Bluntly put, Shinji Ikari is a mess. This isn't to say that he's the only one in the now legendary anime franchise that is Neon Genesis Evangelion that suffers from mental problems, but its in these severe mental issues that he is perhaps the perfect pilot for the EVA Unit 01. Evangelion managed to be so original and take off in the way it has thanks in part, not just due to the monster/mech fights, but also due to the personality traits of its protagonists. One fan, who also happens to be a therapist, breaks down what the best approach would be if they were to treat Shinji for his numerous mental problems.
Twitter User NerdMind1, and creator of the website Nerd Mind, broke down what they feel would be the best, most effective way of treating Shinji Ikari of his many ailments that are plaguing him throughout the franchise's run:
Better late then never! With #Evangelion on #Netflix, I'm exploring the depressive state and twisted family dynamics of Shinji Ikari. Can I be the savior of the savior of humanity? No, because therapy isn't about being a savior, but read anyway! #Nerdmindhttps://t.co/KOxUWQ8njP— Sean @ Nerd Mind (@NerdMind1) August 13, 2019
Besides simply diving into Shinji's issues, Nerd Mind does a great job here of examining what the best route to take would be in terms of creating an effective treatment plan through "Interpersonal Psychotherapy". The original creator of the franchise, Hideaki Anno, suffered from severe depression himself, which bled into the anime franchise overall, giving audiences an entirely new take on storytelling that focuses on mechs and the pilots that operate them. It's very clear that Shinji's problems can be attributed to the same ordeals that Anno faced in his life, which gives Nerd Mind a better understanding of how to treat the ailments.
Unsurprisingly, the therapist here also brings up the "Freudian" issues that were plaguing Ikari throughout the franchise, as well as his awful relationship with his father, who views Shinji as nothing more than a tool, rather than a son. Cracking open the anime series of Neon Genesis Evangelion from the perspective of a therapist and identifying the best methods of assistance for the emotionally charged issues of the protagonists makes for a fantastic read that fans of the franchise would get a kick out of here.
What do you think would be the best way to treat Shinji Ikari? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and anime characters dealing with severe mental issues!
Neon Genesis Evangelion is a psychological drama by way of giant monster versus mech anime. The franchise debuted as a television series in 1995-1996 with two films following in 1997. Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth is an one-part drastically abridged retelling of the first 24 episodes of the television series, and one part new animation. The End of Evangelion, the second film, would incorporate some of Death & Rebirth’s original animation and offer an alternate take on the original series’ controversial final two episodes. The original series and movies are now available to stream worldwide on Netflix.