I was mainly thinking of this interchange:AuraTwilight wrote: I don't see how Rei's motives are at all selfish. Everything she ever did was for the sake of other people, with pretty much zero investment in her own safety, health, wants and needs.
The way it’s presented just struck me as explicitly selfish (rather than the ‘implicitly’ selfish that others have already brought up… ‘nobody does anything for truly selfish reasons’ stuff). She’s piloting to maintain her attachment to humanity—yeah, it’s in service to humanity, but that goes without saying. Shit, IMO the act of piloting period is selfless, but the pilots attitudes towards it are established egocentrically; “I pilot because I am _____ (bonded, looking for attention, etc.)”.ADV Platinum Subs Ep. 06 wrote: Shinji: Why do you pilot this thing?
Rei: Because I’m bonded to it.
Rei: Yes, it’s a bond.
Shinji: With my father?
Rei: With all people.
Shinji: You’re very strong, Ayanami.
Rei: I have nothing else.
Toji’s on the other hand felt more selfless, though. Yes he was ‘implicitly’ selfish because he would gain something out of having his sister transferred to a better facility, but he was doing it out of genuine concern for her wellbeing. Rei was just doing it because a) she was ordered to and b) to maintain some attachment to humanity.
I’ve entertained this thought as well. In fact, the scene you’re referring to pans out like this: when she says “I won’t let it irritate me anymore,” she casts a sidelong glance at her gun. The pairing of that phrase with that shot is definitely pointing toward something deeper than just “I’m not as sad anymore”… probably more like what you’re suggesting—“I’m not sticking this to my head anymore.”SSD wrote: At one point, there's a shot of Misato looking tired as well as a shot of Misato's gun. Does that seem to imply she was considering suicide up to that point, or is it ambiguous similar to rebuild spoiler
@ObsessiveMathsFreak: Great posts! The only comment I have to add is that as much as Third Impact/Instrumentality is an allegory for suicide, there’s still a remarkable difference between Shinji attempting suicide by jumping/drowning than by global annihilation, and this difference is essentially the same one as between jumping/drowning vs. letting the JSSDF soldiers blow his brains out. During Third Impact, Shinji didn’t actually have the power—GNR did, and she was asking Shinji what he wanted. It’s a lot easier to tell someone “well, I’d really like to die” than it is to hold one’s self underwater. I don’t doubt that Shinji was suicidal at this point at all; in fact, that kind of ‘convenient’ “Maybe I should just die too” road Shinji was trying to take is right in step with this characterization. It’s just terribly despicable that he’d prefer to end everyone else’s lives in the process…