[LAEM] The action arc? Who needs it?

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The action arc? Who needs it?

Postby The Eva Monkey » Thu Dec 02, 2004 12:10 pm

This is something I've been thinking since reviewing the materials of the Platinum booklets.

Episodes 1-6 are referred to as the first arc of the series, with Operation Yashima being the climax to the first arc.

Episode 7-12 are referred to as the second arc of the series, sometimes as the "action arc", with the descent of Sahaquiel being the climax, or perhaps even the invasion of Ireul into the Magi as being the climax to this arc.

As we all know, these episodes are merely "fun", "kick ass", and ultimately "forgettable", with very little advancing the overall plot of the show.

As we see in the manga, Sadamoto has chosen to completely skip over some events completely. And at other times symplifying or combining them into a single plot.

From the action arc:

Episode 7 (A Human Work): Never happens.

Episode 8 (Asuka Strikes): Summed up in several pages.

Episode 9 (Both of you dance like you want to win): As is (relatively).

Episode 10 (Magma Diver): Never happens.

Episode 11 (The day Tokyo-3 Stood Still): See Episode 12

Episode 12 (She said, "Don't make others suffer for your personal hatred"): The events of episode 12 occur before episode 11, however the events of episode 11 do not result in an Angel attack. There is some evidence to suggest that this is how these episodes were originally written, but separated into two episodes and reversed, putting the more action oriented episode later.

Episode 13 (Lilliputian Hitcher): Never happens.

Episode 14 (Weaving a Story): A few key elements integrated.

So as you see, Sadamoto for the most part just breezed through this section of the story, choosing only to leave episodes 9 and 12 in their complete form, with much of the other episodes discounted, or with their key elements worked into other sections of the plot.

And the odd thing is, even though a lot of story has been skipped, nothing has really been lost. What could very well have been 4 volumes of manga was compressed down to 2.

Keeping with the thought that the live action Eva project could very well lead to a series of movie, I'm hoping that the production chooses a course similar to this, as I feel that much of the "action" arc is ultimately forgettable. Even though it has some good action sequences, its really just an odd wasteland devoid of plot. There are a few important scenes, even episode 7 which is regarded as the most unimportant episodes has the first mention of the Eva Series. Moments like this could be clipped from their respective episodes and integrated into different parts.

Thoughts?
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Postby Dark FireStar » Thu Dec 02, 2004 3:12 pm

Hmmmm I think that its just his way of doing things and show us that somthings in life dont matter no matter how big or explosive they were its only the little things that count.
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Postby anatrok » Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:39 pm

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I was kinda hopping that they would keep Magma Diver, but it is kinda unneeded. Oh and the first arc was called the Prologue Arc.

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Postby Hexon.Arq » Thu Dec 02, 2004 7:40 pm

Speaking as one who has never felt any kind of affinity for the action arc whatsoever... ("B.o.Y.,D.L.Y.W.t.W." is the single most overrated moment in anything I've ever seen.)

While I do think this section of the series is the most disappointing, and Sadamoto did a decent job of breezing through it, I'd hate to see the potential interval of an entire movie (don't preach to me on cost; I've already calculated that, but this is a love-based statement) disregarded on the grounds that its original content didn't significantly advance the plot. If there is anything that falls short of meriting utter devotion in that part of the story, I'd rather it be bent, curbed, or replaced than untreated.

The action arc (or at least the narrative interval it fills) does hold a lot of potential as a film. On the one hand, I feel its relative ease is necessary for establishing a good flow of progression and contrast, even if not in the same concrete manner. (I've even gone over possible changes in the arc that precedes it. The ideas for this one vary day-to-day, but seldom disappoint.) On a much broader (and more dangerous) hand ("a" being that a matter like this is best dealt with perspectives as nummerable as the hands of Vishnu), a venture like that of a more action-oriented segment may be a necessary evil in establishing the broad fanbase that might be lost to the (hopefully) seriousness of the first film; that's what it did in the series, and while it may not have done it as well as it could have, there would be a mighty big hole if we went from "Asuka shows up - Shinji gets swallowed by an Angel." (BTW, Sadamoto probably only wanted to save himself time, which I feel is justifiable given the quality of his work; I still consider Iruel my favorite Angel, and maintain that in a movie franchise it or something like it would have to be implemented into the story in order to prevent a total subjection of the sans-anime audience to "big monster" syndrome.)

A license like this one, if it is intended to exceed what it has already wrought, is bound to get into some fairly trivial water. It would be refreshing if the predictably mad marketing campaign actually had something to deliver that was in sync with what it was selling. You don't need to have a bunch of empty battle sequences--hell, just have one at the beginning and one at the end; let the rest be half psy-drama/half-comedy.

Of course, having typed nothing but a few treatments, I can't judge what will work and what won't; only what feels right to me. It's obvious that time and money will be an issue, but to borrow a line from a movie I was made to write a 20-page paper on, "If you're gonna get wet, you might as well go swimming."

-----
EDIT

The Action Arc's function the story just hit me as something to point out. In the Hero's Journey (if you have never read Joseph Campell's "Hero With A Thousand Faces", then do so immediately), you have a stage where there is a Call to Adventure which is Refused. In Evangelion, the refusal is a bit belated, but what's important to remember is that the Opening Arc is mirroring this same Journey in its own subtle way--sort of a ready-to-go self-contained journey functioning as a Prologue. (Shameless plug of ideas: I've suggested some changes that I think would re-enforce its containment, as well as its function in a continuous Big Screen reinterpretation of any type.)

Anyway, the first film (if not severely over-condensive of the story) would conclude with A.) in the limited perspective of one movie, the hero (somewhat) completing the journey assigned to that film (deciding to stay in T3 of some interior volition, even if it is Fear based, as this is not the end of the story, though some Love must be invoved, and trust me, will be), and B.) the completion being less than internal, meaning that the ending is nothing more than the Crossing of the First Threshold. Film two, then, would be a large interval of Navigation. In this stage of the story, the Hero (AntiHero, being that this is Shinji, who, at least in my mind, is THE ULTIMATE Antihero [dire meaning inserted]) encounters Tests, Allies, and Enemies of the New (or "Special") World. This interval is VERY necessary for a story to work--any story that deals with inner conflict (that isn't a depressing, nihilistic indie ride, which I don't think Eva is, even if it is very existential). Here you have Asuka and Kaji entering, a renewed likelyhood of encounters and conflicts with characters that have already been introduced, and being that Eva is not doomed to be told from One perspective, the "greenlighted" introduction to the conspiratorial aspects of the story. (I feel they should be withheld to some extent from the first film, mainly because of the shakiness of the possibility for continuation; a film has to have a theme that feeds and is fed by everything, and conspiracy, if not resolved or destroyed at the end of the film [but allusion is okay. as long as that allusion presents nothing that seems immediately problematic], has no place complicating what it will not serve, ergo, you cut it out and hold it off until it is certain that you can introduce it and maintain the license's staying power long enough to resolve it.) Being that Film One would naturally conclude with the resignation to fate (Shinji stays), this would all necessitate its own individual period, free of the taint of overload from later events, as Shinji, and the audience, new and returning, will need time to Navigate the Special World. (Meaning that Touji dying at the end of Two may seem like a good way to save time, but it will ruin the story in a way that is quite unrealted to the bitchy and relatively unfounded idea that "Anno's anime is unfallible" (sic).)

I had a lot more to say going into this, but I feel a bit conquered by the cold in this hallway that I'm in. (It's, like, really cold.) Anyway, really think about the Manga; it may have saved a lot of time and spared us from cartoonish boredom, but is it as well-divisble as the series (or a re-arrangement thereof)? Things might change, but basic structure has a lot to do with the different formats of screen and print. The show's Action Arc may not be worthy of the big screen, but its purpose and function is imperative to both telling the story and smoothing out the overall marketability, and must therefore be preserved, even if in a totally new form.
Last edited by Hexon.Arq on Thu Dec 09, 2004 12:32 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby MAGI » Thu Dec 02, 2004 9:20 pm

Eva Monkey, I guess it makes sense. As long as the important things that were left out, there, are put back in other places that are in the movie, it should be sacrificable.
Still, at least leave some in, otherwise, something will feel a bit... missing.
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Postby Dave » Fri Dec 03, 2004 5:25 pm

Ok Hexon spill it; are you a producer, script writer, or actor? You must be something to come up with that post! (Pretty damn smart if you ask me.)
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Postby The Eva Monkey » Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:02 pm

Nah, Hexon's just a veteran of the TrivialBeing Live Action Eva forum.
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Postby Dave » Sat Dec 04, 2004 1:14 am

The Eva Monkey wrote:Nah, Hexon's just a veteran of the TrivialBeing Live Action Eva forum.


Some qualification that is. :roll:
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Postby MAGI » Sat Dec 04, 2004 8:49 am

It's no qualification. Just gives him some credibility.
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Postby Dave » Sun Dec 05, 2004 2:57 pm

I don't think someone could pick THAT much up at a forum...
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Postby Hexon.Arq » Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:23 pm

I didn't; this is academics at work, people. I can't say that I'm 100% right, as Evangelion does not completely conform to the Hero's Journey formula. The Hero's Journey is essentially a timetable of events that dictates the stages of evolution of the inner being of the chosen "Hero". His or her destination could be anything, in Shinji's case, it's... whatever you interpret it to be (I don't want to hang myself by declaring his final destination, or whether or not it was his absolute Need to arrive there). It's fairly easy to say, however, that scripts and treatments that don't work, as a general rule, are those that ignore aspects of this formula. It's just like music: not everyone knows the mechanics of it, but there is a definite shared sense of the difference between noise and music, even if generational gaps seem to declare otherwise.

What I can say, though, is that the first two arcs fit nicely into this pattern. How they fit is debatable if you're going to adhere strictly to the anime. Could Shinji's decision to stay (in my idealization, he has a different, more accomplished motivation for making this decision, which does not arrive at the same time as in the series) actually be the emergence from the Supreme Ordeal, placing us later in the formula? Theoretically, it could be, but with something as complex as Eva, it's hard to label what's on the line at any given moment.

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Postby KamaKase » Thu Dec 23, 2004 8:54 pm

"I still consider Iruel my favorite Angel"

Hurray! We're alike in yet another way.


Discussing the structure again? But there are many more long words being thrown around here.

Well, I don't think my opinions will fit in very well in this topic, but I shall say this:

I don't think it's as important to note what's going to be taken out of Eva in the film as it is to say what will remain exactly intact.

Which is, in all reality, going to be minimal.

"Essense of Eva" people...say it with me.
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Postby Hexon.Arq » Sat Dec 25, 2004 7:15 pm

"Essense of Eva" people...say it with me.


So, is your point that this is what is most important, or do you use this phrase in sarcasm? "Essence of Eva" is the most impossible thing to define here, much less capture.

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Postby Olin of Xephon » Thu Mar 24, 2005 8:45 pm

I have to agree with Hexon, while likewise my least favorite part of the series, the "action Arc" did a lot for the series. While the events were not as important, they bred a comfortable little enviroment we could better understand and identify with the characters.

This is why people like Comic books, you have your cast, and once that's complete, and the enemy has been identified you just sit back and watch them duke it out, the good guys always winning (at least for the most part) the bad guys always losing. It's just comfortable, and somewhat nostalgic.

During the action art we see the children just plain goof around, we see the techs working, and kicking back, you see Misato and Kaji play emotional tag with eachother but it's all kept pretty light hearted and...again, comfortable.

Now, it was just that very lull in the action (mentally and physically) that made the later episodes of Evangelion so powerful.
That nice group of people you were getting along with, that family that had been created on screen, and the overall feeling that, in the end, everything was going to be alright, was simply RIPPED away come Touji's near demise in Eva unit 03. It was a emotional gut punch, and everything went way down hill from there.

If Gainax had gone straight from intro to Apocolypse all at once, we (or at least I) would not have felt quite as attached to the characters, quite as comfortable.
It was establishing that false sense of escurity and then yanking it away from you that made what happened to all those characters so poigant.

Sadamoto did a excellent job of skipping to the POINT without complete cutting out all the more appealing or funny aspects of the cast.
However, the action served the entire work by just being so predictable, simple, and if you like, dull.

I think each arc could fit comfortablly in a movie. WHile the last arc and End of Eva should be divided into two.

First movie, we meet the characters.

Second movie, (Action Arc) we decide we LIKE the characters.

Third movie, Things start going horribly wrong.

Fourth movie, THE END.

A lot of people put down these episodes because they "serve no real point"
I have always thought they were some of the most important in the show.
If we see a group of characters, at ease, or safe. It means a lot more to us when their not.

Just my two cents.
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Postby Prons » Thu Jun 09, 2005 12:54 am

In my personal opinion, I think Evangelion had all the makings to be a good action oriented show, considering it would be quite difficult to carry over Evangelion's mental theme to a live action movie without dropping.

I personally feel the live action movie should just go with an action oriented pace, and therefore, should retell the so called "action arc".

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Postby Winslow Leach » Sun Jul 10, 2005 1:51 pm

I agree that the action arc should be shortened, though I don't think it should be deleted all together. After all, without it, how do we introduce Asuka. Asuka gets a real chance to shine in the action arc and episodes 8 and 9 (especially 9) are probably my favorite episodes in the whole series.

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Postby AuthenticM » Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:46 pm

Man, I fucking hope that somebody who's actually involved in the movie will read these forums. There's so much thought into it, it just has to help in any way.
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Postby The Eva Monkey » Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:59 pm

AuthenticM wrote:Man, I fucking hope that somebody who's actually involved in the movie will read these forums. There's so much thought into it, it just has to help in any way.

Or... they could just hire me as a creative consultant. =3
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Postby AuthenticM » Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:45 pm

The Eva Monkey wrote:
AuthenticM wrote:Man, I fucking hope that somebody who's actually involved in the movie will read these forums. There's so much thought into it, it just has to help in any way.

Or... they could just hire me as a creative consultant. =3

In all honesty, do you really think it could happen? I mean, you've spoken to Matt Greenfield a couple of times now; what if you asked him? Of all the Evangelion fans out there, you're probably the most suited one along with Shin-Seiki and Reichu.
In my case, I refuse to go easy on the ignorant, regardless of degree. Hitler was ignorant. Joshua C. Whatshisface is ignorant. To me, they're in the same category of ignorant and stupid people who should have been left in some isolated corner of the world where they couldn't bother anyone. --The Eva Monkey

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Postby Mundane » Sat Aug 26, 2006 12:27 am

anatrok wrote:Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I was kinda hopping that they would keep Magma Diver, but it is kinda unneeded. Oh and the first arc was called the Prologue Arc.


I don't really think they could take that one out. When Shinji saves Asuka you can kinda see it in her eyes that they might have a spark going.
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