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: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby Lavinius » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:53 pm

View Original PostBusterMachine4 wrote:All he had to go on was some vague comments from Kaworu telling him that the spears were wrong somehow,

Qaworu was begging him to stop well before Shinji pulled the spears. Qaworu's plan was the only reason Shinji was going to pull the spears to begin with.
If you're about to do something that your friends are willing to kill you over, and the very person who told you to do the thing is saying that it's now a no-go, I'd say you're fully guilty for going ahead and doing it anyway.
Of course Shinji was in an emotional state. That doesn't mean he shouldn't have known better.
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby Archer » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:10 pm

If we’re no longer meant to empathize with Shinji’s actions by the end of the movie, then what narrative purpose is served by NOT making it clear why Misato and co. were acting apparently stupid and out of character (from Shinji and the audience’s perspective) at the beginning? Of course I’m making the assumption here that it IS explained/justified in 3.0+1.0.

I mean like, a possible way to resolve this would be Fuyutsuki explaining that he WAS responsible (true), and offering NERV’s plan as a “second chance” to fix his mistakes (false).

I just fail to see how purposely not explaining either side’s actions/motivations and making EVERYONE appear stupid makes Q a better movie than if it showed that both sides had perfectly rational justifications for their apparently irrational actions.

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

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Postby Lavinius » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:22 pm

View Original PostArcher wrote:If we’re no longer meant to empathize with Shinji’s actions by the end of the movie

Empathize with doesn't mean support. Shinji made a very bad decision in a very bad situation, why should that mean we should stop caring about him?

I just fail to see how purposely not explaining either side’s actions/motivations and making EVERYONE appear stupid makes Q a better movie than if it showed that both sides had perfectly rational justifications for their apparently irrational actions.

What's there that really needs to explained? Gendou wants the Human Instrumentality Project and to kill God (self-explanatory; he'll make a better world), which apparently also involves killing pretty much everyone in the world- Shinji's aware of this once Qaworu tells him. Misato wants to stop this (even more self-explanatory), and it's gloves off for her- he's also aware of this as soon as he understands what Gendou's aim is.
I mean, yes, the details and Gendou's ultimate agenda are very interesting and not explained, but we have enough context that neither side is acting irrationally.
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby Archer » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:42 pm

I’m not saying we shouldn’t *care* about him, but by that point in the movie we’re clearly no longer supposed to be “in his shoes”, since WE can see that what he’s doing is wrong, but HE can’t.

At the beginning of the movie (going by the aforementioned defense), everyone seemingly acts out of character because Shinji doesn’t know their thoughts or reasoning, thus the audience doesn’t either. After we’re no longer supposed to be “in his shoes” we can make the completely unfounded assumption that Misato and co. treat Shinji the way they do because he WAS responsible. But that’s the problem - it’s a completely unfounded assumption with no real evidence supporting it in the movie. You don’t have to go into detail about what happened between 2.0 and 3.0 to do that, just a simple confirmation that his actions were directly responsible for the fucked-up state of the world (which doesn’t jive with what we’ve seen and thus cannot be assumed without evidence) would do a lot to quell complaints about OOC Misato because then we as the audience can now 100% understand that treating him like a deadly weapon was the logical and rational choice.

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

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Postby ChaddyManPrime » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:16 pm

I predict some people wil love it, some people will hate it, and some will be meh about it.

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

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Postby Kendrix » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:41 pm

i feel like this becomes more & more pointless as long as it is on the non-spoiler subforum.

both the defenses against inaccurate criticisms & the discussion of legit flaws are incomplete without mentioning anything in the last bit XDD
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby Heaven Piercing Man » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:40 am

View Original PostXenoblade wrote:
View Original PostArcher#919233 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.

Anno also did the "sequel to a movie that doesn't exist" thing first
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby JoelcrNeto » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:23 am

View Original PostChaddyManPrime wrote:I predict some people wil love it, some people will hate it, and some will be meh about it.

That's the general opinion of all the Rebuild movies I see. Honestly, anyone who doesn't like NTE won't like Shin Eva either (or I might be wrong).
Last edited by JoelcrNeto on Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby WILLE_Coyote » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:49 am

Personally, I think Misato's characterisation in Q makes sense, although some of the specific dialogue is a little much. She's spent 14 years dealing with the fallout of Shinji's actions (whether N3I did as much damage to the world as Kaworu said or if it was Third Impact proper, there was certainly a domino effect) that she herself encouraged. Seeing him again after so long would be as much a reminder of Misato's screw up as his own, and self hatred is easily redirected at others. It's not like she entirely despises him either; she hesitates in activating the choker long enough for him to get out of range.
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Re: NTE - general easter eggs

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Postby baldur » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:59 pm

View Original PostArcher wrote: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.

2.0's problem is not that it's fun or optimistic. 2.0's problem is that it's generic. It's filled with aggravatingly on-the-nose fanservice, the whole world seems to revolve around Shinji and his desires, most of the characters are one-note, and it just generally seems to go against a lot of what made Evangelion stand out in the first place. It's like a bad imitation of itself. The difference between the elevator scene in NGE vs. in 2.0 highlights this so perfectly that I have to think it's intentional to some degree.

I get that "subverted expectations" is a big meme nowadays or whatever but I don't think it's fair to characterize the impression of Eva being subversive as a wrongful one imposed by Westerners. Eva is subversive. Rebuild is subversive. Anno loves subversion. That's not an impression that comes from interviews, it's just blatantly apparent in his work. And it's not a bad thing either. Subversion is an integral part of storytelling. It's not a crutch for bad writers, but it is something that good ones can use to massively elevate their stories.

View Original PostXenoblade wrote: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.

Both Misato and Luke in those films are consistent with their established characters but I agree with the larger point you're making.

View Original PostXenoblade wrote:The Disney/Marvel-esque "I must subvert expectations at all costs" vibes [...]

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.


I mean, the vast majority of Disney and Marvel films explicitly don't set out to do stuff like this, and I don't know why you lump Abrams in with Johnson - they're polar opposites in this regard - but again, I agree with the larger point here.

View Original PostArcher wrote: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.

3.0 is the "darkest hour" portion of Rebuild. Since we're on the topic of Star Wars, you can compare it to The Empire Strikes Back. That is a story where the protagonists do exactly what they are not supposed to do, fail miserably, and everything goes to shit. That is just what happens at this junction of the story. It is not yet time for the character to learn from their mistakes and build themselves up from the ashes. Even so, you can clearly extrapolate from both films where the protagonists erred, even if they haven't learned it yet. Personally, I've always felt like these films stand well on their own even if they are bleak and "unsatisfying", but I realize many people don't seem to feel that way. That's okay, because, again, they are the "darkest hour" in a larger, unfinished narrative.

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.

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?

Shinji and the audience are wrong. But this is something that's made clear within the film itself. That is the purpose of the part where Kaworu shows him what the world is like and tells him that it's his fault. Shinji then goes on to fail in much the same way, because, again, this is the darkest hour of the story and he still hasn't learned his lesson. The theme of Q isn't just failure, it's guilt. Shinji can't feel so guilty if everyone is equally culpable for what happened. Even then, the other characters do make mistakes in the film. Kaworu does, Misato does, Asuka does.

View Original PostArcher wrote:I just fail to see how purposely not explaining either side’s actions/motivations and making EVERYONE appear stupid makes Q a better movie than if it showed that both sides had perfectly rational justifications for their apparently irrational actions.

No one in the film acts irrationally stupid. Characters make mistakes but none of said mistakes feel out of character. Ascertaining the motivations of the characters really isn't that hard, it's something you can put together fairly easily during an analysis of the film. Asuka and Misato alienate Shinji into joining NERV because they don't trust him after what he did. Shinji is so driven to undo his fuck up and make everyone like him again that he makes that exact mistake twice. Kaworu wants to fulfill Shinji's happiness so much that he plays right into SEELE/NERV's hand. It's perfectly rational for human beings to act irrationally.
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby Xenoblade » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:16 pm

I should be clear, I don't even mind that Misato's personality changed so much. I think 3.0 was a great film, and I actually enjoyed 2.0 and 3.0 a lot more than 1.0, which reminded me too much of the first five...or maybe six episodes. I'm sure that it also looked amazing for 2007, which was a bonus at the time...but it has less visual splendour than its sequels and looks more pedestrian now.

I was never a huge "monster of the week" fan, so I was happy when the rebuilds started to go in a different direction fairly early on in 2.0. They are marvellous films. They're not without flaws, but there's hours of entertainment there.

View Original Postbaldur wrote:2.0's problem is not that it's fun or optimistic. 2.0's problem is that it's generic. It's filled with aggravatingly on-the-nose fanservice, the whole world seems to revolve around Shinji and his desires, most of the characters are one-note, and it just generally seems to go against a lot of what made Evangelion stand out in the first place. It's like a bad imitation of itself. The difference between the elevator scene in NGE vs. in 2.0 highlights this so perfectly that I have to think it's intentional to some degree.


Asuka being fairly blunt in the elevator scene and confronting Rei about Shinji was kind of necessary to establish why she'd do Rei/Shinji a favour and volunteer for the test later on in the film that goes wrong. Shikinami isn't cut from the same cloth as Soryu - she has slightly different motivations. Additionally, her sync ratio is never a problem, so with that whole angle from the show removed....it was necessary to spell out that alternative motivation for her getting that fiery with Rei in the elevator. Given Asuka's lack of problems syncing, it's worth mention that all that Rei was basically telling the well-synced Asuka in the elevator 2.0 was to invest herself in things other than EVA. That wouldn't be enough motivation on its own for Asuka to react in a similar manner as in the show.
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby baldur » Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:22 pm

View Original PostXenoblade wrote:Asuka being fairly blunt in the elevator scene and confronting Rei about Shinji was kind of necessary to establish why she'd do Rei/Shinji a favour and volunteer for the test later on in the film that goes wrong. Shikinami isn't cut from the same cloth as Soryu - she has slightly different motivations. Additionally, her sync ratio is never a problem, so with that whole angle from the show removed....it was necessary to spell out that alternative motivation for her getting that fiery with Rei in the elevator. Given Asuka's lack of problems syncing, it's worth mention that all that Rei was basically telling the well-synced Asuka in the elevator 2.0 was to invest herself in things other than EVA. That wouldn't be enough motivation on its own for Asuka to react in a similar manner as in the show.

I don't disagree that the scene is necessary for the film, I just think it's hilarious how much more generic it is by comparison.

The original was bold, uncomfortably long and tense; the long built-up confrontation between Rei and Asuka's clashing personalities, which have been molded by their respective traumas in a way that cuts at the other one, revealing who they both are beneath their methods of coping.

2.0's version barely passes the Bechdel test; some remnants of the original remain but the bulk of it is two girls bickering over a boy they have the hots for.

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

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Postby Joseki » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:09 pm

I read the last page and it just dawned on me this thread is literally 10 years of different users cycling the very same arguments ad infinitum -o-;

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

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Postby ChaddyManPrime » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:17 pm

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

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:33 pm

I like the Rebuilds. A lot.

I just think they're neat.

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

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Postby baldur » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:39 pm

They really are.
:shinjismile:
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby WILLE_Coyote » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:40 pm

Never mind NTE, it's this thread that's looping over and over again. :wink:
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby baldur » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:47 pm

View Original PostJoseki wrote:I read the last page and it just dawned on me this thread is literally 10 years of different users cycling the very same arguments ad infinitum -o-;

Reading the old Q threads, I was struck by how quickly - even before the camrip was leaked - people formulated opinions on the film, what it meant for the series, how it recontextualized 2.0, what the messages and themes of Rebuild as a whole were, etc, and how a number of them were almost identical to the ones I hold, now almost a decade later. Opened my eyes to how long this whole discussion has been going on, and kind of made me wish I had been around for when any of it was breaking new ground at all! Of course, I would have been 10 at that time, so, y'know, there's that, but still.

At least I'm around for Shin :ritsuko_youknow:

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

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Postby ElMariachi » Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:36 pm

Thinking about it with hindsight, I think that the "generic" and fanservice part of 2.0 was necessary to give us a high point in the story, to give to the character and the audience hope and actually make us care for the characters and the world they live in.

One remark that Mr Tines made in another thread and that marked me (because I didn't realized it) was that when you watch the first six episodes of NGE and 1.0 side by side, your realize that 1.0 is actually very dour: there's no light-hearted scene apart Shinji's first meeting with PenPen, everything else is Serious Business and no one is happy, their emotional status ranging from grumpy to mildly miserable. Only in the final act does does things start to look up, first with Misato bringing Shinji to Lilith, then the message left by Shinji's friends before the final battle against Ramiel and of course Rei's smile.
Shinji accepted his role as an Eva pilot and found his place, finally managed to connect to Rei who started to get out of her isolation, and in 2.0 it continues from this thread by having things going great: a new pilot arrived shaking things up, Shinji makes real friends with Toji and Kensuke and got out of his bubble, Rei tries to socialize more and even comes up with a plan to mend the cracks in the Ikari family, Asuka learns that there are other people like her and that being the Number 1 pilot isn't everything in life, the movie itself feels more alive with the numerous shots of Tokyo-3's people and their everyday life, and the Aquarium and melon patch scenes show us that despite the fucked up state of the world there's still hope and humanity is working hard to repair it. Hell, even the pilot can do typical dumb teenager shit like crushing on someone and fighting through cooking for it, the kind of things they never could do in NGE!

This slice of life part is here not only to make the contrast to the second half of the movie even more brutal once it arrive, but also to make the setting of Q really hurt, as all the joys of hopes of the first half of 2.0 amounted to nothing: everything humanity did to try to restore the world turned out useless as the planet has been even more fucked, and all the characters that survived are more bitter and miserable than ever.

Finally the other thing that made this first half of 2.0 important is that it gave Shinji (and us by proxy) a "golden age" to long for: when Shinji goes in that mad quest to restore the world with the spears, he doesn't just want to repair the planet and have people forgive him, but also to essentially turn back the clock to that time where things were okay, where Misato was that funny drunkard taking care of the kids, where he could hang out with Toji and Kensuke, where he had talks with Asuka about what they want in life instead to trying to kill each other...

I fear that had 2.0 kept the dourness of 1.0, we would had a hard time to really care about what happened, it's like when a planet si destroyed in Warhammer 40K (to take an extreme example), the setting is so brutal and this kind of shit so common that it doesn't really affect us.


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.

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?

Q is a movie where almost everyone is wrong, but not in the way you imagine: it's a giant domino disaster of failures of communication (intended or not) that led to the catastrophe at the end of the movie:
  • WILLE failed to communicate everything to Shinji that would had protected him from Gendo's manipulations, not by design but because they were interrupted, that's why we see Misato desperately trying to give him the missing bits of context: that the Rei in front of him is not the same than 14 years ago, that they are in WILLE who's fighting NERV, that they are trying to protect Shinji... all of this to try to convince him to stay, or at least to make him hesitate long enough for Mari to get into position (because there's no way that Mark.09 would had simply left empty-handed had Shinji refused to come)
  • Kaworu failed to clearly explain what exactly happened to the world, making it ambiguous enough so Shinji would come to the conclusion that everything is exclusively his fault and hyping the spears as his only hope against eternal damnation, then failing to properly explain what those spears are supposed to do. The jury is still out on if he actually did that on purpose because being completely truthful might had made Shinji refuse to pilot with him.
  • Shinji himself failing to ask more questions about what happened to the world (or more exactly, how it happened) and about Kaworu's plan with the spears, and failing to connect the dots of the discrepancies between what Kaworu told him and what he later saw in Lilith's Chamber
  • Asuka dismissing Shinji as a brat no worth the effort to try to explain why he shouldn't touch the spears and instead going for taking him down, ending with her defeat and EVA-13 reaching the spears
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Re: Debate the quality of Rebuild here. [2]

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Postby baldur » Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:43 pm

View Original PostElMariachi wrote:Thinking about it with hindsight, I think that the "generic" and fanservice part of 2.0 was necessary to give us a high point in the story, to give to the character and the audience hope and actually make us care for the characters and the world they live in.

Agreed, which is why I enjoy it for what it is.

View Original PostElMariachi wrote:Finally the other thing that made this first half of 2.0 important is that it gave Shinji (and us by proxy) a "golden age" to long for: when Shinji goes in that mad quest to restore the world with the spears, he doesn't just want to repair the planet and have people forgive him, but also to essentially turn back the clock to that time where things were okay, where Misato was that funny drunkard taking care of the kids, where he could hang out with Toji and Kensuke, where he had talks with Asuka about what they want in life instead to trying to kill each other...

I fear that had 2.0 kept the dourness of 1.0, we would had a hard time to really care about what happened

Beautifully articulated.

I also like how you describe the failures of communication in Q.


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