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[SUN/MOON] Pokemon and Evangelion's Unbelievable Connections

Pokemon, a series about a kid going out into the world of fantastical beasts, training to become a master in battling. Evangelion, the psychological, religion heavy, terrifying rollercoaster that makes you immediately wish you never watched it. What do these two vastly different series have in common? Well as you're about to find out, quite a lot. It seems these two series aren't so different after all...

Ultra Beast & Angels, the Invaders from Another World

Pokemon Sun and Moon were extremely enjoyable titles, with memorable characters, great new Pokemon and an interesting story, but did you know that a certain artist from GAINAX helped with the design choices of some of those Pokemon? That's right, although it isn't brought up a lot, Evangelion creator Hidekai Anno helped out with some design choices for SM. However, that's not what's really interesting about this. SM introduced to us Ultra Beasts, a type of Pokemon from a distant world (Ultra Space), that are far more powerful than any other regular species, and come to invade our own world. Any Evangelion fan can immediately tell you this is much like the Angels of Evangelion, much like how the Ultra Beasts have crazy designs never seen before in the Pokemon series, the Angels too have some very wacky, "out-of-this-world" designs, and, also like UBs, there are many different types of Angels too. Now let's dive into some of the possible design and origin choices shared between the two.
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Shamshel and Nihilego
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Sachiel, Ireul and Buzzwole
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Matarael, Seventh Angel, Pheromosa and Xurkitree
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Israfel and Kartana

These similarities certainly are intriguing huh. Unfortunately, the connections don't run much deeper than just design choices. Well, at least for these ones, there's actually 3 Ultra Beats that share some rather major similarities with the Angel's they're potentially based on. Let's get into these ones now.

Poipole, Naganadel and Adam
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From a design standpoint, no these three don't have a lot in common, there are minor references that tie the characters together. Let's start with the fact that Adam is the "Progenitor of Life" for the third through seventeenth Angels, essentially meaning it's offspring are are those Angels. While this doesn't exactly tie to Naganadel at first glance, Naganadel's offspring is Poipole. In the Anime, Naganadel is even confirmed to have multiple Poipole offspring. Note, this is the only know Ultra Beast with offspring*. Adam also has an embryotic state, and this in turn can be tied to Poipole being Naganadel's pre-evolution. Finally, Adam's connection to humans in the world of Evangelion is a very strong parallel to Poipole's keen interest in Humans and the Ultra Recon Squad. I separate these two for a reason I'll bring up later.

*In this instance, Buzzwole wouldn't count because there is no evidence to prove it has a "younger" form

Arael, Ramiel and Necrozma
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So this is the one that actually made me take notice of these parallels, and it's actually rather obvious. Ramiel is an Angel that takes on a crystaline form as it's main body, but can morph into various other forms, two of these include a shield form which makes it more defensive and a cannon form which makes it more offensive. If you haven't already guessed, these are glaringly obvious parallels to Necrozma. Necrozma is literally the "Prism" Pokemon, and is know for being able to change forms. While it doesn't have as many forms as Ramiel, not is it able to change so freely, the forms it did take are references to two I mentioned earlier, with Wings of Dawn being it's more defensive state and Mane of Twilight being it's more offensive state. Another connection between Ramiel and Necrozma comes in the form another state Ramiel takes in the attack on Neo-Tokyo 3 which resembles a five point star, dubbed "Pentagram", while Necrozma doesn't take a Star form, there is a star pattern formed into the back of it's head. And one final connection to Ramiel is in the form of Prismatic Laser, one of Necrozma's two signature moves which is it's most powerful attack, and the side-effects cause it to be unable to attack the next turn. As you can now guess Ramiel's strongest attack is in the form of a powerful laser, the side effects also cause to revert to it's crystal form, which ultimately ends up deciding it's fate. 
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Now moving onto Arael, from just it's apperance alone it should be apparent that this Angel clearly shares aesthetic similarities with Ultra Necrozma, it's coloring possibly even being the idea for it's Shiny, but as you saw with Ramiel, there's definitely more than meets the eye. For starters, it's name (Arael) means "The Light of God", I'm sure you can see the obvious connection here, Arael is unique compared to other Angels because it's only method of attack is telepathic assault. While Arael bombards human minds with painful memories, it slowly breaks down the brain tissue inside the person's head, until they become a lifeless vegetable. Arael can invade a mentally healthy person's mind aswell, and tamper with their senses and emotions in frightening ways. This technique draws a similiarity to Necrozma's "Shining Radiance" which is essentially what every Ultra Beast and Totem Pokemon are affected with with those Aura Bursts. However, the other effect is indeed one of psychological nature. All humans that had previously transported through Ultra Wormholes ("Fallers") were harmed by this residue, and it caused them to lose all or most of their memories. Necrozma is still know to posses the minds of others however as told by the Ultra Sun Dex entry for Wings of Dawn Necrozma: "Lunala no longer has a will of its own. Now under the control of Necrozma, it continuously expels all of its energy." Like every other Angel, Arael has it's core, the central part of the Angel and the source of it's energy, while most Ultra Beasts lack these "cores", Necrozma actually does have one, seen in the form of it's rainbow crystal "brain" which it forcefully removes from Solgaleo or Lunala at Ultra Megalopolis.

Ultra Recon Squad, Lilin and smaller parallels
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As mentioned before, Humans and the Ultra Recon Squad may be two different species. If we assume this is the case, then it might be likely that the Squad themselves are indeed Ultra Beasts. Believe it or not, there is one Angel that may help prove this point. Lilin, also known as "Humanity" is the spawn of Lilith and takes the form of Humans, in fact it takes the form of every living human, all of which are referred to as a single entity/Angel. An ancient race of progenitor aliens termed the "First Ancestral Race" seeded life throughout the galaxy billions of years ago by spreading beings known as "seeds of life" to many worlds. Although they were never meant to co-exist, billions of years ago Lilith landed on Earth some time after Adam did. When Lilith arrived she spread the primordial ooze, LCL (actually, Lilith's own blood) which eventually evolved into the first single-celled life on Earth and ultimately, Homo sapiens. Thus Lilith is the direct progenitor of humanity. Now, while the URS aren't specifically stated to NOT be human, it is hinted at throughout the game, from their behaviour to even skin tone and eye color, the URS share a similarity to Lilin in that they're a species like Humans, the only difference is that they don't hail from Earth. Or even our dimension. In fact, the URS might be the only human-like species on their home world. They're much like Poipole in that they have a keen interest in humans, so are they part of that species? Maybe, but we'll probably never find out, for now this is just speculation. If they are Ultra Beasts, it explains why they are unaffected by Interdimensional Travel like how Fallers are (memory loss). 

Some smaller, miscellaneous connections include the following; 
  • Adam being the Progenitor of Angels is a tie to Ultra Necrozma being the overseer to Ultra Megalopolis, and ultimately the other UBs
  • In it's standard form, Necrozma's regular and Shiny colors match Ramiel's Neon Genesis Evangelion and Rebuild of Evangeion colors respectively
  • The Ultra Beasts have Numbered codenames, this is a direct link to the numbered codenames for most of the Angels in Rebuild of Evangelion
  • The form names for fused Necrozma may have been inspired by Wings of Light, a special higher form that only the most powerful Angels have
  • Angels have a power called an A.T (Absolute Terror) Field which acts as a barrier of sorts for them, this may be what inspired the Aura Boost and the Stat boost all Ultra Beast get when fighting them
  • While Guzzlord doesn't seem to have any design similarities with any Angels, the Angel Leliel, known as "The Jaws of God", may have inspired it's creation as it can devour anything that passes into it's shadow
  • The Angel Armisael may have inspired Nihilego's ability to infect a host as both can infect humans with a mysterious toxin

Type: Null, EVA Units and the Battle against Invaders
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Now Angels aren't the only Evangelion characters that appear to have been used for design choices in SM, as it turns out, the mech suits made to combat them, EVAs, are also found in SM. This is though Type: Null, the manmade Pokemon created to fight the Ultra Beasts. We'll start with the EVA Units first. In Evangelion, EVA Units were created to combat the Angels, EVA are organic life forms that need a human pilot to operate them, specifically children. Gendo Ikari created three EVA Units, one of which was made specifically to be piloted by Shinji,and the other two for Rei and Asuka. While the other two are functionial, Shinji's wouldn't operate without his piloting, the reason for this is that part of Shinji's mother, Yui, was merged into the EVA, and from the start was made to be the vessel of God once the third impact began. While Type: Null doesn't share the exact origin story, the parts it does share are quite intriguing. Type: Null's exact creator is never really specified, but Lusamine is most likely behind it, so from here I'll use her as the creator. Type: Null was created to fight the Ultra Beasts, literally dubbed the "Beast Killer", it was created by Lusamine as an attempt to make a Pokemon stronger than the Ultra Beasts, the ultimate goal being to recreate Arceus. Only one of 3 attempts were successful, but it got so out of control that a mask was created just to subdue it's power. For a while, Type: Null was never used outside of experiments, until Gladion rescued it. With Gladion training it, Type: Null broke free of it's constraints and became Type: Full, or Silvally. The EVA Units were never named and just received codenames of 00, 01 and 02, and in documents found at the Aether Paradise, it seems the Beast Killer project used the same codenames. While you can't necessarily pilot Silvally, it's power will only be shared to the one it trusts completely. Ultra Warp Ride Solgaleo and Lunala may be based on the concept of piloting EVAs, and the Island Guardian Deity may also be based on EVA Units fighting Angels.

Extra Connections and Possible References;
  • In French, Type: Null's name is Type:0, a reference to EVA Unit 00 and the fact that both are a prototype
  • Both Type: Null and the EVA Units can lose control on occasion, for both parties it was noted they went "Berserk"
  • Like how Type: Null had a second form more closely resembling Arceus, EVA Units have a hidden form that is eerily similar to Angels

Human Character Connections

Of course, it's not just the monsters that get the spotlight, no, our Human characters have connections too. Some were a little harder to find than others and some even have multiple connections.
Lusamine, Gendo, Lililith, and Yui (Rei)​​
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Yeah I wasn't kidding about multiple connections, but starting off, Lusamine has quite a few obvious parallels to Gendo. Both of them are the head of the series' respective sinister organisation (Aether & NERV), both of them are neglectful parents, even to the point where the kids are scared at one point, both have an ulterior motive they hide under the guise of a seemingly helpful organisation, both of which involve their respective Invader (Ultra Beasts & Angels), both led experiments that caused their subjects significant pain, both are fuelled by them losing their significant other (Mohn & Yui). 

Smaller similarities include;
  • Both are over 40 years old.
  • Gendo's desire to create a world free of sin, untouched by man is very similar to Lusamine's desire to create a world with only her and the Nihilego since they appear more obedient to her than her own children.
  • When it comes to their series' respective climax, both finally realize the mistakes they made before it ultimately being too late, in End of Evangelion Gendo apologizes for using Shinji as a vessel against Yui's wishes before dying at the hands of 01, and in Pokemon SM, Lusamine calls Lillie her "Beautiful girl" before Nihilego's poison sends her into a coma.
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Lusamine's connection with Rei and Lililith is a smaller one, but I believe it's the most important. No there are no clones of Lusamine running around, but Lusamine's Mother Beast transformation does share a tie to Evangelion. In End of Evangelion a breach forces Gendo to speed up an experiment he was running with Rei. Rei is a clone, one of many, made to be the vessel for Yui's rebirth, and the bringer of the Third Impact. The breach that occurs is a result of Armisael infecting Rei. Rei must merge with Adam and Lililith or else Gendo's plan to revive his wife fails, and Lililith's true form vaguely resembles a mix of it's old form and Rei (Yui). Lusamine's mind has already been destroyed by Nihilego toxin by the time you meet her, and the toxin is what causes her to believe Lillie and Gladion have betrayed her, ultimately speeding up her plans, and by the end of SM, she merges with Nihilego, the form resembling a mix of both parties identities. Unlike how Lusamine is saved by her children, Yui's anger grows because of Gendo's actions against Shinji, and the Third Impact happens.

Parts of Gendo's Character made it elsewhere too;
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  • Faba conducts experiments on Lillie with Nihilego in the anime in a way like Gendo does to Shinji and Rei
  • Faba allowing Team Rainbow Rocket to invade Aether Paradise is very similar to Gendo and SEELE doing things behind closed doors
  • Adding onto SEELE, it shares similarities to Team Rainbow Rocket in a few ways. First is the logos of both organisations being a Rainbow color. While SEELE has as many as 15 members, committee meetings usually have five members of SEELE and two from NERV, similarly Giovanni brought the five main Pokemon antagonists, and including himself and Faba, makes for seven members

Shinji's multiple Connections
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Shinji is the son of Gendo and Yui, and the pilot of EVA Unit 01, as stated previously this contrasts a connection with Gladion as he is Lusamine's son and uses Silvally. Shinji's characteristics show up in different ways through SM's cast. Starting with Lillie, Lillie is afraid of Pokemon due to something that happened when she was younger, in the anime it is confirmed that it was an experiment with Nihilego that led to her future self who is afraid of Pokemon. At a young age Lillie was subjected to the true nature of Aether and led to her fleeing, only to have to return later. This is extremely similar to Shinji's rejection of the EVA Unit, him seeing NERV at such a young age leading to a resentment of the organisation, his father and detachment from everyone. Next up is Guzma, who after being a victim of abuse as a child from his father, developed an inferiority complex and feels like he needs someone to be his friend or even a family, leading to the forming of Team Skull and him falling prey to Lusamine's manipulation. Shinji suffers something very similar in the sense that he doesn't think anyone believes in him or even trusts him enough to do anything, and this shown best in End of Evangelion when Shinji has multiple flashbacks referring to his detachment.

Smaller references;
  • Wicke shares similarities to Misato in that she shows more care for the Aether children when Lusamine goes crazy, Misato does this in the form of providing Shinji and Asuka with a place to live.
  • Gladion might share a character trait with Asuka in that he originally doesn't trust anyone but his Pokemon and just seems intent on seeing his mission through to the end, even being harsh to the player and Hau.
  • Lillie and Nihilego's design similarities could be a reference to the fact that Rei was created as a vessel for Yui's rebirth and thus looks similar to her.
  • Hau might share a similarity to Kaworu but only the fact that his personality helped Gladion open up, similar to Kaworu helping Shinji

That's everything I could find that ties these two phenomenal stories together, I'm not the first to make connections for these, at least some of the smaller ones but I did spend quite some time researching these, so sharing this would be much appreciated. There's probably even more minor references I've yet to find so I'll add those as time goes on.

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