“Mankind’s greatest fear is Mankind itself.” – Gendo Ikari
Welcome back to the 30 Day Anime Challenge on the Alfredeo blog! We’re on day 9 today and if you do not know what this is about, basically, I’ve been talking about the topics from the picture above on their respective days for a whole month. It’s been very fun so far so if you haven’t seen the other posts on this challenge, you should!
I will also address this: this post is opinion based. If you disagree with my choice of villain, instead of bashing on it, please give your choice on the topic, I would be happy to read your thoughts!
Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995) is a psychological sci-fi drama that includes mechs made by Gainax, who also created other action mech shows like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and FLCL. If you have not watched this show, I highly suggest you should since it’s one of the most talked about shows on the internet and really influenced a lot of anime we see today.
For the people who have not experienced this show, I have to give you the synopsis to understand anything (from MAL):
In the year 2015, the world stands on the brink of destruction. Humanity’s last hope lies in the hands of Nerv, a special agency under the United Nations, and their Evangelions, giant machines capable of defeating the Angels who herald Earth’s ruin. Gendou Ikari, head of the organization, seeks compatible pilots who can synchronize with the Evangelions and realize their true potential. Aiding in this defensive endeavor are talented personnel Misato Katsuragi, Head of Tactical Operations, and Ritsuko Akagi, Chief Scientist.
Face to face with his father for the first time in years, 14-year-old Shinji Ikari’s average life is irreversibly changed when he is whisked away into the depths of Nerv, and into a harrowing new destiny—he must become the pilot of Evangelion Unit-01 with the fate of mankind on his shoulders.
Written by Hideaki Anno, Neon Genesis Evangelion is a heroic tale of a young boy who will become a legend. But as this psychological drama unfolds, ancient secrets beneath the big picture begin to bubble to the surface…
I will be talking about one certain character from this show, and that is the commander of NERV and father of Shinji Ikari, Gendo Ikari.
Why is he a villain, you may ask? Well, let me summarize it in one sentence:
Gendo, while an excellent scientist and founder of the Evangelions, he disowns his own son and has no regrets for killing or exterminating people in order to go forward in his operations.
Does that sound like a great person?
I’m going to get into some pretty big spoilers from this show and the movie so if you don’t want to be spoiled right now, just click away or read at your own risk.
Let’s get into reason one: he dislikes his son, Shinji. Gendo abandoned Shinji when Shinji was a toddler and throughout his life, he had a cold shoulder for him and never talked directly.
When Shinji is called up to pilot the Evangelions, he at first refuses to do it because it’s an unknown experience to him and questions why his father calls him now in this situation. This leads to Gendo losing patience immediately and exclaims, “If you’re going to do it, do it now! If not then leave!”. This shows how much Gendo really can’t deal with his “whiny” child. What worsens their relationship even more is that Gendo gets along well with Shinji’s fellow pilot, Rei Ayanami, and goes as far as to save her life.
Additionally, in the rebuild of Evangelion, Evangelion 1.0, from the Evangelion wiki, it states:
In Evangelion 1.0, Gendo appears to be even colder than normal, as he simply watches when Shinji’s entry plug boils during the 6th Angel’s attack.
Man, what a father.
Second reason, Gendo will go as far as to kill individuals just to progress forward in his operations. Now, this happens many, many times in the anime.
This is only one example of Gendo’s behavior and I’m not sure which episode but Shinji’s friend from school, Touji Suzuhara, gets called up to pilot an Evangelion even though his sister got extremely injured during one of the battles between an Angel and the Evas. Right when Touji gets into the fight, his Evangelion immediately gets taken over by an Angel. While Shinji believes that he shouldn’t fight and kill Touji’s Evangelion because there is still a human in the entry plug, Gendo doesn’t give a damn about that, takes away Shinji’s control of his Eva and activates Unit-01’s dummy plug, where as you remember, brutally destroys Unit-03. What’s even worse about this situation is that Shinji didn’t even know his own friend was the pilot for that Evangelion until after.
To top it all off, Gendo’s visions of him succeeding falls apart. After Gendo gets too cocky and his plans to use Instrumentality to only reunite with his wife ultimately fails, everything in his life goes to shit. Rei decides that she doesn’t want to follow Gendo’s plan, he doesn’t get to see Yui again and he regrets his behavior towards his son.
In conclusion, Gendo Ikari, while he may see uninteresting and not much information about him was given to us, is still a very well-developed character and villain in this great anime.
MyAnimeList Page: https://myanimelist.net/anime/30/Neon_Genesis_Evangelion
- Viral from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- Anti-Spiral from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- Kyuubey from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
- Vanir from KonoSuba
- Maho Nishizumi from Girls und Panzer
- Ume Kurumizawa from Kimi ni Todoke (yes, she is a villain lol)
Thanks for reading today’s topic! Who is your favorite villain from an anime show you’ve watched? Let me know in the comments below!!
Come back tomorrow to see my favorite fighter anime!