Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby nerv bae » Sun Nov 14, 2021 10:58 pm

I think this is the section of the first post that covers the "instrumentality doll Kenken is actually Shinji" concept:

View Original PostMeldon_Elraenhie wrote:Then we have the Kensuke sentence. I wanted to talk about this in a simple way. Asuka needed the same parental role as Shinji, and through her experiences in instrumentality, she finds that she has that part of herself fulfilled by Kensuke. However, things get complicated if we start to notice some details. The fact that Kensuke calls Asuka "Asuka" instead of Shikinami and that the doll with Kensuke inside of it appears in the Rei scene has raised concerns that the Kensuke who appears in Asuka's instrumentality scenes is in fact Shinji, helping Asuka to find her place in a future world without him and comforting her. In more detail:

1. All Asuka's scenes in instrumentality revolve around Shinji , nothing from Kensuke. It seems that Shinji wants to revert that and makes her conscious that she can find a place to belong and the parental role she needs, especially taking into consideration that he thought he was going to die

SPOILER: Show

2. She verbalises that she has no place to belong yet (despite living with Kensuke for some time), so Shinji wants to clarify that point for her.

3. It answers why Kensuke calls her Asuka and not Shikinami and why the doll appears again in Rei's scenes on the stage. Furthermore, it connects Asuka's memories with the beach scene, as it is after Kensuke says, "Asuka is Asuka" that she wakes up next to Shinji.

The original source of the theory for me was this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyATqdlnzZg&feature=youtu.be

Not covered in this quoted section, but maybe somewhere else in the original post, is the concept that only people actually in the anti-universe get to have a speaking role in instrumentality. Because Kenken is not in the anti-universe, but instead back in the village, he appears in instrumentality merely as a mouthpiece for someone else who is actually there, e.g. Shinji. I need to rewatch the entire sequence to see if this is true.

Edit: Nice, I keep unintentionally sniping new pages. :emogendo:

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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Meldon_Elraenhie » Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:36 pm

Thank you very much for your reply Nerv bae, I was going to reference the same part of the text!

The idea that Shinji is behind Kensuke's doll is almost widely accepted as fact rather than theory. It is present in almost all the Japanese analyses and, to be honest, I do believe there is enough evidence to acknowledge it. It answers and gives coherence to its presence and origin, the way "Kensuke" addresses Asuka and why the doll appears later in Rei's scene.

Here are some external videos that cover it:

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyATqdlnzZg&t=133s
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E_0VJuPNw0 (Although I do not agree with the end of this analysis, it is pretty solid for 75-80% of it)

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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby kuribo-04 » Mon Nov 15, 2021 9:05 pm

I dunno about the doll thing.
If Shinji was behind it I feel like the film would have made that clear somehow. There really is no visual indications (that I noticed).

Seems to me like the doll is just Asuka's perception of Kensuke.
Shinji: "Sooner or later I'll be betrayed... And they'll leave me. Still... I want to meet them again, because I believe my feelings at that time were real."
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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Derantor » Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:19 am

If Kensuke actually is a mouthpiece for Shinji, then the whole scene is far from wholesome. He's highjacking Asuka's imagined father figure to push her into a certain direction, while she is emotionally extremely vulnerable and not aware of what's going on. "Asuka is Asuka" is mirroring something he said to Rei: "Ayanami is Ayanami" - a statement making it clear that he does not see Rei6 as a person in her own right, but can only think of her in terms of his preferred version: Rei2. That's why he doesn't give her a name, either. The only Rei in his mind is his Rei. And lo and behold, Rei6, the Childlike Empress, is not given a new name, and thus has to die. It's a fundamental misunderstanding on Shinji's part, which shines a light on a misunderstanding in the meta-sense: Shikinami is not Soryu; thus, Shinji/Shikinami is not the same relationship as Shinji/Soryu. Shinji and Soryu were opposite sides of the same coin - two people who form a complete person. That's why their relationship is central to NGE/EoE. Shikinami is not NTE!Shinji's other side. She is far more like him than Soryu ever was, and where they start in roughly the same position, she ends up in a completely different place than Soryu and NTE!Shinji. She grows up and matures on her own, and Shinji does the same. They do not need each other to complement each other. That's why Shinji ends up with Mari in the end.

I wouldn't call what Asuka is doing on the beach "smiling", either. At best, she's doing the same ambiguous, pained expression Misato does when Kaji sits down with her in Ha. Reads like "Too little, too late", to me. And we can really not ignore the rather blatant theme of "moving on", either. Shinji talks in past tense when he says he liked Asuka; and then he says goodbye. On the train station, he does not try to connect to Asuka. She's on the other platform, in plain sight, but he doesn't acknowledge her in any way. Of course not, because he's waiting for Mari. Asuka leaves on the train, Mari and Shinji go prancing off into the sunset. Shinji is also plainly visible for Asuka - and she, similarly, doesn't try to connect to him. She'd rather play on her phone, ignoring the brat. I mean, it's no wonder, given that she just lost Eva, the only place she ever belonged and where she's shown happy:
Asuka with Eva  SPOILER: Show
Image

Asuka without Eva  SPOILER: Show
ImageImage
(Notice how she exposes her wrists here, and does the same on the beach itself. That's an unnatural pose. Try it out. Lie on your back, see how your hands behave. They'll want to lie palm down (like in the EoE beach scene), not palm up.)


"The boy needs a mother, not a lover" - exactly, and Asuka has been playing reluctant mother to him throughout the movie. She makes sure that he eats and survives. That's it. She knows that Rei is in love with him, and tells her where Shinji, the "target of her affections", is. Just like in Ha, she conceeds that she "lost", and is in no way entering into a contest with Rei. It's hard to deny that she still feels something for Shinji, but it's not exactly a secret wish to become his lover once more. She clarifies her past feelings to him, and gets closure that way. She, too, is moving on. In fact, she mostly has moved on at that point already.

As for Mari pushing them together: I wonder if she was actually trying to. Kinda doesn't mash with her taking Shinji for herself in the end, either. You noticed how we don't know what Asuka feels about being cast out of Instrumentality; and that's the difference between EoE and Shin. In EoE, actual communication happens, even if its painful. In Shin, it doesn't. Shinji is talking at Asuka, an Asuka is shutting herself off, before she gets her plug pulled. (Notice how this scene invokes Kaworu's death scene: a moment of extreme loss for the person inside the ejected Plug. Asuka even flies off in the same direction the freshly dead Kaworu did.) Next time we see them, they're on opposite platforms, and Asuka is on her phone, ignoring him. Sometimes, "Sayonara" actually means "Farewell." Even Mari says goodbye to Asuka: "Be well, Princess." They are moving on.

As an aside: Q -120 isn't evidence for anything, besides everybody being handed the idiot ball for the duration of the Manga. It actually tells us nothing new: we knew already that Asuka still had feelings of some form for Shinji, and that Mari is shipping them to some extent. Besides that, the story presented within the Manga does not make an ounce of sense:
-Shinji knows exactly one redhead. In fact, Asuka is the only redhead in Japan, as far as we know
-Asuka has not aged a day since Shinji last saw her
-Shinji has seen Asuka outside of her plugsuit plenty of times before. He even saw her in the nude.
Despite all that, Asuka somehow has brought her old plugsuit (a damaged plugsuit Shinji never saw in that state - if the eyepatch throws him off, because he's apparently extremely dense, why doesn't the same go for a damaged plugsuit?) to a missile launching site (don't get me started on how "saltwater" and "machinery that's left exposed to the elements for over a decade" do not result in a successful launch), somehow anticipating the exchange with Mari, and wants to wear it so that Shinji will recognize her. Let that sink in. Her whole problem is that she does not physically age - that she looks exactly like she looked 14 years ago, sans eye-patch. Yet somehow, she's concerned that Shinji will not recognize her if she does not wear a specific Plugsuit she shouldn't have brought with her to begin with.
That's beyond idiotic.
Edit: Not to mention that Mari changes into her school uniform so that Shinji will recognize her, but in the opening scene of Q, she's wearing her plugsuit he definitely won't recognize again - and she doesn't visit him after he's pulled out of the plug. Well done, Mari-san! :asuka_thumbsup: It's almost as if Q -120 doesn't fit the continuity and isn't canon, but just a bit of fanservice ...
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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Axx°N N. » Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:24 pm

Great post. I've lingered with my misgivings on the Shinji & Asuka Instrumentality scene, mostly over what I perceived as lack of autonomy on Asuka's part and the undeliberated way Shinji uses his ultimate power to codify & supplant her, an act that would be narcissistic and miscalculated without use of godly force. But the way you frame it as equally unengaged on Asuka's part is extremely interesting and not something I'd factored in, and just seems exactly what's on the tin.
View Original PostDerantor wrote:"Asuka is Asuka" is mirroring something he said to Rei: "Ayanami is Ayanami" - a statement making it clear that he does not see Rei6 as a person in her own right, but can only think of her in terms of his preferred version: Rei2. That's why he doesn't give her a name, either. The only Rei in his mind is his Rei. And lo and behold, Rei6, the Childlike Empress, is not given a new name, and thus has to die. It's a fundamental misunderstanding on Shinji's part ...

And this is why I'm firmly on the side of the interpretations which say Shinji is completely absorbed by Anno in a meta-sense, except I'd extend it further: everyone is, except Asuka & Mari. I think it was said before (and perhaps in another thread) that Asuka was so integral to NGE's themes that it's why she's basically not in NTE, thus the name change. She was previously the character who most embodied those outside Shinji (and thus, Anno) and still carries that baggage as legacy. But what it means is that in Shin's calculation of what it and its characters mean, is that even Shikinami has to be blunted, kept at arm's length and kept aside, because she has nowhere anymore to meaningfully resolve in relation to Shinji.

I agree that Shinji seems more to talk at Ayanami than with, but that's because she, like him, ceases to be her own character. All of Shinji's Instrumentality discussions where he gets to some sort of consensual, full, unilateral character consolation & consolidation (so basically, all but that one with Asuka) don't read as human beings reaching out to other human beings. They make far more sense under the lens that this is a creator talking to aspects of himself and using them as integers in the mathematics he wants to solve. They reduce down, factor out and as a result cease to be. This in itself wouldn't leave me nonplussed, if it didn't feel like the mathematics was at the service of justifying the tonal shift of NTE & its merchandising reach: it feels like these characters need to be sorted out to arrive at a place that reconciles them with wide, unilateral commercial appeal. They must make sense in terms of a happy ending, they have to not feel as if they contradict action sequences for action sequences' sake. This can be seen in Mari, the character who does this most successfully (and opens both 2.0 and Shin tonally), and the one character with no need to work through anything to arrive there; she's pre-packaged.

This is why ending Shinji with Mari occurs and Asuka is sidelined. The idea that time has had its way with whatever could've happened between Shinji & Asuka, that this is a case of thematic realism, is neglecting the way the timeskip is used as a device to arrive at a pre-determined desired end on Anno's part; it's the opposite of organic. The instrumentality scenes aren't about person to person connection, as was the resolution and thesis of NGE & EoE; instead, it's a creator trying to figure out how to avoid the tragedy and discomfort required to do so because it otherwise wouldn't reach a different kind of unversality, that being of the market. It's solipsism for the sake of a demographic boost.

I understand if this reads as cynical; I don't like that this is my read. I also understand if it seems off-topic, as the thread is more about Asuka & Shinji in a romantic (or not) sense, but I truly don't think it's possible to make sense of them under that lens, and the way in which Shin descends into metatext seems pretty inarguable.

I can't escape the impression that NGE&EOE were an Anno open to change, Asuka being at the center of it, but that Shin is an Anno who fully embraces that he has to eliminate the notion of discomfort and move his characters however he wants for the happy math to check out, and that these concerns involve things outside self-expression and artistic integrity, like the prominence of T&A (ironically, most of it relegated to Asuka) and action-sequences (well, double for that). It feels objectifying at worst and economically self-sufficient at best, but narratively it means the characters disappear. Or in Asuka's case, flung away and then relegated to periphery.
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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Konja7 » Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:45 pm

I don't think Kaworu or Rei stop to be characters in the Instrumentality. The conflict these characters show in the Instrumentality are related to aspects these characters have shown in previous movies.

Also, I don't understand the idea Shinji doesn't consider what Asuka wants. It's pretty clear that Asuka wants to be a regular human, while Shinji gives her that.

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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Axx°N N. » Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:04 pm

View Original PostKonja7 wrote:I don't think Kaworu or Rei stop to be characters in the Instrumentality. The conflict these characters show in the Instrumentality are related to aspects these characters have shown in previous movies.

Those two things aren't mutually exclusive. The conflict feels, to me, like springboards for them to become nearly perfected versions of themselves arrived at by conflict but that leaves them conflict-free. To my mind, a character feels realer than fiction when they have desires, needs and faults that may even leave them struggling against or resisting the confines of the narrative. A plot may end, but you can feel them continuing to exist beyond the resolution, with all the good and bad that persistance carries with it in real life. But what is there left for Kaworu to do? Stand around smiling with a pitchfork? What are Rei and Kaworu discussing at the subway, if they aren't just figments, as is a popular theory? This could be an opportunity to posit a question in the mind of the audience, but my mind (perhaps in error) answers immediately: they aren't saying anything.

And I find that for Asuka specifically, I don't feel as if the removal of Evangelions as a concept does anything to resolve her character (per Derantor) when that seems to have been the intention, nor does being a real human. I can't suspend my disbelief that the absence of Evangelion or its curse is as much of a tonic as the plot presents it as, even when immanentized alongside gentle heart-to-hearts, and I find it detrimental to engaging with what happens that we're not shown what happens, what the actual, real life is that these characters now have to face. The last we see of Asuka is shock at being transplanted back to reality, unless her traincar appearance isn't a figment. The omission is conspicuous, and to me it signals that the storytelling has no interest in this when it really should, and that's specifically what leaves me feeling like the characters vanish. If their existential crises can be completely expropriated and identified with physical solutions, and then they are, aren't they undone? Or to put it in more forgiving terms, if the requirement is for the characters to feel resolved on their own right, as people that are more than their plot-mandated problems, I don't think they are; if the intention was to resolve them as symbols and figments, the way they're handled at least makes sense in that context.

View Original PostKonja7 wrote:Also, I don't understand the idea Shinji doesn't consider what Asuka wants. It's pretty clear that Asuka wants to be a regular human, while Shinji gives her that.

Does he ask her? Does he hesitate, inquire or make sure how she feels about it?
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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Konja7 » Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:28 pm

View Original PostAxx°N N. wrote:Those two things aren't mutually exclusive. The conflict feels, to me, like springboards for them to become nearly perfected versions of themselves arrived at by conflict but that leaves them conflict-free. To my mind, a character feels realer than fiction when they have desires, needs and faults that may even leave them struggling against or resisting the confines of the narrative. A plot may end, but you can feel them continuing to exist beyond the resolution, with all the good and bad that persistance carries with it in real life. But what is there left for Kaworu to do? Stand around smiling with a pitchfork? What are Rei and Kaworu discussing at the subway, if they aren't just figments, as is a popular theory? This could be an opportunity to posit a question in the mind of the audience, but my mind (perhaps in error) answers immediately: they aren't saying anything.

In my case, I have never needed the characters to feel like real people. In fact, I prefer the characters to be weirder and more unreal, because that it makes them more interesting for me.

I guess what the characters have left is that they are going to start new lives (free of the things that had them trapped and stuck), which is what they really needed.



View Original PostAxx°N N. wrote:Does he ask her? Does he hesitate, inquire or make sure how she feels about it?

I think Asuka is pretty clear about how much she hates her body with the "curse" of the Eva, while she forces Shinji to eat. The movie is pretty clear about Asuka being unhappy with her Eva "curse" body. And Shinji knows that.

Shinji returns Asuka to Earth close to Kensuke's house, because he know that's the place for Asuka. After all, Kensuke appears to console Asuka in her Instrumemtality.

I've understand you would prefer a more direct talk, but Shinji knows what Asuka really wants, because Asuka has already said or shown what she wants.

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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Derantor » Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:01 pm

View Original PostAxx°N N. wrote:But the way you frame it as equally unengaged on Asuka's part is extremely interesting and not something I'd factored in, and just seems exactly what's on the tin.

Would you mind elaborating on this? I'm not sure that I understand. Do you mean "unengaged" as in "unaware of what's going on"?

I personally do not like to enter into meta-discussions, and I don't think that the ending of Shin is purely to be understood on a meta-level, either. That said, it is easy to contrast EoE and Shin and see how they play out differently. In EoE, Soryu was Shinji's harshest critic (never mind whether or not she was actually right - and everything she says about Shinji also applies to herself. Soryu is, afterall, the queen of hypocrisy and projection), and it was ultimately her who kinda-sorta forgave him. Or at the very least, expressed her understanding of him, even if he was still disgusting. In Shin, meanwhile, Shikinami does not get to speak. She is Shinji's harshest critic still, but he supposedly changes his ways and is not the person she criticised by the time the ending rolls around. Where Soryu got the last word in EoE, and took part in a non-verbal communication beforehand, a stupified Shikinami only gets to ask "Baka Shinji?" That's it.

Both in NGE and NTE, Asuka is the character who is most deeply linked to Eva and piloting. Her whole existence revolves around it, contrary to Shinji, for whom Eva is just another thing he does to fulfill other peoples expectations. In a meta-sense, Asuka is Evangelion. And that's probably why she doesn't get to speak or express her consent (if she does indeed consent) to Shinji/Anno saying goodbye to all of Eva. Because ultimately, it's not something mutual, and it can't be. It's an artist saying goodbye to his creation, and his creation can not answer back. Or rather, it is not allowed to. Everybody who tried to write a story knows that it'll take on a life of its own and will want to go in a direction you might not want it to. Shinji can not have his all-encompassing, uncontradicted goodbye scene if one of the characters refuses to let go of Eva. It would not really be the closure he wants if Asuka speaks up: "What are you, stupid? I already found my place! Eva is the only place I belong! Sure, KenKen is a nice guy, but haven't you seen how I smiled when he told me that Wunder is coming, which means I get to pilot again? Haven't you seen how I stared longingly into the sky, hoping for Wunder's return? Haven't you seen how happy I was when I was in that one place where I belonged? Why do I have to give that up? I don't care if you want to quit piloting, you can do that all you want! Say goodbye to Eva, but leave me alone!"

"even Shikinami has to be blunted, kept at arm's length and kept aside" puts it very well.

I often hear the argument that Asuka is only happy inside her Eva because she's traumatized and knows nothing else/can't imagine anything different. But that's not really true. She lived in Tokyo 3, she lived in the village with Kensuke - it was not to her liking. And even after the terrible trauma of Ha, being eaten alive inside an Eva, having to wear a sealing eye-patch and a choker, and possibly regaining her memories of the horrible things Gendo, SEELE and NERV did to her and her sisters - even after all that, she is still utterly happy when she is back in Unit 02 (look at the Wunder ignition scene in Q again). She has absolutely no reason to fake that happiness, or pretend to like something she actually wants to get rid of or despises, and Shikinami, contrary to Soryu, has long moved passed bullshitting herself. And this leads me to this point:

Konja7 wrote:I think Asuka is pretty clear about how much she hates her body with the "curse" of the Eva, while she forces Shinji to eat. The movie is pretty clear about Asuka being unhappy with her Eva "curse" body. And Shinji knows that.

Shinji returns Asuka to Earth close to Kensuke's house, because he know that's the place for Asuka. After all, Kensuke appears to console Asuka in her Instrumemtality.

I've understand you would prefer a more direct talk, but Shinji knows what Asuka really wants, because Asuka has already said or shown what she wants.


Contrary to Rei6, who really really wants to be a mother and a farmer, or Shinji, who really really wants to be a salaryman, Shikinami never actually expresses a wish for a normal life. She only expresses her dislike of things (with the exception of piloting Eva), but that does not actually allow us to deduce what she wants in itself. To give an example: if I tell you that I dislike Snoop Dog, you can not deduce which artists I actually like. (But feel free to try - would be interesting how close you get.) "Asuka wants to be normal" is probably what Shinji thinks, but as Anno puts it: what the characters say isn't necessarily right. "Shinji returns Asuka to Earth close to Kensuke's house, because he know that's the place for Asuka." - I have to ask now, how does he know? Because it appears to console her? I mean, maybe, yeah, but ... that's the point. It's just guesswork on his part. By the same logic, he could conclude "Hey, piloting makes Asuka happy, so, I could send her back to Unit 02 with my godpowers and let her pilot forever! :D" He does not, in fact, know anything about Asuka, because they never talk, and he never asks. It's highly presumptious on his part to assume that a broken down shack in the middle of nowhere where she gets to do housecleaning and play videogames all day, living with an Ersatz-father-figure while staying away from everybody else is the ideal place for Shikinami and the extent of her ambitions. That sounds rather horrible and dreary, in fact ... And that's before we consider that her hatred of a deficient Lilin body does not have to mean that she wants a fully functional Lilin body, instead of, lets say, the body she creates for herself during Code 999, but I'll gladly leave that can of worms closed for now.

Edit: We also had this situation before: Kaworu really really really knew what Shinji actually wanted, and he really really wanted to make him happy, too, without ever asking Shinji. Because he doesn't need to, right? It's plainly obvious what Shinji wants. We can always tell what's best for other people and can act on that knowledge without their consent. That never has any negative consequences whatsoever.

Sneaky second edit: And I also despise the notion that "Asuka on the beach" represents how Asuka sees herself, or represents her "idealized body" - sure, she imagines herself as a flustered, blushing, stupified sex-doll, drawn in a rape-fetish extra-glossy Doujin style, with her tits hanging out of her strategically ripped plugsuit - sure. A plugsuit, I might remind everybody, which is made out of stretching material which should not rip simply because its inhabitant grows to adult size, which is still smaller than the suit in its deflated form. That's Asuka's true self-image, because she has got nothing better to do than objectify herself so that Baka Shinji can ogle at her. :yuck: Soryu has a comment for that: "Absofuckinglutely disgusting."

Even sneakier third edit: and now that she has an adult body, what does Shinji think will happen next? That she returns to Kensuke and begins fucking her Ersatz-father-figure, because now she can? Gross, Shinji ...

I can't suspend my disbelief that the absence of Evangelion or its curse is as much of a tonic as the plot presents it as,

Exactly. Eva did not cause any of the problems the characters face - other people (or they themselves) did. It's like blaming the kitchen knife for the murder that was commited with it, and melting down all kitchen knifes, proclaiming to have made the world a better place. It's an infantile notion.
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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Konja7 » Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:49 pm

View Original PostDerantor wrote:He does not, in fact, know anything about Asuka, because they never talk, and he never asks. It's highly presumptious on his part to assume that a broken down shack in the middle of nowhere where she gets to do housecleaning and play videogames all day, living with an Ersatz-father-figure while staying away from everybody else is the ideal place for Shikinami and the extent of her ambitions. That sounds rather horrible and dreary, in fact ... And that's before we consider that her hatred of a deficient Lilin body does not have to mean that she wants a fully functional Lilin body, instead of, lets say, the body she creates for herself during Code 999, but I'll gladly leave that can of worms closed for now.

I'm pretty sure the movie implies that Asuka wants to be normal. I don't think any of the writers would disagree with that.

Honestly, I think Shinji could notice what Asuka wants from her words. Also, Instrumentality likely shows Shinji (in depth) what she really wants.

I've understand you don't like Shinji guessing Asuka's feelings, because you would want Asuka to directly speak.



View Original PostDerantor wrote:Edit: We also had this situation before: Kaworu really really really knew what Shinji actually wanted, and he really really wanted to make him happy, too, without ever asking Shinji. Because he doesn't need to, right? It's plainly obvious what Shinji wants. We can always tell what's best for other people and can act on that knowledge without their consent. That never has any negative consequences whatsoever.

Kaworu doesn't act without Shinji's consent. Kaworu explained to Shinji that they could use the Spears and Eva-13 to repair the Earth and Shinji accepted it.

So, this doesn't really fit the "lack of talk" issue, since they talk. Also, Shinji really express to Kaworu what he wants.

The issue was that Shiji really wants to escape from pain and guilt, while Kaworu allowed that behavior.


This would be an example of people wanting things that aren't the best for them. Another example: Asuka seems to want to end her life in 3.0+1.0.

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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Derantor » Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:11 pm

I'm pretty sure the movie implies that Asuka wants to be normal. I don't think any of the writers would disagree with that.

I disagree, and laid out my reasoning previously. "I do not want X" does not mean "Therefore, I want Y."

As for Shinji consenting: Does Kaworu tell Shinji that "using the spears" means "causing another Impact"? To my knowledge, he doesn't. Does Shinji ever inquire how this plan is supposed to work in detail? No. We can hardly call that informed consent. Not to mention that he talks Shinji into it while Shinji, too, is in a incredibly vulnerable state and in deep emotional turmoil. And Kaworu didn't allow that behaviour, he actively encouraged it and convinced Shinji to go through with something he initially rejected. Even Kaworu himself comments on this in Shin, during his talk with Kaji: "You mistook your own happiness for his", or something to that effect. It's really not all that contentious, and it's portrayed as a bad thing.

I've understand you don't like Shinji guessing Asuka's feelings, because you would want Asuka to directly speak.

Yes, because consent is kinda important. Even if you could read my mind, and knew perfectly well what I wanted, I would still expect you to ask me if it was okay to act on my behalf before you do it, especially if the rest of my life is influenced by that decision. And it's not like he doesn't do it with Rei or Kaworu: they both agree to the fate that's been laid out for them, so it's not as if this is somehow treated as unimportant by the movie, either. "Everybody else knows whats best for you so we don't need your expressed consent" is just a completely unhealthy mindset, and seeing it portrayed as something good because Shinji is an enlightened God or whatever does nothing to change that in the slightest. If anything, the difference in power and agency, with Shinji being in complete control, makes it even more important that he does not act solely on his own whims and notions. Because, you know, his view of things, even given the same knowledge as all the other characters, might still be different than that of other characters. That's kinda what all of EoTV was about.

This would be an example of people wanting things that aren't the best for them. Another example: Asuka seems to want to end her life in 3.0+1.0.

And I'm incredibly glad that we can choose things that aren't the best for us, instead of being forced into decisions by some supposedly benevolent god or a dictatorship established by our fellow humans.
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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Konja7 » Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:38 pm

View Original PostDerantor wrote:As for Shinji consenting: Does Kaworu tell Shinji that "using the spears" means "causing another Impact"? To my knowledge, he doesn't. Does Shinji ever inquire how this plan is supposed to work in detail? No. We can hardly call that informed consent. Not to mention that he talks Shinji into it while Shinji, too, is in a incredibly vulnerable state and in deep emotional turmoil. And Kaworu didn't allow that behaviour, he actively encouraged it and convinced Shinji to go through with something he initially rejected. Even Kaworu himself comments on this in Shin, during his talk with Kaji: "You mistook your own happiness for his", or something to that effect. It's really not all that contentious, and it's portrayed as a bad thing.


We don't know if "using the Spears" to repair Earth will need an Impact (I've read the theory, but it isn't confirmed). The Fourth Impact in 3.0 happened because Kaworu become the 13th Angel, which Kaworu didn't expect.

It's true that Shinji doesn't inquire more details, but that's Shinji's decision, because he just wants to repair the World (to escape pain and guilt). That's the reason why Shinji decided to pilot Eva-13.


This is said between Kaji and Kaworu in the Instrumentality (translated by Reichu):

Kaworu: I'm sorry. I didn't truly understand your happiness.
Kaji: Indeed. The happiness in question was yours, Commander Nagisa. <You wanted to make Shinji-kun happy, right? Meaning, you wanted to be happy.>


Kaworu's wish to make Shinji happy is his wish to be happy, because he feels reflected on Shinji.

Of course, Kaworu was wrong about Shinji's happiness in 3.0, but not because "repair the World" wasn't what Shinji wanted at the time (Shinji definitely wanted this to escape from pain and guilt in 3.0). As you say, the problem is that Kaworu supported and enabled a problematic behavior from Shinji.

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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Derantor » Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:18 pm

... We see that using the spears to change the world requires an Impact in Shin. That's the whole point of Gendo starting one, and Shinji taking over. Use spear to change the world = Impact. That's not a theory, that's just what happens.

You are right, it is Shinji's decision to not inquire further, which just goes to show that he isn't of sound mind at that point, because I definitely would want to know how taking some spears can make everything right again. I mean, he's a traumatized minor acting on incomplete information - he goes through a mental breakdown in the very same movie ... The point about Kaworu being wrong about Shinji's happiness is that it is in principle wrong to assume you understand other peoples' happiness, and that it's dangerous to confuse your own happiness with that of others.

And of course Shinji wanted to escape his guilt, but that does not mean he wanted to achieve it the way Kaworu pushed him to do it - do you see his face when he realizes that they just started an Impact? He clearly did NOT want any of that to happen, but Kaworu clearly did - the problem is not the Impact, it's that the spears are wrong. And Impact was always Kaworu's goal, he simply did not tell Shinji about that, even though he should have. He abused his power and knowledge to push Shinji into a direction he wanted, knowing full well that Shinji was in a desolate mental state - that's abusive behaviour. It was wrong with Kaworu and Shinji, and it's still wrong with Asuka and Shinji later on. The ironic part of all this is of course that Shinji later on does exactly what Kaworu had planned in the first place, once he got the correct spear.

And to the point that "because he read her mind, no further consent is needed": In EoE, Rei reads Shinji's mind, and gives him exactly what he wants. And yet, when they actually talk about it, Shinji comes to the opposite conclusion. Huh. So, acting on some stray thoughts you read in somebody elses mind doesn't actually tell you how they'd decide if you asked them and they are actually in a state to decide anything and take a moment to think ... We have a lot of conflicting desires and thoughts going on at every single point in time, especially if we are in turmoil.

Anyway, I think we're going in circles at this point, since we can't seem to agree what actually constitutes consent, or that it's important in the first place.
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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Konja7 » Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:44 pm

View Original PostDerantor wrote:... We see that using the spears to change the world requires an Impact in Shin. That's the whole point of Gendo starting one, and Shinji taking over. Use spear to change the world = Impact. That's not a theory, that's just what happens.

You are right, it is Shinji's decision to not inquire further, which just goes to show that he isn't of sound mind at that point, because I definitely would want to know how taking some spears can make everything right again. I mean, he's a traumatized minor acting on incomplete information - he goes through a mental breakdown in the very same movie ... The point about Kaworu being wrong about Shinji's happiness is that it is in principle wrong to assume you understand other peoples' happiness, and that it's dangerous to confuse your own happiness with that of others.

We don't know if repairing the World (that just revert the Earth to previous state) requires an Impact. So far, that's just a theory (maybe it's correct, but we can't confirm it). The changes that Gendo or SEELE wanted to realize were a lot bigger than that.

Also, Shinji taking the two Spears of Longinus doesn't start the Fourth Impact in 3.0. Kaworu mentioned this was started, because he became the 13th Angel (which Kaworu definitely didn't expect).

Now, I don't think Shinji isn't sound of mind when he takes his decision. Shinji doesn't inquire more, because he doesn't care about the way, while he could repair Earth (and escape his guilt). That's the way Shinji really is.



View Original PostDerantor wrote:And of course Shinji wanted to escape his guilt, but that does not mean he wanted to achieve it the way Kaworu pushed him to do it - do you see his face when he realizes that they just started an Impact? He clearly did NOT want any of that to happen, but Kaworu clearly did - the problem is not the Impact, it's that the spears are wrong. And Impact was always Kaworu's goal, he simply did not tell Shinji about that, even though he should have. He abused his power and knowledge to push Shinji into a direction he wanted, knowing full well that Shinji was in a desolate mental state - that's abusive behaviour. It was wrong with Kaworu and Shinji, and it's still wrong with Asuka and Shinji later on. The ironic part of all this is of course that Shinji later on does exactly what Kaworu had planned in the first place, once he got the correct spear.

Shinji was terrified by the Fourth Impact in 3.0, because he finally realized the situation won't go how he wants (he couldn't repair the Earth). He finally understood Kaworu's warnings about not taking the two Spears of Longinus.

As you mentioned, Shinji wouldn't have a problem to use an Impact to repair the Earth. He did that in 3.0+1.0.



View Original PostDerantor wrote:Anyway, I think we're going in circles at this point, since we can't seem to agree what actually constitutes consent, or that it's important in the first place.

I don't have problem with ending the discussion. However, don't try to assume what I understand for consent from this discussion about fictional characters.
Last edited by Konja7 on Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:18 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Derantor » Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:09 pm

I mean, you've been consistently arguing that Asuka's consent is not required if Shinji does what she wants anyway, or at the very least that it's not a big deal if he doesn't get it. You've similarly argued that Kaworu, Elder God, manipulating Shinji, traumatize teen, into doing something he didn't really want to do actually constitutes consent because Shinji eventually agreed after suffering a nervous breakdown, without even understanding what he was agreeing to. There's nothing much I can misunderstand here, I think. Our opinions on what constitutes consent, when it can be considered sufficient and when it matters are clearly very different.
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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Konja7 » Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:39 pm

View Original PostDerantor wrote:I mean, you've been consistently arguing that Asuka's consent is not required if Shinji does what she wants anyway, or at the very least that it's not a big deal if he doesn't get it. You've similarly argued that Kaworu, Elder God, manipulating Shinji, traumatize teen, into doing something he didn't really want to do actually constitutes consent because Shinji eventually agreed after suffering a nervous breakdown, without even understanding what he was agreeing to. There's nothing much I can misunderstand here, I think. Our opinions on what constitutes consent, when it can be considered sufficient and when it matters are clearly very different.


Asuka wanted to be human, the story clearly wants to show that she was unhappy with her "cursed" body. Shinji knows it, so he gives her a human body. Maybe there should be a scene where they directly talk about it, but the story clearly does not mean to imply that Shinji does not respect Asuka's wishes.

In 3.0, Shinji doesn't want to pilot the Eva, because he suffered a nervous breakdown. Shinji accepted to pilot Eva-13, because he was offered the option to repair Earth by Kaworu. Shinji could inquire how this could happen, but he doesn't really care about the way, while he could escape the guilt. At the end, Shinji wasn't manipulated in this situation, because he really wanted to repair Earth.

If you want to assume from these opinions of fictional characters that I don't understand consent, we don't have anything else to discuss.
Last edited by Konja7 on Fri Nov 26, 2021 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Axx°N N. » Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:17 pm

View Original PostDerantor wrote:Would you mind elaborating on this? I'm not sure that I understand. Do you mean "unengaged" as in "unaware of what's going on"?

I always took Asuka's reaction in the beach scene to be merely tsundere fanservice. However, the parallel you draw between her and some of Misato's conflicted romantic emotions was interesting and I do think there's room for a more complicated, mixed nature to her attitude. The rest of the film portrays her as guarded and withdrawn, for instance your example of her sending Rei Shinji's way, and whether this is consistent with mixed feelings on the beach scene, or just a front the beach scene reveals as typical tsundere stock behavior, rests on however one takes her blushing, because of how little is communicated.

View Original PostKonja7 wrote:but the story clearly does not mean to imply that Shinji does not respect Asuka's wishes.

Sorry to butt in, but just a little food for thought: how do you know the story doesn't mean that, though? If an author has the intent to do something, but the scene is composed in such a way that, technically, the opposite is nonetheless being communicated, isn't that a scripting error? It's incredibly subjective how one draws conclusions from writing or what constitutes failed communication, but, again, food for thought: is the intent not to display Shinji as disrespectful something that exists on-screen, or in your assumption? Is what exists literally in the scene a lack of assent on Asuka's part?
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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Konja7 » Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:36 pm

View Original PostAxx°N N. wrote:Sorry to butt in, but just a little food for thought: how do you know the story doesn't mean that, though? If an author has the intent to do something, but the scene is composed in such a way that, technically, the opposite is nonetheless being communicated, isn't that a scripting error? It's incredibly subjective how one draws conclusions from writing or what constitutes failed communication, but, again, food for thought: is the intent not to display Shinji as disrespectful something that exists on-screen, or in your assumption? Is what exists literally in the scene a lack of assent on Asuka's part?


In the Instrumentality, the story tries to portray Shinji as someone who has overcome his selfishness and tries to give others what they need. So, I really doubt the writers try to display Shinji as disrepectful.

In itself, I don't think the story has bad writing on this part, since a big part of the audience perceived that Shinji was selfless and worried about others in the Instrumentality.

I understand that a good amount of people (especially Asuka fans) would have preferred that she had expressed her wishes more directly, but the writers did not want to focus on that. They want to focus on her tragic backstory.

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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Axx°N N. » Fri Nov 26, 2021 4:13 pm

View Original PostKonja7 wrote:In itself, I don't think the story has bad writing on this part, since a big part of the audience perceived that Shinji was selfless and worried about others in the Instrumentality.

Using previous scenes as supporting argument doesn't preclude the possibility that, while the execution of what was intended was consistent in those scenes, it became inconsistent due to Asuka's. I agree that the sum total of those scenes is attempting to display Shinji as having become selfless. But in that scene itself, I don't find evidence of selflessness, but instead that of absence of assent and undue emphasis on what Shinji deliberates.

View Original PostKonja7 wrote:I understand that a good amount of people (especially Asuka fans) would have preferred that she had expressed her wishes more directly, but the writers did not want to focus on that. They want to focus on her tragic backstory.

I think we're on the same page, then--the effects this has on the story and her character is just something we disagree on.
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Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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Postby Zusuchan » Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:35 am

Axx°N N. wrote: Using previous scenes as supporting argument doesn't preclude the possibility that, while the execution of what was intended was consistent in those scenes, it became inconsistent due to Asuka's. I agree that the sum total of those scenes is attempting to display Shinji as having become selfless. But in that scene itself, I don't find evidence of selflessness, but instead that of absence of assent and undue emphasis on what Shinji deliberates.

I'm not really sure of the necessity of acting like Anno 100% knew what he was doing 100% of the time and thus everything in NTE is incredibly thought out and detailed to the point of every last interaction being a crucial part of the work without which the whole narrative falls apart, when it's been known that the production of these four movies has been a bit...messy and it makes much more sense to consider that certain things really were just badly communicated. Shinji was supposed to be more or less selfless and helping others-the Asuka scene was just badly done, the ideas were badly communicated. Otherwise, what then-Asuka was robbed of agency because...why? What does it mean? What does it add to the film's themes or the series' themes as a whole? I kind of get Derantor's argument that Shinji-as-Anno is saying goodbye to his creation and the creation's wishes don't matter, but, see, creations fundamentally don't exist, so there's no need to ask Asuka Langley Soryu's or Shinji Ikari's opinion on Anno moving on from Eva because they're fictional characters, they're fundamentally only real as ideas. And some sort of a darker interpretation makes no sense either because NTE is supposed to be a happy ending and there's no indication that that's only a surface or irony.

TL;DR-there's no point in consistently assuming that NTE is a fully organized work in which everything conveys exactly what it's meant to convey and which has no inner contradictions, especially when such assumptions lead to perspectives that are out of order in regards to the logical deductions.


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