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Neon Genesis Evangelion
Frequently Asked Questions

(and common misconceptions)

 Last Updated January 18th, 2005 - Pruned questions no longer relevant
By Brendan Jamieson
© 1999-2006 The Evangelion Otaku Page, www.EvaOtaku.com
Special thanks to: Bochan_bird, George Chen, Tom Rothamel, Patrick Yip,
and the Evangelion Mailing List, http://eva.onegeek.org/

 

Q) How many Evangelion films are there and what do they contain?

A) To date there are three Evangelion films: Evangelion: DEATH & REBIRTH , The End of Evangelion , and Revival of Evangelion .

Evangelion: DEATH is a 60 minute edit of Evangelion TV eps 1-24 (the image was cropped to fill the 1.85:1 film aspect ratio). Approximately 20 minutes of this film is new footage, the rest is from the original TV episodes. The new footage used in DEATH was being actually done for the Director's Cut of episode 21 through 24. However, it was felt the new scenes that had been completed should also be added to the theatrical run of the film.

Evangelion: REBIRTH was shown with DEATH as a double feature. REBIRTH is the first 30 minutes of the film The End of Evangelion .

REBIRTH is composed entirely of new footage.

The End of Evangelion contains the re-done episodes 25 and 26. Eps 25, movie edition, is entitled "Air" and is given the subtitle of "Love is destructive."

Episode 26, movie edition, is entitled "Yours Sincerely" and the final scene of this episode is given its own title, "One More Final: I need you." Each episode of the film contain the "eye-catch" scenes that the TV episodes included (white english text on black background in the middle of the episode).
This is the film that completes the Evangelion saga.

Revival of Evangelion was released in March of 1998 in Japan and contains a new edit of the original Death film. It also contains the episodes that made up The End of Evangelion . The full title of the film, therefore, is: Revival of Evangelion: Death(true)^2/Air/Yours Sincerely

Q) How many versions of DEATH are there?

A) There are three separate edits of Death.
The original is the one that was included in the theatrical release of Evangelion:DEATH & REBIRTH

The second, DEATH(true) , was the version included in the WoWoW Satellite TV Channel (Japan) showing of DEATH & REBIRTH . This edit removed most of the Director's Cut scenes that were to be used in the home video release.

The third version is DEATH(true)^2 . This is the edit what was included in the theater re-release of the Eva films, Revival of Evangelion. It is the same as DEATH(true) except for the addition of the image of the Adam embryo in Gendo's hand, as well as a few other smaller cuts.

Q) What is" Genesis 0:0 - A Light in the Darkness"?

A) A Light in the Darkness is basically a "making of" video that gives a "behind the scenes" glimpse into the production of Evangelion.

There is no new animation or plot development in this video, and it is not a prequel.

Q) Why does Rei appear to Shinji in eps 1? Furthermore, why is she in perfect health while when at NERV she is bandaged from the accident involving Eva-00?

A) There is no official answer. I have heard it suggested that it was a different clone of Rei, but this is highly illogical as there is only one soul that the Rei clones posses and they cannot all have it at the same time, and in The End of Evangelion the three clones of Rei (the ones that were actually "living") stand together during Human Complement Project. Also, this theory does not explain why Rei seems to disappear as Shinji glances away for a second.

I feel I should point out that at the end of The End of Evangelion , there is a scene strikingly similar to that in episode 1.

Q) Who killed Ryhoji Kaji?

A) A lot of people put the blame on Misato. This is entirely false. In the TV series Film Books Anno says that Kaji was killed by "a third party working either for SEELE or for NERV's Intelligence Division."

Anno didn't just say "NERV", but rather "NERV's Intelligence Division". While this is still unclear, it eliminates Misato since she does not work for the Intelligence Division.
(Translation courtesy Bochan Bird)

Also, as an acquaintance had pointed out, the trauma of having murdered Kaji would certainly have been dealt with in Misato's Complementation in episode 25. But it is not.

Q) Do all of the Eva series contain a soul?

A) Yes. This falls under the "Dummy Plug Proof" as formulated by Bochan_bird.

The AT Field is "the light of the soul", the "barrier of the heart".
Ergo, no soul/heart = no AT Field.
The dummy system has no soul - only brain patterns.
Ergo, the dummy system alone is unable to manifest an AT Field.
The dummy plug system is designed to operate the Evas without the pilots. (What idiot would create an auto-pilot system that would not be able to use the Eva's greatest weapon/defense?)
The MP Evas + dummy plugs generate AT Fields in EoE.
Ergo, the [MP Eva + dummy plug] combination must have a soul.
If the dummy plugs have no soul, then the MP Evas must have souls.
Ergo, the MP Evas, and by extension the NERV Evas, which also have (had) dummy plug systems, all have souls.

Q) What is the red orb that can be seen in Eva-01 (episode 19-20, EoE) , Eva-00 (Special Edition episode 23) and the MP Evas (EoE)?

A) The glowing red orbs that are located under the Evangelion chest armor plates are the Evangelion's cores.
Common misconception is that the Core is the equivalent to the S2 Organ/Engine. This is incorrect. The S2 is never seen in the series.

In episode 19, Ritsuko states that Eva-01 is ingesting the S2 organ from the 14th Angel. Ritsuko certainly knows what's going on with the Evangelion models, and would have known that Eva-01 already had an S2 if that was the case.

In episode 20, SEELE (who is very aware of the production of the Evangelion series) says "The Eva series can't produce S2 organs themselves!" and "But we never expected one would be able to bring one into itself like this." SEELE would have known if Eva-01 already had an S2. Furthermore, if Eva-01 did have an S2, that would mean NERV/SEELE had already succeeded in creating a working model, in which case the disaster that befell Eva-04 would not have occurred.

Eva-00 is seen to have a red orb in its chest during the battle with the 16th Angel in the Special Edition of episode 23. We know what Eva-00 did not have an S2. All Evangelions have cores, but not all have an S2. The only Evangelion units with S2 Engines are Eva-01 and the Mass Production Eva Series. Further, the Evangelion:DEATH & REBIRTH theater program features seperate entries for the S2 Engine (Organ) and the Core.

Q) What color are Asuka's eyes at the end of the film? And, is the person at the end of the film actually a combination of Asuka, Rei, and Misato? Is she, Shinji's 'perfect woman'?"

A) This perposterous theory has been around for a while now, but it was never as popular as it is now. Asuka's eyes are blue , not brown, at the end of the film.

This is a scan of the Cardass Wide Card for the scene in question:
http://www.evaotaku.com/other/IneedYou.jpg

As you can see, her eye is clearly blue (somewhat greyish, but this is because of the color tones/lighting of the scene - it is night afterall).

And further, no - the person on the shore with Shinji is Asuka and Asuka only. Shinji rejected Human Complementation Project, and as such he has no control over whatever happens next. He is an ordinary boy. Yui says that anyone who can "imagine themselves in their own hear" can come back, on their own. Apparently, Asuka is one of those people. A person with the will to live. A combination of people is impossible outside of the Complementation project that Shinji rejected.

Q) When Shinji strangles Asuka in The End of Evangelion: Sincerely Yours, is this a real memory or part of the Complementation project?

A) This is a part of the process of Complementation. There are several indications of this.

First of all, the scene itself is very surreal and does not feel right as a memory. It does not logically fit in the Evangelion timeline (it would probably have occurred somewhere between episodes 23 and 24). Shinji is not nearly desperate enough during this time to strangle Asuka, and I seriously doubt Asuka would stand there idely and she suffocated. Further, the cut of the spilled coffee pot is inserted into the Director's Cut of episode 24 (before the episode begins) but is used in a completely different context (Asuka's realization to Kaji is not coming back).

In the scene Asuka says, "You're afraid of Misato and the First... " which mirrors exactly what Shinji said in The End of Evangelion: Air , "I... I'm scared of both Misato and Ayanami..." before he masturbates to her comatose body. All signs point to this sequence being an expression of Shinji's frustration with Asuka, and also his feelings of guilt for what he did. Moments earlier Asuka's (or perhaps more specifically, the Asuka in Shinji's mind) confronts Shinji saying, "Idiot! I 'know' about your jerk-off fantasies of me. Do it again like usual... I'll even stand here and watch."

Q) In episode 24, Kaworu says to Rei, "You're just like me... We've both taken the lilim's form as our body to live on this planet." What did he mean by that?

A) In a very real sense, Kaworu is to SEELE what Rei is to NERV - that is: a tool for their own ends.
Kaworu is a cloned body (albino - pale skin/hair, red eyes) with the soul of a Source of Life (Adam)
Rei is a cloned body (albino - pale skin/hair, red eyes) with the soul of a Source of Life (Lilith).

This is why Kaworu tells her "You're just like me.." They both have human/Lilim forms, but their souls are that of Sources of Life who gave birth to Angels and Lilim, respectively.

Q) What are the Angels?

A) The Angels, as described by Misato Katsuragi, are "Humans without human form."

The Red Cross Book defines the Angels as:
Beings originated from the source of life called Lilith. They take various sizes and shapes: from a giant octahedron to a minute Angel the size of bacteria, or even a "shadow" Angel without tangible form.  Borrowing Fuyutsuki's words in episode 26', it seems that Angels are beings which got the "Fruit of Life" whereas humanity got the "Fruit of Wisdom". 

In other words, "Angels" are another form of humankind with the same potential as humans. Thus, humans are the 18th Angel.
(Translation courtesy Bochan Bird)

Q) Who sent the Angels?

A) All reliable information says that the Angels are acting on their own accord in their own interest and not following instructions from anyone.
That includes any supreme deity.

Q) Who is the First Angel?

A) The first Angel is Adam, as confirmed in both the TV series, films, and Red Cross Book. Also, Adam is the Giant of Light that was seen during 2nd Impact. 2nd Impact was a result of reducing Adam to an embryo, which is why he is in that state throughout the series. Any internet site that tells you differently is wrong.

Q) Who is the Second Angel?

A) The Second Angel is the source of the Lilim, Lilith.
This is strongly hinted at in the Genesis 14 Liner Notes. But was confirmed in Cardass Evangelion card A-17, the official cards approved by Gainax, is titled " Second Angel Lilith ", and shows Rei floating up to Lilith on the cross in Terminal Dogma. It states:
"A Source of Life Angel called/named 'progenitor' like Adam. Until being noticed by Nagisa Kaworu, NERV had
misrepresented the giant crucified in Terminal Dogma as Adam, but it was actually Lilith. Ayanami Rei is a being
with the soul of this Lilith and (a copy of) the body of Ikari Yui."

Lilith is the same as Adam, they are both sources of Life. Since Adam, one source of Life, is considered the First Angel, it is logical to consider Lilith, who is the other source, the Second.

Q) Was Adam "born" from Lilith?

A) No. Adam and Lilith are equal beings, with neither coming from the other. They are both "sources of Life" and the progenitors of their respective races - Angels and Humans. This is a complicated issue due, mostly, to an incorrect translation of Misato's line in The End of Evangelion, that was spread throughout fansubs and made its way into Manga Entertainment's supposed "official" script for the film.

Because of the lengthy nature of this answer, please refer to this page in order to understand why Adam was not born from LIlith.

Q) Who is the 18th Angel?

A) Mankind is the 18th Angel. Misato reveals this to Shinji as she takes him to Eva-01's hangar in the film Air . It has been suggested that Misato was being sarcastic when she said this, but watching the film you will be able to see that there is no sarcasm in her voice nor is there any reason that she would be joking at such a critical time.

Also, in the Japanese script book EVANGELION ORIGINAL III, Episode 24, page 38: After Kaworu is killed by Eva-01, there is a SEELE monolith scene which was eventually cut from the final episode. In this scene, Keel says: "All the Angels born of Adam have now been destroyed, making humankind the last remaining Angel. The promised time has come - the time to place a soul in Lilith and cleanse this impure world."
(Translation Courtesy Bochan Bird)

For all intents and purposes -
Humans are the children born of both Adam (Angels) and born of Lilith (Lilim).
Angels are the children of Adam.
Lilim (that's us) are the children of Lilith.

Q) Is there religious meaning to Evangelion?

A) No. Evangelion is not, and never was a religious anime and does not contain any direct commentary on the world's religions. The Judeo-Christian elements it contains are simply plot devices used to convey the story. Nothing more.

The cross shaped explosions, the Kabalah, and all other references do have religious roots and do have relevance to Evangelion but it is very important to remember that Eva is a work of fiction and should not have it's symbols taken that seriously. I think that Mamorou Oshii (director of "Ghost in The Shell" and "Patlabor") described religious elements in anime best when he said "These are used as the prototype for the stories; not for religious reasons, but for ideology and literary inspiration".

Finally, at the Otakon anime convention held in 2001, assistant director Kazuya Tsurumaki (who was the director of The End of Evangelion: Episode 25' Air - while Anno personally undetook The End of Evangelion: Episode 26' Sincerely Yours and acted as Chief Director) was asked directly what relvance Christianity had to Evangelion. This was his reply:

Tsurumaki: There are a lot of giant robot shows in Japan, and we did want our story to have a religious theme to help distinguish us. Because Christianity is an uncommon religion in Japan we thought it would be mysterious. None of the staff who worked on Eva are Christians. There is no actual Christian meaning to the show, we just thought the visual symbols of Christianity look cool. If we had known the show would get distributed in the US and Europe we might have rethought that choice.

So, while Evangelion's basic plot elements are borrowed from some religious texts and myths, they merely act as inspiration for a different story. They are just there for aesthetics. Evangelion also borrowed several elements from earlier Tomino anime shows. Evangelion owes more to Ideon, than it does to Revelation.

Q) Who is Keel Lorenz?

A) Keel is the head of SEELE which is the corporation that sits above NERV. Keel's past is a mystery but it is known that his body is at least half cybernetic. Whether or not this gives any insight into his history is unknown at the present time. Also, there is no proof whatsoever that Keel Lorenz is the fabled "Wandering Jew" if for no other reason, because we see a young Keel in the episode 21 flashbacks and the "Wandering Jew" is not supposed to age.

Also, the story of the "Wandering Jew" is little more than a piece of anti-Semitic propaganda.

Q) What is the "Red Cross Book" (RCB)?

A) The Red Cross Book is a coined term for the The End of Evangelion theatrical film program, sold in Japan in theaters during the showings of The End of Evangelion. This book, that is entirely black except for a large red cross stamped across the front (hence the name), gives production notes and contains a very interesting Glossary section which defines and explains various terms and people mentioned throughout Evangelion.

Q) Is the Red Cross Book published by Studio Gainax?

A) No, but it was approved by the staff of Evangelion. Including Hideaki Anno. Therefore it is reasonable to presume the RCB is official canon of Evangelion.

Q) Are the TV ending and Film ending the same conclusion to the saga?

A) In my view - No. (Long explanation follows)

In the TV ending Shinji chose to stay with Complementation - it isn't even clear that Shinji had a choice at all. He is treated as little more than an example of the process of Complementation - which consisted if breaking down Shinji's link to reality. In the end, Shinji looks at the world of Complementation and smiling happily says "I understand! I can exist here !" He is then congratulated for his decision, by friends living and dead (Kaji), a healthy Touji with his leg still on, and even PenPen. A surreal ending scene to say the least. This ending is similar in context and theme to the ending of George Orwell's book, 1984.

Conversely, the film ends in the opposite manner. Shinji does have a choice and in the last moments of the film utterly rejects Complementation precisely because it eliminates the link to reality, it establishes a false paradise. Complementation is basically a cop-out, and Shinji has matured enough to realize this. The tone at the end of the film isn't a surreal, almost drug-induced, joyful "Congratulations!" for Shinji, but the cold and harsh reality of life.

This is a largely unpopular opinion of mine - so let me stress again this is in my view . However, I think the evidence is very much there to support the theory that there are two very different endings to the Evangelion story. But I do acknowledge that there is also persuasive evidence to the contrary. For the flip side of this theory, check out MDWig's very well-put counter argument.

With that disclaimer out of the way - lets continue to look at possible proofs for the different endings theory.

First lets look at outside sources, just for fun. Evangelion is in very many ways based on Tomino's "Space Runaway Ideon". The big influence being the concept of Instrumentality.

To quote: It is later made clear that Id is actually the consciousness of all the people of the civilization that created the Ideon, merged into a single entity. The Id has a mind of its own and is sick with the war like nature of both planets. Humanity and the Buff Clan have multiple chances to reconcile themselves, but their war-like mentality is too entrenched and the Id, like SEELE in Evangelion decide that humanity is far too corrupt to continue living in this state. Everyone will die and be merged into a single entity, the Id itself and thus corruption, war, and the like will vanish from the universe entirely. (souce: Anta Baka? Exposing Common Misconceptions About Evangelion )

Sound familiar?

Ideon ends with humanity dying and merging with "life/Id" to form a perfect entity - and in the final moments of the final episode, they sing "Happy Birthday"

Sound familiar?

Granted, this is Ideon - not Evangelion. But Anno made it very clear that in many ways Eva is an homage to Ideon. It's very clear, in Ideon's case, that that humanity was "Complemented". And in Ideon's case, it was a good (albeit depressing) thing.

But like I said - that's Ideon, not Evangelion.

So moving along -

Kazuya Tsurumaki interview, RCB:

-- What did you think about developments during the second half of the TV series?
KT - I didn't mind it. The schedule was an utter disaster and the number of cels plummeted, so there were some places where unfortunately the quality suffered. However, the tension of the staff as we all became more desperate and frenzied certainly showed up in the film.


-- I see.

KT - About the time that the production system was completely falling apart, there were some opinions to the effect that, "If we can't do satisfactory work, then what's the point of continuing?" However, I didn't feel that way. My opinion was, "Why don't we show them the entire process including our breakdown." You know -- make it a work that shows everything including our inability to create a satisfactory product. I figured that, "In 10 years or so, if we look back on something that we made while we were drunk out of our minds, we wouldn't feel bad even if the quality wasn't so good."

I think this is a pretty big indication of the mindset of the crew and a sense of "surrendering" that came into the final TV episodes of Eva. "Why don't we show them the entire process, including our breakdown." - is a pretty bold statement, and even bolder endeavor. I think a lot of the TV ending is based in this feeling of dissatisfaction and disagreement - to the point of the crew throwing up their arms together and saying, "We give up."

Now - I can hear you saying, "But this is all outside stuff. The primary source should be the script itself - not other circumstances." I agree - sort of. Yes, the final script is important - but I almost would say the ideas and mentality that went into the script are more important when it comes to analyzing it than the script itself. You can't discount the feelings of the crew and staff when you're arguing things like this, since it all comes down to a "feeling".

It's like saying that the brutal murder of Roman Polanski's wife had nothing to do with the (extremely negative, unhappy) ending of Chinatown. It's the people and their feelings and experiences that ultimately translate from the script to the screen. In my opinion. To ignore the people who created the story, is to ignore a very important aspect and key to understanding it.

Continuing -

The very first title card of episode 26, TV version, states:

It was 2016 A.D.
The thing that people lost, in other words, the complementation of the mind has begun. However, there is not enough time to describe the entire process. Therefore, we will examine the complementation of the mind of a single boy named Ikari Shinji.

It is no leap in logic, or unsubstantiated interpretation, to say that this title card is basically explaining that Shinji is merely an example. There is not a shread of proof - at any point - during the TV ending that Shinji has the ability to halt Complementation. Throughout 25 and 26, we see the cases of Shinji, Asuka and Misato - their Complementation - concurrently. In the film ending, Shinji himself is the only person to truly begin Complementation. This opening title card immediately alludes to the idea that Shinji is simply the example of the process of complementation, and that he will be complemented - no choices, nothing. "we will examine the complementation of the mind". It's a very mechanical, sterile, opening. More importantly, it's very matter of fact. (Also, never mind that the TV ending is suddenly in 2016 while the EoE ending is in 2015.)

Finally - the quotation that I feel should be the final word on the topic, but people continue to challenge (if you're going to challenge the Newtype Filmbooks, then you might as well discount the RCB and various other materials. They all have errors in them in various ways).

 The Newtype Filmbook description for the scene states (literally):
"Amidst the many words of congratulations, a faint smile starts at the corners of Shinji's mouth (and spreads across his face). A happy face -- that is the figure of the Complemented Shinji. This conclusion is also one form, one possibility among many."
(Translated by Bochan Bird)

Note, "the figure of the Complemented Shinji". Pretty cut and dry.

Q) Which is the true end to Evangelion? The TV episodes or the films?

A) The End of Evangelion is the official ending to the saga. In the RCB it is stated that EoE was created from the original scripts for eps 25 and then a new script written to continue from that episode, but because of production errors they could not be used.  However, this does not mean the TV ending is false, it is simply an alternate conclusion.

Q) As everyone reverts to LCL, in The End of Evangelion, Rei comes to Hyuga as Misato and to Fuyutsuki as Yui, and both Hyuga and Fuyutsuki embrace them willingly. Why does Aoba see dozens of Reis, and why does he cower in the corner when the come to him?

A) As explained by the Evangelion Carddass Masters Trading Card Game:

"All life was drawn indiscriminately into the world desired by the medium/avatar Shinji.  Led by the Reis -- the messengers of salvation -- hurt and suffering hearts dissolved into homogeneous LCL.  Even those who did not wish salvation were powerless to resist.  Aoba frantically rejected Rei, but the A.T.Field that protected him had already lost its power."

Q) What exactly happened in The End of Evangelion?

A) This is a severely abbreviated overview of The End of Evangelion that simply touches upon the important aspects and details of the finale:

SEELE, believing that mankind had become a colony of worthlessness decided that in order for mankind to be happy, all life needed to die ("God, man, and all life must die in order to become one" -SEELE). In the process, mankind would become one in a single, perfect, being. This is the Human Complement Project

Gendo had a different scenario for the Complementation of mankind and his process seems to have included the use of Rei, Adam, and Lillith while SEELE's focused on Eva-01 (direct clone of Lillith), Evangelion Mass Production Models and the Spear of Longinuss (at first intended for the original Spear, but the replicas would have sufficed).

The SEELE version of Human Complement Project appears to have been initiated with the death of Evangelion Unit-02 and the return of the original Spear with the arrival of Eva-01. With these events occurring in the GeoFront, Gendou gave Adam to Rei (Adam is imbedded in Gendou's hand- this is seen quit clearly in the re-vision of eps. 24) and instructs her to take him to Lillith. However "out of her own judgment" she refused and returned to Lillith alone - then putt the future of mankind into the hands of the son of Ikari, Shinji.

When given a choice at the end of Complement Project, if he wanted mankind to return to reality or to complete the project, Shinji decided that a life in reality, no matter how painful, is better than a fake happiness (Kaworu: "AT-Field will harm you and others again, are you sure?" Shinji: "That's fine.") The Mass Production Eva series falls still, their cores break as the Lance Replicas are destroyed.

As the souls of mankind flow back to earth, millions of glowing crosses ascend with Eva-01 and the Lance into the depths of space. Yui caresses Shinji's cheek as they they say their final good-byes. In a flashback, Yui's goal for Eva - as a testament that humanity existed even after the sun, moon and earth are gone - becomes clear.

Shinji awakes up on a desolate beach. Asuka - her arm and eye bandaged in a manner similar to Rei's - lies motionless next to him. Shinji, at the culmination of his love, hate, stress, frustration, etc. - begins to strangle her, only to stop when he feels the caress of her hand across his face. He breaks down, sobbing on top of her.

Q) What happened to Gendo in the film?

A) Gendo more than likely entered into Human Complement Project just like everyone.

The scene of the film with Gendo being bitten in half by a ghost/demon Eva-01 is too surreal to be reality. Rei is a part of Lilith. Yui is dead and her soul is in Eva-01, Kaworu is dead. Eva-01 is in orbit around the earth. None of those people could actually be there with Gendo. Therefore, they are a figment of Human Complement Project and of Gendo's mind. Either this scene is of Gendo already being Complemented or Gendo's method of reversion to LCL is simply more violent and guilt ridden than others. Either way, Gendo is to be Complemented.

Gendo was reverted to LCL and became part of the whole with everyone else. As the Cardass Masters Card says, " All life was drawn indiscriminately into the world desired by the medium/avatar Shinji." With Shinji's request, "I wish everyone would just die.", the anti AT Field spread from Lilith. It was an "indiscriminate" effect that bound everyone together at Shinji's will. All life was to become one, Gendo included.

Q) What was SEELEs intent in initiating Human Complement Project? Gendo's?

A) SEELE believed that mankind had turned into a "colony of worthlessness" and that the only way for mankind to achieve happiness was for all life to die and become one in a single perfect being. They felt that humanity had hit a dead end in its evolution, and the only way for mankind to continue living was for it to return to the womb (quite literally).

Gendo, however, knew better than SEELE and did not want to initiate Human Complement Project to simply kill everyone in the world. In fact, all evidence says that Gendou's version of Complementation did not entail the genocide of all humanity at all. When SEELE idealizes the death of God, man and all living things, Gendo replies to them "Death gives birth to nothing." This is basically the climax of their conflict, Gendo has drawn a line in the sand and all that is left is for SEELE to react.

All Gendou seemed to want was to re-united with his beloved wife (In the face of Complementation he says, "I've been waiting for this moment for so long... To finally be with you again, Yui.")

Q) Are there really different types of Third Impact? A Constructive and Destructive one?

A) Well.. yes and no. Both "types" of Third Impact result in the destruction of humanity. If an Angel came into contact with Adam (or Lilith) it would seem they would have been Complemented. Kaworu tells Shinji that only one form of life can escape annihilation and inherit the future - and that the Lilim are not the ones who should perish (he thus sacrificed his life to give humans a chance).

The entire Evangelion TV series is, then, a prelude to the real mission at hand - the Human Complement Project. A project to unite life through death, to return to the womb of Lilith and exist as a single perfect being.

Q) Isn't the final scene Shinji's personal Heaven as a result of Human Complement Project?

A) No. Shinji was shown what Human Complement Project would be like if it was accomplished, and when he saw how fake the happiness really was he chose to stop it. He finds that Complementation is just another version of running away. He realized he would still be alone, because even he wouldn't be there.

Rei and Kaworu warn him that if he chooses to return to reality that AT Fields will once again hurt him and others again, "Fear of other people will once again return." But Shinji say to them "That's fine."

Further, this is confirmed in the Cardass Masters card game that states, "Shinji renounced the world where all hearts had melted into one and accepted each other unconditionally."

This is fact.

Q) Ok, Shinji and Asuka didn't "evolve into a higher existence"... but what about everyone else?

A) No one evolved into anything .

When Shinji refused to merge w/ Lillith the process of Human Complement Project was interrupted and the souls of mankind returned to the earth. Yui tells Shinji not to worry because "All living things have the ability to return to their original form... and the heart to go on living."
With this in mind it is reasonable to presume that eventually everyone will return to the way they were prior to the events of Third Impact and The Human Complement Project.

On the other hand - there is no proof that everyone will return. It is just as reasonable, then, to presume that Shinji and Asuka are indeed the only survivors of Third Impact/Human Complement Project. However, in my personal opinion, this is somewhat too downbeat and negative. And too... final.

The Eva Cardass Masters card states:
"In the sea of LCL, Shinji wished for a world with other people. He desired to meet them again, even if it meant he would be hurt and betrayed.  And just as he had hoped/wanted, Asuka was present in the new world.  Only Asuka was there beside him. The girl whom he had hurt, and who had been hurt by him. But even so, she was the one he had hoped/wished for...."

The End of Evangelion ends on the perfect note at the perfect moment. Indeed, we are left uncertain about the future of Shinji, Asuka and the others - but this is entirely appropriate. We are as uncertain about their future as Shinji and Asuka are. It matters not how they got there, or where they go from here. They are alive. And that's all that counts in the end.

Q) Mankind can re-form after Shinji rejects Human Complement Project, right? Well what about those who died before HCP was initiated (Misato, Ritsuko and Asuka

A) There is a chance that Misato and the others could reform because a) Rei was already with them when they died and may have collected their souls even before HCP began (the ghostly images of Rei that hover above Misato and Ritsuko's as they die; which is absent from Asuka's "death") b) During HCP Rei appears to all the dead bodies in NERV who died and they turn into LCL. That included Misato and Ritsuko; and yet, not Asuka...

Personally, I don't like the idea of them all returning - but I have nothing against it.

Q) Is that final scene of Yours Sincerely, "I need you.", reality or part of Shinji's mind?

A) This scene is reality. In the preceding scenes we see Shinji float up from a red ocean to the surface where he sees the face of Lillith/Rei slowing splitting and sinking into the ocean. The very next scene is Shinji on the beach next to this red ocean, Lillith/Rei's head still next to him. Shinji clearly chose real pain over false pleasure. Further,  Cardass Drama card D-88 states, "Shinji renounced the world where all hearts had melted into one and accepted each other unconditionally."

The scene is reality.

Q) What planet is Shinji on in "I need you."?

A) Shinji and Asuka are still on Earth. As Lillith de-composes her limbs begin to fall off and plummet down to the Earth's surface, when Shinji awakes he sees Lilith head in the distance, not to mention the dead Mass Production Evas that stand crucified in the red ocean. This proves, without the shadow of a doubt, that this is Earth.

Q) Why does Shinji strangle Asuka in the final scene of  The End of Evangelion, 'I need you.' ?

A) The sequance is one of the most hotly debated in Eva circles all over the world. Until now there was no definitive answer to the mystery. However, Bochan Bird has recently stumbled onto the absolute answer, held within the Eva Carddass Masters Trading Card Game.

Here is the original answer I wrote for this FAQ:
'I need you.' affirms Shinji's choice to return to reality, and in doing so has separated himself from Asuka once more. His first impulse is to strangle her, to finish what he started during Complementation. But then he feels her caress (which is very similar to the one he received from his mother only moments before) and realizes what he's doing. He releases his grip and collapses as an emotionally broken little boy - which disgusts Asuka.

The following presents the definitive answer to this question, as translated by Bochan Bird -
Part II (movies) Drama card D-88
Title: "Kimochi warui"
Small print:
"Shinji renounced the world where all hearts had melted into one and accepted each other unconditionally. His desire... to live with 'others' -- other hearts that would sometimes reject him, even deny him. That is why the first thing he did after coming to his senses was to place his hands around Asuka's neck. To feel the existence of an 'other'. To confirm (make sure of) rejection and denial."

---- So, I was half right. The scene is meant to be an affirmation of Shinji's decision to return to reality. As I wrote on the Evangelion ML, the scene is there to prove "pain once again exists" . However, I didn't give Shinji enough credit for his intention when he strangled her. I thought it was a carry over from the previous strangulation scene, when it was actually meant as a test to see if he was indeed back in the real world.

Q) Is Maya Ibuki a lesbian? Does she have feelings for Ritsuko?

A) Yes. Although Maya looks up to Ritsuko as her "sempai", there was clearly an intention to portray Maya's feelings towards Ritsuko as something much more complicated with deliberate gay overtones. When the phantom Rei/Ritsuko embraces Ritsuko during the film, The End of Evangelion, Maya lets a gasp of "ecstacy" escape (as described by Anno). Further, in the Newtype filmbook for End of Evangelion, Maya's final lines before she reverts to LCL are surrounded by hearts. It's clear that Gainax intended Maya to be a character with, at the very least, decisively lesbian tendancies.

Q) I was told that there is hate mail to Gainax flashed on screen in The End of Evangelion. Is this true?

A) Yes it is true. The text that is quickly flashed on screen after the live-action segment and right before the Lilith-Rei being's neck begins to bleed, is a collection of emails sent to Gainax. While some of them are very positive notes, full of praise for Gainax and Eva, there is some legitimate hate mail intermixed. Refer to this page for complete translations.

Q) Before Gendo shoots Ritsuko, in The End of Evangelion, he says something to her that the audience cannot hear. What did he say?

A) Speculation abounds over what Gendo's last words to Ritsuko were - and there's simply no answer. In the original story boards, Gendo's line is supposed to be covered by the sound of an explosion (from the battle raging in NERV). While the explosion sound was eventually scrapped, Anno ensured that Gendo's line indeed drops out so that we cannot hear it.

Yuriko Yamaguchi, Ritsuko's Japanese voice actress, too wondered what Gendo had told Ritsuko. But for her, it was a more personal question - because what Gendo told Risuko would directly dictate how the response, "Liar." was delivered. In the Red Cross Book (seiyuu section), Yamaguchi writes:

Ritsuko fades away with her final word, "Liar."
But what was this "Liar" in reference to? The script for this last scene only has Gendo saying:
"Ritsuko Akagi, I truly...." followed by Ritsuko saying: "Liar (gets shot)". I can imagine many
words that might follow "I truly....", but I can't decide on any in particular. That is the complexity
of Gendou and Ritsuko's relationship.

From Ritsuko Akagi's inner feelings as a scientist, she could be considered a woman who blindly
gave her love to Gendou Ikari, and also a foolish woman that walked the same path as her mother
Naoko who committed suicide after being betrayed by Ikari. I personally wanted her to end as a
convenient, submissive woman who simply wanted to die righteously. But in the previous movie
(D&R) she ended as a deeply jealous woman filled with nothing but hatred toward Ikari.

Feeling unsatisfied with this, I looked for a way to accept her death at the hands of Ikari.
This made the interpretation of "Liar" very important. But the voice-over grew nearer and nearer....

Director Anno must have noticed how I felt. When it came time to do the voice-over, he showed me
a single, hidden hint at the last moment. With that one incredible hint, I, and Ritsuko Akagi, were
utterly defeated. It hardly needs saying, but Director Anno is incredible. Truly awesome -- a genius.

So Gendo does indeed have a line there. Gendo did tell Ritsuko something, it's not simply a matter of Anno trying to be clever or leave the audience wondering. What could Gendo have said? Many of theorized it was simply, "I love/loved you." - but that seems too clean and simple, too trite, for Anno to make such a big deal about protecting the secret. Love is the obvious answer - and Gendo was never obvious. 

Personally, I'm content in believing Gendo said, "Ritsuko Akagi, I truly... needed you. "

 

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