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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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Sachi » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:33 am

View Original PostGlor wrote:The movies don't care much about it either, so it's not really your fault. Most people whose first Eva viewing is Rebuild don't notice this anyway. They just love her because she's crazy and fun.

It's not that the movies don't care, but rather that they don't make a big deal about it. Much of the important information in Eva, even back in the series, has always been subtle and easy to gloss over, and Rebuild has proven to be no different. Repeated viewings makes the small pieces click together, paints the background in finer detail, and in some cases it can even re-contextualize larger parts of the story. Kaworu's relationship with Shinji in 3.33 is one example; multiple viewings suggests that despite his good intentions, Kaworu obfuscates the truth from Shinji, guilts him into blindly following him, and leads him down a path toward Instrume-- I mean "happiness" (which is ultimately foiled by Gendo anyways). Seems a fitting method of recruitment for a child of Seele, the death cult.

Mari's background is important, just underplayed a lot. One important thing she brings to the table is the introduction of the mysterious third party, which would later become Wille (can we just call it Proto-Wille?), as well as some surrounding elements such as experimentation on Angels (which may have lead to the Nemesis Series and possibly the Wunder), and the overall derailment from the original show (Track 27 of the SDAT, and BEAST Mode). As a symbol, her character represents the spirit of Rebuild; she is the destruction and reconstruction of Eva. Her arrival begins the snowball effect of unfamiliar things, which culminates and eventually engulfs the entire aesthetic of the film series in 3.33. In 2.22, she awkwardly stands out and makes it known, her personality completely clashing in tone, and she even goes as far as to replace two favorite characters in two famous scenes! However, in 3.33, she blends in and coexists with the setting perfectly, exemplified by the fact that she's just part of the Wunder crew and takes backseat to Asuka on the field (rather that replacing her in the entry plug).

It's the small details that make these things work, and the movies definitely care. They care so much, that they also like to make us work for the information, so indeed, multiple viewings are required. That's how they get you.
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Apox » Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:11 am

Mari is a mixed bag. I liked her chemistry with Asuka in 3.33, but strongly disliked how they incorporated her into the EVA universe and the lack of anything resembling a backstory. I feel like there are too many people willing to be apologists for the half-assed and hamfisted introduction of mari in to the eva universe, along with all the other muddled aspects of the movies (like the extremely fuzzy impact, eva mother soul, how the lances) mechanics. I suppose it's alright to forgive the lack of development when it comes to Misato and Asuka (although I still dislike this as well), since the original has some carry over (although Asuka is like a completely new character in the rebuilds). If this was anyone besides anno writing/directing I doubt people would be as forgiving and let so much stuff fly.

I think the flaws and quirks are what made evangelion characters (and by extension the show/franchise) extremely interesting. Mari doesn't have any outstanding issues (at least that we can tell), she seems extremely shallow and the VA has echoed similar opinions with "what you see is what you get". I guess what I'm saying is it's not evangelion unless everyone is fucked up a bit.

I like mari and the rebuilds, but I've come to accept them for the muddled mess they are. I still hope we get some character development in flashbacks or mindfuckery format.

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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Glor » Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:31 am

View Original PostApox wrote:I feel like there are too many people willing to be apologists for the half-assed and hamfisted introduction of mari in to the eva universe,


Oh, it's not because they're apologists. It's because they're die hard fans who will argue Mari is a complex, meaningful character who adds deep layers to Rebuild's plot. :shrug:
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Fri Sep 09, 2016 3:59 am

View Original PostApox wrote:I suppose it's alright to forgive the lack of development when it comes to Misato and Asuka (although I still dislike this as well), since the original has some carry over (although Asuka is like a completely new character in the rebuilds).

I think you might be assuming too much if you think that there's "carry over" from the originals. If an aspect of the characters from NGE does not appear in NTE, then that means that it is definitely not a part of their characters in NTE. The fact that Asuka is a "completely different character" is merely evidence of the fact that NTE asks its audience to start from scratch when viewing these characters. The audience is not learning something new about NTE Misato by watching NGE Misato. The two characters are not the same, and therefore don't share the same exact details. What's left out of NTE is removed for the interest in building a new character, not for the sake of shortening the work.

Expecting NGE to carry over into NTE is like expecting Micheal Keaton's Batman to carry over to Christian Bale's Batman. Yes, they're both Batman. No, we're not supposed to assume that the Joker killed Batman's parents in Batman Begins like he did in Batman. They are essentially two completely different characters. What's lacking in one story compared to the other is lacking for a very important reason. What's lacking in Misato and Asuka's backstories are also lacking for a very important reason. There is no carry over.

Mari's character simply forces the NGE fan to come to terms with this fact in the most blunt ways possible. It allows those familiar with NGE to see a side character enter the series without any unfairly assumed carry over from the original story. This is probably why she is such a divisive character. When you see Mari and ask questions like "Where did this character come from?" you slowly start to realize that these are questions that you should also be asking for Misato, Asuka, Shinji, Gendo, and the rest of the recognizable cast, which threatens the nostalgic feelings we have towards NGE. This realization of unfamiliarity finally comes to fruition in Eva Q, where only a small handful of the characters are recurring from the original series, and an even smaller handful of those recurring characters look familiar to the NGE viewer. This is probably why Eva Q is just as divisive of a film as Mari is as divisive of a character in the fandom. Not only is Mari Makinami there with no recognizable traits from NGE, but the characters Sakura Suzuhara, Kōji Takao, Sumire Nagara, Hideki Tama, and Midori Kitakami are tossed in without any NGE recognizability whatsoever. These unfamiliar characters function in an equally unfamiliar organization called "Wille," who's mysterious origins cause many viewers to realize, even subconsciously, that the origins of Nerv or Seele are equally as mysterious in NTE.

Not only do we have unfamiliar characters operating in an unfamiliar organization, but they are also interacting with other organizations familiar from NGE that seem to have nearly unfamiliar goals and origins. (I can't remember a single character in NTE mentioning Gehirn as a predecessor to Nerv. This suggests a completely different Nerv all together.) Nerv looks desolate yet Gendo thinks things are still "going just as planned," Seele monoliths are dismounted yet everyone seems to be okay with this, and there's a key in a briefcase instead of an embryo in Gendo's hand that may or may not be used as the catalyst for Gendo's end-game scenario.

Both Mari and Eva Q are equally as unsettling for the NGE viewer because they reintroduce the sense of unfamiliarity that we had back when we watched NGE for the very first time. Mari and Eva Q are equally as frustrating for the NGE viewer because it took us over 10 years to familiarize and solve the mysteries of Eva, and these new installments in NTE threaten that sense of accomplishment by revealing a completely different set of unfamiliarity and mysteries in the Evangelion franchise that need solving.

And most the unsettling concept of all is that we might have to come to terms with the fact that, just like certain aspects of NGE, there might be things about NTE that we will never completely understand. All of these fears and anxieties are all summed up in the unfamiliar character of Mari Illustrious Makinami and the floodgates of cluelessness that she unleashed upon us by her very existence in the series.

We don't know shit about Evangelion all over again, and it's all Mari's fault.

Curse you, Anno! Mari!
Last edited by FreakyFilmFan4ever on Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Tabron89 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 6:43 am

^^*clapclapclap*
Can't say it any better myself.

Although...admittedly, I'm still wondering whether or not Mari could pilot Unit 02 by ignoring the soul and just syncing with the EVA instead.

She seems bloodthirsty enough that the BEAST MODE would let her ignore parental attachment.
I keep waiting for someone to give Mari an EVA doll and say: 'Yo! I heard you like EVA, so now you can EVA while you EVA!'

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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:56 am

^ I'm not entirely convinced that parental attachment is that important in the mechanics shown in NTE. Yui Ikari is only the "Control System" (whatever that means) for Unit 01, and not a soul embodying Unit 01 like she was in NGE. So far, I would actually suggest that Rei II has been playing the role of Unit 01's "embodied soul" since the ending of 2.22.

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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:00 am

Only two to three years until Final gets released... I'm sure this Mari discussion will be solved by then.

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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Tabron89 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:53 am

There does seem to be evidence in Shinji's 0% score that Rei is the new control system for Unit 01, after all, she did want him to stop piloting the evangelion...

But that's for another thread.
I keep waiting for someone to give Mari an EVA doll and say: 'Yo! I heard you like EVA, so now you can EVA while you EVA!'

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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Kisses4Katie » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:50 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:Yes, Mari has large breasts. Developing such an anatomical characteristic is known to occasionally happen in young women. I'm sure some similarly burdened female viewers appreciate the representation. The repetitive disparaging comments are in rather poor taste.

Yes, but so do many women in anime. And girls! I'll tell u at 14 I had NO boobs- I would have looked like Shinji in a plug suit :). It would actually be refreshing to get more Lina Inverse type characters across all anime! <3
Saying that, I do feel that Mari was out of place and hyper focused on her breasts. Just saying.

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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Kisses4Katie » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:54 am

FreakyFilmFan said it best. Anno is a genius!

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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby one-eyed » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:21 am

As much as I enjoy Mari (I like her more than Asuka!), I'm only really going to know if she really fits this story in the hypothetical fourth movie. Until then, I consider her a great potential character inserted bizarrely in the narrative. She stands out as a ornitorrico cyborg mutant ninja in a western!

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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby kuribo-04 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:50 am

I personally think these complaints (from the original post) could be attributed to any secondary character.

I see why people don't like her, but if she wasn't there I guess the movies would just be shorter. There's no way important scenes were omitted to have Mari scenes. That's not how scripts are written.
I kinda feel like people only hold Mari to this high standard because she is a pilot.

I expect her to do some plot twisting in the last film (as she seems to be part of the backstory) and that's it.
She never bothered me and hey, I can't think of another pilot speaking to Shinji the way she did during Fourth Impact. I actually really like her lines there, her very matter of fact "learn about the world".
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:28 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:But the point is that that Mari was the one that had the meaningful onscreen interaction with Shinji in 2.0, rather than Kaji or any other character.

If a character's only role in a story is to do what other characters already did, then the character's a pointless addition.
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby pwhodges » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:18 pm

View Original PostAsuka'sBigBrother wrote:If a character's only role in a story is to do what other characters already did, then the character's a pointless addition.

By "already did", do you mean "did in a different story which has some different characters and goes in a different direction"?

Mari is a character in ENT. She is not an "addition"; she is simply a character in a similar but not identical story.
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:17 pm

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:By "already did", do you mean "did in a different story which has some different characters and goes in a different direction"?

Mari is a character in ENT. She is not an "addition"; she is simply a character in a similar but not identical story.

Except that these actions in questions are more or less copied from NGE. You can't use the defense of "we're telling a new story!" when you're relying on an old story for the vast majority of your plot, thematic beats, and characterization.

It would be one thing if the rebuilds told a new story, but for the most part, they just retell the same one. And when they diverge from the original story in the third installment, everything goes downhill. It's telling that when NTE could no longer use events that happened in NGE, Mari became little more than a plot device devoid of any characterization or thematic depth.

She offers nothing new to this supposedly new story and offers nothing at all when the story is actually new. Her existince as a character is pointless.
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Guy Nacks » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:16 pm

View Original PostAsuka'sBigBrother wrote:Except that these actions in questions are more or less copied from NGE. You can't use the defense of "we're telling a new story!" when you're relying on an old story for the vast majority of your plot, thematic beats, and characterization.

It would be one thing if the rebuilds told a new story, but for the most part, they just retell the same one. And when they diverge from the original story in the third installment, everything goes downhill. It's telling that when NTE could no longer use events that happened in NGE, Mari became little more than a plot device devoid of any characterization or thematic depth.

She offers nothing new to this supposedly new story and offers nothing at all when the story is actually new. Her existince as a character is pointless.


This. I think I've made the point before that Anno's biggest mistake with Rebuild was how closely he's been following the original story beats. Mari has been the definition of wasted potential. Even if she lives or dies by the time final rolls around, most likely I won't care either way. Anno & co. have not made me care about her, nor any of the other characters really, to the point that they did with the original series. I'm still intrigued to see where the story is going to go only because 4.0 is really going to be in uncharted territory because Rebuild has officially covered pretty much all of the original series' timeline, so Khara really has little choice but to make the most original film of the series.
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:58 pm

I didn't care when Rituko's cat died in NGE and I don't think they were a waste of time.

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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:13 am

You can't use "not enough screen time" as an excuse when you defend movies for spending screen time on things viewers don't have reason to be meaningfully invested in.
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:16 am

View Original PostGuy Nacks wrote:4.0 is really going to be in uncharted territory because Rebuild has officially covered pretty much all of the original series' timeline, so Khara really has little choice but to make the most original film of the series.

I'm holding out hope that the first three installments were intentionally written they were and that movie 4 is going to make some meta commentary or give some sort of justification by bringing nge back or something.

It's a pipe dream, but hey, if there are people creative enough to do that, Anno's prolly one of them.

Anyhow, "being original" isn't enough. 3.0 was original, it was also the worst film of the three we've seen.
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Re: Why I Don't Like Mari

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Postby kuribo-04 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:05 am

View Original PostAsuka'sBigBrother wrote:I'm holding out hope that the first three installments were intentionally written they were and that movie 4 is going to make some meta commentary .

Rebuild is already filled with meta commentary I'd argue. 3.0 specifically (which imo is the best of the three, let's agree to disagree on that) seems to target RahXephon specifically (an online pal of mine could go more in-depth) to show how post-Eva works just took Eva's aesthetics to create more power fantasies (hence Shinji's shonen moment at the end of 2.0, which is where the RahXephon commentary starts, destroying the world, and Shinji (not) being able to redo things in the third installment, which would have been another wish fulfillment fantasy). The Wille staff has uniforms similar to RahXephons even.

There's no doubt in my mind that while improvised, there are certain ideas in Rebuild (so the same way NGE was made).
After watching 3.0 and rewatching 1.0 and 2.0 afterwards, it becomes clear to me that apart from the typical Evangelion themes, it is about how to deal with loss and mistakes you have made. Watching 2.0 after 3.0 makes that movie bittersweet (and also makes it retroactively better). Will Shinji's relationship with Misato and co. ever be the same? Will he ever go back to the life he had? Probably not.
3.0 showed us that just escaping the problem (aka playing piano with Kaworu to distract yourself) won't work, the past always catches up (Toji's shirt).
And blindly believing in some magical solution (the Spears) won't help either.
3.0+1.0 will either show us that there is no hope (which apparently some people on this forum believe) or, knowing current Anno, it will show a possible solution, or at least how to deal with it.

Notice how both Asuka (still bitter about the crush she had on Shinji) and Misato (clearly has complicated feelings on how the teen she took care of is now a threat) are both also struggling with the past. Asuka is quite literally stuck in it...
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