ah yes, a healthy relationship… my ultimate fetish……
#my ultimate fetish is extremely healthy relationships with EXTREMELY UNHEALTHY SURROUNDING CIRCUMSTANCES #like how did this healthy relationship happen? nobody knows. it’s extremely improbable. HERE IT IS
silverfoxin said: Your Yui analysis was AMAZING ohmygosh! i really can't stand the lack of discussion about her, so you giving her consideration for her motivations and actions was super great to read, aaaah. I do have a question though, and I know Fuyutsuki probably isn't one of your favorites, but what do you think his motivations were throughout the series? Forever trying to figure out his viewpoint along with Yui's. ;a; (you don't have to reply tho, just wanted to thank you. ^^ )
Oh my goodness thank you so much! I really do think that the more, mm, “minor” characters still need to be addressed. Regarding Fuyutsuki, I actually find him to be an extremely interesting character! He’s more or less the living showcase of the man with good intentions but terrible decisions, unable to recognise his evils for those initially good intentions of his.
Unlike Gendo, or Yui, Fuyutsuki Kozo was never any sort of mastermind or any kind of religious fanatic. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time—or would that be the right place at the right time?—and one Ikari Yui sets her sights on him.
Fuyutsuki was an elderly man, very traditional and conservative in nature but also liberal in terms of being open to new ideas as best befit a professor. He studied metaphysical biology and was the sort of man to go work as an unpaid doctor in the poor, sickness-stricken affected areas after the Second Impact. He’s pretty selfless and is genuinely, deeply concerned for the human condition.
He also had no one: no spouse, no children. Hell, we never see him mention any relatives whatsoever, or even any friends (outside of, from his perspective, Yui, and possibly Gendo). He’s obviously rather well-liked, judging by how his students and his superiors ask him out for beer and seem to enjoy his company, but as his professor comments, Fuyutsuki might be good at his work, but …
Hm. That reminds me of someone. Say, oh, every hedgehog in Evangelion?
When the young, soft-spoken, polite, and—let’s face it—attractive (not necessarily drop-dead gorgeous but certainly pleasant to the eye, the sort of woman that a very traditional man would love to bring home to his parents) Ikari Yui appears in his office with an absolutely brilliant research paper, Fuyutsuki is intrigued and stunned. He asks, carefully, where Yui plans to work in the future.
Which is both true and not-true. Note that she doesn’t actually promise that she’s going to choose a domestic life, but rather brings it up to suggest that yes, she’s a Good Wife and Good Mother™ (please note that I’m absolutely not ragging on wives and mothers here). Yui does end up a wife and mother, but she also continues her research and eventually sacrifices herself for it. Not quite the picture of a loving, self-sacrificing mother.
But her statement is an ingenious rhetorical strategy: She confirms Fuyutsuki’s view of her as a brilliant, intelligent young woman who is indeed polite, submissive, loving, affectionate, and desiring a domestic life, desiring to be a wife and mother. For Fuyutsuki—who is alone, without friends, apparently by his own choice (whether intentional or not)—it’s a heady mix.
Since Yui mentioned that she was very interested in meeting Fuyutsuki, I wonder if she didn’t select him on purpose from all of the various professors on metaphysical biology there were. Wonder if she didn’t carefully research the available options before deciding on the one with whom she’d have the most success.
(Yui terrifies me. What a fantastic character.)
And so, through repeated interaction with Fuyutsuki (we see the seasons change from summer to autumn and so on), Yui manages to “win” Fuyutsuki to her side. At the same time she’s also manipulating Gendo into the fold. When she brings them together he’s initially wary of the fact that his precious Ikari-kun is marrying someone like Gendo. His relationship with Yui is somewhat like father and daughter, though there are some implications that he was genuinely attracted, romantically/sexually, to her as well (such as the whole “wanting to become one with Yui” and the, ahem, Scene from NGE2). I think that he, like everyone else in Evangelion, was looking for a mother and for unconditional love and so filtered his reality of Yui in that manner.
Fuyutsuki goes to Antarctica circa the Second Impact in the hopes of meeting Yui there. He’s quite disappointed to discover that Yui isn’t going to be here, but he smiles to learn that she’s pregnant with her first child.
(I wonder if she intended to ensure her own safety. Or if she genuinely wished to be a mother, because it does seem like she loved Shinji to some extent. Motivations are complicated, you know. And we never see Yui’s internal thoughts, only the various filtered views we get of her from others. Just like in life, neh?)
After the Second Impact, Fuyutsuki becomes convinced that everyone is covering up what actually occurred. After all, the U.N.—and the world—claims the incident to be a meteor, but Fuyutsuki was there. He knows that they were investigating Something, even if he isn’t certain what that Something is.
He does some digging. Finds out. Goes straight to the root of the problem, because deep down he’s concerned for humanity. Of course, Fuyutsuki is afraid of pinning Yui’s name as the villainous entity.
When he arrives, Fuyutsuki meets Yui outside and treats her rather coldly, but he doesn’t question her or interrogate her in any manner. He appears to have mentally absolved her of any crime, appears to consider her perfectly innocent, appears to think that she was caught up in all of this because of big bad Ikari. It’s that good ole filtration of reality again: He refuses to see what he doesn’t want to see.
We know that he forgives her. That he joins SEELE/NERV. That, at her behest, he ends up Gendo’s right-hand man (though not quite yet).
At some later point, we have that scene with Fuyutsuki and Yui near a tree. Fuyutsuki suggests that SEELE suspects both of them and expresses his discomfort with Yui being a test subject. Yui responds that she’s going to go ahead with the testing. Which is what she wanted in the first place, judging by her dialogue in End of Evangelion, wherein Fuyutsuki point-blank inquires if she intends to use EVA to become an immortal being.
She replies, very honestly:
But if we go back to that initial scene, how does Yui justify her actions to Fuyutsuki? Why, she immediately showcases her “good intentions”.
How can Fuyutsuki say “no” to a woman content with sacrificing herself for her son? Truly, a devoted mother. Indeed, we’ll never know if Yui was legitimately doing all of this based upon some belief that Instrumentality would be beneficial for all of humanity or if Yui intended for Shinji to become immortal with her … or if she only said this to keep Fuyutsuki on her side.
At any rate, Fuyutsuki then comments that he supports her version of Instrumentality, not SEELE’s. A far cry from the man who was furious at Gendo covering up the existence of Adam and so on. He’ll do anything for Yui, whom he views as a selfless, perfect being. Remember: humans are lonely, their hearts overflowing with sorrow and emptiness, and long to return to the mother, to that unconditional love and safety that they once felt. Even Fuyutsuki, a superficially well-together man (the sort of guy who really knows where his towel is, and probably where Gendo’s is as well), suffers. All of humanity, my friend. All of humanity.
After her “death” (absorption into EVA), Fuyutsuki continues to upload her beliefs and her plans. He joins SEELE/NERV and starts to work under Gendo. Even though he might not agree with Gendo’s methods (he does advise Gendo several times regarding this), he supports Gendo anyway—because Gendo intends to go through with Yui’s version of Instrumentality, at least to enough of an extent that his actions fit right into Yui’s plans—and does whatever he can for Gendo and the SEELE/NERV cause in general.
Even when SEELE kidnaps him, Fuyutsuki doesn’t seem to mind. He appears to expect Gendo to rescue him, and if not, then at the very least he’ll have died for Yui’s sake. Kaji rescues him. Fuyutsuki’s surprised but takes it in stride, even as he warns Kaji that the triple-agent will end up dead. Much like Fuyutsuki himself, Kaji doesn’t have any qualms with death, as long as it’s for the cause of seeking truth. Fuyutsuki doesn’t want truth. Just Yui.
And, of course, he passes peacefully into Instrumentality, content that he has finally reunited with his Yui. Hm. Sounds quite a bit like another man we know, a man typically thought of as the greatest asshole in Evangelion. No, Fuyutsuki didn’t abandon his own son and so on, but he was certainly more than a mere passive witness to events, helpless to change anything. And, y’know, there’s a special place in hell for “innocent” bystanders.
At least he finally got to see his angel again.
So, is Fuyutsuki a “good man”? Much like pretty much everyone in Evangelion, he’s complicated. On one hand, his intentions were good. On the other hand, he was blinded (I refuse to blame Yui for this, because while she certainly manipulated him, at the end of the day it was his decision to go along with the morally questionable SEELE at the end, so please don’t start saying how Yui is a siren leading good men astray or something of the sort, thank you kindly; we should absolutely look at the reasoning and rationalisation behind his motivation, but don’t view him as an innocent man. His story actually sounds quite a bit like Gendo’s. He’s guilty and innocent at once. Welcome to life and grey morality and Evangelion.
Anyway, thank you for the intriguing question! If you have any questions, comments, or dissents, don’t be afraid to toss ‘em in my inbox!
I am so sorry I didn’t see this sooner - this is literally the best meta I’ve ever seen of Kozo!! Thank you heaps for giving such a in depth and accurate answer - it seems like the fandom has wildly different ideas (
if any) as far as his motivations + Yui’s goes, so it’s ridiculously useful/amazing to have something as true to the show as possible. I’m embarrassed to admit that my memory’s skipped at least half of these scenes - so there’s not really going to be a good quality meta-response from this corner until rewatching NGE again, but just - thank you!!!
i know i have some mutuals who have played fire emblem. i want 2 ask everyone what their favorite was and who their favorite char was from that emblem series :’(
THIS IS SUCH A HARD QUESTION fe7 was my first and i’ve replayed it the most so I get most nostalgic over it. I do a lot of crying over ninian and nino and adore all three of the lords
fe9 is probably my favorite in the end; i love pretty much every bird laguz and daein defector and…ok i am not good at narrowing down characters. I have a special soft spot for Rhys though and Titania owns my heart and soul
oh oh is this some FE9 talk on my dash??! yesssss to all the Daein defectors - the Talrega level went above and beyond with its characterization of Jill/Haar/Shiharam. Though I’m still so annoyed that the game never explained the bonds between Jill/Zihark/Tauroneo in FE10, it seems like there’s a massive amount of talking/hanging out that they did in the latter part of FE9, away from the others who might harbor some deep anti-Daein resentment.
Haven’t talked about this much before, but what I love about FE9 (and bits of FE10) is its overarching theme of conflicted loyalty with all the characters - having all of them being mercenaries changes everything so subtly, so it’s not a default ‘I’m with x country, end of story’ (aside from the royals, obvs). It changes topics like what Daein did to the laguz - instead of following the usual
and overused storyline of ‘i defected from this country because they did wrong’, it’s looking back at said country after leaving it for moral/practical reasons, and wrestling with lingering nationalism, or with how best to effectively change it, or with ‘wait the other side is pretty horrible too, what’s the lesser of two evils here?’. AND THAT’S NOT EVEN GOING IN THE GREY AREAS OF BEING, YAKNOW, MERCENARIES.