Boy with Machine

A Deleuzoguattarian Critique of Neon Genesis Evangelion

Authors

  • Betty Stojnic Independent

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.21900/j.jams.v2.822

Keywords:

psychoanalysis, deterritorialization, Oedipus, philosophy, Evangelion

Abstract

In this paper, I provide an analysis of the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion and the feature film The End of Evangelion through the theory of French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari as outlined in their seminal work Capitalism and Schizophrenia. I tackle the authors’ concepts of Oedipus and absolute deterritorialization in order to provide a philosophical consideration of the series’ central plot points and developments. My aim is to employ Charles J. Stivale’s concept of academic “animation” to critique Evangelion’s emphasis on the nuclear family structure and its influence on subject-formation, as well as to demonstrate that a Deleuzoguattarian framework is uniquely suited for this task. I conclude that Evangelion, through its experimental use of animation as a medium, produces a compelling depiction of absolute deterritorialization in the form of the Human Instrumentality Project. However, the series ultimately remains loyal to its prioritisation (rooted in psychoanalysis and the Oedipus complex) of the family unit, with the protagonist Ikari Shinji rejecting Instrumentality and preferring, instead, to live as a unified subject defined by familial relations.

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Published

2021-11-29