Asuka isn't Justified

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Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby liquorblackroses » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:04 pm

I'm really tired of seeing how many fanboys justify Asuka's behavior over Shinji. I watched Evangelion, thinking that I would probably end up hating Shinji because of the criticisms I had read on the internet, however I ended up despising Asuka.

I understand the character, and I know that the traumas of her past and the weight on her shoulders make her who she is, forcing her to hide in all those defects that define her: selfishness, narcissism, arrogance, etc. Even so, despite understanding her, I don't get how there are people who are able to ship her with Shinji, demanding that he is a bad person who never responded to her calls for help.

Let's make things clear, Shinji has had an equally difficult past, he has his own problems and does NOT have to deal with Asuka's, he owes her nothing. Since the first time Asuka met him, she did nothing but underestimate and mistreat him.

How do you expect Shinji to empathize with her? He has no responsibility to deal with her personality problems, and I think he should have ignored her more. People always judge Shinji, saying that he owes so many things to others when no one does anything for him in return, they have simply manipulated him to make him believe that he must assume responsibilities caused by third parties, which really do not belong to him. Even so, he keeps fighting. And even giving his life for other people. For me, he is a fighter.

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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:15 am

Paragraphs are your friend.

As someone for whom Asuka was the character who most reminded me of my younger self, and so to whom I was most sympathetic, I didn't get the AsuShin shipping either, until I found out that a good 50% of the new material added in the extended episodes 21'-24' was trying to force it. I still don't get why, as the series had stood perfectly well on its own without any suggestion that there was more than a smattering of teen experimentation while the two were cooped up together, and had more actual budding romance sub-plot in episode 6 than the rest of the series.

Indeed, my take is that Shinji was actively, albeit unintentionally, damaging to her because of his passive character and his advantage in the form of Yui; not that this made any difference to those in the know, as she was, after all, merely a disposable weapon.
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Postby Bhorium » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:11 pm

View Original Postliquorblackroses wrote:Let's make things clear, Shinji has had an equally difficult past


Now, I would like to question this assertion, if nothing else. Yui disappeared from one day to the next, and Shinji never really got a good look at her "death". Asuka had to suffer through seeing Kyoko linger on as a shadow that treated her as a stranger for months, and got to witness her death up close.

Since the first time Asuka met him, she did nothing but underestimate and mistreat him.


Is the profound emotional harm Shinji managed to do to Asuka through his own behavior, even if he did it inadvertently, ultimately really that much different?
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Postby kuribo-04 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:37 pm

I still don't get why, as the series had stood perfectly well on its own without any suggestion that there was more than a smattering of teen experimentation while the two were cooped up together

End of Eva needed it. And I think the show and the film are better for it.
I would also say there are many hints Anno wanted to go for this early on, but then got a little lost. Too much content for the last episodes. Hence his "second try" at expressing himself as he callled it once.
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Postby Rei IV » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:49 am

Is the profound emotional harm Shinji managed to do to Asuka through his own behavior, even if he did it inadvertently, ultimately really that much different?

Are you taking about him masturbating to her when she's heavily sedated and then latching on to her as a convenient escape hatch from coping with reality because he has no one else to turn to during Instrumentality in EOE? Because outside of that, I don't see how Shinji "harmed" Asuka for failing to live up to her demented expectations or emotionally harmed her. EOE is where we some really repugnant and objectionable behavior from him towards Asuka. But then again, Shin-chan can be arguably seen as repugnant and objectionable (IN GENERAL) in that movie (rag-doll Shinji, anyone) for a whole lot of reasons beyond his treatement of Asuka.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:31 am

View Original Postkuribo-04 wrote:End of Eva needed it. And I think the show and the film are better for it.
Dropping one line from the script is all that it would take, the one that made me say to myself "Where the hell did that come from? Do they think that being on the silver screen necessitates injecting a romance angle?" In a story that had been about coming to terms with being oneself, injecting the template normalfaggotry about the mating dance is the distraction and dilution.
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Postby kuribo-04 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:36 am

I see it differently.
Since having problems with yourself can be an obstacle in having functional relationships, I think it fits very well.

More importantly, seing the show the first time I saw the DC version, and never felt like anything was tacked on or didn't fit. It could definitely be considered its own version, but imo one that also works and is better as well.
(I gotta say, the DC did so much for episode 22.)
Shinji: "Sooner or later I'll be betrayed... And they'll leave me. Still... I want to meet them again, because I believe my feelings at that time were real."
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Postby Bhorium » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:05 am

View Original PostRei IV wrote:Because outside of that, I don't see how Shinji "harmed" Asuka for failing to live up to her demented expectations or emotionally harmed her.


Sometimes, doing nothing is the most violent thing to do.

Point is, Shinji never tries to empathize. (And not just with Asuka, but anyone in general, really.) Sure, it might be harsh to expect him to help others, when he can even help himself, but still, his behavior just means he perpetuates certain problems rather than solving them. That is at least part of the point the show is trying to make, really.

EDIT: Eh, forget it, I'll bow out while the going is only semi-bad. I'm not doing a good job of explaining my point.
Last edited by Bhorium on Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Reichu » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:03 am

I'm not sure what superhuman requirements for something counting as "empathy" you are imposing, but I'm pretty sure "never tries" is completely untrue.

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Postby GuiBiancarelli » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:25 am

It's really hard to attribute to Shinji responsibility on this topic for a variety of reasons:

- He lost his mother on a freaky accident, and immediately after his father distances himself from him;
- His father effectively abandons him, and seems to attribute to him the sole responsibility to reach out;
- Is made a child-soldier in the name of the whole species' survival;
- Is a firsthand eye-witness to the devastation and deaths provoked by a war effort (and is manipulated to actively participate in it);
- Has a handful of life-threatening situations in a short time span;
- Is constantly abused by his father;
- Is forced to kill a friend/love-interest with his own (Eva) hands;

Seriously, IRL I've seem children and adolescents developing major personality disorders with not even half of these experiences. Shinji seems to be gravitating toward Schizoid Personality, a heavy General Anxiety and Major Depression WITH 14 YEARS OLD! If by EoE Ritsuko fetched him some antidepressants, odds are that he would get the courage needed to go full Naoko, such deteriorated was his mental health. Seems like that Nerv was trying to build a case-study of how to inflict every condition described by the DSM on a single human being!

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Postby Rei IV » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:33 pm

View Original PostBhorium wrote:Sometimes, doing nothing is the most violent thing to do.

Point is, Shinji never tries to empathize. (And not just with Asuka, but anyone in general, really.) Sure, it might be harsh to expect him to help others, when he can even help himself, but still, his behavior just means he perpetuates certain problems rather than solving them. That is at least part of the point the show is trying to make, really.

EDIT: Eh, forget it, I'll bow out while the going is only semi-bad. I'm not doing a good job of explaining my point.

I can totally concede that point as well Shinji failing to meet people half-way through in relations but in episode 22, be it asking Asuka about her stepmother and trying to approach her after the Arael incident, as well as wanting to save her during the Angel's psychological warfare on her (Gendo didn't allow this), all strike me as genuine attempts to connect/empathize with her.
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Postby Zoop » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:45 pm

And not wanting to fight the possessed Eva Touji was piloting (mirrored by Asuka in rebuild, sure, different continuity, but Shinji's character is largely the same). And before that, with Shamshel. He was genuinely concerned about their wellbeing.
He would rather get hurt himself than to hurt someone he cares about.
Maybe that just makes him a coward (there's more options than just being a pacifist).
But his motives are clearly led by empathy.
Also jumping in a volcano to save Asuka and whatnot.
He certainly cares more about others than about himself.

Thats a whole damn lot more than Asuka ever showed.

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Postby Bhorium » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:52 pm

I'm trying to limit the length of this, and it is going against my better judgement to continue, but what I'm trying to say that my view is that Shinji is very much a subject of the effects of hegemonic masculinity and so is Asuka. It is, perhaps, a bit much too saying that Shinji, as a boy, should have empathized with his female comrade, and made the first move and stretched himself to open up about his feelings to encourage Asuka, as a girl and a person who was already willing to stretch herself to the limit, to open up her feelings too, but maybe, ultimately, that is what was needed.

Anyway, I'm not necessarily talking about making an overt, or even subtle "romantic" connection here. Shinji, if anything, should ideally have treated it like: "What you need right now, more than anything, is a friend. Someone who will listen."
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Postby liquorblackroses » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:45 pm

It is, perhaps, a bit much too saying that Shinji, as a boy, should have empathized with his female comrade, and made the first move and stretched himself to open up about his feelings to encourage Asuka


I'm sorry, but I strongly disagree with this. People who claim that Shinji should have empathized don't have valid arguments. In terms of human relationships, a person with mental problems and a very hard past does not have a moral duty to do anything for her "traumatized" teammate, who has treated him as trash since the minute 1. I can assure you that her aberrant, abusive and trashy personality towards others causes many more disasters than Shinji's "doing nothing". As I mentioned before he owes nothing to anyone, less to Asuka who has treated him badly from the start. She is not his friend, his partner or a relative, she is someone who is constantly judging his actions to feel more important than anyone, so he does not have the duty to endure her toxicities. I could never understand these justifications. Do you treat people who treat you like trash well? Is it your responsibility to bear the weight of a person who only humiliates others? Of course not.

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Postby liquorblackroses » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:51 pm

Paragraphs are your friend

Well, I can assure I know what a paragraph is, and in this case you are the one who should use them because your last description was terribly long.

Indeed, my take is that Shinji was actively, albeit unintentionally, damaging to her because of his passive character and his advantage in the form of Yui; not that this made any difference to those in the know, as she was, after all, merely a disposable weapon.


And even when I agree with you about the shipping, I would never accept that Shinji should take any responsibility ahout what his personality has done to Asuka when she is constantly attacking the mental health of everyone around her.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:40 am

When you say "justify," are you seeking a narrative justification, or a moral justification? The TV series goes a long way into explaining why everything Asuka does is predictable for someone with her hangups, but I agree that there's no moral justification for her actions. The TV series doesn't even try to morally justify her actions. (Nor does it morally justify Shinji's actions.) Rather, it simply explores the interactions of a lot of broken people, revealing how harmful they really are.

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:As someone for whom Asuka was the character who most reminded me of my younger self, and so to whom I was most sympathetic, I didn't get the AsuShin shipping either, until I found out that a good 50% of the new material added in the extended episodes 21'-24' was trying to force it.

Wasn't Asuka's pseudo/broken infatuation with Shinji established all the way in, like, Episode 9, and further developed in Episode 15? There was even a whole running theme of kissing and everything. (Heck, even Episode 10 explores this, and it's considered the least useful Eva episode ever.) I mean, sure, you can not like the Extended bits, but it's not like there's nothing going on between those two in the original versions.

I feel like this whole argument is a hangup from the (apparently still running) Waifu Wars, where people would argue between Asuka or Rei being the "Best Girl," and use Shinji as the determining factor to declare "winner." To be clear, neither are best girl. Both are broken or are otherwise incompatible for a healthy relationship with Shinji, who is also too broken to have a healthy relationship with either of them. (Which is kinda the whole point of both the Original and the Extended versions of the show, but whatever.) There's no shipping in either version of Eva, just people struggling with sadness and/or depression. All the Waifu Wars really do is argue over who's sadness or depression is more valid or something.

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Postby MirrorUniverseAsuka » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:35 am

Dude. The Waifu Wars are just a bit of shitposting fun. That's all.

SPOILER: Show
Asuka best girl 20 years running. Reifigs eternally btfo, mad and jelly.
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Postby kuribo-04 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:22 am

∆ I don't think that's true for everybody. lol
Shinji: "Sooner or later I'll be betrayed... And they'll leave me. Still... I want to meet them again, because I believe my feelings at that time were real."
Ryuko: "I'm gonna knock ya on your asses!"
-Asuka: THINK IN GERMAN!!! -Shinji: Öh... Baumkuchen...
Hayashida: "As game developers, our work is special. All of us here can put smiles on very many people's faces with our work."
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Postby Mr. Tines » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:24 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Wasn't Asuka's pseudo/broken infatuation with Shinji established all the way in, like, Episode 9, and further developed in Episode 15? There was even a whole running theme of kissing and everything. (Heck, even Episode 10 explores this, and it's considered the least useful Eva episode ever.) I mean, sure, you can not like the Extended bits, but it's not like there's nothing going on between those two in the original versions.
Retreading stuff from nearly 15 years ago that I'm too lazy to go chase down...
The entirety of those interactions can be boiled down to Asuka taking her own experience of becoming an Eva pilot, and continually getting into cognitive dissonance when Shinji fails to act like her "me-but-male" mental model. Shinji has that advantage over almost everyone else (almost = but Kaji) in that he is an (elite) Eva pilot, so meets a minimum criterion of worth, but then manages to come a very disappointing last place in a field of one. By the time things start to slide downhill, starting with Leliel and gathering pace thereafter, that initial curiosity has clearly turned to distaste -- if you want it in modern vernacular, what happened is that he had failed every shit-test she put his way, and thereby disqualified himself.

That's what makes the ep22' injection so discordant. Maybe she was bitterly disappointed way back when, after Shinji's horn failed to topple the Wall of Jericho -- but to be still nursing some vestige of positive romantic feeling at that point? I don't buy it.
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Postby UrsusArctos » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:33 am

Even outside any "shit-tests", Shinji's attitude in general would put Asuka off. Asuka was genuinely impressed by Shinji's cello playing and said so, but Shinji promptly dumped on his own abilities by saying he had no reason to do it other than "nobody told me to stop", a response that comes close to evoking Rei. And hence her own chagrin at that response.

Now that you put it that way, I actually wonder why Shinji would be interested in Asuka in the first place. Their original meeting was a disaster, and as much as Asuka brings out a more assertive side of him in the action arc, Shinji's general passivity and Asuka's assertiveness (and outright aggression) don't quite complement each other. Perhaps as adults they'd find a way to work around that, having years of maturity and emotional calm upon them, but as teenagers they're a very poor romantic fit. Shinji and Rei aren't any better. (With grave apologies to SSD and all the LAS-shippers out there)
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