Post Ep. 21, Misato deliberately avoided facing Shinji and Asuka

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Post Ep. 21, Misato deliberately avoided facing Shinji and Asuka

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Postby Saint Eva » Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:57 am

Misato's distant behavior is something I don't see many bringing up. At first I didn't gave it much thought and dismissed it as Misato just being too heartbroken over Kaji and busy in carrying out his last wishes, but upon re-watch, I couldn't help but notice.

Asuka's relationship with Misato had started going on downward slope ever since she found out how Kaji is back with her. Ep. 18, Misato realizes this and comments on Asuka being so determined to not see her anymore. Ep.20, Misato calls in Asuka only to get a flippant response. Ep. 22 we get an awkward dinner where instead of a big gulp, Misato slowly drinks beer, lowers it after each sip just to take a gander at Asuka, and holds a beer can over her face entire time, while just watching and thinking. She has done this "holding a beer over face" thing few times before, whenever she's feeling uncomfortable. At night, Asuka has her loud bathroom breakdown due to her periods and screams how she hates everyone while Misato just silently stares. Next day, she says that three of them living together has reached its threshold. Ep. 23- It's implied that it has been days since Asuka started staying at Hikari's house but Misato still doesn't comes out of her room. A "Dont bother, working" sign hangs on her door, and the pile of instant food and coffee cans that has accumulated indicates that she wasn't even coming out to eat home cooked meal. Her "work" is just her putting her head on desk and listening to the same phone message repeatedly, and it took her till the end of ep. to think about cracking open the capsule. Also in same ep. she arrived at Nerv late while Shinji was already there. Then we get the infamous scene where she offers herself to Shinji, which he understandably rejects, leading her to comment how she's the one who was desperately lonely Ep.24, she becomes occupied with Kaworu's unusual nature, I don't think the fact that with whom Shinji was hanging around, was hidden from her but she never made any attempt to contact Shinji about it. When depressed Shinji was dealing with the loss of Kaworu and repeating suicidal thoughts, instead of saying something meaningful or hopeful, her coldness destroyed any remaining thread of hope.

Anno has described her character as similar to Shinji, both are very afraid of being hurt, run away when things get difficult and avoids getting to close due to risk of emotional pain; Shinji uses SDAT player whereas Misato uses sex and alcohol to deal with loneliness and harsh reality. She identifies strongly with Shinji on not only his good side but also his bad side of running away. Throughout the series and all the characters, she has displayed the most insight in Shinji. E.g. after being rejected, she gets that Shinji is really afraid of being intimate with others,understands that its hard for him to be in social situations, his relationship with father and efforts to please him, his self-loathing etc. She surely has experienced same feelings as Shinji was going through and maybe bit of Asuka too.

In Ep. 15, she confesses that she's just like Shinji, a child, a coward who has been running away all her life. Upon seeing Misato sobbing over Kaji's death, Shinji ran away in his room and covered his head with pillow to drown out her wailing, he called himself a child who is unfit to help in what might be the most despairing time in Misato's life. But I believe that was his self-justification.The sight of seeing a strong woman he loves like a mom, reduced to a sobbing mess, must have really terrified him, probably the worst thing he witnessed at that point in his life.

Misato has described her father as a child too, a weak, sensitive person who was running away from reality/family duties while his wife cries all the time at home. Yui didn't think Gendo of being mature as she said how he wouldn't understand her plan. Come EoE, its revealed Gendo was really afraid of being hurt by Shinji and others, so he also chose to run away. Everyone already knows Shinji's case. With all those parallels between the four, I can't help but believe that Misato's later non-interference in kids' life was actually a deliberate choice by her. It's true that she wasn't completely adequate to handle kids' problems during their tough times but I don't think she seriously tried to be a parent. She needed to get close to Asuka, spend some time with to support her, even if Asuka would have thrown multiple insults and tantrum at her. Shinji like her, was dealing with a traumatic loss of a loved one, and needed a hug or a shoulder to cry on, instead she tried something which would have helped herself more, to mitigate her own pain and loneliness so she gets to add burden of shame too. Like Gendo, she may have thought that her efforts to help the kids will only hurt them more so it would be better for them if she starts keeping a distance (she did said that she has no right to tell Shinji anything) but I believe it was more to do with her being afraid of her role as a parent and protecting herself from being emotionally hurt by maintaining the "safe distance" she once talked about during Hedgehog dilemma discussion.

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Re: Post Ep. 21, Misato deliberately avoided facing Shinji and Asuka

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Postby Figo » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:14 pm

Off topic, but would Misato actually sleep with him if he agreed? Considering his age? Considering their relationship?

I mean there would be a riot if it was Kaji and Asuka...

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Re: Post Ep. 21, Misato deliberately avoided facing Shinji and Asuka

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Postby DarkBluePhoenix » Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:18 pm

^ Pretty sure doujins exist for both of those possibilities, so I'm not sure what "riot" you'd be referring to... :rolleyes:

Though back to your question, given her last comment to Shinji in EoE... she probably would have gone all the way.
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Re: Post Ep. 21, Misato deliberately avoided facing Shinji and Asuka

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Postby BlueBasilisk » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:24 am

^I think Misato most likely knew her injury was fatal and that she'd never be able to deliver on it one way or the other. She was trying to get through to Shinji and give him the motivation to come back alive as best she could.

But yeah, back to the original topic, Misato wasn't exactly going out of her way to keep things together with Shinji and Asuka. Keeping with the theme of repetition, she becomes the distant shitty parent she herself hated and in the end she makes the same choice he did, sacrificing her own life to save Shinji. She even passes on her cross to him, but he leaves it behind on her grave marker instead of carrying on him like she did.
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Re: Post Ep. 21, Misato deliberately avoided facing Shinji and Asuka

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Postby Reichu » Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:36 pm

Kissing a kid and promising him sex when you're on the verge of death and bleeding from the mouth is not really something you do out of a pure desire to "motivate" somebody. Shinji had already made it quite clear that he was not interested in sex with her. This was all about her, and getting to live out one of her weird fantasies before she died. The only way Shinji benefited from it was that it took him off guard and she was able to easily shove him into the elevator. That's it. Misato may have been lying to herself in the moment ("There's nothing wrong with it, all teenage boys want the pussy!"), but later in the movie (when she isn't delusional from oxygen deprivation) she all but admitted that her sexuality is what destroyed her maternal relationship with Shinji.

This isn't even entirely off-topic, either. In that scene, Misato was fully "becoming her father". This transformation isn't just evident in Misato psychologically distancing herself. It's there in her weird Freudian stuff, too.

While Kaji was alive, Misato could displace her desire for her father onto him, but he went and got himself killed. This eventually resulted in her half-hearted attempt to sleep with Shinji. He satisfies much of the personality profile of Dr. Katsuragi rather more obviously than Kaji, and Misato's mind must recognize this on some level. What really makes Shinji a tempting target is that, hypothetically, he's "safe". He's not an adult man who can "leave her" (so she thinks). He's a dependent. And this is where shit gets really weird... The age reversal, with the "Dr. Katsuragi" surrogate now being a child, results in Misato unknowingly projecting her psychosexual shit onto him. As the adult in the relationship, she can vicariously right the wrongs done onto her. Shinji is her father, but he is also teenage Misato. Misato is herself, but she is also her father. Misato as "Dr. Katsuragi" deep-kissing Shinji as "Misato" and promising him ("her") sex is Misato's father complex taken to its logical, however sick, conclusion.

The mirroring of Misato and her dad's deaths is super-strong. The specificity goes beyond sacrifice and passing on the cross. Dr. Katsuragi has wounds covering his back, which, when compared to young Misato's single wound, imply that he shielded her. Adult Misato similarly shielded Shinji. Both of them place their charges in an enclosed place, and there are shutters/doors that cut young!Misato and Shinji off from their guardian before they realize they'll never see the other person again. Dr. Katsuragi leaves Misato with a bloody tear; Misato leaves Shinji with bloody saliva. The show also implies, using the transitive property, that both Misato and Dr. K are smiling gently as their face is shut out. (Check out the end of episode 18 when Misato wakes up -- Kaji is sitting in for Dr. K there. The smiling thing gets even crazier given Yui and Kyoko were last seen by their children with smiles on their faces.)

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Re: Post Ep. 21, Misato deliberately avoided facing Shinji and Asuka

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Postby zlink64 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:16 pm

^"This was all about her, and getting to live out one of her weird fantasies before she died."


I think she was just being honest before she died; like trying to tell Shinji I care about you in her honest/unhealthy way. I guess the difference is the connotation. You make it sound it a fetish or something.


It was probably better that she started to avoid Asuka. They became weird rivals(Kaji thing) and from the beginning, I think, Asuka said she didn't really like Misato and Misato never ever really shows the same kind of affection for Asuka the way she does for Shini. My point is their relationship was becoming accidentally toxic. I don't think Misato would have been capable of helping Asuka. Not even Hikari could help Asuka and they were "besties".

Also, I got the impression that Shinji was avoiding Misato just as much if not more so than the reverse.
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Re: Post Ep. 21, Misato deliberately avoided facing Shinji and Asuka

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Postby Reichu » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:08 pm

View Original Postzlink64 wrote:I think she was just being honest before she died; like trying to tell Shinji I care about you in her honest/unhealthy way. I guess the difference is the connotation. You make it sound it a fetish or something.

I think it's definitely part of the Freudian psychosexual complex that Misato started to develop as a result of her unhealthy and unfulfilled relationship with her father. That's where it all started, and that's where it ends -- with her dying much like her father did, recreating with Shinji the singular event that fucked her up more than anything else. She's consciously aware of some aspects of it, like what she mentions to Kaji, but I don't think she learns about the full truth until her soul is laid bare in Instrumentality. Calling it a "fetish" would be a gross oversimplification. Ultimately it doesn't really matter what you call it. It's still lurking inside her mind and shaping her actions, whether she knows it or not. In fact, one of the key elements of Freudian psychology are thoughts you aren't consciously aware of informing your actions, that arise from how your mind is shaped via childhood trauma.

If you're objecting to the use of the word "fantasies", that's fair. "Unconscious desires" would be more accurate.

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Re: Post Ep. 21, Misato deliberately avoided facing Shinji and Asuka

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Postby robersora » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:07 am

^
Oh wow, I never saw the parallelism going on between the death of Misato and her father.
While the gaps have gotten bigger overall, I can't remember a month I haven't learned a tid bit about Evangelion I've never noticed before.
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Re: Post Ep. 21, Misato deliberately avoided facing Shinji and Asuka

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Postby kuribo-04 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:49 am

∆ Same here.
The elevator and the capsule Misato was in closing are similar too.
Shinji: "Sooner or later I'll be betrayed... And they'll leave me. Still... I want to meet them again, because I believe my feelings at that time were real."
Ryuko: "I'm gonna knock ya on your asses!"
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Re: Post Ep. 21, Misato deliberately avoided facing Shinji and Asuka

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Postby StrokeMeGoat » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:05 am

I think it's clear pretty early on in the series that Misato doesn't know how to properly deal with people, especially needy vulnerable ones. I mean, there's an entire dialog over the phone between her and Ritsuko all about how she doesn't know how to really approach Shinji. We also see this early on by her reaction to Shinji's decision to return to NERV the first time he ran away and encountered Kensuke out in the wilderness. Or more specifically, the statement he makes where he somewhat self-pityingly yet somehow at the same time smugly and arrogantly says NERV needs him to pilot and there's nobody else to do it other than him, so he'll pilot again.

Honestly, Shinji needed that verbal slap to the face to snap him out of acting like a petty, insolent child. That said, Misato's discovery and recognition of Shinji's pattern of behavior resembling the Hedgehog's Dilemma results in a newfound understanding and appreciation of Shinji's behavior later on as he's about to head off on the subway indicates that she reacted to his immaturity the way she did for the "wrong" reason. She didn't react that way because it was what Shinji in all reality needed to hear from somebody, but because she got irritated and pissed off at him.

She's also seen to be incapable of actually punishing Shinji once he returns from the LCL after botching the entire mission himself because of foolhardy arrogance and inappropriate competitiveness during a sensitive operation. She often reflects on her surrogate motherhood and laments over how she feels she isn't capable of acting properly as a mother or legal guardian for Shinji (or Asuka), and I think if anything she comes across as an older Sister type or a much older roommate of theirs. Asuka asks to borrow her perfume or something as though they were equals rather than being a subordinate, to which she responds much the way an older sibling probably would saying "that stuff's not for kids" when a simple no would have sufficed.

Then of course there are the misguided and wildly inappropriate sexual offers/advances she makes twice on him because she really knows no other way to express emotional intimacy and affection of any kind. That said, her sexual offers weren't made in a predatory manner, they are just legitimate attempts to show affection and caring for him... disturbingly and messed up enough as that is.

Given her own *rather severe) lack of real interpersonal skills and ability to properly and healthily express her affection and caring for others, and the burden from the cross she bears having survived Second Impact and her determination to fight the Angels, she's honestly just as messed up and dysfunctional as a person as the kids she's supposed to be a parent to. I'm not really surprised at all that she would choose to runaway from her responsibilities and avoid them from ep. 21 on taking all we know about her into consideration.


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