Welcome back to EVERYDAY EVA, the blog series where I aim to cover one episode of Evangelion every single day for Mecha March 2022!
As Dr. Akagi tries to reconstruct Shinji’s body from outside the entry plug, Shinji plunges into the world of his mind.
Gendo’s act of placing an S2 Engine into the core of Unit-01 goes against SEELE’s scripts, surprising not only everyone at NERV but the Human Instrumentality Council too. Misato lashes out at Ritsuko to “fix the machine” that she built, but the science of the EVA is more complex than that. Along with being a clone of “something they found in the Antarctic,” EVA also resembles a human and has a soul. Shinji’s 400% sync rate causes his assimilation with the L.C.L. in the cockpit, and while he plunges deeper into the primordial liquid swirling in the entry plug, everyone else’s relationships with one another start deteriorating.
Like the previous “Weaving a Story” episode, most of Episode 20 utilizes recycled footage to convey a narrative. We are reminded of how far Shinji has come in his story, and also how his relationships with Misato, Asuka, and Rei comprise the main image of “woman” in his mind. This episode’s commitment to exploring the human mind in visual form involves the usage of new animation tactics—rapidly flashing images, overlaid sequences, and intentionally washed out details. Dramatic soundtrack cuts add to the drama of the episode. Days pass on the outside, yet Shinji maneuvers through a constant dream.
Misato’s screams to have Shinji back are painful, especially as Ritsuko is the target of her anger. After he is “reborn” from the L.C.L., Ritsuko notices how Misato is content with running off to her “secret lover.” After all, desiring intercourse is “especially” okay when the child has returned home safely. Eva is hypocritical and cruel like this. (Note how she doesn’t blame Misato for acting on lust here, though . . . Is she hiding her own secret affair?) Misato’s love scene with Kaji is definitely bold, enough to make a person flush red, and the reliance on dialogue alone to carry this spicy scene is a genius tactic.
With this critical episode behind us, the birth of NERV is disclosed in Episode 21: “He was aware that he was still a child.” Some of our biggest questions finally receive answers. Thanks for reading, and ‘til next time!
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