No. The answer is no.
I’m not “into” Anime, per se. And I am sure Neon Genesis Evangelion, wouldn’t care for my opinion or anyone’s opinion similar to mine, despite being the producer of some of the most famous Anime work in Japan. It appears Evangelion has little connection with the affect of his art as it’s creation.
An artist is responsible, intentional or not, for leaving various symbolic representations in their work. Those that consume art will usually find something in the art that the original artist did not intend.
The intent of the creator is, well frankly, not all that important.
Let me furnish you with some personal examples. On my sophomore album, PLAN B, the fourth song ‘Father’ – it is a song about a friend whose father abandoned him and his sister at the age of 10. The father was esteemed in the Catholic church and left his then wife for another woman in the church. 30 years later when the father was ill, the son was presented with seeing him and we had a discussion about it. I was moved by the story so I wrote a song about it.
Following the album’s release, I had people directly contact me with self-help books about father abandonment issues furnished with stories and experiences thinking that their story emulated my own. Whilst I am not immune to ‘Daddy issues’ like many artists, this song is certainly not about me and definitely not about my father.
The second example is another song on the Album called ‘Source of My Pain’ – this is a love story. The feeling of being in the grip of a person at the end of a relationship. You know that feeling – when you know you probably should see each other, but you do anyway and you get a rush from the person you should be staying away from? Yeah, that feeling – that’s what the song is about. Though my audience has interpreted to be about addiction. Great! Then let it be about addiction. With lyrics like: “Why is the Source of My Pain, the only thing that can take it away” – I can’t exactly blame them. Whilst not intentional on my part, it doesn’t really matter my intentions. What matters is the interpretation. What matters is the listener.
Song 14, Good Enough, is about my parents and not about a romantic relationship, which many others have interpreted this way.
The good news?
I don’t care.
I make art, for myself. And is probably why I haven’t released anything for a while, because I often struggle with, well “What is the point?”
How people interpret my art, is none of my business.
As both an art creator and art consumer, deciding whether I like something, or the artist’s perceived morals or messages is largely irrelevant and up to the individual. All interpretations are valid. In the end, all interpretations are just a personal view of what you consume. Enjoy art however you want, though it is best not to assume the artist’s intentions.
It seems obvious that the person creating the art is the author however Bathes (Perkins, 2014) argues that the whole notion of authorship needs to be rethought. He argues that when text is created it is a multifaceted manifestation of different cultures, languages, beliefs, theologies, and philosophies.
So no, the answer is no, it does not matter what Evangelion says about his own creation, that is up to I the consumer of the art to define what it means to me.
Harrison the Artist (2016) ‘Father’ Retrieved from: http://harrisontheartist.com/song-father/
Harrison the Artist (2016) ‘’Source of My Pain’ Retrieved from: http://harrisontheartist.com/song-source-of-my-pain/
Harrison the Artist (2016) ‘’Good Enough’ Retrieved from: http://harrisontheartist.com/song-good-enough/
Nicholas, T (2019, April 3) The Death of the Author: WTF? Roland Barthes’ Death of the Author Explained. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9iMgtfp484
Perkins, L (2014, January 2014) ‘The Death of the Author’ Simplified. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkQsRVrWM6c
PBS Idea Channel (2013 August 5) ‘Does It Matter What Evangelion’s Creator Says?’ Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/SVm65tlhqw8
Terricon4 (2014) ‘The Value of Intent Vs. Interpretation’ Retrieved from: https://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/24zvll/the_value_of_intent_vs_interpretation/