An Observation on the Evas

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An Observation on the Evas

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Postby SawItAtAge10 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:04 am

As usual, my thoughts are strictly on how the Evas work/what they are based on NGE (I simply don't have enough data about the Rebuilds to make any kind of assertions).

Anyway, here it goes:

So, I have this thought in experiment in mind regarding the nature of the Eva's (namely Units 01 and 02) and it correlates to the whole "Three Faces of Mother" conceptualization. In thinking about the Evas within this framework, it occurs to me that they too have a kind of "3 parts of Self" thing going as well.

They way I see it, there's:

1.) Evangelion as a Machine - cybernetcically restrained and controlled by a pilot as a "robot."

2.) Evangelion as a Monster - The "Beast" that emerges out an Eva when the armor is shed or it goes beserk (or a combination thereof). I believe that this one is just as "automatic" as the machine because I think the animal we see when this occurs is the innate carnal nature of the creature that the they Evas are designed to hide away.I think the beastial behavior is a matter of simply how this organism would've acted if it'd been born/created in the normal way and let loose into nature. In essence this is just how it's "biology" works.

3.) Evangelion as (wo)Man - The human soul/personality absorbed into the Eva formulates the third layer within the Unit. Between the Monster/Machine duality, it's hard to say how much power these women truly have and how much the beastial nature influences them in the instances that they break free. It could be that they don't have any control but are still sentient in the sense of being aware (creating a "And I Must Scream" type situation).

Anyway, this is just something I've been mulling around in my head for a while and I'm not even sure it makes all that much sense - Like is said it's more or less just a thought experiment....
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Postby Blockio » Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:02 pm

Personally, I think they are closer to the freudian iceberg model:
The direct control inputs and the neural connection are the consciousness of the Eva, the soul inside the preconsciousness, and the instincts of the beast the unconsciousness.

I have a pretty elaborate draft about this laying around somewhere, I'll see if I can find it again
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Postby SawItAtAge10 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:35 am

Hey thanks for giving the feedback. That's a really interesting way of looking at things I suppose...Like what I said, your point of view also lends a kind of parallel to the "Three Face of Mother" concept used for the Magi, but I digress.

While that parallel is interesting, I think my model could be way of breaking down just what the Evas are...I dunno it just struck me that the way I described the Eva in three parts made it suddenly apparent to me that I'd never considered their "internet" nature. Meaning, now I'm curious as to what the Eva are minus the "Machine" and "Man" aspects and left in its own natural state....

Sounds like creature-feature scifi...But I wonder of it'd be like EVA 01 in ep. 20...Or maybe something else...
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Postby Blockio » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:37 pm

I found my old draft (mixing canons a bit for some of the examples):

[some introduction]
Personally, I think there are five "layers" in the mind of an Eva (if you have ever dealt with Freud's iceberg-scheme, you have a good idea of the basic structure):

The "top layer" are the verbal commands the pilot gives, as well as the inputs using the lever-arm-thingies - deploy AT field, enter beast mode, tapping the buttons, etc.

The next layer are the neural link and the synchronisation value. "Just focus on walking", moving alongside the Eva (as seen with Mari vs Zeruel), you know the deal.

Now, up until here that was just the basic controls we see time and time again and that shouldnt really surprise anybody. The next three layers are the part where it gets interesting and since it is a bit easier to follow that way, they will be in reverse order:

The "bottom layer" of an Eva are the basic instincts. This does not only apply to things like walking or reflexes, but also to weapon wielding. This sounds a bit odd at first, but think about those two aspects:
1) Evas are created as biomechanical weapons. It only makes sense to have combat abilities directly inserted into their genes
2) there really is no other way most scenes would be possible, especially in canons like ANIMA, where Melee weapons other than the prog knife are a common sight: Coming from someone who practises swordfighting for almost four years by know, in the time the children spent as Eva pilots, there is no way for them to even remotely have the level of close-combat skills they show. Especially Shinji, who we know had no military training whatsoever before arriving at NERV, displays astonishing skill with the Magorox (and is even capable of dual-wielding, which takes enormous amounts of training and coordination to pull off). Probably the only time somethign like this could have - in theory - been pulled off without the Evas having some sort of genetical combat training is in Q, where Asuka and Mari had literally a decade to practice (although ist pretty safe to say that they had bigger problem than that in during the time between 2.0 and Q)
What also falls into this category, of course is the most noticable feature of an Eva: The AT field. Humans dont really know how to deploy one, do they? The pilots just give the command and let their Eva do the rest. (Gendo after eating Adams Embryo is the exception, of course)


Layers two and three are a case of"the same, but a bit different", so ist usually hard to determine where one ends and the other begins.
The "second layer" is the Evas own consciousness: Ist in control every time an Eva abandons ist humanity. At this point it no longer takes orders from anyone, only advice. If the Eva is of the more "obedient" type, like Unit 02, it will still do what the pilot wants it to - but if it is a bit more "rebellious", like Unit 01, it only stops when it deems its work to be finished, as seen with Zeruel in the original show)

The "third layer", is the soul that inhibits the Eva. "Going berserk within the boundaries of reason" is the best wording I can come up with right now (Ill edit it later if something less spongy comes to my mind)
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Postby AdamMalkovitch » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:51 pm

Call me shallow, but I always just saw them (except for the soulless Unit 00) as giant human/adam/lilith hybrid bodies with human souls, always alive and active (shown by the fact that Unit 01 can open and close her eyes to look at Shinji in the Cage in ep1) but physically restrained by their 'armor'. When the armor runs out of power, it locks down, effectively freezing the Evangelion in place to keep them from destroying everything in the middle of a Berserker state or if the pilot goes nuts. Bardiel is able to get around this by using her S2 engine to continually power Unit 05, and Yui utilizing Unit 01, being a clone of Lilith (I think, if Unit 00 stands with Unit 02 as "Adam's Dark Shadow), is able to use her raw strength to overcome the physical limiters in order to protect Shinji during Sachiel's attack and when Zeruel invades the Geofront (and probably another time I'm forgetting now).

So that's:
Body - Clone
Soul - Core containing soul of pilot's mother
and Armor - Restraints
I've reached a point where I just generally don't give a fuck anymore. In a good way.

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Postby Reichu » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:05 am

@Adam Malkovich: Eva-00 has a soul, and I believe you mean Eva-03 and not -05.

@thread: I don't buy into the idea that the Eva's 'bestial consciousness' is something truly innate and unavoidable, like it's some hidden secret nature being released. For one thing, think about what the Evas are cloned from. Adam and Lilith aren't weapons -- i.e., they weren't designed to be rampaging monsters -- they're planet-colonizers. For another thing, we see the pilots go ape-shit in battle, and I don't see anyone suggesting that they have some true hidden bestial nature that's being released. It's battle, and the pilots have issues to act out on top of that, so it makes sense, right? Why are Evas routinely denied the same kind of consideration? They have reasons to act the way they do. I mean, think about it. They're people who are not treated as people -- bodies mutilated, covered, and restrained; kept in an immobile and sensory-deprived state almost all of the time; puppeted into painful battle situations the rest of the time; normal lives and interactions with other people completely denied. How can it surprise anyone that the times that the Evas exercise some self-control, they act a bit unhinged? This isn't really rocket science. It's basic human psychology. Treat someone less than human? Don't be surprised when you've unleashed a beast.

RITSUKO:
I have never thought these Evas were as frightening as I did today.
Are the Evas really on our side?
They may hate us.

(Gee, I wonder why?)

Interesting to note that the digitized personalities of the dummy plugs exhibit very similar behavior. The Rei clones are basically used as the dummy system's wetware, and with how those are treated it's similarly unsurprising that their output is completely insane. They at least aren't mutilated, but they don't have souls and are instead forced to act as vessels for someone else's mind (Rei) and someone else's wishes (Dummy Plug commands). Like the Evas, they live in a sensory-deprived, asocial, dehumanized condition. One can only imagine what's powering the even more vile behavior of the Kaworu dummy system.

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Postby eldomtom2 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:17 pm

Frankly, I never bought that berserk mode was the Evas' true natures coming out, or that dummy plugs actually exterted any control other than initiating it. There's a far simpler explanation that also ties in much better with the themes of the series.

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Postby Blockio » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:35 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:I don't buy into the idea that the Eva's 'bestial consciousness' is something truly innate and unavoidable, like it's some hidden secret nature being released. For one thing, think about what the Evas are cloned from. Adam and Lilith aren't weapons -- i.e., they weren't designed to be rampaging monsters -- they're planet-colonizers. For another thing, we see the pilots go ape-shit in battle, and I don't see anyone suggesting that they have some true hidden bestial nature that's being released. It's battle, and the pilots have issues to act out on top of that, so it makes sense, right? Why are Evas routinely denied the same kind of consideration? They have reasons to act the way they do. I mean, think about it. They're people who are not treated as people -- bodies mutilated, covered, and restrained; kept in an immobile and sensory-deprived state almost all of the time; puppeted into painful battle situations the rest of the time; normal lives and interactions with other people completely denied. How can it surprise anyone that the times that the Evas exercise some self-control, they act a bit unhinged? This isn't really rocket science. It's basic human psychology. Treat someone less than human? Don't be surprised when you've unleashed a beast.

All of those are valid point, however I am still not really convinced that the Evas don't have some sort of inherent combat skills, natural or via genetic engineering. The kind of moves the Evas pull off, with and without weapons, are far too complex and precise for a 14 year old or a scientist who has probably never been in a fight before

eldomtom2 wrote:Frankly, I never bought that berserk mode was the Evas' true natures coming out, or that dummy plugs actually exterted any control other than initiating it. There's a far simpler explanation that also ties in much better with the themes of the series.

...I can't really see any explanation that is simpler or better fitting with the themes of the series, let alone both
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Postby pwhodges » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:43 pm

View Original Posteldomtom2 wrote:Frankly, I never bought that berserk mode was the Evas' true natures coming out, or that dummy plugs actually exterted any control other than initiating it. There's a far simpler explanation that also ties in much better with the themes of the series.

Do you mean that the Eva is simply reflecting the pilot's state of mind?
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Postby SawItAtAge10 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:49 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote: Treat someone less than human? Don't be surprised when you've unleashed a beast.
.



Of all the various concepts linked to Eva - I NEVER once made the connection to dehumanization...That seems so glaringly obvious now...Especially with the way the Angels are "alien-ized" in order to make it easier to destroy them...

As usual Reichu, you've managed to open my eyes to much larger picture and an expanded way of looking at the Eva-verse.

Back to this point then...I'm curious as to "what" they Evas are without the armor or interference from humans...For example, could Adam or Lilith walk around like giant humans or would they be more like animals?
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Postby eldomtom2 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:39 pm

View Original PostBlockio wrote:...I can't really see any explanation that is simpler or better fitting with the themes of the series, let alone both

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:Do you mean that the Eva is simply reflecting the pilot's state of mind?

When an Eva goes berserk, it's not the bestial core of the Eva being freed or anything like that. It's a mother protecting her child. Considering how much of Eva relates to motherhood, this should be at least somewhat obvious, but then there are still people who wonder why the pilots had to be fourteen.

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Postby Reichu » Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:49 pm

View Original Posteldomtom2 wrote:When an Eva goes berserk, it's not the bestial core of the Eva being freed or anything like that. It's a mother protecting her child.

Eva-00 would like a word with you. :wink:

View Original PostBlockio wrote:I am still not really convinced that the Evas don't have some sort of inherent combat skills, natural or via genetic engineering.

Perfect intrinsic physical mastery feels like something a god might be designed to have, so I imagine this is just another thing that comes from the Seeds.

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Postby eldomtom2 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:15 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Eva-00 would like a word with you. :wink:

Unit-00 is a thorn in the side of pretty much any theory regarding the Evas. In any case, my theory fits so well thematically with all the established maternal stuff involving the Evas that I'm extremely loath to give it up.

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Postby Reichu » Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:35 pm

View Original Posteldomtom2 wrote:Frankly, I never bought that berserk mode was the Evas' true natures coming out, or that dummy plugs actually exterted any control other than initiating it.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this. Yui explicitly rejects the dummy plug in episode 19, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense unless they are capable of acting as a pilot. (In other words, she accepted its control once because Shinji was present and it provided a means to protect him, but this time around there's no such reason for her to go along.) The MP Evas, which all operate on dummy plug command, ESPECIALLY don't make any sense unless the dummy system is capable of providing a very sophisticated level of control.

eldomtom2 wrote:In any case, my theory fits so well thematically with all the established maternal stuff involving the Evas that I'm extremely loath to give it up.

That Eva-01's berserk rampages are those of a protective mother is not really something you need to defend -- it's an established fixture of the fandom. I do think that making the Evas' bestial behavior completely about maternalism ("protecting their babies explains EVERYTHING about why and how they go berserk") is taking a very incomplete view of things, though.

Dismissing Eva-00 (a substantial portion of the available data) just because she's difficult to work with won't do, either. If she proves that Evas will go berserk for non-maternal reasons, then Evas go berserk for non-maternal reasons and you have to factor that in.

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Postby Blockio » Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:53 pm

I agree on that one, if you have to dismiss crucial information in order for your theory to work, that's a infallible sign that your theory in it's current state is wrong.
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Postby eldomtom2 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:31 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:I'm not quite sure what you mean by this. Yui explicitly rejects the dummy plug in episode 19, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense unless they are capable of acting as a pilot. (In other words, she accepted its control once because Shinji was present and it provided a means to protect him, but this time around there's no such reason for her to go along.)

This is a very strange assertion. What's stopping Yui from just getting wise to the trick? We have the strong visual cue of Unit-01's mouth opening, something that is only ever seen elsewhere in the context of a berserk state. In my view this strongly implies that what we are seeing is a berserk state - Unit-01 acts exactly like all the other times it goes berserk - artifically induced by the dummy plug.
The MP Evas, which all operate on dummy plug command, ESPECIALLY don't make any sense unless the dummy system is capable of providing a very sophisticated level of control.

Do they? They don't do much different from other berserking Evas aside from having weapons, and berserking Evas are certainly not blinded by rage enough to not make use of such things. There is the whole Third Impact business, but I feel you could probably produce an explanation for that that doesn't rely on the dummy plug directly controlling the Eva, since the evidence from the dummy plug's previous use does not suggest that.
That Eva-01's berserk rampages are those of a protective mother is not really something you need to defend -- it's an established fixture of the fandom. I do think that making the Evas' bestial behavior completely about maternalism ("protecting their babies explains EVERYTHING about why and how they go berserk") is taking a very incomplete view of things, though.

The thing is that Unit-02 goes berserk for clearly maternal reasons as well, so this isn't something only Yui does. From there it's not much of a stretch to apply that to the other Evas as well (aside from Unit-00). And frankly, Eva is much more interested in dependence on the mother and oedipus complexes and all that than the whole "chained god" aspect. Evas berserking for maternal reasons rather than the beast within being unleashed or anything like that (note that aside from Unit-00, we only see Evas berserk when a threat is present) just fits better thematically.
Dismissing Eva-00 (a substantial portion of the available data) just because she's difficult to work with won't do, either. If she proves that Evas will go berserk for non-maternal reasons, then Evas go berserk for non-maternal reasons and you have to factor that in.

Regarding Unit-00, Rei does not have a mother (and it's worth nothing that a piece of supplementary material, I believe the RCB, states that this makes her a worse pilot). This makes the question of who's soul is in there, or if there even is a soul, very unclear. Frankly I consider it highly likely the Unit-00 is a remnant of a dropped plot thread. Since Unit-00 cannot have a mother's soul by the fact that Rei is its pilot, we (probably) cannot attribute it going berserk to maternal instincts. That said, it berserks in noticeably different ways to the other Evas, especially in that it does so in the absence of a threat, so one could quite easily assume that we are seeing two distinct states being grouped under the "berserk" category.

Though now that I think about it, is there anything that suggests that Unit-00 entering berserk mode isn't motivated for maternal reasons aside from the whole soul business? One can easily find justification as to why attacking Ritsuko would "protect" Rei...

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Postby Blockio » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:00 am

View Original Posteldomtom2 wrote:Do they? They don't do much different from other berserking Evas aside from having weapons, and berserking Evas are certainly not blinded by rage enough to not make use of such things. There is the whole Third Impact business, but I feel you could probably produce an explanation for that that doesn't rely on the dummy plug directly controlling the Eva, since the evidence from the dummy plug's previous use does not suggest that.

I don't mean to be a dick, but... have you ever compared Unit 01 vs Bardiel/Sachiel/Zeruel/Leliel to the MP Eva fight? Unit 01 was blindly tearing them apart, the only intent being to slaughter them to the point where they are beyond recognition, while the MP Evas not only took the time to circle around Unit 02 not once, but twice (at the very beginning before the drop, and then again before the remaining eight Evas threw their lances), but then proceeded to fulfill their role in initiating instrumentality - why would a berserk Eva execute itself?
The only(!) time across all canons we see a Berserk Eva using anything resembling a weapon is when Unit 01 rips out one of Sachiel's bones and uses it to smash it's core. Unit 05 in 2.22 even drops it's weapon before going berserk, same with Unit 02 in its beast mode! So no, there is absolutely no evidence that berserk Evas would make use of weapons, especially since they themselves are the weapon.

Regarding Unit-00, Rei does not have a mother (and it's worth nothing that a piece of supplementary material, I believe the RCB, states that this makes her a worse pilot). This makes the question of who's soul is in there, or if there even is a soul, very unclear. Frankly I consider it highly likely the Unit-00 is a remnant of a dropped plot thread. Since Unit-00 cannot have a mother's soul by the fact that Rei is its pilot, we (probably) cannot attribute it going berserk to maternal instincts. That said, it berserks in noticeably different ways to the other Evas, especially in that it does so in the absence of a threat, so one could quite easily assume that we are seeing two distinct states being grouped under the "berserk" category.

This is just pure arbitrariness with which evidence you consider valid and which not. They could easily have left both Unit 00 berserk incidents out completely, and the story would still have made sense - why do you think they left it in? Definitely not because there was no reason for them to do so.
I repeat myself: If you have to leave out crucial evidence in order for your theory to work, you might want to check if your theory is actually true. Which, for all intents and purposes, you have not made a single convincing argument for.
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Postby eldomtom2 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:26 am

View Original PostBlockio wrote:I don't mean to be a dick, but... have you ever compared Unit 01 vs Bardiel/Sachiel/Zeruel/Leliel to the MP Eva fight? Unit 01 was blindly tearing them apart, the only intent being to slaughter them to the point where they are beyond recognition, while the MP Evas not only took the time to circle around Unit 02 not once, but twice (at the very beginning before the drop, and then again before the remaining eight Evas threw their lances),

You missed the part where they tear Unit-02 to shreds?
but then proceeded to fulfill their role in initiating instrumentality - why would a berserk Eva execute itself?

They're under GNR's control by the time they stab themselves, though I admit that the whole stuff with them forming an anti-AT field is a sticking point.
Unit 05 in 2.22 even drops it's weapon before going berserk, same with Unit 02 in its beast mode!

The Rebuilds are a different kettle of fish entirely, especially as they seem to have dropped the whole mother's-soul-in-Eva stuff entirely.
So no, there is absolutely no evidence that berserk Evas would make use of weapons, especially since they themselves are the weapon.

All the other times they go berserk they have no weapon - in their hands, anyway.
This is just pure arbitrariness with which evidence you consider valid and which not. They could easily have left both Unit 00 berserk incidents out completely, and the story would still have made sense - why do you think they left it in? Definitely not because there was no reason for them to do so.

Did you miss the part where I raised the possibility of it being remnants of a dropped plot line?
I repeat myself: If you have to leave out crucial evidence in order for your theory to work, you might want to check if your theory is actually true. Which, for all intents and purposes, you have not made a single convincing argument for.

The "crucial evidence" involves the one Eva we know is significantly different from all the rest. And again, every single time Units-01 and -02 go berserk it is in direct response to their pilots being threatened. For those two at least berserking is clearly presented as being the result of a mother protecting her child. I do admit that the MPEvas may be different, but for them to be different requires the (not impossible) assumption that their dummy plugs work differently to that of Unit-01's.

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Postby Blockio » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:06 am

I rest my case.
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

SawItAtAge10
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Re: An Observation on the Evas

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Postby SawItAtAge10 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:42 am

(QUICK SIDE NOTE: I am still strictly speaking about mechanics in NGE, not The Rebuild films...No offense to anyone who does want to talk about them, I'm just waiting for Final before I make an assertions/theories on the movies)


View Original PostReichu wrote:
Interesting to note that the digitized personalities of the dummy plugs exhibit very similar behavior. The Rei clones are basically used as the dummy system's wetware, and with how those are treated it's similarly unsurprising that their output is completely insane. They at least aren't mutilated, but they don't have souls and are instead forced to act as vessels for someone else's mind (Rei) and someone else's wishes (Dummy Plug commands). Like the Evas, they live in a sensory-deprived, asocial, dehumanized condition. One can only imagine what's powering the even more vile behavior of the Kaworu dummy system.


I just had a minute to reread this...It makes you wonder if Ritusko's destruction of the dummy system wasn't like a kind of mercy kill to the Reis in the lcl vat.

And then, with Kaworu...does that mean there's a hypothetical "Kaworu-quarium" being hidden somewhere by SEELE? :0

My brain still can't process the whole Dummy Plug vs. Soul thing...Especially with the conundrum of the MP Eva's...On the one hand we clearly see the dummy plugs marked Kaworu...But then, don't the plugs need human souls inside to the Units in order to sync up? But, then that's a digression of who's souls, etc.

I had a theory for a while that soul fragmentation could also apply to Kaworu in the same it does for Rei. With that in mind, I'd considered that each MP Eva had a piece of Adam's soul and that Kaworu's kindness was the result of him being a fragment like Rei II.

But, that too gets thrown out the window because SEELE explicitly tells Kaworu that all of Adam's soul is within him. **Slams head on desk with frustration** Sooo...there must be some other explanation for that...Hmm..(perhaps for a different thread).

Back to the point, we can also concede that the maternal aspect (while a considerable factor) is not the "key" to the Beserk mode. Unit 00 showcases the exact opposite where the pilot (at least on appearance) is the target of the Eva's rage.

But, it's the trigger factors seem to be a critical factor here. Let's break it down:

Eva 00 has test and punches a wall and bangs it head. It loses control like someone having an existential crisis and can't stand being in their own skin/body - it reminds me greatly of body dysmorphia.

Eva Unit 01 destroys Sachiel, Bardiel, and Zeruel in a brutal, monstrous fashion. Bardial is the exception since that happened via the Dummy Plug. (There' also Eva 01's autonomy when it came to effacing debris in ep. 1). The other attacks show the Unit take on physiological changes and then being barbaric.

Eva Unit 02 - opens its eyes and functions in the ocean when it shouldn't (super syncing from both children being a critical aspect here) - this has an interesting parallel to Eva Unit 01's battle with Sachiel (with all the behavioral oddities involved). This Unit then has another strange reaction during the "Mind Rape" - it's Eva body seems to be in just as much anguish as Asuka.



In EoE:

Unit 01 "finally awakens" and appears to be Berserk despite not acting like a creature.

Unit 02 acts the most animalistic it ever has up to the point. Asuka has a synchronized awareness with Kyoko and then, yeah...

MPEs - Units 5 - ? act in a mechanically-induced synchronized fashion of elegance and horror juxtaposed together. One the one hand, their like a swim team as the form a collective substitute for Adam and then they get imprinted by GNR/K's Rei/Lilith aspects..creating a collection of creepy hermaphroditic sub-gestalt being clones inferior to the "real one." All of this being a product of the Dummy Plug's control.



One thing that occurs to me that I didn't factor in is the S2 organ...Only Eva 01 and the MPE's have them...So that's another variable as well.
FROM EVANGELION:
"Acts of Man are greater than acts of God!"

"I'm saying that I love you."

NOT FROM EVANGELION:
"You are excrement. You can change yourself into gold."


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