Sicarius VI wrote:
1. Shinji was not choking Asuka to try and kill her, but figure out if she was alive, we find this all out from a trading card game that the name escapes my mind, but it's been officially endorsed by Anno and Gainax.
That doesN't mean they screened every part/ would be speculation that they simply let be. I mean if he never intended to strangle her at all if would really take away from the scene & the violent iconography in it. Otherwise he could just, like, poke her.
To begin with, Shinji isn't really the "murdery revenge" kind of guy & tends to feel bad about causing distress even to ppl who are his enemies or when he couldn't help it. He's generally more lowkey about expressing frustration, more likely to get all mouthy & complain about unfairness than to confront anyone head on & throughout the series he consistently doesn't want any human lives on his hands, even if he's not very sucessul or realistic about accomplishing this.
EoE represents a point where he's pushed so far by so much trauma & punishment that the pent-up inner resentment comes to the outside - in terms of narrative craftng so it can be purged & dealth with. This the very day after Kaworu's death, Shinji considered drowning himsef earlier that morning - a wholly exceptional circumstance really, had he been given even a couple of days to bounce back the whole thing would have gone differently (but we would have a boringer movie, so yeah.)
It also has to be considered that its implied that he was on his own for a while, thinking he'd killed everyone (the script specifies that those posts like the one with Misato's cross on it were supposed to be gravemarkers) - Choking her was probably a split-second impulsive decision to begin with, like, he saw her & was overtaken with wrath about all the grievances she caused him, & seized her by the neck, but it wasn't the sort of deliberate decision that it would be hard to dissuade him from given that he's not usually a violent person.
The physical touch basically made him snap out of it & realize what he's doing. It's something sure to get a response from him because he's just not very used to physical affection.
I mean she was a jerk to him, but someone being a jerk doesn't mean you're justified in killing them - its the opposite that would need more justification, not sparing her, it's not an all or nothing thing - Besides, the whole movie was about Shinji comming to terms with coexisting with others even if it's at times hard & painful - & here Asuka, a person he's had nothing but conflict with (with the hormonal crush merely adding to it) is a standin for all the difficulties one encounters during interaction. It's kind of a microcosm of the movie in which Shinji almost went through with Third Impact because he's just so through with the world - "They never cared for me so why should I stop their demise?" (note that his decision to do this is also representated by his choking a mental representation of Asuka) - through deliberation he basically comes to decide that this isn't really what he wants & undoes everything by coming back.
Letting Asuka go is sort of an affirmation or continuation of that, of "We have to coexist even if it sucks".
In the end the scene was meant to be ambiguous & discussed to death & probably crafted more with the idea of leaving a certain emotional taste in the viewer's mouth.
And how is Asuka even capable of such gestures? I mean, she was never able to show such kindness towards a person before, much less towards Shinji, whom she may have despised before.
Personally, I chose to interpret Asuka's side of things in the light of how that line was supposed to go in the draft: "I'll never let someone like you kill me!" which Anno probably felt didn't have enough Oophm.
Asukas own story in the movie is that after being to the lowest of lows she finds out that when she's actually faced with the prospect of being killed, she doesn't actually want to die - after all her whole over-the-top pride & were that she feared that she'd get screwed over & be destroyed just like her mom if she wasn't invincible & perfect. I don't think this was something Asuka was consciously aware of before, she was all like "I'd rather die than lose my pride" and instead seems to have at last starved herself if not outright attempted suicide when they find her in ep 24.
Her callous conpetitive behavior is self-preservation thrown into overdrive & twisted into a perverse knot that ultimately does the opposite (as it is often the case with ppl's complexes and defensive patterns) - & from the moment she wakes up to the sound of those bombs her goal is pretty much to survive
- a sort of full circle since she always kind of represented vitality & force.
At first she's kinda whimpering & afraid but reuniting with her mother & getting her side of the story gives her the motivation boost to actually act to make it happen & once EVA 02 activates, she fights like a savage to her last breath; Then, she presumably gets her soul picked up by a random Rei apparition the way Misato & Ritsuko did & much of what we see during instrumentality related primarily to Shinji's PoV of things, their various communication fails & what she represents to him
, but on the beach scene we see Asuka proper back to full individuality as if she'd just come from her battle (the bandages are probably meant to remind us of it) - her being back earlier than the average person could have to do with her personally knowing Shinji & thus noticing he wasn't in the collective, thereby being reminded of her individuality, but it probably also has to do with how her las conscious thoughts were not wanting to die - so she's still acting out of that motivation.
Even in the finished draft, she's note to say her last line "in the coldest possible voice" - And given that he did almost kill her & do something that, extreme circumstances aside, is basically sexual harassment, that's not surprising .
I think she reached out because she knew it would get him to relent, though there may have been other less conscious motivations - when he stops & breaks down, we see that she doesn't have any sympathy for him at all (which again she has no reason to though it's hard not to see a continuation o her usual contempt) - in a sense, that's a fulfillment of the caveat that Shinji was told: Bring the AT fields back and people will be able to hurt & deceive each other again. We're seeing the first moment of hurt & deception, in a sense a confirmation that instrumentality is truly undone & thsús "all we need to know"
As for "her actions comming back to bite her", didn't Asuka get more than enough of that? I mean from ep 16 onwards it starts dawning on her that her fantasy reality where she's a perfect person is not the truth, she ends up in partially self-inflicted isolation (much like Shinji), her vainglorious need to prove herself gets her into progressively messier defeats.
In the end she's just a douchey teenager - it's not like she's not to blame for it (sure she had a bad past but so did nearly everyone else & while they're all flawed they're not, like, actively mean to everyone they meet), but only in so far as a traumatized teenager can be responsible for anything.
Someone who's dead can't learn after all.
I mean if she were a real person and I a person her age or younger (as I was when I first watched the show) I would probably hugely dislike her & avoid being around her but saying she deserves death is a huge different caliber, and saying that it's surprisig Shinji didn't off her seems like a bit of a burn-the-witch attitude to me. Choking her is ultimately a heinous act in itself even if we can understand & forgive Shinji under the execeptional circumstances. It's not a good thing, and it would be even worse if he'd gone through with it. He'ck, he'd probably have blamed himself forever once he's come to his senses.