ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版: 序/Evangelion: 1.0

[Screenshot]There was much fanfare about the “reboot” of Neon Genesis Evangelion, because prevailing opinion is that the franchise was long on good ideas, short on execution that didn’t suck hard enough to make even a sadist profoundly embarassed for the creators. This was supposed to fix that so I went in prepared to have my socks knocked off.

Well, I’m still wearing my socks (and I don’t do that often, since they don’t go with sandals). Hideaki Anno may have a different concept of “reboot” than I do. Hellsing Ultimate and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood are demonstrably different tellings of tales bearing a close relationship to the franchises they come from. They share plot, characters, and themes, but they’re fundamentally creative works, whereas Evangelion 1.0 was, to someone not doing a frame-by-frame comparison, almost indistinguishable from a clip show pulled from the first six episodes of the TV series. There is one plot-significant difference I could detect, and otherwise I felt like I’d basically had my time wasted.

Now, in fairness, the first six episodes of NGE were quite good, and the parts the reboot needed to fix up came later. But philosophically it feels wrong: if something’s rebooted, it’s nice to get an early definite signal that it’s taking a different take. Yes, presumably they’ll excise the sucky bits, but slavish devotion to the source material is not reassuring: it was slavish devotion to Hideaki Anno’s vision that made the original series a miserable mess, after all (well, that and running out of money. Apparently there’s nobody at Gainax who can take a large number of yen and divide by 26. Division by 4 is easier, though, so that won’t happen again, right?).

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia, Anime News Network.

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About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

One Response to ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版: 序/Evangelion: 1.0

  1. grysar says:

    We just picked up our copy of Brothers and so will probably be starting that soon, I was a big fan of both the manga and the anime (with the manga being the better of the two in my mind) so my hopes are pretty high.
    In any event. I actually did read some of the Eva manga, which came out after the series. I did like it, in part because it had somewhat a better Shinji. I wonder if the series will take any cues from it, sounds like it hasn’t not so far.
    Beyond just the worrisome implications of slavish devotion, I’d say the main thing it would miss by hewing too close to the original material is the opportunity to take earlier advantage of later series strong points. I think that’s actually something that worked fairly well in FMA, both the series and the manga cribbed successful characters from each other. It’s a trick a novelist can do through editing but one that a serial medium can only do in reboots.

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