One Man's Burning Hatred for Anime

by Rude Cyrus

Cyrus displays something that looks suspiciously like masochism.
Uh-oh! This is in the Axis of Awful...
~
Dear god in heaven. I’m not prepared for this, but the rage and hatred have built to a point where I must let it out. There are some things I hate in this world, but none more so than pretension, especially pretension that is accepted by the masses as tortured genius. It’s frustrating to point out that something is obviously a dog turd wrapped in shiny foil, only to be met with derision, defensive bootlicking, and cries of “WELL, THAT’S JUST YOUR OPINION.”

The subject I’ll be talking about today is a well-known anime (if you don’t know what anime is, go look it up on Wikipedia or something). A fair warning: there’s going to be a gratuitous amount of cussing and spoilers – that is, if you consider a dead fly in the middle of a feces lollipop to be a spoiler.

A bit of background first, so I can delay this thing as long as possible: when I was an innocent, starry-eyed larva, I was exposed to anime by way of Speed Racer. The show is about racing and cars, or some such shit; frankly, it’s a poorly animated mess that’s interesting only as an experiment to see how much footage the animators recycled. I was left with the impression that all anime was shit, at least until a few years later when I discovered Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon – the former catered to my violent fantasies of burly dudes beating the crap out of each other, while the latter indulged my masturbatory dreams of teenage girls in short skirts. Look, I was 13 at the time, okay? Oh, and I got caught up in something called Pokemon, although I don’t think too many people watched that show.

Eventually I matured (kinda sorta) and began yearning for something that appealed to my awesome intellect. My first taste of a “real” anime was Akira, a fun little jaunt into a post-apocalyptic Japan inhabited by shriveled, psychic children and motorcycle gangs. The film fell apart at the end and generally felt slipshod; it wasn’t until years later that I found out that it was an adaptation of a manga, and quite a bit of content had to be cut.

Then I watched Ghost in the Shell, another movie that takes place in the Future! This time, it’s about 100 times more confusing and talky, with characters standing around, pondering what it is to be human, blah blah blah. Interspersed throughout are scenes of the lead character, Makoto, running around bare-ass naked and kicking butt. The thing that stuck me is that Makoto has no genitalia – no pubic hair, no vulva, just a blank area of flesh. It disturbs me to this day.

I think I caught a few episodes of Gundam Wing, but the only thing I remember is how two of the characters confused the enemy by kissing. I thought it odd.

After that, I went through what I call my Hayao Miyazaki period: Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro – if Miyazaki made it, I watched it. This was followed up with Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (which I found to be superior to the film). Finally, I stumbled upon a series called Neon Genesis Evangelion, something considered by the anime community to be a complex, profound examination of human nature, combined with awesome giant mech action.

This series is the subject of this article.

A brief synopsis: in the year 2015, Earth’s population has decreased dramatically, thanks to a cataclysmic event called “Second Impact” that occurred at the turn of the century. To make things worse, monstrosities called Angels are threatening to destroy the remnants of humanity – the only things that stand in the way are giant, biomechanical creatures called Evangelions (or EVAs for short), piloted by three 14-year-old teenagers. The main characters are:

Shinji Ikari – a shy, introverted boy that was abandoned by his father after his mother died (said father being the commander of the organization that created the EVAs), Shinji wants nothing more than to be liked by his deadbeat dad. He’s a coward as well, something that puts him at odds with the enormous responsibility of piloting an EVA. He becomes a bit braver and more self-assured as the series goes on, before collapsing into a whiny, spineless piece of shit.

Rei Ayanami – this strange girl is almost emotionless and wholly dedicated to Shinji’s father, which is somewhat creepy when you realize that he’s twice her age; we later find out that she’s a partial clone of Shinji’s mother. Her interactions with Shinji lead her to become more in touch with her emotions and thus more “human”, at least until she starts fostering a death wish.

Asuka Langley Soryu – a half-German/half-Japanese redheaded girl that serves as the show’s LOUD WESTERN STEREOTYPE. Asuka is opinionated, bossy, overconfident, and thinks poorly of Shinji. She softens towards him a bit after he fishes her out of a volcano and the two are forced to train in unison (don’t ask). She becomes an emotionally shattered shell after being forced to relive childhood memories of her insane mother’s suicide.

Whee.

To be fair, it doesn’t start out too bad. The best parts of the series dealt with the interactions between the three main characters (when they were three-dimensional human beings and not cardboard cutouts, that is). As time went on, the tone became darker, the characters became suicidally depressed, and a somewhat coherent storyline devolved into madness. Episode 24 (out of 26) introduced Kaworu Nagisa, an Angel in human form that became insanely popular due to his homoerotic interactions with Shinji, and ended with a two-minute static shot of an EVA holding Kaworu’s body in its hand while music played in the background – no speech, no movement, just this single shot. Go stare at a picture for several minutes and you’ll get the same effect: mind-numbing boredom.

The final two episodes were bullshit from start to finish. In them, an unseen party questioned every major character on their motivations, which the characters responded to, all with bowed heads so the animators didn’t have to draw mouths. In between these interrogations, we were assaulted with still images and words and nonsense. The ending had all the characters standing around, clapping their hands and saying “Congratulations!” As if they were praising the viewers for making it through this festering garbage.

I would’ve purged this crap from my head and moved on, but then I learned that the creator, Hideaki Anno, was forced to give the fans that shameful ending due to time and budgetary constraints, and there was a film called The End of Evangelion that acts as the true ending to the series. So, I hunted down a copy and watched it.

Let me tell you something: the movie makes the series ending look like fucking Citizen Kane in comparison. I have never, ever seen such a bloated, pompous, insulting, nasty, manipulative, incoherent pile of monkey shit like End of Evangelion. I hear that Anno received death threats over the series ending, and after seeing the kind of petty drivel this man is capable of, I can understand why. Not that I’m condoning death threats or anything.

How bad is this film? Here’s a scene from the opening moments: Shinji is in a hospital room, standing over Asuka, who has been sedated following the mental trauma she endured at the hands of an Angel. Shinji, desperate to get her to respond, pulls at her and accidentally rips open her gown, revealing her breasts. Shinji, naturally, takes action by masturbating over her comatose body and ejaculates into his hand.

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

This is sick! What’s the fucking point of this scene, to establish Shinji as a future serial rapist? It’s disgusting, vile, inexcusable, and every other synonym for “bad”. Why? I have about a dozen other questions, like “Who thought this was a good idea?” and “What the fuck is wrong with Hideaki Anno?” but the best query right now is: why?

Later, Shinji spends about three-quarters of his screen time –

I’m sorry, I can’t get over this. WHY?! I’ve heard fans say that this is an example of Shinji hitting rock bottom, and besides, he expresses his contempt for himself immediately afterwards. Look, I’ve been clinically depressed at times too, but I don’t jerk off over unconscious girls. Know why not? Because that would make me a SEX OFFENDER.

Fuck.

Shinji spends about three-quarters of his screen time cowering in a ball in the corner, alternating between screaming and sobbing. Asuka is revived, but she and her EVA are literally ripped to pieces. Rei becomes a sort of god-monster and dies. Whee.

The second half of the movie is filled the same mind-fuckery and nonsense imagery that ruined the series ending, only it’s a billion times worse here. There’s also some well-written dialogue on display too:

SHINJI: Where is my dream?

REI: It is where your reality ends.

SHINJI: Then where is my reality?

REI: It is at the end of your dream.

That’s not a 100% accurate quote, but it’s pretty damn close. It’s deep, man.

And if you don’t hate Shinji enough, here he comes to bitch endlessly about how everyone hates him and he hates everyone. Gee, with that sunny disposition, I can’t imagine why he’s so miserable. Then Asuka steps in and tells him he’s a worthless turd, so he chokes her. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to kill a fictional character so badly in my life.

Then there’s some live-action footage of people getting on a train while Rei and Shinji continue to babble about human nature, all for our benefit, of course. After what seems like fucking days, the movie ends with Shinji and Asuka on a beach, the only two humans left on the planet. Shinji starts choking Asuka AGAIN, but is stopped when she caresses his cheek. Her oxygen-deprived brain must’ve mistaken him for someone else. Shinji stops choking her and, what else, starts crying. Asuka looks at him and utters a most appropriate line: “Disgusting.”

In case you don’t get it, let me spell it out: I HATE THIS MOVIE. I hate it to a degree I didn’t think was possible. Most of my anger is directed towards Hideaki Anno, who was the writer and director for the series and the movie. He strikes me as a pretentious, antisocial, petty person, and everything he does oozes contempt for his fans. From creating this giant middle-finger of celluloid to stating “Too bad” in English when a fan said he was dissatisfied with the original ending, he’s a man who has no idea how to relate to people.

*deep breath*

Here’s why I can’t stand him: he created characters that I related to, characters that had nuanced personalities (even though they would be pigeonholed at times), characters that I wanted to see happy, characters that I sympathized with…and then he slowly, gleefully tore them apart. He forced them to go through absolute hell, and they all came out as broken individuals, and that’s how they stayed to the end – alone and unloved. Whenever there was a glimmer of light, Anno snuffed it out. I have no idea why he was so cruel to his own characters, but I have some theories:

1. He started out liking what he did, but ended up hating it, so he tried to make it so no one else would be able to revive the series (this one appears to have been disproven – see below).

2. He planned this from the beginning, making him a sadist as well as a hack.

3. Something in his life caused him to become extremely depressed, so his work reflects that.

I’ve heard a lot of evidence (and by evidence I mean conjecture) to support C, but if that’s the case, why not just put things on hold until he got better? On the other hand, his “too bad” comment indicates that he didn’t really give a shit about the whole thing, so who knows?

The fans deserve a tongue-lashing as well. If I had a dollar for every comment that called him a “genius”, a “visionary”, or any of the things that he isn’t…I’d be able to buy out Microsoft. I suspect that because much of the series and movie is inexplicable, the fans have deluded themselves into thinking this balderdash is somehow insightful.

Hilariously, Anno has decided his masterpice wasn’t good enough, or something, because he’s now remaking the series into four movies with witty titles like You Can (Not) Advance and You Are (Not) Alone and You Can (Not) Go Fuck Yourself. The ending to all of this is supposed to be totally new, which means it’s probably going to be even more frustrating and ambiguous. From the pictures I’ve seen and the reviews I’ve heard, it looks awful. Asuka’s last name has been changed to Shikinami, for some nebulous reason, and the body suit she wears is now translucent – she wears a bra underneath, but there are only a few inches of opaque fabric covering her cooch, so I’m guessing the design was built around fanservice. Which is always a great consideration, right? Plus, she’s supposed to wear an eyepatch in the third film, like a goddamn pirate.

On top of that, Anno has shoehorned in the loathsome Kaworu from the beginning, and added a new character named Mari, who is from the UK, I think. He’s packed 100 tons of shit into a 10-ton bag, in other words. Naturally, the fans are eager to fall all over themselves defending their messiah, bleating variations of “IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN” or “WE JUST NEED TO WAIT UNTIL THE END”. I don’t need to poke myself in the eye to know that it hurts, and I don’t need to watch these films to know that they’ll end just like the original series: no resolution, no closure, no catharsis, no satisfaction. The whole experience has left a bad taste in my mouth, and no amount of brushing will get it out. The only way these movies could be more insulting is if they consisted entirely of Hideaki Anno flipping off the audience with both hands, pausing occasionally to grab his crotch and sneer.

Actually, that would be less insulting.
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Comments (go to latest)
Wardog at 12:26 on 2009-07-10
Oh good God.

I don't know what to say. My knowledge of anime is pretty much restricted to shows in which princesses turn into ducks and do ballet (or is that the other way round). I guess we need to get Jen along here as she's the closest thing we have to an anime expert.

Shinji, naturally, takes action by masturbating over her comatose body and ejaculates into his hand.


Well ... at least he didn't do it over her unconscious body? Right?

I feel generally a bit ambivalent about a creator's attitude to fans. I mean, I don't think he's under obligation to be "nice" or, even, to provide a text that "satisfies" his fans - since what satisfies fans isn't necessarily the same as what's actually good. In fact, the more consciousness of fandom there is, the worse texts seem to get. Although this seems like a really confused amalgamation of fan service and fan contempt. Weird.
Arthur B at 13:23 on 2009-07-10
I'm personally quite fond of Evangelion the series, at least the first 24 episodes. There is, as you point out, character development, gradual growing of a backbone on the part of Shinji and Rei, an interesting mystery revealed at a reasonable pace, and so on. I even like the way Episode 24 ended, with Shinji poised in a choice between killing a friend and letting the Angels get away with whatever it is they're trying to do, although to be fair I've only seen the expanded/tidied up version of the episode where they put in extra scenes and the last shot might not be so ridiculously long.

Then, as you point out, you have the different endings, neither of which fits what's gone before. I did enjoy End of Evangelion for the sheer trippy sadism of it all, but at the same time I couldn't really relate the characters we see in it to the characters from the TV show; there's this weird sort of inconsistency about it. Asuka is psychotic, Rei is even more autistic than she's ever been, and Shinji loses the balls he's been carefully growing over the course of the series; it's as if the TV show never happened. At a guess, I'd say the film is more about Anno's thoughts on the end of the series, and the experience of making the show, than it is about actually ending the story; the characters seem to be spoofing the fan conceptions of who they are rather than continuing the development shown throughout the series.

It's a fun ride, but it's fun partially because I think it's hilarious how Anno's trolled anime fans for years over this, and because I enjoy watching characters get raked over the coals and suffer for their most irritating personality traits. I'm interested in seeing the new movies because they're promising a proper ending this time, and even if they break that promise the results will probably be mad enough to be worth a look. I even think it makes sense to put Kaworu in from the beginning; the one thing I dislike about Episode 24 is that they insert Kaworu, have Shinji make friends with him really surprisingly quickly (exacerbating the homoerotic angle), and then have him betray everyone and have to get taken down. It would make far more sense if he were in it from the start. Even if the ending resembles David Lynch directing Final Fantasy VII again, I'd still watch it.

That said, my attitude to Evangelion probably stems from how I was introduced to it: at an SF all-nighter thrown by a local cinema, which incorporated a preview showing of 28 Days Later (which is a much more effective movie if you go into it genuinely not knowing that it's a zombie film, as we did), hopped up on soda, watching The Death of Evangelion on the big screen. Watching 8 hours of TV series crammed into 90 minutes is hilarious, to the point where I could never take the show seriously after that.
Rude Cyrus at 19:51 on 2009-07-10
I mean, I don't think he's under obligation to be "nice" or, even, to provide a text that "satisfies" his fans

From what I've read, his fans are satisfied enough to try to unravel the mess he's made. I'm not asking him to be all happy-go-lucky, but his attitude comes off as spiteful.

I guess I'm just overreacting, but I still have an intense dislike for the man; he's my own JK Rowling.
Wardog at 22:38 on 2009-07-10
He sounds like a worthy target of your bile :)
Rude Cyrus at 23:20 on 2009-07-10
This may sound silly, but I still like the general idea behind the show and the characters (when they aren't being emo or one-note).
Guy at 04:42 on 2009-07-11
I only watched a bit of Evangelion, but my impressions were coloured by the lengthy scenes displaying static scenery with loud cicada noises in the background. At first I thought they might be in there for atmospheric reasons I didn't quite understand, then decided they were in there for financial reasons (animation ain't cheap) and shortly thereafter gave up on the show. I love Miyazaki's films and would like to see more anime of that quality which isn't exclusively about plucky young heroines growing up and discovering their strength and independence... but I guess I'll take what I can get. :)
Robinson L at 18:00 on 2009-07-14
I used to be a fan of Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon because for an early (and even not-so early) teenager, they seemed pretty cool. Then I noticed how stupid and repetitive they were and kinda lost interest.

At this point, I'm struggling to think of any Anime I know of that I actually think was any good. Well, the first season of Digimon, and at least one episode from the second. And Miyazaki's version of Howl's Moving Castle. And I suppose Princess Monoke, although it never particularly appealed to me.

Anyway, I've been hearing a lot about Neon Genesis Evangelion for a while, but nothing that's really excited me after the series. This review, I think, clinches my decision not to subject myself to it.

Personally, I tend to empathize with main characters even if most people dislike them. Apart from Mal, I can't think of any main characters I know of who I think I'd enjoy seeing put through that kind of torture. Maybe not even him.

I suspect that because much of the series and movie is inexplicable, the fans have deluded themselves into thinking this balderdash is somehow insightful.

This may be just me fishing for an excuse to pull out my own pet hate, but it seems to me from the description that an alternate or complementary explanations might be that because it's so dark and depressing, fans (and critics) have deluded themselves into thinking this is somehow insightful.

This is a trend in popular entertainment I've noted and lamented for a couple years now.

Last night my younger sister and I were discussing the contemporary Battlestar Gallactica (of which I've seen a couple episodes, they've seen the first three seasons). At one point, one of them said that "if the character only lost about twenty pounds of emo they'd be all right."

While this may be true, I suspect it's the current vogue for death, despair, doom and gloom which made the 2004 Galactica so popular. To take an even more contemporary example (and borrow a metaphor from my sister's upcoming review) witness Kirk's and Spock's and Nero's Inigo Montoya Syndrome in the latest Star Trek movie.

For a while, House did a pretty good job of balancing its angst, but it seems like circa Season Four the writers began seriously to crank it up. After the one-two-punch finale (Amber dies and right afterward Thirteen discovers she does indeed have Huntingdon's) I was asking "Geez, you think you could lay it on any thicker? Maybe find a way to reveal that Cameron really did contract HIV in Season Two after all?"

I've yet to see Season Five, but from what I've heard of the spoilers (don't read this if you haven't seen it and mind spoilers), Wilson is broken up over Amber's death for a long period of time, which means House is going to be even more miserable than usual; Cuddy goes through a whole lot of crap before finally getting a baby of her own, and that only when the mother ups and dies; and Kutner commits suicide/gets murdered/somehow ends up shot dead. What fun.

The new Doctor Who started out pretty emo, but it feels like Davies and the rest of the team take every possible opportunity to twist it in just that little bit more.

And being the Star Wars fan that I am, I have to say the stuff that the Expanded Universe went through during and especially after the prequels ... let's just say most of it is not pretty. Not in the slightest.

There's probably more, I just don't pay much attention to what's popular at the moment. Anyway, my point is that I suspect anything as depressing as Evangelion is by all accounts in the current tragedy-obsessed atmosphere is bound to be considered deep and meaningful and insightful and all that simply because it puts its characters through so much crap.
Cressida at 04:16 on 2009-11-18
I love Miyazaki's films and would like to see more anime of that quality which isn't exclusively about plucky young heroines growing up and discovering their strength and independence...

Guy: Try Porco Rosso!
http://orionsnebula.blogspot.com/ at 23:05 on 2009-12-18
I suspect that because much of the series and movie is inexplicable, the fans have deluded themselves into thinking this balderdash is somehow insightful.


I think you're onto something here, but as someone who enjoyed Evangelion, let me propose a more charitable version of the psychology.

I'm a student of ethical philosophy and religious history at college, so I spend a lot of time thinking about the "deep" issues that fans will tell you Evangelion (, Donnie Darko, The matrix, ...) addresses--Destiny, choice, purpose, hope, knowledge, or whatever the hell.

Let me be clear and say up front that I don't think Evangelion makes a coherent statement about any of these issues. I'm not going to claim that you're "not getting it" if you don't see any "there" there, and I'm not saying that Hideaki Anno is some kind of visionary genius.

BUT

I'm a very visual, fictionalizing person. I do a lot of free association, and try on ideas by putting them in the mouths of imagined characters. Something like Evangelion is, for me, excellent raw material. It gives me a *context* to think about these issues. the incoherence of the actual show forces me to go to a lot of effort to try to figure out "what is this show trying to say?" and since that question is, I think, largely unanswerable, this also becomes an exploration of what *I* have to say.

Something similar happens because I write fiction. I'll eat up many stories--Evangelion, The Matrix, Harry Potter, even some of Star Wars--that have, in my opinion, glaring flaws, because they *make reference to* ideas I find interesting, even if they don't do them justice. Frequently, while watching the show even for the first time, my mind drifts to possibilities and alternate timeliness, with the result that I am actually watching a movie that exists only in my head, that (I like to think) *does* say something coherent. for this reason I consider Revenge of the Sith, for instance, to have been worth the price of the ticket even though it was (IMO) absolute shit, because by about a third of the way in I had stopped watching what's on the screen and started watching the movie *I* would have directed.

I mention this because before I became really conscious of what I was doing, I would frequently walk away with the impression that a movie was in fact "deep" when is fact it was just thought-provoking, and then only for people with preexisting interest in the issue who are prone to free association. I don't know how many people like me there are, but there's a strong tendency in all humans to assume that they're "normal," and that may be where some of the "you just don't get it" responses are coming from.
//I think I caught a few episodes of Gundam Wing, but the only thing I remember is how two of the characters confused the enemy by kissing.//

...What? o.O There's no kissing in Gundam Wing. There are barely any established romances.
http://cammalot.livejournal.com/ at 19:02 on 2010-10-13
That was Macross/Robotech. Similar giant-robot-thingies-piloted-by-superteens plot -- possibly the originator of the entire trope. The giant-size humanoid enemies of Earth didn't have sex to reproduce, or something, and so this display of humanity was too much for them and made them stop fighting. Until one or two of them discovered that they liked it.

Aw, that was my very first anime. I'm all verklempt now.
Gamer_2k4 at 22:41 on 2010-10-13
Neon Genesis Evangelion is actually my favorite anime series, but I think that's more because of the concept and because of what it did to me personally than anything else. I mean, I've taken a look at some of the episodes recently and they look OLD. A lot of the content is boring or unnecessary filler, the animation switches between "pretty alright" and "did they not pay you or something?", and overall, there's a lot not to like.

However.

I've had a very limited exposure to media (besides the some of the popular stuff), and NGE completely changed the way I looked at storytelling. I had never seen a character like Rei before, and I loved her. The idea that the mechs were actually giant feral humanoids barely restrained by their armor blew me away. The fact that the Hallelujah Chorus was played as an Angel mind-raped Asuka, and it WORKED, stunned me. The cast and plot are both remarkably tight; EVERYONE is involved, somehow. But finally, the thing that struck me the hardest, was the idea that a big giant robot action show DIDN'T HAVE TO HAVE A HAPPY ENDING.

Consider Asuka. She's this hotshot pilot, showing up a third of the way into the series reading to kick some butt. Her first appearance is quite dramatic as she handily and elegantly dispatches an Angel. However, her next victory requires the complete support of Shinji, and she barely plays a part from that point on. Battle after battle happens with this pilot, the one who was literally genetically engineered (in the manga, anyway) to be perfect, just failing with every attempt. Nothing goes right for her.

Rei's an interesting character, too. Generally you'd think the stoic, silent character would play the support role, ending up as the person the others always rely on. But she's not that great of a pilot! If memory serves, her Eva spends half the show out of commission, and in the other battles Rei plays a very minimal role. For as much popularity as she has among fans, you'd think that she had done a lot more in the series than she actually did.

And let's not forget Shinji. Here's a kid whose dad runs an organization that sends out giant robots to fight the bad guys, and HE gets a chance to be a pilot! In any other show, Shinji would've jumped in and started owning face for the rest of the series. But you know what? He acts like a kid could be reasonably expected to act: he's scared, and doesn't want to do it at all. But more than that, he wants love from his father, and realizes this might be his only chance to get that.

Right away it's clear that these aren't cookie-cutter stereotypes, but real characters with real problems. I personally found it refreshing that someone decided to make something where the good guys don't necessarily win. I was so familiar with "happily ever after" stories that I was shocked when this wasn't one of them. I like NGE, not because "true art is angsty," but because "holy balls, this is what a show can actually be like!"

Anyway, that's the anime series; let's get to End of Evangelion (you know, the subject matter of this article). It really did feel like some tacked-on supplement to the real thing. Furthermore, Shinji was infuriating, and the battle scene was just the opposite of what I'd come to expect from NGE: rather than an original conflict, it was just a beat-em-up royal rumble.

The second half of the movie left me in shock, and I went away from it thinking that was a good thing. I had never been exposed to the stream-of-conscious approach before, and I wasn't sure what to make of it. I think Anno was trying to convey just what Instrumentality (the merging of all souls and minds) would feel like, and it SEEMED like he did a good job. I didn't understand it, so I assumed it was beyond my understanding, so I assumed it was good. That's probably not the right mindset, though.

Oh. In the first scene, Shinji sneezed into his hand. He just didn't have a tissue. Never mind that you can't hear the sneeze. He's allergic to nudity. Yeah. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Melissa G. at 22:53 on 2010-10-13
*Shameless self plug alert!*

A certain Ferretbrainer debuted with her first article by defending Evangelion. It was written late at night and not researched (by which I mean I hadn't seen the series in a while) or proofread much, but an article in favor of Eva does exist on this site! ^_^
Fin at 19:02 on 2010-10-14
Ooh, I remember reading that article a while ago. It made me really interested in checking Eva out, which given my general scepticism of animé is pretty cool. If I like it I'll have to remember to thank you. :D
Melissa G. at 19:29 on 2010-10-14
Ooh, I remember reading that article a while ago. It made me really interested in checking Eva out, which given my general scepticism of animé is pretty cool. If I like it I'll have to remember to thank you. :D


:-D

They are actually remaking the series as a bunch of movies. The first two (?) have come out already. I've only seen the first one, but I liked it a lot. I just don't know how much one would like them without having seen the series first. But the animation quality is way better so you could always try watching the first new movie (You are (not) alone, I think it's called) as a taste test type of thing.
Gamer_2k4 at 22:51 on 2010-10-14
I agree that the first movie was pretty much spot on. They left out the stuff that could be left out, played up the stuff that could be played up (most notably the battle against the third Angel), and everything just felt right. (My only complaint, actually, is that in the English dub, Rei is played by a new voice actor. I thought her old one was perfect, and it was a real shame for that voice to be missing.)

However, the second movie just seemed a little...off. It was darn COOL, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was watching Evangelion without all the stuff that made Evangelion special. Maybe it was just that I was so familiar with the story that there wasn't quite that sense of wonder. You know, the sort of "sure it looks nice, but it's been done already" feeling. Yes, that's ridiculous, because the only reason it's been done before is that it's a freaking remake. I don't know.

Perhaps the thing that really did it was all the seemingly unnecessary changes they made. New pilot, changed surnames, different (and missing) Angels, a LOT of new scenes...It's possible I just felt that the makers were trying to do more and ended up with less.

Anyway, Melissa, you should still check out Rebuild 2. Remember when they had to catch that falling Angel? The weirdly shaped flat brown one with all the eyes? IT'S FREAKING AMAZING IN REBUILD 2. Like I said, the movie is still very, very cool, and the ending actually has traces of EoE in it. It's nuts. Watch it.
Melissa G. at 05:06 on 2010-10-15
I definitely want to see the second remake movie, I've just been lazy and haven't gotten around to it. I saw the first one in theaters in Japan because I happened to be living there when it came out. Seeing it on the big screen was something special. ^^
TheMerryMustelid at 18:37 on 2012-04-21
I am a terrible animation snob. When it comes to anime, there isn't much I like outside of Miyazaki, save the studio that did Tokyo Godfathers.

What puts me off most anime is it's obsession with mecha, robot girls, and post apocolyptic premises. Yes, Miyazaki sounds the environmental apocalypse gong in practically all of his films, but at least he puts Nature above the usual anime love affair with all things machine and keeps the damn robots to a minimum. How I hate this obsession with the ensouled machine.

On the American side, that includes Transformers up to Wall-E. I just find it sad that the idea of emoting robots is considered more 'cool' or even more realistic than emoting animals. Say what?! So teens 'outgrow' cartoons with talking animals while anything with a chrome surface is just friggin' AHW-some, man.

(what's that? what's that I hear in the background? Is it my axe grinding? Why yes, it is!)
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