Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Thu, 09 Mar 2000 18:51:45 -0800


CT Chin writes,

> The
> upshot is that these "realistic" mechas can become mystical world-changing
> Gods, kind of make the whole "super robots" thing looks rather meagre,
> huh?

  Sure does. I was a little surprised that Turn A is heading in this
direction, but after the way Tomino pulled everything together at the end of
Brain Powered, I'll give the man credit and see how he resolves this series.

> Does Tomino has a "beat NGE" obessesion? Seems like everything he's done
> since NGE (BP, Garasaki, Turn-A) is competing with NGE in some way.

  Gasaraki wasn't a Tomino show - it was by his peer Ryosuke Takahashi,
creator of Votoms, Dougram, and Layzner.

  As for Brain Powered, I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about its
relation to Evangelion. Taken as a whole, it really is a "response" to
Evangelion, but not on the superficial level of cosmic catastrophe, wacky
spirituality, and mind-blowing special effects. (After Ideon, Tomino has
nothing to prove in this area.) Rather, it's a challenge to the _real_ theme
of Evangelion, which I'd sum up as "everybody is screwed up by their rotten
childhoods and can't ever get the hell over it, even if it means the end of
the world." In interviews, Tomino's expressed his horror at Eva's
nihilistic, self-pitying message, and to the extent that Brain Powered is a
reaction to Evangelion, I'd say it's responding to this aspect of the
series.*

  *Tomino claims that he started planning Brain Powered before Evangelion
came out, but while working on the series, he saw Eva and Princess Mononoke
and admits to being somewhat influenced by both. Certainly, Mononoke's
fairytale ecological parable seems like the sort of thing that would
interest Tomino, but it too has a streak of fatalism - mankind and nature
can never coexist, one must conquer the other - that's distinctly lacking
from Tomino's newest work.

  Since I've only seen eight eps of Turn A, I can't yet say what its theme
seems to be. Certainly, Brain Powered's only came together in the last few
episodes, and Turn A is still three episodes away from its conclusion. I'm
looking forward to seeing the completed series...

-- Mark

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