Commentary: Episode 08 (Comments Closed)

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Re: Commentary: Episode 08 (Open to EVERYONE for comments)

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Postby Javi2541997 » Wed Jan 27, 2021 2:57 am

12: You can see the sun reflected in the mirror. This is the Asuka's episode. Probably the first reference about her.

18: She is here. The three pilot. One of our heroes. Another reference to the sun. Even she is in the shadow waiting in the ship but anyways we all already know is Asuka.

24: The only kid who really enjoys the scene is Kensuke. I wonder why he never got a chance in an EVA.

34: Defiant look. So natural status from Asuka.

44: Misato looks like in the ID photo that she doesn't care at all but she is actually a good competent commander.

72: Everyone went exaggerated except Shinji. Probably because he already knows how really Misato is in her private life

79: She is always showing off something. This time is making physical exercise in the bars while speaking with Kaji.

84: First time Asuka challenges Shinji. A classic about her. We will see this during the anime a lot! I guess she believes in him since the beginning.

90: Here inthe hispanic countries we made a meme about this scene called "feliz jueves" happy thursday.

98: Chaaaance of showing off again and get recognition from everybody.

118: Despite she is ready to fight she looks like a little bit scared.

137: The only scene we ever seen Shinji with the red suit.

152: Misato clearly believes on Asuka and her potential. She cheers Asuka got into the EVA 02 and fight against the angel.

257: That defiant look of Misato with she makes an importante decision. We will look it more often along the anime.

310: Classic scene of "I am Asuka. Pleased nice to meet you!" So cute but this is exactly the same scene which appears when Asuka is confronting
her past and inner feelings with Arael at episode 22.
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Re: Commentary: Episode 08 (Open to EVERYONE for comments)

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Postby UrsusArctos » Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:31 am

Comments added. Keep them rolling, folks!
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Re: Commentary: Episode 08 (Open to EVERYONE for comments)

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Postby Alaska Slim » Sun Jan 31, 2021 3:30 pm

021 I don't fully get this love Mr. Anno has for colliding American and Russian tech, but he had been doing it for a while by this point. Royal Space Force features a rocket that's a clear mishmash of a Soyuz and a Saturn V.

215 Given the "widowmaker" notoriety of the Yak-38 and that its engines suffered in the hot, humid environment of the ocean (and we know it's hot because, Endless Summer and all), I would think Kaji would be safer riding the bow of one of the ships with a sign saying "bite me".

270 Actually, the upright issue aside, I don't think any of that is a given. Not in the time frame the episode presents anyway. When it comes to the turrets the Iowa-class had clips which could have kept the turrets inside their rings. There are cases of older American battleships designs having done so at Pearl Harbor.

Now would they have fired? Most likely not. Even if they had, the velocity would have been so low I think we would have been waiting for the proximity fuses to go off.

289 If he is making that homage, then part of irony I see is that these ships are of the same class as the Missouri-- the ship upon which Japan's treaty of surrender was signed. Mr. Anno isn't exactly the most gracious about WWII; as his "There was another war; we took Hawaii" in Gunbuster demonstrates. Still, if he was able to put that aside to give these proud girls a warrior's due my hat's off to him.
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Re: Commentary: Episode 08 (Open to EVERYONE for comments)

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Postby UrsusArctos » Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:21 am

Folks, this is still open. Your comments are being added promptly. Feel free to comment, commentate even!
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Re: Commentary: Episode 08 (Open to EVERYONE for comments)

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Postby silvermoonlight » Thu Feb 25, 2021 12:39 pm

018 I've always loved this shot in how the camera pans around Asuka though you never see her face. I love the use of sunbeams floating down as it symbolizes a divine presence which Asuka grows to be which is a force of nature in the early episodes.

039 I remember watching this and cracking up with laugher at Toji saying. "Its overpriced here's your change." Though this clearly ends really badly for him it's an interesting character moment in that Asuka has no time for anyone's crap even if she's not being so great herself in her attitude. It also hints that there is a violent undercurrent which is not controlled and dangerous as her mental state is very off kilter, but it's very well hidden from the viewer who might read this on first viewing as ego and unkindness.

EDIT:

073 I genuinely miss the theme that older anime and manga had with the exaggerated faces as to me it really helped humanized the character, I hope one day they will go back to this as I think it's a brilliant way to show intense emotion while still being hilarious. Plus the greatest strength of NGE was how it could balance its humour and serious tone flipping it like a switch on and off when ever needed.
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Re: Commentary: Episode 08 (Open to EVERYONE for comments)

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Postby ASW_Canuck » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:32 am

119 Not a California-class nuclear cruiser, since she's got the funnels for a conventional power plant. The superstructure aft of the bridge has the Albany-class cruiser's distinctive dual funnel+mast design, but the bow could be off of an early Spruance-class destroyer with the Mk-112 ASROC launcher in front of the bridge.

203 Anno's used a lot of creative license with the water depth, because melting all of the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps would only increase ocean depth by ~70 m, not the hundreds of meters shown here. Would be rather anticlimactic for them to go overboard, panic about not having the B-type equipment for aquatic operation, and then realize that the water only comes up to Eva-02's chin.

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Re: Commentary: Episode 08 (Open to EVERYONE for comments)

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Postby ASW_Canuck » Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:53 pm

119 Not a California-class nuclear cruiser, since she's got the funnels for a conventional power plant. The superstructure aft of the bridge has the Albany-class cruiser's distinctive dual funnel+mast design, but the bow could be off of an early Spruance-class destroyer with the Mk-112 ASROC launcher in front of the bridge.

EDIT: She's one of the JMSDF's Tachikaze-class guided missile destroyers, reference photo here.

203 Anno's used a lot of creative license with the water depth, because melting all of the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps would only increase ocean depth by ~70 m, not the hundreds of meters shown here. Would be rather anticlimactic for them to go overboard, panic about not having the B-type equipment for aquatic operation, and then realize that the water only comes up to Eva-02's chin.

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Re: Commentary: Episode 08 (Open to EVERYONE for comments)

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Postby UrsusArctos » Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:21 pm

My mistake with the Tachikaze as well. Derp! I'm editing your comment in, thank you so much for your help!

And OOC - do you have trouble editing your previous post? I've been trying to fix the edit permissions for the forum lately. (Reply to this via PM, just to keep the commentary thread clean)
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Re: Commentary: Episode 08 (Open to EVERYONE for comments)

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Postby UrsusArctos » Fri Jun 25, 2021 4:20 pm

Ladies and gentlemen, this commentary has been open for long enough; while I will be keeping this open for a few longstanding commentators to make late comments (which can be added in), as the primary wiki editor in charge of this, I will be bringing this commentary to a close on Sunday, the 4th of July. Which, for our American contributors, means fireworks, of course.

If anyone has any last comments to make, feel free to make them in this thread before the 4th of July.
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Not knowing that Monk is bi is like not knowing the Pope is Catholic - ZapX
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WAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!(<-link to lunacy)...Taste me, if you can bear it. (Warning: Language NSFW)
The main point of idiocy is for the smart to have their lulz. Without human idiocy, trolling would not exist, and that's uncool, since a large part of my entertainment consists of mocking the absurdity and dumbassery of the world, especially the Internet.-MaggotMaster

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Re: Commentary: Episode 08 (Open to EVERYONE for comments)

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Postby Kendrix » Sat Jun 26, 2021 4:12 am

aaa I completely procrastinated it/ forgot over everything with TuaT coming out.

I shall reserve tomorrow for finishing it
I wanted to try harvesting the rice

I wanted to hold Tsubame more

I wanted to stay together forever with the boy I like

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Re: Commentary: Episode 08 (Open to EVERYONE for comments)

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Postby UrsusArctos » Tue Jun 29, 2021 8:47 am

View Original PostKendrix wrote:I shall reserve tomorrow for finishing it


I look forward to it! :asuka_thumbsup:
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The main point of idiocy is for the smart to have their lulz. Without human idiocy, trolling would not exist, and that's uncool, since a large part of my entertainment consists of mocking the absurdity and dumbassery of the world, especially the Internet.-MaggotMaster

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Re: Commentary: Episode 08 (Comments closing July 4)

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Postby UrsusArctos » Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:14 am

I think this is the point at which the commentary for Episode 08 goes into a sort of "soft" closure - the sort of addition of routine comments is going to wait, although any substantial contributions (such as that planned by Kendrix) will be added in the future whenever the staff feels it's right.

Now to see if anything can be done about Episode 19...
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WAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!(<-link to lunacy)...Taste me, if you can bear it. (Warning: Language NSFW)
The main point of idiocy is for the smart to have their lulz. Without human idiocy, trolling would not exist, and that's uncool, since a large part of my entertainment consists of mocking the absurdity and dumbassery of the world, especially the Internet.-MaggotMaster

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Re: Commentary: Episode 08 (Comments closing July 4)

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Postby Kendrix » Mon Jul 05, 2021 8:21 pm

Sorry!
Loads of ppl had said they were looking forward toward it & I’m afraid it’s probably not going to match the hype. Due to my Tragic Backstory(TM), praise often has the paradoxical effect of making me panic & procrastinate, which is really unfortunate cause I crave that sweet, sweet adulation as much as anyone. I’m still training myself out of this. Bad Kenny! No sushi for you!

I'm sorry for any extra work it's causing ppl but since it was half written, I figured I might as well finish it

002: After doing the elaborate establishing shots once or twice it is now enough to show just one familiar image to activate preexisting associations; Places & the typical scenes/ moods in them gradually become familiar

004 They put enough detail into all this that we can assume that Kensuke's reaction here speaks for much of the gainax team
005 – and by this point, he’s gotten to 1st name basis with Kensuke.
I presume Rei wasn’t invited because someone had to stand guard at headquarters.

006 Do I get this right? Even the script calls them "baka trio"?

008 Very much "putting on a show for the kids". Though the fact that Shinji either thought to bring them, or that Misato saw enough of them to think of bringing them also helps to establish a sense of how their friendship has progressed, as well as how Shinji himself has complete the transformation from his prologue arc self.
Misato must be wanting to help Shinji keep the new friendos.

012: What this sequence also does is add a bit of worldbuilding of how the world has changed after second impact with NERV ending up as mankind's line of defense, continuing on the motif of rivalry between nerve & traditional military already sort of hinted in eps 1 and 4...

Though Misato has moments of worrying about her organization's ethics and overreach at this point she's quite arrogant & unconcerned about just laughing off the military dudes.

You could draw some parallel to how conventional military seemed to be becoming obsolete in a world where sources of chaos & instability were often non-government organizations that you couldn't crush with standard warfare (that was a prominent thought in the 90s and 00s anyways, these days war seems back in full force as a new rise of nationalistic selfishness weakened global institutions, if they were ever good for anything in the first place with all the power imbalances...)

015 It doesn't help that the military types act like, well, military types.

This is something that's also a motif in Nadia, the coexistence of the admiration/fascination for tech with the knowledge of their bloody purpose & the corrupt hands that often wield it.

The military dudes immediately come off as jerks stuck in the past, especially with how dismissive they are of new technology that is the only thing doing the trick for this new thread, but on the other hand you can't help but feel a bit sorry for how they've become "obsolete"

017 And here she is, the last of our four main characters, the third of the main ladies and nr. 3 out of four love interests.
Like most of the characters she has a story entirely of her own, but at the same time is a symbol in Shinji's story and the web of contrasts and symbols of the story as a whole.

As far as Asuka is concerned, that's first and foremost "difficulty of coexistence" and "eros".
1. Eros - as in sexual drive, puberty, lust, sex etc. but also vitality, excitement self-preservation, strength, dominance... something Shinji isn't always really in touch with.
You know how in Norse Mythology there is a reverse adam and eve, the last two humans leftover after ragnarök, the first in the new world - the man's name is "life" and the woman's is "desire to live".
This is probably why she comes in somewhat later compared to the rest of the main cast, as a "foreigner".
She represents the excitement of new, strange feelings, and perhaps the fallacy that the grass is greener & the girls hotter on the other side of the fence.
2. Difficulty in coexistence
At this point we'd already introduced the motif of the hedgehog's dillema as a theme, and almost all the characters have some difficulties connecting somehow, but Asuka is sort of the distilled avatar of that, leading up to that scene in EoE where she becomes a standing for all people difficulty.
The most difficult possible person for Shinji to get along with.
For this ep and half of the next it stays pretty straightforward: She's just generally abrasive and fastidious, and they are forced to work together. She's the exact clashing opposite of Shinji, someone who wants to be a pilot, loud and assertive where he is meek and quiet.
Note later how in a lot of his inner dialogues, she is sort of the voice of self-hate, or of what youtube philosopher Natalie Wynn has termed "masochistic ontology"("The truth sometimes hurtshurts, so I, a person with low self esteem, conclude that what hurts must be the truth") Actually, the outer dialogues too, she is constantly dissing Shinji and pointing out his shortcomings. She talks over him, she calls him an idiot, she takes offense at his successes.
But if she stayed as simply a hostile rival, that would be too easy in a sense, let him tune her out when his great weakness is worrying too much about how people think about him.
So as the story advanced we'd get more into two aspects of human conflict that Anno finds especially salient - a) the frustration with needing ppl & getting attached to them in the first place (eventually they will lust for each other 'cause they're horny, stick together because they're lonely, try to get each other's attention etc.) and b) the possibility of you yourself hurting others, by your mere existence (the higher synch ratio etc.) or because of mistakes (feeling he couldn't help/save her)
They are people who reacted very differently to similar sort of adversity; From Shinji’s side that inherently calls into question his view that he is “forced” to be as he is. From her side, he’s difficult in part cause he reminds her of the parts of herself that she hates or doesn’t want to admit, particularly that very needyness and yearning for approval.

There's many ppl - especially ppl who skipped EoTV - that overlook the big, significant plot element and in a sense adopt Shinji's framing that he's to blame for everything, when the whole point is that this is his framing.

The three main ladies/ love interests are each designed to hit universal appeals that we all have but also universal follies.
Ie, this isn't a "who will win" soap opera but it's about being torn between the various forces that act on the human psyche, competing drives, contradictory wishes.
- see in eps 18 and 25' about the inability to completely grasp another or fit them into a simple role or archetype. (ie, Misato is unlikely to be a viable option but the "hot teacher"/"celebrity crush" experience is one most of us have growing up)
I know there's people who see this differently but as I see it it's important to stress the complexity here, that neither of them are "all good" or "all bad", Sadamoto describes Asuka and Rei as tying and yang once while discussing their designs.
They're indeed opposites even in their color palettes (red hair blue eyes vs blue hair, red eyes),
Asuka is a conventionally attractive, loud, confident, attention grabbing person
Rei is unkempt, quiet, sad with little sense of presence

Asuka Rei
Sun Moon
extrovert introvert
Body/instinct Spirit/mind
lust/physical love spiritual/idealized love
"Eros" "thanatos"
vitality sterility/ lifelessness
resistance resignation,
defiance fatalism
self-interest abnegation
(both selfishness (both selflessness and self-abandonment)
and positive self-assertion)
excitement, novelty,risk calm, security, peaceful
Pain in interaction Hope of Understanding
Misunderstanding Communication
artifice genuine
tangible, material ephemeral, ethereal
life death
I would not at all add feeling/intellect however - that's Misato & Ritsuko (as well as optimist/cynic
)
Another thing worth noting is that Asuka can be seen as a twist on the slot, role & development of “The Rival” – Many Shonen protagonists have this one teammate who is super competent, better than them at everything, often more popular, rich or extremly gifted, who often has a similar backstory tragedy that they deal with differently, an opposite personality and a contemptuous disdain for the hero that morphs into envy when the MC eventually beats them.
Except that a) she is an attractive girl, which makes her disses hurt in a more personal way & while she gets some slapstick kick moments her treatment of Shinji is played very seriously especially later on… and b) Shinji does not act like a rival at all. He’s too conflict-averse to compete, and he certainly does not pull a Naruto and try outdo her with plucky optimism or hard work (he hates being good at piloting, & his gifts are probably entirely down to his particular neuroses and his mother’s plot, not any work or control on his part)
The gist of the story ends up thinking that Asuka thought she was in a fair skill based meritocratic system, but she’s not – she’s an exploited child soldier, a tool being worked until she breaks, and the world she lives in is uncaring and unfair.
Probably very relatable to many who had “stage parents” or were considered “gifted children” & then had this trauma of building their whole identity around that when they were just big fishes in small ponds being failed by the system. Eventually there’s always a bigger fish, someone with an unfair advantage that you cant just beat with hard work...




018 Note how the sun is framed behind her as a contrast to Rei's moon silhouette thing. Though it's definitely also a parody of an "ominous" introduction like "ooo, trouble."

020 A lot of love put into those detailed backgrounds here, no wonder Kensuke is all flashed with excitement

023 it's fascinating how that was still worth mentioning, because the cold war was so recent then

024 Let's appreciate the one black soldier in the background.
As in ep 17 Shinji doesn't quite share the enthusiasm of his friends. He sort of had to be more serious living mostly on his own with only adults & no family to be silly around. Note also the explanation for Misato's expression.

029: Easy and efficient way to inform us that this character is mean. There's even that little moment of relief where Touji dares to think that his hat is saved & could easily have liked her for that, but then, scrunch, for no good reason (except maybe Kaji's comment about finding some boy her age the day before) Touji will give her reason to dislike him in about five seconds, but at this point she had none.

032 I must strongly content the notion that assertiveness is in any way masculine - indeed the pointy ladies' shoes, sundress and fancy long hair strike me very much as performed 'classical' feminity, just the spunky hot vixen version of it - as she lampshades here herself my mentioning her recently acquired curves. If you saw this the first time it's just an ordinary pretty outfit and not that far beyond typical teen antics (at least not as immediately alarming as the flashback in the start of ep 22 would have been) but in hindsight both the outfit and her line here fit into this pattern that she has of asserting her maturity, independence and "adulthood" from a place of deeply juvenile counterdependence... and it's very much an external idea of "mature", one that starts with the surface & the appearance of it because it's there to be recognized. (In that sense Asuka & Misato are basically two sides of the same coin)
Which isn't meant as a gotcha by any means, but something we should have the deepest empathy for, as such a thing is always a desperate attempt to assert & prove one's very existence separate from whatever your parents thought you would turn out like, an attempt at gaining the internal locus of control that is so vital to human sanity but so hard to attain in our global, capitalistic society especially for young people (but especially in Asuka's particular case, given her specific backstory - I'm struck again by what a good & juicy metaphor it is for that exact feeling)
At this stage between 10 and 14 you're in a place where you've only just awakened to full sentience/ independent thought, your brain just rewired itself, and the first thing your newly formed ego does is scream. Hopefully eventually you become more secure in your identity so that you don't need to shout it from the rooftops all the time because you know you won't vanish if you blink, or if there's no one there to watch.

041 Shinji seems like the least-likely candidate, right? The other two look way more like traditional shonen protagonists. Touji is like the rough, cocky type who is still honest & protective when it counts, & Kensuke is the ‘big dreamer’ type, bearing a striking resemblance to Jean from Nadia.

042 I think it is very important to take note here that THIS is her first impression: She had zero interest in Shinji either as a boy or as a human being until she heard “forty percent”, very much playing into his personal fear that everyone who gives him attention in any way only does it because of his job.
Also, no one likes to be dissed & rejected by an attractive out-of-your-league member of your preferred gender(s). (especially not ppl with a particular fear of rejection) – though this is something that a mature individual should be able to take & accept without resorting to cracking ppl’s necks.
Also worth observing is how Shinji actually gets outwardly pissed here (a tendency that continues into the next ep), continuing how he’s started voicing more outward complaints now that he’s in a more relaxed place. Prologue Arc Shinji would just have lain down & took it. Ironically, he has kind of returned to that by ep 12 in the specific case of Asuka because he starts caring about her opinion/ wanting to get along with her rather than seeing her as an enemy.

The ‘sadly’ is also interesting – consider the flashback in ep 22 where Kaji tries to get her hyped about all the boys she’ll meet in Japan & how the new pilot is a boy. Perhaps she did give it some thought after all.

044 Touji is looking… distracted here. This ep in general has tons of funny BG expressions.

045 The “proud obstructionist old fashioned soldiers who want to solve everything with guns” are of course a common Sci-Fi trope (In Nadia you also see many examples of the military only making problems), but they’re also here to create a wider, realistic world where other organizations/the older order would have a response to the advent of unprecedented things like the Evangelions – the average joe soldier would not understand why there needs to be a weapon with an AT field

051 We’re inclined to root for Misato since she’s our protag and a cool lady cussing out an old grumpy soldier guy, but having any dubious organization acting above the law is a very legitimate concern & probably meant to be a red flag.
Of course, she is absolutely right in that she knows a lot that these guys do not, but though the last ep already gave her some reason to be suspicious, she’s still gleefully flaunting her orgs special position when it is convenient for her & gets her closer to sweet sweet vengeance. It will still be a while until she gets proper suspicious from ep 15 onwards.

057 It’s Bames Jond!

058 I think most of us understood instinctively from that reaction that he’s her ex boyfriend.

060 Behold another example of Anno’s love for unusual angles.

061 More “political”/ “serious” talk, of money budgets etc. which often stall real-life efforts to save the world from climate change, disease poverty etc. - which is not just realistic but adds to creating a “serious” vibe, even in one of the wackier episodes. These two chiefly exist to be an annoying obstacle, but on they still have something of a semi-legit gripe that their once secure & prestigious employment is becoming more & more obsolete.

066 Note that he’s trying to play footsie under the table. She isn’t withdrawing her feet from his range tho, even though her upper body is turned away. His question here will become relevant later (We later learn that she told him she had a new bf when she dumped him, but that was an excuse)

068 His very chillaxed, draped-all over body-language wastes no time in creating an impression.

072 Ah, so the intention here was that innuendo went over Shinji’s head. I thought his response was just meant to be more subdued.

074 cf. A similar exchange/line when Kaworu is introduced. Part of it that Shinji, having no great confidence, isn’t likely to toot his own horn, but part of this also comes from his role as an outsider who had nothing to do with NERV for most of his life.
Also, it’s kinda hilarious how Asuka just stays frozen there like a statue.

075 The characterization of Kaji as ‘aloof’ is interesting, like he might be holding something back. Though like Misato, he has this immediate urge to mentor the lost kids, telling Shinji to be more confident & apparently having acted as a parental substitute to Asuka. This might be read as sharing some common values or experiences, I guess. Like general extroversion, cultivating a charming veneer, wanting to make up for their survival guilt through good deeds or something etc.

Since the Manga gives him this backstory as a war orphan, my hc has been that all the kids remind him a bit of either his younger self or his dead brother (if he exists in this continuity)

076 Shinji is immediately uncomfortable with the hero/ chosen one treatment. For one thing, it really was luck (or the work of Yui) & given all the stuff he’s been through it probably didn’t feel like winning. But there’s also probably a shade of Jonah Complex/ Imposter syndrome here & being unable to imagine himself as an important person, & being uncomfortable with attention (which is unfamiliar and might – or, in this case, explicitly does attract ill-will)

079 There are many scenes that casually show her to be very fit (as expected of someone who had military trainings), she will often do kicks and jumps and quick impulsive movements without effort. For all that she superficially acts more ‘normal’, we can’t rly forget that she had a very unnormal upbringing.
This helps to create a sense of fearsomeness or dominance about her esp. for the characters her own age, but it goes beyond that to a basic sense of being very at home in her physicality – she gestures a lot, she points, she takes action quickly, moving bold & decisive with little reluctance, in a way that Shinji & Rei very much don’t, as both have more in-your-head, in-their-own-world sort of personality types, probably with a tendency to tune out both the world and certain parts of their internal processes & being more disconnected from their instincts and wants.

080 It is important that they let us see his honestly startled response in a ‘private’ conversation – without this, the next scene would probably look a bit different.

082 Aaand she can’t tolerate it even for a moment & must immediately assert her dominance.
ppl with that sort of narcicisstic and/or domineering streak can be extremly predictable in that sense.
Note how she avoids using his name, putting the emphasis on his title instead.
It kinda goes with how she tends to assign people predetermined roles in her own narrative, projecting stuff onto them (ep 25: “You are looking for yourself in others”) more than she really gets to know them. So she calls them their titles or mean nicknames (“Honor student”, “Baka”) more often than their names cause she’s literally seeing them as caricatures (D& R booklet “those two must be beneath her”)
Of course this is because all her life, she’s been preparing for this, training & exercising while most other kids were playing outside, & now comes the time that is supposed to justify all of this, make it so her suffering & deprivation wasn’t in vain, to give her life value & meaning, so she’s very invested in seeing it all go like the narrative in her head.
At first, she appears to love the job & be proud of it in total contrast to Shinji, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t suffer -
She may not complain like Shinji does but that’s only cause she doesn’t want to see herself as a victim or otherwise helpless (like a child) even when she objectively is.
We don’t get a pilot who actually likes it until the Rebuilds.

In Shinji’s case she sort of starts to use his name after Misato makes them move in (though it’s often part of mockery – “bake Shinji”, “invincible Shinji-sama” etc.) - by contrast I don’t think Asuka and Rei ever use each other’s names outside of some spinoff video games that weren’t consistent with this. Rei calls her “the pilot of unit two” which doesn’t quite have the same vibe as citing the Marduk designation like a title/identity, but it suggests a cool, purely professional relation & no interest in changing that which Asuka tends to parse as deliberate diss or superiority, a very common introvert/extrovert misunderstanding especially among young ppl with limited experience or social skill.

083 This is probably the first instance of Asuka’s very consistent habit of putting herself in a position of superiority (often deliberately standing on higher ground) when relating to others, a really forced need for dominance. If she were a guy we would probably describe it as “macho” or “wannabe alpha male”. But while society may enable its excess in boys & punish it in girls, this is more down to upbringing + personality type than gender.

It’s probably no coincidence that she’s so popular in the USA which has a very unforgiving, success obsessed, “every man for himself” culture.
The dumber fans like her because she seems to act like that ideal (just like the ppl idolize Tyler Durden, Rick Sanchez, the Clockwork Orange guy… - there’s a significant overlap with the “Shinji is a pussy” crowd), the more intelligent ones emphasize with the great suffering and isolation that this ultimately self-destructive attitude causes her because they probably relate to it.

086 She had it painted her favorite color, which by itself shows her to have a different attitude towards it – it’s her pride, rather than something she feels subjected to. Hence why she wears the interface clips in everyday life.

088 I think that’s a rationalization that she came up with on the spot. To make his pesky achievement a fluke that didn’t count, since he’s only got a “test model”.
Unbeknownst to her, EVA 01 is actually the most powerful EVA, since it is no mere copy, but a full-fledged “offspring” of Lillith.

092 Contrast Shinji’s shaky standing with Asuka being easily able to climb the EVA and keep her balance on top of it. She immediately knows what the sounds mean, her military knowledge showing.

093 ...on the other hand, while she’s fit & trained, she hasn’t been in a real fight yet, which from what I’ve heard from actual protesters, soldiers, riot police etc. is actually a big difference.
The main way you learn to handle real fights is by being in a real fight, and there’s a huge difference between one who was and one who wasn’t.
There have been cases of karate blackbelts being mugged or raped because their freeze response kicked in, sport/training doesn’t per se get you ready for situations where there is a real danger to life & limb.
So it makes sense that Asuka would be “a bit tense” here despite her cocky act. Shinji, meanwhile, is sort of able to snap into “business mode” at this point

096 – Another incredibly important snippet.
First, because we see Shinji quickly deduce what’s up, showing that he’s come to a grim acceptance of his role at this point, but also because you see Asuka’s mask slipping for a moment – “A real one?!” as in, so far she’s only fought simulations. You see it in her expression, too, her eyes go wide and there’s some disbelief in her voice -
The one special quality of Miyamura’s performance which the less good dubs don’t capture is that, maybe because her own personality is different enough that she rather sympathies than empathizes with Asuka, you never lose the sense than in the shrill frivolous ridiculous moments, Asuka is shrill, frivolous & ridiculous because she’s a child, not cause shes a “bitch” or a trope.

098 – Here, however, we see one of her greatest strenghts: That she’s proactive & good at quick-thinking, which Shinji… really isn’t. She decides to take independent action without checking with their superiors, while Shinji would’ve wasted time establishing communications. Considering that Gaghiel could sink them as any moment, time was of the essence here.
It’s funny that the script explicitly says she’s talking “like a monologue”, like she’s forgotten all about Shinji & thinking only about showing off XDD

101 The German 2000s dub rendered this as “NERV delivery service! Would you like to order information about the enemy, or maybe some useful countermeasures?” I lol’d.

102 She is definitely enjoying this

110 She is going to be dragging him a lot. The subsequent embarassing moment could have been completely avoided if she had bothered to explain that she was gonna change clothes.

114 I love how it just flat out says “overreacts” like the script is dissing her. He was probably just wondering what the heck she is doing in a deadly emergency. Of course in her mind she would be the only one doing something while he stands around, and thus, the communication fail begins.

115 This attitude of not trusting men besides a few unreachable, over-idealized ones is probably due to hearing her father cheating as a kid, or at least “replacing” her mom rather quickly.
Nowadays its rather trendy but there’s a big difference between “a lot of men are creeps and sexists” (self-evident truth) and “all men cant be trusted” - usually that is a result of trauma-induced hypervigilance. It would be super convenient if you could tell if someone’s trustworthy by just looking at their chest, but you can’t.

118 This, like 096, is another cut that I’d label as super important & very telling, a hint to what she’s really thinking when no one else is in the room.
Though my read is not so much that she’s scared of the fight, but that she’s anxious because the time she’s been waiting for has finally come: The time to prove herself, when she will have to justify the self-image that has sustained her so far.
It’s actually very common of ppl who were considered “gifted” to get performance anxiety because once you’ve build your identity around that, every test of your abilities becomes an existential threat. (This is why you should praise a child for their actions & attitude, not passive things out of their control like “youre smart” or “youre pretty”)
Though by this point the confidence still wins over the doubt, she’s telling herself to “stay in character”. “Let’s go” implies some level of forcing herself to go through this.

Indeed the “looping” scene in ep 22’ would later lampshade how she is essentially playing the character of the Second Child(TM) – but “none of this is the real me”

120 As in “the Emperor’s new cloak”, the truth often comes from the mouths of babes

121 This is a good, quick transistion that immediately gets the idea across – the suit literally “dumped” in Shinji’s hands.

122 Another classic Asuka pose. In general, they’re very consistent about putting a lot of work into body language as a characterization points. Her words seem to have more force because they’re accompanied by holistic movements (see also the next shot where her pointing emphasizes her words)

IDK to which extent this is just based on a generic “rude American” stereotype, maybe laced with some criticism of both the West & Japan, as Asuka is (In Asia tend to be lumped together as just “the west” though cultural norms & social institutions are vastly different these days)
Then again, the Austrians & Swiss do maintain that us northerners are all incredibly rude because we occasionally say “I’ll have a beer” instead of “could I please have a beer?”

124 The script is dissing her so much I’m starting to feel sorry for her.
Here we start to see that though she acts like she doesn’t care what anyone thinks & puts them down etc. she actually wants their praise, hence she is dragging her rival along to make him acknowledge your superiority.
Of course making yourself dependent on what others think to the point of engineering situations to getting specific reactions out of specific ppl is a trap because you cannot control those.
We are social beings & wanting some praise & love is normal, but it might not come from the one specific person that you wanted or in the way that you imagined it.
A pretty impulsive decision that Ritsuko probably wouldn’t have okayed if she were there seeing as it might cause interference, though it did sorta work out in the end.

125 This is when Shinji realized that he is not leaving with his dignity intact.

127 So far we’ve only seen EVAs activated in a complex procedure requiring many machines & several operators but in another example of NERV’s NASA-level preparedness, it seems they made sure that they can be activated manually in an emergency, and such emergencies did indeed come.
It was kind of a desperate move to make the tech for this seeing as the EVAs have such short battery times of. But it’s common nowadays to build tech upwards compatible or to expect certain innovations to happen within a foreseeable timeframe maybe they hoped they might figure out better batteries, or replicate the S2-Engine.

128 The suit is very, very Asuka-shaped, boob protectors and all.
The contrast between the two continues to be drawn – Shinji is more of a follower & low on initiative, though he’s also more cautious (unless seriously enraged) – Asuka is bolder but also more reckless.
Asuka seems like she could be a leader if she didn’t have this compulsion to hog the spotlight (a good leader must know to delegate & know the strenghts of their underlings)

133 – As often, Misato’s instincts/intuition are right on the money. I would presume that Gaghiel only got a very weak/vague signal from the small Adam embryo in its shielded box.

137 I love how he backs away when she shouts at him. She brought him for her eho without checking if it’s a good idea, but then she yells at him when there are complications. I don’t know how she expected him to think in a whole different language (it’s not like it’s something like English, Spanish or Arabic that is widely spoken all over) but the obvious answer is that she probably didn’t think it through at all.

As a teen I found it cool to consider that I could prolly talk to most of them if I met them irl. Except for poor, poor Shinji. Well, all the more reason to keep practicing Japanese on duolingo.

139 This is such a funny shot & confers some sense that they know each other & have worked together before. I mean Shinji wanted to ask for Permission, but Misato, Patron Saint of risky creative plans, would’ve probably told them to do exactly what they did.

141 Who is the boy scouts now… But this sort of insistence on protocol in super urgent situations is alas a lot more common than I used to think as a teen, nowadays this looks a lot less tropey & a lot more “only just barely exaggerated”

143 Is she too reckless, or is he too worried? A sane person would probably be somewhere in the middle. In any case there’s a lot of those little exchanges draw clear contrasts between the MCs.

148 Of course she’s gonna do a cool stunt using the tarpaulin as a “cape”


153 In the 2000s dub this was “Do you like hopscotch?” I was very disappointed that this joke wasn’t in the OG script.
If it were Shinji alone, I think he would’ve cared more about the property image, but he might not have had the boldness to just go & jump. (if he could even have done that at this point)
Ultimately, they needed to get to that cable FAST because they’re facing an apocalyptic threat.

157 look at all the detailed bits flying off~

165 Poor Shinji. I bet that those two would have exactly the same reactions to most amusement park rides.

166 He’s gonna treasure this memory a long time

180 Finally we get a good look at it.
To me it looks rather whale-like, like it smells oily. I think whales can be pretty creepy like that big wall of eyeless flesh.

183 By now, they’ve actually fought enough of them to have a routine & a rough idea of what work & what doesn’t – at least, for this next stretch of episodes where their plans more or less work. In ep 1 they had only a theoretical knowledge (“shouldn’t the field be spreading?!”) and Yui probably did them all a solid by demonstrating that they have to smash the red bit.

189 All those ‘destruction detail’ shots really give the angels and EVAs a sense of presence & weight – they think of having the knife slice through things while falling etc.

191 Oh noo Misato jinxed it, just when they almost had it

192 No time to be looking at the floor when you’re wrestling a giant monster and also precariously balancing on a boat

201 It’s a nice bit of incidental worldbuilding/ visual storytelling to have this take place atop a ruined pre-SI city.

208 So far Shinji was just a passenger being dragged along & acting all worried, but now that shit has got real, the roles have reversed, & he’s the one thinking of doing something useful.
I’ve always felt that Shinji actually kinda gets to be real cool in this ep but no one noticed cause he’s wearing a silly outfit during it.
To be fair though, Asuka must’ve felt the shock more .

209 They had a whole lot of fun drawing the destroyed cityscapes here, it was probably a big part of the ~aesthetics~ discussion – the proposal already notes that “we gotta have an underwater battle”

214 In which Kensuke is very relatable. Those darn things always used to run out of space at the worst possible moment. I also appreciate the detail that he can’t get it to close properly, bits like that add a life-like feeling.

216 It’s telling that just for a brief tidbit, she actually looked happy to see him.
Also, look at poor Kensuke trying to get the camera to work before the cool plane flies off.


225 Asuka’s boldness may look cool when it works, but sometimes acting fast can leave you unprepared. Still, she does have 10 years of military training so expecting poor Shinji to have a solution after she bragged so much earlier & ignored all his appeals to caution. It’s not like he was tooting his own horn or claiming to be impressive. There’s some really nice freeze frames in here.

226 The “hanging” pose very well accentuates the difficulty in moving.

229 I was hoping that those bubbles would be explicitly declared as tears sweat or air. Also it took me forever to make the connection that Shinji’s line probably refers to the core becoming visible in its mouth. Of course, he’s seen weirder and grosser ones by now.
It’s certainly another very ‘dynamic’, expressive shot.

235 The time has come for another Wacky Misato Plan(TM)

237 Kudos to Shinji for keeping his eyes on the prize while fighting not just Gaghiel but his unruly co-pilot.

240 She’s just switched completely into Boss Mode.

251 The window bar is still dented

252 Misato has not added Asuka to their makeshift family unit yet, but they’re already acting like siblings… Asuka has probably ceased to be useful at this point.

254 He’s trying very hard to be serious here. It’s easy to miss after all the comic relief, but this is a huge change from the prologue arc when he was just screaming, crying & blundering around. I’m honestly proud of him.

264 Their efforts actually have pried it open a bit compared to when we last saw it it cut 236.

265 Hashtag Priorities…


267 Interesting perspective. I wonder if the bright glow of the core here implies some significant exertion, Gaghiel ramping up its energy generation trying to break free of the cable maybe.

272 To their credit, they both got serious when it counted, and more or less seem to understand at once what the other intends.

273 Shinji really did memorize the manual very well to have thought of this function that they normally never use (alas he also knew how to lock the controls in eps 19 and Q)
This is honestly a very good, dynamic shot given an odd effect by how everything is the same red – your eyes stick more to the motion than the actual outlines – almost as if the outlines of their hands are melting together(which is even more emphasized when that shot reoccurs in EoE, in a much blurrier form) – hands as symbols of both action and connection.
I think it was stated somewhere that the theme of the action arc was “people “becoming one”/ combining their strenghts to defeat the enemies.” - this is certainly an example of that.

276 I think she’s projecting her own discomfort into the assumption that others are obsessed with her appearance. Though that position frankly does not look comfortable.
I’m sure they would appreciate that exclamation point if they could see it.

285 I’m gonna label this a ‘semi-berserk state’ like with Unit Five bursting its mouth restraints; In any case it’s probably a precursor to what either of them were gonna pull on their own in ep 19 and EoE respectively.

298 And if Shinji’s dignity had not suffered enough today, Kensuke definitely got this on tape

306 So we’ve resolved the mystery of why the convoy was so well-guarded & what Kaji was doing...with another, larger mystery, with just enough symbolism allusions and biological grossness to leave ppl with an ominous feeling at the end of the episode.

308 The proper reaction to Asuka showing up.

310 Let’s appreciate the loopy schoolgirl handwriting, and of course it’s neat yet has some flourishes


313 He’s got such an “oh no, please anything but that!” face

310 The reference here and in 314 to her acting “cute” probably mean that we’re supposed to perceive a kind of contrast – That she’s putting on a charming front for the classmates. More on this in ep 9.
I wanted to try harvesting the rice

I wanted to hold Tsubame more

I wanted to stay together forever with the boy I like


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