Rebuild of Evangelion & Japan’s Lost Generation
Hosted by ReVolutionOfEvangelion.org
The original Evangelion TV series became a cultural sensation in Japan because it turned a mirror on their society in the mid-1990’s, capturing the spirit of depression and hopelessness brought about the economic recession which began in 1990. At the same time, Eva harshly criticized the self-medication that anime fans were resorting to, with escapist Giant Robot anime. This “Lost Decade” produced a “Lost Generation” of otaku shut-ins and psychologically damaged children in a society that stopped caring about its childen…a world eerily similar to the near-future presented in the Evangelion story. Unfortunately, the Lost Decade has turned into the Lost *Two* Decades, and instead of listening to the message the creators were trying to spread, Japanese fans embraced the gigantic merchandising empire Eva turned into. In a desperate attempt to get his message across one last time, Hideaki Anno created the “Rebuild of Evangelion” remake movie series. This panel is a general overview of Evangelion, but focused primarily on the social and historical circumstances in Japan that led the show’s creators to making it. This will include explaining Japan’s economic bubble-burst in 1990 and the resulting recession, the hikkikomori shut-in problem, NEETers and Freeters; also focusing on providing quotes from the actual creators (particularly, Hideaki Anno’s own controversial statements on how he feels the American occupation and subsequent military bases in Japan and domination of their foreign policy has turned Japan into “a nation of big children”. Then the panel will move on to what has been happening in Japan between the original series and when the decision was made to make Rebuild (basically, how things didn’t get better and are as bad as ever), as well as “the Graying of Japan” problem [it’s a plot point in the Eva-verse that there are hardly any children anymore, and this is a subtle commentary on how Japan’s aging population has a drastically low birthrate, due to several social factors we’ll explain, and in general, the point is that not caring about the children is essentially not caring about the future anymore]. From there, we move on to general discussion of the hot topic of the day, “Rebuild of Evangelion 2 is coming out on DVD and Blu-ray this month, what’s it like?” as well as explaining all of the social commentary that went into it: that is, the Rebuild-verse, somewhat more than the TV series, stresses on the bickering between different countries over who has the rights to build and control so many Evangelion units, like nuclear proliferation. Asuka’s from Germany, Mari’s from Britain, America builds its own Evangelions to disastrous results, and we’ll explain that these are the political/social views the creators have. This is NOT an 18+ panel. A panel by ReVolutionOfEvangelion.org, the fansite which wrote the Otaku USA cover story on Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0 coming out April 2011.
Sat, 04/23/2011 at 8:00 PM in Hynes - Panel 309