"Shape of Heart, Shape of Human" is the twentieth episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
During the climax of the massive fight against the Angel Zeruel, Shinji achieved a 400% synchronization ratio with Unit-01, a level thought impossible. However, because of this, Shinji has merged with the Evangelion, and his body has reverted to LCL inside the entry plug. Over the course of thirty days, as Unit-01 stands immobile and covered in bandages in its hangar, Ritsuko struggles to come up with a way to restore Shinji. Meanwhile, Shinji's consciousness goes on an introspective odyssey while merged with Unit-01 in which he comes into contact with the soul of his mother, Yui Ikari. After speaking with Yui, Shinji is "reborn" from Unit-01's exposed core. Later that evening, Misato and Kaji resume their love affair, which disturbs and angers Ritsuko.
The episode opens with the scene of Zeruel's demise and Unit-01 devouring its S² Engine and removing its bindings. This recent turn of events greatly concerns the Human Instrumentality Committee because the Evangelion's absorption of an S² Engine, and subsequent transformation into a God diverges greatly from the "scenario" they envisioned.. The Committee consider Gendo responsible for what happened, and warn him that such case cannot be forgivable.
Then, Kaji is seen talking with Gendo and Fuyutsuki about SEELE and their reactions towards Unit-01, and the probability of them to know about Gendo's scenario. At the end of their meeting, Kaji notes that Shinji is still trapped inside the Eva. Misato talking with Hyuga about Evangelion Unit-01's recent status, and then we see angry Misato arguing with Ritsuko about the Evangelion's true nature, and gets even angrier when Ritsuko seems to not take responsiblity about the situation, with slapping her.
The third day, Ritsuko plans for a Plug-Salvage for Shinji, since his components still exist inside the Evangelion, by processing to recompose his body and stabilize his soul in it. Since the fourth until the 29th day, Shinji goes in mental trip, talking with Rei in different places - on the escalator and other places... about his hatred for his father, and how he was deserted by his father, and in other side, he thinks that he was the one who ran away in the past.
On the thirtieth day, Evangelion Unit-01 is prepared with the Salvage-Equipment,. On the 31st day, Shinji's mental trip continues, and talks with Rei about the reason of why the others are nice to him, and he answers that it is because he pilots the Evangelion, and he thinks that it is his reason to stay alive, and he must win. Images of Misato, Asuka and Rei appear to him, asking him to be one with them.
Ritsuko attempts the Salvage operation in the meantime, but to no success. Shinji remains stuck inside the entry plug, refusing to come out. Finally, the entry plug bursts open and Shinji's plugsuit spills out, without Shinji.
Shinji became aware of his mother's soul residence inside the Evangelion, and hears the conversation between his father and mother, discuss naming him after his birth. In the end, Shinji passes through an "Inner Universe" starfield and as the light turns from blue to red, passes out of the Evangelion. Outside the Evangelion, Misato is seen crying and holding Shinji's plugsuit. When suddenly, a splash from Evangelion's side with Shinji "reborn" from its Core.
Soon afterwards, Misato goes on a drive with Ritsuko. After a conversation about the Evangelion, and listening to a background radio conversation of interesting importance to Shinji's situation, she drops off Ritsuko saying that she has a man to meet. Ritsuko takes a dim view of Misato going to sleep with Kaji straight after Shinji came out of the Evangelion, and Misato and Kaji discuss other matters while having sex. gives her the information he collected about his investigation for NERV and claims it as his first and last present for her.
- When the Entry Plug is extracted from Unit-01, Shinji's plugsuit is inside the Eva. This is despite the fact, during the time Shinji is absorbed in the previous episode, Shinji was wearing his normal clothes.
- As the English episode title "Weaving A Story 2" indicates, this episode is a summary of sorts, like Episode Fourteen. In point of fact, it is made largely centered around the reuse of already existing composite material and film, however its contents do not look back on what happened in the past but tell a completely different story. - Platinum Episode Commentaries
- The English episode title "oral stage" is also a psychoanalytical term. The oral stage is the first stage of development in Freud's (Sigmund Freud: 1856-1939) libido development theory. It is the time period when the mouth serves as the principal source of pleasure. It is said that the oral stage starts at birth and ends around the age of 1 1/2. in the scene where Misato and Ritsuko are in the car, a radio DJ show can be heard from the car radio. We can suppose that this is the same show that was airing in Episode Twelve. A woman DJ is advising a listener on their romantic problems, but the term "oral stage" appears here as well. In this case, the oral stage refers to the oral personality. In other words, it points to personality tendencies that strongly lean towards being dependent and needy for love People with an oral personality happily sacrifice themselves in order to obtain the love of others. Shinji could be said to have an oral personality at this point in time. - Platinum Episode Commentaries
- The source of Unit-01's power is still unknown, as was mentioned in this episode, that there was no physical, chemical, nuclear or biological processes have been detected inside the Eva. The same case applies on Evangelion Unit-02 when it went berserk in Episode 25', there wasn't any source of power connected to the Eva.
- In a straightforward continuity error, Shinji's plugsuit is seen floating inside the Entry Plug, when Shinji remained in his school uniform in the previous episode. Ritsuko's line, "His mental self-image is pseudo-substantiating his plugsuit" is present neither in the screenplay nor the storyboard, meaning it was probably added in a later stage when the continuity error was noticed. The Netflix subtitle translation renders this non-literally as the more sensible sounding "His mental self-image is manifesting a facsimile of his plug suit". Thanks to Captain Crooks for bringing attention to this here
- The plan on Salvaging Shinji was originally developed in order to salvage Yui but failed due to Yui's intention to stay inside the Evangelion
- These images seems to be a pre-Instrumentality and Shinji is experiencing it inside the Evangelion.
- Misato's implied sex scene with Kaji was said by Anno to actually be a massage scene to TV Tokyo in order to get permission to air it.- 3.0+1.0 July 12th stage greeting.
- While the final scene at the love hotel contained no explicit images, the love scene was depicted boldly, which caused quite a stir when it was originally aired. After touching upon Misato's tryst, Ritsuko's line, "I guess I'm in no position to talk," is also curious. - Platinum Episode Commentaries
- "What astonished viewers when it aired was not the main plot of Shinji's cosmic struggle, but rather the final love scene of Misato and Kaji. The scene was showing a bedside stand the whole time, and only the audio of the off-screen dialogue was describing it, but it was a wet (sexual) scene in and of itself. In particular, the line "Ew... don't put anything weird in there." had the same destructive power as the Second Impact. The scene with the opened contraceptive device on the bedside table is really graphic. Misato's panting voice was not specified in the dubbing script, but was left up to Kotono Mitsuishi. The script had the words "Mitsuishi-sama, I look forward to working with you. Respectfully yours, Anno." The text of the dubbing script of each story is recorded on the DVD. If you want to enjoy the details of Eva more, you might want to read it. - Oguro commentary #53, translation