Annos Evangelion A Study In Mental Disorders

Annos Evangelion a​ Study in​ Mental Disorders
Hideaki Annos magnum opus of​ an anime,​ Shin Seiki Evangelion has long been the​ subject of​ debate for anime fans. ​
There will always be conflicts on​ whether the​ show reinvigorated a​ stagnating industry or​ if ​ it​ was all hype. ​
There will be fans arguing one way or​ another about the​ validity of​ the​ countless revivals and​ reinterpretations of​ the​ original material,​ including the​ latest CGheavy movie project entitled the​ Rebuild of​ Evangelion. ​
The debate on​ whether one of​ the​ female leads is​ better and​ more attractive than the​ other is​ likely never going to​ end. ​
However,​ the​ fact that all of​ the​ characters exhibit some extreme examples of​ severely stunted mental health is​ a​ point of​ great interest to​ the​ fans. ​
The latest installment can be viewed as​ a​ protracted case study into just how warped a​ human mind can become.
For a​ good introduction into this facet of​ the​ show,​ theres always the​ lead character,​ Shinji Ikari. ​
The boy exhibits signs of​ incredible social anxiety,​ being completely unwilling to​ engage in​ social activities at ​ the​ onset of​ the​ show. ​
In some ways,​ his politeness and​ tendency to​ apologize repeatedly for things that are not his fault,​ as​ well as​ apologizing for his earlier apologies,​ can also be seen as​ a​ link to​ his performance anxiety. ​
Indeed,​ throughout the​ bulk of​ the​ show,​ he exhibits signs of​ performance anxiety when tasked with piloting the​ massive biomechanical constructs known as​ evangelions. ​
The fact that his social anxiety prevents him from truly opening up to​ anyone makes it​ difficult for him to​ find ways to​ release his tension and​ fear,​ even to​ his trusted guardian. ​
There are a​ few fans that have theorized that Shinjis myriad of​ psychological issues also contains Oedipus complex,​ though the​ show merely hints upon this.
An interesting mirror to​ Shinji is​ one of​ the​ female leads,​ Asuka Langley Soryu. ​
She has suffered the​ same trauma as​ Shinji,​ mainly the​ death of​ the​ mother and​ rejection by the​ father. ​
However,​ her social anxiety seems to​ have taken the​ opposite route as​ Shinjis,​ giving her a​ more extroverted and​ vocal personality but pushing away people when she subconsciously feels that they are getting too close. ​
She also exhibits extreme status anxiety when piloting the​ evangelion units are concerned. ​
She is​ highly concerned with maintaining her status as​ the​ most effective pilot,​ going to​ great lengths to​ stay that way. ​
However,​ when the​ data reflects Shinjis performance as​ being superior to​ hers,​ she goes berserk and​ insists that such an event is​ impossible. ​
The situation was worsened when Shinji invariably rescued her,​ as​ she was rendered incapacitated by a​ mental attack that forced her to​ deal with her myriad of​ issues,​ all of​ which she had pushed under the​ surface. ​
Her mental health eventually collapses in​ the​ wake of​ those events,​ causing her to​ rapidly progress from selfdoubt,​ to​ depression,​ and​ finally to​ a​ complete mental and​ emotional breakdown. ​
In the​ original incarnation,​ she never actually recovered.
In some ways,​ Shinjis guardian,​ Misato Katsuragi,​ has also experienced stunted mental health. ​
The death of​ her father traumatized her,​ such that she was unable to​ speak for several years after the​ incident. ​
Her attraction to​ a​ coworker,​ Kaji,​ is​ an overt sign of​ Electra complex. ​
Characters within the​ show have pointed out that Misatos attraction to​ Kaji stems from his resemblance to​ her father,​ both in​ appearance and​ personality. ​
She has also exhibited some signs of​ separation anxiety,​ as​ evidenced by her unwillingness to​ sacrifice Shinji in​ battle,​ even if ​ it​ would cost potentially thousands of​ other lives to​ save him. ​
Her constant worrying over this fact is​ taken as​ evidence of​ the​ problem. ​
Her outgoing and​ happy personality is​ also hinted to​ be her way of​ coping with some form of​ social anxiety,​ which manifests by her refusal to​ allow herself to​ get emotionally close to​ her. ​
it​ is​ also implied that she understands this,​ as​ she notes that any attempt to​ develop her parental relationship with Shinji would only result in​ both of​ them getting hurt. ​
Even the​ parental nature of​ her relationship with Shinji is​ questionable,​ particularly due to​ her statements implying that she will sleep with him if ​ he does as​ she says and​ saves the​ world in​ the​ End of​ Evangelion movie.
Rei Ayanami,​ another of​ the​ lead characters,​ is​ generally viewed as​ a​ poster child for a​ number of​ stunted mental health. ​
She is​ often seen being incapable of​ feeling emotions,​ or​ at ​ least incapable of​ expressing the​ emotions she feels. ​
However,​ this lack of​ emotion from her has only added to​ the​ speculation on​ what her myriad of​ psychological issues are. ​
She exhibited Thanatos,​ the​ socalled death instinct,​ on​ one occasion. ​
Her lack of​ friends and​ social contacts has been interpreted by some as​ being a​ product of​ her own social anxiety,​ which is​ in​ turn aggravated by her apparent lack of​ emotions. ​
Indeed,​ it​ is​ generally assumed that the​ other students tried to​ initiate social interaction with her,​ but that she herself prevented it​ from going further than that. ​
However,​ unlike Shinji and​ Asuka,​ she does not seem to​ exhibit anxiety problems regarding her ability to​ pilot an evangelion,​ though whether this is​ because she does not feel it​ or​ she is​ incapable of​ expressing her frustrations is​ debatable.
All of​ the​ other major figures in​ the​ show exhibit signs of​ mental health problems in​ most incarnations. ​
it​ has often been stated that the​ characters are motivated and​ controlled by their anxiety disorders and​ psychological issues,​ with most of​ them being where they are because of​ their problems. ​
The anime was heralded as​ revolutionary because of​ its psychological and​ religious themes,​ as​ well as​ showing that the​ mecha subgenre could have a​ deeper meaning than giants robots fighting other giant robots. ​
The point is​ arguable but,​ even a​ decade after the​ show was first released,​ it​ is​ arguable that no anime has had characters as​ psychologically warped as​ Evangelion.

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