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Analyzing a Few of Our Favorite Wild Evangelion Theories

Evangelion has plenty of crazy theories surrounding it

The final Rebuild of Evangelion movie is — fingers crossed — landing on March 8. That could change, but it seems like it’s for really real this time. And you know what that means… time to start wild mass guessing!

Throughout the history of the series and films, fans have formulated wild theories. Of course, the story lends itself to said theories, and there’s a non-zero chance some of these could come true. Which ones are you leaning toward? Which ones are you betting on? Or are you just holding on for dear life? Either way, here are a few we especially like.


The Four Asukas Theory

Asuka Langley

We talked about this one over the summer — the idea that our lovely Asuka Langley is anywhere from three to four separate people. And we’re not just talking the Sohryu/Shikinami differentiation. Some Evangelion fans believe that we switched Asukas even within the original television series. Moreover, they’re expecting another new Asuka in the upcoming final film.

How likely do we consider this one? Considering it leans heavily on a single piece of imagery in a non-canonical short… not very. But we still love the sheer over-the-top-ness of it. It would be a pretty on-brand move for Evangelion, admittedly.


Instrumentality is a Coping Mechanism

Shinji Ikari

Okay, we’re all a little weary of the “it was all in their head” theories, but this one is a little interesting. The idea that the endings of both Evangelion and End of Eva were all in Shinji’s head — that is, two wild coping mechanisms — isn’t the most unbelievable idea. In one case, we’ve got everyone congratulating him; in the other, a version of humanity where flaws no longer exist because everyone is close. (Well, one ascended existence, but you get it.)

It’s kind of reasonable for a lonely, abandoned, troubled kid to go that far in creating answers and escapes. As terrifying as Instrumentality would be, it’s also kind of on brand for Shinji in terms of weird “comfort.” Still, this is most likely an interesting parallel or metaphor. At this point, Eva is all in, and it’s unlikely that something as big as Instrumentality would be shunted off as a teenager’s fantasy.


Evangelion Takes Place Across Many Timelines

The end of everything

The most likely theory is also the most widely accepted one: that we’re operating on several timelines It’s all but puzzled together at this point, but a few pieces are still not quite clicked into place. The most helpful piece, though, is Kaworu: he sure looks to be our through-line across all the different Evangelion iterations. He knows Shinji from lifetime to lifetime (or at least appears to). And those coffins on the moon in the Rebuild films showed us early on that there’s even more to him than we already thought.

A similar theory says we’re operating on time loops within the same universe. Either way, there’s clearly something happening between the show’s many iterations. Will Hideaki Anno give us the answers we seek? We’ll know in a week’s time.

What theories are you currently musing on?

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.