Useful Notes Existentialism Discussion

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05:34:59 AM Jul 27th 2012
Someone added examples without explanation. I suspect they were shoehorned in. I doubt that every atheist or nihilist work is existentialist. And if we allowed every work where a character suffers and (w)angsts, it's People Sit on Chairs.

If you can find good proof that these works are exi (like Word of God), you can put them back.

     Anime & Manga  
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Ghost in the Shell
    • In particular the two Mamoru Oishii movies deal with machine intelligence determining its own fate and nature against the will of its creators.
  • Gurren Lagann
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
    • Several of the involved factions strugle for the power to redefine what it means to be human, but even more so the original series concludes with protagonist Shinji coming to terms with his nihilistic self-loathing.
      • Also the AT-Fields that are ultimately the source of the supernatural powers of all the Angels and the EVAs. They are actually the boundaries of each individual soul, keeping them separate from others, and their name stands for "Absolute Terror", which is what keeps the souls apart. "Hell is other people" indeed.
  • Sora No Woto

     Comic Books 


  • Hamlet
    • Generally considered to be one of the forerunners.

     Tabletop Games 
  • Planescape
    • Living next door to angels and demons and being able to visit gods and meet them in person, the people of Sigil have long given up on religion and the city is dominated by several philosophical factions that seek to find meaning in existence.

     Video Games  
  • Assassin's Creed
  • Final Fantasy
    • Existentialist themes appear over almost the entire series, but most notably in Final Fantasy VII.
  • Legacy of Kain
    • To the extent that the series literally ends with you having to fight against God.
  • Mass Effect:
    • While rarely directly concerning itself with philosophy, the solution to basically every problem Shepard helps solve is to teach the involved parties to determine their own fates and overcomming prejudices that prevented a peaceful compromise.
  • Metal Gear Solid:
    • The motivation for basically all the heroes and villains is to find a way to cope with the reality of being soldiers in a world where their kind is considered expendable and none of the people who make the descisions care what happens to those who have to carry them out. Filled to the brim with Nietzsche Wannabes, the series pretty much breaks the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism.

08:39:47 AM Aug 21st 2012
11:26:27 AM Dec 11th 2012
edited by eedwardgrey3

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