Conduct of JSSDF soldiers in End of Evangelion

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Conduct of JSSDF soldiers in End of Evangelion

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Postby SAWgunner » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:42 pm

From when I first saw the movie, I was struck by the sheer callousness and brutality the JSSDF soldiers showed when they attacked Nerv. I've wondered for a while about just why they did this and I think I've come up with some possible answers.
First off, the average age of a real life enlisted soldier in the United States is about 18 to 25 years old. Projecting that onto the JSSDF in 2015, all of them would have been born in the mid to late '90s and, thus, would have lived through the Second Impact. Even those who were too young to actually remember the event would have had searing memories of the aftermath. They may have lost homes, lost relatives and friends. The hardship of their lives would have made them extremely hard themselves.
In the world of Evangelion, the UN exerts far more control over the countries of the world than it does in real life. This is probably galling to a proud people like the Japanese, or for any other country with any amount of power prior to the Impact. Probably also upsetting is that the UN spends such an exorbitant amount of money on Nerv and the Evangelions rather than on rebuilding or alleviating all of the mass-human suffering which must still exist in that world. While the need for the Evangelions becomes self-evident by the time the series begins, it would have seemed for a long time prior that the UN was just throwing money into some bottomless pit. And so, for nationalistic and political reasons, the JSSDF soldier is already biased against Nerv's parent organization.
Nerv itself must stick in any military man's craw. Here we see a pseudo-military formation made up of computer geeks and scientists plopped down right in the middle of their country, engorging itself on astronomical sums of money to build weapons with almost god-like power. So while Nerv's organizational culture differs radically from the military's, and it isn't even Japanese but a trans-national body, it alone is capable of defending Japan against the Angels' menace. The military itself is entirely impotent against this threat and it's humiliating and painful for the organization created for that sole purpose.
I doubt that the Japanese military especially trusted Nerv, and I doubt any of Nerv's host countries did either. The transnational body chilling in their country and blowing all of their money is building super weapons which, while absolutely vital at present, can easily be used against them in the future. And just what are these "Evangelions" anyway? Where did they come from and what dark secrets were used to create them? Most of all, what will they do with them when this "Angel War" is over?
And so, we have the JSSDF in 2015. Sidelined, ineffectual. Eclipsed by an upstart organization that answers to an all-powerful world government and that they envy, distrust, and fear. Manned by a generation deeply scarred by disaster and conflict. These men find themselves going to war against this very organization that they detest, and their reason for fighting is that Nerv is trying to recreate the horrors of the Second Impact in their own backyard.
This must have been a mind-boggling prospect for the JSSDF man on the ground. How could any human being willingly do something so horrific? How could any human be so evil and depraved that he would attempt to consign his own race to oblivion? And we trusted them to stop the angels!
So after seeing all of these factors coalesce, it's easy to see why the JSSDF took such merciless actions in the attack on the Geofront.

The real reason the writers made all of that happen was probably just to show man's inhumanity to man, and to show another reason why Instrumentality isn't such a bad thing.

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Postby Hawq » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:48 pm

It's been some time but pretty sure it was either mentioned or (more likely) strongly implied, if it wasn't then it's reasoning on my part I guess, that they attacking forces had been told Nerv was trying to start third impact & by doing so kill everyone so they went in with extreme prejudice to stop it.

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Postby Xard » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:53 pm

They were told NERV was trying to trigger 3rd Impact. On top of this they had orders to kill everything.

Their actions make sense.
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Postby SAWgunner » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:03 pm

View Original PostHawq wrote:It's been some time but pretty sure it was either mentioned or (more likely) strongly implied, if it wasn't then it's reasoning on my part I guess, that they attacking forces had been told Nerv was trying to start third impact & by doing so kill everyone so they went in with extreme prejudice to stop it.


Yeah, it was stated someplace in there, can't recall exactly where though. Looking at it from that angle, the soldiers suddenly aren't such bad guys.

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Postby Hawq » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:10 pm

Apart from maybe the English dubs 'hit em again' guy

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Postby SAWgunner » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:24 pm

No, the "hit em again" guy is my hero. I want to be just like him when I grow up.

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Postby InstrumentalityOne » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:32 pm

They thought that NERV is an evil organization who´s trying to kill everybody.

They weren´t that far off, kind of.


And on a side note:

Who´s that "hit em again" guy?
That guy who shot a NERV crying member who dragged some dead NERV member around?

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Postby NemZ » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:38 pm

View Original PostInstrumentalityOne wrote:Who´s that "hit em again" guy?


it involves flamethrowers
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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:47 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:it involves flamethrowers
And Amanda Winn Lee.
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Postby SAWgunner » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:00 pm

How about the social and political aspects I brought up? Does that ring true to you?

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Postby TehDonutKing » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:21 pm

View Original PostInstrumentalityOne wrote:They thought that NERV is an evil organization who´s trying to kill everybody.

They weren´t that far off, kind of.


And on a side note:

Who´s that "hit em again" guy?
That guy who shot a NERV crying member who dragged some dead NERV member around?


*Soldier shoots flamethrower*
Offscreen dude: AHHHUUGGHHHRDUFHFHAAAAAAAAAGGG!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!11
Soldier: ....Hit 'em again.
Offscreen dude: AAAAAAAHHHHHAAAAUUGGGHHHHHSHYHFGYGURGLEDYIFDHRFAAAAAAAHHHHHHAAAAUUGGGHAAAGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!!111
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Postby NemZ » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:46 pm

View Original PostSAWgunner wrote:How about the social and political aspects I brought up? Does that ring true to you?


Yes, quote plausible... especially the bit at the end where you basically admit you've thought about their motivations and geopolitical situation far more than Anno.
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Re: Conduct of JSSDF soldiers in End of Evangelion

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Postby Hyper Shinchan » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:16 pm

Nerv probably created a lot of work and moved a lot of moneys that could have helped a lot the Japanese economy; the development of the E Project was completely undertook in Japan and all the first 3 EVAs have been produced there; also everyone probably enjoyed more advantages than problem from the United Nations since the organisation apparently has more power but it's always the major superpowers that make the decision in the end; actually the U.N. army for example is actually composed of the State member armies just like it happens now, it seems an improved version of the current U.N. (that it's utterly useless) but it's nowhere near to the "Earth Federation" that you can find in classical real robots animes.
This is probably galling to a proud people like the Japanese, or for any other country with any amount of power prior to the Impact.

Are you implying that Japan now has some kind of power? Probably they have more power in the post 2nd Impact world than now.
Anyway the JSSDF soldiers were professional soldiers, I'm not even sure if they've been informed about 3rd Impact (it's nowhere said that they've received this info, only the Japanese premier makes a reference to that); isn't it a soldier duty to obey orders? Do you think that similar fightings against civilians and non-combatants have not happened in the past and even right now?
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Re: Conduct of JSSDF soldiers in End of Evangelion

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Postby SAWgunner » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:47 pm

View Original PostHyper Shinchan wrote:Nerv probably created a lot of work and moved a lot of moneys that could have helped a lot the Japanese economy; the development of the E Project was completely undertook in Japan and all the first 3 EVAs have been produced there; also everyone probably enjoyed more advantages than problem from the United Nations since the organisation apparently has more power but it's always the major superpowers that make the decision in the end; actually the U.N. army for example is actually composed of the State member armies just like it happens now, it seems an improved version of the current U.N. (that it's utterly useless) but it's nowhere near to the "Earth Federation" that you can find in classical real robots animes.

Are you implying that Japan now has some kind of power? Probably they have more power in the post 2nd Impact world than now.
Anyway the JSSDF soldiers were professional soldiers, I'm not even sure if they've been informed about 3rd Impact (it's nowhere said that they've received this info, only the Japanese premier makes a reference to that); isn't it a soldier duty to obey orders? Do you think that similar fightings against civilians and non-combatants have not happened in the past and even right now?


That's a good point. It's hard to really say what the average citizen thinks of Nerv. Perhaps more research is in order. Also, I don't entirely recall if the troops on the ground actually got the memo about what Nerv was doing either. For them to have prior knowledge on the purpose of their mission explains everything quite nicely and it also makes military sense. If you want someone to accomplish a mission (i.e. stop the Third Impact) it helps greatly when they know just what they're trying to do.
As for fighting against non-combatants and civilians, I don't believe that Nerv personnel fall under either category. While they seemed to spend most of their time running away and being pitifully slaughtered, Nerv members were armed and did fight back. They were members of a pseudo-military organization which created and carried weapons, wore uniforms, had a rank structure, and fought in combat against both human and angelic adversaries. I don't think you can rightfully call them civilians. Looking at it from this angle, the only thing you can say the JSSDF really did wrong was failing to take prisoners.

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Re: Conduct of JSSDF soldiers in End of Evangelion

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Postby Azathoth » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:13 pm

View Original PostSAWgunner wrote:It's hard to really say what the average citizen thinks of Nerv. Perhaps more research is in order.


Judging from what we see in Tokyo-3 (which is a NERV company town, remember), people basically stop just short of blaming NERV for everything and generally like to bitch about it (not unjustifiably) despite the fact that it's their career. The people not lucky enough to get stable employment with them probably dislike them even more.

View Original PostSAWgunner wrote:Also, I don't entirely recall if the troops on the ground actually got the memo about what Nerv was doing either. For them to have prior knowledge on the purpose of their mission explains everything quite nicely and it also makes military sense. If you want someone to accomplish a mission (i.e. stop the Third Impact) it helps greatly when they know just what they're trying to do.


They probably got a version of what the Prime Minister was told - once it filtered down to the Commander of the Army and from there to the general in command and from him to his staff officers and from them to the company commanders and from them to the platoon commanders who told them to the platoon sergeants. Who then proceeded to tell their own version of the story to the enlisted men in order to best motivate them. It probably didn't amount to more than "those fuckers are gonna do second impact all over again, kill them all".

View Original PostSAWgunner wrote:As for fighting against non-combatants and civilians, I don't believe that Nerv personnel fall under either category. While they seemed to spend most of their time running away and being pitifully slaughtered, Nerv members were armed and did fight back. They were members of a pseudo-military organization which created and carried weapons, wore uniforms, had a rank structure, and fought in combat against both human and angelic adversaries. I don't think you can rightfully call them civilians. Looking at it from this angle, the only thing you can say the JSSDF really did wrong was failing to take prisoners.


The NERV security forces fought back. The average NERV technician got gunned down where they stood. The difficulty involved in fighting wars against paramilitary organizations is precisely this, that it's utterly unclear who's fair game and who's not. It's even worse in the case of NERV because they started out as a fucking think tank (not fair game) and morphed into a metaphysical biology research group (not fair game) and then from there began to apply metaphysical biology to creating war machines/apocalypse triggers (probably not quite fair game - you could argue this one, but the guys who build the bombs don't get hauled up for war crimes in real life, they get bought up by the winning side) and then started to use them, necessitating a corresponding militarization and the establishment of ranks and private security forces to the point where every employee basically has a gun - and do you see how we've morphed into the entire institute being fair game for a bunch of soldiers to kill, despite the fact that only a handful of them were offering any meaningful resistance?
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Re: Conduct of JSSDF soldiers in End of Evangelion

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Postby Hyper Shinchan » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:50 pm

View Original PostSAWgunner wrote:Looking at it from this angle, the only thing you can say the JSSDF really did wrong was failing to take prisoners.

JSSDF was given the order to shoot on non-combatants (unless either my memory or Manga subs are failing on me) and "failing" to take prisoners isn't a light matter; they probably wanted to wipe them out completely to delete evidences but the soldiers were only fulfilling their orders if there's anyone at fault it was the Japanese government.
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Postby LeoXiao » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:12 am

Soldiers do things like the JSSDF did even without knowing what the enemy's intentions are, often without orders as well. In fact, they have to be trained to take the proper protocol so they don't randomly kill stuff.

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Postby Stuart » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:45 pm

In episode 8 we hear the captain of the UN ship moaning about NERV getting all the funding while they're being ignored. They're all sailing around in ships that were built before second impact, whilst the Eva they're transporting is the cutting edge of technology.

Also in episode 2 we hear the two women gossiping in the supermarket about how they don't trust NERV.

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Postby AyrYntake » Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:45 am

One has to wonder, though, how without prior notice they anticipated to get that far into NERV and carry out a near-complete takeover. Surely NERV would've classified the information that one of their pilots was comatose and another a whining suicidal bohemian?
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Postby Dartz » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:21 pm

First of all... Geneva conventions don't apply in internal matters in a State.

Second.

The easiest way to stop an Evangelion is
1: With another Evangelion
2: Killing the Pilot before they get aboard.

You can't nuke it. It's far too mobile. A nuclear strike capable of taking down an Evangelion would have to be massive. The fallout... both political and otherwise... would be a nightmare.

You can't use conventional weapons. That's like stopping a hurricane with a fan.

If you're the JSSDF commander, you don't want to to be facing a fully armed EVA, so you rush like hell to kill the pilots when they're vulnerable. You don't stop to take prisoners, you don't pass go, you go straight to them because if they make it to their plugs.... they stomp on you good.

Just look what Asuka did in TWO MINUTES before 9 MPEva's took her down.

It's brutal. But makes sense. It's a First Strike attack that has to be intended to prevent an enemy from responding. It has to be done quickly. And it still fails misereably despite killing thousands.
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