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 jedi_spectre1 » Tue Sep 21, 2021 10:23 pm

View Original PostYTPrenewed wrote:Is the "Mari is in her 60s" aspect canon or just a fan theory? I certainly don't recall anything in the movies about her having been that much older than Shinji, though I'll admit I wasn't paying attention very closely.

I would say it is canon. I don't buy the idea that the Mari we know is just a clone of the Gendo flashback Mari. I should maybe be posting about this on the thread in the Rebuild topic on Shinji/Mari, but I would find the relationship to be weird and creepy. Not that Shinji/Misato would be better. People joke about the Sanson and Marie thing in Nadia, but I find that Shinji/Mari to be just as bad, if not slightly worse.

My problem with Shinji/Rei is not just the clone of his mother aspect but also how emotionally repressed she is, and how Shinji might feel bad about having difficulty understanding let alone meeting her wants. In Rebuild 3.0 he was even shown being outright frustrated with her over it.

Shinji is having issues because the girl that he grew close to in 2.0 is acting strange. She's hardly talking to him, not that Rei talks a lot, she doesn't know what "like" means, and she doesn't read books. Also, Rei Q, while apparently still Rei, isn't the same as Rei II. The only time he really lashes out at Rei Q in 3.0 is when he learns that the Rei II is dead more or less and her soul is trapped in Unit 01.

To me, the appeal in Shinji/Rei is that they bring out the best in each other. Shinji gets Rei to try to express herself, while Rei tries to get Shinji to try to understand others.

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

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Postby YTPrenewed » Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:26 am

View Original Postjedi_spectre1 wrote:I would say it is canon. I don't buy the idea that the Mari we know is just a clone of the Gendo flashback Mari. I should maybe be posting about this on the thread in the Rebuild topic on Shinji/Mari, but I would find the relationship to be weird and creepy. Not that Shinji/Misato would be better. People joke about the Sanson and Marie thing in Nadia, but I find that Shinji/Mari to be just as bad, if not slightly worse.

I've yet to watch Nadia, but let's keep it real here; all else held constant, those sorts of things are worse by default when the perpetrator is male. It's all down to the "eggs are expensive, sperm are cheap" reputations of each sex; same reason people feel differently about stalking or groping depending on the sexes involved. If a female character pleasured herself to a male character's comatose body, would that really seem just as bad?

Again, the main reason I consider Misato a worse option is because she's his commanding officer. That'd make their relationship inappropriate even if they were closer in age, while Shinji and Mari are more comparable in roles, more akin to being peers. That alone doesn't make it okay, but it makes it seem not as bad.

Might I ask which Gendo flashback you're referring to? How many minutes into which movie?


View Original Postjedi_spectre1 wrote:Shinji is having issues because the girl that he grew close to in 2.0 is acting strange. She's hardly talking to him, not that Rei talks a lot, she doesn't know what "like" means, and she doesn't read books. Also, Rei Q, while apparently still Rei, isn't the same as Rei II. The only time he really lashes out at Rei Q in 3.0 is when he learns that the Rei II is dead more or less and her soul is trapped in Unit 01.

To me, the appeal in Shinji/Rei is that they bring out the best in each other. Shinji gets Rei to try to express herself, while Rei tries to get Shinji to try to understand others.

To be fair, that is a pretty interesting point. Yeah, I can see the appeal in that. I guess it all boils down to whether or not what the characters need is something a significant other can provide.

I would also speculate that the Shinji/Rei dynamic in 2.0 is down to the unexpected popularity of Rei. Supposedly in the original series she was meant as a "careful what you wish for" message to those wishing for a super-submissive girlfriend. And instead of focusing on the message people just focused on how overwhelmingly adorable she was. So I can see why it would be marketable to just give up on that angle and just give the public more Rei cuteness.

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

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Postby Kendrix » Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:59 pm

View Original PostYTPrenewed wrote:I would also speculate that the Shinji/Rei dynamic in 2.0 is down to the unexpected popularity of Rei.


That's reading too much into it & probably very far from the creators' actual thought processes.
They want to tell a story with themes & emotional beats, not hold a popularity contest.

Assuming the timeskip was planned, they simply had to cram all her screentime in one movie & get any new fans to care about her so the plot twist hits.

That whole 'cautionary tale' interpretation is based on a lot of paraphrasing & out of context quotes; Else where you can read that she's meant to express some core part of the director's psyche. She's just there to tell a sad, fascinating, sometimes eerie story, as a metaphor for certain feelings... like all of the other characters.

She's an odd, isolated unkempt girl that is rather blunt, brutally honest and hard to get close to. Hardly anyone's ideal pliable fantasy.
If anything it shows that Shinji, for all his flaws, has a good side that he's interested in getting to know a lonely person with no friends simply cause he knows what it's like.

She got popular cause she was pretty unique at the time (before spawning a whole genre), and because she maybe hit the buttons of what many were feeling during that era, but that was a response that was secondary & subsequent to the show actually being made; (She's arguably sort of Grunge aesthetic wise with the low effort & associated medical grossness; Also, everyone in the 90s loved sci fi stuff)
Nowadays everyone's into tsunderes so Asuka's topping the polls, fashions change and so on.

Anno didn't get why anyone liked any of the characters simply because artists tend to be sometimes very critical of their own works & they were all essentially expressions of his various inner demons.

Fixed the quote to addressing the correct author – JoelcrNeto
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Re: Best Pair: What Eva Characters Do You Ship?

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Postby YTPrenewed » Wed Sep 22, 2021 6:16 pm

Firstly I wish to clarify the quotation you're referencing is my own, not jedi_spectre's.

Secondly while I get that Rei is nuanced rather than a generic docile moeblob, she's still one of the most obedient characters in the original show and Rebuilds alike. The only character comparably often referred to as even coming close is Shinji, but even that is only when his emotions are telling him to behave like a people-pleaser. At other times, he can be insubordinate, sometimes to the point of threatening damage to headquarters. With Rei her emotions are so repressed that until later in the series (or in the Rebuilds, in 2.0) it didn't matter as much what they'd tell her to do. She never came across as particularly blunt either, with the possible exception of her question to Asuka about 2/5ths of the way into ep 16, and even that sounds pretty meek and mild as far as "how people would handle insensitively-and-somewhat-misleadingly blaming what happened to a close colleague on said colleague himself" go. Just because she doesn't approach others, doesn't mean that she's hard to get close to, just means she leaves getting to know her to those who choose to take the initiative. Which itself is also submissive; whoever wants to interact with her the most, that's who gets to do so.

I'll admit the cautionary tale aspect is something I'd based on hearsay more than directly from the creators. That and it's how she comes across. Have anything in mind that you think may have been misinterpreted?

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

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Postby Kendrix » Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:32 pm

View Original PostYTPrenewed wrote:She never came across as particularly blunt either


Well, episode 6 for example - Rei stands out for not judging/pressuring Shinji, but neither does she coddle him.
"What if I don't wanna pilot the EVA"?
"then we do it without you." Bam. Logically stating the consequences, no cushion.

View Original PostYTPrenewed wrote:she's still one of the most obedient characters in the original show and Rebuilds alike


There's a difference between being submissive (doing whatever others tell you to, struggling with making decisions, yielding to any push & aggression) and being dedicated to a mission/cause. We don't really call soldiers "submissive", though they follow orders. Rei is like a soldier.
There's one interview where she's compared to... no, not a housewife, but a terrorist cult member. (which is kind of literally what she is - Gendo told her instrumentality is for the good of everyone...)

She doesn't do what Gendo says because she does whatever anyone tells her, but because she has actual loyalty & faith in him specifically... at least at first; All the while she never had too many illusions about being special to him (this is very clear in ep 11), he was just all she had.
She's almost still a child; of course she wants the attention of her parental figure.

But of course that faith crumbles the more Gendo shows himself to be not so good.
She's far from mechanically doing anything anyone tells her - whenever someone gets hurt she gets concerned & when there may be casualties she questions it - like when Misato orders them to pull back in ep 16, or when in ep 18 she gets defeated precisely because she was reluctant/hesitant to blast Touji.

She also markedly doesn't like people touching her stuff (explicitly described as such in the script in eps 5 and 17)

I feel like I'm making this same post over and over again, but why not do one more definite version? Then I can link to it in the future.

How Rei was supposed to come across

I guess a lot of people just parrot/ roll with the reading that Ritsuko and/or Asuka state out loud during the elevator & requarium scenes respectively and then give it a pseudo-feminist spin in the vein of what I like to call the finger interpretation of eva, (as if writing a female character as a 'trap' to teach a dude a lesson or pitting girls against each other and labelling one as 'real' isn't the very opposite of feminism - just femme fatale with a new hat)

It's all neatly spelled out in one place, wheres comparing & verifying it against what's actually portrayed throughout the show takes either attention or interest because Rei is often just mysteriously hanging in the background and her responses & reactions to things are very subtle.
If your eyes aren't on her you could just easily miss the whole story.

Of course detail observations are by nature vague fuzzy & subjective, so instead of arguing about fine nuances in the vocal delivery of one-liners, lets see what the makers themselves have disclosed to us about the process of coming up with Rei.

"Whatever else, she needs to be painted in as a bitterly unhappy young girl with little sense of presence." - Anno


"Specially educated and trained the same as Asuka.
Lacks emotion and speaks few words. Nihilist without feelings.
Learned about emotions and feelings after falling in “love” with someone.
Important secret behind her birth is hidden (she has no parents)." - The Proposal


"Rei is someone who is aware of the fact that even if she dies, there'll be another to replace her, so she doesn't value her life very highly. Her presence, her existence, "ostensible existence," is ephemeral. She's a very sad girl. She only has the barest minimum of what she needs to have. She's damaged in some way; she hurts herself. She doesn't need friends." - Anno


"It began when the director told me, "It's not that she doesn't have emotion, but that she doesn't know what it is." His technical request was that I should read my lines as flat as possible. But she's obviously not a machine; she's a human being, flesh and blood. It's a huge difference between "not having emotion" and "not knowing emotion." After all, she could develop feelings, once she learned... [...] Let's go back at last to Rei. She doesn't know emotion, so there's no difference between what she says and feels; there's nothing ulterior about her. At first sight, then, you may theorize: that is where her very great beauty comes from, this surface, not without depth, but with the absence of its necessity—someone truly mystical.

No; Rei's beauty comes from the truth that she has feelings. When she cried, it meant the waters of the pool were coming out at last. The struggle to draw your feelings forth, the reconciliation between your surface and your depth—that, I believe, is where we truly become alive, truly become human beings. And when I found the warmth below the coldness in her words, I synchronized with Rei for the first time. " - Hayashibara


Hayashibara's chapter on voicing Rei Ayanami is focused on her attempts to understand why the voice directors kept telling her to "suppress your voice" while playing the Evangelion Unit-00 pilot. Because she was constantly told to restrain her expressiveness while playing Rei, Hayashibara initially began to wonder if Rei was a character who lacked emotions. However, when she asked Hideaki Anno about Rei's character, the director gave the response, "Rei is not emotionless. She is just unfamiliar with emotions."

What exactly it means to be "unfamiliar with emotions" without being "emotionless" puzzled Hayashibara, so she went to psychology textbooks to better understand Rei. After a lot of analysis and personal soul-searching, the voice actress ultimately came to the conclusion that most displays of emotional expression are meant for other people's sake and that as a result, there is often a disconnect between the emotions people feel and the ones they express. Rei Ayanami, in contrast, is unable to create such a distinction.

"[Rei's] feelings and words are directly connected," Hayashibara writes. "If she doesn't know something, that's that. She can't pretend to do otherwise. If she hates something, she can't pretend to like it. Her pain and anguish are real. But she doesn't put on an act of that suffering to get other people to worry about her. Deceit, dramatics, exaggeration, manipulation -- she doesn't do any of that!" - Another article featuring her



One of my favorite bands is called the Buff Girl Team and in one of their songs, there's this line a white girl in bandages. I had an image of her even before I started Evangelion. Like a girl with a dark past. I thought it'll be interesting to have a girl in bandages. And maybe she'll have the antibacterial smell like hospitals. If I had known her when I was 14, I would have hesitated to get close to her. She's cute, but her world's the farthest away from mine. - Sadamoto

...

in the case of Rei, the director gave me as an indication "a cool character with short hair" [...]

...

The most "simple" director I’ve Ever worked with was Anno, who would typically work with exactly what Sadamoto gave him. The only information Anno told him about Rei was her age, blood type and that she was "gloomy".

...

I played around with this character I called "Ukina." She came from a story I wrote a long time ago for NewType magazine called Koto no Oni [The Ogre on the Desert Isle]. You take Ukina, give her shaggy, bobbed, wolf-like hair, and it's Rei. Really, I just played with her a bit -- with the way the eyes are drawn. The basic character is the same. Her character was locked in as translucent -- like a shadow, or the air. The kind of girl you can't touch. The girl you long for, but there is nothing about her that you can hold.
- Various Statements from Sadamoto




Anno: When creating the characters for Eva - in the case of Asuka, [when I had] the lines “Anta Baka!?” and “Chance…”, I thought, ah, this is going to work. In the case of Rei, it was the line in episode six: “You won’t die. I will protect you.” And also at the end, when Rei says, “I don’t know what kind of expression I should have at a time like this,” and Shinji says, “I think you should smile,” and Rei smiles. I felt like, ah, this is going to work. At those two points, Rei’s character was created. However, when I thought about it afterwards, I cursed. I thought, in short, that if she has [already] communicated with Shinji there, then isn’t she over with? At that moment, Rei, for me, was finished, all at once.

- From Shizo/Parano


Oizumi: When I look at Rei Ayanami, I’m reminded of the girls in Aum. In short, they’re all dependent upon their Guru, Asahara.

Takekuma: [She devotes herself] wholeheartedly, with a heart like a hard shell.

Oizumi: Exactly. And, on the topic of substitutions, can we think of Rei Ayanami as being a person like your mother?

Anno: That’s not quite right.

Takekuma: There’s also nothing like the image of a girl you previously dated [in her], right?

Anno: No. Well, Rei is probably [the character] closest to my deep psyche. I don’t really understand her. … The truth is, I have no emotional attachment to her at all.

Takekuma: Huh? Is that right?

Anno: Yeah. I have no emotional attachment to her. Well, Nobita-san wrote [about her] as being a symbol of schizophrenia. There were parts where that was actually what I wanted to do [with her].

Takekuma: But she is the character best received by the fans in the outside world. Even I was drawn in by Rei at the beginning.

Oizumi: That’s right. Megumi Hayashibara’s voice was also incredible.

Anno: But Rei is [the character] I least understand. In addition, I’m not really that interested in her. There were parts where that’s what I was consciously doing, actively trying to put aside my presuppositions, trying to bring out the most primitive, the most core, the purest parts within me.

Oizumi: So Rei is perhaps [something] embedded in your unconscious [that] can’t be expressed in words.
-Same source


-Part of the appeal of "Eva" is its characters with strong personalities. They seem to resemble someone around them, but in fact, they are nowhere to be found. You want to know more about them, and that's one of the things that attracts you to "Eva". It is often said that a part of director Anno is projected onto each character.

Anno: I feel especially close to Shinji, Misato and Asuka. And Kaworu as the shadow. Rei is made from the deepest part of me, the core of my being. I try to avoid interfering in myself as much as possible, and only give shape to what oozes out.

Ueno: I'm a big fan of Rei. For example, I really want Four Murasame from "Z Gundam" to exist. I really want to meet him in person. But that's not the case with Rei. It's not a 2D Complex thing, even if it's the same artificially created one, Rei is a complete being that doesn't exist in front of you.

Anno: Well, it's crazy (laughs). It was difficult, but I wanted Rei to be like that. Only a crazy person can draw it. So I had to go crazy.

Ueno: People talk about psychoanalysis and personality seminars, but have you always had a strong interest in psychology in general?

Anno: I wasn't interested in it at all.

Ueno: Did the process of working on Eva lead you in that direction?

Anno: Right, without being aware of it. I didn't read any books on psychoanalysis before. I only learned a little bit as a general education at university. It was the most interesting subject though.

Ueno: So there must have been some kind of important word or interest that stuck in your mind.

Anno: I guess I wasn't really interested in people. But when I started to tell my story, I needed words to convey it in the middle of the process. I concluded that the term psychological terms in common use are the easiest to use. I started reading a lot of books. I never thought I'd be interested in psychology until then.

-Rei, who was inside EVA-01's entry plug, overlaped Shinji's information from EVA-01 with her own memories and asked herself the question. The series of honest words spoken there is the very image of Rei, transparent and non-fragile.

-likewise


“Rei Ayanami limits her association with others as much as possible.The only one she seems to open up to is Commander Ikari.”
-Episode 5 preview

(Definitely intended as not very approachable)

Shinji is saved......but his injuries make him act spoiled.”Rei pushes him away. Meanwhile, Misato attempts to launch a precision attack against the Angel
- Episode 6 preview

(It's not just my perception that there was no coddling to be had here)

Then there is this very fun video:
"It's simple - There is a character for all kinds of fans. A relationship triangle. It makes a triangle. 1 boy, two girls, one upbeat, one quiet. It all splits. For fan's og upbeat girls there's Asuka, for fans of quiet girls there's Rei. There's also the hair lenghts - one for short hair fans and one for long hair fans. With that, we could get all the fans. That was the basic plan. That leaves only the curvy girl fans


(I presume, that's Misato. Or, the reason why when they added a new character, they made her curvy. Well. If one had to be the designated curvy one I'd still say it's Misato. Mari is more of a 'hourglass' type, big chest & butt, her waist & limbs are still relatively thin. )
Not sure if he considered female fans but a different array of personalities is sure gonna help with relatability, too.
Nor would I underestimate the capacity of the boys to look as a girl not just as, like, hot, but someone with a shared suffering.

Factoids for which I couldn't find a source right now:
- She got black socks because they were unfashionable at the time, & because someone on the crew associated them with tough tennis playing girls from his school
- Anno got inspired to do the monologue after reading some poems from mental patients, but the thing itself came to him in a dream
- There's one interview where Sadamoto is asked some question about Asuka being a 'strong' character & he says something about how they're both strong in different ways.
- The closest thing remotely to the often parroted narrative is that one bit where Anno says that Rei is "a hard worker who doesn't complain" and that "such girls are very much desired in Japan"(I tried so hard to find the exact words again but couldn't)

Like Japan does indeed have problems with fetishizing overwork & dedication to one's company, family etc. but "hard worker" is something very different from "submissive doll" - It's like somewhere along the way a legit critique of his own society got replaced by a western stereotype of asian women. (Maybe cause the west & especially the USA isn't so great about work/life balance either and it's easier to point the finger)


But to summarize:
- She was designed to come of as 'cool/strong/tough' and unapproachable ('disturbed' applies to all the main characters), not idealized or pliant
- She's supposed to be sad, pessimistic and damaged, (but also very honest, genuine and straightforward on some level), not blank and mechanical
- the central theme here wascommunication and expression, which is all rather related to her internality not primarily how others react to her
- they explain much of how she acts by her upbringing & circumstance (like being a tool of an organization, knowing they have a dozen clones in the basement to replace her, knowing she exists to do the plan...) not primarily starting to talk about concepts relating to, say, aliens or clones
- if attractiveness was a consideration at all, it would be a tragic gloomy victorian heroine kind of way, or as just another personal taste flavor no different from any of the orther main girls, but for the most part it was not mainly what anyone was thinking about, not even as a 'trap'. They were like too busy exploring the human heart here

It is of deep sadness to me that they never did finish translating all the scripts but you should really look at how often the ep 5 one describes faint facial expressions in detail.


Note also all the ways in that she's basically very autobiographical.
Things we know about Anno:
- lived off of EnergyIns & had little interest in proper food (when this changed for him, well guess what, it changed for Rei too)
- little interest in ppl or earthly passions, doesn't care much about his surroundings
- vegetarian because he's lowkey grossed out by living things
- prefers technological surroundings
- colleagues have described him as an 'Alien'
- once didn't notice something in his house catching on fire (remembering the soot stain in Rei's apartment?)
- doesn't seem to care that much about his own life, puts work first, you kind of want to take care of him (courtesy of Moyoco in the latest NHK documentary)


So, she's a sad lonely shutin who's wholly dedicated to this one thing that gives her purpose. She was written by that sort of dude, and similar ppl liked & related to her.
It's not that complicated really.

Note also that her story is one of toughing it out through horrible experiences while her faith in the one mission that its all supposed to be for gradually crumbles, she starts out knowing basically how everything will end and that its all futile but admits all the horror there is also that bit where she tentatively ventures out of her high tower to experience a fleeting little bit of warmth and connection & meeting someone who's actually interested in her & whats to know what she's thinking - It's not even anything great that happens just the most banal human connection stuff like basic thank yous. just seeing a little bit of whats outside the narrow slice where she stayed for most of her life

& none of that forestalls the inevitable. It all ends. The "promised day" comes.

you know that whole quote by van gogh about wanting to show with his art what a shunned "nobody" has in his heart? I think thats a valuable idea to keep in the back of your head here.
The essence of a good tragedy is that it points at those who dont get lucky, who dont succeed, who arent the right person for the job, & say "your struggle mattered, it was worth depicting & exploring"
we all become tragedies in the end.

EoE goes even a little further here cause the direction that things end up taking ultimately ends up partially pinned to the choice of this neglected doomed nobody & the thoughs, feelings and longings she had in her brief time on earth.
I wanted to try harvesting the rice

I wanted to hold Tsubame more

I wanted to stay together forever with the boy I like

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

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Postby jedi_spectre1 » Thu Sep 23, 2021 3:20 am

View Original PostYTPrenewed wrote:I've yet to watch Nadia, but let's keep it real here; all else held constant, those sorts of things are worse by default when the perpetrator is male. It's all down to the "eggs are expensive, sperm are cheap" reputations of each sex; same reason people feel differently about stalking or groping depending on the sexes involved. If a female character pleasured herself to a male character's comatose body, would that really seem just as bad?

I don't really understand what masturbating over someone's comatose body has to do with Mari having a massive age gap and probably interacting with him as a toddler, but yes, to me, they are equally bad. If Asuka had done what Shinji did to her, I wouldn't consider it any less fucked up.

Again, the main reason I consider Misato a worse option is because she's his commanding officer. That'd make their relationship inappropriate even if they were closer in age, while Shinji and Mari are more comparable in roles, more akin to being peers. That alone doesn't make it okay, but it makes it seem not as bad.

I agree, Misato is bad for Shinji. I have never understood why people like the idea, besides people with mommy fetishes. The whole thing is the Shinji/Mari thing is subjective on whether or not you think it is gross. Hell, I have liked anime and media with worse age gaps than Mari. Hell, Holo from Spice and Wolf is many times older than Kraft and a goddess at that, but that doesn't bother me. What bothers me with Mari is the fact that she knows Shinji's parents and got them together. Sort of gives me weird ideas of planting seeds to harvest later, lol. Also, she was there when he was born and probably interacted with him as a small child, unless she left Gendo and the college group shortly after. If they had no connections like that, then maybe it wouldn't weird me out as much. But her rubbing her boobs all over a 14 year old Shinji while being in her 60s is a bit weird, but I can accept some anime logic and character stuff.

Might I ask which Gendo flashback you're referring to? How many minutes into which movie?

Shin Evangelion. Conversation with Fuyutsuki at 1:56:57, which, in my opinion, makes it hard to have Mari just be a clone of the flashback woman without mental gymnastics. First appearance in Gendo's instrumentality flashback is 2:04:47. She is on the left side, note this is her being present for Shinji's birth. Second appearance is 2:06:27 with her third appearance shortly following. Also, this makes her line in 2.0 completely stupid, but as Anno himself said in his interview on Prime, he doesn't really plan things out.

Also, agree with pretty much everything Kendrix said. Rei in none of the major continuities been some cautionary thing or presented as a negative character. In EoE, she is explicitly labeled the hope of being able to understand others.

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

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Postby YTPrenewed » Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:34 pm

Kendrix: Wow... that's a much deeper analysis of Rei than I was expecting. In any case, thanks for the info. The part about the poem coming to Anno in a dream stands out to me, what with the dreamlike feel of the original show, especially the second half thereof. But I do wish to push back on one thing... what, if anything, could a less-blunt person have said to sugar-coat that moment in ep 6? "Though maybe the angels might realize they went too far and show mercy" or something?

I guess it's because of the other characters' harsher tone that Rei came across as meek and mild in comparison. That and the reputation of other anime for making their Rei expies the pitiable moe characters (like Yuki Nagato, supposedly, though I've yet to get around to any Haruhi other than out of context scenes and parodies thereof) might've primed me for that from the start.

For the record, I conform no more blindly to whatever might be considered feminist analyses of pop culture than to whatever might be considered non-feminist ones. On the contrary, I've dissented against the former on topics ranging from "femme fatales" (what's so objectionable, that someone evil wouldn't be above using seduction as even one of many ingredients in her plans?) to the idea that "equal" fanservice could even be defined, let alone achieved. (Who gets to say what's the male equivalent of cleavage, for instance? Guys' chests could be compared in terms of the positioning on the body, but contrasted in terms of how bad it's considered to stare at it, at least by the opposite sex, anyway. It's down to opinion which similarity matters more to whom.) I don't side with others' ideologies. I side with whatever I think deserves to be sided with, wherever it may come from.

. . .

Jedi-spectre: Well, that segues into this part rather well, then. Even if you think Asuka doing the same to Shinji would've been just as fucked up, it's less clear whether or not you speak for popular opinion on that one... other pop culture, for instance, is often known to portray stalkerish women as endearing. And it sells. Whether because the sex with the "cheap" gametes evolved to be less picky about sexual partners than the one without them, or because this assumption's popularity was propped up by the irrationality and/or dishonesty of some of its critics enough to make the assumption look more trustworthy by comparison.

The moments you cite didn't really jump out at me; it never occurred to me the girl in those flashbacks was Mari. I just figured she and other characters were background characters meant to establish that Yui introduced Gendo to some of her friends and give him some semblance of a social life. A little further looking does show Yui and Mari as classmates, but that part wasn't necessarily canon. Is there any more definitive confirmation that girl was Mari, and not, let's say, her mother, being that some of the other characters in question are pilots' parents?

Don't get me wrong, if the age gap is for real then yeah that doesn't reflect well of Shinji/Mari. I just thought that with the marginally-closer-to-typical-of-movies tone of the latest movie (that climactic battle almost felt reminiscent of Return Of The Jedi) they'd have avoided relationships whose implications are that bad.

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Postby jedi_spectre1 » Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:13 pm

View Original PostYTPrenewed wrote:The moments you cite didn't really jump out at me; it never occurred to me the girl in those flashbacks was Mari. I just figured she and other characters were background characters meant to establish that Yui introduced Gendo to some of her friends and give him some semblance of a social life. A little further looking does show Yui and Mari as classmates, but that part wasn't necessarily canon. Is there any more definitive confirmation that girl was Mari, and not, let's say, her mother, being that some of the other characters in question are pilots' parents?

There is no direct confirmation, in the sense of Anno saying outright so. Though I heard somewhere that Mari's VA said that Anno told her everything about Mari, but she isn't talking since she feels its not her place to reveal. But, everything points to Mari and the flashback woman being the same. First, there is Mari's and Fuyutsuki's conversation. The way they talk isn't how I would expect if Fuyutsuki just knew her mom or her DNA donor. Its even implied that Mari and Fuyutsuki has been working together to achieve Yui's goal in Rebuild. I guess in Rebuild her goal is a world without Evas? Either way, Mari directly references knowing Yui when she witnesses the birth of Gaius.
Mari at 2:08:44 wrote:Armed with knowledge and willpower, humanity has made it this far even without the help of divine miracles... Ms. Yui!

Why would she act like this is a big deal with Yui if she never knew her? This also leads more into the idea that Rebuild Yui's plans are probably a world without Eva. Though, as Intermediate O pointed out, this sort of contradicts Mari's established character in 2.0. Mari is introduced as someone who loves piloting Evas and fighting Angels, she is pretty much Goku. So to have her want a world without Evas in the last movie is a bit dumb, but as mentioned above, Anno just wrote as he went along. Also to me, it seems the opposite, Mari is the one who seems to introduce Gendo to Yui. Not Yui introducing Gendo to Mari. Though I do laugh a bit at the idea of Mari being some girl annoying Gendo through college, trying to get him to open up.

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

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Postby YTPrenewed » Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:05 pm

Eh, enjoying combat =/= wanting future combat to be waged using Evas. Unless she somehow also achieved world peace in the process, in which case hopefully she's not selfish enough to put her own enjoyment of combat ahead of that.

In any case, yeah, I suppose you've made a good case for her being likely to be decades older than Shinji, if not confirmed. I'm just glad I watched the movie before I realized that all the same. I'm not sure the ending would've felt the same otherwise. Something that goes from feeling like Return Of The Jedi to feeling like Deathly Hallows Part 2 within half an hour works a lot better when portraying a relationship one thought was between peers.

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Postby Kendrix » Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:32 pm

To get back to ship talk - I wouldn't really have considered it before, but AsuKen is kind of growing on me.

I used to hate it when ppl just stuck whichever girl they didnt put with Shinji on Kensuke because it came out of nowhere & kind of treating him as a human trashbag for unwanted love interests like it was a sort of 'punishment' & for like reasons didn't really like this element in the sadamoto manga or Angelic days cause it just seemed to be a one-dimensional joke, especially since he doesn't really like her in the original, where he's sort of good at reading ppl and recognizes her as somewhat two-faced. I actually liked him a bunch in the og series.

The last rebuild, however, didn't forget his good traits at all & showed him having aged out of the more immature ones. Of course they could just as easily be read as simply roomates/friends, I don't really want to argue about the canonicity here, & it served a serious narrative purpose rather than just being a joke: to underline that 14 years really passed & everyone's life went on, & to put some positive accepting figure into her life.
Screentime is limited so it made more sense to use a known character rather than to introduce an all new guy as Asuka's roommate.

To begin with, I just don't like "belligerent love interests" or "opposites attract" tropes, not even in relatively benign or functional examples (which I realize is a personal taste thing rather than a logical argument) but I do want Asuka to be happy so it's convenient to have any semi-realistic option for her that doesn't fall into those.

But the more I think of it... I always thought, without having anyone in particular ppl in mind, that Asuka's hypothetic ideal match would have to be a more sociable, demonstrative guy who would openly show his affection, give positive reinforcement & not sweat it & take it personally when she's in a bad mood.
He kinda does fit that bill. We do see him being somewhat insightful & disarming with his friends & gently encourage them to be their best selves (Like he responds to Touji's bad behavior by just playfully dissing him in a way that still appeals to his sense of justice, completely disarms Shinji in the tent scene, getting him to open up, & he has this very on-point commentaries on Rei and Misato at various points, he can definitely see a little bit beyond ppl's immediate surfaces.)
Asuka always had this lowkey nerdy side that doesn't fit with her popular girl image, so having someone who helps her bring out the non marketable sides of herself would do her good. Like if she could just be weird or comfortable around someone without having to keep up the performance. Also she wants ppl to "look at her" & pay her attention, so wouldn't it be kind of cute if she had a partner who liked taking pictures of her. It's kind of like saying "I am looking at you. I'm paying attention. I want to treasure & preserve that and proudly put pics of you on my walls"

It might not have worked with their 14 year old selves, at least not without some character development (cause she'd have considered 'normal' boys beneath her & he was too tactless & immature at times, like that big foot-in-mouth moment in ep 19 or how it doesn't occur to him that the selling photos thing could be seen as a serious transgression, though that's also just the anime being old and society marching on), but those are no longer concerns with their older & wiser 28 year old versions
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Postby T. K. Simon » Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:10 pm

In NGE: Only Asushin

In Manga: a little bit, Reishin

Rebuild: a bit, Asushin

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Postby C.T.1290 » Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:52 pm

I think the only valid ship in NGE is AsuShin. And in NTE, that would be MariShin.

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Postby T. K. Simon » Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:30 pm

The only ship that I could tell you that have clear romantic nuances (and very clear hateful ones) is Asushin in NGE

Reishin and Kawoshin are ambiguous in those terms.

In the manga, Shinji's only interest seems to be Rei.
Asushin is very young in the manga, maybe they have a weak attraction, and Kawoshin is a selfish love with the intention of impersonating another (Rei)

In rebuilds the only one that is confirmed as romantic interest is Asuka, Kaworu and Rei apparently nothing

How did Shinji fall in love with Asuka? I guess in the period they lived together in 2.0

I don't think he is referring to Soryu, the EoE scenario is intended as a meta-reference

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Postby Kendrix » Wed Sep 29, 2021 3:52 pm

View Original PostT. K. Simon wrote:Kaworu and Rei apparently nothing


I find it hilarious that ppl still say that after Rei got an explicit confession scene, which they then chose to make even more clear in the official subs.
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Postby T. K. Simon » Wed Sep 29, 2021 5:52 pm

View Original PostKendrix wrote:
View Original PostT. K. Simon#931602 wrote:Kaworu and Rei apparently nothing


I find it hilarious that ppl still say that after Rei got an explicit confession scene, which they then chose to make even more clear in the official subs.


Shinji said he liked Rei?

Rei said that she liked Shinji, Shinji didn't say that.

As with Kaworu, Shinji never says "I like you / I like you", Kaworu explicitly tells him that he wanted to make him happy and other things, Shinji also does not say a romantic confession.

I'm taking romantic confessions (mutual, from both) from RoE

In NGE there is no clear romantic confession, and the one that exists is ambiguous (the great kaworu / Shinji debate, is ambiguous in terms of the 2 confessions, added to the context)

In the manga it is different, where the closest thing to saying "I love you" from Rei herself is "grabbing her hand from her". Instead, if I'm not mistaken, Shinji says "I think I love you" being explicit.

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Postby Kendrix » Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:21 pm

That seems to be a very shallow one-dimensional reading of both text analysis & romance, that to be real it needs this specific order of words, & things like tropes, shot framings, gestures, meaningful words, reactions by others etc. matters nothing.
Art is specifically the business of finding new ways to say & describe all the familiar things under the sun.

A story that is just the characters mechanically stating their points with no finesse metaphor or artifice would be boring indeed. the whole art is in subtlety and implication.

We have word from directors & Vas that always intended as triangle situation from day one; if anything it would require more proof to show that they suddenly changed their minds. (which I certainly don't see reflecting in the way that almost everyone in 2.0 refers to crush situation being present there)

I think the authors were more concerned with telling an evocative story than giving shippers ironclad argument fodder; Romantic elements would be just one of many colors in the palette.

It likewise seems strange to treat the option as "the only confirmed one" that is explicitly past-tense ; Where resolving it with a mutually satisfactory closure is treated as the best case, & Asuka ends up with someone else with Shinji's explicit blessing - or at least, finds her fulfillment & validation somewhere else & it's that other person who says the big "transformative line" for her.
The main reason that it's past-tense for Shinji's side is probably that he's seen her at her ugliest after the timeskip.(even if we can't really blame her for being a realistic war veteran - but one's feelings wouldnt be the same.)
And in that scene he's mainly thinking of what she needs to hear... and also thinking that he's about to die. He lets her know for fairness' sake & in case it brings her some comfort to knoew it wasnt 100% unrecruited back in the day;
But mostly he's just thanking her for making the effort of communicating that to him.

I've seen so many fanfics that basically went like -
Rei: "Ooops I meant that platonically Im just too dumb to know the difference"
Asuka: "Actually, I didn't mean it, Im actually not over you at all, which I also too stupid to know"
If they didn't realize the intention, there'd be no need to deny it so emphatically.

With the Kaworu situation they're always maintaining a certain degree of plausible deniability to leave it up to the viewer wether they want to read it as friendship or romance; But however you read it, that visual of them holding hands on the beach as a 'promise to get along' & Shinji saying that he will do his part from now on instead of always relying on Kaworu sure suggests that Kaworu is very important to him, at the very least as a friend.

As for Rei, I'd argue that her confession is actually the most "answered" out of the three.
The whole scene is framed in such a way to suggest a 'recognition' of the continuity between Rei's incarnations - he can't come with anything else to call her because she's ultimately too alike. At this point it's still vague, but when she gives her speech & there's that shot of his wide eyes, the way the plugsuit turns white as the life support fails, making her look more 'familiar'.
That bit is crucial - after all, if the various Reis were wholly unconnected persons, this would be rather like a toddler having a random crush on an older boy rather than two people meeting again in a circumstance where one doesn't remember. (and the other does not know if it's the same person or just one who painfully resembles them)
One might be inclined to fault him for not 'recognizing' her earlier, but I'd argue that actually the questioning was very much necessary. Rei herself didn't even know to which extent that she's the same (in that sense it's important that Hikari tells her to allow for the possibility of being different); Real understanding needs to allow for doubt & exploration, otherwise both yes and no could come from insincere reasons.

In any case, when Shinji makes this connection, that impacts how the following words hit - that it's really Rei saying this to him.
His response is to rush towards her to embrace her.
Is that not an answer?

Of course, because the movie is at the middle and not the end, this is complicated by the tragedy that he doesn't make it in time before she 'pops', but he's show to hug & sob into the empty plugsuit as a symbolic substitute to her presence.
The emotional energy of that gesture is very much directed at her.
If she was still there, he'd have been squeezing her pretty close to his person.

Contrast the no less moving, but decidedly familial hug with Misato (which also takes place in a tense scene where she's wounded so that feelings would be heightened, and absolutely made me cry many times) - it does not get an extreme closeup or 'buildup shots' tracking individual parelel musics, not split second repeated reaction shots (often a means to translate the "charge" in romantic touches onto film), they're leaning forward not overlapping as much as possible - it has the "relaxed" quality that is the specific wonderful quality of family hugs.

Also, since it's supposed to be a tragic scene & twist the knife, if you did not want to give the impression of reciprocation, you could make it even more tragic/painful by having Shinji say "Actually I like you in a different way" & then have her die before he can assure her that they'll still always be besties or before she can process it & come to closure over it - like when you reject Sayori's confession in DDLC.

While one could imagine Shinji crying into the clothes of a fallen comrade or friend also, it probably wouldn't be framed in this angle or position that seems to evoke a full body embrace with them on top of each other.
(And that line of Fuyutsukis about Gendo wanting to teach Shinji a lesson by inflicting to him something analogous to the loss of his wife would probably have a different phrasing, possibly referring to Gendo having no friends or no family; In any case, Shinji's response is very difference)

Most importantly, this moment is also a huge turning point in Shinji's path & the story - Though of course the care from & example provided by the others were already getting him on that trajectory, in one of the interviews Rei was described as the girl that "moves" him the most in the story.
(You can also be greatly moved & greatly inspired by a friend of course, but then you probably wouldn't make the turning point confession)
After this, something in him changes, his heart is touched, transformed - theres a big difference & how he acts before & after.
We're also repeated of Rei's role in this, like when he looks at the player in his room on the wunder and says her name in longing, or promise perhaps - or how her face is the last that flashes in the montage of the villagers, and its a shot specifically from the confession scene, too.

They each deliver each other's 'transformative lines'. (insofar as it can be pinned on one person; I don't want to emphasize the role played by the broader community including the grownup classmates) - for him it was probably the "ppl are nice to you because they like you"(and not ulterior motives), for her, if it wasn't said already in 2.0, it was probably that bit about how she too could find her own place - There's certainly a 'transformation' implied in how she goes from the dishevelled 'forgotten' look in her plugsuit (representing the 'pilot identity') to appearing in her school uniform (coming to see, & chosing to identify with the part of her life that is not a pilot)

It was definitely more important to have them discuss of wanting to start their new lives with new attitudes in the last scene than to give them cheesy lines that would only recapitulate what was sufficiently shown earlier.

He even acknowledges that she was kind of the wisest from the start, and in giving him the player, she was giving him the means to defeat Gendo. (and to some extent, so was Kaworu - who, to be fair, is also referenced on the wunder & during the final confrontation - and also gets looked at/ fixated on in the last scene, as theyre both standing next to each other - so many of these arguments would also hold true for him if you take the romantic reading; my view of the last scene is that it's not litterally the future but a vision of it in minus space, which Shinji only truly leaves when he walks off with Mari - mostly because it is the only interpretation that explains, the wakeup cut and the DSS choker and the presence of ppl that just left one by one)

I very much agree with the idea that it was probably best to leave the exact future somewhat vague to underline the point that the former pilots are now free and can do anything, especially live normal adult lives. Eva was never going to end with some distant epilogue where everyone is married or whatever.

But given that the other main cathete of the love triangle has been distinctly sunk & relegated to past tense, Rei has basically won... (again, unless you read Kaworu romantically; In any case, id assume that he got together with one and stayed forever BFF with the other. Or maybe even an OT3 situation..)




To open up a different topic of discussion, what do you guys think of the main trio as an OT3/polyship?

I've seen it done nice enough in a couple of FFs and it basically actually happened in SIRP and with somewhat less clarity in anima, but those are of course very specific fanservicey spinoffs going into specific niche appeals.
I mean I'd seen & the fetishy side of the appeal of having 2 very different girls is clear, but as one who's been in actual open relationships some part of me wants to take it seriously (as much as some querulant projecting part of myself wants to scream that Shikinami might be screwing Mari on the side)

In actuality Asuka frequently expresses jealousy, meaning that she'd probably want to be monogamous.
Again from a fetishy/tropey pov having her act jealously can be cute, but irl this would be way too frustrating.

Shinji would probably have to figure out commitment either way no matter who he gets with (possibly even more so, a relationship needs to be secure for proper negotiation), & even a monogamous Asuka would probably have to work on not being too jealous or wanting all the attentions all the time.

i got a sense that ppl sort of write that because they didnt want either to get left out/ left over

Which is a symptom of conflating "which girl should get shin-chan" with "which girl deserves to be happy"... to which the answer is obviously both.
But hapiness looks different for everyone & in any case marrying Shinji would not be an automatic immediate ticket to happiness by far. XD


...I'd be tempted to stick Mari with Nagara the helmswoman, mostly cause she's her one close associate other than Asuka. Also because lady with rough deep voice hot
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Re: Best Pair: What Eva Characters Do You Ship?

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Postby YTPrenewed » Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:10 pm

View Original PostKendrix wrote:In actuality Asuka frequently expresses jealousy, meaning that she'd probably want to be monogamous.

Beyond preferring monogamy, she doesn't seem to be even the slightest bit open to an open/polyamorous relationship involving Shinji.

SPOILER: Show
Image


It's funny how, before I got around to EoE, I interpreted Asuka as too jealousy-prone for polyamory based on a few remarks when she thought Shinji had "secret meetings" with Rei. Even then I didn't know they'd outright confirm it, even if Asuka put it off until the last minute.

And Shinji, of course, being the guy whose hesitation to make out with Asuka in ep 15 was seen by her as sincere (Asuka truly is inquisitive first and arrogant second, if insensitive in both) still seems to want to use whatever's left of Asuka's desire to keep him to herself to pull her away from her abrasive personality. It truly is a unique take on the "girl bully has a crush on you, date her to incentivize a sweeter personality and/or to be too lost in intimacy to care if you fail to do so" kind of subplot. Not that he still has a leg to stand on after what he did earlier in the movie.

Well, at least he isn't claiming he'd turn down non-committed intimacy over her personality. At least for any longer than it takes to ask a few follow-up questions about her motives, anyway.


View Original PostKendrix wrote:i got a sense that ppl sort of write that because they didnt want either to get left out/ left over

That too. That was part of why on other sites I used to suggest Sonic alternate between Sally and Mina instead of having to pick one and stick with her. Partly because I didn't want either to get left out permanently, and also because I'm picturing Sonic missing one or the other no matter which of the two he chooses. (Well, that and overcompensating for how dumb I felt at the time for letting my longing for a girl I wanted get in the way of going for the one rumored to want me that year...)

What I like about the Thrice Upon A Time moment when Asuka admits she... used to have a crush on Shinji but also no longer does, is that it's the best of both worlds. It's vindication for those who interpreted her that way, but at the same time a bittersweet reminder that a crush on someone isn't durable against everything... and on top of that, triples as a guiltfree path for writers to portray Shinji looking elsewhere. I can only imagine how much more poignant that was for those who waited decades for that moment than for those who only waited a year.


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