Comments on Rude Cyrus' One Man's Burning Hatred for Anime

Cyrus displays something that looks suspiciously like masochism.

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!)
@TheMerryMustelid

Unfortunately, it sounds like you have had a very slim experience with anime and are using it to make a blanket assumption of the whole medium. Remember, animation is just a storytelling method, it's not a story in and of itself. Mecha and machine anime are actually a very small slice of the whole. Unfortunately, this is the slice that is made especially for 6-12 year old boys, and as such, is the primary genre exported to the US (since the American public feels cartoons are generally only for young boys, they freak out over any anime that doesn't settle nicely into that demographic).

But, you can still seek out other genres. You've already seen Miyazaki (almost a genre in and of itself), but you have high-school romance, film noir action/mystery, artsy (you might like Paprika if you haven't seen already, it's from the same studio as Tokyo Godfathers), magical girl, drama, slice-of-life, comedy, etc.

So, I'd definitely sample the waters a bit and find anime in a genre more to your tastes before swearing off altogether :)
Orion at 08:03 on 2015-07-28
I think you've been mislead by the headline, which really should be "one man's burning hatred for an anime." It's pretty clear from the text that he likes a decent amount of anime and is open to more.
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