Neon Genesis Evangelion – Selection of Life / Ambivalence [18]

The previous episode felt like a kind of mess of many things in my mind, yet this was more focussed and as a consequence hopefully easier to write about!

We open to a shot of Eva Unit 03 flying in from America and it looks cool, the creators of the show also took effort to make the Engrish not sound terrible, it’s not like it was great or anything but certainly well above average! This basically sets us up for the rest of the episode about the 4th pilot.

For the first time Asuka leaves to go to school without Shinji, and Misato says that he doesn’t understand a young girl’s feelings. At first I didn’t really understand Asuka’s perspective either but once I took the time to think I arrived at a good idea. I’ll skip slightly ahead to when Asuka walks in to the room to hear Suzuhara / Toji say “What, no martial spat today?” and is completely cold. At other times she would have cried out in anger but she seems especially mad today. Basically I don’t think Asuka is being a tsundere, it looks like she genuinely hates Shinji.

EP 18 2

Once I started to look at it it’s like Asuka has been on a downward spiral for ages now starting when Shinji started to be better than her. She cannot contain her anger at being beaten by Shinji and praised so much. As well as that she must have felt massively challenged when Shinji broke out of the spherical angel, she has a clear point when she realises that Shinji has completely and utterly surpassed her. Before Shinji escaped she also had a horrible attitude towards Shinji being captured that goes a lot further than simple competitiveness. As well as this the fact that she has to live with Shinji all day every day has got to annoy her and I’m sure they get in each other’s’ way all the time. At first I thought this might be a tsundere kind of thing but that’s clearly not the case.

On the roof Rei has worked out that Toji is the next pilot but he says that she only cares about one person: Shinji.  Rei remarks that this might be true. The idea of love seems like a strange thing for Rei to feel but there have been a lot of moments where Rei could have fallen in love with him, she blushes around him a lot as well. Being rescued by Shinji towards the start, being called a mother and tidying up has probably contributed to this attitude. I’m unsure if Rei understands these feelings though and I feel like the relationship could be plutonic just as much as it could be romantic.

EP 18 3

This moment on the roof later turns into Toji’s disadvantage because the school president thinks that he likes Rei. Asuka completely switches her opinion of this to general disinterest when this is brought up again later. I think she just worries about her own conflicts and is too stuck in her own head at this point in time.  The absolute panicle of this conflict between Asuka and Shinji is when Kaji is there and Asuka doesn’t care at all. She says she can’t be happy today and I think it’s because Shinji is there preventing her from having fun. We may find out that Asuka is having a different problem but right now this seems like a good idea to me. Oh yeah and she does a great job hiding who the pilot for unit 04 was! At least Misato had plans and her own strange reasons for not telling him!

At the same sleepover with Kaji, Shinji asks him what his dad’s like and it’s sad that he needs to ask this question. The fact that Shinji claims to have learned a lot about his dad isn’t really true, and I still think he knows very little. Kaji’s response is extremely vague and hints that Gendo might be nothing like what we’ve seen with him. Either that or he just wants to show Shinji that he doesn’t understand his dad as much as he thinks.

It’s at this point that I thought it would be such a brilliant plot twist if Suzuhara wasn’t the pilot. They focus so much attention on him and it would be funny if it was used for another reason. But Toji’s nerdy friend wanting to pilot unit 03 combined with his brooding nature over becoming a pilot is just too strong. Also it’s revealed who it is at the very end.

EP 18 4

Suddenly a lot of things start happing at once when Toji starts to pilot his Eva. The Evangelion goes wild on them and turns into an angel because he can’t handle the transformation.  I think this is a problem of the Marduk institute which really needs to exist especially after something like this! If one pilot going rogue can cause something like this then that’s really something that should be investigated!

The pilots need to kill it so they are sent out all at once. But the fact that they’re fighting a human really causes some problems. The two people who know who the pilot is back off and Shinji just doesn’t want to fight. Rei is attacked but they shut down her Eva so it doesn’t hurt her, the angel then moves targets to Shinji. Gendo switches to dummy mode so that the Eva attacks instead of Shinji, and he is just left there to watch as Suzuhara’s Eva is completely destroyed along with the pod that holds him and Shinji freaks out. I think I should remind you that the pilot feels everything that the Eva feels so Suzuhara is in massive amounts of pain.

We find that both Misato  and Ritsuko are fine from the explosion and so is Toji. This causes Shinji to freak out, epically leading into the next episode!

The OP at the end is also an instrumental, maybe to represent the isolation Shinji feels from everyone else in his crazy mental outburst at the realisation that he could have killed Toji.

EP 18 5

Alright! Remember that new notebook from ages ago? Well this is what it looks like now:

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It’s completely full and completely ruined! So to accommodate for my increased note having I broke out a big one:

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Oh yeah! But it now just looks like my notes are written in bigger writing because I wrote pretty much the same amount!

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22 thoughts on “Neon Genesis Evangelion – Selection of Life / Ambivalence [18]

  1. I find it interesting that Asuka reacts so badly about Shinji being better than her. She should have realized it from the beginning when she saw how he handled his Eva. He did it pretty damn good job, probably better than her when she was a noob, but she totally forgot that she had training and he not. So I suspect he was far superior her from the very beginning.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree Shinji Has probably always been superior. I think it’s sad that she seems to rely on being better then others. Her self esteem probably suffers and she hides it through anger, probably fooling herself in the process as well. It’s also we she puts others down and brags about her own abilities whenever she can.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yeah, she has a very strange pride about her, if she decided to try and surpass him in the same amount of time that he had to get to his current position then she could have been a whole lot different.

      It’s like she has the desire to win but not the determination to let her continue despite her losses.

      Liked by 1 person

      • But I am thinking that she has gotten a lot of training Shinji hasn’t got so she should be a lot better than he. Maybe it’s because of that she gives up? She somehow knows that he will always be better no matter how much she trains. Because he was better from the beginning. She can never reach his level.

        I think she reasons completely wrong, about winning or losing because this is about survival and she doesn’t seem to understand that. Or maybe she doesn’t care?

        Liked by 2 people

        • She seems to fail to understand that the end of the world is coming and she has no time to worry about things like that because if she fails there won’t be a world left for her to be depressed in!

          If you think about Shinji and Asuka’s first fight I think Asuka was a lot better and Shinji only won because he went into berserk mode. But yeah shinji and Asuka have a clear gap later which only gets bigger as the show progresses.

          Liked by 2 people

          • That’s what I am saying, he never had any training so she should be (and am) better than he is at that point but if you compare the two if they had had the exact training he would be far superior to her from the start.

            She is like (any) 14 year old is; super self centric and self absorbed, only thinking about herself and what’s in her little world. Both Rei and Shinji can see the world around them in another perspective, maybe because of their background.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Didn’t they both have no training though so shouldn’t are you saying Shinji’s first piloting was better than Asukas? I can’t really tell what you mean.

              I do agree that she’s too self centered, I don’t like how only Rei seems pilot it to save the world.

              Liked by 2 people

              • No, she had training in Germany, before they came to Japan. At least that’s how I understand it.

                Nah, I think Shinji pilots his eva to save the world too. Or at least he gets that he needs to kill the angels and that he isn’t the important one. He understands that he is disposable but Asuka doesn’t. She thinks she is the only one who is really qualified to pilot an Eva of those three (four).

                Liked by 1 person

                • That might be right.

                  Shinji gets that but when asked that’s never what he says, he’s always unsure or says it’s because everyone likes him when he pilots. Your definitely right about Asuka, she has way too much pride at steak.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I wonder if Shinji is one of those people who tries to answer what he thinks people wants to hear? I mean, he probably thinks that Asuka wants him to say that he pilots his Eva because he wants to be the best.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • He does that occasionally and does know what other people want to hear, he just repeats the same thing though even though people dislike it. A thought I had about this was that he doesn’t really have a place in the world and is incredibly sad so doesn’t care as much about saving the world because he doesn’t really like it.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • You can absolutely be right about that. I should really get going and watch the movies. I took a break and watched Welcome to the Ballroom and now I am watching Devilman Crybaby (which I can’t really bingewatch. Two episodes at a time seems enough for me. Not sure why, maybe it is too intense. But it is really good.)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I’ve only seen one episode of it but I’ll probably finish it soon! I’m reading Gantz in the meantime though, it’s very easy to read so I’ve got really far in a short time. Theirs not many words and mostly action.

                      Liked by 1 person

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