What would've you done different with 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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What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby BooBox » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:12 pm

I've been thinking a lot about this recently. Instead of simply dropping her into the narrative for "merchandise" reasons I would of actually tried to work her in logically. I think she would of played way better as a "grey" character. Perhaps a seele double agent. Maybe her father was a seele collaborator (since seele takes on a complete different shape and function in the rebuild mythology). She'd have a more tragic background, but she'd still keep her perky attitude as way to mask it. Obviously my changes would've required a massive departure from the establish rebuild films.

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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Joseki » Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:58 pm

Honestly nothing, I'm probably a minority but I think that she was extremely important in Q to give the viewer a correct view of Asuka's behavior and set up Shinji's journey of hope in Shin Eva. She also gave us some informations on Evangelion 13 and it's lack of AT Field.
She just need an important action in the final movie and the reveal of her objectives that aren't teasing Asuka.
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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Kendrix » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:40 am

I think they did well enough given the time constraints and the format - That's the downside of movies vs. episodic TV shows (in the latter case she'd sure have more potential but they could have, say, simply by including some of the scrapped material from the CR.) - in a movie you have to either stick to a simple basic story or convey alot with establishing details, implying rather than telling, & the crew did both of these.
In the end the movies are more centered around the central quartett of Gendo/Shinji/Rei/Misato & Mari's more of a side chracter; In terms of character exposition she's roughly equivalent with Misato, Asuka or Touji/Kensuke. It just seems like less because in Asuka's or Misato's case one mentally inserts the NGE content or at least compares/contrasts with it so they're thrown more into relief.

But of course if you're in the "Rebuild is crap and Mari is pure fanservice" mindset, you don't bother to pay attention or extrapolate from what we're shown. (Indeed much of the 'Rebuild is crap' crowd doesn't even do that for Asuka or Rei.)


IMHO all this "make her something super plot twistey or edgy for plot twist's sake" things resembling many of the outlandish fan theories would be exactly the wrong thing to do (same with inserting a new character and giving her more attention that say Asuka or Misato get) - Those are basically rookie mistakes. I'd rather she stand on her own and have her own things insofar there's time for them, and just be a character.

In that sense the makers put some thought into throwing her in so that she contrasts the existing cast. The CR interviews talk more about the other girls and how their contrasting designs make it hard to insert an equal counterpoint that isn't just one of them "light", but I think some of her most interesting parallels lay with Shinji. They are both 'new' pilots making do with rage and determination in place of skill (at least pre-timeskip - both later default to long distance projectile weapons.) with an involved conspiracy background and unusual talent (Mari may have had simulations/ not been quite as green as Shinji)
The show kinda does this too - Early on in 2.22 we see Shinji walking home after meeting Asuka, going "I can't believe some people actually like being EVA pilots." and in the finale we get a counterpoint to this where Mari is like "I can't believe there's people who are conflicted about piloting EVAs."

Things we're shown about Mari:
- Basic 'architecture' is a contrast between 'serious, heroic' and 'eccentric, playful' side (interestingly she went from "highkey severe, lowkey quirky" to "highkey quirky, lowkey heroic" in the production process, though the moral fiber & heroism weren't fully apparent until Q) Common denominator seems to be free-spiriteness.
- Somewhat aloof, dislikes working too closely with others but at the same time doesn't mind playing subordinate (to Kaji and later Asuka/WILLE) while keeping some secrets to herself (speaks Japanese in russian base, cuts communications during 2.0, doesn't wear a WILLE insignia - even Asuka has a blue bit on her second plugsuit. )
- Playful (not above teasing Asuka & Shinji, doesn't refer to anyone with reverence, using amusing nicknames or even referring to Gendo by first name. called a 'troublemaker' by Kaji) - so she'll kinda engage with Asuka's competitive/bossy sides but at the same time not care about 'beating' her which works out better than the ignoring or placating of the First & Third Children.
- "Simple" wisdom in a world where most the cast talks complicated words. Nonetheless she is the type to give others incidental life advice (Asuka, Shinji, ReiQ) - Interviews have comp but also a "simple, non-duplicitous" nature. IMHO "On the side of good but doesn't tell others so they don't meddle in her business" is much more interesting than "shady trololol". Way less generic and rifs on the 'isolation/doing things alone' motiv if EVA. Her general goodwill & nonjudgemental nature is also aparent in how she treats Shinji as if nothing happened and suggest that ReiQ escape and save herself. She even converses with the EVAs she pilots.
- No filter or sensor for weirdness and very little inhibition - She talks & sings to herself, blurts her thoughts and opinions, fights like a tasmanian devil etc. Acts unusual herself (sniffing Shinji etc.) but also talks to ReiQ or Post NTI Shinji like normal people. Even in the bleak setting of Q where Asuka's jersey is the only non-uniform clothing we see, she personalizes her EVA, adjusting the interface, having a snacketc - there's also her casually reffering to ReiQs being a clone or how "headquarters is toast!" if she doesn't stop zeruel.
- Fortitude & courage. Kaji remarks on her determination, an official descriptions marks her "bottomless strenght" and "smile that doesn't fade in the darkest of situations", Anno describing her to Sakamoto as having a lowkey "stiff upper lip" attitude ("Like a showa-era parent" I think it was with Sakamoto explaining that this means "keep calm & just move on") and well, basically everything she does on-screen, remaining calm in apocalyptically dire situations to the point of dissonant serenity.
- Mother worked for GEHIRN or its Rebuild equivalent - Hence probably why she knows things or how she met both Gendo and Rei's "original" once (Could be Yui or Rei I)
- Father is a wealthy Brit & she used to be on a strict catholic school (something Sadamoto mentions.)



One thing that I wish we'd gotten to see is her relationship with Misato - It can't have been easy early on, Misato would probably get frustrated (at first, Mari would have been a child & someone she'd want to protect, but she'd also want the info & her full story, there might be an "I can't help you if you don't tell me" thing cumulating in "If you don't tell me you'll have to accept being an underling" thing - We can guess how Asuka & Mari went from the drafts (rivals who eventually worked together etc.) but we have no material with Misato, except her "So whoever it is wants to do it alone..." line.)

That said, there just wasn't a right moment - by Q Misato and Mari would already have been working together for years and Mari would be the age Misato was in 2.22. Having relationship-themed between them would be a bit forced exposition. You sorta see a bit of that with Asuka who gives Misato the "last name & rank" treatment when displeased much like Misato & Ritsuko used to do it among each other & Asuka remarking on & agreeing with Misato's general pragmatism when she suggests a dangerous mission to jumpstart the Wunder's reaction - though ironically Misato's the first person to outright call Mari by name on screen, though all we can infer from that is that they routinely work together.


That having a classically heroic character doesn't immediately result in everything being fine too sounds like a bad fanfic scenario & would cheapen the setting. Having Kaji's scene would be a repetition after Misato already pulled the Lillith/apocalyse card in 1.11. Asuka being indisposed means someone else has to fight Zeruel. As someone 'in the know' her POV provides a commentary unlike Asuka's, she's even a sort of audience surrogate for return viewers who would recognize the cosmology, know about Yui etc.
- And if Asuka was all alone in her fights or had no one to play off of the dynamics would have been different, more of Asuka personally than WILLE being an organisation. Someone had to fight off ReiQ. Someone had to stop Fourth Impact (especially if we want to make Kaworu's sacrifice more gut-punching when it doesn't do the trick and the EVA just continues glowing all around a bawling Shinji.)

That she "has no personality" and "does nothing" is frankly not accurate. She does about as much as the remaining supporting cast.
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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Fyrstorm » Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:05 am

Well, I'm mostly happy with what we've gotten. The only thing I'd really want-- more screentime-- isn't exactly something that could be done without either lengthening the run time or cutting time from other characters (as Kendrix said, that's the downside of movies vs. episodic TV shows). Other than that... I guess I'd cut the boob-jiggle from that one scene in 3.0, or at least move it to a more tasteful time (i.e. not immediately after someone's been decapitated).
There just... isn't much else I feel I'd change.

Edit: As an expansion on that 'more screentime' thing, more interactions with other characters!
Last edited by Fyrstorm on Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Winking Mari makes my heart go doki doki
We're all Asuka-fanboys? I take great exception to that. It's Mari I want to plow nine ways from Sunday, if you don't mind.

What? She's 28 now.

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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby silvermoonlight » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:55 am

I don't mind what they've done but I would have liked one scene somewhere where you see her mask fall and a more serious side show even if it was just for a second as the show has always been about the very different faces people show both in public and private.
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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Cybermat47 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:09 am

View Original PostFyrstorm wrote:Other than that... I guess I'd cut the boob-jiggle from that one scene in 3.0, or at least move it to a more tasteful time (i.e. not immediately after someone's been decapitated).


One does not simply object to boob jiggle.
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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Fyrstorm » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:12 am

View Original PostCybermat47 wrote:One does not simply object to boob jiggle.

Second part of the sentence; Fourth Impact is just not a tasteful time for it. I'm fine with keeping it, but put it in at some other time.
My ongoing fanfics: NGE: (Not) the End, Evangelion: Regenesis

Winking Mari makes my heart go doki doki
We're all Asuka-fanboys? I take great exception to that. It's Mari I want to plow nine ways from Sunday, if you don't mind.

What? She's 28 now.

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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:42 pm

It was, of course, Gainax 's biggest contribution to anime, even above Eva, Nadia, etc. Gunbuster is where it's at!
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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby OtherNigel » Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:05 pm

I would have removed her outright. Even at the end of 2.0 there was no reason for her to be in the movies. She seems to be there for fan service. Other characters could have taken her role easily.

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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Kendrix » Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:09 pm

View Original PostFyrstorm wrote:Second part of the sentence; Fourth Impact is just not a tasteful time for it. I'm fine with keeping it, but put it in at some other time.


Well, boobs jiggle when one runs. She was in a hurry precisely of the situation. It just kinda happens, though it does make one think about how much the LCL dampens inertia/absorbs shocks and in how far it's consistent or realistic.
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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Chuckman » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:05 am

View Original PostFyrstorm wrote:Second part of the sentence; Fourth Impact is just not a tasteful time for it. I'm fine with keeping it, but put it in at some other time.


Split the difference; keep the Fourth Impact jiggle and also put it in some other time.

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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Fyrstorm » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:32 am

...Alright, fair point. Consider my complaint rescinded. It was only a minor bother at most, really.

But... yeah. Not much else I'd change in that case. All I can do is hope that we can move on from the boob topic Mari gets a proper resolution by the end.
My ongoing fanfics: NGE: (Not) the End, Evangelion: Regenesis

Winking Mari makes my heart go doki doki
We're all Asuka-fanboys? I take great exception to that. It's Mari I want to plow nine ways from Sunday, if you don't mind.

What? She's 28 now.

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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Reichu » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:45 am

View Original PostKendrix wrote:Well, boobs jiggle when one runs. She was in a hurry precisely of the situation. It just kinda happens, though it does make one think about how much the LCL dampens inertia/absorbs shocks and in how far it's consistent or realistic.

The plug suits would reasonably have built-in breast support. And fortunately Eva isn't the kind of anime where the pilots' mammaries fly hither and thither at slightest provocation -- which is precisely why that one Mari shot is so egregious.

Fyrstorm wrote:...Alright, fair point. Consider my complaint rescinded.

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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Cybermat47 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:27 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:The plug suits would reasonably have built-in breast support.


But in 3.0, Mari's plugsuit is fourteen years old, and it's clear that Wille has barely any of NERV's resources (flying warships take up a lot of resources, too), so it's not too far-fetched to believe that Mari's plugsuit has deteriorated to a point where it doesn't supply proper breast support, and it hasn't been possible to repair it.
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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Reichu » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:35 am

In the final third of the film, when the infamous bouncing boobs shots occurs, Asuka and Mari have debuted in their brand-spankin'-new Wille plugsuits.
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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Cybermat47 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:47 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:In the final third of the film, when the infamous bouncing boobs shots occurs, Asuka and Mari have debuted in their brand-spankin'-new Wille plugsuits.


In that case, I would assume that due to Wille's lack of resources, breast support could not be incorporated into the new suits.
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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Chuckman » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:54 pm

My headcanon is that Mari went down to the engineering department and demanded that they remove any support from the new suits and add some elastic to make them extra bouncy.

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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Cybermat47 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:24 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:My headcanon is that Mari went down to the engineering department and demanded that they remove any support from the new suits and add some elastic to make them extra bouncy.


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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Joseki » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:05 am

View Original PostCybermat47 wrote:In that case, I would assume that due to Wille's lack of resources, breast support could not be incorporated into the new suits.


The fact that an organization can organize two simultaneous space operations, fly a gigant Eva powered ship and an enormous fleet and have two Evas while lacking manpower and money is a bit improbable.
WILLE clearly has more money than many nations in the world and thousands and thousands of workers, I think they are more powerful than Japan NERV ever was before N3I.
Last edited by Joseki on Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What would've you done different with Mari?

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Postby Reichu » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:13 am

@ Chuckman, Cybermat:

:asuka_stare:

I hope there is a hell so that you boys can spend the rest of eternity being forced to do laps in the nude around one of its lower circles, with massive mammaries attached to your pectoral walls and sports bras enticingly dangled always just beyond your reach.
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