Hmm.... I assume you've posted this here to discuss it, yes? I hope it will be alright if I were to type out my thoughts on the matter.
I don't like Shion, not really.
Nothing anywhere near for a right and proper internet bashing, no. I even like her as a character that comes off more believable and human than most and causes feelings on my part, in this roundabout intellectual sort of way.
That doesn't however change the fact that, on a purely emotional level, if I were to meet a person behaving similarly IRL, I would've been tempted to punch them in the face.
I suspect that I've been affected by a knee-jerk reaction of sorts triggered by her actions in the earlier parts of episode 1 (Shion busting out 'I did not raise you to be that way' and 'guilt-trip' manoeuvres during her interactions with KOS-MOS was met with all of my no
, for example); I was quite possibly viewing everything that happened after that through a lense of negative bias and thus have distorted my perspecitve before the game has even properly begun.
Later on there is the unfortunate switch of Miyuki's role come the third game. Perhaps it is meant to be taken as kind of an omake, but Shion's behaviour towards her is both assholish and... uncomfortably similar to what Jin does (apparently on a regular basis) when they meet. Maybe I am seeing things that are not actually there, but given how Xenosaga handles its characters, I am disinclined to throw out these scenes as simply gags done in a style I am not a fan of with no bearing to character development whatsoever.
(However much I may or may not adore Jin, if he genuinely believes the best he could do for Shion is to provoke as much of her enmity as possible - to shift it all over to her last remaining family alive - the man is an asshole and/or needs a reality check.)
Allen... Previously, I was very much sympathetic of his side of the matter. (That's neither here, nor there, but I think that Shion deliberately 'missing' his cues in an attempt to discourage Allen's pursuit in a less... 'face meet wall' manner would've made a more interesting dynamic than her honestly not noticing anything at all until waaaaay back in the finale.)
You do raise a good point though: for all the things he says after getting that dose of Force Lightning, he never actually managed to help Shion with any of the issues that were plaguing her on-screen. Sure, he was obviously worried about her well-being, but he was unable to reach any of the really deep-rooted stuff, not really. Which makes the scene come across as either if some improtant scenes between this and the start didn't make the cut (a thought that dogged my episode 3 playthrough on a constant basis), or... Allen being a hypocrite.
Neither any other characters did, for that matter. And it all built-up to a crescendo of clusterfuck that happened in episode 3, culminating in one person's grief in the right place, at the right time setting off a bunch of dominos that almost crushed the world flat.
You know what?
Imagine if episode 3 didn't end in the main party gleefully destroying the only confirmed way to prevent the destruction of everything as they know it. It probably would've resulted in a more 'boring' bittersweet ending, but before that it would've likely involved Shion becoming more emotionally stable before the antagonists could get to her with their manipulative ways and thus not causing the 'suddenly Gnosis, everywhere' event, or, at least not in quite as catastrophic fashion.
Imagine that it would not happen just because of some herculean effort on Shion's part, suddenly able to draw strength from some suspiciously asspull-looking depths. While I may like reading about characters overcoming difficulties with sheer grit every now and again, I feel it would be a... wrong approach to take.
No, instead imagine other characters taking their time and effort to make one step more in helping out Shion with her own demons. (And many of them do want to help her; not all of them are like Yuriev, after all.) It may be something small, it may be something big. A one-off thing or a consistent effort. Something that would help her to if not work through the shit the life has thrown at her, then at least make peace with it. Something that would help her to finally move on with her life.
Imagine if, say, Jin, in that scene with a skype call waaaay back on Woglinde, when faced with Shion's vehement disagreement on participating in traditional commemoration of their deceased parents swallows his retort and replies instead with something along the lines of 'Okay, I'll do that on my own. You don't need to participate if you don't want to. Just... come home if you can, please. I miss you.'
Perhaps Jin deciding to do something about the only remaining bond he has left with someone dear to him this early in the timeline is too much of a stretch. But imagine if it isn't. Imagine if he decided to step up his efforts in making up with Shion instead of letting it all drift away. What would happen then?
What about other characters?
(Bonus points if you can come up with something Albedo
might've said or did to help Shion, however inadvertently done - or not - it may be.)
And just as I've posted this, winamp 'randomly' comes up with Albedo's theme - one track in a list of 1176 entries. Maybe I am onto something here.