Ayanami and Autism

For serious and at times in-depth discussions only.

Moderator: Board Staff

Thomas68
Lilith
User avatar
Age: 19
Posts: 133
Joined: Jun 26, 2014
Location: Brazil
Gender: Male

Ayanami and Autism

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Thomas68 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:18 pm

It is said that autism is a developmental disorder characterized by troubles with social interaction and communication. Often there is also restricted and repetitive behavior. It is distinguished not by a single symptom, but by a characteristic triad of symptoms: impairments in social interaction; impairments in communication; restricted interests and repetitive behavior.
(Source: Wikipedia)

All episodes which features Rei, she's showing these kinds of traits. Would she IRL be diagnosed with such disorder or her standard behavior just happens to be a coincidence with the traits listed?

Did Anno made her to be some kind of self-representation or maybe he wanted a character to represent his fans/followers besides being a mere cannon fodder?
I've got nothing better to do, so I have registered myself here!

Shinji Ikari Expy
Embryo
User avatar
Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 27, 2017
Gender: Male

Re: Ayanami and Autism

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Shinji Ikari Expy » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:50 pm

I'm gonna say no, although it sometimes seems that way.

At risk of oversimplifying a spectrum of disorders — autistic people have lots of trouble with social cues. Things like intonation, subtle changes in phrasing and body language — things that might provide hints about another person's mood or intent — are lost on them. They can't read between the lines. When they do engage socially, they come off as tone-deaf.

Here's what high-functioning autistic people are like: imagine someone who corners you in the break room and starts talking in great detail about some obscure topic that fascinates them, (trains, for example, or WWII battleships), but they can't tell how bored and uncomfortable you are despite the fact that you're rolling your eyes, looking down at your watch, fidgeting and staring into space. Most people would break it off at that point — "Oh, I can tell I'm boring you, sorry" — but an autistic person just can't read people that way.

Does this sound like Rei? The impression I got from NGE was that she rarely spoke, but when she did, she said something pithy or made a good observation. In one episode, she notices that Shinji had been staring at her after class, and connects the dots enough to realize that he had been working up the courage to ask her about his father. In another, she angrily asks Asuka whether she only pilots the Eva to win the praise of others (I'm not an Asuka hater, but this is pretty accurate). Later, when Asuka's sync ratio is falling, Rei realizes the problem and tries to give some advice, but Rei's body language shows she's hesitant to say anything — as if she's aware Asuka will vehemently reject it.

These scenes show a person who is aware of things around her but mostly keeps her thoughts to herself. It's fair to say she's socially awkward and has trouble expressing herself, but this by itself does not make one autistic.

Sorry for the rant, but I don't like it when people diagnose autism based on a list of symptoms they find on the internet. Autism is defined vaguely because it's hard to pinpoint, but if you've been exposed to it enough, you know it when you see it.

DarkBluePhoenix
Lilin
Lilin
User avatar
Age: 26
Posts: 1463
Joined: Aug 01, 2016
Location: Being Called to Arms
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: Ayanami and Autism

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby DarkBluePhoenix » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:12 pm

Rei isn't autistic, she's just not used to human interaction after being shelter by Gendo for however many years. And honestly, with all the medical websites out there, you site Wikipedia for autistic symptoms? :facepalm:
Avatar - Heero Yuy, pilot of Wing Gundam Zero. If you want to read my NGE fanfic go to my profile here - DarkBluePhoenix on FanFiction.net or DarkBluePhoenix on AO3

Voted in college to be Most likely to Take Over the World, how to do that however, will require at least Four Evangelions. Thanks for the idea Misato-san!
"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." Said at the beginning of the nuclear age by J. Robert Oppenheimer.
"That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Words of Wisdom from German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

viperzero
Embryo
Posts: 26
Joined: Jul 13, 2016

Re: Ayanami and Autism

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby viperzero » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:05 pm

I've heard people suggest Rei is Schizoid.

Emotional coldness, detachment or reduced affect.
Limited capacity to express either positive or negative emotions towards others.
Consistent preference for solitary activities.
Very few, if any, close friends or personal relationship, and a lack of desire for such.
Indifference to either praise or criticism.
Little interest in having sexual experiences with another person (taking age into account).
Taking pleasure in few, if any, activities.
Indifference to social norms and conventions.
Preoccupation with fantasy and introspection.


If she is though she's rather extreme. also tends to be misdiagnosed as autism.

pwhodges
A Lilin in Wonderland
A Lilin in Wonderland
User avatar
Age: 71
Posts: 9894
Joined: Nov 18, 2012
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: Ayanami and Autism

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby pwhodges » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:21 am

View Original PostDarkBluePhoenix wrote:And honestly, with all the medical websites out there, you cite Wikipedia for autistic symptoms? :facepalm:

The medical school at Oxford University, no less, actually uses Wikipedia as a teaching resource in some areas (it's particularly good on anatomy, I believe) - though obviously not alone, and not without guidance and warnings. In medicine, as in anything else, one of the main features of university learning is understanding how to assess your sources; simple rejection is not the only response, and reliance on any single source is probably bad.
"Being human, having your health; that's what's important." (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?" (from: The Eccentric Family )
Avatar: Why do I have to deal with these Titans as well as Angels? (details); Past avatars.
Can't wait for 3.0+1.0? - try Afterwards... my post-Q Evangelion fanfic (discussion)

Cybermat47
Clockiel
Clockiel
User avatar
Age: 19
Posts: 418
Joined: Jun 20, 2017
Location: NSW, Australia
Gender: Male

Re: Ayanami and Autism

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Cybermat47 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:08 am

View Original PostShinji Ikari Expy wrote:Here's what high-functioning autistic people are like: imagine someone who corners you in the break room and starts talking in great detail about some obscure topic that fascinates them, (trains, for example, or WWII battleships), but they can't tell how bored and uncomfortable you are despite the fact that you're rolling your eyes, looking down at your watch, fidgeting and staring into space. Most people would break it off at that point — "Oh, I can tell I'm boring you, sorry" — but an autistic person just can't read people that way.


Aww, come on mate, did you really have to cite me as a specific example? :tongue:

It’s worth noting that us high-functioning autists can learn to identify social cues and body language. But we still fuck up sometimes... especially when growing up adds a whole new layer to interactions with the people you’re attracted to.
Reichu wrote:It’s all weird and phallic.


My fanfics:
Evangelion 2.9: You Will (Not) Survive
Godzilla VS Evangelion: Who Will Know?

FreakyFilmFan4ever
(In)Sufficient Director
(In)Sufficient Director
User avatar
Age: 30
Posts: 7799
Joined: Jun 09, 2009
Location: Playing amongst the stars
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: Ayanami and Autism

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:19 am

She is not autistic, nor do I think she was meant to serve as a commentary of autism, but I can see why someone who is autistic would relate to her.

Anno's comments that reference autism tend to be saved for discussing the otaku, of which he identifies as one, and uses Shinji as his self-insert character throughout the franchise. Rei is only as involved in that equation inasmuch as she is involved in Shinji's life, but she really doesn't contribute much to that equation.

Blockio
Clockiel
Clockiel
User avatar
Age: 19
Posts: 429
Joined: Dec 03, 2017
Location: the Land of NERV's third branch
Gender: Male

Re: Ayanami and Autism

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Blockio » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:47 pm

View Original PostShinji Ikari Expy wrote:I'm gonna say no, although it sometimes seems that way.

At risk of oversimplifying a spectrum of disorders — autistic people have lots of trouble with social cues. Things like intonation, subtle changes in phrasing and body language — things that might provide hints about another person's mood or intent — are lost on them. They can't read between the lines. When they do engage socially, they come off as tone-deaf.

Here's what high-functioning autistic people are like: imagine someone who corners you in the break room and starts talking in great detail about some obscure topic that fascinates them, (trains, for example, or WWII battleships), but they can't tell how bored and uncomfortable you are despite the fact that you're rolling your eyes, looking down at your watch, fidgeting and staring into space. Most people would break it off at that point — "Oh, I can tell I'm boring you, sorry" — but an autistic person just can't read people that way.

Does this sound like Rei? The impression I got from NGE was that she rarely spoke, but when she did, she said something pithy or made a good observation. In one episode, she notices that Shinji had been staring at her after class, and connects the dots enough to realize that he had been working up the courage to ask her about his father. In another, she angrily asks Asuka whether she only pilots the Eva to win the praise of others (I'm not an Asuka hater, but this is pretty accurate). Later, when Asuka's sync ratio is falling, Rei realizes the problem and tries to give some advice, but Rei's body language shows she's hesitant to say anything — as if she's aware Asuka will vehemently reject it.

These scenes show a person who is aware of things around her but mostly keeps her thoughts to herself. It's fair to say she's socially awkward and has trouble expressing herself, but this by itself does not make one autistic.

Sorry for the rant, but I don't like it when people diagnose autism based on a list of symptoms they find on the internet. Autism is defined vaguely because it's hard to pinpoint, but if you've been exposed to it enough, you know it when you see it.


Amen. As someone you wuld probably describe as an "high-functioning autist" (gotta remember that term, its great) and having talked to quite a number of people with various degrees of autism, I can 100% confirm this to be true. If Anno himself said that one of the students was an autist, Rei would actually be one of my last picks, Kensuke with his military obsession (which is very common among autists, especially in the aspergers spectrum) is to most likely candidate, but thats a topic for another day.
Why don't you save the Princess next time instead of being such a baby? She would love it and maybe you could get a sweet kiss. ~ sadly not Mari in Q (Joseki)

What about titty-ten? ~ Reichu

The Divine Emperor
Embryo
User avatar
Posts: 14
Joined: Jan 05, 2017
Location: A wild weird clime that lieth, sublime, out of Space, out of Time
Gender: Male

Re: Ayanami and Autism

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby The Divine Emperor » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:51 am

View Original PostCybermat47 wrote:But we still fuck up sometimes... especially when growing up adds a whole new layer to interactions with the people you’re attracted to.


Yes, that we do. Very much.

I agree that it would be premature to diagnose Rei with autism. She was almost certainly not intended as such: however, her silence and awkwardness makes her a deeply sympathetic character to those of us who are on "the spectrum". That scene in ep. 9 with Rei poring over a textbook while disregarding Asuka's noxious attempts to interrupt her could have been modeled on any number of incidents in my life.
We lie to ourselves every day, we know it, and we can’t do anything about it. We get along with other people by humoring their delusions. When we don’t, they hate us, and we are alone.

...Wendy Smith


Return to “Evangelion Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests