Saturday, June 26, 2010

Angels

"Neon Genesis Evangelion" is claimed by many to be the most brilliant animated series to ever come out of Japan. It's also claimed by many to be smarmy, overblown and nonsensical. I could really take it or leave it, but I do deeply appreciate the otherwordly designs of the series monstrous antagonists, the Angels; beings presumably sent by God to bring about the end of the world. NERV is an organization on Earth devoted to stopping this event at all costs, fighting off the angels with the cybernetic giants known as EVAs. I felt like doing a quick little review of my favorite angels, since they seem overshadowed in the series fandom by the humans and machines.



Sachiel is the first Angel we see, and packs a really weird anatomy into a simple humanoid shape. I always liked those cute little eyes on his beaked, platelike face. He later grows a second head as he repairs damage to his body, and we also catch a glimpse of him eerily drifting face-down underwater, giant gill slits pumping on his sides.



Sandalphon is my personal favorite angel, with one of the most "natural" looking designs. It begins its existence as an oddly humanoid embryo floating in magma, but is forced to speed up its own birth when NERV attacks it preemptively. It transforms into what curiously resembles a cross between a flounder and the prehistoric invertebrate, Anomalocaris.


Gaghiel is another very animal-like angel, an aquatic monster resembling an exaggerated whale. There isn't a great deal to say, really, but it does have a tiny little Sachiel-like mask on top, which I always thought was really cool.



Shamshel, my second favorite, always reminded me of a giant fishing lure. This supposedly female creature flies in a vertical, squid-like arrangement, but takes an upright stationary position to attack with its luminous whips, which can slice cleanly through any solid matter. In the original anime, some insect-like limbs could be seen curled beneath its head, but in the recent remastering, it's been given a beautifully disturbing ribcage with bony legs that constantly squirm. I've always loved its giant, fishy eye-spots most of all. Without them, I'm not so sure I'd like it half as much.


Finally, Leliel is one of the later, more abstract angels, and one of my favorites for its truly mindbending concept; the angel itself is a black, crawling pool of blackness, while the gigantic, striped sphere is supposedly its shadow. It really calls to mind such Lovecraftian beings as Azathoth, Yog-sothoth or the colour out of space.

9 Comments:

Anonymous jca3 said...

Interesting idea. In the USA could you ever get away with a series where God is the enemy? Cool.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Jared is Leader said...

God isn't the enemy, jca3. It's us. Only us. :O

I think I have that same model kit of Sachiel, but it had different box art than what you posted, Scythe. Might've been a re-release. I'd probably love Evangelion if I could stand the characters but they are the biggest narcissistic pusses ever and I just want them to die. I did enjoy the End of Evangelion films, though.

Because everyone did die. >:D

2:18 PM  
Blogger Jared is Leader said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Jared is Leader said...

PS EVAs aren't actually machines, I don't think. They're organic with cybernetic implants and armor.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Dude, spoiler warning!

2:32 PM  
Blogger Scythemantis said...

I did call them cybernetic giants in the opening description, but I didn't want to get too into it since it IS one of the series creepiest revelations.

5:51 AM  
Anonymous ScutigeraColeoptrata said...

Eva probably really is the best monster of the week show ever made, with each creature being diverse and creative in both design and tactics. I think the Angels are also the things which really sell the series to new fans too. Really, if the show had just been Evas fighting each other I doubt it would have caught on the way it did.

Anyway, nice picks! I've always been fond of Matariel the daddy long legs and Zeruel the toilet paper wielder as well. I've always thought of the Angels are aliens ore forgotten Earth life forms that take on a divine significance because of their god-like power.

2:23 AM  
Anonymous Alucard said...

Sachiel's face was based on the masks plague doctors wore during the black death.

4:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you like the EVAs, check out Bokurano.

12:07 PM  

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