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Rei in LCL

Armisael's image standing in a pool of LCL

LCL is an amber-colored, translucent liquid, which allows an EVA pilot to mentally link with their Evangelion Unit.


The Entry Plug of an EVA Unit, containing its cockpit, is completely flooded with LCL, and, because it is oxygenated,[1] upon being submerged EVA pilots can "breathe" the liquid (similar to real-life experiments involving liquid breathingWP).

Upon Evangelion activation, an electrical current is run through the LCL and it undergoes a "phase shift", after which its density, opacity, and viscosity appear to approach that of air. However, the LCL remains in a liquid phase and does not undergo a transition: the pilots appear to be surrounded by air, however occasionally air bubbles will float away from their mouths, revealing that they are still in a liquid medium.

When an EVA activates, the pilot is totally submerged in LCL in the entry plug. The LCL acts as a mediator allowing the pilot's nervous system to electro-chemically directly interface with the nervous system of an EVA. The greater the degree of interfacing between an EVA and its pilot's minds, the higher the "synch ratio" between the two.

LCL is strictly the only thing a pilot absolutely requires to sync with an EVA: plug suits "cut down on interference" but on several occasions, the pilot hasn't worn one, and while Interface Headsets are much more necessary to sync, when Shinji piloted Unit-01 for the final time in The End of Evangelion he did not wear an Interface Headset (although by that time he was essentially a passenger inside the EVA). Case in point, Toji and Kensuke, wearing neither plug suits nor interface headsets, manage to induce interference in Episode 03 when they enter the entry plug.

It is stated several times in the series that LCL smells "like blood". LCL is, in fact, the blood of the Second Angel, Lilith, which is restrained in the deepest level of NERV HQ, "Terminal Dogma". The "LCL Plant" in Terminal Dogma is actually an entire lake formed from the blood of Lilith.

LCL shares similar properties with the hypothetical "primordial ooze" from which life on Earth first evolved. This is because non-Angel life on Earth actually originally evolved from the LCL spread by Lilith when she landed on Earth. During Third Impact, Lilith's Anti A.T. Field causes the A.T. Fields of human beings and all other Lilith-based life to collapse, reverting their bodies to puddles of LCL.

An amber-colored fluid, visually identical to LCL, escapes from Leliel's body (the ultra-flat "shadow") when the bullets of Unit-01's handgun strike in Episode 16.


  • LCL is likely an acronym. While other words in the series spelled using all-capital letters such as "NERV" and "SEELE" are not acronyms, but instead being capitalized as a result of translation, "LCL" is confirmed to be an abbreviation as it is periodically written out as "L.C.L." on computer displays. What LCL stands for is unclear and there are various conflicting sources.
  • One example of this is whether or not LCL stands for Link Connected Liquid. Based on a dossier found in volume 7 of Neon Genesis Evangelion, it does, however according to the Death and Rebirth theatrical program (special edition), this isn't the case;
"Incidentally, the widely circulated idea that L.C.L is the abbreviation of "Link Connected Liquid" is incorrect."
  • Evangelion Chronicle suggests that one of the Ls may stand for Lilith.
  • Looking at the similarities and references of LCL to the hypothetical primordial soup of life, a possible meaning to the acronym LCL could very well be "Life Component Liquid", or a derivative thereof.
  • The Spanish word for "sky" or "heaven" is "El Cielo". The Sea of LCL in The End of Evangelion seems to be in space. If this similarity is deliberate and not a coincidence, it makes LCL a wordplay on "heaven".
  • The real-world version of LCL as a breathable liquid is a class of chemicals called perfluorocarbonsWP or PFCs. At least 5 different PFCs are in different stages of testing for liquid breathing: perflubronWP, perfluorodecalinWP, perfluorohexaneWP, perfluorooctaneWP, and FC-75WP, with perflubron and perfluorohexane both having been tested successfully on humans (perflubron used to help prematurely born infants breathe, and perfluorohexane used to help burn victims breathe). PFCs, most notably perfluorodecalin, are also used as blood substitutes to deliver oxygen to the cells of people who have lost blood if a blood transfusion is not available. Notable differences they have from LCL are they are clear instead of orange or red, they are twice as dense as water instead of less dense, they do not become ionized, and even if they were part of the primordial soup of life they were just a minor part of it.
  • The real-world version of LCL as the "primordial ooze" is the primordial soup of lifeWP that was first briefly mentioned as a "warm little pond" by Charles Darwin in his book On the Origin of SpeciesWP in 1859, developed into a complete theory for the origins of life in 1924 by Alexander Oparin, and then duplicated in a lab in 1953 in the Miller–Urey experimentWP. In that experiment, 4 simple chemicals (water, methane, ammonia, and hydrogen) were used to create a variety of amino acids. Those amino acids are the building blocks for proteins and for all life on Earth, even more fundamental to life than DNA or RNA (in fact DNA and RNA are simply codes for which amino acids to assemble in what order to construct proteins). Subsequent similar experiments have produced a wider array of chemical building blocks of life including the nucleotides from which DNA and RNA are composed, confirming these results.
  • Due to its similar color, LCL has occasionally been referred to by the western fanbase as TangWP, a citrus-flavored instant drink powder; "reverting to LCL" might be said instead as "(character) was Tanged", calling the process "Tangification", etc. This similarly stopped in Rebuild of Evangelion, where LCL has redder color in reference to blood.


  1. The LCL fluid inside of the Entry Plug is oxygenated, thus when Ramiel's energy beam strikes EVA Unit-01 in Episodes 5 and 6 and Shinji is being "boiled alive", you can see that the heat is causing all of the oxygen to bubble out of solution.