Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:34 pm

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote:Well, this sort of thing tends to happen when I see new posts about Asuka and present it in a new view point, and suddenly became convinced by it.

And Caesar Magnus seems to have a pretty thorough understanding of Asuka's character, almost on a Bageerah level. And like Yuko Mikimura, he's pretty convinced that Shinji shouldn't be anywhere near Asuka, as he would cause her misery even more, as they say. And based on some of things he said about her, he may be right. Their relationship is toxic, as is evidenced in the series and it doesn't ignore all the negative stuff that has happened between them, so it's hard to see it develop into something more positive.
No one here is ignoring the negatives. But the idea that the pain they've caused here prevents future improvements doesn't really make much sense when we see the two improving.

You keep ignoring that we have seen these two undergo massive character development by the end of the movie.

Like seriously, Asuka goes from nearly killing herself to fighting against the extinction of life. You keep trying to judge these characters under the assumptions they haven't significantly changed, but they have.
Eva Magnus wrote:As I said on the "I Need You" thread, although you didn't like the sentences, there's a huge difference between "Being hurt is inevitable when you interact with others, but the joy and necessity of it makes is worthwhile" and saying, "Consistently toxic and harmful relationships are worth it because of the slim hope you'll get something good out of it".
As we have seen their relationship benefit each other at times, and arguably, help each other develop as characters at the end, their relationship's toxicity is, by definition, not consistent.

The "slimness" of their hope is also something I take issue with and is something which I don't think the ending ever conveyed, but that can be open to interpretation.

However, to say their relationship was consistently toxic is simply incorrect.

I also feel important to analyze why their relationship fell part at the end of the series. It fell because both didn't love themselves and hence couldn't properly express love(or call if affection so we can avoid a semantic battle).

Given that by the end of EOE, we've seen both decide they want to live, they've already done a great deal addressing the problems between them. Now naturally, they still have work to do, hence the "how disgusting", but that this would render the progress they've already made irrelevant doesn't really make much sense given we just had a climax where both decided they were willing to choose love, even with the pain it brings.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby C.T.1290 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:46 pm

^What is it that keeps you so optimistic? Clearly, so much damage has been done between those two characters, and yet you believe that it didn't go beyond the point of repair? That Asuka would eventually forgive Shinji for what he did at the hospital? Or that Shinji would forgive Asuka for the way she treated him during the entire time that he had known her, and for coldly rejecting his desperate need for help?

Right now, these two are in a world that lies in ruin. It'll take years for civilization to rebuild. And it will take years for Shinji and Asuka to reconcile and work out their problems before even forming some type of friendship. Like a platonic one, per se, and it probably won't go deeper than that.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby pwhodges » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:20 pm

You clearly have little faith in the resilience of humans. Sure, people vary in that capacity; but we're talking of kids in their mid-teens - they pretty likely have plenty of possibility to move on.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby CaesarMagnus » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:30 pm

Asuka'sBigBrother wrote:However, to say their relationship was consistently toxic is simply incorrect.

Maybe this is another semantic disagreement we have. If not consistently, you might agree with me it was greatly or intensely toxic (if not mostly, but that's up to interpretation), which is evidenced by how terribly their close friendship crumbles near the end of NGE. The lack of communication was a major cause or it, but their different personalities and ways of coping with their similar traumas weren't minor aspects. Also, the fact they were so immature children who had very vague (or even nonexistent) knowledge of how to interact with people didn't help at all.

---

@C.T. 1290: That's a perfect exposition of facts, C.T. 1290. I really can't blame Asuka'sBigBrother for being hopeful, since the final message is indeed that of hope, but he's maybe too optimistic, which is fine but I don't agree with. Anyway, I fully agree with you, C.T., on the messed up situation in which the two children are stuck: Instrumentality will help them improve, for they saw their inner issues and might put them in perspective, but that will definitely take some time (months, years, who knows), so, after the closing credits, they're in a very uncomfortable place, with very uncomfortable company. Many things have to be explained and forgiven between each other, and too much time is needed for that. In the near future, they're really doomed, or at least that's how I see it.
(Not to say that their priority after the end of the film will be not to starve to death or to die of any illness. Until civilization is restored, they're in a very delicate situation, not really propitious to have any kind of "romance" whatsoever)

In any case, Asuka'sBigBrother is very right when he says that the hope being "slim" or not is utterly open to interpretation, and it all depends on our personality and philosophy. More optimistic people will stress the change the chidlren have been through, represented by Asuka's caress; while more moderate (or sceptical) people like us will emphazise that, despite the growth they've experienced, the damage might be too heavy to be repaired anytime soon; that's represented by Asuka's coldness as well as the memories of all the clashes they've had during the series/film.

Who's right in this debate? Probably everyone, or maybe nobody. Anno played with us very cleverly, giving the audience a message of hope, but leaving the characters in a devastated earth, surrounded by shadows. The dark scenerario is not random or meaningless, but it proves that reality isn't a fairy tale, and that having hope doesn't change the fact that humanity will always be pretty much fucked up.

On another thread I copy-pasted this video-analysis which I found to be very interesting, and I'm sure here it might be appreciated as well: The End of Evangelion and Hideaki Anno's Isolating Style. It analyzes the usage of colours, the placement of the elements in the scene, and the messages they might hide. Anno left an ambiguous open-ending, just like real world is; but the last scene wasn't made randomly and was certainly designed very carefully.
Last edited by CaesarMagnus on Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby Celepito » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:15 pm

I would also like to remind everyone, that to properly judge how their relationship develops after EOE, we would need to know what exactly happend during Instrumentality, how much they remember of it, if they let their characters grow and how Asukas last sentence was meant. For all of that we have no way of knowing for certain. So, like it was already said, most likely everyone is right, as well as no one, since it is basically entirely dependent on personal opinion. But here are some possibilities:
A full mind-meld Instrumentality could lead to a "If you understand your enemy completly, you will love them like they love themself."-scenario. But if they only remember the parts where they refused to help each other or they hurt each other, then their relationship would go down the drain. If both know everything about eachother, will they have grown enough to understand their respective situations and accept/forgive eachother, or will they hold all their flaws against the other. Asukas last line would be an incator of what happend/how they stand but even that is open for interpretation. Directed at the world around them, at what Shinji did (initiate Instrumentality/beg for help during it/crying/hospital/...), at the situation as a whole, to show Shinji that she is real and this is not another reality inside Instrumentality, ...

EDIT: I also should not let the tab with my post open for hours without actually submiting it :facepalm:

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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:45 am

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote:^What is it that keeps you so optimistic? Clearly, so much damage has been done between those two characters, and yet you believe that it didn't go beyond the point of repair? .
Because it didn't go beyond the point of repair. If it had, Shinji and Asuka wouldn't have chosen life over instrumentality.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:46 am

View Original PostCelepito wrote:, if they let their characters grow and how Asukas last sentence was meant.

It's been clarified that the sentence referred to Shinji's masturbation
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby synthmachine81 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:51 pm

What is bothering me about this thread is how some of you are treating these characters as if they were real people. Sure Eva is known for having these complex and realistic characters, but we have to remember this is still a work of fiction. Therefore, any outcome of post 3I Shinji and Asuka is possible as long as it is well established and portrayed. It is not too optimistic to assume they will overcome their differences and reconcile and maybe become your typical lovey dovey shoujo couple, neither it is too pessimistic to think they will forever hate each other, become mortal enemies and eventually kill one another, because these are simply a matter of personal views on how you would take on.
EoE has this very ambiguous ending for this exact reason, its purpose was not to give the answers for how these characters will be after all the shit happened, but to show the audience that even after all went downhill there is still hope of overcoming through strength of will. What you will do after that is your business. That is perfectly exemplified at the end of episode 26 of the anime (which I personally think gets the message of the show way more clearer than EoE even though it fails at showing the conclusion of the backstory with the Angels and shit), where Shinji realizes all his flaws and Misato tells that now that he knows himself, he can take care of himself, and then he has this very cathartic moment which results in the "Congratulations!" scene. They are not congratulating Shinji's change of character more than they are congratulating his strength of will.
On a plus note, you still have to remember that the change of character in children and teenagers is much more fluid than of a full grown adult. There are several cases of children who displayed very antisocial behaviour and through therapy and help from others were able to grow out of that into normal adults. So it's not 100% unrealistic to think Shinji and Asuka would be able to grow out of that either. But then again, any portrayal of them post 3I will never be 100% full on reality, not only because it wasn't Anno who wrote it, but because any work of fiction will never be 100% full on reality, as reality is a very fluid concept. This is why verisimilitude exists.
I personally like to think Shinji and Asuka turned out for better, Instrumentality (or as I like to call, massive collective therapy) being a big helper of that. This is a kind of a controversial opinion, but actually I think the second time he strangles Asuka is not for despise of her rejection, he is actually following what he thinks it's her wish, because she says that she would rather die than being alone with him during Instrumentality. When he turns his head towards her on the beach, his expression is of a confused person. He doesn't understand why Asuka is there with him since she rejected him earlier and he isn't sure either if the others will return from Instrumentality (which is again, a matter of personal perpective rather than conclusive truth), so the only thing he concludes is that he must kill her out of mercy, only to be contradicted with her caress. Regular Shinji before EoE would already be confused as hell if Regular Asuka did this to him, imagine post 3I Shinji who went to several stress and trauma and yet still chose to live in a world where he knew he would experience pain because he found the love he received back worth it. But then again, that is my personal conclusion and you can have your completely different one, which is the amazing part of Evangelion to me.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:25 pm

View Original Postsynthmachine81 wrote:What is bothering me about this thread is how some of you are treating these characters as if they were real people.

Isn't that rather the point of fiction? Especially that which addresses real problems as this one does.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby synthmachine81 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:38 pm

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:Isn't that rather the point of fiction? Especially that which addresses real problems as this one does.

You are right, but as I said, it will never be a perfect representation of reality, and it is not supposed to be. Writers have attempted to achieve this by trying to transform Literature into a Science, especially during the Realism period (from which I totally recommend checking out Machado de Assis "The Alienist", as it deconstructs all the idea of biological determinism and etc), and failed miserably. If Shinji and Asuka were real I would agree with nearly all the negative points the author of this thread has estabilished about the cons of pairing then romantically (it is a bit fucked up to ship real people in an obsessive level anyway), but they are not. Hence why the idea of them reconciling and even becoming a couple is not either absurd nor set in stone, only a matter of perspective.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby CaesarMagnus » Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:04 pm

@synthmachine81: In situations like this, when someone claims that the fandom exaggerates when analyzing Asuka or Shinji or Misato comparing them to real people, I remember one funny response I read some time ago exploring the archives of EvaGeeks: “This is Evangelion, what did you expect?”. And, honestly, I think it’s the only possible answer so far, haha.

It’s true that in most of animes it would be ridiculous to assign real psychological issues to the characters (like HPD to Asuka, for example); just imagining someone analyzing Vegeta or Luffy that way is hilarious. But in cases like Evangelion, where the author clearly tells us this is not merely a “robot anime”, but almost a psychoanalytical therapy of the cast and their issues interacting with others, it’s not that exaggerated to see the characters as nearly real humans (although, of course, they’re just 2D).

As you said, there are countless examples in Literature where the writer failed miserably trying to create realistic characters, and in the end, it ended up becoming a work full of clichés and a strange combination of fiction with realism. But Anno did a good job portraying real issues in the cast: isolationism, depression, individualism, narcissism, obsession, conformism, the struggles of validation, etc. Thus, whether that was his intention or not, he made it quite easy for the fandom to analyze the characters using real psychology.

Take Asuka as an example: at first she seems to be a prototypical tsundere, having rage outbursts in comical situations. But, very soon, we realize she’s far from being a tsundere whatsoever, but rather a deconstruction of it. It’s as if Anno was telling us: “See, this is what one of your beloved tsundere girls would be like in real life: an obsessive crazy woman. That’s your fetish, otakus”, which, combined with the hospital scene, leads to the accusatory conclusion that: “You’re all fucked up”, haha.

These are just 2D anime characters and overanalyzes about their interactions are frequent, that’s true. But the universe of Evangelion is so interesting, and the message of it is so real, that it’s not that weird to try to understand the characters using the standards of reality.

In conclusion, while you're right, synthmachine81, as pwhodges said, the point of a good work of fiction is to approach as much as possible to reality, even though the story might be fantasious. And Evangelion, if you ignore the Sci-Fi elements, is essentially a psychological anime, portraying many believable problems of our world, to which the audience might feel more or less related. That's why the characters feel so real and relatable.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:15 pm

View Original PostCaesarMagnus wrote:Maybe this is another semantic disagreement we have. If not consistently, you might agree with me it was greatly or intensely toxic (if not mostly, but that's up to interpretation)

I can agree with that. You could argue the mostly, depending on how you're defining mostly, but I don't feel like that's necessary or even relevant to my argument.

View Original PostCaesarMagnus wrote:, which is evidenced by how terribly their close friendship crumbles near the end of NGE. The lack of communication was a major cause or it

But what did the lack of communication stem from?

SPOILER: Show
self-hatred


Their relationship crumbled as both had their complete lack of self0esteem exposed. Now, fast forward to the ending of EOE, where both have decided to live on regardless of their flaws/ emotional issues, and its logical their relationship is already in a better place, even if they still have significant issues to reslove.
View Original PostCaesarMagnus wrote:but their different personalities and ways of coping with their similar traumas weren't minor aspects.

I disagree. Their different personalities weren't really a source of toxicity. Their relationship, at it's peak, had their different personalities better develop the other.

Their similar traumas allowed them to connect on a level you rarely connect on.


The issue was that both had a deeplying self-hatred. And you can't really love others properly when you don't even love yourself. That's why we see Asuka's scene where she declares her hatred for everyone end with her declaring her hatred for herself.

too heavy to be repaired anytime soon; that's represented by Asuka's coldness as well as the memories of all the clashes they've had during the series/film.

I don't think I've ever disputed this notion. Admittedly the story I wrote may have rushed things, but that's more a product of my story not being primarily focused on their romance, and me wanting to get to the story I want to tell, the legacy of the angels.

If I was writing some sort of big shipfiction, I'd probably have given the two more time to reconcile.


Also, in defense of my boi Mr. Ikari, he did save Asuka multiple times. The world too while he was at it. All while being a mental wreck due to having jerks for parents. You can do worse.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby synthmachine81 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:50 pm

View Original PostCaesarMagnus wrote:But the universe of Evangelion is so interesting, and the message of it is so real, that it’s not that weird to try to understand the characters using the standards of reality.


I didn't say it was weird to try understanding the characters using standards of reality. I do that myself, and I find very amusing to dissect their personalities. I also agree that it is a bit far fetched to assign mental disorders to the characters based on what we see on screen, especially if you are not a psychiatrist. (Writing them as having one in fanfiction is a different thing though)
The point I'm trying to make is that there isn't a correct way to portray how the characters would behave after 3I, because they are fictional. I personally believe that most, if not all ideas in fiction can be interesting as long as they are well executed.
For example, if you think Asuka would never forgive Shinji, cut him off completely and move back to Germany or something, cool, I'm sure you would work out some interesting premise after that. But that idea is as true as the idea that they would overcome their problems and eventually become this lovely couple some shippers crave to see.
I get why you are upset about some Asushin shippers trying to shove down your throat their "irrefutable truth" about the canonness of the ship and etc, I find ship wars pointless anyway. You have to keep in mind that not everyone will have a very complex reading of Eva or will ignore issues with characters in order to favour their own ideals, but it doesn't mean that it's the permanent mindset of everyone who ships them. I make of myself an example of this, I ship them a lot while I acknowledge all their problems, and look for a perspective where they can work out their differences and grow for the better.
This witchhunting mindset reminds me of some conflicts I faced indirectly with some Kawoshin and Kaworu fans, especially the ones from Tumblr. While I don't find Kawoshin terrible itself, I have some issues with it, the principal being Nagisa himself. He works perfectly as a plot device, but as a character he feels flat and boring to me, and all the interesting things I could dig from him were just poor parallels from Rei, which is a way better constructed character in my opinion. Anyway, the point is that I think he has flaws that don't appeal to me, but I don't hate the guy. And yet some of these fans will paint him as this too kind space gay Jesus that was only good for Shinji and the worst sin of that mindset, that nobody showed affection to him like Kaworu did neither cared for him as much. Huh? Did you forget that fucking Misato Katsuragi went herself to kill a bunch of SEELE soldiers who were about to shoot her "adoptive son" in the head, dragged him out to EVA 01's cage despite him not even wanting to walk and would rather having been killed by the soldiers or whatever, then got fucking shot on the back because of that and still had to find a quick way to motivate the boy to do something because he refused to do anything (even though it turned out to be fucked up but anyway). Sure she got distant after episode 21, but what did you expect? The love of her life was assassinated and left her all the information of a conspiracy plot she had no idea of until recently, can you really, really blame her for leaving Shinji on second plan for a while to sort out things on her own life?
Anyway, rants aside, things like this annoy me a lot, and let's not even get started on how Kaworu arguably worsened Shinji's mindset or how some of them have a very poor understanding of Asuka (whether considering her a beyond repair bitch or thinking that she was one of the main reasons why his mindset fell apart and how only "pure Kaworu could fix him uwu"). But that doesn't make me hate the character or the ship itself, only get really frustrated with that mindset, and I don't believe that's the truth for every Kawoshin shipper out there. I also consider that if well worked out his character and relationship with Shinji can feel as compelling to me as Shinji and Asuka's is. But I'm not that interested in the character anyway.
So, as I am allowed to have an opinion on certain ships and characters, so are you, but in the end both of us aren't necessarily completely right or wrong, as EoE leaves lots of possibilities open for these characters.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby CaesarMagnus » Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:22 pm

View Original PostAsuka'sBigBrother wrote:But what did the lack of communication stem from?

self-hatred


Indeed, but to that you need to add the genuine immaturity of two pubescent teenagers with no knowledge of human interactions. They hate themselves, as we're shown very clearly, but they're also kids after all. Even if they were normal teens, they would have many difficulties to truly understand and help each other, but they're far from being normal whatsoever.


View Original PostAsuka'sBigBrother wrote:I disagree. Their different personalities weren't really a source of toxicity. Their relationship, at it's peak, had their different personalities better develop the other.

Their similar traumas allowed them to connect on a level you rarely connect on.


Well, that's debatable, although I see your point and agree that it's not because of their personalities that it all crumbled down the way it did. However, you may agree with me that Asuka's abrassiveness and Shinji's avoidant personality didn't help either. If by "Their relationship, at it's peak" you mean the Action Arc, it's true that they have a funny relationship, with comical interactions, just like Ash and Misty. But those are not their true selves, so it's a bit of a strech to judge their relationship by what we see in the first half of the series. Neither Asuka is a tsundere as we know them, nor Shinji is so willing to open to others so easily. Their issues are just too deep, and even if their personalities weren't a major cause for the toxicity, they didn't help.

Here’s a very illustrative analysis of their behaviour and personalities, written by Bagheera, where he established, in his opinion, what were the essential factors to be taken into account when writing about their relationship (forum Thread):
SPOILER: Show
Bagheera wrote:Guess I should weigh in here, given my rep for pontificating on the subject. :tongue:

The biggest mistake people make when writing about these two is to treat them like normal teenagers. This doesn't work for two reasons: first, they're very young. Asuka's 13, Shinji 14, and that's a world of difference from the 16, 17, 18-year-olds we're used to as young adults in most Western stories. A couple of years is a really big deal at that age. Second, both teens are heavily damaged, even before Eva gets its hooks into them. That damage is rarely addressed in adequate fashion in fanfic.

So, a quick rundown of exactly why this is so with each:

Asuka: Here is your mantra when writing Asuka: she is not a bitch. That is to say, she is not mean for the sake of being mean, she is not petty, she is not vengeful, she is not capricious. Instead she is a hystrionic girl with deep-seated abandonment issues, and these two factors drive every aspect of her personality. Some examples:

  • Asuka is very lonely. Between her abandonment by her mother and her isolated upbringing she’s never been able to connect with anyone, and that’s left her feeling isolated and alone. She hates that more than anything because she equates it with being abandoned and thrown away like trash.
  • She is fixated on being an adult because her mother "abandoned" her as a child. She was raised with adults, in what Tines likes to call a “hothouse environment”, and that’s the only world that matters to her. In her experience children are ignored at best and thrown away at worst, so she is determined not to be a child. It is her only hope for survival.
  • As a result of her abandonment Asuka has a crippling lack of self-worth. She hates herself because she wasn’t good enough to keep her mother around, and as a result she’s desperate to prove herself in Eva. If she’s the best at piloting Eva that means she’s important, and if she’s important she has to be accepted and kept around.
  • Asuka exhibits many instances of black and white thinking, particularly when it comes to gender roles. Despite her precociousness she believes men should ride in and save the day on their white horses, and women should swoon at their feet. But not just any men – worthy men. Her father obviously doesn’t qualify, but Kaji does. Shinji might if he would act like he did when he saved her from the volcano, but he never does so . . . yeah.

So, how do these traits interact? The tension between these aspects of her personality is what makes Asuka an interesting character. Her most basic drives demand that she pursue success to whatever extent necessary, since that’s critical for her survival. But, at the same time, she wants to be “saved” by a worthy, manly man. She struggles as hard as she does because most of the men around her aren’t worthy – she can’t depend on them, and she saw what happens to weak women when her father abandoned her mother. So, her most basic drives (her id, if we’re using Freud, silly as the notion may be) demand she survive at any cost, and this drives her to excel. If she can prove herself the adult world will have to accept her. But at the same time she doesn’t want to work like that; her emotional side (her ego, to continue with the Freud analogy) wants to be saved by a manly man who will make a place for her in adult society by default. She hasn’t yet learned to balance the two, and thus acts in a very confusing manner.

Shinji: Here is your mantra with Shinji: He is not a spineless wimp. Instead he is an avoidant boy with a crippling lack of self-worth, coupled with a truly remarkable streak of obstinance. He has decided he is a worthless individual whose sense of self is so poorly developed that he can’t even be bothered to commit suicide. In his eyes he is worthless, and as such he firmly believes that he is unable to help others. He has very good reason to believe this is the case, and it has influenced him in various ways:

  • His father abandoned him as a child, with no explanation given. The implication is obvious: he’s a bad child and his father doesn’t want him. Gendo does absolutely nothing to disabuse him of this notion when he arrives in Tokyo-3.
  • His mother seemed fond of him, but then she went away. No one ever explained why, and his father sent him away soon after, so in his eyes it’s obviously his fault. The two events are correlated so to his child’s mind they’re linked in cause as well.
  • Like Asuka Shinji is very lonely, and for many of the same reasons. He was abandoned by both of his parents, raised in isolation, and given little in the way of role models to show him the love and affection a child needs to grow up properly.
  • Shinji’s obstinance is not just a personality quirk. Instead it is a defense mechanism, and a very useful one. It means that he can identify what little is positive about his circumstances and milk it for all it’s worth, which in turn will give him the wherewithal he needs to get through another day. So, when he receives praise for something (such as playing the cello) he continues to do it; it’s a good thing, so he should keep doing it since that will make him an acceptable person. It also keeps him from running away from pain, which allows him to receive praise and acceptance from adults. In like fashion this is also the root of his apologetic reflex.

So, how do these traits interact in Shinji? Well, continuing with the analogy for Asuka his root instinct (his “id”) is to run away, to isolate, to avoid. He is afraid of pain and so he has walled himself away from the world. However, this only invites criticism, which leads to more pain, so he had developed a stubborn streak (his “ego”) to manage his fear and drive him forward in hopes of finding praise from others. As in Asuka’s case he still hasn’t figured out how to balance these traits effectively.

Which brings us to writing about these characters. With the above in mind, here are some basic rules of thumb:

  • There will be no romance. Seriously, these are emotionally stunted children. Even if they were healthy they would only be beginning to explore their sexuality at this age, and they are not healthy. Even though Asuka fantasizes about the idea it is, for her, a means to an end – she doesn’t want a relationship for its own sake, she wants it because, for her, it’s a ticket to securing her status as an adult and gaining acceptance thereby. But she doesn’t even really want to date other boys, and she certainly doesn’t want to kiss them (witness her near-disgust at the prospect with Shinji; she was willing to endure it because it might lead to her being held, but that’s as far as her interest went). Anything beyond that is a farce.
  • They have serious intimacy issues. They have been denied affection all their lives, they have had little physical contact with others, and they don’t know how to handle it when it does happen. Shinji’s reaction to Asuka’s kiss is a good example: he just stands there, arms locked at his sides, unable to comprehend what to do. He doesn’t want to be touched.
  • They have different ways of managing the same basic problem. Both kids have been abandoned by adults who have no place for them in their world, and they are very lonely as a result. Asuka is driven to survive but very much wants to be rescued, while Shinji wants to run away and hide but is determined to press forward in a desperate bid for acceptance. In the end they are two sides of the same coin, which is no surprise given that they’re both facets of Anno’s own personality.
  • They don’t understand one another. Despite their similarities their different coping strategies leave the kids feeling very confused by one another. Their thinking processes and self-awareness aren’t developed enough to catch on to their similarities or the reasoning behind the other’s actions, and so the spines come out.

So that’s a bunch of lists, but what does it all mean? Simply put, the kids interact in a number of different ways:

As Co-workers: Asuka is driven to succeed, and she doesn’t understand why Shinji isn’t. Moreover, his natural talent is a threat to her, since it suggests she’ll be thrown away as soon as she is no longer useful (which does in fact prove to be the case). Shinji, for his part, considers her something like a sempai despite their ages, since she obviously has more training and more familiarity with Eva than he does. But his talent is such a threat to her that they can’t productively nurture this aspect of their working relationship.

As Friends: Because of the threat Shinji represents to her, and the fact that he refuses to be the big hero she wants him to be (in which case the threat would be moot), it would be very difficult for Asuka to accept Shinji as any sort of friend. She hides behind the claim that he’s boring, but that’s not quite it – it’s more that he’s useless to her, and on top of that a threat. But Shinji doesn’t understand the whys and wherefores of any of this, so even though he wants to be her friend he doesn’t know how to do it.

As Lovers: Hahahahahahaha no.

I thought it could be interesting to quote it for our discussion.


Asuka'sBigBrother wrote:Also, in defense of my boi Mr. Ikari, he did save Asuka multiple times. The world too while he was at it. All while being a mental wreck due to having jerks for parents. You can do worse.


Yes, he did, but from Asuka's point of view he didn't save her when she truly needed it: providing her with the emotional support and validation she craved so much. The problem I think Asuka had with Shinji was that the ephemeral bravery he showed in episodes such as Magma Diver (the so called "Invincible Shinji-sama") and his ace piloting skills didn't come with a manly attitude.

Asuka desperately wanted someone to help her from her inner ghosts, although she consistently pushed away everyone around her. But part of her disappointment with Shinji is well explained here: Nobita Nobi’s Bridal Veil, a doujin Anno and Sadamoto praised for depicting a very believable Asuka, and that they used as a reference for the Director’s Cut episode 22. There, Asuka thinks: YOU WON'T EVEN HOLD ME!! […] (Kaji-san...what will I do? I've been defiled...) (I wanted you to hold me. With arms strong enough to break through this wall and embrace the heart I don't reveal to anyone)"

Even if it’s a doujin, just as Anno admitted, it portrays Asuka very realistically. She expected Kaji or Invincible Shinji-sama to break her Wall of Jericho and help her; but the first was taken by Misato, and the latter wasn’t as manly as Asuka wanted him to be. Thus, in her eyes, Shinji refused to save her, although to be fair, he simply couldn’t and/or didn’t know how to save her (or anyone else either, not even himself. His self-loathing issues were just too deep).

----

@synthmachine: I think I didn't say anything opposed to that, so yes, we can agree on it ^_^

Since I’ve studied History, I’m very used to hearing differing opinions on the same matter, and sometimes I’ve had intense debates about very specific issues, such as religion and politics, or modern ideologies like communism and fascism. But, in History there are facts that are irrefutable, so that subjectivity has its limits (although some people always want to hide certain facts that are blatantly against their ideology), unlike Evangelion and its ending. In fact, some posts ago I did say something very similar to your exposition: "It all depends on our personality and philosophy. More optimistic people will stress the change the chidlren have been through, represented by Asuka's caress; while more moderate (or sceptical) people like us will emphazise that, despite the growth they've experienced, the damage might be too heavy to be repaired anytime soon; that's represented by Asuka's coldness as well as the memories of all the clashes they've had during the series/film."

The fact I believe that, after EoE, both Asuka and Shinji need more stable partners to recover from their issues, or that (from my biased opinion as a fan of Asuka and based on all what we see during the series/film) I think she deserves someone better than Shinji, doesn't make me ignore the quality of some AsuShin post-3I fanfics that are very well written and with interesting plots (despite the pairing and my obvious disagreement with the outcome). I'm not that much into fanfiction, though.

As you said, we’re left with such an ambiguous ending, and the interactions on the beach are so vague and cryptic, that nothing about their future is clear. It all depends on our opinion, and all scenerarios are possible, whether it is happy, tragic, or if they're together or find others to be with.

What usually pisses me off the most about shippers is when someone gives for granted certain "truths" within the show, such as Asuka and Shinji "loving each other", or the ending being a sort of "confession scene"; it's also the way they defend such ideas, giving them an aura of canonicity and accusing everyone else of being "ignorants", which really irritates me, since those are extremely debatable aspects. But as zlink64 said in the first page of this thread, and you also pointed out, my "rant" against that kind of shippers might be a bit exaggerated, and of course it cannot be applied to all of them.
Last edited by CaesarMagnus on Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby synthmachine81 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:39 pm

View Original PostCaesarMagnus wrote:What usually pisses me off the most about shippers is when someone gives for granted certain "truths" within the show, such as Asuka and Shinji "loving each other", or the ending being a sort of "confession scene"; it's also the way they defend such ideas, giving them an aura of canonicity and accusing everyone else of being "ignorants", which really irritates me, since those are extremely debatable aspects. But as zlink64 said in the first page of this thread, and you also pointed out, my "rant" against that kind of shippers might be a bit exaggerated, and of course it cannot be applied to all of them.


Couldn't agree more with that. I always tell people that the ending scene has many different interpretations and that while I can give mine to help them out, they should not have to take it as absolute truth and it is perfectly fine to see a different outcome. Honestly the only really canon ships on EVA are Misato/Kaji and Gendo/Yui, the rest is just wishful thinking of us fans who overanalyze the characters potential :P (it is a shame that Ritsuko/Maya isn't canon though, they would be adorable)
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby Glor » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:43 pm

You bring great wisdom to these boards synthmachine81. Thank you.
Rite of Reclamation - an Evangelion/Halo fusion, check it out, is pretty neat.

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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby synthmachine81 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:53 pm

View Original PostGlor wrote:You bring great wisdom to these boards synthmachine81. Thank you.

Oh my, I'm flattered! :w00t: Thank you too ^^
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby Joseki » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:25 pm

View Original Postsynthmachine81 wrote:Couldn't agree more with that. I always tell people that the ending scene has many different interpretations and that while I can give mine to help them out, they should not have to take it as absolute truth and it is perfectly fine to see a different outcome. Honestly the only really canon ships on EVA are Misato/Kaji and Gendo/Yui, the rest is just wishful thinking of us fans who overanalyze the characters potential :P (it is a shame that Ritsuko/Maya isn't canon though, they would be adorable)


The "problem" with Misato/Kaji and Gendo/Yui is that those are very boring ships. Gendo/Yui is just a background to build some plot over and it is never shown, Misato/Kaji works too well from the very first moment they are on screen together.
On the other hand the viewer invest a lot into Shinji and Asuka in the first half of NGE and everything that happens in the second half increase the expectations for the final payoff.
Asuka and Shinji is the most popular ship not because people overanalyze stuff, it is because of the way Anno retconned his own story with the director's cut episodes and EoE. Ultimately he consciously made them "shippable" and it is surely paying off considering that he still makes money selling stuff like this 22 year after the show aired:

SPOILER: Show
Image
「希望は残っているよ。どんな時にもね」

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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby synthmachine81 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:51 pm

View Original PostJoseki wrote:The "problem" with Misato/Kaji and Gendo/Yui is that those are very boring ships. Gendo/Yui is just a background to build some plot over and it is never shown, Misato/Kaji works too well from the very first moment they are on screen together.
On the other hand the viewer invest a lot into Shinji and Asuka in the first half of NGE and everything that happens in the second half increase the expectations for the final payoff.
Asuka and Shinji is the most popular ship not because people overanalyze stuff, it is because of the way Anno retconned his own story with the director's cut episodes and EoE. Ultimately he consciously made them "shippable" and it is surely paying off considering that he still makes money selling stuff like this 22 year after the show aired:

SPOILER: Show
Image


I have to disagree a bit with Misato and Kaji being boring, as they have a more easygoing chemistry for being mostly well resolved adults (not so much for Misato at least but you can get what I'm saying), and for having been in a relationship before. But there is still all the conflict that Misato basically suffers from Electra's complex and also Kaji is way too careless about himself sometimes. I agree about Gendo and Yui though, the only reason I consent with this ship it is that Shinji wouldn't exist if they weren't together lmao. The overanalyzing part was directed towards EVA shipping in general, like some people ship Kaworu and Asuka despite they having not interacted at all in the series or Shinji and Hikari despite she being all over Toji and Shinji only really interacting with her when it's related to school stuff or she coming over his place to be with Asuka. (I'm going off-topic now but my favourite of these lowkey implausible ships is Shinji and Toji, I find their dynamics very interesting even though their friendship suffers an abrupt cut after EVA 03 incident)

Shinji and Asuka's dynamic is one of the most fascinating aspects of Evangelion to me, they embody perfectly the Hedgehog's Dilemma. They hurt each other but they want closure, and overall need each other to get through shit. Of course there are lots of negatives when we analyze their relationship, as EVA deals with both good and bad of these characters, and I understand why the idea of Asushin as the main and only plausible deal after EoE is not appealing to some. It's a matter of personal taste and how you interpret these characters, I may say.

Sure the overall lore built up for them being matches, but as Evangelion is very interpretative, a person is not necessarily wrong of thinking they are meant to be forever and they are going to be this super cute lovely couple, neither that they are doomed and it will be a long way until they even remotely will be able to stand each other without one wanting to kill another.

I prefer to think the first, maybe not so fluffly if you are looking for realism, but I can perfectly see more mature versions of Shinji and Asuka sharing a deep trust and bond after sharing their experiences, because let's be honest, there aren't many people their age range who will deeply get what they went through apart from themselves.

But while I favor Asushin as my OTP in this franchise, EVA spin-offs have explored the idea of other pairings as well, and while I might not agree or care for some of them, it is an interesting take in if well developed. Same goes for fanfiction.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:29 am

Indeed, but to that you need to add the genuine immaturity of two pubescent teenagers with no knowledge of human interactions.

They can always learn that and by the end of the story they know a great deal more about social actions than they did beforehand. There's no reason they can't continue to address this problem. As it is, they interact more freely with each other than they interact with anyone else. Shinji's is the only person we see Asuka open herself up to. Asuka is the only person we see Shinji express and stand up for himself with.

Logically, they'll grow more socially when interacting with each other rather than interacting with others.

Well, that's debatable, although I see your point and agree that it's not because of their personalities that it all crumbled down the way it did. However, you may agree with me that Asuka's abrasiveness and Shinji's avoidant personality didn't help either.


Asuka's abrasiveness and Shinji's avoidant personality still stem from the same source:

SPOILER: Show
self=hatred


Asuka's abrasiveness is a front she puts to conceal her utter lack of self-esteem. It's no coincidence that when the "front" fell apart, Asuka attempts suicide.

Shinji's avoidant personality is a way of avoiding his lack of perceived self-worth.

Which is why, again, this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AY27gLWhtM
and Shinji(and Asuka) rejecting instrumentality:
(I couldn't find a video unfortunately)

are massive for the arcs of these characters.

If by "Their relationship, at it's peak" you mean the Action Arc, it's true that they have a funny relationship, with comical interactions, just like Ash and Misty.

I am not referring to their "comical interactions". I'm referring to interactions with genuine weight to them. I'm referring to Asuka telling Shinji to value himself more and getting angry when Misato didn't take issue with Shinji having a low opinion of himself. I'm referring to when both risked their lives to save each other, interactions with ended with their counterpart being moved to happiness by the concern the other showed for them. I'm referring to Asuka showing others compassion she wasn't willing to show others beforehand. I'm referring to Shinji standing up for himself, something which takes a recognition of self-value, and something he rarely ever did outside of his interactions with Asuka.

Asuka and Shinji's interactions with each other ended up with both opening themselves and facing themselves for who they were. Off course, this ended badly because they were forced to face their self-hatred.

However, being forced to face said self-hatred ended up with both finding value in themselves, rather than depending on external sources to assign them value. Hence why, by the end of EOE, now that both are seeing their own worth, they can better appreciate the worth of each other.

The issues between these two all stem from self-hatred. As they both start valuing themselves, they're both able to better interact with each other. This isn't to say there aren't going to be issues left to address, but both characters are now in a position where they can address them.
Here’s a very illustrative analysis of their behaviour and personalities, written by Bagheera, where he established, in his opinion, what were the essential factors to be taken into account when writing about their relationship (forum Thread):

The problem with his analysis is it completely neglects the character growth both Shinji and Asuka have undergone. You can't judge a character based on what they were, you need to judge them based on what they are.
Also...
It means that he can identify what little is positive about his circumstances and milk it for all it’s worth

No. It's not a good thing. The show goes out of its way to tell us how bad of a trait this is and coincidentally the climax has Shinji shunning this mechanism of his. This is why Shinji directly dealing with pain rather than trying to avoid it in EOE's final scene shows growth.
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