How misunderstood is Asuka?

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How misunderstood is Asuka?

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Postby C.T.1290 » Tue May 30, 2017 10:09 pm

Many of us (on site and off site) have judged Asuka for the way she's​ been throughout the entire series. A lot of people had criticized her for "being a bitch", or "she's too cocky, and arrogant", ect. And the fact is, they aren't lying, as there are some truth in what's been said. Meanwhile, there are people who would defend her, saying that she's not what she seems, and that she's just as hurt and misunderstood as Shinji is.

So how misunderstood is she?

I'll admit that I have judged Asuka for her actions (and I believe I still do, but as harshly as some others do). But I like to believe that she is a good person at heart who is capable of some form of redemption and making things right with people close to her (such as Shinji).

So, what do you think of Asuka?
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Re: How misunderstood is Asuka?

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Postby silvermoonlight » Wed May 31, 2017 2:44 am

I think people misjudge Asuka because they don't understand the root causes of her behaviour and how it has impacted her emotional growth. For the record I do not condone her bullying or her hurting people in any way in the series but I think its important to understand that her neglect and possible childhood abuse along with her mothers death is causing it and just like Shinji she deserves her chance at redemption. Because some of the spin off manga's do show that once she drops her colder shielded side she does have a heart of gold and will always protect her friends while EOE shows her courage to fight against the odds even when there against her.
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Re: How misunderstood is Asuka?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed May 31, 2017 4:44 am

The real problem with Asuka is that she's more or less a very believable 13-year-old girl that never grew up. And not in the cultural or behavioral "oh, she never matured" sense, no, she literally can't get any older than 14-years-old. If she doesn't die in EoE, then her body is somehow stuck in one of the worst years of pubescent development for what seems to be the rest of her life. Very little of us like who we were at that age, and the ones who do probably repressed most of their memories from that time anyway. And I personally would be very humiliated if most people's last memory of me was my ugly, early-teenage self. In NTE especially, after the establishment and the exploitation of all things "moé" in the anime industry as a whole, Asuka then becomes the seemingly promised moé character that the franchise never truly delivers upon. People who had never seen Eva before (especially in the Western world) were greeted in the merchandising and the advertising campaigns with a seemingly cute, young female with big eyes who's trying to do right in the world by piloting the Evangelion against the Angels, and what they experience when they watch the films instead is a character that doesn't act too different from the obnoxious brats from which most modern anime are expected to be an escapist form of entertainment.

And I say all of this as someone who is, more or less, on "Team Red." Anno always had fun with his red-heads in his anime (I saw Nadia before Eva, which has several examples of this characteristic of Anno's story-telling), and even before Asuka was introduced as a character in the TV series I saw her face pop up in the OP and thought "When are we going to see the director have fun with that character?" So of course I was more interested in her than I was in Rei, even before the character had been properly introduced. I don't call her a brat because the character annoys me, I call her a brat because that's more or less what her character is designed to be. And it's lovely! Everything from her assertiveness at such a young age to the fact that she tends to rage-quit more viewers interest in her than most other characters in the entire series, possibly even more than other anime characters in the entire medium. Kaworu summarizes Eva's relationship with its fans pretty well in Eva Q, "I'm sorry this isn't the happiness you were looking for." And Asuka is certainly one of those elements in Eva that performs that role exquisitely well.
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Re: How misunderstood is Asuka?

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Postby pwhodges » Wed May 31, 2017 5:13 am

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:The real problem with Asuka is that she's more or less a very believable 13-year-old girl that never grew up. And not in the cultural or behavioral "oh, she never matured" sense, no, she literally can't get any older than 14-years-old.

In the series she doesn't get the chance; but there's no reason to suppose that she won't continue to grow and develop after EoE, as Bagheera suggests in his fic: Ghosts of Evangelion. The complicating factor in understanding her in the series is her precociousness, which comes from her early need to prove herself (though the capability is presumably in-built).

In Q, the third Rebuild film, the notion of "the Curse of Eva" in introduced, keeping her body as a teen while (presumably) her mind continues to mature (on top of similar precociousness). We have not (yet) been shown any other in-universe consequence of this to justify it, so at present the evidence is that this is purely a marketing gimmick*; though why an older Asuka in addition to the younger wouldn't be marketable I have no idea - no one seems to mind that Misato is older.

* Most obviously it enabled them to make trailers without revealing the major feature: the time skip.

As for misunderstandings - I guess that people probably misunderstand Asuka (and Shinji, and...) about the same amount as they misunderstand people they don't know intimately in real life.
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Re: How misunderstood is Asuka?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed May 31, 2017 6:46 am

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:In Q, the third Rebuild film, the notion of "the Curse of Eva" in introduced, keeping her body as a teen while (presumably) her mind continues to mature (on top of similar precociousness). We have not (yet) been shown any other in-universe consequence of this to justify it, so at present the evidence is that this is purely a marketing gimmick*; though why an older Asuka in addition to the younger wouldn't be marketable I have no idea - no one seems to mind that Misato is older.

* Most obviously it enabled them to make trailers without revealing the major feature: the time skip.

As far as NTE goes, I would actually argue that Misato is used more towards fans-service in Ha and jo than Asuka is. (Misato is more proud of her body, gets more nude scenes, and we actually see her naked butt.) So, if fan service was a factor in Eva Q's marketing, and if 40-year old characters aren't more serviceable than characters in their 20's, and since Misato has been used more for sex appeal than Asuka is, then Misato being older would be more of a betrayal of that marketable fan service than an older Asuka would have been. But Misato is older, so Q already betrays that presumed marketable fan service. This leads me to believe that there's something more going on with Asuka (and Mari... and Kaworu and Shinji) with their frozen ages than mere sex appeal. (God knows that goofy hats, wind breakers, and eye-patches are more prone to niché fetishes than they are aesthetics of widely-marketable sex appeal.) But only time will tell.
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Re: How misunderstood is Asuka?

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Postby robersora » Wed May 31, 2017 7:03 am

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:In Q, the third Rebuild film, the notion of "the Curse of Eva" in introduced, keeping her body as a teen while (presumably) her mind continues to mature (on top of similar precociousness). We have not (yet) been shown any other in-universe consequence of this to justify it, so at present the evidence is that this is purely a marketing gimmick*;


Additionally, I'm pretty sure it's called the curse of Eva, because it is meant to be some sort of meta commentary about how people never grow out of Eva.
I'm really looking forward to a 3.0 Complete Collection Book, where we will hopefully find answers what the exact thought process was behind this factor.

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:* Most obviously it enabled them to make trailers without revealing the major feature: the time skip.


All the trailers prior to the release avoided showing any of the pilots... So in marketing terms, they could have made them older. Kinda curious, because the time skip wouldn't have been given away if they showed the pilots, as they haven't aged. Pretty weird.

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:As far as NTE goes, I would actually argue that Misato is used more towards fans-service in Ha and jo than Asuka is.


I would agree, if not for the big ass shot of Asuka in 2.22.
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Re: How misunderstood is Asuka?

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Postby Joseki » Wed May 31, 2017 8:59 am

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:In Q, the third Rebuild film, the notion of "the Curse of Eva" in introduced, keeping her body as a teen while (presumably) her mind continues to mature (on top of similar precociousness). We have not (yet) been shown any other in-universe consequence of this to justify it, so at present the evidence is that this is purely a marketing gimmick*; though why an older Asuka in addition to the younger wouldn't be marketable I have no idea - no one seems to mind that Misato is older.


I think that a 28 years old Asuka asking Shinji to help him, or why he didn't help her after the Eva fight, wouldn't make any sense. Mari "shipteasing" would make Asuka a pedo too.
Pretty much all the interactions between Asuka, Mari, Kaworu and Shinji would feel "strange" and overall it would have made Q a different movie (the final scene would feel really different too, a real shame given how perfect it is).
I believe that Shinji's remark on how "nothing about you [Asuka] has changed apart from the eyepatch" it's not only about her physical aspect.

robersora wrote:Additionally, I'm pretty sure it's called the curse of Eva, because it is meant to be some sort of meta commentary about how people never grow out of Eva.
I'm really looking forward to a 3.0 Complete Collection Book, where we will hopefully find answers what the exact thought process was behind this factor.


I think the Curve of Eva is more about Anno himself than a comment about a (small) part of the fandom being fixated on Eva. In an interview released before Q he said he gave up on this kind of criticism.
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Re: How misunderstood is Asuka?

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Postby pwhodges » Wed May 31, 2017 9:05 am

View Original PostJoseki wrote:I think that a 28 years old Asuka asking Shinji to help him, or why he didn't help her after the Eva fight, wouldn't make any sense. Mari "shipteasing" would make Asuka a pedo too

But from her point of view it would not be hard for her to see him also as having aged to the same extent as her, even though he's gained no experience meantime. Also, she's talking to him as another Eva pilot while piloting, so in that sense they are still potential equals. At the least it's not clear-cut.
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Re: How misunderstood is Asuka?

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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed May 31, 2017 10:10 am

View Original Postrobersora wrote:All the trailers prior to the release avoided showing anyone except the pilots...
FTFY
Yes there was the one with just the CG piano -- but we also had nekomimi space pirate Asuka (August 2011 teaser), and one with Shinji curled up on a bed with the SDAT, and IIRC some Kaworu (October 2012) .
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Postby robersora » Wed May 31, 2017 3:18 pm

^
Oh yeah, totally forgot about space Asuka. I was wrong, sorry. Can't remember seeing Kaworu beforehand, though he would be an exception from the Curse of Eva anyways, since he's some kine of Angel in NTE.
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Postby Joseki » Wed May 31, 2017 3:44 pm

^

Kaworu and Shinji were in the official artwork released at end of 2011.

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:But from her point of view it would not be hard for her to see him also as having aged to the same extent as her, even though he's gained no experience meantime. Also, she's talking to him as another Eva pilot while piloting, so in that sense they are still potential equals. At the least it's not clear-cut.


If Q Asuka really is a 28 years old in her mind, the same age as Misato was in 2.0, she should be able easily understand Shinji's situation and act accordingly.
An Asuka stuck in her 14 years old body and mind for 14 years, a bit like Anno let's say, probably wouldn't have the tools to do so and consider him rightly as a naive, clueless, childish equal.
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Re: How misunderstood is Asuka?

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Postby Settie » Wed May 31, 2017 5:04 pm

View Original Postrobersora wrote:Additionally, I'm pretty sure it's called the curse of Eva, because it is meant to be some sort of meta commentary about how people never grow out of Eva.
I'm really looking forward to a 3.0 Complete Collection Book, where we will hopefully find answers what the exact thought process was behind this factor.


I'm not familiar with all aspects of the eva fan community but why would that be an issue? For example I've been a Godzilla fan since i was a kid, damn near watched every movie and intend to continue doing so, so why is not growing up out of a franchise fandom a negative? Or is it something that's specific about eva??


To OP, it depends on which Asuka we're discussing. Soryu for sure tends to be misunderstood. It's easy to watch the series and see this character come in and think "what a bitch" and never bother to invest in that character after that initial negative impression. Causing folks to miss the depth that is explored near the end of the series which goes a long way to explain why Asuka behaves the way she does. A casual viewing will often miss out on all the little details that i would say is necessary to understand Asuka (all the characters really) and all the pros and cons.

Shikinami though, that's a different. She's a bit of a dick in 3.0, especially towards Shinji, and we're never really told why. Is it the curse of eva or something else, something more personal? So for now i would say that Shikinami isn't as misunderstood as Soryu, but her story isn't finished so it's too early to say if she really is just a bitchy character or if there's more there. It will be the last movie that will seal the deal when it comes to Shikinami.

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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed May 31, 2017 5:07 pm

View Original Postrobersora wrote:Can't remember seeing Kaworu beforehand, though he would be an exception from the Curse of Eva anyways, since he's some kine of Angel in NTE.
Actually, I was mistaken too. Looking at the relevant thread -- https://forum.evageeks.org/post/567880/ ... 1-17-ONLY/ -- there are appearances by all the pilots plus a couple of the WILLE girls (Sakura and the pink haired one), and Fuyutsuki's fingertips.

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Re: How misunderstood is Asuka?

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Postby pwhodges » Wed May 31, 2017 5:54 pm

View Original PostJoseki wrote:If Q Asuka really is a 28 years old in her mind, the same age as Misato was in 2.0, she should be able easily understand Shinji's situation and act accordingly.

Being adult isn't a guarantee either of understanding or of sympathy.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed May 31, 2017 7:24 pm

View Original Postrobersora wrote:^
Oh yeah, totally forgot about space Asuka.

How can you forget about Space Pirate Asuka? She is a gift from the heavens.
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Postby silvermoonlight » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:59 am

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:How can you forget about Space Pirate Asuka? She is a gift from the heavens.


Space pirate Asuka I love that title ^_^

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Postby The Cruel » Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:57 pm

That's total bullshit that people still think, that because of the Curse of Eva, Asuka isn't able to mentally mature properly. It has to be considered that she went through 14 years more of her life and she gained twice the amount of life and combat experience for piloting Eva. I can imagine that people are making fun of her behind her back because of that and that she doesn't get the recognition she deserves. Even if I would be the only one who gives a damn about her while everyone would see her as a abomination created from the consequences of total human failure and sins, I would still do that.

Asuka can be many things and I feel a lot for her even if it's sometimes anger and dissapointment. She is capable to influence the balance of the universe even through simple words and actions. I think as someone who knows her, I understand her enough by saying, that I like her very much. And nothing in the world wont change that. Even if she could kill someone or make their lives miserable.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:07 pm

^ I'm not sure if anyone's really arguing that Asuka isn't mentally matured in Eva Q. However, there should be a distinction between "having 14 extra years of experience/knowledge" and "14 extra years of biological and chemical growth in the brain that usually comes with completing puberty." There is a difference that needs to be recognized, and what we've seen so far in Space Pirate Asuka isn't enough to conclude one way or another as to whether or not her brain has been developing as it's been gaining new experiences in the 14 years since Eva Ha.
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Postby The Cruel » Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:08 pm

^
So you mean that despite being 28 now, her actions, thoughts and behavior could still be seen as that of a teen? Then it would indeed be a curse she lives with and knowing that no matter how much time goes by, she'll always be remembered what she is. :sniffle:
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