QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby shinryujimikihiko » Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:38 pm

We are all familiar with QMisato and her often insightful analyses of Eva lore. Unfortunately she also occasionally lets her political syndrome get in the way of objectivity, as when she repeated the long debunked fandom myth that Anno forced Ogata to choke Miyamura when in fact this was consensual and there is no clear indication of who originated the idea.

Well, QMisato hit another off note recently, when she updated an older post in which she pointed out that there is a great deal of disturbing sexual imagery involving Gendo and Rei into a full blown claim that yes, Gendo was raping Rei throughout the series:

Updating to add that the drafts for Episode 24 unambiguously confirm Gendo was sexually abusing Rei throughout the series. These drafts can be read in full here. It goes without saying, but heavy trigger warnings for CSA and rape follow.


Sounds awful right? Well, it's not as bad as she wants you to think:

1.) Drafts don't and can't confirm anything about the canonical events of a show, only scripts do. This ought to be obvious. Drafts are proposals, not decisions; tentative possibilities, not finalized actualities. So her basic premise is absurd, just as much as if we said it was confirmed that the twelve strongest Angels were going to descend from the Moon and ravage America as was written in the original proposal. That didn't happen because Anno discarded the idea before the script was written. Well, Anno discarded this idea two, which is why it is still a matter of dispute among the fans rather than something as unambiguous as Gendo abandoning Shinji when he was four. But it gets better, not only does she distort the meaning and weight of the draft, she ignores that:

2.) The draft she is talking about doesn't come from Anno. That's right, the draft linked above at Pastebin.com was the work of one Akio Satsukawa, who Anno assigned to draft the episode and then overruled by telling him to rewrite it. So the nonexistent canonicity of these events is on even thinner ice than before. But there is yet more:

3.) Satsukawa himself only included the alleged abuse in one of the two drafts, both of which Anno rejected. EvaGeeks wiki thoughtfully has both Draft 1 and Draft 2; the later is the one QMisato references. Not only is the idea not a part of the actual show's canonical events, not only is it not acceptable to the creator and director, it doesn't even appear to have been that important to the assistant writer who came up with the idea in the first place. You can feel the weight of this supposed revelation about the dark side of Eva slipping through your fingers like water. Finally, we come to the last problem with her claims:

4.) The text of the draft is ambiguous at best. Let's look for a moment at what is actually written in QMisato's supposed killshot textual evidence for Gendo being a molester (boldface added):

INT. SPECIAL SOLITARY CELL

Ritsuko is bound in a small room of iron bars.
She's bound by several leather straps, her once commanding expression is nowhere to be seen. It's almost like her soul has left her body.
Thunk, thunk, thunk…… Eventually we hear footsteps coming from the hall.
Ikari's figure appears in the faint light.

RITSUKO: (Still blankly) My cat died…… The one I left in my grandmother's care…… I never really took care of it, but…… all of a sudden…… I'll never see it again.

IKARI: Professor Akagi, why did you destroy the dummy plug?

Ritsuko doesn't respond, she just looks ahead, with a faint smile on her lips.

IKARI: I'll ask again. Why?

RITSUKO: Because you're a shitty lay. Plus, I didn't destroy the dummy system. I destroyed Rei……

IKARI: What?

RITSUKO: Those things aren't human. They're just human shaped objects. So they didn't die. They were destroyed. Rei is just your plaything. I never could became your plaything though……

IKARI: ––

RITSUKO: I wonder, Commander, did you come here because your new toy isn't working out so well? Since a familiar toy is here. Just do what you will. I'll do whatever. But, I'm sure I can't compete with the playful spirit of that doll of yours.

IKARI: You're a disappointment.

RITSUKO: Disappointment……?

Ritsuko suddenly bursts into raucous laughter.

RITSUKO: You never wanted anything to begin with! You wanted nothing from me! Nothing!

Tears spill out, and her laughter suddenly turns into sobs.
Ikari stands there silently.
Gashann! The door closes and the sound of Ritsuko's sobs are cut off.


Gendo is behaving like we might expect, and Ritsuko's description of Rei as Gendo's "plaything" is certainly disturbing. But consider: since when has Rei Ayanami ever had a "playful spirit"? And since Gendo is without question sleeping with Ritsuko, how can Ritsuko insist that she "never could become your plaything" if Rei is now being used for sex as Ritsuko has been in the past? Under that scenario Rei and Ritsuko have assumed a similar, not a dissimilar, status with Gendo. But Ritsuko seems to see their places in Gendo's eyes as different and not the same. Then there is the matter of Ritsuko's intent: she is obviously bitter and trying to taunt Gendo: it is unlikely that he is a "shitty lay" since Yui, Naoko, and for many years Ritsuko were all evidently content with him. From Ritsuko such accusations ring especially hollow; on this point she is clearly making shit up. Why then should we believe that her taunting about Gendo "playing" with Rei is any more factual than her sudden and transparent attempt to pretend that Gendo was an unsatisfactory sexual partner? Finally there is a question of chronology: even if Ritsuko's accusations are correct, they only refer to Rei as Gendo's "new toy" - which means that abuse, if occurring, would be fairly recent - probably no older than Ritsuko's incarceration after destroying the Dummy Plug clones.

We can see then that there is not much weight behind QMisato's interpretation. And we can ask a few more questions: since the draft she linked at Pastebin.com seems identical to the EvaGeeks draft linked above, why does she ignored the copious notes on the EvaGeeks wiki page that indicate that these drafts are not from Anno and do not reflect his authorial intent? It's a very odd oversight for a normally capable commentator to make. One might almost think she has an agenda...

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Re: QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby Blockio » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:05 pm

Considering that she also has chosen "Shinji wanting to kiss Asuka in her sleep is worse that Asuka repeatedly hitting him" and "Misato x Nagara (the Wunder bridge crew) is a canon ship because Takara's Seiyu said something about Misato's Seiyu being "a big inspiration" as her hills to die on, and wrote long and nasty walls of text about the people disagreeing on any point of these crack theories, I am not surprised by that shit in the slightest.

Edit: Typing is hard
Last edited by Blockio on Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby shinryujimikihiko » Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:59 pm

View Original PostBlockio wrote:Considering that she also has chosen "Shinji wanting to kiss Asuka in her sleep is worse that Asuka repeatedly hitting him" and "Misato x Nagara (the Wunder bridge crew) is a canon ship because Takara's Seiyu said something about Misato's Seiyu being a big inspiration" as her hills to die on, and wrote long and nasty walls of text about the people disagreeing on any point of these crack theories, I am not surprised by that shit in the slightest.


I only knew about part of the Shinji and Asuka thing. That's just an astonishingly bad record. Misato and Nagara? The projection and entitled wish fulfillment are staggering.

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Re: QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby Blockio » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:24 pm

Yeah, that's just her normal M/O. Generally I advise anyone to not give a single cent to anything that her blog is the primary source on, since chances are that it's hyperprojecting bullshit that wouldn't recognize canon if it got hit by it square in the face
Why don't you save the Princess next time instead of being such a baby? She would love it and maybe you could get a sweet kiss. ~ Joseki
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Re: QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby Lavinius » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:50 pm

(A lot of this post is patched up from some things I said on the discord, so sorry if it's a bit janky.)

I assume QMisato's take would be that the draft here represents an uncensored vision that was later blunted for broadcast. Which is unfalsifiable, but not unreasonable (I think something similar happened with Utena, with Touga's intended backstory being kept from the series and then inserted into the movie where censorship was less of an issue). It's plenty implicit even in the final series that Ritsuko thinks Gendou sees Rei as at least equivalent to a disposable sex toy, just like her. So it's rather disingenuous to dismiss this QMisato's concern so quickly.

No, if we want to deal with this, we have to actually look for counterevidence.

---

Is Gendou fucking Rei?

Apart from Ritsuko's implicit jealousy, we never see Gendou fondling Rei, undressing her, or leering at her at any point in the series. Moreover, in all her monologues, we never see Rei suggest that Gendou uses her sexually. Nor, for that matter, do we see Fuyutsuki, who's the closest to Gendou, suggest such a thing. And he's a scrupulous character.

Is Gendou grooming, or otherwise controlling Rei?

No. Gendou makes absolutely no attempt to control Rei's movements or to assert power over her. Never do we hear him threatening her or reminding her not to talk about this or that. He lets her go to school and associate with her peers freely; he doesn't even limit her contact with Misato, who's obviously the most loose-canon of his subordinates and the one who cares about the Children most; she's the most likely to shoot him if she thought he was harming Rei.

To the contrary, he's extremely hands-off with her (in the literal sense also, contra QMisato), to the point of, you know, letting her live in a filthy borderline abandoned apartment.

If Rei doesn't talk about things with the other pilots or with Misato, it's because she chooses not to, because she doesn't see the point in doing so, due to her mortality complex and to her trauma from being murdered by Naoko. Not because she's afraid of Gendou abusing her. If anything, Gendou is the only person she trusts.

Does Gendou think of Rei as disposable?

No. To assert so is insane. Remember episode 5? His reaction there to her injury is not that of someone who's thinking of a tool than can be replaced. Episode 19 too- here's his reaction to her thinking to sacrifice herself (and he could revive her a day later if she did, and he knows this since he's done it before!).

SPOILER: Show
Image

Rei thinks of herself as disposable, as a doll that can be replaced. But this isn't how Gendou sees her- Gendou is genuinely, visibly emotional & distraught at the thought of Rei being hurt or killed, in a way that utterly contradicts the idea that he only sees her as a tool or as a fucktoy. Indeed, to my memory, being worried about Rei is pretty much the only time modern-era Gendou visibly expresses his emotions in the entire show.

---

Gendou sees Rei as his daughter- this is clear enough, given that he gives her the name he planned for his daughter, that he smiles at her with affection, asks her about her day in his terse style. Shinji recogmizes this quite clearly.

It is an unusual, misformed, malnourished relationship. But it is a positive one, for both of them. Remember that Rei II's last thought is of Gendou smiling at her. Remember that the very thing that made Rei II able to bear to control her Eva (which is literally the lower part of her soul) is her knowledge that Gendou cares about her.

---

Looking at QMisato's other point in that post... actually, I find it hard to tell what her argument is. At first I thought she was saying that Rei is comfortable with nudity because Gendou was molesting her and so she doesn't "know" that nudity is "wrong". But looking again, it seems that she's actually claiming that Rei is uncomfortable and that Gendou just doesn't care?

So, um, where's her evidence that Rei is uncomfortable with nudity? I can't think of a time when she dresses in a hurry when she has the chance, and in EoE she strips by herself long before she meets with Gendou.

Why would she be uncomfortable if she hasn't been disciplined to be so? There's nothing inherently uncomfortable about nudity for humans. There have been cultures where mixed-sex public bathing was commonplace. There are even today plenty of cultures around the world where both men and women customarily go naked or nearly so with no shame. It's ridiculously parochial to imagine that nudity naturally has the same valence as it does in Abrahamic cultures for everyone and that any deviation is a sign of some moral corruption.

...speaking of which, it's obvious that with Rei's nudity, Anno's clearly working with the old Abrahamic trope that when Adam & Eve were naked in the garden, they were not ashamed of it (nor did they sexualize each other with their gaze, you can see this Milton among other places). (There are some thematic resonances going on here, but I'm not ready to discourse on them here.)

---

The only time that Gendou performs (and, I say, ever performed) a sexual act on Rei is in EoE. The symbolic details of this act are complicated- in one sense Gendou is impregnating Rei by implanting the Adam embryo in her womb, in another he's appropriating the role of the patriarchal God, ordaining his daughter Lilith's marriage to Adam. (Who exactly forbade the forbidden union of Adam & Lilith he refers to? If you read the original myth, you'll see that God commanded it- Lilith was the one who refused it. As we see, in EoE now Lilith accepts Adam- but that doesn't mean that Gendou has the right to command her to do so.)

But Gendou is not lusting for Rei when he does this. This is an alchemical marriage, and he does it as an alchemist, not as a horny old man. He's cautious and straightforward as he does so, not taking any delectation in Rei's body.

This is a sexual crime, but it's not a crime of lust, but of pride. His sin is one of impiety- both filial-parental and outright religious- not one of enslavement to his bodily appetites. This whole time, he's turned his mother into his daughter, his goddess into his thane. Even if he treated Rei well as his daughter & thane, he's still fundamentally inverting their proper roles for his own advantage, and kept her in the dark about it. This is why she punishes him and abandons him.

---

One of these days I'll write up a long & full thread on what Rei's character arc is, what her conflicts are, how her relationships with Gendou, Shinji, & Kaworu work &c.; the obscurer things mentioned above will be treated more fully there.

I despise how the "aaaaa Gendou is so mean to Rei uzu and that's why she is how she is" reading destroys Rei's agency & character by infantilizing her and making her out to be nothing a victim. It's even worse when the more fanatic sort of ReiShinners demonize Gendou while pretending that Shinji is the one to save Rei (he did nothing of the sort- he never did anything more to understand or love her than ask her to smile, and absolutely abandoned her until she saved him).

Lastly on this point, I wish to clarify that Rei absolutely is suffering from the trauma of being abused as a child. But this trauma came not at the hands of Gendou, but of Naoko, who murdered her for innocently repeating something Gendou has said. No wonder the poor girl is so quiet.

---

Alright, but if Gendou wasn't fucking Rei, what accounts for draft!Ritsuko's accusation (and canon!Ritsuko's implication) that he is?

A major theme in Eva is the distinguishing of what one things of oneself vs. how others think of oneself. This theme is an essential point of Gendou's character, whose reception among the fandom is very often based not on an objective study of him, but on other character's projections onto him. (In general, I might add, almost everything about the meme reading of Eva and the characters that's been circulating apparently since the 90s is illiterate bullshit...)

Rei is morbid and obsessed with her own (im)mortality, and so she (and the audience with her) project that onto Gendou (when she's Rei III particularly). But that's not how he actually feels about her.
Shinji hates himself and thinks he's worthless, that Gendou is cruel to him, and so he (and the audience) project that onto Gendou. But that's not how Gendou feels either.
Ritsuko has a sexual relationship with Gendou and sees Rei as a disgusting doll, and so she (and QMisato) project that onto Gendou. But that's not how Gendou feels.

This theme and its relevance for Gendou is made explicit in episode 19, when Rei is asking Shinji to try to understand his father rather than just projecting onto him. But he refuses, and so there's never any reconciliation between them. Not that you can blame Shinji too harshly, given how cold Gendou is and how he lets others build up these false images of him. He's disappointed but not shocked when they finally lash out, because he's not used to being liked, so that when they don't like him that just confirms that he shouldn't try to open up to them to begin with.

SPOILER: Show
Image

Behold Shinji's image of Gendou as a strict, merciless authoritarian- but this is wrong, Gendou never wears his uniform like that.

Gendou is more intimate with Rei than with Ritsuko or Shinji though, he thinks they're the same sort of person- so when she lashes out in EoE, he's not just disappointed, he's surprised and upset.

So what's going on with Ritsuko is this:
Gendou, I think, has genuine regard for her. perhaps it's not koi, but it is koui. But due to [HER MOTHER], Ritsuko has difficulty imagining sexual relationships as anything but treating each other as disposable fucktoys. And Gendou doesn't do anything to help her believe otherwise. So when he coldly uses her in the same way he'd use anyone in order to, you know, prevent a totalitarian death cult from killing the gods and ending humanity, Ritsuko decides that he must really just see her as a disposable fucktoy. And Gendou does nothing to show her otherwise. So she projects her self-doubt onto him, and then onto his relationship with Rei. And when he tells her the truth, she calls him a liar.

The tragedy of Gendou's character is that he does nothing wrong. All of his many ruthless actions are justified by the dire situation mankind is facing. As far as public morality goes, he's a hero.
But the man is so awful at his personal relationships with those who are supposed to love him, whom he relies on, that in the end they all turn to hate him.
If only he would have dared to show Shinji, Rei, Ritsuko some deeper affection, some visible respect, his could have been a happy ending, with his... mistress and two children / one child & one mother-goddess.
But he didn't, and so he perishes in misery, the savior of mankind and a terrible lover, father, & son.
~ibi cubávit Lamia, et invénit sibi reiquiem~

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Re: QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:11 am

I don’t know if I’d say we never see Gendo sexually molest Rei. The scene in EoE where Gendo grabs Rei’s boob, sticks his hand inside Rei’s boob, then wandering his hand all the way down to her womb.... :cringe: Yeah, that’s obviously sexually abusive. As for Gendo being controlling, I feel like that’s a longer conversation than it initially appears to be. He’s pulling so many strings behind the scenes that he can certainly be accused of manipulating the situation to favor his selfish desires. There’s a reason why “Just as planned” is a meme, and it’s not because Gendo lacks control over anything or anyone. The issue with both of these examples is that they are so entrenched in the sci-fi and politics unique to Evangelion that they don’t resemble real life sexual molestation or gaslighting tactics in typical day to day life. That’s not to say that Gendo isn’t guilty of these things, just that drawing a 1-to-1 comparison to real life situations or behaviors is inherently a bit weird.

I do agree, however, that the use of unused/unfinished drafts to shape this opinion of Gendo is arguing in bad faith. I forget if Rei actually speaks highly of Gendo in her monologues, but she smiles and does behave in a more emotionally engaged way with her body language when she speaks with Gendo (Episode 5 showcases this fact), so the notion of Rei being “more lively” around Gendo isn’t an alien notion to the writers of the show. If they had decided on making Rei a sexual “plaything” for Gendo (currently in the series she seems for of a means to a very specific end, only used once that we know of), even making her “more lively” than Ritsuko, then the writers wouldn’t have been without the previously established groundwork to do so. But that is not the story element they decided to include at that time, so I can’t fault them in that regard.

As a matter of fact, I would actually consider what Gendo is doing to be child grooming. The series heavily implies that she knows what “her purpose” is, as that she must fulfill it when the time comes. Gendo clearly is the only one who expects her to fulfill this purpose, even directing her as to when it’s time. When the time does come, it’s very clearly sexual in nature. Again, these situations are all unique to Eva sci-fi, so a 1-to-1 IRL comparison isn’t substantiated, but it’s still very sexual in Eva’s own sci-if way. Gendo’s relationship with Rei in this context is clearly that of a child groomer.
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Re: QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby Lavinius » Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:16 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever#897700 wrote:I don’t know if I’d say we never see Gendo sexually molest Rei. The scene in EoE where Gendo grabs Rei’s boob, sticks his hand inside Rei’s boob, then wandering his hand all the way down to her womb.... :cringe: Yeah, that’s obviously sexually abusive.

Ja, I'm not saying that the imagery there isn't obviously meant to draw that connection, or that there isn't a crime with sexual aspects being committed there. My point is that it's not sexual in the dirty old man sense, and that implying that Gendou gets off to doing it to Rei is a radical misreading of his character. As I've said, it's an issue of pride, not of lust or even malice.

I mean, maybe he could cut off his hand and give it to Rei to eat or something, but he's a straightforward person and he instead accomplishes what needs to be done in the most direct manner possible.

As for Gendo being controlling, I feel like that’s a longer conversation than it initially appears to be. He’s pulling so many strings behind the scenes that he can certainly be accused of manipulating the situation to favor his selfish desires. There’s a reason why “Just as planned” is a meme, and it’s not because Gendo lacks control over anything or anyone.

"Just as planned" mostly is a meme- most of the time Gendou is just adapting to the situation at hand, and he utterly avoids making emotional manipulation a part of his plans. The only thing that he's really "just as planned" about is when Yui goes off, but that's not a complicated plan. He's upfront about what he wants and utterly tactless about it.

With Rei the only measure of control he seems to take is not to tell her the full truth about Lilith, but this is logically counterproductive since the very purpose he needs her for is for her to return to being to Lilith.

As a matter of fact, I would actually consider what Gendo is doing to be child grooming. The series heavily implies that she knows what “her purpose” is, as that she must fulfill it when the time comes. Gendo clearly is the only one who expects her to fulfill this purpose, even directing her as to when it’s time. When the time does come, it’s very clearly sexual in nature. Again, these situations are all unique to Eva sci-fi, so a 1-to-1 IRL comparison isn’t substantiated, but it’s still very sexual in Eva’s own sci-if way. Gendo’s relationship with Rei in this context is clearly that of a child groomer.

How exactly do you define "grooming" then, and how does it differ from any parent raising a child with expectations of them?

---

I should clarify here that my intent is absolutely not to say that Gendou Did Nothing Wrong with Rei (he certainly did), merely to affirm that he doesn't rape her or abuse her, and that he had a mutually positive relationship with her and genuinely cares about her. Their relationship is a tragedy, not a monotonous stasis of abuse.

What he does wrong is not show her enough affection / try to really communciate with her, and even worse he apparently deceives her about her nature as Lilith. I confess that I'm not exactly sure why he doesn't tell her who she is as Lilith- you'd think this would help, since being restored to Lilith is what she naturally wants and is moreover exactly what he's going to need her to do.

In truth, I almost get the impression that he doesn't tell her the truth about Lilith because he thinks (or pretends) that this is kind to her and helping her to be happy for the time being, the same way he treats Shinji coldly since he thinks that minimizes harm. Whereas as we see the truth that from Rei's perspective she's tremendously preoccupied with her end and that him not reassuring her just increases her anxiety- and when she finally grasps who she is with Kaworu's help, she comes to despise (or at least scorn/disregard) him for deceiving her. That'd be ironic enough to match with the rest of his misrelationships.
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Re: QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:11 pm

Well, he didn’t tell her the truth about her identity. I agree. I think that’s the reason why Rei spends as much time as she does questioning her identity and her existence.

I would say Gendo is a child groomer because he spent much of his time with Rei preparing her for an action that was entirely sexual, where after which Rei would become completely disposable. Parents raise children to be good healthy people in a general sense, and they might use specific tactics to do so. Grooming is when someone is prepared for only one specific task or set of tasks to serve someone else’s specific need. You see this word pop up in a non-sexual sense in corporate speak, where it would be said that an employee is groomed by their supervisor to fill a specific job occupation, usually at a higher pay grade. Child grooming is when a child is being prepared for specific tasks to serve someone else’s specific needs as well, but there’s all sorts of legal issues, even without the sexual nature of the term. (Hiring minors to perform jobs has different regulations in the form of child labor laws for different states in the US, and even then there’s a limit to how young that minor can be.) With the sexual nature of the specific task that she’s being prepared to perform for someone else, the situation Rei finds herself in is even more unnerving.

As for whether or not Gendo felt lust for Rei, that’s a different topic of conversation entirely. Believe it or not, but child molestation/rape and pedophelia don’t always coincide. Sometimes sexual harm can come from an expression of power or domination over someone else, not an expression of lust or physical desire. Again, I’m not saying that Gendo engages with Rei sexually out of a sense of desire, perverse or not, but I am saying that there was at least one instance of sexual engagement with her shown on screen, and Gendo was preparing Rei for this action for a while now to satisfy his own fulfillment outside of Rei’s wellbeing. This is why Rei’s declaration “I am not your doll,” is such a powerful moment that it is in EoE. She’s finally breaking away from Gendo’s grooming.
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Re: QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby Shinji Ikari Expy » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:28 pm

I used to like QMisato's blog. Unfortunately, her twitter account has turned into the kind of "Mean Girls"-clique-ishness-disguised-as-social-commentary endemic to social media. She assassinates the character of anyone who mildly disagrees with her, digs up dirt on them, and vocally encourages her followers to ostracize them. Sad, really.

Gendo's relationship with Rei is inappropriate and exploitive, but to simplify it as "he's a rapist pedophile" is disingenuous. Previous posters have done a good job of deconstructing this claim so I won't belabor the point, but he is not a sexual predator who acts on his attraction to children. Words have meanings. I don't think it is helpful or smart to smear people, even bad people, with phony accusations, but maybe that's just my asperger's syndrome.

If the pedophile thing is true, and Anno intended us to see it that way -- well, that would be disappointing. It makes Gendo cross the line from a morally ambiguous character into an irredeemable villain. That would be a poor creative choice -- if it were true.

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Re: QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:51 pm

^ Well, I feel like if Gendo was a pedophile that Anno would have had some things to say about pedophelia through that story element, ya know? He would have made that a larger story element and then not have given Gendo a sympathetic scene before his “death” in EoE. We’ve seen how Anno deals with IRL sexual predators when he and his colleagues ran the Gainax president out of the company for being a sexual predator. Anno wouldn’t have given Gendo any sympathy in his narrative at any point if he were a pedophile.
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Re: QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby Lavinius » Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:55 am

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:As for whether or not Gendo felt lust for Rei, that’s a different topic of conversation entirely. Believe it or not, but child molestation/rape and pedophelia don’t always coincide. Sometimes sexual harm can come from an expression of power or domination over someone else, not an expression of lust or physical desire. Again, I’m not saying that Gendo engages with Rei sexually out of a sense of desire, perverse or not, but I am saying that there was at least one instance of sexual engagement with her shown on screen, and Gendo was preparing Rei for this action for a while now to satisfy his own fulfillment outside of Rei’s wellbeing. This is why Rei’s declaration “I am not your doll,” is such a powerful moment that it is in EoE. She’s finally breaking away from Gendo’s grooming.

Reasonable, except that what Gendou did (viz. give her the fruit of immortality and have her restore herself to godhood) is pretty much the most objectively for-someone's-wellbeing thing that someone could ever do. And the poor girl was literally falling apart without it!

And of course, after scorning him, she immediately goes and does exactly what he had instructed her to do because it's what she thought best to do anyway. The irony of Gendou's failings is honestly kind of hilarious.

What I would really like to know is whether Rei was created on purpose. Did GenFuyu intend to bind Lilith's soul in a little girl for their own purposes, or did they end up with her by accident trying to restore Yui? That has high moral relevance to judging them. Fuyu's statement that he created her out of despair suggests the latter- but shouldn't he have been aware that Yui intended to stay in the Eva, given that she told him that was her plan. I can't think of what else "product of my despair" might mean other than trying to desperately "save" Yui though. Was he trying to save her from herself?
SPOILER: Show
Irrespective of GenFuyu's intentions, I strongly suspect Lilith intended to incarnate in Rei anyway (but probably not to lose her memory of who she was), just like Yui intended to remain in the Eva. There's a symmetry between Yui going around as a clone of Lilith and Lilith going around as a clone of Yui.


View Original PostShinji Ikari Expy wrote:I used to like QMisato's blog. Unfortunately, her twitter account has turned into the kind of "Mean Girls"-clique-ishness-disguised-as-social-commentary endemic to social media. She assassinates the character of anyone who mildly disagrees with her, digs up dirt on them, and vocally encourages her followers to ostracize them. Sad, really.

Gendo's relationship with Rei is inappropriate and exploitive, but to simplify it as "he's a rapist pedophile" is disingenuous. Previous posters have done a good job of deconstructing this claim so I won't belabor the point, but he is not a sexual predator who acts on his attraction to children. Words have meanings. I don't think it is helpful or smart to smear people, even bad people, with phony accusations, but maybe that's just my asperger's syndrome.

Seconded. I used to have high regard for her; she has a sharp eye and her audacity in bringing up highly controversial ideas is admirable. It's truly unfortunate that she has to be so vicious and arrogant, to the point that her thinking is compromised.
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Re: QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:05 am

Lavinius, you asked what separated grooming from parenting. In that context, I kinda meant "for Rei's wellbeing" as in how parents typically raise their children with the expectation that their children will outlive them. Gendo isn't making decisions for Rei that will benefit her in the sense that he is expecting her to outlive him, like a typical parent would. He's not raising her to live a full and rewarding life beyond his existence. (Ritsuko even hints at this in Episode 5 when she says that Rei is "inept at living." Gendo isn't benefiting her long term by raising her to live a healthy life, he's grooming her to perform specific tasks.) Anything Gendo does to benefit Rei is strictly within context of keeping Rei alive and well until she can reunite him with Yui, which Rei as we knew her would no longer exist after that. (Or at least that her existence as Rei is unimportant to Gendo after that.)

Now, whether or not Gendo was fully successful in grooming Rei is another matter. (As you pointed out, he wasn't.) But, the fact of the matter is that he was grooming Rei rather than parenting Rei. Now, it could be because Rei isn't exactly a normal girl that Gendo could rationalize these actions. I dunno. (I certainly wouldn't be able to do that.) But, yeah, it's grooming, not parenting, all the way down.
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Re: QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby Lavinius » Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:43 pm

Eh, you're not wrong there. I should say though that in the discourse that I mostly see it in, grooming pretty much just generically means an adult fucking a teenage girl, if not even an older man fucking an adult woman. So saying that Gendou "grooms" Rei is liable to be misunderstood.
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Re: QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:48 pm

^ Right, yeah. Most people think of that only in the sexual sense, which makes sense since that's the more dangerous/prevalent form of that behavior. And, again, that's not to deny that Gendo performed a sexually abusive act towards Rei, but that was more of a means to an end, and not the end goal itself. (Which somehow feels even more dehumanizing. Like, we get how that sounds worse, right? Gendo planning to just use Rei for one goal and then disposing of her right after he carelessly and invasively steals her autonomy like that?) Making Gendo out to be an actual sexual predator was something that Anno seems to have wanted to avoid, even if it's only because he probably didn't have the means or the time to address it properly.
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Re: QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby Lavinius » Thu Sep 10, 2020 3:26 am

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:(Which somehow feels even more dehumanizing. Like, we get how that sounds worse, right? Gendo planning to just use Rei for one goal and then disposing of her right after he carelessly and invasively steals her autonomy like that?)

Except, you know, that is utterly not how he thinks of her, as I've previously shown. Gendou cares about Rei as a person quite blatantly, in a manner utterly inconsistent with seeing her as a replaceable tool. That is close to how Rei III worries he thinks of her / thinks of herself, and Gendou's to blame for that, but it manifestly isn't how he actually feels.
I know the common audience reaction is to imagine the worst of Gendou, but that's such a bad reading that it's literally called out in the show itself.

Moreover, it's utterly bewildering how you can call restoring her to her original state of godhood with some sort of additional immortality attached "disposing of her". And this isn't "one goal", as if it's some selfish trifle of his, this is the predetermined death of the entire world, the zettai unmei mokushiroku, and he's putting her in the best position that anyone could be in to deal with it.

Making Gendo out to be an actual sexual predator was something that Anno seems to have wanted to avoid, even if it's only because he probably didn't have the means or the time to address it properly.

Just like not making Shinji an asexual Assyropagan assassin was something he wanted to avoid, simply because he didn't have the time to address it properly!

(I'm probably going to be done with this back-&-forth for now.)

---

On another (exceedingly trivial) note, I might add that though the translation says
RITSUKO: Those things aren't human. They're just human shaped objects. So they didn't die. They were destroyed. Rei is just your plaything. I never could became your plaything though…… I wonder, Commander, did you come here because your new toy isn't working out so well? Since a familiar toy is here.
, using two variant words, these are actually all translating one & the same word in the original Japanese- 玩具 omocha.
Last edited by Lavinius on Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: QMisato (knowingly???) spreads a myth about Gendo raping Rei

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Postby Derantor » Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:22 am

A few things come to mind when thinking about Gendo, sexual predator is not one of them. Especially not with Rei, the only person he actually shows care for. I find it hard to see how he would do a 180 and try to sexually assault the physical reincarnation of his wife, the only person he truly cared for, and who still has a strong enough hold over him to make him forget his stoic facade and rush to rescue her in plain sight of his underlings, who might very well take that as a sign of weakness. Gendo, much like Shinji, doesn't seem interested in sexuality all that much to begin with, and it certainly isn't a driving motivation for him (look at his kiss scene - if anything, it looks like he wants nothing to do with all that). It's true that Gendo, much like Yui, does not make long term plans for Rei in the traditional parental sense (like Yui didn't for Shinji - otherwise, she wouldn't have left Shinji with Gendo to begin with, and taken some precautions to not basically ensure that Shinji's life would be hell from age 4 onwards by commiting suicide in front of his eyes), but his end-goal of "Reuniting with Yui" most likely includes a fix for everything, so he can convince himself that nothing he does to achieve that goal actually matters. Rei is a means to an end in this, just like everybody else is, but she is also more than that, as evidenced by the strong reactions he shows toward her. He coldly threw out his own son (for fear of hurting him, but he still did it in a needlessly cold manner), while he almost proudly presents Rei to Dr. Akagi. The whole incident where Rei says that Naoko is an "old hag" also proves that he talked to Rei I - most likely confiding his own troubles to her, because he has nobody else to talk to anymore.

I'm not even sure grooming is the applicable term here in any case. Gendo seems far too hands off for that. He does not interfere in Rei's life at all outside of NERV, which reeks of neglect and a failure to show basic human kindness to her more than a deliberate attempt to brainwash her. He's probably convinced that she shares his wishes anyway, and sees no need to push her towards anything* - and as Lavinius pointed out, he was right to believe that, he just erred in his judgement on which Ikari she actually liked.

*Edit: Much like he gives up on pushing Shinji towards something very fast. He tries to convince him for five minutes before wheeling out Rei and falling back on plan B, then lets Shinji go twice after that. He could hardly have planned Shinji's return in both cases, as he had no way to influence him - unless we assume that he planted Kaji there in that melon field, which I somehow doubt.


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