Happy Birthday, Rei!

A Certain Retailer Who Shall Remain Nameless Unless They Want to Pay for Ad Space Here and A Certain Publisher Who Shall etc. have both posted that March 30 is the birth date of the one and only, the sweetheart of Seven Continents, Ms. Rei Ayanami.

Happy birthday, Rei!

Rei Smiling

The birthday girl her own self.

Of course, discussing Rei Ayanami’s birthday raises two essential questions:

1. Which Rei is it?

Seriously. If you know the story…wait…

You don’t know the story??

Go watch it! Go watch it right now! It’s on Netflix. I’ll wait for you to get back.

Yeah, no, I won’t. If you know the story, you know that Rei is a clone, and there have been a minimum of three Reis. Rei #1 was killed by Akagi’s mum Naoko for telling Naoko that Gendo did not and would not love her. (Yeah, that love theme again.)

The second Rei falls in love with Shinji and dies when she sacrifices herself to save the world, or at least Tokyo III.

They immediately decant another Rei, one who has no experience of life and doesn’t know Shinji; when all the fuss goes down, she recreates the world.

Oh, and the new light novel series introduces Rei Trois, Rei Quatre, Rei Cinq, and Rei Six. (Why Six is numbered in English rather than French is like “What the…?” For that matter, so is the fact they are numbered in French, considering the amount of German that shows up in the series.)

So which of them was born on March 30?

2. What does it mean for a clone to be “born”?

We know that the various Reis were grown in a tank somewhere in Akagi’s lab.

Grown in a tank. So, like, hmm…What does it mean for a vat-grown clone to have a birthday?

Is it the day her zygote was created?

Is it the day whichever Rei is referenced was decanted?

Is the day Rei I was decanted?

For that matter, does she have a navel? There are hints in the manga (where she is frequently nude) that she does. So was it the day her umbilical was cut?

If you want to know what a mindf*ck (we used to call that mens copulatus back in college when we thought we were cool) Neon Genesis Evangelion, just think of this…

…What does it mean when we say it’s Rei Ayanami’s birthday?

Happy Birthday, Rei!

Now: Don’t EVER ask me how old she is. That’s a question a gentleman never answers about a lady.

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