From Simon Regan: Although defended by its adherents as a 'deep' work of metaphysical fiction, NGE contains many worrying elements that should concern the Christian viewer:
The 'villains' in NGE are angels attempting to carry out the Apocalypse (supposedly each angel corresponds to a seal in Revelations). The 'heroes' are the fallen men trying to stop them with human invention. Whilst it should be pointed out that this is probably the original intent of the author (to depict man's rebellion against God) it works to undermine faith as it is much easier to empathise with the humans than the grotesque 'Angels'.
There are strong threads of Gnosticism and New Age philosophy running throughout. It has been pointed out that Neon Genesis Evangelion could be rendered 'Gospel For The New Age'. It depicts Man rising to godhood by becoming 'one' (through the removal of psychical 'barriers', as depicted by the 'AT Fields', which are drawn from secular psychology)- the perfect image of the globalist agenda.
Christian symbols are used in new and disturbing ways, and the story is drenched in Talmudic myth and superstitionism (see the Jewish fables of Titus 1:14, and the tradition of Mark 7:13). The main character (Shinji Ikari) is called the 'Messiah of the New Age' on the official website. By portraying Shinji as a likeable character, NGE is softening the viewer up to accept the 'real' messiah of the New Age, who may well be the Beast or False Prophet of Revelations.
One has to wonder - why did the author of Neon Genesis Evangelion choose to base their epic in the Judeo-Christian worldview when it clearly does not fit, and has to be distorted and twisted to tell the story he wants? Why did he not just invent his own 'mythological' elements? That would have made it much more commendable to a Christian audience than abusing the elements of our faith.
From Nathan: I want to talk to you about anime. I have or really used to have and interest in Japanese culture, but that interest is dying out now. I recently watched a lot of anime almost exclusively recently because I thought it was a "cleaner form of entertainment" than Hollywood movies and it turned out to be even worse than Hollywood movies.
I only saw a few episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion and they weren't even the worst ones. I just had a feeling in my gut that I didn't want to watch them anymore that they made me feel sick to my stomach. I also read the responses to your responses or your article on digimon. It opened my eyes on both your articles both on neon genesis evangelion and digimon. First of all I never should of watched either Neon Genesis Evangelion or any anime at all. Even the amine made for children have pagan or anti-Jesus beliefs. I kick myself for ever having ever watched anime except for one series which I don't think was bad.
These amine often have idolatry, sexual immorality, and witchcraft all rolled up into one episode. I feel that it is an understatement that these shows have affected me spiritually. They reveal their true evil and darkness as well as their corrupting influence on people.
Most people don't know of anime beyond pokemon and digimon those cute kids animes. Anime is really relatively new in the US but with a history going back the 60's and 70's with shows like speed racer and voltron. Most anime in the US appeared in the US recently with the first DVD players and DVD's that came out in the late 1990's. Anime is becoming more visible in the US with more series being dubbed in English and with anime clubs drawing people in from schools, high schools, and campuses across the US. These animes are mind altering, lead to surreal thought lives.
A good example is Fullmetal Alchemist, in which two boys whose characters in English are Alfonse Ulrich and Edward Ulrich. They live happily until one day their mother dies and the grief stricken boys use alchemy to try to reconstruct an exact living replica of their mother's body, but without a soul. The boys vow to "call back her spirit," which smacks heavily of witchcraft and artificial reincarnation.
During the alchemy experiment, the boys are transferred to a strange, dark, hellish, netherworld limbo where Ed's leg magically dissolves because of the belief of "equivalent exchange" and where his brother's entire body is taken as payment for trying to bring back his mother. His attempt at artificial reincarnation actually creates a monster. Al's leg is taken for payment for all the knowledge Edward receives from a hellish gate with eyes in the doorways of the gate. Al's spirit later possesses the armor and has the power to use the armor like a body with full use of all limbs.... I didn't know when I started watching this stuff that it was writing God out of existence.
Berit, I would like to know what I am to do to heal myself and be saved and to wipe off the effects to this stuff, emotional effects and mind altering effects. I would really appreciate it if you tell me what I should do to reverse the effects of the Anime from the Christian way. Nathan, I'm so glad God enabled you to see the nature of popular anime. Thank you for telling us how it affected you so that others might be warned.
Only our Lord can free people from the lasting effect of such suggestions and images. He tells us:
"...the whole world is under the sway of the evil one." 1 John 5:19
"... we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You." 2 Chronicles 20:12
"For though we walk in the flesh [human nature and body], we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ...." 2 Corinthians 10:2-6
I suggest you go to our page on the Armor of God, then read the Scriptures and pray through each part of the armor.
Next, go to Wardrobe from the King - Chapter 1. Print this page, pray for God's guidance, then do the study -- looking to Him and asking Him to open your heart and mind to receive His understanding of His Word. Let me know when you finish. May God bless you richly as you seek Him with all your heart.
From Rory : Your comments on the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion were a major talking point at one of my home forums. Your reader's articles sparked an outrage there, and not simply because you oppose our views, but because many of your readers' views are based on untruths. Your people complain that Evangelion holds unjust views on the certain issues presented, using non-existant elements from the anime as proof to your equally meaningful argument.
In one of the later replies, the reader mentions a "sexually immoral" relationship between the protagonist, Shinji, and another main character, Misato. Now, I haven't practiced Catholicism for a good eight years, but are you suggesting that there is something "sexually immoral" with a young man living in the same abode as an older woman that is not his mother? Because that is about as far as the so-called relationship gets: Misato is Shinji's guardian, possibly a "mother figure", but nothing more.
I have to agree with Shinji in the case of apparent "pornography" present in the End of Evangelion movie. The most suggestive scene portrayed in the movie is probably Rei coming into physical contact with Gendo (arguably Rei's father) in the middle part of the movie.
Oh, and Berit, please enlighten us in what you were referring to when discussing "psychic power". I have read the both the original and translated transcripts of the manga (japanese graphic novel) and nowhere in it does it mention psychic ability in any way. You may have mistaken this for the Evangelion's A.T field, generated by the Evangelion itself, not the human inside (in case you don't know what an Evangelion is, it's the big purple robot thingy. You've paid that little attention to the anime itself before rejecting it that it wouldn't surprise me if you didn't know).
It is people and groups like you that repel me away from the Christian faith. As I mentioned before, I was once a follower of Christ, but I turned away about the same time that I lost my mother. The Lord Almighty did not take her away from me, her smoking a pack of cigarettes a day took her away from me. That, among other things, convinced me that there is a logical explanation behind everything in this world. God didn't make the sun, it is the result of masses of gas gathering in deep space. God didn't create man, we have evolved from simpler lifeforms. Every so-called truth presented in the Bible has an equal and more-convincing scientific explanation. I'm not saying that these truths are found in Evangelion, I'm merely saying that these truths of yours are not the truths for everyone.
Rory, you have more faith in science than many of today's most respected scientists. One of the reasons we keep hearing new answers and explanations for the origins of both life and the universe is that many of the old answers have been proven invalid. Evolution may explain adaptation and mutation, but it cannot explain the diverse species. Stephen Jay Gould's theory of punctuated equilibrium was just one of those unsatisfactory attempts to resolve puzzles the human mind simply can't explain. May I suggest you follow some of the links (and take time to read the articles) on this page: Creation or Evolution.
And THAT, my uneducated reader, is what Evangelion is about: not other people's opinions, but self-identity through the one's own thoughts and opinions, which are only influenced by others' actions and opinions. The lesson of the series was to define oneself from others through interaction with others, creating their own views of their world.
Do you "define yourself from others through interaction with others," Rory? In today's postmodern world, which supposedly is characterized by "continual change," that could prove very confusing and depressing.
I hope you understand that by releasing your views on this anime series, you have angered much of the worldwide community. And you wonder why so many people have rejected your views? Take your own advice and read your book. Proverbs 30:33.
Since I don't define myself by the standards of "the worldwide community," it doesn't really matter how it reacts to our website. I do read that Book, Rory, and it has far more lasting and fulfilling answers concerning my human identity and destiny than any worldly consensus. That's why I can share important facts and truths without fear of hostile reactions. It's the only way to be at peace in a turbulent world.
From Barbara Marches: Some of the responses to this are appalling to me. First off, I would like to present myself as an anime enthusiast, and a huge Evangelion fan, and a teenager. I am an atheist, but I respect all people who follow any faith with a true belief. However, it appears to me that many people here have let their faith blind them from the truth. Eva is not meant to make anyone stray from the path of God, nor is it intended to cause anyone to attempt to kill themselves or anything of the sort. I went through a period of extreme depression recently, and Evangelion was what really brought me out of it. I know countless people who had the exact same experience. It has enriched my life and given me a new perspective on things, and has forever changed me for the better. One particular responce I saw was the mother whose son attempted suicide as a result of Eva. Frankly, mam, your son missed the point. Eva is a very intellectually challenging series, and can be very difficult to understand sometimes, but it is ment to inspire. I suggest you all actually watch the series, beginning to end. Then you may realize that this is not a handbook for the destruction of society, but the touching story of a emotionally damaged youth and his quest to understand himself.
I realize there may be content in Eva that some may disapprove of. My solution to this is simply don't let your children watch it if you feel that strongly about it. However, something that made me rethink my thoughts of taking my own life (and many people I know) cannot be the work a Satan nor anything negative for that matter. If you actually attempted to understand the series then you would understand this. So I implore you, watch the show and discover the great good that this series contains.
I am glad you told us that you are an atheist as well as anime enthusiast. Your beliefs and worldview explains your values. From your perspective, you can't see how the series distorts Biblical truth and values. (Nor can I see the world through your mindset.) God tells us in the Bible that only those who know Him and are filled with His Spirit can discern the things of God. (See discernment)
But today's popular entertainment is causing Christians around the world to compromise their faith and bend their understanding of truth. Anime features such as Evangelion does so more effectively because it uses Christian words and symbols in an occult context. While it sounds Christian, it feeds deception to those who love it. See Col 2:8.
Anonymous: Personally Evangelion is my most favorite television series ever.
First of all, Evangelion is Anno's masterpiece. Each character is a fragment of Anno's wide and complex personality. When he made this show one thought kept going through his mind, which is "I can't run away". Evangelion is him confronting his fears, not running away, and finding happiness in the horrible life he was living. The Christian symbolism is just used for style; it's not meant in anyway to be satanic. In fact, Eva's themes of finding peace of mind are actually more connected with Buddhism. The show has nothing to do with Christianity at all.
Second point: If you think God is all powerful and all knowing, why do you think he would give Gainax the power to make Eva. I mean, apparently you think Eva is satanic and Satan challenges God, right? See, this is where your beliefs fall apart. If God is all mighty why would he make Satan at all if Satan challenges God? Think about that, okay?
So these people responding in radical ways are just taking a work of fiction way too seriously. Eva is a very entertaining and informative show. Maybe if you opened you mind, you'd be able to see that.
Thanks for the information. I hope all those who promote or justify it as Christian entertainment read your note and be warned. This show teaches a message that counters our faith and -- because of some of the apparent similarities -- will distort their understanding of Biblical truth.
From S.: Well said - about Evangelion. I do not entirely agree with you about all issues e.g.. the issue of Gorbachev, however on this issue I cannot agree more.
Thank you, S. I took the liberty of highlighting some of your most important statement in bold letters. Hope you don't mine.
It is sad that a show produced by people from a different religious/social/cultural milieu should be transplanted and then accepted by a Christian society in such a way that many believe it augments the Biblical system we follow.
EVA was never aimed at a Christian audience the way the movie Pearl Harbor was never aimed at a traditional Japanese one nor a Dirty Dozen movie at a German one. For the Japanese all things western are fable and fantasy including Christ, God, Allah, Jehovah etc. For them Christianity is the same as Mythology of the Greeks. We can enjoy the exploits of Hercules or the Odyssey because they are ingenious and because they are so old and foreign to us. We wouldn't however expect ancient Greeks to believe a warped version of their religious system on Mount Olympus if we made a soap opera out of it for example. We'd surely get bashed on our heads by those Greek phalanxes :-). In the same way EVA works well for a Shinto/Buddhist/atheist group of Japanese teenagers however it is not aimed neither was it intended for the western Christian market were the belief and reality system of the story is in dire contrast to our deepest beliefs.
Evangelion as I've tried to say has been total nonsense using and plagiarising Judeio-Christian themes. Evangelion should be deeply disturbing to anyone who is in any way remotely Christian but sadly it seems not to be because unlike other mythical shows which create their own universes Evangelion borrows on ours and makes a wicked soap opera out of our deeply rooted and beloved beliefs.
It may be that the love of robots and kawaii (cute) girls is enough to drive teenagers away from their faith and allow insult to be heaped on it with all that Angel-Adam-Nonsense. The confused teenagers believe that because a show has UN logos, impressive machinery, cute girls, sexual innuendo on an almost toilet humour sort of level - a show produced by people who know next to nothing about Western civilisation and Christianity (except from what they learned from Hollywood movies), can augment and even enrich Christian beliefs. I pity these teenagers.
Furthermore I also maintain EVAngelion has some deep Lolita complex issues - why make the characters so young and why put so much sexual innuendo into the mess. Gendo Ikari (dominant sociopathic/psychopathic main character) to me is a closet pedophile but that's a different kettle of fish. The Asuka character (14 year old girl with a rather precocious attitude to sexual relationships and an exhibitionistic tendency is a typical would be victim of child abuse suffering juvenile major depression exhibited by aggression instead), while the Rei character denotes a more traditional response - a deeply introverted, character suffering juvenile onset major depression possibly also brought about by child abuse when she was younger. I won't speculate about Mr Anno in regards to his possible motives.
There is one other danger with Evangelion. It is not as serious but certainly there. Evangelion is perceived by many smitten teens as being a work of incredible literary class. It is not. However one's taste develops early in life and in a society where the only other alternatives are shows like Roseanne and Jerry Springer, Evangelion with it's cheap simplistic style may appear to be a great opus of genius proportions, *cough cough*. With luck however teenagers will outgrow Evangelion as they move on in their lives and realise that true relationships are more fulfilling than celluloid ones. In time Eva will be forgotten. Stick to the Bible folks, don't swap Christ who died for you on the Cross for this cheap diatribe a depressed gentleman in Japan construed for his own peers and his own financial gain.
Thank you for your time. God Bless!
From "AvocadoC": After being given a link by a friend and reading through the responses on your site to Neon Genesis Evangelion, I found the accusations against the series to be misinformed and appalling. Movies and books are not evil; it is how we react to them that we should be aware of. To say that Neon Genesis Evangelion leads astray from Christ is an utter lie. People lead themselves away from Christ. By going out of your way to attack movies and series, you are ignoring the "real problem" which is that some people do not adhere to the same beliefs as you.
I found it a shame that many of the well informed letters sent into your site defending Evangelion were completely ignored only to be tossed aside with a handy Bible quote that has nothing modern to do with the topic.
When it comes time for me to meet my maker, I am quite complacent that He has knowing of me watching a series such as Evangelion. Sending someone to Hell over an anime series is quite dubious and even ridiculous. I'll be sure to pray for you, because like it is said, "the hardest thing to open is a closed mind."
One day you will discover that your Maker is not the permissive, interfaith deity you envision, A.C. I wish you would seek the truth about Him before it is too late.
From a concerned mother: Thank you for your information on this series. I would like to share with you our story. My 16 year old son is a wonderful young man who is a Christian. He is somewhat of an introvert, however, and loves to spend time on the computer. We are fairly strict with what movies and games our boys play, but have given them greater freedoms to chose their entertainment as they grow older, asking them to always evaluate what they do by thinking what Jesus would do. We hold the Word of God as our Supreme authority for life and try to train up our children with a strong Biblical worldview.
This being said, we were so taken aback with a recent episode in our home. My 16 year old said he wanted the DVD collection of Neon Genesis Evangelion to watch, and we purchased it without much evaluation. We thought it was "Just Cartoons". My son also thought it was harmless fun. When he got the set, he proceeded to watch it for hours.
The next morning, he wouldn't speak to me at all and had a depressed look on his face. I thought he was having a bad day and let it slide. He went off to school-a Christian high school- and when I picked him up that afternoon, he was still not speaking. We are very close and I tried repeatedly to get him to tell me what was wrong but he wouldn't talk-not a word.!! So at home, he went to his room and despite me going in to talk to him repeatedly, he remained sad and mute. Finally, I came into his room to find him with a tie around his neck, standing in the center of his room, turning red. I fought him to get the tie off and then clung to him praying the name of Jesus.
Eventually he talked, saying that he didn't know what was the "real" reality and he didn't belong in this world. I talked with him about God's plan and purpose for his life and eventually he became more talkative. We watched him carefully and sought help from a Christian counselor. Although he may have some emotional issues to work out, I KNOW that satan use this evangelion series to mess with his mind and to confuse him in his faith.
To those who think it is good -- beware! It is darkness. It blinds even clear thinking, Christian kids. We have warned our son to have nothing to do with this series, but he still defends it. I am praying that he will seek truth only in God's Word and not to fill his mind with darkness.
Please continue to warn Christians about this stuff. Most of my friends had never heard of it either.
Thank you, dear sister in Christ, for your fellowship in this battle. I pray many parents will be warned and helped by your story.
"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13
Anomymous: [Subject: You're scared of me, right?] It's quite amusing.....you still haven't responded to any of my letters yet....is it because you know you can't prove me wrong?
Evangelion is deeply tied to religion. Anyone could see that. The fact you haven't realized it after the first few minutes of watching it is laughable. Also, it failed to mention what the angels were. In the movie "The End of EVangelion" it states: "Man is the 18th angel. All the angels are things we could have become if we evolved differently", therefore, they all evolved from the first human, in this series, it would be Adam.
However, this doesn't make Evangelion a work intended to convert anybody, on the contrary, it is merely showing us a world using aspects of religion, and watching it shows how religion changes our opinions of the world. It in fact looks like an experiment to me, something to see how people react when things they think of as being one thing are skewed and turned into something else. And it is showed nowhere better than in you people.
Anyway, this series does not "endorse" any one religion, it just makes us look at different perspectives on Judeo-Christian religion, and this is what you are afraid of. You are afaid of looking at the world from a different perspective. Also, this is not trying to convert anyone. It is a work of fiction, playing on our religous bias, and should be interpereted as such.
I didn't miss the spiritual implications. Those were the reason for my initial concern. The letter below only clarified and deepened my concern.
An memorable or influential message may be communicated through fiction, myth, fantasy, reality or an enticing blend. It matters little to the human imagination. If it feels good, fills a mental vacuum and seems to answer questions about the meaning of life, it will begin to sway a person's world view and spiritual understanding. See Harry Potter and the Power of Suggestion
From Michael Gao: I found this info about NGE at the site of it's American distributor. I hope it helps you to present the true face of NGE to those Christians who were and continue to be drawn into it. I've included the link to the site in case you wished to verify this info for yourselves.the Characters:
The Story: "The Day of the Lord is at hand. In an era of apocryphal cataclysm, divine mandate looms over creation in the horrifically tangible form of Angels. But man is no longer the subservient, passive creation, rather he will concede no peer, accept no superior.
"Neon Genesis Evangelion is the stirring saga of technologically enhanced heresy, of mankind racing for evolutionary escape from a super natural fate. Enigmatic and profoundly sensitive, Evangelion is a story unlike any other. A frail messiah, a heartless prophet and a foundation of lies and shadow are the last hope, the only hope."
Shinji: "As the fourteen-year-old son of the most powerful man in the world, Shinji Ikari is a boy lost in loneliness. His mother's death and de facto abandonment have left him emotionally uncertain, insecure and frightened of himself and his world. This is the messiah of the Gospel for the New Age...."
Rei: "...Rei Ayanami is the product of one man's struggle to govern the evolution of his species. ... She is the First Child, the future incarnate."
Gendo Ikari: "Gendo Ikari is one man at war with God. ... Divine judgement is at hand, and the visionary Ikari will not rest until man is no longer subject to Sacred Law."
"Although NEON GENESIS EVANGELION may appear at first glance to be a straightforward animated science fiction series about young pilots controlling giant robots, once one peers below the surface one finds a far more complex structure of metaphysical and religious underpinnings that serve as currents to drive the story forward. Indeed... the fundamental basics of our existing reality have been thrown out the window as director Hideaki Anno and his staff seek to find a way to reconcile the traditional concepts of God and Creation with a new millennium in which, depending upon one's analysis of the facts as presented, Man either attempts to find an alternative path to God… or to become God himself.
"...it would be difficult to dispute that there must be some significance to all the religious and mystical subtext. For example, the names of the three super-computers that actually control all aspects of human life within Tokyo-3 are biblical in origin: Melchior, Balthazar and Casper, collectively known as the three Magi....
"Multiple references are made to the Kabbalah, and both a mystical Tree of Life [which plays an important part in the occult teachings and rituals of Kabbalah (Cabala) and Alchemy].... The Seven Eyes of God appear, quite literally, during a sequence in which an object referred to as the Spear of Longinus (the "Spear of Destiny", which pierced the side of Jesus during the crucifixion) is shown piercing the side of the Angel Lillith [strong links to Kabbalah and occult Jewish mysticism], which has been bound to a crucifix-like support....
"And then there are the Angel's themselves… Although originally represented as alien beings of unknown origin... the Angels are not simply ruthless invaders, but are, in fact, working according to some kind of plan that is meant to somehow steer the human race. ...
"Perhaps the greatest evidence that the Angels are, in fact, working to some divine plan, is the revelation that the so-called Second Impact, initially explained by both military and scientific authorities alike as the result of an asteroid strike on Antarctica, was actually the result of man's first contact with an Angel....
"The continued evolution of the human species, incidentally, is also being attempted by the human inhabitants of the Eva Universe. Referred to as the Human Instrumentality Project, a name that, again, the creators have specified for use in the English language version although a more literal translation might render the original Japanese name as the Human Completion or Enhancement Project, this scientific crusade has the most religious of foundations.
"With the stated goal of changing Mankind from an 'incomplete herd' to a 'complete one', the HIP is apparently focused around the extraction of DNA from the embryotic remains of Adam, a being found in Antarctica just prior to Second Impact. Was Adam in fact an Angel, or is he, as NERV head Gendo Ikari states in episode eight, the first human? ...
"...if indeed the Angels are truly the emissaries of God, and if their mission is to truly help us somehow advance, either physically or meta-physically, then might they not have to destroy that which we cling to most, our physical beings, if that is what prevents us from becoming closer to God?
"...for those who doubt that there is a message buried beneath the surface veneer, there is one last thing that we should mention. Although NEON GENSIS EVANGELION is the title the original Japanese creators have specified for the English Language version, the original Japanese title is SHINSEIKI EVANGELION... "The Gospel of the New Century"…"
Thank you, Michael, for this eye-opening information. May it warn many who believe this occult anime brings a Christian message.
From Rich: I have seen and indeed own the entire Evangelion series, as well as many other Anime movies and series. NGE is a wonderful series in so far as that is does offer up an interesting story based on religion. The series is no doubt offensive to many christians, but not to me.
I love God and Jesus. Indeed I love mankind as well. I can see things in a different light than most. I watched this series BECAUSE of what the message was. Well that and the whole living robot thing was cool. I can see the points the film makers were trying to make here.
What kind of message did they communicate, Rich? How do they fit your understanding of God and truth?
Someone mentioned about how the series has a whole 'How others see me' thing going on. Indeed it may seem that way, but if you really focus on the complex struggle inside everyone of these characters, then you begin to see the truth. It is NOT a 'How others see me' thing so much as it is a 'My preception of how others see me' thing. You should read and/or watch the rest of the series. Not as a man of religion (though I know and respect deeply that you are) but more as a sort of examiner.
I am making this WAY too long so I am going to cut it short here. First, however, I want to say this: You are an inspiration to us all, though not all of us are strong enough in our faith to be as absolute as you.
From Katseye: This is something I noticed on your "Evangelion" page. A post by "Joe" presents several misconceptions about the show Shoujo Kakumei Utena--and Evangelion, but that has already been addressed. To Ed Ku: If you are reading this, I mean no disrespect to your conception of the show. I merely present my opinion and clarification.
Article I: "In SKU, a young lesbian (yes, this show espouses lesbianism and other alternative lifestyles)..."
Utena is not a lesbian. She is bisexual. And yes, Shoujo Kakumei Utena does show same-sex relationships, incest, and relationships over an age barrier (the latter of which I believe is accepted by Christians); however, it is done not for pornographic purposes, but is shown in the "love knows no gender (or situation)" light.
Article II: "...discovers a secret plot to destroy and re-create the world headed by a group of students who follow the God Abraxas (I am not making this up...at several times throughout the series a character will make a statement like "in order to be born we must destroy the world and fly to the god Abraxas.")..."
I am assuming that "destroy and recreate the world" is a way of describing the revolution. The point here is the reference to Abraxas. In Utena, the Duelists (the above-named group) do not follow Abraxas. Not once is Abraxas mentioned in the show. The only reference is that one of the pieces of music is called "Abraxas". There are several references to Abraxas--including the quote mentioned above--in Hermann Hesse's novel Demian, which was an inspiration for Utena. Utena does include the reference to the bird fighting its way out of its shell. This is the speech given:
"If it cannot break out of its shell, the chick will die without being born.
We are the chick; the world is out egg.
If we do not break out of the world's shell, we will die without being born.
Smash the world's shell!
For the revolution of the world!"
Not once is Abraxas mentioned in the speech. The reference to breaking out of the world's shell holds a connotation akin to breaking out of the shell of society, including the rules of religious society, which I am sure you find objectionable.
Article III: "God is represented by an insane young man named akio who tries to keep this young woman (named utena) and her lesbian lover from leaving the bounds of god's law and making their way outside the world."
It is believed that Akio may represent Lucifer; he himself makes that reference once in the show. I must admit that the presented analogy is a good idea as to the symbolism of Akio; however, Akio himself is the most "immoral" character in the show, sleeping with the entire leading cast (including his younger sister), and manipulating people to achieve his own revolution, thus making him the most objectionable to your views.
If God must be represented, it would be Dios (which in itself means "God"), the prince Akio that once existed before his downfall. This downfall is, if I am not mistaken, very much like that of the character Satan in the Bible. Is is possible that Akio's two sides may represent Abraxas--a god described in Demian as being one that is universal, including "evil" and "good". As for the escape to the outside world, it does happen, theoretically in the TV show and definitely in the movie. Utena and Anthy free themselves from all bonds and shells--referred to as "coffins"--that constrain them.
Yes, Biblical symbolism is in Utena. Utena meets her prince for the first time in a church that contains a steeple surmounted by a cross. This is the only example of which I can think right now.
Symbols that might be considered Christian or Jewish symbols in a Biblical context are no longer Biblical when put into a pagan context. After all, the shapes of most Biblical symbols (such as the cross) have also been used in other cultures to represent other gods and beliefs.
I will not get into a long analysis of all of the possible Biblical and anarchical overtones in Shoujo Kakumei Utena. I am aware of their existence and of the fact that surrealism and symbolism can be interpreted in infinite ways. If you want to know if Utena is against the literary work known as the Bible, then yes, it is. To a fundamentalist like yourself, to which the literal word of the Bible is law, Shoujo Kakumei Utena is contradictory to what you hold to be "right". Now it is a question of what is "right".
Thank you for your time.
While God's word might be called the law, it also tells us that we are free from the Old Testament understanding of the law. When we become Christians by faith in what Jesus Christ accomplished for us through the cross, we are filled with His life. As we trust and follow Him, He works in us to know and live according to the truth His has given us. It becomes an issue of faith in His wonderful grace and sufficiency, not a legalistic attempt to save ourselves by fulfilled the law. Jesus did that for us already. Now we just follow Him because we love Him. We "delight to do His will." See What it means to be a Christian
From "an anime fan": I have a few more comments for you. Anyhoo.. I couldn't help notice that in one of your responses, you say "that the world view behind the whole anime/manga genre is "panthestic." This is a grossly wrong generalization.<> First of all, there IS Christianity in Japan. There may be other religions alongside it there, but that's no different than what we have here in the USA. And beyond that, there ARE anime and manga with religiously neutral or even Christian themes. I know that Sailor Moon has heavy Shinto influence, and I guess I could see where a Christian parent could be coming from if they did not allow their young son or daughter to watch it because of that....
Neon Genesis Evangelion has a heavy Christian influence. I guess that the fact that the invaders are referred to as "Angels" could be somewhat misconstrued by a Christian that has never heard of the show before, but with a good deal of parallels to the bible, and especially the fact that one of the main characters (Misato) is commonly seen with a cross around her neck. How could this be thought of as "pantheistic"? No other religions besides Christianity are even hinted at in this anime. The characters do not have any psionic powers (that I've seen so far), and they fight to save mankind from the invaders that threaten to destroy it.
Berit's response: Please read Answers to Pokemon mail, then Ephesians 5:3-18. Pray first that God will enable you hear the message.
From Ed Ku. I'm 15, living in California, and I always liked watching anime. I noticed how many of the people commenting about your opinions in anime try to 'justify' how some anime shows are perfectly ok to watch. This is what I have to say:
Just because a show is popular doesn't mean it is correct. (Romans 12:2) Some shows such as Evangelion have tendency to use some Bible references but actually have more bad values. Since there isn't anybody trying to clarify why Evangelion is totally wrong I'll do so myself. I just want show how some anime shows are very conflicting against my beliefs as a Christian.
Neon Genesis Evangelion - Very interesting show that I have watched last year. After I watched the movie it came clear to me how this show is a negative influence. I can't see how a person who is a Christian can defend this show. A very very big theme of the show is "How others think of me." (if you watched the movie or episodes you should know) The main character relies on this to live and how he does everything in his life. Desiring the approval of others is not necessarily wrong but it is the love of such approval that is sinful. (John 12:43 and Proverbs 29:25) God has no place in the show.
JESUS is actually substituted with an imperfect person, Shinji, and he holds power over all human souls and fate. The main character happens to kill everybody on earth after he recieved the power from who knows where. God is depicted as a being that gives up on people. The people then try to create God. I don't think I need to explain about that. Excessive use of alcohol is made ok. Misuse of the tree of life, pornography (mostly in movie), desensitizing people of what is sexually immoral (Ritsuko&Gendo, Misato&Kaji, Misato&Shinji, etc), and finally contradicting the Bible's values and making their own value system. There is more..........
Since I have no more time I'd like to say that we often want to be godly, yet equally often what really want to say is that we sometimes desire to be godly according to our own expectations of what we think God wants and what we can do for God. I plan to write more on other anime shows. PLZ read this passage in the Bible: 2 Corinthians 6:14. Anybody that has something to say, write to EdKu2@aol.com. ^_^;;;;;
Thank you, Ed!
From Shinji: I am a Christian and an NGE fan as well, and I have some things to say about Ed's letter.
<<Neon Genesis Evangelion - Very interesting show that I have watched last year. After I watched the movie it came clear to me how this show is a negative influence. I can't see how a person who is a Christian can defend this show. A very very big theme of the show is "How others think of me." (if you watched the movie or episodes you should know) The main character relies on this to live and how he does everything in his life. Desiring the approval of others is not necessarily wrong but it is the love of such approval that is sinful. (John 12:43 and Proverbs 29:25) God has no place in the show.
Yes, that may be a theme to the show -- but basically all the major characters have some kind of psychological problem. Take Shinji, for example. Considering how his father treats him, and how his mother died at an early age, he has no true parent figure in his life [with the possible exception of Misato.] He is very concerned of how his father thinks of him, and wants to be honored by him [true to Japanese custom.] Is there anything so wrong with that?
In fact, only one of the characters even truly loves this approval unnecessarily, and that is Asuka. There is nothing wrong at all with wanting to be loved by others -- but if it takes over you, it soon proceeds to arrogance, and that is wrong. And I don't even think Asuka is arrogant [she does have a tender side to her.] Why does God have no place in the show?
<<JESUS is actually substituted with an imperfect person, Shinji, and he holds power over all human souls and fate. The main character happens to kill everybody on earth after he received the power from who knows where. God is depicted as a being that gives up on people.
Uh, no, Shinji didn't do that. That was a result of Seele's "human complement" program or whatever it was called. And Seele was the antagonist [group of antagonists, actually.] Shinji was actually fighting to prevent that, but he was too late. And when is God shown as being like that? I don't think that was the writers' intent. Then again, we could just have different interpretations of EoE.
<<Excessive use of alcohol is made ok. Misuse of the tree of life, pornography(mostly in movie), desensitizing people to what is sexually immoral (Ritsuko&Gendo, Misato&Kaji, Misato&Shinji, etc), and finally contradicting the Bible's values and making their own value system.
"Desensitizing"? More like "eye-opening." It shows the "sexually immoral" parts of the characters -- AND THE CONSEQUENCES. They are all guilt-ridden [with perhaps the exception of Shinji] and forced to live unhappy lives because of it.
The Bible contains "sexually immoral" material too -- David and Bathsheba, for one -- and it also shows the consequences. I'm not saying NGE and the bible story are the same thing, but it's food for thought. And where did you see the pornography? I missed about the middle 10 minutes or so of the movie [was it in there?] -- but I can't remember any porn appearing from any of the episodes. I'm not of the nudity = porn mindset, so unless you're referring to the occasional minor nudity in the series, I dunno what you're referring to.
Just because an anime character indulges in something sinful, does not mean that the viewer should follow the same example. And unlike most other animes, this one actually shows the consequences of their sinful behavior, actually helping to deter the viewer from following their example. Thank you for your time.
Berit's response: I have not seen a movie version of this anime, but I just finished reading Neon Genesis Evangelion, Volume 1. The mental or psychic power needed to activate the monstrous robot that won the battle against the destroying angel had nothing to do with the power of God. References such as "the second coming of the angels" and symbols such as the interesting cross worn by Misato only give an illusion of Christian. Jesus Christ was obviously not the source of the power, wisdom, victory. Therefore the message is not Christian.
Second note from Shinji: I was just wondering, where did you see the psychic bit? I watched the official sub of it, and I never saw any "psychic" power mentioned.. was the script you were reading fan-translated? In the official version, I believe the Evangelions are controlled by nerve impulses.. aided by a fluid called LCL.. not psychic powers....
The book was the Viz Graphic Novel's NGE, Vol. 1. I may have misinterpreted the author's message. I have to finish something else before I can go back and re-read it. But I have posted your comment so that readers will see that there might be an error on my part. I also deleted a couple of my words.
Shinji again: Oh, wait, wait.. we may both be right here. I never read the graphic novel -- I was only interested in the anime. If there is a manga and an anime [the first being the comics, naturally, and the latter being the animation] of the same series, they tend to veer off in different directions. I have only watched the anime, so I really can't really comment on the manga. For all I know, the two may be totally different.. you may want to specify that you are talking about the comics and not the anime, as they may end up being different.
From Chibi Shinji: First of all, all your views of anime are backwards. Anime is the most inspiring look into human living EVER. Neon Genesis Evangelion has had a deep impact on my life ever since I saw it. I can't even BEGIN to think how you people justify posting anti-anime message boards when you HAVEN'T EVEN SEEN THEM!!!!!
I'm 14 years old and I know the &%$@& message of bigotry.. Just the fact that you and the other members of your cult (More commonly refered to as "Christianity" or "Religion") think that Japan is the enemy is ridiculous! This is a direct quote from a message: "All I could think of was how the children who are so desensitized to this anime via pokemon and the cartoon would easily be tricked into looking at the adult videos and pornography; what a slick plan of the enemy!"
Pokemon is a CHILDREN'S SHOW. "Anime Pornography" is made for ADULTS. If you realized this, then perhaps you and your righteous God-followers wouldn't have to completely destroy anime because they're both animated. And to the woman who wrote the message I just quoted from: You need to take your English class over again.
Genre means what something is based on the PLOT. Pokemon is a fantasy/adventure show, while [anime porn] is mainly action, and definitely pornography. Instead of the word "Genre," you should have used "Medium." Yes, they're both animated. But so is Snow White! Are you going to forbid your children against that as well? I don't expect you to understand (much less agree) with what I'm saying here because your already pea-sized craniums are filled with Bible passages and hymns.
And if you're so against pornography, lets take a look at that, shall we?
Porno is what? .... Who chose to be there. If somebody CHOOSES to do something, then how can it be degrading? Degradation is when somebody is doing something that somebody either forced them to do, or that they did by mistake. You don't "accidentally" sign up for a photo shoot! And anyways, what does it do? Show people the naked human body. The naked human body is painted, tiled, monumented, and otherwise displayed BY YOUR RELIGION over 1000 years ago and earlier!!!!!!
I'm pretty much done raving at you, so I have some words to #%$&#....! And don't even call me a sinner, because you are too. Labeling yourself as the same type of people who went on a "Crusade of God" hundreds of years ago and killed thousands, even millions of people! So if you're calling me a sinner for saying a few bad words, then why not look at yourself and your "religion." If God wants you to go on a crusade for him and kill that many people, then I'm glad I'm a sinner. I would not want to be classified along with such a God.
Berit's note: Your anger toward God and those who love Him is no surprise. Jesus warned us that we would face this kind of hostility from the world around us. "If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you," He told His disciples, "...for they do not know the One who sent Me." (John 15:20-21)
Now as then, the world demands compliance and is offended by those who reject its values. The freedom Christians found in America 200 years ago is fading fast. Yet, Chibi, if you would consider His offer of peace and love, He would welcome you with open arms. Apart from Him, we are all sinners, but He frees and forgives all who will believe Him. (See Beliefs and Christian Persecution)
From Mina: I find this site to be completly ridiculous! I have been a christian all my life and I not only allow my children to watch Disney movies and Pokemon But I also watch Anime (evangelion just happens to be my favorite by the way)& play D&D. And nowhere in any of these shows & games do I find anything that is demoralizing or reproachful.
Now I know from reading all the other comments and the responses given from you that basicly you will question my faith or tell me that my "type" of christanty is not as right or as true as your "type" and thats fine, I really don't take your opinion into consideration, it's what god thinks that matters and I am happy with my relationship with him. I just hope you realise how many people you drive away from the truth with your ramblings.
From Joe: Summaries of three forms of Anime that promote Gnostic beliefs and values:
"Neon Genesis Evangelion"
NGE blatantly preaches Gnosticism through the medium of Kabbalah, a form of Jewish Gnosticism that has mostly died out since the middle ages. The well-known scholar of Judaism Gerschom Scholem has traced Kabbalah all the way back to the first and second century Gnostic heretics.
According to Kabbalah (and NGE) mankind comes from a perfect, pre-existent being (the Gnostic deus absconditus) that has been fractured into hundreds of "soul shards." The central plot of the story revolves around a group of world leaders conspiring to blot out human misery by re-merging the lost souls into a perfected whole. This is accomplished by overcoming the Archangels of God (who appear in the form of demonic robots), exactly as in a Gnostic apocalypse, and ascending to heaven to become parts of a perfect god-being.
From Berit: Kabbalah has actually become a rage in Hollywood. (I'll try to list some of the well-known movie stars in a separate section.) It was also one of the favorite religions promoted at Mikhail Gorbachev's 1997 State of the World Forum which I attended in San Francisco.
Serial Exeriments Lain
This is a short series about a young girl who gradually discovers that she is a part of God. There does battle against an insane demiurge who thinks he is creating a new world but is in reality doing the will of the Hidden God. There are also links to the Knights Templar, another masonic /gnostic group.
Shoujo Kakumei Utena
This is perhaps the most blatantly Gnostic of all three shows. In SKU, a young lesbian (yes, this show espouses lesbianism and other alternative lifestyles) discovers a secret plot to destroy and re-create the world headed by a group of students who follow the God Abraxas (I am not making this up...at several times throughout the series a character will make a statement like "in order to be born we must destroy the world and fly to the god Abraxas.") God is represented by an insane young man named akio who tries to keep this young woman (named utena) and her lesbian lover from leaving the bounds of god's law and making their way outside the world.
From Patrick Purcell. Hello, I am a fifteen year-old anime fan, and one of the first series I saw was Neon Genesis Evangelion. I will admit that there are some blantent references to scripture, but I don't think that too many of them are so bad that they deserve your attacks. The movie's purpose was not to take people a way from God or Christ, nor was it to bring people any closer to God or Christ.
I am a Christian and I attend Church every Sunday, and the only difference that I have noticed in myself after watching the series and the movie, is that I think about my surroundings more. In response to a statement from Ed Ku, "A very big theme of the show is 'How others think of me.'" The show was not saying that we should worry about what others think of us, rather, what someone thinks of us is what you are in their mind, that means that what I am to one person could be completely different from what I am to another person. It all depends on how person 'A', sees person 'B', and vice versa. In respect to the references to angels, Adam & Lilith, etc... they were not meant to be actual references to the true angels in the Bible. Thank you for your time, and I hope you take into consideration the fact that many movies have had an anti-Christian message that was much worse than Eva, and if a Christian is actually strong enough in their belief a movie would not be able to turn them against God and Christ.
Patrick, how bad is too bad for God? If we love Him and seek to please Him, we don't keep trying to see how far we can stretch His patience. That would be "testing God", and He does not approve. His blessings are for those who love Him more than the world.
Alexander Chakshiri: The articles on your website concerning the anime series 'Evangelion' and others are so unbelievable. Do you have any conceptual understanding of the time, hardwork, love, and teamwork that go into making that sort of artwork for young people to watch and enjoy? If it is exciting, fast paced, and filled with people living and dying as they do in real life rather than in the darkness of the blinders you wear, what is left of your critique?
You claim that they reinforce destructive anti-christian values. Neon Genesis Evangelion is entertainment, not some sort of covert attack on your morality. You can say whatever you like because free speech is important, but if you plan to write or encourage others to write about this and other anime series why don't you actually try and understand the imagery and story line of these shows and the asian societies they were developed in rather than compare them against your own personal morality? You know pitifully little about your subject matter, yet you compare it to your religious beliefs as if you had explored both equally.
Lay off of anime unless you know what you are talking about you are making us all laugh.
From Berit: I don't claim to be an expert on Anime or Neon Genesis Evangelion. I do, however, know the Bible well and have read it from cover to cover countless times since I became a Christian. For those who take this Bible seriously, the issue is not a show's artistic value or investment in labor. My only standard is God's Word, therefore I don't expect those who reject my God to appreciate or agree with my counsel. You are free to take it or leave it. Just give us the same freedom. If that's hard for you, I understand. Your laughter neither surprises nor offends me, for Jesus warned us long ago:
"If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.... If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you." (John 15:18-20)
From Chris: My favorite anime is one of the most talked about on your site, Evangelion. I remember reading some interview in the back of a Neon Genesis Evangelion manga that Anno Hideaki (or was it Yoshiyuki Sadamoto) modeled Shinji after himself. I forgot exactly what it said, but it was something about being a lost boy. I gotta check what it says. I'll tell you when find it. As for the ' false Christian stuff' he put in, I guess it was to make the story cool-sounding so he can get more money. It wasn't to draw people away from God. But i really can't say anything on that.
And about what that Ed Ku guy said. Eva's main theme wasn't "How others think of me." The characters kept being like that, so thats why some of them were all mental and stuff. In the last episodes, it clearly said, it doesn't matter what other people think of you. (The ending was wierd when i first saw it. It was almost like being with a psychologist.) Well, thats how i interpreted it. I got more stuff i have to say about Eva, but i don't have the time , and it would be off subject of what i'm typing.
From Brendan Jamieson: As a rather serious fan of the animated TV series and theatrical film(s) "Neon Genesis Evangelion", I feel that I must correct some of the misinformation and misinterpretation that is being presented as facts at http://www.crossroad.to/text/responses/Evangelion.htm.
I am disappointed that other fans who feel as I do have resorted to personal attacks, and I will attempt to avoid doing so. But I understand why they did - the comments that Mr. Ed Ku expressed are offensive as well as very narrow minded and unfair to the Evangelion saga. The points he presents are severely twisted and misrepresented to make Evangelion look like something it is not.
I will now reply to Mr. Ku's initial message, and present superior evidence and information that counters his personal interpretation.
>>I can't see how a person who is a Christian can defend this show.<<
I've been in Catholic schools since I was 3 (I'm 17 now) and know a fair bit about Catholic/Christian theology - and I don't see what is so offensive about a few religion-inspired images. Evangelion does not contain any direct commentary on Christianity or any other religion. The imagery and symbolism in the series is rather superficial (a cross for sacrifice, etc.) and the other religious elements serve only as simple plot devices used to add dimension and mystery/intrigue to the show.
From Berit: Any time you use Christian symbols in a different spiritual context, the meaning of each symbols adapts to the new setting or context. Not only does a cross used in the context of Eastern spirituality change the meaning of this key symbol of Christ's redemption. It also brings a subtle suggestion that the two -- God's power and the anime power -- can be synthesized or adapted to fit together. Such a cross hides the the fact that Christianity is clashes with all other religions.
I think that the idea of a soldier who collected the foreskins of the men he killed is more disturbing and offensive than the sight of a giant nailed to a cross or a cross shaped explosion. And where is that story found? In the Bible (1 Samuel 18:25-30).
God never hides the reality of a fallen human nature. As He inspired the various authors of the Bible to write the message of both earthly and heavenly realities, He, unlike pagen myth-makers, refused to make people look better than they really are. All the more, as we see the failings of humanity through the ages, we should be full of thanks for God's mercy, grace, redemption and offer of new life -- the very life of Christ in us.
>>A very very big theme of the show is "How others think of me." (if you watched the movie or episodes you should know)<<
This is true - but not in the context presented. There are several messages presented in Evangelion, and the most predominant are "Anywhere can be heaven as long as you have the will to live." (quoted directly from the character Yui Ikari) and how important it is to *accept yourself*. Shinji Ikari learns to accept himself and the pain that comes from existing. Any other interpretation contrary to this is flawed.
If you watched the movie or episodes without blinders on you should know.
>>The main character relies on this to live and how he does everything in his life.<<
So what? He's a character - a normal 'person'. Are you saying that people who have psychological and emotional problems parallel to Shinji's are immoral?
>>JESUS is actually substituted with an imperfect person, Shinji,<<
Too subjective a claim. Shinji does exhibit facets of Christ, but saying he represents Christ is wrong (actually, Shinji Ikari and his personality represent Director Hideaki Anno during his depression).
To quote anime/live-action director Mamorou Oshii (Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell) discussing religion in anime "These are used as the prototype for the stories; not for religious reasons, but for ideology and literary inspiration."
Get it? Literary inspiration. That's all.
>>The main character happens to kill everybody on earth after he recieved the power from who knows where.<<
You obviously did not view the film 'The End of Evangelion'. If I may quote the screenplay, you will see that Shinji quite clearly chooses to save everyone:
Rei: This is the sea of LCL... The primordial soup of life.
A world without [Barriers]... without your own shape.
An ambiguous world where it is impossible to tell where you end and other people start.
A fragile world where you exist everywhere, and thus exist nowhere.
Shinji: Have I died?
Rei: No, everything has just been joined into one. This is the world you have been hoping for... your world.
Shinji: But... this isn't right. I don't think this is right.
Rei: If you wish once more for the existence of others, the barriers of the heart will separate everyone once more... And the fear of other people will begin again.
Shinji: That's all right... Thank you.
Shinji: I feel that there were only hateful things there. So I'm sure it was okay to run away. But there was nothing good in the place I ran to, either. After all, I didn't exist there... which is the same as no one existing.
Kaworu: Is it okay for [Barriers] to hurt you and others once more?
Shinji: I don't mind.
--- So you see? Shinji chose to live for himself, and not for others. He realizes that when he ran away from reality to his own personal world he was only fooling himself and hurting himself more - because "there was nothing good in the place" he ran to.
>God is depicted as a being that gives up on people. "God" in the Christian sense is not depicted at all. The only true Christian reference we see in Evangelion is a pan over the top of a church in episode 16 (all you can see is the crucifix on the steeple).
From Berit: In the Bible, God warns us to have nothing to do with any "other god." Using entertainment to introduce "other gods" only desensitizes children to what God tells us to shun. Using Christian symbols in a pagan context -- such as a church steeple and a crucifix -- only blurs the lines and adds to a Christian child's confusion.
>pornography (mostly in movie) I suppose this depends on your interpretation of pornography. While I most certainly felt that the [off camera] scene of Shinji ____________________ disturbing and uncomfortable, "pornographic" did not come into mind because of the context of the sequence. Furthermore, Shinji is not exactly proud afterwards. He looks at his hand utterly disgusted with himself and says "I am scum." That's exactly what Director Anno wanted us to think of him. Shinji is pathetic - and I love him for that.
Or perhaps the sequence with 14 year old nude Rei... is what you are referring to. This is the scene where we see the melding of physical and emotional forms into the whole, a direct parallel to sex (the giving of oneself - mind and body - to another).
Think outside the box.
I hope that this presents a more positive and open minded view of the Evangelion world and its imagery, story and messages. I suppose it's easy to be mislead by it, but if you can scratch a little off the surface of Evangelion you'll find that its life messages are very relevant, positive, and true.
From Berit: Evangelion's message cannot be "positive and true" when it confuses a Christian's view of God and is based on myth rather than truth.
Which "box" should our thinking break out of, Brendan? We have two choices, think God's way or think the world's way. True, many traditional and legalistic boxes have falsely been identified with Christianity. But many are leaving those behind and reaching for a whole new values system that rejects Biblical God and His truth entirely. Such "outside the box" thinking is destructive to Christian faith, to genuine peace and hope.
Your description confirms my contention that Neon Genesis Evangelion teaches a worldview that fits contemporary New Age thinking but clashes with Biblical truth.
From Cubone, the Lonely Pokemon: I felt the need to write in to defend my favorite character in Evangelion, Misato, amidst this melee. Because whatever you may think or say about NGE, Misato did not go unpunished for her "sins", if that's what you really think they are.
Ed Ku spoke of "sexual immorality" between Misato and Kaji, and Misato and Shinji. Misato and Kaji were two consenting adults. Neither of them were involved in any other relationships. And yes, they had sex. I believe the Bible says, "Thou shalt not commit adultery". As far as I know, that wasn't adultery.
Yes, in End of Eva, Misato did kiss Shinji. She knew she was about to die and she was saying goodbye to him. That's all. She kissed him goodbye. Is that so wrong? Maybe she did love him. I don't know. No one will ever know now. What I do know is that, whether she loved him or not, people have been forgiven much worse "sins" than kissing someone.
But Misato wasn't forgiven. She paid the ultimate price, like you probably would have wanted. Justice, right? Well, I hope it makes you happy to know that justice has been done in your eyes. Because someone has to come out of all this happy, and it's not me. Every night I cry thinking of her final moments in this world. Every morning I wake up, and the world's still there, but it's like there's this little part of it that will always be empty, cold, dark, colorless.
So I do hope you are happy that your God has done his justice. Be proud, for your battle is won, and upon your shoulders rest the corpses of the slain for all eternity. Amen.
Cupone, neither God nor I had anything to do with this story. But I’m sorry to hear how deeply it has affected you. It seems to have become far more than just a fantasy to you. I pray that you will find peace in something that is far more real and wonderful than the story behind Neon Genesis Evangelion.
From Mike Crawley: I must say, that everything i've seen on your site i find absolutely stupid, idiotic, and overall repatitions of former sayings. You, my "friends", know nothing of what you speak. I myself am a true anime fan. I find the fiction and fantasy, mayhem, comedy, and all other forms, even the death has its own symbols to me, to be truly entertaining.
In Neon Genesis Evangelion, you complain that Shinji Ikari's mastering of the Eva presents a Christ-like event.
Mike, I haven't said anything about this. Please check your sources.
It doesn't. People know that ideas are over-used, but the plot is well known. You have a powerful enemy (A), and the weak good guy (B), and the fight between (A) and (B) is lost at first, or simply hard to win and retreat is taken. But soon, (B) must gain power to overcome (A), the main focus of any movie, simple overcoming the opposition, if anything, it aids to a copy of Christianity's battle against Satan, rather than stealing the Messiah to manipulate people.
Another letter from Cubone, the Lonely Pokemon: I just wanted to comment on desensitization to violence, which seems to be one big problem you have with shows like Evangelion. I think, at least this is what has happened to my in my own personal experience, Evangelion is actually very *sensitizing* to violence, not *desensitizing*. Eva makes no attempt to glorify and glamorize violence or make it seem right. It drives the full, brutal, graphic consequences of mindless violence straight into your heart like bullets, with such ferocity that you feel physically sick. The End of Eva movie takes these characters, these people whose lives we have lived through in 26 half-hour episodes, and basically slaughters them, randomly, gratuitously and almost gleefully. And we, the viewers, are left to pick up the emotional pieces. The feeling is, as I said in my first letter, a kind of cold emptiness, like a bereavement.
I don't think anyone who saw End of Eva would want to go out and replicate any of the violent acts that they just saw.... So am I defending Eva or not? Even I don't know, really. I still love the TV series, but the movie chewed me up and spat me out in such a state that even I don't recognise myself. I think if there is one good thing about End of Eva, it's what I started out saying at the top of the letter - if anything, it sensitizes the viewer to violence. Most movies glamorize it - things like Lethal Weapon that make guns and killing seem "fun".
For some time after End of Eva, and probably to some extent even now, if I heard a loud bang like a gunshot I'd probably break down in tears. Never mind wanting to go out and act violent, I don't even like watching other violent movies now. I'd probably cry over Lassie now. So, yeah, say Eva ripped out my heart and shattered my dreams - but don't ever dare say it desensitized me to violence. Kimochi warui mo, Asuka.
From Alexander: I am a 16 year old Catholic high school student in Canada. Now, I was surfing this forum and I am seeing a lot of anxious people -- a lot of anxious parents and others trying to analyze things they don't understand. I am not speaking expressly about Evangelion, I am talking about all the anime/rpg forums.
"That we so fervently believe is that which we least know" -i can't remember the author, if anyone can tell me, I'd be thankful. I used this quote to show how our strongest opinions are by and large directed to things we don't fully comprehend. Now I'm not insulting anyone's parenting skills or moral fibre here, but: DITCH THE POP-PSYCHOLOGY act. you aren't psychologists, or demographers. you don't know what the effect animated violence has on young people's minds. you don't really understand what the religious connotations in NGE mean. sure, you can guess, but most uninformed guesses are wrong.
It doesn't matter all that much whether or not I understand all the religious connotations in NGE. What I do need to understand is how it lines up with the standards of the God I love and follow. It doesn't take many mangas or television episodes to see the answer.
As for "pop-psychology," please read the documented studies on the power of the imagination and memories in Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons. I don't like to say this, but I do suggest that you consider your own lack of understanding in these areas. You may not want to agree -- and you may feel that adults don't know anything worth knowing -- but the fact is that I am still a bit older and wiser than you.
Now i can see how some aspects of this anime are disturbing. so i will address each one at a time.
1. Evangelion desensitizes children to violence. This can also be spread to violence on television in general, whether animated or not. Firstly, I have seen all the episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion. I have NOT seen the movies, yet. For the series, at least, i can say that any and all the violence shown on-screen or off-screen in this series is taken very seriousely. Togi's sister being crippled in the first battle, Kaji's death, rei's murder, and especially the scenes where the eva's go berserker. The violence in these scenes is not glorifying. Rather, it is portrayed as sickening, and all the repercussions of these scenes are shown (Toji's sister being crippled, the horrifying and gruesome aftermath of the rampages by the evas, and Dr. Akagi's death) there is no quick fix to any of that, and the anguish experienced by the characters is well portrayed. If parentsare going to target television shows to prove they corrupt their children by desensitizing them to violence, then perhaps POWER RANGERS, or POKEMON would fit the bill. these shows glorify the violence, and show no reprocussions.
I am glad it shows the consequences, but mental immersion will still desensitize a person to violence.
2. Evangelion corrupts children spiritually. I don't have much to say about this. Firstly, Evangelion is definitely NOT targeted as children of a young age. In fact, I would say its only appropriate for 15-16+ age group. The issues dealt within the show relating to the sexual, relationships, duty, self-worth, are things that young children really wouldn't understand. As for the use of Judaeo-Christian religious symbols, including the Angels, Adam and Lilith (you don't hear about adam's OTHER wife in the bible much) and evolution in general.
You don't. It's not there. The fable of Lilith became part of a collection of myths introduced by an occult branch of Judaism. That's not an anti-Jewish statement. Many "Christian" groups through the centuries have embraced occultism and pagan mysticism as well.
Did you know that the "angels" are the names of some of the chief angels within the Sephirothic Tree of the later Quabbalists shown in the intro? I believe that Hideaki Anno, creator of Evangelion, used the religious symbols to add controvery and power to the plot, not to corrupt children spiritually. the same debate exactly still rages about the movie "The Matrix". I do not believe that the religious symbols were meant to be taken literally as in the Christian Dogmatic way. NGE simply borrowed rather powerful symbols and events, and gave them a new significance. (this relates back to why younger children shouldn't watch this series-they don't have the mental capacity and experience of years to take everything they see on TV with a grain of salt, or interpret it the way they're supposed to)
The Quabbala or Kabbala (with or without the double b or l) is the most popular branch on Jewish mysticism. It has spread through Hollywood, it was promoted by Gorbachev's State of the World Forum, etc. It fits right into the new pantheistic global spirituality.
3. Evangelion corrupts children in its "flagrant" sexual innuendos, etc etc. Well, i have to say, yet again, that this series was aimed at the 14-15+ age group, and by that age, trust me on this parents, WE KNOW ALL ABOUT SEX. I was born and raised strict catholic, went to catholic schools my whole life, etc, hung out with the right friends. WE KNEW. TRUST ME, WE KNEW. If a teen older than 14 doesn't have a deep theoretical grasp of sex and its consequences, they have been hiding in a closet their whole life.
Knowing isn't the same as seeing and imagining. Mental knowledge of consequences helps resist the temptation to participate in harmful activiites. Identification through an imagination directed by these kinds of programs produces desires and cravings that are hard to resist.
Specific examples of sex/innuendo in the plot: theres only one! the entirely off-screen ah, goings-on between Misato Katsuragi and Kaji. Yes, this is pre-marital sex. However, i don't think that God is going to punish them for this. For one they are both good people, doing their job to protect humanity. Secondly, they are not adulterous, as they never cheat on each-other. Thirdly, there's probably more pre/extra marital sex going on in the world and even the Christian community at large than sex in marriage. its a fact of life,-deny it, or get used to it.
It sounds to me like you have been desensitized. Are you suggesting that the prevalence of pre-marital sex makes it okay?
Again, teens are generally mature enough to know this, and to accept Misato/Kaji's long-time romance as a non-heathen relationship. Nobody's perfect, why should television try to be?
Second part of Alexander's letter: The whole "television is evil...or japanese is evil....or violent cartoons are evil..." outlook. No, television isn't evil....
The problem is the program, not the transmitter. That's true of the computer as well.
Personally i have a couple Christian friends who can claim to be taoist/confucianist as well as Catholic, and they would be right.
They would? Right by what standards? Surely not the Bible.
As for the violent cartoons are evil bit, or the "unhealthy fantasy world" bit. The only damage dungeons and dragons ever did to people or society was to those who were ALREADY mentally/emotionally unstable, or getting there. Some people just aren't equipped to sort through the stimulus of the everyday world and make sense of all of it. Those people are at risk, vulnerable to the swings of their emotions. D&D never killed anybody....
PERSONAL CHOICE. Evangelion is a pretty rare item in North America in general, unless you live in a city with a pretty big asian sector. Its not something that's bombarding your children. And for those people that have not seen it, or only seen one episode, or only a couple episodes, or only the movies, YOU DON"T HAVE THE RIGHT TO AN OPINION ON THIS.
I don't have the right to an opinion based on what I have seen and read??? Is this still America?
Opinions by definition are intelligent and informed. to form an opinion on something you don't COMPLETELY GRASP is called i g n o r a n c e . willful ignorance. To understand this rather unique series, one must actually watch all of them, not looking to pick out things that they can condemn or fear, but to actually watch the show to appreciate what it is. back to personal choice, when your children are 14 and older they are almost done their physical and mental development. They are becoming adults. They do not have to be shielded from the big bad outside world. If they can't handle it, then they're going to be at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives.
Contrary to the general attitude of the forum, NGE, in my opinion, is an incredibly well-made series, powerful, and its not evil, and is not spiritually bereft. A hint to those people who like to analyze and judge what their children/pop culture is up to: YOU AREN"T QUALIFIED TO DO THAT.
UNLESS YOU CAN SEE A REAL AND PRESENT (ie a show telling your children to rape the women and kill the innocent) danger, its generally best NOT to relate everything back to religion. Now here's something for everyone to stew about: THE WORLD ISN'T ALL RELATED TO RELIGION. DON'T ANALYZE EVERYTHING, AND NO, CHILDREN'S DAILY LIVES DON'T NEED TO BE STRICTLY REGULATED. UNLESS YOU SEE SOMETHING THAT SCREAMS "EVIL!" LEAVE IT ALONE. and no, most of the studies on violence on the media, on both sides, are wrong. ITS TRUE, WE ARE BOMBARDED WITH A MIND-BOGGLING AMOUNT OF GARBAGE AND FILTH ON TELEVISION. EVANGELION ISN'T ONE OF THOSE THINGS.
The human brain has this magical ability to place everything in its proper place, and consider everything, putting importance/credulity to some things, etc etc.
That's what the new global education trains children to do: place all information in its "proper place" according to its new politically correct mental framework. Please read my new article on Brainwashing in America. Your mind has obviously been steeped in this process, because your words reflect all the "right" sentiments. Your mind has been processed, and you don't even know it. Before reading the article, notice the quote at the start:
"...absolute behavior control is imminent.... The critical point of behavior control, in effect, is sneaking up on mankind without his self-conscious realization that a crisis is at hand. Man will... never self-consciously know that it has happened."  Raymond Houghton, To Nurture Humaneness, ASCD (curriculum arm of the NEA), 1970
I have seen thousand and thousands of deaths on television, and every time i hear about some horrible innocent death on the news, i am brought almost to tears, and my mood for the day is ruined. I am not the exception, i am the norm. The world does not revolve around religion. television and movies don't either. this is not evil. sometimes, the best influences in a person's life have absolutely nothing to do with GOD. nothing whatsoever. I was going through a depression when i watched evangelion, but after i saw the ending with its morals and answers about self-worth, i came out of it. That's all i have to say. oh yeah, and this: EVERYTHING DOES NOT REVOLVE AROUND JESUS.
Obviously not. Few care enough about Him to hear His message and follow His guidelines. That's one of the reasons for the rudeness and crudeness we see all around us. As for my family, we choose to trust and follow Him -- by His grace, all day long. I agree with His Word which tells me to...
"be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:16-17)
Moral behavior, day-to-day relations between people, and one's spiritual identity do. pretty much nothing else, except for that one hour a week we spend in church, has anything to do with JESUS. Remember, i am a devout Catholic, and while a lot of the people on this forum are baptist (its easy to tell) i believe this. and my family and friends do as well (i checked up-religion assignment).
In light of your view of Christianity, it might be good to give you the first four verses as well. They show what it means to have been joined to Christ at the cross. This is not a denominational message. It's the heart of the Christian walk. Did you never learn these truths in your Catholic religion assignments?
"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." (Colossians 3:1-4)
Second letter from Ed Ku: Evangelion can have some positive impact, but there is still the negative impact that it gives. How can someone ignore it? One sin can always wash away all the good that has been done. The whole theme of Evangelion is "LIFE WITHOUT GOD." Man playing God.
"Here is wisdom. Let him who understanding calculate the number of the Beast; for his number is that of a man: and his number is 666." Rev:13:18
I was told by somebody that this show was made by a Japanese pastor. Even so, would you want to place your belief on a man or God's word? I'm being very open minded up to a point where it crosses my religious beliefs. I also don't want try to make someone hate God because I have contradictory beliefs. (Jews cannot eat pork, I won't force them to eat pork) God lets you choose to follow him or not. I'm not forcing you not to watch eva. It is your decision to do whatever you want.
Ed, I appreciate your concern -- and even more, your convictions. As Christians, we cannot extend our "open-mindedness" into the ideological realm that clashes with God's Word. But in a world that demands compromise and consensus, it's not easy to stand against the current.
From Dave: I disagree with your views concerning the anime series "Neon Genesis Evangelion". My main disagreement stems from the fact that, quite frankly, you don't seem to understand the symbolism behind the series. First of all, I agree with Brendan Jamieson, mainly, in most of what he said. There's no need for personal attacks on either you or myself here. That being said, I'll move on. You have to understand a few things about Evangelion before you "rate" it. First, it was created by a man who was clinically depressed at the time. Eva was his way of exploring his psyche, evaluating his mind. It's been stated that the character of Rei represents 4 years in which the creator didn't truly live. He was alive, but he didn't live.
Shinji Ikari is representative of another part of the creator's life. Admittedly, some aspects of Jesus Christ are thrown in. However, I completely disagree with Ed Ku for saying "A very very big theme of the show is "How others think of me." (if you watched the movie or episodes you should know) The main character relies on this to live and how he does everything in his life. Desiring the approval of others is not necessarily wrong but it is the love of such approval that is sinful." True, "How others think of me" is an important theme. However, it's not the main theme. It's part of Shinji's mentality. Another thing you need to understand: SHINJI IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE A LIKEABLE CHARACTER. You're supposed to think Shinji a coward, a weakling, a "wuss", if you will.Last, you have to understand that Eva demonstrates the consequences of the things you seem to be opposed to (violence, gratuitous sex, etc.) In episode 24, Shinji kills the last Angel, after having gotten to know him. Misato tries to console him by saying "Kaoru chose to ignore his will to survive; your survival is not a mistake." To which Shinji sadly replies, "Misato...how can you be so cruel?" It's clear that Shinji is emotionally depressed after having killed, which is appropriate, and which an intelligent person can see. Ritsuko has an affair with Gendo Ikari, which is kept secret throughout the series. Eventually, she breaks down, with destructive results. Asuka has a need to be approved of, a need which could be considered "sinful", if you'd like, but when she is no longer approved of, and she is left alone, she is emotionally destroyed. Every moral objection you have to this series, the series itself portrays the downside to it. So in that case, what exactly is wrong with it?
You have missed my point, Dave. My main concern is its moral and spiritual philosophy. This mythical world view, which clashes with Biblical truth, has apparently become so real and significant to its fans that you are willing to defend it more vehemently than most Christians defend their faith. It offers what some would call an alternative religion or world view -- one that includes elements that look enough like Christianity to confuse genuine Christianity in the minds of seekers.
I'm hoping for an answer, as I'm sure you'll say something about "It portrays a false God." It doesn't portray God at all; it focuses on the characters, who a person isn't supposed to want to see live. Eva, in short, is about the end of the world, and its causes. You can interpret it any way you like; Shinji can be a hero or a coward.
Again, it provides alternative answers to what God has already answered in His Word. There will be an end to the world, and I belieive the Bible, not the scenario taught by Eva.
NERV (the organization fighting the Angels) can be the good guys, or the bad guys (and there is a valid, understandable case for them being the bad guys; they're using "fallen Angels" to counter the Angels that are sent from God, after all.) Everything is free to the interpretation of the person watching it; that's what makes it such a popular series in the first place. You don't have to like it, and I'm certainly not about to say that you do, I merely ask that you view it from the standpoint that it can be taken however you want it to be taken. In other words, if one sees it as sinful, it's either (A) a reflection of one's own sinfulness, or (B) one's unwillingness to view another side of it, a side that is considerably purer and more just.
The Bible doesn't give us freedom to define good and evil according to circumstances. Remember Isaiah 5:20: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil...." Yet, throughout history mankind has been tempted to do so.
From Mike: Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the most beautiful anime series I've ever seen. Because of your thick-headed ignorance, I will not bother to attempt to explain some of the religious references or try to reveal the plot line.
I cannot change your mind. You are too far gone for that. All I can say is you are one of the biggest hypocrites I've ever had the distint displeasure of conferring with. You blather on about biblical "truth" without even bothering to think about it. You think the bible is the word of the lord and that all in it is completely true. It's not. The bible is obviously written by several different authors, none of which were guided by the hands of god. It is one of the most flawed and contradictory volumes of fairy tales ever to cross my desk.
Don't you think you might be overstating your case a bit, Mike. How well have you read the Bible or studied its various ancient sources -- the historical manuscripts preserved through the millennia?
Posturing yourself on this book will get you nowhere, it is up to you to decide what you believe, and why you believe it. As an athiest, I feel sorry for you. May you open your eyes and see the world around you for what it is.
Johannes Norrell: The theme of Evangelion is clearly stated in one of the movies: mankind's final enemy is himself. Personally, I think that there is a great deal of truth in this statement. God is not hiding from me; it is my own emotional/spiritual/mental limitations that put barriers between us. In Evangelion, these barriers are called "absolute terror fields," because it is our fear that creates them. I am not certain if the makers of Evangelion intended for their anime to be interpreted this way. However, because I am a free-willed, strongly spiritual person who takes the time to think things through, I have adapted that which I have gained from Evangelion to enhance my own beliefs.
Thank you, Johannes, for saying that. Others deny the influence of anime to influence the beliefs of a person. I maintain that children who watch Japanese animation will incorporate many of its suggestions into their current belief system.
Shoujo Kakumei Utena (translation: Revolutionary Girl Utena) was mentioned by another person who responded, and I can only say that his understanding is shallow at best. Yes, there are some definite undertones of lesbianism in it, but we cannot hide from ourselves that with which we may not agree.
We don't have to watch or discuss those things that we do well to avoid. Images have a way to stick in our minds and pester our thinking.
Personally, I don't see anything immoral about homosexuality, but if I did, I wouldn't try to pretend that it didn't exist by refusing to expose myself to anything that might have homosexuality as a theme or influence. Back on subject, lesbianism is a VERY small theme in Utena. I won't go into detail as Utena is a very complex anime with a vast quantity of symbols and allegory, but I will mention the basic theme. The message behind much of Utena is that we should not follow the paths set for us by society. We should allow forge our own ideas, our own beliefs and our own ideas. We should not follow others, we should follow only ourselves. The "revolution" is simply that: breaking free of the barriers society puts on us and thinking for ourselves.
Perfect Blue is a movie adapted from a Japanese novel. It is by far the most risque of the animes that I have discussed with scenes of strong violence and nudity. Seeing these things have not "tainted" me, however. If anything, they have made me more aware of the flaws in this world that I should work to correct.
Those who are tainted by immoral images seldom realize what is happening to them, because the exposure to immoral images desensitizes them and lowers their moral standard. That may not matter to someone who doesn't want to follow God, but to those who long to walk and talk with God it could be devastating.
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