"Magma Diver" is the tenth episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
The Evangelion pilots (save for Rei) are excited about their upcoming class trip to Okinawa Island, but they are upset to learn that they cannot leave Tokyo-3, since they have to be on standby in case of an Angel attack. A dormant Angel, Sandalphon, is discovered in an embryonic stage nesting deep in the magma of an active volcano, and in the hopes of gaining greater insight into the Angels, Asuka is sent to capture it by lowering Unit-02 into the magma, while it wears a special giant coolant suit for protection. However, the Angel soon awakes and advances beyond its embryonic stage, forcing Asuka to battle Sandalphon while deep beneath the surface of the magma.
Asuka is enjoying shopping with Kaji, though he seems embarrassed when realizing she is shopping to look for swimsuits for the upcoming school trip to Okinawa. When she asks him where he went on his class trip, he replies that he didn't have one because of the Second Impact.
Back home, Asuka is angry when she learns that the pilots can't go on the trip because they are on standby for an Angel attack. When Shinji doesn't support her because she was expecting such result, she demands that he speak up like a man and disparage him. Misato, who made the decision, replies that they both need to study anyway, and holds up their report cards, which they had hidden from her. When Asuka asks angrily why they don't attack the Angels where they live, Misato replies thet they would if they knew where the Angel were.
After seeing their friends off at the airport, Shinji and Asuka head for the pool. There, Shinji studies and Asuka and Rei go swimming. Asuka tries to flirt with Shinji; She asks him what he's studying, and leans over to look, giving him a face full of her breasts. She then teases him for not being able to solve such a simple equation. She then asks what the problem dealt with, explaining that she has already graduated from college; the reason she is doing poorly in school is that she is having trouble learning Kanji, so she can't read the questions. When Shinji replies that it's about thermal expansion, she once again remarks how simple it is; objects expand when heated, and shrink when cooled. Once again drawing attention to her chest, Asuka asks Shinji if he thought her breasts would grow larger if heated, an embarrassed Shinji sputters "How would I know?!," leading a frustrated Asuka to turn away, seeing him boring. However, as soon as Shinji starts looking at Rei, Asuka tries to attract his attention again, calling "Look at me!," as she dives into the pool.
Meanwhile, the Eighth Angel, Sandalphon, has been spotted in the crater of Mount Asama, an active volcano. Sandalphon is yet to hatch, and resembles a human embryo inside a chrysalis. Gendo orders Misato to have the Evangelions capture the unborn Angel. He explains his decision, to the Committee who become quite alarmed. Failure could result in a repeat of Second Impact, and cause the extinction of the human race. Fuyutsuki asks him if he's sure about this and Gendo simply smiles to himself.
Asuka volunteers for the mission, but tries to back out when she realizes that the D-Type Equipment she and her Eva will be wearing resembles a fat suit. She is especially distressed when her beloved Kaji sees her. When Rei tries to volunteer to take Asuka's place in Unit-02, Asuka angrily cuts her short and accepts the mission after all.
There is then a scene where Kaji and a mysterious woman holding a puppy discuss the dangers of the mission. As they prepare for the mission, Shinji notices airplanes circling overhead. Ritsuko explains that the U.N. is on standby. Asuka believes that they are there for support until Ritsuko explains that they're on standby in the case of failure of the mission, they are cover up there: to destroy the Angel, along with NERV's crew, with N² Mine, by Gendo's orders.
Once again calling for Shinji to watch her, Asuka plunges into the magma. The external pressure begins to build as Misato orders the Eva lowered beyond its rated capacity. Asuka's Progressive Knife snaps loose and is lost. Finally, at a depth of 1780 meters, she spots the Angel. Asuka successfully captures Sandalphon in an Electromagnetic cage, but then it suddenly hatches! Although it had resembled a human embryo, the hatched Sandalphon takes on the form of the ancient Cambrian aquatic creature Anomalocaris. Misato orders the mission converted to destroying the Angel. Remembering that she had lost her knife, Asuka asks Shinji to drop down his. She catches it, but it is useless against the Angel. Remembering her conversation with Shinji at the pool, Asuka rips free her coolant hose and blasts Sandalphon. The knife now does its job and the Angel is destroyed. The dying Angel breaks Asuka's support cable and she begins to descend, but Shinji makes a sudden descent into the crater in Unit-01 and rescues her.
Later, as they relax at a nearby hot springs, Pen Pen, who was sent by Kaji, arrives in a mail package Kaji, and makes a bee line for the hot springs. (He is, after all, a hot springs penguin.) As Shinji relaxes in the bath, Misato and Asuka are in the women's bath on the other side of the wall. Knowing he is there, they make some suggestive comments, prompting some expansion in Shinji. On the other side of the wall, Asuka notices Misato's scar. Misato explains that she got it during the Second Impact. When Asuka asks, "You know about my past, don't you?" Misato answers that it is ancient history.
- Misato is seen drinking "Boa" brand beer as opposed to her favored "Yebisu" brand (possibly as a result of the network that the series first aired on complaining that they didn't want to give the real-world Yebisu beer company unpaid publicity).
- A brief glimpse is given of what a "typical" day with no Angel attacks is like at NERV HQ for the trio of technicians working on the command level: Makoto Hyuga reads a manga comic book, Maya Ibuki spends her free time reading a romance novel, and Shigeru Aoba reads guitar magazines and strums an air guitar.
- It is later stated in Episode 16 (during Shinji's internal mind-trip) that Shinji doesn't know how to swim, which offers an explanation for why of the three Eva pilots Shinji is the only one that doesn't swim in the pool.
- The "Backwards Roll" that Asuka performs at the pool and the "Giant Entry" (Also known as "Giant Step") she does at the volcano are both actual techniques used in SCUBA diving for entering the water.
- In the english dubbed version of this episode the angel makes a couple sounds that sound like the distorted cries of a baby as it starts to hatch.
- At this point the timeline of events in the series starts to becomes fuzzy.
- The shot looking at Rei from underwater while she is swimming, silhouetted against a circular ceiling light, is similar to the shot from Episode 05 of Rei silhouetted against the Moon, which is a recurring visual motif in the series.
- Asuka makes the valid point about the plot of the series that NERV really has no clear idea of where or how Angels appear. Its not that the series isn't adequately explaining to the audience where Angels come from; even to characters within the story, its something of a mystery. NERV is stuck in a defensive posture, and if they could go on the offensive against the Angels, they would.
- (At the side of the NERV swimming pool, Asuka is wearing a revealing two-piece bathing suit while helping Shinji with science homework)
Asuka: "Thermal expansion? That's kid stuff! To put it simply, things expand when they get hot, and shrink when they get cold."
Shinji: "Well yeah, but--"
Asuka: "If I were to warm up my breasts, do you think they'd grow a little bigger?"
Shinji: "I-I wouldn't know anything about that!"
Asuka: "What a boring guy..."
- (Asuka is battling the Angel in the magma)
Asuka: "It's fast! This is bad. I've lost sight of it. In addition to that, I've got lousy visibility, I'm really hot, and this suit's plastered to me and feels disgusting. This really sucks."
- (Unit-01 jumps into the Magma, saving Asuka)
Asuka: "Shinji? "(She smiles.) "Idiot, don't go overboard."
- (Shinji, after overhearing Misato teasing and tickling Asuka)
Shinji: "It expanded. How embarrassing!"
- (After Asuka notices Misato's scar)
Asuka: "You know all about my past, don't you?"
Misato: "Well, yeah. It's part of my job. It's all ancient history for both of us. We shouldn't let it bother us".
- Evangelion Unit-00 seems to have been fully repaired by the time this episode takes place (although it does not actually appear on-screen), after it was severely damaged in Episode 06. It wasn't used against the Angel Israfel last episode, presumably because it was still being repaired. However, in this episode they discuss the possibility of using Unit-00, and the reason they decided not to use it, because it needs to stay behind at Tokyo-3 at standby, in case another Angel directly attacks the city. This seems to indicate that it is in a fully combat-ready state again.
- The operation itself is carried out by Asuka alone, but Shinji is there to provide support and ends up risking himself to save Asuka. As a result, in the fight in the following Episode Eleven, Asuka volunteers for a dangerous offensive role to repay this debt. - Platinum Episode Commentaries
- We see in this scene that Misato has a large scar on her sternum, which she got from an injury during Second Impact. Misato's experience during Second Impact will be shown during a flashback in Episode 12.
- Platinum Episode Commentaries
- See Neon Genesis Evangelion Timeline for details.