THE END OF EVANGELION | Meaning Explanation

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Reader Interactions


  1. Thanks, this really helped me

  2. I loved ot.

  3. Well done. That ending in EoE is very controversial, and your take on it is one of the most thoughtful and well-informed so far.

    • Much appreciated!

  4. Thank you for this! I personally feel more closure after reading your thoughtful explanations. I really appreciate it.

    I’m wondering what you think about the ending words in Evangelion…after everyone says congratulations the black screen says “to father, thank you. To mother, goodbye. And to all the Children, congratulations”. Up until now any written words on a black screen were inner thoughts of The characters. In the end is Anno himself speaking? Or maybe a sort of mix of Shinji and Anno? I’m assuming that Shinji represents a side of Anno in the story.

  5. Great analysis!

  6. Thank you so much

  7. I’m so sad to see the end of Evangelion. It was one of my favorite anime series.

    • What was your favorite part of the series?

  8. “I’m so fucked up.”

  9. I really needed this article. Everything is so much clearer now. I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate the series otherwise. Thank you!

    • Hey, Strat! Happy to hear that!

  10. What a wonderful analysis! I understood most of EoE but wanted to check other thoughts as it’s really controversial, thank you!

    • Thanks!

  11. In a way, Anno was the ‘Shinji’ in the creation of this story in the real world. Though in its own way too, a viewer wont get real-life value out of this giant metaphor if they dont separate themselves from immersing as Shinji. That’s real art.

    Though we cant see this connection between reality and the show without knowing these background facts about the direction of the show. The original plan to just have humans lose but changing it; needing to change the final line because even if there is hope out of the pessimism… there’s still reality, and consequences, and in the end acceptance is more important than even hope. The last two episodes felt so different because up until then the show was as stuck up on that theme of hope vs despair but Shinji was unhappy and lost either way.

    We do that to ourselves too. “I just need this new job, more money, a girlfriend — I’ll get fired, I’m going to go broke, Ill be single forever.” I think in turmoil, many of us spend the first 24 episodes of our own lives distracted, and not observing inward like Shinji finally does in the final two episodes. I have to wonder if the death threats Anno got for these final two… are at all akin to the shock one might feel when that veneer of hope vs despair is peeled away and they are forced to look away from the distractions and towards themselves…. Selves with parts they hate, don’t want to think about. Selves that are lonely.

    One might wonder, if they’d find themselves strangling Anno in such a disorienting and all-encompassing fear. Disgusting.

    Well written article, good detective work, great bread-crumb trail to help us readers get to the end. Way to go, man!

  12. Amazing explanation – thank you! Just finished the original series and EoE. What a brilliant, beautiful story especially in times like now where people are giving in to doomerism. I think everyone should watch Evangelion. It has the power to change many peoples’ lives for the better.

    • Thank you! I appreciate it, Kevin. What was your favorite episode in the series?

  13. While this is a good article, I feel frustrated having finished it. You know though. You have to know. You said the hard way would be to explore their nuances. Then you really barely do that. That is no true way to discuss this. Also, there’s no solid evidence that Shinji strangles Asuka in some psychedelic esoteric divorced from real Asuka way. In fact, it’s most likely she’s comatose because of him! Also, that’s not masturbating. That’s sexual assault, and coma patients call feel everything happening to their bodies as they are trapped. That’s why she says “Kimochi warui” which translates more ambiguously than just “you’re disgusting.” My favorite translation was “What a disgusting feeling.” I think she’s explicitly referencing her memory of what he did to her, and how that felt. We are all in some way flawed, that’s true. However, these flaws have a wide variety of range of awful. We are not all the same kind of awful. That’s a disturbing thing to read while ruminating on sexual violence. One of the almost universally agreed upon things that is considered one of the worst things people do to one another. There’s more, but I think I’ll just wait for a book. It would sell, you should try it. However, I just have a sinking feeling you might not grapple with just how truly unspeakably… like Terminal Dogma is a phenomenal name for such a nightmarish place! That place evokes the holocaust and unit 731 I feel, maybe without even realizing it. Humanity used the angels and evas as mere things. Lilith imprisoned, mutilated, and bled for LCL. . . The Eva graveyards… it’s all such a hellscape that it truly stands as a contrast to that weak utterance of “we’re all awful, the world is awful, but it can still love.” That’s only half true! Some people, some living things, are so unfortunate that they never experience any love or kindness and only exist in torment before dying unjustly and unsung.

    • Hey Kat!

      Sorry about the feeling of frustration. With that opening bit about hard way/easy way, I wasn’t implying that the article is the hard way and we’re going to dive into all the nitty gritty. I meant the opposite, the the article was the easy way to understand the important, broader themes and meaning of the end that would then, hopefully, allow people to look at the nuance on their own with better context and a stronger overall concept as to what all of it was about. So, you’re right, but the nuance of the plot wasn’t the focus of the article as much as elaborating on the nuance of the themes and meaning.

      You’re saying a lot of great things! But I’d ask that you please keep in mind that what happens in End of Evangelion isn’t me reacting to literal events and ruminating on them as literal events. If we were talking about real people doing real things, then the rumination on Shinji and the assault in the hospital would be harsh. But this is a work of art that’s using everything that happens to make a statement about the human condition. So I’m looking at what happens as metaphoric and ruminating on it from that perspective. In analyzing art, do you really need the critic to make moral arguments for everything that happens? Or to justify their moral position on the real world subject before talking about what happens in the work? Do you really assume I’m someone who doesn’t agree that that’s one of the worst things someone can do to someone else? Do you assume I haven’t had people in my life who have struggled with it, who I’ve comforted and cried with? I’m tearing up now thinking about my experiences with the subject.

      The last thing I want to say is that at the end I did say “can” be loving. Not that it is or will be. Just that as long as we keep going, there’s a chance. A lot of that was written with Anno in mind, as he almost ended his own life because he was so upset with the fan reaction to the original ending of Evangelion. But he stuck around and kept working and managed to find some redemption. If he had ended things, none of that would have been possible.

  14. I’m so sad to see the end of Evangelion. It was one of my favorite anime series.

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