The Children | NERV Staff | GEHIRN Staff | Other Characters | Extracanonical Characters
Voiced by: Kotono Mitsuishi (Japanese); Allison Keith [ADV], Carrie Keranen [VSI] (English)note
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 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). Despite her lighter side, her insecurities cause her to be childish, touchy, and short-tempered; for instance, she hates being teased yet loves to tease people, especially Shinji. Most of her problems come from conflicting feelings toward her father, who neglected her and her mother in favor of his work but sacrificed his life to save hers during Second Impact... an event that she's all but certain he had a hand in causing, but as a horrific accident.
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 causes her to misinterpret the reasons why Shinji acts the way he does when he pilots Unit-01, and 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 coming 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, angry that he doesn't share her rage, or her efforts are misguided and seemingly inappropriate, 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 and fears he'll only hurt her more if he tries. note
Her on-again, off-again boyfriend is the aforementioned Ryōji Kaji; their relationship, at least at first, is all about Belligerent Sexual Tension.
- The Ace: Deconstructed. Initially introduced as a beautiful, hard-drinking, hard-fighting and improbably young elite officer of NERV sent to mentor and guide Shinji, the cracks start showing throughout the series and by the end she is barely holding it together following serious injuries, the resurfacing memories of Second Impact, her increasing awareness that NERV has been lying to her all along, her old friendship with Ritsuko coming apart at the seams, and the death of Kaji. In the finale, having failed to motivate Shinji as a friend and as a substitute mother, all she can do is offer herself and she dies asking if she did the right thing.
- Action Girl: She's not an Eva pilot like Asuka and Rei, but she's incredibly competent in her own right. This is especially evident in episode 7 when she takes down Jet Alone and in End of Evangelion when she saves Shinji from the JSSDF.
- Addiction Displacement: Replaces beer for coffee later in the series after Kaji's demise.
- Adorkable: Crossed with her Womanchild and her comic relief moments. One moment that sticks out is the way she munches a slice of toast with a goofy grin on her face◊ in episode 7, as part of a Funny Background Event when Shinji is giving her a lecture.
- The Alcoholic: Borderline. Downing at least one can of beer is part of her Morning Routine. Ritsuko also comments on her drinking habits with some concern in a later episode.
- Badass Driver: At least hinted at. Because of the nature of the show, she doesn't get that many chances at showing off her driving skills, but she swiftly and professionally manages to evacuate Shinji from the frontlines in her car in the first episode, and later she shows that she can pull off high-speed Parallel Parking without breaking a sweat.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Subverted. It seems that her drinking and poor eating habits haven't affected her looks, but she has a large scar on her chest (briefly revealed in the anime, seen full-on in one panel in the manga) from her brush with death during Second Impact, and she's seriously injured by Unit-03's destruction of its launch site, wearing a head bandage and an arm sling for the next couple of episodes.
- Beergasm: The happy yell she lets go of when she knocks back her first cold one after work provides the current page image.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's friendly, but it's not wise to piss her off.
- Big Breast Pride: Our (and Shinji's) very first image of her is a picture she included with Shinji's NERV materials that has an arrow she drew pointing to her cleavage.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: Likes curry on top of instant ramen.
- Broken Bird: Her personality is mostly a coping mechanism for her childhood traumas.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: She is certainly a Hard-Drinking Party Girl and definitely marks for Plucky Comic Relief, but there is a very good reason why she is at the top of the military chain of command within an organisation like NERV.
- 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.
- Christmas Cake: All in all, she has issues when it comes to men: there are subtle, ambiguous hints that she might actually be into Shinji, justifying this, but she's also very attracted to Kaji and is devastated when he's killed. Fitting this trope is something of a Berserk Button:Misato: It's like everyone's in a rush to get married before they turn 30.
Ritsuko: And you don't want to be the last one still single, do you?
Misato: Excuse me?!
- *Click* Hello:
- To Kaji when she catches him about to sneak into Terminal Dogma.
- To Ritsuko when she was about to reveal Rei's origins to Shinji.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She gets quite jealous whenever Kaji runs off to flirt with another woman. In one early episode, when Kaji gets a little too touchy-feely with Ritsuko, she stares at him with a look of utterly hilarious fury through a window.
- Cool Big Sis: Subverted. Misato attempts to be this towards Shinji to get closer to him, but their mutual issues derail her efforts.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Her cooking is best described as completely unrelated instant meals gathered in the same vessel. She's better off leaving the food to Shinji.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: Wears a cross pendant that her father put around her neck just before sealing her in the capsule that saved her during Second Impact.
- A Day in the Limelight: Episode 7, where she is the key factor in taking down the Jet Alone mecha after it goes awry during its debut performance.
- Deuteragonist: Per Word of God, Misato is the secondary hero, following Shinji.
- Disappeared Dad: Her father was a scientist who was caught in the middle of the Second Impact with his crew.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Inverted. After Kaji's death, she entirely quits drinking beer, switching instead to drinking an apparently equal amount of canned coffee.
- Dumbstruck: Following Second Impact the teenaged Misato was found in a borderline catatonic state and she didn't speak for at least a couple of years afterwards. When they're in college together, Ritsuko notices that Mistato is quite the Motor Mouth and speculates that she talks so much then to make up for her time as a mute.
- Earned Stripes: Misato gets a promotion but doesn't say anything about it. Only Kensuke, a military otaku, notices the change in her ranks, and Shinji is surprised when he congratulates her on it.
- Expy: Hideaki Anno describes her as an adult Usagi Tsukino, right down to the hair and voice actress. See Shout-Out below.
- Functional Addict: Even though she is a borderline alcoholic, it never shows when she's on the job, where she is one of the most well-adjusted people working at NERV (relatively speaking) and a military genius.
- Genius Ditz: Sure, Misato might appear like a quirky woman with a perky attitude and an alcohol problem who often fails to act her age, but she has one hell of a knack for tactics and working out very effective short-term plans on the fly.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: A far more serious example than most. While her drinking habits are generally played for laughs to begin with, it becomes increasingly evident as the show progresses that she drinks in an attempt to cope with the stress of her job and the ghosts from her past.Ritsuko: Misato's drinking too much, isn't she? She's acting a little out of control.
Kaji: Sometimes one drinks to keep oneself under control. We all do.
Ritsuko: As someone who has lived with her, your words carry a certain weight of truth.
- Half the Woman She Used to Be: In EoE it isn't ultimately blood loss from her gunshot wound that finally does her in, but the explosion from the charges the JSSDF had planted. Going through the explosion frame by frame reveals that it ends up literally tearing her in half.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the manga. Dying from a gunshot wound, she is found by JSSDF soldiers but blows both herself and them up with a grenade.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Ritsuko, until the pileup of NERV's secrets and the traumas suffered over the course of the series shatter their friendship.
- Hypocrite: Misato's a sympathetic example; she's greatly annoyed at the fact that Shinji has no personal stake in being an Evangelion pilot beyond the fact that doing so might please his father and encourages him to do it for himself. Misato herself is only invested in killing the Angels out of personal revenge and to please her now-dead father. It's implied that part of what makes her so angry at Shinji is that so much of his motivations mirror hers.
- Hypocritical Humor: Says that Kaworu is "in serious need of a therapist" when she spies him seemingly talking to himself. In reality, Kaworu is one of the only characters who doesn't need a therapist, Misato included.
- I'll Tell You When I've Had Enough!: When she's pissed off and drinking, don't try to stop her.
- In Vino Veritas: When she's sober, she's a force to be reckoned with. Drunk... not so much.
- The Lad-ette: She enjoys drinking copious amounts of beer, has an interest in cars, and is quite the disorganised slob in private. She also has a notable aversion to wearing high-heeled shoes, judging from Kaji's surprise upon seeing her wearing them at a wedding.
- Last-Name Basis: She pretty much only refer to Kaji by his last name, to the point where Kaji's first name, "Ryoji", is only ever spoken by her once in a Full-Name Ultimatum.
- Like Parent, Like Spouse: She is attracted to Kaji because he reminds her of her father. This realisation is what led her to break up with him.
- Like Father, Like Daughter: Ironically, despite the large emotional distance between her and her father, she ends her life pretty much the same way he ended his: using her last minutes alive to do everything in her power to save her children, in spite of both having suffered a debilitating injury and the fact that the apocalypse is literally happening around her.
- Little Black Dress: Her standard work outfit is a short, sleeveless dress, though most of the time, it tends to be covered by her red officer's jacket.
- Majorly Awesome: Proves her badass credentials several times in the anime, End of Evangelion, and the manga. She starts out as The Captain in the original anime and manga before being promoted to Major.
- Mama Bear: Fiercely protective of the Children, especially Shinji. The best example comes in End of Evangelion, where she leaves the command center mid-battle to rescue him, as well as hiding Asuka and her Eva at the bottom of the Geofront lake to keep her out the reach of the JSSDF.
- Manchild: She has some childish sides to her. Most notably, she is messy and lazy in private and likes teasing people whenever she gets the chance but is very much unable to handle being teased herself.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: A subtle case with Kaji. While Kaji is clearly quite manly, he also enjoys gardening, drinks coffee and specializes in espionage, in contrast to Misato, who enjoys cars, drinks beer and specializes in combat. This is notable due to the series' recurring analysis of gender roles, particularly Misato's worries of failing as a mother figure.
- The McCoy: The emotional, empathetic, and idealistic counterpart to Risuko's Spock.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Throughout the series, she mentors Asuka and Shinji in defeating the Angels. By the time of The End of Evangelion, however, she helps Shinji escape from the JSSDF to pilot Unit-01, but not before she gets fatally shot in the process.
- Motor Mouth: During her college days, according to Ritsuko, making her assume that Misato is compensating for her Cute Mute years (see above).
- Must Have Caffeine: After Kaji's death, she switches from beer to copious amounts of canned coffee, perhaps because she's now motivated to work all hours to find the truth about NERV.
- Mrs. Robinson: Throughout the series there are several moments which suggest she may have an attraction to Shinji, though how much of this is simply due to her issues with communicating with men in any way other than sexual and her own parental issues is up for debate. She also doesn't seem to mind the attention from younger men (probably due to her insecurity), such as Toji and Kensuke, as well as using the feelings of her subordinate Hyuga to her advantage at times.
- Ms. Fanservice: Competes with Asuka and Rei for this.
- Played up in the previews of next episodes, in which she regularly comments on how much fanservice she's giving. (At least until things start going south.)
- Taken further in the manga, especially in still art.
- Nice Girl: For all of her flaws, Misato is a mostly laidback, friendly woman who tries her best to look out for Shinji and Asuka.
- Not a Morning Person: Especially when she has to attend Shinji's parent/teacher conference.
- Parental Favoritism: Despite taking Asuka in as her guardian like she did with Shinji, Misato was largely hands off in her guidance of Asuka in comparison to Shinji. While Misato goes through great efforts to break down Shinji's barriers to grow closer to him, she had a habit of engaging Asuka in Passive-Aggressive Kombat by comparison. Misato's presumed favoritism towards Shinji, along with her relationship with Kaji, both played factors in Asuka'a growing resentment towards both her and Shinji.
- 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.
- Pin-Pulling Teeth: Done beautifully for her death scene in the manga. JSSDF soldiers approach her slumped and fatally-wounded body; she turns her head towards them, revealing a pin in the corner of her mouth. She then shows them the hand grenade she's holding.
- Precision F-Strike:
- From the English dub of End: "So fucking what if I'm not you?"
- In volume 4 of the manga, albeit the one there is censored.
- Scars Are Forever: A large scar on her chest, which she got in Second Impact.
- Secretly Selfish: Is working to save humanity from the Angels, but is operating out of revenge and personal interests rather than for the good of all mankind. She spends a good deal of the show annoyed at Shinji's own selfish motivations for piloting an Evangelion, but admits in the final episode that she's no better; one of the themes of Evangelion is that everyone is Secretly Selfish.
- Sensei-chan: She is one in the alternate universe depicted during Instrumentality in episode 26.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: A rare example of a character who becomes one over the course of the series, as her injuries, past traumas and Kaji's death pile up and finally get to her.
- She's Got Legs: Misato likes to wear shorts and miniskirts that showcase her nice, long legs. The camera even highlights them when she exits a vehicle.
- 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".
- Smarter Than You Look: If one were to catch her off-duty, they'd probably see an airheaded, silly, drunken party girl, but she's actually very intelligent. Not only is she a gifted enough strategist to be made operations director over numerous personnel with higher ranks and more experience, but she's also a competent hacker and was able to keep up with Ritsuko when they were in college.
- Sole Survivor: She was at ground zero of Second Impact, and was the only one who got away alive thanks to her father getting her into an escape pod in the nick of time.
- Stacy's Mom: Toji and Kensuke are both quite enamoured with her. She notices and appears to be flattered.
- Stepford Smiler: Acts like a Hard-Drinking Party Girl to hide her daddy issues and emotional problems.
- The Strategist: To an exceptional degree, and enough that even Gendo recognizes her skills.
- Taking the Bullet: When she and Shinji are suddenly ambushed by a JSSDF patrol, she quickly shields him from their gunfire with her body, resulting in her sustaining a lethal injury before they are able to get away.
- 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...
- Tsundere: Has shades of this towards Kaji. She is frequently exasperated and annoyed by his flirting and goofing around, but she is very much still attracted to him and they eventually rekindle the relationship.
- Two Girls and a Guy: Formerly with Ritsuko and Kaji, back when they were university students.
- 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. One of her lines also strongly implies that Kaji might be the only person she has ever actually had sex with.
- You Gotta Have Purple Hair: 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.
Voiced by: Yuriko Yamaguchi (Japanese); Sue Ulu [ADV], Erica Lindbeck [VSI] (English)note
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.
- Beauty Mark/Charm Point: Kaji makes a note about the mole under her eye, which proves to be more prophetic than he realizes...
- Berserk Button: She goes nuts directly after destroying the Rei clones, realizing that she's repeated all of her mother's mistakes, and even asks Misato to kill her before being arrested.
- Blown Across the Room: In End when Gendo shoots her.
- Boxed Crook: Let out of prison to install a firewall in End Of Evangelion.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: She has every opportunity to just straight up shoot and kill Gendo when confronting him in End of Evangelion. Instead, she attempts to activate NERV HQ's self-destruct function and takes the time to gloat about ruining his plans and savoring her revenge. This is actually a downplayed example, as her plan would certainly have stopped Gendo and likely scuttled SEELE's invasion. Its only shortcoming was depending on the cooperation of a supercomputer that was based on a woman who loved Gendo and was capable of defying orders. Ultimately, her confusion at the self-destruct failing to trigger causes her to drop her guard at the worst possible moment, giving Gendo the opportunity to shoot her to death.
- Brainy Brunette: Defied; she's a natural brunette but dyes her hair blonde to distinguish herself from her mother.
- Christmas Cake: Like Misato, she's almost 30 and single, and pokes fun at Misato over it...but by the end of the story, the reason for her being so is tragically evident.
- *Click* Hello: Courtesy of Misato. Ironically, she gets to do this to Gendō and Rei in the manga adaptation of End Of Evangelion.
- Crazy Cat Lady: Misato spits that Ritsuko uses cats as a substitute for human affection.
- A Day in the Limelight: Episode 13, when she hacks the MAGI to stop Ireul's invasive attack.
- Death Seeker: She begged Misato to kill her after she destroyed the Rei clones. She lampshades this to Gendo in End Of Evangelion.Ritsuko: I will kill you first, then I will die myself. They say this happens often. In cheap dramas.
- Disappeared Dad: Ritsuko's mother Naoko openly states that her father was never around during her upbringing and even suggests that her trouble around men had to do with this.
- Dye Hard: In-Universe example. As her strangely dark eyebrows for a blonde person hints at first, and a flashback later goes on to full-on reveal, Ritsuko is actually a brunette. It is strongly implied she dyes her hair in yet another one of her attempts to differentiate herself from her likewise brown-haired mother.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Maya surely does, although this isn't revealed until her final moments in End.
- Fanservice: Two brief scenes, with the latter edging into Fan Disservice due to the circumstancesnote .
- Firing One-Handed: When she confronts Gendo in Terminal Dogma.
- Friendless Background: By her own admission, she had no real friends until she met Misato in college, as her peers were typically reluctant to speak to her due to her prestigious name.
- Foil: To Misato, as she provides the more cold, logic-minded, and grounded counter to Misato's warm, emotionally-driven and somewhat high-strung personality...at least, until her own issues overtake her in the latter half of the series.
- Generation Xerox: Her and Naoko's relationships with Gendō, despite her attempts to defy the trope. Like mother, like daughter.
- Girls Behind Bars: Averted, as she was let out to put her computer skills to use.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Played with. Despite being the only blonde in the main cast, she's actually cold, aloof and deceptively amoral. Tellingly, it's eventually revealed she is not a natural blonde.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Misato, at the start of the series. By the end, this is completely dissolved.
- Hidden Depths: As with many of the other characters in Evangelion. Although she pushes for Shinji to be sent into the Eva, she is more vocal about Shinji's well-being than either Gendo or Misato at the beginning of the series and openly states that Rei is a very nice girl. She really does have a caring, compassionate side to her, but this better nature is overshadowed by her breakdown later in the series.
- Hot Scientist: She's quite pretty and regularly wears a miniskirt that rivals the one Misato normally wears.
- I Ate WHAT?!: In response to tasting Misato's cooking.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Her explanation as to why she destroyed the Rei clones.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: In the manga. Mortally wounded, she somehow manages to regain the strength to pick up her gun and shoot Gendo right in the jugular.
- Instant Death Bullet: She dies about a half a second after getting shot in End of Evangelion.
- In the Blood: She makes the exact same mistakes as her mother.
- Kick the Dog: Coldly mocks Shinji for not being able to remember his mother's death, moments before destroying the entire Dummy Plug system out of sheer jealousy.
- Last Breath Bullet: Unlike the anime, in the manga she holds on to life long enough after Gendo shoots her to return the favour.
- Like Mother, Like Daughter: Despite her desire to get out from under her mother's shadow, she ends up committing the exact same mistakes as her, especially in completely misjudging Gendo's character. The bitter irony of this is ultimately not lost on her, and she acknowledges this during her breakdown.
- Lonely Rich Kid: It is implied that she has been this. In Episode 21, Ritsuko mentions in passing in a letter to Naoko that that the status and reputation that came with being her daughter has always meant that her peers have been somewhat less inclined to approach her and only ever looked at her "from afar", which is why Misato has quickly become her best friend as she is the only fellow student who treats her like a normal person and without any of the reservations her prestigious family name normally carries. There are even implications that Misato (maybe aside from Kaji) might indeed be the only person Ritsuko have ever truly considered a friend.
- Love Martyr: Ritsuko stays loyal to Gendo for a long time out of love for him, helping him to keep NERV's dirty secrets from Misato and the pilots, treating the fact that Gendo really doesn't care one iota for her or or her feelings, but merely uses her for her intelligence and skill, as well as the fact that he hasn't and probably never will get over Yui, with a heavy dose of Selective Obliviousness. It is eventually subverted, as it finally dawns on Ritsuko how little Gendo cares for her, when he chooses to protect Rei by throwing her at the SEELE council for a very unconformable interrogation, when it was actually Rei they wanted to interrogate. This culminates in her turning against him, although she ultimately does so too late to do any real damage to his plans.
- Meaningful Name: Though named after an IJN warship like many NGE characters, she's one of only four such characters (the others being her own mother Naoko, Asuka and her mother Kyoko) whose ship-based name uses different kanji from her namesake, in her case instead 赤木 (Red Tree) of 赤城 (Red Castle). This "fakeness" in the Theme Naming mirrors Ritsuko dying her naturally brown hair yellow (i.e. a fake blonde) as a visual aspect of her attempts to distance herself from her late mother, yet undermining those attempts by having an affair with Gendo Ikari just like her mother did; it also mirrors how Ritsuko (and her mother before her) is nothing more than a "fake" lover for Gendo who could never displace his late wife Yui from his heart, and whom he simply uses as a tool to further his agenda.
- Mexican Standoff: With Gendō in Terminal Dogma. Needless to say, it doesn't end well.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Because committing 2nd degree mass murder is a sane act. Also guilty of handling some of NERV's darkest secrets alongside Gendo and Fuyutsuki.
- Must Have Nicotine: Though she rarely smokes on-screen, it is quite evident that she is a bit of a chain-smoker. Notably, the occasional shot of her ashtray shows it to be filled to the brim with cigarette butts stained with her lipstick.
- Never a Self-Made Woman: The trope is a bit played with, as Ritsuko's mother, Naoko, by all accounts very much appears to be a self-made woman, while it is also clear her name and its attached achievements at least partly helped landing Ritsuko a place in a good college and later her job at GEHIRN. However, Ritsuko sees herself this way even if her relative is a woman, as she definitely resents standing in her mother's shadow. It is part of the reason she bleaches her hair.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: She deals with the most nightmarish aspects of the Eva program and has her fun with it.
- Oedipus Complex: She seems to have a love/hate relationship with her mother Naoko.
- Oh, Crap!: Her stunned reaction when the self-destruct is rejected.
- The Philosopher: She does understand philosophy and even psychology to some extent and does raise pertinent questions on decisions and on the state of existence more than once.
- Please Kill Me If It Satisfies You: After destroying the Rei clones, Ritsuko begs Misato to kill her.
- Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: To Gendō in End Of Evangelion.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: Sometimes, although nowhere nearly as often as Gendo.
- Showdown at High Noon: She faces off against Gendō in Terminal Dogma.
- The Spock: The controlled, aloof, and pragmatic counterpart to Misato's McCoy.
- Stop, or I Will Shoot!: The confrontation with Gendo in Terminal Dogma.
- Taking You with Me: She attempts to detonate Terminal Dogma to stop Gendo from instituting Instrumentality and rescue Rei, or possibly for her petty revenge.
- This Cannot Be!: Practically a Catchphrase of hers. Whenever an Eva or an Angel does something, expect her to declare that it is "Impossible!" or some variation thereof.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: The Director's Cut paints Ritsuko as a decidedly more horrid person than the TV version. This happens gradually in the original version as well, since Ritsuko starts out being a friendly, if somewhat rigid person, but gets much colder towards the later half of the series; she essentially goes through a reversal of the Defrosting Ice Queen process.
- Tuckerization: Anno has stated that Ritsuko's first name comes from one of his old friends from middle school.
- Two Girls and a Guy: Formerly with Misato and Kaji, back when they were in university.
- We Meet Again: To Gendō, when she confronts him in Central Dogma in The End of Evangelion. Unfortunately for her, Gendō ends out with the upper hand.
- We Used to Be Friends: Over time it becomes apparent that Ritsuko and Misato's friendship is strained at best because of many of the conflicts between them, and by Episode 23, it is effectively over.
- Where's the Kaboom?: She's caught completely off guard when the self-destruct order she keyed into the MAGI is rejected.
- Woman Scorned: Gendo ultimately choosing to protect Rei over her finally forces Ritsuko to fully realize he doesn't care about her, and as such she seeks revenge on him, first by killing Rei's back-up bodies and then later rigging the MAGI to trigger NERV HQ's self-destruct in an attempt at Taking You with Me. In the end, though, her attempts are rendered futile (the latter by some posthumous interference by her mother) and she fails to do any actual damage to Gendo and his plans.
- Yandere: Over Gendo. She tries to kill Rei just like her mother did (in the manga only), then destroys the Rei clones in a bid to get at her and Gendo. It may have actually made Rei better.
- You Always Hear the Bullet: And she does, when she is shot in cold blood by Gendo.
Voiced by: Fumihiko Tachiki (Japanese); Tristan MacAvery [ADV], Ray Chase [VSI], John Swasey [Director's Cut] (English)note
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 Instrumentality, but in reality he is running 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 for approaching her at first, his love for her was genuine, so much so that he took her surname when they married. After Yui's contact experiment with 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 unpleasant undertones.
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 to his ultimate goal, which, as it turns out, is not quite the same as in the anime.
- Abusive Parents:
- On both ends no less. He's emotionally neglectful and abusive to Shinji, being absent for most of his life and the times they do interact, it's cold and aloof, leaving Shinji wanting to please his dad while being mad at him. In a bit of cold Irony, he tried to distance himself from Shinji out of fear of hurting him and his final words before death was apologizing to Shinji for hurting him. Furthermore, it's implied that his parents were little better, which could explain why he was an emotional mess and why he took his wife's last name in marriage.
- In the manga, he is more openly abusive, both verbally and emotionally. Even Rei is not exempt as he's blown her Eva's arm off, while her neural synch was still turned on. There's also what he does to her in End Of Evangelion.
- Adaptational Heroism: In spin-off manga, other than Sadamoto's, he often is seen in a much better light, complete with smiles and laughter with his son. This can partially be attributed to his wife still being around, and like the rest of the cast, being much less depressive. Shinji Ikari Raising Project outright portrays him as a well-intentioned but somewhat awkward Bumbling Dad.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the manga, Gendo's already-sparse Pet the Dog moments towards Shinji are completely absent, he is more verbally abusive and shows no regrets for mistreating him as he does in the anime, and in his last scene with Shinji he gives a him a combined Breaking Speech and Motive Rant that paints him as a borderline Straw Nihilist with a god complex, during which he admits up front that he outright hates Shinji for taking Yui's attention and affection. However, he does have a Heel Realization and Death Equals Redemption in the end.
- Adjusting Your Glasses: Gendo's other characteristic physical tic (see Finger-Tenting for his more famous one), he uses the "by the bridge" technique to show that he's got a few gambits up his sleeves.
- Ambiguously Evil: At the beginning it is unclear whether he does care about Shinji or is just an evil jackass.
- Badass Beard: His beard, coupled with his Scary Shiny Glasses, completes his intimidating visage.
- Beard of Sorrow: The fact that flashbacks show that Gendo was always clean-shaven while Yui was still around and that he by all appearances grew his beard shortly after her "death", strongly indicate that is the case.
- Beneath the Mask: End of Evangelion reveals his cold exterior is really just that; behind it is a lonely, sad, and ultimately afraid man who is filled with self-loathing and believes he is unworthy of being loved and deserves to die in agony for all the bad things he has done.
- Body Horror:
- In the anime, he has fused the embryonic Adam to the palm of his right hand, and it seems to be growing outwards.
- In the manga, he actually swallows Adam, which eventually manifests as an eyeball in the middle of his left hand from which he can project an AT field.
- Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: In the flashbacks describing the Birth of Nerv, Gendo was introduced as a Jerkass failure in life who kept getting into trouble. For example, when Fuyutsuki first met him, it was to bail him out of jail, as Gendo was a recluse and habitual drunk with a penchant for getting into bar fights. Fuyutsuki could not comprehend why such a beautiful genius as Yui would be paired with a failure in life. Gendo then said that he was used to being hated by everybody else. He needed Yui as a philosopher to teach him how to live and socialize like every other human being. As a result, after Yui sacrificed herself to be absorbed in Eva-01, Gendo became The Stoic whose only purpose is to bring her back from the dead.
- Byronic Hero: He certainly fulfills several of the list, even if calling a hero is questionable, being a very intelligent, ambitious, brooding and ruthless man who does whatever he deems necessary for his goals, revolving around love. Furthermore, he is quite popular with the ladies despite having only one woman he ever loved. Then there's the mess of a relationship he has with his son.
- The Casanova: Gendo was not only able to earn Yui's genuine love, but landed both Akagis as lovers after Yui's death, although for the latter two it was solely to use them for their scientific knowledge.
- The Chessmaster: He's technically subordinate to SEELE, but he constantly makes moves to mess up their plans while advancing his own goals.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Overlaps with Fake Nationality. His character design, although not character overall, is based heavily off of Ed Bishop in his starring role as Ed Straker on the British television show UFO.
- Dark and Troubled Past: The finer details before he met Yui are unknown, but alternate universe works portray him as having had a rough childhood and adolescence. Though Yui's death definitely sent him off the edge, he was already there before he met her. It does go a long way to explaining his emotional issues, his devotion to Yui (to where he took her last name) and perhaps his fears behind parenting Shinji.
- Darth Vader Clone: The tallest human in the show, dresses in all black, is an Archnemesis Dad to the protagonist, has a deep (natural) voice, and is a tactical genius and a Starscream who plans to take over from the true Big Bad. He's retroactively even more of one thanks to the Star Wars prequels, because he became evil due to a tragic accident involving his wife in his younger years.
- 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.
- Defrosting Ice King: Appeared to have been something like this with Yui. As a young man he was a recluse and a bit of a delinquent, but she saw the softer side of him and he in turn opened up to her. Completely undone after Yui's death, to a point where he's probably incapable of ever defrosting again.
- Desperately Craves Affection: Like with Shinji, this is Gendo's main struggle in life. For Gendo though, this is compounded by Single-Target Sexuality; he has essentially convinced himself than no one but Yui will ever be able to look past his failings and problems and accept him with flaws and all, and he therefore wholeheartedly believes that she is the only one who can ever give him the affection he craves, which is why he is so desperate to bring her back at any and all costs.
- Didn't See That Coming: He is caught completely off-guard by Rei turning against him in the 11th hour.
- The Dragon: His loyalty to SEELE is questionable at best; however, he proves to be their most effective agent. In End of Evangelion, Rei has to defy him so that Shinji will have the power to disrupt SEELE's plans.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Gendo was a quite a Deadpan Snarker back in the day, as shown in the flashback episode, but when Yui "died" she apparently took his funny bone with her.Fuyutsuki: 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?
- That said, he is not entirely above it during the series proper either, such as during a discussion with Fuyutsuki about the whole debacle surrounding Unit-04 and the Second Branch's disappearance. While Fuyutsuki is quietly horrified about the loss of life, Gendo sees it fit to crack a very dry joke:Fuyutsuki: But the Committee is in a panic!
Gendo: (matter-of-factly) Of course, it was an unscheduled accident.
Fuyutsuki: (clearly amused, in spite of himself) SEELE must also be frantically adjusting the schedule...
Gendo: Incidents not depicted in the Dead Sea Scrolls can occur. This ought to teach the old men a lesson.
- That said, he is not entirely above it during the series proper either, such as during a discussion with Fuyutsuki about the whole debacle surrounding Unit-04 and the Second Branch's disappearance. While Fuyutsuki is quietly horrified about the loss of life, Gendo sees it fit to crack a very dry joke:
- Evil Sounds Deep: The Japanese, English and Spanish versions give him a deep, charismatic voice.
- 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 absorption into Unit-01, he decides to plot out his own version so they can be reunited.
- Finger-Tenting: Trope Codifier; Gendo spends a great deal of time in this pose, so much so that it received memetic status in the fanbase and became known as "the Gendo pose".
- Freudian Excuse: It's clear someone or something made him lose his grip even before Yui's death. It's strongly implied, in fact, that he had a decidedly less than pleasant childhood.
- Fond Memories That Could Have Been: Three words. "Forgive me, Shinji."
- Former Teen Rebel: Gives the impression that he might have been one during the first meeting with Fuyutsuki. He still has hints of it, in that he's in flagrant breach of regulation by always wearing his uniform in an unzipped state, and frequently displays a lowkey devil-may-care attitude to his superiors, though that's also been seen as a sign that he is only focused on his quest and has pretty much moved beyond caring about what the world thinks of him.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Okay, so they're more like sunglasses. It still counts.
- Generation Xerox:
- It is implied a few times, especially in End of Evangelion, that Gendo shares most of his character traits with Shinji.
- Shinji's seen briefly wearing Gendo's old glasses in episode 5. A young Gendo appears without his trademark beard or glasses in the flashbacks of episode 21. Comparing the two... yeah, Shinji strongly resembles his old man, both inside and out.
- A God Am I: His true objective (made Anviliciously clear) in the manga.
- Happily Married: To Yui before her "death". The event utterly broke him.
- Henpecked Husband: In the Alternate Continuities where Yui is alive, she tends to be the one in the charge of the household while Gendo just quietly follows her lead. It is a Downplayed Trope most of the time, though, as the relationship tends not to be portrayed as overtly negative, and for his part, Gendo seems to be just fine with the arrangement. Fanon, of course, tends to grab this trope with both hands and run with it.
- Heartbroken Badass: Light on the badass side, but very heavy on the heartbroken side.
- His Own Worst Enemy: Like with Shinji, his extreme self-hatred and subconscious fear that he is not worthy of being loved is really what is at the root of most of his problems.
- The Heavy: As the chief agent of SEELE, Gendo is directly responsible for triggering the events of Second Impact and organizing the global push towards Human Instrumentality
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Yui certainly thought so, telling an incredulous Fuyutsuki that Gendo is "quite a sweet person. It's just that no one knows it." It becomes more clear in The End of Evangelion, where it is explained that he truly does care about Shinji, and his dismissive attitude towards him stems from the fact that he sees himself as a bad influence and feared hurting his son. And, finally, in his dying moments he regrets everything he's done to Shinji. Largely averted in the manga, though, where he is pretty much every bit as horrible as he appears to be.
- I Choose to Stay: Although he wasn't inducted into Instrumentality, Shinji's statement in the manga's penultimate chapter implies that like Yui, his soul was left inside the petrified Unit 01.
- I Was Quite a Looker: In his youth, Gendo was much more ruggedly handsome and conventionally attractive (and actually strongly resembles an older version of Shinji, who was himself designed to be a Bishōnen). He's not bad looking at all at his current age, but looks are clearly the least of his priorities.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Activating the Dummy Plug system that causes Toji to become crippled or, in the manga, to die was harsh, but the alternative was Third Impact. Asuka and Rei had already been defeated by Bardiel, and Shinji refused to do anything, so there really was no other way even if he wasn't a ruthless jerk.
- 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. Each of these can be at least partially explained by the fact that they took root while he was younger and more dashing and mentally stable.
- Karmic Death:
- In End of Evangelion, 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 deserved a good metaphorical smacking from the cosmos, his death drips of poetic justice, and in his Famous Last Words he states that he's perfectly aware of this.
- 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.
- Karmic Nod: As he is about to be devoured by a demonic Unit-01 during Instrumentality, he accepts it as a fair punishment for everything he has done.
- Kubrick Stare: One of the three "ingredients" of his signature pose.
- Large and in Charge: He's one of the tallest characters in the series, and the head of NERV.
- Lean and Mean: While it isn't too noticeable in the show proper due to his rather bulky jacket, the art book Evangelion Chronicle has him shown without said jacket, revealing that he is actually quite slender of frame (a trait Shinji has clearly inherited) to the point where he wears both a belt and suspenders.
- Love Makes You Evil: He takes the phrase 'you're worth the world to me' to its (insanely) logical conclusion. He tries to bring about the apocalypse, in fervent belief that this will reunite his mind and soul with that of his wife, Yui. Technically, while the plan actually began working, Yui's soul rejected Gendo's at the climax, due to the untold suffering he brought, especially to their son. The moment is best summed up when the Eva her soul is in bites Gendo and Gendo's last words are an apology to his son.
- Love Redeems: Zigzagged. Before he met Yui, he had few friends and was a pretty bitter man. 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, or if she has no brothers to carry her surname on. 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. Furthermore, Word of God says that Yui was the only daughter of a SEELE member, and therefore of high social status. It also serves to reinforce the implications that Gendo had a very emotional troubled childhood and may have done so to cut all ties with his family.
- Manipulative Bastard: In every appearance. Though it's somewhat notable that he's almost always a Manipulative Bastard by accident. To paraphrase the man himself, he just isn't good at interacting with other humans.
- Mask of Sanity: He's ostensibly the leader of the heroic organization fighting to prevent the end of the world. The truth of the matter is far more complicated as he's plotting to cause it instead in a mad quest to be reunited with his long-dead wife.
- More Than Mind Control: Gives the impression of having this over Rei and Ritsuko, although this is proven to be nonexistent by the end.
- Necromantic: He still thinks of Unit-01 as Yui.
- Nerves of Steel: Does not flinch even when he gets splattered with blood from Eva-01 and Zeruel brawling right in front of him.
- Noodle Incident: His past prior to meeting Yui. He was a known rebel who was prone to getting into fights at his university, and nonchalantly told Fuyutsuki that he was "used to being hated" when reprimanded by him. While this suggests that he has a Dark and Troubled Past outside of his relationships with his wife and son, the audience never learns anything more about it.
- No Social Skills: Between his curt way of speaking, which betrays an obvious dislike for saying anything more than he feels he absolutely needs to, regularly making the effort to hide his face behind his glasses and hands so it is hard to get a read on him, and being quite the recluse in private, with Fuyutsuki and Rei probably being the closest he has to a friend and family respectively, it is evident that Gendo is not a people person.
- Not So Different: He and Shinji are so very much alike, it's painful. Both of them are brooding, introverted, quiet people who have evident difficulty with the concepts of interpersonal relationships and small talk, and in the end they are revealed to have the same Fatal Flaws, namely an immense sense of self-loathing and a subconscious belief that they are unworthy of being loved. They also have quite a strong willpower beneath their unassuming exterior, given how Shinji's berserk drive and Gendo's cold determination are not different (especially since Gendo implied he was more brash in his youth). Gendo's decision to abandon Shinji being driven by his fear of being a bad parent also mirrors Shinji's tendency to isolate himself from others out of fear that he will only be a burden to them.
- Not So Stoic: He has his moments, many of them notably happens around Rei. Especially her betrayal in End of Evangelion makes his true agony start to leak out, culminating with his final apology to his son.
- The 13th Angel fight makes him lose all cool with Shinji to the point he forces the staff to run the Dummy Plug and after the fight has Shinji incapacitaed as he's angerly berates him in the plug.
- Oh, Crap!: In the manga, when Shinji tries to assault him after Touji's death. Albeit very brief (it only lasts one frame) this is the only time that Gendo is seen genuinely shocked.
- Perpetual Frowner:
- While he shows off the occasional triumphant smirk when something goes Just as Planned, he spends most of the series with a downcast scowl on his face. His only truly warm smiles tends to happen when he is around Rei.
- Notably, the flashback episode shows that the younger Gendo tended to default to a confident smirk for his standard expression. After losing Yui, the frown that his older self will be known for appeared and was there to stay.
- Pet the Dog:
- The few occasions when he treats Shinji well, and his dying words in End of Evangelion: "I'm sorry, Shinji".
- It's also made pretty clear during the course of the series that he loves Rei like a daughter, and is willing to go to great lengths to protect her. Though their relationship is... complicated.
- The Philosopher: Comments a great deal on science, scientists and the state of humanity.
- Psychotic Smirk: Whenever something goes All According to Plan for him. It's usually hidden behind his hands.
- The Quiet One: He usually speaks little, and when he does he never says a single word more than he has to.
- Scars Are Forever: His hands are covered with burn scars, as a result of forcibly opening Rei's entry plug to rescue her after the failed activation of Unit-00. His scars are much worse in the manga, too.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: Former Trope Namer and so iconic that this coupled with his signature pose have long been the subject of meme and Shout-Out.
- 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. Unfortunately, this act does indeed hurt Shinji and Gendo realizes the painful truth at death.
- Shadow Archetype: Of Shinji. It's very noted that the two are Not So Different in their personality and appearances and indeed, Gendo appears to be what could happen to Shinji if he underwent similar cirucmstances.
- Single-Target Sexuality: He loves Yui and only Yui. He's perfectly fine with sleeping with other women if he can use them to further his goals, but he harbors no actual attraction to them. This raises further implications in his relationship with Rei, who looks remarkably like Yui...
- Smart People Play Chess: He is shown to occasionally play Shogi with Fuyutsuki.
- Smug Smiler: As a young man, before crossing the Despair Event Horizon, his standard expression was a cocky, defiant smirk. The fact that he's a Perpetual Frowner in the present shows just how different he became after losing Yui.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: The scary, cold and mysterious façade he projects hides that he is more or less like his son underneath it all; someone with an exceptionally low opinion of himself, who fails to connect with other people due to being deeply afraid of hurting and being hurt by others.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Depending on the romanization the translator uses, his name can be rendered as Gendo (or more properly, Gendō) or Gendou with the former being more popular.
- The Starscream: He's only going along with SEELE to hijack their Human Instrumentality Project so that he can reunite with his dead wife and attempts to betray them in End of Evangelion.
- The Stoic: His default facial expression hardly ever changes.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Very icy, with the sugar only showing up around Rei and Yui.
- Sunglasses at Night: More like sunglasses in various poorly lit rooms in an Elaborate Underground Base.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: He is one of the tallest characters of the cast, dresses like one of The Men in Black and he has a pretty dry wit. He was snarky in a more standard way when he was younger, as well.
- Teeth Clenched Team Work: Though he seems to hold Fuyutsuki in a slightly higher regard than he does most people, their partnership is based on the mutual understanding that their goals align, not any actual friendship.
- Terse Talker: Gendo prefers answering in monosyllabic words, and he by and large clearly dislikes saying any more than what he feels he absolutely needs to. The only exceptions is when he discusses philosophy with Fuyutsuki or talks with Rei. It actually gets justified when it becomes clear how similar he and Shinji actually are to each other at their core. This manner of speaking is actually a strong hint towards the fact that Gendo might be just as socially awkward as his son and that the two of them have largely the same difficulties with small talk; Gendo is just better at hiding them.
- Theme Naming: Even Gendo's original last name, Rokubungi, continues the show's trend of using naval-themed names, as "Rokubungi" means sextant.
- Troubled Abuser: His rather horrible treatment of Shinji is strongly implied to be at least partly a result of his own childhood and adolescence being miserable. As he himself says in an off-hand comment, he is "used to being hated."
- The Unfettered: Lets absolutely nothing get in the way of his plans. Not the fact that his son is a puppet, not the fact that the closest he has to a daughter is a puppet, not common decency or sense, not thinking his wife may be horrified at all of this if it works, nothing.
- Villainous Cheekbones: His somewhat prominent cheekbones serves as one of the few physical traits he doesn't share with the more soft-faced Shinji.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Zigzagged. We don't have a great idea of what his goals were before Yui's contact experiment, but they seemed to be similar to what the committee had in mind. After the contact experiment, he merely wants to be with his wife again and doesn't seem to care much what happens to everyone else.
- White Gloves: First used to hide the burn scars he got from the incident with Unit-00 prior to the series' beginning. Later used to hide the embryonic Adam, which has either been fused with his hand or is actually looking out from his hand, in the anime and manga respectively.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Definitely in the manga, which shows exactly how broken he was before falling in love with Yui (plainly speaking, she's more than a Morality Pet, she was the only thing keeping him sane). Losing her in general and her starting to love Shinji more than him were both factors for his "father of the year" attitude.
- Would Hurt a Child: Not directly himself but the Eva program runs off of children, he has no problem risking Toji getting killed to test the Dummy Plug (when Shinji begs over the radio for anybody to stop the damn thing, all he does is grin, and in the most contextually disturbing way possible, to boot), and in one instance he has the staff apply extra pressure to Shinji's plug to choke him out for daring to question his methods (the aforementioned Dummy Plug "test").
- Yandere: At first, he appears to be an aloof, collected leader. But as it turns out, he has an insane obsession with his dead wife. He's willing to initiate The End of the World as We Know It twice to get her back. Plus, given that she's not so much dead as trapped inside the Eva-01 mecha, part of his plan to "reunite with her" involves getting his son to "ride inside her cockpit" unknowingly. And he takes a particular liking to his wife's fourteen-year-old clone, Rei Ayanami. It is taken up a notch in the manga, where he declares open resentment for Shinji for getting "preferential treatment" from her. No, he is not a very sane individual; why do you ask?
- Zen Survivor: Crazy as he eventually is revealed to be under it all, he explains to his son that his "meh" attitude towards everything is a survival mechanism when they meet at Yui's grave for her anniversary.
Voiced by: Motomu Kiyokawa (Japanese); Guil Lunde [ADV, series], Michael Ross [movies], John Paul "JP" Karliak [VSI] (English)note
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.
- Adaptational Jerkass: The manga subtly implies him to be this. During his Motive Rant, Gendo blames "God" for taking Yui away from him, even though getting absorbed by Unit-01 had been her own plan all along. This is in contrast to the anime, where Gendo and Fuyutsuki talk openly about Yui's reasons to get absorbed by Unit-01. This at least strongly implies that, in the manga, Fuyutsuki never offered Gendo any insight at all into Yui's plans and basically just left him to suffer in uncertainty.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Heavily implied to have this dynamic with Yui.
- 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 or at least predicting all the heroes' moves ahead of time to ensure Keel's plan would fail.
- The Call Left a Message: Episode 21 strongly implies that Gendo wanted to recruit Fuyutsuki into GEHIRN from the beginning, and left a incriminating paper trail following Second Impact to lure him to their headquarters.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting:
- Just like Gendo, his character design is based off of a star from UFO, in this case George Sewell who played Alec Freeman. 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.
- He also bears more than a passing resemblance to Peter Cushing.
- The Consigliere: Fuyutsuki often spars verbally with Gendo, mostly by questioning his motives, alternatively trying both to remind Gendo to act with patience and not do something overly reckless in his ploys against SEELE, and also acting as a conscience of sorts, trying to remind him of the human costs of his actions.
- Cool Old Guy: Even as a former university professor, he has the guts to challenge Gendo over SEELE's plans, despite the risk to his life doing so causes.
- Deadpan Snarker: His sardonic wit injects some much needed levity into the series and can sometimes be rather poignant depending on the situation.
- Face Palm: In episode 9 once Shinji and Asuka begin bickering immediately after dispatching Israfel.
- A Good Way to Die: He accepts his fate in End of Evangelion with no fear, and actually seems to welcome it. In the manga he speaks for some time to the Rei-turned-to-Yui before being absorbed.
- Hot for Student: Towards Yui, although he didn't make his feelings known (not that it would have made a difference, since she loved Gendo).
- Not So Different: From Gendo. Both men are ultimately willing to give up everything for the very same woman, though they go about it in different ways.
- Not So Stoic: Having to deal with the rest of the cast and their various mental problems occasionally gets him to react in a frustrated or exasperated manner.
- Number Two: To Gendo, meaning he usually has to deal with the more mundane functions of NERV.
- Only Friend: There are quite a few signs that Gendo, in some kind of sense, views him as such, as he is the only person he regularly socializes with and has even shared his true plan with him. Fuyutsuki doesn't quite return that sentiment.
- Only Sane Man: One of the few adult characters who is relatively well-adjusted and if not satisfied, then content with his lot in life.
- The Philosopher: Engages in some philosophical banter with Gendo on occasion.
- The Professor: Yui was one of his interns when he was a college professor. Gendo refers to him as "Professor" during flashbacks and his final descent into Terminal Dogma.
- Resigned to the Call: Fuyutsuki appears to be this, having by all appearances resigned to stay with NERV because he is aware that he knows far too much of SEELE's plans and would likely not live for long should he try to leave. It is subverted when his real reasons are revealed and turn out be far more idealistic in nature; namely that his true agenda is helping Yui to undermine SEELE's plans.
- Satellite Character: Beyond some limited interaction with the rest of the NERV staff, Fuyutsuki only ever has any meaningful screentime with Gendo and Yui.
- The Stoic: Is generally pretty reserved, though not as much as Gendo.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Neither he nor Gendo like each other, and a flashback heavily suggests that Fuyutsuki hated Gendo back when he was his student, but both of them work closely together due to having similar goals. By the series proper, Fuyutsuki seems to have developed a certain amount of pity for Gendo, but he still clearly doesn't like him.
- What a Senseless Waste of Human Life: He often ruminates aloud on the loss of innocent lives that Gendo and SEELE's plans tends to leave in their wake. He might have resigned to the idea that he is powerless to do anything to stop it from happening, but that still doesn't means he likes it.
Voiced by: Kōichi Yamadera (Japanese); Aaron Krohn [ADV], Greg Chun [VSI] (English)note
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 is mostly 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.
- Adaptation Personality Change: In the anime, Kaji is the most confident and mature character in the cast (admittedly not a big feat), and it's only through side materials that we learn that he may not be as stable as he seems. Meanwhile, his manga version is infinitely more insecure and goofy, to the point where Asuka and Shinji turn him into a Nervous Wreck by teasing him about his relationship with Misato in an elevator, and also carries a serious case of survivor's guilt due to a traumatic event from his past.
- Ambiguously Bi: Or at the very least is confident enough in his heterosexuality to jokingly hit on Shinji.
- 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.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Shinji. Compared to Misato's conflicting feelings towards Shinji resulting in her failing as a guardian, Kaji and Shinji share a much simpler mentor-student relationship that results in him being a more effective form of emotional support and guidance to Shinji while he's around.
- Brutal Honesty: In the manga, he essentially points out that Shinji's inaction contributed to Toji's death, and that he survived because Toji died.
- Call to Agriculture: He likes to spend his free time tending to a watermelon patch he has planted inside the Geofront. Notably, during the Zeruel battle, Shinji finds him just standing calmly around and watering his melons, despite the battle raging in the background. He explains to Shinji that he wishes he could have been snuggled up in bed with Misato for this dark occasion, but since he didn't have the time or the opportunity to find her and gardening was the second best activity he could think of, he decided it was the best way to go out if everything really came to an end. Curiously, his manga counterpart doesn't display this trait.
- Dead Man Writing: Knowing that either NERV or SEELE are going to making an attempt on his life in the near future, he leaves a phone message for Misato, apologizing for all the trouble he put her through and asking her to continue to pursue the truth behind The Conspiracy, now that he will no longer to be able to.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has a sly quip for every situation, even his own death.
- Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: He is working for NERV, but is secretly in league with SEELE, and is later revealed to also be an agent of the Japanese government. We later learn that he had an agenda of his own entirely separate from any of these three groups.
- Dying Declaration of Love: His final message to Misato ends with an implied marriage proposal, just before he goes on what he knew was very likely a suicide mission.
- Everybody Calls Him "Barkeep": His first name isn't revealed until Misato confronts him at gunpoint and says his full name as she reveals that she has figured out he is a Double Agent. Other than that, he's just referred to by his surname.
- Expy: Officially, Kaji is "based" on Col. Paul Foster from the TV series UFO, although Gainax noted that Foster was not nearly the lech that Kaji appears to be. Some viewers have also suggested that Kaji has elements of Emma Peel from the British spy series The Avengers, as this chart by a Tumblr user shows.
- Face Death with Dignity: He calmly accepts that making the choice to rescue Fuyutsuki will likely firmly seal his fate (he knew that SEELE had by this point had figured out that he was the one who stole Adam for Gendo, which meant that they were going to come for him sooner or later; and if not them, he would be on NERV's hit list too, for both knowing too much and having outlived his usefulness now that SEELE knew the truth about him). When confronted by his assassin, he greets them with a casual "Hey, you're late."
- Foil: Kaji is easy around people, confident in his relationships with the opposite sex, and a charmer in many ways; in other words, all the things most characters in the series aren't. This highlights not only the troubled inner life of Misato, his most immediate counterpart as a NERV worker, but also those of other characters like Shinji, Asuka and even Gendo. Possibly subverted, however, if we take in account hints and info from side materials that suggest this is actually a mask of empty social skills built around a cynic, bitter real self. If it is the case, it creates the ironic situation that the character that contrasts the most with the series's disfunctional cast is actually not that different from them after all.
- The Gadfly: Enjoys messing with Misato, Shinji and Asuka to get a flustered reaction out of them. He attempts to do it with other characters at times, but is always much less successful.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Although he doesn't show it, it's revealed in an artbook that Kaji is a self-hating mess. In the manga, where this is expanded upon with a new background, he even says that he, Misato and Shinji, who survived by trading others' lives, don't deserve to be happy.
- Hidden Depths: The anime gives off the impression that Kaji is the only character that is not maladjusted or unstable in any way. However, he does have some somber moments, which side materials point to as being signs that his laidback personality is only a mask concealing a self-hating cynic. The manga explains this as being due to survivor's guilt.
- The fact that under his playboy Double Agent persona is an avid watermelon gardner.
- Hope Spot: He's a relatively emotionally stable adult who has major positive effects on Shinji, Misato and Asuka's Character Development while also being cool and charismatic all the while. Of course he has to die.
- Informed Attribute: 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 (a weak and frail workaholic who was outright afraid of interpersonal commitments). Perhaps there is a normally unseen side to Kaji only she has discovered.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A skirt-chaser with a biting wit he may be, but Kaji has humanity's very best interests in mind and does his best to subvert both SEELE and Gendo's plans.
- The Kirk: Much more emotionally driven than Ritsuko, but also far more laid back and controlled than Misato. It really says something that shortly after his death, Misato and Ritsuko's friendship completely falls apart because he is no longer there to mediate between them.
- Last-Name Basis: With Misato. He ever only calls her by "Katsuragi".
- A Man Is Always Eager: Played with. Kaji is shown to be flirtatious and often hits on the women around him, but as his Hidden Depths are gradually revealed it becomes clear that this behavior is at least partly an Obfuscating Stupidity act he employs as a part of his spying work. Some of his pillow-talk with Misato even implies that his sex drive might actually be quite a bit lower than hers.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: A subtle case with Misato. While he's overtly masculine, there are many softer touches to his personality, such as his enjoying gardening, drinking coffee, being tidy and organized, and specializing in espionage. This is in contrast to Misato, who enjoys cars, drinks beer, is quite the slob, and specializes in combat.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Throughout the series, he often acts as a father figure and mentor to Shinji. He is eventually killed as the series goes into its final act.
- Murderer P.O.V.: He speaks directly to his assassin in his final moments, even chiding him for his poor aim in the manga.
- Must Have Caffeine: Unlike Misato's alcohol addiction, Kaji seems to stick to canned coffee.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: It is clear that his promiscuous jokester attitude is at least partially an act to trick people into underestimating him.
- Only Sane Man: While he reveals himself to be surprisingly cynical in private, Kaji is generally presented as being the most easy-going, stable and mature character in the series.
- Parental Substitute: Becomes the closest thing Shinji ever has to a father figure later on in the series.
- Perma-Stubble: His face always sports some stubble, giving him a sloppy and laid back appearance at all times.
- Spear Counterpart: Like Misato, he's an employee of NERV assigned as the guardian of one of the Eva pilots who is unusually flirty and unprofessional for someone in his position. They are distinctly different in terms of personality, however, making them counterparts in terms of roles only.
- Seeker Archetype: Kaji's true goal is to get to the bottom of the whole conspiracy behind Second Impact, which is an obsession which runs underneath almost everything he does. He is willing to use and let himself get used in turn by SEELE, NERV, and the Japanese government respectively in his quest for knowledge, and in the end he even gives up his life to achieve it.
- Sleeps with Everyone but You: Well, flirts with everyone. He hits on every woman he meets and even (jokingly) puts some of his moves on Shinji, but shows an uncharacteristic amount of restraint when dealing with Asuka, who is constantly trying to come on to him. Unlike Misato and her relationship with Shinji, Kaji exclusively registers himself as a guardian in his relationship with Asuka.
- Stepford Smiler: 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 and was even nonchalant about it in his final moments.
- The Stool Pigeon: In the manga, of the Betrayer Barry model. As a kid, he and his friends and brother were stealing food and supplies from a military base; when he was caught on his own, he gave up his friends' location in order to save himself from a summary execution by the hand of the soldiers. While he managed to escape the soldiers, he would, upon returning to the hideout, discover to his horror that the soldiers had beaten him to it and killed everyone there.
- Street Urchin: His backstory in the manga, due to being a survivor of the wars that broke out after Second Impact.
- Survivor Guilt: In the manga, due to his friends and brother being killed by the soldiers he ratted them out to.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Tall, good looking, and always ready to crack wise about the situation.
- Two Girls and a Guy: Formerly with Misato and Ritsuko, back when they were in university. When they all meet up again at a wedding, he points out that "it's just like old times".
- Unkempt Beauty: He's scruffy and dresses casually, but is still suave and handsome at all times. It's suggested that he intentionally tries to cultivate a "just got out of bed but still look good" image for himself.
- 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.
- The Un-Reveal: Unlike the rest of the main cast, his backstory is never gone into, only having his shared history with Misato and Ritsuko shown to the viewer. As a result, the motivations behind his actions and personality traits are much more vague than any other major character. Averted in the manga, where he is given a backstory that gets covered over several chapters.
- Urban Legend Love Life: Behind his flirtatious facade there are hints that, regardless of any sex or love life he really has, he is in fact a very lonely man, and there's no question that he only has eyes for Misato.
- What the Hell, Hero?: In the manga, he calls Shinji out for trying to blame Toji's death on Gendo, pointing out that he could have done something to save his friend, but instead chose to just let the Angel kill him, which would have helped no one.
Voiced by: Miki Nagasawa (Japanese); Kendra Benham [ADV], Amy Seeley [movies], Christine Marie Cabanos [VSI], Monica Rial [Director's Cut] (English)note
Dr. Fuyutsuki isn't the only one in love with someone he can never have; there is also Maya Ibuki, a shy, pretty, and kinda tomboyish woman in her early twenties. She is Ritsuko's assistant, and is very much in love with her, although this isn't revealed until her final scenes in the story. She is a very sympathetic character — bright, sweet, and one of the few happy, well-adjusted, and normal characters, though with this bunch, that isn't saying much.
- Adaptational Sexuality: She has some definite Ship Tease with Aoba in NGE 2, whereas in the series there is no evidence that she is attracted to anyone but Ritsuko (and that's only revealed in End) and the aforementioned Ship Tease is ignored by the fanbase for the most part as a result.
- Doesn't Like Guns: During the JSSDF attack, she is seen cowering in terror under her console and 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!
- Freudian Trio: Forms one with Hyuga and Aoba, Maya representing the id, being the most emotional of the three and the one most likely to go against orders if they compromise her morals.
- Gender Flip: Whether intentional or not, Maya is almost a female version of Shinji appearance-wise; this has carried over to some non-canon NGE works, such as Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse, and has also fueled WMG that she may be a child of Gendo's from a relationship prior to Yui.
- Greek Chorus: Occasionally functions as this alongside Hyuga and Aoba.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Her sexuality isn't immediately obvious in that while she is certainly boyish looking, she's not really butch either.
- 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.
- Nice Girl: Easily the most bubbly and sociable of the bridge bunnies, and, by proxy, the rest of the cast. Her interactions with the pilots are limited, but she is one of the only characters to treat them as the emotionally vulnerable teens that they are.
- Only Sane Woman: Deconstructed. Compared to the character traits and emotional baggage of most of the other characters, Maya is pretty normal... perhaps even too normal for her own good, considering the very abnormal events that take place around her. She doesn't work well under pressure and often loses her cool during traumatic moments, particularly whenever an Evangelion is butchered in front of her eyes or when NERV HQ is under attack.
- Satellite Character: Beyond her two coworkers and Ritsuko she hardly interacts with anyone.
- Similar Squad: The trio she forms with Hyuga and Aoba is frequently noted to resemble the trio of Toji, Hikari and Kensuke, fitting with the series' heavy analysis of maturity and adulthood.
- Two Guys and a Girl: With Aoba and Hyuga in the bridge crew.
- 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.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: As idealistic as one can get given the setting anyway. Her spiel on the wonders of technology becomes rather ironic given that technology begins to backfire on NERV from this point on in the series. Her interactions with others also give her a naively trusting demeanor.
Voiced by: Hiro Yuki (Japanese), Matt Greenfield (ADV), Keith Burgess (movies), Daniel MK Cohen (VSI) (English)note
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.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: The one time he does, he makes it at the worst possible time which combined with not being very funny in the first place, causes the joke to die on arrival.
- A Day in the Limelight: Episode 11, where he alerts the rest of NERV to the approach of the 9th Angel.
- Freudian Trio: With Maya and Aoba, Hyuga representing the ego, being quite a bit more passionate than Aoba but much more detached than Maya.
- The Generic Guy: Fits this the best of anyone in the cast, seeming relatively mentally stable while lacking an interesting past or distinguishing characteristics.
- Hopeless Suitor: Might have stood a chance with Misato if Kaji wasn't around. Key word being might.
- Ignored Enamored Underling: It becomes progressively obvious towards the end of the series that he is in love with Misato; unfortunately for him, she's still mourning over Kaji's death and either is unaware of or ignores his feelings.
- 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.
- Only Sane Man: Compared to most of the rest of the cast, Hyuga comes off as a pretty normal guy. He also starts helping Misato towards the end of the series with investigating NERV.
- Satellite Character: Beyond his two coworkers and Misato, he hardly interacts with anyone.
- Similar Squad: The trio he forms with Maya and Aoba is frequently noted to resemble the trio of Toji, Hikari and Kensuke, fitting with the series' heavy analysis of maturity and adulthood.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: Wears glasses and operates some heavy tech. His ability to gain top secret intel also suggests that he's pretty sharp.
- Together in Death: A twisted example, but during Instrumentality, when everyone is greeted by visions of their loved ones as 'guides' to the other side, he is greeted by a vision of Misato, who passionately kisses him before his body reverts to LCL.
- Two Guys and a Girl: With the other bridge crew members Maya and Aoba.
Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (Japanese); Jason C. Lee [ADV], Billy Kametz [VSI], Vic Mignogna [Director's Cut] (English)note
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 Hyuga.
- Air Guitar: Is seen playing one in a brief 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' moment towards the middle of the series.
- All There in the Manual:
- Supplemental publications and Word of God have stated that Aoba is an extreme 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 is up for debate, as there is no evidence of it within the series.
- Ascended Extra: He gets far more screen time and characterization in End, and, like every other major character, gets his own scenario in NGE 2.
- Bit Character: Gets the least focus of all the bridge bunnies and mainly serves as a glorified extra for the most part.
- The Cynic: Implied by his nihilism and demonstrated by his rather beleaguered response to Maya overpraising the wonders of technology in Episode 11.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Implied Trope. Given the way that he was converted into LCL during EoE, he had no loved or trusted ones at any point in his life, meaning that he probably has quite the angsty backstory.
- Freudian Trio: With Maya and Hyuga, Aoba representing the superego, being the most aloof and detached of the three and having the greatest willingness to do inhumane things for the sake of humanity.
- Informed Loner: While he's a bit of a cynic, he's not really any more unfriendly than his coworkers are. Despite this, while Maya, Hyuga and Fuyutsuki are embraced by images of a loved one when they're being absorbed during Third Impact, all Aoba sees is a crowd of Reis who forcibly convert him into LCL as he screams in utter terror, implying that he has no one in his life who he truly trusts or loves.
- Mellow Fellow: When not on the job, Aoba is notably laid-back and relaxed in his manners. The only time he is ever seen being verbally aggressive is when he tries to convince Maya to help him and Hyuga out in the fight against the JSSDF.
- Only Sane Man: Compared to most of the rest of the cast, he seems like a pretty stable and rational person, if a bit cynical.
- Satellite Character: The worst of the trio. He only interacts with his two coworkers for the most part.
- Similar Squad: The trio he forms with Maya and Hyuga is frequently noted to resemble the trio of Toji, Hikari and Kensuke, fitting with the series' heavy analysis of maturity and adulthood.
- Straw Nihilist: Averted 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 well 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.
- Technobabble: All of the Bridge Bunnies speak it fluently, but in his case it seems to make up the vast majority of his dialogue.
- Two Guys and a Girl: Making up the bridge crew with Makoto and Maya.