"A Human Work" is the seventh episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Dr. Ritsuko Akagi, NERV's chief scientist, explains to Shinji more of the classified real nature of Second Impact, the Angels, and the mission of the Evangelions to defeat them. A rival organization of NERV builds a prototype giant robot, Jet Alone, meant as an alternative to the Evangelions, which this new robot line will supersede. Unlike the Evangelion units, which rely on external or Internal Battery power, the Jet Alone has an on-board nuclear reactor and can thus function indefinitely without external power. However, during the first public test of Jet Alone, it goes out of control and starts marching toward a nearby city with its reactor building to a meltdown. Shinji keeps the robot at bay in his Evangelion while Misato gets inside and shuts down the reactor.
The seventh episode begins with a phone conversation between Gendo and an unknown person who tells Gendo that he has answered the information requests with falsified data, and then asks if he should do something about "that project". Gendo tells him that no further action is needed, and the unknown man says that he will "continue as planned."
Meanwhile, it's breakfast time at Misato's apartment, and we learn that Shinji is embarrassed that Misato is a slob who drinks beer for breakfast. He doesn't even want his friends Toji and Kensuke to see her, but since it is Parent Visitation Day, she visits the school, where her appearance dazzles the boys of Shinji's school. To NERV Headquarters, where Shinji is shown wondering what the Evangelion is, and why he feels relaxed even though the Entry Plug smells like blood, and says that he doesn't know anything after all.
Gendo boards an airplane and has a conversation with an unknown person where we learn that the budget for building Evangelion Unit-06 has been approved by the UN members except for the USA, and that "his" country will participate in building Unit-08.
Back at Headquarters, Ritsuko briefs Shinji on what really happened during Second Impact, learning that the meteor impact story is a cover-up, and that the 1st Angel, Adam, had been discovered in Antarctica, and had massively exploded during the investigation. The mission of the Evangelions is to prevent a Third Impact. Ritsuko tells Misato "the event" will occur the next day.
The next morning at breakfast, Shinji and Pen Pen are surprised to see Misato ready and in dress uniform. She is going with Ritsuko to a private company's demonstration of its Angel-fighting giant robot, Jet Alone, in Old Tokyo. Before the demonstration, Ritsuko questions the executive in charge, Shiro Tokita, about the safety of sending a robot powered by a nuclear reactor into close-quarters battle. Shiro replies that it's better than a weapon that causes mental instability in its pilots and goes out of control. Although Ritsuko seems angry during the conference while Misato seems rather indifferent, as soon as they are alone, the table has turned; Misato starts yelling and kicking a locker while Ritsuko shrugs it off.
The beginning of launching Jet Alone begins without problems until it has gone out of control and its reactor has gone critical. Misato at this point describes Jet Alone "as badly behaved as the guy who built it!". As the radio command circuit has been broken, Misato decides to catch Jet Alone with Unit-01, enter Jet Alone wearing a radiation suit, and delete its programing directly. However, there is a delay to get permission to tell her the delete code, "hope". Shinji catches Jet Alone, and Misato successfully boards it but the password fails and Misato attempts to push the control rods back into Jet Alone's reactor herself. At the last moment, the rods reinsert themselves. Misato realizes that Jet Alone was never intended to meltdown; what just happened was all set up by someone. There is then a scene with Ritsuko telling Gendo that except for Misato's intervention, everything went as planned.
The next morning everything is back to normal at the Misato residence. Shinji is as upset as usual until Toji and Kensuke point out that she shows him a side of her personality that no one else sees because she considers him family which pleased Shinji.
- The person who spoke with Gendo is played by Kaji's seiyu, Kōichi Yamadera, Kaji's seiyū.
- The first episode to show Ramiel's corpse in Tokyo-3 being cleared away.
- Maya discusses with Ritsuko about Unit-00's condition, and whether it'll be easier on them if Unit-02 arrive from Germany, and Hyuga notes the disposing of Ramiel's corpse is taking a huge budget.
- The paper which is shown when Ritsuko talks with Shinji shows a man named "Seymour Nunn", an astronomer involved in Second Impact cover-up story.
- Jet Alone is named after Jet Jaguar from the film "Godzilla vs. Megalon" (1973). See Jet Alone for details.
- In the next episode's preview, it is mentioned that Evangelion Unit-02 and its pilot will depart from Wilhelmshaven, Germany to Japan. Note that the real Wilhelmshaven, Germany is a coastal town and therefore would probably be flooded after Second Impact.
- At the beginning and end of the episode, the image displayed on the floor and ceiling of Gendo’s office is a chart called the Systema Sephirotica. This is a chart symbolic of the Kabbalistic arts, which became the basis of alchemy, mysticism, astrology, and other such fields, and it explains the creation of the world. The same chart appears in the opening sequence. Also, in this episode, Ritsuko’s dialogue reveals that the Second Impact occurred when the First Angel exploded 15 years ago. Make note of the fact that Misato turns away while Ritsuko explains this. The notes in the textbook in this scene also explain that the First Impact is what is also called the Giant Impact, which happened 4 billion years ago when an asteroid struck Earth. In other words, it is called the Second Impact because it is the first enormous impact since the Giant Impact. - Platinum Episode Commentaries