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Why is there so much hate towards Evangelion?


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Arkthelad



Joined: 06 Jan 2013
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:21 am Reply with quote
I’ve been a fan of Evangelion a long time but it’s only really in the last couple of years that I’ve been aware of the level of disrespect and dismissal that exists towards it among English speaking fans.
I can understand people not liking it because it does deal with very heavy subject matter. What I don’t understand is people who outright dismiss it as being one of the worst anime series ever. What’s also common is people who criticize it based on imaginary facts either about the final product or about the production process.

Why does this attitude exist among English speaking fans? Is it to do with cultural differences between America and Japan or is something else?
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Polycell
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Joined: 16 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:34 am Reply with quote
In a nutshell? Because Shinji's a whiny b**ch who won't man up. Sure, it might be a complete mischaracterization that completely misses the point, but that's pretty much the reason.
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 5532
Location: Windsor Ontario

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:36 am Reply with quote
It's more that some people like to be contrarian and hate things that are popular. By hating on something mega popular it makes them feel superior or special or some such nonsense.
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Kastel



Joined: 19 Apr 2013
Posts: 170
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:02 am Reply with quote
4deep11me
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Renfri



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:16 am Reply with quote
Because Shinji has to be one of the most stupid main protagonists ever.
I just watched Evangelion 3.33, and man, the moment when spoiler[literally everyone tells him _not_ to pick up the spears and he just flat out ignores their advice and finds himself nearly triggering the fourth impact. Then there's all that wallowing in self despair, man do I hate that.]

I've mostly liked the current movie series but they could have been a lot better if not for Shinji. Television series however, like Kastel said, is just too deep Smile
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
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Location: Windsor Ontario

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:39 pm Reply with quote
The thing with Shinji that makes him both a good protagonist and a hatable character is that the audience can identify with him too much. People hate those who are similar to themselves because it makes all of their own negative traits stand out. We project our own weaknesses on to him and hate him for it because we don't want to hate ourselves.

We also want to believe that we can overcome any situation so we react negatively to seeing Shinji being crushed by the circumstances he finds himself in. Part of us knows that we'd falter in the same situations but we don't want to admit it.
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EricJ



Joined: 03 Sep 2009
Posts: 876

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:45 pm Reply with quote
Polycell wrote:
In a nutshell? Because Shinji's a whiny b**ch who won't man up. Sure, it might be a complete mischaracterization that completely misses the point, but that's pretty much the reason.


Well, let's not unfairly single out--The entire SERIES is painful, artsy, and hammering the audience with the director's Serious Ambitions, like a Mamoru Oshii movie gone rogue.

So, why do folks get more angry, and more obsessed with debating it than other painfully artsy/snotty overambitious-vanity-director series like, say, Now & Then, Here & There?
Because we weren't "forced" to watch those, and/or debate them as if they were the entire be-all and end-all of Anime. Find someone of the right age, he most likely started out being made to watch Eva by some other rabid fan who believed in a "trial by fire" of watching the most mindbending psychological anime first, and have his perceptions dazzled by how unlike American cartoons it was, OOO! (Rather than find a show that might, say, appeal to his own tastes and work him into anime gradually.)
Or, without benefit of said rabid fanboy, went flailing about on his own, stumbled across some Internet discussion that said any true anime fan "has" to watch Eva as one of the 10 Essential Anyone-Who's-Anyone series, and felt it might have been his fault if he thought it was a pretentious waste of time. With a little more feelings of self-confidence, those feelings of self-recrimination might turn into flat-out rebellion against the Cult of Evangelistas, and the holy war between those who think it's the Worst Anime Ever Made and the Holiest Anime Ever Made.

Me, I saw other shows growing up, lost my anime-virginity on the comedy series and Ghibli movies, and need this show like I need a toothache. I watched ten minutes and bailed.
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ZorgonXtreme



Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Posts: 249
Location: Anchorage, AK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:03 pm Reply with quote
It seems like you have a real agenda against the show, almost in a 'I didn't like it (or at least the ten minutes I watched of it) and now crucify it because others like it' kind of thing.
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Mr Adventure



Joined: 14 Jul 2008
Posts: 1072

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:14 pm Reply with quote
Because the more popular something is, the more viewers it has. And when you have a large sample group you get a larger percentage of individuals with negative opinions on the thing. And when your sample group is very large, those individuals seem more vocal because there are more of them.

Its all very scientific.
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supercreep



Joined: 11 Dec 2011
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Location: Long Island, New York

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:15 pm Reply with quote
I only saw it for the first time two years ago and it had a profound effect on me. It's the sires that brought me back into the anime fold. I understand that many people have a problem with shinji, but I'm not one of them. I see him as a relate-able and believable character. Many people also have a huge problem with the end, and those criticisms are a little more deserved. Still, the end was unlike anything I had ever seen before, and I was moved by it.

I typically need more from my anime than the majority of what is presented each season. I don't think of anime as just something to pass the time with; I need series that move me, challenge me, and all that. I hope that does not come across as too pretentious. Evangelion fits that role for me very well, but many others are simply bothered by it or feel it's overrated.
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TitanXL



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:31 pm Reply with quote
Because it's popular, pretty much.
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EricJ



Joined: 03 Sep 2009
Posts: 876

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:32 pm Reply with quote
ZorgonXtreme wrote:
It seems like you have a real agenda against the show, almost in a 'I didn't like it (or at least the ten minutes I watched of it) and now crucify it because others like it' kind of thing.


Well, you should see me over on the movie boards, where I have the same "agenda" against Avatar and the Dark Knight movies:
Yes, I saw 'em. Eh, okay. But it's hard to keep from punishing the movies for their fans, and the fans' belief that you should discipline yourself to come to the boards to talk about NOTHING ELSE! (Like the beatnik-poet parody who says "I shall talk about Art, for there is nothing else...")
The fans who start threads just to say "What do you think about this thought about Shinji or Asuka I had just now?"

And why? Because to the Eva fans, like the Avatar and Dark Knight fans, it's not just about the show. It's about what they symbolically want to make the show in their own lives, to prove some point to the world about what they imagine other shows "should" be.
I have a dozen favorite anime shows, drama, action, or comedy, that I don't "make" anybody else watch unless they're curious about it. And yet the fervor for proving oneself to be an Eva fan must be to make all anime fans aware of it, to, I dunno, "Show what the anime art form can be!", or "Inspire American animation to push the limits of adult sensibilities!", or some such caterwauling.
Watched it, hated it, bailed it. It's JUST A SHOW. It's not a political, religious or artistic movement. And it's not the only painfully artsy/mindbending one on the air, more's the pity. And if fans are using their banding together behind Eva-mania as some kind of symbol of firing the Rise of Anime in the US, well, thank you, it's been risen for a good ten or fifteen years, you can stop now.

I don't begrudge anyone their fandom as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. When poor innocent new fans who ask "What should I start out with" are practically gang-raped by overly-idealistic Eva missionaries for their own "good", THAT'S when it hurts someone. And that's what fuels a lot of the hate, especially from the victims years later.


Last edited by EricJ on Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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supercreep



Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 510
Location: Long Island, New York

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:37 pm Reply with quote
But you stated that you only watched Eva for 10 minutes. So even though there might be those out there that are too enthusiastic, being on the complete opposite side of the spectrum is just as bad.

Your problem with Eva seems to far beyond a simple dislike, and at that point it's your own hangup, and not anybody else's problem.
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EricJ



Joined: 03 Sep 2009
Posts: 876

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:43 pm Reply with quote
Moderation is all I'm preaching.

But before we go shooting the messenger too much:
Quote:
And why? Because to the Eva fans,
it's not just about the show. It's about what they symbolically want to make the show in their own lives, to prove some point to the world about what they imagine other shows "should" be.
to, I dunno, "Show what the anime art form can be!", or "Inspire American animation to push the limits of adult sensibilities!", or some such caterwauling.

supercreep wrote:
I only saw it for the first time two years ago and it had a profound effect on me. It's the sires that brought me back into the anime fold.
I typically need more from my anime than the majority of what is presented each season. I don't think of anime as just something to pass the time with; I need series that move me, challenge me, and all that.


Y'know. Just sayin'. Rolling Eyes
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ZorgonXtreme



Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Posts: 249
Location: Anchorage, AK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:46 pm Reply with quote
There's also the idea that the show is different then your normal mecha shounen. For the first half of the series, yes, it is monster-of-the -week, but the imagery and ideas presented are (were) much different then the Gundam and Macross that preceded it (both great shows, by the way. I'm not saying that they're bad).

Nor am I saying the show is perfect, it's clearly not, but it's not bad. It's one of those things, I feel, that somewhat challenged convention and added a layer of humanity to a genre that usually settled characters second.

Then there's Shinji. Shinji Ikari has become a pariah in the world of anime characters and I think, nay, KNOW it's because a lot of people find him annoying. Hell, I do too 60% of the time. But I also don't think that that makes him a poorly written character. I think the fact that we feel annoyance at his personality so much shows that he's well-written enough and isn't that the acid test of a good character? Whether or not they illicit some kind of sympathetic response, be it good or bad?

So, people who come away from the show with the bitter of Shinji in their mouths seem to be almost...blinded by it and turn it into pointed anger. Most of the complaints I see about Neon Genesis are at Shinji and his deconstruction...which leads me to my next theory...

I'm not going to defend the second half of the show or the movie or any of the psychological jibjab that's laid on thicker then The Architect's speech from the end of Matrix Reloaded. The End of Evangelion is certainly a mess of bizarre imagery, interpersonal speech and a real storm of cluttered writing. Much like Lain, if you're not into that kind of thing it's going to be a real turn-off.

I think that too is where a lot of the hate comes from. That the show turns into something almost...opposite of what it starts as and, again, I'm not defending it (I too, though I'm a fan, think that it's cluttered and almost preachy) can make somebody who's not expecting or wanting that kind of show angry.

Thirdly, there is always the 'stop liking what I don't like', which is super-prevalent on the web.

Also, shows like Now and Then, Here and There seem to get the same rap from people who, and I don't want to come off as -that guy-, but...from people who don't like to think too much when it comes to media and whatever does suddenly becomes 'artsy and pretentious'.
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