Humanizing Gendou

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Humanizing Gendou

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Postby KobayashiRiku » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:53 pm

I've only seen this done once or twice in all my years reading fanfiction. And I'm curious as to your approach, if any you would take on this.

Without starting Gendou out OOC (a la Shinji Ikari Raising Project) how would you write Gendou Ikari changing from what we see him as in the Majority of NGETV/Rebuilds to a better person?

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Postby Lavinius » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:57 pm

›implying Gendou did anything wrong at all except not hug Shinji and fail to tell him as much as he should have

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Postby NemZ » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:10 pm

Simply give him more screen time where he's not plotting, yelling commands or being aloof... preferably when he's not even at Nerv. Let us see Gendo in a robe and slippers vegging out on the sofa with a similarly unwinding Ritsuko, falling asleep while watching a movie or something. Just being a normal guy, even if only for an hour or two. Maybe give him a hobby? Nobody can be a professional asshole 24/7.
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Postby Sicarius VI » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:48 pm

^ Somehow I don't seee Gendo watching a movie when he is the head of Nerv.

I would say show more backstory with how he was before hand, and a much more clear progression of how he becomes the person he is in the series. All we get was a character saying that he was devastated, but all we see is his first iconic "Gendo Pose". We aren't given a lot, and more to understand wouldnt hurt.
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Postby KobayashiRiku » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:49 pm

View Original PostLavinius wrote:›implying Gendou did anything wrong at all except not hug Shinji and fail to tell him as much as he should have


I'm right there with you on that one, I never considered Gendou particularly evil and EoE tells us he did what he did where Shinji is concerned because he thought it was in the boy's best interest. I'm referring to writers habit of writing him like he's Satan incarnate.

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Postby NemZ » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:52 pm

Director of Nerv is hella stressful, so he desperately needs some R&R on a regular basis to remain effective... Dr. Pullring's orders. ^_^
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Postby Ray » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:57 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:Director of Nerv is hella stressful, so he desperately needs some R&R on a regular basis to remain effective... Dr. Pullring's orders. ^_^


Why do you think he bangs Ritsuko? Aside from being a total asshole that never calls her back? It's never shown onscreen, but I'm sure Gendo lets off quite a bit of stress on a regular basis.
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Postby NemZ » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:17 pm

Well sure, but I don't imagine that's all they ever do together. Gendo's not a young guy, sometimes things don't work as expected, and this was a show created before viagra was an option.

Besides, it takes more than just frequent dickings to keep a smart sexy lady satisfied and loyal while also keeping said relationship secret. There has to be some emotional connection, even if he's just putting in the time to fake it. If it was just sex she'd never have put up such a fight at her interrogation nor fallen so hard afterwards.
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Postby Ray » Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:59 am

I forgot to mention it here but I have talked about it before. Volume 5 of The Angelic Days Manga has an interesting alternate history/possible origin story for Gendo you could always go to for inspiration if you need help humanizing Gendo.

Dude is hardcore. Does not give anything. He KO's a teacher in front of the entire class for mentioning his father.

Well, maybe humanizing is a big word. Gendo towards the end of the story in both NGE and Rebuild has pretty much thrown away what little humanity he had left to try and reunite with Yui. What makes a villain a tragic villain, is a backstory.

What we know about Gendo is that he had a past similar to Shinji's, only worse. There are some theories going around that he was an unwanted pregnancy. After he was born his parents and/or step-parents resented him just for existing. Until Yui came into his life Gendo never really had a real loving relationship with anyone, he didn't have any strong parental figures so he became a delinquent. Since nobody really cared about him unless they wanted to keep up appearances, then what was the point about caring for anyone but himself?
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:03 pm

For hobbies: Both the GoS2 manga (Angelic Days Vol 4) and NGE2 PSP game mention the possibility of him going fishing with Shinji...

Perhaps fishing is one of Gendo's off day activities?

I could totally see some silent GendoRitsu cuddling during their downtime (he might not be a cuddler, but I bet Ritsuko would be; considering she clearly digs him when you take into consideration her breakdown).
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Postby NemZ » Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:33 pm

Random thoughts:

Gendo is TERRIBLE at golf and loathes people who want to do business on the course.

He enjoys fishing but not the fishing itself, just the relaxing atmosphere. If Yui wasn't so competitive he'd probably not even bother to bait his hook.

He doesn't like the bitterness of beer or dry wines, but does enjoy a good whiskey or scotch. On his anniversary (and only then) he drinks mai tais.

Gendo and Fuyu have a long-running rivalry in NES Tecmo Baseball. Fuyu is currently ahead by 3 games.

Gendo Is a fan of singer-songwritters like Harry Chapin or Neil Diamond. Occasionally sings along when he thinks nobody is around, one of the few times he lets his emotional walls down.
Rest In Peace ~ 1978 - 2017
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"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize that half of 'em are stupider than that." - George Carlin
"The internet: It's like a training camp for never amounting to anything." - Oglaf
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Postby Reichu » Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:22 pm

Gendo's implied to have a background in economics, so maybe he keeps a finger on the world's economic pulse and reads the Japanese equivalent of the Wall Street Journal.

View Original PostNemZ wrote:Random thoughts

Your red, white, and blue is showing pretty hard. Needs more rising sun. I.e., you can't pull a bunch of stuff from your cultural experience and expect it to work without modification on a foreign character, unless that character's specific schtick is being a [your country]phile or something.

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Postby Rei IV » Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:33 pm

Have Gendo be a fan of Mickey Mouse, Disney movies, and Michael Jackson. All are popular and well known (and liked) in Japan. Also, dem GLOVES.

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Postby Bagheera » Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:43 pm

View Original PostLavinius wrote:›implying Gendou did anything wrong at all except not hug Shinji and fail to tell him as much as he should have


Engineering the death of human civilization is kinda high up there on the "wrong" list.

As to humanizing Gendo: I think he's pretty darn human already, honestly. He's a broken, pathetic man who's so afraid of human contact that he can't even face his own son, who clings to an image of his dead wife that's an utter fabrication, and who uses and abuses people to force his insane and obviously doomed plan through its paces. That's about as pathologically "human" as you can get.
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Postby NemZ » Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:09 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Your red, white, and blue is showing pretty hard. Needs more rising sun. I.e., you can't pull a bunch of stuff from your cultural experience and expect it to work without modification on a foreign character, unless that character's specific schtick is being a [your country]phile or something.


Sigh. Everything on that list still works just fine in Japan except maybe the music, but both artists have put out Japanese LPs so its entirely possible Gendo might be familiar with them. Besides, I said 'like' so not necessarily them, but could be someone else in that soulful confessional style.
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"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize that half of 'em are stupider than that." - George Carlin
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Postby Reichu » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:00 am

View Original PostNemZ wrote:Sigh. Everything on that list still works just fine in Japan except maybe the music

You forgot the "NES" part, too. In any case, the point of my comment wasn't exactly whether or not such items were theoretically possible, it was that you were making suggestions (specifically the last three) from a clearly hindered cultural POV -- one that would, in large part, not take the most likely options for a Japanese man like Gendo into account. I take this kind of stuff pretty seriously, which is why I've spent so much time researching the most minor setting details for my own fic. Seeing unthinking and unironic Americanization of non-American characters and settings makes me cringe inside something fierce.

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Postby NemZ » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:45 am

Where do you think the NES came from? Or are you seriously being such a stickler on this that you're going to insist I say Famicom instead?

I take this kind of stuff pretty seriously


Yeah, no kidding. Please forgive me for not sufficiently immersing myself in Japanese pop culture of the 60's-80's before daring to reply to a random chit-chat thread in a manner that lives up to your arbitrary personal standards. I don't know what I was thinking, having fun on the Internet of all things!
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"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize that half of 'em are stupider than that." - George Carlin
"The internet: It's like a training camp for never amounting to anything." - Oglaf
"I think internet message boards and the like are dangerous." - Anno

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Postby Reichu » Sat Dec 19, 2015 1:05 am

Forgive me for thinking that this was a thread asking for serious suggestions and for raising concerns about ones that I didn't consider particularly well thought out? I wasn't aware your posts were above comment or criticism. My mistake, I guess.

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Postby NemZ » Sat Dec 19, 2015 1:22 am

This has stopped being fun, but I still don't understand why you think any of that was a problem.
Rest In Peace ~ 1978 - 2017
"I'd consider myself a realist, alright? but in philosophical terms I'm what's called a pessimist. It means I'm bad at parties." - Rust Cohle
"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize that half of 'em are stupider than that." - George Carlin
"The internet: It's like a training camp for never amounting to anything." - Oglaf
"I think internet message boards and the like are dangerous." - Anno

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Postby Bagheera » Sat Dec 19, 2015 4:16 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:You forgot the "NES" part, too. In any case, the point of my comment wasn't exactly whether or not such items were theoretically possible, it was that you were making suggestions (specifically the last three) from a clearly hindered cultural POV -- one that would, in large part, not take the most likely options for a Japanese man like Gendo into account. I take this kind of stuff pretty seriously, which is why I've spent so much time researching the most minor setting details for my own fic. Seeing unthinking and unironic Americanization of non-American characters and settings makes me cringe inside something fierce.


Given that no one here is writing for a Japanese audience that seems an unreasonable standard. People are talking about "humanizing" Gendo, i.e. making him "nice" or more approachable or whatever, and that's already pretty darn OOC. At that point we might as well have fun with the idea (and we've already seen some of NemZ's suggestions in official art -- fishing with Shinji, for example).

Also, wouldn't it be more helpful to offer your own suggestions on the matter rather than simply criticizing someone else's for being "too American"?
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.


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