Evangelion Influences on Mecha Anime/Manga

Other mecha manga, shows, OAV's & movies

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Post by Poseidal » Thu Feb 03, 2005 11:17 am

This happened more than a few times (Dual and Nadesico come to mind)
Nadesico is based on the manga by Kia Asamiya, which outdates EVA.

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Post by Grebo Guru » Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:33 pm

Poseidal wrote:
This happened more than a few times (Dual and Nadesico come to mind)
Nadesico is based on the manga by Kia Asamiya, which outdates EVA.
But the anime came after, and is:
1 - Very different from the manga, and
2 - A frequent imitator/satire of Eva.

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Post by Grebo Guru » Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:59 pm

Cripes!

(smacks palm against forehead)

I can't beleive I forgot to mention Serial Experiments LAIN in all this stuff about anime and the avant-garde...

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Post by Poseidal » Fri Feb 04, 2005 9:47 am

Really? I never thought of Eva when I first saw Nadesico; in fact, if anything, it's like Macross: Civilian character gets enlisted onto a ship that, for a time, is Earth's only defense against alien invaders... over time, both species wind up bonding over culture.

I don't really see the imitation, and the satire is really more satire of Getter Robo and Gatchaman.

Also, I wouldsay the mecha designs of Turn A are no way influenced by Eva. Tomino picked the Sid Mead design because it was different to everything else; because the Sid Mead design was a REAL original twist on the Gundam design.

Now, 'eclectic ideas' (or whatever) were really fleshed out earlier in Ideon, which also had (in a very twisted way) a 'different' mecha design (ie. the ugliest thing you've ever seen). Thus, the use of these should be attributed to Ideon, not Evan, although the popularity of Evan may have allowed directors to take it more into wider use. Also, biological mecha were around in both Dunbine and Dragon's Heaven (I think the latter are biological anyway. They're weird, that's for sure.)

Now, Eva may have been the first to take these and blend them in such a way, but to say that it's the reason for such things appearing in other shows seems a bit far-fetched. Most of these things are re-hashings of things that have been around for DECADES. It has brought some new things in, but there's hardly a mecha show that doesn't.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't think it's a bad show, and I really enjoy the designs and the 'savagery', but I think that saying it's influenced the industry that much in a positive way is a real oversight.

And Nadesico isn't a bad show either. :evil:

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Post by Grebo Guru » Sat Feb 05, 2005 7:49 pm

Bow wow wow!

Ok, so let's see here...
Poseidal wrote:Really? I never thought of Eva when I first saw Nadesico; in fact, if anything, it's like Macross: Civilian character gets enlisted onto a ship that, for a time, is Earth's only defense against alien invaders... over time, both species wind up bonding over culture.
Well of course there are some touches of Macross in Nadesico. As a spoof/satire/in-joke-reference to so many anime, it's not a surprise. Besides, Macross is hardly the only show to use the formula you describe above. Heck, almost every giant robot show uses some variation on that theme, including Eva.

However, to say that Nadesico isn't that much like Eva is something I can't agree with. Consider:

The character of Ruri: talk about a Rei clone.

The AestiValis' broadcast power system: definitely a re-interpretation of the Evas' power cord gimmick.

Nergal: a complete duplicate of Nerv, even down to sharing the same first letters AND the reference to obscure religious themes.

Plus, as I think I said, Nadesico's very nature as an all-over anime in-joke makes it a follower in Eva's footsteps of being a "meta" show -- a show which is a deliberate, self-conscious reference to its own medium.
Poseidal wrote:I don't really see the imitation, and the satire is really more satire of Getter Robo and Gatchaman.
The Gekiganger 3 parts are of course a satire of Getter Robo. Im not sure what part reminds you of Gatchaman. But there are so many scenes and elements in that show which directly reference other animes (and non-anime sci-fi too) that its mind boggling. I mean, for starters, there are in-script references to the Nadesico as the Yamato... In the movie, the Nadesico-B is a Star Trek reference (as much has been said in interviews)... One of the crew is an anime voice actress... One of the characters is named Gort (a reference to Day The Earth Stood Still)... The "Magical Princess Laichi" bits spoof magical girl shows... I mean it goes on and on and on.
Poseidal wrote:Also, I would say the mecha designs of Turn A are no way influenced by Eva. Tomino picked the Sid Mead design because it was different to everything else; because the Sid Mead design was a REAL original twist on the Gundam design.
I didn't mean to imply that the Turn-A designs were somehow derived from the Eva designs. Rather, Eva's success with its *radically different* approach to mecha design encouraged other animes to *also* take radically different approaches to mecha design. And, as yourself say above, Turn-A did exactly that.

(As a side note, I remember being as apalled as anyone at the Turn-A when I first saw it, but its grown on me. Plus, the Gundam Astray really owes a lot to the Turn-A, and the Astray is one of my favorite mecha designs ever. So, um, I like it. Anyway.)
Poseidal wrote:Now, 'eclectic ideas' (or whatever) were really fleshed out earlier in Ideon, which also had (in a very twisted way) a 'different' mecha design (ie. the ugliest thing you've ever seen). Thus, the use of these should be attributed to Ideon, not Evan, although the popularity of Evan may have allowed directors to take it more into wider use.
But then again, Ideon is largely a reinterpretation of Gundam. Look at the casts. You can map them person-for-person to the cast of original Gundam. Heck, in interviews Tomino (the creator of both shows) gets the names of the characters mixed up between shows. And once again, Im not saying that Eva invented "eclectic anime." (In fact, I said up front that Eva mixed together many previously-existing elements.) However, Eva met with far far greater success than any eclectic anime before it and, as such, influenced the shows that came after it.

As for the Ideon mecha design itself being so radically different... I'm not entirely sure about that. Might you elaborate?
Poseidal wrote:Also, biological mecha were around in both Dunbine and Dragon's Heaven (I think the latter are biological anyway. They're weird, that's for sure.)
Never would I be so cavalier as to suggest that Eva invented organic mecha. Im well aware of the mecha from Dunbine, Jyuushin Liger, Iczer-1, Demon of Steel, Galkiba, and heck, even the Ro-Beasts from Voltron (GoLion). I was simply saying that the Evas' organic nature -- not to mention the fact that their organic nature was something of a surprise -- was one of many things which made them unusual.
Poseidal wrote:Now, Eva may have been the first to take these and blend them in such a way, but to say that it's the reason for such things appearing in other shows seems a bit far-fetched.
When you look at Evangelion's tremendous market success, it's not far-fetched at all.

(As an example, Rei Ayanami was such a popular character that she gained recognition above and beyond the show itself. In Japan, even people who never watched Eva, or anime at all, recognized Rei. She became THAT popular and ubiquitous. And after Eva, many many shows sported Rei-like chracters. Ruri, from Nadesico, being a prime example.)
Poseidal wrote:Most of these things are re-hashings of things that have been around for DECADES.
I acknowledged that at the beginning of my (admittedly very long) post. However, as I said, they were mixed in unique and special way.
Poseidal wrote:It has brought some new things in, but there's hardly a mecha show that doesn't.
Wellll... I can think of shows bring nothing new. After Macross, we got Orguss, Dorvack, Southern Cross, Mospeada, and Galvion. And man, I gotta say, Southern Cross really contributed nothing new to the world... But I think I may be digressing. The reason that Eva influenced so many shows after it -- indeed, the industry in general -- is because it was so massively successful. And the reason it was so massively successful is because it was so massively good.
Poseidal wrote:Now don't get me wrong, I don't think it's a bad show,
Yay! Glad to know that.
Poseidal wrote:and I really enjoy the designs and the 'savagery', but I think that saying it's influenced the industry that much in a positive way is a real oversight.
Well, I guess we just disagree. I personally feel that Eva's influence on the industry cannot be overstated. And I know full well that Im not some lunatic raving on my own here. There are many people who share my opinion. Not that that makes "me right and you wrong" or anything, I just want to be clear that Im not making this stuff up...
Poseidal wrote:And Nadesico isn't a bad show either.
Personally I found Nadesico excrutiating, but that's just me. I did love the mecha designs, I got a kick out of the Gekigangar-3 otakudom in the cast, and the movie had many good moments... But by and large I found the show obnoxious. I really wish I had enjoyed it more.

Anyway.

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Post by Poseidal » Sun Feb 06, 2005 12:23 am

Wellll... I can think of shows bring nothing new. After Macross, we got Orguss, Dorvack, Southern Cross, Mospeada, and Galvion. And man, I gotta say, Southern Cross really contributed nothing new to the world... But I think I may be digressing. The reason that Eva influenced so many shows after it -- indeed, the industry in general -- is because it was so massively successful. And the reason it was so massively successful is because it was so massively good.
I forgot about the Macross clones there. And Dragonar, which I was somewhat underwhelemed by.

The Ideon mechanical design comment was more of a sarcastic jab at the Ideon design, as (to me) looks so terrible it seems they were doing it on purpose, which is 'original' in a twisted way.
Well, I guess we just disagree. I personally feel that Eva's influence on the industry cannot be overstated. And I know full well that Im not some lunatic raving on my own here. There are many people who share my opinion. Not that that makes "me right and you wrong" or anything, I just want to be clear that Im not making this stuff up...
Yeah, I suppose we should just cut it here. I just had real difficulty enjoying it (although the first I saw of it were the OVAs).

But, I mainly want to talk about Nadesico:

Ruri: unlike Rei, has real emotions, which don't show up because she is just serious most of the time.

Nergal and the Broadcast power system: I really think this is pushing it a bit...

Also, EVA and Nadesico were both aired at somepoint in 1996, which means writing a storyline somewhat based on a manga, and animating it in a few months; which I find slightly unrealistic.

Anyway, I think I've spent enough time here. >_>

*craw;s back to the FSS forums*

Quiddity

Post by Quiddity » Sun Feb 06, 2005 3:16 pm

I think you bring up some good points Grebo Guru. I for one have been very dissappointed with people going overboard on Eva's influences in the medium. I think any discussion whatsoever of of Eva conceptually having influences is quite off the mark. Perhaps Eva made certain concepts more popular to use because Eva was such a successful show using those concepts, but any credit towards such concepts, whether its Instrumentality, Organic mecha, Rei-like characters, and so on... should go to the shows that actually originated them. Where I would say Eva has had some influence is more in the directing aspect (although admittingly much of the stuff in Eva should be thrown out, like scenes in eps 16 and 20 since Gundam did it first) and 'driving' anime producers to make something better. Whenever I see stuff like "So and so is a Rei clone" I want to vomit, not just because often times that character is nothing like Rei, but because thats not Eva's real influence.
Grebo Guru wrote: ECLECTIC IDEAS
One mustn't forget Eva's use of eclectic subjects (religion, psycholanalysis, mysticism). Be they window dressing, sumbolic parallels, or obscure references simply beloved by the creators, they're in there in force. This kind of topical association is a gimmick which has since been used again and again by other shows. RahXephon's use of music, Gasaraki's use of Japanese traditional superstition,
Yeah, but the difference with Eva and RahXephon/Gasaraki is that while in Eva such things are entirely window dressing as admitted by the creators themselves (remove all religious symbolism and Eva's plot and character development is unchanged), in RahXephon and Gasaraki those type of things are a part of the plot, particularly with Gasaraki. In such shows where symbolism is more on the level of Eva's with it being window dressing I might say so, but music and japanese superstition had much more a part in the plot than religious stuff did in Eva.
CHARACTERS

Evangelion went further than just about any anime I can think of in terms of featuring characters who are flawed... and yet still expressing great love for those characters. I mean, we've all seen anti-heroes and hotheads and characters with haunted pasts in anime, but Eva's characters are all SEVERELY damaged goods.
Yet we've seen this in Gundam before. Whether its Amuro, Kamille, Rosamia, Four, etc... we've seen many characters that have been severly messed up. This comes more down the conceptual stuff I spoke of later. Eva probably did take this to new extremes. But I wouldn't state it as an influence, particularly because later shows like RahXephon were much further restrained with that stuff, more in lines with Gundam.
MECHA DESIGN
The saying "if you want to do something better, you have to do it differently" really comes into play here. Eva's mecha were quite different from its predecessors. In fact, the Eva's arent actually even mechanical -- but nevermind that. Im referring to their visual and thematic construction. After Eva, mecha designers took much greater risks. They went all sorts of wierd places with their mecha. Consider the absolute strangeness of the mecha from Zone of the Enders, Brainpowerd, Overman KingGainer, RahXephon, Turn-A Gundam, Infinite Ryvius, Gene Shaft, Argent Soma, and Demonbane.
I wouldn't include RahXephon in this list (at least with the title mecha) since it is more or less an updated redo of Brave Raideen. Outside of that I'd more or less agree. Eva is not special in that it originated the concept of taking greater risks with its mecha, after all shows like Dunbine (atleast IMHO) had done that before. But it did make doing that more popular.

I'll close with an influence that hasn't really been mentioned, and rarely is because its something negative. Eva's going overboard late in the show dealt a big blow to TV anime, so much so that years later Cowboy Bebop could barely air half of its episodes, including the last 8 episodes. If Eva doesn't go so overboard perhaps that does not happen.

Hello, I am Toyouchi at Hitatchi System Lab.

I have a couple of friends who work in the Anime industry.
They told me about the influence of "Evangelion."

The most significant issue is that because "Evangelion" series had
excessively atrocious and erotic scenes, and GAINAX presented/deliver
incomplete products to the TV station, as the result, TV stations
began to review the scripts before animated and also they began to
order anime producers to present/deliver the products one week before
on air. Not only TV-Tokyo*1 but also most of TV stations in Tokyo began
these acts.

# TV-Tokyo broadcasted "Neon Genesis Evangelion."

In some sense, the relationships of mutual trust between Anime
producers and TV stations were destroyed by "Evangelion," and
consequently, TV stations set up more strict rules for anime
production to make it safer.

Due to the before-animated-review by TV-Stations, now that Anime
producers have to revise scripts a lot. As the result, some anime
productions suffer from the too tight schedule which had been carried
out without problems before.

The friends of mine in the Anime industry say, "if GAINAX wished to
make an atrocious and erotic Anime or an experimental Anime, it could
have make OVA. More over, they must recognize the significant
influence to the entire Anime industry by the fact that the coarse
manner in the production resulted those two episodes (They mean the
last two episodes)."

Since I am not engaged in anime productions, and I heard the opinion
above from only a couple of friends in the industry, I don't quite
understand how significance the influence is and how long the
influence continues. However, as far as I've heard, GAINAX'es attitude
of production lacked a consideration.


Comments and information on the issues above are welcome.

Junichi Toyouchi.
’¡¡ toyouchi@sdl.hitachi.co.jp
BTW, with respect to Ideon being familiar to first Gundam, I'd certainly agree. One of my Ideon books (entitled 'Space Runaway Ideon & Tomino's World) which covers roughly the period of first Gundam to Xabungle actually has a lengthy article about this. Although I haven't translated it yet, I can post the character comparisons.

Cosmo = Amuro
Bes = Bright
Karala = Sayla
Gije = Char
Harulu = Kacilia
Kitten = Miharu
Daram = Ranba Ral
Sheryl = Kai
Camyula = Matilda

Likewise, with respect to the mecha:

Ideon = Gundam
Giran Dou = Zaku
Ganga Lubu, Zigg Mack = Zugock
Ideo Buster, Nova, Delta, Gil Bau = Gau, Dopp
Solo Ship, Gram Zan = White Base
Jineral, Tokamof = Magella Attack, Gallop
Gadacka, Jongu = Char & Amuro sword fighting?(this is an odd one)
Bairal Jin = Elmeth
Gando Rowa = Solar Ray

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Post by Grebo Guru » Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:34 pm

Quiddity wrote:Whenever I see stuff like "So and so is a Rei clone" I want to vomit
You know, I've really tried to be reasonable here, to be nice and considerate of other people (because it has been pointed out to me that at times I am not) and to just generally be fair. I mean, for example, I think that RahXephon was pretty poor -- a hollow imitation of Evangelion, in fact -- but I've tried to stay positive here. And then something like this gets posted.

Quiddity, I respect you. You've posted very few times, but they've all been sharp -- obviously backed up by experience and understanding. But... I mean, at this point, it seems like its me against the world. This whole thread is devolving more and more into an Eva-bashing party.

I'm not singling you out, here, Quiddity. I'm just tired of being made to feel foolish for being so fond of Eva -- for trying whenever I can to encourage other people to get into it. I'm just kinda sick of it. I have written a LOT about Eva's strengths (and yes, influence), and I can write little more. At this point, I'm tempted to just let Evangelion's massive market success speak for itself...

Feesh. I'm tired. Maybe I just didn't get enough sleep last night...

Quiddity

Post by Quiddity » Mon Feb 07, 2005 4:31 am

Grebo Guru wrote:
Quiddity wrote:Whenever I see stuff like "So and so is a Rei clone" I want to vomit
You know, I've really tried to be reasonable here, to be nice and considerate of other people (because it has been pointed out to me that at times I am not) and to just generally be fair. I mean, for example, I think that RahXephon was pretty poor -- a hollow imitation of Evangelion, in fact -- but I've tried to stay positive here. And then something like this gets posted.
Yes, something that doesn't bash you and doesn't bash Eva, only something that expresses my personal feelings on a minute detail of this subject.
Quiddity, I respect you. You've posted very few times, but they've all been sharp -- obviously backed up by experience and understanding. But... I mean, at this point, it seems like its me against the world. This whole thread is devolving more and more into an Eva-bashing party.
You'll have to seperate "Eva was not a big conceptual influence on the medium' from "Eva sucks". The fact is, not only did I not say a single thing negative about Evangelion, NOT ONCE was a single negative thing said about Eva since that post of yours, something I already said brought up many good points! Are people flaming you? No! Are people even bashing Eva? No they are not! I didn't address my opinion on Eva's quality at all in that post, not once. Every single thing I said with respect to Eva dealt with its influences and what can be conveyed as its influences on the genre. Zero Eva bashing from me. Get your facts straight, saying something like this is an Eva bashing party is nonscensical. Just because people here aren't gonna bow down and claim Eva as the most influential anime out there thats what this is? Heck, I conceded to you that you were right on many of your points! What the heck do you want from me? I could have came in here as a big Ideon and Gundam fan and bashed Eva to death about how it ripped them off in so many ways. I could have called Eva a hollow imitation of Gundam and Ideon like you said about RahXephon. Did I do that? No! Because I don't believe thats what Eva is! Heck, I'll say it right now, Eva(as a whole, TV + Movie) is in my top 5 anime, and I rank it above every single mecha anime I've ever seen with the one exception of Escaflowne TV. I'm an Eva basher cause of that?

As far as you against the world, well you have to remember where you are. If you're at a typical anime messageboard you're in the majority. But you're at a board dedicated to mecha, one with a lot of people who know their mecha anime history very well. So if you try to make Eva out to be more influencial than it actually is, you're right, it is gonna be you against the world! The people here are educated enough to know that the notion of the Eva ripoff or Eva as a very original show are untrue! That doesn't make Eva bad, but thats reality.
I'm not singling you out, here, Quiddity. I'm just tired of being made to feel foolish for being so fond of Eva -- for trying whenever I can to encourage other people to get into it. I'm just kinda sick of it. I have written a LOT about Eva's strengths (and yes, influence), and I can write little more. At this point, I'm tempted to just let Evangelion's massive market success speak for itself...
No ones trying to make you feel foolish. This is a online messageboard. People are gonna disagree with you. If you can't accept that then avoid this medium. Hopefully thats not the case as I'd love to continue this discussion with you without you being upset about everyone not agreeing with you.

I don't want to see what has been a very good thread with many good points brought up by both sides descend into something much less. People are gonna disagree with you, deal with it.

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Post by Grebo Guru » Mon Feb 07, 2005 5:40 pm

So where was I? Oh yeah... Poseidal was saying:
Poseidal wrote:I forgot about the Macross clones there. And Dragonar, which I was somewhat underwhelemed by.
Yeah, there sure were a lot of Macross clones. And Dragonar? Yeah, that was an odd show. A Gundam clone which came along before Gundam started cloning itself. If Dragonar were made today, it would just be "Gundam D" or something like that...
Poseidal wrote:The Ideon mechanical design comment was more of a sarcastic jab at the Ideon design, as (to me) looks so terrible it seems they were doing it on purpose, which is 'original' in a twisted way.
Ah, I see. Now I understand your point. Heh! Well said.
Yeah, I suppose we should just cut it here. I just had real difficulty enjoying it (although the first I saw of it were the OVAs).
Yipes! That's a... less than ideal way to be introduced to the show... Im sorry to hear it.
But, I mainly want to talk about Nadesico:
Hokay!
Ruri: unlike Rei, has real emotions, which don't show up because she is just serious most of the time.
OK, first of all... If Ruri were EXACTLY like Rei, it would be copyright violation and the creators of Nadesico would get sued. So obviously she has to be slightly different. But, I mean, a near-emotionless girl with whitish/pale-blue hair? C'mon, you have to admit there are some distinct similarities.

I have to admit I was very happy she was the main character and captain in the movie. That was cool.
Nergal and the Broadcast power system: I really think this is pushing it a bit...
I really don't think it is at all. When I was watching Nadesico for the first time, I was dumbstruck at how similar these devices were to those from Eva. A power cable limits how far an Eva can go from its base, and broadcast power limits how far AestiValis'es can go from their ship. Nergal and Nerv are very similar organizations, even down to their names and religious references.
Also, EVA and Nadesico were both aired at somepoint in 1996, which means writing a storyline somewhat based on a manga, and animating it in a few months; which I find slightly unrealistic.
Evangelion ended in March of 1996. Nadesico began in October of 1996. I'd say there's plenty of time there.
Anyway, I think I've spent enough time here. >_>

*crawls back to the FSS forums*
Well, cool enough... I hope I didn't come across as obnoxious or anything, Poseidal. (Or should I call you Ladios Sopp? ;) )

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Post by Grebo Guru » Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:23 pm

Quiddity wrote:I think you bring up some good points Grebo Guru.
Thanks man.
Quiddity wrote:I for one have been very dissappointed with people going overboard on Eva's influences in the medium.
Sorry to disappoint you. However, Eva was a huge influence on the industry. Im not saying it came out of nowhere -- of course it is a product of its context (its history and environment) -- but it really changed things a lot.
Quiddity wrote:I think any discussion whatsoever of of Eva conceptually having influences is quite off the mark.
I think that is a very strange thing to say, considering how different the face of anime was after Eva.
Quiddity wrote:Perhaps Eva made certain concepts more popular to use because Eva was such a successful show using those concepts,
Isn't that the dictionary definition of "influence"?
Quiddity wrote:but any credit towards such concepts, whether its Instrumentality, Organic mecha, Rei-like characters, and so on... should go to the shows that actually originated them.
Well of course. Any originator of any idea deserves credit for its invention. But I'm not saying that Eva invented anything. (It probably did, but Im not thinking about that right now.) All Im saying is that Eva made certain concepts more popular to use -- that is, that it influenced the anime industry.
Quiddity wrote:Where I would say Eva has had some influence is more in the directing aspect
Oh, absolutely true.
Quiddity wrote:(although admittingly much of the stuff in Eva should be thrown out, like scenes in eps 16 and 20 since Gundam did it first)
Im not sure what you're referring to here. However, Ano has said that one of his main inspirations for Eva was Gundam, so some similarities should be expected.
Quiddity wrote:and 'driving' anime producers to make something better.
That's for sure. Not all attempts succeeded, but it sure was a breath of fresh air.

OK, now we get to "the comment"...
Quiddity wrote:Whenever I see stuff like "So and so is a Rei clone" I want to vomit, not just because often times that character is nothing like Rei, but because thats not Eva's real influence.
Nadesico's Ruri is such a clone of Rei it staggers my mind. Why does the idea bother you so much that you want "to vomit"? (And why do you feel the urge to use such angry descriptions?)
Quiddity wrote:Yeah, but the difference with Eva and RahXephon/Gasaraki is that while in Eva such things are entirely window dressing as admitted by the creators themselves
I'd love to see your source for this. However, whether or not such things were initially used as "window dressing" is immaterial. Viewers of the show (myself included) found meaning in those elements. Apparently, so did the producers of other anime, as they went and used similar devices in their shows.
Quiddity wrote:(remove all religious symbolism and Eva's plot and character development is unchanged),
Not sure I agree with that one.
Quiddity wrote:in RahXephon and Gasaraki those type of things are a part of the plot, particularly with Gasaraki. In such shows where symbolism is more on the level of Eva's with it being window dressing I might say so, but music and japanese superstition had much more a part in the plot than religious stuff did in Eva.
Like I said, whether or not the symbolism and thematics is a key component of the story or not is irrelevant. Eva used them heavily, and after Eva, more anime shows did the same kind of thing.
Quiddity wrote:Yet we've seen this in Gundam before. Whether its Amuro, Kamille, Rosamia, Four, etc... we've seen many characters that have been severly messed up. This comes more down the conceptual stuff I spoke of later. Eva probably did take this to new extremes.
Precisely. And that new extreme -- that externalization of excessive emotion -- became a staple of post-Eva anime.
Quiddity wrote:But I wouldn't state it as an influence, particularly because later shows like RahXephon were much further restrained with that stuff, more in lines with Gundam.
If you don't like RahXephon as an example, how about Serial Experiments Lain? The characters in that show were light-years beyond neurotic. There's a plethora of other shows which did the same kind of thing, following Eva's lead. Again, Im not saying Eva invented flawed characters (Id be insane to say that), but I am saying it made *severely flawed* characters a more popular storytelling device in anime. And that, again, is influence.
Quiddity wrote:I wouldn't include RahXephon in this list (at least with the title mecha) since it is more or less an updated redo of Brave Raideen.
It is rather Raideenlike. However, it also has angelic elements (hello, Eva) and is flat-out STRANGE (another thing made popular by Eva). So there you go.
Quiddity wrote:Outside of that I'd more or less agree. Eva is not special in that it originated the concept of taking greater risks with its mecha, after all shows like Dunbine (atleast IMHO) had done that before. But it did make doing that more popular.
Yes, exactly. I cannot stress enough that I recognize and acknowledge that Eva took many elements from many previously existing shows and mixed them together. However, the quality and popularity of Eva encouraged -- or influenced -- subsequent anime to try similar things.
Quiddity wrote:I'll close with an influence that hasn't really been mentioned, and rarely is because its something negative. Eva's going overboard late in the show dealt a big blow to TV anime, so much so that years later Cowboy Bebop could barely air half of its episodes, including the last 8 episodes. If Eva doesn't go so overboard perhaps that does not happen.
This I did not know, and its interesting to hear. Now, for the sake of brevity I'm going to snip out the message from your friend Toyouchi at Hitatchi System Lab, and just comment on it.

For one thing, I think perhaps (note: perhaps) your friend's view on Eva's influence is a little skewed because he's close to people in the anime industry. Therefore, to him, Eva prompting the industry to review scripts and require earlier delivery is its biggest influence. To me, as a fan, that's not its biggest influence. (Note: I work in the industry too, but in the American industry -- a shadow of the Japanese one. So I consider myself a fan more than a pro.) However, a negative influence is still an influence...

Really, Im curious to learn more about this part. I may ask around and see what I can find out. It should be noted, though, that Eva didn't invent shock or controversy either. In the context of anime and manga, Go Nagai is probably the person who should be credited with that.

As an aside, to this day I have not gotten any hard facts as to whether the last 2 episodes of Eva were as sketchy as they were because that's how Gainax & Ano wanted them, or if that's all they could muster. Whatever the case, I really love the last 2 episodes of Eva. I think they're brilliant and beautiful.
Quiddity wrote:BTW, with respect to Ideon being familiar to first Gundam, I'd certainly agree. One of my Ideon books (entitled 'Space Runaway Ideon & Tomino's World) which covers roughly the period of first Gundam to Xabungle actually has a lengthy article about this.
Coolness. Thanks for the clarification and the list of character and mecha correlations!

Now, as for your -- Quiddity's -- response to my initial response: First, let me say that my response was emotional, I admit it. I was tired, and I found your "makes me want to vomit" comment hostile. Maybe you didn't mean it that way, but I took it that way. If I was wrong, I'm sorry. You then proceeded with a tirade that is pretty impressive. My hat is off to you for your vociferousness and your energy. I still feel like you get a little overzealous and your post reads a lot like you're yelling. But perhaps that's just me.
Quiddity wrote:People are gonna disagree with you, deal with it.
I can deal with it. I feel compelled to explain, however, that this whole thread has confused me for a couple of reasons:
1 - Eva's enormous influence is so obvious to me that, when people challenge it, it's sorta feels similar to if people told me that the Earth isn't round. It's just so hard for me to wrap my head around.
2 - Everyone I talk to IRL -- friends, co-workers at Viz and especially the staff of Animerica -- sees Eva's influence as plainly as I do. So, again, when I find people here who so zealously decry Eva's influence, I'm completely befuddled.
3 - I am overly sensitive, and I know it. I do apologize for it, and I appreciate how patient and tolerant everyone here can be.

Anyway, Quiddity, Im happy to hear you actually like Eva. I also dig your name, its quite appropriate. Are you from the UK? Just curious.

Anyway, I guess I've said my piece for the moment...

Grebo

Quiddity

Post by Quiddity » Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:51 pm

OK, first of all... If Ruri were EXACTLY like Rei, it would be copyright violation and the creators of Nadesico would get sued. So obviously she has to be slightly different. But, I mean, a near-emotionless girl with whitish/pale-blue hair? C'mon, you have to admit there are some distinct similarities.
I for one have not seen Nadesico so I can't say that much about Ruri. But Rei was hardly the first waifish, emotionless girl with pale hair and skin. Tokiko Mima from Key the Metal Idol, which came out about a year before Eva immediately comes to mind. Like I'll say soon, conceptually Eva was not all that special. Rei is not an original character. If Nadesico's creators would get sued for having a Rei like character, then Eva should get sued by shows that came before it that had similar characters.
I think that is a very strange thing to say, considering how different the face of anime was after Eva.
I don't think its strange to say at all. Conceptually, speaking of concepts from within the show that were popular both before and after Eva, whether is the weak willed teenage boy piloting his dad's mecha, the monster of the week style, the religious symbolism, etc... Eva did not really break new ground. Thats what I'm saying.
Quiddity wrote:Perhaps Eva made certain concepts more popular to use because Eva was such a successful show using those concepts,
Isn't that the dictionary definition of "influence"?
I'm not contesting that Eva is influential from that department. Where I disagree greatly is that Eva was influential from a conceptual standpoint.
All Im saying is that Eva made certain concepts more popular to use -- that is, that it influenced the anime industry.
Well I will certainly agree with you about that.
Quiddity wrote:(although admittingly much of the stuff in Eva should be thrown out, like scenes in eps 16 and 20 since Gundam did it first)
Im not sure what you're referring to here. However, Ano has said that one of his main inspirations for Eva was Gundam, so some similarities should be expected.
I'm talking about stuff in later episodes of MS Gundam after newtypes became a big part of the show, and various newtype related stuff throughout Zeta Gundam. The episode where Amuro kills Lalah for example. Now granted, things are different in that while in Eva its more of an internal struggle within Shinji's head and in Gundam its newtypes like Amuro, Jerid or Kamille communicating with fellow newtypes/the dead. But from a style standpoint I'd say they're somewhat similar.
Why does the idea bother you so much that you want "to vomit"?
Because in my mind "Eva-ripoff/Eva-clone" discussion is a waste of time. I've heard so much of it over the years and so much of it has been inaccurate that I can't stand hearing it anymore. I went into Eva in early 2000 expecting it to be a lot better than it actually was. Why? Because for 2 years I had heard little more than how Xenogears, which remains to this day the best written video game I've ever played(and better written than any anime I've ever seen) was an Eva ripoff. I was expecting Eva to be exactly like it because of that. And found that outside of superficial similarities that are absurdly common in mecha anime anyway, they weren't as close as I had been told. Ever since I've found it necessary to dispel any such talk about Eva ripoffs. They don't exist.
Yeah, but the difference with Eva and RahXephon/Gasaraki is that while in Eva such things are entirely window dressing as admitted by the creators themselves
I'd love to see your source for this. However, whether or not such things were initially used as "window dressing" is immaterial. Viewers of the show (myself included) found meaning in those elements. Apparently, so did the producers of other anime, as they went and used similar devices in their shows.
Tsurumaki was asked about it at Otakon in 2001.

Q) Can you explain the symbolism of the cross in Evangelion?

Tsurumaki : There are a lot of giant robot shows in Japan,
and we did want our story to have a religious theme to help
distinguish us. Because Christianity is an uncommon religion
in Japan we thought it would be mysterious. None of the staff
who worked on Eva are Christians. There is no actual
Christian meaning to the show, we just thought the visual
symbols of Christianity look cool. If we had known the show
would get distributed in the US and Europe we might have
rethought that choice.
Quiddity wrote:(remove all religious symbolism and Eva's plot and character development is unchanged),
Not sure I agree with that one.
Well then, lets go over things. The only sign we get whatsoever in Eva of any character having any religous beliefs is Misato's cross. But even then nothing is ever said about why its a cross she wears and not some other symbol. There's no Christian or religious meaning to her wearing it. That the bad guys are called Angels has no relevency to the plot whatsoever. Infact I think it was only talked about once (in ep 11 if I remember correctly) about why Angels, who are supposed to be good are their enemies. Go down the line. The cross blasts. Lillith being crucified. The fact that the first Angel is called Adam. How relevent are those? They aren't! Substitute another symbolic device in there and what effect does it have on the plot? None.

If you don't like RahXephon as an example, how about Serial Experiments Lain? The characters in that show were light-years beyond neurotic. There's a plethora of other shows which did the same kind of thing, following Eva's lead. Again, Im not saying Eva invented flawed characters (Id be insane to say that), but I am saying it made *severely flawed* characters a more popular storytelling device in anime. And that, again, is influence.
I would disagree on Lain too. Her sister(or should I say, the actress playing her sister) goes crazy. But thats about the only extreme. I wouldn't put Lain on the level of a Shinji or Asuka. I think outside of those 2 characters, no one's in the same stratosphere as Eva's.

Yes, exactly. I cannot stress enough that I recognize and acknowledge that Eva took many elements from many previously existing shows and mixed them together. However, the quality and popularity of Eva encouraged -- or influenced -- subsequent anime to try similar things.
We're not all that far apart after all. :) I don't disagree with Eva being an influencial anime. I wouldn't put it among the leaders of influential shows however, and I will not concede that there is any Eva ripoff out there. Eva's biggest influence IMHO will always be that it was of such a high quality that competitors had no choice but to work on making their own mecha shows of high quality as well. Eva set the bar so high that producers had to stop churning out low quality work.
Really, Im curious to learn more about this part. I may ask around and see what I can find out. It should be noted, though, that Eva didn't invent shock or controversy either.
Oh, certainly. I do think however that when discussions of Eva's influence come up, far too often (infact almost always) this influence is left out. Its certainly not something for Gainax to be proud of. Its unfortunate, not just for Eva itself (since they had to axe their original ending, which eventually became the movie), but for shows that came after it like Bebop.
As an aside, to this day I have not gotten any hard facts as to whether the last 2 episodes of Eva were as sketchy as they were because that's how Gainax & Ano wanted them, or if that's all they could muster. Whatever the case, I really love the last 2 episodes of Eva. I think they're brilliant and beautiful.
I love them when combined with End of Eva. And I really like that Ideon homage at the very end. I fully understand the controversy over them though, I think as a sole ending they leave far too much to be desired. But the fact is, we've got EOE, so no need to get into that. EOE combined with those 2 episodes make a very strong ending. If this was 1996 one could be upset about that. Not now :P
Anyway, Quiddity, Im happy to hear you actually like Eva. I also dig your name, its quite appropriate. Are you from the UK? Just curious.
Nope, I'm American. Quiddity's the 'dream sea', a higher plane of human existence from UK author Cliver Barker's "The Great and Secret Show". Although you (seemingly) already know that. Unless 'Quiddity' has another meaning in the UK that I'm not familiar with :P

Sarte

Post by Sarte » Fri Mar 11, 2005 8:43 pm

Hey! I like Ideon's design! It's like the GM from Hell! :evil:

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Post by Nu Soard Graphite » Fri Mar 11, 2005 10:02 pm

Its mind boggling to me that anyone out there doesn't think that EVA had an impact on the anime (mainly mecha, but even beyond that) industry.

If Gundam or Macross is the Star Wars of Anime, then EVA is its Matrix.

At the time EVA came out on Japanese Tv, there weren't very many mecha shows on. I remember quite well, that at that time anime was oversaturated with shojo fluff and magical girls out the wazoo. Then EVA came out and a few years later, mecha anime is back with a vengance.

Personally, I liked EVA a little, but not as much as a lot of people. Maybe thats because I saw it as it was being broadcast on Japanese tv, before all the hype started, because if someone told me it was the best-anime-ever, then I watched it, I would've thought it was complete crap. Going into EVA with a completely open mind with no expectations whatsoever is necessary in order to appreciate it properly.

As for the subject matter it covered, I find that the videogame Xenogears did it 100 times better. Talk about fantastic. Opinion of course, but it is a very popular game, one of the few with enough fans (rabid enough, anyway) to have it compete with Final Fantasy as king of RPG's.

As for the influence of its mecha designs, I agree that it did have a serious influence on designers who came after, encouraging them, not necessarily to copy its design aesthetic (and many have) but instead it encouraged them to experiment with new looks and styles and I for one am grateful to it for that. Mecha design was getting pretty stagnant at that point (mainly Gundam, Macross or Go Nagai inspired and not much in between. FSS MH's were about the most unique thing going at the time)
Shinei!

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