Welcome back to EVERYDAY EVA, the blog series where I aim to cover one episode of Evangelion every single day for Mecha March 2022!
This is a weird episode—and it’s only the second one.
This episode is so great because of what it doesn’t immediately provide us with: an explanation of how Shinji “won” his first fight against the Angels. Instead, we get iconic hospital lighting and the “unfamiliar ceiling” motif. SEELE is shown in their goofy rainbow colored lighting and goofier dialogue (this is one instance where I prefer the Rebuild’s take). Then, Misato compliments the achievement that is air conditioning—a woman out for all our hearts, really. Really though, Misato’s optimism here will become pivotal to her character as it develops clear up through the final Rebuild film.
In fact, we see Misato’s influence radiate throughout all parts of this episode. She proposes to take Shinji in as a roommate, which shows her motherly side. Then she takes him to see the skyscrapers of Tokyo-3 rise back to the surface against the dazzling amber sunset. She’s the only one who provides Shinji with info about their world, and we can’t help but respect and sympathize with her. Pen Pen is introduced as the show’s true best character, further cementing Misato’s legitimacy at her trying to provide a welcoming home. Speaking of, I made a post a long time ago about how Misato’s apartment serves as a safe haven against the cruel outside world, and most of my opinions still stand today. Fun fact: The production notes say that no other people live in the apartment complex.
Capping off the end of this episode is a return to the events of the previous, and at last we get to see the fallout of Shinji’s plight and the manifestation of “The Beast.” Misato tries to quell his heart with kind words and a warm bath, but the damage is already done—and the bath only causes bad memories of his father to surface. The flashback narrative structure is not only unique but bold for a sequel episode. Also notice how, as Shinji lies in bed staring at yet another unfamiliar ceiling, we only hear the minutely subtle instrumental music of his SDAT player. It’s the sirens and pounding of the Angel’s lasers that segue us into the flashback sequence. Surely, Anno will continue to employ riskier avant-garde directing tricks in the future.
Shinji gets back in the robot for Episode 3: “A Transfer,” so be sure to return tomorrow for more Mecha March 2022 and EVERYDAY EVA. Thanks for reading!
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