Welcome back to EVERYDAY EVA, the blog series where I aim to cover one episode of Evangelion every single day for Mecha March 2022!
When a new kind of Angel hacks its way into NERV, only the good Dr. Akagi can secure humanity’s victory.
Technology. Computers. Data. Science. Achievement. Hacking. Personality. Theory. Magi. Ritsuko Akagi. The subject of Episode 13: “Lilliputian Hitcher” is each of these factors, but perhaps none suit it as best as “corrosion” does. Things go south in this latest Angel invasion, though the enemy’s method of attack this time around is most rare indeed. Central Dogma is hacked by the 11th Angel, and the EVAs are rendered useless because of the risk of contamination. Instead, NERV must rely on the intelligence of an unexpected hero in the good doctor, the cat-loving Ritsuko Akagi herself.
What the 11th Angel seeks is a direct pathway to the Magi System, and its takeover is almost completely successful. As everyone at NERV stands in shock at the horror evolving before their eyes, our usual rely-upons—Misato, Shinji, Asuka, Rei—are useless here. Ritsuko is placed in the tough situation of preserving the Magi System at the risk of NERV itself. Her determination, intuition, and knowledge guide everyone to safety. But, Ritsuko is only able to take the pieces of the situation apart and put everything back together again thanks to the groundwork set by her mother. The division of the three Magi Supercomputers as the three parts of Ritsuko’s mother is a very helpful character model for understanding Ritsuko herself. As a mother, Ritsuko can’t relate. As a scientist, she is flawless. However, as a woman, she lacks a sense of dominance that is wielded by characters like Misato and Asuka.
And maybe that’s the main theme foreshadowed in this episode—that science will only be able save the day for so long, and eventually, we will have to encounter ourselves as adults, as parents, and as sexual bodies. It’s an abstract metaphor, but all the clues so far lead to the idea that Commander Ikari is definitely using technology as a tool for completing an objective other than terminating the Angels. The “Screw you Ikari” message left behind in the dark catacombs of the Magi’s machinery is all the proof we need. Something sinister is happening at NERV—something is rotting, corroding, and at a rate faster than we may suspect.
With polysomes and Pribnow now behind us, this most science fictional episode of the series closes out the ‘Action Arc.’ In Episode 14: “Weaving A Story,” we reflect on all that has happened so far and turn to see what new challenges await our characters next. We’re halfway done, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the EVERYDAY EVA so far. Thanks for continuing to humor me, and ‘til next time!