But yeah, that was pretty much what I spent the last month doing, drawing grids, watching Eva, drawing horizon lines & vanishing points, freaking cubes(!), 1, 2, &3 pt. perspective...and did I mention watching motherf%*king EVA?!
The show was crazy enough, but End of Evangelion was...
Well, I don't remember taking drugs but, I might as well have. It might've made more sense then.
But the thing about watching a 26 episode show in which almost NOTHING is taken at face-value and everything fits together in one way or another, gave me a lot of ideas about how my own story (Guillan Seed) could be told. I like the idea of a short, concise, epic tale. Somehow, Evangelion managed to create an expansive magnificent lore, a cast of great characters (complete with deep, flawed, amazing heroines), AND a plot that wove them all magically together, without being superfluous!
If you took out even a little, the story wouldn't work as well.
Whereas, in manga nowadays, you could cut nearly half of the "story" away, and still have a decent run. This doesn't, however, mean that stories like that are bad, there are good examples of both long and short stories (in manga and comics).
A good story that, for the most part, justifies its own length is One Piece. The world-building is just too expansive and wouldn't work like Evangelion. Plus it's really good on a consistent basis. On the other hand we have Bleach, which is at LEAST 75% fluff! And could've ended a long time ago if it weren't for the author having to show us every. single. FIGHT. Not to mention its freaking phonebook list of characters. Naruto has a fluff problem too, but not nearly as bad. (First half was nearly perfect in my opinion. I really don't know what happened to make it sink afterwards)
Some really good short manga and comics I know are:
- Koe no Katachi by Ooima Yoshitoki: short, sweet and impactful
- Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'malley: hilarious and touching, with a kickass ending
- The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller: a whole epic told in 4 ISSUES of comics. One of the most important Batman stories ever told in just 4 ISSUES.
They also could have info-dumped all the exposition at the beginning and left us to navigate the story with that info.
Instead, the writer(s?) meticulously crafted a well told story with info sprinkled in at just the right narrative points so that we, as the audience, could piece it together to try and make sense of it all. Even with that, the story merits multiple viewings to even understand a fraction of the overall plot and hidden symbolism. And those who do will be rewarded for their efforts with a deeper understanding of the rich and multi-layered story beneath the story. A tale you can really digest. Or you could just watch Eva analysis videos like me!
I just feel like there's magic in shows that can do in a few episodes what others can't do with 100+.
You can have a deep narrative in 4 chapters or mindless, cool-looking, sword slashing for 600.
It makes me think about the direction of Guillan Seed in my head. I have an entire world planned out and five solid arcs of story, but I think it could become even better, if I don't tie myself down to the notion of an epic 700 chapter kind of thing. I mean it was planned to be short (and kind of experimental) from the beginning, but every once in a while, I find myself indulging in little flights of fancy and games of "what if" (usually with fight scenes) that always end up expanding the story beyond meaning, thus diluting it's impact.
But with Eva being a shining example of concise storytelling, I realize there is a good portion I could cut out, rearrange, and explore, all without losing any meaning. But there's nothing more to really add. The story's all there. Now it's just a matter of taking away some of it. Maybe a lot.
As they say: Creativity is Subtraction!