Shinji Ikari

Shinji Ikari

    Neon Genesis Evangelion

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... with his teacher, after witnessing the death of his mother and being abandoned by his father. A lonely childhood shaped Shinji into an introverted, meek teenager, but he otherwise remembers it as a peaceful time.

Living... in Tokyo, after his father summons him there. Unfortunately, Gendo Ikari's attitude towards his son has not changed, so it is Major Misato Katsuragi and her pet penguin who eventually take him in. Although more interested in Shinji than his father, Misato's youth and own personal problems hardly make her an ideal guardian for a troubled 14-year-old.

Profession... student and pilot of Evangelion Unit 01, a giant robot constructed to fight the Angels, alien creatures who threaten human existence. Reluctantly piloting at his father's behest, Shinji and his co-pilots – 14-year-old girls Rei and Asuka – must endure mental and physical trauma in order to ensure humanity's survival. 

Interests... playing the cello, listening to music, and trying to win his father's approval. In spite of his lack of success in the last category, Shinji does manage to become friends with several of his classmates, slowly learning to open up to others.

Relationship Status... single, despite the plethora of attractive women surrounding him. Shinji's natural timidity, however, means that most of these budding crushes go nowhere.

Challenge... fighting the Angels. That’s Number One, but Shinji must also confront his own psychological issues and navigate adolescence. With the apocalypse on the horizon, Shinji's personal troubles may actually turn out to be even more important than the Angels, or at least they are inextricably linked. After all, how can a boy who has convinced himself that "nobody cares whether or not I exist" be expected to save humanity?

Personality... meek, accommodating, and desperately lonely.  Parental abandonment hit Shinji hard, leading to non-existent self-esteem and a crippling fear of being hurt by others. When he forms friendships, however, Shinji is capable of deeply caring about the people he loves. Whether his status as a pilot and his own psychological issues will let him make many friends, however, is another issue.


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