Episode 21

Evangelion ScreenshotJapanese Title: ネルフ、誕生 (NERV, Tanjou) (The Birth of NERV)
English Sub-Title: He Was Aware That He Was Still a Child
Airdate: February 21, 1996

Note: This article is based on the Director's Cut version of the episode, which contains several minutes of additional footage not found in the original on-air version.

15 Years Ago (2000) Antarctica...

Deep under the South Pole in Antarctica, inside a secret U.N. base, SEELE researchers are heard discussing the controversial S˛ Theory. Moments later the facility shakes violently while the blinding form of Adam, the First Angel, comes into view. The Second Impact had begun.

Evangelion ScreenshotPresent Time (2015) New Tokyo-3...

After a failed attempt to call Misato Katsuragi on the payphone, Ryoji Kaji holds up his NERV identification card, commenting this to be his last assignment, and its red, the color of blood. Later that day Misato is informed by NERV's Intelligence division that Vice Commander Kouzou Fuyutsuki is missing, and that their prime suspect is Kaji. Aware of their relationship, they ask for her cooperation, which includes her detention and surrender of her side arm.

Meanwhile Kouzou is handcuffed to a chair and being questioned by SEELE. Apparently, the council is unhappy with Gendo Ikari's management of NERV, particularly following the incident with Evangelion Unit-01 and Zeruel. Kouzou is surprised that it is SEELE itself rather than the Human Instrumentality Committee that had orchestrated his abduction. As they refer to him as Professor Fuyutsuki, his mind floods with memories...

Evangelion Screenshot16 Years Ago (1999) Kyoto...

Kouzou is talked into joining his students for a drink at a local bar when dean tells him about a young bio-engineering student named Yui Ikari, and asks Kouzou to take her on as a research assistant. Sometime later Yui introduces herself in person, and when asked about her plans for the future, she answers that she would like to consider a domestic life, possibly even children.

Eventually Kouzou is asked to bail Gendo Rokubungi out of jail, a student who had asked to be released into his custody. Kouzou's first impression of Gendo is that of distaste. The following autumn he is shocked to find out that Yui and Gendo are romantically involved. Privately he believes that Gendo's advances are motivated by Yui's talents and the organization backing her, an organization called SEELE.

Evangelion Screenshot13 Years Ago (2002) Ruins of Toyohashi...

Two years have passed since the Second Impact, and Kouzou is working as an unlicensed physician tending to the survivors of the incident. He is approached by a United Nations agent, and asked lead a provisional investigation of the incident.

Later that year Kouzou is on a naval vessel among the ruins of Antarctica, where he is reacquainted with Gendo Rokubungi—now Gendo Ikari. While surprised that Gendo and Yui are now married, Kouzou confronts Gendo about the fact that he works for SEELE, and wonders if his participation was only a way to give legitimacy to this investigation. He is also introduced to a young Misato Katsuragi, the sole survivor of the Katsuragi expedition. The child is in an isolation facility onboard the vessel, and while her physical injuries have since healed, her mind remains broken and retreated. She had not spoken in two years.

While Kouzou's investigation finds mysteries upon mysteries, including the existence of the Giant of Light and the White Moon, the United Nations issue an official statement, declaring the Second Impact to be caused by a meteorite striking Antarctica, thus ending Kouzou's official investigation. To Kouzou this is a blatant fabrication, and it becomes his personal mission to uncover the truth.

Evangelion Screenshot12 Years Ago (2003) Hakone...

A year after the announcement, Kouzou arrives at the Artificial Evolution Laboratory, where Gendo Ikari is Director. Kouzou confronts Gendo with evidence about the cover-up of the Second Impact, the involvement of SEELE and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and threatens to go public. Gendo is impressed, but does not attempt to stop him. Instead, he leads Kouzou down into the Geo Front, and after introducing him to Dr. Naoko Akagi, they head down into Terminal Dogma, where Gendo shows him the incomplete prototype of Evangelion Unit-00. Gendo then asks Kouzou to join him in creating a new genesis for mankind.

10 Years Ago (2005) New Tokyo-2...

Ritsuko Akagi, daughter of Dr. Naoko Akagi, meets Misato Katsuragi in New Tokyo-2 University. In a letter to her mother, Ritsuko explains that while most people keep their distance when they find out who she is; Misato is different, and that she has no such reservations. She also mentions that she used to be mute, but now talks constantly, as if trying to make up for lost time.

Evangelion Screenshot12 Years Ago (2003) Hakone...

Kouzou Fuyutsuki and Yui Ikari, with little Shinji Ikari also present, discuss SEELE and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Kouzou comments that if the scrolls are correct, the Third Impact will happen within another decade or so. Yui says that is why SEELE and Gehirn exist, to prevent the final tragedy. Kouzou replies it is her ideas he believes in, not SEELE's. He then goes on to say there is no reason for her to become a test subject. Yui replies that she does what she does for Shinji.

Evangelion Screenshot11 Years Ago (2004) Hakone...

Yui Ikari is killed during a contact experiment involving Evangelion Unit-01. Her son Shinji Ikari is also there to witness the incident. Privately Naoko Akagi admits she is happy that Yui died, for she herself had feelings for Gendo. She states in a letter to her daughter Ritsuko that Gendo Ikari had completely changed as a result.

Immediately following the incident Gendo Ikari goes missing for a week. Upon his return Kouzou explains that while he understands his grief, his life is no longer his alone. Gendo then informs Kouzou of his decision to support the mysterious Human Instrumentality Project.

7 Years Ago (2008) Hakone...

Ritsuko Akagi is officially accepted into Gehirn to be part of Project E. As she wanders through the maze of corridors that make up the facility, she arrives at the Command Center, where she finds Gendo Ikari and her mother Naoko Akagi kissing. For the first time she realizes the two are romantically involved.

Evangelion Screenshot5 Years Ago (2010) Hakone...

Gendo Ikari introduces Rei Ayanami to Naoko and Ritsuko Akagi. While Ritsuko welcomes the young child with a smile, Naoko secretly realizes that she resembles Yui Ikari. Naoko's efforts to find out more about Rei prove fruitless; all data concerning the child had somehow been deleted.

Soon after, Naoko's MAGI Super-Computer System is finally complete. The same night she encounters a lost Rei wandering into the Command Center. Naoko offers to help, but Rei refuses, instead calling her an old hag. Naoko says that the Director will spank her for saying such things, to which Rei replies that it is the Director who calls her that. Naoko realizes Gendo was using her, and in a fit of rage, strangles Rei. Upon realizing she murdered a child, she commits suicide by jumping from the control tower.

The next day Gehirn is dissolved by the Human Instrumentality Committee, with all of its resources and projects to be transferred to the newly created Special Duty Organization NERV.

Evangelion ScreenshotPresent Time (2015) New Tokyo-3...

Following SEELE's interrogation, Kouzou Fuyutsuki remains bound to a chair when the doors slide open. Ryoji Kaji enters, freeing him. Kouzou says that this act will likely result in his death, to which Kaji replies that SEELE will eventually find out that he had diverted the Adam sample to Gendo, and he has to start guarding his own interests.

Shortly after NERV's Intelligence Division returns Misato Katsuragi's firearm and ID, thanking her for her cooperation and explaining that the situation has been handled. Meanwhile Kaji is shot and killed by an unknown assailant.

A distraught Misato arrives home to find a recorded message from Kaji on her answering machine. He apologizes for everything he had put her through, and says that the truth is now with her. He then says that if he ever sees her again, he will say the words he could not eight years ago. The finality of the message causes Misato to break down in tears. Shinji, who was in the next room, could do nothing—for he was aware that he was still a child (title of the episode).

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July 11, 2014
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