Evangelion New Theartical Edition as Tale

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition"). The final instalment is scheduled to debut in Japan at some date to be announced.

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Blue Monday
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Evangelion New Theartical Edition as Tale

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Postby Blue Monday » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:57 am

Citing Hideaki Anno's short essay Celebrating the Revival of Gundam as Tale, which is included as a bonus in the brilliant Vertical hardcover release of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin - I'd like kick around the idea of Evangelion as a Tale.

Children of fate, brought together to defend the world and humanity.
Giant God Warriors fighting monsters, aliens, of indescribable terror and power.
The currents of nations and parties, hearts cruel and filled with greed and lust, who would rather mould the scenario to their own dark agendas.
A hero who reaches out solemnly against all odds, only to be cast adrift from time for 14 years.
A hero who awakens to a world changed. A world marred by his own hand, though fault is not his own.
A hero who yearns for a girl who is but an effigy of his mother passed.

"It is a story where the main character witnesses many horrors with his own eyes, but still tries to stand up again.
It is a story of will; a story of moving forward, if only just a little.
It is a story of fear, where someone who must face indefinite solitude fears reaching out to others, but still wants to try."

So I just recently finished reading The Silmarillion by Tolkien and it set in fourth a train of thought that was further spurred by the aforelinked essay. In light of Q, Evangelion New Theatrical edition is set into sheer epic proportions with a world and setting hitherto unseen in the franchise. If we look at the film itself, and to quote myself from another thread, Q is contemporary Evangelion; a minimalist and sombre tragedy bookended by crazy over-the-top sci-fi action pieces.

The word "tragedy" sticks out, and many users have indeed likened the events in Q to a Greek tragedy. Now if we use something like the positioning/mood text I posted above and look at New Theatrical edition through the lens of myth, or even as mythopoeia (Which for some will require a blurring of the setting and details, given present the sci-fi staples, tropes, et cetera), I believe the story elements of a Tale become more pronounced.

"As for me, I'll do my best so that my next project will come across as a Tale."
—Hideaki Anno

Considering this approach, what does it tell us about some of the narrative choices made thus far by Khara and Anno? Many people (not all, mind) have struggled to gleam a message or theme from the course developments of the story so far, especially when to some they seem to clash or go against those recognised in the original work. To this I'll offer up the possibility that Anno, Khara and company have discarded the goal of a grand, overwrought message to their audience. Which is pastiche of Neon Genesis at best. Instead, seeking to create a Tale, forge myth anew.

At the same time as having said that, it doesn't mean there aren't themes or sub-texts present within the new work, because there obviously are - And this is just one facet as a result of looking at Evangelion New Theatrical edition as a Tale.

So EGF, what other consequences could there be from examining Evangelion as a Tale?

Hopefully I'm able to get my thoughts out upon the matter clearly, because I ran it by a few people beforehand who didn't seem to follow my somewhat oblique ramblings. But have at it anyway. You guys can do the heavy-lifting.

"Eva(Geeks) is a story that repeats."
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Postby Azathoth » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:05 pm

I'm glad you linked to that essay because it had been totally under the radar for me. It makes pretty obvious a lot of what has already been speculated about exposition of Shinji's character in Rebuild. Shinji in NGE is a sort of Ephesus House of the Virgin: he may or may not have genuine significance, but the manner in which Anno feels the majority of viewers related to him is that of pure fantasy, pious fiction basically. Therefore Anno takes the house down to the foundation and attempts to make something genuine out of it. "The Tale that enveloped the worldview and ideas on war presented in First Gundam ceased to function as anything more than device for the mobile suit fantasy." And the tale that enveloped the worldview of Eva became backgrounded to the notion of "hey this bitch anime kid's got a robut and hot girls, clearly anime ≫ irl". The problem is that Anno doesn't know a damn thing about how to build a house but hey, at least one can't fantasize for very long about ReShinji without remembering what a despicable little fucker he is.
Nothing is so valuable that it need not be started afresh, nothing is so rich that it need not be enriched constantly.

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