Why was Shinji strangling Asuka at the end of EoE?

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An "optimistic" view of the strangling scene

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Postby chaosakita » Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:01 pm

Since I couldn't find the original discussion with another thread I made earlier, I felt it was appropriate to make a thread with another purpose. If not, please merge, mods.

About a year ago, I remember reading some threads about the last scene of EoE and came upon one person who had a rather optimistic view of the scene. Rather than just being a symbol of Shinji's hatred or craziness or whatever, being able to choke Asuka was actually showing that he was unafraid to connect with other people - hence, he was not "running away." Conversely, Asuka's caress of Shinji in return showed acceptance of him and being able to deal with Shinji without resorting to violence.

I'm not sure how common or valid of a theory this is. What do you guys think about it? And would anyone be able to recall the original post?
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:18 pm

That sounds vaguely familiar, yes. I have a similar viewpoint to that interpretation (although I don't think it's anything I wrote) and I'd say it is somewhat common around here.

With how valid the theory is... It really depends on just who you ask in the end. Mr. Tines, for instance, feels Asuka's caress meant she was saying thanks (at Shinji's strangling to kill her), while I feel the caress is her "being kind to him" (what Shinji wanted from her in the hell train) instead of resorting to her usual behavior of reacting violently.

Hope that helps.
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Postby Bagheera » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:43 pm

View Original PostSailor Star Dust wrote:That sounds vaguely familiar, yes. I have a similar viewpoint to that interpretation (although I don't think it's anything I wrote) and I'd say it is somewhat common around here.

With how valid the theory is... It really depends on just who you ask in the end. Mr. Tines, for instance, feels Asuka's caress meant she was saying thanks (at Shinji's strangling to kill her), while I feel the caress is her "being kind to him" (what Shinji wanted from her in the hell train) instead of resorting to her usual behavior of reacting violently.


I think you have the right of it here, for two reasons:

First, if Asuka wanted to die I think it's unlikely she'd rely on Shinji to make it happen. Even the kinder, gentler Asuka of that final scene still regards Shinji with some disgust, and I have a hard time imagining a setup where she thought he'd be likely to go through with it (P3II, you say? You mean when his ego was ground to dust and he was at the end of his rope, and before 3I put him back together? Sure, pull the other one).

Second, if she really wanted to die showing Shinji tenderness was about the best way imaginable to sabotage the plan. Even post 3I Shinji is starved for affection, and actually giving it to him is guaranteed to break him down, not drive him to violence.

Asuka knows how to get Shinji to strangle her, because she's done it. Her doing the opposite in this case doesn't make any sense if she actually wants it to happen.

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:11 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Asuka knows how to get Shinji to strangle her, because she's done it. Her doing the opposite in this case doesn't make any sense if she actually wants it to happen.


Believe me, I know. I know. You should have seen the epic Tines/NemZ versus Reichu/AEF/SSD debates of old. :lol:
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Postby Seele00TextOnly » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:44 pm

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Postby Bagheera » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:00 pm

View Original PostSailor Star Dust wrote:Believe me, I know. I know. You should have seen the epic Tines/NemZ versus Reichu/AEF/SSD debates of old. :lol:


I get the feeling an awful lot of traffic in this forum is repetition... :rolleyes:

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Postby chaosakita » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:06 pm

View Original PostSailor Star Dust wrote:Believe me, I know. I know. You should have seen the epic Tines/NemZ versus Reichu/AEF/SSD debates of old. :lol:


I'd like it if you had a link to them
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Postby Azathoth » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:22 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:I get the feeling an awful lot of traffic in this forum is repetition... :rolleyes:


The show's existed for fifteen years, and there's a finite amount of material to argue about. Statement, counterstatement, and restatement are the currency in which any forum like this would deal.
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Postby NemZ » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:03 pm

View Original Postchaosakita wrote:I'd like it if you had a link to them


Check back on the other thread you started with this idea... links aplenty.
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Postby chaosakita » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:40 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:Check back on the other thread you started with this idea... links aplenty.


Uhhh...I kind of started this thread because I couldn't find what I was looking for in my old links. But thanks anyways.
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Postby NemZ » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:29 pm

Not where you can find what you're actually looking for (whatever that is), but where you can find some of the debates you mentioned just above.
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Re: An "optomistic" view of the strangling scene

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Postby DIDDY » Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:57 pm

View Original Postchaosakita wrote:rather optimistic view of the scene


View Original Postchaosakita wrote:being able to choke Asuka was actually showing that he was unafraid to connect with other people


IMO this is beyond optimistic.
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Postby sephirotic » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:37 am

I don´t think "optimistic" is the right word, more like a show of evolution in his passive-depressive state...

Here is my view that i posted in the other topic about the final scene:

(...)
Shinji starts to strangle Asuka, that is a very important gesture, like VERY VERY important, it's an active agressive attitude of him, completely opposed to the passive, runaway, fragile and submissive Shinji that is afraid of the others hurting him but unable to avoid it and defend himself; it's a Shinji screaming after being years unable to: "STOP HURTING ME, I'M TIRED OF IT, TREAT ME WELL", , showing he doesn´t accept anymore Asuka pushing him away. And is important to remember, that Shinji LIKES Asuka, she is important to him, that is not a gest of Hatefull.

This Act of Shinji shows a step forward of auto-preserve, an evolution in his depressive state

Shinji crying after Asuka caress him is harder to analyse, you could interpretate in some different ways, the more literal that makes sense to me is a Shock, Shinji is strangling her because he is in a fragile state, but yet, decided to go in a agressive, instead of passive attitude showing how hurt he is, and instead of feeling the rejection pain wicht he would probably be expecting, he received a caress, something very rare for him, and new from Asuka, so his defense-agressive attitude completes lose meaning in that instance, and a glimplse of "finally, you treated me well", makes his fragile and unstable state finally succumb leading him in tears.

About Asuka actions, they are even harder to analyse, because even tough we do understand her character, as she is analysed deeply in both episode 22 and 26, we don´t get much of what her state of mind after the iteractions in the 3I after she pushes Away Shinji, but still i could say that Asuka, does care about Shinji, and by the first time, isn´t in her agressive-defensive state, accepting him as he is and empathyzing with him by the first time... maybe this is not fully correct, but i believe it is in a some way if you think what is the message that Anno want's to transmit:

Don´t run away, don't seclude yourself, open yourself to the others, communicate with the others, don´t live such a solitude life. Personally i think even tough that is a universal message, still carries a lot a cultural importance if you think how much the nipponjin is closed and not very communicative.
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Postby LeoXiao » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:48 am

@sephirotic

Your idea makes sense as long as I dont pay attention to the part where Asuka says "I feel terrible." If she has finally accepted/shown kindness to him, why does she say that? I'm just interested in hearing your take on it.
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Postby Bagheera » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:59 am

View Original PostLeoXiao wrote:@sephirotic

Your idea makes sense as long as I dont pay attention to the part where Asuka says "I feel terrible." If she has finally accepted/shown kindness to him, why does she say that? I'm just interested in hearing your take on it.


My two cents:

Just because Asuka feels some measure of compassion for Shinji now doesn't mean some switch has been flipped in her that makes her automatically accept everything he says or does. His reaction to her act of kindness was pathetic; liking/accepting him doesn't make it any less so, and she responded accordingly.

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Postby sephirotic » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:47 am

View Original PostLeoXiao wrote:@sephirotic

Your idea makes sense as long as I dont pay attention to the part where Asuka says "I feel terrible." If she has finally accepted/shown kindness to him, why does she say that? I'm just interested in hearing your take on it.


Since you asked it, you can read my entire post about the final scene topic in here: http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=394511#394511


About the "Kimochi warui", i think there is LOTS of interpretations that can be made about that setence, is importante to understand that the original Japanese sentence have several translation and is used by Asuka in different ocassions with different meanings, we can hardly get in a consense and affirm form certain what she meant by that, it was clearly choosen by Anno to be left open for interpretation (like the mute phrase of gendou towards ritsuko before shooting her in the EoE, when asked about that, Anno only smiled and didn´t answer what it was), I personally would like to believe that it was a regreet/appology of Asuka to Shinji for being a jerk with him, instead of a rejection of a dispeteful affirmative torwards him.

But could also be a simple remark of her physical state, maybe she was with nausea or pain, etc. She could also be in a depression state herself, (similar to episode 24 tub scene or episode 22, bath scene). These two ones i find too simplistic to fit the scene

Since i believe by that point in the movie the characters were supposed to already show evolution in their maturity and depression, i like to believe that Asuka remark about "Feeling bad", has to do with an evolution in her depression, this makes even more sense since it was said followed by her caress to Shinji, a completely new and unprescedent gesture of her, so maybe she fells bad about what her relationship with him had been till that point, maybe it could also have something to do with her owns problems, like always forcing herself to be independent and always failing in the end, but i hardly believe it has to do with a despite, or negative feeling towards Shinji, even if it was indeed "pathetic" (at least for you insensitive ones) he crying in front of her...

Well that is my open view about the whole situation...

once again, sorry about english mistakes.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:31 am

View Original PostBagheera wrote:His reaction to her act of kindness was pathetic; liking/accepting him doesn't make it any less so, and she responded accordingly.


I agree with this. I thought it was sorta obvious with Asuka's personality, anyway. Also, his reaction of crying on her (and the removed line of "Idiot") is a rather nice callback to the opening scene.
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Postby Bagheera » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:32 am

View Original Postsephirotic wrote:Since i believe by that point in the movie the characters were supposed to already show evolution in their maturity and depression, i like to believe that Asuka remark about "Feeling bad", has to do with an evolution in her depression, this makes even more sense since it was said followed by her caress to Shinji, a completely new and unprescedent gesture of her, so maybe she fells bad about what her relationship with him had been till that point, maybe it could also have something to do with her owns problems, like always forcing herself to be independent and always failing in the end, but i hardly believe it has to do with a despite, or negative feeling towards Shinji, even if it was indeed "pathetic" (at least for you insensitive ones) he crying in front of her...


It's not a matter of being insensitive, really. That's just how Asuka feels about those sorts of displays (it's not like we don't have ample evidence attesting to that fact).

View Original PostSailor Star Dust wrote:I agree with this. I thought it was sorta obvious with Asuka's personality, anyway. Also, his reaction of crying on her (and the removed line of "Idiot") is a rather nice callback to the opening scene.


True. I'm glad the line was changed, though; the original script seemed too light-hearted not just for the mood of the scene, but also for Asuka herself given what she's been through. It will be awhile before Shinji skates by with "baka" alone. Things are much heavier now, even (perhaps especially) given the fact that she's feeling more charitable toward him now than in the past.

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:16 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:I'm glad the line was changed, though; the original script seemed too light-hearted not just for the mood of the scene, but also for Asuka herself given what she's been through.


Yeah, changing the line to "I feel sick" does work better because of the multiple meanings attached to it anyway (towards Shinji, towards Asuka herself, towards the situation in general, etc etc).

Things are much heavier now, even (perhaps especially) given the fact that she's feeling more charitable toward him now than in the past.


Yeah. Though like I've said in (probably countless, hehe :tongue: ) other threads, things CAN get better for them both despite being in a sucky situation now. They have to work on their psychological issues (and trauma >_> ) as well as do some maturing first, though I believe they could do that together. They just shouldn't become a couple (let alone get married or even "worse", have any children!!!) until they've gotten better.

I really need to write a one-shot post-EoE drama piece instead of my usual WAFF or romance+drama fics at some point...

That's just how Asuka feels about those sorts of displays (it's not like we don't have ample evidence attesting to that fact).


Indeed. One example from earlier in the film: In the kitchen scene when Shinji starts flipping out, Asuka calls him pathetic. And (this was brought up YEARS ago) but visually, Asuka's expression in the kitchen scene when glaring at Shinji (when his head is bowed and before she says "No".) and her glare while they're on the beach (that one infamous shot where people used to have a hard time telling if her eye color was still blue or brown due to the night-time lighting) looks very similar if not identical.
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Postby Bagheera » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:29 pm

View Original PostSailor Star Dust wrote:I really need to write a one-shot post-EoE drama piece instead of my usual WAFF or romance+drama fics at some point...


Yes. Yes you do.

(I'm trying my hand at it myself, but I really suck at plot so it's a pain.)

Indeed. One example from earlier in the film: In the kitchen scene when Shinji starts flipping out, Asuka calls him pathetic. And (this was brought up YEARS ago) but visually, Asuka's expression in the kitchen scene when glaring at Shinji (when his head is bowed and before she says "No".) and her glare while they're on the beach (that one infamous shot where people used to have a hard time telling if her eye color was still blue or brown due to the night-time lighting) looks very similar if not identical.


That was the specific scene I had in mind, yeah.


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