Parental Issues in Neon Genesis Evangelion Research Paper

Pages: 5 (1826 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children

Parental Issues in Neon Genesis Evangelion

Like Angelic Days a previous manga spun off of the sensational Evangelion anime -- this series is based on a videogame, which was in turn inspired by a well-remembered fantasy sequence in the Evangelion TV show's final episode, wherein the cast live regular junior high lives instead of the main series' post apocalyptic emotional desolation. As in Angelic Days, the arrival of pretty transfer student REI Ayanami shakes up the relationship between childhood friends Shinji and Askua. And as in Angelic Days, this series can't leave it at that, bringing in a variation of the main story's intrigue, revolving around the Human Instrumentality Project that Shinji's parents direct, the success of which here seems to depend somehow on Shinji's emotional development. But where Angelic Days was a drama, this is a romantic comedy with all the stock elements, including hysterical banter and babble and a surfeit of Love Hina -esque compromising situations. Most changed from the original is Shinji's stern, heartless father, Gendo, who here becomes a tongue-tied goofball; verdict highly derivative and contrived, but fun for teen and adult Evangelion fans (Raiteri).

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The writing behind the story encircles around the need for parental acceptance by the characters. Anime comes in many forms. Some are a single long movie, while others are either a series of single episodes or a "story arc" that can encompass a large number of volumes. The main character of the story goes by the name of Shinji; Insight into his traumatic past and strained relationship with his father also helps to make him more sympathetic. Another leading character by the name of Misato too has emotional issues somewhat underlying in parental relationships. It is stated that the importance of parental influence can be viewed through the teaching of Freudian theory. In addition it is also stated that to classify it specifically through the oedipal complex would over-simply what is actually occurring (Gardiner, 2003).

TOPIC: Research Paper on Parental Issues in Neon Genesis Evangelion Assignment

Shinji's complicated parental issues are at the core of his problems. Shinji bears deep resentment and anger towards his father for abandoning him and is tormented by the loss of his mother. In addition, the characters Misato, Asuka, and Ritsuko all have unresolved conflicts with their parents that impede their ability to form complete, stable identities. Nothing makes the connection more explicit than the Evas themselves: Upon entering an Eva, pilots are immersed in LCL, a liquid similar to amniotic fluid; in order to function, Evas must be attached to a type of umbilical cable connected to an external power source (Raiteri).

There are questions as to how the parental issues in Evangelion relate to that culture and style of parenting in Japan. Researchers have question whether or not there are difference in parenting cognition styles among Japanese parents in their native land and in the United States, there were other groups evaluated. Parenting cognitions are believed to be adopted from one's culture of origin researchers conclude, with little modification, as opposed to being the product of individual deliberation, although few researchers have studied either the genesis of parenting cognitions or the dynamics of cognitions among acculturating mothers. This study compared middle-class immigrant Japanese-American and South American mothers' parenting cognitions with middle-class mothers in their countries of origin Japan and Argentina and middle-class mothers in their country of destination in the United States. Most parenting attributions did not differ across groups, whereas almost all self-perceptions did (Bornstein, Marc, & Cote).

Immigrant mothers' attributions to their own ability and to the task in successful and unsuccessful parenting situations, to child behavior in successful parenting situations, and to effort in unsuccessful situations differed from those of mothers in the home and host countries. Japanese immigrant mothers' attributions to ability in successful situations were intermediate to those of Japanese and European-American mothers, with European-American mothers professing the strongest ability attributions in successful situations. Japanese immigrant mothers' task attributions in successful situations were similar to those of Japanese mothers but less strong than those of European-American mothers. As expected for failure situations, Japanese mothers endorsed stronger effort attributions than did Japanese immigrant mothers. These results confirm that ability attributions are characteristic of European-American mothers' cultural cognitions and that effort attributions are characteristic of Japanese mothers' cultural cognitions (Bornstein, Marc, & Cote).

In Japan, success in child development is attributable to effort rather than to ability. One might expect mothers to prize competence and investment and to attribute parenting successes and failures to their own effort and to child behavior rather than to ability. In the United States, in which individualism and self-actualization are valued competence at parenting might be esteemed and parenting successes and failures attributed relatively more to ability than to effort on the part of the parent. Thus, the cultures studied contrast with each other in specific types of competencies that parents wish to promote in children, in paths that parents follow to instill in children the desire for achieving those goals, in developmental timetables that parents wish their children to meet, and in beliefs that parents have about their role in achieving those ends (Bornstein, Marc H., et al.).

Japanese culture and society have been described as more collectivist and less individualist than that of the United States. Japanese are reported to be more sensitive to social harmony and to place greater emphasis on social hierarchy and obedience to authority. Furthermore, Japanese families are more likely than Western families to emphasize the value of filial piety (respect for parental authority). As such, it could be argued that adolescents in Japan would be less affected by parental control over their individual and private conduct than would adolescents in the United States. A complex set of relations between Japan and the United States suggesting that the content of what gets included in the definition of these variables can affect the relative differences between cultures on these dimensions. Americans were higher than Japanese in independence when the variables personal independence, personal uniqueness, valuing privacy, and direct communication were all included. Thus, Japanese appear to be more collectivist than Americans in situations involving the need to adjust one's own actions to fit those of others in a social situation (Hasebe, Yuki, Nucci, & Nucci).

Japanese mothers reported themselves to be the least competent or satisfied in their parenting among mothers in seven cultures, although they are high in investment. It is not socially acceptable in Japan to make claims for one's ability (Japanese might believe in their ability but may not say it). In line with cultural predictions, Japanese mothers apparently think that good children and easy tasks are most important to parenting successes and use the phrase ease of care colloquially to describe a baby or a child. But Japanese mothers also maintained, not unexpectedly, that their own ability matters little next to their ascribing successes and failures in parenting to effort. If a child is not developed or an activity is not accomplished, the mother did not work hard enough. The modern mother in Japan cannot indulge her young children the way she would like or is expected to; this fact of life may be reflected in Japanese mothers' relative dissatisfaction with the role balance of parenting vs. work. As a whole, however, the Japanese pattern of self-perceptions and attributions in parenting is consonant with cultural conventions of modesty and self-effacing attitudes (Bornstein, Marc H., et al.).

Teachers and parents often undermine the ability to make meaning from the myriad of popular culture texts to which young people are exposed. Comics, television, and video games are often perceived as contributing to students' short attention spans, passivity, and lack of creativity and as providing distractions from educational practices. Therefore, the hype around the popularity of Japanese-style comics, or manga (Japanese for "amusing drawings"), among youths in the United States is viewed with bewilderment and amazement. While some teachers are banning manga from their classrooms, some public librarians are rejoicing because they are unable to keep manga on the shelves (Schwartz).

The sex, violence and language throughout the series are no worse than a PG-13 production. Nudity is present in slightly detailed silhouettes during the opening and ending credits, and during certain parts of show, which then either makes use of "strategic" camera angles or a lack of detail to hide. There also is a bedroom scene; however, the camera is locked onto a table by the bedside and nothing more than a forearm is seen, though there are suggestive noises heard. There are also quite a few instances of bawdy humor, such as people tripping and landing in _very embarrassing_ positions. And in this writer's opinion, some of the risque element in the series is hardly necessary. Violence is largely restricted to EVA vs. Angel fights; human injury is infrequent but considerably serious when it occurs. The language used is relatively mild at least in the original production (Saito).

Japanese anime has proven to be a success in the United States; this is however now without issues and concerns. It… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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