Does Shinji deserve all the hate?

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Re: Does Shinji deserve all the hate?

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Postby dzzthink » Mon Jul 26, 2021 5:56 pm

Hate him or love him, Shinji makes for a great case study.

My personal way of considering this guy is that he is a boy on the path of self-destruction, who hates the position he is in (being forced into life-and-death situations), and then hates his own reaction to the problem (whining and running away). We face this every day in our own lives, where we aren't satisfied with our position, as well as our efforts to resolve our situation. Can we really solve our problems by stop whining and running away? Yes, on paper. No, practically.
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Re: Does Shinji deserve all the hate?

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Postby Softmachine » Mon Aug 30, 2021 5:59 pm

Not at all. I think Shinji is an otherwise decent kid who is driven further to madness as a result of circumstances relating to the stress of piloting and his own traumatic, isolated life as a whole. He's no angel, as he has a great deal of bottled up resentment towards the various people who have wronged him in life covered up with an exterior of meekness. But in general, he mostly tries to do the right thing and has demonstrated selflessness multiple times.

I don't feel that any of the characters are horrible people except for Gendo and SEELE, who literally want to end the world. They're all deeply flawed people who, despite their many faults, also possess positive traits.

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Re: Does Shinji deserve all the hate?

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Postby YTPrenewed » Thu Sep 23, 2021 6:58 pm

Depends on which criticisms of him one's referring to, and how valid they are. There are some criticisms that should probably be invoked more, others that probably aren't as valid as they're made out to be. That's part of why it bugged me a little to see an otherwise smart character like Rei asking Asuka "why are you defending him" in the alternate reality sequence of ep 26. Asuka wasn't "defending" him, she was criticizing one of Rei's criticisms of him even though within that sequence alone she had her own criticisms of the same guy.

Underrated criticisms: I'm taken aback by how little flak Shinji gets for the aftermath of the Bardiel fight, when he threatened to take out half of headquarters, because of Gendo's decision to force him to engage in combat with the enemy, which while it endangered Toji's life, saved several more, including Shinji's own. I try to picture how a news story about a real-life soldier threatening his own side's base for something like that would come across, and I don't claim to know the exact reaction, but I doubt it'd end with him being allowed to quit in lieu of being jailed, and then being allowed to change his mind and go right back into combat during the next battle. It's a pitiable moment, sure, but he's a pitiable character on the whole, yet a strong contender for "most deranged moment before EoE" seems to typically get ignored.

Overrated criticisms: No sense criticizing him for being too wimpy. Not just because of the above, but also the fact that he was, albeit with some hesitation, willing to go into combat in the first place, if only as an alternative to an injured girl serving in his place. Somehow I doubt most of the people criticizing his hesitation would've joined the military in real life. Maybe partly because the justifications for some of the most recent wars weren't so convincing... but it's not made clear whether Shinji believed NERV about him being the right guy for the job after they, you know, brought him to the base on false pretenses anyway. And if one files the "people-pleaser" tendencies under the "wimp" category, it's worth noting the aforementioned ep 19 moment, among many others, can show how far from "people-pleaser" he can get when surrounded by people he doesn't care as much about as much as he cares about, let's say, Rei or Asuka or Misato. It's not that he's desperate to please just anyone, it's that he's desperate to please the people he cares about the most. You know, not unlike pushover parents, or teenagers who smoke to fit in with their peers.

If Shinji seems like a wimp, it might be because he's often surrounded by astonishingly tough characters. Even then, part of the reason they come across that way is because, in their own opinion, they "have nothing else." The most dangerous creature on Earth is one with nothing to lose. Or at least one who thinks they have nothing to lose, anyway.

Etc, etc... there's a whole range of overrated to underrated in between, of course. If there is one common theme between the most underrated criticisms and the most overrated, it's that he's ruled by his emotions, sometimes for good, sometimes for ill. This is why Mari's habit of nicknaming him "doggy," while a little weird, (and someone who introduced herself to him by crawling up to him and sniffing him hardly sounds like the best messenger for it) has a kernel (or kennel?) of truth to it. Sometimes, his emotions lead to him putting himself in harm's way to rescue those he cares about the most. Other times, his emotions lead to him not respecting Asuka's personal boundaries enough, or to him scowling at Misato for forgetting to put food in his bowl.

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Re: Does Shinji deserve all the hate?

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Postby MissDeamy » Mon Dec 04, 2023 12:53 am

Definitely not, and I am not just saying that cause he is my favorite character. I am going to do my best to avoid being biased cause I actually want to do my best to explain why he doesn't deserve the hate. (I am not good with typing so please be patient with me)

I knew Shinji was the most hated character, even before I watched the Evangelion series. The actions that he has done in the series and the EoE movie are questionable acts and I can see why people don't like him. He's fucked up. But remember, Shinji is a mentally broken boy with many problems in which he either finds a toxic way to find a solution or just avoid/run away from them in general. Almost every character is mentally broken. Shinji just happens to be the main character who we follow along with in the series as we watch how slowly he becomes mentally shattered. He can't even love himself, he hates himself. Whether you like him or hate him people will still have to deal with him no matter what.

So yeah, I don't think he deserves all of the hate.
After all of that I still don't understand why he's my favorite character, I just like him lol
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Re: Does Shinji deserve all the hate?

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Postby Mackerel » Tue Jan 30, 2024 1:47 pm

personally i dont *like* any of them as people. as characters though; they are all very interesting, mostly because they're such big dicks to themselves and others, would Asuka be more interesting or liked if she wasn't so rude? would Misato be loved still if she wasnt such a slob?(probabky, people are horny as fuck) but personally i dont think he deserves hate because hes so fucked up and reacts in fucked up ways to fucked situations, all the characters do and most of us would do the same.


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