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 Post subject: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-14 02:55pm
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Evangelion 1.11 up. 2.22 is on his schedule, just not this month.

I never watched the show, nor any of the movies so I have no idea if he did them justice. I was entertained nonetheless.



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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-14 04:07pm
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I've seen the show, but disliked the idea of the movies because of the rebooted elements that the next movie starts introducing. So I've been waiting for these reviews just to see whether or not its worth watching at least once. It is supposed to stand on its own, after all. But right now, after seeing Chuck's take on the first of the movies and how they dealt with the elements that aren't part of the reboot... eerrch. I'm still going to withhold judgement until Chuck gets to the next one, but...

Okay, first off I can understand the sensation he's having about the whole pacing and the fact that explanations of why things are happening the way they are are lacking. Its not a bad criticism, and its why I personally never understood why some people say they liked the first half of the show but not the later parts where the plot gets darker and more personal. The first half makes no sense without the second half-- at least not unless you are willing or expecting to just shut your brain off when it comes to monster vs mecha action cliche's. The first episode, and consequently I imagine the first sequence of the movie, where Shinji is thrown into the Eva with no training did feel rushed. Its sadly something I've noticed about at least a couple other anime I've watched, even ones I have enjoyed. But I can see how the transition to the big screen could easily exacerbate the problem.

IMO, the show had the ability to pace itself in the episodes after that one, slow things down a bit to a pace that feels deliberate; like they are keeping secrets from the audience for a reason, things that will be revealed in time. For instance, why Shinji and not someone older? As you keep watching, you find out there is nothing special about Shinji per say, and everything to do with who he is related to and their story. Its not just a mecha story, or a psychological drama (although it is both of those things) but also a mystery story, so not everything should be out in the open at first. That doesn't excuse the fact that in the beginning Gendo apparently either forgot to let Shinji in on at least as much of the plan as Misato or Asuka, or alternatively chose to do so at quite literally the last second when an angel decided to knock on his front door. But the story didn't need exposition as badly because I felt like the information was coming in at a natural pace. If the next movie can at least retain the backstory elements and reveal them in a timely manner, I might be inclined to see it despite the changes to the plotline in the present tense. But if not... then why the hell didn't they redo the events of this movie as well? You know, go whole hog and make it the action piece that its fans claim makes it so enjoyable? (*)

The show was also supposed to be a character piece and psychological drama, and to make that clear they needed to give the scenes of Shinji getting accustomed to his new life enough time to make an impact on the audience. If going to the big screen means you have to cut out parts of the story, maybe get rid of the freaky mutant penguin, that's the price you pay for actual character growth. Heck, the part where Shinji tries to run away could have been cut for time and might have helped give him the appearance of having a spine. Or at least they could have merged plot points. IIRC, in the original things go like this: after an argument with Misato he runs away, only to be brought back by Nerv operatives. Then he officially quits and gets a train ticket to leave. Misato decides to see him off at the train station, but seeing her there and seeing that she cares enough to do that makes him decide to stay and continue piloting after all. Obviously, this chain of events needs to be shortened, but from the sounds of it the way they shortened it makes it appear like Misato is just a bitch. Instead of having Nerv operatives retrieve him and then have an argument with Misato, they could instead make the argument come first, followed by Shinji running away and Misato retrieving him personally to resolve their dispute, more in the spirit of the original episode even though events are changed.

(*) It is interesting to me the parts Chuck points out where the movie tries to keep some of the cerebral qualities of the original show but failing to make them coherent enough such that only the action makes any sense. I keep hearing defenders of the Rebuild movies say that its more of an action piece where the original was more a character drama. However, if that is only because they tried and failed to keep the character and psychological elements make sense or feel important enough to care about, then that makes the movie simply inferior to the show and a reason for me to just ignore the movies.



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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-14 04:24pm
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Is there really an audience for non-EVN fans to watch the endless retreads?



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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-14 05:13pm
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Formless wrote:
The show was also supposed to be a character piece and psychological drama, and to make that clear they needed to give the scenes of Shinji getting accustomed to his new life enough time to make an impact on the audience. If going to the big screen means you have to cut out parts of the story, maybe get rid of the freaky mutant penguin, that's the price you pay for actual character growth. Heck, the part where Shinji tries to run away could have been cut for time and might have helped give him the appearance of having a spine. Or at least they could have merged plot points. IIRC, in the original things go like this: after an argument with Misato he runs away, only to be brought back by Nerv operatives. Then he officially quits and gets a train ticket to leave. Misato decides to see him off at the train station, but seeing her there and seeing that she cares enough to do that makes him decide to stay and continue piloting after all. Obviously, this chain of events needs to be shortened, but from the sounds of it the way they shortened it makes it appear like Misato is just a bitch. Instead of having Nerv operatives retrieve him and then have an argument with Misato, they could instead make the argument come first, followed by Shinji running away and Misato retrieving him personally to resolve their dispute, more in the spirit of the original episode even though events are changed.


The problem here is that the whole remake is very, very poorly planned. None of these things were ever thought out. Interviews and such leave the impression that the original idea for Rebuild was to make it a much more faithful, much more repetitive retelling of the original story, with only a few added elements like Mari, and the big departure came only as the second movie was being written. At no point was there a cohesive outline for all four movies. An even bigger problem though is that the remake is scripted by a committee that doesn't even agree with each other on everything. Anno has maybe half a dozen people suggesting different ideas and he can't say no to any of them. The script of 2.22 reportedly went through ten drafts before they settled on the overstuffed mess that we got.

Stark wrote:
Is there really an audience for non-EVN fans to watch the endless retreads?


The second movie was one of the highest grossing movies of that year in Japan, and the DVDs sell well in the US. How much of that money comes from an embedded fanbase and how much from newcomers is impossible to determine.

What do you mean by "endless" though?

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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-14 07:54pm
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Stark wrote:
Is there really an audience for non-EVN fans to watch the endless retreads?


In principle the new theatrical versions were supposed to be for a new generation. We can be cynical about it just for getting more money out of the fanbase, but the fanbase has already spent an almost infinite amount money on the franchise so you know. In any case plenty of people who missed the mania in the 90s for Evangelion have been drawn in by the films.

In reality I think a great deal of the impetus for the films is being able to realise the vision which was left unrealised by Gainax having no money back in the 90s :v



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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-14 09:36pm
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Are the movies really as inaccessible as suggested here? The show wasn't an easy ride either, so how important is that?



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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-14 10:07pm
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Honestly, I'd watch the show first.

Overall, I understand and largely agree with the review. I think 2.22 is superior as a film, but I do wonder if it can hold up to fresh eyes and whether my knowledge of the series is coloring my experience. Generally, anime movies based on properties that have already been animated require prior knowledge to work at all.

And I do worry because, film wise, the explanation for things hasn't even been made yet. Just hints at what is to come.

I'm rather sure that will not amuse him.

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In reality I think a great deal of the impetus for the films is being able to realise the vision which was left unrealised by Gainax having no money back in the 90s :v


I get that feeling a bit. Also, now that the creator is over his depression, revisiting the thing that let him express that depression in part might have been appealing as well.



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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-14 10:12pm
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Out of curiosity does the giant robot has his mother's soul/soul compatibility thing actually work in context? Did any of these retreads have a better explanation why for why they need to have a kid with no training or combat experience pilot the thing?



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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-14 10:41pm
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Ahriman238 wrote:
Out of curiosity does the giant robot has his mother's soul/soul compatibility thing actually work in context? Did any of these retreads have a better explanation why for why they need to have a kid with no training or combat experience pilot the thing?


It does actually work in the context of the series, but the relevant bits don't pop up until much later on (episode 20, where its effects are seen in full; episode 21 where the flashbacks explaining half the weirdness comes into play; -- of a 26 episode series). It also pays off wonderfully (horrifically) in the finale "End of Evangelion". But there were other reasons for it.

Part of it comes from its nature as a deconstruction of the cliche's of a super robot show. Yeah, I know, the word is over used, but it applies here. Here, it provides a quasi-rational reason why ANYONE would send a teenager into combat with no training as oppose to Mazinger Z, where the mad scientist (grand) father just does it. Setting the pattern for many shows to follow (though at least the mad scientist modeled the machine's control scheme after a motorcycle, which the pilot was already familiar with -- and then there's the whole mad scientist thing). It was a critical look at the concept, which is what they wanted in part to do.

The other part is because the show is so steeped in Freudian imagery that it's almost silly. Yes, any Freud joke you can make about the series will work--because it's likely true. Hell, there's an episode with a secondary title of "The Oral Stage".



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Reviewing movies is a lot like Paleontology: The Evidence is there...but no one seems to agree upon it.

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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-14 10:59pm
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Ahriman238 wrote:
Out of curiosity does the giant robot has his mother's soul/soul compatibility thing actually work in context? Did any of these retreads have a better explanation why for why they need to have a kid with no training or combat experience pilot the thing?

As far as the original show went, I would say yes. Basically, they prioritized questions which had an affect on the characters in some way and cut the rest. For instance, the creators never revealed the nature of the First Impact event and reason for the Angel's existence in the show itself, instead opting to put it in supplemental writings. Kinda like the Star Trek Technical manuals-- it really doesn't matter, but if you want to know anyway here's a book for you to go read about our setting!

So in that vein, why the mother's soul? Put two and two together here-- Gendo created the Evas. Shinji is Gendo's son. Therefore, what is the relationship between Unit 1 and Gendo? Why he would need this particular Eva for his plans is just as much the question you need to ask as why he would need Shinji to pilot said Eva.

Go ahead and guess. No points will be deducted if you get the exact details wrong. I'll give you a hint, though-- Gendo is pretty much a manipulative bastard. The secret society stuff should be your first clue when watching the series.

Asuka and Rei have similar backstory regarding their parentage, and the show is not too subtle about making clear how this effects them. Especially when they finally discover said secret Chuck spoiled.



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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-15 12:49am
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btw is anyone else getting a 404 error from Chuck's site?



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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-15 12:52am
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I'm getting a
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Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)

But then again, problems with Chuck's site aren't unusual for me. 404 errors seem to just come and go.

Here's a link directly to his blip account: http://blip.tv/sf-debris-opinionated-reviews



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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-15 01:34am
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Stark wrote:
Are the movies really as inaccessible as suggested here? The show wasn't an easy ride either, so how important is that?


Chuck misinterpreted 'bring to a new audience' as 'make more accessible', but that's not really the case. In honesty, a lot of Evangelion's appeal came from how 'inaccessible' it was. Like it has all these layers, all this symbolism, and for the most part it's totally meaningless. it's just there to make the audience go 'hey what is this' and stick around for the actual story, which is Shinji's growth as a human being. I think a lot of its success can be attributed to this 'fascination' factor: people got fascinated with the really strange aesthetic cruft and started talking about, and were compelled to keep watching. That's why there are so many questions to be asked early on and left unanswered for so long (or even never).

Some people don't get fascinated.



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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-16 04:57am
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The thing I really like about the "soul of the mother" thing is that it ties in perfectly with the show's theme of escapism. Shinji really doesn't want to be in the cockpit, and his subconscious reaction to very dangerous situations is regression. Essentially, he's a little boy that wants the safety of his mommy, and that's what activates Yui's Berserker mode protective instinct. Asuka, by comparison, absolutely rejects her mother and memories of her mother, so she doesn't get that impulse and is thus unable to make her Eva go berserk. It actually fits together rather neatly (well, at least if we leave out Rei, but things work differently for her).

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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-16 06:01am
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Well the real joke is that the 'soul of the mother' aspect is something that is only definitely true in the series. The film casts doubt on it, what with Mari freely piloting Unit-02 and and Asuka being able to switch to Unit-03 with no issue.



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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-16 08:53am
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Not quite, Gendo does call Eva 01 "Yui" during 2.22 after all. What's really going on might be something else all together. We can't say for certain.

But that's Eva for you.



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Supernatural Taisen - "[This Story] is essentially "Wouldn't it be awesome if this happened?" Followed by explosions."

Reviewing movies is a lot like Paleontology: The Evidence is there...but no one seems to agree upon it.

"God! Are you so bored that you enjoy seeing us humans suffer?! Why can't you let this poor man live happily with his son! What kind of God are you, crushing us like ants?!" - Kyoami, Ran

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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-26 01:26pm
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A late add on, but if Chuck is watching both the sub and dub, I wonder how he's going to react to the final scene in 2.22, with Kowaru. The dub is pretty vague about it, but the official sub includes the horrible phrase "This time".

I wonder if he'll hit on the popular fan theory that this isn't a re-telling but a continuation of the original story. A sequel.

If he reaches that conclusion, I do wonder what his reaction will be. Though, I do have some ideas as to what they might be. . .



ISARMA: Daikaiju Coordinator: Just Add Radiation
Justice League- Molly Hayes: Respect Hats or Freakin' Else!
Browncoat
Supernatural Taisen - "[This Story] is essentially "Wouldn't it be awesome if this happened?" Followed by explosions."

Reviewing movies is a lot like Paleontology: The Evidence is there...but no one seems to agree upon it.

"God! Are you so bored that you enjoy seeing us humans suffer?! Why can't you let this poor man live happily with his son! What kind of God are you, crushing us like ants?!" - Kyoami, Ran

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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-27 09:44am
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Does 2.0 deviate from the series? I was surprised how close this film seemed to the series seemed based on Chuck's review I have only seen the original series, and never watched these as I had no desire to retread the Evangelion story. But other than fighting the octahedron angel earlier than I recall (it looks like it was actually the third fought in the series), and Kaworu making a teaser appearance it seemed pretty darn close story-structure wise. Considering the uniqueness of the original, I thought they would take some very different directions with a remake.



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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-27 10:25am
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2.0 (or the DVD/Blu-ray 2.22) does branch off significantly from the TV series. Asuka is a signficantly different character, a new Eva pilot is introduced, and the final battle of the movie is a combination of several of the TV battles with some new elements added. The third movie, coming out soon, will be almost entirely new material.

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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-28 09:57am
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Skylon wrote:
Does 2.0 deviate from the series? I was surprised how close this film seemed to the series seemed based on Chuck's review I have only seen the original series, and never watched these as I had no desire to retread the Evangelion story. But other than fighting the octahedron angel earlier than I recall (it looks like it was actually the third fought in the series), and Kaworu making a teaser appearance it seemed pretty darn close story-structure wise. Considering the uniqueness of the original, I thought they would take some very different directions with a remake.


It was pretty close right up until they introduced Kaworu and another Evangelion at the end of the movie. This was no minor deviation. That 30 seconds or so promised a substantial change in the direction of things.

2.0 deviates from the series right away with the introduction of Mari, Unit 05, and the Antarctic base. Asuka's entrance was completely changed and a new Angel was introduced for her to fight and defeat. Though from what i've heard this Angel may have been a substantially redesigned Matariel.

The skip a bunch of Angels from the middle episodes, sadly including Leliel. Though Sahaquiel made it in after which they jumped right to Bardiel. All of these fights were made substantially better looking by the presence of a greater budget this time around but elements of the storyline and therefore characters were changed as well.

Thankfully Zeruel got to be even more of a fucking badass this time around with again, substantial and relevant changes to the storyline associated with the fight.



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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-29 11:05pm
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Ford Prefect wrote:
Stark wrote:
Are the movies really as inaccessible as suggested here? The show wasn't an easy ride either, so how important is that?


Chuck misinterpreted 'bring to a new audience' as 'make more accessible', but that's not really the case. In honesty, a lot of Evangelion's appeal came from how 'inaccessible' it was. Like it has all these layers, all this symbolism, and for the most part it's totally meaningless. it's just there to make the audience go 'hey what is this' and stick around for the actual story


Pareidolia "a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant." X-Files was notorious for this but I think Evangelion takes the goddamn cake. It wasn't just inaccessible, it made you feel that the meaning was just within grasp, like right here just waiting for your fingertips to brush it. It's all waiting to become clear!

They throw so much spaghetti at the wall that some of it even seems to stick. In an interview one of the writers admitted all of the Christian imagery was picked because it seemed foreign and alien and therefore cool, pretty much the same amount of thought a typical 20-something puts into their Chinese character tattoo.

The experience of reading about the creation of EVA is a bit of a letdown, like meeting your favorite musician and finding out that the song that means so much to you was written in a drugged-out haze and he can't even remember what he was thinking.

So the funny thing is that I still really like Evangelion for what I thought it was about and what I thought was going on. What the creators were actually doing wasn't as interesting or meaningful.

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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-30 03:10am
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jollyreaper wrote:
They throw so much spaghetti at the wall that some of it even seems to stick. In an interview one of the writers admitted all of the Christian imagery was picked because it seemed foreign and alien and therefore cool, pretty much the same amount of thought a typical 20-something puts into their Chinese character tattoo.


Yeah, the thing is? The Judeo-Christian imagery? That's not all there is to Evangelion. What exactly did you think it was about then, that you were so disappointed?

The truth is that it's incredibly reductive to say that because they threw a couple of crosses on the screen to look cool, nothing matters. I'm sorry to pull out this particular old hat of a criticism, but I find that most people trying to claim that "what the creators were actually doing wasn't as interesting or meaningful" probably don't really understand what they were doing. I don't mean that as a slight either. Comprehending NGE's themes is greatly helped by contextual knowledge of Japanese culture (and of course the tropes of anime). Particularly important is the hikikomori phenomenon and how it relates to obsessive anime fandom.

I don't see how anyone can read this interview and claim that no thought was put into it. See, for instance, this particular quote:

Kazuya Tsurumaki wrote:
For example, Hideaki Anno says that, "Anime fans are too introverted, and need to get out more." Further, he should be happy that non-anime fans are watching his work, right? But when all is said and done, Hideaki Anno's comments on "Evangelion" + "Evangelion" are that it is a message aimed at anime fans including himself, and of course, me too. In other words, it's useless for non-anime fans to watch it. If a person who can already live and communicate normally watches it, they won't learn anything.


I don't even agree with that last part, but it does illustrate what they were trying to do. The series has plenty of meaning to it - not on the subject of religion or philosophy, but on psychology and sociology. EoE has a couple of pretty simple, conclusive moral messages at its heart. I'm going to be reductive myself now: the whole series is essentially Hideaki Anno telling obsessive anime fans to get a life. The theme of escapism is prevalent throughout the show and particularly the movie, and it comes down to cautioning socially awkward teenagers and young adults, many of whom had issues with psychological problems and depression like Anno himself, not to run away from reality by tucking into their apartments with their anime merchandise. The movie has a pretty strong anti-suicide bent to it as well, which is not too surprising, considering Anno came this close to jumping off a roof. I don't know about you, but this is the sort of self-expression that I prize about art.

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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-08-30 08:21am
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Emperor's Hand
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It's not like the aesthetic cruft served no purpose, anyway. It's ... the aesthetic.



What is Project Zohar?

Here's to a certain mostly harmless nutcase.

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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-09-06 11:57pm
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The difficulty with EVA was Anno wanted to tell Shinji's story and did it against the backdrop of a completely different story. The angels weren't important, the eva units were not important, third impact wasn't even depicted overtly in the final two episodes.

So a lot of fan frustration was similar to x-files, you think the story is about this huge conspiracy but the creator was never interested in it in the first place.

I know for myself, I found Shinji to be incredibly annoying and someone I tried to ignore while enjoying the rest of the show. For the rest of the show to only be window dressing for his own psycho-drama.... Well, there's a reason why they made two new movies to end the show and why Anno blew everything up. Whether the fans were right in rejecting instrumentality or missing the point is open for debate!

I do agree that much of what Anno said the show was about was unclear from simply viewing it. Lost in translation, lost as a westerner making sense of material meant for Japanese otaku, hard to say.

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 Post subject: Re: Chuck does Evangelion PostPosted: 2012-09-10 03:07am
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Majin Gojira wrote:
The dub is pretty vague about it, but the official sub includes the horrible phrase "This time".



:?: :?: :?:


My transcription of Kaworu's lines in that scene: "Sā, yakusoku no toki da, Ikari Shinji-kun. Kondo koso kimi dake wa... shiawase ni shite miseru"

Did you have the impression the people doing the subtitles added that part themselves? Because he fairly clearly says "this time" in the original dialogue, see the bolded part above.



「かかっ―」

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