This is a episode commentary. It is intended for someone who has seen this episode, and will contain episode spoilers.

Asuka Strikes!

Asuka Arrives in Japan

Finally, a lively character appears. Asuka will no doubt put in the liveliness and excitement that’s been missing from the series, save for Misato’s antics. Shinji might be becoming more comfortable with his surroundings, but of he’s spending time around characters such as Ritsuko and Rei at work and at school, things tend to be quiet. Kensuke’s going around saying “Awesome, awesome, awesome!” doesn’t constitute as lively enough.

Kaji’s phone conversation makes it sound like humans are behind the Angels and their attacks, but his meeting with Gendo have me curious. Everything suggesting alien origins is fading over time, but there’s still mysteries around Shinji’s Eva protecting him in an early episode, as well as it going berserk later on. What’s with this “Adam”? Is it human? Angel? A core existence for both?

Misato may be very responsible on the job, and Shinji comments on her acting like Ritsuko, but when Asuka takes control of the Eva, Misato is proud of Asuka’s actions. She knows you can’t always wait for orders, sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns, take matters into your own hands, shoot now and ask questions (or in this case, permission) later.

What stood out for me in this episode was the scene where Rei’s Eva and the Angel fall into the water. Whereas I expected them to be in the middle of the ocean, it turned out they were directly over a city. To see a city under the ocean is definitely an amazing sight.

With her, Asuka brings a certainty in everything she does. Rei also has certainty, but in a different way. Rei’s actions appear to be based on, “This is what must be done, and it’s the only thing I can do, so I can only do my best.” Asuka gives more of a, “this is what must be done, and I’m the only one who can do it, and naturally my way is the best.” Complete opposites facing the same direction in their duties. Rei gives no reaction when Shinji sees her wearing nothing, and falls on top of her. Asuka tells him off when he reaches over her to take control of the Eva, and treats him like he has dirty thoughts going through his mind when his focus is on the Angel.

The scene with Asuka and Touji, the first slap is again an episode of Asuka seeing dirty thoughts from the guys around her. She was the one who stepped on Touji’s hat, and it’s not his fault the same wind that took his hat also blew at her dress. Maybe she’ll learn to wear shorts underneath?

Has Asuka been training in Germany, with this her first chance against an Angel, only to have Shinji get in the way? Does Asuka know Rei, or did Rei join after Asuka left for Germany? Either way, how will Rei and Asuka react around one another? Rei isn’t shown in the final scene with Asuka appearing in Shinji’s class.

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