Neon Genesis Evangelion – At least, be human / Don’t be [22]

The reason why these past two episodes have been half an hour instead of twenty minutes is because I happened to see the director’s cut which is a pretty happy coincidence. I know that the directors cuts are a lot longer compared to the usual 22 minutes and since the director is adding content to discuss I think it’s a lot better.

We see a flashback of Asuka and Kaji before they see Shinji in episode 8, Kaji says that one of the pilots is a boy and could be her boyfriend but she only has eyes for Kaji, who says she needs to grow up more. She disagrees but there’s not a lot she can do. Being unable to do the things she wishes and failing at them is going to be a trend for Asuka’s struggle in this episode.

We learn that Asuka’s mum committed suicide and maybe treated her like a doll? Also it seems clear that at one point she wanted her to commit suicide with her which is not healthy for a child. She says that she won’t cry because of it, this is what’s probably responsible for her protective outer shell and bottling up her issues.

Asuka’s synch rate is also falling, and I think it’s a self-fulfilling prophesy at this point. Asuka puts her pride on the outcome of her fights with the angels and as she does worse her mental state becomes worse as well to a point that it’s not her losing but the way she reacts to losing that reduces her synch rate so much.

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Another factor shown about her is how inferior she feels towards Shinji and how much she hates Rei. Asuka sees Shinji talking to Rei at the train station and is annoyed by how much he’s recovered, we also learn that he spent a month with no body, and she feels like she’s lost without seeing that it’s results that matter and not the way they’re obtained.

I get the impression that Shinji and Misato act very normally towards each other but Asuka is the person making it awkward because she doesn’t want to interact with the people she hates. Asuka just wants to find any way possible to get ahead of Shinji and I’m definitely not the only one who thought Asuka describing Shinji’s attitude as “Prissy” is a very hypocritical thing to do. The call from Germany that Asuka receives makes me remember the times where she was happier at the start of the show and her transformation is really nice to see. She talks happily to people at home but immediately reacts badly to Shinji later.

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Asuka’s home situation is made worse by her outrage for sharing the same living space as the other two and it’s painful for Misato to hear. Asuka says she hates everyone including herself. At the time I thought it might have been hatred or that time of the month but it’s actually implied later that she is on her period!

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And then we get a scene of Rei and Asuka in the elevator and it clearly communicates the awkwardness between the two. Asuka was always ahead of Rei but now that this is reversed she doesn’t like her too, neither are the kind of people to confide in the other so it makes sense. This scene is long but for the first time it shows their lack of friendship as well as the size of NERV HQ simultaneously! The two have an argument because Asuka won’t admit her heart is closed to the Eva and this fact makes Asuka’s piloting a whole lot worse. I bet none of you expected that Shinji would become the best pilot out of all of them right at the start of the show!

None of the pilots are in school which is understandable. If you think about it these pilots will die, or receive so much money for their efforts that they won’t need to work again. I wouldn’t be surprised in all of these guys got the nobel peace prize or something like that.

With the pressure of being removed from her position Asuka goes against the angel in the sky and loses badly with a psychological attack against her. This reveals more of her inner turmoil and overloads her with tragic memories which in the end cause her Eva to shut down making her pretty much useless.

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Gendo then tells Rei to destroy the angel with the lance of longinus which she throws destroying the angel. But the lance essential to Gendo’s plans is now In orbit and is going to be very difficult to get back, but I bet the angels could do it. Asuka’s strange pride makes her feel terrible due to Rei saving her and I really hope she comes around by the end of the series to realise that results are what’s important.

I feel like these episodes have been getting simpler and going over things that we kind of know already, but they’re still pretty good! The only thing I really missed was that Asuka doesn’t know about Kaji’s death and that’s pretty sad as well.

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7 thoughts on “Neon Genesis Evangelion – At least, be human / Don’t be [22]

  1. Well, at this point I can’t feel sorry for Asuka. Yes, it is tragic, her childhood and her mothers illness. Yes, it is horrible that she doesn’t seem to have been taken care of properly (although it actually seems like she came to (got a good stepmom) a decent family who loved her and tbh she was fairly sane when she came to Japan. The angels have messed with her a lot, like they have with the others.)

    I don’t think she is happy when she talks to her family. I think she fakes it so that they aren’t gonna be worried. And also, she wants to show the others that she is a little bit better because she is loved. She knows that Gendo doesn’t care too much for Shinji and she knows about Shinjis feelings of emptiness and his search for love and belonging.

    Well, I wish I could root for Asuka but it is hard. I try to remember that she is only 14 and she has had a problematic childhood, but somehow it doesn’t help.

    I have by the way decided to skip the movies. I started 1.11 but dropped it halfway because it feels like a waste of time. I know there are new stuff in 2.22 and 3.33 but it still feels like it is just a sort of remake but with less psychological stuff and more action and I don’t want that. I like the original as it is with the slow pace and the shrooms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m very sympathetic towards Asuka, she started out normally and then got messed up by an angel! I believe she cares about her family and is actually putting on a brave face so that they will stop worrying about her. I don’t think Asuka puts too much thought towards the actual process of making Shinji feel bad and I think she just wants to look more important than him over anything else.

      Also she has no idea how Shinji feels because he’s so quiet. Yes she could infer from everything Shinji tells her and seeing him and Gendo together but I don’t think she really thinks about it at all, she’s way too focused on her self which is fine at her age.

      I think you should try the second and third films but they change a lot and you might not like the changes, I hated most of the changes in the third one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I am not sure I will like them and I am a bit afraid they will ruin the experience of the series. I don’t know if that make sense.

        Well, maybe she is just a egocentric 14 year old. She is a very mean one who does everything to make the people, especially Shinji, feel bad about themselves.

        It’s interesting though, because I don’t think it is okey at all that she is so focused on herself. Yes, she is 14 but she is also aware of why they are doing what they are doing. She knows she is important. She knows she is chosen. Somewhere she missed the memo that told her they are in war and she is one of three who can kill the enemy because she is too busy measuring herself too her comrades. She is putting people in danger because she is to full of herself and totally self absorbed. It is not okay. She should be focused on the mission, not herself.

        Liked by 1 person

        • She does care about the war, though not for the right reasons. She likes the idea of humanity being dependent on her but still wants to be the best pilot out there. Wanting to be the best pilot means that she does care about doing her job a lot.

          She does lose track of it at the end, especially with that angel but for most of the time she is quite focused and only started to let the battles get to her when she started to put her pride on winning too much. She gets used to producing her results but starts to act strangely as she gets worse. It’s that second part which is what she shouldn’t be doing, but it’s difficult to save the world if you hate everyone and feel massively depressed.

          Liked by 1 person

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