Phew, lots of Reichu to respond to. I'll try to be as brief and succinct as possible. Don't wanna get out of hand with omnislashing.
Reichu wrote:Do they really? Rei Q's deal is that "her soul is somewhere else" -- an in, not actually in her body. Meaning, she wasn't born with her own soul. Meaning, it's still hinted that artificial beings aren't born with souls. Else Rei Q's soul would be in Rei Q, and not "somewhere else".
With regard to multiple Reis coexisting: as well as I understand it, this is an idea only present in the preview, and not in the final product. Can we say with any certainty that it actually happened? It could still be that only one Rei is capable of being physically active at a time, only this time we have the added complication that her body and soul are in two separate places. Given we've been considering the idea of the Adams as divided but still somehow active beings, this might not be as weird as it first appears. This makes me wonder also if the weird contraption she soaks in still has any kind of personality digitizing function, as per NGE; or if (instead of / in addition to the previous) it is perhaps acting as a technological intermediary between body and soul. It IS the place where Rei Q encounters her other self...
I was actually talking about the conundrum of Rei II being preserved inside Unit 01 the 60-odd Reis that followed her despite her not being dead and her soul, assuming she has one, being otherwise occupied. Though since you've raised the idea, I suppose it is possible that the other Ayanamis have had a personality impressed on them with that same kind of transplant OS. It does jive with what Kaworu said about her soul being in the wrong place (I took it to mean it was somehow not in the right place within the body myself) and it could also explain why they've gone through so many of these other Reis when Gendo was protective of Rei II. If that does end up being the case I worry that it might end up really cheapening the development Rei Q had if she ends up getting tossed aside because "oh, she isn't real anyway."
Remember that Eva-01 is able to be reconfigured for Rei's use, and Eva-02 is reconfigured for Mari's use. This is done on the fly, unlike in NGE, where reconfiguring a core is apparently not a simple process; despite knowing about Asuka's imminent replacement they don't have it done in time for Kaworu's arrival. The fact that the Evas need to be reconfigured at all implies that what they sync with is personalized: not just anything will do. Combine this personalization with stuff like Mari being able to use Eva-02 and Eva-08 after -05 is completely vaporized. It brings to mind data being copied around from place to place, very much unlike a soul.
I was thinking of the core unit's configuration acting more as some kind of customized intermediary that allowed the pilot to interface more smoothly with whatever resided in the Eva. I know you said earlier you didn't like the term but what you're suggesting sounds more like a sort of pilot-specific AI that has been impressed on the core, if I'm following things correctly? Not a programmed AI but a digital replication of something akin to the MAGI? That's certainly a very interesting thought. Isn't the Dummy Plug said to be something similar to that? It's not actually alive but it's a good enough replica that it can make decisions in battle and generate an AT field despite not having an actual soul? The immediate comparison I'm thinking of is that battle AI that Dix Neuf had for some reason.
Hm...If New Unit 02 is a new Eva build, but Asuka's core stuff is transferred into it, does it mean that the new Eva would just be Unit 02 reborn?
I don't think that Eva-02 necessarily contains Asuka's mother in any capacity, but, going along with Phoenix's train of thought, I didn't think it could be ruled out either. It could still be that the missing mothers aren't a coincidence because, for whatever reason, the data of the women who reincarnated the Adams as Lilin make the best control systems. NTE's well-known "all Shinji much, much more of the time" focus change can readily explain the lack of any real attention given to what Asuka and Mari sync with. (Consider, we missed fourteen years of their lives as they fought for the future of life on Earth. "Who am I piloting?" is something of an insignificant side detail in comparison.) It could also be a reveal that's being delayed for the final film. Really hard to say right now.
I'm not saying it's absolutely not the case but I feel like if they were going in that direction they'd have made a bigger deal about it or at least put a little focus on the subject. The fact that Mari and Asuka's mothers are "missing" is treated as such a non-issue for them that revealing they are inside the Evas wouldn't have much of an impact for the viewer. I don't think we even know of Asuka actually knew her mother.
I figured this was a function of the Adams being separated from their own cores, thus the one that Yui entered was an artificial blank. It not being an original is a possible reason I suggested for Mark.09's ability to take control of the Wunder away from her.
Here's a thought I had: what if the Adams had to be given artificial cores because theirs broke during Second Impact and released their souls? They did generate some kind of crosses during the event and those usually show up during a core rupture/AT Field collapse. Seele could have salvaged something and repaired it to create the Vessel.
Going back to the previous post to round things out, what I meant by entering the core was that Shinji ripped the seat away and actually seemed to go down into the core himself, well beyond the Great Beyond Depth, and Asuka and Mari just got dangerously close. But the interior array in Unit 13 didn't seem to be moving at all. Of course nobody on the outside was monitoring and since the whole Eva got encased in a giant core that point might be entirely moot.