In Defense of Asuka
Author: Tiffany Grant
Source: Tiffany Grant's Homepage
Okay, I know - I hear it all the time - she's annoying. There. I've said it. But wait! There IS more... Asuka is also very misunderstood. I'm sure some of you are probably wondering: "what gives?" The American VA for Asuka is writing about herself? Not at all - this is about HER. Now I realize that this being a site about Asuka's VA, I am probably "preaching to the choir" as they say, but I feel it's worth being said. In the 13 or 14 months it took me to voice all of Asuka's episodes, I really feel like I got to know her intimately - she became a part of me. She's kinda like my kid sister, which is why I feel the need to stick up for her, so here goes...
The only Eva pilot who actually likes her job, Asuka is a breed apart. A mother who left her, a father and stepmother who didn't care... How'd you expect her to be "normal"? As if there is such a thing a "normal" in this series... And now I will admit a terrible secret - I LIKE Asuka. No, I mean it! I really do! With the odds stacked insurmountably against her, she triumphed (for a time anyway) over her own fears and inadequacies and against humanity's worst enemies - the angels. She didn't let anyone hold her down. She took pride (some might say TOO much pride) in her accomplishments and steadfastly refused to take no for an answer. Okay, she IS also beautiful AND intelligent (a COLLEGE degree by age 14!), but those are not the only reasons to admire this Evangelion firecracker. Let's face it - the gal's got balls.
My favorite description of Asuka to date appeared in the Dec. 1997 issue of Animerica magazine (referring to my portrayal of the character): "...shrill and unpleasant enough to make the character properly unlikeable but not so over the top as to make her completely unsympathetic." - Mark Simmons. That pretty much wraps up my feelings for her in a nutshell.
She is, of course, the polar opposite of Rei with Shinji sitting somewhere in the middle. It's almost like the old Flintstones episodes with Fred talking to his "conscience" - the devil saying what he'd really like to do & the angel (coincidence?) telling him what he was supposed to do. I know my philosophizing probably won't persuade the more vehement Asuka detractors, but I wish people wouldn't be so hasty to judge her - let those among you without sin cast the first stone.
If you know someone who hasn't seen Neon Genesis Evangelion, it is your mission to get them to do so - be it subtitled, raw, or however you can find it. Any way you can get it, Eva's definitely a show worth watching. I know. I've already seen it. :)