Shinji's only a badass in Re-Take. In the manga and the anime, he pilots EVA for everyone's sake. However, the big difference between manga Shinji and anime Shinji is post-Toji's death. This is easily attributed to the difference in plot between the adaptations. Whereas Toji's crippled in the anime, he's killed in the manga. Shinji's "Hedgehog dilemma" is more prominent in the manga. After killing his friend, having Asuka turned into a vegetable, and watching Rei die, he rejects friendship. He even says so. He still wants friendship, but he feels like he's just gonna get fucked over again and again. And, as anon said, a different Shinji needs a different Kaworu. >>12697863
is pretty much how I feel. And I don't think that Shinji x Asuka would've been, based on the manga and the anime. If Shinji had a love interest, it was Rei in the manga and Kaworu in the anime. Sorry, Asukafags, but Shinji really just doesn't seem to feel the way she does about him, or he doesn't understand how she feels. EoE, though, seems to wholeheartedly support Shinji x Asuka, as long as you don't support the whole "Asuka at the end is a conglomerate of Rei, Asuka and Misato" business. I don't. Shinji's fap session comes from the fact that after the mindrape, Shinji actually cares about Asuka. He wants her because she's not there.
And Re-Take was enjoyable, but it really was just a fairy-tale ending. Everyone gets Tang'd. They're not dead, though, they're just LOL HIVEMIND.