A selection of posts by me (Reichu), which are mostly from reddit, given the difficulty relocating older comments. These are being collected here mostly for my own purposes (eventual incorporation of my various thoughts and ideas into the EG-Wiki, where appropriate), but this page could also be enjoyed on its own merits, I suppose, by anyone who finds my rambling worth reading. For the latter reason, I've included it in the "Theory & Analysis" category. Just keep in mind that, due to the fact that these were not written for encyclopedic purposes, the tone may be highly informal and include casual profanity here and there.
- 1 Character Stuff
- 2 Metaphysics Stuff
- 3 Technology (Other) Stuff
- 4 Themes & Symbolism
Why is Manga Gendo the Worst Gendo?
Sadamoto ruins lovely material like showing Gendo at his most vulnerable by having him also be a cartoon villain who eats a goddamned embryo (making sure he grins evilly first) and who isn't scared of Shinji but is JEALOUS of him, cuz how dare your mother not give me all the attention and love! This is the antithesis of True Gendo, if you know anything about his relationship with human affection.
would you mind expanding on the last sentence?
I will readily admit that I haven't analyzed manga!Gendo that much, because I just don't find the manga's take on things that interesting in and of itself. But before writing this, I at least made sure to re-read most of the relevant parts of the manga, to reduce the chances of a blatant memory-lapse mistake.
The divergences that Sadamoto has made with the character, not only via additional material but also by altering some (most? all?) of Gendo's most revealing moments in the anime, yield a result that is, in my eyes, similar to the original in only the most superficial way. The final reveal about why he was a shit father to his own son is case in point. Manga!Gendo tells Shinji to his face that he never loved him because "[he] took Yui's love for [himself]". Yup, he's such a petty asshole that he's jealous of his own fucking child because his wife was, unlike himself, being an actual parent. Oh, and he also blames God for "taking Yui away", even though -- whomp whomp! -- that's something that Yui did because she wanted to!^1
In the anime, however... Gendo, before his death, candidly confesses that the problem was with him, not Shinji.
When I'm with Shinji, I only hurt him. So, it's better that I do nothing.
He hates himself and hides behind his A.T. Field so that he doesn't have to deal with the interpersonal pain he's certain that his wretched and undeserving soul will bring to himself and others.^2 Anime!Gendo's selfish, ruthless behavior may superficially seem the same as manga!Gendo's, but when their psychologies are taken into account, it seems to me we're dealing with similar outcomes born from totally different emotional foundations. One man is sad because he believes he doesn't deserve anything; the other is mad because he doesn't have what he thinks he deserves. The former is powered by anxiety and desperation, and the latter by entitlement and envy.
The way the two men respectively go out really highlights the differences. Sadamoto had Gendo confess his ugly heart in an earlier, manga-only sequence, freeing up his death scene for the sole purpose of having Yui de-Grinch-ify him with memories of what a precious little baby Shin-chan was. Make Gendo a petty asshole, and then "redeem" him by having his heart warmed, right before his body goes cold, with cheap sentimentality^3. And then he appears as a Force Ghost later on and pretends to be a dad again for a moment, or something. Anno's Gendo goes out with a very quick and to-the-point sequence that eschews the mushy stuff for puzzling brutality. There's no real agreement on what happened there, but I'm on Team "Yui acts as his spirit guide and provides what his self-loathing heart desires most in the form of a violent, gruesome death". (With the silver lining that said death is dealt via eating -- which, as a form of internalization, is an incredibly intimate form of violence, and delivers upon Gendo's wish to be with Yui forever in ironic fashion.)
(1) Sadamoto has to justify this by making Fuyutsuki a petty, jealous asshole as well, one who never told Gendo the truth about Yui's planned absorption because he enjoyed watching the guy who got the girl instead of him suffer. Fuyutsuki in the anime was much more honorable, keeping Yui's confidences at least long enough so she could get absorbed without Gendo stopping her (as he obviously would have if he knew what her plans had been), but by the time EoE happens the fact she did it willingly is common knowledge between them (evidenced by Fuyutsuki referencing the fact -- with the enigmatic casualness characteristic of his exchanges with Gendo -- near the beginning of EoE).
(2) It's interesting that he makes an exception for Yui -- not only in that the relationship happened in the first place, but that once he "loses" her he doesn't justify the loss away with "Well, I never deserved to have her anyway, because I'm a piece of shit who can't be loved". Instead, he believes so completely in his bond with her that he will do anything just to hang out as a disembodied soul in his wife's body for all eternity. I feel this is less an oversight than a testament to how people are genuinely complicated and paradoxical.
(3) Well, that's how it came across to me. Your mileage will vary, of course.
Unexplained presence in EoE
Kaworu's head lands in the LCL at the base of Lilith's cross, so assuming the rest of his body was destroyed and he has no explicit core, his head is where his soul would remain fixed. Lilith ends up dropping into that very LCL and expanding in size. Presumably Kaworu's head is absorbed at this time. Adam is certainly there in EoE, not only appearing as part of Lilith and before Gendo but speaking toward the end.
Source: Mon Jul 10 09:15:01 2017 UTC
Ultimate Fate and Bookend Reis
I figure she finally died like she always wanted. The brief appearance at the end (not a ghost -- it has a shadow) is, I assume, a projection of super-Lilith from the time of 3I, and not a representation of Rei's state in the future. She was able to create billions of mini-mes around the world simultaneously, and if space is so minor an obstacle what is time on top of that? Hence strategically placed mini-mes shortly before Rei fused back into Lilith, and also the two "bookends".
"Bookend Rei"[, for those who aren't already aware,] is a term in the fan jargon referring to two mysterious, mirrored Rei appearances:
- At the beginning of episode 1, Rei is briefly seen standing in the middle of the street of the evacuated city. Shinji looks away for a second, and of course Rei has disappeared. Logically speaking, this sighting makes no sense, since at this moment in time Rei is still heavily wounded by the Eva-00 activation incident and can barely move.
- The other bookend is the one seen in the movie's final scene, hovering over the ocean for a moment before disappearing, this time before Shinji's very eyes (and not, conveniently, while he looks away). This one logically doesn't make much sense either, since Rei's body was absorbed back into Lilith, and the Rei-shaped giga-Lilith is resting in pieces. Were it meant to imply that Rei had recreated her Lilin body from the LCL, she likely wouldn't have immediately vanished after appearing, since teleportation isn't an ability that Rei exhibited prior to her Ascension.
I think these bookended appearances can be explained as manifestations of giga-Lilith, as noted [previously], but what I'm not as certain about is what they're meant to represent as visual narrative devices. This is probably as it should be, since NGE gains much of its power from its interpretive open-endedness. We're meant to feel certain about very little!
I haven't thought about this particular topic in a while, so at this point I'll take a break and let my mind catch up.
Earth's oceans are not a hivemind!
[Image of Asuka standing in the red ocean from EoE's final scene] She's knee-deep in 90% of the human race liquified into a collective conciousness.
They're not collective at that point.
Wasn't the idea that instrumentality liquified everyone and only some chose to come back?
Third Impact liquified all life, but THEN Lilith collected all of the human souls into the Chamber of Guf for Instrumentality. The HIP side of things basically happened in a spiritual dimension parallel to our physical one. When Shinji rejects Instrumentality, the souls are ejected from the Black Moon back to Earth, where they can reembody at any time.
The idea that HIP happened in the physical oceans of Earth and is still happening at the end of the movie is so persistent that I really need to make an infographic laying everything out.
No more individuals?
If there is no more individuality, how can individuals choose to return when there are no more individuals to do any choosing......
My sense is that Instrumentality was stopped before the effects were permanent. (But possibly not long before -- Lilith starts dying before the final choice is made...) As a result, the restoration of everyone's A.T. Fields also restores the possibility that everyone will, in time, remember who they had once been ("imagine themselves in their own hearts"). It's through separation, after all, that conformation can be blocked and differences nurtured.
Original: Sat Apr 29 22:10:07 2017 UTC
Technology (Other) Stuff
Whatever the hell it is, it seems to be linked to the Adams in some intimate way. Eva-01 -- who probably has the body of an Adam, but not the original core -- is able to get the thing up and running. Mark.09, which is an "Adams' Vessel" and is probably the disembodied core of an Adam reconstituted into an independent being (...somehow; these movies are fucking weird, man) is called the Wunder's true master by Ritsuko and is able to take control away from Eva-01 until it's destroyed.
Japanese is usually vague a.f. when it comes to numbers, so Ritsuko's comment could have meant that Adams' Vessels -- which I'm just gonna keep assuming are the original Adams' cores, because I've got absolutely NOTHING else right now -- in general are the Wunder's masters. Any of them, not just Mark.09 specifically. The ship can be tricked by a counterfeit (Eva-01's core), but at the end of the day it will always default to the real deal.
I have absolutely no idea where Anno & Friends might be going with all of this and I frankly don't wanna know until the time comes. I HOPE MY BODY CAN TAKE IT!
Themes & Symbolism
Seven's Significance (Seele Symbol)
The number "seven" comes up a lot in the Bible. (A LOT.) Since Seele's logo uses seven eyes specifically, it appears to be a reference specifically to this:
|“||Revelation 5:6 -
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
The meaning of the "eyes" is hinted at in NGE2 for PSP when Kaworu, in one of his possible endings, learns that there are seven Seeds of Life total. The First Ancestral Race hold a symbolic status as "God" due to their role in spreading human life throughout the galaxy, so the Seeds of Life being the "Seven Spirits of God" fits quite nicely. Also, because the FAR went extinct in order to fill their Seeds' Chambers of Gufs, the Seeds now act as the FAR's eyes.
The idea of "God" is referenced further in Seele's logo by the triangle(s) behind the eye. The triangle has three corners, signifying the Trinity; and furthermore, a line down the middle of the triangle divides it into two smaller ones, for a total of three.
Original: Wed Jun 21 04:42:12 2017 UTC
"They don't mean anything, Anno even said so!"
I simply can't believe that Anno just put everything there, just "to look cool".
Fortunately, you don't have to. Those words came from a statement by one of Anno's right-hand-men, Kazuya Tsurumaki, and not Anno himself.
There are a lot of giant robot shows in Japan, and we did want our story to have a religious theme to help distinguish us. Because Christianity is an uncommon religion in Japan we thought it would be mysterious. None of the staff who worked on Eva are Christians. There is no actual Christian meaning to the show, we just thought the visual symbols of Christianity look cool. If we had known the show would get distributed in the US and Europe we might have rethought that choice.
(But, of course, when Eva was revisited with the new films, they only doubled down on the Judeo-Christian references!)
Anno's own explanation for the use of these references basically boils down to "pedantry" -- showing off his knowledge. You can read more here.
In any case, the initial motivation for dipping into a particular reference pool, and the form those references take when integrated into the final creative product, are two very different things that are all too commonly conflated. Having done some reading on Jewish mysticism, including Kabbalah, myself, the way NGE puts the ideas to use for its own purposes is actually very creative and exhibits a deep understanding of some rather obscure (especially at the time) concepts. The more I learn about the various sources of inspiration, the more lucid various aspects of NGE which had been previously inscrutable become. Some of the symbolism is fairly fluffy, yes, but some of it runs very deep.
In years past, there was a great need to combat overzealous fans who came up with nonsense that took the esoteric references too much to heart (e.g.: the Angels are actual angels, Adam and Lilith are the actual Adam and Lilith, and so forth), but it appears that the fan base has overcorrected too far in the opposite direction. Faced with the suggestion that anything esoterically inspired might have symbolic weight within the show itself, far too many regurgitate some variation of, "IT DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING; EAT OUT-OF-CONTEXT QUOTE!" A bit of discrimination goes a long way.
Original: Sun Apr 30 01:15:43 2017 UTC