Crimson Mindscapes - Sohryu Asuka Langley

Sohryu Asuka Langley

Sohryu Asuka Langley is one of the main characters in Shin Seiki (Neon Genesis) Evangelion, the Second Child, and pilot of Evangelion Production Model Unit 02.

Standard Notes: This is my opinion of this character. Very little of this is fact; this is my analysis of Sohryu Asuka Langley based on what I have seen of her, which includes the movies (Death, Rebirth, and End of Evangelion), and what knowledge of her I have gleaned from numerous EVA FAQ's and discussions (see link list on main EVA page).

When I first "met" Asuka, I thought she was a Brat Deluxe.

But having seen the whole show now...well, I can sum this up pretty easily:

That is my analysis of Lina Inverse, from Slayers. And the two have quite a bit in common.

Like Lina, Asuka projects an image of strength and confidence to hide her own feelings of inadequacy.

Like Lina, Asuka has access to a powerful weapon of destruction and enjoys using it to show off what she perceives to be her one true asset. In Asuka's case, it's the ability to pilot EVA. Anything that threatens her rank as number 1 is not acceptable (thus her initial dislike of Shinji).

And of course they both are redheads with fiery tempers. Asuka's ALL ABOUT the color red (I'll bet she made them make her EVA red), and red is fire, passion, heat...and blood.

So that's an easy way to go about analyzing Asuka. But there's a lot more to her than that.

With her mother's...abandonment...of her, and her father taking up with a woman who disliked her (I can relate, BELIEVE ME), Asuka may have felt...overlooked. And she's doing her DAMNEDEST to make sure NO ONE overlooks her again.

The EVA pilots rarely work as a team, and if two or more EVAs DO work together, it is usually under the advice and command of Katsuragi Misato. But we have seen Asuka take the lead, and do a good job with it.

Of course, at the same time, she deliberately takes the most risky jobs and assignments. In the battle with the...9th Angel, I believe (I lose count sometimes), when Tokyo-3 had lost power, Asuka's out-of-combat leadership was less than exemplary because she was trying to show off. But when it came to combat leadership, she formulated a workable battle plan and deliberately took the most dangerous assignment.

Yes, she had to "pay Shinji back" for his help with the 8th Angel, and even afterwards declared, "Now we're even, Shinji," but underneath it all, why does Asuka really take those sort of jobs?

Well of course there's the Show-Off factor. "Look at me, I'm so great, I can do this so easily and so of course you should pay attention to ME." This need goes back to Mama, of course: "Look at me, Mama."

But there's probably a small part of Asuka that's suicidal. That part grows larger and larger as the series progresses; certainly she seems depressed towards the end of the series and one of depression's symptoms is "Thoughts of Suicide or Death."

So she doesn't mind taking the riskier jobs because if she dies, then at least the pain is over. And if she lives, then she'll be a Hero. It's a win-win situation for her...until the great and mighty Third Child shows up.

"Wonder Girl" and "The Mighty Shinji" are threats to Asuka's self-esteem. She never gets over her extreme dislike for Rei, understandable in the circumstances. As for Shinji...

Her flirtations with Shinji stem from two things: One, she wants to be thought of as an adult (especially by Kaji), and she views sex as an adult topic of conversation. She thinks nothing of cupping her breasts and using them as an example in discussions of thermal expansion physics lessons. If I wanted an example of thermal expansion, I'd use water as it heats up and cools down. Asuka uses her breasts and when Shinji blushes and stammers out that he doesn't think about that kind of thing, Asuka calls him a "dull little boy" in a very high and mighty tone.

The other reason she flirts with Shinji is that she's still a 14 year old girl. After Kaji "dumps" her, that is, fails to return her crush on him, the only available male for any sort of sexual or romantic experimentation is Shinji. Asuka has hormones and she's curious, and sex is an adult thing and she's trying to be adult.

I should note that kissing in Japan is A Big Deal. Parents don't kiss in front of their children, because kissing is considered a sign of either strong romantic love or sexual foreplay.

Now granted, Asuka comes from Germany, and is only part Nihonjin (Japanese), so kissing is not going to be quite as big a deal to her. But to Shinji...well that's a horse of a different color. But they're both very curious about these things. Rei is too distant to Shinji, and of course so is Misato.

The three women in Shinji's life, Rei, Misato, and Asuka, represent his past, present and future, respectively.

Asuka is his future, as End of Evangelion clearly shows. I'm not saying they love each other necessarily. But the fact does remain that he chose to be with her. That does say something.

In the end, Asuka, you end up as much humanity's savior as Shinji himself.

Good job, girl.

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