Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Postby Solarwind » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:26 am

Hey all, I'm brand new to this forum and to the series in general, so forgive me if I'm asking something obvious. I haven't been able to find an answer that satisfied me on this topic, so I figured I'd ask people more familiar with the lore.

I'm currently about halfway through the series (episode 15) and I've been spoiling myself a bit along the way in my quest to understand certain aspects of the lore that have already been presented. I'm not generally an anime fan, so I've been watching the dub, but I'm getting the impression that the translation may not be the best, so I do intend to do a second watch-through of the sub. I don't know if either version addresses this question, but I wasn't able to find a concrete answer on any of the wikis or forums.

That all said, my question is regarding Rei's soul. I understand that she seems to only have one shared between her iterations, and that the soul is presumably Lilith. My questions are as follows:

1) Was Rei created with the intention of being involved in Instrumentality? I ask this because it seems like the idea was she was created in an attempt to retrieve Yui's soul and place her soul back into a body. However, Yui being absorbed in the first place seems like it is what inspired Gendo to become interested in Instrumentality, thus...was Rei simply repurposed as a vessel for Lilith once it became clear that Yui wasn't retrievable?

2) I am not sure if this is a dub or sub quote, but Ritsuko has some dialogue in episode 23 that implies Rei was "born" with a soul:
Ritsuko: Yes, they're human. The Evas do not intrinsically have souls, but they have human souls embedded in them. They were all salvaged. The only vessel that contained a soul was Rei. She was the only one born with a soul. The Chamber of Guf was empty, you see. These things here that look like Rei have no souls. They're just vessels. That's why I'm going to destroy them. Because I hate them.

So my question then becomes...is "born" literally meaning that she came into existence naturally with a soul? That would contradict the idea that Lilith's soul was placed into her by artificial means. This explanation on the Guf page only further confuses me:
Rather unlike Judaic lore, in which emptying the Chamber of Guf signifies the coming of the Messiah, the consequences in Eva -- based on the context of Ritsuko's words[2] -- appear to be merely that: (A) there were no unborn souls in the Chamber to bequeath upon the Evas, and they had to be given salvaged human souls instead; and (B) only Rei (i.e., the first Rei?) was born with a soul, whereas her clones are soulless shells. The latter raises the question of why Rei was born with a soul if the Chamber was empty, and may have implications on her possession of Lilith's soul.

I'm guessing that the Chamber being referred to must be Lilith's -- and further assuming that Adam and Lilith must both possess Chambers since they are both seeds. This goes back to my question again, though, as to what we mean by "born", being that Rei supposedly does not in fact possess her own independent soul.

I may be overthinking this, but maybe there really is something I'm missing here? Thanks in advance. :)

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

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Postby kuribo-04 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:27 am

The Eva backstory will always be sort of a mystery.
I think Rei wasn't created (although I believed this for years, it could be), she was, it seems, a byproduct of the Yui-Eva-01 contact experiment.
If you search on this same site for the Director's Cut differences, you'll stumble on some episode 23 images that were removed later. In one of these you can see that during the contact experiment Lilith was still attached to Eva-01 (who is a Lilith clone).
Yui ended up inside the Eva, and her DNA if you will remained, and became the vessel for Lilith, who also lost her body (which remains nailed to that cross).
I think Gendo and co. created more Reis themselves later and figured out how to implant Lilith's soul.

The Chamber of Guf is the place where souls lie before they enter a body.
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Re: Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Postby AdamMalkobitch » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:54 am

View Original PostSolarwind wrote:I'm not generally an anime fan, so I've been watching the dub, but I'm getting the impression that the translation may not be the best, so I do intend to do a second watch-through of the sub.

Alright, this is your first problem- the official dub of everything from episode 1 to the last frame of End of Evangelion is awful. Abysmal performances from many characters, garbage translation, and needlessly added in sound effects and other various changes to EoE specifically for the amusement of the ingrates who localized it. Once you can't take the dub anymore and inevitably go back to rewatch everything subbed, try to forget EVERYTHING from the dub. IMO, you shouldn't even watch End of Evangelion's dub until after you've seen it subbed and fully understand it, because the dub absolutely ruins it's central message, and why Shinji makes the decision he does, and should only EVER be watched to make fun of.


View Original PostSolarwind wrote:That all said, my question is regarding Rei's soul. I understand that she seems to only have one shared between her iterations, and that the soul is presumably Lilith. My questions are as follows:

1) Was Rei created with the intention of being involved in Instrumentality? I ask this because it seems like the idea was she was created in an attempt to retrieve Yui's soul and place her soul back into a body. However, Yui being absorbed in the first place seems like it is what inspired Gendo to become interested in Instrumentality, thus...was Rei simply repurposed as a vessel for Lilith once it became clear that Yui wasn't retrievable?

I'm fairly certain that Instrumentality was Yui's goal all along (why? No clue. She's crazier than Gendo). Instrumentality may have been a shared dream between Yui and Gendo, and Yui going into Unit 01's core and deciding to stay there was likely done to drive Gendo to advance Instrumentality, so they could be together again. Rei was created to be a sort of surrogate Yui for Gendo, to remind him what he's fighting for, and also to house part of Lilith's soul, to be used later specifically for Gendo's vision of Third Impact, and ergo, Instrumentality.

View Original PostSolarwind wrote:2) I am not sure if this is a dub or sub quote, but Ritsuko has some dialogue in episode 23 that implies Rei was "born" with a soul:

So my question then becomes...is "born" literally meaning that she came into existence naturally with a soul? That would contradict the idea that Lilith's soul was placed into her by artificial means. This explanation on the Guf page only further confuses me:

I'm guessing that the Chamber being referred to must be Lilith's -- and further assuming that Adam and Lilith must both possess Chambers since they are both seeds. This goes back to my question again, though, as to what we mean by "born", being that Rei supposedly does not in fact possess her own independent soul.


That's definitely a sub quote, the dub had Ritsuko say something stupid along the lines of, "these aren't humans, just vessels with the shape of little girls", so the line you're referring to is accurate. As far as we know, the Chamber of Guf is a higher plane, a place where souls are held after death to be reincarnated. This is further elaborated on in the New Theatrical Films (Rebuilds), but those are a completely different story. I took this as meaning that Reis were somehow created as bodies without souls, and when they were needed upon a Rei's death, Rei's fraction of Lilith's soul would be extracted from her remains and implanted into a new Ayanami model.

The only time a Rei develops a soul is in New Theatrical Evangelion Edition Q (3.33 You Can (Not) Redo), after the original Rei's soul is sealed in Unit 01 at the end of New Theatrical Evangelion Edition Break (2.22 You Can (Not) Advance). I know saying this sounds like a massive spoiler, but it really isn't. It's only a spoiler if you understand what happens in Break, and what happens between Break and Q.
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Re: Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Postby Reichu » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:22 pm

View Original PostSolarwind wrote:So my question then becomes...is "born" literally meaning that she came into existence naturally with a soul? That would contradict the idea that Lilith's soul was placed into her by artificial means.

My sense is that the first Rei was an accidental byproduct of the attempt to salvage Yui. Ritsuko describes such a salvage as recreating a person's body and then fixing their soul within it. We know that Yui had no intention of leaving Eva-01's core; and, at the same time, Rei has Yui's shape (genetically speaking) but Lilith's soul. Eva-01 appears to have still been linked to Lilith when Yui did her contact experiment. In order to maintain the same conditions, Eva-01 and Lilith would have been left in this state for the purposes of the salvage. The physical connection provides a means by which Lilith's soul could have been accidentally transferred. That is:

(1) The salvage attempts to forcefully recreate Yui's body.
(2) Yui's soul does not cooperate.
(3) This results in the creation of a "spiritual vacuum" that is, obviously, not being filled.
(4) Lilith's soul might attempt to fill the vacuum by drawing from its Chamber of Guf. But the Chamber of Guf is empty; there's nothing inside to use.
(5) As a result, Lilith's soul is cleaved in two, and one of the pieces is drawn into the Yui clone.

The other Rei clones are created later, once Gendo has had time to process (A) the consequences of the failed salvage and (B) the significance of having Lilith's soul within a Lilin-shaped vessel, and accordingly (C) come up with a plan that will help him achieve his own directives, that has the superficial appearance of also helping Seele get what they want.

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

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Postby Solarwind » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:35 pm

Wow, really interesting to see that there are a diversity of opinions on this topic.

View Original PostAdamMalkobitch wrote:I'm fairly certain that Instrumentality was Yui's goal all along (why? No clue. She's crazier than Gendo). Instrumentality may have been a shared dream between Yui and Gendo, and Yui going into Unit 01's core and deciding to stay there was likely done to drive Gendo to advance Instrumentality, so they could be together again. Rei was created to be a sort of surrogate Yui for Gendo, to remind him what he's fighting for, and also to house part of Lilith's soul, to be used later specifically for Gendo's vision of Third Impact, and ergo, Instrumentality.

Hm, but the issue here is that if Yui wanted Instrumentality, why would she want Shinji to reject it? During EoE it seems like she was also involved in the process where Shinji ended up making his choice. I don't know what degree of sentience she has from inside Unit-01, but it seems like her decision to do so caused a lot of problems. Starting with Gendo's desire to restore her, and all of the people he harmed in the process. Ultimately leaving humanity's fate in an unknown state due to his actions, even with Shinji having prevented it from being as bad as it could have been.

"Reichu#872699" wrote:(1) The salvage attempts to forcefully recreate Yui's body.
(2) Yui's soul does not cooperate.
(3) This results in the creation of a "spiritual vacuum" that is, obviously, not being filled.
(4) Lilith's soul might attempt to fill the vacuum by drawing from its Chamber of Guf. But the Chamber of Guf is empty; there's nothing inside to use.
(5) As a result, Lilith's soul is cleaved in two, and one of the pieces is drawn into the Yui clone.

That seems reasonable, although I'm still a bit unclear on the Chamber of Guf and why it was empty. Did Lilith open it up and release all souls at the beginning of creation, in the form of LCL? Or rather the LCL gave rise to beings with souls? Because assuming every soul is unique in this mythos, you can't "run out" since people are being born all the time.

This probably isn't incredibly relevant to understanding the story, of course, but the details can be difficult to work out. Like with Rei I's soul being inside Unit-00...I don't deny that is the case, but the justification becomes so complex that Occam's Razor starts to apply. Harder to accept and understand explanations that require multiple steps of assumptions that aren't really solid in canon.

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

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Postby Reichu » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:33 am

View Original PostSolarwind wrote:the issue here is that if Yui wanted Instrumentality, why would she want Shinji to reject it?

You said you're only halfway through the series? I'd highly recommend finishing the show before digging into questions like these.

I'm still a bit unclear on the Chamber of Guf and why it was empty.

The Chamber of Guf is where Lilith carried a payload of "human alien" souls. As a Seed of Life, it was her task to colonize a planet and give rise to a new species of humanity. There aren't any souls in her Chamber of Guf because she was successful in her mission. Primate evolution resulted in beings into which the souls could be reincarnated. An emptied Chamber of Guf later, and you had the Lilin, us.

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

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Postby AdamMalkobitch » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:56 am

View Original PostSolarwind wrote:Hm, but the issue here is that if Yui wanted Instrumentality, why would she want Shinji to reject it? During EoE it seems like she was also involved in the process where Shinji ended up making his choice. I don't know what degree of sentience she has from inside Unit-01, but it seems like her decision to do so caused a lot of problems. Starting with Gendo's desire to restore her, and all of the people he harmed in the process. Ultimately leaving humanity's fate in an unknown state due to his actions, even with Shinji having prevented it from being as bad as it could have been.

I don't think Yui wanted Shinji to accept or reject Instrumentality, I think she wanted to simply give him the decision. I believe she saw herself as some sort of saviour to humanity, a mother who would guide the planet's rebirth. I know in the manga that Gendo stayed with Yui inside Unit 01's core after Instrumentality, and that may also be true in EoE. Although I do think that ending the world is a pretty roundabout way of being with your lover for eternity.
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Re: Some questions regarding the nature of Rei's soul

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Postby Solarwind » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:20 am

All right, I've finished the series plus the ending movie. I think most of the details of my questions on this have been answered -- in particular, Ritsuko does not use the term "born" in the dub, she says that Rei is the only vessel that can hold a soul. Not that she was born with one. So I'll take that as an answer to my question on that, potentially.

I'm still confused on the situation with the Chamber of Guf though. If it's empty, where do the souls of people that are born come from? I don't know if reincarnation was ever alluded to in this mythos, so I'm not sure what the intention there was.

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

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Postby Reichu » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:40 am

The dub is full of errors and should not be used as a primary reference for anything Eva-related. (Subtitles on the Platinum edition are usually accurate, though.) In the Japanese, Ritsuko says, "Only she [that girl] was born with a soul." ("Ano musume ni shika tamashii wa umarenakatta no yo.")

In NGE, new souls seem to be created through reproduction. This is obliquely hinted in the stickied topic on FAR and Seeds. The FAR wanted to "be fruitful and multiply" through their descendant races, which is basically impossible if there's no way to make new souls.

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

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Postby Solarwind » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:52 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:The dub is full of errors and should not be used as a primary reference for anything Eva-related. In the Japanese, Ritsuko says, "Only she [that girl] was born with a soul." ("Ano musume ni shika tamashii wa umarenakatta no yo.")

In NGE, new souls seem to be created through reproduction. This is obliquely hinted in the stickied topic on FAR and Seeds. The FAR wanted to "be fruitful and multiply" through their descendant races, which is basically impossible if there's no way to make new souls.

I can't imagine Rei was "born" in any traditional sense of the word though. A soul was placed into her one way or another, so she can't have been born with a soul. Unless the word born is to be understood in a different way in this context. To me it implies that she came into existence in an organic way, for one, and also that the soul is hers. The sub and dub seem to have Ritsuko say the same thing, except I think the word "born" in the next sentence isn't used.

With Rei, I assumed they literally created a clone, not that one was actually materialized through a salvage process though, since her body is that of a small child whereas I'd expect a reconstituted Yui would be an adult woman. Unless Rei came out as a different looking human due to Lilith's soul shaping the body? It's hard to understand since Shinji was returned to his original form rather than being salvaged, so it's unknown what a salvaged body would have looked like.

One old thread on this forum that I found discussed this a bit, and it looks like you posted there that Rei's body wouldn't have been formed from an attempt to salvage Yui from LCL. But that was a very oldass thread so maybe there's more information to support that.

Thanks for clarifying on the souls thing, I wasn't able to find much about it. That makes sense.

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

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Postby Reichu » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:38 am

It's generally assumed that Rei was created as a result of the failed salvage operation for at least two reasons off the top of my head.

(A) Otherwise there's no real significance born of the rather strange fact that Lilith and Eva-01 are still connected when Yui did the contact experiment. (Relevant to the salvage for reason I mentioned: you want to maintain the same conditions that produced the phenomenon you're looking to reverse.)
(B) It (kinda, sorta) explains Ritsuko's comment about how, contrasted to the Evas and the Rei spares, only [the first] Rei was "born with a soul" despite the Chamber of Guf being empty.

Rei 1 wasn't even a "small child" at first. Production materials indicate that she's 4 years old in 2010, and so would have been merely an embryo in 2005. Now, I still don't think she needs to have been deliberately cloned in order for this to happen. Rather, that it was the result of trying to recreate Yui's body but failing and creating a new being with a piece of Lilith's soul instead.

A lot of my stances have changed substantially over time. I'd have to be linked to the thread you're talking about.

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

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Postby Solarwind » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:08 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:It's generally assumed that Rei was created as a result of the failed salvage operation for at least two reasons off the top of my head.

(A) Otherwise there's no real significance born of the rather strange fact that Lilith and Eva-01 are still connected when Yui did the contact experiment. (Relevant to the salvage for reason I mentioned: you want to maintain the same conditions that produced the phenomenon you're looking to reverse.)
(B) It (kinda, sorta) explains Ritsuko's comment about how, contrasted to the Evas and the Rei spares, only [the first] Rei was "born with a soul" despite the Chamber of Guf being empty.

Rei 1 wasn't even a "small child" at first. Production materials indicate that she's 4 years old in 2010, and so would have been merely an embryo in 2005. Now, I still don't think she needs to have been deliberately cloned in order for this to happen. Rather, that it was the result of trying to recreate Yui's body but failing and creating a new being with a piece of Lilith's soul instead.

A lot of my stances have changed substantially over time. I'd have to be linked to the thread you're talking about.

Oh I'm sure, that's why I said it was a super old thread.

Would an embryo have arisen from a salvage operation, though? I got the impression when they were trying to salvage Shinji that they would be able to recover his body in a (reasonably) similar state. I'm not sure if the original soul needs to be willing in order for a proper body to be reformed from LCL, but maybe that has some relevance. I just have a hard time imagining something not at all similar to Yui's state when she was absorbed popping out...but I'm also not sure I'm clear on what the salvage process visually would look like since it didn't work for Shinji.

The only reason the cloning thing makes more sense to me is that you'd expect a clone to be made in a petri dish, essentially, which would explain its nascent state at the time of the salvage. I have a harder time understanding why that would be the product of the salvage itself, because it's so far from the form they were trying to recover...and how would something like that survive outside of a womb or incubator anyway? I'd imagine an embryo would be DOA, but again, I don't have a visual on what the setting of the salvage looked like.

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

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Postby mys_721tx » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:01 pm

View Original PostSolarwind wrote:The only reason the cloning thing makes more sense to me is that you'd expect a clone to be made in a petri dish, essentially, which would explain its nascent state at the time of the salvage. I have a harder time understanding why that would be the product of the salvage itself, because it's so far from the form they were trying to recover...and how would something like that survive outside of a womb or incubator anyway? I'd imagine an embryo would be DOA, but again, I don't have a visual on what the setting of the salvage looked like.


Yui was 27 at the time of the contact experiment. Had the selvage went as planned as shown in Ep. 20, there should be an adult in the late 20s coming out of the LCL instead of a teenager.

Fuyutsuki once said Rei is the product of his despair and yet Gendo's vessel of hope. It is possible that only some tissues or organs had been selvaged and clones had been made from there. Embryos can be frozen for extended amount of time (up to many tears) until a suitable surrogate is found. Without cryopreservation, embryos usually can survive for some time before implantation. Since the cloning of multicellular animals is essentially creating a embryo from a somatic cell and a donor egg, the same applies.

If Nerv took the embryo path, given the sheer number of Rei clones we see, they must have recruited an army of surrogate mothers. This might as well be one of the shadiest things Nerv has done. However, since they can grow Evas, they probably have some human-sized incubators.

Although I am really curious how the conversation went down:

Fuyutsuki: You know your wife kinda dissolved in the plug, right?
Gendo: Yes.
Fuyutsuki: We tried to fish her out, but that didn't work.
Gendo: Then why are we talking?

Fuyutsuki: We did selvaged some tissue samples of your wife. We made a tank full of clones that for some reason have blue hair and red eyes.
Gendo: I'm listening.
Fuyutsuki: The clones are soulless so we can't really find a use for them.
Gendo: We have extra souls in the basement, why don't we start from there?

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

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Postby Solarwind » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:58 am

View Original Postmys_721tx wrote:Yui was 27 at the time of the contact experiment. Had the selvage went as planned as shown in Ep. 20, there should be an adult in the late 20s coming out of the LCL instead of a teenager.

Fuyutsuki once said Rei is the product of his despair and yet Gendo's vessel of hope. It is possible that only some tissues or organs had been selvaged and clones had been made from there. Embryos can be frozen for extended amount of time (up to many tears) until a suitable surrogate is found. Without cryopreservation, embryos usually can survive for some time before implantation. Since the cloning of multicellular animals is essentially creating a embryo from a somatic cell and a donor egg, the same applies.

If Nerv took the embryo path, given the sheer number of Rei clones we see, they must have recruited an army of surrogate mothers. This might as well be one of the shadiest things Nerv has done. However, since they can grow Evas, they probably have some human-sized incubators.

Well, being that Rei I was a child when we see her, and assuming that the aging process she went through was natural, then I imagine they created her from Yui's remains (whatever that means in this case) and actually grew her in a lab from an embryo. If Rei is considered Yui's clone, then that theory makes sense because she is literally derived from her tissue.

I'm less able to picture how an embryo would come about as the result of a salvage unless the process was dramatically different than what they tried to do with Shinji. Which is possible since perhaps salvaging technology was new at the time? There still remains the question of why and how Lilith's soul got into her, but I suppose it's entirely possible that she was a soulless vessel for a period of time while they 'grew' her until Gendo was able to digest what happened to his wife and come up with a plan, at which point he may have had her soul put into Rei. In fact, if she ended up with the soul by accident during the salvage, it actually makes less sense since we do know Rei is instrumental in Gendo's endgame...would be a bit interesting if he accidentally came into possession of Lilith's soul in a form he can easily manipulate.

I don't know what the significance of Lilith being hooked up during the contact experiment would be in that case, though, as Reichu brought up. But neither can I fully figure out how a fetus!Rei would come out of a salvage operation, since what we know of that process indicates that it is an attempt to recover the form of the person at the time they were lost.

Ritsuko uses the word "born" in relation to Rei but I'm not sure how much she actually knows about Rei's origin and creation. She would've been pretty young at the time -- she looked to be about 15 when Rei 1 was stated to be 5 years old, so she would've been 10 at the time she was created. As far as her being "born" with a soul...does Ritsuko actually know that Rei has Lilith's soul? It sounds like she doesn't, and I don't expect Gendo has told anyone about it, even her. Is that ever stated?

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

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Postby Reichu » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:21 am

"How did a failed salvage attempt spit out an embryonic Yui clone?" is something where the mechanics really aren't important. It's the result that matters. The contact experiment with Adam is similar: we're given just enough hints to be able to work out that Kaworu was a product, and that's what counts, not how you go from some unnamed donor to DNA "diving" by itself to a pasty bishounen. I've similarly seen the evidence for Kaworu's origin get rejected in favor of laboratory cloning, presumably because it's "simpler", which leaves all of the intentional hints stranded with nothing to do.

Ritsuko's monologue in episode 23 is fairly incoherent, but the line about Rei being "born with a soul" contrasted with the rest of what she says points fairly conclusively away from a "laboratory cloning" origin, IMO. Here's why.

RITSUKO:
The Evas do not intrinsically have souls,
but they have human souls embedded in them.
They were all salvaged.
The only vessel that contained a soul was Rei.
She was the only one born with a soul.
The Chamber of Guf was empty, you see.
These things here that look like Rei have no souls.
They're just vessels.

Here, it's established that both the Evas and "these things" (Rei's clones) are intrinsically soulless. In contrast, "Rei" was "born with a soul". Rei's most recent two bodies are clones out of the vat, obviously, and thus didn't start out with souls, either. So Ritsuko must be referring to the first Rei's creation, which, she's suggesting here, was somehow different from the Evas and the Rei backups. Both the Evas and the Rei spares were created through a deliberate invocation of cloning technology. So how could Rei 1 be different? If she wasn't cloned on purpose. Say... if she was an accident that happened when Gehirn was trying to accomplish something else.

Why, then, the contrast against the Evas, with their so-called "salvaged" souls? As best I can figure, Ritsuko is using the word here to imply that the Evas have souls that have been deliberately reappropriated. (This doesn't make any sense with Yui's case, but might make sense with Kyoko if the rest of her soul was put into Eva-02 after she died, and was thus "salvaged" from her corpse. Corpse-salvaging seemed to become the norm after that.) The word is used to describe Kaworu's relationship with Adam's soul as well, and "deliberate recycling" works in that instance as well, since Seele quite intentionally recovered Adam's soul and put it into Kaworu's body. But Rei isn't described as having a "salvaged" soul; she's said to have been born with it. This implies that it was not put there on purpose, but that it ended up there on its own.

I'm not sure if Ritsuko knew about Rei's origins being Lilith-related. Eva-related, on the other hand? The kinds of weird associations that Ritsuko makes in the final act of episode 23 only really make sense, I think, if Ritsuko is trying to get this point across. The first thing she shows Misato and Shinji is the Eva graveyard, while pointing out that it was where Yui's fateful experiment had happened. If you compare the (DC version of the) graveyard with the image of Lilith and Eva-01 still connected, you'll see what Ritsuko means: it's the same place. (This, incidentally, provides the evidence needed to say that Lilith and Eva-01 were still connected when Yui did her experiment, because why do the contact in the big pit where Eva-01 is being grown if the Eva's been separated from Lilith by then?) Misato wants to know the truth about Rei, so she assumes that the Eva graveyard is unrelated and tells Ritsuko to get to the point. But in the dummy plug plant, Ritsuko embarks on a rant about Rei's nature that, for some reason, is also a rant about the Evas, their creation, and the nature of their souls.

I always found it really difficult to follow Ritsuko's train of thought in the scene. But the gist is that her unhinged mind is freely associating Rei's creation with the creation of the Evas along with Yui's experiment. The connections we're supposed to make are at their most explicit in the original DC version of the scene, where we're shown images of Eva-01 being grown from Lilith, plus the image of Yui in her divesuit when Ritsuko says how Rei was born with a soul.

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

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Postby Solarwind » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:49 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:"How did a failed salvage attempt spit out an embryonic Yui clone?" is something where the mechanics really aren't important. It's the result that matters. The contact experiment with Adam is similar: we're given just enough hints to be able to work out that Kaworu was a product, and that's what counts, not how you go from some unnamed donor to DNA "diving" by itself to a pasty bishounen. I've similarly seen the evidence for Kaworu's origin get rejected in favor of laboratory cloning, presumably because it's "simpler", which leaves all of the intentional hints stranded with nothing to do.

Ritsuko's monologue in episode 23 is fairly nonsensical, but the line about Rei being "born with a soul" contrasted with the rest of what she says points fairly conclusively away from a cloned origin, IMO. Here's why.


Here, it's established that both the Evas and "these things" (Rei's clones) are intrinsically soulless. In contrast, "Rei" was "born with a soul". Rei's most recent two bodies are clones out of the vat, obviously, and thus didn't start out with souls, either. So Ritsuko must be referring to the first Rei's creation, and suggesting that it was somehow different from both the Evas and the Rei backups. Both the Evas and the Rei backups are created through some form of cloning technology, thus we arrive again at Rei 1 being an accidental byproduct of the attempt to salvage Yui.

Why, then, the contrast against the Evas, with their so-called "salvaged" souls? As best I can figure, Ritsuko is using the word here to imply that the Evas have souls that have been deliberately reappropriated. (This doesn't make any sense with Yui's case, but might make sense with Kyoko if the rest of her soul was put into Eva-02 after she died, and was thus "salvaged" from her corpse. Corpse-salvaging seemed to become the norm after that.) The word is used to describe Kaworu's relationship with Adam's soul as well, and "deliberate recycling" works in that instance as well, since Seele quite intentionally recovered Adam's soul and put it into Kaworu's body. But Rei isn't described as having a "salvaged" soul; she's said to have been born with it. This implies that it was not put there on purpose, but that it ended up there on its own.

The verbiage from the Classified Information would suggest that Adam's soul was not hanging around in a body at the time it was recovered:
There hasn't been a soul within Adam. At the time of Second Impact, its body was torn apart, and its soul flew off somewhere as a result. Adam's soul was later recovered by Seele and incarnated.

Whoever made the footnote on that line seems to think it sounds as though it intended to state that it was disembodied at the time. In that case, it seems implicit that body itself was created through some artificial means. I don't picture they would perform a salvage operation and risk the soul taking the form of something not human, which I would kind of expect -- why would Adam take the form of an opposing lifeform's progeny? Surely SEELE deliberately made sure the soul went into a human.

Conversely, if you assume he came about as a direct result of the contact experiment, mixing human DNA with Adam, then the above is all contradictory. Why would SEELE need to recover and incarnate a soul that already inhabits a human body?

As for Rei, also from the Classified Information:
Lilith had no soul. Moreover, its soul has been residing within Rei. Many copies of Rei's body were made, but that is the reason why only one of Rei herself can exist at any given time. Even though Rei was copied from Yui's flesh, this was not the case for her soul.

Whether or not we can consider her situation to be the same as Kaworu isn't clear, but I feel it is of some note that the word "copied" is used here, as it implies a deliberate process. May be a product of the translation, but regardless the word "copied" and "born" are pretty far from each other. It's even more relevant if the same word is used to describe the Rei clones, which we can pretty solidly dub "clones". The mention of Yui's flesh is relevant because I would then assume that perhaps her body was left behind when she was sucked into the Eva? They must have had some flesh to work with. That to me pretty strongly implies that it was an artificial process; it doesn't really suggest that she was an accident.

I feel like the mechanics of how Rei came from a salvage is important here if we're to compare it with what we do have confirmed about the situation. For one, we have the attempt to recover Shinji in ep.20, which makes no implication that anything other than the Shinji we know is what they are attempting to recover. It also would appear that when Shinji did not want to come back, nothing came out. If Yui did not want to come out, I can't picture a half-baked Lilith/Yui DNA hybrid would pop out while Yui's soul itself remained in the Eva. The suggestion that Rei was created from Yui's flesh/remains seems to strongly indicate a biologically-based creation.

Finally, the most important bit of evidence to me is Gendo's statement to Rei in ep.25. "The day for which you were created" to me 100% implies an intentional creation, not an accident. He did not say the day for which she was born. In fact, as I said before, it seems crazy to me that Rei was an accident -- the cornerstone of his plan to be reunited with Yui. Lilith's soul just so happened to be in a human form that he had influence over, as an accidental byproduct of a salvage?

To me it's not so much that I'm desiring simplicity, I'm just trying to find a way to connect what we do know with a theory. It's harder to connect a convoluted theory that requires multiple assumptions with what we know. If nothing else I fully admit that official statements on these topics do not seem entirely consistent.
Last edited by Solarwind on Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:34 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 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:22 pm

Updated my post a bit while you posted yours.

> Kaworu soul stuff

I was the main translator for the Classified Information. Why is Adam's soul being collected in a disembodied state and then placed into the entity created by the Adam CE an issue? Who said anything about the soul already inhabiting a human body? :???:

The distinction I was making there was in Ritsuko's phrasing. "Salvaged" souls given to Evas who are born soulless, versus soulless Rei clones, versus Rei who was "born" with a soul. If you want to say that Rei's soul was "salvaged" from Lilith or something, then why does Ritsuko say that the Evas are born without souls, but that Rei was born with? There's a very fundamental distinction she's making here.

Trying to compare the circumstances to Shinji's salvage seem mostly futile to me, since they're not the same. Namely: When explaining why Rei was born with a soul, Ritsuko says "the Chamber of Guf was empty". The Chamber of Guf is a property of Lilith. This prompts an important question: Why on Earth would it being empty result in Rei being "born with a soul"? How does that make any sense at all? This is where the explanation taking advantage of the Eva-01/Lilith link came from, which I already mentioned in the thread.

> I can't picture a half-baked Lilith/Yui DNA hybrid

Rei is a "copy" of Yui, and not a wacky DNA hybrid -- so fortunately you don't have to picture this.

> It's harder to connect a convoluted theory that requires multiple assumptions with what we know.

The reason the theories get convoluted in the first place is to maximize the number of "connections" and minimize the number of snags and "stranded exposition". Doesn't mean it's right, but some of these ideas have been around for so long that there's no good way to track every little step of its evolution, and you practically have to rediscover little by little just why it ended up with its current status as a go-to explanation.

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

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Postby Solarwind » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:20 pm

I was the main translator for the Classified Information. Why is Adam's soul being collected in a disembodied state and then placed into the entity created by the Adam CE an issue? Who said anything about the soul already inhabiting a human body? :???:

If he was recovered in embryo form as the program suggests, that makes some sense. His survival at that point is a bit difficult to understand since there was a massive explosion that eradicated life, but perhaps as a creature partially made of Adam material, surviving was not an issue. The fact that he could be easily crushed though indicates to me that he was as fragile of a lifeform as any other human, so I'm not sure. Regardless, the soul being put into him was clearly deliberate on SEELE's part. That would explain him being "born" on the date of Second Impact, but unless they managed to recover his embryo the same day, he did not have a soul when he was born. My understanding is that no Angels that are the progeny of Adam have souls, and if Kaworu is indeed an Angel in the same sense that the others are, he would have no soul.

As for Rei, I'm still not convinced that she was "born" in any sense of the way that we understand it. The statement that she was created from Yui's "flesh" seems to me to imply there was a biological basis to it. The mention of Yui's "salvaged remains" also implies to me that there had to have been something physical to go on. It's hard to know because in Kyoko's case, she was not fully absorbed by the Eva and her physical body remained. I don't know if this is what happened to Yui or not, which bears some relevance on whether they had a physical form to use. I believe it was stated that no body remained, though, so that makes it harder to reconcile with the statement of flesh.

Regardless, if Gendo's statement to Rei in ep.25 is factual, and he refers to her as having been "created", I feel like there absolutely had to have been some deliberateness to the process. His word seems more reliable in this case because he certainly would have been present for Rei's creation/birth, whereas Ritsuko most likely was not; I'm actually trying to figure out the exact timeline because she appears as a teenager in ep.21, and I'm not sure what year that takes place. Additionally, Naoko does not know of Rei I's origins seemingly, as Gendo lies to her and tells her she is a friend's child. Wouldn't Naoko have likely been present for both the CE and attempts to recover Yui, being that she was a key scientist at NERV? It seems like Gendo is privy to information about Rei that both Ritsuko and Naoko are not, which makes sense, because he clearly had plans for her from the beginning -- plans he'd want to keep from women who is he manipulating in order to fulfill his plan to be reunited with Yui.

Ritsuko does refer to Rei as a vessel containing a soul in the previous statement, which is hard to reconcile with her then stating that she was born with a soul. But again, would Gendo have told her that Lilith's soul was placed in her if that was the case? It's instrumental to his plan to be reunited with Yui, so again, he would certainly have kept Ritsuko and Naoko from knowing this because it would raise questions. With answers that they probably would not like.

As for Lilith being connected to Unit-01 during the CE -- is this an image I can see? I've seen the one where they are connected together with the Eva emerging from Lilith's torso, but this to me is just explained by the fact that it was created from her legs.

Actually, in browsing around about this, I found yet another one of your old, OLD posts. :P thread/3845/Does-Asuka-die/40/ Your perspective at that time is the stage I am at in understanding this -- at no point does Gendo act as though Rei was created by mistake. Also relevant in that conversation was the mention that the room Yui is stated to have disappeared in is not the same room Rei was "born" in. I have a difficult time believing that Lilith/Unit-01 would even fit in that small room.

About Ritsuko's quote, it seems to me like she mentioned the Chamber of Guf being empty provides an explanation for why salvaged souls are necessary for Evas. Because the only place to get souls from them are from extant humans. The Rei clones are entirely empty of souls. Ritsuko probably knows that Rei has a soul because she must know that the purpose of the "spare parts" is for if Rei's body is destroyed to re-transplant her soul. But if she does NOT know that Rei has Lilith's soul...then she would have to believe that Rei was born with a soul.

(And if this analysis is correct frame-by-frame, the image of Yui in her divesuit does not show up until the line 'The Rei-like things here have no soul' in 23': https://wiki.evageeks.org/Analysis_of_t ... ium_Images)

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

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Postby Reichu » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:57 pm

Adam's children absolutely have souls. (Can't make an ATF without one.) The question with them is a matter of when exactly they got them: were they created with them, or did they get them later? I go with the latter, since it seems to tie everything together more neatly. The Angels may have physically existed for some time, but only got their souls when Adam opened her Chamber of Guf. A natural question to ask is why, then, would the freshly-conceived Kaworu have not received a soul at that time; but there are so many unknowns that there's no way to pick a best answer. (Maybe Angels need to reach a certain developmental point before they can be ensouled. Maybe the Lilin DNA contamination resulted in Adam's system failing to acknowledge Kaworu as offspring. Etc.)

In episode 25, Gendo rather vaguely says that Rei has "existed for this day". It's Rei 1 who says, "you are a person whose false soul was created by the human named Gendo Ikari." Incidentally, this shows the hazards of NGE expo-speak rather well... I remember discussions where that line was cited as proof that Rei can't have Lilith's soul, even though... yeah. Gendo obviously didn't create Rei's soul from whole cloth; he created it in that he purposefully reshaped it from what it had previously been. Similarly, Gendo saying that Rei was created for the day of Third Impact doesn't have to be literal; it, too, can be context-specific, depending on how all the other evidence weighs out.

The term used in the CI to describe Rei's relationship to Yui is nikutai no copy. Nikutai refers to "body" or "flesh" in the sense of "your body, as opposed to your soul", which is precisely how it's used here. It's not really implying anything about the methodology of how Rei was made, just that she's a physical copy ("physical" is probably how nikutai no should be translated here, in fact) and doesn't have any of Yui's spiritual attributes.

Here's what I'm talking about re: the contact experiment.

Image of Lilith and Eva-01 linked:

SPOILER: Show
Image


Image of Yui in divesuit at time of CE. Note background; compare to previous image.

SPOILER: Show
Image


Eva graveyard. Ritsuko says that Yui "disappeared" here. Compare shape of basin to first image.

SPOILER: Show
Image


The guy who wrote the episode-by-episode liner notes in Eva Fan Club came to the same conclusion about Eva-01 and Lilith being still connected when the CE happens, though he didn't bother to specify how he got to it. We had to do it on our own.

EDIT:

Yeah, my bad on misremembering the timing of the Reiquarium. Should have double-checked before saying anything.

Rei being "born" in that little room is one of the things I need to think about again. Can't humanly remember how I decided that my objections at the time were less important than other things, and thereupon switched over...

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

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Postby Solarwind » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:57 pm

My bad regarding the Angels and souls. I think my understanding is the same, that they probably received souls later, presumably at the time of Second Impact. They must have been dormant for a long time before that, most likely since Lilith landed and Adam was contained by the Lance. It's possible that they do not begin gestating until after they receive a soul, because their unsouled forms seem to have existed before Adam opened its Chamber of Guf. Somehow, though, Gendo knew that it would be ~15 years until Angels began showing up in a mature form...

I was trying to figure out if that Rei "birth" room was the same one shown with Unit-01 and Lilith -- the tiling on the wall appears similar, but we seem to get a panoramic view of it and it seems small. It is also squarish so it can't be any of those small circular rooms in the above view. But the fact that the room is full of equipment in the shot Ritsuko brings Misato and Shinji in, and then pans to this other "Eva graveyard" area would suggest they can't be the same place. I'm also wondering with regards to the time of Rei I's creation, because if the experiment took place in 2004 and she was four or five years old in 2010, she could have been created a year or two after Yui was lost...I'd have expected a salvage attempt to take place immediately after she was lost or at least within a month or two (it took about that long for Shinji to pop out?).


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