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Old 2004-06-08, 08:05   Link #1
pontupo
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Question A little advice?

I've been into anime for about 6 months and have seen at least some 20 series, including many "classics" (Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, etc.) and current shows. Throughout the time that I have been watching anime, probably in part due to luck, I have not encountered any show that I just thoroughly disliked. I have, however, had problems with a certain genre of shows and I would like the advice of all you anime lovers out there that know a great deal more than I. Here's the problem, like I said, I have liked most every anime that I have seen, with the following exceptions: I didn't like Evangelion that much, I didn't like Gilgamesh and I just saw Akira for the first time about a week ago and I didn't think that was as great as I thought that it was going to be. In other words, I think that I just have trouble really appreciating the sort of post-world-wide-destruction or the progress of world-wide-destruction type shows. Don't get me wrong, I watched all of the shows and there were things that I liked. My problem wasn't stylisticly or anything, but rather that I just don't know how to appreciate the endings of these types of shows/films. I just get to the end and sort of feel empty, as though nothing really happened at the end, and I am always confused and at a loss as to how to get anything out of the show as a whole. What am I supposed to do with everyone dying? Yet another way of putting this would be that I think I just don't get it In any case, I guess I would just like people to share those things that they really liked about these shows (and Akira) and what they got out of the endings and for those that didn't like them, which I suppose are few for Evangelion, what you didn't like. I guess I'm just asking, "what's wrong with me that I can't appreciate an entire genre of anime that so many others really enjoy?"

(sorry for this long post)
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Old 2004-06-08, 08:17   Link #2
sarcasteak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pontupo
In other words, I think that I just have trouble really appreciating the sort of post-world-wide-destruction or the progress of world-wide-destruction type shows. Don't get me wrong, I watched all of the shows and there were things that I liked. My problem wasn't stylisticly or anything, but rather that I just don't know how to appreciate the endings of these types of shows/films. I just get to the end and sort of feel empty, as though nothing really happened at the end, and I am always confused and at a loss as to how to get anything out of the show as a whole. What am I supposed to do with everyone dying?
I think the problem might be that you dwell a bit too much on the end and forget to appreciate the progress that led up to the conclusion; things don't always go well and happy in the end...that's just the way life goes.

If you want to give it another shot at total destruction and emptiness, I recommend Saikano (or maybe RahXephon in a lesser degree). ^_^
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Old 2004-06-08, 17:13   Link #3
Radd
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First of all, Bebop and Trigun are still fairly recent shows. I'd hesistate calling either a classic quite yet, though Bebop at least has that position waiting for it.

As for not liking those sort of shows, well, I'm wary of anyone who claims to like all anime, simply because it's anime. There are many different kinds of anime, anime itself is not a genre and you're bound not to like every single genre of anime available.

As for those endings, well Akira doesn't end with everyone dying, but the story is so mangled from the original manga that it winds up being a lot of amazing animation that never quite gets to the meat of the story.

As for Evangelion, my experience is that most people who hated the tv series ending, only did because they couldn't understand it, and had no desire to find two random braincells to rub together to try and work it out for themselves. Hence, the movies. Not everyone, mind you. There will be many who simply won't like the show itself for other, valid reasons. Such as a distaste for end of the world, less than happy endings.

In the case of Eva, it rather was a happy ending (the tv series, not the worthless, crappy movies made to cash in on people that wanted the series to end with an action sequence). The primary focus of the story, from episode one onwards, was Shinji. His problems, his inability to deal with people, his tendency to lock himself away somewhere deep inside himself and just not deal with others. It was coming to understand why he was like this, and seeing him slowly work himself out of being like that. Most people didn't understand this and mistakenly thought the battle between Nerv and the Angels was the main story.
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Old 2004-06-08, 17:54   Link #4
kj1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pontupo
I guess I'm just asking, "what's wrong with me that I can't appreciate an entire genre of anime that so many others really enjoy?"
You enjoy what you yourself felt to enjoy.

If you watched the show and disliked it, then that is your individual opinion that is to be respected.

Last edited by kj1980; 2004-06-09 at 19:59.
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Old 2004-06-08, 18:10   Link #5
7thMethuselah
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Well I think you are used to the american style of movies and series in which everything always ends in one way or another. open ends, the bad guy winning, a "thinking" end are rather rare. thus you feel unconfortable with them.

About Akira : I agree they totally raped an awesome manga, actually the anime is quite good during the first hour. This first part more or less covers the first 1 to 1.5 manga. However the next thing that happens is, the movie completely skips manga 2 to 5. the story picks up at the end of manga 6 again, so alot of story got omitted, charcters and other events got dropped or changed to fit the movie's storyline. Side events and stories are not dealt with. I the last 20 minutes the movie then tries to push the entire explanation of whats going on in the Akira world into 20 minutes. It fails horribly. My suggestion, read the manga, it explains everything you want to know, In order to fully appreciate the anime you should have read the manga in advance.

About NGEvangelion : Actually the series deals with the position of individual humans and individuality in the human world. However this is presented in a rather unusual way and because of all the action it's easy to miss this. The original end is indeed confusing but I liked it, It is actually a reflexion of Shinji (and others) on themselves, their motives, their strength and weaknesses, etc... It kinda ends with a question tht every one needs to answer for himself.
I suggest you watch end of evangelion, the first part is action again, but in the second part you get another philosofical (sp?) part which deals with the same issues, it might help to understand it.

PS Wanna the most screwed up brain killing anime ever? Try Serial Experiments Lain : that one is so messed up it'll leave your brain cells numb for days. I saw it severak times and still haven't been able to figure out exactly what is taking place (somehow I think few people understand everything that goes on in it)
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Old 2004-06-09, 08:05   Link #6
pontupo
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Unhappy

Well, these were some interesting responses, some of which I expected, some of which I didn't. I think that I tend to agree with 7thMethusala in that I am likely a bit caught up in the American style of stories. At any rate, I am seriously a sucker for happy endings. On the other hand, Cowboy Bebop doesn't have a happy ending (btw, thanks for pointing out that it is not exactly "classic" as of yet Radd, it's easy to have skewed impressions of the timeline of anime when you have only been watching for a few months) but I still really love that show. It is probably an additional problem that I have yet to really get into manga, so I am unable to appreciate the differences between the animes and their respective mangas. It makes me sad that getting into something else good like manga is going to cost me a lot of anime I only watch an ep a day during the week as is. Anyhow, back to topic. I think that as far as Evangelion goes, ignoring the ending for the moment, I just seriously got really sick of Shinji screaming. I know that might sound like a bit of an insubstantial statement, but by the end I was just feeling like every ep was at least 5 min of Shinji screaming in horror. Something about the (I felt) melodromatic characterization of him sort of put me in a bad mood before the ending even rolled around. The fact that I would call it melodromatic may be another aspect of being an American, namely that I am so desensitized that I can call a response horrible deaths and an approaching ending/rebirth of the world melodromatic, but there you have it.

In truth, I am starting to think that I just need to get my hands on some manga and I need to rewatch those things that leave me confused. I really felt like the end of Evangelion was a copout, it really just felt like they strung a bunch of powerful images together in an insubstantial way and then left it for everyone to look for meaning where there isn't any. For instance, consider Cat's Cradle (the Kurt Vonnegut novel). That ends in the death of everyone in the world, but does so with an intense amount of organization and complex underlying social commentary. Evangelion says very little about the world as I see it, but I do agree that there is some interesting reflections on Shinji himself. I don't want to turn this into a discussion of Evangelion specifically, but I have heard various things about Evangelion (that the studio made the creator end it in a way that he didn't want to, that the movies were his intended end, that the movies/final eps are better, etc.) but I don't know for sure what the truth end is and I suppose that in the end it doesn't matter.

My impression in general with this kind of anime is that they try to do too much in too little time. Just as 7thMethusala was commenting on Akira, it seems like for various reasons each of the three shows/films that I have mentioned end up trying to crunch a 5 or 6 ep ending into one or two eps (Gilgamesh was especially bad about that in my opinion). Could this be a stylistic aspect of the genre, accidents in production that resulted in a lot of pressure at the end, something else? Anyone have any further thoughts? I think that I will give at least Evangelion and Akira another chance because truthfully, Radd is probably right and I was just not thinking about it enough. Oh, thanks for the vote of confidence kj1980
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Old 2004-06-09, 09:25   Link #7
Yuun
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If you can't get along with series like Akira and Eva,,,then u should stay away from other similar titles such as Saikono... but then again you can try your luck on it.

I must say that i Don't enjoy Eva at all... but i fell in love with Saikono from the 1st episodes onwards...and do noted that Saikono is even worst than Eva... but as others have pointed out... is the story development that you must concentrate on...

Well for lesser degree of brain work...you can try out

Popotan - More cheerful like but still need a brain workout...

Saikono - This one really rocks...

Kimi ga Nozomu Eien - This one you don't need much brain workout

Shingetsukitan Tsukihime - This one is a puzzle...worst than Saikono, after watching it you must recollect back what you watch and rearranged everything in other to understand the story...miss one point and you'll go "What am i watching??"

Actually there's a lot of factors that i don't like EVA and i'll never recomand it to anyone.
1. I don't like Gendo Ikari
2. Shinji Ikari boreds me and that i believe not much people would have put in his situations... just to be short... Shinji is just useless fella...worst than Takayuki in KGNE though...
3. Too religious and offended some other religion...
4. Forbbiden actions by NERV...

I'll explain no more but just frankly speaking...better not get yourself into EVA too much... i'll rather you fall into Akira's feet than watching Shinji Life span...
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Old 2004-06-09, 09:44   Link #8
Arwyn
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Well, in all honesty, I had a mixed reaction to EVA.

I think the biggest problem with EVA is that the series take on human nature is overwhelmingly negative. Every single character we are introducted to in the course of series has almost crippling issues, and there is no real resolution to them. Even Misato, who is by far the "nicest" and most sympathetic character, has major issues and a severe case of self-doubt to work with.

Shinji has to be one of the most unlikable characters I have ever seen in any anime. He is ambitionless, cowardly, decietful, dishonest, and WHINEY! Despite all the issues in his life, and all the help and support of the rest of the characters, he just gets worse as time goes by.

Despite all of these features, the theme of the show itself is more positive, that even with all of these flaws and dark issues, mankind is still worth saving. That message gets kind of muddled over the course of the show, and the surrealistic ending doesnt help it much. The ending felt pretty disconnected from the rest of the series, and was very hard to follow for a lot of audiences. That in turn prompted the director to release a different set of endings, which complicated things even further.

Overall, EVA was groundbreaking for its time. The characters werent your typical mecha anime heroes, and that was pretty novel at the time. The storyline was also not your typical mecha anime, and that was also noteworthy. By focusing on more complex and darker issues instead of the typical "heroic cast fights off hordes of evil aliens" plot made EVA stand out. From those perspectives, it is a noteworthy work, and it still has some very important messages to convey even now. In comparison to some later titles, it does seem to be lacking, but at the time it was released, it was a larger departure from the norm, and noteworthy as a result.

If you want another take on a similar theme, you might want to check out RaXephon, it gets compared to EVA all the time, but it is argurably has a better scripted and a more coherent story, and with stronger characters.
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Old 2004-06-09, 10:56   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7thMethuselah
PS Wanna the most screwed up brain killing anime ever? Try Serial Experiments Lain : that one is so messed up it'll leave your brain cells numb for days. I saw it severak times and still haven't been able to figure out exactly what is taking place (somehow I think few people understand everything that goes on in it)
Someone hasn't watched Boogiepop....

Then again, Lain is self contained, while Boogiepop only really makes sense if you've read the long series of Boogiepop novels. Meh.
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