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"Get In The Robot, Shinji"


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nobahn
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:14 pm Reply with quote
Never watched Eva; the hype turned me off, ironically enough.
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meiam



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:20 pm Reply with quote
So I imagine most people understand that "get in the robot, Shinji" is popular because it's a meme and it has little to do with the actual show, probably often repeated by people who haven't even seen Eva. Kinda like the Laugh scene in FFX that's always a joke about how awkward the VA is in the game, ignoring the fact that it's supposed to be awkward. But for the sake of the discussion, let's just say that people are serious when they say it.

Beyond theme, allegory, metaphor and philosophical discussion stories are... stories, succession of events that we are meant to take seriously. When Shinji is told to "get in the robot" it really just mean "there's a giant monster destroying the city at the moment, potentially killing countless people. And, trough some farcical curse no doubt bough on us by some evil god, you're the only one who can stop it. Your daddy issues are beyond trivial at this point". Sure sticking it to his jerk dad is great and all, but when that involved watching as a monster rampage, you kinda lose the moral high ground there.
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octopodpie
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:49 pm Reply with quote
Shinji's dad could stop the monsters from attacking at any point without involving his son.

spoiler[They're attacking in an attempt to retrieve Adam from within NERV to begin with, but Gendo needs Adam to fulfill is entirely selfish plan to reunite with his dead wife. So he keeps Adam in NERV underneath a city that's home to thousands of civilians and sends his kid into dangerous situations to defeat said monsters.]
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Greed1914
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:04 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
So I imagine most people understand that "get in the robot, Shinji" is popular because it's a meme and it has little to do with the actual show, probably often repeated by people who haven't even seen Eva. Kinda like the Laugh scene in FFX that's always a joke about how awkward the VA is in the game, ignoring the fact that it's supposed to be awkward. But for the sake of the discussion, let's just say that people are serious when they say it.

Beyond theme, allegory, metaphor and philosophical discussion stories are... stories, succession of events that we are meant to take seriously. When Shinji is told to "get in the robot" it really just mean "there's a giant monster destroying the city at the moment, potentially killing countless people. And, trough some farcical curse no doubt bough on us by some evil god, you're the only one who can stop it. Your daddy issues are beyond trivial at this point". Sure sticking it to his jerk dad is great and all, but when that involved watching as a monster rampage, you kinda lose the moral high ground there.


I suppose if one takes the most literal view of what is happening, then yes, it seems like an incredibly poor time for family issues. But that is kind of the point. Gendo is counting on the reality of what is happening to force Shinji to do what he wants. Even if everyone at NERV felt like it was a lousy for Gendo to only send for Shinji when he needed something from him, they weren't going to back up Shinji in that situation.
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meiam



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:18 pm Reply with quote
octopodpie wrote:
Shinji's dad could stop the monsters from attacking at any point without involving his son.

spoiler[They're attacking in an attempt to retrieve Adam from within NERV to begin with, but Gendo needs Adam to fulfill is entirely selfish plan to reunite with his dead wife. So he keeps Adam in NERV underneath a city that's home to thousands of civilians and sends his kid into dangerous situations to defeat said monsters.]


True but that doesn't change anything (and Shinji doesn't know that).
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octopodpie
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:34 pm Reply with quote
It changes everything, because it means Gendo is orchestrating Shinji's trauma for his own selfish needs.
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HiPolymer



Joined: 04 Apr 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:37 pm Reply with quote
Get in the podcast, Zac.
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:58 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
True but that doesn't change anything (and Shinji doesn't know that).

And then Shinji DID get in the robot. It was not super fun for him. Perhaps one might see why he would not be thrilled about having to keep getting in the robot. He's just a 14 year old boy and the best apparent answer these adults could come up with is to shove it all on him. It sucks. (And sucks harder once the full story comes out)

But, yes, so many of us like to imagine that sure, we'd absolutely jump right in and have no problem with the whole situation and be oh so jazzed about being forced into a super weapon and told now everything's on you. Despite being 14.
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:10 pm Reply with quote
Anyone else from that same era reading the phrase and hearing it as:
"Sheena, get in the glowing green square"? Laughing

nobahn wrote:
Never watched Eva; the hype turned me off, ironically enough.


Like the article, Eva came out of its early '99-'00 fandom to become a perfect storm of being both the Grave of the Fireflies of its day, and the Sword Art Online/One Piece of its day:
One, the evangelical (NPI) title that rabid fans, wanting to PROVE! how BOLD! and INNOVATIVE! Japanese anime was compared to TAME! American cartoons, and would force, browbeat and peer-pressure poor unsuspecting new fans with for their FIRST EYE-OPENING EXPERIENCE!, who had just innocently been asking who that muscly guy with the crazy hair on Cartoon Network was.

And the other, the "default" title that, well, you just had to talk about if you were on the online fandom--
You didn't even have to mention the series--Since, well, "everybody" was already a fan, and there was only one show you knew of "worth" talking about, you only had to start a discussion topic on fan forums with "What's Shinji's problem, anyway?", the same way as some limited-exposure fans would start discussions with "Kirito should DIE!!", or "What's happening with Cake Island?"

...I've only watched part of one episode, in an anime store, back in the day, and the concentrated pretentiousness even in those few minutes was enough to confirm my fan-traumatized fears of ever watching the rest.
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jesusalcala11



Joined: 08 Sep 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:26 pm Reply with quote
You can add my group of friends to the list of those that use "get in the robot" as a meme.
Whenever a mecha appears in a piece of entertainment, someone without fail says "get in the freaking robot, Shinji".
None of them have watched Evangelion, so that is just a phrase to them.
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cyborgkiddo



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:49 pm Reply with quote
I remember recommending NGE to one of my friends a while back. Evangelion one of my absolute favourite shows of all time, so I was excited to hear his opinion on it (we're both in our 20's by the way). What I get back is several messages on how Shinji is just a whiny little b*tch and how he ruins the entire show, how bad the show is because we have to deal with Shinji being a huge baby. Completely blew me away that he would 1. entirely miss the point of the show and 2. lack so much empathy for a literal child. Like, Shinji's response to what's going on is (in my opinion) a very realistic response to being shoved into a giant death machine and forced to kill huge monsters or else the world is gonna end. Needless to say, I never recommended anything to him again.
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johnnysasaki



Joined: 01 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:36 pm Reply with quote
octopodpie wrote:
It changes everything, because it means Gendo is orchestrating Shinji's trauma for his own selfish needs.


And in the manga adaptation,Gendo tells to his face he never really loved him and actually felt jealous of Yui's attention to him when he was born.Ouch...
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:05 pm Reply with quote
Kicksville wrote:
Despite being 14.

And despite being utterly abandoned by his own father, who offers zero emotional support and instead piles on more emotional abuse even when basically forced to speak to his son because he needs him for a bit.

I get that edgy 14 year olds want to think they'd be so immune to that (no parents messing in my life? Great!!) and be jazzed about getting in the robot to save the world, but I guess a lot of people never outgrow that feeling of wanting to be a fearless hero, so they can't identify or empathize with any other response to that situation.

Good article!
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:22 pm Reply with quote
This is a really well-written article and I definitely understand the point Zac is making here, but I have a fundamentally-different reaction to the series. Right after I first saw Eva during its [adult swim] airing, I was quick to defend the series as a whole and Shinji in particular against the usual litany of complaints from most of my friends. However, with the passage of time, I can't really bring myself to stand up for him anymore. I also suffered from clinical depression and anxiety in my past, but I don't recognize a kindred spirit in Shinji. At my lowest points, I would have LONGED for someone to tell me to "get in the [expletive] robot," because it would have given me a goal, a purpose, anything to hang my hat on, an escape for the drifting feeling of worthlessness and inadequacy. My overwhelming desire was to be able to do something that no one else could, to be a hero to someone, and the fact that I couldn't was a large part of what kept me in despair. Even though I'm in a much better place now, those lingering desires still bounce around in my head from time to time. So to a see a character given that chance to step into that role, even if it's the result of heinous manipulations, but continually and repeatedly shy away from it at every opportunity, is something I fundamentally can't identify with.

I've heard many people say, and I'd generally agree, that Gurren Lagann serves as something like Gainax's answer to Evangelion, with Simon as Shinji's antithesis. I can't help but think of the middle arc of that series, when Simon is at his lowest point of all, and how he escapes it not through some grand heroics or inner mind theater, but by the simple act of recalling just what it is that he CAN do, and then going ahead and doing that one small thing. It's a far more life-affirming and encouraging sentiment to me than anything that Evangelion ever delivered. But hell, maybe that's because Shinji really needed a Kamina in his life but never had that blessing. One of the things I found most appealing about the Rebuild movies is that in 2.22, Shinji was allowed to be far more proactive than in the series proper, especially in its triumphant climactic moments. I haven't seen 3.33 yet, but from what I've heard, it seems like Anno chose to once again step back from that, which is definitely frustrating.

So I guess my rambling point here is that it's possible for someone to understand what Anno was going for with Shinji, and to have empathy for the idea of him as a character, but still not really identify with him in any way. At this point I find Eva much more interesting as a case study of what sort of creative endeavors a person under extreme stress and suffering from severe mental illness can produce, instead of as a piece of entertainment in its own right. Most of its cast feel more like archetypes ripped from a psychology textbook than living, breathing people, and while I'm long overdue for a rewatch, I don't expect to come back around on Shinji.
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Arale Kurashiki



Joined: 24 Aug 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:26 pm Reply with quote
The most highly upvoted Evangelion review on MyAnimeList says that Shinji wasn't really depressed because he never actually killed himself, so he was just looking for attention. And that's what's wrong with anime fandom.
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