Not to diss the possibility of romance at all, far from it, but who says you can't find love without romance involved? There are other kinds of love out there, and some people are happy with their lives being single.
Because this is the smallest unit of society - the bond between two people - not the individual as a solitary being (and i myself learned exactly this the hard way). This is what NGE made more than clear - that we define ourselfs by interacting with other people. And NGE/EoE goes as far as to say that we make those choices of purely on chemistry, sexuality and dependence (in Shinji and Asukas NGE case). A good example for this is the "grown up"-kiss, Asukas and Shinjis "Instrumentality" and many more clues from DC and so on. Of course this is a sci-fi action show with little slice of life elements - but please let us remember Annos other stuff like Nadia - fucking wedding. But i see you are joking, huh?
Rei is to some extend still viable. Lets have a quick rundown shall we? So Rei II with Lilith Souls is dead by E23 and it is revealed that Rei get a incarnation with Rei III. And while there is practically no involvement with Shinji and her in EoE we can assume she is a ghost/trans-dimensional being. So how is this in any way good for EoE? Or Rei-shipping in general?
Look - Rei IV (2.0) is "saved" into Unit 01 with her own (Yui's) soul. Kaworu made this reference shortly before the FINAL battle in 3.0. So there is either closure or a possiblity that she is still "alive". The "Deep-Synchro-Ratio" of Shinji was at 0% - does that mean that Rei IV in Unit 01 is blocking Shinji's synch? This would explain the exposition of Ritsuko in the beginning in 3.0 and would be formidable pay-off for FINAL/Shin/3.0+1.0. If there is anything - a Rei/Shinji ship is more possible than in NGE BY FAR.
I don't understand how somebody who is srsly shipping Rei isn't aware of that. Also Kaworu is even more viable/fleshed out than in E24 - so more fanservice.
So final verdict for LRS: everything is better than expected, everything is better than the previous iteration/manga
And i'm not a huge fan of LRS myself.
If they don't go for Asuka/Mari there is also a viable option for both Shinji and Asuka. But given the implication that Mari was mocking Asuka for looking after "Puppy-kun" i think she is shipping Shinji and Asuka. I doubt that she is in any sort of relevance other than something similiar to Kaji from NGE. So we either have closure on this with Mari and Kaji or we don't. But the point is Mari is introduced to us when normally Kaji would make an appearance. Instead we got Kaji and Mari - in which case this is symbolical for the nuturing behaviour towards Shinji. Wouldn't suprise me if Mari will have a serious talk with Shinji about her past and why she is dependend on adults. Which also perfectly fits the "Curse of Eva" stuff.
And Asuka reminds me of the AU from Episode 26. She is dragging Shinji along, even if he has something other in mind. Of course Shinji is better than her in every iteration - but this time Mari replaced (or supposed to be) the purpose of Shinji's and Asukas rivaly. This only indicates that the bond they made isn't superficial like in NGE for the most part. But truth to be told - romance is as trivial as Kaworu. If they involve some romance it should be Kaji and his debut in FINAL. That would be awesome.
I still take the guess that Asuka, Shinji, Rei and (???) are the last "Adams" - so you have more symbolism.
I really expect some "elevator grown up" kiss scene with Shinji in FINAL. Let it be Asuka, Mari or whatever. But Anno will bring this scene once again if we ever get to watch it. Or he will make 1 and a half movie and spend this additional half for preparing 3/4 different endings.
So everything is possible at this end. Intention of Anno to Shinji (and us) is that we all know that Rei (according to 3.0) is the clone of Yui. Figure this out yourself. Everything else is speculation or possible interpretation. But if anything - than that everything went better than expected. Especially for Rei shipper (not to mention the shots with Rei and Shinji) - and most of them aren't satisfied at this point and bitch about NTE while NGE was way more grim with Asuka.
Mr. Jive wrote:
Looking at how Shinji behave in NGE, EOE and a bit in rebuild, seem like he want a girl to replace his dead mommy and have his way whit her just like he had his way whit Asuka in EOE. And can we please stop trying to turn Rei and Asuka into worthless love interest? They are warriors not Disney princess.
To be fair you could interpret it that way. But this counts for Shinji more than for the both of them. Especially in NTE. Shinji is by far an intentional heroic character but a damsel in distress in his deeds. This goes as far as to say that Shinji never really saved anyone - besides Asuka in Magmadiver (which is also once more deconstructed in 2.0). And this wasn't a "you are hopeless princess"-rescue. If anyone is a princess - then on a metaphorical level it is Shinji. The hell even 1.0 made it evidential that Rei is somewhat a guardian more than a princess that needed to be saved by Shinji (Momma Bear). What you actually did was reducing them to exactly that. Also the context is nice - especially for Megumi. Because this isn't the intention but merely a opinion. "Dependend" personality disorder implies that (in this case Shinji!NGE, Asuka!NGE and Shinji!NTE[only]) this are somewhat helpless princess. And the whole purpose of Rei was as you stated and quoted from Anno the Oedipal Complex - to what you should know the End.
And also Misato falls in this category especially for EoE. And lets not forget the passionate hate from anti-shippers or people who dislike Shinji!EoE.
Actually threads like that are wishfullfillment for a Shinji pair and not as you said worthless Asuka/Rei-shipping. Everyone wants Shinji to be happy and put him into a Peggy-Sue just to end up with the right girl. This isn't about Asuka or Rei - they could both be happy - this is and so i think - all around Shinji. He is the avatar of this show. We collectivly throw him to Asuka or Rei because he is so selfless that we can't bear him without them. If i had to analyze this - it would bring us to the conclusion that we all share Shinji as love-interest for either Asuka/Rei. And not the other way around.
Or let me make it more evidential, Shinji is a spineless, fearful and only intentional (heroic) little shit. Why would Asuka want him if it is not for the conveniance? Or the dead Rei II,III,IV? Why would we ship him? Because he can cook (especially because Asuka and Misato took care of themselfs)? In this over all relation - Shinji is the princess and the love-interest for everyone in this show. Even Kaji gets it. The only one who is not a relation to his mother is Asuka, and he choked, abused and caged her into submission (literally). The real-life-sequence (10min) implies that Asuka would end up with Toji and would be a Misato-Ripoff when Shinji wouldn't be around.
EDIT: What i wanted to tell you guys - Rei shipping is viable because everything is different as in E23. Shinji is the love interest rather than the other girls (which is indicated by the rest of the cast who falls in love with Shinji one way or another). Shinji is actually more princess than the hero (causing 3 impacts so far). Please keep in mind that Anno likes this Nadia stuff (wouldn't mind if he makes FINAL a rip-off). As a more LAS-fan i have to admit that 3.0 left us with more rei-ship teasing than E23 did by completly killing Rei.
Shinji when one of his harem members acts out of line - Shinji chokes her, nearly kills her than shames her by masturbating over them only to recieve a "you are disgusting/i feel sick from this". I hope for overall closure to this Franchise and doubt that Rei/Shinji is in anyway possible - but Anno WILL suprise us once again.
Shinji is the son of the King of the Lilin. Which makes him a Prince. Asuka is called Princess instead of Rei ("Wondergirl") in 3.0. LAS confirmed.
LRS = Love Rei/Shinji (Rei shipping)
LAS = Love Asuka/Shinji