Episode 18

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Episode Information
Episode #18
Title 1: 命の選択を
Inochi no sentaku o
A Life Choice
Title 2: Ambivalence[1]
18 C167 eva03-silhouette.jpg
Written By Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi
Directed By Tensai Okamura
First Aired 1-31-1996
Video Release Date 10-2-1996 (Japan-Video/LD), 4-17-2001 (US-DVD)
Angel Appearances Bardiel
Eva Sorties Eva-00, Eva-01, Eva-02
Episode chronology
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"Episode 17" "Episode 19"


Evangelion Unit-03 arrives in Japan from the United States. However, its activation experiment only continues the chain of misfortune begun with Eva-04 when it turns out to have been infected by the Thirteenth Angel. The other Evas are dispatched to ascertain the situation, and end up needing to battle the out-of-control Evangelion, even at the risk of killing its helpless pilot.


The episode begins with the transport aircraft carrying Eva-03 flying through a formation of cumulonimbus clouds. A brief, but massive spark of electricity is shown as the Eva enters the clouds.[2]

Misato prepares to leave for Nerv's second test facility at Matsushiro, and tells Shinji that she will be gone for a couple of days and has asked Kaji to look after him and Asuka for tonight. Shinji takes the opportunity to probe her for information on the things he has recently learned from Kensuke, namely the disappearance of Eva-04 along with Nerv's second branch in the US, and the rumors surrounding Eva-03's imminent arrival in Japan. Misato admits that what he has heard about the Eva-04 incident is true, and it happened when they tested the S² Engine, but assures him that Nerv Headquarters are quite safe. Shinji then tries to press her on the latter bit of information, asking her what she knows about the pilot of Eva-03. Misato finds herself unable to answer this question, leading to a tense moment of awkward silence between the two of them, which is interrupted by the door bell. Outside stands Kensuke, who begs to be chosen as the pilot of Eva-03.

In route for Matsushiro, Misato talks with Ritsuko, admitting that she didn't tell Shinji anything about the pilot because she is scared of how he will react. Ritsuko tells her that, as his guardian, she has to tell Shinji sooner or later. Misato reluctantly says she will try telling him tomorrow, but hopes that the new pilot might tell Shinji the news himself. Ritsuko says it is not very likely; the new pilot didn't take the news about his selection too well, and only asked for one thing in return for his compliance; that his sister was moved to the infirmary in Nerv Headquarters to receive medical treatment there.

Back at school Shinji and Kensuke discusses Eva-03, while Toji absentmindedly stares at the celling. Asuka arrives late, which puzzles Shinji since she left for school before him. Asuka just shoots an ireful look at Toji and spits at Shinji she doesn't want to look at him and his friends' ugly faces right now. At lunch time, Shinji and Kensuke notices to their puzzlement that Toji is absent, which is very strange. Toji, meanwhile, stands on the roof when Rei shows up to speak with him. Toji guesses that she probably knows what is going on with him, and Asuka does too, and that only leaves Shinji not being in the know. Hikari notices them talking together, and gets worried.

In Matsushiro, Misato are waiting due to a delay in transporting the Eva to Japan. The delayed flight arrives, and the Eva is readied for activation.

Back in Tokyo-3, Asuka is walking home with Hikari. Hikari notices that she normally walks home with Shinji, but Asuka replies she is not in the mood to spend time with him right now. The two of them sit for a bit to down to chat, and Asuka guesses straight away that Hikari wants to talk about her feelings for Toji. Hikari asks if things between them are that obvious, and Asuka says that everyone can tell, except Shinji, whom she dismisses as too dense to understand relationships and to how to relate to people. Hikari tells her for her worries that Toji might have something for Rei, but Asuka assures her that Rei is the only she knows who is worse than Shinji when it comes to relate to people.

In Misato's apartment, Shinji and Asuka are relaxing. Shinji decides to ask her if she knows anything about Eva-03 and its pilot. Though Asuka is surprised to realize that Shinji doesn't know yet, she pretends that she doesn't know either. Later that night, Shinji asks Kaji if he knows anything about Gendo. Kaji admits that he doesn't know too much, asking Shinji in turn why he is interested in learning about his father. Shinji says that he has learned quite a few things about Gendo, the Evas, and his mother lately and wants to know more. Kaji tells Shinji that he only believes that he has learning something, and that fully understanding other people is impossible, but that also is what makes life interesting. Shinji then catches Kaji off-guard by asking him if he also thinks that is true for him and Misato. Instead of answering directly, Kaji formulates a somewhat vague and more general response about the nature of men and women, to which Shinji responds that he doesn't understand adults.

The next morning in Matsushiro, the bilingual[3] activation begins under supervision of Ritsuko and Misato, but as soon as the entry plug with the pilot is inserted, things go dangerously wrong. Attempts to cut the power and stop the activation fail and a high energy reaction is detected inside the Eva. The 13th Angel, Bardiel reveals itself and the Angel-infected Eva roars as it sets off a huge explosion (possibly via its S² Engine).

The trapped dummy plug

Nerv headquarters is alerted about the explosion at Matsushiro. Subsequently, an entity with Blood Type Orange is detected, which is discovered to be the infected Eva-03. Attempts to eject the entry plug are inhibited by the Angel's biomass holding it back. With communications with Matsushiro being down and Misato missing in action, Gendo takes control of the operation. With Eva-03 out of control, and rejecting its commands to eject its entry plug, Gendo wastes no time in designating the infected Eva as the Thirteenth Angel and has the three remaining Evangelions sortie against it, with no choice but to fight it with the pilot held hostage.

Shinji remains ignorant of the fact that Toji is the pilot of Eva-03. Asuka is about to tell him when she is surprised and incapacitated by the infected Eva. Rei hesitates to shoot long enough for Eva-03 to detect Eva-00's presence and attack it. After pinning Eva-00 to the ground, it secretes a grayish-purple fluid that begins to infect Eva-00 through the left arm. Gendo quickly orders the arm severed with Rei still synchronized. Eva-03 goes on to fight Eva-01.

Shinji sees the trapped entry plug and refuses to fight the Eva while the pilot is still inside. The Eva's mutated arms reach out and grab Eva-01 by the neck. Gendo orders Shinji to fight, but Shinji would rather be strangled to death than risk killing Eva-03's pilot. As a result, Gendo orders the Dummy System to be activated, despite warnings from Maya that the system is still untested.

The Dummy System activates, surprising Shinji when the pressure on his neck alleviates and his control over the Eva is relinquished. With mechanical movements, Eva-01 starts to struggle against the infected Eva-03's death grip, and and soon manages to overwhelm it, grabbing Eva-03's neck in turn. Eva-01 keeps pressing until Eva-03's neck breaks leaving the infected Eva limp. Eva-01 proceeds to throw the other Eva to the ground like a rag doll, and raises its fist to smashes in the infected Eva's skull, before starting to rip off its armor and brutally dismembering it. Shinji screams for his father to stop it and makes futile attempts to control the Eva himself, but Eva-01 continues until it digs out and crushes the Entry Plug.

Misato comes to as she found among the other survivors of the explosion at Matsushiro. She is greeted by Kaji, who explains that Ritsuko is injured, but safe and that Eva-03 was destroyed by Eva-01. A sobbing, miserable Shinji speaks to Misato on the radio briefly before the pilot of Eva-03 is revealed to be still alive. Misato apologizes to Shinji for not being honest with him about the new pilot, and tries to tell him, but once again she cannot bring the words to her lips. It is rendered moot, as Shinji to his dawning horror sees an injured and unconscious Toji being extracted from Eva-03's plug. He screams in anguish.


  • When Toji is extracted from the entry plug, what look like strands of congealed LCL are still attached to his body. This was probably another part of Bardiel's infection, which raises the question of whether or not Toji was infected as well.


  • Kensuke: "Now, time to eat! Hey, where's Toji?"
    Shinji: "He's gone."
    Kensuke: "Without even eating lunch? Him? That's impossible."
    Shinji: "He's been acting odd lately, hasn't he?"
  • Toji: "Oh, Ayanami, if you're lookin' for Shinji, he ain't here. You know 'bout me, don't you? Seems Sohryu knows too. So Shinji's the only one who doesn't know. You don't usually care 'bout people."
    Rei: "Really? I'm not sure I understand."
    Toji: "The one you care about's Shinji."
    Rei: "Do I? You may be right."
    Toji: "Yeah, you do."
  • Woman (Television): "Now that I consider it, a man who sucks at kissing never works out!"
    Kaji: "What? Are you two fighting again? You guys are hopeless."
    Man (Television): "My kissing sucks?"
    Woman (Television): "Not just your kissing!"
    Kaji: "Are you two always like this when Katsuragi's gone?"
    Man (Television): "Not just my kissing?!"
  • Kaji: "You're wrong there. You only believe that you've learned. People can't understand others completely. Who knows if you can even understand yourself? Understanding each other one hundred percent is impossible. Of course, that's why we spend so much time trying to understand ourselves and others. That's what makes life so interesting."
    Shinji: "Is that also true for you and Miss Misato?"
    Kaji: "The word we use for 'she' literally means 'the woman far away'. To us, women will always be on the distant shore. Basically, there's a river dividing men and women, deeper and wider than the ocean."
    Shinji: "I don't understand adults."
  • Hyuga: "We still have respiratory and cardiac response, but he's probably..."
    Gendo: "Evangelion Unit 03 will be abandoned at this time. It will be designated as the Thirteenth Angel."
    Hyuga: "But, Sir!"
    Gendo: "Deploy the battle line at Mt. Nobe as planned. Destroy the target."
  • Shinji: "But... but I can't! I've got to save them! I can't just kill somebody!"
    Gendo: "You'll die."
    Shinji: "I don't care! It's better than killing someone!"
    Gendo: "Never mind! Cut all synchronization between the pilot and Unit 01."
    Maya: "Cut it?"
    Gendo: "Correct. Switch the control circuit to the dummy plug."
    Maya: "But the dummy system still has a lot of problems, and without Dr. Akagi's approval..."
    Gendo: "It'll be of more use than the pilot. Do it!"
    Maya: "Yes, Sir."
  • Misato (Radio- Off): "Shinji..."
    Shinji: "Miss Misato, so you're all right?"
    Misato (Radio- Off)): "I...I'm sorry. I had something important to tell you, but..."
    Shinji (starting to cry): "Miss Misato, I...I killed...It was my father...I begged him to stop, but..."
    Misato (Radio- Off): "Shinji, I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
    Maya (Radio - Off): "Report from the entry plug recovery team. The pilot's life signs are confirmed."
    Shinji: "He's alive?!"
    Misato (Radio- Off): "Unit 03's pilot is... The Fourth Children is..."
    Shinji: "Toji?"
    Misato (Radio- Off) "Shinji? Shinji? Shinji?! Shinji?! Shinji?!"
    (Shinji screams.)


  1. The English language title, "Ambivalence", refers to a state where two contradictory emotions or attitudes exist at the same time within an individual. It was originally a psychoanalytical term, first used by the Swiss psychoanalyst Paul Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939). The title may be referring to Shinji's conflict between his duty to defeat Eva-03 and his emotional reluctance to fight the Eva, due to the fact that it has a human pilot on board. (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Platinum:05 DVD booklet. Released by A.D.V. Films. Translated from the Renewal Vol. 05 DVD booklet.) See here for more details.
  2. "Conceivably, Bardiel lurked within the cumulonimbus clouds and parasitized the in-transit Eva-03 when it passed through." (積乱雲の中に潜み、移送中の3号機が通過した際に寄生したものと考えられるバルディエル。) From Evangelion Chronicle, Mechanic Sheet 04: Evangelion Production Model / Thirteenth Angel Bardiel. Translation by Reichu.
  3. English is used in the original Japanese version of this episode to represent personnel from the United States' First Branch: at the beginning of the episode for the interchange between the Eva transport and Air Traffic Control, and later during Eva-03's bilingual activation experiment.
    • The English dialogue was performed by Michael House, George A. Arriola, and Hiromi Arriola. Michael House was a Gainax employee at the time who did in-house translation work. George A. Arriola and Hiromi Arriola were friends of his and are apparently husband and wife.
    • The American personnel say "Evangelion Unit One" in place of the Japanese "Evangelion Shogouki". (Also from the Platinum:05 DVD booklet.)

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