Why was Shinji separated from Unit 01? (Episode 20)

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Why was Shinji separated from Unit 01? (Episode 20)

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Postby Tumbling Down » Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:04 pm

Shinji's experience in the Eva is a proto-Instrumentality, but we don't see him decide explicitly that he wants to live in the real world. All I'm certain of is the birthing metaphor when he's spat out. My headcanon is that it was an accidental, like waking up from a dream.

thewayneiac
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Re: Why was Shinji separated from Unit 01? (Episode 20)

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Postby thewayneiac » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:49 pm

I think the idea is that Yui threw him out. The actual significant thing here is that he is spit out of the core, not the Entry Plug. Apparently his soul moved there to visit Yui. Also, he formed a new body using LCL from the core, not from the Entry Plug where he dissolved. Here we first learn that a soul can form a new body from any LCL, not just the LCL that constituted its original body.
Rejoice, glory is ours. Our young men have not died in vain. Their graves need no flowers. The tapes have recorded their names.
I am all there is.
Negative! Primative! Limited! I let you live.
But I gave you life.
What else could you do?
To do what was right.
I'm perfect, are you?

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Re: Why was Shinji separated from Unit 01? (Episode 20)

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Postby StrokeMeGoat » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:27 am

The timing of the events and cinematography, as well as later on by the dialog provided by Ritsuko in a conversation with Misato following Shinji's reconstitution suggests that it was in fact Misato clutching Shinji's plugsuit, grieving over his loss, and pleading for him to come back that prompted his reconstitution. Whether that was a result of some unconscious and innate desire within himself (alone) responding to her wailing as a stimulus or his mother responding to said desire making the decision to spit him out is a bit difficult to determine, although the sudden inclusion of her in the "trip" sequence of Shinji's would seem to suggest that she played an active role in physically returning him to the external world.

In my opinion, the reconstitution process played a role by triggering a reaction from Shinji to an external stimulus. After apparently being unconscious following his absorption, his mental faculties were impaired, but seemed to be slowly progressing into a state of growing self-awareness. The EM stimulus applied during the reconstitution attempt seemed to be the kind of jolt he needed to shift his attention away from an inner experience and back on the external world itself and the awareness that it actually exists. This is what caused him to become aware of Misato, which eventually led to his return.

What complicates and confuses things is that prior to Ritsuko's (or rather, Naoko's) reconstitution process being initiated, Shinji being repeatedly asked to become one with images of Misato, Asuka, and Rei could be interpreted as a manifestation of Yui's (or maybe even the Eva's?) desire to absorb Shinji permanently. It's definitely unclear whether or not the Eva has a mind of its own, considering every time an Eva is shown to have agency or desires in the show, it is implied that it is in fact the Mother's soul that is residing within the Eva responsible for the actions or desires we see take place. In any case, this same type of event occurs when Armisael attempts assimilation with Unit-00 and Rei and goes on to attempt it with Unit-01 and Shinji. It asks Rei, who is floating above the LCL, "won't you become one with me?" This is what drives me to question whether the Evas indeed have a mind and desires of it's own outside those of the Mother's (or Rei I's most likely in the case of Unit-00) soul that resides within their core. These two experiences are very similar, and the Eva is essentially an Angel, so it would seem to indicate that it is the Eva that desires to absorb Shinji. Notably, Ritsuko herself mentions it may be the Eva's desire to absorb Shinji, but whether she is referring to the Eva itself or Yui is unknown.

The answer of this question seems to be paramount, because if it is not the case that the Eva has desires of its own, then it seems a likely possibility that it was Yui's desire for Shinji to merge with the Eva. This would make her decision to spit him out seem rather contradictory. However, there is another possibility. The desire to merge and become one with another being, and in effect the images of Misato, Asuka, and Rei that express this desire, may all be n unconscious reflection of something stemming from Shinji himself and, in a greater sense, the human desire to overcome the persistent loneliness that exists within their hearts. Human beings are conflicted animals; our minds always seem to be at odds in some kind of eternal struggle of will, needs, and desires. Armisael's conversation with Rei may have just indicated that it recognized an unconscious desire to assimilate that fit with its goal of assimilation... or just its own desire to assimilate. It need not indicate anything regarding the nature of the Evas after all.

In the end, who really knows exactly what happened. The episode provided us with a bit of information that helped our understanding of the nature of the Evas, but unfortunately only the kind of understanding that leads to more questions than we started with. I think it's best we don't fully grasp what happened, because it would kind of kill the magic of the show. I don't need or want all the answers, I like trying to come up with my own. And, of course, knowing the mechanics of everything that takes place was never the point of what happens in the show, so I give props to Anno for not trying to provide an explanation when I think the show would ultimately suffer for it.


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