Theory and Analysis:Sachiel and the Plugsuits

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One of the lesser noticed aspects of NGE is how Sachiel's design reflects that of the Eva pilots' plugsuits, (or perhaps it's the other way around).

  • Compare, for instance, the large carapace on Sachiel's shoulders with its pair of round apertures, to the shoulder area of the pilots' plugsuit which has a panel with a pair of round protrusions (possibly some sort of valve).
  • Next, note the rib-like structures around Sachiel's core and the scapular exoskeletal carapace on the back side, and compare it to the life-support pack of the plugsuit. The LS pack wraps around the pilot's ribcage, with a red spherical structure over the pilot's heart area. (But note that Asuka's suit lacks this feature.)
  • Finally, the Angel has gills on his thighs and, on the female pilots' suits, that area is set off with black trim. In the finished work the lines on Asuka and Rei's suits don't seem to serve any purpose besides emphasizing the feminine curves of their hips and thighs, but interestingly, Shinji's plugsuit also had the "black trim" at one point in the design process. This would seem to indicate that the lines weren't originally intended for "feminine enhancement," although it is certainly true that they ultimately serve such a purpose.
Sachiel and the Plug suits
Sachielshoulder.jpg Plugsuitshoulder.jpg Sachielcore.jpg
Sachielback.jpg Plugsuitlsfront.jpg Plugsuitlsback.jpg
Sachiethigh.jpg PlugsuittrimRei.jpg PlugsuittrimAsuka.jpg

From left to right, starting at the top left:

  • Sachiel shoulder detail
  • Plug suit shoulder detail
  • Sachiel core detail
  • Sachiel back detail
  • Life support pack, front
  • Life support pack, back
  • Gills on Sachiel's thigh
  • Gill-like markings on Rei's Plug suit
  • Gill-like markings on Asuka's Plug suit
  • An early Plug suit concept, with "gill" markings on both the male and female versions.

So, what then, is the point of this visual paralleling of the Angel and the pilots? It is likely that it is intended to subtly suggest a theme that becomes more obvious towards the end of the series, (see Episodes 16, 22, and 23), that the Angels serve to “hold up a mirror”, so to speak, to the pilots, forcing them to confront aspects of themselves that they would prefer not to consider. Thus Sachiel is manifesting the “Angel as mirror to the pilots” theme right from the beginning.