My Evangelion Guilty Pleasure AU

4969-04-swanlake3d

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, starring Adam Cooper

If I said that there is one form of entertainment that I really, truly love, but that most people find weird or unusual, what would you think of?

As this blog features one big Evangelion fanart as its header and I have published a couple of articles about No.6, a confident guess would be anime. And yes, even if it is much more widespread than a few years ago, anime is still not a perfectly ‘usual’ pastime. But when I say that I actively enjoy and go see ballet, I still get a few weird looks. Now, pair ballet AND anime and you’ll be sure to get stares, not just weird looks.

What is that we enjoy about anime, though? The same thing that we enjoy about stories. Humanity is addicted to stories: it has craved and crafted complex mythologies and narratives since the very beginning of its history and I am pretty confident that we cannot live without stories, because we are meaning-making and meaning-finding creatures. And of all the incredible ways in which a story can be conveyed, ballet just chooses to do it through music and dance.

The Dutch National Ballet in Giselle

How mute communication can be this powerful will never cease to amaze and inspire me, but that’s the true magic of ballet. Silent words that work with the music to tell emotional stories, but also incredibly old stories. Ballet is crystallized storytelling: its beauty lies in its being ancient and distant.

Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake… all of them are old fairy-tales that somehow keep being told through dance over and over again. When you go see ballet, you get dragged into a different and distant world and I have always believed that this was one of ballet’s virtues. And yet, one day I discovered that choreographers were trying to breathe new life into ballet’s magic and use its power to tell modern stories, not just crystallized myths, and the result was more powerful and enchanting than ever. I fell in love with ballet all over again.

6922390594_075a71638b_b

Domenico Luciano and Dominic Walsh rehearsing Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake

Matthew Bourne is one of these choreographers and he re-created ballet’s most famous piece, Swan Lake, adding the realism I never thought Swan Lake needed. At the same time, he involuntarily created what I now call my ‘guilty pleasure’ AU, because I’ll never be brave or good enough to write it, but can’t stop to think about it either. And here’s where Evangelion comes into play.

So, what do Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake and Neon Genesis Evangelion have in common? Surprisingly, pretty much everything from an emotional and narrative point of view, even though Evangelion is evidently lacking in swans, just like Swan Lake lacks in giant humanoid robots. Yet, I’m sure the plot will sound familiar.

Here’s how it goes: a young man, with an absent and uncaring parent, falls deep into self-hate as a result of emotional trauma and abandonment, so he tries to engage with the world and find things to love but is ultimately let down and abandoned again. Contemplating suicide, he finally meets someone special, he’s intrigued and enchanted by him, he loves him, but he has to look at him suddenly and gruesomely die right before his eyes, because of him, and he spirals deep into depression again.

A few differences I could point out: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake‘s protagonist is a prince, Shinji isn’t; the uncaring parent is the mother, not the father; the person the boys are intrigued by is, respectively, a male swan and an angel. The Swan also has a doppelganger called The Stranger, just like there is a white and a black swan in the original Swan Lake, while Kaworu is just Kaworu, even though the fandom differentiates among Kaworu, Qworu and Manga Kaworu (or Karl). But that’s about it.

Add Tchaikovsky‘s original music, new and powerful choreographies, eerie sceneries and loads of emotional trauma, unequally distributed among the cast. Add also the fact that I saw it for the first time right after watching Evangelion: the parallelisms were hard to ignore, they stuck with me ever since.

And it’s weird, even as I write this I realize how weird this sounds, how anime and ballet are just two completely different worlds and two completely different and equally unusual niches to be a part of, but what can I say: I can’t unsee the connections now.

I tried again and again to communicate this on paper, even to write Eva stories in Swan Lake‘s universe just to let more people know about this connection, about the masterpiece that is Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, about ballet and about the different, amazing ways through which you can tell powerful stories. It never came out as I wanted it to be. There is a reason why ballet is mute storytelling, it just can’t be communicated another way without losing part of its power and emotion. The best part, in my opinion.

So, as I have no other way to communicate dance moves, connections or music on paper, I just share this article with you; it’s my best attempt so far.

What about you: do you have two completely unrelated passions that can somehow interact? Do you have special or guilty pleasure AUs? Let me know in the comments.

(well, I had to link the ballet somehow, didn’t I?)

Advertisements

3 Facts About this Blog; aka “A Proper Introduction”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m two posts late for this but, well, hi. There is a perfectly logical explanation as to why this post is late. Three of them actually.

Number 1

I am awkward. Incredibly so. It would be more appropriate to say that it’s because of my social anxiety, but I was so eager to rush into this that I completely bypassed the ‘first post’ step.

Number 2

This blog is actually the 2.0 of another blog. The original “Just the Howling of the Wind” was a tumblr blog where I would post all my stories and fanfictions, plus fic ideas, headcanons, quotes about writing, and character analysis.

I’ve always wanted to have a ‘proper’ blog though, so I finally made up my mind and just moved the blog here on wordpress. Only the concept though: I am not going to move old posts from Tumblr here, we’re starting anew! If you are curious, this is my old blog.

Number 3

Have you ever felt a story suddenly pushing and twisting inside of you because it wants to be let it out? Yeah, it sounds a little weird, but this is how it is for me and the only way I know to let it out is to write. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if it just 2 sentences long or more than 10 pages. So those two character analysis had to be written.

So, justifications have been found, social anxiety has been appeased, all’s fine I guess. Now for the introduction!

Hi again: welcome to “Just the Howling of The Wind” aka Achernar‘s place (I’m Achernar, nice to meetcha). This blog  is many things: an archive, a diary, a soulroom, an outlet. And a meeting place to share and create ideas with you.

Content will vary from character analysis to actual original stories (or fanfics), from Anime recs and comments to personal thoughts and reflections. But again, this blog IS many things: a little variety is to be expected.

For more info about me, you can visit the about page or hit me up on twitter and tumblr, and, of course, leave a message here.

Thank you for stopping by and until the next post!


P.S: kudos if you can actually find where I got the title for this blog

 

Nezumi (No.6) – Anime&MBTI

No.6.600.1120171 - Copia

Nezumi was a tricky one. There’s a lot of cynicism to him, a lot of disillusion and a strong, obsessive, fixation with No.6 and with the future (moving on, never looking back…). Nezumi gives off loop-ish vibes, specifically an introverted loop in Ni and Ti. I’m still a little undecided between INFJ (Ni-Fe-Ti-Se) and ISTP (Ti-Se-Ni-Fe), but I’d settle for ISTP.

If I stood there at the fork in the road wasting time trying to decide what to do, I’d wither away. That’s what cowards and traitors do. You can’t run away forever. Some day you’ll have to choose one over the other.

Ah, look at the quotes I have collected. So many quotes (I feel so professional). Before we get to Ti-Fe, I’d like to analyze what I found most evident in Nezumi: his Ni. The unhealthy obsession he has with No.6, with his beliefs, with his idea of truth hints either to extremely underdeveloped and unhealthy Ni-Ti or to a loop-prone ISTP, which I find more believable.

The way Nezumi laughs in the face of Shion’s Fi, the way he just cannot genuinely believe that someone would deliberately help other people or make decisions based on how they will impact other people, paired with the fact that he was extremely young (and thus still in the initial stages of function development) when he experienced trauma, would suggest that he ended up developing Ti-Ni instead of Ni-Fe. Ni-Ti loop stems from bypassing Fe: an INFJ in a Ni-Ti loop finds rational/logical justification as to why people suck in order to run away from people-related insecurities, which eventually leads to Se grip and to the belief that one will never be able to accomplish anything meaningful or have a concrete impact on the world.

Nezumi.(No.6).600.1120149

I’ve said this before. Carry all this useless baggage, and one day it’ll be the end of you. It’ll weigh you down until it squashes you flat.”

Ti-Ni is still an introverted loop, but bypasses Se, which makes the ISTP oversimplify his vision of the world to justify Ti-Ni. The vision then becomes rigid, but fragile from a logical point of view. Life then appears to have no purpose because there is not way to verify (Se) the truth of Ti-Ni. This makes the looping person nihilistic, distrustful of life and people in general (but secretly wanting to have faith in humanity), paranoid about being controlled, cynical and self-defeating. Does it sound like Nezumi yet? Ti-Ni also pushes Nezumi to be individualistic and rigid in his vision, ultimately leading to Fe grip, which is fatalism about being forever alone in a cruel world. Veeery Nezumi-like.

Also, his Se is too high in the stack to be inferior: Nezumi trusts his senses above all else, the reality he can see here and now. He’s practical and down to earth. One of the reasons he criticizes Shion is for his being too idealistic and abstraction-prone. Yet, Nezumi can be just as idealistic. But having tertiary instead of dominant Ni, his vision of the world and of truth is extremely rigid: he puts everything into dichotomies, he refuses to consider something outside the scope of his Ni. If he were an INFJ, his Ni, as immature and unhealthy as can be, would not be so rigid.

Now for Ti. Ti doms in fiction are usually lone-wolves, aloof, awkward or unease with emotions. Ti uses impersonal standards and rules in contrast with Fi’s interest in the well-being of people. Of course this does not mean that Nezumi doesn’t have morals. His morals are just derived from cause-effect analysis and factual truths (Ti-Se), from evidence and impersonal assessment of true vs false.

He’s a planner, with very defined goals, who refuses to show emotions (inf Fe believing emotions are a weakness and that all people are bad, but secretly wanting to be loved) and who strives to achieve his goal in the most straightforward way. His confidence stems from his being analytical, methodical and rationally cold, yet, the knowledge that he presumes to be factual and absolute (Ti-Ni) is not always that absolute. There is a third way. People are not all bad, emotions are not a sign of weakness, caring for people is not a weakness… Nezumi’s character development is focused on developing healthier Ti-Ni (and get out of the loop) and Fe, thanks to Shion‘s INFP influence.

It’s your job to learn it if you don’t know.”

His Ti-Ni also has healthy outlets, of course. Nezumi loves to read because he loves to learn and has a tendency to abstract and generalize truths from the stories he reads about. He can often focus on the big picture, connect the dots and see the development of a situation in advance. His acting may also be interpreted as an outlet for inf Fe, as it enables him to express all those emotions he would not allow himself to show or feel.

You’re an amateur, you can’t pull any fancy tricks like slipping past surveillance. Ten-to-one, as soon as you step inside the city, you’ll be shot dead.“

Sometimes, Nezumi is also incredibly childish. As Shion pushes his Ti-Ni to the limit, Nezumi tries to comment on Shion’s faults to feel better about himself, but truth is he’s just confused because Shion’s presence disrupted everything he knew. Just like Nezumi’s presence did for Shion.

In a way, Shion and Nezumi complement each other: INtuitive vs Sensor, Feeler vs Thinker, Ne vs Ni, Ti vs Fi etc. Nezumi starts as self-reliant, cynical, analytical, his Fe  is constipated and his Ni is self-confirming and fatalistic. His Fe issues stem from insecurities and trauma: the people in his life betrayed him, he refuses to trust people or society and show emotions or care for a fear of being too vulnerable. Yet, he eventually opens up to Shion, realizing that, sometimes, you can rely on other people and that being too analytical and aloof can be bad as well.


Anime&MBTI was born from two nerdish passions of mine. I type for myself but also for friends and the internet people.

If you have a character you’d like me to type, just request them in a comment!

Shion (No.6) – Anime&MBTI

No-6-Shion-and-Nezumi-no6-39624004-450-300

This time, I’ve done something I never do when writing an analysis: take notes as I go. How systematic of me. But truth is I started re-reading No.6 also because I wanted to type the characters properly, so it’s not like I became a super organized ISTJ all of a sudden. So let’s look at my favorite quote from Shion:

You put everything into dichotomies,” Shion continued, ignoring Nezumi’s comment. “You either love or you hate. You’re either friends or enemies. Outside the wall, or inside the wall. And you always say you can only ever choose one of them.” […] “Don’t you think that there could be a third way?

Shion’s tendency to look for alternative possibilities instead of what is right in front of him is pretty self-evident. Nezumi hates this. Indeed, he calls Shion dense, idealistic, natural air-head, hopeless, naive… which pretty much hints at INXP if you ask me. Shion is not receptive of his environment at all, often missing what’s right in front of his eyes (like the prostitute approaching him at the beginning of the novel). Shion has a knack for looking for possibilities, like the ‘third way’ he keeps talking about, and for ideals: peace, harmony, comradeship. This may look like Fi/Ti-Ne (or even Ni-Fe), but the more the novel goes on, the more Fi-Te becomes evident, which made me settle for INFP quite confidently.

No.6.600.1120560

Shion is an introvert. He says so himself: he doesn’t like people, he appreciates alone time and silence, he is reserved and not very talkative or sociable, his only close friend is Safu and he doesn’t have very developed social skills in general. Speaking for Ni-Fe, not all INFJs have great social skills of course (I do not for a fact), but they are more… in the moment. Shion is blissfully unaware, he’s there but not really, not completely, it’s a feeling that’s really hard to pinpoint but that Nezumi notices too: there’s a very typical oblivious-INXP attitude to Shion. But that’s not all, of course, what really discriminates between Fi/Ti and Fe is just how much Shion cares for his own values and beliefs, his own subjective set of rules. He uses them seamlessly, continuously, without fail. Everything Shion sees and does, he passes a judgment upon. And this is where we can discuss Fi vs Ti.

no6-2979375

Both Ti and Fi are introverted judging functions. Initially, I thought that Ti was more like Shion: he is very analytical, with a tendency to value factual information and try to understand something as thoroughly as possible. But this is just the way No.6 asks its citizen to behave and think. No.6 gives off the same XSTJ vibes of its mayor, so Shion was conditioned to focus on details and facts, to value things based on true vs false assessments, and yet what is that he likes to do? He thinks, he tries to understand things from his own point of view: a moral point of view. He values things according to the classic good-bad standard of Fi, not Ti,  and strives to be true to himself at all costs. Shion wants to do what is right for himself and for the people he cares about. He spends a lot of time analyzing his own feelings and the moral consequences of his actions. He identifies with his actions, that’s why (paired with tertiary Si) he resents his mistakes so much.

No.6.600.940412

What Shion does, he does because he wants to: his will and his values guide everything he does. Once he discovers his integrity, once No.6 is no longer pushing him toward an XSTJ model of being, Shion’s Fi comes out in all its glory and it’s clear that he seeks to protect his integrity, to be true to himself, to discover his emotions, let his morals show and act according to them and them only. Shion starts making choices and he never goes back on them or on his words: he is hesitant at first, but then he starts acting, acting, acting, and he’s finally happy this way because he can be himself and live life according to his own morals. Washing Inukashi’s dogs, infiltrating the Correctional Facility… these things are hard and Shion acknowledges it, but despite what Nezumi thought, Shion never changes his mind. As long as Shion can do and is confronted with things that he feels are right and fair, everything is alright.

tumblr_mj9ztnvhRp1s28wd7o1_500

But when he’s not, shit goes down. Indeed, what really settled INFP for me was just how evident inferior Te was. How is Shion under pressure? How is he when he loses sight of Fi? When he must confront a situation he considers unfair? As a result of trauma and of constantly considering himself not competent enough and inadequate (Shion is always looking up at Nezumi and at the people of the West Block: “Nezumi, teach me”), blaming himself for not accomplishing valuable results, Shions spirals into Te grip episodes, where he bypasses Fi to achieve results quickly and at all costs, despite his morals. He becomes unemotional and efficient, ruthless, cold, calm, ready to kill in cool blood those who oppose him, something his Fi is against and that causes him even more trauma once he regains composure. This is also the side of Shion Nezumi is afraid of: the devil, the cold and ruthless Shion that comes out in dire situations.

Shion is not a leader, he tends to do what Nezumi asks of him (as long as he agrees with it) but he slowly becomes more confident and starts voicing his opinions more convincingly. Which is pretty much the development journey of an INFP: developing Si (detailed evidence) and Te (strength of will and confidence) to implement a vision (Ne) that stems from subjective morals (Fi).


Anime&MBTI was born from two nerdish passions of mine. I type for myself but also for friends and the internet people.

If you have a character you’d like me to type, just request them in a comment!