My Kinda-Sorta Eva Magnum Opus...

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Eva Yojimbo
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My Kinda-Sorta Eva Magnum Opus...

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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:00 pm

Forward

I wrote this essay in November '07, 9 months after my first experience with NGE. I've debated for months about whether to post this or not. I hadn't planned to, because it was something that was very personal for me. In fact, the only person whom I showed it to was a friend who was going through a rough time, and I thought maybe it might help him. It did, and he's bugged me to post it, but I've been very leery and even forgot it for the last several months. It was the "Love and Eva" thread which sparked my memory of my state of mind when I wrote it, and I thought that now I was finally divorced enough from it and myself then that I could post it without too much embarrassment.

Evangelion: My Neon Genesis
A Journey Through Darkness to Find Light


Introduction

This is intended to be a magnum opus: A complete-as-possible essay of my NGE experience to this point. I only request that those reading forgive whatever youthful naivety I express; I assure you it comes from a genuine place, and I can also assure that I usually don’t take myself this seriously.

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.” C.G. Jung

Neon Genesis Evangelion* (NGE), roughly translated, is New Beginning Gospel. As time has gone by since my first viewing a mere 9 months ago that seems like a lifetime I’ve realized more and more the importance behind the title in how it relates to countless aspects of both the series and life in general. Genesis, particularly, is not just a beginning, but the beginning. Well, what is the beginning? While that may be a question for science and religion, personal Genesis should be obvious. But what can we learn from our birth? Not much unless you can remember that far back. Beyond that, there’s the Genesis of personality and ego - shaped by the dueling forces of ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’. These subtle persuasive elements are always busy at work, crafting a person in the process. We grow and develop completely oblivious to the effect these elements are having on us. But somehow, despite our ignorance of these factors, our own personality is born. Before we know it, the core “us” has been shaped and all of the major factors that have made us “us” have been pushed to the realms of the unconscious. Despite the fact that most every conscious decision we will make will be influenced by these elements, more often than not we still remain oblivious to them, and we never realize why we are who we are.

“Who am I?” is a phrase that has become so cliché that you’re likely to hear it in even the worst of fiction. It’s a question that’s haunted philosophers and common man alike. But the truth is that most stop at asking the question and never move towards answering it. Perhaps the problem is that most simply don’t know and don’t know how to find out. Perhaps many are just complacent regarding the limited state of understanding they’re in. Comfortable being merely part of the whole, and are not in need of individualization. For those that do make a move towards a kind of self-realization, there will inevitably be those moments that elevate our consciousness through realization. And these moments tend to stick out less as moments, but more vividly as a kind of new birth.

You may wonder what NGE has to do with any of this. Well, beyond the fact that it asks this very question lies a deeper relevance. This relevance could be described as a kind of mirror. It’s been a long known fact that great art often acts a mirror to those experiencing it. These works don’t just reflect the thoughts and emotions of the artist, but those viewing it as well. Why is this important? It’s because these act as a guide or roadmap of our existence. Through them we are asked the right questions, and aided in finding the right answers. Of course, with any work, previous experience with the subjects and one’s own level of interest in such subjects will have the biggest effect on how profound an impact it has. And I do consider myself lucky as I don’t believe I could’ve found a better guide than Anno-san’s masterpiece.

Me and My Eva

Evangelion came at a time in my life when I had just exited a period of personal torment. And while I would rather not go into the details, I would say that this hell ate up more than 1/3 of my young life. Emerging from it was like waking up to find yourself adrift at sea, with water as far as you could see on every side and only a small raft as a means of transportation. I looked around, and didn’t know how I got there; Almost like exiting hell only to find yourself completely lost, alone and afraid. I went from a prison to a maze, with my only consolation being the hope that I could find my way out of the maze, while I had to be released from the prison. Moreover, I realized that who I had been had become so foreign to who I was that I had trouble even recognizing the two as the same person.

Enter Neon Genesis Evangelion. A DVD I had bought years ago, and ignored due to dealing with more pressing issues. Out of boredom one day I decided to watch it. I put in the first episode, and my journey began. NGE started out so simple. In fact, it started out so cliché that I could barely distinguish it from any other mecha anime I’d seen. Slowly but surely NGE worked its charm and revealed its depths. Shinji obviously wasn’t your typical hero, and I immediately was drawn to him as a character that resembled so many teenagers I once knew, not the least of which was myself. Then, came Asuka; at first, brash and annoying, but still likable. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was almost a perfect amalgamation of these characters. I was Shinji; quiet, afraid, so full of self-doubt and trepidation. I was also Asuka; so driven to be the best, to prove my worthiness at something. If NGE would’ve left these characters at this base level, I might have been entertained, but likely never moved.

It was ep. 14 when I realized there was much more than meets the eye to the series. Rei’s monologue was hypnotically beautiful. Obviously, there are examples of this kind of poetic meeting of dialogue and visuals in anime and elsewhere, but somehow, Rei’s did not feel pretentious. Instead of being an arrangement of pretty words and shallow philosophical ramblings, it seemed to be a genuine attempt at beginning a search, or a journey towards something. Ep. 15 changed the tone of the series from light drama to a darker one. Introducing a truly adult and, more importantly, very human relationship. But 16 could be where I recognized that this had the potential to be a real experience with Shinji being swallowed by an Angel, and introduced to his self. It was certainly surreal, but also had an inherent logic in its necessity.

Beyond depth, episodes 18 and 19 proved to be two of the most powerful works of dramatic visual fiction I’ve ever witnessed. If I had been merely intrigued by the characters before, I was now beginning to feel everything they felt. I attribute much of this to Anno who effortlessly put us in these extreme situations with the pilots, with emotions attached. Shinji screaming and pleading “Move! Move! Move!” echoed in my memory long after the episodes ended. But the series doesn’t release its grip there. Ep. 20 becomes a beautifully complex, spiritual inner journey as we’re again invited to join Shinji on his search for his self. Ep. 21 provides even more context and opportunity for emotional connection, as the back stories are woven into the series with an adept touch.

Ep. 22 and 23 returns to the dramatic force of 19 and amplifies it to an even higher level. Asuka’s mind rape is genuinely disturbing; a moment that left me shook afterwards. The Angel invasion of Rei in 23, her inner conversation, and sacrificial death goes by so fast that I barely had time to catch my breath. And just as the series slows and allows us room to breathe, we are introduced to one of the single most shocking moments in all of film as the truth behind Rei’s existence is revealed in another iconic, haunting image. Ep. 24 introduces the last angel with a surprise twist in the form of a human. The relationship between Kaworu and Shinji proved to be an extremely complex one, surprisingly so given the amount of screen time, and Kaworu’s death at the hands of Shinji the catalyst for both the final two series episodes and film.

The final two series episodes will forever be a favorite experience of mine. Despite the fact that they abandon the well established narrative, it felt perfectly logical that these characters would be exploring the depths of their psyches and those around them. There are more questions asked and truths revealed in this finale that resonated with me louder than anything I’d experienced in fiction before. It’s only been in retrospect that I’ve realized just how important these episodes were at revealing not only the series’ brilliance (in its heavily layered allegories) but in their revealing of concepts that began to aid in my recovery. And I still greatly appreciate the audaciousness of these episodes and how passionately Anno’s messages come across.

All of this brings me to The End of Evangelion. To this day, 9 months later I struggle to find the words to express my feelings for that film. It is one of such overwhelming power that it still overloads my conscious to the point I could likely only relate my feelings if I were linked to another via an Instrumentality-like bond. It is still the only experience I’ve had in art that wasn’t just moving, not just profound, but so powerful that I felt (and still do) physically exhausted when it finished. I completed my first viewing utterly clueless to what had happened in terms of the narrative, but content in the realization I’d experienced something truly special. Among that feeling were others that, at the time, I would’ve had no way of describing.

It is only appropriate that End of Evangelion ends not with an ending, but a new beginning. The end reveals that NGE was not a journey towards a conclusion, but a journey towards a realization; towards the death of old paradigms and the rebirth of oneself and the world of reality around them. Moreover, it’s only logical that this rebirth is not depicted as a painless one, but one that produces arguably more pain and confusion than that which the previous state held; a rebirth that leaves the comfort of familiar ways behind to embrace the uncertainty of a new and frightening path not yet taken. But unlike that previous state, the rebirth holds one advantage, and I liken it to exiting hell to enter the maze in that now exists a hope that you can, of your own volition, find the light to guide your way in the right direction. It is also fitting that such an ending causes fits to those who demand resolution. But how appropriate is it that NGE begins with the familiar, and ends in a place that is so unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and dangerous to make us long for the comfort of that which came before?

Me and Myself

It’s only been with time that I’ve truly begun to understand what I experienced. To understand the journey Anno took me on. It still amazes me that a simple work of fiction could have such a profound effect on someone, but I’d be lying if I said it was any less. A logical question would be “Why was it so important to you?” I know that as of now I still haven’t completely intellectualized my experience. In some respects, my relationship with NGE is still so fresh in my mind that I’m still only relating to it on a purely emotional level. In other respects, I feel that NGE has become so much a part of me that it’s now hard to imagine life before it.

NGE allowed me to connect my current self to that person I knew so long ago. It provided a means by which to understand not just Shinji and Asuka’s personalities, but my own. To realize the inherent contradictions that exists in us all. The contradiction between what our unconsciousness tells us we need, what we want to do, and who we are, and our consciousness that tells us what we should do, and who we should be. It made me realize the confusion, the pain, and the sickness that arises from this. How we build up walls – personas - lest others realize what horrible monsters lie in depths of our humanity. How we become so comfortable within these walls that the mere thought of tearing them down terrifies us. However, NGE made me realize that the wall must crack before spiritual progress can be made. We cannot live in such seclusion forever. And staying true to life, it indeed shows that this journey and process is one of such pain and hard ship that many might choose to remain completely ignorant even if given the choice.

However, I could not remain ignorant after NGE. My journey after NGE could be described as a logical process. One that began as a want to understand the work, developed into wanting to lend my own insight into that work, and has now become about understanding myself through that work: and, appropriately, this has proven to be the hardest part. But all of this realization comes from the fact that Anno was able to connect with me through this work to begin with. There could not be a better title for the upcoming Eva film than “You Are (Not) Alone”. Many who never feel the oppressive solitude of depression so strongly that it’s as if you’re sitting alone in darkness while the shadows eat away at your soul may never understand the power in knowing that in that darkness, you aren’t alone. One quote, that might best describe the power I felt after the series could be that from a wonderful novel called “The Man Who Was Thursday” by GK Chesterton:

“Through all this ordeal his root horror had been isolation, and there are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one. That is why, in spite of a hundred disadvantages, the world will always return to monogamy.”

There have been countless attempts made to define NGE; its message, its meaning, its purpose. I would be foolish if I tried to do so in a concise manner. But I would liken it to a puzzle of Rorschach. You will definitely spend your time putting the pieces together, but once completed you’ll realize that it still requires interpretation. It still requires input on the part of the viewer to shed light on what it means. One aspect I find so appealing is that everyone seems to hold pieces to that puzzle. It never ceases to amaze how even relatively new fans of the series can lend great insight. And perhaps this is where I speak of NGE acting as a mirror, because at some point it doesn’t become about what NGE itself means, but what it means to you. While every interpretation might not be truth on the objective level, it certainly is on a personal level. Many do not like this process, and it is indeed harder to be asked to invest yourself in a work - to explain it using your own experiences. And it could be due to the fact that NGE cannot be answered without asking the why’s to the why’s to the why’s that we must first come to a new realization of things that lie deep within ourselves.

One continual criticism from fans is that NGE is pretentious, and perhaps its fans even more so than it. I can only defend it by saying I think what separates it from so many of its contemporaries, within the genre and thematically, is that despite its strong philosophy, it never feels like it’s merely telling us how it is. I never felt as if I was preached to in NGE. It felt more like it was searching itself. Anno seems to be saying “Through this I am going to be searching for my answers and you are free to come along and find your own.” It’s perhaps this method of inviting us on the journey of self-realization that differentiates NGE from most other series that apply philosophy either in a superficial manner or as a means by which to talk down to the audience. With NGE, we are not peons for Anno to convert, but equals who are invited to share in his journey, thoughts, and experiences.

One of NGE’s main themes is how we use others to fix ourselves. But ultimately, this method is one that can’t possibly succeed. We can’t wait for others to give us what we want. We must take the initiative to understand ourselves. Not only is it a painful process, but it’s one that might not have a conclusion. We may never truly understand ourselves, much less the world around us. But what’s important is that we never embrace complacency. That we are always aware of the choices we make, and are constantly evaluating why we are making them. NGE went more toward shaking me into a state that I could only describe as being awake than anything I’ve ever experienced. It could be said that I’m even being pretentious with this essay, but that will be for someone else to judge. Ironically, I feel the more I learn, the more ignorant I am. The only time I was content in my knowledge was when I knew nothing. However, I do recognize this is just a very personal attempt to exorcize the metaphorical demons that have haunted me since my viewing. If it comes across as self-indulgent, and irrelevant to others, particularly those who’ve already been where I am through NGE or something else entirely, then that’s a risk I’m willing to take. Because I feel it needs to be said:

NGE wasn’t just entertainment to me. It wasn’t even art. It was a rebirth.

Conclusion

I would be delusional if I said that NGE will or even should have as big an impact on everyone as it did on me. The saying “you just had to be there” is applicable, but not as much in the physical context, but mental one. NGE is a work that you have to be at the right place in life to watch. Watch it too early and its deeper elements will escape you. Watch it too late, and often you’ve grown too cynical to be effected by themes that are best pondered at an age where personal change is easier. But if you are willing to be shaken out of your comfort zone and make that step towards self realization, NGE is not only a work that might affect you, but one that might forever change you.

I guess the logical question that remains to be asked is then “Who am I?”. I’ve perhaps come to the realization that it’s a question that doesn’t need to be answered, not conclusively anyways. It’s not important that we answer it to conclusively define who we are, but it is important that we attempt to answer it nonetheless. Why is it important to try an answer an unanswerable question? It could be said that there are levels of understanding. And even if we never reach the zenith of self realization, we can certainly get closer. And the closer you get, the more you move towards understanding yourself, and perhaps the world around you.

This essay is both a tribute to a series that, despite my strong bias I still believe to be a genuine masterpiece of film due to its seemingly endless depth and complexity and honest, poignant portrayal of the human condition, and a most sincere thanks to Anno for sharing this work with us. As I sit here, struggling to think of an appropriate ending to this tome, I can only revel in just how much of a catharsis this has been: “This” as in NGE itself, and “this” as in writing a 3500+ word essay that few will read and less will understand. But if this does nothing more than provide a means for which to expunge 9 plus months of emotions and thoughts then it will have been worth it. I will surely look back and kick myself for forgetting to include this or that, but hopefully in my mentally drained state I have achieved on a much smaller level what Anno achieved, and that was to share a powerful life experience with others. And if even one person reads this, relates, and realizes they are not alone then I have, in the smallest sense, returned the favor for my own realization of that same truth.

Afterward

One thing that came out of me writing this is I think I was finally able to understand what drives artists to create. There are times when something intangible stirs inside you and you'd go crazy if you had no outlet for it. The above was my outlet. It kinda brings to mind The Sopranos, in an episode where Tony has a breakthrough in his psychiatry session he says "Sometimes what happens in here is like taking a shit", to which Dr. Melfi replies "I like to think of it more like childbirth". Both are entirely apropos, and I think sums up the process from conception to me finally writing this.

What's so odd is that I don't remember writing it, I don't even remember thinking about it. It just came out. It does sound a bit odd now, because even though many of the sentiments still resonate, they do so in a very ethereal, transient way. If it comes off as too wide-eyed romantic and terribly juvenile and naive, then I'm guilty as charged. Much of it seems that way to me now. But it was entirely honest, so I hope that's worth something.

My friend after reading this talked to me about the "the more I learn, the more ignorant I feel" line, which he wrote me saying "because knowledge just inflates, while wisdom humbles". I guess I should take that as a compliment, though I don't feel the least bit wise. But the last year plus has gone by with months seeming like years. I would never have thought a person could change so much in such short periods of time. And yes, NGE was the catalyst for it all.

Ok, I'll just wrap it up here. It will probably go unread, but it's for things like this that I terribly wanted an open forum in the Wiki. So people could express what NGE meant to them and not be restricted by anything. I know first-hand how necessary this is, and I hope even if V and others don't agree with me they can at least understand my feelings.
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 IrkenEvangelion » Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:14 pm

Wow... Just, wow... Not really much you can say after that. But thank you for sharing that. It reminds me so much of how I felt and how I do feel towards this, just, indescribable piece of work.
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Postby Squirrel Ninja » Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:56 pm

Good stuff Jimbo. Time for fun with smilies


:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
:clap: Congratulations :clap:
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

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Postby Xard » Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:56 pm

Out of curiosity, how old were you Yojimbo when you saw this?

Oh, and it was great read and showed strong similarity to me. Though mine was somewhat different case

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Postby Shiro » Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:59 pm

That was an excellent essay, and summarizes my personal thoughts as well. NGE really drags up people who feel the same and affects them all. And you summarized it perfectly.
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:59 pm

Xard wrote:Out of curiosity, how old were you Yojimbo when you saw this?
I was 21, I'm almost 23 now (in 3 months).

Thanks to everyone else.
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 Xard » Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:00 pm

Well, Evangelion only had one purpose to begin with

To give gigantic kick on people's asses

And judged by thousands and thousands of people NGE has touched so deeply it was major success in this front

From this point of view it is completely secondary if majority condemned it as self-indulgent rubbish - it did was it was ment to do

Same with Tintin in Tibet - even if it had been critical and commercial catastrophe (like that could've even been possible) it would've been success already

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Postby RyojiKajiLynch » Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:48 pm

I'm not sure what to say. You might not remember this, but we once talked about Eva and how it helped us both in dealing with our depression on IMDB. At the time you said you were working on this article. Now here I just stumble over it.

It’s beautiful. There are so many conflicts in the self that it can seem overwhelming at times. People can be such fragile things. Eva is a work that affected me profoundly when I first experienced it many years ago. I don’t know what would have happened to me otherwise. It always sounds silly to say that a peace of art has really changed your life. People say “well what was your life like before hand.”, but if it changes the way you look at the world around you, and how you live your life perhaps it’s not pretentious to say so.

I see my self there. I have to be honest. I've been regressing recently and finding myself in the same dark head space I was in before. Reading this has helped me just as it has your friend. I'm very grateful for this.

There's such a frailty and honesty to Anno’s artistic expression in Evangelion. He doesn’t preach simple answers like some Dr Phil type figure. He just presents his feelings cinematically threw image and sound and invites us along for the journey. Life doesn’t come with a clean cut universal answer. We have to explore the desolate and lonely landscape and find meaning on our own. I can honestly say Eva has helped me in dealing with my problems in a way therapy never has.

This is going to sound so cheesy, but I have to say it. Your article has brought tears to my eyes. It’s so deeply honest and true to some of my own soul searching that can't help it.

Thank you.
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Postby IrkenEvangelion » Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:49 pm

RyojiKajiLynch wrote: This is going to sound so cheesy, but I have to say it. Your article has brought tears to my eyes. It’s so deeply honest and true to some of my own soul searching that can't help it.

Thank you.


Too true. Same

I can almost agree with you in every way in that essay. We've all gone through things and problems, and most people take them out in different ways. I just watch Eva and reflect my life, my problems, what I think is wrong, and I always seem to find the solution in it. So once again, not just good job on writing this, but thank you. Reading that has undoubtedly reminded me of what Eva means to me in my life.
Last edited by IrkenEvangelion on Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Squirrel Ninja » Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:57 pm

RyojiKajiLynch wrote:It always sounds silly to say that a peace of art has really changed your life.

It sounds even siller to say a cartoon changed your life. I think that's why anime fans are so big on the concept of art, it gives them an unneccisary level of justification. It's the sort of thing that's usualy reserved for religion, first hand experences, or sometimes books. It's the way we think people perseve us, so it's difficult to confess that sort of thing unless you know they've already had a simmilar experience. But I'm speculating about the lot of you, so I digress.

RyojiKajiLynch wrote:There's such a frailty and honesty to Anno’s artistic expression in Evangelion. He doesn’t preach simple answers like some Dr Phil type figure. We have to explore the desolate and lonely landscape and find meaning on our own. I can honestly say Eva has helped me in dealing with my problems in a way therapy never has.

It's the way it has to be. Off course that's the sort of thing we can read in a philosophy text book, like what Jimbo was saying it's the whole emotional element of it that shows you these things and allows them to experence them for yourself. It's simultaniously helpful and compleatly without purpose.
Good post Kaji.

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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:28 pm

RyojiKajiLynch wrote:You might not remember this, but we once talked about Eva and how it helped us both in dealing with our depression on IMDB. At the time you said you were working on this article. Now here I just stumble over it.
I do remember you RKJ and our IMDb talks.

A sincere thanks to RKJ, Irken, and Squirrel for all the kind words and heartfelt posts. It's posts like yours that make me feel good about posting the article, even though it still feels a bit embarrassing to share something so personal. Now I know where the whole "artists feeling naked" metaphor came from. :blush:
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^ 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 Kurochi » Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:29 pm

I completely agree with everything everyone has said before me. It brought tears to my eyes, EVA has truly changed my life, even though I have only seen it relatively recently. This essay perfectly describes my feelings of EVA, and I can relate completely with you. I am thankful for you for adding this, it is a really good essay, and it too has impacted me in a way. For that, I thank you, and I wish you a good day, and a good life.
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Postby terminus » Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:15 pm

wow, Eva really is on a new level.

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Postby CorporalChaos » Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:26 am

Wow, that's a brilliant essay, and it seems to ring through with what I experienced with the series. Great job. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Postby UrsusArctos » Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:02 am

Impressive. I admit that the series appealed to me more because it was distinctive than because all the characters were so messed up- although it did give me the comfort that I wasn't the only one in the world with problems.

I don't quite identify with the series as a whole any longer (I've been "fading away" from it for a long time) but I do identify with Shinji and Gendo in particular. Anno was spot-on with their characters.
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Postby Agentomega » Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:43 pm

(Pardon me dragging up ancient threads, but I felt I just *had* to post on this one)

I must honestly say that when I first watched the series (it was the first REAL series I watched, excluding Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh, 'cuz we all know those don't count), I just thought it was really exciting. Perhaps even at that age, I was still too young to grasp the concepts. A year or two passed, and I watched it again (it was probably when I found out about Rebuild), and I realized that there was indeed something much deeper to the series, something that I truely needed (and still need) to contemplate.

I still haven't found my own answers yet, but I'm certain that I'll discover them in due time, but for now, I suppose I still doubt everything. I haven't watched it seriously since the most depressing events of my life (thus far), so perhaps during the last week of summer before school I'll spend my time contemplating it (the series) as well as my purpose. Upon reading this however, I did gain a little hope that I might actually find something meaningful, as everyone else has.
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Postby oOoOoOo » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:36 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:One thing that came out of me writing this is I think I was finally able to understand what drives artists to create. There are times when something intangible stirs inside you and you'd go crazy if you had no outlet for it.
I often have trouble explaining my "artistic" side to well-adjusted people, so it was really nice to read this essay, and see someone understanding the process. ^_^ Thanks for sharing!
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:08 am

Wow! How did I miss the last two posts? Thanks to Agentomega and oOo for the comments.
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Postby Oz » Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:26 am

That was a great read. Thank you very much, Jimbo!

Eva Yojimbo wrote:One thing that came out of me writing this is I think I was finally able to understand what drives artists to create. There are times when something intangible stirs inside you and you'd go crazy if you had no outlet for it.


Although I've watched the original show twice and EoE 4 times now and I knew about Anno's depression, I never really thought about that. When I started experimenting with Finnish poetry I just did it because it was interesting, but after a few poems it became a passion for me. Now when I get an idea for a poem (and also when I write one), I have that urgent need for outlet, and poetry seems to be the medium for me.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:36 pm

Words relevant to this tangent I put into the mouth of a character is one of my SF works

“Artists suffer because they have a fire inside that drives them to
create. If you have it bad, then unless you are lucky enough to be able to
get paid for what you create, then life in this economy of scarcity will be
hard. If the results are subversive of the status quo, and official
displeasure is expressed, all the more so.

“I know this, because I too have that fire, though only to a lesser
extent, so that I can bridle its incessant urgings. Some of it I can even get
paid for, the rest I have to fit in where I can. I have far more projects
lined up, that I could do, than I have the time and energy to accomplish.
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