So after a cheery five month hiatus we come roaring back! With what might just be the two weakest episodes in the series.
In all honesty there’s not a lot to write about on these. To quote Johnny Cash these episodes are “Low Down and Triflin’”. Both Episodes are frankly bad, all the terrible things about Eva with none of the good. The first episode starts with perhaps the only straight filler episode in Eva. Paced with all the brevity and snap of the Bataan Death March Episode 7, finds NERV under attack for their piss poor record of saving the earth from utter annihilation a mere three times.
The Bureaucrats want something less risky then the Evangelions to deal with the angels (Understandable). So they decide on a giant clumsy mechanical beast with no human oversight and a nuclear reactor strapped inside it’s chest (Less Understandable). In an utterly unsurprising development things do not go well!
The big terrible idea goes beserk and it’s up to Misato and Shinji to stop it. The big twist is that the almost meltdown wasn’t an accident at all! No really. It was all set up by NERV. I can remember being really surprised by this at the time. You mean the good guys set it up!?!? I can only conclude that at fifteen I was a bit dim as up until this point NERV has been potrayed as so shady that I’m frankly surprised that Gendo and Co aren’t shown dining nightly on living puppies. A bit of industrial sabotage is simply not that shocking anymore.
What Episode 7 has in obtuseness Episode 8 makes up for in stupidity. It’s dumb. No I mean REAAALLYY Dumb. The episode, unlike 7 at least have a nominal purpose, namely bringing the last two main players, the pilot Askua, and double agent/ Old Flame of Misato’s/ General N’er do well into well play. Part of Eva’s greatness is its Watchmen like ability (note I didn’t say quality) at busting down the stock characters that make up any given series. Unfortunately this means that at first blush these characters appear to be just as boring as any a standard Giant Robot show has to offer. While Kaji and Asuka would later reveal the hidden depths and insecurities that drive them, for now they remain safely hidden under a bland veneer. A shrill unlikable bland veneer.
Which means that most of the episode is devoted to “hilarious” single entendres by the “wacky” supporting cast crosscut with “fascinating” bureaucratic chatter, and a fucking awful action sequence that makes Michael Bay look like a physics professor.
The final sequence and the reveal of Kaji’s cargo bring the intrigue back, while we’re still a few episodes away from the game changer that would send EVA down the dark garden path, the reveal of Adam was kind enough to remind me that it’s coming.