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The Ultimate Anime FAQs Topic, [AM]

May 15 2004, 05:06 AM (Post #1)
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For now this is the Evangelion FAQ but i will be sure to add questions and answers from other animes that seem to plague people. This way we will avoid any more pointless FAQ threads and discussions, instead we will be able to concentrate on talking about upcoming title releases, our love of certain animes and anime picture threads, etc.
Have this topic pinned eventually...

Q) How many Evangelion films are there and what do they contain?

A) To date there are three Evangelion films: Evangelion: DEATH & REBIRTH, The End of Evangelion, and Revival of Evangelion.

Evangelion: DEATH is a 60 minute edit of Evangelion TV eps 1-24 (the image was cropped to fill the 1.85:1 film aspect ratio). Approximately 20 minutes of this film is new footage, the rest is from the original TV episodes. The new footage used in DEATH was being actually done for the Director's Cut of episode 21 through 24. However, it was felt the new scenes that had been completed should also be added to the theatrical run of the film.
Evangelion: REBIRTH was shown with DEATH as a double feature. REBIRTH is the first 30 minutes of the film The End of Evangelion.
REBIRTH is composed entirely of new footage.

The End of Evangelioncontains the re-done episodes 25 and 26. Eps 25, movie edition, is entitled "Air" and is given the subtitle of "Love is destructive."
Episode 26, movie edition, is entitled "Yours Sincerely" and the final scene of this episode is given its own title, "One More Final: I need you." Each episode of the film contain the "eye-catch" scenes that the TV episodes included (white english text on black background in the middle of the episode).
This is the film that completes the Evangelion saga.

Revival of Evangelion was released in March of 1998 in Japan and contains a new edit of the original Death film. It also contains the episodes that made up The End of Evangelion. The full title of the film, therefore, is: Revival of Evangelion: Death(true)^2/Air/Yours Sincerely

Q) Is there, or will there be in the future, a sequel to Evangelion?

A) Well, no - there is not currently a sequel/prequel to Evangelion planned. There was a fake theater poster posted online that fooled a lot of people for some reason but Gainax themselves said this was just a joke someone was pulling online.
(Click here to view this piece of, fake, fan art) Linky

Of course, it is impossible to state categorically that there will never be a new series for Neon Genesis Evangelion, but at the current time this is highly unlikely. When asked, the producer of Evangelion said that the film, The End of Evangelion, is just that - the end. Writer/Director Hideaki Anno appears to be distancing himself from the anime industry, focusing more on live-action filmmaking, such as his his movies Love & Pop and the recent Shiki-Jitsu (Ceremonial Day). The Assistant Director, Anno's right hand man who also directed Anno's script for Air, expressed relief over finally finishing the series with the film - that he was glad to be moving on from Evangelion.

Personally, no more Eva is fine with me. In fact, I hope there is never a sequel/prequel made.

Q) How many versions of DEATH are there?

A) There are three separate edits of Death.
The original is the one that was included in the theatrical release of Evangelion:DEATH & REBIRTH

The second, DEATH(true), was the version included in the WoWoW Satellite TV Channel (Japan) showing of DEATH & REBIRTH. This edit removed most of the Director's Cut scenes that were to be used in the home video release.

The third version is DEATH(true)^2. This is the edit what was included in the theater re-release of the Eva films, Revival of Evangelion. It is the same as DEATH(true) except for the addition of the image of the Adam embryo in Gendo's hand, as well as a few other smaller cuts.

Q) Who owns the rights to the films?

Manga Entertainment is the only company who owns the rights to the movies Evangelion: DEATH & REBIRTH and The End of Evangelion in the US and UK. Madman Entertainment apparently holds the rights in Australia.
Any other distributor selling the Eva movies (such as on eBay) is pawning an illegal bootleg. These were fansubbed versions done before the domestic license of the films in the US, and should not be distributed any longer.

A.D.V. Films own the rights to the originally aired television series. They do not own the rights to any of the Special Edition scenes - ADV is apparently on rocky ground with Gainax, and has recently said that they will not be pursuing these scenes.

Q) Will the ADV Films English dub cast reprise their role in the Manga Ent. dub of the movies?

A) The majority of the principle English language cast will be reprising their roles for Manga Ent's release of the dubbed version of the films.
(this spans both the people reprising their roles for the new re-dub of the TV footage in DEATH as well as the characters in the film The End of Evangelion)

ReturningVoice Actors:
Spike Spencer - Shinji Ikari
Allision Keith - Misato Katsuragi
Amanda Winn-Lee - Rei Ayanami
Tiffany Grant - Asuka Langley Soryu
Tristan McAvery - Gendo Ikari
Sue Ulu - Ritsuko Akagi
Jason Lee - Shigeru Aoba
Aaron Krohn - Rhyoji Kaji

Characters with new voice actors:
Kaworu Nagisa
Makoto Hyuga
Maya Ibuki
Kyouzo Fuyutsuki
Hikari Horaki
Touji Suzahara
Keel (and all of SEELE)

Q) What is" Genesis 0:0 - A Light in the Darkness"?

A) A Light in the Darkness is basically a "making of" video that gives a "behind the scenes" glimpse into the production of Evangelion.

There is no new animation or plot development in this video, and it is not a prequel.

Q) Why does Rei appear to Shinji in eps 1? Furthermore, why is she in perfect health while when at NERV she is bandaged from the accident involving Eva-00?

A) There is no official answer. I have heard it suggested that it was a different clone of Rei, but this is highly illogical as there is only one soul that the Rei clones posses and they cannot all have it at the same time, and in The End of Evangelion the three clones of Rei (the ones that were actually "living") stand together during Human Complement Project. Also, this theory does not explain why Rei seems to disappear as Shinji glances away for a second.
I feel I should point out that at the end of The End of Evangelion, there is a scene strikingly similar to that in episode 1.

Q) Who killed Ryhoji Kaji?

A) A lot of people put the blame on Misato. This is entirely false. In the TV series Film Books Anno says that Kaji was killed by "a third party working either for SEELE or for NERV's Intelligence Division."
Anno didn't just say "NERV", but rather "NERV's Intelligence Division". While this is still unclear, it eliminates Misato since she does not work for the Intelligence Division.
(Translation courtesy Bochan Bird)

Also, as an acquaintance had pointed out, the trauma of having murdered Kaji would certainly have been dealt with in Misato's Complementation in episode 25. But it is not.

Q) Do all of the Eva series contain a soul?

A) Yes. This falls under the "Dummy Plug Proof" as formulated by Junpei Takayama.

The AT Field is "the light of the soul", the "barrier of the heart".
Ergo, no soul/heart = no AT Field.
The dummy system has no soul - only brain patterns.
Ergo, the dummy system alone is unable to manifest an AT Field.
The dummy plug system is designed to operate the Evas without the pilots. (What idiot would create an auto-pilot system that would not be able to use the Eva's greatest weapon/defense?)
The MP Evas + dummy plugs generate AT Fields in EoE.
Ergo, the [MP Eva + dummy plug] combination must have a soul.
If the dummy plugs have no soul, then the MP Evas must have souls.
Ergo, the MP Evas, and by extension the NERV Evas, which also have (had) dummy plug systems, all have souls.

Q) What is the red orb that can be seen in Eva-01 (episode 19-20, EoE) , Eva-00 (Special Edition episode 23) and the MP Evas (EoE)?

A) The glowing red orbs that are located under the Evangelion chest armor plates are the Evangelion's cores.
Common misconception is that the Core is the equivalent to the S2 Organ/Engine. This is incorrect. The S2 is never seen in the series.

In episode 19, Ritsuko states that Eva-01 is ingesting the S2 organ from the 14th Angel. Ritsuko certainly knows what's going on with the Evangelion models, and would have known that Eva-01 already had an S2 if that was the case.

In episode 20, SEELE (who is very aware of the production of the Evangelion series) says "The Eva series can't produce S2 organs themselves!" and "But we never expected one would be able to bring one into itself like this." SEELE would have known if Eva-01 already had an S2.
Furthermore, if Eva-01 did have an S2, that would mean NERV/SEELE had already succeeded in creating a working model, in which case the disaster that befell Eva-04 would not have occurred.

Eva-00 is seen to have a red orb in its chest during the battle with the 16th Angel in the Special Edition of episode 23. We know what Eva-00 did not have an S2. All Evangelions have cores, but not all have an S2. The only Evangelion units with S2 Engines are Eva-01 and the Mass Production Eva Series. Further, the Evangelion:DEATH & REBIRTH theater program features separate entries for the S2 Engine (Organ) and the Core.

Q) What color are Asuka's eyes at the end of the film? And, is the person at the end of the film actually a combination of Asuka, Rei,
and Misato? Is she, Shinji's 'perfect woman'?"

A) This perposterous theory has been around for a while now, but it was never as popular as it is now. Asuka's eyes are blue, not brown, at the end of the film.
This is a scan of the Cardass Wide Card for the scene in question:
I Need You

As you can see, her eye is clearly blue (somewhat greyish, but this is because of the color tones/lighting of the scene - it is night afterall).

And further, no - the person on the shore with Shinji is Asuka and Asuka only. Shinji rejected Human Complementation Project, and as such he has no control over whatever happens next. He is an ordinary boy. Yui says that anyone who can "imagine themselves in their own hear" can come back, on their own. Apparently, Asuka is one of those people. A person with the will to live. A combination of people is impossible outside of the Complementation project that Shinji rejected.

Q) I've read that in Air (Rebirth) Shinji masturbates to a nude, sleeping, Asuka. Is this true?

A) Yes. But before you jump to conclusions let me point out some things:

1) Shinji is completely messed up. He has hit rock bottom and when the only person he feels can help him (Asuka) doesn't he sinks lower into his depression (for obvious reasons). Then, he accidentally pulls open Asuka's shirt and right there in front of him is a half naked girl, who has shot down his advances time and time again. He reacts out of desperation and sexual frustration. An important point has been made about Shinji.

2) Shinji is real. Shinji is not some noble, self-sacrificing wiz-kid - instead he is "normal". He sees sex, and he reacts to it.

3) He is under tremendous stress. He has just found out that Rei is a clone, that Asuka is pretty much dead, that Misato seems to have abandoned him, and above all else, he just killed the only person he opened his heart up to and the only person who told Shinji, "I like you". Look at all those things in Shinji's life that have happened in little less than a week! It is easy to see why Shinji did what he did. But do not be confused, Shinji quite clearly did not approve of what he did, either.

4) Shinji does not enjoy it. He says "Saitei da, orette" (I am pathetic/I am the lowest of the low/I am f*cked up/I am the worst/I'm scum etc.) and leaves Asuka more disgusted with himself then ever. This is done to show that Shinji is not maliciously visually raping Asuka, but that he is still a child who saw something he (thought) he liked, and reacted to it. Do I hold it against him or do I think he's a bad character because of it? No, of course not. Was I shocked with that scene? To a point. But overall, I found it a deeply emotional scene that effectively conveyed Shinji's current mental condition.

A little more insight into Shinji's act is available in the Cardass Masters card game (overseen by Gainax).
Card H-11 Hokan reads (translated by Bochan Bird):
"Neither Yui, Rei nor Misato could do as a woman for Shinji. Asuka alone was the only girl on equal footing with him. So,
Shinji desired/sought after Asuka. "I'm afraid of Misato and Ayanami." However, Shinji's crude affection only hurt her. In
the end, he used her as an object of lust/desire to soothe/console himself..."

Q) When Shinji strangles Asuka in The End of Evangelion: Sincerely Yours, is this a real memory or part of the Complementation project?

A) This is a part of the process of Complementation. There are several indications of this.

First of all, the scene itself is very surreal and does not feel right as a memory. It does not logically fit in the Evangelion timeline (it would probably have occurred somewhere between episodes 23 and 24). Shinji is not nearly desperate enough during this time to strangle Asuka, and I seriously doubt Asuka would stand there idely and she suffocated. Further, the cut of the spilled coffee pot is inserted into the Director's Cut of episode 24 (before the episode begins) but is used in a completely different context (Asuka's realization to Kaji is not coming back).

In the scene Asuka says, "You're afraid of Misato and the First... " which mirrors exactly what Shinji said in The End of Evangelion: Air, "I... I'm scared of both Misato and Ayanami..." before he masturbates to her comatose body. All signs point to this sequence being an expression of Shinji's frustration with Asuka, and also his feelings of guilt for what he did. Moments earlier Asuka's (or perhaps more specifically, the Asuka in Shinji's mind) confronts Shinji saying, "Idiot! I 'know' about your jerk-off fantasies of me. Do it again like usual... I'll even stand here and watch."

Q) In episode 24, Kaworu says to Rei, "You're just like me... We've both taken the lilim's form as our body to live on this planet. "
What did he mean by that?

A) In a very real sense, Kaworu is to SEELE what Rei is to NERV - that is: a tool for their own ends.
Kaworu is a cloned body (albino - pale skin/hair, red eyes) with the soul of a Source of Life (Adam)
Rei is a cloned body (albino - pale skin/hair, red eyes) with the soul of a Source of Life (Lilith).

This is why Kaworu tells her "You're just like me.." They both have human/Lilim forms, but their souls are that of Sources of Life who gave birth to Angels and Lilim, respectively.

Q) What are the Angels?

A) The Angels, as described by Misato Katsuragi, are "Humans without human form."

The Red Cross Book defines the Angels as:
Beings originated from the source of life called Lilith. They take various sizes and shapes: from a giant octahedron to a minute Angel the size of bacteria, or even a "shadow" Angel without tangible form. Borrowing Fuyutsuki's words in episode 26', it seems that Angels are beings which got the "Fruit of Life" whereas humanity got the "Fruit of Wisdom". In other words, "Angels" are another form of humankind with the same potential as humans. Thus, humans are the 18th Angel.
(Translation courtesy Bochan Bird)

Q) Who sent the Angels?

A) All reliable information says that the Angels are acting on their own accord in their own interest and not following instructions from anyone.
That includes any supreme deity.

Q) Who is the First Angel?

A) The first Angel is Adam, as confirmed in both the TV series, films, and Red Cross Book. Also, Adam is the Giant of Light that was seen during 2nd Impact. 2nd Impact was a result of reducing Adam to an embryo, which is why he is in that state throughout the series. Any internet site that tells you differently is wrong.

Q) Who is the Second Angel?

A) The Second Angel is the source of the Lilim, Lilith.
This is strongly hinted at in the Genesis 14 Liner Notes. But was confirmed in Cardass Evangelion card A-17, the official cards approved by Gainax, is titled "Second Angel Lilith", and shows Rei floating up to Lilith on the cross in Terminal Dogma. It states:
"A Source of Life Angel called/named 'progenitor' like Adam. Until being noticed by Nagisa Kaworu, NERV had
misrepresented the giant crucified in Terminal Dogma as Adam, but it was actually Lilith. Ayanami Rei is a being
with the soul of this Lilith and (a copy of) the body of Ikari Yui."

Lilith is the same as Adam, they are both sources of Life. Since Adam, one source of Life, is considered the First Angel, it is logical to consider Lilith, who is the other source, the Second.

Q) Who is the 18th Angel?

A) Mankind is the 18th Angel. Misato reveals this to Shinji as she takes him to Eva-01's hangar in the film Air. It has been suggested that Misato was being sarcastic when she said this, but watching the film you will be able to see that there is no sarcasm in her voice nor is there any reason that she would be joking at such a critical time.

Also, in the Japanese script book EVANGELION ORIGINAL III, Episode 24, page 38: After Kaworu is killed by Eva-01, there is a SEELE monolith scene which was eventually cut from the final episode. In this scene, Keel says: "All the Angels born of Adam have now been destroyed, making humankind the last remaining Angel. The promised time has come - the time to place a soul in Lilith and cleanse this impure world."
(Translation Courtesy Bochan Bird)

For all intents and purposes -
Humans are the children born of both Adam (Angels) and born of Lilith (Lilim).
Angels are the children of Adam.
Lilim (that's us) are the children of Lilith.

Q) Is there religious meaning to Evangelion?

A) No. Evangelion is not, and never was a religious anime and does not contain any direct commentary on the world's religions. The Judeo-Christian elements it contains are simply plot devices used to convey the story. Nothing more.

The cross shaped explosions, the Kabalah, and all other references do have religious roots and do have relevance to Evangelion but it is very important to remember that Eva is a work of fiction and should not have it's symbols taken that seriously. I think that Mamorou Oshii (director of "Ghost in The Shell" and "Patlabor") described religious elements in anime best when he said "These are used as the prototype for the stories; not for religious reasons, but for ideology and literary inspiration".

Finally, at the Otakon anime convention held in 2001, assistant director Kazuya Tsurumaki (who was the director of The End of Evangelion: Episode 25' Air - while Anno personally undetook The End of Evangelion: Episode 26' Sincerely Yours and acted as Chief Director) was asked directly what relvance Christianity had to Evangelion. This was his reply:
Tsurumaki: There are a lot of giant robot shows in Japan, and we did want our story to have a religious theme to help distinguish us.
Because Christianity is an uncommon religion in Japan we thought it would be mysterious. None of the staff who worked on Eva are Christians.
There is no actual Christian meaning to the show, we just thought the visual symbols of Christianity look cool. If we had known the show would get
distributed in the US and Europe we might have rethought that choice.

So, while Evangelion's basic plot elements are borrowed from some religious texts and myths, they merely act as inspiration for a different story. They are just there for aesthetics. Evangelion also borrowed several elements from earlier Tomino anime shows. Evangelion owes more to Ideon, than it does to Revelation.

Q) Who is Keel Lorenz?

A) Keel is the head of SEELE which is the corporation that sits above NERV. Keel's past is a mystery but it is known that his body is at least half cybernetic. Whether or not this gives any insight into his history is unknown at the present time. Also, there is no proof whatsoever that Keel Lorenz is the fabled "Wandering Jew" if for no other reason, because we see a young Keel in the episode 21 flashbacks and the "Wandering Jew" is not supposed to age.

Also, the story of the "Wandering Jew" is little more than a piece of anti-Semitic propaganda.

Q) What is the "Red Cross Book" (RCB)?

A) The Red Cross Book is a coined term for the The End of Evangelion theatrical film program, sold in Japan in theaters during the showings of The End of Evangelion. This book, that is entirely black except for a large red cross stamped across the front (hence the name), gives production notes and contains a very interesting Glossary section which defines and explains various terms and people mentioned throughout Evangelion.

Q) Is the Red Cross Book published by Studio Gainax?

A) No, but it was approved by the staff of Evangelion. Including Hideaki Anno. Therefore it is reasonable to presume the RCB is official canon of Evangelion.

Q) Are the TV ending and Film ending the same conclusion to the saga?

A) In my view - No.

In the TV ending Shinji chose to stay with Complementation - it isn't even clear that Shinji had a choice at all. He is treated as little more than an example of the process of Complementation - which consisted if breaking down Shinji's link to reality. In the end, Shinji looks at the world of Complementation and smiling happily says "I understand! I can exist here!" He is then congratulated for his decision, by friends living and dead (Kaji), a healthy Touji with his leg still on, and even PenPen. A surreal ending scene to say the least. This ending is similar in context and theme to the ending of George Orwell's book, 1984.

Conversely, the film ends in the opposite manner. Shinji does have a choice and in the last moments of the film utterly rejects Complementation precisely because it eliminates the link to reality, it establishes a false paradise. Complementation is basically a cop-out, and Shinji has matured enough to realize this. The tone at the end of the film isn't a surreal, almost drug-induced, joyful "Congratulations!" for Shinji, but the cold and harsh reality of life.

Further, the Newtype Filmbook description for the scene states (literally):
"Amidst the many words of congratulations, a faint smile starts at the corners of Shinji's mouth (and spreads across his face).
A happy face -- that is the figure of the Complemented Shinji. This conclusion is also one form, one possibility among many."
(Translated by Bochan Bird)

Note, "the figure of the Complemented Shinji". Pretty cut and dry.

Q) Which is the true end to Evangelion? The TV episodes or the films?

A) The End of Evangelion is the official ending to the saga. In the RCB it is stated that EoE was created from the original scripts for eps 25 and then a new script written to continue from that episode, but because of production errors they could not be used. However, this does not mean the TV ending is false, it is simply an alternate conclusion.

Q) As everyone reverts to LCL, in The End of Evangelion, Rei comes to Hyuga as Misato and to Fuyutsuki as Yui, and both Hyuga and Fuyutsuki embrace them willingly. Why does Aoba see dozens of Reis, and why does he cower in the corner when the come to him?

A) As explained by the Evangelion Carddass Masters Trading Card Game:

"All life was drawn indiscriminately into the world desired by the medium/avatar Shinji. Led by the Reis -- the messengers of salvation --
hurt and suffering hearts dissolved into homogeneous LCL. Even those who did not wish salvation were powerless to resist. Aoba frantically
rejected Rei, but the A.T.Field that protected him had already lost its power."

Q) What happened in The End of Evangelion?

A) This is a severely abbreviated overview of The End of Evangelion that simply touches upon the important aspects and details of the finale:

SEELE, believing that mankind had become a colony of worthlessness decided that in order for mankind to be happy, all life needed to die ("god, man, and all life must die in order to become one" -SEELE). In the process, mankind would become one in a single, perfect, being. This is the Human Complement Project

Gendo had a different scenario for the Complementation of mankind and his process seems to have included the use of Rei, Adam, and Lillith while SEELE's focused on Eva-01 (direct clone of Lillith), Evangelion Mass Production Models and the Spear of Longinuss (at first intended for the original Spear, but the replicas would have sufficed).

The SEELE version of Human Complement Project appears to have been initiated with the death of Evangelion Unit-02 and the return of the original Spear with the arrival of Eva-01. With these events occurring in the GeoFront, Gendou gave Adam to Rei (Adam is imbedded in Gendou's hand- this is seen quit clearly in the re-vision of eps. 24) and instructs her to take him to Lillith. However "out of her own judgment" she refused and returned to Lillith alone - then putt the future of mankind into the hands of the son of Ikari, Shinji.

When given a choice at the end of Complement Project, if he wanted mankind to return to reality or to complete the project, Shinji decided that a life in reality, no matter how painful, is better than a fake happiness (Kaworu: "AT-Field will harm you and others again, are you sure?" Shinji: "That's fine.") The Mass Production Eva series falls still, their cores break as the Lance Replicas are destroyed.

As the souls of mankind flow back to earth, millions of glowing crosses ascend with Eva-01 and the Lance into the depths of space. Yui caresses Shinji's cheek as they they say their final good-byes. In a flashback, Yui's goal for Eva - as a testament that humanity existed even after the sun, moon and earth are gone - becomes clear.

Shinji awakes up on a desolate beach. Asuka - her arm and eye bandaged in a manner similar to Rei's - lies motionless next to him. Shinji, at the culmination of his love, hate, stress, frustration, etc. - begins to strangle her, only to stop when he feels the caress of her hand across his face. He breaks down, sobbing on top of her.

Q) What happened to Gendo in the film?

A) Gendo more than likely entered into Human Complement Project just like everyone.

The scene of the film with Gendo being bitten in half by a ghost/demon Eva-01 is too surreal to be reality. Rei is a part of Lilith. Yui is dead and her soul is in Eva-01, Kaworu is dead. Eva-01 is in orbit around the earth. None of those people could actually be there with Gendo. Therefore, they are a figment of Human Complement Project and of Gendo's mind. Either this scene is of Gendo already being Complemented or Gendo's method of reversion to LCL is simply more violent and guilt ridden than others. Either way, Gendo is to be Complemented.

Gendo was reverted to LCL and became part of the whole with everyone else. As the Cardass Masters Card says, "All life was drawn indiscriminately into the world desired by the medium/avatar Shinji." With Shinji's request, "I wish everyone would just die.", the anti AT Field spread from Lilith. It was an "indiscriminate" effect that bound everyone together at Shinji's will. All life was to become one, Gendo included.

Q) What was SEELEs intent in initiating Human Complement Project? Gendo's?

A) SEELE believed that mankind had turned into a "colony of worthlessness" and that the only way for mankind to achieve happiness was for all life to die and become one in a single perfect being. They felt that humanity had hit a dead end in its evolution, and the only way for mankind to continue living was for it to return to the womb (quite literally).

Gendo, however, knew better than SEELE and did not want to initiate Human Complement Project to simply kill everyone in the world. In fact, all evidence says that Gendou's version of Complementation did not entail the genocide of all humanity at all. When SEELE idealizes the death of god, man and all living things, Gendo replies to them "Death gives birth to nothing." This is basically the climax of their conflict, Gendo has drawn a line in the sand and all that is left is for SEELE to react.
All Gendou seemed to want was to re-united with his beloved wife (In the face of Complementation he says, "I've been waiting for this moment for so long... To finally be with you again, Yui.")

Q) Are there really different types of Third Impact? A Constructive and Destructive one?

A) Well.. yes and no. Both "types" of Third Impact result in the destruction of humanity. If an Angel came into contact with Adam (or Lilith) it would seem they would have been Complemented. Kaworu tells Shinji that only one form of life can escape annihilation and inherit the future - and that the Lilim are not the ones who should perish (he thus sacrificed his life to give humans a chance).
The entire Evangelion TV series is, then, a prelude to the real mission at hand - the Human Complement Project. A project to unite life through death, to return to the womb of Lilith and exist as a single perfect being.

Q) Isn't the final scene Shinji's personal Heaven as a result of Human Complement Project?

A) No. Shinji was shown what Human Complement Project would be like if it was accomplished, and when he saw how fake the happiness really was he chose to stop it. He finds that Complementation is just another version of running away. He realized he would still be alone, because even he wouldn't be there.

Rei and Kaworu warn him that if he chooses to return to reality that AT Fields will once again hurt him and others again, "Fear of other people will once again return." But Shinji say to them "That's fine."

Further, this is confirmed in the Cardass Masters card game that states, "Shinji renounced the world where all hearts had melted into one and accepted each other unconditionally."

This is fact.

Q) Ok, Shinji and Asuka didn't "evolve into a higher existence"... but what about everyone else?

A) No one evolved into anything.

When Shinji refused to merge w/ Lillith the process of Human Complement Project was interrupted and the souls of mankind returned to the earth. Yui tells Shinji not to worry because "All living things have the ability to return to their original form... and the heart to go on living."
With this in mind it is reasonable to presume that eventually everyone will return to the way they were prior to the events of Third Impact and The Human Complement Project.

On the other hand - there is no proof that everyone will return. It is just as reasonable, then, to presume that Shinji and Asuka are indeed the only survivors of Third Impact/Human Complement Project. However, in my personal opinion, this is somewhat too downbeat and negative. And too... final.

The Eva Cardass Masters card states:
"In the sea of LCL, Shinji wished for a world with other people. He desired to meet them again, even if it meant he would be hurt
and betrayed. And just as he had hoped/wanted, Asuka was present in the new world. Only Asuka was there beside him.
The girl whom he had hurt, and who had been hurt by him. But even so, she was the one he had hoped/wished for...."

The End of Evangelionends on the perfect note at the perfect moment. Indeed, we are left uncertain about the future of Shinji, Asuka and the others - but this is entirely appropriate. We are as uncertain about their future as Shinji and Asuka are. It matters not how they got there, or where they go from here. They are alive. And that's all that counts in the end.

Q) Mankind can re-form after Shinji rejects Human Complement Project, right? Well what about those who died before HCP was initiated (Misato, Ritsuko and Asuka

A) There is a chance that Misato and the others could reform because a) Rei was already with them when they died and may have collected their souls even before HCP began (the ghostly images of Rei that hover above Misato and Ritsuko's as they die; which is absent from Asuka's "death") b) During HCP Rei appears to all the dead bodies in NERV who died and they turn into LCL. That included Misato and Ritsuko; and yet, not Asuka...

Personally, I don't like the idea of them all returning - but I have nothing against it.

Q) Is that final scene of Yours Sincerely, "I need you.", reality or part of Shinji's mind?

A) This scene is reality. In the preceding scenes we see Shinji float up from a red ocean to the surface where he sees the face of Lillith/Rei slowing splitting and sinking into the ocean. The very next scene is Shinji on the beach next to this red ocean, Lillith/Rei's head still next to him. Shinji clearly chose real pain over false pleasure. Further, Cardass Drama card D-88 states, "Shinji renounced the world where all hearts had melted into one and accepted each other unconditionally."

The scene is reality.

Q) What planet is Shinji on in "I need you."?

A) Shinji and Asuka are still on Earth. As Lillith de-composes her limbs begin to fall off and plummet down to the Earth's surface, when Shinji awakes he sees Lilith head in the distance, not to mention the dead Mass Production Evas that stand crucified in the red ocean. This proves, without the shadow of a doubt, that this is Earth.

Q) Why does Shinji strangle Asuka in the final scene of The End of Evangelion, 'I need you.' ?

A) The sequance is one of the most hotly debated in Eva circles all over the world. Until now there was no definitive answer to the mystery. However, Bochan Bird has recently stumbled onto the absolute answer, held within the Eva Carddass Masters Trading Card Game.

Here is the original answer I wrote about a year ago for this FAQ:
'I need you.' affirms Shinji's choice to return to reality, and in doing so has separated himself from Asuka once more. His first impulse is to strangle her, to finish what he started during Complementation. But then he feels her caress (which is very similar to the one he received from his mother only moments before) and realizes what he's doing. He releases his grip and collapses as an emotionally broken little boy - which disgusts Asuka.

The following presents the definitive answer to this question, as translated by Bochan Bird -
Part II (movies) Drama card D-88
Title: "Kimochi warui"
Small print:
"Shinji renounced the world where all hearts had melted into one and accepted each other unconditionally. His desire... to live
with 'others' -- other hearts that would sometimes reject him, even deny him. That is why the first thing he did after coming to
his senses was to place his hands around Asuka's neck. To feel the existence of an 'other'. To confirm (make sure of) rejection
and denial."

---- So, I was half right. The scene is meant to be an affirmation of Shinji's decision to return to reality. As I wrote on the Evangelion ML, the scene is there to prove "pain once again exists". However, I didn't give Shinji enough credit for his intention when he strangled her. I thought it was a carry over from the previous strangulation scene, when it was actually meant as a test to see if he was indeed back in the real world.

Q) Is Maya Ibuki a lesbian? Does she have feelings for Ritsuko?

A) Yes. Although Maya looks up to Ritsuko as her "sempai", there was clearly an intention to portray Maya's feelings towards Ritsuko as something much more complicated with deliberate gay overtones. When the phantom Rei/Ritsuko embraces Ritsuko during the film, The End of Evangelion, Maya lets a gasp of "ecstacy" escape (as described by Anno). Further, in the Newtype filmbook for End of Evangelion, Maya's final lines before she reverts to LCL are surrounded by hearts. It's clear that Gainax intended Maya to be a character with, at the very least, decisively lesbian tendancies.

Q) I was told that there is hate mail to Gainax flashed on screen in The End of Evangelion. Is this true?

A) Yes it is true. The text that is quickly flashed on screen after the live-action segment and right before the Lilith-Rei being's neck begins to bleed, is a collection of emails sent to Gainax. While some of them are very positive notes, full of praise for Gainax and Eva, there is some legitimate hate mail intermixed. Refer to this page for complete translations.

Q) Before Gendo shoots Ritsuko, in The End of Evangelion, he says something to her that the audience cannot hear. What did he say?

A) Speculation abounds over what Gendo's last words to Ritsuko were - and there's simply no answer. In the original story boards, Gendo's line is supposed to be covered by the sound of an explosion (from the battle raging in NERV). While the explosion sound was eventually scrapped, Anno ensured that Gendo's line indeed drops out so that we cannot hear it.

Yuriko Yamaguchi, Ritsuko's Japanese voice actress, too wondered what Gendo had told Ritsuko. But for her, it was a more personal question - because what Gendo told Risuko would directly dictate how the response, "Liar." was delivered. In the Red Cross Book (seiyuu section), Yamaguchi writes:

Ritsuko fades away with her final word, "Liar."
But what was this "Liar" in reference to? The script for this last scene only has Gendo saying:
"Ritsuko Akagi, I truly...." followed by Ritsuko saying: "Liar (gets shot)". I can imagine many
words that might follow "I truly....", but I can't decide on any in particular. That is the complexity
of Gendou and Ritsuko's relationship.

From Ritsuko Akagi's inner feelings as a scientist, she could be considered a woman who blindly
gave her love to Gendou Ikari, and also a foolish woman that walked the same path as her mother
Naoko who committed suicide after being betrayed by Ikari. I personally wanted her to end as a
convenient, submissive woman who simply wanted to die righteously. But in the previous movie
(D&R) she ended as a deeply jealous woman filled with nothing but hatred toward Ikari.

Feeling unsatisfied with this, I looked for a way to accept her death at the hands of Ikari.
This made the interpretation of "Liar" very important. But the voice-over grew nearer and nearer....

Director Anno must have noticed how I felt. When it came time to do the voice-over, he showed me
a single, hidden hint at the last moment. With that one incredible hint, I, and Ritsuko Akagi, were
utterly defeated. It hardly needs saying, but Director Anno is incredible. Truly awesome -- a genius.

So Gendo does indeed have a line there. Gendo did tell Ritsuko something, it's not simply a matter of Anno trying to be clever or leave the audience wondering. What could Gendo have said? Many of theorized it was simply, "I love/loved you." - but that seems too clean and simple, too trite, for Anno to make such a big deal about protecting the secret. Love is the obvious answer - and Gendo was never obvious.

Personally, I'm content in believing Gendo said, "Ritsuko Akagi, I truly... needed you."


This post has been edited by Garlic Junior: Sep 4 2005, 02:47 AM
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May 15 2004, 04:18 PM (Post #2)
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I love you.
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May 15 2004, 09:28 PM (Post #3)
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Awesome work. Your perhaps one of the most contributing members I've seen. Very well done. Du hast sehr gut gemacht =D. As for pinning it, let me know if you want it open to posts.
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May 15 2004, 09:37 PM (Post #4)
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Yeah let it open to posts so people can list other series they have questions about and ill rummage up one of many that my friends and i have written.
Heres an FLCL FAQ i wrote a real long time ago for another forum.
Added a small FLCL FAQ for the retards, ill update a bit further as i go along

Q1. What is the significance of Naota holding Haruko’s guitar on the hill (rubble)? That seems to be THE moment for the series. I don’t know why exactly, though...

A1. I think it is something like rising from the ashes, and by claiming Haruko's guitar it is showing him achieving something. Or choosing something. Haruko and Amarao seem to be opposites. It has been established (I hope) that Amarao has basically failed at growing up. He is nothing more than a child who tries, to the best of his abilities, to act mature. Haruko, on the other hand, has grown up and is able to be herself without concern of others thinking her immature. She has learned to not worry about it. Naota claiming Haruko's guitar at the end seems to indicate him taking Haruko's path of life, that is, actually growing up. Or something. It makes sense in my head, though I am not sure if I am adequately communicating the idea.

Q2. Any ideas as to the significance of Mamimi becoming a photographer? That tidbit about her is the last line of the series, so you’d think it would have some importance...

A2.Well, she took pictures all the time throughout the series. It seemed to be the one thing she really liked and enjoyed. I think the ending just showed that Mamimi finally found herself as well, and was able to get herself out of the riverbank (so to speak) and overcome her troubles to find a career (and a successful one).

Q3. Why does Naota have that funky school outfit at the end? His friends mention he doesn’t look right in it....

A3. Not sure. I think he might have graduated from Elementary school and is now in Middle/HIghschool. Maybe they don’t have to wear uniforms in elementary school in Japan? I dunno. As for not looking right in it, wearing a school uniform kinda shows you’re a kid, and previously in the series Naota always tried to act like an adult. His friends were probably just teasing him.

Q4. And of course, you know it had to be asked: Why is the series called Furi Kuri?

A4. It is a pun on a bunch of different words. The actual name of the series is “Fooly Cooly”, but when you write it in one of the Japanese scripts (Kanji? Or something, I don’t know), it comes out to be “Furi Kuri” which means a bunch of things (breast tweaking, chestnuts, kneading bread...). Any ways, I think the series is called “Fooly Cooly” because Naota, throughout the series, attempts to act “Cool” (as in adult like, mature), but he is a “fool” for trying to be something he wasnt.

Q5. Can you explain what's up with the sweet and sour food? In episode 1, Naota says he hates sour things. By episode 6, Amarao is telling him to stop eating sour and go back to sugar, and Naota tells Ninamori he can't stand the sour stuff. When and why does Naota start eating sour things, and what does that represent?

A5. It represents growing up and accepting himself for who he is, and not living a lie (in Naota's case acting overly concerned with being cool, and seeming adult-like, in Ninamori’s case is was denying her true feelings regarding her parent’s divorce). Amarao is a fool, he is an adult who didn’t partake in the act grow up. He reached a road block, he couldn’t accept himself, he couldn’t deal with the sour and spicy foods. He failed his rite of passage into adulthood. Though, in his arrogance, he thinks he is better for it. He is telling Naota to follow in his lead...though as we see, Amarao isn’t exactly the archetype for a mentally stable individual.

As for when Naota starts drinking sour stuff, he first drinks a sour drink at the end of Episode 1. He probably drank it because he felt that everything was over...the horn, the battle on the bridge, Haruko..everything was done, and back to normal. Perhaps, subconsciously, he missed the excitement. Earlier in Episode 1 Naota is complaining about how nothing exciting happens in Mabase, then something exciting does happen...and now it is done. Drinking the sour drink at the end of episode 1 is probably just an attempt to ride that excitement once again. Despite his attitude (that of attempting to be cool (not so much in the hip sense, but in the clear-minded sense, “adult-like”, or “mature” sense), adult-like, over concerned), he enjoyed and longed for that excitement. Sour drinks gave him that excitement again. But this excitement does not follow his (and Amarao's) attitude/belief system, and for this he "hates" sour stuff.

In episode six, I believe at the end, Naota tells Ninamori that he does not like the sour drinks, this could be interpreted in a few ways, but the way I took it, was that though growing up was difficult (drinking the sour drinks), Naota has no choice to do so (since Ninamori picked the sour drink with his money). Unlike in the beginning of episode one, where Naota throws down the sour drink purchased by Mamimi in disgust, he eventually accepts the drink.

Are you aware of that BMX-XXX video game coming out? If Naota were real, and if he posted on message boards, or in some manner conversed with an audience of peers about video games, he would be telling everyone (well, if they asked), how he wouldn’t play that BMX-XXX game because it is immature, and he is "above" that kind of game, and frowns upon the “childish” and “immature” usage of t&a. However, secretly, Naota enjoys this kind of "immature" humor, he knows it is just all in good fun, and could easily enjoy the game. But in doing so he would feel like he is immature. If Amarao were real, he would be telling Naota not to play the game, because it will make him be immature, and being immature is absolutely, always without exception, wrong.

Q5.1 But isn't it "sweets" that are immature and not sour things? Amarao is like a little kid, he only eats the sweet things that he likes... doesn't that mean that he has accepted himself for who he is, and he would like the BMX-XXX game?

A5.1 What I meant is that sour=growing up (the act, doing what kids do, messing around, learning, making mistakes, getting in trouble, ect, ect. In the anime, all the crazy stuff like Canti's fights, Haruko's hijinks, could be considered as "sour foods"), while sweets=instant grownup (or, acting grown-up. In the anime, Amarao going to the hairdresser to dye his hair to make him appear older could be considered "sweet foods").

Amarao, and Naota, are far too concerned with how people perceive them. Both do not want to be seen as immature brats, so they both act grown up (eat sweet stuff) because it is easier, and quicker, than actually growing up, and taking the time to transition between childhood and adulthood (adolescence). Amarao has been eaten sweets all of his life, and therefore he acts grownup, but he hasn’t actually gone through the process of growing up. He wouldn’t be able to see that BMX-XXX game for what it is, mindless humor. Instead he sees it as a threat to his false-adulthood, and if he played it it, everyone would think he is an immature child.

Q6. Why did they change the name of the anime from the Japanese “Furi Kuri” to “Fooly Cooly”? Synch-Point ruined this great OVA by giving it the stupidest title in all of animedom!

A6. Actually, the correct title for this anime is “Fooly Cooly”. Synch-Point did not change the title. In episode six, at the very end, they show a magazine page with Mamimi’s picture of Naota standing ontop of the rubble holding Haruko’s guitar. The picture is titled “Fooly Cooly”. “Furi Kuri” came about because in the Japanese language there is no “L”. Also, from my understanding of the language, the kanji is formed by putting together sounds. “Fooly” became the two sounds “Fu” and “Ri”, “ri” being the closest equivalent to the “ly”. “Cooly” became “Ku” and “Ri”, as in English a hard ‘C’ sounds the same as ‘K’ (as in “Cat” and “Kitchen”). Thus, Fooly Cooly is written in Japanese as “Furi Kuri”, but the title is meant to be “Fooly Cooly”. Actually, I think the real title is “FLCL”, which stands for FooLy CooLy. And I like the name. If you think Fooly Cooly is the stupidest name in animedom, just call it FLCL. If you are afraid people will make fun of you for liking an anime called “Fooly Cooly”, perhaps you have missed the point of the anime....

Q7. Why was Atomsk first shown as a humanoid with long hair, but later as a giant bird?

A7. Amarao was describing what he thought Atomsk looked like to Naota, never having seen Atomsk, he did not know that he was a bird. A giant red man with lots of hair was just how Amarao pictured him. Its like the first episode of Trigun, if you have seen that.

Q8. Why is there a huge iron in the middle of town?

A8. Medical Mechanica built it. They offered to build it in Mabase, and the adults thought it would be a great idea (perhaps they were under the assumption that the MM plant would bring jobs to Mabase?), so MM built it.

Q9. In Episode 3 Kamon says that if his “local-zines” start to sell well, then he will finally be able to sell his stock of Cherio Pop. What is Cherio Pop?

A9. I am not entirely sure, but from an interview I read with Synch-Point they talked about how they were working closely with Gainax to make sure Japanese culture references, like Cherio Pop, are translated into an American equivalent. Crystal Pepsi was an example of such an American Equavilent, though the Japanese equivillent was not listed. I think Cheiro Pop is supposed to be like Crystal Pepsi, and what Kamon said was a joke. He had bought a large stock of Chiero Pop, some kind of soda, like Crystal Pepsi, that was made years ago, but wasnt popular enough, so it sold like crap, like Crystal Pepsi. Hopefully Pepsi Blue Fusion will follow Cherio Pop and Crystal Pepsi.

Q10 In the Ninamori character summary, you said that her father was probably in legal action that had something to do with the Medical Mechanica plant. I think her father going to court, and the emminent divorce with her mother, was the same thing.

A10. It is possible. However, in the beginning of the episode when Miyajun is looking at Kamon’s Local-Zine that Gaku brought to class, they show a page with a lot of Japanese writing on it. Now, I cant read Japanese, but I could see that it showed a picture of the MM Plant and the headline was “Something something something M.M.” This magazine was dealing with the scandal surrounding the Ninamori family, and the only page they showed is of the MM plant, leading me to believe the scandal had to do with the Mabase government’s relation with the Medical Mechanica plant, and the divorce had to do with another matter all together. Also, at the end, during Naota’s voice over he says that Eri’s parents did not get divorced, and that her father didn’t go to court either. This also seems to suggest that these were two separate events.

Q11. I heard that GAINAX is making a FLCL movie? Is that true?

A11. The rumor that a FLCL movie was in production stemmed from GAINAX’s very own website. However, they were not referring to a theatrical movie, but rather a short preview of FLCL episodes that you could/can download from their site.

This post has been edited by Nebuchadnezzar: May 18 2004, 09:23 PM
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May 15 2004, 09:39 PM (Post #5)
t3h Co-Founder... w00t!
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Sure thing. Once again, great stuff. I look forward to more faqs(help refresh my memory).
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May 15 2004, 11:58 PM (Post #6)
Not Odd anymore
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Wow, amazing. Did you type all that up yourself? Just when I got here, about to pin it, I saw it already pinned.
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May 15 2004, 11:59 PM (Post #7)
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QUOTE (GRAND @ May 15 2004, 07:57 PM)
Wow, amazing. Did you type all that up yourself? Just when I got here, about to pin it, I saw it already pinned.

Added a Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X OVA Synopsis/Frequently Asked Questions
How long is Rurouni Kenshin?
The series is comprised of 6 OVA episodes, 95 Anime Episodes, 28 manga volumes and a movie.
Why Is Kenshin so damn small?
His power lays in his swordsmanship; you surely don’t have to be big to be a skilled swords handler, do you?

Who taught Kenshin how to use a sword?
Seijuro Hiko is the one who taught Kenshin the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu style - the Kuzo-Ryuu - Sen Technique and the Amakakeru No Hirameki. For more information about this style, more information is available in the Rurouni Kenshin section.

What does Hitokiri Battousai mean?
“Hitokiri” means assassin. “Battousai” is one of Kenshin’s special techniques. The Battou Jutsu. Kenshin earned this title during the revolution because he took away so many lives.

Hey, why didn’t Sanosuke ever use the Zanbatou ever again?
I thought the weapon was nice but I think after Kenshin defeated Sanosuke, I bet he thought it was kind of useless. Because Kenshin could easily detect his movements because the weapon was so large and took time to swing. After Kenshin slices the weapon in half, Sanosuke never uses the weapon again.

Why does Kenshin wander around after the revolution?
Kenshin was seeking to forget who he was and tried to start a new life. He felt guilty for killing so many people. That’s why he wanders, to find himself a better life. He also has decided to protect people afterwards with his reverse blade sword. But unfortunately for Kenshin, enemies from the past haunt him.

How was Kenshin’s life before this happened?
Kenshin’s real name is Shinta. When he was a child, he was going to be a servant as he was an orphan. But after a twist of fate, a man named Seijuro Hiko leads his life into a more interesting path.

Why does Sanosuke Sagara have a bandana on his head and what’s that symbol on his back gi?
The symbol on his back means “BAD”. And Sanosuke is a fighter for hire so he wears this attire to symbolize his profession, including the headband.

Why do the adventures after the Kyoto Arc suck?
Well, after the Kyoto Arc, the series caught up to the manga and the series threw in stories not connected with the manga and that led up to conflicts between the manga and anime and the anime producers cancelled production before the manga continued. However, a lot of fans are happy about the conclusion after the Kyoto Arc in the manga.

The animation seems different during the Kyoto Arc, am I imagining things?
No, no, the studio just hired another person to do the animation, as they didn’t want the show to be unsuccessful, so that’s why you might think the beginning episodes are lacking in the animation department.

The name of the series is "Ruruoni Kenshin". The dubbers for the American releases of the OVAs and the Movie, in their infinite wisdom changed the name of the series to "Samurai X".

Rurouni Kenshin Tsukitohen OVA = Samurai X Trust & Betrayal
Rurouni Kenshin TV = Rurouni Kenshin
Rurouni Kenshin: Requiem for an Ishin Shishi = Samurai X: Requem for an Imperialist
Rurouni Kenshin Seisouhen OVA = Samurai X Reflection

They are ALL related to each other. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. They should be watched in the order I have listed them.

The Tsukitohen takes place when Himura Kenshin is between the ages of 6 to 19. It tells the story of how he was renamed Himura Shinta to Himura Kenshin and how we would later become to be known as the "Hitokiri Battousai". The Tsukitohen is almost entirely based on actual historical events except for the existance of the main character and his master.

The TV series takes place 11 years after the Tsukitohen between the ages of 29-30. It tells the story of how Himura Kenshin gives up his sword of slaying for a sword of peace. Since the end of the Bakufu he has refused to take another person's life. The TV series tells the tale of who will later become Kenshin's family (Kaoru his wife, and Yahiko his adopted son). The first two seasons of the TV series follow the first two arcs of the manga pretty well. However, the TV series production eventually caught up to the plotline of the manga as it was still being written. Therefore the third arc of the TV series is very different from the third arc of the manga. Both the third arc of the TV series and the Movie should be ignored and considered "not cannon" to the Rurouni Kenshin plotline.

The Seisouhen is the end of the Kenshin saga taking place between the ages of 32 and 47. Because the third season of the TV series did not correspond to the manga, they took the entire third arc of the manga and converted it into the first half of the Seisouhen. The second half the Seisouhen tells the tale of Kenshin's son Kenji and the eventual death of Kenshin at the age of 47 from leprocy.
I think after a certain point "redemption" was something Kenshin stopped obsessing over. After all, part of why he struggled so much with Hitokiri Battousai was because he not only rejected that part of his life entirely, but he was content to wallow in the sorrow that those memories evoked in him. The more he struggled to get away from who he was, the closer he came to becoming that man once again. It was only when Hiko Seijuro made him face his own mortality that Kenshin began to realize that the truth he had been seeking for ten years as a rurouni was in two parts.

First, that Hitokiri Battousai was just one part of his life. It was just one moment in the many that led him to become who he was. The only way he could ever make peace with the hundreds of people he killed was to accept who he was and what he did, and not try to claim that it was anyone else but him who carried out those atrocities.

Second, that if he was ever going to move forward and be able to accomplish his goal of using his skills to protect, he had to remember that his life had just as much value as any other. For a long time he cheapened his own existence because of the burden of what he'd done. The only way he would succeed in finally coming to terms with Hitokiri Battousai was if he remembered that his life was important as well, to himself and to his friends and loved ones.

Only when he came to terms with all of that could he use the succession technique, Ama Kakeru Ryu no Hirameki, to its fullest. And ultimately, after the fight with Enishi, he did truly begin to come to terms with the full depth and breadth of his life. Whether he could ever acheive full atonement became a moot point. What was most important was that he follow his own advice and live his life one day at a time. The memories of the past will always come up occasionally, but he, like anyone else, couldn't let them dominate him. You can't move forward while living in the past.

But that's just my interpretation, so take it as you will. Regardless, Rurouni Kenshin is a masterful series, and one of the best stories ever created, hands down.

And here is a Synopsis/FAQ i located, It will in result answer alot of questions if you read it.
In the eleventh year of the Meiji Era (1878), a vagabond swordsman is found wandering the streets of Tokyo. A strange man, he carries a reverse-bladed sword and has an x-shaped scar on his cheek. He wants only to be left alone.
However, a girl named Kamiya Kaoru accuses him of being the man claiming the identity of the legendary Hitokiri Battousai. This man is murdering people in the name of her family's doujo. When he saves her from the real killer, she invites him to come stay at her doujo, since he obviously has no other place to go. This is the beginning of the story of Himura Kenshin.
Before the Meiji Restoration, Himura Kenshin was known as Hitokiri (Murderer) Battousai. He was the top assassin for the reformist group Ishin Shishi. However, when the old government was overthrown and the fighting had drawn to an end, Hitokiri Battousai had disappeared. Kenshin wandered the countryside for nearly eleven years; the world presumed him dead or lost.
When Kenshin meets Kaoru, he is no longer Hitokiri Battousai, for he has sworn never to take another life again. His sword is not a regular sword, but a reverse-bladed sword, meaning that he cannot kill anyone with his sword, but he can defend himself. Kenshin is a man who is trying to escape his past, and create a future for himself. With the help of Kaoru and the others that he meets, he may just have a chance.


Kaoru's doujo becomes a haven for the series regulars. After Kenshin's arrival, he and Kaoru find themselves helping a boy named Myojin Yahiko. Yahiko has been pressed into the service of a band of local thieves in order to repay a debt. Kaoru goes to rescue him but finds herself outnumbered. Kenshin shows up and rescues them both, gaining the admiration of the boy. When he says he wants to be just like Kenshin, Kenshin replies he's not interested in teaching anyone how to kill and tells him Kaoru should be his teacher. Reluctantly, he agrees.
Sanosuke's introduction to the doujo is somewhat less peaceful. Incredibly strong, Sanosuke uses the giant Zanba sword, which was originally designed to be used by horsemen. The sword proved too unwieldy to be used, but Sanosuke's strength enables him to use it as a normal sword. When he beats up some drunks at the local restaurant, he catches the attention of several people. Sanosuke challenges Kenshin, but he declines. Meanwhile, one of the other men from the bar hires him to kill Kenshin. After several rounds of fighting, Kenshin wins, and Sanosuke tells him that he'll be keeping an eye on him to see if he will really protect those he cares about. Over time, the two gradually become friends.
The final member of the "family" is Megumi. A promising young doctor, she is unknowningly working for another doctor who is providing opium to the local crime lord. When the doctor is killed, the crime lord takes Megumi prisoner, as she also knows how to make the drug. Ultimately, Kenshin frees her from her forced employment and she becomes the neighborhood doctor, providing medical assistance for not only Kenshin and the others but all the people who live in the area.
Over time, the relationships of the characters develop and deepen. There are several subtle and not-so-subtle romantic relationships about to bloom. But the relationships between the characters who come to call the Kamiya doujo home make them seem very much like a family. They are a group of lost souls who find their place in a very troubled world.

RUROUNI KENSHIN is set in the Meiji Era, which began in 1868. It was a time of great change and great uncertainty for Japan. The political and economic events of the era play an important part in the KENSHIN story.

Before the Meiji Restoration, which gave rise to the Meiji Era, Japan had been ruled by the Shogun for over two hundred years. After the Battle of Sekigahara, conveniently held in 1600, Tokugawa Ieyasu unified Japan and declared himself Shogun, the ruler of the nation. The Emperor was retained, but his power and status were merely symbolic.
The government system Tokugawa installed was essentially a blanket over the existing local government. Local lords, called daimyos, could do as they pleased, as long as they conformed to the Shogunate's policies and wishes. This loose system of government was obviously not ideal, and after some two hundred years, the foundation for the Shogunate had become unstable.

Samurai during the end of the Bakumatsu period.

The United States forced Japan to open its doors to the outside world in 1853.

At the beginning of the Tokugawa period (1600-1858), there were essentially three classes in Japan's hierarchy: nobles, samurai, and peasants. The nobles made the rules, samurai enforced them, and the peasants followed them. However, the peasants were also responsible for producing enough food to feed all three classes. Taxes were paid in rice, and from the taxes paid to the local daimyo, he gave stipends to the samurai under his command. It was a fragile agrarian-based economy that could only endure for so long.
Later in the Tokugawa period comes the rise of the "fourth class," the merchants. Merchants were looked down upon because they didn't contribute or produce anything; they merely made money off the work of others. However, despite the disdain from the other classes, the merchants had products that were in demand.
And this increased demand lead to an increase in currency, but there is only so much rice one can grow. Daimyo started taking taxes years in advance to attempt to retain a positive cash flow, but in the end, this strategy proved unsuccessful. But the hardest hit by all of this was the Samurai. Since they only had a fixed income upon which to live, they often found themselves indebted to the merchants, which of course weakened their position.
So when Commodore Perry sailed into Tokyo Bay and demanded Japan open up trade relations, Japan had a very unhappy peasant base, an indebted and nearly powerless samurai class, and a government that could hardly support its own weight. The merchants were the ones quietly holding much of the power. As a result, the government knew that they could not refuse the United States.

However, many argue that it was this very act that prompted the beginning of the revolution. People saw their government as weak, since they did not refuse the United States. Still others were afraid that renewed contact with the outside world would have disastrous results. The Ishin movement was born from these concerns, and it wanted to take back to a more "refined" time in Japan's past. Their motto was "Sonno Joi" ("Revere the Emperor and expel the barbarians!"), and that is what they planned to do.

Fights between the shogun's troops and the reformists were common.

But they only got as far as the first part. The Ishin movement (of which Kenshin and Shishio were both a part) claimed its legitimacy through the Emperor, and restored him to the throne. The Shogun could do little to stop them, as the government was a shambles. After taking the reins, however, the Meiji officials decided that modernizing Japan was the best way to go. After all, Imperialism was running rampant in Asia, and Japan did not want to become a colony of a European nation. So they decided the best way to compete was to play their game on their terms.
This move shocked and dismayed many who had once supported the Ishin movement. After all, the whole idea behind restoring the Emperor was to return Japan to a more golden time. But it was not to be. Japan, as a nation, was confused. A few political leaders steered Japan towards modernization and dragged the nation, kicking and screaming, into the Industrial Age.
The Meiji Era also marked the elimination of the samurai class. With no feudal lords to serve anymore, many of the samurai joined the army or local law enforcement offices, just as Saito did. Others attempted to become bureaucrats in the newly-formed government. They were also forbidden to carry swords anymore, something they had done since before the Tokugawa period. In one of the early episodes, the Meiji police warn Kenshin that it is illegal for him to carry a sword. Without a doubt, since their income had suddenly dried up and they were suddenly displaced, there was cause for much dissension.

National pride could not hide the fact that the nation was still confused over its direction.

The politics of the Meiji Restoration are felt in Kenshin, but serve as background rather than as the main story. Many of the actions of the characters are motivated by what the Meiji government or its officials have done to them in the past.
Kenshin is no longer fighting for the Ishin, but for himself. He does not want to fight at all, and will only do so to defend himself or those he cares about. He is no longer interested in the political power struggles and squabbles that were once a part of his past. Yet for a while he is plagued both by those who would have him join the Meiji government and by those who would exact their revenge for his past actions. Sometimes it seems that Kenshin will never find peace in Meiji Japan.
Saito is a different story. Since his days as part of the Shinsengumi, he has followed the credo of "San Zoku An" ("Destroy Evil Instantly".) It is this credo that allows him to justify changing sides after the Restoration and joining the Meiji police force. After all, he will still be allowed to carry out his quest for eliminating evil. It is this ideal that brings him first to Kenshin as an enemy, and later as an ally. In his case, politics is second to his particular brand of morality; they are a means to an end.
As a child, Sanosuke saw his squad leader and mentor brutally executed by the Meiji officials when his group was no longer of any use to them. As a result, he despises the Meiji government and what it stands for. Before Kenshin and Kaoru change his mind, he is obsessed with vengeance against those who dishonored his squad and killed his friend.
The character most personally affected by the Meiji government is, naturally, Shishio. As Kenshin's successor to the title of Hitokiri, he was invaluable to them while the battles raged. However, after establishing the legitimate government, the leaders decided that Shishio knew too much; his knowledge was dangerous and could destroy the Meiji government while it was still in its infancy. So they arranged to have Shishio wounded and set on fire. Shishio harbors an intense hatred for the Meiji government because of this (and who wouldn't?). He views those in power as liars who are unfit to rule, just as many did at the time, but his reasons are much more personal. He becomes willing to sacrifice any and everything to get the power he feels he deserves.


The manga began running in WEEKLY JUMP in 1994. It was the first published continuing series of author Watsuki Nobuhiro. According to Watsuki, the story was only supposed to run for ten issues of JUMP, resulting in a series of approximately three or four volumes. However, it was obviously more successful than that, as there are currently 23 volumes of tankuobon available to date.
KENSHIN came to be when Watsuki decided that he wanted to do a fantasy-type manga. After some consideration, he chose to set his manga in the Meiji era, partially because he was inspired by historical novels he was reading at the time. When he was planning the manga to be only a ten-installment series, he decided to use the eleventh year of the Meiji Period because things were less tumultuous. Before then, there was too much going on, too much background that would be required to tell a good story, he believed.
However, there is still plenty of historical background that comes to play in RUROUNI KENSHIN, which is perhaps one of the reasons that the series continues its run. After all, there were a lot of political factions at the time, and the transition from an isolationist feudal nation to a fully-modern industrial power was not an easy one.

The television series can be divided into two parts. The Tokyo Chapter introduces Kenshin and the rest of the main characters who will come to call the Kamiya doujo home. After these characters become established, the show tells a variety of individual stories; there is not a unifying plot thread throughout the episodes. Many of these stories are not found in the manga.
The Kyoto Chapter begins when Kenshin departs for Kyoto to prevent Shishio from overthrowing the Meiji government. A marked change in the series occurs as Kenshin leaves behind his friends and adopted family in Kyoto. He refuses their help and their company, partly because they will only be a hindrance to him, but also because he does not want them involved in what he knows he must do. A somber Kenshin makes his way to Kyoto, dreading what he knows in his heart he must do. He must become the Hitokiri again. Of course, Kaoru and the others don't sit idly by and eventually they join him in Kyoto. The Kyoto chapter is much more faithful to the manga.
The television series ran 94 episodes (95, if counting the "unaired last episode"), a remarkable run when considering that the average length of an anime television series is currently 26 episodes and shrinking. For Kenshin to have run three times the length of the normal animated series is certainly proof of its popularity in Japan.
The movie REQUIEM FOR THE ISHIN SHISHI was released in theaters in 1997 and borrows again from the historical events. After the establishment of the Meiji government, some people began to see that the new government was as corrupt as the old one. There were several revolts in an attempt to oust the Meiji officials. In REQUIEM, Shigure is one of those who believes the government to be corrupt. He organizes a revolt, but it is put down. Once again, betrayal from within the Meiji government leads to the downfall of a character in RUROUNI KENSHIN.

The OVAs have just begun, and will continue the story from the end of the television series. The OVAs are being called the "Reminiscence Chapter," and the first volume should be released by the time this article is published. There are four volumes in the OVA series.
The anime, like the manga, manages to be both serious and funny. At times, the anime is very serious, usually when Kenshin is fighting or trying to avoid a fight. But humor presents itself during the more mundane events of everyday life. One such area is of course when Kenshin and Kaoru get into an argument. The anime manages to show a humorous side to the characters and their life in the Meiji era. Without such periods away from the overwhelming seriousness of the story, the series would surely become tired. The humorous moments always provide a laugh and keep the series from becoming stale.
Since the manga is still being serialized in JUMP, it is doubtful that the OVAs will be the finale of the series. While the "Reminiscence Chapter" may be the last animated KENSHIN, the story will no doubt continue on to its true end in the manga.

Over a year and a half ago, there was talk of Sony releasing the KENSHIN anime here in the United States under the name of SAMURAI X. Those familiar with KENSHIN bristled at the title change. However, the plans to bring KENSHIN to American shores seem to have crumbled like the Tokugawa government at the beginning of the Meiji Restoration. No further plans have been announced for this series in America by Sony, and no one else has bought the rights.

Yet, despite the fact that the plans for American release by Sony have faltered, and the fact that the manga has not been released commercially in the United States, the fans of KENSHIN remain strong. In fact, if the series keeps running, in a few years Kenshin may find himself facing the problems of the Taisho era.
The rich political and historical tapestry of the Meiji period can provide many additional stories of everyone's favorite samurai. Like any underdog, whatever the odds, Kenshin will keep fighting. And Kaoru will keep worrying.

This post has been edited by Nebuchadnezzar: May 18 2004, 09:22 PM
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May 21 2004, 02:10 AM (Post #8)
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Well your ruroni kenshin faq doesn't talk about the Einshi or Shishio chapters and its not that great. Also you cannot steal material from other sites.

And here is a Synopsis/FAQ i located, It will in result answer alot of questions if you read it.

There is a law against it in origin I think.
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May 22 2004, 03:26 AM (Post #9)
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My friends made it so its quite fine with them i assure you, they are the same people that helped with the Evangelion FAQ so i saw no reason to reinclude them as sources for the other faqs as i wrote the FLCL one and helped write the Synopsis. I am currently writing up a Einshi/Shishio arc faq, my friend John is helping so itll be along

This post has been edited by Nebuchadnezzar: May 22 2004, 03:31 AM
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Jun 21 2004, 10:44 PM (Post #10)
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This topic needs to be unpinned. All topics that consist of a specific anime do not need to be pinned.

.::Unpinned & Re-Closed::.
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Jun 26 2004, 10:20 PM (Post #11)
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Oh but it consists of more than one specific anime, i would like it if you would let me decide what to do with my topics, being a capable moderator and all. Notice that more FAQ's besides the original have been added, i do believe that falls under more than one anime. To keep you satisfied as of late i shall shortly release my Hellsing FAQ unto this particular thread. Your opinion about specific anime topics is irrelevant and biased, a faq on a popular anime will keep useless topics asking questions about said anime from coming to be, we are negating the need for question threads and maintaining the integrity of this forum, i would like you to voice your unbiased, fact-based opinion next time around in a orderly fashion.

This post has been edited by Hyatt: Jun 26 2004, 10:23 PM
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Jun 27 2004, 01:57 AM (Post #12)
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I am a capable admin and I think my decisions are reasonable.
A single topic about a single anime is unruly. All forums are only supposed to have 5 Pinned Topics, therefore I only want those that have a long range of animes to be pinned...A general genre, etc.
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Jun 27 2004, 02:58 AM (Post #13)
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Better than a general genre, this faq collection covers all genres in the fact that it answers questions about popular animes from all genres when i complete it. If more important topics worthy of long time pinning (they wont arise) i'll take this down, until then it should stay.
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Jun 27 2004, 07:28 AM (Post #14)
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I see...editing the title...Anyways, if your going to do it that way then edit the title when you have the other FAQs ready. I wish you woulda told me...In that case, I'll keep this pinned but press yourself if you can to get those FAQs out so I won't have to unpin this. I'll give to until...July 20th to get one other done....Which is plenty of time.
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Jun 27 2004, 07:52 PM (Post #15)
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Understood but i never edited the title actually, it was always like that...
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