Was emo Shinji becoming AN HERO in 25'?

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Postby Merridian » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:31 pm

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.
I was mainly thinking of this interchange:
ADV Platinum Subs Ep. 06 wrote: Shinji: Why do you pilot this thing?
Rei: Because I’m bonded to it.
Shinji: Bonded?
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.
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.)”.

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.

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
:nod: 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.”

@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…

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:01 am

OMF: I've seen your thoughts on this matter before, but excellent posts!

S2 Works number A-11 Depression (Fitting, eh? Anno titled each BGM track) is the creepy piece playing during mist-Shinji in episode 25. IIRC it was used elsewhere in-series, but I forget where.

Merridian: Excellent points about Misato, I agree fully. :nod: Though I don't think Shinji was AWARE stating "everybody die!" would literally cause that.

Luc: Constructive criticism instead of just posting an emoticon is good. >_>;
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Postby AuraTwilight » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:34 am

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.)”.


That's certainly putting a lot of loaded implications into a few words that are vague as all fuck. Considering Rei's character and nature, I'm sure one could make a better case that she is merely devoting herself, selflessly and restlessly, to humanity's safety. Almost as if she was mankind's mother or something. Hm.

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.


Your sense of what you think is selfish/selfless comes off a bit skewed to me. Toji is pretty selfish himself, since he wants his sister to be healthy because of his own desire not to lose her. How is this any less selfish than Rei's desire for Ikari's happiness, or humanity's safety?

@OMF: Omg my brain you blewed it.

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Postby Merridian » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:58 am

SSD wrote:Though I don't think Shinji was AWARE stating "everybody die!" would literally cause that.
Probably not, but that wasn't my point. It's still easier to say "I'd rather die" than it is to drown yourself. And if the person you're saying "I'd rather die" to just so happens to have the ability to see that particular wish through, then it's a free ticket that doesn't require the conviction necessary for self-wrought suicide.

AuraTwilight wrote: That's certainly putting a lot of loaded implications into a few words that are vague as all fuck. Considering Rei's character and nature, I'm sure one could make a better case that she is merely devoting herself, selflessly and restlessly, to humanity's safety.
:lol: True. It just struck me as a dichotomy; she pilots to maintain that link, for without that link, she is completely and utterly without meaning. Also, if it were truly motherly in this respect, wouldn’t she have more value on her own life? A mother’s sacrifice is one thing, but wanton ambivalence toward survival is beyond motherly instinct. And her purpose for living as dictated by her creator amounted to what was effectively an apocalypse… though I suppose this truth might crush whatever motherly instinct that had been transferred over.
AuraTwilight wrote:Toji is pretty selfish himself, since he wants his sister to be healthy because of his own desire not to lose her. How is this any less selfish than Rei's desire for Ikari's happiness, or humanity's safety?
:shrug: couldn’t the logic behind Rei’s motherhood status be applied to Toji’s status as a brother? I mean sure, no one usually wants to lose their sister, but it’s often motivated out of something more than a simple “I like being around them”. In fact, I’d call Toji’s bond with his sister far more personal than Rei’s bond with humanity. For one thing, Toji understood his bond and had obviously come to terms with it—Rei didn’t really understand much about her existence, which included the link she had with humanity.

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Postby Kamina » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:04 pm

Wow i never even considered that he may have been attempting suicide in either case you guys just made the series that much darker for me. It all makes since tho, especially with the act of suicide in Japanese culture being rather normal. I always found it odd he was sitting on the dangerous side of the fence in episode 4 but never thought he was contemplating suicide but maybe was thinking about it a bit, contemplating the results but not actually thinking if he was going to do it or not. He was in a very dark place at that point.

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Postby AuraTwilight » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:48 pm

True. It just struck me as a dichotomy; she pilots to maintain that link, for without that link, she is completely and utterly without meaning. Also, if it were truly motherly in this respect, wouldn’t she have more value on her own life? A mother’s sacrifice is one thing, but wanton ambivalence toward survival is beyond motherly instinct. And her purpose for living as dictated by her creator amounted to what was effectively an apocalypse… though I suppose this truth might crush whatever motherly instinct that had been transferred over.


You have to keep in mind that Rei has been spiritually lobotomized, and the part of her spirit that seems to regulate her self-worth, ego, and identity are contained within Unit 00, and she seems to be aware of this. She might be speaking VERY literally when she says Unit 00 is her connection to people.

Even if she didn't, such spiritual damage would probably destroy her concept of self-preservation, and she'll be like many animal mothers in nature that literally die for their children.

couldn’t the logic behind Rei’s motherhood status be applied to Toji’s status as a brother? I mean sure, no one usually wants to lose their sister, but it’s often motivated out of something more than a simple “I like being around them”. In fact, I’d call Toji’s bond with his sister far more personal than Rei’s bond with humanity. For one thing, Toji understood his bond and had obviously come to terms with it—Rei didn’t really understand much about her existence, which included the link she had with humanity.


Indeed, I never disagreed with this, I was just using an example to show the flaws in your argument. I'd say that Shinji and Asuka are the only selfish EVA pilots in the series.

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:20 pm

Split from this thread. ~SSD
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NemZ wrote:Shinji has never been drawn in such a manner before


Quite -- can anyone really doubt that this is meant to depict someone who has just stuck his head in a bucket of water (or similar)?

Image

NemZ wrote:Misato told him in the car that's what people were trying to do and what he had to stop.
Of course it's not clear that he was paying attention to much other than his bottomless reserves of self-pity at that point.
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Postby Lucretius » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:53 pm

Isn't the whole bangs-over-eyes thing just a visual cliche indicating pensiveness? :shrug:

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Postby ObsessiveMathsFreak » Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:27 pm

NemZ wrote:@OMF: What are you referring to in 25?

I attempted to lay out the general theory of Shinji's suicide attempt by the lake in this thread. The key to the interpretation is the psychedelic scene of Shinji in the mist. I believe it is surreal and distinct enough within the context of the episode to be an allegory for a suicide attempt.

Discussion about this specific topic might be better off in the linked thread.
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Postby AuraTwilight » Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:09 pm

Lucretius wrote:Isn't the whole bangs-over-eyes thing just a visual cliche indicating pensiveness? :shrug:


It's not just that, though. His hair is completely different, and it is clearly wet.
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Postby Legendary » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:47 pm

Shinji's had his hair mostly in that position when it was clearly dry. The only differences are that the hair is now over his eyes, and that it's much brighter in color. Much like his face. Looking at it now, it seems even more likely that what's on his face is sweat or tears, and that his hair is just like that for the visual cliche.

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Postby planet news » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:12 pm

What's the meaning of the cylinder falling from the power line pole?

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Postby Shin-seiki » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:25 pm

planet news wrote:What's the meaning of the cylinder falling from the power line pole?
Just the movie taunting Shinji over Kaworu's death:
Image

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Postby GAP » Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:46 pm

Shout Out?
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Postby planet news » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:07 pm

Shin-seiki wrote:Just the movie taunting Shinji over Kaworu's death:


I can't believe I didn't catch that. Taunting is an adequate term there then, especially if Shinji just failed at a suicide. Perhaps reinforcing to him why he wanted to kill himself in the first place.

I've never seen a film/series that intentionally left so many scenes that seem vital to character understanding, i.e. Ritsuko rape, Asuka bathtub, this.

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Postby NemZ » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:18 pm

I never noticed that before. Wow.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:03 am

NemZ wrote:I never noticed that before. Wow.
And that is one of the easy (blatant, even) bits of self reference (read : something even I spotted first time around).
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Postby ZapX » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:05 am

Yeah that one was easy to catch. The Misato/Sachiel one, on the other hand, took me a long time to notice.
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Postby Shin-seiki » Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:02 am

Lucretius wrote:Isn't the whole bangs-over-eyes thing just a visual cliche indicating pensiveness? :shrug:
I'd say in NGE it tends to indicate a character feeling chagrin and mortification:
Image

Anyway, as for whether Shinji had just tried to drown himself, I concede that there's enough ambiguity such that one can't really call it irrefutable fact, but here's how I look at the scene. There's an obvious mirroring here with the end of the movie: Shinji by the shore with ruined buildings, power poles, and decapitated statue(s):
Image Image

Shinji apparently arrived on the beach at the end after bobbing up out of the drink:
Image

Is the apparent parallelism sufficient to justify an assumption that his wet-head implies that he just came out of the drink here...
Image
...given what Anno said about him being someone incapable even of killing himself, and the falling transformer splash, as noted above, rubbing it in for good measure?

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Postby esselfortium » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:06 pm

Alright, even I have to admit the falling transformer splash is a very interesting find.

While I'm still not really sold on the suggested drowning attempt -- personally I just take some issue with the idea of implying such major developments so briefly and vaguely that most people wouldn't think to notice them until someone writes a convincing argument suggesting it 10+ years after the fact, though that's not to say I'm completely opposed to the idea -- I can definitely see the splash being used as a subtle cue, a nonverbal reminder to Shinji of the most recent and most significant of his perceived sins, setting him up further for the guilt and self-pity that we see a lot of in the movie that follows.


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