[EVA] Evangelion is not "endlessly re-interpretable"

Codename V revolutionofevangelion_dot_org at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 2 17:13:36 EDT 2010

It is indeed probable, Gwern, that "Evangelion Proposal" was not so much "the 
original outline, set in stone"....so much as what you might call a "snapshot" 
of what their ideas were at the time.

Particularly, its not even so much that their ideas were solid...but that they 
had to put SOMETHING down to tell the producers.  The whole point of "proposal" 
was to shop around the show to the investors and networks, which is hard to do 
when its still a shifting, seething mass of ideas.

But this is nothing new; we always knew that their ideas for the show were in a 
constant state of flux.

but that can be true of many books/movies/TV shows, its just that anime that 
late in production is usually more solidified.

"Eva Proposal" might not really have been a big, definitive "Outline" - a 
keyframe storyboard of the entire series -- just a random smattering of loosely 
what they thought the series was like a given *month* in 1993 or so, when they 
"ran out of time and had to hand in something to the teacher" as it were.

It is correct that we shouldn't treat it as definitive, it was always just a 
rough guess.

Nonetheless, it does provide good evidence that such ideas were *vaguely being 
thrown around* as "the First Ancestral Race", that kind of thing.  The idea that 
"Angels are literally being sent by a Judeo-Christian God" is increasingly 
discredited by this evidence; they're just aliens buried underground for years 
in the antarctic (Sadamoto even said the show just ripped off that part from 
Devilman, etc.)

....basically, I think we should treat Eva Proposal like a random sampling of 
JRR Tolkien's notes from his study, providing a crude outline on Lord of the 
Rings made from an early draft in say, 1940 (he was writing from 1937-1954).  
Was this a "definitive outline"?  Heck no.  In fact, if you were to ask him, 
he'd be openly surprised that you thought he had a firm idea of the story that 
early in the writing process.  These were just loose ideas he jotted down in a 
VERY "early build" of the design phase.  *Nonetheless*, we can see evidence of 
major ideas which happened later, confirmed to be present since the beginning 
(i.e. people accused Tolkien of writing LOTR about WWII and nuclear 
weapons...his response was that he started in 1937, and early notes confirm that 
central plot elements like the Ring Quest were in development long before the 
nuclear bombs in 1945)).  

From: Gwern Branwen <gwern0 at gmail.com>
To: The english-language evangelion mailing list. <evangelion at eva.onegeek.org>
Sent: Sat, October 2, 2010 3:50:15 PM
Subject: Re: [EVA] Evangelion is not "endlessly re-interpretable"

On Sat, Oct 2, 2010 at 3:17 PM, SSD <sailorstardust at evageeks.org> wrote:
>>Isn't it the other way around? the anime series was based off the manga?
> According to Sadamoto, he used the anime series as a base when creating the
> manga: http://wiki.evageeks.org/Neon_Genesis_Evangelion_%28manga%29(Although
> the manga was released first, the anime was produced first, as I
> understand it.)
> Also, Yamaga didn't even seem to know what Proposal *was* when NaveryW
> mentioned it to him: http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?t=9158 Also
> possibly relevant: http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?t=9421
> ~SSD

It's worth noting that the proposal doesn't seem to have been
particularly important to Gainaxers or dignified a capitalized name. I
mentioned earlier that I had looked through _The Notenki Memoirs_ and
found what could well have been the Proposal - but it's so unimportant
to Takeda that one cannot tell for certain and he only mentions it
because it involved an unusual trip. Given Yamaga's sieve-like memory,
his uncertainty is what one ought to expect (him remembering it would
be surprising and suspicious to me, like his answer to 'whose soul is
in Eva 0').

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