This series is an episode guide to the Japanese anime television show Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995 - 96) and the spin-off films. Each entry includes my own reflection on the episode, followed by a conversation with fellow bloggers Bob Clark and Murderous Ink.
In the discussions accompanying these episode guides, Bob Clark has said that Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno grew tired of taciturn, enigmatic Eva pilot Rei, whose mystery envelops much of the first six episodes. Supposedly he was ready to move in a new direction. When it comes to episode 8...mission accomplished. The title character, a German redhead/hothead who is Rei's opposite in every way, commandeers the series down an interesting detour and enriches the themes already developing in its early episodes. Anno has gently guided our hero Shinji along the path from cowardly isolation to mature interaction, but Asuka Langley Soryu batters this quiet character development with a Teutonic hammer. By the end of "Asuka Strikes!" the Second Child has forced Shinji into her cockpit, manhandling him physically and psychologically, even forcing him to wear a double of her own, busty flight suit. But it will only be the beginning of her assault on his privacy and hesitation.