Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Terasawa
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

Post by Terasawa »

Shinji should have “got it together”, is “a complete quack”, “refuses to grow”, plus my favorite: “you can be depressed as you possibly can, and still work up some sort of strength for yourself.”

IMO those are horrifying opinions to have about literally crippling mental illness, even in regards to a TV character. It shows a total lack of understanding or empathy for the cripplingly mentally ill.

Sure you can dislike the character or the show all you want, because neither is above criticism. But these kind of comments are so prevalent in your criticisms (I don’t think I quoted them all) and you’re so quick to resort to them that IMO it’s a little disconcerting.

I’m not gonna tell you to go read or learn about people who are really that sick, because this is just an anime, but suffice it to say you’re wrong. There absolutely are people in the real world who are so downtrodden and so sick that they *cannot* rise up and “grow a pair”. (So far none of them have been called on to pilot a robot to save the world in a last ditch effort for their fellow men and women.)
Last edited by Terasawa on Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

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As already mentioned before, Shinji DOES develop over the first half of the show; but he regresses in the 2nd half because the world is cruel to Shinji. Whether Shinji does something right or wrong, he seems to get punished for it; and that would be hard on anyone's psyche.
Shinji is hardly the only one in the show who has problems, too. NERV/SEELE is a toxic environment, due to the various attitudes and agendas at play behind the scenes. Nearly everyone has baggage they're dealing with; they've just had more time than Shinji to do it. I'd argue Asuka even goes through a WORSE breakdown than Shinji, and she's the one who appeared to have "grown a pair" - except that doesn't actually work, because her trauma never went away. She only comes through in EoE because - guess what - her mother came in the clutch, not unlike Shinji's mom had done for him several times before.

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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

Post by _JNavs_ »

Asuka was a much more dynamic character who recognized her faults and attempted to grow. She and Misato were the protagonists of this show as far as i'm concerned. Shinji was borderline C-Tier.

He didn't become a protagonist for me until Rebuild, when he caused the third impact out of the will to save someone he cared about, when he even almost went full-akira in 3.0 to prove to himself he had the chance to change everything.

Anyway as i said earlier, the more we dwell on the development of him, the less chance this thread has of actually going anywhere. Sounds kinda like a certain character from NGE but i digress.
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I think Rei from Rebuild is a better character than Rei from NGE, though to be fair, it's because in NGE she was more of a plot device than anything else.
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

Post by Manuelito Canelito »

_JNavs_ wrote:Asuka was a much more dynamic character who recognized her faults and attempted to grow.
No she didn't.

Asuka is a scared little girl that likes to talk big to hide her true self, but when push really comes to shove, she folds even harder than Shinji.

Both were mentally messed up by an Angel but only Asuka tried to kill herself afterwards.

Saying Asuka grew a pair or recognizes her fault is directly misinterpreting her character, the whole point of Asuka is that she puts a lot of façades cause she hates who she really is and tries to project feelings of self worth into the EVA and being the best.

And the moment that doesn't happen, she suffers a breakdown.

Being completely honest, Asuka is even more pathetic than Shinji
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Manuelito Canelito wrote:
_JNavs_ wrote:Asuka was a much more dynamic character who recognized her faults and attempted to grow.
No she didn't.

Asuka is a scared little girl that likes to talk big to hide her true self, but when push really comes to shove, she folds even harder than Shinji.

Both were mentally messed up by an Angel but only Asuka tried to kill herself afterwards.

Saying Asuka grew a pair or recognizes her fault is directly misinterpreting her character, the whole point of Asuka is that she puts a lot of façades cause she hates who she really is and tries to project feelings of self worth into the EVA and being the best.

And the moment that doesn't happen, she suffers a breakdown.

Being completely honest, Asuka is even more pathetic than Shinji
By End of Eva she understood she had to put her faults to the side, realize she's her own person for better or for worse, and get out of that lake to not only help out against the attackers, but also let her rage out. She discovered her mother was with her the whole time within Unit-02, and found confidence and peace with her inner demon. I'm not talking Asuka from the entirety of the show, i'm talking Asuka who tried to save the world. She recognized her faults and attempted to grow, she pushed forward even until she died valiantly.

Asuka isn't pathetic for having mental breakdowns over her faults because she attempts to rectify them, even though she fails. Shinji IS pathetic for watching each of his friends die individually and letting it happen continuously knowing he can hop right in his mom-bot and handle the situation. Which is selfish, terrible, and overall despicable. That's not even getting into his disgusting behavior over a comatose'd Asuka.

It seems like absolutely no one wants to actually change the topic from anything other than Shinji's mental state. I've attempted twice, so i think this thread is determined to stay dead.
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Terasawa
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

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_JNavs_ wrote:Asuka isn't pathetic for having mental breakdowns over her faults because she attempts to rectify them even though she fails. Shinji IS pathetic for watching each of his friends die individually and letting it happen continuously knowing he can hop right in his mom-bot and handle the situation. Which is selfish, terrible, and overall despicable.
You continue to operate under the assumption that he can act.
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Terasawa wrote:
_JNavs_ wrote:Asuka isn't pathetic for having mental breakdowns over her faults because she attempts to rectify them even though she fails. Shinji IS pathetic for watching each of his friends die individually and letting it happen continuously knowing he can hop right in his mom-bot and handle the situation. Which is selfish, terrible, and overall despicable.
You continue to operate under the assumption that he can act.
But how much push does he need until he goes and does what needs to be done? He has had everyone that cared about him slowly ripped from him over the course of the series+film, but when it comes to the biggest battle NERV ever had to deal with, he'd rather let them all die, then just do what he should be used to doing after 26 episodes.

I understand he has crippling depression, but then what is the motivation to root for him?
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

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_JNavs_ wrote:
Terasawa wrote:
_JNavs_ wrote:Asuka isn't pathetic for having mental breakdowns over her faults because she attempts to rectify them even though she fails. Shinji IS pathetic for watching each of his friends die individually and letting it happen continuously knowing he can hop right in his mom-bot and handle the situation. Which is selfish, terrible, and overall despicable.
You continue to operate under the assumption that he can act.
But how much push does he need until he goes and does what needs to be done? He has had everyone that cared about him slowly ripped from him over the course of the series+film, but when it comes to the biggest battle NERV ever had to deal with, he'd rather let them all die, then just do what he should be used to doing after 26 episodes.

I understand he has crippling depression, but then what is the motivation to root for him?
It's not that "he'd rather let them all die", it's that he's so ill that he can't do anything about it. Idk, it's like asking why doesn't a quadriplegic just get up and run to help someone? He can't.

I won't dispute that it makes him a very unlikable character. And I also won't pretend to understand Anno's intentions. I think Shinji represents the utterly broken, perhaps hopelessly depressed. It's not supposed to be a happy ending, you're supposed to feel just as defeated as he is.
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

Post by _JNavs_ »

Terasawa wrote:
_JNavs_ wrote:
Terasawa wrote:
You continue to operate under the assumption that he can act.
But how much push does he need until he goes and does what needs to be done? He has had everyone that cared about him slowly ripped from him over the course of the series+film, but when it comes to the biggest battle NERV ever had to deal with, he'd rather let them all die, then just do what he should be used to doing after 26 episodes.

I understand he has crippling depression, but then what is the motivation to root for him?
It's not that "he'd rather let them all die", it's that he's so ill that he can't do anything about it. Idk, it's like asking why doesn't a quadriplegic just get up and run to help someone? He can't.

I won't dispute that it makes him a very unlikable character. And I also won't pretend to understand Anno's intentions. I think Shinji represents the utterly broken, perhaps hopelessly depressed. It's not supposed to be a happy ending, you're supposed to feel just as defeated as he is.
That's fair and i can agree on this.
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

Post by miguelnuva »

It was always interesting to me that Shinji almost kills Koji in Eva 3 and he gets angry and goes after Gendo and becomes his own person but when he kills Kaworu he nuts up and gets Misato and Askua killed.
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

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miguelnuva wrote:It was always interesting to me that Shinji almost kills Koji in Eva 3 and he gets angry and goes after Gendo and becomes his own person but when he kills Kaworu he nuts up and gets Misato and Askua killed.
It's been years since I last watched Eva but Shinji is at very different points in the show when those two situations occur. He is not nearly as broken by the point Toji is nearly killed as he is by the point he kills Kaworu - in the latter case, it's the straw that breaks the camel's back after an ever-escalating series of painful events (Kaji being assassinated and Misato wracked with grief, Asuka's mindrape and attempted suicide, Rei sacrificing herself and coming back as a clone, etc.)

Also worth noting the differences in situations - Toji was nearly killed not so much by Shinji's own actions but by Gendo activating the dummy plug, while Kaworu - who had befriended Shinji at what then seemed like his lowest point, only to utterly betray his trust by turning out to be an Angel - died by Shinji's own hand.
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

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The incident with Toji comes at a point in the story when things are just starting to go downhill again, and arguably plants the seeds for his inability to act in EoE. Twice during this incident, Shinji makes a deliberate choice of action or inaction - resisting destroying Toji's EVA, and rebelling against NERV - and both times he has his power taken away. Even when he comes back on his own volition to fight Zeruel, he ultimately fails to defeat it, with EVA-01 taking control and overwhelming Shinji.
Things only get worse from here, as Shinji watches the people and organization unravel around him. When Kaworu shows up, Shinji needs someone he thinks he can trust more than ever, and gravitates to Kaworu's earnest friendliness - which gets Shinji scarred more than ever when he realizes Kaworu is the most dangerous person he's met yet, and is once again put in a position where he HAS to kill a friend.
EoE Shinji doesn't do anything because he genuinely believes he can't; he has no percieved power or control over events, and he only gets himself or other people hurt when he does.

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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

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I think I get it now. People who are actual fans of this show aren't in it for the action. They watch it for the psychological character study aspect.

Added in 4 minutes 17 seconds:
Terasawa wrote:I can’t hate his character because it’s one of the most impressive portrayals of completely debilitating mental illness I’ve encountered.

Added in 9 minutes 10 seconds:
Also, even if they’re in regard to a fictional character in a cartoon, comments with language like “grow a spine” and “man up” are borderline disgusting. I just hope you guys don’t think those things about real people with real illnesses, Jesus.
What's so sick and wrong for wanting a fellow person to overcome depression and mental illness?
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

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LegendZilla wrote:I think I get it now. People who are actual fans of this show aren't in it for the action. They watch it for the psychological character study aspect.
I wouldn't say the two are exclusive binaries. I like the show for the monster action and designs, as well as all the stuff with Shinji and everyone around him. The world building is also really interesting as well. The latter two points separate it from it just being an Ultraman clone.
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

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LegendZilla wrote:
Terasawa wrote:I can’t hate his character because it’s one of the most impressive portrayals of completely debilitating mental illness I’ve encountered.

Added in 9 minutes 10 seconds:
Also, even if they’re in regard to a fictional character in a cartoon, comments with language like “grow a spine” and “man up” are borderline disgusting. I just hope you guys don’t think those things about real people with real illnesses, Jesus.
What's so sick and wrong for wanting a fellow person to overcome depression and mental illness?
It's the language being used that's wrong. Both of the examples I cited (taken from this thread) give the false impression that all it takes to overcome severe mental illness (such as with the Shinji character) is emotional fortitude. It's basically overlooking the entire fact that it's a complex problem related to biochemistry, nature, upbringing, etc.

As I said before, it's like asking a crippled person to just get up and walk. It grossly downplays the severity of the affliction.

Also "man up" is a pretty sexist statement. It goes back to the old idea that men don't cry, that that's women's business.
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

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It's not even like Shinji is the sole basis/hero of the show. Asuka works as a foil to Shinji being the complete opposite of him personality wise (seemingly confident but having intense insecurities drive her, which is the reverse of Shinji).

One thing I don't like about all the "man-up" comments, other than the things Terasawa clearly addresses, is that it also ignores the situation going on and acts as if everyone instantly tasked with an enormous responsibility of saving the world, while continually being put in dangerous situations, while still living in a shithole version of humanity is something that everyone can easily do. It's the same as watching something and just saying "well if It was me I would just..." even though the situation presented is an incredibly difficult one.

I also want to add that Shinji's hesitation make the few moments of success that more meaningful. If not for all of Shinji's character and the world building/monster designs we really are just left with an Ultraman clone.
Last edited by LSD Jellyfish on Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Well, I think we can all agree Pen Pen seems mentally stable and affable.
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

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LegendZilla wrote:I think I get it now. People who are actual fans of this show aren't in it for the action. They watch it for the psychological character study aspect.
For me pretty much this. The way I see it is the story NGE really wants to tell is about Shinji overcoming his trauma. It just happens to use the mecha alien angle as a setting. So in a way the resolution to the angel apocalypse isn't really what the show is focused on. If someone watches NGE for a satisfactory conclusion to Nerv's story, they are more likely to be disappointed and left unsatisfied. I personally think that the show does a good job of completing this narrative, but that's only after including EOE into the discussion, and even that leaves a lot of things ambiguous and confusing. The original tv ending, as much as I love it for completing Shinji's arch (as well as help make sense of EOE), pretty much throws the entire mecha narrative to the side, because as I see it this angle was always a vernier. I perfectly understand people get annoyed at this. In some regards the show may feel like a bait and switch, and I respect that opinion entirely.

On one last note (I had written this before but didn't like how it came out so I deleted it) I sincerely believe the show's conclusion to be about Shinji's growth into accepting who he is, and finally being able to make real human connections, absolving his hedge-hog dilemma (or at least the first real steps forward). And to me, this is him "growing a spine" or perhaps more elegantly, actually developing as a character. No he doesn't suddenly become a bad-ass and have a boss battle with Adam. But he rejects the very utopia that he would have loved earlier in the series. Despite the numerous conversations here about how he should have no expectation to fix himself, this is kind of what ends up happening. Is he cured, by no means, but is he in a position where he can begin to start making the changes to be a better person and take a risk that he might get hurt along the way, I would like to think so.
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Re: Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Jetty_Jags wrote:
LegendZilla wrote:I think I get it now. People who are actual fans of this show aren't in it for the action. They watch it for the psychological character study aspect.
For me pretty much this. The way I see it is the story NGE really wants to tell is about Shinji overcoming his trauma. It just happens to use the mecha alien angle as a setting. So in a way the resolution to the angel apocalypse isn't really what the show is focused on. If someone watches NGE for a satisfactory conclusion to Nerv's story, they are more likely to be disappointed and left unsatisfied. I personally think that the show does a good job of completing this narrative, but that's only after including EOE into the discussion, and even that leaves a lot of things ambiguous and confusing. The original tv ending, as much as I love it for completing Shinji's arch (as well as help make sense of EOE), pretty much throws the entire mecha narrative to the side, because as I see it this angle was always a vernier. I perfectly understand people get annoyed at this. In some regards the show may feel like a bait and switch, and I respect that opinion entirely.

On one last note (I had written this before but didn't like how it came out so I deleted it) I sincerely believe the show's conclusion to be about Shinji's growth into accepting who he is, and finally being able to make real human connections, absolving his hedge-hog dilemma (or at least the first real steps forward). And to me, this is him "growing a spine" or perhaps more elegantly, actually developing as a character. No he doesn't suddenly become a bad-ass and have a boss battle with Adam. But he rejects the very utopia that he would have loved earlier in the series. Despite the numerous conversations here about how he should have no expectation to fix himself, this is kind of what ends up happening. Is he cured, by no means, but is he in a position where he can begin to start making the changes to be a better person and take a risk that he might get hurt along the way, I would like to think so.
I get it, the show gears itself towards an audience of a higher intellect than usual.
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