Saturday, August 20, 2005

End of Evangelion

I've been watching and thinking about the anime Evangelion for months, ever since my younger brother made me watch it. Today I came across a fan wish story, which actually involved Evangelion, Ranma 1/2, Oh My Goddess and guess what? Hunggan, magahet hao, Guam!

That's as good a sign as any for me to hurry up and write about it.

For those looking for pop culture site to start learning about psychoanalysic, an ideal site would be Evangelion, with its remix, Evangelion: Rebirth and Death as well as its mulligan The End of Evangelion.

Even if you're only vaguely familiar with psychoanalysis ("tell me about you're mother"), its possible insights are way too palpable in Evangelion. First there is the obvious relationship between Shinji and his father, as well as the father's melancholic attachment to Yui his dead wife (which creates Rei). Then there is Shinji's never-ending desire for Rei, that he barely seems to understand (which could have something to do with their similar isolation and depression (something which Aska doesn't share, and thus sets her outside of them, this very act, driving her into isolation and depression) yet sadly might have something to do with the fact that Rei is his mother.)

For those who have more of a flair for Lacanian psychoanalysis, the One, yet Two of Yui and Rei will occupy you for a while thinking about the mysteries of the Woman as Not-All.

And we can't forget Zizek who might appreciate the incessant Christian trappings, but might more appreciate the twin endings of the series. In response to fan outcry that the initial ending to the series was too confusing or just plain sucked, a second ending was made The End of Evangelion. Interestingly enough, neither ending works on their own, in my opinion they only work when you think of them together. (otro fino'-ta, the ending in The End of Evangelion did feel alot like Why the Christian Legacy is Worth Fighting For as well as On Belief. The scene where Seele is meeting, quoting scripture, felt like the critique that Nelson Maldonado Torres made of Zizek in an article of his that I read).

Based on this, can we read Evangelion as attempt at atheism or agnosticism, and thus evidenced with the battles with different Angels, Kaoru's sacrifice and the fact that in The End of Evangelion, despite all Seele's planning the end did not go according to their plans, but followed some other path. (The faces of Seele as they become primordial goo felt something like C.S. Lewis' essays on conversion and revelation. Its is revolting either because it is beyond your control or because it is so matter of fact when it happens).

The notion of the AT field is a very interesting one. Especially since it is perceived as a terrifying weapon of the Angels, yet Kaoru reveals at the end that it is something which everyone has, and something everyone cannot exist without.

Then there's Shinji's character as the consumate hysteric, the original ending provides plenty of stuff to think about.

I've thought of more, lao esta chatangmak guini, ya matuhuk yu' didide'.


Anonymous said...

Auuuggghhhh!!!! EVANGELION! Sorry, Miget, but not to take away from your analysis, but I watched that anime a couple of years ago (once! only once!)..I believe the OVA...and truly...cannot...stand it. Well, actually, I've never been a mecha fan, but it was actually ok until the multiple psycho-otherworldly-hey-let's-throw-some-christian-and-other-religious-references-in endings. That was what blew it for me.

Anyway, keep up the good work (academic and otherwise). Adios!


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