Welcome back to EVERYDAY EVA, the blog series where I aim to cover one episode of Evangelion every single day for Mecha March 2022!
As Shinji starts to grow more into his class, his eyes start to turn toward Rei.
The opening of Episode 5: “Rei I” is crucial because it almost perfectly mirrors the end of Episode 6: “Rei II.” That is, an Ikari is shown trying to manually twist open the scalding hatch on Rei’s Entry Plug. Again, Eva shows its mastery over two-episode story arcs. But before I get too ahead of myself, it’s cool that we get to see Angel remains up close and personal. I don’t think the Rebuild had any content like this. Actually, I’m positive that every Angel except for the 4th (AKA the Rebuild’s 5th) exploded into showers of blood in the Rebuild. Another stylistic change, for better or for worse.
Rei really is the focal point of the third story arc. Her actions are closely monitored by Shinji at school, during training, and even in her own apartment. (I’m sure I don’t need to elaborate on this iconic scene—a different kind of Angel encounter for sure.) We also get more of Kensuke and Tohji being obnoxious school boys, plus Ritsuko comes over to Misato’s for dinner. Unsurprisingly, Misato’s slobbish behavior is underwhelming to her intellectual superior. But, seeing Ritsuko without her signature lab coat and red lipstick shows how comfortable she is around Misato. You can tell they’ve shared many of Misato’s meals together in the past. (You’ll have to remember that I’m as much a Ritsuko fan as I am of the others, hehe.)
Do we want to talk about Rei’s apartment? I mean, it’s gross. Bloody bandages, water stains, and muddy footprints line every surface of the room, likely due to her not seeing the need to remove her shoes upon entry. The production notes suggest how Rei’s place is located in a complex in old Tokyo-2, meaning that it will likely be scheduled for demolition soon. Maybe that’s what the rhythmic metal churning sound is.
While Kiichi Hadame’s depictions of everyday life in this episode’s storyboards are surely welcome, perhaps Episode 5 is known more notoriously for the arrival of the 5th Angel, Ramiel. We’ll get our real showdown in Tokyo-3 in Episode 6: “Rei II,” though, so be sure to come back for tomorrow’s EVERYDAY EVA where I will gloat about the “operatic Angel.” Thanks for reading, and ‘til then!
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