A Commentary on Neon Genesis Evangelion. (Episodes 1-11)

This is written from the perspective of someone who has watched the entire franchise. Be assured, I am not as knowledgeable on the series as someone dedicated to it full time. Included are no spoilers for Rebuild. There shouldn’t be any spoilers for the episodes to come, either, but you never know, do you? This is a commentary, not a review.

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It’s ironic, I think. The “future of humanity” (Geofront) is built with a pyramid, and yet so long ago Jews, slaves to the Egyptians, built pyramids to use for their dead kings. “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” It seems unlikely that this was Gainax’s —or Hideaki Anno’s intention– but, personally, I don’t think it matters. It’s very representative of the way humanity as a whole has become a slave, in Neon Genesis Evangelion. In multiple aspects, too: a) a slave to circumstance–no option but to either die or fight the Angels; b) a slave to emotion–living in a pessimistic, dying world that only hangs on by a thread; c) and, most importantly I think, a slave to ignorance– it’s evident the true nature of the situation is tucked away for only the top brass to know.

Circumstance produces no characters with mercy in Neon Genesis Evangelion. If you ever wanted to fool yourself in the afterglow of defeating an Angel, it won’t work for long. In this world where even the most apparently sane characters are willing to sacrifice a child to the depths of a volcano, just for the slim chance you’d be able to catch and analyze it, there is only the most perverse kind of mercy. “It’s the future of Humanity at stake, of course it’s worth it.” Mercy only exists for yourself, and you have to shake it out God’s hand yourself.

Even if you obtained that mercy, almost everything you knew is dead. The emotion of it all, inhale it and absorb your situation. How have you not gone insane? There are, quite literally, monsters not all that distinct from you floating about the Earth. Robots are trying to kill them, and again, if either one happens to kill you it’s just too bad. You can be replaced.

And, perhaps most laughable, you have no idea why you’re doing any of this. The darkness present for most of episode eleven, where I stopped for this commentary, is a metaphor for your mental state. Your mind–your soul— is surrounded by darkness, by ignorance. Ironically, both the lack of power and the ignorance these characters have to struggle with is cased by one thing, and one thing only: Humanity itself.

Let that sink in for a moment.

PS. This was supposed to be written last week, but life (and writer’s block) got in the way. There’s more than half the series left to review, so the next one of these (posted sometime soon) will consist of information from episodes one to twenty-two.

 

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Animation Recommendation: Railgun, Railgun S.

It has been a long while. It has been so long, in fact, WordPress has redesigned their entire Dashboard. Of course, I’m a procrastinator. Even in the things I love to do, I’m a procrastinator. This is genuinely my fault. There are all types of reasons- explanations, really- for my procrastination, but not a single one of them is interesting enough to list. I’ll leave that to a therapist, down the road.

There just hasn’t been anything good that I’ve watched lately, either. Procrastination is not always enough to keep someone like me down. I can not say the recommendation after this Prologue To The Review “section” is particularly long or fascinating. It’s just a short, eeeeasy recommendation. Unique, yes, but that’s always my style. If a show comes up that I’m motivated about, I’ll review it. It’s not like Art will be reviewing Rebuild (chuckles).

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Railgun. Railgun S.

Academy City is a highly developed place in terms of technology. It is said to be 20 to 30 years ahead of the rest of the world, and 80% of its 2.3 million residents are students. The focus of studies here is directed towards esper powers. Misaka Mikoto, one of the top level espers in town, shares a room with Kuroko Shirai, another high level esper who is a member of Judgement, a law enforcing agency composed of students. Both attend Tokiwadai, a private school reserved for the high-leveled and the rich. Kuroko’s partner at Judgement, Kazari Uiharu, is a low level esper who studies at Sakugawa middle school. Her best friend and classmate there is Ruiko Saten, a level zero, one who has no esper powers. Together, the four encounter several adventures in the exciting scientific town.

Railgun, strictly defined: a series with character development, plus some action on the side. The action may be too much for your heart to take, so hop on over to Kyoto Animation if you’re looking for a bunch of guys swimming in bikinis.

The First Season: is phenomenal in its canon arcs, though (as hinted by the word canon) it’s plagued by filler. Skip the filler if you want plot. If you’re just looking to enjoy the ride, watch it. Interesting characters and fun stories (the goal of any series, which few actually manage to produce, these days) make the first season delightful.

The Second Season: If only for the Frenda, it’s amazing. Clones? Check. Death? Check. Morality? Check. No filler thus far? Check. Moé? Check. Interesting characters? Check. Lazy way to summarize it, but this is a recommendation.

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