I need your help [new guy questions]

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I need your help [new guy questions]

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Postby Nahash » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:48 am

[Sorry for my deplorable English]

For several months, a theory obsess me, literally, it does not happen a day without I think about it. I can not handle it anymore. I need your help.
This theory comes from a video-review trilogy created by Mickael J (Mickael J is a Corsican critic, I could tell you a lot about him, in good as in bad, but it would be too long).
Rather than the summary, I translate it and transcribe it:
(About Asuka)
And this one that Shinji will have to choose.
*Snigger*
Yeah, Sorry (for) the fangirls who wrote a lot of fanfictions about Shinji and Rei.
But, that true, he must choose Asuka.
Rei is, grosso modo, a (sexual) fantasy, she is the girl, such the Man would like: Obedient, Beautiful, No embarrassment to be naked, Smiling only for you. And because this series is for the otakus, blue hair and piloting a giant robot. For many, this is the perfect woman.
Basically, a doll. [Excerpt from Evangelion, Rei say “I'm not a doll”.] You are wrong, you are a doll. But, the audience starts to believe it, because Shinji try to believe it. In the same way as an otaku who falls in love with his pillow with a sexy babe draw on.
While Asuka is a real woman.
The one that grumpiness, the one that often complains, the one with whom we have problems in common, the one will not let you get an eyeful easily, the one that is impulsive, weird. Basically, a real woman. Not a fantasy version of women. And, to get out of his cocoon, Shinji must agree to give up Rei. And agree to be with Asuka.

I have three hypotheses:
1]I'm a fucking idiot who did not understand something implicitly understood by everyone, and you have the right to stone me for that.
2]This is a theory that circulates on the web but that I did not know.
3]This is his own theory, and if this is true, he never specifies it in his video.

In any case, I do not agree with this theory. Really disagree. I have ten thousand reasons to think so.
But rather than explain them all (because this text is already too long) I prefer to specify this important thing:
My favorite character is Rei.
And as you know, we are rarely objective with our favorite character.
And because I am conscious of my subjectivity. I ask, fans of Evangelion, who probably had a better knowledge of the background than me, your opinion.
Whether you agree or disagree, answer please.
I really need external opinions.

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Postby Snow » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:22 am

I somewhat support this, it is true that Rei was created as the critique to the ''Otaku Dream'', and Anno apparently expected everyone to be disgusted at her and her unrealistic nature. But needless to say, he failed. What comes to her being a doll, she is a purpose-built ''person'' with a clearly detailed objective after which she will no longer be necessary. This and Commander Ikari pulling the strings tightly around her clearly makes her very doll-like, although one can say that she sets herself free in EoE by disobeying direct orders and choosing Shinji instead of Commander Ikari.

However, i disagree with Shinji choosing Asuka. Or choosing at all. I very much doubt that Shinji would settle with Asuka, or Rei in the story. After all, he has (in my perspective) a pile of hatred and fear under his skin towards the lead Female trio in the story. Honestly, i doubt Shinji will ever find love.
Fuyutsuki did nothing wrong.

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Postby pwhodges » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:19 am

"Everybody finds love in the end" - but we haven't reached that point yet (quote from OP of 3.33 'Q', of course, so not necessarily relevant to the series). And in the manga especially, it is what Shinji does for Rei that develops their relationship, not what she can (subserviently) do for him. It's clear to me that even if Anno's original intention for Rei was as limited as that view of her (which is questionable), the character quickly escaped the limitations which that view implies.
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Postby Bagheera » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:14 am

In a metatextual sense there's something to this theory when looking at NGE/EoE, but of course there's so much more going on in the actual text that reducing things to this sort of binary choice is misleading. And it's misleading not because of Asuka (who really is the personification of reality and all its many trials and tribulations) so much as Rei (who is not really the personification of Instrumentality, and is instead the overbeing who is giving Shinji the option to choose his -- and by extension all of humanity's -- ultimate destiny). IOW the choice isn't between Rei/Instrumentality on the one hand and Asuka/reality on the other; instead it's a choice between oblivion on the one hand and harsh reality on the other, with Rei the instrument by which the decision is carried out.

So, long story short, the comparison at the core of the argument is misleading because it ignores the complexities of Rei's role and character.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby xanderkh » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:42 am

While I would incline to believe from a thematic point of view that Asuka would be the more "tougher" relationship to grasp, and therefore more real compared to the "easy" relationship with Rei as an Otaku fantasy, but reality is subjective to people, and can be perceived as both "tough" and "soft", depending on who you are, and neither are really less real than each other.

I'm not really sure what was going through Anno's mind when he created Rei, but I think he severely underestimated the audiences capacity for sympathy towards people who are suffering. I've heard a lot of sources that Anno created Rei to be something to reject and fear, but humanity is a fickle thing when it comes to rejection. Say what you will about our current political dilemma or our other behavior in the past, but I think a lot of what makes Rei so popular is our capacity to humanize and sympathize with others, be it via human or non-human. Heck, we're a species that sympathizes with our own anthropomorphic personifications (I.E: Toy Story, Brave Little Toaster, and who knows how many animal stories). A bit reason why people like Rei is probably out of a desire to help, because she doesn't know about the world and what it entails or what to expect from it. It's like a teacher and a student, how exciting it is to open their eyes to the world and see new things and experience it's wonders. Of course, this is just my opinion. :)

Snow wrote:However, i disagree with Shinji choosing Asuka. Or choosing at all. I very much doubt that Shinji would settle with Asuka, or Rei in the story. After all, he has (in my perspective) a pile of hatred and fear under his skin towards the lead Female trio in the story. Honestly, i doubt Shinji will ever find love.


What makes you say that? Yes, Shinji screwed up and has a lot to make up for, but that doesn't mean that his life is over and doomed, and he should just fade away.
"You're na�ve, Cecil. Even knowing betrayal and despair, you would depend on the whims of others?" - Golbez
---------------------------------------
Sephiroth: "Do you miss the Light?"
Golbez: "Hmph...I merely have duties to fulfill."
Sephiroth: "Too close to the brightness, and you may get scorched."
Golbz:.............
Golbez: Your loss can strengthen you.

"NGE Shinji is broken, Manga Shinji is an asshole, Rebuild Shinji is an idiot. Which is best? Uh, can I get some other options? All of these really suck." -Bagheera

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Postby Snow » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:25 am

View Original Postxanderkh wrote:
What makes you say that? Yes, Shinji screwed up and has a lot to make up for, but that doesn't mean that his life is over and doomed, and he should just fade away.


It's not just him screwing up, but the others around him giving him quite unfair treatment, especially Soryu. Note how he gets on to finish off Asuka for once and for all in the end of EoE, only to get humiliated yet again. It is not him coming in terms with himself or realising something, it just is his weakness of taking and maintaining a stand or decision. Soryu's extremely aggressive and competitive attitude doesn't fit him at all. Now, him being washed ashore the world that just ended together with her signed his fate. At least in EoE terms, he is doomed. What comes to the original TV-series, he will either accept being alone or find someone outside the Trio. This is just my opinion though.
Fuyutsuki did nothing wrong.

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Postby xanderkh » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:39 am

View Original PostSnow wrote:It's not just him screwing up, but the others around him giving him quite unfair treatment, especially Soryu. Note how he gets on to finish off Asuka for once and for all in the end of EoE, only to get humiliated yet again. It is not him coming in terms with himself or realising something, it just is his weakness of taking and maintaining a stand or decision. Soryu's extremely aggressive and competitive attitude doesn't fit him at all. Now, him being washed ashore the world that just ended together with her signed his fate. At least in EoE terms, he is doomed. What comes to the original TV-series, he will either accept being alone or find someone outside the Trio. This is just my opinion though.


You mean the ending scene? Oh, that can be interpreted a number of ways, but here's my opinion of it:

Just because you have a life-changing catharsis doesn't necessarily mean that everything will always be hunky-dory. There's still a possibly of you fumbling and yes, maybe even relapsing. But as long as you have people to help you remember what you've learned, it will be okay.

Take a look at the context of that last scene. Shinji and Asuka are acting very different from their usual personas. Shinji, in the act of choking Asuka, is basically showing that he's taking charge and not going to let a source of pain hurt him anymore, instead of just wallowing and taking it. He's taking the initiative, but we also have to consider the fact that he's been alone for a while, so while he's taking charge, he's not really in the right frame of mind at the moment.

Asuka also does something that's different from her persona. You say that she's aggressive and competitive, but yet at that very scene, she caresses Shinji's face with the kind of warmth that she wouldn't normally do, especially towards one that she has every right to hate and despise.

Yes, both Shinji and Asuka are screwed up and have a lot of steps to go to be okay, but they're taking steps in the right direction. :)
"You're na�ve, Cecil. Even knowing betrayal and despair, you would depend on the whims of others?" - Golbez
---------------------------------------
Sephiroth: "Do you miss the Light?"
Golbez: "Hmph...I merely have duties to fulfill."
Sephiroth: "Too close to the brightness, and you may get scorched."
Golbz:.............
Golbez: Your loss can strengthen you.

"NGE Shinji is broken, Manga Shinji is an asshole, Rebuild Shinji is an idiot. Which is best? Uh, can I get some other options? All of these really suck." -Bagheera

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Postby Snow » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:05 pm

View Original Postxanderkh wrote:You mean the ending scene? Oh, that can be interpreted a number of ways, but here's my opinion of it:

Just because you have a life-changing catharsis doesn't necessarily mean that everything will always be hunky-dory. There's still a possibly of you fumbling and yes, maybe even relapsing. But as long as you have people to help you remember what you've learned, it will be okay.

Take a look at the context of that last scene. Shinji and Asuka are acting very different from their usual personas. Shinji, in the act of choking Asuka, is basically showing that he's taking charge and not going to let a source of pain hurt him anymore, instead of just wallowing and taking it. He's taking the initiative, but we also have to consider the fact that he's been alone for a while, so while he's taking charge, he's not really in the right frame of mind at the moment.

Asuka also does something that's different from her persona. You say that she's aggressive and competitive, but yet at that very scene, she caresses Shinji's face with the kind of warmth that she wouldn't normally do, especially towards one that she has every right to hate and despise.

Yes, both Shinji and Asuka are screwed up and have a lot of steps to go to be okay, but they're taking steps in the right direction. :)


Soryu was out of persona in order to survive, to save herself. Anyone would have done that. In my opinion a strong point of that is that, immediately after Ikari stops and breaks down, she returns to her own persona by realising ''How Disgusting''. I'd say Ikari and Soryu are trapped in their own, shared hell.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:23 pm

View Original PostNahash wrote:And because I am conscious of my subjectivity. I ask, fans of Evangelion, who probably had a better knowledge of the background than me, your opinion.
You have come to a place with a long history of supporting AsuShin, so bear that in mind as you read the responses.

The "official" support for that pairing is mostly concentrated in the material added to episode 22 after the the series aired (the so-called Director's Cut version, usually named as episode 22'); with just the original material, both Asuka and Rei come somewhere in the middle in the "Congratulations!" scene, implying an answer of "neither" (and that's without having a position on what exactly happened in those last two episodes, and will happen next). That makes me the token anti-shipper here.

The true problem with Rei in Shinji/Rei is that she's an incarnation of the second angel, code-named Lilith (implied by her introspection in episode 25, and made explicit in EoE), plus there's the bit about being created from the attempt to salvage his mother, a fact that puts some people off the idea of pairing them together.

On the other hand, this doesn't stop some people reading the closing scene of EoE in terms of the apocrypha of the Garden of Eden, with Shinji as the new Adam, Asuka as the new Lilith and Rei the new Eve who is seen waiting for Lilith to be rejected before she can take her rightful place. And there's also Ikuhara's suggestion to Anno during the production of the series about how Rei's story could be wrapped up
Hideaki Anno wrote:Iku-chan said [to me], "in the last episode, please have Rei Ayanami get married and become pregnant. Just please betray the Ayanami fans. The Rei Ayanami they are thinking of is not real. The real Rei Ayanami gets married, and her belly..."
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Postby xanderkh » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:09 pm

View Original PostSnow wrote:Soryu was out of persona in order to survive, to save herself. Anyone would have done that. In my opinion a strong point of that is that, immediately after Ikari stops and breaks down, she returns to her own persona by realising ''How Disgusting''. I'd say Ikari and Soryu are trapped in their own, shared hell.


I'm more under the interpretation is that while a portion of her disgust is of Shinji, a lot of it stems from the experience she had in Instrumentality being naked in the eyes of so many souls at once. And besides, the Cover Art (which is confirmed to be canon by Anno) shows that they at least tolerate each other now and are moving in the right direction. :)

But again, different strokes for different folks. I just try to be optimistic. :)
"You're na�ve, Cecil. Even knowing betrayal and despair, you would depend on the whims of others?" - Golbez
---------------------------------------
Sephiroth: "Do you miss the Light?"
Golbez: "Hmph...I merely have duties to fulfill."
Sephiroth: "Too close to the brightness, and you may get scorched."
Golbz:.............
Golbez: Your loss can strengthen you.

"NGE Shinji is broken, Manga Shinji is an asshole, Rebuild Shinji is an idiot. Which is best? Uh, can I get some other options? All of these really suck." -Bagheera

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Postby Settie » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:30 pm

I gotta agree with the sentiment that others have said that it wasn't black/white choice between Asuka and Rei. While interpretations could be made for it, ultimately that wasn't what was displayed in the show + EOE. Rei was the avatar of the "deity" giving the choice to Shinji between the no pain but no joy of instrumentality and the pain and joy of reality. Asuka was the best representation of reality because of how similar she was to Shinji, both shared the hedgehog dilemma so while they could really hurt each other, they could also help each other. Which given Yuis' words, that choice given to every character and not just Shinji and Asuka.

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Postby Celepito » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:48 pm

The "How disgusting" can also be spun in numerous different ways:

It can be directed at Shinji, directed at the state of the world, directed at Instrumentallity, directed at what the MP Evas did to her and Unit 2, a show that it really is Asuka talking to Shinji and not another reality from Instrumentallity, ...

Dependent on how you view that, on what exactly everybody saw during Instrumentallity, on how that would affect the characters, etc. that woukd mean different things.

So we are back at the core problem of the Community: Everything can be interpreted differently, everybody has a different view on things and a differnt opinion on how to interpret.

PS: There is also the idea of opposites attract and balance each other out, which would be fitting for Shinji and Asuka, at least partial.

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Postby Snow » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:55 pm

View Original PostCelepito wrote:The "How disgusting" can also be spun in numerous different ways:

It can be directed at Shinji, directed at the state of the world, directed at Instrumentallity, directed at what the MP Evas did to her and Unit 2, a show that it really is Asuka talking to Shinji and not another reality from Instrumentallity, ...

Dependent on how you view that, on what exactly everybody saw during Instrumentallity, on how that would affect the characters, etc. that woukd mean different things.

So we are back at the core problem of the Community: Everything can be interpreted differently, everybody has a different view on things and a differnt opinion on how to interpret.

PS: There is also the idea of opposites attract and balance each other out, which would be fitting for Shinji and Asuka, at least partial.


For me, at least, it seems quite obvious that the phrase is pointed towards Ikari. After all, it was her only reaction to his breakdown.
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Postby pwhodges » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:10 pm

View Original PostCelepito wrote:The "How disgusting" can also be spun in numerous different ways:

It's also worth reminding ourselves that "Kimochi warui" is not what Anno wrote, quite apart from its not having a clear single translation into English...
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Postby Bagheera » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:46 am

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:It's also worth reminding ourselves that "Kimochi warui" is not what Anno wrote, quite apart from its not having a clear single translation into English...


It is what he ultimately went with, though. I tend to think he did that because of the term's ambiguity rather than despite it, but OTOH maybe he just threw up his hands at that point and said, "fuck it, I don't even care anymore, I'm done."
Last edited by Bagheera on Sat May 13, 2017 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby xanderkh » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:28 am

^

That pretty much would've been anyone's reaction in dealing with that mess of a film. XD

Well.....except ours and the tons of fans......I wonder what that means? XD
"You're na�ve, Cecil. Even knowing betrayal and despair, you would depend on the whims of others?" - Golbez
---------------------------------------
Sephiroth: "Do you miss the Light?"
Golbez: "Hmph...I merely have duties to fulfill."
Sephiroth: "Too close to the brightness, and you may get scorched."
Golbz:.............
Golbez: Your loss can strengthen you.

"NGE Shinji is broken, Manga Shinji is an asshole, Rebuild Shinji is an idiot. Which is best? Uh, can I get some other options? All of these really suck." -Bagheera

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Postby Celepito » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:04 pm

View Original PostSnow wrote:For me, at least, it seems quite obvious that the phrase is pointed towards Ikari. After all, it was her only reaction to his breakdown.


Even then it can be put in multiple ways. Directed at Shinji not helping in the fight against the MP Evas, at his self pitying before Instrumentallity, at all of his actions leading up to that point, at him not being able to finish the job, ...

I think you get my point though. Everybody thinks different, values different things, has a different view on thing, and so on.

-> sooooo no real answer, because it all depends on the interpreting person.

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Postby Snow » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:03 pm

So we come to the 3 options that remain;

1. Ikari x Soryu

2. Ikari x Ayanami

3. None of the above.

As i already stated, i believe in option 3 quite strongly, even coming to the point of seeing Soryu and Ikari as rivals. However, i don't see option 1 as impossible either. After all, Soryu is with him. Now, i do not believe in the possibility of option 2 realising. The strongest point to this being that Ayanami did not return from Instrumentality (I find it debatable if she was even included), not yet at least. I do not see any reason for her to come back, either. After all, she wanted to abandon life as quickly as she could. Some might say she would come back to comfort and give company to Ikari, but Soryu is there already. Lastly, the ''person'' that is seen in the closing scene is not in my opinion Ayanami, but the so called ''Quantum-Ayanami'', something i cannot quite explain.
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Postby Nahash » Fri May 12, 2017 11:50 pm

First, thank you. Really thank you.
Since I read yours answers, I feel better.
I finally come to think of Evangelion without thinking of this theory.
I especially thank Bagheera (But you are all interresting).
There is, however, one question I would like to ask, and a misunderstanding to correct.

I somewhat support this, it is true that Rei was created as the critique to the ''Otaku Dream'', and Anno apparently expected everyone to be disgusted at her and her unrealistic nature

I was not aware of that. Can you put the source? ^^

You have come to a place with a long history of supporting AsuShin, so bear that in mind as you read the responses.

There is misunderstanding.
I never thought that Rei (in the original series) had to end up with Shinji. It seems obvious to me that if one should find a lover in Shinji it would be more Asuka. (Although I would not describe their relationship as love, but rather pre-love. They are not in love with the series but in the way to become).
What bothers me, is not to say that Shinji finished with Asuka, but that Shinji must finish with Asuka. The nuance is important but difficult to translate into English.
The verb "doit" in French that I translated by “must” not mean the same thing. "Doit" has a moral connotation. It means “Be obliged to something by morality, by law, by its condition, by honor, by propriety...”
When MJ says "Shinji must(doit) choose Asuka". He does not just say that Shini actually ended up with Asuka in the series. But if he does not end up with Asuka for an X reason, it would be "immoral" (well, not really, but it's hard enough to translate, I hope you understand what I mean). And that a person who would move away from this pattern of thought (by writing a fanfiction for example) would do something “immoral”. That's why he says with condescension and mockingly "Yeah, Sorry (for) the fangirls who wrote a lot of fanfictions about Shinji and Rei."

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Postby Kendrix » Sun May 14, 2017 7:15 am

When a work of art exists for a long time, there just comes to be some sort of "commonly accepted perception" coined by earlier generations of fans (or just the loudest among them) about how the characters, events etc. are to be seen which a fresh viewer wouldn't necessarily rely on by themselves. Often, they contain gross oversimplifications of treat as "necessary" interpretations that aren't necessarily obligatory confusions.


When it comes to Evangelion, part of it is that whole "Anti Otaku revenge rant" misconception that attributes this strict cynical "index finger-y" tone to what's actually a pretty autobiographical work about the author's struggles with & reflections about his own shortcommings. He's a giant nerd himself and has said on record that he doesn't think there's any bad about being an otaku per se or anything, but he's got a certain self-awareness and is really talking about the pitfalls of sticking only to one niche in life while blocking out everything else.

The thing with Rei in particular is that Anno's got this weird disconnect toward her as a product of his subconscious and the usual shy artist's "I'm surprised anyone likes it" attitude that her toward the whole of EVA - That doesn't mean that she was meant to be a "mere creepy plot device", indeed in the same interview that's often cherrypicked to say he doesn't care abot her, he describes her as coming from the "purest, most core part of [himself]" - to an extent, Rei is/embodies/manifests/symbolizes that 'weird disconnected detachment' with whom her creator regards her and presumably, parts of himself.

I find it ironic that an argument that claims to speak for/about "real women" reduces Rei to some trap for Shinji to fall into, instead of a complex character with interesting sci-fi concepts and a moving character arc that is, at it's heart, about finding a little bit of breief, transient human wamrth, contact & meaning even among the barest or harshest of circumstances. (wether you read it as vagely shippy or friendship doesn't really matter that much (though you could IMHO make a good case), but, the point of Rei is that she's her own person even if very little of what she is is actually her own, not even her face, & even her very soul is something she only "loaned" and will have to give back. ) - That's not , there's a published thing out there of her VA discussing the whole "universal human feelings" aspect of it and documents detailing that Anno's primary directive as to what she was meant to come off as was "a bitterly unhappy girl with little sense of presence" r detailing how there was a theme about communication (relating to how he splurted too much of it out in ep 6 and felt he ran out of ideas for a while after that)
- indeed the one time she's outright assigned a significance, she (and Kaworu) are characterized as "The Hope that People can Understand each other". That's what they are, some good experiences that were short, and full of unfulfilled potential & ended painfully, but they're a proof of concept that understanding & positive experiences can happen, so that Shinji ends up going back, hoping that good things could happen again & ending up thinking back of all the good moments he had with them... and the whole rest of the cast, (c the "group photo" shot)
One has to be pretty cynical, or have an agenda in mind, to think that Rei is "wish fulfillment" just because she actually cares about Shinji & vaguely shows it now & then - She never cushions Shinji with the brutal honesty, tries to make him consider possible reasons NOT to go through with TI ("then what is your heart for") and often serves as a partial motivation to get him to do things he otherwise wouldn't dare, both and interpersonally (probably because at least at the beginning, the convrsation just wasn't gonna happen if he didn't take the initiative) and with her whole "raised in a lab & barely known how to human" presents a pile of baggage no smaller than Asuka's, they've compared her to being a bit like someone indoctrinated into a cult - indeed she's right there with Misato & Asuka in the Pre-Instrumentality montage about they all have complexities he can't ever fully predict.


It's not like Asuka is so "realistic" (Child Prodigy Ace Pilot with college degree, also super popular & good looking - plus, the idea that a girl who talks trash about you really has the hots for you & secretly all vulnerable?) - This isn't to say that "Actually Rei is great and Asuka is trash" but to show how arbitrary this argument is - It's a work of fiction, so it's stylized, exaggerated and metaphorical in order to underline a message. That's true for all characters.
Is the concept of a socially inept, lowkey philosophical solitary schoolgirl who also has an impressive determination and a sweet & caring side once you get to know her really that un-relatable and inhuman? It's hard not to take personal offense to that one.



It's true that Asuka is in most of her functions relative to Shinji, used to represent "the harsh realities o human coexistence" - but that's just it, coexistence, not-killing-each-other. Having to live with her =/= having to bed her.
If anything the fact that he has teenage lust for her is there to enhance the "hard to coexist with" aspect - after all it's easier to dismiss someone's criticism if you don't give a crap about their opinion, but we are drawn to other people & have to deal with rejection as a result - She's basically made to be the worst possible match for him, someone that he fails & dissapoints & doesn't understand, painfully similar in their headups and incopmprehensively different in their priorities, someone who forces him to deal with rejection... Like, it's not that I can't see how for some people this might make a ship here interesting b/c of this whole "opposites attract" hogwash, but in the end, she's also a character with her own story & themes, not some truculent baton meant to deliver the just punishment for Shinji's wimpiness, which is what this argument basically makes her out to be - What about her motivations, responsibility for her actions & consideration of what would be good for her?
Yeah, relationships are sometimes work, but they shouldn't be constant torture - in the first place, the "work" part is something you have to deal with if you want the good parts. Why pick the most difficult possible option? Like, I can see why a fanfic writer would do that or how some might see it as interesting but it's by no means "THE ONLY CORRECT ANSWER". They're all pretty young anyways, for all we know Shinji could end up married to, say, someone vaguely like a more toned-down version of Mana, or some dude he meets in his 20s, but ppl are gonna be more interested in reading something with the prexisting characters that's just this implicit rule that everything big and relevant is expected to happen in the part of the characters' lives that the camera is pointed at.

In the end both girls are associated with a lot of symbolistic dichotomies, but it's not some sort of clear-cut "negative/positive" split, they're both way more complex than that - This isn't about correct or incorrect choices but about the sometimes conflicting sources and desires affecting the human condition. Like, even if he got together with one of them the other would pobably wind up being an important friend.



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As for Ikuhara's comments, that's just Anno talking about a reaction he got from someone else, and the idea that "getting married and pregant" equals a "real" woman is kind of disgusting - Like, I get that it's in part just what we'd call poor word choice today and that he's really just talking about fanboyery in general and the whole purity complex, and how in 3D land people get old & gross biological stuff happens but that's demanding this one character be "sacrificed" to give a finger to a societal phenomenon that doesn't really have anything to do with the original intentions for her... Wouldn't poppin out babies make her more of an "idealized wife" or whatever? I get its meant to spite this toxic purity complex thing but that's not the only possible reason people like her - she's ultimatel someone who had a short, unrealized, possibly doomed existence that was eventually cut short and couldn't attain that sort of normalcy excepts in the brief moments that she vaguely bonded with some of her peers.
Like, dismissing such moments as "subservient fanservice" seems to painfully miss the point, she comes from this world of big concepts and shemes that she's subordinated to & starts out pretty disconnected from the people around her or even her own physicality, anything you'd term "everyday life", so experiencing some of that mundane stuff is a learning experience there.
And I know an eighteenth charm, and that charm is the greatest of all, and that charm I can tell to no man, for a secret that no one knows but you is the most powerful secret there can ever be.


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