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Evangelion: masterpiece or fuckload of shit?

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  • Evangelion: masterpiece or fuckload of shit?

    The title says it all

    Arguments, please!


    My English sucks. Sorry.

  • #2
    Maybe with a less vulgar title, I’d contribute.

    FLCL was better.


    Call me Regina or Lex.

    Female pronouns for me, please.

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    • #3
      Masterpiece of shit?

      Never really got too into it. Seemed kind of boring to me.

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      • #4
        It seems pretty simple:

        It's a masterpiece about a fuckload of shit that isn't a parody.

        It is the perfect counter point to the "troubled artist" trope where trauma, drug abuse, or whatever allows artists to produce their greatest work. It unabashedly shows what happens when an artist undergoing severe mental distress and has to produce on a deadline is allowed to let that experience actually inform their work... and we get an insane pseudo-existentialist explosion of shit for it.

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        • #5
          Evangelion is somewhat overrated but it did have an undeniably massive impact on the anime medium, especially the mecha subgenre. It's basically a psychological drama that just happens to have giant robots. I don't think it's a masterpiece (the show has some flaws and issues and I find it doesn't hold up as well today as it did back in the mid-90's), but it's definitely a 'classic' and one of those shows that I think most people who are interested in exploring the medium should probably watch simply due to how profoundly it affected the medium and how many references and nods there are to it in other shows.

          So I guess I'd rate it an 8/10. It's definitely not a fuckload of shit, but also not something I would call a masterpiece either. That said though, I am scratching my head trying to figure out what anime show I would call a masterpiece.

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          • #6
            I love Neon Genesis Evangelion

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            • #7
              Evangelion is more important as a groundbreaker than as an actual masterpiece. It undeniably changed the landscape of what anime could be and do, both from a storytelling and marketing/franchise point of view, but like a lot of groundbreakers, the ideas and the ways it plays with it's execution are better done by those who followed, not the least of which(and also being semi-relatedly current with Progressive going) being Gainax's/Production I.G.'s FLCL, which is more honest than Gurren Lagann and more on point than Evangelion.

              This isn't to say it's bad-it's a clearly good show-but a masterpiece? Not so much anymore. But I don't think I could ever argue that it was a fuckload of shit. Groundbreaker remains the most accurate term.

              Camilla, the more I find about about your tastes, the less your arguments have any semblance of sense, I gotta say.


              Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
              The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
              Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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              • #8
                There are two different main definitions of masterpiece, from the individual creator (Anno) vs. the general medium (anime). I have a lot of trouble seeing Evangelion as not being Anno's masterpiece as a creator (so far, he still does stuff and all), even if what other creators have done inspired by what Evangelion did managed to (as noted repeatedly) have surpassed it in quality on multiple levels.

                Though I do struggle is the concept of something "losing" the status as a general masterpiece for the medium just because other people do other things that are better in any of a number of ways; esp. when clearly inspired by the more groundbreaking work.

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                • #9
                  Meanwhile I'm over here digging Shin Godzilla as a spiritual prequel to Evangelion.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    There are two different main definitions of masterpiece, from the individual creator (Anno) vs. the general medium (anime). I have a lot of trouble seeing Evangelion as not being Anno's masterpiece as a creator (so far, he still does stuff and all), even if what other creators have done inspired by what Evangelion did managed to (as noted repeatedly) have surpassed it in quality on multiple levels.

                    Though I do struggle is the concept of something "losing" the status as a general masterpiece for the medium just because other people do other things that are better in any of a number of ways; esp. when clearly inspired by the more groundbreaking work.
                    Good point.

                    EDIT: Missed the latter part, the point I'm making is that it was probably never a masterpiece, and it's perception as such has to do with it's groundbreaking nature with a lack of competitors-once given proper comparison, the series failings that make it merely good are more apparent.

                    Unrelated, the last two episodes are better than End of Eva, just saying.
                    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 06-05-2018, 07:06 PM.


                    Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                    Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      i would say not a masterpiece, but it did change the landscape of both anime and the way anime is viewed here in the states. When I was growing up it was baby's first "true art is angsty" show for a lot of anime watching teenagers.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                        Missed the latter part, the point I'm making is that it was probably never a masterpiece, and it's perception as such has to do with it's groundbreaking nature with a lack of competitors-once given proper comparison, the series failings that make it merely good are more apparent
                        OK, but then what would you classify as a masterpiece of anime? Outside of the archaic term of a piece used to graduate to being a master in a guild, there's no objective metric here. Masterpiece is completely a matter of perception. Especially in a rapidly evolving medium like anime, how can any older show be a masterpiece? Nothing is perfect, groundbreaking works are always lacking in competition or they wouldn't be groundbreaking... how does any show no matter how good not get regulated to just being a "classic" over time as someone eventually one ups it?

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                        • #13
                          The simple answer is "I 'unno."

                          Putting aside any sort of mass answer because I automatically lose there, personal definitions of masterpieces is still fuzzy because, keeping it simple, I try to challenge how "masterpiece" a thing is and at the same time not close doors on what could be a masterpiece. I think some things are defintively masterpieces, I think some things are definitively groundbreakers, I think some things can be both, and I think some things can be profoundly personal but not a masterpiece. The criteria is nebulous because there's a weird and complex web of relations to things that must get evaluated and challenged and I could be here all day really trying to explain things.

                          For now, I am asked my opinion as regards Eva, and while I can't deny the effect it had, I can't help but look at Eva and think of how FLCL, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Rahxephon dealt with the concepts at work in Eva and did it better (even while admitting to divergence, namely with Utena there), and are worthy of the masterpiece title. I also feel like shows like Cowboy Bebop and the 2003 Kino's Journey are self-evident masterpieces. Some shows I feel are masterpieces but maybe debateable, like Madoka Magica. Some shows I deeply love but would never put on the pedestal, like Magic Knight Rayearth.

                          There's a general cloud in relation to craft, relevance and effect on the cultural landscape, etc., etc. that I try and keep consistent, but pieces are judged in between what they are and their relation to the larger scale.

                          I suppose my point is that while it's not true to say "I know a masterpiece when I see it", it's also not true to suggest that my criteria is set. I have broadstrokes of expectations that are hard define(particularly on the limited time frames such as the ones today's posts are written under) but do set boundaries, and they shift through to see just how much a piece is.

                          I dunno. Maybe I'll return to the subject over the weekend and attempt to clarify and firm the standards up a little bit. For now, the best way I can articulate my opinion is that Eva seemed like a masterpiece until competitors(Which I can define as the three mentioned before) disproved the notion, which does not diminish the power of the show as a groundbreaker and simply as a good show.

                          If I do, I'll probably take it to the anime thread or open up a new one, as to not distract too much from this one.

                          Notation: I suppose in and of itself, that's a point of itself-if, when thinking of a piece of media, I think things that I feel can be discussed as enough things "better"(nebulous as that may be) than the current, then surely it is not a masterpiece.


                          Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                          Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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                          • #14
                            Neither. It's a good show, it had a big impact when it aired and has a big fandom but for me it never felt that revolutionary. Plot was a bit too much convoluted and required outside material to actually fully understand (other shows done that better) and the symbolism and philosophy were just pretty wrappings without any effect on the story. Also the rushed ending.

                            So for me it's just a good story that's a bit overhyped. It started a new trend in anime but that doesn't necessary make it a masterpiece in my understanding of the term.

                            Though I admit I'm the type of guy who cares more about whether HE liked the show regardless of what the general opinion is.
                            Last edited by Menace; 06-06-2018, 04:17 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                              Notation: I suppose in and of itself, that's a point of itself-if, when thinking of a piece of media, I think things that I feel can be discussed as enough things "better"(nebulous as that may be) than the current, then surely it is not a masterpiece.
                              This though, is something I struggle with accepting.

                              Getting completely away from anime:

                              When we take something like the Mona Lisa, we don't see art historians trying to "rank" it against other portraits of the same style by contemporary artists. We see them try to explain what makes it unique and thus enduring in its appeal. There are easily dozens of similar paintings (and even more if you get away from that specific style) that are better in one or a few criteria of judging such things... but that hasn't detracted from the Mona Lisa's ability to captivate more than them.

                              Masterpieces aren't a zero-sum situation where there can be only one masterpiece for a given subset of art/expression. One masterpiece doesn't gain that status by taking it from another work, but by demonstrating it's own strengths to be considered in the same category. I consider the Marilyn Diptych by Warhol to be a masterpiece - despite not really being a big fan of the pop art movement I think it's more compelling than the Mona Lisa too - but it didn't need to boot the Mona Lisa down a peg on the famous art of a woman's face to get that status.

                              I don't think its consistent with the intention of the word masterpiece to have criteria based around competition between pieces. I don't think it's consistent with your own assertions. How can FLCL, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and RahXephon all be masterpieces just for doing some things better than Evangelion? You clearly don't think they have to battle it out with each other so only one is left standing.

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