Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Zusuchan » Mon Oct 25, 2021 3:35 am

All the comments should be added. Thank you to all the participants and please continue to comment about whatever you find interesting.

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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Dr. Nick » Mon Oct 25, 2021 10:17 pm

Zusuchan, thank you for entering my previous batch of comments to the Commentary proper. As you've noticed, I post my comments here for a period of public scrutiny with the hope that if I say something absolutely stupid, someone might catch it and spare me from making slightly embarrassing edits later down the line. But I guess it doesn't matter much.

What irks me a bit is the Commentary's current use of the nonstandard spelling "Kiel" instead of correct (and more nautical) "Keel". Is there a quick fix to it?


Episode 15:

022:
As this episode shows, the two main mysteries Kaji seems to be investigating are 1) what's at the very bottom of Nerv HQ, and 2), what is the deal with the pilot selection process. Knowing what we know about souls and synching, Nerv's vague explanation that the pilots somehow need to be kids born after the Second Impact is a complete and total lie, and Kaji has definitely smelled a rat there. Funnily enough, a lot of oldschool Evangelion fans struggled terribly with this realization back in the day - I guess they had grown fond of the "post-2I kids are special" cover story for fanfic reasons or something.

123:
While Shinji gets called a wuss to an unreasonable degree, for better or for worse (for worse - see EoE) there's also a strong bull-headed streak to him, considering how he ran away from home at age 11 and stuck with it. This is reinforced in the very next scene with a milder version of the same, him sticking with his cello playing. Like Asuka says, "perseverance is power". It's a trait he clearly got from both of his parents.

232:
Man, this really is the airway-obstruction room, isn't it?

256:
So, why is Rei in this tube? Is it clone body maintenance to keep her from messily disintegrating as seen in the very beginning of ep. 26'?

281 (replying to Ursus):
Remembering the ending of the previous episode, a first-time viewer is let to believe Rei stuck the Spear of Longinus into tiny embryo Adam to accelerate its growth, and the small dangling legs seen here are a result of this growth spurt. In reality, Lilith's always been a giant, and her lower half is missing because Eva-01 was frankensteined out of it. This ridiculous-sounding science project is actually shown in the series, as a blink-and-you'll-miss-it still image in episode 23.

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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Zusuchan » Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:56 am

Dr. Nick wrote: What irks me a bit is the Commentary's current use of the nonstandard spelling "Kiel" instead of correct (and more nautical) "Keel". Is there a quick fix to it?


Posted your new comments and thanks for your thanks. In response to your question, I'm not sure. I really don't know much about Wiki writing and the tech side, so if there is some easy way to change the spelling, I wouldn't be aware of it.

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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Dr. Nick » Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:29 pm

Episode 16:

033:
In a Gundam setting this would be Oldtype angst.

040:
[Not a comment, but WTH is "Bashar"?]

087 (replying to Ursus):
All mecha shows of course have some super robot DNA in them, but the term "hybrid robot" has been coined as the third subgenre to house all the weird in-between things. It contains a lot of the wild oddities that sprang from NGE's success, but one could also argue that Evangelion's daddy Ideon should belong there - the titular robot is powered by soul magic, sure, but the hostiles are all just Buff Clan military vehicles. Alternatively, one could also argue that both Ideon and Evangelion belong to a very minor sub-subgenre of horror mecha.

112.
You'd think in a situation like this the Eva's power cable would be a life-saving asset, but unfortunately Leliel expands too fast for the girls to reel Unit-01 in.

113B (replying to Ursus):
I'm wondering, is this failure the Angel's doing, or is it a secret security measure devised by Gendo to prevent the all-important Unit-01 from being abandoned?

123:
If you want to experience some interactive Leliel action, you can play hole.io on your browser.

130:
This is a scene that often gets brought up in a context that mildly grinds my gears. Yes, Evangelions are different from other mechs in that the creators wanted to be cute and didn't assign any one canon height stat to them, instead opting for a rule of cool sliding scale of 40-200 meters I believe (for source, you would need to dig through some old Super Robot Wars games). Sometimes the Evas tower over the buildings of Tokyo-3, whereas in here Asuka needs to climb up one. But besides the Gainax boys saying the quiet part aloud, this actually isn't some sort of crafty genre subversion - despite what the stats might claim, all conventionally animated robot shows run on rule of cool, and if you wish to ruin your fun and start looking for inconsistencies, you're going to find them. Let's take Char's Counterattack as an example: it's a high-budget, comparatively realistic theatrical Gundam film, so you'd think the robots would be animated pretty consistently, but go ahead and pay really close attention to the Sazabi and its ball cockpit. You won't be able to unsee it.

Interestingly enough, while 3D animation obviously does away with a lot of the scaling issues of the old, the really good CG mecha animators know that sometimes you need to cheat and use intentionally off-model assets to create those dynamic shots, as memorably shown in the behind-the-scenes segments of Fafner Exodus.


139:
Even if most of the buildings swallowed are Evangelion support buildings, Leliel must have eaten quite a lot of people. But just like with the railway cannon Zonder in GaoGaiGar, this multikill goes totally unaddressed.

(Horrible thought: Leliel is an absolute flattie, so the people in the sub-levels below its body are safe, but were any poor souls on escalators chopped in half? Were any elevators full of people accidentally lowered straight into its belly?)

173:
Besides the fairly stationary particles, the depiction of LCL doesn't really imply liquidness, as is the norm.

204 (replying to Ursus):
We get a repeat of this method of communication in episode 23, when Armisael appears to Rei as a version of herself.

247B:
As in smiling immediately before the fateful contact experiment? Is it Shinji's last memory of his mother? If so, that's a clue to what Yui was up to.

254:
Yui wasn't this long-haired at the time when she was absorbed into the core, so I guess she likes this look. Perhaps this connects to Unit-01 itself sporting long hair in EoE while floating in space.

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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Zusuchan » Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:10 pm

Dr. Nick wrote:040:
[Not a comment, but WTH is "Bashar"?]


A non-physical being who speaks through channel and good friend Darryl Anka, obviously.

I honestly don't know-the most likely explanation is that it's somehow a Dune reference, seeing as there's a military rank of "Bashar" there.

Comments have been added, of course.

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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Blockio » Thu Oct 28, 2021 4:03 pm

Bashar seems to be a decently common name in the middle east, so it might be just a person
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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Mr. Tines » Thu Oct 28, 2021 4:10 pm

View Original PostDr. Nick wrote:040:
[Not a comment, but WTH is "Bashar"?]
I'd always assumed it was supposed to be "bazaar".
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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby pwhodges » Fri Oct 29, 2021 6:11 pm

View Original PostDr. Nick wrote:What irks me a bit is the Commentary's current use of the nonstandard spelling "Kiel" instead of correct (and more nautical) "Keel".

Nonstandard? The spelling used in the English version of the Essential Evangelion Chronical ("Side A" volume) is Kiel, and he is explicitly stated to be German (and that's almost the only thing we know about him) so that spelling would be appropriate. The Platinum edition also uses that spelling.
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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Dr. Nick » Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:17 pm

Really? Okay, then this must be a case of two variant romanizations existing. This confusion wouldn't exist otherwise. If Kiel's the correct version these days, so be it. Certainly there is the port city and the Kiel Canal, so it's just a different nautical reference then.

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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Dr. Nick » Thu Nov 11, 2021 7:38 am

Episode 17:

001:
"The Angels are beginning to attain intelligence" part at the end is very odd, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was a dangling relic from a previous version of the script. Misato's line about the seeming lack of organization among the Angels is a bit puzzling too - sure, the Angels are attacking one by one, but the way the show handles the escalation of the monster-of-the-week action does make it seem like they're at least aware of each other and each other's failures, leading to evolution in their attack strategies.

019:
The disappearance effect looks violently energetic as opposed to Leliel's stealthily expanding maw, but of course in its case there was an intelligence in control. Here we even see an explosion-like pressure wave, which doesn't make sense to me - if a large area was suddenly dematerialized, the air would be moving in an opposite direction as it would be rushing in to fill the void.

Incidentally, if we assume that Nerv's Nevada branch is supposed to be located at Area 51, a radius of 89 kilometers means that Las Vegas was narrowly spared from being swallowed.

038 (replying to Ursus):
There's a bit of a missed horror opportunity that we're never shown Nerv's core warehouse of fridged mommies. Ritsuko's line here would make more sense if Nerv was showing ethical restraint and keeping the cores unstuffed until the last moment, at which point they would need to stage an unfortunate accident to seemingly kill off a select mother of a Class 2-A kid.

061:
Again, this line would hit harder if the cores weren't pre-stuffed.

064:
Back in the earlier days of the fandom, Ritsuko's line here was used as evidence for the fan theory that there's indeed something special about children born after the Second Impact. Or can you even call it a fan theory, if it's just swallowing an in-universe cover story hook, line and sinker?

I mean, technically she's being truthful - "children of this kind" just happens to mean children with core-fridged mommies, nothing more, nothing less.

131 (replying to Ursus):
Devil's advocate here, but was the whole harassing Maya part just Kaji's attempt at James Bond style tradecraft? He wants to pass a shocking piece of information to Misato, but he knows he's being watched, so he engineers a situation that potentially looks more like an organic couple's argument. Had they put an ominous shot of a security camera here, the scene might be a teensy bit defensible.

180 (replying to Ursus):
To be fair, this is a legitimate "my dad works at Nintendo" situation.

189:
Another line that was fodder for early fan theories. Why is the number of children decreasing, as it would be too soon for a post-disaster baby boom to be tapering off just yet? Some fanciful theories took advantage of the very vague nature of Guf in the series and posited that humanity is running out of new souls altogether, and hence the Instrumentality Project is a method of staving off an inevitable apocalypse. But if a plotline like that was ever considered by the creators, it isn't there in the finished product. Or in other words, there's no Spiral Nemesis in Evangelion.

So yeah, even taking into account things that are intentionally misleading, this one of the more wobblier episodes lore-wise.

211:
In an actual school romcom this exchange would have led to misunderstandings and hijinks. Since everything works out instead, a perceptive viewer will immediately sense a death flag.

239:
While Evangelion goes hog wild with all kinds of religious imagery, mechs (and mech pilots) being crucified is actually an incredibly common old-school super robot trope. Like, crucifixion is more popular in Japan than Jesus.

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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Mr. Tines » Thu Nov 11, 2021 3:05 pm

View Original PostDr. Nick wrote: Like, crucifixion is more popular in Japan than Jesus.
Indeed -- The Horrifying, Little-Known History of Japanese Crucifixion
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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Arisugawa » Thu Nov 11, 2021 11:28 pm

View Original PostDr. Nick wrote:Episode 17:

038 (replying to Ursus):
There's a bit of a missed horror opportunity that we're never shown Nerv's core warehouse of fridged mommies. Ritsuko's line here would make more sense if Nerv was showing ethical restraint and keeping the cores unstuffed until the last moment, at which point they would need to stage an unfortunate accident to seemingly kill off a select mother of a Class 2-A kid.

061:
Again, this line would hit harder if the cores weren't pre-stuffed.


This whole dialogue here is one of the elements I dislike most about the whole "mothers in cores" conceit of the show. I'm on board with Yui in Unit 01, I'm partially on board with Kyoko in Unit 02 (I think the whole "part of her soul that represents her love as a mother" is in Unit 02 but the rest of Kyoko came out of the contact experiment is beyond my suspension of disbelief), I'm not on board at all with Unit 00 being and not being part of Rei (that feels like a cop out), but the idea that class 2-A is full of potential Eva pilots is the toughest bit to swallow.

How many contact experiments were run? Or, to put in another way, after Yui, who was crazy enough to volunteer? And after the woman after Yui, who was crazier, and so forth? And more to the point, if someone is strapped into the contact experiment against their will, what kind of crazy Eva would that produce? Would it berserk instantly, the mother horrified that not only is she trapped inside, but they put her child in there as well?

The conceit that all 2-A students are "fourth level candidates" feels....I don't know. I'm wrestling with this as I re-watch the show right now. It feels like a concept that wasn't properly fleshed out, or was in the initial planning in a different form and when they decided to call back to it some of the architecture of the show had shifted.

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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby dzzthink » Fri Nov 12, 2021 5:33 am

^
It was previously highlighted that Toji and Kensuke don't have moms, which might suggest none of the other children have moms either. However, it would be highly suspicious and unsettling if there was an entire classroom of children with missing moms who were involved in top government contact experiments, so it remains quite unclear what the selection process was for 4th level candidate pilots.
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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Zusuchan » Mon Nov 15, 2021 9:22 am

Dr. Nick's comments have been added. If any of the people who responded to him wish for their responses to be added, please say so.

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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:03 pm

View Original PostZusuchan wrote:If any of the people who responded to him wish for their responses to be added, please say so.
Where it makes sense to do so, yes.
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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby eldomtom2 » Thu Nov 18, 2021 5:53 pm

Episode 21:

Cut 119: This briefcase is a reference to an identical one used by Commander Straker in British sci-fi series UFO, the most explicit of many influences the series had on Evangelion. Comparisons could indeed be made between this episode and UFO's similar episode Confetti Check A-OK.

Cut 179: Note that Gendo is explicit here - Instrumentality was his idea, and not one that SEELE was previously pursuing. This contradicts what later episodes state (or at least heavily imply).

Episode 25:

Cut 172: Note that this line is not present in the EoE version of this scene.

Episode 26:

Cut 345: [In response to UrsusArctos' comment] While that is a potential explanation, there is also the possibility that what is intended is a less-literal goodbye to continue the Oedipus complex themes of the series.

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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Dr. Nick » Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:14 am

Here's my slightly edited suggestion for the episode 17 cut 038, since both Arisugawa and dzzthink raise good points. Is this acceptable to you guys?

Dr. Nick (existing comment):
There's a bit of a missed horror opportunity that we're never shown Nerv's core warehouse of fridged mommies. Ritsuko's line here would make more sense if Nerv was showing ethical restraint and keeping the cores unstuffed until the last moment, at which point they would need to stage an unfortunate accident to seemingly kill off a select mother of a Class 2-A kid.

Arisugawa:
The conceit that all 2-A students are "fourth level candidates" feels....I don't know. I'm wrestling with this as I re-watch the show right now. It feels like a concept that wasn't properly fleshed out, or was in the initial planning in a different form and when they decided to call back to it some of the architecture of the show had shifted.

How many contact experiments were run?
Or, to put in another way, after Yui, who was crazy enough to volunteer? And after the woman after Yui, who was crazier, and so forth? And more to the point, if someone is strapped into the contact experiment against their will, what kind of crazy Eva would that produce? Would it berserk instantly, the mother horrified that not only is she trapped inside, but they put her child in there as well?

dzzthink:
It was previously highlighted that Toji and Kensuke don't have moms, which might suggest none of the other children have moms either. However, it would be highly suspicious and unsettling if there was an entire classroom of children with missing moms who were involved in top government contact experiments, so it remains quite unclear what the selection process was for 4th level candidate pilots.

And in light of this discussion, I think I'm going to edit my later comment in cut 061 to read "Again, this line would hit harder if Toji's mom wasn't pre-stuffed in the core." since only Toji and Kensuke's moms are strongly implied to be pre-stuffed; it's less clear with the other nameless kids in the class.

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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby dzzthink » Fri Nov 19, 2021 5:56 pm

Was the existing comment edited? I think it would be interesting possibilities that the core are stuffed when required.


Episode 12

011: As pointed out in the excellent video 'A Story That Repeats: Evangelion's Visual Poetry' at 02:42 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjHSs90J9Ts), this scene has many similarities with Misato's final sacrifice in the end of Evangelion, down to how the elevator closes the doors, how she collapses like her father and to how she holds her injury.

019: This theme of sacrifice and responsibility is quite significant in this episode. Misato carries literal and mental scars from the events of the impact. We also get the feeling that her relationship and co-habitation with Shinji isn't just out of affection or maternal instincts but rooted in her previous experiences with her father. It could be survivor's guilt but like Shinji, she carries the obligation (or burden) of her father's work. As a result, she imposes her own mentality and ambitions to Shinji. Perhaps it can be seen as good and bad, since she wants to help Shinji and allow him to mature, but at the same time there is a sense of hypocrisy as she mainly wants to fulfil her own issues.

067: Too right. I don't understand how anyone would feel good about these scores if there is no reference standard. They are clearly unrelated to any real skill.

075: In terms of being an extrovert, Misato has no problems. But the way her face is obscured suggests there are other insecurities that she is masking.

092: Yes, they are reflections of each other in more ways than one. Misato sure is kind to dote on Shinji at this moment.

149: Is it madness or determination that's driving Misato's decisions? Some of the world's greatest ideas and actions are based on such thinking, where it's 'all or nothing'. Makes you wonder how they calculate their percentages. All miracles need a little faith and prayer.
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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Zusuchan » Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:03 am

Most of the comments have been edited in. Thanks for your contributions, everyone.

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Re: Commentary: General (Episodes 09-18;20-26)

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Postby Dr. Nick » Sun Nov 21, 2021 8:56 pm

View Original Postdzzthink wrote:Was the existing comment edited? I think it would be interesting possibilities that the core are stuffed when required.


Your comment was not edited at all, and the relevant part of Arisugawa's comment only had its paragrapgh order reshuffled.

******

Episode 18:

021:
Uh, who's driving? [Note: I have a vague impression that this bit of weirdness might have been pointed out in an earlier episode featuring the truck. I'm probably wrong, but I'm just going to mention it.]

028:
I'm sure the Nerv HQ has state of the art hospital facilities, but hasn't Toji realized the Angels seem to be homing in on the place? He's just putting the poor girl in more danger.

031:
In an old-fashioned super robot show Kensuke would be a buffoon or a younger kid who builds his own joke mech shaped like a frog or a garbage can.

111:
I remember Cannon God Exaxxion teased a plot development like this, but sadly did ultimately almost nothing with it.

136:
I guess what causes this explosion is Bardiel blasting the A.T. Field out, perhaps even in an omnidirectional manner.

137:
Wait a minute... That's the Sahaquiel explosion from episode 12 with a different foreground! With the transparent hill and everything, although in this case it passes for a brightly lit background element.

150 (replying to Tines):
It doesn't help that Gendo, besides being a terrible field commander as we see in a bit, exacerbates Misato's bad decision by not telling Shinji about Unit-03's pilot either. Then again, perhaps he just really wants to test out the dummy plug system.

168:
Unit-02's bazooka looks straight out of Gundam. Mech-immobilizing adhesive clay rounds that are sometimes referenced in Gundam lore (but never actually used on screen, AFAIK) would have come in handy in this fight.

184:
Another A.T. Field jump here, this one looking particularly marionettish.

186:
Forget dance lessons, these kids need unarmed self-defense lessons.

201:
Looking at the bright side here, Bardiel's behavior indicates it cannot fully zombify other Evas.

207 (replying to Ursus):
The team strategy should have been obvious from the start: two Evas pin the zombie unit down, whilst the third rips the entry plug out, after which all that is hopefully needed is a quick shank to the core.

235:
A typical real robot pilot has usually resolved this moral dilemma by episode 4 or so.

249:
Installing the dummy plug in Unit-01 feels a little redundant: it basically does what Yui would do anyway, with similarly violent results.

302:
Okay, Yui might not have done this.

314:
So, is Toji's mom KIA? We don't see what happens to the core.

331:
There seem to be strings of Angel goo connecting to Toji's body. This, and the timing of the takeover strongly imply that Bardiel needed a pilot inside in order to be able to puppet the Evangelion through them instead of merely using the pilot as a human shield. You could say poor Toji (and Shinji too!) got to experience as a pilot what it feels like to be the normally helpless person inside the core.

(For those of you who are curious, in SRW games you can usually save Toji and Unit-03 by fulfilling secret conditions, although the Eva is a bit underwhelming in actual gameplay because it doesn't really have any distinguishing weapons or gimmicks beyond the pylon-installed spike launcher in its original Alpha appearance. Unit-04 has never been playable, so Kensuke doesn't get a break even in the most self-indulgent of creator-approved fan-fictions.)


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