This episode review may be a lot shorter than all of the others because my notes were a lot shorter for this episode than any other and the plot is very focussed on one specific thing. But we first open to see developers working on something called the magi.
You may have heard the name “magi” before however what does it even do? Well it’s the name for the computer system the people at NERV HQ use for absolutely everything. To test a new design function implemented into the new Eva’s everyone needs to go into their Evangelion naked. I think this change is a good thing for the show, who wouldn’t be opposed to that? But testing takes about three hours and the angels have other ideas. Basically an elite angel hacker is able to split up into many parts to join the NERV circuits and hack them, which isn’t a good thing. The experiment gets aborted and we spend the rest of the time watching the computer hack everything. In fact the Eva’s might not even work anymore as some of them were hacked as well, I like that Gendo prioritises Shinji’s robot escaping since it’s the one with no viruses on it.
We learn a scary fact that the angel is evolving (It’s actually called metamorphosis) and will be able to take over a lot of the system very soon. They set up a firewall to prevent this which buys them more time. They should have got malware bytes or something, but then again scanning the entire system would take it a very long time.
Later we learn that NERV HQ is going to self-destruct very soon, which is ridiculous. I hate the self-destruction trope in shows. For a building to self-destruct someone at the start of the planning phase needs to decide that their facility should have the ability to blow up at any moment. This requires a lot of explosives to just be lying there dormant for the many years the building is functioning! That’s stupid! Not only that, but the security is awful. If you’re going to have a self-destruct button you will need a lot more precautions than that! It should be nearly impossible for the creators of the button to press it, never mind a hacker! If you go into howsecureismypassword.net your password needs to nothing less than forever to guess by brute force. For example here is an impossible password: MBICEhg34_fg@’rA$p!****cr”juPO_+_^&Chinesesymbolsmakethisbetter?~yeah#verylongandhardtosolvepassword?
That length of password is the shortest impossible password, taking one letter off takes it down to the low low value of 8,311,932,554,533366 nonagintillion years! Word doesn’t even recognise nonagintillion as an actual number, that’s how high and rarely used it is! But having that in place isn’t a good enough precaution either, and the technology I’m going to talk about actually exists and should be in Eva. Not only should there be an impossible to solve password, there should be an impossible to solve password that changes every 20 seconds or so and accessed on a device with extremely strong encryption such as the vernam cipher with a massively huge one time pad. That way it would be almost impossible to hack, with a negligible possibility of security of ever being a problem. Also what kind of building self-destructs? Even the most technologically advanced buildings go through a long safe deconstruction period instead of just using simple explosives!
Anyway because Hideki Ano can’t predict the future this doesn’t happen and the angel very nearly wins. But of course it doesn’t because Ritsuko saves the day at the last minute! How suprising! It’s not like Evangelion has put in so many deadlines that only almost get missed that no deadline feels tense anymore or anything!
I honestly thought it would have been a more interesting story if the HQ blew up. We would have to see the Eva’s escape, and then live very alone and fight with much fewer resources, not being able to repair their Eva’s. It would be much more of a survival story but it could have been really interesting and broke away from the episodic problem format. While I had a lot less to say (luckily I know a bit about computer science to make this longer) it was still a really entertaining episode. It’s hard to believe that I once dropped this show because I thought it was boring!
One more thing, I really like the references to programing in this series. Instead of implementing comments in the source code Ritsuko’s mum (who made the magi) implements them as small post it notes. It’s really nice!