None of the characters in this show really understand what angels are like, so understandably we start with an interrogation of Misato who’s acting as a proxy for Shinji. Misato uses her judgement to work out that Shinji isn’t in the right condition to comment on the angel situation. Shinji is not the kind of person to be in the investigative mind, granted, neither am I because I would have commented on it. The best thing to have done was to investigate as well as save his life but I can understand Shinji not doing that.
The encounter reveals a lot of things but the only ones I really noticed in particular was the idea that angels don’t communicate. I remember saying earlier “why don’t all the angels just appear at once” and it’s kind of explained. The angels don’t communicate and it’s not really clear if they even have a way of talking better than growls and roars. It also seems clear that the angels don’t really understand the human mind and don’t tamper with it. This is good. Shinji is traumatised but it’s not brain control from the angels.
A huge part of the episode is as a consequence of a mistake with Eva unit 04 which kind of blows up, it’s more that everything in its radius disappears. This removes but at this point it may as well be destroys the evangelion along with NERV’s second base. It’s hard to imagine a second NERV base quite like the one we know and love and I’m sure me as well as many others didn’t know NERV had a second branch in the first place. The pilots are only in Japan so this must be a backup place to create Eva’s. America’s 3rd Eva (Made in another NERV branch) is then transported to Tokyo-3.
It’s made very obvious later who the next pilot is going to be and that he’s been chosen specifically and without passing any tests. The more interesting discussion now outside of this proof is the reasons for choosing the pilot and I think I’ve got a good theory. Right in episode one we learn that it took Rei 7 months to synchronise with her Eva while Shinji synched immediately, It doesn’t look like it took Asuka that long either. Potentially everyone can synch but it takes them different amounts of time. So NERV chose the closest people to their location/ people from Germany to make Eva pilots feel rarer, making the Marduk Company seem real. This is in order to achieve the maximum synch time for the best kind of pilots. Who is this pilot, it’s not revealed too us which means I can use my excellent powers of deduction which everyone else also has to say that it will be Suzuhara (Shinji’s nerdy friend) because he’s given so much attention too in the episode.
The person who works out the Marduk Company for the viewers who haven’t caught on yet is Misato as she’s talking to Ritsuko. This is confirmed when she later talks to Kaji.
Alright I want to stay focussed on Suzuhara for now because he’s shown to be a pretty interesting character. We first see him visiting his sister and it reminds us of what happened, he’s a caring individual who really wants her to be ok. He is later used for comedy when he calls Asuka and Shinji a married couple over a silly argument that happens. It’s embarrassing for the two characters but it serves to show how strangely close the two are.
Later a romance plot point is introduced between him and the student council president and it feels kind of bad. The president puts extra responsibility on Suzuhara specifically so she can walk with him to Rei’s house and talk but is shot down because he wants to go with Shinji. They go to Rei’s house which is still as messy as ever to give her the notes. Shinji does a little bit of cleaning and Rei blushes and says thank you for the first time. Rei is becoming close to Shinji and it’s very nice to see! What I never noticed about Rei’s house is that she has a lot of pills, which she clearly uses in contrast to everyone else. This could be a consequence of the project Gendo’s doing with her or just medical problems.
After Suzuhara is told (it’s basically confirmed) that he’s going to be an Eva pilot he gets more after school tasks and the president offers to make him food, which he accepts. It’s impressive that he is still committed to his duties even after hearing the news. It’s going to be interesting to see how piloting an Eva could change him and their potential relationship.
This review has been all over the place but Shinji is asked by Kaji to go somewhere and he says “You do know I’m a boy.” Which was pretty funny. All I really took away from this is that Kaji grows watermelons as a hobby and knows about how Shinji was chosen, probably feeling sorry for him. Shinji isn’t really in the right place and his synchronisation rate in tests suffered, this could be a reason.
Since everything in this review was in a strange disorganised order I will talk about the last thing which is Asuka’s reaction to seeing the fourth pilot. It’s one that tells us it’s a character she knows and that all but confirms that Suzuhara will be here in the next episode!