Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby CaesarMagnus » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:07 am

View Original PostAsuka'sBigBrother wrote:They can always learn that and by the end of the story they know a great deal more about social actions than they did beforehand. There's no reason they can't continue to address this problem. As it is, they interact more freely with each other than they interact with anyone else. Shinji's is the only person we see Asuka open herself up to. Asuka is the only person we see Shinji express and stand up for himself with.

Logically, they'll grow more socially when interacting with each other rather than interacting with others.


That's the theory of it. Rather than logically, I would say theoretically, since even after Instrumentality they'll still have to deal with the massive miscommunication issue that drove them apart in the series. That they can understand each other better than others doesn't automatically mean they're destined to be with each other. It all depends on how mature they are to acknowledge such a thing (as Yui said, the barriers of pride were back in the world: A.T. Fields, Wall of Jericho, etc.) and forget/forgive the pain of the past. And, as it's been commented here, that's completely up to interpretation.

Anno showed us they were very similar and that, in theory, they could have helped each other on many levels. But, in reality, we see that not working. And, personally, I think even Anno himself was unsure of how to give a final closure to Asuka and Shinji, and thus, chose to end EoE ambiguously. I mean, their relationship reached such confrontational and tense levels, that despite the hope of the final message, nothing is clear at all.


Asuka'sBigBrother wrote:Asuka's abrasiveness and Shinji's avoidant personality still stem from the same source: self-hatred
Asuka's abrasiveness is a front she puts to conceal her utter lack of self-esteem. It's no coincidence that when the "front" fell apart, Asuka attempts suicide.
Shinji's avoidant personality is a way of avoiding his lack of perceived self-worth.
[...]
Asuka and Shinji's interactions with each other ended up with both opening themselves and facing themselves for who they were. Of course, this ended badly because they were forced to face their self-hatred.
[...]
However, being forced to face said self-hatred ended up with both finding value in themselves, rather than depending on external sources to assign them value. Hence why, by the end of EOE, now that both are seeing their own worth, they can better appreciate the worth of each other.


I agree but disagree a bit. I wouldn't reduce everything to self-hatred, although as you've seen, I'm not opposing to your argument at all. However, I think there're more elements, such as immaturity, the pressure they suffer, and very importantly, their vulnerability not wanting to be hurt: Hedgehog's DIlemma. Due to their childhood, it's clear that they don't want to open to others, being afraid of pain. But, as the final message of EoE shows, humans can't live alone, so it's mandatory to try to open to others.

That's why, although I essentially agree with you on the matter of self-hatred, I think there are many other factors that explain why two similar kids as them failed so miserably trying to understand each other and others (that applies to the both of them, as well as their relation with Toji, Kensuke, Hikari, Misato, etc.). Thus, I wouldn't say that, after 3I, everything will be as easy as "now that they value themselves better, they'll undoubtedly value the other". That's the theory, but given all they've been through, it'll be far from being an immediate process, so, again, it all depends on the time to mature enough. Will pride be stronger than understanding and forgiveness? That's utterly up for interpretation.

As for when the both of them "risked" their lives and other things you said, while I don't disagree at all, I think you're reading too much into it. Of course they wanted to save each other in battle, as well as we see Shinji caring for Rei. They're fighting apocalyptic monstrosities, so it's obvious that they would risk their lives for their partners. But in Shinji's case, for instance, most of the selfless acts he does usually come out of the heat of battle, and not of a genuine concern for others. And, in Asuka's case, as we've discussed, she sees Shinji as a kind of kindred-soul who could help her, and involuntarily she shares some of her thoughts with him (for example, when the phone call from her stepmother), but she quickly berates Shinji, hiding her true vulnerable self. It's not that they open to each other for the sake of it, but in one case (Shinji), he seems to want affection from actually anyone (hence, how easy Kaworu became his friend), and in the other (Asuka), she desperately wants to be saved and be "held" by strong arms (but neither Kaji nor Shinji, the two she seeks help from, seem to understand that, which leads to her downfall, as well as a spiral of hatred. She hates herself, but also the others for not understanding her, although she constantly pushed them away).

Asuka'sBigBrother wrote:The problem with his analysis is it completely neglects the character growth both Shinji and Asuka have undergone. You can't judge a character based on what they were, you need to judge them based on what they are.

Well, he does talk about the “growth” after Instrumentality, and in fact, I think his post-3I vision resembles yours very much. I just quoted the analysis of their in-series personalities, but it goes on talking about possible outcomes, after 3I or in alternate realities. Here’s what he thought about Post 3-I:

SPOILER: Show
Bagheera wrote:Post-3I: The heavy lifting route. By this point the kids have been horribly victimized by Eva, which means their conditions might easily worsen to catatonia and madness respectively. Thrown in some PTSD and they are both tangled messes of neuroses that will take years to sort out. And yet, we also have Instrumentality. It’s not a fix by any means, but it does mean they’ll have a better understanding of their own issues, and some idea of the other’s. If they reconnect after they’ve had some time to get their heads in order they might easily become fast friends, each relying on the other because of similarity of origins and shared experiences. In short, they’d understand one another in ways no one else could, and that insight would be very helpful for people who are recovering from trauma. But it’s a lot of work to develop this properly; you’d need a flowchart to figure out what happened to each kid individually, and then you’d have to figure out how they’d interact with one another at each stage of recovery, and you'd have to situate all of this in the context of post-3I recovery. Even in an optimistic setup (of which there are several plausible possibilities, Tines and NemZ be damned) it would take an awful lot of heavy lifting to develop the setting and the kids’ place in it to make it all ring true. It’s possible, I firmly believe that, but it hasn’t yet been done. Some have come close, though; Orchestrating the Silence, Throne of Bayonets, a few others. But these works are deeply flawed and ultimately unsatisfying for various reasons once you start delving beneath the surface.

As far as I know, he summed his theory up this way: “with a proper therapy, these two could realize and accept how similar and compatible they are to each other, and end up living happily together; but, without that therapy, all they can do is curl up and die on that beach”. It’s a bit drastic as an opinion, but I think it somehow resonates with yours.

In response to that, there was this one (by user Hyper Shinchan, I think it was), which resonates with mine:
SPOILER: Show
Hyper Shinchan wrote:Maybe, but at least it's better to base your fanwanking on something of solid, like their respective personalities and compatibility in the series itself, rather than expecting that Shinji and Asuka will go through years of therapy just for the sake of forcibly becoming a couple.

There's nothing that force them to go through that choice, especially if more people will really de-tang in the short to medium term like some optimists believe, they could be happier if they search for someone closer to their personal needs.


It all depends on the perspective you have, as conciliatory users like synthmachine81 have repeatedly argued.

Asuka'sBigBrother wrote:No. It's not a good thing. The show goes out of its way to tell us how bad of a trait this is and coincidentally the climax has Shinji shunning this mechanism of his. This is why Shinji directly dealing with pain rather than trying to avoid it in EOE's final scene shows growth.

Well, that depends on your interpretation of the last scene. You have repeatedly stated that Shinji crying is a symbol of growth, while I rather think the true climax is when he decides that life is worth being lived, despite pain. For me, that Shinji cries in the end could mean a couple of things: 1) Him being relieved that he's alive and not alone; 2) Him being ashamed of his own weakness and madness having tried to kill Asuka, plus all the pain he's caused to her and others; and 3) A combination of the other two.

That's my vision, while yours is a more cathartic one, which is also fine.

---

In conclusion, I think we don't really disagree on the essentials, Asuka'sBigBrother. There are a few aspects that we see differently, as well as some semantic nuances, but that's all. That's why I think these two quotes taken from C.T. 1290’s thread can serve as a bridge for the two of us, since they sum up very well the ambiguity of the ending:

SPOILER: Show
Page 8
Sachi wrote: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 be 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.


Page 11
xanderkh wrote:Me personally? I'm a HUGE Asuka and Shinji fan, as both RE-TAKE, the Second Try, Ghosts of Evangelion, and many others helped me transition into Evangelion itself, but I'm also willing to read, research, and analysis other character interpretations, like how Wreckage provided, so let's analyze if Asuka and Shinji ARE compatible as a couple.

While it's true that Asuka and Shinji have similar background traumas, and are both Eva Pilots....but other than that, what else do they actually have that makes them a couple? Asuka has a VERY ambitious personality, seeming like she'd want to do something big with her life, something almost world-renowned with her abilities and intellect. Shinji, however, is very passive and withdrawn, and most likely will keep to himself, maybe running a restaurant or being a farmer. Shinji isn't very ambitious, and seems to only want to move through life without causing pain to others or himself. No one was around to help him see that ambition trait, and that's going to be pretty hard to overcome.

Now, I'm not saying that it's IMPOSSIBLE, but it's going to be a pretty big mountain to cross, considering not just their life-style choices, but their personalities, where Asuka is VERY critical of others, and Shinji is passive and takes words from others pretty hardly. Now, Instrumentality did give them the chance to learn to understand themselves and each other somewhat and start that journey, but based on what we have so far, and the circumstances and toxicity of their previous relationship, does that understanding equate to romantic love? Again, that's a pretty huge mountain to cross, and it would take a lot of time and effort to restructure their personalities to be compatible. Unfortunately, especially now these days, people aren't really that patient for that kind of restructuring and conditioning, especially when there are other options of people available...

It's possible that, while Shinji and Asuka do understand each other based on their similarities of trauma and backgrounds, they may move forward to other options for romantic needs and compatibility, while staying in touch based on their traumas. It's kind of like how Veteran's still get together even after the war; the war has given them a bond of trust and mutual understanding, as they both have endured a lot of pain together, both before and after the Angel's war. They have a bond, yes, but it is a bond between comrades and fellow soldiers, not a necessarily a romantic one, given their personality differences.

But again, that is just a possible understanding between them, and as the EoE ending suggests, their journey has just begun, and who knows what is in store for the future?

[…]

Personally, I think Shinji and Asuka may need some time apart to explore other avenues to put their trauma's behind them.

Time and pride.
Asuka's loyal Knight.

"We all have to find our own answers." - Hideaki Anno

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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:24 am

Uhhhhh.

I'm not sure why you're citing me, specially considering I barely post around here. Thank you anyway, heh. I'm not able to read the whole thread right so forgive me if I'm repeating any points previously discussed. I believe they are very much the central relationship of the show and that by EoE they are ready to deal with each other as they are now (hopefully) able to love themselves, which means they can now try to love someone else. I simply don't think that, during the time frame of the anime, that they are "supposed to be together", precisely because it is the failure of establishing anything like that that (among other things) allows the show to make its descent arc work, however examining the reasons for their failure was important for the show to do, as much as trying to find a way around that. Eva might have lost some of its charm if we had a clear cut happy ending, even if it was after much tribulation, like Nadia or something. A lot of what makes Eva so refreshing is that its world doesn't revolve around the main character, however the MC's love interests don't revolve around his penis, either. However, just because something isn't perfect, it doesn't mean it can't be. Much on the contrary, it's only if something is perfect that it can't be true.

Hell, I think it's interesting you mentioned them being toxic, but I think that would actually apply to any relationship involving Asuka or Shinji at their current state. As much as they are two sides of the same coin, that also means they are both extremely insecure, overdependent and self destructive.

The thing is, they should both be in therapy, not fighting a war, much less dating. However, Eva is not about pairings at all. It is not a love story. It is not about how these two people met and had cute babies together. Still, Anno chose to place Asuka and Shinji's interaction at a central place to explore the themes he wanted to explore. Ideally, they would go to therapy for years and, maybe, years down the line, they could meet again and built something of an actual relationship (incidentally, Bagheera's Ghosts of Evangelion . But the world is not fair, and so that didn't happen. As others have already mentioned, the kiss scene is probably the perfect example of that: Asuka wants love and affection out of Shinji, but she refuses to consider his own feelings, so much so that not only does she provoke him with his dead mother, she also pinches his nose because she doesn't even want to bother with being tickled by his breathing. She is seeing him as something to be used, not as another person with thoughts and dreams. And then she doesn't understand why Shinji simply stood there. Later she briefly confronts him on this, but Shinji remains oblivious why she's even upset. I think this is their biggest failures throughout the series: they consistently think the world should revolve around themselves, and cater only to their needs and desires. The realization that this isn't happening, and refusal to accept it, is also what drives Shinji to bring the world down in EoE.

After EoE they now have to deal with each other, and one can only hope that they can do that in a healthy way. Considering how Asuka had to caress Shinji to bring him back to reality, the first true act of compassion she had towards him, one would be inclined to hope that that can happen, that she has indeed learned through Instrumentality, that both Asuka and Shinji have finally learned to love themselves and can now try to reach other people (aka the whole point of Eva), just like how humanity at large can come back.

I just think we should refrain from judging this based on our personal feelings or desires -
I would love to see a AxS ending in 3.0+1, but I don't see that happening due to the way the movies are setup, and the differences with their characters. Still, considering my larger theories regarding the Rebuilds being a sort of post-mortem of NGE (which I don't think I've ever mentioned here but several people seem to have similar theories), as well as the whole thing with the movie resetting back to 1.0, etc, I think speculation on that might be fruitless. I believe we should base our analysis on what the anime is trying to do thematically and narratively, first and foremost. We can't see things with "shipping coloured glasses", as Bagheera, who you consider a shipper, used to say. If that makes me a shipper or not, I think it's up to you.

Honestly, I'm feeling quite lazy right now so I'll just paste something I've written elsewhere (also, while I do like the Ritsumaya post as well, I do find it pretty flawed in some areas, specially when it comes to Shinji interacting with her, as I don't think the author was very unbiased. This is a partial response to it. This one is actually about another post, but I think it's worth a read also.


SPOILER: Show
When I say they are the most fitting with the show, I'm not saying they are the best. There is no "best" in Eva. I'm saying that they are the central relationship of the show (although hardly the only one), because they are used, extensively and repeatedly throughout the series to say what Anno wants to say. Shinji and Asuka are underneath a lot alike - they suffered similar childhood traumas, for similar reasons, however they developed opposing personalities and defense mechanisms as a result - Shinji runs away from people, Asuka pushes them away. This propinquity is why they have such a prominence, and Anno even chose to reinforce that very specifically after the series with both the Director's Cut's and EoE.

This doesn't mean, however, that the show pairs them. Eva is not about pairings at all. It is not a love story. To pair them necessitates the creation of a headcannon and interpretations which are very partial and short-sighted (which for better or worse goes for all ships), for instance that Shinji chose to bring Asuka back, instead of her coming back herself, which would contradict Yui's statements. There is NO pairing in Eva that is fully healthy within the show's timeframe, unless you go into fanfic land. And I think it's much better to limit oneself to the what happened in the actual show.

Still, Anno chose to place Asuka and Shinji's interactions at a central place to explore the themes he wanted to explore. They should both be in therapy, not fighting a war, much less dating. Ideally, they would go to therapy for years and, maybe, years down the line, they could meet again and build something of an actual relationship. But the world is not fair, and so that didn't happen. Eva is not about ideal, it's about real. There is no relationship wherein someone is perfectly comprehensible, perfectly altruistic, completely devoid of any failings, jealously or pettiness, because there are no human beings like that. That's the cards they've been dealt with. That's why Anno makes such a big deal out of comparing reality and escapism.

Evangelion, as you might know, was created not only as a way for Anno to deal with his depression, but also a critique of anime in general, and in particular what Anno perceived as the main public of anime: the obsessive, escapist otaku. It's also why so much of Eva revolves around deconstructing idealized notions found in common anime tropes of the usual shounen power fantasy and character archetypes (tsunderes, kuuderes, etc), replacing them instead with hard hitting realistic interpretations of these elements. Ultimately however, the central message of the show, as explored by the Hedgehog's Dilemma, is simple: reality is harsh and uncomfortable, but that challenge has to be met nonetheless if one wants to achieve happiness.

Compare this to Rei. Rei herself has always been Anno's central metaphor for escapism. Thematically speaking, she is very interesting in her own regards, but she's devoid of her own wishes and aspirations (of course, she develops those later), and because she's unable to provide Shinji with resistance, he easily lightens up to her. Shinji can easily talk to her about all his problems all day long, but Rei herself is simply unable to help him. She's removed from the human condition enough to not being able to relate to him, and Shinji can't really grow as a person if he only gravitates around Rei, which is, as Asuka put it, a "doll". Now, this obviously an exaggeration of her part, but on a thematic level, Anno created her as a critique of the generic moeblob female character in anime, and took her to a logical extreme: she's so subservient and dependent to a male character that she's also eerie and empty, an empty shell that only resembles a human. Kaworu has the same role although he works differently plot-wise. Shinji needs someone to actually challenge him into going out his shell, it's the only way he can grow as a person. Likewise, Shinji obsessing over bringing idealized and unattainable idealizations and neglecting reality and the people around him is also the exact same thing Gendo does thorough the series. Gonna paste this here again because I really love this vid.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWd60cQPoRw

Hell, Shinji spends the first half of EoE begging for Asuka's attention. It's that same begging that makes him retract into his shell, while Asuka herself is fighting the MP Evas. It's seeing Eva 02's mangled and disfigured body that finally gets Shinji to completely panic, because now he believes that his last avenue of escape is gone. When he finally confronts her in the train scene and the coffee fight, Shinji states that he wants to help her, and "stay with her forever". But Asuka has seen through his bullshit. Asuka doesn't want to just be used as an emotional crutch, he doesn't want to be his "doll". No relationship can be built without mutual trust. Like she also says just one minute before, she wants all of him, or nothing at all. And Shinji reacts violently, he doesn't want to consider Asuka as a human being with her own needs. Shinji is objectifying Asuka (a lot like the otaku objectify their waifus). That is their central problem: they only seem themselves.

There is a reason why this scene in EoE also mirrors the kiss scene in Ep 15: Asuka was also begging for Shinji's attention, he was completely oblivious to that, and when he didn't do anything she interpreted that as rejection, which was one of the reasons which led to her downward spiral, as we can see clearly in Ep 22. Same thing for the Walls of Jericho scene in ep 9 (look into the movie that scene is referencing, it's pretty interesting), and many others. She was feeling desperately alone and Shinji wouldn't indulge her for even a second. He jerked off over her in a vulnerable state, and didn't even lift a finger to even try to help her while she was eaten alive.

Asuka was telling Shinji that he didn't really care and he just wanted a way to run away from the pain. How he was afraid of everyone else, and how he could never love anyone, because he never loved himself. And she was totally right.

In Asuka's point of view, rejecting Shinji was simply payback. It's a tragedy, but that's what it is.

When Shinji tries, again, to strangle her, he is trying to verify if he is indeed in real life. If he was still in Instrumentality, this would be a world that was designed to cater only to his own needs Asuka that was made only to satisfy his desires would never resist him, even if he tried to kill her. So when Asuka not only does resist, but actually shows the first act of compassion towards him in the entire series, that not only confirms he has indeed returned to reality, but it also shocks him and feels ashamed for all he did to her. Furthermore, this also signifies the personal growth they are now ready to have - hopefully.

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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:03 am

. I think this is their biggest failures throughout the series: they consistently think the world should revolve around themselves, and cater only to their needs and desires. The realization that this isn't happening, and refusal to accept it, is also what drives Shinji to bring the world down in EoE.

I strongly agree with a great deal of the above, but they weren't being brought down by narcissim, but rather the opposite, a lack of self-worth. Shinji's dependence on others and submissiveness isn't "wanting the world to revolve around him". It's making "his world revolve around others". Asuka wanted to appear strong to other people. That's not based on narcissism, that's based on letting your perception of yourself be fully dependent on the opinions of others.

It's not humility that brought both back by the end of EOE, it was self-belief. The problem wasn't that they valued themselves too much, it was that they valued themselves too little.

On shipping...
TBH, I don't think there's been a single "shipping" based argument on this thread.

And personally, I find shipping to be cancer. Any arguments for Asu-Shinji have been based on what the narrative presents us, not our personal desires.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby CaesarMagnus » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:51 am

@FelipeFritschF: Thanks for your reply and nice to meet you. I hope you don’t mind that I mentioned you or that it didn’t bother you at all. Not posting assiduously doesn’t mean that what you say has not value, and I did find many of your posts to be extremely interesting when I read them. The reason why I cited you was in reference to one of your posts on C.T. 1290’s thread (more specifically, in Page 11), analyzing EoE and the children’s relationship, which I found to be very objective and accurate. It really resonated with my own personal view of the ending and the message of the series:

FelipeFritschF wrote:Being able to understand one another is different from them falling in love. I'm not saying they are bound to be together or something like that. As a matter of fact, I don't think it is necessary for that to happen at any point. Even after EoE they are still very much broken. The best thing for them would be spend quite a while recovering and healing from their experiences. Shinji may very well learn to love himself and grow as a person, but that does not necessitate any one person, indeed he ultimately can only do it himself. Likewise, Asuka's (or Rei's) many problems aren't just going to be solved by Shinji's penis. They exist as full human beings on their own, not as accessories to the main character. Which I think is something a lot of people have trouble understanding: Evangelion is not a love story. It is not about how these two people fell in love. Asuka and Shinji might have the most prominent relationship in the show and Anno might have chosen to expose a lot though them, but that doesn't mean they are supposed to or even need to get together. This all plays out into many fans' desire to "fix" these characters as if they could just self insert as one them, but that whole idea is simply wishful thinking, and I think Anno had that very much in mind.

Still, after EoE, they are going to be stuck with each other for quite some time (or forever, depending on the state of the world at large), and they will need to navigate through their issues. Like the state of the world itself, it all boils down to your own interpretation of the series and its ultimate messages and themes. Maybe they'll kill each other leaving a barren, empty world behind. Maybe they'll manage, and the world will slowly but painfully recover. Maybe they'll actually make some progress and things will turn out okay. They may recover, with each other as part of the recovery or not, but they are going to be in the equation regardless. And I do think we saw a bit of progress at the end, the glimpse of change. We can only hope.


I saved that interpretation of yours on my folder of interesting analysis; I hope you don't mind.

As for Ritsumaya's analysis, I agree that it's not perfect, but it's pretty much spot-on. I do know those posts you pasted, but the debate between kasunex and ritsumaya was a bit longer, and the former did admit that he was pretty biased and unfair in his accusation, thinking that ritsumaya was defending KawoShin over AsuShin and that his HPD analysis was merely "a rant against a ship he didn't like", which wasn't the case. Here's the post where he apologized for that, and it all ended up civilly: Kasunex-Ritsumaya debate. Unfortunately, ritsumaya's tumblr page died some years ago, so it's difficult to find those discussions on his Asuka analysis anymore, which were really interesting. In any case, as I told C.T. 1290, in this thread they did comment the mistakes of that analysis, as well as the points the found to be most accurate: Asuka Langley Soryu: Long Analysis, HPD, Validation.

FelipeFritschF wrote:We can't see things with "shipping coloured glasses", as Bagheera, who you consider a shipper, used to say. If that makes me a shipper or not, I think it's up to you.

Oh, no, why would I consider you such a thing, haha? You have an extremely reasonable vision on the series/film and the characters' relationships, really objective and admirable, in my opinion.

Moreover, it's not that I "consider" Bagheera a shipper, but if I'm not mistaken, he usually said "I ship these two hard, but I'm not blinded by shipper goggles", just as you said. I like that expression very much, since it's quite illustrative of how some shippers watch the series, blinded by their rainbow glasses.
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"We all have to find our own answers." - Hideaki Anno

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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:31 pm

Slightly off topic, but building on the idea that they shouldn't need to improve only for the sake of getting together, I would be interested in seeing 3.0+1.0 revealing Asuka to already be in a relationship with someone else, and/or to have been in the past. It would certainly be interesting to see how that might have developed Asuka's character. Although just how much ShiQnami (haha I love that) matured is certainly debatable, I can't help but think that Asuka, having known Shinji only for a few weeks during which they never formed a connection like the one in the series, would have little reason to "wait for Shinji to come back" during these 14 years... not in the least because it would not be healthy at all to obsess over someone you lost and would probably never come back. It echoes Gendo's obsession with Yui, or Kaworu's obsession with Shinji being made happy though Instrumentality, which are both bad examples for Asuka to follow. I'd argue that it's exactly that sort of obsession that led Shinji to his current state of affairs, having consciously dammed the world twice for the sake of his comforting fantasies and pipe dreams, which again echoes Gendo, his adult mirror, heavily. Then again, it's perfectly possible Anno would want Asuka to not have outgrown an adolescent crush after all. While it's obvious she has unresolved feelings towards him, there is no need in the story to make them romantic in nature, as far as we know.

Just how ironic would it be for Shinji to arrive in Willetown and see Asuka in a relationship, living together, married, or even having a child with someone like Touji (echoing EoE's deleted live action scenes), Mari (although I wouldn't bet on it given 3.0+1.0's concept art at the Khara expo), or even some random new character? The point being, Asuka having had a whole life outside of him. It would certainly dispel fairy tale notions like that of being "destined for each other", which seem to be invoked throughout the movies, only to be repeatedly crushed.

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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby C.T.1290 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:52 pm

View Original PostFelipeFritschF wrote:While it's obvious she has unresolved feelings towards him, there is no need in the story to make them romantic in nature, as far as we know.

What sort of unresolved feelings would Shikinami have towards Shinji? Given how she's a little bit different than Sohryu, as well as her relationship with him.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby pwhodges » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:06 pm

Most of the time it's irritation, somewhat tempered with concern. But her saying his name at the start of Q indicates that she still thinks he could have a role to play, even after 14 years. None of these things indicate that he is "nothing" to her - but none of them are romantic either.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby anonymaus » Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:33 pm

It boggles my mind that anyone denies the clear romantic thing going on between these two in both NGE and rebuild

The sheer mental gymnastics

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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:13 pm

View Original Postanonymaus wrote:It boggles my mind that anyone denies the clear romantic thing going on between these two in both NGE and rebuild

The sheer mental gymnastics

Well it obviously "went on" in rebuild for a bit, but 15 years can do a lot of sh!t
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby pwhodges » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:44 pm

Some people seem to have a low threshold for what they class as romance - I hope they don't get disappointed in real life.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby CaesarMagnus » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:57 pm

What truly boggles my mind is to hear people throwing words like “love” and “romance” blatantly ignoring that we’re talking about two traumatized children of 13 and 14 years old who are in the hormonal stage, who have severe intimacy issues, who desperately seek validation and understanding, who can’t be honest with anyone and who have a tremendous self-hatred. They're too young and broken, plus they don't even love themselves.

Not only would it be already pretty nonsensical to describes as “romantic” the relationship of two normal hormonal teenagers, but in this case it’s even more inappropriate given that they’re far from being normal. Evangelion is not Disney, I’m afraid.


pwhodges wrote:Some people seem to have a low threshold for what they class as romance - I hope they don't get disappointed in real life.

I coulnd't agree more with that.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby zlink64 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:02 pm

CaesarMagnus-"What truly boggles my mind is to hear people throwing words like “love” and “romance” blatantly ignoring that we’re talking about two traumatized children of 13 and 14 years old who are in the hormonal stage,"

Considering this is a show where a 27 year old woman made out with a 14 year old boy and promises sex afterwards in a manner that comes off as if she is being half sarcastic and half completely honest I think you may be applying your definition of "realistic" a bit too conveniently.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:16 am

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:Some people seem to have a low threshold for what they class as romance - I hope they don't get disappointed in real life.

This is a semantic gripe.
CaesarMagnus wrote:What truly boggles my mind is to hear people throwing words like “love” and “romance” blatantly ignoring that we’re talking about two traumatized children of 13 and 14 years old who are in the hormonal stage, who have severe intimacy issues, who desperately seek validation and understanding

Which gives them a source of deep emotional connection that people rarely even get irl. This notion that this precludes them from experiencing romantic affection, love, or romance(whatever you want to call it) down the line is absurd. We see them show affection to each other, there's no reason they can't do it. The question is whether they choose to. And I'd say them materializing next to each other, Shinji openly expressing himself, and Asuka showing Shinji affection in spite of Shinji hurting her are all indications they're choosing to be with each other.

The last point I find to be especially compelling evidence because, in my book at least, love is the willingness to care for someone even when they cause you pain. Asuka is shown showing Shinji affection in spite of him literally trying to kill her, that seems like love to me.
, who can’t be honest with anyone and who have a tremendous self-hatred. They're too young and broken, plus they don't even love themselves.

This ignores there was a 2 hour movie after NGE showing them learning to value themselves.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby pwhodges » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:51 am

View Original PostAsuka'sBigBrother wrote:in my book at least, love is the willingness to care for someone even when they cause you pain.

That can equally apply to carers, nurses, and the like - it is not the same as romantic love; the difference is not merely semantic.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby Cybermat47 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:28 am

In my opinion, there’s potential for romance between Asuka and Shinji, but they would both have to sort out their many issues before that potential could be realised.

As their relationship stands in NGE and Rebuild, if they did start something, it would most likely be more of a desperate attempt to find some comfort than actual romance. It could become a real thing, sure, but it could even more easily spiral into something very ugly.

Shinji certainly has a history of doing stupid things with his penis when he’s desperate for comfort, and Asuka’s act of kissing Shinji almost certainly stems from the same idea.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby CaesarMagnus » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:56 am

View Original Postzlink64 wrote:Considering this is a show where a 27 year old woman made out with a 14 year old boy and promises sex afterwards in a manner that comes off as if she is being half sarcastic and half completely honest I think you may be applying your definition of "realistic" a bit too conveniently.


The show is very surrealistic at face value, but the behaviours of the characters are full of real raw emotions. Misato, as a good example of the Hedhehog's Dilemma, is also finding comfort desperately, so who says she wasn't serious when offering that to Shinji? And who says that's not realistic, yet nauseating, considering how superficial her relation with Kaji is?

Evangelion cast is full of realistic tribulations; to many of them we can relate easily, while others may seem to be way too disgusting. But Anno did a good job portraying conflicts that feel almost real.


@Asuka'sBigBrother: I was talking about the series and tried to sum up why it's ridiculous to consider that a "romance" during NGE. There's no use replying mentioning the beach scene and your wishful thinking after EoE, because that's not what I was talking about, I'm afraid. In any case, as we've discussed before, I don't deny the growth they experienced in H.I.P., but while you see it as a catharsis, I don't think it was such a panacea. Even so, despite what you said, they're still too hormonal teenagers, with a confused and confrontational relationship; all you mentioned revolves around the theoretical "potential" they might have in the future due to their similarities. But, again, that's mere wishful thinking. As Cybermat47 has explained very well, they have to work on many of their issues before that potential can become a reality.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby xanderkh » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:57 pm

Couldn't the same thing about "wishful thinking" be said about ANY relationship? Because even in any relationship, no matter how "good" it may seem it may seem at the start, there's always a chance that something may change along the way: You may find out the person is not what you're looking for, you may find out that they're just using you, you may find someone better, or maybe, you just stop loving them, good things can go sour and good things don't usually always last forever. On the other hand, it can work the other way around, something that began as terrible CAN turn out into something wonderful. People can change, they can work past their differences, they can become better people, and create bonds. All of this is "wishful thinking" because nobody knows what the future has in store for anyone.

There are no fundamental guarantees in life when it comes to relationships, it's all a gamble. The only two guarantees in life that I can think if is One: that we're all going to die someday, and two: the only guarantee of relationships is that if you don't make the first step and TRY, you'll be alone.

And in regards to Shinji and Asuka, that is the key word: They have to TRY. The supposed "toxicity" of their relationship isn't because of a fundamental flaw between them as people, but because of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding their lives that made them this way. To quote the awesome "Shadowjack" in his review of RE-TAKE:
"Their failures to connect were not because of deliberate choice or inherent wrongness or whatever, it was just badly crossed signals, misunderstanding, confusion. The usual."

Because abandonment by their parents for some global conspiracy to obtain godhood, who are supposed to be their pillars of growth into functional adults, it's no wonder why both Asuka and Shinji have such bad preconceived notions of both relationships and the natures of intimacy. Heck, the supposed "adults" that they're surrounded with, aren't exactly the best examples of functional relationships (I.E. Ritsuko and Gendo, Misato and Kaji, considering just how screwed up all of them are, not to mention they didn't get the psychological counseling anyone would need to function in such circumstances, not just relationships.

And yes, while I did give the point that a platonic outcome is just as viable between the two of them, I still ultimately believe that Asuka and Shinji would seek each other out, because of one simple fact: Empathy. They've both been where they were at their worst. Their lives are very much the same, and they both were at the heart of it all when Instrumentality happened. They know all their hangups, their weaknesses, and especially their darkest moments, and yet they still ended up together on that beach, because they both are alike. Their demons are the same, and if they learn to conquer them, then they can know how to mutually be their for each other.

Other people can offer them pretty much only them sympathy at because, and considering their darkest of moments, there are very few who would be comfortable knowing such moments of their significant others. I'm not saying it's not possible, but just difficult.

In my experience, a good relationship isn't one when you have someone with hang up and the other telling them you need to be strong all the time, but a good relationship is one that allows you to be vulnerable, and the other still wants to stay, and be a source of comfort. People can't keep up walls forever, there have to be times when we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, and I think Shinji and Asuka have that empathetic bond because even though they've seen each other at their worst, they both now understand their reasons, hence them being together at the beach.

Now, as before, I am NOT saying that's a guarrentee, because at their broken state, both Asuka and Shinji STILL need help getting over their hangups, and that is still going to need to take time, work, and especially effort.

All relationships are like that, they require time to blossom, work to keep them functional, and especially, sacrifice. There are no true guarantees to the success of a relationship, especially of Asuka and Shinji, but the one guarantee that they can avoid is that they have to TRY at least, not avoid it out of some preconceived notion of failure. Otherwise, they'll be truly alone....
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:34 pm

View Original Postxanderkh wrote:The supposed "toxicity" of their relationship isn't because of a fundamental flaw between them as people, but because of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding their lives that made them this way.

And yes, while I did give the point that a platonic outcome is just as viable between the two of them, I still ultimately believe that Asuka and Shinji would seek each other out, because of one simple fact: Empathy. They've both been where they were at their worst. Their lives are very much the same, and they both were at the heart of it all when Instrumentality happened. They know all their hangups, their weaknesses, and especially their darkest moments, and yet they still ended up together on that beach, because they both are alike. Their demons are the same, and if they learn to conquer them, then they can know how to mutually be their for each other.


Beautifully put, thank you.

Also, @Asuka'sBigBrother, allow me to add that we have no reason to believe Asuka simply materialised by Shinji's side OR that he somehow made her come back. I've covered this before.

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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:34 am

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:That can equally apply to carers, nurses, and the like - it is not the same as romantic love; the difference is not merely semantic.


Well, the difference between that sort of relationship and a romantic one would be physical attraction, and they are attracted to each other, and the emotional want for each other being two sided. which it [is.

They already have a deep emotional connection with each other they're incredibly unlikely to find with someone else, physical attraction, and by the end of EOE, the willingness to try and open themselves to each other(Asuka's caress, Shinji crying) in spite of each other's pain.

What is missing here that prevents their relationship from being romantic? If the issue here is maturity, that'll come with time. Not that they aren't already a great deal more mature than most kids their age by the end of EOE.
View Original PostCaesarMagnus wrote:

@Asuka'sBigBrother: I was talking about the series and tried to sum up why it's ridiculous to consider that a "romance" during NGE

Fair enough.

Here's the definition of romance btw:
a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.

Make of that what you will.
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Re: Introduction, Toxicity of AsuShin and other things

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Postby CaesarMagnus » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:36 pm

I think you explained it superbly, xanderkh, although I don’t really agree with the LAS-friendly Post-3I scenario, haha. That’s maybe the only thing I disagree with users like you, Chuckman or Bagheera. But, anyway, everyone have different tastes, I guess. It was a great analysis, in any case.

However, there are a couple of points I’d like to comment, even though I don’t disagree with you in essence:

-Speaking of empathy, while they do have a very similar background, as you said, that doesn’t guarantee anything. In theory, they could help each other, but in reality, that’s a long, painful path (the “heavy lifting” Bagheera said, I think), and nobody will tell them to force themselves to follow that path. If tension goes on, why should they feel obligated to stay together? And, as you said, they’re still pretty much broken and dysfunctional on that beach, so all we’re talking here about them giving each other a second chance or forgiving each other would happen many years after what we see in EoE. But, who knows, they might have met other people by then, so it’s all a gamble.

These words of Sachi I quoted before describe it very accurately, in my opinion:
Give them time grow up, and they may eventually be 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.


Moreover, I do think they might receive empathy from others, and not just from each other. We’re talking about a society that has experienced Second and Third Impacts, as well as the war against Angels. I’m sure Shinji and Asuka aren’t the only ones that have suffered in life and many people out there might have lost relatives and friends traumatically. Thus, it’s a bit exaggerated to claim that these two children are the only ones that can understand each other. I might lean towards skepticism, but I firmly believe that more people could understand these two and give them empathy, despite not having experienced the very same issues.

There are actually very charitable people in the world, and I don’t think Post-3I society will be full of cold-hearted cruel people, but I’m sure even children like these two could get a certain understanding from others. And, I firmly believe that Asuka can find someone a lot better than Shinji out there, but that’s my personal bias, haha.


-About their common baggage, I think there’s an overemphasis on similarities, as if that meant that they’re destined to be together or something. But, for cases like this, I saved a very interesting quote of Chuckman:
SPOILER: Show
Chuckman wrote:In many cases, people sharing similar trauma are incompatible with each other. As much as Eva teaches us the superman/the riddle of steel/that love is something you do after you get your shit together not something you do to get your shit together, people with a trauma are better off with somebody level-headed and secure who can approach their problems from an understanding but not compromised position.

Shinji and Asuka are in for constant bickering and argument and triggering each other for a long time.

I don’t think it contradicts your statements, xanderkh; but I just wanted to add that, since everyone talks about “similarities” thinking that being similar will make things easier for a future hypothetical romance. But, again, as you said very well, it’s not a guarantee of anything, and after all we saw in the series/film, it's very unlikely that anything romantic happens between them anytime soon: too much pain and bad blood, and too many things have to be forgiven and forgotten; unless Instrumentality turned them into saints, which it didn't, it might take a very long time for them to rebuild their initial friendship.


-Forgive me if I'm interpreting your words wrongly, but the way you wrote "Other people can offer them pretty much only sympathy" implies that the “sympathy” normal people may be able to give Asuka and Shinji is something mediocre or poor. But, after all they’ve been through and the utter lack of affection they’ve suffered, I honestly think that receiving sympathy from others would be extremely heartwarming for them. Just think of how gladly Shinji accepts Kaworu’s “attention”, even though he just met him that same day. Asuka and Shinji are not aliens and their behaviours are very human, so why wouldn't other people be able to understand and give them comfort, in case they can't give it to each other?

Finally, as for other people being "comfortable" or not with them, all we get to see on that beach is that Asuka is NOT comfortable with Shinji, despite the "empathetic bond" they may have after H.I.P. Thus, again, I agree with you that there are no guarantees for anything in life. The Last Scene is so cryptic, that both hopeful and sceptical hypothesis of their future are equally viable.

I think I've explained my post-EoE ideas, so I don't want to repeat myself. But if there's an opinion that resonates very much with mine and sums it briefly, it's something Geometer said in the first page:
SPOILER: Show
Geometer wrote:Well in my opinion most of the time you have to overestimate the characters good sides for it to really work. I mean what would Asuka see in Shinji at this point? Not a whole lot, they have common baggage, and can understand each other on some level but is this to form a relationship? I don't think so, sometimes the protagonist and antagonist have the best understanding of each other. IMO there is just too much bad blood in between them, Shinji really fucked up EoE. It hard to see him be forgiven yet alone embraced by Asuka anytime soon. Even after the growth that she had. I would find it hard to forgive someone if they acted like Shinji. If they do make up it, it probably would be platonic or even a sort of mutual understanding yet intentionally distant and unfriendly acknowledgement.

I honestly think the whole shipping issue comes down on how much you like Shinji. If you like him you want him to end with a girl. Not just some random girl in Shinji's future, but usually Asuka or Rei, the notably beautiful fellow pilots. If you don't sympathize with him as much you’re not as likely to find these ships palatable. This may come off has biased towards one character, but I think Asuka, even with her problems, deserves some one better than Shinji. That may sound a bit rough towards Shinji but that is my thoughts of the characters at the moment. My opinion of the characters has shifted over the time and maybe it will change again, but overall I don't think feel that great about AsuShin. But maybe we are just all overthinking the romantic lives of fictional characters.
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