Why wasn't Kensuke chosen to pilot an Eva?

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Why wasn't Kensuke chosen to pilot an Eva?

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Postby Tumbling Down » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:59 am

It's clear he's one of the only kids who would actually want to do so.

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Postby pwhodges » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:19 am

Since when did keenness equate with suitability? Kensuke's eagerness seems to indicate that he has little appreciation of what it would actually involve, in spite of his having seen close up the effect it had on Shinji. Touji, on the other hand, understood, which is why he agonised so much over it when he was chosen.
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Postby ElMariachi » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:38 am

Maybe their respective physical fitness was also taken into account, Shinji passed because NERV needed urgently a pilot for Unit 01 and he was the only one with Rei who was compatible?
Better fitness means being easier to teach combat techniques. (again, Shinji doesn't count because Gendo's basic strategy was to leave him on his own and if things go awry, Yui will intervene and torn the Angel to shreds)

Or maybe it's the fact Kensuke has a tendency to snoop around everything military or Eva related, so giving him the post of pilot, and with it a direct access to NERV HQ, would be a potential source of problems, better have pilots who don't ask too much questions and don't snoop around, and Touji correspond more to this profile (as with Shinji, Asuka and Rei)
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Re: Why wasn't Kensuke chosen to pilot an Eva?

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Postby The Eva Monkey » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:43 am

View Original PostTumbling Down wrote:It's clear he's one of the only kids who would actually want to do so.

There is no reason. That's the way the show was written. Maybe it was written that way deliberately. Kensuke's eagerness to pilot despite all of the shit that the pilots go through does help to provide a sharp contrast. Here you have a character who desperately wants something, and does not understand how horrible it actually is.

I think some of these characters were written this way deliberately. Kensuke yearns for something he should know he doesn't want. Hikari is studious and responsible for a future that will never come. And Touji (initially) represents the ungrateful public opinion towards the pilots and (eventually) the irony of becoming one himself.
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Postby Dataprime » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:47 am

Maybe having one male pilot and two female pilots makes things more interesting for the
average Japanese viewer?
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Postby Meerkat » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:53 am

Doesn't NERV usually have a good idea beforehand about who would be able to sync with which Eva? So maybe there was simply no Eva that was right for Kensuke to pilot?

EDIT: I think there's a picture in one of the artbooks or manga volumes with Kensuke, Toji and Hikari as pilots. Maybe they played with the idea a long time ago? Or (more likely) Sadamoto just painted it for fun. Still it's a fun alternate Evangelion series to imagine. The absence of angst would be uncanny. (Or maybe those three are as broken as Shinji, Asuka and Rei and we just don't know it).

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Postby Eleven » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:25 am

Aren't all kids in Shinji's class potential pilots? I always believed, that all of them lost their mothers and therefore were theoretically able to pilot an Eva. I always assumed it was pure coincidence, that the one with Toji's mother's soul was ready next.
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Postby NemZ » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:58 pm

I assumed their actually being in the eva before bumped both of them to the top of the list, so had Kaworu not shown up Kensuke very likely would have been called up to see if he could act as a backup on 02.
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Postby Wanderlust » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:13 pm

View Original PostMeerkat wrote:I think there's a picture in one of the artbooks or manga volumes with Kensuke, Toji and Hikari as pilots.


Yep:

SPOILER: Show
Image


Though it's obviously jokey and probably not an accurate representation of how they'd act inside those things.
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Postby ElMariachi » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:54 pm

^
Although the thought of Hikari being revealed to be a Mari bis once in the cockpit, under the terrified eyes of Toji and Kensuke, would be hilarious! :lol:

Notes that Hikari does pilot an Eva in ANIMA. And also in an official joke omake where she's given one of the Harpies.
In fact, if you want to extrapolate from these two events, it looks like Hikari is the next on the list of possible pilots to recruit just behind Touji.
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Postby amitakartok » Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:54 pm

I once pointed it out to someone that NERV seems to operate on Murphy's Law:

If you want to pilot an Eva, you can't.

If you don't want to pilot an Eva, you must.
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Postby Kendrix » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:04 am

^Obviously, because else, there would be no drama.

Kensuke probably simply had a slightly worse score on some technobabble readings, or "preparing a core" for Touji was somewhat easier; For all we know, he might've been the next in line.

I'd say he's more serious than he's given credit for - after all, he's seen the horror that was them Shamshel fight first hand - but just being motivated wouldn't immediately turn him into a Mari-style adrenaline junkie.
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Postby BC Baron » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:32 am

From a writing standpoint, I think I can see why they may have felt that Touji was a better choice.

A few years back, I was attempting to introduce NGE to a former friend of mine. Unfortunately, we only got a few episodes into the endeavor before he eventually bailed out, but I still remember listening to some of his early impressions of the characters and plot.

After watching the fourth episode (specifically the scenes where Kensuke was camping/conducting military training for fun, saw Shinji wandering around alone, and invited him to hangout until the Section 2 agents showed up) we discussed just how enthusiastic Kensuke's character was about the idea of piloting Eva in stark contrast to Shinji's attitude toward it.

My friend was unaware of the direction the rest of the series would take, but he suggested that it might make for an interesting subplot if Kensuke was eventually drafted to pilot just like Shinji had been. Then he could eventually experience serious levels of disillusionment after dealing with the pain/trauma of fighting Angels firsthand. I had to admit that it certainly seemed like the writers were trying to lay the groundwork for this type of scenario early on.

Which is more or less one of the reasons why I think they switched to Touji instead. As much as I like Kensuke and wish he could have been more involved in the story, perhaps the writers figured it would've been too predictable to do the whole "dream come true quickly devolves into a nightmare" character arc and whatever amount of tragedy/irony/drama they were hoping to achieve would most likely be diminished, since the audience would have seen it coming.
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Postby ElMariachi » Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:26 am

^
Which in turn makes it a shame that we didn't get more screentime of Kensuke after episode 19, to see his reaction to Touji losing his leg and how it affected his enthusiasm and desire to be selected as pilot. ("Shit, that could had been me!")
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Kensuke is a military otaku who, at one point, is shown creepily taking pictures of girls to sell. He would clearly fit right in as an animator at Studio Gainax. -- Compiling_Autumn
EoTV is a therapist, EoE is a drill instructor. -- Chuckman
Seriously, that is the most fananked theory I've ever heard, more than Mari being Marty McFly travelling through time to keep her parents (Asushin) together. -- Jäeger

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Postby Tumbling Down » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:28 am

View Original PostBC Baron wrote:From a writing standpoint, I think I can see why they may have felt that Touji was a better choice.

A few years back, I was attempting to introduce NGE to a former friend of mine. Unfortunately, we only got a few episodes into the endeavor before he eventually bailed out, but I still remember listening to some of his early impressions of the characters and plot.

After watching the fourth episode (specifically the scenes where Kensuke was camping/conducting military training for fun, saw Shinji wandering around alone, and invited him to hangout until the Section 2 agents showed up) we discussed just how enthusiastic Kensuke's character was about the idea of piloting Eva in stark contrast to Shinji's attitude toward it.

My friend was unaware of the direction the rest of the series would take, but he suggested that it might make for an interesting subplot if Kensuke was eventually drafted to pilot just like Shinji had been. Then he could eventually experience serious levels of disillusionment after dealing with the pain/trauma of fighting Angels firsthand. I had to admit that it certainly seemed like the writers were trying to lay the groundwork for this type of scenario early on.

Which is more or less one of the reasons why I think they switched to Touji instead. As much as I like Kensuke and wish he could have been more involved in the story, perhaps the writers figured it would've been too predictable to do the whole "dream come true quickly devolves into a nightmare" character arc and whatever amount of tragedy/irony/drama they were hoping to achieve would most likely be diminished, since the audience would have seen it coming.


I was with you until that last paragraph. I think that constructing a good story is more important than constructing an unpredictable one.

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Postby BC Baron » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:45 pm

@ElMariachi: That's a good point. I always felt that the lack of any substantial follow up material involving either Touji or Kensuke (or, heavens forbid, maybe a scene where Kensuke visits Touji in the hospital) post episode 19 was a bit disappointing.

@Tumbling Down: Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that I totally agree with the writers choice to leave Kensuke out of the mix. Actually, I think they probably could have done justice to a "Kensuke gets more directly involved in the war effort" character arc.

Now that I think about it, it could've been interesting to see a disheartened, angst-ridden Kensuke seeking counsel from either his best friend, Touji, the Class Rep, or one of the other Children. I was simply expressing that I could understand some of the reasoning behind the writers decision to eventually back away from such a storyline if they felt the results would turn out somewhat formulaic or that they were, at least initially, telegraphing their intentions to the audience a bit too much in that direction.

Also, I'm not really sure whether anyone would agree with me, but I think if you squint real hard you might notice a slight resemblance in tone between this type of proposed character arc for Kensuke and the one that featured the main character in Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (a production that I think Gainax had been partially involved with previously).

Still, I thought the subplot they went ahead with, wherein Touji was selected as the Fourth Child, was fairly well-executed and carried a decent amount of emotional resonance. I just wish they could have explored it further. And don't even get me started on Rebuild's flagrant dismissal of NGE's wonderful supporting cast of characters.
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Postby Squigsquasher » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:28 pm

Because Anno hates us.

I'd totally be up for a version of Eva where Unit 03 is successfully recovered and Unit 04 doesn't explode, and with the construction of a Unit 05, Touji, Kensuke and Hikari are formed into a support squad for Shinji, Rei and Asuka. Unit 05 would resemble its Rebuild incarnation rather than the Harpies of course. They would then find themselves repeatedly sortied to combat a new foe- the Deplorably Evil Revolutionary Posse, or D.E.R.P.

So, basically Evangelion: Gerry Anderson Edition. Make it happen, Anno.
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Postby Dataprime » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:39 pm

Maybe Anno was saying something like: "Life sucks and you might have to do things you don't want to do"
and "You might not always get to do the things you want to do."


Kensuke really wanted to be a pilot; yet didn't get to be one
Shinji really didn't want to be a pilot; yet he became one

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Postby Ray » Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:33 am

Gendo likely thought Touji would have more of a devastating emotional Impact on Shinji than Kensuke.
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Postby ElMariachi » Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:54 am

^
Gendo didn't know that EVA-03 was infected by an Angel, and absolutely not wanted to destroy Shinji emotionally.
That was an accident that was managed horribly due to the fact that Misato was KO with the ending we know, simply that.
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Kensuke is a military otaku who, at one point, is shown creepily taking pictures of girls to sell. He would clearly fit right in as an animator at Studio Gainax. -- Compiling_Autumn
EoTV is a therapist, EoE is a drill instructor. -- Chuckman
Seriously, that is the most fananked theory I've ever heard, more than Mari being Marty McFly travelling through time to keep her parents (Asushin) together. -- Jäeger


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