Shit just got real people, this is the Evangelion that people talk about, the pieces have been placed, the game is in motion.
Weaving a Story
A lot of anime pull this trope, this clip show that can be used as a way to bring viewers in, also it is a way to save money which is a hallmark of this series starting with this episode. Luckily, only the first half is a clip show. The second half was something that had been talked about from the earliest episodes but is now coming into play, using other pilots for an Eva, but it seems that the pilot and the Eva are a pair. Not a particularly strong piece in the series, a little low key after several high action episodes.
Those women longed for the touch of another’s lips, and thus invited their kisses
So Kaji has been the side player for a while now and he hasn’t really be too much of a defined piece of the show, well now we get to see that he is actually spying on NERV, and that there is some weird stuff going on. I like this direction that show seems to be taking, moving from a fighting show to a spy/intrigue show.
Splitting the Breast
So this is where the show really hits something different, yes there is angel in this episode but this is where the show stops being about the angels, it’s about the people and how react and interact. The animation budget gets stretched a bit here when we have only 1 line on the screen at a time. Also, we start to see more about the Evas, I like that the is some good forshadowing of major events later on.
The Fourth Child
So we’ve added a new pilot, but it’s someone that Shinji is friends with so Misato doesn’t want to tell him. They never make clear why this is the case but my guess is that they don’t want him to worry about Toji. It’s nice to see that he has to get prepared for this in some way. Really what I enjoyed about this one was Kensuke wanting to be the Eva pilot.
So they get Toji to test out the Eva Unit-03 and it turns out to an Angel, the true terror of Gendo Ikari comes out here when he short circuits the pilot controls to directly control the Eva to destroy the angel. This is just a brutal and almost painful scene to watch as Shinji has to just sit and watch as he’s in the Eva that is killing his friend.
Shinji refuses to get out of Eva due to the events of last episode and when he is forced out he also quits as an Eva pilot. While this is going on an Angel attacks which nearly destroys both Unit 02 and Unit 00. So in a scene that mirrors episode 1, he comes back (this time instead of being forced into it, he demands it). In a series of brutal scenes in the show to date, the battle between the Eva and the Angel (after the power dies) is beyond brutal. I am very impressed by how well they portrayed the character emotion to seeing what’s happening and what they’ve been a part of.
Episode 14: A clip show? Really? And this one brings up a point; Why do the Angels insist on taking the fight to NERV? Surely they could just save Tokyo 3 for last? I mean the worlds defenders are on extension cords!? Anyways… Wait did he just say Dead Sea Scrolls? What the fuck? Seems like this episode is beating it into our heads that there’s more to the story than simple alien invasion. So let us see where it goes…
Episode 15: Once more I am astounded by the awesomeness of Rei’s English voice actor. She hits that emotionless tone just right. Wow all kinds of shit just got serious. There’s kissing and spying and other mischief and I think I may actually like this show. I do find it interesting that they have moved to a format with open-ended episode conclusions. It’s a good creative technique that is certainly working for me.
Episode 16: OK this is the weirdest Angel yet. The unreal number Angel? This is a really weird episode too. Shinji’s introspection seems to be helpful but I wonder is it the Angel who is prompting it or Shinji himself. I wonder what the connection between the Angels, the Evas, and the kids. I suspect that the Evas are part Angel or based on Angel tech or something similar but we need more info. Hmm maybe they are entrapped Angels…
Episode 17: OK this episode answers my initial question of why not just avoid Tokyo 3. We also get a fourth Eva/child team and I am delighted that its an entrenched character and not another new one. More intrigue happens but not much substance.
Episode 18: OK wow. I think this is the first episode where I felt actual suspense. This side of the season is weirder but it is much more engaging. I do not know what else to say about this episode except that in terms of dramatic power it is, by a vast amount, leader of the pack.
Episode 19: Um, wow. I do not even know what to say about this episode. Fantastic action, writing, and drama. Then Shinji’s battle…just wow. I just hope this is the last time Shinji runs away. If the writing keeps to this level though, then I am a fan.