A lot of people assume that the name of Central Dogma, where Lilith and the Lance of Longinus are kept is a reference to the idea of dogma, or the text of a religion. But after studying molecular biology, I learned that Central Dogma is the name for the theory that genetic information is copied from DNA by RNA. When you consider that the EVAs are copies of either Adam or Lilith, piloted by the genetic descendants of Lilith, this makes a great deal of sense. Or, to put it in biologist terms, Lilith and Adam are the original DNA. The EVAs are the RNA, or copies, of the original DNA. Depending on how you want to look at it, either NERV or the pilots are the mRNA (NERV arrange for the EVAs to be made, but the pilots tell the EVAs what to do). I guess not all of NGE's symbolism is religious!
The Evangelion units are wearing restraints that obviously restrict movement right? Then they must be extremely tight and constricting. Its no wonder then, that when an Evangelion gets wounded, High-Pressure Blood comes spurting out. The tight restraints are increasing blood pressure!
Watching the series and movies multiple times can reveal certain details and make confusing scenes more understandable. An easily missed one is the final line in End Of Evangelion: "I feel sick." These are the first words that Shinji says inside EVA-01.
Though the original line was actually very different, and that they had the voice actor change the line because they had trouble with its execution.
In the foreground during Ritsuko's death scene is the boat she was riding in her first appearance.
SEELE (which is German for "soul") is a word prominently mentioned in a certain significant musical work:Ode to Joy.
Also in the lyrics: "Your magic binds together again/what custom strictly parted/All men become brothers/where your gentle wing rests." Hmmmmm. "Be embraced, millions! This kiss for the whole world!" ...This is disturbingly apropos.
I swear to you, this managed to escape me until the third runthrough of the series: All AT Fields (barring Iruel's), are octagonal. They also happen to be used to halt an attack against them. Now...what else do we know of that is octagonal and calls for an approaching object to arrest its movement?...Or "stop", if you will?
Not in Japan. Theyíre triangular there.
When using the mortar to test Ramiel's defenses, if you watch the scene where Misato, Ritsuko, et al are analyzing the results of testing, they freeze-frame footage showing that Ramiel's AT field is hexagonal.
This is commonly attributed to animation error. Episode 6 is one of those episodes, along with Episode 4 and others, that are animated by the "B" team.
A number of people have suggested that if NERV fulfilled its stated function rather than its actual one, whoever controlled the EVA units could conquer the world. This is even used as a justification for the UN invasion. This seems to be pitching it more than a little high: without a power cable connection the EVA can't operate long enough to be relevant.
For that matter, who didn't demand at a least a 15-minute operational period on the basic EVA units without a cable? The moment somebody starts tossing around explosions the cable is going to go. Any military person worth their salt would have realized the danger of stray shrapnel ending the world.
This might be Fridge Brilliance: The EVAs are essentially gods. Which means if they are allowed to run rampant they would be capable of killing EVERYONE. Hence, the power stops them being allowed to go free for too long. This is demonstrated in the episode where we see the first Contact Experiment in which Rei was injured.
This idea's kinda subverted by the fact that EVAs are shown going out of control even AFTER their batteries are out. The battery limit is basically to make people feel safe. If the pilot's will is strong enough, they are no longer bound by it. Now take a look at Shinji's fight with Zeruel in Evangelion 2.0.
The original ending is about how Shinji STOPS being a wimp. It's gets better when you realize that Shinji's wimpy-ness is a common complaint about this show.
NERV's motto is a quote from the poem 'Pippa Passes': "God's in His heaven, all's right with the world". Consider this: when its core is pierced by the Lance of Longinus, Evangelion-01 apparently becomes a god. This is moments before the initiation of the Third Impact, which wipes out all of humanity. How right is the world now?
Ah, but in the original poem, this phrase was used ironically. All is not right in the world in the poem. It's the same for NERV, mainly because everyone is living in a Crapsack World.
This one works for the Rebuild movies as well, but think about this: when Shinji sees (and then falls on) Rei while she's naked, she isn't fazed at all. But then, later in the series, you see that Gendo talks with her while she's in the LCL tube, naked and floating. Presumably she's been doing this since she was young, so she grew up without a sense of shame.
Just like Adam and Eve before they ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And if we remember that Rei possesses Lilith's soul, this only makes it more symbolic, being as Lilith did not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and thus also had no sense of shame. Fridge Brilliance at its finest.
Now for the allegations about Shamshel and Leliel: note their shapes and manner of death. Shamshel is, let's be honest here, a giant penis, and dies when Shinji, another male, stabs him in the Core (i.e. castrates him). Leliel is somewhat more subtle in shape, more blatant in death: she is a black hole in the ground, ending at a mostly zebra-striped ball in the sky, i.e. a womb. She dies when Shinji, here a child, rips his way out of her in a horrifying parody of c-section. Again, he is the Angel of Day, she is the Angel of Night. Their forms and manner of death are complementary, something most people miss because of the episode gap, which only exists because Israfel couldn't resist the Shout-Out.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, in Judeo-Christian mythology, after Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden God sent down an angel to guard the entrance to the garden and to kill anyone who tried to enter. That angel was named Shamshel and took the form of a flaming sword. Of course, this means that Shamshel is a weapon and you all have dirty minds... Sickos. //end:sarcasam
Kaworu calls the humans "Lilim", which are considered to be the daughters of Lilith, a demon. Do the math.
For those of you (such as myself) who take a while to grasp the above, the daughters of Lilith in regular mythology are the demon race. Now, in NGE, it's humans. Now the math is little clearer.
Furthermore, in the Alphabet of ben Sirach, the oldest known text dealing with marriage of Lilith and Adam, Lilith's punishment for disobeying God is that hundreds of her children would have to die every day. Now compare the mass births and deaths of Lilith's children in Evangelion to the children of Adam who appears to be unable to reproduce and could well be immortal until killed.
This may or may not have been intended by the writers but; regarding the failed unit 00 test that resulted in Rei's injuries from the first episode, more specifically the seemingly out of character reaction Gendo has, that amount of concern and near panic are so unlike anything you ever see from him any other time. At first you could think it's because he needs Rei to enact his version of Instrumentality, till you remember how easy it seems to be to replace her with a new clone when she does die. Then it hit me, Yui "died" during a test of unit 01, and more specifically while inside an entry plug, and Rei was more or less a clone of her. It was this near replication of the most tragic event of his life that broke Gendo out of normal stoicism and drove him to desperately try and rescue Rei.
It's simpler than that, really. It's heavily implied throughout the series that he sees Rei as a surrogate daughter (NOT a wife, as so many bad fanfic writers like to suppose). Wouldn't YOU react that way if your daughter were in danger? He keeps his reactions mostly buttoned-down in public, but occasionally he can't hold it in. As for his treatment of Shinji...he says in End of Eva that he was trying to protect Shinji by keeping him at a distance. Hence the coldness.
After reading the trope description for Scary Shiny Glasses for the umpteenth time, I suddenly realized a small piece of brilliance thanks to these statements: "Traditionally, one's eyes are an indicator of the soul... If you can't even see their eyes because of the Scary Shiny Glasses, beware ó for these are individuals who deliberately wall themselves off from the people around them." Now on one obvious level, we know that describes Gendo. However, it becomes more brilliant when you take a look at the colour of Gendo's glasses. The amber/orange tint to his eye-wear matches perfectly to the tinted light of an A.T. Field! In effect: both share the same colour, both are used to hide or separate one's "soul" from the world, and, as stated on Gendo's entry in that page: In the manga version, the readers - and implicitly Shinji - began to see Gendo's eyes behind his glasses more often as we learned more about him. Interestingly enough, he only begins to wear his tinted glasses after his old ones break while rescuing Rei. In other words, the only time he's shown to let his emotional guard down (as mentioned above), is when Rei is in danger (his glasses break). Afterwards, he becomes even more closed off from the world. These are all perfect analogies to Gendo's personal A.T. Field. Therefore, it can't be coincidence that the mindscrew-filled scene involving Gendo's "death" in EOE show Gendo as the only one not being "tanged" (it's ambiguous whether he died or joined Instrumentality - use your own judgement there) and also gives one last focus to Gendo's glasses. In a way, this can be even used as a metaphor for additional Scary Shiny Glasses wearers in other series: They all close themselves off from other people emotionally by hiding their eyes - the windows to their souls. This is also often what many people do in Real Life: wearing sunglasses if they are shy, introverted, or Not Good with People to avoid having people make eye-contact. Keep in mind that Gendo's shades have been around since the first episode, as was the colour of the A.T. Field. It only makes perfect sense upon understanding the whole "light of the soul" thing that Kaworu tells us, as well as knowing the ins-and-outs of the Scary Shiny Glasses trope, which is very popular in Japanese works. Anno, who developed Eva as a critique of social isolation, and as a deconstruction of anime tropes, undoubtedly knew all this... the clever bastard.
In EOE Shinji sets off Instrumentality by strangling Askua in his mind and a the end of the film he does it again with the real Askua. most people assume he was just off rocker by then. but what if he was trying to bring everybody back by finishing Instrumentality the way it started?
And of course, the one everyone knows already. The last line in EOE (Asuka saying "I feel sick"): does it mean "I'm sickened by you, Shinji" or does it mean "I am pregnant"?
It has been suggested by Asuka's voice actress, yes. However, I think things would precisely not have turned that bad if Shinji and Asuka had sex time ago.
Actually, Yuuko Miyamura, Asukaís original VA, said that Anno asked her what her reaction would be if a man broke into her house at night, saw her lying defenceless, and just masturbated and left instead of raping her. She said she would find it strange, but feel disgusted. In other words, Asuka was very much aware of what Shinji had done at the beginning of the film.
Kaworu saying "I love you" to Shinji. Watched this one just after being explained by a catholic priest that "love" means "I want the best for you", while "I want to have you for me" is desire. Kaworu is the only one who can say "I love you" (Shinji told "I need you"), and he uses it perfectly.
Actually, Kaworu's love for Shinji is exactly the kind of love you'd expect from a creature called an angel.
As someone who learned to hate the Church from going at a catholic high school, I can confirm it's not necessarily squicky because it's what they're supposed to do: love everybody equally and explain (and show) people how to recognize it from desire and infatuations. The Squick comes out only when they don't understand (or don't care of) the difference between love and desire.
Before the final scene of End of Evangelion (and the series' episodes 25-26 that run concurrently with it), Shinji has sorted out all of his mental anguish. When he sees Asuka on the beach, he does the one thing he's been meaning to do to her for a long while. Since it's explicitly stated everyone went through their own Instrumentality inner dialogue, Asuka went through one tooÖand finally does the one thing she's been meaning to do to him for a long while.
A very minor case; Asuka, upon being unable to start her EVA with Shinji on board, commands him to think in German, since German is the operating language at that point. Shinji, in a pathetic attempt to do so, thinks, "Baumkuchen" a kind of cake. Why food, and why this particular item? Easy: the cake, apparently, is available year round, but, more importantly - Shinji likes to cook.
On a related note, it is possible that Shinji thinking in the wrong language was not the reason for malfunction. It probably had more to do with Asuka only speaking incomprehensible garbage.
Remember how Misato notes that the Angels were all what humanity would have been had things been different? Well, taking that in mind, then remembering some of the attacks the Angels did (Arael is a good example) causes a sort of revelation: That's how we would have communicated if that Angel was the human race. Mixes in with Fridge Horror.
It is mostly assumed that the term "First Children" is used in the plural when refering to the pilot, not singular as it should have been, because of a translation error. It isn't. This is clearer in the manga, but taking into account that every single student in Shinji's class is a potential pilot, it isn't that there is a first child, but the chosen representative of the potential "First Children" since, if this pilot was to be fired or put out of action, he can be replaced by the other "First Children." The chosen pilot represents the available talent pool, hence is not just a single child. Mind? Blown.
The Angels are defended by Absolute Terror fields. What is their salute in the Bible, where they're not hostile? Fears not.
In the first episode, the EVA activates and protects Shinji. No one has any idea why or how the EVA was able to protect Shinji without a pilot being inside it and are just as surprised as Shinji. This is foreshadowing the how and why of an EVA. Ritsuko's reaction has more shock and surprise, since she actually knows how an EVA works and reacted like how someone would react to a robot becoming self-aware and the foreshadowing comes in the fact that there's the reason for why the EVA saved Shinji. It shared a sort of bond with him.
All the Mind Screw in the series, as well as any Fridge Logic (most notably Kaworu still appearing in the ending, despite being a dead angel) is explained very neatly if you consider that the whole thing is Shinjiís dream: in Evangelion: Death, Shinji, Rei, Asuka, and Kaworu are all playing music together at school. Rei and Asuka chat among themselves, hinting theyíre good friends; this hints that the whole series was nothing like what was going on in the real world. A Deleted Scene from EoEshowsa world without Shinji, appearing perfectly normal, in which Asuka is in a relationship with Touji and, more importantly, friends with Rei, like in Death, and, according to a brief piece of dialogue in ep. 26':
Shinji: I donít understand. I donít understand reality very well.
Rei: The gap between othersí reality and your truth is impossible for you to grasp, isnít it.
Shinji: The thing is, I donít know where happiness is.
Rei:You cannot find happiness anywhere but your dreams, can you.
Shinji:So, this is not reality, this world where there is no-one.
Rei:Thatís right, itís a dream.
Shinji:So, Iím not here.
Rei:You took revenge against reality in your convenient fabrications.
Shinji:Is that wrong?
Rei:You ran off to your imaginations and fooled reality.
Shinji:Canít I dream Iím alone in the world?
Rei:Thatís not a dream, thatís just compensating for reality.
It seems weird that Shinji is so freaked out by being asked to pilot Eva-01. Then you find out that when he was 4 (too young to remember but old enough to form impressions) he watched that thing kill/'absorb' his mother. He's afraid the same thing will happen to him.
The choice of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" as the soundtrack for Asuka's Mind Rape. The entire "Messiah" is about Christ's life, and that particular part is about the Second Coming... and Asuka's world is ending. Also, the choice of "Ode to Joy" as the soundtrack for the last Angel fight, since the poem is about the oneness of mankind, taken literally with the Instrumentality.
The ending theme song Fly Me to the Moon may not seem to have any relevance to the plot at first glance, but if you analyze the lyrics closely, it does contain some subtle foreshadowing that doesn't become apparent until the very end. Of particular note are the following lines: Fly me to the moon/And let me play among the stars and Fill my heart with song/And let me sing forevermore. These lines more or less allude to the ultimate fate of Unit 01 in The End of Evangelion: It floats away from Earth, past the moon, and into outer space; where it will forever drift among the stars as an eternal testament to humanity's existence (in accordance with Yui Ikari's personal goal for the Evangelion project).
As someone who grew up listening to the Frank Sinatra version of the song (which was never used on the show, presumably because of the royalties being too expensive for an already strained budget), this trooper also noticed the lyrics "You are all I long for/All I worship and adore/In other words, please be true/In other words, I love you." This could also allude to Yui's maternal love for Shinji, or vice versa.
When looking at the opening theme A Cruel Angel's Thesis, you'd think that the titular "Cruel Angel" could be any one of the Angels encountered by Shinji and the rest of Nerv, right? Funnily enough, the entire song is about the condition of the characters in the series and about humanity in general. In End of Evangelion, humanity is revealed as having been born from Lilith in the same way that the other Angels that were born from Adam. That means that the titular cruel Angel, in fact the cruellest of them all, is mankind itself.
The original ending of the End of Evangelion consisted of Shinji lying alone on a beach, holding someone's hand. Sounds perfectly fine, until he squeezes that hand and he sees a vision of Rei, and you remember Rei lost an arm at the beginning of the movie.
The AT Field is the light of Kaworu's soul, the sacred place no one may invade. Yes, when an Eva cancels an Angel's AT Field, it's RAPING THE ANGEL'S SOUL!
EVAs don't need to violently cancel AT fields. Although violently attacking an AT field is done in the majority of times (with the visible light warping), including during combat with Kaworu, it can also be done when the angel and Eva want to, well, merge. This is evidenced when Armisael resisted violent attacks, but had no AT field effect to speak of when it tried to merge with Unit-00 or Unit-01. Since we never actually saw Kaworu's AT field breaking, but saw the consequences of it, this means that Kaworu let down, or synchronized, his AT field voluntarily. What's a common term for the feeling and urge to merge souls with another? Love.
Dummy Plugs contain soulless Rei clones. The Mass-produced EVAs in The Movie have Plugs with Kaworu written on the side. Eva pilots and EVAs are synched so that the pilots feel everything their EVAs feel. Asuka was essentially eaten alive by a bunch of mindless Kaworus.
All the Angels mount offensives on NERV hoping to infiltrate the facility to its deepest layer. The final Angel is mankind. The last attack on NERV is by an army of humans. SEELE's invasion of NERV is no different from any other Angel Attack.
More horror. During said invasion, Maya protests that NERV is supposed to kill Angels, not humans. The above means she's wrong: NERV is supposed to kill humans. Though this also doubles as fridge brilliance in that given the end result of the human instrumentality project, killing humans (depending on your viewpoint of what happens during instrumentality) is ultimately what NERV was established for.
EVAs are in some part, powered by souls. Now, did we ever hear about Touji's sister after the Unit-03 incident...?
It is implied that Toji does not have a mother, like most of his class. Ritsuko tells Gendo that they have a core for EVA-03 that can be prepared immediately. Toji was chosen as the Fourth Child because of his connection to EVA-03, not the other way around.
Related: Shinji (or Berserker Unit-01, either way) injured Toji's sister, cripped Toji, and destroyed Toji's mother's soul via EVA-03's core. Talk about guilt trip fuel.
After she went insane, Asuka's mother ended up completely not acknowledging the original as the person and instead doing it for a doll. This mother committed suicide and hung the replacement right along with her. In her mind, she was killing her kid and herself.
I'm pretty sure this is an actual plot point. Part of why Asuka is so messed up is because she heard her mother (speaking to the doll) saying "die with me, Asuka". Asuka feels guilty that she DIDN'T die with her mother.
Just how many people died when Unit-00 self-destructed to save Shinji? Were they all protected by the shelters or did they all get killed by the blast? The only mention we have of anyone other than the NERV crew surviving is Misato talking to Pen Pen about sending him to live Hikari, so for all we know Touji, Kensuke and all the rest could be dead.
I watched Eva recently, and they mention Toji and Kensuke moving after their homes (including Hikari's) being destroyed. So they're alive. I may have heard wrong, but they're mentioned on episode 24. I hope that helps some.
The End Of Evangelion: Yui's soul being Locked inside of a human-grown replication of Lilith and forced to spend all eternity floating through space as a testament to human existence.And I Must Scream is an understatement.
When you understand that EVAs are sentient beings with a soul which are trapped and imprisoned inside 'restraints' for use as weapons, ok. Disturbing, but you can live with it... and then you realize that all the pilots are synchronizing with the EVAs. As in they are matching neuronal responses to achieve the best reaction, and are, as a consequence, melding their minds into the EVAs. So you have the kids melding their minds with the EVAs to a point where they have so fully inter-twined their mental states, ego and identity into the Eva that they can't separate one from the other. An example? Shinji constantly screaming at Gendo "You used my hands to kill him!" when the dummy plug in Unit 01 destroyed Unit 03. Also, remember when Shinji lost it when he saw Asuka mutilated at the EOE? Yeah it's not a nice way to view the world...
Also in End of Evangelion, after Shinji and Asuka are left alone on the hellish version of Earth, there doesn't appear to be any liquid left apart from the LCL that everyone on the planet has been reduced to. Humans need to drink and all...
Asuka playing with the doll in 2.0. If you've seen the original series, you'll appreciate why this is so messed up.
The AT Field is "the light of [the] soul, a sacred territory in which no one may intrude". So every time an Eva penetrates an Angel's AT Field, it's effectively violating the Angel's soul. In fact, everyone has an AT Field. By merely touching someone else, you are penetrating his or her AT Field.
Incorrect. It's stated that for humans, the AT Field is just powerful enough to allow them to hold physical form. A touch isn't violating someone else's AT Field. It actually serves more as an EMOTIONAL barrier for humans. Harsh words and hate are more of a violation than physical contact in that context. Still...does that mean that Asuka's cruelty to Shinji was equal to Mind Rape?
Shinji is very weak willed, backs down to even the slightest insult, and when he was yelled at for disobeying orders in the first series, he tries to run away. He often yells "I mustn't run away, I mustn't run away. I MUSTN'T RUN AWAY!" when he should be afraid when he's facing a monster that wants to kill him. That and he thinks very little of himself, was willing to stay only for the needs of others, and says that he's mean, cowardly, dishonest, weak, sneaky, and sissy. Sissy and weak? Perhaps. But none of the other words describe him. It makes you wonder just what kind of person raised Shinji for those past ten years.
Just how many people died when Unit-00 self-destructed to save Shinji? Were they all protected by the shelters or did they all get killed by the blast? The only mention we have of anyone other than the NERV crew surviving is Misato talking to Pen Pen about sending him to live Hikari, so for all we know Touji, Kensuke and all the rest could be dead. This is somewhat supported in Rebuild 2.0 when Eva-02's head comes flying into the bunker where Shinji is. There was a bunker right there in the combat zone. It was empty, but a) there's more, and b) how about the collateral from the N2 mine? Or the eva fight? Or the incipient Third Impact?
Asuka calling Rei a doll in the elevator. At this time, you may even agree. Then, you learn what dolls represent in Asuka's backstory.
So, she wasn't just calling her a mindless toy, she was calling her a mindless thing that steals away the affection of the person you love. And will probably end up hurting them/ making them hurt themselves. Deep.
The entry plug/Eva relationship: once you figure out that Eva-01 contain Yui's soul, it's hard to avoid the idea that, by piloting an Eva, Shinji is living out a giant Oedipal metaphor. This becomes even more obvious when, during his introspective experiences, Shinji decides that he pilots an Eva because only piloting makes him feel needed.
Ever wondered why Rei never really develops emotionally after the initial signs of promise early on in the series? When she dies, we can presume the replacement Rei does not have those experiences, and is the earlier, emotionally null version. Shinji's small amount of success in getting through to her on a human level all comes to naught.
More about Rei. Rei, despite being sort-of part Angel, is still a human. A human who can't really express herself well, as seen from her reaction of not knowing how to react to Shinji crying after the Ramiel battle. Everyone believes that she is emotionless just because she can't show how she feels. But she is human, and she DOES feel emotions. Every single fucked up thing she has seen in her life, from the Angels and the EVAs, Lilith, the mindless clones of herself floating in LCL she experienced it as human, with emotions. In her mind she could have been as batshit freaked out or disturbed by all of it and you wouldn't even know it. This is more scary if you think about it literally, since no one can tell what she's feeling, they won't know how to act toward Rei, and even if Rei is scared out of her mind she is never going to get the comfort she needs.
In the End of Evangelion Asuka fights the Mass-Produced EVAs and disables all of them in a truly spectacular battle. Then it turns out they're Not Quite Dead, they reactivate and then proceed to devour Unit-02 with Asuka in it. Right, so the MP EVAs enjoy playing with their opponent (since they played dead, although those injuries would not stop them attacking) and once their opponent is down, they completely annihilate and eviscerate it. Keep in mind that the Dummy Plugs of the MP EVAs are modeled of the brainwaves of Kaworu Nagisa, the nicest character in the show. So that means that somewhere in that guy's mind is the capability for cannibalism and to be absolutely cruel and sadistic. I am a Kaworu fan and I found that intensely disturbing.
Don't all the parts hinting at a relationship between Shinji and Rei seem a bit weird after you find out she was cloned from his mother?
Imagine the sight of a giant human head with a "smile" on its face looming over the horizon. Now imagine that head decaying over time...
If 2000 was the year of the Second Impact, did that mean there was a First Impact? If so, when was it, what happened, and how and why did it happen?
The implication is that the First Impact was Lilith, landing on the planet, creating the Moon as well as preventing Adam's Angel life from spreading across the planet via spreading Lilin instead.
Kensukeís father works for the JSSDF. Itís quite likely he participated in the mass purge the JSSDF tried to pull on NERV.
NERV cannot harm any angels aside from an N2 mine, before Shinji was introduced and EVAs had enough pilots. However, when the only thing that can hurt Ramiel is a rail gun powered from the city's generators, Shinji is the only one that can fire it. He doesn't do anything (no Hand Wave that dispels the AT Field) other than FIRE THE GUN. Is it just the will of the EVAs that kill the target (which may be feasible given the animating company), or the gun being a Rail Gun, which can penetrate due to being electromagnetic? If not, the episode could've saved some budget if cut, even though it was a Tear Jerker.
The reason that gun worked was because it used up enough energy to power a small nation. If the angel had been more mobile, it would have been useless to try again because it would have dodged, as it did the first time. In other words, Huge Power= Huge Energy requirement.
Jet Alone still would've been useless, since it took all the power of a NATION to create a single shot powerful enough to penetrate an AT Field...just like overwhelming force can cause a person's mental barriers to crumble.
This troper would just like to point out that Ramiel was stated to have one of the most powerful A.T. Fields of any Angel. Also, the primary reason the rifle was used was that Ramiel automatically targeted any hostile party within a certain radius with a highly accurate and destructive energy beam, making close combat virtually impossible. If every angel had such a strong A.T. Field, I doubt Unit-01 would've been able to tear through Sachiel's with its bare hands in Episode 1.
Also, wasn't it mentioned in-episode that Ramiel had to lower its AT-field in order to attack? Besides, it wasn't a rail gun. A rail gun uses a powerful electromagnetic field (by way of two rails, hence the name) to fire a metal projectile at speeds up to Mach 7. Shinji's gun fired Frickin' Laser Beams. Not a rail gun.
Or, discounting A.T. Fields in general or the power conversion of the rifle, the Positron Cannon was meant to fire positrons (hence the name) which are the antimatter equivalent of electrons. They annihilate ambient electrons, (causing the beam to appear to be a laser by generating LOTS of energy as it passed through the air) which could, in theory, create enough energy to pierce Ramiel's A.T. Field. Keep in mind that a single kilogram of positrons annihilating a single kilogram of electrons generates the same energy as a 43-megaton nuclear bomb.