Shinji:Why me? I'm just a boy. You're all adults. Why don't you have the power to solve your own problems?
Alas, Poor Yorick: Shinji does this with Rei's severed head after Yui!Lilith kills her near the end of ch. 44.
All Girls Want Bad Boys: In his previous Good Boy incarnation, the most concern and/or interest he could get out of any grown woman, never mind girl near his age bracket, was a few brief moments of motherly pity, if that. In his current All-Conquering history, the least he draws from any "female of the species" (to quote Asuka) is obsessive, if not mindless, Fangirlism. In the seemingly singular exception of Ritsuko, he causes her to be blatantly terrified over the future of humanity...fear that she tries to not think about via banging his psychopathic father. (It should be noted, however, that at heart Shinji is still very much that nice kid.)
Shinji (to his kidnappers): I have walked as a god! I have fought as a god! You will not frighten me, LITTLE MAN!
The Chaos Marine gets one in the very first chapter after the debacle with Minase and her boyfriend:
But see! He that has stolen from you has paid for it with his LIFE. She that set herself above you now lies humbled and broken, the BLOOD of that she once loved on her hands. He that follows you is now a HERO, respected by many. And she who once held you in high regard, now WORSHIPS you. Chaos IS. And in CHAOS all things are possible.
Badass Creed: You are the soldiers of mankind. You are the Guardians who stand at the Gates of Hell! The dead howl for vengeance, and you must become as the Spirit of Wrath! You shall Eat War And Shit Awesome! YOU ARE DEATHWATCH! KILL TEAMS! YOU ARE THE ONES THAT MAKE THE XENOS DIE!
Asuka uses the term to describe herself, although it's debatable if an Eva pilot can be considered "normal".
Shinji is the most physically normal of the pilots, being the only one not infused with Angel DNA. That being said, he also subverts the trope in that his abilities often go far beyond the territory of blatantly-admitted superhumans.
Admiral "Miracle" Yang Wen-li and Sergeant Angelo De Leon certainly qualify.
Wilfred Jaeger manages to take out a cyber-Tyrannosaurus by letting it eat him so he can kill it where there is less armor. And he was just a lowly panzer driver a few hours ago...definitely channeling some Shinji there. Then again, his full name before adoption was Wilfred Ingram Wulfenbach.
Badass Preacher: A facet of Makoto's personality that occasionally shows up.
Battle Couple: Toji and Hikari. Nothing like a date followed by shooting alien invaders with your boltguns.
Shinji in hand to hand combat, and Unit 01 in Eva vs. Angel combat. By the second fight, though, he realizes brute force and bloodlust will only cause needless destruction and tries to clamp down.
Despite the protestations of the Chaos marine (see Take That below), Asuka's battle antics and use of the traditional gear of a Khornate Berserker (in the form of an Eva-scaled chainaxe) raise some questions...
Asuka is reportedly enough of a berserker that her battlerage overrides even that of her Eva's default mental state. The issue? She's a cold berserker. A berserker Unit 02 uses weapons and fights with the same techniques, only with more eating of enemy body parts. Yum.
Mana reacts in this fashion in chapter 30 when Magnos Tancred faces off against Trident Warborn "abominations".
"This is the true Trident project!" she shouted to her crew. "Shoot this worthless pretender down! TANCRED IS RAGE! KILL IT! PURGE IT! We won't rest until these abominations are DEAD!"
BFG: This being a crossover between a giant mecha story and Warhammer 40K, it's no wonder there will be plenty. Highlights include the psychic supercondutor-enhanced destroyer lasguns and Rei's Gargant Moonbiter.
Big Book of War: Maya quotes from The Art of War. Shinji, on the other hand...whose entire life would make Sun Tzu and Miyamoto Musashi very proud if not outright weep for joy...can not only quote every line from either author's work, but has had his own teachings on war, peace, compassion, honor and most every other possible subject get enshrined in "Da Book"...an always-hand-written tome jotted down as Holy Writ by each and every single member of his worshipful, millions-strong yet publicly-unknown national youth gang.
A shining example is Shinji returning to Tokyo-3 riding in style in a golden Leman Russ Vanquisher, at the head of a small army of super tanks, super soldiers in Terminator armor, and psychic monks. Then they fight zombies.
That may or may not be Bilingual Bonus; the verb 'schlagen' (proper noun: 'der Schlag') means to hit (noun: the hit) in German.
Bilingual Bonus even more when you translate "impact" (which is more like "Einschlag" or "Aufprall" in German) somewhat loosely as "Fall" (as in "fall of a meteor"). This gives us "Schlagann Fall", and from there it doesn't take much to arrive at "Schlaganfall" - German for "stroke".
The Big Guy / Boisterous Bruiser: In the prologue and a couple of scenes where the action cuts back to Shinji's original hometown, Kobayakawa could fit either, but most likely the former. The Warboss is definitely the latter.
Biker Babe: Maya shows this side of herself on Valentine's Day to catch Shinji's attention. She does so. Along with the rest of the school.
Bi the Way: Rei's actions, thoughts, snarky comments, and preference for yuri over yaoi are consistent with somebody who's bisexual (and may also be another reason why she wants Shinji to have a harem...lucky bastard). The Farseer is also probably bi, but considering the nature of the Eldar is more likely to be a Depraved Bisexual. Then there are the bisexuals from canon Evangelion...
Black and Grey Morality: Shinji's been exposed to the worldview that "there is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt," and while he tries to do good, he's committed his share of sins in the name of humanity. Similarly, Asuka's and Kaworu's interpretation of the Greater Good allows for the ends to justify the means. Most of the secondary cast realizes that they live in a Crapsack World, and the fact that Gendo and SEELE are basically amoral doesn't really need to be stated.
Blessed with Suck: Psychics, in keeping with the story's 40K influence. If you're not forcibly conscripted into the UN armed forces, you will either end up going insane or be murdered in what may possibly be a very gruesome manner. If you're lucky, that is.
Blood Brothers: After meeting an injured Rei for the first time, Shinji swears a "Blood Angel oath" by tasting her blood (to the horror of the watching NERV staff). He later asks her to return the favor, sealing their bond. In a less literal sense, Shinji, Toji, and Kensuke cement their friendship as "battle-brothers" after the latter two's ride in the cockpit during the second Angel fight, while Maya and Rei grow closer after they help rescue Shinji from kidnappers.
Body Horror: The MP Evas eventually fuse together into a hideous, almost Lovecraftian form to battle Shinji and Kaworu.
Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Rei and Asuka make a surprisingly good comedy duo. Typically, Asuka is the straight man, while Rei is the boke. Asuka, perhaps understandably, thinks "tsukkomi" is some sort of bizarre Japanese perversion and refuses to listen whenever someone attempts to explain it.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: As early as the prologue, the Space Marine slaps Shinji and tells him to "stop being emo! You're breaking the fourth wall!" Kensuke, and later Yang, regularly ignore the fourth wall and are often around to conveniently comment on the symbolism of various events, and otherwise pop Shinji's ego.
Kensuke at one point mentions that he's not even a player character like the others. They think he's talking about something to do with theatre.
When Shinji enters the conference room of the Trident base, there is a throne made of white materials, shaped like a Skull Throne. When asked, Kensuke replies, "Why ask me? It's not like I recognize when I'm breaking the Fourth Wall."
Then there's the bridge crew's comments in Chapter 24 over whether it's easier to understand Ritsuko in the subtitled version or the dub, which ends with "What you just read must have been a trick of the light, or something."
Brown Note: Somehow, Shinji managed to obtain the Ark of the Covenant. Yes, that Ark of the Covenant...possibly because the previous owners were worried about the Cradle getting their hands on it. Whenever a normal person looks at it for too long, they freak out and just want to get away from it and are too busy panicking to explain why. The only people known to be immune to its effects so far are Shinji himself, Raka, and possibly Rei.
Bullet Hell: "Kaworu was in hell. It was made of bullets and beams and dragon-heads. He could not simply blink and begone. The writhing loops filled the sky against a backdrop of hostile gunfire. Airburst shape-charge artillery left fan-shaped trails and tracers stitched patterns in the air."
But Not Too Foreign: Lampshaded by Asuka, when she wonders why, out of all the potential candidate children on the planet, all four pilots just happen to have Japanese ancestry. The four is not a typo; we briefly meet the pilot of NERV America's Eva, who is also of Japanese descent.
Mana, originally from the Girlfriend of Steel game.note So are her co-pilots Keita & Musashi and the T-RAIDEN-T mecha This is lampshaded by Kaworu ("It's as though canon refuses to accept her existence") when it's pointed out that the Dead Sea Scrolls don't mention her, allowing her to Screw Destiny.
Mayumi Yamagishi is from another Sega Saturn game, Neon Genesis Evangelion: 2nd Impression.
The three new bridge bunnies are from Shinji Ikari Raising Project.
The Javaal arc features thinly disguised CE's of Yoda and Mace Windu. Meanwhile, those familiar with Legend of the Galactic Heroes might be surprised at a certain Chinese admiral's presence a couple of millennia too early (lampshaded in the story, no less).
Celibate Hero: Played with, but ultimately averted. Once he gets over his middle school crush, Shinji is too busy trying to save humanity and avoid becoming the God-Emperor of Mankind to respond with anything besides incredulity towards his admirers. He is slowly but surely dragged kicking and screaming into it (often with the help of a portion of his own subconscious) but by chapter 36 is mentally comparing the differences between kissing Asuka and Rei and fiercely declaring his possession of those he loves most.
Evas with prog-chainswords, or in Asuka's case, a prog-chainaxe.
Shinji specifically invokes this trope whenever he uses a modified chainsaw to cut wood.
Unit 01's upgraded Titan Armor takes this to ludicrous extremes - it has chainsaws coming out of practically every body part imaginable.
Chekhov's Armoury: Bpen loves this trope, to the point that most readers on The Fanfiction Forum have largely given up trying to figure which parts are going to be plot sensitive and which are just fluff.
Shinji. Then again, he's had tutoring from an Eldar Farseer as well as a worshiper of Tzeentch, and keep in mind who he's the child of. That being said, he is quite reluctant to exchange "the machinations of one Ikari for another," especially if it would involve using his friends as pawns. The Farseer's response? Make them his knights, bishops, rooks, and queens.
Also, Gendo and Yang. Played with when Yang asks Shinji if he plays the game, and Shinji says he's not too good at it. Gendo usually loses his chess matches against his mentor. Yang is terrible at Real Time Strategy games; it's implied that it's because the scale is too small for him.
There's no -beeping- glory. There's only living for the next day and killing the other guy! We all saw that, that kid tried his -beeping- best to kill the -beeping- Angel without being -beeping- killed in return. He knew it, -beep- it! He knew that he died there, if he tried to play the stupid shounen hero, then who's gonna be there to stop the next stupid -beeper- that comes?!"
Colonel Badass: Misato eventually gets a well-deserved promotion, and even acts as commander of NERV for a time.
It was black car. Tinted windows rolled down, and sunglasses-wearing faces showed. "Wark." greeted Pen-pen from the back seat, the bird leaning out the window. Yes, he too was wearing special custom-fit sunglasses.
Crack Fic: Less that this fic is on crack, and more that crack is on this fic.
Crazy-Prepared: Shinji's ability to plan on multiple levels simultaneously occasionally borders on prescience, to the point where Kaworu has to consult an actual prescient just to keep up. Admiral Yang, on the other hand, trains and equips a group of soldiers for amphibious combat in Tokyo-3, and has them on standby status so they can take part in the Leliel fight. This is both tactically justified in the face of possible amphibious assaults, and totally in character.
Shinji has special compartments sealed in his safehouses for him to leave messages to himself or allies in case he travels back in time. Yes, you read that right: Shinji has contingency plans in case of Time Travel.
An extremely swift Shinji victory against a foe that had been butchering civilians for hours and nearly killed Mana prompts a military hearing and nearly sparks riots.
Rei and Mana vs seven out of twelve Mass-Production Evangelions. It doesn't end well for them.
Cursed with Awesome: The national government has to make a special ruling exempting Shinji from taking part in the Japanese Valentine's Day custom of accepting and eating chocolates from admirers and loved ones, in lieu of his being rushed to the hospital the previous year after dutifully eating every single one received. After a prohibition against anyone (but namely the young women) at the school from presenting them, the revelation that certain among them will actually still be permitted almost sparks a(nother) riot. And this is only one early example of what his life has become; by later chapters, he is occasionally reduced to slamming his head upon the nearest solid surface or object, all but begging to know why this is happening to him.
This has apparently happened to humanity due to the potential of the EVAs. Admiral Yang even references the trope by name:
The power of the Evangelion is like cursing ourselves with awesomeness. We can live just fine without it, the same way the human race has deserved its success with its own pain and suffering and learning from our mistakes, but we can't SURVIVE now without them.
Defictionalization: The most effective weapons against the Angels and their spawn are based on Warhammer 40K technology. There's also the matter of Machine Cults popping up in different universities.
Delinquents: Da Boyz were originally a few delinquents who went around bullying smaller kids. When Shinji proceeded to beat the crap out of them single-handedly, they changed their ways and started following him around, eventually growing in number and actually becoming something of a militia in Shinji's hometown and an information network in Tokyo-3.
Democracy Is Bad: The chapter twenty-one bureaucratic governmental inquisition into the activities of NERV and NNHIS paints this picture. Even if such activities ultimately involve Gendo planning to liquify the world's population into whatever the Hive Mind actually is, the panel's effective demands that they and their proxies maintain strict adherence to social institutions in the face of utter annihilation smacks as nothing less than suicidal fat-headedness on a national scale.
Destructive Saviour: People know Shinji's back when there's massive destruction. Even when he's trying not to, Shinji ends up causing more destruction than actual Angels.
Just having him around increased the flammability of -concrete-.
Determinator: Aside from the obvious, the Assault Terminators are the most specific example, especially their initial arrival.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: A lot. Shinji literally punches out one of the Angels and the Jet Alone in the first seven chapters alone. Of course, he started the latter fight by blowing the limbs off the Jet Alone with an Eva-scaled bolter...
Dirty Old Woman: The Farseer that lives in Shinji's head. As the Chaos Marine points out, given that her race birthed Slaanesh, this should not be particularly surprising. For his part, Shinji is profoundly disturbed that a facet of his subconscious has such urges, especially when it starts influencing the people around him on its own.
Dope Slap: Administered several times by the Farseer.
Double Entendre: Rei embraces a unique "brand of psychological torture as a device for humor." She seems to particularly enjoy reminding Asuka of how well she and Shinji "connect," while implying that she and Asuka could "connect" in a similar fashion.
Dynamic Entry: Reinforcements arrive at the battle against Iruel by ramming a battleship against the city dock at full speed and slicing their way out.
From chapter 41:
A HERO ARRIVES IN THE NICK OF TIME!" A boxy red shape punched out to stand on top of the tilting structure's roof. "A hero strikes when least expected! The enemy of all that is good, the ones who wants to destroy this world that is made of love! And peace! Will never escape from justice! Specially in the moment that he feels safe, he will know! There is nowhere to hide! The name for this! IS DYNAMIC ENTRY!
Fangirl: Mana Krishima, complete with Squee moments. This and the Genki Girl and Stalker with a Crush aspects of her personality get hit hard during the Matariel battle, in which she loses her best friends, her arm, and her innocence, but they occasionally surface afterward.
Fanservice: A form of the non-sexual variety for the Shinji/Rei shippers (not that there isn't any of the other kind), in the form of Raka, a Rei clone able to operate independently of "the" Rei thanks to having fragments of Shinji and Rei's souls. Effectively, at least as Raka views it, she is their daughter.
Shinji Ikari wanted to shout 'Do you understand now?! Do you understand, Misato-san? All of you?! THIS is why I -hate- Nagisa beyond all other things on this Earth. He can be so Goddamn POLITE and so obliging that it's so Goddamned -easy- to -forget- that he's supposed to be your Goddamn -enemy- until he's finished slicing your throat open.'
Five Rounds Rapid: For the first few chapters, Shinji constantly has to rely on his prog knife because NERV can't seem to build a decent gun. Fortunately, the Eva-scaled bolters and NNHIS come along soon after.
Fix Fic: Today, Shinji; tomorrow, the world. Since in canon both are very much broken by design, it's understandable that the gap can't be bridged in under half a million words.
Flash Step: Used by Kaworu's ultimate Trident unit.
Foe Yay: Perhaps as a nod to Canon, Kaworu admits that Shinji "is...very compelling in many ways." He's mainly interested in Asuka, though. Invoked when he tells Asuka she has to be the one to kill him.
Chapter 40 hilariously averts this, however, when both Shinji and Kaworu refuse Misato's suggestion to, well, combine their mechas to fight the MP Evas.
Shinji: NEVER. Kaworu: Agreed. That shall remain an output-only port, thank you very much.
Foregone Conclusion: One of the story's draws comes from the fact that Eva fans have a general idea of how that story ends, depending on which version you're referring tonote series, End, manga, and eventually Rebuild, while 40K fans know how the Emperor's rise to power goes...but since the two plot lines are happening simultaneously, it remains to be seen who is Doomed by Canon and which outcome will ultimately triumph. Then again, given the nature of both materials, they might not be mutually exclusive.
Foreshadowing: It is humorously noted early on that some bored troops taught a technique known as the Ikari after witnessing Shinji's infamous signature headbutt-curbstomp maneuver. When Shinji and Maya are kidnapped, Maya uses the Ikari to disable and murder a captor about to rape her. She notes that it is seriously taught at NERV.
"We missed? How could we miss?!" Martin Bettelheim shouted. "It's a goddamn laser! It travels at lightspeed!"
Friend to All Children: Shinji, by his own admission — while he does believe that there are no innocents, he sees no reason for childhood not to be safe and happy, and Da Boyz were styled by him primarily as a way to keep kids entertained and out of trouble.
From Bad to Worse: Gendo suggests to Fuyutsuki that each time the latter claims it could be, it inevitably becomes so.
Funetik Aksent: Shinji's English is quite "authentic," as he learned it by reading Ork codices. The Boyz and Gretch picked up the same speech patterns, resulting in a generation of Japanese schoolchildren who speak like English football hooligans.
Gadgeteer Genius: Kensuke manufactured the first functional Boltguns all by himself.
Gambit Pileup: between Ikari Gendo and NERV, Lorenz Keel and SEELE, Shinji and his Terminators and UN PSYKANA, and Kaworu and the forces of Earth's Cradle, with Yang sticking his nose in sometimes. Not to mention the Angels themselves.
Asuka, on the other hand, is a would-be Troper: she reclassifies Shinji from The Ace to a Mentor, considers Rei an Uncompromising Confidante, notes her own Moral Ambiguity...
"Asuka was aware she was Assigning Capital Letters in her own mind. She had learned that other people weren't quite so clear-cut, but needed to classify them anyway. It was methodical, it was convenient, and for the most part it worked. Even events could be predicted according to patterns."
BPen also qualifies, thanks to his use of tropes. Also, in his notes from one chapter, he thanked TV Tropes for giving him some ideas and helping him write the story more believably.
Kaworu is also confirmed to be this in the author's notes. That's why in ch. 42, he decides to take out Magnos Tancred FIRST even though it's the one that's least of an immediate threat.
"If you say something about my 'not having any honor', I will be severely disappointed in you, Ikari-kun." Kaworu commented in the same cheery voice he had used earlier, in complaining about being stabbed in the face as a hello. "I've told you this before, I did not come here to -fight-." He grinned wider. "I came here to WIN."
God Emperor: Shinji is theMemetic Badass in a universe where belief is power. Meanwhile, by chapter nineteen, Hikari becomes the first to reference Shinji with a deity honorific, and Rei outright suggests to Asuka that he could in fact be a living god.
And in Chapter 45 Shinji temporarily manifested the iconic golden armour of Him On Terra◊.
Godwin's Law: Invoked several times by German characters in chapter 37: The similarities between WWII and post-war Germany with their current situation is mentioned by several psyker Lamas who were also holocaust survivors. One of these psykers later shows a group of assembled German soldiers and leaders his barcode tattoo, stating that if they simply gave in, they would be no better than the ones who let the Nazi atrocities take place. A soldier responds by asking if they should keep paying for the sins of their fathers. Later, one of the colonels, who does not want to see all the people die in a war zone, confronts a group of soldiers who want to stay and fight to the end rather than leave many of the citizens to die and demand if fighting to the last man was really any better, by invoking Hitler's scorched earth policy and the destruction of Germany so that the allies would not be able to take control the country.
The colonel clenched his fists. He had served the army well, he was no coward. He was no moron either, to waste his own life on futile gestures. "So you would rather have millions suffer in the middle of a warzone than relinquish control? Do you know how all of this sounds?" He pointed at Wilfred. "This is insane! Do you know WHO you sound like?" The young man snarled, and would have pulled the trigger right there. How dare he!
"In fact, there is no real way of proving that THIS is but a memory of Instrumentality being played out again and again..."
What's interesting about that scene is that it's not written "... there is no real way of proving that THIS is NOT but a memory of Instrumentality being played out again and again..." In the original, it says that there was no way of proving it is an illusion and not reality.
Gratuitous German: First with Asuka and Martin, then in the narration itself once there's actually a battle in Germany.
Green Rocks: The psychically-formed crystals encountered by Shinji during the Javaal arc are room temperature superconductors needed in order to make the next necessary step in technology.
Grim Dark: Ultimately subverted. The irony of ironies is that Shinji's exposure to 40K actually gives him the purpose and courage to make Evangelion a less dysfunctional and more optimistic setting. That said, the "Farewell to Peace" arc is considerably darker than earlier chapters, what with Shinji being brutally beaten and Maya almost getting raped by their kidnappers, while from Matariel on the battles against the Angels are much more desperate and have a much higher human cost than previous encounters. In the latest chapters the story has been heading back towards Grim Dark; with the rise of the Black Moon things have gone down the toilet for the average person, especially if they have psychic powers and/or live in China, Russia or Germany.
Guns Are Worthless: Annihilated by Kensuke's unspeakably righteous badassery during the Matariel attack, and then played straight later on when most heavy bolters aren't powerful enough to hurt some of the creatures from Earth's Cradle.
Happiness in Slavery: To Shinji's slowly-growing horror, more than a few of his associates have begun taking up this stance in their degree of loyalty to him...Rei taking it to the point of stating that he himself is Happiness incarnate in her mind.
Hidden Elf Village: Javaal, but they eventually give up the hiding and become Grey Knights.
Hilarity Ensues: Teenage 40K fanboy Shinji becomes immensely popular amongst his classmates, pilots a giant Eva, and is stuck in a twisted Love Dodecahedron, all while trying to keep personalities of his favorite miniatures from distracting him with their wacky hijinks as he attempts to save the world and doing his best not to become The God Emperor. Hilarity Ensues.
Historical In-Joke: Yang and Kensuke start laughing uncontrollably when Shinji returns with a Greek citizenship and Macedonian Terminators... Others bring up the similarities between him and Alexander often.
Hot Springs Episode: Chapter 23, a Breather Episode (or so it would seem) after the "Inquiry Into Values" arc, that shows that while Shinji may be on the road to becoming The Emperor, he's still...well, Shinji.
Hypocritical Humor: Shinji expresses disbelief and exasperation when Keel shows that he can manipulate the AT-field and break laws of physics better than he can. This annoys Kaworu to no end.
Idiot Hair: Poor Ritsuko develops this, as she struggles to deal with the number of impossible things happening around her.
I Just Want to Be Normal: Admiral Yang would like nothing more than to be a full-time history teacher. Even though he has a job as one at Shinji's high school, he still moonlights as a UN Advisor/sometimes military commander.
Imaginary Friend: As a child, Shinji talked to his four favorite figures: a Space Marine, an Eldar Farseer, an Ork Warboss, and a Chaos Space Marine. At some point, they started talking back. Sometimes to other people. The "friend" part (and possibly the "imaginary") may be subverted by the time it's all said and done, based on the Chaos Marine's part in ch. 42.
Indy Ploy: Shinji both plans it all out and makes it up as he goes along. The result is something of an amalgam between Xanatos Speed Chess and going into screaming berserker rages while stabbing Angels point blank with their own ripped-out teeth.
In the Blood: This version of Shinji is noted many times as being eerily similar to Gendo, with the two thankfully having very different goals. Ritsuko takes this to the logical most extreme and personifies Shinji as mini-Gendo and Rei as mini-Yui. Naturally, the idea of two Gendos running around freaks her the hell out, and the prospect of a mini-Gendo allying with a mini-Yui makes her fear for the planet.
Killed Off for Real: As of the end of ch. 44: Musashi, Keita, Lader, Martin, the Sunshine Kid, Yang, Rei and Kentaro.
Lampshade Hanging: The story occasionally pokes fun at the source material, such as when Misato wonders why there isn't a huge particle cannon protecting NERV or where the mental therapists went, and when Shinji wonders what kind of sucky life he'd be living without his exposure to 40K.
And the in-character requests for certain pop-culture references.
"I have a gun. And armor. What is the source of your confidence?" Kensuke replied. He ignored the barely-repressed chuckles from some of his friends. 'Darth Aida', someone said. He threw his bolt pistol at the man's feet. "There are still six rounds in that bolt gun. Go and kill some Angelspawn if you feel like being a man." "Do...don't patronize me!" "Then stop being an idiot. Live. Or die. It's your choice and I don't care." Say it! he heard from behind. He sighed. "I find your lack of faith disturbing." Kensuke growled.
Large Ham: The corporate executive in charge of Jet Alone, and later NNHIS, has a thing for dramatics, as does Shinji pretty much any time he's in his Eva or making an Inspirational Speech. The Chaos Space Marine takes the cake, though, and chews it thoroughly...though he's facing some new competition whenever Ritsuko is in "the madness place."
Lensman Arms Race: The Angels are forced to adapt to the new tricks Shinji and the gang come up with to defeat them. From Sandalphon on, the battles diverge from canon significantly, becoming increasingly epic and insane.
Summed up best by the exponential growth of the giant cannons NERV and the UN are making:
Ritsuko: You want to hit Phobos? We can hit Phobos. Fuyutsuki: Wait, Phobos? THAT -MOON-? OF -MARS-?! Ritsuko: Well, it's not that hard... If the Angel had attacked in its previous form just one more time, no AT-field could possibly stand up to that blast. This is anti-orbital defense...and it's -puny- compared to the Grand Cannon being made up in Europe.
...and even that was a midget compared to the one planned for Canada.
Loads and Loads of Characters: So much so that even Bpen says he is in despair about never getting to those little side-stories he wants to write. Interesting new characters are introduced and after their arcs sadly ignored to make room for new plotlines.
...for what he wanted most was a friend, not a slave.
Lotus-Eater Machine: While trapped in the Dirac Sea, Shinji spends some time in a strange alternate universe where Tokyo-3 is mostly intact and the battle against the Angels has been less devastating, but Misato is only a major, Rei is strangely robotic, and Asuka's a total bitch. Afterward, he worries if his exit destroyed it.
Attempted against Sahaquiel in the form of a massive coordinated nuclear strike...and it bites humanity in the ass in a huge way after the Angel extracts the warheads and turns its own projectiles into nukes.
At the end of ch. 44, a massive coordinated missile attack, including nukes and ICBMs, has been launched at Tokyo-3 to try to destroy the resurrected Yui.
Since the prologue, Da Boyz refer to any command given by Shinji as "Da Word", an allusion (intended or not by the author) to the Biblical concept of the Messiah, complete with the affirmation that one lives or dies by their respective degree, or lack, of obedience to it.
Mind Rape: Kaworu does this to Lader, Stockman, Bettelheim and Campbell during the Earth Cradle arc.
Mind Screw: Basically the entire story could be considered one, but about the point you realize Shinji Ikari is being set up to become the God Emperor of Mankind your mind screams "I REJECT IT!"...but the story just won't stop making sense.
Mistaken for Gay: Mana's friends Musashi and Keita try to gather intelligence about Shinji, but end up asking the wrong questions.
Mood-Swinger: Maya notes that Rei has only two settings, "apathetic or violently happy," while Shinji oscillates between "I'm no one special, really" and "I pity the galaxy that does not know me." There's also "Inquisitor" Horaki: sweet schoolgirl, caring friend, and iron-fisted, (safe)bolt-shooting Class Representative from hell.
Shinji: (thinking) Well, first things first. I don't care if she thinks it presumptuous. One must guard oneself against Chaos. Demons of untidiness! Fear me! I have come, with the mop of justice and the sponge of truth! I shall cleanse you from this home! Let it be sanctified with the sweet scent of the Emperor's soap!
Mundane Utility: To the pilots' boredom, one of the peaceful applications of AT-Field weirdness is masonry, as it allows the Evas to lift huge sheets of rock out of the ground to turn Tokyo-3 into a fortress-city. Shinji also ruminates on more exotic uses, like levitating things such as converted nuclear subs into orbit to launch an invasion of wherever the Angels are coming from. Chapter 36 opens with the Evas using their AT fields to break down destroyed machinery into pristinely pure slabs of their component metals.
Mythology Gag: Yui's true identity is "Yui Ichijou," the pilot for EVA-00 in an alternate reality. Her name and character design come from early pre-production revisions of the character that would become Rei.
Nonchalant Dodge: Shinji is able to easily sidestep Toji's introductory fisticuffs (and retaliate with his signature move). Shinji's as surprised as his attacker, and the incident is the first clue that his exposure to the Eva may have unforeseen consequences.
During the Time Skip, Shinji apparently had some globetrotting adventures, and has alluded to a lost city in Egypt and an encounter with a sidhe in England without going into too much detail.
From chapter 23:
Asuka: G-get your hand out of there! Dammit! Help! She's molesting me...again. Rei: It was an accident, Sohryu.
In chapter 32, Maya, Rei and Mana decide that the only way to get Shinji's sync ratio up is to resolve some typical pent-up teenage stress, and had even cleared it with the local (tantric) Buddhist priests. When Asuka tries to stop them, they figure they might as well include her as well, and bring her along against her will. They then invite Misato, who declines and only requests that they bring the two back in time for school. Although Maya's wink to Misato suggests that she was joking, the only thing we know for sure is that hours later, several buildings collapse without reason, thirty-six Terminators deploy, and portents of doom are sensed throughout the city.
"Oh, come on." Misato turned to Shinji. "It was for your own good. So... what happened?" "Nothing happened. Ever." he replied. "It was exhausting, it was random, it was completely pointless, and you're never going to know."
No Seat Belts: Observed by Shinji in chapter 2 when he gets flattened by Sachiel.
The Nosebleed: Kensuke, Mana and, to her own surprise, Asuka ("I can't possibly have a maid fetish!").
Maya almost gets one in chapter 5 after imagining Ritsuko addressing her as "neechan".
After Leliel captures Shinji, the Other Shinji on the train begins grilling him on his actions, finally throwing back some of Shinji's justifications with a Gendo quote. Cue Heroic BSOD...briefly, until the Four Figures show up, literally derailing the train.
This tends to happen a lot as each of the factions keeps on one-upping each other. The whole planet reacts this way when Admiral Yang (Chinese tactician and war hero who won the "allegiance of the steppes") and Shinji Ikari (mecha pilot and adopted citizen of Greece who leads a private army of Macedonians in Terminator armor) start working together.
Also the reaction of everyone at NERV Mission Control when they hear Asuka's statement after finishing Israfel: "Hey Shinji?...I think I like you."
"Face it, Asuka Langley-Sohryu. You're the sanest, most emotionally well-adjusted pilot here."
SEELE's membership give the less family-friendly version of the phrase when Shinji quits NERV, and just after they finally realize that no global power, anywhere, knows either his ultimate intentions or the limits of his capabilities.
Omake: Pen-Pen's experiments with flight and Battle-Sister Ibuki's nighttime adventures. Also, a discussion on some alternate uses of Wraithbone, the revelation that Shinji's character development is all proceeding according to Yui's plan, and some disturbingly cute interactions between Shinji and Rei in the Alternate Universe.
Only Sane Women: Asuka and Ritsuko bond over their mutual loathing of Shinji's ability to "pull weird shit with his AT-field." Inevitably, such attitudes prove only temporary, with both slowly drawn ever further into the impossibilities of his existence, and in Asuka's case, actively seeking his nigh-inhuman power...and slowly being granted it.
Order Versus Chaos: One of the strongest ongoing philosophical debates of the story, with Shinji's mind being only one of the most prominent battlegrounds. For more than a few others, the stability he has brought to their lives, when present, has only too easily served to magnify the resulting chaos, when not.
Our Zombies Are Different: For one thing, they're nanomachine-powered, and immune to headshots, since they'll just grow 'em back unless the brain is completely destroyed by something like, say, a bolt pistol.
Painting the Medium: For the third installment of "All Along the Watchtower", the author asks the reader to switch the website to 1/2 of the page. This is so the following chapter can do an ASCII-art "GIGA DRILL BREAK!" Unfortunately, this happens to break depending on one's screen size.
Palm Fist Tap: Shinji does this in the prologue. The author's explanation for the Western audience is only slightly awkward.
Pass the Popcorn: At one point while Shinji's mental Space Marine and Chaos Space Marine are beating each other up, the Farseer and the Warboss break out the popcorn.
Percussive Maintenance: Shinji's preferred method of stopping his mental miniatures from influencing the people around him is to knock himself unconscious.
Pet the Dog: Gendo actually gets a few moments, such as when after asking why Rei was messing with Asuka, he gives her permission to continue. "Let it not be said that he was ever selfish in his bastardiness."This is, of course, a different Rei than the one he shot in the back of the head. Later he even stuns Misato with his trust in Shinji, at a time when she was hesitating.
Gendo actually has the most moments for a "villain", expressing pride in his son's manipulations after his Wounded Gazelle Gambit and caring a fair deal for Ritsuko. Particularly after she got paralyzed.
Portal Cut: Happens during the fight against Leliel, when the opening to the Dirac sea closes unexpectedly.
Shinji's Legio Terminatus show up in oversized power armor.
The Power of Love: Mana's bionic arm has sensitivity beyond that of a normal prothesis, and Kensuke posits that her affection for Shinji makes it "powered by perversion."
The Power of Rock: Iruel's low-frequency, fear-inducing sonic attack is first countered by a bunch of Gretch banging pots and pans together.
Power Perversion Potential: After hearing how Shinji can sync with Rei's AT-Field, Agent Jiro wonders "So...just by thinking about it, can you make her o-" Luckily his partner has the presence of mind to shut him up before he's torn apart.
Gendo at one point remarks that the prophecies clearly have no relevance anymore...then later on subverts this by wondering why an event from the Prophecy appears to be playing out straight.
Psychic Powers: The Russians have the PKRU in Siberia undertaking extensive research into the field of psionics, and those with Angel genes all possess such abilities to degrees slight or extensive...while Shinji quietly sends a messenger to the Russian premier, with answers to questions the latter won't ask for several more days.
The Psycho Rangers: The Trident Warborn pilots are either dark, Gender Flipped versions of the Eva pilots, or what the Eva pilots would be if Shinji followed the Chaos Marine's advice and broke the others to his will rather than more subtle tactics.
Refusal of the Call: Shinji's first-episode refusal to pilot the Eva stems not from fear, but anger over Gendo's treatment of him. He caves when Rei is brought out, of course, but he resents his father's use of such obvious psychological blackmail, and the incident cements Gendo as a bastard in Shinji's mind.
The Rival + Gender Flip: The Warborn team is a gender-flipped version of the Eva pilots, and Dr. VLader considers himself a rival to Ritsuko. Even The Cradle itself is a rival to NERV. All of whom end up as Evil Counterparts.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Actually averted when the Eldar Farseer convinces Rei not to level the city block by block as her method of searching for Shinji when he was kidnapped.
Rouge Angles of Satin: The author has a problem with the suffix -gue; he tends to spell it -uge. 'vague' becomes 'vauge', 'dialogue' 'dialouge', et cetera.
Rousing Speech: Whenever Shinji says anything, odds are that a life is in the process of being changed. When other characters strive to think of something noble to say (or do, for that matter), they will inevitably ask themselves at some point, "What would Shinji...?"
Sadistic Choice: The Leliel battle presents Shinji with the choice between saving Rei or Asuka when all three pilots are about to be sucked into the Angel's Dirac Sea. By now, of course, you know Shinji's gonna Take a Third Option and opt for the Heroic Sacrifice instead.
Farseer: The future only calls for events to be altered to suit itself. It is the present that is malleable, never the future.
Serial Escalation: Just when you think there is no way for this fic to get any more utterly batshit insane, the next chapter proves you dead wrong. Shinji's private army of Macedonian Terminators is one of the most normal things this fic has to offer.
Smart People Play Chess: Played straight, and subverted. Rei plays at a Grandmaster level without really trying, while Shinji, who rarely wins games against any opponent at all, operates on levels seemingly beyond chess.
Spell My Name with an S: Mayumi Yamagishi/Hamigishi's surname is spelt in quite a few different ways, probably unintentionally.
Spirit Advisor: Shinji's four figures. Given what they're figures of, their advice is not always helpful...
Zen Survivor: The Farseer, who even uses the "Endure, and in enduring grow strong" line. When not offering lessons on farsight or talking Shinji through his current mental state, she seems to enjoy her role as the personification of Shinji's sex drive.
Evil Mentor: The Chaos Space Marine, who typically offers the advice Shinji shouldn't and doesn't follow. Occasionally he has the right idea, though, such as how to free Rei from Gendo's influence.
Split Personality: A possible explanation for Shinji's figures. Additionally, Mana begins nurturing an aspect of her psyche she calls the Kommissar as a refuge from severe psychological pain, while Makoto occasionally goes into Badass Preacher mode, only to suffer memory loss and confusion afterwards.
Given that several of Makoto's experiences have happened while Shinji has been unconscious in some way, there may be more going on than meets the eye.
Start My Own: Gendo has NERV. The Ancient Conspiracy has SEELE. Shinji has Da Boyz, and basically is the owner of both NNHIS, his own global-spanning private army of mercenaries...and Rei's, Maya's, Mana's, and probably Asuka's souls. Then there's Kaworu, torn between loyalties to humanity and Angelkind, who comes up with an innovative third option: form your own faction by infesting the Earth's Cradle with Iruel nanocolonies, turning the human personnel into a Tyranid-like Hive Mind devoted to the Greater Good and the structure itself into a floating, teleporting, super-fortress.
"Damn it, Ikari! Do you have any part of your body that doesn't deploy a chainsaw or prog blade? ...or shoot fire. Do you have any part of your body that doesn't deploy a chainsaw, or prog blade, or shoot fire." Nagisa realized just how ridiculous was his question. "You don't, do you?"
Bpen may have taken a shot at competing Eva/WH40K fanfic Thousand Shinji with this line:
You may THINK she serves Khorne with her flailing about, but that girl...her fears, her sweet PAIN...she is Slaaneshi to the core.
From the prologue, after Shinji gets into the band:
Hmm… if was going to play the cello, he thought about getting some white gloves. Perhaps also some orange-tinted sunglasses, if he was going to keep standing out in the dramatic sunset. Nah, that would look ridiculous. It was so poseur. Who wears stuff like that?
From Chapter 3: "I wanted a Shinji that could go; DJ Croft? Who's that?"
One Take That to the manga is Kaworu's repeated line, "It's not as if I'm going around killing kittens for no reason."
Mana has an unusually sensitive bionic arm, Magnos Tancred's power supply flickered when she named it, and she furthermore seems to feel whatever damage Tancred is receiving, to the point of having swollen lips after the Trident's front is pounded several times by Unit 04.
Maya, as the MAGI seem to recognize her without having to receive log-in information, and she blacked out when the computers lost power.
Testosterone Poisoning: Shinji's now-legendary "...eat war and shit awesome!" line is an homage to "...eat iron and shit a chain" seen on the page, while his actions themselves threaten to recodify the trope.
Theme Naming: Just about every possible meaning or interpretation of Shinji's name is discussed by members of the UN after the Greek representative makes a half-joking proposal to see if he fits the criteria for godhood. Most are not amused by the implications about Gendo.
Theory of Narrative Causality: Subverted: After losing the ability to pilot his Eva and spending the Javaal arc trying to get it back, Shinji returns to find that, contrary to the Theory, he is able to pilot the Eva, BARELY, and can't even use the AT-Field.
Took a Level in Badass: Besides his prologue power-up, Shinji eventually travels to Javaal to better understand his abilities, returning with the power to reduce an Angelspawn to vapor with a glance. Additionally, the secondary characters get their own upgrades: Toji, Hikari, Maya, Makoto, Mana, Kensuke...yes, Kensuke. Chapter 34 even has a BigDamnPenguin moment. On the other side, several of the Angels are much more dangerous than their original versions, to the point where Matariel terrorizes Tokyo-3 with Angel-spawn and Sahaquiel trades its kamikaze attack for bombing THE WHOLE WORLD.
Ironically, this is the one trope Bpen was deliberately trying to avert at first; his author's notes claim that Shinji just needs a better childhood to become awesome, but Shinji's "better childhood" also came with his own gang, Chessmaster training at the feet of an Eldar Farseer, the universal respect and adoration of his entire hometown, and the ability to call in favors and financial support from wealthy friends. Badass as all hell? Definitely. Ordinary High-School Student? Not even close. Not that it matters in the long run.
Transforming Mecha: In one of the fic's more direct  references, we have the Asshimar, Cradle-made biomechanical flying disks that can transform into twelve meters-tall robots.
Tsundere: Asuka's irritation/anger at Shinji increases early on the more she comes to adore him. Outright rage tends to be reserved for her rivals for his attention.
Übermensch: Slightly subverted in that Shinji is by far the most loving and compassionate character in the story, but the fundamental fact of changing the history of the future ultimately by simply willing it to be so remains. That every male, at at least some point in the story, wants to be him, and every female likewise to serve him, only piles the effect on and on.
Not every male or female. Still, that the opposite is also true is what makes it funny.
Unreliable Narrator: In the early chapters, when the perspective shifts to that of any of the antagonists, each one of them is absolutely sure that Shinji is just a puppet of his father.
Also potentially partially resolved in chapter 36. Shinji claims Asuka as his and she claims him as hers, and they kiss, a few hours before she goes off to take down the Cradle. It should be noted that in the middle of the kiss there is a reference to Ayanami's lips and the difference between Asuka's and Ayanami's. It could be merely a reference to the events of chapter 32, at least the lips comparison.
Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Kaji is quite surprised to find out that the pale young woman he chats up at a festival turns out to be Kaworu Nagisa.
The Unwanted Harem: Aside from the usual suspects, Misato claims in part 3 of "Cry for Me, Tokyo-3" that "Shinji could just walk up to to nearly any woman, say 'I want to have sex with you'...and they would." Herself included.
Considering that the Farseer, who is an aspect of Shinji's unconscious, really seems to want Shinji to have a harem, it's hard to say whether they're really that unwanted.
Word of God is that this is a reference to Ladder Theory. The list of other people in the planet who combine such wealth, looks, and power in one body is very short indeed. As the public face of NERV, people look at him and see 'heir to an organization that has more funding than whole nations' or 'monumentally insane pilot that stands between the aliens and human extinction'.
Also, unwanted in the case of Shinji, specifically. Rei and Maya, for their part, have made it perfectly clear just how 'unwanted' the arrangement is for them, with Rei going so far as to intend to calmly force it upon him.
Use Your Head: After Shinji's debut battle, "the Ikari" becomes a standard fighting style among special forces around the world, which "starts with a headbutt and ends with the opponent on the ground, begging for mercy."
This in reality looks impractical because Unit 01's horn would get in the way. By Chapter 41, this approach has been abused so thoroughly that Unit 01 has a prog blade in its forehead.
Vetinari Job Security: Though Gendo winds up in prison for a time, eventually everyone realizes that NERV operates best with a ruthless bastard to make all the unpalatable decisions and serve as a scapegoat of sorts. He returns to his position, though reduced in power and at the head of a council to help keep him in check.
Wacky Wayside Tribe: The Javaal arc starts out feeling like this, but subverts the trope by paying off in spades.
Warrior Monk: Javaal's Grey Knights are elite psykers whose training and discipline allow thin scraps of armor to be stronger than steel, while their halberds are capable of destroying an Angel's core.
Then hear my command. Send the assassins. Plant the evidence. All the things we talked about before...let it be done...Begin The Purge. Protect my city.
Chapter 44, no holds barred. In order: Armisael attacks Yui!Lilith (a being born from the original Lilith's death who has both Yui's human understanding and all the raw power of Lilith) only to be killed with hideous ease; Yui!Lilith kills Rei and absorbs her soul, and it's strongly implied that the clones are destroyed as well; Lama Pagnor is eviscerated by the same; finally, Agent Kentaro gets Tanged.
What Measure Is A Nonhuman - Tackled by Rei and Kaworu. Shinji and Rei agree early on that her being being a Half-Human Hybrid doesn't warrant exclusion from the human race, and when her secret gets out, her classmates readily accept her for who she is. Kaworu, on the other hand, views himself neither as human or Angel but something completely different. It doesn't stop him from falling in love with Asuka, though.
Shinji actually has an interesting viewpoint on the whole issue of humanity, especially given his influences. He basically believes that "humanity" belongs to anyone who is able to choose to be compassionate and work together rather than destroy.
Kaworu: "Humanity is defined by its FUNCTION, not its FORM! It defines itself. The genome is supremely adaptable; it does not matter what shape we wear, now or in the future." "The shape of man is sacred! The form of man is for man alone!" Shinji shouted back."Let everyone who wishes to live as a human, with his limits and his laws, be treated as a human being. Our shape may change, yes, in time. But let us change the universe to suit ourselves, not ourselves into the demands of space and life beyond- for that way lies surrender. No, Nagisa. Humanity is defined by its WILL to keep going, proudly on, stubborn, free, and unbreakable."
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: In the prologue, after a carefully-crafted plan to get the attention of his crush fails spectacularly, Shinji gives in to his hatred and despair. Soon afterward, the girl who scorned him meets a terrible fate, and Shinji is haunted with guilt for either causing the incident or not doing enough to prevent it, vowing never to let anyone suffer like that again.
World of Badass / World of Ham: With 40k's over-the-top influences, it shouldn't be a surprise. It starts with Shinji and spreads throughout the cast from there.
Worthy Opponent: Even the Angels begin to fear/respect Shinji, and during the Israfel battle, one of the Angel's "halves" backs down for a moment as Shinji deals with a hostage standoff. By Chapter 33, Shinji has evolved into a thing of horror for their race.
Wrong Genre Savvy: Mana will drop into an Imagine Spot at the slightest hint of romantic drama, due to a military upbringing that has left her relatively sheltered to normal teen drama and left her using shoujo novels and manga as reference materials.
Yandere: Due to Asuka's abusive nature, especially after Rei provokes her, many people in Shinji's class suspect that she might well be this, commenting that she's like a tsundere and yandere rolled into one.
Alternatively, the scene could be implying Rei as the yandere to Asuka's blatant tsundere, as past chapter six, Rei will do anything Shinji wants; absolutely anything, without a moment's hesitation.
You Have Failed Me: Averted. Gendo, as the semi-malevolent amoral dictator of NERV, uses the threat of firing people to keep them in line. With events taking a different turn, the best he can do is severely reprimand them and dock pay since the list of other careers a NERV employee can have has significally increased, as well as the UN taking a more active role in overseeing the agency. Played straight with SEELE, which will make bloody examples out of people who they see as inadequate, and Gendo's execution of Rei II after she stops blindly following his orders.
Zeerust: Canon's Zeerust is justified by the author. Since Second Impact occurred in 2000 and ravaged the world's industrial base and consumer economy, cellphones never developed into smartphones and retain a more ruggedized 90's feel, valuing durability over the feature treadmill. Computer tech is similarly retro for similar reasons.
Zeppelins from Another World: Supersonic, AT-field-powered zeppelins used as Evangelion carriers, naturally. Asuka is not happy about the pun on her mother's name.