Evangelion’s Misato Provides a Home for the Lonely | OWLS “Sanctuary”

Chances are that if you were linked here from another blogger pal, then you might be new. To those first-timers, “Hi, I’m Takuto, welcome to my anime cafe!” As part of the OWLS blog tour’s  third monthly topic, “Sanctuary,” I decided to pull in all of the Evangelion sources that I could, original series and Rebuild alike, in order highlight that no matter where you may be in the apocalyptic future of Tokyo-3, captain Misato Katsuragi’s apartment will always remain a safe haven from the wrath of the heavens.

A sanctuary is a place of safety and stability. In anime, there are several different places and environments that characters call “home.” For this topic, we will
be discussing locations and settings in anime.

Eva is a franchise that you might already know means the WORLD to me, so allowing myself to revisit its iconic universe is a real treat. Thanks Lyn for the prompt!

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A brief discussion on Misato’s Apartment as it appears in the 26-episode 1995 series “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” the critical 1997 film “The End of Evangelion,” and the “Rebuild of Evangelion” film series, produced by Gainax and eventually Khara, all of which were written and directed by Hideaki Anno. 

First, A Welcoming Party

Eva opens up on an alternate present-day Tokyo where “Angels,” ironically named beasts of pure destruction, are in recent rise for some bizarre reason. Shinji Ikari, son of NERV commander Gendo Ikari, is called in to pilot the towering [neon] colored humanoid robot Evangelion Unit-01. NERV, an organization bent on the survival of the human race no matter the cost, may very well be the last battlefront in stopping these beings of terror, but it is ultimately up to Eva pilots like Shinji to determine whether humanity lives to see another day.

Shinji survives the first angel encounter against Sachiel. Barely. But the fact remains that he did actually save everyone, which is why his cold father ensures that Shinji remains on campus in case of another attack. No, the two don’t share the same living space, let alone sleep in the same house. Instead, they mutually agree that rooming together would be the worst possible outcome. Like a mother overprotective of her ducklings (this is funny because she has a pet penguin), the clumsy yet strong captain Misato Katsuragi takes Shinji under her wings and shelters the boy at her own apartment.

Image result for misato's apartment

Misato’s place is graphically located quite a ways away from NERV HQ, which is probably for the best considering that they are always on call, and that they already over-shoulder work everywhere else they go. It’s also crucial to note that we never see any interactions with the other apartment members in the complex, nor are the other lights on. It’s only Misato’s that is lit, like a lonely lighthouse guiding lost ships. After the two go out to pick up some welcome party snacks and view the majestic city sunset, the two share a memorably warm if not simple exchange before entering the household:

Misato: “Your things ought to have been delivered already, Shinji. I just moved here myself, ya know? *glancing back* Hey, come in.”

Shinji: “Uh, I don’t . . . want to intrude.”

Misato: “Shinji, this is your home now.”

Shinji: *hesitant pause, finally steps into the apartment, crossing the sliding door lining along the floor, and stares upward shyly* “I’m–I’m home.”

Misato: *closed eyes, smiling* “Welcome home.”

[the apartment door automatically slides shut, revealing the tag M.KATSURAGI]

Misato: “Ummm, as you can see, the place is just a little bit messy but uh, heh, go ahead and make yourself comfortable.”

This is your home now. Wow. Just by reading this you can already get a feel for both of our characters. Shinji is shy, not wishing to impose upon anyone his own troubles. Misato comes across as casual, relaxed, and friendly. But just as how she makes her cameo in a flashy blue sports car with nothing but a seductive picture to go by, the atmosphere quickly shifts from one of formality to an air of light-heartedness. Evangelion masterfully plays with moods depending on how the characters should be reacting to certain situations, and Misato’s apartment, in fact, could almost represent the peaceful and joyful side of the chaos. Now that we’re all acquainted, it’s time to get to know each other beyond the name tags.

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Make Yourself Comfortable

“Is this how you act in public? In front of your friends!?” You might have gotten this spiel by your parents if you’ve ever for a second acted, heaven forbid, without concern for public opinion or manners. Going back to the question, of COURSE I don’t act like this out there–this is home, and home is the one place where an individual should feel less pressured to “suck in their gut,” so to speak. Home is where I can let my guard down, and the characters in Eva do exactly that at the apartment. These moments make up the lighter side of a series otherwise known to offer psychological trauma and emotional turmoil.

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Shinji, Misato, and eventually Asuka are free to lounge around with a temporary leave of stress that comes with saving the world. At first it was only a woman and her pet. Soon the dynamic opens up to invite a pseudo son (episode 2), followed by a pseudo daughter (episode 9) and an anything-but father. Even aunty Ritsuko comes along and plays house at one point!

toothpick

Like mentioned earlier, Evangelion is rife with iconography. Some early examples include:

  • Episode 2’s introduction of the song, Misato’s theme
  • Episode 2’s fridge reveal of nothing but ice, snacks, and lots of beer
  • Episode 2’s infamous toothpick scene (adding on with the straw scene in the Rebuild)
  • Episode 2’s recitaiton of “Unfamilar Ceiling” (sheesh, one would think that episode 2 is important for some reason)
  • Episode 9’s synchronization training through DDR and fashion
  • Episode 16’s “I’m bored, so kiss me” by Asuka

Little Shin’s Room ❤

Homes allow people to ponder and create. In the show, we see the characters questioning their own existence, their place in the world, and whether the actions they take are justifiable. The apartment also allows philosophies to be revealed, such as Misato’s “Not everything must be answered with a yes m’am,” or “Wash away your troubles–bathing cleans the mind and soul!”Speaking of bathing . . .

Differing personalities invite conflict, however, for not everything in Misato’s apartment is happy-go-lucky. Time spent alone allows the darkness to sneak back into their heads. We are permitted to see the characters at their worst, such as this disturbing 20-second bath tangent by Asuka, portrayed by the incredible Tiffany Grant. Whereas bath scenes are supposed to be tranquil and stacked with fan service, Eva, being Eva, turns this cliche on its head to emphasize that not all acts at home are frivolous. Sometimes we get into fights, and that’s natural. Easily, the worst-case scenario remains the pinnacle choking scene from The End of Evangelion, which brings an entirely different and off-putting light to the children’s home.

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What’s So Special About An Apartment

Not much, actually, only that it’s not just a house–it’s a home. A sanctuary from work stress and the trivialities of daily life, if you will. Even though these types of apartments are numerous in Japan, Eva still goes the extra mile in presenting the physical space uniquely. For one, the cinematography is sharp. This is reflected by the angles used, enhancing censored scenes like Shinji’s toothpicks or items such as the bras and lingerie that hang from the ceiling. This way the show stays interesting and provides enjoyment for a second time through. Utilizing warm hues of yellow for lighting also provides a sense of ease, unlike the cold LED lights of a hospital or a laboratory.

As much as it’s fun to break down the inter-workings of the minds of our favorite characters, or pick apart the cause and effect plots of our most beloved stories, taking a minute to admire the physical–locational settings–feels like a nice breath of fresh air.

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It feels like we’ve nearly covered it all, but in fact there’s so much more to the development of the apartment itself. How its atmosphere changes over the course of the story almost makes it seem as if it were a living, breathing entity. Home is a place to relax and be comforted by all the things, living or not, you cherish. It should be a place of intimacy, of quietude, a place to be yourself without anyone telling you how to live. I know not everyone has it this way, and I’m sorry, but I hope you have found your own little sanctuary somewhere in this wild world, or that someone like Misato has provided this comfort space for you.

To those who do settle down at the house, aren’t you the most “yourself” in the comfort of your own home or room? I know I am, and I hope that doesn’t change for at least a little while now. We all need our me-time, and there will never, ever, be something wrong with a lil’ peace and quiet. For those in solitude, just remember that even if you’re all alone without anyone to come home to, your own home will be waiting for you, eyes closed and smile wide, just as Misato was to Shinji. 

Welcome home.

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Take care of yourself. – Neon Genesis Evangelion episode 26 title


Evangelion in its entirety clearly means a LOT to me. You could almost say that it influenced the shape of my character. If you’re interested in more of my ramblings and personal thoughts, please, feel free to browse the archives for more of that Eva goodness!

This concludes my March 8th entry in the OWLS “Sanctuary” blog tour. Please check out Matt’s (Matt-in-the-Hat) post discussing how, in Sword Art Online, there exists sanctuary within gaming. He apparently used my Fairy Dance musings as some inspiration, which makes me all the more excited to check it out! I’ll now toss the ball to BeckNaja (Nice Job Breaking It, Hero), for she will be jumping into Haikyuu!! this Friday, March 10th. (But let’s be honest, when is she not engaged with the show? lol) Thank you so much for reading, and until next time, take care ~

– Takuto

Sleep tight, Misato . . . such a mess, at least she looks comfortable enough

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38 thoughts on “Evangelion’s Misato Provides a Home for the Lonely | OWLS “Sanctuary”

  1. Sweet post Taku!!. I started this little anime, but seemed to have stopped off at epi 4. Oh yeah i remember when Shinji came in all butt naked and Misato is just sitting there xDD.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You really ought to continue someday, for it not only crucially impacted anime as a media but entertainment as a whole. Not to mention, it’s got loads of great psychological content and action sequences to be picked apart for days on end. Haha, Shinji’s nude scene seems to be something we all remember! Thanks for the comment, Rocco!

      Liked by 1 person

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    • Yup, I knew you enjoyed the Rebuild series a decent amount (still waiting for that final film tho). For some reason, these OWLS posts seem easier to write like I would normally speak or present a project, IDK why, but they feel more natural to me. It’s never too late to dive back into Eva–heck, I find myself at least once a month pulling out the DVDs and rewatching my favorite bits or breaking apart the confusing ones. I’m glad you liked this post, truly, it makes me happy that someone noticed tiny details like that. Of course it’d be someone as awesome as you, Matt 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aw thanks but you are awesome than me :). I noticed about that with the OWLS too. I feel like we can really use our knowledge and go depth in details. I can’t wait to see 3.33 and the upcoming final film.

        Liked by 1 person

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    • No kidding, mate, that’s awesome! It’s neat to find out when people watch a certain show in real time (even though I’m over 10 days late replying to this, so sorry). The Evangelion franchise is massive and an incredible journey worth exploring, so I’m glad that you have watched it! Thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by–I’m not sure that this even measures up in the slightest to the series, but I’m overly glad that you found so much enjoyment, haha! Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great post. It really shed some light into Misato’s apartment which is where Misato, Asuka, and Shinji spend most of their time aside from NERV HQ or school. Said characters also act differently in those places compared to two they behave at Misato’s apartment. Perhaps it as you said and they let their guard down at home, which is a personal place not restricted by code of conduct and judgement.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks a bunch, enlightenment was the intent, at least. When it comes to Eva, most people like to discuss the “contrived” characters or its “ridiculous” story, so when I got the chance to talk about setting, Eva was a must since environment plays a just as important role. “Home is a personal place not restricted by code of conduct and judgement.” That’s a nice way of putting that. I love chatting about Eva when I get the chance, so thank YOU for stopping by and allowing me to do so!!

      Liked by 1 person

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  10. I am so impressed right now, Taku. Wow. What an excellently written post. I have only watched snippets of this anime when I was a kid, so I really don’t remember anything about it, but I know that it’s one of “the” classics in the anime. Some fans even go as far as to say that you’re not a real anime fan, if you haven’t watched Evangelion. Moving on to your post, I’m nodding with every paragraph I read. Yes, my room is my sanctuary in our own house..and the kitchen, so this is very relatable. Your room or living quarters can be the worst ever, but if you feel at home there, it will still be your sanctuary. I love the scene you included of Shinji being welcomed home. I should probably hunt and watch Evangelion just to watch this scene. Thanks for the wonderful tour post, Taku. You rock! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness, Arria, you’re making me blush so hard right now! >.<

      Yeah, you can pretty much acknowledge Evangelion as a classic, for its themes are enduring and its presentation is legendary. I wouldn't be one of those pricks to say that "you're not a fan if you haven't seen it," but to those who have, you've definitely broken into the heart of anime's bests, so props to you!

      Though I mainly focused on one's room, you bring up your kitchen, which is a HUGE place of sanctuary for myself as well. Everything from the stack of dishes that pile up to the cabinets *hopefully* loaded with one's favorite treats never fail to make my eyes glimmer. Everyone has it different, which is why there are so many different stories out there. I'm glad you appreciated the inclusion of the quotes and images of Mis–Shinji's home. As it always is, it was a real treat getting to reenter this beloved franchise–I'll pretty much gab about it any time that I can, haha! Thank you for the heartwarming comment, Arria, this really made me smile. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ehehehe! I always feel a great sense of accomplishment when I make you blush, Taku. /evil laugh/ I’m currently making a personal list of greatest anime classics that I haven’t watched yet. I plan to go hunt for them & hopefully I’ll be able to watch them. Evangelion is on my list.
        Oh my gosh! Yes! The kitchen is also a HUGE sanctuary for me. Do you cook? I have been the one who mostly cook dinner for years now. I actually enter into some kind of a meditative state whenever I cook. I like experimenting so there are many times that my family have to eat inedible food, but it’s fun. I get to eat what I want to eat because I cook.
        Anyway, is Evangelion one of your first anime that you have watched or did you watch it only after?

        Liked by 1 person

      • You really ought to share that list with us sometime on your blog so that I can see what I’m also missing, haha!

        I cook a little. More baking than cooking. Not very good, but practice makes per–future practice easier. . . LOL It must be tough work providing for a group. I envy people who do that. Experimenting with desserts is definitely my thing, haha! I have such a sweet tooth, it’s terrible.

        I didn’t get into Evangelion until about halfway through my anime-watching experience. In other words, it wasn’t around during my beginning, and I’m kind of glad. I feel like I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate all of its thought-provoking themes and essential questioning. Sometimes I do this to old classics just so that I can appreciate them later down the line when I’m more experienced in life, if that makes any sense. I did this with Ghost in the Shell, and while I probably could’ve waited even a tad bit longer, I have no regrets about getting into the franchise!

        Liked by 1 person

      • We’ll see. It’s a work-in-progress and whenever I encounter a classic anime that I haven’t watched yet (which is often), my list just keeps on growing. We’ll see. Perhaps I’ll share it one of these days.

        It’s not that tough. It’s actually easier, I think. I have a harder time cooking for myself because I often miscalculate how much to cook. Oh wow. I’m not really good at making desserts. I’m more comfortable with meals. I have a sweet tooth as well, so I envy people like you who are able to comfortably make desserts.

        Oh I see. That’s interesting, but I understand what you mean. I also feel that way. I’ve been watching anime every since I can remember and there are shows that I used to watch as a kid that it’s only recently I’m realizing what great shows they are, not only as entertainment but also as great stories with significance in human values. Anyway, thanks! Keep up the great work, Takuto!

        Liked by 1 person

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  12. Great post. I’ve read/seen a lot about Eva, but I’ve never even thought about the significance of home. It fits, though, especially with how much the show emphasizes Shinji’s isolation near the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh? Not many do, which is why it was somewhat challenging stepping out into uncharted territory. Though the place offers comfort to all of the main characters at one point or another, the story does follow Shinji up until the very end, you’re absolutely right. Thanks so much for checking it out!

      Liked by 1 person

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  15. You knocked it out of the park with this post Taku !! Perfectly displayed the theme sanctuary through a unqiue perspective. Using misato home as a place where certain events can take place right in your own home. I’m not the biggest fan of evanliegion but I liked the perspective the show
    Took with Shinji very unfortunate of all the things that happened to him but misato home was a place for him to feel like he belonged somewhere for the first time. Fantastic post my friend !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • AHH LITA! I’m so happy that you enjoyed it even if you’re not the biggest Evangelion fan. For this topic, I wanted to find something that meant the most “sanctuary” to me, and that would be, of course, home! Next was picking a home, and I couldn’t think of a place that accented contrasting characters than Misato’s place in Eva. People act more chill in their own homes, and that what this topic is all about. Thank you for not only reading, but for understanding, too!!

      Liked by 1 person

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  17. Wow Taku, just WOW!! I have not had the pleasure of watching this anime, but I loved the way you described the apartment as a safe haven for the characters in the show! I totally agree whatever the size or shape, whether it’s a house that you own or a room you rent in someone else’s basement, home is the one place where everyone can unload and be themselves! I love this post so much!!

    Like

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