Reviews for Shinji and Warhammer40k
Roaming-Guardian chapter 10 . 11/25
Shunji for God emperor
MADMAN chapter 48 . 11/21
A Blog at the ivory tower had something to say to Shinji fans.

The fandom for acclaimed anime Neon Genesis Evangelion has developed some remarkably bizarre attitudes and ideas about the series they love. I'm not talking here about the speculation regarding the actual narrative itself-the questions of "what the hell did I just watch, what happened in the last two episodes, why is there a live action shot of people in a movie theater, was this sort of a Freudian thing..."-which do get pretty bizarre at times, but which are on the whole pretty innocuous. These are ideas that despite their strangeness simply attempt to clarify the basic narrative of the original series, the film that followed, and the heavily altered narrative of the reboot films (of which, out of four total, three have been released. We're still waiting to see whether the fourth one explains what the hell happened in the third one).

No, the really weird ideas that I want to talk about today are the notions that the fandom has adopted that fly in the face of just about everything the text attempts to establish thematically. One of the more obvious examples of this comes from the heavy sexualization of the two teenage female pilots that the fandom-and, frustratingly, the marketing team-participates in, despite the fact that the show goes to great lengths to deconstruct everything from harem anime tropes to the specific character archetypes of those characters to the idea of fanservice in general. The most fanservicey scenes are frequently profoundly uncomfortable, if not outright nightmarishly surreal. According to fan lore, End of Evangelion, the film that acts as the conclusion to the original series, was deliberately dark, brutal, incomprehensible, and full of psychosexual revulsion directed squarely at the protagonist because creator Hideaki Anno was so outraged and disgusted with the Otaku misreading of the film. Whether or not that's true, the fact that the fanbase regards it as plausible should tell you a lot about... well, about the whole Eva phenomenon really.

That's not what I'm here to rant angrily about this week though. No, I want to hone in on another particularly bizarre idea that the fandom has adopted. Specifically, the weird notion that the series protagonist, Shinji Ikari, is straight.

As with a lot of the other more frustrating reactions to the series, it's not just a reproduction of the shitty backwards attitudes that a lot of geeks hold, it reproduces them in such a way that it garbles the actual thematic arc of the series and makes character actions and development alike borderline incomprehensible. It's of particular interest to me, as well, for the way it results in a dismantling of creator efforts to increase representation, forcefully repressing "deviant" sexuality. This is the much canonized practice in fandom culture of erasing what few paltry instances of queer representation exist popular culture. It's the flip side of the coin I discussed a few weeks ago with respect to the possibility of reading queerness into Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell: it's reading queerness out of media.

Before we get to discuss Shinji Ikari's bi- or perhaps pansexuality, though, we need to talk a little about what makes Evangelion tick as a narrative. And that means diving deep into the boggy nightmare of Eva's plot.

Bear with me, folks, I'm going to try to make this as comprehensible as possible.

The story follows Shinji Ikari, who pilots the giant robot Evangelion Unit 01 against the Angels, horrific alien entities bent on destroying humanity. They want to use a particular trigger to end the world, humanity (ostensibly) wants to stop the end of the world. Pretty straightforward stuff so far! There are two other pilots (well, three counting one who is effectively immediately taken out of commission when his Eva is taken over by a Angel-which should give you an idea of the kind of series we're dealing with here). They work at the behest of a shadowy organization called NERV, backed by an even shadowier organization called SEELE (German for "Soul" because of course it is), and run by Shinji's father, the father that years prior abandoned him after the death of his mother

Over the course of the series Shinji struggles with his attraction toward the two female pilots, issues of betrayal and abandonment due to the cold cruelty of his father, and the fear of death and pain juxtaposed with his own suicidal and self-destructive tendencies. Oh, and he struggles with the Angels as well, of course, who start out as big monsters and gradually transform into agents of pure horror as the pilots' minds and bodies are probed, abused, invaded, and ultimately broken. And through all of this, we gradually come to understand that Eva is A. not a robot but a giant biological humanoid B. has terrifying power all its own and C. is barely under the control of humanity.
A whole lot of shit happens that I'm not going to take time to explain because it'd take way too long and honestly people tend to go a bit glassy eyed when you attempt to summarize Eva for them. Even discounting the fact that there's a bunch of shit that's only ever explained in the semi-canonical inserts for Japanese-release-only video games or the fact that the original series had a re-release that added a bunch of scenes or the fact that there's now a possibly canonical retelling of the original series in movie form that goes WILDLY off the rails at the end of the second movie and has reached a point where everyone's sort of collectively shrugged helplessly and accepted that we have no clue where any of this is going...

Even the baseline story of Eva is barely comprehensible on its own merits without heavy rewatching and the aid of fan wikis.

But here's what's important to know:

By the end of the series, Shinji is on the verge of a mental breakdown because of the horrors he's seen, one pilot has been killed then replaced by a clone, and the other is in a coma after a suicide attempt. The sketchy secret organization backing the sketchy secret organization that created the Evas sends a new replacement pilot, the 5th Child:

Kaworu Nagisa.

And Kaworu Nagisa, white haired pretty boy, really likes Shinji Ikari.

This is notable because at this point he's... kind of the only person who does. His father treats him like shit (and really treats everyone else like shit too-Gendo Ikari is a monster), his adoptive guardian has totally sealed herself off emotionally after a pileup of betrayals culminating in the execution of her love interest, the other pilots are as good as dead and are in no condition to deal with Shinji Ikari's leeching need for infinite validation and affection... basically, he's more alone than he's ever been, and the Angel attacks have just been getting more and more mindbendingly incomprehensible and horrifying.

And Kaworu appears on the scene, white haired, perfect, beautiful, and totally, totally devoted to Shinji Ikari. I mean, I need to stress that this is like Free! levels of sheer, undiluted gay. He immediately latches onto Shinji, telling him that he pities and loves him, treating him as the sole focus of his meaning in life, straight up saying that he was born to meet the other boy, holding hands with him in the shower and then sleeping over with him... Like I am not making up or exaggerating any of this there is a lengthy scene of them sitting in the shower naked and talking about Feelings while gazing into each other's eyes.

It is. So. Gay.

I mean I'm not a huge fan of the dub at all really but here's the scene in question and it's not even subtext, Kaworu is just straight up making jokes about sleeping with Shinji and Shinji is reacting as if Kaworu is flirting with him. Look at that boy blush for god's sake:
But the backdrop to all of this is the growing discomfort of the other characters as they realize that Kaworu is not what he appears to be. So to some extent it's not that much of a surprise when his true nature is revealed:

Kaworu is Tabris, the 17th and final Angel.

You can probably predict where things go from here. Kaworu takes the other available Eva and attempts to do the whole end the world thing that the Angels have been trying to do (the mechanics of which I won't even begin to try to explain here). Shinji follows in Unit 01. During this whole sequence, which occurs, by the way, to the sounds of Ode to Joy from Beethoven's 9th because sure why not, Kaworu has seemed oddly hesitant and not particularly inclined toward racing to end the world. And when he finally arrives at the mcguffin that'll bring the curtain down on humanity, he seems to... change his mind. Shinji seizes the boy with his Eva's hand, and Kaworu gives him an ultimatum: Shinji must kill him so that he, and the rest of humanity, can live. In fact, Kaworu is glad Shinji caught up with him, because he thinks Shinji should be the one to live.

And after a full minute-seriously a full 60 seconds-of Eva Unit 01 holding Kaworu in midair while Beethoven's 9th plays in the background, Shinji squishes his wannabe-boyfriend.


You know typing this up in short form really highlights how fucked up Neon Genesis Evangelion is, doesn't it?

Anyway, so that's Key Moment Number One.

Key Moment Number Two comes during the movie End of Evangelion, where...

[deep breath]

Ok let me try to describe this without it becoming completely incomprehensible.

The final boss of Evangelion is essentially GOD. And God, an alien entity called Lilith that gave rise to humanity, essentially wants to take humanity back into a kind of fluid shared consciousness. This is called Instrumentality, and the shady organization backing the shady organization that is fighting the Angels secretly has been working towards this goal-this apocalypse where all of humanity becomes one entity-all along.

And the key to their plan is Shinji Freaking Ikari and Unit 01. I
Guest chapter 29 . 11/3
While I'm not bashing transhumanists/posthumanists in general, I will say this about those who go to the lengths that Kaworu goes to. First of all, stop talking about evolution. What you want to do and what evolution actually is are so far removed from each other, The Great Ship of the Imperium would take a few minutes getting from one to the other. Evolution is not the process of making the ultimate lifeform or anything like that. Evolution is only the process by which a species becomes barely able to survive and propagate in a given environment. A species' superiority can change at any moment, with something as insignificant as a small increase or decrease in temperature. Also, stop writing off humans as inferior to whatever horrifying abomination is supposed to replace us. If we fight back, wipe them out, then clearly according to survival of the fittest, we are the superior ones.

Second, personally to me trans/post-humanism seems like the easy way out. The method of people who want instant results rather than working to achieve results over time. Too slow? New legs. Too weak? New muscles. Too stupid? New brain. Rather than improve yourself, you replace yourself. Instead of working to understand each other and achieve harmony, you link together everyone's brains and basically remove individuality in order to enforce unity. Instead of struggling against your environment and overcoming it, mastering it, you change yourself to better survive it, ceding superiority to it. Transhumanism and posthumanism are a bleak, cynical look at humanity, deciding that humans are unable/unworthy to continue existing as they are, so let's just scrap them and move on to the next thing.
Guest chapter 20 . 11/3
Kaworu is an arrogant, unlikable prick as always. His problem is that he has the ingrained superiority complex of Adam's children. He can't seriously entertain the possibility of losing because his psyche simply can't comprehend it. The Angels are an evolutionary dead-end. When infinite power meets infinite skill and cunning, power loses. The Angels don't even have infinite power, whereas the ingenuity and might of humanity only increases. In this, even Lilith cannot win against her own children, because they have evolved out of her ability to fully control, and she is just as limited as Adam.
Legionnas chapter 14 . 10/29
Guest chapter 1 . 10/21
Guest chapter 25 . 10/13
Is it just me or is the format of the story really weird.?
Guest chapter 1 . 9/20
In order to clear the matter, this is NOT the end of the history. Whatever that reviewer below is ranting about, he is wrong. Please, do not let his words disencouraging you from Reading this story.
Prime utopia warriorenvoy of c chapter 1 . 9/18
Remarkable, such brilliant story telling, simple pacing and complicated storyline.

Shinji is a very three dimensional character who, while technically insane, has very interesting thought processes. His deductive reasoning and intelligence gathering skills will serve him well.
michaelangaloe chapter 1 . 9/6
Thanks guys just saw the plot spoils, awesome.

Never read this fic, but hey least I know the ending now

You pricks
Googlemo chapter 48 . 8/22
Wait, THIS IS how this story ends?! WHAT THE FCUK!?
You killed Rei, you made Shinji into vegetable, and Gendo into shounen boy fulfiling his objective?! What happened to happy Harem end?! Why Shinji stopped being big player in that Great Game?!

AAAAA! WTF?! This ending SUCKS ASS!
Googlemo chapter 47 . 8/22
the only thing I wanna say is WTF?! This story is epic, and cool, but still killing Rei?! Making Shinji into 2d rate character in last chapters?! NOOOOOOOOOOO

I hope last chapter will relieve me of this stress.
HellsMaji chapter 3 . 8/15
Geez.. It keeps changing from badass Shinji.. to weak, pathetic, useless, obedient loser Shinji. Makes my head spin.
Guest chapter 1 . 7/23
I saw the threads in SpaceBattles and SufficientVelocity. It is nice knowing you are still working on this. It is even better finding out that you have started a rewrite. All bow to God Emperor Shinji and her (hopefully redhead and short-tempered) Empress (or her two/three/four Empresses depending on the ending)! By his hand the enemies of the humanity will die!
Masonicon chapter 1 . 7/13
How about we take this fanfic where it's NGE characters are replaced by Digimon Tamers characters, making it Digimon crossover with Warhammer 40k?
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