Welcome back to EVERYDAY EVA, the blog series where I aim to cover one episode of Evangelion every single day for Mecha March 2022!
Shinji shoulders the secrets of Misato’s past to become a hero against their biggest threat yet.
About 12 episodes into NGE, we start to get answers about why the world is the way it is and what happened during the fabled Second Impact. More locally, however, we begin piecing Misato together as more than just a tool for fanservice. Knowing about her traumatic incident with the First Angel helps explain her steadfast ambition to defeat the Angels. It’s a personal vendetta, one that she keeps even from Shinji. Later, when Misato proposes the idea to “catch” the massive 10th Angel, her willingness to toss away everyone’s lives to accomplish the mission suddenly makes sense. I never liked how Kensuke and Tohji chastised Shinji and Asuka for not noticing Misato’s promotion, though. Like, they are pilots literally risking their all to save the world, and the only thing they can say is how “self-centered” they are? Not sure how well that sits with me.
This episode also advances Shinji as a protagonist. Not only are his harmonics tests improving, but he is also acknowledged by Commander Ikari for his accomplishments on the battlefield. It’s critical to note his confession about piloting—that he pilots the Unit-01 to hear his father’s praise. Shinji also does a lot to put Misato’s mind at ease for the operation, such as responding enthusiastically to her baiting of the children with the promise of a steak dinner. (Asuka’s commentary on the Second Impact generation here is one of my faves in the series.) If you ask me, he’s much more in tune with the real Misato than his friends are. Shinji is the only person who Misato can come clean to. It’s pitiful that she puts so much stress onto a child, but the effect does yield a Shinji with renewed bravado. In Episode 12, Shinji is the hero, along with Asuka, Rei, and their Major Katsuragi.
Asuka’s surprise to change the meal destination to accommodate both Misato’s bank account and Rei’s food preferences (NO MEAT) shows a kind of growth in her character, too. She’s hard headed, but not entirely closed off from the social world as Shinji is. This might change later. Scratch that, it will. But for now, let’s enjoy the celebratory ramen while it’s hot.
As more Angels fall upon the world and our pilots rise to meet the challenges, the Action Arc nears its climax with every victory. Episode 13: “Lilliputian Hitcher” turns our view back on Ritsuko and the science team at NERV. What they discover about the nature of the Angels might reveal a new insight to the enemy. Thanks for reading, and ‘til next time!