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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Postby esselfortium » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:37 pm

View Original PostKendrix wrote:Sorry, no.


If he was told this was all his fault, and he HAD just sat there like it's someone else's problem, THEN he would've been irredeemable scum.

But they told him not to do anything. That was the request given to him by the people whose problem it has become. By ignoring what anyone else in the world might want, Shinji just made their problem a hell of a lot bigger.

He's doing it wrong, but him setting out to fix it is him bearing the consequences as far as his limitations allow it.
He's got strong, urgent feelings about what happened.
This is him attempting to make up for it, right there.

I don't care what he's attempting make up for inside his own head. He's living stupidly and endangering everyone else.

In this show, "Sit on your butt" has ALWAYS been wrong, ALWAYS, no exceptions.

Except in this case where it wasn't.

As Darkwing said, this was only winnable to a certain degree.

The best outcome would've been "let the spears be and feel Asuka's halberd".

Only if you're intentionally ignoring all possibilities that don't involve doing the exact opposite of what you're told. Besides that it was completely and very easily winnable.

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Postby Seele00TextOnly » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:38 pm

View Original PostKendrix wrote:In this show, "Sit on your butt" has ALWAYS been wrong, ALWAYS, no exceptions.

As Darkwing said, this was only winnable to a certain degree.

The best outcome would've been "let the spears be and feel Asuka's halberd"..
Well isn't 'letting the spears be' sitting on your butt? Come on people, proactive proactive! Nomatter whether what you're doing is wrong or stupid, as long as you're doing something!

Here's a situation where sitting on your butt was the right decision: Kensuke and Toji in the shelter, instead they get themselves caught up in Shamshel battle and could've ended up making things a hell of a lot worse. What do they do in the plug, kick Shinji out of the seat? No, they sit there and do nothing. Exactly what they should've done in the shelter. And don't forget Toji was a pilot, of course.

Another sitation where sitting on your butt was the right decision: Hearing that Gendo calls you an 'old hag'

Another: Kaji pushing too far in his investigation and getting himself killed, practically for nothing.

Another: Asuka insisting on going up to face Arael because of her pride.

Another: Every time Shinji has ever run away instead of sitting there and waiting for things to calm down (ep 4, ep 19, 2.0, Q)

Sitting around isn't always right, but acting for the sake of acting is not always right either. Absolutes are really getting lame in this thread.
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Postby SaltyJoe » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:53 pm

All Shinji got out of his stay at Wille were some threats of bodily harm and a few glaring looks. He, once again, knew nothing about anything at all. He didn't have the slightest of inklings about the state of the world until Kaworu took him sightseeing. He didn't have the foggiest idea about the schism between the factions of Gendo and Misato. Under these circumstances, ditching Captain Katsuragi and his gang was one of the few understandable things he did in the movie.

It's not until he goes forward with pulling out the Lances after the guy who proposed the idea tells him stop Shinji's retardedness peaks (it already started to climb once he agreed to pilot Eva again, though).

EDIT:
Tightened the grammar a bit.
Last edited by SaltyJoe on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Darkwing » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:59 pm

But going after the spears wasn't Shinji's Idea. It was Kaworu's. Kaworu was the one who showed Shinji the resualts of his actions. And Kaworu is the one who who convincied Shinji that he could, and should do something. Unfourtunatly Kaworu himself had been decieved. Shinji did it because he trusted Kaworu more than anyone else at the moment.

Sometimes doing nothing is the right thing. And sometimes it's not. Trick is being able to tell which is which.
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Postby Kendrix » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:05 pm

I don't think "leaving the spears" counts as "doing nothing" in the sense that I previously mentioned, ("doing nothing" in that context, would be "agonizing over the choice of to pull or not to pull" (and probably getting skewered by Asuka in the meantime). Pulling them was one action. Leaving them be was another. again, it is commendable that Shinji did pick an action at all, but yeah, it was the wrong one) but comming with Kaworu in the first place was right. That's what I was trying to say.


It doesn't help that there was further mutual communication fail involved - Kaworu was fairly vague in his warnings. Given Shinji's following mortification at the results, "Don't do it BECAUSE" would have done the trick.
But there was the confusion of the battle and the fact that Kaworu himself was genuinely shocked out of his mind, that sort of vague babble is his natural way of talking, and you're gonna fall back on your natural patters in that sort of situation of "You were tricked, no way forward and way out is hard to come by." For him, his scriptic talk about the spears and would've been sufficient "BECAUSE..." there.
(Shinji: What are you talking about there? I don't get any of it. )

The reasonable thing would still have been to wait and hear the warning out, but Shinji may or may not have gotten that as "It may fail to work" rather than "Bad bad consequences ahead, bro!"

The impact of the Asuka situation isn't to be underestimated either.
Just days ago (for him) he considered her an "important person".
She looks the same, so it's easy to forget that it's beeb more than just days.
And there she comes to pierce his face with a motherfucking halberd!
Yeah, desperate situations and desperate measures, I'm not intending to make any point about Asuka here, I'm talking about the effect this must've had on Shinji, about the state that left him in.

Fighting a comerade is something that's completely against Shinji's nature. Unlike back during the Bardiel incident, he is capable of that now (this situation being even worse because it's actually Asuka herself he's facing), he begs her to stop, tries to talk it out and explain, (actually making him look a bit like the reasonable one there) and this is the thing that happens right before he goes for these blasted spears.
Last edited by Kendrix on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:32 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby Na7e » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:09 pm

View Original PostDarkwing wrote:But going after the spears wasn't Shinji's Idea. It was Kaworu's. Kaworu was the one who showed Shinji the resualts of his actions. And Kaworu is the one who who convincied Shinji that he could, and should do something. Unfourtunatly Kaworu himself had been decieved. Shinji did it because he trusted Kaworu more than anyone else at the moment


And, then Kaworu told him to stop...and Shinji ignored him.

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Postby Lucretius » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:45 pm

I'm surprised no one as mentioned Kaworu's assesment of Shinji yet: "Instead of seeking change, you prefer a world of nothingness and brutal abyss." Even though the movie retroactively informs us that Shinji wasn't aware of his surroundings during third impact--it could've gone either way in 2.0 itself--when you take this line in tandem with Ritsuko's spiel about the Evas being magically wish machines, it seems fair to assume that 3I is what our hero subconsciously wanted.

Honestly it probably would've made for a more morally coherent series of films if Ritsuko had flat out said at the appropriate point in 2.0 "Stop it, Shinji, you'll destroy the world!" 3.0 feels like it's trying to have its cake and eat it too with Shinji as a genocidaire and Nice Guy object of geek persecution fantasies.
Last edited by Lucretius on Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

He shuddered a bit, remembering the somewhat creepy level of detail Kaji had gone into, while rubbing a watermelon in a disturbingly sexual way.

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Postby pwhodges » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:47 pm

I just watched the subtitled rip of that scene for the first time, and Kaworu's warnings came over much more uncertain than this conversation (and other similar ones) had led me to expect. Shinji's desperation to continue with the plan didn't seem out of place given all that was going on, and my sympathy for him is reinforced.
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Postby Kendrix » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:32 pm

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:I just watched the subtitled rip of that scene for the first time, and Kaworu's warnings came over much more uncertain than this conversation (and other similar ones) had led me to expect. Shinji's desperation to continue with the plan didn't seem out of place given all that was going on, and my sympathy for him is reinforced.


The actual camrip had that effect on many people. I predict that actually seeing him nearly lose it on the spot at the sight of the actual devastation will have a similar effect.

Obviously, there was a LOT of work put into this thing to make Shinji's PoV work.


And heck, are you guys now even interpreting venom in Shinji's choice of hobbies?
I don't think that comment goes beyond a slightly different reprise of "Yeah, isolation avoids pain, put it's also, well isolated" with an added touch of "sad is happy for deep people"

Also, I somehow remember that line looking a lot different in the initial translation, more like something about Shinji having a desire for stability, but I guess the later version should be the more correct one.

My thoughts at it were "oh, genius, what a deep observation.Love Anno's way of putting such detail into the characters" aside with some "Lol, now Shinji also has some celestial motifs of his own, after all, Rei got the moon and Asuka got the sun..."

Loking to look at emptiness when it's far away from where you are is different from wanting to turn everything around you into a big void.
Like, most of us like explosions, but wouldn't blow our houses up.

The main point is really him being glad that there's at least something that's still the same, (even the freakin' moon looks different!) something to far away for him to accidentally fuck it up.
Kaworu just points out that static, empty things are, well, static and empty.
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Postby CJD » Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:59 pm

View Original Postesselfortium wrote:By definition, it doesn't work this way, dude...

View Original PostSeele00TextOnly wrote::hitthetable:

Okay, that's barely ever right with any work, least of all Evangelion. Really.


Psssssssst. Guys, I think you missed the part between "Because remember" and "If my interpretation of the movie is wrong, that's Khara's fault, not mine." You know, where I quote Lucretius who says that exact same thing in more words. I don't actually believe that, I was pointing out how absurd the quote was.

View Original Postesselfortium wrote:But they told him not to do anything. That was the request given to him by the people whose problem it has become. By ignoring what anyone else in the world might want, Shinji just made their problem a hell of a lot bigger.


Quick question, why should he trust Wille? What reason does Shinji have to trust them? Given the fact that they treat him like a prisoner and withhold so much information what reason does he have to trust them?

View Original PostLucretius wrote:it seems fair to assume that 3I is what our hero subconsciously wanted.


So now we're hanging people based on what they subconsciously want? Well fuck me then, I'm probably headed for a needle in my arm.
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Postby Kendrix » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:28 pm

I think his reactions made it quite clear that he did NOT want any of that shit, conciously or otherwise.

Again, looking at explosions as a pastime isn't the same as wanting your house to blow up.
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Postby Legendary » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:38 pm

No, what he didn't want was for people to hate him. Kaworu is the best candidate to give us an assessment of Shinji. If you reject what Kaworu has to say, you are calling the entire movie into question because of what Kaworu represents.

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Postby Lucretius » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:44 pm

So now we're hanging people based on what they subconsciously want?

Well it was pretty conscious judging from the "I don't care about the world" line and his earlier traincar monologue. He just didn't know he had the hardware to turn his wistful dreams of genocide into literal reality.

He shuddered a bit, remembering the somewhat creepy level of detail Kaji had gone into, while rubbing a watermelon in a disturbingly sexual way.

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Postby chee » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:18 pm

a couple of people wrote: bitter anger and situational depression coupled with immaturity = hoping for genocide


I don't see the problem here.

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Postby Kendrix » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:24 pm

View Original PostLucretius wrote:wistful dreams of genocide


You need to rewatch these damn movies from beginning to finish, and the read the Q scipt from beginning to finish. And you need to take your goggles off.

It doesn't GET any more warped.

We're talking about someone who notices and worries about a lonely girl in his class who doesn't have any friends.
Who risks his ass to protect someone who beat him up earlier that day.
Who bothers to bring her some snacks because she never seems to eat. Who tries to cheer her up when she says that she doesn't have anything else in her life, and spontaneously burst into tears of joy when he found her alive. In Q, he's also very, very happy that Asuka lives.
He used to lovingly prepare lunch for his flatmates every day.
A fairly normal kid who used to have a bunch of friends and did normal kid things with them, apparently enjoying them.
There's this scene in 2.0 where he's on his way to school, and spots his friends waiting for him, and there's that blissfull smile of appreciation spreading across his face.

"What? Asuka is fighting out there? Lemme help, please!"

"Hello Rei! Oh wait, gotta respect your privacy, put some clothes on. What are you doing here all the time? Want me to get you something to entertain yourself with?"

And you wan't to tell me he's a closet misantrophe who secretly craves the obliteration of all life on earth?

If that is indeed what this line of Kaworu's is meant to imply (which I don't think it is. Case in point, Kaworu does seem to like that other kid next to him and given that he's trying to prevent it, Kaworu can't be to enthusiastic about the obliteration of all life on earth. ) then that's plain bad writing.

He has flaws which, at times, make him unsuited for certain kinds of extreme situations, but this is still a bona-fide nice guy under normal circumstances.
This is someone who certainly fears gettinh hurt, but fears actually hurting others even more. Stated several times in the source material.
Which is another reason why Q is his worst nightmare come true.


For you to even suggest such a thing, you people...
It fucking made me cry right now.
Never before has such a simple freakin movie, such a fucking piece of inky lines vaguely resembling completely fictional people on a computer screen affected me like that, and you people... no. just no.

Geez. I wish someone would already go and translate what little explanation we have, but then again, I don't think anything would convince you, given how the already-translated parts of this do not indicate such a radical view of him.
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Postby Na7e » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:42 pm

View Original PostDarkwing wrote: Honestly I don't see Shinji as longing for nothingness and a brutal abyss.


Shinji chilling inside of Unit-01's entry plug at ending of 2.0 begs to differ.

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Postby Kendrix » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:47 pm

View Original PostNa7e wrote:Shinji chilling inside of Unit-01's entry plug at ending of 2.0 begs to differ.


What exactly about that scene does indicate such a thing?
What he's feeling and thinking there amounts to "Oh, you're alive, thank goodness, I'm so grateful for everything you did for me."

He didn't know what was going on outside and given that he lost all traces of conciousness for the next decade after that, it's debatable wether he even could think about much else.
His objective was probably the only thing keeping him together/ mantaining any sense on individuality after his freakin body liquified.
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Postby Na7e » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:07 pm

View Original PostKendrix wrote:What exactly about that scene does indicate such a thing?


The S-dat, Rei's symbolic meaning as a character, and the fact there's a song playing about flying away from the pain. Which is only really possible if your dead...or in a coma.

View Original PostKendrix wrote:His objective was probably the only thing keeping him together/ mantaining any sense on individuality after his freakin body liquified.


Shinji Ikari with a smile on his face wrote:It doesn't matter anymore. It's alright like this.


Yeah, he's not really trying hard to maintain his individuality. Of course when we see the stand-ins for Rei and Shinji in the red earth. Their joining is an abomination, and that's when everything goes to shit once Unit-01/Shinji, and GNR/Rei finish their merging.

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Postby Darkwing » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:43 pm

Remember kids its wrong for lonely people to become friends with each other!
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 Kendrix » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:44 pm

View Original PostNa7e wrote:, Rei's symbolic meaning as a character,



Which is "hope", specifically "hope that people can understand each other."


Obviously getting back the thing he threw away when he said he no longer cares about shit and gives up, the thing that has sorta the same backstory as him and is often used as an indication of his "hobby/individuality/self" or as an indicator for his general state throuout the frachise, as with the "empty battery" in EoE (also note how this is continued in Q with Kaworu fixing the thing and Shinji just letting it fall out of the plug and leaving it there once he's hit rock bottom.) is a very bad thing.
/sarcasm.

Isolation is one of the many aspects there, but you're grossly oversimplifying. Not everything means the same thing in the same context.

Asuka can be both "Life" (good) and "Misunderstanding/criticising other" (sux, but must be endured) and still have "superficiality of our sucess-oriented society" (bad) as an attribute and be wrong about many things she does.


Its very easy to go "thats lolfreud by definition" It means you don't have to do any actual context based interpretation work.

Also, what Darkwing said.


On that subject - I've heard/read somewhere that Q has him listening mainly to tracks 27 and 28.

The song playing in the background is about freedom and obviously ties into several things Rei said (about feeling trapped, mainly. ) and mostly related to her character arc - at least the poor girl died happy, knowing that she was worth something...

Shinji couldn't save her physically, but I think he DID in a metaphysical sort of way.

Cue the inevitable tearful farewell in Final:
Shinji: I... I couldn't do anything for you! (Reversal of HER earlier words)
Rei: ...But you came for me. That's enough for me.
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