"SEELE, the Throne of Souls" is the fourteenth episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
The first half of this episode is a clip show, in the form of a report by SEELE reviewing Gendo's actions, summarizing the first season of episodes and the story up until this point. In the second half, Ritsuko conducts an experiment to determine if pilots can be switched between the Evangelions they normally pilot. Rei can synchronize with Unit-01 fairly well, but when Shinji attempts to synchronize with Unit-00, it goes violently berserk inside of the base, in a manner identical to the failed activation test that took place before Shinji's arrival in Tokyo-3. As before, Unit-00 attacks the hangar's observation booth, smashing the window. However, Rei was standing at the window instead of Gendo, as was the case in the first test, causing Misato Katsuragi to wonder if Unit-00 was trying to kill Rei. Meanwhile, Ritsuko feels that Unit-00 was trying to attack Ritsuko herself. At the end of the episode, Rei uses Unit-00 to bring the Spear of Longinus recovered from Antarctica to the deepest level of NERV's base, Terminal Dogma.
The episode begins with a clip of Sachiel's attack, at first showing how normal weapons prove ineffective against the Angel, before the Evangelion is deployed. Recorded statements by Misato and an excerpt from an essay by Toji Suzuhara (whose sister was hurt in the battle) are included.
Next comes the attack of the angel Shamshel, along with part of an entry from Hikari Horaki's diary. The clip of Shamshel's attack ends with a statement that a final report on the analysis of the Angel's body has yet to be filed.
Ramiel's attack is accompanied by another excerpt, this time from Kensuke Aida, who mentions Rei Ayanami's selfless protection of Unit-01 during the battle.
Gaghiel's attack is notable in deviating from the scenario envisioned by SEELE. However, the committee decides that the results were within "the projected parameters" and that "necessary adjustments could be made". A full third of the U.N. Fleet is described as being lost, and it is further mentioned that all the lost vessels are American, but the French committee member comments that the loss was actually minor.
Israfel's attack, Sandalphon's attempted capture, Matarael's and Sahaquiel's attacks all follow in sequence. When it comes to Ireul's invasion, the facts are listed as unconfirmed, although it is rumored that the Angel penetrated NERV headquarters. This causes a great deal of concern among the committee, despite Gendo's reassurance that no such attack ever took place.
The meeting ends with Lorenz leaving all matters of crime and responsibility to Gendo, and adding that he does not need to create a new scenario.
The second part of the episode contains a poem by Rei Ayanami, contemplating the nature of her own existence, and asking questions about herself and about human beings. After the poem, Rei is seen during a cross-compatibility test with Unit-01, in which her synch ratio is reported to be almost the same as with Unit-00. However, the second part of the test- Shinji's synch with Unit-00, goes bad when the A10 nerve connections are complete. Unit-00 goes berserk in the same way as it did during the flashback in Episode 05, although Shinji escapes with only minor memory loss.
- First mention of Seele's use of the Dead Sea Scrolls as a guide for their "scenario".
- After mentioning the Eva-00 berserk incident, Fuyutsuki himself feels that Gendo is too concerned with Rei.
- According to the radio broadcast heard in the background when Asuka is laying in bed, political unrest is still taking place in the Nansha Islands in the form of terrorist suicide bombings, 12 years after China and Vietnam went to war over control of the island group's resources in 2003 as a result of post-Second Impact tensions.
- Ritsuko and Maya discuss how the "mutual compatibility experiment"'s a relative success means that they will now be moving forward with the development of the "Dummy Plug" project, though Maya expresses trepidation about it...
- Animation goof: briefly when Asuka is taunting Shinji, when the shot is focused on Asuka again and she's asking aloud why everyone always pampers Shinji, the visual intercom box with Shinji displayed inside says that he is broadcasting from "Eva-01", even though for this episode only, he's actually in Eva-00.
- This is the second time that Eva Unit 00 has gone "berserk" for no clear reason (of course, this is because the animation of Eva 00 going berserk here is just a re-use of the footage of it going berserk back in Episode 05). Rei's simulation body, connected to Eva 00, was also infected by the Angel Ireul last episode, and in similar fashion the simulation body Rei was in raised its hand towards the control box, but Ritsuko blew its arm off with demolition charges before it could do anything.
- The shoulder-armor pylons on Evangelions do not actually contain any biological part of the Eva, underneath the armor. The entire pylon is just an extension of the Eva's outer armor. As seen here, the pylons can actually be removed should the need arise, in this case to fit them into external restraints; besides Eva 00, both Eva 01 and Eva 02, which always had shoulder-armor pylons, are here seen without them.
- During the clip-show montage of images from earlier in the series, a shot is show of when Shinji fell on Rei in Episode 05 with his hand directly on Rei's breast. When this episode aired on Adult Swim, this shot was edited out of this episode. Of course, the brief shot of Shinji's hand on Rei's breast was edited out of Episode 05 as well when it originally aired on Adult Swim, so the flashback to a removed scene was simply not used.
- It is of course ironic that Asuka compares Shinji being in an Evangelion to being in his mother's womb, because when Shinji is (normally) in Eva Unit 01, he is in a sense literally "inside" of his mother because his mother's soul is bonded to Eva Unit 01.
- Every so often, the show was aired at an irregular time in the Tokyo region, such as on January 3rd, when it was aired at 8 a.m., and thus, Episode Fourteen was created as a recap episode of sorts. The English subtitle is also a reference to the fact that this episode is a recap. -Platinum Episode Commentaries
- In this episode, we first learn the names of the Angels, from the Third Angel (Sachiel, which Shinji fought in the first two episodes) through the Tenth Angel, named Sahaquiel. Presumably, the names of the Angels are derived from the prophecies in the Dead Sea Scrolls about the coming of the Angels.
- Misato's narrated report on Unit-01's fight against Sachiel commends Shinji on his performance under duress in his first battle. However, Shinji himself didn't really defeat the Angel; Unit-01 went berserk and he wasn't in control of it. This might be a hint that Gendo is hiding information about the Evas and the possibility of their going berserk. At the least, Misato is "out of the loop" and doesn't seem to understand that Shinji wasn't really controlling Unit-01 when Sachiel was defeated.
- In SEELE's briefing, it is said that one third of the UN naval fleet in Episode 08 was destroyed by the Angel Gaghiel. Their dialogue also reveals that the "green"-colored Committee member represents the United States. According to the Instrumentality Committee, Gaghiel's attack "deviated from scenario", although the Committee comfortably writes off the massive naval losses in the encounter as "fortunately minor". This betrays the extreme callousness of the committee towards anything but their own project. Critically, the committee have failed to realize why the attack deviated from their scenario - Gaghiel was attracted to Adam, who was being smuggled aboard the convoy. It seems that according to SEELE's "scenario", the Angels would only ever attack Tokyo-3.
- The "recap" footage of Sahaquiel exploding in Episode 12 is actually noticeably different from the animation of the same scene which was originally used; this is to correct an animation error which placed part of the explosion in front of a mountain instead of behind it.
- Ireul's invasion of NERV in the previous episode was a genuine cause of concern for the Committee, who feared it might cause Third Impact. Gendo invites them to examine the Magi's data recorders, but they know he can fabricate those. Ultimately, SEELE chooses to wave off Gendo's smokescreen, ignoring it as Gendo saving face.
- The committee members are extremely distrustful of Gendo, the Russian (blue committee member) going so far as to say "distorting the truth is your specialty". Chairman Kiel appears to be the only one willing to trust Gendo for any length of time.
- Fuyutsuki is just as antagonistic towards the Committee, saying that they have nothing to do but complain. Gendo, however, is willing to test their patience.
- See Theory and Analysis:Rei's Monologue for an examination of Rei's poem.
- Asuka sarcastically taunts Shinji by asking if being in Unit-00's Entry Plug is like being in his mother's womb.
- It is of course ironic that Asuka compares Shinji being in an Evangelion to being in his mother's womb, because when Shinji is (normally) in Unit-01, he is in a sense literally "inside" of his mother because his mother's soul is bonded to Unit-01.
- The clip-show recycling of scenes is most obvious in the scene of-Unit-00 going berserk: the animation of Unit-00 going berserk from Episode 05 was clearly just reused and recolored to change Unit-00's armor from orange to blue, and it is not equipped with shoulder-armor pylons, because it didn't have those yet in Episode 05. Unit-01 and Unit-02 are also animated in this episode without shoulder-armor pylons to try to stay consistent about this, as if there was a reason that they were taken off of each Eva for the test; presumably it was cheaper to draw a new shot of the stationary Unit-01 and Unit-02 without shoulder pylons (one frame each), than redo the entire complex scene of Unit-00 going berserk. However, the end shot of Unit-00 bashing its head against the wall is entirely new.
- This is the second time that Unit-00 has gone "berserk", and this sequence provides clues as to the identity of Unit-00's Soul. See Theory and Analysis:Eva-00's Soul for details.
- When Ritsuko is shocked that Unit-00 is out of control, she lets slip a comment saying "The same thing as before...is it going to try to absorb Shinji?" which seems to be the first reference to the fact that Yui Ikari was absorbed into Unit-01. Of course, it's not clear if Unit-00 really was going to absorb Shinji, this was just Ritsuko's conjecture, and the line before she simply thought that it was rejecting Shinji. In either case, neither Misato nor anyone else noticed what Ritsuko let slip, because their attention was held by the out-of-control and dangerously violent Unit-00.
- The Spear of Longinus is first referred to by name, and this is the first time it is seen outside its wrappings. When it first appeared in Episode 12, it was wrapped and it was unclear what it was.