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Manga Criticizes Newtype

posted on by Christopher Macdonald
Manga Entertainment's CEO, Marvin Gleicher, has criticized the editors of Newtype USA for what he feels is a "biased and disrespectful review of the two Evangelion feature films."

RE: Recent Newtype review of Evangelion: Death and Rebirth and The End of Evangelion

Dear Editor;

On behalf of GAINAX Studios and Production I.G, I feel compelled to respond to what I feel is a biased and disrespectful review of the two Evangelion feature films - Evangelion: Death and Rebirth and The End of Evangelion.

As many of your readers are no doubt aware, from its very inception GAINAX has consistently produced some of the most creative, thoughtful and iconoclastic works of animation ever set to celluloid. By breaking with the long-standing tradition of basing their animated works on pre-existing stories and folk tales, GAINAX has been credited with freeing animation from the constraints which have allowed it to be perceived as a derivative medium. In so doing, they have established animated film as a self-sufficient art form (Time Magazine, November 22, 1999).

With Evangelion, GAINAX once again revolutionized anime by taking the "giant robot" genre - a stagnating staple of the otaku diet - and deconstructing the adolescent power fantasy to its foundations. In so doing, Hideaki Anno has painted us an intensely personal portrait of psychological paralysis. The fact that legions of anime fans in Japan and abroad have identified with and embraced Anno's weak, self-loathing and reluctant protagonist, Shinji, is a testament to the importance of this work and reinforces one of the ultimate messages within the films - human existence, though replete with frustration, miscommunication and anguish, is to be chosen and embraced despite these qualities.

To characterize Evangelion as a tale about "14 year old rugrats who pilot lanky bio-mechs that contain the souls of their dead mommies...," is tantamount to reducing Brave New World to a sci-fi action/adventure novel. To summarize the events of End of Evangelion as "... Rei gets big. Eva unit 1 turns into an intergalactic crucifix ... everybody dies," is to completely ignore the depth and symbolism present within the film. It's clear that the author of this "review" hasn't made the slightest effort to interpret or reflect upon anything he's seen, but has merely given us the most facile and vapid "book report" of these films. Moreover, his observation that the first 20 minutes of The End of Evangelion repeat the content of the last 20 minutes of Death and Rebirth fails to acknowledge the fact that this is the way these films were released theatrically in Japan. Any decision Manga Entertainment might have made to deviate from this content would have been done at the expense of the artistic integrity of the films' creators. The subsequent implication that we consider our audience comprised of "Sucka's" because we did not edit this content is based entirely upon the author's ignorance and lack of research.

You, as editor of this magazine, are responsible for its content. As such, you've allowed an article to appear therein which is flippant in its tone, completely devoid of anything resembling responsible journalistic research, and insulting to the Japanese creators to whom your magazine owes its existence. I can only infer that the decision to print this article was made in order to malign our product. If it is the intent of Newtype Magazine to compromise journalistic objectivity in favor of the marketing agendas of its parent company, ADV, I sincerely hope your readership quickly realizes that in purchasing your magazine they, in fact, are the "Sucka's."


Marvin Gleicher
C.E.O. Manga Entertainment Inc.

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