Episode 17

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Episode Information
Episode #17
Title 1: 四人目の適格者
Yonninme no Tekikakusha
The Fourth Qualified Individual
Written By Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi
Directed By Minoru Ohara
First Aired 1-24-1996
Video Release Date 10-2-1996 (Japan-Video/LD), 3-27-2001 (US-DVD)
Angel Appearances None
Eva Sorties None
Episode chronology
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"Episode 16" "Episode 18"


A Nerv branch in Nevada is obliterated in a catastrophic accident, and Nerv headquarters prepares to station a new Evangelion in Japan. The Fourth Children(Child) is selected, unbeknownst to Shinji.


The episode opens with the Instrumentality Committee interrogating Misato about the incident with the Twelfth Angel. The Committee seriously considers the possibility that the Angel was trying to communicate with mankind and took the Eva for that purpose, but Misato, acting as a proxy for an "emotionally unstable" Shinji, is incapable of conclusively answering what happened. Lorenz ends the meeting, and talks to Gendo. Gendo notes that it appears that the Angels are indeed starting to show signs of intelligence, and it means that the time Seele has left is running short.

Toji is seen in the hospital, and some of the hospital staff chat with themselves about how caring he is as a brother, and how nice he is to take care of his injured sister (hurt at the beginning of the series as one of the unnamed casualties of the battle with Sachiel)[2]. Gendo and Rei enter Nerv headquarters, and Gendo asks a few generic questions about Rei, such as how she is feeling and how she finds it at school. He does not make any further inquiries about her in a personal regard. Back at school at lunchtime, Toji overhears an argument between Shinji and Asuka over the former having forgotten to pack lunch for the latter, and he dryly comments that they they fight like a married couple, embarrassing both of them.

An orbital view of Post-Second Impact America is seen, with a small red dot spreading across the continent. Absolute panic ensues in the bridge, since Nerv's Second Branch in Nevada has completely vanished. Misato, Ritsuko, and the bridge trio review the incident, and notice that the disappearance took place at the same time that the restored S² Engine sample was to be installed on Evangelion Unit-04. A ridiculous 32,768 possibilities for the accident abound, including sabotage. Ritsuko suspects that the branch was swallowed into a Dirac Sea like Eva-01 had previously, and when Misato criticizes the idea of using things they don't fully understand, Ritsuko thinks to herself, "Just like the Evas." Later, on the escalator, Ritsuko informs Misato that the U.S. Government is sending over Evangelion Unit-03 to them from the United States, to prevent the First Branch from being lost as well.

The Dummy Plug Plant

Ritsuko and Gendo discuss the usage of the dummy system, and Gendo orders the data to be installed on Eva-01 and Eva-02. Ritsuko says that the errors in the dummy system make it risky to use for the first activation of Eva-03, but there is a candidate for whom a core can be readied immediately[3]. Ritsuko calls Misato to her office to inform her about the selection of the Fourth Child. This puzzles Misato, since she hasn't heard anything from the Marduk Institute, to which Ritsuko replies that their full report will arrive tomorrow. Misato reads the documents and is surprised about the Fourth Child's identity. Referring to the rather fragile mental state Shinji has been in lately, she decides not to tell him for the time being.

Toji has class duty and is asked by Hikari to deliver a bunch of printouts Rei. Toji protests, saying that he cannot just barge into a girl's home uninvited. Hikari is about to offer to go with him, but Toji is already asking Shinji if he wants to come along, since he knows were Rei lives. When they arrive at Rei's apartment, the room is still in an absolute mess, and Toji is rather shocked to see a girl's room looking so messy. Shinji decides to clean up a bit as a favor for Rei while he is here, to which Toji starts to reminiscence about the time he and Shinji first met. He admits that he thought Shinji was a selfish jerk back then, but he has been proving him completely wrong about that ever since. Rei soon returns, and surprised, thanks Shinji for cleaning up. She later realizes that she has never said "Thank you" to anybody, not even Gendo.

Later in the afternoon, Fuyutsuki and Gendo, on a train ride, discuss matters pertaining to Tokyo-3 and mankind, as well as the matter of Eva-04's catastrophic accident. At Nerv Headquarters, Kaji tries to rather aggressively flirt with a visibly uncomfortable Maya in the cafeteria, only to be interrupted when Misato appears. Maya hurriedly excuses herself and leaves, while Misato calls Kaji out on attempting to hit on younger women. Kaji jokes around with the fact that she is acting so serious around him all of a sudden, but Misato replies that she cannot afford to be relaxed at the moment, and asks him what he knows about the Marduk Institute. In response, Kaji drops his jovial attitude and pulls Misato close, telling her in a hushed tone that the Institute does not actually exist, and that it is Nerv who are pulling the threads, telling her to look closer at code "Code 707". Misato recognizes "707" as the number of Shinji, Asuka, and Rei's school, but before she can ask for further details, Shinji suddenly appears and tells her that Ritsuko is looking for her. Misato goes to meet Ritusko, but makes sure to tell Kaji that they are going to resume their talk later.

Shinji and Kaji go out, and discuss matters of life with each other. Kaji decides to show Shinji one of hobbies, namely that he has a private patch of melons and flowers in the Geofront that he cares for. He tells Shinji that caring for something living is something that can learn you a lot of things. Shinji comments that it can bring suffering too, to which Kaji notices that he seems familiar with suffering and asks him if he has found something in his life he enjoys. When Shinji hesitates to answer, Kaji tells him that something can also be learned from suffering too, namely the value of being kind to others.

Shinji and the others participate in another sync test, and Ritsuko notices that his score is falling, and she suspects that it might have something to with what happened with the previous Angel. Misato worries about this, saying that it does not make telling him about the new pilot any easier.

The next school day, at lunchtime, Toji is called in for a meeting with the principal. Kensuke asks what he has done to warrant such a meeting, but a puzzled Toji says he cannot think of anything. When Toji shows up at the principal's office, he is greeted by Ritsuko's voice. Meanwhile, Kensuke is having lunch with Shinji, and discusses some of the news and rumors about Nerv he has heard recently, such as the accident with Eva-04 and Eva-03's imminent arrival in Japan, and overtly tries to probe Shinji for more information on them. Shinji realizes that he hasn't been told about either, and is somewhat annoyed that Misato hasn't told him anything. Kensuke, though somewhat shocked that Shinji, as an Eva pilot, doesn't know, tries to rationalize this to him, saying that he probably hasn't been told because it doesn't directly affect Nerv Headquarters.

Toji first comes back to class very late in the afternoon, looking unusually downcast and thoughtful. Hikari, who has waited behind for him, reminds him that he is on clean-up duty. Toji says that he will take care of it after he has eaten, as he has missed lunch. Hikari takes the opportunity to ask him if he would be interested in having a homecooked lunch tomorrow, as she usually has leftovers from making lunches for her sisters. Much to her delight, Toji takes her up on her offer.

Back at Nerv, Asuka pays a visit to Kaji, but he absent-mindedly tries to wave her off as he is busy with some work, saying that they can talk later. Asuka gets surly, and says that he somehow always seems to find time to talk with Misato, and then tries to embrace him from behind, much to his irritation. Asuka then catches a glimpse of his computer screen, noticing that it is a rapport on a new pilot. Asuka reads the name of the said pilot, and instantly gets upset, asking how he of all people could have been chosen as the Fourth Child.

The episode ends with Eva-03's take-off from America. Back in Tokyo-3, Hikari is cooking a meal, and a contemplative Toji making a free throw at the basketball court.



  • Episodes 16 and 17 form a figurative "irony bomb" when juxtaposed with Episodes 23 and 24. In episode 16, Ritsuko and Gendo stand beside Eva-01 as it is washed after its bloody "rebirth" from Leliel, and Gendo is oblivious the dark look on Ritsuko's face when he invites Rei to eat with him. In Episode 23, Ritsuko thinks Gendo replaced her with Rei, and destroys the dummy system. Next episode, Eva-01 is washed after killing Kaworu, with Rei standing at Gendo's side exactly where Ritsuko did.


  1. The title of the Episode in English is "Fourth Children", in line with the Eva pilots being referred to as the "Nth children". In their U.S. release, ADV rendered this on the DVD cover as "Fourth CHILD" although "Fourth Children" remains unchanged in the Episode title.
  2. Old versions of the script had Toji speaking to his little sister (who is not seen and has no dialogue) telling her that she would be transferred to a new hospital the next day - the day of the Bardiel attack.[1]
  3. Ritsuko and Gendo state in Episode 04 that there is no candidate they can use following Shinji's disappearance and prior to Asuka's arrival (Rei was still in bandages at that stage). There is no stated reason for the choice of Toji, once again leaving the question "Do they select the pilot or the soul first?" unanswered.

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