A Cruel Fan’s Thesis

September 21, 2014 § 2 Comments

Follow me down a rabbit hole, why don’t you? After I finished my previous post, I got it in my head to find the source of one of the more persistent rumors about Neon Genesis Evangelion. Even to this day, twenty years after the anime came out, it’s still repeated with some regularity that “Absolute Terror Field” is an actual psychological term for the distancing effect of certain neurodivergent conditions. It’s patently untrue, even ignoring the fact that the term doesn’t quite read like native English, but whence did it come?

Sachiel uses its AT field against EVA Unit 01 in Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Nobody Has to Know

September 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

Rewatching Kare Kano led me to rewatch Neon Genesis Evangelion again. Of course, that gives me things I want to talk about.

I’ve always loved the relationship between Katsuragi Misato and Kaji Ryoji, because it’s a relationship with a really noteworthy existence outside of the plot. Misato and Kaji dated and broke up for reasons that have nothing to do with Shinji, NERV, and the Human Instrumentality Project. When they’re thrust back together, almost a decade later, for reasons that have everything to do with Shinji, NERV, and the Human Instrumentality project, their relationship is transformed into a unique thing for me. It becomes something dictated by their circumstances rather than their history, even though the history is remains quite probably the most important thing between them. It has to be set aside, to be brought out only in moments of stress and intoxication.

What Misato and Kaji share is a hidden relationship. Maybe it’s not that hidden from the other characters, but it’s hidden from us as the audience. We’re unable to play the voyeur like television, anime, and movies are often desperate for us to be, whether to get us invested in the characters or simply to titillate us. Instead, Kaji kisses Misato in the elevator during a power outage, but we cut away before we see how Misato responds. Misato ducks out of a dramatic scene early in order to be somewhere else, presumably somewhere with Kaji, but who knows. Misato and Kaji have sex, but the shot stays focused on a capsule Kaji placed on the table for later. They’re allowed their relationship, but we’re not allowed to partake in it. The plot leads us elsewhere, leaving this couple with his commitment phobia and her daddy issues behind.

Kaji, Asuka, Shinji, Kensuke, Toji, and Misato from Neon Genesis Evangelion

Kaji, Asuka, Shinji, Kensuke, Toji, and Misato from Neon Genesis Evangelion

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The Feminine Mystique

September 6, 2014 § 1 Comment

My favorite part of Daily Lives of High School Boys is whenever the three protagonists cry out, “Little sister!” Tadakuni’s little sister may be the best character in the anime, which seems odd on the surface of things, because I like Daily Lives of High School Boys mostly for being expressly about high school boys and their daily lives.

Hidenori, Tadakuni, and Yoshitake are caught by Tadakuni’s little sister in Daily Lives of High School Boys

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