B1 Intermediate US 26 Folder Collection
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Neon Genesis Evangelion demonstrates
the death of the author.
For a lot of people, Neon Genesis Evangelion
is not an anime.
It is the anime.
Produced by famed animation studio
Gainax and the gray matter spawn of creator Hideaki Anno or Anno
Hideaki, NGE began as a TV series
airing over a five month period starting late 1995.
They follow several characters, most notably
Shinji Ikari, Rei Ayanami, and Asuka Langley Soryu as they
pilot massive, sort of but not really
robots in the defense of Earth against truly
terrifying eldritch abominations called Angels.
The arrangement of big robots versus giant monsters
makes NGE technically a part of the anime genre called Mecha.
So compare it to things like Macross, Gurren Lagann, and Big
O except then don't, because Evangelion is
sort of another thing entirely.
Where many Mecha animes are all gung ho, kill the bad guys,
good show, NGE is dark.
And it confronts the psychological pressure
that's heaped on people, teenagers
no less, who are tasked with saving the world.
Characters have nervous breakdowns and struggle
with depression and constructions of self.
They wonder whether or not free will is even a thing.
Everyone on the show has abandonment issues.
Neon Genesis Evangelion is psychological and intense,
philosophical and compelling, that is,
unless you ask the people who made it.
Anno has said, quote, "It is strange
that Evangelion is a hit.
Everyone in it is sick."
And as for the weird, amazing relationships
between the characters and how they progress,
he explained in an interview whatever
the story or development between the characters,
I did it without a plan.
Source is in the description.
Hideaki has harshly criticized fans
for searching out meaning where he claims there isn't any.
So as you might expect, there's a kind of love hate
relationship with this guy.
On the one hand, he's kind of a tyrant,
trolling, mocking, and challenging
the experiences of the very people
upon whom his success depends.
But on the other hand, he is the man
who brought one of the most beloved animes into existence.
For many NGE fans, he is a saint.
His vision is of utmost importance.
They know about his past and his battles with depression.
The characters allegedly incorporate
parts of Anno's own personality and that production
on Evangelion was always a little rocky.
He's talked about tight budgets, unbelievably short turnarounds,
and incredibly stressful production conditions,
conditions which led, however, to some conceptual,
adventurous, and most importantly
inexpensive episodes, and if you count
movies and director's cuts, several different series
endings as well.
Like a giant Mecha anime onion, Evangelion has some layers
to it.
We can't help but wonder, though,
which ones do you need in order to understand the show?
Sure, I mean, you can be a total fiend
and want to know everything about Anno and Evangelion
and anime and everything ever.
And that is fine.
But if we're talking about watching, understanding,
and enjoying NGE, which bits do we need?
Do we need to know that Evangelion is supposed
to be a comment on the over commercialization of anime
or that Anno thinks we're sort of dumb for buying, some of us
literally, into his quote unquote meaningless story?
French philosopher deconstructionist
and awesome hairdo haver Jacques Derrida
says no and furthermore might agree with Anno
that Evangelion is meaningless, just not in the way
that you think.
Derrida says that there is nothing outside the text.
He doesn't mean that when interpreting a work,
you shouldn't use information external to the work itself,
but that everything, every communication,
is in some way textual, that there's
nothing outside the text, because everything is the text.
Evangelion, text.
Anno's interview answers, text.
This YouTube video, text.
Now text is troubling because it doesn't really contain meaning.
It's just a bunch of little symbols and noises
that are stand ins for the actual ideas,
meaning that everything is at least a little ambiguous.
In other words, to communicate, you have to use representation.
You go through, quote, "a detour of signs".
Not a detour sign.
That would be weird.
Anything textual, so anything, is open to interpretation.
This kind of robs the author's interpretation
of its authority, doesn't it?
I mean, yes, Anno was there.
He saw Evangelion getting made.
He knows what happened.
But his actions during its creation,
his feelings about them, the way he describes them, the way we
read or hear them, are, to phrase it as Derrida
might, always already interpretation.
Hideaki's comments, then, are unimportant,
because their meaning is just as ambiguous as the thing
that they would disambiguate-- shed some light on.
But of course, because nothing is ever clear or easy,
this idea itself is bound up inside of another conundrum.
Is the role of the text, the artwork, the TV show,
the sonata, the painting of the monkey, or whatever,
to communicate the exact, precise thoughts
of the creator?
500 years ago, the answer to that question
probably would have been well, yeah, duh-doy.
But nowadays, it's not so clear.
Mine and Derrida's main man Roland Barthes
wrote in "Death of the Author" that the modern writer is born
simultaneously with his text.
He is in no way supplied with a being which precedes
or transcends his writing.
He's in no way the subject of which
his book is the predicate.
There is no other time than that of the utterance.
And every text is eternally written here and now.
In other words, does the modern text
have to convey the exact meaning of the author?
Uh, no, Derriduh-doy.
Weirdly enough, Hideaki Anno agrees.
He said, don't expect to get answers by someone.
Don't expect to be catered to all the time.
We all have to find our own answers, which
is coincidentally exactly what we watch
Shinji, Rei, and Asuka do throughout the entirety
of Evangelion.
What do you guys think?
Is the input of the author important when
interpreting a work?
Let us know in the comments.
And I've been working on my Rei impression
to ask you guys to subscribe.
OK, ready?
Guess what?
We are not in a small office corner anymore.
We are at VidCon Let's see what you guys had
to say about Jurassic Park and capitalism.
Colpale says that Jurassic Park is not so much
a comment on capitalism as it is a comment
on unregulated capitalism and then
goes on to make the very hilarious and astute
observation that the Canadian Jurassic Park probably
would have went just fine.
I agree.
Pickystikman takes issue with our reading of Jurassic Park,
saying that we do not look at things objectively
and that you have to take into account the author's intentions
when you are interpreting something.
I wonder what Pickystikman thinks of that idea
after watching our Neon Genesis Evangelion episode.
Pickystikman, are you out there?
What do you think?
So turkishradish is concerned about having their comments
featured, wants maybe some advice
on how to make that happen.
So since we're at VidCon, we'll get some experts here.
First we have Nate from OK.
Nate, what do you think?
Caps, caps, caps, caps, caps, caps, caps.
There you have it, caps, all caps, all the time.
And also Shannon Coffey from Coffey Chat.
Shannon, what do you think?
Romantic poetry, please.
There we go.
So some tips from pros, some pro tips on having your comments
featured, turkishradish.
Thank you, friends.
Do you like this?
Do you enjoy it?
Ah, yeah, it's pretty nice, actually.
You're so warm.
So generalkohn and Daniel MacLean
write some really interesting comments
about the state of science and how it conducts itself with
regards to, like, spirituality and danger.
I don't really know too much about the way science is
currently conducting itself.
But, um, I think I know someone who does.
It's Joe Hanson from It's OK To Be Smart.
Yes, so science-- it turns out that most science--
it's not that scary stuff done by evil corporations.
NASA all the way down to the people
who do basic research for health and medicines.
This is mostly funded by the government,
nonprofit government.
Yeah, you go back, Michael Crichton has a science problem.
He didn't believe in climate change.
You go back to Andromeda Strain, his first book,
all the way through Congo, he kinda
has a big, scary, science monster in the closet.
So then really, you could say that Jurassic Park is about
Michael Crichton's fear of science,
that science is going to--
Yeah, packed into a dinosaur shape.
Right, of course, yeah, with tiny arms, look out.
Always back to the tiny arms.
Always back to the tiny arms.
All right, cool.
Well, thanks, Joe.
Yeah, yeah, no problem.
Um, see ya later.
See ya later.
Guy Mika points us towards some really interesting theorists
and ideas related to Marxism socialism and the media,
most notably Noam Chomsky's idea of manufacturing consent, which
is about ways that media behave and report things
to sort of influence the way people think
and what they believe, so, like, directly related
to ideologies and other stuff that we mentioned.
So yeah, it's a really good, really insightful comment.
Clever girl.
So while here at VidCon, a wild Mitchell Davis appeared.
That's me.
So we thought we would talk to him
for a second about dinosaurs and global market capitalism.
Which make total sense to me.
You, yeah?
Oh yeah.
You're into it?
Yeah, I guess.
I mean, like, you're saying, you know,
you've got some dinosaurs that are just completely just taking
And then you've got other little guys who are like,
hey, give me a chance.
And then they get eaten.
And then they get eaten.
And, you know, you know what they say nowadays.
What do they say nowadays?
They say nowadays, if you don't do that, you're
going to get eaten.
So that makes sense.
Survival of the fittest?
No, no one says that.
You're gonna get eaten.
That's what they say.
They point just like, you're gonna get eaten.
Just like capitalism.
So our last episode, we talked a lot
about the allegorical connection between dinosaurs and capital.
But since we're at VidCon, and we're lucky enough
to get Emily from The Brain Scoop, um, which
if you don't watch Emily or The Brain Scoop,
you absolutely should, we thought
we would ask her about the more literal connection
between dinosaurs and capital.
So there are some bones that are worth, like, a lot of money.
Millions of dollars.
So why-- why is that?
Well, I-- arguably, they're worth just as much
as, you know, precious and rare gems and minerals,
because they are so rare.
It's not every day that you find an entire, complete skeleton.
And more than that, fossils and complete fossils,
the more complete they are, the more scientifically relevant
they're going to be.
And the more we can learn from them,
the more we're able to learn about, you know,
dinosaur morphology.
And so from there, you can kind of
start to quantify the worth of something.
Do you know if there are, like, bidding wars on dinosaur bones?
Oh yeah.
They go to auction.
I mean, like, you'll have, like, you know,
a fancy diamond and a really expensive Louis
the fifth chair.
And then you're going to have a T. Rex.
Dino bones.
Yeah, dino bones.
With tiny arms.
Always back to the tiny arms.
Thanks again to all of our super secret
and sudden special comment guests.
If you want to see their awesome shows,
we'll put links in the descriptions.
This week's episode was brought to you
by the awesome work of these very clever girls.
And the tweet of the week comes from Yusuf,
who's one of many people to point us
towards the PixarTheory, which if you haven't seen it,
it's mind-blowing.
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Does It Matter What Evangelion's Creator Says? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

26 Folder Collection
naomi published on August 18, 2020
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