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Fridge / Neon Genesis Evangelion

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As a Fridge subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

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    Fridge Brilliance 
  • A lot of people assume that the name of Central Dogma, where Lilith and the Lance of Longinus are kept is a reference to the idea of dogma, or the text of a religion. It turns out that Central Dogma is the name for the theory that genetic information is copied from DNA by RNA. When you consider that the EVAs are copies of either Adam or Lilith, piloted by the genetic descendants of Lilith, this makes a great deal of sense. Or, to put it in biologist terms, Lilith and Adam are the original DNA. The EVAs are the RNA, or copies, of the original DNA. Depending on how you want to look at it, either NERV or the pilots are the mRNA (NERV arrange for the EVAs to be made, but the pilots tell the EVAs what to do).
  • Watching the series and movies multiple times can reveal certain details and make confusing scenes more understandable. An easily missed one is the final line in End Of Evangelion: "I feel sick." These are the first words that Shinji says inside EVA-01.
    • In the foreground during Ritsuko's death scene is the boat she rides on in her first appearance.
    • Episode 22: Asuka is pissed at Rei, but doesn't snap until Rei states that she would kill herself if commanded to. Well, that's pretty much what Kyoko did...
    • If we accept that young Shinji inside Leliel is a representation of Leliel itself, then the last shot we see after Yui inside Unit-01 'saves' Shinji is of Leliel holding out its core to Shinji.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses plot points: In Jewish tradition, the number 18 signifies life. Mankind, the eighteenth Angel, is the one that lives in the end.
  • SEELE (which is German for "soul") is a word prominently mentioned in a certain significant musical work: Ode to Joy.
    • Also in the lyrics: "Your magic binds together again/what custom strictly parted/All men become brothers/where your gentle wing rests." Hmmmmm. "Be embraced, millions! This kiss for the whole world!" ... This is disturbingly apropos.
  • All AT Fields (barring Iruel's), are octagonal. They also happen to be used to halt an attack against them. Now... what else is octagonal and calls for an approaching object to arrest its movement?... or "stop", if you will?
    • Not in Japan. They’re triangular there.
      • When using the mortar to test Ramiel's defenses, if you watch the scene where Misato, Ritsuko, et al are analyzing the results of testing, they freeze-frame footage showing that Ramiel's AT field is hexagonal.
      • This is commonly attributed to animation error. Episode 6 is one of those episodes, along with Episode 4 and others, that were animated by the "B" team.
  • During the sequence where Arael conjures multiple Asukas while probing Asuka's memories, each Asuka is voiced by a different actress, to show that what Arael's conjurations are saying are both bizarre and unsettlingly wrong. What brings this into fridge brilliance is that each successive voice actress is actually trying to imitate Asuka's VA's style of speech, almost as if Arael is trying to make his conjurations as close to the real thing as he can.
    • Unfortunately, the English dub completely ruined this scene by only using Asuka's VA for this scene. So instead of Asuka being assaulted by imitations of herself, it's just her repeating the same few lines over and over and breaking down because... she doesn't like the sound of her own voice?
      • A lot of people hate hearing recorded playback of their own voice; one's voice sounds a certain way to them while speaking, and sounds completely different to the same person when being played back. It wouldn't sound strange to us as the audience, but imagine you're hearing multiple recordings of your voice playing at once, and they're saying things like that. That would be utterly maddening.
  • A number of people have suggested that if NERV fulfilled its stated function rather than its actual one, whoever controlled the EVA units could conquer the world. This is even used as a justification for the UN invasion. This seems to be pitching it more than a little high: without a power cable connection the EVA can't operate long enough to be relevant.
    • For that matter, who didn't demand at a least a 15-minute operational period on the basic EVA units without a cable? The moment somebody starts tossing around explosions the cable is going to go. Any military person worth their salt would have realized the danger of stray shrapnel ending the world.
    • This might be Fridge Brilliance: The EVAs are essentially gods. Which means if they are allowed to run rampant they would be capable of killing EVERYONE. Hence, the power stops them being allowed to go free for too long. This is demonstrated in the episode where we see the first Contact Experiment in which Rei was injured.
    • This idea is subverted by the fact that EVAs are shown going out of control even AFTER their batteries are out. The battery limit is basically to make people feel safe. If the pilot's will is strong enough, they are no longer bound by it. Now take a look at Shinji's fight with Zeruel in Evangelion 2.0.
      • More to the point, it becomes fairly clear later in the series that only the control systems of the Evangelion require external power. It's just that the entry plug is placed in such a way as to replace most of the Evangelion's nervous system. If it loses power, the Evangelion is essentially paralyzed. An awakened Evangelion, however, seems to be able to get around this by either powering the entry plug itself, or brute-forcing the nerve connections through the dead space somehow.
  • The original ending is about how Shinji STOPS being a wimp. It gets better when you realize that Shinji's wimpiness is a common complaint about this show.
  • NERV's motto is a quote from the poem 'Pippa Passes': "God's in His heaven, all's right with the world". Consider this: when its core is pierced by the Lance of Longinus, Evangelion-01 apparently becomes a god. This is moments before the initiation of the Third Impact, which wipes out all of humanity. How right is the world now?
    • Ah, but in the original poem, this phrase was used ironically. All is not right in the world in the poem. It's the same for NERV, mainly because everyone is living in a Crapsack World.
  • This one works for the Rebuild movies as well, but think about this: when Shinji sees (and then falls on) Rei while she's naked, she isn't fazed at all. But then, later in the series, you see that Gendo talks with her while she's in the LCL tube, naked and floating. Presumably she's been doing this since she was young, so she grew up without a sense of shame.
    • Just like Adam and Eve before they ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And if we remember that Rei possesses Lilith's soul, this only makes it more symbolic, being as Lilith did not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and thus also had no sense of shame. Fridge Brilliance at its finest.
  • Now for the allegations about Shamshel and Leliel: note their shapes and manner of death. Shamshel is, let's be honest here, a giant penis, and dies when Shinji, another male, stabs him in the Core (i.e. castrates him). Leliel is somewhat more subtle in shape, more blatant in death: she is a black hole in the ground, ending at a mostly zebra-striped ball in the sky, i.e. a womb. She dies when Shinji, here a child, rips his way out of her in a horrifying parody of c-section. Again, he is the Angel of Day, she is the Angel of Night. Their forms and manner of death are complementary, something most people miss because of the episode gap, which only exists because Israfel couldn't resist the Shout-Out.
    • Another thing to keep in mind is that, in Judeo-Christian mythology, after Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden God sent down an angel to guard the entrance to the garden and to kill anyone who tried to enter. That angel was named Shamshel and took the form of a flaming sword. Of course, this means that Shamshel is a weapon and you all have dirty minds... Sickos. //end:sarcasm
  • Kaworu calls the humans "Lilim", which are considered to be the daughters of Lilith, a demon. Do the math.
    • For those of you (such as myself) who take a while to grasp the above, the daughters of Lilith in regular mythology are the demon race. Now, in NGE, it's humans. Now the math is little clearer.
    • Furthermore, in the Alphabet of ben Sirach, the oldest known text dealing with marriage of Lilith and Adam, Lilith's punishment for disobeying God is that hundreds of her children would have to die every day. Now compare the mass births and deaths of Lilith's children in Evangelion to the children of Adam who appears to be unable to reproduce and could well be immortal until killed.
  • This may or may not have been intended by the writers but; regarding the failed Unit-00 test that resulted in Rei's injuries from the first episode, more specifically the seemingly out of character reaction Gendo has, that amount of concern and near panic are so unlike anything you ever see from him any other time. At first you could think it's because he needs Rei to enact his version of Instrumentality, till you remember how easy it seems to be to replace her with a new clone when she does die. Then it hit me, Yui "died" during a test of Unit-01, and more specifically while inside an entry plug, and Rei is more or less a clone of her. It was this near replication of the most tragic event of his life that broke Gendo out of normal stoicism and drove him to desperately try and rescue Rei.
    • It's simpler than that, really. It's heavily implied throughout the series that he sees Rei as a surrogate daughter (NOT a wife, as so many bad fanfic writers like to suppose). Wouldn't YOU react that way if your daughter were in danger? He keeps his reactions mostly buttoned-down in public, but occasionally he can't hold it in. As for his treatment of Shinji...he says in End of Eva that he was trying to protect Shinji by keeping him at a distance. Hence the coldness.
  • While the theatrical poster for The End of Evangelion seems like nightmare fuel (bodies floating in a red sea, apparently dead), looking closely reveals the sight of Rei floating above the red sea. At the end of the film, Shinji sees an apparition of Rei floating above the sea of LCL in the exact same way as she does in the poster. Since Shinji allowed humanity to retain corporeal form by rejecting instrumentality, the film's poster actually depicts humanity's rebirth, rather than their death.
  • Fridge Brilliance/Horror: Komm Susser Tod. At first, it seems the song is out of place, then it hits you, depressed people who decides to commit suicide would feel suddenly happy. This song perfectly describes this image ESPECIALLY DURING THE THIRD IMPACT!
  • Take a look at the trope description for Scary Shiny Glasses: "Traditionally, one's eyes are an indicator of the soul... If you can't even see their eyes because of the Scary Shiny Glasses, beware — for these are individuals who deliberately wall themselves off from the people around them." Now on one obvious level, we know that describes Gendo. However, it becomes more brilliant when you take a look at the color of Gendo's glasses. The amber/orange tint to his eye-wear matches perfectly to the tinted light of an A.T. Field! In effect: both share the same color, both are used to hide or separate one's "soul" from the world, and, as stated on Gendo's entry in that page: In the manga version, the readers - and implicitly Shinji - began to see Gendo's eyes behind his glasses more often as we learned more about him. Interestingly enough, he only begins to wear his tinted glasses after his old ones break while rescuing Rei. In other words, the only time he's shown to let his emotional guard down (as mentioned above), is when Rei is in danger (his glasses break). Afterwards, he becomes even more closed off from the world. These are all perfect analogies to Gendo's personal A.T. Field. Therefore, it can't be coincidence that the mindscrew-filled scene involving Gendo's "death" in EOE show Gendo as the only one not being "tanged" (it's ambiguous whether he died or joined Instrumentality - use your own judgement there) and also gives one last focus to Gendo's glasses. In a way, this can be even used as a metaphor for additional Scary Shiny Glasses wearers in other series: They all close themselves off from other people emotionally by hiding their eyes - the windows to their souls. This is also often what many people do in Real Life: wearing sunglasses if they are shy, introverted, or Not Good with People to avoid having people make eye-contact. Keep in mind that Gendo's shades have been around since the first episode, as was the color of the A.T. Field. It only makes perfect sense upon understanding the whole "light of the soul" thing that Kaworu tells us, as well as knowing the ins-and-outs of the Scary Shiny Glasses trope, which is very popular in Japanese works. Anno, who developed Eva as a critique of social isolation, and as a deconstruction of anime tropes, undoubtedly knew all this... the clever bastard.
  • More of a Fridge Pun, but Matarael is named after the angel of rain. The Japanese word "kumo" can mean either "cloud" or "spider" depending on what kanji it's written with (雲 means cloud and 蜘蛛 means spider).
  • In EOE Shinji sets off Instrumentality by strangling Asuka in his mind and at the end of the film he does it again with the real Asuka. Most people assume he was just off rocker by then. But what if he is trying to bring everybody back by finishing Instrumentality the way it started?
  • The last line in EOE (Asuka saying "I feel sick"): does it mean "I'm sickened by you, Shinji" or does it mean "I am pregnant"?
  • Kaworu saying "I love you" to Shinji. Watched this one just after being explained by a catholic priest that "love" means "I want the best for you", while "I want to have you for me" is desire. Kaworu is the only one who can say "I love you" (Shinji told "I need you"), and he uses it perfectly.
    • Actually, Kaworu's love for Shinji is exactly the kind of love you'd expect from a creature called an angel.
  • Before the final scene of End of Evangelion (and the series' episodes 25-26 that run concurrently with it), Shinji has sorted out all of his mental anguish. When he sees Asuka on the beach, he does the one thing he's been meaning to do to her for a long while. Since it's explicitly stated everyone went through their own Instrumentality inner dialogue, Asuka went through one too… and finally does the one thing she's been meaning to do to him for a long while.
  • A very minor case; Asuka, upon being unable to start her EVA with Shinji on board, commands him to think in German, since German is the operating language at that point. Shinji, in a pathetic attempt to do so, thinks, "Baumkuchen" a kind of cake. Why food, and why this particular item? Easy: the cake, apparently, is available year round, but, more importantly - Shinji likes to cook.
    • On a related note, it is possible that Shinji thinking in the wrong language was not the reason for malfunction. It probably had more to do with Asuka only speaking incomprehensible garbage.
  • Remember how Misato notes that the Angels were all what humanity would have been had things been different? Well, taking that in mind, then remembering some of the attacks the Angels did (Arael is a good example) causes a sort of revelation: That's how we would have communicated if that Angel was the human race. Mixes in with Fridge Horror.
  • It is mostly assumed that the term "First Children" is used in the plural when referring to the pilot, not singular as it should have been, because of a translation error. It isn't. This is clearer in the manga, but taking into account that every single student in Shinji's class is a potential pilot, it isn't that there is a first child, but the chosen representative of the potential "First Children" since, if this pilot was to be fired or put out of action, he can be replaced by the other "First Children." The chosen pilot represents the available talent pool, hence is not just a single child. Mind? Blown.
  • The Angels are defended by Absolute Terror fields. What is their salute in the Bible, where they're not hostile? Fear me not.
  • In the first episode, the EVA activates and protects Shinji. No one has any idea why or how the EVA was able to protect Shinji without a pilot being inside it and are just as surprised as Shinji. This is foreshadowing the how and why of an EVA. Ritsuko's reaction has more shock and surprise, since she actually knows how an EVA works and reacted like how someone would react to a robot becoming self-aware and the foreshadowing comes in the fact that there's the reason for why the EVA saved Shinji. It shared a sort of bond with him.
  • All the Mind Screw in the series, as well as any Fridge Logic (most notably Kaworu still appearing in the ending, despite being a dead angel) is explained very neatly if you consider that the whole thing is Shinji’s dream: in Evangelion: Death, Shinji, Rei, Asuka, and Kaworu are all playing music together at school. Rei and Asuka chat among themselves, hinting they’re good friends; this hints that the whole series was nothing like what was going on in the real world. A Deleted Scene from EoE shows a world without Shinji, appearing perfectly normal, in which Asuka is in a relationship with Toji and, more importantly, friends with Rei, like in Death, and, according to a brief piece of dialogue in ep. 26':
    Shinji: I don’t understand. I don’t understand reality very well.
    Rei: The gap between others’ reality and your truth is impossible for you to grasp, isn’t it.
    Shinji: The thing is, I don’t know where happiness is.
    Rei: You cannot find happiness anywhere but your dreams, can you.
    Shinji: So, this is not reality, this world where there is no-one.
    Rei: That’s right, it’s a dream.
    Shinji: So, I’m not here.
    Rei: You took revenge against reality in your convenient fabrications.
    Shinji: Is that wrong?
    Rei: You ran off to your imaginations and fooled reality.
    Shinji: Can’t I dream I’m alone in the world?
    Rei: That’s not a dream, that’s just compensating for reality.
  • It seems weird that Shinji is so freaked out by being asked to pilot Eva-01. Then you find out that when he was 4 (too young to remember but old enough to form impressions) he watched that thing kill/'absorb' his mother. He's afraid the same thing will happen to him.
  • The battle between Eva 02 and the Mass Produced Evas might be a nod to the classic anime that kick-started a whole new genre of robots on two levels. One is the coloring of the respective mechs. Red and White are associated with Char and Amuro respectively. Although the sides are wrong, Asuka's personality and desires of being the Ace qualify her for the spot of being the closest thing to Char. The second level is that it's a reverse of what'd usually happen in a show like Gundam. Instead of one lone mecha taking out hordes and hordes of enemy mechs like in Gundam, it instead shows the reality of taking on a squadron of literal mindless metallic foot soldiers.
    • On top of that, Asuka is essentially piloting a buggy, flawed robot with outdated tech. The Mass Produced Evangelions are all shiny and new, with upgrades she couldn't even have dreamed of. All the combat experience in the world wouldn't get around that.
  • The choice of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" as the soundtrack for Asuka's Mind Rape. The entire "Messiah" is about Christ's life, and that particular part is about the Second Coming... and Asuka's world is ending. Also, the choice of "Ode to Joy" as the soundtrack for the last Angel fight, since the poem is about the oneness of mankind, taken literally with the Instrumentality.
  • The ending theme song Fly Me to the Moon may not seem to have any relevance to the plot at first glance, but if you analyze the lyrics closely, it does contain some subtle foreshadowing that doesn't become apparent until the very end. Of particular note are the following lines: Fly me to the moon/And let me play among the stars and Fill my heart with song/And let me sing forevermore. These lines more or less allude to the ultimate fate of Unit-01 in The End of Evangelion: It floats away from Earth, past the moon, and into outer space; where it will forever drift among the stars as an eternal testament to humanity's existence (in accordance with Yui Ikari's personal goal for the Evangelion project).
    • For a show about people who Cannot Spit It Out, the lyrics of the song are absurdly fitting. The song has to work its way from "In other words, hold my hand/In other words, darling kiss me" and takes the entire length of the ED before it finally gets to "In other words, please be true/In other words, I love you"
    • The "trailer" mentioned above is the Bonus from Evangelion 2.22 on Bluray.
  • When looking at the opening theme A Cruel Angel's Thesis, you'd think that the titular "Cruel Angel" could be any one of the Angels encountered by Shinji and the rest of Nerv, right? Funnily enough, the entire song is about the condition of the characters in the series and about humanity in general. In End of Evangelion, humanity is revealed as having been born from Lilith in the same way that the other Angels that were born from Adam. That means that the titular cruel Angel, in fact the cruelest of them all, is mankind itself.
  • Jet Alone looks like a sleeker Boss Borot from the Mazinger Z saga. Boss Borot was mostly comic relief, but at times would be extremely helpful in spite of getting destroyed every single battle...And Jet Alone's disappearance after its debut foreshadows that it will all go to hell and we'll even lose the humor.
  • The name of the series at first glance seems to simply allude to the Evas, but when you look at its Greek translation, "Gospel of the New Genesis", it takes on more thematic relevance. Taking into account that things irrevocably changed for humanity after Second Impact, so much so that you could call it a new beginning, or new genesis, for humanity; and that the current state of humanity and its future are major themes of the show, the thematic relevance of the name becomes clear: The entire series is an account of the new state of humanity after Second Impact and its future from there. In other words, it's the Gospel of the New Genesis for humanity.
    • This makes Keel's final words, "the beginning and the end are one in the same", very true (and almost fourth wall leaning) considering how the series ends: The film that ends the series is called The End of Evangelion, essentially The End of the Gospel; and it ends with Shinji and Asuka as the only two humans on Earth after Third Impact, a metaphorical Adam and Eve, with the possibility of the rest of humanity returning from the LCL sea. The Gospel of the New Genesis for humanity ends with another New Genesis for humanity. In other words, the beginning and the end ARE one in the same- just not in the way Keel and SEELE intended.
  • Shinji’s relationship with Misato is pivotal.

    Think about it: she’s a captain (later major) in a major paramilitary group in a city where the rent is obviously very low, and she still has some trouble making ends meet taking care of him and Asuka (even a nice steak dinner, which Asuka and Shinji dismiss as nothing too extraordinary when she’s not listening, is a financial strain on her). When she dies, Shinji starts to genuinely break down and cry—not just be on the verge, not get teary eyed, not cry a bit out of joy, he breaks down and cries.

    He doesn’t cry when he finds out his father called him back just because he needed his skills or when he tells him to leave him be when there’s a parent-teacher conference. He doesn’t cry when Rei II dies. He doesn’t cry when he finds out his lover betrayed him and he has to kill him. It takes Misato dying to defend him and putting on a brave face to hide it to really break him up.

    Misato had been there for him for a prolonged period of time and done everything in her power to provide for him and push him forward. Shinji is more than aware of this. She was the closest person to him and the closest thing to normal human connection he’d had since his mother. Obviously, he is devastated when all of his efforts to form a healthy, long-lasting relationship turn practically futile.
    And after all that, when the Third Impact happens, he still chooses to reject Instrumentality and learn how to form healthy, long-lasting relationships, even if almost the entirety of the rest of humanity has given up.

    Shinji is a paragon of mental fortitude.
  • In the final episode of the TV series, Shinji gets a glimpse of a world where he is not an Eva pilot. While that was just meant to illustrate that he can define himself however he wants, a world in which Shinji is not an Eva pilot technically becomes reality in The End of Evangelion: By the end of the film, Unit-01 has drifted off into space and the rest of the Evas have either been destroyed or rendered inert. In other words- Shinji now exists in a world where he is not an Eva pilot by virtue of there being no more Evas to pilot.
  • Shinji’s problems stem first and foremost from having to put his own well-being aside for the sake of others, put up for the task by his father. His problems are representative of a major issue in Japanese society, where it is extremely rude to burden others with your complaints and problems: you’re basically supposed to not make a fuss. Shinji epitomises this, piloting the Eva despite the huge toll it takes on his emotional well-being because everyone needs him to, but he’s not the only one knuckling under the ‘no fuss must’, everyone is. And what better way to symbolise this but using the image of Jesus on the cross, who made the ultimate sacrifice for absolutely everyone? The cross imagery might not have been Faux Symbolism after all.
  • Furthermore, it seems the Kabalá imagery and even the air dates have significant meaning that elaborate on the Biblical Shout Outs:
    • Episode 1 aired on Oct. 4, 1995, which happened to be Yom Kippur, the Jewish day on which Jews repent their sins en masse, often by fasting and later sacrificing a chicken (whose body is given as food to the poor after it’s slain) or money to take the sin onto themselves; note that in ancient times, similar sacrifices were made at the Temple of Israel.
    • Episode 2, in which the timid Shinji comes to his new home, aired on Oct. 11, 1995 the third day of Sukkot, when the ushpiz of the day is the timid Jacob, who stands for Tif'éret, the balance between the Divine drive to release Grace (Khésed) and restrict this Grace and unleash wrath and judgement (Gvurá).
    • Episode 8, in which Fiery Redhead Asuka is introduced, aired on Nov. 22, 1995, on the week of Parashàt Toldót, in which Fiery Redhead Esau and his twin brother Jacob are born. Later on they are said to be Isaac’s and Rebecca’s favourites, respectively, so Rebecca helps Jacob cheat Esau out of his birthright, making Esau declare he will kill Jacob for it. The Biblical Sibling Rivalry has a lot of Foreshadowing regarding Asuka’s hostility towards Shinji (in particular after his sync rates exceed hers), and also relates to why Shinji and Asuka had such issues with their father and mother, respectively.
    • In ep. 19, Shinji reacts violently to a moral outrage and leaves his position, only to be convinced to return by an older, more experienced man to go back. This, along with his reluctance to accept his role, might be an analogy to the story of Moses, the most humble person in the world (Numbers 12:3), who struck to death an Egyptian abusing a slave (Exodus 2:14-2), ran off, and took refuge with Jethro before going back and doing what he needed to. This might also Foreshadow how he effectively ‘parts’ the Red Sea in The End of Evangelion.
    • In ep. 21, Gendo appears with a child version of his wife. This is disturbingly reminiscent of Isaac’s and his wife Rebecca’s marriage, when, according to Rashi, the former was 40 and the latter was THREE.note 
    • Ep. 23, in which Rei sacrifices herself to stop Armisael, is replaced by her lookalike Rei III, and Shinji can’t bring himself to cry, aired on Purim, a holiday commemorating how Queen Esther almost pulled a Heroic Sacrifice to save her people, is commemorated by wearing disguises, and mourning is forbidden.
    • The End of Evangelion was released on July 19th, 1997, on the week of Parashàt Balák, in which a man’s donkey disobeys his orders and chastises him. And... ‘I’m not your puppet.’ Gendo, standing before an angel in the final stages of mankind’s redemption, tries to keep Instrumentality to himself, but at last, Rei rejects Gendo when she hears Shinji scream in terror; continuing from the Isaac & Rebecca analogy above, Gendo, who stands for Isaac, who stands for Gvura, decides to keep the Devine Grace to himself, but is foiled when Rei unleashes her Mama Bear instincts to defend her son.
    • At the end of the film, Lilith, who is also the progenitor of all of humanity (including Gendo), tries to bring Instrumentality to everyone as a way to end their sorrow of misunderstanding one another, but Shinji rejects it. Continuing the Shinji-Jacob-Tif'eret and Gendo-Isaac-Gvura interpretation, Lilith is Abraham-Khesed, and Shinji, representing the balance between the other two, reins them both in. This fits in perfectly with the message given in the original ending (or at least one of the main ones): ultimately you need to find a balance between extreme Khesed (i.e. altruism to the point of being an Extreme Doormat) and extreme Gvura (i.e. reserving one’s altruism to the point of Lack of Empathy and It's All About Me).
    • Then, to complete the Bookends with the Yom Kippur episode, in the final scene of End of Evangelion, everyone has to cross the Sea of LCL, which appears red in the poster and in the final scene of the film, to finally free themselves from emotional bondage. Finally, there are crucified figures in the background, mirroring the crucifixion of Jesus as sacrifice for humanity’s sins, symbolising that the sacrifice for redemption is complete, and the (somewhat twisted) rainbow, mirroring the one after the Deluge and the new laws given thereafter, heralds the good news of a new creation (or a Neon Genesis Evangelion). It won’t be easy, but mankind is on its way to redemption.
  • Many of the trios formed (school-related or not) have their members reach the same fate by the end of the movie. The university trio (Misato, Ritsuko and Kaji) are shot dead, the Bridge Bunny trio (Maya, Makoto and Shigeru) are met by the people they admire (except for Shigeru) through Instrumentality, and the Children's friends' trio (Hikari, Kensuke and Toji) have disappeared off-screen by the time the TV series has come to a close (in this instance, episodes 25 and 26 wouldn't count, due the Mind Screw/Gainax Ending nature of the TV finale). The Children (Asuka, Rei and Shinji) are an exception, although the girls' penultimate scenes involve the nature of the show (the Evangelions and the Angels).
  • Gendo had EVA-00's right arm blasted off while Rei still synchronized with it, so she felt all the pain. Fast forward to End, and the first thing Rei does when she betrays him is tear his right arm off with her new Angel powers.
  • Rei and Asuka are symbolically associated with the moon and sun, respectively. Rei is cold, seemingly lifeless, and often ignored. Asuka is bright, vibrant, and demanding of attention. Yet, what is another characteristic of the sun? You can't look at it.
    Asuka:Why won't you look at me?!

    Fridge Horror 
  • The original ending of the End of Evangelion consisted of Shinji lying alone on a beach, holding someone's hand. Sounds perfectly fine, until he squeezes that hand and he sees a vision of Rei, and you remember Rei lost an arm at the beginning of the movie.
  • The AT Field is the light of Kaworu's soul, the sacred place no one may invade. Yes, when an Eva cancels an Angel's AT Field, it's RAPING THE ANGEL'S SOUL!
    • EVAs don't need to violently cancel AT fields. Although violently attacking an AT field is done in the majority of times (with the visible light warping), including during combat with Kaworu, it can also be done when the angel and Eva want to, well, merge. This is evidenced when Armisael resisted violent attacks, but had no AT field effect to speak of when it tried to merge with Unit-00 or Unit-01. Since we never actually saw Kaworu's AT field breaking, but saw the consequences of it, this means that Kaworu let down, or synchronized, his AT field voluntarily. What's a common term for the feeling and urge to merge souls with another? Love.
      • This becomes Fridge Brilliance as a prime example of the hedgehog's dilemma discussed in the beginning of the series; humans and Angels really are not so different.
    • Dummy Plugs contain soulless Rei clones. The Mass-produced EVAs in The Movie have Plugs with Kaworu written on the side. Eva pilots and EVAs are synched so that the pilots feel everything their EVAs feel. Asuka was essentially eaten alive by a bunch of mindless Kaworus.
  • All the Angels mount offensives on NERV hoping to infiltrate the facility to its deepest layer. The final Angel is mankind. The last attack on NERV is by an army of humans. SEELE's invasion of NERV is no different from any other Angel Attack.
    • More horror. During said invasion, Maya protests that NERV is supposed to fight Angels, not humans. The above means she's wrong: NERV is supposed to fight and kill humans. This also applies to Misato's reveal that the other Angels are actually humans that rejected human form, meaning that in fighting the Angels, NERV has essentially been fighting and killing humans the entire time! In that light, the JSSDF's invasion of NERV could be viewed as a kind of poetic justice. This doubles as fridge brilliance in that given the end result of the human Instrumentality project, killing humans is ultimately what NERV was established for.
  • EVAs are in some part, powered by souls. Now, did we ever hear about Toji's sister after the Unit-03 incident...?
    • It is implied that Toji does not have a mother, like most of his class. Ritsuko tells Gendo that they have a core for EVA-03 that can be prepared immediately. Toji was chosen as the Fourth Child because of his connection to EVA-03, not the other way around.
    • Related: Shinji (or Berserker Unit-01, either way) injured Toji's sister, crippled Toji, and destroyed Toji's mother's soul via EVA-03's core. Talk about guilt trip fuel.
    • After she went insane, Asuka's mother ended up completely not acknowledging her daughter as a person, instead replacing her with a doll. This mother committed suicide and hung the replacement right along with her. In her mind, she was killing her kid and herself.
      • I'm pretty sure this is an actual plot point. Part of why Asuka is so messed up is because she heard her mother (speaking to the doll) saying "die with me, Asuka". Asuka feels guilty that she DIDN'T die with her mother.
  • Just how many people died when Unit-00 self-destructed to save Shinji? Were they all protected by the shelters or did they all get killed by the blast?
  • While we're on the topic of civilian casualties, it's pretty understandable how Shinji is shocked when Unit-02's head crashes into his shelter: Asuka may have died. But watch the scene again closely. You notice that a bunch of people get killed by the impact, including a baby who was giggling only a few seconds before. Now it’s understandable why Shinji is so reluctant to pilot, and his shock may also be from the realization that he could have saved these people if he hadn't quit.
  • The End of Evangelion: Yui's soul being locked inside of a human-grown replication of Lilith and forced to spend all eternity floating through space as a testament to human existence. And I Must Scream is an understatement.
    • When you understand that EVAs are sentient beings with a soul which are trapped and imprisoned inside 'restraints' for use as weapons, ok. Disturbing, but you can live with it... and then you realize that all the pilots are synchronizing with the EVAs. As in they are matching neuronal responses to achieve the best reaction, and are, as a consequence, melding their minds into the EVAs. So you have the kids melding their minds with the EVAs to a point where they have so fully intertwined their mental states, ego and identity into the Eva that they can't separate one from the other. An example? Shinji constantly screaming at Gendo "You used my hands to kill him!" when the dummy plug in Unit-01 destroyed Unit-03. Also, remember how Shinji lost it when he saw Asuka mutilated in EOE?
    • Also in End of Evangelion, after Shinji and Asuka are left alone on the hellish version of Earth, there doesn't appear to be any liquid left apart from the LCL that everyone on the planet has been reduced to. Humans need to drink and all...
  • Asuka playing with the doll in 2.0. If you've seen the original series, you'll appreciate why this is so messed up.
  • It's stated that for humans, the AT Field is just powerful enough to allow them to hold physical form. The field serves as an EMOTIONAL barrier for humans. Harsh words and hate are more of a violation than physical contact in that context. Still... does that mean that Asuka's cruelty to Shinji was equal to Mind Rape?
  • Shinji is very weak willed, backs down to even the slightest insult, and when he was yelled at for disobeying orders in the first series, he tries to run away. He often yells "I mustn't run away, I mustn't run away. I MUSTN'T RUN AWAY!" when he should be afraid when he's facing a monster that wants to kill him. That and he thinks very little of himself, was willing to stay only for the needs of others, and says that he's mean, cowardly, dishonest, weak, sneaky, and sissy. Sissy and weak? Perhaps. But none of the other words describe him. It makes you wonder just what kind of person raised Shinji for those past ten years.
  • Rei's obedience to Gendo is not due to loyalty: it's due to her being replaceable in the most literal sense possible. And he knows this. One could only wonder how far he took his leverage...
  • The ending to Neon Genesis Evangelion is so weird that you might not get it at first. But when you do... the Assimilation Plot trope was originally called Instrumentality.
  • Asuka calling Rei a doll in the elevator. At this time, you may even agree. Then, you learn what dolls represent in Asuka's backstory.
    • So, she wasn't just calling her a mindless toy, she was calling her a mindless thing that steals away the affection of the person you love. And will probably end up hurting them/ making them hurt themselves. Deep.
    • It goes deeper when you consider that the person that Asuka "loves" in this scenario could very well be Shinji. On a basic level, it refers to Rei being Asuka's rival for Shinji's affections, but considering what we learn about Rei and her relation to Gendo, it could also be seen as Asuka accusing Rei of stealing Gendo's affections away from his son, thereby causing Sinji to become the reclusive loner that he is. In other words, Asuka is blaming Rei for what Shinji has become, which inadvertently had brought her down as well due to the Unresolved Sexual Tension between them .
  • The entry plug/Eva relationship: once you figure out that Eva-01 contain Yui's soul, it's hard to avoid the idea that, by piloting an Eva, Shinji is living out a giant Oedipal metaphor. This becomes even more obvious when, during his introspective experiences, Shinji decides that he pilots an Eva because only piloting makes him feel needed.
  • Asuka was saved from her Mind Rape (a bit late mind you) by the Lance of Longinus. Now what weapon is used to kill her?
  • Ever wondered why Rei never really develops emotionally after the initial signs of promise early on in the series? When Rei II dies, we can presume Rei III does not have those experiences, and is the earlier, emotionally null version. Shinji's small amount of success in getting through to her on a human level all comes to naught.
  • More about Rei. Rei, despite being sort-of part Angel, is still a human. A human who can't really express herself well, as seen from her reaction of not knowing how to react to Shinji crying after the Ramiel battle. Everyone believes that she is emotionless just because she can't show how she feels. But she is human, and she DOES feel emotions. Every single fucked up thing she has seen in her life, from the Angels and the EVAs, Lilith, the mindless clones of herself floating in LCL she experienced it as human, with emotions. In her mind she could have been as batshit freaked out or disturbed by all of it and you wouldn't even know it. This is more scary if you think about it literally, since no one can tell what she's feeling, they won't know how to act toward Rei, and even if Rei is scared out of her mind she is never going to get the comfort she needs.
  • In The End of Evangelion Asuka fights the Mass-Produced EVAs and disables all of them in a truly spectacular battle. Then it turns out they're Not Quite Dead, they reactivate and then proceed to devour Unit-02 with Asuka in it. Right, so the MP EVAs enjoy playing with their opponent (since they played dead, although those injuries would not stop them attacking) and once their opponent is down, they completely annihilate and eviscerate it. Keep in mind that the Dummy Plugs of the MP EVAs are modeled of the brainwaves of Kaworu Nagisa, the nicest character in the show. So that means that somewhere in that guy's mind is the capability for cannibalism and to be absolutely cruel and sadistic.
    • Evil Manga Kaworu strangled an abandoned kitten. Sure, he (weakly) justified it as a Mercy Kill, and the manga continuity was technically an Alternate Universe with Divergent Character Evolution anyway, but...
    • It gets somewhat better when you remember the Dummy Plug based on Rei’s brainwaves, and it still attacked Toji while Rei refused to, which could mean that the real Kaworu would never do anything like that.
    • The dummy plugs mimic their brain waves, but not their souls. They could be described as animal instinct unmoderated by higher morality.
  • Don't all the parts hinting at a relationship between Shinji and Rei seem a bit weird after you find out she was cloned from his mother?
  • Imagine the sight of a giant human head with a "smile" on its face looming over the horizon. Now imagine that head decaying over time...
    • Since all terrestrial life was implied to have evolved from the LCL (primordial soup) and all intrinsic AT fields holding said soup together have been collapsed during Third Impact, nothing should decay for a long time since decomposition requires decomposers who would have been destroyed during the Third Impact. Rei's giant fractured head would be slowly eroding but mostly intact until the decomposers reconstitute themselves. Slightly less creepy, but still creepy.
  • If 2000 was the year of the Second Impact, did that mean there was a First Impact? If so, when was it, what happened, and how and why did it happen?
    • The implication is that the First Impact was Lilith, landing on the planet, creating the Moon as well as preventing Adam's Angel life from spreading across the planet via spreading Lilin instead.
  • Kensuke’s father works for the JSSDF. It’s quite likely he participated in the mass purge the JSSDF tried to pull on NERV.
  • Think you're safe from a traumatic backstory and/or experience if you're a minor Eva character? Wrong! Take Shigeru Aoba, for example: during the Tang-ification scene, he doesn't see anybody before he turns into Tang. Rei/Lilith has to force him to do it. What does that mean? It means that all throughout his entire life, he never found a person who truly loved him. Damn.
    • It seems to be more based on if the person being Tang-ed had anyone they themselves loved. While it's sort of unclear whether this love had to be romantic or sexual, there's still two possible unfortunate explanations for what happened to Aoba: a) he had the capacity to be attracted to others, but ultimately found no one who interested him, which is depressing for the reasons the original troper mentions. b) Aoba was asexual, meaning that all asexual people, globally, each underwent the assault of a horde of floating, naked Rei's before they exploded into goo.
  • Second Impact shifted the Earth's axis to the point where seasons no longer exist. Feel free to read all the effects this would have.
  • The End Of Evangelion has a rather unsettling variation on the Sex Is Violence trope involving the MP Evas. note For those who really want to know, they stab themselves with copies of the Lance of Longinus in their most vital organ (their S2 engines) under the influence of Rei/Lilith while climaxing. This is foreshadowed in the beginning with Fuyutsuki's comment that SEELE's attempt to hack the MAGI was "merely foreplay," before it becomes more Squick-inducingly obvious throughout the movie. The aforementioned Lance of Longinus has its repeated phallic symbolism. The subtext it adds to Asuka's death scene where she's speared in the face with it is particularly creepy, especially when you consider that most of the movie focuses on Shinji's desire for her.
  • While she may or may not have tried to speed the process by cutting her wrists and lying in a bathtub, Asuka was implied to have taken a more indirect route by starving herself. She's found naked with her clothes folded neatly (a hallmark of people committing suicide) and is too weak to avoid being taken into custody when Section 2 agents find her.
    • One early draft of episode 24 would've shown Kaworu with scars on his wrists and neck, with the implications that they were from suicide attempts. This was apparently cut in the final draft, but it does help explain why Kaworu was so willing to have Shinji kill him.
    • In an early scene of End Of Evangelion Shinji is shown with Hidden Eyes and is soaking wet, implying he tried to commit suicide by drowning.
  • A lighter example, but in 2.0 Kaji takes the children to an aquarium to see what the oceans looked like before second impact. Unfortunately, this involves going through decontamination, which involves getting blasted with hot/cold air (whether it was hot or cold I'm not sure), washed silly with a high-pressure shower, and plunged into an icy tank of water...3 times! Now this sounds like torture...until you realize that in episode 13, Asuka states that she went through decontamination 17 times! If decontamination was anything like it was in 2.0, that means that Shinji, Asuka, and Rei must have nerves and lungs of steel.
  • Remember that cute dog that was on an off-screen TV giving one-bark answers to mathematical problems that equal "wan"? Well, let's hope that dog and all other beings with a degree of sentience are affected by the global anti-AT field in the same way humans are, else they'll likely either be trapped with no way of feeding themselves, die from the destruction, or die slowly from long-term starvation!
  • The Evangelions are powered by the souls of their pilots' mothers, but Rei has no mother, being a clone. So who or what is powering Unit-00? Some fans have speculated that Unit-00 contains the soul of the first Rei, who was only a preschool-age child when she was strangled to death by Ritsuko's mother Naoko in a fit of rage. If we assume this to be true, Unit-00 is essentially a little girl trapped in a gigantic armored body, being forced to mentally and physically synchronize with her clone "sister" in order to fight alien Eldritch Abominations, blindly lashing out in fury at anything and everything, and determined to kill who she believes is the woman who murdered her. The implications are more than enough to make one tremble in fear...

    Fridge Logic 
  • We see Unit-01 reject Rei, and we later find out that Yui is inside EVA-01, and Rei is in fact a clone of Yui, but she looks somewhat different and has a different personality. When Unit-01/Yui rejects Rei, it's because she's being confronted with an imperfect copy of herself, and is understandably disturbed and upset, so she refuses to let Rei pilot.
    • This sort of rejection of a duplicate could also explain why Rei can have trouble with Unit-00, especially how it went berserk during an early trial. If we go with the popular theory that the soul inside Unit-00 is the original Rei that was killed by Naoko Akagi. The Rei we see in at the start of the series is a clone of this original, and Rei's trouble piloting might stem from the original reacting to seeing a copy of herself.
  • NERV cannot harm any angels aside from an N2 mine, before Shinji was introduced and EVAs had enough pilots. However, when the only thing that can hurt Ramiel is a rail gun powered from the city's generators, Shinji is the only one that can fire it. He doesn't do anything (no Hand Wave that dispels the AT Field) other than FIRE THE GUN. Is it just the will of the EVAs that kill the target (which may be feasible given the animating company), or the gun being a Rail Gun, which can penetrate due to being electromagnetic? If not, the episode could've saved some budget if cut, even though it was a Tear Jerker.
    • The reason that gun worked was because it used up enough energy to power a small nation. If the angel had been more mobile, it would have been useless to try again because it would have dodged, as it did the first time. In other words, Huge Power= Huge Energy requirement.
      • A small nation? Try all the energy in Japan.
    • Guess that would explain the Jet Alone project's goal: having a nuclear mecha able to hold the power of a city to take out the problems of the future. Turns out NERV had their own agenda, eh?
    • Jet Alone still would've been useless, since it took all the power of a NATION to create a single shot powerful enough to penetrate an AT Field...just like overwhelming force can cause a person's mental barriers to crumble.
    • Ramiel was stated to have one of the most powerful A.T. Fields of any Angel. Also, the primary reason the rifle was used was that Ramiel automatically targeted any hostile party within a certain radius with a highly accurate and destructive energy beam, making close combat virtually impossible. If every angel had such a strong A.T. Field, it is doubtful that Unit-01 would've been able to tear through Sachiel's with its bare hands in Episode 1.
      • Unit-01 brought down Sachiel's AT-Field by eroding it using its own AT-Field, as is stated in the dialogue during that scene. The shot of it ripping the field apart with its hands was it tearing away the last shreds of the already-weakened field.
    • Or, discounting A.T. Fields in general or the power conversion of the rifle, the Positron Cannon was meant to fire positrons (hence the name) which are the antimatter equivalent of electrons. They annihilate ambient electrons, (causing the beam to appear to be a laser by generating LOTS of energy as it passed through the air) which could, in theory, create enough energy to pierce Ramiel's A.T. Field. Keep in mind that a single kilogram of positrons annihilating a single kilogram of electrons generates the same energy as a 43-megaton nuclear bomb.