Friday, June 10, 2011

The Trolling of Evangelion: The Good

Disclaimer: If you like the show, please read the title. And then read it again. Realize this is coming from someone who doesn't like the show. I'm not going to attempt to play fair, since it's intentional trolling. Please realize that I geniunely like the parts of the show that I'm trolling, and that I'm having fun, usually at that fans' expense or at mine. Those of you who aren't having fun need to check themselves off this blog. Oh, and SPOILER ALERT! For those of you that care.
The Characters
I like all the characters in Evangelion.
Everybody but this guy:

...and this guy. What a coincidence, they're father and son!

I'm really not kidding. Everyone else in the show was understandable, easily related to, and hell, enjoyable.
Misato

How can you not like her? Seriously? Put aside the fact that we get to see her boobs, butt, or skin in every episode for a second, and actually think (something Evangelion fans claim to do all the time, but probably not with their brains)! Misato's pretty amazing. Having gone through some extremely rough situations with her parents and being unable to talk she's actually up and talking, trying to follow in her father's footsteps (even though she think she hates him). She takes Shinji in and tries to mother him, only realizing that her own flaws prevent her from doing that well. Watching her with Kaji is absolutely hilarious and awesome every time, and who can't love Pen-Pen? I dare you to not love him. How could you say no to that bloody penguin? Misato can't, and that should be more than good enough for you, you heartless bastard. Seriously, she's one the few characters that's actually human in this show. Flawed, broken, but absolutely determined to do good. She's also the only one of the three main female leads whose falling in love with Shinji did not seem pushed by the plot, which I don't hold against her. The show had shown that the two of them, despite being in the opposite camps of awesome and fail, had a lot in common and Misato geniunely cared for Shinji and wanted to help him leave Camp Fail (where Twilight: The Extended Cut is shown every night) and go to Camp Awesome with her for sex. Wonderful statutory rape sex.

Kaji

What can I say about Kaji that would do him justice? No, really, I mean that. Kaji is one of the best characters in any anime I've watched, probably reaching up into the realm of my Top 5 Favorites (I should probably write that post someday...). Throughout the show, like all the characters, Kaji shows some pretty impressive flaws. His sense of humor pisses off Misato (which yes, I count as a flaw), and... that's about it. He's the best character you can ask for in any show, and he makes quite the impact in a show where there really are no other heroes besides Misato. I mean, what can't this guy do?

Oh wait, that's right.

Live.

Kaji's death is the turning point in the series, forcing it into a downward spiral of despair and futility. I think that with the death of Kaji any hope for, well, anything, in this show dies as well. He was the one guy consistently doing the right things for the right reasons, and with his death there's a very uncomfortable hole left. I mean, who's gonna save the world, Shinji? That's about as likely as Shinji voluntarily kissing a girl.


Asuka
While she's not the most heroic character of the bunch (it's a pretty steep drop off after Misato), Asuka has several things going for her. First, she has a temper. I like temper in an anime girl, it's just in my nature. Second, her last fight scene in The End of Evangelion was one of the most badass things I've seen. 9 Evas? Girl, you rock. Hard. I haven't cheered that hard for someone in a long time, and then..... again...

What is the deal with the writer's need to make sure that no awesome characters live? OK, that's technically not true. Asuka does live. But she's stuck with Shinji, a fate worse than death. I mean, someone that indecisive stuck with an awesome girl like her? Yeah, don't make sense to me either.

Yeah, Asuka has flaws. Tons of them. She's ill-tempered. She's immature. She puts all her self-worth in her ability to pilot an Eva. Her abandonment issues are expressed by her constant bullying and inability to be nice to anyone but Kaji (but being cruel to Kaji puts you out of the grasp of humanity anyway). She falls in love with Shinji. But hey, so do the rest of the female leads, so we'll just chalk that up to the plot.

The rest of the characters, while not nearly as cool as those three, are enjoyable and easy to sympathize with, which is a key aspect of this series. If you can't sympathize with the characters then you're stuck(which is why most harem anime is doomed to fail). While Rei has the personality of vanilla ice cream when it's revealed why this is case it makes a good deal of sense. So even while I don't like her she's at least understandable.

Design
Tokyo-3 is a marvel of imagination. When I first saw it in the Rebuilds I was truly impressed with how it was fantastical yet felt so real. I mean, a city that can come up out of the ground after a fight? Why hasn't anyone in the real world done that?
Not feasible? I don't believe you. Try again. Harder.
The show's designs mostly make sense (disregarding the mechincal trigger on a gun the size of a skyscrape) and are as utilitarian as the tools who made them. The plug suits also work out, despite being an obvious attempt at fan service. All the human stuff looks like it belongs.

Intent
Most importantly, however, this show knew that it had something to say and made me want to find out what it was. It's very difficult to get me to actually care about what happens, and Evagelion through the characters and the desperate feeling of trying to say something got me hooked. I knew that whatever the show was trying to say it meant legitimately, which excited me after I got the bad taste of Shinji and Gendou out of my mouth. What did they want to say? What was so important that they would take someone who's an anti-hero in the literal sense and make a show about him? What were they going to say? As the show got darker I wanted to know more. Hell, I wanted whatever they had to say mean something, even if it was about one of the two Ikaris. Hell, maybe they would try to redeem those two! T'was a long shot, but I hoped.

And that's a rare thing that only the best of shows inspires, even if its only for a second. Hope. It's the ability to carry on even if nothing seems to work. It defies reason, emotion, religion, politics, you name it and hope will trudge through it. A lot of people take hope from stories and use it to carry forward, and this show has the capability of doing that. That's high praise for any show, and I give it to Evangelion. I like the fact that something so depressing as Evangelion can inspire. From someone who overall doesn't like the show that's pretty high praise, and I would like you all to congratulate me for being so high-minded. Thank you, thank you, I'm here on this blog for awhile.

So, Evangelion has good points. Hell, it's got excellent points. But does that make it a classic in my book? Come back next week and find out what I didn't like in The Bad.

Please offer prayers for my friend and Youtube uploader, Taylor. His family is in an emergency, and because of this he couldn't help out with today's post. I offer my condolences.