Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby BernardoCairo » Sun Dec 27, 2020 6:13 pm

Hi, everyone. I've just got in here and I'm more than excited to discuss everything related to Evangelion with some of you. So, to start with, I decided to talk about my favorite aspect of the series: its characters.
The ones I will be exploring are Toji and Kaworu. I hope to cover some of their key differences and point out why I think one of them can provide Shinji with a healthier relationship.
So, let's start with Kaworu. A relationship between him and Shinji would've never worked because he simply isn't human. In fact, I would say that his character is a representation of escapism. A perfect dude that shows up in the midst of a chaotic moment, claiming (by the use of pre-made sentences) to love you.
Such person does not exist and believing it is almost the same as fooling yourself. But in the end, reality always knocks on the door and Kaworu reveals himself to be an angel. Someone that (for selfish reasons) was actually persuading a very vunerable guy. At that point, Shinji had lost almost everyone and the only friend I can see he thinking about without fear or regret (Asuka) was missing for days.
If Shinji wasn't in such bad shape, if Kaworu hadn't appeared in the last possible second, Shinji would have never lowered his guard so much (as we can clearly see in the manga).
That's why I've always interpreted Kaworu's death as Shinji accepting the facts and getting rid of his "perfect friend", his escapism. It hurted, but it had to be done in order for him to keep moving forward on the real world.
If you want to see a more grounded and healthier relationship in Evangelion, I would say that Shinji and Toji share a much better bound than Shinji and Kaworu.
Toji isn't perfect, but he is not trying to be. When he made a mistake, he apologized for it. He accepted Shinji for what he was and actually talked to him without the need to rely on "pre-made" sentences. He felt fear, he asked for help (especially in the manga) and he was a flawed person overall. But even then, he still cared about his friends and family. HE WAS HUMAN.
Compare that to Kaworu who is portrait as "the last hope of Shinji", someone that will love him unconditionally, even though they never even had a normal conversation. Someone that, in the end, persuades and uses you in your most vunerable state. A guy who makes a mistake and then asks you to kill him afterwards, as if that was nothing.
He obviously didn't do all of that for nefarious reasons. But he did it anyways. He just wasn't human. He couldn't understand the human mentality.
Anyways, that's just my take on it.
Last edited by BernardoCairo on Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby IgRAzm » Sun Dec 27, 2020 6:57 pm

I guess I'm sorry that I'm not giving a proper and detail response, as mostly I don't disagree with anything in particular regarding character views. Toji is somewhat perceptive and noble for an average teenager, definitely a better friend than Shinji could've expected to get at that point, much less in him. One thing I wanted to correct was Toji having apologized for the mistake. I forget how it was in the manga, probably he had. But the TV show left that point ambiguous as far as it seems. I myself actually saw the scene as him calling and then hanging up, not finding the strength to actually apologize, that was before I got aware that there was an alternative reading of the scene. I thought his way of apology was asking Shinji to hit him in the face, that it was all he could bring himself to do to repent his actions.

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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby BernardoCairo » Sun Dec 27, 2020 7:41 pm

View Original PostIgRAzm wrote:One thing I wanted to correct was Toji having apologized for the mistake. I forget how it was in the manga, probably he had.

I belive that you are right about the TV series. It just so happens that I reread the manga recently, so it is fresh in my head. In it, Toji invites Shinji to come over to his house and tells him that he will be the pilot of Unit 03. Not only that, but he also reveals that he is scared to death and apologizes to Shinji for having hurt him (at that moment, he understood what Shinji went through when he started to pilot Unit 01).
This whole part of the story is different in the original series. In that version, Shinji didn't know who was inside of the Evangelion. The drama came from the fact that he didn't want to hurt any children, not necessarily Toji. I like both approaches.
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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby Kendrix » Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:29 am

Manga!Kaworu can't really be cited as an example for "what would have happened if they had met earlier" because Kaworu is the one character who's the most straight up different in the manga (except maybe Gendo)

Unlike his more devious Manga counterpart, Anime Kaworu was conflicted about destroying the humans from the start & meeting Shinji was just the last straw.

I see absolutely no need to pit them against each other, both are good.

I don't think that Kaworu was really supposed to represent "escapism" I mean episode 24 is pretty much the coup the grace for Shinji.
The intention there (& there is interview material to back this up) was more for the situation to really exacerbate Shinji's self esteem issues by having him meet a dude he perceives as much, much better then himself & then creating a situation where only one of them can survive. I don't know what's "unrealistically perfect" about a relationship one of whose chief factors is a huge inferiority complex on Shinji's part - that's probably something they would have had to confront eventually if they'd gotten to spend more time together.
People do hit it off right away that's not super common but it does happen.

On the one hand they have fairly different dynamics going on - Kaworu is the sort of friend you would probably meet through your hobby or job. He's got similar interests, the two of them immediately hit it off, they gravitated towards each other because of similar life circumstances (having their lived decided by The Plan/ having to make a difficult choice the future of their "side") & personalities (Kaworu might be more outgoing but ultimately they're both artsy contemplative types).
while Touji is the sort you'd meet because you lived in the same block or went to the same school - you don't necessarily have much in common (indeed their first meeting/ first impression was rather negative) but you were brought together by circumstances & now you stick together through thick & thin. & winning someone over who didn't like you at first/ proving yourself to them can be a valuable experience both because of your own growth (you must better your flaws or realize you misunderstood the other person) and because feeling "hard earned" can make the relationship more special-

Both these types of friends are valuable in their own way - friends similar to you make you feel understood, while friends different from you can bring you new life experiences and help you with situations you yourself wouldn't know.
Luckily, you can have more than one friend.
(also I feel like we're forgetting about Kensuke XD (Aside from his one big foot in mouth moment in ep 19 he's actually a pretty good friend too, he's pretty sweet in ep 4 and actually dispenses some wise life advice here & there)

But there are also narrative similarities, in that both play a role in Shinji being confronted with ethical dilemmas that a sensitive emotion-driven person like him can't really deal with.
Because the setup in ep 24 is practically an "even worse version" of what happens in ep 18 where Shinji previously had to hurt someone he cared about.
At least in the EVA 03 incident there was only a risk of hurting Touji whereas Kaworu needed to be 100% dead, and there was no escaping the choice (though doing that in the past that just lead to Gendo being the one to make it) In ep 24 Shinji actually has to make the choice & it destroys him
Essay Todo list:
- Essay on the character's roles in each others introspec sequences
- Good faith Analysis of Mari
- The main characters through the lens of transactional analysis
- Finish ep 8 commentary

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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby BernardoCairo » Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:12 am

So, I do agree with a lot of things you said, especially in regard to "you can have more than one friend" part. That's just how reality work. Being around different people can make you experience more diverse situations and help you grown as a person. In this case, I was not saying that Shinji had to choose between one of them. It was more about who I thought that could provide Shinji with the most healthier relaitionship.
About the manga, you are right. Those were very different people. You mentioned Kaworu, but I think that Shinji himself is the most straight up different in the manga. He is more perceptive and active, I would say. There is also the fact that he was not as mentally destroyed by the end of that version. Anyways, what I was trying to say is that Kaworu's way of approaching Shinji would only work in very specifc situations.
I can't help myself but to see him as an antagonist, first and foremost. I mean, he was fundamentally built to serve the "monster of the week" formula. Just like any other angel, he comes in, generates a conflict and is eventually defeated. The difference being that, instead of simply destroying stuff, he has a different approach in how to achive his goals. I believe that, at the end of the episode, he was really convinced that starting Third Impact was not a good thing. But that does not chance the fact that, during episode 24, he did manipulate Shinji (who was in a very vulnerable state).
Now, about him "representing escapism". I don't think he sees himself or intends to be like that. For me, that's just how Shinji percebes his presence. He treats Kaworu as his last hope, a guy that would love him unconditionally and take him out of his misery. That's why when reality knocked on the door, he felt so betrayed.
II believe that, for Shinji, Kaworu is what he wanted Asuka to be during the first half of The End of Evangelion. Someone that would love him no matter what, that he would use as a doll to get rid of his own problems. Just like Asuka said in that "fever dream" that took place slightly before the Third Impact, Shinji didn't care who would fulfill that role. He just wanted someone to fill the void in his heart, if only superficially. He just couldn't love anyone, because he couldn't even love himself in the first place.
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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby Zusuchan » Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:17 pm

Kaworu was not created to service the monster-of-the-week formula-that is blatantly false. Anno called Kaworu one of the characters closest to his own psyche (the other four being Shinji, Asuka, Rei and Misato) and Kaworu also had an important presence in EoE, which Sandalphon, Zeruel, Bardiel etc. didn’t. Whether or not Kaworu fits the role of “antagonist” depends entirely on personal interpretation, as the original canon is ambigious enough in Kaworu’s case to allow multiple viewpoints, which do largely fall into either “Kaworu is a great fantastic dude” or “Kaworu is evil and manipulative”. I myself fall into the former group, because Kaworu does seem to have hesitations about destroying humanity-he wants a world where both the Adams and the Lilin can live, instead of one where one of the two has to go extinct. He befriended Shinji from the start and acted nicely towards him, even saying that maybe he was born to meet Shinji. Of course, this is, as said, personal interpretation, but for me saying that Kaworu is an antagonist is pretty false and saying that he was created to service the monster-of-the-week formula, even though he's one of the most important characters of the entirety of NGE, is even worse.

Also, Shinji could love people-I think he did love Misato and Kaworu at least. The EoE scene can’t really be used as a direct correlation about his mindscape during 24, because his EoE mindscape was very much worse, in a large part due to the events that happened during and after 24.

I also don't think Kaworu was meant to represent escapism, but I do think he was meant to represent the impossibility of finding perfect, unconditional love. Kaworu gave unconditional love to Shinji, but he was an otherworldly Angel destined to either die or leave Earth anyway and his quick death is evocative of how unconditional love can't really be found in the world. (Q goes a bit further to argue that unconditional love isn't really all that good and can even be creepy, but that's a separate discussion.)

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Postby BernardoCairo » Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:26 pm

I just don't understand why saying that Kaworu serves the "monster of the week" formula makes it look like I'm devaluing the character.
He shares many characteristics with other characters who follow this format. He appears, generates a conflict and is defeated within the spend of one single episode. The big difference is that his actions continue to affect others around him even after his death. In addition, he has a better defined personality and uses different methods to achieve his goals (he does not scream, but talks).
Honestly, I find it very impressive how the writers managed to create and develop such a complex character in the spend of just one episode. That's why he's my favorite angel. That's also why I consider him to be a "twist" in the "monster of the week" formula. Someone who changes many things, but still retains some structural characteristics of other angels.
Some people tend to say that he appeared too suddenly at the end of the story and, therefore, his relationship with Shinji is somewhat "forced". I disagree. He showing up at the last possible moment and persuading Shinji the way he did not only makes a lot of sense (especially considering how Shinji was at that point of the story), but it's also one of the things that makes him special.
About him being an antagonist or not. As you said, this is very subjective. Yes, I see him as an opponent, but not necessarily an evil one. He was just an angel and was doing what he was supposed to, so he could achieve his ultimate goal. However, he hesitated and actually ended up creating some connection with Shinji. Therefore, I cannot say that he was driven by nefarious reasons. He was just confused. But that does not change the fact that he served as a counterpoint to the main cast in that episode and, thus, can be considered an antagonist under those circumstances.
None of what I said is devaluing the importance of his character. I actually agree with you, he truly is one of the most relevant.
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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby orcot » Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:33 pm

definitly not Shinji in either case.

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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby Kendrix » Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:46 pm

View Original PostBernardoCairo wrote:But that does not chance the fact that, during episode 24, he did manipulate Shinji


Did he?
How exactly do you mean that, like do you think he explicitly befriended him so he'd be to deliberately create a situation where Shinji is conflicted about fighting him?

'cause I don't think that's what happens at all.
If it's inevitable that the humans will be destroyed he wants to enjoy them while they last & he's curious to meet this person who's in the same boat as him.
He approaches Rei for the same reason. Perhaps if Shinji told him to get lost & Rei had been more receptive to the interaction he would've spent those last few days mostly with her instead.

I don't think the situation is that unrealistic. People do hit it off. Kaworu shows some previous interest but it's not that much beyond meeting a celebrity you're a fan of (and Shinji IS a celebrity in Nerv/Seele circles, as Kaji points out in ep 8) or how ppl will instantly bond about commonalities - like you're an immigrant & hear someone speak your language, or you meet another queer person or someone with the same disability etc. I've seen my mom going from zero to swapping life stories when she hears someone talking spanish or czech.

Certainly from where Shinji is standing its legitimate that he would be mad & feel somewhat betrayed.
But look at it from Kaworu's poV - Like if you knew a rare bird was about to go extinct because of climate change & deforestation, that would increase your desire to see it before it vanishes forever, wouldn't it?

He's really every bit as conflicted up about having to destroy the humans (and Shinji in particular) as Shinji is about having to fight him (& being an EVA pilot in general), as you can tell from how he can't bring himself to go through with it in the end.
Shinji does, in part because Kaworu asked him to grant him freedom, but to some extent, it's an incident that confronts Shinji with the animal part of himself

Even when Kaworu first arrives he talk about how great music is etc. & has all this observations about humanity.
You could draw a parallel to that moment in episode 11 where Shinji is like, "But why are we fighting the angels?" & looks past the pragmatic concerns of self-preservation to show curiosity about the enemy & their mindset.
There is also a moment with the manga after the Arael situation where he has a conversation with Rei, mentioning how knowing that they think/ are interested in/ have a concept of the mind makes it more difficult to fight them.
Essay Todo list:
- Essay on the character's roles in each others introspec sequences
- Good faith Analysis of Mari
- The main characters through the lens of transactional analysis
- Finish ep 8 commentary

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Postby BernardoCairo » Mon Dec 28, 2020 7:02 pm

Your post made me rethink many things about the whole situation between Shinji and Kaworu (just what I expected when I joined this forum, knowing that you guys had way more experience than me in the matter).
As for the part where I mentioned that Kaworu manipulated Shinji, I think you are correct. Shinji really was in a state of extreme vulnerability during this part of the story and that certainly helped Kaworu to get closer to him. However, I don't think he used that as a device to gain an advantage during their eventual battle. In fact, he literally chose to lose that fight. I still see him as an antagonist (for providing a conflict to the main cast), but I definitely don't think he had any bad intentions. Initially, he was a little undecided as to what he should do. But he ended up sparing humanity, precisely because of the moments he spent with Shinji.
It's funny because, when I first watched the anime, I realized that he was an angel right away (I mean, he introduced himself by singing a piece of the 9th Symphony). I thought: "anyone with two neurons, like Misato, would notice that there is something at least strange about this guy." But at the same time, I completely understood why Shinji didn't even question the angel's identity. In that moment, he needed a friend and Kaworu was just that.
At that time, I remember interpreting the whole thing in a very similar way to you. But, over time, I began to cherish the idea that Kaworu had taken advantage of someone fragile. Maybe I saw myself in Shinji. I don't know.
Now, with regard to love, I still believe that their relationship is unreal and unreachable. That's because I think that nobody starts to love a person from one moment to another. For me, love is something that must be built. To love is not simply to say "I love you". To love is to come home after a horrible day and still have the strength to listen to someone else's problems, to worry about her/him. Love is not unconditional, you will not be happy with the other person all the time. But it is the ability to move on and accept the mistakes of others that matters. Other than that, everything is just passion or sexual attraction. Kaworu was an angel, maybe for him love was something different. But for Shinji it wasn't. He was human, just like the rest of us.
Perhaps I am generalizing things, but that is my genuine opinion.
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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby IgRAzm » Tue Dec 29, 2020 3:45 am

I think one element that, oddly, wasn't mentioned and that should be mentioned, is the unique situation with Kaworu. As far as I saw, he didn't really know how to interact with other people, at least not in practice. He could be pleasant, but the way he acted wasn't really the way you would expect most teenagers to behave. The point I'm trying to make is that it maybe doesn't matter that much, what Kaworu intended - he still ended up hurting Shinji more than anybody else could've.

I'd say in writing terms Kaworu is definitely an antagonist and could be considered of monster of the week sort. But in such a show as Eva there were multiple such episode-long villains (or threats, if you don't consider them really sentient, that's ok too), who left a stronger, long-term impact on the plot and the characters (Arael, Armisael are most obvious examples). Even though they weren't mentioned explicitly later. We didn't get such a glimpse into what characters or mindsets they could possibly have, like it was with Kaworu, but it's not really derogative to say that he is in the same rank as the other Angels, I think.

As a character, Kaworu clashes with Shinji - not only in his goals as an antagonist, but also in his approach to the world. Shinji didn't ever fight anyone who'd not only genuinely befriend him, but also wouldn't mind dying by his hand. Everybody he met before had something tangible to gain from him whenever their goals seriously conflicted (Misato not only needed him to defend humanity but also as a tool of her revenge against the Angels, Asuka didn't want such a pathetic boy to be as good of a pilot as she was, Gendo wanted him to ignore all that was happening between them personally, to man up and fight for his goals, no matter how hard it was). Kaworu didn't want anything from Shinji, it seems that Third Child had given him all that he could've wanted from him. Because of EoE we know: Shinji deep down thought that he knows people, that everybody uses other people to find happiness as well, but Kaworu was simply content with that little. On top of all the guilt he felt because of killing the boy, this unique perspective challenged Shinji's worldview, made him ask himself - "maybe everything really is meaningless?". As it wasn't at all fair that someone so good had to die.

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Postby BernardoCairo » Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:40 am

That's actually a very good point and one that I left ambiguous in my first post (this was what I meant when I said that he couldn't understand the human mentality).
It reminded me of an interview of sorts that can be found at the end of volume three of the manga (at least in the version I own). In that one, Rei's original voice actor talks a little bit about the experience of playing the character. She recalled that Anno said something to her on the lines of: "This is not a character that has no emotions. She just hasn't come into contact with those emotions yet." From then on, the whole challenge of the role was to play someone who was still learning how to feel (according to her, this is quite different from not feeling any emotion at all).
Maybe Kaworu falls in this same category as her (dealing with it in his own unique way, of course). By the end of volume seven, we can see that he was placed in a tube by Keel and the other members of Seele. We don't know if he's been there for a long time, but I believe so. Furthermore, at the beginning of volume nine, he also interacts with Rei, commenting that they are the same, or something like that.
Considering that he was raised for the sole purpose of fulfilling Seele's plans, I wouldn't be surprised if he had never talked to people his age before arriving in Tokyo-3.
I do know that the characters in the manga are not identical to their anime counterparts, but I think that in this case the situations may converge. Also, I have a lot more material to pull from the manga (since Kaworu appeared much earlier in this version).

Some other thing that I've been thinking about is that whole situation of "everybody, besides Kaworu, had something to gain by interacting with Shinji". While I agree with what you wrote (especially with regard to Misato), I do think that Toji also didn't recive anything tangible by befriending with him (it came full circle hahaha).
Some might argue that, when approaching Shinji, he was just trying to ease his conscience (for judging and hurting him without understanding how stressful it was to pilot an EVA). But I think, in the end, their friendship evolved into something much more meaningful than that.
And, in the end, Shinji also ended up being, indirectly, responsible for his death/hospitalization (depending on the version you are talking about). Initially, it may not seem like it, but Toji and Kaworu share many characteristics with each other.
Now, about what Asuka gained from Shinji. Well, I would say that she got nothing. She had high expectations for him (both as a pilot and as a friend), but it ended up resulting in nothing. For me, their relationship is the most interesting of Evangelion, because it perfectly depicts the Hedgehog's Dilemma. Both were at least a little interested in each other, both had a lot to gain from each other, but both suffer from basically the same problems and, therefore, could not pursue each other. Shinji with his inertia, Asuka with her fake personality. It's really sad. Anyways, I got off topic... hahaha
Last edited by BernardoCairo on Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby IgRAzm » Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:32 am

Firstly, I guess in that part I talked more about relationships between antagonists. We normally assume that antagonist means an enemy, but in reality it's actually just that this other character currently has a conflict with the main (or another) character. Basically all the relationships Shinji has with the main cast are multilayered. I was just talking about the specific aspects of them, the aspects that in certain cases Shinji started to really see only in his more depressed and disillusioned state. Toji, well... He didn't have that much influence on Shinji in the matter while they could affect anything, to actually become an antagonist in any way, that's why it's a bit different discussion from my post above. Their friendship was genuine, just as was with Kensuke, and truly, as it happens, they didn't really use each other. If we are being that cynical to call this kind of relationship that, then it kinda becomes pointless to even point out that manipulation exists - when you consider everything it, that is. It didn't really survive the hardship that had tumbled on it with subtlety of a trainwreck, which wasn't too surprising. But maybe they figured it out after Instrumentality - I'd hope for that.

You know, I think all the people I've mentioned, certainly had a warmer, human element to their relationship with Shinji, actually even Gendo, no matter how much he'd reject that part of himself. Asuka and Shinji definitely could've had a decent friendship, that's foundation would be on their deep similarities and connections, that at the very least was a clear possibility, and for a while it was working in the series too. I wouldn't know where to start with Misato and how much the two of them matter to each other. The problem is that all these things got spoiled in our main timeline - things sucked too much for them all to get happy lives and relationships formed up and cleared up. But that's also depending on your interpretation of the ending, I suppose.

Like Kaworu said, both he and Shinji are the kind who didn't choose to be where they are - that's the problem in their relationship. Things were just a little out of their control. But, I guess, unlike Toji, who was just an unlucky bystander (even though he became a pilot, that's how far the business went), Kaworu's whole thing was to decide the fates of entire species, and he chose to be eliminated instead - in both cases Shinji was traumatized, but with Kaworu he was also haunted by the idea of someone like Kaworu as a result. Before, he hoped to get away from the blood that was risking to shed on his hands by abandoning piloting Eva, but then he was forced back into it. Because Kaworu in his mind was not only so similar to him and close to him, much how Toji was, him being so selfless and accepting he was also infinitely more valuable than Shinji, and because he himself, and not his father guided the Eva now, the ep. 24 situation was much more personal. That's without even speaking of Shinji previously losing contact with basically everyone he cared about, being a source of anxiety, guilt and self-doubt.

BTW, you should probably edit your posts and merge them so there's no doubleposting. Let's spare the moderators the need to point at things here, especially with this being not a serious discussion chat. Not that I even remember about the difference myself while typing.

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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby BernardoCairo » Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:12 am

Regarding the issue of "antagonism", I agree with you. Not every antagonist is necessarily evil. The meaning of the word is literally "a person who actively opposes someone or something; an adversary." In this sense, several antagonistic relationships can be established, even between characters who fight for the same cause. Many stories don't even have a main antagonist (focusing on more personal and compact conflicts between different characters, instead).
Regarding the contrasts between the battles against Toji and Kaworu, I think the main difference is that Shinji really took action on the latter. Kaworu gave him the choice and he acted, he preferred to kill rather than be killed. In the case of Toji, even before Gendo ordered them to activate the Dummy Plug, Shinji chose to do nothing. As Kaji said in the manga (and if I remember correctly, in the anime too), if Shinji had taken action, maybe he would have managed to stop Unit 03 and save his friend. But he didn't, he preferred to do nothing and, therefore, was indirectly responsible for what happened to Toji.
In both cases, it hurt. But at least in the conflict against Kaworu, Shinji took action. Some may argue that he didn't have many options, but that's how life is. You work with what you got. It is better than standing still.
About the posts, I'm sorry. I'm still getting used to the nature of the forum, so I didn't think there was a problem. I thought, "These are two completely different topics. I think it's better to separate them, to be less confusing." Thanks for letting me know it's not like that.
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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby Kendrix » Tue Dec 29, 2020 12:31 pm

I'm not sure if Shinji even had the option not to take action in ep 24

Remember that there's like a minute of silence before the final "crunch", and the communications from mission control were cut.


Also, it's nice to see someone who actually appreciates Touji cause he (and Kensuke) don't get enough love.
A lot of ppl look at them as just annoying comic relief, but in the actual show their friendship is actually treated as a big deal, that's why the incident with EVA 03 end up being the beginning of the end for Shinji.
Essay Todo list:
- Essay on the character's roles in each others introspec sequences
- Good faith Analysis of Mari
- The main characters through the lens of transactional analysis
- Finish ep 8 commentary

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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby orcot » Tue Dec 29, 2020 1:33 pm

To be honnest Shinji should have been present during Toji's activation test seeing how his first activation test with unit 01 and 00 ended. Had he been their from the start Toji could have been saved rather easly. If he also had the spear of longinus even unit 03 could be saved (it would have immbolised it). Saving Unit 03 is farfetched tough.

Similar Kaworu could have been saved if Shinji tought outside the box unit 01 is a ark that can store souls just swallow his soul. No more body, no body knows he is still in there. Problem solved (Shinji experienced a similar fate before so he should know it was a option even if it was not presented to him).

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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby BernardoCairo » Tue Dec 29, 2020 3:17 pm

View Original PostKendrix wrote:I'm not sure if Shinji even had the option not to take action in ep 24

Remember that there's like a minute of silence before the final "crunch", and the communications from mission control were cut.

I mean, I believe he had the power to choose. It just so happens that all of the outcomes of his decision were horrible (which is something we all go through at some point in life).
He stormed in the Central Dogma as a madman, going after Kaworu as if he was a beast. But, when he realized that Kaworu was indeed giving him the possibility to choose, he hesitated.
Killing this guy was no longer just a duty he had to fulfill as an EVA pilot, it was no longer just a simple revenge driven by anger. Suddenly, killing Kaworu became a personal decision. At that time, Shinji was humanity's last hope and he needed to act somehow. He couldn't just stand still, as he did while facing off against Unit 03. I think that Shinji didn't eliminate Kaworu right away exactly because he wasn't mentally prepared for the consequences that this action would bring. But he did it anyways, he chose. At least that's my take on it.
On Toji, I think that people tend to overlook him because he is not present at the end of the story (which is, by far, the most discussed part). That's a shame, honestly. He plays a big role in the development of Shinji's character and has a wonderful personality.
The first time I saw the anime, I thought he was a great character, but nothing else. But, on my recent reread of the manga, I found volume 6 to be the best one. I knew what was going tho happen, thus, it was really melancholic. But, somehow, Toji genuinely made me feel happy during it as well. It was at that time that I realized how much I cared about his presence in the story. I cried when he died (I'm a very emotional dude hahahaha).
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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby Zusuchan » Tue Dec 29, 2020 3:18 pm

orcot, both of your ideas depend on people knowing things they could never have known. Why would Shinji be present during Unit-03's activation test? Nobody thought something was going to go wrong and if anyone did think that, then having Shinji there would have been a bad idea nonetheless. And Shinji could never have known that Unit-01 could house souls and even if he did, then he could never have made it house Kaworu's soul because at that point that process could only be properly done with technology in the hands of NERV, SEELE and other organizations who probably weren't all that interested in getting Kaworu into Unit-01 and furthermore, there's the question of what Yui would have thought of that (I don't imagine she'd like that) and then whether or not that would screw over some of Kaworu's potential plans. In other words- because the audience is privy to certain things does not mean that the characters are necessarily too.

BernardoCairo, I understand your viewpoint as evidenced in your reply to me, accept it and have nothing else to add except that I hope you'll stay on the fandom for quite a while.

Edit: Also merged your posts.

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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby orcot » Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:47 pm

orcot, both of your ideas depend on people knowing things they could never have known. Why would Shinji be present during Unit-03's activation test?

From a practical standpoint both Shinji's and Rei's activation test with unit 00 went terrible causing a lot of damage to both the facility, the eva and the pilots. That alone should have been reason enough. To have some on standbye. Then theirs the moral support. Toji was frightened whilst he looked relativly calm right before he entered a friend would have been there for moral support.

And Shinji could never have known that Unit-01 could house souls

Shinji himself had been absorbed by unit 01 shortly before afther his fight with Zeruel. He should know. A simple synch rate over 200 would probably have done the trick if both Kaworu and Yui would be willing (Yui wouldn't unless she thinks she can profit by consuming adam's soul). However doing this could have potentially caused a third impact of some sort.
At least you could make that argument for it, and then their's movie Zeruel who consumed Rei (lilith soul) and this didn't cause third impact. So we are probably safe. Still perhaps moving to the movie, had Shinji tried this, consuming Kaworu and by that causing third impact I could have believed it. Saving Rei (liliths soul) afther it has already be consumed by a child of adam in a vessel of Liliths flesh. No I can't see how that could possible cause third impact.


(series)Kaworu was between a rock and a hard place he had to fullfill a mission that would kill him and if he failed they would kill him aswel. So only seeing death he wanted to choose his own death by Shinji. having been in unit 01 he would know that he still got the choice to return if he wanted to. It's a half baked solution but it would have solved the problem for the moment. (Yui would absolutly hate it tough but if she then killed Kaworu Shinji's hands would be relativly clean and kaworu would be no worse of then he intended to be and from his perspective it was Shinji that killed him so that is perhaps a happy tought for him). Thing is he would have tried, something anything. He would have shown to make a effort. When offert a single choise he would have gone for option B. Shinji didn't even try. He fought like he was suposed to and then he did what was asked from him. (eventough it destroyed him)

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Re: Toji vs Kaworu (who is better as a friend?)

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Postby Blockio » Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:03 pm

Let's not derail this thread
Why don't you save the Princess next time instead of being such a baby? She would love it and maybe you could get a sweet kiss. ~ Joseki
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