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Neon Genesis Evangelion is about the cost and the trauma of existence

The characters of Neon Genesis Evangelion suffer greatly.

I heard about the show from one of my co-workers in the days of LucasArts. I had seen a mecha anime, but nothing like Neon Genesis Evangelion . On the surface, it seemed like a frustrated young pilot, Shinji Ikari, who is essentially a Chosen One who saves the world, has come up with much of the trope checklist. But from the moment it started and I heard Ikari screaming from the pilot's seat, I realized I was in a world of pain.

There is a titanic struggle with these monstrous Goliaths who are referred to as angels and either seeking a reunion with their father Adam or a resetting of all life with the second angel, Lilith (honestly, every time I read online To find out what's going on, I'm both fascinated and confused). The mystical, historical and scientific merge into an extremely fascinating but confused myth based on all world religions. It is a mecha action with a spiritual message that incorporates metaphysics and ontological questions about existence while balancing the mental health of its characters.

The pilots are not heroes in the traditional sense and these mechas are more like mechanized beasts. Part of it is that EVA-01, the Shinji pilot, has a soul in it that sometimes gets angry and has its own mind. Both the EVA and the pilot go through hell just to get them moving, and it's horrible to watch their interactions. No episode would be complete without Shinji screaming in agony. The adults feel a little bad, clench their teeth and let the children continue to suffer because the survival of humanity is at stake here. To achieve this goal, everyone is ready to do whatever is necessary. It's a brutal truth that we accept as a viewer with every passing episode, even when we shy away from the punishment that the characters suffer.

In many ways, the sixth episode embodied "Showdown in Tokyo-3," which makes the series so mesmerizing.

The opening of the episode begins with a summary of where the last one ended. The fifth angel, Ramiel, attacks Shinji's EVA and pierces the EVA armor with its deadly jet powered by an inner torus reactor. Ramiel is an octahedron and consists essentially of two reflective pyramids stacked on top of each other. It has one of the strongest fields for absolute terror among the angels, making it impervious to most attacks. It also has a massive phallic drill that drills into the GeoFront in a kind of beginning that begins with the destruction of Nerve HQ. All defenses that have built up nerve can not prevent Ramiel's infiltration.

I appreciate that the way humans defeat the monster is not just left to superhero Shinji to save the day. The fight has a tactical element that fills it with realism, turning a basically big mecha / kaiju fight into a kind of actual warfare.

Misato Katsuragi, who commands the tactical operations, begins a series of tests to determine what works and what does not work against the new angel. These include the use of an inflatable dummy that mimics Shinjis EVA 01, and the shooting of Ramiel with a Type 12 mortar from a train. This will allow her to gather basic information about the strength and range of Ramiel's beam and to determine the type of defense capabilities he possesses (an approach that Daenerys's Game of Thrones urgently requires).

] From there, Katsuragi realizes that melee fighting has been failing since Ramiel's AT The field is too strong for infiltration. She devises a plan to shoot the angel from an angle with an experimental positron rifle. Katsuragi must consider everything in his planning, including the power source (all over Japan), the geographic search for the best position from which he can be located, and even computer simulations by the magicians who determine the success rate (they give him 8 , 9%). that's better than any other plans you have). She also has to juggle with politics as she persuades her superiors to go through her plan. If it fails, that's the end of NERV and humanity.

Just when things become a bit too cerebral, the show returns to the more personal level. Shinji is still recovering in bed from his previous encounter with Ramiel. He is traumatized by the encounter and the last thing he wants to do is return to the EVA. Everything waiting for you in the EVA is pain. Also, Shinji's father, the commander of NERV, is a total asshole that left him when he was young.

Then the other pilot, Rei Ayanami, appears next to his hospital bed. It has a mysterious background and seems to be largely indifferent to human interaction. But she is committed to her duty and stands in stark contrast to Shinji. She will no doubt participate in the operation and more or less tell Shinji that she will take his place if he does not attend the mission. They are both awkward, though Shinji is shy in his awkwardness, while Rei is powerful in her.

They make an unlikely couple. Rei is assigned to protect Shinji while he performs the shot, as he has a higher synchronization rate with his EVA, and this mission requires near-perfect precision as the rifle must be adjusted for deviations. When Shinji protests that he has not even practiced, his superiors tell him not to worry. He is not convinced, but Ayanami tells Shinji she will protect him. Their cool self-confidence is said to be heroic, but putting the fate of humanity on their shoulders seems cruel, no matter how you turn it.

Operation Yashima named after a historic battle begins. All Japan is exhausted by the power. Shinji has two chances to kill Ramiel with the huge rifle. No wonder, he misses the first, because Ramiel fires a retreat. Was everything in vain? But when a second blast is fired at Shinji and it looks as if the mission will fail, Ayanami comes to the rescue with her shield from the thermal coating of a space shuttle. The shield begins to melt with heat, just like the arms of her EVA. It's a tedious wait as the rifle has to recalibrate its target. When the time comes, Shinji makes the second shot, which fortunately removes the geometric fortress of death.

The tribute demanded by the fight against the pilots is extremely painful. Everything about the show is full of suffering. It's not easy to save the world and it should not be. Existence is expensive and traumatic. There are the angelic powers who do not care if humanity survives or not, since they have their own agenda. But humanity reflects its indifference by sacrificing a group of children in the hope of repelling the angels. The burden and pressure of these children is to do the impossible. Each time they win, it eats itself up until EVA and Pilot are reflected in a kind of Dorian gray.

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