The End of Evangelion Has an Even Darker Unused Ending
Hands down, the End of Evangelion is sick. It’s a collection of uncontrolled teenage angst, adult dilemma, mental breakdowns, depressions, and lots of lots of insanities that will ruin your sunny day in a snap. I know it too well. I bought the DVD and watched it the next morning. By the end of the show, it felt like everything turned gray as my brain tried to digest what I saw. I mean I just said to myself “what the heck is that? It’s both depressing and gibberish!” This started my love-hate relationship with the Evangelion series, and I’m itching for the Rebuild series. I moved on, but flashbacks of that twisted End of Evangelion came rolling back when my friend whispered what he uncovered in an EVA forum.
There was an alternate ending, and it’s more twisted.
It rekindled my shaky relationship with the EOE, and out of curiosity I asked him. He just advised me to read it myself for “better effect.” I never knew what he meant, but out of curiosity, I consulted Google and found what I’m looking for in various wikis and forums.
The Official EOE Ending
I’m sure you all know it. It depends on the people though. For some it’s too notorious to forget. I could still see my shocked self after seeing the barely comprehensible ending. For others it’s a masterpiece. But then there are those who doesn’t care at all and completely moved on as it’s just another everyday cartoon. Nevertheless, the EOE carved itself a name among anime fans, be it through fame or infamy.
Enough talk! Long-time Eva fans surely knew this, but for the sake of newbies, let me make a recap. Shinji just rejected instrumentality, and he emerged from the sea of LCL. He then saw the creepy form of Rei, and Asuka appeared. Though he was calm when he came out from that sea of orange juice, he looked disturbed when he saw the heavily bandaged Asuka lying by his side. He then mounted Asuka and attempted to strangle her. The reason for this is not clear. It was generally accepted that he was checking if Asuka was real or just another illusion of Instrumentality. Asuka recoiled, but instead of an aggressive response, she caressed Shinji’s face, causing him to release his grip. Shinji then did what he was always good at, crying uncontrollably. Asuka then stared at the sky before uttering these words “disgusting” or “I feel sick” while looking at the crying Shinji.
Here’s a fact, the origin of the line was the result of Anno asking Yuko Miyamura on what she will say if a stranger broke into her house and do indecent stuffs. She replied “disgusting.”
And the rest was history.
There are Actually 2 Alternate Endings, And a Live Action Scene
And then we came to some endings that never made it. The so called “Last A” and the “Last B.” And as a bonus, we also have the unused live action sequences, which was used in theatrical trailer (the “Live Action Cut” of Episode 26).
First, let’s begin with the live action scene, played by Yuko Miyamura, Megumi Hayashibara and Kotono Mitsuishi. It’s an alternate continuity, set ten years after the events of Evangelion. In this world, it was as if the events never happened at all. Shinji does not exist here, and it began with Asuka waking up after a night of heavy drinking, with a man presumably Toji Suzahara.
Now next door was Misato doing her stuffs, which is drinking and watching TV as her two neighbors are having their moment. She then received a call from Ritsuko, and she overheard the neighbors. Misato and Ritsuko then had a conversation about human relationship. When Asuka left for school, she met Misato and had a bit of talk, causing Asuka to be late. At school, her upperclassmen advised her to dump her boyfriend, as there is nothing worse than a brooding man. Asuka then went home alone, and a mysterious voice called her. The voice was presumably Shinji, telling her “I’m not here.”
There is no mention of NERV nor Evangelion here. The clip never made it to the theatrical release.
The "Last A"
The live action sequence could have been a nice addition to the film. It will add dept, and further surrealism as it was shown in the real world.
Then, there’s the Last A.
This discarded ending is very similar to the official EOE ending. It had minor differences though.
Everything is familiar here. Again, we will see a beach of petrified EVAs and other stuffs in the official ending. It’s worth mentioning that the graves here are erected by Shinji as what Anno stated. The graves had all the names of Evangelion characters, except Rei.
We then see Asuka’s grave here, and Asuka’s foot kicked it. After that is another familiar scene of Shinji and Asuka lying on the beach. When Shinji started crying, Asuka said "Idiot No way I'll let you kill me.”
The only difference between the Last A and the official ending is Asuka’s last line. Anno felt it wasn’t ambiguous enough. Hence, we got the mysterious ending we knew today.
The Last B, the Darker Version
Now we arrive at the somewhat more disturbing ending, the “Last B.” It begins like Last A and the official EOE ending. Everything was the same, from Shinji emerging from the sea of LCL, to the petrified EVAs in the official ending. But the similarities end as Asuka never appeared here.
In the official EOE ending and Last A, we see Shinji with Asuka lying in the beach. He was not alone here. But in the Last B, Shinji was lying in the beach holding hands with someone. He then said that "I'll never see them again. It's better to think of it this way. I'm still alive, so I'll keep on living.” He squeezed the hand even harder, but Rei appeared, like what she did in Last A and the official ending.
And the shocker came.
Although Shinji thought that someone was with him, as he was holding a hand, he was alone. Turns out he was holding a severed white hand that Rei lost earlier in the film.
From the way I see it, the Last B presented Shinji as someone longing for a companion he never had. As if he was in a delusion that someone was with him. Had this ending was used, it will turn the whole Shinji saga into a “shoot the shaggy dog” (where the goals went unresolved, and the hero failed miserably). Anno might be the biggest troll, but we are thankful he never let this one get loose. The Evangelion saga was a mix of drama and psychosis, and I think Anno felt it was crazy enough without the Last B.