Analyses and Comments on Death + Rebirth

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Analyses and Comments on Death + Rebirth

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Postby imprimatur13 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:05 am

Originally posted on Reddit

Hi all! On the advice of /u/ReichuNoKimi , I have just watched Death and Rebirth. She said that it was designed for the hardcore fan, and she was right. Thank God for Reichu. (Also, thank God for whoever took the screens for the Fan Geek Commentary. You did God's work there!)

Death is a confusing recap of the series, but that's not a problem if you already know everything that happens. In that case, you get to see different scenes juxtaposed with other scenes in a way that would've been impossible in the original airing. This allows you to interpret old scenes in totally new ways. In addition, I've only seen the series once, so this was like a rewatch for me.

Warning: This is a LONG post. Just so ya know :).

Here are my comments, recorded while watching the movie. Some of them can go into pretty deep analysis (if I do say so myself :) ). Others, are mostly there for comic relief. These humorous ones will be designated by parentheses around the paragraph. I hope you enjoy, and please feel free to comment on any and all of them. Thanks!

Death

Shinji when doing gun training, VO about how he was living with his teacher, just do same thing day after day was ok. No getting hurt. In sim, doing same thing over and over, but he can't get hurt.

SDAT. 00H 76M. Should be 01H 16M.

Young Rei, Asuka, Misato all together, good juxtaposition.

Asuka Roman bath scene, sallow sunken-in cheeks. Just like Shinji during gun training. Shinji during gun training had processed that his world had changed, he was no longer safe; Asuka in bath processing that world had changed, she was no longer the ace pilot.

When Armisael penetrates Rei, she's blushing. Perhaps some rape-imagery, like Asuka?

Transition from Rei staying in 00 despite Armi, to protect Shinji, to Yui with baby Shinji, saying she'd become test subject. Fuyu tells her not to, just like Mitchan asks Rei "Are you trying to kill yourself?" Obvious.

(Plus, new phallic sighting! At Yui's grave. Whose penis is that? Shinji's or Gendo's?)

Transition from Yui's grave to Rei I's death. Also obvious.

By the way, when she says "The Commander calls you that [an old hag]", her eyes narrow, and there's a definite smile. No 2 ways about it, she was enjoying that.

(Kaji's such a Kensuke. Who else would possibly be happy that Yui-sama's going berserk? Only Kensuke "I hope my camera doesn't get destroyed in the carnage!" Aida!)

(Rei thinks she's a clone now..)

Destruction of Reiquarium, Toji punches Shinji. "Sorry. I had to work off my anger." In both cases, someone taking out their anger for something on someone who is completely innocent. (Ritsuko on the innocent Rei clones, because Gendo rejected her; and Toji on Shinji for his sister, even though Shinji was only trying to save them.)

Also, Toji puts his fist up against the sun. Seems to be new shot added for Death. The sun motif is associated with Asuka. Perhaps trying to say that, just like Asuka uses aggression to try to feel "in-control of the situation/above others", Toji's punch was also an attempt to feel like he was in control of the situation, when he was really helpless to do anything for his sister. Then he looks at his hand, like Shinji's "hand shots". Looks sad. Perhaps he feels guilty. Just like Shinji's "yogurt" shot.

While Shinji feels guilty about Yui-sama attacking Bardiel, Kensuke VO about how Toji felt guilty about punching him.

Bardiel's hand in the orange water, leaking blood in a stream looks like when the stream of "blood" was coming out of Rei in the LCL, or Lilith.

(Kaji: "There's one more thing to trouble you with. I've been growing melons." Kaji apparently didn't have the courage to come out while he was alive... I knew he seemed unenthusiastic in bed with Misato! Homosexuality = only logical explanation. "Shinji knows where they are"?! Why would he show them to Shinji?)

Scene with Kaji, giant fan. Misato calling Kaji "Baka". Same reason Asuka does it; to create a facade that he's not that important to her, to hide fact that she relies on him. Also, behind fan blades, is the sun. Another Asuka reference.

Next comes Shinji looking at sun over lake. The ocean separates him from the sun. Kaji compared separation between man and woman to ocean. Asuka is the sun. Shinji's trying to understand Asuka, but he can't, because she's too far away, emotionally. Then, he sees Kaworu. Kaworu's standing on his left, rather than across the lake. Because he can become close to Kaworu; also because Kaworu is a man, so on same side as Shinji of male/female divide. He is "like him".

Kaworu takes control of 02. Speaks softly, kindly to it, "Let's go." Kaworu is Eva's Mother, as "he" is Adam. Kyoko-sama has closed herself off from Asuka, so synch rate is down. Kaworu, as 02's Mother, speaks softly, and maternally to 02, thus comforting her after her trauma, and taking her with "him".

Kaworu: "This is mankind's fate. Hope paired with sorrow." Kaworu is between Yui and Kyoko. Yui symbolizes hope, as she wanted to transcend death and immortalize mankind. Kyoko symbolizes sorrow, because she kept wanting to die in the hospital.

(When I first watched the extended "Yui-sama holding Kaworu" sequence, I fast-forwarded to the end. Does that make me a bad person? :) )

(Pop!)

Rebirth

(Asuka coma: Hmm... Panting, locked door... Whatever could Shinji be doing in there? Oh. He's just helping himself to some yogurt. Well, carry on, then.)

(Misato's pretty cool! She also seems to be smoking an ENTIRE PACK of cigarettes at once. (So I thought. But it's not smoke, it's just cold in there.))

(And Gainax talks to us about animation techniques.)

Fuyutsuki says "The MAGI was just foreplay". I know this may be a controversial statement, but I sometimes think of the Angel attacks (including this one, by the 18th) as rape-metaphors. The Angels are trying to penetrate NERV's defenses, and use violence to accomplish it. They want to "know" and "become one" with the Lilin/Adam. The reason Misato is the one who is in charge of battle against the Angels, is that she always tries to keep people at arm's length, and not connect deeply to them. She also compares Shamshel explicitly to "the worst kind of man". (I know that there are other reasons, but I really think this metaphor makes sense. I think it works really well with the sexual/interpersonal themes of the series.)

Misato tells them to put 02 at bottom of lake. Obvious womb symbolism. Afterwards, 02 can fight again. Just like how Kaworu spoke maternally to 02, enabling her to fight.

("Nothing personal here either." Misato is awesome!!!)

Asuka and 02 in fetal postion: Wakes up in the womb. In mother's embrace. Just like Kyoko-sama did. And just like Asuka will, again, when she realizes 02's her mother, protecting her all this time. She's holding the doll, as she's become able to come to terms with her own role as a "doll", as a passive receiver of her mother's affection. The doll she hated. She now realizes, she is that doll, and she loves it, and herself. She can now rely on her mother's protection. Thusly, massive synch rate, and fighting power.

02 shrouded in shadow, and fire. Same imagery used when 01 and 03 went berserk. (And Sachiel, IIRC, after N2)

So, what do you think? Please reply below! I love feedback :).

P.S. By the way, does anyone know what the post-credits wall of Japanese text on the screen means? I have no idea.
Last edited by imprimatur13 on Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Analyses and Comments on Death + Rebirth

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Postby Sachi » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:23 pm

I'm surprised you had no comment regarding the string quartet.

Lots of interesting observations overall. During Shinji's meeting with Kaworu, I never thought to make the connection to Kaji's "ocean between the sexes" metaphor, with Kaworu on the same side of the water as Shinji. Interesting then, that the headless statue that becomes associated with Kaworu (the one he's standing on when they meet) is clearly female. Kaworu is a deceiver after all, and not at all what he appears to be at first.
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"So you are saying it's the human heart that throws the world into confusion."

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Re: Analyses and Comments on Death + Rebirth

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Postby imprimatur13 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:43 pm

Well, Sachi, I was myself somewhat surprised I had no comments on the quartet :). If I had to give them, I would say this:

Shinji plays the Cello. The cello provides the bassline, the harmony atop which everything else rests. This is because he's the main character around whom the story revolves. It also is more in the background, befitting his quiet persona.
Rei plays (IIRC) the Viola. The Viola provides the middle voice. The middle voice (between the low of Cello, and high of Violin) is the most unnoticeable to the ear, and fits Rei. She doesn't provide primary harmony, she assists Shinji in his own harmony. Just like she assists Gendo, and later Shinji during 3I.
Asuka plays the Violin. She has the top voice, the most easily audible. This fits her own aggressive persona, as well as her true self that only wants to be noticed. Also, as the most noticeable, she is one of the 2 real love interests for Shinji. Her competition:
Kaworu also plays the Violin. This is because he represents Shinji's other (Ed. note: "TRUE!") love interest. He and Asuka both occupy the same spot, on top, because Shinji wants both of them.

Anyway, about Kaworu as "Mother": That was originally suggested to me by Reichu. She told me all about how Kaworu is a "Mother", because "he" is really Adam, the Angels' mother. And how he "adopts" Shinji. What I pointed out here, were some additional symbolic things that she hadn't told me about, but the original idea came from her. And you're right about the statue. Matter of fact, that was one of Reichu's prime pieces of evidence for her theory :).

Last but not least: About the Sun. There's an article on the wiki that talks about Rei and the Moon. However, (as you can see here,) there is almost nothing on Asuka's Sun symbolism. I thought that was definitely unlikely, that there wouldn't be more. So I found more :).

P.S. And thanks for the compliment! Also, there are some comments on the reddit page (linked above) if you'd like to see 'em, go into a little more depth.
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Re: Analyses and Comments on Death + Rebirth

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Postby Sachi » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:58 pm

I was familiar enough with Kaworu/Adam as a mother figure, but I never thought to extend that motherhood to Shinji as well. His affection for Shinji is rather unconditional, like a mother to their child. Reichu, why you keep the good theories to yourself??

And your interpretation of the roles within the quartet is rather spot on. I've always wondered about it's connection to Instrumentality. It's clear the ensemble practice doesn't occur within the reality of the series, considering the given date of the session (before the series IIRC) and Kaworu's involvement. In some ways, it seems like they're practicing the roles they need to play within the series, like actors and this is their rehearsal. In other ways, I wonder if this occurs within Instrumentality (one distinct from EoE, though possibly closer to EoTV, given the stage theme).
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Re: Analyses and Comments on Death + Rebirth

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Postby Reichu » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:18 pm

Sachi: I've been reticent about a lot because
SPOILER: Show
many of my ideas were blurted out in semi-deranged form when I had my first hypomanic episode way back. That caused backlash and planted certain expectations in everyone's minds, so the natural way for me to act afterward is with trepidation and self-debasement. (There's also the matter of more recent attempts to segue into a direction of interest being preemptively shut down via rhetorical banditry. No longer an issue but still requires mental adjustment.) Imprimatur13 was not put off by one of the weirder possible things I could have posted on the subreddit, so between that and his refreshing enthusiasm my inhibitions were lowered.

As with so many things, I want to make an analysis page about the Adam Mother stuff eventually -- some of the evidence involves parallels that are difficult in explain in anything but rigorous detail. On my very, very long list of to-dos. This will include a fresh new analysis of that statue, natch, to replace the badly dated one I used to point people to.
End gratuitous detail.

Tracking back a little:

I might point out that the statue is submerged, which places Kaworu in the water and not quite on the shore. :wink:

Another thing is that Shinji seemed to find Kaji's claim bogus ("I don't understand adults"). Makes sense, since Shinji is a rather androgynous male, with his delicate features, lack of interest in macho pretensions, and proclivity for the domestic arts. Kaworu is even more so, the soul of a "mother" trapped in a male body, exuding soft and wispy bishounen androgyny from every pore on his body.

In many ways, the two are alike, and Shinji highlights this at the very end of episode 24. ("He was like me, and he was like Ayanami.") But they're also irreconcilably different. Atop that submerged representation of his secret Mother Angel-dom, Kaworu, while physically close by, is also in a world apart.
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Re: Analyses and Comments on Death + Rebirth

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Postby imprimatur13 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:51 pm

@Sachi
Thanks! Reichu is truly God's gift to Eva-dom. And I like what you say about Instrumentality, probably right.

@Reichu
his refreshing enthusiasm

You are too kind :).

Your comments on Kaworu's location are interesting. Shinji and Kaworu, perhaps, are horizontally the same, but Kaworu is still vertically above him. Still not together with him in all ways. And, of course, he's in the water, rather than on the shore.

About Shinji's reaction to Kaji: You have a point, but (you might already think this, in which case I'm wasting my fingers,) it's still a metaphor that was introduced to the series. Shinji may not believe it, but Anno has made this a recurring theme. On a related note, the Asuka-Sun stuff is present a lot more than the wiki thinks. I thought I'd find more appearances :).

P.S. (Is there anyone who does not love Kaworu's "exuding soft and wispy bishounen androgyny from every pore on his body"?)
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Re: Analyses and Comments on Death + Rebirth

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Postby Sachi » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:05 pm

Reichu is bae.

View Original Postimprimatur13 wrote:P.S. (Is there anyone who does not love Kaworu's "exuding soft and wispy bishounen androgyny from every pore on his body"?)

Just all those people made uncomfortable by even the slightest hint of homo-eroticism. Sadly, there's more of them out there than you might think. It seems as though Kaworu is wildly misunderstood by western audiences for this reason. I admit, it was a bit jarring upon my first viewing over ten years ago when I was but a mere pre-adolescent.
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"So you are saying it's the human heart that throws the world into confusion."

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Re: Analyses and Comments on Death + Rebirth

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Postby Reichu » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:22 pm

i13: I have no idea what the wiki says about the sun motif -- not something I ever got around to exploring, maybe because it felt too tenuous to be worth the effort. Maybe I just haven't come upon the proper approach yet.

Shinji is Anno's main viewpoint character, making his dubious reaction to Kaji's philosophy important. An idea can be introduced solely for the purpose of questioning and subverting it. I can't think of anything in NGE that suggests it actually endorses an unbridgeable gap between the sexes. The emphasis is instead where it rightly belongs: on the divisions between PEOPLE.

Realize there's a lot I've been skimming over. Need to absorb and think a bit.
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Re: Analyses and Comments on Death + Rebirth

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Postby imprimatur13 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:34 pm

@Sachi
Even in Hollywood, huh? Well, I'm not so naive (anymore) that I'd think SoCal to be completely free of that sort of thing... :)

@Reichu
Hmm... Ok. You have a point. We can discuss it further later, if you like. Take all the time you need.

Anyway, the wiki page on the Asuka-Sun thing is here, tucked away at the end of Ayanami's article.
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Re: Analyses and Comments on Death + Rebirth

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Postby Sachi » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:37 pm

View Original Postimprimatur13 wrote:@Sachi
Even in Hollywood, huh? Well, I'm not so naive (anymore) that I'd think SoCal to be completely free of that sort of thing... :)

Eh, I've only been here in Hollywood a couple years, but I'm a California native nonetheless. Things were a lot different here regarding homosexuality a decade ago. Plus, I was 12/13 when I first viewed the series, so slightly immature either way.
"Chaos is merely a human construct. The world only knows its own natural law of harmony and order."
"So you are saying it's the human heart that throws the world into confusion."

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Re: Analyses and Comments on Death + Rebirth

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Postby imprimatur13 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:51 pm

Ah. I probably would've felt the same, myself :).
(I just realized: So many smiley faces. You don't even need to look at the username: Just look for any post with at least 3 :) 's, and you'll know who posted it. :) )
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