Neon Genesis Evangelion: At least, be human / Don't be.   First Watch 
July 18, 2019 7:08 PM - Season 1, Episode 22 - Subscribe

Asuka, haunted by childhood memories of her mother's suicide and a notion that she "lost" to Shinji in the previous battle, begins to lose her precious self-confidence as a pilot. A new Angel appears in space and invades Asuka's psyche through a strange beam of light, rendering her helpless.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
From the TV Tropes recap page:

Broken Record: The sequence of Asuka saying the same lines that repeats six times. Although it is somewhat the result of a borderline Dub-Induced Plot Hole; yes, Asuka does indeed repeat herself in the original Japanese version, but each repetition has a different voice actress from the cast reading the lines in their best Asuka impersonation, resulting in Asuka sounding somewhat like (in order) Misato (Kotono Mitsuishi), Rei (Megumi Hayashibara), Maya (Miki Nagasawa), Ritsuko (Yuriko Yamaguchi), and Hikari (Junko Iwao), giving more meaning to her "No! It isn't me!" response. In the English dub however, it is Tiffany Grant who voices all the repetitions until the Netflix dub corrects this by having the other actresses (Carrie Keranen, Ryan Bartley, Christine Marie Cabanos, Erica Lindbeck, and Abby Trott) voice Asuka like the Japanese version.

This is important info for this episode that doesn't come through at all with the captions.
posted by Fukiyama at 4:03 PM on July 19 [7 favorites]


I've been waiting for this episode to be put up.

When I originally watched NGE (in January of 2015, because of course), I didn't really care for Asuka that much. Four years later though... my heart broke almost every time she was onscreen and this episode completely shattered me. The wounded fury, the perfectionism, the leaping for an adulthood that she thinks will be her salvation... all of the uncomplimentary things you can say about Asuka, from her inappropriate behavior to her anger issues, you can say about me too. I may not have behaved the way she does externally, but every howl and snarl of hers has fallen from my lips, as well.

All of the Children I relate to as a mature person who grew up with depression. Rei's disassociation and Shinji's resistance to things that would help him recover are familiar, but Asuka? Asuka shows the feral side of depression that I fear to show.
posted by snerson at 6:34 PM on July 19 [15 favorites]


A couple of things in this episode:

The fourth-wall breaking of "This is so serious, they can't even go to school anymore" is a nice touch. But poor Hikari.

I, too, felt so much sympathy for Asuka, forcing herself to be the best at everything, never wanting help, her unbridled rage at the world and herself. Goddamn. This show.

Ritsuko's heel turn seems abrupt, almost like an afterthought as they get into the back half of the show.

The Spear of Longinus: the gun on the mantel since episode... 10? Still mysterious, even with all this screen time.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:58 PM on July 19 [3 favorites]


I was promised Kaiju and giant robots, damnit
posted by GuyZero at 9:52 PM on July 19 [2 favorites]


Early on, Asuka was one of the harder characters to like, to put it mildly. These last few episodes completely changed my mind on that front. I assumed the show would eventually give her more depth, but I didn't expect any of this and I still find it devastating days later.
posted by chrominance at 8:37 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]


Asuka's definitely grown on me, this is some hard stuff.

I'm guessing the SEELE is rushing the other EVAs to completion for an assault on NERV to put a stop to Gendo's plans, but its not likely theirs are any less sinister. Absent any more information, I'm on team Fuyutsuki.
posted by rodlymight at 11:59 AM on July 20


fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit: The Spear of Longinus: the gun on the mantel since episode... 10? Still mysterious, even with all this screen time.

If you didn't already know, it's another piece of Christian imagery (Wikipedia), tied to the Christ imagery of it being driven in the side of ... Adam? I forgot who was supposed to be on the Crucifix in this episode (spoiler alert: the EvaWiki lists who is actually on the cross).

I won't try to unravel the Christian/NGE meaning of the lance/spear, except to say that in Christianity, it's the cause of a miracle (Jesus' dead body was stabbed, and "immediately there came out blood and water"), where here it's used to hold someone/ something in stasis, then removed and used to kill an Angel.

Bonus link: EVA Geeks compare Original Air/Laserdisc copy versus Director's Cut, which as I noted previously, is what is on Netflix.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:01 PM on July 22 [1 favorite]


It's been a while since I've seen the first series (10 years at least?), so I've been a little surprised at how I remembered more about the first few episodes than the ones in the middle/end. However, it seems like we saw the Original Air version, so there are new scenes I hadn't seen yet. We also saw the movie re-imaginings, but it seems like the more philosophical the plot gets, the less I retain.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 11:15 AM on July 23


The elevator scene with Rei and Asuka being silent for almost the entire excruciatingly long time is a notable example of Gainax stretching out beats for way longer than most other shows would do, as fifteen schnitzengruben later notes in another episode thread.

I can see such a fairly static (action-wise) scene would help save on the animation budget - it's kind of hilarious how Rei and Asuka aren't moving at all, but the sound effects help illustrate that yes, the elevator is moving, it's just taking a really, really, really long time. I can also see this as an intentional narrative/meta choice as well - forcing the audience to remain in that tensely silent elevator with the characters for that entire very uncomfortable duration, viscerally making us feel Asuka's alienation and isolation, even with Rei standing literally right there mere feet away from her.
posted by rather be jorting at 11:56 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Damn. Poor Asuka.

Fukiyama, thanks for excerpting that info about the different voice actresses during Asuka's breakdown montage - it was a really effective technique that added extra sonic emphasis on her struggles with her identity and individuality.

Visually, several scenes hit especially hard during this rewatch:
- Asuka trying to push her way through the crowd of clones of herself
- The hung doll slowly spinning around
- Asuka's younger self reaching out to her before Asuka yells at her and she not only disappears, she disintegrates.

This episode is the first episode I remember really registering with me when I watched NGE with my high school anime club back in the day. Other than the club president who owned the tapes and had already seen the series, I don't think anyone in the room was prepared for this wham of an episode. Probably one of the most solemn lunch periods I've ever had.
posted by rather be jorting at 12:08 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Since I am finally listening to these...

Waypoint podcast on NGE episodes 22-24
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:04 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


« Older Neon Genesis Evangelion: The B...   |  Movie: Long Shot... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments