Saturday, December 31, 2011

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death and Rebirth part two

If you want explanations of a sort that fill in the fast-flying edited story in Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death, the dvd extras go in-depth about terminology and the cast of characters, and that's the crux of what we'll discuss today.


Event One in this storyline is the meteor onslaught of four billion years before, which massively transformed the Earth. Event Two struck on September 13, 2001, heralding the creation of Adam, a cosmic being in an embryonic form in Antarctica, from a place called White Moon. Its counterpart Lillith arises from Black Moon, in a mountain on the island of Japan. The Angels and EVA units make up the puzzle. Dr. Gendo Ikari, father of Shinji, Third Child (all EVA pilots are referred to as The Children), played a role in Event Two that’s gradually unveiled over the course of the movies.

Adam and Lilith are the first two Angels, from a translation of the Japanese “shito” for “messenger” or “apostle,” as “angel” is from the Greek for “messenger” as is the word “Evangelion”. Humanity’s descended from Lilith; Adam and Lillith are the progenitors of the Angels, who appear to be great monsters, attacking Tokyo-3. The Angels are, in fact, another evolutionary path which might have produced humanity.

The EVA units appear to be robots, but have a creature component within. Stephen Chung has written about the connection, the analogy, he sees with the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, as found here: He equates each character with an individual Sephira. It’s an interesting way of looking at Director Hideaki Anno’s work, and Kabbalah itself.

Apparently, souls exist inside the Angel technology used to create the Evangelions. This is why Rei Ayanami, First Child, has been cloned: to provide alternate pilot bodies as well as empty vessels. This character expresses few outward emotions, but probably has connected with the most fans. Dr. Ikari is also behind the experimentation done on Rei. Few know the secret of the nature of the EVAs, created by the scientists of NERV. The EVAs designs are drawn from Japanese folklore images of Oni, according to Wikipedia’s entry on Evangelion (mecha). EVAs are descended from Adam, except for EVA-01, piloted by Shinji, derived from Lillith, like Man.

This series is literally the stuff of scholarship, and as such represents the continued evolution of story in anime. The philosophical complexity of the work deserves much more than an index entry; if you’ve enjoyed the rest of my work, I recommend this from what I’ve so far found. I’m sure to come back one day with a richer analysis. Each character could literally take up a blog post! I look forward to seeing the entire series and movies, exploring Chung’s analysis (the Kabbalah relationship originated in fandom before his theory), and embracing the pinnacle of what art and story and sound can create.

We’ve gone from stories inspired by superheroes inspired by the simpler days of 1970’s attempts to generate meaning in what was considered children’s pop art, to rich analysis that welcomes the adult intellect. Two ends of my work, these classic comics blogs and my philosophical, life-story and music oriented Be Chill Cease Ill, are intersecting, through magic, science, and story. It’s such an intriguing theme on which to wrap up Integr8d Fix in its present incarnation.
---Lue Lyron December 31st, 2011

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