Been reading some of the Evangelion
metadata -- translations, commentary, &c. There are areas where I disagree with the fan commentary, especially for some of the stuff around 3.0, but overall it's an amazing body of work. As I've always said, art is in how we react to something. It's much like the idea that "surprise is a condition inside the mind of the enemy commander" -- the implication is that, as a commander, you may work to create surprise, but it comes into being only when the opponent reacts.
Like any analytical framework, the idea has its limits, of course. But it's probably the only mechanism I have for grappling with You can (not) redo
. The film is hard to interpret, but my reaction is rather easy.
And there the matter might appear to rest, except that the translated excerpts from the Evangelion 2.0 Complete Records Collection
are so good, so detailed and carefully thought-out, that it makes me doubt my own reaction. Maybe Anno really does know what he's doing. Maybe I'm the one at fault. Throughout, they talk about character interactions, and balance, and pacing. It seems impossible for people with such priorities to have produced the Eva 3.0 that I saw. Maybe I'm just seeing it incorrectly.
I don't know. I try hard to be a good and perceptive critic, but I have massive blind spots and I've misinterpreted many things. Perhaps for this reason, I treat directors' commentary and such as practically integral to the finished work. It structures and guides my experience -- I don't regard material like that as secondary at all. I'm definitely looking forward to the Eva 3.0 CRC. Another chance for Anno to explain himself. But not final. That comes later.