reference video & geek-out opportunity #2

This is Unit-02’s introduction in the Rebuild series. It’s fantastic:

And here’s that music:

The Angel attacking lacks an official name. To be clear, none of the attackers are given names in the TV anime or the Rebuild films: usually, documentation, spinoff media, advertisements, and merchandise provided fans with the official names of all the Angels, from 1997 until the Rebuild films. As the Rebuilds released, it was safe to assume that the recurring Angel enemies kept their names, those being: Sachiel, Shamshel, Ramiel, Sahaquiel, Bardiel, and Zeruel. The Rebuild canon introduced two new Angels: the similarly unnamed 3rd Angel, fought by Mari using Provisional Eva Unit-05 in the opening to Rebuild 2.0, and the above. Due to the ‘ticking’ rotational movement of its heads, fans have dubbed it, “Clockiel.”

The Clockiel sequence is great for showing off Asuka Shikinami & Unit-02’s flashy style, and Asuka’s extraordinary ability as a pilot. The scenario is greatly different to the anime, though.

In the TV anime, Unit-02 and its German pilot Asuka Soryu, plus side character Ryoji Kaji, are introduced in Episode 08 when Germany ships Unit-02 to Japan across the ocean (which is still blue). The Evangelion is escorted by the U.N.’s fleet of warships, and Misato, Shinji, and two of Shinji’s classmates (for cover (?)) are flown to meet them on approach to Tokyo-3.

Asuka meets the Japanese cast and is typically aggressive. When Shinji bashfully reveals his 40% synchronization rate with Unit-01 (especially high for an untrained amateur), Asuka is motivated to prove herself and brings him to Unit-02.

But unknown to the crew, Kaji is carrying a secret package to deliver to Gendo at NERV, and its presence attracts the sixth Angel, Gaghiel. The Angel attacks the fleet while Asuka and Shinji are inside Unit-02’s entry plug, and Asuka decides to power up the unit to demonstrate her superiority and kill the Angel.

The episode pits Asuka and Shinji against one another, then brings them to cooperate in an embarrassingly forced intimacy. This pretty well set ups their dynamic for the future, foreshadowing their interaction in the finale, End of Evangelion. Rebuild 2.0 takes a different route, leaving Shinji out of the fight altogether and demonstrating Asuka’s skills as a lone wolf. There are some good reasons to feature this introduction rather than the anime’s Episode 08: 1) It’s faster than a 23-minute episode; 2) It doesn’t require a new location; and 3) It’s a lot more immediately exciting and badass. The pacing of Rebuild 2.0 calls for that excitement in the moment, and also, the Sahaquiel encounter later already features Asuka’s insecurity about working with others. But i can’t help but wonder: by the release of the last film, Rebuild 3.0+1.0, will it have been a more effective introduction to her character than in the anime? It really depends on the fate of her character in the Rebuild continuity, since there are some subtle differences between Asuka Langley Soryu (anime) and Asuka Langley Shikinami (Rebuild)…


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