In the tenth episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, I really don’t know what this show is about, do I? If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Seriously, I wasn’t imagining all the little hints and clues I caught here, right? Right???
There’s foreshadowing within this episode that teases us for the end of the same episode, but I also believe some of this is important for later stories, too. There’s a telling scene early into “Magma Diver” where Asuka is gutted that she’ll be held back, not allowed to go on the class trip to Okinawa (OMG THAT’S WHERE MY DAD’S FAMILY IS FROM OMG OMG) because she’s on standby for another Angel attack. She wonders loudly why they can’t find where the Angels are coming from an attack them there. It’s a question that I had not even considered before she vocalized it, but damn. Why don’t they do that? Surely NERV has some idea where the Angels come from, right?
There’s probably a complicated answer to that. So far, we’ve seen them descend from the sky or ascend from deep in the ocean. Does this imply that they’re all already on Earth, just waiting to show up? Are they flying in from somewhere else? Where do they come from?
As if answering her question, NERV discovers the location of an Angel in a nearby volcano. It is gestating. AN ANGEL FETUS OF SOME SORT. This reveal – that the Angels grow and “hatch,” so to speak – is apparently not enough for one episode, because then there are constant references to treating this creature carefully as they extract it from the pool of lava. Why? Because they don’t want to create another Second Impact.
Excuse me? What? Are you telling me that the Second Impact WAS CAUSED BY HUMANS? I mean, there are so many different ways to read this, too, and the episode doesn’t actually tell me how I should do so. Did they once try to capture an Angel embryo and it broke out of its cage? Did something else happen? I NEED TO KNOW. And while Neon Genesis is at it, they can also tell me what they meant by that reference to Asuka’s past. What happened?
Asuka and Shinji
It’s entirely possible that this is where their relationship might shift to something different. Might, I say. Asuka is still confused by Shinji’s reactions to her flirting (which sheds light on her behavior in the last episode!) because she’s not used to guys reacting as he does. He’s flustered by her and… well, practically all other women, actually. But hey, we learned more about Asuka! She’s pretty much a genius given that she ALREADY GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE IN GERMANY. Not only that, but her bad grades are due to her inability to read Kanji! So what does it mean to Asuka that Shinji saved her life? What affect will that have on their friendship and how they view one another? I suspect that it might not be a big deal, but it’s still possible, you know?
Who was he talking to? CAN I HAVE THAT PUPPY?
It’s always fun when I believe things. Look, y’all, I just watched an anime where someone died who WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO DIE BECAUSE I SAID SO. I am fragile. I am scared. And I completely and utterly believed for like two whole seconds or so that Asuka was about to die while destroying the Angel in the volcano. It didn’t help that the scene was already so ridiculously intense and full of dread, and I also didn’t think it was possible for the other Units to enter the lava. (Actually, I still don’t know how that’s possible, but whatever.) I thought this was it. I have a lot of questions about the Angel embryo that I want answered, but for now, I’m thankful that Asuka has survived.
These kids deserved a break, too. I admit to being kinda shocked that they all got some real time off in the hot springs. Granted, they saved NERV from total annihilation and probably the world, too, so an evening relaxing was certainly earned. But the final scene in “Magma Diver” is so joyous and pure when compared to the tense sequence that preceded it. The writers are still exploring sexual attraction and development in Shinji here, but I think it’s meant for more than just humor. How is adolescence tied to piloting? Why must the pilots be fourteen-years-old? We still don’t know that, and I really believe that this is all tied together somehow.
The video for “Magma Diver” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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