Neon Genesis Evangelion: Sickness unto death, and... / Splitting of the Breast   First Watch 
July 12, 2019 7:50 PM - Season 1, Episode 16 - Subscribe

A bizarre Angel possessing a spherical shadow in the air and a Dirac sea-type body on the ground absorbs Shinji and EVA-01. While NERV searches for a means of destroying the Angel--even if that means killing Shinji as well--Shinji languishes inside the entry plug, pondering his role as a pilot and his relationship with the people in his life.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit (9 comments total)
 
If you thought a polyhedral angel was odd, or a nanomachine angel was just a little too out there, now it's Leliel! It's microns thick, shows up as a spot on the ground, and its shadow is a zebra-patterned sphere floating in the air!

Just what the hell ARE Angels anyway? And what did NERV create to fight them!?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:57 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


This was one of my favorite episodes back when all I had were the VHS tapes. I don't know why. Maybe it's how menacing this angel is? And it's also one of those episodes where we learn more about Evas...
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 9:48 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Shinji has his one moment when he decides to be badass. And, because he's Shinji, things don't go that well for him.
posted by SPrintF at 6:11 AM on July 13 [5 favorites]


Just what the hell ARE Angels anyway? And what did NERV create to fight them!?

Ritsuko and Misato both wondering exactly this after Unit 01 goes berserk and tears apart the weird physical representation of an abstract concept from theoretical physics from the inside is one of the best brief moments in the show. Not only because, well, YEAH WHAT THE FUCK ARE THESE THINGS? But also because the specific questions they ask themselves are so revealing. Especially Ritsuko, who says something like, "What did we copy?"

Shinji has his one moment when he decides to be badass. And, because he's Shinji, things don't go that well for him.

Obviously Nerv just needs to add chloroform to the LCL mixture so he goes unconscious at the start of every angel fight. Unit 01 seems to do better without him.

To blatantly steal a talking point from the Waypoints episode: Who's Shinji talking to, anyway? I always kind of figured he was talking to Unit 01, but he could be talking to himself or the angel as well. Maybe all three, at different points in that scene?
posted by tobascodagama at 8:02 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]


Misato's plan seems like total overkill. "We'll drop almost 1000 N2 mines on the shadow/Dirac sea thingy, while Unit-00 and Unit-02 disrupt it with their AT fields for a millisecond. Then we'll detonate all the mines simultaneously, which will somehow result in recovering Unit-01!"

It's no Operation Yashima, that is for sure!

I would hate to be a street cleaner in Tokyo-3, that's for sure.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:18 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Ah fuck, is Unit 01 Shinji’s mother? WARF
posted by rodlymight at 8:24 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


> To blatantly steal a talking point from the Waypoints episode: Who's Shinji talking to, anyway? I always kind of figured he was talking to Unit 01, but he could be talking to himself or the angel as well. Maybe all three, at different points in that scene?

That was my favorite scene in the episode! I'm saving the Waypoints ep until I get to ep 19 in my rewatch, but I saw it as Shinji talking to himself - a manifestation of his internal monologue, perhaps his subconscious, or all the stuff he's been repressing/refusing to acknowledge with his conscious mind.

From the dialogue, the "other" Shinji notes that there is the self seen by others (which I interpret as the external-facing self) and the self that "observes the act" (which I interpret as the internal-facing self, the part of oneself that observes the aspect of oneself that others see). Except there aren't "just" two selves, as the dialogue further elaborates, because there are multiples of all those selves seen by others and the selves perceived by yourself - "the other Shinji in your own heart." It's the kind of writing that can sound like spontaneous word salad, but I love how the scene breaks down the notion of being perceived by others, and the related struggles of such (or to quote a popular tumblr quote of a NYT op-ed, the mortifying ordeal of being known).

It hadn't occurred to me to think about anything external, such as the Unit or the Angel, also participating in the discussion, but yeah, it'd make sense. A possibility: maybe as the facilitator enabling Shinji's consciousness to access the more insightful perceptive part of himself?

More Misato-Shinji parallels with Misato realizing how little she knows about NERV, and what in the world might happen with the Evas after the Angels are defeated, if that ever happens: "I'm in the dark about way too many things."
posted by rather be jorting at 1:05 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


btw, maybe it's just me or that one Shakespeare professor I had who kept emphasizing yonic imagery analysis, but Unit-01 tearing itself out of this episode's Angel in a prolonged gory spray of blood read more like a caesarian birth nightmare: instead of cutting out a baby, the baby cuts itself out of you.
posted by rather be jorting at 1:07 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


In her own way, I think Asuka sees that Shinji has a low regard for himself and she's trying to knock him out of it. "You're too intropunitive!"
posted by rather be jorting at 1:11 PM on July 20


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