Shinji's Sexuality

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Mr. Tines [ANF]
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Postby Mr. Tines [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:31 am

I'll start off by admitting to irrational bias, shored up with post hoc rationalizations, and all based off personal idiosyncracies.

Reichu wrote:As far as I can see, Asuka and Shinji are both deeply, tragically flawed people -- neither somehow "better" than the other.


I agree that both are flawed (this being a special case of the more general result that the characters are flawed unless proven to be "bridge bunnies") - and I think that is the secret of the power of the series.

I certainly didn't plan on giving my sympathies to Asuka or reacting quite so viscerally to EoE; and I don't think I would have if they'd been perfect people all the way. My responses definitely surprised me - back at ep 11, I was still thinking "Christ! She's a complete cow! They should have killed her off last episode like I thought they were going to, and milked it for tragedy."

By the end - no, before the end, Asuka had at least reached the bottom and could be kicked into beginning the path back, to live with her flaws, if not overcome them. Shinji, by contrast, was about two episodes behind, and no sign of bottoming out - if the other two pilots had negative reactions to dolls, he by contrast was doing his damndedest to act as if he were one. And at the end, the Anti-Eden, the wasteland - his reaction is abusive, hers defeated.

Sad truth, indeed - if I were to be poetic, I would missaply a line from Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus" as the translation of the final words:- "Why this is Hell, nor am I out of it."




In less apocalyptic times - episode #11, to me represents the acme of her interaction with the other pilots as a long series of dominance games (you couldn't get any more blatant than the breaking into NERV sequence), in marked contrast to her on-going flirtatious and more vulnerable behaviour towards Kaji.

All her conscious affections were directed in that direction, at least until her disintegration into dysfunction was well under way. My own personal chequered history makes me skeptical of the "She really loves Shinji but doesn't realise it." argument - when Cupid's dart struck, it was completely, insistently, unambiguous.


If they could have escaped the roller coaster, been weaned away from being pilots - they might have grown comfortable with each other; but I don't see where they would overlap in that case.

Originally posted on: 09-Nov-2004, 21:16 GMT

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Postby Mr. Tines [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:31 am

Shin-seiki wrote:I wonder if you're familiar with the rumor (which MDWigs seems find quite credible) that, over the course of doing NGE, Mr. Anno fell hard for Yuko Miramura, Asuka's VA, and that she essentially told him to get lost


I had read that suggestion (maybe elsewhere on this site), but when managaing to side-track us in this particular direction, I've been sticking to the "text", rather than the more nebulous issue of author intent (see deconstructionism), since that's been the level at which the rest of the argument was being conducted. And it was the text wthout such context that formed my original reactions on first viewing.

That said, it would not surprise me in the slightest were it to be confirmed.

Originally posted on: 09-Nov-2004, 21:28 GMT

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Postby Ark [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:31 am

Shin-seiki wrote:Mr. Anno fell hard for Yuko Miramura, Asuka's VA, and that she essentially told him to get lost, and that supposedly we see his residual hard feelings played out in EoE (note that the Shinji/Asuka relationship scarcely even comes up in EoTV).


Or maybe it's just more noticable in the film because everyone's "minds are opened" to eachother.

Originally posted on: 09-Nov-2004, 21:44 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:32 am

Ark wrote:Or maybe it's just more noticable in the film because everyone's "minds are opened" to eachother.


The same thing is happening in EoTV, dear. Both are about Instrumentality.

Originally posted on: 10-Nov-2004, 00:34 GMT

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Postby Incisivis [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:32 am

Mr. Tines wrote:By the end - no, before the end, Asuka had at least reached the bottom and could be kicked into beginning the path back, to live with her flaws, if not overcome them.
And at the end, the Anti-Eden, the wasteland - his reaction is abusive, hers defeated.[/QUOTE]

I'm dubious about the idea, myself. By "kicked into beginning the path back", I assume you refer to Asuka's "ressurection" in EVA-02 to battle the JSSDF troops and the Harpies, but I don't think battle prowess and true strength are necessarily linked, something NGE states often (look at Misato for another example).

Yes, Asuka is out there smashing prosterior, but what does that mean? Her interest in piloting is, I think, fuelled partially if not wholly by defense; she wishes to prove to her mother that she is "worth something", prove to the world that she is a capable adult and warrior, because Asuka cannot believe it herself and is terrified they might be right. By getting "back in the saddle", Asuka only re-enters the symbol of her problems. She fights again, but I don't see much indication that the emotional battles are really being won.

Furthermore, it's contact with her mother, and her utter terror of dying, that fuels Asuka's return to the battlefield. Making a decision is always a matter of external and internal factors, but to me fear and outside intervention, leading one to return to square one, isn't a victory.

. Shinji, by contrast, was about two episodes behind, and no sign of bottoming out - if the other two pilots had negative reactions to dolls, he by contrast was doing his damndedest to act as if he were one.


Mmmm...do you mean "negative reactions to dolls" meant that Rei and Asuka were defying the notions that they were dolls? I don't know...Rei doesn't seem to put much vigor into refuting Asuka's claims, especially when actions speak louder than words. Asuka's anger at dolls looks to me more like agitated defensiveness, rather than outright rejection; it stems from fear, fear sparked by her mother's death.

Originally posted on: 10-Nov-2004, 18:08 GMT

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Postby Soluzar [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:32 am

Shin-seiki wrote:Mister Tines, since you fairly new here, I wonder if you're familiar with the rumor (which MDWigs seems find quite credible) that, over the course of doing NGE, Mr. Anno fell hard for Yuko Miramura, Asuka's VA, and that she essentially told him to get lost, and that supposedly we see his residual hard feelings played out in EoE (note that the Shinji/Asuka relationship scarcely even comes up in EoTV). It's hard to not read something into the fact that Shinji, who is Anno's stand-in for the psychological 'issues' in NGE, gets to strangle Asuka, not once, but twice, before it's all over.
Just thought I'd throw that out, since we're on the subject...


OK. That's me defeated. Any of the things that can be pointed to in EoE as evidence for the Asuka-Shinji relationship can be essentially attributed to this rumor, and that's just taken some of the best bits of my theory away. Sure, it might be based upon the forbidden fruit of Authorial Intent, but I'm inclined to believe it anyway.

I'm inclined at this point to say that with everything that I've read in this thread, Shin-Seiki's post is the final nail in the coffin. There's too much evidence to support Shinji and Asuka as a romantic couple for me to keep on disbelieving it. They are merely a horribly dysfunctional couple, and those aren't too hard to find. Still, it was fun exploring this... Even if I have to admit defeat in the end.

Originally posted on: 10-Nov-2004, 18:24 GMT

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Postby Ark [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:32 am

Mr. Tines wrote:And at the end, the Anti-Eden, the wasteland - his reaction is abusive, hers defeated.


Anti-Eden?

Thats an interseting way of describing it.

In cartoon adaptations I've watched of the genesis story earth is portrayed in the same way (minus crucified harpies) after Adam and Eve have been cast down there. It also reminded me of the end of planet of the apes in some odd way.

Originally posted on: 10-Nov-2004, 18:55 GMT

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Postby Mr. Tines [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:32 am

Incisivis wrote:Furthermore, it's contact with her mother, and her utter terror of dying, that fuels Asuka's return to the battlefield. Making a decision is always a matter of external and internal factors, but to me fear and outside intervention, leading one to return to square one, isn't a victory.


It has been said, "If you're heading in the wrong direction, progress means going backwards." Square one would at least be a chance of a fresh start. Alas, what would have happened next to Asuka had the Eva series stayed down is in the unknowable realms of "What if...".


Incisivis wrote:Mmmm...do you mean "negative reactions to dolls" meant that Rei and Asuka were defying the notions that they were dolls? I don't know...Rei doesn't seem to put much vigor into refuting Asuka's claims, especially when actions speak louder than words. Asuka's anger at dolls looks to me more like agitated defensiveness, rather than outright rejection; it stems from fear, fear sparked by her mother's death.


Rei did indeed actively deny that she was a doll - to Gendo, in Terminal Dogma, early in 26'. Asuka's negative reaction vis-a-vis dolls is as you say - in her case the accusation was the other way around, her mother's belief that her doll was the real Asuka. Given the strength of the doll motif, Shinji being dragged around like a Raggedy-Andy by Misato felt like completing the set.

Originally posted on: 11-Nov-2004, 08:05 GMT

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Postby Knives [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:32 am

I agree strongly with Tines on his points regarding the dolls and stuff and things.
But disagree strongly with Tines (still) on his ideas about Asuka and Shinji.
I agree they aren't "a couple," but I don't think you can deny Asuka's interest in Shinji and vice versa.

Originally posted on: 10-Nov-2004, 23:56 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:32 am

Knives wrote:I agree they aren't "a couple," but I don't think you can deny Asuka's interest in Shinji and vice versa.


"The best in life is yet to come." Image

Originally posted on: 11-Nov-2004, 00:50 GMT

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Postby Knives [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:32 am

Reichu wrote:"The best in life is yet to come." Image

Image What? Like ...

Shinji: "Wait ... this reminds me of something. Asuka, hold that position."
[image of Asuka lying on the beach, motionless as we see Shinji from behind]
[cue sound effect *zzzzzip*]

(..need I go further?..)

Originally posted on: 11-Nov-2004, 06:54 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:33 am

Asuka: "You stupid pervert! If you're going to spank the monkey in front of me, at least do it right!"
Shinji: "What would be 'right'?"
Asuka: "If I watch and do the same thing. Naturlich."
Shinji: Image

I only meant that even though Asuka and Shinji can't be considered a "couple", since nothing that would qualify them as such actually results from the chemistry between them (aside from some Instrumentality-sex, but that doesn't count...) -- they're only youngsters. By all indications, they should have long, terrible lives ahead of them, and frightening things should be bound to happen if they manage to show some tenderness along with all of the animosity, the power struggles, the stranglings, the comatose masturbations, etc....

Originally posted on: 11-Nov-2004, 16:02 GMT

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Postby Incisivis [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:33 am

Mr. Tines wrote:It has been said, "If you're heading in the wrong direction, progress means going backwards." Square one would at least be a chance of a fresh start. Alas, what would have happened next to Asuka had the Eva series stayed down is in the unknowable realms of "What if...".


I still don't see it as a fresh start. Just doing as she always has.

Rei did indeed actively deny that she was a doll - to Gendo, in Terminal Dogma, early in 26'.


The incident with Rei III is an ambigious one; I can't accept it fully one way or the other. Yes, she is going against what Gendou wished her to do, but she is also not moving on to a better life. Instead she is going to lose her "selfhood" within Lilith (although, as Reichu would be happy to point out, she might just be returning to the point of origin, and in that sense it is a laudable goal), and then turn things over to Shinji.

Originally posted on: 11-Nov-2004, 17:59 GMT

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Postby Magami No ER [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:33 am

Well, Rei did say many times that she had nothing else, so maybe she wanted to see Shinji,the only other person who was able to make her smile, and not treat her like a doll, knownly losing herself in the process.

Originally posted on: 11-Nov-2004, 18:03 GMT

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:33 am

Magami No ER wrote:Well, Rei did say many times that she had nothing else, so maybe she wanted to see Shinji,the only other person who was able to make her smile, and not treat her like a doll, knownly losing herself in the process.
Rei: "Is this my heart, to be one with Ikari-kun?"

Originally posted on: 11-Nov-2004, 18:24 GMT

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Postby Magami No ER [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:33 am

Shin-seiki wrote:Rei: "Is this my heart, to be one with Ikari-kun?"

Ohh, now it's starting to click. I haven't watch the first DC(I now she said it in the original too, but it made less sense) in a while, for some reason my DVD player won't play it. It makes sense now to link what Rei says that before exploding. But that was Rei ll. Rei lll has no memory of that battle, and therefore continues to say she has nothing(in the TV ending)I would imagine that all the other things Shinji did to Rei would be remembered by Rei lll, affecting her final decision to go to "Ikari-kun." Her heart remained the same, even with no memory of that incident.

Originally posted on: 11-Nov-2004, 18:37 GMT

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Postby Soluzar [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:33 am

Reichu wrote:Asuka: "You stupid pervert! If you're going to spank the monkey in front of me, at least do it right!"
Shinji: "What would be 'right'?"
Asuka: "If I watch and do the same thing. Naturlich."
Shinji: Image


I seem to recall that during Instrumentality, she did mention that next time he did that she would watch... Image

In context, it was more like a put-down, but who knows? Maybe she was expressing her 'true feelings' for Shinji at that point in the film...

Reichu wrote:I only meant that even though Asuka and Shinji can't be considered a "couple", since nothing that would qualify them as such actually results from the chemistry between them (aside from some Instrumentality-sex, but that doesn't count...) -- they're only youngsters. By all indications, they should have long, terrible lives ahead of them, and frightening things should be bound to happen if they manage to show some tenderness along with all of the animosity, the power struggles, the stranglings, the comatose masturbations, etc....


I doubt they'd ever get past the issues that they have. I'm no longer arguing that they don't have a mutual attraction, but they certainly have no idea about healthy ways of showing that. Plus, Asuka is so sexualised of a character, and at such a young age, whereas Shinji is scared to death of emotional contact, let alone physical. I think that they are doomed to break each others hearts in a spectacular way, myself.

Originally posted on: 11-Nov-2004, 18:52 GMT

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Postby Mr. Tines [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:33 am

Incisivis wrote:I still don't see it as a fresh start. Just doing as she always has.


I did say a chance of a fresh start. But actually, on reflection, I think I can go back to the stronger assertion I'd made before - circumstances had changed enough for her to definitely have been on an upward path, had events permitted.

Don't forget - in her reawakening, Asuka has, after all these years, experienced her mother's love for her in a completely unambiguous and direct fashion; has immediate and personal experience of what it was that Rei was exhorting her to do much earlier in terms of opening up her soul to her Eva.

Originally posted on: 11-Nov-2004, 18:54 GMT

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Postby Soluzar [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:33 am

Mr. Tines wrote:Don't forget - in her reawakening, Asuka has, after all these years, experienced her mother's love for her in a completely unambiguous and direct fashion; has immediate and personal experience of what it was that Rei was exhorting her to do much earlier in terms of opening up her soul to her Eva.


Does that mean that Rei experiences a completely unambigous and direct sense of her love for herself? Must be interesting...
Image

Originally posted on: 11-Nov-2004, 19:02 GMT

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Postby Mr. Tines [ANF] » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:33 am

Soluzar wrote:Does that mean that Rei experiences a completely unambigous and direct sense of her love for herself? Must be interesting...
Image


That runs the two clauses together in the manner of a train wreck Image

I suspect that Rei experiences heightened self awareness (under the tacit assumption that Rei and 00 share aspects of Lilith, as opposed to any other model for 00) - as opposed to Asuka's belated awareness of the separate being of Kyoko and her feelings. I also wonder whether she knew more than she was letting on, and was not just giving technical advice on how to synch better.

Originally posted on: 11-Nov-2004, 19:24 GMT


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