Is NGE in Accord with the Classic "Hero's Journey"

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Postby THE Hal E. Burton 9000 » Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:44 pm

jimbo wrote:NGE seems to accept many of the beginning stages of the HJ but then rejects its latter parts. This makes sense and is keeping in line with NGE's formal design of the first half being "set-up" (playing up the cliches, forms, etc.) and the second half being "subversion" (tearing down the cliches, forms, etc.).
well, yeah, no disagreement here

@ AEF

while I agree that people are too quick to try and figure things to the point of (over-)simplifying EVERYTHING, I think you're being a tad too relativistic to the point that it's drowning out your bigger point
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Postby Sachi » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:16 am

I had a thread that was like this, comparing Eva to the Odyssey. Didn't get as much attention as this one. Yojimbo truly is the Eva Yojimbo of the forums.
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Postby THE Hal E. Burton 9000 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:28 am

well golly, show the link and maybe there will MAGICALLY be a merging of the threads!
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Postby Anonymous_Evafan » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:45 am

THE Hal E. Burton 9000 wrote:I think you're being a tad too relativistic to the point that it's drowning out your bigger point

My point is simple. I think the molds are flawed as a whole. Just because someone can't measure up to the absurd standards of superheros doesn't mean they should be branded anti-heros. Superheros have superpowers that allow them to view the world differently. It's not hard to be fearless if you have virtual immunity to like anything the way Superman does. Or if you have a grotesquely overpowered mech like in Gundam Wing that shrugs off low caliber beam weapons like their jokes and moves to fast for a canon to be a reasonable weapon to use. The standard this term is based of off is ludicrous. The whole system needs revamping in a big way and I will never view someone as an anti-hero because they don't live up to that ridiculous standard. Make a real world discription of what a hero is then make a real world discription of what an anti-hero is and be done with this outdated, horrid flawed system.
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Postby Reichu » Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:00 am

AEF, if you want to talk about why terms used in literary discussion and analysis need to be revised, you know which subforum to do it in.

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Postby Anonymous_Evafan » Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:37 am

I'm done with my rant.
Oh, but God forbid any of these theories have any validity! After all, we are just brainwashing innocent people with Reichu's fanclub propaganda!--Trigger's Elysium sarcasm for the masses!

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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:27 am

Sachi_13 wrote: comparing Eva to the Odyssey. Didn't get as much attention as this one.


I think that was one of the places where I suggested looking at the monomyth; I remember pointing out before now (perhaps on ANF) how, at the very least, NGE shuffles the Hero's Journey
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Postby Evangelion217 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:25 am

Anti-hero? Lolwut? The Punisher is an anti-hero, Deadpool is an anti-hero, Deathstroke is an anti-hero.


Batman and Wolverine are also anti-heroes. But you don't need to be a total badass in order to be an anti-hero. ;)
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Postby Zuggy » Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:51 am

Haven't read much of the essay but it comes across as the same stuff you went on about in your posts on ANF, Yojimbo.

Any story can be broken down until it fits one of the imaginary story-archetypes, but what do you gain from doing that? Realising that all stories have a beginning, middle and end and certain events, under one guise or another, must transpire for the story to progress? - how is this a revelation?

You see this sort of stuff often done with how the stories of Osiris, Jesus, Buddha and Vishnu coalesce so there must be some unity between them all - when they are examined along those lines we miss the important differences and the separate points each story makes, instead they are all blurred into one mushy collection of ideas and we aren't left much the wiser as to each afterwards.

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Postby V » Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:09 am

I personally think that Evangelion actually does not fully follow the "Hero's Journey" - Departure/Initiation/Return

rather, I DO think that it is basically just following "Departure".

rather than going through the whole story, its more that the climax is Shinji choosing to "cross the first threshold".

It ends, JUST AS he decides to make the step to start TRYING to interact with other people more and stop being so insular; that's why he's still kind of bad at it (the strangling thing) he's still got problems he's working through but he's decided to START TRYING

so its as if you made a story focusing SOLELY on "Departure"
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:43 am

Anonymous_Evafan wrote:Cause it's not as fictional as you'd like it to be.
Uhhhhh, it is in FICTION. Existential relativity of "there are no absolute truths and morals" doesn't have to be applied religiously to fiction that might have other things in mind. Anti-heroes more or less evolved out of attempts to present people how they really were and that meant warts and all. Again, traditional heroes were those that stood for what society and culture deemed "good" traits. And as views on ourselves as a species and people became more complex, so did our portrayal of fictional characters and the result were "anti-heroes" that didn't display the typical heroic traits.

"Anti-hero" doesn't equate to "bad person". It just equates to a person that's in the hero role but doesn't always display the typical hero traits.

Anonymous_Evafan wrote:Ah but it is. Modern media has made it so by tossing around the word "hero" for raitings.
The media is also different than fiction. The hero probably goes back as far as fiction, story, and narration does. Undoubtedly even before Homer's famous template.

Anonymous_Evafan wrote:He's not a hero, an anti-hero, or a villian.
He's cast in the classic "hero" role.

Anonymous_Evafan wrote: think the molds are flawed as a whole.
As Reichu said, that topic is really for another thread. This thread IS about analyzing NGE in a traditional form, not about the flawed nature of the form itself.





Sachi_13 wrote:I had a thread that was like this, comparing Eva to the Odyssey. Didn't get as much attention as this one. Yojimbo truly is the Eva Yojimbo of the forums.
Post a link to the other thread! I said before I chose that moniker for a reason. You should see me in action over at IMDb and Amazon! -o-;





Zuggy wrote:Haven't read much of the essay but it comes across as the same stuff you went on about in your posts on ANF, Yojimbo.
The majority of the ANF stuff was about the relation/significance of the Biblical symbolism, not a literary form. This is, more or less, just for fun.

Zuggy wrote:Any story can be broken down until it fits one of the imaginary story-archetypes, but what do you gain from doing that?
Fairly difficult to break 2001 or Finnegans Wake down to fit archetypes. "What does one gain" is a more complex question than you think considering it varies based on the work, the tradition of the form, how the two relate, and what any individual gets out of it. NGE is much like 2001 in that much of its substance is inextricable to its form, and the more I've uncovered that form's nuances the greater understanding I've gained of why NGE works.

Zuggy wrote:Realising that all stories have a beginning, middle and end and certain events, under one guise or another, must transpire for the story to progress? - how is this a revelation?
Godard: "A film should have a beginning, a middle, and an end, but not necessarily in that order."

The revelation conceivably comes in one noticing how a work follows and diverges from traditional forms. One thing about NGE I've always found particularly fascinating is how its end is more like a beginning and its beginning is more like a middle. Not in the context of the story itself (they both still serve as beginnings and endings) but more in the metaphoric sense that it begins when events have happened to make things how they are, and the middle explores the beginning, and the end returns to the/a beginning. It's both progressive and regressive.

Zuggy wrote:when they are examined along those lines we miss the important differences and the separate points each story makes, instead they are all blurred into one mushy collection of ideas and we aren't left much the wiser as to each afterwards.
Again, revelation conceivably from recognizing the similarities AND the differences and understanding why they conform and why they diverge.
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Postby Reichu » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:12 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:
Anonymous_Evafan wrote: think the molds are flawed as a whole.
As Reichu said, that topic is really for another thread. This thread IS about analyzing NGE in a traditional form, not about the flawed nature of the form itself.

AEF wrote:I'm done with my rant.

Just sayin'.

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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:17 pm

Just in case he decides he want to split. Ignoring posts is rude. ;)
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Postby Vegeta 20XX » Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:09 pm

Reichu wrote:In the show itself? Shinji is well-liked, although he suffers from "everybody hates me" self-delusions.


Usually if you seriously believe that no one likes you, than until you are given evidence to the contrary (i.e., someone telling you that they like you or doing something that shows this), it's almost as if no one does from the first person perspective. I didn't think Shinji was very well liked.
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Re: Is NGE in Accord with the Classic "Hero's Journey&a

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Postby swamp147 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:21 am

Hello everyone, new poster here! Started watching Evangelion in June and finished the series, Death, and EoE in early July. Loved it to death and have been lurking this site (the wiki and the forum) since then. I love the wonderful discussion and am amazed at the analysis and theories presented here (like Ritsuko's interrogation and numerous others)!

Eva Yojimbo wrote:Since someone posted this somewhere else and there's already a topic here that roughly deals with NGE in this manner (Shinji Appreciation page 11), I thought I'd bring it up. Article can be found HERE.

[quote="The Hero’s Journey:
A Campbellian Look at the Metaphorical Path to Personal Transformation"] ‘The Ultimate Boon’ is the benefit, favor, or blessing that is bestowed on the hero figure. There is a drive for the hero to share the boon with humankind, whether it is an elixir of immortality, a holy grail, true love, perfect knowledge, or the meaning of life. Most prevalent is the recurring theme of Immortality. The hero achieves illumination that there is an indestructible life beyond the physical body. This Immortality is timeless and experienced in the here and now.
Hmmm, I don't think this fits.

Any thoughts? Besides those of the "OMG stop overanalyzing NGE you 'tard!" type?


I've read that quote many times because the first time reading it, I thought "Hey this kinda sounds like Eva" even though your comment says that it doesn't fit. And I kept reading it. It's difficult to pinpoint the thing that makes this part of a Hero's Journey applicable to Eva.

Here's my attempt. The 'Ultimate Boon,' being the blessing given to the hero, is one he desires to to "share with humankind." This makes me think of Instrumentality. Not the merging of minds, but the part of Instrumentality that allows people to revert back to a ATF-separated existence. Remember when Yui tells Shinji in EoE that as long as a person has the will and desire (or heart? I forgot her exact words), s/he can return to the world as they used to know it (the world where their personality and body is separated from others)? This differs from the Hero's Journey though, which Yui passing that knowledge only on to Shinji. But Asuka returned too, no? Perhaps her mother also told her? Or she found out on her own, since her desire to live independently was strong enough? Hmmm, I'm not really sure where this is getting; just some of my thoughts...
I guess the thing here is that Shinji just wasn't able to share this knowledge with others.

Another thing that sticks out that seems to pertain to Eva is the "meaning of life." Shinji seemed to have discovered some sort of "meaning" during Instrumentality; when he realized that Instrumentality isn't the world he wants. He would rather live with others as separate entities, even though being close with them may hurt him.

Immortality. I'm still doubting just how this (and the above) related to Eva. It's hard to reach conclusions. Immortality reminded me of Yui's conversation with Fuyutsuki - when she said that Eva will forever be a testament to the presence of humans (homo sapiens that is, I remember reading a thread where the word 'human' can have different meanings in the Eva universe). Hmmm...and not that Asuka is immortal, but the fact that she got killed and returned after Instrumentality. Instrumentality, in a way, allowed those who have died to come back.

Well that didn't seem very conclusive heh. Ah well, I just wanted to share some of my thoughts on this topic. What do you guys think?