Is Shinji evil?

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition").
The third installment debuted in Japan on November 17, 2012.

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Postby NemZ » Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:11 pm

I don't get your point, bags. explain the thought process you think is happening here.

And what the hell does this have to do with Shinji being evil?
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Postby Bagheera » Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:17 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:I don't get your point, bags. explain the thought process you think is happening here.


If you're an adult man and you're staring down a child you have some pretty serious issues.

And what the hell does this have to do with Shinji being evil?


How can a child be evil when he doesn't even know what's going on?
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Postby pwhodges » Sun Oct 04, 2015 2:02 am

View Original PostBagheera wrote:If you're an adult man and you're staring down a child you have some pretty serious issues.

In general, yes; but there are times when trying to find an effective way to discipline your own kid - specifically if they are (or you think they are) trying to do the same to you in defiance. Doesn't make either of them evil on that account, though.
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Postby Bagheera » Sun Oct 04, 2015 2:23 am

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:In general, yes; but there are times when trying to find an effective way to discipline your own kid - specifically if they are (or you think they are) trying to do the same to you in defiance. Doesn't make either of them evil on that account, though.


Is that what was going on there, though? I don't think Shinji was being defiant, there; I think just was just trying to figure out what to say or do. And Gendo . . . well.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
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People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
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Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby pwhodges » Sun Oct 04, 2015 2:26 am

He's not seeing Shinji right - so, bad parenting (or something in Japanese parent/child dynamics that I don't know enough of to get). Basically, he doesn't know how to behave at that moment and so gets it wrong.
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Postby NemZ » Sun Oct 04, 2015 2:29 am

Depends on the kid, and what that kid is doing, and what you're doing.

For all you know Gendo was whiteknuckle clenching back an apocalyptic ass blast and was not about to let anyone on that elevator with him until he could 'poot and scoot' on an empty floor... the perfect crime. Intimidating Shinji out of attempting to enter the elevator in that case was an act of secret mercy.

...but seriously though guys, more Shinji, less Gendo.
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Postby Lennik » Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:06 pm

Seriously, though, you cannot judge Shinji as evil if he has no clue what the consequences of his actions are. We're talking about a kid who is kept in the dark very deliberately. All the damage he causes is unintentional.

If you were to jump in front of traffic to push a kid out of the way of a moving truck, but the chaos that ensues causes a thirteen-car pileup that hurts or kills several drivers, is that evil? Of course not. We can't judge evil on consequences alone. Intent has to be a significant factor, and in Shinji's case the intent is mostly heroic.

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Postby Ray » Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:28 pm

Well that wouldn't stop the families of the thirteen people who got hurt or died in the pile up from suing your butt into debtors prison out of spite. and I doubt anything can stop the many MANY people who suffered because of Shinjis actions from trying to get payback.

Lennik: "What should I have done? Let the kid die?"

Grieving Mother: "If you had, my kid wouldn't have had to die! Fourteen people are dead because you had to be a hero!"

Or in Shinjis case.

Shinji: "What should I have done? Accept I'm irredeemable? That I killed all those people? That no one will ever really care ever again? That Misato-San will never forgive me?"

Asuka: "You crippled our two Eva units, nearly killed all humanity . . .
again, and gave your father what he needs to win this war. You tell me, you spoiled brat."

Is he evil? Not really. But he's on a world of people who see him as such for his benign intent.
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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:45 am

View Original PostRay wrote:Is he evil? Not really. But he's on a world of people who see him as such for his benign intent.


Do we know that for sure though? all we have to go on is what Kaworu told Shinji, and i don't think he's the most reliable source for information
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Postby xanderkh » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:47 am

^

Ray, you're basically putting any situation where Shinji tries to do good as a Kobyashi Maru scenario, where there is NO way for ANYBODY to win, if HE is alive. Is that how you really think Shinji's existence is at this point? That he was better off never existing at all?

And in regards to the pile-up crash, would you rather suffer the guilt of inaction or face the consequences of your actions, KNOWING that you tried to save a life? People are a LOT more forgiving that you think Ray, not out to capitalize on every failure you do despite all the good try to do.

In fact, I think you need to read a GOOD example of this type of scenario, where Shinji in a fic, tries to save a little girl in the middle of a battle, almost abandoning his team, and even FAILS to rescue her.

But you know what? Shinji is actually thanked by the family of the girl in the fic for going out of his way and risking his life to TRY to save one little girl. See where I'm getting at here Ray?

Check it out, it's called Chasing the Wind and it's a very well done fic in my book. :)

So, instead of blocking out any form of redemption for Shinji because he "committed the ultimate sin", try to think WHY humanity could forgive him and how he can redeem himself?
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Postby pwhodges » Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:59 am

View Original PostRay wrote:Is he evil? Not really. But he's on a world of people who see him as such for his benign intent.

No, he is not. The world of Evangelion is not a real world, even within the show itself. That's not to say it's purely imaginary, but to point out that it is a metaphor for Shinji's (and Asuka's, and Misato's) hangups about their relationship with the world.

The world we see in the show or in the films is the world which their minds have enabled us to be aware of, and everything about it is coloured by the fact that we see it through them. This is brought to its peak in 3.33 Q in which Shinji is only aware of how badly he perceives the world seeing him, and so essentially nothing outside that obsession of his even exists. But Shinji has not destroyed the world - he has blocked it out (for us as well as himself) through his presumption of unworthiness.

In the last film, he will be led to realise that the world is not simply what's in his mind, but is a real place in which he can succeed or fail for himself - just as was shown us in both EoTV and EoE.
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Postby Ispellnogood » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:00 am

Watch it with the omnislashing. -NemZ

If you're fighting for the survival of humanity you are probably not evil.


EoE-Shinji really is the only one out of the three Shinji's that may be able to be called evil.
There is the obvious stuff and the whole "having a breakdown and lashing out at the world" thing.

Rebuild-Shinji's portrayal and all the bad stuff people say about him, doesn't make him evil, it does make him negative. Whatever you might think about Rebuild-Shinji's actions may not matter, whatever Rebuild-Shinji did certainly seems like it's enough for Anno/Evangelion to condemn him with.

I don't think any of the three Shinji's are evil, but they're definitely all negative.


You're suggesting Anno wrote Shinji to have his epiphany for no reason?


I'm suggesting that Anno wrote the three Shinji's as negative, because he sees Shinji as negative and wants him to be seen as such.


Now it seems like you're suggesting Anno cares so much about fan opinions that he decided to make a whole new series of movies just to paint Shinji as a bad guy.


There's a difference between "listening to" and "caring about" fan opinions. If Anno was listening to fan opinions then Gendo would have a more wretched portrayal and Shinji's would have a more awesome and positive one. I do think he cares about how people see the characters, and people seeing Shinji as negative seems like it's important to him.

Q was a whole movie about Shinji being blamed for third impact, it definitely has the potential to make people look back on EoE and wonder just how blameless is Shinji.


EoTV never once portrays Gendo as the failed father too scared to become close with his son; he remains the cold, unflinching authority figure that even ends up being somewhat of the hero in the end.


Exactly. My impression of Gendo in the series is that his indifferent attitude toward Shinji is due to Shinji always running away, when he doesn't run away he praises him.

We hate Gendo for all that cold, asshole stuff, but the show and the characters don't rebuke him for it. Really the one it rebukes is Shinji, when he's absorbed in the eva Shinji himself realises "I'm the one who ran away".

Gendo starting instrumentality in EoTV really can be seen as a good thing, given that Shinji is still running away and all the other character breakdowns and misery. It probably was meant to be seen as a good thing, most probably take as a reason to see Gendo as a villan though.




Whether or not we'll see the sympathetic Gendo we met in EoE is yet to be seen, but as of now we cannot make any assumptions as it could go either way.

I see more then just a sympathetic Gendo in EoE.
When I look at EoE-Gendo's talk with Seele and his actions during the attack, I see a portrayal of a tragic hero, trying to fight the good fight for humanity against Seele, but failing and being forced to attempt to start his version of instrumentality. When I compare EoE-Gendo with EoE-Shinji's portrayal, it just pisses me off. If Rebuild-Gendo's end is anything like EoE-Gendo's or even EoTV-Gendo who doesn't have an end or rebuke of any kind, I'm going to be pissed.


Shinji's balls are made of solid brass, and have been ever since he got into the fucking robot.


I like Shinji, so I like positive lines similar to that used when describing him.
But lets face it, testicular fortitude is not something most would think of when pondering Shinji's portrayal in evangelion.

Just to kill the set up for the Shinjihating Zinger. "Shinji's balls are brass, he was born without them and had to have artificial ones given to him". There it's over with.



How can a child be evil when he doesn't even know what's going on?


I agree. But at the same time you've also stated one of the many, many reasons Shinji's portrayal is negative.

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Postby Logoguy » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:11 am

Is Shinji evil? No.

However, while he didn't cause Third Impact deliberately or even knowingly, after being shown the destruction caused by him, he wasn't having a bar of it; basically in denial of any wrongdoing. And really, he wasn't doing anyone any favours by going to retrieve those spears; especially after continual protestations by those around him.

People become evil when they commit atrocities and afflictions which far exceed any justification—repeatedly—and without remorse, just to accentuate their point. The difference between those types of people and Shinji, is one of intent.

Now, am I saying that Shinji is comparable to some of the most diabolical, evil, totalatarian dictators of the 20th century? No. But he is blasé and otherwise apethetic about the situation at hand, and really only cares about himself at this point. (And justifiably so).
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Postby Lennik » Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:28 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:Well that wouldn't stop the families of the thirteen people who got hurt or died in the pile up from suing your butt into debtors prison out of spite. and I doubt anything can stop the many MANY people who suffered because of Shinjis actions from trying to get payback.

Lennik: "What should I have done? Let the kid die?"

Grieving Mother: "If you had, my kid wouldn't have had to die! Fourteen people are dead because you had to be a hero!"


Yeah, there is no way that would be the general public consensus, and if you think it would be, that's an extremely dark and unrealistically cynical perception of the world.

View Original PostRay wrote:Is he evil? Not really. But he's on a world of people who see him as such for his benign intent.


Absolutely nothing in the movie suggests that this is the case. We don't even know exactly what he's responsible for, and we also don't know if anyone outside of WILLE or NERV even know that he's responsible for it.

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Postby Bagheera » Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:45 pm

View Original PostLennik wrote:Absolutely nothing in the movie suggests that this is the case. We don't even know exactly what he's responsible for, and we also don't know if anyone outside of WILLE or NERV even know that he's responsible for it.


That last part's really important. Who actually knows what Shinji did or didn't do? Practically no one. In fact, I can narrow it down to three people: Misato, Ritsuko, and Maya. That's it. Those are the only people who were there. Hell, even Asuka and Mari weren't there. Now, it's possible the crew of the Wunder (or at least the senior command staff) know what happened, but the rest of the world? No way. That's not how these things work. The "general public consensus" would be that Nerv fucked up, and that the world is screwed as a result. That's as far as it would go.
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I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby BlueBasilisk » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:20 pm

^Even if Shinji did take the blame, most people have zero idea who he is. Even Asuka didn't realize who he was when they met the first time.

What would the official cover story even be in a situation like this? Shinji's name probably wouldn't be used, but I could see Seele dumping the blame on a malfunction in Unit 01 as a pretext to get rid of it.

How much of the Wille crew's apprehension toward him is from whatever he did in the past, and how much of it stems from the fact that they had just recovered a highly dangerous awakened Evangelion from space, and suddenly it pops out a kid on their doorstep? After seeing the mess in Tokyo-3, I'd be leery of anything that came out of that Eva.
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Postby Ispellnogood » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:39 am

Absolutely nothing in the movie suggests that this is the case. We don't even know exactly what he's responsible for, and we also don't know if anyone outside of WILLE or NERV even know that he's responsible for it.


The audience knows and really that's all that matters. Unless there's something in final that clearly absolves Shinji of his resposibility for NTI, then he will still have the stain. Even if he redeems himself in final by doing something awesome and makes up with everybody he's still going to have it on his hands in the eyes of the audience.

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Postby pwhodges » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:51 am

Even though we know Unit-01 and maybe Shinji was material in the triggering of N3I, we don't know how great or widespread the effect of N3I actually was (remember, those watching it from near the epicentre survived), and we also don't know how the actual 3I was triggered or even whether Unit-01 + Shinji was on Earth or in orbit at the time.
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Postby Bagheera » Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:01 am

View Original PostIspellnogood wrote:The audience knows and really that's all that matters.


Wait, what do we know? Last I checked all we know is that N3I was stopped and that Kaworu is a lying liar who lies. Past that we know nothing (Jon Snow).
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:17 am

I wouldn't say he's a liar, but he was definetly witholding a lot of information from Shinji
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