Shinji's portrayal in Eva 2.0/2.22

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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Postby Jornophelanthas » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:40 pm

@SaltyJoe:
So you disregard my argument against your position as "philosophical musings" that are a "tangent" from this thread, and you claim that your position on Shinji and Rei is "blatantly" obvious.

Forgive me for interpreting this response as an admission that you don't understand my argument.

However, if you want a blatant retort, I shall quote Kendrix on this issue:
View Original PostKendrix wrote:There is more to Rei than her origin story.


Rei hardly has any notion of her own identity in her own mind.
Shinji starts interacting with her.
Through this interaction, Rei develops a personality.

The unknown facts of Rei's origin story has NO bearing on Rei's personality.

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Postby SaltyJoe » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:36 pm

Okay, fine. Lets go through a quote from Episode 25 of NGE, a quote which deals with the idea of the untouchable inner self (the core of the soul, if you prefer) versus the identity gained through interaction with others.

The third character

Ayanami Rei, in her case,

Rei: Who am I?

Rei: Ayanami Rei.

Rei: Who are you?

Ayanami Rei

Rei: You are also Ayanami Rei?

Rei: Yes. The thing called Ayanami Rei.

Rei: All these are the things called Ayanami Rei.

Rei: Why are all of these me?

Rei: Because others call us Ayanami Rei.

This is the starting point for your side of the argument. Rei acknowledges that she is who she is because of the others calling her Ayanami Rei, in other words, giving her an identity.

However....

Rei: Why do you have a false mind and a false body?

Rei: Not false, for I am I.

Rei: No. you are a human whose false soul was made by a
man named Ikari Gendou.
You are a false object which is pretending to be a human.

Immediately, conflict arises within Rei herself regarding her nature. One may argue that this internal conflict takes place between the identity of Rei created via interactions with others and the singular sense of purpose enforced upon her by Gendo.

But isn't there more to it than that? What lies at the heart of the conflict? Isn't the fact of Rei's non-human nature looming over her as a shadow of an ultimate truth she just can't escape from? She describes herself not merely as a human or a tool made by Gendo, but as a something pretending to be human. Right there, in her own mind, she acknowledges that the very idea of her being a human is ultimately a falsehood.

And where lese would this conflict come from if not from the pure, naked truth of Rei knowing that she isn't human? That her real identity is that of the entity named Lilith, an identity upon which Ayanmi Rei is only a layer, a mask, a fabrication, forced upon her by the unnatural machinations of Gendo Ikari, then further shaped by her life experiences with others? The conflict stems from an undeniable truth: she is Lilith. Ayanami Rei is who she is, but Lilith is what she is. Ayanami Rei is a creation of Lilith and those who interacted with her. But she can't take the Lilithness out of herself.

Look, you have a dark, invisible, and unintelligible mind
within you, where the true you exists.


The true person shrouded in mist, hidden from the outside world, where nothing can touch it. A poignant quote for NGE, if there ever was one, absolutely not exclusive to Rei's plight. Just take Asuka: her identity created through a search for purpose and interaction with others literally crumbles into dust when her reality emerges, like it was never there to begin with. And really, the series plays around with the true self hidden behind a facade almost endlessly.

I don't think that NGE tells us that our identity is 100% shaped by interaction with others. It asks a question, it doesn't give an answer. The only thing NGE states is that, one way or another, people need each other.


Rei: I am I.
I've become me through the instrumentality of the links
between me and others.

Rei: I've been formed by interaction with others.

Rei: The interaction with people and the flow of time change
the shape of my mind.

Those are bonds?

Rei: Yes. Those have formed me so far, the thing called Ayanami Rei.
And, those will form me from now on.

Those are bonds?

Rei: But, there's someone else who is the true you.

Rei: You don't know her.

Rei: Because you don't want to see that, you are trying to run away.

The schizophrenic battle continues. The Ayanami Rei shaped by living a life as Ayanami Rei continues to plead her case. But, again, with surety, the inner voice comes: "Oh sure, you tell yourself that, instead of facing the truth."

Because of fear.

Rei: Because she might not have a human shape.
Because the present me might disappear.

Fear

Rei: One is afraid that the self will disappear.

Rei: Fear?
That doesn't make sense.

Rei: The Self's world will disappear.

Aren't you afraid?

Rei: The Self will disappear.

Aren't you afraid?

Rei: No, I'm glad.
I am the thing that wishes to die.
All I need is despair.
I want to be nothingness.

Rei: No, you can't.
You can't be nothingness.
That person won't let you be nothingness.

Rei: Still not allowed to return.

Rei: I've existed because he's needed me.

Rei: But, in the end.
I'll be useless.
I'll be deserted by him.

Rei: I've hoped for this day, although I'm now afraid.

Gendou: Let's go.
You've existed for the sake of today, this day, Rei.

Rei: Yes.

Do note that in the original ending, Rei finally crumbles under the weight of her existential crisis. Giving up, she admits her desire to return into nothingness, to die, to cast off the shackles of existence that were put upon her. She perceives this death as a return. Lilith won, also now the opposite side of the equation comes into play: Rei became an integral part of Lilith. The fear Rei feels over rejection and abandonment is now the fear of Lilith. But Lilith is Lilith.

In summation, i'm on the opinion that the very nature of the soul is a part of the identity, since this nature is what appoints the framework where the identity can be formed. If you are Lilith, you can only be Lilith, but you can shape your Lilithness by creating yourself an identity. But you are still Lilith, with thought patterns and a unique perception of the world that is caused by the fact of having Lilith's soul, which in NGE, where the body is merely a shape created/held together by the soul (my own interpretation) essentially means being Lilith.

To play around with the idea of Locke you presented, i would say that in NGE, where the soul is the linchpin of existence itself, it is not merely the paper, but it's also the ink, the pen, and the drawing board.



Now, why did i consider this to be tangential to the thread?

Because ultimately, the personality shaping facets of the interactions between Shinji and Rei have little to do with the question this whole branch of discussion sprouted from: that is, how much does Shinji actually know about Rei (little, precious little) and is it dangerous for him to grow so attached to someone he knows so little about (yes, it is).

In the face of a sweeping revelation, Shinji might even start to consider Rei a different person compared to how he knew her up until then. The person that is Rei in Shinji's mind might be completely rewritten. And that's the Rei that ultimately matters, when discussing Shinji's character.
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Postby Kendrix » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:59 pm

No.
Dunno about Jorno, but I never claimed that genes/etc/the origin story was completely unimportant - in the end both nature and nurture shape us as do our own decisions.

That Rei has doubts about herself/ is afraid/conflicted doesn't mean that the doubts are right.

In fact, that "nurture", while it isn't everything, is still a factor there, is aknowdledged.

("are those bonds?" Rei: blabla "Yes, those are bonds." then: "But... " bla bla. )

Yeah, I also think that EoTV Rei just surrendered here, but she had doubts to the end ("But now, I fear it....") she might as well have taken the EoE part (which I'd call something-in-between... she did join Lillith and died, but she was also motivated by her very human feelings for a person she met as a human; She was acting as Rei Ayanami there, because Lillith wouldn't have had a reason to favor Shinji above any other human), and Rebuild might be a different ballgame there, since Rei II still lives.
It was Number three who decided "Okay, I'm Lillith, so I hate the human who put me in here and want to go back since I was never meant to have this pesky existence with contact and emotion etc...

but if that fear of her identity isn't her's, it's her predecessors, and that predecessor lives and has just been supported in her very real desire to keep being Rei Ayanami.
Because, y'know, something IS there. Rei II thought it was valuable, Rei III less so, but that's each of them being themselves.

Again, compare with Kaworu, who had a fulfilling life despite being a SoL-in-a-human-ish body and made choices that completely defied anything Adam would do.
It is a pity that we don't know much about his self-perception (Then again, him being a mysterious character /working like he did sort of demanded that) but he did not appear to be conflicted, even when the SEELE people mentioned the Adam thing... maybe it's because unlike Rei, he knew all along what he was and never saw it as a scary, unknown thing there.


In the end, this has boiled down to a discussion about wether Rei is an individual or not, wether she is worth saving.
If she is one, Shinji knows her, just as he knows Touji, Kensuke and Misato, they have interacted just as much. If she's just Lillith or Yui, he doesn't know her and was chasing an Illusion. If there is no Rei Ayanami, then what draws him to her is the shadow of Yui and following that would be wrong.
If she is an individual, then he's saving her because she's not Yui and he is right for seeing the real Rei, giving her value and telling her that she has a right to be an individual.
Shinji seems to be on our team there, but hey, you have Ritsuko and NGE!Asuka on your side.; Q will tell which of us is right here.
Last edited by Kendrix on Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Reichu » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:10 pm

This page might be useful for any debates involving Rei's scene in 25, since it indicates exactly which Rei is saying which line. (Blessed be the script...)

Kendrix wrote:Q will tell which of us is right here.

Image
:stir:

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Postby Kendrix » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:16 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:This page might be useful for any debates involving Rei's scene in 25, since it indicates exactly which Rei is saying which line. (Blessed be the script...)



Yeah. You can usually tell who is who because of the outfits, but there are places where it's ambiguous and some have gotten official translations wrong because of it. It's kinda hard when you don't have the director's cut drawing Rei III with her eyes half closed.

But I think that you can notice a subtle difference in how Mrs. Hayashibara pronounces their lines.
Rei II has the typical about-to-faint tone, while Rei III has... Hm... hard to discribe a bit like GLaDOS minus the moral core, but using Rei as a basis.

Note that when they all appear in EoE, Rei II is seeing picking up something related to her bonds as a human and wearing clothes, while Rei III who has cast off any humanity, stands there naked and in the same pose that Lillith has as the time, because clothes are a human thing and she did not mean to put that neatly folded uniform back on...

I must note that it is amazing that they could portray a character so inhuman with such creepy goals as Rei III as a person with inner conflicts.

@Image:
That only means it will be a plot point, as they would be pretty stupid not to milk that for drama especially if Rei's wish to keep her individuality is gonna be more of a plot point
Last edited by Kendrix on Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby driftking18594 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:22 pm

I'm guessing that image of the multiple Reis is a scene from her while she's a soul-searching puddle of LCL in EVA-01. I would agree that it's her trying to establish her individuality.

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Postby Kendrix » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:27 pm

View Original Postdriftking18594 wrote:I'm guessing that image of the multiple Reis is a scene from her while she's a soul-searching puddle of LCL in EVA-01. I would agree that it's her trying to establish her individuality.


The purple Background suggest that this is SEELE's detainment cell. (Judging by a similar scene with Mari)
My theory on that image is that, since Rei is currently a pudddle but they wanted to question her, they questioned... something else.

Or, it's related to that "contract with Lillith" and they have spare clones acting as a medium of sorts - note the different uniform.
But it's to early to tell what the outcome will be - of course it's gonna be a plotpoint/adressed in some way, being adressed =/= one theory or the other being confirmed. To make that distinction, we'll have to wait and see how that adressing of the topic plays out.
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Postby Jornophelanthas » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:08 pm

View Original PostSaltyJoe wrote:Now, why did i consider this to be tangential to the thread?

Because ultimately, the personality shaping facets of the interactions between Shinji and Rei have little to do with the question this whole branch of discussion sprouted from: that is, how much does Shinji actually know about Rei (little, precious little) and is it dangerous for him to grow so attached to someone he knows so little about (yes, it is).

In the face of a sweeping revelation, Shinji might even start to consider Rei a different person compared to how he knew her up until then. The person that is Rei in Shinji's mind might be completely rewritten. And that's the Rei that ultimately matters, when discussing Shinji's character.


Thank you for your impressive argumentation. My compliments on the extensive work this required.

For now, I return to the core of the issue.

I agree with you that the knowledge that Rei is an Angel soul in an artificial body (or whatever Rebuild-Rei ends up being) can have potentially vast repercussions on how others view her.
Apparently, you agree with me that social interactions (most notably with Shinji) have shaped Rei's personality, where previously she had little character.
Another point where we agree is that Rei is conflicted between her true nature (that is kept mostly hidden from her), and the personality she acquired through social interaction; which of the two is the "real" her? Nature versus nurture, as Kendrix puts it.

Where we disagree is the outcome of this dilemma.
You quote EoTV-Rei III as ultimately choosing to reject nurture and embracing nature, Gendo's "purpose for which she was created". EoE-Rei III instead embraces her nature of being Lilith. Both reject the personality of Rei II.
However, Rei's choosing one does not mean that she is also right. Let's discuss a similar dilemma in Shinji, from Episode 26. This is a thread about Shinji, after all.

The scene right before the "alternate universe" "Girlfriend of Steel" sequence starts:

"Then the construction of the place changes to a white void, where Shinji exists as a drifting pencil sketch. He interprets this as a world of nothing, but his own voice comes back and says that it’s a world of perfect freedom. But perfect freedom is perfect nothingness, for there is nothing to hold on to, nothing to orient himself in. Gendo Ikari will give him a restriction: a horizontal line that defines ground and sky. Shinji has lost the ability to fly, but now feels more secure as he has something to walk on. In any world, things change, the person changes, and the person can shape the world, through the shaping of perceptions. Yet this must also be in the presence of others. Shinji in this white world feels that he is disappearing, and it is because he can’t know his own shape without other things to compare it to, and there is nothing else there. Shinji knows who he is, but other people must be there shape his mind as well in order to form a complete self. That is the truth."

Source: http://wiki.evageeks.org/Episode_26, emphasis added.
(Unfortunately, I don't know where to find a reliable transcript, so a summary will have to suffice.)

While you may point out that "Shinji knows who he is" before other people come in, but he is also losing himself because of the lack of an "outside", until ultimately nothing will be left of him.

This is the point: Individuality requires others to be separate from, or there is no individual, and thus no identity.

By this point, Shinji decides that he wants a reality with others in it, because he wants to exist. And he can exist only as an individual. Which is why he imagines/creates the alternate school reality (including the heavy emphasis on sexuality of a typical teenage boy). In short, Shinji has accepted this argument as a decisive one.

I believe that Episode 25 serves as a "deconstruction", where all characters are picked apart, until hardly anything remains of them. Episode 26, by contrast, is a "reconstruction", where Shinji rebuilds not just himself, but also his will to exist. Until the walls of Instrumentality shatter and Shinji has refound both himself and his place in reality. ("Congratulations!")

So while you follow Rei's inner struggle and accept her outcome as truth, I hold that Shinji's inner struggle and its outcome are another truth. And, given the structure of Episodes 25 and 26, a preferable, higher order truth, at that.

---
One thing I still have to answer is why I believe this discussion on Rei to not be tangential to this thread about Shinji in Rebuild.
The reason for this lies in the social interactions we see between Shinji and Rei in Rebuild 2.0. We already agree that these shape Rei's personality (or the "nurture" side of who she is).
However, I will also stress that Shinji's interactions with Rei (and other characters, but Rei is very prominent among these) also shape his personality. I am not quite sure if you would agree, but I perceive Shinji at the start of Rebuild 1.0 as rather empty character, and it is only through his interactions with others that he "fills up" with character traits, such as kindness, loyalty, guilt, and self-loathing, which all together make him recognizable as Shinji to us.

I believe his interactions with Rei are very interesting and relevant to this thread, because what happens is two characters with very little personality shaping each other's personality, and in doing so they also create their own.
So what goes for Rei also goes for Shinji. And I don't think it would be fair to say that Misato, Asuka, Rei, Toji, Kensuke, Mari and just about every other character other than Gendo have no real relationship to Shinji, just because they don't know his "true nature" of being born from the woman whose soul now (presumably) resides in Unit-01. In fact, I would say the opposite is true: Gendo is the only other character who does not have a real relationship to Shinji.

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Postby Kendrix » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:32 pm

View Original PostJornophelanthas wrote:You quote EoTV-Rei III as ultimately choosing to reject nurture and embracing nature, Gendo's "purpose for which she was created". EoE-Rei III instead embraces her nature of being Lilith. Both reject the personality of Rei II.
However, Rei's choosing one does not mean that she is also right.


I agree completely about the chosing bit, but Lillith equals "nature" here (She's definitely what ep25!Chibi!Rei was mainly talking about, and I get the impression that SaltyJoe counts her as that, too), as is Yui and Rei's nature as "created being" in service of Gendo, all the outside factors.
Whatever EoTV!Rei did led to Gendo's Instrumentality ("Yes, Commander" next thing we see is Shinji getting tanged, later dialogue indicating that "This is your father's work". ( Just4YI, So does the DVD commentary that everyone quotes as gospel to back their claims that Misato was actually gonna deprive Shinji of his innocence there) It probably would have involved Lillith in some way since she and Gendo bothered to go down to termina Dogma)
She completely surrenders here, even tough she still had doubts/human feelings of uncertainty/conflict untill pretty much the very end ("But now, I fear it...")

What EoE!Rei did was act on these very same feelings instead of just surrender (which is why the EoTV bit is still vital to understanding her motivations), both on her resentment towards Gendo, and conflict she felt in the very end - She acted on her drive to return to Lillith and smiled as she fell appart, but she still went to heed Shinji's call, and the white blob takes her form, so she doesn't completely reject her human bonds,
It's simply that she isn't Rei II...
For Rei III, this is finding a middle ground.
Ironically, she proves herself to be an individual distinct from Rei II by throwing that very same individuality away, but that's such a human thing to do - we can kill ourselves and put other things above our self-preservation drive. That's the same ability that allows us to love others more than ourselves, used for something else. Used for something utterly inhuman, in Rei III's case. That's the sort of character she is...

I think that what Rebuild!Rei will ultimately do will again be very different from either ending, wether she survives as a human or dies a tragic death (but does so as Rei Ayanami the second. ), or gets killed and replaced again.

Again, when you consider which parts of Rei's personality a due to having a SoL soul, remember that we have another example of that, one that is probably a deliberate contrast there. Kaworu doesn't seem to be uncomfortable about it in the slightest, while he is aware of that part of himself/sees it as part of who he is, with his actions still suggesting that he doesn't consider Adam all he is (As he does things contrary to the cause of the Angels and dies for something completely "Kaworu Nagisa"-Related. It#s another side of the same "putting things above your self-preservation"-coin) - he basically walks up to Rei and says "Hi! I'm part SoL, and I heard you too! Let's be friends!"

I'm really curious for the Rebuild version of that exchange.


---

also, I completely agree that this isn't tangential, for reasons I already discribed - to judge Shinji's actions, it is vital to discern wether his goals made any sense/ wether what he wanted to save was worth saving, seeing as the possibilities/most frequent basic viewpoints so far are:

a) He made a massive step forwards in his motivations and character developement which had unfortunate side effects he couldn't have known about (as far as I got it, mine, symby's and hyperShinchan's position)

b) He meant well, but was somehow misguided and willingly used the wrong means (Jorno's and SSD's position)

c) He's completely out of touch with reality and selfishly chasing an Illusion.(Azathoth's and SaltyJoe's position)

The factors that these interpretations are characterized by are wether he could be held responsible for the adverse consequences(which we have already discussed to death), and, yes, wether his motivations in themselves are genuine and/or right.
Obviously, they are wrong if he recklessly charged into battle for a mechanical part he got attached to cuz it looks somewhat like mommy while not knowing shit about it/while there's dozens of those blow-up dolls in the cellar, and right if he risked life and lim to tell a girl that has been a friend of his for the entire storyline and is also sad, lonely and having feelings of low self-worth for whatever reason that she is worth existing in this world.
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Postby Warren Peace » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:12 am

Man, at this point, the thread is pretty much just fan fiction about the unanswered questions of Rei/Shinji. If anything, it proves there are an infinite amount of ways to resolve things.

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Postby Jornophelanthas » Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:28 am

Two quick replies:

View Original PostKendrix wrote:b) He meant well, but was somehow misguided and willingly used the wrong means (Jorno's and SSD's position)

I am not sure I recognize myself in your summary. I would sum up my position as: "Shinji has acquired moral virtue, in that he has noble intentions and he acts on them. But his moral failing is that he did not care about the consequences, even though he could not foresee them (and is yet to find out about them)."

Whether this also applies to Sailor Star Dust is not up to me.

View Original PostWarren Peace wrote:Man, at this point, the thread is pretty much just fan fiction about the unanswered questions of Rei/Shinji. If anything, it proves there are an infinite amount of ways to resolve things.

I disagree. Philosophical analysis is not fan faction. Philosophy is not fiction.

What this discussion has become is an in-depth interpretation of the portrayal of Shinji in Rebuild 2.0, using comparisons with NGE/EoTV/Eoe and theories from psycho-analysis (which Evangelion is heavily influenced by). And I don't see what's wrong with that.

Also, the focus is not on finding any (single) way to resolve Shinji's/Rei's character development - (that would be speculation) - but rather to explain their character development up to the end of 2.0.

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Postby Bagheera » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:54 am

View Original PostAzathoth wrote:If Rei's love is like a truck, Shinji is driving the truck.


Az, I'm with you on pretty much everything here, but why stick Shinji in the driver's seat? If she's a reflection as you say (which I think I follow), why reflect him instead of someone (everyone?) else? By my reading you don't seem to think she has much opinion on the matter, so . . . :headscratch:

(I'm ignoring the obvious narrative reasons, of course.)
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Postby Azathoth » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:49 am

If you're referring to why she should choose Shinji over Gendou - yeah, it's a valid question. I think maybe Gendou's goal-directed idea of using her to get Yui back and nothing more was less satisfactory to her than Shinji's idea of "somebody help me jesus fuck". I think she was trying to cling to her human shape. Her nature as a divine concept can't be changed, and in the end she still has to die, but in EoTV she acknowledges that she has constructed a false human identity on top of that, and that she doesn't entirely want it to go away. Every human wants to be needed, even if it's only as a reflection of maternal desire; and Gendou only needed her temporarily, to get to Yui. Plus, he was a dick.
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Postby Jornophelanthas » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:48 am

I'll stay within the metaphor "If Rei's love is a truck, Shinji is driving the truck."

By Rebuild 2.0's climax, Shinji has maneuvered himself into the driver's seat, I'll give you that. However, he is not in control.
The truck is driving itself on auto-pilot, and Shinji can't override it. The auto-pilot is, of course, Rei herself, and its trajectory has been programmed by Gendo.

What Shinji has achieved is that he has convinced the auto-pilot that it can choose its own direction. He has given it the freedom to choose whether or not to follow the pre-programmed course. And even if the auto-pilot chooses to follow Gendo's trajectory, it has now becomes Rei's own choice.
In effect, Shinji is at the wheel, but not driving. Instead, he is teaching the truck to be its own driver. And in doing so, he is teaching Rei to turn herself into a human being.

Rei's decision to take Shinji's hand at the end of Rebuild 1.0 signifies that she accepts him as a person who is important to her (i.e. she allows him inside the truck's cabin).
Rei's decision to take Shinji's hand at the end of Rebuild 2.0 signifies that she accepts his perception of her ("There is only one Ayanami! That's why I'm coming for you!") as her own. (i.e. she takes the wheel herself).

---

Also, you don't expect Shinji to be in the Ayanami truck's cabin by himself, do you? Gendo is sitting in the passenger seat, transfixed on the road ahead for the destination he is hoping to reach

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Postby StratoSakuya...AF » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:34 pm

Shinji is Shinji... The only difference is that he grows a backbone and for the first time on his life begins thinking on himself... Thinking just on others isn't healthy
SO THERE I WAS BEING KUBO, WHEN THE EDITORS CAME IN AND WERE LIKE "YOU NEED TO DO MORE THAN PANELS OF WHITE PILLARS AND BLACKGROUNDS!" AND I WAS LIKE "FUCK YOU, I'M KUBO!" SO THEY WERE LIKE "WELL HOW ABOUT SOMEBODY DYING?" AND I WAS LIKE "FUCK YOU, I'M KUBO!" AND I MADE LOTS AND LOTS OF MONEY. I LOVE MY LIFE.

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Postby Bagheera » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:42 pm

Shinji's always had a backbone. You don't get in a giant robot and go toe to toe with Zeruel without a backbone! One of the biggest mistakes people make when analyzing Shinji is assuming that cluelessness and social naivete amount to cowardice, which is not the case. He's not afraid of people -- he just doesn't want to screw up, doesn't want to hurt anyone, so he figures it's better to do nothing than to take risks. When he knows what he's supposed to do, though, he's as strong as anyone.

The climax of 2.xx is not "Shinji grows a backbone". It's "Shinji throws a temper tantrum". The two are not the same.
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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Postby Blue Monday » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:10 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Shinji's always had a backbone. You don't get in a giant robot and go toe to toe with Zeruel without a backbone! One of the biggest mistakes people make when analyzing Shinji is assuming that cluelessness and social naivete amount to cowardice, which is not the case. He's not afraid of people -- he just doesn't want to screw up, doesn't want to hurt anyone, so he figures it's better to do nothing than to take risks. When he knows what he's supposed to do, though, he's as strong as anyone.

The climax of 2.xx is not "Shinji grows a backbone". It's "Shinji throws a temper tantrum". The two are not the same.

This. So much, haha.

Well said.

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Postby Amitch1991 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:29 am

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Shinji's always had a backbone. You don't get in a giant robot and go toe to toe with Zeruel without a backbone! One of the biggest mistakes people make when analyzing Shinji is assuming that cluelessness and social naivete amount to cowardice, which is not the case. He's not afraid of people -- he just doesn't want to screw up, doesn't want to hurt anyone, so he figures it's better to do nothing than to take risks. When he knows what he's supposed to do, though, he's as strong as anyone.

The climax of 2.xx is not "Shinji grows a backbone". It's "Shinji throws a temper tantrum". The two are not the same.


+1 :D
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Postby StratoSakuya...AF » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:20 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Shinji's always had a backbone. You don't get in a giant robot and go toe to toe with Zeruel without a backbone! One of the biggest mistakes people make when analyzing Shinji is assuming that cluelessness and social naivete amount to cowardice, which is not the case. He's not afraid of people -- he just doesn't want to screw up, doesn't want to hurt anyone, so he figures it's better to do nothing than to take risks. When he knows what he's supposed to do, though, he's as strong as anyone.

The climax of 2.xx is not "Shinji grows a backbone". It's "Shinji throws a temper tantrum". The two are not the same.


Alright, I meant an STRONGER one.

In the past, Shinji would let others use him, take advantage of his kindness and the like. And now he decides he's had enough of carrying everyone's weight without thanks and decides he's going, for once, to do something FOR HIMSELF, and ignore others...

It's just "Screw you, I did all you asked me, so my turn".
SO THERE I WAS BEING KUBO, WHEN THE EDITORS CAME IN AND WERE LIKE "YOU NEED TO DO MORE THAN PANELS OF WHITE PILLARS AND BLACKGROUNDS!" AND I WAS LIKE "FUCK YOU, I'M KUBO!" SO THEY WERE LIKE "WELL HOW ABOUT SOMEBODY DYING?" AND I WAS LIKE "FUCK YOU, I'M KUBO!" AND I MADE LOTS AND LOTS OF MONEY. I LOVE MY LIFE.

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Postby esselfortium » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:54 pm

Babyishly screwing over everyone you care about is not considered "having a backbone" under any real-world definition I'm aware of.


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