Asushin

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Pairing
Pairing: Asuka Langley Sohryu X Shinji Ikari
Alternative name(s): Asuka X Shinji, LAS, Shinsuka
Gender category: M/F (het)
Fandom: Neon Genesis Evangelion
Canonical?: no
Prevalence: common
Archives:
Other: Asushin subreddit
Wholesome Evangelion subreddit
Asuka subreddit
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Asushin is the name of the Evangelion pairing between Asuka Langley Sohryu and Shinji Ikari.

Canon

It is significant in the anime as it has a very prominent role in the story, especially in the movie End of Evangelion.

The series ends with Asuka and Shinji alone on a beach together as Asuka is the second person returning from Instrumentality, some time after Shinji. Shinji chokes Asuka for unclear reasons while Asuka caresses him back in a tender manner, reminiscent of his mother's caress a few minutes earlier, which makes Shinji stop. Asuka then utters her famous "kimochi warui" line, which has an ambiguous meaning of "I feel sick" or "How disgusting". The movie ends on an open-ended note about whether they will survive and get closer or not.

Shinji and Asuka have clear sexual attraction towards one another, as Shinji masturbates to Asuka in the beginning of EoE, and according to Asuka, who has acquired Shinji's memories, he has in fact done it before, and Asuka constantly teases him sexually and otherwise. Asuka also displays jealously and interest in Shinji many times. Shinji and Asuka kiss, at Asuka's provocation, in Episode 15, though Shinji stands still and doesn't return the kiss, or reject it, a fact which angers Asuka. During Episode 22, Asuka's expanded mind rape sequence makes it clear that she longs for Shinji's attention and is frustrated at him.[1] Shinji puts himself in harm's way for Asuka and displays concern for her, and spends much of EoE asking for her attention. Both Shinji and Asuka are however hesitant to get close to not only to each other, but all other characters, a prevalent theme throughout the series.

Rebuild of Evangelion

They have a less prominent relationship in the Rebuild movies as Rei has a lot more space in Evangelion 2.0 and Kaworu is prevalent in Evangelion 3.0, although Asuka seems to have some sort of lingering feelings towards Shinji. Evangelion 3.0 ends with Asuka and Shinji, followed by Rei, travelling along the ruins of Tokyo-3. In the final film, Asuka is shown to have several unresolved issues with her non-aging body and feelings for Shinji, treating him harshly but still showing concern. Before heading on the final battle aginst NERV, Asuka is impressed by Shinji's maturing and admits she liked/loved him before the timeskip. She is ultimately defeated by Nerv later, but Shinji is able to recover her, and returns her feelings before sending her back to the village, as he does with Rei and Kaworu, and leaving the Eva world. In the rebuilt world, Asuka is shown nearby Rei and Kaworu in the other side of a train platform Shinji is on before he leaves with Mari, all five pilots now in adult bodies. Much like in End of Evangelion, their fate is left open.

Other

Asushin is a possible pairing in all Evangelion videogames that feature such a possiblity, though this is often (but not always) also possible for many other pairings, mainly Reishin and Kawoshin, such as Girlfriend of Steel 2 and Shiji Ikari Raising Project, though it is the only pairing featured in games with non-branching story-lines like the Nintendo DS Petit Eva game. In the official manga adaptation, Asuka's personality is changed and there is a lot more attention given to Rei and Reishin, however the manga ending again features Asuka and Shinji, although they meet in a new world and have no recollection of the events from before, though they seem to have a faint memory of one another and the ending seems to hint Asuka might become a part of Shinji's life again.

It is also featured in official spin-off manga such as the manga version of SIRP, Evangelion ANIMA, Petit Eva, again with Reishin and Kawoshin usually also present, as well as occasionally more unconventional relationships involving Shinji with Misato, Hikari or Mana. Angelic Days features an Asushin ending, the only instance of a spin-off ending with Shinji actually ending up with someone. In general, Asushin is the pairing with the most numerous licenced material overall, though Kawoshin, Asurei and Reishin are also very common.

Fandom

Asushin is popular in the fandom and shared popularity with Reishin during the years preceding the release of the new Rebuild movies, however with the new movies and particularly after Evangelion 3.0, Kawoshin has largely taken over Reishin's popularity, as well as Rei's own popularity giving way to Kaworu's.[2][3] It is somewhat controversial among some sectors of the fandom as some fans consider it to be abusive or toxic, yet other fans see Asuka and Shinji as foils of each other and their relationship as constructive to their characters and full of potential. Whether their relationship is of enemies, co-workers, friends or potential sexual and/or romantic partners is heavily debated, however the large role they have in the series and to explore the themes and narrative of the show means it is hard to talk about Eva in general and not mention their relationship.

Asuka doesn't share as many moments with Shinji in the Rebuild movies, except in the fourth and final one. Their mutual expression of feelings, though in the past tense, has been variously interpreted as either confirming or sinking their relationship in the Rebuild continuity, or even the franchise at large, considering the open-endedness of the ending is debated, as is the nature of the references to the original series and EoE and Rebuild's cycle dynamics, as well as the later release of the Evangelion 3.0 (-120 min.) prequel manga, used by supporters as confirmation of active feelings alongside a number of statements coming from staff in the initial months after release. Marishin and Asuken are argued by some fans to be supported by the final Rebuild film, but neither enjoy significant fan support and are instead used to aggravate supporters of the three main Shinji ships, particularly so for Asuken. Some shippers have pointed out at some staff statements to rebuff these, such as the repeated denial of Mari being based on Anno's wife, though there is no later comment from staff on Reishin or Kawoshin, but some for Asushin. Pairing them is equally as common, however, regardless of continuity.

Fanfiction and fanart featuring the pairing is prevalent, as are doujinshi, comics and manga, both of a sexual and non-sexual nature (Asushin has far more significant non-H doujins like Epilogue of Evangelion). Asushin tends to dominate the most popular fanfiction in Fanfiction.net, but isn't as popular in AO3. However, A/S fanfics in FFN tend to have far more reviews and favorites, and are far more numerous overall. Asushin was always popular in the fandom, however in the early 2000s the fandom was very divided over it and Reishin. Reishin fell in popularity over the mid and late 00s,but rose again after Evangelion 2.0, which featured it prominently. After 3.0, Reishin declined in popularity, and a larger portion of the fandom started shipping Kawoshin, however it has also declined in popularity, whereas Asushin remained popular throughout those periods, and Reishin is seeing something of a resurgence. [4]

Fanworks

Fanfiction

Doujinshi

Common Asushin doujinshin authors include Kuro Tengu, Monkey's Taste, Pengel, ReDrop and Mantou. Those include many non-H and story-focused doujins, largely absent from other ships.

Meta

References

  1. ^ "Platinum Booklets - Episode Commentaries 21-26". EvaMonkey. Retrieved 13 March 2019. 
  2. ^ Eva Store's Character Popularity Poll Yields Surprising Results
  3. ^ This 2020 NHK poll has Asuka, Kaworu, Rei, Shinji, Misato and Mari as the most popular characters.
  4. ^ "Asushin fanfiction on FFN, sorted by reviews".