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The Shinji Fan's Manifesto
 by Atagamay

I would like to begin this rant with an actual incident, just to round it out, and make it almost make sense. Last week, while roaming the halls of the bookstore, I came across a book called "How not to Draw Manga." Being a person who can't stand stereotypical characters, I laughed. But then I noticed that they weren't just making fun of stereotype, but some individual characters, as well. To be more exact, they made fun of two characters: Shinji and Rei. Only two. It wasn't a free-for-all of character mockery, but an inaccurate, scathing mockery of two. And they only included one line about Rei. With Shinji, it was two pages, attacking him not only for showing emotion (Like a normal human.), but for having any issues at all. Suddenly, I was no longer amused. Why wouldn't he have issues? And if he didn't, would there be a show at all? If it weren't for the very things people hate Shinji for, Evangelion would not be the deep and complex classic series it has become. It would probably would have been just another action-mecha show, if it would exist at all. Who would dare challenge the masses and say this? We would. We're Shinji fans.

Now, even before I picked up this book, I was ranting that night. About how Shinji fans would make such a great angry mob. About how we should go tip over a truck. Some of you may be shocked. Because, you see, we are a small, insignificant group. Some of you think we're idiots. Some of you might not even no we exist, thinking that it's impossible for anyone to like that character. But lo,here we are. We're Shinji fans, and we have a problem. And we won't rest until it's your problem, too! Shinji seems to be the poster-child for hated characters, so it seems only natural that we should be the poster-children for the fans of hated characters. What we lack in numbers, we make up for in spunk and solidarity! You see, we are what they call, or rather, should call, a Small Group of Very Angry People. Like I said before, we, like any Small Group of Very Angry People, want our problem to be yours, too! You may not even be a Shinji fan, an Evangelion fan, or even an anime fan at all, but it can still be your problem. Every fandom has one character that everyone seems to love picking on. So, instead of joining them in baseless hatred, try to look at the character objectively. Almost every character, even the ones you don't like have some redeeming quality. Even I used to hate Asuka, but then I opened my mind to her, and found that, even though she's annoying a lot of the time, there's a lot to like, too. Even if I myself don't like the character, I will stick up for the fans of the picked-on ones. I fully support those who root for the underdog. Just like the real world, fandom has lots of causes, controversies, and protests. Don't be afraid to be a silly hippy.

So, what about us? What about our problem? As I have said, we're a Small Group of Very Angry People, and we have a problem. What we, as the ignored, scoffed-at, oft-pushed aside Shinji fans can do is continue being that Small Group of Very Angry People. Take me, for example. I never miss an oppritunity to let everyone know where I stand on the issue. I rant, I gush, I make proclaimations, I argue, I rub it in everyone's faces! We're the minority, so we always have shock value on our side. We can make people realize that they're very wrong in oversimplifying complex characters, or at least get them to shut up once and a while. Last but not least, we can band together. There's power in numbers, after all!

And who knows, we might just be tipping over a truck near you...

Atagamay does not actually advocate running out and tipping over a truck. You might get arrested, and I would rather be there for it, anyway.

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