This series really takes to heart the concept of starting a story at the exact moment where there’s no turning back. For Shinji, this is when he went to meet with his father. For humanity, this is when an “Angel” attacked, the military useless to stop it.
For a first episode, there’s a good combination of introducing the series and the main character, without bogging it down on too many characters introduced. The scene where Shinji is crying out at his father seemed a bit over the top, but maybe his personality will support that reaction as more episodes go by.
Setting up the plot is paced nicely. Something happened 15 years ago, and it’s catching up with those who knew about it. Shinji’s father has been heading a project just for this attack by an Angel, perhaps by multiple Angels over time. There’s been testing with these piloted robots called Eva’s, but the last pilot, Rei, barely survived an incident. Additionally, there’s some link between this “Eva 01″, a name which suggests it’s the first in the line of Eva’s, and Shinji. It could be a DNA-related link, where the Eva would have protected Shinji’s father the same as it protected Shinji.
The relationship between Shinji and his father should be interesting to watch unfold, as well. After having his father leave him, Shinji is reintroduced to his father as a “spare”, simply another pilot. A person who should be able to pilot an Eva simply by being in the Eva.
I also expect to see more about that liquid which fills in around the pilot in an Eva. Does it reduce being thrown around when attacked? If so, then it would also make mobility more difficult for moving ones arms around inside the Eva.
Looking at the final characters, looks to be, as Shinji said, childish, and it’s a wonder how she became a captain. Maybe she knows how to get her act together when it’s called for. Ritsuko looks to possibly be the straight man to Misato’s childishness, but it’s too early yet to tell if that’s how those two will be portrayed.
Is the Angel an alien? Is it man-made? And what was the vision of Rei for a moment early on about? The series may not be my style, but it’s introduced enough compelling questions for me to keep watching.