Zusuchan wrote:I doubt that he would have ever gotten near to his EoE actions if he had had something resembling a happier life.
Most likely. That said, in history there is no "what if". Shinji abused Asuka. Did it consume him afterwards? Sure. However, I'm not going to overlook his actions because of it. Do you remember when I mentioned some moments in which Asuka was nice to the people around her and concluded that, underneath all her insecurities and traumas, there is a cool person? Well, I think the same about Shinji. Yet, it's impossible for me to gloss over what he did. In fact, I believe that we should all antagonize it. By the way, I'm not saying this because I care about the moral implications of fictional characters' actions. Instead, it’s because that scene's general reception is a picture of our reality.
We live in a sexist society in which women are expected to be nice and receptive all the time (despite having their own problems to overcome). Otherwise, they are liable to be raped. You would be surprised at sheer amount people I've seen arguing that Asuka deserved to be abused and that Shinji "took it easy" on her. Ikari actively locked Asuka's room and masturbated to her comatose body, as if she was an object. He has completely dehumanized his own friend and many people are willing to ignore it. That's crazy to me! Again, I don't think it's fair to see him as a monster (the guy had a hard life, to say the least). That said, I won't treat him like a toddler either. Now, can he be forgiven? Well, as I said before, that's up to Asuka (she was the victim). As a mere spectator, all I can do is watch the scene and reflect on it. In retrospect, this is an extremely important segment for the movie's themes (as I elaborated here: https://forum.evageeks.org/thread/20593/Can-Shinji-be-forgiven-for-fapping-to-comatose-Asuka/#p909945)
By the way, Zusuchan, don't think I'm talking about you (or anyone here). I'm commenting on a position that I observed in several areas of the fanbase, but not on this particular site.
You wrote a great analysis on Shinji and Asuka's bond! I agree with pretty much everything you said.