Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby Rei IV » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:59 pm

I was thinking about the possibility Ritsuko of being illegitimate child (that is that neither her mother or father were married at the time of her conception). It could help explain the absence of her father. Naoko and whoever had a fling but the man did not stick around long enough to know he was the father of a daughter. I think it's interesting theory because of the subject of illegitimacy and being single woman with a child in Japanese society. I was thinking that even with a college education and a job, it must've been very difficult for Naoko, with absence of a man/spouse, bringing up her daughter in society that shuns single moms. Even today, it's difficult for women in Japan so I can't even imagine what it must've been like in 1985 or even the end of the 20th century. It could explain some of Ritsuko's lack of value and respect for herself, you know, the possibility that she shouldn't even exist or walk the earth because of that stigma. What do you guys think?
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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby Director Black » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:17 pm

The best piece of this is in episode 13 (Lilliputin Hunter), where Ritsuko says that she respects her mother as a good parent and great scientist, but detests her as a woman. From speculation on what can be applied to real life, many ex-wives start to become bitter, and it's natural that they are after leaving a loved one.

In other words, the husband has a powerful impact on Naoko since she kept what made her great as a mother and scientist, but left her feelings behind the door. It makes the love triangle between Gendo, Ritsuko and her mother and her confrontation with Rei I more tragic.

Much has been said about how Ritsuko was destined to repeat her mother's path because the two never learned true communication.
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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby Sachi » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:15 pm

Another decent explanation for the absence of a father would be that he died while she was a still a little girl, say during Second Impact or the following aftermath. I think claiming that Ritsuko was "illegitimate" (what an interesting way to refer to a child) might be stretching the details a bit, although there may be some more evidence to pick up in the way both the Akagis speak about love versus their careers.
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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby Sykes III » Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:18 pm

I do think there's something to this idea. Ultimately there isn't enough in the show to confirm or deny anything, but I do think the idea that Ritsuko respects Naoko as a mother and a scientist shows, perhaps, a respect for the difficulty of being a single mother with a demanding career. Now, we know the hatred of Naoko as a woman in the context of the show's plot is all about her relationship with Gendo, but the characters in NGE are nothing if not slaves to patterns and so it may follow that she's pursued men like Gendo recklessly before. Gendo's son is 14 while Naoko's daughter is old enough to see Gendo herself, so it follows that Naoko may have had Ritsuko when she was quite young. Gendo was 18 when Ritsuko was born -- how old is Naoko? Ritsuko may have been the result of an ill-fated university "fling" on Naoko's fault.

We'll never know, but I do feel like an absent father "feels" right for Ritsuko more than another dead one.

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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby Allemann » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:45 pm

The show doesn't give equal attention to every character's family background, which makes sense production-wise and plot-wise. Ritsuko is a supporting character. It's expected that her background isn't touched more than it's needed. There's nothing strange about that we don't know anything about her father.

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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby Tito » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:47 pm

Good observation.

According to the words from a woman called Ana María Fernández, the female constitution is divided in:

    1.- Mother
    2.- Wife
    3.- Subordinate

(Actually, she didn't say precisely this, but I've tried to summarize it as best as possible).

As a mother, namely, the conception of being an entity that lets another be born (reproduction) and takes care about her or him, is accepted by Ritsuko.
Likewise, the fact of being a professional (scientist) that manifests herself through work (employment) by means of orders from a superior (Gendo Ikari) is feasible for her too.
Now, the phase which she can't surpass, is the "Wife" section.

In hindsight (if the theory you say turns out to be true), Akagi's mother having gone through relationships whose experiences were not positive, will repeat the mistake over and over again until she finally understands it (which she didn't do, since committed suicide). Worst of all is that she leaves an iniquity to her daughter, and twice as difficult, since she not only seeks a father figure (who never had) through sexuality, but also through an older man to her (who is her boss).

It may be very true what you say, since I've seen it in real life cases.

[It should be noted that Ritsuko represents the figure of a human (in this case woman) lustful, in the fact of functioning as escapism, trauma and subordination].

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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby Joy Evangelion » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:07 pm

My own headcanon has been that Ritz' father was never really around, because of a couple (reasonable) reasons;

- There's the fact that the fathers that are explicitly mentioned in NGE are pretty crappy. Gendo is basically the poster child for bad anime dads, which going on the internet for two minutes will tell anyone(though, personally, I always thought he redeemed himself with his last words before being eaten by shogouki like a tootsie roll pop). I even subscribe to my own crackpot theory that the reason Gendo took Yui's family name was because his own father wasn't all that nice of a guy, that's how bad fathers are in NGE. Misato's father was pretty lousy as well, being hated by his wife and child(though he too redeems himself with his last moments). Asuka's dad wasn't that great of a guy either, going with the doctor while his wife lost his mind and Asuka's childhood was all kinds of messed up, and was probably pretty happy that she went off to Tokyo-3.

-Naoko's relationship with Gendo, which could say a couple different things. One is that she just has crappy taste in men, which is a pretty human problem to have, and NGE is mostly all about real human problems. She had a fling, Naoko got pregnant, and the dad wanted no part of it. Naoko, a genius and financially secure from designing super computers proceeds to tell the father to go kick rocks and raises her daughter alone. Or Ritz' pop could have been there in the beginning and run out on the Akagi girls sometime in Ritsuko's childhood which could have given both characters their pessimistic views on the man-woman relationship, which Ritsuko saw as irrational even way back in the Gehirn days.

But luckily, there is some conclusion as to the fathers ultimate fate, if he was indeed alive in 2016....he got tanged.
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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby Sachi » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:50 pm

Once again, I want to emphasize the possibility of Ritsuko's father dying during Second Impact and the following aftermath. Aside from the billions of people that died instantly when Second Impact occurred, the chaos that followed lead to wars worldwide. Merely a week after 2I itself, a nuclear bomb was dropped on Tokyo, killing a half million people. This would have been when Ritsuko was a young girl, being roughly the same age as Misato. Second Impact is a shared experience among the adults in NGE, who reminiscence about it in different ways with each other, particularly between Misato, Kaji, and Ritsuko. It's clear how it affected Misato, and it also inspired Kaji to begin his search for the truth. Meanwhile, Ritsuko's issues stem from being raised by a single mother. Could Second Impact have been at the core of Ritsuko's problems as well?
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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:38 am

For the adults' generation, 2I is clearly a default reason for why characters may be absent from the scene, even in the early 2000's flashbacks. But even before that, it's clear that the relationships we were told about were dysfunctional in one way or another, so a 1990s divorce or separation would be entirely plausible for the Akagis.

And then there's another possibility for Ritsuko's father to be missing from the scene

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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby Director Black » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:19 pm

Considering how much relationship troubles the Akagis seem to have, it wouldn't surprise me if the father left Naoko.

Thinking about it more, it could've been a really good device to further the background of Naoko.
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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby lilim » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:06 am

doesn't she say she respected her as a scientist, didn't understand her as a mother, and hated her as a woman?
i'm not saying she couldn't be an illigimate child but i think the distinction is important because i don't believe it exactly lends itself to the "she admired her for being a single parent" idea. these are assumptions on my part but i always thought that her mother was pretty negligent emotionally and self involved when it came to her daughter, putting not just her work but also her affair ahead of their relationship. i always thought that was what ironically and tragically helped propel ritsuko to end up repeating her mother's mistakes. her mother not giving her attention because she was wrapped up with working for, and being romantically (on her end) involved with gendo made her someone ritsuko couldn't relate to and so in effort to be someone who her mother would have valued as a person and been able to understand better she emulated her and took her place in both her position at NERV and .. her position with gendo, no pun intended. >>

incidentally, i think its interesting that her friendship with Misato is as lacking in communication as it is when it comes their parents since they basically did the same things as each other. Misato resented her father but ultimately joined NERV because of him and ritsuko is in a really similar position.

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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby eva01isbae » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:30 pm

Very interesting theory. This would also explain her desire for Gendo. Not only has she had sex out of wedlock before, she also could see him as a way to legitimize her existence. It would also explain why Casper chooses to cancel the self-destruct sequence rather than help her daughter kill Gendo. Her 'woman" portion rejects her illegitimate child and chooses to preserve the life of her lover instead.

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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby NemZ » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:32 am

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:And then there's another possibility for Ritsuko's father to be missing from the scene


Well, I suppose we know where she got that chin...
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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby RadicalRandy » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:57 am

View Original PostNemZ wrote:Well, I suppose we know where she got that chin...


To be fair, some random person on reddit described it best: It isn't Evangelion without pointy chins and giraffe necks.
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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby Reichu » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:20 am

Ritsuko has a fairly robust chin, which makes her stand out amidst the show's sameface females and pretty boys. Naoko's features are quite similar. Whoever the father is, Ritsuko doesn't seem to take much after him.
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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby Joseki » Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:59 am

View Original PostSachi wrote:Another decent explanation for the absence of a father would be that he died while she was a still a little girl, say during Second Impact or the following aftermath. I think claiming that Ritsuko was "illegitimate" (what an interesting way to refer to a child) might be stretching the details a bit, although there may be some more evidence to pick up in the way both the Akagis speak about love versus their careers.


Sligthly off topic but "illegitimate" is used in all the neolatin languages and it's pretty much equivalent to the english "love child".
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Re: Ritsuko Akagi, an illegitmate child?

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Postby pwhodges » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:13 pm

I think Sachi's point is that any child is, by virtue of existing - and that legitimacy is an odd concept to apply to one. In a society that values marriage, any other relationship is typically viewed as illegitimate - and of course if inheritance and status derive from the approved, legitimate, relationship, then the child of another relationship will be viewed as not inheriting either legitimately. But the child just is, regardless of their perceived status.
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