No.11783251 ViewReplyOriginalReport
After Zeruel, Shinji was actually pretty manly. He'd go to the front of the line, he'd throw himself in danger to save Rei and Asuka, and in the end, he'd defeat the angel one way or another. He took humble pride in what he was doing, having realized that the world depended on him to protect it.

Then by cruel fate, he had to kill the only real "friend" he had. And thus, we get the Emo shinji, the Shinji that was forced not once, but twice to kill his friends. Hell, if you look closely at ep. 23, you'll see that Gendo actually assigned Unit 01 to destroy Unit 00 after it got infected. Shinji was almost forced to kill his friends 3 times. Anyone would go emo after that.

tl;dr Shinji has proven that he can and WILL be manly.