Pilot Training / Asuka's Credentials [Split]

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition").
The third installment debuted in Japan on November 17, 2012.

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Postby Shogo-Kun » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:47 am

Neither will this end well... :lurk:
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Postby Seele00TextOnly » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:17 am

Aw come on Warren, it was a silly harmless post much like yours was, and the emoticon was used to help emphasize that. Basically it was what I envisioned Asuka might say, making sure her horn is tooted as loudly as possible. "Actually, I was awarded the elite title of Captain by numerous nations, an entire continent of the world even. Not just the proud nation of Germany. :)". It was neither supposed to be digging at you or serious nitpicking. It was as silly as it appeared to be; that was the joke.

Topic: While I do think that the Captain rank thing is pretty stupid and probably supposed to denote an honorary title more than an actual hardcore militarily earned rank, I also think that the original aspect that it replaces, namely her college degree, was pretty stupid as well.

I prefer not to think too much about either of those lazy underdeveloped contrivances.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:30 am

View Original PostSeele00TextOnly wrote:Topic: While I do think that the Captain rank thing is pretty stupid and probably supposed to denote an honorary title more than an actual hardcore militarily earned rank, I also think that the original aspect that it replaces, namely her college degree, was pretty stupid as well.

I prefer not to think too much about either of those lazy underdeveloped contrivances.

Yeah. Both basically seem to be there only for the "shock value" of it I guess.

"What? Soryu's graduated college already?"
"What? Shikinami's a Captain already?"

I think the reason why it was changed from one "shock statement" to the other was because the films and TV show focus on two different things. NGE focused heavily on the school life of the kids. So giving Soryu a rank that outranks all of the other classmates seemed like the way to add an underdeveloped, over-achieving shock element to the character.

NME focused more on NERV than school, so giving Shikinami the rank of Captian seemed the way to go when creating an underdeveloped, over-achieving shock element for the character.

But yeah, both are underdeveloped and therefore pretty silly when you think about it.

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Postby GasmaskAvenger » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:43 am

In all honesty, I never got how Asuka is a high ranking Captain and all that shit, even in EVA.

Because when you really think about it, aside from some references, you could really say that in EVA, her whole rank and claims to be a top of a line student could really be a cover that she's really a shitty student (when you put the "nah I won't do schoolwork" scene in that kind of light and that she never once actually shows her "high end intellect and intelligence."


It's both frustrating and sadly underdeveloped when you think about it hard, plus it just comes off as an afterthought.
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Postby Tarnsman » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:50 am

This is my theory on Asuka's credentials.

German Politician A: Hey we got this girl who is the only person in the country who can pilot the giant biomech to battle the angels.
German Politician B: She's also obsessed with validating her worth, any ideas on how we could make her feel special?
German Politician A: We could give her a college degree/make her a captain.
German Politician B: Brilliant!
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Postby Bagheera » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:04 pm

View Original PostGasmaskAvenger wrote:In all honesty, I never got how Asuka is a high ranking Captain and all that shit, even in EVA.

Because when you really think about it, aside from some references, you could really say that in EVA, her whole rank and claims to be a top of a line student could really be a cover that she's really a shitty student (when you put the "nah I won't do schoolwork" scene in that kind of light and that she never once actually shows her "high end intellect and intelligence."

It's both frustrating and sadly underdeveloped when you think about it hard, plus it just comes off as an afterthought.


Not everything has to be all that well developed, though. Let's say Asuka's degree is in applied mathematics (as is common for early college graduates). Where would it show up in the show? Pretty much never. It just helps explain why she's the best pilot (and she is, at least until her confidence breaks; that really has no bearing on her intelligence, though. In Air we see that her bragging wasn't just for show).

I tend to think the rank is a lot more plausible, though. It would be a near certainty if something like Evas existed in the real world.
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Postby AuraTwilight » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:25 pm

View Original PostTarnsman wrote:This is my theory on Asuka's credentials.

German Politician A: Hey we got this girl who is the only person in the country who can pilot the giant biomech to battle the angels.
German Politician B: She's also obsessed with validating her worth, any ideas on how we could make her feel special?
German Politician A: We could give her a college degree/make her a captain.
German Politician B: Brilliant!


This.

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Postby Chroma » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:29 am

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:
I think the reason why it was changed from one "shock statement" to the other was because the films and TV show focus on two different things. NGE focused heavily on the school life of the kids. So giving Soryu a rank that outranks all of the other classmates seemed like the way to add an underdeveloped, over-achieving shock element to the character.


It was probably this. Makes sense, anyway.

GasmaskAvenger wrote:Because when you really think about it, aside from some references, you could really say that in EVA, her whole rank and claims to be a top of a line student could really be a cover that she's really a shitty student (when you put the "nah I won't do schoolwork" scene in that kind of light and that she never once actually shows her "high end intellect and intelligence."


Well there was the whole thermal expansion thing, but that's the only thing I remember Asuka ever using to show off her "college degree" (despite the fact that, at least in my school district, that was taught by 6th grade).
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Postby SaltyJoe » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:20 am

View Original PostTarnsman wrote:This is my theory on Asuka's credentials.

German Politician A: Hey we got this girl who is the only person in the country who can pilot the giant biomech to battle the angels.
German Politician B: She's also obsessed with validating her worth, any ideas on how we could make her feel special?
German Politician A: We could give her a college degree/make her a captain.
German Politician B: Brilliant!

That would be the first time any of the higher ups gave as much as a single shit about the mental state of a pilot.

My own version is fairly simple: she had to go through a set of exams and tests before getting to pilot an Eva, and when she completed them, she was awarded the formal rank of Captain. It's completely meaningless as an actual military rank, and more like a way of saying she has a Bachelor's in piloting Eva (yeah, i'm boring like this).
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Postby Reichu » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:37 am

In case it didn't come across in the movie-film: when they say "European", they're probably talking about the E.U., not the continent in general. Here's one image indicating the EU's presence in NME (if you don't "get it", look up the EU flag); too tired to look for others right now...

Image

All of the "Europe" references seem to imply that the E.U. as a whole has become a post-2I global power, vastly overtaking any of its individual states in significance. E.g., the 3rd Branch isn't the "German" branch; it's the "E.U." branch.

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Postby Brainman » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:17 pm

My own version is fairly simple: she had to go through a set of exams and tests before getting to pilot an Eva, and when she completed them, she was awarded the formal rank of Captain. It's completely meaningless as an actual military rank, and more like a way of saying she has a Bachelor's in piloting Eva (yeah, i'm boring like this).


I tend to think this way myself.

The way it makes sense to me is that she was selected and put through conditioning from a young age. Eva training just became her life. So that makes it harder to stomach this guy who stumbled into his Eva and is knocking out angels with such neutral modesty. She's devoted her life completely to this, but Shinji doesn't even like piloting.

Again, it's only a problem for me because it's a thread that could have been expanded to generate more development for her character (which in my judgement is lacking in this film). But it's just kind of shrugged off lazily. So to me it's (for now) a missed opportunity more than just a meaningless line of dialogue.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:45 am

View Original PostSaltyJoe wrote:My own version is fairly simple: she had to go through a set of exams and tests before getting to pilot an Eva, and when she completed them, she was awarded the formal rank of Captain. It's completely meaningless as an actual military rank, and more like a way of saying she has a Bachelor's in piloting Eva (yeah, i'm boring like this).

Yeah, you're boring alright. :wink: But this does make absolute sense.

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Postby Viking » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:07 pm

View Original PostSaltyJoe wrote:That would be the first time any of the higher ups gave as much as a single shit about the mental state of a pilot.

My own version is fairly simple: she had to go through a set of exams and tests before getting to pilot an Eva, and when she completed them, she was awarded the formal rank of Captain. It's completely meaningless as an actual military rank, and more like a way of saying she has a Bachelor's in piloting Eva (yeah, i'm boring like this).


Okay, now the question could be: why the air force? Why not the army?
After all, Evangelions DON'T fly ( well, they actually do, but no one knows about this capability until the end of 2.0 ), so why the air force?

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Postby SaltyJoe » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:28 pm

View Original PostViking wrote:Okay, now the question could be: why the air force? Why not the army?
After all, Evangelions DON'T fly ( well, they actually do, but no one knows about this capability until the end of 2.0 ), so why the air force?

An answer straight from my ass: for some reason or another, instead of creating a new branch of armed forces to handle Eva related business, the EU government simply charged the air force with it.

Maybe it was a matter of simple logistics: after all, Eva-02 arrives by aerial transport (so does Eva-03, for that matter. And Mari, too), so it's possible that it was planned from the start of the project that Eva-02 was to be flown via implausibly humongous planes as a means of rapid deployment. Aslo, the ease with which Asuka handles the jetpack during her debut fight suggests that she probably received some form of Eva specific aerial combat training.
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Postby Brainman » Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:24 pm

An answer straight from my ass:


Well, it can only ever come from there since the movie doesn't help you out much.

My thought there is maybe in this timeline, Asuka's appointment to Eva wasn't a sure thing. Maybe other military branches around the world were grooming their own candidates in hopes of having theirs be selected by whatever agency selects Eva pilots in this universe. Perhaps she was being placed against hundreds or thousands of other possible candidates. And the Euro Air Force trained Asuka in their own method and she proved the best choice.

Of course, this is all pending the new rules as far as synchronization are. Whether or not mothers come into this is yet to be seen.

Aslo, the ease with which Asuka handles the jetpack during her debut fight suggests that she probably received some form of Eva specific aerial combat training.


This is actually one aspect I enjoy about the Stiltman fight, now that I think about it. It does happen to illustrate that Asuka is highly trained and accustomed to Eva piloting. She thrives in it. And in the two angel fights she has in the movie (where she's not a victim), her unit receives minimal damage. That's why it helps me to believe that Asuka's training was particularly intensive. The areal drop was Asuka's first sortie in an Eva and she didn't even miss a beat. Quite in fact she humiliated the poor thing. It even tried to do a fake out, but she wasn't having it.

Long story short, Asuka's character in Rebuild makes a lot more sense to me if she is the result of intense, highly competitive, life consuming training and conditioning. But it's like, I pretty much had to do a fan wank to think of a reason for that character trait; because the movie thought I wanted to see her dumped in a visual novel setting instead of telling me who she is. And I can only assume that's the case because they're saving that stuff for 3.0, but uh, whether or not she's even going to be in that movie much has yet to be seen at this point.

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Postby Kendrix » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:35 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:All of the "Europe" references seem to imply that the E.U. as a whole has become a post-2I global power, vastly overtaking any of its individual states in significance. E.g., the 3rd Branch isn't the "German" branch; it's the "E.U." branch.


Which is pretty realistic given how much the "unification" of Europe has advanced in the last years and the role that Germany had in it. (Our current chancellorette has always been very supportive of the whole EU business)

It basically amounts to the same thing as "updating" the technobabble for it to reference superconduction (Which gave me a nerdgasm when I first watched 1.X)


As I probably said before, while both may be silly, the military rank makes more sense than the college degree, since what Asuka does is at least remotely military-related. (The series, in contrast, never brough her being a teen genius up again, never dealed with it in anyway... It was Rei who got to read the sophisticated science books... I still believe she was making a fool of Shinji there. Rebuild, while having gotten rid of the ridiculous college degree, at least does something with the "lonely at the top"-angle of it all/Has Asuka talking about being "elite" and the implications of it...)

They probably gave it to her to brag with her - or for her to brag with it/keep her placated/because she asked for one.
It's pretty obvious that they must have spoiled her rotten... (See the tremendous amount of stuff she posesses)

After all, Asuka must've spent her life doing intense battle training and the like since she is five. It might well be somewhat equivalent to the amount of military training that a regular Captain would recieve...
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Postby Bagheera » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:53 pm

View Original PostKendrix wrote:As I probably said before, while both may be silly, the military rank makes more sense than the college degree, since what Asuka does is at least remotely military-related.


I'm not sure either doesn't make sense, since we have ample precedent for both in real life. And note that if it's in something like physics or math it wouldn't come up during the course of the series.

Also note that being really freakin' smart doesn't imply anything at all about her ability to keep her ego in check, her military/tactical prowess, or even basic common sense. It just means she's a whiz at book learnin'.

After all, Asuka must've spent her life doing intense battle training and the like since she is five. It might well be somewhat equivalent to the amount of military training that a regular Captain would recieve...


Not likely. One doesn't achieve the rank of Captain via experience or battle simulations. One gets it either as an honorary rank (in the case of specialists like medical personnel) or via officer's training courses -- i.e. you apply for it, get approval, and train to get on the command track because that's what you want to do with your life. Past that it's a matter of demonstrating your competence as a commander and not pissing off the hierarchy in your chain of command.

IOW a kid wouldn't get it through the normal channels no matter what. But an honorary ranK? Sure, no problem. Long as it's for something highly specialized that's in high demand. Y'know, like Eva piloting.
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Postby Kendrix » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:00 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:I

. But an honorary ranK? Sure, no problem. Long as it's for something highly specialized that's in high demand. Y'know, like Eva piloting.


^This. Probably the likeliest explanation.
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Postby SaltyJoe » Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:10 am

View Original PostKendrix wrote:It's pretty obvious that they must have spoiled her rotten... (See the tremendous amount of stuff she posesses)

I have a fanwank wherein the people supervising her training made her win her belongings by succesfully completing tests. A sort of motivational strategy.

But i don't think Anno and company thought about this more deeply than "a girl needs to have lots of stuff".
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Postby arkiel » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:12 am

Has anyone touched on the dilapidated state the world seems to be in as cause for the Captain/college graduate switch? As in, in a world where the Second Impact effect seems ongoing military service/education is valued above a philosophy BA (or whatever she actually got). That might be kind of a reach, since you only appreciate it compared against NGE...

Within the world itself, I think the Air Force vector makes sense (Unit Two arrived via air-drop in a fucking jetpack and execute a variety of mid-air techniques, I can totally see the Air Force being a part of her training). And also aren't there, like, minimum rank requirements for piloting military aircraft and tanks and such? Either way, I'd imagine conservative elements in the E.U. would have a problem with a kid without rank, or with low rank, being the pilot of their super-special weapon.
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