How To Characterize Shinji As An Adult?

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Re: How To Characterize Shinji As An Adult?

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Postby xfs » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:01 am

My two cents
View Original PostRay wrote:"Who would want to sleep with someone as f*cked up as me?"
But am I going too far?

This is a valid scenario but you're probably going too far on the path of self-deprecation if you make it all of the in-universe reality.

That question is his own self-evaluation. People will not see through his everything. Realistically speaking he will have good qualities and all the problems and trauma he's having now is just one aspect of his personality that may or may not be revealed to other people. Without complete information people project imagination onto appearance all the time.
Who would want to get close enough to someone as f*cked up, physically and mentally as Shinji Ikari to be intimate with him?
I don't think it's impossible to design such plot but the tone that everyone hates him you've been setting up makes it difficult as if you almost do not want to make this happen.
Would he even be interested in sex at all given everything he's been through?
His depression would kill his sexual drive though so this would be problematic. At least he would be passive in such things.
Would he just see himself as unworthy of having a relationship with anyone, since he could never be completely honest with them out of fear of them turning their backs on him?
In my impression honesty is one of his traits. Being intentionally dishonest would be somewhat out of character even given his conditions.
Would girls (or guys, he did have interest in Kaworu just sayin) just think he has too much baggage and bad attitude to be worth the trouble? What if one of them found out the truth? That he IS Impact boy Ikari?
People see things differently and care about things differently. There are definitely more optimistic or accepting people that can do good by him. If everything happens exactly according to the assumptions in the questions then you are really making everyone hate him uncharacteristically which is something you hate to have seen in Q in the first place.
and I'll have some free time before Christmas to write
Take your time.

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Re: How To Characterize Shinji As An Adult?

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Postby pwhodges » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:53 am

View Original PostRay wrote:Then another thought came to me that had some validity. Who would want to get close enough to someone as f*cked up, physically and mentally as Shinji Ikari to be intimate with him?

Someone who understands that no one is as completely one-dimensional as that, and is able to see through to the good qualities he still has hidden away. IOW, more people than you seem to think.
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Re: How To Characterize Shinji As An Adult?

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Postby Lennik » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:06 pm

I think it's also helpful to point out that many, many, many people are attracted to troubled, brooding loners with dark pasts, so even given what's happened to Shinji, it should be super easy for you to get away with portraying him as being popular with the opposite sex. The fact that Shinji's not at all a bad-looking young man should do him favors as well in that department. If you want to portray his difficulty with that situation, I would suggest simply having him turn down their advances because of his depression. But especially in fictionland, romantic attention from others is not something he should be lacking. He can even play musical instruments with a lot of skill. The kid ticks off virtually all of the boxes for "troubled but cute pretty boy."

In regard to the Columbine shooter thing, I also think it's important to remember that very few people can be nihilistic and depressed every minute of every day. In order to avoid making him excessively pessimistic and dangerously insane, a few simple moments of him relaxing and being at peace, if only for a short while by playing the piano, cooking, gardening with Kaji, or enjoying nature or stargazing (as he's shown to enjoy in 3.0) would go a long way in reminding us that he's still human. Shinji is extremely resilient. If we're going to root for him, there has to be something that makes him smile, even if it's fleeting, and he should be shown experiencing that every once in a while. It's impossible to identify with a protagonist who's completely devoid of hope.

Shinji has a lot of good qualities, even for all his faults, and having those good qualities on display once in a while would also mitigate some people's suspicions and distrust of him. Younger children especially. Maybe he saves a kid from a burning building, or something. I'm partially joking, but you get the idea.

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Re: How To Characterize Shinji As An Adult?

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Postby Director Black » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:29 pm

I've always believed that the EoEoE - however cynical it may be/seem - always showed hope for the future. In addition to the millions of souls possibly coming (If they want to, of course), we Asuka showing a rare moment of sympathy by stroking Shinji's cheek. True she does utter her...infamous response, but if there's any proof that Shinji will survive after all he's been through, it's the official poster where the two are looking at Rei's disembodied head.

Though we can't see their faces, I've sensed two teenagers who have been through hell and back in so many different ways looking at the new world, and thinking what's to come. It's true that Shinji may never fully get over his experiences, but if he continues to take his mothers advice that 'Anywhere can be paradise as long as you have the will to live', then he's got a good life ahead of him with Asuka.
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Re: How To Characterize Shinji As An Adult?

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Postby Ray » Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:44 pm

View Original PostLennik wrote:I think it's also helpful to point out that many, many, many people are attracted to troubled, brooding loners with dark pasts, so even given what's happened to Shinji, it should be super easy for you to get away with portraying him as being popular with the opposite sex.


IKR? Look at how popular Sosuke is!
:bigeyes:

The fact that Shinji's not at all a bad-looking young man should do him favors as well in that department. If you want to portray his difficulty with that situation, I would suggest simply having him turn down their advances because of his depression. But especially in fictionland, romantic attention from others is not something he should be lacking. He can even play musical instruments with a lot of skill. The kid ticks off virtually all of the boxes for "troubled but cute pretty boy."


I actually had something in plan to that regard. There are these people who don't know who he really is. So some of them would be attracted to him at first. . . then Shinji would have the breakdown that makes people think twice about pursuing him.

In regard to the Columbine shooter thing, I also think it's important to remember that very few people can be nihilistic and depressed every minute of every day.


I understand that, I really, REALLY do! But very few people are guilty of literally ALMOST CAUSING HUMAN EXTINCTION. If I did that, I guarantee you I'd be nihilistic and depressed every minute of every day for the rest of my life.

In order to avoid making him excessively pessimistic and dangerously insane, a few simple moments of him relaxing and being at peace, if only for a short while by playing the piano, cooking, gardening with Kaji, or enjoying nature or stargazing (as he's shown to enjoy in 3.0) would go a long way in reminding us that he's still human. Shinji is extremely resilient. If we're going to root for him, there has to be something that makes him smile, even if it's fleeting, and he should be shown experiencing that every once in a while. It's impossible to identify with a protagonist who's completely devoid of hope.


The problem with that is. . . well it's hard for someone to NOT be nihilistically depressed or suicidal when pretty much everything new you see reminds you of how much you've messed up and how you'll never be forgiven.

Enjoying nature? "What nature? The Ecosystems f*cked and I'm to blame." Stargazing? "Y'know that big red stain in the sky, the fact the moon's been ripped from it's natural orbit? That's my fault. Everytime I look at it, I'm reminded of what I am." Piano? "Reminds me of the one who manipulated me into causing another impact, who died to save my life for some stupid reason I'll never know the answer to."

Great! Now I've pushed him over the threshold from whiny, to genuinely Emo! :facepalm: Is it any wonder he gets a bad rep? Even in fanfic, it's hard to make him likeable without betraying the core of the character!

I mentioned it before, but I think Shinji would adopt a self destructive lifestyle after what he's been through. Seemingly abandoned by (almost) everyone who ever said they cared for him, living with the guilt every day and night terrors every night, knowing that no matter what he does that was good, kind or virtuous you'd never be able to undo the biggest most horrible thing you'd ever done? Nobody will ever forgive or care for you unconditionally ever again, so why not be selfish?

Remember that porn-addicted otaku in 'Me!Me!Me!' ? I imagine Shinji's life after 3.33 to be a slightly more serious version of that (maybe without the porn). Plenty of people who've gone through the grinder in terms of heartbreak/traumatic experiences do a lot of disgusting things to themselves trying to make the pain go away.

Shinji has a lot of good qualities, even for all his faults, and having those good qualities on display once in a while would also mitigate some people's suspicions and distrust of him. Younger children especially. Maybe he saves a kid from a burning building, or something. I'm partially joking, but you get the idea.


Again, I have something like that in mind. . . I talked with El Mariachi about this in PMs. So I don't want to spoil it here. If you want a general idea of that so you can give advice PM.

In broad strokes. Someone asks for Shinji's help, and Shinji asks why he should bother given how the world's never helped him. Then, either out of pity, or guilt he helps out anyway.
I’ll escape now from this world, from the world of Jean Valjean, Jean Valjean is nothing now! Another story must begin!
Avatar: "There's a Starman, waiting in the sky. He'd like to come and meet me, but he thinks he'd blow my mind."
Phew, I’m not tense anymore… now I’m just miserable.
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Re: How To Characterize Shinji As An Adult?

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Postby Stillborn » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:19 am

View Original PostRay wrote:In broad strokes. Someone asks for Shinji's help, and Shinji asks why he should bother given how the world's never helped him. Then, either out of pity, or guilt he helps out anyway.


And then following the set formula, because Shinji once again tries to help for selfish reasons (to reduce the guilt) he fucks up again and someone dies again. :shifty:
Another jaded man.
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Re: How To Characterize Shinji As An Adult?

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Postby Lennik » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:11 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:The problem with that is. . . well it's hard for someone to NOT be nihilistically depressed or suicidal when pretty much everything new you see reminds you of how much you've messed up and how you'll never be forgiven.

Enjoying nature? "What nature? The Ecosystems f*cked and I'm to blame." Stargazing? "Y'know that big red stain in the sky, the fact the moon's been ripped from it's natural orbit? That's my fault. Everytime I look at it, I'm reminded of what I am." Piano? "Reminds me of the one who manipulated me into causing another impact, who died to save my life for some stupid reason I'll never know the answer to."


We don't actually know if everything is fucked. Shinji thinks it is, but he's going off of what Kaworu told him, and you could easily get around that by having him turn out to be wrong. We didn't see all of the landscape in 3.0. Maybe Shinji goes out for one of his "walking the earth" depression-fests and comes across a place untouched by the red waste. Idk.

View Original PostRay wrote:I mentioned it before, but I think Shinji would adopt a self destructive lifestyle after what he's been through. Seemingly abandoned by (almost) everyone who ever said they cared for him, living with the guilt every day and night terrors every night, knowing that no matter what he does that was good, kind or virtuous you'd never be able to undo the biggest most horrible thing you'd ever done? Nobody will ever forgive or care for you unconditionally ever again, so why not be selfish?


Because causing more pain is going to be the last thing on his to-do list. Even if he thinks he's irredeemable, you could spin him into the opposite direction. Maybe his guilt forces him to live a life of altruism instead of selfishness. You could go either way, and both would be believable.

A movie-only Gandalf quote comes to mind: "Saruman believes that it is only great power that keeps evil in check. But that is not what I've found. I've found it is the small things. Everyday deeds of ordinary folk, that keep the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love."

Shinji is still capable of this, and it can go a long way. He doesn't need a magic reset button to reclaim the hero mantle. Let's not forget that if he really is as hopeless as you believe, he would have offed himself already, almost reflexively, and a character without hope is not a character that we can be invested in. We have to be able to believe that he has a fighting chance, or there's no drama. Which can quickly lead to an apathetic audience.

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Re: How To Characterize Shinji As An Adult?

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Postby Ray » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:14 pm

Shinji tends to manifest his anger internally not externally, especially with the state he's in at the end of Q.


Trying to get back into my fic. This post made me rethink some of what I've written. . .

What does it take to push Shinji over the edge into being genuinely "I will kill you" angry?
I’ll escape now from this world, from the world of Jean Valjean, Jean Valjean is nothing now! Another story must begin!
Avatar: "There's a Starman, waiting in the sky. He'd like to come and meet me, but he thinks he'd blow my mind."
Phew, I’m not tense anymore… now I’m just miserable.
People say "be yourself" but that's bad advice, if we were all to "be ourselves" many of us would stop wearing clothes. -Chuckman

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Re: How To Characterize Shinji As An Adult?

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Postby Sachi » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:34 am

View Original PostRay wrote:Trying to get back into my fic. This post made me rethink some of what I've written. . .

What does it take to push Shinji over the edge into being genuinely "I will kill you" angry?

Use his hands to hurt others, as Gendo did with the Dummy Plug. Shinji threatened to destroy as much as Nerv HQ as possible. In Rebuild, we actually see him stomping on the pyramid (callback to the Sandbox scene in EoE).
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Re: How To Characterize Shinji As An Adult?

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Postby Ray » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:55 am

View Original PostSachi wrote:Use his hands to hurt others, as Gendo did with the Dummy Plug. Shinji threatened to destroy as much as Nerv HQ as possible. In Rebuild, we actually see him stomping on the pyramid (callback to the Sandbox scene in EoE).


Something that's less "currently piloting the giant robot" specific?
I’ll escape now from this world, from the world of Jean Valjean, Jean Valjean is nothing now! Another story must begin!
Avatar: "There's a Starman, waiting in the sky. He'd like to come and meet me, but he thinks he'd blow my mind."
Phew, I’m not tense anymore… now I’m just miserable.
People say "be yourself" but that's bad advice, if we were all to "be ourselves" many of us would stop wearing clothes. -Chuckman

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Re: How To Characterize Shinji As An Adult?

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Postby pwhodges » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:31 am

View Original PostSachi wrote:Use his hands to hurt others, as Gendo did with the Dummy Plug.

I feel that scene is often mis-construed (by Shinji as well as us). Gendou doesn't use Shinji's hands - he disables and bypasses them. If Shinji had been prepared to use his hands at that moment, he could have avoided the conflict with Gendou (regardless of the outcome of dealing with Bardiel). In principle even Shinji's presence was no longer required (as in the MPEs) - though we see another side to that when Gendou tries to use the dummy plug without him.
"Being human, having your health; that's what's important." (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?" (from: The Eccentric Family )
Avatar: Kaworu starts to prepare Shinji for dual-piloting (details); Past avatars.
Afterwards... my post-Q Evangelion fanfic (discussion)

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Re: How To Characterize Shinji As An Adult?

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Postby Sachi » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:42 am

View Original PostRay wrote:Something that's less "currently piloting the giant robot" specific?

I'm sure there's plenty of ways to apply that concept creatively to other situations. Find something Shinji will take a vehement and protective stance on, and then take away his relevance. Bypass his will and rightful autonomy, and take something away from him.

My dog is currently going through medical trouble. Let's say there was a hypothetical situation where the issue was much worse, and I was presented with a tough decision to put him down or to allow him to continue living in pain. However, what if somebody else instead chose to go ahead and put him down against my will? Something that should have ultimately been my decision? Even if it was the best option (who knows) it's a violation of my autonomy, and I might get homicidal, just saying.

In Queensryche's concept album Operation: Mindcrime, the protag is a hitman working for an underground revolution. One day he's tasked to kill his lover because she knows too much. He refuses. The members of the revolution drug him up, and when he finally comes to his senses, he finds his lover is dead. It's ambiguous whether he was brainwashed and drugged into killing her himself, or if somebody else killed her while he was drugged, but nevertheless he's plagued with the guilt, just knowing he possibly may have killed her. His active choice was taken away from him and he seeks revenge after.

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:I feel that scene is often mis-construed (by Shinji as well as us). Gendou doesn't use Shinji's hands - he disables and bypasses them. If Shinji had been prepared to use his hands at that moment, he could have avoided the conflict with Gendou (regardless of the outcome of dealing with Bardiel). In principle even Shinji's presence was no longer required (as in the MPEs) - though we see another side to that when Gendou tries to use the dummy plug without him.

If we're talking about what pisses Shinji off, it would be his perception of things that matter the most. Shinji feels as though he was taken out of control and used to hurt someone he cared about against his will. That is why he is angry.
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"So you are saying it's the human heart that throws the world into confusion."

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Re: How To Characterize Shinji As An Adult?

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Postby Kendrix » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:42 pm

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:I feel that scene is often mis-construed (by Shinji as well as us). Gendou doesn't use Shinji's hands - he disables and bypasses them. If Shinji had been prepared to use his hands at that moment, he could have avoided the conflict with Gendou (regardless of the outcome of dealing with Bardiel). In principle even Shinji's presence was no longer required (as in the MPEs) - though we see another side to that when Gendou tries to use the dummy plug without him.


That's perhaps true in the objective sense but as Shinji experienced it he was forced to watch, right in there, & used to controlling the EVA with his mind like his own body to the point that it would feel like his own hands or that line would be blurred.
I mean people can have a lot of identification /kinesthetic projection with their tools, cars, video game characters etc. even without acual telepathy.
That's what he subjectively experienced so that's what his reaction would be based on.

& this could happen in other contexts like someone asking his help for something that turns out to be dubious or unethical or just generally leading to results he doesn't want. He'd probably fluctuate between being mad at the person & pinning it on himself tho.

We've seen in EoE that he also has a pretty regular patience snap limit when it comes to regular humiliation, especially when there's an element of hypocricy to it, it just takes a huge amount of punishment to get him to that point, even in an exeptional situation, so this would be unlikely to show up in a more "everyday" setting unless it involved was something super extreme like war, abuse or kidnapping.
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