AnimeNation Presents:

*One Year Anniversary Contest!*

The Contest is now over. There were well over seventy entries in the Contest and almost every single one of them was great! It was a very tough call, but the winners have been decided. Thank you for all of your entries.

First Place:

Clifton Sawit

Essay 1 - Favorite Character Essay

Ikari Gendo, the Heartless One. Ikari Gendo, the Monster. Ikari Gendo, the Master of Puppets.

These are the names we know him by, the names we have given him after witnessing one despicable act committed by him after another. Again and again we are given reason to hate him, to despise him.No wonder, then, that most who have watched Evangelion have passed judgement on him, this 'most wicked of men', this 'darkest of souls'. Yet underneath all the perceived darkness and evil lies one of the most complex characters I have ever had the privilege to 'meet'. And this very darkness, this very complexity is what draws me to this character.

But who is this character? Who is Ikari Gendo?

Ikari Gendo is a man driven by a fascinating corruption of his love for his wife, Yui; driven so strongly that everything else ceases to matter. He is the center of a web of deceit, of lies, of broken lives and dreams; a web that he had carefully constructed from the very beginning. He uses binding chains to subdue his subordinates, chains like duty, like pride, like false love; he uses these like leashes, like reins on people who carry him onward toward his goal. Ikari Gendo, the Master of Puppets.

Ikari Gendo is a man who expects his commands to be obeyed without question, and woe to anyone who dares to even hesitate to carry those commands out. With a word he wrenches children from their playgrounds and sand castles to fight for his cause; he drags them across the shards of physical and emotional trauma and expects - demands - them to not even flinch. Ikari Gendo forces one child, in particular, to die, over and over again, with the full knowledge that her life is a sham, that her life is based on someone else's, and that she, like all the others, is expendable. He forces another to face the trauma of losing her mother to insanity every time he orders her to don her plug suit. He forces yet another to fight for him in the hope that his sister may be saved, causing his near-deadly fate. And he forces his own child to fight without clear reason; to fight for the tiniest shreds of praise from him; and to drive and merge with the very shell his own mother is trapped in. All for a goal he will not even disclose.

Ikari Gendo, the Monster.

And Ikari Gendo is a man who does all of this without apparent remorse or regret. He throws everyone and everything into the furnace of his driving goal, without a doubt shown on his expressionless face. He hides any hint of emotion behind his amber-tinted shades; he hides those emotions from anyone who would look past the granite face. Yet I believe Ikari Gendo is a man in constant turmoil. Always haunted by his past; always haunted by what could have been, what should have been; always haunted by the doubt he refuses to show on his face. And most of all he is haunted by the memory of Yui, the wife he loved more than anything in the entire world; he is haunted by the obsession that love had become following her death. His followers have no idea that he does all of this to pursue a nebulous vision of his reunion with Yui, and for Gendo to reveal this fact is more weakness than he is prepared to admit.

And when this vision fails and the plan he so fanatically pursued eludes his grasp for the final time, as the world begins to end around him and the apparition arrives to take him away, the dam of his restraint breaks, and his final utterance is one of weakness; his final words are those of remorse, of apology to his son, the same son he drove near to madness, the same son he had abandoned so long ago: "I'm sorry..."

Ikari Gendo, the Heartless One.

Essay 2 - Evangelion is about...

Evangelion is not about Tokyo-3.
Evangelion is not about Japan.
Evangelion is not about the number of each Angel.
Evangelion is not about the Angels.
Evangelion is not about Adam.
Evangelion is not about Eve.
Evangelion is not about Lilith.
Evangelion is not about Christianity.
Evangelion is not about Judaism..
Evangelion is not about NERV.
Evangelion is not about SEELE.
Evangelion is not about clones.
Evangelion is not about saving the Earth.
Evangelion is not about protecting humanity.
Evangelion is not about the Geofront
Evangelion is not about piloting giant mecha.
Evangelion is not about giant mecha.
Evangelion is not about the EVA's.
Evangelion is not about the Red Cross Book.
Evangelion is not about the One Way.
Evangelion is not about the truth others tell you.

Evangelion is about the unknown ceiling.
Evangelion is about the hedgehog's dilemma.
Evangelion is about despair.
Evangelion is about hope.
Evangelion is about hate.
Evangelion is about love.
Evangelion is about relationships.
Evangelion is about the fear of rejection.
Evangelion is about introspection.
Evangelion is about the danger of too much introspection.
Evangelion is about grief.
Evangelion is about dealing with grief.
Evangelion is about growth.
Evangelion is about maturity.
Evangelion is about self-sacrifice.
Evangelion is about self-value.
Evangelion is about finding purpose.
Evangelion is about free will.
Evangelion is about courage.
Evangelion is about choice.
Evangelion is about the courage to choose freely.
Evangelion is about your own way.
Evangelion is about the truth you choose for yourself.
Evangelion is about life.

Life is the unknown ceiling.

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Second Place:

Mychau Le

1. Even though her appearance is rather brief within the series, I love Yui Ikari. ^_^ She is Gendou's wife, and Shinij's mother, so she plays an important role in two of the main character's lives. There are many aspects of her that I really admire. First of, she's a very beautiful woman with her brown hair and her shining smile. Its easy to see where Rei Ayanami's beauty is inheirited from. Yui is also very intelligent. She wrote an excellent essay, and also worked hard toward her goals. Though she had the chance to pursue her intellectual dreams, she also had the dream of being married, which is a dream of love - a noble thing. Her sweetness makes her well loved, as by Fuuyutsuki and Gendou. She was able to take the time to look within Gendou's heart rather than judge him by his reputation. Gendou responded, which is why he is so determined to initiate the Third Impact and merge with Lilith. He wanted to be reunited with her. In a sense, if she wasn't in the show, there would have been no plot because Gendou wouldn't be trying to get her back!

Yui was and is a good mother to Shinji. She seemed caring enough to bring him into the lab for the testing so her "could see how bright the future will be". Even when in the EVA, she was able to help him synch and help him with his thoughts, as well as fighting the angel. Lastly, I love Yui's beautiful quotes concerning her sweet philosophy in life. Such as her quote, "He has the will to live has the chance to make his life Heaven" or something on the borders of that. With that line, her shining heart and optimism shine through. Thus is why I admire her.

(MWUAHAHAHA!! I have a page to her greatness:
Yui Ikari - Mother's Touch)

2. I believe Neon Genesis Evangelion is about change. The world in which the characters have lived in have changed. After the Second Impact, life was misrable but by trying to rebuild it, there was renewed hope for a better world in which to live. Gendou, Fuuyutsuki's and Shinji's lives were all changed after the dissapearance of Yui. Gendou became inclosed in himself and cold, Fuuyustuki missed her while Shinji was abandoned and went to live with his teacher. But Shinji's character was able to develop when he was called to Nerv to pilot EVA Unit 01. He was introduced to living with Misato and Pen-Pen, which gave him a sense of having a 'real family'. He was able to face his father, even though they do not get along. He learned responsibilty, and how to face the world and himself, instead of trying to be shut up and hidden away. He learned to make friends, and to put with Asuka. (hehe) Asuka learned that though her past is painful, she shouldn't try to guard against with her pompous attitude. She learns to be humble in the very end. Rei II learns she does a soul in the end, and sacrifices herself for the same of Shinji. She is not merely a tool for Gendou in the end and learns to be herself, doing what she wants. Misato learns that her heart really did love Kaji and about herself.

In a sense, all the characters in EVA were able to grow in their mind, heart and soul. They learn to be themselves and to face their inner fears. Their common goal is to defeat the Angel - as well as to destroy the despair, the pain and unhappinesses in their past and present lives.

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Third Place:

Nathanael Espino

Dreams and Glass

I've never remembered a time when I didn't have glasses. The constant pressure on your nose and behind the ears every waking moment for me feels as normal as taking a breath every six seconds. The double take including a removal-slash-wipe-on-shirt-sleeve-slash-look sequence with it, second nature. The constant swiveling of the head rather than rolling the eyes to look at things on the periphery of the field of vision is as much a part of my reaction as is kicking in response to a tap on the knee.

And the damn things can be more entrapping than handcuffs made of lead. No, seriously. A classmate's careless wave can knock you back into the world of shade and shadow, as you try and find the tool to return precision to your vision somewhere along the floor or shelf or wherever it landed. By law, you'll never be able to pilot a fighter plane, or a shuttlecraft. If it's really bad, you won't be able to be a witness in a legal trial.

And oft, we bespectacled ones overcompensate for our defective sight. Most commonly, we burrow into books, relishing in obscure knowledge or trivial stuff. Some become, aside from being readers, love language so that they become writers. Others become painters and sculptors, presenting the world as they see it to the rest of humanity. And others take it out on film, as professional or amateur photographers and cinematographers.

Our vision limits us from seeing as much as we can about life. So we record. We write. We memorize. We film and keep the negatives. Built in with blinkers, we strive to achieve above the handicap.

Perhaps, then, this is why I share a kinship with one who desires to see, and record as much of life as he can. Perpetually carrying a camera, devoted to a subject. Bespectacled. Kensuke Aida.

Modeled Reality

Let's give ourselves a pat on the back. We've come a long way from where we've been.

With science, we've seen the heart of the atom. We've made it possible for several millions to live where once mere thousands once eked a living. We've made our own mechanical beasts of burden. We have chickens with four legs, and sheep that produce insulin for diabetics. We've explored the depth of the ocean and seen the other planets.

We've done it all. Pass me the T-shirt.


As far as we have come from the halcyonic heydays of garage science, we don't know everything. Every fact, law or trivia we take as "science" in our world is a mere minor theory of reality. That's right, theory. As in subject to verification against reality itself. Until now, no one can claim an all encompassing theory of reality itself.

Let's take thermodynamics for example. All of these laws governing heat are based on observations over the centuries. If a totally screwy observation was duly recorded, the nice square logical box we've marked "THERMODYNAMICS" will have to account for it.

Up to now, we don't know it all. And maybe because, they're not meant to be understood by us. Ever. Despite the neat boxes we've created, labeled and duct taped shut for the world, there's a lot that sticks out the sides, and maybe even becomes unboxable too.

Like what makes one human? What is consciousness. Who is out there? Is there someone out there? What gives life that spark? What makes a seed decide to grow? Or living for that matter.

There's a lot we don't know out there. Who knows, it might just pay us a visit one of these days. Maybe around the turn of the century for that matter. And we'll either have to fight it for our lives, or take it as it comes. Whenever that happens, it will be our decision.

I, for one, look forward to seeing the unknowns out there when they step into our sight. And then, then we can say that we've seen it all. Or get carried kicking and screaming into oblivion by lack of foresight.

To loving tension, no pension
To more than one dimension

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Way to go, guys! And thanks to everyone who entered^_^

Seeya in another year!

Go back to the EVA FAQs Homepage

or check out the old rules and prizes for this contest.


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