How would Evangelion be if Shinji wasn’t a coward?

MasterVampire

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,050
User Warned: Derogatory Language
I recently rewatched the series and was thinking about this.

Would he actually be excited to pilot the Eva? Glad to fight for mankind?
Would he dress any better?
Give his father shit and call him out for being an asshole that uses people?
Not afraid of Asuka and her flirting?

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kingkitty

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
46
I think the world wouldn't be turned into goop at the end.

But Shinji being the most unreliable protagonist is the best part of the show tbh.
 

Moonkid

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,182
We get the Rebuild movies, the third act of 2.0, and 3.0 being of most pertinence here.
 

Mendrox

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,034
--> bad father puts everything on his shoulders
--> forces him to pilot a robot to fight angel monsters

"Shinji is a pussy"

I don't know, but I would also lose my mind with such a fuckup of a dad. I don't think it's right to call him a pussy. :P

Show would be boring though.
 

Xaszatm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,709
I mean...isn't the whole point of Evangelion is the fact that all the pilots are mentally unfit for this position?
 

CassCade

Member
Nov 2, 2017
2,017
I wouldn't say his pussy, Shinji has good reasons for not wanting to pilot the EVA and his reluctance is reasonable. If I was Shinji, I never would have shown up in the first place.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,772
How would this thread be if OP had a modicum of empathy?
Yeah, how you wouldn't love being obligated to join a super shady organization full of assholes leaded by your hated dad to fight giant eldritch horrors (with a piloting system that makes the user suffer as he would be really in the fight and not the robot), all while using a bioengineered giant monster. F'cking pussy!
 

Yabberwocky

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,231
I love that Shinji has a realistic reaction to the horrifying situations he's put through. It's all that more satisfying when he breaks through his fears and insecurities.

--> bad father puts everything on his shoulders
--> forces him to pilot a robot to fight angel monsters

"Shinji is a pussy"

I don't know, but I would also lose my mind with such a fuckup of a dad. I don't think it's right to call him a pussy. :P

Show would be boring though.
Yes to this!

Isn't the point of the rebuild movies that a proactive Shinji will still fuck things up?
...that's a really good point, actually. I never thought of it that way.
 

Tence

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,357
I've always wondered why people hate Shinji so much, or call him a coward or pussy. The guy is a young kid in puberty who lost his mother and has an asshole for a father.
He has to fight in a 'robot' that is actually some bio engineered monster en whatever the beast feels he actually feels, with lungs filled with LCL.

And while I did sometimes think: Come on Shinji...get your shit together (in EoE) I never thought he was a horrible protagonist. I understand why the lil dude is depressed and not really thrilled to pilot that thing.
 

JonnyDBrit

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,723
It'd be Super Robot War Alphas 1 & 3, basically. He'd still be awkward and goofy - not a coward =/= confident - while a lot of what makes the series unsettling is both already in motion and beyond his control. But he'd be more readily willing and able to do things in response, perhaps even avert the end of the world. Though, lack of surrounding support could still see him screwed over.
 

TheFireman

Banned
Dec 22, 2017
3,918
I mean, that comic about his dad being bro as hell is actually decent way of describing the show's dynamic. Shinji's dad thinks he can provide Shinji a great life with women and exciting robot battles. Shinji isn't afraid of those things-they're just not what he wants. He wants to not be depressed, he wants to feel loved, he wants to feel like he isn't making people's lives worse.

Like, if Shinji was able to enjoy the things he did, the show just wouldn't work. It'd be fundamentally different. It wouldn't have the whole meta commentary on depression. The back half of the show would be entirely different, the front half would also be pretty different.
 

Moonkid

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,182
I've always wondered why people hate Shinji so much, or call him a coward or pussy.
It's a testament to how effective he is in making people frustrated or uncomfortable by not fulfilling the role of the archetypal, masculine hero that saves the day. The premise presented by threads like these are baffling: "how would this story play out if you changed one of the defining features of the protagonist?" It'd be a different character and it'd be an entirely different story to tell.
 

Tence

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,357
Shinji's dad thinks he can provide Shinji a great life with women and exciting robot battles.
I seriously doubt this was Gendo's intention haha.

It's a testament to how effective he is in making people frustrated or uncomfortable by not fulfilling the role of the archetypal, masculine hero that saves the day.
I think you are right. Maybe it didn't bother me personally because I was already in my 20s when I watched EVA or because I am awesome.
 

Chaos2Frozen

Member
Nov 3, 2017
13,047
You know what, I’m gonna disagree with everyone who says Shinji was what made the show interesting- the show was already plenty interesting as it is.

Giant gross robots fighting giant gross monsters. The heavy Christianity themes. The futuristic settings. The pseudo realistic military depiction. All of it is super interesting.

Sure the human psychological factor adds to all of it but it doesn’t have to be Shinji’s psychological problems specifically.
 

Keldroc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,182
You know what, I’m gonna disagree with everyone who says Shinji was what made the show interesting- the show was already plenty interesting as it is.

Giant gross robots fighting giant gross monsters. The heavy Christianity themes. The futuristic settings. The pseudo realistic military depiction. All of it is super interesting.

Sure the human psychological factor adds to all of it but it doesn’t have to be Shinji’s psychological problems specifically.
You're right, but the more succinct answer is that it wouldn't be Evangelion anymore.
 

TheFireman

Banned
Dec 22, 2017
3,918
I seriously doubt this was Gendo's intention haha.
I don't think it was something he intended to do, but I also don't think it's too much of a stretch to think Gendo might have been happy that his son got to hang with several girls his age, live with an attractive woman, and have exciting robot fights.
 

Wintermute

Member
Oct 27, 2017
780
and then it'd just be another boring shonen power fantasy.

evangelion is interesting because it's a deconstruction of the genre. the pilots fucking hate what they're doing, they aren't ready for it in any way and it breaks their bodies and souls.

if shinji wasn't such a mess it just wouldn't be as interesting. this show breaks you the viewer, as well as its characters. it's not supposed to leave you feeling euphoric. i guess i was drawn to it, for the same reason i enjoyed wolf's rain, ergo proxy and pale cocoon. they're all fucking depressing.

paint my world grey.

edit. that's a great point
He was a fucking child with a sad life, not a coward. Holy shit.
 

Alice

Member
Nov 2, 2017
5,593
It wouldn't be Eva, and Shinji wouldn't be a character.

As dislikable and whiny as Shinji is, he's a 14 year old from a completely torn family with mother issues. The way he acts is completely realistic and normal, and he really doesn't deserve even 10% of the shit he gets.
 

Keldroc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,182
There are three different Evangelion stories, not including the SoL spinoff.

What’s one more version that’s a little bit different and depicts Shinji a little less unlikeable?
Another spinoff. But if you're talking about altering the main series, Shinji's personality flaws are sort of central to the main themes of the series. You could make another show that focused on the super robot aspect of things but that's a different show. The Evas and Angels are practically incidental in comparison to the characters and their relationships.
 

NaDannMaGoGo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,976
One of the best 'shit taste' indicators - calling NGE's Shinji a 'whiny bitch'.

Sure, compared to essentially inhuman stereotypes he is a 'whiny bitch'. But I relate to human beings, I'm afraid.
 

SilentRob

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,986
Not nearly as good because the fact that he acts like an actual, prepubescent boy with fears and issues instead of like pretty much every other teenage protagonist in an Anime about teenagers fighting monsters/big bads - that fact is essential to the story and the show's themes.

"Get in the fucking Robot, Shinji" and the regular Waifu debates about which traumatised minor you'd like to fuck the most are the two reasons why I find the NGE fandom pretty much insufferable, because it portrays such an amazing lack of understanding of what the show is about, what story it's telling and which themes it portrays (and because the second point is just fucking gross either way).
 

Chaos2Frozen

Member
Nov 3, 2017
13,047
Another spinoff. But if you're talking about altering the main series, Shinji's personality flaws are sort of central to the main themes of the series. You could make another show that focused on the super robot aspect of things but that's a different show. The Evas and Angels are practically incidental in comparison to the characters and their relationships.
Sadly not many shows out there that does it. The closest show I could find that capture that feeling of Eva but with a more likeable Shinji is Sidonia
 

SilentRob

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,986
Sadly not many shows out there that does it. The closest show I could find that capture that feeling of Eva but with a more likeable Shinji is Sidonia
I feel like the Netflix-Devilman show is prety similiar to EVA in the way it tells it's story and how every character's actions has real consequences, no matter if those consequences go according to typical storytelling conventions or would lead to a fully fledged character arc, where you end up at a point where everything gets wrapped up in a neat little bow.

Which, of course, isn't surprising since the original Devilman was one of the inspirations for NGE. But since I never had any contact with Devilman those similiarities really surprised me.
 

Tence

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,357
"Get in the fucking Robot, Shinji" and the regular Waifu debates about which traumatised minor you'd like to fuck the most are the two reasons why I find the NGE fandom pretty much insufferable, because it portrays such an amazing lack of understanding of what the show is about, what story it's telling and which themes it portrays.
Lol. Yeah that is also the reason why all those figurines of Asuka and Rei in sexy christmas outfits freak me the fuck out.

(Yes that is a thing)