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Did... did the menu options just ask me why I exist? At 0:19, the menu options questioned my existence. I-I'm afraid to watch this movie. It's not even a horror movie and this thing's freaking me out. Hell, it's the damn dvd MENU and it's freaking me out! I'm gonna go curl up in the fetal position and sob quietly to myself now.
Good God, the ultra-rational and Baroque Bach pieces just add to the overall "WHAT THE HELL, THIS IS HORRIFYING!" factor. And seriously, did it just question my existence?
Damnit, the DVD is questioning my existence again. F*cking hate it when it does that.
Neon Genesis Evangelion is such a great source of Nightmare Fuel, it deserves its own space. This is what is strikes fear into your heart. This show is simply filled with so much Nightmare Fuel, that one might even argue that you won't be having nightmares after watching it... because you'll be too scared to sleep. No Rebuild of Evangelion examples please, those go to this page.
Spoilers abound, both marked and unmarked. You Have Been Warned.
I musn't run away; I musn't run away; I musn't run away... too late.
Episode 14, when Shinji tries to synchronize with 00. After a slideshow of images of Rei, it suddenly cuts towards Rei staring straight into the camera. It's extremely creepy. Directly afterwards, both Shinji and Unit-00 flip out.
The first episode which features Rei appearing and disappearing one second later.
The scene where Asuka pulls the drain on the bathtub and is shown standing there naked saying how she doesn't want to share the same things as Misato and Shinji and then saying that she hates Rei, Shinji, Misato, her mother, her father, and most of all herself.
One of the later episodes features Asuka naked and in a tub when she's well passed the Despair Event Horizon with hollow cheeks and stating that she no longer has the will the live. The tub appears to be filled with a red liquid indicating that she tried to kill herself by slitting her wrists.Poor Asuka.
Or she may have sat in that tub for days, and that water may just be getting stagnant or rusty or both. She also looked like she hadn't eaten and slept the whole time. Either way, poor Asuka.
It could also be tainted by blood from her period, but considering how much her menstrual cycle causes her anxiety, this is still pretty nightmarish from her perspective.
The first time you watched the Eva TV show and hit episode 19. The Eva regrowing its arm, which seems bizarrely human, then begins eating Zeruel, then begins a bloodcurdling howl and pieces of metal fly off it. You, the viewer, realize that the Eva wasn't actually a mecha after all, but a living being with metal "armor" seared onto its skin to allow NERV to control it. "That isn't armor, it's restraints." Not only does that make Eva-01 (by implication, Shinji's mom) a cannibal, she also looks like she's raping Zeruel in the manga.
... You learn the Evas are biological in nature in the first episode.
they call it a "Syntethic Lifeform" which, when coupled with the genre the series is from tempers your expectations and makes you ignore that fact and let you just believe that it is in fact a simple giant robot anime and then they drop The Reveal on you in episode 14, the whole point of the show is the subversion of established tropes, so of course the Giant Robot everyone treats like an actual character in the series turns out to be a living thing.
The Angel in episode 10, the one in the lava? Right after Asuka says it's going nuts and going out of its chrysalis stage (X-rays of which show it looking like a human fetus) it starts making noise. Noise that sounds horribly like distorted, deepened baby cries.
It says a lot about the fact that this... thing is way, way more terrifying than any other Angel that came in the series before it. And it's a baby.
Just the fact that Asuka was being lowered into magma and it was getting hotter and denser to the point it starts to press against her. She is basically alone down there with or without the Angel, and any further/longer, and she would've collapsed in on herself if not boiled to death. It's also a bit claustrophobic, adding onto the horror.
There's episode 18, with the mental image of Unit 01 crushing the entry plug of Unit 03.
Let's not forget that punch EVA-01 gives to Unit 03. Its head explodes into an ocean of blood (not to mention that if you look closely, you can see its eye and jaw pop out). Fortunately, Toji made it out alive. Unfortunately, he's just been horribly traumatized and mangled and is likely to have flash-backs of this for decades. Welcome to the world of psychic dysfunction, boy. On the other hand, he dies in the manga, which might or might not be worse: on one hand, he gets to avoid the horrors of EoE, on the other hand he's dead.
The punch to the head was disturbing enough, but when Unit 01 proceeded to rip Unit 03 to pieces with just its bare hands, it's total Nausea Fuel.
There's also Shinji's blood-curdling scream at the end of the episode.
Episode 22 is extremely infamous for the trope-naming Mind Rape scene.
Evangelion aired in public TV, in a children's program, along with things like Sailor Moon. They also aired End of Evangelion after the series was over, but after it some parents started complaining.
The director's cut of ep. 22 is even more horrifying, with Asuka's doll turning round and round at the end of a rope, her stuffed monkey being decapitated and Asuka being confronted with a swarm of Asukas with creepy goo-like colours. By Word of God, we're also supposed to understand that she literally gets raped.
There's also Asuka's Big "NO!" at the end of her Mind Rape and how the doll speaks to her "liar..."
There's also the scene in episode 24 where child Asuka runs after her mother, announcing that she's been selected as an Eva pilot and begging her to be proud of her, then discovers her hanged body and stays frozen with an empty smile on her face. "So look, look at me! HEY, MAMA!".
It's implied that Asuka cut her wrists in episode 24, and is seen in a bathtub with water that looks like it's stained red. It's also implied that she was starving herself. She survived only because Section 2 found her before she bled out and she was too weak to resist being taken into custody.
The end of episode 23 when we find out the full truth behind the Dummy Plug System, and Ritsuko destroys the Rei clones? All those soulless little girls, smiling mindlessly, then laughing as their bodies slowly fall apart at the push of a button.
Ritsuko's mental breakdown after she destroys the Rei clones counts as well.
And the music. Out of the entire series, this scene is one of the most spine-chilling by far.
It's very unlikely that people would think of something creepy and hellish when they hear of a song with a title like Do You Love Me? But this is Evangelion after all...
The Eva Graveyard◊ that Ritsuko showed Shinji and Misato before that wasn't much better...
The sephiroth (no, not that one) was filled with monster skeletons. That makes Rei's alone time hobby of standing around in there nude even worse.
... which make it quite obvious that the exposed eyeball follows the characters as they more around, and it keeps that creepy Slasher Smile the entire time.
EVA-01 is pretty much always at least freaky and often outright disturbing. Eating an Angel was just icing on the gore-splattered cake.
In episode 23, the old men of SEELE force Ritsuko to stand naked in front of them as they verbally harass her.
And how can we forget the death of Kaworu in Episode 24. It's bad enough that he was crushed in the palm of EVA-01, but the fact we see his head fall into the water gives the scene horrendous chills (not to mention the sound of Kaworu's bones breaking).
That Gory Discretion Shot was so traumatic because it may not show us, but it gives us an idea of what would happen to somebody if they were crushed by the grip of a giant.
Furthermore, because of the synchronization with EVA 01, Shinji can feel all of that, as if it were his hand crushing Kaworu.
The destruction of Unit 03: Shinji's sitting there helpless as the dummy plug system destroys the entry plug, right after he learns that there's a living pilot inside. Only to learn later that the pilot was his best friend, Toji. Said knowledge is why Shinji wouldn't fight Unit 03, which is why Gendo had the dummy plug activated in the first place.
Just to add, 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 realise 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 can't distinguish their identity without them; 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.
And then you have Rei... where it is highly implied that Unit 00 has a mutilated piece of her soul stashed away inside it.
The scene where we first see an Eva activated. All that disturbing imagery...
Some of the Angels are this too. You expect glorious beings of beauty and light, but get hellish Eldritch Abominations instead.
Except Arael. It's actually a glorious being of light and beauty, despite the fact that it rapes Asuka's mind.
One would shudder to think of Christian Theology students who have watched this hearing about angels like Arael, Ramiel, Zeruel and so on in their lectures (as those are all names borrowed from real angels).
More frightening is how the Angels get increasingly more intelligent as the show progresses. Sachiel is quite a simple-minded Angel, probably acting on instinct and mindless. Arael and Armisael, however, express sentience if not much understanding of consciousness, and seem to take pleasure in causing pain and destruction. But the one who really takes the cake? The Lilim.
The fact that they use some very odd terms to describe concepts related to the EVAs. Given what we learn later on, umbilical bridge and umbilical cable spring to mind.
The vision of the alternate universe in episode 26 can be considered this. After watching the rest of the series, seeing the main characters happy, well-adjusted and acting like normal children is genuinely disturbing. It's like staring into the Uncanny Valley.
Leliel. At first, it's a red sphere and you're like "This ought-ta be easy!" But then, the Evas keep passing through it. And then 01 gets absorbed through what appears to be its shadow. But then you find the sphere is its shadow and what you thought was its shadow was its body that leads to a Dirac Sea - basically, a place of no return. But 01 returns. Through Leliel's shadow. Oh, and Leliel bleeds red blood. So when 01 bursts through...
The "Kentucky Fried Rei". If you haven't seen the full series yet, it's best not to look into this until you've watched Episode 23, at the very least. For those of you that have, you already know that Rei destroys her EVA to defeat the Angel that is steadily infecting her body, and dies heroically. Later, her Entry Plug is recovered, and Ritsuko peers in, then tells the men with her to classify it as top secret, and then destroy everything. At first glance, we think that we're not seeing anything. But if we look at that scene again, we can see Rei's arm◊ in the lower portion of the screen. What we're looking at is Rei, having been turned to carbon by the intense heat of the explosion. Which is horrifying, especially when you take into account similar things happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The entire damned episode 23. Being forcefully fused with an Eldritch Abomination is horrifying, but as if it weren't enough, when Armisael is attacking Rei, it physically penetrates Eva-00, with Rei arching her back and moaning. Moreover, bloated veins appear over her body, Eva-00's core collapses as Rei tries to save Shinji from Armisael, and in the end, she chooses to self-destruct. There is no need to count the ways that this is wrong.
Rei's disturbing interaction with Armisael all but screams that the Angel is having sex with her. It morphs into a naughty tentacle and plunges into Unit 00, whom Rei is linked with, then proceeds to invade her body. Rei even blushes as though she was having an orgasm. Worse still, the monitors back at NERV headguarters are displaying "PENETRATION" in big bold letters, furthering the idea she's getting raped by an Angel. Finally in the Directors' Cut, as if the imagery of sex wasn't crystal clear, Unit 00 gets a distended, pregnant-like belly when Rei sets off the self-destruct sequence to kill Armisael.
Earlier in the episode when Armisael tries to fuse with Shinji, he stabs Armisael, causing it to let out a horrific scream and then tiny Rei heads emerge from bloated veins that have appeared on Shinji's hands while calmly saying 'It hurts Ikari-kun. Doesn't it hurt?' And then Armisael takes Rei's form, and caresses Eva-01's face, causing veins to appear across it, in an attempt to "become one" with Shinji. Somehow this makes sense in context: The angel Armisael symbolizes birth and the womb.
Armisael's Body Horror goes a step further in the Director's Cut of the episode. The armor covering Unit 00's back explodes off and a tower of tumorous-looking flesh erupts, which takes on the shape of every previous Angel. What would have happened if Rei hadn't contained it with her AT Field?
Episode 20. "This is the truth behind a 400% sync ratio!" is probably the most chilling line in ANY ANIME EVER.
Shinji constantly mentions how his entry plug smells like blood, and how the scent of blood lingers after he's been in it. He doesn't know it... but the LCL that fills his plug really IS blood- Lilith's. Blood he has unwillingly bathed in, swallowed, and even marinated in after being stuck in the entry plug when he was trapped in Leliel's body.
The claustrophobic freakout he has about it while inside Leliel is especially terrifying.
Shinji: *desperately pounding on the plug's escape hatch* "IT SMELLS IN HERE! BLOOD! THIS PLACE SMELLS LIKE BLOOD! NO! I-! I HATE THIS PLACE! LET ME OUUUT!"
That cross NERV has Lilith nailed onto is actually tapping into her blood, and the pool in her containment room is gallons of it seeping out.
Shinji's balls-out Unstoppable Rage during his battle with Samshel. He screams bloody murder all throughout his vengeful counterattack, and when he finally kills the Angel, he falls apart and cries in front of Toji and Kensuke, who previously thought he was a showy Invincible Hero. They got the worst surprise of their lives. It's the first real sign of the show Shinji's in a traumatic hell all his own.
When you see Toji recovering in the hospital from the crushing of his entry plug, his left leg has been amputated. And that's the last we see of him in the series. What a painful image to go out on.
Any time Shinji breaks into a Madness Mantra/Survival Mantra, such as "I mustn't run away!" or "I can't take it anymore!" you KNOW something hellish is on the horizon.
The bat-shit insane reaction Naoko Akagi has to Rei I calling her an "old hag." This Rei is only a preschool-age child, so she's only innocently and gleefuly repeating what she overheard Gendo say. The way Naoko interprets it, it's Yui Ikari mocking and insulting her for not ending up with Gendo, essentially calling her a withered up, useless, replaceable bitch. How does Naoko respond? By strangling Rei I to death. Her exact quotes as she loses her mind:
Naoko:(while wringing Rei I's neck from mid-air) (squeals and whimpers with anger) YOU LITTLE BITCH! YOU'RE REPLACEABLE TOO, DID YOU KNOW THAT, REI?!? YOU'RE JUST AS REPLACEABLE AS ME!!! (shakes off her fit of rage, seeing that she's actually murdered Rei I, transfixed with pure horror and tearful gasping)... (loud gunshot)
And then... it hits her. She didn't kill Yui... she killed a CHILD. Her reaction is unparalleled horror...too much for her to live with. Cue Smash Cut and a sudden gunshot. The next scene? A huge blood splatter streaking down the side of the bridge of the Magi supercomputers all the way down to the ground from a long drop, with the outline of Naoko's bloody corpse on the floor.
During the battle with Zeruel, the Angel tears into Unit 01 right as it breaks loose from its holding bay, causing a massive deluge of blood to rain down... on Gendo... which he doesn't wash off. Instead... he looks on with a decidedly pissed expression on his face. If it had been anyone but him soaked in that blood...
Gendo's atrocious act of fusing Adam's embryonic body to his hand. Now his gloves hide something more than scars...
Misato's bizarre and jarring sexual advances to help him cope with Rei's Heroic Sacrifice on Shinji warrant nightmares. A grown adult at the age of thirty wants to have pity sex with a fourteen-year-old boy. The English dub seems to try and hide it, but there's still the carefully-placed subliminal image of the head of a chair sticking straight up above Shinji's crotch like an erection.
The way Sachiel regenerates a new head after being struck by an N2 mine- it pushes the old one to the side... and the new one looks twice as disturbing as the first.
Any use of the N2 weapons, particularly the bombs. It strikes the viewer that this is a Japanese settingbeing bombed... Then, Tokyo-3 is actually destroyed by an explosion.
And, to top it all off, all of the Eva pilots are only 14 years old. These are children being forced to experience these horrible events.
Episodes 26's pseudo-happy ending. After you watch that... and then watch all the way through "End"... it's like a punch in the gut. Did they actually find happiness in Instrumentality? Or is the blatant horror of 25' and 26' the real event?
Remember that just about all of the main characters (Shinji, Asuka, Rei, Misato and Ritsuko) all get their turn in the spotlight questioning everything and facing the truth (but not always accepting it). When was the last time we saw these characters interacting in the real world? A mind-raped Asuka is laying dormant in a hospital room, the newest Rei clone is probably locked in her room questioning her own existence, Ritsuko was last seen probably shot along with Misato and they're bleeding out, and Shinji is probably alone somewhere. What I'm trying to get at is that the ending didn't actually happen, it was all going on inside their heads. Thus, Shinji didn't act upon what he had learned about himself at the end of the television series, and he most likely never got a chance to. None of them did. They remained broken to the very end.
End of Evangelion
Now for the meat of the page. Two Alternate Episodes of 25 and 26 that are so packed with Nightmare Fuel it earned its folder.
One scene that comes to mind is when the mass-produced EVAs devour EVA-02. With Asuka inside it, literally feeling the pain and agony through the mind-link. And before that, they lick her◊... in a very wrong way.
Said EVAs are disturbing enough with those creepy eyeless, smiling faces alone... pictured here◊.
Along with the smaller one with all the spikes sticking out of its head bleeding profusely.
Not in that picture, but there is also a shot of one of the EVAs smiling with its brains hanging out of its skull.
If you look carefully, you will notice that in the scene immediately after the fake Lance hits Unit-02's head, Asuka's left eye socket is bleeding profusely into her lap. Fridge Horror knowing the injury through the neural link with her Eva caused her eye to burst. Additionally, after she berserks and the rest of the fake Lances hit her, the first one very obviously splits her right arm in half through the link. One can only imagine what the effects of Unit-02 being eaten must have been...
There's also the fact that Shinji is physically incapable of accessing Unit 01 due to the hardened bakelite surrounding the entry plug. So he's pretty much forced to sit there and do nothing the entire time.
Asuka is a hazard to the health of anyone or anything that isn't named "Kaji" or "Hikari". This effect is turned Up to Eleven if Shinji is the victim or if she is in Nigouki ("Unit 02"), and passes the Nightmare Fuel threshold when she has to fight 9 Evangelions at once.
To illustrate just how Ax-Crazy she had become by the end, she holds an enemy Evangelion above her head, cracks it open, and bathes in its blood with a sadistic grin on her face... while counting off her victims in German.
The part after the mass-produced EVAs mangle EVA-02 when Asuka refuses to give up and, while holding a hand over her bleeding left eye socket, tries to go into berserker mode and stretches her right hand out to Grasp the Sun while repeating "I'll kill you..." right before her arm is split in half and she is impaled to death with the fake lances. Along with her◊ utterly◊ furious◊ and◊ murderously◊ insane◊ facial◊ expression◊. Sure it was pretty much her ultimate Crowning Moment of Awesome but it was still incredibly horrific.
It doesn't matter if it's English or Japanese, the scene right after this of a sobbing Maya telling Shinji what happened... Even just one line can be considered haunting thanks to the delivery:
As great a job as Spike Spencer did voicing Shinji, Megumi Ogata's scream is even worse. As commenters point out, where Spencer's voice sounded controlled and articulate, Ogata sounds like she let loose a feral non-human scream.
Listening to both is absolutely 'chilling. Spencer's scream sounds like Shinji has honest to god lost his fucking mind, and as the scream ends it fades away into a desperate sob. Ogata's is possibly worse, as Shinji just screams. No emotion behind it, just.. screaming. A combination of despair, hatred, sadness, horror and disgust finally burst through the poor bastards psyche, as he screams in misery, highly reminiscent of Unit 0-1's scream upon devouring Zeurel.
The horrifying DVD menu for Death & Rebirth EOE, watch and behold!End Of Evangelion menu begins at 1:38.
And you know those things that look like spinal cords in the beginning of the DVD menu? They ARE spinal cords. Of the aborted Eva prototypes.
The subtle addition of the letters of the menu options decaying and falling apart was also creepy.
The fact that the music is a piano version of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" doesn't help at all. The imagery overwhelms it, coupled with the screaming, the scenes of devastation, the panicked voices, the fact that someone's hands have been impaled with spikes and every other thing that shows up.
Things get worse in the DVD menu for Death and Rebirth. It starts off with lots of questions like "What do I exist for?", then the menu options appear. As crazy goes down in the red-tinted background, occasionally the menu options change to something you can't quite catch. While you're asking yourself, "did the menu options just change?" the entire menu goes away for an extreme close-up of Shinji screaming in the cockpit. Then the menu comes back at the opposite side of the screen. Words like "I HATE YOU" show up on screen and all the while the music is violins mixed with the sound of cicadas. You can view it here.
The changed menu options you can't quite catch are:
Gets even creepier during Asuka's "I don't want to die" bit when her mother's "You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone" gets piled over it.
Die with me, Asuka...
The scariest part is how long the chanting lasts. She starts off almost inaudible and it builds... and builds... and builds, growing increasingly frantic and despaired while the camera pans in on her... then finally, she roarsI DON'T WANT TO DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEE!!! Fortunately, that scene is quickly forgotten when, seconds later, Asuka discovers her mama's been protecting her all this time and snaps out of her funk.
Shinji seeing Rei as Lilith. His best friend and mother figure just turned into a glowing white monster of cosmic proportions, and her eyes are now empty black hollows with red dots. The look of pure terror on Shinji's face and the way he breathes her name...and then Rei gets her usual eyes back. Cue the most terrifying screaming imaginable as Shinji loses his mind, screams guaranteed to give anybody nightmares.
The climax of the movie where Shinji begins Instrumentality by strangling Asuka and absorbs the souls of everyone on Earth as Komm Susser Tod plays (complete with creepy childish drawings of killings, violence, dead animals, and angry people).
When Instrumentality begins, and the camera pans over Earth as everyone screams in terror then get turned to LCL.
If you listen closely (or listen to the commentary), the screams are actually somewhere between cries of terror and cheers of ecstasy. Which, of course, makes it that much more horrifying.
The Eva-Series opening their mouths and out pops long white blobs with human heads sprouting from the sides, and it having a happy human face at the end of the blob.
Possibly the scariest thing is the Eva-Series stabbing themselves in their exposed glowing hearts, while climaxing!
When GNR's hand just passes through Maya and she suddenly has a seizure is pretty terrifying. Who knows what she saw in that brief second but it was enough to reach Lovecraftian insanity. What is this thing and how does it exist?!
For those of you curious enough to want to see that, click here to see it in glorious HD.
The unsettling warning that the Anti-AT Field is becoming so big that "individual entities will be unable to maintain their separate forms". In other words, we explode into giant masses of LCL. And just how does this happen? Being hugged by the image of someone you loved.
Therefore it explains the meme: Everybody gets hugged and turns into Tang!
The "exploding" part, such as when the camera suddenly cuts away from Maya only to show some LCL and their severed hand splatter against a computer screen, as well as the popping sound that accompanies it.
Shigeru is "hugged" by a large quantity of naked Reis. He didn't love anyone enough for instrumentality to use that, so instead it beat his mental defenses into submission and tanged him anyways.
Word of God says that was because he was an atheist/nihilist, hence Shigeru's lack of beliefs made it impossible for Instrumentality to give him something happy to hug. Which is completely depressing.
Keel's appearance is quite freaky too. That, and the fact he's so happy about the whole thing. And this is just about the only time in the series we see the old bastard smiling at all.
Unlike the other humans turned to LCL, he simply melts into a puddle without warning. Then, his soul floats away and you can see a startling pile of gizmos that were hooked up to his decrepit body. One wonders what in the hell happened to the man that lead to this... and considering his happy attitude to being turned to LCL, he was looking forward to the release of his body. On top of that, after his soul was re-released, if he could imagine himself in his heart as human again, it would mean his body could be healed...
The mind calming pep-talk Shinji has with his mom, Yui, EVA-Unit 01 pops out of Giant Naked Rei's eye!
The one scene where toddler Shinji is left alone in the park and starts crying helplessly after destroying the sand pyramid he built because his parents won't come for him. Then a creepy tune starts and Asuka yells "Enough already! Even just the sight of you pisses me off!" at him with a murderously insanelook◊.
And finally the greatest amount of Gorn in the movie: the GNR's neck tearing from the body, with spurts of blood coming from the neck. And then, the head falls off, with the neck muscles and spine exposed, while at the same time, her right arm is tearing away and the tendons shred apart, with the humerus bone perfectly visible. And finally, the head split in half as her limbs fall apart and the entire body melts into a pool of blood.
"Now that's one hell of a splitting headache."◊ Bonus points that the image URL has the numbers "666" in the link- truly befitting this terrifying picture.
He so totally had it coming, but how about the scene where Gendou gets cannibalized by a surrealistic, apocalyptic vision of berserk Eva-01 after finally expressing his despair and self-hate and getting a collective You Suck from 3+ ghostly entities? It's even worse when you realize that it's 'Yui-sama' he sees and know that, by Word of God, demonic Eva-01 represents Shinji for him. While it's somewhat reassuring that he actually feels bad about his actions, it's like saying, "I want my son to kill me in the most painful, mutilating and degrading way possible." What's even more depressing is that Shinji isn't actually present and will never know that his father is sorry and didn't truly hate him, that the problem wasn't with him but with Gendo being broken or insane. In other words, Gendou still manages to escape accountability towards Shinji, albeit in a very painful way. This means that if we suppose he's dead, Shinji will probably spend the rest of his life with unanswered questions, the pain of abandonment and the fear of resembling his father in any way (episode 26 of the series did have some abstract -and unrealistic- reconciliation take place).
The shot of his torso after his death stays just long enough for anybody to see it. Still standing up.
Reading about the ending they had originally planned, with the tombstones and Shinji holding Rei's severed arm, completely alone.
Also: "Goodbye, mother." It means Shinji can finally mourn Yui, but it's still infinitely sad.
As well as the And I Must Scream element of being locked inside of a human-grown replication of Lilith and being forced to spend all of eternity floating through space with the Lance of Longinus as a testament to human existence. Yeah well, that's what she wanted, though.
Unless Yui can free her soul at will, or if Gendo comes back to life, he could track her down in space and rescue her from that abysmal fate.
The Mass Production units alone are Nightmare Fuel; bone white bodies, lack of eyes, elongated ever-smiling faces, and the savage mentality of a freakin' vulture.
This may or may not be amplified if you know that in Japanese culture, the color white means "death", while black means "life". In other words, the 9 Mass-Production Evangelions can be interpreted as "Giant Angels of Death".
The very last scene in which Asuka and Shinji are shown to have rematerialized from the sea of LCL together on a beach looking out on the severed head of Lilith/Rei and the apocalyptic landscape. Asuka - her arm and eye bandaged in a manner similar to Rei's - lies motionless next to him. Shinji, at the culmination of his love, hate, stress, frustration, etc. - begins to strangle her without warning only to stop when he feels the caress of her hand across his face much like how Yui had done earlier. He then breaks down, sobbing on top of her and Asuka responds with disgust. Their faces during this whole scene were completely expressionless, and they were almost completely silent as well.
If you pause the movie right after Misato's death, when one of the Rei apparitions "collects" her as the JSSDF charges explode, you can see Misato's disconnected legs and torso. Someone actually bothered to find it.◊
The JSSDF soldiers killing most of the Nerv personnel. One of them even pressed a gun to Shinji's head and would've killed him if Misato didn't show up on time. And Shinji was so psychologically broken and suicidally depressed by that point that he was quite willing to let them kill him!
There is also one scene where Shinji remembers his childhood, where he plays with some creepy "children" that look like deformed dolls...
The part where Rei's arm falls off, as well as when it grows back. And she does so by stealing it from Gendo's flesh.
Gendo's attempt to fuse with Rei qualifies- because it almost looks like rape, or an old man acting like a pedophile to a child. Why? Gendo starts the fusion by placing his hand (the one with Adam attached to it) firmly on her naked breast, while Rei shows a touch of discomfort. Then, he pushes his hand clean through the breast and Rei's skin displaces around it like water. Then, he drags his hand through her body down to about the right location where her womb would be... and Rei starts whimpering with a clearly visible expression of pain. Dear God, it's disgusting!!
Not any less disturbing is when she retaliates: a wet tearing sound and Gendo stumbles back, holding the severed and bleeding stump that was his wrist. Right before it happens we see her flesh tightening around his hand; add in the rape metaphor and it becomes painfully likely that Anno heard of the urban legend of the vagina dentata.
Not only that it looks right up at Shinji, and the look of terror and madness on Shinji's face(like a smile, but those eyes) shows that he's gone completely, incurably insane.
According to Tiffany Grant (Asuka's English VA), Hideaki Anno once said that Asuka's "I feel sick" line is a reference to Morning Sickness. Asuka and Shinji will have to raise a child in the ruins of the world. How messed up will that child be? And even worse is the question "Who's the father?" seeing as Asuka never had sex.
Asuka and Shinji's fight in the kitchen here. The music and how Shinji has a Freak Out moment and tries to strangle Asuka with a furious expression on his face after she refuses him and gives him a nasty "The Reason You Suck" Speech. No wonder it was the trigger for the Third Impact.
On top of that, there's a closeup shot of Asuka's bare feet as she's raised up to tiptoe while Shinji wrings her neck. Although they're cute, this is definitely NOTFanservice.
And the Madness Mantra Shinji keeps saying: "Help me. Please help me."
The scene of Kaji and Misato having sex while Shinji and Asuka look on disgusted and comment on it.
Not to mention the sickly way her feet twitch and flail during it. At one point, she flexes her toes out so far they look freakishly deformed.
Those awful sounds Lilith does when is awakening and the Eva growling. Ugh.
And the way it frees its hands from the spikes of its cross- they slip through the nails and whatever skin is still stuck to them streches out like putty for a few seconds until finally peeling free.
The disturbing image of a NERV employee begging Jesus to save him from being killed, then raising his hands in surrender. Unfortunately, the JSSDF are inclined not to take prisoners and opt for a Mercy Kill- a soldier caps him in the head and then fires point-blank on him- twice.
The first casualty is a terrified soldier standing guard at NERV's entrance. While his back is turned, a JSSDF stealth operative sneaks up from behind, covers his mouth, and plunges a trench knife into his back so hard, his feet leave the ground. Then, you see his body laying in a pool of his own blood as it pours out while a fleet of soldiers invades.
Other highlights of the killings include an explosion taking out several soldiers behind an armored carrier, an attack chopper tossing a missile silo in the faces of a few NERV personnel who thought they were safe taking shelter in an open passageway, one woman being gunned down while begging for her life, and a JSSDF soldier incinerating a NERV operative with a flamethrower- twice, luckily with a Gory Discretion Shot.
Misato ends up running over a dead JSSDF soldier while making her escape with Shinji. Sure, he was one of the bad guys, but seeing that corpse flop for a half-second from the tire impacts is nauseating.
Misato's death. She gets shot by a high-caliber bullet in the back and somehow manages to show no sign of extreme pain from the wound. Then, after she kisses Shinji goodbye, you see she's bleeding horrifically from that wound and now it's finally taking its toll. Then... just when her death couldn't get any worse... she's BLOWN IN TWO. Made ultimately worse when her remains are turned to LCL and you can clearly see her tattered, scorched jacket from her uniform.
After being shot dead by Gendo, Ritsuko's body lays floating in a pool of LCL... Lilith's blood. When Lilith falls down from its cross, her body sinks under the ripples of the LCL.
Asuka cleaves a mass-produced EVA in half. You get the vivid image of its upper torso spinning through the air, while the lower half sprays blood all over the countryside.
In fact... ALL the EVAs she attacks are ferociously maimed and dismantled, as spoken directly from Eva Geeks.org:
Unit-09 - Attacked by Asuka with a flying-jump "skullbuster" move which tore off its upper jaw and smashed its brain pan to pulp, after which Asuka held it over Eva-02 and broke it in two, spilling its blood all over Eva-02.
Unit-11 - Pushed into the lake with Eva-02, then stabbed through the top of its head with Eva 02's Progressive Knife; the blade snapped off, impaled in its upper jaw and projecting into its mouth.
Unit-07 - Right arm cut off by Eva-02's Prog Knife, after which its neck was snapped backwards: its head actually dangles behind it (touching its back) after this.
Unit-06 - Dueled Eva-02 using Heavy Spears, until Eva-02 was able to land a direct hit between its left shoulder and neck, cleaving downwards to the center of Eva-06's torso.
Unit-12 - Completely cut in half by Eva-02 using a Heavy Spear, through the waist, its upper half sent spiraling through the air.
Unit-08 - Left leg cut off at the knee by Eva-02 using a Heavy Spear, causing it to lose balance and fall on its back.
Unit-10 - Tackles Eva-02, prompting Asuka to fire two volleys of missile-spikes through its head, using the spike-launcher in Eva-02's right shoulder pylon. The metal spikes remain impaled through Unit 10's devastated head throughout all of its subsequent appearances.
Unit-05 - Pushed through a wall by Eva-02, resulting in damage to its neck, then thrown through the air into Eva-13; after which it was completely impaled by Eva-02's arm as it punched a hole clear through its torso.
Unit-13 - Eva-02 threw Eva-05 into it, then as Eva-02's fist came out the other side of Eva-05 as it impaled it, Eva-02's fist punched into Eva-13's chest. Eva-02 squeezed its fist inside of Eva-13 as it writhed in pain, almost crushing its core.
Still not disturbed? Because Asuka didn't destroy any of the EVAs' cores, ALL of them survived and kept going like fiendish zombies.
As Shinji screams in horror at the sight of the Eva series sprouting Rei's face, Unit 01 roars and its core spurts out of its armor with a sickening splash of bodily/mech fluids. Yeeecchh!!!
Seeing that Unit 01 actually has blue hair when it drifts off into space and somehow loses its helmet has a sense of Narm and disturbing quality all its own.
The petrification of the Eva Series and Unit 01 after Instrumentality ends. It's bad enough the Evas have gone through so much carnage and abuse- this is the cherry on top of their aforementioned gory cake.
In the original Japanese dub, just as the Eva series is about to synchronize with the GNR, they let off hellish demonic cackles.
Watching a tremendous explosion engulf the entire Geofront and reveal a mortifying black moon from beneath that is supposed to be used to harbor humanity's souls. It's bad enough knowing the JSSDF troops above ground and a great deal of innocent bystanders must've been turned to dust, but said explosion resembles a giant eye and leaves a hurricane-shaped crater in the ground. Although the eye-shaped explosion is a stealthy Shout-Out to Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, it effectively doubles the nightmare quotient.
The JSSDF are actually representative of the final Angel, Lilim - the sons and daughters of Lilith, also known as "humanity", who evolved from LCL. They are the last Angel that NERV fights - and the only angel able to beat NERV. This is actually quite frightening because we then realise what humanity is actually capable of.
The manga can be pretty bad too. One scene that is very bad even for Evangelion: the scene where Shinji, after dissolving in his Entry Plug, nearly gets sexually assaulted by an apparition of Eva-01 under the guise of naked Yui and is too tired/depressed/stoned to realize how terrifying this is. Then a spectral Yui appears and the first one's skin starts peeling off her skull.
In the same context of being Tanged in Eva-01: toddler Shinji begs Gendou not to abandon him, and Gendou coldly answers that he's being a difficult child and that his mother is dead, then points at a demonic Eva-01 behind him. Then, he announces that he must pilot it and Shinji's entry plug starts filling with LCL as he panics. At the end of the scene, he stabs Gendou in a real bloodbath and freaks out at what he's done. The loneliness, terror and despair of the whole sequence are just terrible.
In a recent chapter of the manga: AT-Field!Gendou's raving insanity and his speech to Shinji about never loving him and the world being a desperate, empty place.
The manga's reworking of the scene in End of Evangelion where Shinji masturbates over a comatose Asuka is equally disturbing and tragic, but turns it into a Kiss of Life of sorts. At first, Shinji is at Asuka's bedside, exhorting her to get up. He may try to do something more, wank or no, but then Asuka finally sits up and turns her head to him slightly, her first conscious action in weeks... and then she leaps out of bed and attempts to strangle him to death in the exact same manner her mother did to her a decade prior before she killed herself.
What triggers her off into a rage is Shinji saying that she is "just a doll" while comatose and that he wants her back... something that after her mother's treatment of her is not the right words to use. Of course Shinji does not mean it in that way and he has no clue why she snaps, which makes the scene all the more tragic.
Luckily, NERV hospital staff separate the two and Shinji is led out while Asuka angrily screams that she hates everyone. Shinji breaks down crying outside soon after seeing his father and Rei pass by him almost unnoticed.
Shortly after meeting Shinji, Kaworu calmly kills an abandoned kitten that had been following Shinji. His explanation to Shinji's question of "why" was that it was kinder to kill the kitten rather than let it eventually starve to death.
The show's basic message about existential loneliness, alienation and disconnection, the inevitable infliction of pain to each other, terror of oneself and other people, self-destruction, Love Hurts, man's cruelty to man, being incomplete and hollow, the meaninglessness of life, obsession with death and suicide, etc etc etc. The characters are just barely surviving and are almost constantly threatened by madness, there isn't much psychological survival to speak of. Surviving The End Of Evangelion might be the worst thing that happened to Shinji, as we might wonder what kind of future he has and how much Brain Bleach he'll need to stop the horrible images burnt in his head.
He was stuck in a ruined world with Asuka, traumatised, completely insane, and with no hope left at all. The least depressing/terrifying thing is that they probably killed each other or died of starvation after a few days, and finally stopped being mentally tortured.
Or, if Yui's final words were correct, the people who have the will to live will return back as well. That is, it won't be just Shinji and Asuka left on the planet.
On a lighter note, it's implied that the only area that turned into a wasteland was Japan, which makes sense given that that's where the explodey apocalypse happened. Sure, it doesn't make things any better for Shinji and Asuka, but at least it's a bit more hopeful. Of course, the Giant Giant Naked Rei, the butchered remains of Unit 02, the frozen MP-Evas and the bloodstained moon will also keep them company.
Shinji's screams in the original dub. Always unexpected and, unlike Spike Spencer's more cracking, scared approach, always ear-splittingly shrill and batfuck insane.
Try listening to "Fly Me To The Moon" afterward without an unsettling feeling of horror.
However, it's proof to the power of fiction that Bayonetta uses the song as well, and almost as an Evangelion shout-out, seeing as the lead character is beating the piss out of angels the entire time - however, the feel is entirely different, and completely altered the view of the song in my mind. Personally, it's kind of amazing what the same song can do with a different background.
Not to mention most of the last four episodes of Evangelion & the movies, in which each character gets thrown on the emotional rack, many die, one gets eviscerated, and one literally and graphically disintegrates. Oh, and then there's this shot◊ of Rei, which can cause a full-bore freakout all by itself.
The worst thing for me: Even when the series was in the more lighthearted territory, all the drama/nightmarish events to come was heavily foreshadowed in almost every episode and from the very beginning there were distinctly dark moments (be they Gendo's shady, behind-the-curtain dealings or the startling brutality with which the berserk Unit 01 murders Sachiel) that made it clear there was a lot more to the series than readily apparent.
Rei. Think about it, she is a clone of Yui, but capable of human feelings. In other words she is basically a normal human. A human that was raised by Gendo, a man that has little to none ability for empathy, ESPECIALLY towards children he is responsible for. A human that knows that they are one of several other clones, a human that has seen a pool of clones of herself smiling at herself, a human that knows that in the moment she dies another clone will simply pop out and pretend it was her at the beginning, a human whose concern to maintain her life and ability to be emotionally stable was slowly crippled because she knows she is not really a human. Imagine being her while standing in front of the Pool of Reis.
In The End Of Evangelion, she stands in front of the pool while bits of intestine, arms, and other nondescript pieces of flesh go floating past her face.
And then, when we see her apartment for the first time, Shinji unintentionally knocks her over and gropes her... And she hardly reacts. It may not be as scary as other moments in the series, but seeing someone with that little regard for herself is creepy.
That pill we see Kaji give Misato is actually swiped from a bottle of medication Rei takes... that's highly implied to keep her clone body from rotting apart. This would explain why her arm sloughed off in Eo E. As for why she neglected to take her medication, it may be the fact that she, unlike Rei I & Rei II, developed a rebellious attitude to Gendo and wanted to die- or knew she would claim Lilith as her new body... which also fell apart.
And to think that she actually started off the Moe trend in anime, thanks to the Misaimed Fandom. Do Mikuru and Miyuki really owe their origins to Rei?
This AMV of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" sums up both Evangelion and Pink Floyd tragically well.
The video at the beginning of the Director's Cut version of episode 21, detailing what really happened the day of Second Impact. The last sentence you hear is a panicked scream from a scientist as Adam's glowing hand begins to move into the camera.
Scientist: IT'S REACHING TOWARDS THE SURFACE! (static)
This video somehow manages to sum up pretty much some of the most disturbing imagery of the series. And the video itself is even titled "Neon Genesis Evangelion OP (FULL)". Yeah.
A more subtle one: Sometimes, when something truly awful happens, and the pilots cannot do anything to stop it, they begin pulling on the EVA controls over and over again in fear. This can be seen in Episode 18 and Evangelion 2.0, when EVA Unit-01's dummy plug system activates, it deactivates the controls, and in the latter example, keeps Shinji's hands locked in place. In these cases, Shinji helplessly pulls on the controls hoping something will happen. Not only this, but in The End of Evangelion, after Asuka's eye is stabbed and her EVA shuts down, she sits there, screaming, pulling back and forth on the controls. It's Nightmare Fuel because you realise they can't help themselves from doing this, they've just been reduced to primitive, ape-like fear in hope of survival.
A bit of thinking regarding the nature of the Entry Plug and the way humans interface with the Evas leads to this conclusion: The Evas themselves are living beings, and probably have no business with giant pieces of metal being being inserted into their spinal column. Combine that with the fact that the interior of the Entry Plug has been likened to a womb in-universe by a few characters, Fridge Horrorachieved. Even though it's only subtext, it's still kind of freaky.
Taking it a step further: the pilots aren't "piloting" the Evas at all; they're synchronizing with them, that is psychically projecting their minds into the Evas' bodies. Why do you think the pilots feel the injuries sustained by the Evas? Why do you think the movements of the Evas are so impossibly human and complex? No physical control system could ever accomplish that, and it's entirely possible that the controls in the entry plug don't even work; they're just there to provide tactile feedback to the pilots as they get used to synchronizing, and in reality they're essentially becoming the Evas themselves, melding their minds into the bodies of semi-lobotomized giants. Yeah.