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 Unit-02 pilot dazzles her way onto the scene, and Shinji’s world is dyed a brilliant red.
Oh boy, oh boy, it’s the loud German girl who I’ve been DYING to talk about. Anno doesn’t waste any time in introducing the genius red-headed pilot. Asuka is my favorite character from Eva. Her confidence and forthright commanding of our attention is inspiring to me, and I’m excited to be rewatching this series again if only to see her shine. Hands on her hips, yellow sundress rippling in the wind—Asuka sure strikes alright. And then Kaji shows up, and everything goes south. At least for Misato it does.
The naval flair and open seas set a new scene for Eva. Light-hearted dialogue and romantic digs also take root in the tone of the franchise, a unique blend of comedy and suspense which Evangelion 2.22 takes and perfects. Asuka’s bombastic pride at her EVA, her skills, her looks, her relationship with Kaji—everything related to her, really—becomes focal in this episode. Poor Shinji is forced into an extra Unit-02 plugsuit, dying the episode extra red. (Even the ED for this episode has a red filter over it!) While Tiffany Grant’s Asuka is ten times more brilliant, both the Bang Zoom and Netflix dubs keep her German dialogue in-tact. Tiffany Grant hams up Asuka in a way that is just as iconic as Allison Keith-Shipp’s loveably busty Misato. Yes, I’m biased to the old dub, and while I probably always will be, I do think the Netflix dub is more than serviceable. It’s great, even!
But back to the action, Asuka’s Unit-02 leaping between battleships is truly a visual highlight of the episode. (I recently bought an artist’s metal pin with the soaring EVA-02 depicted on it and “NERV” stylized in the NASA font. Remind me to show it on here one of these days.) When Unit-02 does sink into the ocean, Misato once again gets a crazy idea: Angel fishing! In this scene, Asuka also pulls up the trigger handles in the cockpit to an extended position, showcasing her heightened understanding of the EVA’s operations compared to Shinji’s barely-there tactics. She’s the ace, no doubt.
Episode 8’s beginning marks the end of the Prologue Arc and the beginning of the Action Arc (according to the production notes). We close out with more mysterious Gendo talk as well as a revelation of Kaji’s involvement with his secret plans. A new mystery is merely presented. Adam makes its way to Gendo’s hands, Asuka joins Shinji’s class, and from this point on we can expect battles against the Angels in every episode. Be sure to come back tomorrow for dinner AND a show with Episode 9: “Both of You. Dance Like You Want to Win!” Thanks for reading, and ‘til then!