The Last Train Station Scene

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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Postby Archer » Fri Sep 03, 2021 6:58 am

It’s pretty explicitly stated that this isn’t a new “cycle” though. E.g. Shinji specifically not rewinding time (which… may or may not be why the cycles exist in the first place, Shinji choosing to rewind time during every prior Instrumentality), the same Earth shown to be un-fucked, the dead presumably staying dead.

As for the train station, I personally don’t think the other pilots are anything more than visions, but if you think they’re real, it could be as simple as “they didn’t see him”. Rei and Kaworu were talking to each other and Asuka was looking somewhere else.

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Postby Konja7 » Fri Sep 03, 2021 7:48 am

View Original PostArcher wrote:It’s pretty explicitly stated that this isn’t a new “cycle” though. E.g. Shinji specifically not rewinding time (which… may or may not be why the cycles exist in the first place, Shinji choosing to rewind time during every prior Instrumentality), the same Earth shown to be un-fucked, the dead presumably staying dead.


Well, the theory that the train station scene is a new (and last) "cycle" has the idea that Shinji was waiting a LOT of time for Mari. So, he could only live on a new cycle.

Asuka returned to Earth and arrives close to Kensuke's house. So, we know Shinji doesn't rewind the time and the Eva world continues to exist.

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Postby dzzthink » Fri Sep 03, 2021 8:55 am

but isnt it implicitly stated that Shinji and Mari are familiar with each other now, with Shinjis line 'you're real cute, as usual'. Shinjis response to Mari covering his eyes also suggests he is now comfortable with displaying affection (to those he is familiar with, not strangers). You wouldnt interpret that as simply new confidence as it seems clear that train station Shinji is different to beach Shinji, not just physically and vocally, but socially, suggesting a lot of time has passed and his perceptions have matured. Shinji holding a briefcase and the characters new clothing suggest they have each found their new tastes and professions. You cant just dream that up or say it was part of Shinjis wish. That would require some kind of omnipotent level of control and world building to determine other peoples lives. These traits can only come from gradual life experiences and growing up, which is the overall message
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Postby Archer » Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:15 am

That depends on you believing that the train station scene takes place in the fixed world after a timeskip, whereas the premise of this thread was showing that no timeskip of that nature occurs and discussing the implications of that.

I think there’s no way to accept that as a valid interpretation based on the evidence presented, since the only way to accept it as true is to completely ignore the DSS choker.

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Postby pir2confusion » Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:26 am

View Original PostArcher wrote:It’s pretty explicitly stated that this isn’t a new “cycle” though. E.g. Shinji specifically not rewinding time (which… may or may not be why the cycles exist in the first place, Shinji choosing to rewind time during every prior Instrumentality), the same Earth shown to be un-fucked, the dead presumably staying dead.

As for the train station, I personally don’t think the other pilots are anything more than visions, but if you think they’re real, it could be as simple as “they didn’t see him”. Rei and Kaworu were talking to each other and Asuka was looking somewhere else.


I think Mari and Shinji leaving the imaginary world works pretty well as a visual send off and really like that as being the ending. I also think Mari is strange there are major mysteries with her and how she knows everything including that this impact is able to rewrite minds and bodies so I'm pretty sure how I like the series to end isn't how it actually is ending.

Shinji acting like a cheat code when using the spear says he won't rewind time. Yet during all the montage we don't actually see any people. They show footprints of the returned crew and the empty escape pod but no people who have returned or any people in the village. This world continues to exists as Shinji is on the beach but as Shinji starts to become a pencil drawing and after Mari is on the beach that world does not appear again. Shinji who in the last two movies has almost ended the entire world trying to make wishes makes another one why couldn't this one just reset the minds and physical reality.

All five pilots and not any of the other characters from the series being at that train station is a choice the same kind choice is being made that the pilots do not look at Shinji and he doesn't look at them. This can easily not be important but it is a directorial and animation decision not to have them looking at each other.

Also on the subject of Shinji notices something before we could see him looking for a brief moment at quantum Rei this time Mari who has the same kind of birds fly across power lines entrance quantum Rei has had and is able to appear behind Shinji.

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Postby aboose » Fri Sep 03, 2021 10:10 pm

View Original Postprofesor_rod wrote:I rather think that the final scene is highly symbolic and the multiple interpretations I have seen people trying to derive from it is the aesthetic clue. There's obviously an intended meaning behind the train station scene (I only 50% subscribe to the Death of the Author, fricking Post-modernism) but we are left grasping at straws because that's part of the intention.


For what it's worth, I completely agree with you. The whole purpose of my post is to show that there is more that what first meets the eye. It was also a kneejerk response to people who completely misunderstood what they were seeing and were taking it completely literally (a la 14 year time skip and evangelion world and real world merge which are just factually false).

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Postby gonzalodlp27 » Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:20 pm

View Original PostRutilia Augusta wrote:I'd like to thank heretol3arn for their post on Reddit. I read it and it drastically changed my view of the film from "okay, this is pretty good" to "this is it, the perfect end to Evangelion." Thank you, heretol3earn.

One point that I have not seen mentioned yet in favor of the idea that train station scene takes place in the anti-universe (excuse me if I have overlooked something) is Misato's final order to Mari.

Right before Misato uses the Wunder to pierce Giant Naked Rei with the Spear of Gaius, she tells Mari: "Go to Shinji!" to which Mari responds: "You got it! I'll bring him back!"

I think this indicates that Mari sees her mission as bringing Shinji back to the real world, which, for these characters is not our "real world" but rather theirs of the post-Second Impact. Thus, Mari in the beach scene, followed by the train station scene, is in the process of helping Shinji returning to their world.



Im really into this theory, i like it beacuse it have almost no contradictions.. but.. then why Mari says to Asuka "Take care of yourself, princess" in the EoE beach scene if she is supposed to return to that world?

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Postby Meldon_Elraenhie » Wed Sep 29, 2021 2:45 am

Im really into this theory, i like it beacuse it have almost no contradictions.. but.. then why Mari says to Asuka "Take care of yourself, princess" in the EoE beach scene if she is supposed to return to that world?


Apologies for the short reply, I will try to expand it later adding a few things regarding the train scene.

We must interpret these lines in the same sense we interpret Shinji’s confession in the past tense. Shinji confesses in a past tense because he is going to use the spear to impale himself and get rid of the Eva. So he, thinking he was going to die, says sayonara to Asuka. Using the past sense for him makes no other sense. Mari’s role is to bring Shinji back (as she promised to Misato and Shinji), but it is not an easy task. She might fail and not return to the real world with Shinji, and she knows that. Therefore, she also says her goodbye to Asuka (although without using sayonara)

We know that this almost happens thanks to the scene where Shinjinstarrs fading in the anti universe, and then Mari comes and says something like “I did it in the last second” (I do not remember the exact quote now)

However, thanks to the train station, we know that both are going to exit the anti universe and reunite with the others, especially Asuka, reuniting Shinji and Asuka again.

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Postby Meldon_Elraenhie » Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:33 pm

Here comes my longer reply, including my thoughts about the last scene. I have read all the replies in this thread, but I might have skipped some involuntarily.

I touched briefly on the meaning and implications of the ending in my analysis about the Shinji and Asuka relationship in 3.0+1.0. I posted my thoughts and other analysis mixed. You can find the post here, as I have borrowed a lot of the material I am going to post here: https://forum.evageeks.org/thread/21085/Comprehensive-and-in-depth-analysis-of-Asuka-and-Shinji-relationship-in-3010-and-implications-for-the-ending/

One of the key elements to understand the last scene is the dialogue between Mari and Misato, where some role exchanging occurs between them. Misato, before sacrificing herself, tells Mari to bring Shinji back. Now, the guardian figure is Mari.

Image

Some people have picked this on Twitter, suggesting that the end scene might have some bookend elements related to Misato's first appearance.



With this in mind, the next step I believe is crucial is that the scene happens just when Mari finds Shinji in the antiuniverse. Before that, Shinji is alone, fading slowly away, as there is no other person to self-identify. When Mari comes, this process stops. They are still in the anti universe, and now she will fulfil her promise of bringing him back.

Therefore, the next shot is the train station scene, which happens in the antiuniverse. As it will be the farewell of the characters, Anno chooses a location that allows him to relate personally to the movie. First, Shinji is released of the curse of Eva and is an adult, as happened with Asuka before in the antiuniverse. Then, he sees the other pilots on the other platform, but we know they are not there. Asuka had abandoned the anti universe and Rei and Kaworu...let's assume they, too, although it might be more tricky to know. They are probably illusions, a way Shinji has to realise they are alive and okay. It is not the first time we see characters that are not there in the antiuniverse. It happened with the Kensuke doll, who was, in fact, Shinji.

Interestingly, Asuka is sitting on the same bench and chair as Shinji, although reversed. She even has a bag next to her as him. Furthermore, she is the only pilot who is alone looking at an electronic device, perhaps a sign that Asuka is alone in the Eva free world and is still with her defences up, AT field at full. It might also reflect that her character arc is not closed yet.

Subsequently, we have the train arriving and Mari's teasing. This part is also essential, as it explains the role of Mari. She is the one who is going to guide him, as she did before. Mari did three things that she can do this time again as a guide: Awake (uncovering the eyes), present (the romantic partner) and ensure everybody is happy.

Let me show the three stages with images:



With Shinji, we see the first one:



Consequently, we know what is going to happen. They are going to exit the anti universe and reunite with the others. She is going to reunite Shinji and Asuka, as she did with Gendo and Yui. This will settle Shinji and Asuka characters' arcs. We can discuss whether they will board the train or not, if they exit the anti universe when they exit the station, but I think it is difficult to doubt that they are returning home. Shinji only says, "I am home" in one place since living in Misato's apartment is Kensuke's house in the third village.

So I think the train scene works like this:

Image

(They might not reunite in Kensuke's house, as perhaps Asuka is not there...but that's another story...)

Finally, I wanted to write my thoughts about the possibility of a time-skip in that scene. I think there is none. The reason is that the scene works as Asuka's beach scene for lifting the Eva curse. The maturity that Shinji displays is present before the train scene. This is the whole reason for the ending of thrice. Shinji learns and grows before instrumentality, instead of learning after the experiences of it as happened in EoE. So the adult Shinji that we see in the train station scene is already present since the moment he decides to go after his father and talk to him. The only new thing is the grown physical appearance due to not having the curse, but mentally it is the same Shinji as in previous scenes.

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Postby ArtyumR » Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:41 am

it's a "%$"" reset ending, pretentious overthinkers. :facepalm:
the world was rewritten by Shinji, the movie pointed out this over and over with how they "rewrite" instead of "rid off" some aspect of reality.

Mari saves him and then reality is rewritten to fit Shinji's wishes , a new world has been created from the old one making everything from the previous movies pointless and meaningless.. there's also no time skip but reality catches up with Shinji.. he's now grown up with a job
and Mari is there too for some reason very convenient too. :rolleyes:

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Postby Konja7 » Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:50 am

View Original PostArtyumR wrote:Mari saves him and then reality is rewritten to fit Shinji's wishes , a new world has been created from the old one making everything from the previous movies pointless and meaningless..


Unless Mari finds Shinji after thousands of years (which is another theory), a total reset wouldn't really make sense.

It is strongly implied that life on Earth will continue after the Instrumentality. We see that Asuka returns to the restored planet and she arrives close to Kensuke's house. It's pretty clear she will live there.

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Postby Meldon_Elraenhie » Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:02 pm

No dialogue implies a total reset of the world. The dialogue with Rei exists to demonstrate that it will not happen. Rewrite means to get rid of the Eva and everything that is associated with them, the suffering and pain, but there is no creation of a whole new world. If further evidence is needed, there are plenty of shots showing how everybody is returning to the world, from the people falling from the sky to Asuka’s entry plug.

The only one who is not shown to make that transition is Shinji, and thus, the meaning of the last scene. There is no overthinking. The dialogue between Misato and Mari is straightforward: bring him back. And that is the role of Mari.

The fact that of choice of Shinji’s clothes I believe is done to show and assure that he is now a mature adult, but it does not imply that he has a job or anything like that. In the movie, we saw previously how characters wore clothes that were not present in their memories or lives, such as the parts of Asuka’s NGE plugsuit.

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Postby nerv bae » Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:45 am

View Original PostArtyumR wrote:it's a "%$"" reset ending, pretentious overthinkers. :facepalm:

the cynical hater has arrived haha

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Postby UrsusArctos » Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:53 am

ArtyumR wrote:it's a "%$"" reset ending, pretentious overthinkers. :facepalm:


ArtyumR, unwelcoming and insulting posts that shut down discussion are why I created the new discussion rules in the first place, and you are clearly in violation of them.

I will leave it to the moderation staff to give you a formal warning, but take it from a former administrator : this sort of nonsense is not welcome here.


View Original PostMeldon_Elraenhie wrote:Consequently, we know what is going to happen. They are going to exit the anti universe and reunite with the others. She is going to reunite Shinji and Asuka, as she did with Gendo and Yui. This will settle Shinji and Asuka characters' arcs. We can discuss whether they will board the train or not, if they exit the anti universe when they exit the station, but I think it is difficult to doubt that they are returning home. Shinji only says, "I am home" in one place since living in Misato's apartment is Kensuke's house in the third village.

So I think the train scene works like this:

Image

(They might not reunite in Kensuke's house, as perhaps Asuka is not there...but that's another story...)


Your idea and analysis are quite fascinating, and I like the idea of the three things that Mari did as a guide. It is really good!

But what about Kensuke himself in that image, if they're living at his house? I know we don't see him at the end of the train scene, but surely he, Toji and Hikari can't have been completely removed from Shinji's new existence. Do you see them continuing to exist as Shinji's friends?
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Postby nerv bae » Sat Oct 02, 2021 8:03 am

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:But what about Kensuke himself in that image, if they're living at his house? I know we don't see him at the end of the train scene, but surely he, Toji and Hikari can't have been completely removed from Shinji's new existence. Do you see them continuing to exist as Shinji's friends?

Meldon can add a Kenken bubble to the diagram but wearing a "WORLD'S BEST DAD (NOT ROMANTIC!)" hat. :tongue:

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Postby Meldon_Elraenhie » Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:13 am

Thank you very much UrsusArctos for your feedback.

But what about Kensuke himself in that image, if they're living at his house? I know we don't see him at the end of the train scene, but indeed he, Toji and Hikari can't have been completely removed from Shinji's new existence. Do you see them continuing to exist as Shinji's friends?


Yes, absolutely. The neon genesis would mean removing all Eva-related things such as the flying objects, the wanderers and the red sea, for example, but not removing or adding new people to the world or transporting them from one place to another. In the diagram, I used Kensuke's house as it was the last place where we see anything Asuka related, her entry plug. However, the idea is that Shinji and Mari return to the third village, reuniting with the others, and one of the places where they can meet is Kensuke's house for sure. My intention was not to imply that Shinji and Asuka would live specifically at that place, taking Kensuke out of his own house; haha. It is just a place of gathering.

And I believe this is more important than it might seem initially. I disagree with the "you have to move on" message that some people think the movie delivers, justifying Shinji's behaviour helping his friends as cutting all his ties with them. Shinji just wanted to sacrifice himself for all the horrible things his father did and help Asua and his friends and thought he would not be present anymore. This is reversed thanks to Yui, and he is returned to the real world thanks to Mari. While the train stations scene might be a goodbye from the director, and hence the location, it is not a goodbye between the characters or the start of a new independent life from everybody else. At that moment, Shinji is going to travel with Mari to the world where everybody else is. During this journey, Hideaki Anno wanted to bring them closer to him and say goodbye. At the same time, Anno sees how Shinji returns and live a happy life thanks to his growth in his hometown.

We say goodbye to them, but for Shinji, it is just a true beginning with everybody he loves and appreciates.

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Postby Meldon_Elraenhie » Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:16 am

Meldon can add a Kenken bubble to the diagram but wearing a "WORLD'S BEST DAD (NOT ROMANTIC!)" hat. :tongue:


Don't tempt me Frodo!

Although I do not know if I would write the best dad or best big brother...hard to decide.

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Postby UrsusArctos » Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:23 am

You're welcome for the feedback. The idea that people can gather together at Kensuke's house makes sense in another way - it seems to occupy a liminal space, being part of Village-3 and yet not part of it at the same time, with Kensuke being both a crucial part of the community and set aside from it as well.

View Original PostMeldon_Elraenhie wrote:And I believe this is more important than it might seem initially. I disagree with the "you have to move on" message that some people think the movie delivers, justifying Shinji's behaviour helping his friends as cutting all his ties with them.


I too find it odd that people took this message from the movie, because it is precisely those human connections and ties, and unconditional friendship, that bring Shinji back from the brink. Shinji is able to move on precisely because of his connections with other people, both in the village and on the Wunder.
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Postby Konja7 » Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:41 am

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:I too find it odd that people took this message from the movie, because it is precisely those human connections and ties, and unconditional friendship, that bring Shinji back from the brink. Shinji is able to move on precisely because of his connections with other people, both in the village and on the Wunder.

It's because there is a strong "goobye" vibe in the last part of the movie. Not only in the Instrumentality, but the Train Station too (Shinji see Asuka, Kaworu and Rei take a train, while he goes in the opposite direction).

The last part of the film focus on how Asuka, Kaworu and Rei are trapped in obssesions (Kaworu's "make Shinji happy" or Rei's "give Shinji the happiness of not piloting Eva"). So, they need to let Shinji go and find their own places.

That's why I think the end of the movie implies that Shinji won't be on contact with Asuka, Kaworu or Rei, since he wants them to find their own places.

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Postby Meldon_Elraenhie » Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:48 pm

I want to reply to UrsusArctos and Konja7 in the same post...let's see if I can make sense of my words.

First,

I too find it odd that people took this message from the movie because it is precisely those human connections and ties, and unconditional friendship, that brings Shinji back from the brink. Shinji is able to move on precisely because of his connections with other people, both in the village and on the Wunder.


You are absolutely right. This element is critical to Shinji's growth and it is stated throughout the film.

When Shinji is in his lowest state, we see that he starts to understand that everybody is nice to him despite everything he did, a key element to start growing from there, which means that his friends appreciate him.

Image

Some minutes later, when Shinji is almost fully grown in the movie, we know that those ties are vital and important for Shinji, as Kaworu says:

Image

So, it is never implied that Shinji has to sever those ties or that he does not want to be with them. What is stated in the film is that Shinji has to use those ties, make them his guide, to arrive at a place he can call home. It is thanks to those ties, not without them.

Then, we have the last scenes of the movie. Before them, Shinji has a lot of feelings inside: He has fully grown up and understood that people appreciate him and they are important for him too + he wants to reciprocate all of that and help them + he wants to undo all the bad his father did. And he has one tool for doing so: The Gaius spear. So he wants to remove everything Evangelion related and give happiness to all their fellow pilots in a selfless act of sacrifice.

Image

He is not treating other characters' obsessions. In fact, the other characters do not have obsessions, their behaviours have not been portrayed like that ever. They just want to do positive things for Shinji. Shinji tells Asuka she has a place to belong and that he loved her (not going to analyse the verb tenses here and why), thus reciprocating her previous openness and connecting both of them for the first time. Helps Rei to find a place for herself and makes Kaworu understand that he can be happy too. Does it sound like a goodbye to all of them? Yes, because he is going to die. But, does his colleagues allow him to do that? Well, he lies to almost all of them: To Asuka, we have the past tense + Mari interaction with ejection of Asuka's entry plug before she could react to anything. He lies to Kaworu, telling him he will not be lonely. He lies to Rei, when tells her that he has found a place too and will be rescued by Mari. All for them.

But we know that this is stopped by his parents' love.

Image

This is the point where the "goodbye to everybody" path ends. Then, the rescue starts. Shinji is rescued by Mari and they go to the real world, expressed metaphorically in the train scene station set in the antiuniverse. In that scene, the other pilots are not there, they are just representations that they have already left and been saved by Shinji. Hence, they are on another platform.

However, is there any other goodbye in the film? Yes, both the characters and us say goodbye to everything Evangelion related, as they will not exist in the rewritten world thanks to Yui and Gendo's sacrifice. But only we, the audience, say goodbye to Shinji at the end of the movie.

That's why I think the end of the movie implies that Shinji won't be in contact with Asuka, Kaworu or Rei, since he wants them to find their own places.


To believe in this we should:

1. Think that Shinji want to sever his ties, live without them and that he is not going to impale himself with the spear
2. Think that Mari is going to betray her promise to Misato
3. Think that Mari is going to betray Asuka's feelings
4. Think that the train station is not set in the AU.

However,

1. We know that for Shinji, those ties are key and it is never exposed he wants to leave the rest of the characters.
2. We know that Mari betrays Fuyutsuki/Gendo, but is on the "pilots' side"
3. We know that Mari is a key element regarding Asuka and Shinji relationship and feelings for each other throughout RoE and there is no element to think it won't continue to be like that. In fact, it is more emphasised with the visual comparisons and parallelisms Yui/Gendo and Asuka/Shinji
4. We know the train scene is in the AU as CGI is used in a similar fashion as it was with Lilith's head, there are parts of our world and is where Shinji and Mari were before it started and they had not left the AU before (and Shinji's awakening is like Asuka's one in the AU)

Shinji is going to be reunited with everybody. It is not a theory, it is the plot of the movie.

I think that the meaning of the ending got out of control when the Mari/Moyoco started (debunked) and there were a lot of Goodbye Evangelion posters as a promo for the movie.

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((And as another argument, although not as valid as it comes from unused material from EoE, the live-sequence, we know that a world here Shinji is not present does not work for the rest of the characters. They end up more unhappy than before, especially Asuka. so I highly doubt they wanted to separate Shinji from the rest))


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