Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Re: Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Postby Reichu » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:41 pm

Didn't notice before that Rei's room has similar paneling as the two Reiquarium images. The observation room that Gendo, Fuyutsuki, Naoko, and Shinji are watching from is similar. Guess that whole section of Gehirn looks that way.

I just double-checked the episode 21 script, and it says that Rei is "five years old (looks seven)".

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Re: Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Postby Solarwind » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:56 am

If she was five at the time, then it's possible that she was made months after Yui was lost. Depends on when the contact experiment occurred, exactly. I definitely see the evidence that suggests Rei could have come from a salvage attempt for Yui, but at the same time we're led to believe Gendo has based his entire plan to reunite with Yui around Rei, which makes me question the likelihood that he accidentally came into position of Lilith's soul in a human vessel that is under his control.

How much Ritsuko actually knows about Rei's origin judging from her exposition is debatable, and whether the room where Yui was lost and Rei was born in is the same room isn't clear although cutting to another room filled with dead Evas and declaring that was where Yui was lost kind of makes it hard to say they're the same.

Does the equipment in that room resemble anything that offers a hint? It looks like some kind of decrepit laboratory, with a bed/table of some sort? This all really comes down to what was meant by "born", really, and that's where I'm stuck. None of the possibilities are really consistent with "born", whether it's a salvage recovery or placement of a soul in a clone.

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Re: Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Postby Reichu » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:51 am

The contact experiment was already set to happen in 2003, since that's when Yui's conversation with Fuyutsuki takes place. I'd assume it didn't happen too late in 2004 for that reason. That they apparently didn't even wait until Eva-01 was separated from Lilith to perform the experiment also points in favor of a more compressed timeline.

The Eva graveyard (which is where Yui "disappeared") and Rei's room are definitely not the same place. They're just part of the same abandoned Gehirn facilities. The point I was trying to make earlier with the pictures was:

- Ritsuko says that Yui disappeared there.
- Yui disappearing = Yui conducting the CE with Eva-01 and getting absorbed.
- Therefore, at one point, the Eva graveyard had been NOT an Eva graveyard, but the testing facility where the experiment with Eva-01 was undertaken.
- The image of Eva-01 and Lilith shows them lying within a cross-shaped basin that matches up with part of the Eva graveyard. Image of Yui in divesuit at time of CE shows a background that recalls the Eva-01/Lilith pic.
- Following trail of breadcrumbs thus: Yui's CE took place in the cross-shaped basin where the connected Eva-01 and Lilith were being housed at the time, and the giants would have remained connected for both the experiment and the follow-up salvage.

Gendo basing his plan with reunite with Yui around Rei works regardless of how Rei came into his possession. We know he won't settle for being separated from Yui, so he'll use whatever means are at his disposal to do something about it. Whether this involves a "resource" that came about by accident, or one that needs to be deliberately engineered, the end result is the same. Each possible route does emphasize a different aspect of his character, though. The former emphasizes Gendo more as a broken and desperate but resourceful man; making lemonade when life throws lemons at him. The latter veers more toward his "mastermind with everything worked out and under control" veneer. I honestly prefer the former, since it's actually simpler, requiring only that Gendo recognize the utility of Rei, perhaps gradually, at some point after she spontaneously comes into existence, and not demanding that Gendo deliberately engineer this convoluted plan to creepily make an underage clone of his wife that he crams Lilith's soul into so that he can reshape her soul to be perfectly obedient to him so that he can have her make HIP happen with Eva-01 at the middle because for some reason he can move around the soul of a god like it's nothing but he needs to melt down an entire planet in order to move his soul into an Eva because it's "the only way to be with Yui again", and-- *huge shrug*

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Re: Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Postby Solarwind » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:58 am

Yes, I definitely can see that the graveyard and the image of the CE are in the same place. I was trying to figure out if Rei's "room" was part of that big cross-like area, but it does seem to be a small self-contained room rather than part of that structure.

I guess I just don't really find it convincing that Rei just so happened to be salvaged from Yui with the Lilith soul conveniently attached to her, even though it's entirely possible based on what is known. It feels like too important of an aspect to be by chance, for me, though. I do believe that they probably tried to recover Yui immediately, failed, and then Gendo had some time to ponder his next steps. I believe one of those backstory episodes, probably ep.21, mentions that he disappeared for a week after Yui's death, which could be explainable if that was the point when he came to the conclusion that he had to take control of the Instrumentality plan to have a chance at reuniting with Yui. It makes him just as resourceful as if he was magically handed the ideal vessel for carrying out his plans, if not more so because he had to figure out a solution that wasn't already in place for him.

The fact that Fuyutski both knows of and apparently goes along with Gendo's plan plays in well with the fact that he was supposedly involved in Rei's creation. He would probably be one of the few people that could know the true nature of Rei, and Gendo's plans, without putting anything in jeopardy. The fact that Naoko had no knowledge of Rei I's existence until she was introduced to her much later also indicate to me that this was a very secret plan done with some form of intent. If Gendo had really just been trying to recover Yui, I can't imagine why the rest of the staff there wouldn't have been involved in the attempt, and thus be aware that a lifeform was produced as the result.

It makes more sense to me if the attempt was made shortly after Yui was lost, with the knowledge and participation of the rest of the staff -- and the Rei creation business took place later, without their knowledge, because by this point Gendo had a new plan and they obviously were not to know about the nature of the soul that would be given to her. And if Rei I is chronologically five years old in 2010, she couldn't have been born that close to Yui's disappearance. There could be as much as a full year gap in there, which I doubt involved an attached Eva/Lilith sitting in that giant cross the entire time.

Her internal monologue/hallucination in ep.25 also comes to mind, in which the voice speaking to her tells her that she is "an empty shell with a false soul, created by a man named Gendo Ikari." The word created being used in relation to Rei repeatedly really seems to suggest that she did not naturally come into being, and more specifically, that Gendo had intent behind it. In the same episode, him telling her that she existed for that day also indicates to me that she had an intended purpose on his behalf, which again really makes it harder to believe that he just got really lucky. The bit of information revealed regarding the fact that he would have named a daughter "Rei" kind of elaborates on what might have been going on in his mind; creating a new life from Yui's remains would in essence kind of be like a daughter to him. I don't think he ever viewed her as a salvaged Yui, thus why he gave her the name of the daughter they never had. If Rei is indeed his creation, it makes even more sense, because he would be viewing her as a child that he created "with" Yui, or at least through his agency and her DNA.

In any case, we've already established that the room she is stated to have been born is isn't the same room that the CE happened in, so that leaves the question as to what they were doing in that small room in order for her to be "born". It makes sense if you consider that her being born in that room was the process of putting Lilith's soul in her, regardless of exactly how her body itself was produced. Yui's supposedly disappeared without a trace so what "remains" were used to create Rei is difficult to explain in any theory. The fact remains that if she was born in that room, there's little chance that she came directly out of the Eva/Lilith connection unless they are able to salvage a soul from a vessel from another room...and apparently one that didn't seem to have equipment appropriate for that process.

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Re: Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Postby barnett » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:49 pm

@Reichu, how do you relate your argument to Naoko's attempt to salvage Yui? Do you think Rei had already "emerged" by then?

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Re: Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Postby Solarwind » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:02 am

View Original Postbarnett wrote:@Reichu, how do you relate your argument to Naoko's attempt to salvage Yui? Do you think Rei had already "emerged" by then?

Editing this because I believe I found what you're referring to here. Ritsuko confirms in ep.20 that her mother was present for Yui's attempted salvage, and that the result was failure. If they failed, and Naoko was present but did not know of Rei I, then there is no way Rei could have been produced in that operation.

Either way...I have really been wracking my brain trying to make sense of this whole question but I'm coming up blank. It seems like the "Rei just popped out with Lilith's soul" is mentioned explicitly on Yui's wiki page here, but the citation for it is just ep.21 as a whole without any further explanation. I really feel like at minimum there needs to be an explanation on how an embryo/infant resulted from the salvage, which Rei necessarily would have had to have been if she is chronologically five years old in 2010, and an explanation of what went on in that room that she was born in. It doesn't seem likely that the Eva/Lilith arrangement could have fit in that room, and I imagine a salvage would have to take place in close proximity to the vessel they're trying to recover the soul from -- in Shinji's case they were directly in front of it. I believe it is safe to say that the process must have been similar because Ritsuko mentions it herself.

If Rei I had been born in any state similar to Yui, I would find that to be a strong case for the salvage theory...but the fact that Gendo vanished for a week after Yui was lost, then immediately tells Fuyutski that he is starting the HIP seems suspect to me. That and the fact that apparently none of the staff knew that Rei existed until she was at least five? The secrecy surrounding her feels to me like it is because there is something to hide. If she was an accident then odds are there would have been additional witnesses to her creation.

I don't discount that salvaged "remains" could indicate genetic material was recovered in some form though. The Red Cross Book also specifies that she was created from Yui's salvaged remains, which to me sounds a lot more like them getting back some genetic material from the salvage rather than a fully birthed child with a soul. In the latter case Rei was NOT created, and thus this word is not applicable to her...and yet the word is used in reference to her in several places.

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Re: Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Postby Reichu » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:35 am

The Wiki pages don't get much love from editors (including yours truly; my motivation dried up years ago). If you want to fix problems you discover, I can give you an account and let you go to town. (This thread has been a good reminder that NGE fan theories tend to lack the benefit of being airtight.)

I can see an issue with that room that Rei was "born" in, regardless of approach. You note that giant beings would not fit in there... But Ritsuko says, again, that Rei was "born with a soul". So how do you reconcile the need to transfer Lilith's soul into Rei, with Rei being "born" -- already with Lilith's soul -- in that room? Of course you can make up steps to help get the soul there, but keep in mind that this sort of filling-in-the-blanks is the same kind of assumption-piling theory-building that resulted in things like needing to assume an embryo appeared in Yui's entry plug. Ritsuko says that Rei was "born and raised" in the room, which contextually suggests that Rei wasn't necessarily made from scratch entirely in that room, and instead that she was "decanted" there (taken out of an artificial womb, or whatever).

As far as Naoko goes: The salvage operation was expecting Yui's body with Yui's soul inside to appear in the plug. Anything else would be considered failure, and, depending on how their instruments were graded, wouldn't even necessarily show up "automatically", since machines only measure what you tell them to measure. The embryo could have been discovered via a subsequent analysis of the entry plug contexts. (How would it survive that long outside of a womb environment? Same way Kaworu did. B] )

I still think you're fixating too much on requiring a precise explanation for why an embryo would appear rather than Yui. Plenty of things happen behind the scenes in NGE that are never, ever given any kind of explanation, and yet we must nonetheless still assume they must have happened because of (A) the accumulation of hints, and (B) the results. It's just the kind of show this is, where things constantly happen right there on-screen that don't make any goddamned sense, which even primary characters will deny are happening, but -- well, too bad, it's all happening anyway and everybody's gotta deal with it. Ultimately, the "what" is of far more importance than the "how".

Which is to say: if, hypothetically, the Rei-from-salvage theory were confirmed correct, you would still NEVER get the kind of information you're demanding from it unless a future version of NGE2 decided to play nice. One can only judge it, then, in the ways in which it is actually POSSIBLE to judge it.

EDIT: Regarding the language used in the "Red Cross Book".

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Re: Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Postby Solarwind » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:52 pm

I don't think it's irrelevant to ask how something happened if a theory is contingent upon it. Nothing is ever directly stated that would imply Rei came about as an accident, and in fact a lot of it is to the contrary. Particularly the several times in which she is stated to have been created. Through what means is unknown, but the implication strongly indicates that Gendo had some degree of intent behind it.

I don't think the embryo situation with Kaworu is directly comparable given what we know about Angels and their ability to produce energy. He could easily have sustained himself that way, even more so when we consider the other Angels sat dormant for conceivably millions of years before Adam opened Guf to soul them. Rei on the other hand seems to be more subject to human biology, as she can be injured and obviously requires food to sustain herself.

Overall I just don't feel the evidence is strong enough for me to accept that Rei accidentally popped into existence as a baby with Lilith's soul. I can certainly imagine something may have been salvaged, but I don't believe it was a fully formed and functioning human based on what we know of the salvage process, the language used to describe Rei's creation, and the fact that explaining it requires a lot of very specific assumptions. Like again, I'm not convinced a lifeform was created during any of the salvage attempts and no one but Gendo (and Fuyutski possibly) knew about it. The fact that we know she was born/created as a baby also makes it harder to believe it was an accident from a salvage; the odds that the operation would produce an entirely different lifeform from Yui at a different stage in development is hard to believe. Waving that off as irrelevant doesn't really work for me.

I'm not saying you're wrong, though, just that I don't think enough evidence exists to justify it being accepted as fact. Same with the cloning theory, although I think it is an easier process to justify given that all subsequent Rei copies are also clones. Certainly the salvage could have something to do with Rei's creation, but I do not think they accidentally received an ideal vessel for Gendo's plans. Much less that no one knew about it if it was indeed an accident -- and Gendo would have no reason or opportunity to hide her if she was an accident.

You can either take Ritsuko's word about the "born" situation, or you can take the sources that say she was created, such as in ep.23. They don't reconcile either way because you can't really say Rei was created if she was salvaged as a fully formed being. Much less claim that it was intentional.

If it were confirmed outright in the future then that's that, but at this point we can only go on what is implied and known. I don't think that's unreasonable.

I haven't watched Rebuild yet but I plan to soon -- maybe this is addressed somewhere in there. It wouldn't be the same canon but it could provide a potential explanation that would fit with what we know of NGE.
Last edited by Solarwind on Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Postby Reichu » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:34 pm

It's fine. There's no reason you need to accept it. They're both fan theories, not facts. Different ones exist to satisfy different needs. NGE's ability to stimulate the audience's imagination so flexibly is one of its endearing strengths, really.

I apologize if I'm been particularly forceful at any point. This has been a sobering reminder that things aren't as definitive as one can easily fall into thinking. Never really an intentional process; it just kind of happens over the years. You've been a great sport and unfailingly polite, and have really put me to the test. I basically need to reconsider the whole thing from the bottom up now.

Hope to see you around more!

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Re: Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Postby Solarwind » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:42 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:It's fine. There's no reason you need to accept it. They're both fan theories, not facts. Different ones exist to satisfy different needs. NGE's ability to stimulate the audience's imagination so flexibly is one of its endearing strengths, really.

I apologize if I'm been particularly forceful at any point. This has been a sobering reminder that things aren't as definitive as one can easily fall into thinking. Never really an intentional process; it just kind of happens over the years. You've been a great sport and unfailingly polite, and have really put me to the test. I basically need to reconsider the whole thing from the bottom up now.

Hope to see you around more!

No problem at all, it's been great discussing this! I'm glad that I discovered both this show and its community. As soon as I have the chance I will be both watching Rebuild and re-watching the original anime subbed, so I am sure I will have more to discuss soon.

And don't worry, you weren't forceful or rude at all, and I think you make your case well. I hadn't even considered the possibility when I first watched it but it seems like Rei's origin and backstory may be more cryptic than I would have assumed.


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