How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition"). The final instalment made its debut in Japan on March 8, 2021.

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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby Blockio » Tue May 23, 2023 3:29 am

View Original PostAxx°N N. wrote:Or that two people can't be miserable but quite attached! :emogendo:

Or that, yep.
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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby Axx°N N. » Tue May 23, 2023 12:20 pm

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote:And Anno wants those people to just move on.

I don't think this common attribution of intent to Anno has any textual (or otherwise) evidence to back it up. Anno is supportive of fan culture. He utilized ideas from, and has praised, doujinshi of his works that veered from his own intent. He once blithely commented in an interview in a yaoi magazine, to paraphrase, "ah, yes, before Kaworu was introduced, many doujinshi paired Shinji and Toji. Now, not so much." He didn't say it with an air of disapproval, and he didn't frame these people as being erroneous, or suggest that those then moving on to pen Kaworu x Shinji should instead "move on" completely. This feels like an attitude of the (western) fan community projecting its opinion onto Anno as a retroactive word of god.

As Anno is someone who has himself penned doujinshi, and is very clearly within the otaku subculture, I wager he has a clear perspective that the canon works and the life they live in fan communities are distinct, symbiotic but separate realms. I don't really read anything in Thrice that even begins to approach being some kind of invective to abandon that world and that way of interacting with media. What I do recognize are therapeutic diagnoses of unhealthy ways to relate to the self and others on an interpersonal level, yes, but I don't see how that gets conflated into "abandon otakudom and Eva fandom," especially not when theater-goers are offered memorabilia upon entrance and exit.

If Anno were seriously calling for the abandonment of Eva fandom because in his eyes it's some kind of mental roadblock, the last thing he'd do is release a BD with a new short film, a book of interviews and genga, and keep parent brands like Radio Eva alive. One of the very first merch releases after Thrice released was a reprint of Evangelion Millennials, which has Shinji and Asuka holding hands on the cover. To this day you can walk into the several dedicated Evangelion stores and walk out with figurines where Shinji and Kaworu are giving each other bedroom eyes. If Anno were taking some principled stand against otaku culture, he wouldn't be one of its key profiteers and allowing his brands to clearly cater to certain fan interests.

I'd wager actual money that if you asked him if people should stop "shipping" Asuka and Shinji, he'd say no and that that's their fan prerogative. I'd also be willing to bet money that he indulges in some kind of fandom headcanon that is contradicted by official canon of the various properties he loves. I don't think he views pillars of fandom like doujin markets to be the big bad of the world. And I don't think he'd leave so much of Thrice and its relationships open-ended (see: the various disagreements on if Shinji & Mari or Asuka & Kensuke are even romantic) if he didn't want people to extrapolate from it how they preferred.
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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby Kendrix » Tue May 23, 2023 6:10 pm

for once I completely agree with you.

This talk about how 'its all a deconstruction' is pretentious snobs wanting the thing they like to be 'pure' and 'above' other shows so they can rationalize their like of the show with dismissive attitude towards the larger genre.

See also the quotes I've compiled here. He is "considering not condemning". Commenting on a culture from inside the building as someone who's part of it rather than raising the middle finger from the outside.

There's a difference between some boomer complaining about kids being on their phones too much vs a long time internet user having a nuanced take of, say, the negative cultural impacts of the transistion from forums to hashtags as gathering places.

or someone who dismisses the whole fantasy genre as immature vs a fantasy fan who points out some issues because they want the genre to be even better

it was left "up to the interpretation" on purpose. not just because nerding out & making doujins & fanworks is part of the fun, but also because it actually fits with the thematic closure that, the pilots are now free & can have whatever future they want.
If he'd thought it was that important to show who ends with whom he would've shown it.

that wont stop me from making a long essay about how ReiShin is actually end game
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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby Blockio » Wed May 24, 2023 3:07 am

+1 to both of the above.

Anno is, at the end of the day, a giant nerd, and the notion that he categorically hates his kin there is laughable.
It's the same story for us here - we're all in the Eva hole enough to spend literal thousands of posts discussing it, but I do not believe for a second that there is anyone here who has never come across someone posting about Eva in a way that made you think jesus christ, take a chill pill or fifteen.
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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby Konja7 » Wed May 24, 2023 11:00 am

View Original PostAxx°N N. wrote:I don't think this common attribution of intent to Anno has any textual (or otherwise) evidence to back it up. Anno is supportive of fan culture. He utilized ideas from, and has praised, doujinshi of his works that veered from his own intent. He once blithely commented in an interview in a yaoi magazine, to paraphrase, "ah, yes, before Kaworu was introduced, many doujinshi paired Shinji and Toji. Now, not so much." He didn't say it with an air of disapproval, and he didn't frame these people as being erroneous, or suggest that those then moving on to pen Kaworu x Shinji should instead "move on" completely. This feels like an attitude of the (western) fan community projecting its opinion onto Anno as a retroactive word of god.


I agree. Anno doesn't really mean that the audience/fandom needs to "move on". As you said, Khara continue to release more information about Rebuild (like -46h).

There is a real concept of "move on" for the characters in 3.0+1.0, but I really doubt Anno wants to say the audience needs to move on from the frachise (at most, it's about himself). After all, Anno has said he wants the Eva franchise to continue.


This interpretations that Anno is saying fandoms need to move on is partially based in an old "theory" that Anno dislikes Otaku culture. I think this theory existed since EoE.

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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby Sefirot Tree Of Life » Wed Jun 07, 2023 5:22 pm

The last few posts are very well written, with a good look at Anno without either being too harsh or overly praising him (A problem with heated Evan fans and debates)

Anno and his relationship to "otaku" culture and anime/manga media is very long and complicated, and a lot more nuanced then ignorant western fans thinking he hates anime. He's someone that is deeply aware of fandom culture, because he's lived it and experienced it. Its his life's works.

Its easy to see why people think Mari is supposed to represent his wife, because Anno has always used Evangelion for self expression, but its very simplistic and reductive thinking that just doesn't have the full picture in mind, and blatantly projects and misinterprets Anno for what they want to believe.

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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby LightDragonman » Sat Jun 17, 2023 1:41 am

Course, his appreciation for the fandom completely disappears when it comes to Rei and the fans of her character.

If the lack of screentime or much of satisfying closure she had in the last film is any indication, it still seems apparent to me that she is the one character of this series that he utterly despises, or at least, hates how she was viewed as anything other than the creepy doll he meant for her to be seen as. Hence the treatment of Shinji saving her to be revealed as a bad thing in 3.0, her successor revealing that all the feelings she had for Shinji to be programmed, and her barely getting any sort of follow up beyond one last scene with him that didn't even last a couple of minutes long.

If you are a fan of Shinji, Asuka, Misato, Kaworu, and their relationships, Anno has affection and appreciation for you. But if you are a fan of Rei, then too bad. Your the exact kind of fan that Anno despises.
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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby MsenjaKagami » Sat Jun 17, 2023 8:53 am

Huh weird. Rei's my favorite character in the franchise, and honestly she's one of my favorite characters in media in general, and idk man I didn't get the vibe from Shin that Anno despises me for that (or that he despises Rei for that matter).
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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby Konja7 » Sat Jun 17, 2023 9:22 am

I really doubt that Anno despises Rei and her fans.

I just think Anno doesn't quite know what to do with Rei after 2.0. That's why Rei Q has a similar arc (although the context and development are different) to Rei II.


View Original PostLightDragonman wrote:her successor revealing that all the feelings she had for Shinji to be programmed,

I'm pretty sure this was just a way to justify why Rei Q feel so drawn towards Shinji.

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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby Axx°N N. » Sat Jun 17, 2023 1:57 pm

View Original PostLightDragonman wrote:If the lack of screentime or much of satisfying closure she had in the last film is any indication, it still seems apparent to me that she is the one character of this series that he utterly despises, or at least, hates how she was viewed as anything other than the creepy doll he meant for her to be seen as. Hence the treatment of Shinji saving her to be revealed as a bad thing in 3.0, her successor revealing that all the feelings she had for Shinji to be programmed, and her barely getting any sort of follow up beyond one last scene with him that didn't even last a couple of minutes long.

Subjectivity is a helluva thing. I feel like Rei got so much loving focus that it was to the detriment of every other relationship. I don't know how you can read the village sequence as anything else but a generous celebration of Rei as a character, and the creator's intention to service her fans. Yes, there are tragic outcomes--but that's not exactly unique to her character. If you want to say the clone stuff was some kind of alienating troll, then what of Asuka's origins & "programming" reveal? Or in terms of changing the significance or tenability of Rei and Shinji's relationship ("making" it a bad thing he wanted to save her) well, Thrice recontextualizes every relationship. Asuka is a missed chance, Kaworu is just codependent, etc. I really don't see preferential treatment anywhere.

What I do see is that Rei has the strongest throughline and most focus across the films, whereas everyone else goes through various hills and valleys but are, overall, most often relegated to supporting cast.
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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby Konja7 » Sat Jun 17, 2023 4:48 pm

View Original PostAxx°N N. wrote:Or in terms of changing the significance or tenability of Rei and Shinji's relationship ("making" it a bad thing he wanted to save her) well, Thrice recontextualizes every relationship. Asuka is a missed chance, Kaworu is just codependent, etc. I really don't see preferential treatment anywhere.

I agree. All relationships are recontextualized. Characters are trapped in their feeling towards Shinji.

Asuka is unable to move on, which is influenced by the "curse" of Eva, but also her mixed feelings towards Shinji.

Rei II wants to give Shinji the happiness of a life without the Eva. This is related to her being unable to have or even imagine a live without the Eva for herself.

Kaworu wants to make Shinji happy, because he feels himself reflected on Shinji. It's a way to make himself happy, since he feels miserable due to the eternal loop.


PS: In fact, the relationship between Shinji with Rei Q is relatively good. She is a little too dependent on Shinji's opinions, but it isn't too much.

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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby C.T.1290 » Sat Jun 17, 2023 6:14 pm

View Original PostKonja7 wrote:Asuka is unable to move on, which is influenced by the "curse" of Eva, but also her mixed feelings towards Shinji.

Or it could be part of her programming as a clone, much similar to Rei.

I guess Gendo wanted to make clones to screw over Shinji’s mind(and to use them as his tools for Instrumentality.).
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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby Konja7 » Sat Jun 17, 2023 6:42 pm

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote:Or it could be part of her programming as a clone, much similar to Rei.

I guess Gendo wanted to make clones to screw over Shinji’s mind(and to use them as his tools for Instrumentality.).


Honestly, Asuka especifically saying Ayanami series are drawn to Shinji makes me think Shikinami series aren't "programmed" that way.

Asuka will likely complaint about her feelings towards Shinji being "programmed" if that was the case.

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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Sat Jun 17, 2023 10:39 pm

It's high time people let go of this idea that Anno hates his fans... he does things for his own reasons, you can question them or his execution, sure, but they're not done in order to spite anyone. I find this to be very silly conspirational thinking.

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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby LightDragonman » Sun Jun 18, 2023 1:02 am

Just saying, given how he has said that he intended Rei to be creepy and views her as his least favorite character, alongside how 3.0 turned out in terms of how it treated Shinji's actions, along with how little screentime the last film gave in terms of Rei II, it really comes across that he hates or has contempt for those who have Rei as their favorite character.

I will say that he treatment in the first two films was at the very least solid. Seeing her go from an emotionless automaton to learning to love and care for others, especially Shinji, was something I found extremely heartwarming. All the moments between her and him, with the former in the end of 2.0 willing to give up her life for him, and Shinji willing to do the same for her was captivating for me to watch. His statement that there was no other Ayanami but her, and that's why he'll save her, when she viewed herself as expendable due to being a clone was something that honestly moved me. It gave off the message that "everyone is worth saving, regardless of upbringing or origins, as there's always someone there for you."

Only that changed in 3.0, and this is where I have problems, and see Anno's disdain start to come in. Given that 3.0 is meant to be Anno's true vision of the series, as opposed to the first two films being little more than what the fans want them to be, now she's replaced with a literal soulless shell, who is more in line with how Anno meant to portray her. At the very least, it did succeed in turning fans away from her, as her popularity plummeted in the polls to the point that Asuka and Kaworu now greatly exceed her.

But also in regards to the budding relationship between Rei II and Shinji, this film made it so that not only did he not save the former, but his attempt to do so ended the world. Which changes the whole message to "if you are little more than the object for one to try and escape reality, then you should die, and you really are worthless. Not to mention that you shouldn't bother to save someone you care about, as that person is little more than someone to coddle you, and the consequences for doing so are too great."

Which doesn't really make much sense in terms of the story or even the characters, given how it allowed the two of them to actually open up to others and learnt to care and love, alongside it being an extremely mean-spirited "screw you" to those who found his rescue of her to be heartwarming. But it does make sense from a meta-commentary angle. As Anno meant for Rei to be the symbol for an otaku's unwillingness to open up to actual people and how they prefer their ideal women to be. Given how Anno greatly likes "strong women" like Asuka and Misato over Rei, who he sees as a reflection of Japan's people to go for "weak-willed dolls" which he hates, this is reflected in how he treated her.

Either way, it makes investing in Rei's character and her relationship with Shinji a complete waste of time and even unhealthy in the eyes of Anno, leaving me feeling both cheated and stupid for ever having the gall to view it as anything other than the metaphor for unhealthy escapism over embracing reality.

Which then leads us to 3.0 + 1.0. Here, it backtracks, by having the replacement Rei go through an abridged version of the previous Rei's development, only for her to die, making her character feel pointless beyond just motivating Shinji. Then it turns out that no, Rei II was in fact saved and was waiting for Shinji all this time. It even says that he was correct for saving her after all. Great, now we can move forward.

Except that, because of all the stuff that's going on, all we get are a couple of scenes with the two, that barely last a couple of minutes, whereas the scenes he gets with Asuka and Kaworu at the end are far more extensive, even though his relationship with them wasn't built up as much (albeit Kaworu did get a whole movie in 3.0). Meanwhile, this one, that had been built up over the course of the previous movies, even in 3.0 to an extent, gets minimal payoff, concludes abruptly, which I found very unsatisfying.

It's like Anno knew he had to give it some sort of resolution, but because he still hates it because it's still just a symbol for an unhealthy escapist fantasy over embracing reality, he tried to wrap it up as quickly as possible. Especially given how he makes Mari, a brand new character that shared the least amount of time with Shinji, the one he runs off with at the end, as she's a symbol for a fresh start for him.

Given all that, I can't view this as anything other than Anno having nothing but scorn and hatred for Rei, her relationship with Shinji, and the fans who view her differently from how he intended. At the very least, he did get her to become less popular than ones like Asuka and Kaworu, who he greatly prefers, so I guess mission accomplished on that front, regardless of how I feel about it.
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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby Konja7 » Sun Jun 18, 2023 7:06 am

LightDragonman#941087, I don't agree with your statements, since I really doubt Anno has personal grudge against Rei and her fans. That said, there are some points I want to mention:


View Original PostLightDragonman wrote:I will say that he treatment in the first two films was at the very least solid. Seeing her go from an emotionless automaton to learning to love and care for others, especially Shinji, was something I found extremely heartwarming. All the moments between her and him, with the former in the end of 2.0 willing to give up her life for him, and Shinji willing to do the same for her was captivating for me to watch. His statement that there was no other Ayanami but her, and that's why he'll save her, when she viewed herself as expendable due to being a clone was something that honestly moved me. It gave off the message that "everyone is worth saving, regardless of upbringing or origins, as there's always someone there for you."

I should mention that Rei trying to sarcifice herself for Shinji in 2.0 isn't portrayed as a really a good thing (even if it was interesting). In itself, this is Rei considering herself expendable, but it adds that she wants to give Shinji a life without the Eva, which is related to her being unable to imagine a live without the Eva for herself.

It's true that Shinji's goal of saving Rei at the end of 2.0 is mainly portrayed heroically, but he still said that he doesn't care about the World and the Third Impact (that would destroy humanity) is started. So, 3.0 may decided to portray Shinji's actions in the previous movie as problematic, but the basis already existed in 2.0.

That said, I don't think 3.0 portraying the consequences of Shinji's actions as pretty negative is an attack to Rei fans. This was just the way to continue the story.



View Original PostLightDragonman wrote:Except that, because of all the stuff that's going on, all we get are a couple of scenes with the two, that barely last a couple of minutes, whereas the scenes he gets with Asuka and Kaworu at the end are far more extensive, even though his relationship with them wasn't built up as much (albeit Kaworu did get a whole movie in 3.0). Meanwhile, this one, that had been built up over the course of the previous movies, even in 3.0 to an extent, gets minimal payoff, concludes abruptly, which I found very unsatisfying.

It's because 3.0+1.0 spend so much time in Rei Q's development in Village 3 that the staff didn't feel the need to spend much more time in Rei II in the Instrumentality.

I'm not precisely happy about this decision, but it's implied Rei II decision in the Instrumentality was helped by Rei Q memories.
Last edited by Konja7 on Wed Jul 12, 2023 9:08 am, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby Konja7 » Sun Jun 18, 2023 7:27 am

View Original PostLightDragonman wrote:At the very least, it did succeed in turning fans away from her, as her popularity plummeted in the polls to the point that Asuka and Kaworu now greatly exceed her.

This isn't really true. Asuka was already the favorite character in Japanese polls (for female characters) during 2.0:

Image


In fact, there was a Japanese poll for EoE in 1997 where Asuka and Kaworu (and other characters) were more popular than Rei.

1 = Asuka Langley Soryu
2 = Kaworu Nagisa
3 = Shinji Ikari
4 = Misato Katsuragi
5 = Rei Ayanami
6 = Maya Ibuki
7 = Ryoji Kaji
8 = Gendo Ikari
9 = Ritsuko Akagi
10 = Pen Pen

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Postby ChrisTamv » Sun Jun 18, 2023 11:59 am

I should mention that Rei trying to sarcifice herself for Shinji in 2.0 isn't portrayed as a really a good thing (even if it was interesting). In itself, this is Rei considering herself expendable, but it adds that she wants to give Shinji a life without the Eva, which is related to her being unable to imagine a live without the Eva for herself.


Also don't forget that Gendo and Fuyutsuki planned for Shinji's and Rei's bond to be strong enough for Shinji to become a trigger and for Unit 01 to be awakened. There's a reason why Rei's feelings specifically were engineered so that she would like Shinji.

Meaning that part of the drive behind her sacrifice at least was artificial. Not only that, Gendo leaves everything to Fuyutsuki and leaves the bridge when Zeruel is causing chaos. Minutes later and Rei, unexpectedly to everyone else on the bridge and without any permission, launches her Eva with an N2 mine and attempts to sacrifice herself. I'm certain that it was Gendo who directly orchestrated this while he was gone.

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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby BernardoCairo » Sun Jun 18, 2023 12:57 pm

View Original PostLightDragonman wrote:But if you are a fan of Rei, then too bad. Your the exact kind of fan that Anno despises.

I really don't know where you're going with this. Honestly, Rei got quite a bit of time in the spotlight in the first and second movies (mostly in the last third of both, but still).
If anything, Asuka wasn’t nearly as well handled as she was in her transition to NTE. Asuka literally went from the co-protagonist in EOE and most of NGE to a mere side character with barely any screentime or meat behind her story.
Same deal with Misato, to a lesser extent.

Konja7 wrote:1 = Asuka Langley Soryu

No wonder why she was number 1 in 1997… Asuka kicked ass in EOE.
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Re: How do you feel about Shinji ending up with Mari?

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Postby Konja7 » Sun Jun 18, 2023 3:06 pm

View Original PostChrisTamv wrote:Meaning that part of the drive behind her sacrifice at least was artificial. Not only that, Gendo leaves everything to Fuyutsuki and leaves the bridge when Zeruel is causing chaos. Minutes later and Rei, unexpectedly to everyone else on the bridge and without any permission, launches her Eva with an N2 mine and attempts to sacrifice herself. I'm certain that it was Gendo who directly orchestrated this while he was gone.

I don't think this situation with Rei and the 10th Angel was orchestrated by Gendo (even if it works for his plans at the end). In itself, the situation with the 10th Angel was pretty chaotic for everyone including Gendo. For example: Gendo wanted to use Eva-01, but he discovered this rejects the dummy plug.

I think Rei decided to use Eva-00 to fight 10th Angel on her own, because she didn't want Shinji to pilot the Eva again. She doesn't care about dying in this battle, which wouldn't convenient for Gendo.


That said, I think Gendo allowing Shinji to pilot Eva-01 was likely part of his manipulation. Shinji could appear the only hope at that time, but SEELE has already send Kaworu and Mark-06 to stop the 10th Angel (and Gendo knows about Mark-06).


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