Nature vs. Nature: Rei and RIAO

For serious and at times in-depth discussions only, covering the original TV series, the movies End of Evangelion and Death & Rebirth.

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Postby Reichu » Wed May 27, 2009 8:38 pm

Timstuff wrote:Rei I was definitely artificially aged, since in her first appearance she appeared as a small child when she should have only been a baby.

People are still "babies" at five?
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Postby Evayo » Wed May 27, 2009 8:59 pm

Reichu wrote:People are still "babies" at five?

Certain parents may be inclined to believe that. ;)

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Postby Zaque » Wed May 27, 2009 10:38 pm

So Rei's total "human" age is 9 then (adding them up)? Of course, if you add all the years her soul spent in Lilith, I wonder how much that age really matters.

Anyway, in comparing Rei to the alternate reality, RiAO, the key differences would probably simply be:
-- Lack of being Lilith (although I don't really know how much of those memories transferred over).
-- Being "raised" normally (btw, who in the world would her parents be???), which means for Rei:
---- No pills (interesting note: kaworu doesn't take any... at least doesn't seem like he does)
---- No Nerv isolation (not really sure what Nerv does in alternate reality either, maybe doesn't even exist)
---- Whatever other stuff you feel like to describe "normal"

My conclusion: it's quite possible that the same soul could have evolved in these two different people, but that's the thing, they're different, very different. And I think that just taking Rei off those pills isn't going to cut it. It would need that whole alternate reality for it to work :P . Like what Indigo Arcangel posted before this thread was resurrected, the alternate reality seems very likely as though it could be a world without the Angels (well, with Rei somehow of course).
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Postby Timstuff » Wed May 27, 2009 11:47 pm

Rei's ubringing definitely affected who she became, but I do think that even in the standard continuity she'd behave noticeably different if she were off the pills for a sustained period of time. However, in EoE I'd speculate that Rei's recently increased depression + withdrawal symptoms = bad. They say Ritalin is a helluva drug...

If Rei been able to transition off of the pills during a time period when she was in a more stable mental state (like earlier in the series), she could have shown a lot of improvement, and would have ended up being somewhere between "standard Rei" and Raio. It might just be my wishful fanboy thinking, but I think under better circumstances Rei might have ended up a happier, socially well adjusted girl.
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Postby Reichu » Thu May 28, 2009 12:08 am

A happy, socially well-adjusted girl whose origins (in order for this to actually be Rei) demand that she emerge from the circumstances of someone's mom turning into goo and refusing to return, and the soul of an ancient alien being trapped into a discolored clone of said lady?

Give the very young Rei to loving parents, and ALL WILL BE WELL. JUST BECAUSE.

Also, too much pointless speculation here about those pills.
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Postby Zaque » Thu May 28, 2009 1:00 am

Reichu wrote:A happy, socially well-adjusted girl whose origins (in order for this to actually be Rei) demand that she emerge from the circumstances of someone's mom turning into goo and refusing to return, and the soul of an ancient alien being trapped into a discolored clone of said lady?

Meh, some quantum magic to do a little soul swapping along with the randomness required for two people to be genetically identical, sans pigmentation (which has such a crazy low probability that is only really possible under the many universes theory), should work just fine for this scenario considering it is an alternate reality. ;)
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Postby Reichu » Thu May 28, 2009 4:26 am

Zaque: Timstuff was just referring to "better circumstances", which sounded to me slightly less involved than the "wacky alternate dimension with inexplicable genki transfer student Rei" scenario. Hence I kept everything else the same and just separated Rei from Nerv at a young age, while thumbing my nose at the idea that this would necessarily make a huge difference in Rei's "weird" factor.
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Postby TheLobe » Thu May 28, 2009 7:54 am

It would depend entirely on who raised her, and how.

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Postby BattleMonkey » Thu May 28, 2009 9:00 am

Don't think Rei can actually live without being under NERV supervision, her body needs to be maintained it seems, so even if she got away from NERV and under some normal care at a young age, she likely would have just died.... fallen apart, whatever.

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Postby VoidEater » Thu May 28, 2009 11:56 am

It's all vulgar speculation, so I'll add to it.

I doubt the pills have anything to do with mental stability or control (again, if that's good for Rei, it would be used on the other pilots). It's more likely the pills are for physical maintenance, and seems to be one of the few explanations for her arm falling off (she's physically unstable).

There seems to be a lot of identity placed on soul per se here. If we stipulate some of the stylistic influences of NGE to be somewhat more meaningful than mere window dressing, then the soul is not identity ab initio. It is just the motivating force, or "breath", of life - literally, that energy that causes breathing. Eastern thought, and Western mysticism (as opposed to more garden variety thought), point toward development of the soul through life experiences.

In other words, Rei without the experiences she has as a human is not Rei as we know her. Her identity is a result of those experiences. Without those, she is not Rei any longer. She can never be a normal human, because she has experiences as a SOL. It is experience (not memory as such) that is stored in the soul in this view.

The soul is not "who you are" from beginning to end; the soul is molded by "what you do".

Rei, in an alternate universe, is not Rei. Rei with a happy home life is not Rei. Ve becomes just a paper doll stand-in for "Gee, wouldn't it be nice if all little girls had proper mommies and daddies," which is a nice thought but has nothing to do with Rei. Take any blank slate and put them in a happy home and see what happens - but it's not recongnizably Rei any more.

On her age, well, her entire human life could be only the few months we actually see her. There's no evidence she existed outside of her Reiquarium from 0 to about 5 years old, and then from being strangled to about 14 years old.

As far as babies are concerned, my recent experiences IRL suggest many people are still babies well into their 20's.
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Postby BattleMonkey » Thu May 28, 2009 12:11 pm

In the manga Ritsuko does say to Rei that she is the one keeping her Alive, so that just seems to further push the idea that Rei is not stable and has to have some form of maintenance.

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Postby DummyPlug » Thu May 28, 2009 3:58 pm

I think she would be introverted like in the TV series, but maybe a little bit less creepy (she would probably have friends).

There's evidence that introversion is at least partly genetic. I remember I read that the Japanese population have a genetic tendency towards introversion. Twins are naturally occuring clones and they tend to be equally extraverted/introverted.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Thu May 28, 2009 4:15 pm

Just to point out, in the game and manga of GoS2 (what that 26AU is based on), even Transfer Student Rei apparently has a connection with Nerv, so even that take on Rei isn't able to be a completely "normal" girl.
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Postby Reichu » Thu May 28, 2009 9:25 pm

Sailor Star Dust wrote:Just to point out, in the game and manga of GoS2 (what that 26AU is based on)

Isn't it... the other way around?
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Postby Timstuff » Thu May 28, 2009 9:59 pm

Just adding my 2¢, but nothing from GOS2 or Angelic Days should be considered particularly relevant to the show, because in Angelic Days the Evas and Angels still exist, while in the alternate world from e26 there's not really anything to suggest they do.

My personal fanwankish belief is that in e26, it represents the "normal" version of the world where the Angels and technology derived from them (including the Evas) do not exist, but for some reason Rei was still able to come into existence. I think it's a peak at what Rei might have been if she had grown up in a "normal" and healthy environment, but I obviously have no way of proving it. The big question for me though, is if it was the mere fact that Rei is angelic that caused her to behave in the depressed way she does, or was it the knowledge that there was something "different" or "wrong" about her? It's not like "normal" human teenagers never suffer from depression and emotional isolation, so I think it's possible that in Rei's case, it's not depression that's unique to her, but the reason she has for being depressed.
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Postby Reichu » Thu May 28, 2009 10:36 pm

Timstuff wrote:the mere fact that Rei is angelic

We're all "Angelic", so you'll probably have to be a little more specific.

or was it the knowledge that there was something "different" or "wrong" about her?

The combination of "really unnatural body/existence" and "fragmented soul of ancient progenitor alien" probably (i.e., definitely) helped generate some of the problems. Add Gendo's unique form of child-rearing...

Also, the episode 26 scenario can't be taken too seriously. Without Seele-Gehirn-Nerv, Rei could not possibly exist. At all. I just thought I would mention that again. (It was really just meant to show to Shinji that he could theoretically be happy in a world where he wasn't an Eva pilot. Implausible alternate reality was just for fan service -- and presumably the staff letting themselves have a little fun.)
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Postby BattleMonkey » Thu May 28, 2009 11:18 pm

Even the GOTS2 storyline had to make adjustments to the "normal" world scenario to make it work in the eva sphere. Rei still had to have her unique traits and origins given to her somehow.

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Postby Timstuff » Fri May 29, 2009 6:18 am

That was mostly just because they wanted to be able to keep the Evangelions in the story. If Episode 26 was an alternate reality made from Shinji's desires, then honestly it doesn't need an excuse for why Rei still exists.
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Postby VoidEater » Fri May 29, 2009 11:16 am

ep 26 = peak at solipsism, we crate our own realities, who knows what is "real", we interpret and assign meaning to create reality/dream. Out of all the possibilities, Shinji is "choosing" this one.

It's an "alternate reality" the same way schizophrenia is an "alternate reality". It takes place in Shinji's mind, as all "reality" does.

But I never viewed it as "real" (EDIT: except that it may be the "real" "real") - it's just possibility and makes you wonder why Shinji (we) assign particular roles and motivations to others.

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Postby AuraTwilight » Fri May 29, 2009 12:13 pm

RIAO Rei from Angelic Days/ep 26verse is still apparently an artificial clone with above-average Angelic attributes, and furthermore she was raised in a cold, sterile lab and had no family.

Better living circumstances my ass, her personality was just altered for the hell of it with no real reason. Unless having a toaster improved her life THAT MUCH and Rei has a damn orgasm whenever she dips her breakfast bread in her miso soup.

Then again, considering the sexual imagery in this sho-oh god ill stop


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