neon genesis evangelion is… a lot.

i think the last episode woulda made me cry if my brain hadn’t needed a few minutes to catch up with what the heck just happened. it wasn’t actually until i was debriefing with vanessa after that everything totally clicked into place. my first, unfiltered impression was that the last two episodes put a lot of interesting psychological & philosophical concepts on the table and just… didn’t do much with them??? i said nearly those exact words to vanessa.

and the more i talked about it, and the more i think about it now… the more i think it’s actually brilliant? and the more i think it’s just so close to really, completely “getting it.”

what does it mean to live in a world that has nothing to offer but pain?

this gets so close to understanding marx’s theory of alienation. it basically seems to understand all the emotional & psychological effects of it without entirely nailing the root cause. it sees it as an individual, psychological problem, a “human nature” problem.

or does it? there’s an extended (and pretty brilliant) sequence where narration explains to shinji that his understanding of what’s possible is determined what he’s experienced so far. the simple animation here shows shinji first floating in nothingness, and then draws a single line that becomes his ground, but that mere ground now binds him via gravity. shinji et al’s conviction that they live in a world where only pain is possible is challenged repeatedly & finally overcome by the words that will probably make me cry the next time i watch this.

i hate myself. but maybe i can learn to love myself. maybe it’s okay for me to be here! that’s right! i’m me, nothing more, nothing less! i’m me. i want to be me! i want to be here! and it’s okay for me to be here!

yes, shinji. yes, reader. yes, partners. yes, lovers. yes, friends. yes, enemies. yes, people who helped me. yes, people who hurt me. yes, people who abused me. yes, tails.

it’s okay for you to be here. i want you here. i will always want you here. i love you. and i want good things for you.

what this is missing, and it’s very important, is the real answer to the question it is asking. what do you do when you live in a world that has nothing to offer but pain?

you fucking change that world!

none of us, individually, has the power to bring this about. but it is absolutely a solvable problem. the world isn’t nothing but pain due to something inherent to “the human condition.” some fatal flaw. some fundamental cruelty that lives within all our hearts. the world is pain because of capitalism. the world is pain because it is designed to be that way by a miniscule few for the benefit of that miniscule few.

this is the one thing this was missing, in my opinion. i wish this had taken all that pain and turned it into something like… hi. i don’t know who you are. i don’t know what you’ve been through. i don’t know who has hurt you and who has helped you. i don’t know what you need and what you have to offer. but i need you. we all need you. i need you to do everything you can to push back against the very real cruelty that is killing us, caging us, maiming us, exploiting us, raping us, silencing us, profiting off of our very lives & deaths.

i need you.

we all do.

a better world is possible.

it’s okay for you to be here. i want you to be you.


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