December 31, 2015 10:27 PM   Subscribe

Today is the date of Third Impact. If you were an anime geek in the '90s, you no doubt watched Neon Genesis Evangelion, the giant robot series-slash-meditation on depression with loads of pseudo-Christian imagery! [Spoilers after this point.]

When the series finally wraps up (for the second time) in the film End of Evangelion, the exact date of Third Impact (what the series calls the extinction event that takes humanity to the next level of existence, YMMV) isn't revealed — however, eagle-eyed fans noted that the year on some of the computer displays in the film change from 2015 (pre-Third Impact) to 2016 (post-Third Impact), implying that it happened across New Year's Eve and Day.

Creator Hideaki Anno hasn't said anything either way, whether or not this fan theory is correct. Still, is there ever a bad time to listen to the saddest Beatles-pastiche ever and await turning into orange goo?

Anno's currently working on the Eva 1.0-4.0 series, retelling the story of Evangelion again, and he's also working on the newest Godzilla movie as writer and co-director.
(Eva previously 1 2 3 4 5)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me (66 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
Fly me to the moon...
posted by fings at 10:52 PM on December 31, 2015 [9 favorites]

posted by Faux Real at 11:01 PM on December 31, 2015 [13 favorites]

Get in the fucking Mecha-Godzilla, Shinji!
posted by charred husk at 11:04 PM on December 31, 2015 [14 favorites]

BTW, h/t to Nerv2015AD. Forgot to put that in the post too.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 11:09 PM on December 31, 2015

I've been really enjoying the Rebuild films. I'm agnostic about the new overall plot, but the storytelling and presentation are superb.
posted by grobstein at 11:10 PM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]

I love the original, Rebuild, and the way the Evangelion store caters to all its fans. You can get figures of Rei in a bikini, but you can also buy cosplay of Shinji and Kaworu's love-love piano duet. And they sell baby clothes. One of the few anime goods I own is a tiny Hello Kitty Asuka. So excited about 4.0.
posted by betweenthebars at 11:30 PM on December 31, 2015 [3 favorites]

So many shows do the big, overarching supernatural mystery thing, and so often it falls apart. The x-files' big conspiracy ends up being unimaginably dull, the mystery of lost's island even worse. NGE is one of the few shows that ended its main arc in a way at once as big, apocalyptic, observant of its own characters, and mind blowingly WEIRD as everything before it promised.

I feel sick.
posted by Rinku at 11:31 PM on December 31, 2015 [12 favorites]


So cute!
posted by betweenthebars at 11:33 PM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh joy, I saw the end unsubtitled when it first came out and it added to a profound sense of WTF. You don't get the happy ending, Shinji.
posted by nickggully at 11:38 PM on December 31, 2015

"Komm, süsser Tod" is among the greatest songs ever written just for its lyrical dissonance with the cheerful melody, and if you dislike the song I will fight you.

It is the absolute perfect song for when you are in such a black, bleak mood of despair that all the world's sad piano ballads and furious death metal ring false and hollow, and the only music that understands the cynical humors of your charred, dead heart is bouncy, bubblegum pop.

IT ALL! RETURNS! TO NOTHING! It all comes tumbling down, tumbling down, tumbling doooooown!
posted by nicebookrack at 12:41 AM on January 1, 2016 [16 favorites]

The only bits of Neon Genesis I ever want to watch again.

Several years ago I did a Neonathon and the friends I invited over who stayed to the end strongly considered never speaking to me again. I was no longer sure why I had inflicted such torture on us all either, so I didn't blame them.
posted by Athanassiel at 1:09 AM on January 1, 2016 [4 favorites]

When i'm lying on my deathbed, i want Komme Susser Tod playing on a loop. Maybe with some Cat Stevens thrown in there.
posted by ELF Radio at 1:48 AM on January 1, 2016 [4 favorites]

I've read about Evangelion but never seen it. Anime generally leaves me cold for some reason, Cowboy Beebop excepted, but is it worth checking out? As someone who isn't into anime I mean.
posted by brundlefly at 1:57 AM on January 1, 2016

I think there are much better places to begin. It really depends whether you like apocalyptic and angst-ridden with heavy doses of self-loathing and daddy issues. If that sounds peachy, go for it! Oh, and the ending of the TV series is, um, not good. The follow-up movie, End of Evangelion is even worse in some ways, but the ending is a bit better and does leave it feeling more resolved.
posted by Athanassiel at 2:37 AM on January 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

I noped out of Evangelion at the first exploitative shot of a teenage girl’s crotch personally.
posted by pharm at 3:22 AM on January 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

does anyone else remember when people seriously believed that the fourth Rebuild of Evangelion movie was going to come out

I like to think it's a deliberate troll move like the ending of Clone High, personally

that all said, the third one suffered from some serious Frasier Syndrome, where 45 seconds of "wait let me clarify to make sure I understand the situation" like grown-ups would have prevented the plot from existing (though these are admittedly supposed to be deeply broken people, but still)
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:11 AM on January 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

I went into Eva thinking it was basically just a Giant Robot Anime, but figured there had to be SOME reason it was so popular. Found it fun and engaging, liked the unique robot designs. Then things got weirder. And weirder. And weirder. And I liked it more and more. The end of the series is so raw and personal, and it makes no sense as part of the series, but in a way, it makes perfect sense. Then End of Evangelion, for me, was like the first time I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey. There was so much input, my brain couldn't process what I was seeing and overloaded in the most delicious way. Eva is a strange beast with obvious warts, but it is worth the ride if you're interested in a seriously weird trip.
posted by davejh at 4:35 AM on January 1, 2016 [11 favorites]

It's a series with a lot of problems, but there are many things that delighted me about it on first viewing, and continue to delight me! Chief among them is the way Christianity is used as a general mythological set-dressing that springboards into supernatural body-horror.

It's fascinating to see the way that someone outside a majority-christian population picks up Christianity and runs with it, thinking about it less as a valid theological system and more as a collection of bizarre images that can be used with the kind of gleeful abandon that modern Americans use when they look at, say, ancient greek or egyptian religion. So it manifests like:

What to make of the spear that pierced the body of God himself, causing him suffering that he endured in order to redeem his children?

Well obviously that spear would be an insanely powerful alien weapon for a giant robot to use
posted by Greg Nog at 5:44 AM on January 1, 2016 [46 favorites]

I'm feverishly awaiting the TV series on blu-ray to get an American release. The days of 7th generation VHS and those DVDs with more grain than an Iowa corn silo are over! The BDs look absolutely fantastic, and they didn't do something idiotic like try for 16:9.
posted by Room 101 at 7:26 AM on January 1, 2016

How to describe my hangover? "I'm so fucked up."
posted by codacorolla at 7:29 AM on January 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

brundlefly: If you've got an objection to animated stuff, NGE probably won't change your mind.

Partially it exists as a deliberate deconstruction of the Giant Robot genre of anime. Typically Giant Robot anime involved a young boy who, with the help of the Giant Robot got sort of a preview of an idealized vision of patriarchal warrior style manhood. Rather than being a weak little boy who wasn't strong or important, the boy was catapulted into world shaking events, turned into the stalwart protector of those he loved, and learned to be mentally strong himself while casting aside the weaker and more childish personality traits that might have been holding them back.

And NGE turns all that upside down, inside out, reveals the truly fucked up thinking of imagining that turning a kid into basically a super powered child soldier will be a good thing developmentally and psychologically speaking. Rather than making the Giant Robots friendly and fun to use, they made the Giant Robots horrible to use, unfriendly, and rather than being protective the pilot must be psychically linked with the Giant Robot so they feel every single thing it does, every injury, every wound.

Here, for example, is the first time the main character tries to fight in the Giant Robot. Note that basically it's a horrible traumatizing experience that results in him feeling his arm getting torn off and a giant spike rammed through his eye. That the battle is "won" because something horrible and primal awakens and makes his "Robot" (which bleeds and eats) turn into a ravening berserker that tears the enemy to pieces in a frothing rage, and yeah the PTSD of that comes back to the character too.

Compare with this scene, from an earlier show by the same studio that produced NGE, but portraying a more typical vision of how Giant Robots work (though still a bit different from the norm in that the pilots are young women rather than boys in the 6-12 range).

That's a lot more typical. Any emotion or trauma is related to a reluctance (for whatever reason) to fight, and it is resolved with an infusion of courage and go to attitude that results in a cheerful upbeat music montage of the newly inspired warriors kicking ass and looking damn cool while it happens. Any problems are resolved, the Giant Robot is an awesome protective thing that prevents trauma, and of course, they win in a cool and dramatic way.

From an anime history standpoint, NGE stands out as one of the series that changed the entire field of anime and especially the genre of Giant Robot shows.

Which is why, even after all these years, there are still really hardcore fans. A Giant Robot show where a climactic event involved conflict of duty and the deep friendship (and possibly homosexual love) between a couple of characters, set to the Ode to Joy, that ended with one brutally murdering the other with their bare hands. A Giant Robot show where the characters don't just suffer from PTSD but basically live their entire lives in PTSD with a few moments of lucidity in between what amounts to an ongoing psychotic break. A Giant Robot show where, in the end, the Giant Robots turn out to be almost completely irrelevant to the actual outcome of events.

Plus the directors tossing out literally random Kabalistic and Christian Mystic symbolism like it meant something, but in the end it really didn't and couldn't because he literally had no idea what any of it meant. However, unlike in Lost, there actually is a real overreaching plot that does make sense (in a twisty sort of way), and all the random mystic stuff is just window dressing so it doesn't really make the series bad when it turns out to be genuinely random and have no significance to the show.

If you don't really like anime but you'd like to try to get into anime, I'd suggest something else. If you want to see one of the more significant anime that was ever made, NGE is for you.

Athanassiel: I think you got that backward. The end to the TV series was excellent, and the movie was added for the people who whined that the ending didn't have enough giant robots fighting.
posted by sotonohito at 7:47 AM on January 1, 2016 [47 favorites]

I have spent the last sixteen years agreeing with sotonohito: the TV ending was absolutely brilliant. The only good thing about End of Evangelion was "Kom Süsser Tod." With the TV ending, Evangelion was really a surreal psychodrama that uses giant robots and anime teenagers to pull you in, but the quiet moments, the dream sequences, and the interactions were really the focus of the show in the end. With End of Evangelion, it's a loud, nihilistic show about the end of the world, and none of that matters because everyone is a pile of goo.
posted by graymouser at 8:02 AM on January 1, 2016 [5 favorites]

I've tried to explain Eva to people like this -- if you approach it as entertainment (so in other words, fun and satisfying), it kind of fails. If you approach it as art (it's trying to say something, even if it doesn't get there), it works. It seems like a such a weirdly singular vision.

I hated End of Evangelion the first time I watched it, but the subsequent times, I liked it more. It felt like such a huge "fuck you" from Hideaki Anno -- like "Oh, so you wanted an ending that had more action? Then this is what you get." It just felt so awesomely angry to me.

I still haven't watched all of Rebuild, but I like the first two.

Also, Hideaki Anno writing and directing the next Godzilla movie is the only thing I've ever wanted from life (and I didn't even know that until I read about it). There better be a lot of daddy issues in it or I'm going to be disappointed.
posted by darksong at 8:39 AM on January 1, 2016 [4 favorites]

It's vulgar and NSFW thanks to language but Michael Bay's Evangelion made me laugh when I first saw it.
posted by komara at 8:43 AM on January 1, 2016 [4 favorites]

Without NGEvangelion, there would be no Revolutionary Girl Utena, which is more than enough to justify Evangelion's existence to me. Utena deconstructed the "magical girl" fantasy genre as ruthlessly as Evangelion did the Giant Robot genre, to similar devastating effect. "Let's give enormous unpredictable power to psychologically damaged children and then send them out to commit extreme ritualized violence to uphold rigid patriarchal ideals of heroism! What could go wrong?!"

But I do wish the anime merch capitalism machine had embraced Utena as hard as it did NGE. Stylized rose motifs everywherrrrrrre!

*yes I know Utena and NGE were not done by the same people; I stubbornly maintain nonetheless that NGE's "let's fuck up your childhood genres!" success helped Utena's success
posted by nicebookrack at 8:46 AM on January 1, 2016 [5 favorites]

I'd argue that Magica Madoka did a better job of deconstructing the magic girl genre than Utena did. Utena is awesome, but I always thought it had only a vague relation to the magic girl genre, it stands on its own really.
posted by sotonohito at 8:50 AM on January 1, 2016 [5 favorites]

Yeah, Utena was one of three late 90s deconstructionist / surrealist anime that I loved unconditionally. The third was Serial Experiments Lain, which is one of my favorite things.

Of course with Evangelion, the same problem happened that happens with every deconstruction: the genre tropes mutated to match the deconstructed versions, but without the skeptical distance and purpose that animated the original work. We can call it the "Watchmen effect."
posted by graymouser at 8:54 AM on January 1, 2016 [18 favorites]

Ah, but we wouldn't have Madoka without Sailor Moon's dark shadow, Utena (and I'd argue Princess Tutu & others in between, but those all still riffing off Utena).

And Utena stands alone as its own stylistic beast, but it's absolutely still a mahou shoujo / magical girl series. Lengthy magical transformation sequences with theme music and beautiful outfits; secret identities; fancy shoujo boarding school with ridiculous rules; stylized fight sequences run on the Power of Friendship; mysterious handsome magical princes and fairytale princesses; intense romantic two-girl friendships; 🌹🌹FLOWERS🌹🌹; even the cute animal mascot named Chuchu. All gone horribly, horribly wrong, by going horribly right, like Evangelion's Giant Robots.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:05 AM on January 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

Well, there's no denying that Utena is the only possible show where, in the movie, the main character can turn into a pink Barbie car at the climax, and it both makes sense and doesn't seem ridiculous.

If you say it's a Magic Girl deconstruction, I'll bow to your position because my own knowledge of Magic Girl shows is fairly limited.
posted by sotonohito at 9:16 AM on January 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Barbie car transformation scene, for those who wonder.

For all that Utena was great in many other ways, to me it has always stood out mainly for the Escheresque and surreal architecture, the way it made the world seem both dreamlike and real at the same time is amazing. Plus, of course, the shadow puppet shows. And the not at all subtle sexual imagery. And really, everything. I've got to watch Utena again.
posted by sotonohito at 9:19 AM on January 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

Of course with Evangelion, the same problem happened that happens with every deconstruction: the genre tropes mutated to match the deconstructed versions, but without the skeptical distance and purpose that animated the original work. We can call it the "Watchmen effect.

TRUTH. Was it ever really possible to have Giant Robot series without massive wangst? The world will now never know! The flip side being that there's been some really fucking good post-Eva reconstructions of Giant Robot stuff that work by not playing the plot straight and instead going off in new directions: Escaflowne, Full Metal Panic, Gurren Lagann, Code Geass, etc. (Megas XLR! WE! LOVE! GIANT ROBOTS!)
posted by nicebookrack at 9:29 AM on January 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

Well, to be fair, even the original Mobile Suit Gundam had a good chunk of angst. But comparing it to Evangelion is like saying that, technically, a spring rain and a category 5 hurricane are both storms.
posted by graymouser at 9:56 AM on January 1, 2016 [4 favorites]

As problematic as many aspects of Evangelion are, I can say without a doubt that it changed my life, in an odd sort of way, because Evangelion led to Children of an Elder God, a fanfic that blends Evangelion with the Cthulhu mythos. It first introduced me to the Cthulhu mythos back in the late 90s, just before Lovecraft really started blowing up into what he's become today. And while the writing isn't particularly amazing, I genuinely believe to this day that the concept makes for a better plot than Evangelion's actual plot.

I'm pretty hungover, so I don't really have the capacity to back up my opinion or indeed describe the story in any way. The ending somehow never made it to the main website, but it's floating around on the Internet somewhere. Don't really know why. I don't remember how it ended anymore; I might have to go back and re-read it, though I don't remember it being a particularly good ending. I've been playing a lot of Eldritch Horror lately so I'm totally in the right mood for CoaEG right now.
posted by Caduceus at 10:08 AM on January 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

What's the best way to watch NGE? I got a couple of DVDs 15ish years ago, but it didn't feel like it was worth a three digit investment then (when box sets were all expensiveish), and it doesn't look like the situation has improved.
posted by wotsac at 10:29 AM on January 1, 2016

I never finished more than five or six episodes of NGE. For my money, it was a crappy genre deconstruction; it takes itself way too seriously. But I will watch FLCL over and over again.
posted by BrunoLatourFanclub at 10:39 AM on January 1, 2016

Shinji needs a little of that Team Gurren spirit from Gurren Lagann. "Go beyond the impossible and kick reason to the curb! That's how Team Gurren rolls!" Kamina is one of the most... enthusiastic characters ever.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:10 PM on January 1, 2016

Continuing the magical girl sidebar, Madoka has its good and great points but -- as someone who's not especially familiar with un-de-/reconstructed magical girls, but quite familiar with deconstruction as its own genre -- once the initial "holy shit" wore off I found it pretty shallow, less like Watchmen than like the grim'n'gritty 90's comics inspired by it, if accomplished with considerably more finesse. Or maybe it's like Watchmen in its disdain for its source material, but accomplished with considerably less finesse -- I can't decide. Utena and Princess Tutu cover a lot of the same ground as Madoka and do so with a lot more nuance, flair and conviction.
posted by bettafish at 12:41 PM on January 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

Hm -- I think Madoka might be one of those that works better the more familiar you are with magical girl itself -- like, I think I could see where it doesn't hold up as well on its own like other deconstruction-types (like, I'm pretty sure you can enjoy Eva or Utena or Lain, say, without necessarily knowing what it's doing genre-wise? -- and I haven't seen Princess Tutu, but its repeated mentions on the thread make me think I should check it out!). But as a Magical Girl fan, I found Madoka really satisfying/smart?

(That said, I've also heard that the movies range from inessential to actively undoing what was great about Madoka in the first place, so I've only seen/am talking about the original 12-or-so episode series.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 1:03 PM on January 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

Rev, I dunno. I'm not really a Magic Girl fan, I haven't even watched Sailor Moon. Mostly my introduction was through semi-parody stuff like Magical Project S, and Utena which I'm told is a Magic Girl deconstruction.

And I found Madoka to be one not merely the best Magic Girl anime I've ever seen, but its in my top five best anime ever.
posted by sotonohito at 1:40 PM on January 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

I dunno either -- maybe my group of anime-savvy friends are outliers, but even many of the ones who like Madoka criticize it pretty readily on pretty much the same grounds as I stated above -- and the single person I know who's most critical of the show (to the point where she got annoyed on my behalf that people kept nudging me towards Madoka and not Tutu) is also one of the most serious magical girl fans and almost certainly the one with the broadest base of anime knowledge of the bunch. Heck, even the person who sold me on Madoka likes Tutu better, it's just that I couldn't find a legal stream of Tutu at the time.

Now I'm a bit worried that people are going to try Tutu because of this thread and it won't live up to the hype. BUT NO it is that good, really.

Obviously there are pretty strong differences of opinion, but I don't think they divide neatly along the "magical girl fan/non-magical girl fan" line.
posted by bettafish at 2:35 PM on January 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

The really remarkable thing about Eva-as-deconstruction is that it draws heavily on Gundam ("teenager falls into cockpit of giant robot and achives Destiny"), which was itself a deconstruction of its genre at the time, which had, up to that point, consisted largely of "Good guys good! Bad guys bad! Giant robot saves day!" until Gundam rolled up and was like, yeah, there are people in those there giant robots, and what if the "good guys" side consists largely of human garbage in the rank-and-file, and all of the honorable and decent secondary characters are on the "bad guys" side? Suddenly you had basically the first example of teenage main characters being kind of selfish and not being super gung-ho about it all (with the occasional reminder that the creator was vehemently anti-war), and the moral ambiguity found throughout.

It's not quite the Simpsons Effect of something losing its edge so utterly that it becomes considered safe and harmless (see also: the Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up" used by Microsoft to promote an operating system) but it's definitely evidence of the Watchmen Effect mentioned upthread.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:09 PM on January 1, 2016 [6 favorites]

If anyone is like me and curious about Princess Tutu, it's on amazon prime.

If anyone is like me and sad that they have an Apple TV and thus no native app meaning watching Amazon Prime on my tv is a bit of a pain in the ass, then BOOOOOO HOOOOO.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 3:36 PM on January 1, 2016

Amazon Prime is how I finally watched it -- fair warning that the dub is a little Late 90's (production values are something Madoka does better, by virtue of the show being ten years newer) so give it a few episodes to get used to it.

And now an actual Giant Robot-related question: is the NGE manga worth it? I've watched the original show, no movies or Rebuild, and read the first few volumes of the manga but given their publishing schedule am way behind.
posted by bettafish at 3:56 PM on January 1, 2016

What's the best way to watch NGE? I got a couple of DVDs 15ish years ago, but it didn't feel like it was worth a three digit investment then (when box sets were all expensiveish), and it doesn't look like the situation has improved.

If the final Rebuild movie ever comes out, then watching those will probably be the best way to get into it. Less investment in both money and time than tracking down the TV series, but it covers all the same ground (though it changes details of the plot pretty significantly with Rebuild 3.0).

But there might be some kind of legal anime streaming option for the TV series that I'm not aware of. Or maybe your local library has a copy?
posted by tobascodagama at 4:53 PM on January 1, 2016

Princess Tutu was on Hulu last I checked, but it appears to have been removed. BOO. Go track it down on Amazon Prime or DVD; it is 100% worth it. Happily, Revolutionary Girl Utena streams on Hulu and YouTube.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:17 PM on January 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

bettafish: The only Eva manga I've read was NGE: Angelic Days, which was based on the canon(!) high school AU(!‼) briefly shown in the anime's last episode. I liked the manga, though it's been years since I read it, and I'm sure the "CANON CRACKFIC!" was a major factor in my enjoyment.

"A spinoff series based on a 30-second WTF fantasy sequence from the even-more-WTF final episode? SURE WHY NOT!" I love anime.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:30 PM on January 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

....I had not heard of Angelic Days. Though I know there's lots of weird little side-stories and stuff (I don't remember the plot, but I just love that one of the games was titled Girlfriend of Steel as a pun/mistranslation (heard both) of "Iron Maiden". Because, like, I love that title if it's an intentional pun/joke anyway, because it's pretty great, but like, if it's a mistranslation? That is the GREATEST MISTAKE EVER. And I'm including, you know, penicillin and corn flakes in that.

But anyway, of the non-Anno NGE things, Angelic Days sounds the most interesting. Mainly because of the Canon Crackfic thing like you say. That's the best idea.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 8:34 PM on January 1, 2016

(I should clarify that I'm about 99% sure the mistranslation theory is apocryphal — It's too smart of a twist on 'Iron Maiden' to be likely a mistake/happy accident. I just like the idea of something that perfect being accidental. Sort of like how it'd be amazing if, I don't know, a typewriter fell out of a window and smashed on the pavement, somehow typing out the William Carlos Williams poem you are thinking of right now with perfect spacing both horizontally and vertically on the paper.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 8:43 PM on January 1, 2016

The only way it could be better is if the Angels were also transfer students.

....w.w.w.will... will big-blue-grain-of-salt-senpai notice me?? ~uguuu~
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 8:50 PM on January 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

posted by lucidium at 8:56 PM on January 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

What's the best way to watch NGE?

For my money, release order is the only way to go. Skip the Death and Rebirth movie, it's just a clip show. When watching the End Of Evangelion movie, make sure you're drunk or stoned by the halfway mark, because the ending shoots for a spiritual level, not a logical level.

The Rebuild movies are movies, and deserve a big screen and a kickass sound system. You'll miss a lot of the experience if you watch it on your iPad.

Also, this seems as good time as any to point people to the 4Kids version of the theme song.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 8:57 PM on January 1, 2016 [4 favorites]

Is Attack on Titan as the follow-on to NGE equivalent to Nolan's inexecrable Batman movies as the follow-on to Watchmen?
posted by codacorolla at 8:59 PM on January 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

FWIW, I could never get into AoT, but I know a lot of people whose tastes are otherwise in sync with mine who really dig it? So, uh... MAYBE?!?!?!?

(I liked The Dark Knight though. Didn't see the first one, but hated the third. And I've ever really thought Ra's Al-Ghul's mysticism really "fit" in the Batman universe anyway, so I tend to not really like Ra's stories. And I think Bane is one of the more boring of Batman villains. So, I suppose I probably wouldn't like I since that's all Ra's, I think?)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:08 PM on January 1, 2016

Also, this seems as good time as any to point people to the 4Kids version of the theme song.

See also the bike horn version.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:13 PM on January 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan* is sort of like Eva if the characters were uninteresting, the pacing were slower than DBZ, and the world were just sort of grimdark for its own sake instead of feeling like there's substantial world-building going on.

Why, no, I'm not a particularly big fan of SNK/AoT. Why might you ask?

*see the TV Tropes entry for "blind idiot translation," because this show's title translates to "the advance of the Titans"
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:27 PM on January 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

End of Evangelion was my (serendipitous?) introduction to the series at the age of 14, so while it might not reach for quite the same things psychologically as the end of the series does when taken in whole context, it kinda went there for me as a standalone experience. From a purely technical standpoint, it has some of my favourite impressive animation sequences too.

I have no idea how true it is, but I like the general theory that Anno's Evangelion output is based on him absolutely detesting most of his audience, repeatedly trying to lash out at them, and repeatedly being rewarded with commercial success and merchandise.
posted by lucidium at 9:36 PM on January 1, 2016

Also if we're doing theme songs, Windows 98 Edition.
posted by lucidium at 9:41 PM on January 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Rev Syung Myung Me: Amusingly enough, the NGE Angelic Days (English adaptation title) manga is based on the (dating sim??) videogame you're talking about, even though the game AFAIK was never released in the US! The manga's original title is Shin Seiki Evangelion Koutetsu no Gaarufurendo 2nd, "NGE Girlfriend of Steel / Iron Maiden the 2nd." I choose to believe the pun is intentional.

Apparently there's also a "Raise Your Own NGE Protagonist"-videogame-based spinoff manga, and an Ikari Shinji: Boy Detective spinoff manga, and so on, and so forth... Surely Japan's mobile gaming has an Eva version of Flappy Bird and such by now!
posted by nicebookrack at 11:03 PM on January 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

I never finished more than five or six episodes of NGE. For my money, it was a crappy genre deconstruction; it takes itself way too seriously.

I have the exact opposite complaint; as ponderous as NGE is, I wish it took itself a bit more seriously. NGE, like all mainstream anime, suffers from a terrible affliction I call "anime disease". Symptoms include unnecessary cute animal sidekicks, gratuitous fanservice, and comic relief that is way more embarassing than funny, often accompanied by childish flourishes in art style (flailing limbs, chibi bodies, giant sweat drops, faucet tears, etc). NGE is not as badly infected as many other series, but when it comes to drama, any amount of anime disease is too much. It completely undermines any attempts at maintaining gravitas. It's a ubiquitous convention that needs to just fucking die already.

As for the angstiness, I defer to a comment made years ago by khaitit, who noted that it takes someone with a history of depression to understand and appreciate Shinji's emotional turmoil. You either get it or you don't.

There are a few moments in the series that stand out as some of the most memorable scenes I've experienced in any genre. Episode 19 in particular--holy hell. Unit 02 amputated and decapitated. Rei sacrifing herself with an N2 mine. Kaji watering the garden at the end of the world. Central Dogma penetrated. Unit 01 killing and then eating the corpse of the angel like a primordial beast. Up until that point, the writers had thoroughly established the "rules" for the series, then in 20 minutes they overturned everything. I have a tremendous amount of respect for that.

I loved the first half of The End of Evangelion. It was perfect. The second half... I mostly like to pretend that didn't happen, similar to how I block out memories of Episode 26.
posted by dephlogisticated at 11:09 PM on January 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

Ok, if we're doing theme songs...

Many Japanese towns play a chime at 5 PM, which serves to make sure the disaster announcement speakers are functional, and also to warn children that it will be dark soon and they should probably head home. At least one town thought the Evangelion theme song was a good choice.
posted by davejh at 11:37 PM on January 1, 2016 [3 favorites]

OMG, davejh, that video deserves a FPP all its own. That speaker chime is adorable!

Now I'm left wondering whether the Japanese city's intrepid speaker managers designed the Eva theme chime (MIDI?) themselves, or whether there's a digital market in which you can buy various disaster announcement speaker chimes, like custom phone ringtones.
posted by nicebookrack at 1:52 AM on January 2, 2016


I demand a FPP, davejh, it must be done
posted by nicebookrack at 1:56 AM on January 2, 2016

FRÈRE JACQUES okay I'm stopping now
posted by nicebookrack at 2:20 AM on January 2, 2016

I'm not a big !magic girl aficianado either but I find Madoka Magica to be a little generic-feeling. I like the preimse and ilke the life-anddeath seriousness, and I loved the emotional reorientation that came in the last couple episodes (not the first twist, which didnt feel that surprising to me, but the second twist -- that hurt good). But in between that stuff it felt kind of filler-y, repetitive, flat. The videogameish elaboration of the premise didn't work for me either, and I love videogames.

From my experience with Urobochi these are his strengths and weaknesses. Psychopass had a lot of heavy hits and I loved the seriousness with which it treated its premise and world building. I love whats-her-name, the protagonist's arc. But a lot about the show felt flat and generic. It's a bit the styling, a bit the storytelling, a bit the plot. There's a lot of great !material but, also, a lot that doesn't rise to the level of excellence.
posted by grobstein at 9:10 AM on January 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

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