Ritsuko and Asuka as Mirror Images

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Ritsuko and Asuka as Mirror Images

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Postby El Squibbonator » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:12 pm

Most of the analysis I've seen of Asuka's character seems to focus on her relationship with either her mother or the other pilots, and for understandable reasons: those are the people in the series who she is shaped by the most in terms of her interactions with them. But while I was on Tumblr today, I found a post (sorry, I forget the exact page) that made me wonder if there might be another side to the story that hasn't been explored yet. I'm talking, of course, about the possibility that Asuka was set up as a "mirror image" or "echo" of Ritsuko. Here are the similarities they mentioned:

1. Both had mothers who were emotionally distant and eventually became consumed by one of NERV's projects (the MAGI supercomputer for Ritsuko's mother, EVA 02 for Asuka's mother).
2. Both were forced to watch as their mothers "died".
3. Both have a living mother figure who is distant and unresponsive. For Ritsuko it is her grandmother, and for Asuka it is her stepmother.
4. Both grow to hate Rei, and for much the same reason. They see her as not fully human and unworthy of attention and praise.
5. Both have explicitly stated that they do not want to have children.
6. Both were once obsessed with an older man who never reciprocated their love (Gendo for Ritsuko, Kaji for Asuka)
7. Both have some association with cats (Ritsuko in the original TV series, Asuka in the Rebuild movies)
8. Their entrance and exit scenes in EoE are mirrored. Both emerge from water and then die at their mother's betrayal.
9. Also in EoE, there is a scene where Ritsuko washes her face that Asuka later repeats.
10. Both are told "I need you" during Instrumentality, Ritsuko by Gendo and Asuka by Shinji. They both respond identically-- by saying "Liar."

So, coincidence? You decide!
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Re: Ritsuko and Asuka as Mirror Images

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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:40 pm

This does seem like quite the interesting parallel if true. It's rather ironic actually, Asuka wishes herself to be seen and treated as an adult, yet the actual adult proves to just be as messed up as she is
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Re: Ritsuko and Asuka as Mirror Images

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Postby barnett » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:51 am

I think it is a well thought comparison, Ritsuko is one of my favourite characters in the show.

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Re: Ritsuko and Asuka as Mirror Images

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Postby C.T.1290 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:33 am

If Asuka is the mirror image of Ristuko for the reasons you stated above, wouldn't that make her just as bad and a bit twisted as she is?
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Re: Ritsuko and Asuka as Mirror Images

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Postby AdamMalkovitch » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:45 pm

View Original PostEl Squibbonator wrote:2. Both were forced to watch as their mothers "died".
3. Both have a living mother figure who is distant and unresponsive. For Ritsuko it is her grandmother, and for Asuka it is her stepmother.
4. Both grow to hate Rei, and for much the same reason. They see her as not fully human and unworthy of attention and praise.
7. Both have some association with cats (Ritsuko in the original TV series, Asuka in the Rebuild movies)
8. Their entrance and exit scenes in EoE are mirrored. Both emerge from water and then die at their mother's betrayal.

2. Asuka may or may not have watched Kyoko's Contact Experiment, but Risuko just left before the whole "oops lol I murdered a child off this ledge I go" incident
3. Ritsuko's grandmother is clearly someone she's close to, as Ritsuko trusts her to watch her cats, and after one dies, consoles her over the phone. Asuka doesn't hate her stepmother, she just wants nothing to do with her because no one can replace the bond Kyoko had with her before the Contact Experiment, and she represents Asuka's status as a child.
4. Asuka does hate Rei, but that's because she represents everything she hates- a dependent, emotionless doll who will do anything Gendo says (at least during the first half of the series). Ritsuko doesn't hate Rei at all, if anything, she seems to be a mother figure to her, administering her with her meds and helping to accustom her to human society. Ritsuko hates the Dummy Plugs, and how easily her, essentially surrogate daughter, can be replaced. By murdering the Rei bodies in the tank, she actually makes Rei infinitely more precious.
7. The Rebuilds are irrelevant to Neon Genesis, and weren't even a scrap of an idea at the back of Anno's mind during Neon Genesis' creation and release.
8. Ritsuko IS betrayed by her mother, but Asuka has Kyoko's full support and love during the entire battle, that's why Unit 02 was so easily able to go Berserk while Asuka remained in control after being speared through the damn face. The only reason that happened though, is because Asuka got cocky, and didn't notice a gigantic sword rocketing toward her, using her AT field to hold it back instead of dodging.

Your theory would sound, but these points make it very unstable, and the few remaining, working similarities feel like coincidence.
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Re: Ritsuko and Asuka as Mirror Images

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Postby El Squibbonator » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:44 pm

It's not my theory. It's something I found on some random Tumblr blog that I don't even remember the name of. I did NOT come up with this (OK, maybe I paraphrased it a bit).
Life can seem a challenge. Life can seem impossible. It's never easy when so much is on the line.


Do you like Eva? Do you like Pokemon? Then check out Neon Genesis Evangelemon-- You Can (Not) Catch 'Em All thread/16052/Neon-Genesis-Evangelemon/

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Re: Ritsuko and Asuka as Mirror Images

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:09 pm

Good catch.

There are some key differences though:

-> Kaji did not take advantage of Asuka's desperation and exploit her, Gendo presumably exploited Ritsuko
-> Ritsuko didn't have an equivalent to Shinji to connect with
-> Asuka ends up together with Shinji, someone with the will to live
-> Ritsako ends up following Gendo, someone who evidently didn't have the will to live and wanted death as atonement

The end result:
-> Asuka rejected her mother and moved on to live without her
-> Ritsuko? We don't really know for sure, but her dependency on Gendo would likely result in her staying with Gendo, ded.

Morale of the story?
-> Don't let your mom's whims/desires define your own
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Re: Ritsuko and Asuka as Mirror Images

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:22 pm

I feel this also works both Ritsuko and Misato. They also share some other similarities with Asuka, which I'm too lazy to point out right now. However, Misato is generally healthier, happier and more well-adjusted than Ritsuko (which admittedly isn't all that hard), yet she still keeps her own demons. Which is why I tend to think of Misato as a relatively positive adult version of Asuka, with Ritsuko being more negative, having done all the wrong choices and remained living a lie. This dynamic is also present, even more so, with Kaji being a positive adult Shinji, and Gendo, paralleled directly with him many times, being negative.

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Re: Ritsuko and Asuka as Mirror Images

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:00 pm

Asuka's better off then either Misato or Ritsuko by "i need you" tbh
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Re: Ritsuko and Asuka as Mirror Images

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Postby Settie » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:46 pm

At the peril of coming off as an a-hole, i thought this was pretty obvious, a lot of the major characters in NGE share the same building blocks.

Shinji has dad and mom issues
Asuka has mom issues
Misato has dad issues
Ritsuko has mom issues
Gendo has dead wife issues

Said issues manifested in different ways but the end outcome was the same inability to properly connect with others, so it's not that surprising that there would be a lot of similarities when comparing characters that share the same building blocks.


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