Evangelion as Tokusatsu

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Evangelion as Tokusatsu

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Postby Tumbling Down » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:11 pm

Sometime recently, I thought to myself "a live-action Evangelion should be done with rubber suits." I don't know how much of Shin Godzilla's titular monster was CG and how much was real, but I know it was a combination of both, and that would definitely work for some of the more humanoid angels, like Sachiel and Israfel. I'm actually not sure any of the angels couldn't be done as practical effects.

Even if this hypothetical movie was American, is tokusatu really that much more niche/a risk than an anime-based movie that, thanks to the GITS casting controversy and subsequent flopping, likely has Asian-American actors that general audiences haven't heard of?

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Re: Evangelion as Tokusatsu

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Postby Chuckman » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:12 pm

LAEM will never be made, but if it is made, it should all be stop motion puppetry. Or the Evas should be people in suits, and the Angels stop motion/go motion.

Not in a cheesy way, with the appropriate editing, camera, techniques, and effects to make them the right size. I'm thinking using actors in suits to portray the Evas the way they put the Iron Man armor in Robert Downey, Jr.

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Re: Evangelion as Tokusatsu

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Postby Reichu » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:36 pm

You really can't get any sense of giant-sized or exaggerated proportions by using people in suits. Eva cosplays can be impressive, far as craftsmanship goes, but they're never going to be menacing. You know it's someone in a costume, not the gargantuan clone of an alien god. With the rotoscoping in EoE, they could still fudge enough of the details that most viewers didn't notice anything amiss, but with live action you wouldn't have as many liberties.

Unless by "suits' you're talking about the Stan Winston kind, not the sentai kind. Then you have a bit more flexibility to portray something "exotic". Still the problem of full-body shots, though.
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Re: Evangelion as Tokusatsu

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Postby FrDougal9000 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:36 pm

Reichu wrote: With the rotoscoping in EoE, they could still fudge enough of the details that most viewers didn't notice anything amiss, but with live action you wouldn't have as many liberties.


This is sort of unrelated, but it's bugging me for years at any rate: where did this idea that EoE having rotoscoping come from? I presume by rotoscoping, you mean these scenes animated by Mitsuo Iso, but that's not really rotoscoping.

Iso uses a style of animation that he's dubbed 'full limited', where he draws key frames as 1s (1 frame out of 24 per second), 2s (so 12 framers per second, and so on), 3s or even 4s. He jumps back and forth between the number of frames per second to create a kind of movement that, within the context of this scene, gives the Eva units a sense of weight and presence that isn't seen anywhere else in the series (beyond other scenes animated by Iso, of course).

Rotoscoping, on the other hand, traces over live action reference as accurately as possible, disregarding the fact that most things in real life/live-action don't look or move anything like most things in animation. This usually results invoking the uncanny valley effect, as human characters make movements or expressions that seem totally unnatural when translated directly to animation. And sure, a few people find Unit-02's design in EoE to be a bit unnerving to look at, but that doesn't seem to be a result of poorly-considered rotoscoping. I did a fairly short video discussing rotoscoping in further/better detail a while back, so I'd recommend watching that to get a better idea of what I'm rambling about.

Besides, why would Iso or other animators need to rotoscope? They're good animators; we've seen how good they can be when doing explosive action scenes, or quiet character moments (this scene in Episode 21, animated by Tadashi Hiramatsu, is my favourite piece of animation in the entire series). It's not like with some of the Ralph Bakshi films, where rotoscoping was used because Bakshi's best animators had retired and most of the newcomers weren't very good.

Anyhow, the point I'm trying to make is that Iso's scenes in EoE aren't rotoscoped, but are animated in such a way that they feel real. Though if there is actually proof that there was rotoscoping done, I'll happily take that humble pie in the face.
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Re: Evangelion as Tokusatsu

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Postby Reichu » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:38 pm

My bad, I shouldn't have phrased it as an established fact; got sloppy. The origin of the idea was an attempt to explain why the Evas underwent such a radical redesign for EoE. Both 01 and 02 have nearly "man-in-suit" proportions, a far cry from the Evas' original, almost preposterously lanky appearance. (The NTE design compromises between original and EoE versions.) I thought that this change didn't make any sense from an aesthetic perspective, but what about a practical one? If the Evas look more human, then it would be hypothetically easier to animate them for the extended, complicated action sequences in 25'.

But if it's a shit explanation, then I guess the next best thing would be that Anno actually wanted the tokusatsu look for the Evas. Still wouldn't explain why going theatrical would prompt such a radical (and incredibly dopey) change, though.
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