Anno vs. Otaku (critcism, self-reflection, etc)

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Postby LukeMM95 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:18 pm

I don't know about you guys but I always crack up when the movie cuts to that empty cinema. Like that was the actual reaction most movie goers had to the End of Evangelion when it was first released. All that's missing is one lone guy seated in the far back who shouts "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!". Silly, I know but I chuckle every time :D
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Postby Monk Ed » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:42 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:One thing that strikes me as particularly Anti-Otaku is

All in your head, given what was said upthread.

I never took it (the "Angry Girlfriend"/"Bad Breakup" sequence) that way myself. I saw it as part of the story and an expression of Shinji's feelings -- like the whole world was rejecting him.
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Postby Ray » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:52 pm

Anno may deny it to mess with the Otaku, but I genuinely believe at the time he genuinely had a bone to pick. For better or worse with his fans.
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Postby LordThaeon » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:24 am

View Original PostRay wrote:Anno may deny it to mess with the Otaku, but I genuinely believe at the time he genuinely had a bone to pick. For better or worse with his fans.


I wouldn't be surprised considering the death threats that he got over the original ending to the series.

Though I'd say that he goes way too far and no where is that more apparent than EOE. The possible subtext of many "Shinji sucks" scenes, MP evas destroying Asuka and the Hospital Scene are likely targeted towards Otakus. But Anno doesn't make it clear as to who he targets and therefore, everyone who watches EOE ends up getting "beaten over the head with anvils" that weren't meant for them.

It's the equivalent of getting slapped for something that someone else did. You're not going to learn anything, you just end up standing there baffled and angry that you got slapped for no reason.

Not to mention the flanderization of Shinji as a weak-willed spineless wimp as a representation of how he sees Otakus (or the people who threatened him, but Anno wasn't in the mood to clarify). (which goes on to haunt his reputation up to the present day)
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Postby Monk Ed » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:31 am

View Original PostLordThaeon wrote:I wouldn't be surprised considering the death threats that he got over the original ending to the series.

Do you have a source for that? I've never actually seen one myself, but I've heard it suggested that it's an urban legend -- and that what death threats Anno and/or Gainax did receive were over something else entirely (something about a religious group).
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Postby Ray » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:42 am

Didn't he photograph them and put them directly in the picture? Or were those fabricated?
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Postby Monk Ed » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:47 am

View Original PostRay wrote:Didn't he photograph them and put them directly in the picture?

http://wiki.evageeks.org/Theory_and_Analysis:List_of_Common_Misconceptions#.22Anno.27s_Revenge.22

Finally, some argue that the smoking gun for Anno's revenge is the sequence of quickly flashing (about one per frame) death threats/hate mail which can be seen at the end of the live action sequence in the second half of the movie. However this rumor was started, it was probably propagated by the Commentary track on the Manga Entertainment release of End of Evangelion, where Amanda Winn Lee gives a mention of hate mail during this sequence. Since these have been translated to English, the majority of the letters and emails are that of personal attachment to the show, praise, or encouragement/anticipation for the End of Evangelion movie. Only one of the emails can be considered 'hate mail', and it was criticizing Death and Rebirth (not the end of the TV series at all), and the only 2 possible instances that could be considered a 'death threat' was graffiti on the wall outside of Gainax's studio (which was hypothesized to be from religious fanatics) and an email that said "Anno, I'll kill you!!!", which was a close-up of only that message on a computer monitor and lacked any context whatsoever.
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"To me watching anime is not just for killing time or entertainment, it is a life style, and a healthy one too." -- symbv
"That sounds like the kind of science that makes absolutely 0 sense when you stop and think about it... I LOVE IT." -- Rosenakahara

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:51 am

The breakup sequence being anti-otaku would suggest that breakups are something unique to otaku. They're not. As much as I tend to distance myself from hard core interpretations of congruency, there is something to be said comparing EoE's breakup sequence with EoTV's everyone hating Shinji over the phone sequence. In both instances, Shinji seemed to be comparing himself to what he thought other people were thinking of him. In EoTV, Shinji realizes that everyone doesn't hate him like he thinks they do. In EoE, however, he goes on believing that everyone hates him, and the film ends more or less with him believing that.

Simply saying "Oh, Anno hates otaku. Here's this breakup scene for proof," ignores these more useful and intended discussions about this scene in context with the rest of the film and contrasted with the rest of the series. Also, if EoE's breakup scene proves that Anno hates otaku, someone needs to tell me how a similar scene in EoTV helped Shinji realize that others don't hate him and that he could learn to love himself instead.

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Postby Monk Ed » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:33 am

Not to mention I would have thought that the top joke about otaku is that they don't know what a breakup is like because that would require getting a girlfriend first.
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"That sounds like the kind of science that makes absolutely 0 sense when you stop and think about it... I LOVE IT." -- Rosenakahara

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Postby Ray » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:35 am

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:
If EoE's breakup scene proves that Anno hates otaku, someone needs to tell me how a similar scene in EoTV helped Shinji realize that others don't hate him and that he could learn to love himself instead.


Because fans hated the way the TV series ended? I dunno. . .I'm playing devils advocate here.
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Phew, I’m not tense anymore… now I’m just miserable.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:55 am

Well, as Monk Ed pointed out above, the translation of many of the letters shown in EoE actually are of support towards Anno and GAINAX for their Evangelion TV Series, included EoTV. So there’s not a whole lot of indication that all of the otaku hated EoTV or anything.

And even without the translation, there are just way too many teddy bears and kitty cats going on for some of these to be hate mail.

Teddy Bears and Kitty Cats fanmail in EoE  SPOILER: Show
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How can you see these and think “Yes, these are all condescending and Anno hates them all”?

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Postby Maru » Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:29 pm

Coming back to this thread, I still don't feel like we're any closer to figuring out what Anno was trying to say. Of course, perhaps that's the point, since it's been established that he's not going to say what he had in mind, and that it's on us to figure it out.

What bothers me is how contradictory some of these meanings seem to be. In one case, the meaning is "go out! get a girlfriend! get laid! try to succeed and fail, because it's better than living in a dream!" In another case, it's something else entirely (sorry, Monk Ed, I couldn't find what you considered the meaning to be, but I would be pleased to hear your thoughts, or to have them pointed out to me).

Personally, I feel like I've kind of outgrown Evangelion, in the sense that I no longer feel it necessary to be told that the otaku lifestyle sucks. I haven't broken free of it yet, but at least at this point I know it isn't healthy, and it's time to move out of my parents' house, get a job, build a life for myself, and do my best to leave my mark on the world, to actually create something rather than just consume what others have created.

Huh. That's another line of thought. Eva as a critique of post-industrialism and post-modernism, anyone?

I really would like to start this up again and here some more discussion on this.
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Postby Chuckman » Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:32 pm

The key to understanding Anno's message is this:

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Postby Monk Ed » Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:44 pm

View Original PostMaru wrote:(sorry, Monk Ed, I couldn't find what you considered the meaning to be, but I would be pleased to hear your thoughts, or to have them pointed out to me).

Is this in reference to something in particular I said?
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Postby Maru » Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:48 am

View Original PostMonk Ed wrote:Is this in reference to something in particular I said?

It is in response to something you said on this page or the one before, but now that I think of it I'm not sure what it was, lol. I'll check and see if I can find it again.

Looking at it now, it's a response to your reply to Ray, whose comment I quoted but did not attribute to him. It was also more generally in response to your other comments in the last few pages. You seem to have a very sunny view of the world, based on this thread and what I remember of your comments in the past. I like that; it's nice to know that someone here in well-adjusted and happy, or at least can deal with their problems in a well-adjusted manner. Perhaps my image of you isn't correct, but if it is, then the world would probably be a better place if more people followed your example in their own way.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:39 am

I think the issues Anno touches on in NGE have more to do with complacency being a bad thing, and not liking particular anime per sé.

Remember that the Japanese connotations of being an otaku is much more unflattering than just "Oh, you like Eva/Studio Ghibli/Bleach?" Otakus in Japan are not thought of as unpleasant people (putting it kindly, anyway). Their life revolves around masturbating to body pillows and watching more cartoons. That's not what they do to wind down or to enjoy themselves briefly, but rather that's what their life ultimately amounts to. To have one's life revolve primarily around the consumption of entertainment (as oppesed to, say, having friends and using your income primarily to support your financial and social freedom) is a sign of complacency.

In this sense, Eva isn't against merely enjoying anime. Look at Kensuke in the series. He seems to be a bit of a military nerd, and yet he's best friends with the school jock. It shows someone who both has a sting interest in a niche topic, and yet isn't complacent in his lifestyles to the point where he either has no friends or all of his friends need to be interested in only one thing.

Shinji, on the other hand, is complaisant without even being an otaku. Could this be Anno's commentary on the comaicensy that he sees in otaku culture? Yes. Yes it can be. Notoce he never states in his interviews "Het on with your life by stop watching the shows I make." Rather his message is about not being stuck in your life in general. He makes this nuanced point between liking anime and being complacent specifically by depicting Shinji as a non-otaku taking on the compliancy of an otaku, which the military otaku nerd is well adjusted and has friends outside of his circle of interests.

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Postby Shoujo Kakumei Asuka » Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:49 pm

First off all, Kensuke always came off as incredibly obsessed and annoying to me anyway. Selling demeaning photos of Asuka to support your hobby isn't the healthiest thing to do, anyway.

Secondly, even if this is what Anno wants (and I'm starting to think it is), I'm getting tired of the entire point of Shinji serving to be a negative example. Anno once made a statement that states effectively that living in modern Japan isn't that hard, and I agree with it. But Shinji hardly had any semblance of an ordinary life. He WAS becoming more open in the middle of the series, before everything started happening to him. Frankly, depressed people to some degree DO have to "get over it," but that's typically with the assistance of things such as therapy, which Japan doesn't really believe in and Shinji never received.

At any rate, Shinji did do some screwed up things towards the end, and he can be held accountable for them to a degree. At the same time, I think many people with (currently) normal lives would end up reacting the same way if put through the same wringer. Shinji's not particularly bad in regards to this, and I wish he wouldn't be characterized this way. I think Satou from Welcome to the NHK is still much more representative of negative example of an otaku. He crumbles facing a hundredth of what Shinji did.
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Postby Bagheera » Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:07 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Shinji, on the other hand, is complaisant without even being an otaku. Could this be Anno's commentary on the comaicensy that he sees in otaku culture? Yes. Yes it can be. Notoce he never states in his interviews "Het on with your life by stop watching the shows I make." Rather his message is about not being stuck in your life in general. He makes this nuanced point between liking anime and being complacent specifically by depicting Shinji as a non-otaku taking on the compliancy of an otaku, which the military otaku nerd is well adjusted and has friends outside of his circle of interests.


Erm. Shinji and Kensuke have all the same friends, and Kensuke is far from well-adjusted. He's a sexual predator in training, he spends his time off camping out and playing military games by himself, and he obsesses over the machines that traumatize the fuck out of the Eva pilots. He is not a good example for the point you're trying to make.

Really, part of the problem with Shinji is that he's supposed to be depressed but doesn't act like it, and is supposed to be introverted -- complacent, as you say -- even though he snatches up friends like they were Pokemon. He actually winds up doing quite well for himself until the Evas start fucking with him, and all his friends are torn away from him.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:15 pm

I figure that Shinji's Depression is half situational, half internal/psychological. So he'd be able to maintain some degree of normalcy for a little while.

Things were going good in Tokyo-3 for awhile, so it'd only show in moments he'd feel down (e.g. Episode 12 and 16), until shit really started to hit the fan with Bardiel onwards.
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Postby AuraTwilight » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:53 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Erm. Shinji and Kensuke have all the same friends, and Kensuke is far from well-adjusted. He's a sexual predator in training, he spends his time off camping out and playing military games by himself, and he obsesses over the machines that traumatize the fuck out of the Eva pilots. He is not a good example for the point you're trying to make.


To be fair to Kensuke, the way he pervs on girls is pretty normal for a teenage anime boy, and his interest in the Evas seems fairly innocent since he seems genuinely ignorant of the realities of their situation.

As for his military games being played by himself...subject matter aside, a lot of boys do similar things. I used to be really into LARPing. With or without friends.

Self-depreciating anecdotes, yuh.
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