What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby C.T.1290 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:54 pm

Shinji is probably, without a doubt, the most unpopular character of the show, and possibly of all anime. Not to mention the most hated. And Evangelion is pretty much centered around him, which brings up the question; what will it be without him?
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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby viperzero » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:42 am

Nothing, the vast majority of the show's substance is him. Even the other characters, some of which are very deep are developed in relation to him. With him no one remembers eva in 2000 let a lone 2017.

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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby pwhodges » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:08 am

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote:Shinji is probably, without a doubt, the most unpopular character of the show, and possibly of all anime. Not to mention the most hated.

For a start, you seem unclear in your own mind: "probably" and "without a doubt" are nicely contradictory! Also there are characters that people love to hate - so hatred and unpopularity are not necessarily equivalent. And in any case I strongly doubt that your contention is true:

* Shinji ranked 25th on IGN's first top 25 anime characters list.
* In 2014, IGN ranked him as the greatest anime character of all time,
* In a Newtype poll from March 2010, Shinji was voted as the most popular male character from the 1990s.
* The 19th and the 20th Animage Grand Prix ranked him the best male character of the year.
* Nick Verboon of Unreality Mag states "poster boy/protagonist Shinji is one of the most nuanced, popular, and relatable characters in anime history.

At the least your contention is not undisputed.
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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby C.T.1290 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:16 pm

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:For a start, you seem unclear in your own mind: "probably" and "without a doubt" are nicely contradictory! Also there are characters that people love to hate - so hatred and unpopularity are not necessarily equivalent. And in any case I strongly doubt that your contention is true:

* Shinji ranked 25th on IGN's first top 25 anime characters list.
* In 2014, IGN ranked him as the greatest anime character of all time,
* In a Newtype poll from March 2010, Shinji was voted as the most popular male character from the 1990s.
* The 19th and the 20th Animage Grand Prix ranked him the best male character of the year.
* Nick Verboon of Unreality Mag states "poster boy/protagonist Shinji is one of the most nuanced, popular, and relatable characters in anime history.

At the least your contention is not undisputed.

...

Well, if Shinji is popular as you say, then why is it that he is amongst the hated ones along with Asuka and some other characters in NGE?
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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby jcmoorehead » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:37 pm

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote:...

Well, if Shinji is popular as you say, then why is it that he is amongst the hated ones along with Asuka and some other characters in NGE?


Because popular figures will always have their detractors and detractors always tend to be louder than the ones who like them. For everyone who loves the Beatles you have a number who yell "Oh god they're awful, I hate them." Just because a number of people dislike him it doesn't make it any less true that he isn't as popular as PWHodges said.

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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby viperzero » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:51 pm

Its worth noting you can think someone is an excellent character and not like them. I feel Their are people who like him, people who hate him, and people who think he's well written and not care for him as a person. Their are a lot of fictional characters like that.

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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby Guy Nacks » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:39 pm

View Original PostC.T.1290 wrote:Well, if Shinji is popular as you say, then why is it that he is amongst the hated ones along with Asuka and some other characters in NGE?


Because some people are lacking a basic human feeling called empathy. Even Kaworu was empathetic of Shinji's situation...and he's not even human!
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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby xanderkh » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:43 pm

People don't like being reminded of the flaws that exist within themselves. That is why so many people are "hateful" toward Shinji, because they don't want to admit that they've been like him. We don't want to admit when we're weak or vulnerable.
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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby viperzero » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:05 pm

View Original Postxanderkh wrote:People don't like being reminded of the flaws that exist within themselves. That is why so many people are "hateful" toward Shinji, because they don't want to admit that they've been like him. We don't want to admit when we're weak or vulnerable.

He gets a lot of unnecessary hate by a lot of people for not being overly macho or for people not reading into the subtly of the guy, BUT I would say its just as unfair to say people don't like him because he's a mirror into the darkest parts of the viewers soul. The guy is really dependent on other people for his own identity to an insane degree. To be honest i'm not sure if your supposed to like him, he doesn't even like himself for most of the show. Maybe sympathies? Though that might be the wrong word since he can be kind of pitty dependent at times. Hell even the creator of the show called him (or the whole cast really) messed up or something a long those lines. Anyway I think you can recognize his importance and subtlety without having an opinion one way or the other.

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Postby xanderkh » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:25 pm

^

I don't think it's a matter of if we're "supposed" to not like him, more like try to recognized the tragedy of both his situation, and his life. While it's true I don't condone any of the bad actions he's done during the series, or nor can I forgive him for the lowest act he committed, that doesn't really stop me from from caring or loving him as a person and a character.

We've all done some pretty shitty things in our lives, and yes, his acts are pushing it, but they're understandable given the circumstances of both situation and his life. He's not a bad kid, just was dealt a pretty bad hand at the beginning, and it's cemented his own personal view about himself. Because Gendo abandoned him without explanation, it's pretty much ingrained in his mind that he's unlovable, and nothing he does for himself, unless it's told by someone else, will ever make him likable.

His self-hatred isn't a fundamental fact about himself, just an implanted delusion that no one bothered to help convince him otherwise, no psychological help to break that spiral of hatred. That's more tragic than pathetic.
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---------------------------------------
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Sephiroth: "Too close to the brightness, and you may get scorched."
Golbz:.............
Golbez: Your loss can strengthen you.

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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby Sachi » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:34 am

C.T.1290:

I think a lot of your interpretation for these characters is an attempt to compensate the many, wildly varying opinions among the fanbase regarding the series. You might benefit to focus less on the opinions of others, and to focus more on your own opinions of the series that you develop yourself. Of course, you should accept the criticisms others offer, but try to recognize that your ideas are equally as important as the ideas of others and work with those rather than trying to gauge the general consensus of things. Mainstream opinions are not always correct.
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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby LeoXiao » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:38 pm

I imagine Rei could serve as a pretty decent main character in lieu of Shinji, but they'd have to rework a huge number of things (Kaworu would probably be the major foil/love interest for Rei here) and it'd go from "quintessential postmodern bildungsroman" to "surprisingly introcate and nuanced shojo anime."
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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby Asuka'sBigBrother » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:41 am

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:For a start, you seem unclear in your own mind: "probably" and "without a doubt" are nicely contradictory! Also there are characters that people love to hate - so hatred and unpopularity are not necessarily equivalent. And in any case I strongly doubt that your contention is true:

* Shinji ranked 25th on IGN's first top 25 anime characters list.
* In 2014, IGN ranked him as the greatest anime character of all time,
* In a Newtype poll from March 2010, Shinji was voted as the most popular male character from the 1990s.
* The 19th and the 20th Animage Grand Prix ranked him the best male character of the year.
* Nick Verboon of Unreality Mag states "poster boy/protagonist Shinji is one of the most nuanced, popular, and relatable characters in anime history.

At the least your contention is not undisputed.

A character being widely liked and widely hated aren't mutually exclusive concepts.
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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby AdamMalkovitch » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:10 pm

Shinji serves as the audience surrogate. Anno designed his character to represent a part of him, the part that existed when he was younger. Anno was once a huge weeaboo shut-in, and he wanted to condense the feelings of isolation and depression that that lifestyle caused into a character that everyone could relate to. If Shinji didn't exist, the series would likely centre around either Misato attempting to uncover NERV's secrets while taking care of the Second Child in an attempt to act as a mother figure, or Rei being an innocent soul mixed up in this insanely convoluted mess, trying to define herself. The reason many people hate Shinji is BECAUSE he's so relatable. People see themselves in him, a part of themselves that they hate, a part they've tried to repress and forget about. We were all scared children once, I know I still am, but in taking this weak, terrified kid, and forcing him into this adult world of responsibility, Anno was, I feel, able to capture the feeling of growing up. Being shot out of school and thrust into the real world is absolutely terrifying. The one thing you've ever known, the most constant thing in your life, is now gone forever, and you have to now pretend like you know what you're doing. Shinji is not only forced into the real world, at a much younger age than most of us might I add, but he also has to reconcile and speak with a father that coldly abandoned him after his mother's presumed death, but is ALSO tasked with defending the entire Earth. Without Shinji, the show would be more like looking in on the lives of a bunch of psychologically damaged people, instead of seeing Shinji, realizing that we're all the same, scared children.
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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby Geometer » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:36 pm

The only other character that would work as a main character is Asuka I think. Although I the series would feel very different due to her personality despite having the same problems as Shinji more or less.

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Postby VUX » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:38 am

It would be dead
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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby Stillborn » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:09 am

View Original PostVUX wrote:It would be dead


Actually, the time skip between Ha and Q is Evangelion without Shinji, and judging from what I've seen here, pretty much everyone wants to see it.

Sooo... Yeah, Eva without Shinji would be quite popular, most likely less angsty and with more badassery.
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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby Geometer » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:35 pm

View Original PostStillborn wrote:Actually, the time skip between Ha and Q is Evangelion without Shinji, and judging from what I've seen here, pretty much everyone wants to see it.

Sooo... Yeah, Eva without Shinji would be quite popular, most likely less angsty and with more badassery.

So it would be like a normal hero's journey-esk story we've seen dozens if not hundreds of times? Nothing wrong those kinds of stories it but at least evangelion gave us something fairly unique and more emotionally true to life with Shinji.

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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby xanderkh » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:43 pm

Shinji is one of the primary reasons why we're all here, because it gave us a protagonist that required us to not only think, but also to look deep inside ourselves at our own introspective loathings.

Without Shinji, Evangelion wouldn't be the deconstruction anime that it is famous for today.
"You're na�ve, Cecil. Even knowing betrayal and despair, you would depend on the whims of others?" - Golbez
---------------------------------------
Sephiroth: "Do you miss the Light?"
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Sephiroth: "Too close to the brightness, and you may get scorched."
Golbz:.............
Golbez: Your loss can strengthen you.

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Re: What would Evangelion be without Shinji?

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Postby Reichu » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:00 pm

It would be a show called "Evangelion" built up around a non-Shinji but suspiciously similar protagonist. (Probably hard to avoid that unless you get rid of Anno.)


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