Do I just not understand Mari's point?

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition"). The final instalment made its debut in Japan on March 8, 2021.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby NightComesOn » Wed Aug 18, 2021 3:22 pm

What is Mari singing during the Paris sequence?

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby GendoBus » Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:42 am

Here's my thought about Mari and her role in NTE.

As we know, Rei and Asuka are well-known characters and there is a part of the fandom who consider one of them as their waifu as we can notice from the sheer amount of products like Rei Ayanami raising project, Shinji ikari raising project and ecc... and this has led to a few fans to want a person like Asuka or Rei, idealazing them, and I think that this aspect was put in the films to critic it, indeed, from what I can notice, Rei and Asuka were created to have feelings for Shinji as we can clearly see this in 2.0 where Rei was worried about the relationship between Shinji and Gendo and Asuka was showing her feelings to Shinji in a tsudenre manner.
This love triangle between them represents the classic situation where Shinji has to choose between one of the waifus: the tsundere like girl or the silent girl who can even give her life to save her love and the way that they act doesn't help him to grow at all: Rei is willing to do everything to make Shinji happy and Asuka just treats him like shit without helping him to be a better person (even though she was right about the incident of the Eva-03).
This is showed even in the last film where, from my interpretation, Asuka was still in love of Shinji (the EoE scene where she blushes when Shinji told her that even himself liked her and the fact that Mari still teases her are the proofs), but she isn't useful because she treats him horribly.
Then there is Mari: a girl who doesn't treat Shinji like shit because she loves him or someone who is willing to do everything to satisfy him, but someone who is giving to Shinji insights to grow and to face his problems; she is a real person and not a stereotypical waifu who acts in a exaggerated way.
At the end of the day I think that Anno wanted to show to the fandom how dreaming about waifu is unrealistic and it can prevent us to mature and to face the reality.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby VenomAlon » Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:53 am

I am going to be clear in my explanation on who I think is Mari

In the manga she was a good friend of Yui and in 3.0+1.0 we see Mari in Shinji's birth, so I think Mari was like a godmother for Shinji and she was trying to make Yui's desire come true and take care of Shinji

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby Archer » Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:56 am

I think it’s best not to think too hard about the implications of her actual age and her relationship with Shinji’s parents, lest things get a little weird.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby PSIWasHere » Thu Aug 19, 2021 10:01 am

View Original PostGendoBus wrote: she is a real person and not a stereotypical waifu who acts in a exaggerated way.


I find myself disagreeing with this particularly. Mari's entire characterisation, at least from 2.0, was a pretty peppy and unrealistic depiction of a 14 year old, someone who seemed borderline ignorant to what Evangelion is. Perhaps that ignorance is kind of the point to her character, I've seen people use that in arguments in favour of Mari in terms of a metanarrative sense, but I digress, I feel like Mari is the epitome of exaggeration when it comes to anything in Evangelion. Surely, I'm certain that one of the defining elements of Mari's creation was due to the reaction that spawned from a lot of Otaku generally fantasizing and disgustingly so, reducing the characters to nothing more than objects of sexual desire, specifically Asuka and Rei. While Mari probably again has some deep layered subtlety to her character, namely her sexualisation as a result of the reaction I spoke of previously, I would go as far to say she is the personification of the version that some fans seek in Asuka and Rei, essentially a character that has been conceived into being an idealised 'waifu' despite her possible ulterior meaning.
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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby GendoBus » Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:58 am

What do you mean with that she is ignorant to what Evangelion is?
I think that she doesn't embody the aspects that these types of fans find in Rei and Asuka, I mean she isn't a tsudenre or a silent girl who is willing to do everything that someone orders her to do, she is a normal person who reacts normally to the situation she has to face it, she is serious when it is necessary (It can be argued that she reacts too calmly to the stuff she sees, but I think that is due to the fact that she knows a lot more than the other pilots) and she is lively and I think that this is the point of why Shinji chosed her instead of Asuka: he doesn't need a tsundere in his life, it would be horrible, he needs a normal person.
Furthermore the fanservice scene, for me, doesn't detract too much to her character, I mean even Misato, Asuka and Rei has some of this type scenes and mostly they're caused by the camera angles.
I think that most of the hate to Mari is due to how it was handled in the past films, we see her for so little time that we can't even understand who she is and this affects the ending of the last film (indeed even for me the ending wasn't making sense at first).

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby PSIWasHere » Sat Aug 21, 2021 4:14 am

View Original PostGendoBus wrote:What do you mean with that she is ignorant to what Evangelion is?


By this I mean she seems to embody characteristics and traits that are generally exempt from Evangelion, that's not to say that's automatically a bad thing, But I mean that she doesn't seem to react to any given situation like a human would. Shinji's character excels because he actually acts like a normal 14 year old boy, Asuka's character excels because she acts generally like a 14 year old girl, I don't get that same response with Mari (Again, I want to make it heavily clear that I have seen discussion that lends more to this idea and displays it in a more appealing way.)

View Original PostGendoBus wrote:I think that she doesn't embody the aspects that these types of fans find in Rei and Asuka, I mean she isn't a tsudenre or a silent girl


By this I meant she almost encapsulates the sexuality that both characters have gained simply by existing. As far as I'm aware, Rei is considered a sex icon in Japan and there are various articles of questionable paraphernalia and items that have collected over the years due to this sexuality that has been projected onto them, one example that comes to mind is the 'Rei Ayanami Raising Project'. I just mean that she just feels like a response to that misplaced objectification that many of the Evangelion characters suffer.

View Original PostGendoBus wrote:she is serious when it is necessary (It can be argued that she reacts too calmly to the stuff she sees, but I think that is due to the fact that she knows a lot more than the other pilots)


Honestly I think this is one of my biggest gripes with her when it comes to the overall story, having Mari quip and spew one-liners as the other pilots are genuinely fighting for their lives seemed incredibly dissonant to the overall theme and really started to get on my nerves after a while, If we find out more about her, something to do with her connections or her actual role in Rebuild is better understood, then I think I might come to see why It's so.

View Original PostGendoBus wrote:Misato, Asuka and Rei has some of this type scenes and mostly they're caused by the camera angles.


Fair, I disliked these types of scenes because I would constantly find myself asking 'Is this even necessary?' like when Rei is changing into her plugsuit and whatnot, but I think I gravitated to feeling more contempt towards it because these characters have character other than being eye-candy, Mari just felt like her entire character was that sexual element.

Sorry If I'm using quotes too much, I just wanted to be concise.
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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby JoelcrNeto » Sat Aug 21, 2021 9:46 am

PSIWasHere: please, do not omnislashing: stick to the main points; don't reply line-by-line to every thing said. I saw other people doing the same, so this is a general warning.
“Like a miracle, life starts with the pain / Forever this will be” — “Heroes of Sand” by Angra.
“É porque nós gostamos de você. Obrigada por conversar comigo. Vem, me dá a sua mão para andarmos juntos.” — Rei to Shinji (Portuguese dub).

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby GendoBus » Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:59 pm

I'm sorry to reply you so late, but University took me a lot of time.

Anyway, I think that Mari acted that way because she knows way more things than the other pilots. I mean, we see in the last film that Fuyutzuki knows her and the conversation between them seems like she knows a lot of stuff about Gendo and ecc (obv this is my interpretation).

I just mean that she just feels like a response to that misplaced objectification that many of the Evangelion characters suffer.


Mmh yes and no(?) In some ways maybe she was created to mock people who are die hard fans of Rei or Asuka, but she, to me, seems to have a bigger role in the rebuilds for the reasons that I said before, then this role could have been fleshed out more and she in general could have had more characterization, but this is a problem that even the other characters tend to have (but with them we fill the blancks with NGE).

Fair, I disliked these types of scenes because I would constantly find myself asking 'Is this even necessary?' like when Rei is changing into her plugsuit and whatnot, but I think I gravitated to feeling more contempt towards it because these characters have character other than being eye-candy, Mari just felt like her entire character was that sexual element.


I believe that she gives this vibe to you just because she had little screen time, maybe they wanted to do something like what they did with kaworu but they failed. It's really a shame because she had some potential and we see that she has a big role in this universe.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby PSIWasHere » Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:21 am

Honestly, after rewatching rebuild in its entirety for the second time over in a matter of days, I think I'm starting to tolerate Mari a whole lot more but I don't mean to mistake tolerance with understanding,

View Original PostGendoBus wrote:I believe that she gives this vibe to you just because she had little screen time


Perhaps Mari's whole sexual element was due to the lack of screen time, yet I can't really respect that either because, why should those elements be present when it's her only screen time as opposed to something more meaningful? Not to say those parts don't exist, but its few and far between. I've heard that Mari was a last second addition specifically in 2.0, which leads me to just believe that it's just poor craftsmanship, maybe not in the latter half of the rebuilds, I actually think I like her as a character in terms of her overarching story such as being 'Anti-Eva', but you can be 'Anti-Eva' and still be I don't know, good? At least for the former half of the rebuilds. Do I sound cynical? I don't want to act like the rebuilds are something of a lesser product because they aren't, but I'm finding less and less reasons to excuse some things, that's all.

Also, don't feel so bad about being late, studies are important and I wish you the best in them.
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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby Archer » Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:20 am

Read the translated 2.0 CRC’s, they will give a much better idea of that movie’s development. It specifically provides a lot of detail regarding Mari’s inclusion, which I’ll give a quick n’ dirty summary of:

Basically, originally she was going to play even LESS of a role (how this is possible I don’t know, given her already very limited screen time) but her popularity after the preview at the end of 1.0 convinced them to have her play a bigger part in 2.0. However, because 2.0 is a hot mess that tries to juggle a billion different plot lines, they didn’t have anywhere to stick the Mari scenes they wanted without making things even messier, so she ends up in this awkward place of appearing to be important yet not doing all that much at all.

And then of course some time during development, 3.0 got changed from directly covering the events of 3I to the 3.0 we got, which also lacks a convenient place to stick Mari. My hypothesis is that she was going to be a much bigger player in the original plan for 3.0 (after all it presumably would’ve directly involved the machinations between NERV, Seele, and whatever organization she’s supposed to be working for), but the change in plans ended up in her getting orphaned without anywhere to put whatever story they had for her.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby PSIWasHere » Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:54 am

View Original PostArcher wrote: because 2.0 is a hot mess that tries to juggle a billion different plot lines, they didn’t have anywhere to stick the Mari scenes they wanted without making things even messier


You know not to get off topic, I've heard a lot of talk about people hating 2.0 for a multitude of reasons but none I can remember. Honestly I find a lot of stuff in 2.0 to be a little distasteful at times, I think that's mainly due to how some characters are presented, namely the subject of this entire thread, yet alongside 3.0+1.0 it remains my favourite. I never really saw much of an issue with its plot lines, I've seen 2.0 three times over as of late but maybe I'm just misremembering, what's your opinion of it?
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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby Archer » Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:05 am

I don’t hate it, but I do rank it the lowest of the four movies. There is just way too much going on, lots of quick transitions to other scenes just so that they get squeezed in, and while it manages to tie back into a mostly cohesive singular plot by the end, the road getting there is very messy. I also think Asuka’s introduction is just outright bad, that whole fight scene felt incredibly contrived and unnecessary. The back-to-back climaxes of Unit 1 vs. Unit 3 and Unit 1 vs. 10th Angel also just really don’t work for me at all.

I think 2.0 would’ve been significantly better if it were split into two movies to let all the events happening breath a bit.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby PSIWasHere » Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:18 am

The quick transitions are something I feel I have against Rebuild as a whole, not only 2.0, I think it's a major aspect that sets rebuild apart from NGE in terms of storytelling because NGE understandably excelled there, while Rebuild doesn't even seem to attempt to use that same technique, it's somewhat upsetting because I think it's an aspect that made NGE what it is in terms of narrative. Thinking about it now, there are a hefty amount of cutaways that could've probably been dealt with to better effect, one that comes to mind is with Gendo and Fututsuki circling the moon, something about that strikes me as dissonant, I don't know. I'm also not one for fight scenes or action oriented scenes but I think the spectacle of Unit-01 running up the buildings and whatnot is incredibly pleasing visually, even if I find the use of CGI to be a net negative, I think I can see why it would be something that is considered a criticism, and rightfully so, but personally I never really mind It's lesser emphasis on action, but that's just me.

I think I must also admit that I feel a little semblance of bias when I talk about this movie, probably specifically for the last 10 minutes, I think everything prior is stuff that I generally like, but I think the very end of the movie completes it as a package for me, maybe if it didn't have that, I'd be a little more unforgiving.
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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby Archer » Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:01 am

I’m not so much referring to the action itself, but more the structure of having basically two major climactic fights, both with fairly major consequences, one right after the other. It works in the anime because (1) anime is episodic, so this kind of structure isn’t as jarring, and (2) the consequences of each fight are less impactful (Tohji, a side character, being put out of commission and Rei getting killed versus Asuka, a “main” character, being put out of commission and basically the end of the world). However, when it’s in a movie it just feels weird to me.

Granted, I think they did about the best they could have given their constraints of wanting to make this just one movie. And it’s because it does manage to mostly pull together at the end that the movie falls into the “I don’t hate it” category and not the “unwatchable garbage” category.

If I were to change it, I’d split it into two movies. 2.0a would be the fast-paced lighthearted slice of life stuff we see, ending with Unit 1 vs. Unit 3, while 2.0b would be slower and more somber, with a new focus on Mari’s backstory (and, by extension, NERV’s backstory as well) and her having more… impromptu illicit meetings with Shinji while setting up whatever her plan (..with Kaji?) is, ending of course with the 10th Angel attacking NERV HQ and Unit-1 absorbing its core to initiate N3I.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby PSIWasHere » Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:29 am

I've always been lenient on the Rebuilds for their length and content within because after all, it is a movie and I assume it's ability to hold so much is pretty much predetermined, perhaps it's just an issue with adapting an episodic series into sections, who knows? Either way, splitting 2.0 into two movies would probably be best, I agree.
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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby nerv bae » Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:33 am

View Original Postwriter wrote:We always knew there was something strange with Mari. From the moment she parachuted in she's been a mystery, and a lot of that mystery was dissolved in this film. We know that Mari is a contemporary of Yui, Gendo, and Fuyutsuki. It's very possible that she was part of the staff at Gehirn and even NERV. We can almost be certain she was working in the same division as the rest when Yui disappeared into Unit 01. It's very likely that she was the first Eva pilot, and potentially even a designer of part of the Eva system. Not only can she pilot Evas that are not synchronized to her specifically, she knows secret codes to bypass normal Eva restrictions (Beast Mode), has taken multiple plunges into the depths of her Entry Plug, shows signs of the curse of Eva (youth, perhaps immaturity). She has a deep knowledge of Evangelion parts and how to repair/modify them (Paris) and can also navigate the Negative Universe (including the means to escape it) showing that she has been there before and likely knows about the loops and their main cause (Instrumentality).

Mari isn't immortal, nor is she a clone recreated in each loop; her name is not in the Book of Life as far as we know. She is instead more likely a survivor of one or multiple loops and has been piloting Eva for a long time. She's a savior from beyond the veil of time/space that searches these worlds to save Shinji from his fate, whether in only this reality or across many. And why save Shinji? Sounds like the kind of promise someone would make to their friend in the instance that something catastrophic happened.

I think writer's take is a lot of fun. This morning I was trying to reconcile it with the dialogue during Mari's introduction at the beginning of 2.0. On the Prime subtitles we have:

Image

But, the wiki transcript has the same line (green box) translated differently:

Image

To my eye, the Prime translation implies that Mari has never been a pilot before, while the wiki transcript allows for a different implication that Mari just hasn't piloted in a long time.

writer addresses this ambiguity a bit in a subsequent post:

View Original Postwriter wrote:Also, Mari may not have had an Eva to pilot, but perhaps she was one of the first to attempt such things. My theory is, soon after Yui's disappearance, Mari underwent experimentation that either caused her to be afflicated with CoE (there were no safeties back then), or as has been previously stated, she is a clone of the original. Her ability to access secret Eva codes, reach super-low depths with no fear, and navigate the anti-Universe are what suggest to me that she may have been the first Eva pilot.

It's interesting how different translations into English can push around Mari's origins so much.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby The18°angel » Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:13 am

well the truth is that it seems that mari is going to remain as a character whose origin is a mystery until someone from khara says that mari is really supposed to be, so far the theories are.

that mari is a clone.

she is immortal

And another possible theory is that mari was the first person to use the nabuconodozor key, becoming a failed hybrid between an angel and a human after all they compare her to kaworu so who knows.

Also in the conversation that Mari has with Asuka in the prequel manga of the events 3.0. mari tells Asuka that they were both given a longer youth, whatever that means, whether it was something designed on the pilots or an accident with the eva.
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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby Archer » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:24 pm

My take is that she was initially just a normal girl who was chosen as the test subject for the synchronization systems. This would justify that line about the first time she’s piloting, because while she would’ve spent much of her (perpetual) teen years inside an entry plug, she likely never actually properly piloted, in the sense of actually freely moving the Eva around. I think this is the only way to reconcile her age, since there’s no other reason a teenager would be hanging around Gendo, Yui and Fuyutsuki and be involved in the Eva program and we’re not really shown any evidence to suggest that she was at any point de-aged from an actual adult. There’s no real evidence to support it but my headcanon is that she’s 2-3 years (physically) older than the other kids.

Sometime afterwards she would’ve secretly betrayed NERV to join whatever organization she works for (which may or may not be Kaji’s resistance group, I don’t know if her line in 2.0 about “using adults” is supposed to imply that Kaji is also just a pawn to her or if it’s just referring to her and Kaji playing everyone else at the base), but is still acting as a double agent since she apparently only officially leaves NERV after the intro of 2.0.

The name “Mary Iscariot” is honestly the hardest part about her character to reconcile. At face value, we can assume that that’s literally just her real, given name (she’s mentioned to be half-British, so this isn’t exactly a stretch) and that Mari Makinami is a new identity given to her by NERV to hide the fact (from whomever may dig into these things) that they had an unaging pilot on their hands; e.g. on paper Mary Iscariot is the original test pilot who was employed by NERV in the 90’s, while Mari Makinami is the (suspiciously similar-looking, but totally completely unrelated guys) backup pilot currently employed by NERV at Bethany Base.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby Melkor » Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:09 pm

I have my own theory regarding what Mari is. I suspect that the Mari we see in the current time might actually a clone, just like Rei and Asuka. Rei, Asuka, and Mari all have last names ending in "nami" which could be to denote them as clones. Asuka's last name in the original was Soryu, but in the Rebuilds was changed to Shikinami along with her backstory. I don't think this is a coincidence. Following this pattern of Rei Ayanami and Asuka Shikinami being clones, it stands to reason then that Mari Makinami is one as well. That would explain why the woman we see in Gendo's flashback looks just like Mari, but the woman we see in the photograph (which was presumably taken at a later point after Gendo and Yui met) looks older than the current Mari in the Rebuilds, who has the body of a teenager instead of an adult. The woman Gendo knew was the original Mari (Maria Iscariot?) while the one we have been following is a clone of her. Perhaps the original Mari might have also implanted some of her knowledge and memories into her clone/daughter as well, which would explain how Mari knew so much about the Evas, yet 2.0 implies that that was her first time piloting one.

Of all the explanations for Mari, this is the only one that makes sense to me. Mari being the same woman Gendo knew doesn't make sense because it contradicts a lot of the things about Mari from 2.0. In 2.0, she is referred to as the problem **child** and says that nobody told her how rough synchronizing with an Eva would be after her fight with the Third Angel, implying that that was her first time piloting an Eva, meaning she couldn't have had the Curse of the Eva (which stops her aging) yet at that point. She also says that she doesn't like using adults to get what she wants (or something like that), which implies that she considers herself something other than an adult. Also, when she later goes into Beast Mode in the fight against the 10th Angel, they tell her she won't be human anymore when she exceeds a certain plug depth, hinting that this was the moment she received the Curse of Eva and her aging stopped. If we consider exceeding a certain plug depth to be the factor behind receiving the Curse of the Eva, then this is consistent with what we also see happen to Asuka and Shinji in the movie as well, who both go past the maximum plug depths during the course of it and are also told they won't be human anymore

There are just too many things about Mari in 2.0 that don't make sense if she is indeed the same woman Gendo knew in college. Unless of course Anno forgot about all these things or changed his plans. If Mari is an adult, then that also presents a huge plot hole for the entire Rebuild series, because if they could just have adults pilot an Eva, then why the hell do they even need to rely on kids like Shinji, Rei, and Asuka to do it in the first place? The premise of the entire series (teenagers having to pilot giant robots to protect humanity) falls apart. Some may bring up the theory that Mari had something to do with LCL, and that being exposed to it is what caused her to gain the Curse of the Eva, but that doesn't make sense either. Why do you think it's called the Curse of the Eva? Curse of the Eva implies that it's something you get specifically from piloting an Eva. If you could get it from others ways that don't involve piloting an Eva, like from just exposure to LCL, then it wouldn't be called the Curse of the Eva, it would be called something else. The only explanation I can see to reconcile all these inconsistencies is if the original Mari that Gendo knew implanted some of her knowledge and memories into her clone/daughter. There is a precedent for stuff like this in Evangelion, where someone's soul and even some of their memories can be put into a clone, like we've seen with Rei


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