“Afraid to kiss me on the anniversary of your mother’s death, hm? Afraid she’ll come down from heaven and scold you?”
This was the episode for black comedy, because that line from Asuka had to be one of the funniest, most bizarre lines I’ve heard in this series so far. Again, I love how the Gainax has explored all this heady psychological territory while still being comfortable enough to goof on it. The other line that made me laugh on similar grounds came when Misato’s doing her whole drunken breakdown with Kaji on the way home - - how she’s a failure, how she’s bad person, and so on - - and she finishes her whole list of deplorable traits by saying she’s almost as pathetic as Shinji! HA HA HA… now, THAT’S how you put a pity party in perspective! There’s always somebody who’s a bigger loser than you.
Another thing I appreciate about this show is that Gainax is willing to take little grounded, real world digressions (and, more importantly, make them interesting). It may sound odd, but actually having an episode mostly about Misato going to a friend’s wedding and worrying about becoming a spinster actually adds a lot of gravity to the giant robo stuff. However, I do have to say I’m confused sometimes over how stable the rest of the world is supposed to be. The Second Impact melted the ice-caps and submerged cities, right? Yet life seems to be going on like it normally does, barring the occasional angel attack. People are still having weddings with karaoke - - which everybody knows, is the true measure of excesses for a comfortable society.
It’s a testament to Gainax’s storytelling skills that there were able to pack this much into an episode. You get Shinji’s cold, awkward reunion with his father. The subsequent kissing game with Asuka (and she is SUCH a tease, isn’t she? Just leaving a date to wait in line at the rollercoaster? Horrible). And then the whole thing ends with one hell of a series of surprises. Kaji’s a double-agent? NERV has imprisoned the first angel? THE EVAS ARE ENGINEERED FROM THE FIRST ANGEL?!!? My mind was about to explode over the 60 seconds worth of surprises at the end.
And once again, I’m not buying that the religious symbolism is accidental. The first angel is named Adam, he’s got seven eyes and he’s crucified by NERV? Yeah… totally arbitrary.