Episode 22

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Episode Information
Episode #22
Title 1: せめて、人間らしく
Semete, ningen rashiku
At least, be human
Title 2: Don't be.
22 C400 asuka-lonely.jpg
Written By Hideaki Anno, Hiroshi Yamaguchi
Directed By Akira Takamura
First Aired 2-28-1996
Video Release Date 2-5-1997 (Japan-Video/LD), 5-29-2001 (US-DVD)
Angel Appearances Arael, Lilith(Crucified)
Eva Sorties Eva-00, Eva-02
Episode chronology
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"Episode 21" "Episode 23"

Overview

Asuka's synch rate is on a downward spiral after her defeat at the hands of the Fourteenth Angel, Zeruel, and her frustration with Rei, Shinji, Misato and (unknown to her, dead) Kaji is on the rise. Angrier and more disturbed than ever, she is forced to relive her dark, traumatic past during the encounter with the Fifteenth Angel, Arael.

Synopsis

The Episode begins with Asuka and Kaji aboard the Aircraft Carrier on their way to Japan. Asuka talks to Kaji about Misato and tells him that he is the only person she loves, in what amounts to an excessively strong schoolgirl crush. Kaji rebuffs her, saying, "You're only a child."

Other dark images of Asuka's past abound, including images of her mother lying in hospital and holding a doll. The real Asuka watches as her previously neglectful mother refuses to recognize her and treats the doll as her daughter, while her father (Langley), speaks to and then makes love with the lady doctor[1] in the next room. Asuka refuses to cry at her mother's funeral after she commits suicide.

Back in the present, Asuka's sync rate is on a downward trajectory. Ritsuko notices that it could be a major problem, with the Evas still in repair after Zeruel's attack. She orders Maya to see to it that Eva-00 get the most attention for now.

Meanwhile, Misato has a covert meeting with Hyuga, who has learned from his sources in Shanghai that the other branches of Nerv have started production work on Evas all the way up to number 13. Misato notes that it is strange that they are starting mass production at this stage. Hyuga guesses that the reason is either to ensure they have enough reserve parts or it is a way to defend against multiple Angels attacking at once, but Misato points out that is still rather suspicious that the Committee is trying to keep the production a secret, and believes that they might have some other objective in mind.

Asuka glares at Shinji at the train station.

Late in the afternoon, Asuka is on her way home from the sync test and waits for the train at a station. She tries calling Kaji on her phone, but an automated message tells her that the number is no longer in use. Frustrated, Asuka takes a look around at the station and spots Rei and Shinji on another platform, with Shinji talking casually to Rei. Asuka is annoyed at this, feeling that she has lost to Rei.

Asuka ignores Shinji and there is visible tension between her and Misato at dinner. Soon afterwards, her stepmother (The doctor) calls up and both of them speak in German for a while before she hangs up, with a dark expression on her face. Shinji fails to notice this, and tries asking her about the conversation, noting that it must nice to have some family to talk to. Asuka, in a rare unguarded moment, opens up to Shinji and tells him the truth about her stepmother, namely that she doesn't hate her, but only really talks to her to keep up appearances, before getting angry and wondering why she is telling all this.

Asuka's mood worsens as the night goes on, culminating in her screaming out her hatred of Shinji, Misato, Rei and herself in the bath. Misato notices this with some concern.

The next day, Asuka undergoes a new test, with her score even worse than the day before. Misato tells Risuko that Asuka is on her period, and that her bad results have something to do with that, but Ritsuko says that superficial physical conditions shouldn't normally affect the score, and guesses that the problem is of a psychological nature. Her and Ritsuko talk afterwards, with Misato noticing that things between Asuka and Shinji are close to the breaking point, that she is considering to have them live separately.

Elsewhere, an exhausted Asuka rinsing herself off in a bathroom, asking why she has to go through menstruating when she doesn't want to be a mother. On her way back, she runs into Rei in the elevator, and after a long silence, Rei speaks, telling Asuka to treat the Eva like a person. Enraged at Rei trying to help her out, Asuka slaps Rei and storms out of the elevator. She talks to Eva-02 for a while, telling it that it's her puppet, before deciding, "This is stupid."

A view of the Spear and Arael from Earth's orbit

Right then, the Angel Arael[2] arrives, holding its position in Low Earth Orbit very far from Tokyo-3. With Eva-01 on freeze and Shinji placed on indefinite standby under orders from Gendo, Misato plans for Rei and Eva-00 to take point against the Angel, with Asuka and Eva-02 acting as her backup. Asuka, however, takes it as an insult to relegated to Rei's backup and immediately launches her Eva out into the field on her own. Ritsuko mentions to Maya that they need to think of a replacement pilot for Eva-02. Asuka attempts to attack the Angel with the Positron Rifle, but it remains too far out of range and the targeting computer is unable to get a lock on it. Suddenly, a beam of visible light shines down from the Angel upon the Eva. Asuka is caught off-guard and screams as she fires in blind panic causing damage all over Tokyo-3. Looking at the readings, Ritsuko realizes that the Angel's attack similar to an A.T. Field, and it is trying to penetrates the Eva's mind

As both her and the Eva violently convulses under the Angel's attack, Asuka screams in pain as the Angel tries to enter her mind, and soon succeeds[3], revealing even more of her inner trauma, and how she constantly desires for attention by being the best in everything. As Eva-02 shuts down and the pilot continues to wither mentally, Rei is ordered to shoot the Angel with a sniper version of the Positron Rifle (Similar in appearance to the one used against Ramiel), but the beam is too weak to penetrate the Angel's A.T. Field at that range.

Shinji desperately begs to be send out in Eva-01 to resque Asuka, but Gendo refuses his request, saying that he won't risk a contamination, and orders the Eva to remain in lockdown. He instead orders Rei to retrieve the Spear of Longinus from Terminal Dogma (where it lies driven into the crucified Lilith). Fuyutsuki quitely questions this order, asking Gendo if they are not getting ahead of themselves, but Gendo retorts that with the Committee having started mass-producing the Eva series, they will have to make a countermove, and he believes this situation presents the best chance for a plausible justification for getting rid of the Spear. Rei uses the Spear to deadly effect on the Angel[4]. The Spear, however, is lost. Shinji tries to console Asuka, who is even more upset after the mental attack and hates the idea that Rei saved her.

On-Air Version Differences

For a detailed comparison of the redrawn scenes, see Guides:Episode_22_OA_vs._DC

  • The only scenes the audience sees of Asuka's mind-rape in the original version is of her wondering why she's crying when little (Presumably at her mother's funeral after deciding she wouldn't cry anymore) up until her telling the 15th Angel to stop making her remember all that "bad stuff" since she'd "forgotten about it".
  • Material absent from the On Air version:
    • The attempted seduction scene on the Aircraft carrier.
    • The scene in the bathroom where Asuka declares her hatred for everyone including herself.
    • The scene where Asuka sees Shinji talking to Rei and reacts with jealousy.
    • Most of the mind rape including important flashbacks to Episodes 9, 10, and 15.
    • The last few seconds of the hospital scene where we hear Langley and the Lady Doctor thrashing around in the next room.
    • Lilith's legs regenerating once the Lance of Longinus is removed.
    • The Lance of Longinus morphing as it penetrates the Angel's AT Field.
  • The On Air version includes the opening credits; they are missing from the Director's Cut.

Notes

In the expanded Director's Cut version of Episode 22, Anno also took inspiration from a 1996 doujin by author Nobi Nobita called Bridal Veil, which depicted an expanded mindrape scene itself. Curiously, while making his own scene, Anno made it clear that Asuka's feelings were directed at Shinji, having supplanted her crush for Kaji. It also adds more lines for Asuka bemoaning Shinji and makes this context even clearer by adding additional past scenes with Asuka and Shinji, like him rescuing her in Episode 10. This isn't made clear in the doujin, wherein it seems ambiguous if she's talking about Shinji or Kaji. This doujin has been translated on Evageeks and a full scanlation is also available on its thread.

Analysis

  • Based on Asuka's reaction at seeing Shinji in her mind during the attack ("What are you doing there?! You won't do anything! You won't help me! You won't even hold me!") along with the accompanying screenshots to flashbacks of important scenes in Episodes 09, 10, and 15 respectively, it appears that Asuka has feelings for Shinji and has been trying to get him to notice her all this time. See Theory and Analysis: Shinji and Asuka's Relationship for details.
  • Arael and the next two Angels seem to form the three parts of a classical Angel: Arael representing the wings, Armisael the Halo, and Tabris the body.
  • See Theory and Analysis:Film Montage Theory in Evangelion for an analysis of the montage sequences in this episode.

Quotes

  • Asuka remembering her seducing Kaji before arriving in Japan: "Asuka, you're still a child. Those things can wait until you grow up a little." "What?! That's no fun! I'm already grown up enough! I'm already a grownup! I'm a grownup! I'm a grownup! So look at me!"
  • Asuka thinking how Misato, Rei, Hikari, Ritsuko, and Maya see her (In that order): "Soryu Asuka Langley, pleased to meet you! Are you stupid? (It's my) Chance! So look at me!" "No (it's different), this is not me!"
  • Asuka, upon seeing Shinji in her mind: "Why are you there?! You won't do anything! You won't help me! You won't even hold me! No one! No one! No one!" Asuka crying when little: "So look at me!"

References

  1. In a description of the flashback scene from the beginning of 22, the S² Works booklet designates the lady doctor as Langley's "mistress" ("aijin").
  2. Hyuga mentions that Arael "isn't budging from its satellite orbit", then Aoba says that "It's maintaining a set distance from" them. Although this should imply that Arael is in Geostationary Orbit, the shot of the lance heading for the Arael show that it is a lower orbit, since Geostationary Orbit(Which is 22,000 miles, or 36,000 kilometers above sea level) allows a full third of the Earth to be visible. Judging from the angle of the throw, the landmass under the Angel is probably Australia. While Geostationary Orbit can normally only be achieved by a satellite over the equator and at the previously mentioned altitude(36,000 kilometers), the raw power of the Angel's S2 engine could allow it to simply hover in any position in orbit, something impossible for a normal satellite.
  3. Ritsuko comments about the Angel trying to understand a human mind, which implies that Arael was trying to understand humans or make contact with them. The beam of light functioned like an attack on Asuka's mind because it forced Asuka to expose and relive the terrible memories and fears that she had shut away deep inside her mind.
    • Arael and the succeeding Angels, Armisael and Tabris, form a triad of Angels that try to understand or communicate with humans. However, Leliel, in episode 16 was the first to attempt this.
  4. In the director's cut editions, either Eva-00 or the Spear lets out a bellow that sounds exactly like a berserk Eva-01 when the Spear breaks the clouds. Whether the Eva or the Spear itself makes that noise is unclear, but a very similar sound is heard in End of Evangelion when the Spear fuses with Eva-01's core.
    • Once thrown, it appears that the Spear can propel itself.



External links

Episodes & Films
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The End of Evangelion: Episode 25' | Episode 26'

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