Shamshel's Gender

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Shamshel's Gender

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Postby imprimatur13 » Tue May 01, 2018 6:45 pm

(The following is only partially tongue-in-cheek; I do believe there is some merit to it, which is why I haven't put it in chitchat.)

Hello all. I believe I have figured out why Yoshitoh Asari depicted Shamshel as female, and I believe that the evidence supports the claim that this may even have been Anno/Gainax's original intent.

First, let us examine the patient.

Patient  SPOILER: Show
Image
Image
Image


Now, having been trained in the keen art of discovering Freudian symbolism, we can easily see the phallic imagery. To quote them who came before, in trying to answer the question:

They who came before  SPOILER: Show
Again, because Yoshitoh Asari made it so. Also, Shammy's design includes two heart ♥ shapes, and, as we ALL know, ♥ is derived from the shape of the female buttocks (well, if anthropologist Desmond Morris is to be believed, anyway). And if you (like many, many others) can't get past the phallic body, consider the words of the great Mister Data: “There once was a lady from Venus, whose body was shaped like a…”

Shamshel is actually the Angel of the Day, and Day is associated with the male principle, but Asari's deranged mind obviously overrides this. ^_^

UPDATE: Shamshel's Rebuild design overhaul essentially turns the "phallic" Angel into a huge vaginal sleeve by hollowing out the abdomen from the bottom up. Why hasn't Khara pounced on the merchandising potential yet?


Now. This is all well and good, but... I desired something more... more concrete. Something that would better satisfy my internal desire to find (and if necessary, to fabricate,) meaning.

And then I found it. It was staring me right in the abdomen.

Messiah Hallelujah Chorus plays  SPOILER: Show
Image


The oviducto-utero-vaginal structure. Of course. Shamshel has that basic shape. She has those weird tentacle things on either side, resembling the oviducts. They're definitely quite feminine. Best of all, it entirely makes sense her body'd be hollow, as a huge vaginal sleeve.

P.S.
I thank her who came before (see above) for inspiring, and helping to develop this idea.
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Re: Shamshel's Gender

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Postby silvermoonlight » Wed May 02, 2018 10:10 am

View Original Postimprimatur13 wrote:
Messiah Hallelujah Chorus plays  SPOILER: Show
Image


The oviducto-utero-vaginal structure. Of course. Shamshel has that basic shape. She has those weird tentacle things on either side, resembling the oviducts. They're definitely quite feminine. Best of all, it entirely makes sense her body'd be hollow, as a huge vaginal sleeve.

P.S.
I thank her who came before (see above) for inspiring, and helping to develop this idea.


Like how the hell did I never notice that before? That's so obvious :gasp:
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Postby AdamMalkovitch » Wed May 02, 2018 11:11 am

Yeah, I just got that too! Not to mention, it's head is sort of triangular, mirroring an inverted uterus, when combined with the direction it's body grows.
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Postby Blockio » Wed May 02, 2018 12:07 pm

I feel really stupid now for not noticing the paralells before
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Postby ACGT-Samael » Wed May 02, 2018 1:23 pm

I mean... the Cherub Shamshel was described as female so I'm not surprised that was the answer here, but kudos for actually proving it somehow. Can't believe I didn't notice this because.

On a related note, how did people besides Reichu decide Ramiel was female? I kinda have a hard time labeling something with a biological sex when it doesn't even look outwardly organic, even if it is so internally. For that matter, how do we know the Angels have biological sex at all, especially when Adam and Lilith are both considered "It" rather than "She".

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Postby imprimatur13 » Wed May 02, 2018 3:14 pm

View Original PostACGT-Samael wrote:On a related note, how did people besides Reichu decide Ramiel was female? I kinda have a hard time labeling something with a biological sex when it doesn't even look outwardly organic, even if it is so internally. For that matter, how do we know the Angels have biological sex at all, especially when Adam and Lilith are both considered "It" rather than "She".

I'm not sure anyone besides Reichu really did decide that Ramiel was female, except in terms of the "Ramiel Best Girl" meme.

We know that Adam is the Mother of the Angels, because Kaworu says so explicitly. "Mother" implies "female". On the subject of Adam: We have reason to believe that Kaworu has male genitalia, otherwise Shinji would likely have been very confused when the two of them were naked together.

This isn't about biological sex anyway, necessarily, but more about about a symbolic, abstract, dualistic idea of "Male/Female". Actual genitals really are only tangentially related to this; they are but one manifestation of this dualistic principle.

(This wasn't really the topic of the thread anyway...)
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Postby Reichu » Wed May 02, 2018 3:47 pm

View Original PostACGT-Samael wrote:especially when Adam and Lilith are both considered "It" rather than "She".

Considered by whom? The original language is mostly silent on the matter; there is no word equivalent to the English "it" in Japanese. (I say "mostly silent" because both Adam and Lilith are called out as mothers.)

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Postby ACGT-Samael » Wed May 02, 2018 3:49 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Considered by whom? The original language is mostly silent on the matter; there is no word equivalent to the English "it" in Japanese. (I say "mostly silent" because both Adam and Lilith are called out as mothers.)


I'm pretty sure I've seen you and other people on this very board "correct" references to both beings being female to a gender neutral.

And I'm aware Japanese doesn't have a 1:1 word for it in the English sense, though they do have gender neutral ways to refer to things.

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Postby Reichu » Wed May 02, 2018 4:43 pm

View Original PostACGT-Samael wrote:I'm pretty sure I've seen you and other people on this very board "correct" references to both beings being female to a gender neutral.

It's not uncommon to hear Eva nerds decry the idea that Adam and Lilith might be female (or male, or anything at all), but lumping me in with these types is what could be called a Critical Research Failure. (The Wiki ended up using a gender neutral policy for the Evas/Angels/Seeds not because of personal preference, but because it was the only way to avoid endless "THAT'S NOT TRUE" / "HOW DO YOU KNOW???" complaints.)

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Postby ACGT-Samael » Wed May 02, 2018 5:50 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:It's not uncommon to hear Eva nerds decry the idea that Adam and Lilith might be female (or male, or anything at all), but lumping me in with these types is what could be called a Critical Research Failure. (The Wiki ended up using a gender neutral policy for the Evas/Angels/Seeds not because of personal preference, but because it was the only way to avoid endless "THAT'S NOT TRUE" / "HOW DO YOU KNOW???" complaints.)


I thought for sure I'd been in threads where you'd posted and pointed out to people it should be "it". My apologies if I don't mistaken.

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Postby AdamMalkovitch » Thu May 03, 2018 10:03 am

On the topic of Seed, Evangelion, and Angel genders, I've always interpreted all of them as female. Both because all Evas have mother's souls, but also because in the womb, all mammals start out as female, and then whether or not a burst of testosterone hits them decides whether or not they remain female, or develop as a male. And since Anno loves his biology, I don't think it's too far fetched for this to have been his initial idea, and then intentionally left pseudo ambiguous.
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Postby DarkBluePhoenix » Thu May 03, 2018 11:22 am

Personally, I see the Angels being of both genders, even the respective Seeds I see having different genders as well, so the following list is how I've viewed the Angel's presumed gender.
    > Adam - Male
    > Lilith - Female
    > Sachiel - Female
    > Shamshel - Female
    > Ramiel - Male
    > Gaghiel - Female
    > Israfel - Genderless (combined) Male/Female (Kou/Otsu with separate)
    > Sandalphon - Female
    > Matarael - Male
    > Sahaquiel - Male
    > Ireul - Asexual
    > Leliel - Genderless
    > Bardiel - Male
    > Zeruel - Male
    > Arael - Female
    > Armisael - Female
    > Tabris - Male
I'm neither right nor wrong in my assumptions, it's just how I felt made sense for each canonical Angel.
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Postby Blockio » Thu May 03, 2018 12:19 pm

I see most angels as male, because of their goal to penetrate central dogma and lol sexual imagery
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Postby Ambiant23 » Thu May 03, 2018 1:44 pm

View Original PostDarkBluePhoenix wrote:> Ramiel - Male


I think you are miss informed Ramiel is a g i r l.

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Postby DarkBluePhoenix » Thu May 03, 2018 2:00 pm

So does that mean you agree with the rest of the list?

And why is Ramiel a girl, just out of curiosity.
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Postby Blockio » Thu May 03, 2018 2:07 pm

Ambiant23 wrote:I think you are miss informed Ramiel is a g i r l.

Well, first of all I said most and not all, and secondly:
DarkBluePhoenix wrote:And why is Ramiel a girl, just out of curiosity.

Outside of the meme, this is not Eva chit-chat :emogendo:
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Postby Ambiant23 » Thu May 03, 2018 2:49 pm

Yeah I agree with most of the list, but just saing a lot of the designs of the angels look like both female and male body parts just depending on who you ask

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Postby Reichu » Thu May 03, 2018 5:41 pm

I'm too embarrassed by my past antics to look at that Gender page again, but if I recall the spurious reasoning for Ramiel being a girl was the quality of the singing voice when it first shows up. This was pre-1.0, and had Jo been available it would have only bolstered this "argument", since Ramiel's singing sound effects are joined by some of the most ear-piercingly womanly screaming you ever did hear. They make it even more girly by having Ramiel bleed all over the countryside while screaming like a woman. After its most private part is punctured, no less...

The Angel list is mostly just for fun, though there are some semi-serious ideas that might have (hard to remember) originally motivated it. I do think that the Angels, being born as humans*, are intrinsically male or female. Their souls also lived prior lives, during which we can probably assume by default they were male or female; and though they probably don't remember these lives in any conscious way, their chosen physical forms are so complicated that I think it's likely some unconscious influence from their past selves is responsible. The Angels are very secretive, so aside from Israfel (who has a yin yang for a face when unified -- not exactly subtle) there's no way to be sure, and it doesn't really "matter" anyway. But I still find it fun to think about, as a kind of thought exercise in how our primitive human traits might be transformed via transhumanism (of which the Angels represent a type).

[* It's hard to be human in any meaningful way without, on a species-wide level, the existence of sexual reproduction and the biological binary that is an emergent property of this. We can speculate about it to our heart's delight but we most certainly do not live in an asexual utopia. If we did, we would be a very different type of being than what we are now.]

The way in which this is relevant to NGE beyond the mere realm of "Stop fanwanking and go write your weird original fiction already, Reichu!" was covered by Prim-kun. The Angels are used to abstractly represent aspects of ourselves, and sex being one of those aspects we shouldn't be too surprised to see it represented.

This gets especially ... "interesting" with some of the rape imagery in the show. The violation perpetuated upon Asuka and Rei is performed by Angels that communicate using Asuka and Rei's own forms, so we have no point of reference for Arael and Armisael other than this assumed female one. While plot-wise, the Angels are an invasive Other, and stereotypically "male-rapey" in that respect, they also represent on one level repressed parts of the pilots' identities, which makes them anything but an Other. "I am the part of you that you've been ignoring, and I'm going to make you acknowledge me no matter how much force is needed".

Rape is used in a very different context in episode 19, with Zeruel. The episode is called "A Man's Fight", which I assume is referring to the emotional battle between Shinji and his father, but ironically the climactic battle is anything but a man's fight. Instead, it can be thought of as staging the primordial battle between male and female forces, with the female emerging victorious because this is Eva and all. The female side of the equation is Eva-01, obviously. Shinji is subsumed into her and rendered insignificant just before the battle, leaving Zeruel as the male side. Zeruel is easily perceived as a masculine force, in that he looks like a slab of roided-up meat that effortlessly breaks through every obstacle in his way, the ultimate penetrator. He can be perceived as having a personality, even, which I would place as a well-tempered sense of cool and confidence that masks more childish rage and fear. His response to encountering Lilin is to blow them away point blank with truly excessive amounts of force. And when Eva-01 catches him off guard and manages to beat him up for a while? He's not content with just incapacitating her and moving on. Zeruel wants to make her suffer. His slow, methodical destruction of her core is likened to rape in the script, and if you watch the scene with this in mind it's hard to ever see it the same way ever again. It also makes everything that happens afterward take on a very different tone. In essence, Eva-01's liberation can be read as a rape revenge fantasy, which is honestly delightful considering how much it drips with Freudian perversion. (She's squatting over his body taking his organ of power into herself. You do the math.)

I'm not sure where Shamshel fits into things. (It's really quite a brilliant finding and I'm jealous that I didn't make it myself... :wink: ) I remember the explanation offered under the assumption that Shamshel is a giant dick, which is that Shamshel-dick and Shinji stabbing it psychoanalytically embodies Shinji's rage against his dad, or something. Shinji stabbing a big wiggly female reproductive system that can be superficially mistaken for a dick (because, let's face it, it's pretty difficult for a disembodied vagina to NOT be shaped like a phallus) is much more rich and convoluted. Some parts of the tumblrsphere would probably say that it reinforces Shinji's misogyny, but hopefully nobody here actually buys into that argument. In context, maybe it represents Shinji's momentary and foolish rejection of female authority. Of course he would get stabbed by oviducts for his trouble. This still feels incomplete. I need to think about it.

View Original PostAdamMalkovitch wrote:On the topic of Seed, Evangelion, and Angel genders, I've always interpreted all of them as female. (...) And since Anno loves his biology, I don't think it's too far fetched for this to have been his initial idea, and then intentionally left pseudo ambiguous.

The Angels aren't progenitor entities, so I don't think expectations of femininity need to be made of them. They're a race of their own, so they can represent both sexes, in their own weird way. In terms of the Seeds and Evas, the show's weird emphasis on female power -- the ability to gestate and birthe effectively treated as one of the most powerful forces in the universe, and one that powerful men are violently vying to control, ultimately to no avail -- feels like something that Anno arrived at accidentally. In the early production materials, Adam is very specifically referenced as a male, which makes sense given the name and all; but those early materials are also quite different, with no Lilith in sight and Evas that are more like organic-looking robots than organics disguised as robots. The path to the final product took its own unique turns, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Blockio wrote:I see most angels as male, because of their goal to penetrate central dogma and lol sexual imagery

Keep in mind that this is the sort of show where no less than three of its central female characters are aggressively phallic. NGE seems to take a certain joy in acknowledging the sex/gender binary (I mean, some of the relevant archetypes are pretty cool -- the All-Creating, All-Destroying Mother Goddess, anyone?) and then knocking it over and tapdancing on its corpse. Case in point is Kaworu, who outwardly looks like a boy and effortlessly fools Shinji and most of the audience, but inwardly is, SIGH, yet another mother, since Shinji can't help but amass a collection of the damned things.

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Postby StrokeMeGoat » Wed May 09, 2018 8:11 am

I find most everyone's arguments about the possible biological sexes of the Angels are far too deep in head canon for me to be convinced they're really correct.

Without a doubt, especially so with Shamshel, the sexual imagery in design is fairly transparent. What evidence is there that suggests the sexual imagery involved in their character design and makes up the large form of their bodies is actually in any way indicative of an Angel's biological sex, though?

The closest determinations to actually being true are Adam and Lilith being female imo, but why are we determined to actually say whether or not they are female? Sure, Kaworu refers to both as being "mothers", but that's a classical way of defining just about anything symbolically as being the source of a given progeny. The Earth can hardly be said to have a biological sex, yet it is referred to as Mother Earth. The same can be said about Mother Nature. Their function/contribution in our creation and existence is viewed in such a way that their relation to us as people and living beings can be perceived as being that of our Mother(s), but does that mean we should literally take our designation of them as being such literally?

Now, I'm very open to the idea of Adam and Lilith indeed being female, but they are also both progenitors whose form of reproduction appears rather plainly to work outside of what we define as sexual. If there isn't a male of their species, why would we even consider them to be female? They exist as part of a duality and depend on each other for successful reproduction (and both are required for something to actually be truly biologically female or male). This is what makes me question Kaworu's choice of words and our interpretation of those words. It would seem logically that without a male counterpart to the "female" progenitor angels, we shouldn't assume they actually have a biological sex, or at least can't be considered female within the context of sexual pairs like we normally see. Therefore, wouldn't it make most sense to interpret Kaworu's calling Adam/Lilith "mother" is merely a symbolic way to represent their relationship to him and the other Angels like the Earth or Nature is for us?

For us to determine otherwise seems more like wish fulfillment or if not flat out fantasy really.

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Postby DarkBluePhoenix » Wed May 09, 2018 8:25 am

Well, in all likelihood the Angels are in fact genderless and unable to reproduce, otherwise there would probably have been way more angels to contend with after 15 years of no contact. As for the Seeds, they are most likely asexual, as they are able to create life without "external" help.
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