What the F@#$ Did Just Watch?! EVANGELION Episode #25

Topic started by No_name_here on May 17, 2010. Last post by agila61 4 years, 3 months ago.
Post by No_name_here (855 posts) See mini bio Level 11
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 Oh, Misato. Why can't you just relax?
 Oh, Misato. Why can't you just relax?

Things get more than a little “student film” in this, the penultimate EVA episode. It even looks like a student film, for crying out loud! The characters are just talking on stage while spotlights periodically shine different colors on them.

I understand, now, what fans had been warning me about this whole time. I’ve enjoyed this show all the way from the start, even through the “clip episode” some of you were telling me to watch out for. But this… this… this really didn’t even feel like a story anymore. It felt like I was reading some fan’s diatribe about the greater complexities of all the characters read aloud.

Don’t get me wrong - - the cast’s intricate psychology has put this show above many others, in my eyes. However, I prefer that to be revealed through action and implication, rather than a drawn-out psycho-dialogue like this. I hate to say it, but watching this felt like playing through those tedious “hallucination” levels from MAX PAYNE. I’m all for dream symbolism (it was one of my favorite parts of the Alan Moore comic SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING), but when you start re-using the same minimalistic snippets over and over again, I get the sense that it’s more an example of filibuster than artful control.

The deep analysis of motivations presented here dredges up issues I had with some psychological theory when I took a Psych 101 class in college. There often seemed to be a chicken-or-the-egg paradox when it came to explaining motivations. Take Misato, here, for example. I get that her bubbly-personality is supposed to be compensating for the reclusive trauma of her teens. I get that she’s got something of an Elektra complex since she hooks up with Kaji and later admits that he reminds her of her dead father. I get that she associates physical contact with emotional intimacy… 
 
Oh wait, that’s how all well-adjusted human beings feel. 
 
What got especially vexing was the whole dialogue about there being a “real Misato” who’s been covered by a façade. I get that she was making up for a lost chance at teenage rebellion through her wild years with Kaji, but that whole business about her delighting at him besmirching the “good girl” her father wanted her to be was a little convoluted. Who is the real Misato supposed to be, then? If her whole ascension through the ranks of Nerv is just about her just fulfilling a role, than she comes off as awfully enthusiastic and qualified for something she’s supposed to be listlessly following, which, in turn, complicates the other...

Ack! I’m getting the same feeling I get whenever I’ve knotted my shoelaces and had to untie them.  It feels weird to shout “TMI!” about fictional characters, but it just seems appropriate here, since  the show’s clarity's been lost in this episode. And I haven’t even gotten into the respective dialogues about Rei, Asuka and Shinj!

Can we get back to the story, please? I have the sinking feeling that the final episode is going to be a lot like this.

-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Studios and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia. Pre-order the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover now on Amazon.com.

Post by Dream (7,421 posts) See mini bio Level 20
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Part of the reason for this episode being as it was was special thanks to the show's animation budget running low from its funding getting cut thanks to the earlier intense episodes. I will warn you right now that the next episode's not gonna be any different.
Post by kwyrt (31 posts) See mini bio Level 7
And now you know why so many people have such a love/hate relationship with Evangelion. The last couple of episodes just feel like somebody switched the DVD on you. What happened to the awesome mech anime I was watching?
Post by sickVisionz (4,256 posts) See mini bio Level 24
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@kwyrt: The last two episodes kinda feel like Anno thought he was making a 24 episode show and budgeted accordingly.  He was probably happy they he came in slightly under budget but then someone told him there were 2 episodes left. 
 
It's not the popular stance, but I actually like this ending more than End of Eva.  It's super low budget, but there is less visual f***ery and at the end I feel like I understand what happened where as EoE I was scratching my head and confused.
Post by OmegaChosen (43 posts) See mini bio Level 6
Haven't posted in a while. I understand your frustration with this episode, I do.
 
I won't get better with the next one(well, the next episode does have its moments :3), just warning you upfront. You'll walk away thinking, "Okay, what the hell does that mean?" After you watch End of Evangelion, this part should make more sense though. If it doesn't, I'm sure someone will explain it to you or will spoil it in this discussion or in the next episode summary. I like these two episodes when paired with End of Evangelion. Anyway, see you next episode.
Post by Whiskeyjack (111 posts) See mini bio Level 19
I hope you have an opportunity to borrow a copy of Death and Rebirth / The End of Evangelion. If you're not too fond of the psychology and slide show, you'll probably find the rock'em sock'em action a lot more satisfying, though the ending is still very very Evangelion all the same.
Post by agila61 (87 posts) See mini bio Level 4
Yup: "The good news is we came in a little under budget on episodes 22, 23 and 24. The bad news if they are not paying for the last two episodes, so that's the money we have available to produce the last two."
 
Oh, it could be worse, at the end of 24 they could have had Misato put a VHS tape with "Evangelion 25/26" on it into a VCR and use it to record a show off the TV. 
Post by Gaff (213 posts) See mini bio Level 11
@sickVisionz: I always felt that 25/26 always were intended. I won't spoil too much (I kinda was baited into writing something about it! :P), but that's my whack theory about it. And I agree, 25/26 had something special for me too, which probably has more to do how things are "resolved" in 25/26 as opposed to EoE.
 
@Tom: I don't want to give the impression of a raging fanboy jumping to its defense, and it's been awhile since I saw 25, but I could've sworn it was the other way around: Misato's idea of emotional intimacy was physical contact? She can only express emotional intimacy (love, caring, empathy) by cleaning out someone's tonsils. 
To compare 
  • Façade Misato Kusaragi, daughter of "renowned" doctor Kusaragi, taking up arms against the Angels who killed her father, a bright and promising officer, who does her part in the "war".
vs 
  • The hedonistic Misato Kusaragi, a lazy slob, whose top priorities are beer, fast food and sleeping (either alone or with anyone).
 
But, it's been awhile since I last saw it so I'm kind of fuzzy on the details.
Post by FoxxFireArt (2,640 posts) See mini bio Level 25
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I love psychological introspection. It pick apart the inner workings of the mind. That in mind. When I got to this point I kept thinking, "What the hell did I get myself into?".
Post by Burntlettuce (155 posts) See mini bio Level 14
I won't spoil to much, but 25/26 get vastly better after you watch EoE and understand the importance of this.
Post by hitsusatsu11 (10,746 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Here we go, the final episodes. In my opinion these last two episodes need EoE to be truly complete (as you obviously know they had budget issues lol) but these episodes do have merit, and I think they go hand in hand with EoE to dive into the nitty gritty of the Complementation of Man Via the Human Instrumentality Project. Think of these episodes as the internal working of instrumentality within each character while EoE deals with the whole of instrumentality.  
 
Even the official title of this episode-"Do you love me?" sets us up for some emotional dealings in this episode. (Though it should be noted the literal translation is "A World Thats Ending") 
 
Inner most thoughts are surfaced as the characters here are faced with tough questions, and refaced with them when they give easy answers.  
 
For Shinji, he cannot accept responsibility for Kawaru's death. Repeatedly he states he had no choice, but really he is only trying to convince himself of this. Shinji can't understand his feelings and calls out for anyone and everyone to give him direction, as he fears being hated and wants to please everyone (even though the reason for this is unclear to him, he fears it vividly). He also is unsure of why he pilots his Eva, the answers he gives to this question seem to be rejected by his inner mind. 
 
For Asuka she only finds self worth in being valued by others, to which end she pilots her Eva. Funny how a character so full of herself on the surface can be so insecure on the inside, enough to label herself as garbage. The rejection by others (stemming from what she believes was a refection by her mother) crushes her, even more so than it does Shinji. Asuka wants to live by herself and never cry, and yet the first thing she does after saying this is cry. She doesn't want to depend on anyone, but hates it at the same time- in other words she wants a paradox.
 
Rei's problems seem to be an identity crisis (understandably), and finding her true purpose in the world. Is she meant only for NERV and Gendo's gain. or is she something more? In a way Rei seems the saddest character, more than Shinji or even Asuka, however Rei is also the strongest. Note here Rei comes to terms with having an inner presence, one which might not have human form, i'll bet you can guess who that's referring to. Rei has a fear of fading into "nothingness" both physically and within the minds of others, but she still seems so cool in dealing with her fear (as opposed to Asuka who literally freaks out). Epic lines to when Rei coolly states she's happy because she wants to die, to return to nothingness, but she can't because HE won't let her. She prays for her day of abandonment, but also fears it. Now thats what I call character complexity, way to go Anno. 
  
Then we start to learn about the purpose and workings of Instrumentality, to fill the voids in man's mind and soul, but of course at the expensive of individuality (hey you can't have it all right?) The choice to return to the state of beginning as a sort of supreme being who's entirety fills all existence is in these final episodes looked at abstractly, in EoE it is looked at (slightly) less abstractly and more meta physically, so I hope you do watch it to get a more complete picture. 
 
When we start delving into Misato's mind they begin to deal in existentialism, addressing the different versions of people who exist in others minds ( ie. the you who exists in your mind, the you who exists in my mind) and questions if any versions are more real than others, or if indeed anything can be real without perception.  
 
Misato wants contradicting things- to be a good girl, but she hates it, to have her father not hate her, yet she hates her father, to please her mother, yet not be like her mother. She wants to defile herself and have her reputation ruined, but she doesn't want Shinji to see that side her. She wants things and are proud of them, yet is ashamed at the same time.
    @Gaff said: 
To compare 
  • Façade Misato Kusaragi, daughter of "renowned" doctor Kusaragi, taking up arms against the Angels who killed her father, a bright and promising officer, who does her part in the "war".
vs 
  • The hedonistic Misato Kusaragi, a lazy slob, whose top priorities are beer, fast food and sleeping (either alone or with anyone).
 
I would agree, only to slightly differ that there are not two distinct different Misato's but all those attributes you listed are intertwined and come out all at once. Which is why she is ashamed and proud, happy and sad, ect. all at once. She says Kaji was kind to disgrace her and uses him to get back at her father, but she is drawn Kaji because he is like her father (whom she hates). The one thats recognized (NERV officer) is not the true her, but the hedonistic slob is not really her either, as she says the true her is "always crying". And your right she wants to be close to anyone so she doesn't have to face that true self, and she can only express intimacy physically. And i concur, I don't think EoE replaces the TV ending, but complements it. 
 
Will to survive, or wish for death, its all up to Shinji and will be further revealed in the final episode and movie as instrumentality continues.
Post by No_name_here (855 posts) See mini bio Level 11
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@kwyrt:  Yeah, exactly. I kept asking, "Can we please just get back to the story?"
Post by No_name_here (855 posts) See mini bio Level 11
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@agila61:  Did that whole VCR dubbing thing happen at the end of another show?
Post by Ryuku_Ryosake (58 posts) See mini bio Level 6
 End of Eva finished the story. 25 and 26 finished the character development. They both have their merit but unless you were super into the psychology of the characters picking apart every nuance of the show you probably care more about the story then the character development. That is why I can't accept this as the actual intended ending at any point of development of the series. You have to remember Eva was originally an anime that aired on TV. The original viewer of the show could hardly have been expected plunge the depths of Eva by the time 25 and 26 aired. To even have a clue of what was going on during 25 and 26 you would have had to pick through the series and even then you still might not get it until End of Eva. It's like instead of making the ending to the series they decided to make a DVD extra for the ending. It's only interesting for the most hardcore of the viewership.
Post by ReVolutionOfEvangelion (102 posts) See mini bio Level 3
I will keep this short because its simple:
 
 
Yes, they simply ran out of money.  And they were overschedule.  This was never the intended ending.  Gainax was racing around at the end, I mean its legendary now, the final run to get the last 2 episodes out with nothing but tape and hot spit, basically:  they grabbed literally everyone who could stand and had them working 24 hours a day to try to get it out.  
 
Think of it like this:  remember episode 16, with the shadow Angel?  It has some surreal dream sequences, but they're clearly dream sequences, right?  and this is sandwiched between the parts of the episode that are happening in real life.
 
What happened was, they ran out of money, so they said "well, we don't have the money to make the finale we wanted, but the dream sequences just involved montages of stillshots from old episodes....its a clipshow sequence that costs almost nothing....lets just expand the dream sequences to run for the entire final 2 episodes"....
 
....sort of like if you took ONLY the parts of episode 16 with Shinji talking to the Shadow-Angel using images in his mind, and didn't show what was going on in the real world.   
 
So they spent a year scrapping together enough money, and made "End of Evangelion" -- the TV ending, the last 2 episodes, they're just the dream sequences of End of Evangelion, aired out of context.
 
 Frankly I think you could even edit them into parts of End of Eva, as dream sequences, and they'd make sense.
 
But Imagine what it was like when the show first came out:  1997...and it was a full year until End of Eva came out, and before Internet Downloading, the ONLY way to get End of Eva, the real ending, was to get bad Honk Kong bootlegs poorly fansubbed from Japanese to Chinese, and from Chinese to English....and then people honestly wondered why End of Eva was "difficult to understand" when they were watching incomprehensibly bad fansubs of it!
 
But in North America, due to a long bidding war due to its high price....End of Eva wasn't released until 2002...FIVE years later!!!!
 
In the meantime, left with basically something that could never be the ending but for a show they loved....many fans started trying to rationalize it.  "Rationalizing" it, trying to say that "The TV ending stands on its own" when it obviously didn't, and wasn't the ending they were leading up to.
 
It ends with a clip show, and some people were so shocked, and didn't know when End of Eva would come (and it wasn't another 5 years) that they just convinced themselves that this was "good".  
 
Then when End of Eva finally came, and there were parts in it that people didn't like because they refused to pander to fans ("Wash dies in Firefly" type things) ....many diehards refused to accept End of Eva, and labelled it "purely revenge on fans"...when if you look at it, it actually follows up on many plot elements raised in the series, and also *fits and finishes many character arcs*
 
****DON"T REPEAT THEIR MISTAKE!!!   Don't waste five years trying to "figure out" the TV ending!  It was a result of running out of money and time, plain and simple;  don't take a week off trying to understand it.  Watch it, quickly move on, and watch End of Evangelion.
Post by ReVolutionOfEvangelion (102 posts) See mini bio Level 3
@Gaff:   Your opinions count for nothing.  This TV ending isn't what they were planning; many plot elements raised in past episodes simply arent' addressed, etc.  Its nothing more than "what's going on in their heads during End of Eva....please wait for End of Eva in 12 months"
Post by TheSilentTruth (4 posts) See mini bio Level 3
And this is why when I re-watch the series, I skip the last two episodes and watch The End of Evangelion instead.
Post by agila61 (87 posts) See mini bio Level 4
@Tom_Pinchuk said:
" @agila61:  Did that whole VCR dubbing thing happen at the end of another show? "
I read in the review of some maid/harem show that was airing as part of a block that they had technical difficulties and it was not rating well, so they did exactly that - cancelled it with no more notice than one of the characters recording over a tape labelled as having the next episodes.
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