Is Shinji evil?

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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unz
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Postby unz » Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:43 am

I think shingi's evil/negative/etc as far as a tragic hero and his character allows so you have mistakes/tragedy/facepalming etc, saying he's evil or negative or something is not saying much (actually it's obscuring the positive messages which already are paper thin).
As far as Q goes at its core eva's still a mecha thing, a story about the main character and less about secondary ones, so when girls are revealed stronger and smarter the reasons to have main dudes to matter at all is to give them almost divine status. You have stuff like king of lilins and Shinji gaining things like superstrenght, lasers, regeneration, taking tons of damage out of his nature stuff. It's just it doesn't play it straight so nearly everyone comes with issues and has very limited self realization. Doesn't Q bring that up again among other things? All pilots are beaten between Ha and Q and the only retribution thing is giving Asuka combat time time she never had (aside from killing an angel). Shinji gets blamed but it's, like, some Ha's mirrored events to bring up his desire which triggers the impact again. Who cares what he was blamed of before? Things have developed past that into doctrines and charges so who will put Shinji back to unit13 (which crashed but no confirmation of damage was given iirc)?

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Postby BlueBasilisk » Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:22 pm

View Original PostArcadia's legacy wrote:I wouldn't say he's a liar, but he was definetly witholding a lot of information from Shinji


I would. I'd go further: Kaworu is a silver-tongued snake who became "friends" with Shinji because it was in accordance with his and Seele's plan. They've been planning it from the very beginning and even talk about it in 1.0. And look what happens when he finally has the chance to meet Shinji: promises him happiness while literally stabbing him in the back! With a spear named after one of the most famous conspirators and traitors in history! In an ominously shadowed Eva with glowing red eyes (yes, I know it's the visor). 20 seconds on the stage and he sets off all kinds of villain flags.

Then he spends all of 3.0 becoming close to Shinji so he can talk him into Eva 13 to carry out Seele's plot. It's the one thing Wille asked him NOT to do, the one thing that would get Shinji killed, and Kaworu is there to tempt him into it by playing off his desperation. The only reason it didn't work out is because Gendo and Fuyutsuki intervened. It's the same type of plan Gendo and Fuyutsuki were plotting with Shinji and Rei, but Kaworu is a willing accomplice where Rei doesn't seem to be.

Shinji won't believe it because that's just how he is, but Kaworu's death isn't on his hands. That was his own bad karma coming back to bite him in the ass and he got killed as a consequence of his trying to use Shinji like a pawn. Notice how in all of his explanations, he never once mentions Seele or alludes to its existence? He said they'd stop Nerv's plans for Instrumentality, but that is also what Seele is trying to do!

Now maybe he does actually care about Shinji in some way and wants to bring him happiness. I believe his words to Shinji right before he died were sincere and that he had a change of heart when he realized how miserable he'd made Shinji. But in both continuities, he is a toxic presence and Shinji would have been better off having never known him.

The more I watch the movie, the more I realize how much of a pawn Shinji is in 3.0. Everything he does in the movie is a carefully plotted move in the shadow war between Gendo and Seele and the poor kid is so far out of his depth that he doesn't even realize there are strings to look for.
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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:39 pm

While i agree with a lot of what your'e saying, was there ever a moment Kaworu deliberately gave Shinji false information? we had him withhold information "We can stop Nerv (but i wont tell you about SEELE)" and we had false information that he-himself believed "We can change the world if we pull out the spears (but unkown to me, one of the spears is wrong)" but i dont recall simple lies. If there are any, could you please point them out?
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Postby BlueBasilisk » Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:57 pm

View Original PostArcadia's legacy wrote:Well.........never mind then

Sorry, got a little carried away there! -o-;

But like I said, I don't think that precludes the possibility that Kaworu might want to make Shinji happy in his own way. Being an Angel, he most likely doesn't look at these sorts of relationships the same way we do. The others who have spoken certainly didn't. That's why I hope he's not really dead and that Shinji has a chance to confront him in the next movie. Shinji deserves to know how much of their relationship was genuine and they could even become real friends once all the apocalyptic dust has settled.

View Original PostArcadia's legacy wrote:While i agree with a lot of what your'e saying, was there ever a moment Kaworu deliberately gave Shinji false information?


The one that comes to mind is this: "EVA Unit 01 awakened and opened the Doors of Guf, acting as the trigger of the Third Impact. Lilin calls that the Near-Third Impact. You are the cause of all this."

We the audience know this isn't true because the landscape had none of those features when we last saw it in 2.0, and because Kaworu later says the epicenter wasn't in the Geofront where Unit 01 was, it was in Central Dogma where Mark.06 is. It's possible Unit 01 activated later while Shinji was still out to lunch, but going by the information we have, that's a blatant falsehood.

Kaworu doesn't do very much bold-faced lying, but he does a lot through omission and through half-truths. Like when he says they can use the spears to change the world: Kaworu never actually says they'll change it back the way it was, but he lets Shinji assume that.
Someday I hope that we'll be reunited if that is what's destined to be. Perhaps we'll discover that elusive bible. And then we will finally be free!

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:18 pm

View Original PostArcadia's legacy wrote:was there ever a moment Kaworu deliberately gave Shinji false information?

I thought so, but when I checked different translations to quote it, I found that the more nearly official one (the Hong Kong release) came over distinctly differently from the fansubs. So maybe not. But there are some sweeping generalisations which may be exaggerated (we don't know).
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Postby BlueBasilisk » Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:28 pm

That's another problem, too. When you look at the various translations, some of the lines have significant differences between them that change the tone of certain conversations.
Someday I hope that we'll be reunited if that is what's destined to be. Perhaps we'll discover that elusive bible. And then we will finally be free!

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Postby unz » Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:33 pm

I for one like the spins to the idea behind the kaworu character of being the incarnation of all that Shinji wishes to be, hence kaworu and everything about him turns an illusion with magical angel powers crap and stories. It's really shitty romance NGE delivered with an I wub you moment and nte doesn't differ too much from it with promises being too good to be real , which makes kaworu's last line somewhat of a painful lie trying to comfort Shinji but he' ll probably take part in final through the eva or something.
But it's really Anno taking a toll on everyone from Shinji's fantasies to eroticism and heteros making them feeling guilt for all the tragedy - Shinji himself takes the chance pulling out the spears and then feels like crap, even though it's a good thing to have proven he can one up his own fantasies and literally kill them. But everything is so messed up. Actually it's easier to think of Shinji as a female char with Asuka instead of toji as potential love interest whose trigger into growing any balls is a damsel in distress, so you know this deal from NGE and Q is controversial for the sake of it and it just has to end without both Rei and kaworu presence while Asuka is meant to play the "destiny" guinding Shinji somewhere. Idk there's something for everyone.

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Postby ElMariachi » Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:55 am

All this talk about Kaworu recalled me of the topic I created a lot of time ago about Kaworu's real intentions in 3.0.
The condensed version is: Kaworu genuinely want Shinji's happiness (he don't stop talking about it even when he's seen completely alone), but is mislead about what will make him happy, since for him it pass by Instrumentality, which made his and SEELE goals coincide. (that's why Kaworu didn't talked about SEELE to Shinji and kept vague about what the two spears will exactly do)

Except that Gendo threw a wrench in all this in 3.0 when the LoC was revealed to be a LoL, which is still fine for SEELE, but not Kaworu, which pushed him to stop everything, unwittingly thwarting SEELE's plans and furthering Gendo's.
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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:11 am

View Original PostElMariachi wrote:when the LoC was revealed to be a LoL, which is still fine for SEELE, but not Kaworu


Wait, how? I thought you just said their plans coincided?
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Postby unz » Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:23 am

Kaworu likely supports adams while seele's wish is spelled before the last member's death, still their plan is not shown until Q.
I don't believe gendo replaces cassius with another longinus

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Postby ElMariachi » Sat Nov 14, 2015 8:14 am

View Original PostArcadia's legacy wrote:Wait, how? I thought you just said their plans coincided?

They coincided at first: SEELE wanted Instrumentality, and according to my theory, Kaworu thought that Instrumentality was the key to Shinji's happiness, so he and SEELE worked together without problems.
But by the time of Q, whatever plans Kaworu had for Shinji involved Instrumentality and the LoC. SEELE didn't cared because that still involved Instrumentality, so that was fine for them. But when he discovered that there was a second LoL instead of the LoC, Kaworu's plans didn't go in accordance to SEELE anymore, hence why he sacrificed himself to stop Fourth Impact, thwarting SEELE's plans and removing himself from the game, exactly as Gendo planned.
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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Sat Nov 14, 2015 8:28 am

So SEELE knew there was a second LoL down there the whole time?
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Postby ElMariachi » Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:07 am

View Original PostArcadia's legacy wrote:So SEELE knew there was a second LoL down there the whole time?

No, like Kaworu they thought that there was a LoL and a LoC, but what really interested them is that there was at least one LoL, so EVA-13 could start Instrumentality.
That's why when Fourth Impact was finally stopped Fuyutsuki was seen relieved and commenting that nearly everything has gone as SEELE expected, meaning that they did came very close to win, and would have if Mari didn't managed to eject Shinji from EVA-13.
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Postby unitM » Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:19 pm

I'm going to need to hire a secretary to get back to this thread... :facepalm:

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Postby al » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:09 am

View Original PostBlueBasilisk wrote:Shinji was working for the wrong side, but he's not evil. He's just a short-sighted, self-interested 14 year old who can't see beyond his own problems sometimes and doesn't have all the information he should before rushing into things. Nothing really unusual for a teenager. Unfortunately for him, the setting and his unique situation means the consequences of those actions are extremely dire. If he were actually evil, I don't think he'd have been so devastated by the things he learned.

He has his own reason! So he is not evil!

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Postby zlink64 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:08 am

Evil seems like a strong word but I would say he is "bad person" atleast up until before the end/part 4.

He does basically whatever people tell him to do.
Had he been born in Germany in ww 2 he would've been the kind of nazi that became a nazi just because it would've been expected of him and he would completely alienated himself from responsibility by saying he has no choice the way he does in the show. That being said by the end of the show I think he realizes why that way of thinking is bullshit and becomes a "good person" so hopefully same thing happens in the movies.
I know it seems like a weird example but I'm trying to highlight why Shinji's issues are issues in the first place. Even in a less extreme example like playing the cello Shinji just ends up becoming a selfdestructive. There is nothing healthy or positive about Shinji habitual lack of taking responsibility by letting others decide for him. And I imagine Shinji is subconsciously or consciously aware of this otherwise he wouldn't feel like shit every time he fucked up.
Last edited by zlink64 on Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
hmmm

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Postby Sachi » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:25 pm

View Original Postzlink64 wrote:And I imagine Shinji is subconsciously or consciously aware of this otherwise he would feel like shit every time he fucked up.

Does he not feel like shit whenever he fucks up? It seemed like he felt like shit for most of Q. He also seemed destroyed when he realized his hand in 4th Impact, to the point where he couldn't even stand on his own when Asuka recovered him from his plug. In 1.0, he ran away and slept in an alley after being criticized for acting hastily against Shamshel. I would say that Shinji is actually very hard on himself and does feel like shit whenever he fucks up.

As for your Nazi comparison: keep in mind that he refused to actively take another person's life in 2.0 during the Bardiel incident, to the point where he'd rather let himself die first. When his hand was forced, he condemned his father (an important turning point in both the original series and NTE) and tried to leave. This does not seem like somebody who would have been a Nazi just because he was expected to by his peers.
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Postby zlink64 » Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:54 pm

My bad I meant I "wouldn't". I'll fix it and ur right about part 2 but I dunno if I wanna go that easy on Shinji atleast not yet anyway.
hmmm

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Postby Reichu » Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:44 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:As for your Nazi comparison: keep in mind that he refused to actively take another person's life in 2.0 during the Bardiel incident, to the point where he'd rather let himself die first.

Even the people actually performing the executions for the Nazis had a lot of problems with it -- until the method of killing was made a bit less hands on. The gassing method effectively created enough detachment that I wouldn't put Shinji's personality type beyond participating. And he is a willful accomplice in systematic genocide, besides... :devil:

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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:25 am

As long as we're going off on a tangent about Shinji with regard to the specific example of Nazism and we're accepting it as a premise...

Shinji has limits. If there's something he really doesn't want to do, nothing's going to make him do it. I think that even if Shinji could be truly detached from whatever he was doing, it would not be a state of mind that he would be able to sustain for any great period of time. Sure, he'll pour Zyklon B into the showers easy as you please, but he's not going to do that forever. The reality of what he's doing is eventually going to catch up with him, he's going to break, and he's going to stop. Sachi's right.


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