Theory and Analysis:Rei and the Moon

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In order to hint at Rei Ayanami's sharing a common soul with Lilith, Rei is associated with the recurring visual motif of the Moon throughout the entire series.[1] In fact, the Moon is rarely shown in Neon Genesis Evangelion without Rei in the foreground. Exceptions would be the shots of the Spear of Longinus heading towards the Moon, and the "Moon's eye view" of Second Impact as seen during Episode 12.


Images Associating Rei with the Moon

  • During the opening credits there is a shot of Rei standing before the Moon.
  • During episode 6 Rei stands silhouetted against the Moon before the battle with Ramiel.
  • During episode 10 there is a shot of Rei swimming seen from below as she passes in front of a light, visually similar to the Moon.
  • The closing animation features Rei and the Moon together.
  • During episode 25 Rei sits inside a Moon-like spotlight, while Asuka sits in a Sun-like spotlight, see Asuka and the Sun below for more information.
  • The white giant in Terminal Dogma, who we later learn is, in fact, Lilith, wears a mask with crater-like markings. This serves to associate her with the Moon, and thus with Rei.
  • Rei as Lilith appears before the Moon throughout End of Evangelion.


Rei and the Moon
From the opening credits
From Episode 06
From Episode 10
From the closing credits
Rei in the spotlight
Lilith's cratered mask
Rei as Lilith, in the sea of LCL.


  • Rei awakens in the moonlight and gazes up to the Moon before breaking Gendo's glasses and leaving her apartment for the Dummy Plug Plant.


Rei awakens in the moonlight
Reiwakey1.jpg Reiwakey2.jpg Reiwakey3.jpg
Reiwakey4.jpg Reiwakey5.jpg Reiwakey6.jpg
  • Rei awakens with a busy day ahead of her in EOE...


Other Connections

Armisael-Rei bleeds menstrual blood.


  • The Moon has a patent connection to the menstrual cycle in women as it waxes and wanes across 28 days. The theme of menstrual blood runs throughout the series, from Lilith's sea of LCL to Armisael's menstrual bleeding while conversing with Rei.
  • In many systems of planetary attribution to the human body the Moon is associated with one of the eyes (see the myths surrounding Odin, Horus, Tsukuyomi, etc) and the Sun with the other. The Sun and the Moon are seen as counterparts to each other. Usually, the left eye is associated with the Moon. In Rei's Monologue during episode 14 this relation between the eye and Moon is reinforced by a cut of Rei's left eye, followed immediately by a cut to the moon. The same shot of Rei's left eye is used during the opening credits.

Other Information

  • The terms Black Moon and White Moon are from astrology. White Moon describes the lunar perigee while Black Moon describes the lunar apogee, when the Moon is closest or furthest from the Earth respectively.

Asuka and the Sun

The visual motif pairing Rei and the Moon is strong and frequently occurs throughout the series, and due to Rei's connection to Lilith it is thematically important. To a lesser extent, there is a visual motif pairing Asuka with the Sun.

  • The first shot introducing Asuka has her silhouetted against the Sun.
  • In Episode 9, Asuka harasses Rei by standing in front of the sun, blocking her light while she reads her book.
  • In Episode 9, when Asuka irefully asserts to Shinji that she intends to show up Rei and Misato for injuring her pride, she does so with the setting sun next to her in the background.
  • In Episode 24 when Asuka is sitting in the rusty bathtub in the abandoned house, she is looking up at the sun.
  • In Episode 25 Asuka is sitting in an orange Sun-like spotlight, contrasting with the white Moon-like spotlight that Rei is sitting in.
  • In Eva-02's dying moments in The End of Evangelion, Asuka reaches upwards towards the Sun.


Asuka and the Sun
In Episode 08, Asuka stands high aboard the Aircraft Carrier, silhouetted against the Sun.
In Episode 25, Asuka's bright orange spotlight looks like the Sun.


Beyond representing Asuka's solar and dominant nature, and being a further illustration of the contrast between Asuka and Rei, its significance to the actual story is less clear.

References

  1. During First Impact 4 billion years ago the Black Moon transporting Lilith collided with Earth, and the Earth's Moon formed from the resulting debris. Thus Lilith's arrival created the Moon. See the Classified Information for more details.