garrick lee (goner4sure@yahoo.com)
Mon, 13 Mar 2000 06:32:44 -0800 (PST)


> Depends on what you expect from an anime show. Eva
> just happened to be a not-so-original idea/story
> presented as anime, which was never done before,
> and people get uncomfortable because they still have
> certain expectations of anime, just like how some
> people think toons are for kids. When "Being John
> Malkovich" came out, certain critics put it down for
> being original and new but offering nothing by way
> of good storytelling. People who's seen more indie
> and experimental films were just laughing their
> asses off at the dissmissive comments. If the Eva
> story was being presented as a live action film,
> people will probably find it easier to accept.

my problems with eva stem mostly from why and how it
was made. it promised too much, tried too hard, and
failed to deliver all of the goods (more on eva
below). g wing, otoh, doesn't raise a viewer's
expectations to unreal levels (it doesn't even seem to
try to...until you watch it again and pay attention to
the character motives). ok, maybe i should blame
propaganda for that.

>
> If Anno's goal with Eva is to break the taboo and
> encourage discussions on certain topics, the show
> certainly delivered - when people talk about Eva,
> they don't waste their time arguing about who's
> cuter than the rest of the characters, who should
> be a couple, etc. They get down to the show's
> ambiguities and what's going on in the character's
> heads. That alone was a bigger accomplishment than
> what Wing did.

that is true. while i personally didn't like
evangelion, i have all the respect for it (besides, i
can't find it in me to bash something that someone put
so much heart into -- that kind of dedication to story
and sincerity is hard to come by).

when it comes to discussion, evangelion has a minimum
mental age requirement :P. (have to wonder about
hentai eva running rampant all around, though...)

>
> In fact, I read that Evangelion was a byproduct of
> Anno's self-excorcism. He basically locked himself
> away and slaved on the series during a depression
> and used work to get over it. The show got to be
> so huge probably has something to do with how it
> resonates with so many people, but I don't think he
> really made the show with the goal of appealing to
> the broadest audience possible.

hmm...i once summed up my dislike for eva as
"pretentious philosophying", "overblown angst", and
"stilted spiritualism/religion". when a penguin is a
show's most likeable character (for me, anyway...),
something's awry. :P

the bottom line for me: did anno really have to
divulge all that angst and depression in so
transparent a way? what exactly is he trying to say?
if he weren't chronic depressive, my first reaction to
eva (and the many implied messages of eva) would be
"sheeit happens in everyone's lives, and not just
yours, so suck it in and grow up". but, out of
respect for anno (and the fact that no one, including
me, really knows what he's saying), i'm withholding
permanent judgement on eva.

when they say depression and angst are great catalysts
for artwork (and lit), they neglected to say that it
cuts both ways. there's a line between good drama
wrought from a worthy source of angst and whining --
evangelion stepped back and forth between that line
many many times.

the sophistry in evangelion was almost...fake and
plastic, to me. if anything, it felt like a hodge
podge of random personal-principles-in-life thrown in.
 the religious bashing in eva smells of the kind of
transition that a person goes through when s/he's just
lost his religion. to borrow from the gay linggo --
sort of a "flaming" stage for religion (correct me if
i'm wrong, i don't understand the gay culture. heck i
don't even understand women...:P).

how did i find the characters? well, with the
exception of toji and kensuke, they were all such
screwballs. one of the big themes in eva seems to be
childhood neglect/abuse (shinji, misato, ritsuko) and
the web of inter-human relationships. while i find
that a valid source for character depth, it gets crazy
and really banal when it becomes the pivot for the
whole series (everyone's got the same problem) and the
salvation of humanity. urgh.

so...basically, what i'm saying is: all the food for
thought in the evangelion value meal has been better
cooked and better served (albeit separately) before in
other recipes.

eva mech designs...never liked 'em. the organic beast
idea would have earned a yawn from me, if not for the
soulful (pun) AI they use. (is shinji basically
piloting his mom?) the low energy capacity for the
eva's is a big step down from what i'm used to
(gundams and valkyries on infinite power). :P

>
> >re: g gundam, nanotech, ultimate gundam.
> >
> >eddie, i didn't catch the "ultimate gundam" name
> for
> >the devil gundam. i'm going to cop out and blame
> our
> >filipino dub on this one. :P they've always
> called
> >that beast "gundam da devil".
>
> Hey, that might just be the case. But now you know
> what they've been omitting.
>
> >mark: yes, the plot twists in g gundam were very
> >reminscent of super robo plot twists. i'm still
> not
> >sure what to make of them, however. the feeling
> one
> >gets is of having the rug pulled out from under
> you,
> >as the show pulls out all the stops.
>
> Then you'll probably hate these recent movies:
>
> - The Six Sense
>
> - Reindeer Games
>
> - Fight Club
>
> - Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (if you saw
> the first one)

hmm...out of those you mentioned, i only watched the
sixth sense. the ending also pulled the rug out of
me, but it was a rug that i willingly stepped on (that
i shouldn't have) in the first place.

the movie placed visual clues by NOT placing visual
clues. after bruce willis' character was shot, there
was a virtual absence of human-to-human interaction.
how they avoided showing bruce willis ever talking to
other humans is brilliant. but also very stupid, if
you reflect on it -- you're to assume that bruce
willis' character doesn't exist off screen (what does
he do when he's not with the little boy?), and that he
doesn't know it? in the end, the sham, the unspoken
lies, and the hidden truths that the movie throws at
you is brilliant. but it is so silly and annoying, in
retrospect.

in g gundam, there was a complete lack of clues
whatsoever. a viewer would have been completely
justified in assuming that master asia was a noble
character fallen from grace for no other reason than
greed and thirst for power.

oops, forgot the spoiler space....:P

s
p
o
i
l
e
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s
p
a
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e
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g
u
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d
a
m

where was i? oh yes -- the assumption that master
asia was a good guy gone bad for power and greed. or
that he was corrupted by the digicells of the ultimate
gundam gone bad. the latter is a perfectly acceptable
conclusion, since the show tosses us several gundam
fighters who were doomed by the digicells.

who woulda thought that master asia was a frikkin'
tree hugger??? and that the devil gundam was every
tree hugger's wet dream come true? arrrgh!!! when
the true motives of the characters are revealed, and
when the real plot is unveiled, you wonder why the
characters are nothing like you've been lead to
believe.

it's like the carpet pulled out from under you (it was
only a small rug in the sixth sense). you had no
choice but to step on the carpet the moment you
entered the room.

not to say i dislike the story and method -- it's a
refreshing take on the megalomanic politics of war
stories. i'm just digruntled at being taken for a
roller coaster ride.

-garrick
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