Best Pair: What Eva Characters Do You Ship?

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Re: Best Pair: What Eva Characters Do You Ship?

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Postby YTPrenewed » Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:01 pm

I haven't gotten around to anything other than the main show and EoE, but honestly, I'm not sure Evangelion would've attracted my attention to the same extent if the main characters didn't look so adorable. Sure, it's edgy and emotionally intense... but so is a lot of content out there, whereas something about throwing cute characters in the mix and exploring the relationships between those characters (or at least their attempts at such) just makes it even more unforgettable.

I'm not quite sure I'd feel like watching a show where those characters were adults, let alone looked like it. Firstly it'd require a continuity reboot where
SPOILER: Show
the world doesn't end before they grow up
, but also, it seems like they'd be walking back what seemed like a crucial ingredient in the show. Though perhaps part of my reluctance might relate to just having finished the series and finding starting over on a new continuity a tad too overwhelming.

Also, silver, the image isn't displaying on my end. Are you sure you linked it correctly?

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Postby BusterMachine4 » Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:09 pm

I highly recommend watching the Rebuild movies. Even if you don't like them, they're still a crucial part of the Eva experience.

But I don't understand the argument that the main pilots need to remain cute and recognizable. The whole point of the 14 year time skip in 3.0 is that it thrusts Shinji into an unfamiliar and dark world, and the audience is supposed to feel weirded out and alienated as well. Aging up the pilots so that they look noticeably different would really help with that feeling.

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Postby orcot » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:28 am

Also being treated, comming over like a adult is very inportant for Asuka, now she is technically a adult and it is sort of meh (on Asuka's part). You would imagen that Asuka do a lot to apear to be older, the way she dresses for example, Ritsuko colored her hair Asuka could have cut her hair in a more mature fashion for example (shorter).Maybe ad some grey anything to not be percieved as a kid (as she is 28)

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Re: Best Pair: What Eva Characters Do You Ship?

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Postby YTPrenewed » Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:42 am

View Original PostBusterMachine4 wrote:I highly recommend watching the Rebuild movies. Even if you don't like them, they're still a crucial part of the Eva experience.

But I don't understand the argument that the main pilots need to remain cute and recognizable. The whole point of the 14 year time skip in 3.0 is that it thrusts Shinji into an unfamiliar and dark world, and the audience is supposed to feel weirded out and alienated as well. Aging up the pilots so that they look noticeably different would really help with that feeling.

Hence why I said I wasn't sure I'd feel like watching ones where they "were" adults, let alone looked like it. Of course, I might change my mind on either of those things.

As well, part of the appeal is having an anime protagonist who looks (somewhat) like me, (especially compared to the ridiculously bulked-up guys you see in some other anime) and I definitely look years younger than I actually am, so that might be part of it too.

April 4 edit: Forgot to update this post earlier, but I have since gotten around to the Rebuild movies. Further commentary on them available here and here.
Last edited by YTPrenewed on Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best Pair: What Eva Characters Do You Ship?

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Postby EvaUnitREM » Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:11 am

Personally, im more of a Shinji and Asuka kinda guy, they have this love hate relationship and shown at the end of evangelion, Asuka still rubs Shinji's face, like even if hope is lost they still got eachother

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Postby BusterMachine4 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:27 am

I personally don’t really ship anyone in this show. I just think it goes against the whole point of that show, which is that latching onto other people for support isn’t good. You have to affirm your own self-worth, and make your own decisions.

And I’m gonna get a lot of flack for this, but I think Shinji/Asuka is an especially bad relationship. I really don’t see where the love is there, it’s just two depressed people constantly yelling at each other. One person’s love-hate relationship is another person’s abusive relationship.

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Postby Zusuchan » Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:24 pm

Considering the relationship of Shinji and Asuka, you're right in the sense that it's not particularly healthy from what we see most of the time...but one of the main points of NGE/EoE is also people learning from their mistakes and becoming better and I think this is something that Anno wanted to examine and discuss by having it be Shinji and Asuka there together at the very end-that despite their incompatibility and all of the horrible things they did to each other (Shinji is of course the larger perpetrator here, but Asuka wasn't ever really that nice to him and did act abusive towards him just about constantly) and the pain and all of their huge problems that didn't have anything to do with each other they could still potentially understand each other in some way and forgive. Whether or not you imagine a romantic relationship blossoming out of where they end up in EoE is something that largely speaks to your own preferences, but the point is that even if they don't end up romantically involved, they still have the potential to become friends.

So the Shinji/Asuka relationship is very important as a way for Anno to discuss and exemplify some of his themes.

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Postby Derantor » Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:40 pm

View Original PostBusterMachine4 wrote:You have to affirm your own self-worth, and make your own decisions.

While that is true, it's only part of the story: "Take care of yourself - I need you." Leaning on others for support is especially difficult for somebody like Asuka; telling her to rely on herself wouldn't change anything, as she has tried to live by that dogma all her life, and it got her nowhere.

And no, don't worry, you won't get flack for thinking that their relationship is especially bad. That's one of the pillars of the show, in my eyes, and some form of co-dependency seems to be the most likely outcome if they were to stick together after EoE - even though other outcomes are of course possible. That's also why it's the most interesting relationship in the show for me; like Zusuchan said, it is very important thematically. It encompasses basically all facets of the hedgehogs-dilemma since they are extreme opposites but similar in their core needs and insecurities. Compared to that, other popular ships like Hikari and Toji just lack in punch; yeah, they will be happy, have children, and even if they face hardships, everything will be fine. How boring. :tongue:

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Postby BusterMachine4 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:37 pm

I understand your positions, and I know that Eva uses Asuka and Shinji's relationship to examine a lot of its themes. I just don't understand how their relationship could possibly turn into friendship or even love. From what we hear of Asuka's inner thoughts, it seems like she's disgusted by Shinji's very existence, and Shinji's number one wish in pre-Instrumentality is to choke Asuka to death. Even after Instrumentality ends, when Shinji has learned his lesson and affirmed his self-worth, what does he do when he sees Asuka after leaving the LCL sea? He tries to choke her to death, AGAIN. Shinji may have stopped out of a sense of "wait, I shouldn't kill people," but I still don't see how that leads to true love and living happily ever after.

Toji and Hikari's relationship may be boring, but at least it's better than "Wait, these two people who hated each other the entire show really loved each other all along!" But then again, I was never a big fan of Asuka, so I may be biased.

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Postby Zusuchan » Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:13 pm

Asuka doesn't hate Shinji, not really. This whole thing is really...complicated and I don't have that good of a grasp on Asuka's character, so I'm not sure how well I'll be able to give out my thoughts, but I'll try. Basically, Asuka has a love-hate relationship with Shinji. She's obviously in love with him already in ep. 15 and thinks he has his good qualities-but on the whole, she feels like he's just too meek and weak-willed which also irritates her because he's capable and good and emotionally intelligent and an Eva pilot-in other words, he's superior in some way to other people and Asuka is irritated by the fact that he never flaunts it like her and even worse, doesn't think much of himself and his abilities. And because of that, she becomes to dislike him since for her this is a contradiction. Remember, Asuka is obsessed with showing everyone how good she is and she can't really fathom this dude who has these things he could flaunt, but remains steadfastly committed to not doing so. And then taking into account the negative connotations of some of his attributes, it's understandable Asuka would be confused regarding him. Another note: Asuka almost constantly acts rudely and it seems she's kind of conditioned herself to act abrasively and impulsively.

Also, when Shinji was choking Asuka to death, it wasn't so much him directly hating her as rather finally reaching a breaking point after the one human being he felt somewhat comfortable with anymore refused to help him in any sort of way.

Considering the final EoE scene, I believe it has been noted that Shinji probably has spent quite some time alone in the post-3I wasteland and as such acted rather schocked at seeing both Rei and then Asuka, so perhaps him strangling Asuka was due to checking out if she was real as he started to fear "Oh God, they're here, maybe I'm still in Instrumentality." Not to mention the problems bestowed upon him by his lovely life are going to follow him throughout the rest of his life, so yeah. And also, how does Asuka react at the sight of Shinji strangling her again? She caresses him-she doesn't beat him up or call him names or harass him, she caresses his cheek. And then utters the famous "Kimochi warui." I'd say that by having Asuka do this, Anno intended to convey the message that Asuka, despite still disliking some of Shinji's actons and particularly, of course, the infamous masturbation and being properly disgusted about it all, has reached a place where she understands him-she literally saw into his mind during Instrumentality so she probably realized he was just as fucked-up as she was and came to an understanding of why he acted like he did. She may not have yet forgiven him and she may never truly/utterly do so, but she is willing to actually engage in some sort of an understanding relationship with him instead of reverting back to her previous state of "Anta baka hentai!" The process is of course still ongoing and it'll be extremely hard, but it's a clear show on Anno's part that it is going to happen and it is possible. That's my interpretation of it.

I mean, if you don't think they're ever going to reach that point of love and don't think they'd make a good romantic relationship, then well, I'm not arguing against that-you're entitled to your opinion. But their relationship can turn into friendship and the possibility of that is something Anno intended and wanted the audience to understand as well.

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Postby Derantor » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:14 pm

Heh, I personally think that Asuka actually does hate Shinji, and quite profoundly so. I'm not sure that she loves him; attraction is easy to prove by going over the series, but anything more is imho squarely a matter of opinion. For Shinji this seems easier. It's easy to see why he would come to lover her - he openly admires a lot of her attributes, and it is just is his nature to cling to people. Whether you call that deep attachment love or not depends entirely on how you see love. So, this question seems to be a personal matter entirely, and there are no "wrong" interpretations here. Note also that before the DC edits, their relationship lacked a lot of the romantic overtones, which are pretty ambiguous in either case, so not seeing any is entirely reasonable.

So, why does she hate him? Imho, the most deep-seated source of that hatred is the subconscious recognition that he is everything she despises in herself: he is weakwilled, meek, dependent, shy, self-deprecating - in short, he is the antithesis to how she tries to be. So of course she hates him, because he is everything she hates herself for, because deep down, she is just like him - or at least she fears that she is like him. And given what we see in the series, that seems to be substantiated. Long before Shinji ever gets dragged down so low, she runs away from home and tries to commit suicide by starving herself, because she lost her ability to pilot (and was forced to confront all her inner demons by Arael in a pretty hostile fashion). Without her Eva, she completely shatters. Much like Shinji, who completely breaks after losing the last person he could (maybe hope to) depend on: Kaworu. The only difference is that at their lowest points, only Shinji was put in the position to decide the fate of the world. If their roles were flipped, we would have seen Asuka going through the same journey he took, and she probably would have ended the world just as he did. Anyway, this is getting into fanfiction territory.

She has of course other reasons to hate him, as well. He abandoned her when she needed him most, he never took the initiative, he never answered her advances, and he never even looked at her and seen the real Asuka. Him masturbating to her is such an egregious offense to her because he didn't see her as a person - he used her as an object (to fuel his own self-hatred by making himself irredeemable in his own eyes; "Look, I behave like a monster, so I am right to hate myself, and now I can hate myself even more!"). He tries to do it again in Instrumentality, and again she refuses to be an object for him to cling to.

Which is highly ironic, because what she wants deep down is somebody who can take care of her, so that she doesn't have to. Because she is, after all, just a lonely child who wants somebody to stave of the evils of the the world for her. Somebody like Kaji: an adult who won't abandon her and take care of her. Even though she says she wants to be alone, she hates being alone. She says she wants to be independent, but she hates being independent: it means that if she makes a mistake, she has only herself to blame - take all the responsibility, get all the blame. If she fails, it means that she is a failure - it makes her worthless. She blames herself for failing to connect to her Eva. It's all about her - she wasn't strong enough, even though she should be. It's of course impossible for her to live on her own, just like it is for Shinji, because they don't have the infinite strength required to do so. Shinji fails to live up to the challenge of breaking through her wall and become the strong person she can depend upon, which she might percieve as his biggest betrayal

To bring this back to the question of how they could become friends: well, that depends on how you see things. After Instrumentality, they might know all these things about each other. At the very least, they know all these things about themselves. If they are a little perceptive, they will notice all their similarities, their similar experiences. Will that make them hate each other more or less? Will Asuka be more forgiving towards Shinji when she recognizes that he was rotting away in his own metaphorical bathtub when she needed his help during her final fight, or will she hate him even more? I honestly don't know. I can't help but feel empathy for people who have lived through experiences similar to my own, and I think that is a very powerful connection they share. But I listed a lot of things that might be hard to forgive above, and given her final words, I can totally see her just being done with Shinji completely after he has shown that he hasn't changed at all by reverting back to his utterly weak self. She at least managed to show kindness to him by caressing his face. So her rationalizing things to herself in a manner of "I changed for the better, he changed for the worse, so just fuck him" seems entirely plausible to me. To go into fanfiction once more: Who knows if that is permanent. 10 or 20 years down the line, they might make contact again.

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Postby Zusuchan » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:00 pm

I agree with just about everything you said, except:

"Asuka hates Shinji". I maybe should have been more detailed in my post since the idea of Asuka hating Shinji during the endgame is totally plausible. I would argue that whatever happened, hate is still perhaps a bit too strong a word, but arguing that she did hate him from, say, ep. 22 onwards isn't too much of a fanwank or anything. I'd say she only really hated him during Instrumentality when she was at her absolute worst and also confronted a lot more than she would have liked with all the horrible things Shinji did, but even then, if there was hate it had died off in its largest doses by the end of EoE and I wouldn't say she'd just run off because how disgusting she thinks he is. Her escaping Shinji is in itself a totally plausible thing and I can see it happening, but hate being the main reason for it isn't. I just don't think she ever hated Shinji-despite his constant barrage of things she dislikes and her fears he's everything she is, but so desperately doesn't want to be, he also has his share of good qualities some of which Asuka accepts and she does like some of those qualities. So the idea she hated him for the majority of the series is, for me, just plain wrong.

Besides from that I did mention-even if barely-the fact that she has a love-hate relationship with him. She loves him in some terms, but also intensely dislikes at the least several of his qualities, attributes and actions.

Love...well, it's possible she didn't love him. Then again, she did instigate kissing him and the only other person she attempts to initiate something romantic with is Kaji (just how much of her attempting to do so with the rogue spy is due to her genuinely having a crush on him and how much due to her obsession with being "grown-up" is a good question). I think this does show that she felt something for Shinji that was at the very least physical affection, which has been shown to have an importance when it comes to having romantic relationships just as much as emotional affection so she did feel something like love towards him. Even if it would be considered a normal teenage crush, not some "love at first sight"/deep and intimate connection, it would still be something like the physical/biological properties of the nervous signal that at the end of the day, in purely materialistic terms, is love. And whether we want it or not, this materialism still has a huge role in the world we live in and that includes the way it influences ourselves.

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Postby BusterMachine4 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:45 pm

Very interesting responses, and it's nice to hear other perspectives. But I don't really get the perspective that "It wasn't Asuka's fault, it was just that Shinji failed to give her true connection!" Well, if Asuka didn't yell at Shinji for no reason and make her true feelings so cryptic, maybe Shinji would actually like her for a change. I'm convinced that Eva episodes 8 and onward would have never happened if Asuka treated Shinji like a decent human being.

Take a look at the kissing scene in episode 15, for example. She tells Shinji, completely out of nowhere, to kiss him. When asked why, she responds "I'm bored." When Shinji accepts, she plugs his nose and holds the kiss for more than 10 seconds. Then, when Shinji understandably doesn't like being suffocated, she runs off to the bathroom and cries about how Shinji won't hold her. Like, I think if you actually made your true feelings clear and didn't go out of your way to make the kiss as un-romantic as possible, maybe the kid would actually understand what you wanted.

I personally think that Shinji deserves none of the blame for their relationship going so badly, and Asuka deserves all of the blame. But then again, I always sympathized more with Shinji, and I was never a big fan of Asuka.

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Postby Zusuchan » Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:17 pm

I don't think either I or Derantor said something along the lines that Asuka was totally free of fault. She isn't, it's just that Shinji did some bad stuff too (especially towards the end). I would say that on the whole Asuka is probably more at fault for the dysfunctionality of her and Shinji's relationship. But even then, Asuka is a human being who has lived an extremely hard life and is full of psychological complexes due to a traumatic childhood. We should attempt to understand her actions and, without absolving her of all guilt and responsibility for her actions, accept that she is capable of change and at heart not really a bad person. All of those weird, illogical actions like suffocating him while kissing him are understandable when you look at the bigger picture of who she is.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:49 pm

Asuka could also be in denial of her true feelings about Shinji. Teenagers being confused about their sexual attractions isn’t anything new. We see in Ep 22 that she has some expectations from Shinji to hold her and do other cuddly, puppy-dog love things with her. Her pride as an Eva Pilot simply denies her from being honest about those expectations.

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Postby BusterMachine4 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:33 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Asuka could also be in denial of her true feelings about Shinji. Teenagers being confused about their sexual attractions isn’t anything new. We see in Ep 22 that she has some expectations from Shinji to hold her and do other cuddly, puppy-dog love things with her. Her pride as an Eva Pilot simply denies her from being honest about those expectations.

I think you just hit the jackpot with that explanation. It's possible that Asuka did see something good in Shinji deep inside. It's just that the part of her that emerged after her mother's death kept saying "No, you're an elite pilot, you can handle yourself, you don't need anyone else!" I'm still not sure, but maybe after she realized her mom was helping her all along, she might start bringing those positive feelings towards Shinji more to the surface.

I still think Shinji is mostly blameless in what happened with him and Asuka, though. Except for jerking off to her unconscious body, that was completely uncalled for.

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Postby Derantor » Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:46 pm

Agreed with what Freaky said.

@Zusuchan: Well, my statement was too general, in reaction to your "She doesn't really hate him". You are of course completely right; there are things she genuinely admires. I just wanted to point out that she is not a typical Tsundere ("I say I hate you but I secretly love you"); her hatred is genuine as well. At least it is at some point, I was sloppy there as well - I was thinking of the lategame of their relationship, which deteriorates quite a lot, but you already made all those points. As for the final scene: I find it almost impossible to judge. Depending on my mood, I either think that she has forgiven him for everything, or that she will drown him in the ocean first opportunity. So I can't say that I have a fixed opinion, other than that there are almost infinitely many valid interpretations of where they will go next. :P

Regarding Love: I really really like your view. Too often people say "Meh, it's just hormones", but ... what's really the difference? Is there a hard cut-off point where hormonally induced infatuation becomes "true love"? Given that we can't even access our subconscious, and that the nature of free will, if it exists, isn't determined yet, I find it hard to make a distinction between those things. They all influence each other, and at the end of the day, it's playing wordgames. Just call it a deep connection, and nobody bats and eye, call it love, and suddenly it's a big deal, because nobody has accurately defined "love" as of yet, and the vague agreed upon meaning changes all the time.

@BusterMachine4: I agree - Zusuchan has already spoken in my name and was right; I made no judgement call on who is at fault, I was talking from Asuka's perspective. I also think your assessment of Shinji is right - Asuka was the one innitiation all the contact, so he can hardly be blamed for it. It wasn't that he went after her, she went after him. And given the way she phrases her "hints", well ... all the people claiming Shinji should just have gotten the hint must be fricking mindreaders in real life.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:50 pm

View Original PostBusterMachine4 wrote:but maybe after she realized her mom was helping her all along, she might start bringing those positive feelings towards Shinji more to the surface.

After she discovered her mom, and way at the end of the movie, she did caress Shinji's cheek and voiced some disgust with him, just like Shinji asked her to do at the beginning of the movie. ("Call me an idiot like you always do.")

Read that scene however you want. I don't think it's meant to be read as cuddly as what I just implied, but I do think those aspects of that scene show Asuka as having some cautious optimism for the future.

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Postby Zusuchan » Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:42 am

Derantor: My view of love isn't probably all that strange, I think. It's scientifically certified after all. That said, I do think there are actual deep emotional connections with romantic (under)tones as well, but they are rare and even then physical affection does play something of a part, even if small. And free will...the more I think about it, the more I'm becoming certain that we may not really have it. Even if our entire fate isn't predestined, free will is still a muddy concept because we people tend to do things based on our wants/needs/hopes/desires all of which are also influenced by our upbringing and lives and relationships and so forth. And because of that we most of the time tend to act in a way that is actually rather predictable. Computers and algorithms have an easier and easier time with decoding the human brain and managing to influence us precisely because we are not as free as we think we are. There's a great line in the brilliant sci-fi show Dark: "We are not free in what we do, because we are not free in what we want." Which is pretty much how I feel about free will.

FreakyFilmFan4ever: I agree with you as well and denial/confusion is an usual teenage experience. With Asuka it's a lot more complicated of course, but still...

Talking with both of you now, when it comes to the final scene, I'd say it is optimistic at the very least, but it is extremely up to interpretation-if one were to make a fanfic following it, then there are dozens of potentials for what'll happen from then on, not to mention what both Asuka and Shinji are like in a deeper way.

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Postby YTPrenewed » Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:09 am

Speaking of Shinji and Asuka, another thing came to mind recently regarding episode 10's ending:

SPOILER: Show
While I know they were technically diving in "magma," not lava, it'd be easy for those less familiar with the difference to get the two mixed up. So when Shinji leaps into magma, even if through a mech walker, to rescue Asuka, he is, to those less familiar with the difference, "falling in lava;" which in English sounds somewhat like the phrase "falling in love." (Not sure about any similarities in Japanese.) Do you think this scene was written with the phrase it would remind English-speaking viewers of in mind, and further the impression episodes 9 & 10... might have given about the potential for a relationship between them? (Other than for those of us who read a little too far ahead in spoilers, of course.)


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