[IWIW Evangelion] Shadowjack Twitters From the Geofront

Shadowjack

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#1
…we came in? So ya thought ya might like ta go to the show…

This thread is forking out a digression from the latest Sailor Moon thread, so we can all do the Evangelion talk (and whatever other digressions, why not? text is cheap) over here. Permit me to recap for those of you just dropping in:

Like a fortress dwarf, I've been possessed by a strange mood, and to exorcise it I'm going to rewatch, reread, and read anew just about anything related to Neon Genesis Evangelion which I can easily get my hands upon—short of the new movies, which I have not yet seen and am saving for later. So, the original anime, the manga, some of the spin-off manga, a bunch of doujinshi and fanfic, and possibly some other stuff. I'll keep this up until I run out of easy-to-find material, or until the itch is scratched and I get bored of it. And I'll be commenting here, as is the way of our people.

I have no plans to make this a detailed-retelling-and-art thread like the Sailor Moon threads; too much writing will take away from the goal of watching, so basically I'm just twittering from the geofront, here.



Misato+PenPen lost in base again. y no wall maps damn it?! ^_^'
Misato+PenPen third child real cutie! lol :) but a bit rude like the old man ):
Misato+PenPen going in circles. they will find my body here in central trunk elevator a-7 and marvel at my ruined beauty
Misato+PenPen i asked a ops 2lt for directions. he said he's not cleared to know cuz isn't his department. this isn't a military outfit its a small business!
Misato+PenPen should've gotten his name, but to write up for insubstantial or commend to intsec? hmmmmm…
Misato+PenPen insubstantial??? silly autocomplete. read "insubordination"
Misato+PenPen goddamn UN army had maps…
Misato+PenPen uglier uniforms though >_<
Misato+PenPen i am so fucking lost wow this place is big your tax dollars at work
Misato+PenPen theoretically this phone has gps now if only i could get signal down here we'd have it made!
Misato+PenPen should have brought penpen, perfect sense of dir. also better with computers, srsly
Misato+PenPen CENTRAL TRUNK ELEVATOR A-7 AGAIN my new home YAY kill me now
Misato+PenPen god i need a drink
Misato+PenPen hell after my car today i DESERVE a drink
Misato+PenPen so lost
Misato+PenPen the angel will dig down here and find me riding up and down at random but at least a moving target is harder to hit lol
TechnicalDirectorAkagi For God's sake, Misato, stop texting, stay there, and I'll come FIND you. Jesus wept.
Misato+PenPen orz









…Well, I didn't say there wouldn't be any goofing around on my part. ;)
 

Shadowjack

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#2
Boring Fandom Reminiscence, i.e. We Wore Onions on Our Belts

Feel free to skip this post. ;)

It was, I believe, early in the 2000s, back in those dark days before NetFlix and easy video streaming. You didn't have convenient Wikia sites for fandom, no, you had to troll through a mess of tiny webrings and character shrines hosted on Geocities, or the text archives of mailing lists, or even the stark text of .ftp hosts. Uphill through the snow both ways, my friends, and we liked it.

Actually, I wasn't into anime fandom then. I was busily using school bandwidth to download Earthdawn and Car Wars RPG sites and .MOD files from MODARCHIVE onto floppies and Zip discs for perusal at home. But I did like animation, and I did know I liked a bunch of the Japanese stuff.

Neon Genesis Evangelion was the first series I bought sight unseen. Before I'd bought shows seen previously at a friend's house (Record of Lodoss War), or at the few meetings of the university anime club that I attended (Cowboy Bebop), or taped off Sci-Fi Channel when they occasionally deigned to show them (Iria: Zeiram the Animation).



I heard of this Evangelion thing and it sounded interesting. Strange to say, it was the negative reviews that helped sell me. The fans had walls of incomprehensible spoilers and shrines to someone called Rei; made no sense. The haters complained that—while it looked pretty, the storyline was dark and confusing, and had a bizarre ending. Well, I liked dark and confusing, and didn't mind bizarre endings, so…

I remained on the fence, though, because I was young and broke, and if I didn't like the series, I'd be stuck with disks I couldn't get rid of easily. (eBay and Craigslist were still in the future…) Then I saw this AMV online… Yes, it was Kevin Caldwell's famous fan video set to Rammstein's "Engel". Sold me on Rammstein and NGE, so if you're out there, Mr. Caldwell, thanks. Link's in a post further down.

I'd also found out by then that the studio was GAINAX, same folks behind Nadia: Secret of Blue Water, which I'd already seen and loved. (That is, seen the 8 episodes on VHS which were all that were available back then…)



I cautiously ordered the first DVD and what did I see: Tanks, pathos, confusion, pain, rain, uncomfortable light, flashing text, beautiful cinematography (or whatever you call it when it's animated), some rather daring artistic long shots, and vertols running away from giant monsters curbstomping kids. Awesome! :D I ordered the rest of the series immediately, and it did not disappoint.

It didn't become my favorite series until later. Cowboy Bebop held top slot for some years, for music, setting, and genre awareness.



But over the years, I found my mind returning to the series more often. For one thing, it's rare to see a protagonist who's like me. Shinji's kind of a "there but for the grace of God go I" character for me; I had hobbies, a sense of humor, and loving parents, while he got the end of the world and Gendo Ikari—but his shyness? Absolutely spot on. And from depressives I've known and my own thankfully-slight tendencies that direction, that's spot on, too. I identify and sympathize with the poor bastard.

And in general the show's struck me as one of the more bleak but honest (and yet, somehow, optimistic) appraisals of human nature I've seen in media. We're all kind of fucked up, but actually we do pretty well, considering, and we'd do better if we paid more attention to each other. It's a tragedy of miscommunication and missed moments. I see this stuff playing out all over.

And despite its flaws—or perhaps because of them—it's just a good series. I'd probably like it even if it weren't that good, since it punchs a bunch of my buttons in good ways. I admit it, any movie with the "let's evacuate the city!" montage will sucker me in no matter how bad it is.

And some other stuff, blah blah blah.



Anyway, it wasn't until arguing about it with Someone Who Was Wrong On The Internet that I realized that by that point I'd come to love the series. So I decided to embrace the madness and ordered the manga that very day, and so plunged down the rabbit hole…

And here we are now, with me occasionally drawing pictures like this:

 

Shadowjack

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#3
Pink Floyd The Wall

The first thing I watched for this project was, of course! Pink Floyd The Wall, 1982, director Alan Parker, written by Roger Waters, animations by Gerald Scarfe.

:confused:

I have no idea why I might think that this classic music film might have something to do with Evangelion.



No idea.

I only added the album to my collection recently, and remembered then it had been a long time since I'd seen the movie, so this seemed a perfect time. I like the album better; more musical flow, and less telegraphing of imagery. And both suffer from being a bit over-pathetic. (Or is that part of the point, perhaps? Pink knows his self-justifications are hollow; he wants someone to smack sense into him!) But! Some really arresting images here, and not just in the animated segments. And, hey, it is Pink Floyd music, come on! Sit back and enjoy the groove, man.



What this has to do with Evangelion is pretty obvious, of course. Screwed-up guy (the sensitive one in school, later a celebrity) mourns his missing father and retreats behind a mental wall of his own creation to protect himself against human relationships. There's even a broken relationship with a redheaded chick, and Shinji's mom really did help build the Wall, didn't she? So there you go.

Most of the similarity is likely because of similar subject matter and source inspirations, of course, but there are just enough visual correlations to be worthy of note. And it's really not a stretch to suggest that a bunch of filmmakers would have seen a famous film once or twice and maybe let it influence them a little bit. They did call NGE, half in jest, "a remixed anime."



I appreciate how firmly they pin this story to time and place—it makes it very personal, which helps it become more universal, strangely enough. I love the little glimpse of Pink's wedding, for example, which is so painfully of its time in fashion and hairstyles that it makes all the more real. And the surreal repetition of those hokey old British WWII films, playing with national myths…

I also like the film's keen awareness of kid behavior: the scene where little Pink tries to follow another kid's father around is heart-wrenchingly insightful. And then there's the bit where, in one scene, young Pink reverently examines then replaces the old ammunition in the drawer with his dead father's uniform… and in a later scene, he and some other kids are trying to set off the same ammunition on the train tracks for lulz. :p

And of course there's our laugh at the teacher's expense when he's reading the lyrics to "Money", not realizing that those words will become a classic…



That 1970s airbrush art in the animated segments. Wow, they don't do it like that anymore, do they? The marching hammers is something they'd do in about two clicks of a mouse with CG now, but some small team of artists slaved for days and days to pull it off back then. That mixed-media look is really something to see. Beautiful ugliness.



My biggest gripe of both album and movie is that nothing happens after the Wall comes down. Musically there is definite progression, climax, and denouement, but in terms of story, all there is "this guy had a nervous breakdown and… well, that's it, really." I suppose that's kind of the point, though, the cyclical nature of it; no triumphant I AM SANE AGAIN song at the end bringing us through to applause, just more meandering through life's difficulties. Pink's fucked up, knows he's fucked up, wishes he wasn't fucked up, but what can you do? Maybe nothing? Maybe sympathize and lend a hand? One of those stories that just posts a question mark and walks away.



Odd thing I noticed when listening to the album for the first time, and I'll mention again here: Nobuo Uematsu totally ripped-off, I mean, paid homage to The Wall in not just one but two tracks in his score for Final Fantasy VI. "Is There Anybody Out There?" inspired (the haunted forest music, and the opening of "The Trial" seems to have inspired Kefka's theme. (The orchestral version makes the similarity a little stronger.) The latter is strangely appropriate, because, after all, he's craaaaaaaaazy, toys in the attic, he's craaaaaaaaaazy, truly gone fishin'…
 
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Shadowjack

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#4
YouTube (favorite fanvids and trailer)

Sorry, I haven't actually broken out the actual DVDs yet, so I've just been rewatching some of my favorite fan videos on YouTube.


Engel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVpVkOB_EoU

You know which one this is. An excellent AMV, period. Clever, emotive, and rockin'. I will forevermore associate industrial metal with giant robot battles. Gott weiß ich will kein Engel sein…



…It just occurred to me, just this moment, that I've never actually seen a good AMV for the other unofficial Evangelion anthem, System of Down's "Chop Suey!" ("I cry when angels deserve to die." That one.) Never have. Huh.

Someone must have done a good one, but at this late date, I don't think I want to sift through the hundreds of crappy ones out there to find it. I'm not that devoted to this quest! :p



The Phantom Menace
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94YauaBg68g

The trailer for Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Every single little sound effect is perfectly synched to the anime footage, and the choice of faces for dialogue… man, if I haven't cracked up by the time Yoda shows up, that bit will kill me, every time. :D



The 300
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwXQH3DSkhQ

Another wonderfully absurd trailer. Gendo screaming at the top of his lungs. Hell, everybody screaming at the top of their lungs—the kids recut to look like psychotic badasses, every scene cut for maximum visceralness… blood everywhere, screaming, metal crashing, it's glorious.



The Original Trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOhu6a9hUq4

And, since we've got trailers, here's the original ADV trailer, featuring the Ode to Joy in ironic counterpoint to images of everything exploding. If all you knew of Evangelion was this trailer, you'd guess that it was a show in which: a) monsters make everything explode; b) you won't have a fucking clue what is going on; c) but it might have something to do with God. Which makes the trailer entirely accurate and appropriate.

I think the thing I will mourn most about ADV's passing is their musical trailers. Other companies usually do that irritating thing where some guy drones over the trailer about how this ground-breaking show features stunning visuals directed by the second-unit assistant mecha animator on some series you might have heard of, with moving intertitles in Papyrus with maybe some rendered lensflares. ADV would—not always, but very often—sit back and hit you with the music from the show, and the images, and let the show sell itself. I always check out the trailers on their disks every time I put one in.
 

DrunkenGrognard

Exile to the godforsaken reaches of the North
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#5
You taking recommendations on the fanfic front for this project?

Also, I eagerly await the next installment.
 

Cailet

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#6
I knew I wasn't the only one to associate NGE and The Wall so closely! Though I've no idea if Anno and co took inspiration from it.

If you want another great Evangelion trailer, the EOE one set to O Fortuna is pretty good. Cliched to death of course but it was the first time I ever heard of Evangelion (it was on a DVD of Ghost In The Shell back when I'd just discovered comics as an art-form beyond Peanuts) and even though I didn't actually watch Eva until my ill-fated WiW on here about two years ago (it broke my brain guys, sorry) it stuck with me.

Looking forward to the next installment!

EDIT: Chop Suey doesn't really fit that well, it lacks artistic resonance with the show I think. Engel kinda fits both lyrically and with Asuka's Deutsch-Amerikaner heritage while Chop Suey doesn't have the same kind of hook other than that one line. Bohemian Rhapsody on the other hand...[/artistic wankery]
 
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WrenTruesong

Avowed ShadowJack fangirl
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#7
I don't think anybody else could suck me into/sucker me into an NGE thread, SJ. :D I think I got into anime about the same time you did, maybe even a little earlier.

My entire main pathway (other than the DIC dub of Sailormoon) was the ADV booth at the 1998 WorldCon, since it was in Texas and both the studios and I were from Houston (yeah, my dates can be iffy), so naturally I took every poster and flyer they were offering for free and, hand to God, spent my entire time not combing the dealer's room for bootleg Sailor Moon (all three movies in Hong Kong boot glory and subtitles) standing at the ADV booth watching them play things on their little telly.

One of the things I took home was a pretty classic and GIANT NGE promo poster--Asuka-Shinji-Rei doing the Three Man Band array, fierce/resolute-scared/blank. It followed me around getting more and more tattered until it finally died three houses later.

Other than that I pretty much avoided NGE--folks who knew both it and me assured me that I was really not at all mentally healthy enough for the mind-gently-caress; heck, FLCL was bad enough for me as it was.

But as you said, the spoilers and the pictures and the characters were hard to avoid. So I knew enough to know I shouldn't know any more.

But filtered through you, I think I have enough spoons to pay attention. *rolls up sleeves, cracks knuckles*

Let's have some fun.
 

anowack

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#9
I knew I wasn't the only one to associate NGE and The Wall so closely! Though I've no idea if Anno and co took inspiration from it.
I've always wanted to do... well, I'll be honest, I've always wanted someone more talented than me with way more free time than me, to do a mega-AMV of the entirety of the Wall to Evangelion.

I wonder what AMVs I still have lying around...

I remember this one (to Vertical Horizon - Everything You Want) as being very influential in my finally "getting" the Asuka/Shinji pairing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTftkNwWZP8
(Although the version in my old AMV folder is labeled version two, I imagine it's fairly similar... and I'm much too lazy to compare :) ). Not sure if I like it quite as much X years down the line, but it was important in the development of my fandom...

The same person also did a AMV the Goo Goo Dolls - Iris, inspired by the original love triangle reinterpretation of the show, The One I Love Is...
But that one's been taken down from youtube.

And who can forget this classic?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5Gvf4NXkFM

(Hmmph. Now I'm going to have to watch the old Sailor Moon AMVs I'd saved to see if any of them are worth looking for to post in the other thread.)
 

Cailet

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#10
I've always wanted to do... well, I'll be honest, I've always wanted someone more talented than me with way more free time than me, to do a mega-AMV of the entirety of the Wall to Evangelion.
Snap!

It's one of those things where, when I get my next (good) computer and about three months of spare time I'd give it a shot. But to start that process I'd need to dig out the DVD's and watch/rip them and currently they're packed away waiting for me to finally move house.

Fingers crossed I'll be able to get at them soon and at least try my semi-thought-out ideas for an AMV of The Trial and see how it goes and then post the results to RPGnet if/when they come.
 
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