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Why So Much "Hatred" For Shinji Ikari?
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Posted 4/3/14


If piloting the Eva at that point was so traumatic for Shinji that he could not even function correctly, why did he decide to go back?
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Posted 4/3/14
He was made to be hated.

The guys who made NGE wanted to write a story about otaku. Shinji was a character who was supposed to show everything that was wrong with anime otaku, to get the audience mad at Shinji, by them realizing what they disliked and wanted to change about that guy, they might realize they needed to change for themselves.
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Posted 4/3/14 , edited 4/3/14

Angerudusto wrote:


Thinking back Shinji didn't know it was Toji at the time, either; not until he spoke with Misato. But what the audience knows and what the character sees are separate things. In that scene Shinji was completely disempowered by his father, and forced to witness helplessly despite all his attempts to interfere.

And then Gendo didn't stop by just defeating Eva #04, he sat back and let Eva #01 crush the pilot.


Angerudusto wrote:

If piloting the Eva at that point was so traumatic for Shinji that he could not even function correctly, why did he decide to go back?

Gosh, I wonder. It sounds like a really important question. Almost... whoops, I dropped a thing.


I wonder what they were getting at by calling the recap movie Death & Rebirth. I guess we'll never know.

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Posted 4/3/14

Insomnist wrote:


Angerudusto wrote:


Thinking back Shinji didn't know it was Toji at the time, either; not until he spoke with Misato. But what the audience knows and what the character sees are separate things. In that scene Shinji was completely disempowered by his father, and forced to witness helplessly despite all his attempts to interfere.

And then Gendo didn't stop by just defeating Eva #04, he sat back and let Eva #01 crush the pilot.


Angerudusto wrote:

If piloting the Eva at that point was so traumatic for Shinji that he could not even function correctly, why did he decide to go back?

Gosh, I wonder. It sounds like a really important question. Almost... whoops, I dropped a thing.


I wonder what they were getting at by calling the recap movie Death & Rebirth. I guess we'll never know.



Oh, now I see.

It's completely ok for Shinji to make irrational decisions because cliched storytelling says it's ok .

It's also ok to rehash things in an obvious cash-grab because it has a fancy sounding name.

Masturbating over a comatose body makes Shinji a human character. (Because that's what anyone would do given the chance)

Inserting subtext into a work of fiction is ok as long as I look smart .

But as long as it looks profound, it clearly must be profound, right? Because images are all that matter , right? After all, there clearly isn't anything in the universe that exists beyond our perception. It's just like closing your eyes - there's nothing there because you can't see it.
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Posted 4/3/14 , edited 4/3/14

Insomnist wrote:


windsagio wrote:

That to me is part of the problem (but maybe with the series not the character) something that absurdly overwrought pretty much kills any relatability a character might have.

I don't think it's any more overwrought than similar celebrated scenes in classical literature like Frankenstein, Ivanhoe, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Last of the Mohicans, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, etc.

Even the backstory of Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, who reminds me strikingly of Gendo.


Well I don't think they're really at all similar. I admit I haven't read any Cooper (twain chased me off from him VERY effectively), but Nemo and Dantes are both entirely about their own choices and their own agency. Sometimes melodramatic things happen (hell, it was the romantic period), but they are always in control. Shinji is just some kid that crap happens to. Some of it's good (in a fantasy way, LOOK BOOBIES), a lot of it's terrible, it's never really HIS.





Angerudusto wrote:

If piloting the Eva at that point was so traumatic for Shinji that he could not even function correctly, why did he decide to go back?

Gosh, I wonder. It sounds like a really important question. Almost... whoops, I dropped a thing.

(imagesnip)

I wonder what they were getting at by calling the recap movie Death & Rebirth. I guess we'll never know.



(re; the below, I hate the Hero's journey thing, it's a trigger.)
I've said this before, the hero's journey is a deadly pox upon storytelling. Yeah it's resonant on some level, but that doesn't make it anything other than morally bankrupt, tired, cliche', trash.

It's common, that doesn't mean it's GOOD.

Although maybe that's the point, he went back because the plot demanded it. Not through any personal agency, but because it was what the story (and if we want to talk about hero's journy, the cliche') required.

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Posted 4/3/14 , edited 4/3/14

Angerudusto wrote:

Oh, now I see.

If my corny attempt at humor struck a Nerv, just know it was just a corny attempt at humor.


Angerudusto wrote:

It's completely ok for Shinji to make irrational decisions because cliched storytelling says it's ok .

NGE is anything BUT cliche. I'd further argue that Shinji's actions only seem irrational from the wrong point of view.

And if NGE was cliche people would like it a lot more, because it wouldn't rub them in so many wrong ways.


Angerudusto wrote:

It's also ok to rehash things in an obvious cash-grab because it has a fancy sounding name.

I was simply pointing out the obvious reference.


Angerudusto wrote:

Masturbating over a comatose body makes Shinji a human character. (Because that's what anyone would do given the chance)

Is there a difference between masturbating over a comatose body, and masturbating over a fantasy wherein we take a person and objectify them? I'm not the PC Police, I'm not interested in deciding which scenes are in good taste and which are not. But it's an interesting juxtaposition of fantasy, reality, and guilt.


Angerudusto wrote:

Inserting subtext into a work of fiction is ok as long as I look smart .

Subtext nothing, NGE is screaming about disempowerment almost non-stop for the entire series.


Angerudusto wrote:

But as long as it looks profound, it clearly must be profound, right? Because images are all that matter , right? After all, there clearly isn't anything in the universe that exists beyond our perception. It's just like closing your eyes - there's nothing there because you can't see it.

I'll restate that I'm not sure if there's any deeper meaning to NGE beyond its surface elements.

But thank you for admitting that there might be things in NGE you're not perceiving, I think?



windsagio wrote:


Insomnist wrote:


windsagio wrote:

That to me is part of the problem (but maybe with the series not the character) something that absurdly overwrought pretty much kills any relatability a character might have.

I don't think it's any more overwrought than similar celebrated scenes in classical literature like Frankenstein, Ivanhoe, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Last of the Mohicans, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, etc.

Even the backstory of Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, who reminds me strikingly of Gendo.


Well I don't think they're really at all similar. I admit I haven't read any Cooper (twain chased me off from him VERY effectively), but Nemo and Dantes are both entirely about their own choices and their own agency. Sometimes melodramatic things happen (hell, it was the romantic period), but they are always in control. Shinji is just some kid that crap happens to. Some of it's good (in a fantasy way, LOOK BOOBIES), a lot of it's terrible, it's never really HIS.

This is something that interests me, everyone's focus on Shinji like he's the only person in the series. Shinji is disempowered, he has very little agency, he's often thwarted when he tries to use it, and when he uses it successfully it blows up in his face. But what about the characters that DO have power? Like Gendo, his character is fascinating.


windsagio wrote:

(re; the below, I hate the Hero's journey thing, it's a trigger.)
I've said this before, the hero's journey is a deadly pox upon storytelling. Yeah it's resonant on some level, but that doesn't make it anything other than morally bankrupt, tired, cliche', trash.

It's common, that doesn't mean it's GOOD.

Although maybe that's the point, he went back because the plot demanded it. Not through any personal agency, but because it was what the story (and if we want to talk about hero's journy, the cliche') required.

I agree, and I hoped someone would bring it up. Following the Monomyth like a blueprint is wrong (and NGE doesn't, I'd like to point out), but the concept of the Monomyth exists for a reason. Asking why the MC overcomes a challenge and goes back to "the abyss" from which he fled is an absurd question in the concept of storytelling.

However, asking why he went back in a specific sense is a complex one, which assumes the ability to apply critical analysis to a literary work. There are several scenes devoted to that transition in the anime, one of which being Shinji talking with Kaji as he's watering his melons. The commentary on power and responsibility is obvious.

What's painful though is that the commentary is about a character who has power, and therefore responsibility, but lacks agency. In effect he's enslaved by the fact that his power (as an Eva pilot) gives him a responsibility (to save the world) which was forced on him by his father (who controls) but who also took away Shinji's agency in exercising it.
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Posted 4/3/14

Insomnist wrote:
.


frankly I don't share nor particularly respect excessive Shinji hate. Though I do understand it and have jokingly participated in shinji denigration.

I think shinji shows great character in going back to pilot the EVA he has his out. The person I consider nicest and most honest in the serious was HAPPY he had his escape hatch even if it meant her death.

Yes his dad was a bastard who did bastardly things to shinji. yes piloting sucks but he had a moment where he realized that people he cared about would die unless he did the one thing he could... of course then Anno Turns that into more trauma for shinji but hey...

---

Shinja's dad: The Bastard King, The 'Playah' Supreme, ... Yui Ikari's first victim,convert and willing agent? He's a fascinating peice of work.

I find it interesting how in fan fictions if they try to make anything about Ikari redemable or likeable....someonelse has to take on the karma of 'evil bastard'


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Lol! I'm currently actually watching the series and reading the manga for the first time. IMO, when we are first presented with Shinji's character, we are meant to hate him or feel compassion for him at the very least. As the series moves on, I start to respect his character and like his new upbeat personality.
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Posted 4/3/14
Also, there are a lot of spoilers in here. Dats not good.
Posted 4/3/14
because Shinji is....

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There have been numerous postings in this thread that excellently answer the original question, yet I feel the need to rehash and paraphrase while adding a dash of original thought. The power of NGE compels me!

We must remember that animation is the most deliberate of artforms. The creators are given control over and burdened with every detail, most of which are taken for granted in live-action filmmaking. Trying to achieve something of merit in this medium forced GAINAX to employ cliche and heavy-handed design to create a coherent narrative long enough to slap you in the face with the content we are still chewing on almost 20 years later. All great films do! NGE was built on the skeleton of Gundam so viewers would recognize some familiar territory and feel at home. GAINAX used this and flipped over to reveal the ugly humanity hidden behind the herioc standards we normally consume. Instead of Goku redeeming his enemies or American Action Hero mustering up the strength at the last second to justifiably murder his antagonist, we are given a tormented version of ourselves that both serves the role of the empty heroic avatar (Keanu Reeves) and omnipotent protaganist only limited by the narrative (Jesus/Superman). NGE shows us how much it sucks to be both these extremes and most places in between, and the only people you'd want to be like are Kaji and Misato, who are old enough to have escaped the burden of the protagonist but not so old they become the bad guys.
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ok so threads like this are getting pretty stupid and annoying but I'll answer your question shinji ikari is hated beacause he's so lame, he's weak and some other things but im tired of moving my fingers so i'll stop here. but yeah that's my own opinion.......
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seanvox wrote:

There have been numerous postings in this thread that excellently answer the original question, yet I feel the need to rehash and paraphrase while adding a dash of original thought. The power of NGE compels me!

We must remember that animation is the most deliberate of artforms. The creators are given control over and burdened with every detail, most of which are taken for granted in live-action filmmaking. Trying to achieve something of merit in this medium forced GAINAX to employ cliche and heavy-handed design to create a coherent narrative long enough to slap you in the face with the content we are still chewing on almost 20 years later. All great films do! NGE was built on the skeleton of Gundam so viewers would recognize some familiar territory and feel at home. GAINAX used this and flipped over to reveal the ugly humanity hidden behind the herioc standards we normally consume. Instead of Goku redeeming his enemies or American Action Hero mustering up the strength at the last second to justifiably murder his antagonist, we are given a tormented version of ourselves that both serves the role of the empty heroic avatar (Keanu Reeves) and omnipotent protaganist only limited by the narrative (Jesus/Superman). NGE shows us how much it sucks to be both these extremes and most places in between, and the only people you'd want to be like are Kaji and Misato, who are old enough to have escaped the burden of the protagonist but not so old they become the bad guys.


Wow. I like this.


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Posted 4/3/14


Insomnist wrote:


windsagio wrote:

That to me is part of the problem (but maybe with the series not the character) something that absurdly overwrought pretty much kills any relatability a character might have.

I don't think it's any more overwrought than similar celebrated scenes in classical literature like Frankenstein, Ivanhoe, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Last of the Mohicans, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, etc.

Even the backstory of Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, who reminds me strikingly of Gendo.


Well I don't think they're really at all similar. I admit I haven't read any Cooper (twain chased me off from him VERY effectively), but Nemo and Dantes are both entirely about their own choices and their own agency. Sometimes melodramatic things happen (hell, it was the romantic period), but they are always in control. Shinji is just some kid that crap happens to. Some of it's good (in a fantasy way, LOOK BOOBIES), a lot of it's terrible, it's never really HIS.
This is something that interests me, everyone's focus on Shinji like he's the only person in the series. Shinji is disempowered, he has very little agency, he's often thwarted when he tries to use it, and when he uses it successfully it blows up in his face. But what about the characters that DO have power? Like Gendo, his character is fascinating.

Well like I said, I don't particularly hate Shinji, except as a symptom of the show (I think I've said that elsewhere, a comparison of Shinji and Kirito would be pretty interesting). He gets extra attention, because he's the protagonist, and the others are (imo) either despicable or forgettable.




windsagio wrote:

(re; the below, I hate the Hero's journey thing, it's a trigger.)
I've said this before, the hero's journey is a deadly pox upon storytelling. Yeah it's resonant on some level, but that doesn't make it anything other than morally bankrupt, tired, cliche', trash.

It's common, that doesn't mean it's GOOD.

Although maybe that's the point, he went back because the plot demanded it. Not through any personal agency, but because it was what the story (and if we want to talk about hero's journy, the cliche') required.

I agree, and I hoped someone would bring it up. Following the Monomyth like a blueprint is wrong (and NGE doesn't, I'd like to point out), but the concept of the Monomyth exists for a reason. Asking why the MC overcomes a challenge and goes back to "the abyss" from which he fled is an absurd question in the concept of storytelling.

However, asking why he went back in a specific sense is a complex one, which assumes the ability to apply critical analysis to a literary work. There are several scenes devoted to that transition in the anime, one of which being Shinji talking with Kaji as he's watering his melons. The commentary on power and responsibility is obvious.

What's painful though is that the commentary is about a character who has power, and therefore responsibility, but lacks agency. In effect he's enslaved by the fact that his power (as an Eva pilot) gives him a responsibility (to save the world) which was forced on him by his father (who controls) but who also took away Shinji's agency in exercising it.



It's the difference between going through the motions and building a compelling story out of the automatic pieces. As always I should acknowledge the taste element here, but it goes back to the 'forced' discussion (was it here or in the other, related thread?) I think it's pretty hacky to rely on the HJ in geheral, but you can naturally make a really good work out of it, if you can put some compelling reasons in. I admit its been over a decade, but I find it hard to see any convincing reason there.

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Posted 4/3/14

Zeta-Nu wrote:

because Shinji is....


Ibf Ender Wiggin.
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