Smarts : Again, not too hot here. About average intelligence, marred somewhat by the fact that his own emotions and the need for acceptance\greater self-esteem tend to cloud his judgments a lot. Has demonstrated startlingly accurate observations of people from time to time, though. Just don't expect complex war strategies or Nobel Prizes.
Home Economics : Decent. He keeps house for Misato, which isn't easy and, once you think about it, requires some degree of expertise. Can cook...meals. No gourment fare, but you're not going to be throwing up or face-faulting every other spoonful like with some people.
Personality : I'll not mince words - Shinji Ikari is a boy with
problems, and that's Problems with a capital P. To start off, he has HORRIBLY
low self-esteem, to the extent that he requires the praise of others to
define himself. Following that is estrangement from his parents - one's
dead and the other doesn't seem to acknowledge his existence past being
an EVA pilot. Add that to the fact that with his current level of self-will,
he can't help himself at all and needs others to support him...which in
turn tends to fuel even greater depths of self-doubt.
But never fear - there is a lighter side to our dear Shin-chan's soul. He's a geninuely kind person at heart (even if his insecurites tend to get the better of him) and very emphatic\sensitive to people around him. Would fare a lot better and mature more if given a less stressful environment for sure.
Combat Skills : Next to nonexistent. He hasn't won many battles in the EVA that didn't involve him totally losing it, screaming and winning through sheer luck and high synch-rate. His low self-esteem might actually make him run away instead of stay and fight. However, push him far enough and he WILL face down anything with a dogged tenacity which can be quite effective in the correct circumstances - either that or he'll run facefirst screaming INTO the enemy.
Special Abilities : Most powerful EVA pilot there is : highest synch-rate and an AT Field powerful enough to stop Sahaquiel cold. Again, though, his insecurities and lack of all-around experience tend to render these ineffectual to a great degree - what use is power if you're too scared to use it?
Competition : Sohryuu Asuka Langley, Ayanami Rei and Ikari Gendou.
Asuka has her own share of trauma and complexes to work through, and besides,
doesn't even have a proper romantic relationship with Shinji - one kiss
and lots of heated exchanges don't amount to much in the long run. There's
also the fact that Asuka needs someone whom she can look up to, and Ikari-kun's
got a lot lacking in this respect.
To move on to Rei, the very existence of her emotions is often in question. She's more an obstacle because of her biological origins (Ikari Yui) and the fascination Shinji (and every other male anime fan ^_^) has with her than anything else. Should only be a passing fancy, especially since Rei herself reciprocates little to no emotion.
The greatest problem comes from what's not a romantic attachment on Shinji's part at all - his father, Ikari Gendou. He's not going to have anyone messing with his best pilot; no fatherly concern here, simply a matter of possession. Also, remember that an EVA's pilot's AT Field gets progressively stronger as there level of depression increases...a love interest would probably result in Shinji getting happier, not someone his father wants. And at the bottom line, Genodou just probably doesn't want any more variables concerning his son than are necessary.
In-Laws : Ikari Gendou, and possibly Ikari Yui\Rei Ayanami as well, if you consider them both alive. Gendou, I believe, is described in detail above, and so is Rei...Yui's currently in EVA-01 and can't really do anything to either prevent or hinder your cause.
Sex : You're going to have to lead here. Shinji has had absolutely no sexual experience of any kind; in fact, given his personality there is a real possibility that the whole prospect scares him. Go slowly and be gentle enough, though, and you might find a surprisingly kind and tender lover awaits you - Shinji will be eager (too eager, perhaps) to please if taught well.
Overall : If you have the patience, care, concern and ultimately love for him, then yes - there is a good, kind - dare we say it - even noble human being underneath the scarred and shattered shell. But it's going to require considerable perseverance and a hell lot of effort to find it; I suggest you do some reading up on psychology first. Gendou is also likely to be a factor in your decision, as if the distressingly high fatality rate of EVA pilots... think carefully before committing.
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