Gendo's relationship with Rei

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Gendo's relationship with Rei

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Postby Eclectic_Epileptic » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:51 pm

From a perspective of someone only seeing the original TV run + EoE:
What's up with Gendo and Rei? There's a scene in which they are talking and both take pleasure in the interaction. Gendo also saves Rei from searing capsule, burning his hands in process. It seems he holds Rei in the highest regard yet he routinely uses her as a disposable tool (nevermind the cloning vat). Why this disparity? Why is Gendo friendly with Rei but uncaring about Shinji?

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Re: Gendo's relationship with Rei

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Postby ACGT-Samael » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:10 am

There's a couple factors here, but the important thing to remember is Rei is vital to Gendo's scenario and as such he sees her as being extremely important to him. Rei herself even tells Asuka he doesn't actually care about her, so that outward affection may at least partly be a facade.

Beyond that, there is the small detail that Rei is a clone of Yui and thus looks almost exactly like her, so his feelings for Yui influence his interaction with her.

As for how he treats Shinji, Gendo basically says before he dies that he felt he could only fail Shinji as a parent and so walled off his heart. The implication is that Gendo feels if Shinji hates him it will make the process easier. Gendo being Gendo, how much you should believe this is unclear.

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Re: Gendo's relationship with Rei

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Postby Kendrix » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:03 pm

Gendo seems to be the type of person who puts his goals before everything - he may not necessarily enjoy having his kids fight giant monsters he might even avoid it if he can, but if he feels its the best way to accomplish his goal, he absolutely will do it no matter the consequences.
He really believes that his version of instrumentality is "the only way [for humanity] to live" and acts accordingly.

He didn't believe he could sufficiently parent Shinji and that no one would ever like him anyway, so he decides to leave that responsibility to someone else. Note that he leaves Shinji with a teacher, who makes a living of looking after kids, rather than just dumping him off at an orphanage, or even some training camp to recruit him to his cause. Perhaps this was Gendo's idea of giving him a "normal life" - If any of Yui's SEELE-affiliated relatives still live, he mayx have made an effort to keep them away from him.
Even so he's obviously avoiding responsibility and making the same error Shinji sometimes makes but which is to a degree also a universal human bias, which is to see the damage caused by active action as more real than that caused by inaction - see the infamous trolley problem.

As Rei needs to be in Tokyo-3 for the plan, he doesn't have the option of carting her off to some caretaker, so he was forced to have some interaction with her , perhaps enough to get somewhat attached, especially since she would be reminding him of his lost family. To begin with he named her what he would have named Shinji if he'd been a girl - heck, perhaps he was still planning to use it in case they had another kid or something.

Of course even so Gendo has his limitations and has kinda given up on the world as it is in the present. He expects the supposed paradise instrumentality to justify whatever means he used to accomplish it - He's not going to invest much in anything in the present, Rei included. Though they have positive interactions, there's still a sense of distance or even neglect, especially since Rei is well-aware that whatever he does with or for her, he's also doing it to get back to his wife and carry out his plan. So there could never be complete sincerity or security if that relationship (as reflected in eps 12, 15, 17 etc. where Rei clearly doesn't consider herself to be THAT close to him or to have a special importance for him. ) He did after all pull her into a fairly unpleasant, isolated existence that isn't a natural state for her lillithy components. Nor the human ones, actually.

But since she was raised to view herself as utterly expendable she would cherish what little cherishing treatment anyone would give her, at least at the start.

Gendo for his part seemed fairly oblivious to her shift in loyalty or inner turmoil untill she decided to just leave him standing there and go help out Shinji instead and/or return to Lillith on her own terms. He didn't really see Ritsuko's rebellion coming, either. As lampshaded in his last scene he only understands subtle interpersonal stuff to a degree, which is why he gave up on people linking him and ended up clinging so much to the one person who somehow inexplicably did like him. He doesn't consider or see himself as capable of building new bonds.
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