Theory and Analysis:Kaworu's Agenda

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"The person in charge exists to take responsibility."
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Kaworu & Seele

Kaworu & Seele "Lake" Scene

Kaworu has Adam's soul but he has taken Lilin's form. Therefore, the Angels are, in essense, his children. Thus one would expect that his goal would be to take back the Earth that is rightfully both his and the Angels'. However, we find out in this episode that Kaworu has been sent by Seele. Exactly what is the relationship be between them? We know that Seele’s goals are Third Impact and Instrumentality, but how does their plan involve Kaworu? Why was Kaworu was sent to Nerv by Seele? We are shown only one meeting between them, at the lake that was created when Eva-00 self-destructed.

Seele Plots

First, however, we see Seele discussing Gendo among themselves:

SEELE ??: "Nerv, the organization formed to be Seele's executive branch..."
SEELE ??: "It was created in order to put our scenario into practice."
SEELE ??: "But now, it has become an organization in the possession of one individual."
SEELE ??: "Precisely, we must take it back."
SEELE ??: "Before the promised day."
KEEL: "Nerv and the Eva series must be in their true forms. Ikari, you will bear the responsibility of your malfeasance towards Seele."

Seele seem very upset at Gendo in this bit of dialogue. Mainly because they feel he’s betrayed them and taken over Nerv. Keel’s first sentence has to do with their plans for 3rd Impact, while the last ones seems to imply they have a plan to get back at Gendo.

The Lake Conversation

Next, Kaworu's conversation with Seele:

KAWORU: "Humans cannot create anything out of nothingness. Humans cannot accomplish anything without holding onto something. After all, humans are not gods."
KEEL: "But there is one man who is trying to obtain power equal to that of God."
SEELE 12: "There is a man, who is not one of us, attempting to open Pandora's Box once again."
SEELE 04: "There is a man trying to close the box before the hope at the bottom appears."
KAWORU: "Hope? You're saying that is the Lilin's hope?"
SEELE ??: "Hope exists in as many forms as there are people."
SEELE ??: "And that is because hope only exists in the hearts of people."
KEEL: "However, our hope is becoming substantiated."
SEELE ??: "That is Lilith, the progenitor of mankind who are the false successors from the Black Moon."
SEELE ??: "And Adam, the progenitor of the Angels who are the true successors from the lost White Moon."
SEELE ??: "His salvaged soul exists only within you."
KEEL: "However, his resurrected body already exists within Ikari."
KAWORU: "Shinji's father... So, he is also the same as me."
KEEL: "That is why we entrust you with our wish."
KAWORU: "I know. That's why I'm here now after all."

(Misato is shown to be spying on Kaworu)

MISATO: "It's no good. I can't read his lips from here. But he certainly is a shady character, going out for a walk so early in the morning to talk to himself. He noticed me? No, it's not possible."
KAWORU: "All will be as the Lilin direct it."

This scene was not in the original version of Episode 24, but was added in the Director's Cut version, and is now considered part of the canon. It's an important scene that gives us a deeper insight into some of the characters' motives and personal interactions. So what is really going on in this scene, and why can Misato see Kaworu, but not Seele? One proposed explanation for Misato's confusion is that the conversation is a kind of metaphysical flashback to an earlier conversation between Kaworu and Seele, and that could explain why Seele isn't physically present. Another possibility that Seele and Kaworu are capable of conversing with each other telepathically, without being present in the same place. Thus we can infer that the conversation is taking place in real time, but Kaworu is the only participant that Misato can see.

Whether in flashback or real time, these interchanges relate to Seele's intentions and plans for Kaworu, and he responds in kind. Therefore, it seems likely that this is not the first time they've discussed this matter between them. This particular scene also further illustrates Seele's growing frustration with Gendo. They remind Kaworu that his (Adam's) resurrected body exists within Gendo. They also express their knowledge of the fact that Lilin are the false successors to the Earth from Lilith and the Black Moon, and the Angels/Adam are the true successors from the White Moon. What is this telling us? They're expressing to Kaworu their hope here, but what is their hope? We know their ultimate goal, and that it is different than that of the Angels, so there is a very strong possibility that they are being deliberately deceptive, i.e. they are using Kaworu to achieve their goal while pretending to support that of the Angels.

It should also be noted that there are fifteen Seele Monoliths in this scene instead of the usual twelve. It has been theorized that this means that this is not really Seele, but is actually the ghosts of the dead Angels. This theory doesn't seem to hold up under examination, however. At this point in the series, the dead Angels only add up to fifteen if Israfel is counted as two Angels; no canon source does so, thus there should have only been fourteen. Also, from where would the Angels have derived their information on Gendo? Why would they appear to Kaworu as Seele? The conversation seems to only make sense in the context of Seele giving Kaworu a false mission. Thus it is likely that not all of Seele had appeared until this point.

Kaworu & Shinji

In Episode 24, we see Kaworu approach and befriend Shinji. Their first meeting is outside of Nerv, where they introduce themselves, and they also have two subsequent conversations before their final confrontation. But, why does Kaworu contact Shinji? Two possible explanations are:

  • This was part of Seele’s plans.
  • Kaworu contacted Shinji for reasons of his own, or even out of simple curiosity.

We know that Kaworu was sent to Nerv for some purpose, but we don't know exactly what that was. One possibility is that Seele had some plan for Shinji, or for his Eva. Thus they might have wanted Kaworu to do something for them that involved Shinji and/or Eva-01. For instance, they might have planned for Kaworu to be killed by Shinji after befriending him. Why would they want this? This idea is given some credence in EOE, in which Seele was seemingly relying on Shinji’s will to die, known as Thanatos, to initiate Third Impact. However, this seems to be precluded by the fact that the soldiers who attack Nerv in EOE have orders to kill all the pilots, including Shinji. Also, Seele seems to be "winging it" by that point.

Another way to read Seele's intent in sending Kaworu is that they simply sent him to die, possibly because all the Angels had to die before they could execute their version of third impact. This seems to be supported by Seele's dialogue as Kaworu begins his attack:

SEELE 02: "Humans forget their foolishness and repeat their mistakes."
SEELE ??: "If humans do not redeem themselves willingly, they will not change."
SEELE ??: "We will not rely on the powers of Adam or the Angels."
KEEL: "Our only choice is to make changes with our own hands for the future. I will be praying that Unit 01 will accomplish its task."

These lines reveal that Seele plans on initiating Third Impact themselves, and that they hope that Unit-01 stops Kaworu. This would seem then to be the better explanation of why they sent Kaworu, but it does nothing to explain why Kaworu approached Shinji.

Thus the second possibility, Kaworu was acting on his own when he approached Shinji, seems more plausible.

The Kaworu/Shinji Conversations

Here are the conversation scenes between Kaworu and Shinji:

The First Contact

SHINJI (MONO): Everyone, including Toji and Kensuke, lost their homes and left. My friends... I don't have anyone I can call a friend anymore. There's no one. I can't go see Ayanami. I don't have the courage for it. I don't know how I'm supposed to face her. Asuka, Miss Misato, Mother... What should I... What should I do?

Hears someone humming Ode to Joy

KAWORU: "Singing is great. Singing enriches the soul. It's the crowning achievement of the civilization that the Lilin created. Don't you feel the same? Shinji Ikari?"

SHINJI: "My name..."

KAWORU: "Everyone knows your name. I don't mean to be rude, but I think you should be a little more aware of your position." [1]

SHINJI: "You think so? Who are you?"

KAWORU: "I'm Kaworu, Kaworu Nagisa. One of the children that's part of the design, just like you. I'm the Fifth Children."

SHINJI: "The Fifth Children? You are? Nagisa?"

KAWORU: "You can just call me Kaworu, Ikari."

SHINJI: "You can call me Shinji too."

This scene establishes that Shinji has become a true lost soul, with no one to turn to. Suddenly and unexpectedly he has a new friend!

In the Bath

ANNOUNCEMENT: "Central Dogma is currently open. Please use Route 3 to transfer."

KAWORU: "Hi, were you waiting for me?"

SHINJI: "No, not really. That's not what I was..."

KAWORU: "What are you doing today?"

SHINJI: "Well, the regular tests are over, so all I have left is to take a shower and go home, but... But the truth is, lately, I don't really want to go home."

KAWORU: "A place to return to...The fact that you have a home will lead to your happiness. It's a very good thing."

SHINJI: "You think so?"

KAWORU: "I'd like to talk more with you. May I come with you? To take a shower. You still need to go take one, right?"

Shinji: "..."

KAWORU: "Is that a no?"

SHINJI: "Oh, no, that's not what I meant."

Kaworu: "You go to such extremes to avoid first contact. Are you afraid of connecting with other people? If you don't get close to others, you'll never be betrayed and you'll never hurt each other. But you'll also never be able to forget your loneliness. Humans can never banish their loneliness for good, because being human means being alone. But humans are able to go on with their lives because they're able to forget it every so often."

SHINJI: "It's time."

KAWORU: "Is it over already?"

SHINJI: "Yeah, we better go to bed."

KAWORU: "Together?"

SHINJI: "Oh, no! I think there's probably a room ready for you. A separate one."

KAWORU: "I see. Humans constantly feel pain in their hearts. Because the heart is so sensitive to pain, humans also feel that to live is to suffer. You're so delicate, like glass, especially your heart."


KAWORU: "Yes, you have my regard for it."

SHINJI: "Regard?"

KAWORU: "It means, I love you."

Because Kaworu is actually Adam, he does not understand the Lilin, which likely explains his ruminations here. The Earth was supposed to be for him and the Angels, but Lilin dominate the earth. Kaworu has an obligation to The Angels, his children, to give them a home. Yet given this exchange and the dialogue later in the episode where Kaworu seems to be having a moral dilemma about killing the Lilin, he has begun to feel pity for them, considering how weak they are. .

His line of "it means, I love you" was important to Shinji, who had nobody to turn to at this point. Kaworu was the first person to openly express love for him, and that meant the world to Shinji, who was hopelessly lost.

The Sleepover

Shinji's Sleepover with Kaworu

KAWORU: "Come on, I'll sleep on the floor."

SHINJI: "It's okay. You're the one who's doing me a favor by letting me stay over. I'm fine where I am."

KAWORU: "What do you want to talk about? There are things you want me to hear, right?"

SHINJI: "All sorts of things have happened since I came here. Before coming here, I used to live with my teacher. The days were peaceful. Nothing ever happened. I only had to exist there. But that was okay, because there was nothing I had to do."

KAWORU: "Did you hate people?"

SHINJI: "Not really, I think it didn't matter, one way or another. But I did hate my father."

SHINJI (MONO): Why am I telling Kaworu all this?

KAWORU: "Maybe I was born so that I would meet you."

Kaworu seems both genuinely interested in Shinji’s plight, as well as that of the Lilin. The last line is likely directly related to his decision to be killed at the end of the episode. It seems that Kaworu sought out Shinji to gain insight into the Lilin species, and that the knowledge he gained lead him to the decision he made.

The Finale

The finale of 24’ occurs from the moment Kaworu hijacks Evangelion Unit-02 to his death at the hands of Shinji and Eva-01. Because of the sheer amount of content much of the dialogue will be broken down.

Panic on the Bridge

Kaworu has hijacked Unit-02 and is heading towards Terminal Dogma. Those at Nerv are frantically trying to figure out what's going on. The scanners pick up an AT Field developing, and the scanner reads Kaworu as an Angel, finally revealing his true identity.

FUYUTSUKI: "I never imagined Seele would send one directly to us."
IKARI: "The old men intend to step up the schedule by forcing our hand."

Gendo seems to believe Seele sent the Angel directly to them to force them into some sort of action that would speed Seele's agenda. The most likely interpretation of this line would be that Seele was impatient for the start of Instrumentality, and were therefore forcing him to destroy the final Angel, a necessity for Instrumentality, before he was ready to do so.

MISATO (OFF): "But why did the Angel take Unit 02?"
FUYUTSUKI: "Could it be planning to merge with Unit 02?"
IKARI: "Or possibly to bring about destruction."

But apparently Kaworu cant merge with Eva-02. (See his dialogue below.)

Shinji, Kaworu and Rei

KAWORU: "Shinji's so late."
MAN (OFF): "Eva Unit 01 heading down Route 2! In pursuit of target!"
SHINJI: "You betrayed me! You betrayed my feelings! You betrayed me, just like Father did!"
KAWORU: "I've been waiting for you, Shinji."

Kaworu wouldn't have waited for Shinji if he intended to wipe out mankind. It’s possible even at this late point Kaworu was not yet sure what he was going to do. His following ruminations seem to imply that he was waiting for Shinji to help him make his final decision, if even in an indirect manner.

Kaworu arrives at Terminal Dogma
24 C252 splash.jpg 24 C254 col-disc.jpg

Kaworu and Eva-02 splash down into Terminal Dogma; Kaworu heads for Lilith

KAWORU: "The Eva series. Born from Adam, they are an abhorrent existence for humans. And the Lilin will even use them in order to survive. I can't understand."

Kaworu here reveals the Evas true nature. He doesn't understand why humans would use the very things that tried to destroy them in Second Impact in order to survive.

KAWORU: "The Evas are made of the same body as I am. Because I am born from Adam as well. I could merge with them, if only they didn't have souls. Unit 02's soul has shut itself away for now."

Kaworu can effortlessly synch with Eva -02 because its soul is "shut away" but apparently its having a soul at all prevents him from merging with it.

Shinji strikes at Kaworu but is blocked. Kaworu then tells Shinji of the true nature of the A.T. Field:

SHINJI: "An AT Field!"
KAWORU: "That's right. That's what you Lilin call it. The sacred domain where none may trespass. The light of the soul. Lilin, you know, don't you? That the AT Field is the wall that everyone has in their heart?"

KAWORU (MONO): "The fate of man... The hope of man is written in sorrow."

Rei arrives
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A second monstrous A.T. Field is detected

HYUGA: "It's an AT Field!"
AOBA: "The same kind of AT Field that we saw earlier has developed near the barrier around Terminal Dogma!"
IBUKI: "It's entering the barrier!
MISATO: "It can't be! Another Angel?!"
AOBA: "It's no good! We can't confirm that! Oh, no, it disappeared!"
MISATO: "Disappeared?! The Angel did?!"

Apparently, there was another AT Field around Terminal Dogma separate from that of Kaworu, but it disappears. We briefly see a glimpse of Rei inside Terminal Dogma, revealing the source of the other AT Field.

Kaworu's Epiphany

"No! This is...Lilith!"
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Kaworu realizes his mistake, if that's what it is

KAWORU: "Adam, our mother. Must all who were born of Adam return to Adam? Even at the cost of destroying humanity? No! This is... Lilith? I see, so that's what this is about, Lilin."

Here Kaworu is expressing doubts as to whether his instinctive mission to wipe out man and give the world to his own kind is right and proper. Then his realization that this is Lilith, not Adam, somehow seems to be the final piece of the puzzle. At last he has a complete understanding of the situation.[2]

However, this brings us to one of the most curious and debated moments in the series. As originally broadcast, the episode did not include the "lake conversation" between Seele and Kaworu. Kaworu thus seemed to have genuinely confused Adam and Lilith. However, with the addition of the lake scene, Kaworu knows that Adam has become part of Gendo. Why would he also think that this was Adam on the cross?

One possibility is that this is simply a continuity error, and that they somehow didn't notice the contradiction. This, however, doesn't seem very likely. In Episode 15 we were told the being in Terminal Dogma was Adam; that it is actually Lilith is the central revelation of Episode 24. It seems very unlikely that they would just forget about this scene when they wrote the new material. [3]

Another possibility is that Kaworu interpreted Seele's line as meaning that Gendo had become one with part of Adam. The Evas are already of the same body as Kaworu and Adam, couldn't the thing that Gendo had absorbed be similar?

This is a little better than the "continuity error" theory, but there remains another tantalizing possibility. Perhaps Kaworu was playing to an audience. We have already been shown that Rei is witnessing this scene. At the end of the scene Kaworu acknowledges her presence by looking directly at her. We've also been shown earlier in the episode that Kaworu has trying to give Rei clues about her identity:

Kaworu hints at Rei's identity
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...we both ended up in the same form as the Lilin

KAWORU: "You're the First Child, aren't you? Rei Ayanami... You're the same as me. So, both of us ended up in the same form as the Lilin while we inhabit this planet."

REI: "Who are you?"

Thus it is a very real possibility that Kaworu did, in fact know all along that he was seeing Lilith, and was playacting at being surprised because he wanted to tell Rei, "this is Lilith." This has been dubbed the "Casablanca Theory" [4] because Kaworu is apparently expressing false surprise.

A Smile of Betrayal

However, it should be noted that in the Full Opening this smile is captioned "uragiri no hohoemi": "a smile of betrayal." This caption was written by Anno[5] , thus it should be considered powerful Second Tier Cannon, but it seems to muddy the waters even more. Just who is being betrayed here? It's Rei that he's smiling at, but it's hard to think of a way that he is betraying her.

Some possibilities:

  • Kaworu is betraying Shinji by deliberately trying to break his spirit. This would seem to support the notion that Seele sent Kaworu to make shinji receptive to starting Third Impact. But once again, this seems to ruled out by the fact that the soldiers in EOE had orders to kill all the pilots, including Shinji.
  • Kaworu is betraying Seele by deliberately failing at his mission. That is, he was supposed to contact Lilith. According to the Classified Information this would reset all life, as opposed to the disastrous reset plus an "Adam based ecosystem" that would result if an Angel succeeded in reviving Adam. [6]. Perhaps this "Lilith-based reset" is what Seele wanted, and now that all the other Angels were dead it was safe to carry out their plan. Once again however, this seems to be refuted by Seele themselves hoping that Eva-01 stops Kaworu.
  • The remaining possibility that easily comes to mind is that Kaworu is betraying his fellow Angels by dying and denying them the chance to seize the Earth from the Lilin, but it's hard to understand how he could possibly communicate this to Rei with a smile.

Thus exactly what Anno was getting at with the reference to "a smile of betrayal" is not known.

Erase me from this World

KAWORU: "Thank you, Shinji. I wanted you to stop Unit 02. Otherwise, I may have gone on living with her."

SHINJI: "Kaworu, why?"

KAWORU: "Because it's my destiny to continue to live even if it may result in the destruction of humanity. But I can also die here. Life and death are of equal value to me. Dying of your own will. That is the one and only absolute freedom there is."

SHINJI: "What? Kaworu, I don't understand what you're saying! Kaworu..."

KAWORU: "My last will and testament. Now, erase me from this world. If you don't, you will be the ones who are erased. Only one life form will be chosen to survive the time of destruction and be given a future. And you are not a being who should die. Your people need the future."

KAWORU: "Thank you. I'm glad I met you."

It is here that he looks knowingly in Rei's direction.

Kaworu knows she's watching
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As he prepares to die, Kaworu glances knowingly at Rei

So Kaworu decided to sacrifice his own life to save the Lilin. In fact, it seems that he had to die so that Lilith's progeny could live.

"Now, erase me from this world. If you don't, you will be the ones who are erased. "

This seems to indicate that Kaworu couldn't just abandon his mission or switch sides. If Shinji chooses not to kill him, his Angelic instinct will compel him to contact Lilith, which is apparently just as bad as if it were Adam. [7]

Kaworu's choice likely came from his meeting with Shinji, which made him realize that the Lilin needed the Earth more.


  1. This is very similar to something Kaji says to Shinji during their first conversation in Episode 08.
  2. Japanese has a more nuanced view of "no" than does English, using different words depending upon whether the speaker means "No, I refuse," "No, that is incorrect," etc. In this case Kaworu says "Chigau! Kore wa... Ririsu? (Lilith)!" Chigau means "to differ," and thus in this context, "No, this is different than I thought." While the more likely interpretation of the line is "No, this isn't Adam, this is Lilith," as Kaowru was just questioning his instinctive mission to destroy mankind, it could also be intrepreted as meaning "No, because I now realize that this is Lilith, I don't have to destroy them." It could also be serving both purposes at once.
  3. If Kaworu is actually confused about something he had been explicitly told it wouldn't be the first time that happened in this episode. Misato seems surprised that Kaworu is an Angel despite having already been told this by Ritsuko.
  4. after the famous scene where Claude Rains, as Captain Renault, who has been ordered to find a pretext for shutting down Rick's Cafe, denounces Rick for conducting gambling while collecting his winnings. Capt. Renault: "I'm shocked Rick, shocked to find gambling going on here!"
    Purser: "Your winnings, sir."
  5. OP CREW page on the Renewal "01 TEST-TYPE" DVD. Anno is listed under テロップ協カ (Teroppu kyouryoku), or "caption cooperation/collaboration."
  6. See the Classified Information for more details.
  7. See the Classified Information for more details.