For anime buffs all around the world, Neon Genesis Evangelion is simply a must-see. But by the time you're done, you might be left with more questions than answers. Not to fear! There's a movie, too, called The End of Evangelion. Surely, that'll answer more questions, right? Well, not exactly. In fact, people have been trying to analyze this movie for decades now, and there are some areas where nobody has ever gotten a straight answer. This has given rise to a ton of strange, unique, and downright terrifying fan theories about The End of Evangelion.
One thing we know for sure is that both the show and the movie are steeped in religious commentary. Many End of Evangelion fan theories are centered around that. But there's even more to delve into. Between the Eva souls theory, deities, references to dating sims, and the inner workings of creator Hideaki Anno, you can be sure things are about to get weird.
So if you're a fan of conspiracy theories, particularly End of Evangelion conspiracy theories, then this list is for you.
One question fans have constantly asked since EoE first came out is: What in the bleeding world did Gendo say to Ritsuko just before he shot her? We know she calls him a liar, but what was he supposedly lying about? One theory, which actually holds quite a bit of water, is he tells her "I needed you."
Why this phrase? Because it pops up pretty much everywhere. It's the last thing Maya sees on her computer before dying. It's part of the name of the final chapter in the movie. Shinji suggests that everyone wants to be needed. To top it all off, in a final conversation with Gendo, Ritsuko tells her that he never expected or wanted anything from her to begin with. This would lead to her later calling him a liar for trying to claim otherwise.
One thing we all pretty much know at this point is that the Evas have human souls. Unit 02 is Asuka's mother, Unit 01 is Yui. This all leads to a pretty big question once the movie rolls around, namely concerning the souls of the mass produced lipstick-faced Evas. Who are they?
One theory simply states that these Evas do not have souls at all. They all use dummy plugs, which have no real souls in them, though they do use Rei and Kaworu's data. Ritsuko herself states that they cannot synthesize a human mind or soul entirely, so is this, perhaps, why they seem brainless? All that sounds well and good, but that just brings up the question of their A.T. Fields, which Kaworu claims come from the soul. If they have no souls, then how would these soul-less units have A.T. fields? Really, this theory raises more questions than it gives answers.
At the very end of the movie, we get a sense from Shinji, Rei, and Yui that if anyone with a soul chooses to return to the world, they can do so. Why, then, do only Shinji and Asuka show up at the very end? There's no straight answer to this, but one theory proposes the idea that Shinji and Asuka are actually Adam and Eve.
There's so much religious commentary and symbolism in this show and movie that this theory could almost be believable. Maybe, in order to bring people back, Asuka and Shinji have to physically repopulate the world. Could this be why Shinji could not bear to kill her, because he knew she would be the only other human he'd know for the rest of his life? The swirling souls in the sky don't exactly support this theory, though the two of them appearing alone together does make you scratch your head a little.
Considering it's pretty established that all the Evas have souls, particularly in the movie, there's one question that's never fully been answered: Whose soul is in Unit 00? We see in the movie that Asuka's mother is in Unit 02, and that Shinji's mother is in Unit 01. But the movie never tells us who is in Unit 00, or even suggests it.
One popular theory is that the Eva actually contains the soul of Ritsuko's mother, Naoko Akagi. This makes some amount of sense, considering that she died in the building after strangling Rei 1 to death. It's also supported by the fact that the Eva tries to kill Gendo, who was Naoko's lover, as well as Rei, more than once. A similar theory states that Rei 1's soul is in the Eva, but others claim all the Evas have the souls of mothers, which would mean Naoko is a logical choice.