Gendo Ikari: Ignorance is our ally. Do you disapprove?
Fuyutsuki: ...I do not think we should take this risk. If you are going to use Rei, then I would rather you get it over with before the Japanese or SEELE have a chance to intervene. As we know they will.
Ikari: Rei is not ready. The scenario did not account for us losing her again. Now that we have, we can no longer proceed as planned. Perhaps this was for the best. I was pained to lose her, but Rei had admittedly become too...
Ikari: We made the mistake of allowing her the benefit of distance.
Fuyutsuki: And you think this will help? Knowing what we know it is capable of? It could be suicide.
Ikari: It will buy us the time we need.
Starting where Episode 24 left off; NERV manages through political maneuvering to prevent SEELE's attack for a time, though this action also forces the schedule for the Human Instrumentality project further back, meaning that the scenarios from Episodes 25 & 26, and End of Evangelion are averted.
Three months have passed since the attack of Tabris, believed to be the last of the Angels, and NERV is rebuilding itself and Tokyo-3, while Shinji, having recovered somewhat from the death of Kaworu, tries to come to terms with his own feelings and with the people around him. Rei tries to find her identity and her place in the scheme of things. Asuka, fresh out of her coma and still struggling with recouping from her recent mental breakdown, is reinstated as a pilot but is frustrated by her continuing problems with syncing with Unit-02. And Misato and Ritsuko attempt to find common ground after the recent strain Project-E has put on their old friendship, but this uneasy alliance is constantly tested by the former's search for the truth and the latter's continuous involvement in Gendo's schemes. And the appearance of new Angels of a questionable origin only further complicates things...
And meanwhile, unbeknownst to pilots, an even bigger plot involving SEELE's machinations, the shadowy and merciless official, Musashi Kluge, who will stop at nothing to crush NERV, and the Emerald Tablet, a strange and unpredictable computer program for which Gendo has great plans, unfolds in the background.
Featuring relationships between the pilots that are handled incredibly well, original characters inserted seamlessly, and maintaining the feel of the original series, without succumbing to the pitfalls of many other stories which explore the same territory, "Evangelion: Genocide" is regarded as one of the great classics of Evangelion fanfiction.
Compare and contrast with Continuation Eva fics such like HERZ, Neon Genesis Evangelion R, Scar Tissue, Walking in the Shadow of Dreams or A Crown of Stars, and with For Want of a Nail stories such like Advice and Trust, Nobody Dies and The One I Love Is.
- Accidental Pervert: When Asuka shoves Shinji playfully — wearing nothing but a towel — he stumbles, accidentally grabs part of her towel, and rips it off, exposing her.
- Ace Pilot: In spite of being constantly defeated, Asuka was technically the best pilot. And the new Angels give her another chance to prove it.
- Adaptational Badass: Asuka becomes more badass than her canon self after recovering from her breakdown.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head:
- In chapter 9, Asuka tries to reassure Keiko by rubbing her head.The redhead didn't feel like she was moving until she had placed her hand on the other girl's head, leaning over her, and stroked her hair in a gesture of unthinkable compassion just a few minutes ago.
- In chapter 15, Misato pats Shinji's head before a synch test.Misato stepped over to her wards, patted Shinji on the head and smiled at Asuka.
- In chapter 9, Asuka tries to reassure Keiko by rubbing her head.
- After-Action Healing Drama:
- The story starts out with Shinji keeping watch over a comatose Asuka after the battle against Tabris.
- In chapter 6, Rei gets hurt when she fights an Angel. After the battle, Shinji, Misato and Asuka waited on the hallway leading to her hospital room.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Emerald Tablet is an advanced and very strange self-learning computer program that is designed to solve problems. The problem is that Gendo decides (as part of a ploy) to implement the Tablet in NERV's projects without any regard for safety guards, meaning that that it soon learns enough to be become self-aware, culminating in it spinning out of control to a point where it eventually develops a God complex and come to view humanity and its emotions and fragility as a problem that needs to be solved through what is forcible assimilation and the destruction of free will. It then goes From Bad to Worse, when it makes contact with Asuka's mind and thereby gets the capacity to feel human emotion, something which drives it even more mad when Asuka rejects its rather twisted love for her. As a result, the Tablet is responsible for much of the plot of Genocide, both gradually driving Asuka to the brink of despair by exploiting her personal weaknesses as well as creating the new Angels.
- Allergic to Evil: Her prolonged exposure to the Emerald Tablet inside Unit-02 causes Asuka to feel bouts of nausea, headache, and fatigue, as well as gradually worsening mood swings and general mental instability. She initially dismisses it as being symptoms associated with her period.
- Almost Kiss: Shinji and Asuka almost kiss in the Eva cages before the Final Battle, but Misato ruins the moment.
- Always Second Best: Hikari knows that she'll always be second fiddle to Asuka and she's accepted it readily.
- Amazon Chaser: Shinji is drawn to Asuka — among other reasons — because she's a strong-willed badass.
- Ancient Conspiracy: SEELE has been plotting the end of mankind for decades, and even after being defeated, Keel is determined to carry out his scheme one way or another.
- And Your Little Dog, Too!: Kluge manages to do this twice to Nakayima. Not content with browbeating him into obeying by just threatening to hurt Miko, which did plenty to intimidate him on its own, Kluge decides to also casually threaten to go after Keiko.
- Apologises a Lot: Shinji keeps doing this and his habit keeps driving Asuka crazy. In chapter 9:Asuka: Why does everything have to take so long with you, Third Child?
Asuka: Dammit, don't do that. It bothers me and you know it.
Asuka: You know, I'm starting to think you do it on purpose. Nobody could be so dense.
Misato: Asuka, stop picking on him. It's just his conditioned response, like a defense.
- Archnemesis Dad: Subverted. Gendo's goals remains fundamentally opposed to Shinji's, but after the Angel War, his father is below his notice and Shinji is too busy with getting over his traumas and surviving to trouble himself with Gendo's schemes. On the other side of the coin, Gendo pretty much stays out of Shinji's way and only interacts directly with him at one point, and it actually ends up being a short discussion with a rather amiable outcome between the two. In the end, as Gendo is dying from his Heroic Sacrifice, he, with his last breaths, quietly asks Rei to protect Shinji.
- Armor-Piercing Response: During an argument, Asuka screams that Shinji wasn't trying to protect her in the last battle. Why would he want to protect someone whom he hates? Shinji's reply renders Asuka speechless:Shinji: It was going to hurt you... I just couldn't stand by and do nothing. I couldn't let it hurt you.
Asuka: Liar! You hate me, why would you want to protect me? You care for Wonder Girl more than you care for me! Everybody cares for her more than they care for me! You hate me because I am not your doll, and that's fine with me!
Shinji: I don't hate you! I… tried to protect you because I... I care about you!
- Assimilation Plot: In keeping with Evangelion tradition, the Emerald Tablet has one of its own. It wants to solve the problem of human fragility by stripping all of humanity of all that makes them, well, human, and assimilate all of their minds into its own, considering the being that will result from this for "the pinnacle of human existence."
- The Assimilator: The Emerald Tablet is installed in selected Evangelions, ostensibly to make the pilot's syncing with their Eva easier. But the Tablet, being a self-learning program, quickly figures out that it the connection it makes with a pilot's mind can used for more than just a conduit that allows the pilot to control their Eva; in fact, the pilot themselves can be turned into a conduit too...
- Attention Whore: Deconstructed. Asuka tried to draw everyone's attention to feel less lonely... but eventually she comes to realize that having their attention doesn't mean they care about her.
- Awkward Kiss: In chapter 11, when Shinji and Asuka share a kiss properly, Shinji remembers how awkward and strange their first kiss was.It was not their first kiss, but it was the first time it felt right. Before Asuka had teased and goaded him into kissing her, even bringing up his dead mother. Then she had held his nose and pinched it until he turned blue while kissing him. It had not been entirely unpleasant, just strange. Now it was different.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: In spite of their constants and bitter fights, Shinji and Asuka often show that they care about each other deeply. For example, Shinji spends much of the first half of the story blaming himself for not helping Asuka when she was in pain, and Asuka's She's Back moment is brought on by her witnessing an Angel about to defeat Unit-01, causing her to will the unresponsive Unit-02 back into activation and jump into the fray to protect Shinji.
- Back from the Dead: Asuka gets mortally wounded during the last battle and dies. However, Yui is able to absorb her into the core of Unit-01, allowing her to reassemble her body upon being ready to leave the core.
- Bad Dreams: Asuka suffers from frequent nightmares. Often she dreams of the suicide of her mother or her Mind Rape. In chapter 10 she has a particularly nasty nightmare where she's being hanged. It is eventually revealed to at least partly be a side-effect of exposure to the Emerald Tablet.
- Barehanded Blade Block: Unit-A pulls this off against Unit-01 as it attacks with the progressive knife. Being a bio-mechanical covered in layer of armor being helps of course.
- Bath Suicide: At the beginning of the story, Asuka is in a coma after attempting this.
- Battle Couple: Shinji and Asuka gradually grows into this role, finally truly stepping into the role in the final chapter.
- Beautiful Dreamer: In chapter 10, Asuka sleeps besides Shinji. He spends a while contemplating her and thinking what she looks beautiful:He looked over at Asuka. It was then that the image of the redhead's body fully struck him.
There was hardly any light in the room, but he could clearly distinguish her slender contour under thin sheets that barely managed to cover down to her knees, leaving her exposed from the top of her calves to the tip of her toes. Though she had her back to him, he could still see the profile her sharp features made in contrast to the white pillow on which her head rested, amidst an ocean of red locks.
She looked so peaceful now, so far away from everything, and yet she was lying right here next to him. And so close, in fact, that he could smell the perfumed scent of her hair, along with the clean, familiar essence of her musk. And he could most certainly feel her heat.
Asuka's mouth moved gently, a soft moan escaping her parted lips.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Misato notices Asuka getting increasingly twitchy and having mood swings after the reactivation of Unit-02 and wishes she would have enough free time to recover. Then her Eva goes berserker, hurts another pilot, and Ritsuko decides to retire Unit-02 and Asuka.Ritsuko: However she sees it is not really relevant. I do find it ironic that you were so concerned for her having some time off and now it bothers you that after next week she won't be required to pilot again. In essence, you have gotten just what you set out to get.
Misato: Be careful what you wish for, right?
- Bedmate Reveal: In chapter 10, Shinji wakes up in the middle of the night and realizes Asuka is lying on his bed.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: At the beginning things are still unsteady between Asuka and Shinji after the events of the series, with her resenting him because he never helped her when she needed him, and him frustrated with her because he thought he would never have a chance to understand her as he believed she would not open up to him. Their fights and arguments becomes increasingly bitter and angrier until Asuka moves out... upon which they both gradually come to the realization that that they miss each other. They eventually patch things up, and although they still argue, their arguments are remarkably more civil, eventually culminating in a Relationship Upgrade.
- Beneath the Mask: Several characters — Shinji, Misato, Hikari... — comment that Asuka is a very different person than most of people think, because even though she may look strong and arrogant... that is a mask; and her real self is hurt, vulnerable and without self-esteem:
- The Berserker: During a battle, Asuka and Unit-02 go berserker and brutally rip Unit-08 apart.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: There is Gendo on one side, with SEELE opposing him. The latter eventually forms a Big Bad Duumvirate with the Emerald Tablet, though the Tablet eventually betrays them and pulls a Make Way for the New Villains on them.
- Big Damn Heroes: When Samael is about to deliver the Coup de Grâce to Shinji, Asuka comes along and rescues him.
- The Big Damn Kiss: In chapter 11, Shinji and Asuka finally kiss after a heated argument:Her rosy lips parted, and she closed her eyes as she descended on him.
Shinji had waited for this moment for so long. He had always been torn by his feelings towards her. In the darker days of the fight with the Angels he couldn't bear to be with her. Asuka had become so hostile, so angry. Everything she said was an insult, all she did was hurt him. He hadn't known if he could live with her. It was the most painful time he could recall. But he'd come to identify with her and her pain.
It was not, he realized, that he was there for her. It was simply that he was hers. That he belonged to her — all of him. He always had, ever since meeting her.
Their lips met gently, with nothing more than a caress, but that was enough for Shinji to feel a shockwave of electricity flowing through him. The sensation flooded her every cell, and ate its way into his being. It became almost like a tangible thing and he opened himself to it.
Never had he shared such an intimate bond with another human being. Never felt this way about anyone.
Faced which such heartfelt comfort, Shinji caved in and submitted to her, his body relaxing instinctively under her kiss.
The smell of her hair surrounded him, and her taste poured into him. He looked deep within himself, down into the very core of who he was, and realized he was starving for her. His mind became a blur where all he could make out was the warm sensation in his mouth as they worked their lips against each other.
It was not their first kiss, but it was the first time it felt right. Before Asuka had teased and goaded him into kissing her, even bringing up his dead mother. Then she had held his nose and pinched it until he turned blue while kissing him. It had not been entirely unpleasant, just strange. Now it was different.
Asuka intoxicated him as he pressed harder against her lips, feeling them quiver and part further, relishing more of her taste. He was drunk with it.
In this moment, only the two of them existed in the world.
Had he not needed to breathe, Shinji would have kissed Asuka forever. Just as he had said he would be with her forever. But that was not to be. When the kiss finally broke they both gasped for air, and locked eyes with each other again.
- Big Ego, Hidden Depths: After having a long talk with Asuka about their mothers, where she tells him about her mother's death, her father remarrying and ditching her, her abandonment and loneliness issues... Shinji ruminates on her ego and anger issues are only being a mask and she's truly more complex than people credits her for.
- Bittersweet Ending: At the end, SEELE is still around, NERV's workers are at the mercy of the Japanese Government, and Shinji and his family lose their home. However, Instrumentality has been averted, the Emerald Tablet is no more, Keel has been assassinated, leaving SEELE both without their figurehead and at the risk of being exposed, and the main characters are safe and sound.
- The Blank: The Emerald Tablet's avatar masquerades as a younger version of Asuka, only it has no facial features, and four eerily glowing orbs in place of eyes.
- Blood Knight: Asuka likes fighting... a lot. The Emerald Tablet uses this trait as a way to influence and corrupt her.
- Blood Lust: As she fights an Angel in chapter 6, Asuka becomes blinded by bloodlust.Her pretty face was twisted in a sick, vicious snarl. She was less a teenage girl and more a warrior blinded by bloodlust.
- Bonding Over Missing Parents:
- In chapter 8, Shinji and Asuka talk about their respective mothers' losses and how they felt, and their relationship improves because of it.
- Asuka takes a dislike to Keiko, the new pilot. But in chapter 9, when Keiko reveals that she lost her mother and explains how she dealed with it, and both girls make a connection.
- Bookends: In the first scene Shinji is watching over a comatose Asuka. In the last scene, Shinji is keeping watch over a sleeping Asuka. There is a key difference, though: in the final scene Shinji is not depressed or hysterical; he is calm and confident that she will wake up.
- Break the Cutie: Shinji wasn't a bad boy, but he was fully broken during the Angel War. When the story starts out, he's trying to pick the pieces.
- Break the Haughty: Deconstructed. Asuka was an arrogant, annoying brat, but she was broken so thoroughly than her life became a nightmare and she tried to commit suicide because she couldn't stand the pain anymore.
- Bridge Bunnies: NERV has three bridge technicians. In episode 2, Asuka reflects that she never got to know any of them.There were several technicians working on bulky machines on the catwalk in front of her, doing what she didn't care to know. She had never bothered acknowledging them and other than the so-called Bridge Bunnies she couldn't address any of them by name if she wanted to.
- Bring My Red Jacket: In this story, Asuka's fights are bloody, and often they involve someone getting stabbed to death or ripped apart.
- Broken Ace: The story sees Asuka awaking from the coma she was placed in and trying to recover after all the terrible things the series proper put her through, but she is still quite marked by the experiences, which — during the course of the story — gets compounded by the fact that she is subjected to another mental attack, albeit a slow-working one.
- Broken Bird:
- After losing her mother, being abandoned by her father, being treated like crap by NERV, used like cannon fodder against giant monsters, being mind-raped and abandoned... Asuka wakes up after spending several weeks in a coma and starts to get better."We make our own lives, not the lives others want for us." Stop, a part of Asuka screamed as she spoke. Just stop now. Please stop. "If you depend on others, then you are weak, because you can't live for yourself. It's always what others want and what they impose on you. Even if it's your own mother."
- Shinji also starts to recover from his ordeals during the Angel War.
- After losing her mother, being abandoned by her father, being treated like crap by NERV, used like cannon fodder against giant monsters, being mind-raped and abandoned... Asuka wakes up after spending several weeks in a coma and starts to get better.
- Broken Pedestal:
- Subverted. Shinji's faith in Misato takes a serious hit after she asks him to pilot Unit-01 again despite promising him that he would never have to return to active duty, and as a result he freezes her out for several days on end. But he eventually forgives Misato after Asuka –- who had her own issues with Misato — tells him that he was being completely unfair.
- Played straight when Maya finds out that Ritsuko, whom she idolizes, is working with Kluge and betraying her principles voluntarily. The reveal all but crushes her spirit.
- Broken Tears:
- As he visits Asuka in the hospital, Shinji cries after realizing that she is in a coma because he never helped her."I'm...sorry, Asuka." The feeling of sickening self-disgust rolling through him choked his words and a gloomy, heavy silence enveloped the room once again, broken intermittently only by the EKG's electronic heartbeat and his quiet sobbing.
Shinji didn't try to call for Asuka again, and rushed out of her room moments later, still in tears.
- And after the Final Battle, he cries when Asuka is apparently dead.
- As he visits Asuka in the hospital, Shinji cries after realizing that she is in a coma because he never helped her.
- Brutal Honesty: Asuka says to Keiko that she isn't qualified to pilot an Eva and she should quit because she'll get herself or her team mates killed otherwise. Asuka might have been harsh, but it eventually turns out she was completely right.
- But Not Too Foreign: Asuka is half-American, a quarter German and a quarter Japanese. Her American citizenship comes into play when Misato uses Asuka's US passport to request protection from the American government for her and Shinji and apply for refugee status.
- Came Back Strong: By sheer force of will, Asuka manages to erase the Emerald Tablet inside Unit-02, breaking its control over the Eva and herself. The Tablet is however rescued by SEELE, who allows it access to the Mass Production Eva series, which is bad enough on its own, but it also made further dangerous by the fact that it is has become furious with Asuka for rejecting it.
- Came Back Wrong: At the beginning, Shinji fears that this is what has happened to Rei following her resurrection as Rei III, and he therefore keeps a distance to her. As he begins to reconnect with her, he realizes that Rei merely came back different. She might not be exactly the same in some ways, but she still very much is in others, and overall she still feels and thinks very much in same way Rei II did.
- Cannot Spit It Out: For much of the story Shinji has problems admitting his feelings towards Asuka, because he fears that she hates him. On the other hand, Asuka thinks that he isn't interested and hates her.
- Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: Shinji and Asuka argued a lot... but when she is in a coma at the beginning of the story, Shinji realizes that he didn't mind Asuka called him names because it at least meant she was healthy.A part of him thought it was ridiculous question — saying that he missed Asuka was like saying that he missed having a toothache. But another part, the part surprised at the look on her face earlier, the part that had pushed him into that tunnel when the Angel was descending into Central Dogma, knew that he did miss her, very badly.
Suddenly, even the silence reminded him she was gone.
- Catapult Nightmare:
- In episode ten, Asuka does this after a bad dream.
- And in episode eleven, she falls off her bed.Asuka's eyes shot open and, though the images of her nightmare quickly disappeared, sprang from her bed as if to escape something from her subconscious reaching out to grab her. She was on her feet for only a second before her knees buckled and her legs surrendered her to gravity.
She landed with a thump and a whimper. She lay on the floor for a few moments, too dazed and confused to feel any pain, struggling to keep her heart from bursting out of her chest. For a second that lasted an eternity, she felt utterly helpless.
- Character Development: Most of characters evolve and change throughout the story. Shinji and Asuka particularly mature and grow up greatly.
- Chekhov's Gunman: In chapter 7 readers are introduced to Keiko Nagara, a classmate of Shinji and Asuka whose only apparent purpose is teasing Asuka. A while later she becomes an Evangelion pilot.
- Chick Magnet: Shinji has become somewhat self-conscious about the fact that the girls in his class consider him quite attractive and "cute". Shinji doesn't care, and their behaviour annoys him or embarrasses him.
- Child Soldiers: Shinji, Asuka, Rei and the remaining Children are fourteen-years-old kids forced to drive war machines and win a war. In chapter 11, Misato and Ritsuko argue their position:Misato: You know, as much as everyone seems to want to blame Asuka, we really are all responsible. Keiko should have never been out there. Sending her was a crime.
Ritsuko: Spoken like someone who doesn't realize that what she does for a living is send children to war. Meanwhile, have you even been to see her?
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Making deals with the Emerald Tablet seems to be an all around bad idea. When it introduces itself to Asuka, it present its deal of making Unit-02 move in exchange for her cooperation as a partnership, but the Emerald Tablet quickly uses the connection to gradually erode Asuka's sanity in a bid to try to control her. It also accepts Kluge's offer to help him and SEELE with invading NERV and cause Third Impact in exchange for control over the mass produced Evangelion series, but as soon as it believes Kluge have outlived his usefulness it quickly betrays and kills him.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Asuka never liked seeing other girls getting close to Shinji. After they make the jump to Official Couple she doesn't become less possessive, but she makes the effort to not feel jealous when Shinji wants to spend time with Rei.
- Clueless Chick Magnet: Even after everything what had gone through, Shinji still doesn't get that plenty girls like him.
- Condescending Compassion: The Emerald Tablet's attitude towards Asuka in a nutshell. It is clearly infatuated with her and wants her to see things its way, but as it sees itself as a perfect, logical being that is inherently supreme to the ignorant, emotional animals called mankind, it talks to her from a imagined position of enlighten superiority, arrogantly believing that it understands her better than she does herself, and as a result it oozes with contempt in its attempts to reach out to her. After all it is only trying to help her; it is not like a dumb animal like her can understand that it knows what is best for her.The Emerald Tablet: I know you, what drives you, what you are capable of. Like any other animal you can be taught.
- The Confidant:
- Rei reassumes this role for Shinji, lending an ear to his emotional baggage and giving him advice.
- Misato come to realize that Hyuga has become this to her. With him becoming increasingly personally involved in her search for the truth, she also finds that it is easier discussing her personal problems with him.
- Convenient Coma: At the beginning of the story, Asuka is in coma for several weeks while Shinji recovers a bit from Kaworu's death.
- Conveniently an Orphan: In keeping with tradition for pilot candidates, Keiko is also an orphan.
- Converse with the Unconscious: In the first chapter, Shinji talks to Asuka while she is in a coma, trying to help her to wake up.
- Cool Big Sis: Invoked. Attempting to cheer Asuka up, Hikari says she's like her bigger sister.Asuka: I'm not your sister. I don't have any family. I don't need family.
Hikari: Do it for me then. I told you Kodama moved out, right? I need someone to talk to, you know, about girl stuff. I need someone told tell me if my outfit matches my shoes. I need someone to tell me how I could do better than being just a boring class representative. Someone I can trust.
Asuka: You mean, you need a bigger sister?
Hikari: Well, since you put it that way...
- Cooldown Hug:
- In chapter 11, Shinji and Asuka are upset and distressed after the last battle and the subsequent emotional turmoil. So they lie on the same bed, hug each other, and calm down gradually.Shinji held her tighter. At that very moment, all the things he'd always feared about Asuka, and his relationship with her, seemed to evaporate in the warmth of their embrace.
- And in chapter 15, Shinji hugs Asuka before returning to the real world.Slowly, she wrapped her slender arms around Shinji and clutched the back of his shirt. He hugged her tightly in return, and she melted into his embrace, letting herself go as her senses filled with his warm presence, soothing the lingering raggedness in her chest.
- In chapter 11, Shinji and Asuka are upset and distressed after the last battle and the subsequent emotional turmoil. So they lie on the same bed, hug each other, and calm down gradually.
- The Corrupter: The Emerald Tablet ghost inside Unit-02 plays upon Asuka's darker sides, such as her Blood Knight tendencies, to make her easier to control.
- Covers Always Lie: Despite of the title, no genocide happens in this story. There is a Title Drop though when the Emerald Tablet delivers its Motive Rant, which reveals that the meaning of "genocide" is more metaphorical:It is my purpose to bring an end to your suffering. All of your so-called bounds, your contacts with one another, even you are kind and loving—they only lead to death. Physical death. Mental death. Spiritual death. Your very existence is a continuous genocide!
- Crazy Jealous Guy: The Emerald Tablet might try to deny that it is the case, but it has turned into this by the end of the story, having developed an infatuation with Asuka, but jealous of the connections she has to Shinji and her mother as well as angry that she rejected it, and it ends up deciding to kill her out of what essentially is spite and shallow revenge.
- Creepy Monotone: Rei's voice is this. Her monotone voice enervates Shinji because it reminds him of the death of the former Rei.
- Cruel to Be Kind: In chapter 9, Asuka tries to talk Keiko into quitting piloting for her own good, telling that she isn't pilot material and will likely be torn apart by the enemy. She is harsh because she doesn't know how to be tactful, but she's trying to help Keiko.
- Crush Blush: When they're not arguing or fighting, Shinji and Asuka blush a lot when they are together:
- After getting a backhanded compliment from Asuka:"T-thank you," Shinji replied, blushing slightly. "You…are good company too."
- Asuka teases Shinji, and when he starts stammering, she blushes:Her face colored immediately.
- After getting a backhanded compliment from Asuka:
- Darkest Hour:
- Asuka faces hers after she overcome with bloodlust (due to the Emerald Tablet's influence) seriously injures Keiko, an event which leaves her mired in deep despair and guilt, and leads her to even more actively trying to push people away from her, believing herself to be too dangerous to be around. She gets a bit better when Shinji professes his love for her.
- Shinji faces his after the Emerald Tablet uses the MP Evas to kill Asuka. Fortunately, Yui/Unit-01 intervenes and brings her Back from the Dead.
- Deadpan Snarker: Ritsuko has absolutely no sense of humor... but she has plenty of sarcasm.Ritsuko: It won't make you feel better, but she probably didn't last more than a few seconds before going into shock. She was never very resilient to begin with. Had their places been reversed, I have no doubt Asuka would have retained some consciousness right until—
Misato: God, Ritsuko.
Ritsuko: Unfortunately, the Almighty is not very good with data retrieval.
- Death Glare:
- In chapter 9, Asuka glares heatedly at Ritsuko when she introduces Keiko, the newest pilot to them:Asuka glared frozen blue daggers at her. Had she thought she could get away with it, she would have slapped her.
- In turn, Asuka gets one from Ritsuko after she decides to play more than a little too rough with Keiko during a training exercise. It is notable for making Asuka actually shut up for a moment, where Misato was unable to do the same.
- In chapter 9, Asuka glares heatedly at Ritsuko when she introduces Keiko, the newest pilot to them:
- Death Seeker:
- Subverted. The three pilots had been actively seeking (Rei) or passively wanting to die during the War, but they started to get better after the death of Kaworu.Asuka had once felt like dying too, several times in fact, but there was always something that kept her going.
No, not always. She had wandered the streets for days. She had starved herself. She had stripped naked and climbed into that bathtub. And she had waited, her life meaningless, her pride destroyed, her whole being slowly slipping from reality.
- Keiko wanted to die after her mother's death.
- Subverted. The three pilots had been actively seeking (Rei) or passively wanting to die during the War, but they started to get better after the death of Kaworu.
- Defiant to the End:
- As Kluge is about to shoot her, Ritsuko simply spitefully says that even if she dies, she has made sure that Units 01 and 02 are ready to fight against the invasion and her Famous Last Words are calmly telling him "Fuck you."
- A villainous version with the Emerald Tablet. It refuses to be afraid as Unit-01 is about to finally finishing it off, and even gloats that by killing Asuka, it has ensured that Shinji will not gain any solace from this victory.The Emerald Tablet: Do you expect me to be afraid? Shinji Ikari. There are worse things to be afraid of. Because even if you win, you will still be human. You wish so desperately to live that you would sacrifice transcendence beyond all bounds. I have ruined the one you love. Live with that.
- Defrosting the Ice Queen: Shinji tries very hard to reconnect with Asuka and reach out to her. Eventually she warms up to him.
- Defusing the Tyke Bomb: Asuka was trained by NERV since she was four to be a mecha pilot, unaware that she was considered an easily replaceable pawn until she was discarded and abandoned. Shinji spends a long time trying to fix the damage done to her mind and convincing her that he cares about her and will not leave her.
- Despair Event Horizon: Shinji is firmly on the other side of it when he realizes that Emerald Tablet has probably killed Asuka.He knew, somewhere deep inside, that Asuka was not answering because she couldn't. His dreams, his hopes, and everything else he wished for the future simply ebbed away, leaving behind only an empty vacuum.
- Destructive Saviour: Although the Children saved humanity every time they fought, their Evas also caused much destruction. The Japanese Minister of Interior resents NERV and the Evangelions because of it.If we had not needed them we would have never approved of such monstrosities. They may have protected us, but how much death and destruction have they caused? Ikari has been absolutely reckless in their implementation.
- Determinator: Shinji becomes determined to stay with Asuka and not leave her alone, not matter how much or how harshly she tries to push him away.
- Determined Defeatist: Shinji doesn't believe that he can help Asuka, but he decides to try anyway.
- Devoted to You: As their relationship grows closer, Shinji concludes that he doesn't care how overbearing or rude Asuka can be. He wants to be with her forever.
- Did You Actually Believe...?: Kluge ends up on the receiving end of this, when the Emerald Tablet betrays him.The simple reality of it is that there can be no pacts between gods and men. There is nothing between us — I am what I am, and if you believed you could control me, that was your mistake.
- Dirty Business: Ritsuko is caught up in plenty of this. It is especially examined as she contemplates the process of performing an autopsy on Unit-A's pilot, or rather; what remains of Unit-A pilot after the incident with the rogue Evangelion. She finds it both regrettable that such a young girl has met which such a terrible fate, and the fact that she has to do it all alone as she is the only one with a high enough security clearance to perform the task. Despite her regrets, she never wavers from the idea that the end justifies the means though.
- Disappeared Dad:
- Gendo left Shinji when his son was four. When his father summoned him, Shinji had hoped maybe they would reach some kind of understanding, but after the War their relationship is all but non-existent.
- On the other hand, Asuka doesn't even talk about the man who ditched her as soon as her mother was buried.
- Distaff Counterpart: Keiko is very Shinji-like in temperament and personality. Shinji ponders this when he learns Keiko is the new pilot, admitting that as a person she is very much like himself... just with breasts.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Playing off the discomfort in its counterpart in End of Evangelion, the scene where Gendo inserts Adam into Rei has quite a bit of connotations of a parent molesting their child, especially playing on the extreme violation of trust and physical boundaries such an act would entail.
- The Dog Bites Back: Subverted. The endgame of the NERV and SEELE struggle sees Ritsuko allying with Kluge in a bid to get revenge on Gendo. However, by that point, Gendo was expecting to be betrayed, and couldn't care less about her betrayal or her motives, and his reaction just amounts to pointing out that she has allowed herself to be used by SEELE instead.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: During an argument, Asuka tells Shinji that she doesn't want his pity:"Lets get one thing straight, Third Child. The last thing I want — the absolutely last thing I want — is pity from the likes of you. Nothing she said, and nothing you said got me here. I'm here for myself."
- The Dragon: Kluge fills this role for SEELE.
- Driven to Madness: The Emerald Tablet uses the mental link Asuka has with Unit-02 in an attempt to gradually grind down her sanity by subjecting to constantly low-key mental stress, meant to bring out her Blood Knight urges and her inner fears and insecurities. It eventually starts affecting her by giving her increasingly vivid nightmares, bouts of extreme nausea, and culminates in her viciously attacking Unit-08 and gravely injuring Keiko in the process.
- Driven to Suicide: When the story begins, Asuka is hospitalized after having attempted to kill herself.
No, not always. She had wandered the streets for days. She had starved herself. She had stripped naked and climbed into that bathtub. And she had waited, her life meaningless, her pride destroyed, her whole being slowly slipping from reality.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Shinji and Asuka had to get over their issues, fight new battles, survive another war, and leave their homeland in order to get their "happily ever after".
- Eating the Eye Candy: Shinji often stares at Asuka for a long while, studying her face, hair, legs...Predictably, perhaps inevitably, Shinji found his gaze wandering away from the moving images on the television and focusing on Asuka's prone form, as if drawn by some invisible force.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Angels. After Kaworu's death, new artificial Angels are created.
- Emotionless Girl: Rei II had learnt to express her emotions openly. Her successor, Rei III admits to feel a certain dissonance with the memories of her predecessor and as a result is more emotionless than her, though she tries to get the hang of it again.
- Entitled to Have You: The Emerald Tablet takes this view towards Asuka after it imprints on her by making contact with her mind, believing it understands her better than anyone and it therefore deserves to have her soul.
- Erotic Dream: In chapter 10 Shinji reveals that he's had dreams where Asuka came in his room and had sex with him.
- Everyone Can See It: When Shinji publicly says to Asuka that he cares about her, Asuka is rendered speechless, and can only gather herself enough to wonder "He cares?" out loud. Hikari responds that it was always rather obvious.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: Pen Pen becomes pretty good at helping its humans to not totally screw up. In chapter 10, when Shinji is about to leave Asuka alone when she's sick, Pen Pen "talks" him into looking for a way to help her instead of running away again.
- Evil Counterpart: The Emerald Tablet is effectively this to Kaworu. Where Kaworu noticed the paradox of human existence, their capacity for hope and drive to survive and seek out companionship, despite it leaving them very vulnerable to heartbreak and depression, and found it incredibility beautiful, to the point where he put humanity's continued existence over his own survival and even the survival of his species as a whole, the Emerald Tablet noticed the same, but found this paradox to be a fundamental design flaw that rendered humanity a broken species that would never be able to mend itself, leading it to conclude that it had to "perfect" humanity by forcibly assimilating all of their minds into its own, essentially ending mankind's existence. The trope is made especially apparent in the finale, where the Tablet is given flesh in the form of a Kaworu clone.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: The Emerald Tablet generally seems to radiate a strong aura of cold where ever it goes.
- Asuka notices when it disguised as her younger self, grabs her by the wrist.It was like being touched by a rotting corpse. There was no warmth in the touch, just a cold sense of inhumanity.
- Kluge also notices it when he observes the Tablet having possessed the body of a Kaworu clone inside the glass tube it is being held in. He especially takes note of the absolutely chilling sensation he gets from touching the glass.
- Asuka notices when it disguised as her younger self, grabs her by the wrist.
- Evil Is Not a Toy:
- Gendo and Ritsuko allows the Emerald Tablet to operate without safety protocols in order to allow it to create new Angels for the Evas to fight in order to convince the UN of the necessity of keeping NERV around, with the intention of buying Gendo more time to set up his version of Third Impact. They both manage to underestimate the Tablet's capacity for self-learning, leading to it doing a lot of unforeseen damage and Ritsuko must eventually admit to Gendo that the situation is rapidly spinning out of their control.
- Kluge decides to give the Emerald Tablet control of the Kaworu clones SEELE had made as the dummy plugs for the MP Evas, believing that the Tablet would help them achieve their goals. The Tablet ends up betraying them and kills Kluge almost right after he has helped it get inside the Geofront.
- Evil Old Folks: Kluge is quite old and is noted to appear "frail" in the eyes of the causal observer, having thinning, grey hair and a shrunken, winkled face. But he is truly a vicious, cruel and sadistic man, and during his introduction scene Nakayima notes to himself that despite Kluge's looks, he has to remember that he is talking to someone who has a reputation as "one of the most dangerous men in all of Japan".
- Exact Words: When Kluge hints that he'll kill Keiko if Nakayima doesn't cooperate, after already have made a point of threatening harm upon Miko, Nakayima protests that he never said anything about her. Kluge retorts that he never said that he'd not threaten her.
- Expendable Clone: Subverted. After having been used to the idea she could be replaced if she died, Rei spends much time contemplating her own mortality after her Body Backup Drive was put out of commission by Ritsuko, meaning that she is effectively Out of Continues. She has also come to realize that she actually is a quite different person from her predecessor, despite looking like her and having her memory.
- FaceHeel Turn: Sick of being Gendo's tool, Ritsuko allies herself with Kluge.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: Before Kluge shoots her brains off, Ritsuko glares at him and snarls: "Fuck you".
- A Father to His Men: Misato sincerely cares about her pilots and really wants to be this to them, trying to look after Shinji and Asuka and help Rei.
- Faux Action Girl: Keiko is a pilot, but she doesn't really want to be one, and she isn't a good fighter.
- First Kiss: In chapter 11, Shinji remembers his and Asuka's first kiss and ponders that it went horribly.
- First-Name Basis: Rei III asks Shinji to call her "Rei" rather than "Ayanami", pointing out that "Ayanami" was what he called Rei II. She explains that while she might in some ways be the same as Rei II, she also feels sufficiently different from her that she thinks it would be better if she was called something else.
- Fix Fic: This story fixes Shinji and Asuka's relationship, among other things.
- Forced to Watch: The Emerald Tablet spitefully uses the MP Evas to forcibly hold Shinji down, making him helplessly watch as it destroys Unit-02 and mortally wounds Asuka out of jealous rage.
- Forgiveness: Shinji and Rei argue the subject of forgiveness after Shinji hurts Asuka and doesn't believe he can make amends.Shinji: I shouldn't have... But she... she can be so mean. She had no right to say those things to you... but I had no right to say them to her. I had no right... please, forgive me.
Rei: Forgiveness is not mine to give.
Rei: You can ask me for forgiveness, but I have no reason to forgive you. You have done nothing to me that would require it. If you feel it is the Second who should forgive you, then you should go to her and ask her to do so instead.
Shinji: I can't. I can't go to her. She hates me. She—
Rei: She is who she is. And she does not have to forgive you. It is not an obligation.
Shinji: But... what's the point in apologizing to someone if they will just hate you for it?
Rei: Will it make you feel better? People make themselves what they want to be, not what others wish them to be. I can only be me, and no one else. You accept me for being me, so you should accept her for being her.
- For Want of a Nail: The point of divergence happens after episode 24: Gendo manages through political maneuvering to avert SEELE's attack for a time.
- Full-Frontal Assault: A version happens with Unit-01 at the climax of Shinji's confrontation with the Emerald Tablet. The Evangelion has by this point been damaged in ways that has stripped it of most of its armor. The result is absolutely terrifying.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Shinji breaks down into a full-on panic attack from witnessing Maya getting shot by the JSSDF; Asuka slaps him to get him to snap out of it and focus on helping her find a way to escape.
- Giant Equals Invincible: As soon as new Angels show up, it's made clear that the army keeps being helpless against them, and the Evas must be deployed again.
- Girlish Pigtails: Hikari has her hair in twin pig-tails. She freely admits that hairstyle makes her seem more juvenile.
- A God Am I: The Emerald Tablet fully comes regards itself as a god in the last chapter.Rei: I failed... to understand you.
The Emerald Tablet: You can no more understand me than a maggot can understand God.
- Gratuitous German: Used by Asuka every so often:Asuka: Gott, I just came back and you are already having lewd thoughts about me.
- Greater-Scope Villain: SEELE, with their plan to merge all human souls to create a new god, returns for this role, with Kluge being their Heavy.
- Green-Eyed Monster:
- Asuka doesn't like when other girls get too close to Shinji. She resented Rei because she thought Shinji would rather being with her.
- The Emerald Tablet becomes homicidally jealous of Asuka's relationship with Shinji. It cannot understand why she would she would choose to cling to a mortal life to be with a flawed human male, when it offers her an immortal existence with a supreme being like itself. It dismisses Shinji's love for her as being tainted by an inevitable element of him biologically desiring her body, while it views it own desire for her as being more pure in nature, in that it only desires her for her mind.
- Grew a Spine: Downplayed. Shinji is still pretty insecure and timid, but he makes an effort to become more assertive, since he knows he will let Asuka and his family down again unless he stops running away and takes responsibility for his actions, and he even gradually succeeds in doing so. It is perhaps most obvious in his interactions with Asuka, especially after he gains a better understanding of her; he finds that while it just isn't in his nature to be confrontational with her (plus he knows that such an approach wouldn't be very likely to change her mind anyway), he can, often successfully, appeal to her better nature during an argument.
- Grew Beyond Their Programming: Exploited. Everyone familiar with the Emerald Tablet is aware that this is a very real risk, due to its main function being problem-solving via self-learning, so it is usually running with several safety protocols to prevent it from gain sentience. Gendo, however, tricks the Chinese branch into running the program without these protocols as he knows the result will create an self-aware creature which will present a credible threat for NERV to fight against, preventing SEELE from enacting their end-game. However, this plan Goes Horribly Right when the Tablet makes contact with Asuka's mind and develops a more human way of thinking as a result, and Ritsuko later warns Gendo that the Tablet is also spiralling out of their control.
- Hair Decorations: Asuka's relationship to her two neural hair-clips is examined at several points. She ponders that they used to be a mark of pride, but after everything what she went through, she doesn't know if she should be sad or happy when she wears them. Notably, she throws them in the trash when she is wracked with guilt after the incident with Unit-08.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: After the events of the series, Asuka is very short-tempered. After hooking up with Shinji her temper improves... a bit.
- Happily Failed Suicide: At the beginning, Asuka is comatose after a failed suicide attempt. When she comes around, she is glad to be still alive.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: During an argument with Shinji, Asuka throws in his face that he never had to work hard for being an Eva pilot, whereas that she worked hard one entire decade to become the best, and everything what she got was getting her mind raped."Do you want to know what your problem is?" she said, her voice rising shrilly. "You take what you have for granted, and you think it gives you the right to talk down to me. But you've never had to work for what you have, you just get in your Eva and it goes and you are the hero.
- Hates Being Alone:
- While Shinji is watching over a comatose Asuka, he thinks he's alone and he hates it.
- Asuka has been alone since she was three, and she hates it. In chapter 8 she tells Shinji about it:"I don't want to be alone! I don't want to be afraid! I don't want to feel like this! I don't want to be weak! I don't want to cry! I don't want to be hurt!"
- Hates Being Touched: Asuka doesn't like being touched, especially if she thinks she's showing weakness. When she is offered a chance to be reinstated as a pilot, Misato brings her old neural connectors along. Asuka hesitates to put them on, so Misato moves to clip them on for her, but this provokes Asuka to angrily shout at her not to touch her.
- Headphones Equal Isolation: Shinji admits freely that he doesn't like much watching TV and prefers his headphones because they let him cut the world off.He was not much for the boob-tube, preferring instead the quiet solitude of his S-DAT, but it seemed wrong to walk away from the moment.
- Heartbroken Badass:
- Shinji was heartbroken when Asuka was in a coma and he couldn't do anything to help her.
- And later on, when he realizes that Asuka is dying as she isn't answering his attempts to contact her on the COM-Link it breaks him utterly.
- The Heavy: Actually a split role between Kluge and the Emerald Tablet; the former is SEELE's blunt tool that drives much of the political intrigue plot forward and the latter is responsible for the creation of the new Angels as well as grinding down Asuka's mental health, and eventually even becomes the true Big Bad of the story, turning against both Gendo and SEELE.
- Held Gaze:
- In chapter 10, Shinji and Asuka's eyes locked on another when she revealed that she was scared because her synch-ratio had dropped again.The German redhead seemed to consider his question for an eternity, rolling it in her mind and wondering if she should answer. For the first time in the night, their eyes locked on one another.
- In chapter 11, after kissing, Shinji and Asuka lock eyes for a while.When the kiss finally broke they both gasped for air, and locked eyes with each other again.
- In chapter 10, Shinji and Asuka's eyes locked on another when she revealed that she was scared because her synch-ratio had dropped again.
- Hello, Nurse!: All Asuka's male classmates drool over her.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Shinji is very, very much in love with Asuka.
- Heroic BSoD:
- Asuka has one after her Unit-02 goes berserker and nearly kills Keiko.
- Shinji has another later on, when Asuka is dying.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Gendo of all people does this to save Rei.
- Heroic Willpower: Asuka shows quite a bit of resilience against the Emerald Tablet. Ritsuko points out as much to Gendo in Chapter 11, considering it amazing that Asuka even has some semblance of sanity even after prolonged exposure to it. Most impressively, she manages to exorcise it completely from Unit-02 in Chapter 12, by the power of her own will alone. Taking into consideration that the Tablet had previously destroyed the mind of the pilot of Unit-A, had put Rei out of commission for days after her brief encounter with it, had time to corrode Asuka's sanity beforehand, and was entirely in control of Unit-02 by this point, it becomes even more impressive.
- Hero Killer: Discussed. In chapter 10, Keiko has to fight a Zeruel simulation. She reminds herself that, in spite of its ridiculous likeness, that monster was absolutely deadly.Furthermore, this Angel, she had been told, had ripped through the Geo-Front, torn Unit 02 apart, forced Unit 00 into a suicidal attack and was ultimately stopped by Unit 01 — eaten, as Maya put it. Keiko was horrified; it had taken three Evangelions to destroy it.
- High-Pressure Blood:
- When Asuka manages to finish Samael off, its core "imploded in a fountain of blood".
- When Unit-02 turns Unit-08 into a pincushion, its wounds does this:A storm of long, metal spikes rained on Unit-08's body, from its navel to the base of its neck. Blood flowed and splashed through the air like a geyser, gushing from the many deep wounds and the spiked penetrated armor and flesh. It screamed, stumbling backwards. Asuka frowned when she realized that the Eva did not fall.
- High-School Sweethearts: Shinji and Asuka were teenagers when they met and fell in love. Although they love each other, they argued and fought a lot, and Shinji despaired of coming to understand Asuka. However, after the death of Tabris they slowly learn to open up to each other, and Shinji swears that he'll never leave her, not matter what.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Kluge forms an alliance with the Emerald Tablet to help him and SEELE bring down NERV and cause Instrumentality. The Tablet quickly betrays him and kills him.
- Hot-Blooded: Asuka is very, very emotional, the whole time. After a while living with her, Shinji and Misato have mastered the art of tuning her out when she gets riled up.
- House Husband: Shinji is the one makes all household chores in Misato's apartment... although one of his flat-mates often complains about him always taking too long.
- Humanity Is Infectious: Played for Drama. When the Emerald Tablet made a mental connection with Asuka inside Unit-02, bits of her human psyche imprinted on it, giving it the capacity to feel human emotions. The Tablet is, however, gradually driven murderously insane by this, because it sees itself as a purely logical being, and therefore views emotions as being its antithesis, and because of this it cannot bring itself to acknowledge that it it is actually struggling with feelings of rejection and loneliness. Case in point, when Rei offers it a Last-Second Chance by trying to make it realize that it is more human than it thinks, it angrily rejects her and outright attempts to kill her for daring to suggest such a thing.
- Humanoid Abomination:
- Rei is an alien soul stuck inside a cloned body.
- The last antagonist is a clone of Kaworu controlled by the Emerald Tablet. He looks physically human, but his mind is not. He's inmensely creepy, powerful, downright amoral and he regards human beings as "things" beneath him.
- Humongous Mecha: The bio-mechanical giant robot Evangelions.
- Hypocrite: As it delivers its Breaking Speech to Asuka, the Emerald Tablet claims that it only seeks to help and understand her, dismissing her relationship with Shinji as only being a source of misery, stating its belief that Shinji, as a mere human male, can only ever regard her as a Lust Object to use for his own ends. The Tablet conveniently ignores the fact that it itself has done nothing but inflicting both physical and mental misery upon every single person it has ever encountered, especially Asuka herself, and that itself very much regards Asuka as an object that it wishes to possess for its own self-gratification (which it justifies as being more "pure" in that it desires Asuka for her mind rather than her body), as well as use her for its own ends, that of controlling Unit-02 through her.
- I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Asuka turns Shinji on most of the time. Subverted because many times she did mean to turn him on, but Shinji didn't get her clues.
- In chapter 10, Asuka tells Shinji that she has nightmares and wants to sleep in his bed, and makes it crystal clear that sleeping is the only activity she is planning to do and it is just to keep her nightmares at bay. Much to his panic, Shinji realizes that he cannot help but being aroused as she lies next to him and prays she doesn't discover it.
- I Did What I Had to Do:
- Deconstructed. Gendo has labelled and does still label any atrocity he commits a "necessary sacrifice". Fuyutsuki calls that label a "bad excuse".The bridge crew had performed admirably given the circumstances, as Fuyutsuki had come to expect, even if they all knew that in following his orders they would be crippling themselves beyond repair. It was, as always, a necessary sacrifice.
Fuyutsuki almost laughed. He had lost track of how many times Ikari had used that justification for what NERV had done, and the atrocities they had committed. Lazy minds tended to drift towards the excuses that were familiar to them, usually as a simple matter of expediency; who could come up with a new excuse every time their decisions were questioned? But eventually the sacrifices deemed necessary added up to even greater costs than the things they were determined to prevent in the first place.
- Ritsuko claims the same to Misato, when the latter calls her out on allowing the the Emerald Tablet access to Unit-02, something which ended up almost breaking Asuka's mind. She tries to justify it with the excuse that the possibility of a Lensman Arms Race with Evangelions necessitated the use of all possible means to have as many possible active Eva units on hand.
- Deconstructed. Gendo has labelled and does still label any atrocity he commits a "necessary sacrifice". Fuyutsuki calls that label a "bad excuse".
- If I Can't Have You...: The Emerald Tablet imprints on Asuka when making contact with her mind, recognizing her loneliness as akin to its own, and as a result it develops what can only be described as an infatuation with her, believing her to be a kindred spirit. When Asuka rejects and forces it out of Unit-02, because it is, well, an insane A.I. with a twisted worldview, it is hurt by it, but being unable to both accept this fact and cope with it, it becomes angry that Asuka would choose Shinji over it, making it more resolute in its conviction that humanity ultimately doesn't deserve to exist as well making it attempt to kill Asuka out of what is essentially shallow spite.
- I Gave My Word: Inverted. Misato promises Shinji that he would have not to pilot Eva anymore after killing the last Angel. When she tells him that maybe he will have to pilot and fight again, he is furious... until Asuka tells him that people make and break promises the whole time, and it's stupid and unfair hating someone for that.
- I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: During a conversation with Ritsuko, Misato realizes that her old friend is actually has quite a bit of insight about psychology, except some of her views on the human conduction comes across as more than a little cynical and detached and even somewhat twisted. When Misato points this out to her, Ritsuko answers, indifferently, "I'm a scientist, not a therapist."
- I Miss Mom:
Shinji thought about that, and about what Asuka said regarding them never losing their mothers, and how when she made him talk about her he had felt so dejected until she took his hand and shared her own pain with him. And then he realized that even though he badly missed her, he was also glad he could remember her. Her memory remained strong in him because he loved her, and the day he stopped missing her was the day he stopped loving her.
- Both Shinji and Asuka miss their deceased mothers. It hurts, but Shinji doesn't want to stop missing her because then he'd stop loving her.
- In chapter 8, Shinji remember Asuka cries for her mother in her sleep:"I never knew how she felt about her mother. I heard her cry in her sleep once, but I never thought much about it."
- In chapter 9, Keiko screams that she misses her mother and wants her back.
- Important Hair Accessory: In chapter 1, Misato brings Asuka her neural connectors. In chapter 2 she wears them again, but she doesn't know if she's delighted or sad because they remind her of her failures.Asuka leaned heavily against the thin material of her door, looking down at the red neural connectors in her hands.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Asuka may act arrogant and boisterous, but she regards herself as someone worthless. Her pride is noting but a mask to cover her non-existent self-esteem.
- Inner Monologue: Shinji and Asuka have introspective monologues the whole time where they reflect on their lives, their past mistakes, their issues and their relationship. Misato also thinks several times about her children, her bosses, and what measures she'll take to protect the former from the latter.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Shinji is told by Hikari that his clear, dark-blue eyes gives him quite the cute-factor amongst the girls in the class.It was because of his eyes, she had said, because of how the pale blue always made him look sad and in turn made the girls want to console him, and because they considered him cute.
- Insecure Love Interest: Shinji is shy, insecure, and he thinks that Asuka hates him, will never like him back, and he has damaged their relationship beyond repair.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: After becoming sexually entangled with her, Shinji finds that Asuka's aggressive nature also comes to the forefront during sex and as such having intercourse with her feels a lot like being in a fight.
- Interrupted Suicide: Asuka was found naked and severely malnourished in a bathtub fill of filth by Section-2 agents. Her doctor said that she'd been starving and they had to put her under to keep her from hurting herself.
- Interservice Rivalry: The Chinese branch of NERV is noted to practically be a front organisation for the Chinese government itself, allowing it to be pretty independent of and very secretive towards the mother-organisation in Japan, and as such Gendo views it as a borderline rogue subsection. Ultimately though the whole problematic set-up ends up working immensely in Gendo's favor, both when international tensions starts running high as the Chinese branch starts experimenting with creating its own Evangelion, "Unit-A", and finally when Unit-A breaks out of control and destroys the majority of Beijing in the process. As the Chinese branch already had a reputation of open subversiveness and a rebellious attitude towards the rest of NERV, it allows Gendo to effectively wash his hands of both incidents despite his involvement in both of them.
- Irony: In chapter 11, Asuka feels distraught because she almost killed Keiko accidentally. She bitterly remembers having frequently lost her patience with Shinji when he expressed regret and depression over having been forced to kill Kaworu, and notes the irony.
- It Can Think: In chapter 10, the main characters fight a shape-shifting Eldritch Abomination. When Misato realizes that it baited them, Ritsuko tries to argue that it's impossible because Angels don't think like humans do. Of course, it isn't a true Angel, and is controlled by an advanced A.I.:Misato: The bastard knew we would try to intercept it. It baited us.
Ritsuko: Impossible. It doesn't think like that. It is not a predator. It doesn't—
- It's All My Fault: Shinji frequently blames himself for Asuka's broken state:This was his fault: he should have helped her when the Fifteenth Angel broke into her mind; should have done something other than sit in his Eva, hearing her scream as her psyche was torn to pieces. And afterwards, he should have been there to comfort her, to let her know that she was not useless and need not be alone.
Because, despite everything, they had shared a close bond through their Evas. He was supposed to understand her just as he had here come hoping she would do the same for him.
This was his fault ... because he had done nothing.
- It's Not You, It's Me: After unintentionally seriously injuring Keiko, Asuka tries to push Shinji away and force him to break up with her because she's afraid of hurting him. It doesn't work.Asuka: Please, leave. Just leave. I don't want to hurt you anymore.
Shinji: I'm... not going to leave.
Asuka: Then I'm just going to keep kicking you.
Shinji: I am not going to leave! I don't care how much you hurt me. Break every bone in my body if it makes you happy, but I am not going to leave you!
Shinji: Why can't you understand? I want to be there when you need me!
Asuka: I don't need you! I don't want to need you!
Shinji: But I need you! And I want to be with you forever!
Asuka: You... what? Why?
Shinji: You told me that if I couldn't live for myself, then… I should live for those around me. I… I can't live for myself, Asuka. So I'll live for someone else instead. I'll live for you.
- I "Uh" You, Too: Asuka can't speak aloud how she feels about Shinji, so she settles on saying "Next time, just kiss me", knowing that Shinji would understand her.She couldn't say the words he wanted to hear, but she knew he understood her meaning beyond any doubt.
- I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Kluge warns Nakayima that if he fails, he'd get Miko and Keiko killed.
- Jerkass Façade: In chapter 8, Shinji and Misato argue about Asuka being unpleasant on purpose to drive people away:"She's been keeping all that inside of her for a very long time, I'd imagine," she said in her most tender voice. "She never has been the outgoing sort. Not with her feelings. I guess she was so hurt that all she could do was build a wall around her heart."
"But why?" Shinji said, confused. "Wouldn't acting the way she does drive people away?"
"Maybe that's the point. Humans hide from the pain by pretending to be something they are not. Because pain is only found when something or someone you care for is lost to you. If you care for nothing, you think that you will have no pain."
- Just Friends: When Asuka insinuates that he and Rei are dating, Shinji replies that they're just friends. Shinji thinks to himself that it might be not entirely true, since whatever relationship Rei and him have is more complex and complicated than that, but he reasons that it is about as close to a coherent explanation he can get (seeing how there is so much about Rei he is nowhere close to understanding himself) and believes that, as such, it suffices as a description.
- Kid Hero:
- Shinji, Asuka and Rei are fourteen-year-old mecha pilots.
- Just like their classmate Keiko is both.
- The Kid with the Remote Control: Shinji, Asuka and Rei and their classmates are teenagers but they're the only ones capable to pilot an Evangelion. Unit-01 will only obey Shinji and Rei because their mother is inside, and Unit-02 doesn't acknowledge anyone other than Asuka.
- Killed Mid-Sentence:
- Kluge gets killed by the Tablet controlled Kaworu clone right when he was screaming: "Kill—"
- Gendo quietly bleeds out before he can finish explaining something to Rei: "I made it so..."
- Killed Off for Real: Several characters on both sides of the conflict suffer permanent deaths: Gendo, Kluge, Ritsuko, Maya...
- Kill It with Fire: The Emerald Tablet controlled Kaworu-clone tries to burn Rei to death. It doesn't work: he sets fire to her clothes but she remains untouched.
- Kirk Summation: Rei, when she attempts to talk the Emerald Tablet down from his attempt to cause Third Impact.Rei: I know how you feel. You feel anger, desire. You want her because you believe that she can understand you. In her own loneliness, you believe that perhaps she will know what its like. But she does not want you. All the power in the world cannot change that.
(the Tablet-controlled Kaworu-clone unconvincingly shakes his head, Rei places her hand on his shoulder)
Rei: You have to accept it. Being hurt is not an excuse to hurt others. You are like me, but you are also like them. You can understand as I did. You do not have to be alone.
The Emerald Tablet: (growling) You understand nothing.
The Emerald Tablet: No! I am not like them. I don't want this!
- Lack of Empathy:
- Even after everything, neither Gendo nor Ritsuko care about the welfare or mental health of the pilots. Keiko gets hurt and Asuka has another break-down? Who cares?
- Kluge is obsessed with destroying NERV, one way or another. At one point he blatantly and nonchalantly says that innocent lives don't matter at all.
- Latex Space Suit: The Evangelion pilots wear skintight pilot suits. Asuka once considered it a symbol of her special status, but now she regards it as a bitter reminder of her failure.Asuka, clad in her form-fitting plugsuit, sighed heavily and stepped onto the deck.
The garment had once been as much a symbol of her status as the neural connectors in her hair, and she had loved the way the flimsy red material wrapped tightly around her slim body and enhanced her young, supple curves — she had once even gone as far as padding the hard cups over her modest breasts to make herself appear more voluptuous.
It was like wearing a second skin, and for some reason it always felt warm and smelled like the inside of her Eva, and when she wore it there was no ignoring her presence.
But now, as she walked towards the slick, armored shape of Unit-02, she felt naked. She stood out as the girl who failed miserably, and she had never felt such disgust at being the center of attention.
- Leave Me Alone!:
- When a classmate teases Asuka about her relationship with Shinji — a very sensitive topic to her — Asuka lashes out:"Shut up! I hate boys! I hate him! Leave me alone or I swear I will hurt you!"
- After accidentally hurting a fellow pilot, Asuka tells Shinji that he should leave her before she hurts him, too."Leave me alone," the voice that replied was weak, unrecognizable. It was quickly followed by a series of choked whimpers that let Shinji know she trying not to cry. "Please, just go away. It's better that way."
- When a classmate teases Asuka about her relationship with Shinji — a very sensitive topic to her — Asuka lashes out:
- LEGO Genetics: The Emerald Tablet proves capable of being able to alter the DNA of Evangelions, allowing it to do things like make the Evas under its control to grow S2 organs, thought that pales somewhat in comparison to creating a mobile black hole out of Eva flesh. Justified in that the Tablet is an advanced A.I. and is noted to possess a beyond-human understanding of Evangelion DNA.
- Like an Old Married Couple: After getting together, Shinji and Asuka's arguments are less violent and hurtful. Misato muses that Asuka starts sounding like a wife nagging her husband, and Shinji like a husband pretending to listen to her.
- Little "No":
- When Misato asks Shinji if he misses Asuka, he gets scared and lies:Misato: You miss her, don't?
Shinji: (lying) No.
- When Ritsuko realizes that Gendo doesn't care about her betrayal. It also doubles as a Blunt "Yes":Ritsuko: Bastard! You don't even care to know why?
- When Misato asks Shinji if he misses Asuka, he gets scared and lies:
- Living Emotional Crutch:
- Shinji really needs Asuka. When she's missing, he's helpless and falls apart.Asuka was the strongest person he knew, maybe that had ever or would ever know. In a sense she was his example of what it was to be strong, the foundation of his own strength. He would stand as long as Asuka stood with him. But if she collapsed he wouldn't be able to keep himself together.
- Though conversely, it also made clear that Asuka needs Shinji as well, as he works as a stabilizing influence in her life who understands her and refuses to give up on her, no matter how broken down she becomes.
- Shinji really needs Asuka. When she's missing, he's helpless and falls apart.
- Longing Look: Before getting together, Shinji often gazed at Asuka longingly, averting his eyes right when she looked back.Predictably, perhaps inevitably, Shinji found his gaze wandering away from the moving images on the television and focusing on Asuka's prone form, as if drawn by some invisible force. […] Suddenly, Asuka called out, making Shinji jump and quickly avert his eyes.
- Lost Technology: The Emerald Tablet's origins are never fully explained within the story and remains very much shrouded in mystery, but it is apparently this. Ritsuko explains to Misato that no one knows how old the code the Tablet is based on is, and that it might even be as old as the Dead Sea Scrolls (implying that it might also be related somehow to the First Ancestral Race). Ritsuko also notices that the source code's design implies that it was intended to be a Time Capsule, being meant to be interpreted by a sentient race that has reached a sufficient level of civilisation to create a computer advanced enough to interpret the program (Ritsuko is mentioned that Alan Turing apparently tried to achieve this but ultimately failed).
- Love at First Sight: In chapter 11, Shinji realizes what he has been in love with Asuka since they met:It was not, he realized, that he was there for her. It was simply that he was hers. That he belonged to her — all of him. He always had, ever since meeting her.
- Love Confession:
- After fighting Samael, Shinji and Asuka argue during lunch break. When Asuka reminds him that he claimed hating her, Shinji, quite anguished, half-replies, half-blurts out that he cares about her.
- And in chapter 11:Everyone at school already considered them a couple, and the way their relationship had grown would make it appear that they actually were. Ultimately, it was just an illusion, a cauldron of mixed feelings and unspoken emotions. Lying there on his bed, his arms around her slender form, Shinji wanted to end the illusion and make it a reality. For he knew now what he'd seemed to know all his life.
"I love you, Asuka."
- Love Epiphany: In chapter 11, Shinji ponders on the latest battle and finally realizes that he cares for Asuka:Shinji had always felt that he shared a bond with Asuka, but he didn't quite realize how much she had come to mean to him until after one of the previous Angels had been defeated — back then he had risked his own life to protect her, and, in an ironic twist, she ended up saving him. And this realization had finally brought him to admit it that he cared for Asuka.
- Love Hurts:
- Shinji and Asuka love each other, and they've hurt each other a lot.
- Yui's actions also hurt Shinji, but even so he loves his mother.Shinji thought about that, and about what Asuka said regarding them never losing their mothers, and how when she made him talk about her he had felt so dejected until she took his hand and shared her own pain with him. And then he realized that even though he badly missed her, he was also glad he could remember her. Her memory remained strong in him because he loved her, and the day he stopped missing her was the day he stopped loving her.
- Love Interest: Shinji and Asuka to each other.
- Lovely Angels: Asuka, Rei and Keiko. They're a fighting team.
- Love Revelation Epiphany: When her female classmates start teasing her about Shinji, Asuka realizes can't delude herself for longer.
- Loving a Shadow: Ritsuko grows increasingly angry and spiteful because she has realized that Gendo isn't the person who she believed he was, and he actually never loved her.
- Luminescent Blush: When Asuka goes back Misato's apartment and asks where they go from there, Shinji's face reddens.
- Make Way for the New Villains: In the final chapter, the Emerald Tablet manages to supplant both Gendo and SEELE as the true Big Bad of the story.
- Male Gaze: The point of view often focuses on Asuka's body and how Shinji reacts to it.
- Mama Bear: Misato's priority is ALWAYS her wards. Give her a choice between protecting her kids and helping her remaining subordinates, and she'll choose the first option."I've met her before," Sato said. "Katsuragi. And I know what drives her. Like every mother, she wants what's best for her children."
- Manipulative Bastard: Kluge knows that Ritsuko had a serious fall-out with Gendo, so he offers her the chance to pay her ex-lover back if she allies herself with him. He conveniently neglects to mention that he works for SEELE — whom Ritsuko also hates — and he has no intention of keeping his promise to minimize casualties when the JSSDF attacks NERV.
- Married to the Job: Having no real reason to go home on a regular basis any more, with her cats having died from starvation during her incarceration for her sabotage of the Dummy Plug system, Ritsuko is more devoted to her job than ever.
- A Mech by Any Other Name: The Evangelions.
- The Men in Black: NERV and SEELE agents and Kluge's security detail are this.An
- Mind Rape: As the Emerald Tablet is allowed to make contact with the minds of Eva pilots, such as Asuka, Rei, the Chinese pilot, and Keiko it tries to make them susceptible to its control so it can use them as a conduit to take control of the Evangelion itself. It achieves this by attempting to destroy their minds by using the mental connection it makes with them. In Asuka's case, it at first subtly plays on her insecurities and darker sides, such as her Blood Knight tendencies, but eventually it goes all out, confronting her directly by dragging her into its mindscape where it gives her a Breaking Speech while subjecting her to mental images of all her worst existential fears. Rei's encounter with the Tablet is described as quite abstract, but the experience itself ends up almost killing her and puts her out of commission for quite some time. What it did to the Chinese pilot is not directly shown, but the implications, such as the fact that she tried to tear off her own face, is rather horrifying.
- Mind Screw: Shinji and Asuka get one right after the Final Battle when Yui in Unit-01 absorbs both of them to save Asuka's life, and both live for a while in a illusory world.
- Missing Mom: Both Shinji and Asuka lost their mothers when they were barely four. In chapter 8 they talk about their loss and how they felt.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: When Misato discovers that Gendo and Ritsuko had mistreated, hurt and treated her pilots as pawns and lab rats again, she decides to turn against NERV and strike a deal with the American government to protect her kids.
- The Mole: Maya is forced by Kluge to give him confidential information about the Evangelions and NERV.
- Moment Killer: Shinji and Asuka are about to kiss before getting in their Evas and fighting the Final Battle when Misato interrupts them.
- Monster Protection Racket: Gendo allows the Emerald Tablet program to run inside an Evangelion unit with most signifiant safety-protocols deliberately turned off, so it can play around with the Eva's generic material and create new, artificial Angels with it, which will then resume the attack patterns of the original Angels, so he can convince the UN that there is still a need to keep NERV around and allow them to have a monopoly on storing and using Evangelions. The goal is not to profiteer from it though, but rather to keep SEELE at a a distance from NERV's throat so he can buy himself more time to set up his version of the Human Instrumentality Project. But as the Emerald Tablet gains increasing self-awareness and starts creating disturbing powerful and destructive Angels, both him and Ritsuko eventually realizes that the Tablet is spinning out of their control and is becoming dangerously close to pose a much greater threat than SEELE ever did.
- Motherly Scientist: Subverted with Ritsuko, who initially seems nice although cool and detached... but eventually reveals that she doesn't care at all about the pilots. She specifically loathes Rei.
- Motive Rant: The Emerald Tablet delivers one after it has been defeated:You killed my brothers! And you have doomed all of your kind to suffer the curse of their own humanity. (points to Lilith, then himself) Ignorant child. Do you see? She is your beginning, and I am your end. The end of your suffering. Man is not the measure of all things; it is the death of them. It is my purpose to bring an end to your suffering. All of your so-called bounds, your contacts with one another, even you are kind and loving—they only lead to death. Physical death. Mental death. Spiritual death. Your very existence is a continuous genocide!
- My God, What Have I Done?: Asuka has this reaction when Unit-02 goes berserker and hurts Keiko.
- Mythology Gag:
- A rather sly one. As Shinji discusses the fact with Asuka that she is is his room, on his bed, he wonders if he is dreaming. Asuka jokes that he might be; suggesting that what is happening might be a result of him being stuck inside his Eva again, or that he might be just be a Ordinary High-School Student dreaming about being an awesome hero with a hot roommate. Both suggestions are very popular Fandom Specific Plots.
- Late in the story, Shinji and Asuka is asked to try out some new experimental pilot equipment. It just so happens to be plugsuits with translucent areas, rather reminiscent of the infamous and very Fanservice-y plugsuit Asuka wears in Rebuild 2.0 (though it also comes in a male version for Shinji). As they are happening to wear these as the JSSDF launches their bloody invasion of the Geofront, it adds quite a bit of Bathos to the situation.
- Neck Lift:
- Happens to Unit-01 and Shinji by the hands of an Angel.
- Asuka does this to the Emerald Tablet ghost inside Unit-02 to shut up its Breaking Speech.
- Neck Snap: As Samael, aka Unit-A, is still essentially an Evangelion, Asuka is capable of subjecting it to this. It doesn't outright kill it, but it leaves it practically defenseless.
- Negative Space Wedgie: In chapter 10 one shows up in the shape of an artificial Angel. It is something akin to a black hole and looks like a floating blot of ink.
- New Meat:
- Haruna Ieil is a new member of the Bridge Bunny crew, and as such she often reacts very emotionally to the horrors of Angel and Evangelion combat, in contrast to Maya, Aoba, and Hyuga who by this point all have become rather desensitized to such things.
- Keiko becomes this to amongst the pilots. Unsure of herself most of the time, she shows a unfortunate tendency to let fear quickly get the better of and getting reduced to a Nervous Wreck when under pressure. Even at her best, she is notably more clumsy than Shinji, Asuka, and Rei.
- Nice Guy: Shinji tries to be kind and caring, although sometimes his absent-mindedness and social ineptitude makes him come cross as a jerk.
- Nightmare Sequence: In episode 10, Asuka has a nightmare: she relives her mother's madness and suicide, sees her mother's rag doll hanging from a ceiling, and hears several disembodied voices declaring that they hate her before feeling a noose tightening around her neck.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Gendo and SEELE are manipulative bastards and schemers but no one of them can fight the heroes or the alien monsters directly. The latter instead relies on Kluge to do the heavy lifting.
- No Need for Names: The Emerald Tablet thinks as such when Rei asks it if it has a name:"I am myself, and that is all I need."
- No One Gets Left Behind: When Nakayima and Fuuka manage to secure an aircraft to run away from the Geofront, Fuuka refuses to take off right away because she'll not leave Misato and the remaining pilots behind.
- No Periods, Period: Averted. In chapter 10, Asuka has severe nausea from her period and spends a good while throwing up. Turns out though that it is more than just her period.
- No Sense of Personal Space: After the Angel War, Asuka is too broken and angry to care about things such like respect other people's personal bubbles. When she wants to tell you something, she gets very close.She pressed a hand firmly against her chest.
- No Social Skills: Shinji, Asuka and Rei are awful at socializing. They had gotten a little better at interacting with others at the beginning of the War, but as their traumas piled up, their mental scars gotten worse. At the beginning of the story they're barely functional and they have to relearn how open up to other people.
- No Sympathy: Ritsuko doesn't care at all about the pain she's put the pilots through.
- Not Good with Rejection: The Emerald Tablet becomes even more driven and resolute in its desire to destroy mankind after Asuka rejects it, as will as attempting to kill her out of spite for her refusal to submit to it.
- Not So Different:
- During an argument in chapter 8, Shinji and Asuka find out that they're not different at all.
- As a character points out; Kluge hates Gendo Ikari, but they're so alike than they could have been brothers.
- Rei tries this on the Emerald Tablet as she attempts giving it a Last-Second Chance, explaining to it that she, like itself, is an artificial being who was at first confused concept of emotions and the human condition as a whole, but she gradually learned to appreciate such things, and she hopes she can help it to understand them too by sharing her wisdom with it. When the Emerald Tablet responds by not only violently rejecting that offer, but also openly starts to revel in how much it is looking forward to erase these things from existence through its Assimilation Plot, she realizes that she was wrong. The Tablet is simply unable to cope with its emotions on even the most basic levels and is therefore inherently too insane and alien in its way of thinking to be reasoned with.
- Now or Never Kiss: Rei kisses Keiko before going off to confront to Gendo for last time, just in case that she doesn't come back.
- Oblivious to Hints: Asuka's mental instability was in part due to Shinji being incapable of noticing that she was constantly dropping hints that she was interested in him. After she woke up from a coma, Shinji slowly got better at noticing when she was dropping hints.
- Oblivious to Love: Shinji likes Asuka but he thinks that she hates him, and vice versa. They needed one more death battle to open up and realize each other's feelings.
- Odd Name Out: Downplayed with the Chinese Evangelion, a modified mass-production unit. It does not get a number like other Evangelions and is instead called "Unit-A".
- Official Kiss: In chapter 11, after an argument where Asuka warns Shinji that he should leave her because hurting people is the only thing she can seem to do, he replies that he wants be with her forever, and they kiss.Her rosy lips parted, and she closed her eyes as she descended on him.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: SEELE once again, and this time it is Lampshaded by Kluge, who notices that he finds their overcomplicated meeting protocol, such as hiding their faces behind holographic monoliths and having a flowery and metaphorical way of speaking, rather bothersome.
- One-Man Army: Any of the pilots is capable of mowing an army down. The new Angels are as destructive as their predecessors.
- One-Winged Angel: Mentioned in chapter 10 when the nineteenth Angel — a weird, floating blob — transforms into a black sphere, and Ritsuko suggests that isn't its final form.
- Ordered Apology: In chapter 9, Misato orders Asuka to apologize to Keiko for hurting her during a combat simulation.
- Original Character: Keiko Nagara (among others).
- Orphan's Ordeal: All Eva pilots are considerably traumatized due to their mothers' loss.
- Out of Continues: As the last Rei, now that her Body Backup Drive has been destroyed, Rei III spends much time contemplating the fact that she is quite mortal now and will not simply be replaced if she dies.
- Out of Focus: Toji. He is mentioned frequently enough to not suffer from Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, but his lack of direct appearances means that he is effectively The Ghost.
- Panty Shot: While they're watching TV together, Shinji notices that Asuka's panties are showing a bit.But before Shinji could consider what it might be, his eyes caught another, more interesting detail — her dark shorts had ridden up a little, revealing a tiny sliver of white panties underneath.
- Papa Wolf: Nakayima's father plots against and eventually assassinates Keel Lorenz to protect his son.
- Parental Abandonment: Keiko is another member of the 2-A Class, so of course she has this in her backstory.
- Parental Neglect: Misato cares about her wards Shinji and Asuka, but between her own psychological issues preventing her from connecting with them, and being obsessed with continuing Kaji's quest for the truth behind NERV, she often up ends neglecting them, though she feels guilty about it. She gets better after a while, though.
- Parental Obliviousness: Misato is pretty oblivious to her wards' complicated and quickly-changing relationship.
- Parental Substitute: Misato is Shinji and Asuka's caretaker. Although she admits to have failed them in the past she keeps trying to take care of them.
- Past-Life Memories: When reminiscing, Rei III can feel Rei II's experiences in the same way she did, at the same time she feels disconnected from them as they didn't happened to her per se.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Any of the Children is perfectly capable to level cities –- or worse — using their giant mechas.
- Pervert Revenge Mode: Shinji accidentally rips Asuka's towel off when she is playing around with him, exposing her body. Cue Asuka's foot delivering justice.
- Pet the Dog: Gendo gets some moments. Like him sincerely telling Shinji that Yui would have been proud of the person he has become, and in an unguarded moment where he quietly admits to Shinji that he might be a stronger person than himself. Most pivotal is perhaps, is the last chapter, as he confronts Rei, where he admits that he knows he has failed both Yui and Shinji by his abandonment of the latter, and doesn't deserve be considered a parent. Finally, as he does his Heroic Sacrifice to save Rei, he asks her with his last breaths to help get Shinji out of NERV HQ alive, telling her that she has been more family to him than he himself ever was.
- Pietà Plagiarism: When Asuka dies, Unit-01 cradles Unit-02.
- Pitbull Dates Puppy: Shinji and Asuka's relationship is pretty difficult and complex because Asuka is very abrasive and bitter due to her traumatic experiences, and Shinji is somewhat wimpy. Nonetheless, it gets better when Shinji makes a serious effort to support and help Asuka, and she mellows down when she acknowledges that he cares about her.
- Playing Both Sides: An unusual example in that it is actually an example of someone playing two sides to manoeuvre on a third side, and that the other side eventually grows out of control. Gendo and Ritsuko unleashes the Emerald Tablet from it safety protocols in order to allow it to create new Angels for the Evas to fight, in order to convince the UN of the necessity of keeping Nerv around, buying Gendo more time to set up Third Impact according to his own design. But due to the Tablet's great capacity for self-learning, it soon grows out of Gendo and Ritsuko's control.
- Please Don't Leave Me:
- Asuka says this to Shinji several times.
- Keiko says this to Miko and Nakayima in chapter 10 when Miko berates herself for being –- to her eyes — a bad caretaker:"Please… don't leave me."
- Please Wake Up: Variant. When Asuka gets killed (she gets better), Shinji, utterly broken, can only whisper "Asuka, please talk to me. Asuka…"
- Power Floats: The nineteenth Angel was capable of floating.
- The Power of Love: As the Emerald Tablet has assumed control over Unit-02 by taking over Asuka's mind and using it as a conduit, it tries to kill Shinji out of jealously. The realization of what the mad A.I. is attempting to do, rouses Asuka who had been almost successfully subdued by the Tablet, to muster up all her Heroic Willpower, and declaring with righteous fury that she will not allow the Tablet to take Shinji from her, she manages to not only wrist control away from it, but also successfully delete every trace of its presence from Unit-02.
- The Promise:
- Asuka asks Shinji to promise that he will never hurt her. He realizes he doesn't know if he can keep such a promise, but promises it all the same.
- Later on, Shinji promises Asuka that he will be always with her.
- And at the end, Asuka promises Shinji that she will try to be happy.
- Put Them All Out of My Misery: The Emerald Tablet's ultimate end-goal with its Assimilation Plot. It has resolved to end all of mankind's misery by absorbing all of mankind into itself, believing that this will also allow it to resolve its own feelings of abandonment and loneliness.
- Really 17 Years Old: Part of Nakayima's backstory. He lied about his age so he could join the army in order get away from his family who wanted him to follow in his father's footsteps and become a politician.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In first chapter, Asuka gives Shinji one after coming back home."Do you want to know what your problem is?" she said, her voice rising shrilly. "You take what you have for granted, and you think it gives you the right to talk down to me. But you've never had to work for what you have, you just get in your Eva and it goes and you are the hero. You get mad at Misato because she wants you to do what you were born to do. Well, Third Child, some of us can't choose what we want to do. Some of us lowly mortals do what we can, all that we can, because we have nothing else while you decide you are too good for the rest of us, and what do we get?"
She pressed a hand firmly against her chest.
"WHAT DID I GET? I got my head fucked with! And you sat there and watched and did nothing! What, you thought I had it coming, didn't you? You could have helped, couldn't you?" She was screaming now. "So don't tell me you are glad about anything that involves me! Don't give a damn because you want to make yourself feel better! That just makes it worse!"
- Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: Shinji, Asuka, Rei, Touji and Keiko are all fourteen.
- Redemption Equals Death: In the last chapter, Gendo chooses to abandon his plan to initiate Instrumentality in order to perform a Heroic Sacrifice that protects Rei from a SEELE strike team, and he begs her with his last breaths to save Shinji, telling her that she was more family to him than he himself ever was.
- Redemption Rejection: Rei attempts to talk the Emerald Tablet down from its Assimilation Plot, by trying to appeal their similarities in how they are both artificial beings created by humans and both have the capacity to experience to have feelings, telling it that, though she knows being human and having emotions makes existence can hard and painful at times, it is possible to achieve satisfaction and fulfilment from it and offers to learn it how. The Emerald Tablet rejects this as it accuses her of being far too tainted by her own humanity to ever understand how perfect its solution to the "human problem" is.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Unit-A is a modified MP Eva and has had actual eyes installed as opposed to the Eyeless Faces of the other MP Evas. They turn red after it goes out of control. Ritsuko darkly notices that it is a rather appropriate effect as it gives it the look of a "malignant predator". Even worse, the sight of the rogue Evangelion's red eyes triggers a Flashback Echo in Shinji of his slaying of Kaworu, causing him to be distracted at the worst possible time.
- Red Is Heroic: Asuka, as always, wears red.
- Relationship Upgrade: In chapter 8, Asuka tells Shinji about her mother and her feelings of loneliness and isolation. He says he needs her and she wants him to promise never hurting her. This event, more or less, solidifies their relationship into something overtly romantic.
- Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: An American NERV officer talks, with some amusement, with Misato about the battle with Sahaquiel, referring to her plan of having the Evas catch the Angel as it fell from space. Misato answers that It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.
- The Rival: Asuka felt that Shinji was her rival. She's pretty bitter because she worked hard and getting beaten and mind-raped was everything what she got, whereas Shinji –- as far as she knew — was picked from the streets and surpassed her without even trying it.
- Robeast: The Angels.
- Sacrificial Lion: Maya ends up being shot and killed by the invading JSSDF soldiers in the finale chapter.
- Sadistic Choice:
Misato: I don't want to heal them. I know I can't do that. I just want to protect them. Just talking about it isn't going to make that happen. I had a plan, but now that plan means abandoning other people who depend on me. No matter what I do, someone is going to get hurt.
- Kluge forces Maya to choose between betraying the secrets of NERV or let everyone die.
- After the Final Battle, Misato has a plan to save the Children... but her plan would mean abandoning other people who depended on her.
Rei: That is always going to happen. The only thing you can do is choose. We all have.
- Sailor Earth: Keiko Nagara, who ends up getting chosen as the Sixth Child.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Misato finds out that Commander Gendo is still using her wards as guinea pigs and Ritsuko intentionally hurt Asuka again, she decides to pick her kids up and hightail it. When SEELE attacks the Geofront, she and Nakayima take advantage of the ensuing chaos to run from NERV and leave Japan together with the pilots.
- Sexy Discretion Shot: In a Call-Back to the kissing scene from Episode 15 of the show, in Chapter 13 Asuka tells Shinji that she is bored and points out that they are going to be alone for a while, meaning they could "...you know." Shinji is hesitant at first but eventually agrees when Asuka starts rubbing suggestively up against him. She compliments him on being braver than he looks and kisses him hungrily. Immediate cut to Misato and Nakayima going to their meeting with the American representive.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: When Asuka hints that he's dating Rei, Shinji denies it, knowing that the relationship he has with Rei is both something else and more than a little complicated by the fact that she died and came back to life as another person. He also realizes that these reasons are far too complicated to explain to Asuka, so he settles for telling her that Rei simply isn't interested.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran:
- After surviving the Angel War, Shinji, Asuka and Rei are totally messed-up:
- Although Shinji has got a little while to get over Kaworu's death, he's badly traumatized, has given up any hope of having a healthy relationship with his father, and he doesn't know how to fix his relationship with Asuka.
- At the beginning, Asuka is in a coma after having tried to kill herself. Although she eventually comes to, she's very bitter and angry due to her Mind Rape and losing the ability to pilot Unit-02 and believes no one cares about her at all.
- Rei had gotten a bit better at socializing during the war, but after blowing herself up, she feels disconnected from the memories of her predecessor and regresses to her former emotionless state.
- Downplayed with Nakayima. Though he is quite mentally stable, he notes that his experiences in the military admittedly has damaged him psychologically and made it hard for him to care for and relate emotionally the people around him and he also makes references to having been ordered to do several questionable things on the frontlines he has since come to regret, and in hindsight he considers his decision to join the army to be a pivotal mistake, if not his worst mistake ever.
- After surviving the Angel War, Shinji, Asuka and Rei are totally messed-up:
- She's Got Legs: Shinji thinks that Asuka has very shapely legs.Suddenly, Asuka called out, making Shinji jump and quickly avert his eyes. She pushed up on her arms and sat up, shapely legs folded beneath her.
- Shipper on Deck:
- Hikari ships Shinji and Asuka together.
- Misato also ships Shinji and Asuka, although she'd be grateful if at the very least they learn to get along well.
- Shipping Torpedo: Ritsuko thinks a relationship between Shinji and Asuka can't work, and chides Misato for not "getting" it.
- Ship Tease: Between Shinji and Asuka. In the first scene, Shinji thinks about how badly he wants her. Later on, Asuka is angry because she believes that Shinji never visited her.
- Shooting Superman: Subverted. When Kluge is about to shoot at Rei, he is informed by the Emerald Tablet that bullets will probably not hurt her, so he lowers his gun.
- Shrinking Violet: Keiko is pretty wimpy and mousy.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Asuka likes Shinji because he's someone who understands her, is patient with her and would never leave her.
- Sinister Geometry: In chapter 10 an Angel shows up. During the fight, it transforms into a perfect, solid, black sphere.
- Slasher Smile: The Emerald Tablet shows off this as it declares its plan to eliminate mankind through its Assimilation Plot. It is at this point that Rei realizes to her horror that she cannot talk it down from its plans.
- Sleep Cute: Shinji and Asuka have several scenes where they sleep together because Asuka's nightmares are overwhelming her and she cannot sleep alone.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: This story sits squarely in the middle. It's dark but hopeful, and although bad things happen, there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
- Smug Snake: Kluge presents most of the traits: he's an arrogant, overconfident, manipulative bastard who treats everyone with arrogance and disdain and intends to destroy NERV. He's cunning and dangerous, but he isn't powerful or smart enough to be the real Big Bad, and ultimately he dies at the hands of the Emerald Tablet whom he foolishly thought he was controlling.
- So Proud of You:
- After Shinji makes amends with Asuka, Misato tells that she's proud of him:He felt her move, heard the rustle of skin and cloth as she rose from the chair. Then he felt her hand on his knee. "You were there for her, and that's hard enough," she said, so quietly it was barely a whisper. Yet the depth of her caring was obvious and welcome.
When he failed to react to her touch, she added, "It's been a bad day for everyone. Don't feel like you have to worry about homework tonight. You've earned a little break. I'm proud of you."
Shinji could not tell her how much those words meant to him, nor refuse to accept the weight they placed on his shoulders.
- Unexpectedly, Shinji gets praise from his father after telling he doesn't want to forget his mother, not matter how much it hurts:"I… I don't believe that," Shinji brought up his head. "I won't forget about mother. I miss her, and it hurts, but I won't forget."
Gendo's hard, dark eyes met him, his features carved out of stone, completely devoid of any emotion, good or bad.
Shinji stood his ground, even though he knew he sounded like a little boy who missed his mother. For better or worse, that was exactly what he was. Gendo could admonish him for it, but it was the truth, and he would rather live missing his mother than forget her because it hurt too much. His father had forgotten; to Shinji that was yet another sin.
To his surprise, Gendo nodded. "Then you are a stronger man than I."
- After Shinji makes amends with Asuka, Misato tells that she's proud of him:
- Sorry to Interrupt: Played for Drama. Maya walks in on Misato and Ritsuko, just as the former is holding the latter at gunpoint and demanding she spills the beans on the strange going-ons with Unit-02. The event is the culmination of an already incredibly bad month for Maya and it reduces her to tears.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: When Asuka opens up to him, Shinji realizes how hurt she's and has always been. Later he and Misato talk about it."She's been keeping all that inside of her for a very long time, I'd imagine," she said in her most tender voice. "She never has been the outgoing sort. Not with her feelings. I guess she was so hurt that all she could do was build a wall around her heart."
- Spock Speak:
- Rei III's manner of speaking is a bit verbose, her tone when speaking is often noted to rarely ever give off any emotion, and she does not use contractions in her speech.
- The Emerald Tablet has a notably stilted and blunt speech pattern and, like Rei III, rarely ever speaks in contractions.
- The Stations of the Canon: The point of divergence happens after the death of Kaworu, when Gendo manages to delay the attack of SEELE for a while. The JSSDF invasion does eventually happen in the final chapter though.
- Straw Vulcan: The Emerald Tablet likes to claim that it is a logical being with no emotions and that is therefore superior to the emotional humans, who's capacity for hope and faith in others it dismisses as weaknesses and illogical delusions. However, it is clearly shown to feel extreme possessiveness towards Asuka, trying to make her see things its way, and anger and thirst for revenge after Asuka rejects it and exorcises from it Unit-02. Finally, when Shinji is about to finally kill it, it openly expresses spite. And for the greatest bit of irony, it becomes absolutely livid at Rei daring to imply that it has emotions. On top of everything, the Tablet was at its core, and despite its vehement attempts to deny it, truly driven by loneliness in many of its actions; having seen what it believed to be a kindred spirit in Asuka when sensed her own loneliness, it thought she would understand its pain and as a result it desired her and tried to possess her. Her rejection of it truly hurt it on a emotional level, but it is unable to both accept and understand that is the case. Overall, the whole thing is Played for Drama, the Tablet being in constant vehement denial about its own emotions is the reason why it is so dangerously and violently insane.
- Strongly Worded Letter: Discussed. Hideki Nakayima notices that Keel is rather found of using these, and also that, seeing how he is the head of a international Government Conspiracy, in his hands such letters actually have quite a tremendous power and can command both world-leaders and countries.
- Subverted Catch Phrase: A dark version. Rei, already in really bad health due to a sync test gone wrong (actually a result of her mind being almost violently assimilated by the Emerald Tablet), her AT-Field starting to fail, and painfully aware of the fact that her mortality is in full play due to being Out of Continues, thinks "If I die, the pain will stop," (a play on her usual "If I die, I can be replaced") to herself before facing Samael.
- Sympathy for the Devil: At the end, even after everything it has done, including mortally wounding Asuka, Rei cannot help but feel sympathy for the Emerald Tablet, and expresses as much before Shinji, now in a state of Tranquil Fury, moves in with Unit-01 to kill it."I'm sorry," Rei groaned. Her tone was low and pained. "Everyone deserves to be happy."
The boy laughed at her words.
- Take My Hand: When a fatigued Asuka is trying to climb out of the LCL pool while dragging an unconscious Shinji along by the wrist, Misato and Rei takes Asuka's free hand to pull both of them out. Misato tells her to give her other hand, but Asuka refuses to do so, wordlessly indicating that she wants Shinji to be saved first.
- Taking the Bullet: When a death squad headed by Kluge attempts to kill Rei, Gendo shields her with his body.
- Talking in Bed: In episode 10, Shinji and Asuka sleep in the same bed. Before falling asleep they talk about their synch training. Asuka reveals that those were some of the best nights of her life because she slept so deeply that she didn't remember her nightmares.
- Talking to the Dead: As Misato is about to betray NERV to protect Shinji and Asuka, she plays a visit to Kaji's melon patch, and talks to him about the heavy decision she stands in front of.
- Tear Off Your Face: During her autopsy of the Chinese pilot of Unit-A, Ritsuko judges from marks on the girl's face that she was trying to do this to herself before she died.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Asuka doesn't like or trust Keiko and has a hard time working and fighting with her.
- Tempting Fate:
- During a simulation Keiko tells herself that they will not send her out to fight something as dangerous as Zeruel. Later on, she nearly gets killed during a battle.
- After allying herself with Kluge, Ritsuko feels calm and confident, thinking nothing can go wrong with her plan because "She had thought of everything, justified everything. By the end of the day she would be vindicated". By the end of the day she was dead, murdered by her new puppeteer.
- Tender Tears:
- Asuka sobs into Shinji's shoulder after he promises to never leave her.Softly, Asuka wrapped her arms around him. Shinji followed her lead, and gently touched her cheek. His hand trembled, but his had lost control and allowed a natural instinct to take over. Their tear streaked faces were only inches away. He could feel her breathing, just as she could feel his.
He pulled her to him, feeling her warm, tear-stained cheek lightly brush against his, as she laid her head on his shoulders and quietly sobbed.
- Later on, Asuka sheds tears when Shinji tells her that he wants to be with her forever despite everything.Asuka blinked and for a stunned moment looked at him as though he had lost his mind, then, her eyes bristling with tears, she moved back. Even though a long, awkward silence followed, his last statement seemed to have a strange hardening effect on her. She did not cry. The tears remained unshed, clouding her eyes but doing nothing more. And she seemed braver somehow.
- Asuka sobs into Shinji's shoulder after he promises to never leave her.
- Test Kiss: When Shinji and Asuka kiss for real, Shinji remembers their test kiss, and how it went... awry.
- That Was Not a Dream:
- In chapter 7, Rei has a very life-like nightmare about Gendo inserting the embryonic Adam into her body. Upon waking up, she is in doubt whether or not it was a dream. The fact that Gendo is described as having a heavily bandaged right hand later in the chapter confirms that it actually happened.
- In chapter 10, Shinji thinks he's dreaming that Asuka has come into his room in the middle of the night. When she touches his shoulder and he notices that she looks awkward and smells of sweat, he realizes that it's real.He thought he was dreaming. He had to be for Asuka to have come in his room in the middle of the night. He'd had dreams like this before. The next she would do was was put a hand down the front of his pants and start to … followed by her mouth…
But when he did feel her hand it was on his shoulder. "Hey, Shinji, are you awake?"
There was a part of him that wanted to ignore her, hoping she would do what she always did in his dream, but as he rolled the words in his head he picked up on something that was never in the dream before.
"Y-yes," he replied as he rolled over to Asuka, who indeed sat on the edge of his bed. He could barely see her in the darkness, but the tone of her voice was awkward. Also not like in his dream, her hair was tousled and he thought he could smell sweat.
And then, like a bucket of cold water, it hit him — he was an idiot and this was no dream.
- They Do: After several chapters trying to get over their traumas and survive each other, Shinji and Asuka get together.
- Thicker Than Water: Nakayima's father, Hideki, turns out to be a central member of SEELE. In the end, he chooses to betray SEELE by assassinating Keel in order to protect his son.
- This Is Unforgivable!: After Ritsuko confesses what her and Gendo has been doing with the Emerald Tablet, especially using Asuka as a guinea pig for the project, despite fully knowing how extremely dangerous it was, as well as causing the incident in Beijing with Unit-A which caused half-a-million casualties, Misato straight up tells her that she deserves to die.
- Time Skip: After the opening scene, the story jumps to several weeks after Kaworu's death.
- Title Drop:
- In chapter 11: "Otherwise, well, genocide destroys more than people. It destroys dreams and hopes and witnesses."
- In chapter 15: "Your very existence is a continuous genocide!"
- Too Dumb to Live: After SEELE's failed final attack, members of the SEELE council points out to Keel that Fuyutsuki is alive and now in the custody of the Japanese Government, warning him that Fuyutsuki knows their secrets, has plenty of evidence to back his claims, and no reason to protect SEELE any more. Keel's answer is along the lines of: "So what? Do not get worried. Everyone see whatever they want to see, and for no particular reason I'm sure that the authorities will see whatever version benefits us."
- Took a Level in Badass: Asuka finally overcomes The Worf Effect that she suffered from in the series, and manages to bring down Samael after it has defeated both Rei and Shinji.
- Took a Level in Idealism: Through their struggles throughout the early chapters and gradually getting closer to each other, Shinji and Asuka finally realize that they can be happy if they try.
- Took a Level in Kindness: After hooking up with Shinji, Asuka stops pushing everyone away. She even tries to be nicer to Rei for Shinji's sake.
- Trash of the Titans: Asuka's room looks a war zone. In chapter 7:The place was mess; the girl who lived in it had never been one for tidiness after all. Even after Shinji had offered to clean it for her, she had refused. He walked over the threshold. The air was cold, but held a faint and distinctive smell — it smelled like Asuka. In the dark he could see discarded clothing, a few plates and cups, empty snack wrappers, magazines and a fluffy striped pillow on the floor where she had laid.
- Troubled Fetal Position: Shinji does this right after the final battle when he realizes that Asuka is dying.Shinji curled forward, and he buried his face in his burned hands, and he cried.
- True Companions: In chapter 9, Asuka admits unintentionally that, despite everything, the Eva pilots are a team and they watch each other:We may hate things about each other, but in combat we know we can trust each other with our lives.
- Tsundere: Asuka pretended to be arrogant to push everyone away and hide that she was a very vulnerable girl. After hooking up with Shinji her temper gets slowly better.
- Tyke-Bomb: Asuka and Rei were raised by NERV to be easily manipulable and disposable pawns. When the story starts out, they're trying to recover and find a new reason for living.
- The Unapologetic: Asuka didn't want to apologize after beating Keiko during a combat simulation because she didn't think that she did anything wrong, and the other girl shouldn't be a pilot anyways.
- Undying Loyalty:
- When Asuka tells Shinji that he should just leave her before she hurts him, he replies he will not leave her because he wants to be with her forever.Asuka: Please, leave. Just leave. I don't want to hurt you anymore.
Shinji: I'm… not going to leave.
Asuka: Then I'm just going to keep kicking you.
Shinji: I am not going to leave! I don't care how much you hurt me. Break every bone in my body if it makes you happy, but I am not going to leave you!
Shinji: Why can't you understand? I want to be there when you need me!
Asuka: I don't need you! I don't want to need you!
Shinji: But I need you! And I want to be with you forever!
Asuka: You… what? Why?
Shinji: You told me that if I couldn't live for myself, then… I should live for those around me. I… I can't live for myself, Asuka. So I'll live for someone else instead. I'll live for you.
- Argued by Misato and Ritsuko, and in chapter 7 by Gendo and Fuyutsuki:Gendo: Loyalty never dies.
- When Asuka tells Shinji that he should just leave her before she hurts him, he replies he will not leave her because he wants to be with her forever.
- Unfamiliar Ceiling: In the last scene, Shinji wakes up, stares at the ceiling above him and realizes that he doesn't recognize it. Rei informs him that they're on board of a warship.The darkness slowly resolved itself into light and blurry shapes, and Shinji realized he had opened his eyes. He lay on his back, staring at a ceiling he didn't know, hearing the gentle, rhythmic sound of his own breathing. His mind was blank, and it seemed as though his body was made out of lead. He was warm, covered in a thick white blanket and lying on something soft and surrounded by walls on three sides like a kind of bunk.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Shinji really, really wanted Asuka, and he was immensely frustrated because he thought he couldn't have her. He thinks about it when he's keeping watch over her in the opening of the story.
- Unwitting Pawn:
- Misato and all pilots are unwitting pawns to Gendo's plans to test the Emerald Tablet and destroy SEELE. When Misato finds out about it, she decides to turn on NERV.
- In the end, the Emerald Tablet itself uses Kluge as an unwitting pawn to help it both gain a body and control over the mass produced Evangelions.
- Villainous Demotivator: Kluge mistreats his henchmen and subordinates the whole time. Ergo, they're not loyal at all.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Even before getting together Asuka is very protective towards Shinji. When an Angel is trying to kill him, Asuka rises to action and stabs it to death.
- It takes the realisation that the Emerald Tablet is trying to kill Shinji to make her rise up against it and rejecting its twisted worldview, culminating in her violently strangling its avatar.
- Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Fighting giant monsters? The Children have done that. Socializing with their classmates is the hard part.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: After getting unexpected praise from Gendo, Shinji is dismayed to discover that, in spite of all the terrible things Gendo has put him through and has made him do, there is still some part of him that wants his father's approval.
- We Used to Be Friends:
- Subverted with Misato and Ritsuko. While their old friendship gradually disintegrated during the Angel War, the beginning of the story sees having kind of managed to repair it again (though emphasis on kind of). Misato also contemplates that Ritsuko might be her only friend left.Her work was all that mattered to her. But that didn't invalidate the fact that Ritsuko was the one person Misato could call a friend. Even if she disagreed with her, she could at least be honest. Otherwise, she wouldn't have come.
- However, when she finds out that that Ritsuko has used Asuka to test the Emerald Tablet by putting it inside Unit-02, leading to Asuka being driven to the brink of insanity, Keiko getting seriously injured, and Shinji almost getting killed, Misato decides that she can't forgive Ritsuko this time:"I swear she's done some awful things in her life, but I will never forgive her for that."
- Subverted with Misato and Ritsuko. While their old friendship gradually disintegrated during the Angel War, the beginning of the story sees having kind of managed to repair it again (though emphasis on kind of). Misato also contemplates that Ritsuko might be her only friend left.
- What If?: Alternate universe fic where NERV manages through political maneuvering to avert SEELE's attack for a time. Shinji gets time to recover somewhat from his latest traumas and tries to fix his relationship with his family while his fahter and SEELE make plans for their inminent confrontation, using new puppets and tools.
- What You Are in the Dark: The first scene starts out similarly to End of Evangelion with Shinji visiting a comatose Asuka in NERV's infirmary. He accidentally gets Asuka's gown unbuttoned, and he realizes he can do to her whatever he wanted and no one would ever find out. However, signalling the beginning of the divergent storyline, he catches himself and instead quickly covers her up before leaving the room, feeling profusely disgusted with himself.
- When She Smiles: In chapter 11, when Asuka is distraught and Shinji tells that he wants to be always with her and live for her, she smiles. Shinji thinks her smile is beautiful.Then Asuka's lips curled up, an almost-smile. It was the most beautiful expression Shinji had seen on her face since before she took Keiko into combat.
- Will They or Won't They?: Shinji and Asuka spent a good number of chapters arguing, fighting and hurting each other until they finally got together.
- Woman Scorned: Kluge begins citing the Trope Namer as Ritsuko offers him her cooperation in order to exact revenge on Gendo. Amusingly, Ritsuko hangs up the phone just before he can actually speak the trope name.
- Worth Living For:
- Before getting in their Evas for last time, Asuka tells Shinji that this time she has something worth fighting for.Asuka: Whatever happens, I want you to know why I'm really fighting. It's not that I'm angry, or that they tried to kill me, or even that I want to show off in my Eva like I always used to. This time I have something worth fighting for. Something I want to protect. And someone.
- At the end of the story, Rei — who used to be a Death Seeker — decides that her bonds with her fellow pilots are something worth living and fighting for.How didn't matter; only that she had to. Rei knew that. She was not afraid to move — because others needed her to and because she had so many things she did not want to lose. And those things were worth fighting a hopeless battle, and even dying for.
- Before getting in their Evas for last time, Asuka tells Shinji that this time she has something worth fighting for.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: When Asuka tells she deserves being alone because she's horrible, and Arael showed her that during her Mind Rape, Hikari disagrees.Hikari: Come on, Asuka. Everything can't be so bad. You have to believe that things will work out. You'll go back to pilot your Eva. Maybe have a talk with Shinji.
Asuka: It's ... I'm used to it. I deserve it.
Hikari: No, Asuka…
Asuka: That day… that day I got in the Eva, the Angel showed me what I was like. It made me realize… that I deserved it.
Hikari: Nobody deserves to be hurt like that.
- You Leave Him Alone!:
- Asuka in Unit-02 spits this at Samael as she violently grabs it when it is about to deliver the Coup de Grâce to a defeated Unit-01:Asuka: Get away from him! I won't let you hurt him anymore!
- During the climatic battle with the MP Evas, the Emerald Tablet holds Shinji and Unit-01 down with a specialized offensive AT-Field as it delivers another Breaking Speech to Asuka while ripping Unit-02 apart. By using all of his willpower and with help from his mother's soul, Shinji manages to free himself and goes on the offensive against the Tablet and the MP Evas, while delivering a furious "Get away from her!"
- Asuka in Unit-02 spits this at Samael as she violently grabs it when it is about to deliver the Coup de Grâce to a defeated Unit-01:
- You Need to Get Laid: According to Misato, Ritsuko needs a man to fix her "cold, inhuman, heartless doctor" attitude.
- You're Not My Father:
- Shinji tells Rei that he doesn't really think of the Gendo as his father anymore.
- Rei does a more symbolic version by deciding, for reasons she cannot quite comprehend, to throw Gendo's old glasses in the garbage.
- Also inverted with Gendo. He admits to Rei that he isn't deserving of being considered a father to Shinji with how he has treated him.
- You Talk Too Much: Asuka's response to the Emerald Tablet's attempted Breaking Speech in the final chapter.
- You Wouldn't Shoot Me: When Ritsuko continues trying to evade her demands to tell her what is wrong with Unit-02, Misato gets fed up and pulls her gun on her. Ritsuko tries to play it cool, telling Misato that she is not a murderer. Misato retorts that in her view a murder requires that the victim is somehow innocent, and she doesn't even remotely see Ritsuko as such.