This post is part of the 12 Days series.
I remember the announcement of a new character in the second Rebuild of Evangelion film to have produced some alarm. “Is there really a need for a new character?” people asked. With how tight the character dynamics in Eva were, it was quite dubious for some new character to pop up. How would they fit in?
Makinami Mari Illustrious is first introduced in the middle of an operation, where she pilots a provisional Eva unit. Unit 05 is glaringly unfinished, with limbs that make it far removed from conventional Eva design. Mari’s victory against the Angel isn’t a decisive one, and she even looks amateurish if you put Asuka’s maiden battle in perspective.
(Or maybe her Eva just sucks. I still like it, sort of.)
Mari might be accused as pandering to “those weirdo glasses fetishists”, and it’s true that she doesn’t do that much in the second Rebuild film. To me, however, she serves to fill a void in the Evangelion character roster: a berserker with an playful relish for combat, one with schemes of her own. And does it hurt if she’s voiced by one of my all-time favorite seiyuu?
It’s just a treat to watch Mari in action. She loves what she does, as if every fiber of her being is spoiling for a good fight. She’s more at home in a super robot anime than Evangelion, but here she is.
Let’s put her to good use, shall we?