[EVA] Eva Manga Stage 74

M bochan at r4.dion.ne.jp
Fri Nov 3 02:59:33 EST 2006

> It was put bluntly, but I actually meant it as a statement of  
> admiration for Sadamoto, and how he ended up giving the character  
> an impact and intimacy equal to what he had in the anime, but by  
> using a quite different approach.

True, manga-Kaworu did provoke and evoke a much more active reaction  
in Shinji than anime-Kaworu.  I just think that with most fans  
preferring the good, I-love-you, is-he-or-isn't-he anime-Kaworu vs.  
the much disliked, evil, kitten-killing manga-Kaworu, nine out of ten  
people read it the other way.  But it's cleared up now.

> The essence of Kaworu is ruthlessness, including the ruthlessness  
> of having to make a choice--a choice which, by the way, could be  
> imposed, limited, or just plain false (part of free will must be  
> examining the choices that are presented to you, and asking if  
> these are really the only choices).

I disagree with the label "ruthless" (having or showing no pity or  
compassion for others), unless it is in the sense of "honest to the  
point of brutality" (brutal reality, the brutal truth, etc.)  I find  
manga-Kaworu interesting because he has such depth in some areas  
(fate, cause and effect, etc.) but is so childlike in others (human  
nature, personal interactions, etc.).  And we all know how brutal and/ 
or brutally honest a child lacking in social graces and mores can  
be.  Angel-Kaworu simply lacks the rationalizations -- the "nice  
lies" -- that humans tell themselves to get by without thinking about  
certain things.

> The kitten can be seen as a metaphor for what the strong bade upon  
> the weak throughout EVANGELION. People like Kaji were once just  
> orphaned, starving "kittens" in the rubble, too. Couldn't they have  
> brought the kitten back to base, to school. or in town? Not by  
> Kaworu's logic.

Actually, not by Shinji's logic.  Shinji was the one that picked up  
and cuddled the kitten, and then said he couldn't take it with him or  
keep it and tried to drive it away.  People hate Kaworu for killing  
the kitten, but Kaworu was simply showing Shinji the truth of his  
decision not to look after the kitten.  By doing so he prevented  
Shinji from simply not thinking about it or taking solace in a "nice  
lie" (oh, the kitten will be okay on its own) that would let him  
avoid taking responsibility for what he did, or in this case, did not  

The Eastern/Buddhist concept that life causes death causes life and  
so on is like the Western "uroboros" (wholeness/infinity), but is  
taken one step further to state that the simple act of living causes  
death (the Eastern version of "original sin").  Therefore, little  
distinction is made between actively harming something and knowingly  
allowing something to come to harm by taking no action.  From an  
Eastern perspective, there is not so much difference between Shinji  
dooming the kitten to an ugly death and Kaworu outright killing it,  
except that Kaworu might even be seen as exercising a form of  
compassion by "sparing it the agony."

In the end, Shinji finally understood what Kaworu meant, and  
willingly accepted the responsibility and memory of killing Kaworu by  
his own hand, which he realized Kaworu wanted him to feel not out of  
twisted cruelty, but to make sure that Shinji would not forget his  
"friend".  (Think: Warrior asking his closest and most trusted friend  
to behead him after performing ritual disembowelment)  And as a  
result of what Kaworu taught him, for the first time Shinji was not  
running away from something or to something; he was not lying to  
himself and he did not act out of fear, anger, guilt or a sense of  
duty or the expectations of others.  He understood and accepted what  
he did, and he did it because he consciously thought and choose to do  

Truly the Angel of Free Will.

"East is East and West is West and ne'er the twain shall meet"
      -Rudyard Kipling

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