[EVA] Moura interviews with Gainax people & others
sun1jack at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 16 02:48:20 EST 2009
> .....the soul-stuff in Eva seemed more about just wacky scifi plot mechanics.
Evangelion is a series where the existence of the soul is proven and a major plot point. Just because it's inconvenient for your personal theory to accept that a major element of the series mythos is dependent on the existence of the human soul, doesn't mean you can brush under the rug as "wacky scifi." It's a soul. Yui's SOUL is stuck in Eva 01, where she's achieved immortality. You can't say "There's no religion in EVA!" and ignore that the human soul can be measured. And stored apparently.
When I explain Evangelion to people who have questions about the series mythos, I tend to say "They're just codenamed Angels" even though that's not entirely true, because English-speaking fans tend to take the show at face value. And unless you tell them otherwise, many will assume that when the show says Lillith, it means Lillith. When it says Angels, well, that's just what they are.
Terminology has meaning associated with it. Gainax mainly used the Judeo-Christian imagery for the coolness factor. Cross explosions and mysterious symbols and foreign-sounding names. However, it wasn't as if they just drew names from a hat. There are some interesting things we can learn from the specific names chosen. Most of it is irrelevant, such as the Angel names, but there is something to be said about the little details. Marduk for example. (Not Judeo-Christian, but still relevant!)
While assuming that the path towards understanding Evangelion lies through deciphering the religious imagery is erroneous, it's still an interesting path to walk down. There's something to be said about wanting to take the symbolism and totally run with it. The Essens fabricated the Dead Sea Scrolls to cover up the Secret Dead Sea Scrolls. Is Christianity in the EVA universe entirely a fraud designed to hide the truth? Is the cross designed after the explosion pattern, which the same people whose prophecies foretold when the Angels would rise again knew of? Was Longinus a servant of Lillith who came to Earth with her in the Black Moon? Or the one who discovered her Spear? This is all complete conjecture, totally irrelevant to the plot of Evangelion, but it's interesting to think about.
It's easy to say "Religion is irrelevant to Evangelion" as a blanket statement. But it isn't entirely accurate. Seele approaches Complementation as a religion. The idea that humanity's souls are fragmented and broke is the core of the TV Ending. Really, I'd be more comfortable saying that Evangelion is more philosophical and spiritual than religious (Which is pretty befitting the generally atheistic nature of Japanese society), but we can't ignore the religious aspects of the show just because it's easier.
Just have to put it all in perspective.
> You are arguing for a fandom based on mob-ocracy and herd mentality.
As opposed to a totalitarian fandom based on cult of personality? Fandom is fun. People participate because they enjoy it. It's a hobby we engage in
> The goal is going to be to "narrow down" the hard questions; few major fandoms have ever been able to
> definitively answer EVERY question, but they can at least get it as close as possible.
For most part that job's been done already. There's a few cases of series mythos discussion that we're never going to get answers for: "Why 14-year-olds? Who is in Unit 03? Why did Unit 00 go berserk? Just who killed Kaji anyways?" And some production questions we'll never come to a consensus on: "TV and Movie endings, two sides of the same coin or alternate universes? Why did only one cut in TV 25' get changed?"
> Some people watching Eva casually don't have a clue what's going on one way or the other.
This is true. There are many people who watch Eva because there are sexy women and big explosions, fun fight scenes and the cutest penguin ever. There are people who aren't used to series that deconstruct genre, that pretend to be about giant robots but are really about interpersonal relationships and how we all have mother issues, and it's easy to not get what's going on in Evangelion if you aren't watching intently since so much is explained only in short little easily missed scenes.
If you just watched the TV series, and then moved on to the films, you would have no way at all of understanding 26' unless you caught a brief flash of imagery in Death. Evangelion was not designed to be easily understood. Gainax knows what they were doing (mostly) and Eva's storytelling was done in the vogue for the time. Just as their contemporary series, the X-Files made a habit of not explaining anything until they absolutely had to, Evangelion was also a series about conspiracies and secrets that held their cards close until the very end.
A lot of fans don't end up getting Evangelion as anything more than a cool show about giant robots and alien monsters. Which is perfectly fine. Gainax designed the show to be enjoyable on multiple levels.
> agree, but the problem is that there is a line between "interpretation"
> and "essentially fanfiction", which has been blurred.
I think the issue you're running into here is that most folks are going "Uh, when did that happen?" You have much stricter standards for what counts as "essentially fanfiction" than everyone else seems to.
> You mention this alot so I want to point this out: by the logic of "everyone is entitled to their opinion"...in V for Vendetta, was Norsefire "entitled to their opinion?" Is the Joker in The Dark Knight "entitled to his opinion?
Yes. But having an opinion and acting upon it are two very different things, which you seem to conflate. The Joker can have anarchistic thoughts. He can tell people his philosophy all he wants. It's a messed up philosophy, and one I disagree with, but he has the right to tell it to people. He doesn't have the right to kill, to harm others. And philosophy in and of it self does not do so.
> but massive, wide-scale misinterpretation of Eva affects us all.
Does it really? I for one haven't been harmed by people thinking that Asuka and Rei merged into Reiska at the end of Magokoro wo Kimi Ni. Sure, it means that people have the wrong idea about a TV series. And heck, it's annoying. But you really take the idea of "People are enjoying Evangelion incorrectly!" personally.
> Particularly because the franchise is continuing in new ways (Live action? Well, Rebuild) so it's not just static and in the past.
Sigh. I still haven't seen Rebuild yet. Darn Funimation for announcing they had the rights so that I can't be morally justified in getting fansubs! (No guys, not really. Y'all rock.)
> Sir, you insult Tolkien fandom.
I do. I'll do it again. Tolkien fandom had a great opportunity to reach out to fans of the movies and draw them in. They as a whole chose to segregate themselves, and make it harder for new fans to get into the fandom. It has the reputation for being insular, and cliquish.
> The fact that LOTR fandom looks down on wild theorization and porn
> fanart, and instead treats it as a major literary work (but in a zany
> way) doesn't make them "unfriendly"....it makes them men of wealth and
Condescending elitist jerks then. Wealth? They're richer people because they're better than the "common" fan?
> ...that's very interesting. Did he say anything else?
We had a conversation. About his work on the script. (Mainly double checking the EVA terminology, doing a good once-over on everything in general) and about how the precise place on the Kabbalah that Shinji is on relates to the plot. He was very big on Mesopotamian stuff, using Marduk as an excuse to get there. The topic then drifted to Promethea (and I forgive Taliesin for all his sins because he promoted Promethea on the Eva commentary, hopefully sending more fans towards my favorite comic of all time.) and then I excused myself to talk to Tiffany Grant, who I performed the entirety of the Drama Track from memory for, leading her to cry out "NOOOO!" when I got to the point where Rei slaps Asuka silly. She's great fun. (Also talked shop with Amanda, mainly going "We can haz Drama Track Dub?" and her going "I really really want to.")
> one of my stated goals is to utterly discredit Taliesin Jaffe to the
> point that no one considers him an Evangelion expert ever
> again....because that's the truth.
He's a decent guy. As a professional fandom journalist, I've learned that it's a lot harder to keep angry at someone who you've met in person and talked to. Taliesin loves Evangelion. He's a fan. Sure, he managed to not know some basic elements of the series production that just watching the credits would have given him (Yes, those ARE the seiyuu in the live action sequence!) but I hold no animosity towards him. He's just a guy.
"V", you take Evangelion extremely seriously. You are the Evangelion Otaking.
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