Mark Watches ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’: Episode 6 – Decisive Battle in Tokyo-3 / Rei II

In the sixth episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji’s battle with a new Angel goes terribly, and yet he’s asked to return to fight immediately. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion. 

Trigger Warning: For PTSD and trauma


The Aftermath

Seriously, I really hope some sort of flashback or exposition-heavy episode is upcoming on Neon Genesis Evangelion, because I really need to know why these people insist on using teenagers as pilots. The aftermath of Shinji’s first attempt on the new Geometry Angel (THAT’S WHAT I’M CALLING IT) is downright unbearable to watch. Shinji’s screams were horrifying, and then I watched him rushed off to some secretive hospital wing to be rehabilitated.

That rehabilitation? It took hours. That’s all the time that he gets. How is that realistic or fair?? How can they expect a child to accept this kind of responsibility with little to no training at all?


A New Plan

I thought it was pretty fantastic to see Misato play a much larger part in the operation itself; it suggests that she’s a major contributor, and it gave me a better sense of how the people of NERV work together. Misato makes a suggestion to use a positron beam rifle from a distance rather than engage in close combat, which always seems to end in destruction. It’s not a bad idea at all, and given what we’ve seen of each of the Evangelion confrontations, I felt like it gave NERV a chance against that horrifying Angel. (WHY DOES IT LOOK LIKE THAT?)

I do wonder what the general public knows about the Second Impact and the Evangelions. The show has addressed this somewhat; my understanding is that the EVA units are only brought out after everyone has gone underground into the shelters. But surely, people are curious as to why there are so many drills lately, right? Or why the power went out for like eight hours? If Toji, Kensuke, and their peers had not snuck outdoors, would they not have ever seen the Evangelions? (Actually, that doesn’t quite make sense; isn’t their school a magnet of sorts for the pilots?)


Unlike the last episode, Rei and Shinji actually have a conversation here, though it’s still incredibly uncomfortable and awkward. But I appreciated that Shinji challenged the notion that he was supposed to ignore his emotions and climb inside Unit 01 without any doubt. I feel like I can relate to Shinji in this context because he’s such a highly emotional person and I have always been one, too. I can control my emotions when needed, but I’m uninterested in stopping them. So when Shinji knows he’s going to have to fight again, he asks an important question: Why? Why should he have to go through such a painful and traumatic experience again?

It’s not until later that she answers him. God, her answer is SO INCREDIBLE because it destroys the idea that she’s unemotional. Yes, she’s calm, and she makes it appear like she’s detached from everyone and everything. But her real reason for piloting the Evangelions? It’s because she feels such an intense bond with other people. Yes, that probably includes Commander Ikari, but perhaps she also means everyone in a literal sense. What if this is out of some duty she feels to protect humanity? What if this is how she deals with the creeping emptiness she has within her? She claims that she has “nothing else” in her life, which isn’t how Shinji sees it. But that’s what she believes, you know?

Operation Yashima

These fight scenes are genuinely scary because the Angels have almost no vulnerabilities aside from MASSIVE BURSTS OF POWER, and that limits those on Earth. How many times can they cut off power to all of Japan? How quickly will the Angels adapt and use a different method of attack? I’m certain they can’t use the positronic rifle again, and given how close Rei and Shinji came to destruction… whew, I’m stressed out. This can’t be the only time the Angels will try to drill down through the Earth, and we now know they can still fire extremely accurately from a long distance away.

However, the most significant aspect of this battle is the small bit of growth we see between Shinji and Rei. It’s subtle, but I believe that Shinji’s willingness to show emotion in front of Rei will help her feel like she does have something to live for aside from her EVA. Maybe she can have a connection with another human being. (Though I’m still interested in the reasoning behind her apparent adoration of Commander Ikari. She thinks of him when Shinji tells her to smile.) Basically, I’m just super stoked by the idea that the main character is a young boy who cries a lot. IT’S ME.

The video for “Rei II” 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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