Welcome back to EVERYDAY EVA, the blog series where I aim to cover one episode of Evangelion every single day for Mecha March 2022!
Asuka turns up the heat as the star magma diver—and the humiliation is unforgettable.
Here’s another super fun episode—“Magma Diver,” the part of the show where everyone gets all hot ‘n bothered (due to thermal expansion, of course), and NERV makes its first attempt to strike at the Angels first. Just when Asuka thinks she’ll be joining the other kids on a field trip to Okinawa, she and Shinji are called to be on standby. This would be the worst-case scenario for a girl in her youth, but Asuka finds other places to show off her scuba diving stunts, such as the NERV natatorium—and a volcanic lakebed high up in the mountains. Just when things were getting hot, Eva kicks the action up a notch.
Episode 10 gives Asuka a third chance to show off her piloting expertise. Instead, both the Second Child and her Unit-02 are fitted into large round suits especially designed for the magma’s heat. Rei offers to take on the humiliation for her, but that only charges Asuka up more. Finding out that the U.N. will “clean up” the operation should it fail—and that Commander Ikari set forth these terms—goes to show the lack of faith everyone has in NERV. Almost makes a person wonder if NERV is taking on some kind of improbable, apocryphal, and entirely hypothetical mission . . .
Fortunately, the operation proceeds as planned. “Fear is often worse than the danger itself,” Asuka reassures Shinji in her charismatic overtones. Then, of course, things have to go south again. As the 8th Angel hatches and breaks free, Asuka and Shinji turn to thermal expansion to save the day. Briefly, an endearing side of Asuka is shown, only for her to ridicule Shinji again at the hot springs. “Embarrassment” is a rare theme to come by in Eva, and I always found that if it had to go somewhere, it by far fits this episode best.
As the Action Arc progresses, Shinji tries to understand Asuka as a function of his world. Meanwhile, secrets about the fabled Second Impact are sparingly leaked here and there, providing us with just enough info about the past to predict the horrors that lurk in the future. To this point, things go particularly dark in the next episode. I hope you’ll stick around. Thanks for reading, and ‘til then!