Did Hideaki Anno base Gendo on himself?

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Postby Chuckman » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:06 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:Often in storytelling, the villain is written to create a dichotomy with the protagonist; one of Shinji's most important conflicts is between himself and Gendo. Gendo is a pessimistic potential future version of Shinji, and probably what Anno himself feared to become. Gendo suffers from many of the same insecurities as Shinji, but through his loneliness, obsession, and long career of bureaucracy, he eventually become a cold, pragmatic shell of his former self. Shinji is still naive and inexperienced to the hardships of the world, whereas Gendo has been long-weathered by it.

In other words, Shinji and Gendo are both shades of Anno.


The interesting part here is that there is no confrontation or catharsis between father and son (one of the great elder themes of all fiction). At a point in the narrative they simply part ways and never meet again.
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Postby ElMariachi » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:30 pm

View Original PostIspellnogood wrote:In EoE the whole movie is about Shinji being portrayed really sad and pathetic person, who masturbates over comatose girls and suddenly starts Impacts. Gendo's 20 second plead with Rei, and his Stoic Retribution for closing of his heart was really weak, considering the series ended with Gendo starting third impact.

The important is the end game: in the end Shinji got his epiphany and stopped being a self-hating mess, something Gendo never managed to do, and is alive, and on the other hand Gendo ended abandoned by everyone, chastised by his own wife and dead (by his own wife too)

In the end Shinji won, while Gendo lost everything.

View Original PostIspellnogood wrote:In Q the one that the world hates is Shinji for triggering impacts. Fuyutsuki tries to justify Gendo (aka, KING OF THE LILIUM!) :facepalm: with that "given up everything, even his very Soul" line.

Didn't you noticed that all of mankind is actively trying to kill Gendo? WILLE aren't stupid you know, they know that Shinji was a tool and that the main target is Gendo and SEELE, they hate them as much if not more than Shinji.

As for Fuyutsuki, he's Gendo's accomplice, of course he'll try to justify what he did, but that doesn't change the fact that he's one of the most pathetic looking characters of Q: age hit him hard, he seems apathetic, goes with whatever Gendo chose out of resignation, can't get out because of what he did and know it...
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Postby Sachi » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:48 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:The interesting part here is that there is no confrontation or catharsis between father and son (one of the great elder themes of all fiction). At a point in the narrative they simply part ways and never meet again.

It's really played up in the first half of the series, but like many other aspects of the show at that point, the theme was shed off in favor of focusing on other more important things. In a way, parting ways and never meeting again seems more realistic.

View Original PostElMariachi wrote:In the end Shinji won, while Gendo lost everything.

Gendo invested everything entirely into his vision, and ended up losing it all; that's what happens when you put your eggs in one basket (and then use that basket to fuck over everyone around you). Shinji on the other hand was on the verge of simply throwing everything that he had away, but in the end decided that he really and truly was attached to the life he'd built with others.
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Postby NemZ » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:49 pm

^...in EoE.

In EoTV Gendo's magnificient bastardry leads to success and everyone seems to be better of for it.
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Postby Ray » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:34 pm

Well most of us don't count the last two episodes as canon.
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Postby NemZ » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:44 pm

Then sadly most of 'us' are wrong.

Better question... did Hideako Anno base himself on Gendo?
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Postby ElMariachi » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:53 pm

Can I go grab the popcorn before you resume?
Thanks! :popcorn:
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:59 pm

It’s been said that Yoshiyuki Sadamoto admitted to basing Gendo’s appearance off of Anno. It’s never mentioned if Anno asked for this or not.

Anno has said before that Shinji is his self-insert. It could be that Anno always wanted to grow up to be like Gendo, but never did until Evangelion.
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Postby Merkaba » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:42 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:Well most of us don't count the last two episodes as canon.

I must have missed this poll. What were the exact percentages of who considered it canon and who didn't?

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Postby kuribo-04 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:52 pm

View Original PostGuy Nacks wrote:I think he said in some interview that that rumor was false and that his father never threw him out of the house or anything like that. I can't remember whether it was in the Anno Teaches Kids thing or in some other interview he gave, but I do remember reading it/seeing it.


It's the same interview where he mentions the Eva is based on the oni, but I don't find it. But yes, he said something like that.

And maybe this is relevant:
SPOILER: Show
Takekuma: There are people who have argued that Nerv is [a representation of] Studio Ghibli (laughing), but in truth Nerv is [a representation of] Gainax.
Anno: That's so. It's what you would call an amateur group.
Takekuma: You are projected into every one of the characters in your work, but you were in Gendo's position, right? The staff had to follow you anyway, even though [they] didn't know what [you were] thinking.
Anno: I'm in that position as far as my standing is concerned. As to whether I'm projecting that much [into him], I don't really think so. But he is certainly my shadow.
Takekuma: Speaking in terms of the drama, there is this enmity between parent and child, [but] the [actual] struggle [between them] remains unrealized.
Anno: Right. It's vague. I was saving it until the final episode, thinking I would do it then.
Oizumi: What I thought was intersting is that at the outset you kill all of the mothers. Was that a projection of something like your [own] maternal image?
Anno: Yeah.
Takekuma: For me, it was different. For me, it was my father who wasn't there. It's unusual, I think, [for people of] my generation to be confronting their fathers.
Anno: I'm not sure that it's a real father [that Gendo represents]. Well, not a father in the sense of a parent with a blood relation to his child, but more, I think, [in the sense of being] a representative of society or the system. That's why he has that expression.
Takekuma: So, he's kind of amorphous.
Anno: The angels are the same. I made them appear amorphous in that way because, for me, society is unclear, the enemy is unclear.
Takekuma: Gendo is [a representation of] the boundries or the pressure of society itself.
Anno: That might be it. Perhaps Gendo is [a representation of] society itself.
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Postby Sachi » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:32 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:^...in EoE.

In EoTV Gendo's magnificient bastardry leads to success and everyone seems to be better of for it.

Ah, yes. I will concede to you that point. EoTV!Gendo's bastardry turns out to be beneficial and his ends justified his means, which makes him actually a much more interesting character in my eyes (and something I'm hoping to maybe see a bit of in Final). From that angle Gendo is the hero of the story, the one who saw what needed to be done for the sake of humanity and did everything in his power to make it happen, even if that meant being a bastard and manipulating others. He sacrificed part of his own personal humanity in order to further the whole of the greater humanity.
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Postby Ispellnogood » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:28 am

A Shinji(Sadamoto) and Gendo(Anno) is an idea that could be considered.

I remember Sadamoto saying something in the manga, where the anime is more through Gendo's eyes while the manga is more through Shinji's eyes, I argee with that. The voice actress for Shinji, giggled when she thought about how much Anno looked like Gendo and how much Sadamoto looked like Shinji. [/quote]

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Postby Ray » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:37 am

@Sachi
I am vehemently anti singularity. Which is also why I don't consider the TV ending canon.

As for if Anno based Gendo on himself, have you seen the original concept art for Gendo? He was originally going to be a lot more shouty, and stereotypically "Mad Scientist", before they decided to turn him into his current self. Is Anno more a shouty eccentric genius or a dark depressed introspective person?
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Postby Sachi » Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:52 am

View Original PostRay wrote:@Sachi
I am vehemently anti singularity. Which is also why I don't consider the TV ending canon.

The fact that Instrumentality resembles a singularity doesn't matter; when you're watching it on screen, whether it's EoTV or EoE, you have to recognize that Instrumentality is being used as a plot device for character development; getting Shinji from point A to point B is all that matters. In EoTV, it was used to represent Shinji's bubble that he creates around himself, and he only achieves true "instrumentality" with other people once he breaks out of his bubble; in that regard Instrumentality is portrayed as a good thing that helps people connect to each other. EoE is starkly contrasted, and Instrumentality itself seems to be the bubble that Shinji is running away to, and can be seen as a sort of suicide; in that regard, Instrumentality is a very bad thing, yes. Both endings are valid, and are simply alternate tellings of the same themes using different methods (just like Rebuild, hurr hurr).
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Postby Monk Ed » Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:14 am

View Original PostSachi wrote:Ah, yes. I will concede to you that point. EoTV!Gendo's bastardry turns out to be beneficial and his ends justified his means, which makes him actually a much more interesting character in my eyes (and something I'm hoping to maybe see a bit of in Final). From that angle Gendo is the hero of the story, the one who saw what needed to be done for the sake of humanity and did everything in his power to make it happen, even if that meant being a bastard and manipulating others. He sacrificed part of his own personal humanity in order to further the whole of the greater humanity.

At least, according to his own value system, with absolutely no regard for anyone else's choices or opinions. In that light, EoE is the true Good End because the only perceivable difference is that Shinji allowed people to have a choice, whereas Gendo would have not. There is every bit as much evidence for the idea that whoever chose not to return to the real world stayed in a blissful dream-world like many around here assume Gendo was going to give everyone in his version of Instrumentality, as there is for the idea that that's indeed what everyone got in EoTV.

In case you're wondering my logic it goes like this:

Seele's plan = open Pandora's box until the "hope" at the bottom, the end of individual consciousness, comes out/occurs.

Gendo's plan = open Pandora's box but close it (stop the process) before that point, leaving everyone mixed together as individual souls with no AT Fields separating them, a colony of very close but still individual individuals who are in a sense barely individual because it becomes difficult to tell where you end and the next person begins. Note that this end is similar enough to Seele's plan that Gendo's own description of it still reads a lot like what Seele's end is often supposed to be, the key line being that he describes it as the "merging of all souls into one" in both EoTV and EoE. (EoTV: "All souls will become one and find eternal peace." EoE: "Merge all souls into one.") Note that what Shinji rejects in EoE is in fact Gendo's version of Instrumentality (because clearly, not everyone has truly become one true consciousness yet), and the same thing we see him accept in EoTV but without any kind of process of self-realization, just a complete sudden turn-around as if that part of himself were suddenly replaced with someone else's happiness via complementation (and who knows how he feels later after the credits have done rolling, or if we can really call him "Shinji" anymore).

EoE as it happened = as per Gendo's plan but anyone who wants to return to human existence has that option. The real Shinji, who had a choice in the matter, chose to return, before the part of him that would have chosen to do so could be replaced (or to put it the way Gendo might have seen it, before the part of him that was defective could be complemented with a part that would have made the "right" choice), like a child becoming eternally dependent on their mother's emotional support (Gendo, EoTV: "We are only returning to our mother, who has been lost to this world.") instead of growing up and learning to find happiness on their own.

I admit to thinking all of this up just now, and I thank you two for driving me [s]up the wall[/s] to type all that up and think it all through. It's a new interpretation of the show and its endings that excites me because of its compatibility with existing parallels presented in the show, chiefly that Instrumentality, Gendo's or Seele's, EoTV's or EoE's, is the ultimate dive into your mother's basement.
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Postby NemZ » Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:50 am

I don't think anyone actually has a choice in EoE. Self-awareness isn't a choice, it's just a fact, and Rei seems to indicate that being aware of one's individuality is all it takes for them to reembody. The problem is that unless one has awareness of themselves they can't make meaningful choices, but having that awareness means the choice is already made before it's offered.

This is important because while people can't choose whether or not to come back they CAN choose whether or not to continue living once they are back... hence the beach strangulation scene and Asuka's fond acceptance and than annoyance at having been denied her release. Must she do everything herself?
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Postby Ispellnogood » Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:04 am

Block quotes of entire posts are a no-no. Please take a moment to read the rules, linked in the banner.

I'm an Eva fanboy, I do enjoy eva discussion and think it's worthy of scrutiny. But I also beleive it's a lot of this too "Shinji represents the id, ego and Gendo represents blah blah blah PenPen is the inner child, right Mr Anno?". :bigeyes: "Ahhh....... Y yes." :shifty:


I also think that if an Original Character like Gendo appeared in an eva fic, had lines and titles like Rogue Bull on a short tether, Just as planned and King Of The Lilium attributed to them, They'd be crucified in the reveiws. I just don't think that Gendo or Anno should be excempt from such henpeckings.

An interesting exercise to do, is to imagine EoE doesn't excist and it's just the series. Now imagine someone posts a fanfic version of EoE, What would you think of it?

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Postby Monk Ed » Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:38 am

View Original PostNemZ wrote:I don't think anyone actually has a choice in EoE. Self-awareness isn't a choice, it's just a fact, and Rei seems to indicate that being aware of one's individuality is all it takes for them to reembody.

I don't know where you got this impression, because it contradicts both the letter and the spirit of Rei and Kaworu's words in the very same segment by which we learn how people reform in the first place:
Bochan Bird's translation wrote:Kaworu:
Reality is in an unfamiliar place, and dreams are within reality.

Rei:
And the truth is within your heart.

Kaworu:
For it is the hearts of people that create their appearance.

Rei:
And new images will change peoples' hearts and appearances.
Images... the power of imagination... The power to create your own future, and to make time flow.

Kaworu:
But people must act of their own free will, or nothing will change at all.

Rei:
So you must find your lost self on your own...
Even if you lose your own words, or become lost in others' words.

Rei:
Anyone can return to human form as long as they can imagine themselves in their own heart.

There is no implication of force and plenty of talk about free will, and the final line of this quoted segment even uses empowering language like "can", language which is in fact consistent across three separate translations I have (Bochan Bird, A2000A, AnimeDivX). In fact, all three use those same two "can"s (rendered in one case as "able to"), suggesting that the ability to imagine yourself in your own heart does not force you to recorporate, it only enables you to do so if you choose (and the statement is precluded by a direct invocation of free will and shit, to boot).
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Postby Sachi » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:25 am

View Original PostMonk Ed wrote:At least, according to his own value system, with absolutely no regard for anyone else's choices or opinions. In that light, EoE is the true Good End because the only perceivable difference is that Shinji allowed people to have a choice, whereas Gendo would have not. There is every bit as much evidence for the idea that whoever chose not to return to the real world stayed in a blissful dream-world like many around here assume Gendo was going to give everyone in his version of Instrumentality, as there is for the idea that that's indeed what everyone got in EoTV.

Instrumentality in EoTV is portrayed as a way to fill the void in people's hearts, essentially as a solution to the human condition. All the characters of focus are self-destructive by nature; this can be extended to the greater of humanity given its state in the Post-2I world. Gendo claims that Instrumentality is the only way to ensure mankinds continued existence. It's a way to bring down the barriers of the heart and the body so the humans can actually communicate and help each other. However, it is a process that seems to involve losing one's sense of self that they have to then shape; the conflict of EoTV is that Shinji rejects his self-worth and can't open his heart so easily, and so he sort of refuses to join the others in complementation; just like in real life, Shinji closes himself off to others. He eventually comes to realize himself, and then he was able to achieve Instrumentality with the others.

Nothing in EoTV by itself suggests that Instrumentality is a bad thing. When not considering EoE, ep 24 can actually be interpreted as the final showdown between Seele and Gendo, and Gendo won. The next thing that happens is Gendo's intiation of Instrumentality about halfway through ep 25. Misato seems against it at first, but Ritsuko explains it's necessity and then it continues. It all seems like positive group therapy from then on which culminates to the final achievement of Instrumentality, for Shinji it was when he joins the others in the congratulation scene.

EoTV!Gendo isn't portrayed as a villain forcing something onto humanity, but rather as an administrator of the project meant to save humanity from its cold and lonely existence.
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Postby NemZ » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:49 am

View Original PostMonk Ed wrote:I don't know where you got this impression, because it contradicts both the letter and the spirit of Rei and Kaworu's words in the very same segment by which we learn how people reform in the first place:


You're conflating two statements that I don't believe are making the same point. Kaworu is talking about the ability of people to change, Rei is talking about the ability to come back in the first place.

"Can" just says it's possible, at least for some. It further implies that not everyone is guaranteed to achieve this. It doesn't necessarily say anything about choice, just potential.
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