What if Shinji arrived at NERV earlier?

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Kamon-san
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What if Shinji arrived at NERV earlier?

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Postby Kamon-san » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:12 pm

Hey there!

It's been a while since my last visit! I wasn't thinking about Evangelion much lately, mostly due to being in a Pokémon nostalgic mood, but this morning I stumbled upon a french version of Cruel Angel's Thesis on youtube and it got me thinking about it again. More importantly I remembered a discussion a friend and I had recently while having tea:

What if Shinji had been called to NERV just a BIT earlier than he did in the series?

First off, I will admit that from a narrative point of view it certainly would've been far less interesting to see unfold; I mean, having the Angel attack Tokyo 3 exactly as Shinji showed up made for some fantastic tension and action, but the narrative value is not so much what I'm looking for with this suggestion. I'm looking at this idea from a character point of view.

I was simply wondering this: how would things have played out if Shinji had arrived at NERV let's say... a whole two weeks before Sachiel's appearance? How would his reunion with his father have played out in a different context, without Shinji having seen the true terror of what an Angel is like firsthand?

Would Shinji even consider the role his father has planned for him in a more relaxed setting? Would he be willing to undergo a synchronization test with his Evangelion, or even take a battle simulation? How would his first encounter with the hospitalised Rei unfold?

Suppose Shinji did accept to at least give this whole Evangelion thing a try; suppose that he decided to just do as he was told considering this was the very reason his father ''needed'' him. He studies the Evangelion controls and goes through a bunch of tests and simulations, until two weeks pass and Sachiel finally arrives. How would this battle turn out?

I'd love to read your thoughts or your scenarios on this!

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Re: What if Shinji arrived at NERV earlier?

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Postby DarkBluePhoenix » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:25 pm

He'd have had more training to go and fight with Unit-01 than he did in the show, and would have met Rei sooner. The story would have probably dragged a bit waiting for that mystical enemy to arrive, but it would also take away some iconic moments and dulled down the plot, like Misato meeting Shinji, showing us the nukes couldn't kill the Angels, and the desperation of needing Shinji to pilot right then and there.

Personally, throwing Shinji into Unit-01 was way more fun to watch than if he'd had prior training.
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Re: What if Shinji arrived at NERV earlier?

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Postby Kamon-san » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:02 pm

View Original PostDarkBluePhoenix wrote:but it would also take away some iconic moments and dulled down the plot, like Misato meeting Shinji, showing us the nukes couldn't kill the Angels, and the desperation of needing Shinji to pilot right then and there.

Personally, throwing Shinji into Unit-01 was way more fun to watch than if he'd had prior training.


I absolutely agree, I think the exact same thing. As I said, from a narrative point of view it certainly is less gripping, but putting yourself in the character's shoes makes this pretty interesting to me.

Would Shinji still go live with Misato? How about his first encounter with his classmates? Having trained in Unit 01 prior to the Angel showing up might've given him a false sense of security, like ''I could do this in the simulator, I should be able to do it in actual battle'' only to find out that real battles are nothing like simulations. I can easily picture him starting to lose his cool as soon as he finds out his long range weapons are ineffective against Sachiel and beginning to panic (as Shinji does) as Sachiel closes the distance between them.

Would he still go berserk and cause Toji's sister to be hospitalised? What if by that point he actually already bonded with Toji and Kensuke?


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