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Recap: Neon Genesis Evangelion Episode 01 Angel Attack
It is the year 2015. A large, vaguely humanoid creature swims through a flooded Japanese town, heading for the city Tokyo-3. On the nearby shoreline, a JSSDF tank battalion has been mobilized seemingly in preparation for its arrival.

In a nearby town, which has been deserted due to an evacuation order, a woman, by the name of Misato Katsuragi, is racing through the streets, trying to find Shinji Ikari, a 14 year old student, whom she has been ordered to pick up by his father and her commanding officer, Gendo Ikari. Shinji, having just arrived by train, finds himself alone in the town and with Misato nowhere in sight, he considers to seek out shelter, when he suddenly spots a blue-haired girl on the streets, apparently watching him from a distance. Some fluttering birds distract him for moment, and when he turns to look again the girl is gone, having apparently vanished into thin air. He barely manages to contemplate this, before a shockwave rocks the city. Looking up he sees a swarm of jet fighters retracting from a gigantic creature with a bird-mask-like face, which is closing in on the town.

Meanwhile in Tokyo-3, in an underground command center belonging to the organization NERV, the JSSDF are currently coordinating the attack on the creature. Gendo, and his sub-commander, Kozo Fuyutsuki, are watching footage of the beingís movements. They identify the creature as an "Angel", having apparently expected it.

Shinji is now suddenly stuck on a battlefield as the JSSDF sends in the heavy artillery against the Angel. He is nearly killed when Misato arrives in the nick of time, and drives him out of the town.

In NERV's commander center, the JSSDF generals are growing increasingly frustrated with the fact that none of their weaponry seems to be able to injure the Angel, let alone kill it. Gendo and Fuyutsuki comments that the Angel is protected by an A.T. Field, making conventional weapons useless against it. Willing to bring the Angle down at all costs, the command authorizes the launch of an N2 mine, the strongest non-nuclear weapon ever created.

Outside of town, Misato and Shinji are watching the battle from a distance. Misato notices that the jet fighters suddenly retreating from the area. Knowing what it means, she covers Shinji with her body, as the N2 mine goes off, sending her car tumbling off the road.

The JSSDF generals briefly revels in their apparent victory, before new footage shows that the Angel has only been lightly damaged by the attack, and is already regenerating from its wounds. Admitting their failure, the command authorizes Gendo and NERV's operation and gives them the task to kill the seemly invulnerable creature, asking him if he can truly accomplish what they could not. Gendo simply answers that it is what NERV "was made for." As Fuyutsuki asks him what he is planning to do, as Unit-01 is without an operational pilot, he tells him that "A spare's being delivered."

Shinji and Misato, having repaired the car, continue towards Tokyo-3. Shinji tries repeatedly asking Misato questions about his father and his work, referring to the letter from him that simply tells him to "Come", but she mostly evades them, and simply hands him a manual about NERV, the organization which he is going to work for. Eventually, going underground in a car-elevator, she says that she can tell that he never got along with his father, telling him that "We're the same in that." Before Sninji can ask for clarification, the car enters a brightly lit dome-shaped carven with a entire landscape and some buildings down below. Completely amazed by the sight, he comments that it is "a real geofront", and Misato tells him that it is "our secret base. NERV headquarters."

Misato and Shinji do, however, soon get lost in the mazelike layout of the headquarters. NERV's main scientist and leader of "Project E", Dr. Ritsuko Akagi, is called in to guide them further down. Meanwhile, in the command center, Gendo heads down to greet Shinji. Fuyutsuki comments that it is "their first meeting in over three years", before he is told that the Angel has started moving towards Tokyo-3 again. Meanwhile, Shinji, Misato, and Ritsuko sail over a lake of coolant on a motor raft, and finally arrives in dark room. Shinji gets quite a shock as the light gets turned on, and he finds himself face to face with a giant purple creature with demonic features. Ritsuko tells him that he is that he is standing in front of "the synthetic human, Evangelion Unit-01", "mankindís ultimate weapon." Shinji asks if this is what his father has been working on, which Gendo, standing on a shielded bridged above the group, affirms. With his conflicted feelings towards his father swelling up in him, Shinji averts himself from his gaze.

Gendo then declares that they are going out against the Angel. Misato questions this, saying that Unit-00 is on freeze, and that Rei Ayanami, their on-hand pilot, is in no condition to fight, but Ritsuko answers that it is their intention to send out Shinji in Unit-01. Misato points out that Rei took months to sync up with Unit-00, not believing that the inexperienced and untested Shinji will stand a chance. But both Ritsuko and Gendo seems convinced that merely getting Shinji to sit in the seat will be enough. Remembering Gendoís abandonment of him as a young child, Shinji asks if this is the real reason why he has been called to Tokyo-3, which Gendo confirms. Not believing that he can possibly pilot the Eva, something he has never seen before, Shinji freezes up. Gendo coldly tells him that if is not going to pilot then he can leave. Meanwhile, the Angel has arrived on the outskirts of Tokyo-3 and starts bombing the city with energy blasts.

Seeing him buckle under the pressure, Misato tells Shinji that this is his chance to stand up to his father and himself, but this only causes Shinji to close further up. Seemingly disappointed, Gendo calls for Fuyutsuki to wake up Rei who is then wheeled in on a stretcher. Shinji is shocked to see the heavy injured girl, as she obediently prepares herself for getting into the Eva. Another energy blast from the Angel hits, causing the entire command center to shake, rocking loose some overhead lights which falls towards Shinji and Rei. Suddenly Unit-01, moving on its own, throws up its hand, and shields them from the debris. Gendo smiles ominously at this. While Ritsuko calls what just happened "impossible", Misato takes it as a sign that Shinji really has a chance. As Shinji holds the injured and bleeding Rei in his arms, the guilt finally gets to him, and he reluctantly agrees to pilot the Eva.

Shinji now finds himself inserted into the Eva, via an "entry plug", the removable cockpit of the Eva. He is shocked to see the plug getting flooded with an orange lucid, but he is told that it is "LCL", a breathable fluid, and that he will get used to it soon enough. Shinji can't help but feeling nauseous at the situation, prompting Misato to tell him to toughen it up. Getting a reading on his vitals, Ritsuko is delighted to see that Shinji already have a synch-rate of 41,3% with Unit-01 despite never having piloted before.

As the preparations are completed, and Unit-01 is about to be deployed, both Misato and Fuyutsuki expresses their final doubts to Gendo about if the Eva really can succeed. But Gendo doesn't flinch, saying that unless they fight the Angels they "have no future." Misato finally orders Unit-01 to be launched to the surface. And Shinji quickly finds himself on street level (or rather towering over it), standing face to face with the Angel. Misato thinks to herself: "Shinji, donít get killed out there."

Tropes

  • All There in the Script: The Angel of this episode is Sachiel, designated the Third Angel.
  • Bookends: There is the first appearance of the "Bookend Rei" and Shinji's uttering of the line "Kimochi warui" inside Unit-01's cockpit. Both of these will be significant in End of Evangelion
  • Calling the Old Man Out: For what it is worth, Shinji makes an attempt at this, but between his own conflicted feelings, the sudden circumstances he finds himself in, and his father's unmoving and cold attitude, that attempt quickly falls flat.
  • Cliffhanger: Shinji ends the episode pitted into a fight armed a weapon he has no idea how to control.

    Recap/Neon Genesis EvangelionNeon Genesis Evangelion Episode 02 Unfamiliar Ceiling

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