Indeed: only the most insane of fans will get a kick out of this. There's so much shit going on, you can only get the full picture by actually dedicating time and brainpower into researching different aspects of the show and putting it together. It's the only way to really get any sort of idea about what's going on.
For example, just by watching the show, you know that there's 2 beings, Adam and Eva, and the creatures made from Adam are trying to join with him. As revealed by Kaworu, they'd all unintentionally been drawn to Lilith, baited by the Adam in Gendo's possession. You get that 2nd Impact was a cataclysm of the planet and nearly destroyed everything. Okay, it's a bit of fun, a bit weird but mostly enjoyable - especially if you like being mind-screwed. But you never really find out about 1st Impact: you could speculate that it's the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs, based on the destructive power of the 2nd and 3rd Impacts, but you'd be wrong.
Go deeper, and you'll find out why
the angels were doing what they were doing, and what 1st Impact actually was: Adam came to earth in a "seed of life" called the White Moon, intended to colonize the planet it landed on. However, the Black Moon (another seed of life containing Lilith) crashed onto Earth as well. The Black Moon's Lance of Longinus was destroyed, so it couldn't put itself into stasis, which left Adam no choice but to hibernate with her (yes, her) Lance. Thus, Lilith-based lifeforms dominated the planet
. And this made up 1st Impact, linking it to the 2nd and 3rd Impacts through the potential and deliberate reshaping of the world
. There's so much source material explaining everything that watching the show and the movies just isn't enough if you want to understand it all.
edited 14th Oct '12 4:57:14 AM by MrMallard