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The second impact recorded by NERV's satellites

Second Impact (セカンドインパクト[?]) is a cataclysmic event which occurred before the events of Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Rebuild of Evangelion series of films.


The Second impact was the second of three major events taking place on Earth as a result of intervention by the First Ancestral Race. The event took place on September 13, 2000 as a result of the Contact Experiment conducted on Adam by the Katsuragi Expedition, led by Dr. Katsuragi. The experiment reawakened Adam, generating an explosion that melted the Antarctic ice caps and shifted the Earth's axis. The scientists subdued Adam, but they were only successful in limiting the damage and averting humanity's complete extinction. The resulting sea level rise, tsunamis, and armed conflicts eventually wiped out half of the human population, and had massive geopolitical implications for the nations of the Earth.

Neon Genesis Evangelion History

The Katsuragi Expedition

Billions of years later in Antarctica, a group of human scientists led by Dr. Katsuragi discovered the White Moon, Adam, and its Lance of Longinus. Dr. Katsuragi had theories about Super Solenoid engines that were, at the time, considered unserious and outlandish. Also part of the expedition was Gendo Ikari, and Dr. Katsuragi's teenaged daughter Misato.

The Katsuragi expedition was actually backed by a shadow organization known as SEELE, which had secretly dominated the governments of Earth for a millennium.

After excavating Adam, the Katsuragi Expedition planned a contact experiment that would merge human DNA with Adam. Gendo departed from Antarctica just before the experiment began.

The attempted merger reawakened Adam with cataclysmic results. The Anti-A.T. Field generated by the reanimated Seed of Life caused a massive explosion that eradicated all life in Antarctica. The scientists used the Lance of Longinus to subdue Adam and revert it to an embryonic state, but it was too late. The damage was done. The explosion shifted the axis of the Earth's rotation and melted the Antarctic ice caps. Before his death, Dr. Katsuragi placed his daughter Misato in an escape capsule. She was the sole survivor of the Katsuragi expedition.

Second Impact and its Aftermath

Sachiel swimming through the flooded streets of Tokyo.

The melting of the Antarctic ice caps caused tsunamis and a rise in sea levels, immediately killing more than two billion people in the Southern Hemisphere. While spared the immediate destruction experienced in the Southern Hemisphere, the nations of the Northern Hemisphere also suffered severe damage. Two days after Second Impact, on September 15, skirmishes between refugees led to a conflict between India and Pakistan that included a nuclear exchange between the two nations. On September 20, an N-bomb was dropped on Tokyo, killing 500,000 people. Fighting raged across the planet until the Valentine Cease-Fire treaty was signed on February 14, 2001. By the time the peace treaty was signed, half of the Earth's human population had been wiped out. Many coastal regions and islands were completely submerged by the rising oceans.

The disaster also had massive environmental and geopolitical effects. After decades of prosperity, the nations of Earth suddenly faced intense resource scarcity and massive refugee migrations. The immense changes wrought by the Second Impact led to the expansion of powers held by the United Nations. While many existing nation states—such as the United States, Japan, China, and Germany—continued to exist, the U.N. exercised a much larger role in the daily lives of human beings. The militaries of most of the planet's major nations were brought under the authority of the United Nations including the Japanese Strategic Self Defense Force. Unbeknownst to most of humanity, the United Nations became firmly under the control of SEELE.

In the aftermath of Second Impact and the resulting wars, the Japanese government abandoned any hope of restoring old Tokyo. Instead, the Japanese capital was moved to Matsumoto City in Nagano Prefecture, which was renamed "Tokyo-2." Construction of the new capital began in 2001 and by 2003, Tokyo-2 was functioning as the center of Japanese governance.

Even after the wars, the environmental effects of Second Impact remained. The shift in the Earth's rotational axis changed the way seasons experienced across the globe. In Japan, fall and winter disappeared, as the country was fixed in a perpetual state of summer. The singing of cicadas, long a hallmark of Japanese summers, became a year-long fixture.

The Post-Second Impact World

Unbeknownst to most of humanity, the United Nations was now under the control of SEELE, a secret organization that had dominated the governments of Earth for a millennia. In fact, SEELE had been behind the Katsuragi Expedition that led to the Second Impact. The cataclysm was not an accident, but intentional. Adhering the prophecies contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls, SEELE sought to reduce Adam to a more manageable embryonic state. This would help prevent contact between Adam and its progeny, the Angels, whose arrival fifteen years later was predicted by the Dead Sea Scrolls. SEELE decided to pursue this plan, despite knowing that its execution would kill billions of people and permanently alter the planet.

Under the influence of SEELE, a newly empowered United Nations created Gehirn, a special agency whose ostensibly purpose was to prevent a potential Third Impact. However, in reality, SEELE encouraged the creation of Gehirn in order to facilitate a future Third Impact. Their hope was that a Third Impact would lead to Human Instrumentality, a forced evolution that would merge every human being into a single, perfect life form. However, Instrumentality could only occur if the Angels were defeated. If the Angels were successful in merging with Adam or Lilith, humanity would face extinction before Instrumentality could be achieved.

At some point, Gehirn discovered both Lilith and the Black Moon. In order to prevent the Angels from coming into contact with either Adam or Lilith, Gehirn constructed a massive complex in and around the Black Moon. This included the Magi computer system, the GeoFront, and the fortress city of Tokyo-3. Gehirn also began "Project E," also known as the "Adam Revival Project," to build the giant Evangelions (with the exception of Unit-01) in the image of Adam. The Evangelions were designed to do battle with and defeat the Angels.

Once the Magi were completed in 2010, Gehirn was reorganized and rebranded as "Special Agency NERV," often referred to as NERV. In theory, NERV is under the direct supervision of the United Nations. In reality, it is an organ of SEELE dedicated to executing its plans for Human Instrumentality.

Under the command of Commander Gendo Ikari, NERV built five Evangelions: Unit-00, Unit-01, Unit-02, Unit-03, and Unit-04. Unit-03 was destroyed after it was possessed by Bardiel, the thirteenth Angel. Unit-04 was lost when NERV's Second Branch in Nevada disappeared. Only Unit-00, Unit-01, and Unit-02 saw combat against the Angels. Supposedly in cooperation with the Marduk Institute, NERV recruited and trained teenagers as Evangelion pilots, including Rei Ayanami, Asuka Langley Soryu, Shinji Ikari, Toji Suzuhara, and Kaworu Nagisa.

In accordance with the Dead Sea Scrolls, NERV eventually defeated the Angels. However, this victory was a costly one. Unit-00 was lost when its self-destruct system was used to defeat Armisael, the sixteenth Angel. Toji was severely injured when, while piloting Unit-03, his Evangelion was possessed by an Angel and was destroyed by Unit-01. Kaworu was killed by Shinji after he was revealed to be Tabris, the seventeenth and final Angel, masquerading as a human being.

When the Angels were finally defeated, only Unit-01 and Unit-02 remained on active duty. Rei was still adjusting to rebirth after her previous clone died defeating Armisael. After enduring a psychological attack by Arael, the fifteenth Angel, Asuka was reduced to a comatose state. Shinji was despondent and guilt-ridden because of his decision to kill Kaworu.

The Cover-up

The animation frame presenting the cover-up data.

Most of what was left of humanity was never told about White Moon, Adam, or the Lance of Longinus and were instead told that the Second Impact was caused by a meteorite in Antarctica. The meteorite was supposedly too small (about 10 centimeters or 4 inches wide) and too fast (95% of the speed of light) to be detected. Fifteen minutes before the impact, it was supposedly sighted by the Mexican astronomer Ceimoa Nan.

Some individuals unassociated with SEELE or its affiliates became suspicious of the cover-up, including Professor Kozo Fuyutsuki.

Their suspicion was more than warranted. In truth, the Second Impact was not an accident, but an intentional act by SEELE. Adhering to the prophecies contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls, SEELE sought to reduce Adam to a more manageable embryonic state. This would help prevent contact between Adam and its progeny, the Angels, whose arrival fifteen years later was predicted by the Dead Sea Scrolls. SEELE decided to pursue this plan, despite knowing that its execution would kill billions of people and permanently alter the planet. Gendo had purposefully left Antarctica just before the contact experiment began, knowing full well what its destructive results would be.

Rebuild of Evangelion History

Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

Second Impact in Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

How the Second Impact occurred in the Rebuild series is unknown, but there appeared to be four "Adams" during the event. During the start of the Third Impact in Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance the event is described as a "continuation of the Second Impact." The implications are unknown, as there was an explosion during the Second Impact, but no explosion during the Near Third Impact.