KawoShin Shipping Wiki Addition

Nov 16th, 2020 (edited)
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  1. Canon
  3. There are multiple iterations of Evangelion that include Shinji and Kaworu as a featured relationship.
  5. Neon Genesis Evangelion
  7. Kaworu only appears in Episode 24 and is mentioned in Episode 25. When they meet, Shinji is alone; his friends have moved away after losing their homes in the now destroyed Tokyo-3, he is afraid of Rei and Misato and does not know where Asuka is after she runs away earlier in the episode. This is when Shinji then hears Kaworu as he hums Ode to Joy.
  9. Kaworu introduces himself to Shinji, being friendly and open with him right away. He invites Shinji to call him by his first name. Shinji blushes and invites Kaworu to do the same for him, establishing their fast connection.
  11. Later in the episode, Kaworu and Shinji meet again. Shinji is listening to Ode to Joy when this happens. Kaworu asks if Shinji had been waiting for him, and Shinji denies this while blushing and smiling. The two then go into a public bath together, where Kaworu holds Shinji's hand and tells him he likes/loves him.
  13. During the night, Shinji sleeps over in Kaworu's room. Shinji starts to talk candidly about his feelings and how he hates his father, something that Shinji wonders why he is telling Kaworu. He turns to look at Kaworu and blushes when he realizes Kaworu is already looking back at him. Kaworu then tells him that he thinks he may have been born to meet him.
  15. The next day, Kaworu is revealed to be an Angel. Hijacking Unit-02, Kaworu descends Terminal Dogma to reunite with Adam and reclaim the Earth for the Angels. Shinji initially refuses to believe that Kaworu is an Angel, but quickly realizes he must fight him.
  17. When Kaworu reaches Terminal Dogma, he sees that the creature there is not Adam, but Lilith. Now knowing the real plans of Seele, Kaworu waits for Shinji to reach him. When he does, Kaworu asks Shinji to kill him. He tells Shinji that while his destiny is to live forever, he believes that humanity deserves a future and that Shinji's existence is not one that should perish. Shinji hesitates, but he eventually complies and kills Kaworu.
  19. At the end of the episode, Shinji is left broken and distraught by his decision. He cries and tells Misato that Kaworu was the one who deserved to live and that he also liked/loved Kaworu.
  21. During Episode 25, Shinji is fraught with guilt over killing Kaworu, whom he saw as human. Shinji wonders if it is worth piloting the Eva if he has to kill the ones he loves/likes, which is a specific reference to his relationship with Kaworu.
  23. The End of Evangelion
  25. End of Evangelion continues where Episode 24 left off. Shinji is revealed to have stayed at the lake where he met Kaworu throughout the night and morning, and is mainly in an unresponsive state, having to be dragged around by Misato. Later on, Shinji tells Misato that he has not forgiven himself for killing Kaworu.
  27. The Third Impact begins, and a gigantic Rei merged with Lilith emerges from the Earth and leers over Unit-01, causing Shinj to scream in terror. To lower Shinji’s A.T. Field, Kaworu emerges from Rei-Lilith, Shinji smiles and asks Kaworu if this is where he has been all along before the ritual for Instrumentality begins.
  29. During Instrumentality, Rei and Kaworu appear before Shinji and guide his decision to either stay as one being in the primordial soup or to reject Instrumentality and return to individuality. Shinji asks them what they represent in his heart, and Kaworu responds that he represents the words I love you.
  31. Neon Genesis Evangelion Manga
  33. Kaworu formally appears in Volume 9, when Shinji comes across a stray kitten and hears distant piano playing. Kaworu is playing Ode to Joy in an abandoned church. Kaworu sees the kitten and asks Shinji if he will adopt it. When Shinji says he cannot, Kaworu lifts the kitten and strangles it to death. Shinji is shocked by this, but Kaworu reasons that the kitten would have died either way, and it was more merciful to kill it quickly than to let it starve to death.
  35. Unlike the anime, Kaworu is clueless about human emotions and morals, and this character difference defines the rest of Kaworu and Shinji's relationship. Kaworu shows indifference to the plights of those around him, from Shinji's feelings and personal space to Rei's death. This changes in Chapter 64, when Kaworu is connected to Rei via Arael, who transfers Rei's feelings for Shinji to Kaworu.
  37. Now having been changed by this encounter, Kaworu attempts to become friends with Shinji but is rejected multiple times. Despite refusing his friendship, Shinji continuously relies on Kaworu and goes as far as staying in his room for multiple days. This dynamic culminates during Chapter 67, as Shinji suffers from a hyperventilation attack during his sleep. In an attempt to calm his breathing, Kaworu places his mouth against Shinji's and catches his breaths, a covert attempt to kiss him. Shinji wakes up from this and shoves Kaworu away from him, yelling about how two boys should not be doing those things. Kaworu wonders what it would feel like if Shinji returned his feelings for him, but is cut short when Shinji receives news of Rei’s health.
  39. Kaworu descends to Terminal Dogma in Chapter 74, where he asks Shinji to kill him. He tells Shinji that if he did, it would show that he genuinely did care for Kaworu. Shinji initially refuses, which distresses Kaworu, asking Shinji if he hates him so much that he cannot fulfill his dying wish. Shinji declares that he never hated Kaworu, and ultimately kills Kaworu in the same fashion that Kaworu killed the kitten; under the guise of compassionate mercy.
  41. The following chapter reveals that deep in Shinji's heart, he was truly attracted to Kaworu.
  43. Rebuild of Evangelion
  45. Kaworu makes appearances in Evangelion 1.0 and Evangelion 2.0, and is prominently featured in Evangelion 3.0.
  47. In Evangelion 1.0, Kaworu awakens in a coffin on the moon, and monologues about Shinji being awoken.
  49. In Evangelion 2.0, Kaworu appears throughout, but most notably in the after-credits scene. Kaworu descends from the moon and uses the Spear of Cassius to halt the awakening of Unit-01. As he descends, Kaworu declares that this time, he will make Shinji happy.
  51. In Evangelion 3.0, fourteen years have passed since the end of 2.0, and Kaworu awaits Shinji's return to Earth. Shinji is immediately restrained by Misato and finds that he has a DSS choker placed on him, which will explode if he triggers another impact. Shinji escapes to NERV, and they meet when Shinji sees Kaworu playing the piano.
  53. Kaworu and Shinji are tasked with piloting an Eva with a Double Entry System, meaning that they must be able to sync together to pilot it. As a guise to interact with Shinji, Kaworu invites him to play the piano. Shinji is unable to play at first, but through Kaworu's guidance, they begin playing À quatre mains. During the evening, Shinji remarks that playing the piano was the most fun he had in a long time while blushing, allowing Kaworu to introduce himself to him formally.
  55. Shinji grows to trust Kaworu through their training, being able to ask him to fix his SDAT. Kaworu accepts, stating that they are friends. Shinji smiles and invites Kaworu to stargaze with him that night. They talk about why Shinji loves the stars, and Kaworu thanks Shinji for inviting him. Shinji bashfully reasons that he thought it would be fun to watch the stars with Kaworu, but is interrupted when he turns and sees Kaworu is already turned to him. Shinji blushes, and Kaworu states that he realizes that he really was born to meet Shinji.
  57. The next day, Shinji finds a shirt belonging to his friend from fourteen years ago. Shinji later finds Kaworu, who returns his fixed SDAT to him. Shinji marvels about how amazing Kaworu is. Kaworu notices that Shinji seems weary, and asks him if anything is wrong. This interaction prompts Shinji to ask Kaworu what he knows about what happened. Thus, Shinji learns the truth about how he inadvertently caused the Near Third Impact. Kaworu tells Shinji that his sin is not unforgivable and that there is a way to reverse his grave mistake.
  59. Later, Shinji learns the truth about Rei's nature, which causes him to have an emotional breakdown. Shinji vows to never pilot Eva again and rants about how he can no longer trust anyone. Kaworu says that Shinji can trust him, and goes to show it by removing the DSS Choker around Shinji's neck and putting it on himself. This action calms Shinji down as Kaworu reasons with him.
  61. Shinji, again, remarks about how he thinks Kaworu is amazing. Kaworu responds by telling him that that is only possible because he is always thinking about Shinji. It is then when Kaworu asks Shinji to call him by first name, and Shinji accepts and invites him to do the same while blushing. Concluding their talk, Shinji grabs Kaworu's outstretched hand and resolves to pilot Unit-13 with him.
  63. Shinji and Kaworu show how well they can sync and work together as they descend to Terminal Dogma, but their plans are thwarted when Kaworu begins to realize that Gendo has tricked him. Shinji, not listening to Kaworu's warnings and desperate to be absolved, causes Fourth Impact to begin. To stop Fourth Impact from continuing, Kaworu's DSS choker begins to light up. Shinji cries as he realizes Kaworu is about to die, but Kaworu tells him to keep living and that their bond will lead him to a place where he belongs. Before dying, Kaworu promises that he and Shinji will meet again. Shinji is distraught and speechless for the rest of the movie.
  65. Behind the Scenes
  67. Despite Kaworu and Shinji's relationship being featured in only one episode, the pair quickly became a topic of interest and have been the subject of many interviews from the show's staff, including series creator Hideaki Anno.
  69. Most notoriously, JUNE Magazine, a boy's love publication, released an interview with Anno and other Evangelion staff members in their August 1996 issue. In the magazine, they talk about the production process of episode 24. The issue also contained two rough drafts of the episode, which have been translated. Draft one has Shinji nearly confess his feelings to Kaworu after skinny dipping together, and draft two has Kaworu kiss Shinji.
  71. Hideaki Anno's comments during the JUNE interview allude that a romantic read of Kaworu and Shinji's relationship is legitimate. When asked who else worked on episode 24, Anno responded, "A person named Satsukawa (Akio)-san did that. Satsukawa-san is better at—this is bad to say, but—he's right on the mark when it comes to homoeroticism." In a similar vein, Anno stated that he intentionally made Kaworu so good-natured that Shinji would develop "a complex" for Kaworu: "I wanted to make [Kaworu] someone that could be loved by anyone, an incredibly good person. Almost as though, by the time Shinji saw him, there was nothing he could do but get a complex."
  73. Besides the JUNE interview, various other official sources hint towards romantic feelings between Kaworu and Shinji. In the compilation book Hideaki Anno Parano Evangelion, Kaworu is defined as "the very first friend [Shinji] could confide in as well as a same-sex romantic interest."
  75. In the All About Kaworu Nagisa book, Kaworu is described as "the lover [恋人] that [Shinji] is about to lose."
  77. In the Death and Rebirth theatrical pamphlet, Shinji's relationship with Kaworu is depicted as a saving grace, "But, the words "I love you" cleared away the darkness in [Shinji's] heart. Nagisa Kaworu, the Fifth Child. A kind boy. The first person he opened his heart to."
  79. Other notorious staff comments are those from Akira Ishida, the voice actor for Kaworu Nagisa. On numerous occasions, Ishida has stated that Kaworu has deep feelings for Shinji, particularly in the Rebuild of Evangelion movies. For the Evangelion 3.0 theatrical pamphlet, Ishida said, "Even if they talk about different things, the feelings Kaworu has for Ikari Shinji… they won't change." In a special broadcast for NHK's Evangelion popularity contest, Ishida stated, "Don't you think that from [Kaworu's] standpoint, it would be enough just to support Shinji, to be able to gently embrace him at all times?"
  81. On the other hand, Megumi Ogata, the voice actress for Shinji Ikari, has been wary of claiming the two to be in a fully established/explicit romantic relationship. In multiple conventions, she has been known to talk about the relationship in a practical manner, stating that they are friends in Evangelion 3.0. In an interview with SS magazine, Ogata laid out her interpretation of Shinji's relationship with Kaworu, "[Shinji's] been abandoned by everyone, he has no friends or parents to trust in, and no longer has a place where he belongs. And at this point, a single person comes to him and tells him he understands him. Wouldn't anyone act the same way if they were in Shinji's position? He has no one but Kaworu-kun at that point. In that way, he's still just a child." Ogata was also one of the few Evangelion staff to comment directly on the 2019 Netflix translation, stating that she interpreted Kaworu's use of "suki" as "like" and that the "nuance [of the scene] is difficult." Despite all this, Ogata has acknowledged that Shinji and Kaworu's relationship could be perceived as romantic and has teased that aspect of it many times.
  83. Fanon
  85. Like Shinji's other pairings, KawoShin is divisive. The sudden introduction of Kaworu, their rapid development, the shocking revelation of Kaworu's nature, and their same-sex relationship have been a hot-button topic in the fandom for many years.
  87. KawoShin supporters state that their interest in the pairing came from how refreshing of a love interest Kaworu is for Shinji. He is kind and forthright, and encourages Shinji to open up and seek connections with others. Thus, many believe that their relationship would help Shinji grow as a character and would, therefore, be the most healthy of the canon pairings. Others enjoy that the pairing has so much subtext, especially in Evangelion 3.0, and have hope that the tragic romance could one day have a happy ending. Other supporters prefer KawoShin because they feel there are too many problematic aspects for Shinji's other ships, such as Rei being a clone of Shinji's mother and the violent acts that Shinji deals to Asuka in End of Evangelion. Many are also fascinated by the prospect of a visible LGBT pairing from a 1995 anime and the meta that surrounds this pairing's censorship.
  89. Meanwhile, detractors have various complaints about the nature of the pairing. One complaint comes from the fact that it is a same-sex relationship with no build up. Those who ship Shinji with the girls bring up that Shinji never showed interest in boys until Episode 24, thus questioning whether the episode's storyline was simply made to cater to a different base to expand the demographic of Evangelion. Those who do not mind the same-sex dynamic will suggest that Shinji was too broken and Kaworu too naïve to understand their feelings properly and that Kaworu's death damaged Shinji immensely. Many have questioned if Kaworu, as an Angel, actually felt or understood what he claimed to Shinji. Others theorize that Kaworu was purposefully manipulating Shinji to damage him further, considering his links to Seele.
  91. An example of the two camps clashing was during the 2019 Netflix release of Evangelion. The decision to translate "suki" as "like" as opposed to "love" as in the ADV translation had sparked controversy among Kawoshin shippers and non-shippers alike. Many fans, especially LGBTQ+ fans, felt as though the new translation censored the nature of their relationship, as “suki” is also used in love confessions in various other Japanese media along with “daisuki”. On the other hand, other fans argued that there is evidence that Khara attempted to bring the dialogue closer to the original Japanese script, therefore making the backlash unwarranted. However, it is worth noting that Kaworu's "suki" is also translated as "love" in End of Evangelion, which would go against detractors saying it was intentionally changed to be "more accurate" at Khara’s request.
  93. Nevertheless, Kaworu and KawoShin have proved immensely popular. Notably, Evangelion 3.0’s inclusion of KawoShin caused its popularity to explode. Currently, KawoShin has ranked number one in polling and its pixiv tag boasts 70 million views total.
  95. Trivia
  97. *Gainax, the original animation studio that created Evangelion before the rights were won by Hideaki Anno’s Studio Khara, licensed and released a KawoShin centric manga anthology called “Summer Children”. The anthology was released in 1996.
  98. *The poster for Evangelion 3.0 features Kaworu and Shinji sitting below the summer triangle, a constellation with significant importance to the Tanabata holiday. The stars Altair and Vega represent Orihime and Hikoboshi, the star-crossed lovers prominent in the tale that Tanabata is based on. Kaworu and Shinji’s connection to Tanabata is further reinforced by merchandising.
  99. *Kotono Mitsuishi and Megumi Hayashibara, the voice actresses for Misato and Rei respectively, performed a skit where they talked about Kaworu being the Orihime to Shinji’s Hikoboshi during 1997’s The Symphony of Evangelion:
  100. **Hayashibara: As for the main character, Shinji Ikari, who would his Orihime be? Perhaps Asuka? Sounds tough...
  101. Mitsuishi: Seems like then it'll rain forever.
  102. Hayashibara: Then perhaps… Kaworu-kun?
  103. Both: Kaworu-kun… (nodding)
  104. *Yuko Miyamura, the voice actress for Asuka, has talked about her fondness for KawoShin at the Saboten 2013 convention, particularly post-Evangelion 3.0. Miyamura said she hopes for a “Kaworu and Shinji married” happy end for the Rebuild of Evangelion series.
  105. *Kunihiko Ikuhara, creator of Revolutionary Girl Utena, is rumored to be the inspiration for the character of Kaworu Nagisa. In the All About Kaworu Nagisa book, Ikuhara had this to say about Kaworu and Shinji’s relationship and the rumors:
  106. **“[Shinji is] ordered to come back by his father, he’s slapped by Ayanami, he’s called stupid by Asuka, he’s yelled at to straighten up by Misato… Shinji doesn’t receive much affirmation from others. I think, in this situation, the only one who tells him that he’s fine just the way he is is Kaworu. “You don’t have to try so hard.” [...]. Hm? Have I ever said to anyone, “you’re fine just the way you are”? Isn’t that something I’m always saying?”
  109. SOURCES:
  110. Episode 24 Draft 1: https://pastebin.com/raw/nEbAwpYG
  111. Draft 2: https://pastebin.com/raw/9c0XEnhL
  112. 3.0 Theatrical Pamphlet: https://qmisato.tumblr.com/post/112930535034
  113. NHK: https://twitter.com/morphemes/status/1261791468206854147
  114. Ogata's Interview: https://www.s-ss-s.com/c/ogatatanaka3
  115. Ogata's Tweet: https://twitter.com/Kyle_Cardine/status/1150056640214917120
  116. Ogata Clip "Ogata is talking about Cardcaptor Sakura, Sailor Moon and Eva, and how she thinks its funny they all had gay stuff in them at the same time while she was working on them": https://twitter.com/rain_nm7/status/1111167237400911872
  117. Pixiv tag numbers: https://dic.pixiv.net/a/%E3%82%AB%E3%83%B2%E3%82%B7%E3%83%B3
  118. Tanabata merch: https://twitter.com/LadyBear_info/status/1280049428271775744
  119. Symphony of Evangelion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlwTgRmcdb4
  120. Miyamura: https://evavirtualmuseum.weebly.com/blog/saboten-con-2013-day-1
  121. Ikuhara: https://evaresources.wordpress.com/staff/ikuhara-kunihiko/
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