In the seventh episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji learns of a true history while he and Misato later must battle a competitor. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion.
A Lie and A Truth
So, it’s not exactly surprising to definitely find out that the story that the public was given for the Second Impact was a lie. We pretty much knew that prior to this episode, but that lie is important. I think I understand why I’ve been so confused about the line between what is public and what’s not, and this episode gives me that last detail that I was missing.
The Second Impact was always the discovery (and subsequent explosion) of an Angel in Antarctica. Now, the show hasn’t told us how that Angel got there or how it was found. But the explosion that killed more than half the population is why I’ve been so confused: THERE ARE WAY LESS PEOPLE LIVING ON EARTH NOW. Not only that, but at least in Japan, the only livable cities are EXTREMELY FAR APART. I still had a very “normal” concept of Japan and the world, and I need to discard that. Seeing Old Tokyo helped me understand this, and I think that’s also key to understanding how NERV and the UN has been able to lie to so many people. What if these cities are largely unconnected? What if they rely on a single source for all of their news? We get mentions of the United States and Germany in this episode, and now I’m wondering if every surviving population has underground shelters and is devising their own method of protecting themselves from the Angels. Why do the Angels consistently target Japan? Is it because they know that they’re the only nation developing the Evangelions?
And what the hell are the Evangelions? What lies has Shinji been told, even if they’re by omission?
I don’t want to speak for representation of this group any more than I should, but I did want to say that I think it’s pretty cool that Misato is portrayed as coarse and sloppy. She reminds me of a roommate I had over a decade ago, and until this episode, I didn’t realize that this archetype is exceedingly rare. I can’t really think of another example of her type in anything I’ve watched. Plus, this characterization allows Toji and Kensuke to point out that Misato must feel comfortable enough with Shinji in order to drop her defenses and be herself around him. That was a nice little moment.
I actually think that so far, the whole Jet Alone storyline is one of the coolest bits of worldbuilding in this show. It’s really fulfilling to get confirmation that there are other organizations who want to compete with NERV. And Shiro Tokita not only wants a piece of the action, he clearly wants to humiliate NERV in the process. He’s arrogant, self-centered, and he certainly doesn’t really care about public safety. Ritsuko is relentless in her questioning of him, and I love that she made it a point to state that up to that point, only NERV had successfully protected Earth from the Angels.
That’s not to suggest that there can’t be multiple forces working together or separately to protect humanity. Ritsuko is simply aware that the technique this company used to construct their robot is horribly, horribly flawed. It presents too big of a risk to any city it happens to waltz through. Sure, it’s – for lack of a better term – wireless, but at what cost? It’s got a nuclear reactor inside of it! What happens if an Angel destroys it? Won’t it then destroy the very city it was supposed to protect? Granted, I understood the impetus for creating that machine: it allowed the company to find a way to remove human pilots from the equation. And on that point, Tokita was right about the lack of dependability on the human mind and brain.
Yet this isn’t a solution. It’s a disaster. OR IS IT?
Misato’s daring last-minute shutdown of the Jet Alone machine is incredible, and that’s why I was so fucked up by the reveal that SHE WASN’T EVER SUPPOSED TO SAVE IT. Was I reading that scene wrong??? Had Ikari somehow sabotaged Jet Alone? WHY? WHAT THE FUCK, Y’ALL??? And what was that scene at the beginning that referred to the “project” about? WHAT IS IKARI PLANNING IN PRIVATE???
The video for “A Human Work” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
Mark Links Stuff
– I am now on Patreon!!! MANY SURPRISES ARE IN STORE FOR YOU IF YOU SUPPORT ME.
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– 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.
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