Finally, We Have an Excuse to Explain Evangelion


#21

It isn’t a spoiler. It is just the beginning of when that series goes PLACES.


#22

Austin is so right about the energy around the original Eva series resurfacing; goddam I had no idea my thoughts and excitement about Eva were still bubbling inside.


#23

Fighting in an Age of Lonliness was super good, just watched all four episodes in one chunk, can’t wait for #5!!!


#24

Soup Spoilers!

I’ve got the whole family hyped for a Waypoint Evangelion rewatch.

The Rebuild films are super interesting. The first one is basically a shot for shot remake of the first few episodes. The second one starts to introduce some new elements and then the third film Gets wild. Like everything Eva, it’s very divisive. I’m very much looking forward to the fourth film.


#25

I’ve been incredibly uncomfortable with what this show does to / seems to be trying to say about its female characters since I was 14, so thanks for this post.

I’m curious to rewatch it once it’s on Netflix, but I can’t imagine any of that stuff is going to feel better in 2019 than when I watched it in 2001.


#26

just popping in to wonder if someone can get a message to Rob Zacny that the live action Jin-Roh is, in fact, good (and directed by Kim Jee-woon, arguably the greatest filmmaker currently working)


#27

Crap! All this positivity about this damn anime is getting me dangerously close to being on the fence about watching this show I’ve, as a more or less outsider, become vehemently completely against watching. Someone please remind why I should not engage with Evangelion!


#28

Without hearing your reasons against it, it’s hard to make strong suggestions for it.

I’m also probably one of the last people in this thread to push for it, but I’ll admit to a great deal of curiosity about being vehemently completely against something as an outside.


#30

I would suspect that you haven’t seen as much of it as you might think you have. People have been pretty good about leaving the more uhh… abstract? things? If that’s the word?

It goes off the deep end.

Which is a tiny tiny tiny part of why I find the whole thing loathsome.
It might be worth dipping a toe in, and just… if you like it, stick with it. If you don’t like it, stop. If you can’t decide, stick with it?


#32

Loved everybody getting excited about anime this episode, but i got a real problem with the way Kaiju films were characterized by certain people. The later Godzilla films continue to be about the same topics that the orginal was about (the damage militarism and nationalism cause, ect.), they just have diffrent tones because they need to stay culturally relavent. I wont go on so I don’t bore everyone, but I just really dislike when people talk about Kaiju movies like they are just some weird monster fights, when they are really something so much more important(also the monsters are cool and hot).


#33

CW: Depression

I think Austin described Eva very aptly as “a show about running away,” Eva is, at it’s core - at least in my view - an exploration of different facets of escapism. Certain characters escape from external pressures into themselves, while others escape from internal stresses and traumas into something external.

The first time I watched the series was at a low point in my life; I’d dropped out of college for the first time and moved home some months prior for mental health reasons, and while I felt… comparatively better, it wasn’t by any means gone. I don’t know if it’ll ever be. Being out of school, the need and effort required to job search was demoralizing, and after weeks of rejections and no-replies from employers, I quickly went back into an emotional slump. It was there that I finally started watching Eva. I finished the whole series in a week.

In hindsight, watching every episode of Eva while dealing with acute depression seems like a poor decision, but it gave me a lens into its themes that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. I saw my tendency to retreat into myself embodied in Shinji - I was (am) terrified of confrontation, and my first reaction when confronted with an unavoidable external stressor is to run from it. I saw my tendency to retreat into external distractions in other characters - I get easily sucked into electronics when I’m dealing with anxiety or discomfort, and that’s only made worse during depressive episodes. In the aftermath of the series, I even saw how my own fixation on the show and its characters was a kind of escapism - one I might not have noticed if it hadn’t confronted me directly in End of Evangelion.

Eva is considered a cultural touchstone for more reasons than I can list, but one of the reasons it endures for me at least is because, taken as a whole, it’s one of the rawest windows into the mindset of its creator I can think of. It’s a mindset that I empathized deeply with at the time I first watched it, and it’s that empathy that compelled me to watch it through to the end.


#34

As someone who was deeper than the average person into tape-trading communities and the like back in the 90s but not too into them (I was more of a bootleg HK action film guy), Evangelion was the exact inflection point where I realized I didn’t have the interest/fortitude to be a “real” anime fan. Stupidly, that meant more or less ignoring all anime even after the era of fansub VHS tapes mailed by strangers on FidoNet was long over. I / everyone I knew probably dodged a bullet, I would have been even more insufferable than I already was at the time, but I’m definitely curious to finally properly see this semi-legendary signifier of my “failures” as a Nerd™ / consumer.


#35

Cruel Angel’s Thesis is a ridiculously catchy song.

Going by this article it was still one of the most popular karaoke songs in Japan as recently as 2017 (Number 11 on this list).


#36

Been hearing Rob mention Escaflowne more and more.

I wouldn’t mind if yall decide to talk at length about it. I’m curious what he thinks of the movie. Maybe hes seen the movie first and series second. Tell me your Escaflowne thoughts Rob!


#37

I hadn’t thought of this before, but thinking about the overt-sexualisation of Misato it almost feels like Gendo using her as an employee the way a stereotypical homophobic father might take a son to a strip-club to convince them that they do like T&A actually.

Also the deconstruction of the fan-service was good - again, usually you get the gratuitous shot, but someone in the anime will be part of it, so you the viewer get a sense of it being okay, actually, or can grab the moral high ground by condemning the chareter who is gawping. But the way the shots are framed there is nothing to enable the viewer to avoid the explicit presentation which makes it far more awkward/uncomfortable and provides an insight into how a depressed (my own experience) / queer Shinji might feel about explicit sexualisation.

I think it’s an absolutely valid criticism of anything that attempts to do satire that if you have to go to a fan wiki to find out that it’s satire and not just straight doing the thing then it’s not doing it well enough, but I do like Eva for all its flaws


#38

there are so many posts already.

look, waypoint crew, I know resources are tight and you’re having to make hard choices about what to devote time and effort to and what to drop or backburner, so: drop everything and just do a complete watch-through cast of Evangelion with everyone. it will be the best possible pivot. real talk I’m here for cultural criticism and deep cuts, not video games. just like insert a video game every couple of weeks or whenever you find a good one. vice won’t know.

:smiley:


#39

I want the whole crew, in a hotel room, with a camera so we can see their responses in real time- one of my favourite Waypoint things were the E3 response streams


#40

Despite being a depressed lgbt+ person, and with a lot of life struggles… I’ve never liked Eva. It might have to do with having seen it too young in my life.

I understand its important to the history of anime, and to a lot of people…I’ve never been able to understand why. Rewatching it again this feeling hasn’t changed, at all

I should say, that this series even now, like I line up with all the things people are supposed to connect with on it, without divulging too much about myself. However even still, shinji’s struggles with social interactions, societal and familial expectations, his sexual identity, the depression, self destructive tendencies of people, like all of it, none of it clicks with me.

I’ve watched and read stories where things like this HAVE been explored and connected with them, understood them, and felt close, but nothing in eva does it for me, instead it simply annoys me and irritates me. The sexism in particular and presentation of eye candy and such.

Its very well drawn, and the music is good, and I understand its importance to anime in general and especially mecha… but at the same time, I honestly dislike how much reverence people give to it without ever acknowledging problematic aspects that are involved.


#41

I appreciate Austin briefly mentioning Anno’s mecha OVA Gunbuster. FWIW that show has a lot of the same themes discussed during this podcast regarding EVA and is totally worth looking at if you’re an EVA fan or interested in EVA. It plays in a middle ground between Super Robot and Real Robot and is very much trying to bring Real Robot anti-war themes into a Super Robot style space, is concerned with Jungian/Freudian philosophy (there’s literally a character named Jung Freud. I never said this show was subtle) and the melding of minds (the show’s titular mech, the Gunbuster, needs two pilots to function), and the show’s villains (literally the Space Monsters) share an threatening existential indifference with the Angels and the two are comparable. It even has a manipulative father figure. Anno definitely had a lot on his mind for a long time.

I also think the fights are actually way more effective than EVA, especially the first time Noriko sees combat because… there is none. It’s a fight where you see nothing but the character getting more and more freaked out and it’s all confusing and backwards and unclear and it’s terrifying.

I also can’t say all of that without mentioning that it shares a lot of the bad and problematic elements of EVA, specifically regarding Noriko and her ambiguous/not-so-ambiguous sexuality and the sexulization of the show’s mostly female cast.

EDIT: If nothing else, watch Gunbuster as prep for the sequel, Diebuster which is such an amazing sequel show it’s unbelieveable.


#42

Spoilers in response to Anime’s post…

The part about the pilots being born with the ability is somewhat missing the mark. Shinji and Asuka can pilot their Eva’s because the spirit of their mothers has been implanted in them. Rei can pilot an Eva because she’s been manufactured in order to do so. Kaworu obviously can just synchronise with an Eva because he’s Adam/human hybrid, like the Evas.

So, Evangelion takes the ‘pilots are special’ trope and at least attempts to give a reason for it, even if that reason is just ‘your mom still loves you’.