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.