Dr. Nick wrote:A bit off-topic, but do you consider NGE as a whole to be a symbolic/allegorical story?
I don't think it's any one thing. It strikes me as a work that was written with one focus, revised with another focus, produced with another focus, etc. I think you can see the different layers of focus in the final work, and that they don't always mesh very well. I used to decribe Evangelion as "a series that needed one last full edit", and I guess that's why.
I think that many of the characters, their personalities, their issues and their interrelationships are derived from the allegory of someone working through a mental problem. I don't think that allegory is necessarily the point of the entire show, however. I just think that problem served as the inspiration for that aspect of the show. Several of the Angels' abilities, I think, are also derived from thought problems related to that allegory.
There are other aspects of the show that I don't believe have much, if anything to do with that allegory, however. There's symbolism that doesn't have a function within that allegory. There's stuff thrown in just because it's cool, as homage to other works, as stereotypical genre elements, as different visual themes, etc. I think.
From what I can tell, the biggest hindrance most people have in deciphering Evangelion is that they try to put it all into one Grand Unified Theory. They start with the assumption that everything's intentional and related, then try to work out just what it all means. But some of it just doesn't mean anything at all, I think. I think some groups of it mean different things. I know some folks are fond of saying "it's a big puzzle to put together", but I see it more like three separate puzzles, with a few extra pieces from other puzzles thrown in at random. You can put the three major puzzles together and look at 'em separately, but if you try to force all the pieces you have into one grand puzzle, you're just gonna get a mess that doesn't fit well. At least, that's how I see it.
...and I think that's the most I've ever said on this forum about the meaning of Evangelion. Probably the most I ever intend to say, too.Originally posted on: 07.25.2006, 10:24 AM