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NEWS: Terminal Dogma: Essays on Neon Genesis Evangelion


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CorneredAngel
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 17 Jun 2002
Posts: 801
Location: New York, NY
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:27 pm Reply with quote
Curtis W. wrote:



They did, it was called the Notenki Memoirs. You should give that book a read sometime, it is really good and well worth the time.


...except it has almost nothing to say about Eva, and very little about Anno as either a person or a director. It's fascinating if you want to learn about how a bunch of guys got together, and, in spite of themselves, managed to create a couple of very good anime, but that's about all you will get out of it.

...and regarding the proposed book, one thing a lot of the people who've posted so far seem to not realize is that this is not going to be solely a volume of essays on Evangelion the series. Eva is a *COMMERCIAL PRODUCT* first and foremost, and equally as important as anything that actually happened in the twenty-six episodes are things like how it was marketed i n Japan, in the US and elsewhere, the kind of effects it had on fans, and even things like the splash it made outside anime (consider for example why Robin Williams referred to Eva in One-Hour Photo)

If you want to take a look at what *can* be done in a volume that ostensibly deals with "just" an anime series, just look at the table of contents of "Pikachu's Global Adventure: The Rise and Fall of Pokemon"

...so if you think this book will just be two hundred pages of ranting about how Asuka is, like, totally in love with Kaji, and Rei is a cold bitch...well...then let's just say this book is probably not going to be for you.
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Kagemusha



Joined: 20 Feb 2004
Posts: 2783
Location: Boston
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:01 pm Reply with quote
Quote:

I think that belief comes from fans who are introduced to either mature or unconventional methods or themes when it comes to certain anime and manga such as Berserk, Cowboy Bebop, Death Note, Elfen Lied, Fullmetal Alchemist, etc. (mind you I highly regard Berserk, Bebop, and Evangelion) without having seen the wide selection that manga and anime has to offer. They form the thought that whatever they watched is the most deep and emotional piece of fiction/entertainment that they've ever come across, which is a narrow-minded viewpoint to begin with.


Exactly. I love all those shows you mentioned with the exception of Elfen Lied (and of course I haven't seen Death Note yet, though I think the manga is good but overrated by the same kind of people your talking about), but there's a limit to how much you can analyze something that really isn't meant to be looked at much beyond a surface level. Like you said, Texhnolyze is never going to get the attention it so fully deserves because, ironically, it is too challenging for many, both in terms of what it says and as well as what it demands from the viewer. I've written a bit about some of the themes, the roles of the characters and the ending, but when no one wants to discuss it with you it can be a bit discouraging.
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Teshdor



Joined: 21 Jul 2005
Posts: 10
PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 6:06 am Reply with quote
To everyone who is putting down the book because the content has been already shown before, remember this. No one is forcing you to read it, shove it down your throat, and enjoy it. If you don't care for Evangelion analysis, why even post in this this forum thread at all. Seriously, Damn trolls.
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Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
Posts: 8139
Location: England, UK
PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:44 am Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
Curtis: Does the book suggest he's on prozac? Rolling Eyes
More like amitriptaline, or thorsine. I'll never believe that episodes 25 & 26 were planned that way.
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fuchikoma



Joined: 09 Jun 2005
Posts: 36
PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:39 pm Reply with quote
Not a comment on Eva's writing quality, but... This goes to show that if you make something ambiguous enough, and apply symbolism to it as a stylistic motif, you can derive ANY meaning from it!

I think I could write almost any crazy assertion, and back it with the Evangelion TV series as evidence... Coming of age story? What induces psychological trauma? The impact of all manner of psychoses on everyday life? The development of big mech anime? The shift from "high tech" meaning advanced machines to meaning biotechnology? The popularity of animal mascot characters? It's got it all depending on your angle...

I just wish people would stop treating Evangelion as if it were the only anime with some depth to it. You could just as easily explore the themes in shows like Perfect Blue, Fullmetal Alchemist, or when you look at the power of microscope Eva's been put under, you could even do a deep analysis of Yotsuba&! Razz

Still, it's done a lot to move anime closer to the mainstream for good and bad alike! You really can't say it wasn't an influential series...
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Iritscen



Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 790
PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:59 pm Reply with quote
Are the religious elements of Eva deep? No.

Are the psychological elements deep? Hell yes. What is wrong with you people who think that the show is babbling meaninglessly?

Truly following the last couple episodes made my head spin, but if you think they're poorly made then you weren't paying attention. Sorry to be so dogmatic/pretentious about this, but many people seem to experience Eva as something going in one ear and out the other and it drives me nuts.

I would happily submit something for the book, but I only know the psychology angle, and I have a feeling that will be covered already. I don't know much about the marketing of Eva, etc.
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Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
Posts: 8139
Location: England, UK
PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:11 pm Reply with quote
Iritscen wrote:
I don't know much about the marketing of Eva, etc.
If you have anything EVA in your posession then there's not much more you need to know. Wink
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:32 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Are the psychological elements deep? Hell yes.


You don't need to be deep to be an a-hole. Look at Bush. Rolling Eyes
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HellKorn



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
Posts: 1669
Location: Columbus, OH
PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:38 pm Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
Curtis: Does the book suggest he's on prozac? Rolling Eyes


Unless I misunderstand, it seems as though the United States is odd in that a lot of people depend on pills to "resolve issues like depression," while just about every other major country seems to have the mentality that you just have to suck it up and go on. Personally I favor the latter as I took pills when I was around seven, and while they did help me briefly when I was taking them, when I got off I was even worse. It's a load of crap, really.

CorneredAngel wrote:
...and regarding the proposed book, one thing a lot of the people who've posted so far seem to not realize is that this is not going to be solely a volume of essays on Evangelion the series. Eva is a *COMMERCIAL PRODUCT* first and foremost, and equally as important as anything that actually happened in the twenty-six episodes are things like how it was marketed i n Japan, in the US and elsewhere, the kind of effects it had on fans, and even things like the splash it made outside anime (consider for example why Robin Williams referred to Eva in One-Hour Photo)


That might be the least incorrect and informative section with this whole book, or so my pessimism tells me.

I'm actually curious about that part because I wouldn't mind having numbers and also how much of an impact it had within the anime industry itself outside of the whole "inspiring current day anime directors and producers."

Kagemusha wrote:
Exactly. I love all those shows you mentioned with the exception of Elfen Lied (and of course I haven't seen Death Note yet, though I think the manga is good but overrated by the same kind of people your talking about),


Eh, I've never been all that hot about the Fullmetal Alchemist anime (though I'm very fond of the manga), but that's just me.

Ironically when I first saw Elfen Lied, it was probably the first "mature" anime that I ever saw, and I came away from it being utterly amazed and regarding it as my favorite anime that I've ever seen. Nowadays I just regard it as being "Good" by ANN's rating system -- interestingly enough Bebop, Berserk, and Evangelion haven't fallen to the same fate (though the novelty of all three has worn off, I still highly regard the trio).

Quote:
but there's a limit to how much you can analyze something that really isn't meant to be looked at much beyond a surface level.


Agreed. There's an incredible amount of subtle character nuances, developments, and plot points in Evangelion that can be picked up upon revisits of the series and movie(s), and there are numerous ones that I would've never picked up on without having invested time into reading others' analysis here on the Internet. However, as you said, there is a limit to how much you can analyze something, and [to add onto that] there's also a limit to how much of an analysis of a work of fiction can change your opinion/view/appreciation of said work.

Quote:
Like you said, Texhnolyze is never going to get the attention it so fully deserves because, ironically, it is too challenging for many, both in terms of what it says and as well as what it demands from the viewer.


In light of seeing a fair amount of Texhnolyze fans on the forum recently, as well as seeing a few people currently watching it, I figure I might as well start a thread that can actually go over the critical aspects of the show (and there is A LOT). I would love to have an intelligent conversation about the series with others to examine its complexity and themes, or just any conversation at all -- I've just been recommending it to others to watch, and that's sadly been it.

I'll probably start up the aforementioned thread tomorrow unless someone else does it first as I seriously need some sleep.

Quote:
I've written a bit about some of the themes, the roles of the characters and the ending, but when no one wants to discuss it with you it can be a bit discouraging.


Which is why I'll feel heartbroken if you don't have your own input in the upcoming discussion. Really.

Mohawk52 wrote:
I'll never believe that episodes 25 & 26 were planned that way.


Monetary issues prevented Gainax and Anno to "do a satisfactory product," if I recall correctly, and the fact that movie is not the "rumored revenge of Anno against the fans" is presented by the facts that there are stills of a few scenes of The End of Evangelion available on the extras of the Platinum discs, similar scenes of Asuka, Misato, and Ritsuko in episode twenty-five, and also that Gainax had an OVA/movie planned by the time the final two episodes ended.

In a nutshell, episodes twenty-five and twenty-six are not the "true endings of Evangelion," despite what Anno says by trying to silence the endless outcries and threats that he has undeservedly received.

fuchikoma wrote:
or when you look at the power of microscope Eva's been put under, you could even do a deep analysis of Yotsuba&! Razz


Those who don't enjoy Yotsuba&! are sad, angry people who have no good ethic values in them whatsoever.

Iritscen wrote:
Are the psychological elements deep? Hell yes. What is wrong with you people who think that the show is babbling meaninglessly?


I know what you're trying to say, but I believe that it is still technically incorrect. The psychological themes may be deep to those who have little to no familiarity with the subject, but it is mainly the bare essentials derived from Freud and Jung, two of the most significant influences on modern psychology. Hell, I'm only fifteen-years-old myself, and I GET those concepts.

The depth of Evangelion of course lies in the characters, but I'm sure that's been said many, many, many, many, many times.

Quote:
Truly following the last couple episodes made my head spin, but if you think they're poorly made then you weren't paying attention.


As much of a poor ending to a story it is, the final two episodes of Evangelion were hardly directed and put together on the spot, so to speak.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:52 pm Reply with quote
Hellkorn:
Quote:
Personally I favor the latter as I took pills when I was around seven, and while they did help me briefly when I was taking them, when I got off I was even worse. It's a load of crap, really.


Plus the fact that recent studies buried by the FDA for years indicating that the drug makes the patient suicidal makes you wonder if the doctors who prescribed it weren't in on it. After all, if people start feeling better too soon, then there's less money to be made.
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Nerv1



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 601
PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:35 pm Reply with quote
Wait, so then Brian Ruh wants to create a book questioning the mysteries of Evangelion but wants it from our point of view also?
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Iritscen



Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 790
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:36 am Reply with quote
HellKorn wrote:
Unless I misunderstand, it seems as though the United States is odd in that a lot of people depend on pills to "resolve issues like depression," while just about every other major country seems to have the mentality that you just have to suck it up and go on.


I wouldn't say they "suck it up" -- it's just that Asian countries and many others use more "natural" therapies than drugs.

CorneredAngel wrote:
(consider for example why Robin Williams referred to Eva in One-Hour Photo)


What did he say about Eva exactly?

HellKorn wrote:
There's an incredible amount of subtle character nuances, developments, and plot points in Evangelion that can be picked up upon revisits of the series and movie(s)


vs.

HellKorn wrote:
The psychological themes may be deep to those who have little to no familiarity with the subject, but it is mainly the bare essentials derived from Freud and Jung, two of the most significant influences on modern psychology.


I suppose it depends how you define "deep", really. I didn't mean "meditate on it for years to find the ultimate truth" deep, I meant "not just meaningless terms being thrown around" deep Smile I was responding to what some people allege, that the show is just pretending to be deep by throwing around $20 words. I'm sure to someone who has studied psychology it's pretty straight-forward.


Mohawk52 wrote:
I'll never believe that episodes 25 & 26 were planned that way.


HellKorn wrote:
In a nutshell, episodes twenty-five and twenty-six are not the "true endings of Evangelion," despite what Anno says by trying to silence the endless outcries and threats that he has undeservedly received.


Maybe this is just one of those things where the work means more to a viewer than the creator of that work, but episodes 25 and 26 were truly meaningful to me on a personal level and very rewarding and positive. The movie, by comparison, was nihilistic and dreary and disturbing. It may have had a serious budget, but the story had absolutely nothing on the TV series. I don't think the monetary limitations seriously hindered Anno's ability to tell the story in those two episodes that he wanted to tell. But this is all just opinion on your part and mine, since we weren't working at Gainax at the time and we can't read Anno's mind.

Nobuhiro Watsuki said it best, by the way; he had just seen "End of Eva" and disliked it; he said that the person who told the story clearly didn't care about the characters. I never felt that way in watching the TV series, but it almost perfectly sums up my problem with the movie.
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Ryvius213



Joined: 03 Aug 2006
Posts: 291
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:49 pm Reply with quote
WEll, most peopl want a more definite conclusion to the "Salvation of Humanity," which was what End of Evangelion was. It showed the final result of the third impact. If you liked the original ending more, then good for you.
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Aaron White
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Joined: 23 Aug 2002
Posts: 1365
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:29 pm Reply with quote
Eva is a touchstone anime because it downloaded the techniques and concerns of new wave filmmaking (such as the work of Jean-Luc Godard and Alain Resnais) into popular anime. Whether it used those techniques and concerns very well is open to debate, but by establishing that an anime could explore that non-Hollywood Cinematic territory and be commercially successful paved the way for all the other shows (Utena, Lain, Paranoia Agent, FLCL etc) that followed Eva's lead. The new things Eva brough to anime have become standard, which means a lot of people who are accustomed to those things look at Eva and don't see what the big deal is; everything that's in Eva is now pretty common in anime. But Eva brought all that to anime. If you like other new waveish anime, thank Eva.

I hope this book is less another interpretaion of Eva's "meaning" and more about examining Eva's significance within the context of anime history.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 14371
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:12 pm Reply with quote
Aaron White:
Quote:
Eva is a touchstone anime because it downloaded the techniques and concerns of new wave filmmaking (such as the work of Jean-Luc Godard and Alain Resnais) into popular anime.


Replace Eva with Akira, and I'd agree. Rolling Eyes
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