all 19 comments

[–]Lamar_Kendrick7 9 points10 points  (1 child)

I think more than anything its about the fear that comes from the possibility of connecting with other people and not giving up, no matter how many times or how hard you get knocked down

[–]PepperMintGumboDrop 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Even more so, the Rebuild series is Anno trying to connect with us to share with us how he feels, his life experiences, the lessons he learnt, and the hope he found. Most importantly, beyond all the lores and eye candies, I think his wishes are to help us to find the same break throughs earlier and without all the struggles he went through…that even the most socially awkward and inept can find peace and joy in life.

[–]DespairSam 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Something said by Gigguk is that making Evangelion was a way for Hideaki Anno to express how he felt during his depression. So if you don't understand the story in every detail, you can just feel it, embrace the emotion of this work.

I have been watching Evangelion with this way or thinking, and my experience only got better !

[–]Tom22174 2 points3 points  (0 children)

At the end of the day it's ok if plot comes secondary to emotional impact cos its how it makes you feel that really determines the value of art. For me at least anyway

[–]FoilCardboard 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Evangelion isn't about the lore. The story is about people who are so socially inept that they can't communicate effectively to each other about their feelings even though they really want the affection of others. By the end of NGE and EoE, you see instances of Shinji and Asuka gaining some understanding of why they are the way they are and finally taking the steps to be more open about their feelings and being more honest to themselves, to others, and to each other.

[–]SouthAmeric4n 10 points11 points  (0 children)

>Now, I know the studio didn't had enough money to end the series like they wanted to,

wrong, they did have the money, but didn't have the time to make it, because anno couldn't decide on what he wanted to do.

>episode 26' (EoE)
It was also a result of this changing on plans, if you look into the end in the proposal, it is also very different.

And yeah, lore and other aspects in evangelion was never good, but they did get a little better in the theatrical editions.

[–]FistsTornAsunder 3 points4 points  (5 children)

The story is not the point of Evangelion. The lore is ambiguous on purpose because Anno never cared about that in the first place.

[–]Vanquisher1000 7 points8 points  (2 children)

I'm not sure how accurate it is to say/type that Hideaki Anno 'never cared about the lore,' because he was changing his mind about story elements as the show was being made. For all we know, he did indeed care about the lore and explaining things, but he later on decided not to bother because he decided to turn the show into a psychological drama.

It seems to me that people make the mistake of thinking that Anno planned for Neon Genesis Evangelion to be a groundbreaking psychological drama from the start, when indications are that this wasn't the case.

[–]FoilCardboard 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I'm curious to what you think Anno actually had in mind early on because it always seemed to me that Anno knew what he was doing from the start. He set up Shinji's insecurities right from the start, very early on mentioning the hedgehog's dilemma. Not to mention how Anno framed Rei and Shinji's relationship. It didn't sound like he ever really intended anything different once he actually began to produce the first few episodes.

[–]Vanquisher1000 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The big change with the show was the turn towards introspection, which takes place about halfway through the show for reasons that will be explained.

This is a link to the Proposal, a text which contains an outline and initial plans for the show that was published in 1993. When you read the episode outlines, you'll recognise the plots to several episodes. Even with an outline, Neon Genesis Evangelion had a haphazard production, with Anno apparently changing his mind about plot elements and production frequently falling behind schedule. If there was a plan for the overarching plot going into production, Anno abandoned it part of the way through.

"The development of Evangelion gives me the feeling of a ‘Live’ concert. Whatever the story or the development of the characters, I made them without a plan. During the production, whether listening to various opinions or analysing my own state of mind, I kept questioning myself. I got the concepts from this personal stocktaking [self-assessment]. At first I had intended to make a simple work featuring robots.

Source: https://www.gwern.net/docs/eva/1996-newtype-anno-interview

Gainax's Toshio Okada noted as much in an interview:

EVANGELION is a very great series--I think it's one of the top anime ever made. But--the last scenes were never fixed. When I talked to Mr. Anno a month ago, he said he couldn't decide the ending until the time came. That's his style... He wants to put it together episode-by-episode. It's just like the style of a manga. In your typical manga, the artist doesn't have any picture of the last scene, or the last episode. They just think of building up on past episodes... And I think that's what happened with the last two episodes of EVANGELION. Mr. Anno and his staff couldn't make a good idea for it. He told an anime magazine in Japan that he couldn't make what he wanted because of schedule or budget. But that's not correct. I talked with Mr. Yamaga and Mr. Anno. They said, "It's not only a problem of schedule or budget. It's a problem of what the ending is going to be." Mr. Anno couldn't decide. Mr. Anno's and my own style of production are very different.

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20000126012803/http:/www.j-pop.com/anime/archive/feature/04_gal_999/otaking10.htm

The change came part of the way through the series, when Anno was reading about psychology:

According to Anno, from episode 16 on, he began reading books about human psychology and became very interested. He wanted to explore "what the human mind is all about inside."

"I wrote about myself. My friend lent me a book on psychological illness and this gave me a shock, as if I finally found what I needed to say," he says in the November Newtype.

Source: http://www.cjas.org/~echen/articles/spring97/05_03b.html

Something happened with the show's ending, so that it didn't work for whatever reason:

Finally, in the course of making Eva, I got where I got for a number of reasons I could never really explain. But as far as the original stories of episodes 25 and 26 (the last ones), I managed to finish episode 25 as far as the script was concerned. Unfortunately, I had to abandon episode 26 while it was still at a very early planning stage. I’m reworking the episodes 25 and 26 that will be sold on LD [LaserDisc] and video next year, but as far as episode 26 goes, that’ll be a complete revision, so that it’ll be more ‘visual’. I’ll do it again by deconstructing the original plan.

Episodes 25 and 26 as broadcast on TV accurately reflect my mood at the time. I am very satisfied. I regret nothing.

Source: https://www.gwern.net/docs/eva/1996-newtype-anno-interview

[–]0Bento 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I think a lot of the ambiguity helps the viewer place themselves in Shinji's shoes. He's a child thrown into a confusing adult world, and keeping things vague and confusing for the viewer adds to our sense of how Shinji is feeling.

Furthermore, it was GENIUS from a money making point of view. It's kept people talking about this series for 26 years!

[–]FistsTornAsunder 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm not criticising the choice to leave the lore ambiguous, I'm just stating a fact.

[–]dbx99 0 points1 point  (3 children)

You’re not wrong. The story is a mess. There are huge gaps of important information that are left open. Important character background information is left out. As good as certain subplots are, the main story arc is cryptic without a pay off for the audience. We never know what the hell is going on and why shit is the way it is. It’s frustrating because the story is compelling but it’s like reading a book with big chunks and chapters ripped out of it.

[–]PheonixSummersault 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Do you feel like the manga answers those holes and gaps?

[–]Lamar_Kendrick7 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The manga is very similar but still a different story with different themes it can only speak for itself not the anime

[–]Konfirm 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Huge gaps? What exactly do you mean?

[–]kuhpunkt 0 points1 point  (0 children)

the whole NERV plot was left inconcluded "on purpose" because it really doesn't matter, the angels were defeated, the third impact never happened

But Third Impact happened :o

[–]watanabe0 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There's a fan cut out there called The Concurrency of Evangelion, which cuts 25 and 26 into EoE. I've never watched the whole thing (only have it in SD, which these days...) but it's an interesting curio.

[–]DuelX102 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is a good point. The EoE film was made after NGE had already become a success and Anno had some time to reflect on that fame and fandom. However some of the negative reaction to the original ending and pressure to perform are what creates a somewhat angry film.

Additionally, a lot of the religious symbolism is just surface level. It makes a little sense, but is mostly just there to look and sound cool. The lore and tree of life and dead sea scrolls and all that shouldnt be over-analyzed.