DISCLAIMER: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE 26 EPISODE SERIES AS WELL AS THE MOVIE “END OF EVANGELION”. IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED IT YET DO NOT CONTINUE READING.
Note: I apologise for the sloppily written post. I said I would write about so I did, but after many revisions… I kind of gave up and just left it as you see below. I apologise if you find it wasn’t worth a read…
In Evangelion, for me, the main focus was around the interactions between the main cast. Constantly questioning each other’s motives and what they think of each other, they act in whatever ways they see fit.
Misato, convinced that she needs to be an upstanding adult who does her work professionally, makes sure that she does a good job whenever she’s on the job. However, the moment she gets home and feels like she can let loose, she really lets loose. Honestly, that’s my ideal type of lifestyle.
Later on in the series, she’s shown to really enjoy getting physically intimate with Kaji and in episode 25, is scrutinised for her “filthy desire” of wanting to give in to her carnal desires as they phrased it. She claimed that she wanted to be sullied both because of her hatred for her father as well as her desire for intimacy with another due to her loneliness.
For Asuka, she wants to be praised again and again. To some, she can be seen as annoying for constantly complaining whenever someone (usually Shiniji) steals the spotlight. She wants to be the centre of attention and be showered with care and affection. Why? Her mother never did so for her.
Her mother was shown to have been mentally unstable and continually conversed with a doll rather than Asuka herself. The mother thought that the doll was her daughter and neglected her real daughter. Left without the affection from her own mother, Asuka sought to be cared for and praised by others around her. When she wasn’t getting the proper attention, she’d throw a fit and complain non-stop. At the same time, hating herself for doing so.
Rei is someone who literally does everything Gendo tells her to because she was created by Gendo. She had complete trust in Gendo and did whatever she was told because she knew she was replaceable. Each vessel or body that her soul resided in could be destroyed and she’d simply be transferred to a different yet identical body. To her, carrying out her mission no matter the cost and piloting the Eva was the only link to the world around her that she had. After all, she wasn’t exactly what others would consider a human. Even though Asuka has called her a doll many times before due to her apathetic nature which carries out what she is told, she would never have known how Rei herself truly felt about it all.
Closing in to the time of Rei’s true death, rather than anticipation which she had felt previously, she became fearful of dying. Fearful of returning to nothingness. She did not want to lose everything she had built up for herself as a human, all the time and precious memories she had made on earth. This resulted in the ultimate betrayal of Gendo. The consequence was not something I could really comprehend since Gendo met Yui and died in the end anyway but… whatever.
Finally Shinji, constantly running away and coming back. Indecisive of what he wants to do due to the fact that both running away and piloting the Eva could lead to disastrous consequences. Consequences which he didn’t want to have to face. On one hand, he wanted to pilot the Eva because everyone told him to and people would praise him for the good that he is doing. On the other hand, he didn’t want to pilot the Eva because it’s a dangerous job and also has a chance of him facing situations he does not want to face.
In the anime, Misato is often seen discussing how she views Shinji and how she feels that Shinji needs to learn to interact with others more instead of running away from them in fear of getting hurt. She says that learning the right distance to have between others such that you are close enough to care but not close enough to get hurt is all a part of growing up.
In the end, most of the main cast are all characters who have trouble around others because they are constantly worried about what others think of them. At the same time, they want others to care for them and look at them properly. Even if they cannot bring themselves to be so straightforward with others themselves.
Isn’t that kind of like many of us today?
We find the image of ourselves in others and do our best to behave to their image. We find our selves in others instead of ourselves. At the same time, we hate that even when we try our best to do so, people don’t look at us the way we want them to.
In the end, we are all like kids deep down. We just want to be cared for and looked at so we don’t feel like a waste of space or a meaningless existence.
Thus, the End of Evangelion, which was meant to be brought about by the Human Instrumentality Project, was meant to connect everyone in the world together. Their hearts, minds and souls as one.
“We all have a part of our heart that is forever empty. Something we have lost. [This causes emotional starvation, anxiety and fear]. We all fear the darkness in us and we live our lives trying to escape it or banish it. As long as there are people, that darkness will never disappear.”
While Misato was really against it when Ritsuko explained the reason for the project in this manner, I must say that I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. To be honest, I can’t quite disagree with that. As we go through life, we are constantly searching for or trying to create a meaning for our existence. I’m sure most of us have experienced lows where we just didn’t know what we were living for. Living is simply the act of existing while trying to fill that void after all. Most of attempts involves countless interactions with others as we go about our daily lives. As you’ve probably heard the quote before, “no man is an island”.
However, like Misato said, it’s simply forcing everyone to “cozy up to each other” as the translated subtitles on Netflix read. The idea of being forced to open up to everyone else is kind of scary. Although, they would also be forced to open up to you and everyone else as well.
I didn’t really mind the ending where everyone just died though. Or at least that’s how I interpreted it, sorry if I didn’t get it right. The true ending of Evangelion is beyond me. It seems like everyone is alive but pretty much dead because they can only materialise if they have the will to live? However, they don’t really have a conscience of anything right now so it seems impossible? Even if they materialised I think the earth is a gone case though. Also, I have no clue what those last few minutes of Shinji strangling Asuka was about.
Anyways, for everyone to return to nothingness, that’s a rather peaceful end. With no more humans, there is no conflict, no suffering. Non-existence is the most peaceful form of existence. I know, my sentence clearly contradicts itself but I’m just trying to say that as long as you exist, there will be troubles and hardships. Thus, the only way to not suffer, is to not exist at all. If you never existed in the first place, you would not be subjected to going to heaven or hell or reincarnation or whatever might come after death. You’d simply be nothing and feel nothing.
The ultimate peace.