So I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but I do think I had an uncommon reaction to these episodes. I think this is where Evangelion really gets it’s Kaiju/Mech anime really right, and I enjoy those parts of the episodes immensely. Both as just a fun, easy going anime, and something where tension starts ramping up between characters. Maybe a hot take, but I actually REALLY loved the action in Magmadiver? Like, I felt tense, despite knowing exactly that was happening.
Of course, this is a tale of two animes, where the other half is a shit sex comedy with 14 year olds. While I want to give Anno some props for never really using his nudity scenes as a way to demonstrate vulnerability in his characters, so many shots are just there to leer at whoever on display, which most often is Asuka. Maybe Anno and his team thought they needed they stuff, make they’re big fans of this stuff. I dunno, but it does make me have to compartmentalize these episodes (and the series in general) to let me like Evangelion.