The Marduk Institute featured in Neon Genesis Evangelion is yet another instance of the creators seeding their work with references to mythology. This organization is mentioned as early as Evangelion Episode 01 and is "responsible" for selecting the Evangelion pilots. During Evangelion Episode 15 Ryoji Kaji is talking to his contact in the Japanese Government, he says "I know most of the names. Marduk Institute, a consultative firm established directly under The Human Instrumentality Committee in order to select the pilots of Evangelion." The names shown on the charter during that episode are as follows:

It is discovered that the Marduk Institute is just a front, there is no real Institute, Gendou and company are pulling all the strings. During Evangelion Episode 17, Toji Suzuhara is chosen as the Fourth Children. Misato asks why he was chosen, and Ritsuko says "We had no choice. The candidates have been gathered in one place, and are being protected.", later in that episode Kaji tells Misato that the Marduk Institute doesn't exist and that she should investigate "Code 707", Shinji's school.

From this it is clear that the Marduk Institute is just a front, that NERV grouped all potential pilots together in Shinji's class, and then selects the ones it needs from that group.

The Marduk Institute, a fictional organization from Neon Genesis Evangelion, is yet another example of the show's fun little obsession with mythology. In the show, the Marduk Institute is a front group for NERV that has supposedly been given the task of finding the children capable of piloting the Evangelions and choosing the best among them for actual piloting duty. The mythological basis of the Marduk Institute is Marduk, a Babylonian god that the Babylonians sacrificed children to. The symbolism lies in the recreation of the sequence of human beings (NERV) rounding up children (The First through Fifth Children) and then sacrificing them to divine beings (the Angels) in the hopes of their own survival. For those viewers with a good knowledge of mythology, this served as a nice bit of foreshadowing, hinting at the brutal destinies that lay ahead for Rei, Asuka, Shinji, Toji, and Kaworu, the five children chosen to pilot the Evangelions.

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