Japanese Title: 死に至る病、そして (Shi ni
Itaru Yamai, Soshite) (Sickness, Unto Death, And...)
English Sub-Title: Splitting of the Breast
Airdate: January 17, 1996
Early in the morning, as Shinji Ikari and Misato Katsuragi are having breakfast, the ever-charming Asuka Langley Sohryu bursts out of the washroom yelling that the water is too hot. When Shinji apologizes, Asuka scolds him once again for apologizing for something he has nothing to do with, and that apologizing reflexively is a bad habit. She then proceeds to scold Misato for her indecent relationship with Ryoji Kaji, who just happened to have left a message setting up a date for tonight.
At NERV Headquarters, Shinji, Asuka, and Rei are participating in routine Sync Ratio test. Today however, Shinji's Sync Ratio surpasses that of the highly-trained Asuka, making him number one. While the news boosts his confidence, it severely upsets Asuka, who has always taken pride in maintaining the highest Sync Ratio.
The next morning a mysterious object appears over New Tokyo-3. The NERV Command Center immediately declares an emergency. With Commander Gendo Ikari away on business, Misato Katsuragi is once again left in charge. But initial scans of the target prove inconclusive, since the MAGI Super-Computer System is unable to detect an AT Field, and therefore unable to confirm the presence of an Angel.
Evangelion Unit-00, Evangelion Unit-01, and Evangelion Unit-02 are quickly dispatched to the surface of New Tokyo-3. Misato informs the three pilots to approach the target carefully as there is very little information available. A frustrated Asuka soon starts a scuffle between her and Shinji as to who should take point. Confidant due to his latest Sync Ratio scores, Shinji tells her that combat is a man's job, and that he will show her how it ought to be done.
As Evangelion Unit-01 approaches the target, Shinji gets impatient waiting for Asuka and Rei, who are to back him up. Noting that he will stop it himself, Shinji fires at the target. As he does so, the floating black form vanishes. In an instant, the MAGI Super-Computer System detects an AT Field, confirming the target to be Leliel, the Twelfth Angel. Before Shinji can react, a black form appears under him, literally sucking Evangelion Unit-01 into the ground. In a panic, Shinji calls out for help, but neither Asuka nor Rei are close enough to aid him. Within moments, Evangelion Unit-01 vanishes into the black form of the Angel.
As Evangelion Unit-00 and Evangelion Unit-02 arrive on the scene, they too are nearly caught by the Angel as entire buildings are consumed. A quick thinking Asuka manages to scale one of the buildings to safety. Asuka is shocked to see a large portion of the city just sink into the black hole that is the Angel. Before Asuka and Rei can mobilize for a counterattack however, Misato orders a retreat.
As the sun sets, Ritsuko explains that although they managed to retrieve the Umbilical Cable, Evangelion Unit-01 remains inside the Angel. She then points out that if Shinji does not waste power wandering around, he can survive in minimal life-support mode for approximately 16 hours. Meanwhile, NERV is trying to analyze the Angel, which appears to be composed of two parts, the floating object in the sky, and its shadow that consumes anything it touches.
Inside Evangelion Unit-01, Shinji checks his status. As the visual displays come to life, nothing but white noise is present. Almost twelve hours into the ordeal, Shinji notes he has only four to five hours left to live.
Back at NERV Headquarters, Ritsuko comes up with a theory. Apparently, the Angel's real body is not the object in the sky, but rather the object on the ground. The round form in the sky is in fact its shadow. Ritsuko explains that the Angel's body, 680 meters in diameter and 3 nanometers in thickness, houses an inverted AT Field that leads into a region of space that can only be identified by abstract mathematics, or a Sea of Dirac. In effect, the shadow is the real target. Asuka however is quick to realize that there is no way they can fight such an enemy.
As Evangelion Unit-01 runs low on power, the L.C.L. purification system begins to break down. Shinji panics, trying to force open the hatch, screaming that the Entry Plug smells of blood.
On the surface, Ritsuko explains the only way to defeat the Angel is to destroy the form on the ground, which she believes she can accomplish by detonating all existing 992 N˛ Weapons, while simultaneously using the two Evangelion Units to disrupt the Angel's inverted AT Field. When confronted by Misato, Ritsuko explains their priority is to recover Evangelion Unit-01 by any means, even if the pilot dies. Misato loses her cool, assaulting Ritsuko for suggesting such a thing. She then demands to know why she and Gendo are so adamant about recovering Evangelion Unit-01, what is so special about it.
Ritsuko does not answer, and instead takes command of the operation. As she walks away, an upset Misato considers the Second Impact, the Human Instrumentality Project, Adam, and all the other secrets that NERV is keeping from her.
Meanwhile inside Evangelion Unit-01, Shinji's mental state begins to deteriorate. An elaborate and revealing thought sequence follows, in which Shinji has a conversation with himself about his fears of how he is perceived by others. As part of that same sequence, new information pertaining to the cause and aftermath of the Second Impact as well as the Artificial Evolution Laboratory (Gehirn) is revealed—albeit through fast moving single-frame newspaper headlines.
As his life support systems fail and an exhausted Shinji closes his eyes, a brilliant light fills the Entry Plug. Dazed, Shinji looks on as a white form embraces him. Nearly catatonic and on the edge of death, Shinji calls it mother.
Evangelion Unit-00 and Evangelion Unit-02 are standing on the edge of the Dirac Sea, ready to disrupt the Angel's AT Field. Hundreds of planes fill the sky in preparation of dropping their armament of N˛ Weapons onto the target. With only 60 seconds left to impact, the Angel's ground body suddenly begins to crack. Moments later, the shadow it casts into the sky is pierced from the inside, with red blood gushing in every direction. A blood-covered Evangelion Unit-01 emerges from the Angel, with Asuka, Rei, Misato, and Ritsuko there to witness the shocking event.
As Evangelion Unit-01 undergoes cleaning at NERV Headquarters, Gendo and Ritsuko oversee the process. Ritsuko admits that she has never seen an Evangelion looking as terrifying as it did today. She wonders if the constructs are really on their side, or if they hate them. She also points out that Major Misato Katsuragi may suspect something. Gendo replies coldly to let her be, at least for now.
The next day Shinji is recovering at a NERV medical facility, with Rei at his bed side. As he wakes up, Rei says that he can rest today, and that they will take care of everything. Once she leaves, a tired Shinji comments that he still smells of blood.