I'm glad people are still fighting this ridiculous notion that Xenogears was in anyway influenced by (or let alone ripped off) Evangelion. It seems these Eva remakes have brought it back after it was pretty well debunked years ago. Anyway, in my book, Eva is bascially BAD SPACE RUNAWAY IDEON FAN FICTION, the idea that a work of plagiarism could be held up and another work that had similar influences demonized just makes me scratch my head. Anyway, Eva also stole heavily from 2001: A Space Odyssey as well, a lot of sequences in End of Evangelion are shot for shot rip offs.
First, let's check out the Monlith, which influenced both the Zohar in Xenogears/Xenosaga and Seele/evolving into one being in Evangelion. Check out this documentary on the Monlith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P95NWAHWLrc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiXR-pUrldw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UksgTSj9AaE
Now, check out this clip from the film dealing with the invocation of the Monolith (by the way, notice that Dave is in an EVA pod): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIwvLJX-Olg
Finally, watch this analysis of the ending, then watch the ending: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj-OlW83b6U https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLZdnR7Nkus
I'll let you guys draw the Xeno and Eva comparisons.
Now, for Space Runaway Ideon. One of the things I've read about this is that the relationship of Fei/Elly was lifted from Shinji and Asuka. The thing is, that relationship in Evangelion was lifted from Cosmo and Kasha in Ideon! I do think Kasha and Cosmo's dynamic influenced Fei and Elly very slightly as well, but Xenogears bears more resemblence to Ideon here than Eva, and Eva just flat out stole. A more important example is that in Ideon, there is a force in the universe called the Ide, created from the residual consciousness of human beings. It desperately wants us to end our petty conflicts, racism, violence, etc. and initially tries to guide us toward that goal. SPOILER ALERT:
Only to realize that our current life form is incapable of this, and ultimately sides against our individual existence, choosing to instead take all of the impure souls to a higher level of existence with it, while leaving the pure to be reincarnated as a new life form.
Sounds exactly like End of Evangelion, and somewhat similar to Krelian's goals in relation to the Wave Existence, no?
Anyway, those are just a few. I'm working on a detailed analysis of this, if you guys think you might want to host it at Xeno Underground just let me know. I'm working on getting screen caps from Ideon and 2001 right now, there are almost none of Ideon out there and Youtube doesn't have much either outside of full eps. I've been chipping away at it for a month so I'm not sure how much longer I have to go, but if you want it I'll make sure it's exclusive to Xeno Underground, otherwhise I'll just throw it up on a blog.
EDIT: Also, for those of you who don't want to watch it first and don't mind spoilers, you can read a good synopsis of Ideon here: http://counter-x.net/ideon/
Just to address this:
I don't mean to imply to be really knowledgeable about the topic, but isn't this a case of 'comparing apples to ornages'? I mean, both franchises take root in the pool of games/manga/anime/movies/whatever dubbed as 'mecha anime' and were released in the 90s, but that's about it. I think this is just angry bashing over the internet being angry bashing over the internet and I suggest everyone treat it as such.
Did EVA influence Xenogears - or indeed everything made by related Japanese entertainment industries after its release? Now this may be not nearly as ridiculous as the previous claim. But we should keep in mind thata). this is how such things work, whether it was a conscious decision on the creators' part because they wanted to approach (some of?) the themes they've found interesting in that other work from a different angle / because it was all the rage amonst their target audience / whatever other reason or it was something they were not really conscious of because of how human mind works - we are formed by our experiences after all;
and b). Japanese culture (from what little I've heard about the subject) considers imitation a sign of respect - at least when it comes to creative work.
So, really, any and all such... 'discussion' would hold about the same value as if I've said "
FFVII ripped off from Evangelion"
right now. I.e. not entirely bogus (IMHO Cloud's journey of self-introspection wouldn't have happened in an nearly the nakedly visceral torment it did if EVA's bomb some years before it didn't make it 'okay' to portray the protagonist in the mainstream products as anything less than a macho character), but still not something I would not consider blatant mud-slinging.
I will say this much about it: Tomino has said in interviews he is none too happy with Hideaki Anno. Not a peep out of him in regard to anyone involved with the Xeno games. Stanley Kubrick is dead of course, but I doubt he would have cared about anime anyway, though he may well have sued over EoE had it seen a U.S. theatrical release.
2nd EDIT: If you have time, also, this video really does a nice job of breaking down the philosophical and thelogical concepts in 2001, and will help explain how it influenced Xenogears/Xenosaga and Eva. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QipHzWqc9OU
Also one more thing, if anyone does watch Ideon, pay attention to the parallel between the character Kitty Kitten and Alice/Aruru in Xenogears. This one has no correlation in Eva, and I've never seen it picked up when someone compared Ideon to Xenogears before. I'd explain it, but it would involve a huge spoiler, and you can read that summary site if you really want to know anyway.