cat42 wrote:I always asscociated the the spectoral hair with the spectoral figure we see in 16. I still don't truly buy that it represents Yui, since Yui looks like herself when she appears in ep. 20.
We were actually shown what Yui looks like earlier in #16 -- the montage of newspaper clips ended with a photograph of her and Shinji.
The LHA is really no more than a very generic representation of a woman. Note that Shinji doesn't recognize the LHA (long-haired apparition) as 'mother' until she embraces him, upon which we abruptly transition to a scene where Yui is represented more accurately (albeit without a face -- referring back to Shinji's conversation with Rei in #15). The simplest explanation, IMO, is that LHA is used to visually represent a mysterious presence that is at once feminine and "ethereal/spectoral" -- conveying certain information to the audience while acknowledging Shinji's ignorance of her identity. Once we know who and what we're dealing with, LHA is never seen again.