Theory and Analysis:List of Common Misconceptions

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A tentative list.

NGE is religious propaganda

The religious symbolism in NGE is actually not used in any sort of religiously meaningful fashion. According to Evangelion Assistant Director Kazuya Tsurumaki:

"There are a lot of giant robot shows in Japan, and we did want our story to have a religious theme to help distinguish us. Because Christianity is an uncommon religion in Japan we thought it would be mysterious. None of the staff who worked on Eva are Christians. There is no actual Christian meaning to the show, we just thought the visual symbols of Christianity look cool. If we had known the show would get distributed in the US and Europe we might have rethought that choice."' - Kazuya Tsurumaki: Q&A from "Amusing Himself to Death"

Here's an old essay from 2001 of someone getting it wrong: "However, it is revealed at the end of the series that the Angels are actually failed attempts in the Creation (i.e., the Biblical Creation) that preceded mankind". Early inaccurate translations of the show may have contributed to this confusion.

LCL means "Link Connect Liquid"

Manga saying LCL stands for Link Connect Liquid

It is unknown what the initials "LCL" stand for within the anime series, but we do know what they don't mean. According to the Death and Rebirth theatrical program (special edition):

Incidentally, the widely circulated idea that L.C.L is the abbreviation of "Link Connected Liquid" is incorrect.

Nowhere does it say what it does mean. Evangelion Chronicle suggests that one of the Ls stands for "Lilith".

In Sadamoto's Manga version, LCL is said to stand for Link Connect Liquid, written in the Dossier before a chapter starts.

First Impact killed the dinosaurs

First Impact was never depicted or directly referred to on-screen. This has led several fans upon first glance to incorrectly assume that because the "Second Impact" was supposedly a meteorite collision, the "First Impact" was thus the more well known asteroid impact which caused the mass-extinction of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period, 65 million years ago.

A page from Shinji's textbook

However, First Impact (aka "Giant Impact") was actually the collision of a giant spherical object, designated the "Black Moon", into Earth approximately 4 billion years ago. As a result of the impact, huge amounts of debris, including the Black Moon's rocky exterior, were thrown into orbit, eventually coalescing into Earth's satellite, the Moon. This was made clear in the Classified Information. The "meteorite" theory in the above textbook page is a cover story, and is part of the effort to also blame Second Impact on a meteor.

"Barons of Hell"

Almost from the beginning of Eva fandom, there has been an internet rumor that the Evangelions are based upon Biblical entities called "The Barons of Hell". There are two problems with this theory:

One is that there is no such thing as a "Baron of Hell" mentioned in the Bible or in any other Judeo-Christian source; extensive searches for the term have turned up only references to Eva and the Doom game. Some sources claim that the Barons are the same thing as the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse", but the descriptions given to the Barons don't match up to the Horsemen.

The other problem is that we know exactly what the Evangelions are based upon. Evas were fundamentally based upon the oni (commonly translated as “demon” or “ogre”, but actually a specific type of Japanese monster). Says Anno himself (in an interview published in Aerial Magazine):

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.

A very Oni-looking Evangelion sketch

An early sketch Anno did of an Eva clearly betrays their oni roots. Working from this basic premise, and corresponding with Anno along the way, Ikuto Yamashita developed the Evas as we know them (with the exception of EoE's “harpies”).

Kids born after 2I are soulless

A ridiculous idea used to explain the drop in birth rate after Second Impact, and why only kids born after Second Impact can synch with the Evangelions. This theory has no evidential basis whatsoever. Ritsuko explicitly states in Episode 20 that Shinji, born after Second Impact, has a soul.

Spear of Longinus is the actual holy relic (that just somehow got BIG)

This is a product of putting too much stock in NGE's religious references. The Spear was actually excavated in Antarctica along with Adam, who was found impaled upon it. According to the Classified Information, each Source of Life is accompanied by a Spear that has a will of its own and can immobilize a Seed for going against its mission. Thus, the Spear of Longinus is billions of years old, not made by some Roman blacksmith, and impaled Adam for committing some unspecified offense.

A.T. Field is a real-life psychology term

Since the very earliest days of Evangelion analysis, there has been a rumor that A.T. Field is a genuine psychological term that describes the barrier that separates autism patients from the world around them. However, extensive searching of online Psychology researches and forums has failed to find any use of the term other than in reference to NGE. Further research by those in the field has proven that "Absolute Terror" or similar terminology is simply not recognized in academia. Therefore, this rumor is false and has been conclusively proven so.

Examples of typical lousy fan-pages propagating the rumor: 1 2

Eva-00 has the soul of Naoko

See: Eva-00's soul.

Someone we know killed Kaji

Many fans have come to the conclusion that Misato shot Kaji, with little or no evidence to back it up. On the other hand, series creator Hideaki Anno has stated on the record[Source needed] that Kaji was not shot by any named character, but by an agent sent by either "Seele or Nerv's intelligence division." In fact, Anno was so shocked by this notion[Source needed] that in the Director's cut of Episode 21, he removed a shot that had been cited as "evidence" of Misato's guilt. As broadcast, the scene of Kaji being shot was followed by an establishing shot of the door to Misato's apartment with her name on it; this shot was replaced in the Director's cut by one of the outside of her apartment building.

Rei and Kaworu are actual albinos

Actual albinos don't have light blue hair! Albinos cannot walk outside without protection, otherwise they would suffer severe sunburn, and most have very poor eyesight. On the contrary, Kaworu's eyesight appears to be exceptional. It is worth noting that Ritsuko's complexion is only slightly darker than Rei's, although she's obviously not an albino.

Toji not only loses his leg, but his arm as well

While Toji's left leg is plainly missing when he's on the hospital bed, it's not certain to tell if his left arm is, as well. However, both Toji's arms are seen as he is being hauled out of the entry plug. The original storyboards for The End of Evangelion contain a scene showing Toji playing wheelchair basketball with Kensuke, where he clearly has both arms, eliminating the possibility that one of his arms was amputated.

Naoko's Brain in Magi

Or any other brain for that matter. This is due to the brain-like object Ritsuko reveals when she cuts into the Magi in episode 13. It is clearly stated that the Magi merely have personality imprints of Naoko Akagi - herself as a mother, scientist, and woman. The computers are also far too large to be actual human brains.

Naoko's Soul in Magi

Likely originated due to the fact that the Evas themselves have souls. There's also the issue of Caspar 'betraying' Ritsuko in End of Evangelion. But machines cannot be implanted with souls.

Keel is the Wandering Jew

One of the most bizarre myths about Evangelion. There is an old and racist story that claims that an onlooker at Christ's crucifixion spat upon him, and was punished by receiving the curse of immortality. (Citation) He thus became the "wandering Jew", never able to make permanent friends or stay in one place, lest people notice his never-aging nature. The theory goes that Keel's motivation in bringing about Instrumentality would at long last allow him to die. There are, at the very least, two huge problems with this notion. One being there's absolutely nothing in the series to indicate this is Keel's motivation.

A visibly younger Keel in the background with Gendo.

The other is that when Keel appears in flashback in episode 21, he is visibly younger than in the series' present, and as has been noted, the Wandering Jew is supposed to be ageless.

The Dummy Plug Plant is the Chamber of Guf

The Chamber of Guf is mentioned by Ritsuko in episode 23 when she, Misato, and Shinji are down in the Dummy Plug Plant. This comment likely lead people to believe the two were synonymous. Look here for an explanation of Guf within NGE.

Adam was impaled on the Spear of Longinus by Lilith

The "Duel of the Seeds" idea was made up to explain why one Seed would be skewered by the Spear of Longinus and placed in suspended animation while the other would be free to spread life on Earth. The interaction between Rei and Kaworu was interpreted to mean that both of them (as Lilith and Adam respectively) had interacted previously. This idea was disproved when the Classified Information files revealed that each Seed was sent with its own Spear, and that Lilith's Spear was either lost or destroyed during First Impact. Adam was placed in suspended animation by its own Spear, which was used to impale Lilith later on.

Death's string quartet scenes take place in the actual series timeline.

This one is easily disproved. Both Asuka and Kaworu appear in the String Quartet sequences. In the actual series timeline, Asuka is in the hospital under heavy sedation when Kaworu arrives, and is still there when he gets squished; they never meet. The String Quartet motif serves to separate the different focuses in Death as well as fitting together with the musical score that was used, Pachelbel's Canon in D major.

"Anno's Revenge"

Many are lead to believe, one way or another, that The End of Evangelion was Anno's revenge against the fans for the negative response received from the ending of the TV series.

Some say it is because Anno brutally killed off all of the main characters; however, this isn't anything new in the world of anime. Most notably, Yoshiyuki Tomino's Space Runaway Ideon, where not just all the main characters are killed off, even children are brutally massacred. Even though Ideon may be one of Anno's biggest inspirations for Evangelion, the End of Evangelion was closer to the planned ending to the TV series[Source needed]. Some of the footage used in the TV series ending (corpses of Misato and Ritsuko) indicates that, even before the TV series ended, Anno had planned on killing these characters.

Some say it is because of scenes such as Shinji visiting the sedated Asuka in her hospital room. Although slightly out-of-left-field compared to the ending of the TV series, this scene does serve its purposes. Most importantly, it shows that Shinji has hit the low of all lows, and secondly, it is used as a reference later in the movie when Asuka says "Idiot! I know about your jerk-off fantasies of me. Do it again like usual... I'll even stand here and watch."

A subjective argument for Anno's revenge is the cinematic and narrative mindfuck that takes up most of the 2nd half of End of Evangelion. A subjective retort could be, "What about the end of the TV series?". As far as a non-subjective response, films have been known to use clashing motifs, non-linear story telling, and highly symbolic/obscure imagery, and the End of Evangelion isn't the first to use all three. Also, from an interpretive standpoint, the 2nd half of the movie does very well in showing the chaos and disembodiment of Instrumentality, specifically, what Shinji was going through.

Finally, some argue that the smoking gun for Anno's revenge is the sequence of quickly flashing (about one per frame) death threats/hate mail which can be seen at the end of the live action sequence in the second half of the movie. However this rumor was started, it was probably propagated by the Commentary track on the Manga Entertainment release of End of Evangelion, where Amanda Winn Lee gives a mention of hate mail during this sequence[Source needed]. Since these have been translated to English, the majority of the letters and emails are that of personal attachment to the show, praise, or encouragement/anticipation for the End of Evangelion movie. Only one of the emails can be considered 'hate mail', and it was criticizing Death and Rebirth (not the end of the TV series at all), and the only 2 possible instances that could be considered a 'death threat' was graffiti on the wall outside of Gainax's studio (which was hypothesized to be from religious fanatics) and an email that said "Anno, I'll kill you!!!", which was a close-up of only that message on a computer monitor and lacked any context whatsoever. This puts the smoking gun argument on very shaky ground, as the sequence clearly isn't used as a "This is why I'm taking revenge on you people" message, or anything along those lines.

The Mass Production Evas have no souls

In Episode 24, Kaworu says that the A.T. Field is "The light of the soul", indicating that a soul is required to produce an A.T. Field. This is consistent all throughout the TV Series as well as in the movies, since the Mass Production Evangelions, in fact, do produce A.T. Fields:

Shigeru: "The Eva series' A.T. Fields are resonating!"

Some say that it is the pilots (Kaworu dummy plugs) which produce the A.T. Field. However, Ritsuko in Episode 17 says:

"This is the dummy plug prototype.
Rei's personal data has been loaded into it,
but it's not really possible to digitize a human mind and soul.
Ultimately, it's a fake, an imitation.
Just a machine that emulates a pilot's thinking process."

Indicating that there is no real soul in the dummy plugs. Therefore, it is impossible for the dummy plug to generate an A.T. Field.

Adam and Lilith were once a single being / Adam was born from Lilith

From a single mistranslated line. Misato's line should read, "Humans were born from Lilith, who is a Seed of Life just like Adam." This makes Adam and Lilith two equal beings.

Pre-3I Instrumentality was all in Shinji's head

During Pre-3I Instrumentality, Shinji and Asuka witness a scene from Misato's college days, where she is having sex with Kaji. Shinji clearly has never seen this before asking "This is Misato? She does... this?" in which she replies "Yes, this is also me... The melting into one another's hearts... The me that Shinji doesn't know." If the entire Pre-Third Impact Instrumentality was all in Shinji's head, there is no way he would know these things.

Asuka didn't die

Asuka and Eva-02 were killed by the harpies. Maya's and Shinji's horror and the mangled state of Eva-02 make it explicit. Since Asuka was suffering actual physical damage corresponding to the Eva's damage, there was no way Asuka could have survived the multiple Spear impacts or the subsequent mangling.

The Asuka-Rei-Misato amalgamation

This very common misconception was born due the last scene of End of Evangelion with Asuka and Shinji alone on the beach. Asuka's arm is bandaged (like Rei's in Episode 01) and her eyes appears to be brown (like Misato's). This lead some people to speculate that Asuka is really a combination of all three girls, and therefore Shinji's "dream girl". This ridiculous notion is absolutely false. The bandaged arm is due to her battle trauma in Eva-02 earlier in End of Evangelion (when a replica lance splits Eva-02's right arm completely). Her eyes are still blue, but merely tinted due to the hue of the scene.

Before Instrumentality was ended, Rei tells Shinji "If you wish once more for the existence of others, the barriers of the heart will separate everyone once more..." and Kaworu says "Is it okay for A.T. Fields to hurt you and others once more?", indicating that the A.T. Fields have separated everyone from each other.

The Adam & Eve Scenario (or, Nobody Else is Coming Back)

Considering that themes of Genesis pop up all over NGE, the final scene of End of Evangelion leads many to assume that Shinji and Asuka are the new Adam and Eve and are left alone to re-populate the world. But this theory is false if we are to believe Rei and Yui when, during the dissolution of Instrumentality, Rei states, "Anyone can return to human form as long as they can imagine themselves in their own heart.", and then Yui says, "All living things have the ability to return to their original form... and the heart to go on living."