What the F@#$ Did I Just Watch? EVANGELION Episode #23

Topic started by No_name_here on May 13, 2010. Last post by hitsusatsu11 4 years, 10 months ago.
Post by No_name_here (868 posts) See mini bio Level 11

Okay okay okay… I’m sure I’ve got this wrong so, by all means, correct me where my interpretation is off.

 You think you know somebody and then... you find out they're a bio-engineer, scattered-soul-derived clone.
 You think you know somebody and then... you find out they're a bio-engineer, scattered-soul-derived clone.

Rei was created by the explosion that resulted from the first Eva’s activation, but she isn’t a de-aged version of Shinji’s mother. Instead, the expelled energy somehow split her soul (or her essence or whatever) up, so it has some kind of link with the Evas. Nerv has then been bio-engineering Rei’s because they’re necessary for a human pilot to control the Eva. So there are individual Rei’s floating somewhere inside Shinji and Asuka’s Evas, in their “dummy plug.” However, if Nerv ever needs to take control of an Eva, they wake the Rei’s up and then control them by proxy?

Wow… people told me things would get a little convoluted as this went along, but I was all arrogant about it. “I get it. The Eva’s are bio-mechanoid mechas,” I said, with such hubris. I think I spoke too soon. The explanation that Rei has been a soulless clone all along explains a lot of things - - like how she survived getting strangled as a little girl, how she literally is a “puppet” like Asuka said and why she has a listless lack of fear for death.

I’m sure I’m missing a lot, here, and misinterpreted what I did catch. So please, correct me.

By the way, I can’t believe I forgot to bring this up, but there was a definite “What the f@#$ did I just hear moment?!” last episode. They played Handel’s “Messiah” - - with that familiar “Hallelujah!” chorus - - while Asuka was getting “mind-raped” by the angel? I know that Gainax is having fun playing around with symbolism, here, but I might’ve recommended they use a different classical song, because that’s got  a lot stronger associations than ol'  Blue Eyes’ “Fly Me to the Moon.” I get what they were going for, but I felt like I was in the middle of Midnight Mass at Christmastime when I heard that. It’d be the same as playing “Flight of the Valkyries” or even “Flight of the Bumblebee” - - both pieces with strong, very set, associations of their own.

A number of you have expressed strong opinions that I should be watching the Director’s Cut versions of these episodes. I only have access to the Perfect collection - - which doesn’t seem to be so perfect since it’s only got the original broadcast versions and I’m told are vastly inferior to the Director’s Cut versions. The problem is, I don’t have access to the "DC" versions.  I was just planning to watch these until devilleonx kindly brought up that there are places I can watch them online. I'm still working out how to see them, so how about this… I’m going to watch these broadcast versions, for now, and if any of you resourceful Eva fans can find a way I can easily watch the “DC” versions online, I’ll go ahead and do one joint review of them after episode 26. Think of it as a compare and contrast session. Sound good? The ball’s in your court now…

Oh, and fret not, I will be watching End of Evangelion.

-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Studios and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia. Pre-order the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover now on Amazon.com.

Post by Ryuku_Ryosake (58 posts) See mini bio Level 6
You are pretty close to the truth about Rei with all you know now. However Rei is not a puppet as she said  herself and Ritsuko explains why. Rei is the only one of the Reis that has a soul unlike the Dummy Reis. There has been three Soul Rei's the strangled one, the blown up one, and the new one. Also notice how Rei says the other me in Eva when she starts communicating with the angel. Rei also says the Evas have a mind of their own in this episode. This is very important. Where Rei's soul comes from will be explained in future episodes so make sure to pay attention.
Post by constanzadellarosa (234 posts) See mini bio Level 15
Yes, you have to watch the Director's Cut for this and all the episodes that have them. I hope you get to see them.
About the music, you have heard the beggining of a long list of classical pieces.
Post by FoxxFireArt (2,654 posts) See mini bio Level 25
It's good to know you are going to see End of Evangelion. People weren't really happy with the TV series finale. So, they made Death and Rebirth. People didn't like that. This led to End of Evangelion. It was better-ish.
Isn't is amazing how much the series changes from the light almost sitcom beginnings to some seriously metaphorical mind f&^%# it becomes? I always remember that scene of Shinji holding that picture of Misato. She's bent over and written on the image is basically "Look here" with the line drawn to her cleavage, and this was written by her.
Post by ReVolutionOfEvangelion (102 posts) See mini bio Level 3
@FoxxFireArt:    ...no, its not that "people weren't happy with Death& Rebirth so they made EoE" its that "End of Eva was behind schedule, so they raced off a rough cut version of the first third of End of Eva along with a clip show of the series"
While I could easily tell you where to find the Director's Cut episodes online, my fansite has a strict no-bootlegs policy.  ADV never put Evangelion on The Anime Network's streaming services, because the DVDs were such a cash cow it wouldn't make sense to.
If you've been having fun, you kind of need to buy the Platinum Edition DVD box set by ADV.  
Oh, and skip Manga Entertainment's "Death & Rebirth"
The entire reason D&R exists is simply because End of Eva wasn't finished yet, and fans were getting impatient.
 The two halves are "Death" and "Rebirth".  "Death" is a clip show of the series, intercut with a few new scenes....which were then spliced out, and put into the "Director's Cut episodes"  - the version of Death that has all the NEW scenes cut OUT is "Death 2.0"
Manga Entertainment's English dub release is based on Death 2.0, so its literally just a clip show; you won't even see the new scenes.
As for "Rebirth"....that's just the rough-cut first THIRD of End of Eva, only the first third.
And her's the kicker:  the only good thing about "Rebirth" is that its like watching a 95% complete version of End of Eva...which is interesting because you get to ask "what decisions were changed by the final version?" to compare and contrast -- only animation diehards will like this.  
But again:  Manga Entertainment's release of Death and Rebirth.....doesn't use the REAL "Rebirth", the rough-cut version of the first third of End of Eva;  they used the ACTUAL first third of the End of Eva movie, "because it looks better"....when the literally only selling point for "Rebirth" was that it was the ROUGH version of End of Eva; it was like replacing all of the animatics on a DVD with the actual scenes, and saying "well before it was just storyboards, who'd want that?"
the problem is that i this day and age....many people don't want to sit through "two movies" so they watch "Death & Rebirth" then give up.
So really, avoid Death & Rebirth
It's the Platinum Edition DVD box set (containing the Director's Cut versions of episodes 21'-24') and then The End of Evangelion (which is stated on screen to be essentially "the Director's Cut version of episodes 25 and 26" - their official title is even "25' and 26' " the notation used for Directors Cuts)
Post by ReVolutionOfEvangelion (102 posts) See mini bio Level 3

"  Okay okay okay… I’m sure I’ve got this wrong so, by all means, correct me where my interpretation is off.  "

" I will now educate you....on how a REAL vampire does battle!" -- Alucard, Hellsing OVA 2

Well this is why I made my fansite, ReVolutionOfEvangelion.org, and started running national-level convention panels to make an "Explanation of Evangelion" (we've got the whole thing recorded on my site, make sure to watch my panels when you're done, but not yet you'll be spoiled)
The answers to Evangelion are all there, you just have to pay attention.  I will try to keep this succinct so it sinks in, please respond with questions: 
  • The biggest mistake that you seem to be making, which I think a lot of people make, is that there is one giant "conspiracy" singular, then they try to fit all of the pieces together:
  • Actually, there are two:  Seele has a master plan, but Gendo is plotting behind their back and turning on them. 
  • Seele's plan never involved Rei; Rei is Gendo's secret project to get Yui back.
  • So there are actually two plans, working to use the Evangelions to their own ends.
As for the Angels:
  • In case you haven't figured it out now, the Angels were never the primary antagonists.  They're animals, and not really malevolent.  They do want to "return to Adam and reactivate it from its dormant state" -- Third Impact, which would kill the human race -- but its an evolutionary drive, nothing more. 
  • The real bad guys were Seele - a secret power cabal which is a generic mish-mash of the Illuminati and Freemasons (they're like the Council of 13 from Venture Bros).  They run the world's governments.  Nerv is "a special sub-branch of the United Nations" ...but Seele runs the UN, so they run Nerv.  Nerv is the secret organization created and funded by Seele to create the Evangelion units.
  • Seele wants to create "The Human Instrumentality project" - notice that they even state directly in episode 2 "we have to get rid of the Angels, only then will conditions be ready for Instrumentality" - Angels would interfere with it, you see.  And they NEVER considered "defeating the Angels" to be their actual "mission", it was always the Human Instrumentality Project
  • As Kaji mentioned in episode 8, the Adam embryo he gave to Gendo is "the keystone of the whole Instrumentality project"
  • Seele are the primary villains of the series.  Gendo, Ritsuko, and Nerv in general are also, in many ways, the "Bad Guys".  Everyone was working for "the Bad Guys" this whole time.
But with that out of the way, lets tackle your theory here:

  Rei was created by the explosion that resulted from the first Eva’s activation, but she isn’t a de-aged version of Shinji’s mother. Instead, the expelled energy somehow split her soul (or her essence or whatever) up, so it has some kind of link with the Evas.

No.  What...explosion?  There was never an explosion.  "expelled energy makes you bond?"...eh...well I guess dumber things have happened in poorly written anime you've had to review over time...
 Major points you need to recall (lets approach this Socratically ) : 
  • Evangelions are cloned from recovered genetic samples of Adam, the First Angel, discovered in the Antarctic GeoFront.  The Hakone GeoFront is in Japan.  They built Tokyo-3 in Hakone near Mt. Fuji, as opposed to anywhere else in the world or even other regions of Japan, because they found the GeoFront there.  Tokyo-3 was built *around* the GeoFront.  Director's Cut material clarifies that the GeoFronts are "identicial and clearly artificial" and "Made by an intelligence other than Man".  The Angels are of extra-terrestrial origin.  They've also been there for about 4 billion years.
  • As Fuyutsuki figured out in the flashback episode 21, Gendo and Seele knew exactly what they were doing when they sent the Katsuragi Expedition to Antarctica in 2000 to find Adam (led by Misato's father).  they intentionally started Second Impact.  Seele killed off half the human race in the process, but the result was to reduce Adam to a controllable, embryonic form.
  • Fuyutsuki's office in episode 21, which Yui comes to work at, says that the field of research they specialize in is "Metaphysical Biology".  Metaphysical Biology is to Evangelion what "Super Science" is to Venture Bros.  (a magic wand)
Are you with me so far?
  • Rewatch Ritsuko's rant at the end of the episode and pay attention to her words:  you can't clone a soul, a clone is just a copy.  Just lifeless flesh in a vat.  You need a soul to function, but you cannot clone a soul.  
  • Evangelions are clones of Adam.  But they had no souls, they were lifeless flesh.  So to animate them...well, Ritsuko directly says in this episode "Evangelions contain human souls"
  • Where do you get a human soul?....
  • This is why Evas are different from Angels.  Why when Misato in episode 16 accused Ritsuko that "Evas are just copies of that thing in the Antarctic", Ritsuko angrily retorts "Evas are NOT just a copy".  Evas are a human soul in an Angel body. 
  • Remember in episode 19, at the start, when Shinji asks Misato why Toji was Eva-03's pilot?  And she says that she wasn't told, but she's figured out that apparently, "Class 2-A" was a pool of potential Eva pilots?
  • Shinji's mother "disappeared" after the "Contact Experiment" with Eva-01 when he was a toddler.  As you saw in episode 22, Asuka's mother went insane after a "Contact Experiment" with Eva-02 (rewatch the episode they mention it was a Contact Experiment).
  • Kensuke mentions in episode 4 that he has no mother.  Toji in episode 3 mentions only that his father and grandfather are around, but can't visit his sister in the hospital due to work; he implies he has no mother.  Hikari cooks for her sisters, because there's no one to do it at home; she has no mother.
  • Can you name a single child in this show that has a mother?
  • Episode 20 mentions that the experiment they try to do to "get Shinji back" from being merged inside of Eva-01's LCL...is based on a similar experiment 12 years ago that didn't work; this was the one that was supposed to get Yui Ikari back but didn't.
  • "Metaphysical Biology" apparently involves some pseudo-science involving electro-magnets or whatever to actually manipulate "souls" - though I STRESS that "the soul" in the Eva-verse is not a necessarily religious concept; its similar to the "Ghost" from "Ghost in the Shell", which is stated to be that off-screen in the GitS-verse, a scientific experiment proved the existence of "the soul" as an electro-magnetic phenomenon (or some variation) and the only functional difference between Motoko Kusanagi and a sentient robot is this vaguely defined concept.

 Nerv has then been bio-engineering Rei’s because they’re necessary for a human pilot to control the Eva. So there are individual Rei’s floating somewhere inside Shinji and Asuka’s Evas, in their “dummy plug.” However, if Nerv ever needs to take control of an Eva, they wake the Rei’s up and then control them by proxy? 

  • Rei was never part of the original plan for Evangelions.
  • Gendo freaked out when Yui was lost, and started making clones of her.
  • Rei Ayanami is a clone of Yui Ikari's recovered genetic material.  If "Rei" is pronounced properly in Japanese, its even supposed to rhyme with "Yui".
  • Gendo's entire actions through the series are a massive plot focused entirely on "get Yui back", using Rei. 
As for the Dummy Plugs....thats not really an essential part of either Gendo or Seele's plans.  Basically,
  • Either this episode or next episode, Hyuga mentions that they've started mass-producing Evangelions at the other global facilities.  The nine "Mass Production Model" Evangelions
  • The Dummy Plugs are a convenient way to make Evas that don't need actual living pilots.
  • No, they are not "remote controlled".  Its an auto-pilot system.  They used the first one in Eva-01 in episode 18 to kill Eva-03 ...if it was remote-controlled, they would have stopped it. 
  • If an Eva has an auto-pilot system but no real pilot, it has no morals.  It'll do whatever the heck you tell it to do. 
  • Basically, a Dummy Plug is an Entry Plug mocked up with a "blank" clone of "Rei Ayanami" (its just a body in a vat), which tricks the Evangelion into "turning on".  As we saw in episode 18, this only gives it animal-level intelligence at best, but it will do what you tell it to do.
  • Yes, this means that there are blank Rei clones floating in another, closed-off section of the Entry Plugs now, for Eva-01, Eva-00, and Eva-02.  We never see them but they're in there, not in the cockpit part though. 
  • They only put these in RECENTLY though, and they are NOT an essential part of the process.
  • Seele basically wanted to have an autopilot system so that the upcoming Mass Production Model Evangelions will be their tools, with no need for pilots who have opinions of their own.  Gendo obliged them by making "clones of a pilot" (which is what makes it work), but he used *Rei* so he'd have an EXCUSE to Seele about why he has a whole tank of clones of Rei (he didn't tell them that Rei is a clone of Yui, they don't know he wants to get Yui back). 
  • No, Rei clones are not "necessary" for  a human pilot to control an Eva.  The Dummy Plugs are an autopilot system that makes a human pilot unnecessary.  They actually mention the development of the Dummy Plugs, in the background, since *episode 13* (there's a point which is one of Maya's few big scenes, when she tells Ritsuko she's not sure if its moral to create the Dummy Plugs)
So in short, the problem is that Seele has one plan and Gendo has another;  the Dummy Plugs are an autopilot system for the Evas.  Gendo's plan involves Rei, but Seele's never did.  There only needs to be ONE Rei, but Seele wanted "clones of a pilot" for the Dummy plug, which was a convenient excuse to make many Reis.
There have been 3 "alive" Rei clones:
  • Rei 1.0 - the little girl we met in episode 21, strangled to death by Naoko Akagi. 
  • Rei 2.0 - the Rei we met in episode 1 and who we knew for most of the series.  Dies in episode 23.
  • Rei 3.0 - "I think I'm the Third One" - the new Rei is...different, from Rei 2.0.  They are the same yet not the same.  Rei 2.0 was utterly stoic and never showed signs of emotion.  Rei 3.0 now angrily snaps Gendo's glasses in her hands (those glasses symbolized how she idolized Gendo; now she has utterly turned on him)...and Rei 3.0 even starts openly crying.
But you have to ask yourself two questions:
  • If Evangelions are clones, and thus don't have souls on their own, where did they get souls for Evas?
  • If Rei is a clone of Yui, and clones don't have souls....where did they get  a soul for Rei?
The answer to this question, "who is Rei Ayanami"?, is yet to be fully revealed.  
And when it does come, you'll see what link there is between Rei and the Evas.
Have I solidified my standing as an "Eva Expert" yet? That moron Taliesin Jaffe seems to be able to simply walk into a room at cons and say "I'm Talliesin Jaffe,  therefore I am an Eva Expert!" without actually...proving it. 
Post by Gaff (213 posts) See mini bio Level 11
On the use of Händel's (I could've sworn there was supposed to be... something on... something) Messiah: I respectfully disagree. Asuka's ordeal is supposed to be very uncomfortable to watch. Gainax made it stand out by coupling it with that piece. It's about as subtle as getting smacked in the face with a sledgehammer, but still, it's very effective. Also, something will creep up in the next episode that'll probably have the same effect on you, Mr. Pinchuk. 
As an aside, you should probably track down Hideaki Anno's foreword to Evangelion after you finish it (I'm probably one of the few people who think 25-26 is the "real" ending of the story and not EoE, but tastes differ). It'll explain why Evangelion, in essence, isn't about EVA Units, mechs or fan service.
Post by ReVolutionOfEvangelion (102 posts) See mini bio Level 3
@bocam:  I have flagged this blatant public posting to illegal english dub video and I demand that this post be deleted.
Post by hitsusatsu11 (10,747 posts) See mini bio Level 20
@ReVolutionOfEvangelion: good work, ppl trying to squeeze what little ADV has left
Post by Bocam (14 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@ReVolutionOfEvangelion: Tom's the one who asked for the links. Though I should have just PM them to him.
Post by MichelleEaley (6 posts) See mini bio Level 15
@ReVolutionOfEvangelion:  thanks. i had a lot of the dots, but i wasn't sure how they connected.  thank you for helping me connect the dots.
Post by No_name_here (868 posts) See mini bio Level 11
@Ryuku_Ryosake:  So if I'm following you correctly... only the latest Rei has a soul, while the other ones (the ones who died) didn't?
Post by Ryuku_Ryosake (58 posts) See mini bio Level 6
@Tom_Pinchuk:  Sorry if I confused you. What I mean is that there is only one Rei with a soul at a time. So the Rei that was strangled as a child, known as Rei-I, had soul. After that Rei died her soul was put into a tank Rei thus creating Rei-II. Which is the Rei we've known for most of the series. When she died they transferred the soul again making Rei-III. It's kind of like Battlestar Galactica. Like how there was the unique Caprica Six that would die and be downloaded into the next body. Except in Rei's case there is only one active Rei Cylon at a time.
Post by hitsusatsu11 (10,747 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Another great episode. We start off by seeing the effect Kaji's death has had on Misato, and the effect Asuka's troubles has had on her. Misato copes by shutting herself away, while Asuka copes by avoiding the situation. (ie. staying at hikari's and playing Sega, a great plug for NGE's sponsor btw) Poor Asuka, ties all her self worth into piloting, and hates herself and everyone else when she does not succeed. Note the biggest thing that gets to Asuka here is that 01 was sent out to help Rei, but it was not sortied to help her in the previous episode."Why for her, am I so worthless you couldn't do this for me?" are Asuka's thoughts, which serve to feed her inferiority complex. 
Now while last episode Asuka went through a mind attack, in this episode its Rei's turn, at the hands of the angel Armisael. The angel here can not comprehend the difference between pain and loneliness, reflecting rei's own personality as well as serving to show us part of the Angels mentality. Interesting to note that as Rei (2) blows herself up to save shinji the last thing she pictures is Gendo, (but the first thing the new Rei 3 does is try and crush Gendo's glasses) then 00 turns into a humanoid Rei figure with a halo before exploding. This really effects Shinji, he can't even cry or properly listen to his S-DAT player anymore lol. Equally alone is Misato.  

About Rei, she is one soul (i won't say whose) placed in different bodies, who are cloned, as you thought, from Yuy Ikari. As you can guess (even by episode titles) little Rei was Rei 1, the one throughout the series and the one who killed herself is Rei 2, and the last Rei is Rei 3. They have the same soul but an incomplete memory record. The dummy plug system is the Rei shells, which the Eva's think are real humans with souls (even though they in fact are soulless) and synch with them. Also love how Gendo sends Risuko as Rei's proxy, showing whom he values more, the very same sort of  thing that happened to Ritsuko's mom and Rei 1. Both "lost" to Rei for Gendo's affection, though really Gendo only prefers Rei because he needs her. 

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