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Napier, Susan J. "When the Machines Stop. Fantasy, Reality, and Terminal Identity in Neon Genesis Evangelion and Serial Experiments Lain." In: Science Fiction Studies 29 (2002), S. 418–435.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Napier2002
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Keywords: "Neon Genesis Evangelion", "Serial Experiments: Lain", Animation, Anno. Hideako, Identität, Japan, Randformen des Comics, Science Fiction
Collection: Science Fiction Studies
|Attachments||URLs http://www.jstor.org/stable/42411 ...|
This article examines two major works in recent Japanese anime, the science-fiction series Neon Genesis Evangelion (1997) and Serial Experiments Lain (1999) in terms of their exploration of the human subject vis-à-vis an apocalyptic vision of technology and the real at the end of the twentieth century. While a number of popular anime have dealt with this subject since the 1970s, Evangelion and Lain are characterized by a unique approach: a concern with what happens to human identity when the machines stop—i.e., is there still subjectivity outside of technology? Evangelion answers the question in ambiguous fashion, highlighting the artifice inherent in animation itself to suggest a world of infinite possibilities, where the “real” is simply what the imagination creates. Lain seems more pessimistic, giving its protagonist no choice but to erase herself from reality in order to save it. While they are both groundbreaking works, they are also analyzed in relation to key issues in contemporary Japanese culture, in particular its own increasingly problematic relationship with the real.
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