Welcome back to EVERYDAY EVA, the blog series where I aim to cover one episode of Evangelion every single day for Mecha March 2022!
A recap of the series’ first half is provided, followed by another pilot test that goes horribly wrong.
At the halfway point in the series, Anno and his team opt for a unique kind of recap episode that both offers new insight on old experiences and a more intricate understanding on the psychology of the pilot. Music and dialogue are intentionally sparse in the first half as Anno’s signature black stills with bold white text stylistically record key terminology like a mission briefing. In the A Part, Gendo and the Human Instrumentality Council revisit each encounter with the Angels, starting with the 3rd from Episode 1. From there, we start “Weaving a Story,” assessing each Angel encounter in sequential order. The episode title here is a direct play on the function it performs and the outcome provided, marking it as a very Eva-like recap episode.
What’s perhaps more interesting, then, is the B Part, wherein Rei gives us a monologue of her thoughts on the world and her relationships with the people in her life. This is the first time Eva uses the human mind as the main tool for narration, and it certainly won’t be the last, either. This transitions us to Shinji’s failed sync test with EVA-00—the true subject of this episode—and a postulation about the significance of the EVA-pilot number pairings. If the Second Child pilots EVA-02, why does the Third Child Pilot EVA-01 and, likewise, why does the First Child Pilot EVA-00? Ritsuko’s experiment with Shinji and Rei swapping units is critical, but we’ve yet to unravel the mystery of the pilot system NERV has invented. The entry plug sure does feel suspiciously warm and cozy, though . . .
With this recap episode behind us, the third leg of the Eva journey will segue us into enhanced character drama and greater psychological turmoil. Forewarning that these posts might also become less coherent as the narrative starts to erode and unravel until it is left with but the solitary mind of one young boy. Shinji’s struggle to connect with others yields far more drastic consequences in the series’ second half. Having an episode like this, thus, is helpful for establishing the world’s history as we know it.
I’m sure there’s more to say about the human mind component of the story, but that theme will continue to steadily build as we progress. Episode 15 will also dive into deeper issues from a psychosexual angle, an uncomfortable territory but one we must explore nonetheless. Thanks for reading, and ‘til next time!
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