If I can dabble in a further bit of de-translation, this is a good opportunity to examine Kaji's other line about the Key:
"[the key is] The guidepost to unify souls unto God." (original translation)
The word they translate as "unify" here is 紡ぐ tsumugu
, which in normal contexts means "to spin," as in the way one spins fibers together to make yarn. It's a weirdly poetic choice of words, and it offers little in the way of a concrete description of what the Key does.
But in 3.0+1.0, this word reappears in a few interesting places. In Gendo's villain monologue atop the Wunder, he says:
私が神を殺し 神と人類を紡ぎ 使徒の贄をもって 人類の神化と補完を完遂させる
"I'll kill the gods, bind them with humanity, and through the sacrifice of the Angels, enable the deification and the instrumentality of humankind."
Here again the idea of "spinning" god(s) together with something reappears, this time translated as "binding them with" humankind.
Finally, Kaji uses the word one last time as he's reminiscing about Kaworu Nagisa's fitting name:
第１の使徒であり 第１３の使徒となる人類の はざまを紡ぐ あなたらしい名前だ
"Nagisa means 'shore,' the space between land and sea."
"It's a fitting name for you, as the one that interlinks humanity, the 1st Angel and that which becomes the 13th Angel."
This time, the thing being "spun" is the "interval between humankind" (人類のはざま jinrui no hazama
), i.e. the space between people. The official subs translate this as "interlinking humanity," though to me the flowery language Kaji uses brings to mind a gap being woven shut. The "interval" in question, はざま hazama
, is the same word Kaji uses to refer to the space between land and sea, i.e. Nagisa.
Each of these uses of 紡ぐ is translated differently in English, but in Japanese the repeated usage of what is a strikingly poetic term really stands out to me, and it may be a device intended to draw the listener to make connections.
I think that on this basis, it's safe to say that when Gendo talks about "binding the gods with humanity," that "binding" is the same thing as the "unification" that the Key of Nebuchadnezzar enables. And the First Angel's apparent role as the one who "interlinks" humanity further reinforces the connection between Kaworu and the Key.
When I think about weaving shut the gaps between humans, that sounds very much like Classic™-style instrumentality -- disrupting the AT fields and blending everyone's souls together into a big orgasmic soup. But that's different from what Gendo wants to do, which is weave together humanity('s souls) with God (or "gods"; the plural ambiguity in Japanese strikes again) -- the nature of which apparently involves shoving everybody's souls into an Eva so we can rip it up as demigods forevermore.
Either way, you need the First Angel's power. If we generalize these examples, I think we can say that the First Angel's power is something like "guiding souls into a new form." Anybody can separate a soul from its body -- that's just called "murder" -- but safely transferring a soul into a new place, be that the Eva Infinities or the corified Earth, is 100% God Stuff. As in, that's straight up Genesis
stuff: God creates the first man by imbuing some dirt with a soul.
Incidentally... do you remember the weird bit about how Eva-13 doesn't have an AT field? Angel Gendo also
seems to be missing one (or at least he's supposed to, according to him). When Gendo gets shot by Dr. Akagi, he says:
"Gods need no barriers."
It's hard to think that the "barrier" Gendo is referring to could be anything other than an AT field. Also, note that in Japanese, he could just as well be saying "Gods have
no barriers" -- more of a dispassionate statement of fact than a boast.
I once thought that Eva-13's missing AT field was a defect of some kind, but the parallel here kind of seems to suggest that not having an AT field is also
100% God Stuff. Perhaps it's necessary for the First Angel to do what it does -- something with an AT field can never touch another soul, because it's the AT field that separates them in the first place.
Uh, this got very long. To recap my thoughts:
- The Key of Nebuchadnezzar is a relic of the First Angel, which allows you to assume the role of the First Angel as well as its powers.
- The First Angel's unique power is its ability to (re)embody souls into new forms, facilitated by its lack of an AT field.
...And now I can finally reply to this!!!
Konja7 wrote:If we assume the Nebuchadnezzar Key could create another First Angel, it's quite possible that SEELE have this as a backup plan to replace Kaworu in case something bad happens to him (or he betrays them). The absence of this key would limit SEELE quite a bit, since it makes them too dependent on Kaworu (and SEELE couldn't sacrifice Kaworu whenever they want).
I wonder if the Key wasn't what enabled SEELE to create Kaworu in the first place? The Key seemingly predates Kaworu by a few thousand years minimum. If the Key is what lets you bind souls unto a new form, and Kaworu is the reembodied soul of the First Angel, then ipso facto... as long as SEELE have the key, then if anything ever happens to their boy, they can grab another Kaworu out of the fridge and pick up where they left off.