Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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: NTE - general easter eggs

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Postby baldur » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:34 pm

BusterMachine4 wrote:Well, 2.0 was clearly supposed to be a "set up a false hope only to crush it" sort of movie, plan or no plan: the switch to a darker tone and more serious story happens within the movie itself.

True, but I've always found that the Near-Third Impact scene is still framed with that false hope, obscuring its horror. Audiences (understandably) did not seem to comprehend the implications of what was happening (just like Shinji).

BusterMachine4 wrote:But I don't quite comprehend why Anno would make a trailer for 3.0 if he knew everything in it was going to be a lie. I mean, he marketed the trailer as a preview for 3.0, and he even changed it to make it more accurate when the TV version of 2.0 was released. I think it's clearly a preview for a rough draft of 3.0 that never ended up materializing, not some sort of intentional false advertising.

But not everything in the preview is a "lie". In fact, I personally feel like it could be considered canon to some degree. Nothing in it contradicts 3.0 and plenty of it tracks. I know I'm kind of making the case for Gigabrain Anno here, but think about it - the preview essentially serves as a primer for what happens in-between 2.0 and 3.0. Updating it to make it more accurate makes sense. If Anno really had made such a radical change in direction during production, I'd expect the outdated preview to be at complete odds with the film, not actively helpful for understanding it.

Also, just to clarify, I think Rebuild is great regardless of whether the timeskip was planned early or not. If anything, I'd be very impressed that the films play off each other as well as they do if such radical changes to the core themes and ideas were being made along the way. I just think it's more likely that the basic structure (close remake -> loose remake -> timeskip -> new ending) was already planned out.

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Re: NTE - general easter eggs

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Postby Archer » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:39 pm

View Original PostNuclear Lunchbox wrote:Considering we're not speculating as to the content of the series but the thoughts of the people making it, and we have statements from those people that they've planned everything, we can either take them at their word or assume they're lying, but assuming they're lying means we need to acknowledge we're directly contradicting statements from people about their own thoughts.

We also have statements from them explicitly stating that plans for the series drastically changed mid-way through 2.0’s production, and that the original vision was just to do a remake of NGE. The new 2.0 ending was specifically not part of the original plan. We don’t technically know how much this changed the plan 3.0 onwards, but it’s objectively untrue to say that the Rebuilds were planned from the beginning when the 2.0 interviews directly contradict that idea.

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Re: NTE - general easter eggs

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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:02 pm

View Original PostArcher wrote:
View Original PostNuclear Lunchbox#918130 wrote:Considering we're not speculating as to the content of the series but the thoughts of the people making it, and we have statements from those people that they've planned everything, we can either take them at their word or assume they're lying, but assuming they're lying means we need to acknowledge we're directly contradicting statements from people about their own thoughts.

We also have statements from them explicitly stating that plans for the series drastically changed mid-way through 2.0’s production, and that the original vision was just to do a remake of NGE. The new 2.0 ending was specifically not part of the original plan. We don’t technically know how much this changed the plan 3.0 onwards, but it’s objectively untrue to say that the Rebuilds were planned from the beginning when the 2.0 interviews directly contradict that idea.

And that's a lot different than just saying that Anno doesn't have much of a plan for most of the movies. It's one thing to say Anno had a plan and then changed it to incorporate new elements, it's another thing entirely to say he's making it up as he goes along. I don't think it's contradictory to say that the plans changed and that there was at one point an original plan-- if anything, it makes it more believable to me that they had an initial framework that they changed to incorporate new ideas, rather than just discarding the original films entirely and striking out to make something completely different and unrelated.

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Re: NTE - general easter eggs

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Postby baldur » Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:03 pm

View Original PostArcher wrote:the original vision was just to do a remake of NGE

Kaworu's scene and other details in 1.0 (which are later described as deliberate foreshadowing) seem to indicate otherwise, though.

View Original PostArcher wrote:The new 2.0 ending was specifically not part of the original plan. We don’t technically know how much this changed the plan 3.0 onwards, but it’s objectively untrue to say that the Rebuilds were planned from the beginning when the 2.0 interviews directly contradict that idea.

The ending that was originally planned for 2.0 honestly read to me like a different method of reaching the same place, and my assumption was that it would similarly lead to NTI and timeskip. I don't remember reading anything in the 2.0 interviews that explicitly contradicts timeskip being planned, but I might just be wrong about that. Again, I'm not necessarily married to the idea that it was planned, but I don't see any reason to doubt their own statement.

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Re: NTE - general easter eggs

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Postby Archer » Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:32 pm

View Original PostNuclear Lunchbox wrote:
View Original PostArcher#918137 wrote:We also have statements from them explicitly stating that plans for the series drastically changed mid-way through 2.0’s production, and that the original vision was just to do a remake of NGE. The new 2.0 ending was specifically not part of the original plan. We don’t technically know how much this changed the plan 3.0 onwards, but it’s objectively untrue to say that the Rebuilds were planned from the beginning when the 2.0 interviews directly contradict that idea.

And that's a lot different than just saying that Anno doesn't have much of a plan for most of the movies. It's one thing to say Anno had a plan and then changed it to incorporate new elements, it's another thing entirely to say he's making it up as he goes along. I don't think it's contradictory to say that the plans changed and that there was at one point an original plan-- if anything, it makes it more believable to me that they had an initial framework that they changed to incorporate new ideas, rather than just discarding the original films entirely and striking out to make something completely different and unrelated.

Yeah, that’s definitely not what I’m arguing because their original plan was... pretty self-evident honestly?

I personally find it doubtful that the time skip was something planned from the beginning if they had planned to stick closely to NGE. But I suppose we’ll find out once the 3.0 CRC’s eventually drop.

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Postby ElMariachi » Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:56 am

View Original PostBusterMachine4 wrote:I've seen that quote already, and I still doubt it. I mean, George Lucas says everything in the Star Wars movies was planned all along, but everyone with eyes and a brain knows that's not true. :wink:

I still think that the Rebuilds' plot changed significantly over the course of production. I mean, there's no way Anno would create a whole mini-trailer for a movie that never ended up existing if it was all meticulously planned out. Also, this is the non-spoiler thread so I've got to be careful what I say, but certain plot points in the final movie also make me doubt that Anno has been planning everything all along. I feel like the 3.0 and 3.0+1.0 behind the scenes books releasing will shed a lot of light on what really happened behind the scenes.

Quite the contrary, creating that mini-trailer for "Q" was essential, since Q's narrative and emotional impact is based on the shock of suddenly being 14 years later and that most of the big stuff happened off-screen.
And on a meta-narrative level, it also increase the feeling of having missed out everything and never be able to take it back, leaving only regrets about what could had been, since it's implied that the events of the Next Time preview did happen, but offscreen. (there's a hint in Q with the sweater that the 14 years old Rei clone was wearing in the Next Time preview briefly appearing in a box next to Rei Q's shack)


The little foreshadowing sprinkled through 1.0 and 2.0 are supposed to be only noticeable in retrospect: Kaji's line about Urashima Taro feels at first to be just a little bit of Japanese cultural reference (and also some character exploration, showing that he has overall Japanese culture and thus is more intelligent that he let on) but with the knowledge of what will happen to Shinji, it becomes a meta foretaste of what he (and by proxy us, the audience) will feel in the next movie (and probably in Shin, if the old theory about a Lilin City is true), and looking back from Q, even Shinji's promise to Kaji to protect Misato was a foreshadowing, at first you could think of how Shinji failed Misato (and Kaji) and she had to pick up his slack (contributing to the general sense of alienation permeating this movie), but actually when you think about it, Shinji did fulfill his promise: remember that Zeruel was literally half a second away from vaporizing the entire Command Center when Shinji stopped him, if he hadn't done it, Misato, Ritsuko and all of the Bridge Bunnies would had died, and without them it's very probable that the WILLE rebellion would had failed, or at least that WILLE wouldn't had been as successful as it did.
And the "fake" Q trailer implies that its just after N3I that the different secret plans came crashing against each other and the big players started openly moving their pieces, at which point Misato and Co were also brought onboard and could throw their weight against SEELE and Gendo (unlike NGE/EoE where it was far too late to do anything by the time Misato learned of everything going on). So in a sense, Shinji did protect Misato, until she had all the elements to stand on her own feet and not need protection anymore, leading to the now leader of WILLE bringing the fight directly to SEELE and neo-NERV.
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Re: NTE - general easter eggs

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Postby Heaven Piercing Man » Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:58 pm

2.0 was a master bait to make the traditional Eva-haters, Shinji-haters and the more casual escapist otaku swallow it hook, line and sinker. It was a perfect tease for what these people always wanted Eva to be, especially in a post-Gurren Lagann world. The ending was telling us that in the world of Eva you don't get to pull a Gurren Lagann without paying some kind of price, we just didn't realize it because it was dressed as "le epic hot blooded manly GAR".
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Re: NTE - general easter eggs

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Postby baldur » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:31 pm

Heaven Piercing Man wrote:2.0 was a master bait to make the traditional Eva-haters, Shinji-haters and the more casual escapist otaku swallow it hook, line and sinker.

This has always been my impression of 2.0. Sometimes I do think to myself: Am I giving Anno and Khara too much credit? Am I just making excuses to like a film that isn't actually very good? But then I think about it some more. And yeah, I really don't see how anything else could be the case at the end of the day. The bait and switch is just too perfect, and I can not for the life of me see how 2.0 being played straight could coexist with the same people going on to make 3.0. Rebuild being planned to some degree is not even necessary to my enjoyment of it - 3.0 redeems 2.0 regardless - but I just don't see how anything else would make sense.

Also... aren't we way off-topic? Might be good if a mod were to split this whole tangent into a different thread.

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Re: NTE - general easter eggs

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Postby Zusuchan » Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:36 am

Well, the off-thread discussion had ended, but I guess since it's getting ready to be started again, it might be a good idea to split it off, yes. I hope the generic "Debate the quality of Rebuild" thread shall suffice.

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Re: NTE - general easter eggs

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Postby Xenoblade » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:47 pm

View Original PostHeaven Piercing Man wrote:2.0 was a master bait to make the traditional Eva-haters, Shinji-haters and the more casual escapist otaku swallow it hook, line and sinker. It was a perfect tease for what these people always wanted Eva to be, especially in a post-Gurren Lagann world. The ending was telling us that in the world of Eva you don't get to pull a Gurren Lagann without paying some kind of price, we just didn't realize it because it was dressed as "le epic hot blooded manly GAR".


I dunno man...

I think some hardcore Rei fans in general loved the direction 2.0 appeared to be going in, but I don't think every Evangelion fan thought "yes". Not everyone's favourite character is Rei, even in Japan. Some people didn't mind her replacement with Rei Q either, I know I didn't mind one bit.

I understand that people thought that Rei would have been saved by Shinji in 2.0, but I dunno....it wouldn't be Eva if we got a "happily ever after" segment in the middle of the Rebuild series. The bait-and-switch was not really without warning, and it wasn't a stroke of mastery imo.

There's also the element of Asuka, largely pushed aside in 2.0, but who is still alive at the end of the film. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. There was always going to be a reckoning for Shinji in 3.0 based on his selfish actions in 2.0, honestly. He might not be expected to save everyone, but he does have a duty of care to Asuka.

I think that Shinji was changed into a more likeable culinary expert in 2.0 partially because Khara isn't mid-90s GAINAX. Culture changed, Anno changed, and Eva changed. They show Shinji as a nicer, cooler and more relatable guy who doesn't pull strange moves when characters are sleeping. This isn't something that 3.0 gets rid of, and this isn't bait. You empathize with Shinji in 3.0 even more so because he's a "good guy" and has been for three films at that point. The Rebuilds aren't built for Shinji-haters, and never were. There was no bait in 2.0 in this regard, that's just rebuild Shinji, nothing more, nothing less.

No one was baited in general anyway. Evangelion always had some "slice of life" elements, 2.0 had that to a greater extent than the two films sandwiching it, but that's not really bait...that's ticking the boxes of what an Evangelion film series should include somewhere within it anyway.

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby hui43210 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:18 pm

Whether there was an intention to bait that group or not, they definitely let themselves get baited. I remember one of the people who DBZ Abridged saying that 3.0 was bad because it undid all the progress that the series made in 2.0. All I could think of was, we have different ideas of progress.

Having just rewatched the rebuild movies for the first time in a couple of years, 2.0 is definitely my least favorite. Of the three out so far, it's the one that feels the most like an average anime recap film to me. I liked it back when I first saw it in 2011, but Shinji's attempt to go full Gurren Lagan(a show I don't enjoy very much myself) grates me a bit now. But it's needed to pull off 3.0, so I don't mind it that much.
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby Kendrix » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:23 pm

A lot of the complaints about 2.0 and Q might seem disparate (filthy casual fanservice vs incomprehensible pointlessly dark ) but in my eyes, they are actually much the same: Not understanding story structure, & that your faves can't have the same amount of screentime in each movie.

The part leading up to the third act twist is often hopeful; The part just for the finale is often dark. The original series also has this part in the middle where everything looked hopeful for a bit, and then that string of super crushing episodes.

I found it rather comedic to see the switch from whining about not enough Asuka & how that disappeared the moment she got to deliver cool smack-talk (granted, that is sort of the quintessential Asuka role) and suddenly there's ppl crying that it's a conspiracy against Rei (it was sobering to see how many idiots there are in my own faction XDD)

The ppl at khara are generally "by fans for fans" types even more so than Gainax was, and i think they respect their work too much to become completely obsessed with "outwitting" or "trapping" the fans. They're too busy expressing their feelings, telling an interesting story etc.

As I see it Rei's arc in 2.0 is the story of Anno who was always an isolated type detached from earthly passions (with Rei being an expression of that 'detached from life' side) coming to appreciate them more as he got older, in part through experience & also through his wife.
(though Shinji also gets some of this with the "smell of earth" line during the farming & the piano sequence)

While Q is largely the experience of having tried hard & given it your all (perhaps after you first made an effort after a long time of dying your wants/ defensive low expectations) & then failing just like you feared you would, & maybe feeling "left behind" as a result like your peers all outpaced you in growth & accomplishment. For Anno is was probably something related to his work, but it's a very applicable, relatable feeling

and neither of the two is less authentic.
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby Archer » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:46 pm

Kendrix wrote:snip

I think a lot of that can be blamed on a post-2010 Western perspective being retroactively applied to an earlier Japanese work. A lot of Western media is stuck in this quagmire of bullshit postmodernism where fun and optimism are dirty words, where writers are pretentious dickwads who can’t even bother hiding their open disdain for the source material and its fans, who think “muh subverted expectations” automatically equates to great writing. When you’re coming from a culture where it seems like a writer’s main job is to fuck with the fans and insult their intelligence and moral integrity when they dare to complain (instead of.. ya know.. just writing a good story), Anno can be easily mistaken for that kind of writer due to some stuff he’s said in interviews being taken out of context.

Overall story structure also tends to get lost when there’s so much time in between installments. Especially given the general impressions of 3.0+1.0, I really feel like the Rebuilds will make much more sense when you watch them WITHOUT years of waiting in between each movie.

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby Xenoblade » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:14 pm

View Original PostArcher wrote: lot of Western media is stuck in this quagmire of bullshit postmodernism where fun and optimism are dirty words, where writers are pretentious dickwads who can’t even bother hiding their open disdain for the source material and its fans, who think “muh subverted expectations” automatically equates to great writing. When you’re coming from a culture where it seems like a writer’s main job is to fuck with the fans and insult their intelligence and moral integrity when they dare to complain (instead of.. ya know.. just writing a good story), Anno can be easily mistaken for that kind of writer due to some stuff he’s said in interviews being taken out of context.


I mean... Misato gets a personality change in a similar manner to Luke in The Last Jedi. The Disney/Marvel-esque "I must subvert expectations at all costs" vibes are absolutely present to an extent, lol. Anno even did it first.

Anno says a lot about the state of anime. Some it might be "taken out of context" or lost in translation, but some of it is probably how he really feels. :emogendo: That's fine, really, I couldn't care less.

I like the rebuild instalments quite a bit but..I doubt he thinks his fans are geniuses or treats them all that differently from a JJ Abrams or a Rian Johnson, lol. I think that's a stretch and a half.

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby Archer » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:36 pm

My issue with Misato is the same as most of my issues with 3.0, in that they can work if they are justified/subverted/elaborated on in 3.0+1.0, but they shouldn’t HAVE to be justified by the next movie.

IMO, 3.0 needed to end with us finding out whether or not Shinji was actually responsible for the state the world’s currently in. I’ve seen a lot of people try to justify the complete lack of background info by saying that the movie’s supposed to make you feel clueless and thus relate to Shinji’s actions, but if the point of the movie is to misdirect you into relating with him by withholding important information, then they need to actually reveal that misdirection at the end of the movie. Without that, it feels like the movie ends without anything actually happening because the main character hasn’t undergone any change in perspective.

To make 3.0 work better as a standalone movie, I think that’s all you need to add: the actual REVEAL of the misdirection. That way, the audience starts the movie relating with Shinji’s actions, but ends the movie with a new perspective on the earlier events, and leaves you with the fairly easily understandable moral of “acting impulsively without understanding everything can make things worse for everyone, including yourself”. Even if the other characters are still left static and the background lore is left mysterious, this at least gives you a solid arc for the main character. I think its absence is what makes 3.0 feel kinda aimless for a lot of people, and why they feel that “nothing happens” in 3.0: Shinji begins the movie clueless and acting impulsively and he ends the movie clueless and acting impulsively. Stuff happens, but nothing really changes for the characters, which isn’t good in a series that’s predominantly character-driven.

On the topic of Star Wars, this was actually my biggest issue with the Last Jedi as well. A lot of people defended the protagonist’s actions saying that the theme of the movie is failure, but it DOESN’T WORK because despite the protagonists being single-handedly responsible for the Resistance losing most of their ships and troops by bringing the traitor dude back with them, at no point are they ever made aware of this fact. If your characters don’t acknowledge (or even KNOW) that they fucked up, then they can’t learn anything from that experience, and your “theme” of failure has failed.

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby Kendrix » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:58 pm

I don't think that was the intended moral AT ALL.

And Q is circular by design; It ends in the aftermath of failure, and ends in even worse failure.

By itself, it's a tragedy, not a bildungsroman.
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby ElMariachi » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:25 pm

^^
The thing is that I don't think that Q is supposed to work as a standalone movie, but as the first part (or even the prologue) of the second half of NTE, with Shin as the second part, the problem is Shin ended up releasing nine years after Q, leaving us stewing in that cliffhanger of a depressive situation.


View Original PostKendrix wrote:As I see it Rei's arc in 2.0 is the story of Anno who was always an isolated type detached from earthly passions (with Rei being an expression of that 'detached from life' side) coming to appreciate them more as he got older, in part through experience & also through his wife.
(though Shinji also gets some of this with the "smell of earth" line during the farming & the piano sequence)

Personally, I took Rei's arc in 2.0 to be the continuation of her character arc that Anno never did in NGE because he didn't what to do with her once Shinji made her smile in episode 6, and what she did was to try to bring the family together, but this is Evangelion, so it couldn't happen.
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby Archer » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:27 pm

View Original PostKendrix wrote:I don't think that was the intended moral AT ALL.

And Q is circular by design; It ends in the aftermath of failure, and ends in even worse failure.

By itself, it's a tragedy, not a bildungsroman.

I’m just addressing the common defense of Q’s complete lack of exposition as purposely done to put us in Shinji’s shoes. If this were true, then the only purpose I can see for it to be that way would be to later go back and turn it on its head and reveal that everyone else was right, Shinji (and the audience) were wrong.

If Q were just about failure leading into more failure, I argue a more effective way of doing it would be by showing that EVERYONE is wrong and acting irrationally, which would be done by giving us MORE background, not less.

All I want clarified/justified for me is, what is the narrative purpose of “putting the audience in Shinji’s shoes” through lack of information and exposition if it’s not to later show that he (and the audience) were wrong?

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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby Lavinius » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:45 pm

View Original PostArcher wrote:I’m just addressing the common defense of Q’s complete lack of exposition as purposely done to put us in Shinji’s shoes. If this were true, then the only purpose I can see for it to be that way would be to later go back and turn it on its head and reveal that everyone else was right, Shinji (and the audience) were wrong.

If Q were just about failure leading into more failure, I argue a more effective way of doing it would be by showing that EVERYONE is wrong and acting irrationally, which would be done by giving us MORE background, not less.

Isn't putting us in Shinji's shoes have self-justification enough in its emotional & æsthetic power? There doesn't need to be any moralizing reason for it.
Moreover Q is a story of Shinji going from having done nothing wrong (he did save Rei, which is very important, and he had no information that would tell him that doing so would lead to horrific consequences)
Whether Misato is wrong, Gendou is wrong- all of that interesting stuff- is regrettably outside of the focus on Shinji, the question of what he can do. And when Shinji [i]does[/] do something wrong- when he takes out the Spears- he very much had the information available to tell that it was wrong.
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BusterMachine4
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby BusterMachine4 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:49 pm

View Original PostLavinius wrote:And when Shinji [i]does[/] do something wrong- when he takes out the Spears- he very much had the information available to tell that it was wrong.

Did he, though? All he had to go on was some vague comments from Kaworu telling him that the spears were wrong somehow, and his former roommate trying to kill him with an enormous spear. In such a confusing situation, it only makes sense that Shinji would do what he set out to do in the first place. I don't really blame him.


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