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The protagonist of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Pilot of Eva Unit-01. Has a distance personalty and is unable to express his true feelings around his fellow peers. He only accepts orders to prevent from being alienated. The son of NERV commander Gendo Ikari and late mother Yui Ikari.
Shinji was born as the only son to Gendo and Yui Ikari. During his childhood, Shinji bore witness to Yui dying on the job in an incident involving one of the humanoid mecha known as Evangelions. She had been assimilated by the very machine she was working on. Both of his parents were working for NERV at that time. Gendo abandoned Shinji after Yui's death, leaving him in the care of a teacher so he could focus on the Human Instrumentality Project that he and Yui had been working on.
Shinji was created as the main male lead character for Gainax's Neon Genesis Evangelion TV anime series. His character design was based on Yoshiyuki Sadamoto's design for Nadia from an earlier Gainax work called Nadia: Secret of Blue Water and his birthday was based off his Japanese seiyuu, Megumi Ogata. Besides the TV anime, Shinji has appeared in Yoshiyuki Sadamoto's manga adaptation to Eva, the Rebuild of Evangelion film series and a number of manga spinoffs to the series. For English adaptations of Evangelion, Shinji is voiced by Spike Spencer.
Shinji is 14 years old throughout Evangelion, having brown hair and blue eyes (brown in the manga). For normal clothing, he is seen wearing a white dress shirt that is tucked into a pair of black pants and wears a pair of black shoes. While piloting Eva Unit 01, Shinji wears a blue-colored plug suit.
While there are differences in his personality between source materials for Evangelion, all of them portray Shinji's mentality as being scarred heavily from the traumatic events that he dealt with from his past. The TV anime portrays him as being rather timid and reserved in his interactions with other people and having a great fear of getting too close to others. The manga take on his character has a more bitter and angered personality, though he is more open in expressing himself and has a deep desire for gaining acceptance from others. The Rebuild version of Shinji combines traits from both versions of his character as he still angers easily, yet is reserved and sociable toward others.
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