Title I Saigo no shisha
"The Final Messenger"
Title II "The Beginning and the End, or 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door'"
Eva-01 holding Kaworu (NGE)
Directed by Shoichi Masuo
Written by Hideaki Anno
Akio Satsukawa
Air Date Mar 13, 1996
Episode 23
Episode 25

"The Final Messenger" is the twenty-fourth episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion.


As Asuka's depression has grown to the point that she is reduced to catatonia, SEELE sends Kaworu Nagisa to NERV in order to be the replacement pilot for Unit-02. At first, Shinji and Kaworu bond and quickly become friends. However, it is soon revealed that Kaworu is in fact the final Angel and has been sent to merge with Adam in Terminal Dogma at the bottom level of NERV Headquarters. Kaworu commandeers Unit-02, and Shinji engages it with Unit-01 in a fierce fight while in free-fall as they descend to Terminal Dogma. Kaworu reaches the Angel in Terminal Dogma as Shinji defeats Unit-02, but realizes that the Angel is not Adam but Lilith. Realizing it is the way things are meant to be, he then implores Shinji to kill him to prevent humanity from being destroyed. Shinji hesitates, but finally kills Kaworu. Later, traumatized by the day's events, Shinji tries to talk to Misato, but she is too distracted by her own struggles to be of comfort to him.


The Episode begins with child Asuka running happily to her mother after she was chosen to be a pilot of an Evangelion, to only find her hanged herself in the floor and then became aware of Kaji's death from Shinji. Asuka leaves to a wrecked house because she thinks it's not worth living if she can't pilot her Evangelion. One of the NERV Intellegence Agents finds her in a bathtub, which seemed to be filled with her slitted wrist's blood.[3]

Kaworu in the lake

Kaworu meets Shinji at the ruins of Tokyo-3.

A devastated Shinji stands at the side of the barren Tokyo-3, after all of his friends left the city, and runs away from home because he is afraid of facing Misato or Rei, and he says that he can no longer have friends. His attention was drawn by a boy humming the song of "Ode to Joy", the boy soon talks to Shinji and introduces himself as Kaworu Nagisa, and tells him that he is The Fifth Child, Shinji's conversation with Kaworu drew Shinji to be Kaworu's friend.

Misato seems to be suspicious of Kaworu, and even more, his high synchro ratio with Unit-02 dazzled everyone at NERV; even though the Core's data had not been rewritten. He soon meets Rei, giving her some hints about her true nature[4] He then takes a shower with Shinji, confessing his love for him and his sympathy. Shinji ends up spending the night in his room, and talks with Kaworu about his life before he came to Tokyo-3 and his hatred for his father, which draws Kaworu closer to him. Meanwhile, SEELE meets with Gendo, talking with him about his betrayal of their trust, and changing their scenario of the Human Instrumentality Project. The scene switches to Gendo standing in front of Unit-01, revealing his plans and that Adam was implanted on his palm.

Kaworu with monoliths

Kaworu, with SEELE's 15 monoliths

Early in the morning of the next day, Kaworu is seen standing at an Angel's statue,[5] talking with himself about how Humans cannot be Gods, soon fifteen monoliths of SEELE appear before him explaining Gendo's true intentions. SEELE then remind Kaworu that he has Adam's soul in his body, and that Adam's body is with Gendo, and tells him about their trust for him to fulfill their plan. Misato, who is suspicious of Kaworu, watches him from distance, and seems confused about him talking to himself in the morning, and got surprised that he had noticed her from such far distance.

Meanwhile, Hyuga gives Misato the information about Kaworu's scores that he has stolen from Maya on her request, and she goes to visit the imprisoned Ritsuko, who tells her that Kaworu might be the Final Angel.

Ritsuko's speculations were proven true, after Kaworu has activated Unit-02 without entering it. He then goes with the Evangelion heading for Terminal Dogma. A grim shock to the NERV command for SEELE for sending an Angel to them, and Shinji is ordered to sortie against Kaworu. He finds the idea of Kaworu being an Angel unacceptable, and he considers Kaworu as having betrayed the love and faith he placed in him like his father.

Shinji reaches Kaworu and Evangelion Unit-02, and battles with the Evangelion asking Kaworu to stop. Suddenly, Unit-01's knife collides with Kaworu, who revealed his A.T. Field, and tells Shinji that everyone has an A.T. Field, the light of the Soul. Kaworu then deploys an A.T. Field of unprecedented power to block NERV's view. Despite Shinji's work to stop him, Kaworu goes on to Lilith, and Hyuga prepares to self-destruct the whole complex.

A Smile of Betrayal

Kaworu glances at Shinji, with a smile

However, while Shinji was battling with Unit-02, a second A.T. Field generated by Rei, as powerful as Kaworu's, shows up to help Shinji in defeating Unit-02 and soon vanished. Rei watches Kaworu standing before the crucified white giant. Initially referring to it as Adam, Kaworu realises that it is not Adam, but Lilith. He has a brief moment of realization before Unit-01 throws Unit-02 through the door and grabs him. Kaworu asks Shinji to grant him his final wish -to kill him, or let humanity die. Grudgingly, after a long hesitation, Shinji kills him. Misato tries to convince him he did the right thing, but he remains haunted by his action.

Differences between the OA Version and the Director's CutEdit

  • New scenes were added to the DC version of this episode:
    • Asuka's shocked expression after slapping Shinji at the news of Kaji's death (along with the spilled coffee-pot from The End of Evangelion).
    • The brief appearance of the embryo of Adam on Gendo's palm.
    • The expanded conversion of Kaworu saying Rei is "the same as him".
    • A scene in which Kaworu converses with the SEELE monoliths at the lake, while Misato spies on him.
  • Lilith's appearance is altered to reflect the regrowth of its lower body in the DC version of Episode 22.
  • The DC version shows a preview of the video version of Episode 25' Air, (Consisting of animatics of Asuka battling the MP Eva Series, Ritsuko surprised at Casper's betrayal as well as Misato saying goodbye to Shinji).


  • Kaworu (after humming "Ode to Joy", to Shinji): "Singing is great. Singing enriches the soul. It's the crowning achievement of the civilation that the Lilin created. Don't you feel the same... Shinji Ikari?"
  • Kaworu (to Rei): "You're the First Child, aren't you? Rei Ayanami. You're the same as me. So, both of us ended up in the same form as the Lilin while we inhabit this planet.
    Rei: "Who are you?"
  • SEELE member: "NERV, the organization formed to be SEELE's executive branch..."
    SEELE member: "It was created in order to put our scenario into practice."
    SEELE member: "But now, it has become an organization in the possession of one individual."
    SEELE member: "Precisely, we must take it back."
    SEELE member: "Before the promised day."
    Keel Lorenz: "NERV and the Eva series must be in their true forms. Ikari, you will bear the responsibility of your malfeasance towards SEELE."
  • Gendo (standing in front of Unit-01): "The time that has been given to us runs short. But the Spear of Longinus that stood in the way of our desire is no more. Soon, the final Angel will appear. If we destroy it, our wish will become true. Just wait a little longer, Yui."
  • Misato (to Pen Pen): "I'm glad we're on the outskirts of the city, beause it kept you from all that. But there's no guarantee that will be the case next time. So the Horaki family will be taking care of you starting tomorrow. This will be a goodbye for a while, Pen Pen."
  • Kaworu (to himself): "Humans cannot create anything out of nothingness. Humans cannot accomplish anything without holding onto something. After all, humans are not gods."


  1. "シ者" includes two Japanese words read as "shisha" (the character "シ" only represents the sound "shi"). The first is "messenger" or "apostle" (使者[?], "shisha"), while the other is "dead (person)" (死者[?]).
  2. Evangelion character names; Translation of essay by Hideaki Anno about character name origins; includes a link to the original essay in Japanese.
  3. The color of the liquid that filled the bathtub has changed in the different versions of this episode, and if she was attempting suicide, it might be due to her mother's suicide
  4. Kaworu's supernatural ability to set his synchro ratio in Evangelion Unit-02 as he wished was because he possessed the soul of Adam, and his line for Rei being "the same as him" is a clue about her being the vessel of Lilith's soul. However, this was confirmed at Terminal Dogma, after she projected an A.T. Field to help Shinji in defeating Unit-02.
  5. Kaworu standing of the statue is clue that he is the final Angel, and the missing head is signal of his death