[SPLIT] Like Father, Like Son.

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[SPLIT] Like Father, Like Son.

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Postby Sachi » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:23 pm

SPLIT from my analysis of the Sandbox scene.. This thread is dedicated to the similarities between Gendo and Shinji in how they treat and use those around them for their own gains.

Everything is good in moderation. It's important to be able to accept love from anyone, but I think the point here being made with Shinji is that he can't operate as a person because he downright needs affection, but does not have the tools to actually create a social environment which generates that affection. It's become unhealthy for him.
Last edited by Sachi on Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Alaska Slim » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:42 pm

View Original PostMonk Ed wrote:Shouldn't the ability to accept love and compassion and help from anyone be a strength, not a flaw?

Only if it's give & take, not just take, take & take.

Shinji expects, unconsciously, to be given love & compassion without truly giving anything back. It's not that he doesn't realize other people matter, it's that he doesn't feel capable of complimenting others, so he seeks seculsion, while sustaining on the least amount of *positive* attention that others will give him for nothing in return.

If emotional support was financial aid, Shinji would have the ire of conservaives as a ne' er do well who supports himself on the teat of the Government.
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Postby Chuckman » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:45 am

View Original PostWarren Peace wrote:He already supports himself on the teat of the Government!


Hey now, we've no evidence that the pilots actually get paid. Asuka could have bought all that junk with her family's money.

More to the point, Asuka's criticisms of Shinji during instrumentality are entirely justified. He isn't really interested in understanding or helping her at all. He wants to use her as an emotional as well as physical masturbation tool.
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Postby bobbyfischer's ghost » Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:48 am

View Original PostChuckman wrote:Hey now, we've no evidence that the pilots actually get paid. Asuka could have bought all that junk with her family's money.

More to the point, Asuka's criticisms of Shinji during instrumentality are entirely justified. He isn't really interested in understanding or helping her at all. He wants to use her as an emotional as well as physical masturbation tool.

What more could you expect from Shinji, he really doesn't have the best example."Gendo cough,cough,".
Because of that, I have no problem with Asuka being Shinji's final judge.
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Postby Chuckman » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:06 pm

View Original Postbobbyfischer's ghost wrote:What more could you expect from Shinji, he really doesn't have the best example."Gendo cough,cough,".
Because of that, I have no problem with Asuka being Shinji's final judge.


You could easily argue that Gendo uses women the same way that Shinji (perhaps unknowingly) tries and fails to because he's a wimply little screwup.
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Postby liquidus118 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:40 am

View Original PostSachi wrote:When it comes to the dolls, it's important to note what Asuka says to Shinji later during Instrumentality in response to his begging for help. Something along the lines of, "you don't care who it is; anybody will do." These dolls may represent a means to an end for Shinji in his quest for love and acknowledgement; he doesn't care so much for the person, the human providing it, so long as they're providing it. They're dolls to Shinji. This is an interesting perspective which sets him remarkably closer to Gendo than I previously interpreted. It shows how incapable of love he is, and why no true shipping would with his character.

And all of a sudden, I once again feel like I'm that much more like Shinji.
I just thought about the doll quote from Asuka's adopted Mother, about God and dolls. Reckon it has any significance? Shinji being the God of his world or something.


Also: great analysis. I thought something similar, but this is much more comprehensive and better thought out.

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Postby AshPhoenix » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:10 pm

Hearing things about the dolls also made me think of Rei's line about how she isn't a doll to Gendo. When Sachi said "they're dolls to Shinji", I felt that Shinji's feelings (at least towards Rei) may have paralleled Gendo's in that aspect.
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Postby SEELE-01 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:37 am

View Original PostChuckman wrote:You could easily argue that Gendo uses women the same way that Shinji (perhaps unknowingly) tries and fails to because he's a wimply little screwup.


Perhaps, but for diferent objectives, Gendo used Ritsuko and Naoko for his own purposes... Shinji used Misato, Asuka and Rei mostly to try to justify his piloting of the Eva in other way than to have his father's aproval...
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Postby Sachi » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:52 pm

View Original Postarael wrote:Perhaps, but for diferent objectives, Gendo used Ritsuko and Naoko for his own purposes... Shinji used Misato, Asuka and Rei mostly to try to justify his piloting of the Eva in other way than to have his father's aproval...

The ends don't matter so much, but the means do. Everybody has different goals. The point is the way they so similarly treat others for their own purposes. It's very interesting because Shinji hates his father for the way he was used by him, but Shinji does that exact same thing with others. We can split this into another thread if people want to discuss more of this aspect of Shinji and Gendo's relationship.
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Postby SEELE-01 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:00 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:The ends don't matter so much, but the means do.

Aaaaand Machiavelli wriggles in his grave...

In any case, wan't Shinji being a tool to practically everyone in NERV?
We can't blame him for trying to... :headscratch:
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Postby Sachi » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:07 pm

View Original Postarael wrote:In any case, wan't Shinji being a tool to practically everyone in NERV?

More specifically by Gendo and Misato.

To re-clarify my argument, as it may have been lost in the split: Shinji is incapable of forming any true bonds with people because of his crippled social skills. He's very take, take, take, with no giving back to those around him. As it was lectured to him by Asuka during Instrumentality, he doesn't care who it is that loves or gives him attention, anybody will do, and he expects love from others, regardless of the lack of love he puts out. When his options soon dwindle away, he focuses his attention to only available person left: Asuka, not because he cares about her, but because she's a means to his end. This is similar to how Gendo uses others for his personal goals; he doesn't care so much for the person, but more for their worth to him. And like with Naoko, Ritsuko, and even Shinji, once their usefulness has reached its end he considers them worthless.

The difference between Gendo and Shinji is that Gendo has found somebody he truly cares about, Yui. However, because of that love, everything he does is for Yui, and others become tools to help him reunite with her. Shinji is looking for somebody that'll love him, but he disregards the idea that he needs to love himself first.
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Postby Bagheera » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:29 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:To re-clarify my argument, as it may have been lost in the split: Shinji is incapable of forming any true bonds with people because of his crippled social skills. He's very take, take, take, with no giving back to those around him.


I think you're massively overselling this. It's clear he gave quite a bit to Rei; apart from the first six episodes we also see him talking to her quite amicably even during the descent arc. Also, he give a lot to Misato and Asuka in the form of actually doing things for them, trying to be helpful as best he can. Shinji's problem isn't that he's some kind of leech, as you're making him out to be here; it's that his opinion of himself is so low that he can't conceive of actually being able to give anything to anyone in an interpersonal relationship, so he tries to avoid causing trouble and be useful in other ways. That's his "way" as it were.

Essentially, Shinji's not sophisticated enough to be the "take, take, take" sort you describe here. His behavior is that of an unwanted child, not a passive-aggressive man.

As it was lectured to him by Asuka during Instrumentality, he doesn't care who it is that loves or gives him attention, anybody will do, and he expects love from others, regardless of the lack of love he puts out. When his options soon dwindle away, he focuses his attention to only available person left: Asuka, not because he cares about her, but because she's a means to his end.


Asuka isn't wrong here, but you're oversimplifying. Remember his mental state at the time: it's less that he doesn't care about her (he does -- there are many subtle cues in both 24 and Air that demonstrate this) and more that that sentiment is wholly secondary to the desperation he now feels. It's the fact that he cares about Asuka (though perhaps not in the way she might like) that leads him to think she might be able and willing to help him when Misato and Rei are no longer options (even though they too were present in P3II).

This is similar to how Gendo uses others for his personal goals; he doesn't care so much for the person, but more for their worth to him. And like with Naoko, Ritsuko, and even Shinji, once their usefulness has reached its end he considers them worthless.


I don't thnik it's similar at all. Gendo is fully aware of what he is doing, and has justified it in his mind. Shinji is a stupid teenager who's been traumatized by aliens and the betrayals of adults. Their motivations and the actions that go along with could not be more different.

Shinji is looking for somebody that'll love him, but he disregards the idea that he needs to love himself first.


He doesn't disregard it. You have to understand something before you can disregard it. But Shinji can't even begin to comprehend why something like that would be important; he's so stunted emotionally that the very concept is beyond him.
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Postby Sachi » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:18 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:I think you're massively overselling this.

Yes.

It's clear he gave quite a bit to Rei; apart from the first six episodes we also see him talking to her quite amicably even during the descent arc. Also, he give a lot to Misato and Asuka in the form of actually doing things for them, trying to be helpful as best he can. Shinji's problem isn't that he's some kind of leech, as you're making him out to be here; it's that his opinion of himself is so low that he can't conceive of actually being able to give anything to anyone in an interpersonal relationship, so he tries to avoid causing trouble and be useful in other ways. That's his "way" as it were.

I admit to simplifying his character in the way I structured my point, but it's mostly to focus the discussion, not to belittle the complexity of his character and relationships. Yes, he did try to care, and even managed to succeed during moments of passion (episode 06 with Rei, for example).

Essentially, Shinji's not sophisticated enough to be the "take, take, take" sort you describe here. His behavior is that of an unwanted child, not a passive-aggressive man.

I think the main miscommunication I made was with my failure to emphasize that it's not a conscious behavior to use people the way he does. There's not much you're saying that I truly disagree with, but simply that I'm poor at delivering a message unless I take the time to write an essay covering all my points, which I'm not about to do. Fundamentally, Shinji expects love from others, and values it as a key to his happiness. However, since he cannot love himself he fails at making strong emotional bonds with others, so he thus cannot receive love. Therefore he cannot be happy, and his depression grows worse. Eventually it gets to the point where he becomes desperate, and reaches out for anybody, not caring who it is.

If he were more stable, yet still as lonely, the idea of him becoming manipulative like Gendo is not far-fetched. The seeds are there, as we can see in EoE, Like you've been pointing out, he's still just a child; put a few years on him, and if he hasn't made progress on fixing himself, he may very well adapt to his handicap and do as Gendo did.
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Postby SEELE-01 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:28 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:I think you're massively overselling this. It's clear he gave quite a bit to Rei

At first I he wanted to spend time with the one he knew spend quite some time with his father (something he asked Kaji as far as episode 17)...
After episode 6 he may have been deliverately trying to start a genuine interpersonal relationship with her...
I think that even he knew that she was a "safe start" into he emotions bussiness...

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Also, he give a lot to Misato and Asuka in the form of actually doing things for them, trying to be helpful as best he can.

But he wasn't doing it for they... He was doing it for himself, to feel OK, to be apraised for being nice... He let himself be used for Misato's ends and as a doormat for Asuka in hope that they would actually like him...

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Essentially, Shinji's not sophisticated enough to be the "take, take, take" sort you describe here. His behavior is that of an unwanted child, not a passive-aggressive man.

That's a point, though... Unwanted or ignored children tend to try to gatter atention in many ways, usually more bad behaivor (like substance abuse, criminality) or aproval of those who ignore him, like Shinji's case....

View Original PostBagheera wrote:He doesn't disregard it. You have to understand something before you can disregard it. But Shinji can't even begin to comprehend why something like that would be important; he's so stunted emotionally that the very concept is beyond him.

He undestands betrayal... And practically every other negative emotion towards him, he is uncapable of seeing the good in anything, as we see in Leilel's mindfuck when he is traped in the Sea of Dirac...
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Postby Bagheera » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:37 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:I think the main miscommunication I made was with my failure to emphasize that it's not a conscious behavior to use people the way he does. There's not much you're saying that I truly disagree with, but simply that I'm poor at delivering a message unless I take the time to write an essay covering all my points, which I'm not about to do. Fundamentally, Shinji expects love from others, and values it as a key to his happiness. However, since he cannot love himself he fails at making strong emotional bonds with others, so he thus cannot receive love. Therefore he cannot be happy, and his depression grows worse. Eventually it gets to the point where he becomes desperate, and reaches out for anybody, not caring who it is.


I'm not sure I buy that, though. He seemed to be doing a marvelous job of things in the Action Arc, for instance. He made legitimate friends, reached out to Rei, got the mother/son (or brother/sister) thing going with Misato, and even kinda-sorta tapdanced around the notion of maybe someday starting something with Asuka. If not for Eva relentlessly kicking him in the teeth like a jackhammer I think he'd prove to be quite capable of receiving love, and that validation would lead to him loving himself in turn. The roots were there. All he needed was a bit of a positive feedback cycle to make them grow and he would have been fine.

Essentially, Shinji is judging himself for his failure to do the right thing (or for actually doing the right thing, as the case may be) in situations for which he is ill-prepared and completely untrained. But that's unrealistic! He shouldn't have to pilot a giant robot animated by the soul of his mother that does terrible things to the people he cares about every time it activates. He shouldn't have to deal with a traumatized roommate who's jerked around by her superiors, mentally contaminated by space aliens, and dismembered by giant [s]robots[/s] artificial humans. He shouldn't have to kill the only person who cares about him for the sake of humanity. He shouldn't have to deal with a father who's so far off the deep end that he doesn't even know how to deal with his own son (to the point where he's actually afraid of him!). These situations are ridiculously absurd, and even a healthy child would crumble when faced with them. Shinji never stood a chance.

If he were more stable, yet still as lonely, the idea of him becoming manipulative like Gendo is not far-fetched. The seeds are there, as we can see in EoE, Like you've been pointing out, he's still just a child; put a few years on him, and if he hasn't made progress on fixing himself, he may very well adapt to his handicap and do as Gendo did.


No, I can't agree. Gendo never went through a shred of what Shinji did. If you put a few years on Shinji he'll either recover (if he has support) or die. There is no middle ground. There is no "adapting". He just doesn't have anything left after EoE.

Pre-Descent Arc, I could see it. I think it would work particularly well if he made connections and they were taken away. But after? Nope. Too far 'round the bend to find a stable middle ground. Live well or die young, those are his options.

View Original Postarael wrote:But he wasn't doing it for they... He was doing it for himself, to feel OK, to be apraised for being nice... He let himself be used for Misato's ends and as a doormat for Asuka in hope that they would actually like him...


No, it wasn't that premeditated. No action is fully altruistic -- there's something selfish to be found in everything we do for others. That doesn't mean, though, that he didn't like seeing them happy. It certainly doesn't mean Shinji was mired in his pathology to the extent people are suggesting here.
Last edited by Bagheera on Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby symbv » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:42 pm

I do not see any take/take/take in Shinji at least until the end part of the series. If it had not been his repeated trial and ordeal that he was made to go through, I think he would do fine as a young man -- he may be quiet but it does not prevent him from making friends in school; he grows up without mother and father but he seems to be able to handle himself just fine. I believe he cares about both Misato and Asuka sincerely if not outspokenly, so that "Shinji uses them" does not really make sense, at least not until the downward spiraling started in full force.
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Postby xanderkh » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:41 am

View Original Postsymbv wrote:I do not see any take/take/take in Shinji at least until the end part of the series. If it had not been his repeated trial and ordeal that he was made to go through, I think he would do fine as a young man -- he may be quiet but it does not prevent him from making friends in school; he grows up without mother and father but he seems to be able to handle himself just fine. I believe he cares about both Misato and Asuka sincerely if not outspokenly, so that "Shinji uses them" does not really make sense, at least not until the downward spiraling started in full force.


I completely agree. I didn't see that side of Shinji until the later part of the descent arc, and no "normal" human being could've handled it as it appeared. Normal children would've easily snapped way earlier. Just like Shinji, whose so socially and emotional wrecked that he can't see the Good in the situations that are presented, I think that we're becoming so enamored in his failures in the descent arc that we ourselves have begun to fail to see the Good in him as well.

Although he was a little hesitant at first, I truly believe that Shinji did have genuine affection for his friends and surrogate family. So what if he had some tiny innate selfishness when he worked? We all have these feelings when we help others because we have an innate desire to seek approval and fuel our ego, we're only human. But I honestly do not believe that Shinji was being manipulative as Gendo was, I think he worked out of genuine compassion. If the descent arc didn't happen, I believe Shinji would've turned out alright. :)
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Postby NemZ » Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:03 am

In a way you're right... both are really incredibly self-centered. They are also both sort of darkly idealistic, if that makes any sense. They place demands on others and reality as a whole that inevitably fall through, cope by shutting themselves off, and completely disregard the needs of others when they get in the way of what they want, either through thoughtlessness or intentional devaluation.
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Postby Bagheera » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:20 am

View Original PostNemZ wrote:In a way you're right... both are really incredibly self-centered. They are also both sort of darkly idealistic, if that makes any sense. They place demands on others and reality as a whole that inevitably fall through, cope by shutting themselves off, and completely disregard the needs of others when they get in the way of what they want, either through thoughtlessness or intentional devaluation.


Though by that metric I think Asuka has as much in common with Gendo as Shinji does.

Of course I've always said Shinji and Asuka are essentially the same, so I guess that makes sense.
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Postby Azathoth » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:01 am

Asuka probably has more in common with Gendou than Shinji does, actually.
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