Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby C.T.1290 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:40 am

You know, after watching the original series, as well as the rebuild films, there has been something about Asuka that has been bothering me; And that's her attitude problem.

We all know that she is cocky, arrogant, and selfish. Caring very little about other people (and much less herself). And since that (to me) she is a very hard person to understand and comprehend, it made me wonder if she is truly the type of character deserving of any sympathy in any form.

I already know of her back story ( where her mother went crazy, mistook the doll for Asuka, and eventually commit suicide, leaving her behind). But despite that and for what happened to her in the series, I'm still having a bit of a hard time feeling sorry for her. ( I think something might be wrong with me (:| )

And in Rebuild, well, up to 3.0, she's still the same as ever, not as likable, and her attitude is worse than ever, evidently more so towards Shinji ( who has always been her punching bag).

So anyways, is Asuka the type of character who is truly worth having any sympathy, as much as Shinji does, if not more so?

I just wish there could have been more positive traits about her. It's just too bad that it's all been overshadowed by her more negative traits.

Sorry if this seems like some typical character bashing. This is something I felt I had to get off my chest. Asuka really is a complicated character, and a bit of a frustrating one, too.
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Postby peripateia » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:25 am

I was rewatching episode 25 the other day and the inner dialogues between Misato, Asuka, Rei and Shinji enforced just how similar they all were- afraid of communicating with the outside world, afraid of failing, unable to reunite with their mother, resentful of their father.

None of them believe they deserve to be happy, none of them have any real say in how to live their lives. "I pilot eva because ...that's all I can do," Shinji reflects to the audience. Asuka is the same, no matter what she says to Shinji.

And yet I would say that despite their obvious flaws, each person in NGE deserves to be loved, because at the heart of it, it's miscommunication and a fear of being hurt that keep them from becoming all that they can become.

If we look past Asuka's aggressive attitude, Gendo's aloofness, Ritsuko's vacant stare, Misato's forced cheerfulness, and, yes, Shinji's cowardice, we find lonely souls seeking to be complete in a harsh world.

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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Bagheera » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:42 am

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote:We all know that she is cocky, arrogant, and selfish. Caring very little about other people (and much less herself). And since that (to me) she is a very hard person to understand and comprehend, it made me wonder if she is truly the type of character deserving of any sympathy in any form.


So, flawed people don't deserve sympathy when terrible things happen to them? That's pretty harsh.

And in Rebuild, well, up to 3.0, she's still the same as ever, not as likable, and her attitude is worse than ever, evidently more so towards Shinji ( who has always been her punching bag).


Part of the problem here is that you're treating Soryu and Shikinami as though they're the same person, when that's not the case. They have different names for a reason.

So anyways, is Asuka the type of character who is truly worth having any sympathy, as much as Shinji does, if not more so?


I find the question somewhat ridiculous given that she's a 13-year-old child with some of the worst formative memories imaginable. She has a bad attitude, so she somehow deserves what she went through with her mother? She deserves to be mindraped by Ariel? She deserves to be completely ignored by Nerv when she breaks down as a result? She deserves to be dismembered by the MPEs? She's a teenager with a bad attitude, not Hitler. Of course she deserves sympathy. That doesn't mean she shouldn't be held accountable for her actions, but get some perspective man.

Sorry if this seems like some typical character bashing.


Yup, that's exactly what it is. And to what end?
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Reichu » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:58 am

You can consider this question from two perspectives, in universe and out of universe.

In, most certainly. Asuka is still quite young. While she isn't a nice person by any means, she hasn't done anything beyond forgiveness, either. The biggest problem here is Asuka's own pride. If anyone gave her sympathy, she would violently reject it. She hasn't quite reached the point where she can regularly accept being vulnerable. Though, she did let this side of herself show when she was reunited with Kyoko, so there's probably hope.

Out of universe: a fictional character is worthy of whatever their audience wishes to bestow upon them. So those who can identify with her, and even some who cannot, will deem her worthy of being given sympathy. Though since Asuka's not exactly in a position to accept anything from fans, perhaps this is better conceptualized as people empathizing with her.
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Mr. Tines » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:42 pm

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote:And since that (to me) she is a very hard person to understand and comprehend, it made me wonder if she is truly the type of character deserving of any sympathy in any form.
By contrast, she (Asuka Sohryu Miyamura, to be precise, if you forgive the notation) was the one who reminded me painfully of my younger self, in a "there but for the grace of God" sort of a way; and so was the character that got all my sympathy. Related

View Original PostReichu wrote:If anyone gave her sympathy, she would violently reject it.
What was the line from episode 22 -- something like "Things must have hit rock bottom if I'm getting sympathy from [Shinji]", at least in the version I'm most familiar with.
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Postby Chuckman » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:08 pm

Asuka doesn't need your sympathy. She is a Warrior Poet Queen and has joined the fraternity of those who have crossed the Abyss and survived. You owe her obsequience, not pity.
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Postby xanderkh » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:23 pm

^
Well, she may not want it, but empathy is definitely something she needs, cause the thing of being a "Queen"? The Highest peak, is also the loneliest. :P

True strength is not achieved by never falling, but admitting we need help rising to those we love and love us. :)

Luckily, she is in good company, with Shinji, the Reborn Fallen King, Rei, the Goddess Priest, and Misato, the Amazonian Warrior by her side, so she won't be alone. :)
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Mr. Tines » Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:04 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:She is a Warrior Poet Queen and has joined the fraternity of those who have crossed the Abyss and survived. You owe her obsequience, not pity.
That's after EoE, though.
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby The Cruel » Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:50 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:Asuka doesn't need your sympathy. She is a Warrior Poet Queen and has joined the fraternity of those who have crossed the Abyss and survived. You owe her obsequience, not pity.


Deference is definitely the highest term that comes in mind if it's about Asuka. She has potential to do great things either its being the born example of how modern warfare has to work with unconventional means, or anithing else that's appealing for her. If she just could let go what haunts her and makes her mad, then she would 've a fulfilled life. She has to accept that doing things alone doesn't make her stronger. No matter which reputation, which training, or how tough she can be, she is just human. She really needs to not being hard to herself and appreciate who and what she has beyond Eva.
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby C.T.1290 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:53 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:So, flawed people don't deserve sympathy when terrible things happen to them? That's pretty harsh. quote]

Yup, that's exactly what it is. And to what end?

Yeah, I guess it seems that way. (Shame)
Well, I think that despite them being two different characters, they still share some similarities, their similar traits. So I kinda tend to, um, treat them as if they were the same person.
When I watched the series ( I believe for the first time), I kinda felt that because of her rotten attitude, she kinda had it coming to her, more or less. Sorry if my mindset comes off as incredibly harsh, but there are times where I have this firm belief that those who do wrong should be punished to some degree, at least that's how karma works. And I think that with me being a mildly autistic person, I tend to see things in black and white, that's kind of how I am. So again, sorry if my views seems really harsh. That's just how I feel about a character like Asuka, and I think that I'm not the only one who feels that way towards her. Not that I really hate her, I just think she could use some attitude adjustments.
I guess my way of venting, just needed to get something off my chest. And I also would like to see some other opinions when it comes to Asuka, hopefully to clear up some confusion I have with myself concerning a character like her.

I also read some of your posts about Asuka, back when I was browsing the web before I decided to join this forum. You seem to have some pretty good knowledge about her, and know her quite well. What's your secret?
Sorry if this post seems like a mess. This is my first time replying to multiple quotes. Not real sure how that works.
Last edited by C.T.1290 on Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:11 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby xanderkh » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:55 pm

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote: What's your secret?


Years of practice. :) We've all had plenty of time to think and sort our own answers of the series, both it's symbolisms and subtleties. :)
"You're na�ve, Cecil. Even knowing betrayal and despair, you would depend on the whims of others?" - Golbez
---------------------------------------
Sephiroth: "Do you miss the Light?"
Golbez: "Hmph...I merely have duties to fulfill."
Sephiroth: "Too close to the brightness, and you may get scorched."
Golbz:.............
Golbez: Your loss can strengthen you.

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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Bagheera » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:05 pm

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote:Well, I think that despite them being two different characters, they still share some similarities, their similar traits. So I kinda tend to, um, treat them as if they were the same person.


I understand the impulse, but, well, they aren't the same person! So don't do that. :D

When I watched the series ( I believe for the first time), I kinda felt that because of her rotten attitude, she kinda had it coming to her, more or less.


A rotten attitude does not justify torture and mutilation. It just doesn't; the two aren't proportional at all.

I also read some of your posts about Asuka, back when I was browsing the web before I decided to join this forum. You seem to have some pretty good knowledge about her, and know her quite well. What's your secret?


Watch the show, talk to others about it, think about everything that's in it . . . there's really no trick to it beyond that. NGE is a show that rewards close scrutiny, so watching it a bunch of times and paying attention to what's being said (and finding out what to pay attention to by talking to others) is the key to understanding it.
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Epilogue » Mon May 01, 2017 11:07 am

Asuka honestly isn't a character that just anyone can like. A lot of people don't like to put up with her shit, and that's understandable, but what I've come to realize is that those people are actually a lot more like Asuka than they'd like to be. So, while she as an emotionally damaged child objectively deserves sympathy, it's understandable for one to not want to give her any.

Personally, though, I'd appreciate it if you didn't make such accusatory threads. Used to know someone like Asuka and that person meant a lot to me, so as a subjective individual, it's a bit triggering to see something like this.

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Postby big_big_bozo » Mon May 01, 2017 1:10 pm

View Original PostEpilogue wrote:Asuka honestly isn't a character that just anyone can like. A lot of people don't like to put up with her shit, and that's understandable, but what I've come to realize is that those people are actually a lot more like Asuka than they'd like to be. So, while she as an emotionally damaged child objectively deserves sympathy, it's understandable for one to not want to give her any.


Yeah, I've noticed that those of the "Asuka is an impossibly infuriating bitch" ilk either glossed over episode 22 and EoE, or they simply aren't interested in delving that deep and would rather just kick at your proverbial shins .... much like how Asuka behaves around Shinji. The former I can understand, sometimes you need to watch things over a few times before the full wave of realization rushes over you. As for the latter, while it can be a bit annoying, I don't take any of it to heart. With that said, I've still chatted with people who have a thorough understanding of Asuka's character, but simply dislike her on more reasonable grounds (thought she was portrayed unrealistically, over-exaggerated, see her as a cliche, etc.). While I don't agree with this sentiment, I can respect it.

View Original PostEpilogue wrote:Personally, though, I'd appreciate it if you didn't make such accusatory threads. Used to know someone like Asuka and that person meant a lot to me, so as a subjective individual, it's a bit triggering to see something like this.


Not sure if this is a joke, but do I have to point out that you could look at nearly every aspect of Eva this way? You can't shake a 3 inch stick in Eva without bumping into one horrible amalgamation of untreated psychosis or another. Sometimes you have to ask some tough questions to get to the root of the issue, and OP's somewhat callus line of questioning strikes me as perfectly valid. If Asuka were a real person, or someone with a similar mental state, such qustions would be inexcusable. But she's not, so taking the liberty of examining her character from an angle you might find unsavoury could perhaps lead to some interesting conclusions. Just food for thought.
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby xanderkh » Mon May 01, 2017 1:31 pm

View Original Postbig_big_bozo wrote:Not sure if this is a joke, but do I have to point out that you could look at nearly every aspect of Eva this way? You can't shake a 3 inch stick in Eva without bumping into one horrible amalgamation of untreated psychosis or another. Sometimes you have to ask some tough questions to get to the root of the issue, and OP's somewhat callus line of questioning strikes me as perfectly valid. If Asuka were a real person, or someone with a similar mental state, such qustions would be inexcusable. But she's not, so taking the liberty of examining her character from an angle you might find unsavoury could perhaps lead to some interesting conclusions. Just food for thought.


You could also argue that this question is less directed at Asuka, and more directed at society's perception of Asuka, or people like her, and the same thing could be said of Shinji, Rei, or ANY of the characters.

Mob Mentality is a terrible, but persuasive aspect of our human psychology, and is probably one of the biggest reasons of conflict as a species. It's no secret that many fandoms or fictional medium fall into the trap of Mob Mentality, especially ideas about how to interpret a fictional work. Take Shinji for example, who many would agree that with the average viewer would view him as a "spineless pussy of a wimp that needs to man up or just die" who take Evangelion at face value, and they're often the LOUDER voices compared to fans who've actually sat down and analyzed the series to feel empathy for the kid.

It's like you know in your heart that an act is wrong, but if everyone agrees that it isn't, does that make YOU and your VIEW wrong? You believe Asuka is a fragile young girl who's been hurt too many times in her life, but if everyone else just says she's just "A bitch", does that make your opinion wrong and what you're doing wrong?

It's a very conflicting and frustrating battle to deal with in life.
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---------------------------------------
Sephiroth: "Do you miss the Light?"
Golbez: "Hmph...I merely have duties to fulfill."
Sephiroth: "Too close to the brightness, and you may get scorched."
Golbz:.............
Golbez: Your loss can strengthen you.

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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby big_big_bozo » Mon May 01, 2017 2:10 pm

View Original Postxanderkh wrote:Mob Mentality is a terrible, but persuasive aspect of our human psychology, and is probably one of the biggest reasons of conflict as a species. It's no secret that many fandoms or fictional medium fall into the trap of Mob Mentality, especially ideas about how to interpret a fictional work. Take Shinji for example, who many would agree that with the average viewer would view him as a "spineless pussy of a wimp that needs to man up or just die" who take Evangelion at face value, and they're often the LOUDER voices compared to fans who've actually sat down and analyzed the series to feel empathy for the kid.


I'd argue that Mob Mentality isn't nessasarily a trap, but rather an inevitability. After all, a trap implies it can be avoided.

As for why Eva's detractors appear louder, well ..... I think it's just a matter of perspective. Alot of the people giving Shinji crap are likley just projecting, and might actually understand his struggle better than either you or me. So, I honestly don't think Eva is the best series to use as an example of mob mentality among veiwers, given its complexity. Or maybe I'm just not looking at this the right way.

View Original Postxanderkh wrote:It's like you know in your heart that an act is wrong, but if everyone agrees that it isn't, does that make YOU and your VIEW wrong? You believe Asuka is a fragile young girl who's been hurt too many times in her life, but if everyone else just says she's just "A bitch", does that make your opinion wrong and what you're doing wrong?


Well, this kinda breaches on the idea of "subjective/relative reality" as determined by popular thought, but I don't think this is something to be taken lightly. In spite of all the contradicting opinions and stalemates I've seen pertaining to this specific debate around Asuka (or anything really), I do beleive an honest-to-god objective truth exists underneath all of it. What the collective thinks this supposed "truth" actually is .... is largley irrelevant, as they'll just be collectivley "wrong". Not sure if this sounds arrogant or not, but I just can't help but think that not all opinions are created equal.

Regardless of this tho, in a world where everyone thought Asuka was a bitch and you were the sole one to object this claim, for all intents and purposes ..... you are wrong. While simultaniously being right? Kinda? If my idea of objective truth is a thing anyway ...... but objective truth doesn't mean much when it has no practical means of being applied/explained ...... shit. There's a reason I never majored in philosophy ya know.

View Original Postxanderkh wrote:It's a very conflicting and frustrating battle to deal with in life.

I'll drink to that ....
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Redgirl01 » Mon May 01, 2017 5:16 pm

View Original PostEpilogue wrote:Asuka honestly isn't a character that just anyone can like. A lot of people don't like to put up with her shit, and that's understandable, but what I've come to realize is that those people are actually a lot more like Asuka than they'd like to be. So, while she as an emotionally damaged child objectively deserves sympathy, it's understandable for one to not want to give her any.

Personally, though, I'd appreciate it if you didn't make such accusatory threads. Used to know someone like Asuka and that person meant a lot to me, so as a subjective individual, it's a bit triggering to see something like this.


You met a person like Asuka who meant a lot to you? How do you tolerate that? Are you that forgiving of a person? I certainly wouldn't forgive an Asuka-like person's actions.

View Original Postbig_big_bozo wrote:Yeah, I've noticed that those of the "Asuka is an impossibly infuriating bitch" ilk either glossed over episode 22 and EoE, or they simply aren't interested in delving that deep and would rather just kick at your proverbial shins .... much like how Asuka behaves around Shinji. The former I can understand, sometimes you need to watch things over a few times before the full wave of realization rushes over you. As for the latter, while it can be a bit annoying, I don't take any of it to heart. With that said, I've still chatted with people who have a thorough understanding of Asuka's character, but simply dislike her on more reasonable grounds (thought she was portrayed unrealistically, over-exaggerated, see her as a cliche, etc.). While I don't agree with this sentiment, I can respect it.



Not sure if this is a joke, but do I have to point out that you could look at nearly every aspect of Eva this way? You can't shake a 3 inch stick in Eva without bumping into one horrible amalgamation of untreated psychosis or another. Sometimes you have to ask some tough questions to get to the root of the issue, and OP's somewhat callus line of questioning strikes me as perfectly valid. If Asuka were a real person, or someone with a similar mental state, such qustions would be inexcusable. But she's not, so taking the liberty of examining her character from an angle you might find unsavoury could perhaps lead to some interesting conclusions. Just food for thought.


I think Asuka is unrealistic and cliched because she is a tsundere and a spoiled brat, which are considered stock characters. Asuka is unrealistic because she wants to be seen as an adult, no teenager has thought of that. So with that, she is so interested in older men, she can't get along with boys her age.
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Bagheera » Mon May 01, 2017 5:27 pm

View Original PostRedgirl01 wrote:You met a person like Asuka who meant a lot to you? How do you tolerate that? Are you that forgiving of a person? I certainly wouldn't forgive an Asuka-like person's actions.


Asuka never did anything all that horrible over the course of the show. As for her attitude . . . good Lord, I've encountered so much worse.

I think Asuka is unrealistic and cliched because she is a tsundere and a spoiled brat, which are considered stock characters.


Asuka is not a tsundere, and moreover the tsundere archetype didn't even exist when NGE was on the air. She can't be a cliche if the cliche didn't even exist at the time!

Asuka is unrealistic because she wants to be seen as an adult, no teenager has thought of that. So with that, she is so interested in older men, she can't get along with boys her age.


You seriously think that's unrealistic?
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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: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Redgirl01 » Mon May 01, 2017 5:30 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Asuka never did anything all that horrible over the course of the show. As for her attitude . . . good Lord, I've encountered so much worse.



Asuka is not a tsundere, and moreover the tsundere archetype didn't even exist when NGE was on the air. She can't be a cliche if the cliche didn't even exist at the time!



You seriously think that's unrealistic?


I think that was unrealistic because me and my mom know no teenagers nor have I read any milestones or whatever on the Internet about them acting like that. They may wear make up but I do that too, even when I was 14. even younger kids wear make up. As long as it's not too much or eyeliner or whatever, I think it's okay.

I am sheltered, I haven't been to middle or high-school so I don't know any teenagers wanting to be viewed as adults. I don't know if it's just the new generation or what because my mom graduated from high school in 1992.
I am autistic with trauma and can act up, too. Sometimes I don't understand people. You just got to explain things better to me so that I can understand.

Bagheera
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Re: Is Asuka really deserving of sympathy?

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Postby Bagheera » Mon May 01, 2017 5:35 pm

View Original PostRedgirl01 wrote:I think that was unrealistic because I know no teenagers nor have I read any milestones or whatever on the Internet about them acting like that.


I admit, I'm surprised. The very notion that teenagers wanting to be taken seriously as adults is somehow unrealistic is so alien to my experience that I don't even know how to respond. Suffice it to say that your experience does not match mine in the slightest, and that this is one aspect of Asuka that rang true for me on many different levels.
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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