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House Louse
Oct 21, 2010




Neon Genesis Evangelion is a 1995-6 Gainax anime, masterminded by Hideaki Anno, about teenagers piloting giant robots called Evangelions. It begins after a disaster called Second Impact, in the specially built city of Tokyo-3, where a secret organisation called NERV is based. A huge monster, codenamed an Angel, attacks, sweeping aside entire armies which fail even to scratch it; only NERV and their Evangelions can defeat the Angel. A schoolboy named Shinji Ikari unwillingly becomes caught up in the struggle, and he is coerced into becoming a pilot – but this Angel is merely the first of many...

If that was where Eva finished, it might be forgotten. Everyone's seen brave mecha pilots fighting Godzilla-esque monsters, awesome action scenes with triumphant endings, spiced with humour and romance. But Shinji's no hot-blooded hero; he's depressive, unmotivated, and frequently terrified by his bizarre adversaries. The rest of the cast are caught up in quasi-religious fanaticism, hopeless love, hatred, intrigue, and inner emptiness. As the series goes on, the action and comedy aspects become less important, the Angels become stranger and stronger, the brutal battles won at much greater cost, NERV's secrets are slowly revealed, and Gainax visibly runs out of money. The characters' inner struggles become more prominent as a quasi-apocalyptic conspiracy that means the last two episodes consist of three main characters undergoing on-screen therapy.

Eva is often seen as Anno's semi-autobiographical account of his struggles with, and triumph over, depression. It draws on classic giant robot shows, Freudian psychoanalysis, and New Wave film alike; and progresses from quasi-realistic action and science to mysticism (crucifixes and Jewish symoblism everywhere!) and meditation on human being. It's a work of love of anime and hatred of its fans, reusing and parodying freely, navel-gazing and fan-pandering, and an expression of immature angst and shining hope. Love it or hate it - I'm in the former camp, though it's deeply flawed - Eva is one of the most famous and divisive series ever.

Characters

Shinji Ikari

The protagonist and pilot of Evangelion Unit 01. As I said above, he's often (understandably) miserable and weak, but gets stronger and happier throughout the series, and proves kind and even heroic, when needed. Both he and his dub voice are extremely polarising.

Rei Ayanami

Pilot of Evangelion Unit 00, first seen badly wounded in a training accident. She seems to have no emotions or even attachment to life or other people, except for suicidal loyalty to NERV's head, Gendo Ikari. She is deeply involved in NERV's secret purposes.

Asuka Langley Sohryu

The third main pilot, a very arrogant, self-centred, and hot-blooded teenager who derives much of her self-worth from her skill at defeating Angels, and treats most other people like dirt. Her Evangelion is Unit 02.


The Evangelions. Left to right: Unit 02, Unit 01, and Unit 00.

Misato Katsuragi

Commander of the Evangelions, Shinji and Asuka's guardian, and Shinji's irresponsible surrogate mother. She switches between boozy irresponsibility and hard-nosed professionalism, and is romantically involved with Ryoji Kaji, a spy investigating NERV; also promises fanservice in previews.

Gendo Ikari

Commander of NERV, major player in the war against the Angels, and Shinji's distant and abusive father. He seems initially to be very clinical and unemotional. He treats Rei as a favourite pet and spends 90% of his time in this pose.

The main cast together


The End of Evangelion
Eva had a legendarily abrupt and peculiar ending - the main plot is completely unresolved, and the last two episodes are mostly title cards and cels reused from earlier episode. Fortunately, it got a proper ending in the form of two films. The first, Death and Rebirth summarised the series and previewed the second film, The End of Evangelion. This detailed the final defeat of NERV and provided a slightly more grounded version of the ending, albeit still riddled with confusing and bizarre details, and not wholly meshing with the series's ending. It's essential if you enjoyed the series, though the DVD is old and low-quality. Death and Rebirth is fans-only; Death is a sometimes interesting recap, but Rebirth is literally the first half hour of Eoe.

Rebuild of Evangelion
Ah, but two endings isn't enough for a franchise as confusing as Eva. In 2007, Anno decided to “rebuild” the series into four films, collectively entitled Rebuild of Evangelion, telling a streamlined version of the story with better production values and some plot changes, especially in the third film. Three films have been licenced in English so far; the fourth is supposed to supply an entirely new climax to the series. Their titles aren't as confusing as they seem: Rebuild 1.0 is the theatrical version of the first film and 1.11 is the DVD version, and so on.

Left: Eva TV, episode one; right, Rebuild of Evangelion 1. Shamelessly stolen from the old Eva OP.

Evangelion is a story that repeats
Even three versions isn't enough for Eva, though! There's also a manga, which began before the anime and is still unfinished, various other spinoffs which generally take a lighter and happier approach to the situation, and a ton of merchandise. This series must be one of the greatest cash cows in anime history; I'm fond of the Misato soapdish, personally. There were also rumblings of a live-action version, but that seems to be in development hell where it belongs; watch Pacific Rim instead.

So what order should I watch it in?
Well, goons are a bit divided on that. Some recommend watching the TV series first, The End of Evangelion, and then Rebuild. Others say the cheap 90s animation was too offputting, and watched Rebuild 1 and perhaps 2 before going back to the series and EoE. The difference is that Rebuild technically stands alone but gains from being seen after the original incarnations, but is better animated.

Then come the other parts of the franchise, if you're interested: the manga is similar to the TV series, which Death summarises and retells, and the spinoff manga/gag films assume you're familiar with it but go in different directions.

Links
Obligatory Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neon_Genesis_Evangelion
Evageeks wiki (spergy, but some useful stuff): http://wiki.evageeks.org/
Evageeks page on the First Ancestral Race, describing some of the background information that wasn't in the series but helps clarify some things: http://wiki.evageeks.org/First_Ancestral_Race
A huge and poorly-organised collection of sources discussing Eva, from pre-production to Rebuild: http://www.gwern.net/otaku (Thanks to ShardPhoenix for finding it!)
Rebuild of Evangelion site (in Japanese): http://www.evangelion.co.jp/
Spoilers Below posts on UFO, a SuperMarionation series that influenced Anno.
Bisse goes into Eva blind. First post.
Rebuild 3.33 discussion begins on page 5.

House Louse fucked around with this message at May 16, 2014 around 05:00

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Terminal Entropy
Dec 26, 2012



I know that Gainax had to toss out a lot of finished story since they wrote a sub plot that ended up predicting the Tokyo subway sarin gas attacks but did they ever mention what it had to do with the plot? I remember a background news segment on the mentioning a terrorist attack which I assume is a nod to it.

Scyantific
Feb 13, 2011



You know, that's actually quite an appropriate thread tag.

Anyway, reminder to new people reading the thread, do not head over to the evageeks forums if you value your sanity.

House Louse
Oct 21, 2010


Terminal Entropy posted:

I know that Gainax had to toss out a lot of finished story since they wrote a sub plot that ended up predicting the Tokyo subway sarin gas attacks but did they ever mention what it had to do with the plot? I remember a background news segment on the mentioning a terrorist attack which I assume is a nod to it.

Here's an extract from an interview with a Japanese critic which mentions Aum. He talks like he knows his stuff, but I don't know why; a bit of googling implies that he wasn't part of Gainax, but he might be friends with Anno. Anyway:

quote:

Krystian Woznicki: So Anno changed the original plot of the story when he saw the news about the invasion of Aum's hide out by the police. Did he change it because it was too close to reality?

Azuma Hiroki: Yes, he said so.

KW: But did why he change it? What is the problem with >>Evangelion<< being so close to the Aum case?

AH: Anno thought that the original scenario will not be suitable for broadcasting.

KW: So he feared censorship.

AH: A kind of censorship. But this is very typical of the anime situation. TV animations are supposed to be seen by youngsters under 15, 16 years old. And I think, if it this wasn't the case, then Anno would have thought that its obvious similarity with the reality would decrease >>Evangelion's<<imaginative potential. But anyway, the original scenario is so shockingly close to the political motivation of the Aum Shinrikyo group, they fight against the upshot of the enemy, without knowing what the enemy really is. The angels change their form for example into pyramids, into shadows. I asked Anno about such abstract characteristics of the angels. He said that this reflects the feelings of his generation. For his generation the enemy is not political. It is also not definite. I mentioned to Anno that such abstract characteristics of the enemy are very close to the conception of Aum as enemy (e.g. poison gas) which he admitted.

Whole thing here: http://www.nettime.org/Lists-Archiv...2/msg00101.html

So the relevant points seem to be that it wasn't the subway attacks, but the government investigating Aum's base. So going by this the cancelled plot seems as if it would have been similar to the beginning of EoE, perhaps with SEELE being attacked instead of NERV; the quote seems to be aligning NERV/SEELE with Aum. Maybe Anno felt enough time had passed by then to make it suitable again. On the other hand, a shapechanging Angel LCL-ifying people in a railway station is a pretty plausible scenario too.


Scyantific posted:

You know, that's actually quite an appropriate thread tag.

I nearly went for GOON MEET before deciding it wasn't that funny, and going for the obvious choice.

Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009





And to all the goons, congratulations

Terper
Jun 26, 2012



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUamHEvVQy0

Terminal Entropy
Dec 26, 2012



House Louse posted:

So the relevant points seem to be that it wasn't the subway attacks, but the government investigating Aum's base. So going by this the cancelled plot seems as if it would have been similar to the beginning of EoE, perhaps with SEELE being attacked instead of NERV; the quote seems to be aligning NERV/SEELE with Aum. Maybe Anno felt enough time had passed by then to make it suitable again. On the other hand, a shapechanging Angel LCL-ifying people in a railway station is a pretty plausible scenario too.

The LCL Angel idea sounds marvelous. And seems fitting that NERV/SEELE with Aum would be aligned since they are bent on bringing a doomsday with Christian mythology peppered in.

Triggerhappypilot
Nov 8, 2009


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcRkvXvs5Rc

1karus
Jan 29, 2006

The Fun Machine
Took a Shit and Died

I'm surprised no one pointed out that the 3.33 bluray/DVD release is 04/24/13

Scyantific
Feb 13, 2011



1karus posted:

I'm surprised no one pointed out that the 3.33 bluray/DVD release is 04/24/13

It was pointed out in the previous thread. Unless that date is of some significance that I'm unaware of.

Shapiro
Jun 27, 2005

a jealous female can be tricked into anything

Scyantific posted:

It was pointed out in the previous thread. Unless that date is of some significance that I'm unaware of.

The significance is... that is when the movie is coming out. It's worth a mention, especially in a new thread.

House Louse
Oct 21, 2010


Thanks, I've added it now.


If he'd been doing the Gendo pose, I would have used this in the OP.

Soho Joe
Aug 11, 2006

Guess what basement you get to be locked up in.


I once wrote Anno a letter expressing my fondness for the TV series. I let him know how much I liked the characters that worked on the bridge, and I thought it was great that everyone worked together to stop the monsters. I wanted him to explain the ending, but that didn't bother me much because everyone seemed pretty happy. I told him I was bothered by the creepy sex stuff with the 14 year old sistermother, but that I was proud of him for not having the sad boy get super rapey with the angry girl. I closed by thanking him for not including a single demon seagull. After all, I hate demon seagulls almost as much as I hate vaginas growing on foreheads.

A year later, End of Evangelion was released.

ASIC v Danny Bro
May 1, 2012

Julie Bishop, Member for Curtin, Deputy Leader & Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade


At least you got a response from your letters.

Whenever I wrote them as a kid, they'd always say "and there'll be more fan service! (next time)". Well, they never read out their fan mail.

What a rip off.

getitoffgetitoff
Sep 24, 2007

by Ralp


Just gonna drop this classic right here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo5_PFiUMg0

Spoilers Below
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...


House Louse posted:

If he'd been doing the Gendo pose, I would have used this in the OP.

Arrowsmith
Feb 6, 2006

SAGANISTA!


1karus posted:

I'm surprised no one pointed out that the 3.33 bluray/DVD release is 04/24/13

Not to get all but is there any chance this one will be leaked early? Were either of the first two leaked?

filthychimp
Jan 2, 2006
Damned dirty ape

There were camrips of all three movies, if that's what you're asking. Otherwise no, the blurays weren't leaked.

FakeBlood
Oct 23, 2008

Alive and kicking.


Latest parts of the manga just went up on Mangafox a few nights ago, if anybody is interested. Some huge poo poo happens like Kaji appearing to Asuka during instrumentality

Megafunk
Oct 19, 2010

me reading your posts


Shinji spittin' cross-shaped fire:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7yWoKV1_VY

FiftySeven
Jan 1, 2006



As long as we are all posting great Evangelion videos, heres a thing!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGma4AHNb_A

House Louse
Oct 21, 2010


Sweding is always hilarious. The ending was particularly good.

And for anyone who hasn;t seen it, here's ReDeath:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPtFxvtfH9I

Smoking Crow
Feb 13, 2012



Truth coming from Shinji himself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL8pvC3mxGo

tearshed
Mar 26, 2010




https://twitter.com/McDonaldsCorp/s...515240167505921

Amstrad
Apr 4, 2007

To destroy evil you must become an even greater evil.

I just caught up with this whole Rebuild thing and watched 1.11 and 2.22 and I gotta say, anything that makes Shinji into a somewhat likeable character is doing it right. At this point I've decided to forget that the original series exists at all and treat Rebuild as canon.

Terminal Entropy
Dec 26, 2012



Amstrad posted:

I just caught up with this whole Rebuild thing and watched 1.11 and 2.22 and I gotta say, anything that makes Shinji into a somewhat likeable character is doing it right. At this point I've decided to forget that the original series exists at all and treat Rebuild as canon.

It has to be cannon, the only version that can be cannon has to have a door made of nothing buy worm screws guarding Central Dogma. Or any of the other gratuitous detail shots.

Anyone else thinking the only reason the oceans are off colored because of all the metric tons of blood from the Angels?

Tae
Oct 24, 2010

Hello? Can you hear me? ...Perhaps if I shout? AAAAAAAAAH!


Amstrad posted:

I just caught up with this whole Rebuild thing and watched 1.11 and 2.22 and I gotta say, anything that makes Shinji into a somewhat likeable character is doing it right. At this point I've decided to forget that the original series exists at all and treat Rebuild as canon.

Stop watching Rebuild. It ended for you (unless you understood why Shinji did what he did in the beginning of EoE).

Acer Pilot
Feb 17, 2007
put the 'the' in therapist






With Ellen Degeneres as Shinji!

Dred Cosmonaut
Jan 5, 2010



Whats an eva, just like... some freudian thing, or, um, Am I real?

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Amstrad posted:

I just caught up with this whole Rebuild thing and watched 1.11 and 2.22 and I gotta say, anything that makes Shinji into a somewhat likeable character is doing it right.

Shinji was likeable at the beginning of the television series, too. People just forget because the last time they saw him was EoE.

Regalingualius
Jan 6, 2012


Tuxedo Catfish posted:

Shinji was likeable at the beginning of the television series, too. People just forget because the last time they saw him was EoE.

Except for the first episode, where most of the people I know that've watched the series think he's a giant brat.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Regalingualius posted:

Except for the first episode, where most of the people I know that've watched the series think he's a giant brat.

How many of them watched it when they teenagers themselves, or went in expecting a traditional giant robot show?

If you don't get fixated on how "whiny" Shinji is, his actions and motivations for about the first quarter of the show are brave if not outright heroic. They even lampshade the typical audience reaction in the way Touji treats him, right up until he experiences Eva combat for himself and realizes how horrifying it is.

It's not until much later that Shinji's beaten down to a more selfish and anxiety-driven position. You might argue it was always there, but on the other hand in the first episode he's ready to defy his father and go home -- it's the thought of Rei suffering that makes him pilot the Eva for the first time, not Gendo's approval.

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at Apr 12, 2013 around 22:29

House Louse
Oct 21, 2010


Yeah, and he gets more likeable for most of the series as he gets more confident and more like himself. He turns Misato's flat into somewhere liveable, he manages to befriend Rei, for God's sake, stands up against Gendo - twice - for treating him as a weapon, and he's incredibly kind and caring - for instance saving Touji and Kensuke in episode 3 or diving into a volcano after Asuka. Oh, and he saves the world a dozen times or so. Even when he's not likeable per se he's very sympathetic... well, except for one scene in EoE. Even his apathy then is believable when you bear in mind that he has, in his mind, become everything he hates most.

It's his depth of character that both makes him so likeable and makes his realisation that it's possible to like himself believeable

Edit: Just to add to what you guys were saying while I posted,

quote:

It's not until much later that Shinji's beaten down to a more selfish and anxiety-driven position.

And look at what the poor kid endures before he reaches that point!

House Louse fucked around with this message at Apr 12, 2013 around 22:37

Regalingualius
Jan 6, 2012


House Louse posted:

Yeah, and he gets more likeable for most of the series as he gets more confident and more like himself. He turns Misato's flat into somewhere liveable, he manages to befriend Rei, for God's sake, stands up against Gendo - twice - for treating him as a weapon, and he's incredibly kind and caring - for instance saving Touji and Kensuke in episode 3 or diving into a volcano after Asuka. Oh, and he saves the world a dozen times or so. Even when he's not likeable per se he's very sympathetic... well, except for one scene in EoE. Even his apathy then is believable when you bear in mind that he has, in his mind, become everything he hates most.

Ehhh... Honestly, it seemed to me like the main intent wasn't to make the audience sympathize with Shinji for the first two-thirds or so of EoE; from that scene at the start until the start of Third Impact, it was more about building disgust with him, along with some amount of awareness of just how low he's fallen from where he was at the end of the series. Moreso the disgust, considering he ends up being worse than useless once poo poo starts hitting the fan, due to his wallowing in self-pity, hatred, disgust, etc. at the worst possible time. It takes "So loving what if I'm not you?!" for him to momentarily snap out of it... Then somehow manages to sink even further just a few minutes later.

Come the final third, though, and its' exploration of Shinji's brokenness... That's definitely the time where just how utterly broken he's been by the events of the series hits you, if it hasn't already. By the end, all we really get is the baby steps of what'll be a long, long road to recovery for him (if he ever does).

MadRhetoric
Feb 18, 2011

I POSSESS QUESTIONABLE TASTE IN TOUHOU GAMES


Dred Cosmonaut posted:

Whats an eva, just like... some freudian thing, or, um, Am I real?

Aw hell, does the bus run through here?

This and the alternate universe part of Episode 26 is why I can never hate Spike Spencer as Shinji.

getitoffgetitoff
Sep 24, 2007

by Ralp


MadRhetoric posted:

Aw hell, does the bus run through here?

This and the alternate universe part of Episode 26 is why I can never hate Spike Spencer as Shinji.

The alternate universe is the only part of the English dub where they absolutely outdid the original, in my opinion. It feels like whoever was in charge of the dub just got what they were going for there.

LateToTheParty
Oct 13, 2012

The bane of my existence.


Since we're talking about End of Evangelion I have always been fond of the theory that the movie was essentially Anno trolling the otaku fan base for being creepy entitled nerds who harassed him and the rest of the Gainax staff due to how the television show ended.

Here is the video explaining the theory in detail. Yeah the guy uses a puppet which is really loving stupid but his actual analysis on Eva for the most part is actually really good.

due to showing clips from the infamous masturbation scene at the start of the movie and showing several examples of fan-service anime to make his point.

End of Evangelion and the Audience Author Membrane: http://blip.tv/foldablehuman/s3e2-e...embrane-6540094

Dred Cosmonaut
Jan 5, 2010


getitoffgetitoff posted:

The alternate universe is the only part of the English dub where they absolutely outdid the original, in my opinion. It feels like whoever was in charge of the dub just got what they were going for there.

"Shinji you pervert when I said get up I didn't mean it like that!"

"What, its the morning, get off my back."

Regalingualius
Jan 6, 2012


I'll admit, I sincerely had never heard the phrase "Baloney Pony" before watching the series. I may or may not've subsequently engaged in a fit of giggling.

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Mazed
Oct 23, 2010



I remember when this was first out in the US, and we (me and my nerd friends at school) all passed around the two-episode VHS tapes from ADV, watching the whole thing religiously. We were at the right age and frame of mind to identify with the teenage losers that composed the central cast, and so naturally spent a considerable amount of time making fun of them. Loving the show, not getting the way it ended, but not really caring, either, and when the movie came out, disregarding it after one watch because it felt like either a deliberate burn against the fans who hated the series' ending, or just a pile of self-indulgent bullshit that was weird and gross for the sake of being weird and gross.

And so, Evangelion is inextricably tied to that particular place and time for me, and a re-watch of it feels unnecessary.

I am, however, slightly curious about the rebuild. I wonder, does it stick to the same tone, with all kinds of disconnected scenes of mysterious talking heads having deliberately vague dialogue about the backstory, or does the narrative actually explain this stuff upfront?

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