An increasingly familiar ceiling.
My heart and soul is with you now.
But in all seriousness, thank you guys so much. It really does make me feel less stagnant when I have something to put as much thought into as I do with this blog. I like to believe half of the reason anybody cares about what I have to say is because I have no preset bias or allegiance to any particular part of the series and try to present new things with fresh eyes, even as weary as mine can become.
As I mentioned in the video, I’ll be doing a lot more with that YouTube channel, which you can subscribe to here.
Any videos I’ll be doing on Evangelion I’ll share here to The Evangelion Complex, but anything else will be shared on my personal blog, SweeperStuff (it’s a possibility I may already be following you on it!).
SweeperStuff, my personal blog features blog and reblog posts for stuff like Anime (Kill la Kill, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Akira, FLCL, a bunch of stuff from Kyoto Animation- seriously, and Evangelion- obviously, etc.) art, photography, Films, and Television Shows (the good ones, at least).
In the pipeline for videos, I have plans to do an AMV salute to Evangelion, covering the entire series up to 3.33, that I’ve been planning for a long time featuring a fittingly great and moving song, a follow up Neon Genesis Evangelion trailer that works in a more ‘theatrical’ fashion. On the non-Evangelion side, I’ve planned to do an AMV salute to Kill la Kill, which I’ll begin editing the very day the series ends- again, featuring a track that will hopefully prove worthy of the series.
Back on the topic of Evangelion, I’m going to be re-watching the entire series soon and taking notes. I don’t often re-watch the episodes in any specific order or at full length, I just go to them when I remember a link or have a hunch about a specific thematic parallel, so this will only be my third official watch-through of the series. I’ll also be re-reading the Manga before moving to Rebuild. Around those times, I’ll probably be uploading frequently.
Also, I want everybody who has submitted Asks and/or Fan Mail, that I’m reading it all and I’m definitely not neglecting it, I’ve just been busy as of late, and too much Evangelion can really weigh on the brain. I’ll try my best to answer all of the great messages in my inbox some time in the near future.
Once more, I just really want to thank you guys, especially those of you who have reached out to me through Fan Mail or Asks and even followed my personal blog; I’ve met a lot of cool people recently because of it and it really does mean a lot to me.
What more can I say? I’m gonna go pour some wine.
I’ve made tons of stupid mistakes and later I’ve regretted them. And I’ve done it over and over again. A cycle of hollow joy and vicious self-hatred. But even so, every time I’ve learned something about myself.
Misato Katsuragi, The End of Evangelion - Words to be considered when pondering the nature and intent of the Rebuild of Evangelion saga.
Very true, I should have better emphasized (or worded) the fact that Asuka definitely didn’t want to be kissed in her sleep. In that scene, I’m quite certain she’s sleep walking, as evidenced by the way that she goes to the washroom for a moment and does nothing but rattle something and flush the toilet. When she hits the ground beside Shinji, she’s already asleep.
I don’t mean to imply that she’s faking this in a ploy to have Shinji kiss him, but it’s an unconscious process that ends in her sleeping right beside him. In Rebuild, she’s very much conscious and makes the move to do so. There, they have a candid discussion about why they pilot the Eva, Asuka coming to him because she couldn’t stand to be on her own.
The result of that is both of them coming to understand each other more than they do for damned-near the entirety of NGE, even if the next day they return to their regular selves, bickering at school- right before the joke about them being a couple from Toji and their great combined “SHUT UP!” with even more relevant context (in proximity to what causes their moment of embarrassment before their synchronized denial) here than in NGE.
But back to the NGE version of the bed scene, Shinji does of course stop himself when he has the moral epiphany that what he was about to do was wrong and of non-consent. Of course, on the topic of EoE, the masturbation scene is the epitome of their (in this case, his) stunted frustrations and he ends up masturbating to her in, yet another unconscious state, following up with a regretful, shameful “I’m so fucked up”. He knows full and well that he’s crossed the line- what follows in the film only pushes him further.
When they do kiss later on, he goes along with it because she pries at his ego, bringing up how he’s afraid his mom will be watching and he tries to defy it. The failing of this attempt is of Asuka’s fault as she presents it as more of a dare, feigning disinterest and expecting passion (each time she does this, it’s shown in her moment of breakdown against Shinji in Episode 22 ‘Don’t Be.” and it shows both her moment after slamming the dividing door between them and hanging over the bathroom sink.
I hope this clears up my viewpoint a bit rather than making it seem as though she simply accepts his non-consensual actions. My interpretation of “How disgusting”, however, remains the same as being a statement for the ego and barriers set up by humanity, and more personally, the two of them. Not the face-value simplicity of “dude, I can’t believe you jerked off to me when I was in a coma, gross, not cool” - [CUE END OF ONE OF THE GREATEST CINEMATIC/SERIALIZED ACHIEVEMENTS IN CONTEMPORARY HISTORY].
I appreciate being given the opportunity to further elaborate and discuss my interpretations with the community, so for anybody else who wishes me to explain further on certain points you feel could be better fleshed out, never hesitate to leave a reply or message!
It seems it’s time for damage control.
I understand my latest post upset some people, the write-up I did in response to the comment asking about Asuka and Shinji, and I can understand why… to an extent.
It’s both a reality to be accepted on my part and a bit disheartening to be getting a lot of hate for a personal viewpoint. I’ve had people bring up Hideaki Anno’s direction of Yuko Miyamura in the final scene and how the line was conjured up (in reference to a masturbating intruder), and I’ll clarify that I’m not ignoring that at all.
When I talk about it being a statement toward humanity as opposed to an individual. In the same piece of direction, it’s mentioned that the intruder could rape her but chooses not to. The scene that this relates to is covered earlier in the movie with Asuka’s “I know all about your little jerk-off fantasies about me” line (be it in Shinji’s confrontation sequence)… which would imply that she’s not just then realizing what he’s done. Gently caressing that intruder’s cheek would also be a conflicting response to have, I’d say.
If directing the line was as simple as saying “yes, this is regarding to the masturbation scene”, Anno would have been able to use this motivation off the bat; instead, the scene and line had to be revised extensively for him to be sold on it. The scene isn’t a simple one, and I don’t intend to write about it as so.
The next thing that should be addressed is the fact that most of the anger from this comes from the pocket of the community (which I’ve noticed is considerably large here on Tumblr) that ‘ships’ Kaworu and Shinji together. That’s fine, and I’m not speaking out against that. Half of me felt that my writing would be interpreted as a dismissive and simplified Asuka and Shinji ‘ship’, but all it is comes from what I interpret the series as intending to do, across all three universes in progression. I try not to respond to hate comments, and I don’t see much of a point in making people angry, but I’d be kidding both you guys and myself if I said that I don’t find it saddening and a bit hurtful when I see my intentions being simplified down to a low-grade parody because I didn’t cover every single possible aspect. I write what I think is necessary and never assume that the readers will have difficulty understanding; I take the same approach in creative writing.
I like to believe that the community I’m a part of, on Tumblr, is more mature in its outlook on the series beyond the politics and beliefs of the relationship choices of Shinji Ikari. I believe they made a manga and dating sim game based on that. The fact is that I have opinions and those opinions come from the source and what’s important in Evangelion’s themes, otherwise I wouldn’t be posting them on here. I don’t think I should feel obligated to balance out a post like that with a post about my interpretation of the kind of love Kaworu provides Shinji (which I will be doing eventually) or Rei’s increasingly strong desire to protect him while dealing with her own dilemmas (…which I will be doing eventually). I don’t like to pander, but I like to feel as though I can explore all elements of the series to the best of my ability without offending others.
Anyways… I’ll make another more formal post regarding this sort of thing and what I really have this blog around for later on, possibly tomorrow (no promises). Sorry about this, I know I’m sort of letting my own AT Field down here, so to speak, but without sounding too sappy, I just want to say that I want people to feel good about their outlook on the series, and I don’t just sit her writing about, constantly watching, screen-capping, and pondering over Evangelion for my own benefit. Most of that is just a storm raging in my own mind and I’m just trying to let a bit of it out through a more mature, articulate, and thoughtful approach that I feel putting out there. Just as I did when I edited the trailer, choosing only my worst days to work on it and injecting a part of myself in my work.
I hope that doesn’t sound too pretentious, but it probably does, so I’ll just stop that line of thought there.
If you made it this far, you’re a saint. Not just talking about with the post, but with the entire blog. Thank you guys - I just want to make clear how much I truly do appreciate being able to do this with such a large and diverse community. I only hope I’m in the right place.
why does anyone trust the evangelion-complex blog
Also, I suppose, because I present opinions and interpretations and don’t try to step on the heels of people that see things differently. It doesn’t require trust, it’s about establishing respect for the community and integrity amongst it.
But mostly because reasons.
Hi! :) First, I wanna thank you for running this tumblr. Second, I would like to ask you a question about a particular point I've read today in one of your posts. It's about Asuka and Shinji. You said that the strongest bond they have had was in the manga.However I have always believed that in One more final: I need you in EoE (with Asuka being able to express her feelings caressing Shinji's cheek) we could find the maximum expression of their bond. What's your opinion? :D Thanks!
Excellent point, and I technically agree with you.
By saying that I believe their bond was the strongest in the Manga, I meant throughout the course of its timeline; they seemed to have developed the strongest relationship in any of the interpretations, leaning toward affection.
However, as you mention, the belief can be taken that The End of Evangelion presents the peak of their understanding and acceptance of each other, which perhaps makes the fact that it all ends moments later all the more bitter than sweet. My personal interpretation of the line “How disgusting”, as I mentioned in a previous post, is perhaps a bit sappy, but after everything that’s happened in the entire series leading up to that moment, it’s the most sense I can make of it.
I firmly believe “How disgusting” does not refer to her feelings on Shinji; I believe it’s her thoughts on what led humanity to create this wasteland. We mustn’t forget that Instrumentality and Third Impact do not begin solely because of Shinji, but fear, anxiety, separation, and deception. Disgust could also be narrowed down to something more personal between the two; I’ve long interpreted each of their actions as a display to one another of what they’ve always longed to see or feel from the other — Shinji not simply rolling over and accepting abuse (he only retaliates to her abuse in his mind earlier in the film), and her showing him affection or kindness that he can grasp, without the ambiguity he fears. Disgust that they’ve separated themselves the entire time, and only at this point do they truly see, and possibly understand each other.
There’s always been the much more nihilistic way of looking at it, that Shinji only viewed her as a sex object and never truly felt anything but lust for her, and Asuka only wanted to be somebody she can project onto like a doll of her own, but if either of those held up as the ultimate point, the time put into establishing a friendship across any of the three iterations would be rendered null.
Of course, this isn’t to say that these points are invalid either, they’re very much true to and present, though to an extent. Shinji never found out how to properly communicate affection to Asuka and neither could she to him before those final moments, and this is a large part of what the masturbation scene expresses; only when she’s incapable of giving a response does he (shamefully) show any kind of interest for her, even if it is purely sexual desire- all he can manage to express, putting aside any other feelings and manifesting frustration.
This reflects on the moment where she climbs into bed beside him and he comes close to kissing her as she sleeps, which is what she wanted, but never manages to say before a supposedly casual moment later on, even though it takes a lot for her to do. When Shinji is about to kiss her and she begins to tear up, unconsciously whimpering “Mama…”, he gets cold feet and separates himself from her moving to the other side of the room. It’s yet another barrier put up out of angst and fear of one another. Any attempt they make is cancelled out by the other’s instincts, and it becomes a vicious cycle. It would seem this is a theme in Evangelion… complex to say the least.
The Mangaverse was the first to really show what happens when Shinji manages to repair their bond before pulling the trigger on the end. His perspective was changed just enough to be able to rewrite the world after Instrumentality instead of simply being returned to a barren wasteland. It’s important to remember that it was the will of Asuka to return to reality with Shinji and not continue in a false un-reality. At the core of both characters, is the binding fear of non-existence and being alone. The fear of death, the fear of separation. The characters exist in NGE and the Mangaverse to be bound together, Rebuild’s intention isn’t yet clear, but seeing as the Curse of Eva doesn’t mature those affected by it, their bond isn’t yet a dead one.
Evangelion has commonly expressed itself through messages, titles, lyrics, and even taglines. I believe there is something to be drawn from them upon final review in an attempt to form an understanding, even if only a personal one, of how you feel about the series’ many messages and how they resonate with you emotionally. This is all how I choose to process it, and I believe the following reflects upon that:
Love is destructive - The fate of destruction is also the joy of rebirth - Everybody finds love in the end.
And visually, before heading into the ambiguous future:
Things have changed. The end that wasn’t, continued, and continued again, but I believe it’ll come to its end in the promised Final. The largest question remains as to where love will be found.
That’s how I chose to interpret it, anyway.
For me, Asuka Langley Shiknami and Mari Makinami Illustrious of Rebuild are like their own form of parallel mysticism. The name ‘Shikinami’s origin is unknown. Mari has been seen only previously in the Manga before Rebuild, though her form and purpose was ambiguous. They’re something I think about every day when I’m trying to wrap my head around the rules of the Evangelion Universe and what Rebuild is attempting to do with the characters. I feel I have a grasp on Shinji, seeing as he’s being brought along for all of this and it’s what’s surrounding him that continues to be cast unto a sea of unfamiliarity, but it’s the same sea that I’m trying to navigate myself.
Why I bring up Mari is because I believe her and Asuka Langley Shikinami are heavily intertwined. There are countless theories as to what Mari is to Asuka; an old peer, a near-Angelic acquaintance, the child of Shinji and Asuka from another universe… the amount of ways each of these branches out is mind-boggling. Whose faction does she really belong to? Where did she start out? What’s her game? Is she even human?
Often quickly written off as an off-hand addition, Mari’s purpose has always been mysterious, and has only become moreso as the saga moves on. Both her and Asuka are stationed with the Euro NERV branch before coming to Tokyo III, and in the Manga, Asuka’s mother tells her that she needs to be “better than that woman’s child”. That woman wearing glasses and sporting a ponytail, goes unnamed, as does her daughter, who Asuka seems to be set up to compete with. Okay, so why? It’s never actually mentioned in the Manga.
I find it very chilling when Asuka comes to ask her mother who she’s talking about with the image of them alone in a spotlight and the others in the darkness as if Asuka can’t actually see them. Does the girl even exist? It’s made clear that the woman beside her, with the glasses and ponytail does, but which one is meant to resemble Mari moreso? Physically, it would seem it’s that of the mother (or caretaker), but it would make more sense to link her to the girl of peer age and rival importance… but the girl is never mentioned or noticed by anybody except for Kyoko, Asuka’s mother. It almost seem as personal to Kyoko as a Quantum Rei to somebody else… but I’ll save the sanity of anyone reading by avoiding heading down that rabbit hole for now.
'That Woman' is seen with Asuka at Kyoko's funeral, looking a great amount like Mari, but mourning Kyoko and taking Asuka under her watch… but what about her supposedly existent child? Asuka makes no mention of growing up with another girl. When we combine this with seeing a woman in the photograph of Yui and baby Shinji, given to Shinji by Fuyutsuki in 3.0, and notice that the woman in fact looks like a combination of both Asuka and Mari's aesthetic traits, the cross between the two becomes undeniable.
It definitely isn’t Asuka, and it wouldn’t seem possible to be Mari… unless she’s had ‘The Curse of Eva’ much longer than anybody else- but this would mean that she’s had it before the Eva series were even produced. I won’t even begin to attempt figuring out who else it could be, and the same goes for ‘That Woman’ from the manga, and even moreso, her possibly non-existent girl.
What we do know is this: Mari can pilot Unit 02, and in 4.0, Unit 02 and Unit 08 become fused in what we can assume is a dual-entry plug system operated Evangelion with both Mari and Asuka inside. This ties Mari to whomever’s soul resides within Unit 02 as well as Asuka to Unit 08. For all of the great mysteries The Rebuild of Evangelion and the Mangaverse (which I believe became a joint effort between Hideaki Anno and Yoshiyuki Sadamoto) hold, the link between Asuka and Mari, and similarly, Mari and the Multiverse (sounds like the Evangelion version of Alice in Wonderland) are some of the most complex and mind-bending with all of the compelling material given to fuel it. I’ll be covering every inch of it right up to the end.
your quantum rei post is really aweosme and actually makes a lot of sense when it hink about the asuka parallels btwn 3.33 and End of Eva, too. i've had a lot of thoughts with regards to end of eva asuka being the same asuka we meet in 3.33, whereas rebuild asuka "shikinami" is effectively killed in 2.22. she never played a HUGE HUGE role (like rei/shinji) in the show, and i think it's bc her "universe" may be the rebuilds? i dunno!
It’s an interesting theory that I’ve had brought up to me before, but I don’t quite buy into it. The thing is, Asuka in 3.0 still has residual anger from feeling betrayed in 2.0. I’m sure she’s had it explained to her that there was nothing Shinji could do to save her, he wasn’t in control of Unit 01, everything, but the fact that she put herself in Unit 03 in order to allow Shinji to have his dinner with Rei and Gendo. The result of this was her being torn apart by Unit 01 and later having Shinji go on to do everything he possibly could to save Rei. This caused near-Third Impact, and he was gone from her for 14 years.
I don’t think Asuka holds nearly as much against Rei in Rebuild as she did in NGE. Rei being more human (in 2.0) dismissed the image of the doll (which Shikinami takes comfort in rather than despises), breaking this image in the elevator scene when she stopped Asuka from hitting her. In 3.0, she’s mad at Shinji for not going to the same length to help her our and leaving her alone for so long.
Where this does cross over from NGE is the theme of abandonment. In Asuka’s last moments (The End of Evangelion), Shinji shuts down and doesn’t try to find an alternate way to Unit 01 to save her, or at least help her out. In the Manga, Shinji did find a way to help her out; their bond in the Manga has been the strongest it’s been thus far, and 2.0 seemed to be heading that same path before Asuka was taken by Bardiel (Unit 03). As such, the wounds Asuka sustains are the same wounds from The End of Evangelion.
In this case, I believe the wounds are more metaphorical rather than literally being a reincarnation of her NGE-self in 3.0. Shinji caused a lot of damage, but it wasn’t simply initiating the Impact event that she was angry at him for. It remains to be seen whether those wounds are permanent.
sorry if you've already answered something like this before, but do you think kaworu will be in 4.0?
Absolutely. In one form or another, I doubt he’s truly left Shinji and will play a large role in shaping his final decisions, along with, hopefully, Kaji (who has already shifted Shinji’s outlook on the value of life in Rebuild) and a handful of others that will help guide him down the right path, averting absolute destruction as has happened again and again in this endless loop of Evangelion.
As Misato says in the Final preview:
"His destination will teach him hope."
In Eva 3.33, why does Mari says she's curious to see what is going to happen after the death of 13th angel, but then says that it is not supposed to have 13 angels ?
She actually refers to the Angel as the ‘Final Angel’, believing it to be the Twelfth, so when Kaworu registers at the Thirteen, it catches her off-guard. It’s interesting to note that he was previously known as the First Angel in Rebuild as opposed to Adam, as Adam was in NGE and the Mangaverse. In the Mangaverse, Kaworu was the Twelfth and Final angel. Part of me believes that Kaworu emerged before Adam in SEELE’s records in Rebuild, which would mean that Rebuild Kaworu is in fact not a vessel of Adam’s soul as he previously has been represented as.
All of that said, it is still very mysterious territory at this point and all we can hope to do for now is analyze and speculate this rearrangement of roles.
Evangelion is like a puzzle, you know. Any person can see it and give his/her own answer. In other words, we’re offering viewers to think by themselves, so that each person can imagine his/her own world. We will never offer the answers, even in the theatrical version. As for many Evangelion viewers, they may expect us to provide the ‘all-about Eva’ manuals, but there is no such thing. Don’t expect to get answers by someone. Don’t expect to be catered to all the time. We all have to find our own answers.