"Asuka's Arrival in Japan" is the eighth episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Misato brings Shinji and his friends Toji and Kensuke on a flight to a United Nations carrier battlegroup which is transporting Evangelion Unit-02 and its fiery German pilot, Asuka Langley Sohryu, to Japan. Escorting Asuka to Japan is Misato's old flame, Ryoji Kaji. In the middle of some awkward introductions and reunions, a massive aquatic Angel, Gaghiel, begins attacking the fleet, and Asuka determines that she will fight it using Unit-02, by playing "hopscotch". Unfortunately for both due to their unfriendly meeting, she takes Shinji with her. The Angel drags Unit-02 underwater, and Misato devises a plan to kill it by lodging two sunken battleships in its mouth and then firing all weapons into it. The Angel is killed, and it is revealed that both Shinji and Asuka broke their synchronization records. Kaji is seen delivering Adam to Gendo, and Asuka transfers to Shinji's class.
Episode 8 opens with a telephone conversation between Gendo and an unknown person, wherein we learn that the cargo has "Left Sasebo, and is coming here across the Pacific". We then join Shinji, Misato, Toji, and Kensuke aboard a helicopter. Misato tells them they are on a date, but Toji and Kensuke are actually along as cover, so that no one will know that this is an official business. They are on their way to meet Asuka Langley Soryu, the German pilot of Evangelion Unit-02, which is being transported by the U.N. Pacific FleetKensuke is even more irrepressible than usual in this episode, and has his video camera glued to his eye the rest of the episode. When Toji's new hat blows across the deck, Asuka stops it with her foot; as Toji tries to retrieve it, a gust of wind flips her skirt, presumably giving him an eyeful.
Even though it wasn't their fault, the three boys get slapped for seeing Asuka's undies, though Kensuke also has a blackened right eye as Asuka also slammed her hand into his camera's lens, also cracking it.. Incensed, Toji 'gives her change' by dropping his pants, only to get a second slap on his face. Upon being introduced to Shinji, Asuka sees him as a "dull".
During a conversation between Misato and the Captain about who has authority over activating Unit-02 in the ocean, Ryoji Kaji enters the scene. Misato doesn't seem happy to see him, but Asuka is the opposite. He is escorting Asuka from NERV's German branch to Japan. The character then all cram themselves into the same elevator to go below deck for lunch. During the meal, Kaji hints at the intimate relationship he once had with Misato by asking, "does she still toss and turn in bed?" Misato fumes the rest of the scene, while everyone else looks shocked. Except for Shinji; he seems to be enjoying Kaji's banter. When Shinji is surprised that Kaji recognizes him, Kaji replies that he is famous, even if it was just luck since it is part of his talent.
After the meal, when Asuka once again comments on how boring Shinji is, Kaji tells her he had over a 40% synchro ratio with Evangelion Unit-01 without training in combat. This surprises her so much that she feels a need to impress him as well, so she takes him to the transport ship to see her Eva. She explains to him that Unit-02 is the first production model, designed especially for combat; since Unit-00 and Unit-01 are just the prototype and test-type. Just then Gaghiel, the sixth Angel attacks, damaging several of the warships Asuka sees her chance to impress Shinji and forces him to put on a plug suit and accompany her inside the Evangelion.
Kaji calls Gendo and tells him an Angel attack wasn't part of their deal. Gendo assures him that is why he put Unit-02 and a spare pilot aboard for this very contingency.
Because there are 2 pilots aboard, Asuka has trouble starting Unit-02. When telling Shinji to "Think in German!" doesn't work, she solves the problem by switching the language to Japanese The captain warns Misato that Unit-02 has "B-type Equipment", and can't fight underwater, but Misato tells Asuka to go ahead. Asuka leaps her Eva from ship to ship until it reaches its power cable aboard the carrier, plugs herself in, and draws her Progressive Knife. The Angel jumps towards Unit-02 and succeeds to make it fall into the sea. Kaji leaps into a fighter; Misato thinks he has a plan, but instead he makes his escape. Since it has the B-type equipment, Unit-02 couldn't respond properly, and the Angel blocks the Eva in its jaws. Misato comes up with a desperate plan: Scuttle two of the surviving battleships in Gaghiel's path; have Asuka and Shinji open the Angel's mouth, and then have the ships fire their guns inside the Angel and then self destruct, destroying the Angel. Shinji and Asuka can't get Gaghiel's mouth open until they cooperate in the effort. The plan works, and the blast propels Unit-02 back onto the carrier's deck.
Later, back onshore, Ritsuko looks at the data and tells Misato that Shinji and Asuka both broke their Synch records while opening the Angel's mouth.
Meanwhile, Kaji has arrived at NERV H.Q. with his cargo, and asks if it, and not Unit-02, was the Angel's actual target. Gendo agrees. Inside Kaji's case is what appears to be a large human embryo, encased in an amber-colored block. Even though it is encased in Bakelite, Adam, the first human is alive and growing, and Gendo assures that Adam is "the key to Human Instrumentality Project".
The next day at school, Toji is telling Shinji and Kensuke how glad he is that he won't be seeing Asuka again, but is shocked when she enters their class and introduces herself as a new student.
- First appearance of Asuka Langley Soryu in the series.
- First appearance of Evangelion Unit-02, the first "Production Model" Evangelion.
- First appearance of Ryoji Kaji.
- Asuka: "Anta baka?!" ("What are you, stupid?!"}
- Kaji: So, she hasn't changed, has she, Mister Shinji Ikari?
Shinji: Well... Huh? How do you know my name?
Kaji: Well, of course I do. You're famous in our business. The Third Child, who piloted an Eva in battle with no training.
Shinji: Oh, no, it was just luck.
Kaji: Luck is a part of your destiny. It's your talent. Well, l'll see you later.
- Asuka (Starting up Eva Unit-02): "LCL Füllung. Anfang der Bewegung. Anfang des NERVenanschlusses. Auslöses von Links-kleidung. Synchro-start." (message displays: "FEHLER")
Shinji: "Its...a programming error?"
Asuka: "It's thought-noise. I told you not to disturb me."
Shinji: "What do you mean?"
Asuka: "You're thinking in Japanese aren't you? If you must think, do it in German!"
Shinji: "I'll try...baumkuchen..."
- Sasebo is a port city in Nagasaki prefecture, Japan, slightly north of the city of Nagasaki. Sasebo is the site of a major naval military base. The convoy transporting Unit-02 from Germany apparently made a short stop in Sasebo, before continuing on to New Yokosuka.
- The warships depicted in Episode 08 all have real-life counterparts.
- The three sets of Japanese characters form the opening title card of the episode appear in synchronization with each slap Toji, Kensuke, and Shinji got on their faces.
- This is the first and really only time that an Angel attacks somewhere other than Tokyo-3; this is because Adam was secretly being transported in the naval convoy.
- In Episode 14, it is said that one third of the UN naval fleet was destroyed by Gaghiel.
- As was earlier seen in Episode 03, when more than one person is in the Entry Plug of an Eva at the same time, it creates "thought noise"; basically static interference between the mind of the pilot and the Eva.