Why I Don't Like Mari

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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It's a Mari thread

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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:44 pm

View Original PostNineball wrote:Mari: A great deconstruction\parody of Mary Sues, or just a bad Mary Sue.

She is neither for she is not Mary Sue
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Re: Why Is There so much Polarization Regarding the Series?

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:58 pm

Nor is she even any part of the series that the thread title mentions!
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Re: Why Is There so much Polarization Regarding the Series?

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Postby Glor » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:42 pm

View Original PostNineball wrote:Mari: A great deconstruction\parody of Mary Sues, or just a bad Mary Sue.


A parody of the super-sexy Cool Beauty kind of characters (Like Yoko Littner) is more likely, since Rebuild is not a book and Anno is not a woman.
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Illustrious » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:31 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:Could you explain what you mean by this?


She isn't chronologically or attitudinally a teen-ager. I see that as a good thing.

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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Reichu » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:07 pm

View Original PostIllustrious wrote:She isn't chronologically or attitudinally a teen-ager.

I'm not sure we can say this is the case yet. In 2.0 especially, there's a subtle hint that she is the age she appears to be in that when she finally gets to pilot the Eva, the plug suit doesn't fit, and Kaji mentions that the new equipment hasn't arrived yet. This implies that Mari is still growing and has perhaps gone through a growth spurt recently. (Though why the plugsuit wouldn't fit when they're designed to shrink to fit, damned if I know. It's just one of those things...)

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Re: Why Is There so much Polarization Regarding the Series?

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Postby BC Baron » Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:02 pm

View Original PostArcadia's legacy wrote:She is neither for she is not Mary Sue


Yeah, Mary Sue's are occasionally useful.
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Re: Why Is There so much Polarization Regarding the Series?

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Postby Sachi » Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:33 pm

View Original PostBC Baron wrote:Yeah, Mary Sue's are occasionally useful.

Mari ejected Shinji from Unit-13 and ended 4th Impact. That's pretty useful.
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby BC Baron » Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:09 pm

View Original PostIllustrious wrote:1. She doesn't have the major trauma issues the other characters have. She doesn't need to be babied.
2. She is freshly sarcastic.
3. She unleashed beast mode before anyone else in the movies.
4. She isn't a teenager.
5. She is a mystery.


1. Not sure whether I can really agree. I mean, she doesn't shy away from the prospect of piloting and seems enthusiastic about killing angels, but unless I missed something, we're never provided any solid info regarding her background. Perhaps part of her motivation is a quest for vengeance against the angels (not unlike Misato originally), but that's just conjecture. It's also entirely possible that her behavior actually is the result of childhood trauma, but it merely manifests itself in a manner altogether different from the other pilots on the roster. No time was spent either showing or referencing the circumstances under which she was recruited to pilot Eva and there have been no conversations with any other characters where she discusses her opinions on the subject.

2. Meh. Unless she ever decides to direct it towards a worthy target like Gendo, Misato, or Kaworu, I'm just not really feeling it.

3. While visually interesting for a few seconds worth of screentime, it didn't seem to make much of a difference in the outcome of the battle against Zeruel. I would've been a lot more impressed if she had been able to defeat Zeruel without the need for Shinji and Unit-01 to jump in at the last second and save the day. Purely from a writing standpoint, this might've been a great way to distinguish the entire sequence from what took place in the tv series, but you know, 3I contrivance, etc...

4. I dunno. With the whole Curse of Eva (patent pending) thing out there now, I'm not sure whether this even makes much of a difference one way or another, as the term "teenager" in this particular universe appears to have lost any meaning.

5. Once again, IMO this is only true because the writers haven't made enough of an effort to establish an interesting backstory for her.
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Re: Why Is There so much Polarization Regarding the Series?

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Postby BC Baron » Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:25 pm

^ Depends on your point of view, or by how you define the term "useful," I suppose. Not really sure how 'the powers that be' plan to use Shinji (again) going forward.

Also, I'm not much of an expert on the rules governing Rebuild's impact mechanics (or lack thereof). If she hadn't ejected Shinji's entryplug, 4I would have continued?
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Re: Why Is There so much Polarization Regarding the Series?

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Postby Sachi » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:57 pm

View Original PostBC Baron wrote:Also, I'm not much of an expert on the rules governing Rebuild's impact mechanics (or lack thereof). If she hadn't ejected Shinji's entryplug, 4I would have continued?

Unit-13 remained active and the doors of guf remained open, even after Kaworu's death. Once Mari ejected Shinji, the Eva deactivated and the doors of guf closed, ending the impact.
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Re: Why Is There so much Polarization Regarding the Series?

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Postby Sicarius VI » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:49 pm

To answer OP.

What you presented in your post are people who actually ended up understanding the series vs people that were like "2deep4me". (Ignoring Mari, who isn't apart of the original series, the rebuild movies stand on their own and clearly seem to want to deliver a different message than the OG.)

Why is there such polarization? In my opinion I would need to chalk it up to Evangelion being a hit and miss show and the types of people that have watched Eva. From what I have seen, people that have more of the left view tend to be people that can emphasize with Shinji in someway. For people on the right side I feel like they are aren't able to emphasize and chalk it up to calling Shinji a "Whiny little bitch".

I'll put that as a short answer, I hope that makes some sense.
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:41 pm

If Mari had/has trauma/troubles past/whatever, it is thoroughly unimportant to anything in the series thus far. That alone makes her refreshing. Shinji had daddy hang ups since day 1, Rei doesn't even know how to relate or even who she is sometimes, and Shikinami seems uneasy of being around others. (Sore's past is WAY the Hell more tragic.) Mari deviating so far from the norm in the way she does is nice to see in Evangelion, honestly. And we're so far into the new series that I seriously doubt we'll get any huge backstory dump regarding her at this point.

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Re: Why Is There so much Polarization Regarding the Series?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:00 am

View Original PostNineball wrote:Mari: A great deconstruction\parody of Mary Sues, or just a bad Mary Sue.

Mari needs to at least be an authorial insert in order for the Mary Sue deconstruction to work. Otherwise, she's just does awesome things while winning at none of them, which is neither here nor there on the Mary Sue chart. Mari is more like a Force of Nature. She might be powerful and tremendous (like Beast Mode), or she be weak and fizzle out quickly (such as her space mission at the beginning of Q). There is no in-between, and there's never success.

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Re: Why Is There so much Polarization Regarding the Series?

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Postby Bagheera » Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:30 am

View Original PostSicarius VI wrote:What you presented in your post are people who actually ended up understanding the series vs people that were like "2deep4me".


Pretty much, yeah. There's very little polarization on these issues among people who actually understand the show, particularly viewers of the Japanese dub. We find other things to argue about. :tongue:

As to Mari, ISTR we have a thread for that . . .
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Re: Why Is There so much Polarization Regarding the Series?

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Postby Sicarius VI » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:24 am

^Yup.

Also I find it a bit funny everyone started arguing about Mari which in itself is a derailment of this thread.
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Illustrious » Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:36 pm

Mari calls Shinji what he is, a puppy boy. She calls Asuka, a Princess, which is how she acts. (I'm an Asuka fan, also). The list goes on... She tells it like it is. I appreciate her direct talk and sarcasm. I find that attractive.

Personally, Mari, Misato, Ryoji Kaji, and Asuka are my favorite characters. YMMV

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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Ray » Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:21 pm

Posting a response to freaky's response to Fish's thread.

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Mari hasn't taken away anything. And she has, in fact, given us more than even Ritsuko has in NTE. In order to fairly argue that Mari need to be axed because of her lack of contribution to the series thus far, then you would also have to argue for the axing of Ritsuko and all of the other Bridge Bunnies in NTE. The only reason why people don't argue that, however, is simply because Ritsuko & Co. are recognizable faces, and Mari is not. Complaints about Mari (and about NTE in general) seem to stem from a perceived betrayal of nostalgia that the fans have towards Eva more than they do an affront to good and proper story-telling. This is evident by newcomers to Eva, who've only seen the NTE movies, having little to no serous complaints about the movies compared to fans of the original NGE series.


it IS an affront to good storytelling. Here's why. There are several kinds of characters in a movie.

1) the main character(s) who get the most development
Shinji falls into this category in the Rebuilds, and the audience gets to empathize with him the most. Understand his issues, why he acts the way he does, why he resents others, has trouble with women etc.

2) Supporting characters, who get less development.
Asuka, Misato, and Rei fall into this category. The audience still gets to empathize with them and understand them as characters, but they don't get as deep development as the main. Because they exist to push the main characters plot forward, and enable the actions of the story.


3) 'Plot device' characters who get little any development at all.

Characters like the Bridge Bunnies, The Wunder Crew, Ritsuko, arguably Sakura won't get any development because they exist only to do things like give exposition, explain flaws, give some context to situations, and do Star-Trek Technobabble. They're important to the story, and serve important functions but there's nothing they do that couldn't be done by another character or a non-human plot device .

For example, the CIA Agent that got killed at the start of Batman V Superman to let the audience know 'shit is about to get real' didn't NEED to be
SPOILER: Show
Jimmy Olsen.
any no-name soldier with two lines of screentime could have filled that role.

It's like in a character in a shop in an RPG. You don't need to know a shopkeepers entire backstory with his abusive dad, you just want him to give you the stuff you paid for. Same thing with the bridge bunnies. You don't NEED to know Maya's a lesbian with a crush on Ritsuko, or that Aoba is a nihilist, or that Hyuga has a unrequited crush on Misato. You could trim that out and it wouldn't affect the main characters plot or the role they play in the story at all. Because they really only exist to give exposition and look good doing it.

- - -

But back to Mari. The problem with Mari is that by the mere fact she's an Eva pilot. Y'know, a pilot of one of the titular robots, the core reason behind the story? She SHOULD be important she SHOULD get at least some character development beyond the bare bones (or bare breasts as the case is), we SHOULD be able to understand her and where she comes from. Especially considering she's a new character we have no prior experience with.

She hasn't had any meaningful interactions with Shinji, and there's nothing she does that couldn't have been done by another character.

Kaji could have been the one who pulled Shinji out of the Rubble and shown Shinji the devastation caused by Zeruel like he did in the series. She should be a supporting character. But she's not, she's a plot device character who gets top billing because Anno needed another plug girl to sell figurines.

Need I remind you Anno put a very inappropriate fanservice scene with her bouncing oppai right after KAWORU DIED!?
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Sachi » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:20 pm

Mari's relationship with Shinji is unique, because she's the only main girl that's mostly indifferent toward him. Everybody else has a complex, involved relationships with Shinji, and as a result, the emotional tension between them in 3.33 is at a breaking point. Mari, however, doesn't revolve around Shinji like the others do. And being the only one without any apparent mixed feelings toward him, she also treats him the most fairly. In 2.22, when she pulls Shinji from the shelter and he declares he doesn't want to pilot Eva, she doesn't ask him to; instead, she just comments that he chose an interesting time to focus on his own problems, and then she tries to help him run away! How she treats others is an example of her mentality toward life (as is the same with the others), and for her it's overwhelmingly positive and fair. She's the best example of a decent human being in the films, and she's probably intended to teach Shinji a thing or two.
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby CommanderFish » Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:34 am

FreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Mari hasn't taken away anything. And she has, in fact, given us more than even Ritsuko has in NTE. In order to fairly argue that Mari need to be axed because of her lack of contribution to the series thus far, then you would also have to argue for the axing of Ritsuko and all of the other Bridge Bunnies in NTE. The only reason why people don't argue that, however, is simply because Ritsuko & Co. are recognizable faces, and Mari is not. Complaints about Mari (and about NTE in general) seem to stem from a perceived betrayal of nostalgia that the fans have towards Eva more than they do an affront to good and proper story-telling. This is evident by newcomers to Eva, who've only seen the NTE movies, having little to no serous complaints about the movies compared to fans of the original NGE series.

I guess I'll reply on this thread, too.

In my eyes, the one major thing that Mari "took away" from NTE was the chance for Asuka to get more character development in 2.0. In NGE, Asuka's character was quite affected from the Zeruel battle (having failed, and all). In 2.0, this gets replaced with a flashy action sequence (which was awesome, don't get me wrong), but it adds nothing to Mari's character or any other character. I'm not saying that 2.0 should have done exactly what NGE did, but I am saying that--yes-- because of NGE we know that this scene used to be something more. But due to the decision of putting Mari in 02 instead of Asuka, this deeper element was taken out, and replaced with something less substantial.

Also, I actually do argue for the axing of the Bridge Bunnies, (especially the new additions in 3.0. The OG three fit in more with what I'm about to say about Ritsuko). Ritsuko... I would be alright with cutting out too; but to be honest, I'd argue that she's actually given us more than Mari has. Like Ray says, she exists only to give exposition; that's really all her character is at this point in the Rebuilds. But I'd say exposition--as shallow as it can be--still contributes more to the overall narrative than whatever Mari is providing us with (entertainment value and fan-service, basically). At least exposition can advance the plot, add more layers to the plot/characters, establish the setting, etc. It's a lot more valuable and at-times necessary than added-on entertainment value is. Of course, this is all based around my personal opinion on what Mari adds as a character (and is as a character, I suppose). Honestly, I don't dislike her character per-say, I just disagree with the decision to include her within these movies.

Sachi wrote:She's the best example of a decent human being in the films, and she's probably intended to teach Shinji a thing or two.

I'm sorry Sachi, but I just don't see how this is supported at all within the movies, especially that last part about her being there to teach Shinji some lessons. That being said, I have only watched 2.0 once, so (and I've said this multiple times at this point) I may be missing something, but yeah... I just don't see it.
And all that other stuff you described about her; it sort of just describes--well--a boring character, in my honest opinion. And in comparison to a lot of the other characters in NTE, I think that that description fits in line with my thoughts about her pretty well.
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby pwhodges » Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:54 am

View Original PostCommanderFish wrote:but I am saying that--yes-- because of NGE we know that this scene used to be something more. But due to the decision of putting Mari in 02 instead of Asuka, this deeper element was taken out, and replaced with something less substantial.

So you're still seeing the films as a version of NGE instead of assessing them in their own right. No different version of that scene was taken out of the film, because it was never in it.
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