Author: Amanda Wells
Source: Noise In My Brain
Kaworu Nagisa and Shinji Ikari are my favorites in Neon Genesis Evangelion, yet I do not like the idea of them as a couple. This might seem shocking to most. After all, what could be more perfect than my two favorite characters, in my most favorite anime, sharing love? Well, lots of things, really. (I am not heterosexist)
This essay won't resolve or even explore complex issues such as what sort of love Kaworu meant towards Shinji, how human/sexual Kaworu is, what either character's sexual orientation is, or where fanservice art fits into the equation. Such things aren't important to me. Instead, its purpose is to offer my own perspective upon a romantic relationship between Kaworu and Shinji, based on the premise it could happen.
For, though Kaworu and Shinji had a bond that can't be rigidly defined as platonic or sexual in nature, I think physical love could have ocurred if Kaworu had been around longer. Homosexuality doesn't come naturally to Shinji, but Kaworu is a very special circumstance. The 17th Angel is a living ideal, especially in Shinji's starved eyes. Kaworu offered love and understanding without any judgement, or any demand for reciprocation. He is easy and completely nonthreatening. Such are things Shinji wants most, so I would imagine he'd want to be as close as possible to someone who fullfilled his desires.
However, being with Kaworu would not solve the issues Shinji has with other people, only temporarily blind him to them. It's easy to imagine that someone like Shinji, who has done things like refer to himself as a "totally worthless being", would grow uncomfortable with such a state of bliss, feeling that he doesn't deserve such things. And Shinji's problems would fester unsolved, since Kaworu seems incapable of doing anything more than giving love that is formless, soft, and safe.
Furthermore, Shinji appears not to have much interest in Kaworu as a person. He gives embarassed responses to general questions and only shares details of his own life, hardly ever asking Kaworu about Kaworu. Though Kaworu appears not to care, this demonstrates Shinji's immaturity and deficency in human interaction. A relationship built without these pillars of communication seems like an unsteady one, bound to crumble.
The title of this essay was shamelessly stolen from a Daria episode in a flash of twisted inspiration.