Theory and Analysis:Sexuality In Misato and Shinji's Relationship
Image courtesy of Netflix. Content Warning: Discussion of the sexualization of children, sexual violence, and child pornography. There is a long running trope of fan service in anime, where by characters almost always women are sexualized by the "camera" for the enjoyment of the largely male audience.
Misato and Shinji have one of the deepest, most heavily implied, and one of the most confusing relationships in the Evangelion series. Though trying to act as a guardian, she ends up openly flaunting her sexuality in a way in which provokes response from Shinji. The two exist on far enough planes from each other to promote enough bewilderment to make for a difficult yet truly intriguing relationship until the onset of Instrumentality, in which the full strata of their relationship are unearthed. Shinji first meets Misato not in person, but through and invitation photograph that Misato sends him. The image in and of itself is arousing, depicting Misato more as a potential love interest for Shinji than a mother figure or guardian.