Whom ought we to consider the "true" villains?

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Postby shteeve » Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:02 pm

ok i feel the need to weigh in with my 2 cents. my issue with a term like evil is that it is easily tied to some form of absolutism (if thats a word). i find that when a person or act is classified as evil, it is promply cast aside as needing no further analysis. whenever someone does something bad, it is because of a series of factors, none of which include "being possessed by the forces of evil." i think we can all agree that the ideal of "good" is helping one party without hurting another. however the human mind is fallible and can be swayed to accept less than this ideal or to warp it through experience, persuasion and outright mental deficiencies. of course to say that a bad act is driven by mental problems is itself something of a dead end for analysis, but i'd stress that "pure" insanity is only a little less likely than "pure" evil itself. we've all got less than perfect brains, and more often than not, evilness is a matter of circumstances acting on the psychological weaknesses which exist to varying extents in us all. the challenge then becomes making sure you determine the actual causes of a problem and not some scapegoat. easier said than done, i know, but my point is that you can't just go and label things as evil or bad without exploring them, or you cheat yourself out of a chance to figure out something constructive that may help deal with the causes of a problem, rather than a destructive attack on the results.

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Postby Cogboy » Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:43 pm

welcome shteeve, i see you have made yourself right at home.
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Postby Tabris » Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:08 pm

Good and evil are base and purely human concepts, created for the purpose of maintaining and teaching social harmony, and transcended by the complexities of reality. The natural world continues to function happily without them. I'd also be so bold as to suggest one of the reasons why Life generally appears so cruel to us is thanks to the application of such concepts to the natural business of survival.

A little more on-topic, I'd agree that no character of Eva can be thought of as evil, therefore. Some are more self-centred and inconsiderate than others, though, and that's probably the closest to evil they really get. Even SEELE - sinister characters though they are - think they have humanity's best interests at heart. Gendo is popularly considered 'evil' because he appears to hold his own interests above everyone else's, and yet it's because he wishes to see Yui again. No-one in Eva is completely innocent, either. The moral duality of Eva and its characters is one of the things I find so appealing about it.

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Villain?

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Postby CyberXIII » Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:56 pm

Who was the true villain(s) of the series? Was it the Angels, who only wanted to be reunited with their mommy? Was it Gendo, who, despite being an utter asshole, only wanted his wife back? Was it SEELE, who we know next to nothing about?
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Postby Ornette » Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:59 pm

Merged with existing thread.

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Postby Axell » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:18 pm

everyone had good intentions and fought for their beliefs.

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Re: Villain?

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Postby Agent_Koopa » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:33 pm

CyberXIII wrote:Who was the true villain(s) of the series? Was it the Angels, who only wanted to be reunited with their mommy? Was it Gendo, who, despite being an utter asshole, only wanted his wife back? Was it SEELE, who we know next to nothing about?


Well, let's see. SEELE believes that mankind's current state is the reason there is suffering in the world. Try raising a hand against your fellow neighbour when neither of you have corporeal bodies and your souls are directly connected to each other. Since SEELE sincerely believes that it is acting in the best interest of mankind as a species, I don't really think they can be categorized as villains, per se. Sure, they sacrifice half the world's population to their goal, but if you subscribe to the idea that all souls ever embodied got harvested in Instrumentality, then this is no real problem.

The Angels are only acting out biological impulses.

Gendo is a tougher question. For one thing, he's willing to sacrifice all for his reunion with Yui. But since we don't know anything about how he would have accomplished this or what it would mean for the rest of humanity, we can't really say what he was prepared to do.
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Postby AuraTwilight » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:29 am

Gendo is a tougher question. For one thing, he's willing to sacrifice all for his reunion with Yui. But since we don't know anything about how he would have accomplished this or what it would mean for the rest of humanity, we can't really say what he was prepared to do.


It's implied that Gendo was going to reverse Instrumentality using Unit 01 as a temporary "ark", so that only he and Yui would be Complemented, if anyone.

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Re: Villain?

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Postby Fast Tony DeNiro » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:37 am

Agent_Koopa wrote:Since SEELE sincerely believes that it is acting in the best interest of mankind as a species, I don't really think they can be categorized as villains, per se.


Hitler thought killing all the Jews was in the best interest of mankind as a species. So I guess he wasn't such a bad guy after all, huh?

I would say killing billions of people makes you a dick. So ya, SEELE and Gendo are dicks and the villains of the series. Well, I see SEELE as a villain....Gendo....ya what he's doing is retarded, but I don't know, it's hard to explain. I don't really get the "villain" vibe from him even though he wants to kill everyone on earth.

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Postby Timstuff » Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:10 am

I think it's pretty obvious that Seele were the ultimate villains of the show, with Gendo being a lesser villain. It doesn't matter that they had so-called "good intentions," because the fact of the matter was that they were forcing their destructive views onto the rest of the world. The fact is that Seele and Gendo crossed the line as soon as they decided to force their vision for humanity onto people, so that makes them no different from the Nazis or any other tyrannical cabal bent on causing destruction.

Like I said, Gendo is a lesser villain because he's merely profiteering off of the destruction that Seele is already causing, but he is still a jack ass and fits the category of villain quite comfortably.
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Postby NemZ » Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:15 am

All this moral relativism... look, of course the 'villains' have a good reason for doing what they do. Nobody sane actually thinks of themselves as evil, no matter how screwed up their actions are. There's always a motive or a rationalization at work in all but the most shallowly caricatured villains. Having a 'good reason' makes the bad guys interesting, not good.
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Postby pablumatic » Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:14 pm

SEELE. They started back up the mess that the Seeds got the planet into. The Angels and humanity were just hapless victims caught up in their script. Had they left well enough alone the planet would have ticked along until man is destroyed in some other natural, anthropogenic, or paranormal circumstance. And the Angels would just be resting in peace as they had been for billions of years prior.

Yes, I don't have a very optimistic outlook on mankind's future survival, but who does?

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Postby AuraTwilight » Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:40 pm

Yes, I don't have a very optimistic outlook on mankind's future survival, but who does?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_Singularity

Those guys.

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sat Jun 13, 2009 3:07 am

AuraTwilight wrote:Those guys.
Even though that is the new techno-religion, after The Dream got put on hold for the last going on 40 years.

You can (I did) view NGE as a Singularitarian narrative starting from the hints being dropped in episode 2 -- the fact that the project is launched using some nigh-Transcendent alien-tech to bootstrap with is neither here nor there. It's what left me so gobstruck after EoTV, that it didn't seem to end with the usual mundane sour-grapes reaction that always comes as a knee-jerk (EoE did that instead :sniffle: )

You then get the interesting question -- can you be the villain if you end up launching a positive Techo-Rapture, and remove the bottom two tiers of the Maslow pyramid for everyone forever (as EoTV appears to be doing)? I think the answer is much more obvious if you launch a very definitely sub-Friendly SysOp event.
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Postby Consul_Elect » Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:53 am

There is no clear cut evil force. They are all their own worse enimies. Everyone destroys themselves.

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Postby ath » Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:04 am

pablumatic wrote:Had they left well enough alone the planet would have ticked along until man is destroyed in some other natural, anthropogenic, or paranormal circumstance. And the Angels would just be resting in peace as they had been for billions of years prior.

Fuyutsuki, episode 21' (2003)
If things happen as it is written in those scrolls, the Third Impact will happen in another decade or so without fail.


Aside from that... can the JSSDF soldiers in 25' be defined as "evil"? Or are they probably on the "good" side, as they're trying (even by killing the pilots and everyone at NERV) to stop Third Impact from happening?

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Postby Agent_Koopa » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:09 pm

Ah, there it is. The scrolls are described sometimes as prophecy, sometimes as a user's manual. But remember, at that time, in 2003, Second Impact had already been triggered by the Katsuragi Expedition, awakening Adam, and, perhaps, scattering the seeds of what would develop into the Angels across the planet. In the next couple of lines, Yui describes SEELE and GEHIRN as "organizations for preventing the final tragedy", or so this translation has it, which could be interpreted as implying that some sort of process has been set into motion making Third Impact inevitable.

Actually, my translation has something along the lines of "According to the scenario in SEELE's Dead Sea Scrolls", hinting that it's a hypothetical scenario that may or may not come to pass in all circumstances. Certainly, once the Angels have been exterminated, and Lilith remains soulless, and Adam remains dormant, there are no remaining active causes of Third Impact besides what SEELE and Gendo choose to do.

Well, the JSSDF soldiers are doing what they do for a good cause. They've been informed of NERV's goals (but not, naturally, SEELE's) and they believe their mission is to stop NERV from blowing a massive hole in Japan and wiping out most of the survivors of Second Impact. On the other hand, they have orders to kill the pilots of the Evangelions, who are at that point certainly not active threats by any means.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:17 pm

To answer the thread question, Fuyutsuki in EoE said it best (paraphrased):

"Mankind's own worst enemy is mankind itself."
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Postby Joseph the PRPD » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:52 pm

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Postby Reichu » Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:50 pm

The First Ancestral Race. Arrogant, sadistic, probably lots of other things.

Oh, you want a real answer? Those Seele fucknuts, of course. Evil conspiracy is evil.
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