In the darkness, a single point shines like a drop of fallen water. (The beginning of the universe).
A wave of light spreads out.
MDWigs: Here's some interesting production info about the opening itself: Production work for episode #01 was completed in April 1995; episode #02, May 1995. However, the opening and ending sequences were not finalised until September 1995. In other words, they had already completed most of the first few episodes by the time they did the opening, which could explain why Asuka has so few appearances.
Reichu: I was wondering about that. Considering her importance to the series, I found it unusual that Asuka only appears in the OP twice (004a and 057). This is as opposed to...
Interestingly, this cut is described in the storyboards as “the beginning of the universe”.
Shin-seiki: I always thought of it as a “pulse of energy.”. In episode #19, it is associated with the idea of EVA-01's soul “awakening,” which makes the Eva move without external power.
A red universe fades in from a black screen.
The camera advances.
thewayneiac: When you see that [Gainax], you know you're in for something unusual.
Reichu: The first of many, many psychedelic backdrops you'll see in the OP (not to mention the actual series). This “nebulous red” motif will turn up again a couple of times.