Both are extremely afraid of being hurt. Both are unsuitable – lacking the positive attitude for what people call heroes of an adventure. But in any case, [Misato and Shinji] are the heroes of this story. - Hideaki Anno, What Were We Trying To Make Here? (July 17, 1995)
when i see people talk about the last scene in episode 24, i see them filter their sympathies and analyses exclusively through shinji’s perspective. this is understandable to a certain degree, but in a way it flattens and dilutes the whole constellation of themes and symbolism that are finally being realized in the last “real” moment in the entire show. this scene is about shinji and misato – the two protagonists of the show – as they have one of their more subtly powerful exchanges before everything goes to shit.
plus, a lot of people just generally don’t know why misato says what she says and what it means for her character. here’s a small attempt at explaining her side of the conversation.
discussions of self-alienating love, suicidal idealization, becker, feuerbach, and various other sort of-epistemic revelations under the cut.