[EVA] Moura interviews with Gainax people & others
frumious99 at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 15 22:48:07 EST 2009
...you're literally, openly stating that you believe what I accuse you of believing? No I don't mean the religion stuff;
I mean you're openly saying you think that "Evangelion fandom interpretation" is a dichotomy between "those who accept that it was about religion, and those who reject the series and think it was just lots of shiny splosions about nothing"
Eva wasn't about religion, it was a social commentary and pop psychology.
*that* is the ReVolution.
--- On Tue, 12/15/09, Aaron Clark <aaronc1 at umbc.edu> wrote:
From: Aaron Clark <aaronc1 at umbc.edu>
Subject: Re: [EVA] Moura interviews with Gainax people & others
To: once at ix.netcom.com, "The english-language evangelion mailing list." <evangelion at eva.onegeek.org>
Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 10:16 PM
This is exactly how I feel on the subject. I'd also add that if you
devalue the religious substance of Evangelion, you devalue the work as a
whole. If the religious elements mean nothing, then the show means
nothing, and we're all just wasting our time here.
Carl Horn, why haven't YOU written a book about Evangelion yet?
>>We have, at my last count, 4 citations for religion-is-unimportant:
>>1. Tsurumaki, Otakon 2001
>>2. Hiroki Sato, of Gainax PR
>>3. Anno, by way of Toshio Okada
>>4. Anno, on the TV show 'Top' whatever
>>5. Anno, inferring from 'Hideaki Anno Talks to Kids' ('I chose the
>>name because it sounded complex' iirc)
> But Peter has an excellent and all-too-obvious point. Never mind the
> themes or the symbology a moment. The *plot* of the show involves human
> beings who fight creatures called Angels, and seek to find and exploit
> divine power. This is the mechanism, the conflict that drives the series
> from one episode to another. SEELE turns on NERV (or vice-versa) over the
> exploitation of this power, which is seen as divine.
> Yes, there has been documentation after the fact that explains this in
> terms of aliens. But that is not how the characters themselves see it
> within the story of EVANGELION.
> You would think that people dealing in science and advanced technology
> such as Gendo and Fuyutsuki would say, "Of course, it's unscientific to
> speak of God, original sin, Angels, and such, in researching these strange
> creatures." But they do, constantly. They could just give all these
> phenomena something more scientific-sounding, like a Latin name or
> "Antarctic Anomaly-1." But they don't. Instead, apparently without
> prompting, they choose to call all these things by religious names, and
> act as if what they are researching involves some mysterious realm of
> divine power, instead of simply calling them unknown life forms and
> sticking to the language of biology.
> By contrast, in another Anno-directed SF series, GUNBUSTER, humanity
> encounters giant, hostile, uncommunicative creatures too, but doesn't go
> around calling them by names from medieval Kabbalists, or name its space
> ships after the Gospel, or call their special attack weapons after holy
> relics, or call this fight a struggle between man and God.
> Bear in mind that EVA's characters are not living in the medieval era,
> where it would be the conceptual default, even among learned men, to
> describe mysterious forces and conflicts in religious terms, since
> scientific ones would not yet be available. On the contrary, they are
> portrayed as modern, scientific people with advanced technology. Why do
> such characters choose to use all this religious terminology, then? They
> don't seem to be doing it because "it sounds cool;" they seem to really
> believe it's appropriate within the logic of their own story.
> If Evangelion were a story about tennis, and Misato wore a cross necklace,
> then it would be reasonable to say religion is unimportant in the series.
> But it's about humans who themselves seem to believe that they are
> challenging a higher, divine order of some sort. That's how they
> themselves talk about it, even if they use scientific and technological
> methods in their struggle. Just as if Gainax didn't intend EVA's
> characters to be sexualized, they shouldn't have written in all that fan
> service, if they didn't intend that people see religion in the show, they
> shouldn't have written a climactic scene where a divine being that looks
> like a man allows himself, for the sake of saving humanity, to be killed
> before a cross with a crucified being and a "Spear of Longinus" stuck into
> it. That was no fanfic.
> Well, how does this square with what Anno and Tsurumaki have said? If what
> they meant was that Gainax is not C.S. Lewis, and EVA isn't NARNIA, and
> this is not someone writing an allegory of their own, actual religious
> beliefs, it makes sense to me. In other words, they don't personally have
> a message of faith that they're trying to send out to the audience. But to
> say that religion is irrelevant as a *literary or thematic device* in
> EVANGELION would require one to ignore the way many of its characters see
> their own story. Certainly they seem to see and believe this is a conflict
> between man's place and God's, and that's how Gainax wrote the story.
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