The Significance of "Shadow Bone"

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imprimatur13
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The Significance of "Shadow Bone"

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Postby imprimatur13 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:40 pm

(Cross-posted from Reddit)

I can't believe I actually figured this out... Ok! Let me explain the title.
"Shadow Bone" is a term coined by Spike Spencer (thank Heaven for the DR commentary), and refers to the way in which this image seems to show the shadow of Yui's gravestone as Gendo's phallus. (Once seen, cannot be unseen.) Now, let's dig in!

Context:

In episode 15, Shinji goes with Gendo to Yui's grave.
Shinji talks about how he ran away from the grave, and he can't even remember Yui's face.

Gendo says: "Man survives by forgetting his memories, but there are some things a man should never forget. Yui taught me about the irreplaceable things. I come here to confirm that."

Shinji: "You have no pictures of her?"
Gendo: "There are none left. This grave is just a decoration too. There's no corpse.”
Shinji: “So, the teacher was right. You threw them all away."
Gendo: "I keep everything in my heart (shot of Yui's grave). That is enough for now."

Then, he leaves.

Interpretation:

Ok. Now, I was trying to understand what the significance was. I knew there was one... and then I noticed the line "This is enough for now." I thought: "Well, that definitely takes on a whole different meaning on rewatch. At first you think: Well, it means that he's been there with Shinji long enough, and now it's time to go." But now that I know that he's just trying to reunite with Yui-sama, it takes on a different meaning: "This is enough for now. My memories of Yui are enough, for now. But soon, I will truly have her back, once and for all." And that led to this:

Gendo's memories and love for Yui (symbolized by her memorial) give him the will, the strength, the power to go on. To accomplish his goals of HIP, and re-unity with her. His memories of Yui arouse (wipe that smirk off your face) him to action, to get her back. Will/strength/power + Freud(/Anno) = penis. QED ;).

Here is the link to the full scene, with script, and screenshots. Just in case you want to check for yourself.

So, what do you think? I always appreciate feedback!
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Re: The Significance of "Shadow Bone"

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Postby Reichu » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:37 pm

Either it's implying what you propose, that Yui's death confers Gendo some sort of "phallic" power. Or it's suggesting the exact opposite. Gendo + reminder of dead Yui = the mere shadow of a phallus. In other words, without her, he is no man at all. One could take this further and posit that Gendo has no actual phallic power of his own (i.e. is psychosexually impotent), and Yui was(/is) the walking, talking phallus who completed him. This is represented by Eva-01's horn, among other things.*

Perhaps this shouldn't be too surprising. I mean, look at Gendo's son -- a very submissive and understated boy -- and the confused attractions he harbors for the very phallic Asuka. :devil:

(This is giving me flashbacks to my Social Psychology class and those chapters from Erikson I had to read, lol.)

* Reminds me, I think Shin-seiki pointed out in the episode 1 commentary that Eva-01's horn acts as a bridging element between Shinji and Gendo, and suggests it's acting as a phallus. I clearly didn't know what to do with that information at the time, but this would fit into the "Yui as Gendo's phallus" scheme. He's using his wife to appear powerful before his son, when in reality he's terrified of Shinji.

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Re: The Significance of "Shadow Bone"

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Postby imprimatur13 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:42 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Either it's implying what you propose, that Yui's death confers Gendo some sort of "phallic" power. Or it's suggesting the exact opposite. Gendo + reminder of dead Yui = the mere shadow of a phallus. In other words, without her, he is no man at all. One could take this further and posit that Gendo has no actual phallic power of his own, and Yui was a walking, talking phallus. This is represented by Eva-01's horn, among other things.

Oooohhhhhhh!!!!! Reichu! I never thought of it that way... Thanks! Yes, very possibly so. Good point!
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Re: The Significance of "Shadow Bone"

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Postby Reichu » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:10 pm

Completely unbeknownst to me when I made my post above, there may actually be a basis for this "female as phallus" stuff in psychoanalysis:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phallic_woman

This exceeds my own current understanding of Freudian thought, but nice to know the lead is there.

EDIT: Important addendum. Turns out it is actually Shinji and not Gendo who is the shadow on the left. I confirmed this definitively by consulting the storyboards, which provide a nice little diagram.

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Re: The Significance of "Shadow Bone"

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Postby StrokeMeGoat » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:41 pm



Found this statement at that link, found it pretty interesting: "The phallic mother can be (though need not necessarily be) an actively castrative figure, stifling her children by pre-empting all room for autonomous action." Yui literally sets into motion a plan that 10 years down the line forces her son into a role that he's not cut out to fill, having him fight mankind's enemy by metaphorically returning to her womb and basically doing most of the Angel-killing herself, knowing that ultimately it will be putting him directly in the center of an apocalyptic event that he's forced to decide the outcome of.

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Re: The Significance of "Shadow Bone"

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Postby imprimatur13 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:24 pm

Hmm... Good point! And, it works with the "Shinji's Shadow" correction. Thanks!
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Re: The Significance of "Shadow Bone"

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Postby TheCarkolum » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:41 pm

In psychoanalysis, the phallus in a woman often refers to the symbolic lack of a penis, just to throw that one out and quickly (you know, the castration of the mother and all that craziness).

With that being said, I think this is just a shadow. The child (Shinji) can also symbolize castration by his father penis (in a male child, castration works different). Whatever, that's overanalyzing a bit, I mean, Shinji isn't even in the phallic stage, so...
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Re: The Significance of "Shadow Bone"

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Postby unitM » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:42 am

A penis can be seen as an extension of his ego, and the ego can be seen as someone's identity, or a thing someone identifies with. Gendo's ego relies around Yui and getting her back - thus, shadow bone. In normie speak, Gendo has a hard-on for Yui. His source for continuing to live is with Yui, much like how the penis is biologically the source for continuing life too.

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Re: The Significance of "Shadow Bone"

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Postby alicec29 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:45 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:Either it's implying what you propose, that Yui's death confers Gendo some sort of "phallic" power. Or it's suggesting the exact opposite. Gendo + reminder of dead Yui = the mere shadow of a phallus. In other words, without her, he is no man at all. One could take this further and posit that Gendo has no actual phallic power of his own (i.e. is psychosexually impotent), and Yui was(/is) the walking, talking phallus who completed him. This is represented by Eva-01's horn, among other things.*

Perhaps this shouldn't be too surprising. I mean, look at Gendo's son -- a very submissive and understated boy -- and the confused attractions he harbors for the very phallic Asuka. :devil:

(This is giving me flashbacks to my Social Psychology class and those chapters from Erikson I had to read, lol.)

* Reminds me, I think Shin-seiki pointed out in the episode 1 commentary that Eva-01's horn acts as a bridging element between Shinji and Gendo Mutuelles senior, and suggests it's acting as a phallus. I clearly didn't know what to do with that information at the time, but this would fit into the "Yui as Gendo's phallus" scheme. He's using his wife to appear powerful before his son, when in reality he's terrified of Shinji.

I also think he is cowardly and he also has a concern for ego. But, anyway, the series is very interesting.

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Re: The Significance of "Shadow Bone"

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:48 am

View Original PostunitM wrote:A penis can be seen as an extension of his ego, and the ego can be seen as someone's identity, or a thing someone identifies with. Gendo's ego relies around Yui and getting her back - thus, shadow bone. In normie speak, Gendo has a hard-on for Yui. His source for continuing to live is with Yui, much like how the penis is biologically the source for continuing life too.

Naturally we've progressed from dick jokes to dick analysis. :facepalm:

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Re: The Significance of "Shadow Bone"

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Postby imprimatur13 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:06 am

View Original PostAsuka'sBigBrother wrote:Naturally we've progressed from dick jokes to dick analysis. :facepalm:

In all fairness, that was the goal of the initial post.
One important correction, in case anyone didn't notice it. As Reichu said,
EDIT: Important addendum. Turns out it is actually Shinji and not Gendo who is the shadow on the left. I confirmed this definitively by consulting the storyboards, which provide a nice little diagram.

Any further discussion will have to take this into account.
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Re: The Significance of "Shadow Bone"

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Postby MuscleRobo » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:16 am

View Original PostReichu wrote: ... I mean, look at Gendo's son -- a very submissive and understated boy -- and the confused attractions he harbors for the very phallic Asuka. :devil:


Can you expand on that Asuka part? I'm sorry just curious what you meant

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Re: The Significance of "Shadow Bone"

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Postby imprimatur13 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:13 am

I believe what Reichu meant, is that Shinji seeks some sort of 'phallic power', which he sees in Asuka. So, that's why he pursues her. ^_^

(Also, phallic thermal expansion :tongue: )
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Re: The Significance of "Shadow Bone"

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Postby Sachi » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:16 pm

>phallic Asuka

The association is made explicit within the show during the mind rape of Ep 22. Among the flashing images includes the phrase "masculine protest" which is a psychiatric term to describe females who reject traditional feminine roles for masculine ones. This fits Asuka, given her proclivity for independence and competition. And then we have her line regarding menstruation and children, also in Ep 22.
Asuka: Why do I have to go through such an awful time just because I'm a girl? I don't want to have children.
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