What the hell is the book of life?

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition"). The final instalment made its debut in Japan on March 8, 2021.

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Re: What the hell is the book of life?

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Postby DantesInferno » Sat Sep 18, 2021 7:38 pm

View Original PostRaikyu wrote:That's an interesting interpretation DantesInferno. I think that everything you said makes sense.

I just want to add that Eva-13 could possibly be Kaworu's original body, just like in the original show Kaworu is the reincarnation of Adam. Considering that Asuka calls that unit "God's Eva", it is consistent with Kaworu's previous god status and how Gendo was able to merge with said unit. The initial lack of AT-Field could mean that its soul is no longer present, because it reincarnated in Kaworu. Then, during the fight between evangelion 13 and unit 01, the first one presented an AT-Field, because it now has a soul, which is Gendo's soul.


Yes, I came to basically the same conclusion. Now Gendo is God, so Eva-13 is his unit.

I also though about Kaji's line about Kaworu being both the First Angel and the last... The Alpha and the Omega, if you will!


View Original PostKonja7 wrote:This is one of the reasons why I don't think SEELE'S God is Kaworu. SEELE's lnstrumentality in Rebuild includes humanity giving up the Fruit of Knowledge. There is no way Shinji could be happy that way (Shinji wouldn't even exist anymore).

Also, in 3.0, it's pretty clear Kaworu doesn't want the Fourth Impact, which "purify" the souls (and it's the last step in SEELE's plan).

Not to mention that Kaworu's friendship with Kaji implies that he was always on WILLE/human side.


I agree that Kaworu doesn't seem to want Fourth Imapact, at least not as depicted in Q. This is food for thought... But there's a case for him wanting instrumentality nonetheless, at least in a more EoE way. I'm not sure if "Shinji wouldn't exist" after instrumentality, a lot can be discussed about that! We know the FoK is given up, but there's no implication that individuality would disappear.
No, Kaworu is not "Seele's God"(that would be Lilith, I think), but just "(a?) God".

View Original PostAnchorhead wrote:Has anyone considered the idea that the Golgotha Object itself may be the Book of Life? I mean, it's the big mysterious object covered in godly writing that allows one to alter the course of reality. Kaworu placing his and Shinji's names together in the Book of Life is said to be why they keep meeting -- in other words, the Book is not a record of what is in the universe, but rather, the universe is what is written in the Book. I think that jives pretty cleanly with the Golgotha Object's purported properties.


This makes a lot of sense!


View Original PostAnchorhead wrote:There's also been some pretty heavy implication throughout Rebuild that Kaworu is not only the First Angel but also, literally, God, or at least a god, and a primordial one at that. I mean, the First Angel must have manifested before Lilith, given that Angels' numbers are a measurable physical property and not just something humans assigned them; therefore, Kaworu is billions of years old at minimum. The Minus Space is the realm of the gods, the Golgotha Object is the instrument at its center that can change the nature of reality; If anybody in Eva would be familiar with the Object or have used it before, it would be Kaworu. The "Book of Life," then, would just be the Object's true name, or at any rate the way that Kaworu chooses to refer to it.


The only issue I now see with this Kaworu is God business is, how do we fit this with him "starting out at the coffin", at the end of 1.0 (and likely, in every iteration as well). But I guess we need to make sense of what the whole idea behind the coffins and the repeat is really before we can have that discussion...

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Re: What the hell is the book of life?

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Postby Konja7 » Sat Sep 18, 2021 8:22 pm

View Original PostDantesInferno wrote:I agree that Kaworu doesn't seem to want Fourth Imapact, at least not as depicted in Q. This is food for thought... But there's a case for him wanting instrumentality nonetheless, at least in a more EoE way. I'm not sure if "Shinji wouldn't exist" after instrumentality, a lot can be discussed about that! We know the FoK is given up, but there's no implication that individuality would disappear.
No, Kaworu is not "Seele's God"(that would be Lilith, I think), but just "(a?) God".

In Rebuild, there doesn't seem to be hints that Kaworu wants EoE Instrumentality. In 3.0, Kaworu said that he plans to restore the world for the Lilim. His friendship with Kaji (who died to stop the Third Impact) fits this idea.

Regarding the Fruit of Knowledge, I've understood this is what make humans able to think and reason (there is some hints that this is the brain). So, Shinji's personality would likely be totally lost without this.

SEELE's Instrumentality in Rebuild wouldn't dissapear individuality, but it would become humans in creatures similar to Angels (3-12).




View Original PostAnchorhead#931266 wrote:The only issue I now see with this Kaworu is God business is, how do we fit this with him "starting out at the coffin", at the end of 1.0 (and likely, in every iteration as well). But I guess we need to make sense of what the whole idea behind the coffins and the repeat is really before we can have that discussion...

My theory is that the First Angel could have existed millennia ago, but Kaworu was really born in the coffin.

It's possible the First Angel doesn't have Kaworu's personality and isn't aware of the loop until he gets a human body. After all, he wouldn't have the Fruit of Knowledge until that point.

This would be similar to Lilith being Rei's soul in NGE (and likely in Rebuild), but Rei is her own being.

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Re: What the hell is the book of life?

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Postby T. K. Simon » Sat Sep 18, 2021 9:09 pm

the problem is that if we assume that Kaworu is a god, who can manipulate the story at will (in fact, it is mentioned that he has written the name of Shinji) it is the coffins of the moon (of 3.0 + 1.0) that represent each cycle ( topped with the Seele Rebuild logo).

it seems that in each cycle, kaworu woke up from the coffin on the moon, in the reality of rebuild the story was rebooted, possibly by Shinji, but it can also be kaworu.

Kaworu inserted himself into a loop so he could make Shinji happy?

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Re: What the hell is the book of life?

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Postby Konja7 » Sat Sep 18, 2021 9:32 pm

View Original PostT. K. Simon wrote:the problem is that if we assume that Kaworu is a god, who can manipulate the story at will (in fact, it is mentioned that he has written the name of Shinji) it is the coffins of the moon (of 3.0 + 1.0) that represent each cycle ( topped with the Seele Rebuild logo).

I think the coffins in the Instrumentality of 3.0+1.0 are the same coffins we see in 1.0. We only see nine coffins in 1.0, but this could be the angle.

These coffins seem to exist to create Kaworu (his human body). I suspect the open coffins are the failed attempts.

However, the many coffins being arranged in a circular way (some open and some closed) is something Kaworu associates with his eternal cycle.



View Original PostT. K. Simon wrote:Kaworu inserted himself into a loop so he could make Shinji happy?

I doubt this is the case, because the loop seems to cause his wish to make Shinji happy.

Kaworu is miserable due to the loop, that's why he wants to make Shinji happy (it seems implied Kaworu sees himself reflected on Shinji).

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Re: What the hell is the book of life?

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Postby FelipeFritschF » Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:37 pm

It seems to me the cycles are just a natural feature of the Rebuildverse, since the nature of the impacts, Instrumentality and all seem to be considerably changed, even for 2I and the events set before 1.0, that could be seen as the divergence point in regards to NGE. I like the interpretation that NTE simply includes a NGE-like cycle, that includes its own version of NGE, also featuring Shikinami. I suppose Kaworu wrote his and Shinji's name in the BoL so they would meet, but the cycles aren't his fault per se.

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Postby DantesInferno » Sun Sep 19, 2021 7:43 am

I agree that the Golgotha object itself being "the book of life" makes a lot of sense (like it was said, it's literally covered in characters of the kind "The People in Charge" would use., i.e. Hex Glyphs). One has to wonder why Kaji calls it that rather than just "the Golgotha object" like Gendo does.

The object itself resembles a tesseract in structure (much like the Eva-01 coffin in orbit)... I think it has one "arm" for each of the lesser Adams (the four seen at 2I, whether they're the ships or not), and the "head" represents the Greater Adams/Kaworu, while the "base" perhaps represents Lilith? (this is all HIGHLY speculative...)

What to make of "Yui was here too" part, though... I've been thinking about the whole kamigoroshi (god-slaying) thing and how Shinji finally realizes in the end that it means "Dad just wanted to send mom off" (sic).

Gendo first mentions that he will carry out the "God-slaying" to Seele in 3.0, before N4I; this is long after N3I seen in 2.0. I think Eva-01 became God in some way when it absorbed the 10th angel's core (and with it, the Fruit of Life) in addition to the Fruit of Knowledge (by virtue of having absorbed the lilim Yui). God-slaying does not mean to annihilate the entity that is Eva-01, but rather to undo its deification. I think Gendo wants to undo the state of Eva-01 being a God, by releasing Yui's soul from inside it (send her off), much like Seele want to have their souls sent off into death for purification, prior to Fourth Impact.

Anyway, me and my wine glass want to take this occasion to celebrate the addition of Anchorhead and welcome her to the forums! You've brought some very insightful points and new life to old discussions!

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Re: What the hell is the book of life?

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Postby T. K. Simon » Sun Sep 19, 2021 8:13 am

The coffins of 1.0 as you said, seem to have the function of creating Kaworu

But the 3.0 + 1.0 coffins represent the times that Kaworu has come out of each cycle.

yes, it's true that we never see the full view of the 1.0 coffins, but they seem to represent different things.

Gendo knows about EoE's Shinji thanks to the key of nebuchadnezzar.

Likewise, Kaworu wrote the name of Shinji in the book of life (possibly next to him so that they would always meet again)

We do not know how a new story is generated.

Is the NTE cycle a unique property of the Rebuild dimension or is it something in its history of producing due to Shinji or kaworu?

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Re: What the hell is the book of life?

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Postby Konja7 » Sun Sep 19, 2021 8:58 am

View Original PostFelipeFritschF wrote:It seems to me the cycles are just a natural feature of the Rebuildverse, since the nature of the impacts, Instrumentality and all seem to be considerably changed, even for 2I and the events set before 1.0, that could be seen as the divergence point in regards to NGE. I like the interpretation that NTE simply includes a NGE-like cycle, that includes its own version of NGE, also featuring Shikinami. I suppose Kaworu wrote his and Shinji's name in the BoL so they would meet, but the cycles aren't his fault per se.


This is a pretty good point. It's only mentioned that the names of Kaworu and Shinji being written in the Book of Life is the reason why they've meet each other.

However, it isn't mentioned this is the cause of the loop.

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Postby AsukaShikinami10 » Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:19 pm

DantesInferno, You got a point in all you have written so far. And I want to contribute by adding my find to something you said in your post.

DantesInferno wrote:Gendo, on the other hand, incorporates the Key and becomes the new First Angel a.k.a. God (whether this happens in 3.0 when Near Fourth Impact begins, or later during 3.0+1.0 makes little difference).


I think there's something important in 3.0 that some people are still not catching. When Seele is about to be killed, we see Gendoh saying farewell to all of them as he is literally floating in front of the monoliths!!! So my guess is that he already used the Nebuchadnezzar Key by that point! I agree with you in everything you said about Gendoh replacing Kaworu as the First Angel thanks to the Key; so the only other option left for the DSS Choker was to identify Kaworu as another angel, since Gendoh is now the First.

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Postby Konja7 » Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:53 pm

View Original PostAsukaShikinami10 wrote:I think there's something important in 3.0 that some people are still not catching. When Seele is about to be killed, we see Gendoh saying farewell to all of them as he is literally floating in front of the monoliths!!! So my guess is that he already used the Nebuchadnezzar Key by that point! I agree with you in everything you said about Gendoh replacing Kaworu as the First Angel thanks to the Key; so the only other option left for the DSS Choker was to identify Kaworu as another angel, since Gendoh is now the First.


I don't think Gendo becoming a "God" due to the Nebuchadnezzar Key is related to Kaworu turning on the 13th Angel. In itself, we see Kaworu was "downgraded" to the 13th Angel, because the 12th Angel fused with Eva-13.

Also, Kaworu becoming the 13th Angel wasn't only
a numbering change by the DSS Choker. Kaworu mentioned that the Fourth Impact in 3.0 was triggered by his transformation in the 13th Angel.

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Postby DantesInferno » Sun Sep 19, 2021 8:27 pm

View Original PostAsukaShikinami10 wrote:I think there's something important in 3.0 that some people are still not catching. When Seele is about to be killed, we see Gendoh saying farewell to all of them as he is literally floating in front of the monoliths!!!


Whaaaat? Must go and rewatch (again! :D ) I guess it's hard to decide given the lighting conditions and unknown nature of the floor he's supposed to be standing on?

If the last time we see the Key's suitcase is when Gendo talks to Lilith's bleeding head at the NERV command center (I can't confirm right now), this is quite possible.

EDIT: Confirmed; there is a clear shot of Gendo seen from there side, levitating with the ankles stretched and the toes pointing downwards (the shot where SEELE 06 is shut down).


View Original PostAsukaShikinami10 wrote: So my guess is that he already used the Nebuchadnezzar Key by that point! I agree with you in everything you said about Gendoh replacing Kaworu as the First Angel thanks to the Key; so the only other option left for the DSS Choker was to identify Kaworu as another angel, since Gendoh is now the First.


I don't think the choker assigned the 13th because "the First was already taken by Gendo"; for once, the choker has no way of knowing, and Wille themselves don't find out Gendo has incorporated the Key until the confrontation in 3.0+1.0. What makes more sense is that Kaworu "emits a different signal", one that does not match any angel on record (or the pattern blue of the Mark.04 Evas either), so he is assigned a new number as a last ditch resort to "solve" the contradiction (it's one of those lines in computer code that you comment with "// This should never happen" and perhaps throw an exception :D )

View Original PostKonja7 wrote:I don't think Gendo becoming a "God" due to the Nebuchadnezzar Key is related to Kaworu turning on the 13th Angel. In itself, we see Kaworu was "downgraded" to the 13th Angel, because the 12th Angel fused with Eva-13.


I fail to see how that would work. Those two things do happen very close to each other in time. But I still believe Kaworu exposes himself as an angel in trying to regain control of Eva-13 (to stop Shinji).[/quote]

View Original PostKonja7 wrote:Also, Kaworu becoming the 13th Angel wasn't only
a numbering change by the DSS Choker. Kaworu mentioned that the Fourth Impact in 3.0 was triggered by his transformation in the 13th Angel.


I think Kaworu is simply aware of how many angels there have been and the number that corresponds to him once detected, now that he no longer is the First.
Last edited by DantesInferno on Sun Sep 19, 2021 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby AsukaShikinami10 » Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:24 pm

DantesInferno wrote:Whaaaat? Must go and rewatch (again! :D ) I guess it's hard to decide given the lighting conditions and unknown nature of the floor he's supposed to be standing on?


Yeah, there is even a scene before that where Gendoh is in front of the monoliths who are now silent, but Gendoh sees them from down below. You can notice that he is on ground level when that is happening. Then we get the next scene with Gendoh and the monoliths and he is right in front of them now, not below them on ground level.

DantesInferno wrote:If the last time we see the Key's suitcase is when Gendo talks to Lilith's bleeding head at the NERV command center (I can't confirm right now), this is quite possible.


Last time we see the suitcase is after fourth impact is stopped and we get to see Fuyutsuki and Gendoh inside one of the NHG dark command rooms. He still has the suitcase with him, but I think he already used the Nebuchadnezzar Key, 'cause of the reasons I explained early on.

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Postby DantesInferno » Sun Sep 19, 2021 10:46 pm

View Original PostAsukaShikinami10 wrote:
View Original PostDantesInferno wrote:Whaaaat? Must go and rewatch (again! :D ) I guess it's hard to decide given the lighting conditions and unknown nature of the floor he's supposed to be standing on?


Yeah, there is even a scene before that where Gendoh is in front of the monoliths who are now silent, but Gendoh sees them from down below. You can notice that he is on ground level when that is happening. Then we get the next scene with Gendoh and the monoliths and he is right in front of them now, not below them on ground level.


Yes, see my edit on the comment above. It is most clearly visible when they shut down SEELE-06.

The relative height at which they stand is a nice visual cue stressing who is in charge now!

I guess sometimes you just need to know what you're looking for in order to see it. And most of us weren't thinking in "levitating Gendo" until we watched 3.0+1.0!

View Original PostAsukaShikinami10 wrote:Last time we see the suitcase is after fourth impact is stopped and we get to see Fuyutsuki and Gendoh inside one of the NHG dark command rooms. He still has the suitcase with him, but I think he already used the Nebuchadnezzar Key, 'cause of the reasons I explained early on.


Yes, the case is lying on his 'backlit desk' at the bridge of their ship, in front of him sitting with his iconic interlocked fingers. Looks like he opened the case there, took the key, and from there went to the other room where the monoliths are kept, to do the shut down ceremony. Now, he and Fuyutsuki simply came back to the bridge and the case is still there were he left it; he simply hasn't had a chance to get rid of it yet.

Or maybe it's like I said in a previous comment some time ago, he's keeping the case around just in case he needs to resell the Key on eBay some day!

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Re: What the hell is the book of life?

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Postby Anchorhead » Wed Sep 22, 2021 4:57 am

Haha, great work on all these observations, everyone! I was literally in the process of doing a writeup about these exact odds and ends re: Kaworu, the Key of Nebuchadnezzar, and the mysterious flying Gendo. You snooze, you lose, though; I think the fact that a bunch of people are coming to the same conclusions independently is a sign that the wheels are finally beginning to turn with the new info we got from 3.0+1.0.

DantesInferno wrote:I guess sometimes you just need to know what you're looking for in order to see it. And most of us weren't thinking in "levitating Gendo" until we watched 3.0+1.0!


Literally! When I noticed this on my nth rewatch of 3.0 recently I just about smacked my gob. I'm sure people noticed this detail at the time -- it's subtle, but you can pick up on it if you remember that the first time we see the monoliths in this chamber, they're way up in the air -- but the significance wouldn't have been clear until we knew what actually happens when you use the Key.

As for how the usage of the key is related to Kaworu becoming the 13th Angel, I think it's probably only indirectly related. Thematically, they're clearly very closely entwined story beats -- I strongly agree with the reading that the Key is some relic of Kaworu's former angelic body, and that using it essentially makes Gendo the First Angel (note that the key is referred to as the "lost number"). But the fact that Kaworu was separated from it would probably mean he's not *technically* the First Angel anymore by the time we meet him. Instead, he's something more like the other pilots -- not quite Lilin, but not fully Angelic either. When he "falls," I assume that he's becoming an entirely new angel, and by the law of the chronological ordering of Angels, he automatically becomes the Thirteenth. (I believe the reason the DSS choker activates is not because it detects the actual current First Angel becoming the Thirteenth, but because it detects a non-Angel becoming an Angel -- cf. the same thing happening to Asuka in even more explicit terms in 3.0+1.0!)

This is getting somewhat off topic from the Book of Life, but maybe a broader conversation about Kaworu is in order.

Anyway, me and my wine glass want to take this occasion to celebrate the addition of Anchorhead and welcome her to the forums! You've brought some very insightful points and new life to old discussions!


Thank you kindly! And buddy, I've been holding all this stuff in since 2012. You wanna talk about the real Curse of Eva...

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Postby Archer » Wed Sep 22, 2021 7:13 am

Presumably, Gendo used the key before 3.0, since he’s already wearing the visor at the start of the movie, and as far as we’re aware, its only purpose is to hide his face.

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Postby Szmitten » Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:41 am

View Original PostArcher wrote:Presumably, Gendo used the key before 3.0, since he’s already wearing the visor at the start of the movie, and as far as we’re aware, its only purpose is to hide his face.

My understanding is that he's carrying the briefcase in 3.0 and doesn't actually use it until Shin.

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Postby nerv bae » Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:45 am

View Original PostArcher wrote:Presumably, Gendo used the key before 3.0, since he’s already wearing the visor at the start of the movie, and as far as we’re aware, its only purpose is to hide his face.

Well, the visor might not only hide his face. It could also have the purpose of enhancing his vision, like his previous conventional eyewear!

I nursed a visor theory for a few weeks, hoping that these crags in the red box in Gendo's brow would change after he uses the Key. Alas, I couldn't detect a significant change at any time during 3.0.

Image

The only time the crags apparently change is after Ritsuko shoots the visor clean off his head. Then, the rift running vertically up Gendo's brow is much more prominent; I don't think the visor would cover the enlarged rift. Several different conclusions could be drawn from this (but they're off topic :tongue:).

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Postby DantesInferno » Wed Sep 22, 2021 11:40 pm

View Original PostAnchorhead wrote:As for how the usage of the key is related to Kaworu becoming the 13th Angel, I think it's probably only indirectly related. Thematically, they're clearly very closely entwined story beats -- I strongly agree with the reading that the Key is some relic of Kaworu's former angelic body, and that using it essentially makes Gendo the First Angel (note that the key is referred to as the "lost number"). But the fact that Kaworu was separated from it would probably mean he's not *technically* the First Angel anymore by the time we meet him. Instead, he's something more like the other pilots -- not quite Lilin, but not fully Angelic either. When he "falls," I assume that he's becoming an entirely new angel, and by the law of the chronological ordering of Angels, he automatically becomes the Thirteenth. (I believe the reason the DSS choker activates is not because it detects the actual current First Angel becoming the Thirteenth, but because it detects a non-Angel becoming an Angel -- cf. the same thing happening to Asuka in even more explicit terms in 3.0+1.0!)


Yeah, this is precisely what I believe. Now "lost number" makes sense for te first time: it represents the First Angel, which at this point has been "lost" (Kaworu no longer has its nature within him). I wonder what the "was being kept as a spare" part means.

And yes, the choker detects a new angel signal (not in the database) and is forced to assign a new number. Compare this to when the 9th is re-identified inside Asuka in 3.0+1.0.

View Original PostAnchorhead wrote:Thank you kindly! And buddy, I've been holding all this stuff in since 2012. You wanna talk about the real Curse of Eva...


Wow, back in 2012 I was 400% "wtf just happened??" and mostly gave up trying to understand. Only after multiple rewatches (on Amazon Prime, because I don't own a DVD player) and visits to this forum, did things start to make sense little by little...

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Postby Anchorhead » Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:19 pm

View Original PostDantesInferno wrote:I wonder what the "was being kept as a spare" part means.


If I recall off the top of my head, the language Kaji uses is "予備として保管されていたロストナンバー", which was translated as "The Lost Number which had been kept as a spare." The key phrase here is 予備として, which can indeed mean "as a spare," but it could also mean "in reserve" or "in preparation." Given how things played out, I'm starting to suspect "in preparation" is actually what they intended to convey here. Like, you can set something aside for later but still have the full intention of using it, right?

That prompts a very interesting question, though: What were SEELE going to use the Key for? And how were their options limited when it was stolen?

If we're in agreement that the Key of Nebuchadnezzar is essentially the "become the First Angel" powerup trump card, who would SEELE have used it on? It's hard to imagine it would have been any of themselves; they seem flatly disinterested in becoming gods. Did they intend to return it to Kaworu at some point? He's their boy, after all. Who exactly SEELE considers to be capital-G God is still kind of up in the air, but if it *is* Kaworu/the First Angel, then it makes sense that the final act of their version of Instrumentality would be to restore him to his rightful place.

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Postby Archer » Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:53 pm

I think Kaworu makes the most sense. It’s not like any of the SEELE members are in any place to even use it on themselves in the first place, given that they’re currently uploaded into obelisks which you presumably can’t inject with a syringe.


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