16 years ago today (March 13 1996,) episode 24 of Neon Genesis Evangelion—The Beginning of the End, or "Knocking on Heaven’s Door"—aired for the first time in Japan as 最後のシ者 (Saigo no Shishya). In English, this translates to 'The Final Messenger.'

There was a lot of information revealed in this episode. We find Asuka in appalling conditions after her mental breakdown, the final pieces to the true nature of Rei, and the ‘forbidden knowledge’ delivered to us by the final angel Tabris, disguised as NERV’s newest pilot Kaworu Nagisa.

At the peak of Shinji’s loneliness, he becomes close to the new pilot, and they share a mutual interest in each other. Just when he thinks he has finally made a true friend, Kaworu initiates an attack against NERV to reach Adam, whom he discovers is actually Lilith. He gives Shinji two options: To let the third impact happen, or to grant his final wish to die at the hands of his friend.

After the deed is done, Shinji is left even more isolated than before. 'The beginning of the end' indeed… not merely to the series, or even to the world itself—this episode marks the beginning of the end to Shinji’s grasp on any kind of hope left in this world. The more he reaches out, the more he is denied. The more he lets people in, the more painful it is when they inevitably leave him.

Aside from the hints at a more-than-friendly relationship between the two, the real mystery to Kaworu’s relationship with Shinji is whether or not those emotions were a weapon to sever Shinji’s A.T field fabricated as a finishing blow, or if he was truly redeemed through Shinji and decided that the lilin should be the ones to inherit the earth.

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    i don’t care about the text. gimme 5x3
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    Never forget this beautiful angel and all he did for us.
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