The flaws and/or artistic validity of Shin and NTE as a whole

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition"). The final instalment made its debut in Japan on March 8, 2021.

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Re: The flaws and/or artistic validity of Shin and NTE as a whole

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Postby Konja7 » Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:56 pm

View Original PostChaddyManPrime wrote:Does Mari qualify as a manic pixie dream girl? Does she listen to the smiths?

I am not really sure Mari fits on this trope.

I mean, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl usually interacts a lot with the guy. That's how her cheerfulness reach the guy.

Instead, Mari doesn't seem to have almost any meaningful interaction with Shinji.

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Re: The flaws and/or artistic validity of Shin and NTE as a whole

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Postby NamvM74 » Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:04 pm

View Original PostTheFriskyIan wrote:
View Original PostJäeger#915965 wrote:Ok, it's fine, there is nothing wrong about it. But then develop that relationship. And don't destroy the almost coprotagonist fo NGE in the process.

What value does Soryu’s role in NGE have to do with Shikinami’s role in NTE? Anno isn’t retroactively erasing Soryu’s significance in NGE just because Shikinami in NTE isn’t as vital a side character as others.


If you thought it was important to make a new character that fills most of Asuka's function in the story then why have any version Asuka in it at all? Especially when this new version of Asuka is going to get more screen time then your replacement of her. You have less time in 4 films than the series to tell your story. Expanding the cast shouldn't be a priority. Lord of The Rings in its transition from book to screen cut characters not added new ones.

The answer unfortunately seems to be that Anno doesn't like the character anymore but the character is still really popular and sells merchandise.

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Re: The flaws and/or artistic validity of Shin and NTE as a whole

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Postby Xenoblade » Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:07 pm

View Original PostTheFriskyIan wrote:
View Original PostJäeger#915965 wrote:Ok, it's fine, there is nothing wrong about it. But then develop that relationship. And don't destroy the almost coprotagonist fo NGE in the process.

What value does Soryu’s role in NGE have to do with Shikinami’s role in NTE? Anno isn’t retroactively erasing Soryu’s significance in NGE just because Shikinami in NTE isn’t as vital a side character as others.


To the extent that this is supposed to be Anno's goodbye to Eva in terms of his active involvement..I'd say he is concluding both Soryu and Shikinami's roles here in a meta sense, the name and backstory changes aside. NGE and NTE are in dialogue with one another, they're just Anno at different stages of his life. The same goes for other characters.

Shinji cuts Asuka loose here like a 500-lb. weight around his shoulders.

In a way that does put a sour note on the 1995-1997 material.
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Re: The flaws and/or artistic validity of Shin and NTE as a whole

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Postby LazyPOS » Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:08 pm

View Original PostKonja7 wrote:Instead, Mari doesn't seem to have almost any meaningful interaction with Shinji.


Which is why I think having a random girl we never saw would work better, than having any of the three girls, or adult Sakura there. This is the new Shinji after the reset. He lived a half of a life that we didn't get to see. We didn't see him having meaningful interaction with anyone. Using Mari comes of as creating an OG character just to be some kind of reward for the MC.

My initial reaction to Mari from Ha and Q was that she was there to show that a typical shonen hero a la Edward Elric would do jack shit to change anything in the world of Eva. She even comes of as bloodthirsty and unhinged a little.

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Re: The flaws and/or artistic validity of Shin and NTE as a whole

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:06 pm

I'm now reminded of the Sakura option in pwhodges' fic.

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Re: The flaws and/or artistic validity of Shin and NTE as a whole

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Postby RLLRRR » Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:08 pm

Image

Maybe it was just poor timing, but Asuka's inclusion in the Honkai Impact 3rd crossover event really made it seem like she would a) take a bigger role in the (then) upcoming movie, and b) get some form of conclusion in said movie. If she's so marketable that she's the only character to appear in a crossover game, wouldn't it be nice if she was featured as such in said movie? And the Asuka that appears in HI3 is labeled as Shikinami, not Soryu.

View Original PostTheFriskyIan wrote: What value does Soryu’s role in NGE have to do with Shikinami’s role in NTE? Anno isn’t retroactively erasing Soryu’s significance in NGE just because Shikinami in NTE isn’t as vital a side character as others.


If they're all new characters, why is Asuka the only one with a new name? If they're all the same character, did changing Asuka and making her a clone really add anything to the story?

View Original PostLazyPOS wrote: This is why I love what they did with Asuka in EoE. Always saw EoE ending as the beginning of Shinji's life instead of some grand finale and conclusion. And while I have strong bias for Asuka, since she reminds me of a girl I couldn't stand in high school and we somehow became best friends in college, and were close to this day (people are weird), the way EoE ends that relationship can go anywhere. And Shinji and his growth (refusal of Instrumentality) is more important than "getting the girl"


And that could've been repeated for a third time (Thrice Upon a Time anyone?). EoE leaves Asuka and Shinji able to move forward in any direction, together or separate, in the post-3I world. Manga leaves Asuka and Shinji able to move forward in any direction, together or separate, in the new world. Rebuild leaves Mari??? and Shinji together, happily ever after???

View Original PostNamvM74 wrote: If you thought it was important to make a new character that fills most of Asuka's function in the story then why have any version Asuka in it at all? Especially when this new version of Asuka is going to get more screen time then your replacement of her. You have less time in 4 films than the series to tell your story. Expanding the cast shouldn't be a priority. Lord of The Rings in its transition from book to screen cut characters not added new ones.

The answer unfortunately seems to be that Anno doesn't like the character anymore but the character is still really popular and sells merchandise.


Exactly. If you want to replace Asuka with Mari, replace Asuka with Mari. Instead of having them coexist where they split the actions and emotional roles. Imagine a remake of Empire Strikes Back where Darth Vader is revealed to have killed Anakin Skywalker, but Luke's father is actually Todd Skywalker, and he's just fine.
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Re: The flaws and/or artistic validity of Shin and NTE as a whole

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Postby Xenoblade » Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:17 pm

We've seen a few translated reviews, but do we know how Japanese fans as a whole are taking Asuka's role replacement with Mari at the end of 3.0+1.0?

It seems like the film is getting stellar reviews and repeat viewings regardless...so I guess it wasn't really that risky a move to drop her character like a stone.
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Re: The flaws and/or artistic validity of Shin and NTE as a whole

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Postby Jayfive » Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:25 pm

Wait...is that adult Asuka in that picture? Both eyes, slightly longer hair, bit more going on in the curves department. Has a spoiler for the end of 3.0+1.0 been staring most of us in the face for several weeks?

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Re: The flaws and/or artistic validity of Shin and NTE as a whole

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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Wed Mar 17, 2021 1:51 am

I'm seeing a lot of comparing of Shin Eva to EoE, and quite frankly I don't think it's a warranted comparison. EoE had an entire 24 episodes of television building up to it, with all the baggage that came along. It was fundamentally telling a different story, with a different buildup, and a necessarily different conclusion. Comparatively, Shin Eva is coming on the heels of three movies, all under two hours. Even including Shin Eva, the total runtime of NTE clocks in at just over seven and a half hours, where the original series plus film had more than 11 hours of footage to play with. They're different stories, different mediums, different themes. Why should we be surprised they have different endings?

Maybe the story doesn't resonate as strongly with us, but I don't think NTE deserves to be critiqued for the sin of being different. Which sure, maybe we're not doing. But it sure feels like some of us are attacking the film for not being as DEEP or POWERFUL and I'm sitting here thinking, did it need to be? Or did it have a different story it was trying to tell?

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Re: The flaws and/or artistic validity of Shin and NTE as a whole

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Postby ChaddyManPrime » Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:00 am

Don't you think they invite the comparison with the meta resolution they give EoE?
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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:09 am

I'm not questioning the comparison, I'm questioning the dismissing. Of course NTE invites comparison, the first two movies are nearly beat-for-beat the same as the television series. The imagery of Shin calls back a lot of EoE, and even some parts of Death and Rebirth. I'm happy to read opinions suggesting NTE is not as powerful or moving as the stories that came before it, and I might even be inclined to agree with some of them.

What I do not think is that these differences in and of themselves make this new tetrology something to be dismissed, or that these differences ought to be used to devalue them. Invite comparison as it may, these films ought to succeed or fail on their own merits or demerits, not what came before. This may be difficult, considering the similarities to previous material, but I do believe that the films tell a different story in the end, and this different story is what ought to be used to judge the value of these films.

We can compare away without devaluing.

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Re: The flaws and/or artistic validity of Shin and NTE as a whole

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Postby Jäeger » Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:09 am

View Original PostNuclear Lunchbox wrote:I'm seeing a lot of comparing of Shin Eva to EoE, and quite frankly I don't think it's a warranted comparison. EoE had an entire 24 episodes of television building up to it, with all the baggage that came along. It was fundamentally telling a different story, with a different buildup, and a necessarily different conclusion. Comparatively, Shin Eva is coming on the heels of three movies, all under two hours. Even including Shin Eva, the total runtime of NTE clocks in at just over seven and a half hours, where the original series plus film had more than 11 hours of footage to play with. They're different stories, different mediums, different themes. Why should we be surprised they have different endings?

Maybe the story doesn't resonate as strongly with us, but I don't think NTE deserves to be critiqued for the sin of being different. Which sure, maybe we're not doing. But it sure feels like some of us are attacking the film for not being as DEEP or POWERFUL and I'm sitting here thinking, did it need to be? Or did it have a different story it was trying to tell?


The movie format was Anno's choice, not ours. If ti havent worked in an artistic way (but hey, POWERFUL VISUALS), it's his fault.

View Original PostXenoblade wrote:
View Original PostTheFriskyIan#915972 wrote:What value does Soryu’s role in NGE have to do with Shikinami’s role in NTE? Anno isn’t retroactively erasing Soryu’s significance in NGE just because Shikinami in NTE isn’t as vital a side character as others.


To the extent that this is supposed to be Anno's goodbye to Eva in terms of his active involvement..I'd say he is concluding both Soryu and Shikinami's roles here in a meta sense, the name and backstory changes aside. NGE and NTE are in dialogue with one another, they're just Anno at different stages of his life. The same goes for other characters.

Shinji cuts Asuka loose here like a 500-lb. weight around his shoulders.

In a way that does put a sour note on the 1995-1997 material.


Despite, if we have to believe his words, his feelings towards her are....just yesterday (the time skip is just a nap for him). And her feelings...well, she obviously hasn't moved on.

View Original PostLazyPOS wrote:
View Original PostKonja7#915976 wrote:Instead, Mari doesn't seem to have almost any meaningful interaction with Shinji.


Which is why I think having a random girl we never saw would work better, than having any of the three girls, or adult Sakura there. This is the new Shinji after the reset. He lived a half of a life that we didn't get to see. We didn't see him having meaningful interaction with anyone. Using Mari comes of as creating an OG character just to be some kind of reward for the MC.

My initial reaction to Mari from Ha and Q was that she was there to show that a typical shonen hero a la Edward Elric would do jack shit to change anything in the world of Eva. She even comes of as bloodthirsty and unhinged a little.


This. A random girl whom face the viewer never sees. That would have more sense, it would have worked, no complains there. Instead, meta just for the sake of being meta.

And let's be precise : ZERO INTERACTION.
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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:13 am

View Original PostJäeger wrote:The movie format was Anno's choice, not ours. If ti havent worked in an artistic way (but hey, POWERFUL VISUALS), it's his fault.

Most of the criticism about how it "hasn't worked" is based on a comparison to the television series and End of Evangelion. NTE deserves critique based on its own merits and the story it tells, not based on the story people are upset it didn't tell because they are more familiar with a different iteration of the characters and scenario.

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Re: The flaws and/or artistic validity of Shin and NTE as a whole

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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:17 am

View Original PostNuclear Lunchbox wrote:Maybe the story doesn't resonate as strongly with us, but I don't think NTE deserves to be critiqued for the sin of being different.
The pitfall is that it gave the appearance of trying to be both the same and different at the same time, in a way that the other spin-off material hasn't, which I think leads it into an uncanny valley for at least some of the audience.
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Postby Jäeger » Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:22 am

View Original PostNuclear Lunchbox wrote:
View Original PostJäeger#916069 wrote:The movie format was Anno's choice, not ours. If ti havent worked in an artistic way (but hey, POWERFUL VISUALS), it's his fault.

Most of the criticism about how it "hasn't worked" is based on a comparison to the television series and End of Evangelion. NTE deserves critique based on its own merits and the story it tells, not based on the story people are upset it didn't tell because they are more familiar with a different iteration of the characters and scenario.


The thing is that, without the NGE background, it works even less and have less sense. NTE only works parasiting NGE, so if Anno wants to play full meta, there are consecuences.

And just from an artistic pov...meh. But hey, powerful visuals. Well, in he first two movies just "more budget than the TV series" visuals.
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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:31 am

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:The pitfall is that it gave the appearance of trying to be both the same and different at the same time, in a way that the other spin-off material hasn't, which I think leads it into an uncanny valley for at least some of the audience.

And I can definitely recognize that, and I don't want to fault anyone for making the initial comparison... but at the same time, if that portion of the audience never comes to treat the new films as their own material, it locks them out of being able to partake in the discourse that seeks to analyze the films on their own merits. (Maybe the myopia is stifling their ability to enjoy the films in the first place.)

View Original PostJäeger wrote:The thing is that, without the NGE background, it works even less and have less sense. NTE only works parasiting NGE, so if Anno wants to play full meta, there are consecuences.

And just from an artistic pov...meh. But hey, powerful visuals. Well, in he first two movies just "more budget than the TV series" visuals.

I'll address these separately-- for your first point, I should think not! You even acknowledge how similar the first two films are, and I argue this certainly lays the groundwork for the characters, their motivations, their emotions, their existence. I reject the premise that these films don't do anything to justify their own existence, that they only mean something as extensions of the material that came before. They've created a new narrative and stuck to it.

And as to your second point, the first film is certainly remarkably similar, but I similarly reject the notion that its only successes are due to having more money than the television series with which to create its visuals. Certainly the second film is where we start to more obviously break away from the mold, but even the first film portrays the characters with love and care, bringing them to life. The first two films succeed on their own merits, not just because they're aping some earlier piece of media.

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Postby Jäeger » Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:23 am

Ok, they create a new narrative

It fails

They are different debates. Its sin is not being different : It's not working RIGHT. And I keep my word that with the NGE background it doesn´t work, NTE can't stand by itself. And if you are depending on the previous lore to work....well, deal with the consecuences.

View Original PostXenoblade wrote:We've seen a few translated reviews, but do we know how Japanese fans as a whole are taking Asuka's role replacement with Mari at the end of 3.0+1.0?

It seems like the film is getting stellar reviews and repeat viewings regardless...so I guess it wasn't really that risky a move to drop her character like a stone.


Never, ever, take into account the first weeks. Remember The Force Awakens.
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Postby LazyPOS » Wed Mar 17, 2021 4:12 am

View Original PostJäeger wrote:Remember The Force Awakens.


You have a even better example. Phantom Menace got good reviews at it's release.

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Postby Jäeger » Wed Mar 17, 2021 4:16 am

View Original PostLazyPOS wrote:
View Original PostJäeger#916077 wrote:Remember The Force Awakens.


You have a even better example. Phantom Menace got good reviews at it's release.


And it was a phenomenon. And people went to cinemas more than once. People gets easily carried away by a trend.

We live in a time where in internet people elevated The Dark Knight to the same place inhabited by the Godfather just a few weeks after its release.

The Dark Knight (a movie which is not getting old the best way).......AND THE GODFATHER.

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Postby Gendo's Glasses » Wed Mar 17, 2021 5:50 am

I typed up a long, in-depth post about this topic. Unfortunately, my Internet ate it. So, here you get the bullet points. When I say fandom, I don't mean Evageeks or anyone here specifically.

  • Evangelion came to the west and, for decades, enjoyed an incorrect take that it was inscrutable and impossible to understand.
  • Evangelion is actually quite easy to understand - child soldiers bad, go outside otaku, etc.
  • The issue people have is that a lot of Evangelion is conveyed by exposition and one or two images, particularly in the later half of the series.
  • Evangelion has been supplemented by a lot of expanded material, from Director's Cuts to booklets and games.
  • The fandom has had a long time to come to the conclusion that they've solved Eva, the impossible to understand story.
  • The fandom experiences periods of orthodoxy where certain readings are Correct - for example, years ago the FAR was seen as Anno not understanding his own story. Evangelion was clearly a story about actual Angels and an actual God who sent them to test humanity.
  • The NTE's problem is that it hasn't had the same amount of time or fan-theorising, really.
  • The issues people claim as unique problems to the NTE are actually present in NGE - where the fuck did Lillith come from all of a sudden, how did SEELE make nine flying Evas with perfect S2 engines and replicas of the Lance of Longinus in about a week, etc. Fans have had time to either come to terms with these issues, explain them away with theories, or otherwise claim that NGE 'isn't about that.'
  • While NGE has issues, you could make it seem even worse if you adopted the same kind of 'performative illiteracy' that people basically use on the NTE. I had a whole list, and now it's gone, RIP.
  • NGE and EoE were both phenomenal, but the NTE wasn't designed to be better or override them - it's complementary.
  • NTE takes obvious stabs at the sanctity of Eva lore, as well as fandom identifiers (Mari wins Shinjbowl!), and basically makes it clear that Anno doesn't have the same reverence for it all as the fans do.
  • But this isn't unique to NTE - one of the big changes of the Director's Cut was taking the Eva prototypes (numbered and individual, laid out reverently) and literally throwing them in a pit.
  • Anno probably hoped Shin would allow fans to feel closure and move on, but now they're burning Asuka figures in bins and trying to use science to prove that EoE is superior to Shin by comparing the last frames of each film.
  • The Rebuilds do have issues, but many of them are similar to issues in the original, and other seem to stem more from how Anno identifies with Shinji and treats it as something of an allegory for his own life. But that's part of the genuine artistic sentiment of the film - and something that was present in the originals.
  • People are upset when Anno uses Shin to say 'I'm not sad anymore' because, well, a lot of Evangelion was about how much it sucked to be sad and people tend to assume that sad means depth and happiness means naivety.
All that said, I think there's a point that the meta aspects of Shin are both a blessing and a curse, and I think it's fair to say that Anno's happiness that comes from being rich, successful, etc. can make people roll their eyes when, y'know, most people won't get to helm a beloved franchise that enjoys Evangelion's immense popularity. Anno's well-meaning message can feel a bit shallow.


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