Gendo, Pink Floyd and fish love [IMMENSE SPOILERS]

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Boethiah
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Gendo, Pink Floyd and fish love [IMMENSE SPOILERS]

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Postby Boethiah » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:04 pm

So I was listening to Pink Floyd’s Hey You on the radio and it reminded me of Gendo for some reason. I couldn’t get my thumb on it until tonight.

There’s this really great video about "fish love" going around the video, that describes this hollow, selfish and fake “love” that’s really only there to fulfill your own emotional needs. It strikes me as implicitly contemptuous of the person it “loves” – by reducing another person to an instrument, you’re essentially looking down on them. The last, desperate cry of “hey you” and the lyrics that hold others in contempt (“always doing what you’re told”) yet express a great need at the same time – both depicted in physical, sexual imagery (“naked by the phone”) and emotional language - are examples of fish love at its finest.

In the manga, Gendo shares essentially the same core personality and motivation as his anime counterpart – that is to say, he loves Yui and needs her by his side, and will (quite literally) cause the apocalypse to have her back. This is made explicit as the core of his motivations, even.

But there’s some subtle differences that make him a much more interesting character than in the anime. During the grave scene where he converses with Shinji, he (as in the anime) gives his son advice. This time around, though, it’s a bit different.

“People live only by their own strength, grow only by their own strength. Only children need parents…and you are no longer a child.”

It seems difficult to reconcile this misanthropic, loathing Gendo with the lovesick, almost juvenile Gendo portrayed in the finale. Upon closer examination, though, it makes perfect sense. And it all starts off with the fact that, as (again) is stated in both series, Yui wanted to stay in EVA-01.

Gendo doesn’t consider this, of course. He can’t consider it. He loves her, sure, but it’s a self-centered love that cares only about how her can satisfy his emotional needs. He never considers what she wants unless it helps him satisfy his own needs. It’s not sociopathic, and it would be a great disservice to reduce his character to labels like sociopathy. But it’s so narcissistic and selfish that the acts it perpetuates make it functionally no different.

And it mixes in perfectly with the distrust he shows to Shinji at the graveside. If you’re the only one who’s going to look out for yourself, you’re the only one you should look out for. But – as Gendo proves – you still need others, not just physically (like he needs Shinji and Ritsuko) but emotionally. It’s this twisted, solipsistic definition of “love” that’s the result of trying to reconcile the two.

But the show is nothing but sympathetic to this needy, pseudo-love. So much of Evangelion is about it! Think of Shinji or Asuka, who display it to varying degrees. This self-centered need for others is, in the end, a byproduct of a damaged and broken psyche that needs help. You need to be someone as miserable and as pathetic as Shinji or as Asuka to feel this way, and Gendo is the logical outcome of either of those two reaching adulthood without outgrowing it.

We’re never shown what happened to Gendo to make him this way, and I think it’s for the best that it’s left to our imaginations. All we need to know is that, like the Joker in The Killing Joke, something happened to Gendo that made him like this. I love it.

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Re: Gendo, Pink Floyd and fish love [IMMENSE SPOILERS]

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Postby NemZ » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:22 pm

And it all starts off with the fact that, as (again) is stated in both series, Yui wanted to stay in EVA-01.


Only in the dc version of the anime. in the original nothing of the sort is mentioned.
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Re: Gendo, Pink Floyd and fish love [IMMENSE SPOILERS]

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Postby Reichu » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:39 pm

I think you can safely assume that someone is talking about the final version unless they specifically mention otherwise. You seem to enjoy protesting about this simply for its own sake, not because it's actually useful or productive in any way.

In this case, it's less necessary than usual, since even if the series had tragically ended with the TV finale there is still episode 20 going "hint hint". The salvage plan for Shinji just recycles what they used to try to bring Yui back, which as we know failed in its objective. When Shinji's salvage looks to be failing as well, Ritsuko says, "Shinji, don't you want to come back?" So, if not wanting to return can cause a salvage attempt to fail, well... you've just been, essentially, told why Yui's in the Eva. This sort of indirectness and use of parallel is par for the course in Eva.
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Re: Gendo, Pink Floyd and fish love [IMMENSE SPOILERS]

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Postby Bagheera » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:31 pm

It's also worth noting that Yui gobbled up an S2 organ in ep 19, and she presumably did that for a reason. That reason is never identified in the on-air version of the show, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Between that and the hints in ep 20 it seems obvious that Yui had a plan of her own even in the televised version of the show.
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Re: Gendo, Pink Floyd and fish love [IMMENSE SPOILERS]

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Postby NemZ » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:37 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:I think you can safely assume that someone is talking about the final version unless they specifically mention otherwise. You seem to enjoy protesting about this simply for its own sake, not because it's actually useful or productive in any way.


Because I'm bothered by the default assumption of erasure of my preferred version? Sorry, not sorry.

The rest of this is a tangent that has nothing to do with OP's post.
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