Steven made a comparison between Shingu and Evangelion today. On the face of it, that’s rather absurd; Evangelion is considered an iconic series, often even by those who hate it–because it is iconic. Shingu is relatively unknown. In fact, had Steven not written about it, I wouldn’t have a clue it existed, unless I was bored enough to browse through all the series starting with the letter S over at ANN. (It might take a while…) Yet neither he nor I dispute that Shingu is the better series. It was made, as Steven points out, by an accomplished director, who was at the top of his game. Evangelion was made by a relatively inexperienced director, who didn’t yet have the professional tools in his kit to make such a grand, reaching story.
There was another key point to how Shingu turned out, although it isn’t so much in comparison to Evangelion, nor is it a straight comparison of the two directors. Rather, it is a comparison to all the other dreck out there this year. Sato Tatsuo had the artistic freedom to make the show he wanted to make in Shingu.. He had a specific vision of the story he wanted to tell, and how he wanted to tell it, and that’s exactly what he did.
There was obviously never a conversation with the Marketing department, that went anything like the following:
“Look Sato-san, we’ve been running the numbers and looking at the competition for the upcoming season out there right now, and we’ve got some serious concerns about this show. We think it’s going to need, you know, a little sprucing up. Nothing major! We don’t want to interfere with your creativity after all…just make a few, ah, tweaks. Minor stuff, really.”
“Like for instance, we’re thinking about the character design — these girls, the breasts don’t work. They’re just too small. Complete non-starter for the 15-22 male demographic. If you were to enlarge them just a little, not much, say, to about watermelon-sized, it would raise the appeal of the show. Five or six points, minimum.”
We’re also concerned that there’s no loli anywhere in this show. That’s a whole fan segment that we’re overlooking right there, so we were thinking, whatshisname, that really fast kid, you know, make him a girl instead, that looks about 8-10. Oh, don’t worry that it’s junior high and the other girls are all, ah, somewhat more developed. We thought of a perfectly logical explanation — you see, she’s a loli and really, really fast because she’s actually an android under that skintight outfit–see? What? Not a problem. If you don’t like the painted-on jumpsuit look, we could go for something more gothic-looking. Oooh!. And maybe she fights with cute little grenades, painted pink!
Something else we want you to think about. Just consider it, for now. Muryou and Haichi… shounen-ai! It’s really hot this season! What? Right, Haijime, yes, that’s what I meant.”
“So anyway, moving on to these mecha designs… yes, yes, we know they’re not *really* mechas, but have you considered high heels and more, ah, female proportions for the robots….”
Nope, that conversation never happened. Or if it did, Sato politely listened, told them he’d think about it, and then hired ninja to assassinate the entire marketing department, their wives, and their descendants down to the nth generation.
Well, that’s how I’d write it anyway. Goth loli catgirl ninja, of course. With glasses. Disguised as meido.