I reached the end of watching Evangelion, and I still need to work through my final thoughts on the show, but there are still a bunch of things I don’t think rise to the level of needing a post, but I do want to bring up.
I was surprised by the sheer amount I had to say about this show. There are so many interesting shots, and character moments that I found on this watch through. I’m definitely walking away from this show far more impressed by it then when I started.
But I will get into that more with my wrap up post. Let’s get to my odds and ends.
The last two episodes
I wish I was like K and I could stay neutral, but I’m not.
When I was going into those episodes, I thought I could make the argument that the show throws away the pretense of being about giant robots and aliens and reveals that it’s a show exploring the human condition.
I do think the last two episodes throw away the pretense, but they don’t do it in a way that’s helpful to understand the show’s larger themes. I mean there are moments where they spell out things that I wrote earlier, but there is no point where I felt it was revelatory.
There is a strange part of the last episode where we travel to an alternate dimension where Evangelion is really a high school comedy. It’s is fun to think about, but it’s largely vacant in my opinion. It’s interesting that Asuka is the childhood friend and Rei is the interloper, but that’s not any different from things the show has said before.
The episodes feel rushed. It’s probably because they are. They mistake obscurity with depth. Just because you’re purposefully confusing, it doesn’t mean you’re saying something meaningful.
There are points that are interesting. Shinji is invited to make his own world. He’s told to create his own fate and the conclusion is cheerful.
Just a funny note: When everyone surrounds Shinji and congratulates him at the end of episode 26, I pretended they were congratulating me.
Asuka’s character arc
So I played around with the idea of doing a post about Asuka’s breakdown, and how it starts from the moment she is first introduced. I mentioned this in my post about her relationship with Shinji.
What I found strange is how many people find her “confident” or “self-assured,” when it seems obvious that she is neither. She is constantly seeking approval from adults. Between her clumsy romantic overtures to Kaji and her continual put-downs of Rei and Shinji, it seems obvious that she lacks something basic.
While it’s an interesting dynamic in the show, I don’t really have much more to say about it. Asuka’s character arc isn’t really an arc. We watch her get everything stripped away from her until she is left nearly comatose in a bathtub. She never learns or grows or becomes better.
I don’t think the background of Unit 2 is well explained, but it’s supposed to have the soul of Asuka’s mother inside. Evidently, that’s why her mother goes crazy and eventually hangs herself.
I do find Asuka’s materialism an interesting commentary on Western thought. Because she can’t conceive that an object can have a soul, and that’s why she loses the ability to pilot the Eva.
The half-face shot
I’m sure this didn’t start in Evangelion, but there is a shot we see over and over in this show that I think is interesting.
Basically, the shot has one character in the foreground with half of their face-off of the screen. We then see another character in the background with their face fully in the picture. I find this shot really fascinating.
Generally, it indicates that the person in the foreground is only “half there” and thinking about something else that is happening along the way or they have something to hide. It’s not surprising that it’s usually Gendo.
My favorite use of it is when Fuyutski and Gendo basically switch places in the flashback episode.
No glasses Gendo
Toward the beginning of these analyses, I wrote about Gendo Ikari’s glasses. While I mentioned that his glasses either reflect the light so his eyes are obscured, are tinted so his eyes are visible, or they remain clear.
There is one other state and that is when Gendo is not wearing any glasses. This is when I think we get the clearest image of who Gendo Ikari was. He was a troublemaker, but, overall, he wasn’t cunning. That was something he picked up when he got Yui’s last name.
I was surprised that Gendo really wasn’t a good person before meeting Yui. She just seemed to shape him to meet her own ends.
I’m sure there are dozens of things I’m still missing, but those were the things that I noticed.
So I’m torn about what I’m going to go over next. I intended to cover RahXephon because it’s my favorite show of all time, and to really do it justice, I needed to talk about Evangelion. But if anyone has any other suggestions, I certainly would consider them.
As always, thanks for reading.