Monday, March 10, 2014

Neon Genesis Evangelion - A Psychoanalytical Trip (Final thoughts)

      This is the first time I've thought about one of these shows so deeply, it's quite a different feeling. I'm not entirely sure when the next time I'll do this will be, but it'll probably be a month or so down the road.'s hard to tell. There are some shows I'm enjoying currently that are coming to an end soon like "Kill la Kill", "Space Dandy", "Nagi No Asukara", "Golden Time", and "Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai! Ren". These shows are probably the only ones worth talking about, maybe not in such great detail as this, simply because they're not as deep of shows. Would just kinda be reviews or short summaries with my thoughts added in. They're still good, yeah, but there's something in shows like Evangelion that make you search inward and want to talk in great detail about them. "Steins;Gate", "Fooly Cooly", "NHK Ni Youkoso!" (Welcome to the NHK!) would, like Evangelion, be fantastic shows to talk deeply about in the future. But enough about the future! Let's finish up this analysis of Evangelion.

     We've talked about the setting, the theme, the 3 children whom the plot revolves around, and about the production and history. There are actually a ton of other characters we didn't talk about in this show who are actually pretty relevant to the plot, but it'd take far too long to talk about them all, so I decided to choose the 3 main ones, all of whom I could talk loads about. All the characters include, starting at the back, left to right:
     Ritsuko Akagi, Gendo Ikari, Yui Ikari, Kozo Fuyutsuki, Shigeru Aoba, Maya Ibuki, Makoto Hyuga, Ryoji Kaji, Misato Katsuragi, Kaworu Nagisa, Kensuke Aida, Asuka Langley Soryu, Rei Ayanami, Hikari Horaki, Toji Suzuhara, and finally: Shinji Ikari. Phew..really long cast of characters. Personally, I think the coolest part is that all the characters get a bit of air time and play, at least, a small chunk in the plot. Not many shows could do that and have it work as well as the Gainax team did. In fact, it works so well that even though all these characters are important to the show, it doesn't take away from the message or the main characters' developments. I'm not sure I've seen any show quite like this one.
     On my list containing the topics for this blog post, the next thing on here is "Places of great impact." Meaning places in the show that delivered "the chills" to me. I'm sure you guys have all had them, those chills that you get during a good scene in a show, listening to a good song, or something like that. One such "chill", and I've used these a lot during my posts, is the text-only frames mostly used during the final episodes.
Example of a text-only frame (ooo, dramatic!)
     These frames would often repeat over and over with a character responding. I'm not sure the exact term that would be used here, but it seems like a very unique way to conduct a monologue.
Shinji's response
     It forces the character to search within their self and give out answers that they may not have truly wanted to share yet. This type of monologue is gives a very powerful effect on the viewer especially, a feeling that is difficult to describe.
     Another type of frame shots were used in...2? I think 2 episodes. One in episode 4 and one in the late teens or early 20s. These are still frame shots where two characters are relatively near each other for a prolonged period of time (upwards of a minute or a minute and a half it feels).
"Tadaima" (I'm back) - Shinji
10 minutes pass
"Okaeri" (Welcome home) - Misato
     Are these long pauses really necessary? I found myself asking this question after having watched this very scene. I actually checked to see if my video stopped loading or if I was having internet troubles when this still-frame first began, but once I heard noises in the background, I realized it was just a really, really long pause. You don't ever see pauses like these in shows, it was pretty interesting and unique.
     So I've noticed something; it seems all these older shows (from 90s) share a pretty common plot explanation theme. They all tend to leave the viewer in the dark for most of the show (until around episode 20) then they suddenly bring in the plot explanation and everything makes so much sense. This show is no exception. I'm wondering exactly what changed, if it was societal, cultural, or just people complaining about lack of plot explanations that made the shows nowadays explain the plot more throughout, rather than a burst right at the end. I'm not saying I like it or dislike it, it's just different and makes me wonder about the change.
     In conclusion, if I were to rate this, I think I'd give it a 10/10. I'm not going to bullshit with the "but nothing is perfect!" mentality. This show is damn good. It's so damn good that I've spent 3 posts here (aka 3 weeks) talking about and analyzing it. If any show can do that for you, it deserves a 10, no questions asked. I think one of the few complaints about the show could be the ending, but even that for me was spectacular. Personally, I wasn't expecting anything in particular from the ending, so seeing something completely different from the action-packed 1st half was an incredibly cool experience. I know a lot of people who had issues with the TV show's ending wanted an action-y ending, so I could understand how some might be disappointed. However, the movies that have been released did indeed please both sides: the intellectual and the action. 
     The whole production of Neon Genesis Evangelion was a risk, not only due to the money issue, but also because of Hideaki needing to create an anime that was different from all the rest. Some might say it's these exact factors which acted as a catalyst for its success, some might say it's because of the people who produced it, some might say that it's because of some other reason. Whatever the reason, it's a great show, and I'm glad I could talk about my thoughts on it.
     Thanks for reading, everyone. I'll be back again next week with some more content.