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6th March 2014

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EVA Boys Over Friends


Kaworu and Shinji getting close.

"I wonder?…How would I feel?…if you had feelings for me."

The Neon Genesis Evangelion manga adaptation may not be a big source of conversation compared to the anime series and movies, but Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s interpretation of the story made a beloved character seem more eccentric with regards to loving men. Kaworu Nagisa and Shinji Ikari’s friendship/relationship is arguably the most complex relationship in the whole series. Their interactions highlight how a man can love another man even if he is straight.

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Tagged: Neon Genesis EvangelionKaworu NagisaShinji Ikaripsychology of male/male relationshipspsychology of attractionmangaboys' love

23rd August 2013

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The Impact of Women on Gendo Ikari (Neon Genesis Evangelion)


Gendo Ikari talks to Rei Ayanami about his final plan.

Have you ever noticed how men tend to act differently when they are around women? Compared to when they are not near or are influenced by them, men become gentler and/or may become crazier. In Neon Genesis Evangelion, one of anime/manga’s most memorable fathers, Gendo Ikari, falls right into this shell.

He treats his son, Shinji Ikari, like garbage while treating one of his soldiers, Rei Ayanami, like a goddess. In addition to that, Gendo’s actions throughout the series have been motivated by his dead wife. His story is quite a look at how men transform when a women is involved in their lives. 

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Tagged: neon genesis evangeliongendo ikarishinji ikariRei Ayanamipsychologymangaanimepsychology of loveYui Ikarimanga psychology

18th December 2012

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Crave Mental Stimulation? The Psychological Manga Gift Guide


Artwork from the Neon Genesis Evangelion Omnibus, published by VIZ Media.

With another holiday season here, it’s often time to take a look at what manga series make good gifts. Though let’s get a bit more specific. What if you want someone to read titles that presents characters plagued by personal issues and the stress of the worlds they reside in? Have I got some ideas for you. Here are some of today’s top awesome English-licensed manga that dives deep into the recesses of the mind.

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Tagged: Death NoteDurarara!!Fruits BasketHunter x HunterNaoki Urasawa MONSTERNeon Genesis EvangelionPandora HeartsTakehiko Inoue REALmangamanga psychologypsychological mangapsychological themes in mangapsychologyOsamu TezukaOsamu Tezuka Black Jackmanga gift guide

23rd August 2012

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Manga Therapy In San Francisco


Promotional artwork from Evangelion 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone.

Just wanted to give everyone a heads-up that I’m in San Francisco, CA right now. I will be visiting Japantown and attending the J-Pop Summit Festival that is happening around there.

I will try to have an entry up with a variety of photos next week if I can. If anything, you can visit my Facebook Fan Page and Twitter accounts as I will be micro-blogging my experiences during my stay in NorCal and will be uploading some pictures for you guys via mobile. 

That’s if I don’t get massacred by the Angels and Vocaloids this weekend. :D

See you soon, miina-san!

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Tagged: San FranciscoJapantownNeon Genesis EvangelionNew PeopleVOCALOIDjpop summit

25th July 2012

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Abuse or Love? The Shinji/Misato Relationship (Neon Genesis Evangelion)


Shinjo Ikari and Misato Katsuragi, the "unique couple" of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

There’s a belief that the more you’re attached to someone of the opposite sex, the more you start to let romantic feelings get in the way. What if you are a 29-year-old woman who is secretly frustrated with life? What if the person who can help ease your pain is possibly a 14-year-old boy? When you look at the relationship between Shinji Ikari and Misato Katsuragi, it is probably one of the wackiest relationships in Neon Genesis Evangelion. What happens between the two poses interesting debates on gender stereotypes and empathy towards good people that commit unethical acts. 

The relationship between the two all started with an interesting photograph of Misato posing and arrows pointing to her breasts. Misato sends the photo as an “invitation letter” to entice Shinji into joining NERV. They would eventually meet in person and live together under one roof. Both shared a common issue as they have conflicted thoughts about their fathers. An interesting development was that Misato had feelings for a man named Ryoji Kaji, who was on-and-off with her. Although she was interested in Kaji, Misato jokingly flirted around with Shinji from time-to-time. A key moment in the Shinji/Misato relationship occurs after Kaji dies. Misato decides to offer herself to Shinji to comfort him. He refuses her advances as he sees Misato as a “mother”. In one of the most memorable scenes near the end of EVA, Misato would kiss Shinji and tell him "That’s an adult kiss. Let’s do the rest when you come back." before she ends up dying.Theories and speculation have been thrown around about Misato’s true desires. To this day, what to make of the Shinji/Misato relationship is still somewhat subjective.  

Misato kisses Shinji near the end of EVA.

You know, the Shinji/Misato relationship is similar to a problem that just seems to be growing by the minute: female teachers getting into relationships with their male students. Most of you may have heard recent stories about female teachers being extremely aggressive with underage boys. This leads to a question that should be asked: are there boys like Shinji who don’t see “getting with an older woman” a turn-on?

Although it doesn’t seem like it, there are boys who do feel vulnerable. The problem lies in the gender stereotype that men are supposed to be invincible and dominant. There are times where boys may not see themselves as the victims. I mean, getting with an older woman is a dream come true for a younger guy, right? That’s what society encourages them to seek. However, psychologists have argued that young boys tend to become emotionally unstable when an adult interferes with their sexual curiosity.

The infamous photo of Misato that was given to Shinji.

Would you argue that Misato is a pedophile (abuse) or a very caring person (love)?  It is noted Misato uses sex as a way to solve emotional problems. She does possess a few of the traits of a pedophile. Misato once admitted that she wanted Shinji to be around her because she was lonely. Pedophiles usually think of only satisfying their own needs. They also have a history of emotional (usually sexual-related) issues. However, Misato does recognize she’s not the best person to be a role model for Shinji. 

A couple of questions to ponder: what if Shinji didn’t refuse Misato’s offer back in Episode 23? If Misato survived, would a relationship have materialized a la many various fanfiction covering the two?  It depends on how much Misato would be willing to further push the boundaries. After all, she’s the older individual and technically has a superiority advantage over Shinji. Though you also have to consider the idea that Misato may have kissed Shinji to give him a sense of hope and confidence. In real life, Misato would be branded a criminal because of the kiss and any reasoning she gives for her actions will go unheard. Depending on the circumstances, should we be a bit more empathetic towards perpetrators of certain acts and not just the victims? They’re victims too and some probably want to change their ways for the better. 

An ensuing argument between Shinji and Misato.

Perhaps the moral of all this is to never put two emotionally insecure people of different age gaps together without proper supervision. You know how people tell you to get along with people who are just like you? This is one of the few exceptions to the rule. A big, costly exception that can blow up in someone’s face and becomes a slippery slope to potential ruin. 

But, boy, those relationships sure do get juicy and enticing to gossip about….

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Tagged: Hideaki AnnoMisato KatsuragiNeon Genesis EvangelionShinji Ikarianimeanime characteranime psychologyfemale pedophilialovemangapsychologypsychology of sexual abusesexual abuseShinji/Misato relationship

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