Why Rei turns on Gendo - character growth or soul shenanigans

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OutlawThirds
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Why Rei turns on Gendo - character growth or soul shenanigans

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Postby OutlawThirds » Tue Nov 23, 2021 3:49 pm

I've seen some explanations for why Rei III turns on Gendo that involve Rei III being a very different character from Rei II. The way I see it, though, the experiences of Rei II could have easily lead to Rei III not obeying Gendo, and there's no need to assume that they are different characters to make sense of it.

When we first meet Rei, she's fiercely loyal to Gendo and are shown the incident where he burned his hands to save her. However, Shinji goes and does the same thing. This might knock Gendo off his pedastal a bit.

Before the fight with Unit 3, Rei reassures the team that they can fight without Misato, because Gendo is in control. How does he repay her trust? Gendo orders a horrified Maya to jettison Unit 0's arm without disconnecting Rei's nervous system first. This act of casual cruelty when she'd put her faith in him might have changed her opinion.

The scene where Rei defies Gendo by asserting herself is reminiscent of the elevator scene (in the Netflix dub it's "I am not your doll / I am not a doll" respectively.

So, I don't think that an interpretation of Rei II and Rei III as different characters is required. I also rarely see the Unit 3/arm eject bit mentioned, so I wanted to bring that up too.

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Re: Why Rei turns on Gendo - character growth or soul shenanigans

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Postby sithsauron » Wed Nov 24, 2021 2:08 am

There seems to be two factors here:

1. In the TV series, Rei clones experience a side effect from being vessels for Lillith's soul, in that when one dies and the next one becomes the new vessel, and memories of the old reincarnation may be lost but also slowly and subconsciously slurp from the previous Rei to the new Rei in a very subtle manner during the process of soul transference / new body habitation. In the Evangelion universe, memories in the physical world are recorded in the brain but leave imprints on the soul, which exists eternally in a quantum dimension that is apart from but also overlaps physical reality. Also, I got the feeling that in the EOE movie, this transference of memories from the dead Rei clones to the living clone was speeding up for some reason as instrumentality approached, even reaching Rei's conscious level of awareness, which could explain how Rei starts to put together that all this time it is not herself that Gendo had affection for, but the image of Yui that draws out Gendo's intimate emotions, thus her last minute betrayel to his cause.

2. The 2nd factor is the possible presence of Kaworu's soul, who obviously favors Shinji. We know that Kaworu's image appears as part of Gestalt Rei at the start of the Human Instrumentality Ritual in EOE. The question is, does that mean Kaworu's soul is in that giant naked Rei thing, and thus present at the time of Rei's rejection of Gendo? The popular theory is Kaworu's soul immediately gravitated to the Adam Sample that Gendo was keeping for later use, soon after Kaworu was killed by Shinji. We are not sure if Gendo would be aware of this if it happened. Personally I like to entertain the notion that Rei was in the Dogma shaft at time of Kaworu's death to somehow absorb Kaworu's soul right under everyone's nose and then she laid low until instrumentality started. But I don't know. If Kaworu's soul was present during the Rei-Gendo merge attempt, then Rei's rejection of Gendo could have been a Rei + Kaworu consensus decision.
Last edited by sithsauron on Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:32 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Why Rei turns on Gendo - character growth or soul shenanigans

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Postby AuraTwilight » Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:45 am

It's quite simply likely down to the fact that Rei's memories were backed up (This is how the Dummy Plug system even exists), and after dying a couple times Rei is resentful because she wanted to stay dead. Then she simply has to go back and realize in hindsight that Gendo never had her best interests or welfare at heart, but Shinji consistently, always did. He never treated her as anything else but a person who deserved respect.

So when she was handed the power to do anything she wanted, she put Shinji's best interests and welfare at heart.
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Re: Why Rei turns on Gendo - character growth or soul shenanigans

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Postby sithsauron » Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:25 pm

View Original PostAuraTwilight wrote:It's quite simply likely down to the fact that Rei's memories were backed up (This is how the Dummy Plug system even exists), and after dying a couple times Rei is resentful because she wanted to stay dead. Then she simply has to go back and realize in hindsight that Gendo never had her best interests or welfare at heart, but Shinji consistently, always did. He never treated her as anything else but a person who deserved respect.

So when she was handed the power to do anything she wanted, she put Shinji's best interests and welfare at heart.


I don't think all of Rei's memories were backed up into the Giant Brain Machine. Either that, or it doesn't work 100% properly, or memories only gradually start to come back when a new Rei clone is created. When Rei III went back home and found Gendo's broken glasses, she got really confused about why they were there and why they were causing her to start crying.

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Re: Why Rei turns on Gendo - character growth or soul shenanigans

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Postby thewayneiac » Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:20 pm

View Original Postsithsauron wrote:
View Original PostAuraTwilight#932635 wrote:It's quite simply likely down to the fact that Rei's memories were backed up (This is how the Dummy Plug system even exists), and after dying a couple times Rei is resentful because she wanted to stay dead. Then she simply has to go back and realize in hindsight that Gendo never had her best interests or welfare at heart, but Shinji consistently, always did. He never treated her as anything else but a person who deserved respect.

So when she was handed the power to do anything she wanted, she put Shinji's best interests and welfare at heart.


I don't think all of Rei's memories were backed up into the Giant Brain Machine. Either that, or it doesn't work 100% properly, or memories only gradually start to come back when a new Rei clone is created. When Rei III went back home and found Gendo's broken glasses, she got really confused about why they were there and why they were causing her to start crying.


What had her confused wasn't the glasses, it was her tears themselves. She doesn't remember crying as she self destructed as that happened since the most recent backup. Thus she is confused because she doesn't understand why her tears seem familiar to her.
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Re: Why Rei turns on Gendo - character growth or soul shenanigans

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Postby sithsauron » Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:31 pm

View Original Postthewayneiac wrote:What had her confused wasn't the glasses, it was her tears themselves. She doesn't remember crying as she self destructed as that happened since the most recent backup. Thus she is confused because she doesn't understand why her tears seem familiar to her.



I can accept that. It would also prove that memories leave imprints on Lilith's soul. It would explain why she can't understand the reason she is crying if it's due to an event after her last back-up but prior to her most recent death, yet still some unconscious recollection of it causes her to cry all the same.


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