The idea of a timeloop

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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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby Melkor » Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:26 am

Or it could just be a self-contained time loop that exists within the confines of the Rebuild continuity. That would be much easier to explain then trying to connect it to a completely separate continuity. It doesn't have to be connected to the original series to make sense. Do people really want the original and Rebuilds to be connected that badly, even though that would basically defeat the entire message of End of Evangelion? By making it a time loop that connects to the ending of the original, that's pretty much saying that Shinji didn't learn his lesson at all from the whole experience, and rather accepting the consequences of his actions he just decides to hit the reset button and keep trying again until he gets the desired result. I don't think Anno would do something like that. By just making it a time loop set solely within the Rebuild universe instead, you could still have a time loop without tarnishing the ending of the original, and I think a lot less fans would be pissed off by that.

Time loops aside, there are some perfectly plausible in-universe explanations for Kaworu's behavior towards Shinji in the Rebuilds that don't involve any sort of sequel or time loop shenanigans. Basically, the prevailing theory right now is that Shinji, Asuka, Mari, and Kaworu contain the the souls of the Four Adams, while Rei obviously contains the soul of Lilith. As young children, the five pilots pilots were brought to some place called the Artificial Evolution Laboratory, where they either had the souls of the Four Adams implanted into them or if they were already present, awakened within them. Afterwards, their memories of the Artificial Evolution Laboratory were erased, and the only one that still retains memories of the experience is Kaworu, and possibly Mari as well. When Kaworu says "this time", he could either be referring to his and Shinji's past lives as Adams, the time they spent at the Artificial Evolution Laboratory as children, or both. This is of course an extremely simplified version of the theory, but Reichu goes into much more depth and detail in her thread(s) on the subject.

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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby Reichu » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:16 am

The specifics of the idea have changed a lot over the past year-plus. Information has been accumulating far too quickly for me to keep the forum up-to-date (it sounds ridiculous, and I wish I were joking; I hate how far behind I've gotten), so I will provide a quick, sloppy, and completely unsupported rundown of the current version:

NTE has a back story that, similar to the one in Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, goes back thousands of years, complete with a previous civilization on Earth and the works. The pilots appear to be the incarnations (if confused: Jesus is an "incarnation" of God) of five ancient gods, those being the four "Adams" (probably the Adam along with three Evas that got merged together during First Impact, then split back apart at Second -- it sounds more confusing than it actually is) and Lilith. Kaworu's origin seems to be a modified version of what it was in NGE, with a giant literally getting impregnated in some kind of obscene transgenic experiment; ultimately, several Kaworus seem to have been born from Mark.06 on the Moon, though Adam's soul is probably only anchored properly to one of them (that being the one who stars in Q). Rei's origins are mostly still a huge mystery, though it's vaguely implied that her development was planned, and measures were set in place prior to Yui's "disappearance" -- but she is such a huge tangle of quantum magick WTF I'm just going to leave her alone right now...

The three "normal" pilots -- blue-eyed Shinji, Mari, and Asuka -- were probably all created through similar-ish (to one another) technological processes at the Artificial Evolution Laboratory. Shinji is the easiest one to explain, since Eva-01 was by all indications actually physically available when Shinji would have needed to be "baking in the oven" -- Eva-01 would have been the mysterious giant that conveniently washed up on the shores of Japan in an LCL-tsunami. This direct availability leaves no overwhelming mystery as to how they might have moved the Eva's soul around (though we're free to imagine the specifics, I suppose -- Gendo and Yui being at the center of a company-sanctioned Satanic orgy, anyone?). Mari and Asuka are more niggling, since the Adams they've been matched to -- Mark.06 and Eva 13 respectively -- were not near any functional research facilities until quite some time after Mari and Asuka were born. Mark.06 was on the Moon, of course, and Tabgha Base did not start to undergo construction until shortly before the first movie began. Perhaps its core(s) -- I did the "(s)" on purpose -- was/were harvested immediately after Second Impact and the Eva otherwise left there for years, but Eva 13 is more difficult to explain, since its presence at the South Pole is necessary to explain the continued activity of the Gates of Guf fifteen years after Second Impact's kinda-sorta-not-really conclusion. (The Gates are not only open, but they are still moving, slowly but surely.) Ergo Eva 13 is under there, and its core is still present. I have a vague idea of how the AEL got around this problem, and, sigh, it involves the same kind of quantum magick WTF as Rei's existence does, just on a much more restricted scale. They are all "nami"s, after all... Insert quantum wave-related sci-fi bullshit here. (I can't pretend to understand this nonsense even a little, but this activates my "Anno couldn't possibly resist, could he???" sensors.)

Anyway. That got more detailed than I planned. So! Shinji and Mari were raised together at the AEL in Hakone, but Shinji's memories were wiped out after Yui's experiment. It's unclear how Mari escaped this fate, but apparently she did. Asuka is hinted to be Mari's half-sister (same mother, the woman in Fuyutsuki's photo), but they weren't raised together, with Asuka being handed over to the EU and doomed to a childhood alone. Even if her memories were never wiped, she wouldn't remember the others because she had never met them (in that particular life, anyway).

While Mari uniquely possesses insight of a childhood Shinji has forgotten, Kaworu uniquely possesses insight of a past all the other pilots have forgotten period. It's unclear exactly why this is. Something to do with the unique circumstances of his creation? (It feels pretty likely that none of the other pilots gestated inside an Eva and hatched from a clutch of clones or whatever the hell actually happened in Mare Tranquilitatis...) Maybe we'll eventually figure it out, maybe we won't. Meantime, Kaworu's bizarre dialogue and weird fixation on Shinji provide clues regarding this mysterious past where our five pilots were towering gods, and the world was ruled by creepy long-faced Anunnaki weirdos, and Lilin were probably just a slave class at best, waiting for their chance to inherit the Earth.

I along with some other crazy assholes have managed to piece a lot of this (potential) past together from NTE's abundant, and frequently rather sneaky, allusions to mythology and other media, and I hope to share the highlights in a meaningful way eventually -- someday, before the final movie comes out, partly so I can say "FIRST!", but also because it's all really really cool. (Way way way cooler than "Kaworu remembers episode 24 of NGE somehow".) Shinji used to be Ohma from Nausicaa, basically, though was probably less prone to spontaneously rotting and leaving parts of his body lying around, and was not self-confident enough to declare himself JUDGE AND ARBITER. (Asuka would totally do that, though.) The possibilities for divine soap opera are incredibly entertaining. "Luvah" bumbling into a love triangle with both Adam and Lilith? "Urizen" being tsundere for that idiot "Luvah" no matter how much of a worthless and stupid excuse for a god-warrior he is? "Tharmas" on the sidelines, always knowing a little too much, and always finding amusement in just the right things? The Blake allusions invite one to invent at least three additional ancient Evas that didn't make it past the Great Flood, as well. Pre-First Impact fanfiction should be an established subgenre by now.

I said "quick" but I let the insanity take me a bit more than I should have. Oh well.
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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby robersora » Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:56 pm

^
wow, this sounds intriguing!
I was never really into all the lore specifics, I just don't think they're that important to the emotional resonance of Evangelion. Also, I just love to watch Anno's directing, no matter how much logical sense it makes... but I'm glad I read this, definitely a new angle to appreciate NTE!
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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby Reichu » Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:10 pm

View Original Postrobersora wrote:I was never really into all the lore specifics, I just don't think they're that important to the emotional resonance of Evangelion. Also, I just love to watch Anno's directing, no matter how much logical sense it makes... but I'm glad I read this, definitely a new angle to appreciate NTE!

Glad you like it! :D If you found that post interesting, definitely check out my other stuff. I'm really far behind on publicizing my "findings" (for lack of better term), but there's plenty to go through right now if you've never paid much attention to the lore.

My own feeling is that with NTE, Anno is making the lore -- and specifically lore pertaining to a fantastic past blending sci-fi with mythology -- indispensible in a way it really wasn't in NGE. In this way, NTE goes all-out with bridging Evangelion to two of its key influences -- Anno's own Nadia, and Nausicaa by his friend and mentor Miyazaki. Nadia's child and adult protagonists -- Nadia and her father Nemo -- are both linked by blood to the ancient Atlantean civilization, and Nadia discovering and coming to terms with this aspect of herself is a key part of her journey. The eponymous heroine of Nausicaa is very much a person of the setting's present -- a bit of a Misato, in that she's a leader forged in the flames of a post-apocalyptic hellscape -- but the resolution of the story's conflict requires that she get her hands very dirty with the ancient technology that made the world the mess it is. (The biomechanical god Ohma whom she adopts is a key inspiration for the Evangelions themselves.) The first half of NTE goes out of its way to sow misdirection -- the popularity of "sequel" and "loop" theories is the predictable result -- but Q starts to pull the curtain back a bit and reveal what's "really" going on. I expect that Shin will go all-out, dropping heavy-hitting reveals as unexpected and wtf as "Seele were the monoliths all along; also they're ancient beings who guided human civilization"; we've already gotten hints of this in Avant 1, with Maya's cryptic comment about "non-human systems" (more in this post).

Expanding the "role" of Rei and Kaworu as bridges to a mysterious, ancient technological past so that it encompasses ALL of the pilots is a pretty brilliant way to make the lore absolutely necessary. If Shinji has the soul of a giant sapient bioweapon, that's part of his identity -- he can't get away from it just by looking the other way, and neither can we. He cannot achieve emotional resolution if he never learns what he really is and what people want from him because of his true nature. Now the stakes are way higher than "I need to find an identity outside of being an Eva pilot". It's "I need to figure out what my identity is PERIOD, preferably before I get entangled in yet another impact". When everything's said and done, there will have been SIX Impacts. Imagine if Shinji's soul participated in all of them (and there's a very good chance it did). That's some heavy stuff. Way, way heavier than "I was tortured psychologically until I became a hallucinating puddle of ooze who rightfully pronounced that everything sucks, and then God decided to kill everyone on my behalf, so I'm responsible for the world being a shithole now, I guess????". I'm a bit curious where Anno intends to take all of this -- a highly personalized dismantling of the current obsession with superheroes, perhaps.

And suffice it to say, if the other pilots are all secretly ancient gods as well, understanding the full dynamics of their very important interrelationships is dependent on caring about the past at least a little. Why is Shinji's fixation on Rei so steadfast that both Seele and Nerv are pitting their respective plans on it? Why is Shinji so important to Kaworu? What kind of relationship did they once have that enabled Kaworu -- or his soul, rather -- to know so much about this specific version of Shinji? How? What kind of world did Seele come from that would enable an Eva to form a meaningful relationship with beings like Adam and Lilith? With repetition being so integral to the films, one wonders just what kind of wonderful, crazy prequel series might be possible here.
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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:12 pm

View Original PostAWinters wrote:During instrumentality he was told he could choose any reality he wanted, but it looks like he let that opportunity slip away.
I don't imagine it being possible to utilise that option once it's all over.


Do you mean End of TV, or End of Eva? In either during Instrumentality, there's talks of "the world of reality" but nothing about choosing alternate realities. TV Episode 26's alternate reality was meant to show Shinji that thematically, he doesn't need to continue piloting Eva-01 as his only way to live a meaningful life.
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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby AWinters » Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:22 pm

View Original PostSailor Star Dust wrote:Do you mean End of TV, or End of Eva? In either during Instrumentality, there's talks of "the world of reality" but nothing about choosing alternate realities. TV Episode 26's alternate reality was meant to show Shinji that thematically, he doesn't need to continue piloting Eva-01 as his only way to live a meaningful life.


It's the impression I got from the sequence where he was being shown how to come up with an image, a reality (starting with a floor) then he got to experience a couple of alternate realities (what could have been) while being told that life is what you make it. I thought that whole demonstration was about choosing a reality.

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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby Reichu » Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:43 pm

View Original PostAWinters#896711 wrote:It's the impression I got from the sequence where he was being shown how to come up with an image, a reality (starting with a floor) then he got to experience a couple of alternate realities (what could have been) while being told that life is what you make it. I thought that whole demonstration was about choosing a reality.

It's about subjective reality, not literal reality. How you frame the world affects the way you perceive it and live your life. This is why there's talk about being able to have fun on a rainy day. Being exposed to all of these other minds that aren't his forces Shinji to reassess what he thinks reality is, and he realizes it's something he can control -- through the power of his own perspective -- far more than he ever knew previously. Eva is being a little sneaky here and providing insight into how the Angels experience the world, being as they can actually change reality and themselves, on a raw physical level, just by thinking about it, but for us Lilin it will never be anything more than a metaphor.
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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:38 am

That whole lore rant kinda makes NGE’s lore feel simplistic by comparison. But, at the same time, everything in it kinda clicks. Asuka and Mari being half sisters will probably need to be better declared/further explored in Shin Eva, and the direct-ish links between the pilots and their respect be Adams will certainly need to have a “Fuyutsuki explains everything in no uncertain terms” kind of scene (though the expositor can be somewhat interchangeable).

Also, the fact that Anno can tell a story 3 movies in where everyone is still fully invested in it while still making all of the lore mechanics feel almost secondary is quite a feat. Like, all of this back and forth about whether it’s a time loop or not, and it somehow doesn’t feel that important to Shinji’s growth as a character.
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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby robersora » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:28 am

^
That's because he just knows how to direct a movie, also we all were already kind of invested in the characters to begin with (as opposed to if it was a completely new story), so that definitely helps as well.

As Reichu puts the pieces together it just goes to show how hugely important the lore is in comparison to Evangelion. I'm not a lore guy, but what Reichu listed sounds super interesting nevertheless... If Evangelion was the quintessential Sekai no Owari story in Anime, NTE works hard to build an interesting mechanic around that emotionally resonant core.
To what end tho remains to be seen. Get hype for Shin Eva, I guess, lol.
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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby Reichu » Wed Aug 19, 2020 11:11 am

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:That whole lore rant kinda makes NGE’s lore feel simplistic by comparison.

Hey, only I get to call it a rant! :tongue: But yeah, NTE's lore is absolutely, 100% more complicated by far. There's no question there at all.

I'm fully expecting Mari and Asuka's relationship to get clarified in such a way that it enables a most wafftastic Gunbuster reference -- Asuka learns the truth one way or another, and before Eva-13 invariably defeats Bustergouki 8+2 and its two pilots for good, she calls Mari "oneesama" instead of "konemegane". I want it so bad it hurts. Make me cry over a single word, Anno! PLEASE!!

Fuyutsuki does feel like a strong contender for dropping some truth bombs to the pilots, preferably via gloating Gargoyle-style monologue. A couple of other possibilities are the vessel trio (the original cores of the Adams -- sans 13's, which is no longer with us -- would hypothetically be able to mindfuck the souls that originally resided within them) and maybe even Misato, since next to the pilots she has the most personal connection to the Adams of the entire cast.

Also, the fact that Anno can tell a story 3 movies in where everyone is still fully invested in it while still making all of the lore mechanics feel almost secondary is quite a feat. Like, all of this back and forth about whether it’s a time loop or not, and it somehow doesn’t feel that important to Shinji’s growth as a character.

Well, there's probably a good reason why the time loop stuff doesn't feel important to Shinji's growth as a character. :tongue: The mechanics only seeming secondary is part of the misdirection / bait and switch that Anno's been playing with, I suppose. It ends up much like the arguments in NGE where lore is regularly blown off, but it's impossible to understand some very important players without being completely immersed in the lore. (There's a reason Gendo and Yui are so thoroughly misunderstood by the fandom -- their motivations can't be separated from lore that's so esoteric you basically have to be an Eva mystic to grok it all.) Think back in all these circular arguments about Shinji and the various Impacts he may or may not have participated in. A lot of the most pernicious participants are those who grab some entirely superficial and not-even-half-baked interpretation with both hands and feet and refuse to let go and consider the problem in the scope of NTE's full context. That includes, yes, the whole matter of what Shinji is, what people want from him, why, and how they expect to get it.

Eva-01 is linked very strongly to Original Sin, an event / phenomenon that's strongly implied to be driving the entire plot. This shit is gonna be huge. I can't wait for Shinji to get handed a truth bomb like "you're the reason everything started to suck all those millennia ago". A bit meta, in a way -- this Shinji being forced to reckon with the "crime" of his past self, even if he can't reasonably be held accountable for it (maybe just because he has no memory of it; maybe because he was always a fall guy :wink: for those wiser and more institutionally powerful than he), in acknowledgememt of how the old Shinji has never properly "reckoned" for his "crimes" in EoE.
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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby Melkor » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:55 pm

With all of this background lore in mind, 3.0+1.0 is going to have A LOT of ground to cover. If all of what Reichi has proposed turns out to be true, then 3.0+1.0 is somehow going to have to find time to provide an explanation for what happened during the real Third Impact, explain the connection between the four Adams and the pilots, reveal that Asuka and Mari are half-sisters, and explain what the deal is with Fuyutsuki and his true intentions, ON TOP OF ALSO providing a conclusion to all of the main character's stories, including Shinji's. That's a lot of stuff to cram into one movie, which kind of worries me. Unless this movie ends up being Avengers Endgame length, I just don't see how they will be able to do all of that in the time given. They're either going to blaze through everything at lightning fast speed, which will barely give us any time to sit with and appreciate any of it, or more likely they are just going to leave some things unexplained in order to make room to focus on the more important and crucial parts of the story.

In the best case scenario, the movie gives us a brief two or three line explanation of Third Impact while focusing mostly on wrapping up the character's stories, and then at a later date in the future they come out with a short OVA (maybe like 20-30 minutes) that shows what happened between 2.0 and 3.0, like the slaying of the 11th Angel and the initiation of Third Impact by the 12th Angel. It almost feels like there's an entire movie missing between 2.0 and 3.0 that would be perfect for an OVA to explore, but something like a 2.5 OVA is probably more of a pipe dream at this point.

Perhaps Third Impact being left without an explanation is intentional on Anno's part. Many believe that 3.0 is supposed to be viewed as being from Shinji's perspective. Part of that could involve Third Impact being unexplained. Having this huge world shattering event happen while Shinji was absent, it helps to reinforce the notion that the entire world doesn't revolve around Shinji. Even while Shinji is gone, important events continue to happen to the people around him without him having to be there for them to witness it, as was the case in the story so far.

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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby ShinjiStranglesAsuka » Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:21 pm

Yeah I doubt they'll be explaining much. I'm fine with that, I'd rather they finish up the story in a satisfying way than spend a lot of time on exposition.

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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby Reichu » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:31 pm

@Melkor: It does sound like a lot, but keep in mind the sheer information density that's in these movies. The story is told using many different methods at once that overlap in a vast array of ways, prop each other up, and create a massive web of ideas that sprawls outward in all directions (including directions you didn't even know existed). All the methods that are available to convey data to the audience and enable them to form connections mean that the runtime is not as much of a limiting factor as it might seem.

The goal of the primary, first-level cinematic experience would probably be to deliver an aesthetically stunning conclusion to the central emotional threads, rather than make "non-essential" (to this first-level experience) lore details explicit to the audience. Shinji's journey would be the main focus, with moments for the other characters placed throughout to establish the many "parallel realities" happening alongside his own. Consider how thoroughly Q was Shinji's movie, but with very efficient use of time we're shown the altered character dynamics: Asuka and Mari's playful comradery, Misato's stern, intense projection of authority and the friction and respect it simultaneously creates, the deteriorating partnership between Gendo and Fuyutsuki, and so on. Much of this happens through quick cutaways -- a matter of seconds. Nothing is wasted here; facial expressions, body language, nuances of vocal delivery, honorifics, frame composition, timing, sound design... everything is put to use. Great example of this is when Asuka says "Isn't that right, Captain Katsuragi?" That tiny moment communicates a history of unresolved resentment between the two of them. We're not told what the cause was, but such specifics are frequently left to our powers of deduction.

On this "primary experience" level, I assume that Shin will be explicit about some things, but only some. Just for purposes of demonstration: if what I've proposed about Asuka's fate ends up being right, then the audience will need to be filled in just enough for Asuka's decision to "sacrifice herself" in an all-or-nothing corejack of Eva-13 to make basic emotional sense. But, well, this is Eva after all. Even when it sits down to expodump at us, it still embraces obfuscation on some level. I could imagine Fuyutsuki taunting Wille's pilots by addressing then with strange names and implying they should have first-hand familiarity with things that happened millennia in the past, but he's not going to say anything like, "By the way, both of you are ancient gods created by the pre-Lilin civilization called the Anunnaki, and you were trapped inside Lilin homunculi by Lilin scientists after Second Impact freed you from an oppressive fusion with the First Angel Adam, and both of your true bodies are now part of Evangelion 13, so have fun fighting yourselves I guess." Shin only really needs to convey this weirdness EXPLICITLY to the audience in terms specific enough to give an overall sense of what's really happening -- enough context for the audience to know what they should be looking for during subsequent viewings.

So on an overt level the film will reveal just enough to not break the emotional flow, and to create a sense of curiosity that will prompt the viewer to pay attention to things they may have previously disregarded and make connections that weren't previously apparent, providing plenty of rewatch value. But those who want the "full story" will have to work for it and carefully piece together all of the hints, same as it's always been when it comes to Eva.
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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby ShinjiStranglesAsuka » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:01 am

Small tangent: So do you think that other characters are aware of, or have directly interacted with, Kaworu? The movies so far paint a very focused picture towards Kaworu & Shinji but I'd be more interested if others knew about him as well. I mean, after he comes down to stop NTI all of the major characters would have met him right? So why are there no indications that anyone know of his existence in Q spare some mysterious lines about how the DSS choker was made for him?

And it kinda bugs me that in the central dogma fight neither Asuka or Mari made any comments indicating that they knew Kaworu was there. It seems like a conscious narrative choice by Anno to have Kaworu ignore everything and everyone else besides Shinji, and vice versa. Barely anyone knows or interacts with Kaworu besides Shinji. :???:

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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:54 am

^ Wille definitely knew Kaworu was wearing the DSS Choker by their battle at the end of their film. They seem to acknowledge this by saying that Shinji was still the Impact Trigger after the DSS Choker was detonated. (I would assume that if Shinji were dead then he would cease being an Impact Trigger.) Also, Asuka doesn’t seem shocked that Shinji is still alive after the DSS Choker detonation, so that all seems to suggest that they knew prior to engaging with Nerv’s plot that Kaworu would take the bullet if needed.

Outside of that, if Wille had any prior interactions with Kaworu, it might just be one of those things we haven’t heard about yet because they were only in the film for about 20-ish mins and were constantly dealing with more immediate threats.
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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby Settie » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:44 pm

They'd had to have had some sort interaction, a choker was made for him, and he was the pilot of the Mark6. There is the missing 11th angel so maybe in this instance, Kaworu was Shinjis replacement pilot instead of Asuka like in NGE.

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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby dzzthink » Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:53 pm

I have read the manga and in the 14th and final book and the idea of a re-set was used as the ending. I thought it would be interesting to see whether this could relate to the time-loop theory. For context, the manga is an adaptation by the anime by the character designer Sadamoto, so there are various changes to the plot and ending. The series ran from 1994 to 2013, so the final book came out after Evangelion 3.33, which premiered in 2012. In the book, after instrumentality happens, Shinji is given the responsibility of deciding humanity's fate (again) and must choose to confront reality or merge with everyone else. Like the anime, he decides to return to earth along with anyone else who wants to return. However, unlike the anime, the state of the earth is not in ruin and instead slightly resembles the world of the Rebuild series. The main similarity being remnants of the third impact, such as the corpses of the mass production Evas left on earth as a giant cross-like structure. For some reason, Shinji and Asuka have no recollection of their time fighting angels or who each other are and continue their life as they apply to the same school together. Bizarrely, Shinji has Misato's cross but she seems to be absent at the end along with most of the other characters like Rei, Toji, Kaji, and Gendo. This suggests the idea of a re-set could be highly plausible in the Rebuild and could have been considered during development, although i am unsure how much Sadamoto got his ideas for the manga. Considering the time where both the manga and Rebuild were simultaneouly being made, it could be interpreted that Sadamoto drew some inspiration from Rebuild on how he could end the manga, or even vice versa. I couldn't find any theory or analysis pages about the manga but there is quite a lot of unanswered questions. There are some interesting connections with the Rebuild Series and the manga other than the possible time-loop theory, such as the short story in book 14, where Mari is introduced as a colleague of Yui at the University she works in. This messes up the time-lines but plays around the idea that the worlds are creatively connected with each other.

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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby ShinjiStranglesAsuka » Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:06 pm

The reason you never hear about the manga here is because Anno had no involvement in making it, so nobody's even remotely interested in discussing it.

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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby dzzthink » Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:11 pm

The concept of re-setting everything and everyone having amnesia in the manga ending is interesting, no?

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Re: The idea of a timeloop

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Postby dzzthink » Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:15 pm

Maybe Sadamoto got his idea for the ending from Anno's rebuild?


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