Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

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.

Moderators: Rebuild/OT Moderators, Board Staff

Forum rules
By visiting this forum, you agree to read the rules for discussion.
Derantor
Former Moderator
Former Moderator
User avatar
Age: 32
Posts: 712
Joined: Oct 20, 2019
Location: The Beach
Gender: Male

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Derantor » Sat Dec 18, 2021 10:12 pm

Edit: I'll have to fix this post later; I sound overly dismissive of some things, against my intention.

View Original Postnerv bae#933253 wrote:And if the Wunder is such a joy to Asuka, why show her frowning upon its actual arrival?

This is the more relevant part to disproving my arguments, so I quoted this. As for being a protector: she can't protect anything without her Eva; looking out for NERV is pointless, because if NERV were to attack in force, she could do nothing against them (thanks to the choker). In any case, NERV isn't a threat to the village; if they wanted to, they could have destroyed it long ago, because it has zero protection. Gendo isn't interested in that, because Wille still has a part ot play in his plan. As for her looking sullen: there's more than one possible reason here. The endgame for NERV always included her losing 02 and her pilot status. Consider her remark that the new suits are funeral clothes. She expected to die, in some sense, and part of her was to die, even if she won. That'd have been Eva 02, and her role as protector. So mixed feelings aren't out of the ordinary. She probably knows that this is the last time she will be needed for anything important; it's the final battle, after all. Besides, Wunder herself isn't necessarily joy for her in any case, given that she's treated like a dangerous individual the second she steps on board. That doesn't contradict her wanting to pilot again, the only way she can possibly change things for herself.

This isn't a pilot itching to get back in the entry plug, but a daughter pleased to be of use to her community. But not, as you assert, a community that accepts her ... despite her wish to be human.

We're jumping ahead here - her "wish to be human" isn't established yet. Look at her when she's handing over the letter. Not much joy there, so I'm not sure that the letters are responsible for giving her joy in this instance, either. Also, Asuka only looks like a child, she isn't actually one. I think she doesn't see herself as a daughter pleasing daddy Kenken (sloppy phrasing; I don't mean to imply that their platonic relationship isn't completely wholesome), and given that she is of incredible use to the community already on account of enabling it to exist in the first place, I don't see her taking much pride in being allowed to play mail-woman, either. She still otherizes herself from that community, too, and she doesn't express interest in it beyond being its protector. She doesn't interact with any of the village people. To jump ahead a little, yes, the women say that Rei looks "like she's got baggage", but they very, very quickly forget about it. They're not shown to harbour any lingering resentments against her; so if Asuka truly wanted, I see no roadblock to her becoming part of the village, unless they're for some reason more biased against her than they're biased against Rei, who is an enemy Pilot. They'd be some truly heartless folk if they reject Asuka when everything Asuka wants is being part of the group/community.

On what Asuka wants:She is saying that her desire for human community is a new feature in her life in addition to piloting.

Yeah, and she still forgoes that new desire in favour of piloting. It's nice to be able to talk to people, but it doesn't rank higher than piloting. Besides, that's an Asuka who still hasn't got her memories back. She still doesn't know that she's a clone, or that she's restricted to human form - she's at her most "I might be able to be a normal human" there. Contrast that to Q and Shin, where she does not seek "human interaction" at all. She's snippy towards Misato, and it seems like Kenken is the only human she tolerates in her life. She is still very much withdrawn, and doesn't seem to seek out the community she learned to value somewhat in Ha. She's not even open towards Mari, one of her only friends and a fellow meta-human.

Asuka has baggage. Something happened in the timeskip that makes her jumpy in the village, and ready for trouble. The village has antagonists -- she doesn't have offers or opportunities to be normal there;

Again - it's very strange then that they accept Rei completely, even though Rei talks like a robot and only wears her Pilot suit. Rei looks outright creepy; if they give her a chance, why not Asuka? Whatever token resistance they put up to Rei vanishes in an instance once she starts planting rice. Which doubts would warrant Asuka's continued exclusion from the village?

If at worst Kaworu acts intentionally and gets a bad result, at worst Shinji is merely negligent (regarding Asuka's consent) and still gets the right result: her conversion to a normal human.

We still haven't established that she wants to be a normal human. Wondering if she will be able to sleep again isn't decisive evidence for it. And that Shinji is negligient regarding consent is exactly why I compared him to Kaworu, because that was his prime mistake to begin with, too. It shows that Shinji hasn't grown as much as everybody tells him he has. His trial here was whether or not he can accept other peoples wishes or not, but he bypasses that completely, in favor of giving himself closure. And yeah, maybe consent is the highest moral virtue in NTE, because almost nobody does anything while consenting to it. Everybody is being puppeted, and everybody ultimately serves the evil guy, and none of them ever feel like they have any choice. Misato abandoned her son because she felt she needed to protect all of humanity; Rei remained in the Eva because she thought she had to protect Shinji from piloting, etc. They're "children with fate built into them", as per Fuyutsuki; so their decisions don't matter, because they can't change the outcome. Shinji piloted for many reasons, all of them including some form of "because I have to." In that kind of setting, being able to freely choose what you want to do with your life actually is one of the highest privileges you can gain, so yes, I'd say it is extraordinarily important.

And I don't see why the reasoning for Shinji can't be applied to Kaworu. Kaworu was merely negligient telling Shinji about everything this "fix the world plan" entailed; he didn't intentionally deceive him, he was just clumsy.

I think Shinji did very much act intently. He's actually going by something Asuka taught him: "I was angry at you because you didn't decide whether to help or kill me." So now, instead of being indecisive, he simply decides on her behalf right away. There's nothing in his behaviour betraying any insecurity or doubt, and nothing to suggest he's not acting intentionally, either. In fact, the whole point being raised about him being a hero rests on Shinji finally acting of his own volition and asserting himself - if it was all an accident, he wouldn't be a grown up to begin with. He's broadly praised for taking things into his own hands and changing them for the better (presumably). "I just forgot", which in this case means: "I don't care about your feelings/opinion" is the exact opposite of what would constitute growing up.

In any case, this issue isn't about Shinji doing the right thing, or making the right choice on somebody elses behalf - the whole issue is that it wasn't his choice to make to begin with. It's Asuka's choice to make, nobody elses. No matter what Shinji choses, whether it's good or bad, is besides the point. It's not his choice to make. Realizing that is him growing up; foregoing that is repeating Kaworu's mistake.

Anyway, I'm dead tired, so this reply probably isn't up to snuff. I want to add in reply to Konya7 that, no, it's not only the outcome which dictates that a behaviour is abusive. Just because you want to help somebody doesn't mean you're a good person. <- this previous sentence doesn't read like proper English, so I'll go to bed now and fix it later.
Last edited by Derantor on Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
My writing on Ao3 and FFN

Konja7
Eva Technician
Eva Technician
Posts: 1376
Joined: Aug 04, 2019

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Konja7 » Sat Dec 18, 2021 11:59 pm

View Original PostDerantor wrote:We still haven't established that she wants to be a normal human. Wondering if she will be able to sleep again isn't decisive evidence for it.

I think the story is pretty straightforward with the implication that she hates her "cursed" body. It is even implied that she is waiting to die.

Also, I agree that Asuka is probably distancing herself from humans in Village 3. However, this only shows that Asuka feels unable to connect with them due to her "curse". She is not really happy with that situation.

The fact that Shinji gives Asuka a human body is another hint that this is what Asuka really wants. In 3.0+1.0 ending, it would be extremely unlikely that they are going to give Asuka an ending that she does not want.



View Original PostDerantor wrote:In any case, this issue isn't about Shinji doing the right thing, or making the right choice on somebody elses behalf - the whole issue is that it wasn't his choice to make to begin with. It's Asuka's choice to make, nobody elses. No matter what Shinji choses, whether it's good or bad, is besides the point. It's not his choice to make. Realizing that is him growing up; foregoing that is repeating Kaworu's mistake.

I understand that you dislike that Shinji did not speak directly to Asuka. However, it is difficult for me to use this against Shinji's growth, because it is clear this was the writers's decision (they focus on Asuka's past and loneliness in the Instrumentality).

I guess the lack of words from Asuka is because her fate will be know for the audience. Instead, Kaworu and Rei needed to speak directly, because their fate is ambiguous, so they had to show that they are moving forward. Instead,



View Original PostDerantor wrote:Anyway, I'm dead tired, so this reply probably isn't up to snuff. I want to add in reply to Konya7 that, no, it's not only the outcome which dictates that a behaviour is abusive. Just because you want to help somebody doesn't mean you're a good person. <- this previous sentence doesn't read like proper English, so I'll go to bed now and fix it later.

I just said the story doesn't try to portray Kaworu as abusive. They try to portray Kaworu's behaviour regarding Shinji as misguided and problematic but well intentioned.

Also, 3.0 really wants to hold Shinji responsible for his self-centered behaviour and his desire to escape from pain. The story of 3.0 doesn't want to portray Shinji as an manipulated victim without agency. Shinji has agency in his decisions in 3.0 even though Shinji would rather not have (the reason why he doesn't ask more details).

Derantor
Former Moderator
Former Moderator
User avatar
Age: 32
Posts: 712
Joined: Oct 20, 2019
Location: The Beach
Gender: Male

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Derantor » Sun Dec 19, 2021 6:29 am

However, this only shows that Asuka feels unable to connect with them due to her "curse". She is not really happy with that situation.

I really really don't buy this, that it's only a problem on Asuka's side. She connects well enough with Kenken, who's also a Lilin. She talks normally with Rei and Mari, so she's not socially stunted. If her feeling like it's difficult to connect to people is the only thing stopping her from not connecting to them, it's really hard to believe that she didn't fix it or find a way around it in the fourteen years she had to do so. She'd be denying herself something she truly wants for no good reason.

Edit: Also, getting a slight feeling of Deja-vu here. Yes, she hates her body - nobody is arguing against that. But "I hate X" doesn't mean "Therefore, I want Y". I hate eating cereals. Now tell me what I want to eat instead.

The fact that Shinji gives Asuka a human body is another hint that this is what Asuka really wants.

Not at all. First of all, I don't like this kind of argument, because it's backwards. It looks at the outcome and assumes that because the outcome happened, people wanted that outcome all along. Which means that Shinji in Ha really wanted to destroy the world, and it was only Kaworu stopping him which prevented it. And secondly, he gives everybody a human body because he has to: otherwise, he can't make his wish to remove Eva from the world come true. He is not leaving anybody any choice here, and the decision has nothing to do with Asuka herself at all. So you might say that it doesn't matter if he asks her then, if he's not giving her a choice anyway, but here's the difference:

Take a group of castaways. They're out of food. They decide together to draw straws, and the loser gets eaten. That's tragic, but all of them agreed to sacrifice one of them so that the other two can survive. That's what we call heorism: somebody willingly giving up their life. If instead two of them conspire behind the third one's back, gang up on him, kill and eat him, they'd be condemmed as murderers, even though the outcome is completely the same. Consent changes everything here. That even goes for people who are not given a choice at all:

"You're our only nuclear engineer. You'll have to go down into the reactor, or we will all die. You will of course not survive."
"... okay, I'll do it."
"Thank you. You are a hero."

Contrast to:
"Send that man into the reactor. I don't care what he says; force him if you have to."
Nuclear Engineer is dumped in the reactor room and somebody closes the door behind him to not let him escape.

In the first example, there's a heroic nuclear engineer willingly accepting his fate, somebody we can admire; in the second one, there's a cold, ruthless asshole boss who sends one of his men to die without any concern for them - somebody we hate. Outcomes are the same; the reality of the situation is the same. But the engineer in the second example might not even try to fix the reactor - why would he save the people who just condemned him to death after treating him like a slave?


Rei's and Kaworu's fate would have been known to the audience if we just were shown the outcome without them talking at all, so from that perspective, there's no need for them to speak, either. But you're right, we know that they're moving forward because they do. We see them make a conscious decision to leave their past fixations behind and grow past them, which isn't the case with Asuka. And not sure how it being the writers decision stands against my arguments; everything in the movie is the writer's decision. If they decide to show Shinji not growing past his tendency to confuse other people's happiness with his own in that scene, then he doesn't grow past that tendency in that scene. That doesn't negate his growth in other areas.

Again, abusive behaviour remains abusive no matter how well intentioned you are. If I lock a small child in a damp, dark room for half a day because I really want it to over come its fear of the dark, only wanting their best, I'm still abusing them. I'm also being misguided and problematic, of course, but that doesn't preclude me being abusive. And Shinji has been manipulated his whole life. He very much is an abuse victim himself, and still a child. That's part of the reason people are able to forgive him at all. Because if it wasn't the case, it would mean that he made his decisions without any external pressure on him - in which case he's just an asshole who fully intended to fuck everything up for everybody. It's not an either/or black and white issue, either. Shinji can have some agency while still being manipulated. Or do you think it was an accident Gendo sent a Rei clone to get him? It's even implied that he intended for her to die so that Shinji could see it. He's clearly trying to mess with Shinji, who, lets not forget, had his mind wiped to make him forget certain things and push him into a certain direction. That's never taken back (or addressed again), but Shinji is not living a free life at all.
My writing on Ao3 and FFN

nerv bae
Israfel
Israfel
User avatar
Posts: 479
Joined: Sep 06, 2021
Location: USA
Gender: Male

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby nerv bae » Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:08 am

View Original PostDerantor wrote:Edit: I'll have to fix this post later; I sound overly dismissive of some things, against my intention.

It doesn't read as overly dismissive to me, on a first read. You're engaging pretty fairly with our points and I'm still having fun. :leekspin:

Some very minor follow-up for now:

View Original PostDerantor wrote:
SPOILER: Show
Yeah, and she still forgoes that new desire in favour of piloting. It's nice to be able to talk to people, but it doesn't rank higher than piloting. Besides, that's an Asuka who still hasn't got her memories back. She still doesn't know that she's a clone, or that she's restricted to human form - she's at her most "I might be able to be a normal human" there. Contrast that to Q and Shin, where she does not seek "human interaction" at all. She's snippy towards Misato, and it seems like Kenken is the only human she tolerates in her life. She is still very much withdrawn, and doesn't seem to seek out the community she learned to value somewhat in Ha. She's not even open towards Mari, one of her only friends and a fellow meta-human.

I've been assuming that Shikinami never lost her memories. Is there good evidence that she doesn't have them in Ha but that she gets them back during the timeskip?

View Original PostDerantor wrote:
SPOILER: Show
If at worst Kaworu acts intentionally and gets a bad result, at worst Shinji is merely negligent (regarding Asuka's consent) and still gets the right result: her conversion to a normal human.

We still haven't established that she wants to be a normal human. Wondering if she will be able to sleep again isn't decisive evidence for it. And that Shinji is negligient regarding consent is exactly why I compared him to Kaworu, because that was his prime mistake to begin with, too. It shows that Shinji hasn't grown as much as everybody tells him he has. His trial here was whether or not he can accept other peoples wishes or not, but he bypasses that completely, in favor of giving himself closure. And yeah, maybe consent is the highest moral virtue in NTE, because almost nobody does anything while consenting to it. Everybody is being puppeted, and everybody ultimately serves the evil guy, and none of them ever feel like they have any choice. Misato abandoned her son because she felt she needed to protect all of humanity; Rei remained in the Eva because she thought she had to protect Shinji from piloting, etc. They're "children with fate built into them", as per Fuyutsuki; so their decisions don't matter, because they can't change the outcome. Shinji piloted for many reasons, all of them including some form of "because I have to." In that kind of setting, being able to freely choose what you want to do with your life actually is one of the highest privileges you can gain, so yes, I'd say it is extraordinarily important.

And I don't see why the reasoning for Shinji can't be applied to Kaworu. Kaworu was merely negligient telling Shinji about everything this "fix the world plan" entailed; he didn't intentionally deceive him, he was just clumsy.

I think Shinji did very much act intently. He's actually going by something Asuka taught him: "I was angry at you because you didn't decide whether to help or kill me." So now, instead of being indecisive, he simply decides on her behalf right away. ...

I don't think I made my original point "If at worst Kaworu acts intentionally and gets a bad result, at worst Shinji is merely negligent (regarding Asuka's consent) and still gets the right result" very well. Yes, Kaworu acts intentionally towards Shinji and Shinji acts intentionally towards Asuka, but here I was (poorly) trying to contrast the technical intent or negligence of each respective actor towards his subject's consent / frame of mind prior to taking intentional action. Maybe I should expand on this a bit later.

View Original PostDerantor wrote:We still haven't established that she wants to be a normal human. Wondering if she will be able to sleep again isn't decisive evidence for it.

Importantly, I'm not angling for a decisive victory in this topic. I don't think that's possible given the subject matter we're working with! My goal is to merely assemble a plausible reading in support of Meldon's original topic thesis.

Konja7
Eva Technician
Eva Technician
Posts: 1376
Joined: Aug 04, 2019

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Konja7 » Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:41 am

View Original PostDerantor wrote:Edit: Also, getting a slight feeling of Deja-vu here. Yes, she hates her body - nobody is arguing against that. But "I hate X" doesn't mean "Therefore, I want Y". I hate eating cereals. Now tell me what I want to eat instead.

I've understand your point, but we are speaking about fictional characters. The writers know/control their fates and wishes.

Another thing, I know that an outcome doesn't mean the characters want that outcome. However, Rebuild is also extremely clear when the outcome isn't something that the characters want (like we can see in 2.0 and 3.0).

In 3.0+1.0, the ending is supposed to be a happy one. That's why Asuka getting a human body in this happy ending is a hint that she wanted this.



View Original PostDerantor wrote:Again, abusive behaviour remains abusive no matter how well intentioned you are. If I lock a small child in a damp, dark room for half a day because I really want it to over come its fear of the dark, only wanting their best, I'm still abusing them. I'm also being misguided and problematic, of course, but that doesn't preclude me being abusive. And Shinji has been manipulated his whole life. He very much is an abuse victim himself, and still a child. That's part of the reason people are able to forgive him at all. Because if it wasn't the case, it would mean that he made his decisions without any external pressure on him - in which case he's just an asshole who fully intended to fuck everything up for everybody. It's not an either/or black and white issue, either. Shinji can have some agency while still being manipulated. Or do you think it was an accident Gendo sent a Rei clone to get him? It's even implied that he intended for her to die so that Shinji could see it. He's clearly trying to mess with Shinji, who, lets not forget, had his mind wiped to make him forget certain things and push him into a certain direction. That's never taken back (or addressed again), but Shinji is not living a free life at all.

It's true that Shinji has been manipulated by Gendo. In 3.0, Gendo has even expected Shinji to ignore Kaworu's warning and take the Spears.

However, I feel the story doesn't really care so much about Shinji being manipulated (or his young age), because it doesn't use this as a defense at any point. Even when the story wants to defend Shinji, the defense by Misato was that Shinji was her subordinate.

That's why I don't think Rebuild tries to portray Kaworu as abusive. The story of 3.0 clearly wants to hold Shinji responsible for his decisions in this movie.
Last edited by Konja7 on Sun Dec 19, 2021 9:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

Derantor
Former Moderator
Former Moderator
User avatar
Age: 32
Posts: 712
Joined: Oct 20, 2019
Location: The Beach
Gender: Male

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Derantor » Sun Dec 19, 2021 9:15 am

View Original Postnerv bae wrote:I've been assuming that Shikinami never lost her memories. Is there good evidence that she doesn't have them in Ha but that she gets them back during the timeskip?

There's nothing decisive either way, but she seems to be much more aware of her history in Shin (and presumably Q, but she doesn't talk in that movie) than she is in Ha. She seems to be vaguely aware that she's the "only one capable of piloting 02", implying she might remember something about the Battle Royale, but I don't think she knows the full picture. I wouldn't know how to square her behaviour in Ha with that. "Hello, class! Name's Asuka Shikinami Langley. I had 554 sisters, but they all got killed because I was better than them, so now I'm here to pilot an Eva, and I'm also something like an Eva! Nice to meet you!" Then again, we see so little of her that it's difficult to tell. And I must admit that I probably forgot half of Ha already. Need to rewatch it, but it's becoming more and more difficult to sit through NTE with each rewatch.
My writing on Ao3 and FFN

Axx°N N.
Sahaquiel
Sahaquiel
User avatar
Posts: 646
Joined: Dec 31, 2020
Location: Up a tree
Gender: Male

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Axx°N N. » Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:27 pm

View Original PostKonja7 wrote:The writers know/control their fates and wishes.

That's the problem, though. It's inelegant storytelling to write in such a way that a character is justified in their actions only because of dramatic irony they have no possible actual way to know about. If Shinji isn't a jerk to not grant ReiQ a name only because the writer later spells it out for us that her soul was likely restored into some Rei amalgam, that's contrived and it means that his character's actions don't act as their own argument, it means we have to detach and wait for Anno to play spin the bottle and just agree with whatever he throws the dart at.
Après moi le déluge!

Settie
Sachiel
Sachiel
User avatar
Age: 37
Posts: 212
Joined: Mar 17, 2017
Location: The deep south
Gender: Male

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Settie » Sun Dec 19, 2021 10:51 pm

SPOILER: Show
View Original PostDerantor wrote:
Is it really that strange that Asuka would do it just to do something nice for Shinji?

Yes. If she's just doing for him, I don't buy it at all. Not only because I don't like it, as it would mean that one of her most important and far reaching decisions wasn't about herself at all, instead revolving around Shinji, making her even more of a non-character who only exists for Shinji's sake and has no existence outside of him, but also because it goes against her characterization and leaves out everything else we know about her. Right before, she's really distressed when Ritsuko imprisons Unit 02; she says that it's the only place where she belongs. She also is quite clear when she says that Shinji is an idiot for piloting only to get praised by his father. In addition, she dreams of having a long career at NERV. Her whole life is bound up in piloting - for her, it's a matter of life and death. Her memories are at that point probably still suppressed, but she's already expressing that sentiment, meaning that she's subconsciously aware of it. Being able to pilot = being able to live on - else, she gets butchered, like the rest of her sisters. So of course, when she recieves that message in the middle of the night, offering her an opportunity to pilot, she jumps at the chance. We see later on that she sees herself as a protector of humanity, so maybe that's part of her reasoning too, and that would include Shinji at some level. But I don't see him being the main focus and driver of her decision at all. The decision is important for her character because she chooses piloting over socializing.

So - is it possible that Asuka is also acting altruistic, at some level? Sure. Does she do it only for Shinji's sake? Absolutely not. Her list of priorities goes something like this:
-Survive
-Pilot Eva
-Survive
-Pilot Eva
-Survive
-Pilot Eva
--------------------------------------------- (<- Ordering not 100% definite below this line)
-Defeat the Angels
-Survive
-Avoid social situations
-Garner Praise
-Pilot Eva
-Be admired
-Survive
-Protect Humankind
-Pilot Eva
-Play videogames
-Be fair to people
-Talk to Misato about her feelings
-Beat her own highscores on her Wonderswan
-Have contest with Rei
-Be nice to people
...
...
...
-Forego her own wellbeing so that Shinji can reconcile with his asshole father, which she thinks is idiotic to begin with

Edit: to contrast, here's Rei's list of priorities:
-Make Shinji happy
-Feel Poka-Poka inside

In her case: yes, she absolutely would have piloted for Shinji's sake.


Sorry for late reply, busy week. Anywho lets get to it.

I fail to see how Asuka agreeing to be Unit-3 test pilot specifically for Shinjis sake is somehow mutually exclusive with her piloting. We learned in Trice that piloting is a means to an end to get her what she really wants, attention and acknowledgement of herself as someone worthy. So piloting wasn't her end goal, it was something that got her closer to what she really wanted, to not be alone. Her crushing on Shinji made her "sacrifice" to pilot not so outlandish either.
Now regarding her character revolving around Shinji. It does and there's no way to sugarcoat that fact, Asuka revolves so much around Shinji that it is him and only him that could apparently help her. It wasn't Mari who was by her side for 14 years or Kensuke who took care of her for who knows how long, but Shinji. I'm not saying you should like it or that it's even good but i'd say it's also quite true.

You highlighted in your other posts the fact that Shinji doesn't ask her permission for what he does in instrumentality and while you bring up good points, i think it's just a byproduct of the way the story is structured. Shinji is #1 and everyone plays second fiddle to his wants and needs. Simply comparing Asuka in NGE to this version of her and it becomes painfully obvious how much of a non-character Shikinami is.

Derantor
Former Moderator
Former Moderator
User avatar
Age: 32
Posts: 712
Joined: Oct 20, 2019
Location: The Beach
Gender: Male

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Derantor » Mon Dec 20, 2021 10:12 am

You're right, helping him is not mutually exclusive with piloting. Like I said, it is about her priorities. Regarding her being a non-character: Well ... I offered a way for her to not revolve around Shinji, and have a character of her own. Not sure how much else I can do to prove that she isn't a non-character, and doesn't need to be compared to Soryu, either. The whole point of Shikinami is that she isn't Soryu, and while I agree that Shikinami's character beats are much more hidden than Soryu's, they're still there. And yeah, I'm pretty sure Shinji thinks he's the only one who can help her, but since I spent the last couple pages in this thread detailing how he's not actually helping much at all, I won't repeat myself. You said it yourself: Shinji is #1 and everyone plays second fiddle to his wants and needs. So to strike a comparison to NGE of my own: NTE!Shinji is like NGE!Shinji if you remove all the redeeming features. :P
My writing on Ao3 and FFN

Zer0_Stars_DS
Embryo
Posts: 39
Joined: Nov 26, 2021

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Zer0_Stars_DS » Fri Dec 24, 2021 1:59 am

In the spirit of the holidays, I will acknowledge the situation and concede. Derantor is right. Asuka played the role of a reluctant guardian to Shinji and buried her feelings for Shinji long ago and never really felt anything for him because they barely knew each other at all, she was thinking impulsively in Instrumentality because she was at her lowest point and what she really wanted was keep piloting the Eva and stay an Angel forever and was miserable before because no one would accept her as an angel. Shinji took all that away from her and didn’t even ask for consent from her because he devolved into a heartless soulless monster who sees everyone around him as objects meant to be used and thrown away when he’s done with them showing how far he has fallen from grace while disguising it as growth and only cares about serving his psychotic mother and being Mari’s little plaything who also only pushed Asuka to be with him and was her friend for 14 years just to be funny, and Asuka wants nothing to do with that little brat, will ignore him and will curse his soul until the day she dies because she’s forever alone and has no purpose whatsoever and drew the short straw out of everyone else which also ruins her as a character completely which means that Evangelion 3.0+1.0 is a bad ending and NTE is conceptually bad. Consent is the most important thing in any relationship or any bond at all. It does not matter even if you know what someone wants or what will make them happy. If they do not ask it of you to give them that then you just should leave well enough alone. The only thing you can do then is respect their decisions whether they are good or bad. This logic, your logic has proven that there is no true hope in Rebuild, only false hope. I was happy at first about the ending that we were given but that was all a product of the misinterpretation that this was in fact a good ending and everyone is safe and happy and thus proof that reality is worth living in, as well as ignorance of the lack of consent. I would’ve preferred to believe what is presented but it’s what is underneath in the subtext that says it all. As such, it better is to accept the truth for what it is instead of staying stuck in our ways. So here’s to you buddy. You win. You’ve singlehandedly disproven not only Asushin but also that Rebuild of Evangelion is a good ending

Derantor
Former Moderator
Former Moderator
User avatar
Age: 32
Posts: 712
Joined: Oct 20, 2019
Location: The Beach
Gender: Male

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Derantor » Fri Dec 24, 2021 1:48 pm

Spirit of Christmas, huh? Let's see ... You were sad that the Shinji & Asuka relationship article was gone, so I've got a present for you:
Shinji and Asuka's Relationship Version 2nd of June
Shinji and Asuka's Relationship Version History

First link is to the longest version of the article I could find, second link takes you to the version history, where you can look at every iteration of the article posted since its inception. Also accessible through the top bar of every article, click on "History".

Merry Christmas!
My writing on Ao3 and FFN

Zer0_Stars_DS
Embryo
Posts: 39
Joined: Nov 26, 2021

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Zer0_Stars_DS » Fri Dec 24, 2021 2:57 pm

Thanks. Merry Christmas to you too. Now go spread the word. People need to know that Eva is the same as it ever was. The Director said it himself once. It’s all about the viewers’ perception that changes

C.T.1290
Zeruel
Zeruel
Age: 33
Posts: 838
Joined: Apr 22, 2017
Location: U.S.A.
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby C.T.1290 » Fri Dec 24, 2021 5:32 pm

So basically, this is saying that Anno had sank the AsuShin ship and is telling all of us to move on from it?
“This is the way”-The Mandalorian

Zer0_Stars_DS
Embryo
Posts: 39
Joined: Nov 26, 2021

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Zer0_Stars_DS » Fri Dec 24, 2021 6:00 pm

Yeah pretty much. Don’t worry, you’ve still got NGE and EoE to fall back on. Just know that in Rebuild, it’s outdated, invalid, and obsolete. Spread the word

Edit: tell you what though. I’m a fair machine. I invite you to change my mind if you can. I mean if you can somehow explain why consent isn’t required in this situation. As for the Asushin department, I’ll have to do more research on my own

nerv bae
Israfel
Israfel
User avatar
Posts: 479
Joined: Sep 06, 2021
Location: USA
Gender: Male

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby nerv bae » Sat Dec 25, 2021 11:58 am

Merry Christmas to shippers everywhere. ^_^

Image

Zer0_Stars_DS
Embryo
Posts: 39
Joined: Nov 26, 2021

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Zer0_Stars_DS » Sat Dec 25, 2021 12:55 pm

That includes me (just not here. At least not right now) so thanks. Merry Christmas to you too. Best of luck trying to prove us wrong. Who knows, maybe we will be wrong and they’ll dedicate entire sections of the misconceptions page to us. You never know

nerv bae
Israfel
Israfel
User avatar
Posts: 479
Joined: Sep 06, 2021
Location: USA
Gender: Male

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby nerv bae » Tue Dec 28, 2021 4:31 pm

Picking up where I left off!

View Original Postnerv bae wrote:... That's as much as I can cobble together this week. I have more to think about and write up regarding mindreading, comparisons with EoE, whether consent is the highest moral concept at work in Shin's instrumentality, etc. But I figure I should press submit again now before this post gets too insanely long.

Minor responses on evidence

Derantor, you argued that Asuka isn't happy to play mailman for Kenken:

SPOILER: Show
View Original PostDerantor wrote:Look at her when she's handing over the letter. Not much joy there, so I'm not sure that the letters are responsible for giving her joy in this instance, either. Also, Asuka only looks like a child, she isn't actually one. I think she doesn't see herself as a daughter pleasing daddy Kenken (sloppy phrasing; I don't mean to imply that their platonic relationship isn't completely wholesome), and given that she is of incredible use to the community already on account of enabling it to exist in the first place, I don't see her taking much pride in being allowed to play mail-woman, either.

Per my previous post we see that she's happy to get the mail chore from daddy Kenken; later she does indeed look like a sourpuss delivering it to Sakura, but this is because Sakura had just paid unwelcome attention to Shinji:

SPOILER: Show
Image

You've asserted that Asuka would be welcome in the village if she wanted to join that community, and I put up some arguments against this that you countered:

SPOILER: Show
View Original PostDerantor wrote:
This isn't a pilot itching to get back in the entry plug, but a daughter pleased to be of use to her community. But not, as you assert, a community that accepts her ... despite her wish to be human.

... To jump ahead a little, yes, the women say that Rei looks "like she's got baggage", but they very, very quickly forget about it. They're not shown to harbour any lingering resentments against her; so if Asuka truly wanted, I see no roadblock to her becoming part of the village, unless they're for some reason more biased against her than they're biased against Rei, who is an enemy Pilot. They'd be some truly heartless folk if they reject Asuka when everything Asuka wants is being part of the group/community.
View Original PostDerantor wrote:Again - it's very strange then that they accept Rei completely, even though Rei talks like a robot and only wears her Pilot suit. Rei looks outright creepy; if they give her a chance, why not Asuka? Whatever token resistance they put up to Rei vanishes in an instance once she starts planting rice. Which doubts would warrant Asuka's continued exclusion from the village?

But I don't think you directly addressed the Asuka-Rei taser scene. If Asuka is so welcome in the village, why does she (pretend to) sleep with a taser under her pillow? Her choice of sidearm tells us she's worried about people-sized threats (which could only originate in the village (nesting some parenthesis here: hell, maybe that's why she's up on the watchtower too)) but that she only wants to incapacitate those threats, not kill them (consistent with her role as village protector).

Regarding EoE versus Shin instrumentality

SPOILER: Show
View Original PostDerantor wrote:And to the point that "because he read her mind, no further consent is needed": In EoE, Rei reads Shinji's mind, and gives him exactly what he wants. And yet, when they actually talk about it, Shinji comes to the opposite conclusion. Huh. So, acting on some stray thoughts you read in somebody elses mind doesn't actually tell you how they'd decide if you asked them and they are actually in a state to decide anything and take a moment to think ... We have a lot of conflicting desires and thoughts going on at every single point in time, especially if we are in turmoil.
View Original PostDerantor wrote:Another example from Eva is Shinji in EoE: we see how he deteriorates and regresses, culminating in his wish to just end it all and let everybody die. Everybody who was an angry teenager (so, all of us) probably thought "I wish everybody should die" at one point in their life. But I think all of us, upon reflection, don't actually believe that everybody should die, and if somebody asked us: "I can make your wish come true - do you want to kill everybody?" we probably would have said no, even in our dark moments. The tragedy of EoE is that Rei acts upon Shinji's impulsive thoughts without reflection, and without making him reflect by asking him if that's truly what he wants, and explaining to him that it actually will happen, so that he can make an informed choice, kowing the consequences of his decision. Random thoughts we have, like "I just want a hug", or "I wish that idiot would be hit by a truck" are just that: impulsive thoughts. They don't actually express our true opinion. We might read something stupid on the internet and think "God, just kill me right now" - that doesn't mean we consent to dying, and if a god did exist who would grant that wish without any further questions asked, it would be a cruel god indeed.

I went back and watched a bit of EoE's instrumentality sequence, and will make an observation: I don't think Rei is actually reading Shinji's mind in the same manner you believe Shinji is reading Asuka's mind in Shin. Instead, in EoE it looks to me like Shinji is having a conscious dialogue with Rei (and others?) both at first, when he's impulsively wishing for death, and later, when he realizes that's not really what he wants.

SPOILER: Show
Image
Image

In the first screenshot above, the first line is Shinji's and the second is Rei's (I think), just before Shinji's death wish is consummated. It's a dialogue, not a mind reading session, as I understand it. Maybe an EoE expert can correct me if I'm way off here.

This observation cuts against several positions we've been taking in this thread. You can't really hold up EoE's instrumentality as a template for how things should go in Shin, because it doesn't actually demonstrate wrongful mind-reading that's corrected by later consent-establishing dialogue. On the other hand, I can't really point to it and say anything in favor of mind reading being an acceptable way to achieve consent. But maybe I don't need to, per my following take on your two-stages interpretation:

On the two-stages interpretation of Asuka's instrumentality

We had this exchange earlier this month:

SPOILER: Show
View Original PostDerantor wrote:Regarding the mind-reading: there are two stages to Asuka's Instrumentality scenes. In the first part, we are seeing Asuka's backstory, and what I assume to be her internal monologue. She is talking to herself about herself. The second stage is the Beach Scene, which opens with Asuka asking two questions: "Was I asleep?" and "Baka Shinji?" Those lead me to believe that she not aware of either being inside Instrumentality or Shinji's presence before that point - otherwise she wouldn't be surprised by his presence, or feel the need to confirm that it's actually him. From that point onwards, and for the rest of the Beach Scene, she is of course directly talking to Shinji. It's in this part where they could of course establish consent for what's to happen next. But they don't, because they don't actually talk. All we get from Asuka is a blush and her turning away, hiding her partial nudity from Shinji, and a somewhat pained smile which isn't a clear sign either way, and imo insufficient to establish consent. So while they're able to have a conversation in theory, they don't have one in actuality. At that point, the mind-reading already happened, so Asuka could only retroactively voice her opinion on that, which she doesn't, either.

Edit: It's also not clear if Asuka was aware of what that place she woke up in was at any point: there's no absolute proof that she has any knowledge about anything which happens after her "death". She possibly doesn't know that they entered Negative Space, that Shinji is using the Spears to rewrite reality, etc.. There is a chance that she was actually doing the fighting on Gendo's behalf during the duel between Units 13 and 01, however, even then, we don't have any proof either way of how she sees the situation: whether she believes it to be reality or a dream, or at which point she's viewing it each way. If we assume that she was indeed controlling Unit 13, she might have been aware of Gendo's intentions, and might have seen the Spear Misato creates enter Negative Space, but since she thought she was asleep in the Beach Scene, there has to be a point where she was no longer aware of what was happening, or couldn't tell dream and reality apart.

View Original Postnerv bae wrote:Your two-stages interpretation of Asuka's instrumentality sounds like a plausible alternative to my two-parts interpretation. I would like to rewatch all of instrumentality sometime this month before making up my mind about which makes more sense; I want to closely rewatch Gendo's sequence to tell if there's a parallel to your Asuka first stage. In other words, if Gendo is ever very clearly just having his mind read by Shinji, it'll bolster the case that Asuka is too.

Having rewatched both EoE and Shin instrumentality, I'll now argue that the two-stages interpretation is not correct. Instead, Asuka is aware of who she's talking to for the entirety of her instrumentality dialogue, which I'll paste here for convenience:

SPOILER: Show
I don't know Daddy...
Mommy isn't around...
That's why...
You don't need anyone Asuka.
I'm gonna make it so.
Or it'd be too painful.
Living is painful.
So I pilot my Eva.
People might hate me or diss me.
It doesn't matter,
as long as I can pilot my Eva.
After all, that's all I'm worth.
I'll make my body and heart strong so I don't need anyone.
So...
praise me.
Recognize me.
Give me a place where I can be.
I'm actually lonely.
I just want...
someone to pat me on my head.

The Reichu translation is a bit different, but in my opinion not so different that it matters to this issue.

She knows what is going on for at least two reasons:

1) Across EoE and Shin, everyone knows they're talking to someone else in instrumentality. Per the above section, I think I've got this right for EoE. And for Shin, I've rewatched and nobody else has their mind read unknowingly. So it would be irregular for this to happen solely to Asuka.

2) Asuka wakes up not just once (between your averred two stages), but three times during her instrumentality:

She wakes up a first time in her cloning tank when Shinji calls her name after chatting with Kaworu:
Shinji: Wake up Asuka!  SPOILER: Show
Image
First Awakening  SPOILER: Show
Image

She wakes up a second time on the beach after Shinji-as-Kenken talks to her on the log:
Ken-Shinji: Asuka is Asuka!  SPOILER: Show
Image
Second Awakening  SPOILER: Show
Image

She wakes up a third time in the entry plug (still in the anti-universe) after Mari bids her farewell:
Mari: Asuka is Princess!  SPOILER: Show
Image
Third Awakening  SPOILER: Show
Image

In a film like Inception a character can wake up from nested sleeps, but there's no evidence of such a mechanism at work in Shin. So instead, we can just believe what we see: in instrumentality Asuka awakens to awareness three times. She is asleep, then Shinji calls her name and she awakens and says what she wants. Shinji-as-Kenken reassures her, she sleeps, and she awakens again on the beach. Shinji and Mari say their goodbyes, she sleeps, and she awakens again in the entry plug. Why "I was asleep?" upon the second awakening and not the first? That intervening sleep was probably the first she'd had in a corporeal body since before the curse of Eva; she might be non-corporeal before the second awakening. Why "Baka Shinji?" upon the second awakening? She was just asleep; it would be normal to forget a thing or two between her first and second awakenings (and she probably didn't literally see corporeal Shinji during her first awakening, either). All told, it's natural that for a sleepless curse-of-Eva'd character like Asuka, instrumentality would involve a pattern of sleeps and awakenings to make progress towards an agreeable (and agreed to!) outcome.

Under this reading consent isn't an issue, because Asuka has knowingly conveyed her desires to Shinji.
Last edited by nerv bae on Tue Dec 28, 2021 7:48 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Zer0_Stars_DS
Embryo
Posts: 39
Joined: Nov 26, 2021

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Zer0_Stars_DS » Tue Dec 28, 2021 7:38 pm

YES!!! THANK YOU!!!
Hang on btw. I have some thoughts and research of my own I’d like to add. I’ll need time to put it together. Just hang on

Derantor
Former Moderator
Former Moderator
User avatar
Age: 32
Posts: 712
Joined: Oct 20, 2019
Location: The Beach
Gender: Male

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Derantor » Tue Dec 28, 2021 9:43 pm

View Original Postnerv bae wrote:But I don't think you directly addressed the Asuka-Rei taser scene. If Asuka is so welcome in the village, why does she [...] sleep with a taser under her pillow?

Ah, yes, that's quite the contradiction to what we see with Rei. Implies that the village is a very dangerous place for pilots. It would also explain why Kenken decides to take Shinji to his shack, instead of letting him stay with Toji. I have no clue how to solve this contradiction, because Rei's extensive interactions with the village people show that there's no actual animosity there, and I believe Shinji is walking around the village later without problem, too. So either the village people have a double standard, where they only hate the Wille pilots or Asuka specifically, or something else is going on. But as I said, no clue how to solve this conundrum. Given that after initial distrust, they quickly accept Rei, I can only assume that whatever happened with Asuka was a misunderstanding one or both parties weren't keen on resolving.

Reg. EoE Instrumentality: You're right, I was sloppy. My main point was that Rei is acting on Shinji's impulsive thoughts when she destroys the world on his behalf, and later on, when they talk things through, Shinji makes the opposite decision. Shinji reading Asuka's mind in Shin is not contingent on the same thing happening between Rei and Shinji in EoE. The important similarity here is that Shinji act's on Asuka's impulsive thoughts and doesn't talk to her, which could possibly lead to quite the different outcome from her side.

Asuka is aware of who she's talking to for the entirety of her instrumentality dialogue

seems to be directly contradicted by this:
Why "Baka Shinji?" upon the second awakening? She was just asleep; it would be normal to forget a thing or two between her first and second awakenings

Mightily convenient that she would forget something important like who she was talking to, just to make it seem as if she wasn't aware of who she was talking to previously. And again, why would Shinji take Kenken's form if he wants to talk to Asuka directly? Why this obvious deception in a place where people can supposedly always tell who they are talking to? If that's the case, him taking Kenken's form wouldn't work at all - but it seems like it does, since, again, Asuka is surprised to see Shinji. In any case, he's making it extra-hard for Asuka to know who she's talking to.

So I think that rather than awakening three times to complete awareness, she's first becoming aware of her dream, then she's waking up on the beach, becoming aware of Shinji, and then she's waking up inside the Entry plug, becoming aware of her corporeality. In the first phase, she isn't aware of talking to Shinji (who took measures to make sure that she isn't aware, because he chose to deceive her by appearing as Kenken), then she is aware of talking to Shinji and immediately shuts up completely (which explains why Shinji felt the need to deceive her: she wouldn't talk to him otherwise, implying that he tricked her into laying bare her secrets, even if she was aware that she was talking to somebody during the first phase), and then it doesn't matter what she's aware of because the decision has already been made.

Under this reading consent isn't an issue, because Asuka has knowingly conveyed her desires to Shinji.

Like I said above, at best we can assume that she was aware of talking to somebody who she most likely thought was Kensuke. That she thinks it was a dream makes it pretty clear that she didn't think she was making any decisions on her own behalf, or conveying her desires to the decision maker, who chose to hide his identity during that phase. You brought up EoE Instrumentality, and how Rei is talking to Shinji: and she does. Depending on the scene, we get to see them or only hear their voices, but there's never any doubt as to their identity, and no character is taking on the form of somebody else, either. That's just not the case in Shin, where Shinji and Asuka are neither having a voice-over dialogue, nor do they talk to each other directly before Asuka wakes up on the beach (due to Shinji hiding his identity), and on the beach Asuka does not talk. She says "Was I asleep?" and "Baka Shinji?" and that's it. EoE has Rei and Shinji shaking hands after talking things through in person; Shin has Rei and Shinji shaking hands after talking things through in person. Kaworu is smiling and happy, etc..

Asuka meanwhile doesn't smile, she doesn't shake hands, and she doesn't give any other sign that she agreed to what's happening at all after not actually talking to Shinji in person. So while it would be logical for Asuka to go through a few stages of becoming aware of herself and her desires, talking to Shinji and reaching an agreeable and agreed upon outcome, that's not what happens. Even if they talk during Asuka's flashback, and are aware that they're indeed talking and not monologuing, they're not actually talking: Asuka is doing all the talking, Shinji only says "Asuka is Asuka, that's enough." Then Shinji does all the talking, and Asuka says nothing, and doesn't give any non-verbal indication of her agreement either. It's a completely dysfunctional way of interacting, where one side has to hide their identity for the other to open up, and when they drop their mask, the other side immediatly shuts herself off.

So we end up with a repeat of what happened to Asuka since she was created: she's being manipulated, is denied any agency and other people are making decisions on her behalf.
My writing on Ao3 and FFN

Zer0_Stars_DS
Embryo
Posts: 39
Joined: Nov 26, 2021

Re: Comprehensive and in-depth analysis of Asuka and Shinji relationship in 3.0+1.0 and implications for the ending

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Zer0_Stars_DS » Tue Dec 28, 2021 9:56 pm

Because she’s a tsundere. She’s showing her dere side. That’s more than enough for her. It wouldn’t mean anything if everyone had the same reaction. It just comes to show how different they all are.
Also Rei Q doesn’t have the power to manifest into an angel and her Eva is destroyed. In the time she’s lived and died, Nerv is still scraping Mark 9’s remains together again. Paranoia over this from the villagers would’ve been completely arbitrary


Return to “Rebuild of Evangelion Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests