Welcome back to EVERYDAY EVA, the blog series where I aim to cover one episode of Evangelion every single day for Mecha March 2022!
While Shinji vows to never pilot EVA again after his father’s betrayal, the 14th Angel carves a path of devastation to NERV HQ.
By the start of Episode 19: “Introjection,” Shinji has already committed to acting against his father’s orders. His dream sequence in the train car reveals that he tried to understand his father, but the Rei in his mind insists otherwise. This marks the second time Shinji runs away from piloting, and he seems more certain this go round. He’s realized that his want to please everyone cannot be satisfied at NERV. Misato’s earnest wishes to keep Shinji in Tokyo-3 are rendered moot by is resolution.
With even Unit-01 refusing Gendo, mankind’s hopes are left to up to Asuka. The way she cradles her shoulders after EVA-02’s arms are sliced clean off ignites a phantom pain in me every time. Thankfully, Ritsuko is quick enough to sever nerve connections before the unit is beheaded. As Rei plans to sacrifice herself to their greatest threat yet, Kaji reveals to Shinji that an Angel’s contract with the giant sleeping under NERV will trigger the end of everything. Kaji admits that there is little he can do now, and that Shinji should endeavor to live without regrets, to do only what he can do. The image of the 14th Angel breaking through the familiar walls of Central Dogma’s command center is another image that looms in my mind. You’d never think an Angel would dare to reach such an intimate location for the viewer, yet the 14th is a cut above the rest.
The Angel continues to assault a deactivated Unit-01, and the core of the EVA—the secret behind the machine—becomes abundantly clear to Misato: the armored plating around the EVA isn’t for strength, but for restraint. Everyone watches in horror as the Beast is unleashed. Unit-01’s glowing eyes and cannibalistic behaviors evoke wonder and disgust alike. What is NERV really trying to accomplish with the EVAs? The answers are soon to come.
Shinji left to escape the ‘hurtful things’ that come with piloting EVA, but he returns after realizing that some things can be even more painful. This episode ends the ‘Fourth Children trilogy’ and temporarily pauses ‘the story of Shinji’s maturation’, according to the production notes. His body may be detached from him, but his mind wanders in Episode 20: “WEAVING A STORY 2: oral stage.” Thanks for reading, and ‘til then!