Is Gendo Jealous of Shinji? (and will we explicitly see it?)

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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Is Gendo Jealous of Shinji? (and will we explicitly see it?)

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Postby unitM » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:20 pm

Evangelion tends to prominently feature the internal issues of the main characters, their mental decline, and illnesses. But I'd like to ask the question: Is Gendo jealous of Shinji?

Everyday men are concerned with power. It's an aspect of our gender. Gendo is no different, especially at the end of Q, sitting atop inarguably most powerful structure. He's possessive with both Yui and her subpart Rei.

Shinji is the prince of the new series. Certainly a lot of bad things happen to him, but surrounding him are powerful supposedly-inconsequential events. Chaotic ones, sure, but powerful ones no less.
  • Shinji pilots a giant robot exceptionally and is able to use it's functions not only to help humanity but also to fight other species. He didn't have to engage in a lot of combat situations to get good at it either.
  • Shinji has many supernatural events happen around him, where he makes it out physically OK. Turning Unit 01 to "Automatic Battle Mode" in a severely-outclassed fight(Dummy system on Asuka) saved his life. Phasing out of time and space for 14 years is an OP feature.
  • Shinji is a trigger to catastrophic events. He's like an unarmed nuclear warhead: useful when deployed.
  • Shinji didn't need to earn his stripes to be useful on a team. His robot, his career, and his lifestyle were all given to him. Asuka makes note of him being daddy's boy but she's not wrong.

It's true that these events aren't necessarily endorsed by Shinji and they merely happen around him, but regardless Shinji is a character that benefits from many of them. Further the ones that don't benefit them are an extra half point because they don't remove the power surrounding him. Shinji goes through a lot of psychological trauma but most situations play out with him still being in the next scene, in one way or the other. He's the golden child. Technologies are built around him to allow him to survive because he's such an important piece.

Is Gendo jealous of this, even though he uses Shinji as a pawn in many of his maladaptive schemes? There's no real features of it in the new series and in the previous one we were left with Gendo releasing heavy guilt as he was crushed by Unit 01. What do you think? And if it's there, do you think it may play out in Final? Speculatively, if Shinji grabs the symbolic crown in Instrumentality, will Gendo push Shinji to the side?

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Re: Is Gendo Jealous of Shinji? (and will we explicitly see it?)

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Postby C.T.1290 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:11 pm

Well, in the manga, Gendo did say he was jealous of Shinji for "having Yui to himself". She might have given Shinji more attention than she did with Gendo. As for seeing it happen in the final film, one can certainly hope so, and maybe get some answers that might have been boggling us for a while now.
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Re: Is Gendo Jealous of Shinji? (and will we explicitly see it?)

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Postby Reichu » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:15 pm

Jealousy? I can't think of anything that suggests it OR denies it, so I'll go with the answer "NOT ENOUGH DATA". If it does end up being in any way true, I'm going to hope Anno is better than to go for the character-assassinating "HOW DARE MY WIFE -- WHOM I SUPPOSEDLY WORSHIP UNCONDITIONALLY -- ACTUALLY PAY ATTENTION TO THE CHILD I AGREED TO SIRE" card that Sadamoto played. Blech.

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Re: Is Gendo Jealous of Shinji? (and will we explicitly see it?)

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Postby Sachi » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:20 am

Competing with the patriarch for the attention of the mother is a popular Freudian concept that I think applies well in Eva. More Oedipal stuff. Not too much of a stretch, IMO.
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Re: Is Gendo Jealous of Shinji? (and will we explicitly see it?)

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Postby Reichu » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:09 am

"Competing with the Patriarch" would be Shinji 'competing' with Gendo, not Gendo 'competing' with Shinji as Sadamoto would have it.

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Re: Is Gendo Jealous of Shinji? (and will we explicitly see it?)

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Postby pwhodges » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:03 am

Regardless of the phrase, both ways around can be observed IRL.
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Re: Is Gendo Jealous of Shinji? (and will we explicitly see it?)

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Postby unitM » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:45 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Jealousy? I can't think of anything that suggests it OR denies it, so I'll go with the answer "NOT ENOUGH DATA". If it does end up being in any way true, I'm going to hope Anno is better than to go for the character-assassinating "HOW DARE MY WIFE -- WHOM I SUPPOSEDLY WORSHIP UNCONDITIONALLY -- ACTUALLY PAY ATTENTION TO THE CHILD I AGREED TO SIRE" card that Sadamoto played. Blech.
Sadamoto is certainly a confirmation of Gendo feeling some sort away about enviousness and jealousy towards Shinji, albeit in an entirely different media format and story. There isn't very much data to work with but consider how possessive Gendo is with Yui vs. Shinji. Yui = full-on creepy metaphysical possession with the mere past thoughts of her. Shinji = avoidant. This can be attested to his guilty thoughts witnessed in EoE but it could also be fear out of jealousy. Generally maladaptive thoughts like "I'm not capable of being loved" manifest in other ways if not properly dealt with. But yes, for the most part, this theory is lacking evidence.

Further, as Sachi and pwhodges have pointed out, there are some oedipal concepts to look at, even if reversed. And like I brought up, if negative aspects of ourselves are not resolved, they tend to manifest in other ways of our personality. The psychiatric egogram, something both Anno ought to be familiar with, and the series is familiar with, can represent the ways where our different ego accessories are normal and abnormal. So it's not a far stretch to correlate negativity manifesting itself in other negative ways, further affecting someone's personal egogram, leading to enviousness between Gendo and Shinji.

(Yet it is still a stretch without proper evidence. However I think the fact that Sadamoto used Gendo-Shinji of it means that somewhere someone in the team must have noted it too.)


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