Eva Yojimbo wrote:
Did you know that it's also fully subjective that Misato and Kaji had sex? True story. The series never explicitly tells us this. It's also fully subjective that piloting Eva represents returning to the womb, that Instrumentality is a metaphor for death, that Shinji is introverted, that water and the moon is associated with Rei, that Rei is associated with Yui, that Shinji masturbated to Asuka (maybe it WAS just mayo on his hands!), that there's a red/blue motif in the series, etc. Are you going to start denying all of these too?
Why should I? And what does this have to do with religious symbolism? I'm discussing that subject in particular. Tagging me as someone who denies any meaning in Evangelion above the literal is fallacious and dishonest.
Genesis, Fruit of Life/Knowledge, God... pretty much any religious reference that's thrown out but never shown. How do things we're never shown LOOK cool?
They SOUND cool.
So is a VA. It doesn't mean their interpretations of all the series' elements are actually accurate.
Only in Jimbo's world are an assistant director and a voice actor equivocated in terms of contribution to the film. The man was there and interacted with Anno and the rest of the working staff on a daily and personal level. He even talks in third person, alluding that those decision were made on a collective level whose legitimate member he was.
Tell me, Jimbo, will you now start denying Anno's explanations of various decisions in making NGE-erm, I mean "interpretations" when it doesn't suit your ideology?
And I wouldn't argue that "Evangelion" has any significance (though "Neon Genesis" certainly does).
Just another evasion from your side.
Why should we give weight to any interpretation? Maybe because some seem to fit with the facts of the series?
We're aren't (at least not I) talking about any
interpretation. We're talking here about your
intepretation. And you don't give any reason why we should give weight to your
intrepretations, especially when it explicitly contradicts official statements regarding some aspect of NGE. Why listen to Jimbo over to the original staff? Why?
Your idea of "the truth" is turning off your brain and believing what someone else tells you even though you've taken that something completely out of context
I just list official statements on the matter and let them speak for themselves. I try my best not to project me into it, and I contain myself from adding anything over or above it.
and there's a mountain of evidence for an alternate interpretation.
Are you such a postmodernist that even the author's ideas behind his works are only interpretations and on equal footing with an interpretation of some fan? With that kind of attitude you make yourself outside critical appraisal and a possible refutation.
What have I fallaciously and feebly dismissed? Even your partner in crime, Xard, is calling you out for "selective ignorance".
Using adjectives as "one-line", "potentially off-hand", "out-of-context" shows you can't refute the quote, so you resort to unwarranted dismissal and snarky tone.
Picking symbolism because "it looks cool" and saying "it doesn't have any religious meaning" does not equate to "it has absolutely no meaning or purpose".
You're attacking a straw man, Jimbo. Of course it does serve a purpose. The development staff wanted that their show stands out from other mecha shows by using idiosyncratic names and symbols from a minority religion in their homeland. But beyond that it doesn't have any additional function.
Any idiot could see that, even on a superficial level, the symbolism connects with aspects of the narrative. In which case it would act as symbolic reinforcement which, again, is doing more than "looking cool".
None of this can be right. Reinforcement implies prior familiarity with the content, which barely any Japanese has when it comes to Christianity (not to mention Kabbalah and apocryphal documents, which are knowable only to specialists even in the West). There's no reinforcement taking place. And religious symbols can reinforce only religious themes because that is what symbols do by definition. As NGE isn't a show about religion, those religious references aren't symbols and can't be treated as such.
Your problem is that you're confusing signs and symbols. Let me explain this to you from a structuralist perspective. Following de Saussure's ideas, there's a crucial difference between a symbol and a sign. They both consist of a signifier and the signified, but the difference is that in the latter, the link between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary, and by that I mean that there is nothing in the signifier itself that leads to the signified. Symbols, on the other hand, do have a minimal link between the two elements. When Anno is using religious references, he's using them as signifiers in sings, not symbols. The relation between Adam (signifier) and a glowing giant (signified) is an arbitrary relation. Adam isn't supposed to reinforce the notion of the first man according to Genesis, but to lead solely to a giant, extraterrestrial being. The same can be said of true symbols regarding the mecha genre and the Otaku subculture, but which we interpret only as signs because we don't live in Japan.
Once again, Anno used signifiers from religious symbols for creating his signs. Those signs don't summon any additional ideas like the virgin birth, sin, or martyrdom. They only direct towards onscreen extraterrestrial beings, with any summoning of religious ideas in peoples' minds as incidental, since Anno or anybody else from Gainax didn't expect Westerners would someday watch Evangelion.
The mistake you're making is that you treat signs as symbols instead of the intended opposite due to the reinforcement the religious signifiers have on you as a person raised in a Judeo-Christian culture. If Gainax knew what conundrum would the usage of those signifiers cause, as Tsurumaki informs, they would use other groups of signifiers to make wholes that would be interpreted only as signs over both sides of the Pacific.
Are you telling me that all of the connections people like myself, Carl Horn, Jornophelanthas and others have pointed out are mere coincidence?
Yes. Evangelion is a sufficiently vague show, and with not having plenty of official things that were never shown outside of Japan, our desire to have some meaning (humans are meaning machines) lets our creative faculty run rampantly.
So? The majority of the allusions in The Waste Land and Ulysses go over people's heads, but that doesn't mean they aren't there.
And just because you discover an alleged allusion it doesn't mean it's there.
The point is that Jornophelantas's claims of martyrdom for humanity's sin, the Virgin Mary, Shinji as a Christ figure, etc. are false. There are no allusions to them. Anno and co. are not interested in transmitting those ideas or connecting them with the pure S.F. plot that Evangelion only is. The religious symbols are embroidery around a secular story. You, people, repeatedly forget to put off your western-centric glasses and position yourself in the perspective of native Japanese watching the show on TV.
And you (or anybody, actually) still haven't presented a single argument as to why any interpretation of the symbolism that's been given is actually fallacious, invalid, untrue, or wrong-headed on any level.
I did. Tsurumaki's statement.
By YOUR argument, I could write a poem about flowers and say it wasn't about flowers and that would be enough to convince you.
It would. You're the author.