Asuka -- Tiphereth, the Capital "I"
Essay by Stephen Chung
Life is never dull around Souryou Asuka Langley (what a mouthful), the impersonation of Tipereth, the emptiness with no being but at the same time underlying all beings. One does not need to elaborate on the personality of Asuka, for doing so will be unnecessary -- she certainly made her personality clear enough for all to see. Furthermore, with an in-your-face attitude, she actually imposed her personality and view of life over all others around her.
Many people like Asuka for her exceptionally colorful character, inner strength, and willingness to speak-up and act independently. Her devotion to the Great Works (virtule of Tipereth) was evident -- "They [the Angles] attacked us, so they are our enemies. QED." However, it was her acting independent that caused her downfall in the very end of the TV episodes. She never had a single moment of doubt about who she was -- a genius, the greatest EVA pilot in the world.
Such false identity is the illusion of Tipereth that Asuka lived under. Because of this, she has plenty of Tipereth's vice to supply -- pride. It was pride that caused her downfall, but it was the qlippah of Tipereth, hollowness, that caused her ultimate destruction.
Inside Asuka's heart, covered and hidden by her brash and colorful attitude, was a hollowness similar to Shinji's and Rei's. This hollowness showed through early when she would kiss "just to kill time." Later she would start feeling troubled and disturbed when she did not have the full range of events happening around her to fill up her senses.
In the end, when the sugar coating of pride and identification was taken away (in the show's case, failure at battle), she found herself confronting this sinking hole of hollowness and started on the journey towards destruction: "Synchronization rate zero... Disqualified as an EVA pilot... I have no more reason to exist." Hollowness would later engulf her and bring her into a state of coma.
Not surprisingly, the obligation of Tipereth is integrity, which Asuka lacks due to her quick-fire temper and willingness to impose upon others. The command of Tipereth is dare, which actually personifies Asuka.
Ultimately, Asuka would fail to achieve Tipereth's vision: that of living in harmony, with others, with the world and with her own heart.
Would all of us self-confident, self-knowing humans be destined to follow Asuka's footsteps?