Who Does Shinji End Up With in Neon Genesis Evangelion?

Who Does Shinji End Up With in Neon Genesis Evangelion?

Who Does Shinji End Up With in Neon Genesis Evangelion?

Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the most memorable and notorious 90s anime. Despite being an action series, it’s also quite the psychological drama revolving around poor Shinji and his mainly female allies. Does Shinji end up with anyone in Neon Genesis Evangelion, though?

In the series, Shinji is tasked with piloting one of the dangerous and powerful bio-machines known as Evangelion. As the story progresses, we’re introduced to other pilots, particularly Rei Ayanami and Asuka Langley Soryu.

Rei and Asuka are polar opposites and both aren’t exactly full of support for Shinji. Still, with everybody suffering together, there is always the possibility of them finding comfort and relatability with each other.

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Who is Shinji’s Love Interest in Neon Genesis Evangelion?

Who Does Shinji End Up With in Neon Genesis Evangelion? Love Interest
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Shinji’s romantic feelings in the original Neon Genesis Evangelion are messy and complicated. There is no single ‘love interest’ – instead, he finds himself attracted to various characters throughout the show.

Remember, Neon Genesis Evangelion is a psychological anime that plays on Shinji’s young, teenage mind. Just like most love interests at that age, Shinji’s emotions can be fleeting or, at times, slightly uncomfortable to watch.

Early in the series, Shinji develops an interest in Rei. However, her distant nature stops that from developing much further.

Shinji’s relationship with Asuka is quite charged at first, with both of them clashing. However, by the end of the series, they are the closest to each other, which creates its own problems.

Shinji’s interests don’t stop there, however. His relationship with Misato has a small, misplaced romantic undercurrent, while he also develops affections for Kaworu in his brief time in the series.

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Who Does Shinji End Up With?

Who Does Shinji End Up With in Neon Genesis Evangelion Mari
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In the original anime, Shinji does not end up in a relationship with anyone. However, in the latest Neon Genesis Evangelion films, Shinji ends up with a new character, Mari.

The ending of the original Neon Genesis Evangelion is famously complicated and abstract. Without getting into details, the series essentially ends up with Shinji experiencing realisations about himself and his relationships with others.

In both the good and bad endings seen in the TV series and subsequent films, Shinji ends with self-reflection. While his relationships with other characters play a part in this, it’s never implied that he ‘ended up’ with one of them.

However, that’s changed in the latest Neon Genesis Evangelion films, called the Rebuild of Evangelion. Here, Shinji ends up with Mari Illustrious Makinami, a new pilot introduced specifically for the remakes.

Now, that might sound disappointing for fans of the original 90s anime. However, Hideaki Anno, creator of the original series, also created this remake. Anno saw it as a way to tell his story as originally intended, without the setbacks or difficulties that plagued the TV show.

Without spoiling the Rebuild movies, the series ends in a slightly less abstract way, with Shinji returning the world to normal. The final movie ends with Shinji and Mari heading off into the distance together.

If we take Anno’s words into account, it’s fair to assume that this is a faithful retelling of the story and, as such, represents Shinji’s true ending. In Anno's mind, Shinji deserves to achieve some form of happiness.

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