Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby C.T.1290 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:04 pm

Basically, Shinji and Asuka were considered a 'couple' in the series, and a pretty messed up one at that. Although, a lot of people can argue that these two are just simply bad for each other because all they do is hurt one another. The fact is that the two of them just don't love each other, but rather quite the opposite.

Asuka has been nothing but rude to Shinji, mean even. Everything she does towards him was out sheer spite, taking her anger out on him for no good reason other than to satisfy her own ego. How can a girl like her even love someone when all she ever does is bring misery to people, including those trying to be nice to her. Let's face it, she has no heart or feelings for other people. She is just inconsiderate, so what good is she?

As for Shinji, he's been depraved of love all his life that he didn't even know what love is. His feelings towards Asuka was just sexual desires and not genuine love. Even his moment at the hospital scene was an indication of that. And as Asuka had pointed out, he doesn't really care for her, but was desperately seeking out attention from anyone, just as Asuka has done. Both of them never loved each other to begin with.

After Instrumentality, the first thing Shinji did was to strangle Asuka(wether to confirm her existence or to finish what he started from the pre-instrumentalty sequence, however you want to look at it). Then Asuka reacted by stroking his face (not sure it was out of love or sympathy, but as a way to get him to stop). Then Shinji broke down crying while Asuka expressed her disgust towards him. We're not exactly sure what these two had learned (though Asuka probably didn't learn anything), but for all we know is that they will continue the cycle of torment and grief, either caused by one or the other.

Now, there are plenty of fan fiction that takes place after EOE, some of which where these two finally become friends, even lovers. But how is it even remotely possible for them to actually be 'lovers'? They don't even know what love is. A lot of people would point out and argue that Asuka being in love with Shinji and being nice to him would be waaaay out of character for her. The only thing she's good at is being downright hateful towards him and blame him for everything that has happened to her and the world they're in, and Shinji would take it like a doormat until he can barely take it from her. So what hope is there for them of ever actually being called 'lovers'?
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby pwhodges » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:53 am

Your continuing assumption that these people can never, ever, learn anything, or come to change at all (over years, even decades in some stories) is pretty dismissive of humans in general, don't you think? Maybe it's true that in real life not everyone can recover from such childhoods - but there are also plenty of counter-examples demonstrating that the opposite is a real, not just theoretical, possibility.
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby jcmoorehead » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:42 am

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote:(though Asuka probably didn't learn anything)


Just a point on this but I'm fairly sure that if she hadn't have learned anything she wouldn't have returned at all. At the same time it's not like on returning to the real world the two of them are going to be up and suddenly changed.

All returning does is mark the start of a healing process. The two of them have learned about themselves and others, gotten the will to go on but its not like that is going to make everything better. There will be a lot of hardships along the way. Both will make progress and at times both will lapse, same with anyone who returns I guess.

I also think you're being way too harsh on Asuka throughout. I'm not justifying her attitude towards others but she isn't exactly this malevolent being you have painted her out to be. She does have a lot of moments of kindness, the ending of episode 12 comes to mind. She could have just gone along with Misato's offer of going for something expensive but instead she took into account Misato's financial situation and Rei's dietry needs and picked a small ramen cart. That shows just how thoughtful and considerate she can be. It's just she buries and hides it all, especially as the episodes go on and things become worse and worse for her.

As for the question, as PWHodges pointed out, people can change. Remember they have literally just gotten out of Instrumentality at the time of that section in EoE. They aren't suddenly going to be up and about singing each others praises and snuggling up, there is going to be a lot of anger, confusion, sadness as they figure things out.

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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby Reichu » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:53 am

Your Asuka-related topics are piling up rather quickly, CT. I'm strongly tempted to just merge them all together and name the thing "C.T.1290's Ongoing Emotional Struggle with Asuka Soryu Langley".
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby silvermoonlight » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:57 am

Okay though I see your point with regards to EOE as I do have very mixed feelings on Shinji and Asuka as there relationship has really toxic foundations saying that though there are some amazing fanfictions that handle this subject really well and make them a very believable couple and have them sorting out there feelings and starting over. I would also like to think that they could be together in other worlds and possibly in both the Manga and rebuild universe. I think you should also read the spin manga's because they show what it would be like if these characters are happier and have good foundations and show who they could be in a much better world.
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby Joseki » Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:41 am

Just because the serie end with episode 26/26' doesn't mean that their journey ends there, on the contrary, their journey as person merely started, why shouldn't they be able to find a balance? They don't have to live like a fairy tail couple, they'll probably never be able to do so, but it doesn't mean they can't find happiness in their "weirdness". Love requires a lot of pain in real life too.
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby TheCarkolum » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:14 am

After instrumentality and the "I need you" ending, I might give the guys a chance. Kimochi Warui. That's the key.
Am I the only one that thinks the end of EoE is a happy ending? And I don't mean the "people can come back" thing we don't know factually who comes back and who don't. I mean that brings new hope into Asuka and Shinji's relationship, and that's unheard of!

They just need work as a couple, and eventually they'll love each other, sure.
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby Cybermat47 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:21 am

As Shinji pointed out, he and Asuka are very, very similar, and I think that they both came to understand each other during instrumentality.

Without that, they never would have allowed the other to understand them, because no-one ever truly does that. But, after instrumentality, I think that they can get along (in fact, they were getting along quite well early on in the series, considering Asuka's rudeness) now that they understand each other, and yes, perhaps even fall in love.

Much, if not all conflict, is a result of people's mutual lack of understanding. I personally felt that this was a major theme of NGE.
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby C.T.1290 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:04 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Your Asuka-related topics are piling up rather quickly, CT. I'm strongly tempted to just merge them all together and name the thing "C.T.1290's Ongoing Emotional Struggle with Asuka Soryu Langley".

Yeah, I know I'm making a lot of topics about Asuka, and a lot of them being negative about her character. I just start these sort of things as a way to clear some confusion I have with her as I am having a hard time understanding her character. And it's kind of the main reason I joined this forum so that I can hopefully understand her as much as I possibly can, to see which part of her rings the most true since there are so many conflicting opinions about her. I just can't wrap my head around Asuka and what to make of her, and I thought that this was a way to do it.
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:27 pm

As the resident anti-shipper, and as someone who identified painfully with Asuka during the descent phase, I guess I have to stick my oar in here.

Short answer, "Yes."

Longer answer, "Hell, yes!"

Having come to EoE following the original (non-DC) series, that one line in the hell-train was all "Where the blue blazes did that come from? Is this a bowing to convention that if it's on the silver screen, there has to be at least some soupçon of romantic interest somewhere, when the original series was refreshingly free of that sort of nonsense?" I rejected it as an aberration then, and reject it just as vehemently all these years later (indeed inclining to reject the DC/EoE retcon in its entirety).

Setting aside the animal husbandry notion of "if you pen them together, they'll breed" (folk wisdom which nobody ever bothered explaining to Giant Pandas), and observing that there was no immediate event of being smitten ("our major histocompatibility complexes smell amazingly complementary, let's pair bond"), the notion of Asushin is a big fat joke. At best, it's a wish-fulfilment fantasy for the otaku dweeb of getting the girl who's way out of his league.

At base, it comes down to the fact Shinji is a low-status male, and Asuka is a high-status female. Human nature doesn't work that way around. As I've opined before, if they did get together, about six months later, Shinji would come home from doing all the shopping to find her in bed with Touji, shortly to be followed by a re-enactment of the coffee pot scene.
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby pwhodges » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:49 pm

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:Shinji is a low-status male, and Asuka is a high-status female.

In their behaviour, perhaps, but not in their actual achievements as pilots.

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:Human nature doesn't work that way around.

Well, the old-fashioned patriarchal (read: sexist) society may not have done, but things aren't as clear-cut these days, you know.
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:50 pm

We are talking Japan here, you know. The land where the herbivorous male actively avoids the female of the species.
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby pwhodges » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:54 pm

I would be cautious projecting the behaviour I observed for myself in 1980 forward to the society of 2015 or so, even in Japan.
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby Stillborn » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:16 pm

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:At base, it comes down to the fact Shinji is a low-status male, and Asuka is a high-status female. Human nature doesn't work that way around. As I've opined before, if they did get together, about six months later, Shinji would come home from doing all the shopping to find her in bed with Touji, shortly to be followed by a re-enactment of the coffee pot scene.


AND then he would be humalitingly stopped by Toji because Toji is simply stronger and Shinji have no combat skills outside Eva.
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:37 pm

...there seems to be a lot of projection going on in this conversation, in some very strange directions. Not to mention it seems strange to me to assume that a high-status person (whatever that means in Asuka's case. Achievements? Money? What?) would eschew the affections of a low-status person. Which sounds much more like a British-specific 'classist' concept than anything I've observed in real life (but, then again 'high status' and 'low status' people mingle freely in Texas, so what do I know?). If it's in terms of achievement and competition, I've noted that high-competition relationships (those with people of equal drive) fail as much as they do succeed. If the competitiveness drives the relationship, so be it. Sometimes, however, that stress of always competing with your partner just becomes too much and the relationship crashes.

While it's true that opposites do not always attract (and can lead to serious relationship flaws), that in and of itself is not a guarantor of success. A high-drive partner can find great satisfaction with a low-drive but supportive partner. The key here is communication.

Focusing on Asuka and Shinji's 'natural conditions' or whatever ignores the primary ingredient by which relationships succeed or fail: how well the two partners communicate. Clearly, neither Shinji nor Asuka can communicate easily with each other (which means that any sort of ship within the series proper is technically doomed to failure). By that notion, they can't communicate with ANYBODY (Toji included: I find it odd to assume that Asuka would hop into bed with Toji because he's some sort of Alpha. Why would she hop into bed with anyone? There's a wide range of assumptions there, especially as the only person she showed any sort of attraction to, which was Koji, was very much NOT like Toji, and probably closer to Shinji...though clearly not Shinji, either).

That's one of the underlying themes of Evangelion, after all: human relationship, and the essential need to communicate, and how we communicate even when we don't intend to. Miscommunication, how that kills, the messy failure of relationships in the wake of all that....

The question then becomes: can either or both of them learn how to navigate these waters? Can they learn to communicate? In communication, and in understanding each other, is it then possible to form a relationship (any relationship, regardless of whether it's romantic or not)? That is up to the individual, and what they believe. Making assumptions about these characters, however, based on their...class, I guess? That's only a factor, and I wouldn't call it the deciding factor. It's not what's been presented in the series, at any rate, as the only individual who has notions like that is Asuka, and her notions are crushed over the course of the series (and for that matter, Toji doesn't factor into them. She doesn't care for him, and he ultimately failed at the key deciding factor in what she deemed worthy of being in or even close to her 'class:' being an Evangelion Pilot).
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby Sachi » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:14 pm

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote:Basically, Shinji and Asuka were considered a 'couple' in the series, and a pretty messed up one at that.

The only people that ever referred to the two of them as a couple were Toji and Kensuke when they were teasing them. To their immature, adolescent peers, sharing an apartment with a member of the opposite sex is ripe for mockery.

Aside from that, the two are far from a couple. Sexual tension, for sure, and a level of affection, definitely, but nothing that ever transcended into a romantic relationship in the series. They were less a couple than they were just two sexually frustrated teens with emotional issues placed within close proximity to each other.

Not to say that the possibility for a relationship to blossom is out of the question. They have plenty in common and enough to sympathize with each other over. However, for either of them to enter into any sort of healthy romance with anybody would require each of them to grow up a little on their own and develop into stronger individuals. For example, Shinji needs to grow out of his need for constant affirmation and find his own self worth. Asuka needs to be more comfortable letting her guard down and becoming comfortable with her weaknesses.

Give them time grow up, and they may eventually good as a couple. At the same time, give them time to grow up and possibly move on, see the world, meet other people. No reason they need to be revolved around each other. Failed romance can help one grow and pave the way for future romance.
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:25 pm

View Original PostGob Hobblin wrote:Toji included: I find it odd to assume that Asuka would hop into bed with Toji because he's some sort of Alpha.
I'll just leave this here.
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:45 pm

Okay...so...what? It's a cut live action scene, which seems to be more a creation of Shinji's than it is a representation of the actual characters: arguably, it's not Asuka, but Asuka as Shinji sees her. What bearing does it have on this conversation here and now?
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby TheCarkolum » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:51 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:Aside from that, the two are far from a couple. Sexual tension, for sure, and a level of affection, definitely, but nothing that ever transcended into a romantic relationship in the series. They were less a couple than they were just two sexually frustrated teens with emotional issues placed within close proximity to each other.


Disagree. I think they are closer to a couple than to a friendship. Well, look, if you understand by couple a "normal" couple, of course not. But they are not normal people, and they don't live in a normal world. So, in this context, two sexually frustrated teens with emotional issues could be potentially a couple. Shinji is emotionally and sexually attached to Asuka, and she complements Shinji very well (she got the balls and the will he lacks of), and she... Well let's be honest, she doesn't need a friend. In fact, she already has a friend, Hikari. But she needs a closer relationship, she needs someone who can understand her, someone like her, and at the same time, someone who can give all of himself not just sexually, but the whole picture. Asuka doesn't have sexual tension, because she can't. Remember when she left the guy in the rollercoaster? Of course she sexually likes Kaji, but more like a platonic way. She needs someone who doesn't leave her, just Shinji. So, they need to be a couple (but they can't until EoE), in someway they are a potential couple.

View Original PostSachi wrote:Not to say that the possibility for a relationship to blossom is out of the question.


Not at all. I think the end of EoE proves otherwise.
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Re: Is it impossible for Shinji and Asuka to love one another?

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Postby The Cruel » Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:06 pm

Like C.T.1290 here I've felt very conflicted and devastated about Asuka and Shinji too when I watched Eva for the first time.

During NGE and EoE, I was so angered about how it got worse between them, how they both failed and failed each other, mankind and the world only to end up shell-shocked on a beach with traces of their guilt in 3I on and around them and mankind being turned into primordial soup and how they were to each other at this moment.

They lost everything in that process only to get a second chance. A second chance to live and accept the reality and truth of themselves, about them both and everything around them. And to move on with their lives and find their happiness and joy they longed for.

And I think they do love and care each other. They just weren't sure how to express, admit and accept their feelings for each other out of fear and despair from themselves, each other and what they suffered in their lives.

After all this, they can't and shouldn't go on like before. Otherwise it would be pointless between them. All they need is to allow time for themselves and each other to process everything and move on.

In Rebuild otherwise who knows how it ends for them, though it can be different than in NGE and EoE, especially after all what happened so far between them and in 3.0.

For the rest, I already accepted how things are between Shinji and Asuka, despite how I think and feel about it. I don't need to make a effort about them anymore.

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