Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby H1111 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:55 pm

Hi, new member here. I recall being a part of an Eva forum waaaay back, but not sure if it was this one. Back then there was a lot of discussion about Gendo's silent line and what he actually said. I've read many theories but none felt satisfying to me, including the widely accepted "I need you" or "I love you" etc... Recently I started thinking about that again and I guess due to me being less naive than I was years ago, the answer came rather quickly. I think what he said was

"Akagi Ritsuko-kun, hontou ni (seriously), you have no clue what a whore your mom is (implying that Ritsuko's mom is his whore)."

Here are my justifications:

1. Context! Before his line Ritsuko was lamenting why Magi (her mother's consciousness) chose to side with Gendo rather than her own daughter. Well if this is what Gendo said then she got her answer.
2. Ritsuko's voice actress said she felt "utterly defeated" when Anno showed her the real line. Why would she feel defeated if Gendo said "I love you???" That makes no sense. Using Magi to stop Gendo was her only plan. She had no backup plan in case that fails. Knowing Magi, her own mother, the one she trusted to always protect her, would rather side with Gendo than her, that's defeat right there.
3. Gendo is too much of a bad guy to say anything nice
4. He addressed Ritsuko as Akagi Ritsuko-kun. -kun is for children. Adding a -kun to an adult's name is a way of mocking that person for being naive.
5. Why was this line silent? Because Anno felt like throwing a puzzle at you to keep you interested? No, he's above that. It's silent because it's obscene.

I know that in various English dubs and subs, "hontou ni" was translated as "truly." That's not the only translation of "hontou ni." It can also be translated as "seriously..." I think this translation makes more sense than "truly." If Gendo really wanted to say "the truth is (blah blah blah)", he would've started the sentence with "jitsu wa," not "hontou ni"

That's all. Sorry if anyone's already came up with this theory, I searched and found nothing.

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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby UrsusArctos » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:45 am

One of the oldest obscenities in the book? That doesn't fit for Gendo, especially since he's not a cliche "bad guy" at all and he's willing to praise people, albeit grudgingly (Episode 12 - "Well done, Shinji" after bringing down the Angel Sahaquiel) . He shot Ritsuko only after she pulled a gun on him and tried to blow everything up, after all, and seemed rather distraught when Ritsuko destroyed the Dummy System in Episode 23.

The kicker is the line in Episode 23 when she says "You never needed me" - and that the hint was the title of Episode 26', "I need you". What would leave Ritsuko more defeated- a puerile insult that would be refuted by a single gunshot from Ritsuko (she still has a gun), or something that struck far deeper down? So, no, I'm not convinced that an insult was ever meant. Insults are cheap, but to defeat someone requires you to say something that means something to them.

By the way, the -kun suffix is for a junior whom you're familiar with. Ritsuko is Gendo's junior both in terms of age and at Nerv, and is closely associated with him, so the -kun suffix is entirely appropriate. It's not childish or demeaning at all.
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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:42 am

View Original PostH1111 wrote:4. He addressed Ritsuko as Akagi Ritsuko-kun. -kun is for children. Adding a -kun to an adult's name is a way of mocking that person for being naive.
Seriously, this is a "watch more anime (or at least, consume more Japanese media)" mistake.
Yes, the honorific is used almost by default to address teenage boys, but in circumstances where there is a strict hierarchy, you'll spot it's use in cases simply where it's a superior speaking of a subordinate, such as in RahXephon, Kisuragi Itsuki referring to his assistant Sayako, or in Symphogear, Genjuro referring to Hibiki, to take a couple of cases off the top of my head.

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:so the -kun suffix is entirely appropriate. It's not childish or demeaning at all.
Indeed, given Gendo's usual informal style of address, use of an honorific at all in those circumstances actually shows a significant degree of respect.
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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby H1111 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:46 pm

All right, my bad about the -kun statement.

But what about this, when Ritsuko hit the detonator switch, the command was rejected by Casper, the woman aspect of Naoko's personality and this implies that Naoko's lust for Gendo overpowered her love for her daughter. This must be a shock for Ritsuko as she wholeheartedly believed that her mother would support her all the way. Isn't Gendo going to say anything about that? Explain to her what just happened? If he just says he needs her, that's kinda off topic. Ritsuko wouldn't even care whether Gendo needs her or not at that moment because the #1 thing on her mind should be why her mother just betrayed her. Also she's made up her mind that she's going to blow the whole place to smithereens, at the cost of her life, she's done with Gendo (and everything else in the world for that matter) and I don't think she would give a **** about whether he needs her or not.

As for Gendo himself, yeah he's not a bad guy in the sense that he's evil but he's a cold and mean person who rarely shows kindness to anyone other than Yui. It would be his character to say something blunt or hurtful to someone standing in his way. He might say something nice once in a while, but only when he's pleased, and I'm pretty sure he wasn't pleased when he found Ritsuko pointing a gun at him while holding a detonator with her other hand. And what would he need from Ristuko anyway? He's already on his way to reunite with Yui, which is really the only thing that mattered to him in his life. Ristuko has already done her job and at that point should be completely disposable as far as Gendo's concerned.

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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby UrsusArctos » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:09 pm

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:Seriously, this is a "watch more anime (or at least, consume more Japanese media)" mistake [...] given Gendo's usual informal style of address, use of an honorific at all in those circumstances actually shows a significant degree of respect.


Yes, absolutely this. The only other time that the older Gendo uses an honorific that I can think of is when he calls Fuyutsuki "Fuyutsuki-sensei" as opposed to just calling him by his name, and again to underline the seriousness of what he's about to do and the respect he has for his addressee. Gendo wasn't lying or about to insult Ritsuko, he was there to tell her the truth.

Ritsuko's shock was because Ritsuko, the scientist, had been turning to her mother, Naoko the scientist, when she was emotionally distraught. After all, what part of her mother did she admire? Her mother as a scientist. That was what Ritsuko had in mind. But she'd forgotten in her emotional distress that her mother had a part to her that she hated - her mother as a woman. Which Magi had her mother's personality as a woman? Casper. Casper's betrayal in EoE was telegraphed all the way back in Episode 13. No real surprise.

Insulting her mother wouldn't do at all, and Gendo isn't cruel or harsh for the hell of it, he's cruel or harsh if he has to get things done, and the entire reason he ran away from Shinji was because he was afraid of hurting his own son, as admitted in EoE. Why insult Ritsuko or Naoko? The only evidence we have that Gendo insulted Naoko in private is Rei telling Naoko that Gendo called her an "old hag", but these are Rei 1's words and we have no independent confirmation that Gendo would casually insult someone else for the sake of it.

There's one other credible alternative to "I need you" that Gendo could've told Ritsuko, one that would arguably have a similar effect. Ritsuko says in Episode 23, "Like mother, like daughter, fools!" If Gendo had said, "Akagi Ritsuko-kun, honto ni, kimi wa kasan to onaji" - "...truly, you are just like (your mother)" that might do the trick, but there's other evidence that suggests that the line is "I need you." Take a look at the link below, if you haven't already...
https://wiki.evageeks.org/Theory_and_An ... lent_Words
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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby H1111 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:27 pm

If Gendo said something about Ritsuko’s mom I think it would be more as a closure for Ritsuko than as an insult. Gendo could’ve just shot her right there without saying a thing, but if he told her about her mothers true nature, at least she will die knowing she did nothing wrong, and whatever happened was due to her mothers own problems. In a way I think it would be merciful for him to have done that, than to have let her die not knowing why she lost her mother’s love.

In my opinion the two characters aren’t nearly close enough to be thinking anything about each other at that point let alone saying warm fuzzy things to each other. The only person on Gendo’s mind at that point should be Yui, 100% Yui and not even 1% Ritsuko. I mean do you know how annoying it is for a man to finally be able to see that one woman he truly cares about and this second chick just jumps in the middle and tries to ruin everything? Likewise I think Ritsuko has also made up her mind about whether or not she cares what Gendo thinks of her: she doesn’t; after all she pressed the detonator key all the way with no hesitation. If there’s anyone she still thinks about, it would be her mother, and whether she still cares about her or not. Her last words before “liar” were dedicated to her mother, not one word was for Gendo.

Also the title of that episode, “I need you,” that’s what the apparition of Ritsuko typed on Maya’s computer while hugging her from behind. If Gendo really said “I need you” I wonder why his “I need you” had to be silenced while Ritsuko’s “I need you” to Maya was not.

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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby H1111 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:09 pm

Also about the honorific... since -kun is used by superiors toward subordinates as you guys mentioned, that should put their relationship squarely at arms length, should it not? If he was fond of Ritsuko at all, he would address her as Ritsuko, like he does with Yui, or at least something a little friendlier. Since he addressed her as a superior, it's pretty unlikely that the followup would be anything sweet or intimate. It's more like he just wanted to inform her of something he thought she should know. Like something about her mother that she hasn't realized before. By the way...

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:Gendo wasn't lying or about to insult Ritsuko, he was there to tell her the truth.


You guys do at least agree that Naoko being a whore for Gendo is the truth, right? It was pretty obvious from some of the scenes. Ritsuko either doesn't realize it or doesn't realize the extent of it. This is a truth that should directly answer Ritsuko's question of why the detonator did not go off.

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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby Reichu » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:25 am

Episode 21 tells us exactly what Gendo thinks about Naoko. It's hardly "secret revelation" material, and it certainly doesn't require that one impose a misogynistic slur upon a somber key moment in two characters' relationship.

I think you also take it far too much for granted that the Magi are "actually" Naoko and are going to act in any way recognizable as her. Nothing else in the show suggests this. The Magi are biotech that function according to their design -- the program of each one is slightly different to enable them to more accurately represent the dilemmas that we face, and thus make more humanistic decisions as a group. If the Magi were "actually" Naoko, and treated different people with a personal bias accordingly, you might expect their behavior to be informed by the incalculably massive amounts of information that the Magi have access to; i.e. machine-Naoko would know about Gendo's "betrayal" of her that resulted in her suicide, and the Magi might similarly attempt to make Nerv's systems kill Rei at every opportunity.

The simple truth is that Ritsuko never knew about why Naoko died, only that Naoko had a relationship with Gendo which she (Ritsuko) was envious of. In the present day, much as she transplants her own envy onto her mother, she also deludes herself into believing that Rei is a younger woman who has come along to replace her in Gendo's affections, the same way Ritsuko herself replaced her mom by Gendo's side after her suicide. She is extremely messed up at the end of the series and her emotional imagination has altogether gotten away from her. Ritsuko even SAYS that she altered the Magi's programming in some unspecified way, making it entirely possible that Caspar's "betrayal" was something Ritsuko caused through needless tinkering!

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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby H1111 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:43 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:I think you also take it far too much for granted that the Magi are "actually" Naoko and are going to act in any way recognizable as her.

Ritsuko certainly seemed pretty convinced that Magi was her mother. She spoke her last words to Magi as if it was her mother, and when Magi refused her command, she questioned Magi’s decision as if it was her mother’s. Maybe she’s wrong to believe that, maybe she has gone insane as you suggested, but what SHE was thinking at that moment is what’s important for solving this puzzle.

Maybe Gendo didn’t say those words exactly the way I think he said them, maybe it was less blunt and insulting than I’m suggesting, but I still think it would make sense if he’d addressed her actual concern at that moment, which I think should be “does my mother still love me” not “does Gendo still love me.” I mean come on you don’t think about whether someone loves you or not after you’ve just made a SERIOUS ATTEMPT to kill them a second ago.

Lastly I’m sorry if I offended anyone with such a misogynistic theory of Gendo’s silent line. Maybe that’s exactly what it is though. Maybe Anno didn’t want to offend anyone so he made it silent. I don’t see why “I need you” should be silenced. Ritsuko’s ghost typed exactly that on Maya’s computer and it was shown in plain sight.

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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby LPeyrani » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:00 pm

Hello there H1111, I really like your theory, because including Naoko in the line of dialogue would make it far more interesting (since Magi play the most deciding role in the scene) than just referring to the two of them, as in "I need you". But there's one thing I don't understand. Maybe someone else already pointed this out, but I couldn't find it. How do you explain Risuko's reaction to Gendo's words? She definitely looks like a woman who's been flattered, that knows the flattery is a lie but, still, lingers for it and even lets her satisfaction known by the liar. A complex state fo mind maybe, still it's quite a cliché so we (the public) understand it in detail because we already know that code. How do you justify that reaction if Gendo just told her that her mother's a bitch? I mean, in a Sadean situation it would nicely fit, but in Eva it sounds a bit over the top. Or maybe I'm wrong. Persuade me please.

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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby H1111 » Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:53 am

Just rewatched the original series and I must say I have to withdraw my theory. I totally forgot that Ritsuko knew all about her mother’s affair with Gendo, I thought she didn’t know. Kinda sad that she would start an affair with him knowing her mother just did the same. I wonder if she knew why her mother killed herself though, it seems odd that she continued working for Gendo and Nerv after her mother’s death as if nothing happened and she doesn’t appear to hold anything against Gendo for her mother’s death either.

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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby LPeyrani » Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:50 pm

IMO, Ritsuko understands the reasons behind her mother's death during episode 20, when she is studying the procedure of the salvage experiment, and particularly as she chews on the report of its failure (which I think was a fake hiding the creation of Rei from Naoko). At the end of that month we see her trying to reconcile with Misato, but that was probably the last call for help (and anyway it fails). Then she takes on the kamikaze attitude.


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