Monday, 29 April 2013

Evangelion- Essay on understanding the TV series universe

This is by no means fact. I have watched the show a great number of times and have come up with my interpretation of whats going on. I feel the need just having watched 3.33 to write SOMETHING about Eva, but I cannot write anything on the movie universe because the series is unfinished. Hence this essay on the TV series which I wrote and amended after every re-watch. I should have published this a while back, but I didn't have any incentive until watching 3.33 last night.

We are presented with 2 endings. The TV series, when followed correctly via the directors cut episodes, ended weirdly with Shinji forgiving himself and coming to terms with his personality. Then there was a recap called 'Death', which through in a few new scenes. Finally we get the epic movie of epicness; 'The End of Evangelion'.

Its safe to say the TV series ending happens within the movie End of Eva. These two endings may have been planned from the beginning. Personally I think Anno was too ambitious and was stretched for time and only 26 episodes. The series SHOULD have been planned as 52 episodes long, not 26. This was a production mistake but you have to forgive him (and Gainax) and move on.

The more complex side of the Evangelion story was the struggles between two idealistic plans for humanities future. Gendo V Seele.
Both Gendo and Seele wanted to fill the gap in everyone's hearts, that gap left after Adams rib was taken out to create Lilith. To refill the gap, Adam and Lilith must be fused together. But if you did that directly, humanity would go through an epic restart called the 3rd impact. Both Gendo and Seele agreed on the general way of going about doing it, but what Seele wanted wasnt what Gendo wanted. Gendo wanted to evolve the human race, whilst Seele wanted to see out what was written in the Dead Sea Scrolls, that being that everyone would merge together.

Seele’s plan was as follows:
To create an anti-AT field after the death of all the Angels. It involves using the Eva series’ S2 Organs, and Shinji within Unit 1. The Lance of Longinus is also needed. Then every human soul would revert back to Lilliths egg (Tokyo 3's Geo front) due to the human AT field breaking down. Everyone would then exist forever within the egg, talking to each other and trying to sort out their own existence and eventually becoming of one sound mind. As for what then, no one knows. Probably live forever creating any reality you want too in your thoughts.

Gendo’s plan was as follows:
He was to complete everyone’s hearts to evolve humanity into a happier existence. For this plan to work, he would have to let Seele get as far as letting the human AT field break down slightly, but then quickly take advantage of the situation and merge and control Adam (which he did), then assimilate with Rei (a clone of Yui and Lillith), then probably merge with Lillith, then transport and assimilate with Unit 1 and Shinji. Then Gendo and Yui (she was already assimilated with Unit 1) would use their combined willpower to evolve humanity to much the same as before, with no third impact/humanity reset button/world destruction. Only now everyone's souls would be connected and people would feel happier and more complete and fulfilled. He would then come back in human form along with Yui and Shinji and live out their life happily ever after. Not sure what would happen to Lillith, Adam and Unit 1, but Rei would no doubt come back as an adopted daughter of Gendo and Yui. I would like to think that the Lillith, Adam and Unit 1 entity would coexist with humans, and probably change its form to a more smaller humanoid one much like Kaoru was, to spend its days watching over the human race.

It was a good plan. However Gendo kept his cards too close to his chest, and Rei eventually became distrustful towards him and Seele. Instead she intended to help Shinji make up his own plan for humanity, and therefore she decided to play god a little and return humanity to Lilliths egg much as Seeles plan, but then let Shinji decide what happens next. Her DNA was always half Yui, half Lillith, but her soul was a copy of the original Lillith. It was enough to let her take charge when the time was right.

There is enough proof to suggest that ‘Air’ (movie episode 25) was the intended original TV episode 25, but they ran out of money and didnt plan the ending correctly, so they couldn’t do it. TV series episodes 25 and 26 express the end of movie episode 26, where everyone returns to Lilliths egg. Everyone is floating around, talking to each other, and trying to sort out their own existence with help from people they knew in life. This process can take years for some individuals. Even though Shinji is alive inside unit 1 at this point, his soul and mind is still mingling with everyone else. He becomes of sound mind (as seen in the end of TV episode 26) and decides he doesn’t like Lilliths’ system of living (souls being kept inside her egg, then you live, and then after you die you return to the egg, then repeat the process), and so he destroys the egg. Therefore the contents of the egg (LCL with souls) spread around the world, to create a sea of LCL.

You could say Seele's plan won over in the end. Only due to Shinji’s intervention, the process of death is changed. Souls of dead people are no longer trapped in an egg, waiting to be reborn. The new system makes anyone able to come back from the sea of LCL to the land of the living if they will it to happen. We know this as in one of the TV episodes, Shinji turned into LCL, then turned back into a human again when he willed it to happen (with help from Misato talking to him).

Shinji decided to live, so Rei/Lillith teleported him to Earths ravaged surface. She decided to give him company by bringing back Auska to join him at his side. This Auska has also undergone the same treatment of sorting out her thoughts much like Shinji did, and so has elements of Rei and Misato imbedded in her personality.

Its clear that anyone can come back to Earths surface if they will it to happen. But honestly I believe that most people would prefer mingling with each others souls and feeling connected that way. This is the fate of Yui and Gendo anyway.

What is unclear is how death and rebirth works now. Say Shinji and Auska have a child. Where would the soul come from? The egg is destroyed, and the will of the chosen soul now has a say in whether it would want to come back as a new person. Its more likely that the soul would come from the heavens itself, something akin to where the Angels come from.
As for when Shinji, Auska or anyone else on the planets surface eventually dies, where would the soul go? Would it go into the sea of LCL, or would it transcend into the same realm of the Angels?

I once thought that dying people would have the opportunity of returning to the sea of LCL, and that aging people would be able to return to the sea of LCL and come back younger a few seconds later. I even thought people would be able to move from one part of the world to the other simply by returning to the sea at one point and coming out of it at another a second later. However cool this hypothesis was, its a load of bull because the human AT field is restored. Technically speaking, technology could make it happen. Shinji turned into LCL inside Unit 1, so something could be made to lower the AT field on certain subjects.

The only thing left to say is why Shinji strangles Auska in the end of the movie. She was always his personal punching bag (and to some degree vice versa) and he had gone though a lot of shit only to find himself alive and confused again, being cut off from the souls of those in the sea of LCL. She reaches out to him and it becomes obvious that he lets his bad thoughts go again.


Overall Anno did a fantastic job with Evangelion, but he did tell the story in a confusing way. I’m pleased he did do the movie, even if his hand was forced because the Japanese didn’t like the TV ending. Fair enough. The movie idea was the original plan after all. Once you understand everything, the story clicks and it’s a really good feeling. Even if it did take me years of re-watching it to figure it out. 10-10

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