Could you explain this a bit more please. It sounds interesting to me and I wanna see what you see/understand better.
I believe that, to a certain extent, EoE provides a counter narrative to EoTV’s ending, suggesting that is one doesn’t come to terms with himself like Shinji does in EoTV, then you’ll end up questioning the good of your existence like Shinji does in EoE.
In EoTV’s Ep 26, Shinji goes on about how he can understand himself, and therefore love himself. He concludes that he is himself, and that it’s okay for him to be himself. He even proudly and happily declares that he wants
to be himself, and that he wants to “be here,” (wherever “here” is) and that it’s okay for him to be here.
In EoE, his words are a bit different. Despite telling Rei and Kaworu that he wants to escape Instrumentality because his “feelings were at that time were real,” he tells Yui that he still doesn’t know where his happiness lies, and even begins to question whether or not it’s good to be “here” (wherever “here” is) and whether or not it was good to be born. This is in direct contrast to realizing that it’s good to be himself in the place where he is in EoTV.
Seeing as how EoE was produced and released after EoTV, it’s as though Anno were saying “If you don’t do this, then this other thing will happen.” If Shinji can’t be at terms with himself and with being “here,” (EoTV’s ending) then he’ll still be stuck questioning the reason for his existence like he’s always been doing. (EoE’s ending.) I think people get too caught up on whether or not Gendo wins in one ending while Seele wins in another ending, especially since Rei and Yui truly hold all of the cards in both scenarios. What really matters is whether Shinji was able to come to terms with himself and his existence “here” or not. This had been a running theme since Episode 1, with Shinji asking his father why he wants hims to be “here.” In the end it doesn’t matter to the story-teller (Anno) if Gendo wins or Seele wins. If it did matter that much, we would have clearer answers about it in EoTV. What matters is how Shinji was able to cope with “being here,” and why being able to cope with that is so important. EoTV presents the positives with being able to cope with that, while EoE provides the negatives of not being able to cope with that.
In that same sense, people also get too caught up on whether or not Shinji escaped or broke Instrumentality in EoTV. The question of “being here,” has nothing to do with physical location (in or out of Instrumentality) but rather with the whole concept of existence. When Shinji realizes it’s “okay to be here” in EoTV, he’s not referring to Instrumentality (though he still might have accepted Instrumentality in EoTV, whether he did or not isn’t that important) but rather to his existence anywhere
. Likewise when he admits in EoE that he’ll always question whether it’s “good to be here,” he’s referring to his existence anywhere
. I think this is one of the reasons why Shinji physical location in both EoTV and EoE during the exact moment he references “being here” rather inconclusive. In EoTV, he’s in a symbolic auditorium when he references “being here.” In EoE, he’s taking with Yui in the Sea of LCL when he references “begin here.” Neither are conclusively Instrumentality or reality, but rather some place in-between. It has nothing with being in a physical location, but rather just with the state of being in general.