This is really so random, I don't believe it.
The "Amalgam" was already disproven back in EoE/the one thing besides the "Misato killed Kaji" theory the authors found it so repulsive they actually issues a statement on it.
So why would they do it now?
Also, one thing we do know for sure about Mari, is that she comes, in some way, from Britain,
which was taken into account in her character design and choice of impromptu wartime refreshment.
Neither Misato, nor Asuka, nor Rei are particularly British.
Mari is seen wearing Asuka's mum's glasses and they only crack when Mari goes beast mode in Asuka's unit.
No; Mari's 2.0 glasses have a thicker, more curvy plastic frame. Mystery barrette woman's are a lot thinner.
Despite Mari being affiliated with SEELE, in Q she's on Misato's team. It appears Misato is opposed to NERV and SEELE in this movie. Further, Mari seems to have an idea of SEELE's goals throughout NTE... yet she still sticks with Misato.
Where do you get that she's affiliated with SEELE? We never learned who she was working for (as they're probably dead and Mari considers herself independent anyway), but if she was cooperating with Kaji, wouldn't it make sense that he would tell her to stick with Misato if something goes wrong?
She could have gotten her info from just anywhere (including her mom, whom we know was an affiliate of Yui's), that doesn't mean she works with, much less supports
Mari and Misato are probably a less than compatible combination, because Mari being more solitary and not sharing everything she knows, but they've had 14 years to get acclimatized, so it's no wonder they work together.
Rei throws Mari backwards to avoid the N3 explosion Rei sets off in 2
Because Rei is not an asshole wo would let someone in a half-broken EVA stand in the way of an explosion if she can help it? Also, Mari helped her with something that was important to Rei (her attempt at killing Zeruel without Shinji needing to get involved).
What is interesting is that Mari has this huge expression of shock or surprise when she's thrown to safety. It's easily enough explained by the intensity of the battle, but she could also have recognized Rei or her voice from somewhere. (" your original was way friendlier" - assuming she didn't man Rei II and this very battle with that, and simply didn't know she was already the second clone.)
[*]Mari and Asuka bond well on a number of occasions. Mari also has no issue with the intricacies of Asuka's Eva, and even mentions that it smells nice.
It's not her first time in an EVA, and she already proved herself pretty adaptive in that regard (Her battle in EVA 05 is explicitly noted to be her debut)
And commenting on ppls smells is just something she does. There's no sighn that she recognizes it (Imagine that first meeting. *sniff, sniff* You must me the pilot of EVA 02! *insert irritated Asuka reaction here*) I guess it could be seen as an indication that she would find the owner of the smell just as agreeable, but not much more.
They obviously DO become friends, but that doesn't require explanations beyond spending much time together and having compatible personalites.
Interestingly, both take up a little of the other person' attributes over the timeskip:
Mari, who used to rely on brute force before, has now aquired vast technical skill (four shots, four dead nemesis series...) which used to be Asuka's forte, while Asuka has learned to use beast mode, and also has this cap that is an obvious present (cat ears, also the buttons, one of which is too humorous for gritty killer Asuka, and the other having been identified as a a british military emblem thing in the "things you noticed" thread.)
They probably did a lot of training together.
That said, the way they use those "taken" attributes is still very much their own, Asuka doesn't "revel" in beast mode like Mari does, it's just a quick and pragmatic decision she makes to end the fight quickly, also, unlike Asuka's flashy novel-like weapons like crossbows and polearms, Mari becoming a sniper its quite well with her generally detached attitude.
Why does she have to be some weird plot device thing just because she's the new girl on the block? Can't she be a character of her own with a story of her own like everyone else?
I find this little lady here to be a genial detail of 3.33. They placed a woman that looked like both Asuka and Mari close to Yui and simply created one of the biggest speculation fuels of 3.33.
While it's nice that Anno did take himself the time to give us at least ome tiny tidbit of backstory, I don't really see the similarity to Asuka, and while they've altered the ocassional character name, the overall desighns stayed mostly the same. This chick doesn't resemble neither Anime! nor Manga!Kyoko, the only possible similarity to Asuka is having her hair tied back, which is a pretty common thing for people to do.
It's already an established convention that at least the "human" pilots are all the children of female GEHIRN scientists who mysteriously died; So that Mari's mom also falls into that scheme isn't all that unexpected. The man with the darker hair behind them could be Mr. Illustrious.
Also, Yui looks so batshit sinister in that pick, something about her grin, and the pink lipgloss.
And while classic!Shinji got to look somewhat happy in his pre-experiment flashback, Rebuild!Shinji already looks pretty unhappy. Probably just because of all of mommies colleagues swarming around him, but still.
Alas poor Kaworu! I knew him well...
- Essay on the character's roles in each others introspec sequences
- Good faith Analysis of Mari
- Finish ep 8 commentary