14 April 2014 0200H
This marks the day I finished reading the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga. I think it was my first anime frustration as a child. The first show I was never able to finish because there wasn’t anything to finish at all.
I am not sure what to say. I am not sure if I am disappointed because there are some things that either don’t tie up, or that simply go beyond my comprehension of the story.
The ending was a beginning. It was also an erasure of their memories. Even Shinji seemed to forget what happened, even though the death of his mother and the abandonment of his father remained the same.
What exactly happened?
The reason of this frustration… it’s probably that I feel like nothing’s changed since that time more than a decade ago when the anime left me hanging and the lasting impression that I can recall from this anime was Shinji and Asuka kissing with Rei watching. Somehow, I still don’t understand, I still don’t know what to make of the story which I yearned for so long to be finished. And this is the ending I searched for.
I guess that’s just another ending for me.
But thank you. Thank you for being a part of my childhood.
I have to move on now, although I do not know what from, how to, nor towards where, but with this ending, I will have to move on now, somehow, somewhere.
“I started this production with the wish that once the production complete, the world, and the heroes would change. There are too many painful things for people to go on living in reality. Thus, humans run and hide in dreams. They watch films as entertainment. Animation, as a means to enjoy everything in a pure, fake world, is a realization of dreams and has become entrenched in film. In short, it is a thing where even coincidences are arranged and everything judged cinematically unnecessary can be excised. The negative feelings of the real world are no exception. Characters in animation do not cheat. They do not let you go for another. Animation is on certain points, very close to the pornography industry. All your physical needs are met. You can watch different animations and find anything you desire. Audiences have come to need a work only as an escape from reality, as a comfortable dream, judging everything on the criterion of moe, while creators’ intellectual paucity and the jumble of trivial touches have encouraged that structure. At the same time, TV-type mass consumption, which prizes instant gratification and simplistic results, laid the impoverished grounds of contemporary Japanese entertainment giving rise to masses that can only respond with praise for superficial details and technical proficiency; with tears, laughter, fear, or some outpouring of simple emotions; or with identifying and particularism. And here we are, in this stagnant state of affairs. I am stuck here myself. It’s embarrassing and frustrating, and I also regret that I contributed to it. I want it fixed. The sooner, the better. Eva is a story of repetition. It is a story where our protagonist faces the same situation many times over and determinedly picks himself back up again. It is a story of the will to move forward, even if only a little. It is a story of the resolve to want to be together, even though it is frightening to have contact with others and to endure ambiguous loneliness. Evangelion is like a puzzle, you know. Any person can see it and give his/her own answer. In other words, we’re offering viewers to think by themselves, so that each person can imagine his/her own world. We will never offer the answers, even in the theatrical version. As for many Evangelion viewers, they may expect us to provide the ‘all-about Eva’ manuals, but there is no such thing. Don’t expect to get answers by someone. Don’t expect to be catered to all the time. We all have to find our own answers.” – Hideaki Anno
16 April 2014 | silhouettica
Hm.. I feel like responding to this. :)
After finishing NGE, I kept pondering just what the heck happened, even after I made this post. I realized that so many people died. There’s Shinji’s dad, Rei, his friend, his guardian and her lover (sorry, I forgot their names), and there’s the blondie who fell in love with Shinji’s dad just like her mom. They all died. So in a sense, I realized, it wasn’t a completely similar world. So many people died, and that changed the entire setting.
Strange. Somehow this makes me remember that high school topic on story essentials, like setting, plot, characters, etc. It really does change the story when you introduce, or in this sense, deduct from the character list. In a way, the ending wasn’t a repetition, or a second chance at their lives, but actually a continuation. But I wonder, where do they start off with? What happened to their history? That time as Eva pilots, that period after the second impact, how about their memories then?
What gets to me is that a whole significant chunk of their memories just completely vanished with no explanation.
Why can’t they remember? Life, the future depends on the past. A future without a past can hardly be called a future, can it?
This quest for answers, it’s very human, isn’t it? I agree, it says in the preceding quote, “Don’t expect to get answers by someone. Don’t expect to be catered to all the time. We all have to find our own answers." The thing is… somehow, we expect that there should be an answer, but the way the story is, with the jumble and all, it’s kind of hard to derive an answer out of pieces that don’t match up. Or at least don’t seem to. But that’s up to the reader, isn’t it. In the end, it’s up to us to piece the fragments together and create an answer, not just rip off one.
Until now, I still can’t find that answer for Eva. I guess it’s a matter of leaving that answer for the characters themselves and finding an answer for my own life. I mean, just like we manga/anime enthusiasts already know. More than finding that answer for the story, we have to face the questions in our own lives. No, not that this can be applied to all manga/anime. Eva is different. As the quote said, it’s about continuing life. So, maybe one way to respond or read it, is to continue living our own lives. Well, that’s just my take.
I don’t know why the realdomdom reblogged my post with this quote, he could’ve just felt like it, and ta-da, but just for the record, I’m not one of those otakus’ who expect to get the answers from the creators themselves. I actually like finding the answers on my own. After all, you don’t expect to know a person completely just by asking others for their opinions on that person. Same with a story. It doesn’t give justice to a good story to just imbibe another’s commentary on it.
I don’t know when or if I ever will solve this enigma of NGE, but I think it’s more important that I solve my own life first.
So yeah, thanks again. Life goes on.