Finally, We Have an Excuse to Explain Evangelion


#1

This week, Austin introduces the gang to Neon Genesis Evangelion with the first two episodes, and places the series' in the broader context of mecha anime the preceded it. Why is Evangelion so much more explicitly horrifying than most Gundam shows, despite sharing their anti-war politics? And how about that penguin, huh? Danielle has also been watching SB Nation's video series on the history of MMA, " Fighting in the Age of Loneliness" from Jon Bois and Chapo Trap House's Felix Biederman. An often riveting history of sports and martial arts, the series also attempts to put them in context of the political and cultural currents that flowed around them, to more mixed success. But first, Rob has been fascinated by the story of a tiny little burger joint that was destroyed by a rave review... only to learn just before recording that a far more familiar and ugly story of abuse was lurking under the surface the whole time.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/pa537v/finally-we-have-an-excuse-to-explain-evangelion

#2

Evangelion rules. its the damn goat. nothing comes close EXCEPT FOR DEVILMAN (crybaby as well)

also SHIN GODZILLA IS CANNON


#3

As someone who never had the wherewithall to dive into the deep web to track down Evangelion rips, or venture into the darkened alleys to buy bootleg VHS tapes, this has been a hole in the canon for me, so I’m super excited it’s coming to Netflix.

However - I may just have to delete my Twitter account, because apparently the reaction from all of video game and anime Twitter is basically, “I’m so glad there’s finally a way for people to watch Evangelion! Now let me go into detail on every single plot point and exactly what it means.”

I get that you can’t really spoil a 30-year old TV show. And I don’t really care about spoilers anyway. It’s just really weird that the reaction to “people can finally legally watch this” is to assume everybody’s already seen it anyway.


#4

Some cool threads from staff about this episode:


#5

I can NOT tell you how happy I am about this. Evangelion was my introduction to anime and the mecha genre in general. I still rewatch the series every couple of years and I own the whole thing on DVD + the new movies on Blu Ray.

I look forward to hearing the crew’s thoughts on this on waypoints. I will probably rewatch the first two eps today so I can be totally fresh for the convo.


#6

I haven’t listened to this episode yet but Eva is deep in my bones. I got a full series VHS set in the late 90s and marinated in it while not having anyone to talk about it with. Outside of my partner I don’t think I’ve ever talked to anyone about it, come to think of it, and I can only imagine trying to introduce it to other people.
It’s full cultural saturation in Japan, I’m very curious what happens when it is released in the states on Netflix next year.


#7

Looks at the title Did Austin start using the royal we?


#8

It’s always been like a secret handshake situation with me. Some folks I know who are far deeper into Anime than I am have very strong negative opinions about it. It can be quite divisive. Shinji can be really annoying, it’s true.

Recently a friend of mine who works in film as a director watched the End of Evangelion as a stand alone film without ANY context. I will reach out for his comments and see if he is OK with me posting them here. Could be interesting.


#9

I threw in my Bluray of Rebuild 1.0 in the wake of the Eva Netflix announcement since it was the easiest thing for me to get some Eva in my life for right now… interesting that a lot of the scenes that they talk about here were retained in the movie, at least early on before it really leans on the fast forward button.

Can’t say I’m especially interested in the flood of “this is problematic” takes that are going to hit my Twitter feed next spring, but I’m absolutely looking forward to reactions to both the end of the series and End of Evangelion (my own included, all these years later.) I remember being fine with both, but End of Eva… stays with you.

Also need people to bring back the Eva drinking game: drink whenever Maya can’t do something.


#10

I love hearing Austin get really excited about something, and it was a joy to hear him go deep on Evangelion. I haven’t watched the show, I’ve only really gotten into some anime in the last handful of years, and certain things just aren’t readily available, so Eva coming to Netflix has me very excited to experience this show.
I just hope they have it in Japanese…

Also just got to the part where Austin talks about the nihilism and the show’s dealings with depression and anxiety and this just has me more interested. I am here for stories that explore and revel in hopelessness as someone who’s gone through quite a bit of it in recent years as, I don’t know how to explain it, catharsis I guess.

The gut punches of shows like Bojack Horseman had me revelling in its bleakness, I have a feeling Eva is gonna resonate with me.


#11

Wow, I’d be curious to hear your friend’s take. I’ve never considered myself deep into anime, but there are certain films and series that have soaked into me over the years and Eva is one of those.


#12

Oh my god, Evangelion is such my serious jam. This whole discussion is straight-up pornography to me. Hideki Anno is an incredible director in these early episodes.

I gotta make a point to rewatch Rah-Xephon next year too when Evangelion comes to Netflix. Cause everybody seems to have forgotten Rah-Xephon and that’s a serious crime.


#13

Maybe this post will finally earn me a name change.
I’m glad a lot of people are getting a chance to check the show out for themselves.

If ever there was a crew that could talk me into enjoying media from a new perspective, it’s Waypoint.
sigh Alright… how you gunna sell this garba- classic.


I want to preface everything to follow with a statement.
I know a ton of people for whom the show is extremely important, and something they love. I think that’s awesome, and I’m happy for them. I wish them the best. I can’t watch this show anymore. I’m going to stop trying to appreciate it for myself, as it requires too much emotional energy, and reinvigorates a lot of trauma pretty regularly.

Why I don’t like it, in fairly vague terms. I’ll try to avoid any sort of specific spoilers, but also, if you love the show, you don’t have to read this. I encourage you not to, in fact, as I have absolutely no desire to talk anybody out of enjoying something.

I’ve really disliked this show since I first watched it. It makes me uncomfortable, sad, angry, resentful, etc. with characters, I ha- Listen… I’ve got some history with some of the subject matter that might just be a forever sticking point for me. Specifically adult/children/parent/children relationships, which may have gotten in the way of me giving a single shit about the show.

I have watched it, and I also thought it was hot garbage for other reasons.

I have to assume, charitably, that it’s intended as a meta take-down of dumb anime tropes, wherein the final act just crawls so deep up its own asshole with metaphor that no aspect of the story mattered at any point? The problem is, it isn’t examined. It’s just left. So if it’s mocking something, it missed the mark of satire, or criticism, and just did the dang thing.

I hate that the entire female cast is basically defined by how sexually available, specifically to Shinji, they are, and/or which man they’re sleeping with, or how they’re being used by men. (With… a couple counter examples, but there’s still- the presentation of it will always be something I take umbrage with I suspect. FLCL handled jealousy in interesting ways.)

I find the mecha combat vaguely defined in terms of rules/mechanics. Inconsistent feels charitable.
I dislike a lot of the specifics of how good pilots are, or can be. The idea that hard work doesn’t always pay off, and maybe you’re just born with the ability is half of an interesting idea. (The half about hard work, not the half about magical boy prowess.)

I think it’s well timed, and has some really solid compositions on some shots and scenes, but nothing super remarkable? I’m sort of trying to grasp at straws and under-play my dislike for a lot of stuff by keeping it short, but…

So, this is where I’m coming into this episode…
…well, here’s to hearing Austin out. Earbuds in.
(I’m also prepared to pass the mantle of Anime on to a more worthy successor.)
(Apologies for the multi-spoiler, for whatever reason, a multi-paragraph spoiler wasn’t working.)


#14

I almost yelled “We gottem!” at work when Patrick was all about watching this series. And I don’t believe Patrick is prepared for where this story goes. (End of Eva Spoiler: Like when Shinji becomes soup and then unsoups himself.)


#15

I feel like I should ask you to spoiler tag that but I have not seen Evangelion and therefore do not understand it. mods?


#16

I’d listen to a spoiler cast of Evangelion.
OH SHIT I spoke too soon while listening to this


#17

I really preferred Rahxephon to Eva when I saw them both, but I only ever saw them once. Certainly since then I’ve seen some people dismiss it as an inferior Eva knockoff. I think that’s pretty unfair, but I’d also need to rewatch both to be sure. Ayato’s mom’s voice is something that really made an impression though; she’s the main thing I remember about that one.

Talking about the Evas as robots made in our image is pretty good too, in light of later stuff.


#18

Evangelion, even it’s more cult and removed from the mainstream form, is a self-sustaining take machine. But now this is going out to a wide audience. The discourse will just be “chef’s kiss.”


#19

like, it seems, many people, i watched NGE and all its currently available movies when i when i was about 13. i’m not sure this was, like, a GOOD idea? especially end of evangelion which made me feel physically ill because i had noooo idea what it was going to be going into it and was absolutely horrified, haha. i’m still not sure how i feel about NGE as a whole. there are a lot of things i love about it and that have stuck with me to this day - it is, for example, a huge inspiration aesthetically in how it presents its world and the people and monsters that live in it, and i still listen to its music a lot because that shit is fantastic. but there was a lot of stuff that made me super uncomfortable about it, and i’m not sure how i come down on that.

when i watched it i was beginning to feel myself start struggling with bad anxiety and depression (although i didn’t have words for that yet) but i hadn’t yet reached the deepest depths of that feeling that i would during late high school. because of that i’m not sure i understood the feelings the show was dealing with as much as i might now. i also had a hard time comprehending a lot of the later episodes because i just didn’t have any experience with anything like it before, and also i was, you know, fuckin 13 years old

all this is to say that i’m super interested in coming back to it after all this time and seeing what i think of it as an adult!

still never going to watch end of evangelion again. not watching end of evangelion more than once is what i like to call, self-care


#20

The first and last time i watched Eva i was 7 years old. i enjoyed it but listening to the discussion here i somehow feel like there might have been things in it that went slightly over my head at the time.