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[ café reviews ]

EVA-00, piloted by a dummy plug, crushes the entry plug of EVA-03


Shinseiki Evangelion
(Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Episode 18: The Judgement of Life / Ambivalence

Copyright: 1996 TV Tokyo / GAINAX / NAS (Japan), 1997 AD Vision (North America)
Length: 30 minutes
Rating: Contains Violence and Mature Situations, Parental Guidance Suggested
Format: Subtitled/Dubbed (VHS)

Screenplay: Higuchi Shinji, Anno Hideaki Director: Okamura Tensai Producers: Kobayashi Noriko (TV Tokyo) Sugiyama Yutaka Character Design: Sadamoto Yoshiyuki English Version Executive Producer: John Ledford (A.D.V. Films) Translation by: Kimura Kuni

[ plot summary ]

vhs jacket

EVA-03, the surviving unit from NERV's 2nd division is transported to Matsushiro for testing -- well away from NERV headquarters in the event of a mishap. Misato and Ritsuko are present, supervising this latest activation. But when the synchronisation threshold is reached, something terrible goes wrong, and the base at Matsushiro is destroyed. EVA-03, along with its pilot, had somehow been taken over by an angel, and now it's running amuck. The three EVA units stationed at NERV headquarters are immediately dispatched to stop this new threat, but Asuka and Rei discover that an angel-possessed EVA is more than a match for them. It's up to Shinji alone to stop this Thirteenth angel... an angel who is piloted by a fellow human being. But Gendo has an ace up his sleeve... if Shinji won't attack, perhaps his latest addition to the EVA arsenal will.

[ capsule review ]

Toji and Rei discuss his future as an EVA pilot

Class president, Horaki Hikari

An out-of-control EVA-03

Shinji loses contact with Asuka in EVA-02

EVA-01 faces off against the Angel-controlled EVA-03

Toji is lifted out the the remains of the entry plug

Grrrr. I really want to like this series. The writers and directors do such a wonderful job of raising my expectations, and then they pull a stunt like this episode. There's simply no excuse for writing a script with more holes than Swiss cheese, yet Anno and Co. have done just that... Why prolong such a minor plot element like Shinji's eventual discovery of the identity of the latest EVA's pilot? Can anyone truly be that clueless? How about the way the EVA is transported across the globe? Surely it isn't necessary to have and EVA dangling below a stealth transport carrier... frankly, I really don't care how important the symbolism is, this was just plain idiotic. The end-all and be-all of ridiculous reasons why Shinji doesn't want to fight the latest angel: he doesn't want to kill the person in it... well, fine. Why not simply disable the stupid thing?

If it seems like I'm ranting -- well, it's because I am. Especially when you look at the other prominant aspect of this episode, the directing. It's tight, it's suspenseful, and it's very disturbing to watch -- yet you won't be able to take your eyes off the screen. The sight of watching the dummy plug-controlled EVA tearing apart the angel is horrifying, and the cuts to see the reactions of the members of NERV were very well timed. The appearance of what seems to be a smile of satisfaction on Gendo's face when the dummy plug is activated is very chilling, almost sadistic. The 'river of blood' cliché might be overused, but in this episode, it only seemed to enhance the effect. Even the actors picked up their talents a notch: Mitsuishi Kotono's (Misato) delivery of her lines in the final scene was truly memorable. Too bad that the writing laid waste to an otherwise superior episode...
- AN, 98.02.01

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 1 star N/A
Direction: N/A 5 stars N/A
Acting: N/A 4 stars N/A
Animation: N/A 3 stars N/A
Music: N/A 4 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 4 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/A 2 stars N/A

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