"When Aoba called B Wing's construction sloppy he hadn't seen anything like THIS!"
An Evangelion (エヴァンゲリオン), or Eva for short, is a giant, cybernetically modified humanoid entity created by the organizations Gehirn and its successor Nerv. While the Evas' ostensible function is to serve as general-purpose weapons against the threat of the Angels and prevent the catastrophic event known as Third Impact, a more sinister truth to their existence hides beneath the surface.
- 1 Biology and appearance
- 2 Interaction and Human Interfacing
- 3 Mechanics, Functions, and Technological Aspects
- 4 Ultimate Purpose
- 5 Creation and Design Concept
- 6 Notes
- 7 See Also:
- 8 References
Biology and appearance
Evangelions are often mistaken for giant robots, but as early as Episode 02 Evangelion Unit-01 is seen without its helmet on, revealing that Evangelions are clearly not robots, but cyborgs, living creatures with mechanical components incorporated into their bodies.
Evangelions are covered from head to toe in metallic plate armor that hide their true organic form, and in part because they have pilots who sit in the cockpit-like Entry Plug, located in their central nervous system. This armor also serves to restrain them and bind them to Nerv's control, and they are restrained heavily at all times when not in combat. Whether the binding armor serves to restrain them physically, or uses some other mechanism to restrict their power, is not fully known as the functioning of the bindings is not elaborated upon within the series. The shoulder pylons serve as part of the restraint system, attaching to external restraints as well as serving as storage for weapons like the Progressive Knife and Eva-02's spike launcher.
An Eva has essentially the same physical form as a normal human, albeit with exaggerated torso/waist proportions and varying head forms. The limbs are identical to human limbs in structure, down to the point of the fingers having fingernails (Episode 03) and the feet having toes (as seen in End of Evangelion). Skull shape and features vary from Evangelion to Evangelion. Some of the failed Prototype Evangelions have a skull shape almost identical to that of a human, while the Mass Production Evangelions have no eyes and a vaguely cetacean head form. Production Model Evangelions vary in head shape, as well as in the number of eyes and nostril position. Evangelions do not have a fixed size in the show, and vary in size as the situation demands, going from 40 meters to a towering 200 meters in height.
Evangelions have internal organs including a complete digestive tract, as evidenced by display monitors and Eva-01's attack on Zeruel, and visually seen during the dismemberment of Eva-02. With the exception of Eva-02, which has blue-purple blood, all Evangelions have red blood, which sprays out of wounds in spectacular fashion.
Relative Relation with Angels
A most surprising attribute of Evas, are that their entire basis and creation stem from the Angels themselves. Created from the remains of the Seed of Life, Adam (with the exception of Eva-01, instead made from Lilith), their massive bodies are formed of Particle-Wave Matter, but their shape appears to be determined genetically rather than through their A.T. Fields since they were born without souls, having their soul inserted in a Contact Experiment with a human being. With the exception of Eva-00 and possibly the Mass Production Evas, this is always the soul of the pilot's mother.
Like Adam and the Angels, all Evangelions have a core, located on the solar plexus region in a similar manner to the more humanoid Angels. Eva-01 uniquely exhibits smaller cores of unknown function: two on either side at the main core's base, and another two positioned above and below axially. Nerv's technology allows the core to be prepared for a Contact Experiment or for piloting. Cores appear to be full of LCL, and it's unknown if they produce their own supply. Despite this, these cores serve only as a holding source for the unit's soul, and while bearing some use, this use is limited, as it can power the Evangelion for a short period of time without the umbilical cable before its complete shutdown. While Angels are gifted with the Fruit of Life, being the S² Engine, Evangelions are incapable of generating an S² Engine, which these cores are used to store them in; although later in the series, Eva-01 acquires one and Mass Production Evangelions are all equipped with them.
Like the Angels, Evangelions have regenerative capabilities. It is directly stated that they are capable of regenerating damaged or destroyed organs.[Source needed] Eva-01 in particular has demonstrated extremely fast, controlled regeneration, including the ability to convert foreign biomass to its own. Likewise, Evangelions can lose their limbs or even their head and have them reattached later. Eva-02's left leg is ripped off at the knee (which the script attributes to a blasting bolt), after which the torn off leg sinks deeper into the magma of the volcano, presumably beyond all hope of recovery; however, by next episode Eva-02 is seen to be fully repaired with a full left leg. Nerv is either capable of creating replacement limbs for the Evas (as opposed to simply being able to reattach limbs that have been severed), or of making Evas regrow lost limbs from their torso. Its not known how long or difficult of a process this might be, as it's not clear how much time passes between episodes during the fairly standalone "Action Arc" of the series, although in Episode 19, Eva-00 did not have time to grow a new left arm after the battle with Bardiel, implying that the regenerative process is fairly slow (at least for Eva-00). Like with any Angel, if the core is damaged, the regeneration process is likely slowed further or even negated to the point of the death of the Evangelion.
Evangelions seem to be created out a sort of asexual amoeba-like fission process with either Adam or Lilith, in which the torso of the Eva is 'pulled' out of the Seed; Bochan_bird's translation of the Japanese liner notes, Genesis 0:12, in the "Eva Tomo no Kai" section:
"[...] Among these are an image of two giants lying stretched out. These apparently are Lilith and Eva-01 at the stage of the experiment where Yui disappeared. Both are in the condition with most of their lower bodies missing, and the missing lower torsos appear to be joined. Yui probably performed contact in the condition with Lilith and Eva-01 joined, and was taken/absorbed into [the Eva]."
Interaction and Human Interfacing
Evangelion Unit-00 is designated the "Prototype", being the first successful Evangelion in a long line of failures. Evangelion Unit-01 is designated "Test Type", possibly because of its unique method of creation, from Lilith. Eva-02 was the first "Production Model" Evangelion, and Evangelions 03 to 06 were designated "Production Model". The original Eva-05 and 06 were canceled and scrapped for parts, so the next Evangelions belonged to the "Mass Production Model" of identical Evangelions 05 to 13.
Eva-00 is referred to as "Zerogoki", which literally translates into "Zero Number Machine" (Although a loanword from English, Zero in Japanese is not pronounced the same as Zero in English) and Eva-01 as "Shogoki", literally "First Number Machine" as opposed to "One Number Machine". From Eva-02 (Nigoki, "Two Number Machine") onwards, the "#numeral Number Machine"(-goki) convention is followed. Eva-00, 01 and 02 use the Kanji numerals for zero, one and two respectively. Eva-03 onwards are named with roman numerals instead.
The Evangelion has been imbued with the soul of its pilot's mother. Whether the soul or the pilot is chosen first is unknown. A pilot can easily synch only with a compatable soul. Synchronization depends upon the pilot's psychological condition. Synchronization rate and performance can be pulled down when the pilot is emotionally distressed and increase under duress or anger, reaching a high when in battle rage.
In Episode 14, Ritsuko's "mutual compatibility experiment" marked the first time that it was attempted to switch Eva pilots between Evangelions. Rei could synch with Eva-01 fairly well, but when Shinji tried to synch with Eva-00, it went berserk. Evangelions are thus permanently associated with exclusively one pilot, and while Ritsuko considered the experiment enough of a success to begin work on the Dummy Plug system, pilots are never really switched between Evas in the series.
The Effect of Damage to the Evas upon their Pilots
- An Eva pilot feels everything their Evangelion feels when synchronized with the Eva, experiencing the pain of injuries the Eva sustains, i.e. Shinji feels like his left arm has been broken when Eva 01's arm is broken. Just exactly what is the real extent of these injuries?
- Apparently, Eva pilots feel the pain of injuries but do not actually sustain these injuries: Ritsuko points out to Shinji that "That's not your arm" when he feels the pain of Eva 01's arm being broken. Similarly, in Episode 10 Eva 02's left leg below the knee is completely bitten off, but Asuka's leg does not just spontaneously fall off as a result. Also, in Episode 19 both of Eva 02's arms are cut off, but Asuka's arms do not physically fall off. Even in this episode, Eva 01 is shot through the head, destroying its eye (which it later regenerates) but Shinji does not instantly lose an eye. The pilots appear to experience the pain and nervous system shock (which can actually result in severe forms of injury nonetheless) of injuries the Evas sustain, but do not actually suffer these injuries themselves. That said, it appears that if an Evangelion is severely damaged enough (even if the Entry Plug containing the pilot is not directly damaged itself), the pilot can indeed die from physical shock. For example, in Episode 19 Misato shouts for technicians to quickly cut the synchronization connection between Asuka and Eva 02 moments before the Angel Zeruel decapitates Eva 02, the sheer pain and shock of which would probably have killed Asuka. However, at odds with this is that during The End of Evangelion pilots appear to actually suffer the same physical injuries that their Eva Units suffer. This may be explained by the fact that in The End of Evangelion, the pilots were highly synchronized with their Evangelion Units. At an abnormally high synchronization ratio, it appears that pilots will really suffer injuries an Eva suffers.
Mechanics, Functions, and Technological Aspects
All Evas have an artificial section of spine, which is left incomplete by a circular gap that the Entry Plug fits in. Inserting the entry plug completes the nerve connections from the head to the the rest of the body. As an added precaution, a Signal Termination Plug is often kept in place of the Entry Plug to prevent neural impulses from flowing. While in operation, the entry plug is kept covered by a flush-fitting armor plate, although it can be lifted to eject the entry plug in an emergency.
The end of the Entry Plug is inserted into the core, which has a cylindrical cavity drilled out to accommodate it. The depth of the Plug inside the core can vary according to the synchronization rate and other factors, such as the Eva going berserk. The Entry Plug is flooded with LCL, which is either generated by the core itself or is pumped in from external storage before being processed and purified by the life-support systems. It serves to both provide oxygen and establish the link between the Entry Plug's occupants and the Eva, although the Interface Headset would appear to be necessary to actually pilot the Eva.
In addition, there appears to be an extensive computer interface between the pilot and the Eva, as the system must be set to the pilot's native language (the language in which the pilot thinks, see note below) to allow the Eva to activate and be piloted. It might also link to the viewscreens in the Eva cockpit (Which can flicker on and off depending on the activation state of the Eva).
The shoulder-armor pylons on Evangelions do not actually contain any biological part of the Eva, underneath the armor. The entire pylon is just an extension of the Eva's outer armor. As seen in Episode 14, the pylons can actually be removed should the need arise, in this case to fit them into external restraints; besides Eva-00, both Eva-01 and Eva-02, which always had shoulder-armor pylons, are here seen without them.
Operational Capabilities and Equipment
Evas run off power from an umbilical cable, attached to a socket in the back of the artificial spine segment. How electrical energy is converted for the Eva's usage, or if the Eva indeed is capable of motion off raw electrical energy alone, is not elaborated in the show. If the cable is broken or disconnected (For increased speed and mobility), Evas have up to five minutes of Internal Battery power in reserve (Alternatively quoted as one minute at maximum and five minutes with gain- varying depending upon plot).
They are capable of creating protective A.T. Fields as well as eroding the A.T. Fields of Angels, and have tremendous strength in addition. In complete contrast to their size and mass, Evas are capable of acrobatic feats like drop-kicks and enormous spinning leaps into the air. Performance rises with increased synchronization, and an Eva in battle rage can inflict crippling physical damage on an Angel or even another Evangelion, or cast its A.T. Field as an offensive weapon. The height of Eva capabilities is the Berserk mode, when the resident soul has taken control from the pilot. It is characterized by savage, animal-like behavior. A berserker Evangelion has greatly enhanced physical strength, and, at the height of berserker mode, can run without any electrical power at all.
Evangelions have weapons and other equipment loaded on for combat purposes. Evas have computerized targeting systems, Radar and Sonar, as well as assorted weaponry.
All Evangelions (With the exception of Eva-00 in its original armor) have a prog knife stored inside their left shoulder pylon, and Eva-02 has a spike launcher in its right shoulder pylon. Eva-00's shoulder pylons have a rocket system that allows the Eva to slow down when making large jumps (or presumably increases jump height as well).
Although Evangelions were supposedly created to combat the Angel threat, their most important function (and one of their greatest secrets) is to initiate a Third Impact to evolve humanity further. A few continuities of these purposes exist:
Neon Genesis Evangelion 2
Upon the cloning of Adam's remains through Project E, to recreate Adam through the Evangelions, Seele, with the knowledge of the Dead Sea Scrolls, desired to unite both Fruits of Knowledge (through mankind's study of the workings, biology, and physics of the First Ancestral Race and the Angels, were able to create a host body through genetics and cloning resulting in the Evas) and Life (the S² Engine, the Angel's basis for their incredibly monstrous powers), they would then destroy the Lance of Longinous, having host bodies rivaling the powers of Adam and the First Ancestral Race, which they would transfer their souls into, and become god like beings for time immemorial for the sake of proving "humanity's pinnacle dominance".
Rebuild of Evangelion
Creation and Design Concept
The Evangelions were designed after a specific type of Japanese monster called "Oni", commonly translated into "demon" or "ogre". In the words of Anno himself-
- "There's a monster in Japan called the Oni; it has two horns sticking out of its head and the overall image of the Eva is based on that. I also wanted to give the impression that beneath this ‘robot monster’ image is not so much a robot, but a giant human."
Corresponding with Anno, Ikuto Yamashita worked to develop the design of the Evangelions (With the exception of the Mass Production Evangelions and the altered Eva-02 design used in End of Evangelion). In his words-
- "So why did Evangelion wind up with that shape?" … The director instructed me to make, “the image of [an oni].” A giant just barely under the control of mankind. I get the feeling I've seen that correlation before … The image I had for the design concept was the fairy tale, Gulliver's Travels. Enormous Power Restrained. … What I came up with was a giant that looks like a relief on a wall. … I happily discarded the efficiency and feeling of giant size that you can guess at by sight alone. … after the designs were handed in, it caused a stir — even among the staff, positive and negative opinions were flying. And from here on out, I imagine it will cause a stir among comic readers and animation viewers."
Instead of being boxy and angular like previous mecha such as the Gundams, Evangelion design is characterized by smooth curves and flowing lines, giving the impression not of a robot, but of a giant human being.
The final Evangelion design is the result of a series of changes throughout early production. Most notably, the more "demonic" aspects of the Evangelions have largely been removed, such as the large horns (Although the Eva-02 design in Rebuild has two small horns on top of its head, suggesting a restoration of some of the older aspects of the design). Head design, in particular, has been subject to a lot of changes.
- According to Ritsuko in Episode 01, the formal full name for the Evangelion Units (almost never actually used) is "Ultimate All-Purpose Humanoid Decisive Battle Weapon: Evangelion".
- Apparently, the internal controls of an Evangelion which interact directly with the pilot's mind which the pilot is synchronized with the Eva are set to the native language of the pilot, the "base thought language" which the Eva's systems are set to. For example, Shinji's native language is Japanese, and therefore he "thinks in" Japanese, so Eva-01 is set to Japanese. The language mode of Eva-02, however, is set to German, because Asuka's native language is German and she "thinks in" German. However, Asuka speaks fluent Japanese, so she can apparently set the language mode to Japanese, but still function well enough (meanwhile, Shinji doesn't understand German at all, so he cannot function in an Eva set to anything other than Japanese).
- Ritsuko explicitly states that only 14 year old children can pilot Evangelions, but does not elaborate on why exactly this is so.
- Possibly it is because hormonal changes in late puberty make it impossible for adults to synchronize with Evangelions, but they want the oldest possible child pilots (i.e. if the pilot has to be before the later stages of puberty, they'd rather use a 14 year old than a four year old).
- All Evangelion pilots were conspicuously born in the year following Second Impact. There might be a connection with this.
- The pilot's mothers all died or were absorbed when the pilots were infants. The system may rely on suspended maternal instincts.
- Note that any supposition involving mothers will fail for Rei, as the soul in Eva-00 is almost certainly Rei I.
- Evas are referred to as "copies" of Adam, and, in the Classified Information files, by the awkward phrase "clonal regenerations" (in reference to the "Adam Revival Project", or Project E). In real life use, "clone" means an exact genetic copy, which, considering the differences the Evas exhibit amongst themselves, they clearly cannot be.
- The term "Eva" is derived from the name "Eve" --in fact, this is how Eve is pronounced in most languages. In the Book of Genesis, Eve was created from Adam's rib, and the Evas were created as copies of Adam.
- Evangelion weapons
- Evangelion equipment
- S² Engine
- Evangelion Power Sources
- Bochan_bird: Incidentally, this image of Eva-01 being grown/separated from Lilith matches with the word used in "Air" to describe Eva-01 -- "bunshin". This word can be used for "clone", but the constituent kanji "bun" (divide) and "shin" (body) also point to the more ameobic-type reproduction of growth and separation."
- Eva-00 and Eva-01 are said to have "very similar personal data patterns"; Rei's synch rate with Eva 01 is almost the same as it was with Eva-00, and Shinji's synch ratio with Eva-00 is only slightly lower than what it normally is with Eva-01. However, Misato says that she thinks Eva-02 would definitely be incompatible: why? Further, it is strange that Misato is the one thinking this. It's been implied that Misato does not really understand the true inner workings of the Evangelions, that they each contain a human soul. If Rei, hypothetically, is synchronizing well with Eva-01 because she is a clone of Yui Ikari, who's soul is contained in Eva-01, Misato wouldn't know it at this point. So if Eva-02 probably wouldn't be interchangeable because its soul would be unrelated to another pilot...why is Misato, who doesn't know Evas contain souls at all, the one thinking this? There is always the possibility that the director for the episode just wanted to vary up the dialogue and gave Misato a line which was actually better suited to Ritsuko: technically, Ritsuko is the only person in the room who knows the true nature about Evas and the souls they contain, and only giving relevant dialogue like that only to Ritsuko would have basically amount to a monologue by Dr. Akagi.
- What makes it even stranger is that Misato was with Asuka and Shinji in Episode 08, where both of them broke their synch records with Eva-02. Aside from the initial problems with Shinji "thinking in Japanese", there seems to have been no problem at all with Shinji synching with Eva-02, and if Misato herself noted it, why would she suddenly dismiss Shinji as being incompatible with Eva-02?
- Ritsuko explains in Episode 03 that Evangelions have limited internal battery power supply, and must rely on Umbilical Cables to supply external power. Ritsuko states that "In emergencies, it can switch to an internal battery with an active life of one minute at full power, and no more than five minutes using gain mode." This "one minute" limitation mentioned here is disregarded in all subsequent episodes, except Episode 09. For all practical purposes, the Evas have a five minute operational time limit using battery power, not just one minute. In Episode 11 it is revealed that external batteries can be connected to all 3 Evas to extend their operational time limit when they are not connected to an Umbilical Cable. They connect to an Eva's shoulder armor fins, and are so long that they extend below the hips. Presumably these are not normally attached to an Eva because they restrict its mobility.
- Whenever an Evangelion screams when it goes "berserk" in the series, it is part of the episode's dialogue track, not just the background effects sound track. As a result, when episodes such as this one are translated into different languages (such as the ADV Films English dub), the Evangelion screams have to actually be re-produced by different voice actors. The result is that Eva screams sound noticeably different between the original Japanese and English dub versions.
|Failed Evangelion Prototypes | Simulation Bodies|
|Eva-00 | Eva-01 | Eva-02 | Eva-03 | Eva-04 | Mass Production Evangelions (Evas 05~13)|
|Rebuild of Evangelion: Mark.04 | Eva-05 | Mark.06 | Eva-08 | Mark.09 | Eva-13|
|Eva 8+2 | Mass Production Evangelions | Failures of Infinity|
|Other: Extracanonical Evas|