Neon Genesis Evangelion: Rei, Beyond the Heart / Rei I   First Watch 
July 2, 2019 7:46 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Rei Ayanami, the pilot of Evangelion Unit 00, is scheduled to undergo another activation test following a horrible accident nearly a month earlier. Shinji makes attempts to understand Rei and her close relationship with his father.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
(Aw crap, I was so excited to find the end credits music I forgot to add the First Watch tag! Could that be fixed?)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:47 PM on July 2, 2019

We find out why Gendo's wearing gloves in the first episode, and why Unit 00 was posed awkwardly the last time we saw it! Though I'm not sure the Bakelite we know behaves like it does for NERV.

Also, some incredibly awkward dinner conversation with Ritsuko and Misato! Nobody likes Misato's cooking, not even Pen-Pen! Though now I want to try dumping curry on instant ramen, I think she's onto something. Maybe just 1000% of your RDA of sodium?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:00 PM on July 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Fixed!
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:32 PM on July 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

Well, Bakelite needs to be poured into a mold before it's set, so I figured it was just the precursor material, which is the liquid combination of phenol and formaldehyde with a catalyst. Presumably, they keep the liquid components separate until they spray it into the chamber, at which points it sets enough to stop the Eva but is still brittle enough that they can remove it later. Here's a pretty neat chemistry demo of how Bakelite is created. (The product is even a little pinkish/purplish!) Still a weird choice, though.

Anyway, Rei's complete lack of reaction to Shinji's absurd harem anime hijinks has always struck me as profoundly sad. It's not that she forgives him because it was an accident, she just doesn't feel enough ownership over her body to be bothered by the violation. It's so chilling.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:37 AM on July 3, 2019 [7 favorites]

Does she not feel enough ownership of her body or does she just not realize she's supposed to feel that way?
posted by Fukiyama at 8:08 PM on July 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Shinji's mouth dropping open once he realizes Rei and his dad are capable of smiling as he watches them talking with each other

And seeing both of them light up in each-other's presence, where he barely gets recognition from his father, and and Rei is otherwise so cold -- it's a one-two emotional punch.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:47 AM on July 9, 2019

This is also the episode in which we learn that "Although the constituent elements are different from humanity's, the arrangement and coordinates of the [Angels'] signals are extremely like humanity's genes: 99.89%"
posted by filthy light thief at 7:56 AM on July 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Final tidbits, from EVA Geeks (beware spoilers): "601" is the Nerv computer systems' code number for "cannot be analyzed". This is a direct reference to the movie The Andromeda Strain (Wikipedia), where a medical computer displays "601" when overloaded with data.

And there's a small reference to Madeleine L'Engle's book A Wind in the Door (Wikipedia) visible just before the reactivation -- under Mitochondria, we see Farandolae, which are entities which live within Mitochondria.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:08 AM on July 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit: Though I'm not sure the Bakelite we know behaves like it does for NERV.

To add to tobascodagama's comment, EVA Geeks wiki has an article on this (no spoilers here at time of posting, but reader beware), which notes that
Real bakelite is "cured" from its liquid precursor under heat and pressure, and in its pure form is very brittle. Bakelite in the series is poured and sets at room temperature, and has a tensile strength great enough to hold an Evangelion in place when it has dried.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:24 PM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

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