End of Evangelion’s Emotional Catharsis and What it Meant to Me – Part 2

 

Rei is someone who doesn’t really know herself to begin with. She was created from the remnants of Yui Ikari’s body, and is effectively Gendo’s genetic experiment. She knows she is replaceable because she is nothing more than a cloned human body, expendable and individually lacking in value. he was constantly experimented on, and used as a pawn for Gendo’s experiments regarding the Eva project as well as the early developments of instrumentality. Unlike Asuka, Rei is someone who just doesn’t understand how to interact with people other than Gendo. She was created and raised by Gendo in an environment where she was never able to talk to or interact with anyone else, and thus is very blunt and emotionless when interacting with anyone else. She harbors a deep-rooted admiration and care for Gendo, and sees him as something of a father figure, but still maintains a distant relationship with him most of the time. Continue reading

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End of Evangelion’s Emotional Catharsis and What it Meant to Me – Part 1

The End of Evangelion was one of the most impactful pieces of media I had ever seen upon first seeing it two years ago. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that it was the ultimate encapsulation of my interests in anime at the time, and upon rewatching it recently now I can confidently say that my interest in it has only grown. I find myself feeling more strongly about this film as my connection to it grows deeper as I spend more time pondering over Evangelion as a whole. Evangelion has helped me to contextualize many different feelings and emotions I’ve had been previously unable to explain. It is a complex and powerful story, which I find deeply fascinating. Above all else, End of Evangelion is cathartic, for it very literally presents emotional conclusions to everything that the series had built up. Some of these conclusions come in the form of character arcs completing and others come in the form of characters dying. After such a complex and uniquely interesting series, the emotional catharsis presented at the end is undoubtedly the single most powerful ending to a story I have ever seen. Continue reading

The Appeal of Art

Why create art? To such a question I would answer “to emote”. All art from any medium is created in order to express something that its creator felt. Even the most abstract forms of expression, such as a cube-shaped room I went in once in an art gallery which only contained a single metal wire connecting opposite corners was clearly created to express something. Not all art is intended to be easy to understand, some art choosing to be difficult and inaccessible to a broad audience of people. This will happen either because the creator was unable to express their emotions in a more accessible way or that they intended it to be inaccessible to a broader audience. Such forms of expression might become art because they stem from a feeling the creator simply could not put into words themself. No matter the root which the art you connect with stems from, the fact remains that the art was always created as expression. The purpose of expression is to form connections to other people, to appeal to something they value on some level. This is the purpose of art in my eyes. Continue reading

Devilman Crybaby – Nearly There

I first discovered Devilman through the two episode 1987 OVA series which adapts a portion of Go Nagai’s famous manga of the same name. The OVA was a visual feast, filled with gorgeous key animation and color design the likes of which are rarely seen in modern anime. Although I have not read the Devilman manga, every source I can find tells me that this OVA is a nearly perfect adaptation of said manga. Of course, we couldn’t have too much of a good thing because the OVA series only adapted a small portion of the manga, making it inadequate as an adaptation. Devilman was touched on and off throughout the ’90s and early 2000s with various OVAs, none of which tried again to properly adapt the whole series, instead focusing on self-contained or completely original side-stories related to Devilman, none of which are particularly notable. All of this changed with Masaaki Yuasa’s Netflix-supported adaptation of Devilman in early 2018. Devilman Crybaby was mostly great, but it has many things that hold it back from me being able to call it a masterpiece. Continue reading

Diebuster – A Sequel to a Finished Story Done Right

In 1988-1989, Studio Gainax released Gunbuster, which was the directorial debut of a certain key animator named Hideaki Anno. Gunbuster was a new, inventive sci-fi OVA which broke new ground in the animation industry with its slick animation, inventive storyline, and beautiful character designs. A lot of Gunbuster’s success rode off of its central cast being comprised of gorgeous young women, placed in the roles which were usually filled by male characters. These characters, the slick artwork and animation of the OVA, and the over-the-top positivity and determination which Gainax is now famous for made Gunbuster a massive success. This ending showed Noriko Takaya, the main character saving the solar system with the unfortunate side effect of dilating time, where she sped through 12,000 earth years in a matter of hours. This results in her returning to earth as a hero many years later to an unfamiliar earth without the friends and family she left behind. The ending of Gunbuster is one of its most renowned moments, because of its unique nature as well as how it ended up tying into the series thematically. This ending did not leave much room for any sequel to the series due to how conclusive and satisfying it felt. This changed in 2004, when Gainax released Diebuster; a sequel to Gunbuster on the studio’s 20th anniversary. Continue reading

An Analytical Breakdown of Promare

I was fortunate enough to make it to Studio Trigger’s second premiere of Promare at Otakon in Washington DC. I was also fortunate enough to meet Hiroyuki Imaishi, Hiromi Wakabayashi, and Shigeto Koyama at the con at two panels before and after the premiere. The three of them being the director, creative director/producer, and character/mech designer respectively for Promare. I cannot give impressions of this film without laying out the atmosphere surrounding it, because I am sure it has informed many of my thoughts on it overall. The three representatives from Trigger seemed to be containing a lot of excitement from the moment they arrived at the first panel. I feel a lot of the enjoyment of this film comes from being in a theater surrounded by an excited crowd which makes the hype moments of this film come to life just that much more. Continue reading

Make Your Tropes/Gimmicks Interesting

Over recent years within the anime landscape, there has been an increasing amount of characters that are modeled off of tropes for the sake of pandering to the audience. Many infamous words like “tsundere” have become common jargon among anime fandom communities over the last two decades or so. These kinds of words are used to describe a specific character archetype which appear throughout anime over time. Commonality will inherently form patterns as time goes on, and at this point these words have reached a point of becoming a major part of how many anime fans interface with different kinds of characters. In more recent years, anime production teams, mangaka, and light novel authors have begun to incorporate these tropes into stories intentionally in order to pander to their audiences. I feel that in doing this, many of these stories fail to make their characters interesting beyond fitting into their trope/archetype. In this post I will be exploring the codified origins of two of these infamous tropes in anime and why Neon Genesis Evangelion was successful in making these kinds of archetypical characters interesting. Continue reading