Reconsidering the NGE2 PS(2/P) Game's Canonicity

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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:00 pm

Agent_Koopa wrote:If Anno had bothered to actually explain what was going on at some point ... it would have been a far more satisfying story and it would make a lot of people less angry. On the other hand, NGE wouldn't have the same longevity as it does...
Well, it's kind of a tradeoff. If you explain everything and leave nothing for the audience then the shelf-life is usually shortened a tremendous deal. But the more input you ask from an audience the more substance you need to provide that's worth analyzing. I think NGE certainly meets its quota in terms of substance offered; and its fans certainly meet their end of the bargain too. In terms of Anno's deepest intentions I really think he provides more than enough story and context to get his ideas across. In fact, so much of the themes are directly related to using the lie and fantasy of fiction as an escape that on a metafictional level I don't think Anno really wanted people becoming obsessed with the story and mythology; though I equally don't think there's a way to stop them from becoming obsessed either.

Agent_Koopa wrote:There is a middle path, you know.
But NGE was pretty much an allegory from the beginning. It was always about its fictional elements representing more important (to its creator) ideas. And even though it's the story that hooks us I think it's the themes and how they're expressed through it that ultimately has the largest impact; even if that, in turn, turns our attention back to the mythology of it all.
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Re: Reconsidering the PS(2/P) Game's Canonicity

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Postby NAveryW » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:10 am

Reichu wrote:I should probably try to take advantage of my current enthusiasm and relative profundity of burnable time, and make some investments. However, it's probably unrealistic to expect any one person, especially me, to be able to encounter everything relevant in the games. Additional empowered players (you listening, NAW?) are needed.
I've recorded all types of crazy crap from the game, but so far nobody's really shown any interest in my recordings. I'll see what I can scrounge up.

Keep in mind that I only ever beat the game once, though, and that was Shinji's first scenario available.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:18 am

Agent_Koopa wrote:I think NGE has a pretty decently compelling sci-fi backstory going, and it's a shame that absolutely none of it comes through in the original work without a line-by-line analysis.
The original GAINAX guys were a bunch of hard-core SF fans. It seemed to me that the telling of NGE just assumed a fluency in the genre so they could concentrate on the foreground events.

There was enough strongly implied that in a fanfic I wrote immediately after watching the series but before getting into the on-line fan scene I could put concerning the GeoFront

They were miles down now, descending in a small cage inside a set of intertwined spirals, in a cavern that was hundreds of meters across and deeper. There was no feeling of the Earth's tectonic heat despite the depth.
A small part of Nancy wondered where this whole enigmatic shell had been in her history. And how old was it? There was no easy way to date it — it could be as old as the Gardeners, that first hinted wave of Mind, whose traces were inferred from the sharing of deep idiosyncrasies of biochemistry across the galaxy.


and continue to be wryly amused when this sort of deduction gets confirmed by the material that has since become available.
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Re: Reconsidering the PS(2/P) Game's Canonicity

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Postby Reichu » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:36 am

NAveryW wrote:Keep in mind that I only ever beat the game once, though, and that was Shinji's first scenario available.

I just beat that, myself. Those harpies took me I don't know how many attempts...... Er, I'll take anything you have. Would be excellent.

Users at Niconico have uploaded several playthroughs for Shinji, Rei, Asuka, and Kaworu. This covers a lot of the commonly-encountered events, but there still seems to be much that we'll need to get ourselves. Is dealing with the Japanese too hard for you to attempt further gameplay?
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Postby Allemann » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:10 am

If Anno did not partake in the story writing, or fulfilled any other active roll regarding the video game's production, how can this game be considered canonical?

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Postby Reichu » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:21 am

Allemann wrote:If Anno did not partake in the story writing, or fulfilled any other active roll regarding the video game's production, how can this game be considered canonical?

It sounds like you're not aware of tiers systems. Systems of priority are common in fandoms though most certainly not limited to them.

By the way -- I've noticed that this thread has been hijacked away from the particular issues NAveryW was interested in discussing into a generic canon debate thread. This is kind of unfortunate -- we could have just bumped one of the old Generic Canon Debate Threads (and then proceeded to say the same things all over again)...

http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?t=4744

Then again, V posted in that one, so maybe it's best left forgotten.
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Postby AyrYntake » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:39 am

Let's say Tier 1 canon has, well, got to be right by definition (what's correct in the show is correct in the show). When Tier 1 canon is ambiguous about something or leaves it unanswered, we move on to Tiers 2 and 3, where things can be taken as the best we've got in lieu of solid truths, as long as they don't contradict Tier 1.
So far there isn't much contradiction going on anywhere (NGE is almost completely silent on the matter of FAR et al.), so I suppose we can accept all of this as theory yet to be proved/disproved.
I'd have thought this went without saying, but some here don't seem to get it.
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Postby Legendary » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:48 pm

Allemann wrote:If Anno did not partake in the story writing, or fulfilled any other active roll regarding the video game's production, how can this game be considered canonical?


Um, he WAS involved in the game's making. If anything, one would think this argument would be better directed at things like Kaji's or Pen^2's backstory, both of which originate in the manga that Anno didn't make.

A little irrelevant bit in response to something from the other Eva2 thread:
SPOILER: Show
By the way, in the other thread, where you told me evolution wasn't a theory, AND proven... you're wrong. It IS a theory. That's all it can ever be as far as scientists are concerned, in much the same way that we have the Theory of Relativity. In much the same way, it (and all other scientific theories) is never going to be conclusively provable. Tomorrow, scientists could find a theory that fits all the evidence BETTER than evolution does, and evolution would get tossed out the window.

So, what I'm trying to say here is... I do know the difference between a hypothesis and a theory.

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Postby Allemann » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:02 pm

Legendary wrote:Um, he WAS involved in the game's making.


Then what exactly did he do?

SPOILER: Show
By the way, in the other thread, where you told me evolution wasn't a theory, AND proven... you're wrong. It IS a theory. That's all it can ever be as far as scientists are concerned, in much the same way that we have the Theory of Relativity. In much the same way, it (and all other scientific theories) is never going to be conclusively provable. Tomorrow, scientists could find a theory that fits all the evidence BETTER than evolution does, and evolution would get tossed out the window.

So, what I'm trying to say here is... I do know the difference between a hypothesis and a theory.


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Postby Legendary » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:07 pm

I'd have to ask SSD, I don't remember off the top of my head.

SPOILER: Show
Uh, did you notice that in the metaphor I explicitly said that people who didn't believe in evolution were WRONG?

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Postby Reichu » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:46 pm

AyrYntake wrote:I'd have thought this went without saying, but some here don't seem to get it.

Word up, yo. I wonder how much of this squabbling goes on in other fandoms? Is it just a problem here because we're a bunch of gaijin and the illusion has been allowed to develop that NGE is merely high-class foreign art? If you were a Japanese in the age bracket of our forum's users, you could have seen NGE on regular TV in the mid-90s and the movie in your local theaters, been privy to all the press, and been rather used to things like model kits that include a couple of pages in their instructions that (GASP!) reveal details not in the show.

I wonder how many NGE fans consider how relatively easy we have it compared to many. We're bombarded by far fewer "canonical distractions" than all this ado justifies, in my opinion. It's mostly just simple "fill in the blanks" stuff, not vast hordes of Gainax-sanctioned expanded universe novels, comics, etc., clearly set in the same universe as the original show.

Imagine if something like Star Wars had only a niche presence in Japan. Everyone was used to working from the movies alone. Then, years after the fact, somebody translated some of the supplemental books detailing the alien worlds/races and the spacecraft into Japanese. Now imagine Japanese fans responding with outcry because those books weren't written by George Lucas himself and thus can't be trusted, and, in addition, they provide too many details. Now fans aren't free to imagine whatever they wanted about Wookiees, Ewoks, Dantooine, and X-Wing propulsion systems. Anything that needed to be said about all those things should have been in the original work, dammit!

Does that scenario sound silly to you? I'm sure the analogy can be further expanded for maximum silliness.

Also, Allemann, you still haven't looked through the entire thread.

http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=237672#237672

There is probably other stuff explaining Anno's role (there are lots of interviews and such that were released in connection to the game online, and there's at least one video clip of Anno speaking about the game), but, alas, crawling through that labyrinth of Moonspeak requires a lot of work. When barely any of the stuff in the game has been translated, satisfying those who rather often won't pay any respects to the multi-tiered canonical system implicitly required by a fandom like this is not much of a priority.
Last edited by Reichu on Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby NemZ » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:33 pm

Reichu wrote:Does that scenario sound silly to you?


Not at all. In fact, even being a native English speaker I agree; all that expanded universe stuff might as well not exist.

Or the prequel trilogy, for that matter. :devil:
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Postby Reichu » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:56 pm

NemZ wrote:Not at all. In fact, even being a native English speaker I agree; all that expanded universe stuff might as well not exist.

So, then, how do you propose a fandom deal with the chasm between those who embrace all of these extra details and are willing to reconcile them with the original work on a priority system, and those who want to simply ignore them and feel free to debate with complete disregard to those materials? No agreement at all results in the kind of utter madness and fruitless, circular tangents one sees in debates between scientists and creationists -- the discussions get nowhere because both parties have completely different rules of debate that they're following. You can see how thread hijacks of a philosophical nature happen fairly often because of this.

Also:


A: "I have a theory that Eva-04 is pink."
B: "What? We know what Eva-04 looks like. It's silver."
A: "We never see Eva-04 in the show. Therefore, it could well be pink. With ribbons."


A: "I think that the Black and White Moon were built by the Atlanteans."
B: "Wait, what? They were made by aliens. First Impact happened because the Black Moon smashed into Earth after the White Moon had already arrived. This is also why we're the false--"
A: "It's not in the show! I don't have to believe it! There could be alternate explanations for all of that!!"


A: "Rei's soul being that of Lilith is a bunch of hooey. I have this theory that--"
B: "Are you on crack? Everything in the show points to it. Besides, all the supplemental stuff says--"
A: "THE SHOW NEVER STATES IT, THEREFORE ALTERNATE EXPLANATIONS ARE VALID AND DESIRABLE!"


I'm caricaturing a bit, but, really, I think a total disregard for everything outside of the show, and an inability to compromise within a community setting, leads no where particularly productive.

Legendary wrote:If anything, one would think this argument would be better directed at things like Kaji's or Pen^2's backstory, both of which originate in the manga that Anno didn't make.

Some of the stuff Sadamoto has put in the manga, like PenPen's backstory, were salvaged from original story plans -- so, on account of us knowing that, those details get a bit of leeway. We ended up putting the manga on Tier 4, and it works out pretty well.

The old "What is Canon?" page could probably use some cleaning up, but it's something a lot of the people in this thread need to see, I imagine.
Last edited by Reichu on Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby NemZ » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:03 pm

If these fans were being reasonable they wouldn't speculate at all about things they have no certain knowledge of, and instead restrict their pondering to things extrapolated from what IS shown.
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Postby Ornette » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:54 pm

NemZ wrote:If these fans were being reasonable they wouldn't speculate at all about things they have no certain knowledge of, and instead restrict their pondering to things extrapolated from what IS shown.

You mean like Shinji X Asuka or anit-Shinji X Asuka? Oh wait, that's all dependant on interpretation of what IS shown. Thanks for telling all the fans how and how not to be reasonable in your eyes. That reminds me of someone else who keeps telling people how fans of shows should and shouldn't behave.

If there wasn't a guide out there that showed people what should be paid more attention to and what isn't really that important, there should be one (oh yeah, that's Tiers of Canonicity).

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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:28 pm

Reichu wrote:I wonder how much of this squabbling goes on in other fandoms?
A lot. Things get much trickier than this when we're dealing with texts much, much older which introduces a whole new world of complications into the mix.

Reichu wrote:how do you propose a fandom deal with the chasm between ... I think a total disregard for everything outside of the show, and an inability to compromise within a community setting, leads no where particularly productive.
I don't see any reason the two conflicting opinions can't co-exist in this setting. For official things that represent the work of the fandom as a community (like the Wiki) then majority opinion will ultimately win out. All the minority ask like myself is that we have the freedom to express our opinion and that there's some kind of designated place on even places like the Wiki to present that opinion.

Also, I think the key word you use is "productive". What is productivity in this setting? For some, productivity means answering the lingering questions the series leaves. For me, this turns it into little more than a crossword puzzle when we all know that it's much more than that. It's not something to be solved so we can all say "there, now we know everything, let's go home". The real richness of NGE and the communal experience is a direct result of all the ambiguities, interpretations, and conflicting expressed experiences and perspectives that we come together and share and discuss. Without those things, WE HAVE NOTHING LEFT. The productivity isn't in the finding answers but in the illusive process of finding answers; in that interminable journey of everyone discussing the many facets of a work that defies any single, all encompassing answers in terms of organicistically and holistically.
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Postby NemZ » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:36 pm

Ornette wrote:You mean like Shinji X Asuka or anit-Shinji X Asuka? Oh wait, that's all dependant on interpretation of what IS shown. Thanks for telling all the fans how and how not to be reasonable in your eyes.


What? O_o That has absolutely nothing to do with the point I was making.

All I'm saying is that IF one adopts the "show-only" viewpoint on canonicity, THEN it is reasonable only to discuss things that there is any evidence in the show to support. Anything else would be a completely open field from that perspective and thus is not worth trying prove anything at all about.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:23 am

I see where you are going with some of those examples, Reichu

>A: "We never see Eva-04 in the show. Therefore, it could well be pink. With ribbons."
Image

>A: "I think that the Black and White Moon were built by the Atlanteans."
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Postby Reichu » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:03 am

Eva Yojimbo wrote:Also, I think the key word you use is "productive". What is productivity in this setting?

Being able to just talk about things like the FAR in a FAR thread instead of having people go in there and talk about how they don't like the FAR because they're "from a video game", etc.
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Postby DatDude » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:16 am

Reichu wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote:Also, I think the key word you use is "productive". What is productivity in this setting?

Being able to just talk about things like the FAR in a FAR thread instead of having people go in there and talk about how they don't like the FAR because they're "from a video game", etc.


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