Episode 14

Evangelion ScreenshotJapanese Title: ゼーレ、魂の座 (SEELE, Kon no Za) (SEELE, Throne of Souls)
English Sub-Title: Weaving a Story
Airdate: January 3, 1996

This episode is divided into two parts, the first being a recap of major events leading up to this point, primarily outlining each Angel and how it is destroyed. The second part attempts to piece together these events, offering new revelations such as the introduction of SEELE, the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as the Lance of Longinus. For the purposes of this article, the recap portion is skipped.

NERV Commander Gendo Ikari is in conference with the Human Instrumentality Committee, whose members are concerned about rumors of an Angel (Ireul) having invaded NERV Headquarters. They point out that such an event is far too early, and that it does not fit into their scenario. Gendo denies the entire incident, instead assuring the committee that such rumors are in error. When warned that lying to them is punishable by death, Gendo assures that everything is on schedule and proceeding in accordance to SEELE's plan.

Evangelion ScreenshotThe next several minutes show an in-depth view into the mind of Rei Ayanami, the First Child and designated pilot of Evangelion Unit-00. It is an abstract thought sequence scrolling through random images with Rei making comments about each one. Of particular interest is her mention of herself as a woman who does not bleed (does not menstruate), her dislike of the color red (the color of blood), and questions pertaining to the existence of God. The sequence concludes with Rei asking herself who and what she is. Rei's thoughts are interrupted by the voice of Ritsuko Akagi, who asks how it feels to be piloting Evangelion Unit-01. Rei slowly replies that is smells like Shinji Ikari.

Evangelion ScreenshotThe experiment is called the Unit Interchangeability Test, an attempt to switch pilots between Evangelion Unit-00 and Evangelion Unit-01. Ritsuko Akagi explains that data patterns of both units are almost identical, and Rei's Sync Ratio is unaffected by the switch.

As part of the same experiment, Shinji Ikari is inside Evangelion Unit-00. When Asuka Langley Sohryu asks why she is not part of the experiment, Misato casually replies that she did not think Asuka would be interested in piloting anything but her own Evangelion Unit-02. Getting a cheerful agreement from Asuka, Misato then thinks to herself that in truth she does not believe Evangelion Unit-02 to be compatible.

Evangelion ScreenshotAs the experiment continues, Misato asks Shinji how he feels inside of Evangelion Unit-00. Shinji replies that it feels strange, and that it smells like Rei Ayanami. As the experiment moves into the next stage, Ritsuko confirms that while Shinji's Sync Ratio is lower, it is still acceptable, and that these readings will allow them to implement the new Dummy System.

However something goes wrong as the experiment proceeds with final A10 Nerve connections. Suddenly Shinji's mind is flooded with images of Rei. Mental contamination is soon detected from Evangelion Unit-00, and the unit enters a berserk state. It breaks free of its restraints and attacks the control room, where Ritsuko, Rei, and Misato are observing. Fortunately, the unit quickly runs out of power and goes silent.

Evangelion ScreenshotFollowing the incident, Misato asks Ritsuko if what had happened was somehow related to a similar failure involving Rei (see Episode 05). Ritsuko explains that she does not know, but that Evangelion Unit-00 should be reset and resynchronized with Rei as soon as possible. While Misato believes the autonomous attack of Evangelion Unit-00 was directed at Rei, in private Ritsuko believes the attack was directed at her.

Meanwhile, Shinji is recovering at a NERV medical facility. Although he is fine, he does not remember what had happened (a similar situation to when Evangelion Unit-01 first went berserk during the battle with Sachiel, the Third Angel). Also lying alone in her bed, Asuka ponders the incident, wondering why no one knows or is willing to tell her anything about Rei. This is the first such scene showing Asuka to suspect something very odd about her.

Evangelion ScreenshotBack at NERV Headquarters, Gendo and Kouzou discuss the repercussions of Ireul, and how its invasion of NERV is a deviation of their plans. Kouzou explains that the Human Instrumentality Committee has found out about the incident despite their efforts to cover it up, and is now applying pressure.

Gendo replies that NERV is holding all the cards, and therefore no problems exist. When Kouzou mentions the incident involving Evangelion Unit-00 and how it was not part of the scenario, Gendo dismisses it as inconsequential (from which Kouzou realizes that Gendo is trying to protect Rei).

Meanwhile, deep inside the bowels of NERV Headquarters, Evangelion Unit-00 with Rei Ayanami at its helm carries the enigmatic Lance of Longinus.

Analysis

  • Reused Animation

    This episode is often dubbed by fans as a budget recap episode. While admittedly the first several minutes feature strictly recap material, even its latter part (which introduces considerable amounts of new information), is primarily composed of reused animation. In fact, the number of new cells animated for this episode was only in the range of 500.

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July 11, 2014
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