Terminal Dogma: Essays on Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Magami No ER [ANF]
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Postby Magami No ER [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:12 pm

Any of your (general term here) works being accpeted would certainly make this thing worth reading for me, personally.

Originally posted on: 12-Oct-2006, 04:30 GMT

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Postby Ornette [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:12 pm

Magami No ER wrote:Any of your (general term here) works being accpeted would certainly make this thing worth reading for me, personally.
agreed++

..

Originally posted on: 12-Oct-2006, 05:46 GMT

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Postby Dr. Nick [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:12 pm

Leader Desslock wrote:I think that anyone who doesn't contribute an essay (accepted or not) to the project voids all right to criticize or ridicule it when it's finally released.
I wonder, does the system really work that way? For example, literary critics bash all kinds of anthologies without even trying to submit their own writings to them. Or is this a faulty comparison?

But this is not to say I don't like the idea: I'm a little skeptical towards the outcome, but I still believe most of the texts will be worthwhile to read. 70% of good stuff and 30% of dennisredmondisms would be a good result, IMO.

Personally, I'd love to see some essays concerning the following topics:
- The final two episodes: what caused them to become what they are? (compiling all the known facts in one neat package)
- Making Stuff Up: misinformation and Evangelion fandom (multiple different approaches are possible here)
- Cultists and Space Aliens, or your standard sci-fi plot devices at work (this or course shares ground with the whole "influences to and from" topic)

Dunno how "academically-worthy" these ideas are, though...

Originally posted on: 12-Oct-2006, 21:45 GMT

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Postby CanonRAP [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:12 pm

Dr. Nick wrote:Personally, I'd love to see some essays concerning the following topics:
- The final two episodes: what caused them to become what they are? (compiling all the known facts in one neat package)
- Making Stuff Up: misinformation and Evangelion fandom (multiple different approaches are possible here)
- Cultists and Space Aliens, or your standard sci-fi plot devices at work (this or course shares ground with the whole "influences to and from" topic)
Protoculture, Interventionism!

[/filler]

Originally posted on: 13-Oct-2006, 03:23 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:12 pm

Dr. Nick wrote:- Cultists and Space Aliens, or your standard sci-fi plot devices at work (this or course shares ground with the whole "influences to and from" topic)
Cripes, that's essentially what I jabbered about at Otakon '06, right there. (But without the 'influences' stuff, because I don't watch anything.)

Originally posted on: 13-Oct-2006, 12:55 GMT

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Postby Quiddity [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:12 pm

aaronc1 wrote:That would certainly be interesting to do. Not only what influenced Evangelion, but what it in turn influenced. You can also adress the issues of creativity of narrative works. There is that huge argument of creativity and originality. I would very much like to see you restructure your arguments in your previous writings into a larger article. It would be a must for the volume.
Indeed. Thanks for the encouragement. The way I see it, the way I'd like to tackle things is to take a detailed look at what influences structured Eva, how they influenced it, and how that led to its success. Then turn around and discuss Eva's impact on those that came after it, not so much conceptually (because as all should know, I largely disagree with the extent of Eva's conceptual influence on other shows), but its impact of 'opening up the field' to more shows of the same genre to successfully tackle more mature areas. And I can't leave out the whole censorship atmosphere that it created. Image

Originally posted on: 15-Oct-2006, 19:35 GMT

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Postby MDWigs [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:12 pm

My original analysis of the concurrent nature of the endings comes in at about 3500 words. Perhaps it is time to revise it? Image

Hello everyone. I am back lurking these forums after reading the news of the new Eva project. Life is as hectic as always, but you may actually see my post from time to time!

Originally posted on: 23-Oct-2006, 22:30 GMT

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Postby Sharp-kun [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:12 pm

Maybe time for me to come out of lurkdom....?

Originally posted on: 23-Oct-2006, 22:46 GMT

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Postby Crazy Penguin [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:12 pm

Holy crap you're alive!

Originally posted on: 24-Oct-2006, 00:59 GMT

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Postby HeWhoPostsStuff [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:12 pm

I can almost hear the "Wiiiise frum you gwaaave!" guy from Altered Beast...

Originally posted on: 24-Oct-2006, 01:57 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:12 pm

The Scarlet PimperwigsMDWigs wrote:Hello everyone. I am back lurking these forums after reading the news of the new Eva project. Life is as hectic as always
That's alright -- nothing much is happening here. (Monkey's board is getting way more action.) Nice to see you're alive, compadre!

Regarding the new project -- just between me and the Internets, I'm Image.

But I have better things to fret over. Like old, neglected projects. Image

Originally posted on: 24-Oct-2006, 20:09 GMT

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Postby Quiddity [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:13 pm

Working on my 'eva influences' essay, maybe you guys can help me with a few things...

-Any thought out there whether the use of classical music in Eva (Beethoven's Ode to Joy or whatever its official name is, Bach's Air II, etc...) was influenced by 2001 A Space Odyssey's similar usage of well known classical music? I'm not aware of any anime influences for this, but with the usage of the monoliths in Eva as obviously from 2001, was thinking whether this was another possible influence.

-Any info out there on whether Gainax's non-Gunbuster earlier works had influence on Eva? Like Nadia, Wings of Honneimise, etc...?

Thanks!

Originally posted on: 25-Oct-2006, 01:50 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:13 pm

Quiddity wrote:-Any info out there on whether Gainax's non-Gunbuster earlier works had influence on Eva? Like Nadia, Wings of Honneimise, etc...?
Uhhhh... Sadamoto based Shinji's design on Nadia.

From what I'm aware, there is, at least, a lot of Nadia in NGE. The best way to find out would be to watch it (which I've yet to do).

Originally posted on: 25-Oct-2006, 13:36 GMT

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Postby Magami No ER [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:13 pm

I have, ('twas an excellent series), and I certainly noticed many visual cues both in various scenes, gianax re-used sound FX, and character designs besides Nadia(especially with regards to Ntsobw's own rather creepy...ish scenes toward the ending of the story, one in which even Eva-02 post...harpized...came to my mind.
Image
(From right to left-Rather like a Shinji mixed with proto-Rei, a chibi proto-Asuka with sort hair, and a Kensuke/Asuka mix. With the token animal. =P)

I remember one character in Ntsobw in particular, Electra, once pulled *spoilers to those who do wish to watch this in the future* SPOILER! (highlight to read): out a gun on Captain Nemo, and she looked strikingly like Ritsuko on the DEEP END in EoE. The former's tale ends up much happier though.
And of course, once she sports shorter hair later in the series, she looks like Ritsuko even more so, sans beauty mark.
Image
But I'm willing to bet she's a natural blonde.

Hasn't Dr. Nick/someone seen this series...by any chance? I remember someone once making a comment on how Captain Nemo's personality was was altered from the orginal Jules Vernes novel considerably.

Originally posted on: 26-Oct-2006, 08:41 GMT

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Postby Dr. Nick [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:13 pm

Magami No ER wrote:Hasn't Dr. Nick/someone seen this series...by any chance? I remember someone once making a comment on how Captain Nemo's personality was was altered from the orginal Jules Vernes novel considerably.
Thewayneiac made that comment and Shin-seki posted this link:
http://www.thesecretofbluewater.com/

Originally posted on: 25-Oct-2006, 23:32 GMT

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Postby thewayneiac [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:13 pm

Magami No ER wrote:I remember someone once making a comment on how Captain Nemo's personality was was altered from the orginal Jules Vernes novel considerably.

Dr. Nick wrote:Thewayneiac made that comment and Shin-seki posted this link:
http://www.thesecretofbluewater.com/
Yes, and it's true not only of Nadia, but of every show I've seen with Nemo as a guest character. In the original, he is a villain who seems to have a grudge against the whole world. He goes around in his submarine sinking ships and can only be called a mass murderer. However, for some reason the writers of shows like Nadia always insist on making him into a good guy.

This strange phenomenon is probably akin to the bizarre romanticization of pirates in popular literature & movies. In real life a pirate was the worst thing you could be; they were the terrorists of their time.

But, if it works it works, I suppose. I like Nadia, & I like shows about pirates....

Originally posted on: 26-Oct-2006, 00:16 GMT

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Postby JFaulkner [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:13 pm

I am not sure why people are building this book up as "academic."

The real interest of Evangelion for me is how it shows the inner psychic realities that we very often choose to neglect, and how facing up to these can be a tortuous experience (which serves as a catalyst for the viewers to get their backsides off their sofas and look at themselves in earnest). For this reason, I think a Jungian framework would be ideal. However, what exactly does Brian Ruh or his editorial helpers know about Jungian psychoanalysis? If it really is to be academic, in a scientific journal sense, then any submissions should be reviewed by a competent reviewer in the field. In the sense of Jungian psychoanalysis and its relation to Evangelion, I am not sure if the expertise in Jung is actually there.

Thus, initially, I was enthusiastic about submitting an essay on what Jung can tell us about the meaning of Evangelion - to the point of taking two evenings off to draw up a 5000+ word framework. But I now have serious misgivings about having work reviewed when the capacity to understand is under a huge question mark. I already work as an "academic researcher," albeit in the "hard" sciences, and know that even reviewers who have expertise in one field have a habit of neglecting work which involves another field (prevalent in inter-disciplinary research), due to a lack of appreciative understanding of the underlying premises and experiences. And given Jung is notoriously prone to being misunderstood, the problem is only exacerbated. I do not have a problem with "defending" my work, but the nature of a submission-review process is that you do not really get that chance.

Therefore, I will still work on this Jung-Evangelion essay, but will not submit it to Brian Ruh. However, I believe this essay, in its current state, already spells out the main ways in which Jung's work can illuminate the meaning of Evangelion - I would be very surprised if any other essay would deviate significantly in this respect. I suppose the non-response of a query I had about essay style sent to Brian by e-mail was also a minor factor.

MDWigs wrote:My original analysis of the concurrent nature of the endings comes in at about 3500 words. Perhaps it is time to revise it? Image
I read your argument when you posted it at AnimeBoards (what seems like light years ago), and agree with the overall message that the two endings have the same fundamental meaning. Correct me if I am wrong, but it appears you have used a primarily linguistic approach, drawing out similarities from passages of speech. This is OK, but I think a more complete approach would also take into account how the symbolism used points towards the same fundamental meaning. This is where Jung can really help. For example, the rebirth theme is evident from both endings (new earth created), and Jung equates the rebirth process to a "psychological enlightenment" - or individuation as he called it. There is little doubt that Shinji achieved a new world perspective in the series ending, but it is less clear he did so in the movie. However, the movie is steeped in symbology reflecting individuation. For example, a familiar Jung motif used to symbolize individuation is that of the divine syzygy, which involves the contrasexual union of two divine figures, one female and one male. This is evidently represented by Kaworu and Rei. Another symbolic theme represented in both series and movie ending is the journey towards an undifferentiated being (Instrumentality/Complementation) and then emerging from this back towards a differentiated state, but with an enlightened view. In Jungian terms, this is the journey into the unconscious, then remerging into consciousness, with a stronger conscious appreciation of the unconscious. The "Good-bye mother" message is again indicative of individuation, because the unconscious is associated with the all-devouring mother, and separation from this is essential to achieve a strong individual will (incest myth-Rei on top of Shinji-Goodbye mother). These are just outlines, and can be fleshed out. [this is just the beginning of what Jung can tell us in the entire series and movie]

Also, just a few other comments: you state that Shinji "rejected complementation" - but is this necessarily the case? If complementation is the mass fusing of souls into an undifferentiated being, then in both series and movie, it has happened. It is a process which has happened, and although Shinji did free himself allegorically from this mass fusion (not fusing, which would imply the process is still going on), can he reject a process which has already happened, and which has had its effects manifested? Could the freeing process be a new process altogether, which comes after complementation (in which case Shinji initiated a new process). This fits into Jung's individuation concept - you must go through the undifferentiated state (unconscious), and then afterwards emerge again - in other words you must accept the effects of complementation, and then a new process kicks in to achieve the re-emergence - those who do not achieve the new process are stuck in the state generated by complementation;

Perhaps there is also a need to address the issue that although the fundamental meaning behind series and movie is the same, there maybe differences on another level. For example, in the movie, Asuka is seen to actively share Shinji's new world (possibly just to get an Adam-Eve motif), whereas in the series ending, she is a passive observer - does this mean that the movie ending explictly shows that Asuka also achieved the same level of enlightenment as Shinji [by the way, Shinji smiling in one ending, and strangling Asuka in the other does not imply a change in the fundamental meaning - Shinji and Asuka in the movie were both confronting the part they hide from others in their unconscious; in Shinji's case, one aspect is the fervent anger directed at Asuka due to her inability to empathize with him, and in Asuka's case, one aspect is the kind feelings she holds for Shinji (this is actually alluded to when Asuka sees Shinji hiding under Kaji, her object of interest on a superficial level); thus, we see those actions temporarily when they were just emerging from their unconscious (this also fits in with Asuka's "How disgusting" being directed at herself) - like waking up from a dream].

That's my two cents anyway, happy to discuss more if you or anyone else wants to.

EDIT: the brackets in the second to last paragraph were in the wrong place - nothing else was changed

Originally posted on: 31-Oct-2006, 16:08 GMT

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Postby MDWigs [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:13 pm

I read your argument when you posted it at AnimeBoards (what seems like light years ago), and agree with the overall message that the two endings have the same fundamental meaning. Correct me if I am wrong, but it appears you have used a primarily linguistic approach, drawing out similarities from passages of speech. This is OK, but I think a more complete approach would also take into account how the symbolism used points towards the same fundamental meaning.
It seems like a lifetime ago since I was active on AnimeBoards. I am now not only in a different country, on a different continent, but in a different hemisphere!

With regard to my approach to the analysis of the endings; you are most correct, I did focus primarily on the specifics of the text itself rather than other thematic or symbolic similarities. My reasoning for this is largely based upon the history surrounding this issue, and five years on I think I can be quite candid about it. Though I set out ostensibly to construct an objective, analytical piece, the reality is that I was waging a war of propaganda against EvaOtaku and his (then very widely accepted) view that the endings presented very different conclusions. To this end, I needed an argument that was direct, easily understood, and which left little room for ambiguity. The language used in the series and movies possessed such striking similarities that it seemed sensible to choose it as a basis for my analysis. Looking back now all these years later I think it achieved its objective.

As a complete analytical piece however, I agree it is very narrow in its focus. Perhaps now it is time to expand it to present a more rounded view.

Also, just a few other comments: you state that Shinji "rejected complementation" - but is this necessarily the case? If complementation is the mass fusing of souls into an undifferentiated being, then in both series and movie, it has happened. It is a process which has happened, and although Shinji did free himself allegorically from this mass fusion (not fusing, which would imply the process is still going on), can he reject a process which has already happened, and which has had its effects manifested?
I see complementationin this context as a conclusion, which results in a ?TANTAI? or perfect single being, rather than a process. On the road to complementation the barriers between people need to be broken down (i.e. human kind must lose all physical form) and this is implied or directly shown in both endings. However, to quote the End of Evangelion Theatrical Program, ? The objective of the Instrumentality Project was the artificial evolution of humankind into a "perfect single being". This single being means a life form which ends as a single individual, and is used to differentiate from "colony" -- a life form comprised of multiple individuals.?. Shinji specifically rejected this conclusion; he understood his loss of physical form (it had happened to him before). The process itself wasn?t foreign to him (though he may not have understood how or why it was happening), however the result, the dissolution of Shinji?s individuality, was not what he ultimately wanted. As Shinji discovered that his life had value, so did he decide that the conclusion of complementation was not what he desired. In the movie we see his decision with dramatic effect as Giant Rei collapses, Eva-01 bursts free, and the Black Moon (the focal point for all of the released souls, the seat for the eventual ?perfect single being?) explodes. In my opinion, if ?complementation? as an end result was accepted, all of the souls of humanity, including Shinji?s, would have been merged into one within the Black Moon to form the ?TANTAI?.

Perhaps there is also a need to address the issue that although the fundamental meaning behind series and movie is the same, there maybe differences on another level. For example, in the movie, Asuka is seen to actively share Shinji's new world (possibly just to get an Adam-Eve motif), whereas in the series ending, she is a passive observer - does this mean that the movie ending explictly shows that Asuka also achieved the same level of enlightenment as Shinji
I agree, that though the ?nature?, and thus ultimate meaning of both endings reach the same destination, they may not necessarily follow the same exact path. Now as to why Asuka specifically is there on the beach with Shinji in the end, I am going to leave that question open for tonight!

Originally posted on: 31-Oct-2006, 21:32 GMT

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Postby JFaulkner [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:13 pm

MDWigs wrote:It seems like a lifetime ago since I was active on AnimeBoards.
Those were the days .... actually, they probably weren't.

MDWigs wrote:Though I set out ostensibly to construct an objective, analytical piece, the reality is that I was waging a war of propaganda against EvaOtaku and his (then very widely accepted) view that the endings presented very different conclusions .... Looking back now all these years later I think it achieved its objective.
It looks like it did achieve its objective, since on EvaOtaku's website, it now says his view is "unpopular." I am slightly surprised he is clinging onto his view - e.g. one of the arguments on his website is a quotation from a Newtype Filmbook description, with little indication of how reliable this source is (i.e. who wrote the thing, and why did the author refer to Shinji as "Complemented").

MDWigs wrote:Perhaps now it is time to expand it to present a more rounded view.
I think symbolism is more important in the EoE, given the TV ending had less action. Personally, I think a Jungian framework is necessary and sufficient to explain the symbols used, and this aspect has been grossly neglected (well on the Internet at least) in the past. I thought if you were going to submit something to Brian Ruh on the concurrent nature, something about symbolism should be mentioned (although at the end of the day, you get to decide what to write), even if I have doubts about his credentials in this area.

MDWigs wrote:I see complementationin this context as a conclusion, which results in a ?TANTAI? or perfect single being, rather than a process. On the road to complementation the barriers between people need to be broken down (i.e. human kind must lose all physical form) and this is implied or directly shown in both endings. However, to quote the End of Evangelion Theatrical Program, ? The objective of the Instrumentality Project was the artificial evolution of humankind into a "perfect single being". This single being means a life form which ends as a single individual, and is used to differentiate from "colony" -- a life form comprised of multiple individuals.?. Shinji specifically rejected this conclusion; he understood his loss of physical form (it had happened to him before). The process itself wasn?t foreign to him (though he may not have understood how or why it was happening), however the result, the dissolution of Shinji?s individuality, was not what he ultimately wanted. As Shinji discovered that his life had value, so did he decide that the conclusion of complementation was not what he desired. In the movie we see his decision with dramatic effect as Giant Rei collapses, Eva-01 bursts free, and the Black Moon (the focal point for all of the released souls, the seat for the eventual ?perfect single being?) explodes. In my opinion, if ?complementation? as an end result was accepted, all of the souls of humanity, including Shinji?s, would have been merged into one within the Black Moon to form the ?TANTAI?.
I guess we agree that Shinji celebrated his individuality in both endings (the first time I saw both endings, I thought this was obvious, since Shinji is shown as an individual being on "his" new earth). So you see complementation as a result, i.e. "Third Impact -> choice between complementation or individuality", rather than "Third Impact -> complementation -> choice to get out of this state and achieve state of individuality". One reason why I thought the latter might be the case is that it seemed as though in the movie, Shinji might have already been part of this "TANTAI":

"Shinji:
Ayanami... where are we?

Rei:
This is the sea of LCL... The primordial soup of life.
A world without AT Fields... without your own shape.
An ambiguous world where it is impossible to tell where you end and other people start.
A fragile world where you exist everywhere, and thus exist nowhere.

Shinji:
Have I died?

Rei:
No, everything has just been joined into one.
This is the world you have been hoping for... your world.

Shinji (releasing Misato's cross from his left hand):
But... this isn't right. I don't think this is right.

Rei:
If you wish once more for the existence of others, the barriers of the heart will separate everyone once more...
And the fear of other people will begin again.

Shinji:
That's all right..."


Shinji appears to be in a world without AT Fields (in particular Rei says that Shinji must wish once more for the existence of others, suggesting there previously existed others, and now they don't exist, and would only exist once more if Shinji wished it), suggesting he is part of the "TANTAI" - i.e. he has been complemented. I suppose, looking back at the EvaOtaku argument after many years, this view would also deal with Episode 26 of the TV series, when it says on the screen:

"It was 2016 A.D.
The thing that people lost, in other words, the complementation of the mind has begun. However, there is not enough time to describe the entire process. Therefore, we will examine the complementation of the mind of a single boy named Ikari Shinji."


i.e. Shinji has been complemented, but that does not mean he has to stay that way - he is shown to reject it at the end of the TV series. Can your "Third Impact -> choice between complementation or individuality" framework deal with the above two factors?


MDWigs wrote:I agree, that though the ?nature?, and thus ultimate meaning of both endings reach the same destination, they may not necessarily follow the same exact path.
I think the main thing is that Shinji achieved his strong individual will to live, and how that pulls over to our lives ("stop running away from ourselves!"). The idea of a different path is interesting. Perhaps it is also interesting to look at how the way the drama unfolds differs in both endings, not just for Shinji, but for other characters such as Asuka (who I think, although sharing fundamentally the same psychological state as Shinji, needed a different path towards individuality).

MDWigs wrote:Now as to why Asuka specifically is there on the beach with Shinji in the end, I am going to leave that question open for tonight!
I would suggest that the obvious reason is that she is there for the same reason as Shinji - she chose the path of individuality; quite how is not explicitly shown, but we might be able to infer this from the analyses on Asuka in the series ending and EoE (which is linked to the rest of the series).

Originally posted on: 01-Nov-2006, 23:20 GMT

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Postby Ornette [ANF] » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:13 pm

for what it's worth, there was a heated debate not long ago about concurrency on EMF here, starting on page 2 or so

Originally posted on: 01-Nov-2006, 23:35 GMT


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