tr:10. Cilt (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
|Publish date:||JP: February 25, 2006
US: April 10, 2007
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|"Volume 9"||"Volume 11"|
Volume 10 is the tenth edition of Yoshiyuki Sadamoto's manga adaptation of Neon Genesis Evangelion. It is comprised of 7 stages.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Analysis and Theory
Stage 64: Tears
As the angel battle from volume 10 of Neon Genesis Evangelion continues, the 16th Angel delves deeper into Rei, and the corruption of Rei’s body caused by this contact reaches a critical point. Rei’s mind is infiltrated by the Angel, who takes the form of Rei while it converses with her in her mind. The Angel declares its wish to merge with Rei, and as the corruption increases, the Angel exposes to Rei the mix of emotions in her, which are emotions that Rei, not used to experiencing them and wising to suppress them, had pushed away from her immediate consciousness. The Angel details Rei’s wish to establish a close relationship with Shinji, her loneliness, and her jealousy towards Asuka, who claims part of Shinji’s heart and is a point of focus for him (as opposed to completely feeling only for Rei) as she lay in a coma. The great pathos welling up in Rei from her acknowledgement and understanding of her emotions (their breaking to the surface clearly for the first time) causes her to cry openly for the first time. Rei questions the tears, and physical manifestation of her buried emotions, which came upon her after she felt the force of her raw human emotions. An amalgamation of the Angels (the ‘Angel Tower) erupts from Unit-00 at this time.
Kaworu is invaded by the Angel as well, and being unable to extricate it from himself, he allows its corruptive influence to progress through his body (though he could have repelled it with his AT Field).
Stage 65: I Want to Become One
Shinji is told to force-eject Unit-00’s entry plug to rescue Rei, but before he can the Angel advances on him. He manages to evade the advance, but as a result of his efforts Rei shows extreme concern for him. As she protests the Angel’s advance, the Angel forms into a small naked Rei and pursues Shinji. It is the manifestation of Rei’s incomplete, lonely heart yearning for the presence and acknowledgement of Shinji.
Kaworu, still being invaded by the Angel, is exposed by proxy to these emotions of yearning and love which now surge through the Angel. The raw power of the depth of the emotions moves Kaworu and causes him to tear up without him knowing why. Tears, created by a response to emotion, are a representation of a function of the body. On a grander scale, they represent a facet of human existence and are testament to the individuality and vitality of the bearer of the emotion. These things he is far from understanding, though the taste of these emotions will influence Kaworu's behavior from now on.
The Angel’s corruption spreads to Shinji. In order to save Shinji and aided by the power of her newly understood feelings for him, she compresses Unit-00’s AT Field to immobilize the Angel and cut off its influence. Rei decides to have Unit-00 explode from within its compressed AT Field in order to preserve Shinij’s life with the cost of her own.
As the core of Unit-00 collapses and the Angel Tower is compressed into the core of Unit-00, Rei is satisfied with her decision and calmed as she sees a vision of Gendo Ikari smiling at her seconds before Unit-00’s explosion.
Stage 66: Without Reaching Your Heart
The reader is shown Rei’s thoughts in her final moments. The vision of Gendo Ikari makes her realize how much she longed to have a connection with people. She also realized that because she was alive with flesh, blood, and emotions that she was capable (and had received) of receiving these ties she yearned for.
Everyone is struck by her sacrifice (Kaworu and Shinji’s faces are lit up by the light of the explosion, and we see their disbelief at her actions), and Shinji is in shock, unable to react or move past what had happened.
In the boy’s locker room, Kaworu relates to Shinji that Rei was a fool for sacrificing herself (he says this despite what he felt while in the Eva, which shows how little he understands human emotions). Shinji becomes enraged at Kaworu, starts to hyperventilate, and faints. After being checked on by doctors he is escorted to Kaworu’s room at Nerv, where he says more to himself than Kaworu that he doesn’t want Rei to be dead. While hearing this, Kaworu shows an earnest interest in Shinji’s sentiments. He then wonders about these feelings Shinji has, which he begins to see as real and personal to him. He now sees them as valid, not simply as an interesting human quirk that can be viewed from a distance in an objective, logical manner as he did in earlier volumes. However, he does not understand emotions fully. Kaworu will later seek to experience these emotions once more. Nevertheless, Kaworu sees Shinji’s emotions a valid repercussion of Rei’s death after he sees how they affect him.
Shinji in his mind summarizes the experiences he has had with Rei that helped to grow their relationship. He then wonders how far their relationship had deepened to that point in time.
Stage 67: Twisted Night
Seele is shown having a meeting where they speak of the many transgressions Gendo Ikari has made against them (the destruction of Tokyo-3, and the loss of the Lance of Longinus). They intend to have Ritsuko Akagi influence Gendo to their favor.
Shinji stays at Kaworu’s room at Nerv in order to distance himself from Misato and the other Nerv personnel who knew Rei. In doing this, Shinji hopes that he will be kept from realizing Rei’s death (and making it real). Kaworu is interested and a little surprised at what Shinji says, as if he is drawn to his words (words that represent things he just had a taste of). But his own wants (his want of understanding Shinji and human feelings, which conflicts with Shinji’s rejection of him) keep him from sympathizing this time as he laughs at Shinji after he finishes talking.
Later in the night while Shinji and Kaworu are sleeping, Shinji starts to hyperventilate. Kaworu, seeing Shinji’s vulnerability, uses this chance to "kiss" Shinji through CPR. Shinji is repulsed, he questions Kaworu’s motives, and Kaworu asks him about what human feelings are like (having experienced those through Rei's feelings for Shinji), while trying to appeal physically to Shinji once more as he touches his face. Shinji is freaked out, rejects these advances, Kaworu asks why Shinji hates him, and Shinji receives a call from Misato, who says that Rei is alive.
Shinji hurries to the hospital where he meets Rei. She does not remember her sacrifice, to the dismay of Shinji, and is indifferent to his concern. She says, “I think that must be because I am the third one” to Shinji at his reaction. She then leaves Shinji without fanfare to join Ritsuko.
Stage 68: Mixing
Seele wants to question Rei, but Gendo Ikari sends Ritsuko in Rei’s place.
Shinji leaves Kaworu to go back home after he finds Rei to be alive. Kaworu is disappointed and sad that Shinji leaves.
At Misato’s apartment, Misato and Shinji wonder why Rei seems to be different. Misato wonders what Ritsuko knows and is hiding.
Ritsuko speaks to Seele and finds that she is Rei’s substitute.
Rei III returns home and begins to cry as she has a vague recollection of the feelings generated by the bonds her former self had (while she squeezes Gendo’s glasses). But not having been the one to experience those feelings originally and in their entirety, Rei III wonders at them and why she cries.
Stage 69: Tainted Blood
Ritsuko’s back-story and the creation of the Magi supercomputers in Gehirn (the organization that was dissolved after the formation of Nerv) by Naoko Akagi is detailed.
The Magi were created to have the three different aspects of self of the creator so that their decisions would be balanced (and also so the creator could put her “signature” on her work) just as a human’s mind would be. The three computers are said to be imbued with Naoko’s self as a woman, as a scientist, and as a mother.
After Naoko completes the Magi, she is introduced to Rei I by Gendo Ikari. Naoko is seized by jealousy as she sees a reflection of Yui in Rei’s facial features.
Rei later comes to Naoko to tell her what Gendo thinks of her (as a useless hag). Out of anger, Naoko strangles Rei and afterwards kills herself. Ritsuko witnesses this scene and is disturbed and disgusted by her mother’s woman aspect. She promises herself that she will suppress the woman aspect of herself.
After Naoko’s funeral, Gendo Ikari appeals to Ritsuko for support. It is then implied that they begin a relationship.
Ritsuko in the present ruminates on this, and afterwards invites Shinji to Nerv to see the truth behind Rei. Misato goes to Nerv after Shinji does, and after meeting Ritsuko, they all get ready to enter the chambers that hold Rei’s secrets.
Stage 70: A Gathering of Nothingness
Shinji and Misato are shown the Evangelion graveyard, where failed Evas were dumped a decade ago (interestingly, the pits are arranged like the branches of the Sepiroth). They enter the Artificial Evolution Laboratory where Rei was “born.” Misato and Shinji are next shown where the dummy plugs are made and afterwards are exposed to the tank full of Rei bodies, which serve as spare Reis to contain Lilith’s soul. The Reis in the tank are clearly empty, without souls.
Ritsuko talks of the awakening of Adam when humans tried to claim her, and how they were punished with the Second impact as a result. She talks of how the Evangelions are human, but born without souls. She hints to Shinji that his mother’s soul resides in an Evangelion. She does not consider the Reis, which are stored and used as needed, humans. Ritsuko destroys them with a control, and calls herself a fool for being influenced by her woman aspect just as her mother (Naoko) was.
As Ritsuko sobs Shinji wonders with a heavy heart what uses Gendo Ikari intends to take advantage of with his mother, Rei, and himself as instruments. Shinji is then at a loss and left completely without support as the distance between himself, Asuka, Misato, Rei, his classmates and his father grows. Things are further complicated with Kaworu Nagisa’s open attempts at establishing ties with Shinji. Though Shinji, who has seen the bonds he created blighted so easily and effectively, does not wish to accommodate another person capable of hurting him (even though he wishes for bonds still). It is Shinji’s reversion back to being affected by the Hedgehog’s Dilemma that plagued him earlier when he had yet to build bonds with other people.
Analysis and Theory
Why Did Kaworu Say Rei Was A Fool?
It is odd that Kaworu would criticize Rei’s self-sacrificing action for Shinji, especially since he felt firsthand the emotions that caused Rei to do such a thing. I could show his complete lack of understanding of emotions, or it could show that he didn’t know who those feelings were directed at and thus what caused those emotions. Kaworu could therefore be distanced enough to criticize Rei’s actions.
Even if this is true, one has to wonder why he showed a continued interest in emotions as he tried to appeal to Shinji in Stage 67. It could have been that Shinji's rage affected him into wanting to know the why behind the rage. It is not the first time he has questioned Shinji's emotions. Kaworu in volume 9 said "They (humans) get maddened and flustered...angry and frantic for the sake of others. They brood and they worry over them. It's fascinating to watch," after reflecting on Shinji's reactions and emotions for things outside of himself. He says this ruefully with a downcast face. It is further evidence of his want to experience and understand these emotions, and to have a tie to the outside world.
Therefore, Shinji's reactions to Kaworu killing the cat, to Kaworu's insensitivity during Asuka's battle with the 15th Angel, and his intrustions in the bathroom scene led to Kaworu's interest in pursuing his questions on emotions further in the form of wanting a relationship with Shinji.
In volume 9 Kaworu said to Shinji “You don’t like me?” while they were in the shower. It is clear that Shinji’s reaction to Kaworu killing the cat, or his own realized loneliness, were the first things to cause him to become interested in human emotions and relationships, thus is the reason behind Kaworu’s spontaneous question in the showers. Kaworu merely desires a tie, and Shinji to Kaworu seems like an opportunity to make one. While Kaworu is frustrated by Shinji’s lack of interest in him (for example, while they were in the locker rooms after the 16th Angel attacked, Kaworu pesters Shinji by saying “Are you ignoring me?”) Kaworu, raised in isolation in an emotionally sterile environment, and being in a human body, yearns for bonds (though he has no clear or socially-acceptable way to get them, and so not being acquainted with proper social protocols like Rei, he exhibits this need in unusual ways).
The kiss scene in Stage 67 poses many questions. One has to ask himself if Kaworu can feel emotions, or if he kissed Shinji because of something related to him feeling Rei’s yearning for Shinji during the Angel attack. Kaworu could have thought he could feel those emotions again if he kissed Shinji, or maybe he was relieving himself from the lingering essence of those emotions by “transferring them by kiss.” However, it is doubted that Kaworu can harbor emotions so developed (it is also doubted that he can feel any emotions like love. He may only feel disappointment and anger, two of the simplest emotions) of love and yearning, since he was raised in an emotionally sterile environment where he would not have learned those emotions (or learned how to portray them. Either way, they would not have been desired by Seele). Though, he asks Shinji what love is like because he wants to put a label on the feelings he felt from Rei. It was not an effort to portray any romantic feelings he had for Shinji (since it is a possibiliy that he is incapable of generating such emotions himself).
Even so, Kaworu saying “How would I feel if you had feelings for me” is still hard to digest. Could this line mean Kaworu did have feelings for Shinji? Or does it represent his emotional vacuum? The only clear thing it signifies is that Kaworu was aware of the apparent emotional distance between him and Shinji. But what, in making advances, could Kaworu have expected from Shinji, who had been nothing but cold to him and disgusted by his attention? This only shows how much Kaworu wanted to be able to feel and be received (just like Rei), even if it meant pursuing someone who would never grant any feelings back.
Kaworu’s Disappointment When Shinji Leaves for Misato’s Apartment
Kaworu showed deep disappointment when Shinji decided to go back to Misato after he found out Rei was still alive. It is clear that Kaworu wanted something from Shinji that he never received, and that after feeling Rei’s emotions an incomplete part of himself was exposed. Shinji, Kaworu’s only opportunity to establish bonds, won’t let him fill that inconsistency that plagues him. As a side note, it is interesting how Kaworu, being an Angel and the container for Adam’s soul (who has a known meaning in life), should be complete already. And what he wants, which are emotional responses from others, are the very things that can be harmful to people. Being in a human body, Kaworu is probably part of the same game everyone else is in, which includes the struggle to be close to others and which allows one the ability to assert one’s individuality through those ties.
The Episode 24 Kaworu and the Manga Kaworu
In episode 24 of the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime, it is very possible that Kaworu pursued Shinji because he wanted to understand humanity and take part in the human experience, which involves receiving other people’s feelings and having feelings for other people. This could explain what seemed to some viewers Kaworu’s sporadic "I love you” in the bath scene. This aspect of the episode 24 Kaworu is reflected in the manga Kaworu. The manga Kaworu’s principal aim is to be able to feel and understand emotions and to be part of a lasting relationship. He also wants an identity beyond his designation as "Tabris, the 17th Angel." If he was accepted by a person, it would separate him from his Tabris persona, and he would gain individualism and identity. Both Kaworus were raised, or ‘born’ into emotionally sterile environments. Both may have wanted to be part of someone else through emotions once they had experienced the world and gotten a taste of what bonds are like and what they do.
You Are One But We Are Many
When the 16th Angel invades Rei’s mind and communicates with her, it describes somee of the darker emotions Rei suppresses. The Angel speaks of loneliness being one of them, and then says, “You are one but we are many,” which might be a reference to the Reis in the Rei tank in the Artificial Evolution Laboratory (though Rei is not consciously aware that these Reis exist, she might have some impression of them buried in her subconscious). It may also be a reference to Lilith (whose soul resides in Rei) who lies in wait under Nerv headquarters for a successor to reach her.
Rei’s Gendo Vision
Why does Rei smile at the vision of Gendo she has before Unit-00 explodes? Rei might have had a momentary flashback to the time when Gendo made sure she was alright after a test where Unit-00 went berserk (because Gendo wasn’t wearing glasses then, as in her vision). If that is the case, Rei may have been thinking that even though she had doubts, she did have a legit bond with Gendo. Maybe Rei remembered Gendo’s self-sacrificing act in the light of her own, and was happy to have been able to have a bond with not only Gendo, but his son. The vision could have paid homage to Gendo’s concern for her which has transferred to her wanting to do the same for Shinji (and she is happy to complete that circle). She might also think that the Gendo vision smiling at her tells her she has an identity beyond what Gendo sees as Yui in her.
Why Did Rei Squeeze Gendo’s Glasses?
Apart from what was mentioned in the summary above, it is possible that Rei cries because from a vague feeling she gets from deep in her mind which allows her to sense her replacability. She could also be feeling the remnants of emotions Rei II suppressed. But why would she be crying now? It shows a turning point in Rei, one where the new Rei is less dependent and more able to reach out and think for herself.
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