Let’s talk about the Renault Alpine A310 in Neon Genesis Evangelion
i’m watching again Neon Genesis Mission one day, as I always do, when something happened to me. It’s not Evas, Angels, or the Talented teenagers struggle with psychological depressionbut something much stranger: Captain Misato Katsuragi Renault Alps A310. This vehicle, more than any underground city or meteorological change, shows inequality, militarism and freak world acquired after the Second Impact.
Let me explain.
In Eva (original series, not rebuild movie) Misato is introduced behind the wheel of her bright blue Renault. The show took place in 2015, leaving the pre-upgraded car aged between 40 and 45. So how does this museum piece, seen in only a few episodes, reflect on the world of the series. and life in Tokyo-3?
Let’s start with some background information about Misato’s car. Its appearance in the first episode gives us some details, starting with an interesting one: It runs on electricity.
There’s some other information this image can tell us, about how the battery works, but we’ll come back to that later. For now, we’ll be adding a few more to our list of events. We also know that the car has been switched to right-hand drive and that its manual transmission has been swapped out to an automatic with the option of sequential shift.
It’s not clear exactly why this EV needs a conventional transmission. Real-world companies have toyed with the idea, but they did so to preserve the manual driving experience in an electrified world. Why integrate a sequential gearbox when you have a flat power strip?
However the powertrain works, it’s certainly not cheap to put together. Misato complains that her car was damaged by Satchiel’s attack, as her car loan was due.
It’s also not a sign that Tokyo-3 has run out of EVs. Later in the show, in the awesome episode The day Tokyo-3 stands still, we see a fairly standard kei car—identified on IMCDb as the Suzuki Carry—still working. By the sound, we can tell that it still has the ICE powertrain under the hood.
So, Misato’s car is an EV in the ICE world, running a weird convertible powertrain that costs a lot of money to put together. The strangest thing, though, is that the car seems oddly low-tech in its electrification. The batteries shown above, randomly glued together in the back seat, may not be the car’s main source of power (they were supposed to be stolen just to get the car back on the road) but they are in fact can be wired up quickly implying a degree of compatibility one would expect from a homebrew conversion — not a vehicle equipped with a modern, conventional battery pack.
But, what’s strange about that? Misato is clearly a classic car enthusiast to some extent, and she paid a shop to convert her Alpine into battery power. That’s not impossible, even in our actual 2015—an eerie prophetic prediction from Anno and company. But with Missionarymuch more advanced technology, all those supercomputers, sensors and shields dotting NERV headquarters, do you think they’ll have a better EV converter?
Not if every penny of research money goes to Evas.
Between credit taxes, subsidizeand other forms of sponsorship, our real-world governments have poured money into securing an electric car future. They’ve encouraged the transition to greener vehicles, pushing automakers to build cars tailored to the needs of tomorrow. But in the world of Missionarythat never happens.
Instead, funding went to the military. Eva program, JSDF electric sniper riflethe Giant aircraft carrier of the United Nations Pacific fleet. Every country has spent every dollar possible on its defense industry, hoarding expensive weapons because of concerns about the Third Impact.
Anti-war and anti-military-industrial-complex theme is common – almost on par with the course – in anime mecha. But in Evangelion, even something as simple as a refurbished Renault shows how the world’s focus on military spending has stifled other aspects of life. Who knows? If that money were spent on space research, instead of giant living biological weapons, perhaps this technology would really exist to take you to the moon.