 pm

For me, whatever the intend for Q is will only be revealed on the light of FINAL.
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