Pen Pen's Sexuality

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Pen Pen's Sexuality

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Postby Lucretius » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:38 am

I find it odd than so little attention has been paid to Pen Pen as of yet. He is introduced in episode 2 and appears for the final time in the second half of EoE, yet there is scarcely a single thread dedicated to him or his doubtlessly intricate motives. I find this to be reductive and speciesist. Clearly, Pen Pen would not have been given so much screen time if he were of no thematic importance or psychological interest. Everything in Eva has meaning. After an all-nighter involving Dayquil, a box of girl scout cookies, and a frame-by-frame viewing of the entire series, I came to some startling conclusions about our avian protagonist’s sexuality.

I've decided to use screen caps extensively, as that is often the only way to convince skeptical readers of the veracity of one's arguments. Note that I use evidence from the official manga as well. Sadamoto is the character designer of the series and was involved with it from its earliest planning stages. It would be absurd to dismiss his authority on the characters as being less than Anno’s.

I have come to the conclusion that Pen Pen’s sexual/romantic interest lies solely with humans, perhaps because he was raised in their company. Not once in the series is he shown flirting with a member of his own species, or even interacting with them in any manner. Pen Pen is probably bisexual, exhibiting a strong interest in both Shinji and Misato throughout most of the show. Although he experiences some attraction with Asuka and Hikari, Misato and Shinji constitute his main love interests, their romantic triangle occupying much of the series. Official Gainax art consistently supports this notion.

"Photobucket"

This first post will focus solely on Pen Pen’s relationship with Shinji, as his relationship with Misato is quite complex enough to warrant another post. I've decided to begin the topic of Pen Pen’s sexuality with Shinji, as it is an arc that last the entire run of the show.

As you know, Pen Pen is first introduced in episode 2. His very first appearance sets up his multifaceted relationship with Shinji as well as the budding love triangle between Pen Pen, Shinji, and Misato. Although Pen Pen is already in a committed domestic partnership with Misato, he is instantly drawn to the sultry young boy. It would not be too much of a stretch to say that Pen Pen desires Misato emotionally and Shinji sexually.

"Photobucket"

Pen Pen’s initial interactions with Shinji could easily be described as tsundere, following the typical romantic comedy formula of mutual hostility giving way to attraction, as Shinji’s horrified reaction to seeing Pen Pen in the bath and his constant bickering with him in the manga clearly show.

"Photobucket"

Pen Pen and Shinji’s mutual attraction is shown very explicitly in episode 10, in a way that must have shocked the original audience. No doubt the shows’ creators would have gone much further had it not been for network restrictions. While many have speculated that Shinji’s erection is caused by hearing Misato and Asuka tickle each other nearby, I regard this as mere fanwanking. The immediate cause of Shinji’s erection is clearly Pen Pen, as he is standing directly in front of Shinji. Notice that Shinji does not blush until Pen Pen stares at his tumescent member.

"Photobucket"

Over time, the two draw closer. Pen Pen no longer antagonizes Shinji, and Shinji is no longer impatient with Pen Pen. In episode 7, they are already shown dining together, as if they were old friends---or a married couple. In episode 9, they are shown acting in unison as they wait for Asuka to emerge from the WC. Their souls have achieved oneness, you might say.

"Photobucket"

"Photobucket"

The manga shows even more clearly than the anime that their bond has become one of trust and affection, as this page demonstrates. Pen Pen is depticted staring at Shinji with hearts in his eyes as the boy gives him his meal; he has replaced Misato as the provider of food, food of course being a metaphor for love. Rather ominously, however, Shinji’s expression appears to be morose and apathetic.

"Photobucket"

Episode 15 marks the turning point in Shinji and Pen Pen’s relationship. Shinji, unsure of his sexuality and unable to ignore conventional mores in pursuit of a relationship with a male bird, acquiesces when Asuka, his human roommate, offers to kiss him. Pen Pen watches their foreplay in crestfallen silence and subsequently retreats into his room, heartbroken. When he closes the door of his refrigerator, he no doubt begins to sob.

"Photobucket"

In episode 23, we see just how far Pen Pen’s affection for Shinji extends. Despite his formerly warm relationship with Misato, he is unwilling to allow Misato to hold him, uninterested in anyone but his inamorato, Shinji.

"Photobucket"


Pen Pen’s relationship with Shinji is subtly explored in both the TV and movie endings. In episode 26, Pen Pen is shown as a mere bobble-headed doll on Shinji’s desk, signifying that he has become an object for the boy’s gratification, his own feelings ignored. In the final scene of the original series, Pen Pen, the bird who loved Shinji without any hope of reciprocation, is shown greeting him at the end of his journey, all animosity forgotten.

"Photobucket"

EoE explores Shinji and Pen Pen’s relationship in a darker, more complex fashion. In one of the film’s most memorable scenes, Pen Pen re-imagines the night in which Shinji broke his heart by betraying him with Asuka in episode 15. Instead of humiliating Pen Pen with a kiss, however, Shinji takes things one step further and confesses his feelings to the girl. Horrified that Shinji has chosen Asuka over him, Pen Pen can only watch in shock, before secretly rejoicing in the brutal murder of his love-rival.

"Photobucket"

The keepsake photo is Pen Pen’s final appearance in the series, and it is a very significant one indeed. Pen Pen is held by Hikari at arm’s length from Shinji, never able to touch the one he loves. Note Pen Pen’s tired eyes and world-weary expression. This is the end of his relationship with Shinji.

"Photobucket"
Last edited by Lucretius on Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:32 pm, edited 5 times in total.

He shuddered a bit, remembering the somewhat creepy level of detail Kaji had gone into, while rubbing a watermelon in a disturbingly sexual way.

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Postby slothen » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:45 am

reserved for first reaction. :hohum:
God, Apparently you all have been discussing Q since November. Catching up on the discussion is harrowing.

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:47 am

To think such an important character as Pen-Pen was ignored is an utter travesty I say!
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Postby NAveryW » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:48 am

Don't let Zap or Ornette see this thread. They'll MOIDER it!
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Postby esselfortium » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:57 am

Well, this certainly puts a fascinating new wrench in the ointment. Bah, I'm mixing metaphors again. In any case, I think this thread has just completely changed my views on the relationship dynamics of the Evangelion universe, and I'm curious to see how others will react to it.

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Postby toe mash » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:22 am

Rebuild 2.0  SPOILER: Show
damnit, more aspects of the show that are lost in rebuild..

Here we can see Pen2 clearly enthusiastic about meeting other penguins:

Image

Apparently now Pen2 even has somewhat of a harem going on

Image

Last edited by toe mash on Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby esselfortium » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:27 am

Wow, toe mash, good catch. I already had my doubts, but after witnessing that change I don't think I'll ever be able to take Rebuild's characterizations seriously at all.

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Re: Pen Pen's Sexuality

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:30 am

Lucretius wrote:Pen Pen is probably bisexual, exhibiting a strong interest in both Shinji and Misato
A fact that has not been lost on some doujinshi --

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Postby backseatjesus » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:15 am

I think my brain just exploded. IT WAS ALL SO OBVIOUS!

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Postby Zaque » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:36 am

lol, nice work. :D
poor pen pen....
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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:01 am

I always thought Pen-Pen had a thing for horses.

....please don't bring up any hentai comics with an image like that....

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Postby Joseph the PRPD » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:31 am

toe mash wrote:Spoiler tag


I think it'll help if you label it a 2.0 spoiler.
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Re: Pen Pen's Sexuality

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:23 am

Lucretius wrote:A study on the influences of cold medicine while viewing Evangelion.

:hitthetable:

See? This is why I don't watch the show while I'm sick with something.

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Postby Xard » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:26 am

this thread is beautiful
ran1: Oh gosh this sentence gave me an internet boner. You're so tsundere.
Mugwump: Goddamn it, Xard! Take me in your arms, you magnificent sex god bastard!
And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
Eva Yojimbo: You really are the Otaku equivalent of a Catholic and Jew rolled up into one giant dakimakura of guilt.
Gob Hobblin: Sanctimonious, subtly racist, vaguely misogynist, somehow says something while at the same time saying...nothing, really, at all....

Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby supershinjiasukashipper » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:49 am

im sorry, but this is ridiculous. :crazytwirl: yes, pen pen was attracted to humans, mabey Shinji, and i could have followed you about shin and pen till your reference to magma diver. it was Misato and Asuka cusing his, "thermal expansion" dillema. :ting: i do agree about pen pens attraction, but i don't completely think it was shared by the humans. but go ahead, make some shin screwing pen pen hentai, it will be good for a laugh, annd its a change from the usual sickness.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:53 am

shinjidoggysasuka wrote:im sorry, but this is ridiculous. :crazytwirl: yes, pen pen was attracted to humans, mabey Shinji, and i could have followed you about shin and pen till your reference to magma diver. it was Misato and Asuka cusing his, "thermal expansion" dillema. :ting: i do agree about pen pens attraction, but i don't completely think it was shared by the humans. but go ahead, make some shin screwing pen pen hentai, it will be good for a laugh, annd its a change from the usual sickness.

There's a reason why this is in the "Chit-Chat" rather than in the serious "Discussion" board.

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Postby supershinjiasukashipper » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:57 am

FreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:
shinjidoggysasuka wrote:im sorry, but this is ridiculous. :crazytwirl: yes, pen pen was attracted to humans, mabey Shinji, and i could have followed you about shin and pen till your reference to magma diver. it was Misato and Asuka cusing his, "thermal expansion" dillema. :ting: i do agree about pen pens attraction, but i don't completely think it was shared by the humans. but go ahead, make some shin screwing pen pen hentai, it will be good for a laugh, annd its a change from the usual sickness.

There's a reason why this is in the "Chit-Chat" rather than in the serious "Discussion" board.

i know, but im not gonna let the pink whale sit in front of me and not point it out. :ting:
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Postby MatrixRefugee » Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:45 am

I've heard of parrots getting attached to their human owners/companions to the point that they behave as if the human were their mate. Budgies regurgitate seed and feed it to their mate as part of their "hey, let's hook up/stay together" rituals, and I had a bird that used to try to feed my hand. I Am Not Making This Up. I've heard of people having problems with male African Grey parrots trying to mount their hands. And wasn't there an odd case of two male penguins in a zoo in Europe who'd been sort of "fooling around with" each other (I seem to remember some fundamentalist Christians getting their shirts in a knot over "gay penguins")? Maybe PenPen had something like this going on: he doesn't have others of his own kind to fool around with, so he's turning to those weird, tall, featherless creatures he lives with...
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Postby Sachi » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:41 am

This is pure win. This is a thread that will go down in history. From this point foward, Pen Pen will never be that simple comic relief, but he'll be accepted as another character of Evangelion complete with problems of his own.
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Postby GasmaskAvenger » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:58 pm

I guess farm animals didn't satisfy enough, so we got polar instead (Wait...but Pen-Pen is a warmwater Penguin. Never mind)
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