Is Spike Spencer the main cause of Shinji hatred overseas?

This is the place to start: Feel free to introduce yourself, have general conversations and casual discussions about all things Evangelion, including chit-chatty topics like "Sachiel is adorable" or "Which Eva kicks the most ass?"

Moderator: Board Staff

HeeroYuyIII
Banned
User avatar
Age: 52
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 19, 2014
Gender: Male

Is Spike Spencer the main cause of Shinji hatred overseas?

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby HeeroYuyIII » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:49 pm

It's said that Americans don't truly care that much for voice acting, but if they didn't why do they see Shinji as a "bitch" as a "wimp" as a "pussy" if this was not the case? Granted, Shinji is very pathetic, yes, but I happened to be working in Japan at the time and I did catch Evangelion on TV Tokyo a lot. I can't recall any Shinji hatred in Japan. I still can't. However, once I learned that Evangelion was popular Stateside and Down Under, I noticed a near universal hatred for Shinji during the late 90s and up till now. While I agree with them, I feel that Shinji's "qualities" seem to be uniquely from the west? Is it the ADV dub's portrayal of Shinji that led him to be despised in the west or did they already think that from importing and fansubs before? Was Megumi Ogata the real reason? Many people who don't like the dub still dislike Shinji and what he stands for.
Target confirmed!

CJD
Banned
User avatar
Age: 29
Posts: 4843
Joined: Jun 14, 2011
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby CJD » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:28 pm

Main cause? No. Main cause is just how different our cultures are. Murrica can't into deeply flawed heroes. At least not teenage Murrica, which is the age group most people watch Eva as.
You know you have some fucked up characters when a screenshot of them smiling is the biggest piece of fanservice possible in the series. - Anonymous
Be excellent to each other. -Abraham Lincoln
Asuka is a real person. -Bagheera
Human beings are scum. You people looking down on others for simply feeling an attraction to a fictional character are the real filth. -Kazuki_Fuse
CENSORED BY THE ILLUMINATI

heavytread
Ramiel
Ramiel
User avatar
Age: 21
Posts: 333
Joined: Jan 19, 2014
Location: Minnesota USA, aka hell on earth
Gender: Female

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby heavytread » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:01 pm

CJD pretty much sumed it up. Murrica has to have perfect strong heroes otherwise we tend to hate them. Personally I don't hate the original, rebuild sure but not the original and the English dub actually gave him a decent voice IMO.

The Eva Monkey
Administrator
Administrator
User avatar
Posts: 9085
Joined: Jun 14, 2004
Location: The Evanets.
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby The Eva Monkey » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:29 pm

If they watch subs and hate Shinji, it's almost surely that they dislike the character.

If they watch dubs and hate Shinji, it's either that they dislike the character, dislike Spike Spencer's voice/performance, or a mixture of the two.
Webmaster, EvaMonkey.com; Co-founder, EvaGeeks.org; Moderator, r/evangelion.

Follow me on Social Media! [YouTube] [Twitter] [Facebook] [Tumblr] [Instagram] [Twitch]

Nuclear Lunchbox
Agent Ahegao
Agent Ahegao
User avatar
Age: 23
Posts: 10212
Joined: Dec 13, 2012
Location: 可塑の椅子

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:56 pm

I think it really differs from person to person. Personally, Spike's voice doesn't make me hate Shinji; it just makes me hate Spike. (Narries, dude, I love ya.) Whenever I find myself not liking Shinji, it's because of who he is or what he does. Sometimes it's just a matter of what's being said, and not who says it.

Unit.Zed
Embryo
User avatar
Age: 34
Posts: 9
Joined: Jan 20, 2014
Location: Australia
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Unit.Zed » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:59 pm

I don't hate the poor bastard. I feel sorry for him.
I think old Spikey did a pretty good job. Maybe Yanks of a certain age don't get his character due to what they're exposed/used to.
The understanding/liking/disliking of his character is not really dependent on the voice actor. I think his actions and visual emotions are more telling.

user-02
Sachiel
Sachiel
User avatar
Age: 36
Posts: 207
Joined: Dec 03, 2012
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby user-02 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:08 am

View Original PostCJD wrote:Main cause? No. Main cause is just how different our cultures are. Murrica can't into deeply flawed heroes. At least not teenage Murrica, which is the age group most people watch Eva as.


This.

Shinji is a very Japanese character, in a lot of ways. He's conflicted, he's emotional, he's timid, and he's unsure of himself. These are most decidedly not characteristics American audiences prefer in their male heroes, and indeed, they fly in the face of everything America expects from masculinity. American culture is a very macho one, for better and often for worse. We encourage our young men to be jocks, to be rowdy, to be brash, to be confident, and above all else, never to let 'em see you sweat. We like our boys to be more like Asuka (or at least the Asuka that Asuka presents to the world.)

Shinji isn't too far off the mark from how, I suspect, a lot of American boys feel about themselves. The difference is, our culture won't tolerate Shinji as the "hero." American culture prefers escapist entertainment, with idealized heroes, who have muscles on top of muscles, and who always get the girl. I could go on at length about the deep-seated cultural pathology inherent in America's obsession with the male Mary Sue. But that's a topic for another thread, methinks.

Ringworm128
Lilith
User avatar
Age: 24
Posts: 133
Joined: Jul 21, 2012
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Ringworm128 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:02 am

As it's been said America (and Australia) has an obsession with boys being tough and manly even at a really young age. So I doubt Megumi's Ogata more feminine sounding Shinji would go down any better. Just look at DBZ and how many people bash Masako Nozawa's performance because it's more high pitch.
Chuckman#695701 wrote:Don't you understand? The best way to shelter children from the mind-warping horror that is a pair of perky teen tits is to blindfold them with guts.

HeeroYuyIII
Banned
User avatar
Age: 52
Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 19, 2014
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby HeeroYuyIII » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:53 am

Then why is Heero Yuy well received in America even though he has just as many social problems as Shinji? He's no Batman mind you, but Heero Yuy is very popular in the US, even though he's emotionless, confused, guilt ridden, etc.

Not to mention the English voice of Heero Yuy was almost as bad as Spike Spencer's Shinji. Maybe it's because voice acting doesn't really matter in Gundam while it does in Evangelion.
Target confirmed!

The Eva Monkey
Administrator
Administrator
User avatar
Posts: 9085
Joined: Jun 14, 2004
Location: The Evanets.
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby The Eva Monkey » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:41 am

View Original PostHeeroYuyIII wrote:Heero Yuy is very popular in the US

No he isn't. I like Gundam Wing and all, but when was the last time it was even relevant? I never see mention of it on any series or character polls. Meanwhile, Evangelion and its characters is still popular, even prior to the release of the current series of movies.

To address your point, it's not that he's popular, it's that he isn't really disliked. He's more of the conventional cookie-cutter robot hero, just more on the emotionless side. He's the inverse of Shinji. While he had a freak out or two, he never whined or had any angst. Worst people every complained about him was his biker shorts. Why do you think they gave him blue jeans in Endless Waltz?
Webmaster, EvaMonkey.com; Co-founder, EvaGeeks.org; Moderator, r/evangelion.

Follow me on Social Media! [YouTube] [Twitter] [Facebook] [Tumblr] [Instagram] [Twitch]

Kendrix
Defender of Puppy Boy
Defender of Puppy Boy
User avatar
Age: 27
Posts: 5589
Joined: Jul 27, 2010
Location: Germany
Gender: Female
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Kendrix » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:48 am

View Original PostCJD wrote:Main cause? No. Main cause is just how different our cultures are. Murrica can't into deeply flawed heroes. At least not teenage Murrica, which is the age group most people watch Eva as.


This. Cultural differences. LOTS of cultural differences.

Also, different ideals of male attractiveness.


I guess it may have played some part that, being an actual dude, Spike's Shinji is bund to sound more physically mature than Ogata's version, but this would just exasperate the attitude that a society has towards male individuals - the younger you are/get percieved, the more likely you'll be excused for that, but that doesn't influence the standards themselves.

I don't think it's right to say, "the VA just ruined it". For once, I really don't think he was that terrible. Maybe imperfect, actually pretty good for Rebuild, but certainly not horrible.


I mean, just look at Asuka... getting stuck with Tiffany Grant didn't destroy her overseas popularity....
Alas poor Kaworu! I knew him well...
Todo list:
- Essay on the character's roles in each others introspec sequences
- Good faith Analysis of Mari
- Finish ep 8 commentary

Gorbatschow
Israfel
Israfel
User avatar
Age: 30
Posts: 477
Joined: Oct 30, 2013
Location: Germany
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Gorbatschow » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:31 am

It's definitely the cultural and social standards. I just can't imagine the "casual" audience go on about VAs, because most "casual" viewers aren't that sensitive towards stuff like that.

Furthermore they mostly refer to his character in general.
Avatar: Mugen no Juunin- coloured by me | UserPic: Last month's avatar (Eden: It's an endless World)
__
"Everyone has the right to self-determination and every try to classify a human being as better, dumber, worse or gentical assessed is pure fascism and everyone in this country should actually know that“- Serdar Somuncu

“Intelligent men do not decide any subject until they have carefully examined both or all sides of it. Fools, cowards, and those too lazy to think, accept blindly, without examining dogmas and doctrines imposed upon them in childhood by their parents, priests, and teachers, when their minds could not reason.” - James Hervey Johnson

“Science doesn’t give absolute answers; it only shows the most presumable contingency based on actual, practical or theoretical evidences.” – My physics teacher

StratoSakuya...AF
Shamshel
Shamshel
User avatar
Age: 28
Posts: 260
Joined: Jun 25, 2012
Location: Cocoon/Europe
Gender: Male
Contact:

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby StratoSakuya...AF » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:33 pm

View Original PostGorbatschow wrote:It's definitely the cultural and social standards. I just can't imagine the "casual" audience go on about VAs, because most "casual" viewers aren't that sensitive towards stuff like that.

Furthermore they mostly refer to his character in general.


Indeed, which means I am not casual, otherwise, I wouldn't ramble about Kenichi Suzumura, Kanae Ito and Maaya Sakamoto (and as of recently, Hikaru Midorikawa and Rina Sato) and how I secretly wish them death from time to time.

I don't know what's wrong with Shinji. I actually like the character, specially in his vulnerable moments. It sorts of makes you want to go and rescue him (just what he was asking for in EoE) and I actually feel a genuine pain in my heart that I can't do just that. Which is a pity. Also, Spike did a damn good job, and it's better than ever in NME. Sadly, he seems to let his vocal range wonder during the most emotional moments, but he's nice, so I actually believe he's a good VA.
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.

Squigsquasher
Banned
Age: 24
Posts: 3671
Joined: Feb 09, 2013
Location: The bonus 10th level of hell
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Squigsquasher » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:40 pm

What Eva Monkey and CJD have said: 'Murricans didn't like Shinji because he wasn't some manly badass Mary Sue who bench-pressed hippopotamuses with his dick. In Japan, where flawed/reluctant heroes are a lot more popular, he was more well received. Just cultural differences.

That said, I don't think Spike helped either. His performance was downright painful in places, and I don't think he really helped poor Shinji's case at all. This is why I always advise people thinking of watching Eva to stick to the Japanese.
Here lies Squigsquasher.
2013-2017.

Chuckman
Chuckman
Chuckman
User avatar
Age: 37
Posts: 8902
Joined: Nov 11, 2011
Location: Chuckman
Gender: Female

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Chuckman » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:21 pm

Where are you guys getting this idea that flawed and reluctant heroes aren't popular in American culture? That's a pretty common storytelling trope.

Shinji's reluctance isn't remarkable at all. Reluctant hero is such a common device that it's listed in Campbell's story structure (refusing the call). Shinji is unpopular because he's incapable. People don't like to be reminded that if presented with a cosmic horror they would fuck up and fail like a normal person. Adventure stories usually aren't about normal people, whether those people are reluctant to adventure or have character flaws or not.
the prophecy is true

Statistical fact: Cops will never pull over a man with a huge bong in his car. Why? They fear this man. They know he sees further than they and he will bind them with ancient logics. —Marty Mikalski

CJD
Banned
User avatar
Age: 29
Posts: 4843
Joined: Jun 14, 2011
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby CJD » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:26 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:Where are you guys getting this idea that flawed and reluctant heroes aren't popular in American culture? That's a pretty common storytelling trope.


Name one hero from a story that's achieved pop culture success in America who's half as fucked up as Shinji. I suspect you can't.
You know you have some fucked up characters when a screenshot of them smiling is the biggest piece of fanservice possible in the series. - Anonymous
Be excellent to each other. -Abraham Lincoln
Asuka is a real person. -Bagheera
Human beings are scum. You people looking down on others for simply feeling an attraction to a fictional character are the real filth. -Kazuki_Fuse
CENSORED BY THE ILLUMINATI

Gorbatschow
Israfel
Israfel
User avatar
Age: 30
Posts: 477
Joined: Oct 30, 2013
Location: Germany
Gender: Male

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Gorbatschow » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:30 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:Where are you guys getting this idea that flawed and reluctant heroes aren't popular in American culture?


Take a list of the most popular movies, video games and (god forbid) books and look at the main characters. They're usually these idealized personas, being every imaginable way of perfect and only make one single mistake / have only one minor flaw in order to push the plot and in the end convince the viewer that their perfect, despite the flaw they made (and usually get the girl, but that's another story)
Avatar: Mugen no Juunin- coloured by me | UserPic: Last month's avatar (Eden: It's an endless World)
__
"Everyone has the right to self-determination and every try to classify a human being as better, dumber, worse or gentical assessed is pure fascism and everyone in this country should actually know that“- Serdar Somuncu

“Intelligent men do not decide any subject until they have carefully examined both or all sides of it. Fools, cowards, and those too lazy to think, accept blindly, without examining dogmas and doctrines imposed upon them in childhood by their parents, priests, and teachers, when their minds could not reason.” - James Hervey Johnson

“Science doesn’t give absolute answers; it only shows the most presumable contingency based on actual, practical or theoretical evidences.” – My physics teacher

Bagheera
Asuka's Bulldog
Asuka's Bulldog
User avatar
Posts: 18660
Joined: Oct 15, 2010

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Bagheera » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:38 pm

Gotta disagree with the crowd here, as I've seen very little hate of Shinji from people who are familiar with him from the subs. The identity of the character in the U.S. is strongly, strongly shaped by the VA's portrayal of him, and Spike made him seem like a whiny bitch. Ogata didn't, and that shows in his reception among fans.

Note also that hotblooded heroes are very much the norm in Japan, which makes the "cultural differences" argument less compelling. They like perfect heroes as much as we do, and appreciate flawed heroes as much as we do. Their VAs just take their jobs more seriously than ours did at the time and this is the result.
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.

Chuckman
Chuckman
Chuckman
User avatar
Age: 37
Posts: 8902
Joined: Nov 11, 2011
Location: Chuckman
Gender: Female

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Chuckman » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:51 pm

View Original PostCJD wrote:Name one hero from a story that's achieved pop culture success in America who's half as fucked up as Shinji. I suspect you can't.


Batman.
the prophecy is true

Statistical fact: Cops will never pull over a man with a huge bong in his car. Why? They fear this man. They know he sees further than they and he will bind them with ancient logics. —Marty Mikalski

Bagheera
Asuka's Bulldog
Asuka's Bulldog
User avatar
Posts: 18660
Joined: Oct 15, 2010

  •      
  •      
  • Quote

Postby Bagheera » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:59 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:Batman.


Or virtually anyone from DC's Vertigo line (most of which has probably achieved far more success in the U.S. than Eva has), lots of other comics (Suicide Squad, Secret Six, etc), many horror protagonists in all sorts of genres, and on and on and on. It's a niche trope, but it's well-established and reasonably successful. And again, it's just as niche in Japan as it is here. Japan loves their Gokus and Narutos and Ichigos and Lufis, with their Shinjis being a comparatively rare occurrence (except for loltomino, but let's face it, no one ever got into Gundam for Amuro or Camille).
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.


Return to “Evangelion General and Chit-Chat”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests