Shinji, the Third Child, is the estranged son of NERV Commander Gendō Ikari. He is the main protagonist and the Ordinary High-School Student of the cast, and the series is actually mostly about him and his relationships with the other characters. He witnessed the death of his mother Yui when he was four years old (she was seemingly killed in an early test stage of Evangelion Unit-01), and was abandoned by his father shortly thereafter. As a result, he suffers from an extreme lack of self-confidence, has a very low opinion of himself, and generally does whatever is asked of him.Especially in the early episodes, Shinji is the series' Butt Monkey, the victim of almost every joke the scriptwriters could come up with for purposes of comedy relief. He's The So-Called Coward who saves the day occasionally but never gets any respect; the No Respect Guy who means well but can't ever get a break; the "Well Done, Son" Guy who desperately wants his father to validate his existence. His day-to-day personality is meek, insecure, and indecisive, shaped by his constant fear of being hurt by his relationships with others. Although this is the only way he can cope when dealing with people, it hinders his interactions with fellow pilots Rei and Asuka, both of whom he is attracted to, and with his extroverted and very attractive guardian, Misato Katsuragi. Only when piloting Eva and fighting the Angels does an inner core of strength and Determination shine through. Unfortunately, because of his psychological trauma, it often takes a mixture of Unstoppable Rage and suicidal fear to bring it to manifest.In the first episode, Gendo blackmails Shinji into piloting Unit-01 with the threat that if he doesn't, a severely-wounded Rei will be sent out in his place to certain death. From then on, Shinji is reluctant to pilot his Eva, doing it more out of a sense of duty and moral obligation than anything else. He seems to be the only pilot who fully grasps what is at stake, although he does not want such responsibility, and it weighs heavily upon him and constantly preys upon his mind. More than once he tries to run away or escape from his life as a pilot, only to return when driven back by the knowledge that he can't stand by while the world is destroyed. However, despite whatever conviction influences his decisions, an overriding theme in the series is that his actions are those of a child seeking approval, piloting Eva to earn his estranged father's praise or desperately trying to be accepted and valued by the people around him.Over the first half or so of the series, Shinji makes noticeable progress toward becoming more stable and more accepting of others. However, beginning with the Angel Leliel's attack, and the increasing toll subsequent Angels' attacks and revelations about the truths behind NERV and SEELE take on him and everyone around him, Shinji becomes increasingly alienated, increasingly depressed, and his sanity slowly erodes. By the end of episode 24, he is on the verge of a nervous breakdown or starting one. This leads to a major point of contrast between the anime's more hopeful resolution in episodes 25 and 26, and End of Evangelion, where he becomes much less sympathetic, particularly at the start when he masturbates over a comatose Asuka and later attempts to strangle her. What was once bravery becomes insane recklessness, as his pain drives him to a point where he no longer really cares whether he (or anyone else) lives or dies.In the manga version, Shinji's personality has noticeable differences, as he is more apathetic, depressive, and prone to anger or snarkiness, rather than being fearful and cringing. Although he is portrayed as being a bit more stable, he is fundamentally the same damaged child. His Character Development in this version is also very different than the anime version. This is most seen in how he feels about the people around him. In the anime, he comes to believe that nobody cares about him, while the manga puts a bigger emphasis on his desire to protect all the people he cares about and losing almost all of them is what sends him into a mental state close to what he was like in The End of Evangelion, though not nearly as bad as he gets up again to protect Asuka from the MP Evas.
Accidental Pervert: His first actual conversation with Rei starts with this, and is notable for being one of the first major signs that Rei isn't normal.
Adaptation Dye-Job: Where the anime depicts Shinji with dark blue eyes and a dark shade of chestnut as his hair color, he has brown eyes and pure black hair in the manga.
Adaptational Badass: In the manga, Shinji is far more prone to being a badass than in the anime. One of the best examples being his battle against the Mass Production Evas, where he continually beats them down while trying to protect Asuka.
Adorkable: His polite behavior coupled with his tendency to get into incredibly awkward situations really makes him one.
All Take and No Give: While every aspect of their relationship can be argued to death, the one undeniable flaw in his relationship with Kaworu is that Shinji essentially becomes completely dependent on him to serve as everything in his life in a matter of hours, while making no sacrifices or commitments of his own. Symbolically, his killing of Kaworu represents him reaching an understanding that in order to have relationships with others he can't simply rely on one person to do all of the work, and though he may feel pain, he will also gain their love.
Ambiguously Bi: Is explicitly attracted to Asuka and might be into Rei and Misato, but also has buckets of Ho Yay with Kaworu which makes it hard to determine his sexual orientation.
In the manga, Shinji is unambiguously attracted to Kaworu with Sadamoto stating that Kaworu was the only exception to a no romance rule. Combined with Shinji showing less reaction to girls than in the anime, it's the interest in girls here that is ambiguous.
His attraction to Kaworu is still ambiguous in how it's presented. It's not really romantic, because aside from Shinji mentioning offhand that he was attracted to Kaworu, most of his reasons for disliking him have nothing to do with any romantic or sexual attraction, but rather at how inhuman Kaworu is towards people Shinji cares about, such as dismissing the situations of both Asuka and Rei as if they're not important at all. The attraction is clear, but what Shinji feels towards Kaworu is never actually addressed.
Asuka: Stop apologizing to me! Grow some backbone! Shinji: S-Sorry!
An Arm and a Leg: Not quite, his EVA loses its arm but because he was connected to it at the time he felt it being ripped off. Anytime he gets agitated he will open and close his hand on that arm to remind himself that it's still attached to him.
Armoured Closet Bi: In the manga if Kaworu ever gets too close to him Shinji will insist that boys can't like each other that way.
Audience Surrogate: Whether people want to admit it or not, Shinji acts much the same way a lot of people would act given the circumstances, asks many of the same questions the audience is asking, and shares many of the audience's views on the events happening in the series (or vice versa, thanks to the story being told from his perspective). This, naturally, leads into a lot of the Fan Wank about the series.
Badass: A deconstruction - although he does indeed have a number of true badass moments, such as in the fight against Zeruel, and occasionally is provoked into berserker rage (as in against Shamshel), he has real (and very human) problems and issues.
Be Careful What You Wish For: Both the End of Evangelion and the manga play with this with how he initiates Third Impact. However, it's more clearly this in the manga, as his desire stems more from not wanting to lose anyone else instead of wanting everyone to die along with him.
Big Damn Heroes: Sometimes as the rescuer, sometimes as the rescued. His one indisputable moment of this comes in episode 19, in the battle against Zeruel. It was also reenacted in Super Robot Wars MX, but with Rom Stol encouraging Shinji to perform said act in game.
In the manga, he manages to make in time to save Asuka from the Mass Production Evas and proceeds to kick their asses.
Bi the Way: In the anime, Shinji is strongly hinted to be attracted to both Asuka and Kaworu. Discarded scripts had him fully in love with Kaworu, claiming he was never in love anyone that way before him before they removed and changed things for a more ambiguous approach in general in the end, as petition from the producers. The manga plays his hostility to Kaworu as denial of his attraction to him, which he admits to Misato after Kaworu's death.
Furthermore on this, Sadamoto denied any attempt from romance between Shinji and a girl in the manga. While Kaworu was the only one who "broke" that rule (see the "All About Kaworu Nagisa" interview).
The anime pretty heavily implies that Kaworu is the only relationship of Shinji's that has any chance of being functional. Reinforced in End when Kaworu is the only person that Shinji's happy to see.
Blessed with Suck: Shinji takes to piloting Unit-01 quickly after a couple sorties, and manages to attain high synchro ratios as the series progresses. Not that any of it is enjoyable, or mentally safe, for him...
Break the Cutie: One of the defining examples of this trope, at least in anime.
Conscription: It's been said that the reason Shinji gets so much flak from anime fans is because he has far more in common with a Vietnam War draftee than with most Shōnen protagonists. While the reasons the animosity are up for debate (like virtually everything else in Evangelion), there certainly isn't any doubt that Shinji was shanghaied into becoming an Eva pilot.
In the manga version of End of Evangelion, Shinji piloting Unit-01 takes a stand against the MP Evas once Unit-02 shuts down and, vastly outnumbered, speaks this line in utter Badassitude:
"I will... protect Asuka!! Never... again... shall anyone die!!"
He also felt this way about Rei though he doesn't succeed in protecting her.
Despair Event Horizon: Shinji approaches it several times over the course of the series, but manages to come back, although he's increasingly damaged each time. The culmination of his interactions with Asuka in End (the hospital scene, seeing the MP Evas with Unit 02's mangled corpse, and her rejection of him in the "kitchen scene") is what finally drives him over.
Determined Defeatist: Karowu admits that what he admires about Shinji, in contrast to Gendo and SEELE, is that Shinji keeps going despite all the heartbreak life causes him.
Driven to Suicide: He comes close to it about twice before The End of Evangelion, after which he is continuously in a state of suicidal depression.
The Eeyore: Not (generally) played for laughs; he's genuinely depressed, and we're meant to feel his pain.
What makes this even more painful to watch is the contrast the audience sees in episodes ten to fourteen, where he actually seems to be genuinely smiling for a short period of time and seems relatively happy (or at the very least content, with a fair bit of emotional stability thrown in for good measure). This doesn't last long, though.
Even the Guys Want Him: Played straight, subverted, or both at once, depending on how you look at it. His interactions with Kaworu fall into Ho Yay territory, but end very messily. None of his relationships with the other characters turn out well either, due to his insecurities and everyone else's unique psychological issues.
Failure Hero: He is this in general, but the manga actually spends more time examining it. After killing Kaworu in the manga, he wonders about what kind of hero he is for not protecting any of people he actually cares about.
The Four Loves: Shinji encounters each of these in his relationships with others: Storge with Misato, Phileo with Rei (as well as Toji and Kensuke), Eros with Asuka, and Agape with Kaworu. Unfortunately, a lot of Shinji's problems stem from the fact that he believes nobody loves him.
Each of the above relationships can be interpreted as more than one type of love. Kaworu's listed as Shinji's friend and same sex romantic love interest◊ officially and has been called a "June" (gay love interest) character by both Anno and Sadamoto. Asuka was the character assigned as 'sex' without any love attached. Two classifications of Eros are in play if you want to simplify the relationships: Divine Eros (Kaworu) and Vulgar Eros (Asuka). Which is again a gross simplification (he definitely has sexual attraction with Rei and Misato too, not just with Asuka or Kaworu, but their relationship are more defined in other roles), but perhaps a more accurate one from their primary roles.
Freak Out: Happens often. Earlier in the series the occasional Freak Outs just temper into a Heroic BSOD, and eventually he seems to "recover" for a bit. However, as the series goes on, they become more and more damaging, and it becomes more and more difficult for him to recover from. And then we get to The Endand well...
Incest Is Relative: The relationship between him and Rei (who, unbeknownst to either of them, is a clone produced from a mixture of his mother's DNA and Lilith's').
Just how genetically close Shinji and Rei are is one of the more debated topics among fans, and is frequently played with in fanfiction, especially among Shippers. Depending on who you ask, a relationship between the two could be Parental Incest, Brother-Sister Incest, Kissing Cousins, or not incest at all.
Kavorka Man: While Shinji is hardly unattractive, he's clearly drawn to be very plain and unremarkable looking. Despite this and his crippling lack of self esteem and charisma, Shinji manages to charm more than a few girls throughout the series.
It has to be mentioned that Rei only looks like Yui and does NOT take after Yui (an ambitious mastermind) personality wise, and that a whole other layer of this is included through Rei having been raised and influenced by Shinji's father.
Locked Out of the Loop: He is quite unaware of the going-ons behind the scenes in Nerv. At one point Kensuke talks with Shinji about some rumors he has gotten through his own sources in Nerv, assuming that as an important EVA-pilot Shinji must surely be able to indulge him some further information, but Shinji honestly knows so little that it is actually him who ends up getting some of the bigger picture from talking with Kensuke. Kensuke is quite shocked to learn this fact.
Messianic Archetype: Ultimately becomes this at the end of the manga, where he not only restores humanity but also apparently butterflies away the Second Impact, as the epilogue is shown to take place in winter.
Must Make Her Laugh: In the manga, Shinji tries to see if Rei can laugh by doing something funny - in this case, shoving two fingers up Touji's nose, causing him to freak out. This makes all the other girls laugh, but not Rei, who merely turns away with the same blank expression after seeing what all the noise was about.
Nice Guy: He's one of the most reserved characters in the series, though he does do a handful of unintentionally rude things.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's a lot more sullen, rude, and snarky in the manga. Ironically, this incarnation is a much better than the anime version underneath, as he has a more obvious conscience and willingness to do the right thing, as well as a greater willingness to express the love he feels for the people around him which is what keeps him sane after Kaworu's death.
Oedipus Complex: Especially in the manga, where Shinji throws a punch at Gendo, and later has a dream sequence about killing him. Also, while trapped inside Unit 01, he is tempted by the naked spirit of his mother.
Ordinary High-School Student: Averted. His family past is such that he could never have had an ordinary life to begin with, which Kaji makes amply clear in the manga.
Also, like so much of Evangelion, deconstructed since it shows how well an actual ordinary teenager would react to being unwillingly thrust into war against Eldritch Abominations.
Parental Abandonment: He watched his mother die. Dad is emotionally neglectful/abusive (especially in the manga). Misato tries to fill in, bless her heart, but she simply can't get the job done.
Punny Name: Ikari when spelled with a different kanji means anger/wrath.
Repressed Memories: He saw his mother being absorbed into Unit-01 but now has no memory of it (or any memories related to his Mom, really). While it's possible he simply forgot because he was so young, Dr. Akagi implies he intentionally repressed the memory due to the trauma and coldly mocks him for it.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Stopped by Kaji in the manga. During the aftermath of Touji's death, Gendo calls for Shinji so he explains himself for not following his orders. Instead, Shinji demands Gendo to explain himself for ordering him to kill his own friend. When Gendo coldly dismisses it, arguing that he's the one in charge, Shinji looses it and ASSAULTS his father. Kaji stops him when his fist was an inch away from Gendo's (shocked) face.
Rookie Red Ranger: The last of the main trio to be recruited, and the one to eventually overtake them all, at very least in terms of synch ratio. Too bad that for all his talent, his lack of any sort of prior military training left him with no preparation to deal with the psychological impact of participating in actual life and death battles at such a young age.
Random Nerv Techie: "These readings are incredible! It's like he was born to do this!"
The Scream: Screams quite a bit throughout the series, and at least three times in End of Evangelion. Usually coincides with a particularly painful Freak Out or begging Gendo to stop doing something highly unethical.
The So-Called Coward: Subverted; he saves the day again and again, but rarely gets any respect for it.
Supreme Chef: In every adaptation, Shinji takes over the cooking for the household (Misato can't cook anything beyond instant ramen, and Asuka seems just as clueless), and all the characters agree his cooking is fantastic. So fantastic, Asuka never wanted to share her lunch with anyone when he made it.
Shinji vs the Mass Production Evangelions. Sure, he didn't win, but it was still an impressive moment of badass.
Tragic Hero: He oscillates back and forth during the series between terrified near-catatonia and insane superhuman courage, though by the end he's clearly heading for a nervous breakdown, and completely snaps in End of Evangelion.
Yank the Dog's Chain: It seems that everything that brings him enjoyment or boosts his self-confidence will inevitably turn against him at the worst possible time.
Voiced by: Megumi Hayashibara (JP), Amanda Winn Lee (EN, series), Circe Luna (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Gabriela Ugarte (Latin-American Spanish, second dub), Joël Mulachs (Spanish), Carmen Ambrós (Spanish, You Can (Not) Advance)
Rei, the First Child, is a Shy Blue-Haired Girl. She is beautiful, fey, and otherworldly, and has a Mysterious Past that is only partially revealed late in the series. When asked why she pilots her Eva, she says that it's because she's "bonded" to it, or that it's her bond to humanity, or something like that. She displays little concern for her own life (see the quote); this takes on seriously creepy layers late in the series.At first, her only human relationship is with her commanding officer, Gendō. Shinji once stops to observe a conversation between Rei and Gendō from some distance, and though neither he nor the audience can hear what they're saying, Rei and Gendō are shown smiling at each other. Gendō, for his part, appears to care for Rei more than anybody else, even his own son. After a failed test forces Rei to eject from her Eva, Gendō, in an uncharacteristic panic, is the first to reach her entry plug, burning his hands while forcing it open to retrieve her. Rei still keeps the broken glasses that fell from his face during this incident, and is initially very defensive of him, as exemplified when she slaps Shinji for saying negative things about Gendō. This, plus the aforementioned conversation, deceives Shinji and the audience into thinking that they are close. Later, when Shinji asks Rei about Gendō, she replies that she doesn't know what kind of person he is. By the end of the story, her attitude toward Gendō has changed dramatically.She is stated in Episode 17 to have strong feelings for Shinji, though her thoughts and feelings are for the most part revealed neither to the people around her nor to the audience. This is changed in the manga adaption where, as well as the pair having more scenes together, she shows much more of a fondness towards him and openly admits it. However, the true depths of her feelings are still hidden until later in the story.She is in many ways the polar opposite of Asuka, and is compared to Yui Ikari, both implicitly and explicitly, on multiple occasions.
Adaptation Dye-Job: Each of the Children get this to some degree, and for Rei it's her exact skin color. Particularly when you branch out to the manga and promotional images, Rei's skin tone varies from starkly albino all the way to simply being very-fair-skinned-but-still-recognizably-Japanese, with hosts of examples in between. The actual shows and movies are a little better about this (tending more toward the albinism) but even then there's still variance between episodes or movies.
This is likely one of the subconscious contributors to her infamous "character mis-interpretation" issues; because she's not *very* strange-looking in promotional images especially, many fans aren't as unsettled by her appearance as was originally intended.
The Ark: In the official Gainax sequel video game, NGE 2, that explains the backstory of the angels, lilin, and the First Ancestral Race, it's explained that Lilith and Adam are two of the seven last members of their own civilization that must carry the souls of the lost to give form in a new chosen planet. Two carriers landed on one planet by accident and due to humanity messing with the progenitors, they fought when they shouldn't have.
Bandage Babe: Codified bandages as a popular accessory in the Moe aesthetic.
The Berserker: She's take the first chance to make a Heroic Sacrifice if that's what it takes and every chance to do so if the first doesn't take. As the basis for the Dummy System she demonstrates a degree of brutality that is nothing short of shocking, to the point where ''Rebuild of Evangelion shows even she is squicked by it. The reason she's not this normally? Morality and a lack of skill in piloting the Eva.
Big Damn Heroes: Biggest in the series: she tries to reason with Shinji not to cause Instrumentality and when he does through SEELE Rei reverses it. Her nuking one Angel counts as well.
Bizarre Human Biology: While Rei is canonically known to be at least partially human, the specifics aren't made clear. To compensate, Fanfics tend to depict her with either this trope, Bizarre Alien Biology, or both, each in various ways. To list them all would be a herculean task, given the size of the fandom; one notably common aspect, however, is whether or not she has an S2 Engine/Organ, and its exact role in her physiology.
There is also lot of speculation about the line in her monologue from Episode 14 about a "woman that never bleeds".
Blunt Yes: Says yes when Asuka asks if she would be willing to kill herself if ordered to do so.
The Confidant: Towards Shinji. In Episode 22, he is seen having a conversation with Rei, although it isn't heard what he is saying (as the scene is seen from Asuka's POV), he appears to be at ease and quite comfortable while doing so.
Death Seeker: Of sorts. She flat out states that she wants to die, though this can be interpreted as not having the ability to due to her Cloning Blues. She does not take the pointlessness of her Heroic Sacrifice well at all.
Defrosting Ice Queen: She slowly begins opening up to others, particularly Shinji, and even seeks Touji out when she learns he's a pilot, before hesitating to shoot him when she might have before.
Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Rei attempts this to various characters, even Gendou in Rebuild, to varying levels of success. Shinji she generally gets through to, Asuka not so much.
Good Is Not Nice: Definitely not and justified due to her having No Social Skills. As long as it doesn't go against her orders, she has no problems or restrictions when it comes to speaking or acting out what is on her mind, and she freely tells Asuka and Shinji they suck when the need arises, going as far as slapping Shinji when he badmouths his father. She also ignores Shinji when he's injured fighting the fifth Angel (seeing it as a attempt to gain sympathy,) essentially blackmails him into piloting by saying she'll fight; and most likely die if he doesn't, and when first meeting Asuka basically says the only way they'll be friends is if she's forced to.
This does change as the series progressed and she learns to value her existence; By episode 23, she clearly tells Armisael that she does not want to be absorbed, so at least this was a genuine sacrifice for Shinji's sake. Of course, the next clone has a whole different opinion on the matter....
Innocent Fanservice Girl: Rei appears to have no nudity taboo thanks to a lifetime of scientific experiments. Her reaction to Shinji walking in on her naked, falling on top of her, and accidentally groping her was limited to politely asking him to get off her without a hint of embarrassment or annoyance, let alone asking him to leave the room while she dressed.
Kissing Cousins: Her possible relationship with Shinji in Shinji Ikari Raising Project, where she is his distant cousin.
Love Epiphany: When while fighting the 16th angel, Rei realizes that she has strong feelings for Shinji and decides to absorb the angel and sacrifices herself by self destructing the Eva to save him. The actual depth of her feelings is never made explicit.
Luminescent Blush: Displays this a few times when Shinji is particularly kind to her.
No Social Skills: To the point where she will ask if there's something she should feel or do in social situations.
Oracular Urchin: Borderline; Rei clearly knows more than she lets on, though she only rarely speaks. Rei get's nervous when Shinji says she'd make a great mother, suggesting he's too close to the truth.
Sugar and Ice Personality: Although she initially comes across as emotionless, aside from the aforementioned scene with Gendo, in truth she's so disconnected from meaningful human contact that until Shinji enters her life, she doesn't really know how to emote, something she more or less admits at the end of episode 6. She shows brief flashes of emotion in a handful of episodes afterward, culminating in episode 23. She also reacts with a Luminescent Blush to being told that she would make a good House Wife. Quite funny when she is a main inspiration for the real Emotionless Girls (at least the modern ones). She's even more so in the manga, which explores her feelings in more detail.
Uncanny Valley: Rei was supposed to invoke this. Whether or not it actually worked is another story.
Unexplained Recovery: Subverted. Rei dies twice over the course of the series; first, when she was strangled by Naoko Akagi, then again, when she self-destructed her EVA. Both times, she seems to have made miraculous recoveries. Everyone (viewers included) soon learn this could be accomplished because each Rei is actually a clone replacing the ones that died.
Unkempt Beauty: It's debatable whether she even knows what make up and hair care products are, settling for only the most basic of hygiene products.
Yamato Nadeshiko: Her second incarnation after she defrosts. She is calm, never shows any animosity towards anyone (even to Asuka, whose dislike of Rei is very evident) unless they insult the Ikaris, either of whom she would die for at any given moment.
Voiced by: Yuko Miyamura (JP), Tiffany Grant (EN), Norma Echevarria (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Gina Sanchez (Latin-American Spanish, second dub), Ana Pallejà (Spain, TV series and Death & Rebirth), Iris Lago (Spanish, End of Evangelion), Graciela Molina (Spanish, You Can (Not) Advance)
Asuka, the Second Child, is an obnoxious, conceited, abrasive German-Japanese girl with a short temper, who alternates between flirting with Shinji and brutalizing him both emotionally and physically. She is a Teen Genius who has a college degree at the age of fourteen, speaks at least three languages fluently, and is very determined and athletic. She pilots gleefully because she wants to become famous the world over for her intrepid exploits. She glories in combat and lives for praise it brings her.She is infatuated with Ryōji Kaji, Misato Katsuragi's on-again, off-again boyfriend, and throws herself at him again and again in an aggressive manner that is, for cultural reasons, quite shocking to the Japanese (and still fairly obsessive and disturbing even in more demonstrative cultures). She initially offers to be friends with Rei because "it would be convenient", but quickly comes to hate her because she perceives Rei as being akin to a doll or puppet, something Asuka harbors a deep hatred for. At first she appears to be a potential love interest for Shinji: there is a comical and clumsy First Kiss scene between them, and Shinji is one of only two males with whom she ever flirts in the whole series, but she makes her hostility towards him quite clear. She is not the main focus of the program, so her thoughts and feelings are not displayed as much as Shinji's are, but she is shown to have strong feelings for Shinji... the problem (usually for him) is that whatever these feelings are, they seem to be either deeply conflicted or aggressive and violent. Word of God says that Asuka actually is attracted to Shinji, meekness and all, and is hurt by his shying away from her, never realizing that it's her dominant and hateful attitude that's pushing him away.As the series goes on, she becomes more sympathetic when her own painful past is revealed. Her personality and attitude are shown to be psychological defenses against cripplingly low self-esteem, and that she abuses others partly out of a fear of intimacy and partly out of sheer anger at the world. She does not change for the better, but, depending on interpretation, there is a hint at the very end of End of Evangelion that she has come to realize how much she has hurt everyone around her.The manga version of Asuka is not much different; the main changes are to her background (she is a test-tube baby), her introduction (which establishes her as more of an outright Bad Ass than in the anime), and her traumatic past (an extra event is introduced which compounds the tragedy and which plays itself out again through Asuka).
Adaptation Dye-Job: Asuka's hair really goes all over the place. While she is a redhead in anime, she is strawberry blonde in the manga. Notably, Rebuild changes it again, and depicts her with auburn hair. And in the original Eva series proposal, it bounced between orange-reddish and light brown on the same page.
Alpha Bitch: In the anime. She mostly reserves her wrath for Shinji, or for Kensuke and Touji.
Ax-Crazy: If anyone or anything that isn't named "Kaji" or "Hikari" pushes her buttons. This effect is turned Up to Eleven if Shinji is the victim or if she is in Nigouki ("Unit 02"), and passes the horror threshold when she has to fight 9 Evangelions at once.
To illustrate just how much she had become this by the end, she holds an enemy Evangelion above her head, cracks it open, and bathes in its blood with a sadistic grin on her face. But she had already been through personal childhood hell and pushed over the edge, thanks to the mortifying Mind Rape she got from Arael, and she was ready to wreak havoc on the world around her as a way to curb her pent up angst and exact a little revenge on her enemies.
Boobs of Steel: Even though Asuka's still filling out, she's fairly busty, as well as the most talented EVA pilot in terms of raw fighting ability.
Break the Haughty: Since her entire self-conception revolves around being the best Eva pilot, any failure is a major blow to her confidence.
Broken Ace: Eva pilot, intelligent, already has a university degree, the most popular girl in school...and packing childhood trauma equivalent to Shinji's.
Broken Bird: The Jerkass Woobie type, but she's already qualified for this at the start of the show. This being Evangelion, things go horribly wrong and after the Mind Rape she was almost completely broken.
Bungled Suicide: It's implied that she tried to cut her wrists in episode 24, when she's seen in a bathtub with water that looks like it's stained red, and may have been starving herself. Section 2 finds her and she's too weak to resist being taken into custody.
But Not Too Foreign: She's born to a half-German, half-Japanese mother and an American father of unknown ethnicity (though if Langley is assumed to be his surname, he's likely English), and has an American passport.
Cannot Spit It Out: For extra fun, she has a hard time even admitting her feelings for Shinji to herself, let alone telling him.
It probably doesn't help that on the occasions when she subtly or not-so-subtly flirts with him, it doesn't work at all.
Character Development: Following her Mind Rape, she starts questioning who she is and nearly kills herself in the process. After returning from the LCL, she shows Shinji a sign of affection by caressing his face (though it's clear she's still mad at him).
Even more pronounced in the manga, where she survives her post-Mind Rape battle due to Shinji's intervention saving her.
Also towards Shinji, not that she would ever admit it. Even catching Shinji looking at Rei can trigger an outburst, and then there's Episode 22, where in the midst of her Heroic BSOD she spots Shinji and Rei talking to each other. The next time she interacts with Rei, Asuka goes into a screaming meltdown and slaps her.
She also plays this trope painfully straight while Shinji is viewing an alternate world in episode 26 where he was never an Eva pilot. She is instead his next door Childhood Friend, and doesn't like how much attention he seems to be giving to New Transfer Student Rei.
Dark Action Girl: Both in and outside an Eva (manga moreso) where we see her in action outside of Unit 02, and fits the "dark" part with emphasis.
Debt Detester: Shows this in Episode 11 to repay Shinji, who saved her in the volcano (Episode 10). Asuka takes the full brunt of Matariel's acid, doing God knows what to her Eva, to give Shinji and Rei the time to kill the angel.
Defrosting the Ice Queen: There are tiny shades of this immediately following her treatment. She steadily becomes less and less of a Jerk Ass to Shinji until finally they have an awkward kiss scene. Unfortunately, then things went south when she interpreted his awkward reaction to the kiss as a rejection. Then her jealousy flares back up once he surpasses her as a pilot, and his relationship with Rei grows warmer. Then came the Mind Rape...
Escapism: After her Mind Rape and before her suicide attempt. She briefly became obsessed with videogames to cope with her horrible reality. Even Hikari was worried about her playing games all the time.
Go-Getter Girl: Asuka really wants to be number one, to the point where she ignores her own mental health. Having perceived loser Shinji surpass her in piloting is thus enough to send her over the edge.
Leeroy Jenkins: Part of the series' Deconstruction of the Hot-BloodedAce Pilot is Asuka's occasional tendency to be this. Her first attempt to work together with Shinji was a disaster, after which she got better as she learned to work together with her teammates before reverting back to this due to her mental breakdown.
Narcissist: Fits the bill perfectly, but it ends up a subversion, as she is actually extremely self-loathing and posseses low self-esteem which drives her arrogance and need for people to love her, rather than an actual high opinion of herself.
No Periods, Period: Averted. Asuka seems to be having on in Episode 22. She's not the lease be pleased about it.
Survival Mantra: After waking out of a catatonic state and being placed inside her EVA, underwater, with hundreds of special ops soldiers - who are packing tanks, attack helicopters, mortars, and Mass-Producing EVA machines - specifically hunting her with murderous intent, she whispers - then screams - this simple desire:
. . . Don't want to die. Don't want to die. Don't want to die. I don't want to die. I don't want to die . . . .
Took a Level in Badass: Okay, so in the end she got beaten in a rather horrifying manner by the MP Evas in End. That doesn't change the fact that when she breaks out of her Heroic BSOD she kicks some serious ass for a few, glorious minutes. This being NGE, naturally it is immediately undone in a horrifying fashion.
Tsundere: Another of the series' deconstructions, as her behavior is essentially an answer to the question, "How messed up in the head would a person actually have to be to act like an anime tsundere?"
Unknown Rival: Her relationship with Rei has elements of this in the original show. Asuka is very vocal about her dislike of Rei, while Rei barely acknowledges Asuka's existence. While much of this is fueled by their contrasting personalities, Asuka's dislike markedly increases as Rei develops an interest in Shinji.
Some of Rei's internal dialogue indicates that she actually does view Asuka as a rival for Shinji's attention, but this being Rei she never treats Asuka as such or even realizes that she does secretly view Asuka as such (yes, Rei's mindset is that screwed up). The manga takes this further, especially during Rei's mental confrontation with Armisael.
Waif-Fu: Her first appearance in the manga involves gratuitous handsprings during a fight scene.
Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: It is clear that at least some of her meanness towards Shinji stems from her viewing his apologetic and withdrawn behavior as an undesirable trait, and her belief that Misato's acceptance of this behavior only enables it. She embodies it completely during the episode 26 fantasy sequence.
Wife Husbandry: Inverted and subverted. Asuka is the closest thing Kaji has to a daughter, Asuka desires Kaji almost obsessively, but despite Asuka's continued advances the most Kaji ever does is let her down gently.
The Worf Effect: Despite starting out with highest sync rate and being described as a very talented and competent pilot, she is also the one who suffers the most defeats on the battlefield, which eventually severely worsens her confidence and erodes her psychological stability, causing her sync rate to drop drastically.
Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (JP), Joe Pisano (EN, eps 3-18), Michael O'Connor (19-20), Brett Weaver (21-26, Death and Rebirth, End of Evangelion), Enrique Medeiros (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Luis Daniel Ramirez (Latin-American Spanish, second dub), Ángel de Gracia (Spanish)... whew!
Toji, in his first appearance, punches out Shinji because his little sister was injured during Unit 01's fight with Sachiel. However, after experiencing firsthand what Shinji has to go through as an Eva pilot, he becomes sympathetic to Shinji. He has Shinji pay him back with a punch of his own, and he, Kensuke, and Shinji become friends. Later, he is selected as the Fourth Child, only to have his Eva taken over by the Angel Bardiel. During the ensuing battle, Asuka and Rei are quickly defeated by the Angel-possessed Unit 03. Shinji balks at orders to attack, wanting to try to save the pilot, and Gendō orders Unit 01's Dummy Plug to be activated. Out of Shinji's control, Unit 01 tears Unit 03 apart, then rips out and crushes the Entry Plug, crippling Toji.There are a few noticeable differences between Toji's portrayal in the anime and manga. In the manga, Shinji's payback for his punch is different, and their out-of-classroom antics are shown more; also, he reveals to Shinji that he is Unit 03's pilot prior to its activation/takeover, and is killed when his Entry Plug is destroyed.
Gosh Darn It to Heck!: In the manga, he freely calls Asuka a bitch, but in the anime he opts for "she's a real female dog if you know what I mean."
Healthcare Motivation: One of the first clues that conclusively points to his identity as the pilot of Unit 03 is when some characters are heard discussing the fact that he only agreed to do so if his sister got medical care with NERV. Toji is seen walking through the hospital while this dialogue is playing.
Bishounen, as fey and mysterious as Rei, and possessed of an unnatural calm, Kaworu is the last major character to appear in the anime, puts in only 13 minutes of screen time in one episode, yet is a critical character for a variety of reasons, and marks a significant turning point in the plot.Kaworu is sent by SEELE as the Fifth Children in order to replace Asuka when her synchronization ratios fall too low, a task he handles with startling ease. He shows a strong interest in Shinji, showing him more physical and emotional affection than probably any other character, which Shinji appears to accept, to a degree he shows to none of the other characters. Kaworu even goes as far as to say that he likes/loves Shinji (the word used can be translated either way). He also expresses an appreciation for humans and their achievements, particularly music. The next morning, however, Kaworu reveals his true nature as Tabris, the 17th Angel, and attempts to invade Terminal Dogma. After failing to achieve his goals, he concludes that because his success would cause Shinji to die, he cannot be allowed to exist and asks Shinji to kill him, which Shinji reluctantly does after a full minute of screen time showing nothing but a still frame of Unit 01 holding Kaworu in its hand. He later shows up in The End of Evangelion to help Shinji make the decision to reject Instrumentality.Kaworu's behavior towards Shinji and their interactions are very open to interpretation, and have been hotly debated since the show aired. A homosexual subtext clearly exists, and is carried through to both Alternate Continuity works and some official artwork. However, how much this particular aspect of Kaworu's personality is emphasized, and how Shinji tends to react to him, vary greatly depending on the work in question.In the manga, Kaworu is much more prominent, showing up well before the battle with Armisael, and fighting against the Angel in Unit 02. His personality is also noticeably different, making him a more sinister character and drastically changing his interactions with the cast, especially Shinji. His fate is ultimately the same, but plays out in a fashion that is more complex than in the anime. It remains to be seen if he will appear again.
The Ace: Kaworu is a deliberate deconstruction of this. He is intentionally designed to be what Shinji sees as the perfect human being and is the best of the pilots, kind, handsome, intelligent and capable of reading and understanding others like books. However, as an angel he is anything but human.
Adaptational Badass: Zig-zagged. Manga-Kaworu actually gets to be shown piloting his Eva to battle an angel and proves to be exactly as skilled as the anime had implied, but at the same time is presented as a far more flawed character then he was in the anime.
Ambiguously Gay: Since Kaworu is like Rei (a human body with the soul of an Angel - in his case, Adam's soul), the human concept of sexuality doesn't seem to exist for him. That said, a lot of what he does around Shinji is really questionable. Also, while he has more knowledge about human emotions than Rei does, he is just as oblivious to them as she is and doesn't see any sexual undertones in his interaction with Shinji, and also doesn't see anything wrong when he does something that makes others uncomfortable.
The Ark: Just like Rei, Kaworu is the soul of Adam, one of the seven last members of the First Ancestral Race tasked as carrier and progenitor of the dead members of his species, originally Earth belonged to Adam and her children, but Lilith crashed as a mistake of coordinates. Unfortunately, SEELE's incarnation process erased Kaworu's memories, because if he had remembered his original purpose, the battle between angels and lilin would have been averted.
Ascended Extra: He only appeared in one episode of the original anime but is a more major character in all other adaptations. The original drafts of 25 & 26 show that he was meant to play a larger role, and he does in the movie versions of the intended ending. More of a case of Demoted to Extra.
Belligerent Sexual Tension: Compared to the immediate friendship the two develop in the anime, manga-Kaworu's relationship with Shinji is built around tension and the uneasiness Shinji feels around him. Kaworu is also no less interested in Shinji, but is presented as far more naive and a rather big Jerkass making it mutual. Sadamoto described their relationship as two schoolboys who are constantly bickering but secretly desire to impress the other.
Bishonen Line: The last and most powerful Angel is also the most human.
Breakout Villain: He only appeared in one episode in the original series. Then Death and Rebirth advertised him heavily, he made an important appearance in End of Evangelion, was among the main cast in several AU spin-offs, and now he's become a more prominent character in the manga version and the Rebuild movies.
Closet Key: Seemingly is this for Shinji, though Shinji seems to be more Ambiguously Bi, or just lonely enough to not care, more than anything.
Dissonant Serenity: Not only does he smile a lot despite the fact that he is introduced at a moment in which events have taken a turn for the tragic, he even manages to smile as he asks Shinji to kill him.
Early-Bird Cameo: He appears at the very end of vol.7 of the manga, a full two volumes before his actual introduction. Also, pay close attention to the opening credits and you can very briefly see a sketch of his face.
Fan Nickname: Manga!Kaworu has been affectionately dubbed 'Karl' in the Western fandom. Then again, "Evil Manga Kaworu" or EMK is also a popular one.
Fate Worse than Death: NGE 2 explores one of Kaworu's psychological motivations to choose death: his fear of being forever alone. He was lonely before meeting Shinji and the people of Nerv and he's unable to endure that loneliness if the lilin are erased.
Foil/Shadow Archetype: A rare non-villainous example. Kaworu is an embodiment of all of the qualities Shinji completely lacks, but rather than being his Evil Counterpart or The Rival, Shinji immediately deems Kaworu much better than he is because of this, and the two get along extremely well.
Kaworu could be seen as the Shadow Archetype for all of humanity, as his human appearance is contrasted by his ability to be up front about his feelings, something no other human is capable of.
Humans Are Special: Believed that humanity, and Shinji, should control the future, not Angels or SEELE's plots.
I Cannot Self-Terminate: Why he asked Shinji to kill him. Unless it was a Batman Gambit, intended either to break Shinji or force him to recognize that he wanted to live hard enough to kill the one person to ever show him affection and think he was worth something.
Laser Guided Tykebomb: SEELE's equivalent of Rei Ayanami, until he either decided to deny them their victory or reveals that he was never going to in the first place.
Leitmotif: Beethoven's ninth symphony, fourth movement. Oddly, they even get the mood right, going to the largo parts just before he dies. Fittingly, he earlier described it as one of the greatest achievements of human culture, which is part of what he's dying to preserve.
And before he enters Heaven's Door, the choir's singing "Und der Cherub steht vor Gott/Steht vor Gott/Vor Gott!" (Replace "cherub" with "angel".)
Meaningful Name: Tabris is the Angel of Free Will: very appropriate for a character who decided to Screw Destiny, even at the cost of his own life. Tabris, as the name being so different indicates, is from a different tradition/version of Christian mythology than the other angels. Also, see Punny Name below.
Mercy Kill/Shoot the Dog: Shortly after he and Shinji meet in the manga, Kaworu kills a starving kitten that was following Shinji around, reasoning that a swift death was kinder than letting it die of starvation.
It comes full circle when he asks Shinji to do this for him, because no matter what he does he will die or cease to exist as an individual, but he wants to choose the terms on how he dies.
Mr. Fanservice: Intentionally done for Kaworu to act both as a Foil and a love interest to Shinji. The scripts (all of them) detail his ethereal beauty and how it takes Shinji's breath away. Masayuki (storyboarder of episode 24) wanted to make him "erotic" and "dazzling." Sadamoto informs the process about his design: "I have this concept, as the last Angel, I made his design a combination form the people that the past Angels made a contact with. That is why some parts of Kaworu look like Shinji, some parts look like Rei, some parts look like Asuka. Moreover, in order to make him sexy, I paid special attention to his collarbone and waist, I want him to have that peculiar tempting beauty that only belongs to a young boy. He is slim, but he has strong bones. Because I didn't want he to overlap with Shinji, I made him a bishounen type." (All About Kaworu Nagisa: CHILD OF EVANGELION).
Mystical White Hair: He's actually an Angel, so his hair color serves to indicate he's not human to begin with.
No Sense of Personal Space: Yet another thing Kaworu doesn't get about humans or willingly ignores. Especially noticeable in the scene where he reaches for Shinji's hand while they're bathing, to say nothing of what he does in the manga.
Physical God: If he hadn't surrendered, they wouldn't have had a prayer of stopping him from causing Third Impact.
Power of Friendship (or Power of Love, given the Ho Yay): What he represents in Shinji's subconscious mind. What he and Rei symbolize, and the feelings he had for both of them, are what make Shinji decide to break free of Instrumentality and go back to living as a human.
Punny Name: Nagisa (渚) looks like a combination of katakana シ (shi) and the kanji for person 者 (sha). Shisha (使者) means "messenger", the same as the Greek angelos. Additionally, shisha (死者) also means dead person.
The real meaning of Nagisa (渚) is shore, following the theme of naming from sea places and objects Evangelion has.
Satellite Character: Aside from a single and short cryptic conversation with Rei, his interactions with characters other than Shinji are practically non-existent. Justified in that he's only around for a single episode focusing on his relationship with Shinji.
Screw Destiny: Third Impact, the point of an Angel's existence (supposedly) was within his reach and he decided not to. He is the Angel of Free Will.
Kaworu: But people must act of their own free will, or nothing will change at all.
Self Harm: Episode 24's drafts show that he had scars on his wrists, implying he had attempted suicide in the past (see I Cannot Self-Terminate above). We never get see his wrists throughout the actual episode, so the scars may still be present.
Single-Target Sexuality: He's only interested in Shinji (there is a stronger emphasis on games and spin-off about this: his Raising Project only has a route: Shinji, while the other characters RP have multiple routes, for example). Kaworu's body is male, but it be argued that it's a vessel and Kaworu's true form is genderless as he is the embodiment of Adam.
Take a Third Option: In the manga, this was the biggest reason for asking Shinji to kill him. Since SEELE would have done it anyway if Kaworu hadn't initiated Third Impact, and if it had he'd cease to exist as an individual, he decides to choose the terms of his death, instead of letting SEELE do it for him.
What Is This Thing You Call Love?: In the manga, after ironically having Rei's love for Shinji essentially Xerox'd onto him by the 16th, he asks Shinji if what he's feeling is love and tries to romantically advance on him after kissing Shinji while he was hyperventilating.
But ultimately subverted: Kaworu is the only one who shows Shinji unconditional love, and ultimately sacrifices himself for humanity, making him one of the purest characters in the series.
Yandere: In the Angelic Days manga, Kaworu is Shinji's childhood friend, and is severely possessive of the boy when Asuka or Rei get too close.
Voiced by: Kotono Mitsuishi (JP), Allison Keith (EN), Tony Rodriguez (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Marisol Romero (Latin-American Spanish, second dub), María Moscardó (Spanish, TV series), Carme Calvell (Spanish, Movies)
The hedgehog's dilemma...the nearer we get, the deeper we hurt each other...
Misato is the beautiful late-twentiesGenius Ditz who is appointed to be the guardian and personal tutor for Shinji and Asuka, as well as the pilots' tactical commander in battle.Misato is a study in contrasts. When she's on the job, she's a force to be reckoned with — tough, smart, cunning, hard-nosed, determined, ultra-competent in strategy and tactics (particularly as the series nears its end), and an all-around Action Girl. At home, it's a completely different story. She guzzles beer, wears extremely skimpy clothes, has a pet genetically engineered penguin named Pen-Pen who can beat her at chess, and is a borderline Cordon Bleugh Chef. She's cheerful, optimistic, ditzy, hedonistic, and quite the slob. She even has her own theme music for these scenes, which sounds like a sort of musical paraphrase of all the wacky 1960s sitcom theme music you ever heard.As the series progresses, it's gradually revealed that these contrasts in personality are two halves of a facade. Despite her age, Misato, like Shinji, is a broken-hearted child, striving to live up to crushing responsibilities, yearning for love and acceptance, and trying desperately to hide deep sadness, loneliness, and fear (by episode 21, after Ryōji Kaji dies, the mask cracks). She can be childish, touchy, and short-tempered (she loves to tease people, but loses her temper whenever anyone tries to tease her), because she is so insecure. Most of her problems come from conflicting feelings toward her father, who neglected her and her mother but sacrificed his life to save hers during Second Impact.She hates the Angels, blaming them for her father's death and her own near-fatal injuries in the cataclysm of 2000, and that hatred drives her to amazing feats of cunning to defeat them. Unfortunately, it also drives her to say the worst possible things at the worst possible moment to Shinji near the end of episode 24, in the aftermath of Tabris' attack on NERV (see Kaworu's entry for details), traumatizing him even further and pushing him into his final slide toward a nervous breakdown.She and Shinji become very close, perhaps even come to love one another, as the series goes on — though not in any openly romantic way. She even kisses him just before her own heartbreaking heroic death, though her motivations for doing so are subject to debate. It is very sad to watch, as the series goes on, that whenever Shinji is in the most pain and needs Misato the most, she's either wallowing in drunken self-pity or angry that he doesn't share her rage, and whenever Misato is in the most pain and needs Shinji the most, he can't handle seeing her in pain and tries to ignore her — not because he doesn't care, but because he doesn't know what to say or do. note See quote above; this is what they describe as the Hedgehog Dilemma, and is the best way to describe her relationship with Shinji.Her on-again, off-again boyfriend is the aforementioned Ryōji Kaji; their relationship, at least at first, is all about Belligerent Sexual Tension.
Butt Monkey: She has her moments, mainly when the series gets comical and she finds herself on the receiving end of Ritsuko or Shinji's snide remarks.
The Captain —> Majorly Awesome: Proves her Badass credentials several times in the anime, End of Evangelion, and the manga. She starts out as a Captain in the original anime and manga before being promoted to Major.
Fanon has a field day with her cooking and driving, making her a high-level Lethal Chef (sometimes to the point that Even the Rats Won't Touch It) and a codifier for Drives Like Crazy, even though nobody actually says anything that implies questionable driving skills on Misato's part, and in all apparent instances, she was either 1) attempting to protect Shinji from a just-stomped-into-wreckage gunship's explosion, 2) trying to dodge death by stomping from a massive alien monster, and 3) was deliberately trying to scare Shinji after he insulted her.
In addition, despite the claims of both fans and herself, she is not a slut. In fact, all evidence in the series says that she's only had sex with one person in her entire life: Kaji.
In Vino Veritas: When she's sober, she's a force to be reckoned with. Drunk... not so much.
Killed Off for Real: In both End and the manga; she is shot by the JSSDF, and either dies from the area she's in being destroyed via explosion(End) or blows herself and her attackers up with a grenade (manga).
Parental Substitute: Usually comes across as a mother-figure for Shinji but ultimately she fails to succeed, which she even admits in End of Evangelion. The reason she points out is that she's probably just as messed up as Shinji is. Nevertheless, she still loves and protects him like a mother and would die for him, which she does in the end.
In volume 4 of the manga, albeit the one there is censored.
Purple Is The New Black: No mention of Misato's purple hair is ever made (even as Misato makes mention of Rei's blue hair), implying that within canon it's actually just normal black, but is colored violet to contrast with her black and red uniform.
Several supplementary materials of varying degrees of canon specifically list or depict her hair as black.
In the Super Robot Wars games featuring Evangelion and Gundam (UC timeline), Misato gets a crush on ace pilot Amuro Ray, alluding to their seiyuus' other famous anime roles as Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Kamen respectively. She also makes some Sailor Moon comments when admiring the Nobel Gundam from Mobile Fighter G Gundam on Super Robot Wars MX, and points out similarities in voice with Vega from Gear Fighter Dendoh and Murrue Ramius from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (two other characters voiced by Kotono Mitsuishi).
In addition, Anno has pointed out that her character design (most easily seen by her hair) is based on Sailor Moon's, as well as her character being "a 29-year-old Usagi Tsukino".
Sole Survivor: She was at the ground zero of Second Impact, and was the only one who got away alive.
Stacy's Mom: Toji and Kensuke are both quite enamoured with Shinji and Asuka's guardian.
Trash of the Titans: The first time Shinji enters the apartment, Misato warns him with a sheepish smile that it's a little messy. He steps in and is appalled at the piles of beer cans, instant meal wrappings, dirty laundry...
Unresolved Sexual Tension: She's the closest thing the series has to a sexpot, so there's plenty of sexual tension to go around. The tension with Kaji is resolved, at least in the most literal sense, so that leaves the winner of this trope as Shinji.
Urban Legend Love Life: Her flirtatious facade hides a desperately lonely woman who only has eyes for Kaji and (on a more ambiguous level) Shinji.
Voiced by: Yuriko Yamaguchi (JP), Sue Ulu (series), Maru Guerrero (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Gabriela Gomez (Latin-American Spanish, second dub), Montse Moreno (Spanish, TV series), Maria Rosa Guillén (Spanish, Movies)
The interaction of men and women isn't very logical.
Ritsuko is NERV's resident computer scientist, tasked with the development and upkeep of the MAGI supercomputers and research on the Evas. She, Misato, and Kaji have been friends since college, and she often acts as a foil to Misato. She is also something of a Crazy Cat Lady. She dyes her hair blonde — late in the series we see her in a Flash Back as a teenage girl with dark brown hair.Ritsuko is extremely intelligent and competent, but has a coldly logical and often cynical attitude, and can be callous and petty. She also doesn't seem to really understand human nature, and is in some ways childishly naive. Secretly, she is romantically involved with Gendō Ikari, as was her mother Naoko before her death ten years before the series opens. Despite Gendō's ambiguous intentions, she has convinced herself both that he loves her and that Rei is actually her rival for his romantic attentions, and she deeply resents Rei because of this. She also shows little concern for the lives of the pilots during battle, and is ready to sacrifice them should such a tactic seem necessary, a position Misato vehemently disagrees with.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: When Ritsuko tries to activate NERV's self-destruct, Caspar (the part of the MAGI that is Naoko as "woman") rejects the order, which floors Ritsuko.
Lady Macbeth: Ritsuko fits into this one, although she wasn't married to Gendo. Most notably, she created the Rei clones that were central to Instrumentality. However, she's not completely straight as she is being manipulated by Gendo Ikari instead.
Never a Self-Made Woman: It's not clear what extent Naoko played in landing Ritsuko her job at GEHIRN, but Ritsuko definitely resents standing in her mother's shadow. Part of the reason she bleaches her hair.
Voiced by: Fumihiko Tachiki (JP), Tristan MacAvery (series), John Swasey (Director's Cut), Humberto Solorzano (Latin-American Spanish), Juan Carlos Gustems (Spanish, TV series), Joan Massotkleiner (Spanish, Movies)
There is no one else who can pilot the Evas. As long as they survive, that is what I'll have them do.
Gendo Ikari (né Rokubungi) is the secretive head of NERV and Shinji Ikari's estranged father. While he is not the series' true Big Bad, he is one of the main antagonists. He is NERV's liaison to SEELE, and a member of SEELE's Committee for Human Complementation, but in reality he is playing his own scenario which runs counter to SEELE's plans. To see this plan succeed, he is more than willing to use and betray everyone around him without hesitation, from his own son to NERV's central personnel to SEELE itself. He is confident, brooding, self-possessed, self-controlled, cunning, intimidating, cold-blooded, amoral, humorless, and utterly ruthless.Yet, for all of this, the series gradually makes clear that Gendo's primary motivation for all of his bastardry is, in fact, love. In college, he met and fell in love with Yui Ikari; while it's possible that he had ulterior motives, his love for her was genuine, so much so that he took her surname when they married. After Yui's death in Unit 01, Gendo became focused on a plan to reunite himself and Yui through a modified version of SEELE's plans for Third Impact that would involve the Angel Adam and the Evangelion which now held Yui's soul. Everything that he does in the series is just step after step toward seeing this plan to completion.For some, Gendō appears to be quite the ladies' man. First, Yui fell in love with him, and he with Yui. After Yui's death, he took Naoko Akagi as a lover, then her daughter Ritsuko after her death, although in both cases it's revealed that these trysts were solely to use them for their knowledge. He also has a brief and thin friendship with Rei, which is a sore point with Ritsuko; he shows more concern for Rei than he does for his actual son, but to Ritsuko (and the audience) the whole thing seems to have some unpleasantundertones.Gendo's abandonment of Shinji shortly after Yui's death is one of the key factors behind Shinji's emotional problems, and over the course of the series Gendo does little to bridge that gap. Indeed, Gendō and Shinji spend as much time opposing each other as they do fighting the Angels. He is merciless where Shinji is kind, confident where Shinji is fearful, calculating where Shinji is hopelessly naive. He is Shinji's twisted and sinister mirror image, and it's obvious that on some level there is an Oedipal conflict taking place. What the story doesn't reveal until End of Evangelion is just how similar Gendo and Shinji really are under all their differences.Gendo's depiction in the manga differs somewhat from the original. His villainous traits are more emphasized, while the glimpses behind his harsh façade are downplayed, to the point where his character has a hint of madness and wilful cruelty to it, rather than emotional distance and calculating pragmatism, especially when it comes his ultimate goal, which, as it turns out, is not quite the same as in the anime.
Abusive Parents: His emotional abandonment of Shinji is horrible, and he admits it before his death. May have had them himself; and in certain continuities, he did have them. In the manga, he is more openly abusive, both verbally and emotionally.
Dark and Troubled Past: The finer details before he met Yui are unknown, but it's implied he had a rough childhood. Though Yui's death definitely sent him off the edge, he was already there before he met her.
Death Equals Redemption: Done in the manga, where he finally has a Heel Realization before he dies thanks to Yui, remembers that he used to love Shinji and thus wishes that Shinji will live on and lead a better life than the one he did.
Fuyutski: You said it was luck you left the day before but you took all your files with you... even though the expedition wasn't over! Gendo: Those weren't shredded? How careless. Fuyutski: And I've been looking into your finances as well, quite a sum for a college professor! Gendo: Remarkable, are you now teaching economics as well?
Fallen Hero: Yes, really. The flashback episode makes it clear that he and Yui were planning to try to prevent the Third Impact after all of the Angels were defeated. After her absorbtion into Unit-01, he decides to plot out his own version so they can be reunited.
Freudian Excuse: It's clear someone or something made him lose his grip even before Yui's death.
It's strongly implied that he had a decidedly less than pleasant childhood.
Jerkass Façade: He truly does care about Shinji, and in his dying moments he regrets everything he's done to him.
Kavorka Man: Whether Gendo is attractive or not is completely up to the viewer, but as it stands he's a perpetually scowling recluse in his late forties with absolutely no social skills, a general disregard for other people and blatant mental issues. Despite this, he manages to win over Yui and both of the Akagi women with relative ease.
He was a lot more attractive when he was younger, and he had a snarky sense of humor as well. Yui was familiar with his sweeter avatar, and so was Naoko, and Ritsuko had a crush on the much older Gendo during this phase as well.
Karmic Death: Unlike everyone else who got to be embraced by images of their loved ones before turning into LCL, Gendo is picked up by Unit 01 and bitten in two. He did deserve a good metaphorical smacking from the cosmos, and his death (provided that it isn't just a remorse-fueled hallucination, or what happened to him actually counts as dying) drips of poetic justice.
In the manga, Ritsuko manages to shoot him in the throat after she herself is shot. It then goes further in that, while he gets his wish to see Yui again, he is also the only character whose soul is not collected by Lilith, leaving him to die.
Knight of Cerebus: Became this after activating the Dummy Plug in the Unit-03 incident.
Love Redeems: A reverse zig-zag. Before he met Yui, he had few friends and was accustomed to hatred. Then he met Yui, fell in love with her, and actually became a somewhat decent and caring guy. Then Yui died, and he did a full 180 into Love Makes You Evil territory and spent the rest of his life trying to find a way to bring her back... and was willing to destroy the entire human race to do so.
The Maiden Name Debate: Gendo (Rokubungi) took Yui's surname when he married her. In Japan, a husband sometimes does this if his wife is from an illustrious family. While not exactly common, it happens often enough not to occasion comment there.
This is actually very important as Gendo taking Yui's name is the first sign that Gendo's love for Yui is no act.
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: In his final (and only) soliloquy he states that the reason he abandoned Shinji was because he was afraid of hurting him, in the process giving Shinji one of his deepest emotional scars.
Scars Are Forever: His hands, as a result of opening Rei's entry plug after the failed activation of Unit 00. His scars are much worse in the manga, too.
Voiced by: Motomu Kiyokawa (JP), Guil Lunde (series, Director's Cut), Michael Ross (movies), Jesse Conde (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Rolando de Castro (Latin-American Spanish, second dub), Jordi Ribes (Spanish), Antonio García Moral (Spanish, You Are (Not) Alone), Ricky Coello (Spanish, You Can (Not) Advance)
As long as one soul still exists, it will be eternal proof that Mankind once existed.
Dr. Fuyutsuki is the Deputy Commander of NERV, Gendō Ikari's right hand man, and is as close to a confidante as Gendō will allow. In his life before NERV, he was a college professor. Yui Ikari was one of his interns, and he carried a torch for her for some time. He never acted on his feelings, but was shocked when Yui told him that she was marrying Gendō. Years later, Fuyutsuki discovered the truth of Second Impact and confronted Gendō, but was persuaded by Gendō to assist him with the Eva project rather than exposing the coverup.Fuyutsuki is far more ethical and a much more decent human being than Gendō, but he has allowed himself to be carried along by events until it is too late to act on his ever-growing misgivings. His being The Stoic (and in comedic situations, The Comically Serious) doesn't exactly help.
Big Good: Some fans see him and Yui as co-Big Goods of the series thanks to a very ambiguous flashback in End, which can be interpreted as them planning all the heroes' moves ahead of time to ensure Keel's plan would fail.
Comic Book Fantasy Casting: Just like Gendo, his character design is based off of a star from UFO, in this case George Sewell. In fact, his character design mirrors Sewell so much that the only difference in appearance between them is hair color. Which means that he canonically looks British, not Japanese... certainly not the weirdest thing in this show.
Voiced by: Koichi Yamadera (JP), Aaron Krohn (EN, series), Enrique Cervantes (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Gerardo Garcia (Latin-American Spanish, second dub), Jose Luis Mediavilla (Spanish), Tasio Alonso (Spanish, End of Evangelion), Eduard Itchart (Spanish, You Can (Not) Advance)
The gulf dividing men and women is deeper and wider than any ocean.
Ponytailed, Perma Stubble-ed, and confident, Kaji is half James Bond and half Handsome Lech — and he switches back and forth frequently and without warning. Exactly whose side he's on in the wheels-within-wheels world of Evangelion is almost impossible to determine. He seems to be a Double Agent at the very least; he may even be working for more than two powerful entities, although his own personal drive to know the truth of Second Impact, the Eva project, and the rest of SEELE and NERV's secrets are his truest motivation.He and Misato were lovers in college, but by the start of the series have been broken up for several years. Asuka has a crush on him and is anything but subtle about it, but he does not take her up on her premature offers. It doesn't help that, in some continuities, he's strongly hinted to have been her guardian after her mother's death. Much to Misato's chagrin, Kaji flirts with several of the female staff, including Ritsuko and Maya. As the series progresses, Kaji and Misato renew their stormy relationship, and Kaji briefly becomes more of a father to Shinji than Gendō ever was. Tragically, he digs too deep when he rescues Fuyutsuki from SEELE after they kidnapped the old man shortly after the 14th Angel. SEELE (or NERV) responds by having him assassinated.In the manga, Kaji's role and personality are unchanged, but he is given a tragic backstory: he was a war orphan and Street Urchin who carries a huge burden of guilt for ratting out his friends to soldiers so he wouldn't be killed for stealing their supplies.While not quite an Expy, Gainax have revealed that Kaji is strongly "based" on Col. Paul Foster from the TV series UFO. They also add that Foster was not nearly the lech that Kaji is (though admittedly Kaji's lechery is partially an act).
The Atoner: In a sense in the manga. He says that he survived by "trading (his) brother's life", and now wishes to find out why Second Impact took place, thereby orphaning him and the other children who were forced to steal to survive.
He seems to compulsively flirt with virtually everyone he talks to save for Asuka and Gendo at one point or the other over the course of the series. It could be an act, it could be a psychosis, or maybe he just likes to mess with people; we'll never really know.
Dying Declaration of Love: His final message to Misato ends with an implied marriage proposal, just before he goes on what he apparently knew was a probably a suicide mission.
Heroic Self-Deprecation/Informed Attribute: Although he doesn't show it, it's revealed in an artbook that Kaji is a self-hating mess. He even says in the manga that he, Misato and Shinji, who survived by trading other lives, don't deserve to be happy.
Hidden Depths: Misato's true reason for breaking up with up Kaji was that he reminded her too much of her father. However, the way Kaji behaves doesn't really match her description of her father's personality, i.e.; a weak and frail workaholic who was outright afraid of interpersonal commitments. Maybe there is a normally unseen side to Kaji only she has discovered.
Stepford Smiler: Is calmly smiling even when he's about to be shot to death.
Supplementary materials reveal that he's a self-hating wreck who's just very good at covering up his problems. This is one possible explanation for why he didn't do anything to stop his own death.
The Stool Pigeon: ...in the manga, of the Betrayer Barry model. As a kid, he and his friends were stealing food and supplies from a military base; when he was caught, he gave up his friends who were executed by an army death squad.
Unresolved Sexual Tension: He flirts with almost every female he meets. Most (not all) are appreciative, or at least pretend to be. On occasion, he even seems to be trying to flirt with Shinji, although it's not entirely clear if this is out of genuine interest or just habit — flirting may be how he manipulates people.
Urban Legend Love Life: Behind his flirtatious facade there are hints that he is in fact a very lonely man, and no question that he only has eyes for Misato.
Doesn't Like Guns: During the JSSDF attack, she completely freaks out when Aoba tries to give her a gun to defend herself:
Aoba: [hands Ibuki a gun] Release the safety. Maya: I can't! I just can't shoot this thing, Aoba! Aoba: Of course you can! You've had basic training! Maya: But I shot at targets, not at other human beings! Aoba: Idiot! You kill or you die!
Gender Flip: Whether intentional or not, Maya is a female version of Shinji appearance-wise; this has carried over to some non-canon NGE works, such as Gakuen Datenroku, and has also fueled WMG that she may be a child of Gendo's from a relationship prior to Yui.
Machine Worship: She's extremely enthusiastic about the prospect of the Magi supercomputers running everybody's lives, and most of her Ship Tease moments come from watching someone do something amazing with computers.
In Episode 11 Aoba rolls his eyes at her blatant technophilia, making him one of the few people in or out of the show to comment on this.
One exception to this is the Dummy Plug, which she openly distrusts even before it's first activated. It's also the only thing that ever causes her to openly protest against Ritsuko's actions.
Only Sane Woman: Compared to the character traits and emotional baggage of most of the other characters, Maya is pretty normal.
Vomit Discretion Shot: Twice in the anime, during Unit 01's destruction of Bardiel and when Unit 01 starts eating Zeruel, and again in End of Evangelion, when Unit 02 is being torn apart.
Voiced by: Hiro Yuki (JP), Matt Greenfield (series), Keith Burgess (movies), Enzo Fortuny (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Roberto Mendiola (Latin-American Spanish, second dub), Eduard Itchart (Spanish), Aleix Estadella (Spanish, You Are (Not) Alone), Carles Lladó (Spanish, You Can (Not) Advance)
It's okay, Major... besides, dying beside you wouldn't be a bad way to go out.
A geeky, bespectacled computer technician in the command center and member of the Tactical Operations division; he is Misato Katsuragi's chief aide, and in love with her, but is too shy to approach her. She is aware of his feelings and feels no shame about manipulating him to gain information (or to do her laundry), but otherwise she sees him as a friend and contact.
It Has Been an Honor: See the above quote, when it seems as though self-destructing NERV headquarters is the only way to prevent Third Impact during Shinji's fight with Kaworu.
The Other Darrin: The majority of the characters in the Evangelion dub have been recast at some point, but likely the most infamous case was that of Hyuga in Death & Rebirth and The End of Evangelion, wherein he was replaced by a black man who sounded nothing like the previous voice whatsoever. What makes it even worse is that he might have been cast out of spite by Manga Entertainment, who pulled the license for End out from ADV Films, since Matt Greenfield, the former voice of Hyuga, was the co-founder.
Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (JP), Jason C. Lee (series), Vic Mignogna (Director's Cut), Alex Messeguer (Spanish), Dani Albiac (Spanish, Rebuild of Evangelion)
Idiot! You kill or you die!
The long-haired, guitar-playing computer technician in the command center. Unlike everyone else in the series he seems to have no one he truly cares about, although he appears to get along well with Maya and Makoto.
Supplemental publications and Word of God have stated that Aoba is an atheist/nihilist, which is also why his Instrumentality is so different from everyone else's.
There's also a few references here-and-there to him having an Unrequited Love for Maya. How canonical this is could be up for debate.
And I Must Scream: Doing Instrumentality, everyone touched by a messenger!Rei gets to enjoy seeing a form of their most trusted loved ones before being turned to LCL, but as Aoba trusts nobody, he gets the exclusive horror of being suffocated by a mob of Reis, cowering and screaming under a table.
Nietzsche Wannabe: Although with less emphasis on the "Wannabe" part, as he represents a more "true" version of nihilism - while it's shown he has nobody he's especially close to in life, he actually makes some effort to enjoy his time on Earth, gets along rather with his colleagues, is generally quite relaxed when not on duty, and most importantly he takes his job in protecting the remainder of humanity very seriously.
Voiced by: Megumi Hayashibara (JP), Kim Sevier (EN, series), Amanda Winn Lee (EN, End of Evangelion), Marta Dualde (Spanish), Carmen Ambrós (Spanish, You Can (Not) Advance
Any place can be paradise, as long as you have the will to make it so.
Shinji's mother, Gendō's wife, creator of Evangelions... she is a linchpin for a lot of things that happen in the story, and while Shinji is the main character, Yui is more central to the overall plot. Despite this, her presence in the story is almost entirely in flashbacks, and a great deal about her is left open for the viewers to interpret.Yui's treatment in the manga is virtually identical, but certain aspects of her attachment to Unit 01 are changed, and also played with in a very disturbing fashion.
The Chessmaster/Chessmaster Sidekick: One alternate interpretation of her character, reinforced in End Of Evangelion. The implication that she was acting on her own accord throughout the whole series is disturbing.
Maiden Name Debate: It's very common for women in scientific fields to retain their surname after they marry so that their papers can be identified and their work followed regardless of their marital status. What isn't common is for their husbands to take on their name too.
Mama Bear: The Eva her soul is imprisoned in goes apeshit more than once to protect Shinji, complete with actual bear-like movements and mannerisms, making her a near-literal example.
Missing Mom: She "died" some time before the series began.
My Beloved Smother: In a benign sense - it's a given that if Yui shows up in any NGE work as an actual character (games, fanfic, Episode 26), it's abundantly clear that she wears the pants in the Ikari household and Gendō and Shinji simply follow her lead.
My Death Is Just the Beginning: It's been hinted by conversations in certain flashbacks that she had planned both her "accident" and Shinji's presence during it in advance, for an as-of-yet not explicitly explained purpose; it seems implied that she "was running out of time" (i.e. someone was targeting her for assassination, and she was rushing to finish her work beforehand).
Unstoppable Rage: To giant alien monsters who may be reading this: Do not give Yui-sama a reason to take control of Unit 01, because she will kick your ass.
Walking the Cosmos: Takes complete control over Unit-01 and leaves Earth after End of Evangelion.
Voiced by: Mika Doi (JP), Laura Chapman (EN), Marta Dualde (Spanish)
I acted like a mother only when it suited my desires... which wasn't often.
Naoko Akagi is Ritsuko's mother, and was the creator of the MAGI supercomputers, basing each on a particular aspect of herself. Her dialogue hints that she and Ritsuko are not close, and Ritsuko dyeing her hair is a way of distancing herself from Naoko.Naoko and Gendo were lovers for some time after Yui's incident with Unit 01, but she learned through the first Rei that Gendo was only using her for her genius. She killed Rei, and died violently shortly thereafter.
Berserk Button: Rei calling her an old hag and revealing that Gendo was just using her caused her to snap.
Love Makes You Crazy: Hated Yui Ikari's guts and praised her "death," (albeit with a note of shame as she recalls those feelings) then finally exploded when she pictured Rei I as Yui calling her an "useless old hag" and strangled her.
Room Full of Crazy: The interior of at least one of the MAGI cores is covered with post-it notes left by Naoko, some of which are notes, some of which are threats, and one of which reads, "Ikari, you jerk!"
Kyoko Sohyru was Asuka's mother, and developed Unit 02 at NERV's Germany Branch. When Asuka was five, Kyoko went through the same contact experiment that fused Yui Ikari with Unit 01, but only the maternal part of her soul was absorbed into the Eva. As a result, she was committed to a psychiatric hospital. While there, she became convinced that one of Asuka's dolls was actually Asuka, referring to the real Asuka as "that girl there" and ignoring her. On the day that Asuka was selected to be Unit 02's pilot, she came to the hospital to tell Kyoko the news, but found that Kyoko had hanged both herself and the doll.Her manga portrayal is basically the same. An extra scene is added to the time before her suicide that compounds the tragedy and how it damaged Asuka, and the reveal of her presence in Unit 02 to Asuka before fighting the Mass Produced Evas is more detailed.
Ironic Hell: A definite interpretation. The maternal part of her mind is trapped in Unit 02 and can only watch as Asuka suffers, not even realizing that the mother Asuka loved resides within Unit 02 until the very end... and by then, it's too late...
Voiced by: Mugihito (JP), Richard Peeples (series), Tom Booker (movies), Josep María Zamora (Spanish, TV series), Eduardo Díez (Spanish, Movies)
The beginning and the end are one and the same. Yes... all is right with the world.
As the chairman of SEELE, Keel Lorenz is NERV's superior and commissioner of the Eva project. He possesses secret Dead Sea Scrolls that tell of a way to evolve all life into a perfect being with no cares, that lives in eternal bliss inside this being's mind. Despite his "honorable" intentions, he is perfectly willing to force the issue when things don't go his way, up to and including causing NERV's extermination.
Assimilation Plot: Wishes to enact Third Impact as a means of merging all humanity's souls into one via Instrumentality to end all suffering.
Big Good: Either a Subversion or Aversion. While he is the Big Bad, a person outside the organization might see him as this because he heads the effort to stop the Angels, and therefore save humanity.
Cyborg: Keel sports a heavy degree of state-of-the art biological implants and a visor to cope with dehabilating injuries that would otherwise leave him frail, crippled, and nearly blind. When further inspected, those injuries he suffered and extensive, painful surgery could be an underlying reason behind his suffering and motivation for Instrumentality- he wants to end his ''own'' pain.
Karma Houdini: In End of Evangelion, Keel and the rest of SEELE are the ones responsible for the actions of EoE but unlike Gendo, and although SEELE doesn't achieve their goal of ascending themselves to godhood, Keel is apparently content with the ultimate outcome of the human race being turned into a joint consciousness.
Minor Major Character: He's the Diabolical Mastermind behind almost all of the series' events, and strongly implied to be the de facto ruler of post-Second Impact Earth, but he's only in a few episodes, and most of his scenes are Stock Footage (that picture up there comprises about 85% of his screen time). The rest of his cabal are even more minor than him, with only four of the twelve or so ever seen in non-monolith form, and they don't get names. They do, oddly enough, get nationalities: the mustachioed one is American, the burly one is British, the weedy, bespectacled one is French, and the one that looks like The Penguin is Russian.
Kensuke is, at the start of the series, Toji's best friend. He reveals to the class that Shinji is a pilot, and later bonds with Shinji after he runs away the first time. He is very computer savvy and a die-hard military otaku, constantly badgering Shinji to get him pilot clearance and practically salivating over the trip to the Over The Rainbow in episode 8. Also one of the only characters in the series who does not show any sign of serious psychological damage.
Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Strongly downplayed and quite subtle though. Whenever Kensuke is intensely obsessed about something his glasses turns opaque, an effect that hides his eyes to show he getting distant from the world and people around him in these situations.
Otaku: If it's something to do with the military, he's into it; he even goes out into the woods and plays army...by himself.
Voiced by: Junko Iwao (JP), Carol Amerson (EN, series)
Sit down, you guys!!
Hikari is the no-nonsense Class Representative of Shinji's class, and the second-born of three sisters. She later becomes Asuka's best friend, and tries to give her emotional support in the later episodes as Asuka becomes more and more distraught. She nurses a crush on Toji as well.Her role in the manga is unchanged, but she gets more scenes with Shinji. However, near the end she has essentially shunned Shinji, feeling that having him around is a too-painful reminder of Toji's death.
Theme Naming: She and her sisters are named after the Tokaido Shinkansen's three train services, with each sister's age corresponding to the increasing order of the services' speeds (Kodama -> Hikari -> Nozomi). Interestingly, the Hikari service was the first one out of the three to be introduced; no points for guessing which of the sisters was first seen in-series.
Pen-Pen is Evangelion's main non-Butt Monkey comic relief, and a mysterious character to boot. Gainax has never stated where he came from; all that is known is that he is Misato's pet penguin. He is also superintelligent (for a penguin), being able to read and watch television, and has claws that are used for grasping objects. What anyone would need a superintelligent penguin that can grasp objects and live in warm temperatures for is not known, but he's both cute and funny. He is also one of the few characters not to undergo an emotional breakdown at some point...as far as we know.Given that penguins were native to Antarctica, which was destroyed by Second Impact, there may also be some hidden significance in Pen-Pen's presence in Misato's life.When he leaves the story, you know that a change in tone is imminent.In the manga, he is a result of genetic experimentation, and was saved from being euthanized by Misato.
Cyborg: He has some kind of apparatus grafted to his spine and retractable "fingers" and that's just what we can see. There's a popular fan theory that he was a test subject for the bionic technology that went into creating the Evas and his "backpack" is some kind of precursor to the intra-spinal Entry Plug system.
Top left: SEELE's logo; top right: a typical reunionnote note the 2001 reference; bottom, left and right: the faces of SEELE's inner circle, the Human Instrumentality Committee, minus Keel Lorenz.
A mysterious, shadowy global power cabal with latent control over every government in the world, and NERV's benefactors.
Ancient Conspiracy: They like to consider themselves one. Whether or not they actually are one never quite receives straight confirmation.
The extracanonic material sets the organization to have existed in some form or another since the Dark Ages. But that same material also states that they first truly rose to power after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: While they want unite humanity into a single organism, they are also trying to rig the game so that they can raise themselves above over the rest of humanity and rule as gods.
Covert Group: Downplayed. The organization's existence was semi-public knowledge, at least in academic circles, before Second Impact.
Government Conspiracy: Although not exclusively, as it is implied that they have quite a few corporate sponsors.
Milkman Conspiracy: Downplayed. In relation to their existence being semi-public knowledge, they were only known for giving grants to research and promising grad students. But they also had a shady reputation for dishonest and unethical conduct. Still, nobody thought of them as Illuminati-like schemers trying to cause the apocalypse.
Multinational Team: Background material reveals each of the seen members to be respectively from France (Yellow), Germany (Keel), Russia (Blue), The United Kingdom (Red), and the United States (Green). It is also heavily implied that full SEELE council, i.e. the Monoliths, consist of a multitude of different nationalities.
You Are Number Six: When they meet as the SEELE council they appear as featureless monoliths, only distinguished by their numbers.
The Angels / Seeds of Life
First rownote Adam (1st) inside Gendo's hand, Lilith (2nd), Sachiel (3rd), Shamshel (4th), Ramiel (5th) & Gaghiel (6th); second rownote Israfel (7th), Sandalphon (8th), Matarael (9th), Sahaquiel (10th) & Ireul (11th) infecting the MAGI system; third rownote Leliel (12th), Bardiel (13th) infecting Unit-03, Zeruel (14th), Arael (15th) & Armisael (16th). For Tabris (17th), see Kaworu Nagisa. For a size comparison, see here◊.
The Angels are the monstrous adversaries that NERV is committed to battling. Little is revealed about them, except that the "molecular structure" of their DNA is very analogous to that of human DNA, their presence was predicted by the secret Dead Sea Scrolls in SEELE's possession, and that should an Angel make contact with Adam (one of the two Seeds of Life, the other being Lilith), it will cause a version of Third Impact that would annihilate humanity and leave the Angels (or just that particular Angel; it's unclear which) as the dominant life form on the planet.
Alien Geometries: Leliel is a nanometers-thick black void with a spherical shadow that's completely disconnected from it.
Alien Blood: Subverted by most of the angels, who prominently bleed bright-red blood, but played straight with the angel in Terminal Dogma which is the first sign that it is not from the same seed as the other angels that attack NERV.
In spite of their alleged source, the canonicity of material in Evangelion 2 is still the subject of some debate.
In Episode 21 of the show, Gendo has a line of dialogue that alludes to a precursor race as being responsible for the Geofronts found under Japan and Antarctica. There is, however, no further elaboration on their nature.
Recently, however, fans have come onto the original series proposal that Anno originally showed to Gainax, which also makes mention of said precursors and their role in the creation of the Angels.
Sachiel's and Shamshel's genders, which were confirmed by Yoshitoh Asari as male and female respectively.
Beehive Barrier: The AT-field defensive barrier for Ireul, which is hexagonal. The rest of the Angels (for the AT-field is a standard power for all Angels and Seeds of Life, whether or not it was actually shown on-screen), have octagonal fields. The AT Field projected by Gendo in the manga is octagonal as well.
Bardiel does something similar when he tries to infect Eva 00's arm.
Canon Foreigner: Iblis and Baraqijal from the tabletop RPG, The Insubstantial Angel from the videogame Second Impression and Diemay, a fan design that won a contest Gainax held to get draw by the official artists on a single animation cell.
Faceless Eye: His "brother" Baraqijal, by contrast, is one big floating orange eyeball.
Fearful Symmetry: "Hi. I'm Israfel-A, and this my twin Israfel-B. Will you dance with us?"
Four Is Death: Bardiel (Toji is the fourth child.) and Zeruel. (Fourteen is "death wish".)
Gender-Blender Name: Adam is actually a female, as she is referred to as "our mother" by Kaworu in Episode 24.
No Biological Sex: Considering that the Angels are capable of producing life by themselves, the other possibility is that they're this. It's very likely that Kaworu used "mother" because of all the mother symbolism in Eva.
Adam is occasionally referred as "the giant of light".
Shamshel's name means "Sun of God". Angel of Day. Yeah.
Ramiel is the Angel of Lightning.
Arael's "heavenly" beam of light, considering what it does...
Living Shadow: A unique and essentially literal case with Leliel, as the "shadow" is actually its super-thin body, while the floating sphere is its three-dimensional shadow. Don't think about that last part too much; just chalk it up to higher-dimension quantum physics and leave it at that.
Adam and Lilith are the first humans in certain unorthodox Jewish mythological texts and the progenitors of Mankind and the demons known as Lilim, respectively, while the eponymous Seeds of Life are the progenitors of the Angels and Mankind, respectively.
Sachiel is the angel of water (guess where we first see him).
Sachiel also means "Covering of God" referencing it covering Unit-01 before self destructing.
His namesake is also one of the two Cherubs placed to guard Eden so that Mankind wouldn't take the Fruit of Life and become like God. Fittingly, he's the first Angel who appear when Mankind starts playing God.
Shamshel ("Sun of God") is specifically one of the two Cherubs guarding Eden. After Sachiel's death, stopping Mankind's attempt at becoming like God was her job. Toji and Kensuke break the rules in order to see Shinji in action, gaining forbidden knowledge.
Ramiel ("Thunder of God") is the angel of thunder; and while the NGE Angel does not control electricity or weather, its energy attack is a "thunderbolt" of destructive force.
Gaghiel (or Gagiel) is the angel of fisherman (his defeat involves a tactic that resembles fishing).
Israfel is the angel of music (its defeat involved dancing to a specific musical score).
Sandalphon is the angel of embryos (discovered during a "larval stage", its "voice" is composed of electronically distorted baby wailing), among other things.
Matarael ("Premonition of God") is the angel of rain (it "rains" acid).
Sahaquiel is the angel of the sky (it appears in freakin' outer space).
Ireul (Hebrew Yireuel, "Fear of God") is the angel of terror (the first Angel to penetrate almost every line of defense in the Geo Front, reached closer to Terminal Dogma than any other Angel save Tabris, hacked its way into NERV's database and the MAGI supercomputers with astonishing ease and speed, and was a fraction of a second away from activating NERV's self-destruct system).
Leliel can mean "Angel of Night", and is associated primarily with shadows, black and white patterns, and an infinite pocket dimension with no observable properties.
Bardiel is the angel of haze and hail (it infests Unit 03 while its cargo plane flew through a thunder cloud). Its name means "humiliated son of God", referencing the fact that it has no body of its own.
Zeruel ("Arm of God") is the angel of power and strength (he takes out Units 00 and 02 in no time flat, devastates NERV headquarters, and very nearly destroys Unit 01). Also, Unit 01 eats it, regenerating its arm.
Zeruel is specifically the Angel that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone.
Armisael is the angel of the womb (it's vaguely shaped like an umbilical cord, and attempts in some way to give "birth" to previously destroyed Angels using Unit-00).
Tabris is a subversion, as neither are there any official Judeo-Christian source that lists an angel with that name (or one close to it), nor is the name's etymology clear; Word of God, however, is that he's named after the angel of free will, and the character exercises that free will to allow Shinji to kill him. Whether it's a Heroic Sacrifice or not is up to debate.
Part of the on-screen exposition on the (in-universe-wise presumed) mechanics behind Leliel's "Sea of Dirac," which is named after a real, though discredited, hypothesis that otherwise bears little to no relation.
Also applies for all the Angels, as the MAGI identifies them during each invasion as Blood Type: BLUE. What that means is anyone's guess, especially since none of them have actually blue blood.
Humans (and Evas) are Blood Type: ORANGE. LCL is orange. Hmmm...
Aside from being named "Shito" (which can translated as either "Apostle" or "messenger"; "angel" is descended from the Greek word for "messenger"), all names are of Judeo-Christian Angels excluding two cases - Adam and Lilith (see Meaningful Name above).
All of Adam's Childrens' names either end with -el or -ul, with the exception of Sandalphon.
You Are Number Six: The Angels are always referred to by the characters according to their order of appearance (3rd Angel, 5th Angel, etc.), outside of the recap in Episode 14 which refers to the angels Sachiel to Sahaquiel by name and a quick recap in 23 which reveals all the rest.
Counter-clockwise, from top-right: Unit-01, Unit-00 (post-refitting), Unit-02 and Unit-03.
Click here to see the Mass Production Evangelions.
The Evangelions are biomechanical mecha designed by GEHIRN, and later by NERV, as a means of fighting the Angels. Their effectiveness against the Angels is based on their ability to generate an AT field, the same form of defense that the Angels use. It's eventually revealed that the Evas are actually cloned Angels, all based on Adam except for Unit 01, which was derived from Lilith. The Evas have human souls bonded to them, and are piloted by select 14-year-old teenagers who can synchronize with those souls; in the case of Units 01 and 02, those teens happen to be the children of the women who were bonded to those Evas.
Appendage Assimilation: Unit 01 attaching and then transmogrifying Zeruel's arm to replace her own, and later absorbing his S2 engine/organ.
The Berserker: Whenever you hear an Evangelion roar, someone is about to die messily. No exceptions.
Unit 04 explodes and takes a whole local branch of NERV and a chunk of the Nevada desert with it.
The actual fourth Eva, Unit 03, is possessed by the Thirteen Angel.
Guardian Entity: The Evangelions are less like mecha and more like Guardian Entities you control from the inside. Kaworu takes this a step further when he controls Unit 02 remotely, and it's implied he can do this with any Adam-type Evangelion.
Unit 01 exhibits some of this, restoring her broken arm during the battle with Sachiel and regenerating her blown-out eye immediately after.
The Mass Produced Evas in the manga regenerate after being curb-stomped by Shinji in Unit 01. Ironically, for years Fanon has mistakingly believed that MP Evas in End were capable of regenerating, while in reality they couldn't, they were just that determined to kill Asuka, wounds and missing limbs be damned.
Holy Halo: Unit-00 in the Director's Cut/Renewal Version for episode 23. When it self-destructs, taking Armisael and a huge chunk of Tokyo-3 with it, we see the Eva briefly turn into an all-white vision of Rei with an halo, right before she explodes.
Living Weapon: The Evas are a mecha version—mostly-organic creatures that can fight the Angels on their own terms because, in essence, they are Angels.
Mama Bear: The Evas are imbued with the souls of their pilots' mothers. Special mention goes to Yui Ikari/Eva Unit-01, who goes berserk at the drop of a hat if Shinji is in danger.
Vertical Mecha Fins: The former Trope Namer ("Eva Fins"). Units 01, 02, and 03 come with the signature shoulder attachments from the get-go. Unit 00 gets them when its armor is replaced after the Ramiel battle. The MP Evas don't have them.
Youkai: Not examples themselves, but from Word of Godhere, the physical appearance of the Evangelions are based off oni.
Your Size May Vary: No official heights have been given for them, and they seem to shift depending on what will look correct in a given scene.
This is most noticeable in Episode 8 when after Gaghiel explodes, Unit-02 is launched out of the sea, lands on an aircraft carrier's deck, and collapses. Nothing wrong there, until you remember that just a few scenes ago she was playing "hopscotch" with a ship the exact same size, which means she has shrunk down to the size of her own shoe.
From Girlfriend of Steel / Iron Maiden. Mana is a new girl in Tokyo 3 who immediately becomes close to Shinji, inciting Asuka's jealousy. As her relationship with Shinji grows, it is revealed that she is a pilot for the TRIDENT project, a giant mech program in competition with NERV. Shinji must evaluate his feelings for her all while deciding how to rescue her when her mech goes haywire.