This remains a work in progress, and so there are many angles that are still being actively "worked", so to speak. Due to the (entirely self-imposed) time constraints, I have to skim over much over the evidence here, but, provided these ideas are not negated in the near future, the arguments will be developed further in mind-numbing detail. So, yes, this will be a Wall of Text, and, because of the crunch, pictures will have to wait until later. I don't like it, either.
EDIT: With Operation 0706 behind us, much of the above no longer applies, and I've been going back and adding pictures here and there. Many of the textual improvements will likely come in when I convert all of this to a series of Wiki articles. Also, the thread has gotten large enough that a ToC feels like a good idea...
=TABLE OF CONTENTS=
1. Identities of the Adams (w/ super-basic intro to Blakeian mythology)
2. Kaworu's connection to Adam and the Key of Nebuchadnezzar
3. "Collective Beings": mini-Instrumentality; origins of Angels, Mk.4s, and Adam
4a. Rei = Lilith
4b. Much ado about Eva pilots, Pt. 1
5a. Much ado about Eva pilots, Pt. 2
5b. Pilots' Adamsian Identities
5c. Kaworu's deceptive attire
6a. The Pilots & the Artificial Evolution Laboratory
6b. Kaworu's Mysterious Motivations (= explaining those annoying lines of his)
7a. Lilith's role in everything
7b. Shinji and Rei's special connection
7c. The mundane but ever-relatable reality of the "cycle"
7d. Follow-up to 7a~7c.
8. The Fall of Kaworu: a possible explanation inspired by Blake
9a. Meaning of "Adams' Vessel" and what Mark.09 actually *is*
9b. Link between "Vessels"/Adams and the Wunder
10. Examination of "core issues" regarding Adams and Evas
Let’s begin. I will build this first post up as a series of enumerated premises, each of which must be accepted on some level before moving onto the next.
1: The Four Adams are Eva-01, Mark.06, Eva-13, and the Key of Nebuchadnezzar.
For this part, I have a detailed article prepared on the Wiki. This provides not just a rundown on why these four entities have been identified as the Adams, but also starts to explore some of the connections to William Blake’s mythology, which will be referenced again later (specifically the Four Zoas and their names). The rest of this post won’t make sense without the article’s contents, so please take a look:
The Identities of the Adams
2: They had once been a single entity, called Adam.
The Blake connections mentioned above create some suspicion that this is the case, but it does not end there. In the draft screenplay for Eva 2.0 published in its respective CRC, its version of the Second Impact scene stands out (translation by me):
A giant spear is being transported to Antarctica.
A giant face covering the sky.
Four radiant giants with haloes above their backs and heads. Tails of light are extending from ?one back to another?.
The radiant giants extend vast wings.
The continent of Antarctica is turning into a red sea.
Something resembling a giant cruciform Tree of Life stands towering over the explosion center, remaining on a tilt.
The ocean surface is being stained red.
A girl beholds all this. The only human left alive at the impact center. It's a younger Misato.
A cross pendant, now a memento of her father, is in her hand.
Kaji (voice only): It was 15 years ago. An investigation of an object called Adam, discovered in Antarctica. Her father was in charge of it. Second Impact happened during the investigation. She was 14 at the time, same as you.
While just a draft version, details that are omitted in the process of revision are not necessarily removed because they stop being true, but to streamline the storytelling and entrust more to the audience’s power of inference.
This draft is mostly notable for how it explicitly references a singular “Adam”, while also directly implying that the four Adams were a product of Second Impact. “Second Impact happened during the investigation” all but states, then, that the research team did something to Adam to make it splinter into four beings. Also interesting is that nothing in the final films actually negates this information. Kaji’s expository dialogue here is removed, but it isn’t actually replaced with anything; nor do the Adams explicitly come up ever again except for a single line in Q identifying Eva-13 as one that survived.
For now, #2 will be assumed true on a tentative basis. I will be coming back to it later.
3A: Kaworu and the Key of Nebuchadnezzar are linked.
While Kaworu claims that he had been the First Angel (prior to the events of Q), this really does create far more questions than it answers, and it’s difficult to cast aside the suspicion that there’s maybe a little more to it than just “the First Angel is and always has been a red-eyed bishounen”. Maybe it’s because this is Kaworu we are talking about. We have essentially NOTHING concrete about him — he’s a mystery inside a mystery — which invites us to, at least tentatively, make inferences based on any details from NGE that still fit in the new setting.
Now, originally, Kaworu was a hybrid being born at Second Impact from contact between Adam and Lilin. He was artificial to the point that, much like the Evas, his soul, originally that of Adam’s, was placed in his body well after the fact — “salvaged”, they call it. He was linked visually to Rei because they were both artificial beings that incarnated the souls of ancient alien gods.
The one part of this that clearly carries over in some way is the visual link to Rei. Both of them still have something in common that is not shared with the other three children, though what exactly that thing is… is unclear.
In any case, bearing these thoughts in mind, I want to track back to the Key of Nebuchadnezzar. This was originally the one Adams that did not quite survive Second Impact, according to these speculations, and is the closest thing in NTE to the Adam of NGE. Is it possible, then, that Kaworu is uniquely linked to it? Were the circumstances of his creation at all similar to NGE!Kaworu? Could they have had something to do with what resulted in the Key degenerating to that state?
Well, what’s something that both of these beings end up having in common? Think about it.
They’re both headless bodies sealed inside heavy-duty containers. But it gets even better. How did Kaworu reach that state? Via a bloody explosion. How have these films been implying that the seas turned red, since the very first movie? Via a bloody explosion. (As detailed further under the Key’s section in my Adams article.)
This implied connection further explains the Key’s strange name. “The Key of Nebuchadnezzar”? What does Nebuchadnezzar have to do with anything? This is a point I need to research further, but one link stands out as obvious. Nebuchadnezzar was a king. Where do we hear that word in the movies? From Kaworu, when he calls Gendo “the King of the Lilin”. Who possesses Nebuchadnezzar’s Key? Gendo. A key for a king. On top of that, Kaworu refers to Gendo as “King of Lilin” when he realizes he has been utterly played — say, manipulated with all of the ease of an instrument, a tool, which is precisely what the miniaturized nervous system that Gendo carries around in a secure case has been reduced to.
3B: Kaworu and the Key of Nebuchadnezzar were once the same being: an Adams.
So, backtracking a little: Kaworu not only refers to himself as the “First Angel”, he also ends up becoming the Thirteen. While obscured by the official subtitles (unfortunately), the phrase Kaworu uses is… not exactly what I would call subtle. From an write-up I did in 2016, still relevant:
Reichu wrote:Kaworu says 堕とする, which is a "verbed" version of 堕, a kanji having the meaning "degenerate", "lapse into", "descend to", etc. (Furthermore, 堕ちる is an alternate way to write the verb ochiru, to fall or descend.) It (...) indicates a change of state from higher to lower. Given Eva's reference pool, the audience is possibly meant to draw an association with 堕天使 (datenshi, "fallen angel") and maybe even 堕罪 (dazai, "the Fall of Man").
Kaworu quite literally “undergoes a Fall” from 1st to 13th. The sheer efficiency at which Anno crams in Biblical allusions is quite something, as we have at least three different things going on here at once:
- Kaworu, being an “Angel” and all, has now become a Fallen Angel. Satan allusion. (Also does double duty in reminding us that Kaworu is partly inspired by Satan from Devilman.)
- Going from the first Angel to the last is a Christ/God allusion ("I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end”, as per the Book of Revelation).
- Kaworu saying “I’m the First Angel” of course recalls Adam; and NTE knows it can’t escape the burden of NGE’s lore, so it doesn’t even try. The Adam of Eva is of course named for the Biblical one, making Kaworu’s Fall an allusion to the Fall of Man as well. (We will come back to this.)
Kaworu’s “Satanic” characteristics can be glossed over for the moment, but let’s look at those other two a little more closely. The movie smacks you over the head repeatedly with the Jesus stuff: Kaworu has a Messiah Complex; he takes on the burden of Shinji’s sin and dies for it; Seele’s Instrumentality involves them being “resigned” to a “deicide”, implying they intended to sacrifice Kaworu for humanity’s salvation. The only part that’s not in your face is the identity of the god that Kaworu incarnates in human form, but we already have our answer. It’s the Adams that was destroyed at Second Impact and became the Key of Nebuchadnezzar.
3C. Kaworu is also identified with the original Adam -- from before it split in four.
But more than just being identified with one of the four Adams, Kaworu is identified with ADAM-Adam. The original. How so, beyond that vague allusion previously mentioned? Well…
After the Spears are pulled from Lilith and Mark.06, we’re treated to an absolutely insane sequence inside Central Dogma where, in fine Eva tradition, it’s not especially clear what the blazes is happening or why. What if we’re seeing a variation on the Fall of Man parable, though? Consider: the 12th Angel starts off with a rather serpentine form, and it ultimately becomes a round, bite-size morsel that is devoured. Right there, we have both our Serpent and our Fruit. Eva-13, furthermore, references the roles of both Eve (“Eva”) and Adam (it’s revealed to be an Adams after eating the Fruit).
But Eva-13 doesn’t undergo a Fall, does it? Rather, it achieves a transcendent state through this event. It’s Kaworu who falls. So the Eve and Adam analogues go even further here: they’re Shinji and Kaworu respectively. (I’ll admit this specific part is borrowed from the tumblr-sphere, but I’m largely unaware of what happens over there.) Keeping the focus for now on Kaworu, notice how explicitly his Fall is made by the end. Adam became mortal by eating the Fruit of Knowledge, and Kaworu’s mortality, too, is gruesomely illustrated through his violent death. (Whether the Fruit of Knowledge played any role in that in Kaworu's case might be something to explore later on.)
Now, Shinji being identified with Eve — in other words, an entity who was split out of Adam — has its own applications, but all in good time…
Bearing all of the above (including the “Identities of the Adams” article) in mind, I propose the following as a framework to further build upon:
- There was once a single godly being called “Adam”.
- After something was done to it by Lilin researchers, it splintered into four separate beings, called “Adams”.
- One of these Adams ("Urthona") destabilized and exploded, unleashing massive amounts of red LCL.
- "Urthona" left behind a remnant, which was salvaged and fitted to a device for possible further use. It is now called the Key of Nebuchadnezzar.
- The other three Adams survived the events and were dissipated from the South Pole, to be discovered by humanity and modified into Evangelions. These are Eva-01, Mark.06, and Eva-13.
- Kaworu’s body may explicitly originate from the event that caused Adam to split and “Urthona” to destabilize.
- Kaworu’s soul comes from the Adams that exploded (“Urthona”).
- As "Urthona" was also once part of the whole, that implies that Kaworu’s soul and original body were also once the original Adam, in a sense.
- Depending on the exact nature of the division, it is possible that “Urthona” and its soul somehow retain the “fundamental essence” of Adam more than the other three Adams. (See also: Urthona’s sphere overlaps only the “Adam” part of the egg in Blake’s illustration; the other three spheres have some “Satan” in them.)
This covers the first fourth (approximately) of this analysis. More will come shortly.