Yeah, but just giving a character 'the power to move forward' isn't the same as them actually
moving forward. I don't think I need to repeat how I'm tired of all the nebulous stuff and just want an Iron-Clad no strings attached happy ending for Shinji. But given how much Anno just loves making the kid (and by extension his audience) suffer for seemingly pointless reasons, I highly doubt we will get even that. Anno never takes the easy way out in terms of storytelling. For better or worse.
As for 'feeling depressed'? After 3.0 I was in a slump of anger, bitterness, and depression I hadn't experienced since high school, eventually I got it out of my system and moved on. I guess on one hand its a good thing I had enough sympathy and empathy for Shinji that I felt the way I did when 3.0 hit me like a cinematic gut-punch. On the other hand, should I really feel this way about a character who isn't real and I know for a fact not to be real? I mean it can't be healthy.
Shinji's suffered so much, and has literally nothing to show for it. So why should I care? I mean, even Luke Skywalker at the end of Empire had something
to show for it.
I can't let other people fix my life and make it less hard or keep escaping from it. I have to do it, even if its difficult and terrifying.
But here is the thing. Shinji did try to 'fix his life' with and without the aid of others and he's failed every time.
I mean, what have we learned after Three films?
That pretty much everything and anything Shinji wants can only result in bad things for everyone including himself. That hope is built up only to be crushed by circumstances beyond his control. That free will is an illusion, and anything Shinji (and by extension the audience self insert ) could want will only result in pain and suffering for others, even if its something like friendship and a tiny bit of acceptance and dignity.
Everything he's done in the first two movies was made irrelevant by circumstances both within and beyond his control. His interactions and the bonds he formed with the other characters, amounted to nothing and have been made all but worthless by a time skip where the others had to put priority on Mankind's survival and not whatever friendship/potential romance they might have had if it hadn't happened. Turning them from kind characters who empathized with him into borderline fascists who can't afford empathy due to the apocalyptic stakes they're playing for. (That is assuming they don't outright hate him for being responsible for them suffering in an apocalyptic world with a lack of closure for over a decade.) The only two people who ever cared for him unconditionally are dead, one of them directly because of his actions. He's either a Pariah for the destruction of the world and millions of deaths at worst, and/or an easily manipulated fool condemned by the setting and other characters to be seen as nothing but a 'selfish brat' who's benign but ignorant actions entail nothing but destruction and serving his fathers evil plan.
I mean seriously. Look at his options: Stay out of the Robot:
The Angels Win, mankind dies off and/or he's labelled a coward for not piloting for the good of the greater whole.Get in the Robot:
Gendo wins, The Eva Awakens, and his friends all but turn their back on him for the part he played in it. Stay out of the robot:
Never be forgiven by said friends and be damned forever as a pariah for the planets (or at least Japans) destruction.Get in the Robot:
Cause another Armageddon, kill the only friend he had left, and destroy what little if any credibility he had left with his old friends.
Over simplification? Definitely. But I don't see any third option in any of these extreme circumstances.
No matter what he does, or what he could have chosen with the options he was given. He always ends up to blame for something.