Series Title(s) Discussion (Shin Seiki/Neon Genesis)

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Postby UrsusArctos » Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:05 pm

I suppose using "Shito/Apostle" and "Angel" has to do with the Japanese version of Angels and Apostles.

'Angel' comes from 'Angelos', or 'Messenger'. "Shito" means "Apostle" or "Divine Messenger". "Evangelion" meaning "Messenger of Good". "Tenshi", the Japanese form of an Angel, referred to by Zankoku na Tenshi no Teze, probably does not have the same connotations as a messenger of God, or the First Ancestral Race.

The whole Messenger part is the most important of all. All Angels and Mankind are messengers of the First Ancestral Race. (In effect, the old Messenger theory of Andromeda Strain revisitied)
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Postby CitizenGeek » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:14 am

NAveryW wrote:
CitizenGeek wrote:I always thought Neon Genesis Evangelion was "First Book of the New Gospel" .... ?
You heard that from Matt Greenfield, who was wrong. That's translating "Genesis" as "first book" instead of as "beginning", and he got the syntax wrong. Really, the best translation to English would be "Gospel of the New Beginning".


Yes, it probably was from Matt Greenfield on one of those commentaries.

"Gospel of the New Beginning" makes even more sense. Thanks for that, NAveryW!

I know the_seventh_child is actually from Greece, so maybe she can help out with confirming this?
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Postby the_seventh_child » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:35 am

CitizenGeek wrote:
"Gospel of the New Beginning" makes even more sense. Thanks for that, NAveryW!

I know the_seventh_child is actually from Greece, so maybe she can help out with confirming this?

Well the whole title has three words that belong to the ancient greek dictionary.

"Neon" comes from "νέον" which means "new".

"Genesis" comes from γένεσις which means "something that is born".

"Evangelion" comes from ευαγγέλιο which means "gospel" and metaphorically like UrsusArctos stated "message of good/happiness".

So yeah, "Gospel of the New Beggining" is the closest translation for the title.

I think that this issue is also being explored in Vol.7 of the manga by Carl Horn right?
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Postby Noephon » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:43 pm

Original Title: Yui Ikari and the Greek language

It's been a while since I took Greek, but to the best of my knowledge the phrase 'neon genesis' makes no sense at all in isolation because 'genesis' is grammatically incorrect in this context. 'Neon euaggelion,' however, is grammatically sensible and means either 'new message' or 'new messenger' (i.e. angel).

I took the opportunity of giving my old Greek teacher who's never heard of the show a slip of paper reading 'νέον γενέσις εϋαγγέλιον' and asking her if she could translate it. She said that, yes, it was pretty bad Greek, and apparently I put the stress on the wrong syllable in the second word.

Me: Professor Driscoll, I just want a vague sort of translation.
Her: Again, it's absolutely horrendous grammatically, but I think it could be either 'birth of a new angel' or 'new angel of birth.'

'New angel of birth' doesn't really make much sense. But I think 'birth of a new angel' could be a fairly sensible reference to Yui Ikari, post-Tree-of-Life-isation. Of course, this still doesn't explain the Japanese title, but there you go.
Maya: Oh no, the Evas have begun generating an anti-AT field.
Aoba: That could be meaningless techno-jargon, but I bet it means that spectres of Rei will appear to everyone on earth, flash into an image of their secret sexual fantasies and then make their heads pop into magic placenta goo, right?
Hyuga: *pop*
Aoba: Ooh, good guess! *pop*
Gendo: Oh no. It turns out that deep down in my heart, I'm a big emotional coward - a badass version of Shinji. I feel so hollow now.
Shinji: Third Impact destroys the barriers between all human minds. Now I can be rejected simultaneously by every woman in the world!

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Postby Ornette » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:57 am

For what it's worth, from the NHK special where Anno teaches a class at his old elementary school:

Student: "Why is that robot-looking thing called Evangelion?"
Anno: "It's a Christian word meaning, "Fukuin", or "Gospel" and it's supposed to bring blessings."
Anno: "Actually, it's a Greek word. I used it because it sounds complicated."

There you have it, he probably doesn't know any greek at all, nor cared about the grammar when he came up with "Neon Genesis Evangelion" (this wasn't something that was devised by English speaking licensors).

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Postby Noephon » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:12 am

Anno's known to say ridiculous things, although you do have to do some mental backflips to get the title to make any sort of sense. I guess it's one of those things where the sense that it makes is more fortuitous than anything else.
Maya: Oh no, the Evas have begun generating an anti-AT field.
Aoba: That could be meaningless techno-jargon, but I bet it means that spectres of Rei will appear to everyone on earth, flash into an image of their secret sexual fantasies and then make their heads pop into magic placenta goo, right?
Hyuga: *pop*
Aoba: Ooh, good guess! *pop*
Gendo: Oh no. It turns out that deep down in my heart, I'm a big emotional coward - a badass version of Shinji. I feel so hollow now.
Shinji: Third Impact destroys the barriers between all human minds. Now I can be rejected simultaneously by every woman in the world!

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Postby NemZ » Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:14 am

I would guess it was meant to entail "story of the new beginning" or, in layman's terms, "how Shinji ruins everything."
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Postby Noephon » Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:34 am

NemZ wrote:I would guess it was meant to entail "story of the new beginning" or, in layman's terms, "how Shinji ruins everything."


The Japanese title could also work because it is a new century as well as a new beginning. As with all else in Evangelion it seems to be deliberately ambiguous to allow for multiple interpretations.

I like the Eva-01 'new angel' theory. Because I'm slightly obsessed with Yui.
Maya: Oh no, the Evas have begun generating an anti-AT field.
Aoba: That could be meaningless techno-jargon, but I bet it means that spectres of Rei will appear to everyone on earth, flash into an image of their secret sexual fantasies and then make their heads pop into magic placenta goo, right?
Hyuga: *pop*
Aoba: Ooh, good guess! *pop*
Gendo: Oh no. It turns out that deep down in my heart, I'm a big emotional coward - a badass version of Shinji. I feel so hollow now.
Shinji: Third Impact destroys the barriers between all human minds. Now I can be rejected simultaneously by every woman in the world!

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Postby Zuggy » Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:07 am

Noephon wrote:The Japanese title could also work because it is a new century as well as a new beginning. As with all else in Evangelion it seems to be deliberately ambiguous to allow for multiple interpretations.

It's not deliberately ambiguous, most Japanese words have multiple readings, plus we have to allow for different people trying to capture the spirit of the title in english. In the case of 新世紀 (new era) there really isn't much leeway though, unless you assume 新世紀 (read as new/xin era) is supposed to be pointing to the xin dynasty of china.

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Postby Noephon » Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:55 am

Zuggy wrote:It's not deliberately ambiguous, most Japanese words have multiple readings, plus we have to allow for different people trying to capture the spirit of the title in english. In the case of 新世紀 (new era) there really isn't much leeway though, unless you assume 新世紀 (read as new/xin era) is supposed to be pointing to the xin dynasty of china.


I agree that there's very little ambiguity in the actual meaning (denotive definition) of 'Shin-seiki.' The connotations are ambiguous, however, because 'new era/century' could be plugged into the time starting with Second Impact, Third Impact, the Seeds of Life, Anno writing the show...probably not the Xin Dynasty, though, as it (a) only lasted for fourteen years and (b) has absolutely nothing to do with Evangelion. After all, overanalysing Eva is what we're all here for.

It's obvious that the duality between the Japanese and Greek titles was intentional, since 'Neon Genesis Evangelion' is in every single episode at the mid-episode eyecatch.
Maya: Oh no, the Evas have begun generating an anti-AT field.
Aoba: That could be meaningless techno-jargon, but I bet it means that spectres of Rei will appear to everyone on earth, flash into an image of their secret sexual fantasies and then make their heads pop into magic placenta goo, right?
Hyuga: *pop*
Aoba: Ooh, good guess! *pop*
Gendo: Oh no. It turns out that deep down in my heart, I'm a big emotional coward - a badass version of Shinji. I feel so hollow now.
Shinji: Third Impact destroys the barriers between all human minds. Now I can be rejected simultaneously by every woman in the world!

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Postby Zuggy » Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:53 am

Noephon wrote:I agree that there's very little ambiguity in the actual meaning of 'Shin-seiki.'

Depends. To me it's patent that Anno meant new aeon and not new century, but others would say it's new century because that's the official translation. One is a literal translation which as far as I know has no further meaning, while the other is a term to describe the rising child - which one was Anno pointing to?

Noephon wrote:...probably not the Xin Dynasty, though, as it (a) only lasted for fourteen years and (b) has absolutely nothing to do with Evangelion.

I don't know anything about china's history to say one way or another, but just going off what you wrote there SEELE is only in power over the earth for 14 years before 3I. Xin is what the dictionary says - my point wasn't whether the xin dynasty stuff is true or not but to clear up the confusion that the Japanese title is deliberately ambiguous.

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Postby Noephon » Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:29 am

Zuggy wrote:I don't know anything about china's history to say one way or another, but just going off what you wrote there SEELE is only in power over the earth for 14 years before 3I.


...it is truly astounding what you can milk out of these things. All of this could not possibly have been intentional, and yet...and yet...
Maya: Oh no, the Evas have begun generating an anti-AT field.
Aoba: That could be meaningless techno-jargon, but I bet it means that spectres of Rei will appear to everyone on earth, flash into an image of their secret sexual fantasies and then make their heads pop into magic placenta goo, right?
Hyuga: *pop*
Aoba: Ooh, good guess! *pop*
Gendo: Oh no. It turns out that deep down in my heart, I'm a big emotional coward - a badass version of Shinji. I feel so hollow now.
Shinji: Third Impact destroys the barriers between all human minds. Now I can be rejected simultaneously by every woman in the world!

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Postby Monk Ed » Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:56 pm

I interpreted neon genesis as meaning "new birth", and that it referred to Unit 01, which eventually becomes the Evangelion that rebirths the world when Shinji rejects Complementation.

But ultimately I don't think it's meant to have any real concrete meaning. It's one of those things that makes a bell go off in a good storyteller's mind that says "Ah! People will see a lot of meaning in this."

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Postby Xard » Sun Jul 13, 2008 2:56 pm

Zuggy wrote:
Noephon wrote:I agree that there's very little ambiguity in the actual meaning of 'Shin-seiki.'

Depends. To me it's patent that Anno meant new aeon and not new century, but others would say it's new century because that's the official translation. One is a literal translation which as far as I know has no further meaning, while the other is a term to describe the rising child - which one was Anno pointing to?

Noephon wrote:...probably not the Xin Dynasty, though, as it (a) only lasted for fourteen years and (b) has absolutely nothing to do with Evangelion.

I don't know anything about china's history to say one way or another, but just going off what you wrote there SEELE is only in power over the earth for 14 years before 3I. Xin is what the dictionary says - my point wasn't whether the xin dynasty stuff is true or not but to clear up the confusion that the Japanese title is deliberately ambiguous.


Except SEELE has ran the world unopposed since 1950's or so

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Postby Reichu » Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:21 pm

Zuggy wrote:
Noephon wrote:I agree that there's very little ambiguity in the actual meaning of 'Shin-seiki.'

Depends. To me it's patent that Anno meant new aeon and not new century, but others would say it's new century because that's the official translation.

There's a pun at work. In Japanese, Genesis (from the Bible) is called Kouseiki, literally "old century". NGE's Japanese title substitutes the "old" for "new" (kou for shin), hence a "new genesis" ("neon genesis").
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Postby Enki v.2 » Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:00 pm

NEW ANGEL OF BIRTH

"The fate of destruction is the joy of rebirth."

They are being destroyed by the second angel, merged with the first AND with Rei, within the Black Moon (the womb of the earth).

So yeah, it works.

... That, or Anno meant to say "Neon Genetics Evangelion" -- a nod to the combination of clones, cyberpunk feel, and pointless obscure religious references.

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Postby Xard » Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:28 pm

Reichu wrote:There's a pun at work. In Japanese, Genesis (from the Bible) is called Kouseiki, literally "old century". NGE's Japanese title substitutes the "old" for "new" (kou for shin), hence a "new genesis" ("neon genesis").


:clap:

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Postby Noephon » Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:52 pm

Reichu wrote:
Zuggy wrote:
Noephon wrote:I agree that there's very little ambiguity in the actual meaning of 'Shin-seiki.'

Depends. To me it's patent that Anno meant new aeon and not new century, but others would say it's new century because that's the official translation.

There's a pun at work. In Japanese, Genesis (from the Bible) is called Kouseiki, literally "old century". NGE's Japanese title substitutes the "old" for "new" (kou for shin), hence a "new genesis" ("neon genesis").


So 'Neon Genesis' (okay, fine, 'Neon Geneton') is an actual correct translation of 'Shin-seiki' but only if you approach it from the Biblical-pun perspective? Huh. That's the twelfth possible meaning the title's racked up by now.

I do find it amusing that, if 'Evangelion' is interpreted as 'angel' or 'messenger' rather than 'message' or 'gospel,' it almost always is interpreted as referring to Yui. Hey, when your hero is a giant armoured half-human clone that's made of pure condensed awesome...
Maya: Oh no, the Evas have begun generating an anti-AT field.
Aoba: That could be meaningless techno-jargon, but I bet it means that spectres of Rei will appear to everyone on earth, flash into an image of their secret sexual fantasies and then make their heads pop into magic placenta goo, right?
Hyuga: *pop*
Aoba: Ooh, good guess! *pop*
Gendo: Oh no. It turns out that deep down in my heart, I'm a big emotional coward - a badass version of Shinji. I feel so hollow now.
Shinji: Third Impact destroys the barriers between all human minds. Now I can be rejected simultaneously by every woman in the world!

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Postby Reichu » Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:18 pm

Noephon wrote:So 'Neon Genesis' (okay, fine, 'Neon Geneton') is an actual correct translation of 'Shin-seiki' but only if you approach it from the Biblical-pun perspective? Huh. That's the twelfth possible meaning the title's racked up by now.

Considering they chose "Neon Genesis" as the show's alternate title, I'd say the play on words was unambiguously intentional, and likely one that a majority of Japanese viewers would catch.

Dragging Yui into things strikes me as interpreting way too much.
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Postby Noephon » Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:04 am

Reichu wrote:Dragging Yui into things strikes me as interpreting way too much.


I'm tempted to make a joke about how underinterpreting Eva is both impossible and unnecessary, but I'd rather draw this thread to a quick and undignified end.

Image

Where do I find these things?
Maya: Oh no, the Evas have begun generating an anti-AT field.
Aoba: That could be meaningless techno-jargon, but I bet it means that spectres of Rei will appear to everyone on earth, flash into an image of their secret sexual fantasies and then make their heads pop into magic placenta goo, right?
Hyuga: *pop*
Aoba: Ooh, good guess! *pop*
Gendo: Oh no. It turns out that deep down in my heart, I'm a big emotional coward - a badass version of Shinji. I feel so hollow now.
Shinji: Third Impact destroys the barriers between all human minds. Now I can be rejected simultaneously by every woman in the world!


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