Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby Reichu » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:22 pm

View Original PostGuy Nacks wrote:I get the whole blood/semen bookend from Ep. 1, but I'm trying to look at explanations beyond just that.

There's more to it than the bookending. Hands are thematically important in NGE, something explicitly highlighted in EoE ("What is your hand for?") in the event it was missed. A lot of storytelling is done through hands, through repetitions and parallels.

A hand covered in blood. A hand covered in semen. A hand full of Adam. Stigmata. Hands full of vulva used to give and take life.

Shinji's hand opening and closing, sometimes consciously as he looks at his palm, other times unconsciously twitching at his side.

Toji greeting Shinji with the end of his fist. Eva-03's head being demolished at the end of Eva-01's.

The hands of a mother, wringing a towel. The hands of a mother, wringing the life from a child.

Misato reaching for Shinji's hand and being rebuffed. Kaworu taking Shinji's hand and being accepted.

Dr. Katsuragi's ravaged hand, reaching for the lever that will get his daughter to safety. Eva-02's (Kyoko's) ravaged hand, reaching toward the enemies that must be vanquished so Asuka can live.

There are many more examples. I sense that something deeper is going on, and though I currently lack the ability to articulate what it is I suspect it might be elegantly simple.
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Postby zlink64 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:50 pm

Hands is how we reach out to others. Sometimes it's good sometimes its bad. Maybe something like that? A lot of those hand moments have a lot different context.
Also I think Shinji enjoyed it at least a little bit. Don't think we should assume just assume he doesn't. Regret doesn't mean he didn't want to do it when he did it. Not sure if that matters but just saying.
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Re: Until You Cum to Me -- A Semenal Analysis of the Hospital Scene

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Postby Bagheera » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:11 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:There are many more examples. I sense that something deeper is going on, and though I currently lack the ability to articulate what it is I suspect it might be elegantly simple.


Hands are the means by which we do work.

OP: I suspect you're overthinking it.
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Re: Until You Cum to Me -- A Semenal Analysis of the Hospital Scene

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Postby Reichu » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:41 am

View Original Postzlink64 wrote:Hands is how we reach out to others. Sometimes it's good sometimes its bad. Maybe something like that?

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Hands are the means by which we do work.


Having thought about it a bit more, I think both of these posts touch on elements of what's going on, but they don't tell the whole story. Let me transfer the notes I wrote on my phone earlier and add a wrap-up...

Start with the fundamental notion of what a hand is and what it does. It's a dexterous part of the body through which we experience ourselves, others, and the world. As the principal means through which we enact change, it's a symbol of power, to both create and to destroy. As both a tactile organ and an important conduit of nonverbal language, the hand is also a way to make contact with others, literally and otherwise. As before, this contact can be both creative and destructive, exemplified to perfection in EoE's final scene.

In both instances, the common theme is the dichotomy between creation and destruction, life and death, Eros and Thanatos, libido and destrudo. The opposition is an important one in Eva, to the point that libido and destrudo are actual quantifiable forces of the psyche that govern the integrity of one's ego border (a.k.a. A.T. Field). Taking this to its logical conclusion, my first instinct is to assume that hands are acting as a symbol for the A.T. Field itself. I find this intriguing and will have to meditate upon it overnight. Not to mention split the thread later.
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Re: Until You Cum to Me -- A Semenal Analysis of the Hospital Scene

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Postby Bagheera » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:24 am

For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Re: Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby pwhodges » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:44 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:There are many more examples.

In the manga, Shinji tending to Rei's scalded hand; Shinji and Rei holding hands as they part at the end of instrumentality. In Q, Kaworu guiding Shinji's hands onto the piano keyboard.
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Re: Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby Director Black » Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:19 am

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Asuka gently caressing Shinji's cheek right after trying to strangle her. While his hands are full of conflict and anger, her hands are inviting forgiveness as a sign that she does care.
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Re: Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby Reichu » Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:35 am

I did ("exemplified to perfection in EoE's final scene"), but further commentary is of course welcome.
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Re: Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:07 am

Both Gendou and Shinji burning their hands to save Rei.
"Being human, having your health; that's what's important." (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?" (from: The Eccentric Family )
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Re: Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby StrokeMeGoat » Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:13 pm

View Original PostDirector Black wrote:I'm surprised no one has mentioned Asuka gently caressing Shinji's cheek right after trying to strangle her. While his hands are full of conflict and anger, her hands are inviting forgiveness as a sign that she does care.

To be honest, I debate how much Shinji was actually trying to strangle her (at least in the sense that he was going to kill her) given that his hands are positioned in such a way that his thumbs both line up with her carotid arteries when every scene in the show previous to it had both hands clasping the neck with the thumbs wrapped around either side with one over the other (including the scene from the movie when Shinji strangles Asuka when deciding to initiate Instrumentality), suggesting intent to kill.

I almost feel like he was trying to feel her heart beat and to see if she reacted to test if she was even real. When she does nothing for what feels like several moments when he's doing something strange like straddling her and has his hands on her neck, he pressed down with his thumbs in a way that would cut off blood from those arteries and cause her to pass out before actually running out of air, suggesting he might be trying to do some kind of mercy killing because she's a vegetable or was desperate for a reaction of some kind. That, and the amount he trembles while doing makes me wonder if he was just desperate for some kind of response to make sure it was actually her and not an illusion or something (likely fully expecting her to reject him or react with anger like she normally would). Her caressing him was truly unexpected though, causing the break down (probably both from the shame of having initiated Instrumentality willingly once given the choice, their experience during it, and just having tried to choke her along with her actually accepting him and doing something nice). Her last line was excellent in regards to confirming she was still truly herself given the fact she just caressed his cheek, along with an appropriate reaction in general.

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Re: Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby Director Black » Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:56 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:I did ("exemplified to perfection in EoE's final scene"), but further commentary is of course welcome.


If you could point me to it, that would be excellent.
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Re: Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby Sachi » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:44 am

View Original PostDirector Black wrote:If you could point me to it, that would be excellent.

View Original PostReichu wrote:Start with the fundamental notion of what a hand is and what it does. It's a dexterous part of the body through which we experience ourselves, others, and the world. As the principal means through which we enact change, it's a symbol of power, to both create and to destroy. As both a tactile organ and an important conduit of nonverbal language, the hand is also a way to make contact with others, literally and otherwise. As before, this contact can be both creative and destructive, exemplified to perfection in EoE's final scene.
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Re: Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby Director Black » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:12 pm

...I appreciate you helping out with my stupidity.

Also worth noting that the way Asuka caresses Shinji's cheek is similar to the way Yui did when the two were saying their goodbyes in the penultimate scene.
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Re: Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby CommanderFish » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:31 pm

Hands are used to clap in "Congratulations" scene.

EDIT: Okay I guess I should actually contribute something here -- Shinji holding that green phone in his hand in EoTV (obviously a reference to the first epsiode) and Rei's "then what is your hand for?" (or something like that) in EoE are two other examples of hand stuff off the top of my head.

Also, I think StrokeMeGoat makes a really good point about the beach choking scene. We know Anno has a very keen attention to detail, so I wouldn't be surprised if a change in hand/finger position is meant to indicate a different reason for choking. Checking to see if she's really alive, or even if he's in reality at all seems like a reasonable conclusion to make here.
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Re: Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby Reichu » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:14 pm

View Original PostDirector Black wrote:Also worth noting that the way Asuka caresses Shinji's cheek is similar to the way Yui did when the two were saying their goodbyes in the penultimate scene.

Here's a post from SSD where she ties Yui's bookend caresses (16 and 26') together with the final scene. (It's based on a bit of earlier analysis that I did, but I can't find the post and it may not even be in the ANF archives anyway. SAD!)

pwhodges wrote:In the manga, Shinji tending to Rei's scalded hand; Shinji and Rei holding hands as they part at the end of instrumentality.

The Rei/Shinji hand theme is one that Sadamoto created exclusively for the manga (though was possibly reworked for NTE), and there are more instances than those you've mentioned. As I'm not a study of the manga, however, I'm not in much of a position to comment on what he's doing here, aside from using it to reinforce Rei's gradual shifting of allegiances from Gendo to Shinji. This comes to a head with the substitution of "I'm not your doll" to "This is not the hand I want".

In general: Frankly there are so many examples of the hand motif in the show and beyond that we're at risk of this becoming little more than a list thread. There have been a lot of "list one example and do nothing else" posts, but we're in Discussion, so don't just list -- discuss! Contextualize, analyse! (Note: C.Fish revised his post before I hit "submit".)
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Re: Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby silvermoonlight » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:18 am

In the manga there are a number of pages that are all about hands and how they can be used to hurt and connect to others.

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Re: Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby lilim » Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:27 am

Shinji/toji and the punching stands out to me
-toji punching him because he resents his sister being hurt
-shinji, later, at the other boy's request, punching him in return
-unit 01 slamming its fist into unit 03 and basically turning its face into pulp

even though the initial punching was hostile, the return was done to show camaraderie and fairness (he says something like "don't hold back, i wouldn't feel right if you didn't hit me") so despite the first blow being one that brought Shinji pain, what toji asks him to do signifies that he takes responsibility for this and wants to make it right somehow.
you see toji reflect on their initial meeting right before he pilots 03 and as he thinks back on it, he looks down at his own hand and flexes it, looking pensive and unsure.
Shinji, after being violated and traumatized by being forced to sit inside 01 while it goes berserk on 03, blames his father bitterly, balls up a fist and hits it against the controls inside his entry plug; a gesture similar to someone getting angry and punching a wall because they won't or can't punch the person they're actually angry with. (despite threatening to take out half of headquarters he only takes out his frustration within the space immediately available to him)
then a few minutes later, you get a close up of his hands, shackled, coupled with dialogue about "childish intimidation"
i think it's interesting, too, that in the next fight Shinji is in after this one he bursts in, punching. even when losing an arm, he uses the other to wail on zeruel for quite a bit. i don't remember him punching any other angel, so in addition to this being Shinji taking out an insane amount of aggression directed at his father and the existence of the dummy plug system i wonder if it's meant to be a visual reminder of what happened with toji.

it's also kind of curious to me that in the manga panels ^ they show the first encounter with the two of them but also a happy memory with toji putting his fist up to Shinji's head in a playful manner. i haven't gotten to read the manga so i don't know what part this appears in but i wonder if it's after him piloting unit 03?

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Re: Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby SoryuUberAlles » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:08 am

Shot of hands in evangelion? There's a tumblr for that!
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Re: Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby pwhodges » Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:38 am

View Original Postlilim wrote:it's also kind of curious to me that in the manga panels ^ they show the first encounter with the two of them but also a happy memory with toji putting his fist up to Shinji's head in a playful manner. i haven't gotten to read the manga so i don't know what part this appears in but i wonder if it's after him piloting unit 03?

Yes - specifically, when Shinji returns after being sent away, Touji insists that Shinji give him a return punch, but Shinji holds back at the last moment in favour of sassing Touji by saying it would be more fun to have Touji owe him one instead. Touji then cuffs him on the head in that comradely manner. Shinji later calls in the debt when Touji is ogling the girls at the pool and the girls have noticed - he embarrasses Touji by sticking his fingers up his nose to make him look absurd in front of the girls. It's a good example of how Shinji is generally that bit more sassy in the manga.
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Re: Hands in 'Evangelion' and the Libido/Destrudo Duality [Split]

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Postby lilim » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:53 am

so it's the difference between book Harry Potter and movie Harry Potter where they take a bunch of his jokes away and make him brood more instead?


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