Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby WILLE_Coyote » Sat Aug 14, 2021 7:29 pm

View Original PostStuart wrote:
SPOILER: Show
View Original PostWILLE_Coyote wrote:I really would've preferred Shinji being on his own at the train station, but still happy.


He had to learn to accept other people though. Being alone wouldn't have fulfilled that part of his character growth.

I've only just watched the film for the first time, but my immediate reaction is that Mari was created in NTE primarily for this very ending. It's an ending which no-one wanted and no-one expected. There are no Shinji x Mari shippers. It's the anti-Eva fan ending, the anti-otaku ending, the "it's time to grow up and move on beyond this cartoon" ending.

Pairing up Shinji with anyone else would have been pandering to one group of shippers at the exclusion of all the others, so Anno paired him off with the one character no-one ships him with.


He doesn't have to be paired off with Mari to accept others, though.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby PSIWasHere » Sat Aug 14, 2021 8:51 pm

View Original PostStuart wrote: There are no Shinji x Mari shippers. It's the anti-Eva fan ending, the anti-otaku ending, the "it's time to grow up and move on beyond this cartoon" ending.


If this here truly was the intention, then I feel that it deserves my respect. Throughout all of Eva, I never really much considered any of the characters as relationship material for Shinji, or for that matter, anyone,
It felt like confining the characters to relationships wouldn't do them the justice they deserve, they are far too complex to be that black and white. So, seeing the general rejection of the 'Rei vs Asuka' argument in favour of delivering an ending that presents a finality in terms of Shinji's love interest, and it being a character that is kind of made for that sole purpose, It's more fulfilling overall, Do I sound like I'm not making sense here? I feel like I'm talking in riddles and not articulating myself well enough ha, either way I hope my point gets across.
:)

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby writer » Sat Aug 14, 2021 10:58 pm

We always knew there was something strange with Mari. From the moment she parachuted in she's been a mystery, and a lot of that mystery was dissolved in this film. We know that Mari is a contemporary of Yui, Gendo, and Fuyutsuki. It's very possible that she was part of the staff at Gehirn and even NERV. We can almost be certain she was working in the same division as the rest when Yui disappeared into Unit 01. It's very likely that she was the first Eva pilot, and potentially even a designer of part of the Eva system. Not only can she pilot Evas that are not synchronized to her specifically, she knows secret codes to bypass normal Eva restrictions (Beast Mode), has taken multiple plunges into the depths of her Entry Plug, shows signs of the curse of Eva (youth, perhaps immaturity). She has a deep knowledge of Evangelion parts and how to repair/modify them (Paris) and can also navigate the Negative Universe (including the means to escape it) showing that she has been there before and likely knows about the loops and their main cause (Instrumentality).

Mari isn't immortal, nor is she a clone recreated in each loop; her name is not in the Book of Life as far as we know. She is instead more likely a survivor of one or multiple loops and has been piloting Eva for a long time. She's a savior from beyond the veil of time/space that searches these worlds to save Shinji from his fate, whether in only this reality or across many. And why save Shinji? Sounds like the kind of promise someone would make to their friend in the instance that something catastrophic happened.
Last edited by writer on Sat Aug 14, 2021 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby Natalie the Cat » Sat Aug 14, 2021 11:06 pm

I think the choice of her "real" name is some kind of hint at her true nature but it's going to be impossible to tell what that hint actually means because we have no way of knowing how it was intended. According to the wiki the way it's rendered implies a connection to the biblical Mary but that makes like zero sense in the context of this story.

I seriously don't think anything about her is supposed to fit. Her incongruity with the story is the point, she's a figure of chaos and change with a benevolent trickster aspect that guides Shinji forward at various points after her appearance in the story. Even telling Shinji to save the princess is interesting, one of the more subtle ways her actions break the fourth wall from time to time.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby Archer » Mon Aug 16, 2021 6:17 am

So like, what’s her deal exactly? Is a lot of it still “we don’t know”?

Like okay, she’s implied to be Gendo’s high school classmate (given her age), but that doesn’t explain why she apparently hasn’t aged from then til 1.0 or how exactly she got involved with the Eva program. I couldn’t tell if the movie was implying that the woman in Yui’s photo is supposed to be an older Mari (who then got de-aged at some point due to Evangelion-related shenanigans.

I suppose it’s also possible that she was just the first pilot recruited into the test program, and in the scenes of her interaction with Gendo (which are all rendered in the rough pencil style) they actually have a 10-ish year age gap, which could easily be true given the art style.

Her name is definitely the biggest ??? for me because I’m just sitting here wondering if this is supposed to be a big revelation because it means literally nothing to me.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby Stuart » Mon Aug 16, 2021 9:20 am

Archer wrote:Her name is definitely the biggest ??? for me because I’m just sitting here wondering if this is supposed to be a big revelation because it means literally nothing to me.


Yeah the name thing is really weird because it was delivered by Fuyutsuki in such a way as if we're meant to all go "ahhhh!" but there's nothing in-universe that makes sense of that as far as I know.

In the Bible, there are two major Marys - Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, a follower of Jesus who found his empty tomb after the Resurrection. Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus at the Last Supper by identifying him to the Romans who then went on to execute him. So is Mari meant to be a motherly figure, or is she the one who will discover Shinji's resurrection? Who is she betraying? Gendo? Fuyutsuki? Seele?

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby writer » Mon Aug 16, 2021 10:13 am

View Original PostStuart wrote:Who is she betraying? Gendo? Fuyutsuki? Seele?

If she was a member of the same team and Genfo, Yui, and Fuyutsuki (Gehirn/NERV) and defected with Kaji to form WILLE (or some other double-agent agency), then perhaps the Iscarot is just a "betrayer" term placed on her by Fuyutsuki, or even something that she was once called as a joke. Or perhaps it's her actual in-universe last name. Either way, the term was familiar and was met with "I haven't been called that in a long time." If/When we finally see Mari interrogated by SEELE/NERV in the time gap, I think we'll get a lot more of her backstory lined out explicitly. Until then, it is a mystery.
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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby x7x7x7 » Tue Aug 17, 2021 2:25 pm

Is the girl in the picture that Fuyutuski shows Shinji confirmed to be Mari or not? It was confirmed that she was with Gendo and Yui in the past, but the girl in the picture looks way older than the 14 year old Mari we know. The woman looked to be in her 30s.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby writer » Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:43 pm

View Original Postx7x7x7 wrote:Is the girl in the picture that Fuyutuski shows Shinji confirmed to be Mari or not? It was confirmed that she was with Gendo and Yui in the past, but the girl in the picture looks way older than the 14 year old Mari we know. The woman looked to be in her 30s.


Mari is certainly not physically 14. Her breasts are much bigger and she's quite tall is comparison to the rest. I theorize she's maybe physically 19-23, and that she was effected with the Curse of Eva at an older age than the others.
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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby Konja7 » Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:53 pm

View Original Postwriter wrote:Mari is certainly not physically 14. Her breasts are much bigger and she's quite tall is comparison to the rest. I theorize she's maybe physically 19-23, and that she was effected with the Curse of Eva at an older age than the others.

I was sure Mari's appearance is from a 16 years old girl. I wouldn't use the breasts to theorize her age.

My current theory is that Mari is a clone (Makinami) with memories of the original.

If Mari was colleague of Yui and Gendo, the Evas wouldn't be created for the time Mari was 16.
Last edited by Konja7 on Tue Aug 17, 2021 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby RussianRiz » Tue Aug 17, 2021 4:00 pm

That would explain why she's not like 60 years old in the station scene. So she's in her 30s as a clone.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby penguintruth » Tue Aug 17, 2021 4:01 pm

Mari's entire point is metafictional. She's there as a stand-in for Moyoco Anno, guiding Shinji (Hideaki Anno) to a happier state of being.

Except, you know, Anno forgot to give his wife's representation any character development.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby Archer » Tue Aug 17, 2021 4:03 pm

I’ve always headcanon’d Mari as a couple years older than the other kids. Not that it really matters anyways, when it comes to unaging demigods age really is just a number.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby writer » Tue Aug 17, 2021 4:07 pm

View Original Postpenguintruth wrote:Except, you know, Anno forgot to give his wife's representation any character development.


I believe there will be exposition once we're more enlightened as to what occurred in the 14 year gap. Interrogation by NERV would be a great way to introduce it.

Also, Mari may not have had an Eva to pilot, but perhaps she was one of the first to attempt such things. My theory is, soon after Yui's disappearance, Mari underwent experimentation that either caused her to be afflicated with CoE (there were no safeties back then), or as has been previously stated, she is a clone of the original. Her ability to access secret Eva codes, reach super-low depths with no fear, and navigate the anti-Universe are what suggest to me that she may have been the first Eva pilot.
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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby Archer » Tue Aug 17, 2021 4:21 pm

^ Personally, I’m of the opinion that you shouldn’t need “supplemental material” to understand important aspects of a story. Especially a story that this last chapter so definitively closed out. This is why I really wish some of the Act 2 action budget had instead been devoted to like 1-2 more timeskip flashbacks, at the very least covering Kaworu and Kaji’s NERV coup because their instrumentality sequence is just stupidly confusing without that context.

While I think Mari is easily the most poorly handled part of the Rebuilds as a whole, I really don’t mind her TOO much as-is and would prefer that they don’t go back and retroactively give her more characterization. I almost kinda like that the last movie didn’t go and give her a hilariously tragic backstory to retroactively give her depth.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby Konja7 » Tue Aug 17, 2021 5:02 pm

View Original PostArcher wrote:^ Personally, I’m of the opinion that you shouldn’t need “supplemental material” to understand important aspects of a story.


This is Evangelion. The need of "supplemental material" to understand aspects of the story is a must :irked:

I just hope we could discover the story between N3I and Third Impact some day.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby aboose » Tue Aug 17, 2021 5:18 pm

View Original Postpenguintruth wrote:Mari's entire point is metafictional. She's there as a stand-in for Moyoco Anno, guiding Shinji (Hideaki Anno) to a happier state of being.

Except, you know, Anno forgot to give his wife's representation any character development.


This is a cop out. Although she obviously is a metafictional character, she has logical explanations in-universe.

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby Kendrix » Tue Aug 17, 2021 6:28 pm

Wasn't the whole Mari = moyoco thing explicitly denied in an interview?

This all sprung from ONE critic's essay. I've read it and the author seems like he hates happy endings on principle

adult Mari has kind of similar glasses as Moyoco does in that interview, but that's probably by virtue of being the one main character with glasses rather than her whole character being based on her.

The glasses are a bit too feminine to make Gendo or Kensuke wear them as a homage XDD
It's just one of many references like the picture book Rei reads with that little girl she befriends.

The point of Mari is, quite simply, to be a contrast figure and have a somewhat different attitude/ perspective as the other main characters.
She got tons of insider information from her donor, hence why Asuka calls her a "crony"


there's a bit of missed potential in that I wish we'd seen more of Misato interacting with the pilots (Hence I really hope drafts for timeskip movie exist/ leak / get released), but for the most part she fullfils that purpose just fine.
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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby PSIWasHere » Wed Aug 18, 2021 1:01 am

View Original PostArcher wrote:^ I almost kinda like that the last movie didn’t go and give her a hilariously tragic backstory to retroactively give her depth.


Honestly, If it was executed in this fashion I think it would've felt really tacked on and probably would've lessened the value and impact of the movie overall. I like
that they didn't really attempt to do much with her, mainly because of my aforementioned reasoning, but I also feel such immense disappointment that I can't figure out
what she means for Rebuild in its entirety. Surely, I'll figure it out eventually if I'm missing something and maybe just maybe I'll accept that I was 'filtered' or something but, I've never had to
genuinely ask myself of a characters purpose in anything surrounding Evangelion because it was so clearly stated, here It's just confusing.
:)

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Re: Do I just not understand Mari's point?

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Postby Raikyu » Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:28 pm

I don't know if this twitter thread was already shared, but I think it is an amazing and interesting analysis of the character. I recommend everybody to take a look.


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