A Place For Asuka In The Heart

Author: Yuko Miyamura
Source: Evangelion Manga Vol. 4
Translated by: William Flanagan

Yuko Miyamura

Asuka was a young girl-a "part" that taught me a lot.  She wasn't so much a part of my personality, as a seperate entity inside of me-something close to a friend.  It's like she and I are studying the human condition together.

Now get this clear, I'm not talking about Sybil, or anything like that.  It's not a split personality inside of me alone.  I think it is in all of us.  You know, how everybody has different sides to their personality.  Something like that.

I think it's just because I'm an actress that I had the chance to approach the character called Asuka.  I'm sure that you're thinking that an inexperienced actress like me is out of her league writing these words, and if you do, I apologize.  What I really wanted to write about was what an actress does when she tries to act.  What approach she takes to the work.  There are al types of actors out there, so I suppose there are as many approaches.  And this is how my relationship with Asuka began.

Just to let you know, Asuka wasn't the most open-hearted character I've met.  When I act Asuka's part, I try to synchronize myself with her 400%.  But every time I tried to draw myself in closer syncronization, Asuka would never allow herself to synch with me.  Even in the end, she would never step across the line and draw closer to me.  One day, I figured out that there was a wall in Asuka's heart.  But there's a problem with that.  If I did all the work and allowed myself to be submerged in Asuka's feelings (her self-absorpation, her fears, her loneliness, all those things I would feel once I came over the wall in her heart and feel as she felt them), I would suffer the same spiritual damage she's suffered.  I couldn't.  I just couldn't do it.

Even as I tried to pull down the wall, it would grow taller and taller.  I guess that's only natural.  The more you push, the greater the power to resist becomes, until it started to look as if I would be the one to break.  It seemed much like a fight between a married couple.  Then I decided to accept Asuka and the wall in her heart as she is.  I decided to reserve a small part of my heart for Asuka to live in and do my best to protect it.  So even now, there's a line drawn in my heart that separates Asuka from myself, and it is there that Asuka still lives.

I can analyze it with calm detachment now, but when I was playing Asuka, it was a battle.  Maybe it was something like the relationship between Hellen Keller and Anne Sullivan.  Asuka would cry out, "Don't you dare come inside my mind!"  Her plea came out so amazingly strong, it was painful to portray her.  I'd ask myself why it was so painful, and I wouldn't know the answer, so the pain grew more intense.  If the reward for pain is greater experience, then Asuka gave me quite enough experience to last me for a long time.

The thing I would like to say to the friend in my heart is, "Asuka, you're just a 14-year-old kid, aren't you?"  14 is a time of life when you are thrown against the wall of life.  You are forced to learn.  It's puberty, where you decide what kind of life you're going to live, right?  Evangelion came to its climax just as you hit that point, but after that, what would your choices be, Asuka?  What good would you try to do?  What kind of adult would you grow into?   Asuka, I want you to stay in that place in my heart and grow into an adult at your own pace.  And I'll keep up, and grow up right alongside you.  You're thrown against the wall, but the thicker that wall gets, the more weapons come to hand that will allow you to break through it.  You're in training for life every day.  So let's not share our pain—let's share our happiness and do our best to become good friends.   There's no need to overthink it.  If you come to a mountain, learn to eat mountains.  If you come to an ocean, learn to drink oceans.  Each is delicious in it's own way, so taste it!  Life is fun, Asuka!