To give you an idea of how ahead I am in Evangelion month this is written on the 6th of January and Shadowcat’s first impressions of Evangelion post released yesterday. I do say that I’m worried about completing the month but very soon I will have a lot less time to write so I need to get out as much as possible! In Shadow cat’s review I am described as having the “longest and most thoughtfully brilliant episode reviews” and I feel like I’ve let her down a bit by reducing my content across the last two reviews because I wanted to finish Eva month faster. I’m not too worried about length but I will pledge right here and right now that I will never skip out any parts of the episode I had even a little to say about for the sake of making Eva month shorter from now on! If the posts end up being shorter anyway then that’s still ok!
I now finally have an explanation for who Kaji is! He is essentially spying on NERV as an investigator. This is unknown by the main characters but he comes across as a lot more scummy when you see how well he gets on with the rest of the cast. How could he betray his friends like that? He doesn’t actually come across as such a bad person though, maybe he can separate his personal relationships from his carers or maybe he’s the spying organisations’ enemy pretending to be their friend. Either way I can’t see anyone taking kindly to the news of Kaji’s actions once they found out. This still doesn’t even answer what he’s supposed to be doing though. Alright I just googled it and apparently he’s a “special inspector” which isn’t vague at all. So I guess he goes around checking up on things; would be a shame if he reported on absolutely everything he saw wouldn’t it? I think I’d like to spice this review up with some nature jokes; it would be great if I could wooden tit?
Right at the start it’s implied that Gendo could get fired from his work because of his projects with Rei. It’s a shame this plan hasn’t been explained yet but Gendo, like me, has no worries for losing his position because it realistically won’t happen. The plan everyone’s sticking too seems to be working fine, also his two side plans seem to be fine. Gendo comes across as having very few emotions, his attitude towards his extra plans are no different from the current ones so I think it’s safe to assume that he’ll be fine.
Something very easy to miss is the Marduk Institute which feels only very briefly mentioned and is very easy to miss. As I had no idea why it was important earlier I never mentioned it but now is the time! Marduk is supposedly the organisation which chooses who pilots the Eva’s using screening techniques. The thing that Kaji revels though, is that it’s a scam consisting of 108 companies which have nothing to do with it. While this is a minor part of the episode it’s actually a major part of the series because it tells us so much more about the selection process for pilots. If there isn’t a company to find the eligible pilots, how do they get found? That is not yet clear, that’s one of the many things about this show that is not yet clear (reference here) but that doesn’t mean we can’t use some guesswork. These ideas will start at most likely but then end at tin foil hat.
The first idea is that this doesn’t even matter and one of the 108 companies does the scanning and everything comes through normally. Another idea (Which would be the most fun) is that every fourteen year old can pilot the Eva’s and NERV are just selecting who they like, based on nepotism, a weird sense of a father-daughter relationship or a desire to have a good spread of different hair colours. What it could be is a mix of both, maybe there’s a lot more Eva pilots out there and NERV chose them based on their history and abilities. Isn’t it a little coincidental that all the pilots have no parent figure? Could it be that the pilots are selected based on external factors for who would be the easiest to work with, or maybe they need to make specific Eva’s for specific people? But that then defeats the point of the synch tests in previous episodes. Luckily for us Kaji seems to want to stick his nose into this Marduk case so maybe we’ll have an answer!
Asuka clearly fancies Kaji but due to his investigations he can’t spend time with Asuka, as well as this Kaji is clearly not interested in her and I don’t think her age is helping. These feelings of love in Asuka may be stronger than they appear because she goes so far as to pretend she’s being attacked just so he’ll pick up. Her friend convinces her to go on a blind date and Asuka accepts, probably because she wants a guy like Kaji so she can forget Kaji who doesn’t seem to feel the same way. It’s clear that this longing for love makes Asuka act strangely later in the episode.
One of the main events of the episode was when we learn Shinji needs to see his dad. Unfortunately Rei has no advice at all for him and maybe just grew closer from all of the experiments. It’s at this moment that Shinji tells Rei she looked like a mother, this makes Rei blush. I think it’s actually rare for Rei to be complimented, given Rei’s unsure sense of her own identity having a label to assign herself too might be a really nice thing for her. I think she must have very fond memories of her mother and the statement brings ideas of her being kind and nurturing like a mother.
Shinji then gets irrational feelings of worry towards his meeting even though he knows he can’t really do anything about it. Misato gives some great advice to keep the ball rolling once he’s made the first contact and I think it helps Shinji. Once Misato leaves we hear shouts coming from the other room and see Shinji cover his ears with a pillow, either to drown out the noise of the people outside or to get the problem out of his mind.
So the meeting between father and son happens at Yui Ikari’s grave. Gendo has removed all possessions of Shinji’s mum so Shinji doesn’t really know who she was. Gendo says that it’s because she only lives in his mind but I think it’s more than that. In a film called Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind people’s memories of loved ones are removed by erasing all memory of possessions from their life, the lack of these possessions means they can forget. I think Gendo was in such turmoil from Yui’s death that he needed to remove these items and forget just so he could cope. Shinji says that he enjoyed spending time with Gendo but his dad seems to not care too much.
Misato, Ritsuko and Kaji all attend the same wedding and Misato drinks way too much. Due to this she calls Shinji to say she’ll be late and won’t be able to be there for dinner, this concerns Asuka who’s worried because Kaji’s there. On the way home Misato explains how Kaji reminds her of her dad and how it saddens her. She expresses regret over her role in the relationship but Kaji seems over it. Talking about her dad really made her emotional, which brings me dating advice. If you want to go out with a girl at some point you should ask her what her dad’s like, it connects to them more personally and whatever their answer it can always be used to improve your connection. The worst answer you can get is “fine” but it makes it worth a try still. As you can see Misato talking about her dad emotionally resonated with her and eventually led to the two kissing. We have so much to learn from Evangelion!
Meanwhile at the house Asuka is bored and on the surface she asks to kiss Shinji just to pass the time. I think she wants a real human to get her desires of Kaji out of her system but it doesn’t exactly work out. Shinji is incredibly embarrassed and just stands there going redder and redder as he becomes more and more awkward. I think if the situation was similar to Shinji’s previous attempt he would have been fine but he clearly isn’t used to this kind of thing. It’s also extremely rude to loudly wash your mouth out after asking the other person for a kiss!
Anyway Kaji returns with Misato to the smell of Lavender and Asuka’s true intentions are exposed. She wants to hang out with him but as I said earlier it really can’t work. It must feel bad for both Shinji and Asuka in this situation as Shinji has to watch Asuka pursue someone who doesn’t love her right after sharing a moment of intimacy (From his perspective).
Later we get a quick glimpse of the secret projects in the NERV facilities as well as a hint that Kaji will be killed before his investigation can be completed. Also why would they put the Christian cross on the first angel? For one thing his names Adam and not Jesus but I don’t see how these two are related because they’re nothing alike. Actually that’s not quite true if you look at it from the angel’s perspective. First he died and blew up a lot of the planet with it, sacrificing himself for the rest of the angels and now he’s being brought back to life. I am not saying these two are equal; they couldn’t be more different. And it’s strange to think that the humans are putting him in a Jesus position even though they can’t really see it from the angel’s perspective.
And there you go: a 1700 word post which was fairly detailed! If that’s not a return to form I don’t know what is!