[speculation] What if the timeskip never occurred

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition").
The third installment debuted in Japan on November 17, 2012.

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Jornophelanthas
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Postby Jornophelanthas » Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:06 am

@tzigi:

What we have been offered in Rebuild 3.0 does indeed contain several story elements that are quite similar to ones already present in NGE, as you have pointed out.

However, the overall story that these elements tell (along with all the new story elements) is so different from the story of NGE, that I believe it is no longer warranted to classify it as a "variation" of NGE. Instead, I would say that it is a new story springing forth from the same roots as NGE.

Just to point out, these are the significant differences (in no particular order):
- WILLE as a major new force, including a rather large cast of both old and new characters.
- instead of a primary focus on the NERV-SEELE conflict (where both organisations have sinister motives), we have the NERV-WILLE conflict, where WILLE comes off having nobler goals.
- Misato and Ritsuko actively opposing NERV/Gendo, and working with others to do so.
- SEELE being utterly destroyed.
- Rei 3.0 choosing to save her own life (very much unlike Rei III).
- Shinji dealing with blame and guilt over the consequences of his piloting Unit-01.
- Misato avoiding contact with Shinji, possibly even fearing him, and generally acting like pre-timeskip Gendo.
- Asuka ostensibly forgiving Shinji enough to decide to save his life and take him with her in the end.
- in fact, Asuka is quite far from having a nervous breakdown (unlike in NGE episodes 19-24), and she is also far more in control of herself than during her final battle in EoE.
- Lilith being dead, having first been awakened somehow by Mark-06 and/or the 12th Angel.
- we learn of the significance of Wunder, and its connection to Mark-09 and Unit-01, although it remains unclear what it all means (yet it is quite different from NGE/EoE).

Because everyone but Shinji is 14 years older now, this has prompted different behaviour from most other major characters, most notably Misato, Asuka, Gendo and Fuyutsuki (as well as the introduction of new characters like Sakura). Kaworu is the exception here; he appears to be completely timeless, and his role in the story is the biggest parallel with NGE.

So while some steps in this new story are familiar, this is no guarantee that either the story path as a whole, or the direction it takes will end up being the same (or even similar) to NGE and/or EoE.

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Postby Charsi » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:49 am

View Original PostJornophelanthas wrote:In case you haven't noticed, the deviations from the original story grow exponentially with each Rebuild movie, and I am quite certain that this is intentional:

- Rebuild 1.0 follows NGE episodes 1-6 very closely, with only a few minor hints at differences (e.g. Misato taking Shinji to see Lilith, Kaworu on the moon).


Being introduced to Lilith and Kaworu in the first third of the series is "minor"?

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Postby Jornophelanthas » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:14 am

View Original PostCharsi wrote:Being introduced to Lilith and Kaworu in the first third of the series is "minor"?


Re: Lilith
Shinji being shown Lilith by Misato was a more forceful (and earlier) variant of Shinji learning that all of the Geofront will self-destruct if an Angel ever reaches Terminal Dogma. It served both to make this point, and to replace the scene in NGE where the viewer first learns of the white giant in the basement (a scene that did not exist in 2.0 or 3.0).

Re: Kaworu
Kaworu was only shown in the very last scene and exchanged some cryptic words with the voice of Chairman Kiel. Basically, it was nothing but a foreshadowing scene.

Both these scenes were meant to provide necessary information for new viewers, while surprising the "older" viewer (who also knows NGE) by introducing known story elements way ahead of time (and slightly out of place). However, the addition of these scenes did not cause the overall plot of Rebuild 1.0 to deviate from the overall plot of NGE episodes 1-6.

(In fact, the Lilith scene was presented as a solution to Shinji's refusal to pilot - which was a problem that was arguably only introduced to give cause for the inclusion of this scene.)

The major implications of these scenes (i.e. Misato knowing about Lilith from the very start; Kaworu already knowing Shinji before ever meeting him) fall well outside of the scope of both Rebuild 1.0 and NGE episodes 1-6. In fact, these difference do not even start to feature prominently until the very end of Rebuild 2.0.

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Postby tzigi » Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:56 pm

View Original PostJornophelanthas wrote:@tzigi:

What we have been offered in Rebuild 3.0 does indeed contain several story elements that are quite similar to ones already present in NGE, as you have pointed out.

However, the overall story that these elements tell (along with all the new story elements) is so different from the story of NGE, that I believe it is no longer warranted to classify it as a "variation" of NGE. Instead, I would say that it is a new story springing forth from the same roots as NGE.

(...)
So while some steps in this new story are familiar, this is no guarantee that either the story path as a whole, or the direction it takes will end up being the same (or even similar) to NGE and/or EoE.

We are talking about two different things - you mention the lack of real plot similarities. And I concur - the plot diverges greatly (it would be beyond the realm of any probability to let it be in Q as it is in NGE). But what I was talking about is that there are structural similarities - some events parallel directly the ones from NGE. That is what I meant with "narrative scheme".
Quidquid agis, prudenter agas.

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Postby Jornophelanthas » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:49 pm

@tzigi:
Then I think we are in agreement. Rebuild 2.0 and Rebuild 3.0 walk on opposite sides of a very fine line.

Rebuild 2.0 balances between parallelling/compressing the events in NGE episodes 7-18, 20 and 23 on the one hand, and deviating from the outcome of the main plotlines. The result is a story with a very familiar-seeming plotline, but with a set of surprising new events/outcomes. (Did you really expect Rei to be somehow saved in the end?)

Rebuild 3.0 balances between telling an entirely new story, while still incorporating familiar plot elements from NGE episodes 19, 21-22 and 24 and EoE. The result is a story with a surprising new plotline, but with a set of familiar-seeming events/outcomes. (Did you really expect Kaworu to not die in the end?)

A similar case could be made for Rebuild 1.0 vs. FINAL. While Rebuild 1.0 mostly copies NGE episodes 1-6, with a few twists that will only have their full impact later, I fully expect FINAL to be entirely new, but with a few throwback moments to (parts of) EoE.
(possible candidate scenes from EoE: Asuka's fight with the MP Evangelions, Misato sacrificing herself, Gendo's ultimate victory being snatched away from him through his own fault, Shinji deciding the fate of the world, ghostly Rei apparation appearing in the very last scene.)

Seen in this way, the timeskip represents the "fine line" mentioned above. It can be viewed as the surface of a mirror in the middle of the tetralogy. And it needs to occur for this transition from mostly-the-same-as-NGE to mostly-different-from-NGE to take place.

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Postby Monk Ed » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:37 pm

View Original PostJornophelanthas wrote:@tzigi:
Then I think we are in agreement. Rebuild 2.0 and Rebuild 3.0 walk on opposite sides of a very fine line.

Rebuild 2.0 balances between parallelling/compressing the events in NGE episodes 7-18, 20 and 23 on the one hand, and deviating from the outcome of the main plotlines. The result is a story with a very familiar-seeming plotline, but with a set of surprising new events/outcomes. (Did you really expect Rei to be somehow saved in the end?)

Rebuild 3.0 balances between telling an entirely new story, while still incorporating familiar plot elements from NGE episodes 19, 21-22 and 24 and EoE. The result is a story with a surprising new plotline, but with a set of familiar-seeming events/outcomes. (Did you really expect Kaworu to not die in the end?)

Yes. Yeees. This is an excellent expression of the feelings I've had on 2.x vs 3.x. I'd been having so much trouble putting it into words and didn't feel like my best attempts recently were good enough. Couldn't have said it better myself.
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