End of Evangelion (EoE) can be split cleanly into 2 halves: the action half in which NERV is conquered by SEELE, everyone dies, and Shinji & EVA-01 are corralled into the SEELE ritual; and the introspective half which ends with the infamous ‘kimochi warui’ scene.
There is some preliminary introspective material from some other characters’ perspectives, but the exact pivot is a fight scene set in Misato’s apartment between Asuka and Shinji1. It’s a disturbing scene to watch. It’s not clear whether this is a memory, a telepathic conversation2, or a product of Shinji - or Asuka’s! - imagination. Both characters are frayed, at their limits. Powerful emotions and memories are at play here; this scene is perhaps the single greatest example of the hedgehog’s dilemma in Evangelion. It also points out the hedgehog’s dilemma which we might have missed in the previous scenes. Asuka had fought to prevent SEELE’s conquest, and had been utterly defeated; throughout the fight, Misato tries to get Shinji to help Asuka in the fight, but Shinji delays until it is too late - betraying Asuka3 and Misato’s expectations. If you count on others, they can let you down and hurt you.
With that in mind, let’s look at Bochan_bird’s translation of “Episode 26: Sincerely Yours/I need you”:
Shinji: “But it makes me afraid… Afraid that I won’t be needed again someday. It makes me uneasy! It worries me! Let me hear your voice! Interact with me!! Care about me!”
[Shinji and Asuka in Misato’s apartment - Asuka sitting dejectedly at table]
Shinji: “I want to help you in some way… and to be with you forever.”
Asuka: “Then, don’t do anything. Don’t come near me anymore… Because all you ever do is hurt me.”
Shinji: “Asuka, help me! You’re… you’re the only one that can!”
Asuka: “To you, anybody will do!”
[Asuka gets up from table and backs Shinji up against the wall]
Asuka: “You’re afraid of Misato and the First… and of your mother and father, too!”
Asuka: “You’re only using me as an escape - because that’s the easiest way not to get hurt!”
Shinji: “Asuka, help me!”
Asuka: “Because that’s the easiest way not to get hurt!”
Shinji (desperately): Please, help me!
Asuka (angrily): “You’ve never really liked anyone!”
[Asuka shoves Shinji, who crumples to the floor, taking the coffee pot with him]
Asuka (angrily): “You’re all you have! But you’ve never even learned to like yourself!”
[Asuka, while staring disdainfully down at Shinji lying helplessly amidst the spilt coffee]
Asuka: “How pathetic…”
[Shinji slowly gets to his feet]
Shinji (weakly): “Help me… Somebody… Somebody help me… Help me… Help me… Me… Help ME!”
[Shinji throws the table aside]
Shinji: “Don’t leave me alone! Don’t abandon me! Don’t kill me!”
[Shinji picks up a chair and throws it at Asuka’s feet]
Asuka (coldly): “…No…”4
[Shinji strangles Asuka as “Komm, süsser Tod” (“Come Sweet Death”) begins to play]
Part of the trouble interpreting this scene is that Anno is a very good director and a master of callbacks and allusions and variations - but one man’s allusion is another man’s mot juste.
For example, when Shinji Ikari says only Asuka can help him and she replies “Liar”, it’s the same single-word reply that Ritsuko Akagi gave Gendo Ikari just before he shot & killed her. Significant?
In the previous half of EoE, as she lay dying, Misato muses that
“If I knew it would end this way… I would’ve done like Asuka said… And changed the carpet… Right, Pen-pen?”
Spilt coffee certainly could ruin a carpet, and both Asuka and Pen-pen witness the spilling; so is this Anno telling us that this scene is a memory set way back before TV episode 23 or 24?
A briefly flashed shot of the kitchen from Shinji’s perspective is in Evangelion:DEATH(true)2; Brendan Jamieson describes the shot:
“I noticed something very disturbing during the scene where Shinji first meets Kaworu on the beach. There is a very quick cut of Asuka flashed and looking at it now I am positive it is a view of Asuka from Shinji’s perspective in the coffee-pot scene. The cut is of the camera looking down upon Asuka, sitting at the dinner table - head in hands - from her left. This would be exactly how Shinji would have seen her in the EoE scene. The whole thing seems very peculiar to me”5
SSD provides the screenshots; despite the uncanny visual similarity, it seems Jamieson’s cuts are actually of Misato & Asuka mourning Kaji’s death - but not quite exactly as one might expect. Perhaps, as SSD remarks, they are “one of the many ‘twisted retakes’ EoE’s Pre-Instrumentality and Instrumentality proper alludes to. Another being the Episode 15 kiss scene.” Brendan, on balance, thinks that the scene is not real:
There are several cels from that scene used in episode 23, Special Edition (as well as some frames from the Rei/Lilith being). These are added during the sequence when Shinji tells Asuka that Kaji is dead (or at least, “not coming back”). Assuming this scene from EoE was real - it is only logical to presume they would have been edited into the Japanese release as all the other scenes were…So you’re saying Shinji tried to strangle Asuka? I can see a post-Kaworu Shinji doing that; but any time before that is ridiculously out of character.
The scene is too off-beat… too surreal. Considering the circumstances, I think it’s simply a physical manifestation, via Complementation, of Shinji’s inability to relate to, and interact with, others.
Some say it is set in the real world:
In the climax of End of Evangelion, one character performs a shocking act against another, and there has been some audience speculation, based on the abstract and internal nature of said finale, whether the incident actually occurs in the “real world” of the narrative. However, in one of the last television episodes, a series of brief, near still images of a disrupted kitchen (in particular, a lingering shot of an over-turned coffee pot lying partially out of frame) imply heavily that the incident truly happens, and thus makes it all the more devastating. In the final moments of the film, the incident is all but reenacted, and while the setting has changed, the animation returns to a similar series of still images (detailing the state of the world) to recall that moment.6
This is possible. In this scene, Asuka and Shinji are in the kitchen and Asuka is wearing a yellow shirt; 2 of the added scenes in D&R (inserted into the Director’s Cut) put them in the kitchen with Asuka wearing a yellow shirt, and it is known that those added D&R scenes were being written simultaneously with EoE’s plot.7 On the other hand, another commenter points out that the clothes are the same as a chronologically earlier scene and argues that this repetition is indicative of memories being mingled and the scene not being real.8
On the other hand, Asuka’s coma puts some severe limitations on her interactions with other characters; neither Shinji nor Asuka seem to be desperate enough before EoE for such a violent interaction; nor is it clear why Asuka would call for Shinji in the final fight if she had previously (as depicted in the hypothetical flashback) told Shinji to leave her alone,9 and likewise why would Shinji ask the unconscious Asuka for help in the earlier infamous ‘hospital masturbation’ EoE scene?10 Further, many scenes are not obviously ‘dream sequences’, yet must be - for example, D&R has unexplained scenes of Asuka, Shinji, and Kaworu playing classical Bach pieces TODO: was it Bach? together, despite the fact that Kaworu was introduced after Asuka was put into a coma.
Why does Shinji say “Don’t kill me!” when he’s the one physically attacking people? Is this linked to the defeated Asuka’s final incoherent words to her SEELE enemies, “Kill you all… I’ll kill you… I’ll kill you all”?
Nor is allusions confined to lyrics. Musically, KsT seems to reference over parts of Eva:
“But it’s important to note that Komm Susser Tod’s progression changes ~2:10 and never really returns to the Pachelbel thing. No doubt its included in the film due to its ‘cover’ of Canon (not to mention the lyrical subject matter), and it certainly refers to Canon’s earlier usage in Death [& Rebirth] (particularly the inferences to Instrumentality during the rehearsal parts).”11
One particularly prominent allusion is the previous ending. Following a SSD suggestion, Mr. Tines points out that the end of the scene (‘Shinji: “Don’t leave me alone! Don’t abandon me! Don’t kill me!”’) strongly echoes an earlier scene in episode 25:
Asuka: So I’ll live alone.
But I don’t want that.
I don’t wanna be alone.
I don’t wanna be alone.
I don’t wanna be alone!
Shinji: Don’t leave me.
Misato: Don’t desert me.
Asuka: Don’t kill me.
What is almost as interesting is the dialogue that immediately follows the 3 alluded-to lines:
Shinji: What’s this?
Misato: This is the Instrumentality of Man project that your father has been working on.
…Asuka: Out of many truths, this is one.
Misato: That’s the result you wanted.
Shinji: I wanted?
Destruction, the world where nobody was saved.
Shinji: NO. It’s that nobody saved me.
Ritsuko: Nobody can save you.
Ryouji: This is what you wanted.
Asuka: Destruction, Death, the return to nothingness, all of these did you wish for.
Misato: This is reality.
Shinji: What’s reality?
Rei: Your world.
Makoto: With time, with space, with other people, a world of your own.
Shigeru: The world where how to accept things and how to perceive things is absolutely up to you.
Maya: It’s your world, only given to you now,
Immediately after the strangulation in the EoE scene and Shinji’s descent into despair, everyone is forcibly joined into one being and EoE begins the dream-like introspection; immediately after the analogous 3 lines in the EoTV scene, the voices begin talking about the destruction of the world that Shinji wished for and his control over everything. The parallel is striking.
The song “Komm, süsser Tod” (KsT) overlaps the scene only briefly as we segue to an ‘external’ view of the planet earth and humanity deliquescing to form a singular entity, but if we’re not certain what the scene means just from the text, we have to look to the lyrics - it would be logical if the lyrics described the consequences of what seems to be Asuka’s complete rejection of Shinji.
The movie version is in English; reportedly Anno penned the lyrics in Japanese and had them translated for the singer, Arianne12, to perform.
The music itself is not helpful; many have noted that it sounds improbably cheerful and also rhythmically similar to the Beatles’ “Hey Jude”. The lyrics seems to be about suicide - quite a contrast! This contrast is, however, an Anno trademark. He previously used it in episode 24 where Beethoven’s celebratory Ode to Joy played as Shinji kills his friend, and the cheerful song/tragic event technique is used not once but twice in Rebuild 2.013.
The ultimate English adaptation is quite different from the original lyrics Hideaki Anno apparently gave the translator, Mike Wyzgowski. It’s easy to discount the English lyrics as being less ‘original’ and perhaps only reflecting Wyzgowkski’s views, but both versions are worth looking at; the English transcription (omitting repeated lines):
I know, I know I've let you down I've been a fool to myself I thought that I could live for no one else But now through all the hurt & pain It's time for me to respect the ones you love mean more than anything So with sadness in my heart (I) feel the best thing I could do is end it all and leave forever what's done is done it feels so bad what once was happy now is sad I'll never love again my world is ending I wish that I could turn back time 'cause now the guilt is all mine can't live without the trust from those you love I know we can't forget the past you can't forget love & pride because of that, it's killing me inside It all returns to nothing, it all comes tumbling down, tumbling down, tumbling down It all returns to nothing, I just keep letting me down, letting me down, letting me down In my heart of hearts I know that I called never love again I've lost everything everything everything that matters to me, matters in this world
Those lyrics are different enough that we can’t really compare them on a line by line basis, but we have 3 translations of Anno’s Japanese lyrics:
|Bochan_bird||Rachel Clark||Refrain of Evangelion14|
|I feel uneasy.||I’m uneasy.||I feel uneasy.|
|I feel uneasy.||I’m uneasy.||I feel uneasy.|
|I’m afraid of being hated by everyone.||I’m afraid of being disliked by everyone.||I’m afraid of being hated by people.|
|I’m afraid of being hurt.||I’m afraid of being hurt.||I’m afraid of being hurt.|
|But I’m more afraid of hurting other people.||But I’m even more afraid of hurting other people.||But I’m even more afraid of hurting other people.|
|But I end up hurting (them).||But I’ve already hurt them.||But I hurt them.|
|I hurt the people I like/love.||I’ve already hurt the people who matter most to me.||I hurt the people I love.|
|That’s why I won’t like people.||That’s why I can’t let myself like other people.||Therefore I don’t fall in love.|
|That’s why I hurt myself.||That’s why I hurt myself.||So I hurt myself instead.|
|Because I’m scared.||And so, I am disliked15.||I don’t like myself.|
|Because I hate (myself) very much.||And so, I am hated.||I hate myself.|
|I mustn’t come to like (other people).||I mustn’t let myself like anyone.||I mustn’t fall in love.|
|That’s why I hurt myself.||That’s why I hurt myself.||So I hurt myself.|
|Tenderness is extremely cruel.||Tenderness is the greatest cruelty||Kindness is so cruel.|
|If I yield my heart, I will be broken/destroyed.||If I entrust my heart to another, I’ll be devastated in the end||If I entrust my heart to others, I will be destroyed.|
|If our hearts touch, that person will be hurt.||If another heart touches my own, that person will be hurt||If our hearts cross, that person will16 get hurt.|
|So, I have no recourse but to be broken/destroyed.||And so, I can only be devastated||So, I have to destroy myself.|
|No recourse but to return to nothing.||All I can do is return to nothing||I have to return to nothing.|
|Let’s17 return to nothing.||Let me return to nothing||I shall return to nothing.|
|Let’s return to nothing.||Let me return to nothing||I shall return to nothing.|
|That is the place filled with tenderness.||It is a place filled with tenderness||This is the place filled with kindness.|
|That is the place without the pain of truth.||A place without the pain of reality||There is no real pain.|
|The place without wavering of the heart.||Where my heart will not tremble.||There is no wavering heart.|
|Let’s return to nothing.||[Let me return to nothing]||Let’s return to nothing.|
|…||…||Let’s return to nothing where there are no others.|
|Let’s return to nothing.|
|Let’s return to nothing.|
|Let’s return to nothing - where|
|I don’t get hurt….(repeat)|
For Asuka POV:
- the female singer suggests an Asuka POV
- title is German, and German is sometimes linked to Asuka
- the loss of pride also suggest Asuka
- Asuka at some points in TV seems to be suicidal, which works with the possibility this scene is a memory
For Shinji POV:
- the loss of love suggest Shinji, who was rejected (weak point, since in this scene Asuka seems to have simply given up on Shinji and abandoned her own love for Shinji).
- the constant mention of ‘letting down’ seems most consistent with Shinji (one could argue Asuka let people down by not defeating SEELE single-handedly, but Shinji is even more of a failure)
- Shinji has a long history of failure and running away, consistent with ‘I keep letting me down’, while Asuka’s history of failure is relatively short and concentrated towards the end of the TV series.
- ‘I thought I could live for no one else’ applies much better to Shinji, who tries to avoid everyone completely, and not so well to Asuka with her repeated efforts to connect with Shinji and her crush on Kaji
- The general suicidal tone (‘leave forever’) doesn’t fit with EoE Asuka’s actions & words - she seems to want very much to not die - but does with Shinji (described by Anno as a boy who doesn’t even have the courage to commit suicide18)
- the speaker ‘can’t live without the trust of those you love’ and is ending it all, logically implying (modus tollens) they lack said trust, but in the scene Shinji offers pretty unconditional trust to Asuka and Asuka offers him no trust at all and wishes he would go away; this is consistent with Shinji being the speaker and inconsistent with Asuka being the speaker.
- Masayuki, TV assistant director & Death director, edited some musical videos. If KsT were from Asuka’s POV, one would think it much more likely that Masayuki would have set the Asuka-centric video to KsT rather than any other song. But he chose to set it to another song, “Tamashii no Refrain” (TnF; translation)19; a weak observation is that the lyrics of TnF do not seem consistent with a suicidal Asuka, given lines like “For the sake of being born, shine like a star once more!” or “Please come back into these arms, for the sake of a chance meeting. / Miracles will be created, no matter how many times…”
I’m sure you know a similar thing happens with ‘Komm, Susser Todd’. The song’s clapping makes you want to clap along, and the repeating of the chorus at the end makes you sing along. The chorus is short and very catchy, built of two five word sentences (‘It all comes tumbling down’ and ‘I just keep letting me down’), but the repeat chorus cuts it down to shorter sentences (‘Letting me down’ and ‘Tumbling down’). That makes the song all the more catchy and seductive, makes you want to sing and clap along. KST was composed by Anno himself, and is the song that plays during Third Impact. By singing along and clapping along, you ‘give up your individuality’ and become instead of a listener another singer, you join the group. Also, the singing and clapping makes you feel like you can’t always tell your voice from the singers, and like Rei says, the Sea of LCL is an ambiguous world, where you can’t tell where you begin and others end.
KsT was not always going to be the EoE feature song; the Refrain of Evangelion OST notes say that there was a competitor, “Everything You’ve Ever Dreamed” (EYED), which was likewise penned by Anno & translated/heavily adapted by Mike Wyzgowski.
Why KsT was chosen over EYED is unclear. SSD remarks that
“Oh, and it’s understandable why KST was used in terms of scene-matching and tempo compared to EYED. Although it was the other song option for Instrumentality, Everything You’ve Ever Dreamed is too slow-tempoed (also it’s a minute or two shorter than KST), though some of the music fits the scenes when you play the sequence and song together.”20
Let’s compare Rachel Clark’s translation of Anno’s lyrics and Refrain of Evangelion:
|Rachel Clark||Refrain of Evangelion|
|CHORUS: What did you do to that girl?||What did you do to her? (chorus)|
|CHORUS: What did you want to do to her?||What did you want to do to her? (chorus)|
I wanted to kiss her. I wanted to kiss her. But I was hurt. But instead I got hurt. She brought pain to my heart. I hurt my feelings.
Even so, But, I hurt that girl’s heart, as well. I also hurt her feeling. I inflicted the greatest hurt upon her. I hurt her much more. I hurt her with kindness. My kindness hurt her.
CHORUS: Did hurting her bring you sorrow? Were you sad by hurting her? (chorus) CHORUS: Did hurting her bring you pain? Did you suffer by hurting her? (chorus)
No. No. Hurting her gave me pleasure. I was happy to hurt her. Hurting her gave me delight. I enjoy hurting her. Because she wouldn’t accept me. So, she won’t forgive me. I don’t even accept myself. I won’t forgive me either. I haven’t since I felt the pain in my heart. Because I learned of heartache
CHORUS: If that’s so, why do you live? Then, why are you living? (chorus)
If only I would die. You should be dead.
CHORUS: Die. Die. Die. Die. Die, die, die, die. (chorus)
Why am I still living? Why are you still living? Because I’m still alive. Because I’m still alive. But that girl hasn’t met me. But, I can’t meet her. I want to meet her, but I don’t. Although I want to see her, I don’t. The strength to meet her isn’t there. I don’t have the strength to see her. I’ve been hurt more often than I hurt others, but I’m not accepted. Since I hurt her, I should get hurt even more to be forgiven. This is my punishment. This is my punishment.21
Death will not become my redemption. Death can’t atone for my sin. For the sake of my redemption, I live. I’m living for my atonement.
CHORUS: You go on living, but you don’t care. It’s okay to continue your life. (chorus) CHORUS: Selfishly, you go on living, but you don’t care. I don’t care how you continue your life at your own convenience. But how do you intend to make up for everything? But, how are you atoning for your sin?
…I don’t understand. … I don’t know.
As one can see, the general tone of defeat, resignation, and suicide is present as well. We might be over-interpreting KsT on its own, but when both candidates suggest this interpretation, we are on solid ground.
The sequences immediately after KsT are confusing montages and live-action clipshows. It’s not clear what’s going on, and this is a point at which many people seem to simply give up and wait for the movie to terminate on the beach; Shinji’s dialogue with Rei seems like pure gibberish. But it turns out that we are lacking a huge puzzle piece - the live-action clips were drawn from a longer cut live-action sequence which had made it all the way to filming. Is this important?
Every work is made under constraints but that doesn’t mean we should applaud every decision which had to be made. EoE seems to have been under time constraints just like the TV series, given the delays and very weird release schedule, so it’s possible that that was why the full live-action sequence was cut and an incomprehensible set of clips used instead. I don’t see what’s inessential about it: EoTV also used anime and crayon and random stuff, and also included a full alternate world sequence.
This is important: EoTV also had an alternate world, even if it was animated and not live-action like EoE’s. I think there is clear parallelism: both alternate worlds take place in the last episode (episode 26 and 26’ respectively), both take place not terribly long before the end, and both seem to trigger a decision or realization by Shinji. Both sequences served a didactic purpose: in EoTV, it showed Shinji that he could live in a world without EVA and in EoE, it took it a step even further and showed Shinji a completely ordinary world without EVA, NERV, Second Impact and without any of his relationships with other people.
I admit that it’s much easier to understand the EoTV alternate reality sequence than the EoE one, since episode 26 lays out the meaning very explicitly:
Shinji: “I get it, this is also a possible world. One possibility that’s in me. The me right now is not exactly who I am. All sorts of me’s are possible. That’s right. A me that’s not an Eva pilot is possible too.”
“When you think of it that way, this world of reality isn’t so bad.”
S: “The world of reality might not be so bad. But I hate myself.”
“It’s you that perceives reality as bad and unpleasant. It’s you who’s mistaken reality for the truth. Your perspective on reality and the importance you place on reality, the slightest difference in these things will greatly change the world inside your mind.” …
S: “I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it’s okay for me to be here! That’s right! I’m me, nothing more, nothing less! I’m me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it’s okay for me to be here!”
The EoE one is located close to the end like the EoTV one - it was to be placed around the ‘I hate you’ dialogue and it exits into the Shinji-Rei discussion in the Sea of LCL which then leads to the beach and the end of the film. Like the EoTV one, it seems to be some sort of realization for Shinji; he discusses ‘reality’ and ‘truth’ and ‘dreams’ and ‘illusion’ with Rei (note that in both EoTV and EoE, there’s some rather confusing uses of the words ‘truth’ and ‘reality’ in the English translations, which suggests that we may be missing the intended meaning entirely because we’re reading in the usual meanings) and finally Shinji rejects the Sea of LCL.
At the end of the EoE sequence, Rei tells Shinji that the alternate world is just a ‘convenient dream’. Shinji asks whether that’s bad, Shinji defends dreams, Rei tells him that he’s misusing the word dream and this world is an illusion and escape from reality. Switching back to the final EoE script, Shinji admits he doesn’t understand reality or happiness, realizes that the world is ‘empty’ and a distortion of the real world; Rei tells him further that his dream is in the real world. Then we go into the Sea of LCL dialogue which we all know, in which Shinji seems to take a stoic viewpoint and accept that the real world sucks but it’s real so he will endure it. The draft of EoE which had the full sequence seems to put it much more harshly than the final script, going by Olivier Hague’s translated snippets:
Shinji’s voice: “I’m sorry, Ayanami. I’ll return to where I used to be. There may be nobody there, by now, but I’ll return. I guess there is nothing good for me, there, never was and never will be, but I’ll return. Because it’s the place I belong and I have to live in.”
That description of life is almost as pessimistic and despairing as the Last B ending:
…We then see Shinji lying on the beach. His right hand is holding a white one. “I’ll never see them again.” “It’s better to think of it this way.” “I’m still alive, so I’ll keep on living.” He squeezes the hand harder. Then, he sees Rei (like in the actual episode and Last A). We eventually see that there is nobody lying near Shinji. Just a white arm without the rest of the body…
At this point, I have to wonder: why? In EoTV, his breakthrough is understandable: he’s realized he can live his life in other ways and be happy. But in EoE, there is no such breakthrough and the sequence serves a different role in somehow convincing Shinji that really existing and being real is more important than anything else, and so he should go on living even though there is ‘nothing good for me, never was, and never will be’ - to say nothing of the shocking Last B.
The closest it comes to really explaining is immediately backpeddling on the lack of good things by having Yui claim that “It will be alright. All lifeforms have the power to restore themselves……and the wish to live. If you decide to live, anywhere can be heaven……because you’re alive. There will be chances to be happy everywhere. As long as the Sun, Moon and Earth exist……it will be alright.”
Can this tension between the 2 sequences, and the dialogues and messages of EoE and EoTV, be resolved if we can nail down what exactly Anno means by ‘dream’, ‘reality’, and ‘happiness’? Maybe.
I have to say that even if the tension were resolved, the delivery of the message in EoTV was far more effective than EoE. Reading online, I see few people who seem to have been helped by EoE, while EoTV did help people (some of whose messages are shown in EoE). Anno talks of administering children “poison” to help them learn to deal with the painful real world; yet I wonder if EoE goes overboard on the poison.
But Shinji’s pessimism and escape into a dream, and his choice to then reject assimilation and a form of suicide, confirms the original interpretation of the KsT scene and in fact gives us a general sketch of EoE: rejected by the world and Asuka (pre-KsT), he escapes into Instrumentality (KsT), but with Rei/Instrumentality’s help and the alternate world (cut live-action sequence), comes to a realization/breakthrough (Sea of LCL) and returns to reality (the beach).
And with this stoic pessimal viewpoint in mind, the three EoE endings (final, Last A, and Last B) are no longer surprisingly dark. In reverse order - the real world sucks, and a dismembered Rei limb is merely realistic; the real world sucks so a grave for Misato is merely realistic and his relationship with Asuka is strained at best so of course she yells at him; the real world sucks so a possible grave for Misato is merely realistic and his relationship with Asuka painful enough that he escaped into Instrumentality so why not strangle her again, since the real one will react and the Instrumentality ones won’t.
otaku therapy using KsT:
Technically, Pen-Pen is there as well, but he hides.↩︎
It’s unclear at this point whether Asuka is alive, dead, or some third state.↩︎
Some versions of EoE omit the audio, just placing a visual iya in the corner; this is reflected in some EoE translations which simply transcribe the “no” without attribution, such as Yasuyuki Sato’s translation. Jesse Smith explains: “This [spoken iya] was the original theatrical release, so what happened was they chose to put the caption”iya” in for the Genesis 0:13/0:14 release, presumably to further emphasize the emotional distance between Asuka and Shinji there.”↩︎
See also how MDWigs describes the same cuts:
You don’t know that. You don’t know it didn’t actually happen.
Asuka left Misato’s place sometime between Episodes 22 and 23. In the redone episode 24, there is a cut of Asuka learning about Kaji’s death, which happened in the kitchen. Also there is a quick cut in Evangelion: Death (True)2, just before Shinji met Kaoru for the first time, he’s thinking about Misato, there is a bunch of cuts including one of Asuka (crying?) in the kitchen of Misato’s apartment. It looks like it took place after Asuka heard about Kaji’s death, but before she left the Misato’s place. This cut (surprisingly absolutely unseen in the whole series, movies included!) may take place a few seconds before the kitchen scene! ^^;
So the kitchen scene could have indeed happened, which could explain why Asuka did leave Misato’s apartment in the end.
“The Economy of Visual Language: Neon Genesis Evangelion”, Michael Peterson↩︎
George Chen points out the 2 possible scenes:
“One of the greatest thing that had happened in Evangelion is Mr. Anno use of sequences like that. If you pay closer attention, you will find that scene could very well be happen at the same time which Shinji and Asuka first kissed or at the time in Genesis 0:11 which Shinji informed Asuka Kaji’s death (new scenes in the LD). Both scene took place in the kitchen of Misato’s house and with Asuka wearing the yellow t-shirt.”
But ultimately Chen thinks the scene is a “what if in Shinji’s mind”.↩︎
“Also, in reference to the Coffee Pot Scene, notice that Shinji and Asuka are wearing the same clothing they had on during the”I’m bored, let’s kiss” scene a while back (or am I completely losing it?). This seems to lend credence to this being part of Shinji’s complementation and not an actual event.”
See for example Patrick Yip’s argument against a flashback:
“This is no flashback. At first I thought the same thing, but when I thought deeper I realised that this just did not fit well in the time line. Shinji was not that low when Asuka was struck dumb (inactive) by that Angel – then Shinji even tried to help but didn’t know how. I doubted that they would have got into an argument like that. I think it is an”experience” that he went through in his inner world, with the influence of some external force so that it feels “real” – something not unlike that alternative world in TV ep.26, the “hall scene” in TV ep25, or the “train scene” in EOE.”
“Also, I’ve always thought that the kitchen scene happened in Shinji’s head. To me it seems to be a moment in which Shinji makes the realization that he and Asuka aren’t going to figure everything out. Back at the beginning of EoE, Shinji asks Asuka to help him because he knows she can’t answer, so even then he hasn’t faced the truth about their relationship. If the kitchen scene had been real, then the masturbation scene would lose a little significance IMO (b/c Shinji would have already shown the courage to offer help/ask for help from Asuka). The kitchen scene itself is familiar because it’s an alternate to something that actually happened. Only this time (because it’s in Shinji’s head, and not IRL), Shinji does the thing he would have liked to do back then. Unfortunately his mind forms a pretty depressing outcome (though it’s an entirely reasonable one), and that’s what ultimately causes Shinji to decide that he’s ok with killing everyone.”
Arianne is a mystery herself; she is just a name listed as singing KsT and “Everything You’ve Ever Dreamed”. Nor does she appear in anything else, even things one might expect her to, like the Laserdisc recording of the Evangelion concert at the Japan Philharmonic.↩︎
eg. 翼をください/“Give Me Wings”↩︎
Clark says that Bochan_bird mis-transliterates this word as ‘kowaii’/‘scared’ when it is actually ‘kirai’/‘disliked’.↩︎
This line is given as “he’ll get hurt” in the booklet; Azathoth confirms that the other translations are correct with respect to the kanji:
’The line is:
Bolded is “ano hito”, “that person”, which would be more idiomatically translated as “he” or “she” but isn’t itself a gendered word. I would guess the translator made the gender assumption by virtue of the female vocalist.’
Bochan_bird chooses “Let’s”, which is short for “let us”, while Clark specifies the singular “me”; Japanese is not big on pronouns, so the original is ambiguous. This unfortunately makes interpretation a necessity; Clark’s choice of the singular is probably the correct disambiguation because the rest of the lyrics are clearly singular.↩︎
“A cowardly young man who feels that his father has abandoned him, and so he has convinced himself that he is a completely unnecessary person, so much so that he cannot even commit suicide.” Anno, “What Were We Trying To Make Here?”, 1995↩︎
This seems to be true. When I watched the KsT scene set to EYED, not a little of the music seemed to fit the visuals; even some of Wyzgowski’s lyrics matched occasionally, like a line about the ‘seven seas’ syncing with a brief clip of a swarm of souls which looked like a turning school of fish.↩︎
gatotsu911: “An echo of Gendo’s final words?”↩︎