Day 26 – “You Two Dance Like You Want to Win”
Oh look, another Evangelion post. Today’s subject is favorite fight in an anime. I was considering choosing Blood+ but I don’t remember enough about it to pick from Blood+.
Episodes 9 of Evangelion will forever be one of my favorites. In this episode, Asuka Soryu (Shikinami) has just moved in with Misato Katsuragi and Shinji Ikari in their small apartment. As she is settling in, the angel Israfel attacks Tokyo-3. What is particularly interesting about Israfel is it splits into two bodies with two separate cores; these two halves are perfectly synchronized with each other.
As such, Shinji and Asuka must learn to work together, in perfect harmony, to defeat this angel. Despite their training, which involves embarrassing outfits and synchronized dance on DDR pads, they fail to harmonize with one another. In fact, this seems to lead to more fighting as Asuka, as always, finds herself superior to Shinji. However, in the end, the two manage to defeat the angel, albeit screwing up the landing at the end.
Even so, somehow, after six days of practice, the two manage to pull it off. This small arc is a bit different in the manga, and while this is “30 days of anime,” I feel the differences are worth mentioning in this post.
The first difference is that in the manga, Misato forces Shinji and Asuka to share a small dorm room at NERV headquarters together. She states that they will learn to work together better if they adapt to one another’s schedules, down to the way they breathe. Despite Asuka’s teasing and tormenting, Shinji learns just how vulnerable and insecure she is when he hears her crying in her sleep. The other difference is: On the night before the battle, Asuka destroys the surveillance camera in their room and forces Shinji to practice nonstop with her. With privacy, the two are able to practice without rest and in the end, they not only grow a small step closer, but also defeat the angel.
Lastly, this fight is one of my favorites because of the interesting choreography that the dancing teaches the two pilots and how it translates into battle. I really enjoyed the animation on the scenes and I love the character growth that accompanies this episode/manga arc.