I said I would do Pt.2 of the Mk.9 thing next, but one of Melkor’s responses reminded me of an issue I’ve avoided addressing so far — namely because it’s a mind-numbing headache. But it’s REALLY BOTHERING ME, so I’m going to clog up my own thread with a dreadfully messy semi-tangential post, in the hope the rest of you have any ideas that might help… (I'll play catch-up on responses next.)=A Core Detour=
The question that's bothering me is, what happened to the Adams’ respective cores and/or souls between Second Impact and their later conversion into Evangelions?
If a core functions as the vessel of a soul, then, in order for the Artificial Evolution Laboratory to have incarnated all of the Adams’ souls shortly after Second Impact, the Adams’ cores would have needed to be accessible to them. But a great deal still remains entirely unknown about how and when Seele/Nerv came into possession of the post-2I Adams. Luvah may have washed up on the shores of Japan, so that’s easy and early access. Tharmas was blasted to the Moon, and it’s only over a decade later that a Nerv base is being established around it — was it really left alone that entire time? The remains of Urthona have been converted into the Key at 2I+15 at the latest. (This isn't even getting into Kaworu's body, which we can surmise was not created the same way as Shinji, Mari, and Asuka, and may
have even been created at 2I itself...) Urizen is completely unaccounted for until 2I+29; one wonders if maybe it was at the South Pole the entire time, but there’s no information any which way.
Now, obviously, some problems become evident here with the timing of Mark.06’s Eva-conversion at least
. If Seele knew where it was the entire time, why do they wait so long to do anything with it? And if they didn’t
know where it was… how could its soul get into Mari??
I think there’s ample enough evidence everywhere else for the Adams-Children correspondence that this issue qualifies as a “difficulty” rather than an “impossibility”. First, let me share some stray observations, in hope that perhaps a greater picture will emerge…
At the time of Yui’s experiment, Eva-01’s core has a clouded, motionless appearance that, AFAIK, is seen nowhere else in the films.
(Look specifically at the patterning inside the core itself, not at the pool of light forming beneath Yui.)
Contrast to how Eva-01’s core looks after
the experiment, at Near Third Impact specifically:
We see here that it looks “alive” and comparable to an Angel core. Examples:
^ Fourth Angel
^ 8th Angel
^ 12th Angel
Could the cloudy look originally present in Eva-01’s core simply be how an Adams’ core looks after its original soul has been removed? Or is it maybe how artificially generated Eva cores look before souls are put into them?
Mark.09’s main core is fairly normal-looking, for whatever that’s worth:
If both premises are correct -- (A) the Adams' souls were separated from their original bodies and incarnated, and (B) the Vessel is/has an Adams' core -- then Mk.9's core being "alive" doesn't seem to make much sense at all, does it? Does it necessarily follow, then, that one or both of the premises are wrong? At this point, it's worth reflecting upon how VERY LITTLE information on Eva cores we actually have, which makes it difficult to know what conclusions are meant to be drawn from how Mk.9's main core appears. Observe:
1) We see Eva-00’s core (confirmed as such in storyboards/script) after it’s pulled out of the 10th Angel
. However, at this point Rei has been absorbed into it, so it having the normal glimmery look should be expected, based on Yui's precedent. But on that same basis, the core did not necessarily look the same BEFORE Rei was absorbed.
2) Eva-02’s is removed from the unit
, but the core itself is encased in a cover (confirmed as such in the 2.0 CRC
) and isn’t seen directly. Despite how much armor Eva-02 throws off during its "beast" transformations, the core remains covered at those times also. As a final slap in the face, when Eva-02's remains are seen toward the end of Q, the entry plug housing is visible
, but there is no core in sight (meaning it was either destroyed in the explosion, or is, understandably, being housed someplace more secure than the exposed deck of an airship).
3) Eva-03’s is, somehow
, never visible amidst all of that denuding and rending of flesh.
4) Mark.06 we know has one from the lump on the chest
before it’s armored, but the core is never directly seen. (In Q, it was originally storyboarded with an exposed core, but the chest piece is intact in the final film.)
5) Eva-13 we see piercing its core
with the spears, but, again, the core itself is not seen.
6) Evas 05 and 08 never show their cores.
7) The Mk.4s have normal-looking cores (ex. 4A
), but the Mk.4s aren’t exactly indicative of Evas in general…
Another interesting thing: When we see Shinji’s plug achieving “Great Beyond Depth” at the end of 2.0, Eva-01’s core is clearly visible
in the graphic. However, for all of the other “entry plug array” schematics I’ve checked, including the ones where Rei, Asuka, and Mari respectively achieve dangerous plug depth, there is no core in sight. (If I missed something, please let me know!)
It almost feels like the movies are being intentionally obfuscatory about this issue. It’s hard to come to any conclusions about Eva cores if we're not allowed to see enough of the damned things to detect patterns.
So, to both move on and reiterate... We know that cores CAN look weird before a soul is placed inside them, but we can’t confirm if this is universal, since we only have the one clear-cut example.
The “glimmer” animation seems to correspond reliably with the core having “life” inside it. Many Angel cores lose this glimmer and turn plain red or even go dark before exploding into LCL (some skip those steps and burst straight into LCL). The FoIs in the main shaft that were bored through to clear a path are plain red and don’t have a glimmer
inside them, unlike the intact FoIs.
(The fact that they’re still holding shape at all despite being dead may have something to do with the greater mystery of why Angels and Mk.4s explode into goo when they die but normal Evas don’t.)
However, one thing I wonder about more and more is if the life required to “animate” a core necessarily has to be a soul. It would really help to be able to see one of the non-Adams Evas’ cores here, since those are extremely likely candidates for not being ensouled the way Eva-01 is or the Angels are, with the cores being animated, or perhaps “programmed” is a better word, some other way. Now, if those cores still managed to look “normal” despite having something other than a soul placed inside, that would tilt the possible interpretations for Mk.9 one way; but if these cores looked distinctly different? Then it would be a whole other argument. The only possible lead I can think of here would be "core-tech" like the Seele monoliths and the dummy system. Those both have the regular core glimmer attached to them, but they're machines at the same time...
That said, there is another possible angle here to explore, which is the sort of “remote-linking” of body-body and body-soul that’s been implied directly using Lilith-based examples so far. Lilith’s head is separated from her body, and yet it promptly bursts into LCL when the spears are removed from Lilith’s body. This only makes any sense if there is some mechanism that keeps flesh and flesh linked in a similar, though not necessarily identical, way as if they were
physically connected. (I say "not necessarily" because the head is, unlike the body, in Rei's image, and also stopped growing with rest of the body after decapitation, suggesting this remote-link has certain limitations.) In addition, Rei Q is said to have a soul that’s not in the usual place -- in other words, it's somewhere outside her body, i.e., it's (probably) inside of Eva-01 where we know Lilith’s soul to be. This phenomenology seems like it may stretch far beyond the usual “quantum Rei” antics this time, and incorporate the Adams as well (fair enough, I suppose), which if true could maybe
explain how Mk.9’s core still looks ‘alive’ despite the soul being incarnated into a Lilin body. (I’ll dive deeper into this argument in Pt.2 of the Mk.9 write-up.)
Another possibility, I suppose, is that the spark of life couldn’t be removed completely from the First Adams’ Vessel. Maybe, once that spark is present, it remains there until the core is altogether dead. (This concept could have precedent in how, in OG Eva, there was something
inside Lilith to welcome Rei back.) If true, this would tell us that Yui did in fact enter an artificial core, installed to replace the one originally there.
...taking this mess of a post back to the original problem of “how was the AEL able to incarnate the Adams so quickly?”
One thing we don’t know ANYTHING about is how Second Impact was actually stopped. The Spears were presumably involved, but that’s awfully vague. Is that all there was to it? From the data we have, Spears were able to stop two Impacts (N3I and 3I) but not another (4I), so we can’t take it for granted that they alone would be enough to stop 2I.
Before they return to radiant giant state, Eva-01 and Eva-13 are both shown absorbing an Angel. In Eva-01's case, we see the 10th Angel's body fluid condense into a giant core!Rei around the core of Eva-00, and this newly formed being promptly merges into Eva-01's chest. While this is happening, the previously motionless vessels surrounding the core stir to life
(all of the weird layers in that shot make this quite difficult to see; the core is the source of the blinding light, and the vessels are easiest to see thumping away to the right of it). The fusion produces a massive outflux of energy, and Eva-01 is a radiant giant the next time we see it. With Eva-13, we see it condense the utterly massive final form of the 12th Angel to bite size and devour it, after which it takes a moment to complete Pseudo-Evolution Stage 1, and then in one frenzied burst it transcends to a pure white form of Radiant Giant, surpassing what Eva-01 had achieved. The link between "eat Angel" and "turn into a radiant giant" is again more or less clear-cut. Further, the radiant giant transition is accompanied by a ring of energy can be seen emanating from the chest
— from just above the core’s presumed location. The "just above" part may ruin the whole "the FoL is in the core" argument, I suppose, but I'm hard-pressed to think of anything significant about the center of the X-shaped pattern other than
its proximity to the core... (Cores freely shifting their location on the vertical axis depending on the aesthetic needs / continuity blunders of the specific shot is typical Eva
mischief, as well.)
So, assuming the Fruit of Life DOES reside inside the core like in old Eva
(which both 01 and 13's pseudo-evolutions suggest, to variable degrees of persuasiveness), this tells us that a potential means of forcing the Adams (other than Urthona) into burn-out from their radiant giant state is, well, to separate them from their cores. We know that with regular Evas, there is some means of accomplishing this, though how reliant the procedure is on the Evas’ mechanization is unknown. I honestly have no idea what
could cause the Adams’ cores to leave their bodies, but the idea is awfully tempting. It removes both soul and energy source from the equation, providing a more foolproof way for the Impact to stop than a mere skewering might accomplish; and if the cores are scattered separately from the Adams' bodies, then Seele/Nerv can pursue and acquire the Adams’ souls independently of the Adams themselves.
So, to bring this messy post to a close, my REALLY REALLY REALLY tentative thinking at the moment is:
- Adams (barring Urthona) are somehow separated from their cores at Second Impact
- Cores are collected by Seele/Nerv; souls are extracted and incarnated in (near-)Lilin form.
- Artificial cores that intrinsically lack both souls and the FoL are placed inside 01, 06, and 13.
- Adams' original cores kept for Seele's purposes; installed into core-based Eva bodies and rebranded as "Adams' Vessel".
Obvious problems to figure out:
- How would a hypothetical "core-jettison" at Second Impact even happen?
- Why would the Adams' cores retain the glimmer of life even after souls are removed?
- What happens to the Fruit of Life? Is it still inside the original cores? Or did it get 'lost' somewhere along the way?
- If still inside core, why would Gendo rely on something as finicky as absorbing Angels to awaken 01 and 13? Does Seele simply keep the Vessels under lock and key? Gendo couldn't mastermind 13 into absorbing Mk.9 somehow?
This post is a disgusting mess and I apologize profusely. The next one will be much better.