You are on page 1of 13

EoE Final scene explained and connected to EoTV G.W.F Hegel.

Postby zlink64 Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:50 pm


Intro:
I am not interested in discussing my interpretation of the meaning of the final scene; by meaning
I mean things like moral, themes, symbolism, or parts of character arcs. I am very satisfied in
general with the conclusions that the EVA community has reached for me on that front. What I
will be talking about specifically is exactly how and why Shinji choked Asuka, in those exact
moments and how EoE Final scene is directly related to EoTV.
As of now it seems to me that most people accept thematic/symbolic(correct/strong)
interpretations of the scene combined with the Drama card and/or a variation of Shinji is
crazy/traumatized/etc because of instrumentality and/or pre-instrumentality. But there is a
disconnect. Even if Shinji being Crazy/Traumatized is true, it does not adequately explain his
actions. It takes too much for granted. For example, God created man because she was crazy. I
can say God did this because she is crazy but I wouldn't be truly explaining why she did it. The
drama card on the other hand does explain what Shinji is doing and why, but it is extremely
vague and as result forces us again to fill in the gaps with a variation of Shinji is
crazy/traumatized/disturbed.
So with that being said I'm going to try to explain exactly what is going on through Shinji's head
by examining and interpreting the final scene and then further strengthen my interpretation of the
final scene by comparing it to EoTV ep 26 while I analyze Eotv EP 26. I will make reference to
Hegel G.F's Master/Slave essay. Hegel is paramount to this in the same way Freud is paramount
in understanding psychology in Evangelion; you understand Hegel, then you will understand the
Final scene entirely as far as what is literally going on between Shinji and Asuka.
Note: I'm like 99 percent sure I'm right about Hegel's influence on Evangelion's endings. Only
99 because unless Anno outright says "I used Hegel" I could be wrong. This is a long post but I
promise it will be mildly convincing, or at the very least persuasive or at the very very least
interesting, if you get to the end and think about it. Feel free to tell me I don't make sense or
making a mistake or sound 100 percent wrong. I want criticism for the sake of this
interpretation's validity and my own sanity; I need to know. Just read what I am saying first.
Stuff I reference: Hegel's Master/Slave essay, EoE Final scene , drama card and ending of
EoTV 26 (11:20-14:17) . I'll put links for Hegel's stuff here but you don't need to read it
immediately. Since I don't expect anyone to actually read Hegel unless they are forced to, lmao,
here is the sparks notes: http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/hegel/section2.rhtml If you do
wanna read the essay directly look for a pdf of "The Phenomenology of Spirit" online and go to
the Master&Slave chapter/paragraphs 178-196. Do not skim read this. It is abstract and arduous
reading but very rewarding once you begin to really grasp it and how it relates to EVA. Now I'll
start:

EOE and Hegel:


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 Asukas neck. To feel the existence of an other. To confirm (make sure
of) rejection and denail -drama card
Analysis: The drama card implies that Shinji fundamentally needs another person to confirm
his existence because if he were alone it would be impossible for him to confirm the existence of
rejection and therefore his identity/reality;instrumentality. So the implication here is that two
people are required to know of and confirm oneself. This will all relate to Hegel.
If you read Hegel's Master-slave section of his book,it's not about slavery, it explains what
happens when two consciousness meet for the first time. The description Hegel gives of this
event is almost exactly the same as the Final scene/drama card description, minus Rei. Hegel
says that in the beginning a consciousness isn't self aware and is in a state similar to what
Evangelion calls "instrumentality". When a consciousness becomes aware and meets another
consciousness the two consciousness have to fight to the death to prove their existence by
negating the other but the winner has to stop before killing the loser otherwise they loss their
proof. The proof being the other consciousness recognition. So the 2 consciousness' very much
need each other. *It has to be to the death because death only has meaning to consciousness;
more on this in EoTv ep 26 section.
Reading it is a bit weird because in real life its hard to imagine 2 consciousness/people needing
to fight to the death to prove their existence and even harder to imagine 2 consciousness that
aren't really self aware before the fight but in Evangelion, because of all the fictional stuff that
has happened to Asuka and Shinji, they made it all work. So basically what I'm saying is that
Anno stole/was inspired by the scene Hegel describes in his essay and decided to incorporate it
into his ending of Evangelion.
Note: At this point I have only just notice that the physical actions of the Final Scene happen to
match Hegel's work, albeit perfectly, and that the drama card and Hegel also happen match up. I
will use Eotv to further prove that this is more than just a similarity and to in fact try and prove
that the Final Scene is Anno's animated and literal interpretation of Hegel's ideas on selfconsciousness.
The reasons I think this Heglian interpretation of the Final scene is good/strong, aside from what
I wrote above and what I will mention below in the EoTV section, is because:
1) It does not contradict the drama card or the actual scene; in fact it matches it perfectly. So if
you believe the drama card, this further supports that belief. In addition Hegel gives the drama
card/scene deeper meaning and explanation because then the drama card/Final Scene isn't only
about Shinji checking to see if rejection exist but also about Shinji and Asuka recognizing that
they need each other in a very fundamental way.

2) If you are in the boat that interpret the final scene as having something to do with Asuka and
Shinji learning to accept each other then a Hegelian interpretation of the scene further supports
your interpretation because it does not contradict it and Hegel's entire idea of self-consciousness
coming into existence (like coming out of instrumentality) is dependent on two
consciousness(people) recognizing each other ,through negation (rejection), and then accepting
each other because they need each other to be true self-consciousness(fully realized people). So
Hegel's ideas matches literally with the scene and thematically with Shinji and Asuka's character
arc and the themes/ideas that are commonly associated with interpretations involving Shinji and
Asuka accepting each other to any degree and/or accepting each other in combination with
rejection(disgust).
3)Title: One final I need you. The title obviously can be referring to multiple things at the same
time but it also fits nicely with Hegel since he is all about self-consciousness recognizing and
needing another self-consciousness to have any meaningful existence or to even exist in the first
place.
4) It further connects EoE to EoTV. I'll explain this further but basically I think that the end of
episode 26,specifically ,11:20-14:17 and Final scene are communicating the same exact thing to
the viewer. Like EoE is a physical and literal adaptation of Hegel's idea on self-consciousness
while EoTV run/reads almost like a sparks notes version of Hegel's idea on self-consciousness.
So if you think both endings are in agreement then this is just one more example of how they are
similar/same event. Note: Not saying they are exactly the same event only that they are directly
related. It could or could not be the same exact event.
Instrumentality:
I'm gonna talk a bit about Instrumentality and the Eotv 26 as a whole first. Sorry if anything I say
sounds off topic or redundant or obvious to you EVA experts but I wanna be clear and it is
relevant. Once' I'm done I'll go on to analyze episodes 26 art/dialogue to show how it relates to
Hegel/EOE specifically. So, anyway:
Instrumentality is similar to the Buddist idea of oneness. The idea of leaving your identity behind
and becoming one with everything; in instrumentality's case dropping your AT field and
becoming one with everyone. Here I would allow myself some freedom of speculation in regard
to Hegel's ideas and Buddism and Instrumentality and Evangelion since this is a show and not a
strict philosophy book or some psychology textbook or religious text and as a viewer there are
certain times I'm allowed to randomly speculate to a certain degree; this being one of them:
What Hegel describes as an unaware consciousness sounds a lot like Buddism/instrumentality's
idea of oneness. By that I mean if we were to imagine the experience of Hegel's state of
consciousness prior to it becoming true self-consciousness, a state of raw and unaware
consciousness, and compare it to what we would imagine the Buddist/Instrumentality's idea of
losing identity/ATfields and becoming one with everything/everyone, we would essentially
imagine the two experiences as the same thing. In other words there is no experiential
difference between being 1 single unaware consciousness or 1 super unaware consciousness
made up of conglomerate of unaware consciousness(Basically what instrumentality is) as

far as we can tell.


Now Hegel is not a Buddist, in fact further reading of his work beyond the Master/Slave essay
seems to imply to me that he would think a return to nothing/oneness is bad or at least not
something he himself would want or promote. That being said I think Shinji, based off his
rejection of instrumentality, would agree with Hegel. Now the question is why would Shinji
agree. Well if we look at Hegel's ideas and then ask ourselves what is more alone then being a
single unaware consciousness then we would realize that nothing is. In fact it would be the
purist form of loneliness that could exist; anything less would basically equate to being nonexistence and on a practical level it is the same as non-existence. So the implication I'm making
is that instrumentality is also a very lonely experience since it is practically the same experience
as existing as 1 lonely consciousness despite being many consciousness'. It's as close to nonexistence as we could get. There's is a strong connection/similarity between the experience of
non-existence and pure aloneness which is unaware consciousness.
So it can be true that instrumentality brings everyone together to a state of oneness but the claim
that it fills the holes in people hearts by complementing each other is matter of perspective. By
that I mean it is a philosophical/metaphysical opinion/view or attitude. The experience/feeling of
a being in instrumentally could just as easily be interpreted/experienced by an individual in
instrumentality as turning people into one giant hole instead of filling the holes in people's heart.
So basically what I'm trying to say is that Shinji realized what I imagine what Hegel would think
about something like instrumentality. That the experience of instrumentality practically
amounts to the same experience of being alone to the highest degree of the meaning of alone
and/or non-existence. The very same alone that Shinji has been trying to avoid in the first place.
Instrumentality is a super ironic option for Shinji from this point of view and not at all what he
wants.
EoTV:
Now most of us would agree that episode 26 is Shinji in instrumentality at least up until the
congratulations scene. And because of budget problems they went for the minimalist approach
with the episode. But aside from the budget, that art could also be depicting Shinji's losing his
identity due to instrumentality. So, as the episode goes and the more simpler the art becomes then
the closer we are to Shinji becoming one to with everyone/complete instrumentality.The way the
art is losing properties that identify what it is, is how Shinji is losing the things that give him
individuality; his identity is losing its At Field like a drawing losing it's outline. I am going to
accept that interpretation. If you thinks it's wrong, that is okay. I only need you to agree in
general that Shinji is leaving insturmentality around/near the time I describe below. With that
being said lets look at the pics/frames because I would like pin point where exactly the Hegel's
Master/slave exchange begins and appears in ep 26 and how I think that relates to EoE.

The image in the middle, the whiteness is Shinji in full instrumentality/fully complemented;
oneness/nothingness. Everything before it is Shinji in the process of instrumentality and being
"complemented". The image after is the beginning of Shinji exiting instrumentality. We know
this because Shinji has a "feeling" experience and has regained his "outline" after the few short
pure white frames. He should absolutely not have an outline if he is truly "complemented". The
dialogue during and after this image is Shinji making sense of the real world after returning and
beginning Hegel's Master/Slave dynamic. This moment of exiting instrumentality is analogous to
the scene from EOE when Shinji says good bye to his mother and returns to real world; note the
similarity in the art. The mechanism by which he does this is through his consciousness' sheer
will and no special power. Shinji is not like Neo from the matrix or a dream warrior from
Nightmare on Elm Street:3 or any person with a special ability to escape dream like worlds. We
know its will alone because the show outright says so. The common confusion people have in
understanding this is in the definition of this "will". I will go into what "will" is after I analyze
the dialogue, since, it is a bit off topic but I'll say right now that Anno's use of the word is very
close to becoming like philosophical jargon. Lol it's NGE jargon.
Shinji: What is this? A world of nothing. A world with nobody in it.
Other Shinji voce: This is a world perfect freedom.
Shinji: Freedom?
Other Shinji voice: Perfect Freedom, a world in which you have no restriction.
Shinji: Is this really Freedom?
Other Shinji voice: Yes. This is what it is.

Rei: However this world has nothing in it.


Shinji: Unless I do something.
Misato: Right, unless you do or think of something.
Shinji: But I don't know what to do or think of.
Rei: He is uncertain.
Asuka: He has no self image to orient himself.
Analysis: This is why Shinji's consciousness in not true self-awareness yet despite already being
in the process of leaving instrumentality. His consciousness is alone and not properly aware of
it's surroundings. He is exactly like the non aware consciousness that Hegel talks about in his
essay. The few lines before and after this are also talking about the relationship between
consciousness and objects separate from itself. Will expand on this below. Note: "Perfect
freedom" is an abstract concept. Most likely/basically it just means that consciousness is not
being limited by it's general awareness and its awareness of the things around it.
Hikari: There's nothing solid here.
Misato: It is a world where there is no obstacles. No anything.
Ryouji: This is a world where you can do anything you wish.
Misato: And Yet, you are still afraid aren't you.
Fuyutsuki: Don't you know what it is that you want to do?
Shinji: What should I do?
Gendou: Let me give you a restriction.
Asuka: There, Now you have a top and a bottom.
Analysis: Shinji is being given objects; object being things that are separate from Shinji. But for
Hegel this is not enough and Shinji is about to realize it too. Hegel believed that his
peers/predecessors had a misconception about self-consciousness, that self-consciousness was
self-evident because it was separate and different than the objects(things) around it; that it's
existence could be deduced. Hegel on the other hand believes that self-conscious was a thing that
was actually generated through it's interactions with other things and not simply something that
exists self-evidently. But objects alone are not enough for this generating process; 'the other' is
needed. So for example I think therefore I am according to Hegel does not prove self-awareness.
If that is hard to understand think of it like this. Shinji is currently literally experiencing the
phenomenon of I think therefore I am and is still unable to identify himself as himself.
Rei: But you have lost one degree of freedom.
Misato: You may no longer fly. You must stand upon the earth.
Ryouji: But Now you feel easier don't you.
Makoto: Because you have less to trouble your mind.

Shigeru: And now you can walk.


Maya: This is happening because you will it to be.
Shinji: Is this my will?
Analysis: Given what we've understood so far it seems very likely that the literal meaning of
theses lines is that it is the will of Shinji's consciousness to perceive the objects around him and
not to literally create the objects in the way one would normally assume by the meaning of the
word will; he is not god like. This seems abstract but it is paramount to understand that raw
consciousness (not self-consciousness; Shinji is not there yet) has to will itself on very basic
level before it can proceed to do anything; things like feeling, recognizing, understanding, etc.
This creation is actually and literally really the consciousness' "will" to perceive. This moment is
analogous with Shinji walking around on the beach/general area alone during the final scene, the
beach and the line are similar; This is a kind of Limbo, more explanation on this below. It is
paramount to "get this" to deeper understand why Shinji is so extremely confused/unsure
about actual reality in the EOE final scene. Hopefully when I explain "will" later on what I am
trying to say will make more sense.
Ritsuko: This world where the floor is the only thing around yourself.
Touji: But now, you can move around anywhere you wish with in it.
Kensuke: You could even turn the world upside down if you wanted to.
Hikari: And your perspective within the world is constantly changing.
Ryouji: It changes with the passage of time.
Fuyutsuki: You can change yourself as well.
Gendou: Because The things that form your shape is your mind and it's interaction with the
world that surround you.
Ritsuko: you can do anything here because this is your world..
Misato: This is the shape of your reality.
The word Reality is repeated and The sound of effect of "reality" is altered here and
sounds weird/scary.

Analysis: The scary sound effect signifies the very scary realization that Shinji is about to have
about what it means to be a single consciousness; a single consciousness is incapable of proving
it's self-awareness/reality even if it has objects that let it know it exist as a separate thing from
everything else.
Shinji is no longer fully unaware(instrumentality/complemented) because of his consciousness'
"will to perceive" but he can not be sure of his experience; he is experiencing a Limbo,
between reality and instrumentality, like phenomenon. This limbo like feeling is what
Shinji feels while he explores the beach before Asuka's arrival in the final scene. So all this
"my world" stuff is bad in relation to consciousness.

Shinji: What is this? A empty space? An empty world? A world where nothing exist but myself.
But with only myself I have nothing to interact with. It as if I'm here but not here at all. It
as if I'm slowly fading out of existence.
Analysis: This is the realization I mentioned. Shinji's is repeating exactly what Hegel is
saying about self-consciousness while he lays on the white floor. And this realization is what
Shinji is thinking/experiencing while he lays on the beach. And this frame is analogous to
the imagery of Shinji laying on the beach; the shadow let us now he is against the floor. Also
notice how white the beach is, it is extremely similar to the white space in EoTV. Here is a
Hegel quote for you to think of and compare with the dialogue:
Hegel: "Self-consciousness exist in and for itself when, and by the fact that, it so exists for
another; that is, it exists only in being acknowledged."
Misato: Because only you are here.
Shinji: Only myself?

Misato: Without others to interact with you cannot truly recognize your own image.
Shinji: My own image?
Misato: That's right. In the act of observing others you may find and recognize yourself.
Asuka: Yourself imagine is restrained by having to observe the barriers between yourself
and others.
Rei: And yet you you cannot see yourself without the presence of others.
Analysis: This is exactly what Hegel is saying. This dialogue here and right after is basically the
sparksnote version of Hegel. The various double imagery is analogous with Asuka and Shinji
laying next to each other on the beach. Both these moments from the movie and EoTV are trying
to convey the importance of 2 consciousness in this process. And in addition notice the symmetry
in the imagery from both endings. For Hegel you are only self aware through the recognition of
another. So your self-awareness, according to Hegel, is based off your perception of the others
perception of you; the self-awareness/Master&Slave process is a reflective/mirror like process
where you see yourself in the other.
Again notice how white the beach looks. It could almost be a part of EP 26. By comparing the
white beach imagery with Ep.26's dialogue and its use of white space we can see that the beach
represent the void of existence experienced by 2 non aware consciousness(raw consciousness).
The beach implies through the art that Asuka and Shinji are literally 2 consciousness' that are
floating around in the void of existence(the world/everything) and have yet to truly identify
themselves as themselves/become self-aware. The white space of EoTV and the white beach of
EOE represent the same thing and are trying to convey the same ideas/feelings to the audience.

Shinji: Because there are others I can perceive myself as an individual. If I am alone The I
will be same as with out others. For if this world is only of me then there will be no
difference between me and nothing.
Misato: By recognizing the differences between yourself and
others, you establish your identity as your self.
Analysis: Like I said earlier this is exactly Hegel is saying. So lets exam the imagery that runs
during this dialogue. We have Shinji's face and it's distressed. It is strange because so far the
dialogue seems like it's going in a "positive" direction; in relation to self-consciousness he is
getting closer. But Shinji is making another terrifying realization that is not being explicitly
stated through the Dialogue but is being expressed by his facial expression. The realization that
all of this requires that he and the other consciousness negate/reject each other
completely(recognize the differences) and fight to death. The fear of death being the only thing
that can possibly give this process any meaning because it validates the consciousness as being
more than just an object that is simply existing. So in other words self-awareness requires
pain/fear/struggle. Shinji must feel this fear and struggle in order to know he is selfconsciousness. Any hope of experiencing anything else, for example love, in the future is
completely dependent on this moment since it gives rise to true self-consciousness. This moment
is analogous to the moment when Shinji decides to get up and strangle Asuka. Here is quote for
you to compare with art and dialogue:
Hegel: "They must engage in this struggle, for they must raise their certainty of being for
themselves to truth, both in the case of the other and in their own case. And it is only
through stalking one's life that freedom is won; only thus is it proved that for self-consciousness,
its essential being is not [just] being, not the immediate form in which it appears, not its
submergence in the expanse of life, but rather that there is nothing present in it which could
not be regarded as a vanishing moment, that it is only pure being-for-self."

Rei: The very first other person is your mother.


Asuka: Your mother is a different individual.
Analysis: This is a practical expression of Hegels abstract Master&Slave idea/image. The first
other is the mother because when a baby is born their mother is first other consciousness they
come in contact with. In the EOE/Final scene the first consciousness Shinji sees is Asuka and her
response to him is Yuri's signature hand caress. Eotv mentions the mother while EOE gives
Asuka a motherly Motif. Also there is much symbolism through EoE that connects
Instrumentality with birth. When Shinji "awakens" in the LCL sea it is very analogous to birth.
Shinji can be reasonably interpreted to have experienced a birth/rebirth after instrumentality.
Shinji on the beach is like a newborn baby in terms of consciousness. And Asuka is being used
symbolicly as a stand in for Shinji's mother since she is the catalyst/"the first other" in all this.
Also notice that Asuka's actions are being directly compared to motherly love in EOE. This is
important because it brings Shinji's character arch full circle and shows us that Anno believes
that the ideas of self-consciousness/self-identity and love are closely related if not the same
thing. Towards the end of EoTv's ending Shinji's character flaw(his insecurity and fear of people)
is directly explained to the viewer. They say that Shinji's character flaw came to be because he is
not used to being liked and never learned to deal with what others feel about him. Like Asuka
this kind of character flaw most likely came to be because Shinji never received unconditional
and reassuring love from his mother. Since Shinji didn't get this reassurance early in his
childhood development he develop his insecurities/character flaws. By comparing Asuka's
affection with motherly love Anno is showing the viewer that Shinji is finally getting "the
reassurance" that he has been missing his entire life from Asuka. This relates to Hegel because
the entire point of the master/slave dynamic is for consciousness to reassure their identity
through another individual; this is why they need the "other". The act of reassuring your
identity and receiving "reassuring love" as a child/in life are being compared and
intertwined by Anno. F.W.I: Not saying Asuka is his mother, their relationship is without a
doubt sexual in nature, only saying that Asuka's love is filling a hole for Shinji that was left
behind by Yui's death. Very Freudian lol. Asuka and Yui's love are not exactly the same but share
very strong similarities for Shinji. Note: It is interesting that Asuka and Rei got these lines in
EoTV.
Important: This is the point where you can make your own opinion on the meaning of this/
My opinion/Analysis: Asuka's hand caress moment and Disgust is extremely interesting because
in way we are getting Anno's interpretation of Hegel's Master & Slave conflict. Hegel ends the
conflict with the Master allowing the Slave to live and he goes on to describe the relationship
between the two and explains that it is the slave that will ultimately benefit because he achieves
true self-consciousness while the master never becomes true self-consciousness/fully realized,
read Hegel yourself for more details; there is hope here for the master, I will get to it. So now we
should think about what it means for Shinji to be the Master and Asuka the Slave since that kind
of relationship is only fulfilling to a mother and baby; mother/slave becomes true-selfaware/fully realized through the baby/master. If we look closer at what is going on between
Shinji and Asuka in the final scene we will realize Shinji is not the only master. Shinji and Asuka
take turns. Shinji rejects Asuka(strangle) and then Asuka accepts/submits to him(caress), then

Asuka rejects Shinji(Disgust) and presumably Shinji will accept/submits to Asuka afterward.
Point being that there is an exchange going on between them. Hegel never explicitly states how
the master can achieve true consciousness like the slave and only describes the relationship from
one angle in his essay. Hegel just leaves the reader to sort out the implications of what he is
writing themselves. One possible implication being that the master and slave can only both
achieve true self-awareness at the same time through mutual respect and recognition. They do
this by taking turns and switching roles the way we see Asuka and Shinji do in the Final scene.
So the most optimal form of the Master-slave relationship is an extremely reciprocal relationship.
And eventually in this kind of relationship loving yourself literally means loving the other
because you love yourself through them the same exact way you achieve true self-consciousness
through the other. And most people would say that a reciprocal relationship made up of two
fully realized individuals(2 True self-conciousness') is a relationship made up of true love.
The final scene is about true love. AsukaXShinji shipper for life. It is beautiful because it is
true love being reciprocated between two equal and fully realized self-consciousness unlike
the one sided true love that a mother/slave/true self-awareness has for her
baby/master/false self-awareness.
Shinji: Right. I am I and she is she. But are you really sure that the perception of other
forms my true self.
Misato: It's true Shinji Ikari.
Asuka: Has it taken you this long to realize that. What an idiot.
Anaylsis: Shinji is literally questioning Hegel's ideas before accepting them. I take Misato's
response as proof that Anno/Shinji agrees with Hegel's view on self-consciousness. Asuka's line
is likely directed at Anno himself, Shinji and the audience. The rest of ep 26 has a few more lines
related to Hegel but it is just repetition of what I've explained already and I do not think it
connects directly to the final scene so I am satisfied with stopping here. I do not think EoTV and
the final scene are necessarily the same exact event but it could be. I personally don't think it
matters since EoE is basically is a remake anyways but they are, in my opinion, without a doubt
depicting the same exact ideas and themes in relation to consciousness and Hegel and each
other(Final scene and EP 26 11:20-14:17) and love(true love?).
Note: The final scene is about "love" but I would not say "love" is the moral of the story/NGE. If
you take a step and look at the show as a whole ...I would say it's more like "Hope" is the moral
of NGE and all of this is Anno's justification for that Hope. At any rate this is off topic and just
my opinion.
Will:
The show/movie makes it very clear that will is what makes everything I've written about so far
even possible so I don't need to prove/define it. But it does directly relate to the master/slave
conflict and Anno's use of the concept can be very easily misunderstood so since it is appropriate
to mention it in this post I will. This is my understanding of what Anno means by "will",
specifically, the will to return from instrumentality:
Will: Think of the word "will" as "primordial will". The will of raw being/consciousness is deep
rooted. It is deeper than any psychological drive or surface level want or need. It is on the same

level as instinct, if not, then it is even deeper. This is why people in instrumentality still have this
will despite being reduce to physical nothingness and near non-existence(unaware
consciousness)/full non-existence. This will is what drive consciousness to go into a state of selfconsciousness, literally. So when Shinji "wills" himself from instrumentality it means that at his
deepest core the being that is known as Shinji demands to exist, in other words this will is there
even before Shinji is aware that he is Shinji. And based off the final scene, EoTV, and Hegel not
just exist but exist in relation to others. Misato foreshadows this idea of "primordial will" when
she tells Shinji that those with the will to survive deserve to live after Kaworu's death. The
reason it sounds so cold is because it sounds like she is talking about deserving to "suicide/die"
but the line is not strictly about suicide, it's about "The primordial will to live"; deserving to live
is a separate concept than deserving to suicide/die. Now imagine if someone asked you why a
rock doesn't deserve to live. The only way to answer that without being fallacist is to say that the
rock literally lacks the will to live. So this "primordial will" is like a force, phenomenon, a thing
consciousness just does even before it is self-awareness.
Example: If Kaworu were to switch spots with Shinji he would not have returned from
instrumentality because as Misato noticed he does not have the will.
"But I can also die here. Life and death are of equal value to me. Dying of your own will.
That is the one and only absolute freedom there is. " -Kawaru
Absolute freedom=non-existence=instrumentality
When Kaworu says "Dying of your own will" he does not mean only to choose to die, he means
a literal lack or lost of primordial will. Death and Life are equal because he lacks the fear of
death that is intertwined with "will". Kawaru recognized our "will" and basically decided we
deserved to live and not him so he let Shinji kill him. When he says humans live for the future
that is in reference to our will to exist.
Note/Speculation: Kaworu is an Angel and this is most likely why he has no "will".
Hypothetically, all humans should have the "will" that Shinji has. It makes humans human.