The Second Impact is a cataclysm which followed the "contact experiment" conducted on Adam in the South Pole on September 12, 2000. The awakened and injured Angel created a strong anti-AT Field which caused an explosion that melted the Antarctic ice cap and caused a shift of Earth's axis; climate changes and gigantic floods followed.
The cover-up story
Officially, there was no Adam and no "contact experiment." According to the cover-up, the Second Impact was caused by the impact of a meteorite that was too small (about 10 centimeters or 4 inches wide) and too fast (95% of the speed of light) to be detected. Fifteen minutes before its impact, it was sighted by the Mexican astronomer Ceimoa Nan.
As a result, more than two billion people in the southern hemisphere were immediately killed by the tsunami and rising water level caused by the melted ice. This was the worst disaster mankind had faced in recorded history.
Vast environmental damage and global climate changes resulted from Second Impact and the rise in global sea levels. These effects were worldwide, but during the series we are only shown the immediate changes observed in Japan, where the elevated sea levels have caused many old coastal cities to be submerged. Also, Japan has become a country of perpetual summer weather. A subtle hint of this throughout the series is that cicadas are frequently heard in outdoor scenes, even though they would normally only appear in Japan during summer months. Fuyutsuki alludes to this when he mentions first meeting Gendo Ikari when "this country still had seasons" (before Second Impact), and that the loss of the seasons was the worst that Japan had suffered.
Considering the ancient meteorite impact which created Earth's Moon to be the "First" Impact, the public at large officially dubbed this disaster the "Second" Impact in keeping with the cover-up story of a meteorite impact. Several NERV personnel (Ritsuko Akagi, etc.) know the true cause of the explosion but still refer to it as "Second Impact" for convenience.
Upheaval in the northern hemisphere
The nations of the Northern Hemisphere also suffered severe damage from the flooding and chaos ensued. Two days after the fall of the meteorite, on September 15, 2000, collisions between refugees sparked a war on the India-Pakistan border, and armed conflicts began all over the world. On September 20, a N-bomb was dropped on Tokyo and 500,000 people were killed. Until the Valentine Cease-Fire treaty was signed on February 14, 2001, hostilities continues all over the world. By the end of these events, the human population of earth was halved.
Transfering Second Tokyo
The Temporary Government of Japan gave up on restoring the Tokyo that had been destroyed by the N-bomb, and the decision was made to transfer the capital to Matsumoto City in Nagano. Construction on Tokyo 2 began in 2001, and development proceeded rapidly, and by early 2003, Tokyo 2 was fulfilling it's function as the capital. In 2005, a second transfer of authority was approved by Congress, and development of Tokyo 3 started.
The real story
In actuality, the "White Moon" of Adam had been discovered near the coast of Antarctica under Mt. Markham, and a NERV expedition was sent. The expedition then conducted activities that caused the Second Impact. Adam was fused with human DNA when he was pierced with the Spear of Longinus, causing Adam to generate an anti-AT Field. At this point, the Angel's Door of Guf (associated with Adam, as opposed to the human one associated with Lilith and the Black Moon) was opened, and any issuing Angels presumably destroyed. At this point, all life around him for some distance absorbed, Adam reverts to the Egg of Adam and a more manageable form from NERV's perspective. There were only two survivors: Gendo, who departed the day before, and Misato Katsuragi, who was put into an entry plug-like survival pod by her father. (It should be noted that the explanation provided above is from an unofficial guide written by Fujie, and the book, unlike other official source such as the red cross book and the official cards, are not recognized by Gainax, and therefore should only be treated as one of many explanations or speculations.)
It is suggested that some individuals unassociated with SEELE or its affiliate organizations became aware (or at least suspicious) of their cover-up, as demonstrated by Professor Kozo Fuyutsuki. It is assumed that most of these people were silenced in one manner or another by SEELE, although Fuyutsuki himself was recruited to Gehirn at the request of Gendo Ikari.
Notes and references
- ↑ pg 136 of Fujie 2004 cites "The DNA transplanted into Adam has also completed physical fusion." and "The spear, recover the spear." as evidence for this reconstruction as well as the general parallels with the 3rd Impact in End of Evangelion which was similar - albeit with Lilith instead of Adam.
- ↑ Fujie 2004 (pgs 135-137) points to the line "Commence the heat-extinguishing process as soon as the Doors of Gaffe open." as indicating that any produced Angels were to be destroyed, and that this explains why Kaworu Nagisa, who was born that day, was the last Angel.
- ↑ See Misato in Episode 15: "The Second Impact that took place 15 years ago was set off by human beings. But they did manage to keep damage down to a minimum by having Adam revert to the egg before the other Angels awoke."