Need help writing an essay about End of Evangelion

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FrDougal9000
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Need help writing an essay about End of Evangelion

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Postby FrDougal9000 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:27 am

For the last few months, I've been taking a Film & TV Production class in a local community college and one of the subjects involved is Media Analysis. Our first assignment is to analyse any media of our choice in a 1,500 word essay, and I decided to write about End of Evangelion; mainly how it uses visuals, music and dialogue to call back to events in the series. I've got lots of ideas, but I don't know how to put them together into a coherent whole. So, I thought I'd ask for this forum's help on how to do that.

I'll show you what I've done so far, along with the ideas I have in mind. I'd really appreciate if y'all could do something to help, and I will credit you for your assistance in the final essay. Here it is so far, and thank you.

ESSAY SO FAR

SPOILER: Show
End of Evangelion - The Art of Visual & Written Bookends by Jim McGrath

Released in 1997, Hideaki Anno’s animated film End of Evangelion acted as the proper conclusion to his highly renowned, yet controversial, TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion when its staff lacked the time and budget needed to make its original ending.

Though no less contented than the finale aired on TV the year before (which mostly consisted of recycled animation from earlier episodes accompanied by overly verbose monologues on mankind’s existential drama), End of Evangelion nevertheless proved itself to be a fine conclusion to the complex series and a prime example of Hideaki Anno’s skill as a visual director and a storyteller.

There are many aspects of the film that could be given an in-depth analysis. But in this case, we’ll discuss how uses bookends (repeating images/phrases/actions at the beginning and end of a work, or story/character arcs) to tie up several points of the series and how it furthers one of the messages implied throughout the entire show.

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“Eva is a story that repeats…” - Hideaki Anno, director of Evangelion

Part 1. Weaving A Story ~ A Recap of Evangelion’s Story

(WARNING - Contains spoilers for the plot to Neon Genesis Evangelion and End of Evangelion. Please watch both of these before reading any further if you don’t want to spoil them for yourself.)

In the year 2015, Earth is under attack from mysterious creatures known as the Angels, who seem intent on wiping out whatever humanity survived the ‘Second Impact’ cataclysm that occurred fifteen years before. Man’s only defence are the biomechanical beings called Evangelion (designated in Units; Unit 01, Unit 02, etc.), which can only be piloted by 14-year old children such as the perpetually uneasy protagonist Shinji Ikari, the arrogant terror Asuka Langley Soryu and the almost lifeless Rei Ayanami.

As the three pilots endure physical and mental strain to fight against the Angels, all the while failing to find a purpose in life and experiencing a downward spiral into misery, the people around them try to uncover the truth behind the ‘Second Impact’, what caused it and why. By the beginning of End of Evangelion, all the Angels have been defeated, leaving the door open for a mysterious organization by the name of SEELE to commence the Human Instrumentality Project, which plans to evolve humanity to its final form.

They send the military in to take the Evangelion Units & their pilots by force, tearing apart a base never meant to fight other humans and its employees within hours. With the so-called promised time finally at hand, the fate of all life on Earth now lies in the hands of Shinji, Asuka and Rei. But when none of them have a reason to live for themselves, will they still try to save everyone, or will they throw away something they see as utterly meaningless?

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Part 2. Haven’t I Seen You Before? ~ Visual Repeats in Evangelion

During the later stages of the TV show’s production, time and money was running low and the staff had to get creative in how to tell the story they wanted to tell without resorting to pencil tests (which eventually did happen by the very end of the series). Among the many techniques they used, which included obscuring the mouths of speaking characters so they wouldn’t have to animate lip-flaps, pans of backgrounds, and resorting to characters standing still if it was convenient for emphasizing the tension (episodes 22 and 24 were infamous for this); one in particular was recycling animation from earlier on in the series.

It was a way to save money better left towards the beautifully animated Angel fights, but it became useful in calling back to events from earlier on in the series or mirroring certain moments or actions. So, even with a big budget movie liked End of Evangelion, they still used this technique of visual call-backs to reference events from the movie itself and the TV series in general.

The most iconic of these call-backs occur at the very beginning of the show and the very end of the movie, where Shinji sees an apparition of Rei for only a moment. It is definitely an apparition in both cases, since it was impossible for her to be physically be in either place, and is implied to tell the audience that the story has now begun/ended:

(Shows Rei-pparition in episodes 1 and 26')


IDEAS

SPOILER: Show
Images:

-Sachiel catching missiles in ep 1, Eva-02 catching missiles in ep 25'

-The room with the NERV logo/red thing between Gendo and Ritsuko in eps 24 and 25'

-Misato's cross on her chest/on the grave in eps 25' and 26'

-Shinji's hand being covered in blood and semen in 1 and 25'

-Spreading wings as 2nd and 3rd Impacts begin in 12 and 26'

-Kaworu's head and a headlight splashing into the water in 24 and 25'

Events:

-Possible meaning: human nature will repeat itself and people will continue to make mistakes if they stay ignorant of that or choose to repeat those mistakes deliberately. Shinji ending Third Impact gives humanity a chance to change this

-The plot of the series begins and ends with an Impact

-The pilots resembling their parents (Asuka's Attempted Suicide echoes her mother's death; Shinji & Gendo aren't good with people)

-Shinji strangling Asuka before and after Third Impact

-Kimoichi Warui (apparently, Shinji says this line when he's first in Eva-01; not just Asuka)

-Both Misato and her father get swallowed up in their work, to the detriment of their personal relationships and their families

-Misato saves Shinji from being attacked by an Angel (Sachiel in 1; the JSSDF in 25')

-A survivor of the latest impact is left to bear the cross of their parent, quite literally in this case (Misato gets the cross from her father; Shinji gets the cross from Misato)

-A longing for a missing parental figure (Misato sleeps with Kaji, who is similar to her absent father; while Shinji fantasizes about Misato, a foster equivalent to his missing mother, on some level)

-A giant creature towers over man before setting off an Impact, and is compared to a religious deity (Adam, name aside, is called the First Angel; Eva-01 is seen by one of the soldiers as the Devil himself)

-A powerful monster holds a young boy in his hand (Sachiel grabs Eva-01 by the head in 2; Eva-01 holds Kaworu within its grasp in 24)
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Postby El Squibbonator » Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:40 pm

I'd say you're off to a good start. I don't get to write about things like this in college nearly as much as I'd like to.
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Postby TomasJC » Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:25 am

Nice start so far, wish I could plan my stuff out like this. Remember to avoid a complete synopsis rundown and focus on the points important to your essay as it can distract from the main intention of the essay (and can also eat up your word count!) It seems a good thing for you to focus on at this point is eliminating some of the ideas and focusing on perhaps the ones which link to your proposed topic the best (for example: all of your ideas for reoccurring imagery are great, but considering this is a media analysis assignment, which of these ideas link with the specific media conventions you wish to exemplify? You already mentioned music and dialogue; which ideas work with these conventions?) The Kimoichi Waru idea is a good example of this, being dialogue. Your Part 2 is also quite good.
That would be my approach, but I could be completely wrong considering I don't know entirely what is required. Funnily enough I'm also doing Film at University, and a lot of my past assignments have been focusing on how the themes are conveyed through the use of conventions (hence my ideas). However you choose to approach it, good luck! Wish I had the chance to write about Evangelion too.
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Postby pwhodges » Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:36 am

Iconic it may be, but I'm not sure that Kimochi Warui really counts for anything here, given that the second occurrence was improvised by the voice actor, and not planned at all.
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Postby SawItAtAge10 » Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:19 pm

I hope this helps. It is reposted from here:


http://forum.evageeks.org/thread/17534/Whats-with-Misato-in-Ep-1/
View Original PostSawItAtAge10 wrote:
In that regard, that's another "bookend/parallel" to be found in EoE compared to ep. 1 (along with a few other things of "origin" from the series itself).

For example, Asuka's fight with the military is reflective of both her first battle (with the seaside imagery) and the battle with Sachiel (the military getting their asses handed to them).

Plus, in ep. 1 Ritsuko emerges from the L.C.L. when we first see her, and then returns to the L.C.L. in her final scene upon dying.

Likewise, Misato has to do her "motivational speech" to get Shinji to pilot Eva 01 in both the first and last parts of the series, followed by her first and last moments seen as being "silly" to some extent.
There's also the mirroring of the "Ghost Rei's (redundancy is fun lol)" and Shinji wearing his uniform to pilot Eva 01.

Anyone else notice any other parallels like this?

My theory on these is that it fits into yet another "biblical motif" with the concept or theme of "Alpha and Omega" or as Lorenz puts in (at least in the English dub of EoE) "The Beginning and the End are one in the same."

Plus, (and I fully admit this me merely fanwanking based on my own experiences) it seems that with "anime movies" that tie into a series, there's always this almost awkward sense of trying to incorporate as much nostalgia for the series into the film itself. There's a tendency to put in as any vital characters/places/objects etc. from the show (or video game, I'm looking at you Advent Children) whether or not they are actually necessary. Then, the characters basically run through a course of actions or sequences/scenarios in such a way that it's almost always ends up feeling like a commercial for the series running a mash up of its "greatest hits." Does anyone else get that feeling when watching the cinematic tie-ins to an anime series? If so, does one get the feeling that Anno was kind of trashing the concept of this type of over-emphasis on "familiarity/resemblance" in EoE by depicting it in the most horrific/strange/esoteric ways possible?
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