Pilot Training / Asuka's Credentials [Split]

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition").
The third installment debuted in Japan on November 17, 2012.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:18 am

View Original PostBrainman wrote:In Rebuild, she practically falls on top of him out of nowhere and with a wave of the hand she's his roommate (for some reason). And it's not like he has a job to do with her being there either this time. Nah, she just lives there now. Harmonize already.

Odd you don't like that, seeing as how NGE explains it away in the exact same fashion. They're both pilots and have to train together, and this is the best method seeing how abrasive Asuka can be toward Shinji. Learn teamwork and the like, which becomes important when the Angel battles get worse and worse. It's just that in NME, it was an act of prevention rather than an act of defensive reaction.

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Postby Brainman » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:26 am

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Odd you don't like that, seeing as how NGE explains it away in the exact same fashion. They're both pilots and have to train together, and this is the best method seeing how abrasive Asuka can be toward Shinji. Learn teamwork and the like, which becomes important when the Angel battles get worse and worse. It's just that in NME, it was an act of prevention rather than an act of defensive reaction.


No, that's not going to fly. In the series it was a "it can't be helped" type deal. They had to harmonize or get owned again come the end of the week. In Rebuild it's very nonspecific. They just have to harmonize. But we are not shown any scenes of that happening. Asuka visits the bed, but that wasn't to help them fly their robots in synch better.

It's a case of 'show don't tell.' In the series they grow close because the circumstances forced them together. You get the impression that had they not both been Eva pilots they wouldn't have had much to do with each other. But the difference between this and Rebuild is that the series SHOWS the things they do together. They show you the training exercises, the battles, the trials, the misunderstandings, and finally the snags. Rebuild doesn't even have many scenes of the two interacting beyond one or two specific parts. And yet there's this attraction there that's occurring without Shinji's active input. Asuka is doing it on her own on the sidelines. Thus, I have more trouble seeing it as being organic to the story.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:56 am

View Original PostBrainman wrote:No, that's not going to fly. In the series it was a "it can't be helped" type deal. They had to harmonize or get owned again come the end of the week. In Rebuild it's very nonspecific.

Preventative measures are "not gonna fly?" It's very "nonspecific?" Dude, it's really sad when I can just play back the movie to see the exact opposite of what you suggest:

SPOILER: Show
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These conversation issues are only more clear when considering how Shinji already took care of conversation issues involving Rei:

SPOILER: Show
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View Original PostBrainman wrote:They just have to harmonize. But we are not shown any scenes of that happening. Asuka visits the bed, but that wasn't to help them fly their robots in synch better.

It's a case of 'show don't tell.' In the series they grow close because the circumstances forced them together. You get the impression that had they not both been Eva pilots they wouldn't have had much to do with each other. But the difference between this and Rebuild is that the series SHOWS the things they do together. They show you the training exercises, the battles, the trials, the misunderstandings, and finally the snags. Rebuild doesn't even have many scenes of the two interacting beyond one or two specific parts. And yet there's this attraction there that's occurring without Shinji's active input. Asuka is doing it on her own on the sidelines. Thus, I have more trouble seeing it as being organic to the story.

It's organic in a story in which Misato succeeds in making Shinji and Asuka work better as a team. Misato's success was never suggested in 2.22. In fact, something entirely different was suggested in 2.22:

SPOILER: Show
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Postby Brainman » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:10 pm

@FreakyFilmFan4ever

It doesn't fly because I am expected to believe Asuka and Shinji living together is matter of military strategy. But they don't train in an observable capacity. It's more of an after school special approach. Their communication skills are bad, so they have to live *record scratch* UNDER THE SAME ROOF!

Oh man, neat! So let's assume Asuka going on the same field trips with Shinji and sneaking into his bed at night addresses their communication problems. How does that translate to solid combat results? Asuka ins't a team player but then she becomes one I guess. Oh! by the way, I guess in this movie's universe one can make it all the way to the rank of captain without ever once having to respect the chain of command or act as part of a unit. Fun fact. Annnnyway.

I guess Misato was being meddlesome in this respect, but it feels contrived the way it was executed. See, it's perfectly fine and good to have an idea for something, but execution matters. And I just wasn't convinced by Misato's reasoning. If you're saying I'm not supposed to be convinced, then maybe. Misato playing house and accidentally blowing it could be an interesting thing. But the movie doesn't focus on the communication between Shinji and Asuka at all really. In the film, Asuka opens up slightly and gets smashed. How that effected Shinji is indirect. He didn't even seem to know what he meant to her. It's just the fact that he had to hurt someone. And once Asuka is out of the script she becomes a nonfactor, so the plot element of them communicating better falls underneath the cracks anyway.

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Postby Warren Peace » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:12 pm

EDIT ^ : Only in anime can a 14-year-old be called "captain" of anything military at all. Let's not nitpick THAT... also, she becomes a "team player" because of what happens to her in the film. The Falling Angel sequence teaches her that she can't kick every Angel's ass on her own so she better learn to cooperate.

View Original PostBrainman wrote:Well I don't really criticize Rei so much in particular. She didn't do anything wrong actually. It's more to do with how things progress around her in the movie. Like it all feels...guided. Like it doesn't progress naturally. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone else but me. It's like I can more clearly see the strings this time around and it's less impressive for it.


It might be worth pointing out that they are being guided, in the story, by Gendo and/or Seele for some surely nefarious purpose...

View Original PostBrainman wrote:Whether or not you find Shikinami to be snoresville (I do) compared to classic Asuka is your own business really. What I think vexes us especially though is that you have the other characters that are kinda-sorta close enough to their old selves. You got new Rei who is basically Rei + commitment. New Shinji is kind of a default Shinji + motivation. But then Asuka is....Shikinami. It's like we got stepped over. So now if this Asuka goes and makes her journey it's like old Asuka gets to hang out in the vacuum.


I think that's a bit extreme. The differences in this Asuka, like the differences in the other characters, are all minutiae. I mean, she's still recognizably Asuka -- brash, self-aggrandizing, etc. etc. She's still performed the same way (no matter what Miyamura says). In any event, I'm not sure why you'd want to rehash Soryu's arc anyway. It's been done.
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Postby Tarnsman » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:59 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:But that's exactly how that issue was resolved in NGE, a situation which you seemed to praise earlier. You can't praise a fictitious situation as literary gold when the goals of the characters are reached and jeer at another as literary garbage when the characters fail to reach those goals, especially when those are the only differences between the scripts.

To be fair the situation is different. Both NGE and NME have them live together to achieve the same desired result, but in NGE it was out of necessity. There was something actually requiring it. In NME it was a preemptive measure that was put in place before a situation requiring it arose. Anyone can see from a mile away that Shinji and Asuka need to work on their communication skills. So having them move in together before they messed up in battle, is actually more logical.

But if we're going to bitch about logic, then it would be NERV/Misato's decision to solve their problems with soap opera stupidity as a whole, instead of real counseling and therapy that would actually help them. But that's a road that's been traveled so much that even the dirt path it was once paved on top of has been worn down.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:07 pm

View Original PostTarnsman wrote:But if we're going to bitch about logic, then it would be NERV/Misato's decision to solve their problems with soap opera stupidity as a whole, instead of real counseling and therapy that would actually help them. But that's a road that's been traveled so much that even the dirt path it was once paved on top of has been worn down.

Yeah, I agree. If we're gonna nit-pick Misato's reasoning for any of the "shipping" stunts she's pulled in either continuities, for better or for worse, then there's also this whole concept of a bunch of 14-year-olds saving the world with metal-clad monsters which may or may not have their moms trapped inside of them that doesn't sound totally safe or kosher at all in a realistic environment.

I guess my point was that NME's example required the exact same suspension of disbelief as NGE's example. (Even less suspension, as I agree that it would make more sense to attempt to smooth out all of those issues before something nasty happened.)

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Postby Tarnsman » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:26 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Yeah, I agree. If we're gonna nit-pick Misato's reasoning for any of the "shipping" stunts she's pulled in either continuities, for better or for worse, then there's also this whole concept of a bunch of 14-year-olds saving the world with metal-clad monsters which may or may not have their moms trapped inside of them that doesn't sound totally safe or kosher at all in a realistic environment.

At least that situation had an in-universe explanation. There is none given for why therapy doesn't exist in the Eva universe. Which I would argue makes it more illogical than 14-year-olds piloting giant biomechs.
View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:I guess my point was that NME's example required the exact same suspension of disbelief than NGE's example. (Even less suspension, as I agree that it would make more sense to attempt to smooth out all of those issues before something nasty happened.)

Which I whole-heartedly agree with.
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Postby Brainman » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:35 pm

To be fair the situation is different. Both NGE and NME have them live together to achieve the same desired result, but in NGE it was out of necessity.


It's this, but it's also the fact that we see the nature of their "harmonization" training. To contrast, in Rebuild Misato kinda looks up and says, "hey, you two are supposed to be harmonizing, remember?" Uh, yeah. What exactly are they supposed to be doing? The series shows they have to do rigorous training to synchronize physically. Here, they just kinda hang around. I'm not seeing any harmonization process going on. Is Misato playing an escort game? Her just vaguely nudging them doesn't really seem like much of a preemptive measure against anything as it seems an easy way to get some humorous reaction shots.

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Postby Bagheera » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:44 pm

View Original PostTarnsman wrote:At least that situation had an in-universe explanation. There is none given for why therapy doesn't exist in the Eva universe. Which I would argue makes it more illogical than 14-year-olds piloting giant biomechs.


I'll give you one. I don't think it holds up, but:

Operational Security. NERV is fastidious about keeping its secrets, and providing the pilots with adequate counseling would necessarily involve their relating what they experience as pilots. It's easily possible the higher ups just said "fuck it, we'll sort it all out in Instrumentality anyway, so let's keep a lid on things and just roll with it from there."

Also, it's possible that the NERV hierarchy wanted the pilots to break down. This would ensure that whoever was at the heart of Instrumentality allowed it to continue to fruition, which was the ultimate end goal. It would have worked out splendidly with Shinji if not for Rei, for example.

The same logic might not apply to NME, though.
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Postby Brainman » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:51 pm

RE: Pilots not receiving counseling.

In universe, I think it has to with the idea that Nerv uses the children as tools. Ritsuko especially doesn't seem all that concerned about the emotional problems facing the pilots and regularly advocates plans that would either damage or kill them based on the most logical approach. So, counseling? Will counseling knock invading angel monsters out of the sky? No time for that. And Misato herself probably thinks she can mother hen them well enough that they'll blossom themselves. And she's not right about that obviously, but it's the thought that counts.

Out of universe though, the explanation is that if they became well adjusted then that would kind of eliminate the drama, now wouldn't it?

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Postby Azathoth » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:08 pm

Anno couldn't afford a shrink, so he puts his fictionalized selves in a position to receive no counseling.
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Postby liquidus118 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:27 pm

Wasn't Misato meant to be the one to take care of them? Ritsuko does keep insisting that Shinji (And by extension Asuka since she too later lives with her) are in Misato's hands.
Sure, she isn't a professional, but she was the person tasked with being their carer.
Another reason they never got any was probably because Gendo didn't seem to care. He had a very tough-love approach with Shinji, didn't give a flying fuck about Asuka and was almost always with Rei when she wasn't at home and was under the impression that she was going to just kill Angels and join with him without opposition.

I'm surprised Anno didn't include them, though. They would have been an excellent opportunity to give the viewer a better look into the character's heads. Though maybe he considered it too easy, or unnecessary, since we already get to see inside their heads in 16, 22, 23, 25,26 and 26'. Perhaps it would have felt too repetitive to have all these examples as well as them sitting on a chair expositing their feelings.

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Postby Brainman » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:32 pm

Perhaps it would have felt too repetitive to have all these examples as well as them sitting on a chair expositing their feelings.


Seems like that's basically what the final two episodes were.

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Postby liquidus118 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:37 pm

View Original PostBrainman wrote:Seems like that's basically what the final two episodes were.

That's my point. We already get 2 dedicated episodes, as well as the 3 or 4 other examples I gave, so he may have felt that having even more scenes like this - especially ones giving very similar information - was too much, or repetitive. It may also impact the dramatic effect of the characters realising things about themselves.

And besides, episodes 25 and 26 did it in a far more interesting way than a psychiatrist asking them questions could have achieved.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:03 pm

View Original PostBrainman wrote:It's this, but it's also the fact that we see the nature of their "harmonization" training. To contrast, in Rebuild Misato kinda looks up and says, "hey, you two are supposed to be harmonizing, remember?" Uh, yeah. What exactly are they supposed to be doing? The series shows they have to do rigorous training to synchronize physically. Here, they just kinda hang around. I'm not seeing any harmonization process going on. Is Misato playing an escort game? Her just vaguely nudging them doesn't really seem like much of a preemptive measure against anything as it seems an easy way to get some humorous reaction shots.

Misato never suggested training in NME. She just suggested they communicate better. (Did you even read the subs in the screen shots I posted?) Realistically neither continuities really needed Shinji and Asuka to live together to accomplish either the training in NGE or better communication skills in NME. Shinji and Asuka could have just met once or twice a day in Episode 8 of NGE to train for one or two hours per meeting and then go off on their own separate lives.

In fact, living together might actually make more sense if the two characters were merely trying to improve communication skills rather than simply training. Like I said, the characters could have just met a couple times a day in NGE for the training. Or at least they could have sent Soryu to her own home and separated from Shinji after training all day. (That way she wouldn't have attempted to have hate-sex with Shinji... or whatever emotion she was feeling when she was announcing her "Wall of Jericho".) Communication issues on the other hand become much more prevalent as an issue that needs to be worked out if the two at fault are actually living together.

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:50 pm

View Original PostBrainman wrote:Oh! by the way, I guess in this movie's universe one can make it all the way to the rank of captain without ever once having to respect the chain of command or act as part of a unit. Fun fact. Annnnyway.


Nitpick: Shikinami is a Captain of the European Air-force, not a Captain of Nerv/their branches. The film (especially Funimation's translation) implies this is in place of Soryu being a college graduate.
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Postby Brainman » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:21 pm

Shinji and Asuka could have just met once or twice a day in Episode 8 of NGE to train for one or two hours per meeting and then go off on their own separate lives.


The purpose of the training in NGE was that they synchronize physically. Eating breathing and sleeping together, as they said. They needed as much training as they could possibly cram into the last days they had, or else the mission would be bust. It wasn't like they were preparing for the school talent show. They had to perform perfectly or they might fail and get the world killed. If I were you I would have pointed out that there's no reason for them to live together after the angel battle in NGE. Because there really isn't an easy answer to that. Keeping the convention going I guess.

Nitpick: Shikinami is a Captain of the European Air-force, not a Captain of Nerv/their branches. The film (especially Funimation's translation) implies this is in place of Soryu being a college graduate.


Yeah, obviously. The thing that's funny about it is that it's a red herring. It doesn't really have anything to do with her character (in much the same way that being a college graduate didn't mean much in NGE, but alas). Misato just kind of offhandedly mentions it once and it doesn't come up again until Asuka says "you should really call me captain."

What's annoying about it is that it was something that could have been intriguing. But it's left in the dirt. Asuka as a child soldier, and how the atmosphere of pleasing higher ups to move up the ranks would mean putting on a false mask to conform. That being juxtaposed with Shinji's more passive form of approval seeking behavior could have been a neat parallel. But despite supposedly being a military kid, her character type is still the bratty teenager. She slinks around, runs her mouth in front of her superior, and acts like she's never been on a team before. Asuka-like behavior perhaps, but again, this is new Asuka so they could have done something slightly different with her upbringing to bring things out.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:49 pm

View Original PostBrainman wrote:If I were you I would have pointed out that there's no reason for them to live together after the angel battle in NGE. Because there really isn't an easy answer to that. Keeping the convention going I guess.

Yeah, I guess... Though Ritsuko addressed it later on as Misato creating her own little fake family, possibly because of her own family situations. So it goes from reasons of training to Misato trying to fill some void in her life.

View Original PostBrainman wrote:But despite supposedly being a military kid, her character type is still the bratty teenager. She slinks around, runs her mouth in front of her superior, and acts like she's never been on a team before. Asuka-like behavior perhaps, but again, this is new Asuka so they could have done something slightly different with her upbringing to bring things out.

Yeah. The only time she really appeared to have any form of "higher ranking" is when she was telling off Shinji about not being prepared when they first met. I guess the only explanation could be that she's somehow under the impression that Eva piloting is much less complicated and more efficient than piloting a whole friggin' jet, therefore team-work isn't really all that essential to the job. (Being Captain of the European Air-force suggests she's flown jets before.) Either that or she's not used to being under command of a Captain anymore, though trying to figure out for how long is kinda of weird. (She's been Captain since age... 12? 11, maybe? Huh?) And I guess that opinion of hers is kind of eluded to in the film, but it still isn't addressed nowhere near as much as it should have been.

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Postby SaltyJoe » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:50 pm

View Original PostBrainman wrote:It's this, but it's also the fact that we see the nature of their "harmonization" training. To contrast, in Rebuild Misato kinda looks up and says, "hey, you two are supposed to be harmonizing, remember?" Uh, yeah. What exactly are they supposed to be doing?

Wait, the concept of them needing to do some concrete exercises is never brought up in Rebuild. Misato just decides to have them live under the same roof to induce some socialization. To build a sense of collegiality. So i don't think the line of reasoning presented in Rebuild to have them under the same roof is in any way contradicting itself.

Misato is simply promoting synergy like a boss. So no training process is missing that was supposed to be there, at least according to Rebuild's own logic.

Before anyone mentions it: Rei isn't involved because Gendo has dibs on her for most of the time. I mean, can you imagine the conversation?

Misato: "Commander, i think it would be a good idea to strengthen teamwork by having the pilots live together. Can pilot Ayanami be..."
Gendo: "No."

And that would be that, pretty much.
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