How do you like your Gendo?

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How do you like your Gendo?

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Postby TraxXavier » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:35 pm

Hi!

I am wondering what version of Gendo do you folks prefer?
A bad guy, a villain, like for most depicted in the series.
Or someone who opposes SEELE and would prefer to save man kind from annihilation?

Seeing that his actions are driven by the desire to be rejoined with you, that later option is not that unlikely provided he would see a alternative way to achieve that goal.

Whats your thoughts?

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Postby amitakartok » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:38 pm

Do AU Gendos count?
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Postby The Eva Monkey » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:56 pm

View Original PostTraxXavier wrote:How do you like your Gendo?

Sitting with his bare feet in a bucket of water.

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Postby TraxXavier » Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:39 pm

View Original Postamitakartok wrote:Do AU Gendos count?


whats that?
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Postby pwhodges » Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:47 pm

AU = Alternative Universe (i.e. fanfic)
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Postby The Eva Monkey » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:01 pm

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:AU = Alternative Universe (i.e. fanfic)

Or spin-off manga. Or hell, there's an AU Gendo in episode 26.

"Yes dear..."

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Postby amitakartok » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:09 pm

Considering that my shit deviates so astronomically far from canon that no one on this site even looks in its general direction, I might as well go ahead because I wouldn't be spoiling anybody.

Anyway. In my fic, sometime around the time Shinji was around 4-5, Gendo overstepped an ethical boundary involving Rei and pissed off Yui so badly that she filed for a divorce (not to mention traumatized Rei so badly that she never confided in anyone about her abilities due to being scared of ending up vivisected for them). Thing is, Gendo was the one who got custody of Shinji and the two of them subsequently moved to somewhere remote enough that when Shinji came down with polio, the vaccine shipment couldn't get there fast enough and Shinji ended up wheelchair-bound. Now, Gendo isn't exactly a model parent and basically threw himself into his work as a distraction from family matters (fun fact: Yui did the same with Rei, focusing more on the Evas' development and construction than on her due to not realizing how badly Rei was suffering from being alone), mainly so that he doesn't have to look his son in the eye with full knowledge that the latter ended up like this because of Gendo's fuckup. And when Shinji, desperate to be of some use to his father, volunteered as test subject for an extremely dangerous surgical procedure involving cranial cybernetics, Gendo didn't stop him. The surgery worked but Shinji ended up epileptic from it, which only pushed Gendo further into escapism via work.

While he gave Shinji everything he asked for and let his inherited smarts blossom in the field of engineering, Gendo pretty much stopped seeing his son outside work-related meetings entirely, which was a major contributor in the development of Shinji's introverted personality this time around. Thus when the war against the Angels forced professional cooperation between Yui's and Gendo's companies, Gendo sent Shinji as his side's liaison due to believing that Shinji deserves better than what he can give him.

Things finally came to head when Shinji got into the dirt Gendo's been keeping on SEELE for job security purposes and tried to abscond with it. Gendo let him go despite being held at gunpoint by a political officer, which got him arrested and sent to a gulag for treason against the state. Shinji, however, did manage to get the evidence to Yui, who forwarded it to the right hands to publicly expose SEELE and squeeze them badly enough that they had to resort to desperate measures that ended up bringing them down later on. Yui's people also ended up breaking Gendo out of prison at one point later on and his company became their benefactors for years until Gendo was ousted by the board of directors when his ties with her group ended up politically inconvenient.

So to sum it up, Gendo isn't portrayed as the lolevil bastard some people tend to. He's merely a man who made a bad call, bit off more than he could chew and suffered the consequences, knowing that he fucked up but deluding himself of being powerless to do anything about it, yet still doing what he can when the chips are down because he's got nothing else. That's actually a running theme across the story not exclusive to Gendo, but since he's the topic of this thread...
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Re: How do you like your Gendo?

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Postby Kendrix » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:50 am

I suppose "dark byronic anti hero" opr at the very least "tragic villain", both because I believe this to be more interesting than a disney villain, and because that's what I believe to be accurate.

That said the plot of a given fanfic often necessitates that he be the antagonists because his canonical goals run very much contrary to those of most main characters. He's not a nice person either and that would be even more inaccurate.

Most of all I'd like him not to be dumbed down; Yea he wants his wife back and that's his main motivation, but he genuinely believes his version of intrumentality to be the only hope of survival. He's got very cynical views which his ruthless pragmatism is informed by.
On the other hand, people also make him "too powerful" as a manipulator like I don't think he plots every interaction on purpose, at some points he's neglectful, cannot muster the fucks to care even in the rare cases where he would actually be inclined to do so, and has a poor, diffuse people-sense that canonically bites him in the ass more than one when the dissatisfaction of crucial subordinates goes over his head.
Others on the other hand double down on the Disney villain thing with a helping of "and he's not even remotely competent either!" to the point that it makes no sense that hed get his own job, supposedly SEELEE couldn't give the job to someone else because even they thought he was the only one capable enough.

aaand then there's the classic "Fuyutsuki is the father!" thing.
It would be one thing to like explore this and its implications as a legit possibility but usually its just "obvsly a nice kid like you couldn't be reolated to this asshat" but asshats and nice people are related all the time IRL and seems to miss the point of the cautionary tale aspect there and the dimension of Shinji's struggle that is about coming to terms with his own capacity for fucking up without treating it like either the end of the world or an excuse to ragequit.

Bonus challenge: Try finding any sort of decent team blue material that has anything other than DisneyVillain!Gendo. It's rarer than unicorns. Obviously there is the switch in loyalties hapening which would be a mayor part of the plotline (assuming there is one and its not a pure fluff fic) but there's some potential there even if it's just to apply twists to a common trope.
I mean until Rebuild came along there wasn't a single fic that had Rei think "Hey, maybe I can make them get along!" or where both of them try to reason with him, even unsucessfully.

Generally your best chances of Nuanced!Gendo seem to be in either AU fic or anything that kills Shinji off or otherwise inflicts permanent nastiness on the poor kid. (which includes some scene of Gendo being privately upset surprisingly often)
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Postby silvermoonlight » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:18 am

I like to read him ether is a anti hero/no good at being a dad type or outright villain but I'm not against nice/comic good dad Gendo as I thought the Ikari rising manga spin off was hilarious in places. ^_^

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Postby amitakartok » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:33 am

For me, it's not a matter of whitewashing someone as misunderstood for meme purposes.

It's that I personally think absolute evil antagonists are for little kids too young to recognize pro-social brainwashing.
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Postby MuscleRobo » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:57 am

I really do not like the image of Gendo as heroic. This "total badass" image is something I feel fans have created themselves. He is evil because of how horrible a father he was to Shinji. In fact trying to "redeem" him by saying he was doing all this for the woman he loves only makes him seem worse in my opinion! He was ignoring his son because of not being able to say good bye to Yui. He was selfishly choosing himself over his own baby! A child isn't something you can just toss aside because it's inconvenient.

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Postby amitakartok » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:08 pm

View Original PostMuscleRobo wrote:He was selfishly choosing himself over his own baby! A child isn't something you can just toss aside because it's inconvenient.


Like that doesn't happen all the time in real life.
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Postby pwhodges » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:15 pm

Does that make it any better?
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Postby amitakartok » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:50 pm

No but frankly, abusive parents are such an overused trope in fiction that it simply doesn't push my emotional response button hard enough anymore.
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Postby Lennik » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:43 pm

Gendo is most interesting to me in the hands of a writer who understands that his villainy, emotional neglect of Shinji and Rei, and callousness make him pathetic as a person and as a father. He's an evil man. He's also a very weak, emotionally fragile person who's too much of a coward to face real life and the responsibility of loving his children. I don't think he has to be portrayed as a hyper-competent badass to demonstrate how evil he is. His pathetic outlook on life and on his role as a man does more than enough to make him evil.

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Postby Sachi » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:04 pm

Gendo is a man who remains socially distant. He isn't sure how to interact with people, least of all his own child, and he instead throws himself into his work, something his mind knows how to deal with. He isn't distant because he's necessarily an asshole (he is), but rather it's because he feels it's safer for him and others that way due to the damage he causes/receives. He is an extreme case of the Hedgehog's Dillemma, someone who has completely isolated himself due to the fear of pain associated with getting close to others. Yui was the one person who was able to pierce his shell, and when he lost her, he dedicated himself fully to reobtaining that comfort she provided him; to that end, he justifies himself in all of his actions as well.
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Postby KobayashiRiku » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:20 pm

"How do I like my Gendo?" Well if that isn't a loaded, controversial question, :lol:

To begin, if I had never seen End of Evangelion I'd probably be in the "this man has no redeeming qualities" camp myself. However, I have seen EoE, and as such, I find the depiction of Gendou as more or less an adult form of Shinji makes for a far more interesting, believable character than "I R EBIL!!!!" (yes that misspelling was intentional) that seems to reign supreme in many fanfictions that I've read. Is Ikari Gendou a good man? Is he a bad man? No, Gendou is human, and while his actions, manipulations, and otherwise dastardly deeds are rightfully scornful, he has good depth as far as the motivations of his various actions go. With little other than whats provided to us to go off of, I tend to think of Gendou's motivations in this context;

Yui - During 3I in EoE we find out that Gendou has many of the same problems that Shinji does, using this as a starting point, it can be assumed that Yui is one of the few people that Gendou allowed close enough to form lasting bonds with (after all he married her). Now from his point of view, this person whom can be inferred is the most important person in his life has been taken away without so much as a chance to say goodbye. This would leave an already psychologically fragile individual in an even more broken state. (working from the Gendou/Shinji similarities, observe Shinji's downward spiral once those whom he formed bonds with start being removed from the picture, culminating with Kaworu (or Kaoru if you prefer)). Now imagine that Gendou knew/found a way to get his most important person back, this is a focal point he can work toward. "If I do this, I can see Yui again"

Shinji - Ah Shinji, the majority of the context for the bashing that Gendou gets comes from this poor shlep. When examining Shinji and Gendou's relationship, the question "Does Gendou love his son" should be asked. From the evidence gathered from EoE, I think he does. Keep in mind what transpires during Gendou's final exchange during Instrumentality (starting at 1:08:47 give or take a few seconds):

Spoiler Warning (Even though this movie has been out for god knows how many years)
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Gendou - "When Shinji is near me, all I ever do is cause him pain, it was better when I did nothing at all"
Yui/Lilith - ""Were you afraid of Shinji?"
G - " I didn't believe anyone could love me. I don't deserve to be loved"
Kaworu/Adam - "So you were running away? You rejected others so that you would never be hurt"
Y - "You were terrified by the invisible bonds that people form"
Rei/Lilith - "You were afraid so you closed your heart."
G - "This is my retribution, forgive me Shinji."

The whole segment takes place in more or less a minute, but I feel that this exchange is important to the character, and while Sadamoto makes Gendou far more antagonistic than the original work, keep in mind that his final thoughts are still of his son.

In closing, I can say that as long as the character has more depth then the average cackling villain, I can accept Gendou portrayed in a myriad of ways. (On a side note, a Super-Dad!Gendou such as portrayed in Shinji Ikari Raising Project is a hilarious read, if comedy is your thing) However I personally write Gendou as a man whom does love his son, even if he has no clue how to show it. (more or less my interpretation of the character after seeing EoE
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Postby Lennik » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:10 am

View Original PostKobayashiRiku wrote:(On a side note, a Super-Dad!Gendou such as portrayed in Shinji Ikari Raising Project is a hilarious read, if comedy is your thing) However I personally write Gendou as a man whom does love his son, even if he has no clue how to show it. (more or less my interpretation of the character after seeing EoE


For me, the funniest thing about Super-Dad!Gendo is that it's a totally plausible alternative manifestation of his parental ineptitude. The exact same flaw that makes him a neglectful asshole in canon--his inability to grasp a normal bond with his son--could just as easily make him a bumbling, embarrassing nutjob instead.

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Postby DarkBluePhoenix » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:09 am

I like my Gendo a bit like Shinji, which he kinda is. He thinks he's doing the right thing, but keeps fucking it up when he does it, causing more harm than good to everyone around him. He's clearly as broken as Shinji, if not even worse off to make him as distant and sullen as he is.
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Postby KobayashiRiku » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:58 am

View Original PostDarkBluePhoenix wrote: He's clearly as broken as Shinji,


Isn't everybody in NGE canon though?

Honestly though, I agree, I think it is very important to realize that in many ways, Gendou is for all intents and purposes Shinji as an adult. If you gave Shinji similar motives, would he act the same way? Give the boy a singular focus, a goal in the same vein as his father, and see how he reacts. Personally because of Shinji's personality we never do get a proper gauge on how intelligent he is, just that he doesn't really apply himself to anything, except EVA, which he does for praise. As a parent of a child who is intelligent but not particularly motivated, I can tell you that, from a real world example, it can be difficult to show others the intellectual capabilities of an individual.
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