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[ café reviews ]

Gendo and Fuyutsuki witness the birth of the ultimate Evangelion


Shinseiki Evangelion
(Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Episode 20: Form of the Mind / Form of the Man
Weaving a Story 2 / Oral Stage

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: Anno Hideaki Director: Satsuka Masahiko 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

Evangelion Unit 01 has become a self-sustaining organism. As such, it needs food, and the first available source: the Fourteenth Angel. NERV operatives are shocked to discover that the plating surrounding the bio-cybernetic being isn't armour at all, but instead is an exoskeleton designed to be a restraining system. A system that the feasome beast is shedding like so much discarded skin. Despite all their efforts, EVA-01 refuses all attempts to eject the entry plug which houses Shinji. But when it's discovered that the EVA has absorbed Shinji into the LCL itself, Ritsuko must begin a complex procedure to bring Shinji back...

[ capsule review ]

Shinji has been absorbed into the LCL itself

Shinji, dispered withing the LCL

The entry plug is forcibly ejected

Misato mourns her loss...

One good, one bad. It's become somewhat of a familiar pattern with this series. I have no doubt in my mind that the budget for the series had been expended by this point -- this entire episode consisted of long dialog pieces over single-scene shots, and the ocassional flash-back... (Toji and Hikari, Shinji's subconsious, and most prominantly, Misato and Koji's long sex scene in the bedroom. Speaking of the sex scene, I have no idea what the translators were thinking in the English dubbed version -- the timing's so messed up, you get an entirely different impression of what's going on as compared to the Japanese dialog version). I can only hope that they're saving some of the budget for the final few episodes.

Evangelion once again takes us into the realm of the human ego, using the disassociated form of Shinji as the vehicle of exploration. While the exploration is somewhat interesting, I question its intent -- what purpose does it serve? Are we dealing with a typical teenager's feelings of self-doubt and angst -- and if it is, is Anno trying to say that the disassociation of the corporeal being known as 'Shinji' was also his own doing? There are some very vague metaphyisical subjects tackled here; I'm sure they're vague by design...

The final scene of this episode features some fine acting by a most distraught Mitsuishi Kotono (Misato), but the effect was utterly destroyed by the way Shinji was 'recovered'. This was shades of a bad TV show where the writers buried the plot so deeply, there was no means to extricate it. (Remember the night-time soap opera 'Dallas', when the writers magically decided that Bobby Ewing's death was merely the dream of the viewers so that they could erase the events of one entire season?) If that's not bad enough, how about this: Shinji enters the entry plug in his street clothes, and did all his combat without a plug suit... so how did his plug suit end up in there? (We won't even mention the fact that I can't figure out how he had time to get from the bomb shelter, to the watermelon patch to have his little talk with Kaji, back to Misato's apartment so he could get his entry pass, and then finally to NERV HQ...) Don't these guys have a continuity checker? Stuff like this simply shouldn't be allowed in fiction...
- AN, 98.02.15

[ café rating ]

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

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