The Case of Asuka Langley Sohryu

Author: Michael Wignall
Source: MDWigs' Musings
Dated: 2002
Note: Taken from an AnimeBoards post of mine: See This Thread.

Well I have some free time, so I finally decided to re-write my analysis of Asuka based upon what happens in Episodes 25 and 26. This one is more comprehensive than the Misato one (which you can find Here) partly because I am have done this one before and partly because Asuka is my favourite character. Anyway the same format as usual, "//" will indicate my comments. Again I have used the ADV script, over the literal translation. I will make a specific comment if I think the ADV translation isn't accurate enough. So Enjoy ^_^

ASUKA: If you want real happiness, you've got to find it for yourself, not wait for someone to give it to you!

REI: But isn't that what you've been doing?

ASUKA: ...!

The Second Character
The Case of Asuka Langley Sohryu

(EVA-02 beneath the lake)

// This is one of the shots that exist in reality (Asuka is shown down in the lake in Eva-02 in Episode 25') Of course they didn't get to expand upon it within Episodes 25' and 26' themselves but it gives you some sort of setting from which to view all that is happening within her mind.

ASUKA: I didn't want to be in this thing again... They're forcing me to pilot this...! But this piece of junk won't work... But it's only junk because of what I've become... I'm the garbage, now. I'm worthless... Nobody needs me. Nobody needs a pilot who can't even control her own EVA...!

// The setting, as per the above shot, is Asuka in Eva-02 in the bottom of the lake. This is before she "discovered" her mother and shows how she perceives her values as an Eva pilot and nothing else. This is pretty much rock bottom for Asuka.

REI: You seek your own value in the perception of others.

ASUKA: SHUT UP!!!

Separation Anxiety

REI: Do you fear being alone?

Separation Anxiety

REI: Are you afraid that you will lose your identity if others leave you?

Separation Anxiety

YOUNG ASUKA: You pilot EVA so you'll be praised!

Affection Behavior

ASUKA: SHUT UP!!

Affection Behavior

ASUKA: SHUT UP!! LEAVE ME ALONE!! HOW CAN A WIND-UP DOLL LIKE YOU DARE TELL ME THAT?!

// The is just the prelude to the real case of Asuka Langley Sohryu. The above sequence happens in Episode 25, the following in Episode 26'. That sequence is just to reaffirm Asuka's outlook on life and of herself as an Eva pilot. She does based her value in the perception of others and in their perception of her as an Eva pilot, when she can no longer pilot her Eva she thinks that she has no value.

CASE 2

ASUKA: Where am I?

SHINJI: This is the 'me' which exists in your mind, Asuka.

ASUKA: And also, this is the 'me' which exists in Shinji's mind, at the same time.

// This is the standard intro. A separation of reality. People are made up of the perceptions of others.

The Case of Asuka Langley Sohryu, Part 1

SHINJI: What do you want, Asuka?

YOUNG ASUKA: I wanna live by myself! I don't want my Papa, and my Mama! I'll live by myself! And then, I won't cry any more!

// Here is typical Asuka proclaiming herself to be fiercely independent. We actually get to see the reason for it though here, which most people would have guessed, and it is a fairly obvious tact to take, but Asuak states here explicitly. She wants to be independent, to be strong, because she doesn't want to cry, she doesn't want to be hurt. It is her way with dealing with the issue of trust and pain that people can cause her.

(Young Asuka crying )

ASUKA: But I'm still crying! Why am I crying?

// Yet she still realised that the way she goes about doing it doesn't solve all her problems. She isn't happy. She still gets hurt. She still is crying.

ASUKA'S STEP-MOTHER: I'm sorry... I just don't like her.

ASUKA'S FATHER: What happened to you, the "able doctor"?

ASUKA'S STEP-MOTHER: I told you, I'm a human being before I'm a doctor.

// She previously "told him" back in Episode 22 when talking about if God sees humans as just dolls.

ASUKA'S FATHER: But how can a trained person like you--

ASUKA'S STEP-MOTHER: She acts too much like an adult! And she rejects me absolutely! Sometimes... She even scares me! Have you had such a feeling with her?

ASUKA'S FATHER: No. And in any case, you have now become Asuka's mother.

ASUKA'S STEP-MOTHER: I'm your wife before that!

ASUKA'S FATHER: Both duties are concurrent.

ASUKA'S STEP-MOTHER: In a social perspective, yes, but you can't quit being her father. But I can quit being her mother, anytime.

ASUKA'S FATHER: Well, you could say so...

// This is a bit of an aside, but it does give insight to how Asuka's attitude at a very young age affects other people. Even when she was very young her efforts to be independent, to not rely on anyone else scared away her step-mother.

YOUNG ASUKA: No, Mama! Don't leave me! I'll be good, promise! Don't stop being my mother! Don't ignore me!! No, Mama! Don't kill me!!

KYOUKO: Your Papa hates your Mama. He doesn't need me, anymore... No. He didn't love me, to begin with. So let's die together, because he doesn't want us. He didn't need me, at all. And he doesn't want you, either, Asuka.

YOUNG ASUKA: I'm not wanted?! I'm not worth anything?!

KYOUKO: Die with me...

YOUNG ASUKA: No!! I am not your doll!! I'll think by myself, and live by myself!!

// This is obviously where Asuka gets her aversion to Dolls, and thus to Rei. Her mother talked to a doll and treated it like Asuka, she also in the end wanted Asuka to die with her, and told Asuka some very horrible things. Even for a mentally unstable person I think that Kyouko is pretty stuffed up to tell her daughter than she isn't wanted, that she is worthless. Anyway this seems to be the start of Asuka's efforts to be dependent any nobody but herself.

ASUKA: ...And then, my mother was hanging from the ceiling. She... looked so happy.

ASUKA: But I hated how she looked. I don't want to die! I don't want to disappear! ...I hate this! I hate -- boys! I hate my father, and my mother! I hate -- everyone! Nobody cares about me, nobody stays with me!!

// This is what is all comes down to. She is Alone. Nobody ever stays with her. She hates it, and she hates the pain it causes.

What does she really wish?

ASUKA: So I don't want to depend on anybody. ...But I hate it, at the same time! It's a pain! I don't want to be alone! I don't wanna be alone, I DON'T WANNA BE ALONE!!!

// Here is the problem, and Asuka realised it. She wants to be independent, yet she sees that her strong willed attitude causes people to move away from her, to eventually leave her alone, and she really doesn't want that at all.

SHINJI: Don't leave me.

MISATO: Don't ignore me.

ASUKA: Don't kill me!

// It is interesting to note that out of the three Asuka is the only one who specifically says she doesn't want to die. Perhaps a reference to her mother wanting her dead (her mentally unstable mother, not the soul within Eva-02) or maybe even to Shinji trying to kill her.

(The stage is illuminated)

If you want more insight into Asuka's mind, have a look at the extended mind rape scene from the Japanese Video Version of Episode 22. Overall though her problem is very easy to define, and I am sure a lot of us have similar problems (I know I do). Asuka strives to be independent, she doesn't want to be dependant on anyone, this is so that she minimised the chance of her being hurt by those she grow to trust and depend on. However by never trusting or depending on anyone she ultimately causes herself to be even more alone.