N² bomb, The

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N² bomb, The

Post  Skye on Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:50 am

The N² bomb or N² mine is a clean "non-nuclear weapon"; it is as strong as a nuclear bomb and generates some electro-magnetic interference but does not produce dangerous radiation or nuclear fallout. It is the most powerful "conventional" weapon used in the series (as opposed to the unconventional Evangelion units). The significant explosive force is capable of harming even an Angel; in fact, it is first seen when utilized against Sachiel during episode 01. However, it only succeeds in causing moderate damage that the Angel proceeded to regenerate. The N² bombs, while considered and attempted in several other missions, were only successful in harming one other Angel — Israfel, who lost 28 percent of its mass and took six days to regenerate. Over a dozen aerial N² weapons were deployed against Sahaquiel to little effect, being destroyed before reaching the target. A little over a thousand were produced, as the remaining 992 were to be airdropped against Leliel, but called off at the last second. Rei uses an N² mine in an attempt to destroy Zeruel while within the GeoFront, which only succeeds in damaging her own Eva since the Angel covered its core. One more N² weapon was used in The End of Evangelion to destroy Tokyo-3 and the roof of the Geofront.

Production notes of the series refer to the N² bombs as the P-bomb, leading to speculation that it might be some sort of positron-based antimatter weapon. Another possibility is that it is a highly efficient pure fusion bomb, with no fission tamper, and thus very little to no radioactive material left over from the reaction, though the initial reaction would produce much radiation.

The devices are apparently deployed in a number of configurations; in the series, there are N² aerial mines, air charges, depth charges and bombs.

The translation by ADV Films uses the term "N² mine," a translation of heiki (兵器?, weapon), which can mean either "bomb" or "mine". It is not quite correct because conventional mines are not used in the same manner they are used in the series (for example, being dropped from planes and being used in suicide missions). There are different variants of N² bomb, such as aerial versions (used in episode 12) and depth-charge versions (used in episode 9). The confusion stems from that in the first episode, instead of simply dropping an N² bomb on the Angel Sachiel, a landmine-variant N² bomb is buried in its path, then detonated when the Angel walks over it. Misato actually says "jirai" ("landmine") during this scene. The result was that all subsequent appearances of "heiki" were interpreted to mean in the sense of "landmine", even though this was really only applicable in the first episode.

The term is always spelled as "N²" bomb, using a superscript "2", when the name appears in print on screen. However it is not pronounced "N squared" but simply "N two".
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