Fics as essays — (Mis-)interpretation



This is the examplar of Instrumentality as a species of Singularity, with a non-dualist interpretation; despite Nancy's psi powers (for which one can insert quantum arm-waving of the sort that Brian Josephson has recently published), re-interpreting things where necessary, to reflect the idea that a persona does not execute independent of any substrate, but may be transferred between compatible substrates. This will underlie almost all the “Big Picture” differences.

Many of the character interpretations are perhaps superficial or at least subtly adrift from what I have come to understand as orthodoxy, primarily in the Misato/Shinji relationship. And having only read about, and not seen, the Gendou/Adam fusion at that point, I was having to make up the physiological effects. But who knows, maybe Gendou was or had been a flagellant as well at some point.

It did turn out that in the DC footage, that the kitchen scene from EoE, the first time that Shinji strangles Asuka, was a reflection of something in reality that caused Asuka to run away. In that case it was when Shinji in his usual tact-free manner explained that Kaji was dead. I had assumed that the resemblance was much closer, that real physical (as well as psychological) violence had taken place, leading to Asuka's final mental breakdown.

I hadn't at that point pegged the bathtub scene as indicating a much colder and more rational state of mind and a suicide attempt (See the trails of blood in the water!).

I did find Shinji's supine behaviour in EoE despicable, making his one act of commission before the finale pale into insignificance; and his self-assessment

I've done terrible things to Asuka, and even killed Kaworu...
There isn't a shred of kindness in me!
Only dishonesty and cowardice... 

(my emphasis, quoting from the Bochan Bird translation) made the interpretation of real violence upon Asuka all too plausible. Latterly, though, I discover that Japanese doesn't have a well-defined notion of the plural, so this turns out not to be a valid cue.

I was also reacting to the apparent planetary scale disaster, the Giant Naked Rei (GNR) Impacts, the sight of what I took to be the discarnate forms of human mentalities either departing, or remaining in orbit having bled from GNR's neck wound, as leaving the two pilots isolated on the wreck of Earth; and that bodies formed from imagination would be post-mortal, hence the two of them being stuck there, in Anti-Eden, at the End of the World.

Neon Angelic Genesis

As noted, this was written before seeing the added material in the DC/NPC versions of the later episodes; only having read about the revelations about Adam, Kaworu, and the scenes from the Katsuragi Expedition; and not the ret-conning of Asuka's story.

Consequently, I stick to the original reading in which Asuka's romantic feelings are set only on Kaji; and her interactions with the other pilots are about social hierarchy and attention seeking. And Rei doesn't play those games, which leaves Shinji taking the full impact. Thus when Misaki arrives and is placed in a designated inferior position, and does play the appropriate social games, her initial reaction at someone willingly taking the idiot as a boyfriend is one of bafflement, not jealousy, even before the "smells of Suzuhara" effect cuts in.