Welcome back to EVERYDAY EVA, the blog series where I aim to cover one episode of Evangelion every single day for Mecha March 2022!
The strength of all of Japan is placed in a single shot—and Shinji will pull the trigger.
Shinji is hospitalized in the first minute of this episode—a great start for sure. The 5th Angel reveals its astronomically strong A.T. Field, and Misato is pushed to creating a miracle to take down the floating fortress. Her grand (and outrageous) plan entails channeling all of Japan’s power into a high-powered positron rifle. In going to borrow the prototype rifle from the JSSDF, EVA-00 comically lifts the lab roof clean open and lifts it out. The Rebuild opts for a more serious tone throughout, which makes sense given that Operation Yashima comprises the climax of Evangelion 1.11. Whether in series or film, a lot is riding on Shinji and Rei’s performance in their biggest mission yet.
The motif of heavy machinery becomes most recognizable when we see the lines of cable trucks, energy generators, and electrical batteries weave their way up through Mount Futago where EVA-01 is stationed behind the rifle. God is machine in the world of Eva. Miracles do not appear as magical glowing lights from the heavens, but instead manifest in the tireless effort and hard work of man. This episode, more than any other, is proof of what people are capable of when we are firing on all cylinders. A one-of-a-kind solution to a wholly unique problem. The night’s synergy is simply electric.
Back when I first watched Eva in 2015, it was this particular episode that convinced me that I was in love with the series. Explosive action. Dramatic staging. Powerful lighting (like in the mission briefing scene). Iconic lines (“You won’t die. Because I will protect you.” – Rei) The stakes are high, and Shinji must rise to the momentous occasion. It’s only once all the power in Japan has dwindled out that Shinji and Rei share a heart-to-heart conversation under the twinkling stars about what it means to pilot the EVA. Against the light of the moon, she bids Shinji farewell—a goodbye that he can’t live with. Their friendship after this episode is solidified, and we can’t help but smile along with the two of them.
Evangelion moves into a different direction following this pivotal arc. At the same time, many of the same themes are expanded upon. Man meets more machine in the very next episode, for instance, and just as Shinji thinks he’s got his feelings with women all figured out, Asuka makes her debut. Tune into future EVERYDAY EVA posts to follow this developing story! Thanks for reading, and ‘til then!