Asuka isn't Justified

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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby Blockio » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:36 am

Ah, I see.

Robowang wrote:
When Asuka drains the bathwater and says "I'm not going to use the same water Misato and Idiot Shinji bathed in," she precedes that with, "Disgusting."
Then when she's reformed from the LCL "water" in EoE, she says the same thing (or close equivilent). I wonder if there's any intended connection there.

That's an interesting paralell, good job pointing that out
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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby PenPen4life » Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:20 am

I'm really tired of seeing how many fanboys justify Asuka's behavior over Shinji. I watched Evangelion, thinking that I would probably end up hating Shinji because of the criticisms I had read on the internet, however I ended up despising Asuka.

Shinji killed Asuka, then tried to kill her again.

Asuka.....

showed him affection.

:um:

OP, you're drunk, go home.
Last edited by PenPen4life on Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby PenPen4life » Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:35 am

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:^ While interpretations of the show itself that involve actively shipping the characters are certainly things that exist, I think they misread how Evangelion presents human character development throughout the show. The show explicitly and blatantly piles so many psychological issues upon all of its characters that and honest reading of the show would make it implausible for all of these issues would be solved if one of the characters simply got a significant other.
.

"An honest reading"? You saying "there's too much issues", is purely your own projection, there is literally nothing in the text that even establishes the idea of a point of no return being a thing. (actually the opposite given, "everyone can choose to come back") All these issues are there and yet Shinji quite literally decides "Love is worth pain" in the story's climax. This isn't a matter of "honest reading", you're applying an absolute where the show doesn't list one. You're welcome to do that off course, but your reading isn't much more than speculative hearsay. There's no real difference between "they'll never love each other" and "they'll have a million babies together!", the show very much doesn't tell you what's going to happen in the future, and any honest reading would admit that both are perfectly viable. They could go there seperate ways and never see each other again, they could segway their emotional intimacy into something way deeper, or they could just choose one of the million options in between.

You're welcome to predict whatever you wish, but "honest reading" is language reserved for things shown definitively in the text. There's really nothing that qualifies for your arguments here. Your 'pillar' is made of glass.

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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby Derantor » Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:42 am

I think you misunderstood what he was trying to say. He is not commenting on whether or not they love each other or what happens to them down the line, he is simply stating that JUST having a significant other might not solve all their issues, meaning, they need other/more help then just simply starting a relationship and that solves all their problems.

"Shinji, I love you!" -> "No way, I love you too!" -> "Suddenly, my crippling depression is cured, I don't have anxiety or self esteem issues anymore, I don't need my father's approval, I forgot all the horrible stuff that happened to me in my Eva and I don't care that I destroyed the world." -> "Neat, same for me."

Also note that he is not speaking in absolutes - he is talking about plausibility. So, does Shinji need Asuka and vice versa? Probably. Is Asuka the ONLY thing he needs? Probably not. Just look at his eyes in the final scene. He probably suffers from PTSD at that point, so just getting a romantic partner is not going to solve that issue, unless that romantic partner happens to be a trained professional who can treat him.

PenPen4life wrote:Asuka..... showed him affection.

She also called him disgusting right after, wanted to possess him without giving anything back*** and basically drove him to "suicide" (see end of post) - oh, and don't forget that she said to him "If I had to be with you, I'd rather be dead." Add to that her behaviour in the series, constantly berating him, belittling him and blaming him for her problems. If you want to get really serious about it all, she also almost suffocated him by forcing him to kiss her, then blamed it all on him afterwards. That was before he ever actively tried to harm her, which happens only in EoE after he is totally broken down and crippled by guilt and the horrors around him.

You can blame Shinji for being passive and clueless throughout the series, and finally snapping once she crushed his final hope of connecting with anybody by blaming him for everything that went wrong between them. However, Shinji tried to open up to her and to support her as well - if you don't want to count EoE, throughout the series he shows concern for her wellbeing. Unless you want to pathologize all that behaviour as a simple need to not bother anybody without any true concern for the feelings of others, he was far more affectionate and kind to her than the other way around.

They are both to blame, but Asuka, thanks to being the more active part, tried to harm him more than he tried to harm her. Remember, Shinji retreats by default - if Asuka weren't constantly chasing after him, he would just never interact with her at all, which can be harmful to her pride, but isn't really his fault. He is under no obligation to engage with her if he doesn't want to.

***Asuka: "If I can't have everything of you, I don't want anything from you!" -> Meaning: I want to possess you utterly. You belong to me now.
Shinji: "Then try being nice to me." -> Okay, I will do everything you want from me, I just want a little kindness in return.
Everybody present: "We are being nice to you" -> No, they are not, not in the context Shinji is speaking about, but they think that they have to give him nothing more than they already have - especially doubtful in Asuka's case since she is nothing but hostile to him throughout the previous scenes, which is the context Shinji is speaking in.

Similar later on:
Shinji: "I want to help you and stay with you forever" -> Whether for selfish reasons or not, Shinji is offering something here.
Asuka: "[You just want to use me]" -> He is, again, offering to accept the deal she tried to strike with him earlier, but she is still unwilling to give anything back because he does things for the wrong reasons - her reasons, I might add.

PenPen4life wrote:Shinji killed Asuka,

Keep the context in mind. Shinji has just begged everybody to "Don't leave me! Don't abandon me! Don't kill me!" - to which Asuka says "No." And while staying with somebody is not something you are required to do, not killing somebody definitely is. But she'd rather see him dead then lift a finger, and THEN he snaps. Is that the right thing to do? No, but neither is what she is doing. In a sense, he is putting her words into action. "You'd rather see me dead, so I respond in kind." As for the later strangling, she did say she'd rather be dead than be with him. And there she is, again coming to him to lie at his side, even though she could go anywhere. So he is taking her by her word. Apparently, she has no choice but to be with him - she'd rather be dead, so he grants her wish.

Is any of that healthy? Hell no. But to put all the blame onto Shinji while whitewashing Asuka's behaviour is just as wrong as swinging the other way. Does her single caress really outweigh all that happened between them, especially when she is disgusted by him and the act itself immediatly after?

Edit: What I am trying to say is, you can justify hating either character, but in the end, if you condemn one, you have to condemn the other as well. Personally, I think they are about equal in their transgressions, and I hate neither of them. A useful excersise might also be to switch their genders and see if your assessment of the situation flips to its opposite; A male Asuka berating and abusing a female Shinji for basically the entirety of the series, with Fem-Shinji finally snapping and punching back sounds a little different, doesn't it?

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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby Reichu » Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:21 am

View Original PostPenPen4life wrote:Shinji killed Asuka, then tried to kill her again.

You want "honest", this isn't being honest. The first time, Asuka was already dead. :emogendo:
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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby PenPen4life » Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:17 pm

View Original PostDerantor wrote:I think you misunderstood what he was trying to say. He is not commenting on whether or not they love each other or what happens to them down the line, he is simply stating that JUST having a significant other might not solve all their issues, meaning, they need other/more help then just simply starting a relationship and that solves all their problems.

If we're going to discuss FFF's position, lets establish what his position is:
Exhibit A...

Neither romantically work

...

That's kinda one of the pillars to the whole point of the show.[/size]


Exhibit B...
I do think that interpreting the show in a way that concludes that Shinji would be happy and healthy with anybody in the emotional and psychological states as depicted in the show ignores the troubles of the characters that the show actively tries to revisit and explore.



From what I can tell, FFF's position is not, "shit's gonna be tuff". It is also not "this will not immediately happen." It is, this "will never happen." The first two are pretty reasonable and likely...

(though there's a non-insignificant chance they get over things quickly. Life is quite variable. Minor transgressions can lead to deep seeded depression. The most painful shit in the world can lead to quick detours. Even "they'll need years to overcome this" isn't really clear-cut.)

the last one is baseless and calling it an "honest reading" is bizarre. There's nothing to read in the text that would declare that. This only works with extra-text assumptions.

And while this is not explicitly stated and hence fits in the realm of speculation, I would guess that many of these kinds of predictions draw from a similar source. They focus on what they feel love should be as opposed to what it actually is both in the real world and in the world of evagellion. There is no magical threshold where attraction becomes pure and/or true. Love is a biological and psychological phenomena that becomes extremely plausible even on the simple existence of mutual physical attraction along with other various stand alone stimuli.(and I'm talking in a romantic sense, to be clear, there's tons of other forms of love. Even an emotional connection can be sufficient for all of them.) Hookups, sex, marriage, mutual emotional healing, "deep" relationships, draw from the same well. Love can just be there for fun, it can be there to heal, it can be there to cope. All of these relationships can be "healthy" assuming they provide mutual benefits, and these benefits can be reaped by people filled to the brim with issues. Some times these issues actually augment the benefit one reaps and allows for a higher tolerance of transgression. And for all these psychological issues that have piled up, it's important to see the forest for the trees.

Asuka and Shinji's interactions throughout the show lead to EXTREME pain. However, at the same time, both finding the will to live is highly unlikely to have occurred without these interactions. Assuming you consider the will to live "good", their (platonic) relationship was mutually beneficial. And those benefits would not have been possible if they hadn't gotten emotionally intimate.

Frankly, this alone provides a framework for a healthy relationship. It does not ensure it, but it does make it perfectly plausible.

And while this technically doesn't have to apply to Asuka, the final nail in exhibit b's coffin is Shinji's stated reason for coming back, "Love is worth pain." That doesn't really work if Shinji "can't have a healthy relationship with anyone." The hope that Shinji can is effectively the show's answer to the question: "why live?" It's pretty wild to suggest that hope is supposed to be an illusion.

She also called him disgusting right after,

This is trivial. It's barely a transgression, let alone something that requires justification.

wanted to possess him without giving anything back***

Wants don't require justification. Actions do.

and basically drove him to "suicide" (see end of post) - oh, and don't forget that she said to him "If I had to be with you, I'd rather be dead."

Suicide is a consequence of a variety of factors. What she actually did was say mean things and push him to the ground. Mean to be sure, not really equivalent to attempted murder or the experience of instrumentality.

Add to that her behaviour in the series, constantly berating him, belittling him and blaming him for her problems. If you want to get really serious about it all, she also almost suffocated him by forcing him to kiss her, then blamed it all on him afterwards. That was before he ever actively tried to harm her, which happens only in EoE after he is totally broken down and crippled by guilt and the horrors around him.

Again, none of this really comes close to attempting to kill someone. Asuka says mean shit, kicks him in the head. Shinji's suffocation was clearly not what Asuka was going for with the kiss. Chide her for recklessness, stupidity, ect, ect, but it's not really an act of evil.

You can blame Shinji for being passive and clueless throughout the series,

At no point did I blame Shinji for being passive and clueless. Heck I didn't even say he required "justification". But murder is simply not the same as being a jerk. Now Shinji did save her life multiple times, save the world multiple times, ect, ect, which is why I haven't made a post saying "omg Shinji's evil", ect. All I'm saying here is Asuka needing justificaiton only really works if you cherrypick the bad things she's done.
and finally snapping once she crushed his final hope of connecting with anybody by blaming him for everything that went wrong between them. However, Shinji tried to open up to her and to support her as well - if you don't want to count EoE, throughout the series he shows concern for her wellbeing. Unless you want to pathologize all that behaviour as a simple need to not bother anybody without any true concern for the feelings of others, he was far more affectionate and kind to her than the other way around.

You keep equating outcomes with actions. Asuka says mean stuff and kicks him, Shinji lets everyone in the world go right through her most intimate secrets and then tries to kill her.



Keep the context in mind. Shinji has just begged everybody to "Don't leave me! Don't abandon me! Don't kill me!" - to which Asuka says "No." And while staying with somebody is not something you are required to do, not killing somebody definitely is. But she'd rather see him dead then lift a finger, and THEN he snaps. Is that the right thing to do? No, but neither is what she is doing. In a sense, he is putting her words into action.

Right thing to do? She is under no obligation to help him. Indifference is not evil. The only people who actually live that sort of philosophy are those compelled to by tyrants. Asuka says and wants things, Shinji lets everyone violate her emotionally and then tries to kill her. She does kick him a couple times, but, yeah, not even close to equivalent.
" As for the later strangling, she did say she'd rather be dead than be with him.

Really?

The context was clearly talking about being with him in a social sense, not a literal "we share the same plane of existence" sense. That's a nonsense justification and you know it.

But to put all the blame onto Shinji while whitewashing Asuka's behaviour is just as wrong as swinging the other way. Does her single caress really outweigh all that happened between them, especially when she is disgusted by him and the act itself immediatly after?

Where did I whitewash her behavior? The issue seems to be you're cherrypicking things. Sure, Asuka says mean things and even kicks people. She also....

-> Saves Shinji and Rei's life
-> Saves the world Multiple times
-> Lets Shinji off the hook for attepting to kill her

Any one of those three is more than enough to outweigh all of her sins. The combination of the three renders this thread ridiculous.

Edit: What I am trying to say is, you can justify hating either character, but in the end, if you condemn one, you have to condemn the other as well. Personally, I think they are about equal in their transgressions, and I hate neither of them. A useful excersise might also be to switch their genders and see if your assessment of the situation flips to its opposite; A male Asuka berating and abusing a female Shinji for basically the entirety of the series, with Fem-Shinji finally snapping and punching back sounds a little different, doesn't it?

I don't condemn either. Frankly both deserve steaks and a hug from pen-pen for all the shit they went through. But no, my rationale has zilch to do with gender. Killing is worse than kicking people and saying mean things. I dont care if its a man or a woman. Asuka let Shinji off the hook for waaay worse than anything she did. She's more than even.

View Original PostReichu wrote:You want "honest", this isn't being honest. The first time, Asuka was already dead. :emogendo:

FFF brought up honesty, not me. But yeah, fair enough. The actual crime was subjecting her to instrumentality which is arguably multiple levels up from rape.

Strangling her after was icing on the cake.

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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby Reichu » Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:29 am

@PenPen4Life:

Forum Guidelines wrote:Use quotes properly.

Stick to the main points. Don’t respond line-by-line to every little thing said (aka omnislashing).
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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby Derantor » Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:35 am

Again, you mistake "all their issues are resolved by having a romantic partner is implausible" for an absolute rejection of the possibility (implausible =/= impossible), and that was what I tried to comment on, and frankly, that's all there is to it. You commented on that specific post, which explicitely does not state what you said it states. Other than that, I can't comment on his position. He already conceded that there is the possibility, so whatever his personal stance on the matter is is immaterial to the point I was making.

I agree with most of what you said, except this:
Asuka and Shinji's interactions throughout the show lead to EXTREME pain. However, at the same time, both finding the will to live is highly unlikely to have occurred without these interactions. Assuming you consider the will to live "good", their (platonic) relationship was mutually beneficial. And those benefits would not have been possible if they hadn't gotten emotionally intimate.

I think you have that backwards. They both lost their will to live in part because of that relationship and while we do not know Asuka's reasons for returning, we know that Shinji want's to see his friends again and choses reality over the dreamworld - the extremely painful relationship you mentioned would be part of the negatives he accepts, not one of the positives he chose to try to find again, as it was precisely this relationship that gave him the final push to try and end it all.

Where did I whitewash her behaviour?

Reducing their characters to "Shinji killed her" and "Asuka was kind to him" is basically that, implying there is no reason to despise Asuka and that a single act of kindness makes all her behaviour prior totally fine and dandy. That's why I went on that whole spiel pointing out that there's more to the story. Your post read like it is stupid to hate Asuka because she shows him affection once but totally OK to hate Shinji because he tried to kill her when she is one of the reasons he is suffering so much in the first place. You commented on a post talking about her behaviour; I tried to point out that there is a lot in her behaviour that people can rightly despise. So yes, I am cherrypicking objectionable behaviour. I specifically pointed out that Shinji was not in his right mind in EoE when his worst transgressions happened, making those not exactly indicative of his normal behaviour, and that Asuka's aggression started way before he actively tried to harm her, making it normal behaviour for her.

I don't want to get into omnislashing, so I'll only respond to this single thing:
Right thing to do? She is under no obligation to help him. Indifference is not evil.

Yes, helping somebody who is suffering is the right thing to do, no matter how you slice it. No, you are not obligated to do that, unless it is an emergency, in which case a refusal to do so would be denial of assistence, and thats more or less how I view the situation in the kitchen at that point. Shinji is on the verge of a complete mental breakdown, begging for help and not to be killed, to which she says no, which can only mean she wants him dead. I consider that about as evil as letting a baby drown despite being able to offer assistence, so yeah. I guess that's where our different moral judgment stems from, and why I said I consider them about equal if we keep in mind that Shinji was not of sound mind when his worst transgressions happened.

I should have been more clear in my edit that the gender stuff was addressed at everybody, not you specifically, and was meant as a thought experiment, not an accusation, in the context of people hating one or the other character, which this was all about.

Edit: Also, making Shinji responsible for the mindrape that Asuka suffered because of Instrumentality when he was neither aware of the consequences of his actions nor intending for it (he wished for everybody to die quite clearly, not "Please mash everybody together and re-enact Arael's attack on Asuka three billion times again, thx Rei!") seem dubious.

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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby Shun » Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:36 am

Assuming that the kitchen scene is real, Asuka is unable to help Shinji, because she is also depressed and is drowning in her mind. The difference between Shinji and Asuka is how they deal with their pain and what they ask outside.

Shinji faces his pain in introverted way by closing in himself and running away, and asks passively (mellifluous way): dependence, benevolence and indulgence. Shinji wants to depend on others (amae), to the extreme he wants to become one with them. Shinji wants to unite with everyone.

Asuka faces her pain in a narcissistic way, showing off security and independence, and actively asks (arrogant way): attention, strength, security. Asuka wants to be independent by others (rejection), to the extreme she wants to become the only being. Asuka wants to reject everyone.

Kitchen scene.
Shinji tells Asuka that he wants to help her. But it's not really true. Shinji doesn't want to help Asuka, he wants Asuka to help him, so he wants to depend on her (amae).
Asuka replies that he does not want help (refusal) and tells Shinji that he is afraid of everyone, that he is looking for refuge in other people and that despite being alone he does not love himself.
Shinji, hit in full by Asuka's quills, starts shouting for help, he doesn't want to be abandoned, he doesn't want to be killed. It is Shinji's latest addiction attempt.
Asuka says no. It is Asuka's last refusal.
Shinji Is unable to help Asuka, Asuka is unable to help Shinji.

Why? What's the point? The point is that Shinji and Asuka are both "mentally ill" and are unable to communicate and manage relationships with others. Neither of them are able to takes care of themselves, neither of them really cares about other people, neither of them are able to communicate, neither of them are able to behave in appropriate mode, neither of them are able to help other people. Why? Because Shinji and Asuka experienced traumas and for various reasons have become so. In addition, because they are part of Anno's identity, and he was unable to do these things, he was unable to live. Probably, Shinji is the Anno's part that depends on others, Asuka is the Anno's part that rejects others.
But despite all this, at the end of the movie Shinji and Asuka return to the world. They have been unable for many years, it is true, but life continues, and as long as you are alive you can try to change. Day by day, year by year, each of them could change, and learn to live. In the beach scene it's still too early, it's only the starting point for them, for Anno and for spectators.
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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby Derantor » Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:46 am

Yeah, that is the most common read of the scene, which makes them morally equal as well since neither of them is able to control their actions, which was the argument. PenPen4Life argued that Shinji's attempt to strangle Asuka is worse than what she has ever done to him, which only holds true if he is of sound enough mind to actually make a valid choice, in which case, the same goes for Asuka, as I see them as basically equal in their states of mind during Pre-Instrumentality. So her choice of saying "No" would then be a deliberate decision, not an inevitablity. Inability then becomes unwillingness, which in my eyes spreads the mallice equally again, but not in his, which is our point of contention I think. Edit: Or to put it differently: He is saying that Asuka was entirely within her right to refuse him, which I don't contest in the slightest, while I say that it was still the morally wrong choice IF she is in a position to even make a deliberate choice.

Incidently, I don't see Shinji as completely unable to help Asuka, as he is still of sound enough mind to not only offer her help with little expectations for a reward (train scene, which points to altruism), but also understands what is wrong with their interactions ("It is impossible to understand if you don't tell me") and offers her to stay with her forever - something he is able to do, given their circumstances of being in an environment removed from outside influences. If Asuka would have accepted what she proposed in the first place, they'd enter into a deeply mutually dependent relationship from that point onward, which might go either way, helping them or destroying them completely, depending entirely on the level of empathy Asuka can muster and Shinji's pain threshold, since they are in the unique position of being exact opposites when it comes to their behaviour while facing exactly the same issues of lack of self-worth and abandonment, and are in an environment where it is possible to share memories and feelings directly, which means that they could "rub off" on each other enough to make progress. I realize that it didn't work out that way in Pre-Instrumentality and that it is highly unlikely that it ever could have, but things with 0.00000001% chance happen all the time in Eva, so I don't dismiss the possiblity completely.

Edit: Just saw your edit. I disagree that they were entirely unable to communicate or live by themselves for years. Up to about episode 16, they are more or less normal teenagers. Their issues are there, but are not crippling, they are made that way by Anno precision bombing them with exactly the right circumstances to drive them over the edge for the rest of the series. The beach scene is to early for what? You say that immediatly after saying they are "able to learn living day by day", so I don't quite get what you are referring to. If you meant to say that they are not healthy in the beach scene, then I agree, obviously.

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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby PenPen4life » Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:08 am

In light off line by line rebutalls being against board policy I'm just gonna skip the meta-analysis of what FFF is saying.



I think you have that backwards. They both lost their will to live in part because of that relationship and while we do not know Asuka's reasons for returning, we know that Shinji want's to see his friends again and choses reality over the dreamworld - the extremely painful relationship you mentioned would be part of the negatives he accepts, not one of the positives he chose to try to find again, as it was precisely this relationship that gave him the final push to try and end it all.

I was comparing the two at the start of NGE to the end of EOE. You're right in that they weren't suicidal at the start, but Shinji was nihlistic and all it would have ever take for Asuka to become outright suicidal is not being the best. They hadn't lost the will to live, that was inaccurate of me, but I'd argue they were in a signifcantly worse place at the start of the show and by the end of it. And I'd also argue the growing pains of emotional intimacy was a crucial part in that shift. Frankly, in the absence of their interactions they're both dead and even if we get around that they don't ever break their unsustainable facades. Extremely painful for sure, but I'd say they, and the world itself ended up benefitting, both in the practical sense(tough to live if ur dead), and the psychological sense.

The extremely painful relationship being a negative doesn't really hold up to scruinty because Shinji specifically cites Asuka, along with others, as one of the reasons he wants to come back. He wants to try and engage in relationships(plantonic or otherwise) with the people he remembers, including Asuka, in spite of the potential for pain. So reading his interactions with Asuka as simply an annoyance he realizes he'll have to make do with isn't really compatible with the text(unless you think he was lying).

implying there is no reason to despise Asuka

I never implied there was no reason to despise her. I implied that saving humanity and essentially forgiving mega rape and attempted murder FAAR outweighs kicking people and verbal bullying. I'm saying she did far more good than bad despite a hilariously tough set of circumstances.


Yes, helping somebody who is suffering is the right thing to do,

Okay? Not helping still isn't wrong. Choices are not right or wrong or black and white. Indifference is indifference and does not suddenly become evil or good because of what external circumstances cause here. Letting someone die is not anymore evil than letting someone save someone is good. You're applying hindsight analysis where a negative outcome retroactively makes a nuetral action worse. I think that's nonsense. Asuka refusing to help Shinji is not evil, whether she was in the right state of mind or not. That it happened to lead to death in a extreme set of circumstances doesn't make the action worse than if it would have resulted in Shinji being sad for 2 hours. Moral principles needs to be applied consistently, not when convenient.

Shinji did things, Asuka refused to do things. These are not equivalent under any state of mind.


Edit: Also, making Shinji responsible for the mindrape that Asuka suffered because of Instrumentality when he was neither aware of the consequences of his actions nor intending for it (he wished for everybody to die quite clearly, not "Please mash everybody together and re-enact Arael's attack on Asuka three billion times again, thx Rei!") seem dubious.

Alright then, he double killed her. You can frame this however you want, Asuka does not need the same level of justification as Shinji does. Her evils simply weren't close to his.

You seem to have ignored where I said "I don't think Shinji needs justification" for some reason, but this doesn't really change that Asuka is not tied to Shinji. You don't need to justify Shinji to justify Asuka because Shinji did far more atrocious things. Appealing to moderation doesn't make your stance reasonable.

Also i'm not sure why I conceded "Asuka was dead", she wasn't, instrumentality brought her back to life. Otherwise she wouldn't have been in position to refuse Shinji in the first place.

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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby Reichu » Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:22 am

^ The snippiness, hyperbole, and moralizing isn't needed.
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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby Shun » Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:27 am

Determining whether Asuka acted deliberately or not seems impossible to me, EoE shows us that children are depressed. However I consider the hypothesis.

Well, summary:
* If Shinji and Asuka's choices aren't deliberate, then they are morally equal;
* If Shinji and Asuka's choices are deliberate, then for some people they are morally equal, while for others the strangulation is worse than "No".

If from a logical point of view Asuka's deliberate "No" is not functional, Shinji's deliberate decision to go to Asuka to offer her a false help is also not logically functional. Asuka knew (?) that Shinji was depressed and didn't help him, similarly Shinji had to think that Asuka would refuse him, yet he went to her and offered her a selfish help (I help you because I want to get a personal advantage).

Shinji: I want to help you in some way... and to be with you forever.
Asuka: Then, don't do anything. Don't come near me anymore... Because all you ever do is hurt me.
Shinji: Asuka, help me! You're... you're the only one that can!


Shinji change idea in 2 seconds, the fastest change of mind in history, revealing immediately his selfish intention. Sure, Shinji partly asks Asuka to help him help her, that is, to allow him to help her, but this is only superficial. Shinji isn't really like that. Shinji wants to depend on others, and this is repeated several times in both NGE and EoE.

ANNO: That’s the same thing as I [myself] becoming an adult. I’m often asked if Shinji-kun [represents] an old version of myself, but that’s not the case. Shinji-kun is my current self (laughing). I act like a fourteen-year-old boy; I’m still childish. No matter how you look at it, in psychological terms, I’m [still] in the Oral Stage. A melancholic oral-dependent type. Well, this is a truth I can’t deny; I can’t do anything about it. I wanted to move forward from there, but the result was that I ended up regressing back to myself. A dead end.

Morality is the object studied in ethics, but morality is not one, there are many different morality because there are many sets of norms and values ​​that can be chosen as a reference. There are no right and wrong absolute, good and bad absolute, but they are relative to the chosen value system. We cannot impose our moral system on someone else's work, we must ask ourselves what the value system imposed by author. Any discussion that is independent of the author's point of view can potentially last indefinitely, since everyone sees and judges things from their own perspective, rather than from the author's perspective. Determining what the author's point of view is difficult, but I think it is important to try to understand it.

In EoE I don't see characters giving a negative moral judgment about Asuka, but I see Rei telling Shinji that he is wrong to thinking about certain things.

Shinji: but ambiguity only makes me insecure.
Rei: that's just an excuse.
Shinji: Nobody understands me.
Rei: You didn't understand anything.
Shinji: I thought it was supposed to be a world without unpleasantness... without uncertainity.
Rei: Because you thought that everyone else was like you.
Shinji: Betrayed! You've betrayed my feelings!!
Rei: You've misunderstood from the start. You simply assumed without asking.
Shinji: Nobody wants me. So, everybody just die.
Rei: Then, what are those hands for?
Shinji: Nobody cares whether I exist or not... Nothing will change.
So, everybody just die.
Rei: Then, what is that heart for?
Shinji: It'd be better if I wasn't here either. So I should just die, too.


This seems to me a direct judgment, as if Anno entered the scene and told Shinji through the divine Rei that he is wrong. Conversely, Asuka is never reprimanded in such a way.

In EoE Shinji behaves several times worse than Asuka, masturbates watching Asuka in the hospital, does not help Asuka in the fight against MP-Eva where she risks dying, strangles Asuka in the kitchen risking to kill her, sentence all humanity to death, finally, strangle Asuka again on the beach. Conversely Asuka rejects Shinji with words.
This makes me think that Anno's moral judgment hits Shinji's thoughts and behaviors more than Asuka's. And I don't think it happens because Shinji is the protagonist, but I think it happens because Anno considers Shinji's selfish-dependent behavior morally worse. Shinji is the main part of Anno's identity, so it's the most criticized part.
Indeed, Shinji makes physical gestures with which he can actually kill Asuka. Vice versa, "No" and other verbal refusals hits the psyche, but doesn't directly bring death, doesn't help those who receive it, true, but doesn't kill directly. So that of drowning is a logical fallacy of false analogy. So, Shinji's behavior is worse, according to Anno.

In the previous comment I wrote that Shinji and Asuka are parts of Anno's personality. Anno said he is an oral-dependent type, i.e. a person like Shinji, has high expectations of himself, like Asuka, and hates himself, like Shinji and Asuka. Strangulation can also be understood metaphorically as a judgment that Anno focuses on his high expectations (Asuka). In this sense, Anno kills a part of himself (Asuka), and then lets Shinji die (It'd be better if I wasn't here either. So I should just die, too). But this is my subjective metaphorical interpretation. The main point of the show are criticisms of Shinji's thoughts and behavior.

In short:
* Shinji hates himself, depends on others, is selfish, cowardly, weak, introverted, constantly complains, not really interested about others. It is the part of Anno with these characteristics. It is the main part of Anno.
* Asuka hates herself, is narcissistic, does not want to be helped and rejects everyone. It is the part of Anno with these characteristics.
* Shinji's behavior is dysfunctional, Asuka's behavior is dysfunctional.
* Anno criticizes/kill the narcissistic part of himself, which refuses everyone and does not want to be helped.
* Anno criticizes/kill even more the dependent part of himself, cowardly, selfish, weak, introverted, constantly complains, not really interested about others, who asks for indulgence, benevolence and unambiguity.

I disagree on the hypothesis of 0.000000001%. Speculating about "what if" is useless, because the show doesn't show this, it becomes a fanfiction. If Shinji had done so, if Asuka had done this way, if Misato had said this, if Gendo had done so, etc. No, I don't like this method, sometimes I use it, but really carefully, only when the probability percentage is more significant, i.e. meets some criteria. A book or a film is like our past life, it cannot be changed, it's just the way it is. Because what happens is what the author wants to show, that is, the content that the author wants to convey to us.
In EoE there is no true altruism in Shinji's words. Anno is criticizing himself very heavily. Maybe I'm not good enough to explain what I mean. I try this way: as long as we look for the problem outside ourselves, depression will not be resolved.
Do people say ambiguous things? It doesn't matter.
Do people say things that can hurt? It doesn't matter.
Do people say things implicitly rather than explicitly? It doesn't matter.
Do people say lies? It doesn't matter.
Do people do anything else? It doesn't matter.

The problem is not other people, the problem is my thoughts, my words and my behaviors. Do you know Stoicism? A solution like this.

For the avoidance of doubt: this is my partial interpretation of Anno's thought, of his moral point of view, and of his criticism. I can't say I have 100% certainty, of course, but I think more or less this way.

I disagree that they were entirely unable to communicate or live by themselves for years.

I badly explained myself. I meant that they have traumas from their childhood, and they hid the problem under the carpet, so they lived normally only superficially. For example Shinji lived passively even when he was with the tutor. But obviously, as you say, the difficulties then increased during the series, or rather they came out like a geyser.

If you meant to say that they are not healthy in the beach scene, then I agree, obviously.

They are a little better than before (kitchen scene), + 0.1%, but they still have a long way to go. It's only the beginning.

NGE and EoE show the importance of meet himself and other people. Already in the first few episodes Misato says "he will realize in time that growing up is to get a sense of distance among the others for hurt feelings each other."

Shinji and Asuka hate themselves, this is because Anno didn't appreciate himself, as he said in an interview.
Shinji and Asuka's behaviors are both dysfunctional, they lead nowhere. This show clearly shows it, and I wrote it in the previous comment. Asuka behaves in a dysfunctional way, Shinji too, but worse. Probably because he his the main part of Anno.
Do their behaviors also depend on the outside world? Yes. But if the outside world doesn't change, I can't keep making mistakes because of the outside world. If the outside world does not change, then I must be the one to learn to manage my thoughts, my words and my behaviors. In the kitchen scene Asuka and Shinji are not able to do it, unknowingly or knowingly, but in the end of film and in the beach scene there is an improvement of + 0.1%, and it is only the beginning.

NGE
Shinji: I hate myself.
Rei: Those who hate oneselves cannot love or trust others.
Misato: If you know yourself, you can be kind to others.


EoE
Misato: You hate yourself, right? That's why you hurt other people... Because you know that hurting other people is more painful than hurting yourself. But, no matter what happens, remember that it was your decision. And that makes it worthwhile, Shinji - Because you decided by yourself! So stop lying to yourself... Think about what you can do... And then live with your decisions. Nobody's perfect. You realize that you've made a mistake, and then regret it... That's all I've ever known. Nothing but empty happiness and hating myself. But... I feel like I always grew from the experience! Listen, Shinji. Pilot Eva once more and find yourself. Pilot Eva to face the questions "Why did you come here?" "Why are you here?" Find your own answers.

I hope I have explained clearly my point of view.

- - -

I conclude with a question: have you seen Isao Takahata's film Hotaru no Haka (Studio Ghibli)? If so, how do you interpret Seita's aunt's behavior from your moral point of view?
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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby Derantor » Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:38 am

@PenPen4life:Regarding their mental states at the start vs. the end: I see your point.

Regarding the return: Yes, that was what I was trying to say: He returns despite the pain. Him remembering his past interactions with Asuka or the current and most likely future state of their relationship is not his reason to return, though, it is the painful reality he has to accept. Pain is something negative, and their relationship is overall pretty painful, so it ends up on the negatives he balances against the positives (those being knowing that his feelings are real and the continued possibility of interaction by being alive). I possibly worded that badly the first time around.

You're applying hindsight analysis where a negative outcome retroactively makes a nuetral action worse. I think that's nonsense.

I was looking at this from the future analysis point of view: Which choice will most likely grant me benefits in the future? So, in the general sense, helping somebody else to survive will allow that somebody to possibly help me in the future. Possibly that somebody could end up being detrimental for me, but if there is nobody else besides me, I will have to face the future alone. If everybody where to chose inaction over action, that would be detrimental for everybody, since it would increase the overall level of suffering. While it is true that we can only know in hindsight which choice was the correct one, we can make guesses towards the future. Some situations are more clear cut than others. The more obvious the right path to the future, the more wrong to not take it.

Indifference is indifference and does not suddenly become evil or good because of what external circumstances cause here.

I don't think that's true. Driving down a road and indifferently not steering away when somebody is standing on the road makes that an malicious act, depending on the circumstances: If I can see the person clearly and am sound enough to know that if I do nothing, I will cause harm, it is my moral obligation to at least try and avoid a collision. "I do not care what happens to that person" is not a neutral motivation if the negative consequences of my actions informed by it are visible to me beforehand.

Combining those two positions, with the proviso that Shinji's and Asuka's world is reduced to two people, the choice to not help is brought up in reach and severity, which makes those choices about equal. Since Asuka seems a little more sane than Shinji, his choice is not as much his responsibility as Asuka's is hers. Moral relativism at its finest, I guess.

Anyway, I share your position that neither of them needs justification. And yes, you are right, strangling somebody out of mallice is not equal to refusing to help somebody out of indifference.

@Shun: You explained yourself very clearly, no worries. I really can not add much to what you said. I think you are probably right in your exhaustive explanation of Anno's intentions. I don't have anything to add to that right now, so I'm sorry that your long post doesn't get the reply it deserves.

Edit: Yes, my analogy was bad and hyperbolic. So I agree with your interpretation of Anno's criticism regarding Shinji.

I haven't seen the movie you asked me about, so I sadly can't answer that either.

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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby Shun » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:08 am

@Derantor: Don't worry about the answer, thank you for reading. Takahata's film is very beautiful but very sad, I recommend it! (I love Takahata's films ❤️)
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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby Derantor » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:36 am

@Shun: To add a little to Anno's intentions: When keeping in mind that he complained about the lack of mental healthcare and the attitude towards it in Japan, I can not help but think that the kitchen scene is pointing it's finger at that fact. Shinji is unable to help himself; He doesn't know what's wrong with him, he doesn't know what he could to better, he doesn't understand anything. The only option he has at this point is outside help, which is precisely what he asks for. Dependent behaviour for sure, but he is at that point completely dependent on the outside world. If we take Asuka to be a stand-in for all of humanity, or "The Other" in general, he is asking for guidance from all of them and they refuse him: "We are nice to you. It is your problem that you do not understand what we are saying. Figure it out for yourself."

That means: Humanity is saying "The status quo is fine. Deal with it or die." As it is shown with Third Impact, the first part is shown to be false. The status quo leads to the destruction of the world. By neglecting Shinji's needs, humanity is neglecting it's own needs. Shinji needs kindness to survive, as does humanity. I also think we need to make a distinction when we talk about the "Outside world". Physical reality is governed by unchangeable physical law. So in that sense, we can not change the world around us. But humanity IS able to change. So we can change humanity around us, and vice versa.

Somebody has to break destructive cycle they find themselves in, and Shinji can not do it. So somebody has to do it for him. If humanity does not change for Shinji, he can not change for them. We see this in Pre-Instrumentality: There is no change in behaviour towards Shinji at all compared to the series (depending on your point of view, it actually gets worse), and it makes him worse and worse. He only gets better when he is alone with Rei, and her behaviour is different from the combined behaviour of the people he was with before. That changes Shinji from being suicidal to deciding to keep on living.

So while Shinji's behaviour is the problem addressed, the solution lies wholly without himself. If he gets denied that solution, nothing will change. Somebody has to help Shinji help himself. If nobody is willing to do it, he will die. His death is equated with the death of all of humanity through Instrumentality. "Humanity, if you kill Shinji, Shinji will kill you." That's why I see Anno condemning all sides equally, here.

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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby Shun » Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:21 pm

It is an interesting hypothesis, without a doubt, but I would not be able to give you a meaningful opinion beyond the previous comment. Considering that in episode 26 Shinji participates in a psychotherapy session, and in EoE he talks with Rei during HIP, I think that the help that Anno intended was the specialist one, that is, what he himself had done during that period of crisis. A really depressed person or a hikikomori need specialist help, a normal person, like me, would not know how to help them.

The reason I mentioned Hotaru no Haka is because Seita and her sister starve to death in the film at the end of World War II. When the film was released in Japan, many viewers empathized with Seita, and felt "annoyance" for his aunt and for the indifferent behavior of people. Takahata explained that his real intention wasn't that, Seita died because of him, because he not bear the difficulties. Takahata lived the WWII when he was a child, one day he lost his family in the crowd during the bombing, and nobody offered him even a potato crumb. Fortunately, days later he found his family. Anno in an interview said that Takahata is a real adult, a man whose eyes are frightening. Miyazaki in an interview said he is pusillanimous compared to Takahata.
So, my feeling is that Anno criticized Shinji more of other characters for his inability to accept things, just like Seita. Young people born after WWII, in well-being society after 1960, had struggle to live accepting the surrounding world as it is, so they get depressed and would like things to be different. Takahata stoically criticized this way of thinking, and my feeling is that Anno has tried to force himself to do such a thing. The difference, however, is that Takahata was used to living like this, while Anno no, and it isn't even now. Anno is a big little boy, while Takahata was a really adult.

You can read the Takahata's considerations in this italian page (use google translate): https://yupa.neocities.org/honyaku/takahota.html

This doesn't mean that Takahata thought that it wasn't desirable to improve things, as he wishes to the new generations in the end of the intervention. Simply according to him, people must learn to endure difficulties.

Finally, in EoE Rei, Kaworu and Yui don't say that in order to live Shinji must wait that the difficulties with people to be less thanks to everyone's ability to collaborate and improve, but they tell him that this is simply a heart's hope, it's important but it's not the tool you can rely on. The tools you can rely on are "will" and "power of imagination". Each person will have to act thanks to his own personal strength, otherwise nothing will change.

But as I said, this is simply my point of view, my feeling, I have no absolute certainty that Anno thought this. But I won't change my mind.
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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby Derantor » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:38 pm

Oh, I don't want to change your mind. I was simply offering my perspective as an addition to the possible messages directed at the audience, not to contest the message directed at Shinji. ^_^ Again, you are most likely right in your interpretation (I only use a qualifier here because, well, nobody can know Anno's intentions for sure).

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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby Shun » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:56 pm

Yep, fortunately we are not in Anno's mind, what a chaotic place! :lol:

Btw, on this page there is an interview in English with Takahata who talks about the same things, if you prefer English instead of Italian.
https://iwatchanimebecauseprettycolors. ... t-one/amp/
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Re: Asuka isn't Justified

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Postby C.T.1290 » Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:41 pm

I agree with you on this. Despite the kind of person Asuka is, all the things she had done, they still continue to find ways to justify her actions.

Like you, I am fully aware of Asuka’s past, the reason she came to be that way, and that still doesn’t excuses her behavior, not by a long shot.

The fanboys continue to glorify her, forgetting that she’s a narcissist at the core of her being. Yes, Shinji has it just as bad as Asuka, but at least he has some humility. He does his best to stay on people’s good side whereas Asuka doesn’t.

I don’t know why people try to look for something in Asuka that isn’t even there.
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