Alright, here we go back into the fray! Last time on Breaking the Narrative we were dealing with Freudian stereotypes, cult masturbation and exploding economies! In other words, another day in the life of feminist power politics. No surprise here. However, before we get back into this I feel we need a little light humor to start things off since I did go a bit heavy handed last time. So lets start by taking a peek at the “AnimeFeminist’s comment policy!
After I get done with this article I’m going to FULLY encourage any of you who feel like it to link both of these articles to AniFem in their comments section to encourage discussion and debate. I have a feeling that we’ll get some ‘great interaction’ from all of this. Lets get back to Hammering This In!
We left off last time with Rei’s look being influenced by Aum Shinrikyo’s women members. Heading back to that I also want to put forth that what I failed to mention last time as the reason for reclusion in Japanese society. It stems from how fucked the work/life balance is there. This is no different in the anime industry, which requires hundreds of hours a week in a cubicle producing various forms of work. This is probably why Anno did become so depressed in the first place. He got into what he thought would be his dream job and found out it wasn’t all rainbows and gumdrops. Therefore Neon Genesis Evangelion in and of itself is perhaps Anno’s own attempt to escape the reality he found himself in and failing miserably at it. Like many Gainax works NGE is a story about puberty and growing up. Perhaps I’ll go into this another time by reviewing FLCL. But first things first.
It takes a full article later for her to actually start using her source material. I’m taking it the numbers are to denote the pages of the book she cited, which further compounds the pretentiousness of the message. However, we can easily boil this entire first paragraph to a “Muh Male Gaze” argument with a hint of lingering supposition of irony. Then, she starts to further deconstruct Rei. Funny how she doesn’t even want to begin to touch Asuka Langley Soryu (renamed Shikinami in the Rebuild for whatever reason). I have reason to believe that is because Asuka demolishes her arguments about NGE as a whole. She is a strong, albeit clinically insane woman who steps all over Shinji and almost anyone else for her selfish desires for both her ‘mother’s’ approval and love from her male guardian Ryoji Kaji. Wearing in her first appearance rather seductive clothing and sporting a larger bust than her rival in the form of Rei. She also sees herself as better than series protagonist Shinji Ikari, particularly during the times she forces herself on him or attacks him. Uh oh, is that a little ‘inconvenient truth’ on your face? Or do you want to keep interpreting the confusion of Rei’s personality as being a soul forced inside a body suffering accelerated growth issues.
Veneto here tries to make some half hearted assertions about this being more than fan service, but looking into Anno’s past at various points until the 2000s, he has had a very odd view of women. This comes from the mix of Aum Shinrikyo ideals on women combined with his bad luck with finding a woman who would give him the time of day and his view of mothers as fleeting people. Anno, from what I’ve been able to tell, has always had parental issues. This is why most of his works have been based around them. This is why he is usually teamed with other writers and directors, otherwise nothing would get done and all we would get is Anno’s art therapy, which after a while gets taxing. As for the depictions of drugs and the like that is because a lot of drugs were involved with the Aum Shinrikyo movement. This is because there were several incidents of them using hospitals under the cult’s control to drive up medical bills as a way of extortion. As for the female image argument with Gendo, I think this is something much more nuanced than him being done with her, especially considering what happens with him afterwards. Rei represents Gendo’s worldview and plans to be once again with his wife. Rei starting to fall apart at the end of the series is more showing that his plans are what is falling apart. Then, as the AT (Absolute Terror) Fields start to crumble, Lilith manifests fully in Rei, asserts what has become Rei’s desire to be with Shinji, and in the most bizarre way removes Gendo’s hand and uses it to replace her own. She fuses with her original body again and takes shape in the image she desires to hold.
I’m not even going to begin with the bad anime dad’s argument except to say Shou Tucker is INFINITELY worse than Gendo as Ikari actually cares about someone other than himself – his dead wife. Shou Tucker only cares about keeping his standing and pay as a state alchemist in Full Metal Alchemist. But that’s something for another time, perhaps. I would like to offer this alternate argument, by looking AT Gendo Ikari.
Correct me if I’m wrong here, but doesn’t this image remind you of say… many hipster douchebags we’ve seen? Smug, brooding and full of his damn self? Incapable of humor like a… male feminist? This is just my observation though. I’d like your thoughts on this below.
As for the previous picture I can only say this: It is something that shows brilliantly the reasoning for age of consent laws. Remember the pilots are all supposed to be effectively 14 years old (which is legal by Japan’s age of consent laws) but Rei is only legitimately 4 years old. Created soon after Yui Ikari’s death, she doesn’t really understand the world beyond the facts that were downloaded into her artificial brain. That’s some food for thought.
Hesitate my ass. You are doing it now! If you wanted to pull that argument out of your ass you can try it with Otaku No Video, the piece created to make enough money to even begin to produce NGE. Misty May is more of an image of that than Rei ever would be. That mockumentary actually shows mosaic censored footage of a man masturbating to anime lewds in the 80’s, for crying out loud. So this ends with what they should be proud of, her breaking through male oppression into her own individuality. However, this seems to be building towards something I don’t think this author is going to particularly like.
She turns Rei’s ‘ascent into godhood’ and ‘dependent existence’ into ‘escapist projection of straight male anxiety.’ In other words, the real reason feminists despise male MRAs and MGTOW, because we desire to be something other than tools meant to be discarded in the name of female empowerment, because we reject being the ‘bearers of meaning’ for them. Then, she ends the article citing the need for further discussion. Well guess what we are providing here: Further discussion.
Fans of EVA, do you think I did well in interpreting and defending it honestly? If not please add your comments to either or both of my articles here and help me make sure I’m held to standards, and tell me how I could improve. Next week, I think I’ll hit something interesting that’s video game related again. Until then Please Remember to Game Freely.