Shinji Character Analysis (2.0/3.0)

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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[SPOILERS] Shinji Character Analysis (2.0/3.0)

Postby Darkwing » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:51 am

Okay now that 3.0 is out we seem to have a lot of Shinji is an idiot going on. And of course Goddammit Shinji, how can you be so stupid! But really if you look at Shinji's charecter, and what others around him do to him, there really was no other way for it to play out. Now keep in mind this is based entirely on spoiler synopsis from Japan, so of course it may be wrong. Also keep in mind this is strictly about Shinji. This is not an analysis of Misato, or anyone else.

First off Shinji has poor judgement. And there is a reason for that. Shinji isn't just a teenager. He's a teenager who hasn't been raised very well. Name one person you'd consider a mature, responsable, sane adult, in Shinji's life. There are no role models. Their is no one that provides a compass for behavior in Shinji's life. If in a tough spot, Shinji cannot ask himself "what would X do" and get an answer.

Shinji is a pawn. It's very fitting that Fuyitski states Yui played Shogi. Because Shinji is probably her pawn too. Shinji is a piece that all the players manipulate to their own ends. He has no idea of what the game is. And if he were to become a player, as of the end of 3.0 he is checkmated. He can no longer exist in the world as it is, and not be hated by everyone. His only options would be remain hated by all, death, or complete insturmentality.

So with that out of the way, lets look at what happens to Shinji. Why does he do what he does? Well at the end of 2.0 he nearly ends the world and makes things worse. Thing is their was no win outcome for him. Do nothing, angel starts 3rd impact everyone dies. Kill the angel, sacrificing Rei? We end up in a situation very similer to the end of the orginal series at best, with Shini bieng broken. At worst? Gendo offers Shinji a way to bring back Rei, and rule as father and son. And of course there's what actually happened...

Okay, so Shinji wakes up. And guess what. 14 years have passed. Boom, right there huge shock. Anyone who wakes from a coma, or gets out of prison has trouble adjusting. Even Asuka who looks the same would have changed, with 14 years of experiences. Misato, someone he thought loved him has strapped a bomb to his neck, and is threatening to kill him. He got left in space for 14 years, so obviously no one wants him around. They didn't even really want him, they just wanted Unit-01. He almost ended the world. God only knows how many deaths are his fault. Everyone hates him, and you can't blame them. And here's the Kicker. The person he did all this to save? Rei? Still gone. He finally did something he wanted for himself, and he got nothing. Shinji is damned if he does, damned if he don't. He both deserves the hate he's getting, but at the same time he did not act maliciously, nor did he know what would happen.

Then something happens. An Eva comes to save him. And it's Rei! And his father wants him! His father is saving him, and sent Rei to do it! Only Rei isn't Rei. His father really isn't closer. But there is one thing to make it better Kawrou. Now I am fully convinced that Kawrou is Shinji's true soul mate. He comes in, and he accepts Shinji. He wants Shinji to be there. He shows Shinji the resualts of his actions. He doesn't blame Shinji for what he's done, but at the same time he does not let Shinji run away from it. He makes Shinji face it, and tells him that it is his fault, even if he isn't Guilty. And then he offers Shinji hope. He offers him redemption. He offers him a chance to fix his mistake, and make it so people won't hate him anymore. Okay, now I'm sure this can be interpreted as running away. And Shinji may well be trying to. But it doesn't matter. Shinji could have genuinly wanted to fix what he broke for the right reasons, for the sake of making ammends and a better world for others. But he still would have been just as damned.

So what happens in the end? Shinji goes to correct his mistake, with the one person he honestly can trust. The one person who has not betrayed him. But now he has to go against another friend. And he does it, because he want's to take the shot at fixing things. Wether or not he's running doesn't matter. By this point Shinji's experiences have taought him that doing nothing will make things worse. Kawrou has misgivings, but Shinji is desperate to make things better. And what happens? He almost end the world again, and he loses the one person who he knows cares for him and accepts him. He had to betray the other people he's cared about. And nothing. No worse than nothing, he's lost even more.

Now here's the tragedy of Shinji. He cannot win. Even if he made different decisions he cannot win. He could be Superman, and he could not win. Because in order to make the correct decisions, Shinji needs to know what the fuck is going on. He doesn't even know what the game is. The people who do know this will not tell him. They need their pawn to be ignorent so he will move where they need him to. Even if he does nothing, it won't matter. Shinji is not allowed to win. And that is something a lot of more casual fans hate about Eva.

Now we're going to get a little meta. Shinji's life is like watching Charlie Brown try to kick the football. He will never be allowed to. No matter what. And even if it isn't his fault he'll still get the blame. Lucy can pull the football away from Charlie in front of everyone, clearly doing it just to be a bitch, costing the big game. And Charlie Brown will be the one who gets all the shit. Well eventually the audience stops wanting to see Charlie finally kick that ball. No they want to kick Lucy's teeth in. Can someone with a decent internet connection get that Family Guy clip? Well anyways Shinji is Charlie Brown, and the writers are Lucy. We hate them because now all we see is them bieng mean to the woobie.


I can honestly see 4.0 bieng this. Shinji snaps totally. He now wants to cause fifth impact. Because people are so aweful they all deserve to die. And he deserves to die the most. In the end Ghost Kawrou, Rei(maybe ghost), and Asuka barely talk him down. So Shinji manages to restore the world, but still kills himself because he honestly believes that it would be best. Asuka tries to stop him by confessing her love, but Shinji just tells her that it's better if she just forgets him. Suicide rate in Japan skyrockets.
I'm not sure what I feel about Eva anymore, but I'm pretty sure I don't actually enjoy the series anymore.

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Postby spiderman is cool » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:23 am

Wow, this actually helped clear up a lot of the questions I had after seeing it (since my Japanese is minimal at best). Thanks for this analysis, I think there is a lot of depth to this movie and to Shinji that many in the audience will fail to recognize. This was a very good movie and it bravely ventured into new terroritory for Eva. While I love 2.0, it only just started to break the mold while still playing it relatively safe for the first half. This is completely new. There was no way to know which direction this movie was going to go and that's part of why it was so exciting.

I'm all for Shinji, and partly because I think there's a part of him that we can all find in ourselves.

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Postby Na7e » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:34 am

Am I supposed to feel bad for Shinji...because I'm not.

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Re: Analysis Of Shinji's Actions in 3.0. [SPOILERS]

Postby CJD » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:07 am

View Original PostDarkwing wrote:I can honestly see 4.0 bieng this. Shinji snaps totally. He now wants to cause fifth impact. Because people are so aweful they all deserve to die. And he deserves to die the most. In the end Ghost Kawrou, Rei(maybe ghost), and Asuka barely talk him down. So Shinji manages to restore the world, but still kills himself because he honestly believes that it would be best. Asuka tries to stop him by confessing her love, but Shinji just tells her that it's better if she just forgets him. Suicide rate in Japan skyrockets.


Not just Japan.

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Postby Hyper Shinchan » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:08 am

View Original PostNa7e wrote:Am I supposed to feel bad for Shinji...because I'm not.

You're supposed to feel bad for Kaworu, did you say your prayer?
So let’s make a wish.
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Re: Analysis Of Shinji's Actions in 3.0. [SPOILERS]

Postby Grub » Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:51 pm

View Original PostCJD wrote:Not just Japan.


Actually, I'm anticipating that Shinji does indeed die, but he does it for altruistic reasons. Maybe his sacrifice is the only thing that will truly save the world. For so long it's been about Shinji, Shinji, Shinji. But the world was basically stable for the entire fourteen years he was in stasis. It didn't completely end during that time.

It's him.

So it needs to stop being about him. It needs to be about everyone else. He keeps messing up their lives by being around, forcing the world to have him in it, sacrificing what everyone else wants so he can have some semblance of what he wants. He is Death. (And Rei as well, possibly.) But he doesn't have to be.

So maybe Shinji can't be happy. He can't have a father who loves him, he can't have a girl to spend his life with, he can't have any friends to rely on. He can't have any of it. But if everyone else can have the chance, that's something worth fighting, and dying, for.

I'm not sure how he'll learn this, but the preview does say about him learning how to feel hope or something like that. I'm guessing he'll begin to change there. And maybe his final fight is against Rei. That'd be a trip.


(Or Anno just kills everyone again for fun. Whoopee.)
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Re: Analysis Of Shinji's Actions in 3.0. [SPOILERS]

Postby Mr. Tines » Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:15 pm

View Original PostGrub wrote:Actually, I'm anticipating that Shinji does indeed die, but he does it for altruistic reasons.
People have complained that the Upload Utopia interpretation of EoTV goes against the message of the series, but the "Shinji can't get a life, so he kills himself" would really be a 180 on the message.
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Re: Analysis Of Shinji's Actions in 3.0. [SPOILERS]

Postby Xard » Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:21 pm

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:People have complained that the Upload Utopia interpretation of EoTV goes against the message of the series, but the "Shinji can't get a life, so he kills himself" would really be a 180 on the message.


It's the difference between 179 and 180 degree in going against the main message :hahaha:


edit: does Rebuild subforum hate smileys or something? They haven't been showing up properly for me half the time lately
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Re: Analysis Of Shinji's Actions in 3.0. [SPOILERS]

Postby Mr. Tines » Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:27 pm

View Original PostXard wrote:edit: does Rebuild subforum hate smileys or something?
Yet another bit of the wiring up that wasn't obvious that it needed doing. Should be fixed now.
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Re: Analysis Of Shinji's Actions in 3.0. [SPOILERS]

Postby Grub » Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:34 pm

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:People have complained that the Upload Utopia interpretation of EoTV goes against the message of the series, but the "Shinji can't get a life, so he kills himself" would really be a 180 on the message.


Er, no that's not really what I'm saying.

Shinji is destroying the world by being selfish. Basically at any level. Yes, even him at his mopiest is being selfish in this context.

He needs to be selfless. That means sacrifice, which does mean he won't be able to have what he wants in his life. Ever. He'll have what he wants in death (if it does kill him.) However, that doesn't mean straight suicide. I'm not saying he'll pull out a gun and blow himself away. That has no meaning in the story. If Anno did that, it'd be like he was saying, "whatever."

Most likely, Shinji'll sacrifice himself in battle. Not to make himself happy, at least not in the way he used to want, but to change the world for the better, regardless of whether or not he's in it.

Think about it: he saved Rei because he wanted her around, and whether or not he truly meant "I don't care what happens to the world," (as in, "I'm going to make it happen, billions of people be damned! For real, yo,") that is the level he was at, and it did technically happen before it was stopped by a deus ex machina. That's the wrong direction for him (regardless of how, ah, romantic it is that you'd forsake the world to save someone you loved. That kind of love can have incredibly destructive results. I think that's why Gendou exists in the story.)

No, if Shinji's going to finally win, the thought is going to be, "And I don't care what happens to me. Just let everyone live!" and he'll fight for that.



But again, I'm thinking about this somewhat traditionally. Anno could just go for a total "The Prisoner"-style mindscrew finale again for laughs. Guess we'll see.
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Re: [SPOILERS] Analysis Of Shinji's Actions in 3.0

Postby TheFriskyIan » Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:33 pm

View Original PostDarkwing wrote:I can honestly see 4.0 bieng this. Shinji snaps totally. He now wants to cause fifth impact. Because people are so aweful they all deserve to die. And he deserves to die the most. In the end Ghost Kawrou, Rei(maybe ghost), and Asuka barely talk him down. So Shinji manages to restore the world, but still kills himself because he honestly believes that it would be best. Asuka tries to stop him by confessing her love, but Shinji just tells her that it's better if she just forgets him. Suicide rate in Japan skyrockets.

For the love of all that is good and holy, please PLEASE no.
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Everyones pissed at Shinji?

Postby willburstyle06 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:40 pm

Wasnt Misato imploring Shinji to "do it for yourself", "Do it because you want it" in 2.0 when he was trying to save Rei. Did she not realize the implications of what was happening or something

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Re: [SPOILERS] Analysis Of Shinji's Actions in 3.0

Postby esselfortium » Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:54 pm

View Original PostDarkwing wrote:Okay now that 3.0 is out we seem to have a lot of Shinji is an idiot going on. And of course Goddammit Shinji, how can you be so stupid! But really if you look at Shinji's charecter, and what others around him do to him, there really was no other way for it to play out.

There's being a scared kid, and then there's ReShinji. One is helpless and confused, the other is just willfully stupid and dangerous to everyone around him.

If he didn't have the IQ of a turnip, there are plenty of other ways the story could easily have played out. Even if he doesn't think Misato and Asuka and the others are trustworthy anymore, he even has Kaworu begging him to stop before he starts another impact. So his stubbornness gets Kaworu blown up, along with half the world. Again.

This is now two movies in a row in which Shinji acting like a self-centered dumbass has directly screwed over his friends and caused death and destruction on a massive scale. Once was deplorable enough. At this rate, I think the only hope for any of the other characters to avoid a horrible Shinji-inflicted fate in Final is if he dies or becomes a hermit first.

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Re: [SPOILERS] Analysis Of Shinji's Actions in 3.0

Postby bobbyfischer's ghost » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:01 pm

View Original Postesselfortium wrote:becomes a hermit first.


Shinji joins a Buddhist temple and reflect on his rash actions.

Asuka saves the world. :lol:
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Re: [SPOILERS] Analysis Of Shinji's Actions in 3.0

Postby Xard » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:07 pm

View Original Postesselfortium wrote:There's being a scared kid, and then there's ReShinji. One is helpless and confused, the other is just willfully stupid and dangerous to everyone around him.

If he didn't have the IQ of a turnip, there are plenty of other ways the story could easily have played out. Even if he doesn't think Misato and Asuka and the others are trustworthy anymore, he even has Kaworu begging him to stop before he starts another impact. So his stubbornness gets Kaworu blown up, along with half the world. Again.

This is now two movies in a row in which Shinji acting like a self-centered dumbass has directly screwed over his friends and caused death and destruction on a massive scale. Once was deplorable enough. At this rate, I think the only hope for any of the other characters to avoid a horrible Shinji-inflicted fate in Final is if he dies or becomes a hermit first.


Sounds like same old Shinji to me.
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And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
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Postby CJD » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:30 pm

View Original PostdiS3 wrote:Asuka COMPLETELY NOT HAPPY to see Shinji. It breaks down very quickly and demonstrates superhuman strength, almost smashing armored glass fist. Asuka looks somewhat vexed by HER emotional outburst and said he was going to hold back, but could not at the sight of Shinji.


-Get your ass raped by space angel
-Call for Baka Shinji to save you when you fear for your life
-Yui, Shinji's mother and protector, saves your life so that you can save Shinji
-Hate Shinji still

Typical Asuka. Why am I not surprised in the least?

View Original PostHyper Shinchan wrote:Oh crap, it didn't look like that from the preview...


After rereading Ornettes post.. I have similar thoughts.

@Ornette: Does Asuka hate him any more than usual from what you can tell? I mean, does she really truly hate him or is it just Asuka being Asuka, or even Asuka being angry?


Also, only 5 pages in like 4 hours, thank god. I expected to come home to 20.

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Re: Everyones pissed at Shinji?

Postby StratoSakuya...AF » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:32 pm

View Original Postwillburstyle06 wrote:Wasnt Misato imploring Shinji to "do it for yourself", "Do it because you want it" in 2.0 when he was trying to save Rei. Did she not realize the implications of what was happening or something


Shall we make a "Misato is a bitch" thread? Because I'd rather see EoE Overdrive instead of watching Shinji suffer because he's being himself.
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Re: Everyones pissed at Shinji?

Postby Reichu » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:34 pm

View Original PostStratoSakuya...AF wrote:Shall we make a "Misato is a bitch" thread?

http://forum.evageeks.org/thread/13412/SPOILERS-Shinji-Misato-and-Gendo-in-30/

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Re: Everyones pissed at Shinji?

Postby Grub » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:51 pm

View Original PostStratoSakuya...AF wrote:Shall we make a "Misato is a bitch" thread? Because I'd rather see EoE Overdrive instead of watching Shinji suffer because he's being himself.


He's going to have to think about what he really wants now. His current "wants" have been getting the people he (apparently) cares about killed. Is that how he wants to live? And does he really care about those people as individuals, or are they just cushions for his own infantile mental issues?

How he answers that question and acts upon it in Rebuild 4.0 will determine the ending.
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Postby Grub » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:53 pm

View Original PostCJD wrote:-Get your ass raped by space angel
-Call for Baka Shinji to save you when you fear for your life
-Yui, Shinji's mother and protector, saves your life so that you can save Shinji
-Hate Shinji still

Typical Asuka. Why am I not surprised in the least?


I thought everyone hated Shinji because they believe he knowingly sacrificed the entire world to save Rei? Outside of any explanation from these translated synopses, that's what I'm getting from it.
"The closer you resemble a samurai, the higher your chances for survival." -Carl Sagan (What the!?)


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