TV Tropes Org
site search
Neon Genesis Evangelion back to reviews
Comments
Food For Thought
I have literally, as I type this, just finished watching the series "Neon Genesis Evangelion" for the first time. Introduced to it properly by this very wiki's "What Do You Mean Its For Kids" page, I became fascinated with it and decided to give it a watch.

I was already aware of the show from a video by the infamous You Tube Poop artist Walrus Guy called "Arthur's Massive, Throbbing Hit" which features clips from Episode 18 (and references Episode 19), but I had never felt a want to watch it until I took the time to read about it, and now I have, I think it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever watched.

Evangelion is not just your average Humongous Mecha anime; it's a work of art. From the designs of the Evangelions themselves to the Angels, this series shows aesthetic beauty as well as less "physical" beauty.

Each character is well-defined and tragic in their own right, each with their own burden and fear. Emotionless Girl Rei struck me the most, as she is perhaps one of the saddest characters on the show. Byronic Hero Asuka also struck me quite a lot, as she comes off at first as your average bully, tsundere, and general bitch, until you learn about her dark past, which really does make you feel sorry for her, and ascends her away from Scrappy status.

The bloody violence was not as bad as I expected, thankfully. Asuka's Mind Rape was one of the darkest things I have ever watched. Her horrible shriek of "NO!" as the Angel Arael shuffles through her memories and tortures her is not something that will be leaving me any time soon.

The controversial ending, due to the terrible budget problems GAINAX had at the time, and which resulted in the creation of The End Of Evangelion, did not particularly strike me as confusing; it just seems to be a bit "deep". One can only suppose fans of the show wanted more fighting and less thinking, which, in retrospect, totally went against the show's purpose. One can only assume the fans of the show totally misinterpreted what the show meant.

Overall, this show has changed my perspective of the world and ideas, and has inspired me. I feel that everyone must see this, if only one episode, regardless of whether they love it or hate it. This is a must-see for anyone looking for thrills and brain food at the same time.
The TV series ending is a classic case of Broken Base. Years ago, I found an essay that argues that the TV ending sucked, and while I definitely don't agree with all of it, I do agree with some of its points (especially regarding the lack of resolution). I personally find that if you hold the very end of Episode 26 in abeyance, you can think of Episodes 25-26 as part of End of Evangelion.

Edit: My original link doesn't seem to work. If you want to read it, try http://web.archive.org/*/http://www.escaflowneonline.com/eva/ and click one of the older links.
comment #7703 Bionicman 17th May 11 (edited by: Bionicman)
The ending wasn't the way it was because psychobabble was the point of the show: it was (like everything before it) because of Anno's Creator Breakdown. End of Evangelion was a more over-the-top and (IMHO) even less satisying alternative. The ideal ending would be a mixture of both, which I hope the manga or the Rebuild movies can achieve.
comment #8344 ManwiththePlan 29th Jun 11
1: Anno made Eo E to give the fans what they wanted... while simultaniously fucking their mothers. Sure, they get to see Asuka in an actual fight, and the violence was pretty cool, but EVERYBODY DIES. Except for... what, 2 people? 4, if you believe some of the "Asuka is Rei and Misato" theories.

2: The ending was great, in my opinion. It's mostly the early episodes I didn't like. It was like Gundam, on earth, with the world's saddest pilot. Then you realise his mother is dead. And his father only contacts his son when he needs something from him. And that people started shunning him from an early age, because of the rumors about Gendo (which, btw, are only partially true :P)

And then things start getting really dark. Shinji cripples his best friend, Asuka gets mind raped and goes into a major downhill spiral and Rei dies. And subsequently replaced. And then Kaji dies, and Misato gets depressed...

And suddenly, there's a break of sunshine. The darkness stops. Everyone acknowledges their problems, and Shinji decides that life is worth living after all. After seeing his mother die, being Asuka's doormat, seeing Rei die, being basically abandoned and emotionally neglected by his father and basically seeing everything fall to pieces... he decides life is worth living, and the walls come down. After a downward spiral into Mind Screw and Kick The Dog, this ending was very fitting.

You see, it isn't just about watching the characters. It's about relating, and getting into their minds. Putting yourself into their shoes. You see someone you care for deeply sacrifice their own life to spare yours. How do you feel?

...Of course, this is just how I view the series.
comment #10894 MrMallard 18th Oct 11 (edited by: MrMallard)
Evangelion is psuedophilosophy; junk food for those who have never seen real philosophy.
comment #10895 eveil 18th Oct 11
No, it really really isn't. There's a message there and it's a valid one, you just have to look hard enough to see it instead of being a condescending asshole and immediately writing it off as "psuedophilosophy" when you're not actually qualified to know the difference.
comment #10905 TheMalignancy 18th Oct 11
It also helps to have gone through depression. You can relate to Shinji, and it makes the ending that much sweeter.
comment #10906 MrMallard 18th Oct 11
No, it really really isn't. There's a message there and it's a valid one, you just have to look hard enough to see it instead of being a condescending asshole and immediately writing it off as "psuedophilosophy" when you're not actually qualified to know the difference.

I suppose emos would find this kind of stuff deep and thought-provoking.
comment #10907 eveil 18th Oct 11
Not neccesarily emos; someone who's gone through depression themselves, perhaps?
comment #10916 MrMallard 19th Oct 11
Depressed people aren't exactly in their best neurological state. Meaning, they most likely aren't fit to be philosophizing.
comment #10920 eveil 19th Oct 11
Well please. enlighten us, how would you define true philosophy, and how does EVA fail to live up to that standard?
comment #10981 Lunacorva 23rd Oct 11
Preferably something that involves a better connection to reality and actual human behavior?
comment #10983 eveil 23rd Oct 11
Preferably something that involves a better connection to reality and actual human behavior

Which is actually what the show (and Anno himself several times) address. The references to Sartre, Schopenhauer and the way it takes on human nature is legit, there is no denying this. Second, Your comment on depressed people is hella stupid, considering that most famous philosophers are more or less pessimist/cynical (which is often the result of their research rather than any neurological disease). A self-proclaimed expert like yourself should have known that eveil.

So please. enlighten us, how would you define true philosophy oh pretentious troll of Tv-Tropes.

comment #11343 kn83 13th Nov 11
Which is actually what the show (and Anno himself several times) address. The references to Sartre, Schopenhauer and the way it takes on human nature is legit, there is no denying this.

Giving the lead characters ridiculously exaggerated personalities and mental issues based on personality disorders? It's like how the media typically portrays other mental disorders like autism and ADHD.

Oh, and the situation isn't really relatable to real life either, unless you've been conscripted to save the world before.

Second, Your comment on depressed people is hella stupid, considering that most famous philosophers are more or less pessimist/cynical (which is often the result of their research rather than any neurological disease). A self-proclaimed expert like yourself should have known that eveil.

Pessimist/Cynic =/= Depression. Try again.

So please. enlighten us, how would you define true philosophy oh pretentious troll of Tv-Tropes.

I'm pretty sure I already answered that.

Oh, and different opinion =/= troll. Now if I said "Ugh, fanboys always think having a different opinion is the same as trolling", that would be trolling.
comment #11345 eveil 13th Nov 11 (edited by: eveil)
Can you guys knock it off?
comment #11365 MrMallard 13th Nov 11
Just because you disagree with a philosophy that happens to be from anime doesn't discount it as a philosophy. And what you're saying is rather offensive toward people who've actually struggled with depression. Being in a depressed state of mind does not make your thoughts, opinions, and philosophies invalid. I found Shinji disturbingly easy to relate to thanks to depression I had at one point.
comment #12081 Xacebans 28th Dec 11
Just because you disagree with a philosophy that happens to be from anime doesn't discount it as a philosophy.

Correct. Failing as a philosophy discounts it as a philosophy.

And what you're saying is rather offensive toward people who've actually struggled with depression.

Being offensive doesn't make it any less true.

Being in a depressed state of mind does not make your thoughts, opinions, and philosophies invalid.

Correct. Having irrational thoughts, opinions, and philosophies makes them invalid. Which are more common amongst people suffering from depression.

I found Shinji disturbingly easy to relate to thanks to depression I had at one point.

I'm beginning to wonder if this is similar to those people who self-diagnose themselves with Aspergers.
comment #12084 eveil 29th Dec 11
Oh shite. eveil be trollin'

Are we actually arguing the validity of the philosophy/psychology behind Evangelion here? Let's face it, Evangelion is entertainment, it's not meant to be an intellectual exercise (if you wanted, you could write a Master's thesis on even My Little Pony... it doesn't elevate it intellectually). That, however, doesn't mean it can't speak to people who are going through depression.

The whole "depressed people = irrational people = people with invalid opinions" viewpoint is a very silly one. You're taking a broad group of people (at least 10% of the populous) and writing off their philosophies/opinions as invalid because of your silly generalizations. Irrational much?
comment #13360 HandyHandel 21st Mar 12
"Oh, you happen to be depressed. Your opinions are invalid and that TV show you like sucks!" lolz
comment #13361 HandyHandel 21st Mar 12 (edited by: HandyHandel)
Are we actually arguing the validity of the philosophy/psychology behind Evangelion here? Let's face it, Evangelion is entertainment, it's not meant to be an intellectual exercise

Now tell that to everyone else in this review.

That, however, doesn't mean it can't speak to people who are going through depression.

Good for them. That doesn't make its philosophy any more valid.

The whole "depressed people = irrational people = people with invalid opinions" viewpoint is a very silly one. You're taking a broad group of people (at least 10% of the populous) and writing off their philosophies/opinions as invalid because of your silly generalizations. Irrational much?

I'm sorry I have to tell you this, but irrational opinions aren't really valid opinions.

"Oh, you happen to be depressed. Your opinions are invalid and that TV show you like sucks!" lolz

I would strongly question whether or not anyone in this review actually has depression.
comment #13362 eveil 21st Mar 12
Since when is depressed a synonym for irrational?
comment #13364 marcellX 21st Mar 12
eveil is ALWAYS trolling. You could review a sunrise and s/he would camp out to argue its aesthetic inferiority.

Evangelion doesn't just namedrop philosophers, it has entire episodes based around concepts from Schopenhauer. Its characters are based on psychoanalytic theory. As for eveil's theory about irrationality not conducive to philosophy: Hegel would strongly disagree, and Nietzsche would appear to serve as an object refutation.
comment #13366 psycher7 21st Mar 12
Since when is depressed a synonym for irrational?

When you start using the word clinically.

@psycher7 I can reference famous people too rather than making an actual point.
comment #13367 eveil 21st Mar 12
So we're making stuff up now, nice. That's my cue to eveil has already reached that I'm 110% right about everything and would rather die than budge a single inch point so it's better to just walk away. For anyone wondering, yes, that was an advice for everyone else.
comment #13368 marcellX 21st Mar 12
^I suppose everyone has their own way of dealing with differing opinions.
comment #13369 eveil 21st Mar 12
Ok then, show me a research, or data of some kind that says that in all aspects, depression will always lead to irrationality. Don't get me wrong, depression can lead to irrationality, but it's not something that happens to such a high percent that it's deemed a synonym. And why is referencing suddently not a point? In fact I think I've even seen you using it. If someone said to me now that evolution is an unproven thing I could make a point simply by refering them to Richard Lenski or more specifically his e. coli experiment.
comment #13443 marcellX 25th Mar 12
Clinical depression IS irrational sadness. It's not "Something bad happened to me so I'm feeling down for a while." It's persistent, can last for years, and interferes with your everyday life.

And why is referencing suddently not a point?

If you're going to reference, reference evidence, not famous people. Especially if they're philosophers.
comment #13445 eveil 25th Mar 12
S/he said that the famous person he was referensing (in this case Hegel) has something different to say about and I quote "eveil's theory about irrationality not conducive to philosophy". Also being irrationally sad (which isn't even the correct definition of depression) doesn't mean that all their opinions are irrational "I'm sorry I have to tell you this, but irrational opinions aren't really valid opinions." or their ability to philosophize, after all many phylosophers famous or otherwise were or are depressed at some point. Not to mention that Mr Mallard said that it helps to understand if you have gone through depression not necesariry still be in it.
comment #13447 marcellX 25th Mar 12
Also being irrationally sad (which isn't even the correct definition of depression) doesn't mean that all their opinions are irrational

Yes, just most of their thoughts that stem from their depression.

or their ability to philosophize, after all many phylosophers famous or otherwise were or are depressed at some point.

Being depressed at some point doesn't mean they were depressed while philosophizing, being a famous philosopher doesn't mean your philosophy was rational or a good philosophy, and being depressed doesn't mean you can't be rational about things unrelated to your depression.
comment #13450 eveil 25th Mar 12
being depressed doesn't mean you can't be rational about things unrelated to your depression.

Are we even on the same page here? the point I'm trying to push foward is that being depressed doesn't inmediately invalidate your opinion because it doesn't necessarily means it will be irrational, that actually helps my point more than it does yours.

Yes, just most of their thoughts that steam from their depression.

Why? because you said so? it's like depression is just a big pile of the same to you, that they're no variation, levels, cathegories, etc. You can be depressed about a single thing and just that one thing and have it affect your other thoughts, views and opinions, not to mention your daily life in the minimum. Hence everyone going through that situation will experience the same, in this case, that most of their thought will steam from depression is very closed minded.

Being depressed at some point doesn't mean they were depressed while philosophizing

But it does mean that it helps understand people going through it, as Mr Mallard was trying to point out.

being a famous philosopher doesn't mean your philosophy was rational or a good philosophy,

For that statement to work (given your stance on the topic) all of their philosophies that were made while under the effects of depression would had to be bad and or irrational, remember you're the one going for the generalized absolute point.
comment #13452 marcellX 25th Mar 12
being depressed doesn't mean you can't be rational about things unrelated to your depression.

Are we even on the same page here? the point I'm trying to push foward is that being depressed doesn't inmediately invalidate your opinion because it doesn't necessarily means it will be irrational, that actually helps my point more than it does yours.

Yes, just most of their thoughts that steam from their depression.

Why? because you said so? it's like depression is just a big pile of the same to you, that they're no variation, levels, cathegories, etc. You can be depressed about a single thing and just that one thing and have it affect your other thoughts, views and opinions, not to mention your daily life in the minimum. Hence everyone going through that situation will experience the same, in this case, that most of their thought will steam from depression is very closed minded.

Being depressed at some point doesn't mean they were depressed while philosophizing

But it does mean that it helps understand people going through it, as Mr Mallard was trying to point out.

being a famous philosopher doesn't mean your philosophy was rational or a good philosophy,

For that statement to work (given your stance on the topic) all of their philosophies that were made while under the effects of depression would had to be bad and or irrational, remember you're the one going for the generalized absolute point.
comment #13453 marcellX 25th Mar 12
Why? because you said so? it's like depression is just a big pile of the same to you, that they're no variation, levels, cathegories, etc. You can be depressed about a single thing and just that one thing and have it affect your other thoughts, views and opinions, not to mention your daily life in the minimum. Hence everyone going through that situation will experience the same, in this case, that most of their thought will steam from depression is very closed minded.

You know, taking a point and stretching it to the extreme isn't a good way to argue. There's obviously a limit on what I meant by "thoughts that stem from depression".

But it does mean that it helps understand people going through it, as Mr Mallard was trying to point out.

Not all depressed people are the same.

For that statement to work (given your stance on the topic) all of their philosophies that were made while under the effects of depression would had to be bad and or irrational, remember you're the one going for the generalized absolute point.

No, that's just ridiculous. Your logical thought processes should still be working as normal most of the time even if you're depressed.
comment #13462 eveil 26th Mar 12
Not all depressed people are the same

Exactly so that means that not all depressed people's opinions are irrational

No, that's just ridiculous. Your logical thought processes should still be working as normal most of the time even if you're depressed.

Exactly, hence a depressed philosopher still quite capable of giving a rational and good philosophy. Which goes back to depressed people not always being irrational.
comment #13465 marcellX 26th Mar 12
If that's all you wanted to say, then we've both been wasting our time here. You don't have to take what people say so literally.
comment #13469 eveil 27th Mar 12 (edited by: eveil)
sight, I think I already proved the initial point I was trying to make in comment 13368, thanks for showing us yet again your losing complex.
comment #13470 marcellX 27th Mar 12 (edited by: marcellX)
In order to post comments, you need to Get Known
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy