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The Third Child
|Age||14 (born June 6, 2001)|
|Known Relatives||Gendo Ikari (father)|
Yui Ikari (mother)
Misato Katsuragi (guardian)
|First Appearance||"Angel Attack"|
|English Voice||Spike Spencer|
|“||I mustn't run away!||”|
Shinji Ikari is the Third Child, the main protagonist of the series and the designated pilot of Evangelion Unit-01. He is the son of "deceased" Gehirn bioengineer Yui Ikari and NERV Commander (formerly Chief of Gehirn) Gendo Ikari. After his mother's death, he was abandoned by his father and lived for 11 years with his sensei, until he was summoned to Tokyo-3 to pilot Unit-01 against the Angels. He lives initially just with Misato Katsuragi; they are later joined by Asuka Langley Soryu.
Around the age of three, Shinji lost his mother to the Unit-01 Contact Experiment. As he witnessed this event, he was subjected to considerable trauma that had lingering effects upon him.
Shinji appears first in Episode 1 at age fourteen, where he has been summoned to Tokyo-3 by his father, Gendo Ikari, to pilot Evangelion Unit-01. After refusing to do so, Gendo brings in a backup pilot, Rei Ayanami, who is so badly injured that she falls while trying to get off a stretcher. Reluctantly, Shinji agrees to pilot the unit, and is able to defeat Sachiel after his Eva goes Berserk. Shortly after the Angel's defeat, Misato Katsuragi takes Shinji to live with her rather than letting him live on his own.
Several weeks later, Shinji begins to attend school, where he meets Tōji, Kensuke, and Hikari. When it is discovered that Shinji is the pilot of Eva Unit-01, Tōji beats him up, in retaliation for his little sister being injured in the Angel battle. Shortly thereafter, Shamshel attacks, and Shinji pilots Unit-01 once again. However, before defeating the Angel, Shinji's battle puts two of his classmates in serious danger. Because of this, Shinji spends several days wandering the town, until he sees Kensuke and spends the night with him. The next day, agents from NERV come and take Shinji back to NERV HQ. After being reprimanded by Misato, Shinji overcomes his own weakness and stays with NERV, and goes back to live with Misato.
Later, at NERV HQ, Shinji sees Rei happily chatting with Gendo, who has burns on his hands. After asking Ritsuko about them, she describes an incident where Gendo put his hands on scalding metal to save Rei, to which Shinji is skeptical. Shinji begins to eye Rei, though he brushes it off as a curiosity about why she is always alone. Soon thereafter, Misato has Shinji return Rei's ID card to her; Shinji accidentally walks in on Rei as she is getting dressed, and clumsily knocks her to the floor, touching her naked body. A bit shaken up, Shinji follows Rei to NERV, returns her ID card, and asks her about his father; when he tells her that he has no faith in Gendo, she slaps him.
With Rei still unable to enter battle, Ramiel approaches, and Gendo sorties Unit-01 with Shinji as the pilot. Shinji is immediately hit by one of Ramiel's attacks and is forced into retreat by Misato. As Shinji wakes up from the recovery of his injury, he is to help defeat Ramiel with a positron beam; during the battle, Shinji's first shot fails to destroy Ramiel. When Ramiel fights back, Rei, in Unit-00, steps between them, taking heavy damage. Shinji then destroys Ramiel with another blast. Shinji quickly escapes Unit-01, and opens Unit-00's hatch, burning his hands like Gendo, to see Rei. He expresses a deep sadness for her, but tells her to smile nonetheless.
We soon learn that Shinji is embarassed of Misato and her unhealthy lifestyle. After she visits his school, however, a new robotic unit called Jet Alone is demonstrated, but goes out of control. Shinji must use Unit-01 to get Misato into Jet Alone so she can shut down its reactor. Then, after Tōji and Kensuke point out that Misato's personality is only shown to Shinji because she hails him as family, he happily accepts her.
In Episode 08, Asuka is introduced, and immediately regards Shinji as "dull". Despite this, Asuka displays an interest in Shinji (after learning of his innate ability to synch with Unit-01); as Gaghiel attacks, she seizes her chance to impress Shinji, and tells him to get into the cockpit of Evangelion Unit-02 with her. Eventually, as the two cooperate, they are able to open Gaghiel's mouth underwater, and the armada of Navy ships present are able to destroy it.
As the Angel Israfel arrives, Shinji and Asuka are both deployed in their Evas to destroy it. After Asuka hits it and divides it in two, it revives as two separate Angels, which defeat both Evas; Shinji and Asuka proceed to argue about whose fault it was. Kaji and Misato devise a plan to take down the Angel after it heals and returns in a few days time; however, the plan requires the cooperation of both Evangelion units. Shinji and Asuka, during their next several days living together, undergo numerous tests and training exercises to synchronize themselves to better attack Israfel. When the battle day comes, the two defeat Israfel seamlessly through a synchronized dance routine.
Shinji and Asuka hang out at a pool after their friends are send on a field trip, where Shinji is having trouble with schoolwork. Showing off a bit, Asuka solves his problem with relative ease, then compares his topic of thermal expansion to that of her breasts, much to Shinji's embarassment. Meanwhile, Sandalphon has been active in a nearby volcano, and Asuka takes the call. Trying to show off to Shinji, she takes a dive into the volcano, where she loses her Eva's knife, but eventually encounters the Angel. Shinji throws his knife to Asuka, and after a short struggle, Asuka defeats Sandalphon. A few days later, the power to NERV HQ goes out, and Shinji, Asuka, and Rei must make their way to NERV together in order to defeat the Angel Matarael. Though they come into conflict many times, they are all able to deploy their Evas and defeat Matarael before it can attack NERV HQ.
In Episode 12, it is discovered that Shinji is rapidly increasing his synch rate with his Eva, much to Asuka's dismay. As Sahaquiel approaches in the fashion of a meteor destined for NERV HQ, Misato hatches a plan in which Shinji, Asuka, and Rei must all cooperate to stop the Angel by catching it with their A.T. Fields at maximum. As it nears the ground, Shinji is the first to get under it. He struggles to lasts long enough for Rei to expose the core for Asuka to destroy, killing Sahaquiel. Later, Shinji does a test in Evangelion Unit-00, but when the nerve connections go bad, the Eva goes Berserk just as it had previously, though Shinji escapes virtually unharmed.
Shinji is next seen visiting his mother's grave with Gendo; Gendo reveals that there is no body there, nor does he have any pictures of Yui. Though Shinji attempts to make a connection with Gendo, Gendo dismisses him completely. Shinji returns home and begins playing the cello, with which Asuka notes he has great talent. He says he started playing at age five, and still plays now and again, because, "No one told [him] to stop." She then says she's bored and wants to practice kissing and, though Shinji is nervous, they share a kiss, though Asuka is upset by his lack of emotion.
During Episode 16, Shinji's synch test gives the highest results among his, Rei's and Asuka's, an event that inspires confidence in him. Due to this however, with the arrival of the unusual 12th Angel, Shinji ventures to face it alone, resulting in Unit-01 being captured in the Angel's shadow, trapping him in a Sea of Dirac. As the Eva life support starts to turn off, Shinji begins to lose hope, and the Angel tries to communicate with him, talking about the psychology and understanding of others, and revives the memories of his abandonment, alongside his imperfections. However, once the life support cuts out entirely, Unit-01 goes Berserker, and frees itself from the Angel's grasp, killing it in a shower of blood.
Soon after, Unit-04 vanishes, and Unit-03 is transferred to Japan. Shinji and Asuka are left at the care of Kaji while Misato goes to supervise the test activation of Unit-03. During the night, Shinji asks Kaji about Gendo, thinking he has started to understand his father, to which Kaji replies he just believes he understands.
Following the failed activation test of Unit-03, and its abandonment and re-classification as the 13th Angel, Shinji is sortied to defeat it alongside Rei and Asuka. Even after Rei and Asuka are dispatched by the unit, Shinji still shows reluctance to fight it, claiming that he'd rather die than kill the pilot inside. Seeing this, Gendo cuts the synchonization between Shinji and Unit-01, giving control of the Eva to the Dummy Plug that proceeds to slaughter the Angel. When Shinji finds out that the pilot was Tōji, he refuses to abandon the Eva, claiming he will destroy half of NERV HQ in pure revenge against his father. With Shinji unable to reason, Gendo orders the technicians to raise the LCL pressure to force him out of his rampage. As a result, Shinji is taken to Gendo, and abandons NERV and his duties as an Eva pilot, right as the 14th Angel starts his assault, destroying the GeoFront defense and defeating Unit-02 and Unit-00 without difficulties. As Shinji hides in a nearby shelter, he sees the disembodied head of Unit-02 crash against the building, then hurries outside, only to witness the devastation caused by the Angel. He encounters Kaji, watering his garden, and he explains to Shinji that while that is all he can do, Shinji can do much more, and convinces him to pilot Unit-01 once more. Shinji engages the Angel as it is about destroy Central Dogma, and guides it outside before the Eva runs out of energy.
Zeruel mercilessly proceeds to try and destroy Unit-01 core. However, the Eva reactivates and goes Berserk, easily overpowering the Angel, and proceeding to devour its S² Engine into itself. After the incident, Shinji was absorbed inside the Eva's core, which caused him to go through a series of mental journeys that guided him to realize he pilots the Eva so people are kind to him, and remember that he saw Unit-01 years before his arrival at Tokyo-3. On the outside, Misato and Ritsuko try to salvage Shinji's soul back to his body, but the experiment goes awry, and Shinji initially decides not to come back. However, after recognizing the scent of the Eva as the one of his mother, Shinji finally comes back through the core of the Eva.
In Episode 23, when Armisael attacks and Asuka is too mentally fragile to control her Eva, Shinji is launched to attack it. As he touches it, however, it fuses with his hands, and forces him to see hundreds of Rei faces telling him, "it hurts." Through this, the real Rei discovers that her desire is to be with Shinji, and contains the Angel and self-destructs, killing both Armisael and herself. Shinji is devastated, though he soon arrives at the hospital to see Rei, alive. Shortly after, Ritsuko shows Misato and Shinji the Eva graveyard, as well as the clones of Rei.
After being too scared to go home, Shinji finds himself at the edge of a crater in the beginning of Episode 24, where he meets Kaworu Nagisa, sitting amongst wreckage from the battle with Armisael. Through Kaworu's elegant conversation skills and knowledge of Shinji, the two connect immediately as friends. After Shinji returns to NERV, he, Kaworu, and Rei undergo synch tests, after which Shinji is greeted by Kaworu while waiting to go home. Kaworu accompanies Shinji to a NERV bathing room and, while sitting together in the bath, the boys display a degree of comfort around one another. At one point, Kaworu places his hand on Shinji's, who allows Kaworu's hand to linger on his own; Kaworu then claims to "love" Shinji. When their bath is done, Shinji tells Kaworu that he needs to go to bed, to which Kaworu is confused and asks if they will go together. Shinji is quick to decline the offer, though he does spend the night at Kaworu's apartment, sleeping on the floor beside Kaworu's bed.
The next day, Kaworu is identified as the 17th Angel as he descends into Terminal Dogma. Shinji is placed into Unit-01 and pursues Kaworu, who manipulates Unit-02 to slow down Shinji. After Kaworu activates the door and enters, he appears to reach an understanding that the giant crucified there is not in fact Adam, but rather Lilith, and after Shinji defeats Unit-02, allows Shinji to grasp him in Unit-01's hand. Shinji is hurt that Kaworu betrayed him, "just like [his] father did," and lied to him about his identity after befriending him. However, Kaworu tells Shinji that his life is complete and had more meaning after meeting him, and requests to be killed, claiming that the only freedom there is, is to choose how one dies. Following a period of silence, Shinji grants his request.
Episodes 25 and 26 have Shinji feeling lost and begging for others to help him. Much of the TV ending is devoted to Shinji being taught by the other characters about the ability of individuals to make their own destiny by reshaping their viewpoint. In Episode 26', Shinji chooses to reject Instrumentality for individual existence, even though it will be painful. He learned that he wanted real feelings even if he would be betrayed and hurt again, because fleeing from that reality brought him no happiness. This might suggest that, buried deep in Shinji, is the capacity for redemption and change.
Shinji initially shows a passive and laid-back personality, inheriting such traits from his relaxed life with his sensei. When he is told to pilot Unit-01, he does so without questioning it, choosing simply to go along with what everyone else says. Though Shinji denies it, he yearns for praise, and he eventually begins to pilot Unit-01 to gain the approval and praise of others, as well as the love of his father. He also continually tells himself "I mustn't run away!", further demonstrating his perceived need to move forward.
Shinji shows a great fear of emotional pain and of being hated or left behind, likely due to his perception of being abandoned in his youth and, subsequently, blaming himself for not being good enough to make his father stick around. In general, Shinji is shown to be quite introverted due to having little to no meaningful contact with others. In social party situations, he is shown to be quite uncomfortable, and he often has difficulty controlling his emotions around others. He is shown to the extreme of this, forsaking many lives (even his own) to save one person.
Due to Shinji's fragile emotional state, he chooses to shut out the world, as evidenced by the headphones he wears rather often, plugged into an SDAT music player. He usually plays tracks 25 ("You Are the Only One") and 26 ("Blue Legend"), though in episodes 02 and 23, the songs are varied to different background music and vocals.
Through all this, Shinji is also aware of his own faults, and generally is outwardly gentle and compassionate. He is the only one who tries to find a reason to fight the Angels, and sometimes his justification for fleeing from piloting is to avoid hurting others.
Shinji has never learned to swim.
Shinji has medium-length straight brown hair and grey-blue eyes, two traits he inherited from his mother, Yui. Shinji is also very skinny, and often has his shirt tucked in, showing that he is a rather tidy person. When spending time at NERV or out in the city, he wears a white dress shirt and dark pants, though when in his apartment, he will often wear something more casual. Shinji's plug suit has very light blue torso, complemented by the rest being a dark blue color with black portions as well.
Gendo abandoned Shinji shortly after Yui disappeared into Unit-01, sending him to live with his sensei. Shinji resents Gendo for this, despite having run away from Gendo the last time they spoke, three years before, the last time they visited Yui's grave. In Episode 01, Shinji shows Misato the letter his father sent, summoning him to Tokyo-3. The entirety of the letter is blanked out, except for the handwritten words, "Come. — Gendo Ikari".
Nonetheless, Shinji still longs for words of praise from Gendo.
After moving to Tokyo-3, Shinji lives with Misato in her small apartment with her pet penguin. He disapproves of her lifestyle of beer, snacks, and instant meals, and shows an obvious fright toward Misato's perceived attraction to him. However, Misato shows that she has deep respect and regard for Shinji, breaking to tears after she thought he was lost to the Angel Leliel.
Shinji's interaction with Rei started off on the wrong foot. Although Shinji tried to befriend Rei, due to her withdrawn nature, she didn't seem interested. Rei and Shinji do get closer as the series progresses, helping Rei grow out of her shell, and discover what human emotions are.
Shinji is attracted to Asuka, though the reasoning is not explicitly stated. It might be that her bullying sometimes causes Shinji to bite back at her, and he views Asuka, in a strange fashion, as a source of strength, one that he misses when Asuka is laid low by her encounter with Arael. However, Shinji directly expresses his feelings for Asuka by trying to kiss her as she sleeps, when he masturbated at the accidental exposure of the then-comatose girl's breasts, and in the Episode 26' pre-instrumentality sequence when he says "I want to help you somehow and be with you forever."
Shinji looks up to Kaji as a sort of mentor, and accepts behavior in him that he would disapprove of in other characters. For instance, in Episode 08 when Kaji asks him about Misato's sleeping habits, implying that Shinji and Misato might be in a sexual relationship and simultaneously implying that he is intimately familiar with these habits as well, Shinji just laughs. If anyone else asked him that same question he would probably have stuttered with embarrassment, barely able to get out a denial.
Though fans have speculated on the exact nature of Shinji's relationship with Kaworu, it is at least clear that Kaworu represented a sort of idealized friend-figure to Shinji, granting his wish for someone to understand him and treat him well. Shinji also found himself confessing his own emotions to Kaworu, talking about things he hadn't had with anyone else.
This, paired with the fact that Shinji had killed what he saw as a human being, was part of what drove Shinji into his state of absolute despair in Episode 25', in which he declared that he felt unworthy even of the piloting which had consumed his identity, thinking that if all he did was hurt and kill others, it was better to do nothing. By that, though, he may have condemned Asuka, who was fighting against the Mass Production Evangelions, to death.
Rebuild of EvangelionEdit
Shinji in Rebuild of Evangelion, while mostly the same as his anime counterpart, comes across as somewhat more angry about his situation (although he isn't outwardly angry like his manga counterpart with Sadamoto's take on the series). For instance, he calls Misato and other members of NERV as being selfish that he's "left feeling scared" when he and Rei have to pilot during the Operation Yashima battle. Somewhat similar to his feelings in The End of Evangelion, Shinji realizes that he "has no freedom" and "has no choice but to pilot Eva" when he attempts to run away from NERV after the fifth Angel battle. Although he decides to stay in Tokyo-3 instead of leaving like in Episode 04 of the series, Shinji can't help but feel that he's only needed for piloting Eva and that nobody truly cares for him.
These feelings are dissolved to an extent when Misato shows Shinji the Angel identified as Lilith in Terminal Dogma, explaining to him why he and the rest of NERV have to do what they can to prevent Third Impact from happening. He agrees to pilot Evangelion Unit-01 once more, and together with Rei Ayanami in Evangelion Unit-00, the sixth Angel is eventually defeated during the Operation Yashima battle.
Shinji's relationships with the other characters in Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone are similar to those in the series. A difference with his relationships towards Misato Katsuragi and Rei Ayanami, however, is that he is somewhat physically close to them as the film progresses. When Misato shows Shinji Lilith, Shinji lets Misato hold his hand. Also, when Shinji checks on Rei in her entry plug after Ramiel's defeat, the two hold hands as Rei smiles at him.
As the story advances into Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance, Shinji is somewhat more accustomed to living in Tokyo-3. His friendship with Toji and Kensuke is a solid one (due to them becoming friends in the first film) and he has occasional conversations (as well as smiling around) Rei. Shinji also becomes friends (and additionally roommates) with Asuka, but so far shows no romantic interest in either pilot. Shinji briefly meets Mari Illustrious Makinami twice during the film, but he knows nothing of her, save for a few verbal exchanges. During lunch with his friends at a marine preservation institute, Shinji mentions that he learned to cook meals because Misato didn't know how to. He makes lunches for Misato, Asuka, as well as Rei during the film. Shinji hopes to get along with his father and is happy when Gendo praises him after the eighth Angel attack. Shinji is unaware that Rei tried to surprise him by inviting Gendo to a dinner party. The plans for the party were cut short, however, by the ninth Angel's attack.
After Shinji's inability to fight the Bardiel-possessed Unit-03 which carried Asuka, Gendo activates the Dummy System, which tears the Eva to pieces and prompts Shinji to leave NERV. He only returns after encountering Mari and seeing the tenth Angel devour Unit-00. Shinji pilots Unit-01 to save Rei from the Angel's core. He embraces Rei and thanks her for her efforts of trying to get Gendo and Shinji on good terms. Shinji's decision to save Rei awakens Unit-01's pseudo-evolution and causes Near Third Impact, only to be halted by Kaworu's intervention, spearing Unit-01's core. Shinji and Rei are said to be trapped inside Unit-01 during the Evangelion 3.0 Next Time Preview.
In Evangelion 3.0, Shinji is first bewildered by the many changes in the attitude of his friends, and is obsessed with whether or not he saved Rei. Discovering the WILLE organization, he is on the defensive when he learns he is considered as a world criminal, what facilitates his recovery and his manipulation by NERV. After arriving at the NERV headquarters, he gradually discovers the results of his actions and the truth. .
Neon Genesis Evangelion mangaEdit
The manga version of Shinji Ikari is significantly different from his anime depiction. In the manga, Shinji has the same issues with his abandonment, but shows these traits in a much more troubled manner, sometimes even turning physically violent, even attempting to hit his father. He is also something of a know-it-all and slightly more forward and cynical when it comes to dealing with others, for instance mentally thinking of Asuka as a "bitch" and displaying an intense hatred towards her unseen in the anime. Fan opinion of this characterization is mixed, with some preferring the manga Shinji because he has more of a "backbone", more like a typical hero. However, other fans feel that removing Shinji's neurotic anti-hero aspects makes him less human and harder to relate to.
Throughout the majority of the manga, Shinji appears to be attracted to Rei Ayanami, and their relationship is far more developed than in the anime. However, after the death of Kaworu, Shinji visits Asuka in the hospital, similar to in The End of Evangelion. He confesses his love to her in a way, claiming, "The Asuka I want to protect isn't this empty shell!" However, instead of shaking her and revealing her body, Asuka wakes up, and chokes Shinji, until she is subdued by the nurses. This suggests that Shinji's manga adaptation has feelings for Asuka as well.
In the manga, Shinji lived with an aunt and uncle instead of with his sensei before going to NERV. It is unstated which side of the family these relatives are from.
Other Evangelion-based mangasEdit
The Shinji Ikari Raising Project manga portrays Shinji as acting more like his manga counterpart since he's more confident about himself. Shinji here also is something of a pervert, which goes along with Shinji's personality in the possible world sequence of Episode 26 as well as Girlfriend of Steel 2 video game Shinji. In the Girlfriend of Steel 2 manga, however, Shinji acts like his anime self, to the point where he doesn't have the perverted side of his personality that the video game shows. He also still acts shy and introverted around others, although he's friendly.
In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Gakuen Datenroku , Shinji is again portrayed similarly to his anime counterpart. He joins with Rei, Kaworu and Asuka to defeat the Angels, and manifests his EVA as a stylized handgun. He later learns that his father has been replaced by an alternate Gendo from an alternate universe, who plans on trapping Rei in the Tree of Y'ggdrasil in order to free Yui. Gendo instead tries to trap Shinji within the tree after Rei rebels, prompting Kaworu to sacrifice himself in order to save him. With his last words, Kaworu thanks Shinji for his friendship, which helped him embrace humanity. At the close of the story (with Gendo having been killed), Shinji is shown attending another school alongside Rei and Asuka, with the three children now adjusting to normal lives.
In Evangelion ANIMA, Shinji is now 17 years old. He apparently lets his hair grow and is now much more of a leader. He pilots the Unit-01 successor, Evangelion Unit-01 Final Model.
- According to an interview with Yoshiyuki Sadamoto featured in volume 2 of the manga, Shinji's design is a male version of Sadamoto's design for Nadia, the title character from Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, which Hideaki Anno also directed.
- Shinji's birthday is the same day as his seiyu Megumi Ogata. This is a trait that can be found in several of the Evangelion characters, Rei Ayanami being an exception.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ "Ikari" means "anchor" in Japanese, but written in different Kanji, it can also mean "anger".
- ↑ Shinji seems to be downplaying his talent. Despite his downplaying in Episode 15, he can play Bach's Suite No. 1 Prelude in G major, BWV 1007, which is not a beginner level piece. "They represent an enormous body of work, taking over three hours to play in one sitting. They also represent a huge and never ending challenge for any cellist. Like so much of Bach's solo works for any instrument, the easier movements can be begun at an early stage, but some movements will be a source of stress for the rest of your life." (http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1372154)
- ↑ "I mustn't run away!", or "Nigecha dameda!" in Japanese, is one of Shinji's trademark lines, starting in Episode 01. According to Hideaki Anno, this phrase inspired him to keep working on and finish Evangelion.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Episode 16
- ↑ Episode 15
- ↑ Episode 12
- ↑ Episode 09
- ↑ Episode 26'
|Primary Characters||Shinji Ikari • Misato Katsuragi • Rei Ayanami • Asuka Langley Sohryu • Gendo Ikari • Ritsuko Akagi • Ryoji Kaji • Yui Ikari • Mari Illustrious Makinami (Rebuild) • Rei Quatre (ANIMA) • Rei Cinq (ANIMA) • Rei Six (ANIMA) • Mari (ANIMA) • Crimson A1 (ANIMA)|
|Secondary Characters||Kaworu Nagisa • Kōzō Fuyutsuki • Keel Lorenz • Tōji Suzuhara • Kensuke Aida • Hikari Horaki • Maya Ibuki • Makoto Hyuga • Shigeru Aoba|
|Tertiary Characters||Naoko Akagi • Kyoko Zeppelin Sohryu • Dr. Katsuragi • Pen Pen|
|Other Characters||Maria Vincennes • Mayumi Yamagishi|