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Giant Robot Anime (AKA: Hideaki Anno needs a hug)
#1

Spinning off from Pacific Rim discussion of robot anime.

Why not to watch the original Neon Genesis Evangelion?  For one, there's a new version with better animation, that hopefully tells a more cohesive story, wait for that one to finish up before starting.

Discuss.

Problems with the original evangelion: It's a rumination on depression and loneliness as told through the lens of giant mecha fighting Kabbalah space aliens.  That sounds cool, but the finished product is a mess, and required movies to retell the ending, and it still didn't make sense.

So it's probably worth seeing, but it's also fairly infuriating.

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#2
AI've only watched the series and the Rebuild movies, not the post-series movies, but I'd at least recommend watching the series; the Rebuild movies assume a certain degree of audience familiarity with the material, and in general it's easier to understand why any given development (i.e. Rei developing a social life) is important if you can compare it with the off-its-meds original version.
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#3

If you are going to watch evangelion, read up on it first.  There is a load of information that is never presented in the series, but that it needs to make sense.

I can recommend it for the scenes of Shinji riding a sunlit train, having a conversation with his subconscious.  They're beautifully rendered.

But, maybe watch Gurren Lagann for a more entertaining giant robot fix?  Or Evangelion's still spaced out but easier to swallow follow up FLCL?

I'm Mr Bananagrabber, and I don't hate all anime, just most of it.

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#4

MrBanannaGrabber, I never saw Neon Genesis Evangelion, but I watched numerous...Go Nagai Super Robot Anime!  Not just Nagai, but Leiji Matsumoto as well.  Ufo Robo Grendizer, Gaiking, Getter Robo G, and Danguard Ace are my favorites followed by  more recent Getter Robo: Armageddon, and Go Nagai like...GODANNAR!  Macross, the original Gundam Series and compilation films are also faves.

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#5
AHonestly I didn't find Evangelion to be that hard to follow, until the last few "we've gotta achieve some kind of resolution before the budget runs out completely" episodes. Even those, as bizarre as they were, more or less managed to get the point across. Sure, there's stuff left unexplained/unresolved, but the series is at the very least a perfectly solid starting point from which to move on to the Rebuild movies, which was why I never bothered with the post-series movies (well, that, and I wasn't in need of suicidal depression.)
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

If you are going to watch evangelion, read up on it first.  There is a load of information that is never presented in the series, but that it needs to make sense.

See, this is what's made me think I wouldn't be able to stand it.  It's like with the Matrix sequels, where people told me "they're so deep, you just have to read these philosophy books first".  If something can't present the philosophy it wants to while still being entertaining & self-contained, it's failed.

Let's put it this way, if I spend the 13 (?) hours it takes to watch the show, am I going to think "Man, I wish I would have just watched Ultraman instead?"

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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by wydren View Post

See, this is what's made me think I wouldn't be able to stand it.  It's like with the Matrix sequels, where people told me "they're so deep, you just have to read these philosophy books first".  If something can't present the philosophy it wants to while still being entertaining & self-contained, it's failed.

Let's put it this way, if I spend the 13 (?) hours it takes to watch the show, am I going to think "Man, I wish I would have just watched Ultraman instead?"


Pretty much. I just hate whenever anyone makes an argument against Evangelion, the response is typically "YOU DIDN'T GET IT" or "THAT'S THE POINT."

I understand that the point of the show is partly to act as a deconstruction of the mech series, and that concept alone I love. Just because "that's the point" doesn't give it a pass. I just agree that the actual execution is fucking messy as shit.

Even so, I'd agree that Evangelion should be required viewing for any anime fan. I don't think it's particularly great, but it's so ingrained in anime pop-culture that to have some type of understanding of the medium, I think it is absolutely required to watch the show.

Also, I'm completely digging the rebuild films. That alone probably says a lot about my opinions on the series.

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#8

I know I watched the first rebuild movie, but I don't remember it at all.

I think part of my problem with Evangelion is that I dug into the background material first, and then watched the show.  So I kept expecting things to happen/be explained/plot points developed/ but they never were on-screen, just expounded on in the supporting information.

It is a cultural juggernaut in anime circles, so it's got that going for it.

Duke - I think you would enjoy Guerren Laggan.

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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by commodorejohn View Post

Honestly I didn't find Evangelion to be that hard to follow, until the last few "we've gotta achieve some kind of resolution before the budget runs out completely" episodes. Even those, as bizarre as they were, more or less managed to get the point across. Sure, there's stuff left unexplained/unresolved, but the series is at the very least a perfectly solid starting point from which to move on to the Rebuild movies, which was why I never bothered with the post-series movies (well, that, and I wasn't in need of suicidal depression.)


This. I actually liked the approach of the series as it applies to how a boy grows up to become a man, ie all the confusion, violence and self-searching thrown up against this ridiculously implausible Giant Robot Story.

I read a synopsis of the post-series movies and it made me ill in a be-careful-what-the-fans-demand kind of way.

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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

I know I watched the first rebuild movie, but I don't remember it at all.

It's mostly because the first rebuild movie is a shot by shot remake of the first couple of episodes; movie two is where the magic happens.

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#11

Never seen Evangelion myself, but it seems to strike a chord among certain lapsed Catholics of my acquaintance.

Me, I'm a Macross guy, although that series only occasionally paid off on the premise of giant robots going hand-to-hand with giant aliens.

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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post


Me, I'm a Macross guy, although that series only occasionally paid off on the premise of giant robots going hand-to-hand with giant aliens.

See, I've also got Robotech sitting in my instant queue, and I haven't watched that since I was a kid.  Although I don't remember them fighting any giant monsters, which is what kicked off this discussion in the first place.

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#13

Just so this doesn't turn into an Evangelion thread:

Gundam. And not that faggy Gundam Wing or any of the other gundams.  I'm talking original flavor, "Mechanized robots that are merely military weaponry" Mobile Suit Gundam. It didn't matter if you were piloting--you can and will die horribly.

And looking back at Gundam Wing, it's astounding how horrific that show actually was. Funny, since the promos for it way back in the Toonami days blew my mind. "YOU MEAN PEOPLE SHOOT EACH OTHER? ON A CARTOON?"

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#14

Good suggestion Ska.  I'll throw in a recommendation for Patlabor too.  Nice, straightforward police-in-giant-robot-armor action.

I would caution against Eureka 7, and Code Geass.  I hated both for different reasons.  Eureka 7 stays consistent if derivative, but thinks it's much smarter then it really is, and  It thrives on denying information to the audience.  It's conclusion is a disaster.  Some nice animation in spots.

Code Geass is just terrible.

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#15

I forgot all about Patlabor.  Too bad that's not on Netflix Instant.

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#16

Macross fans, don't forget MACROSS PLUS. It's a beautiful direct sequel set after the war. It's got a love triangle, great music, a virtual pop star (Japanese: duh) and some kick-ass mecha battles.

Soapy to be sure, but the whole package is nicely put together.

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#17
Quote:
Originally Posted by wydren View Post

See, I've also got Robotech sitting in my instant queue, and I haven't watched that since I was a kid.  Although I don't remember them fighting any giant monsters, which is what kicked off this discussion in the first place.

The Zentraedi aren't your usual kaiju-- they're just 30-foot-tall humanoids. But that was the show's initial justification for giving the humans 30-foot-tall robots. And like I said, the show ultimately didn't make very much out of that.

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#18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

Code Geass is just terrible.

On Code Geass: First season is pretty fucking great; last couple of episodes are bonkers and ends in a pretty great mexican standoff

Second season: Complete fucking train wreck from start to finish.

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#19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ska Oreo View Post

On Code Geass: First season is pretty fucking great; last couple of episodes are bonkers and ends in a pretty great mexican standoff

Second season: Complete fucking train wreck from start to finish.

It just rubbed me the wrong way instantly by starting with 1) Magic girl, 2) High School Protagonist, 3) Vague-mysticism-special-powers.

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#20

Gainax's works are always a result of the studio and its director's state of mind:

Original Evangelion: Starts as a normal mecha series with original concepts and plot, suddenly devolves into a depressing spiral of insanity and downright messed up continuity and plot, as the director and studio suffer from every kind of mental and business clusterfuck.

Gurren Lagan: original mecha series with an old school series, plot goes crazy but in an awesome, enjoyable way; both studio and director are having a good time all around.

Rebuild of Evangelion: Same as the original, only that the crazyness goes from depressing to mindboggling, with fan response and director experimentation to blame.

Panty & Stocking: Drugs, lots and lots of uppers, downers, screamer, laughers.

Hell, there's an actual Evangelion manga series thats pretty much "Evangelion, if it was a regular anime show"; its not memorable, but its pretty damn funny and enjoyable.

Oddly enough, Ive always liked Nadesico's mix of parody, drama and comedy (horrible movie sequel aside); hell, the protagonist and antagonist in that are a) A fan of old school, non complex mecha shows like Mazinger Z or Voltron, b) a fan of complex, drama fueled shows like Macross or Gundam.

Ive heard a good, realistic mecha series is Votoms, which was a somehwat liberal adaptation of Starship Troopers.

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#21

Is Zone of the Enders any good?  Seems to have a following.

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#22
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#23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

Is Zone of the Enders any good?  Seems to have a following.


The PS2 game was fun when it came out.  Beyond that, I got nothing...

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