Ep 22 – “Don’t Be.” / “Semete, ningen rashiku (At Least, Be Human)” (せめて、人間らしく)
After being defeated yet again by an Angel, Asuka’s synchronization ratio continues to drop, affecting her ability to pilot Unit 02. Flashbacks reveal Asuka’s tragic childhood, which shaped her current abrasive personality. A new Angel, Arael, appears in Earth’s orbit, well outside the range of any Earth-based weaponry, including the Evangelions. Asuka is told that she will be Rei’s backup for the confrontation with the Angel. Infuriated, she launches herself and confronts Arael on her own. However Arael uses a telepathic attack which forces Asuka to relive traumatic events from her past, causing such mental distress that Asuka completely loses synchronization and Unit 02 shuts down. Gendo orders Rei to retrieve the Lance of Longinus and then use it against the Angel. The Lance succeeds in penetrating Arael’s AT field and destroys it, but the Lance achieves escape velocity and enters a lunar orbit. Asuka is again angered by her defeat, worsened by her hatred of Rei.