Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby CyberXIII » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:50 pm

I do wonder this, not in a shipping or sympathetic sense but just as a statement of fact.

From day one Shinji was only present because they had a use for him. They're a military organization run by a grade-A bastard with no heart, that's how they function.

But the rest of the series is what I wonder about. Most of the adults didn't give a shit beyond his uses as EVA-01's pilot, particularly Gendo. Misato tried, but most of what she does involves sending him to his potential death in a giant war machine and using him to live out her own personal fantasies involving killing things.

Asuka beat the shit out of him on a regular basis, Kaworu was more curious than anything else, Rei, probably, but there's the whole "extension of Gendo" thing there. Yui is the other big question, because while she fights to keep him alive, at the end of the series she straight up abandons him on a dead world while she goes flying off into space.

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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby Rosenakahara » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:03 pm

It wasn't exactly Rei abandoning him, Shinji CHOSE to stay on earth as an individual, also while Misato has serious issues conveying it she did actually like Shinji and was actually terrified when she thought he had died.
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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:06 pm

View Original PostCyberXIII wrote:They're a military organization run by a grade-A bastard with no heart?

Oh, he has a heart (why else would Yui have married him?), he just doesn't like sharing it
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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby NemZ » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:07 pm

Hyperbole much?

Just about everyone cares about Shinji, they just have other priorities and very different ways of showing it. Yes, even Gendo.
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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby pwhodges » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:11 pm

Misato certainly cared, even though her official role conflicted her. Asuka, I'm not so sure. Kaworu, I think did care in the end, which is why he decided to sacrifice himself (hard though that was on Shinji). I'm not so sure that Rebuild!Kaworu truly cares, though - he goes through the motions, but they're far less convincing.

I can't accept the Gendou-apologists' claim that he cares, during the series, at any rate. Sure - he once did, but that went when Yui vanished. Yui's caring is limited to her doing her best to atone for abandoning him, while she has some means to do so; and even then, he often has to plead for her to bring herself to do it. Sure, I was kinder to her than that in my fic - but that was from Shinji's POV, not mine.
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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby CyberXIII » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:12 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:Hyperbole much?

Just about everyone cares about Shinji, they just have other priorities and very different ways of showing it. Yes, even Gendo.


If Gendo cared he wouldn't have abandoned him in the first place, or shot down every reconnection attempt, no matter how feeble.
"Crapsack worlds and anti heroes have their place. Sometimes, they are very necessary. But an endless diet of dreary cyberpunk and dark fantasy won't do us any more favors than an endless feast of glurge. I'd argue that the cynical nature of these really hurt our ability to hope and work for better. It gets us to accept the hopelessness and jaded outlook of things as 'That's the way it is. I can't change it,' and stops us from fighting when we NEED to fight."

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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby robersora » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:18 pm

The problem is not that the characters don't care about each other - they are just really bad at showing those emotions. I'd even go so far to say, that exactly because people cared about him and sacrificed themselves in the process hammered major nails into Shinji's coffin.

Fuyutsuki and Ritsuko never cared about Shinji, so there was no emotional connection to hurt him in the first place.

His father really wished for Shinji to become a strong, independent man. Unfortunately he had way too many hang-ups and thus, instead of guiding Shinji kept away from him, leading into a broken child. Quite ironic, actually.

I feel that one part of what makes Misato so compelling is exactly that dichotomy. Yes, she sent him to deadly missions to carry out her revenge. Yes, she played family life to substitute for the fact that she never had one. Does that mean she didn't care about him? No, because she did - even if she used him to a certain extend. Again, this is what makes her so rich an believable as a character, because in the end we all operate on give and take - even in human relationships.

Asuka clearly had a crush on him so she obviously cared a great deal about him, I'd go so far to say she was even a little bit infatuated with him. But her inherent inferiority complex and drive to prove herself sabotaged her interactions with Shinji greatly.

Rei obviously grew to care a lot for Shinji - so much so she even made a sharp u-turn in EoE sacrificed herself for Shinji. But her not-knowing how to deal with humans and her inability to interpret her own humanity ended up in this false act of kindness. Cause you know, laying the fate of humanity into the hands of a fragile boy instead of his cold father is not something I'd interpret as particularly kind.

Yes, Kaworu was driven out of curiosity - which ended up in self-sacrifice as a misguided act of caring.
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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby NemZ » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:49 pm

View Original PostCyberXIII wrote:If Gendo cared he wouldn't have abandoned him in the first place, or shot down every reconnection attempt, no matter how feeble.


Gendo honestly thought Shinji was better off without him though, and didn't want him involved in fighting angels in the first place. He treats him coldly on purpose to drive Shinji away for his own good.
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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby Ray » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:57 pm

Not after he went on a rampage and threatened to destroy Nerv Headquarters in a childish rage.
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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby CyberXIII » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:06 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:Not after he went on a rampage and threatened to destroy Nerv Headquarters in a childish rage.


That was Rebuild, not the original, and that happened after NERV threw one of their pilots under the bus. Anime!Shinji didn't kill anybody but Kaworu and Kaworu begged him to do so.

And honestly I'm surprised that didn't happen sooner.

As for Gendo, I will ask you to name one time Gendo ever did shit for Shinji that wasn't a half-assed emotionally manipulative gesture to keep him from leaving. Honestly you could say the same for Misato except at least she saved his life.
"Crapsack worlds and anti heroes have their place. Sometimes, they are very necessary. But an endless diet of dreary cyberpunk and dark fantasy won't do us any more favors than an endless feast of glurge. I'd argue that the cynical nature of these really hurt our ability to hope and work for better. It gets us to accept the hopelessness and jaded outlook of things as 'That's the way it is. I can't change it,' and stops us from fighting when we NEED to fight."

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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby Bagheera » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:15 pm

View Original PostCyberXIII wrote:Asuka beat the shit out of him on a regular basis,


She did nothing of the sort. Apart from some slapstick moments during the action arc she never laid hands on him (unless you count the kiss a physical assault). Meanwhile, he strangled her. Twice. So maybe get some perspective, eh?

View Original PostCyberXIII wrote:That was Rebuild, not the original,


It happened in both.
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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby Reichu » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:37 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Meanwhile, he strangled her. Twice.

Is it really "strangling" if only souls are involved...? (I mean, if that was a strangling, then, by the same logic, Shinji and Asuka actually had sex.)

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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby Rei IV » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:55 am

Misato cared.....She just had other priorities like stopping the world from being tanged. Shinji's guilt/self-loathing/hatred and personal hang ups wasn't something she could bother herself with.
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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby Bagheera » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:09 am

View Original PostRei IV wrote:Misato cared.....She just had other priorities like stopping the world from being tanged. Shinji's guilt/self-loathing/hatred and person hang ups wasn't something she could bother herself with.


It's not just that . . . she was concerned (about Shinji and Asuka, mind; she cared about them both), but she just didn't know what to do. She was not a parent, and was not equipped to deal with two traumatized child soldiers under her care, particularly when the fate of the world was literally at stake.
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Postby NemZ » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:56 am

View Original PostRay wrote:Not after he went on a rampage and threatened to destroy Nerv Headquarters in a childish rage.


Of course he did. He treats him coldly again and all but tells him to leave precisely because he thinks he doesn't need him involved anymore due to the dummy plug's success. If it had worked as he hoped Shinji would never have had to be risked in battle again, nor Rei most likely. Asuka was still screwed, but she was just cannon fodder to Gendo so no big deal either way.
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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby pwhodges » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:04 am

I don't recall anything in that scene which shows clearly that Gendou cares rather than simply wanting a useless person out of the way. I'm not sure that saying that he is disappointed counts as caring for Shinji rather than for his own expectations.
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Postby NemZ » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:11 am

While he said he was disappointed I actually think he was proud to see this willful new side of his son, finally resembling the parts of himself he likes.

I freely admit my view of Gendo is several layers of fanwank above the surface reading though.
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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby xPearse » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:51 am

View Original PostRosenakahara wrote:It wasn't exactly Rei abandoning him, Shinji CHOSE to stay on earth as an individual, also while Misato has serious issues conveying it she did actually like Shinji and was actually terrified when she thought he had died.

What about the using people for your own emotions thing? Wasn't it more just for her own personal comfort like Asuka?

View Original PostArcadia's legacy wrote:Oh, he has a heart (why else would Yui have married him?), he just doesn't like sharing it

Because she was using him. She needed a child for 3rd impact to become God and an obsessed man to get her there. They were both tools and a means to an end. Theme?
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Re: Did anybody in NERV honestly care about Shinji as a person?

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Postby Bagheera » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:35 am

View Original PostxPearse wrote:Because she was using him. She needed a child for 3rd impact to become God and an obsessed man to get her there. They were both tools and a means to an end. Theme?


Probably not. Shinji was conceived prior to 2I and the advent of the Evangelion project, and possibly prior to the discovery of Lilith. No matter how long-term Yui's plan was it couldn't have included elements that were complete unknowns at the time.
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Postby AuraTwilight » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:48 pm

Shinji was probably the most loved and cared for person in all of NERV, to be entirely honest.

It's just that people aren't perfect and all relationships cause pain.
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