What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

For serious and at times in-depth discussions only.

Moderator: Board Staff

AdamMalkobitch
Embryo
User avatar
Posts: 10
Joined: Jul 23, 2017

What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby AdamMalkobitch » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:32 pm

I've noticed it a lot more in the manga, but it's still very present in Neon Genesis. From
SPOILER: Show
the Dummy Plug taking over during the fight against Bardiel
to
SPOILER: Show
just before the suicide of Ritsuko's mother
and all the way to
SPOILER: Show
the final scene of End of Evangelion
, characters are held and choked violently more here than in the Simpson household. I've been able to figure out all the other weird stuff as biblical references and references to Judaism, but this completely eludes me. Any thoughts?
https://youtu.be/dxfiwLxuZDo

anonymaus
Adam
Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 10, 2017

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby anonymaus » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:01 pm

It's just a product of Evangelion's directorial nature, the way long drawn-out shots are preferred. You can't show a thirty second long punch, with characters exchanging emotionally charged dialogue as it happens, but strangling can last that long.

Sachi
Oh Daddy!
Oh Daddy!
User avatar
Age: 24
Posts: 9880
Joined: Aug 29, 2006
Location: Hollywoo
Gender: Male

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Sachi » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:11 pm

Hands in general are a prominent theme of the series. Focus is often placed on Shinji's hands as he makes a decision. They symbolize the individual rather well, and can express their internal conflicts. The attempt to connect with others by holding hands, or the power to destroy by strangulation, or just determination by forming a fist. Kaworu and Shinji even almost touch hands in the shower. :devil:
"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."

Cybermat47
Shamshel
Shamshel
User avatar
Age: 18
Posts: 270
Joined: Jun 20, 2017
Location: NSW, Australia
Gender: Male

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Cybermat47 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:42 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:The attempt to connect with others by holding hands, or the power to destroy by strangulation, or just determination by forming a fist.


And, of course, the masturbation scene, where Shinji's hand is used as both a tool to violate Asuka, and to convey his immediate regret and self-loathing.

Speaking of the prevalence of strangulation, it isn't just characters strangling each other - Asuka's mother strangles herself by hanging.
My fanfics:
Evangelion 2.9: You Will (Not) Survive
Godzilla VS Evangelion: Who Will Know?

"I have to count my blessings, I have to learn my lessons, my fate is in the balance, I must go on believing!"
- Fate by Shirō Sagisu

zlink64
Clockiel
Clockiel
User avatar
Age: 27
Posts: 424
Joined: Sep 10, 2006
Location: brooklyn ny
Gender: Male

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby zlink64 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:00 am

Evangelion likes to use a lot of repetition too so part of it is a stylistic thing.
hmmm

Epilogue
Embryo
Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 29, 2017
Gender: Male

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Epilogue » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:52 pm

Realistically, though...if you were someone who has no martial arts training, no hand-to-hand combat experience, and no true weapons at your disposal, how would you commit a crime of passion? Strangling is kinda the only reliable thing, so that's always a factor, lol.

Sen
Embryo
User avatar
Posts: 8
Joined: Sep 27, 2017

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Sen » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:36 am

When you're strangling someone, you're denying oxygen flow to their brain, which processes our consciousness. Their faces, considered the most salient feature of an individual, writhes and contorts.

So in a way...would strangling someone be a denial or destruction of their Self?

DarkBluePhoenix
Bardiel
Bardiel
User avatar
Age: 25
Posts: 754
Joined: Aug 01, 2016
Location: Preparing for the Fall of Tokyo–3
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby DarkBluePhoenix » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:29 am

Sen wrote:When you're strangling someone, you're denying oxygen flow to their brain, which processes our consciousness. Their faces, considered the most salient feature of an individual, writhes and contorts.

So in a way...would strangling someone be a denial or destruction of their Self?

Well its either that or auto-erotic asphyxiation, seeing as the show has a lot of sexual undertones.
Avatar - Heero Yuy, pilot of Wing Gundam Zero. If you want to read my NGE fanfic go to my profile here - DarkBluePhoenix on FanFiction.net or DarkBluePhoenix on AO3

Voted in college to be Most likely to Take Over the World, how to do that however, will require at least Four Evangelions. Thanks for the idea Misato-san!
"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." Said at the beginning of the nuclear age by J. Robert Oppenheimer.
"That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Words of Wisdom from German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

Chuckman
Chuckman
Chuckman
User avatar
Age: 34
Posts: 8260
Joined: Nov 11, 2011
Location: Chuckman

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Chuckman » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:20 pm

It depends on the context of the strangling but in all cases the broad symbolism is one person's sense of self overwhelming and dominating another person, or attempting to. Additionally, it forgoes interpersonal communication in favor of the aggressor treating the victim like an object. Objects are physically manipulated, persons are interacted with. These are two sides of the same coin: the strangulation in Evangelion is representative of people reducing other people to objects instead of recognizing their personhood.

The end of EoE shows Shinji becoming aware of Asuka's personhood, which is why he breaks down. When he strangles her, she doesn't react predictably. The manipulation of the physical object fails. By contradicting the expected result of his physical action she demonstrates her personhood and is no longer a masturbatory fetish object and instead a person. The realization is so overwhelming -this is the first time he's really perceived other people as something other than extensions of/servants to/obstacles to himself, for Shinji is a deeply selfish person concerned primarily with his own existential crisis- that he breaks down.

Bringing the theme of the series to completion, Asuka doesn't recognize or realize any of this and just sees Shinji being a pussy bitch again, hence feeling sick.

Also, Asuka became a perfect magician by denying her own nonexistence to usurp God and enact her own personal creation event. As she is invincible, Shinji can no longer harm her. His rage is useless, as he is useless, because he followed the Left Hand Path, turned coward before the guardian of the abyssal depths, and was unable to complete the Great Work. Again, this finale event is the completion of Evangelion's themes: Yui's coddling but self-serving, self aggrandizing, egomaniacal psycho monster mother smothering of Shinji, and attempted smothering of the entire human race, doomed rather than saved him. Thus she casts herself into the void as a mastubatory monument to herself that only she will ever see, an ambassador to a pointless empty universe on behalf of a species that chose dissolution over supreme power in a cowardly mass suicide.

robersora
Angel
Angel
User avatar
Age: 25
Posts: 3356
Joined: May 17, 2011
Location: Europe, Austria
Gender: Male

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby robersora » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:09 pm

It's a very violent, animalistic way of harming another person, lasts longer than a slap or a punch and thus has more impact on the viewer. Also, it's relatively resource-efficent to animate.
2Q||3.33 _ 神殺しを行う
Decadent Stoned Slacker Socialist

anonymaus
Adam
Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 10, 2017

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby anonymaus » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:13 am

Recently I've been thinking that Shinji strangling Asuka is the act which actually signified global instrumentality's beginning. If you rewatch the scene with that in mind, the timing of 'Kom Susser Tod' is pretty conspicuous.

I don't mean that the strangling was some part of the instrumentality ritual, but that it was probably his motivation for deciding it should be a global thing. So while his relationship with Rei is what gave him control over instrumentality, his relationship with Asuka is what told him what to do with it.
In some way that eludes explanation, it feels like a kind of multi level allegory for what's happening in the moment. At the 'plot' level, Shinji is sitting in the awakened Unit 01 signalling to Rei that 'everyone should die,' per his words. At the 'intra-character' level, Shinji is communing with the postmortem Asuka's soul and killing her as revenge for rejecting him in that kitchen. Somehow these two events are the same thing, from different perspectives. In Shinji's mind he's killing Asuka, while from the objective viewpoint he's sitting in Unit 01. Both have the same outcome of starting global instrumentality.

The kitchen scene may have a different meaning for 'killing' and 'death' than what we're used to. Both these characters are souls in this scene, and you don't kill a soul by having it lose too much oxygen or something technical like that.
Maybe "killing" is referring to the worst conceivable outcome for them both. For Shinji, it's being left alone. For Asuka, it's losing herself among global instrumentality.
Asuka inflicted the former on him, so he inflicted the latter on her.

I made an image about the scene I'm referring to.
https://i.imgur.com/mTxeJoq.jpg

FreakyFilmFan4ever
(In)Sufficient Director
(In)Sufficient Director
User avatar
Age: 30
Posts: 7569
Joined: Jun 09, 2009
Location: Playing amongst the stars
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:47 am

All strangulations in EoE refer back to one another in someway. As soon as Shinji strangles Asuka during Instrumentality, images of Naoko strangling Rei I flash before our eyes. And when Shinji strangles Asuka yet again at the end of EoE, it's an inverse image from the strangulation moment between the two earlier on. (The first time around, Shinji was at the bottom left of the screen, strangling Asuka on the upper right of the screen. The second time around, Shinji is on the upper right of the screen strangling Asuka, who's now on the lower left of the screen.)

Each person being strangled tends to have a degrading nickname for the person strangling them. Rei I called Naoko an "Old Hag," and Asuka calls Shinji a "Daddy's Boy." Both times, these names refer to the strangler's relationship with Gendo. Gendo was the one who initially saw Naoko as an old hag (as revealed by Rei I herself), and Gendo is, in fact, the father of Shinji, making his relationship with him "Daddy's Boy," and this was Asuka's main point of contention with Shinji during the TV series.

Whether or not the strangler kills the one s/he's strangling depends entirely on whether or not they can let go of Gendo's hold on their emotions. Naoko could not distance her emotions from Gendo, so she completely kills Rei I. Shinji, on the other hand, was finally able to overlook his issues with his relationship with Gendo, so he's also able to give up strangling the one who calls him "Daddy's Boy."

At least, that's my crazy, wild theory. I dunno if it makes any sense or not. It's my only explanation as to why all of the strangulation scenes actively refer back to one another in EoE, other than the obvious "Oh, look! Someone's being choked again. Remember the last time that happened?"
Last edited by FreakyFilmFan4ever on Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Cybermat47
Shamshel
Shamshel
User avatar
Age: 18
Posts: 270
Joined: Jun 20, 2017
Location: NSW, Australia
Gender: Male

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Cybermat47 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:39 am

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:All strangulations in EoE refer back to one another in someway. As soon as Shinji strangers Asuka during Instrumentality, images of Naoko strangling Rei I flash before our eyes. And when Shinji strangers Asuka yet again at the end of EoE, it's an inverse image from the strangulation moment between the two earlier on. (The first time around, Shinji was at the bottom left of the screen, strangling Asuka on the upper right of the screen. The second time around, Shinji is on the upper right of the screen strangling Asuka, who's now on the lower left of the screen.)

Each person being strangled tends to have a degrading nickname for the person strangling them. Rei I called Naoko an "Old Hag," and Asuka calls Shinji a "Daddy's Boy." Both times, these names refer to the strangler's relationship with Gendo. Gendo was the one who initially saw Naoko as an old hag (as revealed by Rei I herself), and Gendo is, in fact, the father of Shinji, making his relationship with him "Daddy's Boy," and this was Asuka's main point of contention with Shinji during the TV series.

Whether or not the strangler kills the one s/he's strangling depends entirely on whether or not they can let go of Gendo's hold on their emotions. Naoko could not distance her emotions from Gendo, so she completely kills Rei I. Shinji, on the other hand, was finally able to overlook his issues with his relationship with Gendo, so he's also able to give up strangling the one who calls him "Daddy's Boy."

At least, that's my crazy, wild theory. I dunno if it makes any sense or not. It's my only explanation as to why all of the strangulation scenes actively refer back to one another in EoE, other than the obvious "Oh, look! Someone's being choked again. Remember the last time that happened?"


Even if Anno didn’t intend it that way, that’s a damn good interpretation.
My fanfics:
Evangelion 2.9: You Will (Not) Survive
Godzilla VS Evangelion: Who Will Know?

"I have to count my blessings, I have to learn my lessons, my fate is in the balance, I must go on believing!"
- Fate by Shirō Sagisu

pwhodges
A Lilin in Wonderland
A Lilin in Wonderland
User avatar
Age: 71
Posts: 9414
Joined: Nov 18, 2012
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby pwhodges » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:22 am

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Each person being strangled tends to have a degrading nickname for the person strangling them.

Strangling - restricting the throat - could also be seen as a direct way to prevent that nickname being uttered.
"Being human, having your health; that's what's important." (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?" (from: The Eccentric Family )
Avatar: Sad, sad Shinji... (details); Past avatars.
Afterwards... my post-Q Evangelion fanfic (discussion)

Mr. Tines
Administrator
Administrator
User avatar
Age: 60
Posts: 19817
Joined: Nov 23, 2004
Location: This sceptered isle.
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Mr. Tines » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:34 am

View Original Postanonymaus wrote:The kitchen scene may have a different meaning for 'killing' and 'death' than what we're used to. Both these characters are souls in this scene, and you don't kill a soul by having it lose too much oxygen or something technical like that.
What happened at that point in the real-world scene of which this is a distorted replay?
Shinji let slip that Kaji was almost certainly dead.

And what did Asuka do next?
Crawl into a bathtub to die.

In the replay, the metaphor becomes a reality.
Reminder: Play nicely <<>> My vanity publishing:- NGE|blog|Photos|retro-blog|Fanfics|G+|MAL
Avatar: Ritsu-chan

Asuka'sBigBrother
Adam
Posts: 85
Joined: Oct 20, 2017
Gender: Male

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:03 pm

How is bleeding to death more technical than choking to death?

robersora
Angel
Angel
User avatar
Age: 25
Posts: 3356
Joined: May 17, 2011
Location: Europe, Austria
Gender: Male

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby robersora » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:39 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:All strangulations in EoE refer back to one another in someway. As soon as Shinji strangles Asuka during Instrumentality, images of Naoko strangling Rei I flash before our eyes.


You know, I've watched this show so many times for ten years now. Even longer than ten my god, time flies. And every 6 months or so, I read something on here, I've never noticed before. I somehow thought of those images being the sillhouettes of that exact moment (Shinji strangling Asuka), but no. It's Naoko strangling Rei 1. Mind blown yet again.


View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Each person being strangled tends to have a degrading nickname for the person strangling them. Rei I called Naoko an "Old Hag," and Asuka calls Shinji a "Daddy's Boy." Both times, these names refer to the strangler's relationship with Gendo. Gendo was the one who initially saw Naoko as an old hag (as revealed by Rei I herself), and Gendo is, in fact, the father of Shinji, making his relationship with him "Daddy's Boy," and this was Asuka's main point of contention with Shinji during the TV series.


[insert first and last part of paragraph above]

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Whether or not the strangler kills the one s/he's strangling depends entirely on whether or not they can let go of Gendo's hold on their emotions. Naoko could not distance her emotions from Gendo, so she completely kills Rei I. Shinji, on the other hand, was finally able to overlook his issues with his relationship with Gendo, so he's also able to give up strangling the one who calls him "Daddy's Boy."


[did you hear that eruption? yet AGAIN my mind erupted like Mount ETNA, Fuji and Yellowstone Caldera combined]

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:At least, that's my crazy, wild theory. I dunno if it makes any sense or not. It's my only explanation as to why all of the strangulation scenes actively refer back to one another in EoE, other than the obvious "Oh, look! Someone's being choked again. Remember the last time that happened?"


I love that idea. Though I think that at that point Shinji didn't yet overcome Gendou, it was instrumentality interfering.

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:Strangling - restricting the throat - could also be seen as a direct way to prevent that nickname being uttered.


Yeah!! Wow.
Last edited by robersora on Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
2Q||3.33 _ 神殺しを行う
Decadent Stoned Slacker Socialist

FreakyFilmFan4ever
(In)Sufficient Director
(In)Sufficient Director
User avatar
Age: 30
Posts: 7569
Joined: Jun 09, 2009
Location: Playing amongst the stars
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:03 am

robersora, please, you're making me blush.

View Original Postrobersora wrote:I love that idea. Though I think that at that point Shinji didn't yet overcome Gendou, it was instrumentality interfering.

That might depend on how you interpret Episode 19, which is (I believe) the last episode in which Shinji directly confronts his father.

Shinji gets sucked into a weird, metaphysical state twice in the TV show proper, prior to the events of EoTV and/or EoE. The first time it was when Shinji was trapped inside Leliel in Episode 16. Much of what he confronts in that metaphysical state was the complicated relationship with his father, Gendo. Fast forward to Episode 19, and Shinji defies his father and confronts him in order to pilot Eva 01. When Shinji is sucked into a metaphysical state yet again in the following episode and confronting this fears or insecurities again, Gendo strangely doesn't come up anymore. Instead of worrying about Gendo, the insecurities that Shinji seems to confront revolve mainly around Misato, Rei, and Asuka. After Episodes 19 and 20, Shinji never really talks about his father ever again. Instead, he seems more concerned with the female characters in his life. (In fact, the narrative as a whole turns away from father issues after Ep 19, and begins focusing a lot more on sexual frustration than it had before.) Gendo's absence in Shinji's personal thoughts after the confrontation in Ep 19 could be interpreted as Shinji overcoming his own emotional obsticals that were placed there by his father. Sure, Gendo still has everything go "Just As Planned," and Shinji is still a part of that plan, but Shinji doesn't seem to let Gendo bother him anymore. In Shinji's mind, he already confronted Gendo and won.

If that is the case, then Shinji doesn't need to let someone who calls his "Daddy's Boy" bother him anymore in EoE.

OtherNigel
Embryo
User avatar
Age: 13
Posts: 13
Joined: Jul 08, 2017
Location: Minnesota
Gender: Male

Re: What is the significance of characters strangling each other?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby OtherNigel » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:06 pm

View Original PostDarkBluePhoenix wrote:Well its either that or auto-erotic asphyxiation, seeing as the show has a lot of sexual undertones.

replying to this old post, i have theorized about eva's sadomasochistic undertones


Return to “Evangelion Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests