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Evangelion Notes

Episode 1: Angel Attack

  • OP is really good; I’d forgotten how good A Cruel Angel’s Thesis was
  • 2015
  • Flooded city (Tokyo?)
  • Row of tanks lined up (against what?)
  • Evacuation order
  • Boy standing at a phone booth – Shinji Ikari
  • Sees a blue-haired girl standing out of the corner of his eye; looks agains and she’s gone
  • Immediately after that – large explosion and we see the giant monster, under attack by a bunch of hover-jets
  • This is presumably the attacking “Angel”
  • The illustrations of military equipment are really good
  • Cut to a military headquarters of some kind, see a Commander and his lieutenant
  • Military armaments are useless
  • Angel has an ’AT-field’
  • Cut back to Shinji
  • Lady pulls up – Misato Katsuragi
  • As they’re driving away, the military nukes the Angel
  • Nuclear mine damages the Angel, but does not kill it
  • Angel stops and starts to heal
  • Misato is annoyed that the mission to pick up Shinji has wrecked her car, but she’s doing a good job of hiding it
  • Angel is referred to as an autonomous weapons (sent by whom)
  • Allusion to an event 15 years ago (Y2k?)
  • Misato works for NERV – secret organization under the UN
  • NERV was created specifically to fight this threat
  • Commander of NERV is Shinji’s father
  • To fight the Angel, they will activate Unit 01
  • No pilot
  • Elder Ikari says that another pilot is on the way – presumably Shinji
  • On the train to NERV HQ, Shinji is given a top secret file, which informs him about what NERV is and what it does
  • Prior to that he was told nothing – his summons were an ID card and a completely redacted report annotated with “Come” and signed by his father
  • Shinji realizes that the only reason his father sent for him is because he has some use for him – very distant relationship between son and father
  • Misato says that she doesn’t get along with the senior Ikari either
  • Train emerges into underground city
    • Geo-Front
    • NERV HQ
    • “Fortress for all mankind”
  • NERV HQ is a pyramid and an inverted pyramid inside the Geo-Front
  • Misato is sure acting pretty casual for someone who knows there’s a giant monster which survived a nuclear explosion right outside
  • Ritsuko Akagi – Head of R&D at NERV
  • Misato – Head of Operations
  • According to the Marduk Report, Shinji is the Third Child
    • Who were the other two
  • Very small possibility of activating Unit 01
  • At 13:03, there’s a giant hand in the background – nobody comments on this
  • I would expect Misato and Ritsuko to be used to it, but I am surprised that Shinji doesn’t speak up – “What is that?”
  • We finally get to see Unit 01 – giant purple robot from opening sequence
  • Robot is “mankind’s ultimate weapon” – Synthetic Human - Evangelion 01
  • Unit 00 is still in cryostasis – they’re planning on using Unit 01 even though there’s a tiny possibility of activation
  • Rei (who?) can’t pilot
  • Shinji will be the pilot of Unit 01
  • Misato asks how Shinji will be expected to pilot Unit 01 when it took Rei 7 months to synchronize
  • Senior Ikari says that all Shinji has to do is sit in the Evangelion and the rest will take care of itself
  • This is a last-ditch plan to stop the Angel
    • It’s weird that an organization specifically created to stop an attack like this would be caught with its pants so far down
  • Interesting contrast between apparent desperation of Misato and Ritsuko and supreme confidence of the senior Ikari
  • Shinji has questions
    • Why was I sent for
    • Am I going to be expected to fight the angel
    • Why am I being asked now?
    • All reasonable questions, IMO
  • Shinji is convinced he can’t pilot the robot
  • Father says that either he’ll pilot it or he’ll leave
    • At this point, I would have said, “You know what? Screw you! I’m out. Have fun saving the world or whatever.”
    • Shinji’s dad is a tremendous narcissist
  • At this point the Angel resumes its attack
  • Ritsuko says that they’re out of time – Shinji has to pilot
  • Misato tells Shinji to get in
  • Says that he mustn’t run away
  • Shiji is still frozen with fear
  • Shinji’s father’s lieutenant – Fuyutsuki – is asked to go wake up Rei
  • Rei has been strongly implied to be incapacitated
  • Elder Ikari makes an audio-only call to Rei – asks if she’ll pilot again
  • Rei agrees to pilot again
  • Ritsuko calls for Unit 01 to be reconfigured for Rei
  • Shinji realizes that he was unnecessary this entire time
    • Oh really, Shinji? You’re unnecessary? If you were unnecessary, do you think that Misato would have risked her life to go rescue your sorry ass?
  • Rei (blue-haired girl that Shinji caught a glimpse of in the vision right at the beginning) is wheeled in on a hospital bed with an IV
  • Heavily bandaged
  • Angel’s attack finally smashes into the underground base – causes lights to fall from the ceiling and Rei to fall out of her bed
  • Evangelion moves on its own to protect Shinji
  • Shinji notices that Rei is bleeding through her bandages
  • At this point, Shinji reluctantly says that he’ll pilot the Evangelion
    • You got played, fool!
  • The pilot of the Evangelion enters the robot via a canister known as an “entry plug”
  • Entry plug is filled with a liquid called LCL – oxygenates the blood and presumably shields against G-forces
  • Shinji has a 41.3% synchronization rate, even though he’s never been in the robot before
  • Eva is launched and episode ends with Eva facing off against the Angel

Episode 2: Unfamiliar Ceiling/The Beast

  • Starts immediately after Episode 1
  • Eva is facing off against Angel
  • Shinji is ordered to concentrate on walking
  • Takes one step, and then the Eva falls flat on its face in the second
  • At this point, the Angel attacks the Eva
  • Is the Angel sentient? Is it thinking, “Really? Really? This is the best you have?
  • Angel picks up Unit 01 and breaks its arm – Eva and pilot are connected via neural link so Shinji feels as if his arm has also been broken
  • Angel picks up Unit 01 by its head and starts battering it with its beam weapon
  • At this point, Misato’s order to Shinji, “Dodge!” makes zero sense – how can he dodge when the Angel has him literally by the face?
  • Eva gets blasted into a building and starts bleeding – has a hole blasted right through its head
  • Jump cut to Shinji waking up in a hospital bed
  • Jump cut to salvage operation where we see the Eva’s head armor being lifted by a crane
  • I really like the way Anno cuts in this episode – there’s always a clear step forward in the story whenever he cuts
  • Jump cut to some kind of council meeting (NERV council?) – telepresence, people marked by colored desks
    • Angels have reappeared after 15 years (see vague reference in episode 1)
    • Angels are now public knowledge, as is information manipulation
      • Manipulation by whom, and for what purpose?
    • NERV must operate quickly and prudently
    • Senior Ikari starts reassuring the council
  • Jump cut back to Misato and Ritsuko at the salvage operation
    • Public scenario B-22 - implication is that NERV has a wide variety of contingency plans for dealing with the aftermath of an Angel attack
    • Misato says that NERV is covering up the truth once again
    • Ritsuko replies that people are acting casual when they’re really scared inside
    • From background:
      • No danger of contamination
      • Only samples of Angel were those that clung to the Eva
  • Jump cut back to council
    • Senior Ikari is is facing questions about his management
    • Cost of repairs to Unit 00
    • Now Unit 01 is completely wrecked
    • Questions re: his son piloting Unit 01
    • Reminder that the true priority is the Human Instrumentality Project – even the reappearance of the Angels cannot excuse delays there
    • At the end of the meeting, most the of council signs off, but one person (the chairman?) remains, and tells Gendo that there is “no turning back”
    • Ikari agrees, saying “Mankind has no time left”
  • Cut to Shinji, now in the hallway outside his room
    • Sees Rei wheeled past
    • I really like the lack of dialogue and the the slowness of this scene
  • Cut to Misato and Ritsuko in one of the salvage trucks
    • Are the vehicles in Evangelion self-driving? Misato and Ritsuko are in the cab of a semitrailer, but there’s no evidence of a steering wheel
    • Yet Mistato’s car clearly is not self-driving, since she had to drive it manually in Episode 1
    • Ritsuko hears on a carphone (truckphone?) that Shinji has woken up
    • No external injuries but his memory is fuzzy
    • Misato worries about “neural contamination” (from what? the Angel or the Eva?) but is reassured that Shinji is fine
    • Memory issues are to be expected given the strain on Shinji’s nervous system
    • To this, Misato replies, “Don’t you mean his heart?” I have no idea what she means by this, but the shot lingered on her, so I can only assume Anno wanted us to notice
  • Cut to Shinji, who is looking at his arm, surprised that it’s whole (I wonder if Anno had read Dune, because if so, this would be a really neat callback to the gom jabbar scene right at the beginning of that book)
  • Cut back to Misato and Ritsuko, now back at base
    • Misato says that if the city and the Eva both fulfill their potential, humanity will make it through this
    • Ritsuko has her doubts
    • Misato replies that sometimes a little wishful thinking is what you need
  • Misato meets Shinji at the hospital
  • Shinji’s father comes down as well, they do their usual staring at each other awkwardly thing
  • Shinji is initially assigned a room by himself; Misato intervenes and gets Shinji assigned to her apartment
  • Buying groceries, Shinji and Misato hear people talking about moving away, now that the city has become a war zone
  • On the way home, Misato and Shinji watch the buildings rise up out of the Geo-Front, Misato says that Tokyo 3 (finally, the city is named) is a fortress designed to protect its inhabitants against the Angels
  • Shinji and Misato arrive at Misato’s apartment – it’s a total mess
  • The slide-out racks in Misato’s fridge are awesome, even if they’re not actually useful for storing food
  • Fridge has nothing but ice, snacks and a whole lot of beer
  • There’s an interesting inversion here – here we have a woman living like a stereotypical bachelor
  • Shinji notices a second fridge; Misato says not to worry about it as “he’s probably sleeping”
  • Misato appears to subsist entirely off instant food and beer
  • Shinji doesn’t find it appetizing – says it’s not what he’s used to
    • Which raises the question, what is Shinji used to? We know nothing about his life prior to that initial scene where Misato comes and picks him up out of a literal war zone
  • Misato says this is your home now, and you can take advantage of everything in it, clearly including herself, but Shinji is totally oblivious
  • Shinji goes to take a bath and encounters a penguin!
  • His name is Pen Pen and he’s the inhabitant of the second fridge
  • Cut to Ritsuko and elder Ikari in a smashed control room
    • Outside the control room is Unit 00, which has clearly punched the wall and probably the control room as well
    • Ikari says that Rei Ayanami (finally, we hear Rei’s last name) will be ready in 20 days
    • By that time they’ll have Unit 00 out of cryo-stasis
  • Cut to Shinji listening to an SDAT tape as he goes to sleep remembering the fight
  • Where we resume, Eva isn’t responding to control signals
  • Shinji’s vitals have all flatlined
  • Misato says that preserving the life of the pilot is the first priority; orders ejection
  • Ejection fails – even the emergency signals aren’t working (of course they aren’t, this wouldn’t be anime if things were engineered and tested well)
  • Eva reactivates on its own and goes berserk
  • Elder Ikari seems to have anticipated this – says that they’ve won
  • Eva heals its arm and shreds the Angel’s AT field with its own
  • Angel self destructs
  • The control crew is terrified – “Is this the Eva’s true form?”
  • Eva’s head armor falls off and Shinji sees the reflection of the face of the Eva in one of the buildings and realizes he’s in a living thing and screams
  • Cut back to present – Misato tells Shinji that he’s done a very praiseworthy thing
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