WARNING: The next accommodates spoilers for Evangelion: 3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
From Asuka Langley-Shikinami being a clone to Gendo changing into the Closing Angel to Mari Illustrious-Makinami’s older-than-expected connection to NERV’s historical past, Evangelion: 3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time is full of enormous revelations concerning the characters followers thought they knew. Amidst all of the mind-blowing drama, one smaller revelation that has gone principally unremarked upon on the English-language web is the informal affirmation that Rei Ayanami is someplace on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.
The reveal happens a little bit over an hour and two minutes into the two-and-a-half-hour movie when Fuyutski is making ready for the Fourth Influence. In these preparations, he remarks upon “The resurrection of the Advanced Ayanami series, untainted life forms made with pure souls free of sexual distinction.” The Japanese phrase translated as “free of sexual distinction,” “雌雄 も なく” (“shiyuu mo naku”), may also be translated extra straight as “without sex.”
What this particularly means for Rei Ayanami is up for some interpretation, however all interpretations would place her as one letter or one other within the LGBTQIA+ acronym. If Fuyutski is speaking about bodily intercourse, then this implies Rei is intersex (with outstanding feminine-coded secondary sexual traits). If he is speaking about gender, then Rei is agender/non-binary. Whereas it could be extra of a attain, it is also inside the realm of risk that being “free of sexual distinction” might make Rei both pansexual or asexual.
It is value noting that Amazon’s translation for the Rebuild of Evangelion motion pictures is finished by Khara’s in-house translator Dan Kanemitsu, whose translation for Netflix of the unique Neon Genesis Evangelion TV collection impressed controversy over arguably minimizing Kaworu’s canonical queerness. For Rei’s queerness to be said comparatively straight, in that context, is significant.
Some may say that Fuyutski is simply speaking concerning the “Advanced Ayanami” clones as being distinct from different variations of Rei Ayanami, however bodily the Superior Ayanamis seem like indistinguishable from the others (at the very least earlier than the distorted Further Influence Ayanamis, who aren’t straight said to be the Superior ones addressed by Fuyutski). Each variations of Rei Ayanami who’ve been primary characters in Rebuild of Evangelion, particularly the clone audiences have come to know and love all through 3.33 and the primary hour of 3.0+1.01, are so disconnected from human social norms that it makes good sense they’d not relate to norms of gender and sexuality.
Making Rei Ayanami canonically queer does match a typical pattern in fantasy and science fiction by which most queer illustration, notably non-binary illustration, is extra widespread amongst characters who’re at the very least partially non-human. The unlucky implications of this pattern are remedied in Evangelion‘s case by the presence of great queer human characters. Shinji’s bisexuality is much more specific within the Rebuild movies than within the unique collection. Maya Ibuki remains to be a lesbian. Along with these canonically confirmed characters, there’s additionally heavy bisexual subtext in flirty scenes between Mari and Asuka. And, in fact, real-life queer folks have been instrumental in Evangelion‘s success; the brand new movie’s ending would not be half as transferring with out the closing track by non-binary singer Utada Hikaru.
All 4 Rebuild of Evangelion movies are streaming worldwide on Amazon Prime Video.