"Lilin" (katakana: リリン; Hebrew: לילין) is the term that the Angel Kaworu Nagisa uses to refer to humanity – or, more specifically, the species Homo sapiens. Since the Evangelion universe employs a more expansive conception of "humanity", "Lilin" is often utilized by fans to minimize ambiguity in certain contexts.
Mankind is the designated 18th Angel, as revealed by Misato Katsuragi in Episode 25'. They are a variation of humanity that arose from Lilith and possesses the Fruit of Knowledge, contrasted with Adam’s children, who possess the Fruit of Life. While Adam’s children possess individuated forms and are segregated into separate “Angels” (despite comprising a single race of entities), the billions of individual humans are treated as a single “Angel”, described as “a colony of flawed and separate entities”. Although never directly stated in the show, "Lilin" may be H. sapiens’ official “Angel” designation (going by Seele’s list). For the sake of practicality, it will be treated as such from this point forward.
An ancient race of progenitor aliens termed the First Ancestral Race seeded life throughout the galaxy billions of years ago by spreading beings known as Seeds of Life to several worlds. Lilith landed on Earth an unknown duration following Adam's arrival, and courtesy of Adam's own Spear of Longinus was able to usurp the rival Seed. Lilith spread primordial ooze, LCL (actually, Lilith's own blood), into the primitive ocean, which eventually evolved into the first single-celled life on Earth and ultimately, through some form of (implied) guided evolution, Homo sapiens. Thus Lilith is the direct progenitor of humanity.
Mankind received from Lilith the "Fruit of Knowledge", as opposed to the Angels who benefited from the "Fruit of Life", (the S² Engine, the source of their power and regenerative capabilities). Humans and Angels are regarded as incompatible, although the Angels are no more "alien" to Earth than are humans.
- The word “Lilin” originates from Judaic lore, referring to the demonic spawn of the succubus Lilith.[Source needed]
- A Romanized rendition of リリン (Ririn) is not provided in the show or known from any official sources. Discrepancies exist in the localizations, since ADV (TV series) render it as "Lilim", whereas Manga Entertainment uses "Lilin". Rebuild, although a separate canon from the TV series, uses "Lilin" in the first movie's preview for Eva 2.0, and so should be considered the "official word" on the matter.
- Whether any of the extinct species of hominids qualified as “Lilin” is entirely unknown and, perhaps, entirely unimportant.
- Episode 25’. Misato: “Shinji, we humans were born from a being called Lilith, who is a source of life just like Adam. We are the 18th Angel.” Translation by Bochan_bird.
- Misato is often regarded by fans as being "ironic" or "symbolic" in suggesting that we humans are a kind of Angel. However, for all intents and purposes we will take her at face value by default; the opposition her words face might be discussed in a T&A page.
- Episode 25’. Misato: “Having reached its limit as a colony of flawed and separate entities, humankind is to be artificially evolved into a perfect single being.” Translation by Bochan_bird.
- A preliminary draft for Episode 25’ actually has Misato say, “The 18th Angel remaining, in the end, is mankind. The Angel called Lilin, born from Lilith, who is like Adam.” The “Lilin” reference was edited out for reasons unknown.
|First and Second Angels (Seeds of Life): Adam | Lilith|
|Third to Seventeenth Angels (Adam's Children):|
|Sachiel | Shamshel | Ramiel | Gaghiel | Israfel | Sandalphon | Matarael | Sahaquiel|
|Ireul | Leliel | Bardiel | Zeruel | Arael | Armisael | Tabris|
|Eighteenth Angel: Lilin|
|Rebuild of Evangelion: ?Adams? | 3rd Angel | 7th Angel | 12th Angel|
|Other: Extracanonical Angels|