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Why is Shinji hated so much?


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Ktimene's Lover



Joined: 23 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:55 pm Reply with quote
I mean, come on, the guy has been through heck because he has been subject to:
He spoiler[has an alienating bastard of a father (though noble intentions of wanting to reunite with his wife); surrogate mother that betrays hims; killed the only one who truly loved him.]And is it just me, or is Shinji the most humane of the bunch?spoiler[ He doesn't drink, smoke; do promiscuity; use people like that bastard father of his. Why does this antisocially and melancholic boy with an Oedipus complex becomes hated so much? Though I could see why shunning and being shunned may make people not like him.]
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Kelly



Joined: 17 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:17 pm Reply with quote
Shinji seems to be one of the most polarizing characters in all anime. Evangelion viewers seem to be separated into two groups - the first of which sympathizes with the emotional abuse he's suffered and his struggle to try to do the right thing (whatever that means under the circumstances) and the second of which holds him in contempt for not pulling himself together after he's acquiesed to the adults' wish for him to be a pilot and feel he didn't go through anything that traumatic until spoiler[Kaworu forced him to kill him ].

It's a subject on which it seems there will never be a consensus.
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10円



Joined: 17 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:23 pm Reply with quote
On the one hand Shinji is a total emo poon, but he's also been treated like crap for much of his life. So, I guess I agree with both sides here. He should get it together and step up, but I also understand why it's so hard for him to do so. NGE is an interesting series, but it still doesn't have enough emotional pull for me to really get caught up with strongly supporting or hating Shinji.
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MorwenLaicoriel



Joined: 26 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:25 pm Reply with quote
I really don't get the Shinji-hate at all. I'm relatively new to NGE (I just recently saw the volume--I do know the entire plot, though, I've spoiled myself silly and read essays and such), but I don't see why Shinji's the only one that's targeted. I mean, there's so many anime plotlines with characters going through trauma and reacting badly, but none of them ever get hated as much as Shinji.
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coffee



Joined: 28 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:41 pm Reply with quote
A large amount of opinions I've read, and one that I'm mostly inline with myself is his non-stop whining and inability to act. Look at the first episode when he's told he needs to pilot unit-01, he refuses to. The majority of people would be like "oh cool I get to drive this giant robot!", but he mopes about it. Later on in the series when he's told to spoiler[go save Asuka from the MP Evas he whines and mopes more, even though she's one of his friends, and it takes Misato's dying words to get him to go to the surface and fight.] On the other hand though, perhaps Shinji is so disliked because he is the opposite of what most anime fans want to see in the lead character, and might let fans down in that perspective.
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NGE1113



Joined: 12 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:06 am Reply with quote
coffee wrote:
On the other hand though, perhaps Shinji is so disliked because he is the opposite of what most anime fans want to see in the lead character, and might let fans down in that perspective.

And that hits the nail on the head. The anti-hero is never really respected by the public at large, no matter the circumstances. Part of it, I also think, is that people see parts of Shinji in themselves, and they don't like that fact at all. Whether it be indecisiveness, feeling weak at the worst possible moments, or even just not caring about the world at all (spoiler[Shinji really packed it all in after killing Kaoru]), people don't like knowing those sides of themselves exist. And since Shinji is a constant reminder of human weakness, this is, in part, which drives the Shinji hate.
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HellKorn



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:09 am Reply with quote
Ctimene's Lover wrote:
spoiler[Why does this antisocially and melancholic boy with an Oedipus complex becomes hated so much?]


Uh, technically spoiler[Shinji doesn't have an Oedipus complex, considering that he makes it cut clear in The End of Evangelion who he wants to be with.]

Kelly wrote:
Shinji seems to be one of the most polarizing characters in all anime. Evangelion viewers seem to be separated into two groups... the second of which... feel he didn't go through anything that traumatic until spoiler[Kaworu forced him to kill him ].


Well, gee, spoiler[not being told that one of your two best friends is a pilot and finding out he could've been killed, realizing the only person who was a father figure to you has been killed, being rejected by the person you want to understand the most, find out that a girl close to you is in fact a clone of your mother, and your surrogate-mother tried to make an advance on you] wouldn't be considered somewhere in the vicinity of "traumatic"?

Geez, people really are selective in their judgment.

10円 wrote:
On the one hand Shinji is a total emo poon...


Ugh, am I the only one getting sick of that damn term? I see "emo" getting tossed around left and right just for a shallow reason to bitch and whine about a character. (I'm not referring to the above poster specifically, mind you.)

MorwenLaicoriel wrote:
I really don't get the Shinji-hate at all. I'm relatively new to NGE (I just recently saw the volume--I do know the entire plot, though, I've spoiled myself silly and read essays and such), but I don't see why Shinji's the only one that's targeted.


Oh, he's not the only one. Misato, Asuka, and Rei get more than their fair share of flack. It just seems that people in general want characters to be "likable" at the cost of being realistic and having, I dunno, depth.

coffee wrote:
The majority of people would be like "oh cool I get to drive this giant robot!", but he mopes about it.


The majority of those people are self-delusioned morons who think that they could go Rambo the hell out of an invading enemy if they were in that type of position.

Quote:
On the other hand though, perhaps Shinji is so disliked because he is the opposite of what most anime fans want to see in the lead character, and might let fans down in that perspective.


Bingo. And that's really part of what makes him so interesting, in that he doesn't fall into that generic, gung-ho male protagonist category (at least in the anime, since he becomes way too stereotypical for my tastes in the manga adaption).
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10円



Joined: 17 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:33 am Reply with quote
NGE1113 wrote:
The anti-hero is never really respected by the public at large, no matter the circumstances. Part of it, I also think, is that people see parts of Shinji in themselves, and they don't like that fact at all. Whether it be indecisiveness, feeling weak at the worst possible moments, or even just not caring about the world at all (spoiler[Shinji really packed it all in after killing Kaoru]), people don't like knowing those sides of themselves exist. And since Shinji is a constant reminder of human weakness, this is, in part, which drives the Shinji hate.


An articulate and thoughtful post; very well said.

HellKorn wrote:
Ugh, am I the only one getting sick of that damn term? I see "emo" getting tossed around left and right just for a shallow reason to bitch and whine about a character. (I'm not referring to the above poster specifically, mind you.)


This actually marks the one and only time I've ever used this term, on any forum, but I've apparently already been called on it. Oh well. No hard feelings, I just wanted to use a crass term and that's what popped into my head.
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frentymon
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:34 am Reply with quote
Because he's a kid who's also the main character in a mecha anime.

I find that young mecha pilots generally come in two types: The goody-goody righteous "I'm justice" whiny brat pilot who seems not to be afraid of anythingf, and the type that is actually afraid of risking their life piloting a big giant suit which is painful to get into and can get you killed at any moment by some weird mechanical thing and realizes that piloting a mecha isn't just some sort of silly little game, it's a real and terrifying experience which puts lives at stake. Shinji falls into the latter category, which is unfortunately much less common than the former.

People hate Shinji because he complains about going and fighting giant things and risking getting himself killed, although they would probably do the exact same thing if they were in his shoes.

People also hate the former category, which I perfectly understand, and agree with.

So basically if you're a kid and you're a mecha pilot then you can't get away from angry fists being shaken at you. People will either hate you for being a pompous hypocrite or too realistic for their tastes.
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PantsGoblin
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:39 am Reply with quote
Was this brought up because of what I mentioned in the GoTF thread?

My view hasn't changed since the last "bash on Shinji" thread.

animenewsnetwork.com/bbs/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=27787

And sure, I haven't encountered anything like Shinji has, but I have gone through some pretty difficult situations in my life. But I kept my head high and got through them. I just can't accept him for the fact that he puts next to zero effort into improving anything. He just whines. That's all.


Last edited by PantsGoblin on Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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HellKorn



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:40 am Reply with quote
10円 wrote:
HellKorn wrote:
Ugh, am I the only one getting sick of that damn term? I see "emo" getting tossed around left and right just for a shallow reason to bitch and whine about a character. (I'm not referring to the above poster specifically, mind you.)


This actually marks the one and only time I've ever used this term, on any forum, but I've apparently already been called on it. Oh well. No hard feelings, I just wanted to use a crass term and that's what popped into my head.


I've never used the term outside of stereotyping a certain genre of music, so it just bothers me when I see people throw out the term since most, if not all of the time they're own sense of judgment is a rather clouded and narrow one.

But, like I said, I wasn't referring to you, just the use of the term in general. Though, if you were to describe him as anything akin to that, "whiny," "wimpy," or "cowardly" would've been sufficient, not to mention more accurate to his actual character.
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Raven Shinobi



Joined: 15 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:45 am Reply with quote
I too can't get the Anti-Shinji faction and I hate it when people compare him to Ayato from Rahxephon who happens to be one of my least favorite characters in anime.

Shinji is pretty human and easy to relate to, like Youko from 12 Kingdoms -ok, I admit that Youko gets cooler than Shinji later on in the series- they both didn't receive much love from their parents and chose to adhere to what they were told and please everyone to make life easier for themselves and feel they are related to a community, there are many teenagers like that in the real life. Shinji also happened to show a great deal of morality and idealism when he refused to attack a fellow EVA pilot and came to the decision to quit NERV after that, Shinji's character is far from being paper-thin or boring.
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HellKorn



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:48 am Reply with quote
PantsGoblin wrote:
I just can't accept him for the fact that he puts zero effort into improving anything. He just whines. That's all.


So, uh, actually spoiler[piloting the thing after his father uses Rei to get him to go in (episode one), defeating the 4th Angel in spite of being told to retreat while Kensuke and Toji are right there with him (episode three), opening up and potentially burning his hands to help out Rei (episode six), jumping in and saving Asuka from burning to death (episode ten), actually coming back to pilot EVA-01 after being dismissed and sent away for insubordination to fight the 14th Angel (episode nineteen), and actually going through with killing Kaworu (episode twenty-four)] just means that he sits around, complains, does nothing, and essentially "has no balls."

I mean, uh wow. I'm no Shinji fan, in spite of what my post(s) may suggest, but I'm just even more surprised at how some people tend to ignore his actions. A selective memory, I guess?
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PantsGoblin
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:55 am Reply with quote
HellKorn wrote:
I mean, uh wow. I'm no Shinji fan, in spite of what my post(s) may suggest, but I'm just even more surprised at how some people tend to ignore his actions. A selective memory, I guess?


Possibly a selective memory since I was honestly bored throughout the whole show. Last time I saw it was about three years ago. I do remember most of those parts but that's not what I'm talking about. "Zero" was a poor choice of words on my part. He does do a little. But he mainly whines throughout the whole anime, and overall puts very little effort into doing anything about his situation.
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Ryvius213



Joined: 03 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:59 am Reply with quote
I can see why so many people hate Shinji, but it just irritates me when certain Shinji-haters actually try to act gung-ho and say that they would choose to fight without a second thought in order to defend humanity.

Personally, I found myself relating to Shinji from beginning to end. My personality is almost the exact same as Shinji's. The first time I saw Evangelion, it felt like the creators were actually trying to poke fun at my flaws. But that made the show much more enjoyable.(I can't stand the generic "I fight for justice and peace" characters.)
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