Thursday, April 28, 2005

Neon Genesis Evangelion is utter shite - and here's the proof

Today in 4chan a little quarrel errupted on the intellectual quality of Neon Genesis Evangelion [link] (ironically in response to a capture of one of the borderline-underage-pr0n sex scenes in the movie "Ken Park"). This inspired me to let off some long due steam in this blog entry.

Every once in a while, there's the guy who comes up and argues, that in fact anime and japanese films in general are not just "sometimes artsy" and mostly crap, but that in fact it's you, the dulled down western consumer whore, who fails to see their depth and subtext. In fact, some will go as far as presenting their favorite animes as a counterpoint to the shallow american Hollywood movie industry and it's ugly metastasis all over the globe.

When such claims are made, what might pop up are movies like

  • "Ghost in the Shell" (which is an alright science fiction flick, but just like in any other science fiction movie ever made, reason has to make room for effect)

  • "Serial Experiments Lain" (whose ideas are kind of interesting, but there's just not enough happening to make watching the series a pleasant experience)

  • and when it comes to the worst: Neon Genesis Evangelion

Let me introduce you to the story line of NGE real quick, you can read more about it on wikipedia. It's a 26-episode mech-series, where teens with emotional problems steer the mechs to fight massive Aliens, called "Angels". The whole series is stuffed with random religous references. That's it. As somebody in the 4chan thread put it quite eloquently:

"Anyone who thinks NGE is intellectual needs to get a clue real bad."

The most horrible thing about this myth of NGE's subtext is, that if you only watch some of this utterly mundane drivel, and not the full >20 fucking hours, you'll be told that you need to watch them all for the enlightenment to strike you. Effectively wasting the time of countless gullible/curious truth seekers like myself.

If anything can, this post should nail the coffin of this rotting red hering:

It's in the FAQ on

Quoting an NGE staff member who was asked on the meanings behind the tons of religious/mystical (mostly Christian) references in NGE:

"There are a lot of giant robot shows in Japan, and we did want our story to have a religious theme to help distinguish us.
Because Christianity is an uncommon religion in Japan we thought it would be mysterious. None of the staff who worked on Eva are Christians.
There is no actual Christian meaning to the show, we just thought the visual symbols of Christianity look cool."

So yeah. You can make whatever you want out of the "zomg i'm so alone lol rofl i wan 2 die" emo crap, but anyone who thinks NGE has some kind of super-deep mystical meaning is totally full of it.



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