Misato and Shinji (Relationship)
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"Making something... Nurturing something is really great. You can see and learn so many things from the process."
Misato is Shinji's guardian during his time in Tokyo-3, but is also his commanding officer. Her status as adoptive parent is always in conflict with other aspects of their relationship.
Misato was assigned to pick up Shinji after being called to come to Tokyo-3. However, because the angel Sachiel was attacking, the interaction was rushed. The two escaped back to Nerv, where Shinji is introduced his new job: piloting Evangelion Unit-01.
After his battle, Shinji is set to live with his Gendo Ikari, his father, but because of their turmoiled past, he decides to live on his own. Misato bumps in, taking Shinji back to her apartment and living there for the rest of the series.
Before the two go to Misato's apartment, she takes him to a high point in Tokyo-3. The two watch the buildings come out of the ground to form the beautiful fortress city across the sunset.
When arriving at the apartment, Shinji realizes that, despite his fear, he finally has a real home, and a mother figure to help him. Even with those positive though, Shinji is put off by Misato's sloppy lifestyle when she's outside of work. Her apathy towards the garbage scattered across the apartment conflicts with his view of neat living. The dinner of microwaved instant food and her love of gulping down beer doesn't help. Over dinner, Misato also seems to try to present herself as more casual and friendly towards Shinji when off-duty, but appears to struggling in figuring out in what angle to take, alternating between one moment admonishing him for being too finicky and timid for a boy and telling him he is good enough as he is the next, something which clearly confuses Shinji. Misato privately comments to herself that she might be a bit too flamboyant in this behavior, fearing that Shinji might see through her act.
Despite Shinji's discomfort with those flaws, he still admits that she's not a bad person. Misato herself has her own thoughts wondering if she's really fit to serve as Shinji's surrogate mother, admitting in a phone conservation with Ritsuko to feeling "scared" about the situation, and privately pondering the the fact she at first just saw Shinji as tool to defeat the Angels, causing her to doubt herself on whether or not she's a good person.
Shinji tries to go to sleep after recalling his first battle, but before he can, Misato comes into his room. She quietly congratulates Shinji for doing having the courage to pilot the Eva.
Three weeks pass by, and the two have settled in their routine. Shinji's has started going to school while Misato continues her work with Nerv. Things change however, when the Fourth Angel, Shamshel attacks.
Misato is immediately back to her work persona when instructing Shinji, enough to call him an idiot when he makes a mistake in shooting the guns so much to cause smoke to build around. Eva 01 is hurled across to a hillside, letting the umbilical plug loose. There, he spots Toji and Kensuke trying to get a good view of the fight. Reluctantly, Misato lets the two get into the cockpit as Shamshel begins to attack. Determined on not running away, Shinji, against Misato's orders to retreat and take care of angel later, uses the very few seconds of power he has of the Eva to attack the angel at it's core.
While the angel is defeated, Misato gives Shinji a stern lecture on the duty of obeying orders, to which Shinji could care less about, even going as to say that he doesn't care if his current attitude would lead him to his death. Misato takes it as him trying to get some bit of praise from her.
Five days pass by and Shinji is found to have run away from Tokyo-3. Misato, throughout this period, is shown to have conflicting emotions, even kicking a wall in anger when she first realizes it and calling him an idiot when peeking into his empty room. Feelings are even more conflicted when having a conversation with Ritsuko. She mentions that even though piloting the Eva causes him emotional pain, Nerv still needs pilots.
Assessments and Interpretations
- While this conversation takes place after Shamshel's defeat, it isn't shown until as a flashback scene from Episode 04.