Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition").
The third installment debuted in Japan on November 17, 2012.

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Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby Reichu » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:12 pm

I’ve been developing this analysis for a while, but with the premiere of Shin’s Avant 1 upon us now with little warning, I feel a bit of pressure to rush the main points out the door. Just, y’know, in case any important exposition happens to take place in those 10+ minutes, and some of the more advanced speculation in here happens to be correct (or, at least, is implied much more obviously than in the first three films alone). These ideas got their start on the forum here, and I’ve been honing them further on Discord with BlueBasilisk’s help. Much of this wouldn’t be possible without him. Thanks go out also to Sachi, and to everyone else who has discussed this stuff with me.

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
11. Mark.09's True Identity
12. Blue Goo: Mark.09, the 9th Angel, and Asuka
13. Mark.09's Ultimate Purpose

[/EDIT]

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.


original text  SPOILER: Show
南極に巨大な槍が運ばれている。
天を覆う巨大な顔。
背中と頭上に光の輪を持つ四体の光の巨人。お互いの背中から光の尾が伸びている。
巨大な翼をひろげる光の巨人たち。

赤い海へと変わっていく南極大陸。
爆心地に傾いたままそびえ立つ巨大な十字型の生命の樹らしき物体。
赤い色が海面を染めていく。
を、見つめる少女。爆心地でのただ一人の生き残った人間。少女時代のミサ卜である。
手に父親の形見となった十字のベンダント。

加持の声「15年前に行われた、南極で発見されたアダムと呼ばれる物体の調査。彼女の父親はその指揮を執っていた。その調査中にセカンドインパクトは起こった。君と同じ14才の時だ」


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:

View Original PostReichu 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…

1~3 Summary/Conclusions:

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.

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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:45 pm

Greatly appreciate the effort that went into this Reichu ^_^
I must say, i look forward to seeing what else you come up with, especially after the film's release
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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby AnimeAjay » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:51 am

Pretty astonishing write-up. I'm typically deathly allergic to fan-theories, but this is especially compelling, and remarkably well-sourced. I'm not 100% sold on some of the biblical connections later in your wiki page, but then you seemed to concede they're mostly a fun leap, so that's all cool.
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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby Reichu » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:32 am

@AnimeAjay: Thanks for taking a look; I'm glad you like it! That whole Adam/Satan part at the end there is ... a mess, definitely. I'm considering removing it altogether until I can let my ideas for that finish cooking... but at the same time, part of me is hoping that someone here will see what I have going, and help 'crack the code', so to speak. Wonders of crowd-sourcing! I guess I'll decide what to do in a couple of days. :thumbsup:

----------------

This next part could be done better, but it's a necessary step, as will become evident toward the end. Unfortunately, some of these arguments don't lend themselves too well to Text Only, and will definitely benefit from a methodical wiki-style expansion later on.

Many That Are One, One That Is Many, and Back Again

At first glance, altering the setting so that Adam is an entity that splits into four different ones might seem a little out of left field. So, before we move on — and then loop back around to subjects that many will find more enticing (*side-glances at topic title*) — I want to take a closer look at this phenomenon and how it fits into the bigger picture.

One way the “many from one” phenomenon is often handled in mythology and fiction involves a single entity being divided according to its “aspects”, so to speak. We see a form of this in NGE with the MAGI: Naoko effectively “splits out” three different components of her personality, and yet each one is a complete program unto itself. Those who follow American animation may have seen this trope in play recently on Steven Universe as well — an example that could lead to quite a few cross-franchise jokes, not the least of which because it involves a godly being, who happens to glow white, and who split out three of her aspects into “little sister” gods (for a total of four parts total, including the original).

Was this necessarily the case for Adam, however? Did this splintering actually create completely new entities out of what was once a single ego — or were those four parts at one point separate, and then, through Second Impact, made separate once more? Does it even matter?

The exploration of collectives has always been a theme, in some sense, in Eva, and it’s obvious in other Anno works such as Shin Godzilla. The collective nature of humanity, and both the power and pain that brings. Humanity’s “fate” to be artificially evolved into a single being — one made of billions of lives, blended together into a perfect whole. Collectivist enemies, like Israfel (two beings capable of acting as one, to the point of literally joining their bodies and souls) and Ireul (a single consciousness exercising control over its individual ‘cells’? countless consciousnesses working together? how many souls can that thing possibly have??).

Shin Godzilla, due to being created between Q and Shin, provides a sort of parallel look into where Anno’s mind is currently at. What we have here is quite interesting as well, a thorough exploration of human organizational and cooperative structures and how, quite similarly to the Lilin vs. Angel conflict, human ingenuity and hardship comes through to defeat the giant monster — or, as the case may be, to bring things to a temporary draw. The tantalizing, horrifying final shot of the film — incredibly reminiscent of certain imagery within Q — carries within it the suggestion that Godzilla, having been defeated by a committee, is attempting to evolve into one itself. (Very nice write-up on that here which also makes reference to our favorite anime.)

"Collective Beings" in NTE

Now, how is this subject approached in New Theatrical specifically? Let’s go through the most obvious examples (ignoring Adam, which has already received some focus, and will receive even more later)… (This entire section would benefit really badly from both images and from being more to the point. I was supposed to be “skimming”, I thought?)

(A) 7th Angel (“Clockiel”): It’s arguable whether this counts in any meaningful sense, but the “one from many” theme is, at the very least, present visually, in the way that its body is constructed of many individual building blocks. However, interestingly, these blocks falls apart temporarily when the Angel’s decoy core is destroyed, and only return to their former positions once the Angel has finished moving its main core into the position the decoy previously occupied. Was the decoy just a decoy? There is room for ample speculation here: it’s portrayed with two faces; it has two halos (maybe); three rainbows appear when it dies...

(B) 8th Angel (“Sahaquiel”): When this Angel “unfolds” from its original spherical form, you can see countless little… SOMEthings also fold out, all the way along its edge. The spikey-looking things framing the central “eye” part are in fact stylized angels playing trumpets, whereas the feathery things framing the wings are ]highly stylized little… Israfels. (This explains the trumpeting angels; those are a reference to the “original” Israfel, as opposed to the NGE one.) While it’s common to call this Angel “Sahaquiel”, it is in fact a fusion of two. The inclusion of Israfel does not seem to be merely for show, either.

We’re shown that when the Angel faces some difficulty getting past Eva-01, the “eye” in the middle opens, revealing an iris-like concavity from which a massive humanoid being unfolds to grapple with Eva-01 directly. What does this represent? The center of a collective. What are all of the little Israfels? All the others who are part of it; we see them working together to help the central figure when it requires aid. Their little arms even link together, as if they’re all holding hands. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the cooperation-assisted “boost” results in countless stacked halos radiating from its center — something seen nowhere else — and its death, similarly, produces a rather spectacular number of rainbows, overlapping each other like so many Olympic rings.

On a final note, this is the only Angel in these films where our three "main Evas" (00, 01, 02) cooperate to take it down. Coincidence? I don't think so!

(C) The Eva-03 Situation: 9th Angel merges with Eva-03 merges with Asuka. Fun times for all. It’s not entirely clear what, if anything, is inside Eva-03’s core — the only Eva we have even the slightest inkling about there is Eva-01, as far as I know — so it’s arguable how much of a combination-being this really is. Dialogue from Seele that didn’t make the final cut, and may or may not still be implicitly true, has them effectively saying that they wanted this shitstorm to happen. (They gained useful information, so the sacrifices that they personally didn't have to make were worth it! :um: ) One note worth making about this fusion is that the Angel actually internalizes the pilot inside its core.

(D) The “Give Ayanami Back!” Situation: 10th Angel eats Eva-00; supposedly changes its “pattern” to Eva-00’s; partially turns into a deformed ghost-white lady instead. (Was Eva-00 keeping some interesting secrets under that armor?) Weirdness about Eva-00 aside, an Angel once again internalizes a pilot inside its own core, except this time, instead of growing its core AROUND the pilot, it somehow moves the Eva’s core into its own and … puts the pilot’s soul in there for safekeeping? Angel metabolism is weird, man.

(E) Radiant Giant Eva-01: One core with its linked entry plug, representing Yui and Shinji, and the other core (originally that of Eva-00) representing Rei. Three beings sharing a single body. This gets slightly more messy (pun… intended?) if you start to wonder exactly what the 10th Angel contributed (through its body fluid, which Eva-01 ultimately absorbed), and how, precisely, that worked...

(F) Eva Mark.04A and 04C
: Oh boy, these things. They’re called “Evas”, but in good ol' Eva tradition, you are left completely on your own with just the name and some scattered hints to work on. The name, which is the only instance of an Eva ordinal being reused, makes it pretty clear that they have something to do with Eva-04, and for what that something is, you have to look no further than the shot in Ha spelling out the Eva’s fate. We’re shown something that looks KIND OF like an Impact, but isn’t quite there. (For instance, there are a couple of red rings that are maybe pitiful attempts to open the Gates of Guf, but this Eva is clearly still lacking a certain special something.)

Meaning, yes, these bizarre, sad-looking things are probably a result of that pseudo-Impact event, somehow or other. And what are they, exactly? Well, they’re Evas, supposedly. Both 4As and 4Cs are equipped with Eva-style pylons, but you could slap those on anything; the more concrete link comes through with the 4As, which have the deformed lower torso of an Eva, complete with crazy scissor legs, sticking out of the saucer’s bottom. The 4A’s saucer section, furthermore, has an image on it of two Evas holding hands — same motif that we saw in the 8th Angel. And it just so happens that it has two cores, as well. In other words, the 4As are two souls working cooperatively through a single shared body.The 4Cs are far more complicated and abstract entities, comprised of multiple parts with a large “core block” — a component that holds thirty-two individual cores — that they prefer to keep hidden in a "cloaking cocoon". Even four entirely different "core blocks" -- 128 cores altogether! -- are capable of coordinating their consciousnesses in perfect unity, as we can see with the devastating "laser lattice" attack they use.

Are we supposed to take anything significant from the fact that these abominable multi-cored beings seemingly originated from a botched Impact-style event? I dunno. *I* would.

(G) The Failures of Infinity: Much of what we “know” about these things is done solely through juxtaposition and implication, but by Eva standards that’s more than enough, really. Now, to get one thing out of the way, what Kaworu actually refers to as the Failures are the things in Central Dogma, which are perfectly formed (albeit headless) Eva-01s made out of core. The only information we really get at that point is ‘they failed to reach Infinity’ and ‘don’t worry about them’. (Thanks, Kaworu.)

Now, that said, earlier in the film, when Kaworu monologues about Human Instrumentality, we’re shown suspiciously similar-looking entities — the only real difference being that they are more variable in size and form. Given the dearth of information, we tend to assume that all of these things are “Failures of Infinity”; just that, maybe… they’re at different stages in the process of being total failures? Unclear. Anyway, it’s implied that these beings are the result of a failed attempt at Human Instrumentality during Third Impact. Just about everything that could be different in the envisioning of HIP is. One does not get the impression that everyone is supposed to be melted down and merged into a single super-soul — or, if that *is* the end goal, it’s arrived at in a completely unrecognizable way.

Looking at the city outskirts full of variably-sized deformed crystalline Evas just popping out of the (core-ified) ground and buildings, my impression of how this MIGHT possibly work is that individual humans souls have been individually transfigured into little deformed core-Evas. These beings are then driven to merge with one another, becoming progressively larger and smoothing away the flaws in their physical forms until, ultimately, you get the perfectly-formed ones that are seen inside Nerv HQ and the Black Moon. This would, of course, be a visual metaphor for the smoothing away of personality flaws by merging with individuals that complement those flaws, until “perfection” is achieved. This is only the first step, however, as the failures are all clearly still missing something: a head, which here represents the Fruit of Life. (Think about it. ;) )

It’s unclear what caused this process to ultimately fail, but suppose it hadn’t. What would the ultimate result have been? The entirety of humanity, transformed into gods — each god representing its own perfectly balanced collective of souls? Could this be true? Could this be what Seele want?

Connections & Conclusions

Now think back to the Mark.04s. What was the REAL motivation behind Eva-04 and what it was a "testbed" for? Could its experimental nature possibly have been a way for Seele to collect data on executing their version of Instrumentality properly? They had that entire branch to use as their guinea pigs… and look at those poor souls now.

This brings us back to Second Impact, and the mysteries of not only (the) Adam(s), but the Angels, which have so far resisted any kind of in-film explanation at all. Consider again my suggestion: Seele wanting to transform humanity into gods, where every god is a perfectly balanced collective of souls. Does that remind you of anybody? Anybody at all?

It’s Adam. Adam was their original model for our evolution — the product of a successful fusion of multiple individuals into a balanced whole. (Exactly who they were, and where they came from… remains for only them to know.) This is what Dr. Katsuragi and his team were probably investigating for Seele — how to reverse-engineer Adam’s success and make it usable for us.

Clearly, something went terribly wrong along the way. But did it go ALL the way wrong? We don’t know where the Angels came from, or how they were created. But those Mark.04s, along with Seele’s motivations, give us a pretty strong inkling. Seele don’t have the best record with human sacrifice here, exactly… Meaning, yes: the Angels were created directly as an outcome of Second Impact, and they most likely contain the souls of the research team. (That's one way to turn the "Angels are people!" revelation on its head, isn't it? Sorry, Misato, but you kinda killed your dad when you thought you were killing the things that killed him... :nyao: ) The Angels have cast aside the human form in part or whole, for reasons unknown, but the fact that at least some of them have achieved a fine-tuned collective state indicates that they are not completely removed from the fulfillment of Seele’s wishes.

Main Points
(...keeping in mind that much of this is far from definitive, and simply provides a framework for further explorations that will test these ideas.)

  • As in NGE, Seele wanted to eliminate individuality as we know it, but how they hoped to achieve that is so different as to be unrecognizable.
  • The original Adam was the result of a successful Instrumentality in the indeterminate past.
  • The purpose of the Katsuragi Research Team was to reverse-engineer how Adam achieved this state and figure out how to apply it to us.
  • They caused Adam to destabilize, undoing its union; it splits apart into four beings.
  • While creating a global cataclysm, this event is partly successful: the research team are transformed into beings with the Fruit of Life (Angels 3 ~ 12), and at least some of these beings have achieved a form of complementation (a collective state of multiple souls joined together).
  • Eva-04 was a follow-up experiment intended to forward Seele’s goals -- possibly to see if a non-Adamsian Eva could be induced into opening the Gates of Guf.
  • Eva-04 fails to open the Gates of Guf, and via a pseudo-Impact event, the people of Second Branch are transfigured into near-Angel entities and modified with Eva tech to serve Seele.
  • Third Impact involved a failed attempt to turn humanity into collectivist Eva-like beings.

That is all quite a lot to take in, I’m sure -- and it only goes downhill from there. :3 I also realize that I managed to accidentally omit nearly all of the insanity from the final third of Q from my listing of “collectives”; I might have to fix that...

Next time: just what were those crazy folks at the Artificial Evolution Labs up to…?

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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby Jibe » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:17 am

As usual, thanks a lot Reichu for this deep analysis. I now have about 10 wiki web pages opened on my laptop, dealing about Eva / Blake / Blake's mythology / Dante / Albion / UYCTM...

I've learned tons of info and reflexions in a few hours.

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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby MuscleRobo » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:14 am

I just worry that the visual cues of the Adam are clearly made to resemble the Ultras as much as possible and to work backwards from that for plot significance would be odd. The "Third Eye" and lack of core on the one Adam is just because Ultra Seven's color timer is on his forehead. Zoffy, Jack and the Original are clearly implied to be the others as well. I mean the limited Power Supply tying to Ultra, the vehicles in rebuild matching seven and a couple other things are just kind of fun wink winks right? The four Adams will have to be relevant but could their visual cues really end up being that significant? The symbols are so explicit as well in the Next Episode Preview of the language used on M78 they had to probably talk to TsuPro just to get permission; they're logos after all. I mean, it's not unheard of since Rei's transformation in 2 while absorbed into Zeruel was made to visually resemble Nagi's transformation into Dark Zagi in Nexus but still, this would be a pretty significant change right? The only way the reference could get more explicit is if the Ultras came down from the Land of the Light!

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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby Reichu » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:30 am

@MuscleRobo: I'm not sure what you mean. I haven't mentioned Ultra Man even once.

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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:33 am

I believe he was referring to this
SPOILER: Show
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Never let the flame that is hope burn out, for despite the length of the night, the sunrise will always come

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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby Reichu » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:44 am

I'm aware of the references, but I haven't looked into them personally, and given the amount of reinforcement within the movies themselves I didn't think they were necessary to bring up. It would be interesting to add all of that back in later for its trivia and additional reinforcement value, if nothing else.

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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby MuscleRobo » Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:55 pm

I just worry that visually the Adam's were made from Ultraman going backwards. Ultraman is a being made entirely of light and only looks like that after fusing with a human. Could their designs really be so visually significant to the plot at large if the design sheet was literally just "ultraman"

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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby Giji Shinka » Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:29 pm

Impressive analysis Reichu, well done!
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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby Reichu » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:12 am

@Giji Shinka: Much obliged! :D

------------------------

So, you may have realized, there is a bit of an elephant in the room here. If Kaworu has the soul of the Adams that blew up, what happened to the other three? Their bodies are accounted for, but what about their souls?

Something, clearly. Eva-13 is the best illustration of this, as it doesn’t have an A.T. Field, period, which seems to imply that it has no soul inside its core. (Assuming it has a core, which certain visual cues, like Kaworu’s decision to stab it where the core would be, suggest it does.) Eva-01’s case is also quite suspicious, since Yui placed herself inside Eva-01’s core. Now, nothing says that she couldn’t just cozy up with whatever was originally in there, but… I can’t help but think that’s just creating an extra complication where none needs to exist. If she goes into an empty core, things are just simpler.

But more to the point — it’s easier to explain some of the other really strange stuff happening in these movies. First, let’s get one thing out of the way.

Rei has the soul of Lilith.

You’re probably thinking, “Well, duh!”, but it’s best not to take any old lore 100% for granted. Is there any way to demonstrate that this is still true? Not in any definitive way, but there are lots of little hints that point that way:

  • Rei is still visually linked to Kaworu; thus, they likely have something in common that the other children do not.
  • Rei is quite pale normally, and when we see her in “spirit” form within the 10th Angel’s core, she is even paler. The vision of Rei that Shinji sees when he’s inside Eva-01 also flickers between Rei’s normal colors and a more ghostly version.
  • --Lilith is ghost-white. All the time.
  • The deformed lower bodies and legs on Lilith’s midsection continue the “body part fractal” motif present in NGE.
  • --When Shinji is first able to communicate to Rei, trapped inside the 10th’s core, many deformed heads bubble up from the Angel’s core.
  • —When the 10th Angel — which has been in contact with Lilith’s body fluid — forms a “womb” around Eva-13, countless deformed Rei faces can be seen on its inner surface.
  • Lilith’s disembodied head in Q looks like Rei’s. (It is sometimes confused for a Yui head, but the script confirms it is, in fact, in Rei’s image.)
  • Immediately upon contacting Lilith’s dissolved body, the 12th Angel becomes a giant Rei head, resembling Lilith’s disembodied head.
  • --Upon seeing this, Rei Q says, “What is this? This is... me. Then what am I?”
  • Lilith is involved directly with Third Impact.
  • —What appears to be her “reborn body” (the giant embryo that the 12th turns into — after becoming a Lilith head) is devoured by Eva-13. Assuming Lilith’s “essence” was transferred from her fluid, to the 12th, and onward to Eva-13 (who consequently “awakens”), then Lilith was very much a part of Fourth Impact, as well.
  • —Rei was a critical component of Near Third Impact, or, rather, of Eva-01’s Awakening, which enabled the Impact to take place.
  • The disembodied heads of the Rei clones have unnerving expressions frozen on their faces that bear more than passing resemblance to Lilith’s creepy grin.

Any individual example may not seem like much, but all together, it seems like “Rei has Lilith’s soul” is a conclusion that can be safely made.

Now, you may be thinking that there are any number of loose ends here and there that I’m deliberately ignoring. And you may be right. Give it time; we’ll get there.

---

So, back to the Adams. If Rei is Lilith, and Kaworu is “Urthona”, then we have three divine giants with souls unaccounted for. What else do we have three of?

Image

Could Shinji, Asuka, and Mari be the remaining three Adams, effectively reincarnated into Lilin vessels? Now, the idea that all of the pilots are actual freaks of nature in NTE isn’t a new idea. It was hard to not start suspecting something after Eva 2.0. Let’s go over the main points.

1. Piloting doesn’t work the same. At all.


In NGE, being an Eva pilot was a serious commitment. The way it worked, by default, was that the pilot’s mom would be placed in the core, and her child would synchronize with her. This is what’s going on with Shinji’s class: all of their dead moms are in storage somewhere, waiting to be dropped into a core at any time. (This was merely implied in the show, but is basically flat-out confirmed in Eva2.)

Now, Rei and Kaworu DO happen to be exceptions to this, but that’s always been their shtick, after all. For the sake of review: Kaworu is hypothetically able to pilot any Evangelion, provided the soul isn’t too dominant, due to the fact that he is actually Adam and the Evas (save Eva-01) are clonal extensions of Adam’s body. Rei normally pilots herself (weird…), but the fact that she’s used for the basis of the dummy system suggests that maybe, on account of her being Lilith, she has the same link to the Eva’s souls that Kaworu has with their bodies. Anyway. Some of this might be important, you never know.

Back to NTE, Evas are expensive, but getting yours destroyed isn’t a career-killer. Check out Mari. She blows up Eva-05, then comes back later to pilot Eva-02, and all they have to do is reconfigure the core for her. It’s so easy to do that the process is automated, and Mari can be getting ready for battle while it’s happening. In the next movie, Mari is in yet another Eva, Eva-08. She really gets around.

Look at Asuka. She’s able to become the test pilot for Eva-03, and her switching to a whole new Eva isn’t treated as a big deal at all. (The biggest issues are the political ones.) Eva-03 getting destroyed doesn’t impact her long-term prospects, as it might have if, say, piloting mechanics still worked the same. Like, suppose they DID work the same. If Nerv shifted Eva-02’s core over to Eva-03, Asuka would have been screwed after 03’s destruction; her ability to pilot an Eva would be just gone. But Asuka is back in Eva-02 as of Q; and even though, toward the end, most of Eva-02 (including its core) is destroyed in a maneuver to take down Mark.09, there's no real question of whether Asuka will be back in the cockpit in 3+1. We know that "New Eva-02" is a thing in Shin. The lost core is no impediment.

Q makes it REALLY clear we have no idea how any of this works. Shinji can no longer synchronize with Eva-01, BUT Shinji and Kaworu are able to synchronize with each other, inside an Eva that can’t even generate its own A.T. Field. A Rei clone with no soul inside her own body can pilot an Eva that is made entirely from core. ......HUH??

2. No pilot reserve exists. It's just the five.

In NGE, the 2-A classmates were reserve pilots. As noted earlier, any of them could hypothetically become pilots, provided a core was made for them and put in an Eva. There is no indication in NTE that this element has survived at all. The five pilots we see are the five pilots we get. Working around that involves resort to as-yet unexplained forms of technology. We have no idea what the dummy plugs are this time around; all references to Rei were systematically removed between storyboarding and the final film. Mark.06 was turned into an "autonomous" unit at some point, but we don't really know what the entails. Mark.09 was loaded with some sort of "Seele program" that can usurp pilot control and take over your computer screen, but we really have no clue what THAT is, either. It's all a big black box of WTF.

3. There’s Something (Very Strange) About Shinji

While the existence of Yui inside Eva-01 is something that’s given explicit confirmation before Eva-01 sorties against the 10th Angel, Yui plays no role (none that is incredibly obvious, anyway) in the following sequences. The emphasis is entirely on Shinji, very much unlike episode 19, where Shinji vanished into his mom’s ego-womb and Yui got to kick ass and practice cannibalism.

Now, at least part of this is probably in anticipation of the next film, where Shinji’s perspective is used to blindside an audience that refuses to look beyond it. But even considering that, this whole sequence is really weird. Shinji gets sympathetic damage even after the power stops. With zero build-up, his eyes start glowing red and Eva-01 reactivates. The film establishes a relatively 1:1 correspondence between Eva and pilot, and what makes this all the stranger is that Shinji is doing things of which he should have absolutely no concept. Energy projection of various sorts. Advanced A.T. Field offensive and defensive maneuvers. ASTRAL PROJECTION. (I’m serious. He projects his soul into the 10th Angel’s core by focusing it out of the entry plug through Eva-01’s palms.)

Maybe Yui is secretly feeding him all of this advanced technique. (You’d think it would be easier to just do it herself.) Maybe Yui is actually doing it all and Shinji only thinks he is. (The part where he’s talking to Rei inside the Angel’s core kills this idea quickly.) Maybe we can’t rely on the original series for answers, and they’ve flipped the whole script on us. When they’re watching Near Third Impact unfold, Fuyutsuki mentions that Rei and Shinji were enough to awaken Eva-01. This ain’t your NGE’s “So she’s awakened after all”.

The weirdness doesn’t end there, of course. We learn in Q that Shinji is an “Impact trigger”. He’s able to start the process of Eva-13’s awakening, and Fourth Impact doesn’t end until he is removed from the Eva. Why? Is this just because he “lost his humanity” in Near Third Impact? He was able to initiate the Eva’s awakening before the plug depth reached Great Beyond, though, so that can’t be it.

4. Destiny is a thing now.

Fuyutsuki’s comment about Shinji and Rei (“As we thought, those two were enough to awaken Unit 01”) hearkens back to dialogue in 1.11:

FUYUTSUKI:
Your son ultimately behaved exactly as planned.

GENDO:
Yes. Next, I'll have him get closer to Rei.
The plan will remain unchanged.
The script we've had since 14 years ago...

FUYUTSUKI:
Children with destiny built into them...
It's too cruel.


And in order to prevent any deviations, Nerv is willing to resort to measures as extreme as brainwashing and memory erasure.

Prophecy is much more emphasized in the new movies in general. The Dead Sea Scrolls have individual books and even apocrypha now. There’s a covenant with a god, complete with rainbows spontaneously forming when terms are fulfilled.

There’s also that sequence in Eva 2.0 where the pilots cooperate to defeat the 8th Angel. The songs that play throughout are called “Destiny” and “Fate”. If you go back and look at this sequence, namely the actual fight against the Angel, things start to get a little creepy. The battle effectively foreshadows much of what happens in Q (and how much of that was just reverse-engineering on khara’s part doesn’t ultimately matter). Check it:

  • A. The Angel has a structure like a human iris at its center, and from this a towering entity grows downward.
    B. The ruins of Tokyo-3 have a giant human iris at their center, and out of this the transformed Nerv Headquarters has emerged, elevated skyward atop the Central Shaft.
  • A. The Angel’s contours are lined with countless smaller bodies that evoke the human form.
    B. The outskirts of Tokyo-3 are filled with deformed humanoid entities.
  • A. The scales on the Angel’s body radiate concentric rings of color outward from the center of each body segment. When the Angel is hovering directly over Eva-01, the imagery looks much like the Gates of Guf.
    B. Eva-13 opens the Gates of Guf over the ruins of Tokyo-3.
  • A. The central entity of the 8th Angel grasps Eva-01’s hands, and then impales them with spear-like arms.
    B. When Kaworu impales Eva-13 on both of the Spears, only Shinji experiences the pain. Before they sortied in Eva-13, the two boys embraced hands.
  • A. When Eva-00 grabs the Angel's core, a glowing corrosion spreads down the Eva's (and Rei's) arms.
    B. When Mari is trying to eject Shinji from Eva-13, a glowing corrosion spreads down Eva-08's (and Mari's) arms.

And so on. These movies are pretty serious about this destiny stuff. Is there any especially good reason for someone like Shinji (come on… Shinji??) to be gifted with such a fate? In NGE, everything that happened to him was because of who his parents were. There was nothing fundamentally special about him.

Perhaps this is no longer the case.

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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby Reichu » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:34 am

5. Losing My Humanity

Since Shinji is the focal point of the films, most of the weird stuff we know about happens around him. But it’s by no means limited to him.

One motif that comes up repeatedly in Eva 2.0 is: if the plug depth exceeds a certain point, the pilot will lose their humanity. This comes up three separate times:

  • Eva-03 activation test. The Angel converts the entry plug into its core and begins increasing the plug depth. We’re told “Psychological contamination levels are in the red zone!”, “Pilot immersion levels are dangerously high!”, and that if the depth isn’t reduced Asuka “will cease to be human!”
  • Mari activates Eva-02’s “Beast Mode”. We’re told, “The plug depth has probably gone into negative territory” and “The pilot is willing to risk the contamination zone.” Mari’s humanity isn’t referenced specifically, but, incidentally, Eva-02 “losing its humanity” is mentioned twice.
  • Eva-01 reactivates against the 10th Angel. The plug depth goes “over 180”, which is “too dangerous”, and Ritsuko says that if Shinji doesn’t stop he’ll “lose [his] humanity”.

An “unstable plug depth” also occurs during Eva-00’s initial startup test, though this doesn’t seem in the same league as the other three. There’s no need for it to have long-term consequences, narratively; it sets up the threat of the later incidences and keeps them from coming completely out of nowhere.

What does it mean for the pilot to “lose their humanity”? Is this actually followed up on in any way? Well… Remember how Shinji wonders how Asuka managed to not age over 14 years? And she says it’s because of the “curse of Eva”? Mari hasn’t aged, either. And if Shinji went through a similar process as the two of them, he can probably expect to look like a 14-year-old boy for the foreseeable future.

At the end of Q, when Asuka, Shinji, and Rei are stuck together in the red wastelands, Asuka says something rather interesting:

The L containment field density is too strong for them to rescue us here.
Let's move to a spot where the Lilin can come for us.

The first implication of this is that Asuka no longer considers herself a “Lilin”. This provides clarity to what the “loss of humanity” actually is — the pilots becoming something other-than-Lilin. The way she drops this reference casually to the other two also suggests that she considers them the same as her. Remember, she’s not like Kaworu from NGE; she doesn’t normally talk like she is meant to exude Otherness from every pore of her being. She’s not doing this to be Other; she’s doing it to signify Same.

------

Well, hopefully those five are enough to get the point across. The game has fundamentally changed. We might have to seriously consider the possibility that not just Kaworu and Rei are weirdos, but ALL of them are.

That said, Kaworu and Rei are still set apart from the other three in some way. So what do Shinji, Asuka, and Mari have in common between themselves? While Kaworu and Rei already start off “inhuman”, with a clear physical link to Adam or Lilith, the other three just look like normal kids. There’s apparently nothing strange about them. Maybe, aside from their souls, there actually isn't. But once you put them in an Eva? It becomes possible for them to change to metahumans as well. What’s the actual significance of this?

Well, think about it. Let’s just accept for now that these three kids actually do contain the other three Adams. That means that the Evas (which, the name implies, are still derived from Adam — funny how “derived from Adam” doesn’t exclude the Adams, huh?) either ARE their original bodies, or something very close. The Lilin body creates a degree of separation between soul and (original) flesh, providing a form of control on the Adams’ latent power. Notice also that the children have to interface with a core that contains a “control system”. All we know about this is that Eva-01’s is Yui’s actual soul; the others are total mysteries. “Control system” could, of course, just mean “a means for pilot to control Eva”… but it could also mean a way to control what the pilot can do “in their own body”. Yui is able to reject pilot control if she so desires (see her handling of the dummy plug); and the mystery of Shinji’s 0% sync in Q is unexplained. If he’s being blocked from the core side, though — shut out by a self-aware control system choosing to deny him access to that body, even though it is “rightfully his”… Then the technology is working as intended, you could say.

So between “Lilin body” and “core unit with control system”, that’s at least two buffer zones to help wield the power of the Adams’ souls; and that’s not getting into limiters, restrictors, and so on. The pilots turn metahuman -- are subject to the "curse of Eva" -- via prolonged excessive plug depth. Increasing the plug depth quite literally closes the gap between pilot and Eva. What you're seeing, with the "curse", is the gap between the pilots' current Lilin forms, and their original Adamsian forms, closing a little as well.

So, how about we test this idea further. Is it possible to match the pilots to their respective Adams? If this is all intended, then there should be enough clues by now to do this.

1. Shinji = Eva-01

Probably “obvious” by now. There’s no one specific thing that tells us this, just a lot of little things all aggressively pointing in that direction. Eva-01 isn’t the only Eva that Shinji can exercise strange influences over, clearly, but it does happen to be the one he’s most consistently associated with (Eva-13 is even dressed up as a doppelganger of Eva-01). And, given the whole “we planned this all out before you were born” angle, Yui choosing this particular Eva to core-dive into basically seals the deal. We can surmise that, through some form of mad science, she invested the soul of a Adams into her own womb and gave birth to the result, which started off 100% biologically Lilin. Forging a relationship with that soul from before it is (re)born creates a bond that can never be broken, and it makes her ideal to be the guardian of Shinji’s original body.

For an additional test, let’s go back to that maybe-kinda-dubious “Zoa color matching” I did. The neutral gray of “Luvah” was translated into the movies as an off-white skin tone for Eva-01. Do we get anything close to that for Shinji? We don’t have to look any further than Shinji’s weird transformation during Near Third Impact for our answer. Nearly all of the color is drained from him. Inside the 10th Angel’s core, he looks about as pale as Rei; outside of it, he’s a wee bit darker.

(“Wait!” You might be protesting. “Didn’t you say that Eva-01’s true form has two cores? What’s the deal with that?” I mean, I could go into that now, but for the simplicity of argumentation, it’s just easier to deal with it later.)

At this point, we have to turn more aggressively to NTE’s cinematic language, which confers a great deal of information through such things as parallels and repetitions. But there are only two options left on both the Adams and pilot side, so that helps simplify things.

2. Mari = Mark.06

  • Mari wears a red visor in her first sortie. She also wears red-framed glasses. What are Mark.06’s eyes concealed behind? A red visor. (06’s “sleep mask” on the Moon also has a red structure holding it to the Eva’s face.)
  • Mari wielded a “pseudo-reconstructed” Spear of Longinus in Eva-05. Mark.06 wielded the Spear of Cassius. In other words, they’re both the only solo-Spear-wielders seen in the new films.
  • Mari’s Eva-05 visor, along with Eva-05’s helmet, both have these stubby protuberances around where the ear is. The same design element is found on Eva-08, also piloted by Mari. Who else has this feature? Mark.06, naturally. (As does New Eva-02, which may indirectly confirm that New-02 is going to be dual-piloted by Asuka and Mari.)
  • Mari decapitates Rei Q’s Eva early in 3.0. Who does Rei Q decapitate later? Mark.06. (And after Mari has been persistently haranguing her, no less.)
  • Mark.06’s “Zoa color” is a grayish green. Is Mari ever associated with such a color? Her first plugsuit is predominantly a desaturated green, so… there you go.

3. Asuka = Eva-13

  • Asuka’s standby, Eva-02, has four eyes. Eva-13 also has four eyes.
  • Under Asuka’s influence, Eva-03 grows another set of arms, for a total of four. Eva-13 has four arms (though it initially appears to have only two; as with Eva-03, the appearance of the extra set is a surprise).
  • When Eva-03’s shoulder pylons pop off, dark red masses shoot upward out of its body where the pylons had been (becoming the second set of arms). When Eva-13’s shoulder pylons pop off, it starts to develop dark red pylon-like structures in their place.
  • Eva-02 double-wields on two occasions (against the 8th Angel and against Eva-13). Eva-13 double-wields the Spears of Longinus. No other Eva is seen double-wielding weapons.
  • Eva-13’s “Zoa color” is crimson. Red. ‘Nuff said. :wink: (Funny enough, one of the design changes made to Eva-02 for the new movies was… making it a darker shade of red.)

There are some even stranger places this could potentially go, but since it’s not really necessary for the moment I’ll hold off for now. Meantime, you can have pleasant thoughts about how Kaworu has no qualms about using Asuka and Mari's original bodies to get closer to Shinji. Well, he did manage to blow up his original body somehow, and the only other option (Eva-01) is not really available, so... you make do.

The T-Shirt of Deception

Speaking of Kaworu, though — it occurs to me I’ve neglected to do the “Zoa color” test on Kaworu. As “Urthona”, his color should be orange. Oh, well, that’s easy. Kaworu wears an orange shir--

SPOILER: Show
Image
Image


Oh. Huh. That’s weird. Now that they actually have a concrete symbological reason to give him an orange shirt, THAT’S when they decide to change it? Well, I guess everything falls apart now and it’s time to pack it in. Right?

Well, there is at least a consolation prize, in the form of Mark.06. Though it isn’t much, it does have those really prominent orange stripes, and they help accentuate Kaworu in an almost “wing”-like manner in this shot (picture the orange "wings of light" from NGE):

SPOILER: Show
Image


But that’s peanuts compared to the shirt thing. Given everything else that’s been deliberately changed, and generally for a good reason, this seems really fishy. What if, maybe, the subversion is entirely the point?

Consider... The significance of purple is, of course, that it’s Eva-01’s color. And part of what’s going on in Q is the use of false familiarity to manipulate Shinji's mindset. Mark.09 is disguised as an Eva-00 lookalike to make it easier to abduct him from Wille. The Eva that he’s supposed to pilot in place of Eva-01 is an Eva-01 lookalike. And Kaworu, who’s been ingratiating himself with Shinji, training him to “sync”, listening to his concerns, luring him back toward Eva piloting… He’s wearing a purple shirt now. This matches him to Eva-13, sure, but more importantly it makes him subliminally “familiar”.

And what’s the problem with that? He’s not familiar. Shinji didn’t have the slightest clue who this guy was before the events of Q. And therein lies the rub. Kaworu did know. He’s been obsessed with Shinji since… well, we don’t really know, is the scary thing. As of the first film, Kaworu already acted super-familiar, and was REALLY eager to get down on Earth to see this kid. When he stops Near Third Impact, his reaction is nothing short of possessive.

This is a side of himself that he keeps concealed from Shinji. The kid has no idea that this seemingly friendly dude is a creepy, emotionally manipulative metahuman stalker (...who no doubt believes he does know what is best for Shinji and the ends justify the means, in the manner of your average possessive creeper). And Kaworu intends to keep it that way, because the less someone knows about the things that really matter, the easier it is to manipulate them. Most of the times in Q when Kaworu actually seems to be telling the truth upfront, it’s not anything Shinji can benefit from directly. From his point of view, it’s just a bunch of impressive-sounding nonsense, so vague that he struggles with how he should interpret it or react.

Now… tying into this whole shirt business? For the first two films, when Kaworu does not have to conceal himself to anyone, he’s not wearing a shirt (or anything else, in 1.0). The artwork of Kaworu produced in association with 1.0 and 2.0 just put him in the orange one from NGE. It’s not until Q, when Kaworu and Shinji interact directly, that the purple shirt comes out.

It’s a symbol of deception. And that’s why the color match with Urthona still works out. Kaworu is intentionally hiding who he really is. We, the omniscient audience, have the power to see through these lies -- to see Kaworu's "true color", you could say. Shinji, however, is not so lucky.


Next time: we inch ever closer to the whole "Nature of the Cycle" thing.

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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:27 am

Fantastic job, Reichu. I shall spam it far and wide.

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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby anatrok » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:43 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:
Now, Rei and Kaworu DO happen to be exceptions to this, but that’s always been their shtick, after all. For the sake of review: Kaworu is hypothetically able to pilot any Evangelion, provided the soul isn’t too dominant, due to the fact that he is actually Adam and the Evas (save Eva-01) are clonal extensions of Adam’s body. Rei normally pilots herself (weird…), but the fact that she’s used for the basis of the dummy system suggests that maybe, on account of her being Lilith, she has the same link to the Eva’s souls that Kaworu has with their bodies. Anyway. Some of this might be important, you never know.


It is my understanding that the dummy system based on Rei would only ever work for Eva-01, due to Eva-01 being made of Lilith. Sadly an attempt to activate on Unit-02 is never made so we don't get confirmation. I think the reason it works initially on unit 01, and then doesn't work later is the same reason Kaworu supposedly can sync with any Eva....as long as the soul isn't dominant in that moment. By this logic, Kaworu's dummy system could work with all the other Eva's, though we only see it with the MPE's. This is only applicable to NGE...Eva's and pilots are far more interchangeable in NTE as you state.

Edit: Eagerly awaiting your explanation of "The Nature of the Cycle".

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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby Reichu » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:59 pm

Lab Brats

I glossed over it with Shinji earlier, but let’s take a more dedicated look. Shinji, Asuka, and Mari have the souls of Adams, but, biologically, they start off fully Lilin. They have to undergo a transformation while linked to an Eva before they become metahuman like Kaworu and Rei. That’s still pretty weird though, right? Babies aren’t just born with the souls of gods. (Divine miracles aside.)

Fortunately, the movies have already taken that into account. The back of Fuyutsuki’s photo has the following written on it:

第3新東京市 人工進化研究所 EVA本体棟にて
In the EVA Main Control Building, Artificial Evolution Laboratory, Tokyo-3

And who do we find on the other side of the photo?
SPOILER: Show
Image


Yui, a very young Shinji, two nondescript men, and… a suspiciously familiar-looking woman. She largely resembles Mari — same hair color, red-framed glasses, wears pink — but she also just so happens to have her hair held up with a red pin, bringing to mind Asuka. That can’t be a coincidence, right? Even more so when you remember this:

Rei AyaNAMI
Asuka ShikiNAMI
Mari MakiNAMI

We know that “Ayanami” comes from Yui’s maiden name. And now we have the other two -namis being linked back to Yui through her professional association with this mysterious woman who is implicitly connected to both Mari and Asuka.

The name of this place, “Artificial Evolution Laboratory”, becomes ominous in a whole new way when the we have not merely Adams and Evas to worry about, but the specter of human reproductive experimentation. How do you put the soul of a god inside a seemingly normal human baby? Were they all test tube babies? Were they still carried the old-fashioned way? When do Lilin actually get their souls? How do you manage to circumvent that process with a soul that isn’t naturally supposed to be there?

The specifics may not ultimately matter. All that really matters is that the people at the Artificial Evolution Laboratory did it. They made their own little Jesuses, incarnating God in the flesh of Man.

So, the photo there indicates that Yui has been bringing Shinji to the lab as a very young child. He might have spent much of his early childhood there, but neither us nor he have any way of knowing — Shinji’s memory was erased after Yui’s experiment, so maybe his past being a totally blank is entirely the point. (The photo is something that shouldn’t have survived all these years.) What do we know about Mari and Asuka? Anything?

While super vague, the available clues are nonetheless cooperative.

Mari, while not quite as creepy as Kaworu about it, has a sort of strange unspoken familiarity toward Shinji as soon as she lands on the rooftop of the school. It’s never elaborated upon, but Mari is impishly mysterious and secretive right out the door. We’re just not supposed to know what her deal is. But we do get a clue — a very tiny, however important, clue.

MARI:
So this is what Gendoh-kun was after!


She refers to Gendo not only as, well, “Gendo” — which I’m not sure any other character in the history of Eva has done unless they were saying his name in full — but she adds -kun to the end. There is nothing about this that doesn’t scream “casual familiarity”. But under what circumstances could that possibly make sense?

Well, check out that photo again. If that woman is Mari’s mom — which seems overwhelmingly likely to be the case — that means Mari could have known Shinji, Yui, and Gendo from a young age. We have our Shinji and Gendo bases covered — and, in fact, Yui is too! Mari tells Rei Q that her “original” was a lot more interesting, and Yui is Rei’s original in the truest sense. We can see with Mari’s interactions with Kaji a glimpse of how she might treat adult men in general. Really, her whole attitude toward adults is evident by the end of her debut scene. She treats them kind of like an other; not that they can’t be useful, but Mari isn’t going to compromise herself to give any grown-ups reverence just because they’re older than she is. A "little troublemaker", indeed. Her personality easily lends itself to referring to the chief of the Artificial Evolution Laboratory as if he were merely a boy her age: “Gendo-kun”.

Asuka’s exact relation to Mari is unclear. They seem connected in some way, and that’s really all we have. Her past is even more of a blank than Mari’s, but thanks to an Anno memo about Asuka’s doll published in the 2.0 CRC, we have at least some potential insight:

p.188

幼い時から/の時は人形あそびをしていた。
「アスカ」という名前、
彼女、誰一の話し相手、
研究所から初めて町に出た時にもらったもの
ドイツっぽ?イメージ赤ずきん?
もうボロボロだが、大事にしている感じがほしい。
(10年以上使っている)
4、5才向けな(?)ので作りが小さい、
14才のアスカには手が入りづらい

- Doll played with since or during childhood
- Named "Asuka"
- The only one she [child Asuka] had to talk to
- Something received when she left town for the first time since [leaving] the lab
- Red hood to evoke a German flavor?
- Already raggedy, but should appear treasured (no fewer than ten years of use).
- Is small and intended for a 4- or 5-year-old,
so is difficult for 14-year-old Asuka to put her hand in it

Now, we can’t take it for granted that all of this is necessarily true (especially if it conflicts with the final product)… but notice, at least, the mention of Asuka being all by herself at a lab.

While Asuka’s parents were integral to her character in NGE, the new films haven’t so much as hinted at their existence. This woman with the red hair clip is the first semi-concrete clue we’ve been given. What if Asuka is, indeed, a test tube baby this time, and grows up without any actual parents? Where does Mari’s mom come in, then?

It occurs to me, what if Asuka’s origins sort of echo Eva-02’s from NGE? Work on the Eva began in Japan, but was completed in Germany. Suppose that Seele was trying to keep all of the REALLY weird stuff concentrated in Japan, and as a result the three Lilin pilots were produced there. But Europe wanted in on the action on at least a token level, so they were sent an elite baby to grow and raise. Mari’s mom was the egg donor, the sperm donor was… who knows, and Mari never actually knows that she has a sister.

Admittedly, a lot of this Asuka stuff is gratuitous and unnecessary speculation, but trying to tie everything together is fun, so I figured I would at least make the attempt. :nyao:


Kaworu’s Mysterious Motivations


At this point, we can begin the process of finally putting one of NTE’s most persistent mysteries to rest: just what the heck IS Kaworu talking about, anyway? It’s been plaguing conversations about these films since the very beginning. If you need a little reminder:

Eva 1.11 wrote:KAWORU:
I know.
The boy over there's awoken and
we've entered the summation stage, right?

KEEL:
That's right.
The Apocrypha of the Dead Sea Scrolls
has moved on to the Book of Law.
The time of the covenant is close at hand.

KAWORU:
The third one again, huh?
You sure haven't changed.
I'm looking forward to seeing you, Shinji Ikari.

Eva 2.22 wrote:KAWORU:
The appointed time has come, Shinji Ikari.
This time, I'll make you happy,
no matter what.


I always figured that if standard Eva analysis technique was applied, the movies themselves would provide a perfectly logical answer, completely internal to their own self-contained story and logic. And, well… (un)surprisingly, it turns out that they absolutely do. And, same as with the other clues that were immediately embraced as proof of some sort of metaphysically convoluted time-looping or what have you, Second Impact is the answer. New Theatrical’s version of Second Impact.

So: Kaworu, Shinji, Asuka, and Mari were all once the same being. They existed together, in perfect(????) Instrumentalized unity, as Adam. But then Second Impact happened, and Adam broke apart. Kaworu is the only one of the four who retains any memories of being Adam, perhaps on account of the unique circumstances of his creation — whatever, exactly, those were. The other three were incarnated into mortal vessels to distance them from their true selves while still making their innate power harnessable. Shinji, Asuka, and Mari don’t seem to consciously remember anything about being Adam.

But maybe, at the very least, the current state of their relationships sheds a little light on how Adam was originally balanced. That’s the sort of dynamic you would expect to resurface in a reincarnation scenario like this. Let’s take a look. (Two-way arrow indicates mutuality of some sort; one-way arrow is exactly what you think. The exact nature of the interrelationships doesn’t require labeling, I feel.)

Image

Even though this is a party of four, Kaworu only cares about one other person there. He shows complete disinterest in Asuka and Mari; they may as well not exist. He is singlemindedly fixated on Shinji, at the expense of all else. Shinji, or rather Luvah, was the one actually holding Adam together. Maybe Adam wasn’t so perfect after all. Maybe this unity was always fundamentally unbalanced and doomed to fail.

So, what does Kaworu actually want from Shinji? What does he really mean when he says he’ll make him happy? Why is he so certain that he even knows what will make Shinji happy? That was a different life! Shouldn't Kaworu of all people, with the longevity of memory he's implied to have, know that people change a lot just within the same lifetime, let alone across lifetimes?? Does he simply not care?

I’ve already discussed Kaworu’s deceptive nature. There is SO much he withholds from Shinji that Shinji really ought to know before getting roped into world-altering events. Keeping him ignorant is absolutely the point. If Shinji knew everything, he might not want to go through with it.

Kaworu presents himself as a Messiah, here to lift Shinji’s burden from his shoulders and restore the world back to how it should be. Now, try to look at this from Kaworu’s actual perspective, not the perspective he’s manipulating Shinji into.

Kaworu’s plan involves luring Shinji into the body of an Adams, the core of which may have been intentionally left empty.

There, they will synchronize their souls and act as one being within that very Adams’ body.

What does he then intend to happen? Instrumentality.

He wants to merge his soul back together with Shinji’s into a body like the one he lost. That’s the happiness he wants to bring to Shinji, once more. The bliss of eternal unity in a divine body, together. He tempts Shinji with the promise of reversal and renewal — but make no mistake. This is all about Kaworu’s desire to turn back the hands of time.


NEXT TIME: The missing piece that ties everything together.

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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby Kendrix » Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:43 pm

The notes about the Doll are quite interesting particularly since they clearly imply that it's NOT the same one as from the Kyoko situation (if Kyoko indeed ever existed in this continuity) which does make the case for real backstory changes in the vein of this theory or something else somewhat stronger

I took the heavy mending to mean that something violent happened to it, but here the implication is clearly that Asuka herself fixed it because the doll is a treasured possesion

even if Kyoko exists at all (for which there's no indication/ requires more assumption at this point), this doll would be a post-kyoko thing, in any case it's from Asuka's time at nerv when she spent most of her childhood being trained.

It reminds me of the reading SSD went with in the VN she put out some time after 2.22 first came out
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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:44 pm

Really love how this thread ties everything together, but admittedly, I have to give everything a properly thorough read.

View Original PostKendrix wrote:It reminds me of the reading SSD went with in the VN she put out some time after 2.22 first came out


I almost forgot about that! Plug for the curious: thread/10308/SSDs-Visual-Novels-Windows-only-sorry/
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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby Reichu » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:18 pm

SSD: Thanks for looking at it! And, yeah, it is rather dense, but other than repackaging everything in the future in an easier-to-digest form I'm not sure how to avoid that...

Quick Note About 07/06 Shin Preview (SPOILERS)

SPOILER: Show
With the introduction of another Mark.04 A~C series in Paris, my proposed origin for the Mark.04s at first felt more tenuous, and then I noticed this, which felt nice and vindicating. So I’m not gonna change a thing. :P On top of that, my entire spiel about collective beings ended up being COMPLETELY on the nose. Ritsuko explicitly notes that the 44As have become a colonial organism; the 44Bs and 4444C work as a single unit; each 44B is two Evas working together; the 4444C is two Evas working together; the 44As are also each a double-being, two Evas merged anteriorly. The number of times “4” appears in the name is how many individuals have combined into one, it seems. It’s kind of weird that this repetition motif only appears now, and is completely absent from the Mark.04s in Q, but oh well.


[Continuing from last time]

The Missing Piece

Well, I’ve been teasing this for a while. What the heck IS going on with Eva-01’s two cores? Like, obviously, they’re there because the unique circumstances leading up to Near Third Impact resulted in Eva-00’s core with Rei inside being absorbed into Eva-01. The 10th Angel’s delicious meal, “Gimme Ayanami”, Shinji’s “wish”, and all that. So then why does the IPEA logo imply that this three-eyed two-cored radiant giant was a preexisting entity? Rei is Lilith. She’s not also an Adams. Come on, that’s just stupid.

...Is it? Is it really?

Think about this for a second. “Pseudo-evolution” reverts the Adams back to their Second Impact state. One incredibly suspicious thing about this: it seems to fundamentally require Lilith’s involvement. Why would Lilith be required unless she were actually part of the original cocktail that created the radiant giants in the first place?

Wait… what? Lilith… at Second Impact? Is that really where I’m going with this?

Oh, it gets better. Remember those weird changes that were made to Lilith, which were a pretty big deal when the first movie came out? Her weird scar, her swapped-out mask? Lilith having something to do with Second Impact at last provides a concrete justification for them.

First, the scar. It tends to recall that of Misato, which creates an visual link to Second Impact. Misato and Lilith — both Second Impact survivors, in their own way? On its own, though, this is unsatisfying, since Misato’s scar, while still present in NTE, is never explicitly identified with Second Impact. Fortunately, there’s a supplemental visual association that’s completely internal to the new movies:

SPOILER: Show
Image


It’s not an exact match by any means, but the echoes are there. Second Impact left a cross-shaped “scar” upon the land, and each of the cross’s four arms has “sutures” going down it. Four dark crucifixes are at the center, where the Gates of Guf remain open. Lilith’s scar (alternate view) also has “stitch marks”, though relative to its total length they are much longer than the epicenter’s “sutures”. Though note that here, too, we have black crucifixes; however, instead of being the scar’s center (where the Spear of Longinus impales Lilith’s chest), a black crucifix is placed at each geometric point of the scar.

That wouldn’t be the only time Lilith’s body was wounded in a way meant to evoke the damage upon “the land” in a particular Impact. Third Impact, for instance, created a grid of core on the Moon’s surface; and when we see Lilith later, her flesh is sliced into perfect little squares… like a grid.

The mask change, of course, associates Lilith with the Angels (3~12), and the Angels in turn with her. And if Lilith was actually, somehow, a part of Second Impact, then she in turn played some role in the origin of the Angels.

Let’s look at this bit of dialogue from 1.11 again:

Misato:
It is the origin of life on this planet
and also the key to its end.
The 2nd Angel, Lilith.

Dropping this reveal on us early meant there was always the possibility of some aspect of it being subverted. Sure, maybe Misato was just conveniently excluding the Angels when she said “life on this planet”. Or maybe the Angels actually do originate from Lilith as well.

Not that I’m excluding Adam’s role. Far from it.

But Lilith is how you go from one Adam... to four Adams and five cores.

Lilith’s scar. What does it mean? It’s on her chest. What else is usually found on the chest? The core. (Eva has struggled with giving cores a consistent chest placement, so at this point finding one anywhere along the vertical mid-line of the thorax is fair game.) Lilith never had a visible core in NGE (even when she’s connected to Eva-01, pre-Rei, there’s no sign of one), but the old rules are always subject to change. And since we have signs pointing to Lilith’s involvement in Second Impact, and an extra core on “Luvah” (Eva-01) that needs to be accounted for, a certain conclusion seems inevitable. (One that Yamashita’s concept for the scar perhaps made a little too obvious...)

That is to say, Nerv removed Lilith’s core from her body, and it was brought down to where Adam was being studied. The reason is unclear, since many details are still missing on the nature of the Covenant with Lilith, and exactly what Seele hope to achieve and how.

Q may hold potential answers. Kaworu’s exposition explains that Nerv hoped to evolve humanity into beings with the Fruit of Life. In addition to that, I mentioned in a previous post how the skulls in Central Dogma represent Fruits of Life which the FoIs were unable to claim for themselves. These skulls disappear after Lilith’s body dissolves, implying that she produced them, despite apparently only having the Fruit of Knowledge. This can be explained by virtue of the 12th Angel (and also Mark.06?) fusing with her — this furnished Lilith with the ability to produce Fruits of Life for her children, who already had the Fruit of Knowledge.

Reverse-engineering this back onto Second Impact, we see a sort of reverse situation — Lilith’s core, containing the Fruit of Knowledge, being brought in contact with the font of the Fruit of Life, Adam. Perhaps Seele hoped that this union (among, perhaps, other specifics of the procedure, such as Spear usage and the like) would lead to their desired Instrumentality directive, or else help set up the stage for such. Gendo describes the site of Second Impact as a place purged of original sin, and says that it being in such a state was something that unspecific “someones” had desired, so the latter interpretation seems more supported.

In any event, the exact specifics of Seele’s intentions aren’t too important for our purposes. What matters first and foremost is what they did (through Nerv), not why they did it. The why can always be explored in greater detail later.

Sin From Genesis

So what I am suggesting here is that the Katsuragi Research Team brought Lilith’s core in contact with Adam, and this caused (in part or in whole) Adam to splinter into four separate beings. But why? Why would Lilith’s core do this? And why would one of the Adams end up with Lilith’s core, while the other three were all single-cored?

I’ve already compared Adam to a sort of Edenic ideal to which Kaworu wants to return. In which case, the intrusion of Lilith’s soul would be akin to a serpent in the garden. And, in accordance with that metaphor, Lilith holds the Fruit of Knowledge. Her core would be in and of itself a Forbidden Fruit to Adam.

What caused Adam to “fall”, and split into four, was that part of Adam went for the temptation. A being split out of Adam — becoming, in turn, a metaphorical “Eve” — to eat of Lilith’s Fruit… take her core into itself. That was “Luvah”, the Adams that would become Eva-01 and Shinji. The three-eyed Adams with two cores. As we’ve established, Shinji/Luvah was the glue holding Adam together, so once Luvah rejected the unity, it fell apart. Urizen (Asuka) and Tharmas (Mari) departed, leaving Urthona (Kaworu) behind as the final soul of Adam.

I’m sure this sounds batshit insane, so let’s apply this back to the material.

First, just as a conversation-starter, consider: the music track for Eva-01 reactivating and fighting against the 10th Angel is called “Sin from Genesis”. This battle involves no overt references to Genesis, so it’s always been a bit unclear why the track has that name.

Well, think about it. That battle sets off the events that result in Eva-01 being restored to its Second Impact state. What Shinji is actively fighting for is the core of Eva-00 inside the 10th Angel’s body. Since Eva-00’s core contains Rei’s soul, and thus Lilith’s soul, the core can also be called Lilith’s in a sense.

The past is being reenacted. Shinji/Luvah is willing to risk anything for the sake of obtaining Lilith. Once again, taking the Forbidden Fruit of Lilith’s core into his body results in the unleashing of a apocalypse. Of course, things are a LITTLE different this time, since Luvah’s soul has been reborn as a Lilin and presumably has the Fruit of Knowledge already, and what Luvah’s body really needs is the Fruit of Life that it somehow lost. Here the Fruit of Life is the forbidden one, and of course Lilith becomes the vessel for its delivery when the 10th Angel’s body fluid creates a Rei-shaped core-body around Eva-00’s core. This Rei wastes no time fusing with Eva-01, and both participants have blissed-out expressions on their faces, suggesting that the reunion was something mutually desired.

Repeating the Past

Now, if you still don’t quite buy into this whole “past being reenacted” thing, there’s still a couple more things to look at. Previously in the thread, I discussed the theme of fate and prophecy in terms of Shinji. Everything that Gendo and Fuyutsuki are banking on. But Shinji’s behavior isn’t just accounted for in their plan. It’s part of Seele’s plan, too.

Track back to the end of 1.11. Shinji has been in his first battle with Rei, whom he previously didn’t know especially well, and who actively resisted any form of engagement besides. Without regard for herself or her Eva, she defends the encampment against the Sixth Angel until the second shot can be fired and victory claimed. Afterward, Shinji rushes to cool the well-boiled Eva-00 inside Ashinoko and he uses brute force to make the plug eject. He doesn’t stop until the plug is open and he’s in there with Rei, able to see if she’s okay. They form a connection, and she takes his hand so he can help her out of the plug.

Immediately afterward, on the Moon...

Eva 1.11 wrote:KAWORU:
I know.
The boy over there's awoken and
we've entered the summation stage, right?

KEEL:
That's right.
The Apocrypha of the Dead Sea Scrolls
has moved on to the Book of Law.
The time of the covenant is close at hand.

KAWORU:
The third one again, huh?
You sure haven't changed.
I'm looking forward to seeing [alt.: meeting] you, Shinji Ikari.


Shinji and Rei forming an emotional connection has directly resulted in Seele’s plans advancing. Shinji has “awakened”. The fulfillment of the covenant — which we know to mean “the covenant with Lilith” — grows more imminent. Kaworu refers to Shinji in familiar terms and claims he hasn’t changed.

I’ve already looked at this dialogue in terms of what it means for Kaworu emotionally, but this time we’re looking at it from the perspective of Shinji and Rei’s deep connection. If all of this ties back to the Fall of Adam at Second Impact, then the remaining “big, stubborn enigmas” here start to resolve. It’s Shinji’s soul that has awakened, to part of its original nature as Luvah. By starting to recreate his bond with Rei/Lilith, he is affirming to Kaworu/Urthona that, indeed, he hasn’t changed.

If Operation Yashima “awakened” Luvah’s soul, then the battle against the 10th Angel awakened Luvah’s body. We see a similar set of events play out. Rei sacrifices herself and Eva-00 for Shinji’s sake (though now her motivation is much more personal); she becomes trapped inside the body of a giant entity; Shinji uses brute force to break his way through to her; she takes his hand and he pulls her out. The details, of course, are very, very different, but in the broad strokes we see patterns of repetition developing…

Revisiting another fan favorite bit of dialogue:

2.22 wrote:KAWORU:
The appointed time has come, Shinji Ikari.
This time, I'll make you happy,
no matter what.


Now applying the entire Lilith dynamic to things, this makes even more sense than before. Kaworu looks so displeased precisely because Shinji/Luvah succumbed to the temptation of Lilith again. Perhaps it was an integral part of the plan, but if so, that doesn’t mean he has to be happy with it. The future we behold is one seemingly curated to Kaworu’s tastes: where Lilith remains inside Eva-01, out of Shinji’s reach, and Kaworu is able to come in and take full advantage of the “rebound” effect to get Shinji precisely where he wants him.

Conclusions (The Cycle)

Elements in the story that, previously, did not seem to have any possible explanation aside from some vague “looping” dynamic can now be explained completely by the films’ version of Second Impact and all the repercussions thereof. Through the explorations I've shared in this thread, I found that the true nature of the “cycle” at the heart of New Theatrical was laid bare. Things happen over and over in similar ways, because the universe itself is built upon cycles as fundamental as the oscillations of waves, and we are part of that universe. Our advantage is that we can see those patterns, and, when they are destructive, we can attempt to learn from our past mistakes and break free of a particular loop. It’s difficult, but, as Mari might sing, ‘three steps forward, two steps back.’

As this is first and foremost Shinji’s story, we see how the repetitive nature of existence has been used as a way to manipulate and control him. A previous life enables predictions to be made for his current one, and eases the process of pushing him toward certain outcomes. The question is, will Shinji let himself be controlled by this? Will he be a slave to “destiny”, let himself be completely shaped by this occult knowledge of his ‘true nature’? Or can he break free of the prison of fate by attaining sufficient levels of self-awareness and self-mastery?

For someone carrying around as much trauma as him, it’s going to be especially difficult, but I hope ultimately the films provide a hopeful, however imperfect, outcome. Many of us are trapped inside our own cycles. There’s nothing fantastic or metaphysical about them; they’re mundane as can be, but they have no less power over our lives. Stories are a powerful form of communication, and I hope the power of Eva is one again fully realized when the NTE cycle has reached its end.

-----

There is still more to go over, but it is mostly addendum/supplemental at this point. I think the biggest ideas have been covered, albeit not necessarily to the levels of excellence I might prefer. :wink:

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Re: Adams, Children, and the Nature of the Cycle

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:37 pm

:asuka_thumbsup: :asuka_thumbsup:

Excellent job.


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