Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition").
The third installment debuted in Japan on November 17, 2012.

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Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby Reichu » Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:45 pm

Contrary to the absurd title, this post is not actually going to be a meticulous breakdown of the ridiculous piano scenes, even though they probably contain the secrets of Shinji's Former Life As A God Warrior Of Atlantis or something crazy like that.

So unlike most parts of Q, I have spent extremely little effort on the analysis of the piano scenes, probably because they make me extremely uncomfortable. I'm guessing the whole "person who has been fantasizing about you for years from a distance, and is now older than you, and has always known an ungodly amount of shit about you while you currently know jack and shit about them, and has been gradually grooming you under conditions of soul-crushing isolation into agreeing to get into the proverbial windowless van with them" element of proceedings is responsible for this. The relationship was less than ideal in NGE, but NTE has driven it over the cliff into a bottomless pit of "holy shit that is fucking creepy and why does anyone want this to be a thing". But anyway, while uncharacteristically reviewing one of the blatantly homoerotic piano scenes, I realized for the first time just how over-the-top homoerotic it actually was. I'm sure somebody has noticed this before, but I've never seen it mentioned here, so here goes.

Fig.1  SPOILER: Show
Image

KAWORU:
Sounds are so much fun.
It's great to play together.

This is right as they finish their duet. Now, it's easy to notice on a casual viewing the almost comedically absurd detail of Shinji working up a sweat whenever he's at that piano bench or even when he's just practicing in his room. But look very closely at Kaworu here. First, observe as his body goes from being curled over to abruptly stiffening straight. If you know anything about Adult Stuff at all, you should be able to recognize this as a characteristic depiction of a male orgasm. Well, okay. It's not like Eva has never depicted orgasms before, big deal, who cares if he's getting off via a piano. Oh, but look at that storyboarding! As Kaworu stiffens in ecstasy, Shinji is compositionally placed so that, as the cut proceeds, it looks more and more like-- come on, do I really need to say it?

Fine, then! It looks like Kaworu is topping him and finishing off. And Shinji, having had his virginity taken at a piano bench by some creepy pale dude, can only smile stupidly about it. (The bondage collar, plus Shinji looking surprised exactly when the ejaculation would happen, make the visual metaphor so much more, errrr, vivid, wouldn't you agree?)

Now arguably, this is just Anno and friends having a bit of fun, with full awareness of how it will look to the fujoshi. But it can also mean more than one thing, can't it? If you want to look at this at a level beyond "lol butt sex" or "zomg KawoShin otp"... I mean, it kind of plays into the whole "grooming" narrative, I would argue. (If one accepts that this premise is sound and I am not simply hallucinating it, anyway.) The movie itself is saying, "Look at how Kaworu acts nice to Shinji and gets him alone so he can burrow intimately inside him and make him feel awesome, creating an emotional dependency that will later enable Kaworu to make his big move and force Shinji to be 'happy' his way and stay with him forever and ever and ever and never run off with sinful snake-ladies ever again." Shinji gets metaphorically fucked the very first time Kaworu calls him over, and he's so psychologically unwell that he keeps coming back for more. Running right back into the hands of your abuser, eh? Hey, Shinji, isn't that how you ended up at New Nerv in the first place?

Well, anyway. If a piano duet is sex, then we all know what this means, right?

Fig.2  SPOILER: Show
Image


Please, Anno, give the boy a little privacy.
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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby melonpan » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:44 am

i'm... having trouble figuring out whether this could be a valid statement/argument or if its a joke. :chuckles:
we never know when it comes to good ol' Anno. hell, its might as well be both.

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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby ShinjiStranglesAsuka » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:10 am

I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not this analysis is tongue-in-cheek.

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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:10 am

Regardless of Reichu's intent (I think it's sincere), I think this is a very valid interpretation of the scene. It's been discussed elsewhere that Kaworu almost certainly has ulterior motives when it comes to Shinji. Reichu already pointed out Kaworu's parasocial fawning over Shinji prior to Eva Q, and then after the piano scenes Kaworu seems to tell Shinji things that don't quite line up with what we, the audience, saw at the end of Eva Ha.

So, in context of the rest of Eva, Kaworu is overly fond of Shinji prior to ever meeting him, has metaphorical sex with Shinji in the piano scenes, creates a false sense of security for Shinji (Kaworu never once told Shinji that he was an Angel until it was too late, because it would just pout Shinji off towards having a relationship with him), feeds Shinji very apparent lies about how N3I really went down, and then, after bringing him to his lowest point, offers a false hope via the Spears in Nerv's basement.

It fits the narrative. The context is consistent. I believe the piano scene is about gay sex.

(Shinji miming the piano in the very next cut being metaphoric masturbation sounds a little funny, but Anno's always had a sense of humor about these things anyway, so...)
Live-Action Lofi Hip Hop Radio beats to relax/study to

Details about the making of the video here.

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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby Derantor » Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:36 am

I am happy that my gut feeling that Kaworu is a fucking (heh) creepy false prophet/seventies hippy guru moving to India to build a harem of easily impressible teens by hooking them on drugs was basically accurate. God damn hippies.

(That said - piano players do get weird. I don't want to know how I look when I play, and it's very easy to work up a sweat. Doesn't help that I play Wagner, who always has very heavy sexual undertones in his music - the whole of Tannhäuser is basically one big "Platonic love is overrated, lets also fuck a lot" statement railing against the sex-negative attitudes of the times. Ehh, I digress ...)

Regarding the second gif, that scene always struck me more as Shinji being frustrated, rather than exhausted from masturbation. He is air-piano playing, but I think deep down, he knows he is engaging in fantasy. A distraction from what's really on his mind - but if he really believes that he can get that proficient at playing after what seems to be a few days ... well ... He also never questiones why he has to wear a protective suit while Kaworu doesn't. I guess being completely starved for affection does funny things to your mind.

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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby donutbruit » Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:22 am

View Original PostDerantor wrote:Regarding the second gif, that scene always struck me more as Shinji being frustrated, rather than exhausted from masturbation. He is air-piano playing, but I think deep down, he knows he is engaging in fantasy. A distraction from what's really on his mind -

You do remember that masturbation is usually done as a way to engage in a sexual fantasy, right? :tentacles:

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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby Derantor » Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:29 am

Yes, that formulation was sloppy. It is in that sense "non-sexual masturbation"; like you would not categorize getting absorbed by reading a book as masturbation. He didn't get a release, it what I'm trying to say, and he does not make the connection between piano playing and masturbation. He just engages in that pleasure Kaworu has shown him himself a little, realizes it's pointless and gives up.

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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby Reichu » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:42 am

FreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Regardless of Reichu's intent (I think it's sincere), I think this is a very valid interpretation of the scene.

You have assessed my intent correctly, sir, and thank you for the complementary post. ^_^

The sardonic tone was mostly just used to make it easier to write about something uncomfortable. I do kind of wonder why that specific situation in Q gets under my skin when I am perfectly okay with goddesses devouring very large and powerful children, and stuff of that nature, but I assume it's because it's WAY too real. Shinji in NTE is very easy to pick on, and sometimes I honestly kind of hate him, but this particular context puts the reality of his existence in stark relief for me. Shinji's entire life in these movies is predicated upon systematic manipulation and abuse; his behavior is shaped almost completely by people who know far more about him and the rest of the world than he does. His moments of greatest "volitional triumph" are him simply performing as expected and desired -- good little puppy, doing exactly what his masters want.

I have come around to thinking there is more to NTE's Kaworu character than the "creepy, obsessed stalker-predator" aspect, but... hoo boy. What's there of that aspect is a doozy. The power imbalance between them is IMMENSE and Kaworu does nothing to actually fix this. After all, why should he? Shinji is an erratic mess of a person -- if you don't keep him on a tight leash, he might not do what you want of him, and Kaworu wants something very, very specific. The sick truth is that Kaworu does not want Shinji to be freed from the bondage that Nerv has placed him in; he does not want Shinji to be capable of making fully informed decisions for himself. Shinji is a fetish object who must be possessed and infantilized, who clearly doesn't know what is good for himself and cannot discuss such matters on socially equal terms. But it's okay that he doesn't know, because Kaworu does; so don't worry, Shinji-kun, he will make sure you follow him into the plan for happiness he decided was best for you over fourteen years ago.

Like, it can't be understated just how perverse Kaworu's much-fetishized "love and respect" for Shinji truly is.

The whole "grooming" subtext in Q has been impossible for me to ignore for a while, but finding a visual metaphor this blatant that links Kaworu's actions to luring Shinji in for sex makes it all so much grosser. The power imbalance that existed between them in NGE, which made the idea of a relationship a complete farce from the very start, has been magnified substantially. Kaworu downplays it as "living in this world a little longer than you", but despite his appearance he's been around (as Kaworu) twice as long, and he always knew far more than anyone with the appearance of a teenage boy reasonably ought to. This subtext of sexual predation basically means that Kaworu has taken over Misato's role from NGE, funny enough. (Guess you could say the two have flipped in that regard, since the original Kaworu was merely a parental figure despite the confusion his affections provoked; Misato similarly is now just a surrogate parent to Shinji, and is no longer compelled by a Freudian curse to fuck everyone who reminds her of Daddy.) Just as far too much of the fandom was perfectly okay with Misato assaulting Shinji and threatening further action, far too much of the fandom is perfectly okay with Kaworu's creepy behavior. It really makes me wonder sometimes.

But anyway.

View Original PostDerantor wrote:Regarding the second gif, that scene always struck me more as Shinji being frustrated, rather than exhausted from masturbation.

This applies to your entire post as well, but in my opinion the best sexual innuendo will also have a reasonable "alternate explanation" -- in other words, be capable of working on multiple levels. In fact, this sort of principle rules over Eva so tyrannically I'm honestly surprised by the number of times conversations go something like this:

A: offers explanation or interpretation for something
B: Well, okay, but I think it's more blah blah blah...
A: You know the two don't have to be mutually exclusive, right?

For an illustration of what I mean, look at the titles. For these movies, there are basically no less than three titles per film. For the first three, this breakdown is fairly straightforward. There's the Japanese title, there's the English title without the "not", and there's the English title with the "not". The fourth film's title is Anno going so completely insane with his "I WANT AS MANY POSSIBLE INTERPRETATIONS AS POSSIBLE!!!!" modus operandi I'm just... going to slowly back away from Mr. Anno, because his power levels as a filthy, wonderful pedant who must cram as much content into these movies as humanly possible have become so immeasurably high that I often feel in my analyses like I am attempting to wrangle some kind of Lovecraftian nightmare.

Well, that got weird really fast. Nice going, Reichu! But hopefully you understand what I mean. :wink:
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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby ShinjiStranglesAsuka » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:33 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:I have come around to thinking there is more to NTE's Kaworu character than the "creepy, obsessed stalker-predator" aspect, but... hoo boy. What's there of that aspect is a doozy.


I'm still trying to figure out what the Kaworu's are supposed to be from a thematical viewpoint. I'd like to hear you thoughts on both versions of him if you don't mind. He's obviously not just there to be fujoshi bait though I would bet that Kaworu x Shinji merchandise are very lucrative in Japan :wink: . I've read somewhere that during an interview Anno mentioned how Kaworu is supposed to be an "idealized" version of Shinji, though I think that was pertaining to NGE instead of NTE. Idealized is a strange description and I don't know how much was lost in translation. Does it mean that if Shinji could remake himself from scratch he'd choose to be a handsome white hair, red eyed angel with an easy smile? Or does it mean that Kaworu is all the aspects of Shinji cranked up to eleven? NGE Kaworu appears to Shinji when he's at his lowest point, give him a little hope, then shatters it and Shinji ends up in a worse mental state than before... so he's representing false hope? He's there to make Shinji face the reality that even an idealized version of himself would fail? It's quite confusing.

Back to topic of NTE Kaworu.

I suppose I'd like to believe that he's more than a creepy stalker. That even though he's hiding a lot of shit from Shinji he still has his best interest at heart, doing the wrong things for the right reasons and all that. The fact that he's so sure he knows what would make Shinji happy is a little bit creepy of course but I'm hoping we'll get some more answers when Shin arrives.

I've tried searching around the forums for a bit but obviously typing "Kaworu" in the search bar results in the site basically telling me to go fuck myself so :irked:.

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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby Derantor » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:32 pm

@Reichu: I didn't intend to argue against your interpretation, rather augment it.^^ I like to put myself in the shoes of the characters - Shinji, in all likelyhood, does not even understand that he is being manipulated and abused. So while for us the interpretation you laid out is obvious, to him, a piano is just a piano. Hell, I'm not even sure Kaworu is conscious of what he is in effect doing - I'm sure he believes his own bullshit of "just having the best for Shinji in mind". And of course Kaworu thinks Shinji want's to fuck him - after all, he loves him completely, therefore, there would be no reason for Shinji to decline that gracious offer, and since Shinji wants it anyways, Kaworu has no reason to not work towards that goal.

That's what I find most creepy about these situations. It is most often only a third party looking on that understands the true dynamics at play - on the other hand, to the outside world, everything can seem perfectly innocent. It's no wonder the fandom adores KawoShin; everything is so perfectly loving and consensual. Shinji absolutely knows what he is doing and agreeing to, right? And Kaworu never would do anything to harm Shinji. He loves him, he said as much.

ShinjiStranglesAsuka wrote:The fact that he's so sure he knows what would make Shinji happy is a little bit creepy of course but I'm hoping we'll get some more answers when Shin arrives.

More than a little bit. Might be my inborn mistrust of people in general, but somebody who claims to have only my happiness in mind and knows exactly what I want makes me recoil automatically - especially if said person is right about what I want and always smiling, understanding, etc. That's creepy as fuck, and a sure sign to turn on your heels and run for the hills.

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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby ShinjiStranglesAsuka » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:10 pm

View Original PostDerantor wrote: It's no wonder the fandom adores KawoShin; everything is so perfectly loving and consensual. Shinji absolutely knows what he is doing and agreeing to, right? And Kaworu never would do anything to harm Shinji. He loves him, he said as much.


I haven't been in the Evangelion fandom for too long but this ^ is one of the aspects of it that bothers me. I like Kaworu as much as the next guy but at this point nobody can really tell what he's up to. For a big part of the fanbase, at least on a platforms like reddit, tumblr or twitter, any claims that goes against the Kawoshin narrative will get you shouted down with buzzwords like "homophobic", "gay erasure", "cisnormative" or whatever the fuck. I'm not somebody that'll shake my fists at some imaginary SJW's over the internet but goddamn, these kind of people are infuriating and they make discussions impossible.

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Postby Derantor » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:23 pm

Because they make the same mistake that they accuse everybody else of: If you are member of group X, you are always the victim/always the perpetrator. The heinous thing about sexual predators is that they come in all forms, shapes, sizes, ages, sexual orientations and genders. You might think it unlikely that a mother would sexually abuse her pre-teen daughter - but that happens as well. An abusive, predatory relationship is not what I would hold up as an example of a gay relationship to begin with, but that's just me ...

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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:10 pm

3.0 is such a mess of unbridled sexual energy.

It begins with Maya reevaluating her lesbianism with that mysterious line she has, one of the three or so in the entire movie:

"I can't stand young men."

Why young men? Why not men in general? Or dudes? Or, if she means inexperienced people, she could just say something like rookies, or kids, like Asuka does when insulting Shinji for acting like a lil' doormat and not the big, strong male she wants. No, Maya has grown tired of it, because just when Ritsuko has started to explore her bisexuality, as demonstrated by her haircut, obviously the only thing it could possibly signify and absolutely nothing else, she's already gone over to Misato, who now can enjoy hot, steamy threesomes with Kaji, who is very much alive, thank you Sachi.

I imagine that edgelord Aoba has spent far too much time on r/incel at this point, much like his fellow Redditor Makoto, however he is still a virgin as clearly demonstrated by his ridiculous hairline. Well, it's okay for Maya, she has also kept herself pure for senpai. But no more. She's had enough.

Sheesh, then Shinji wakes up expecting to get some blue waifu action, only to find out his not-mom is already inside his mom. Because remember, this is not incest, okay? Too late, but what's that? Saku-what now? Oh, too bad, she hates Shin-man too, like everyone hates him, because he's at fault for everything.

Good thing Rei Q shows up, but my my man Shinji-kun isn't into those creepy "fair use" fetishes or whatever they're called, so he turns it down.

Then Kaworu here grooming Shinji into his apocalyptic death cult of saggy, cyborg old men with their minds already uploaded into a VR porn game, but unable to actually consummate the fact because he lacks a penis, another well established fact of Evangelion lore, something repeatedly explained to us by Reichu-sama. I do wonder how he manages with his divine wife Rei-Lilith-Chan in EoE, then.

Of course, this is nothing compared to sexual frustration incarnate, Asuka Langley Shikinami, just desperate and exhausted from 14 years of wearing a choker 24/7 and occasionally fending off her pansexual deviant nymphomaniac roomate Mari, who's also not her daughter, by the way. She was waiting for the day she'd get to finally peg Shin-kun with her AT field-generated strap-on, courtesy of her new sticky friend, Bardi-chan. But he keeps running away from her holy retribution. Ba-ka. Then, bustling with frustration in the Terminal Dogma fight, there she is, telling Shinji point blank:

"Lie down and let me fuck you!"

Rei is out of the game, so is Kaworu. Thanks for that, Father. Misato is busy. Nobody will stop her now. See the intent with which she grabs Shinji's hand, in that purple plugsuit that just grabs onto his tight little bums. See how tsun she acts. "Shinji yOu DIdn'T ComE tO ReSCUe meeeeEEEEEE". She just can't wait to tap that ass. There's gonna be some rescuing, alright.

Then fucking Rei shows up again. Ugh. But it's alright. She can watch. That's all she does now, thank God.

Nothing will stop her now.
Last edited by FelipeFritschF on Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby Reichu » Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:29 pm

Masterful shitpost, Felipe. :nyao: Unpacking that will take some time. :hint-hint:

View Original PostFelipeFritschF#895914 wrote:3.0 is such a mess of unbridled sexual energy.

I suppose I'll use that prompt to randomly inject a couple more GIFs I recently made, which further expose this pulsating, perverse underbelly of Eva:Q.

SPOILER: Show
Image

Image

Image
^ Vagina, complete with rugae and cervix.

Image
^ OH FUCK THAT HURTS JUST TO LOOK AT

Image
I CAME!!!!

"Hold still and let me fuck you", indeed.

Okay, now back to our main thread.

View Original PostDerantor#895907 wrote:@Reichu: I didn't intend to argue against your interpretation, rather augment it.^^

Crap. I was careless there. :facepalm: Apologies!

View Original PostShinjiStranglesAsuka#895904 wrote:I'm still trying to figure out what the Kaworu's are supposed to be from a thematical viewpoint. I'd like to hear you thoughts on both versions of him if you don't mind.

Sure. My take on NGE!Kaworu is abnormally strange, and it tends to focus on an element that is generally ignored, which is that Kaworu represents yet another maternal figure in Shinji's life, albeit one cloaked in the skin of a boy. Trying to explain exactly why I think this is... complicated, and I've been putting off a full analysis for quite a long time because, as you too are aware, stances regarding Kaworu that go against the narrative of authoritarian KawoShin stans is an invitation for trouble. Though, really, that's all the better reason to put out an analysis that fearlessly challenges all that... Sigh, someday. But anyway... From Shinji's perspective, I do think that this element only registers in his unconscious, but it still matters because of NGE's thematic stance toward the process of growing up. It acknowledges that people often seek out partners who can be surrogate parents, but due to the psychoanalytical angle, I suppose it's also arguing that such people only want a mommy/daddy they can fuck because they have some deep and unresolved issue. Optimally, then, the child should grow beyond childish desires, and seek out a partner who challenges and complements them, as this will prevent stagnancy and encourage growth under conditions of mutual emotional support. But then Shinji ends up with the broken and bitter Asuka at the very end, so I don't even know anymore. "Become someone apart from your mom" is a very important theme, in any case. Fucking your mom, or someone you see as your mom, does not achieve this, so it should not be desired.

I'm not sure I really understand the "idealized version of Shinji" thing either. Maybe it just has to do with how Kaworu is presented as such a warm and accommodating cypher that he could be all things to an incredibly desperate Shinji at once. Note how Shinji says things like "Kaworu-kun was a much better person than me". Shinji doesn't really know anything about Kaworu at all, so what he's really saying is that the Kaworu in his mind is a better person than he is, ergo, Shinji is projecting his own thoughts of "a me that isn't complete trash" onto Kaworu. By destroying Kaworu, Shinji has also symbolically destroyed all hope for becoming a person that his own mind would consider worthy. We all know what happens next...

The NTE version of Kaworu is hard to work with because we still have an entire movie (and all the post-Shin analysis) missing. I'm glad I finally found a way to explain him that doesn't require resorting to stuff like "Kaworu is stalking Shinji through four dimensions and will continue to do so until he makes Shinji happy OR ELSE" (there's this really weird, strong desire for NTE to be Madoka with Eva characters swapped in, and I have no idea why), but while many questions have been addressed and the entire NTE universe has been blown open in a way I couldn't have imagined, I still have the rather big problem that Kaworu's singular obsession with Shinji (or Adam's singular obsession with Luvah, or however the fuck this all started) still has no good explanation. Then, it doesn't have an explanation in NGE either, so maybe it just is what it is. To be Kaworu is to inexplicably obsess over a bland Japanese boy.

BUT, the NTE character in one important respect provides signs that his inner world is slightly more expansive than SHINJISHINJISHINJI, and that is through the undercurrent of guilt he gives off. Like, listen again to Kaworu talking to Shinji about the Third Impact. Look at his expression and body language. Is Kaworu really talking about Shinji here? Kaworu taking the DSS Choker later and saying he'd been planning to do it for a while makes it even more apparent. People have wondered why in the world he would do such a stupid thing -- why not simply get rid of the collar? -- and explanations have never felt entirely complete. But if Kaworu is doing it because he believes that the truly guilty one is HIM, then maybe it could all start to make sense. Assuming this is on the right track, then Kaworu guilt-tripping Shinji is, at least in part... Like, what's the word for when you really regret and hate a flaw in yourself, so you are super harsh on others (especially people you care about) when they make the same sort of mistake? It's that.

To take this further, consider things on a meta level to start with. In NGE, Kaworu was Adam, right? And Adam was, intentionally or not, responsible for three billion people being killed. NGE sadly doesn't take the Kaworu-Adam connection to all its logical conclusions, leaving all sorts of delicious characterization opportunities completely untouched. But suppose NTE is picking up some of those dangling threads and reviving them in this altered context. NTE!Kaworu in his previous incarnation was almost certainly one of the beings present at Second Impact, and he's clearly the only incarnated Adams who actually remembers anything. This Kaworu seems to have no ill will toward Lilin that we can see. His plan involving Shinji is to repair the world, and suppose he is sincere, and he wants the Earth to be a place where Lilin can live again. Suppose he never actually wanted Second Impact to happen, or alternatively that his current incarnation's values are slightly different from those he possessed before. Kaworu, as the only one who remembers the past, gets to bear the guilt of Second Impact all by himself.

This guilt complex could possibly play a role in Kaworu's obsession with making Shinji happy. I've speculated that Second Impact happened because the four-part fused being at the South Pole was induced into fissioning with the introduction of Lilith's core. Shinji's former incarnation ("Luvah") broke off to merge with that core. What if Kaworu blamed himself for this happening? "Shinji left because of a failing on my part. And him leaving set off the chain of events resulting in the impact. So this is all my fault and I have to fix it by bringing Shinji back to the contentment that existed before Lilith came along." Or something to that effect -- the possibilities are pretty open-ended at this point.

This could be like Kaworu's version of Shinji's failings in 2.22. Shinji through inaction gets Asuka traumatized (more than she already was) and placed in containment; he compensates for this disaster by breaking reality to save Rei even after she's been devoured. But, well, he went about fixing his first mistake the entirely wrong way, and it only resulted in greater disaster. Same for Kaworu. He didn't approach the matter of correcting Shinji's happiness the right way. Was it mere overconfidence? Was it that Kaworu was afraid of finding out the real reason Luvah left the Unity in the first place -- maybe he blamed it on Lilith so he wouldn't have to think about it further -- and because he never accounted for this, he never actually understood Shinji at all and his plans were doomed to failure?

I'm just rambling at this point. But hopefully all that madness at least conveys some basis upon which to investigate Kaworu's character further.

I've tried searching around the forums for a bit but obviously typing "Kaworu" in the search bar results in the site basically telling me to go fuck myself so :irked:.

With forums dying out the way they are, getting the additional help we need to fix stuff like feels impossible. I feel grateful the current group of volunteers is able to keep place online at all. But yeah, the broken search index is irritating, and basically have to use Google to get around it. A query like this one should bring up some relevant Kaworu stuff.
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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby Settie » Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:43 pm

One of the ideas i've had in regards to Kaworus obsession with Shinji was that he lived with the Ikaris when Shinji was a toddler. Gendo had his 14 year plan and Seele had plans upon plans, one which included Shinji as a backup. So what if Seele sort of "imprinted" Kaworu unto Shinji, then used him as a control mechanism over the 1st angel. Kaworu would want Shinjis happiness and Seele could use that to make their version of instrumentality true. As Reichu points out, Kaworu engages in infantilizing Shinji by coddling and feeding him affection. Like one would do to a toddler.

OP brings up another interesting thought, the piano scenes were obviously intentional made to give off certain amounts of kowshin. So i wonder why, If what i've read in these forums is accurate, one of the reason that led to the redubbing of 3.0 was a con audience reaction to said piano scenes. Which in an ironic twist, a movie which delves into miscommunication and the consequences of it, its creators might've fallen into the same trap via culture shock of western audience reactions to movies compared to Japanese audiences.

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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby Derantor » Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:23 pm

@FelipeFritsch That's exactly the kind of shit I love Eva for. :devil:

@Reichu: No offense taken. :thumbsup:

Reichu wrote:But then Shinji ends up with the broken and bitter Asuka at the very end, so I don't even know anymore.

Which makes perfect thematic sense, at least to me. But a little background from where I'm coming from first. I understood the "idealized Shinji" label of Kaworu to be ... a strange translation. Kaworu is not Shinji in his best form, the ideal, but the most pure form. Shinji is generally trying to make people happy - he seeks harmony, understanding, care, love, etc, through conforming to norms and not making any fuss. Kaworu is this in its purest form: He is so kind that he takes it on himself to make other people happy. Absolute understanding, absolute harmony, absolute love. Which is of course an unobtainable ideal and in itself a dangerous concept - he lets himself get killed to allow Shinji to live. Self-preservation goes out of the window if you you offer somebody else the entirety of your being (leaving out the arguments about noble sacrifices being worth it in the grand scheme of things; this is about the extreme formulation of the concept). That's also what Shinji wants: He wishes for everybody to be happy and to disappear himself by being the perfect altruist. Or I least I think that's the case, since it is the logical conclusion to his strategy of "Be nice to people and they will be nice to me."

I can't really comment on the validity of Kaworu as a mother-figure, since I don't know your theory in detail, but I can definitely see an element of that evident in the series - although I am not sure if he is a mother figure or the ideal father that Shinji always wanted, since he is the opposite of Gendo (all of this from Shinji's perspective, ignoring the complexity both Gendo and Kaworu have) - the themes remain unchanged either way, and the sexual confusion is imho not impacted by this at all. Shinji has not really made the distinction between parental love, romantic love and sex yet. In the state he is in when he meets Kaworu, he would get aroused by anything that fulfills his subconscious need for a parental figure. Kaworu also does one very "fatherly" thing: He teaches his son the value of a noble sacrifice. Willingness to sacrifice oneself for others was for the longest time a staple of masculinity and chivalry, and he makes Shinji do it. The NGE!Kaworu in Shinji's mind is a fantasy - unconditional love does not exist in the real world. There is no Father/Mother always there for you to protect you from the chaos of the unknown - parents send you out into the world or disappear for one reason or another (death, at some point), and then you are on your own. So, Kaworu is basically parenting in fast forward: Give a little advice and love, then hand him the torch to carry on living as the next generation via a test of maturity.

Asuka, meanwhile, is the exact opposite of that. Asuka IS the unknown chaos - she is the only character in the series to which Shinji has a relationship that is not based around some parental/familial notion. That unbridled sexual energy in those images you posted is part of that (I know those are from NTE, but the same applies to NGE). Asuka is neither a sibling/mother figure like Rei, nor a mother like Misato or Kaworu. If there is a challenge for Shinji to surpass, it's her, and if there is any character that complements him, it's again her. Reducing the characters to their extremes, she is the independent/selfish part, while Shinji is the dependent/altruistic part. I argued something similar here. Ending up with Asuka is Shinji letting go of parental bonds and safety and facing the scary reality of a woman that does not want to be his mother but wants him to be an adult. She provides the harshness and reality that the soft dreamer Shinji needs. She demands responsibility from him - one of the main pillars of maturity. Granted, the "mutual emotional support" department is sorely lacking, but the relationship will never be stagnant and growth is entirely possible, even necessary - to be frank, it might turn out to be a tumor instead of a beautiful flower, but still, growth either way. Happiness is not guaranteed - it has to be earned. (Take that, shippers! Proving who the OTP is while also proving that it might turn out to be a dumpster fire!)

Reichu wrote:Like, what's the word for when you really regret and hate a flaw in yourself, so you are super harsh on others (especially people you care about) when they make the same sort of mistake? It's that.

Don't know the word either, but yes, this! NTE!Kaworu having a massive guilt complex sounds like a great expansion of the character. Thematically, he seems to fulfill the same role as in NGE, just much more extreme. "This time, I'll make you happy" - on the meta-level, he has "learned" from his mistakes. Where NGE!Kaworu might only have been on the recieving end of sexual desire, NTE!Kaworu actively displays it to achieve his goal. NGE!Shinji felt something like that for him, so this time, he just assumes that desire and acts preemtively to fulfill it. Instead of making Shinji kill him, which drove Shinji ever deeper into existential crisis mode, he kills himself. No blood on Shinji's hands this time - even less responsibility placed on Shinji's shoulders. The antithesis to adulthood; he even fixes Shinji's mistake of initiating another Impact for him, and his whole scheme is a quick-fix for the past. Again, parenting in fast-forward, just the more modern kind: Coddle your kid to death, then send it out into the world without actually teaching it something or testing if they are actually ready, because "It will be fine either way."

Eeeh ... not sure I was actually on topic with all this or didn't just explain something which was self-evident all along. :uhh:

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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism B/

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Postby Alaska Slim » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:42 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:The NTE version of Kaworu is hard to work with because we still have an entire movie (and all the post-Shin analysis) missing. I'm glad I finally found a way to explain him that doesn't require resorting to stuff like "Kaworu is stalking Shinji through four dimensions and will continue to do so until he makes Shinji happy OR ELSE" (there's this really weird, strong desire for NTE to be Madoka with Eva characters swapped in, and I have no idea why), but while many questions have been addressed and the entire NTE universe has been blown open in a way I couldn't have imagined, I still have the rather big problem that Kaworu's singular obsession with Shinji (or Adam's singular obsession with Luvah, or however the fuck this all started) still has no good explanation. Then, it doesn't have an explanation in NGE either, so maybe it just is what it is. To be Kaworu is to inexplicably obsess over a bland Japanese boy.

A calmer version of a yandere? Simple, tropy characterization like that don't seem to fit Eva's MO, and with NGE!Kawrou specifically (granting he pre-dated Yandere as a concrete idea), I thought it thematically tied somehow to him being the Angel of Free will. Shinji embodied an ideal he couldn't fully reach for as, being an Angel, he had some sort of inherit nature or command to answer to.

He put Shinji on a pedestal, as the representative of a race who has agency. Kawrou sees Shinji as the singular fighter (and an innocent one at that) who must prevail, so that agency itself can continue to exist.

But if Kaworu is doing it because he believes that the truly guilty one is HIM, then maybe it could all start to make sense. Assuming this is on the right track, then Kaworu guilt-tripping Shinji is, at least in part... Like, what's the word for when you really regret and hate a flaw in yourself, so you are super harsh on others (especially people you care about) when they make the same sort of mistake? It's that.

That would be Projection.

"Projection is the process of displacing one’s feelings onto a different person, animal, or object. The term is most commonly used to describe defensive projection—attributing one’s own unacceptable urges to another."

View Original PostDerantor wrote:
Asuka, meanwhile, is the exact opposite of that. Asuka IS the unknown chaos - she is the only character in the series to which Shinji has a relationship that is not based around some parental/familial notion. That unbridled sexual energy in those images you posted is part of that (I know those are from NTE, but the same applies to NGE). Asuka is neither a sibling/mother figure like Rei, nor a mother like Misato or Kaworu.

There is however the lingering case of what she's doing in the ending sequence of 3.33. She's leading a very dispondant Shinji out of his plug, and leading him towards safety. Acting highly maternal as she does so.

Maybe we could stretch that and say "Shinji is following the classic path of of men turning their partners symbolically into their mothers"?

I guess we can verify that the moment 3.1+1.0 shows us if the interactions between them continue this way.

If there is a challenge for Shinji to surpass, it's her, and if there is any character that complements him, it's again her. Reducing the characters to their extremes, she is the independent/selfish part, while Shinji is the dependent/altruistic part. I argued something similar here. Ending up with Asuka is Shinji letting go of parental bonds and safety and facing the scary reality of a woman that does not want to be his mother but wants him to be an adult. She provides the harshness and reality that the soft dreamer Shinji needs. She demands responsibility from him - one of the main pillars of maturity. Granted, the "mutual emotional support" department is sorely lacking, but the relationship will never be stagnant and growth is entirely possible, even necessary - to be frank, it might turn out to be a tumor instead of a beautiful flower, but still, growth either way. Happiness is not guaranteed - it has to be earned. (Take that, shippers! Proving who the OTP is while also proving that it might turn out to be a dumpster fire!)

But then again, Mari is supposed to destroy everything. Maybe she seduces him, then cuts off his dick? :devil: Or out of jealously gets Shinji frozen for another 14 years, so now a middle aged Asuka has no choice but to either act as a mother, or stand aside?
Last edited by Alaska Slim on Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby Derantor » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:31 am

@Alaska Slim: Everything I wrote was in relationship to NGE!Asuka&Shinji - I just don't have good enough of a handle on NTE to say something substantial about it. But I agree that the relationship is something entirely different in NTE. As of Q, I don't see any equivalent to the themes I laid out regardgin their dynamic since Shinji is just too isolated to fit them in. Your interpretation of Asuka as the reluctant mother seems to be on point, though, or at least highly plausible. Whatever attraction lingered seems to have been a fantasy on Asuka's part, who seems to finally get in the final scene that Shinji is nothing more than a little boy. Hardly attractive for a character like her. From Mari I get big sister vibes, rather than romantic rival, but then again, Mari is even more of a cypher to me than Shikanami, so, honestly, no clue what the fuck is even going on. At this point I can only wait for Final to clear some things up.

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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: B/

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Postby Alaska Slim » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:47 am

View Original PostDerantor wrote:@Alaska Slim: Everything I wrote was in relationship to NGE!Asuka&Shinji - I just don't have good enough of a handle on NTE to say something substantial about it.

Ah, well in that case, I dunno if "responsibility" represents a part of her demands. Shinji is the most responsible of the four in the apartment, but that seemed to evoke in Asuka little more than a sense of entitlement. "You owe me this much."

We have the EoE train car scene pre-Instrumentality where she spells out what she wants. A line I read as: "You give me all the affirmation, all the attention I want, and to me alone. In return, I'll give you all the shallow things that I know boys want."

That doesn't seem like maturity. Maybe codependent? Each feeding the cavernous flaw in the other so their egos don't completely collapse?

Asuka requires external validation and she needs to feel like an adult so she knows she's not re-inviting the dependency of "would kill myself for Momma". When Kaji couldn't give either to her any longer, she thought "at least baka Shinji will give it to me."

Hence, the interest isn't genuine, and neither is the would-be relationship. As she points out, Shinji's interest in her is equally disingenuous.

As to a woman making demands, well, to be fair Misato did make some STAND. UP. BE. STRONG. And she did it at least once in exchange for sex... that he recognized he wasn't getting. Still, there were more genuine motives behind it all.

Suffice to say we equally know Asuka wasn't on a path towards true growth. When she couldn't get the validation, she didn't grow to get out of the need; she simply reverted. In EoE she became dependent on Momma once more. Then true to form, she finally died with her.
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Re: Piano-Facilitated Homoeroticism at an Altitude of 10km: A Field Study

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Postby Derantor » Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:18 am

Alaska Slim wrote:Ah, well in that case, I dunno if "responsibility" represents a part of her demands.

Looking at the broader context of the series, she demands that he isn't so self-deprecatory and "grows a spine", basically. Not responsibility in the sense of preparing dinner, but responsibility in the sense that he acts of his own volition. "Hold me, kiss me, save me, but do something! Be a man!" Responsibility comes in many forms - brushing your teeth, preparing dinner and keeping your room tidy are important and responsible behaviours, but aren't exactly high achievements. Even her demand for absolutely everything from him (without any reciprocity that I can see) is a veiled demand that he takes on the responsibility for her wellbeing, becoming an adult like Kaji.

Alaska Slim wrote:That doesn't seem like maturity. Maybe codependent? Each feeding the cavernous flaw in the other so their egos don't completely collapse?

Well, yes - hence the comparison to a tumor and that idea of both of them forming a single, fully formed character. The objections you raise are all valid, but that's a different debate, I think. How it plays out with the characters at hand is independent from the thematic context I laid out. The important part is that Asuka represents the first step for Shinji into the world of adult relationships - he is not related to her in any way like he is to Rei and she is not responsible for him in any way either, like Misato is as his guardian. There also exists neither a significant age discrepancy, nor a clear power dynamic (in the broadest sense: Both are immature 14 year olds with roughly the same experience and background). So, not being limited by anything, she represents the full spectrum of possibilities. Whether that ends in super waffy love, co-dependency, friendship or completely and utter failure is not so important - that's up to them and their ability to rise to the challenges of adulthood. At the end of EoE, they are all alone with each other. There are no safety nets, nobody left to tell them what to do. Nothing is guaranteed here, it's just an opportunity that they can take, or not.

Edit: So, while I jokingly referred to them as the OTP of the series, it was meant in this thematic context.


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