Gender of Evangelions

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Postby Soluzar [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:07 pm

Since this looked like it could shape up to be an interesting discussion, or at the very least, a review of previous discussion with new viewpoints from new members, I've asked Sharp-kun to split this off into it's own thread, which he has kindly done.

In the thread My Eva TV Ending Journal Or Something, OMF and Reichu began an interesting discussion about whether the Evangelions should be seen as feminine in nature or not. Personally, I consider that the Evangelions are not just indisputably female, but that they are (in part) symbols for motherly love, and the protective power that it has. I'll go on to post more about that later, but for now, I'll reproduce the quotes that brought us here:

Reichu wrote:Quote: Originally Posted by OMF He's in clear terror of the thing I'd say(16).

"Thing"? That's someone's mother you're talking about.
OMF wrote:Moreover, it grasps him as he did Kaworu.


After supressing myself for so long, I'd like to note that every time an Eva is referred to as "it" by someone who should know better, it is like a needle prick to the soul. Add them up, and we're talking slow, terrible torture. At this rate, you're going to end up on Santa Barb's Naughty List and she'll have to come after you with her Crop of Justice.

OMF responded with the following:

OMF wrote:Well, it's just that I always viewed the Evas as something a little apart from the person residing in their cores. When I speak of Eva as "it", I really mean the form or object that is the Eva, not the person in the core. The symbol of the Eva really, as something different from the person residing within. Not sure how that came out. Basically my "it", is the giant artificial humanoid covered in armour minus the soul containing core, if that makes any sense.



Which brings us to the point where we now stand.

An Evangelion without a core is dead. I'm not speaking in terms of overblown language here, I mean it would actually be dead. Unable to live, breath, pump blood, etc, without life-suppport. At best, it would be like a spare Rei.

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 13:00 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:07 pm

And besides -- regardless of whether you are talking about the souls or not, the Evas can still be considered feminine entities. Unless you are one of those stalwart opposers of the whole idea.... Anyhow, a discussion for elsewhere.

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 13:14 GMT

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Postby OMF [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:07 pm

I mean to say that the "it" is the image of the Eva. Rather like a suit of armour with no one inside so to speak.

I am aware that the Eva's, and the angels, are in some sense more female than male. However, I'm unsure as to whether or not I can still ascribe gender specific pronouns to what is essentially a monosexual race of beings. Quite apart from the "it", that is the form of the Eva, I have always though of Eva's as "its", seeing as how for the longest time, I never really considered them to even have a gender.

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 13:21 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:08 pm

I'm not sure I really like that approach... You might as well say "it" whenever Shinji is being confronted by the "images" of various other characters.

As you might guess, I am not a big fan of "it" being used to refer to animate entities.

I never thought the Angels (SoLs aside) are "in some sense more female than male". (Depends on which one you're talking about, anyhow. Image ) I dunno, read that thread if you get the chance; this is getting horribly off-topic.

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 13:30 GMT

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Postby Soluzar [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:08 pm

OMF wrote:I mean to say that the "it" is the image of the Eva. Rather like a suit of armour with no one inside so to speak.



You still call a corpse "she" or "he", depending on who they were in life. There's "no one inside" so to speak, not any more. Besides, the Evangelion is conscious/sentient 100% of the time after the contact experiment is performed. She is just prevented from doing anything by her bindings.

EDIT: I'd really like to pursue this with you, OMF. I don't share your opinion, and I'd like the opportunity to discuss it more deeply with you. I think that it would be interesting for all of us to debate our views on this topic.

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 15:08 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:08 pm

Did this need to be split off, Soluzar? Anything wrong with the preexisting thread on the matter? Nothing more can really be said, I don't think...

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 15:35 GMT

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Postby Soluzar [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:08 pm

Reichu wrote:Did this need to be split off, Soluzar? Anything wrong with the preexisting thread on the matter? Nothing more can really be said, I don't think...



Oh well, best intentions, and all of that. I have some things I'd like to add on feminine symbolism and such. It might have been said before, but I'm not 100% certain. I'll need to wait until I've had time to watch the relevant footage again.

If creating this thread was a huge mistake, then I guess it will die it's timely death in due course.

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 15:55 GMT

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Postby Digitalex [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:08 pm

Soluzar wrote:OMF and Reichu began an interesting discussion about whether the Evangelions should be seen as feminine in nature or not. Personally, I consider that the Evangelions are not just indisputably female, but that they are (in part) symbols for motherly love, and the protective power that it has.



I personally see Evas feminine in nature as well. I see it partly because of the female souls that merged with them and partly because of the protective nature towards the children. I'm also used to referring to objects (alive or not) with a feminine spin such as mothership, mother earth, etc... I even refer to my car as a she.

Which brings us to the point where we now stand.

An Evangelion without a core is dead. I'm not speaking in terms of overblown language here, I mean it would actually be dead. Unable to live, breath, pump blood, etc, without life-suppport. At best, it would be like a spare Rei.


What about the first episode when there was no pilot in Unit 01 and it raised it's arm to protect Shinji from the falling debris?

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 16:45 GMT

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Postby MagicianCamille [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:08 pm

Could be a plothole.


(Yes I'm quick to accuse)

I don't mean to further trivialize the existence of this thread but...couldn't this be discussed in...THIS THREAD!?
http://animenation.net/forums/showt...20&page=1&pp=40

Or do we not like Magami? Image And by we, I mean y'all.

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 16:46 GMT

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Postby Magami No ER [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:08 pm

I consider it's objects. Unless they were once living or have capacity for living(zygotes, cells, except for before their gender)
Evas were created by humans from a SoL who simply produces entities. How do you characterize gender? Lillith is considered a mother(the word is used by Kaworu for ADAM, and in the movie a bit.), but for producing magic rivers of people, who would she have the sex cells to produce male creatures? In NGE, they are refered to as mothers(only example being Lilith, but we shouldn't base their genders on their names) Adam is the same, except ve produces different offspring who, in the literal context of the show, aren't given genders.(aside from Angel Kiss, but that's AU). So, how are we as the audience supposed to use these creatures in pronouns? For Angels, we simply had to guess. Adam and Lilith are called mothers, and while they sort of look it, they are not tradital organism "mothers". So, how do we identifiy Evas? They are called "it" when refered to as a "machine" or "beast". When Yui goes bousou(the Evas TRUE form), it's called "she". Evas do not produce sexually in the context of the show(anything's possible in AU though Image), so we must define them by their souls(and core body parts). Only mothers's souls can cause Eva to move. Female. So, that is the true reason for why I call Evas female.

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 16:57 GMT

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Postby Soluzar [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:08 pm

MagicianCamille wrote:I don't mean to further trivialize the existence of this thread but...couldn't this be discussed in...THIS THREAD!?
http://animenation.net/forums/showt...20&page=1&pp=40


I think that there are slightly different issues at work in this debate, myself. The question of whether the Evangelion as a whole should be seen as possessing the identity of the resident soul, for example.

Personally, I take the view that the Evangelion becomes the person whose soul is in it. Shougouki is Yui's new body, in a sense, although her control over that body is cruelly repressed by the use of mechanical "bindings".

Or do we not like Magami? Image And by we, I mean y'all.



In as much as I know her, I like her just fine. Image

What about the first episode when there was no pilot in Unit 01 and it raised it's arm to protect Shinji from the falling debris?

It's my understanding that she already has a core containing Yui's soul. Contrary to what you may have read from some posters on this forum, it is my belief that you can't just take out the core and replace it. It's an essential organ, much like the heart. In my view, any time the Evangelion doesn't have a soul in it's core, not only would it not move, but it would need some kind of life support to keep it from dying.

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 17:03 GMT

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Postby MagicianCamille [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:08 pm

Eh, ignore me, I havn't slept in 24 hours, my mentality said "brb chips".

(Iniside joke to the maxxz00rz, yep, another sexual one!)

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 17:05 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:08 pm

Soluzar wrote:Personally, I take the view that the Evangelion becomes the person whose soul is in it. Shougouki is Yui's new body, in a sense, although her control over that body is cruelly repressed by the use of mechanical "bindings".



An empty shell she is born; once endowed, empty no longer. The Eva becomes Yui, and Yui becomes the Eva. Without a soul, the Eva is incomplete. Without a body, Yui is incomplete. Together, they are one.

It's my understanding that she already has a core containing Yui's soul.



Indeed, Yui has been there since 2004.

any time the Evangelion doesn't have a soul in it's core, not only would it not move, but it would need some kind of life support to keep it from dying.



Hard to say. Adam's soulless embryo doesn't seem to have any problems.

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 17:19 GMT

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Postby Lastie [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:09 pm

What about the first episode when there was no pilot in Unit 01 and it raised it's arm to protect Shinji from the falling debris?



Ok, I apologise for what could be an extremely newbish thought here, but I got the subtle impression that the Evas (although I've only seen Unit 1 do this so far) could move by themselves through extreme force of will. The most powerful catalyst for this would be the immediate peril of the creatures most dear to them; the pilots. The fact Yui moves to protect Shinji in episode 1 is a clear announcement of a desire to protect, the fact she only moved one arm could be all that she was capable of doing.

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 17:56 GMT

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Postby Magami No ER [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:09 pm

MagicianCamille wrote:Could be a plothole.



Or do we not like Magami? Image And by we, I mean y'all.


Why wouldn't they? Image
Well, maybe they will moreso after my big ol' post. Image

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 18:05 GMT

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Postby Soluzar [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:09 pm

Reichu wrote:Hard to say. Adam's soulless embryo doesn't seem to have any problems.



Very true. Unless:

a) Gendo is acting as a life-support

b) Adam still has her soul, but Kaworu has it too. (unlikely)

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 18:19 GMT

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Postby OMF [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:09 pm

Soluzar wrote:Personally, I take the view that the Evangelion becomes the person whose soul is in it. Shougouki is Yui's new body, in a sense, although her control over that body is cruelly repressed by the use of mechanical "bindings".


And with this source of inspiration, I think I can clarify what I mean by "it".

The "it" that I speak of is the body of Eva Unit-01. The huge and terrible creature clad in purple armour. What of Yui? Yui is "within" this beast, at its center, it's driving soul. Though Yui is now the Eva, the Eva is not nessesarily Yui. I might harp back to that old argument about the interchangability of the cores here.

When I talk about the "it" of Unit-01, I mean something like a suit of armour, a battle dress if you will. Yui is like the person wearing the armour, but the armour itself still has its own, seperate symbolism.

Unit-01 never really comes across as a paticularly feminie figure. With the exception of it's protection of Shinji in episode #01, most of the time Unit-01 behaves as an "Oni" demon, beastial and terrifying. Contrast this with Yui, who in all her "personal" scenes, is a serene and peaceful figure. This is the reason I speak of the "it" of Unit-01, to distinguish this demonic figure from the almost angelic Ikari Yui.

So when I say Shinji is in terror of "it", I mean it is the form of the raging Eva he fears, not his mother. Though he knows by now that the two are linked, he must surely resent the fact that his mother is enveloped in such a form. The fearsome body of the Eva, which he controls, might be regarded as something subtlely distinct from the soul of his mother, which he synches with to control this demon.

In short, I mean to say that the form of Eva Unit-01 is like a suit of armour over Yui, one which she did not always wear, but now cannot remove. Shinji also wears this armour with her during combat, and though he can remove it afterward, more and more it is swallowing him up, and he both fears and reviles the violent form of this carapace.


On the seperate issue of the Eva's gender. Lilith is surely more of a female figure than male. The same with Adam. As the Eva's are "copies" of either, I'd take it that they are more female than male as well. That said, I still don't really have enough motivation to refer to Lilith as a "she". The same with Adam and the Eva's. They remain "its" to me, not because I don't want to ascribe gender to them, but because they remain so otherworldly and different. Do we refer to possible extraterrestrial beings as hes or shes or its. The Eva's remain for me its, both because of their quasi-robotic nature, and their seeming lack of a countergender on which to base a comparision.

Just on this point. What of the Mass production Evas? Now I do refer to these as "its". It certainly suits them better than "shes", wouldn't you think?

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 18:35 GMT

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Postby Soluzar [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:09 pm

OMF wrote:The "it" that I speak of is the body of Eva Unit-01. The huge and terrible creature clad in purple armour. What of Yui? Yui is "within" this beast, at its center, it's driving soul. Though Yui is now the Eva, the Eva is not nessesarily Yui. I might harp back to that old argument about the interchangability of the cores here.

She is not within the beast, she is the beast. Are you within your own body, or is your body you? Answer that question, and you have your own answer.

When I talk about the "it" of Unit-01, I mean something like a suit of armour, a battle dress if you will. Yui is like the person wearing the armour, but the armour itself still has its own, seperate symbolism.


Sorry, OMF, but that just doesn't hold any water, as far as I'm concerned.

Unit-01 never really comes across as a paticularly feminine figure. With the exception of it's protection of Shinji in episode #01, most of the time Unit-01 behaves as an "Oni" demon, beastial and terrifying. Contrast this with Yui, who in all her "personal" scenes, is a serene and peaceful figure. This is the reason I speak of the "it" of Unit-01, to distinguish this demonic figure from the almost angelic Ikari Yui.


Do you really believe that oni (no need to add 'demon', that would be an oxymoron) only come in male form? If so, then where do baby oni come from? Image

Seriously, though, you really badly need to watch a nature documentary. I've seen plenty terrifying, vicious, and violent female creatures in my time. The female Wolverine would be a good place to start, if you are curious.


So when I say Shinji is in terror of "it", I mean it is the form of the raging Eva he fears, not his mother.

I'll grudginly admit that you aren't one hundred percent wrong, but you aren't strictly corect either. The scene right after EVA-03/Bardiel has been defeated, Shinji identifies himself directly with this form. His identification is because of the fact that during synchronisation, the Eva and the pilot more or less become one. It is an imperfect joining, but still a joining.

Though he knows by now that the two are linked, he must surely resent the fact that his mother is enveloped in such a form. The fearsome body of the Eva, which he controls, might be regarded as something subtlely distinct from the soul of his mother, which he synches with to control this demon.



With regard to the first portion that I have emboldened I'm going to be forced to play the hardcore academician here, and ask you for your evidence. You can't just make assertions like that. It's not self-evident, nor does it appear to logically follow. With regards to the second emboldened portion, if you mean that Shinji might regard it thus, then you may have a point. If you mean that it might be regarded thus by the audience, then that is what we are attempting to determine. I've also felt moved to italicise fearsome, just to draw your attention to the notion that this is a highly subjective judgement.

In short, I mean to say that the form of Eva Unit-01 is like a suit of armour over Yui, one which she did not always wear, but now cannot remove. Shinji also wears this armour with her during combat, and though he can remove it afterward, more and more it is swallowing him up, and he both fears and reviles the violent form of this carapace.

If she were to remove it, she would be little more than a vagrant soul, and entirely disembodied. During synchronisation, Shini becomes one with the Eva, but he does not don her body like a suit of armor. His soul and hers become of one consciousness, and they share that consciousness between both bodies. When one is hurt, the other hurts too. When Shinji wishes to move, the Eva moves. If the bindings were not in place, Yui would be able to walk around for herself, which I believe is something that suits of armour have been historically incapable of.

On the seperate issue of the Eva's gender. Lilith is surely more of a female figure than male. The same with Adam. As the Eva's are "copies" of either, I'd take it that they are more female than male as well. That said, I still don't really have enough motivation to refer to Lilith as a "she". The same with Adam and the Evas.

So you accept that the balance of probability is that they are female, but that's not enough motivation to use female pronouns? OK. I'm taking that concept on board, here.

They remain "its" to me, not because I don't want to ascribe gender to them, but because they remain so otherworldly and different. Do we refer to possible extraterrestrial beings as hes or shes or its.

That would depend on whether you are speaking of them as the indefinite article or the definite article. In the general case, I will refer to the (hypothetical) Reticulans by no gender-specific pronoun because they may be male or female. It is likely that they may be both male and female. It is even likely that they may not be either male or female. Since all of these cases refer to people and not to objects, though, I shall chose the neuter pronoun "ve" instead of he or she. Though not generall accepted, this pronoun is the solution to a long-standing problem in English, namely that "it" may generally only refer to objects, and not to people.

The Eva's remain for me its, both because of their quasi-robotic nature, and their seeming lack of a countergender on which to base a comparision.

If by countergender you mean a male to balance the Evangelion females that we have seen thus far, it is clear that the character designers consider several of the angels to be male. I can offer evidence for this in the form of "Angel Kiss". Male Evangelions are theoretical, but there is no evidence which suggests that they could not exist, simply that they do not.

Just on this point. What of the Mass production Evas? Now I do refer to these as "its". It certainly suits them better than "shes", wouldn't you think?

No. They are what they are, madam. I hope you don't mind me calling you madam, Suzy. It seems to suit you better, and I don't have sufficient motivation to call you OMF. Image

Originally posted on: 19-May-2005, 19:04 GMT

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Postby Magami No ER [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:09 pm

This is all fine & dandy, but OMF, did you read what I wrote? Image Any comments?
BTW, Harpies look the most "feminine", IMO. Image

Originally posted on: 20-May-2005, 08:10 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:09 pm

OMF wrote:Unit-01 never really comes across as a paticularly feminie figure.



"Femininity" is relative. We need only to look to nature.

So when I say Shinji is in terror of "it", I mean it is the form of the raging Eva he fears, not his mother. Though he knows by now that the two are linked, he must surely resent the fact that his mother is enveloped in such a form.



Not as much as Gendo resents it, I'm sure. Image

In short, I mean to say that the form of Eva Unit-01 is like a suit of armour over Yui, one which she did not always wear, but now cannot remove.



Ah, I'm sure she could -- she just doesn't want to.

Although by referring to the Eva as a "suit of armor", you're failing to take into account that most of the Eva is meat. (Yes, I am ever the stickler for details!)

On the seperate issue of the Eva's gender. Lilith is surely more of a female figure than male.



Surely. I don't think I need to post the "tampon" picture again. Image

The same with Adam.



Wow -- most people can't get past the name to even consider the possibility that Adam might be a feminine entity. (But what's in a name? Naoko named the computers containing her personality after three wise MEN.)

That said, I still don't really have enough motivation to refer to Lilith as a "she". The same with Adam and the Eva's. They remain "its" to me, not because I don't want to ascribe gender to them, but because they remain so otherworldly and different. Do we refer to possible extraterrestrial beings as hes or shes or its. The Eva's remain for me its, both because of their quasi-robotic nature, and their seeming lack of a countergender on which to base a comparision.



"Quasi-robotic", eh? Well, whatever you mean by this, they begin their existences as entirely organic. I don't hear anyone calling Herr Lorenz "it", even though he is arguably more machine than the Evas.

As for how "different" the Evas are from us -- well, I think the fact that I need to refer to human anatomy books to render their unarmored forms might say something... The faces are probably responsible for why they seem "alien", not entirely different from common conceptions of suspiciously humanoid extraterrestrials. Yet these so-called "extraterrestrials" are really little more than distorted portraits of ourselves.

Just on this point. What of the Mass production Evas? Now I do refer to these as "its". It certainly suits them better than "shes", wouldn't you think?



Well, not if you consider the fact that their builds are more "feminine" than the original Evas. (Er, as Magami already said.)

Originally posted on: 20-May-2005, 08:40 GMT


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