[EVA] Asuka's status in EoE

Jed S. Wahl wahl at fas.harvard.edu
Thu Mar 25 11:05:42 EST 1999

>>most psychologically unbalanced and sexually incompatible people in
>>history - if they ARE the last two people on earth, I don't see the
>>population going up any time soon  :)
>I would have to disagree with you on this. I believe that there could be
>something between Shinji and Asuka, I look at these two scenes: 1. Asuka
>talking to Shinji on the train saying something like I want you all to
>myself, Shinji replys :"be nice to me."
>2. Shinji masturbating to Asuka in the hospital room, 303, maybe Shinji
>is just sick and that's  why he says, "I'm the lowest of the low"
>I'm not really sure, that's just my opinion.

It is EXACTLY for those reasons that I feel they are so incompatible!
There's a lot a Freudian stuff I've been meaning to quote, and will get to
it later tonight I hope.  For now, Asuka may love Shinji and vice versa, but
it's a very unhealthy kind of love which is intrinsically tied with their
oedipal fixations.  Shinji wants Asuka because he wants her to verify his
manhood and serve him, as he (being a misogynist)  feels a woman should.  He
wants them to be "nice to him" to be his "companion" to "care for him".  He
wants a woman who will be his mother to replace the one he lost, but that's
not the way a woman wants to be loved (they actually bring this point up on
the radio in Misato's car in Genesis 10) However, far from being his idea of
the perfect woman, Asuka emasculates Shinji at every turn, building up a
well of resentment and hate that he is unable to express (due to his fear of
her) until End of Evangelion.  Ironically, HCP seems to heal Shinji's psyche
just enough to make him stop hiding and stand up for himself; unfortunately,
he does so in the worst possible way - by swinging completely into the other
extreme of expressing himself through violence.  In turn, part of the reason
Asuka can't confirm Shinji's masculinity is because she herself wants her
masculinity to be asserted.  She hates being female (note her menstruation
scene in which she denies any desire to have children, the biological sexual
function of females) and wants to be judged according to very stereotyped
male values (ie her fighting ability, her independence, her ability to
intimidate others, etc.)  She tells Shinji that she wants all of him or
nothing because she shares the male need to dominate, oppress, and destroy.
Shinji's masturbating over Asuka has NOTHING to do with love, but to do with
the fact that Shinji found himself looking at a pair of exposed breasts on a
woman who constantly berated and insulted him - now finally HE was the one
in control for the very first time, an experience which must have been
unbearably tempting.  For the first time he felt like what he thought a man
was supposed to feel like, and had a woman who was nothing more than a
passive, submissive, sex object.  Her mind and soul no longer got in the way
of her intended role as a warm piece of meat, which is why that scene is so
damn disturbing, and so damning of Shinji's character.  While he was always
annoying throughout the series, you were always able to empathize with him;
but in this scene, for what I think is the first time, you actually are
repulsed by him.  Notice also that the only time Asuka demonstrated any real
genuine, pure affection for Shinji was when he was killing her on the
beach - his misognistic tendencies and willingness to take advantage of her
forced her into a position where she had no choice but swallow her damned
pride and let him know she loved him, or else she die.  I like to think
"kimochi warui" refers to her inability to separate feelings of love with
feelings of pain - for her and Shinji they are both inextricably linked.  In
short, they both share a very, very destructive, selfish love for each other
in that they use the destruction of the other as a way of building up their
own preconceived ideas of who they ought to be.

Jed Wahl
wahl at fas.harvard.edu

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