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  #1  
Old 01-04-2014
HydroCobra HydroCobra is offline
 
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Default How is Evangelion mainstream?

In my view, there's not enough action and it's too philosophical to be mainstream.
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2014
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Zairak Zairak is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HydroCobra View Post
In my view, there's not enough action and it's too philosophical to be mainstream.
I suppose this depends on your definition of 'Mainstream', but if we're going by the most obvious one, it's because a lot of people have watched it.

/thread
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  #3  
Old 01-04-2014
HydroCobra HydroCobra is offline
 
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That doesn't answer my question...
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  #4  
Old 01-04-2014
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Mistyskye Mistyskye is offline
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ummmm... I'd say it does...
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  #5  
Old 01-04-2014
HydroCobra HydroCobra is offline
 
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Why have a lot of people watched it? Why does it appeal to people?
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  #6  
Old 01-04-2014
HydroCobra HydroCobra is offline
 
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As a game developer, I try to understand what appeals to people.
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  #7  
Old 01-04-2014
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Zairak Zairak is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HydroCobra View Post
That doesn't answer my question...
Quote:
Originally Posted by HydroCobra View Post
Why have a lot of people watched it? Why does it appeal to people?
The question was 'How is Evangelion mainstream?', not 'Why is Evangelion mainstream?'. It's mainstream because people watched it a lot for various reasons.

If you want to know why they did so, I'd venture to say because a lot of people really enjoy trying to read into vaguely symbolic storylines. Further, such storylines lend themselves to mass discussion by the userbase, something that itself contributes to a growing fanbase/widespread attention and notoriety, regardless of whether those watching it enjoy it or not.

Also, it has giant robots, and giant robots are cool.

Unless RebornZombie or killshot visits this thread, that's probably the best answer you'll get here.

Last edited by Zairak; 01-04-2014 at 08:12 PM. Reason: w = t, apparently?
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2014
HydroCobra HydroCobra is offline
 
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OK I appreciate your feedback.
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2014
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It's interesting and different. That's my guess as to why it's popular. It's why I like it. That and the compelling story and relatable characters.
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2014
HydroCobra HydroCobra is offline
 
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Well IGPX has all those things but it's not popular.
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Old 01-05-2014
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It's also a very controversial show, that redefined one of the most popular genres at the time.
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2014
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footnote: this isnt real.
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  #13  
Old 08-12-2016
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Spooky necro post incoming.

I was thinking about Eva recently (mostly wondering if Rebuild 4 is ever going to be released) and I remembered I had intended to come back to this thread. No one cares anymore, but I felt like doing this.

Why is Eva mainstream?

For many people, it is just an entertaining show. It came at the right time and followed an established formula that worked for people. I don't think most fans of the show really understand why they like it so much, other than the fact that it is a fantastic "monster of the week" type story. Eva has many layers and the most superficial one also happens to be an exciting story about giant robots punching monsters to death. It doesn't take any more thinking than that to enjoy the show at face value.

Even fans who haven't taken the time to dig beyond the surface are at least familiar with Eva's reputation as a "deep" anime. I imagine many Eva fans are content to praise the show as a complex or deep anime without really understanding for themselves what makes it so. Everyone likes to feel smart and if your enjoyment of a cartoon about robots fighting monsters can be viewed as intellectual, then that's a win win. There are many moments in Eva where the action breaks down and characters monologue about philosophy, religion, or other lofty subjects which adds credibility to the idea that this is a "deep" show. Even if the average viewer doesn't really understand what is going on, its enough to brag to their friends that they are watching and enjoying an intellectual show even if they are only watching it for the action.

"But all that religion and philosophy stuff is all nonsense! Eva is just a show for pseudo-intellectuals who want to seem smarter than they really are!"


For anyone who is coming into Eva with fresh eyes untainted by nostalgia, it may seem strange why this show has such a following. In the age of the internet critic, where film school graduates freely share the secrets of movie magic with anyone who will listen, new viewers are quick to see through the fluff that passes for religious symbolism and philosophical ponderings. Despite all the apparent symbolism relating to Judaeo-Christian mythology, Eva's creator has personally acknowledged that none of these symbols have anything to do with the themes of the show and are only present because he thought they looked cool. So all that buzz about a deep religious subtext turns out to have not meant anything at all.

As if that weren't enough, the plot of the show is near incomprehensible. If you combine the events from Eva with information cobbled together from creator commentaries, you end up with a mess of a story backdrop that goes something like this:

Long ago, the First Ancestral Race sowed seeds throughout the universe that would become other forms of life. Earth received two of these seeds, a seed of knowledge which would give rise to man, and a seed of power that birthed the Angels. Since the two seeds were never meant to coexist, a fail-safe was put in place where if the two seeds ever made physical contact, a great disaster will occur that will destroy them both.

This backstory provides character motivation for the whole of NERV, yet is never really explained in detail. The threat of the angels is much more menacing if their goals are understood and they are more than just giant monsters rampaging through Tokyo. Just knowing this small setting detail clears up so much confusion about what is happening in the show. What kind of hack writers bury vital information like this under layers of nonsense? Unfortunately, viewers who believe they are exposing flaws in the show by pointing this out are missing the true brilliance of Eva which is

None of it matters to the real story they are telling


All of the complicated plot details, religious subtext, and philosophy is nothing but a smokescreen for the real story, Shinji's story. Evangelion, first and foremost, is a coming of age story where the main character, Shinji Ikari, learns what it means to become an adult. The confusing plot and philosophical discussions that lead nowhere are thematically perfect for a show that wants you to see the world through the eyes of a teenager. Throughout the course of the series Shinji shows real growth as a person. Over the course of the series, he grows in the following ways:

-wanting to run away from things that seem beyond his ability
-doing what others tell him to because he seeks validation
-questioning the motives of those giving him orders
-rebelling against those who he once sought validation from
-finally being able to validate his own existence

His transformation and the events responsible are the purpose of Eva and everything else is just window dressing. This is not to diminish the other great aspects of Eva such as the excellent fight scenes, the deconstruction of the giant mecha genre, the depiction of personality disorders in the main cast, the subtleties of character interaction as portrayed through body language, and other layers that when combined with the central story of Shinji's growth make Eva a work of near perfection. Many layers are at work in Evangelion and each one builds from the central idea that Shinji is a confused and lonely teenager that must endure hardship to reach maturity.
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