A page for temporarily storing article text that is being actively worked on by me, so that it's not sitting in a normal article looking all unsightly. --Reichu
"Sequel Theory" is the enduringly popular idea that the Rebuild of Evangelion films are not a separate continuity, but are instead a follow-up in a more than spiritual sense. In its most basic form, this idea posits that the films occur on Earth after the Third Impact of End of Evangelion; exact specifics as to how this is supposed to work vary. In its multitudinous more convoluted forms, it would be more accurately described as "Cycle Theory", with NGE and NTE both being iterations of a cycling universe. This article will not deal with the latter, since said variation isn't really concrete enough to be debated, and instead concentrate on most of the supposed evidence associated with the idea of Rebuild being a slightly more literal sequel.
Second Impact... or Third?
As soon as fans sat down in Japanese theaters to see Evangelion 1.0, the idea that they were being shown some kind of continuation took seed. Since the film was a retelling of the TV series' first six episodes with only minor storytelling variations, why would anyone think it somehow took place after EoE? Before anything can be debunked, we must first look at what's believed in the first place and why, so... shall we?
Blood in the Water
We see here that the first shot is a direct callback to EoE's final scene, and the otherwise familiar sights of Episode 01 have been transformed by an ocean that is no longer blue, but blood-red. With brutally efficient use of visuals, the end of the previous Eva sage has been linked to this new one. But why...?
The Mysterious Outline
Amidst the opening montage of images -- the storyboards taken nearly verbatim from Episode 01 -- showing the lingering damage from Second Impact, something new appears...
This appears to be the bold white outline of a giant humanoid in cruciform position, painted over a blood-stained hillside littered with damaged buildings. For many NGE veterans, the visual immediately recalls the dead Mass Production Evangelions from EoE, on account of the general profile and especially the long slender region where a head and neck would be:
|End of Evangelion: Crucified Eva Series|
The outline in 1.0 is more strongly reminiscent of the MP Evas before they petrify and, off-screen, spontaneously undergo decapitation -- but even once this happens the conical entry plug hatches still extend their outlines in approximately the same way.
Blood on the Moon
The final scene of the film takes us to Mare Tranquilitatis of the moon, where we can see a long, thin streak of blood-colored fluid soaked into the turf:
|Evangelion 1.0: Blood on the Moon|
...which, again, recalls the way NGE ended, rather than how it began:
|End of Evangelion: Blood Flies to the Moon|
Audiences at the time that Eva 1.0 came out, and many even to this day, see these visuals and immediately, viscerally interpret them as hints that the film occurs on the same planet Earth on which Neon Genesis Evangelion occurred, in the wake of the post-EoE timeline somehow being partly "reset" to starting conditions. While there is no generally accepted reason for why this would have happened in the first place, the blood-red oceans, the outline resembling an MP Eva, and the blood on the moon are all pointed to as clear holdovers from the world before the reset. And then there is this, the sole dialogue from the final scene:
KAWORU: I know. The boy down there's awakened, and we've entered the general stage of the plan, correct?
KEEL: That's correct. The Dead Sea Scroll Apocrypha have been fulfilled up to the Book of Law. The hour of our covenant draws near.
KAWORU: The Third again, huh? You sure haven't changed. I look forward to seeing you, Ikari Shinji-kun.
Here, Kaworu expresses familiarity with Shinji (the Third Boy), while also saying that he looks forward to seeing (or meeting) him. Sequel theory interprets this to mean that Kaworu is yet another holdover from the previous iteration: he knows Shinji from the events of Neon Genesis Evangelion, but has not yet met him in New Theatrical.
As Kaworu's seeming foreknowledge of Shinji remains an aspect of the film series that has not yet been explained, there will be no attempt to address it here. However, we can explore the three other points, since the three released Rebuild films, along with the available supplemental sources, provide sufficient data to reach a fairly solid understanding of what's really going on.
No, It Really is the Second
Regardless of whatever is going on with Kaworu, the remaining "big three" -- which have been and continue to be rolled out in Internet posts, ready-to-go infographics, and YouTube videos time and time again -- can, with the careful observation that Eva has always demanded of its audience, be shown to have absolutely nothing to do with the Third Impact that occurred in End of Evangelion. We'll start with the simple and concrete, and work our way up to the more convoluted and weird.
The Moons Don't Match
While both moons have blood-red stains on them, the stains themselves are completely different. This is an observation that can be made as early as Eva 1.0, requiring no clarification from later installments.
The film transitions to the final scene on the moon by first panning up from the aftermath of Operation Yashima to the night sky, where a full moon brilliantly glows. This shot provides a complete glimpse of the side of the moon facing earth. According to Explanation of Evangelion 1.01, the final scene takes place at the 7th Branch of Nerv (to be later known as Tabgha Base) within Mare Tranquilitis. This places it somewhere in the dark blotch in the upper right region of the lunar image provided. (And even without knowing this tidbit, the base can be readily deduced as being on the Earth-side of the moon, since the planet is visible behind Kaworu, showing the very bottom of Australia.)
As we can see, the near side of the Moon shows no traces of staining that are visible from space, very much unlike the blood stain from EoE. This rules out any possibility of the two stains being the result of the same event. The one in the New Theatrical films was caused by something completely unique to this version of the story. And, yes, the films offer plenty of hints as to what that thing might be. Let's take a look.
NGE's Second Impact acts as an allusion to the Great Flood of the Bible... divine punishment enacted against a sinful human race. NTE builds upon that framework with zeal and little regard for excess, showing us a post-Second Impact world even more hellish than that depicted in the original series, and then on top of that having every Angel battle end with another miniature flood of blood to echo the big one. While the Great Flood of NGE's Second Impact was caused by the catastrophic explosion of Adam, resulting in the near-instantaneous melting of the Antarctic ice cap, these "mini-floods" in NTE have a much different cause.
|“||RITSUKO AND MAYA TALKING IN 1.11 ABOUT COLLAPSING ATF AND BLOOD-LAKE BEING LIKE 2I||„|
Ritsuko is referencing the phenomenon called image collapse, wherein the Angels dissolve -- usually explosively -- into a blood-colored fluid after their cores are destroyed.
MONTAGE BOX WITH ILLUSTRATIVE ANIMATED GIFS OF PHENOMENON
This seems to be inspired by the destruction of Lilith-based life seen in End of Evangelion, wherein Lilith's Anti-A.T. Field destroys her descendants' ability to retain their physical form, resulting in their (again, usually explosive) reduction to LCL. [INCLUDE ANIMATED GIF OF THIS AS WELL FOR CONTRAST] In EoE, close-up shots of Lilin dissolving depicts the normal orange form of LCL, but red LCL is seen (and goes without direct explanation) in many shots of a far more massive scale. In NTE, the blood-colored Angel fluid is never explicitly identified, save for the explosive destructive of Lilith of Eva 3.0, where it is described as LCL. So for all intents and purposes, we will refer to the red fluid as LCL from this point forward.
Above, we see that in the same scene where Ritsuko provides a mechanism for the Angels' bloody explosions, Maya also draws a parallel between the phenomenon and Second Impact. This is more meaningful that it may at first appear.
While the original NGE should not be relied upon to *directly* fill in the blanks of NTE, deductions based on parallels can be useful, since NTE constantly references back to the original in a way that invites compare and contrast. The Second Impact of Neon Genesis Evangelion is caused, ultimately, by the explosive detonation of the First Angel, Adam. The being Adam does not exist as such in the new movies (at least, not that we know), but four entities called "Adams" do, and they were indeed present at the site of Second Impact, similarly in "radiant giant" form. We have direct confirmation that at least one of these entities survived the event, and hints that another two did as well:
MONTAGE BOX - summary of presumed living Adams: Eva-13 - directly confirmed by Mari Eva-06 - given special distinction by Seele, and Gendo comments on its unusual construction Eva-01 - "pseudo-evolves" into a radiant giant closely resembling one of the Adams
(This incidentally explains both the outline and the blood streak, but we'll get to that in a moment.)
But what about the fourth?
Interestingly, the role of the Adam embryo from NGE -- what little remains of Adam's body after Second Impact has taken its toll -- is replaced, in NTE, by the Key of Nebuchadnezzar. With the fourth and last Adam unidentified, perhaps the Key is the answer. Running with the NGE!Adam parallel, it could indicate that, while three Adams survived, one of them did not, instead being destroyed in an explosive manner, but also leaving a physical vestige behind. Furthermore, as an Angel within the continuity of NTE, this Adam would not merely explode -- it would explode in a very bloody way, providing a concrete source not only for the LCL-polluted oceans, but for the streak on the Moon.
Incidentally, there had been plans to directly depict the blood streak forming as a result of Second Impact, but this was eventually omitted. While the reason is unknown, it's presumably because it was not required information -- enough was provided elsewhere for an attentive audience to deduce that it must have happened. Paring away needless exposition is a normal part of the drafting process.
Accepting this supposition, however, one mystery that persists is just why there is so much LCL, enough to pollute the collective oceans of Earth. On the one hand, the Angels do seem to be "under pressure", and they visibly swell and burst into an amount of LCL that appears to far exceed the mass of their bodies. [Image(s) illustrating this fact.] But on the other, the amount of LCL one would expect an entity the size of an Adam to produce would be approximately the same as that of an equivalent-sized Angel, such as the Fourth. The Fourth's LCL-filled crater is an impressively horrific sight on its own merits, but compared to the volume of the ocean, it's a very small amount of fluid that would be readily diluted to imperceptible, non-toxic levels.
One possibility is indirectly provided in Evangelion 3.0. Lilith is seen to have grown in size to a great extent during Third Impact, and Mark.06 along with her. Had she not been killed and placed into stasis, would she have continued to grow? Perhaps to a size that would, if she were to then explode into LCL, stain the oceans of Earth a saturated red color? While this explanation is being mentioned for completeness' sake, there is a chance of it being not correct, as we can see that the post-Third Impact moon is now marked by gigantic stains that were not seen previously. If these were caused by Third Impact, the source would have to be something other than an exploding giant. However, there is also the possibility that these had been there since Second Impact, but were on the far side of the moon and hence not visible until Third Impact's event somehow disturbed the Moon's original orbit.
Another possibility is that the LCL responsible for the state of the oceans and the lunar streak of blood (in Mare Tranquilitatis) did not come from anyone's dissolved body. Instead, it came from some kind of otherworldly source of LCL, one which was linked directly to regular space as a consequence of . Precedent for such a domain exists in NGE in the LCL Sea, an extradimensional space
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The shore is drenched in "blood", as well, and we can see from a frigate sighted inside a town that even in Japan the Second Impact tsunamis were more than enough to deposit large, heavy things onto land. No real doubt it's one of the Adams, placed there in a less extreme version of how Mark.06 got to the Moon.
-- one that can only be determined by being attentive to the mystery being laid bare piece by piece in this story, not one from 1996.
Could this outline in fact be marking where one of the nine dead MP Evas made landfall at the end of EoE?
In other words, the end of one *Eva* saga At this point, some fans immediately wonder if this *isn't* a separate continuity after all -- otherwise why link the end of EoE to the beginning of the Eva tale in such an overt way? Was some kind of partial
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- Anonymous spoiler posted to /a/ and cross-posted to EvaGeeks Forums, 2007/09/01.
- Explanation of Evangelion 1.01.
- Paraphrased from the storyboard's description for Cut 386
- Summer 2017, at the time of this article's original penning.
- Evangelion 1.11, custom Reichu translation combining aspects of those done by Lolfang & Reito and Funimation with my own tweaks.
- Evangelion 3.33 Blu-Ray: Script. Translations by Reichu.
C1241: Lilith rupturing. Swells under pressure and abruptly pops!
C1242: Same camera placement. Giant Ayanami (Gendo in foreground) inflates with a whoosh and explodes from the inside.
C1243: Gendo basking in L.C.L. downpour, high angle view.
C1245: Mk.06 (Eva-13 in foreground) floating above the L.C.L. lake.
- For instance, a previous draft for episode 26' actually shows Shinji ejecting his entry plug from Eva-01 before the latter drifts into space, but a self-directed note by Anno questions its necessity, and the scene missing from the final film. [Link to Hague's translation here.]