seawasp (seawasp) wrote,

Thirty Days of Anime -- Day 16: An Anime Classic that Simply Doesn't Work For You

Past the halfway point now!

Some of the prior subjects I've had a hard time making a decision on.

This isn't one of them.

One of the most well-known modern classics, worshipped by fanboys everywhere, I consider the most overhyped piece of crap I've ever had the misfortune to view, and that so-called classic and putatively influential waste of celluloid is

Neon Genesis Evangelion.

My distaste for Eva was made worse by the fact that it was the first new production from Studio Gainax in YEARS, and Gainax' prior work had included, to be honest, nothing BUT classics: their original Daicon shorts, Nadia: Secret of Blue Water, Gunbuster: Over the Top, Wings of Honneamise, and that incisive, self-deprecating yet triumphant work Otaku No Video. So my expectations for Evangelion were high.

But instead of a classic, they gave me flash, the worst of Gainax' habits, none of their good ones, and Anno's therapy sessions put onscreen. Pretty pictures, some interesting music, and absolutely nothing else I wanted to see.

Evangelion has been called a lot of things -- a mecha show, a deconstruction of the mecha genre, a religious allegory, etc. The fact is, it's none of them. It fails on every single count because it doesn't dedicate itself to any particular goals. It's not a deconstruction as such, because it has too much of the genre played straight, right down to working out technical details that simply aren't needed for the deconstruction. It's not an actual mecha show, because it doesn't play enough of it straight to be one. It's not religious allegory because despite throwing around some names, the imagery and deeper implications aren't drawn into the show until far too late.

More, it's got the least engaging set of characters Gainax has ever made. The main character, Shinji Ikari, has the spine of my online namesake (i.e., none). His fellow Eva pilots are a Gainax Redhead with all of the Gainax Girl Issues in one -- she's nearly a fusion of Nadia and Grandis, with all of their flaws and none of their really good points. Rei is a blowup doll -- flat affect even when slapping someone. This is apparently a very powerful fetish for a lot of Japanese men, which creeps me out, but explains her incredible popularity. Gendo Ikari makes Genma Saotome look like a candidate for Father of the Year. Misato isn't bad, but she's a hard drinking woman without much control over herself or her life -- something true of ALL the women in Eva, which -- looked at closely -- is one of the most subtly misogynistic anime I've ever seen.

And this inexplicably popular juggernaut has spawned multiple remakes and extensions? There ain't no justice when Eva gets all that attention and things like Phantom Quest Corp didn't even finish their first run, or Arion get an American release, etc.

The List:
Day 1 - Very first anime:Saint Seiya
Day 2 - Favourite TV series: : The Vision of Escaflowne
Day 3 - Your anime crush: Belldandy, from Ah! Megamisama/Ah/Oh My Goddess! and Shun from Saint Seiya
Day 4 - Favourite Film: Tonari no Totoro/ My Neighbor Totoro
Day 5 - Anime character you feel you are most like (or wish you were): Shikamaru from Naruto Shippuden
Day 6 - Most annoying anime character: Mihoshi, Tenchi Muyo!
Day 7 - Character you’d most like to slap: Sasuke, Naruto Shippuden
Day 8 - Most epic scene ever: End battle of YuuYuu Hakusho: The Poltergeist Report Movie
Day 9 - Saddest anime scene: Belldandy erasing herself from Keiichi's life in Ah! Megamisama/Ah/Oh My Goddess!
Day 10 - Favorite slice of life anime: Koko wa Greenwood
Day 11 - Favorite mech series: Giant Robo: The Day The Earth Stood Still
Day 12 - Best instalment of a franchise you don’t like: Nihao My Concubine
Day 13 - Worst instalment of a franchise you do like. Dragonball GT
Day 14 - Current (or most recent) anime wallpaper: Picture of Son Goku with Shen-Long done by my wife Kathleen
Day 15 - A reality check for a genre you like : Power-warrior anime and internal sanity/consistency!
Day 16 - An anime classic that simply doesn’t work for you: Neon Genesis Evanjellydonut... er,, Evangelion
Day 17 - Best Background Music
Day 18 - Best Five-team (?)
Day 19 - Change you’d like to make to any one anime
Day 20 - Most ambiguous anime character
Day 21 – Favourite OAV Series
Day 22 - Animation studio you'd most like to slap.
Day 23 - Anime you think had the best, or most intriguing art
Day 24 - Favorite anime hero or heroine
Day 25 - Best anime villain
Day 26 - Your favorite harem anime
Day 27 - Favorite anime opening theme song
Day 28 - Favorite anime companion/summoned creature
Day 29 - Best Anime Music Video
Day 30 - Favorite anime ending theme

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