|Episode 16 analysis comments|
It appears as if Shinji is in contact with his own subconscious during his introspection, however, it is actually the Angel, Leliel, who is making contact. Similar to how Arael and Armisael's contact with Asuka and Rei, the communication is seen as Shinji talking to a younger version of himself. In Tsurumaki's interview printed in the End of Evangelion Theatrical Program, he states the following about episode 16:
However, amidst the flow of the mysteries surrounding the Angels gradually being resolved, we decided to insert an episode where an Angel appeared to take an interest in humans. The first draft of the scenario was actually a dialog between Shinji and the Angel. However, we felt it would be too anti-climactic to have an Angel start talking like some pulp fiction alien (speaks while tapping his Adam's apple with his hand) "Your analog mode of thought is incorrect." So we came up with the idea actually used in this episode, which was to have Shinji converse with himself.
Also note that in the next episode, Seele interrogated Misato and considered the possibility of the Angel making contact with the pilot of Evangelion Unit-01.
Leliel's own striped appearance corresponds to little Shinji's striped shirt, very likely a hint at who Shinji is really speaking to.
Eva-01 is hosed down with high-pressure water to clean off the Angel's blood. The scene of the Eva bursting out of the Angel is evocative of birth; by extension, this scene evokes baptism, the symbolic washing away of sins after birth.
This is getting into some crazy esoteric shit now... I never would've connected that Eva bursting out of the Angel scene with baptism.
Rei is visibly concerned when Eva-01 and Shinji are sucked into Leliel, even questioning Misato's order to retreat. She is extremely annoyed with Asuka for berating Shinji, and even spends the night with him in hospital when Asuka waits outside, too embarrassed to be with him.
Rei and Yui utter the same line, "Sou, yokatta wa ne." Whether or not Rei has any of Yui's personality traits, this line underlines, in Shinji's mind, the eerie similarity between Rei and Yui. Since Yui's face is either in shadow or glare (The long-haired female form that embraces Shinji does not look like Yui), it is hard to see that Rei and Yui look practically identical. Nevertheless, Shinji has come to sense the connection between the two, one that proves of vital significance later.
hmm... yeah I can see the connection now. Although it's kinda weird that Rei is known as both "The First Child", and the symbol of Shinji's mother.