Shin Seiki Evangelion - 21: The Birth of NERV

Title:Shin Seiki Evangelion
Episode:21: The Birth of NERV
Misato learns that Fuyutsuki has been abducted, probably by Kaji, and, as Kaji's lover, she is also a suspect. Under interrogation by SEELE, Fuyutsuki relates how he first met Ikari Yui and Gendo, and his first impressions of them. "It was generally believed that the real object of his overtures to Yui was her talent and the support of the organization backing her" Fuyutsuki recalls. "According to rumors, that organization was called SEELE". Fuyutsuki continues with the story of his growing suspicion about Gendo, SEELE, and the Second Impact. "It became my goal to find out the truth behind this incident" he explains. He confronted Gendo, threatening to go public with what he'd learned about SEELE, the Second Impact and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Gendo responded by revealing the true nature of "Project E"--including Eva 00, "our system prototype". "Fuyutsuki", Gendo declared, "let us create a new genesis for mankind, together"...
"Not the committee, but SEELE itself" --Fuyutsuki

"I don't like the way it (SEELE) manipulates the committee by force" --Fuyutsuki

Should I understand by this point exactly what SEELE is (because I don't)? Did it exist even before the Second Impact? If so, why? At one point Fuyutsuki accuses Gendo of knowing in advance when the Second Impact was going to happen, and conveniently leaving Antarctica just in time to save himself and precious data files. Had the Dead Sea Scrolls already been interpreted before the Second Impact? Was SEELE created to take whatever action was deemed best to deal with the upcoming calamity?

[Devil Doll: SEELE existed before the Second Impact, they are the people who decoded the Dead Sea Scrolls (long before the new millennium) and planned the scenario to "complement" humanity, for which they hired Yui. The Committee was established by the U.N. to investigate the events of the Second Impact but SEELE managed to keep all relevant information to themselves, except for Fuyutsuki's discoveries - but he then joined GEHIRN, hired by Gendou. Yui wasn't part of the Antarctic excursion because she was already pregnant with Shinji.]

"Creating a new god is not on our agenda" --SEELE

"By incorporating the S-2 Unit into itself, it has achieved it's ultimate form. Evangelion Unit 01! A supreme being which we created. What blasphemy!" --SEELE

"Man must not create gods. He can't possess such power!" --SEELE

"This is a prototype of a god!" --Fuyutsuki

People sure are uptight about the creation of "gods" and committing blasphemy. The definition of the word seems to be somewhat different in Japan than in the West--there can be multiple gods, for one thing. Does SEELE fear that whatever entity has dispatched the Angels will take offense at the creation of beings which ordinary humans are likely to hold in the same sort of awe as gods?

[Devil Doll: Both SEELE and NERV create their own way of causing the Third Impact, and thus each of them possesses the god-like ability to decide the fate of humanity. Once EVA-01 has its own S-2 engine it isn't under full control any more (which actually decides humanity's fate during the events of EOE), and being able to cause the Third Impact it is a "god", under the control of Shinji.]

What is the "Giant of Lights"? Was that the name Adam was known by when it first appeared in Antarctica?

[Devil Doll: Yes, as Adam expanded into this form during the Second Impact. This is shown explicitly in the Director's Cut version of episode 21.]

"SEELE and a man named Keel were behind this artifice" --Fuyutsuki

Who is Keel? Does it matter? The credits have been listing someone named "Kiel", but I assumed he was one of the NERV Command Center technicians.

[Devil Doll: It is a good rule of thumb to assume all villains in anime are German, thus "Kiel" would be the logical spelling. (See Rahxephon, Silent Mobius, Aika for other examples.) And Evangelion is full of German notes and references (just watch Asuka's fight during episode 22 in single frame mode). Kiel Lorenz (note the Japanese order of surname coming first, as "Lorenz" would be a given name in German while "Kiel" is a large seaport in Northern Germany) is the leader of SEELE (but this fact is only known to the "inner circle" although Kiel's face appears in the newspaper reports about the Second Impact). At least half of Kiel's body is cybernetic.]

"A freak accident wiped her (Yui) from this existence" --Ritsuko's mother other words, she was "absorbed" by Unit 01, just like Shinji later would be? Which is why he can "synchronize" so well with that Eva? If Rei is a clone, was the woman she was cloned from likewise absorbed by Unit 00?

[Devil Doll: Yes, both incidents are related, that's why Ritsuko can make use of the data recorded by her mother Naoko to develop a procedure to salvage Shinji. And yes, the synchronization works between mother and child. Rei is the product of the failed attempt to salvage Yui, so she has genetic material from Yui, so technically she's part Shinji's mother, part Shinji's sister; note that Shinji subconsciously becomes aware of this when watching Rei clean the classroom. But the difference between both events is that Yui was absorbed because EVA-01 had to be occupied by a human soul (like every EVA does) while Shinji was absorbed because he tried to run away from reality. Which woman's soul occupies EVA-00 is an unresolved mystery of this series. Naoko is mistaken about the "freak" nature of the incident: Yui knew what she was doing, as we're shown at the end of EOE.]

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