FGC:Episode 23 Cut 317

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Screenshots Cut # Description/Dialogue Commentary


RITSUKO (OFF):“These are just dummies. And nothing more than parts for Rei. Man found God and in their joy, tried to make Him theirs. That's why there was divine retribution. That was fifteen years ago. The God they found had also disappeared by then. But then, they tried to resurrect God on their own. The result was Adam. And imitating God, they created people from Adam. The result was the Evas.”

SHINJI (OFF):“People? They're human?”

RITSUKO:“Yes, they're human. The Evas do not intrinsically have souls, but they have human souls embedded in them. They were all salvaged. The only vessel that contained a soul was Rei. She was the only one born with a soul. The Chamber of Gaf was empty, you see. These things here that look like Rei have no souls. They're just vessels.”

UrsusArctos: Even when showing Shinji and Misato the truth about Rei, Ritsuko omits a key truth that becomes evident in Episode 24' and End of Evangelion - Rei was born with a soul because she had the salvaged soul of Lilith in her, and that particular bit of information would be utterly devastating to both Shinji and Misato. Perhaps she's worried that telling them the truth about Lilith would be fatal for her? Additionally, while the English lines aren't quite in order here, Ritsuko isn't telling the full truth about Second Impact either. Even if Seele had initially intended to use Adam to achieve their artificial evolution goals, it's an established fact that they knew things were turn out disastrously by the time that experiment rolled around and Ritsuko would've known it.

Dr. Nick: Even if we ignore her omissions, this explanation is a headache-inducing information turducken. Firstly, she frames the events of Second Impact in religious terms like a Seele true believer, and then breathlessly ties the creation and soul mechanics of Evas together with the birth of Rei, whilst also namedropping Guf, which is to this day just a big question mark really. Of course, this blather makes sense from a character writing standpoint when you consider Ritsuko's mental state after what she's been through, but it's also the sort of infodump that sends lore idiots like me playing with spreadsheets instead of fully immersing in the narrative and theme.

Then again, there's a counterexample, the mid-1990s OVA Key the Metal Idol, which also deals with some pretty heady metaphysical scifi concepts. Being somewhat of an experimental title with variable episode lengths, it chooses to explain its lore exhaustively with, I kid you not, an uninterrupted 90-minute- long exposition dump. While NGE is too vaguely minimalistic for my tastes when explaining its practical metaphysics (hence all the bonkers fandom misconceptions), I concede a more clear-cut mystery-annihilating explainer wouldn't fit the show's by this point aggressively oppressive atmosphere.