Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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

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Hopelessromantic
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Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby Hopelessromantic » Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:28 pm

Well, if I'm going to do this, I might as well express it in a way that'll give insight, nothing left out. I'm not afraid to ask for help, who might read this, nor am I afraid of what comments there might be.
​​
​​This is my message in a bottle.
​​
​​The first time I saw the movie The End of Evangelion, I felt traumatized. At the time, I had no knowing it was a direct sequel to the series, Neon Genesis Evangelion, an emotional and psychologically induced mecha anime. Seeing as how the movie was "Not rated", I decided to take a gander, thinking it was a stand-alone movie. Big mistake. This movie made me feel past traumas of my own that made me feel nearly empty. At first glance, I couldn’t help but feel ashamed of my own mental illness considering how the main protagonist, Shinji's own was the cause of his suffering and gargantuan downfall.
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​​One of the reasons why it triggered by PTSD is because back in 10th grade, I was the target of a lot of ridicule. I, like Shinji, felt like the victim of of everyone else exerting their will over me. I had more difficulty understanding social customs due to my Aspergers Syndrome. Because of my diagnosis, I was often labeled by the others as a retard on a consistent basis. The worst thing was, I wanted to appease everyone there because I wanted to be their friends. I didn’t care about praise, I just wanted to be accepted as a fellow student. Yet, I was still the outcast. My requests for help were often neglected by the staff, and I was often harassed by my peers physically to the point I thought about taking my own life. Still, I know there was much I could’ve done on my part. Even back then I knew there were moments I had done wrong as well. I thought it would get better if I took responsibility for my actions as my elders have taught me. But it didn’t. I excelled in academics, making it to the deans list, hoping that if I did well and got good grades, I would be accepted as a fellow student and intellectual, but no one did. I felt like my world was ending.
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​​After all that, I was became an emotional wreck. I was sent to a therapy program for two years, where I had learned to accept and make peace with who I am despite my mental disability. Four years later, the moment I come across End of Evangelion, I feel as if it undid all of that progress, and put me back at square one. Moreover, I felt like this movie has dug itself into a mental scar of mine that was still healing. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll have to endure this forever, and if I can bear it.

​​About a year ago, I was at a Trade School for students with mental or emotional challenges. I became depressed again because even though I made many attempts to connect with my peers, many of them refused to connect back with me due to their own personal issues. Some of them even went so far as to vent their anger and frustrations onto me, labeling me with outrageous and degenerate titles, even though they were just rumors. One of them named Grace who attended trade school with me. I wanted to get to know her better but she was hesitant. We eventually got closer but as we did, she would constantly point out fault after fault I did like a policeman, like a hypocrite. One time I stood up for myself and said, “You know what Grace? Your a fault finder. You constantly nitpick at other people’s issues when you don’t have the audacity to admit your own!” And she only thing she said was, “I will not be yelled at!...fucking asshole.” And walked off. Despite this I kept trying because I wanted to understand them so I wouldn’t be alone. But the more I tried to befriend them, the more they hated me for it, and the more hopeless I felt. To this day I am still unsure if its me or them. And I don’t want to be selfish or self centered because I want to be honest and truthful. There are so many others that love me. And I love them back. This world is too fragile, and this life is too finite to simply throw away. Despite struggling with this new trauma, I'm still here, and I won't give up until I have found a way to make peace with the mistakes I've made these past months. I've overcome trauma once, and I can do it again.

And the truth is I hate being alone. This is another thing that End of Evangelion brought up inside me half a year later. ​​One of my biggest insecurities is not being accepted as a friend or a member of a group. Years before I was much more introverted, especially around people who had issues of their own and I had a hard time understanding. I’ve worked so hard to accomplish this new life of mine, to obtain the new friends. Another insecurity of mine is being disliked by others. ​​Ultimately, I do not wish to live my life alone, I want to connect with others because it makes me feel good about myself, thus I want to make others feel happy too, rinse and repeat. I don’t want to be the closed-off introvert I used to be. I don’t want to close myself off in my own world, I wish to be open. When people hurt me, it affects me because I care about how others feel because I wish to befriend others. I do not wish to remain oblivious to the suffering of my surrounding kin. It hurts all the more when the majority of my efforts are in vain. The more I wanted to befriend them, the more they hated me for it. That one scene in EoE where Asuka berates Shinji in instrumentality makes it feel like it was my fault, made me feel ashamed, made me fear what I would’ve done if we continued down that path. A fictional character I saw so much of myself in, his mind snapping, the world ending. It makes me think, “Could that really have happened to me if I didn’t make the choices I did? Dear God say it isn’t so...”
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​​These are reasons why I saw myself in Shinji, or Shinji in myself, and why I had a hard time letting it go. Shinji represents what I could’ve been, if things went differently for the worse, and I didn’t make the choices I did to make my life better. End of Evangelion represented Shinji to me is a distorted and twisted reflection of me, staring me back from the other side of a dark mirror. I daresay that at one point in time, during tenth grade, I was a twisted mirror reflection of Shinji. And it felt beyond haunting and disturbing to see this distorted version of myself go down this nihilistic and self loathing path to the point of no return. Furthermore, I feel all the more sympathy for Shinji when I see so many people blame him for being a pussy or not "getting in the robot". I feel it is wrong to blame people for something that they are not responsible for, especially when it comes to the apocalypse.
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​​The worst part is I sometimes felt this trauma taking on a life of its own, clawing at the back of my mind like a demon from hell, trying to drag me down with it. People had told me that I should accept myself and move on. The trouble was, whenever I accept myself, I felt I’m accepting all of me, including my trauma. Whether I ignored the pain or acknowledged it, the outcome seemed to be the same. The hardest part is knowing that nothing can exclude the pain that End of Evangelion brought me.
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​​Twice, I had a nightmare where I saw myself as Shinji, choking his romantic interest Asuka and starting the third impact. I reached out to try and stop myself only for me to wake up. I felt I was on the verge of snapping, that the veil of reality was wearing thin. Since then I also had nightly meltdowns because of how painful and active the traumatic memories of my past are.
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​​I’ve heard praises about Neon Genesis Evangelion, mostly on how it was so well written and many viewers claimed it cure them of their depression. I was still new to the series, so I was really confused about how some people say the same for End of Evangelion, as it did quite the opposite for me. And I tried searching for the internet for an answer, but all I was came across we’re articles, videos, and other media that claimed how this movie was a happy ending and cured them of their depression. To this day, I still feel it is far from it. This confuses me greatly. I want to appreciate both of them as an art form, and I love old school anime, so I did loads of research behind the series and Hideki Anno to try and understand Evangelion and how it was able to affect me. One of the answers I came across was that I watched the movie before the series, which added a dose of confusion to my emotional reaction. So I dug deeper into this mystery. I was under the impression that because others said the series helped them understand themselves better, I would be able to achieve the same if I forced myself to appreciate the series and delve further into the heart of its depressive nature, not minding the fact I was digging myself a deeper hole altogether. One of the major reasons why I disliked the End of Evangelion was because upon reading the synopsis of Episodes 25 and 26, I was happy for Shinji, regardless of how confusing many others have called it. I felt like the movie completely overshadowed the wisdom and happiness he gained throughout those episodes, and thus stole any wisdom and happiness I felt for him.
​​
​​I discovered that the Evangelion fandom on social media is more toxic than I anticipated. Time and again I’ve asked for help and posted my thoughts as a wall of text, only for members to retort and say, “It’s just a movie”. This makes me all the more ashamed of my initial reaction and the fact that it brought up my trauma for the first time in many years, so I kept asking questions because I wanted to feel that my argument was valid, that I am not insane, to know that I truly wasn’t the only one who became an emotional trainwreck after seeing this psychological roller coaster of a film. I confess that in the past, I have begged for sympathy from them, because I was scared for my own mental health and insecurities. Some have said that the movie has a tendency to unfurl and bring up people's underlying issues, and in my case, something extremely painful. In some cases, people even asked me if I did anything worse than jerk off to a comatose body like Shinji did to Asuka. Regrettably, I have a long time ago, which makes that scene all the more traumatizing to me, because that wasn't the man I am now, far from it. I knew what I did was wrong. But it's hard to be the man you are now when so many others try to hold themselves higher by shaming you with that one act.
​​
This Quarantine also has taken a serious mental toll on me. The moral impression I initially received from the movie is, "No matter how hard you try, things will only get worse". This pains me greatly because two weeks later, my friend Max Schafer took his own life. I always saw him as a little brother. I often thought about taking my own life so I could join him This, in correlation with the movies effect on me, spiraled me further into the rabbit hole. Furthermore, in the duration of this year, I have undergone many more misfortunes. The fact I saw the movie at the beginning of this year has become a psychological domino effect. Ever since I saw that movie things only seemed to get worse. My best friend committed suicide, I lose both my jobs, and I undergo the worst breakup of my life among others mishaps as well. I was starting to feel Evangelion was becoming my reality, a reality I didn't want. It's hard to feel confident when so much negative stuff has happened beyond your control yet affected you directly.

Anno once said that their is no correct interpretation of Evangelion. That is ultimately up to the audience to determine. As much as I wish it brought me comfort, I feel like the only thing at the bottom of the rabbit hole is...nothing. Then again, nihilism is a recurring theme in Evangelion. Which at first made me feel having wasted eight months of my life trying to solve an unsolvable mystery so I could understand how it affected me. Because of my initial reaction of End of Evangelion, I was under the impression that the answer would lie in the franchise.

Something that greatly confuses me is that one of the lessons is that, "You cannot solely rely on pleasing others for the sake of your own happiness". The fact that Anno decided to make The End of Evangelion in response to the criticism of the last two episodes feels contradictory. I am flabbergasted on why. One could argue that Anno wasn’t thinking about his audience. I daresay he wasn’t, seeing how EoE was virtually his self directed therapy in the aftermath of the series finale and death threats. He wanted to put his own mental health first before all else, and choose to vent his emotions. And you know what? I really do respect him for that. And it feels really courageous to say that despite how I acquainted myself with the franchise by seeing the movie.

I’m actually proud of myself, for trying so hard, even if there is no fixed answers. One person said to me that EoE is a tale without any fixed answers at all, for better or for worse. While I was trying to make sense of Evangelion and how it affected me, I was also second-handedly trying to make sense of myself, little by little. I find it odd how I feel like to only way to come to terms with it, is to reel myself in, out of the rabbit hole. It’s a paradox. But then, does coming to terms with something mean having to agree with something? No.

That’s when another thought came into my head. The Hedgehog’s Dilemma. It’s a recurring theme of Evangelion. The closer two hedgehog’s are, the more likely one is to get hurt by the other. It was then I realized I could use this metaphor to establish a healthy distance from Evangelion and step out of its shadow. It was then I had another epiphany, I could use the Hedgehog’s dilemma to improve myself!

The best thing I can think of to come out of all of this was that I chose to reach out to others. While doing my research I came across a piece of work, which in my personal opinion is one of the greatest analyses of Evangelion. It is titled, Learning the (love) lessons of End of Evangelion by Doctor Nerdlove. While I don’t necessarily agree with every single sentence, it provided a motherload of insightful thought, and challenged me to look at the movie from a different perspective. This article is evidence that there truly are others who are seeking to understand Evangelion just as I, and have not hesitated to pour their thoughts and emotions into a beautifully composed article.

One of the things that was shaken to the core was my own personal philosophy. In some of Nerdlove's words began to worry me. One quote said in relation to Shinji, "But what he still doesn’t realize is that other people can’t give him value. The only person who can ultimately give him what he needs is himself. Everything that can be given to him can ultimately be taken away — through time, through change or through death." This worried me greatly, as there have been people in my past who were there for me when I needed emotional support, which I am grateful for. I felt like they gave me value and thus I valued them back. Pondering upon it made me confused. If people could not give me value, was the love I felt from them and gratitude I felt from them a lie? I knew there was something amiss, that what I felt had to be true!

I decided to reach out to others beyond EvaGeeks in attempts to absolve my inner turmoil. I explained to them how I wanted to move on from Evangelion but also wanted to confront my fears head on, which caused an internal moral conflict. One of the helpers, who calls himself Mark decided to talk to me. We have been talking for a long time, which is something I have been grateful for. I told him about my dilemma with value. In the past, I let places people and things affect me on a level of value because I wanted to learn how to value myself as well. Of course, one of my personal beliefs is, “I am a part of all that I have met”. I let the good times and bad times affect my value. I am humbled from what I have learned from my experience that made me the man I am today. They don't ultimately define me, but they did shape me. A part of me still believes that some events are truly what give me value. For instance, I made the decision to stay at my therapy high school for another year because I wanted to learn more, and sure enough I did. And in turn I value those experiences. I don’t believe it was wrong for me to let those important things affect my value, in fact they helped me become more self-confident until 2020 rolled around. I allowed myself to be vulnerable, to let down my A.T. field. I wasn’t afraid of them taking a closer look at my mentality. Evangelion got me asking new questions and old ones I haven’t asked myself in a long time, some of which were terrifying. I want to feel confident in what I believe in, but also open to the philosophy of other things. But when other philosophies start to affect my own it makes me feel a bit unnerved. But...does the fact that I give places and people value signify that I have value within myself to begin with? I think so. I do value myself, and all of what I feel is true. Not everything that applies to Shinji applies to me.

After many long months of confronting my inner demons, and mental preparation, I gathered the courage to watch more of the series. Seeing as how I already saw the first seven episodes, I, for the sake of closure, decided to go ahead and make the choice to watch episodes 25 and 26. And I am relieved to say I enjoyed them. As Doctor Nerdlove said, “I want to talk about how, in a very real way, the difference between the ending of the broadcast series and the movie represent the two paths that Shinji — and again, the audience — face. One version serving as a guide… and one as a warning.” As the face of reality constantly shifts from altering perspectives, I decided to hold firm to looking through a different mental lens. The strange thing is, even after all this, my opinion on EoE barely changed. But that’s alright, because that’s a part of me, and I can learn to love myself for who I am, what I have been through, and who I want to become as well as my own thoughts and opinions, and I am entitled to my own preferences. And I for once am proud of myself for witnessing the results of this particular path firsthand. I now know the path I wish to give reverence due, the path where I truly have to fear the series no longer, the path where I feel accomplished for taking this leap of faith, the path of the beast that shouted “I” at the heart of the universe.

Later on, a friend contacted me. He said he felt useless and was considering taking his own life when he completed doing everything he was useful for. I encouraged him not to do it. Then I had an idea, and sent him Doctor Nerdlove's article on Evangelion, thinking it might do him more good than it did me. Then I had a thought. "What if I wasn't meant to understand Evangelion, but merely pass it along to someone else, someone who needs it more than I do?" I find comfort in this fact considering I want to be willing to let go of things that aren't meant for me. I don’t need to tell myself whether or not I’m better than the characters or fandom, because I’d still be comparing myself with them. And I don’t need to compare myself to them because it just doesn’t matter. The only person I really need to compare myself with is me. And I am glad to say that I recognize that I am doing this for my own mental well being, and starting to accept myself again.

One friend once said to me, "Essentially, the healing the show can give isn't in the show itself, it's in what you take from it, what you learn from it." And so far, what I've learned from it is that I CAN heal myself, even if I can be skeptical, that I can regain my self-confidence which I have lost much of this year. Whether the root of the issue is Evangelion or me, I'm still unsure. But what I do know is that I've come this far, I'll still keep going. And if the root of the issue is me, who's to say I cannot be the root of the solution too?

When I had a conversation with Mark about my own value, he said to me that I whenever I mentioned it, I was simply circling back to that one aspect, an aspect which I myself valued. This reminded me of a quote I found online, from Shinji Ikari, “In the end, it’s just realizing the obvious over and over again. Because I am myself.” And that is something I can truly relate to, because it has already happened. And with that, I can shed these chains more gracefully than before.

Thank you all for reading this. And thank you all for helping me.

Link to Doctor Nerdlove’s Article: https://www.doctornerdlove.com/learning ... vangelion/
Last edited by Hopelessromantic on Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Throughout my life, I’ve tried to fit in with the norm. Now I’m embracing the fact that I am a full fledged bohemian. Who said standing out has to remain a bad thing?

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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:53 pm

Nice to see you back, Hopelessromantic. I was hoping you might stay but of course do what you feel is best for you.

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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby Berserker » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:34 am

Woah, that was a lot to take. We all find our inner "Shinji" in some point of life, though yours is far more complicated. I'm not being skeptical or hypocrite, but i'm no expert in these things. I, myself experienced these type of things in life. I won't say i overcame each and every little one of them, nor i shared them so exquisitely to anyone. I'll say you truly did well. I hope this will inspire a lot of people to just not give up on life. Thanks for sharing this.
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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby Legotrekker » Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:25 am

Hi Hopelessromantic, I actually registered an account here just to respond to you.

We've actually interacted before, and I'm curious whether or not you'll remember that. You described your experience (although in much less detail, still explicitly enough for me to be positive you're the same person) on an EoE meme video on YouTube about a month ago, and I replied under this same screenname. I've thought about you a lot since then, and have been hoping that you're doing well. It brings me a lot of joy to see that you are experiencing healing, so please know that this post is extremely meaningful to at least one person.

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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby IgRAzm » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:06 am

I don't really know what to say, other than this. There was some apprehension in a small part of me who thought what you were doing would end up in a stalemate or even make it worse. It's seriously a relief that, based on the post, you've made so much progress instead. I don't know much of the fandom toxicity even though I can assume there are always those minorities, but I hope you will get more luck in this from now on.

It's ironic, you know. I think there are pieces of media which can be that strong for oneself, they are comparable to relationships. Sadly, you and EoE just clash poorly, I feel like similarly to how it happens with people, it's just something what happens. But the quote you've presented in the last paragraph and related to is from the End of Evangelion.

I know you only saw clips. It's fine. Really. Just ironic.
Maybe you've realised that already, nevermind in that case. It just comes off like you didn't.

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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby Zusuchan » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:38 am

Hopelessromantic: Whooh, this post was a doozy. I apologize for having taken so long to reply, but I needed to gather my thoughts a bit.

Firstly, I'm glad you're back and I'm glad you've finally watched the show. I hope you'll understand now some people's discontent with a non-show watcher giving off opinions about characters.

I'm glad you've found some help re: mental problems. I know how much of a bitch they can be and the fact you've managed to overcome them (even if only/no matter how slightly) is good.

Considering your ideas about NGE and EoE, I'd say that Anno's talk about how everyone should have their own interpretation is just him wanting to make people think for themselves. Even though I disagree with your found interpretation of the series, it could just as well be correct because Anno doesn't want to give us answers and as Eva is his artwork, it's his right to choose what to do with it.

I hope you'll continue to get better, at the end.

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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby Hopelessromantic » Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:13 pm

It’s really haunting to think, “That could’ve been me.” Which is what I felt watching EoE. True. I did associate myself with him so much that I was having nightmares. Admittedly a habit of mine is sometimes treating fictional characters as an extension of my own personality, including OC’s. On most nights I would even have meltdowns before I went to bed because of how sorry I felt for Shinji. He didn’t deserve that suffering, no one did.

Another reason why I skipped ahead to watch the finale was because I wanted to know what I was getting myself into. As you can probably imagine, there are great animes out there with bad endings, bot saying Evangelion is one of them. One of them is Guilty Crown. Spoiler alert, in the finale wherein the protagonist already lost a girlfriend, is about the die a hero’s death when his new girlfriend replaced him at the last minute killing her and leaving the protagonist blind and with a prosthetic arm for his remaining days. That was an ending really out of left field which pissed me off.

Upon reading that Shinji was able to obtain happiness in both endings, I took their word for it. Sometimes I don’t know where the line between gullibility and trustworthiness lies. What I wanted more than anything else from Evangelion is for Shinji to achieve happiness as well as the others. I understand that Evangelion is up to interpretation, but sometimes I feel like the arc lacks resolution. In other words, it’s hard to connect the dots when they’re too far apart from one another.

As I’ve stated before, Asuka reminds me of my tormentors especially Grace who much like her is a hypocrite, nitpicky, and has a short fuse. The only difference between me and Shinji is that I truly tried to understand and befriend her. The more I started to stand up for myself the more she hated me for it. Sometimes I wonder if the same thing would’ve happened to Shinji and Asuka. And when I hear overindulged buffoons and escapists idolize and worship Asuka, it makes me feel overshadowed by Grace, because the Shinji in me felt overshadowed by the Asuka I see in Grace.
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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby Melkor » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:00 pm

Glad to see you're doing much better now. Since you started watching the show and got to Episodes 25 and 26, does that mean you've now finished watching all of the original show?

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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby Hopelessromantic » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:33 pm

Well, to be perfectly honest, I haven't seen all of the show. I decided to skip ahead to 25 and 26. As I said before, I'm staying away from the rest because of Asuka, because she reminds me of my tormentors. Seeing her cause Shinji pain, however justified one says she is, reminds me of how others caused me pain. She's a trigger to me, something I wish to avoid.
Throughout my life, I’ve tried to fit in with the norm. Now I’m embracing the fact that I am a full fledged bohemian. Who said standing out has to remain a bad thing?

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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:04 am

View Original PostHopelessromantic wrote:I'm staying away from the rest because of Asuka, because she reminds me of my tormentors.
The last third of the series (episode 16 and on) beats her down hard, which is where she won my sympathy.
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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:20 am

Asuka's an interesting case for me, because I couldn't stand her in Episode 8 at all, liked her by Episode 9, and nowadays I can't even think of Episode 22 or it just ruins my day.

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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:53 am

DAAAAAAAAMN that's a good ass wall of text.

Hopelessromantic, I do recommend you watch the episodes you skipped, but Episodes 25 and 26 are really good for the show's final thoughts on the characters in the show, so I'm glad you watched that. Episode 8 introduces Asuka, and Shinji does kinda stand up to her for a bit (and she does kinda resent him for that), but ultimately the show is just really good at action from that point on into about Episode 12. Asuka goes through periods where she kinda mellows out a little bit, but that only lasts for a short while until she's back to being a rather harsh character. The show teases at Asuka being a fun, headstrong "escapist" character, as you put it, but that's all a rouse. She, like all characters in Evangelion, is there for brutal deconstruction. We do get to see her family past and the struggles she's had there, which was part of what shaped her into the troubled bully we see in the series. This does make her a bit more endearing, and by the time the show reaches Episode 22 where Asuka gets psychologically eviscerated, even many of her detractors feel as though she didn't deserve all that. At the end of the series, I see Asuka as being more like Shinji than she would probably want to admit. She has the same hangups that Shinji has (Shinji trying too impress his father by piloting the Eva) but cranked up to an insurmountable level. (Asuka tries to impress EVERYONE by piloting the Eva.) The shows structured where Asuka ends up highlighting Shinji's emotional hangups in a more visceral fashion. She just expresses them differently than Shinji does (which isn't healthy or good for anyone either). Nobody has to like Asuka after all that, but the character's hangups to at least resolve themselves to an extent in EoE.

If you wanna watch Eva without Asuka being quite so brutal, the new movies are really good for that. I met someone at a convention who hated TV Asuka, but really liked the Asuka in the new movies. (I think Asuka even became her favorite character.) Asuka still comes off as a little brash at first, but it's then revealed that she's just an introvert who isn't used to having to care about people, and doesn't know what to do with the care she feels towards others. She ends up offering Rei favors, she attempts to do nice things for Shinji, and shows signs of slowly getting over herself in order to help those around her. (The wholesome phone conversation with Misato in Eva 2.22, where Asuka opens up about the sweet vibes she's been unlocking by caring for others, feels so g o o d every time I watch it.) I highly recommend it, if you can get past the fact that the final installment for the new films still hasn't dropped yet, and might even still be in a state of limbo given the pandemic and all that. (Also, Funimation doesn't seem to be selling the first two films anymore, and you can't stream them on their website either, so now that series's US presence is in a state of limbo for the time being. I can't seem to have both the TV series and the new movies all at once, can I?)

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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby Shun » Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:52 pm

Dear Hope, your post is so honest and sincere that it impressed me a lot. I am very glad with the path you are taking, and I very much share your conclusion:

One friend once said to me, "Essentially, the healing the show can give isn't in the show itself, it's in what you take from it, what you learn from it." And so far, what I've learned from it is that I CAN heal myself, even if I can be skeptical, that I can regain my self-confidence which I have lost much of this year. Whether the root of the issue is Evangelion or me, I'm still unsure. But what I do know is that I've come this far, I'll still keep going. And if the root of the issue is me, who's to say I cannot be the root of the solution too?


Yes, even in my opinion the solution is not within Evangelion, but it is Evangelion as a artwork: Anno created it in the first place for himself, it was his attempt to give concrete substance to his inner demons, to pull them out of his heart and from his mind, in such a way that he could see them, and it was also a job that made him want to return to the world to find himself, to meet others and to learn every day to find the right distance to live without collapse, learn to manage emotions, both joy and suffering, without being destroyed by them.
In this sense, we too, as Anno, must bring out our demons, confront them and then rebuild ourselves, accept our weaknesses, our mistakes, our failures, our wrong paths, and rediscover the desire and the will to live, and cultivate and build our garden, our path.

But how do you go forward, when we accumulate so many mistakes, so many failures, so many wrong paths? Perhaps, remembering that our life is a unique possibility, a small pearl in the infinite sea, and even if we wrong 99 times, perhaps at the 100th attempt we will make it, thanks to everything we have learned, maybe we are one step away from the light , then again, step by step, continue to insist, guided by desire, will and hope. Find your whys, find your inner center of gravity, cultivate your will to live and create your project, and day after day you move forward.

I too have failed for many years, but I am still here, I have decided to stay here, I want to stay here and try again and again, until I can see the flowers in my garden.
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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby Hopelessromantic » Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:24 pm

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:The last third of the series (episode 16 and on) beats her down hard, which is where she won my sympathy.


Asuka won my sympathy as well. I truly sympathize with the fact that she wanted to grow up so fast she barely even had a childhood to begin with. Personally I can’t imagine a life devoid of a childhood, which could also be another reason to why she acts like miss “bossy pants”.

As for the last few episodes beating down on her hard, I don’t blame her for that either. In the last semester of 10th grade I was getting beat down the hardest as well.

Now that I think about it, there might be a little of Asuka in me after all.

During the winter of 10th grade I was in wrestling class. I wasn’t very good at it, and the coach didn’t allow the air conditioning on or opening the windows. But it got worse when my collarbone and ribcage became misaligned early in the season. I kept asking my coach and the staff for help but they didn’t believe me. Because of this I never won a single match, and was forced to wrestle with this injury else I’d fail the class. I didn’t want to fail because I wanted to win the respect, friendship, and approval of my fellow classmates. I was pretending to be unaffected by all those things because I wanted to prove I was mature enough to handle this suffering on my own, especially since I was at a boarding school. I knew the staff weren’t going to come to my rescue because I already tried.

This is another thing that triggers me about Asuka, and another thing that EoE resurfaced, especially when she was killed by those fucking Mass Produced Evas. No matter how hard we tried, we both lost tremendously.
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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby UrsusArctos » Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:15 am

So you finished watching all the remaining episodes?

While I personally lean towards Shinji and Gendo more than Asuka, she's been through horrors. I'm not going to talk about some of the things that made me feel sympathetic towards her because I don't know if I'd be spoiling the later episodes (19-24) for you. Do watch them if you haven't already.

View Original PostHopelessromantic wrote:This is another thing that triggers me about Asuka, and another thing that EoE resurfaced, especially when she was killed by those fucking Mass Produced Evas. No matter how hard we tried, we both lost tremendously.


Yes, that was utterly, unconditionally brutal and it doesn't help that the scene is designed to utterly break us as an audience. From seeing Asuka in utter despair at the bottom of the lake, to her joy at discovering that her mother's been with her the whole time, to the utter carnage that she inflicts on the JSSDF, to beating the crap out of the Mass Produced Evas, we're all being fed the hope of Asuka and her mother being victorious at the very last moment, like the times when Shinji's been saved by his mother...only to have it ruined at the very last second by that damned Spear coming out of nowhere and hitting her in the face, and the Mass Production Evas reactivating and dismembering her in the most brutal way possible. I think everyone who saw it in 1997 would've reacted like Maya did the very next shot - being shocked and horrified at watching Asuka being killed onscreen.

What makes it worse is seeing Shinji staring at Eva-01 in quiet despair. All he had to do was holler for his mom, and he'd have been able to do something about her...alas, Eva isn't the kind of show where the boy saves the girl.
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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby Hopelessromantic » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:44 am

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:So you finished watching all the remaining episodes?

Yes, that was utterly, unconditionally brutal and it doesn't help that the scene is designed to utterly break us as an audience.


It further doesn’t help that I suffered a parallel fate. And no, I didn’t watch the remaining episodes because I already read what happens in them. I do not desire to see Shinji watching his closest friends die i.e. Toji and Kaworu, not after my own best friend committed suicide irl only two weeks after I saw it, which was only the beginning of a series of events which led me to having nightmares and frequent meltdowns.
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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby Hopelessromantic » Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:51 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:If you wanna watch Eva without Asuka being quite so brutal[/b], the new movies are really good for that. I met someone at a convention who hated TV Asuka, but really liked the Asuka in the new movies. (I think Asuka even became her favorite character.) Asuka still comes off as a little brash at first, but it's then revealed that she's just an introvert who isn't used to having to care about people, and doesn't know what to do with the care she feels towards others. She ends up offering Rei favors, she attempts to do nice things for Shinji, and shows signs of slowly getting over herself in order to help those around her. (The wholesome phone conversation with Misato in Eva 2.22, where Asuka opens up about the sweet vibes she's been unlocking by caring for others, feels so g o o d every time I watch it.) I highly recommend it, if you can get past the fact that the final installment for the new films still hasn't dropped yet, and might even still be in a state of limbo given the pandemic and all that. (Also, Funimation doesn't seem to be selling the first two films anymore, and you can't stream them on their website either, so now that series's US presence is in a state of limbo for the time being. I can't seem to have both the TV series and the new movies all at once, can I?)


I appreciate your advice, and I’m glad to hear that she acts less pessimistic in the Rebuilds. Unfortunately I already know what happens. Asuka is thought to be killed when Shinjo refuses to harm her any further but is forced to watch the Eva in autopilot destroy her. I also read about 3.33 as well, wherein the storyline become more convoluted. Upon reading what happens in 3.33, it’s as if that particular entry not only ignores the morals of the original broadcast series, but to a degree disregards the events of 2.22. If what you say is true, then Asuka treats Shinji as if she was a totally different person in 3.33. Thus far, I am utterly dissatisfied with how the Rebuild storyline is turning out.
Throughout my life, I’ve tried to fit in with the norm. Now I’m embracing the fact that I am a full fledged bohemian. Who said standing out has to remain a bad thing?

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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby Melkor » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:26 am

View Original PostHopelessromantic wrote:I appreciate your advice, and I’m glad to hear that she acts less pessimistic in the Rebuilds. Unfortunately I already know what happens. Asuka is thought to be killed when Shinjo refuses to harm her any further but is forced to watch the Eva in autopilot destroy her. I also read about 3.33 as well, wherein the storyline become more convoluted. Upon reading what happens in 3.33, it’s as if that particular entry not only ignores the morals of the original broadcast series, but to a degree disregards the events of 2.22. If what you say is true, then Asuka treats Shinji as if she was a totally different person in 3.33. Thus far, I am utterly dissatisfied with how the Rebuild storyline is turning out.


Maybe Evangelion just isn't for you then? In which case I have to ask, if Evangelion is so traumatic for you, and you have no desire to ever watch the series in full, then why do you continue to immerse yourself in it to such an extent? If you don't want to be reminded of your past traumas, then wouldn't the most logical thing be to step away from the series altogether rather than forcing yourself to constantly be reminded of it by continuously posting on a site (or multiple sites) specifically dedicated to the very thing that triggered your trauma? Seems a little counter productive if you ask me.

You say it's because you want to understand the show and why it made you feel that way, but at the same time you don't want to actually watch the show either? So then how do you expect to ever truly understand it? That's like trying to have your cake and eat it too. Thinking you understand a character like Asuka and have them all figured out just because the basic surface-level traits of their personality resemble those of people you knew in real life and equating that character to those people because of that is not the same thing as actually understanding them. You don't like people making judgements about you without getting to know you, but here you are basically doing the same thing by stereotyping and making judgements about people (albeit fictional people) you haven't even gotten to know by seeing them in the original context they were meant to be seen in.

It kind of boggles my mind how someone can be so obsessed with a series like you seem to be while simultaneously refusing to watch any of the material associated with said series. It's almost paradoxical. You're logic honestly confuses me.

You: "Evangelion traumatized me. Please help."

Us: "Okay, then you should avoid the show and try to forget about it."

You: "But I don't want to forget, I want to understand it."

Us: "Okay, then watch the show to find out."

You: "But I don't want to because it will trigger my PTSD, but I'm still going to keep talking about it anyway and act as if I know what I'm talking about without actually watching it."

Either bite the bullet and actually commit to watching the show, or disassociate yourself from the series altogether and try to forget about it. Remaining in this perpetual state of limbo where you refuse to do either isn't going to help you. All it will do is prevent you from being able to fully heal and move on with your life. Not to sound harsh, but I'm not quite sure what you're hoping to accomplish here. I have a feeling you're just going to end up going in circles again, just like you did with the last thread you made on this topic a few months ago where we tried to help you.
Last edited by Melkor on Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby Derantor » Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:21 am

View Original PostHopelessromantic wrote:Thus far, I am utterly dissatisfied with how the Rebuild storyline is turning out.

How can you be "utterly dissatisfied" with something you haven't even watched? Going by hearsay will get you nowhere. You said Shinji watched his friends die, including Toji. But Toji didn't die. So whatever you read was inaccurate, and these kinds of misunderstandings will persists as long as you think that reading summaries is in any way enough to actually understand what's going on in the show. So, I agree with Melkor. From the sound of it, you need professional help to be able to deal with all your past traumata - something none of the people on here can give you. All we can do is discuss our own views on the show. But since you haven't watched the show, we can't even talk about that with you.

Last time you were on here you said you don't want to go to therapy. You also don't want to watch the show, or let go of the show. So what do you want to do? Stay forever in that impossible situation you brought yourself into, where you can not make progress in any direction? I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but nobody can give you closure or better your situation for you. You will have to decide for yourself. You do have options. Take one of them. I realize that that is hard, and that it's not easy to let go. But if you don't feel up to dealing with it, your only option is to retreat and give yourself some breathing room.

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Re: Message In A Bottle (How the End of Evangelion Traumatized Me & How I Overcame It)

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:49 am

Hopelessromantic, Eva Q is a strange beast since it’s shown almost entirely through the eyes of Shinji, and no one else. It’s intentionally abrupt and disorienting, so trying to figure out what any character other than Shinji is thinking or feeling is a wild and frustrating game to play.


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