"Sincerely Yours" is Episode 26' of Neon Genesis Evangelion. It is the second half of the movie The End of Evangelion with Episode 25', "Air," serving as the first half. It is also the corresponding "replacement" episode for Episode 26 of the television series.
Rei rejects Gendo, and begins Third Impact by merging with Lilith. Rei allows Shinji to determine the course of Instrumentality. After Shinji rejects the existing world, the giant Lilith/Rei creates an Anti-A.T. Field that dissolves all life on Earth into LCL. This forces all human souls to combine into a single lifeform. After a discussion about the meaning of existence with Rei and Kaworu, and deciding that the joy of connecting with others outweighs the risk of being hurt, Shinji rejects Instrumentality. Rei/Lilith disentegrates, and all of the human souls collected by her return to the Earth. Shinji's body is reconstituted, and he wakes up on the shores of a sea of LCL, finding Asuka laying next to him. Shinji, still emotionally fragile after the trauma of Instrumentality, begins to strangle her. He relents when Asuka affectionately caresses his face. Shinji breaks down, sobbing uncontrollably.
NERV has defeated all of the Angels foretold by the Dead Sea Scrolls. SEELE seeks to capture Evangelion Unit-01 to implement its preferred vision of the Third Impact, which is in conflict with Gendo's plan. A determined attack by the Japanese Strategic Self Defense Force, carried out through SEELE's influence, brings NERV's defenses to its breaking point. Misato and Asuka are dead, and Unit-02 has been decimated by SEELE's Mass Production Evangelions.
The Ritual Begins
As Ritsuko's lifeless body floats in a pool of LCL, Gendo and a naked Rei stand beneath a crucified Lillith. Through the merger of Adam and Lilith, Gendo believes he can be reunited with Yui, his wife. Rei's left arm falls off, exposing bones and tendons. This indicates that Rei's A.T. Field is weakening, and Gendo observes that time is running out. He has Rei lower her A.T. field. This allows him to merge the embryo of Adam embedded in his hand with Rei, the vessel for Lilith's soul. She flinches as Gendo inserts his hand, and Adam along with it, into her breast.
Shinji, still piloting the winged Unit-01, hovers in the dark and swirling skies above the GeoFront. He screams in horror after seeing the mangled remains of Unit-02 beneath him. Reacting to Shinji's anguish, his Evangelion's wings transform into a giant cross of light. Below, within Terminal Dogma, Rei can hear Shinji's screams.
The real Lance of Longinus, which has been stuck on the surface of the moon since it was used to defeat Arael, is flung back towards the Earth. The Lance stops in the skies above the Earth, hovering beside Unit-01's throat.
The monoliths of SEELE celebrate the return of the Lance. Believing that this development will allow their version of Human Instrumentality to be fulfilled, they perform a commencement ritual. SEELE beseeches the Evangelions to return to their true form so that humanity can return to its true form.
The winged Mass Production Evangelions use their spears to crucify Unit-01 and recreate the stigmata of Christ. The automated Evangelions bite into Unit-01's cross of light, lifting the purple Evangelion higher into the sky. Shinji looks down at his hands, and sees he has the same stigmata that are on the hands of his Evangelion. The Mass Production Evangelions arrange themselves in a pattern around Unit-01. They begin to overload their S² engines, which generates an Anti-A.T. Field and forms an image of the Sephirothic Tree of Life in the sky. According to Maya, the sensor readings are identical to the data from Second Impact.
The S² engines of the Mass Production Evangelions finally overload, creating an enormous explosion in the shape of an eye that engulfs large portions of Japan. The blast wipes away the layers of earth and armor surrounding GeoFront. For the first time in millennia, the Black Moon of Lilith, the birthplace of humanity, is exposed.
Back in Terminal Dogma, Rei absorbs Adam's embryo within her body, and Gendo's hand along with it. As Gendo recoils in pain, Rei rejects him, declaring that she is not his "doll." She restores her A.T. Field and regenerates her missing arm. Rei levitates towards Lilith as Gendo begs her to change her mind. She refuses, telling Gendo that Shinji is calling to her. Hovering before Lilith, Rei declares that she is home. Lilith replies, "Welcome back."
Rei is absorbed into Lilith's body, which begins to regenerate. Lilith frees herself from the giant crucifix that kept her in captivity. Her mask falls away, and her face and body assumes Rei's form. NERV sensors render the newly combined Lilith/Rei lifeform as both an Angel and a human being. Like a ghost, the giant Lilith/Rei breathlessly passes through the NERV command center and the physical forms of the remaining NERV senior staff. She continues to grow and rise into the sky until standing erect high above the clouds. Shinji is still within Unit-01, clutching Misato's bloodly necklace. Lilith/Rei embraces Unit-01, and Shinji yells in confused agony when the giant looks into his eyes.
The Mass Production Evangelions assume a new formation around Lilith/Rei, and begin to merge with the her. Each automated Evangelion takes on Rei's visage. This transformation makes Unit-01 and its increasingly unstable pilot roar in unison. As Shinji's ego reaches its breaking point, his Evangelion's armor bursts open, exposing its core. Lilith/Rei mutates into Kaworu, which calms Shinji. The Lance of Longinus penetrates Unit-01's core, transforming the purple Evangelion into a physical manifestation of the Tree of Life. Fuyutsuki observes that because the newly formed Unit-01/Tree of Life possesses both the Fruit of Life from the Angels and the Fruit of Knowledge from humanity, it has become an equivalent to God. He declares the future of mankind now rests in Shinji's hands. Lilith takes the form of Rei again, and as Rei and Yui ask him what he wishes for, in childish glee, Shinji has a vision of a woman's breasts and enters Instrumentality.
Taking the form of a child, Shinji finds himself on a playground. The playground has the trappings of a movie set, with stage lights and scaffolding surrounding it. As a swing sways in the distance, two doll-like girls who resemble Rei and Asuka ask Shinji to help them finish building a castle in a sandbox. The "castle" looks like a partially destroyed GeoFront pyramid. The doll-like girls depart with their "mother," who has an appearance similar to Misato. Now alone, a sobbing Shinji finishes constructing the pyramid, then destroys it in a fit of rage. After a moment of hesitation, he begins to build the pyramid once again.
Shinji has a vision of himself, naked, with Asuka on top of him. She says she can't stand the sight of him, but Shinji replies that it is because he's just like her. Shinji then jumps to a scene from the past: Misato and Kaji in college, missing class and staying in for a full week to make love over and over again. As he watches them have sex, Shinji looks disgusted. Misato tells him this is a part of her that he never knew before, and can only know now that their hearts are "melded."
Time jumps again, and Shinji revisits his memory of kissing Asuka. She accuses him of not caring or knowing anything about her. Shinji retorts that she never let him in or talked to him at all. Asuka tells him that she knows about him masturbating over her naked body, and goads him to do it again. Finding themselves on board the "dream train" with Rei watching, Asuka tells Shinji that if he cannot belong to her completely, she does not want him. Shinji wonders why no one is nice to him. A combined vision of Rei, Misato, and Asuka insist that they are nice to him. Shinji accuses all three of lying, and allowing the parameters of their respective relationships to remain vague.
Shinji returns to a vision of the kitchen in Misato's apartment. He tells a sullen Asuka that he wants to be with her forever, that she is the only one for him. Asuka replies that Shinji doesn't actually care about her or anyone else, he just wants someone—anyone—to pay attention to him. She angrily pushes him, knocking over Misato's coffee maker. Shinji falls to the ground, burned by the spilled, scalding coffee. He wearily gets up, then tosses the table and chairs in the kitchen around while begging Asuka to help him. She stares down at him and refuses. Shinji hesitates for a moment, then begins to strangle Asuka, lifting her off her feet.
Third Impact begins.
Instrumentality Realized and Rejected
Visions of Shinji strangling Asuka are interspersed with images of Naoko strangling Rei as a child, and an growling, enraged Unit-01. Stung by Asuka's final rejection, a resigned Shinji claims that all would be better if he and the rest of humanity perished.
In response to Shinji's wishes, Unit-01/The Tree of Life and the Black Moon rise into the sky. Lilith/Rei takes the Black Moon into her hands as giant wings sprout from her back. Stigmata appear on her hands. Within NERV Headquarters, Fuyutsuki observes that the Chamber of Guf, the well of human souls, has reopened.
The Anti-A.T. Field generated by Lilith/Rei is strong enough prevent all life from maintaining their physical forms. Visions of Rei hover over the lifeless bodies of NERV personnel and JSSDF soldiers as they dissolve into LCL. Rei appears above the remains of both Ritsuko and Misato, who have also dissolved into LCL. Each of the remaining NERV senior staff members dissolve into LCL as they watch an image of Rei transform into another person from their lives. For Hyuga, Rei turns into Misato; for Maya, Ritsuko; for Fuyutsuki, Yui. Aoba sees no one else, but is hounded by several apparitions of Rei before he too dissolves. The monoliths of SEELE deactivate one by one as their corresponding members dissolve into LCL. Keel Lorenz is the last to dissolve, and his cybernetic implants remain behind in the pool of LCL created by his dissolution.
Gendo lies on the ground in Terminal Dogma, finally reunited with his beloved Yui. Gendo confesses that his own self-loathing caused him to push Shinji away, so that he would avoid hurting the boy. Visions of both Rei and Kaworu join Yui, pointing out that Gendo was so afraid of rejection by other people that he shut out the world around him. Gendo finds himself being held in the hands of Unit-01. He comes to understand that he will face punishment for his actions in life, and apologizes to Shinji in abstentia. The Evangelion then bites off the upper half of Gendo's body, killing him. Gendo's bloody legs and torso are left standing erect in the background as a bandaged Rei II picks up his fallen eyeglasses. She is joined by Rei I, the child strangled by Naoko, and a naked Rei III.
Above the Earth, the Mass Production Evangelions writhe and moan in euphoria as they impale their own cores with replicas of the Lance of Longinus. All of the human souls on the planet float towards the Black Moon and enter the Chamber of Guf. Each soul leaves behind a green cross of light in its wake. Billions of these crosses cover the surface of the Earth. As Instrumentality continues, Unit-01/The Tree of Life is absorbed by Lilith/Rei through a third eye that emerges on her forehead.
A torrent of images assaults Shinji as he hears many voices making statements rejecting him. Several visions of unanimated "real life" appear: an empty movie theater, a movie theater filled with people, a train, power lines, a swing, a mass of people walking down a busy street, and the skyline of Tokyo-3 before its destruction. Three women appear standing still in a moving crowd, followed by a vision of three people walking through a marketplace dressed up as Rei, Asuka, and Misato. Shinji asks Rei what the difference is between dreams and reality. Rei tells him that he conjured up dreams as a convenient fantasy to escape reality. As Rei tells Shinji that reality begins where dreams inevitably end, a gash opens on Lilith/Rei's neck, releasing a fountain of LCL that reaches the moon. The gigantic Lilith/Rei begins to collapse and fall back towards the Earth.
Shinji sees an an image of Rei merged with his own body, and asks her where they are now. Rei explains that they are in a sea of LCL, and his soul has been merged with the souls of the rest of humanity. Shinji looks at his hand and sees that he is still holding Misato's bloody necklace. He expresses dissatisfaction with the lonely reality of Instrumentality. Rei warns him that rejecting this transformation will reinstate A.T. Fields, which are formed by an individual's fear of being hurt by others. Shinji admits that his hopes of connecting with other people will eventually ring hollow, and at some point he will be betrayed or abandoned by others. However, Shinji accepts that the opportunity to experience the real joy he felt in forming connections with people is worth the risk of being hurt again. He now understands that his feelings in the pre-Instrumentality world, whether they took the form of happiness or sadness, were at least genuine.
Human Instrumentality begins to reverse itself.
The gigantic body of Lilith/Rei begins to decay as her Anti-A.T. Field disappears. Her wings dissolve. Her limbs and head detach from her body and fall away. The stigmata on her hands are sealed. A reconstituted Unit-01, no longer the Tree of Life, bursts out of one of the giant's eyes and sprouts several wings of light. The return of A.T. Fields causes the Black Moon to dissolve before exploding completely. All of the human souls contained within the Chamber of Guf return to the Earth. The replicas of the Lance of Longinus impaling each Mass Production Evangelion erupt, causing each of the automated Evangelions to wither away and fall towards the planet's surface. Unit-01 pulls the real Lance of Longinus from its core, and the Lance changes form to the symbol of infinity. An apparition of Rei watches as the purple Evangelion deactivates and becomes petrified.
The voices of Kaworu, Rei, and Yui assure Shinji that each human soul can reclaim its physical form if it so chooses. Yui explains that, "As long as there is the sun, the moon, and the Earth, it will all work out."
As the reversal of Instrumentality is nearly fulfilled, Shinji speaks to his mother for the last time. Yui asks Shinji if he will be okay. He replies that he knows he will be trapped in a cycle of misunderstanding the nature of happiness. However, Shinji now understands that enduring this difficult cycle will allow him to remain alive as an individual.
Now wearing Misato's necklace, Shinji then asks Yui whether she will be okay. He sees the past, back when he was a child. As she holds Shinji, Yui tells Fuyutsuki that her goal is to have her soul transferred to an Evangelion. That way, she can persist forever as proof of humanity's existence, long after humans are extinct and the solar system is no more. Shinji wishes his mother farewell. Unit-01, with Yui's soul inside of it, floats way from the Earth, entering the endless void of deep space. The transformed Lance of Longinus accompanies the Evangelion.
His body now physically reconstituted, Shinji emerges from the sea of LCL. He wades in the orange liquid, and watches as the gigantic head of Lilith/Rei is split in two.
One More Final
Half of Lilith/Rei's gigantic, decomposing head eerily stands guard on the horizon. Beneath it, several wooden posts are erected in the ground. One post has been broken in half. Another post has the cross from Misato's necklace affixed to it, but the nail holding it in place has rusted away. The petrified bodies of the Mass Production Evangelions, their arms outstretched as though they are crucified, are scattered throughout the landscape. Waves from the sea of LCL continue to crash upon the shore. An airborne stream of LCL pierces the night sky, bisecting the full moon.
Shinji appears on the shore, laying next to Asuka. Hearing the sound of a drop of liquid, Shinji turns and sees a vision of Rei hovering over the banks of the LCL sea. He blinks and Rei disappears. Shinji sits up, and finally takes notice of Asuka laying beside him. Her body is heavily bandaged.
Shinji begins to strangle Asuka. She recoils, but rather than responding with aggression, Asuka affectionately caresses his face with her bandaged hand. A surprised Shinji releases his grip on her. He slumps over and begins to sob uncontrollably. Asuka stares into the sky above before looking back down at him. As Shinji continues to cry, Asuka mutters: "Disgusting/I feel sick."
- Fuyutsuki: "The Seed of Life...and the Seed of Wisdom have been both acquired by Eva Unit 01. It is now equal to God. Will it be an ark to save humanity from the nihil of the Third Impact...or become a demon to annihilate humanity? Our future is up to Ikari's son."
- Asuka: "How disgusting" (alt. "I feel sick").
- The early drafts of Episodes 25' and 26' include some significant differences, like Shinji masturbating in his room alone, a cut farewell scene with Toji and Kensuke, and a final credits sequence presumably featuring Everything You've Ever Dreamed.
- There is also an extended version of the live action sequence.
- In English, Instrumentality is a reference to Instrumentality of Mankind, from Cordwainer Smith's sci-fi novels. In the original Japanese, however, it is referred to as 補完 (Hokan). "Ho" translates literally to "supplement, supply, make good, offset, compensate, assistant, learner" and "kan" to "perfect, completion, end". translate literally to "complete" or "completion". In many early fan translations, it is referred to as "Complementation". This nuance can be understood as the separate, individual egos of humankind being complemented by others. Alternatively, it can also have a nuance of "perfecting" humanity into a superior being. The "tuning" metaphor present in Death & Rebirth is also appropriate.
- According to Megumi Ogata, Shinji's voice actress, the scene itself was modeled on a experience of a female friend of Anno's. This friend got into an argument with her boyfriend, and at some point he choker her in rage. Instead of reacting violently, this friend felt no fear, hatred or even a need for survivl, but rather a desire to caress him tenderly. In response, her boyfriend lost her grip. However, Anno's friend instead grew cold, and muttered Asuka's line from the EoE draft almost verbatim. Ogata believes this scene was how Anno wanted to "convey different ways how to bring feelings of love to a conclusion that exist in reality. You are you, I am I". Naturally, this reflects on the films of individuality and the duality of reaching out to others present in Eva.
Anno also guided Ogata to treat OMF partly as a separate story: "as something that just exists. As if everything that happened before in the movie is merely a dream that never happened. It is its own narrative unity, something that can fundamentally be taken away from its context in the movie and still be interpreted as a dramatic whole. It is and is not the final scene of EoE."
Furthermore, Ogata asked Anno to help her understand what Anno wanted to convey through the scene and how Shinji is supposed to act. Hearing this, Anno first stands silent and confused for a moment. Then he firmly wraps his arms around himself and hugs himself. This is on the "purpose" of what he is trying to express. As for how Ogata should play Shinji Anno asks her to not play Shinji: " "For this scene alone, I want Ogata to take on and express my feelings rather than Shinji's" - 『井手功二のエヴァンゲリオンフォーエヴァー』（アミューズブックス）
- "Kimochi warui" literally means "sick feeling", and depending upon the context, could be translated any number of ways, such as "I feel sick", "how disgusting", "I have a sick feeling", "this makes me sick", "you make me sick", ect. The difficulty in translating it into English is determining the context. Thus various translations have have gone with different interpretations. It is an expression used many times before to express shock, discomfort or disapproval - for instance, when Shinji is first immersed in LCL in Episode 1 and in a sense embraced by Yui, and when Asuka complains about sharing a bathtub, and a house with Misato and Shinji in Episode 22, as she is unwilling to belong. Because of its unclear meaning, it is hard to say whether she's referring to Shinji, herself, or soothing else. Asuka might be expressing disapproval at the situation they are in and Shinji acting meekly again. It might also be interpreted as how strange it feels for her to finally accept another person, something which so far has terrified her.
- 24. Opening of a Dream (Piano – Leave It To Version)
Shinji’s independence that he bid farewell to his mother and chose to live in the world of others despite the fact that he would hurt others is portrayed in this song with a somewhat sad piano solo. It is as if it suggested the relationship between the project of EVANGELION and the audiences. - Refrain of Evangelion booklet interview
- Evangelion Cardass Masters "Shinji renounced the world where all hearts had melted into one and accepted each other unconditionally. His desire... to live with 'others' -- other hearts that would sometimes reject him, even deny him. That is why the first thing he did after coming to his senses was to place his hands around Asuka's neck. To feel the existence of an 'other'. To confirm (make sure of) rejection and denial."
"In the sea of LCL, Shinji wished for a world with other people. He desired to meet them again, even if it meant he would be hurt and betrayed. And just as he had hoped/wanted, Asuka was present in the new world. Only Asuka was there beside him. The girl who he had hurt, and by whom he had been hurt. But even so, she was the one he had hoped/wished for...."
"Neither Yui, Rei nor Misato could do as a woman for Shinji. Asuka alone was the only girl on equal footing with him. So, Shinji desired/sought after Asuka. "I'm afraid of Misato and Ayanami." However, Shinji's crude affection only hurt her. In the end, he used her as an object of lust/desire to soothe/ console himself..." - D-88, D-84, P-66, P-68, H-11, full set here
- During Instrumentality, Asuka encountered Shinji inside his inner world and told him she didn't need anything if she couldn't have all of him. Despite the significance of this statement, Shinji's response was vague at best and he only sought a place at her side because it was a "comfortable" place to be. Hurt by the notion that she was nothing more than an escape for Shinji, Asuka outright rejected him. As a result, the Human Instrumentality Project did not reach its intended result, and any changes to the relationship between Asuka and Shinji were left unclear.
"Though Shinji and Asuka are both EVA pilots and living under the same roof、they are polar opposites. Despite their differences、Shinji did feel an attraction to Asuka at certain moments throughout their time together. When Shinji expressed his feelings to Asuka and sought her help during his instrumentality、she outright rejected him. Shinji and Asuka in the new world where the Human Instrumentality Project was not fulfilled Shinji had chosen a world where others existed、and for him Asuka became the first "Other".
"Asuka Langley Soryu Piloting EVA-02 was Asuka's way of maintaining her self-respect, and it also served to deepen her confusing love/hate for Shinji. [...] Immediately after Asuka's defeat, the Human Instrumentality Project was activated, Asuka was the first "other" to exist in the new world that was created when Shinji wished for a world where others existed, and she was found lying next to Shinji."
- The Essential Evangelion Chronicle, Side B
- "Shinji meets Rei in the sea of L.C.L. while Human Instrumentality with Unit 01 as a substitute is in progress. Shinji didn't want a world where his boundaries were gone and he was nowhere else. Shinji's eyes tell that he that he will accept the fear of others, the strength of life that moves forward while being frightened can be seen. When their consciousness returned to reality, Shinji and Asuka lie in a world where Human Instrumentality is incomplete.
In the world where Shinji wanted to have others, Asuka became the first stranger, and Shinji reaches out to her [for her neck]. It is difficult to understand Shinji's emotions as he wonders if Asuka is the one who will hurt him or the one who will complement him.
Shinji and Asuka stand alone in a space where no one else is around. In her mental world, Shinji was rejected while expressing her feelings to Asuka and asking her for her salvation, but the relationship between the two can/will* change in the new world." - Evangelion Chronicle Vol. 22, alternate translation from the Japanese
*Translator's notes: "The verb kawaru (変わる) means to change. In this passage, we have kawatte (変わって), which means changed. Add iku (いく) and it means changing. Add nodarou (のだろう) means probably. [The relationship] will probably change. The nature of such indefinite change means it is still likely unclear. So those two sentences basically say the same thing (unclear vs will change). The former wording is used in the English translation of the Essential digest version, while the latter is used in the French translation.
- That's the hard part. I don't know how it will turn out yet. I want to make a happy ending, but it's difficult to say what is happy. The movie version is happy in its own way. Humans are nothing when they are born and at the moment of death, so if the process of living is not enjoyable, they cannot live. Shinji had a hard time, but he wanted to live. That's why he's happy. - Sadamoto, The Other Side of the Story, Newtype December 1997
|Episodes & Films|
|Neon Genesis Evangelion||01 • 02 • 03 • 04 • 05 • 06 • 07 • 08 • 09 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14 • 15 • 16 • 17 • 18 • 19 • 20 • 21 • 22 • 23 • 24 • 25 • 26|
|Evangelion: Death and Rebirth||Evangelion: Death • Evangelion: Death (true) • Evangelion: Rebirth|
|Revival of Evangelion||Evangelion: Death (true)² • The End of Evangelion (25' • 26')|
|Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition||Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone • Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance • Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo • Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A Time|
|Rebuild of EVANGELION||Rebuild of EVANGELION: 1.01 • Rebuild of EVANGELION: 2.02 • Rebuild of EVANGELION: 3.33|
|Others||Evangelion: Another Impact • Beautiful World • until You come to me. • One Last Kiss • Neon Genesis IMPACTS • Petit Eva: Evangelion@School|