[EVA] "Aesthetics of Destruction: Music and the Worldview of Shinji Ikari in 'Neon Genesis Evangelion'", Hoffer 2012
gwern0 at gmail.com
Sun Jun 17 23:48:44 EDT 2012
"Aesthetics of Destruction: Music and the Worldview of Shinji Ikari in
'Neon Genesis Evangelion'"
, Heike Hoffer (2012 master's thesis)
First, my criticisms reading through it; for those uninterested in
them, skip down to the excerpts.
> Though the series ended in 1996, at the time of this writing the U.S. based website evageeks.org had close to 3750 registered members who have contributed more than 400,000 articles to the site on the topic of the EVA series and corresponding feature films.2
'articles' is a very misleading word to use in the context of a forum.
> Additionally, the company makes live-action films, the most well-known being Otaku no Video from 1991.
_ONV_ is only very partially live action; by minutes, the anime
segments are a much larger fraction of it.
> NAveryW, accessed June 17, 2010, http://forum.evageeks.org/search.php?search_author=NAveryW.
This footnote 13 could be much improved by an actual link to the post
in question: http://forum.evageeks.org/post/353343/Mainichi-News-Aricle-Evangelion-From-Phenomenon-to-Legacy/?sid=1b16fd0eef8d5b570e1d5e0e9a97abc1%2FMainichi-News-Aricle-Evangelion-From-Phenomenon-to-Legacy%2F#353343
Mentioning the newspaper in question would not be amiss either
especially since the later footnote 28 does ("NAveryW, Blog post of
two articles translated by the author originally written by Kei
Watanabe and published in the Mainichi Daily News, May 2006, accessed
June 17, 2010")
> He is an anti-hero, the opposite of the brave and daring mecha pilots that populated earlier anime like Space Battleship Yamato, Mobile Police Patlabor, or Mobile Suit Gundam.
After recently watching _MSG_, I've realized that this analogy - which
Hoffer is not alone in - is quite misleading and does Yoshiyuki Tomino
a disservice (and also makes the connection to _Space Runaway Ideon_
less clear). Ray Amuro actually is a great deal like Shinji! He
dislikes war, is constantly questioning the morality of the enterprise
& attempting to quit, and seeking his father - who is mentally
unstable, dangerously wrapped up in technology, and sees his son
primarily as a tool. There's another curious parallel: in both _MSG_
and Eva, the untrained amateur protagonist boy has a self-possessed
ambitious rival female pilot with a striking foreign hair color who
ought to perform better than the boy but somehow is always
outperformed by the boy and his uniquely capable robot... One could
say the main difference between _MSG_'s Sayla and Eva's Asuka is that
the latter is modern enough to not have any character explicitly *say*
anything about women...
(Yes, I am aware that Misato would seem to be a counterpoint. But
consider the other obvious candidates for 'strong women': Maya is last
scene cowering on the bridge and refusing to fight, and Ritsuko both
fails at sabotage in _EoE_ and then in the manga fails at sabotage
*and* apparently fails at killing Gendo by shooting him *through the
throat*! Not convinced, still think Misato is a counter-example? Well
consider this: in the infamous 1996 NewType interview which I am
working on translating from the French with Immano, Anno says "I found
it odd that magazines animation readjust the image of Misato in
writing that she is a 'skilled soldier'. I think she is more adept at
many other things.")
> Whatever the reasons, Anno's depression was severe enough that he entered a clinic specializing in Jungian analysis to receive help and began to read heavily into many different realms of psychology...The men knew each other well, having worked together on the series Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water four years earlier, and their personal connection is illustrated by the psychology-oriented titles of many of Sagisu's background tracks. Anno's treatment at a Jungian clinic and his study of human psychology while making EVA was no secret, but Sagisu's choice to give many of the tracks titles that referenced Anno's studies is telling...Drawing on his time in the Jungian clinic, Anno has made EVA an anime about the impact of Shinji's childhood insecurities on his development and his inability to create meaningful relationships with others.
No references or sources are given for this strong claim about
entering a clinic of any kind; the sole firsthand report we currently
have, Numbers-kun's translation of _Schizo_/_Prano_ in which Anno
recounts his quasi-suicide attempt post-_Eva_, looks nothing like the
claim 'before starting _Eva_, Anno entered a Jungian clinic'. So I
assume that this is just being sloppy and reporting rumors as fact.
> nor does EVA include an omake49 after the ending credits.
No; but an omake was, nevertheless, done - the _Addition_ audio drama.
> The passage of time is clear as other passengers board and exit the train and we see the digital display of the SDAT player as Shinji flips over the tape when it runs out at seventy-six minutes, indicating that he has been three for some time.
> For all of the trials Shinji experiences throughout EVA, the series does ultimately have what might be called a happy ending. Episodes 25 and 26 suggest that everything has been a dream and that the Angels are expressions of Shinji's adolescent fears given monstrous form in an extended fantasy. As anime scholar William Routt writes:
>> By suppressing the Angel attacks almost entirely, the final episodes strongly imply that those attacks may have existed only as manifestations of what was going on inside Shinji.63
> Scholar Thomas Lamarre described the intricacies of the plot well: Viewers who watched the series closely (and really, there wasn't much choice but to watch it closely) found that there were patterns of iconic references that led in different directions. Ultimately, Anno would foil all efforts to gather these various information patterns into a single narrative... Viewers to select and followed diverse patterns of information throughout the series, but there is no attempt to hierarchize these different patterns, to draw them all together into an overarching pattern or to select one pattern among the many. [Thomas Lamarre, "The Multiplanar Image," in Mechademia 1: Emerging Worlds of Anime and Manga, edited by Frenchy Lunning (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), 137
All that said, I found many interesting portions of it; I am a musical
dunce, so the analyses are pretty novel to me. Below are excerpts that
particularly struck me, although of course reading these do not
substitute for reading the whole thesis:
> Performance quality is a mild concern in the soundtracks drawn from the original series. Though not noticeable in context, when divorced from the images and subjected to directed listening the studio orchestra is clearly less than perfect. Whether the orchestra was under rehearsed due to budget constraints or simply of lower quality is unknown. Attacks are not synchronized, tuning is often inaccurate, and the brass are guilty of many missed notes. This is even more apparent when Sagisu mixes tracks of separately recorded electronic instruments like bass guitar into the orchestral tracks. Performance quality improved substantially after EVA became popular and production budgets increased. The soundtracks for the movies Death and Rebirth and The End of Evangelion feature much improved renditions of the score and the playing of the London Studio Orchestra in the recent Rebuild of Evangelion movies is remarkable. The original soundtrack to EVA blends acoustic and electronic instruments to create a rock-inspired orchestra, a combination with which Sagisu said he was particularly pleased.45
> Assuming that an average EVA episode is 23' 30" minutes long without commercials, subtracting the opening theme, the closing theme, and the preview leaves 20' 15" minutes of time for narrative animation and its related musical accompaniment. Based on this number, Sagisu's score can be assessed in a number of ways. On the average, 41% of each EVA episode contains musical accompaniment, meaning that most episodes have music for less than half of their duration. This percentage ranges from the sparse Episode 17, where only 12% of its content has musical accompaniment, to 90% in the finale Episode 26. The absence of music allows another important sound to be heard, that of technology. EVA is heavy with images of advanced technology and complex scientific tools, so the hum of electric lights, computer monitors, engines, and airlocks is a constant reminder how strongly the characters' lives are mediated through these systems. The entry plug, a self-contained cylinder from which the pilots control the Evas, hums prominently, giving the pilots no respite from the noise of technology. Outside of NERV headquarters, televisions and radios blast through the shrill noise of the cicadas. Dense populations of cicadas are incredibly loud and their high-pitched "singing" represents summer to most Japanese. Since the world of EVA has been thrown into a perpetual summer, the cicadas "sing" oppressively all year long as an ongoing reminder of the tragedy of Second Impact.
> Sagisu's music can accompany action scenes or complement scenes of character psychology. (Illustration 2) Approximately 40% of the score can be associated with action-oriented scenes while the other 60% is dedicated to the psychological of the characters. Battle-heavy Episode 8 has the most action music at 84%, but seven episodes have no action music at all, with 100% of the musical content going to character development. This is opposite of the traditional mecha anime, where action music would far outweigh any other type of accompaniment. Music can also be divided into non-diegetic and diegetic usage.50 Non-diegetic music comprises 85% of Sagisu's score and is generally simple to identify. There is only one situation where this distinction is not clear. In Episode 9, the track "Both of You, Dance Like You Want to Win" is supposedly being played through the Eva's communication system so that Shinji and Asuka can execute a attack on the Angel Israfel that has been choreographed to music. Diegetic music would change in volume or quality as the battle commenced, but this music does not change. It is orchestrated for strings, brass, and percussion like all of the other non-diegetic battle tracks, but the on-screen battle is coordinated precisely with the music and the pilots are clearly listening to something similar to what the viewer is hearing. I have called this music diegetic in my analysis because of its relationship to the on-screen action, but could certainly see how it could be classified otherwise. Though atypical for a mecha anime, EVA includes quite a bit of diegetic music. 10% of the score is music that the characters can hear but do not directly interact with. This music is often ironic, a trait of Sagisu's anime scores even outside of EVA, such as a scene in Episode 2 when Shinji and Misato enter a convenience store to buy dinner. The loudspeaker is playing an upbeat, romantic pop song as Shinji overhears other customers discussing their fear about living in Tokyo-3 after the most recent Angel attack, putting the happy music and frightening topic completely at odds. 5% of the score is diegetic music that the characters interact with directly. Shinji is a cellist and the only human music maker of the series. He makes up most of this 5% along with the Angel Tabris, who sings.
> [exact breakdowns are given in the table for the 26 episodes on pg42]
> As those who hold the ultimate power in the EVA world, men are most likely to be characterized by physical stillness and silence. Gendo is almost always pictured seated with his hands folded in front of his mouth and his lips hidden from view, making him devoid of movement even when giving orders in intense battle sequences. The members of Seele often present themselves as large, black obelisks emblazoned with numbers or the words "SOUND ONLY" and speak to each other without a physical presence. Neither Gendo nor Seele have any music associated with them, making their power even more overt through the silence that surrounds them.
> This psychological function of stillness extends to silence and is especially true of the mind of Shinji, who is often pictured listening to a cassette player through ear-bud headphones. In moments of extreme emotion and mental stress a close-up of the display reveals that the device is playing, but the viewer cannot hear the sound and Shinji is understood to be shut away in his mind with his fears.
> The viewer is granted access to the thoughts and memories of the female characters, [The most famous example is the fan-named "Rei's Poem" from Episode 14, a mysterious stream-of-consciousness monologue delivered by Rei on the subject of the meaning of her existence as she tries to sync with Eva 01 for the first time] but we have little access to Shinji's thoughts. Music is the viewer's real window into Shinji's mind, allowing us to get a sense of his worldview, the way he views himself, and the way he views others. This explains why the music will sometimes seem mismatched to a situation or person without clear ironic or humorous intent. Additionally, many cues are only heard once in the entire series. Not counting untitled background tracks, twenty-three of the fifty-seven titled musical cues (40%) are only heard once in all twenty-six episodes. With the exception of Episodes 4, 5, and 17, every episode introduces previously unheard musical tracks, with new tracks even appearing in the final episode. Knowing how much recycling often occurs in film scores to meet save time in meeting tight deadlines, Sagisu's choice to use cues infrequently sometimes seems extravagant, but is less excessive than it first appears. Sagisu has given a distinct name to each track regardless of whether it contains completely new content or is a variation on another track. The tracks "Borderline Case" and "Mother is the First Other" feature chorus with instrumental accompaniment and are renamed "Do You Love Me" and "Splitting the Breast" when they become exclusively choral after the accompaniment is removed. In addition to shifts in orchestration, Sagisu also uses tempo to rework tracks. "Ritsuko" has virtually identical melodic and harmonic content to "Three of Me, One of Someone Else," but is heard at a tempo of around 96 beats per minute in comparison to 66-72 beats per minute in "Three of Me, One of Someone Else." Any of these pieces could have been labeled as a second version instead of receiving an entirely different name, but this highlights Sagisu's tendency to name tracks based on the title of the episode in which they first appear. Each episode has both a Japanese and English title that can be different in meaning. Episode 1 is titled "Angel Attack" in both languages, but Episode 2 is titled "The Beast" in English and "Unfamiliar Ceiling" in Japanese. This leads to tracks with titles that seem to have no aesthetic relationship to the scene in which it is placed. The track "She said, 'Don't make others suffer for your personal hatred.'" shares its name with the English title of Episode 12, in which this music its first and only appearance. The title makes one expect an emotionally intense piece with a slower tempo. Instead, it is country-western inspired battle music with a solo trumpet blasting in its high range, amplified solo guitar, and a William Tell-style string accompaniment heard as three Evas battle the attacking Angel Sahaquiel.
> Misato's other musical cue, "Misato," figures prominently into the series, appearing eight times in the first sixteen episodes and only playing when Misato is present. The melody is jazzy and improvisatory, played in a swung style with grace-note and glissando ornaments over an ostinato bass line that traces a circle of fifths progression. (Illustration 3) The main instrument is a solo flute and is the only example of woodwind use in the entire series, making a connection between this unique timbre and Misato. "Misato" is heard in Misato's apartment when Shinji, Misato, and later Asuka are gathered around the table during meal times or events like the impromptu party given to celebrate Misato's promotion from Captain to Major. This music embodies what Shinji and Misato really desire, a welcoming home and close companions with whom to share everyday life.
> She ignores him at first, but renews their relationship in Episode 15 before he is assassinated in Episode 21. "The Sorrow of Losing the One Dependence" is heard in Episode 21 as Misato listens to a message from Kaji on the answering machine after his assassination and sobs uncontrollably on the kitchen table. It is a variation on the closing theme "Fly Me to the Moon," with only the melody played by the solo piano and no harmonic accompaniment. Shinji hides his head under his pillow to try to drown out Misato's wailing sobs and we are given rare access to his thoughts: "All I could do was run away from the tragedy Misato was facing. There was nothing I could say. I was just a child. But I understood." The sadness contained in "The Sorrow of Losing the One Dependence" is the opposite of upbeat tracks like "Misato," and shows how Shinji's understanding of Misato as an adult evolves as the series progresses.
> By hearing Misato refer to Ritsuko by her first name and observing the dynamic between them, Shinji realizes that their friendship has existed for quite some time. This gives him a friendly impression of Ritsuko and her music sounds appropriately compassionate and welcoming.
> As EVA progresses, Ritsuko and Misato slowly find themselves at odds with each other as Misato realizes that Ritsuko is hiding the truth behind NERV and Gendo's true intentions for Human Instrumentality. Ritsuko's music is always heard in scenes connected to the past, since that was when she was truly a friend to Misato and not consumed with subtle deceit. The track "Ritsuko" and its slower variation "Three of Me, One of Someone Else" accompany Ritsuko's reminiscences of her college days with Misato and the early formation of NERV. The music is calm and relaxed, but misleading like Ritsuko in its deceptive harmonic motion, weakly voiced cadences, and added ninths that cloud the harmony. (Illustration 4)
> "Ritsuko" is unique because it has no clear melody. In the middle section the piano seemly improvises a decorative line over the chord progression in the acoustic guitar, but no real melody ever materializes. Ritsuko shares little about herself with anyone, so Shinji is not able to form a fully realized musical impression of her and can only base his ideas on the hazy impression he gets during their infrequent meetings and from Misato's comments about Ritsuko as a friend.
> The electric bass guitar sounds a pedal point on F in an ostinato pattern made of half notes followed by quarter-note triplets, changing briefly to an A-flat pedal in the middle section. EVA-01 impresses Shinji initially, but he soon realizes how terrifying the Evas can be after EVA-01 goes berserk during the battle. Shinji's admiration quickly turns to fear and the majestic "EVA-01" is not heard again in the course of the series.
> Shinji's awe for the bright red Eva and Asuka's daring skills as a pilot is clear in the track "EVA-02." "EVA-02" is stable and regular, with clear harmony based on F major and a bold melody heard primarily in the violins punctuated by triplet figures. The orchestration imitates her daring jumps and agile maneuvers when the trumpets scream out the melody in their highest register. In this case, it is not Shinji's fear of the Evas that keeps him from being able to continue viewing EVA-02 in the hero's role. "EVA-02" is only heard once in the series because Shinji cannot admire Asuka when her everyday behavior is so unpleasant.
She is somewhat unpleasant, but she is not *entirely* unpleasant. And
an 'everyday behavior' explanation fails to explain the absence from
battles: if Misato's theme can vary, why can't Asuka's? Here I would
point back to my previous comment about _Mobile Suit Gundam_.
> The track "Asuka Strikes!" is primarily associated with Asuka, but is also heard when Shinji meets Pen Pen the warm-water penguin in Episode 2 and when he literally runs into a new classmate in the alternate reality scene in Episode 26. "Asuka Strikes!" is music showing Shinji's general impression of foreigners. It is mocking and comical, with a distinctly country-western style. The guitar and violin alternate solo passages, with seemingly improvised sections in the guitar and a folk-song style melody in the violin using glissandi and frequent grace-note ornaments. (Illustration 8) It is a stereotype in every way possible, just as Asuka is a stereotype of the foreigners who visit Japan to this day.
> "Asuka Strikes!" is heard frequently in Episodes 8 and 9 as Shinji gets to know Asuka and tries to accommodate her constant criticisms of his behavior and Japanese life. A good example is at the beginning of Episode 9. "Asuka Strikes!" in heard in the background as Shinji cringes when Asuka greets him loudly in English and German and proclaims that he should be happy that "the gorgeous Asuka is greeting you. You should appreciate your good fortune!"
> ...In Episode 9 Shinji sees some of Asuka's weaknesses and comes to realize that she is no better adapted to the world than him. In the middle of the episode Asuka and Shinji unsuccessfully try to perform a synchronized routine in preparation for a coordinated battle against the Angel Israfel. Asuka blames Shinji for their troubles. Misato asks Rei to take Asuka's place and she and Shinji perform the routine flawlessly, bringing into question Asuka's ability to participate in the battle. Asuka's pride is hurt and she storms out of the apartment to the nearby convenience store, where Shinji finds her moments later pouting in front of the refrigerated drinks. This is Shinji's first realization that Asuka also has limitations and problems that she has to overcome...
> He decides to try to kiss her, but stops when he hears her whisper "Mama" and sees tears filling her eyes. As he turns away and pulls the blanket over his head he mutters: "You're just a child yourself." Because of these insights, "Asuka Strikes!" is not heard in connection with Asuka again. Shinji is still annoyed by her behavior, but knowing that she has problems of her own allows Shinji to empathize with her, making the mocking tone of "Asuka Strikes!" unnecessary.
> "Rei I" is set for solo piano in A minor. (Illustration 9) The first four measures feature block chords in the high range of the piano that sound fragile and delicate, much like Rei's physically slender body. The piece is filled with deceptive musical techniques that make it as mysterious as Rei herself. Infrequent cadences, tritone relationships, and accented passing tones influence long progressions of inverted chords that never find a satisfactory resolution. Examples of planing are abundant, also serving to deny any sense of harmonic arrival. Without a strong tonal center "Rei I" sounds hollow and cold, much like her initial personality. The performance on the soundtrack also contributes to this sense because the pianist leaves the sustain pedal down during the series of chords, causing them to overlap and ring emptily against each other.
> Arael slowly and systematically scans Asuka's mind in an attempt to learn as much as it can about mankind's mental weaknesses. The scanning beam is a pure white light that cuts through the cloudy sky like a God-sent ray from heaven, and the entire event is brilliantly underscored by the "Hallelujah" chorus from Handel's Messiah in a moment of exquisite musical irony. It is one of the few musical moments that has been noticed by anime scholars.
>> A luminous wing-like entity that overwhelms Asuka with some sort of mind ray, gorgeously choreographed to the music of Handel's Messiah. One of many deliberate ironies of this episode is Anno's insistence that beautiful images can be pure poison, while the ugliest of images can be a healing salve. Although Tokyo-3 is shadowed in pouring rain, the angel shines like a blistering sun, flooding the screen with light; similarly, the glorious sound track signals terrible violence, in the mold of Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange.58
> Arael has violated the sanctity of the human mind and stolen Asuka's deepest secrets. This new reality in the Angels' capabilities is so profoundly horrifying to Shinji that Sagisu has turned to his favorite device of irony to make this game-changing moment in mankind's battle again the Angels even more intense.
> In another of Sagisu's brilliant ironic musical gestures, the Angel that has the best chance of destroying mankind is represented by one of humanity's greatest expressions of brotherhood and hope. He has come to destroy man and ends up being its savior instead. The choice of the Ode to Joy was also meant to influence the perceptions of Japanese viewers. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is a communal experience in Japan during the New Year, where both audience and chorus sing along to the last movement as if in a giant karaoke. Audiences have learned the German text phonetically so that they can participate in singing the Daiku (or Big 9) at one of the many performances given as part of the New Year tradition. As one musician explains:
>> For Japanese, listening to the Beethoven's Ninth at the end of the year is a semi-religious experience. People feel that they have not completed the year spiritually until they hear it. [Steven R. Weisman, "Japan Sings Along With Beethoven." New York Times, accessed December 16, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/29/arts/japan-sings-along-with-beethoven.html ]
I've never heard of this before; is this description accurate?
Offhand, the only similar instance in anime that I've seen would be
the memorable ending to _Gunslinger Girl_ season 1.
> The apartment is empty, so Shinji gets out his cello and begins to play the track "Childhood Memories, Shut Away," which is the first twenty-three seconds of Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 with a superficial cadence tacked onto the end. There are many ways Shinji's skills playing an instrument can be interpreted. Shinji's feelings of nostalgia are captured in his selection of music by a pre-Second Impact composer. It reminds him of the past: his deceased mother, the relaxing setting of the house where he was raised, and the mentor who taught him to play the cello at age 5. Studying Western music and Western instruments is compulsory at the middle-school level in Japan, so Shinji's knowledge of this music as an eighth grader identifies him as an average Japanese boy with whom the viewing audience can relate. Unlike Asuka, a foreigner brought up outside Japan; Rei, a clone born in a laboratory; Toji, a delinquent; and Kensuke, a military otaku; Shinji is the only child who seems to have had a regular education in the Japanese school system and that any viewer might consider a "normal" middle-school student. In Japan Western music is viewed as having high moral content and character-building qualities,61 and Shinji epitomizes this in his controlled rendition of the cello suite. The cello can also be seen as a communication device. As he plays, Shinji closes his eyes and sways in his chair as he enjoys the act of music making. He has difficulty sharing his feelings with others, but the cello allows for a safe method of communication. He hinders his musical communication by playing in the empty apartment where there is no one to listen, but has installed himself in the living room where Misato or Asuka might hear him when they return. Asuka does, in fact, come back while he is playing and is so impressed by what she hears that she lowers her guard and offers Shinji a genuine compliment.
> This final scene is underscored by the tracks "Heady Feeling of Freedom" played by the strings and "Good, or Don't Be" for solo piano and acoustic guitar, making use of Sagisu's three instrumental "sacred treasures." Both are variations of the opening theme song "A Cruel Angel's Thesis," which has been converted from a techno-pop song into music that is lyrical and reflective. The solo piano has the last word, playing into dedication cels added by Anno and carrying the message of its new role beyond the world of EVA. The piano is no longer a long-suffering voice of loneliness. Instead, it represents mankind's freedom from Human Instrumentality and a respect for the individual. Shinji is content to have accepted a world where he has to acknowledge the physical and mental pain that comes with being human. "Good, or Don't Be" ends with a weak cadence in the tonic key that is prepared without leading-tone or dominant-tonic motion. In the second to last measure, C minor leads to an F minor7 chord and then to what could be B-flat major or a very weak G minor before resolving by parallel motion to the C minor tonic. (Illustration 12) The course of Shinji's future and that of the reborn mankind are open ended and filled with possibilities for development.
> The Rebuild of Evangelion movies contain both newly composed underscores and tracks from the original series that have been gloriously reorchestrated. Shinji's headphones and his relationship to diegetic background music remain, but new insights into his SDAT player are made. Just as when he directed the original series, Anno clearly has grandiose plans for the Rebuild of Evangelion movies. Each movie has both an English and Japanese title and Anno has named them after the traditional formal structure of dramatic development used in gagaku music and noh plays called jo-ha-kyu, which roughly means beginning-middle-end or, more specifically, introduction-development-acceleration. [William P. Malm, Japanese Music and Musical Instruments (Rutland: Charles C. Tuttle Company, 1959), 110-112, 119]
Overall, I am surprisingly impressed by this thesis. In terms of
adding actual interpretative value, avoiding the worst mistakes, and
employing useful modern sources, this is possible the best academic
work I have read on Evangelion so far (damning with faint praise as
that may be). In particular, the quotes from Fujie's Evangelion guide
indicates that I may have written it off prematurely back in 2008; I
know far more now, and it may be a worthwhile source to reread.
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