What would you change about Evangelion?

This is the place to start: Feel free to introduce yourself, have general conversations and casual discussions about all things Evangelion, including chit-chatty topics like "Sachiel is adorable" or "Which Eva kicks the most ass?"

Moderator: Board Staff

BernardoCairo
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar
Age: 19
Posts: 733
Joined: Dec 27, 2020
Location: Brazil

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby BernardoCairo » Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:42 am

Zusuchan wrote:(Also, just because Shinji has an inferiority complex doesn't mean he likes being called an idiot or that calling him an idiot is alright).

Yeah, that's what I meant. It’s problematic to call an insecure person an “idiot” every day. This can help to fuel that guy's view of himself. It's not a nice thing to do. In fact, it's something that plays with the concept of "comedic scenes and its realistic consequences". Again, I agree that there is more behind these sequences than it initially shows. Maybe not all of them, but definitely some (there are many nuances to be taken into account).
Asuka is not a horrible person, but she ain't perfect either. No one is. That's the whole point, in my opinion.
Last edited by BernardoCairo on Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
Just sit here and waste your precious time. When you want to do something, don't do it right away. Don't do it when you can. Read my posts instead. It's the only way to live a life without regrets.

baldur
Shamshel
Shamshel
User avatar
Age: 18
Posts: 277
Joined: Mar 16, 2020
Location: Iceland
Gender: Male

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby baldur » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:14 am

BusterMachine4 wrote:
She slapped Shinji in the face because the wind blew up her skirt.
She banged on Shinji’s head like a bongo when he touched her Eva’s controls.
She moved all of Shinji’s stuff out of his room, despite them sharing that room together.
She repeatedly physically abused Shinji while they were training for the battle with Israfel.
She punched Shinji when his Eva accidentally landed on top of hers, despite being a hologram. Asuka can apparently violate the laws of physics just to torment Shinji more.
She kicked Shinji in the face 20 times when he accidentally looked at her skirt.

I feel like it's pretty important to mention that literally all of this is played for laughs as slapstick / tsundere trope stuff. I really don't think there's a compelling case for serious accusations of physical abuse when the story itself doesn't even take it seriously. The verbal abuse and general hostility from Asuka is the stuff that is treated as actually dramatically compelling in regard to their relationship.

BusterMachine4 wrote:Other than trying to kiss Asuka in her sleep (which wouldn’t even harm her in any way)

(:|

BernardoCairo wrote:That's the thing with Asuka. The person she hurts the most is herself. I recently rewatched the series and failed to see where Asuka was that bad of a person. Sure, she can be annoying. But that's basically it. I've seen much worse and inhumane actions coming from other character of the series (including Shinji). In most cases, no one even cares about her taunts (just look at episode 11). Asuka's only accomplishment is to isolate and torture herself. That's miserable. Scenes that were meant to be comical are completely recontextualized after we understand what’s actually going on behind the curtains. That’s why it doesn't matter if Misato scolds her or not. Nobody is rebuking her, but nobody is helping her either. Asuka is almost alone and definitely destroying herself.

This is pretty much where I'm at as well. Asuka is a total bitch, yes. She's mean and off-putting, but at the end of the day the person she hurts most is herself. Other characters don't really take most of her taunts or "physical abuse" seriously and just sort of accept that Asuka is "like that". And I think what a lot of people hating on Asuka miss is that she's one of the most emotionally isolated characters in a show full of emotionally isolated characters. Is that largely her own fault? Sure, but it's like that for the other characters too. Shinji has similar behaviors of emotional withdrawal and thinly veiled attempts at communication but he actually does get spurred on and helped by others a lot. Misato takes on a maternal role for him, Rei starts developing a fixation on him, hell, even Kaji takes on a sort of mentor role. Asuka, in comparison, doesn't really have anyone in her corner backing her up. Part of what's so heartbreaking about her downward spiral near the end of the series is how no one seems very concerned with helping her at all (except Shinji, but he's not exactly doing it for selfless reasons as we see in EoE, and Asuka cant accept it from him because of her targeted inferiority complex). This is why I have a hard time accepting interpretations that seem to demonize Asuka and treat like total victims characters like Shinji which, frankly, are in more privileged positions and still end up lower than her.

BusterMachine4 wrote:And I continue to fail to see how Shinji is the bad guy in his relationship with Asuka.

I'll give you a hint: one of these people sexually assaults and attempts to murder the other, and it's not Asuka.

It's like you treat EoE Shinji as a different character from his NGE counterpart, like he's totally divorced of any responsibility for what he does on account of his mental breakdown. The implication I'm seeing in this thread that Shinji's actions are in reaction to Asuka's 'abuse' and therefore justified on some level is also pretty insidious and something I think the film goes out of it's way to not imply.

Kendrix wrote:But I would certainly call it bullying (and I'd argue that she's way worse to Rei; At least with Shinji there was a period where they sort of nominally got along)

This is something I can definitely agree with, though.

BusterMachine4
Matarael
Matarael
User avatar
Age: 16
Posts: 573
Joined: Oct 05, 2020
Location: United States
Gender: Male

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby BusterMachine4 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:11 am

View Original Postbaldur wrote:I feel like it's pretty important to mention that literally all of this is played for laughs as slapstick / tsundere trope stuff. I really don't think there's a compelling case for serious accusations of physical abuse when the story itself doesn't even take it seriously. The verbal abuse and general hostility from Asuka is the stuff that is treated as actually dramatically compelling in regard to their relationship.

I wouldn't say it's impossible for a seemingly comedic scene to have a darker, more serious meaning. I mean, the kiss scene in Episode 15 was clearly comedic: Shinji literally turned green like something out of Loony Tunes. But pretty much every analysis of Shinji and Asuka's relationship takes that scene 100% seriously. So why can't we take the slapstick scenes in the Action Arc seriously as well?

Plus, I just hate the trope of female-on-male violence being played for laughs in general, especially in a serious psychological show like Eva. It implies that violence is somehow less bad when a woman does it, which feels sexist towards both men and women.
View Original PostBusterMachine4 wrote:Other than trying to kiss Asuka in her sleep (which wouldn’t even harm her in any way)

(:|

It really wouldn't, though. It was just one tiny kiss, and Asuka wouldn't even know about it afterwards. Unless you subscribe to some sort of Puritan "defiled forever" school of thinking, there's no way it could have any harm.
I'll give you a hint: one of these people sexually assaults and attempts to murder the other, and it's not Asuka.

It's like you treat EoE Shinji as a different character from his NGE counterpart, like he's totally divorced of any responsibility for what he does on account of his mental breakdown. The implication I'm seeing in this thread that Shinji's actions are in reaction to Asuka's 'abuse' and therefore justified on some level is also pretty insidious and something I think the film goes out of it's way to not imply.

I don't think Shinji doesn't deserve responsibility for his actions. I'm just saying that Shinji's EoE actions didn't occur in a vacuum. There was a long history of psychological trauma behind them, not just caused by Asuka. You seem to be thinking that Shinji would commit those sort of reprehensible acts in a normal situation, which would indeed be pretty awful. But Shinji in EoE is definitely not normal Shinji, and I feel like we need to acknowledge that.

And you continue to act like Asuka's actions are harmless, and they didn't really have any impact on Shinji's psyche. But the show repeatedly depicts Asuka's demeaning attitude wearing down on Shinji. He felt good about his father praising him in Episode 12, and then Asuka immediately called him an idiot for feeling good about himself. In Episode 16, Shinji almost dies, and everyone is worried about him, but Asuka is just like "Hah, serves him right, thinking he's better than me!" Even Rei tells her to shut the fuck up. In the TV finale, it's revealed that Shinji's main problem is that he thinks everyone else hates him, and a large part of that is because of Asuka's demeaning words and disrespectful actions.

baldur
Shamshel
Shamshel
User avatar
Age: 18
Posts: 277
Joined: Mar 16, 2020
Location: Iceland
Gender: Male

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby baldur » Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:02 pm

BusterMachine4 wrote:I wouldn't say it's impossible for a seemingly comedic scene to have a darker, more serious meaning. I mean, the kiss scene in Episode 15 was clearly comedic: Shinji literally turned green like something out of Loony Tunes. But pretty much every analysis of Shinji and Asuka's relationship takes that scene 100% seriously. So why can't we take the slapstick scenes in the Action Arc seriously as well?

You'd have a point here if the slapstick was ever presented as anything other than slapstick. But it isn't - it's never recontextualized, the story never indicates that there's an actual element of physical abuse. If anything, Rei's one slap seems to stick more in Shinji's psyche than any of Asuka's "abuse". This is unlike the kiss scene which, even though it's also played for laughs, is presented as a big moment between the two and is directly referenced during EoE before what is probably the most important/shocking/jaw-dropping sequence in the entire series.

BusterMachine4 wrote:Plus, I just hate the trope of female-on-male violence being played for laughs in general, especially in a serious psychological show like Eva. It implies that violence is somehow less bad when a woman does it, which feels sexist towards both men and women.

I certainly would have toned the slapstick down for this reason, but I can also see how it's a good idea to play the tsundere tropes straight before subverting them. I struggle with fanservice in 2.0 for similar reasons. I think it works for the film but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

BusterMachine4 wrote:It really wouldn't, though. It was just one tiny kiss, and Asuka wouldn't even know about it afterwards. Unless you subscribe to some sort of Puritan "defiled forever" school of thinking, there's no way it could have any harm.

I don't think I need to explain why forcing sexual behavior on an unconscious and therefore unwilling individual is not cool, especially in light of what Shinji eventually does in EoE. Again, played for laughs in the moment, recontextualized later.

BusterMachine4 wrote:I don't think Shinji doesn't deserve responsibility for his actions. I'm just saying that Shinji's EoE actions didn't occur in a vacuum. There was a long history of psychological trauma behind them, not just caused by Asuka. You seem to be thinking that Shinji would commit those sort of reprehensible acts in a normal situation, which would indeed be pretty awful. But Shinji in EoE is definitely not normal Shinji, and I feel like we need to acknowledge that.

Nothing occurs in a vacuum. Asuka's hostility and bullying does not occur in a vacuum. I don't think Shinji does the things he does for no reason, I just don't think it's any excuse or justification either. And again, I genuinely do think that the seeds are sown early here with Episode 9. I think it's a disservice to the character to not look critically at things like this. If Shinji didn't have some worrying patterns with sexual consent, why even include these scenes at all?

BusterMachine4 wrote:And you continue to act like Asuka's actions are harmless, and they didn't really have any impact on Shinji's psyche.

I don't! I'm mainly against the idea that there's an element of physical abuse on Asuka's part. I fully concur that Asuka's hostility and anger is shown to have an effect on Shinji.

BusterMachine4 wrote: In Episode 16, Shinji almost dies, and everyone is worried about him, but Asuka is just like "Hah, serves him right, thinking he's better than me!" Even Rei tells her to shut the fuck up.

Asuka's attitude during the episode is obviously fucked, and she is rightfully put in her place by Rei, but it's also shown to be a load of BS by the end. Furthermore, Shinji's not there to hear any of this from Asuka - hell, quite the opposite since, again, he's only around for the final scene where Asuka is clearly shown to be concerned for his wellbeing.

BusterMachine4 wrote: In the TV finale, it's revealed that Shinji's main problem is that he thinks everyone else hates him, and a large part of that is because of Asuka's demeaning words and disrespectful actions.

Shinji's main problem is that he hates himself and doesn't believe he can or should be loved. Did Asuka play some part in this? Probably. But the real culprit here, in my opinion, is pretty clearly presented as childhood trauma and the continued abuse and neglect he experiences at the hands of Gendo.

Kendrix
Defender of Puppy Boy
Defender of Puppy Boy
User avatar
Age: 27
Posts: 6640
Joined: Jul 27, 2010
Location: Germany
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Kendrix » Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:28 pm

View Original PostBusterMachine4 wrote:, though. It was just one tiny kiss, and Asuka wouldn't even know about it afterwards.


If she woke up or learned about it she would be upset or grossed out.

Knowing the contents of her head from our audience seats we can deduce that she plopped herself down there for a reason and was probably hoping for him to do something, having made jokes about it earlier etc., but, without being able to read her mind or actually asking, there's no way Shinji could've known that & many ppl in that situation would have considered it gross & upsetting or have a mayor fight/flight/freeze reaction triggered, & there's many RL cases where someone made an assumption and then the other person froze in shock & ended up traumatized.

That said, I repeat, we are all born as ignorant uncivilized apes & kids to shit like randomly trying to kiss their peers all the time; This is fully explicable as a no-thinking brainfart situation.

An adult needs to talk to them & explain why that's not Ok before they become grown men but first one needs to acknowledge that no one is immune to fucking off or base desires.

This weird attitude of treating sexually colored situtions as different from other violence doesn't help either like it leads to both 'defiled forever' nonsense and harassment not being taken seriously because it's conflated with flirting or whatever (the difference between rape and torture is really just what body parts are being involved in the torture)

I find trying to picture if it was torture or murder instead is a good litmus test for purity culture - you would still be critical if something, say, glorified violence in a way that implies about real life wars or could be seen as propaganda, but you would not assume that because an author depics murder he is totally pro murder in real life.

View Original Postbaldur wrote:It's like you treat EoE Shinji as a different character from his NGE counterpart


No, it's taking context into account.
He fucked up in that specific circumstance under very extreme circumstances but for 95% of their interactions/screentime she was very much the aggressor.

"X is a criminal & therefore always has & always will behave as a criminal" is just a super useless label idea of morality.
It assumes that we're all born pure and then failings turn us into [loaded labels] but it's really the opposite - we're born ignorant and learn morals as we gain experience.

It's just not helpful to focus on labeling people good guy/bad guy vs. on the situational causes of behavior. It's different to steal cause you can than to steal cause you're hungry, and both kinds of stealing can be made mare or less tempting based on the circumstances.

There are people who consistently behave as creeps, murderers, fraudsters or whatever, but they're different from someone who does a crazy act on a desperate situation.

Both of them do ugly things once they get super desperate, but if you look at their average behavior under average circumstances, then Asuka hammers anyone she perceives as a rival with insults whenever she can (100% independent of Shinji in any way; She's just the same with Rei), while Shinji is... a bit frustrating, unreliable, probably not someone you could count on, but in a day to day life he's mostly nice and polite.

They're probably the same on overall functionality (Asuka is better in the 'getting things done' department, having initiative & accomplishments & at least superficial social skill) but Shinji wins at the Not-Antagonizing-People discipline.

Almost everyone is capable of extreme ugly things under extreme circumstances. See wars, famines, dictatorships, extreme poverty, bad mental breaks... for plenty of evidence.
I wanted to try harvesting the rice

I wanted to hold Tsubame more

I wanted to stay together forever with the boy I like

baldur
Shamshel
Shamshel
User avatar
Age: 18
Posts: 277
Joined: Mar 16, 2020
Location: Iceland
Gender: Male

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby baldur » Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:24 pm

BernardoCairo wrote:That's it. I hope this post was clear to understand, as I'm trying to avoid misinterpretations.

I missed this post earlier so I just wanted to add that I think you were very articulate and I agree with pretty much everything you said.

Kendrix wrote:Knowing the contents of her head from our audience seats we can deduce that she plopped herself down there for a reason and was probably hoping for him to do something, having made jokes about it earlier etc.,

Wait, what? My assumption has always been that she sleepwalked into his room. I thought this was commonly accepted. Whether I'm wrong on that or not, I really doubt Asuka was thinking anything to the effect of "Man, I hope Shinji kisses me while I'm sleeping tonight".

Kendrix wrote:No, it's taking context into account.
He fucked up in that specific circumstance under very extreme circumstances

It's more than fucking up. It's attempted sexual assault, then sexual assault, then attempted murder, then attempted murder again. All in different circumstances, by the way, even if the bulk of it happens during a very rough period for our boy Shinji. It's not something you're meant to brush off as fucking up under tough circumstances, though. Again, if this stuff really didn't matter that much, why include it? It's the same with Misato's sexual advances on Shinji. Most characters in Eva do some really fucked up shit. You're not supposed to rationalize it for them.

Kendrix wrote: but for 95% of their interactions/screentime she was very much the aggressor.

I don't think tsundere slapstick comedy or even her verbal abuse is in the same ballpark as sexual assault and attempted murder, personally.

Kendrix wrote:"X is a criminal & therefore always has & always will behave as a criminal" is just a super useless label idea of morality.
It assumes that we're all born pure and then failings turn us into [loaded labels] but it's really the opposite - we're born ignorant and learn morals as we gain experience.

I have no clue how this is relevant to this discussion, I didn't even touch on criminality. I agree with you for whatever it's worth. Since we're on the topic I might as well add that I don't think legality necessarily correlates to morality at all.

Kendrix wrote:It's just not helpful to focus on labeling people good guy/bad guy vs. on the situational causes of behavior.

Which is why my larger point was always that both of them treat each other badly.

Kendrix wrote:Both of them do ugly things once they get super desperate, but if you look at their average behavior under average circumstances, then Asuka hammers anyone she perceives as a rival with insults whenever she can (100% independent of Shinji in any way; She's just the same with Rei), while Shinji is... a bit frustrating, unreliable, probably not someone you could count on, but in a day to day life he's mostly nice and polite.

Their life experiences are different. As such they cope differently with their trauma (even if there are a lot of similarities between them). Asuka is more abrasive in average circumstances, sure, but they go through similarly traumatizing things throughout the course of the story and let's just say that she's not the one who comes out of it ready to bring about the apocalypse and kill every person on the planet.

Kendrix wrote: Shinji wins at the Not-Antagonizing-People discipline.

Until he doesn't. :whistle:

Lavinius
Pilot
Pilot
User avatar
Age: 24
Posts: 2175
Joined: Apr 13, 2012
Location: רקיע הלויתן
Gender: Male

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Lavinius » Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:02 am

  • More Rei content.
  • Fix ugly drawings, remove sidemouth, &c.
  • Though I get the symbolism, make the Children realistic heights for their age (i.e. as tall or almost as tall as the adults) instead of drawing them as midgets. I can't unsee it now that Reichu's pointed it out. This is obviously the most impractical thing on this list, of course- you'd have to redraw half the show.
  • Do a continuity check and revise all the references to Instrumentality &c. so that they're consistent with what Instrumentality ended up being.
  • Either have Kaji (and Gendou & Fuyu) just call Lilith Lilith, or make calling Lilith Adam some sort of sensical plot point (e.g. to deny Rei knowledge of her True Name or something).
  • Make Kaworu's agenda and Seele's in episode 24 make a sliver of sense.
  • Make Asuka somewhat less of a violent, stupid, insanely incompetent bitch when she's first introduced. She can still be abrasive and haughty, but have her have some actual professionalism relative to Shinji and have her pride have some basis in actually being competent rather than it being just toddler-level self-absorption. It's insane how much episodes 8-11 sabotage her character by making her an utterly incompetent comic relief character and actively detrimental to the mission on multiple occasions.
  • As it is, the Sync Ratio is just an incredibly lazy plot device to give Asuka a meaningless number to angst over. Either do something interesting with it- give the pilots an actual way to increase it! (I'm imagining something like the psychomysticbabble mantras in Dune)- or just remove it outright in favor of other ways of working with her character.
  • Have the pilots spar in the Evas!
  • Change the Magma Fatsuit to some uncomfortable chubby-looking semi-sensible diving suit.
  • Light snow in the final scene of EoE.
  • Give 22' the OP and remove the weird stopping the Lance does before it kills Arael. It really kills the momentum.
  • Fix the part in 21' where the Yui-Fuyu scene is out of chronology.
  • More Ritsuko fanservice. More 17-sai Ritsuko. 17-sai Ritsuko fanservice. &c. &c.

In general, I don't think implicit things should be made more explicit, since I think the implicitness really adds to the æsthetic- but if you offered me, in exchange for Death, a film-length cut of 21 with Akira content, showing how Nerv discovered Lilith and dealt with her before she was made into Rei, some more insight into Seele, and of course more 17-sai Ritsuko, I'd absolutely take it. Provided it'd be good, of course.
~ibi cubávit Lamia, et invénit sibi reiquiem~
Avatar: Dróttningin ok Drótinninn Eldíu (this is my last cope~)

Zusuchan
Former Moderator
Former Moderator
User avatar
Age: 17
Posts: 1056
Joined: Jul 23, 2020
Location: Estonia
Gender: Male

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Zusuchan » Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:32 am

BernardoCairo wrote:
Yeah, that's what I meant.

Ah, okay. I must have misunderstood you, then.

baldur wrote:
I feel like it's pretty important to mention that literally all of this is played for laughs as slapstick / tsundere trope stuff. I really don't think there's a compelling case for serious accusations of physical abuse when the story itself doesn't even take it seriously.

I get what you mean, but personally I can't take it as just that, especially when so many other seemingly pretty harmless plot points from the lightweight "Action Arc" became a lot darker when viewed through the lens of NGE as a whole. And seeing as some of Asuka's actions later on, when NGE is already quite serious, are similar to some of supposedly "just fun" things she does in the earlier parts of the series, I personally still look at her as someone with a serious issue of physical and verbal abuse toward others. And personally I consider Asuka's psychological problems increasing speed and driving her further toward isolation and her problems also manifesting themselves in attacking Shinji something that does recontextualize her "harmless" slapstick antics, even if the show does not actively point towards such a recontextualization in the same way it does when revealing the whole reason for Asuka being the sort of person she is with Arael's mindrape.

It's not like I support Shinji and think it was fine he masturbated directly over her and tried to strangle her later on-but I do think Asuka was a pretty horrible person toward him rather a lot. I do think that essentially the difference is that Shinji's actions are slightly easier to excuse for those inclined to do so, seeing as how they were the result of the sort of psychological trauma most people could never cope with and how he became better rather quickly within EoE's narrative-but Asuka was probably a pretty normal girl before Kyoko went insane too and I do think Asuka's consistently horrible behavior is due to that horrifying event in her life as well. And if there had been more Angels after ep.24, it's entirely possible Shinji really would have gone insane and became a horrible being regularly too. So I do think that in the cases of both Asuka and Shinji, they did horrible things, but the fact that they both did them after a series of traumatizing events allows the audience to understand them, even if one of them has been doing horrible things for a longer timeframe.

Lavinius wrote:
Make Kaworu's agenda and Seele's in episode 24 make a sliver of sense.

Hmm, I feel like ep.24 being a narrative clusterfuck where a lot of things do not make sense upon closer inspection is not just intended, but a good thing to, as it's arrives naturally out of NGE's descent into weird, surreal, abstract territory where traditional narrative rules do not matter while plenty of important things are either mysterious and hidden behind a veil of various bits of info or just plain don't make sense. (I think the '21 Fuyu-Yui scene being out of chronology falls under this too, even if it's a genuine mistake).

I'm also pretty certain that Asuka does not have toddler-level self-absorption, but rather she's obsessed with the idea that she has to be good and reinforces her greatness to everyone as much as possible so as to prove that greatness to herself, because without the opinions and validation of others, she considers herself nothing. The sync ratio is essentially just a plot device, but it's a good way of giving Asuka yet another reason why to go off the deep end and it does have meaning too, as it signifies the level of connection between an Eva and its pilot, and the fact Asuka is unwilling to come to terms with her problems and the reasons why they came to be. It's certainly a plot device, but I think it's a plot device the way Lilith is a plot device-there are arguably more "organic" ways to get the point across, but the way applied by the artists works just fine.

Also, I'm pretty certain at this point you should just, like, put 17-sai Ritsuko as your profile picture.

Slowpokeking
Tunniel
Tunniel
Posts: 192
Joined: Mar 07, 2021

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Slowpokeking » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:34 am

There was going to be more SEELE plot originally, but it got cut off mainly because real life incident(Aum Shinrikyo).

Lavinius
Pilot
Pilot
User avatar
Age: 24
Posts: 2175
Joined: Apr 13, 2012
Location: רקיע הלויתן
Gender: Male

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Lavinius » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:40 am

View Original PostZusuchan wrote:I'm also pretty certain that Asuka does not have toddler-level self-absorption

Except she constantly, constantly disobeys orders and sabotages operations for completely childish reasons. Despite being the Children with allegedly the most training and the most care for her own honor & glory, her behavior is utterly at odds with this. If she cared about being an Eva pilot, she should make the connection that being a good Eva pilot and being kept on as an Eva pilot are dependent on her actually being a good pilot, and that being a good pilot means that she carries out the operations well! But most of the Action Arc, and even beyond, paints her as a complete comic buffoon who seems to think that piloting an Eva is just for fun and for her to do cool tricks, while Shinji and Rei seem a hundred times more mature and are far more effective despite having far less training and far less drive to excel. There's a lot of damage done by this; Asuka feels like a gross caricature of the character she's supposed to be!

Regarding the Sync Ratio, it's just so poorly explored. What exactly does it mean, since apparently you can get a high sync ratio without having any awareness that there's a soul to sync with? What exactly could a pilot do to increase their sync ratios? It doesn't work into the setting in any broader sense; it's just a number slapped on to give a quantity for Asuka to complain about and so that Gainax doesn't have to animate actual sparring between the pilots or something like that. It's a blatant case of telling rather than showing.

And no, Lilith isn't a mere plot device, but highly thematically important and an interesting element of the setting.

Also, I'm pretty certain at this point you should just, like, put 17-sai Ritsuko as your profile picture.

I already have on a number of occasions, and surely will again!

Edit:
View Original PostSlowpokeking wrote:There was going to be more SEELE plot originally, but it got cut off mainly because real life incident(Aum Shinrikyo).

I'm not sure I buy this. Seele and any cult-like element is completely absent from the Proposal, they don't show up as such until quite late in the show, and Eva started airing many months after the sarin attacks. If anything, I'd think that Aum Shinrikyou events are more likely to have inspired Seele than to have led to the cutting of any planned Seele plot.

Edit:Edit:
I've run through every mention of Aum in Gwern's Comprehensive Source Anthology, and while there are a lot of discussions of how Eva allegedly parallels / responds to / is part of the same cultural current as Aum, I can't find a single reference to any idea that there was any self-censorship or "sensitive" changes in direction due to Aum. Given that EoE overtly portrays Seele as a suicide cult, I'm not sure what could have made things any "worse" (unless the JSSDF were originally going to have used a gas attack or something).
Last edited by Lavinius on Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
~ibi cubávit Lamia, et invénit sibi reiquiem~
Avatar: Dróttningin ok Drótinninn Eldíu (this is my last cope~)

Arcadia's legacy
Tokyo-3 Resident
Tokyo-3 Resident
User avatar
Age: 25
Posts: 1249
Joined: Jun 12, 2015
Location: United Kingdom
Gender: Male

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Arcadia's legacy » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:45 am

View Original PostLavinius wrote:What exactly could a pilot do to increase their sync ratios?

I always assumed it had something to with with focus and peace of mind
Never let the flame that is hope burn out, for despite the length of the night, the sunrise will always come
""Trolling the audience" is the same thing as "challenging the audience" (to an audience that doesn't want to be challenged)." -Reichu

Slowpokeking
Tunniel
Tunniel
Posts: 192
Joined: Mar 07, 2021

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Slowpokeking » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:55 am

View Original PostLavinius wrote:I'm not sure I buy this. Seele and any cult-like element is completely absent from the Proposal, they don't show up as such until quite late in the show, and Eva started airing many months after the sarin attacks. If anything, I'd think that Aum Shinrikyou events are more likely to have inspired Seele than to have led to the cutting of any planned Seele plot.

But the plot was written before that. I don't think it inspired SEELE, such organization is very common in anime.

Also the later focus has switched to ppl's interactions, so SEELE would not have been the main focus.

Lavinius
Pilot
Pilot
User avatar
Age: 24
Posts: 2175
Joined: Apr 13, 2012
Location: רקיע הלויתן
Gender: Male

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Lavinius » Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:00 pm

View Original PostSlowpokeking wrote:But the plot was written before that. I don't think it inspired SEELE, such organization is very common in anime.

Also the later focus has switched to ppl's interactions, so SEELE would not have been the main focus.

I'm not really sure what you're meaning to argue for at this point; can you please clarify?
~ibi cubávit Lamia, et invénit sibi reiquiem~
Avatar: Dróttningin ok Drótinninn Eldíu (this is my last cope~)

Slowpokeking
Tunniel
Tunniel
Posts: 192
Joined: Mar 07, 2021

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Slowpokeking » Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:10 pm

View Original PostLavinius wrote:I'm not really sure what you're meaning to argue for at this point; can you please clarify?

The influence of SEELE was reduced later because of real life incident(Aum) and switch of focus.

It's possible that Aum inspired it, but also it could not get too close so the later half has to be rewritten partly for such reason.

Lavinius
Pilot
Pilot
User avatar
Age: 24
Posts: 2175
Joined: Apr 13, 2012
Location: רקיע הלויתן
Gender: Male

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Lavinius » Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:54 pm

View Original PostSlowpokeking wrote:The influence of SEELE was reduced later because of real life incident(Aum) and switch of focus.

It's possible that Aum inspired it, but also it could not get too close so the later half has to be rewritten partly for such reason.

Except Seele's portrayal in the later portion of the show is extremely different from and quite contradictory to the portrayal of the HIC in the early portion in the show, so we can fairly sure that the suicide cult Seele we see later is a late development.

Moreover, look at the timing of events- the Proposal is published with no Seele sometime in 1993, Aum attacks in March 1995, OP not storyboarded until after July 1995 (and when it is, the storyboard talks about Essenes, not Seele), Eva starts airing in October 1995, Seele isn't mentioned until episode 14 and isn't shown properly until 21. I see no reason to think that Seele was even clearly imagined at the the time of Aum's attacks, much less that they were rewritten to be less like Aum afterwards.

If you have a source for the plot being altered to be less evocative of Aum after the attacks, please let me know what it is.
~ibi cubávit Lamia, et invénit sibi reiquiem~
Avatar: Dróttningin ok Drótinninn Eldíu (this is my last cope~)

Slowpokeking
Tunniel
Tunniel
Posts: 192
Joined: Mar 07, 2021

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Slowpokeking » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:04 pm

Yeah thanks for clarifying, I guess your post gave the accurate info.

baldur
Shamshel
Shamshel
User avatar
Age: 18
Posts: 277
Joined: Mar 16, 2020
Location: Iceland
Gender: Male

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby baldur » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:23 am

View Original PostZusuchan wrote:I do think that in the cases of both Asuka and Shinji, they did horrible things, but the fact that they both did them after a series of traumatizing events allows the audience to understand them, even if one of them has been doing horrible things for a longer timeframe.

I don't have a problem with most of what you're saying, but I really just cannot bring myself to view Asuka and Shinji's actions on equal grounds. Yes, Asuka treated Shinji very badly by most standards, and she did bad stuff to Shinji (far) more frequently than the other way around. But there is, in my opinion, a massive gap between bullying on one hand and sexual assault and attempted murder on the other, even if you take seriously all of the slapstick stuff (which I can understand and even somewhat agree with). There's just no getting around that for me. And frankly, like Kendrix mentioned earlier in the thread, I think the way Asuka behaves towards Rei is more appalling.

The point, ultimately, is that Asuka is someone who goes out of her way to push others away from her but deep down is someone who's not nearly as tough or mean as she pretends to be. Shinji, in contrast, is a lot more passive and willing to please others, but deep down harbors some selfish motives that, if sufficiently drawn out, can manifest into some very fucked up acts. So yes, I think it's fair to characterize the majority of their relationship as Asuka being shitty to Shinji, but I also think a big point is that Shinji's "niceness" is ultimately a bit hollow - at best, he's still selfishly inactive; at worst, he's capable of horrific deeds. Of course, I would never condemn someone purely for "dark urges" if they never acted on them - but we're all aware of where Shinji's road eventually leads him.

Zusuchan
Former Moderator
Former Moderator
User avatar
Age: 17
Posts: 1056
Joined: Jul 23, 2020
Location: Estonia
Gender: Male

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Zusuchan » Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:00 am

Lavinius wrote:
Except she constantly, constantly disobeys orders and sabotages operations for completely childish reasons.

I hadn't really thought about that, heh. I've always thought she has a certain level of self-absorption and narcissism, but I never really grasped her inefficiency as a pilot too-you can blame the fact I've watched Eva only twice for that. Then again, I think in a darkly ironic way having her be a bad pilot who can't grasp her faults and acts childishly as part of her need to prove that she is the best makes a weird amount of sense, since she's preoccupied with being considered the best, but has barely any notion of what "the best" means beyond the highest sync score and good fighting skills. I can also see her actions in 8 and 9 as being bad stupidities that do rise out of her wishing to prove her greatness. All in all, I don't think I was too wrong in my initial assessment, I just hadn't realized the full extent of Asuka's childishness.

Re: the sync ratio, I guess you're right too, but personally I don't mind much. The sync ratio might be a case of telling rather than showing, but even as that it's simply a smaller part of events that leads to Asuka breaking down more and more, so I don't mind it that much. NGE is full of little flaws like that, but for me, the majority of the time, the supporting framework is so strong they barely even matter. And as for Lilith, well, she is a plot device in a certain sense of the word, in the same way the sync ratio is thematically important in a sense. I guess a lot just depends on what one considers "acceptable" and "interesting" in an artwork and since those two qualities tend to be rather personal and subjective, I think it's not that much a matter of facts as a matter of opinions and personal aesthetics.

I already have on a number of occasions, and surely will again!

Good, good.

Baldur wrote:
I don't have a problem with most of what you're saying, but I really just cannot bring myself to view Asuka and Shinji's actions on equal grounds.

That's fair, I think. I don't recall having said they were equal either, rather that their actions, while wrong, are both understandable when their pasts are taken into account. Shinji of course was worse in the way he ultimately treated Asuka, but Asuka had been nasty toward him and indeed others, like Rei, too, and I don't see a need to ignore or lessen that, especially since the mutual problems and their arising out of deep emotional trauma is an important part of both Shinji and Asuka as characters.

I don't consider Shinji as selfish as you seem to, though-there are certainly hints he's more perceptive than he lets on, but either consciously or subconsciously refrains from acting on his perceptions due to his psychological impairments having created a incapability to seriously face issues. And his willingness to please others is due to that and also due to wanting to be accepted (which is something most people want) and because he really is a good person. Neither do I think Shinji's motives can manifest into fucked up acts. I think that considering he's a young boy who witnessed the traumatizing "death" of his mother at a very young age, was then left behind by his father and then suffered from serious depression for the rest of his life, not managing to create emotional connections with really anyone and always staying alone, before being called by his father to pilot what is literally his mother into fights against giant monsters, in which he can feel literally all of his injuries, after which he starts to genuinely improve, but then things only get worse, he's forced to have his friend's blood on his hands, gets locked in an Eva Unit for an entire month, witnesses the gradual decline of Asuka and Misato's distancing from him, Rei's death, realizes the truth about Rei, then meets Kaworu, a nice guy, who he then has to kill. Obviously, Shinji could have done a lot to help Misato and Asuka and others too and there is a certain amount of actions he could have taken to not let things get this bad-but seeing the stuff that happened, I think that him just succumbing to his instincts (with the masturbation) and then to his anger (with the strangling) and then to his tiredness (with saying everyone should die) and then to his...something (with the last strangling) becomes less a case of his "dark impulses" finally coming out and more of him just being broken enough to have become a horrible person. Yeah, there was probably a certain level of "bad" in him already, but I doubt that he would have ever gotten near to his EoE actions if he had had something resembling a happier life.

(Now, NTE!Shinji I do consider a more selfish person who pleases others so they would praise him, though that is rather subconscious.)

EvaChero
Sachiel
Sachiel
User avatar
Posts: 217
Joined: Mar 09, 2021
Location: in the midst of ID town......
Gender: Male

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby EvaChero » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:26 pm

I love reading the in depth discussions in this place, they are endlessly fascinating.

My own viewpoint on the current discussion is that it's not so much who sinned against who more horribly between Asuka and Shinji,

Its the fact that they feel like 2 sides of the same coin, on a deep level unable to believe anyone can need or love them and intent
on self sabotage. Its the way they choose to exhibit their deep rooted problems that they differ.

Shinji is mostly withdrawn, and inside his mind he finds all the ways things won't work, or why he isn't needed without even
trying to interact with those around him first to see if the process is valid. Despite the easy going willing to please candy shell
on the outside you can imagine with every rebuff or insult or negative outcome that the amount of anger suppression is probably
immense leading to an inevitable explosion of bad behavior or acting out He doesn't want to try new things because he believes
in his failure before and attempt can even be made. Thanks a lot to Gendo he will never feel "Good Enough" without the right person to bring him out. Misato tries but ends in failure. Shinji is a Volcano....sooner or later he is gonna blow and it won't be pretty.

Asuka, despite all the bluster and fake confidence is an eggshell waiting to crack. To protect herself she is the loud pretend extrovert that finds the first flaw in every person so that she can humiliate them in front of others. That way she has a reason to dislike/hate them first before they can hate her and put a pin in her balloon ego and let all the air out. This finally occurs when piloting the Eva becomes impossible and she ends up in a rusty tub. As long as she has the EVA she can muddle through. Without that obvious crutch she can't stand.
Instead of acting out like Shinji, she just fizzles out. She needs that buffer zone of dislike to function at all. Humiliating others in front of their peers is going to get you thrown off the Christmas List faster than anything else especially for teenagers (at least I remember it that way Its been a while). The Hot air balloon just shrivels and collapses.

These are very sad people and easy to feel sorry for. (Although in EOE I had an intense dislike for Shinji at the end, not for the obvious things but more for the apathy which forced Misato to drag him around to keep him from being shot.)

Anyway back to your regularly scheduled deep thinkers. ^_^
who doesn't want to kick back with Misato and have a few beers?

baldur
Shamshel
Shamshel
User avatar
Age: 18
Posts: 277
Joined: Mar 16, 2020
Location: Iceland
Gender: Male

Re: What would you change about Evangelion?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby baldur » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:41 pm

View Original PostZusuchan wrote:That's fair, I think. I don't recall having said they were equal either, rather that their actions, while wrong, are both understandable when their pasts are taken into account. Shinji of course was worse in the way he ultimately treated Asuka, but Asuka had been nasty toward him and indeed others, like Rei, too, and I don't see a need to ignore or lessen that, especially since the mutual problems and their arising out of deep emotional trauma is an important part of both Shinji and Asuka as characters.

Agreed on all counts there. Apologies if I misrepresented your position, I was also just speaking in terms of the larger conversation.

View Original PostZusuchan wrote: I don't consider Shinji as selfish as you seem to, though-there are certainly hints he's more perceptive than he lets on, but either consciously or subconsciously refrains from acting on his perceptions due to his psychological impairments having created a incapability to seriously face issues.

Just to be clear, I don't hate Shinji, even if my posts sometimes make it sound like I do. Nearly everyone in Evangelion's cast is deeply troubled in their own way and I don't think Shinji is any better or worse than most of them. I think some people may be too willing to go easy on him because they see themselves in him - I know this was the case for me personally when I first watched the show. But far from hating him, I actually really like him.

View Original PostZusuchan wrote: but seeing the stuff that happened, I think that him just succumbing to his instincts (with the masturbation) and then to his anger (with the strangling) and then to his tiredness (with saying everyone should die) and then to his...something (with the last strangling) becomes less a case of his "dark impulses" finally coming out and more of him just being broken enough to have become a horrible person. Yeah, there was probably a certain level of "bad" in him already, but I doubt that he would have ever gotten near to his EoE actions if he had had something resembling a happier life.

I completely agree that Shinji is a victim of his circumstances, as most everyone is. I just also think that the sort of person he's been molded into hides some disturbing traits within - traits directly related to his depression, traits that he'll need to shed if he wants to get better; the sort of traits that molded his father into a misanthropic piece of shit. Again, I don't think this makes him hateable. I think Shinji is a very sympathetic character, but at times I do feel like some are too quick to sympathize instead of criticize. Shinji is deeply flawed; his path to salvation isn't just better circumstances, he needs to grow as a person.

View Original PostZusuchan wrote:(Now, NTE!Shinji I do consider a more selfish person who pleases others so they would praise him, though that is rather subconscious.)

I agree.

View Original PostEvaChero wrote:I love reading the in depth discussions in this place, they are endlessly fascinating.
[...]
Anyway back to your regularly scheduled deep thinkers. ^_^

Is that implying you're not a deep thinker? Because I think your analysis of Shinji and Asuka is impressive and very accurate.


Return to “Evangelion General and Chit-Chat”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest