What would you change about Evangelion?

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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby Derantor » Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:04 am

View Original PostBusterMachine4 wrote:And about the swimsuit scene being for character development, I once again point you to the close-up shot of Asuka's breasts.

But it's not really the audience staring. It's Shinji. You are made to view things from his eyes - horny 14 year old eyes. Anyway, I think we're going in circles here. You chose to view the scene in the bath house as Misato groping Asuka's breasts in a sexual manner (or whatever came to your mind). I saw it more as Misato trying to play big sister to Asuka, teasing her a little, showing how she has a childish side. For all we know, she could be trying to tickle Asuka ... Now, is that inappropriate? Yes, for sure - but again, there's more going on here than "omg pedophilia/audience titillation." Like Shinji, we don't see what's actually going on. And, in the best case, we react the same way Shinji does: imagine stuff that isn't there, become embarrassed because of it. And voilla, the audience can identify with Shinji. Just because something makes you uncomfortable doesn't mean it's bad.

BusterMachine4 wrote:but completely hijacking the tone of the show for a few episodes before changing it back to what it was originally is not a good idea in my book.

It was a brilliant idea. Asuka gets introduced and hijacks the show completely for a few episodes. Suddenly, there's action and funny stuff happening, things become lively. Shinji is ripped out of his small little world of worry and depression and sees that there's actually light in the world. Now, we all know it's a ruse, but still. And it's not like the show loses its depth completely. How does the Onsen scene end? With Misato and Asuka sharing a moment of somber reflection. "You know all about my past, don't you?" It doesn't end on a high note, or a comedic one. It has these darker moments throughout. Like when Asuka asks what will happen if they don't capture Sandalphon, and Ritsuko answers that the JSSDF is on standby, ready to nuke them into The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Which is exactly what happens in EoE.

Then you have Asuka's highly inappropriate attempt to seduce Kaji when she goes swimsuit shopping with him. Her later showing off to Shinji is her trying the same thing again, to combat her insecurities. It didn't work on Kaji - but it should work on baka hentai Shinji, right? Except it doesn't. He doesn't stare at her, he looks away. He's no fun like that. She even has to call out to him when she does her dynamic entry into the bath, practicing her diving skills, to get him to look at her - "You wouldn't even look at me!" (As for why Shinji is studying besides the pool: eeeh ... it's "be at the pool" time in school. But he hasn't finished his homework yet. So instead of going swimming, he uses the time the best he can to catch up. Could he have gone somewhere else? Yes, sure, but he didn't. It's not a massive plothole or inconsistency. It's just Shinji stuff: he was told to go to the pool with the rest of class (which in this case is only him, Asuka and Rei), and he does, because Shinji does what he is told. Anyway ...)

Eeeh, where was I. Oh, right, volcano. Notice how Misato ignores the safe depths warnings, not giving a second thought to Asuka's safety? That's because her main goal is taking revenge against the angels. She's willing to let Asuka die, here - just like in EoE, when she orders her to fight the MP-Evas. In this case, she's trying to capture or kill an embryonic angel. I bet there's an abortion metaphor somewhere in there. Remember what was said about Kaworu: "He is human like us" - well, Kaworu is an Angel - Sandalphon is an Angel. He's human, like us. A baby, to be more precise. Notice how Sandalphon does this sucking motion with his mouth when he "bites" down on 02's head? Remember that 02 is a clone of Adam. Adam is the mother of the angels. Sandalphon is lonely and wants his mama - and he's just minutes old. He sees something that could be his mother and tries to get her to feed him. That's where the noose comes into play: Asuka, like Kyoko, ignores her "child". In fact, she kills it, ironically by "feeding" it the cooling liquid. That whole scene looks like a "enter the womb" metaphor. It gets picked up later in EoE, complete with Asuka reaching out for somebody and her plug interior turning red. In EoE, her mother takes her hand. Here, it's Shinji, and it's (iirc) the only time she smiles fondly at him. Baka showed some backbone for once, and nobody ordered him to. He's actually capable of helping her - which makes it all the more tragic that he doesn't come to her aid when she calls for him in EoE.

The point of the deep dive example was that there's a difference between static and dynamic stress. Dynamic stress means the stress is applied for a short time. Punch a plastic bottle - peak stress will be pretty high, but very short in duration. Bottle stays intact. Place a heavy stone on top of the same bottle - sooner or later, it will get crunched. Static (or constant) stress leading to material failure. Same principle applies to the dive into magma. Shinji is fine diving for a short time - but notice how even then, 01's armor begins to melt. Asuka was down there much longer. She needed additional protection. Besides, at the point Shinji was jumping in to rescue her, she had been ascending for a long time. So she was in an environment with less ambient pressure.

Anyway, I'll stop my rambling now. I typed all this out from memory, I'm sure there's more to the episode than this, and it's a disservice to reduce it to silly Shonen anime antics. It plays with the tropes, yes, but it isn't a pointless or bad episode. It sets up a lot of what will be picked up on again later.

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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby UrsusArctos » Wed Dec 23, 2020 3:59 pm

Interesting, I never thought I'd hear such an eloquent defense of Magmadiver of all episodes!

View Original PostDerantor wrote:It was a brilliant idea. Asuka gets introduced and hijacks the show completely for a few episodes. Suddenly, there's action and funny stuff happening, things become lively. Shinji is ripped out of his small little world of worry and depression and sees that there's actually light in the world. Now, we all know it's a ruse, but still. And it's not like the show loses its depth completely.


And this is true, there are quite a few bits that are introduced in those episodes. Episode 10 is actually somewhat redundant because all the other elements turn up and are better integrated in the other episodes. Episode 11 introduces the whole question of who the Angels are, and shows a lot of interesting little details about the world. Episode 12 is Misato's episode all the way through.

Actually, all the funny and lively stuff happens only within one four-episode block, Episodes 09 through 12. Episodes 13 through 16, while not dark, are not as lively or over-the-top funny as Episodes 09 to 12. The show's actual intro arc isn't Episodes 01 through 07, it's 01 through 08, and 08 carries in it the themes of the action arc that follows it. Episode 16 has the themes of the descent arc. Episode 24 has themes for Episodes 25 and 26 and EoE in it. You've nailed it in that Evangelion's brilliance lies in having a relatively dark intro arc with a substantial amount of darkness in Episodes 01 to 04, much more than you'd expect in an anime of this sort, and then having that darkness slowly go out, and then bring the action arc of Episode 09 to 16 where things are eased up.

The key to telling which arc is which are the Angel battles, because the Angel battles in the intro arc are often traumatic or game-changing in some way, while those in the action arc lose any significant consequence, and those in the descent arc are nightmarish. Asuka's Episode 08 belongs firmly in the intro arc, because it's the Gaghiel battle that actually brings Asuka and Shinji together. Episode 09 and fighting Israfel was a supplement to this and remarkably trivial on its own.
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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby BusterMachine4 » Wed Dec 23, 2020 5:10 pm

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:Interesting, I never thought I'd hear such an eloquent defense of Magmadiver of all episodes!

Yeah, that's what I was thinking as well! I was going to write a rebuttal, but I couldn't possibly see how. It actually gives me a new appreciation for the episode (even if I still don't like it).

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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby Mr. Tines » Thu Dec 24, 2020 2:54 pm

As it's been brought up again recently, it's worth remarking that we had a go-round about the fanservice just a few pages (and six years) back.
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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby Kendrix » Thu Dec 24, 2020 10:08 pm

Another thing I would do is tone down the slapstick violence.

I guess it's a bit less infuriating than most examples since it serves a purpose besides "we want to show off that our female character is tough but undermine this by not taking her actions seriously and making the toughness way too exxagerated", Asuka is actually treated as a flawed character & it's also meant to show off that she is very athletic and bold like a trained fighter (though this was sufficiently shown by stuff like her jumping down from the top of EVA 02) but it's still not quite at realistic level.

It's not like I didn't get into brawls with my sister or slap the odd bitchy classmate when I was around Asuka's age, but that usually resulted in a trip to the principal's office or a stern talking to from my mom. ^^° Also unlike Asuka I was laughably unathletic and incapable of doing any serious damage, the sister in question is younger than me but she still usually kicked my butt.

You could argue that it's supposed to be a parenting fail on Misato's end, but for it to land that way we'd still need it to be treated seriously not, "funny music plays, everything is fine the next scene" But the best thing would be just to cut it entirely, like I don't think the intention there was for us to understand that serious brawling took place.

I hated Arya Stark with a passion ("What's this joke rebellious princess trope doing in this otherwise serious show? Threatening to stab your sister is actually kind of unhinged") until the story started acknowledging that she's a stab happy, eerie assassin type; Then she was actually kinda cool.
Alas poor Kaworu! I knew him well...

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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby BusterMachine4 » Thu Dec 24, 2020 11:45 pm

Yeah, talk about it! I guess I would be fine with Asuka's character if she wasn't so violent all the time, especially to the boys. The comedic treatment of female-on-male violence is one of my all time most hated aspects of manga and anime. There are way too many of them where the token tsundere (or anyone else, for that matter) decides to beat the shit out of a male character for no real reason. It got especially bad in Love Hina. If the genders were reversed in that wacky slapstick harem situation, it would suddenly turn into a horrifying tale of domestic abuse.

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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby Berserk EVA-02 » Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:51 pm

Firstly I would change the lines where Gendo refers to Lilith as Adam. I can excuse Kaji doing so as his knowledge of the inner workings of NERV was limited, but Gendo has no reason to make such a glaring mistake and this clearly was a case of the writers failing to plan ahead.

Secondly certain shots, such as those of Shinji and Misato's face in Scene 3 of Episode 4, Misato's horridly distorted face in Scene 2 of Episode 6, the close up shot of Hikari's face in Episode 17, and worst of all, EVA-01's laughably short arms in Episode 19 during a few shots of the berserk scene, I would have fixed as they are glaring animation errors and simply impede on my viewing experience.

Most importantly, I would make the end credits of The End of Evangelion as it was originally intended, with the credits rolling horizontally whilst "Everything You've Ever Dreamed Of" would be playing in the background. It would add an ataraxic tone to the film whilst still not neutering the lachrymose aftertaste of the "One More Final: I NEED YOU" scene. Also, I would change the pizzicato which plays during "Everything You've Ever Dreamed Of" from the obvious MIDI violin pizzicato to a real violin recording of pizzicato to improve the musical quality of the work.

Certain other musical touches I would also make, for example the repeating two note motif that plays before the chorus starts and after the chorus ends in Escape to the Beginning I would put higher dynamic markings on during the chorus (because it does play during it but is barely audible due to the orchestral accompaniement drowning the notes out) and I would also give higher dynamic markings to the beautiful triangle strikes. I would also exponentionally increase the volume at which Escape to the Beginning plays at during Episode 26' because it deserves to be heard in all its compositional genius and sublimity. I would also add subtitles to both Escape to the Beginning and to Komm Susser Tod as their lyrics do complement the narrative very much so.

This may be an unpopular take but I also wholeheartedly think the extended live action sequence should have been included in The End of Evangelion, presumably after Rei talks about the nature of dreams and reality, and before Rei's head begins to spray LCL, though I would remove the "Jesus Beiblet Meine Freude" piece in the extended sequence as having it played twice closely after one another would unfortunately make the piece slightly redundant.

This may be quite eccentric of a change, but I have always found the more delicate sequences of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13 to go hand in hand aesthetically speaking to The End of Evangelion's Episode 26'. And thus I would include the 85th measure of the symphony from the third, adagio movement, into a sequence showing the LCL sea, before Expansion of Blockade would play. The waltz coda of the symphony's final movement would also be included in an extra sequence between the scene of Shinji emerging from the LCL scene, and the One More Final: I NEED YOU scene, where a few shots would pan over the barren post-3I world as the violas would be playing the bittersweet waltz. Though this of course is purely out of aesthetic interests rather than to add anything of narrative substance to the film.

Aside from Everything You've Ever Dreamed Of none of the changes I suggest are serious, and it frankly is because I see very little in the work that isn't nigh-perfect, as hyperbolic as that may seem. Even the thematically weaker episodes such as Episode 7-13 I still find phenomenal in their own right as they help mask Evangelion as an escapist work whilst still showing subtle prodromal symptoms of despair that will become major in Episode 16 onwards, and thus have no interest in changing them.

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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby BernardoCairo » Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:14 pm

About the "Everything You've Ever Dreamed For" sequence, I disagree with you. Don't get me wrong, I love that song (specially the original Japanese version, written by Anno). But, "One More Final: I Need You" is such a powerful scene for me, that I wouldn't change anything about it. It hits me with such dichotomous feelings that it's even hard to explain.
This segment conveys pretty well the growth of its protagonists, but chooses to do it in the most melancholy way possible. It is basically a less idealized version of the original series' ending. Indeed, Shinji and Asuka are more willing to accept themselves and each other, but that doesn't mean that all of their problems will simply disappear. The world is still imperfect, but this is where they choose to live. They will keep hurting each other from time to time, but that's ok. Pain exists, but it can be forgiven.
In addition to being honest, it's a very striking ending and I think this has a lot to do with how the scene just ends, in that "raw" fashion.
I remember the first time I saw the movie, a while ago. My first reaction was something on the lines of: "Asuka, you are right. How disgusting." I even laugh a little bit. But then I went to sleep and everything changed. The whole movie was simply stuck in my mind, with "I Need You" being the scene that I was thinking about the most. It broke me. I remember feeling good, crying and not being able to eat the next day. It was weird hahahahaha.
This is a powerful movie and that is a powerful scene. That's why I wouldn't change anything about it. But that's just my personal take on it.
With regard to the live action sequences, I agree with you. Those are simply amazing! The different approaches taken with the characters are so interesting and fun to watch! But I just don't know how the writers could fit them into the film without breaking the flow of the narrative. Maybe that's why they were cut? I don't know. But releasing them as a bonus in the Renewal was a genius move!
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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby Berserk EVA-02 » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:32 pm

View Original PostBernardoCairo wrote:This segment conveys pretty well the growth of its protagonists, but chooses to do it in the most melancholy way possible. It is basically a less idealized version of the original series' ending. Indeed, Shinji and Asuka are more willing to accept themselves and each other, but that doesn't mean that all of their problems will simply disappear. The world is still imperfect, but this is where they choose to live. They will keep hurting each other from time to time, but that's ok. Pain exists, but it can be forgiven.

It is for this very reason that I wish for "Everything You've Ever Dreamed Of" to be included. Putting the jovial music aside, the lyrics used in the work are extremely anti-idealistic, with the chorus hammering the point that man's fantasies of eternal company and joy are never to be attained. But the final line of this chorus "What is love, till it comes home to you" seems to both musically and lyrically resolve the despair arising from the previous pessimistic realizations: the best way I could interpret the line, however much overanalysis it may be, is that only through one's resolution of their internal world, and cherishment of internal love, does one find actual resolution to suffering, rather than the constant dependency on the external world for one's well-being.

It is why I specifically chose the word "ataraxic" to describe the tone of the end credits if it were to feature the song. Ataraxia is an emotional state coined through stoic philosophy, where one bears the suffering inflicted by the external world by adjusting one's attitude to a state of inperturbable comfort, i.e. to resolve one's internal world and their painful reception of the external world, rather than the external world itself. This stoic message is also highlighted in Episode 26's final sequences, and by Yui both in Episode 20 and 26', where the subjectivity of man's painful emotional receptions of the external world and how they can be changed internally into positive receptions of the external world, are highlighted.

Episode 20 (later reiterated in Episode 26')
KARI (OFF):“So he will live in this world, in the hell after the Second Impact?”
YUI (OFF):“Oh, but if you have the will to live, anywhere can be heaven. Because he is alive. He'll have plenty of chances to find happiness.”
IKARI (OFF):“I see. That's very true.”

Episode 26:
HYUGA:“It's you that perceives reality as bad and unpleasant.”

Misato:“On sunny days, you feel good.”
Rei:“On rainy days, you feel down.”
Asuka:“Once you've been taught that, you make yourself believe that's how you should feel.”
RITSUKO:“Even though pleasant things can happen on rainy days too.”
FUYUTSUKI:“It's a delicate thing that can be completely transformed just by how you perceive something. The truth within people, that is.”

This is to say that this stoic theme is major in Evangelion, and is reinforced by "Everything You've Ever Dreamed Of", which both clearly lyrically acknowledges the lachrymose themes of the One More Final: I NEED YOU scene, and reiterates the stoic resolution in its final lyric. I know this is an absurdly overelaborate reason for me to argue in favour of including this song but I do wholeheartedly believe this.

View Original PostBernardoCairo wrote:In addition to being honest, it's a very striking ending and I think this has a lot to do with how the scene just ends, in that "raw" fashion.

I completely agree with you, this ending is brutally stark and anti-idealistic. I do think that the admittedly jovial tone of the music could dampen the lachrymose aftertaste left by the scene, but I think the latter is powerful enough to persist through. A good example I can call back to is when the "Fly Me to the Moon - Acid Bossa version" played after Episode 22. It was completely out of place with the horrid, despairing subject matter that was shown earlier, and yet I loved it as it only further intensified the episode's morbidity through musical irony, and also by using the very same music that was played in the earlier, far more lighthearted Asuka-centered episodes, almost as a wicked and cynical callback to them. If anything it helped persist the raw tones of the Episode. And I do think "Everything You've Ever Dreamed Of" is comparable to this, though far less wickedly and far more solemnly, as the music's jovial tones tragically contrast the sorrowful yet beautiful lyrics of the piece (and of the preceding scene if it were to be included in the end credits) and thus if anything would actually accentuate the lachrymose aftertaste of One More Final: I NEED YOU.

View Original PostBernardoCairo wrote:But I just don't know how the writers could fit them into the film without breaking the flow of the narrative. Maybe that's why they were cut?

That is indeed the reason for which the sequence was cut. But let's be honest, Episode 26' is a complete mindfuck, so why not go even further if it complements the narrative, even at the expense of the flow? The extended live action sequence can be interpreted in many ways, from Shinji having his ideal world be one where he doesn't exist, to the sequence drawing a parallel between the viewer and Evangelion, where in continuation of Rei's comments about the nature of dreams and reality, the relation between dreams and reality become inverted as the dream (Evangelion, and Shinji as a fictional character in specific) dreams of reality (the real, non-animated world). And so though it certainly breaks the flow of the film from a viewing perspective, it does complement the narrative very much so. And I must add that the "I'm not here" by Shinji at the end of the sequence does offer a good transition to the rest of the film and reestablishes the previous flow in my opinion. I know without a doubt that most would criticize the scene if it was included and deem it unnecessary and so I completely understand their choice, but The End of Evangelion was never intended to be received and cherished by typical escapist audiences but those with an analytical gaze, and thus I would have found it wiser of them to include it.

Lastly I want to apologize for the absurd length of my response. If it is too inconvenient for you to read through and answer I'd fully empathize with you and wouldn't blame you for it.

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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby BernardoCairo » Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:13 pm

Firstly, the size of your text wasn't a problem at all! The only thing is that it took me a little more time to read it, think about it and devise a cohesive answer. In fact, you should be proud of the way you dispose your arguments.
Anyway, I can understand your point on "Everything You've Ever Dreamed For". Personally, I still prefer the ending we got, but you've brought a lot of interesting stuff to back up your ideas! I don't really know much about music (even though I love to listen to it), but the way you described the use of Fly Me To The Moon in episode 22 (my favorite one), reminded me of a video I literally saw yesterday, from the channel Totally Not Mark. In it, he describes how contrast plays a big role when you're trying to convey a scene by its music.
"Everything You've Ever Dreamed For" is already a dichotomous song, because of the contrast between its scary lyrics (yes, I would describe them as "scary") and relaxing/grand sounds. Said contrast would only be further amplified if the music was used in conjunction with "One More Time: I Need You" (considering that this scene is already capable of transmitting so many opposite feelings to the viewer at the same time). So, yes! I can see how this music could have enriched the ending in a way (even if it’s not something I necessarily wanted to see).
Now, about the cut live action sequences, I still disagree with you. That's simply because, for me, the flow of any text is usually its most important part. What's the use of having incredible ideas if you can't display them convincingly? The End of Evangelion's biggest strength, in my opinion, is how it's able to use such psychedelic visuals, but still maintaining a very intimate and honest message in it's core. The way the movie flows is a really important factor to the success of said core and, thus, I would not sacrifice it for anything, honestly.
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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby Berserk EVA-02 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:49 pm

View Original PostBernardoCairo wrote:Firstly, the size of your text wasn't a problem at all! The only thing is that it took me a little more time to read it, think about it and devise a cohesive answer. In fact, you should be proud of the way you dispose your arguments.

I'm very glad to see that! I tend to struggle to explain personal viewpoints without making abundant reiterations of statements I've already made, I do need to work on that.

I don't know why I wrote the follwing tangent about musical irony when it does not really contribute anything to my argument about adding "Everything You've Ever Dreamed Of" to the end credits, I just felt like giving a lecture about musical irony and thus did it I suppose. Nonetheless the subject matter discussed is rather interesting in my opinion.
View Original PostBernardoCairo wrote:the way you described the use of Fly Me To The Moon in episode 22 (my favorite one), reminded me of a video I literally saw yesterday, from the channel Totally Not Mark. In it, he describes how contrast plays a big role when you're trying to convey a scene by its music.

Musical irony is a phenomenal artistic device. It can be used in many different ways, either to make an entire work ironic and mocking; to mask certain profound tones of a work with a superficial appearance (like when "You are the only one" plays during Asuka and Shinji's kiss scene as to mask to very solemn implications that scene will go on to have on the series); to make the director's gaze highly contrasting to the scene actually shown (Evangelion is FULL of this, like when "THE BEAST II" triumphantly plays during the dummy plug's rampage on EVA-03, when Handel's "Hallelujah" plays during Arael's mind rape of Asuka, and when Bach's "Air" movement of his "Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major" plays during Asuka's defeat at the hands of the MP EVAs and Ritsuko's death); to adopt the subjective/emotional gaze of a character on-screen (like when Shiro Sagisu's "When I Find Peace of Mind" plays during Shinji's realization that he now has a family in Episode 7, or when ""The Sorrow of Losing the Object of One's Dependence" plays once Misato sorrowfully hears Kaji's final voicemail); or to convey a sense of psychedelia/absurdity (I can't really put my finger on why I consider it ironic, but the work "Seperation Anxiety" used in many of NGE's more psychedelic sequences has always struck me as ironic in a weird, fascinating way). Some even consider "Komm Susser Tod" to be a work featuring musical irony between its lyrics and music (similarly to "Everything You've Ever Dreamed Of" as you've noted it yourself) though I strongly disagree about that being the case for "Komm Susser Tod", as I find the musical tone of the work to highlight the delight of annihilation, and when viewing it this way the music and the lyrics become very consonant in tone.

View Original PostBernardoCairo wrote:"Everything You've Ever Dreamed For" is already a dichotomous song, because of the contrast between its scary lyrics (yes, I would describe them as "scary") and relaxing/grand sounds. Said contrast would only be further amplified if the music was used in conjunction with "One More Time: I Need You" (considering that this scene is already capable of transmitting so many opposite feelings to the viewer at the same time). So, yes! I can see how this music could have enriched the ending in a way (even if it’s not something I necessarily wanted to see).

I'm glad to see you can sympathize with my point of view.

View Original PostBernardoCairo wrote:Anyway, I can understand your point on "Everything You've Ever Dreamed For". Personally, I still prefer the ending we got, but you've brought a lot of interesting stuff to back up your ideas!

View Original PostBernardoCairo wrote:Now, about the cut live action sequences, I still disagree with you. That's simply because, for me, the flow of any text is usually its most important part. What's the use of having incredible ideas if you can't display them convincingly? The End of Evangelion's biggest strength, in my opinion, is how it's able to use such psychedelic visuals, but still maintaining a very intimate and honest message in it's core. The way the movie flows is a really important factor to the success of said core and, thus, I would not sacrifice it for anything, honestly.

Here lies the dilemma of our debate, and of all emotional debates in general (emotional not as emotionally-invested debates but debates about emotional reactions). Thanks to our differing psyches and perception, certain suggestions and changes that I have in mind for the work would tarnish the quality of your viewing of it, and vice-versa. In truth aside from changing the animation errors and the scenes where Gendo refers to Lilith as Adam, all changes I've recommended for Evangelion are to enhance my viewing experience of the work, rather than to actually better the work itself. Regarding the extended live action sequence for example, I find that it does not impede on the flow of the film but rather temporarily suspend it, but for you, the inclusion of the extended sequence directly impedes and tarnishes the film's flow. Neither of us hold more valid viewpoints than one another as we are discussing our personal emotional and abstract reactions to the work. A good parallel to this is EoE's masturbation scene, I am strongly in favour of it as it only bettered my viewing experience of the work as I found that it complemented the narrative and was quite meaningful, whilst I know that to many this scene is a red herring that distracts and tarnishes the immersion that viewers may have on Episode 25', and thus it may be a better choice for the general audience to have the scene removed.

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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby BernardoCairo » Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:47 pm

You brought some really good examples of how "ironic music" works and how it's used in Evangelion. Although, there is one aspect that you didn't cover. As I said before, I don't understand the ins and outs of how music works. But, there is something I've been noticing since I was a kid and, in my opinion, it has a lot to do with contrast in music. Theming.
What do I mean by that? Well, when you are devising the sound aspect of several scenes, you can always choose to associate an specific song to a feeling or a type of event present within the boundaries of the story you are working with. This generates a sense of narrative cohesion and, most importantly, can be subverted, taking the viewer by surprise. For example, a music that once was used to convey the idea of adventure, now is being used to represent the end of said adventure. Therefore, this is a great artistic device to create emotional moments.
Super Mario World is a piece of media that does this really well. Each stage type in that game has it's own music, but they all follow the same basic structure. This is pretty cool, because it helps to convey the nature and identity of the world that Mario is traversing. It is really amazing to hear the castle theme remixes, for example.
With regard to "this is all subjective", I agree with you! Everyone has their own idea of how the series could be optimized. I just responded to your post, because your ideas were really interesting!
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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby Berserk EVA-02 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:44 pm

View Original PostBernardoCairo wrote:What do I mean by that? Well, when you are devising the sound aspect of several scenes, you can always choose to associate an specific song to a feeling or a type of event present within the boundaries of the story you are working with. This generates a sense of narrative cohesion and, most importantly, can be subverted, taking the viewer by surprise. For example, a music that once was used to convey the idea of adventure, now is being used to represent the end of said adventure. Therefore, this is a great artistic device to create emotional moments.
Super Mario World is a piece of media that does this really well. Each stage type in that game has it's own music, but they all follow the same basic structure. This is pretty cool, because it helps to convey the nature and identity of the world that Mario is traversing. It is really amazing to hear the castle theme remixes, for example.

Yes! Its something I've adored very much too, and it does exist throughout the musical genre since the romantic period. It started with a French composer, Berlioz, who started using specific melodies as to reference specific recurring ideas, and he coined such melodies as "idées fixe". Wagner elaborated on this by having short musical motifs reference specific characters, places and even complicated concepts like fate (like the 3-note fate motif in his Tristan und Isolde opera), which he coined as "leitmotifs". You can hear certain "idées fixe" throughout the classical canon, often in the post-romantic era, with examples such as Mahler's "blows of fate" in his Symphony No. 6 which were presented through musical sequences leading up to a climactic hammer blow, and Shostakovich's invasion theme in his Symphony No. 7, and leitmotifs too like Mahler's "death shriek" in his Symphony No. 2 (which is absolutely chilling) and Shostakovich's personal signature (the DSCH motif) which he uses throughout all his musical works, usually in reference to himself. These become expanded in the form of themes as you have stated when the music becomes supplementary to a work of media rather than being the primary subject, as is the case in video games, films, and series.

And indeed it is something that I have missed, that Evangelion does make relatively scarce but very effective use of. I had never realized it until you brought the concept of musical themes up, but one of the main things which ensures that I always cry when seeing the finale to the TV Episode 26 of NGE is that for the first time in the series, "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" becomes iterated within the episode, in a beautifully tender and cathartic piano + guitar arrangement that always, drives me to tears when hearing it at the end of the episode. The fact that the anime's opening, the first thing you ever even witness when starting the show, is also used for narrative closure of the show truly enhances the episode finale's cartharcism, and thus as you have discussed yourself subverts the use of "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" as an opening theme.

Following this line of thought this is the reason for which I wrote the following:
View Original PostBerserk EVA-02 wrote:This may be quite eccentric of a change, but I have always found the more delicate sequences of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13 to go hand in hand aesthetically speaking to The End of Evangelion's Episode 26'. And thus I would include the 85th measure of the symphony from the third, adagio movement, into a sequence showing the LCL sea, before Expansion of Blockade would play. The waltz coda of the symphony's final movement would also be included in an extra sequence between the scene of Shinji emerging from the LCL scene, and the One More Final: I NEED YOU scene, where a few shots would pan over the barren post-3I world as the violas would be playing the bittersweet waltz. Though this of course is purely out of aesthetic interests rather than to add anything of narrative substance to the film.

This obviously a very odd and specific change, but it comes from the fact that somehow, the aforementioned sequence of the symphony's third movement has become absolutely synonymous with the LCL sea, and the coda's waltz with post-3I Tokyo-3. In a weird way both musical sequences have become musical themes for the subjects of EoE I've just mentioned, and its because to me they seem very aesthetically, artistically and emotionally congruent, despite the symphony's subject matter bearing very little to no ressemblance to EoE (Symphony No. 13 was composed in thematic relation to the Babi Yar massacre). I don't know if this is purely my eccentric reception to the music of if others would feel like this too.

Link to the symphony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEyDiOo ... DamonJ.H.K.
LCL sea theme: 33:58-34:41
Post-3I Tokyo-3 theme: 1:00:40-1:02:37
I'd be interested in seeing your reception. When I listen to these sequences, not only do countless images of the LCL sea and post-3I Tokyo-3 respectively, permeate my mind, but I also almost feel as if I'm there, making me more immersed in these settings than ever.

View Original PostBernardoCairo wrote:With regard to "this is all subjective", I agree with you! Everyone has their own idea of how the series could be optimized. I just responded to your post, because your ideas were really interesting!

I feel the very same, I've enjoyed reading and responding to your posts very much so!

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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby BernardoCairo » Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:25 am

Firstly, I have to start by praising you not only for your insane knowledge on music, but also for explaining it to me in a very interesting way. I love to hear "classic songs", but I don't really know much about them. But your enthusiasm is contagious and, thus, I caught myself actually invested in what you wrote.
By the way, I heard the entire piece you sent to me. Pretty incredible! The sequences you’ve pointed out work amazingly with the concept of a "post instrumentality" world and the LCL sea, in my opinion. They made me feel lonely, but not in a nefarious way. It was not about sadness, but rather grace and the feeling of everything blending together. It is really hard for me to put that into words. The second one, in particular, reminded me of waves. That's because of how it was "moving" through my ears (I don't really know how properly express myself about it hahahahaha).
This all got me thinking of how music shouldn't be seen as less than the core text it's accompanying, but rather a complementary element to it. A lot of things can be conveyed through sound. In this particular case, it was the sense of space and atmosphere. During the last scene of the original series (when it plays Good, or Don't Be), it was all about the new mindset Shinji was about to explore. Just like you, that segment always makes me cry and the music plays a big role in that.
By the way, that was a great example you brought up. I've always loved how they remixed A Cruel Angel's Thesis for the ending. That was a song we've all heard so many times at that point. It was there in both the most light-hearted and tense moments of the story. It represented the whole journey that we, as an audience, went through while watching each episode unfold. So, there is no better way to end it all than with a more serene and peaceful version of said song (completely in line with the main character's state of being)!
Anyway, the conclusion I had was really obvious hahaha. But that's ok, I guess. Now, I'm always gonna pay more attention to the music aspect of any media. It's not simply about sounds that fit in a scene, but rather how these elements help the story to move forward.
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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby Berserk EVA-02 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:46 pm

View Original PostBernardoCairo#906017 wrote:Firstly, I have to start by praising you not only for your insane knowledge on music, but also for explaining it to me in a very interesting way. I love to hear "classic songs", but I don't really know much about them. But your enthusiasm is contagious and, thus, I caught myself actually invested in what you wrote.

Thank you! Funnily enough it is the few classical works featured in NGE that led to me subsequently falling in love with the genre and studying it extensively. Now I've even started composing classical works myself though many will likely never be played due to their massive and costly scale.

View Original PostBernardoCairo#906017 wrote:By the way, I heard the entire piece you sent to me. Pretty incredible!

Woah, I struggled to enjoy the symphony when I first heard it, I had to listen to it around 5-7 times to finally grow an affinity towards it, though now I do love it very much so. I'm very pleasantly surprised that you've listened to it from start to finish (considering its length and the work's somber nature, and it being a rather experimental work).

View Original PostBernardoCairo#906017 wrote:The sequences you’ve pointed out work amazingly with the concept of a "post instrumentality" world and the LCL sea, in my opinion. They made me feel lonely, but not in a nefarious way. It was not about sadness, but rather grace and the feeling of everything blending together. It is really hard for me to put that into words. The second one, in particular, reminded me of waves. That's because of how it was "moving" through my ears (I don't really know how properly express myself about it hahahahaha).

I'm glad to see I'm no longer the sole soul that found both sequences to be very compatible with the EoE concepts :D
I understand what you mean fully when you talk about the way the music moves through your ears. I've never seen it properly coined in music, likely because its very intangible and relates to the way our subconscious receives music, but there is a certain quality of music that I can best describe as "motions". They're a gestalt not just of a piece's rhythm, but also of the length of the notes, the vibratory timbre of the instruments, the gradual volume changes of the music, and the notes going up and down. All of this when mixed together becomes felt as a "motion".

A great example of motions is the single motion in the opening of Daphnis et Chloé:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3zMcE5 ... nel=rimb68 [1:41-2:50]
The motion most ressembles flight, the motion flying higher and higher until it explodes in a climax of glory where it becomes suspended over the horizon.

There can also be double motions such as this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO0nytF ... ekkobialka
From 6:34-6:43 there is a single motion beings played by the strings, a descending, swirling motion.
At 6:43-6:52 there is a double motion, the continuing downwards swirling motion of the strings, but a new, suspended motion by the trumpet also overlayed. This creates a chilling distance between both motions, one that I find sensorially overwhelming even.

Then at last you have countless motions, or a cacophony as one may call it, which the end of Komm Susser Tod is a great example of:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kguaGI ... =Asura7405 [6:19-7:42]
Another absolute compositional masterpiece on the part of Shiro Sagisu, this segment, where all the melodies become overwhelming, incoherent and sublime in their absurdity, is one of the most chilling musical segments I know of, both as the music in itself and the sequence of The End of Evangelion which it accompanies. That's certainly an example of cacophonous motions at their greatest.

View Original PostBernardoCairo#906017 wrote:This all got me thinking of how music shouldn't be seen as less than the core text it's accompanying, but rather a complementary element to it. A lot of things can be conveyed through sound. In this particular case, it was the sense of space and atmosphere.

Similarly to how a blind man determines his surroundings through his own motions and interactions within them, I find that musical motions help make musical works far more three dimensional than they otherwise could, establishing both a sense of time and space to the works.

View Original PostBernardoCairo#906017 wrote:During the last scene of the original series (when it plays Good, or Don't Be), it was all about the new mindset Shinji was about to explore. Just like you, that segment always makes me cry and the music plays a big role in that.
By the way, that was a great example you brought up. I've always loved how they remixed A Cruel Angel's Thesis for the ending. That was a song we've all heard so many times at that point. It was there in both the most light-hearted and tense moments of the story. It represented the whole journey that we, as an audience, went through while watching each episode unfold. So, there is no better way to end it all than with a more serene and peaceful version of said song (completely in line with the main character's state of being)!

I feel the very same way. However I have learned just yesterday that "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" was not the original theme song as intended by Hideaki Anno and that he instead wished to use a movement of Borodin's "Polovtsian Dances", supposedly "No. 17, Polovtsian Dances, (b) Gliding Dance of the Maidens" [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkE76plTdHs&ab_channel=PaavoJ%C3%A4rvi-Topic (a very touching work)] but the producers rejected this as they found such an opening to be too eccentric, and a J-Pop opening to likely be more marketable. It does make me wonder how greatly the tone of the series would have changed if this were the opening theme. I can't say it would have been better, I really don't know. Besides the opening animation was done after "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" was made so we don't even have much of an idea of how the opening would have looked like with this work. Its just a very interesting "what if" scenario that I've been thinking of. On certain episodes (especially Episode 1-3, 8-12 and 16-20) the epic tone of "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" certain would work better, and on others (especially Episode 4-7, 13-15 and 21-24) the "No. 17, Polovtsian Dances, (b) Gliding Dance of the Maidens" would have been more fitting.

View Original PostBernardoCairo#906017 wrote:Anyway, the conclusion I had was really obvious hahaha. But that's ok, I guess. Now, I'm always gonna pay more attention to the music aspect of any media. It's not simply about sounds that fit in a scene, but rather how these elements help the story to move forward.

I'm happy to see I have further ignited your interest in the use of soundtracks in media. Its a highly interesting and unfortunately, frequently overlooked aspect of mediatic works that plays a considerable role in their quality.

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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby BernardoCairo » Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:46 pm

I'm very pleasantly surprised that you've listened to it from start to finish (considering its length and the work's somber nature, and it being a rather experimental work).

Well, here's the thing. I love to listen to music while doing ordinary tasks that don't require too much "brain power". For example, washing the dishes, walking from a place to another, taking the dog for a walk, playing Tetris and so on. So, I always find time to listen to longer pieces. I know that some may argue that the way I consume these songs is not necessarily good (claiming that you must be 100% focused on them to truly enjoy yourself), but I like it hahahahaha

They're a gestalt not just of a piece's rhythm, but also of the length of the notes, the vibratory timbre of the instruments, the gradual volume changes of the music, and the notes going up and down. All of this when mixed together becomes felt as a "motion".

It was really amazing to hear the examples you gave me! The first one, in particular, was superb! I could actually see myself ascending to the sky while listening to it! "Komm, Süsser Tod" also felt incredible in my ears, as always. I already knew what part of the song you were pointing at and I was not disappointed by it. Definitely the best composition by Shiro Sagisu, in my opinion.
There is a song that I believe uses this type of "sound device" in its composition. It may not be as good an example as I think, but I will send it anyway. It's from Daft Punk. Notice how the way the music sounds has everything to do with its name.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q27KtfR1ESA

I feel the very same way. However I have learned just yesterday that "A Cruel Angel's Thesis" was not the original theme song as intended by Hideaki Anno and that he instead wished to use a movement of Borodin's "Polovtsian Dances"

Ah yeah, I am aware of that. As far as I know, the person who was commissioned to write the song (Oikawa Neko) completed his work in two hours, after watching some clips of the show and browsing its idea proposal hahaha. But, you know what? In the end, I think that she was able to completely encapsulate Evangelion with A Cruel Angel's Thesis!
This is something more personal, but I love how the series has such an upbeat theme, even though several episodes are melancholy (to say the least). It's all about, once again, contrast. I started to watch Evangelion 100% blinded, the only memories I had about it were from when I was a kid and my stepfather rented 1.0. Therefore, my first meaningful contact with the anime was its opening. And, just like some of the first few episodes, it made me made me have a completely distorted view of what the series would be like. That was great because when I realized what I was really watching, it was that much more special!

Now I've even started composing classical works myself though many will likely never be played due to their massive and costly scale.

I hope I can listen to it someday! :emogendo:
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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby 5284973 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:58 am

I've always been of the opinion that Kaworu should've been in the story for more than just one episode. IMO, him being introduced and killed off in the same episode takes away a lot of impact from Shinji choosing to kill him, and makes the connection between him and Shinji less believable/relatable; which is why I liked that 3.0 gave them more time together, even if I didn't like the movie much as a whole.

However, I think there's actually a fairly logical place to insert him into the story earlier into Episode 20, during the time in which Shinji is absorbed in Unit-01's core. In the show, Kaworu is sent over by Seele both to replace Asuka as a pilot and to punish Gendo for losing the Lance of Longinus. During the month that Shinji spends inside Unit-01, he's as good as dead as far as anyone is concerned, with no certain means of recovery. From a plot perspective, it would make sense for Seele to send Kaworu under the guise of using him being a replacement for Shinji, but also as a "punishment" for Gendo because they're pretty pissed at him for the whole "Unit-01 becoming a god" thing. This pretty neatly satisfies both of the "plot" reasons for him showing up in the first place.

Story-wise, this would add two important things:
1. Making his introduction seem a bit less last-minute, giving Shinji's connection with him more time to naturally develop, and therefore make Shinji's decision to kill him more emotionally impactful
2. Adding in some interactions between Asuka and Kaworu. It's kind of strange to think that in canon, Asuka literally has no idea that Kaworu even exists. I think it's interesting to imagine how these two characters would interact, especially with Asuka's mental state at this point in the show. Would he be able to exert some sort of positive influence on her like he did with Shinji? There's some serious untapped potential for character interactions here (and prime ship fuel for the near-nonexistent Kaworu/Asuka pairing, lol).

Practically speaking, this would mean the following changes:
- Ep 20 to include scenes with him and Asuka, as well as him and Shinji when he syncs with Unit-01.
- Ep 21 is a flashback so nothing changes.
- Ep 22 to include a few scenes with Asuka. Plot may slightly change to account for Kaworu's influence on her, but it'll still end the same way.
- Ep 23 to include a few scenes with Shinji, no changes to the plot.
- Ep 24 first half would need to be re-written since it no longer serves as Kaworu's introduction. However, the premise is mostly identical: Rei's dead and
Asuka's in a coma, so Kaworu is the only friend he has left to confide in. The latter half after Kaworu reveals his true nature will stay mostly the same.

From a technical standpoint, Ep 20 is the most problematic because it would need to be significantly altered from its original premise, turning from a Shinji-focused episode to one that splits the time more-or-less equally between Shinji, Asuka and Kaworu. I think the first half would follow the structure of Ep 24's first half with Shinji replaced with Asuka (except maybe without the part where they bathe together, for some reason I can't imagine Asuka being down with that :thehand: ) while the second half would be a condensed version of the existing Ep 20.
Last edited by 5284973 on Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby cyharding » Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:04 pm

^To tell you the truth, Sadamoto's manga does exactly that, even going through the changes you outlined.
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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby 5284973 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:53 pm

Only thing I know about the manga is that it also makes some... other... changes to Kaworu as well :sweatdrop:
I've been meaning to give it a read at some point, but just haven't gotten around to picking up a set yet. Though I think with manga you have an easier time changing the story and adding more scenes, because you don't have the strict time limit of broadcast anime.

Do Asuka and Kaworu actually interact in any serious capacity in the manga? Because I really think that's the main lost potential in Evangelion. I want Kaworu to give her the same treatment he gave Shinji and see how she'd react. Kaworu, having literal inhuman degrees of patience and kindness, would probably be the only character in the show that could actually tank through Asuka's abrasive wall and give her the human connection she desires. Exploring how she'd react to that (would she run away? would she eventually break down and give in to his "unconditional love"?) could give some more insight into her character, as well as show a more vulnerable side to her before the full backstory reveal in Ep 22.

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Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

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Postby cyharding » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:40 am

View Original Post5284973 wrote:Do Asuka and Kaworu actually interact in any serious capacity in the manga?

The two have only one scene together, though it is just right before her fateful battle with Arael,
SPOILER: Show
which the result is worse than in episode 22 as it left her in a catatonic state.

The interaction replaces the elevator scene from that episode.
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