Evangelion and Personality Disorders.

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Postby VoidEater » Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:27 pm

@jim_loves_randy: Perhaps Gendo falls into megalomania...

I think of these characters more in terms of their enneagrams, as a convenient shorthand to broad personality types:

Fuyutski - 2, Helper (really, more an enabler, but to be broad...)
Misato - 3, Achiever
Ritsuko - 4, Indivudualist
Kaji - 5, Observer
Yui - 6, Guardian
Gendo - 8, Controller
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Postby Sharaz Destler » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:09 pm

Mr. Tines wrote:Now we have dealt with that little episode of personality disorder, as you were ladies and gentlemen...


Oh, that was hilarious. I needed a good laugh.

Anyway, I was thinking:

Is it entirely possible that much of Shinji and Asuka's...tensions, for lack of a better word, stem from the fact that they confuse each other to no end? I can't help but think of how the way people interact, and social codes and constructs in general, sometimes confuse the hell out of me, with people saying something and meaning something else entirely (especially when they make me feel personally responsible for their anger when it's something else on their minds, or girls I've known who transform their own frustrations into the social murder of one of their peers). That would, I think, put anyone off socialization for a while, especially someone like me who'd find it much easier if others would just say what the hell's going on flat-out instead of expressing it in mean-spirited little ways.

There's also a little bit of culture clash, here, too: The Tale of Genji (and, if you're so inclined, American Fuji) show just how much like Shinji Japan's culture is (ie codified and formalized), and when American sensibilities (much more "open" and bare-faced) meet Japanese sensibilities (personified by Shinji and Asuka), the result is not pretty.

By the way, I've read that Asian cultures have a very strong, culturally-endorsed background of what we would call "child abuse", which such cultures apparently don't have a term for. For example, it can't only be Gendo's rejection of Shinji that made him who he is...it'd only be one event in a long chain. So, I ask: what do you think Shinji's unseen foster parents were like?
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Postby NemZ » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:23 pm

I can only assume they treated him as a annoyance, something the had to put up with for some related payoff but not something they were particularly fond of or cared much about maintaining beyond basic functionality. He likely learned his various domestic skills doing all manner of home chores (approaching house slave conditions) and largely fending for himself... rather Potter-esque, I imagine. Being stuck with most of the chores by Misato was likely not at all a shock, and he may even have suspected early on that having him as a servant was the reason she asked for his custody. He certainly didn't seem thrilled by the arrangement, as I would expect him to react at the prospect of someone actually -wanting- his company.

Looking at this ennegrams system, I'm thinking Asuka is a 3, Shinji a 6, and Rei... 5, I guess, or maybe a 9? From what little we see of her Yui seems like more of a 1 to me than a 6.
Last edited by NemZ on Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby AuraTwilight » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:51 pm

"You're a pilot, Shinji." "But I'm only 14..I can't be...an Eva Pilot..." He replies with a distinct British accent.

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Postby VoidEater » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:52 pm

@sharaz and nemz: I would agree with both.

Particularly, Shinji/Asuka seem to have diametrically opposing experiences, giving them opposing worldviews and expectations. They are equally out of touch with their current world.

I think we can expect that everything we know about Asuka's background could be inverted for Shinji's. For Asuka, the world has been described as a treat for her taking; for Shinji, the world is a viper to be avoided.

I think this more or less describes cultural attitude differences (American/Japanese) post-WW II.
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Postby Sharaz Destler » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:29 pm

RE: AuraTwilight

I think Shinji has a cockney accent, for some unusual reason...

RE: VoidEater

I'm gratified that you agree with my points. I find it so rare, that any time it does happen, I must celebrate. :clap: :jiggy:

You know what else? I have been watching EVA under the premise that it *is*, in fact, a biography of post-World War II Japan. It's a little bit like what Great Britain had to go through after "winning": all the rebuilding, and having to pick up the pieces and examine exactly what their culture has been based upon, and trying to find a new way of living, while still showing respect for the Old Regime. It's hard to find the exact balance, and that, too, would cause a lot of confusion in anyone.
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Postby NemZ » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:00 am

Sharaz Destler wrote:You know what else? I have been watching EVA under the premise that it *is*, in fact, a biography of post-World War II Japan...


Whoa, It does somewhat fit...

Gendo is an avatar of the dark side of rapid westernization and pursuing individual desires without concern for the group's well-being.

Ritsuko represents technological advancements without corresponding spiritual or moral growth.

Fuyutsuki fills the place of the older generation's defeated, past-centric mindset that meekly enables these bold new cultural directions.

Kiel and the rest of Seele are the shadows of foreign dominance rooted under the guise of economic aid packages and getting along with the world community.

Misato as a modern woman, expected to work below the glass ceiling and finding it impossible to balance the demands of her career with a satisfying home life.

Kaji is an objectionist who operates outside the rules of the new order and must be hammered down to smooth the way forward.

Shinji is essentially a war orphan, treated as a burden by a society that would rather move forward and abandon all the lingering traces of past failure.

Asuka is the promise of a bright future, lifted impossibly high on idealistic dreams but built on an unsound foundation that is willfully ignored.

Rei is the spirit of the nation's pre-westernized past, now shattered and unrecognizable to itself, that is ruthlessly abused whenever it can be forced without proper context to symbolically support the new goal.
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Postby Holy Diver » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:02 pm

It makes alot of sense. Japan had probably the hardest time adjusting after WWII because they were so confident. They had access to new weapons and technology that went above and beyond their wildest dreams. Combine this with a martial discipline that had grown over a thousand years, and they hade a very powerful, very confident force at their disposal. The Japanese over estimated their prowess and were crushed by the powers that had helped build thier nation. This humiliating defeat shattered their confidence (much like Asuka). Even now you can see the effects of this humiliation in the Japanese opinions on War Shrines and Kamikaze pilots.

If you're still reading, I'm sorry for that whole ordeal. I've just been playing too much Call of Duty: World at War and I relish any opportunity to discuss war and it's aftermath.
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Postby BobBQ » Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:39 pm

Call of Duty is not an acceptable substitute for history textbooks.

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Postby Holy Diver » Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:55 pm

BobBQ wrote:Call of Duty is not an acceptable substitute for history textbooks.


Yes, but it recently inspired me to do some research on WWII.
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Postby MugwumpHasNoLiver » Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:55 pm

Woah! NemZ's post just blew my mind. This is why I love Eva, rich with layers. Can we go one step further and say Second Impact represents the dropping of the Atomic bomb, or was that just obvious? Heh.
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Postby Holy Diver » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:24 pm

MugwumpHasNoLiver wrote:Woah! NemZ's post just blew my mind. This is why I love Eva, rich with layers. Can we go one step further and say Second Impact represents the dropping of the Atomic bomb, or was that just obvious? Heh.


Too obvious. This is Eva were talking about. But it does make sense. The bombs permanantly left an impact on Japanese culture just as Second Impact left its mark upon the world.
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Postby AyrYntake » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:52 pm

Zuggy wrote:Shelf stackers make good psychologists.
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Postby Sharaz Destler » Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:58 pm

Wow. Just wow. All this analysis you're doing...I commend all of you.

Now, then, we've covered Second Impact as a Bomb metaphor. What can we draw from what we know about Project Evangelion itself and its effects on the whole cast, particularly the generation before Shinji's? I suppose we could talk about how it's "moving heedlessly towards the future" and all that, but what about the insanity that it causes to those who dedicate so much (Asuka's mother, Yui [to an extent, and we could also throw in Gendo for good measure], Naoko/Ritsuko Akagi, etc.)
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Postby VoidEater » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:23 pm

(Old stuff:) @Mr. Tines: I get it, yes, Asuka needs time to assimilate her new environment, and indeed it has an impact - her meltdown is a direct result of the world crashing in. I was too fixated on her initial presentation.

(New stuff:) Similarly, then, perhaps Asuka as simile for modern Japan from NemZ has been realized with their economic crash of a few years ago? Or perhaps that meltdown has yet to be seen? I wonder who Asuka's mom would be in that simile?
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Postby Saburo » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:13 pm

In all likelihood I will be writing a paper (~8 pages) mid Feb on at least one EVA character. I would sure like to hear anything else you guys have to say, and I may post the paper here if anyone is interested.

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Postby Sharaz Destler » Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:14 pm

Saburo wrote:I may post the paper here if anyone is interested.


I for one would love to hear what you have to say.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:16 pm

I'd be interested in reading it too.
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Postby BrikHaus » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:03 am

Saburo wrote:at least one EVA character.

That character had better be Pen-pen.
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Postby Another Asuka » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:03 pm

honsou wrote:. But i wouldn't say they have disorders, they seem to react in a normal way considering their life experiences.


Yes but that's the whole point. Nobody is born with a Personality Disorder.
They are maladaptive defence mechanisms against traumatic experiences.
Asuka and Shinji's broken personalities are "normal" in relation to their early life experiences which are abnormal. Which in Shinji's case is chronic parental rejection-cause of AvPD and Asuka-unstable parenting and esteem issues-cause of NPD.

Sorry it took me so long to reply, I was off the net for awhile.
What the ....How did we get so far off topic we started discussing Call of Duty?lol.
Last edited by Another Asuka on Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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