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Neon Genesis Evangelion back to reviews
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A Memetic N2 Mine
As a Genre Deconstruction, the way Evangelion plays with tropes is borderline malicious towards the Super Robot Genre, and especially malicious towards the Real Robot Genre. This is mostly done by pointing out a necessary yet illogical convention of the genre, then proceeding to use it anyway because of its unique style. This unique style is using tropes that the audience has built-up Willing Suspension Of Disbelief from other shows and pushes them to their darkest extremes while employing the Rule Of Scary and religious symbolism to keep Fridge Logic at bay. But after a trope goes through the Evangelion process, it's effectively broken and can never really be used the same way again.

In the series, its made clear that Humongous Mecha are incredibly impractical (notice how the military drops bomb at the Angel at first, and how Jet Alone is depicted as a clunky, useless piece of machinery that's better off shut down). So why are the Evangelions used? Well, because they're based off the same Imported Alien Phlebotinum, they're able to go through the Angels' special barrier (the AT Field). But this explanation would not work for any other series except for Evangelion, as the Real Robot Genre is robbed of its plausibility and just raises the question of "Why Don't You Just Nuke Em, with far more practical means of delivery like jets"

Other examples: why are our protagonists Child Soldiers Falling Into The Cockpit? (Because the only one who synchronize with an Eva is the child of the person inside that Eva's Soul Jar! This explanation hardly holds up for Evangelion, much less another series.) Why are the Angels attacking one-by-one at the same place? (Because they're not intelligent, and even then, they all want their own version of Third Impact, which is initiated by bonding with one of the Eldritch Abominations Nerv has stored in Toyko-3. This would not hold up for a more typical Alien Invasion, which one would expect to be a decentralized, all out assault waged by a collective of intelligent beings, making the format of giant robots battling aliens every week more ridiculous.)

At the very least it made Follow The Leader difficult, and at the very most, redefined the genre by breaking its tropes.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention how the Evangelions are consistently portrayed as:

  • Hard to control, with Shinji *tripping* the first time he pilots one, and his inexperience is only made up by Unit-01/Yui acting by itself/herself, reinforcing that Evangelions are uncontrollable. This theme is repeated when the Angel infects Unit-03 (if memory serves correctly).
  • Destructible. They need to be repaired completely after almost every battle.
  • Limited. They have time limits, and they're frickin corded to a power source that only lasts five minutes at first.

The ultimate demonstration of all of these is when Asuka faces off against the Mass Produced Evangelions with Unit-02. The MP Evangelions demonstrate how the pilots are redundant for the functioning of the cyborgs, and the way Unit-02 succumbs to the power source time limit and is torn to pieces demonstrates how they're destructible and limited.

Um, sorry for the extra-rambling, I probably would've tried to fit this into the review yesterday if I had thought it up then.
comment #15330 rundown 11th Jul 12
  • only last five minutes when they're off of it at first; Unit-01 consuming the S2 Engine obviously changed this.
comment #15331 rundown 11th Jul 12
comment #15339 GrandPrincePaulII 12th Jul 12
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