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Q:  I saw in a magazine these EVAs (Angels?) that are white and had wings with a big double-bladed and double-edged sword. What are they?
A:  They are the EVA Mass Production Models 05-13 and they work for SEELE, and not NERV. They have working S2 Engines (which means that they have no need for a power cable to supply them with energy [like EVA-01 later in the series, and the Angels]), and wings, as you've mentioned, which allow them to fly. Each of them are identicle and they have all been produced in the rest of the G7 nations (including China and Russia) besides Japan.

Each of the Units is piloted by the Kaworu Dummy Plug System which allows them to operate without a real child inside its Entry Plug, just Kaworu Nagisa's mind copied and programmed into the plug system. The Mass Production Models' main weapon is its sword-like weapon which is really a replica of the Lance of Longinus. It is used to cut through EVA-02's HT, uh, I mean AT Field like a hot knife through buttah. The replica Lance had not been perfected at the time of their attack on Geofront (i.e. it is assumed that they could not be used to initiate the Third Impact because the real Lance had been placed out of SEELE's reach before they could fully copy it), but it was a deadly weapon none-the-less.

The Mass Production Models can also regenerate mutilated and severed body parts in almost no time at all (much faster than the Angels and the first three EVAs). When Asuka had originally KO'd the nine invading EVAs in the Rebirth/End of Evangelion movie, none of them exploded, and even though they were in worse shape than most of the actual Angels were when NERV's EVAs were through with them, they didn't die.

The Circle of Death
The Mass Production Model EVAs 05-13 as they circle Geofront and Asuka like Vultures before their attack.

Instead, they healed themselves almost instantaneously and proceeded to rip apart and devour Asuka's EVA-02 while she sat helpless in her unpowered Unit. This ability of regeneration, along with their unsatiated lust for blood lead them to be tagged as "More Angel than Angel, and more volatile than Eva's".

The only way that they were stopped was when an enraged Shiji entered the battle and the real Lance of Longinus was called back from the moon. It was at this point that the Third Impact began and the true purpose of the giant white devils was revealed. They were to either attempt to start the Impact themselves, or force Shinji to begin man's countdown to eternal oblivion. They attached themselves to the EVA-01 and flew up to the Heavens where they became a giant Tree of Life, and all of human life on Earth began to end.

The beginning of the end.  The Tree of Life.
The Tree of Life (or Systema Sephiroth) as it appeared over Japan right before all humanity evolved.

It was at this point that the heads of SEELE began their Ahki Chi no Misohgi (purification ceremony) to prepare themselves for the final ride. The trip home.

Q:  I keep seeing that Tree of Life thingie (aka Systema Sephirotica [or even System Sephiroth]) all over the place in the series, the movies and even on other pages. What the hell is it and why is it what the EVAs transform into during the Third Impact?
A:  The Tree of Life plays a pretty big role in the story of Evangelion. After all, the Sephiroth is a map between humankind and God. It essentially gives directions on how to get to Heaven (and don't forget that it was also the Tree of Wisdom that brought about mankind's downfall in the Garden of Eden, and so it goes that the Tree of Life will bring us back to Eternal Happiness). Perhaps "enlightened" people (i.e. people that had gone through the trials of the Sephiroth) were needed for the Third Impact and became their own type of "god".

The story goes that mankind stole the Fruit of Wisdom from the Tree of Wisdom and learned scienceThe System Sephiroth in all its GLORY! and logic and were driven from Paradise (but with this science we created the EVAs and the Human Complementation Project). The Angels were instead allowed to eat from the Tree of Life and gained eternal spirits.

To begin with, the Tree of Life consists of ten rings and 22 lines (which is the primary mandala of the Jewish Kabalah). Through a symbolic process of manifistation (or FORCE precipitating into FORM) the force in organization undergoes an increase in complexity and density on descending the Tree.

The rings are called Sephirah (or Major Paths of Wisdom) and represent established forms of existence (form concepts) as they divide up God (each being a different aspect of God). The lines are called the Minor Paths of Wisdom and represent established forms of consciousness (force concepts).

The gist of the System is it is a means of converting us humans (from Malchut) to God (at Keter and beyond) and vice versa. Basically, each different aspect is a bit more advanced and beyond mere mortal's limited comprehension (one has to advance to the next Sephirah in order to come close to understanding the following one).

Shinji could've been charted to go through all these tests of the System, but finally refused the last one, the last synchronization - Keter. The virtue for Keter is "Completion of the Great Work". Since Shinji's Eva was in the position of Yesod (Foundation) which takes the physical aspects of Malchut (Kingdom, or Earth - where we humans are) and converts them to spirits (which Rei/Lilith was consuming), if our good old wuss-boy Shinji stopped, then the spirits stopped coming too. God, what a dick.

The Angels, by extraction, were elevated beings as well (much higher than lowly unenlightened humans). That's what humanity needed for the Third Impact, to become a kind of elevated being themselves and enter Heaven, enlightenment. To become their own Ein Soph. (or Ayn Sof - without name).

  Below you will find each of Shinji's trials for the Sephiroth (they're in chronological order):
Malchut, kingdom - Hard to tell. This is the earth Sephira, so he might not have had to do anything but be born. But since Malchut's virtue is 'discrimination', I think it was probably his refusal to enter the Eva-01 for me, but to do it for the right reason - Rei.
Yesod, foundation - Also hard to tell. The virtue is 'independance', so I guess the best example would be when he runs away. However, this is also a change from physical to spiritual, so I think it might be his gradual opening up to things, possibly acceptance of the Entry Plug (throne of souls?).
Hod, glory - The virtue is honesty... so perhaps beginning to be honest about his feelings? He does in the Jet Alone episode with Misato, and he does in the Rei II episode with Rei... and the falling Angel episode, he realizes why he pilots and he stops lying to himself.
Netzach, victory - The virtue is unselfishness. Perhaps the training with Asuka to overcome Israfel helped him to become more giving of himself? To learn to share?
Tiphares, splendor - The virtue is devotion to the great work. I think this is when he falls into the Sea of Dirac due to his high opinion of himself (splendor), but then gets out by his devotion to the great work (destroying angels, etc..).
Chesed, mercy - Easy. Refusing to kill Toji in Eva-03. However, it was sort of the opposite of it's virtue, obedience (although he was forced into obedience by his father's act of initializing the dummy plug).
G'vurah, strength - Beating the snot outta the 14th Angel (Zeruel) that almost destroyed everything that meant anything to him (butchered Asuka, Rei, almost all of NERV and GeoFront...) and his subsequent strength of mind that aided him to escape the consciousness of the Eva before he melded with it. The virtue is courage.
Binah, understanding - Learning everything from Ritsuko... about Rei, Evas, etc. The virtue is silence, he had nobody to talk to anymore.
Hohma, wisdom - Learning about the sweet parts of life from Kaworu, but being devoted enough to destroying angels to kill him. The virtue is devotion.
Keter, crown - Completing the Sephiroth, gaining his firey wings. HOWEVER, he doesn't complete Keter, as he refuses all of it, and destroys Lillith/Rei and the entire human race.... Or maybe he doesn't. (A special THANK YOU to the Main Man Neflite for his gracious help!!)
  Get all that?

Q:  Exactly what is Gendo's plan? If he just wanted to evolve into one celestial being with all humanity, why didn't he simply let Keel Lorenz initiate the Third Impact?
A:  This is fairly complicated. Yes, both of us wanted the Constructive Third Impact to occur. Yes, we both wanted to become one with mankind and return to the God-like Lilith (at least I did after Yui was gone). But, we both wanted to control the Impact ourselves. By controlling the Third Impact by being the one to first return to Lilith without losing one's physical body, it is thought that one becomes a "god" of some kind, and therefore my goal of either being reunited with Yui, or somehow resurrect or release her would be realized.

The Third Impact would be the ultimate power. The power to have everyone on Earth be lead by you and to have all your pain taken away. Is it any wonder that a meglomaniac like Keel and a love-lorn sap like myself want to keep it for ourselves?

It was only when it became clear that I would succeed in starting the Impact did Keel give up trying to be the first, and he sent in first the 17th messenger and then the JSSDF and the EVA 05-13 Units so that he could have the Impact begin, and keep me from becoming the leader and embodiment of humanity (which is all he thought I wanted, the silly little man. I guess he never realized that there is more to life than power).

Q:  Why all of a sudden in the movies does Gendo and NERV decide to initiate the Third Impact? I could have sworn that in a TV episode that Ritsuko said that the sole purpose of NERV and the Evangelions was to prevent a possible Third Impact.
A:  Well, it's not all of a sudden, and it's not all of NERV that wants to start the Impact. Only me. If you notice in the movie End of Evangelion even Fuyutsuki screams "No!" when he sees that Shinji is starting the whole thing. I am the only individual in NERV that wants the end toSEELE does what it takes to get the job done, even manipulate the world. begin. But I am not the only one in the world who does. The Heads of SEELE want the Impact to happen too.

The rest of NERV is simply duped into working for something (the prevention of the Third Impact) that is not the real goal of their organization. Yes, they were to keep the Adam- launched Third Impact from simply killing humanity, but they were not meant to stop the Lilith- based Impact from evolving every soul in the world. NERV merely exists to destroy the Angels and open up the possibility of eternal salvation, not prevent it.

As to why SEELE would try to trick so many people, it's a little like this: How many employees and great minds do you think you'd get to work for you if you told them that they were only slaving away so that mankind as a species could die? Not many, in my humble opinion.

Q:  I agree Shinji is a loser but there was this one scene in the movie where Shinji and Asuka were talking in the apartment and Asuka said that Shinji was trying to take advantage of her after she lost the fight with the angel of light. In the melee, Shinji got pushed aside and burnt himself on some scalding coffee then proceeded to strangle Asuka. What the f**k was going on there and was that something that really happened?
A:  That appears to all happen solely in Shinji's head. He felt that he couldn't go to Rei or Misato anymore for solace or help and that Asuka was the only one he could whine and complain to anymore. The Asuka in his head understood this and refused to let him because, like she said, "It could have been anyone" (and the self loathing from Shinji "flogging the carrot" in her hospital room only added to the total guilt and fear he felt). Because he's such a wuss, he got frustrated about all that and snapped, strangling her.

Don't forget what he did with the sand castle when he was just a child. Everyone left him to do it on his own, he threw a fit and destroyed it, then tried to rebuild it. This is what he does all the time.

Q:  I've heard many names for the movies. What are their actual titles?
A:  When the original movies debuted in Japan on March 19, 1997 they had the titles Evangelion: Death and Evangelion: Rebirth (even though Rebirth was not completed). Death retold the story that audiences saw in the TV series (up to episode 24), with a few changes and some major cuts. Rebirth picked up where Death and episode 24 left off, but it ended when the EVA Units 05-13 began their attack on NERV HQ.

End of Evangelion came to theaters on July 19, 1997 and it finished the story up. End of EVA contained the original Rebirth movie and then went on to show the end of humanity and the Third Impact (which kind of ruined any thought of a sequel). End of EVA was split into two "episodes" to kind of replace the final two TV episodes that irked many Japanese fans of the series. These two episodes of End of EVA are episode 25 "Air (Love is Destruction)" and episode 26 "For You, My Pure Heart ( I Need You)". Even though the story was not completed after episode 25, some credits began to roll and Thanatos, If I Can't Be Yours began to play, many confused audience members got up and began to walk out of the theater. The final episode and the story's finale completed in episode 26 immediately afterwards.

Due to popluar demands, however, End of Evangelion reappeared in theaters in Japan in March of 1998 and it was known as Revival of Evangelion. Evangelion: Death was played before the End, and it was re-edited and renamed Evangelion: Death (True). Confused? Well, all I can recommend is that you watch them yourselves and forget about the names....What's in a name anyway?

Final goodbyes                                 
More to come soon!!!!!!!!

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