Asking Questions! [ending, loops?]

For serious and at times in-depth discussions only, covering the original TV series, the movies End of Evangelion and Death & Rebirth.

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Asking Questions! [ending, loops?]

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Postby Henshin Eternal E » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:50 pm

I'm new. I watched NGE's original series when I was younger but forgot about it. Now that I have extra time on my hands, I've watched all twenty-six episodes (and no extras; EoE and the Rebuilds). Good show, I guess. I say "I guess" because I didn't really grasp the ending too much. But not in the way you think! I'll explain.

Instrumentality. What makes Shinji so important? For a spineless, hot-n'-cold coward, he sure does seem rather mighty in that he's able to think outside of the box (pun?) and reject something that 6,999,999,999 people weren't able to.

What makes him so damn special? Does he actually reject it and return to reality? That means he's all alone, no? Or is the AU seen in Ep26 his new "reality"? I was going to ask something else as well but I forgot it. Oh well.
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Postby UrsusArctos » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:08 am

If you're confused by it, don't worry. It caused actual outrage in Japan with people writing to newspapers to complain about it. No anime ever caused such an uproar with its ending before. If I had to explain it, it's an exploration of the psyches of the characters. Instrumentality has already started, and most of what you see is in the characters' minds, with some parts of Episode 25 showing the reality outside (Misato and Ritsuko being dead, for instance, Asuka being in her Eva). End of Evangelion shows some of the physical reality of what went on, Asuka putting up one hell of a fight before going down, the sheer madness of the beginning of instrumentality.

Both endings - the TV ending and Evangelion - represent different aspects of the instrumentality process and are considered to be part of the same continuity (although that has been hotly debated for years on end).

As for Shinji himself, he's not a coward at all. He reacts much the same way one of us would if we'd been thrown into his place, aside from his severe depression and self-esteem issues. There is literally nothing special about Shinji, aside from the fact that his mother is inside Eva-01 and is one of the key players in setting up Instrumentality. I suggest you watch EoE to take a look at the other aspects of the end of the series, and the appearance of Shinji's mother. It would help you understand the discussion following this better. (Rebuild is a different continuity, no need to bother with it)
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Re: Asking (Dumb) Questions!

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Postby Mr. Tines » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:13 am

View Original PostHenshin Eternal E wrote:Instrumentality. What makes Shinji so important? For a spineless, hot-n'-cold coward, he sure does seem rather mighty in that he's able to think outside of the box (pun?) and reject something that 6,999,999,999 people weren't able to.
In EoE, he's special because he's the person Rei chooses to give privileged access to. The other 2,999,999,999 (Second Impact, remember) weren't on anywhere near such good terms with her.
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Postby robersora » Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:41 am

Also, Eva 01 is basically his mother, you know, privilege for resetting the world and forming it how you wish kinda stays in the family.
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Postby pwhodges » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:49 am

View Original PostHenshin Eternal E wrote:What makes him so damn special?

The story is about Shinji and his relationships; but it's not literal - rather, it's a metaphor for what's going on in his mind. Thus only his decision matters, and the story places him at centre stage to make it.

Sure, there are some side stories, even important ones like Asuka's, but ultimately the focus is on Shinji to the exclusion of all else. This is even more starkly obvious in Rebuild and the end of the manga, but in my view applies equally in all continuities.
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Postby Henshin Eternal E » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:02 am

I get that it's his mum's soul in the Evangelion, but then, she's supposed to be "god" or whatever. It's supposed to be Yui (as Eva 01) floating around space/nothingness with the human soup amalgam trailing her. I doubt that her or Rei (number whatever) would be like, "Shit niggah. It's cool. Yo ass gets to live in a matrix reality. We gon' be out though. Peace!", even if he is Yui's son, and Rei's love interest/whatever.

So then, what of the other 2,999,999,999 people (well, more like the millions who are old enough to recognise what's going on and change it)? Do they get to maintain the individual reality or are their wishes ignored because, you know, familial privilege?

I'll watch End of Evangelion if I can find it online. I'm still going to be asking questions though. I know it. It's not that the ending wasn't happy. Too many of those. It's that the ending was bullshit. What the fuck was that shit with the "Congratulations"! at the end? Those people are all dead or no longer individuals.
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Postby pwhodges » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:11 am

View Original PostHenshin Eternal E wrote:So then, what of the other 2,999,999,999 people

Take my answer above and apply it to each person in 3,000,000,000 parallel universes (most of which are less interesting than the Eva universe, because most people aren't quite as messed-up as Shinji). Shinji doesn't really determine the fate of everyone in the world - it's just a kind of fictional double-think.
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Postby Henshin Eternal E » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:09 pm

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:Take my answer above and apply it to each person in 3,000,000,000 parallel universes (most of which are less interesting than the Eva universe, because most people aren't quite as messed-up as Shinji). Shinji doesn't really determine the fate of everyone in the world - it's just a kind of fictional double-think.

Wait. What? Parallel universes? What are you talking about?
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Postby Rosenakahara » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:30 pm

View Original PostHenshin Eternal E wrote:Wait. What? Parallel universes? What are you talking about?

evangelion is a story that repeats, its generally accepted that the story of evangelion has been going in a loop with a few differences ever since EoE/EoTV's third impact and the creation of Quantum!Rei creating a bunch of alternate takes on the story (like ANIMA, Rebuild ect.)technically its not parallel universes but the same universe caught in a loop culminating at a single point of terminal dogma/lilliths chamber (as evidenced by 3.0)
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Postby pwhodges » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:44 pm

View Original PostHenshin Eternal E wrote:Wait. What? Parallel universes? What are you talking about?

The story is about the main character. The effect the story has on anyone other than those whom the main character interacts with (the interaction being the point of the story) is of no interest, because those people and their fates simply do not matter in this story. Shinji's big decision is about himself, not anyone else. Evangelion is the story that leads up to that.

If you want the equivalent story for anyone else in the universe, find or write a new story that is about them. My parallel universes are those other stories, which are not in the world of Evangelion but each in their own.
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Postby Bagheera » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:54 pm

View Original PostRosenakahara wrote:evangelion is a story that repeats, its generally accepted that the story of evangelion has been going in a loop with a few differences ever since EoE/EoTV's third impact and the creation of Quantum!Rei creating a bunch of alternate takes on the story (like ANIMA, Rebuild ect.)technically its not parallel universes but the same universe caught in a loop culminating at a single point of terminal dogma/lilliths chamber (as evidenced by 3.0)


That is not what is generally accepted. What's generally accepted is that there are a number of alternate settings for various Evangelion stories and that, for the most part, they do not interact (goofiness like Kaworu in SRW notwithstanding). Loop theories are popular, but calling them "generally accepted" is quite a stretch (particularly since the most popular ones have been pretty thoroughly debunked).
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Postby Rosenakahara » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:05 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:That is not what is generally accepted. What's generally accepted is that there are a number of alternate settings for various Evangelion stories and that, for the most part, they do not interact (goofiness like Kaworu in SRW notwithstanding). Loop theories are popular, but calling them "generally accepted" is quite a stretch (particularly since the most popular ones have been pretty thoroughly debunked).

Im just going by what and see and most people i see agree with the loop theory and i think that too tbh because that's my interpretation of it but again the only reason i called it generally accepted is because thats what i see
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Postby Henshin Eternal E » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:45 pm

I think we can all agree that Evangelion is just a clusterfuck of confusion with no clear ending. For a while it seemed like it was trying to overshadow Gundam, then I learned the Evas are human, so it began to look like some "Sie sind das essen, und wir sind die jager!". Now, it looks like Paranoia Agent, the Matrix and some other crazy psychological work with some nightmare fuel added for effect.

EDIT: Which means that there is no canonical ending, only speculation and theories.
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Postby Bagheera » Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:02 pm

Not really. The canonical ending is EoTV + EoE. There's nothing terribly ambiguous about that fact. The manga and the ENT series are their own continuities with their own endings -- again, nothing terribly unclear about this. We debate and theorize a lot about what the endings mean and (in the case of EoE + EoTV) how they interact, but identifying them as endings is not really a subject of debate.

Eva's complex, but once you sort it all out it's really not that confusing. The notion that it has no clear ending is nonsense, since EoE's about as clear as you can get on the matter.
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Postby slothen » Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:04 pm

View Original PostHenshin Eternal E wrote:For a while it seemed like it was trying to overshadow Gundam, then I learned the Evas are human, so it began to look like some "Sie sind das essen, und wir sind die jager!". Now, it looks like Paranoia Agent, the Matrix and some other crazy psychological work with some nightmare fuel added for effect.


definitely watch EoE, definitely make sure you have the director's cut versions of the last few episodes. And then forget 25 and 26 exist. They're useful for character insight and interesting things, not much for understanding what happens.
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Postby Henshin Eternal E » Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:31 pm

I'm going to go ahead and watch EoE and the Director's Cut material, then get back to y'all.
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Postby Compiling_Autumn » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:59 pm

View Original PostRosenakahara wrote:Im just going by what and see and most people i see agree with the loop theory and i think that too tbh because that's my interpretation of it but again the only reason i called it generally accepted is because thats what i see


Welcome to Evageeks, where "Loop Theory" is like the young-earth creationism of EVA theories. Even the most ardent Quantum Rei supporters won't try to put to fill all the EVA franchise stories into one meta-continuity.

Having other people who share your viewpoint isn't a bad thing, reading their arguments helps strengthen your own, but a consensus can only go so far if you don't have compelling evidence to back it up. Why do you think that the EVA franchise operates in one big "looping" story, and secondly, what does this kind of interpretation add to the series?
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Postby NemZ » Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:07 am

View Original PostRosenakahara wrote:Im just going by what and see and most people i see agree with the loop theory and i think that too tbh because that's my interpretation of it but again the only reason i called it generally accepted is because thats what i see


In rebuild perhaps. That doesn't apply at all to the rest of eva.
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Postby ObsessiveMathsFreak » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:22 am

View Original PostCompiling_Autumn wrote:Welcome to Evageeks, where "Loop Theory" is like the young-earth creationism of EVA theories. Even the most ardent Quantum Rei supporters won't try to put to fill all the EVA franchise stories into one meta-continuity.

Actually, an internal Rebuild-continuity only loop theory might actually make sense. Then again. quite a lot of things could be made to make sense if you stare at 3.0 for long enough.
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Postby Bagheera » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:06 am

View Original PostObsessiveMathsFreak wrote:Actually, an internal Rebuild-continuity only loop theory might actually make sense. Then again. quite a lot of things could be made to make sense if you stare at 3.0 for long enough.


Even when considering the new movies alone it all hinges on Kaworu's cryptic lines. And that's . . . not much. I mean, if we had some indication the Adams, or Lilith, or something were monkeying around with time it'd be a fair cop, but there isn't any. We don't even have Quantum!Rei to work with this time around (we have that apparition in Jo, but we have no idea as to its origin so it could be anything).

But yeah, it's at least possible in the new stuff. But all of it? NGE + Manga + new movies? Can't see it. There isn't even a mechanism in place to make it happen, since we see how things are resolved after Impact in both NGE and the Manga.
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Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.


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