Mark Watches ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’: Episode 14 – SEELE, the Throne of Souls / Weaving a Story

In the fourteenth episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, WHAT IS HAPPENING. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion. 

A clip show that is full of new information. A CLIP SHOW. I was content picking up on the new Angel names and trying to figure out why the first half of this episode was framed as it was, and then NOPE. STILL NOT READY FOR THIS SHOW.

I know that this review isn’t going to be super long because they rarely are for episodes in this style, but I’m always impressed when summaries provide new information like this. Not only does the first half of “Weaving a Story” do just as the title promises, the writers deliberately present the summary of the show thus far in a specific format. Everything is presented as evidence, which is illuminated once we realize that Commander Ikari is presenting said evidence to the committee. WHO ARE THESE COMMITTEE MEMBERS, ANYWAY?

But let’s back up a bit. The angels have names, y’all! I’m guessing that the committee named them? Except that this episode even more clearly makes reference to some ambiguous “schedule” or “plan” for the Angels, which means that they knew that the Angels were coming. IN A SPECIFIC ORDER. A specific order!!!! How is that possible? Why was that Angel attack at sea unexpected, and why did it break the schedule? Because it didn’t happen in New Tokyo-3?

Who is Seele? WHO IS SEELE? What are the Dead Sea Scrolls? Like, the literal Dead Sea Scrolls from our world that are composed largely of the Hebrew Scriptures? I mean… the creatures are called Angels, so I guess that makes sense? How does this all tie back to THE FIRST HUMAN or whatever that thing is? Adam? Eve? BOTH? Why are these details so important? Neon Genesis isn’t dropping them just for the sake of it, I KNOW IT. It’s all so biblical and religious and MYSTICAL. The same goes for Gendo Ikari’s obvious lie. There has to be a reason that he lied to the committee about the last Angel invasion. Why? Because it upsets whatever schedule they’re referring to? Why is there a schedule???

LET’S ALSO TALK ABOUT THE SURREAL AND EXISTENTIAL NATURE OF REI’S MONOLOGUE. It’s such a beautiful sequence, though it’s meant to unnerve the viewer. What is Rei’s purpose? What is she doing on this Earth? Why is she a pilot? Does her life hold any meaning outside of this singular act, or is her whole identity derived from the Evangelion? These are important questions to ask in general, but I found them to be particularly relevant for Rei. She’s been such a mysterious character since the start of the show, and this was a rare chance for Neon Genesis to explore what’s going on in her head.

Granted, we don’t really get any answers to the questions she raises here. Indeed, I’d say there are few answers in “Weaving a Story” because even the exposition just gives us more questions anyway. What meaning is there in the final scene where Shinji’s synch with Rei’s Evangelion? Rei synched just fine with Shinji’s, but not the other way around. Why? Is it because of Asuka’s teasing? WHAT WAS THAT WEIRD GLIMPSE OF REI SMILING? What does it mean??? What does any of this mean?

The video for “Weaving a Story” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Death Note and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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