Several analyses of Shinji Ikari's character compare him to Yesod.

Now Wikipedia has this on Yesod:

Yesod (Hebrew: יסוד "foundation") is a sephirah in the kabbalistic Tree of Life. Yesod is the sephirah below Hod and Netzach, and above Malkuth (the kingdom). It can be seen as the vehicle, from one thing or condition to another (the power of connection).

I read some more on that, and I really didn't get it.

What is this connection / what traits does Shinji have in common with this sephirah? What symbolism does the MC of Eva have, in this context? Is it intended by the canon, or is it just an interpretation of the material?

  • 2
    Can you add a few examples of analyses (or links to such analyses) that compare Shinji to Yesod?
    – senshin
    Oct 18, 2016 at 2:52
  • 2
    I bet it's because the creators didn't intend to have any specific ties with christian figures but the viewers/readers try to interpret things by finding the closest similarities they can find, just because it's human nature to want everything to have an explanation and a meaning.
    – Hakase
    Oct 18, 2016 at 5:15
  • @senshin: I found a few examples, including this essay, which other fans cite. But I can't assess whether or not these essays understand Shinji or the Tree of Life correctly (I don't know anything about Kabbalah and don't intend to study it in the foreseeable future), and for all I care, the religious imagery in EVA is probably only there for atmosphere, so I'll leave it at that.
    – Maroon
    Oct 23, 2016 at 2:17

1 Answer 1


I'm a native Hebrew speaker, and "Yesod" (יסוד) literally means foundation or an element (like the table of elements). I'm not an expert when it come to Judaism (FYI that's because not all Jews are religious, Judaism is also a nationality), but in the Kabbalah Yesod is one the ten "Sfirot" (plural, ספירות). "Sfira" (singular, ספירה) literally means a count or to count, and in the kabbalah the Sephirot are the ten different ways or levels in which god 'reveals' itself in our world.

The Wikipedia page on the subject is much clearer in Hebrew than in English, so don't feel bad for not understanding it. It uses a ton of religious terms that even I do not recognize...

If you're wondering how does all of this relate to Shinji, beats me idk, maybe it is a reference to something else in the bible that I don't have the time to explain, but in short it could mean that Shinji is influenced by god and possesses some of his powers.

I do find it hard to believe that a Japanese writer/director would know all of this, and if they do then wow. The writers and director of the series do seem to be very knowledgeable, though.

I hope that answered your question!

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