Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition").
The third installment debuted in Japan on November 17, 2012.

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Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby Hop Pockets » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:55 pm

Okay but listen. I feel like I see a lot of posts describing Q!Kaworu in terms suggesting that he has less than pure motives for his interactions with Shinji. So I'll spell out my central thesis right here: What if Kaworu isn't a conniving mastermind, the manipulative left hand of Seele, or a weird stalker, or any of that? What if he's just like, y'know -- a naive but well-intentioned boy?

It's easy to assume that Kaworu's kindness and affection for Shinji in Q are somehow self-serving or malevolent. After all, Evangelion is kind of a whole series about the multitudinous ways people find to manipulate our protagonist into doing stuff that's bad for him. Almost every major character does this:

- Gendo is obviously the foremost example, starving Shinji of affection and emotional availability, and using shame and guilt tactics to force Shinji back into line out of pure self-serving devotion to his own goals.
- Misato doesn't get off scot-free either -- though her intentions are good, and the pressure she's under is profound, she of all people is most keenly aware of Shinji's emotional insecurity, and she often exploits it by framing piloting an Eva as the mature, adult, or manlike thing to do. It's more obvious in the anime, and particularly in End of Evangelion, but it's an element that's still present in the New Theatrical Edition.
- Asuka can be excused quite a bit for being the same age as Shinji and just as immature, but it goes without saying that her verbal abuse is pretty extreme. In particular, she, like Misato, often frames his anxiety and trauma around piloting an Eva in emasculating terms, though she does it far more overtly. Is this a reflection of her own insecurities? Assuredly. But it's still not cool.
- Mari interacts with Shinji exactly three times ever, but it's probably worth noting that she chose to use one of those three times to question his masculinity for crying after his BFF got super decapitated right in front of him.

Shinji doesn't share a lot of screentime with many other (major) characters in NTE. I don't really have much of a grip on Kaji's role in Shinji's development as a character -- his whole situation is cut a little short in the film version of things. Touji and Kensuke are there, though Shinji doesn't have much of an emotional connection with them. But as far as NERV is concerned, what's there is enough to give you the sense that as in the anime, Shinji is surrounded by people who, while they may care about him, don't hesitate to abuse him for their own ends. This hits a crescendo in Q, when he is emotionally abandoned by what is apparently every single Lilin on Earth. That's, uh, rough.

Anyway, going back to the film series as a whole, there's just two main characters who ever seem to form a truly healthy relationship with Shinji:

There's Rei. Though Rei is sometimes used to coerce Shinji, she really never does it herself. Her relationship with Shinji is on unusually equal footing by Eva standards. They're both immature to similar degrees, though in complementary ways. It's no wonder that, in NTE especially, Rei becomes Shinji's closest friend and primary romantic interest. Though he infantilizes her a bit, they speak to each other in honest and plain terms with little pretense.

Who else does Shinji ever get to talk to without a single layer of pretense?

The answer: Kaworu. Kaworu is a parallel to Rei in a lot of ways. It's a deliberate facet of his visual design, obviously, and he has a similar background to Rei in the lore of Evangelion, but I'm interested here in the thematic parallels. Because while Kaworu is clearly more knowledgeable, more socially savvy, and more talented than Rei (or most characters in Evangelion), I don't think he's actually more mature at all. Kaworu doesn't really "get" Lilin -- that's part of his whole shtick, of course.

It means he fails to really understand the extent or reason behind Shinji's suffering and his trauma around piloting the Evas, and it means he says a lot of callous things to him on their trip to see the outside. But that immaturity is as much of a good thing as a bad one. There's other things Kaworu doesn't seem to "get" -- like dishonesty. See, I think a key thing about Kaworu is that he never actually lies to Shinji about anything, at least not as far as we have any reason to believe. When Shinji asks a question, Kaworu gives an answer, even if it hurts him. And Kaworu freely admits his interest in Shinji, without reservation, in a way that's really unusual for boys -- and that raw tenderness causes Shinji to open up in ways we've never seen. In other words, it's a fairly healthy relationship.

(And yes, I'm definitely one of those people who reads said relationship as romantic on some level -- at least on Shinji's part. If you saw Shinji behave this way around a girl, you wouldn't hesitate to say he has a crush. Weirder things have happened in this franchise than a 14-year-old boy being awkwardly bi, and with far less explicit hinting.)

So when it comes time to sortie Unit-13, and Kaworu encourages Shinji to participate, I don't read that as manipulative. I think Kaworu fully believes he's doing the thing that will make Shinji happy. And I think you need only look as far as this pair of lines to demonstrate that:

(Listening to Shinji talk about why he likes the stars)
KAWORU: Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world. It's just like you.


(Seeing Shinji's reaction to the devastation of Fourth Impact)
KAWORU: I'm sorry. This wasn't the happiness you desired.


Though we the audience never get to see what Kaworu's proposed version of Fourth Impact would have been, one thing's clear: He truthfully thought he was doing what would make Shinji happy. Though he was sent by Seele, as in the anime, he seems not to have had any intention of actually doing what they wanted -- not if it would hurt the weird boy he's so fascinated by. Instead, he's manipulated. Like Shinji. Like Rei. Like all of the Children. Everything in existence is but a tool for Gendo's purposes.

Obviously, Kaworu isn't perfect. But I don't think falling short of perfection means a viewer should default to assuming malice or devious duplicity on his part. The main thing he's guilty of is hubris, in thinking he could tidily sweep up all of Shinji's problems for him. But evil? That's never been his role.

Kaworu's role in the story is as a moment of pristine clarity -- a true, honest, mutual friend, a look into a world where Shinji isn't surrounded by people searching to use him under false pretenses -- that precedes Shinji's precipitous drop into despair. And in my view, that narrative role doesn't work under the interpretation of Kaworu as some kind of manipulative mastermind. It's so core to Q as a film both in isolation and in the context of the tetralogy so far. If Kaworu is "just another" manipulator, then Q the movie is a series of pretty pictures about a crying boy getting mercilessly ground into dust. If he's a friend, he is the reason for Shinji to keep going. He's the light in the the tunnel that shows Shinji that even at the end of the world, making connections is still possible and still worth it.

Kaworu tells Shinji that the only way to make better music is to try over and over. That he doesn't have to be good at it -- he just has to practice until he's happy. That is a very straightforward message in a franchise that is rarely straightforward about its themes. It's what Shinji will have to do going forward, in the face of despair -- the long and hard trial and error it takes to find happiness on his terms, and not anyone else's.

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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:01 pm

I'm unable to write more right now but you might be interested in the following two threads. I believe Kaworu is being revised into a much darker and less neutral version of his character as a thematic response to the worship he received from part of the fanbase, much like Rei and part of Eva in general. There is no such thing as purity or unconditional affection in Eva, and Kaworu is no exception. This helps to add a lot more nuance and layers to the Rebuilds, 3.0 most of all, which otherwise might go unnoticed.

https://forum.evageeks.org/thread/14454 ... ntentions/

post/888166/Adams-Children-and-the-Nature-of-the-Cycle/#888166

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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby Blockio » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:12 am

I don't feel like doing the whole Kaworu thing again, so I'm gonna focus on the points you make towards the other characters.
This is not meant to be a personal insult to you, I've held some of these opinions as well in the past; it's just that they don't really hold up to scrutiny
beyond surface level or at the very least are not nearly as black and white as you portray them to be
View Original PostHop Pockets wrote:- Gendo is obviously the foremost example, starving Shinji of affection and emotional availability, and using shame and guilt tactics to force Shinji back into line out of pure self-serving devotion to his own goals.

That's not necessarily true. Sure, it may appear that way, but the whole point of Eva is to look beyond the surface level. I'm not a fan of it personally for a number of continuity reasons, but since you bring up the events of the original show multiple times, I will bring up EoE here: In Gendo's dying moments it is revealed that he, in fact was not acting this way towards Shinji out of malevolence but rather because he, too, was too afraid of messing up, so he thought it would be best to keep Shinji at a distance in order to not hurt him. This obviously being a very misguided thing to do is on a different page; this thread is about intentions, not what result the actions following them have. While we have no immediate proof that this also holds true in NTE, we have no proof of the opposite either, so it remains an option to be considered.

- Misato doesn't get off scot-free either -- though her intentions are good, and the pressure she's under is profound, she of all people is most keenly aware of Shinji's emotional insecurity, and she often exploits it by framing piloting an Eva as the mature, adult, or manlike thing to do. It's more obvious in the anime, and particularly in End of Evangelion, but it's an element that's still present in the New Theatrical Edition.

EoE is arguably the worst example for proving a point in this situation; not only was she fundamentally broken at this point in the story due to the loss of Kaji and the continuous downward spiral the later epiusodes are, in the scenes in question Nerv HQ was under attack and she was either in immediate danger or straightup fatally wounded and under the influence of severe blood loss. Yes, Misato - as all characters in Eva by the way - is far from perfect, but bringing up these examples does your cause no favor.

- Asuka can be excused quite a bit for being the same age as Shinji and just as immature, but it goes without saying that her verbal abuse is pretty extreme. In particular, she, like Misato, often frames his anxiety and trauma around piloting an Eva in emasculating terms, though she does it far more overtly. Is this a reflection of her own insecurities? Assuredly. But it's still not cool.

I can't help but feel like there are some double standards in play here. If Shinji acts like a dick to everyone, he is just poor puppy boy being played and abandoned, but if Asuka does, she is the abusive asshole? You are also ignoring the times she is genuinely vulnerable with him, and the times Shinji responds to her actions accordingly.

- Mari interacts with Shinji exactly three times ever, but it's probably worth noting that she chose to use one of those three times to question his masculinity for crying after his BFF got super decapitated right in front of him.

That once again is an awfully black and white view on things. Not only am I not sure how you get Mari challenging his masculinity out of their first encounter, you also let yourself be fooled by the pacing of the other two scenes. Despite being rather slow-paced and (compared to the events happening) calm scenes, what'S going down at the moment is anything but. In the fight against the 10th, literally everything else has failed, Mari is probably surprised she is even alive, as she was very much prepared to die in the attack on the 10th, and then just so happens to spot the only person able of operating the last ace up their sleeve - what do you expect her to do? Leave him a note saying "yeah it'd be cool if you did that"? Or rather show him the immediate effects of his not doing it to get the point across that he is the last person able to change something.
Same in Q: Mari saves him from literally falling to his death after almost being turned into whatever a impact would have done to her. Ask yourself this question: In her place, in this very moment, would you care why he did it? Or would you just pull the trigger on him and get rid of the problem once and for all? As much as people don't like to admit it: Most people would do the latter. I'm sure I would. MAri going out of her way to save him this spectacularily makes her a good guy if anything. And if confronting someone with their wrongdoings and proposing ways to make up for it makes someone a bad guy, I'd get my moral compass checked out.
But enough of that.

There's Rei. Though Rei is sometimes used to coerce Shinji, she really never does it herself. Her relationship with Shinji is on unusually equal footing by Eva standards. They're both immature to similar degrees, though in complementary ways. It's no wonder that, in NTE especially, Rei becomes Shinji's closest friend and primary romantic interest. Though he infantilizes her a bit, they speak to each other in honest and plain terms with little pretense.

There is a lot to unravel here. For one, Rei is never used to coerce Shinji into anything; the closest you get to that is at the start of Jo to guilt trip him into piloting, and maybe at the end of it to convince him to participate in Operation Yashima. However, if that counts, your point of "she never does it herself" is also incorrect, as she very much talks to him in the hospital beyond the mission plan, and, assuming that the other instances count as guilt tripping/coercing him, does so herself by offering to take his place at the frontlines.
Next - the two are very much not on equal footing in a lot of ways. Shinji, as an individual, is a lot more valuable to Nerv than Rei, and is treated accordingly, whereas Rei at no point has a choice to refuse putting her life on the line. Interpersonal relationships with Nerv staff are a different sotry, but I don't have the time to write all of that down right now.
One last thing: Despite having roughly the same amount of screentime, Asuka is very much a closer friend to Shinji in Ha, as Rei completely isolates herself and he knows very little of her beyond surface level.
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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:05 pm

“Kaworu is good because everyone else is also bad,” isn’t quite a logical argument.

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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby Ollow » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:36 am

First of all, I want to thank Hop Pockets for posting this. I am new to Evangelion and only binged the series and Rebuild movies after they were on Netflix and Kaworu stood out to me as a very interesting character. But In the short time I've been lurking on Evageeks, I was disheartened by how the general consensus around here is that Kaworu is untrustworthy.

There's nothing wrong with that in itself as this is a viewpoint shared by many characters in the TV series, Misato being the most prominent example. It's a very reasonable reaction considering the fact that Kaworu is an enigma but it's also indicative of a cynical mindset.

I don't really have much I want to add to Hop Pocket's original post as it does enough to express Kaworu's good sides, mostly in relation to his relationship with Shinji. I'm interested in making my own post about Kaworu as an individual in the near future but I do have some things to say to some of the other replies here.

---

View Original PostFelipeFritschF wrote:I'm unable to write more right now but you might be interested in the following two threads. I believe Kaworu is being revised into a much darker and less neutral version of his character as a thematic response to the worship he received from part of the fanbase, much like Rei and part of Eva in general. There is no such thing as purity or unconditional affection in Eva, and Kaworu is no exception. This helps to add a lot more nuance and layers to the Rebuilds, 3.0 most of all, which otherwise might go unnoticed.

thread/14454/Theory-about-Kaworus-intentions/

http://forum.evageeks.org/post/888166/A ... le/#888166

I respectfully disagree with your idea that Kaworu in Rebuild is "a much darker and less neutral version of his character" because I am in disagreement with the evidence and conclusions of the threads you've linked to.

Re: Theory about Kaworu's Intentions

I've summed up the arguments in this post that supposedly suggest Kaworu is loyal to SEELE into these 3 points:

1) Kaworu didn't speak up when Asuka was attacking Shinji

This lack of action is not indicative of Kaworu's allegiance. It's also bold to assume that speaking to Asuka at that point would diffuse the situation or serve to undermine SEELE/NERV's plans. Considering the general distrust from Lilim that's been hinted at in the movies (e.g. Kaworu's quote about the DSS choker) We can assume the following scenarios:
a) Asuka doesn't know who Kaworu is: She would assume that this person is helping Shinji or manipulating him so she keeps up her assault
b) Asuka knows who he is: Asuka redoubles her efforts to disable EVA 13 because she knows what he is

tldr; There's literally no merit in speaking out then, even if whatever he would have said aligns with Asuka's interest because there is no trust. This is barring the fact that he was obviously busy at the time trying to figure out what was going on then before he can even start to think of what to do about it.

2) Kaworu never mentioned SEELE to anyone

This point would have been relevant but for the fact that SEELE is obsolete and has no bearing on any of Shinji's actions or choices. Also, NERV is technically the real perpetrator for events after the Second Impact.

I find the definition provided by the Classified Information to be an appropriate description of NERV in relation to SEELE
Nerv is an executive body that embodies Seele's objectives and is their most important organization.


This is why I believe it was appropriate for Kaworu to refer to NERV rather than SEELE. Telling Shinji anything about SEELE would be a lot like how Fuyutsuki told Shinji about his mother just to push him over the edge.

But let's assume that Kaworu should have said something anyway. What information about SEELE was important enough for Kaworu to relay to Shinji (or anyone else really)?

I can't deny that Kaworu should have more of an idea about the workings of SEELE compared to most people, though I believe that most of the information he's been told directly is more than likely false information meant to manipulate him to further SEELE's goals. But despite that, I personally can't think of anything Kaworu should have told Shinji. I welcome all discussion on this subject in another more appropriate thread.

tldr; there would have been nothing Shinji could do with any of the information Kaworu could have given him except to upset him, possibly resulting in further inaction or self-destructive behavior from Shinji.

3) Translation nitpicks
For reference, the statements in question are:

Quote 1 wrote:00:51:48 {Kaworu} Ikari Shinji-kun,
00:51:50 {Kaworu} once Awakened, Eva-01 opened the Door of Guf
00:51:55 {Kaworu} and became the trigger for Third Impact.
00:51:58 {Kaworu} Lilin call it Near Third Impact.
00:52:02 {Kaworu} It was all initiated by you.
00:52:09 {Shinji} You're wrong!
00:52:10 {Shinji} All I wanted to do was save Ayanami!
00:52:16 {Kaworu} True, but that was the catalyst.


Quote 2 wrote:01:01:26 {Shinji} You showed me it yourself, Nagisa-kun.
01:01:29 {Shinji} The blood-red world I can't do anything about...
01:01:32 {Kaworu} That which was changed by Eva can be restored by Eva in turn.
01:02:45 {Kaworu} We should take those Spears for ourselves.
01:02:48 {Kaworu} That way, Nerv can no longer trigger the Fourth Impact,
01:02:52 {Kaworu} And if we use them together with Eva-13, we can even repair the world.


Full disclosure, I only watch the Japanese/Subbed versions as I understand Japanese myself.

ElMariachi--the OP of the post--was under the impression that Shinji isn't the one directly responsible for the Third Impact and that Kaworu tricked him into thinking he was by emphasizing that the word "catalyst" also has the definition of "enhance". But the original word gen-in 原因 does actually mean "cause" and "catalyst" was also another possible translation that has a similar meaning in that "a person or thing that precipitates an event or change". Added to the fact that taken in it's complete context which I've provided in Quote 1 above, it's easy to see that Shinji opening the door of Guf is undeniably linked to whatever events that happened to trigger the proper Third Impact later on.

Likewise, OP took the words "restore/changed again/再び変えて" and "repair/修復" and assumed that Kaworu was being vague about specifically doing these actions to frame Kaworu as someone with shady motives, when the actual dialogue in full context has no such ambiguity.

tldr; None of these interpretations of the translated words are as shady as OP claim them to be so it can't be used to support the idea that Kaworu had different intentions than what he was telling Shinji to do.


I ask that any more discussion about my opinions about this post be moved to the OP thread or a new relevant one if necroposting isn't allowed.


Re: Adam's Children and the Nature of the Cycle

There's too many assumptions made in this post that has little to do with Kaworu's onscreen portrayal so there's nothing I can say about it here that will still be relevant to this thread's topic.

---

Blockio wrote:I don't feel like doing the whole Kaworu thing again, so I'm gonna focus on the points you make towards the other characters.

I understand that Hop Pocket's statement on these characters are there for the sake of pointing out that a lot of the main characters that should have been closer/nicer to Shinji just... aren't. Toji and Kensuke should probably have been mentioned as well just to round things out for better context.

That said, I do agree that it's not as black and white as it's made out to be and each of these relations merit their own discussions.

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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby Reichu » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:52 am

The Classified Information is for Neon Genesis Evangelion. People argue about how relevant the Eva2 content is for the show it was actually made about. It has absolutely no bearing upon the new films. Using it as a reference with one breath, while dismissing threads where people exclusively draw upon the films and their contents with the other, is pretty :uhh: .

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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby Ollow » Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:55 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:The Classified Information is for Neon Genesis Evangelion. People argue about how relevant the Eva2 content is for the show it was actually made about. It has absolutely no bearing upon the new films. Using it as a reference with one breath, while dismissing threads where people exclusively draw upon the films and their contents with the other, is pretty :uhh: .

Thanks for the heads up but I'm aware of this. I was just trying to skip having to describe what happened in the Rebuild movies and that description just seemed close enough.

Upon going through the movies again to pick out a more suitable quote to back that up, there doesn't seem to be one that neatly describes it. One possible quote from 1:11 is this line from SEELE to Gendo:
00:24:00 [SEELE] It’s your responsibility to make proper use of Nerv and the Evas.


Yet there plenty of dialogue to suggest that SEELE and NERV are at odds with each other throughout 2:22. One of which I don't have the timestamp for the convo but is around when Gendo and Fuyutsuki were looking at Mark 0.6 on the moon:
SEELE intends to use them (the EVAs) to advance their plan. But even SEELE must realise what NERV’s ultimate objective is. Even so we have no choice but to move forward. Even if we are to oppose the Will of God.

More dialogue from 2:22 also shows that it is Gendo who specifically wants Shinji involved in all this rather than SEELE who have outright stated that the prototype models (specifically Unit 00 but doesn't preclude Unit 01 which was a test unit) were not necessary to their plans. From my notes, it should be from somewhere around the 56 minute mark:

Gendo asks for funds to repair EVA 00 but SEELE says they don’t need it. SEELE says there’s something more important, the true Evangelion they desire. It’s birth and Lilith’s resurrection will signify the time of their covenant. We must perform the necessary rituals before then, says SEELE. For the Human Instrumentality project.


And of course by 3:33, SEELE is largely just dormant slabs while NERV aka Gendo and Fuyutsuki are clearly the active ones pulling strings behind the scenes, hence NERV being referred to correctly by Kaworu.

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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby Kendrix » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:21 pm

Kaworu:
In a show where much is ambiguous its only natural that there's a bajillion theories about everything

But as far as Im concerned its all said by Anno's statements about how (wether he suceeded or not) Kaworu was meant to be an universally likeable person.

He's kind of someone in whom Shinji recognizes his "shadow", what he wishes he were like. His demise is a tragic thing he feels bad for. For the larger construction here to work he needs to be relatively pure, with the caveat that he isnt always right and sees the world differently than Shinji does, but he's genuine. The emotional arc doesn't work if he isn't.
Shinji considers himself very deficient. And what happened to Kaworu is kind of an exacerbating death blow into that particular wound because Shinji looks at Kaworu and sees/ concludes that Kaworu's so much better than him. He feels like he sucks all the more in comparison.
That's what many people with self-doubts feel like when they meet someone they like or when someone is finally nice to them - that they're unworthy. Like that part of Shinji's arc is ALL about that experience.

Even if the details behind a character change the basic concept/idea is something that would remain consistent most you could say that he was [i]unsuccessful[/i] at portraying Kaworu that way - no one is liked by everyone, after all. But its enough that he's the sort of person that [i]Shinji[/i] would instantly like.
Much of this theorizing is fun enough and legit, butto an extent, also a missing of the forest for the trees, a grasping at details that could have any reason. Like with Anno's deal about responsibility & stuff he's not gonna go for the story where the guilt and fear that Shinji has been faced with turns out to be based on a lie. It's a cheap way out.
And to understand the world he lives in Shinji needed to be told what others believe about him and why.

It's a situation where say your friend dies and you wonder forever if they would've lived if you had visited them that day. They probably wouldn't have, but you have to learn to deal with that feeling not uncover that your friend is secretly alive or something.

I think this tendency comes from a belief that his being nice is "boring" or that he's like an unrealistic wish fulfuillment that they'd rather not have in their soup/ that he doesn't have sufficient motivation and this is where it gets subjective like what IS sufficient motivation? An inherent tendency to mistrust anything that is presented as good because were grownups forming your own opinion here, or the reaction that if you can't have something good you gotta convince yourself that it was bad to begin with. ("Death/Pain/struggle/horniness gives life meaning!" and similar rationales)
Kinda the mindset Asuka embodies: "Im afraid of not getting/losing good things so I act like I dont want them to begin with"

Or they just think Shady!Kaworu would be thematically or sci fi wise more interesting, sure, could be an interesting story, but its not the only possible interesting story and to believe that this is the one Anno & co are going with you'd have to accept so many assumptions and postulates that go further and further away from the actual text.

And this IS subjective but I don't think that's even the case that he likes Shinji for "no reason" or as an evil trap to prove that nobody would ever do that. . Kaworu's a quasi-human being associated with free will but not exactly human and subject to the organization's plans. He introduced himself to Shinji as "another of the predestined children", after all. Shinji is his counterpart on the Lillim side, saddled with the choice of wether to press the big red button or not.
Kinda how soldiers of different sides may feel that they have more in common with each other than the masses that sent them to die, Kaworu the individual would likely see himself in Shinji and see him as a summation of all the reasons why he doesn't really want to destroy humanity. And then, well, it turns out that hes cute and they're both musical, contemplative types. I've developed my share of raging crushes on ppl who complimented my writing.

Since he IS Shinji's 'negative image' it would boil down to how they're actually not so different.

Gendo:

Unless we're strictly talking about the Manga continuity, I don't really buy Deliberate Abuse! Gendo who "starves Shinji of affection".
It's too neat, too simple - at least that way the behavior that caused Shinji pain would be about him. It's like telling your enemies that theyre obsessed with you.
But what Gendo really represents especially in contrast with Shinji as this sentimental artsy sorta person, is rough utilitarism. The big faceless organization that controls you. The hard truth that youre sometimes not all that important in the grand shame of things, even that fear of fundamental badness inside you that your happiness is ad odds with the happiness of the world.
There's of course a punchline in here somewhere in that gendo actually DOES have a significant degree of personal motivation (He believes in his plan but he also wants to see Yui, and its the experience of trying to function without her that probably convinced him that human existence as it is is too miserable as it is) Gendo probably thinks that Shinji's the one who doesn't want him around, or that "most people hate him" - and yeah, that's pretty dysfunctional, he ought to be the 40something in this equation or else he should not have had kids but like he wouldn't have the perceptiveness to play these sort of light yagami style games. HE has no polished exterior. He didn't see Ritsuko's or Rei's betrayals coming at all precisely because he disregards and has an avoidance of the interpersonal factor.

Where there IS coercion or manipulation it's pretty unsubtle and impersonal ("If you dont pilot someone or something else will"), it's no personal toying but cold utilitarianism. He doesn't like putting Shinji (or Rei) in harms way but if he has to he will. In that sense he's the opposite of Shinji who falls at the opposite end of the trolley dilemma spectrum and can't bring himself to fight EVA 03 even though there is no chance of a constructive outcome from that. But in other ways theyre more similar than it appears, largely when it comes to fear and clumsiness regarding the interpersonal sphere. He's defeatist and cynical - He doesn't trust himself to do it right so he gave up, and rather went the roundabout route of ending the world. . Note that Shinji was left with a teacher, a professional kids-handler, and how this is markedly different in continuities or spinoffs that have a different take on Gendo.

Rei:

View Original PostBlockio wrote:However, if that counts, your point of "she never does it herself" is also incorrect, as she very much talks to him in the hospital beyond the mission plan, and, assuming that the other instances count as guilt tripping/coercing him, does so herself by offering to take his place at the frontlines.


Half the perceptions about ppl with no so good social skills come from ppl assuming that they must have them and just choose not to use them, and then claim the other person is the unempathetic one.

Just because Shinji definitely felt guilt in that situation doesn't mean it's a guilt trip. She's simply telling him what happens when he quits. She's ostensibly not happy about it inwardly, but 100% resigned to her perceived duty there. He feelings and thoughts are there but they don't enter in the decisionmaking at that point.
Abig part of why he decides to go for it is that she just states the facts in a businesslike fashion, and unlike others doesn't try to convince him or tell him to save her. There's nothing for him to dig in his heels and get defensive at, no "they're being unfair to me!", just the facts. So he can't avoid confronting the facts and deciding wether or not he likes how the facts will go if he doesn't choose to act.

I mean insofar as we see what she things about it, at least in the Rebuild series she later seems to respect his decision to quit, though there is certainly an aspect of resignation and not having expectations to it. It's not just about Shinji

Also regardless of what goes on with NERV (which is not clear cut at all - in the end NONE of the children are wanted for themselves and the organization works its tools until they break) as far as Shinji and Rei themselves are concerned (which is what matters to their interactions) they're simply classmates and comrades and neither has any power over the other or an obvious agenda. They could easily just have ignored/existed past each other but instead they just had this teensy bit of understanding and friendship in a big, dark world and to diminish that seems to miss a lot of points imho, subjective opinion of course.

Mari:

I get what you're saying about that line but the problem is in culture/framework not in Mari in particular, it's very recently that ppl have come to be sensitive of these toxic ideas of "manliness", Anno & co are from an older generation and this isnt a super egregious example in this context. Of course im not saying that Shinji ought to shut up and take it because shes not 100% awful but lets get some nuance in here

Like Mari is one of the very few characters on WILLE's side who has zero actual animosity toward Shinji. It's at worst clumsy pep talk by a person with no filter or self preservation (IDK if it was meant as clumsy in universe probably not), perhaps the kind of callousness typical of optimists - But she clearly intends it as a pep talk, "Hold out! I'll come for you!" she says and tells him what options he still has, what to do.
Note that Mari, like Kaworu, is one of the few to realize what Gendo is planning both kinda go like "So THIS is what Gendo is after!" at pretty much the same time. After all even Misato's actions are "within expected parameters".
They have a glimpse of what's going on, so they see that Shinji's just a pawn. They're all pawns he was just picked to be the trigger piece.
Kaworu, as someone who was (in this continuity) "feared" for what he was (so he says) and also had his "fate predetermined", is gonna sympathize. Mari mainly tells him to quit being a tool insofar as he can.
Like obviously right after a loved ones death isn't the best moment and you don't have to bring gender roles bullshit into it but generally speaking "inform yourself and be proactive" is recomemnded by a lot of self help books

That's kind of the tragedy of Q. In 2.0 Shinji was unknowingly manipulated. In 3.0 he knew there was a trap and he still fell for it. He lost his cool, miscalculated and made the wrong call. The defeat is inoxerably his own in a way that it wasn't before.

The same distinction appears regarding Kaworu's death - Here, Shinji isn't forced to kill him because destiny Says So and else Poof End Of The World. He [i]gets [/i]him killed by honest mistake. e
In the Tv continuity Kaworu as an individual didn't have that much love for The Cause of SEELE or Adam; He liked humanity, and fundamentally, he's a creature capable of free will forced into a predetermined trajectory. He's ambivalent when he comes in, and meeting Shinji is what tipped him over the edge to defy his "purpose".
Now Q!Kaworu is technically in his twenties and had many years to think this through. He already knows that he wants to defy the plan and side with humanity before Shinji ever meets him. They decide to actively go against SEELE & NERV... and fail, really, actually fail.

It's kind of the same for everyone. Kaworu and Mari know, they still can only do so much - Kaworu also runs straight into the trap right alongside Shinji. Misato knows what NERV is up to and actively defies them heroically - still "within expected parameters".


And it's certainly very real in describing how being aware of your flaws doesn't always save you from falling prey to them not all shortcomings can be epiphanied away. Knowing we will be weak allows us to be strong but, it's a process. It's difficult. Often you're just ruminating the same old issues.
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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:09 pm

Kendrix, I don't think anyone is arguing that Kaworu isn't likable, just that he may not be trustworthy, perhaps even intentionally so. Kaworu is endlessly likable. If he wasn't, many people wouldn't want to believe what he says in Eva Q.

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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby Kendrix » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:32 am

Only if you define "likeability" as "superficial charm" that isn't founded in anything/ being the same as 'charismatic' or 'socially skilled', not 'admiration and liking based on someone's good or sympathetic qualities' which is what I believe the intention here to be.
If someone has just duped you into thinking they have good qualities, then the solution to your inferiority complex is easy: Just unmask them. How convenient.
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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby Ollow » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:28 am

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Kendrix, I don't think anyone is arguing that Kaworu isn't likable, just that he may not be trustworthy, perhaps even intentionally so. Kaworu is endlessly likable. If he wasn't, many people wouldn't want to believe what he says in Eva Q.

Forgive me for prying, but I've been reading up on many Rebuild related threads here I've seen you around quite a bit. From what I can remember, the general idea that you have is that Kaworu is bad because he acts nice to Shinji and lies to him when he's vulnerable in order to make Shinji fulfill an Instrumentality that would harm Shinji.

Please feel free to correct any misconceptions I have! I know I'm making too many assumptions here.

So what I'd like to know is what motive do you think Kaworu would have to carry out SEELE's/the Angel's Instrumentality? And whose benefit do you think he's doing it all for?

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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:27 pm

It's less that Kaworu lies, and more that he doesn't tell the whole truth, even when there's a considerable amount of information Shinji should be made aware of. As for his motive, I feel the simple answer is that he feels Instrumentality would bring Shinji happiness. As for why he thinks that, i can't say.
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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby Ollow » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:49 pm

View Original PostArcadia's legacy wrote:It's less that Kaworu lies, and more that he doesn't tell the whole truth, even when there's a considerable amount of information Shinji should be made aware of. As for his motive, I feel the simple answer is that he feels Instrumentality would bring Shinji happiness. As for why he thinks that, i can't say.

Can I ask if you can elaborate more on "information Shinji should be made aware of"? I don't mean to come off as being pedantic, I just think it would make this discussion easier to follow if we have specific points to work off instead of assuming this or that.

An example would be "Kaworu should have told Shinji the original reason Gendo is asking them to pilot EVA 13."

To that I would answer "Technically Kaworu already did. "

01:02:48 {Kaworu} That way, Nerv can no longer trigger the Fourth Impact,


Another possible piece of information that I can think of is "Why doesn't Kaworu explain what Instrumentality is?"

Honestly I'm beginning to suspect that rather an in-universe explanation, it has more to do with giving Anno and his team leeway when it comes to writing 3.0 + 1.0. He has stated in an interview in the 2.0 CRC that he's tended to change the script and decide on things up even when dangerously close to premiere time.

It seems like the changes to the script continued even though the date of the film’s release was getting close.


Basically, I think Kaworu would not be able to answer that because Anno is probably going to keep playing around with ideas and come up with something that sounds interesting just before production or maybe even change his mind again, as long as it doesn't contradict what's already in the movie.... which is practically almost zero.


---

Arcadia's legacy wrote:As for his motive, I feel the simple answer is that he feels Instrumentality would bring Shinji happiness. As for why he thinks that, i can't say.

Barring the fact that we have nothing conclusive to show that Kaworu is acting on SEELE's behalf, we can't don't know what Instrumentality(? or whatever it is you're expecting Kaworu to pull) is so we can't say whether that's going to be a good or a bad thing. I guess this is one of those things that's up to one's interpretation of Kaworu's understanding of 'Happiness'.

You could assume that whatever Kaworu has in mind will only benefit Shinji and/or Kaworu himself but doom everything else.

But I assume that Kaworu has enough empathy to understand that Shinji's happiness also relates to the happiness of those he cares about like his friends and Misato, whose happiness would also depends on a whole bunch of other factors (e.g. not an apocalyptic wasteland). I believe Kaworu has shown enough of this in the movie but I'll make specific examples if requested because I should really go to bed right now.

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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby Reichu » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:23 pm

View Original PostOllow wrote:But I assume that Kaworu has enough empathy to understand that Shinji's happiness also relates to the happiness of those he cares about like his friends and Misato, whose happiness would also depends on a whole bunch of other factors (e.g. not an apocalyptic wasteland).

Kaworu has by all indications just been sitting in the middle of that apocalyptic wasteland for 14 years waiting for Shinji to be restored. There are people out there who are important to Shinji, who are trying to return the world to its former state (because the Earth being livable is kinda important to everyone who isn't up to their nose in occult weirdness), and Kaworu basically ignores their existence completely, the same way he ignores everything that doesn't involve Shinji and his self-appointed mission to make Shinji happy "no matter what". ("You know everything." "Because all I think about is you." :siren: ) Kaworu's lack of interest in restoring the world is made quietly implicit when he goes down to look at the site where Kaji's melon patch used to be; despite the Geofront not being turned to core, Kaworu has taken no initiative to grow anything there. It's barren and dead, like everything else surrounding Kaworu.* His association with death is so very lacking in subtlety that the first time we see him, he's INSIDE A COFFIN.**

I don't see why you give Kaworu any benefit of the doubt when it comes to Seele. They are very clearly portrayed as being on the same team at the end of the first film. Seele's scenario involves Shinji (hence why it has moved forward as a result of Shinji "awakening"), Kaworu's scenario involves Shinji, both intend to eventually use Evas and Spears to perform strange world-transforming rituals; and there's no indication that their goals are mutually exclusive. Kaworu uses his affilitation with Seele to forward his own goals; it's mutually beneficial. Kaworu is entrusted with Seele's precious "True Evangelion", the Mark.06, at the end of the second movie. Kaworu corrects the deviation Gendo has generated in Seele's scenario by awakening Eva-01 early, while getting to stop Shinji from joining spiritually with someone other than himself (meaning, Rei). Mutually beneficial. In the third film, Gendo and Fuyutsuki call him "Seele's Boy" and, much like they're happy to be rid of Seele, they're happy to be rid of Kaworu.

You wondered what Kaworu's motivations could possibly be, and I provided an answer in the very Adams/Children thread you previously dismissed. If you only looked at a couple of the individual posts, it won't make sense, because it's supposed to be read as a thread; the full context is necessary.

* (The tree by the piano is the only real exception to this, and I'll go out on a limb and say it's the exception that proves the rule, since it foreshadows Kaworu's plans such that it superficially seems rather innocent, and even romantic, but when placed in the greater context of everything it becomes incredibly ominous.)

** (And on the Moon, which, it might be observed, is not extremely conducive to life. Though funny enough, sometime after Kaworu left the Moon, it gained an atmosphere, and sometime after Kaworu arrived on Earth, it started to become an uninhabitable wasteland...)

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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby ErgoProxy » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:10 pm

I am really curious is your limb off, I mean, this is Anno's creation after all, but still.

In my opinion in Q you have Kaworu's motivations and intentions shoved right into your face. Look carefully at his place at NERV and employ your analytical superpowers to tell me what you can read from it. Becasue what I can read is a proposal of a world where Angel lifeforms and Lilin lifeforms can coexist in peace. What makes me wonder is your stubborn reluctance to admit that it's neither a world from SEELE's wet dreams, nor the world as we Lilin know it. It's something new and different, which requires a bloody consensus, from the both sides. Most probably it also requires high creative skills to make it exist at all, even as tiny patch of life and order in the abyss of stillborn techno-nightmare. As we all know it, creativity is yet another attribute of death, music included. And Sagisu is a philosophical zombie.

And yes, I consider such proposal an utopia with no chances to work, especially in a universe that Anno created.
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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby Reichu » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:07 pm

I'm not sure exactly who or what you're replying to, Ergo, but are you at least aware that Shinji isn't a Lilin anymore?

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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:03 pm

View Original PostOllow wrote:Forgive me for prying, but I've been reading up on many Rebuild related threads here I've seen you around quite a bit. From what I can remember, the general idea that you have is that Kaworu is bad because he acts nice to Shinji and lies to him when he's vulnerable in order to make Shinji fulfill an Instrumentality that would harm Shinji.

Please feel free to correct any misconceptions I have! I know I'm making too many assumptions here.

So what I'd like to know is what motive do you think Kaworu would have to carry out SEELE's/the Angel's Instrumentality? And whose benefit do you think he's doing it all for?

Don't worry, you're not prying. I've written this stuff down for everyone to read, after all.

Anywho, it's not that Kaworu acts nice to Shinji. I wouldn't mind it if Kaworu (or anyone for that matter) acted nicely towards Shinji. But there's a difference in being nice, and being helpful. While Kaworu was certainly acting nicely towards Shinji, he's never attempts to be helpful towards Shinji. He never relates to Shinji on a peer level, if you will. Kaowru doesn't really level with Shinji, telling him everything that he knows, making sure that they're all on the same page before going out to "rewrite the world" together. Kaowru is always sure to have more information than Shinji has, even up until the very end. (He doesn't even tell Shinji that Rei will also be piloting for the last mission until Rei is literally tagging along with them.) And what little he does tell Shinji (about Near Third Impact, specifically) seems to contradict what we saw at the end of Evangelion 2.22. A reading of this that places Kaworu in a better light would be that the filmmakers are simply retconning their own narrative established in 2.22, but Anno doesn't seem the type to do that without re-animating/re-writing the previous installments in order to make them all fit together with the new storyline. Instead, this feels like Kaworu is forcing his own goals onto Shinji, and does this by keeping Shinji as much in the dark as possible. He doesn't even tell Shinji that he's an Angel, the focus of all of Shinji's previous battles, until his plan blows up in his face.

Now, don't get me wrong, Kaworu is still good at making even me feel all goose-pimply whenever he does as little as open his beautiful eyes, piercing straight into the depths of my very lost and desperate soul. (Eva's an emotional rollercoaster ride to watch, after all.) Even as a viewer who's firmly heterosexual and would rather see Ritsuko's plugsuited body draped in the Science Lab Coat of Bad-Assery (THANK YOU, AVANT 1!!!), , Kaworu still makes me feel protected and cherished as his velvety voice whispers whimsically about a better world just beyond the horizon. But the fact that Kaowru keeps as much information from Shinji as possible is the main problem with his relationship as it's depicted in the film. Whether or not he's lying is sorta up for debate, though, like I said, if 2.22 really happened, then Kaworu should know that his explanation of Near Third Impact isn't quite how it went down. When Kaowru keeps information from Shinji, only revealing as little as slowly as possible, it keeps Shinji from being as informed as he needs to be in order to have his own agency in the new world he's been "born" into. It also keeps Shinji from being able to solve his own problems, making him entirely dependent on Kaworu for everything. This forceful dependency isn't helpful, and not a whole lot of well-intentioned people (in real life or in fictitious stories) work that hard to make someone completely dependent on their every word and deed. By being tactful and premeditative about what he tells Shinji (and when he tells Shinji), Kaworu is slowly manipulating Shinji to act towards Kaowru's own interests. Now, one can argue that Kaowru had "Shinji's best intentions in mind," but that doesn't jive with what actually happened. Kaworu slowly takes away Shinji's ability to act and think on his own, to the point that when Shinji and Kaworu both get to the decapitated Lilith, Shinji goes into a complete mental breakdown, ignoring everyone (including Kaowru, ironically, as his warnings now seem to echo Asuka's warnings, the warnings of his newly-formed enemy) in order to pull the spears out of Lilith and break the world. (again!)

If someone's relationship is full of needless coddling and slow, minuscule information drip-feeds, and results in a mental breakdown of any kind on the part of the recipient, then that kind of relationship isn't helpful. It actually looks like the many toxic relationships that we see in other stories and in real life. Compare this to when Misato and Ritsuko both attempted to brief Shinji on the past goings on before being unceremoniously interrupted by Rei. Heck, even Mari's "learn how life works" line at the end of the film gives Shinji more agency than all of Kaworu's interactions with Shinji combined. These are the actions of people who want to relate to others on a peer level, not the actions of those who want to control someone; actions that counter Kaworu's actions.

Now, Kaworu could simply have been naive about how to relate to humans. (He is an Angel, after all.) He could have had Shinji's best intentions in mind as he told a conflicting narrative to the very Near Third Impact that he witnessed with his own two eyes. He could have been trying to be helpful as he kept certain things from Shinji. And, like I said, his presentation is flawless and makes even me feel very secure as a viewer. But all of those actions behind that presentation combined (and even separately) do not exemplify the actions of anyone who's trying to be helpful. This is the actions of someone who has ulterior motives. I mean, if Kaworu really had Shinji's best intentions in mind, then he could have learned how to relate to humans a little better before meeting Shinji. (He had a whole 14 years since the last movie to do this, after all.) But instead he keeps information as distant as possible from Shinji. Even as Kaworu tells Shinji that they could "rewrite the world" by plucking a couple of spears, he doesn't tell Shinji that they would be rewritten to Shinji dictations; only that they would be rewritten. Even if things went Kaworu's way with the spear plucking (whatever that would have looked like), I doubt that he would have had much interest in Shinji's happiness at the end of it all.
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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby Ollow » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:51 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:You wondered what Kaworu's motivations could possibly be, and I provided an answer in the very Adams/Children thread you previously dismissed. If you only looked at a couple of the individual posts, it won't make sense, because it's supposed to be read as a thread; the full context is necessary.

Hey, I wanted to address this first and apologise for any offense caused by me persumably dismissing your thread in my earlier reply. You're correct to assume that I only looked at the post linked, and all I saw at that part was that your idea of his motives were based on all the fated children all being one Adam which from my pov, came out of nowhere. I decided I'd rather take the time to read your entire thread rather than tackle that single bit here. It's open in one of the dozens of tabs open and I swear I'll get through it! I also said that because I thought it would have been even ruder to ignore it, but I guess not...? Oh well. Anway, I'm really sorry about that. :(

You've also said quite a bit so I'm afraid this will end up a bit long.

View Original PostReichu wrote:Kaworu has by all indications just been sitting in the middle of that apocalyptic wasteland for 14 years waiting for Shinji to be restored.

There doesn't seem to be much of an option for him. The lances important to Gendo/SEELE/Kaworu's plans were trapped under some unbreakable lid. But at least it doesn't seem like Gendo was able to use him against WILLE during that time.

View Original PostReichu wrote:There are people out there who are important to Shinji, who are trying to return the world to its former state (because the Earth being livable is kinda important to everyone who isn't up to their nose in occult weirdness), and Kaworu basically ignores their existence completely, the same way he ignores everything that doesn't involve Shinji and his self-appointed mission to make Shinji happy "no matter what". ("You know everything." "Because all I think about is you." :siren: )

Wasn't the existence of the DSS choker proof that there was no way Kaworu would be able to go over to WILLE's side and do anything useful? Best case scenario he stays under constant observation in captivity. Worst case scenario is they kill him on sight. Their 'survival first' stance would all but guarantee this. Leaving them be was the best thing he could do until he had the chance to change everyone circumstances, which was the plan he had proposed to Shinji.

Also, I'd like to point out that considering Kaworu's circumstances, Shinji is literally the nicest thing to have ever happened to him even after multiple lifetimes. (This is of course, assuming that he wakes up in a new body after dying from a previous life as his dialogue at the end of 1:11 suggests and has to do some variation of Rebuild all over again) It's highly likely he's only ever had contact with SEELE, WILLE, or NERV: SEELE is basically a bunch of slabs that order him around; I've already stated what WILLE would do with him; as for what happned at NERV 14 years ago or in previous lifetimes, I can only guess but they probably kept their guard up around him or ignored him altogether due to either fear or distrust. Shinji would have been his only humane interaction ever. Also note that the 'start' of his life begins with Shinji's 'Awakening' and seems to end in some Shinji involved way.

His life basically revolves around Shinji and it is beyond his control. These are not ideal circumstances for a sapient being, even for one that isn't wholly human.

I understand that people will see this as creepy no matter what, but I would like to point out that it's still a possibility that his thoughts about Shinji could trend towards worry for the boy's wellbeing, e.g. 'Is he doing alright?', ways to help him, or just looking forward to doing something nice together again; it doesn't have to be as creepy/yandere as you make it out to be.

I don't think this is my best attempt to explanation, but again, it's something I want to tackle properly when I'm not pressed for time.

View Original PostReichu wrote:Kaworu's lack of interest in restoring the world is made quietly implicit when he goes down to look at the site where Kaji's melon patch used to be; despite the Geofront not being turned to core, Kaworu has taken no initiative to grow anything there. It's barren and dead, like everything else surrounding Kaworu.* His association with death is so very lacking in subtlety that the first time we see him, he's INSIDE A COFFIN.**

* (The tree by the piano is the only real exception to this, and I'll go out on a limb and say it's the exception that proves the rule, since it foreshadows Kaworu's plans such that it superficially seems rather innocent, and even romantic, but when placed in the greater context of everything it becomes incredibly ominous.)
**(And on the Moon, which, it might be observed, is not extremely conducive to life. Though funny enough, sometime after Kaworu left the Moon, it gained an atmosphere, and sometime after Kaworu arrived on Earth, it started to become an uninhabitable wasteland...)

That's one way to look at it. Personally I find Kaworu standing in the melon patch to be him doing some heavy thinking that may or may not relate to what Kaji was talking to Shinji about all those years ago ('finding out things you like and don't like'). This train of thought would need me to elaborate on the scene prior where he (relunctantly?) told Shinji about how the world ended up the way he did. But I'll need to take a rain check on that for now. Also I find the image of waking up from a tomb/coffin to be more related to 'revival' than death; there really isn't as many obvious imagery putting Kaworu and death together as the other one I can think of is his tendency to die due to some circumstance involving Shinji. The 'moon= lifeless' allegory is a bit forced from my point of view; it's weird to associate life growing on it and as a visual, it's just the moon with a splash of blood that teases at connections to EoE.

View Original PostReichu wrote:I don't see why you give Kaworu any benefit of the doubt when it comes to Seele. They are very clearly portrayed as being on the same team at the end of the first film. eele's scenario involves Shinji (hence why it has moved forward as a result of Shinji "awakening"), Kaworu's scenario involves Shinji, both intend to eventually use Evas and Spears to perform strange world-transforming rituals; and there's no indication that their goals are mutually exclusive. Kaworu uses his affilitation with Seele to forward his own goals; it's mutually beneficial.

It's not in the script but there's a very audible sigh that precedes Kaworu talking to SEELE in a rather dismissive way; SEELE is just something he has to deal with, and I've been thinking that Kaworu only woke up then because SEELE was the one that 'flipped his ON switch', which indicates that they do hold power over him. His response to the Dead Sea Scrolls plan was lackluster, but he shows anticipation when he talks of Shinji, so it's logical for me to assume that the plan is not as important as Shinji.

View Original PostReichu wrote: Kaworu is entrusted with Seele's precious "True Evangelion", the Mark.06, at the end of the second movie. Kaworu corrects the deviation Gendo has generated in Seele's scenario by awakening Eva-01 early, while getting to stop Shinji from joining spiritually with someone other than himself (meaning, Rei). Mutually beneficial. In the third film, Gendo and Fuyutsuki call him "Seele's Boy" and, much like they're happy to be rid of Seele, they're happy to be rid of Kaworu.

Uh, didn't Kaworu pause the Third Impact from happening after Shinji had successfully saved Rei's soul so humanity wasn't wiped out before they could do something about it? That's how I saw it anyway. Otherwise, it would have been ideal to spear down Unit 01 earlier and avert the Third Impact altogether. Also there's nothing new with Gendo seeing Kaworu as SEELE's pawn since they were the ones that got him started. Again, no one's really cared about Kaworu apart from Shinji.


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Not the best reply, but I hope this tides us over until I finish work. Thanks again for sharing your insights!

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Re: Analysis: Um, Kaworu Is Good Actually

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Postby Settie » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:37 pm

While i wouldn't say Kaworu is a bad guy he isn't good either. NTE Kaworu is far more grey than his NGEtv counterpart. His infatuation with Shinji is so all consuming and based on his idea of who and what Shinji is rather then who he actually is, that it completely blinds him to Shinjis nature. He has an idea of what constitutes happiness for Shinji that he is willing to manipulate him to get to that goal, so yes he had good intentions, but as the saying goes "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". It eventually led to his downfall and manipulation by Gendo.


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