Neon Genesis Evangelion, for all its bleakness has one in the sixth episode, when after Shinji tells her to just smile as thanks, Rei finally does.
- The entire scene is heartwarming.
Shinji: (Crying) Don't ever say that, don't say that you have nothing else, just don't say that. And don't say goodbye when you leave on a mission, it's just too sad.
Rei: ...I'm very sorry, but I don't know how to express myself in situations like this.
Shinji: Why don't you just try smiling?
Rei The end of episode 26 counts too. Probably.
: (Looks confused for a moment, then gives what is probably the first smile in her whole life that wasn't aimed at Gendo. And it's absolutely gorgeous.
- "It's OK for me to be here!"
- The way that Shinji seemed, in his psyche, to be undoing all the damage that was done throughout the series, and the way that everyone openly showed how much they cared about him were especially heartwarming; if only End of Evangelion had ended similarly, minus the confusion...
- Both endings are canon, so it's possible that Shinji did find peace with himself. The last scene shows that he's still a little troubled, though.
- He did find peace with himself in End too. One of his final lines as he returns from instrumentality is "I am....myself"; and he has resolved to continue living in reality in the hope of finding his happiness. These things parallel his "I am me! I want to be myself!" and "I want to continue existing in this world!" statements from the TV ending. It just happens with a more somber tone as opposed to the TV ending's more optimistic tone. However, he still hasn't made peace with Asuka, which is what the final scene is for (see the entry for End below for more info).
- The entire cast congratulating Shinji for his self-realization. Especially when his mother and father simultaneously congratulate him.
- To put things straight, the scene before the congratulations shows Shinji rejecting his own personal isolated fantasy world and the world of Instrumentality, which cracks to pieces as he realizes that he can learn to like himself and live in the real world without depending on piloting Eva for other people's approval. He even SAYS as much! That's why the cast (well, the cast that exists in his mind anyway) is congratulating him afterward. It's the most heartwarming moment in the show.
- The entire ending exchange:
Kaji: A person's truth is so simple, that most ignore it to concentrate on what they think are deeper truths.
Gendo: You, for example, are simply unused to what it is to be liked by others.
Misato: You've never learned how to deal with fearing what others feel about you and so you avoid it.
Shinji: But, don't the others hate me?
Asuka: What are you, stupid? Haven't you realized it's all in your imagination, you megadork!
Shinji: But, I hate myself.
Rei: One who truly hates himself cannot love, he cannot place his trust in another.
Shinji: I'm a coward. I'm cowardly, sneaky and weak.
Misato: No, only if you think you are, but if you know yourself, you can take care of yourself.
Shinji: [introspectively] I hate myself. But, maybe, maybe I could love myself. Maybe, my life can have a greater value. That's right!. I am no more or less than myself. I am me! I want to be myself! I want to continue existing in this world! My life is worth living here!
[Shinji's room cracks open and he finds himself on a small blue globe with the cast of the series]
Everyone: [applauding] Congratulations!
Shinji: Thank you all!