T O P

frankly i always hated the gross sexualization of neon genesis evangelion's girls. they're both 14.

frankly i always hated the gross sexualization of neon genesis evangelion's girls. they're both 14.

SalvaStalker

Sexualisation aside, I'm actually impressed Toji managed to appear as a pilot in this; he was a pilot for like half an episode.


octopushug

This was the movie poster for NGE: Death & Rebirth and I'm guessing he's on there to include all five "Children"/pilots.


KashmirRatCube

At the very least he shouldn't be standing. 😉


cr102y

At least he shows up as a pilot,the Rebuilds did him dirty.


PepperoniPigeon

The fact grown ass men are always going on about which 14 year old girl is their "waifu" or "best girl" creeps me out as well.


RovingRaft

right? misato and ritsuko are *literally right there* hell, like I'm pretty sure that Misato has *more* screentime than Asuka actually


[deleted]

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WeeWeeWaaWaaWoo

Good bot!


TheGhost-of-Bob-Ross

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TheKillerOfNoon

Bad bot!


SpaghettiPunch

ikr, clearly misato is best girl


Chortling_Chemist

We love a barely-functioning alcoholic Queen working closely with the government to groom/recruit child soldiers to fight a forever war against Lovecraftian horrors.


BaneAmesta

One of them barely has any personality either and is almost a cardboard cutout. And the other needs urgent mental health check (well, all the cast needs it anyways) But yeah, waifu wars sell merch so who cares /s


MrBallins

Rei is not really a cardboard cutout, it's just that she is a quiet person. Her dying and essentially getting reborn didn't help that either


RovingRaft

Rei's definitely not personality-less just incredibly repressed but like yeah she's still 14, the adult fans shouldn't really be "waifu-ing" her


BatygameCZ

That's... That's the point of their characters though. Rei is uncomfortably cold and Asuka has tons of baggage which she deals in very toxic ways, they're commentaries on those types of characters types


vrael101

I hate to be that person, but that's kinda the point.


Reigeckt

Oh gosh, I use best girl/boy to refer to characters I just really like. It never occurred to me that people used it in a creepy way. 😬


ManyTraining6

Well a lot of them are actually just horny teens, you never know


PepperoniPigeon

I'm not talking about 14 year olds lusting after 14 year olds. I'm talking about the 20 year olds who designated a 14 year old anime girl as their waifu...


manga_fanatic

20 is generous, there's guys in their 30s and 40s that sexualize them.


Gamedoom

Most of them would have been kids when it came out. 25 years later and they're still jerkin it to the same cartoon teenagers.


niesamowityfilip

I love Evangelion but I admit that you are absolutely correct, it is allways afoul when such a beautiful work of art (the show and EoE, not this poster) fucks up like that.


1234filip

I watched it a while ago but I think the sexualization isn't aimed at the audience like fanservice is. It's just that the show is about 3 teenagers just starting puberty and a core theme is their discovery of self, including their sexuality. >!You would probably agree that the infamous masturbation scene isn't there for fanservice but to showcase Shinji's mental state.!<


Darkanin

Honestly it walks a thin fucking line. I agree that a lot of it is a good depiction of puberty and teenage horniness, but a lot of shots feels suuuuper fanservicey. I think it crossed the line in terms of that. I was pretty annoyed when the camera would focus on the women’s butt and b00bs on parts where it wasn’t even necessary, it really made me take the show less seriously cause I felt super uncomfortable


Reigeckt

The studio (Gainax then, Trigger now I think) made hentai games before they made anime so Im sure that had something to do with it. Their track record of having overly sexual teenage characters isnt good regardless. I think they're moving away from it in more recent series at least?


BatygameCZ

Just a tiny nitpick, but Trigger is a studio of Ex-Gainax animators, not Gainax


Reigeckt

Yeah I didnt want to get into the tiny details when it didnt matter over all. But I think Trigger has a lot of the same aesthetic and ideas as Gainax anyway.


Darkanin

Oh wow that explains so much! That is such an interesting 180 for a company. I really hope so, I want to watch the reboot, but my roommate told me that there are even MORE fanservice scenes I’m pretty discouraged. I hate it bc the psychological stuff is phenomenal and I genuinely loved it, but the over-sexualization reaaally put me off


octopushug

I couldn't get into the rebooted movies. I'm oversimplifying things, but they basically added another vessel for fan service in the form of Mari. They seemed like a giant cash grab, banking on new merchandise and sales supported by older fans coming back to the series and drumming up a new generation of fans among younger audiences. These revamps have been popular for a number of classic series like Sailormoon and CCSakura as well.


yungbisa

i agree. it think i saw 1.0 and 2.0 and spoiler for a scene: (how do you censor on mobile ols help) mari flies in air and lands in shinji face WITH HER CHEST. if this isn't the most ridiculous fanservice then idk what is. what i liked tho is that shinji wasn't into it and never shows a real sign of heterosexuality/heteroromance in the reboots. :3


HipsterFortress

>shinji (...) never shows a real sign of heterosexuality/heteroromance in the reboots. 3.0 + 1.0 Spoilers >!In 2.0 and 1.0 he is pretty embarrassed seeing Asuka and Rei naked, In 2.0 he causes the third impact just to try and save Rei from the 10th angel, while he does lose his attraction to Asuka in 3.0 he does admit in 3.0 + 1.0 that he had a crush on Asuka when he lived with her in 2015!<.


SpecialistProfessor7

The reboot ages them up significantly for what it's worth. Won't spoil anything but there's a time jump. And at least speaking from a male perspective, I never felt any of the sexualization was played straight. At every turn felt like a tool used to express just how fucked these kids had become.


BagFullOfKittenBones

Gainex still keeps up the same level of fanservice, with Gurren Langan being their most recent big show with lots of fanservice. Gainex’s successor studio, Studio Trigger, walks about the same line and has moved slowly away from fan service. Their first hit, Kill La Kill, central theme is really about fanservice and perhaps a soapbox for what Studio Trigger thinks about fanservice in general. Then Studio Trigger made Little Witch Academia, and it is one of the best animes out there. It’s also has very little fanservice, and one of the few shows I can safely play for family and friends. I hope Studio Trigger continues the route they set out with Little Witch Academia


Reigeckt

Past Little Witch Academia, they made Darling in the Franxx, Brand New Animal, and a movie called Promare. They later two are pretty light on fanservice! I believe they're making a Cyberpunk 20XX anime for netflix too. So yeah, they seem to be moving away from the fanservice sells model


matgopack

The difficulty gauging that is that taking that angle is a deliberate choice - and could be a way of deflecting criticism of the show. To an extent, it's a relic of what anime and a large part of its audience is - and I think they were clearly sexualizing the characters/taking advantage of fanservice. But at the same time, the argument that it's a depiction of puberty/teenage horniness is true as well, and it can't really be disentangled. I guess it needs to be very clear what viewpoint the camera is taking - and that's not always easy/possible to do


MrBallins

It actually did both, sorta. Evangelion also served as a deconstruction of typical anime from its time, so you have what would be a pretty normal fanservice scene (Shinji falling down on the naked Rei) and then subverting the typical trope by having her politely tell him to fuck off before getting herself dressed


Odysseyfreaky

Maybe the movie is different, but when the show did that I always felt like we were in Shinji's POV. Maybe that's not a good enough reason for you, but I always felt like we were seeing that he was seeing the girls in a sexual way and it was to let us know why he was acting the way he was acting. The camera always felt very deliberate to me. That said, I do think if you find these girls actually attractive at all you're creepy as fuck.


MrBallins

Personally I have no idea how you can even find them attractive unless you have absolutely no idea what Evangelion is. Like, your choices are a borderline robot, an absolute mental wreck and a pedophile


Odysseyfreaky

I think a lot of anime fans don't really get Evangelion. Hell, I'm not sure I get Evangelion, I'm still not sure what was up with that last pilot or Shinji's mother and I can tell there's a lot of symbolism and ideas underpinning both.


MrBallins

Iirc Shinji's mother wanted to make humanity immortal by turning 01 into the eternal monolith of human civilization. She was also the soul of 01, since Evangelions are living beings and pilots control them by essentially hijacking their nervous system This is also why pilots feel pain


Odysseyfreaky

Ah. Her being the soul was probably the key piece I missed somehow. I plan on rewatching it with a plot summary and fan wiki on hand but I just haven't gotten to it yet. But I also meant in terms of themes, not just plot. I feel like there are ideas that I didn't even come close to grasping or thinking about, which is probably at least partly down to translation and partly to me being... not great at analyzing concepts unprompted.


MrBallins

Eva is actually pretty open to interpretation, this is probably the reason why it is still discussed to this very day. There are some things that the majority of Eva fans agree on being the correct interpretation, but everyone is free to poke at the show however they want


aos_shi

True. It always felt not like fanservice but like, too real, as someone for whom those memories are still very fresh. Asuka going “Look at me!” was something I especially felt.


DemPirx

Yes, and also, watching the show it is very clear that whenever there is a sexual scene it is there to either convey awkwardness or just disgust.


Epicsnailman

I mean... Just looking at the shot composition. They constantly frame in girl's butts or breasts. They constantly find excuses to show girls without clothes on. The message of Shinji's fucked up mental health is made a lot weaker because it really feels like the people who made the show have the exact same problem. They're just lampshading the issue, instead of actually dealing with it. The girls could have been normally proportioned and worn normal looking plug suits, and you could still have Shinji being a confused and insufferably horny 14 year old boy. A 14 year old boy would fuck a rock if he could. You don't need to make the girls any extra attractive for it to work.


1234filip

I think the nude moments are a kind of "Shinji-vision", as I interpreted it. They play out like a typical rom-com, because that's kinda what Shinji wanted in life. It's life through a lens of a 14-year-old boy. I suppose they could have made the suits baggier? It's just character design at this point, but I concede they could have been designed differently. I never looked at the suits from this perspective.


Epicsnailman

No, skin tight suits are fine, if they’re worn by everybody. Except the weird boob pockets. But 14 year old girls (or anyone for that matter) don’t look like that. The girls are incredibly skinny, their thighs don’t even touch. And they constantly arch their back to an inhuman degree. They could have just looked like normal girls, and it would have been fine.


[deleted]

NGE is a shounen, so anything that isn’t a commentary on or a display of sexuality itself is fan service for the audience that is the same age as the protagonists. And don’t you DARE link me to that ProZD “Anime Fans” video to suggest that I defend pedophilia, because first of all, that’s not what this is, and second of all, I’m not even much of an anime fan. Also, Japan and anime does NOT have a pedophile culture, the majority of anime/manga fans and the majority of fandom space online is teenagers, and most adult fans of things with characters younger than them are not creeps. If somebody who is probably an adult is online being creepy about underage characters, that’s one thing. But they might even have had a crush on those characters from when they themselves were teens, and unfortunately not grown out of it. Also, I’d rather not hear anybody say “lol triggered” if they felt “triggered” enough to respond.


adchait

> NGE is a shounen No it's not. Only the manga adaptations/spin-offs are published in shounen magazines.


[deleted]

Then clearly it has the qualifications. It's also worth knowing that these age demographics really only apply to manga. For anime and light novels, it's not so clear-cut. Keep in mind that in general, the age of your main characters is suggestive of the thing's target audience. That's why Ash Ketchum is still ten; it was a conscious decision.


akakaboodle

man i fucking loved nge, and it really sucks that Anno didn’t portray female teenage adolescence and over sexualised it when he’s directed movies directly confronting those matters in Love Pop for example. literally the worst part of the entire series imo


DonDove

Asuka looks 14 at 28 The only difference is an eyepatch


Shohdef

All of the children that pilot the Evas do. The LCL inside of the Evas stops them from aging, apparently.


DonDove

Lucky them (or not) I suspect the new movie artstyle just made them look younger lol


Shohdef

No, it's intentional. The movie even states this.


AsparagusQueen

Yeah its the common trope of legal loli, its gross. They just added that pilots didnt age just for Asuka to still look 14


STEMinator

Same. The sexualization was kinda meta, because shinshi basically rejects humanity because he doesn't get over seeing these girls as sex objects. At least that one interpretation. I mean... Shinshy masturbates to completion over an unconscious Asuka ine End of Eva. That being said, Eva had a lot of influence in how female characters are portrait now. Just look at diva from Overwatch.


Emojiobsessor

*where organs*


LALLANAAAAAA

I had to unsub from r/evangelion when the posts became primarily sexy asuka thirstservice. evamemes is better, somehow managing to engage with the themes and context of the story better than the ostensibly serious sub. others have dealt with this better in this thread, but I'll just say - Eva is the platonic ideal of a work being both problematic and beautiful, stunning even, but is (tautologically) a product of the world that produced and pays to consume it. You can't escape the fact that it needs to sell. While it's possible to sell and be better about the more overtly distasteful reality that sex sells, Eva fails here. It doesn't manage to escape the service to the leering and thirsty. Consciously or not, the tendencies and inclinations of the producers fails to address sexuality without overt sexualization for the $300 posable figure set. It succeeds in a lot of other ways, so overall it's still one of my favorite works, warts and all.


yungbisa

nicely said. i pretty much would sum it up like this as well


patmax17

Eva is... difficult to approach. On one hand, sexuality (and developement/maturation of sexual desire) is one of the central themes of the series. \*some\* sexualization of the characters makes sense, in context. On the other hand, Rei and Asuka are archetypical kuudere and tsundere, and a lot of promotional art and fan art push the "sexy anime girl" thing way out of what's functional to the story itself


SerBuckman

To be fair Asuka is basically a deconstruction of the tsundere, showing both how messed up someone would need to be to act that way, and how such behavior would just end up alienating and hurting people around them


fredagsfisk

They are both deconstructions while *also* ironically being archetypes (in many ways) for later tsundere and kuudere. Especially Rei, of course: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ReiAyanamiExpy


SerBuckman

That's because a lot of fans didn't seem to notice the deconstructionist elements and went on to duplicate the characters without that nuance.


Kellosian

This is just what happens when a deconstruction is one of the most popular examples of the genre, people not already familiar with the genre (or just missed the point entirely/don't care) copy elements of it and the deconstruction is now just part of the genre. American superheroes did the same thing with Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns being held up as shining examples of the superhero genre so suddenly every comic wanted to be them.


RovingRaft

people missing the point of deconstructions and just reproducing them without getting it, more at 11


kakugocomplete

what do you think Eva was "deconstructing"?


NovaDeez

I have heard that Shinji and Simon are supposed to be the same character in two different deconstruction of the mech genre. NGE is "what would happen if a mech anime were real" and the answer is "life is terrible and everyone is mentally broken", while Gurren Lagann is "What if mech anime were turned to 11" and the answer is "10 million light year tall mechs throwing galaxies like shuriken" and I guess also Yoko Littner's outfit which I have no defense for.


patmax17

This makes sense, thanks for pointing out.


RovingRaft

I mean Asuka existed *before* the tsundere trope was a thing


tnarwhall

I'd say Rei is also a deconstruction cause instead of charming or whatever she's mostly presented as unnatural or downright creepy


Odysseyfreaky

I found Rei to be exceptionally sad more than creepy. It's clear she's being manipulated and emotionally abused by Shinji's father (and maybe other adults) so that he can have a pilot who will be obedient and loyal no matter what, even if it gets them seriously hurt. She comes off as off-putting, but the slightest peek behind the curtain shows how she wants love and validation, but doesn't know how to get it except by being the perfect soldier and tool, which is killing her.


RovingRaft

yeah, this like Rei's offputting but after a while you realize that her being offputting is disturbing less in a "she's creepy" way and more in a "what the fuck happened to this kid to have her see herself this way" way


Belaknworb9

'Eyo, hold up. Asuka is NOT the archetypical tsundere, she legitimately fucking hates Shinji's guts from beginning to bitter end. Unless you count the movies after The End of Evangelion, which are basically parodies of how the show was received. Viewers may have made the characters something else in their minds, but the original series and it's movie certainly do not characterize Asuka as a tsundere.


patmax17

Uhm... Do you think she really hates him? I always read her feelings as that she likes him but can't handle it and has no idea how to express it without being vulnerable. She's not a "mainstream" tsundere (mainly because she's a much more complex character) but I think there's overlap between her and the archetype. Or am I ignoring important things?


Doorslammerino

To me it seems more like she simultaneously hates him, is interested in him and hates herself for being interested in him. She copes with her trauma by accruing praise from other people seeing herself as more mature than she actually is, so when Shinji does well as a pilot she sees him as competition for her affection. She sees him as weak for being so submissive towards other people and just going along with everything he's told, but she also recognizes that he performs far better as a pilot than he should given how little training he's received in the early parts of the series. All in all I think she's incredibly confused about her feelings regarding Shinji and expresses that outwardly as anger and hostility. It goes far beyond just using dismissiveness of him as a way to hide her feelings from him, she genuinely despises him at several levels, and even shows satisfaction about him possibly being dead just because he got a little bit overconfident.


RovingRaft

yeah this, like Asuka definitely resents him a lot, and that colors a lot of their relationship


Belaknworb9

She's desperate for a relationship, that's why she kisses Shinji, and gets mad at him for not being a "man" like she wants. Even in private or in her mind she expresses nothing but hatred for him. If ya wanna see what it looks like when she loves someone then you can look at Kaji. She's just a girl who's mean to the protagonist, that's where the similarities to a tsundere end, really.


MrBallins

>If ya wanna see what it looks like when she loves someone then you can look at Kaji. Tbh with Kaji it wasn't love but infantile infatuation alongside a desire to appear more mature


nickelangelo2009

I always saw it as her being superficially tsundere, an image that falls apart with any degree of critical thinking, which the author WANTED from the audience


MrBallins

Asuka actually does love Shinji, she is just incapable of expressing it in a healthy way due to her past. She, just like every Eva character, needs a psychologist ASAP


RovingRaft

she's definitely conflicted about him and is annoyed by him a lot, with that annoyance just becoming resentment near the end dunno if I'd say she *hates* him outright, but she definitely doesn't "secretly love him but is too embarrassed to say it", her feelings about him are definitely more conflicted


tiny-doe

I was going to comment, but this basically says what I wanted to say but better. NGE is one of my favorite anime franchises. While its treatment of sexuality from a teenage boy's point of view (shinji) makes sense, knowing its audience and how THEY see it makes it an issue.


DefoNotAFangirl

To be fair they probably seem so archetypical because they influenced a lot of later anime and manga. I haven’t watched or read NGE myself but I’ve heard that Rei was specifically meant to be a bit unsettling, but the fanbase fell in love with her regardless.


yungbisa

wdym it makes sense to sexualize them?


patmax17

It makes sense in the context of Shinji looking at them and being confronted with his sexual desire towards them. One of the main themes is how Shinji is basically unable to approach women in a healthy way (partially because of trauma and partially because he's a 14 year old boy). IIRC there's scenes where he peeks into Asuka's shirt for example, and it makes him uncomfortable. It's not done fore fanservice's sake (at least not always). Am I being unreasonable?


FeistyDeity

I have not seen Evangelion, barely know anything about it even, so I can't really judge whether this all applies here. On the whole though, I don't think you are being unreasonable per se. OP is right that it's not correct to sexualize underage characters, but I don't think that's what you meant either. I'll try to explain what I mean: it's more than fine to deal with the sexuality of teenagers if your story is about teenagers. It's a part of growing up, going through puberty, and relatable to both teenagers and people who have been teenagers. You *can* write about how one teenager makes another teenager feel things on a physical level. What you *cannot* do, is sexualize teenagers to the audience. That would imply you're no longer writing about the sexual appeal teenagers have to one another, but rather you're writing them to make them sexually appealing to the audience.


patmax17

i basically agree with you. That's why i make the distinction between having a scene in the anime being seen through shinji's eyes, with male gaze, sexualization, fanservice, whatever - and on the contrary having the girls being sexualized e.g. in promotional art. To be honest, I'm 34 and have a 10 year old daughter. I like NGE quite a lot, but i still feel kinda uncomfortable by looking at the artwork in the original post, which is the poster of the movie. Asuka's (red girl) and Rei's (white girl) poses are kinda creepy, and the suits underline their underage boobs quite a lot, especially Asuka's


octopushug

The main intended audience for NGE is teenagers, though. This is going to date me, but the manga and anime originally came out in the mid-90s and my friends and I read/watched it in middle school/high school, when we were around the age of the main characters. The coming-of-age themes and awkwardness of puberty portrayed in the series were very much relevant to the intended audience at the time. However, anime is consumed by people of all ages and there was definitely the problem of older viewers who took way too much sexual interest in the underage characters.


FeistyDeity

Oh I absolutely get that. When dealing with teenage sexuality though, you know that even if your primary target audience is teenagers, it will be available to everyone. Additionally, genres like shounen anime/manga, while written to be accessible to its intended audience of teenagers, are widely consumed and enjoyed by people over twenty as well. Admittedly I think that's mostly a development of this century, at least in the west, but it's not something we can just ignore. So creators of anime/manga, or any piece of fiction really, need to be aware of the wideness of their audience as they write. You cannot sexualize a teenage character with the argument that it is age-appropriate for your target audience. You *can* deal with sexuality, sexual attraction, even sexual arousal of teenagers in a tasteful way, but you need to always take the audience into account. It cannot be intended to excite *them*. And that *is* possible; there is a difference between dealing with characters' sexuality and sexualizing characters. It's up to the writers and artists to use their good judgment.


octopushug

I do agree with that. The level of fanservice purely for the sake of sexualizing underage characters in many series is problematic.


yungbisa

exactly my point


nickelangelo2009

I'd say that nge doesn't really sexualize its characters per se. The scenes are never really overtly sexy and aimed at the viewer (like say, panty shots or near nude costumed characters would be). It's more... how do I put it, showing us the main character sexualizing them and/or feeling uncomfortable with sexualizing them? I never got the feeling that it was portrayed for the benefit of the viewer, is all


[deleted]

You can if it's an audience of teens, which at the time of its release it largely was. For edgy teens who like robots, at least.


FeistyDeity

No, you cannot. You can never visually sexualize children in media, because your audience is never exclusively teenagers. Furthermore, adults creating sexualized content *for* teenagers is iffy as is. Again, there is a difference between sexualizing underage characters and dealing with underage characters' sexuality, or even showing them engaging in sexual activities (which is tricky, but can be done if done right). But I already explained that difference.


[deleted]

I didn't say "exclusively" dumbass. Obviously if a grown man is lusting over underage characters, that is worthy of scrutiny. But keep in mind that Japan is hyper-capitalist, and is driven by their idea of what consumers want. Also, fanservice whether NGE's " even qualifies as fanservice or as a meta-commentary on the characters' psychology and sexuality is up to the individual.


FeistyDeity

But that's an important difference. To draw an analogy, a hundred teenagers can, as far as I'm concerned, have consensual orgies with one another. What you cannot have, is 100 teenagers having sex with each other and one adult. And I highly doubt that is an accurate statistical representation, as shonen anime and manga with teenage protagonists are widely enjoyed by adults as well. I wouldn't be surprised if more 18+ people rn are watching BNHA than there are teenagers who are. Your second argument also isn't a particularly strong one. Just because it's motivated by capitalistic greed, that doesn't mean it's morally sound and we shouldn't criticize it. The third argument, that could be completely correct. In my original comment, I already said that I have never even watched or read NGE, so I'm not judging it. I made it clear I was talking about the concept of sexualizing underage characters. Which you still cannot do.


[deleted]

Well, it HAS been done, and I can understand your discomfort. But it can be done to great effect, like in Kodomo no Jikan (the show in my pfp), which was created by a woman, by the way. Not that women can't be creeps, but it's not like depicting something in fiction means you actually condone it. By the way, I hate capitalism and was explaining how other people thought rather than agreeing with it. It's hard to gauge how many people of each demographic are watching something, but take each fan's behavior on a case-by-case basis. At the very least, the characters' age SUGGESTS the target audience. Ash Ketchum is still ten for a reason.


FeistyDeity

Well, with regards to the handling sexuality of underage characters, I will always judge each case individually. Maybe I should re-explain that, in the way I interpret it, sexualization of characters implies that the way you portray them is primarily for the sake of creating sexual excitement within the audience, rather than the characters. It is all about *intent*. If the focus of the intent of the creator clearly lies in making one underage character sexually appealing to another *character*, that is *not* sexualization. Of course, that line can get blurred easily. But in reality, when a character (underage or otherwise) is portrayed in a way that was primarily for the horny audience's sake rather than to create meaningful drama, it's usually pretty clear imo. Still, there are cases where you will end up having these discussions, and people draw different conclusions. I'm guessing NGE is probably such a case. Kill La Kill (while clearly a wholly different beast) is another well-known example.


Kellosian

> One of the main themes is how Shinji is basically unable to approach women in a healthy way For a great example, in the movie (I think it was the movie) he sexually fantasizes about the 3 women (Rei, Asuka, and Misato) not as individuals but instead as a kind of interchangeable stand-in for women in general. Shinji doesn't really want a relationship with any of them as people but any one of them because he thinks they're hot; as Asuka is taking him to task over this he's staring at her chest, neck, and ass because he just can't see her as anything other than a piece of meat to jerk off to. Shinji is a piece of shit about this to be sure, but I remember being a lonely 14 year old boy so I'm definitely sympathetic even though it's not OK and wasn't OK when I saw my classmates in a similar light (although I never jerked off over my friend's comatose body, so I've got that one on him).


yungbisa

cw pedophilia the other commenter explained it very well. i might add: the theme itself is not the problem (teenage sexuality), moreso the implication that bc shinji sexualizes them (in the beginning not really also he kind of has his bisexual arc with kaworu) the audience might as well. in the anime we are not being told that sexualizing the girls is wrong. it's like anno tried to make a point but failed at execution. all the audience sees is underage girls in skin-tight mecha suits with boob suction. a lot of merch is heavily based on this, featuring suggestive poses and stuff. the creator and animators directly contribute to the fandom being pedo in doing so. like if his point was to criticize stuff like this, he wasn't very successful. it's just uncomfortable to see.


patmax17

Ok, i see where you're coming from and I agree. ASAIK Anno was very critical of the 90s otaku culture (he himself was part of), but I agree that the message isn't clear in NGE. But tbf, no message is really clear in NGE xD


MrBallins

> But tbf, no message is really clear in NGE There is a pretty clear message of "Unconditional love is not healthy, you should learn to love yourself before expecting others to love you" and also "Escapism is not the solution to one's problems". Ironically, most of modern Otaku culture is the exact opposite of Eva's themes, which is why I always cringe a little bit on the inside when I see someone having Asuka as their waifu


yungbisa

yea i still don't know what to do about the last two episodes xd even the end of evangelion was weird. im hoping they change up some things in the new movies


MrBallins

> i still don't know what to do about the last two episodes The last two episodes were essentially Shinji learning to love himself, which is why they end on the congratulation sequence >even the end of evangelion was weird EoE was "Humans are garbage, but the rare moments of love and kindness that they show to one another are worth living for through all of the pain and suffering"


Lindurfmann

This actually explains it quite well and quite succinctly. A far better explanation than I've offered to people I've shown the anime to.


yungbisa

oh i think i have my fair share of thoughts on both ends. they both just weren't my cup of tea. i think many people didn't like the execution.


patmax17

i'm lucky that i watched the series and movie with my wife who's a long time fan and explained the most important things to me (i'm definitely slow at catching and remembering important detail and reading between the lines). And I'm italian and we listened to a very very good podcast that examines each individual episode with its clues, meanings and messages.


MrBallins

> pedophilia Leave Misato out of this


DonDove

Kaji, a grown ass man, openly flirted with Shinji, a 14 year old boy, many times Misato gave Shinji his first kiss (ew) The only character who truly loved Shinji was an Angel (enemy) in disguise Shinji's dad hates him just because he lived but his mom didn't Rei was literally a forever clone of his mom, for some reason Japan loves her And Asuka was too mentally unstable herself to form a romantic connection with Shinji One thing that the world around the protagonist is harsh (like Berserk) the other is using the same world as an excuse to torture them. I still believe EVA is loved because it was the first 'serious' anime most people watched, not because it was amazeballs.


octopushug

Potentially unpopular opinion among other fans, but I tried rewatching NGE in my late 20s based on the nostalgia factor of how much I enjoyed it as a teenager, and it really did not age well to the point I had to turn it off.


thecorninurpoop

Yeah my husband and I had never seen it and I was like "oh this is a classic let's watch it" and we got about halfway through


kakugocomplete

Tvtropes have no idea what they're talking about & see everything as a "commentary on the medium". Anno literally said all 3 of the main pilots represent different parts of him.


kakugocomplete

TVTropes have no idea what they're talking about; Anno did not intend to "deconstruct" anything with the characters. They were just mentally ill characters based on his own emotions. He wanted anime to be less of a purely escapist life-replacement, yes, but that doesn't mean he dedicated the story & themes entirely to pooping on things he didn't like.


ugagradlady

I saw an Evangelion ad with Asuka posing when I was 7 years old. I had no idea what the show was supposed to be about and thought she looked like a futuristic sex worker. Ironically she ended up as my favorite character, not out of any sexual desire but because she reminded me of myself at her age. I was mentally ill and could be really mean when I didn't get what I wanted.


NoahBogue

What the fuck did you watch when you were 7


PresidentBreadstick

I remember reading somewhere that Asuka and Rei were supposed to be *critiques* of common waifu archetypes of the time, and that that one infamous scene with Shinji saying “I’m so fucked up” was a response to how people had ended up making them the very thing they were supposed to parody. Though with all the ways they’ve been marketed and sexualized nowadays, it’s undeniable that if the above was true, it certainly isn’t anymore


xDasNiveaux

> “I’m so fucked up” was a response to how people had ended up making them the very thing they were supposed to parody. Looking at you Warhammer 40k and faschism.


PresidentBreadstick

Ngl, would you REALLY be surprised if a bunch of Neckbeards said “god I wish I was Shinji in that scene”? Because I wouldn’t.


kakugocomplete

This is false; they were not critiques of archetypes, Rei arguably created an archetype. Anno himself said the characters represent different parts of his own personality. As for Anno supposedly being against underage sexualization... this is the man who put a Strike Witches DVD on his desk at Studio Khara http://vanishingpoint.air-nifty.com/blog/2008/08/post\_7c10.html http://vanishingpoint.air-nifty.com/blog/2008/10/post-359f.html


[deleted]

Stop ignoring that characters in animation are usually the age of the target audience. Also the vast majority of adult fans aren't like that. The scene was a response to a certain psychographic, not demographic. There was a point to be made, but you guys treat it as a "this is about the people we hate, it's for our agenda!", like how some Christians (yeah, I said SOME, not ALL, it's not hard) view the Bible. And before you call me a defensive adult male fan, just know that none of those four adjectives apply to me. I'm just thinking objectively. Or just ban me if you can't handle the truth.


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JustOne_MexicanHere

their heads look like those of a classic green fucking alien, I was always bothered by that part of their design


01stewartn

I'd argue it's one of the central themes of the show, adults using and abusing these children while deifying them as both saviours and sexual objects. Making them pilot mechs made with the souls of their dead mothers and the imagery of re-entering the womb. Their sexualisation is baked in. I think some people don't understand that and just fancy their favourite waifus, but that's also kinda poetic given the story.


yungbisa

regarding toji, how does he fit there? was eva 05 (?) also his dead mother? tbf i found his arc incredibly tragic too


01stewartn

Its been a while, but i thought that all the kids in the schools mothers had died and had their souls preserved for use as part of the EVA project


yungbisa

ffs is that canon?


xDasNiveaux

No


01stewartn

It's not explicit but I thought it was implied.


Hiragirin

I said this in another thread before but Japan’s legal age is way younger and it’s deeply concerning (imo) since children’s brains obviously aren’t fully developed. Last week(?) a member of the government council group discussing the legal age said that a 40 year old should be able to have sex with a 14 year old because “love is ageless”. It makes me feel ill. Edit: found a reference of it, sadly can’t find original news report- https://www.vice.com/en/article/akgkzj/japan-age-of-consent-sex Also on the art style, it’s fun but it’s so weirdly proportioned, like everyone is long af which adds to the creepyness of the series I suppose. It is hilarious that Shinji is just Nadia but male though.


zipfour

This comes up all the time. Their federal minimum age is 13 but every prefecture has a minimum age of 16, so it doesn’t matter. E- I agree with the person who replied btw, a lot of anime goes overboard with underage girls. America having fashion shows doesn’t excuse this.


Hiragirin

If only that stopped them from sexualizing younger girls.


WyrdAlice

Mate have you seen American padgents. Or half the art on this sub. Sexualising young girls is not a problem unique to Japan


Hiragirin

Yes mate. It doesn’t make it better. It’s a global issue. But I’m referencing Japan because it’s anime.


Pokabrows

I think I remember reading that the legal age at like a country wide level is super low but the individual areas tend to have higher age of consent. Which makes sense, I'm not sure if the US has a federal age of consent but all the states have different ones.


nautical_narcissist

iirc the US does have a federal age of consent and it’s 12 years old


GyroZeppeliTheGnome

I'm sorry *what*


RovingRaft

the AoC is functionally around 16-18 because every single prefecture puts their local AoC as that, like it's not a "Japan is a land of pedophiles" thing


ShmuckCanuck

Oh god they're 14? I always assumed they were like, 20. What the hell...


MrBallins

Nope, only mentally damaged teenagers can pilot Evas. This is not a joke, by the way


xDasNiveaux

Born on a specific day of an extinction event....


MrBallins

That too, the children need to be born after the Second Impact. This is why Shinji's entire class was possible candidates


EdgionTG

No one in this image has any organs. It's very off putting.


RovingRaft

Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, the main artist for Eva, just seems to draw people like that


MarMak24

His robots are super skinny too, especially compared to some other mecha shows


BaneAmesta

Ah yes, the series that got ruined by its thirsty fandom... This series talks about so many difficult themes, like fighting to accept yourself, trauma everywhere, and lots of stuff I can't write on my shitty English. But then you see the figures and merchandise, and boy I can't take this seriously anymore.


noobductive

Those are some tiiiiiny waists...


AsparagusQueen

i love Evangelion and even watched it with my brother, but i always kept pointing out the weird ass scenes in which the minors were sexualized. Its a very big flaw that the series has and it got even worse in the latest movies...


Saiomi

"How do girls stand? Tits out? Yeah, tits out." This is just fucking thirsty and a reason why I hate anime/manga. I love the story lines but jesus fuck, I don't need a weird will they/won't they dynamic between COUSINS! Eugh! (Elfin Lied, Sailor moon)


RovingRaft

if the Sailor Moon cousins are the 2 that I'm thinking of, I hope you know that the "cousins" in Sailor Moon were never actually related or cousins in the original Japanese dub, they were girlfriends English dub fucked up hard on trying to censor the gay stuff that they made them incestuous cousins instead of not gay


PAwnoPiES

What do you mean *fucked up*. Gotta expand your audience to Alabama *somehow*.


Small_Orang

Who the fuck draws fourteen year olds like that? Has the artist ever even seen an eighth grader?


RovingRaft

he draws *nearly everyone* (mostly women and younger people tbh) like that in a lot of his work


Small_Orang

That’s concerning for a number of reasons


NoahBogue

I think the sexualization of the characters are a commentary on the otaku culture. The fact that Rei are graduately seen from Shinji’s love interest to his torturer is a metaphor for the negative impact of the fascination these characters can exerce on young people, and not conveying properly what they are supposed to convey. Asuka’s sexualization also has some meaning : her sexualization contrasts with her immature personnality, and her world (Kaji, Shinji, Zeruel’s mind attack) insist on this dissonance between her changes and her midset, creating frustration for her and greatly emphasize on her psychology.


HopefulToLearn

All this discussion is really interesting. I particularly find it interesting how different people see the show, owing to the culture surrounding it. The merch and the thirsting is messed up. But I have never been much into the community and I never thought the show itself was sexualizing the characters for the sake of it, it was all obviously part of the characterization. The same goes for the image above. The poses on the girls don't come across as sexualizing to me, though Asuka apparently does have more vertebrae than an owl.Yes, Asuka is technically in a boobs and butt pose, but I honestly see more defiance in it than sex appeal. Which is honestly what you should get out of a good boobs and butt pose, because the "look over the shoulder" aspect of a good BB pose has more of a "I dare you" or "who's next" vibe."For example of a good "chest and butt pose": [https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DKMtwSGWsAAiyJa.jpg](https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DKMtwSGWsAAiyJa.jpg)Also, Rei blocks her butt, taking some of the stupid out of the BB-pose for me.All this seems to fit her character, defiance and pride masking a deeply broken person. What sexuality I see in that pose also seems to fit her character, a deeply broken person trying desperately to be an adult in an extremely immature way. Which comes across in her basically freudian infatuation with Kaiji and the complete train wreck her every interaction with Shinji is. Who she is obviously vaguely attracted to, otherwise she wouldn't compare him and Kaiji all the time, wouldn't make that weird kiss moment, wouldn't declare a line between herself and him that he "shouldn't" cross as the Wall of Jericho, a wall only famous for falling down. As for Rei's pose, that, to me at least, also fits her character. She is reduced to a repressed and somewhat empty shell of a purpose by horrible adults. Her pose there, to me at least, communicates a lack of agency, like all poses in the vague area of "leg cling" and her looking up toward the sky fits with her tragic submission and subservience to both the adults and >!her true nature as part angel and stuff.!< In my opinion, Shinji's pose is the worst, not because of sexualization, but because he looks to me like a determined protagonist, which he definitely isn't. The funny thing is, I saw the anime several times. Once, when I was at about the age of the pilots. At that point, I deeply empathized with all of them and just wished they could be happy, which is not something you get. I watched it later as an adult, with quite a bit of feminism and TvTropes knowledge in my head and still only saw a very competent portrayal of deeply broken children and adults, which is why I give Misato's extreme inappropriateness a pass. She has in many ways not grown up and on top of that, she obviously hasn't figured out that you can have deep relationships that aren't sexual or romantic and thus she is a terrible, terrible guardian.Does that excuse her actions? No. Does it explain it? Partly. I love the main characters as people, as characters that I just wish the universe would give a break, not as lust objects. I just want to protect them, whether it be angry Asuka, repressed Rei or shy, anxious Shinji. Now for a question for the group that I am interested in: I think the camera angles in Eva always seemed carefully chosen, framing scenes for a purpose and often implying what the characters were looking at. With a show so twisted up with messed up sexuality and relationships, I don't really think it is fair to criticize the show itself for male gaze and such, because it to me always felt like it was used for characterization. Shouldn't it be the gross and misaimed fandom that is condemned and not the show itself then? Also, I see a lof of critique of the plug suits, which I think is unfair. I always got the impression that they are that tight because the best neural and bodily interface to a big, magic biomechanical robot would be minimal interference between pilot body and the LCL and that makes sense to me. Though I do agree that that explanation would have been more convincing if shinji's suit hadn't had that armor-like stuff on the upper torso. This is all about the original show and movie, not Reboot, which I have not really spent enough time on to develop proper opinion on.


WyrdAlice

I have very mixed feeling about NGE that I'll probably get downvoted for. I loved the adult characters and the world and just how deep it got but fuck me any time it focuses on the kids I wanted to claw my eyes out. I get that it was supposed to be a dismantling of the mecha tropes of the day and kid pilots was like the big trope that it was tearing the shit out of but fuck me, shinji and asuka were so fucking tedious. And the ending fuck me. I'm one of the few people who actually liked the final episodes of the series. I think the show had said what it wanted to say and the intrinsic mystery left by the multitude of unanswered was not necessarily a negative for me, not everything has to have an answer. I actually liked the last two episodes as well as I think they had a really good message about overcoming depression and learning to value yourself. But End of Evangelion? A fucking dumpster fire. I could do without that kind of soul crushing nihilism thanks.


NoahBogue

The ending of EoE is not nihilism. It’s nitzscheanism. Shinji refuses to remain in a world where pulsions are not confrontated anymore (everybody is merged) to accept the nature of the reality : a space where pulsions are fighting each other (symbolized by the strangulation, the tears and the relief when he hears Asuka breathing) Shinji and Asuka finally get to live


WyrdAlice

No the entirety of EoE is nihilism. >!All those characters you grew to love, all the plot lines you followed closely, all the efforts they put on the stop the end? Doesn't mean shit. Everyone dies, the badguys win, it's the end of the world. You may call that clever writing. I call that a wasted effort.!< Edit: Hidden spoilers.


MrBallins

> Everyone dies, the badguys win Except that this didn't happen? Rei fucked over pretty much all of the bad guys SEELE: Wanted to control instrumentality, didn't happen Gendo: Wanted to meet his dead wife in the tang, Eva 01 just killed him Yui: Eh, she kinda got what she wanted though not completely Shinji at the end even decided to give living beings the ability to choose between being in the tang dimension or coming back and facing the struggles of real life


grampipon

It's not what I got from it. Instrumentality Rei told shinji that anyone who has the will to come back may. We saw Shinji and Asuka, two of the most depressed messed up people in the show, have the will to come back to the world. As the EoE is (debatably) an allegory of suicide, I understand that it was symbolism of everyone being able to choose life even after they almost gave up. In universe, I think most humans would come back after a while and rebuild civilization.


fluskar

the whole show is fucked up


LaronX

I don't get the hype over this show. I forced myself through it and all I was left with at the end was a deep seated disdain for an imaginary whiney teenager over how whiny he is. Not to mention the creep sexualising of minors and adults hitting on said minors.


Kormoraan

yikes


Kamataros

I was a happier person when I didn't know they were 14...


GayDragonGirl

where is her spine


deathbyvaporwave

WAIT THEY’RE 14?? i’ve never watched the show.


real_smoky

Just gonna remind everyone that in NGE, an adult woman kisses a 14 year old kid and is heavily implied to be in love with him.


The-Irish-Blaggard

Frankly I could never understand why people liked this anime at all


Cora_1221

Well, I mean... it's supposed to be viewed from a teenage boy with a lot of issues, and he admitted that's it's so wrong. I always thought it's the fandom that made it weird.


AlexT05_QC

They're still technically older than me (I'm born in 2002 and Shinji is born in 2001 for exemple). But's till kind of iffy though (and I think that for Rei is probably worse because she's technically 11). I don't think Rebuild 3.0 helps the matter (the fact they're supposed to be in their late 20's doesn't change much the fact they still look the same... I haven't watched 3.0 + 1.0 yet, so no unmarked spoilers please). If Anno wanted to bait us to imput his psychology into us with that, it f\*ckin' worked. ​ Also, the "kill all your gays" aspect haunts me a little bit >!(but unlike Supernatural, the story had a good ending! A messy one, yes, but a good one)!<


FeistyDeity

I mean, the fact that they *would* be older now if they were real doesn't change the fact that it's not creepy, since in the piece of media you consume they're not. They're children. At *best* your line of thinking would be "I'd wait until they're 18 because I think they'll be pretty then" which is basically what child grooming is. Like, if you watch a show set in prehistoric times, you wouldn't lewd a child character in that just because they'd be 25,000 years old now, right? Also dw, I'm not accusing you of anything, I'm just saying your phrasing is a bit awkward. :P


nekollx

Anime hates adults, heck look at mahoe precure by the end of the series their adults and then there’s the original precure s back and white, it’s been over a decade and yet in every team up movie despite they saying their adults, going to college he, etc they still act like their ore teen selves and look like them too


WyrdAlice

Shonen hates adults because it's specifically targeting young teens. They're are tonnes of anime that focus on great written Adult characters like Ghost in The Shell: Stand alone Complex, Psychopass, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Vinland Saga, Mushishi etc.


yungbisa

for jojo i came for the gay vampire and i stayed for the gay vampire


nekollx

You miss the point, where they refuse to let returning characters, even from shows over a decade old age or mature, guest characters aren’t the focus but even they aren’t slowed to grow up


RovingRaft

I mean in the original show, the adults got quite a bit of development and screen time devoted to them and their relationships


ClevernAmE31

Per r/R34 : she’s a drawing dude


WolfBotXD

Thats boob armor, also they need those light armors so that they can be faster at the moment they fight


QueasyComedian7851

rw:i know the feeling,just like those make all the other characters jealous from the MC.(that rly needs to stop)


spero18_rn

NGE is one of my favorite anime and I totally agree with you


JolynesBF

not only is the age of consent in japan 13 but also sex was a major part of evangelion


Victor_Twinkenstein

... it's not though That's the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM imposed by the government, most regions set it around 16-18.


KalynnCampbell

Boohoo? At that age me and my friends were more sexual than most media portrays at that age. If anything, I would say the “sexualization” seen in media is nowhere near how sexual teenagers are at that age.


Fujohime

Honestly,I don’t think Rei or Asuka really count in the main anime series/End of Evangelion, they’re not really sexualized beyond Asuka and Shinji both being uh, Teens. (I mean Rei is a teen too but you get what I’m saying) And nearly every moment of the show that IS sexual is usually highly disturbing and uh, Unsexy. However, a lot of the art/spin off stuff/merch/manga (especially when it doesn’t involve Anno) tends to pander to the weird guys often criticized in the show itself! ((UNRELATED FUN FACT: The director of NGE, Hideaki Anno, is actually really good friends with Hayao Miyazaki irl. ))


akiratoriyamamama

eh i mean the whole show deals with interaction with others and the self. part of that is romance and lust. im not saying its cool to thirst after closet pedo shit (loli) but contextually it makes sense. also im hoping most people are in the same boat as me and just appreciate asuka as a personality/archetype vs the fact that theyre 14yo in tight clothing :l


Kika12131

I didn't think it was that bad until you said they are 14


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OscarOzzieOzborne

And is we know it, Drawings and other work of art have no effect or draw inspiration from real wolrd. Never.


DonDove

Why is the bully no one likes on the poster lol


SerBuckman

That's no way to talk about Asuka lmao


DonDove

I was taking about the boy to the right He was very annoying and he died in half an episode


SerBuckman

I was making a joke. Also, he didn't die, he was hospitalized (from what I've heard he dies in the manga)


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