Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Neon Genesis Evangelion Other Characters

Go To

This page contains unmarked spoilers. You Have Been Warned.

    open/close all folders 


    SEELE in General 

Top left: SEELE's logo; top right: a typical reunionnote ; bottom, left and right: the faces of SEELE's inner circle, the Human Instrumentality Committee, minus Keel Lorenz.

A mysterious, shadowy global power cabal with latent control over every government in the world, and NERV's benefactors.

  • Ancient Conspiracy: They certainly like to consider and style themselves as one. Whether or not they actually are one never quite receives straight confirmation.
    • The extracanonical material sets the organization to have existed in some form or another since the Dark Ages. But that same material also states that they first truly rose to power after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
  • Apocalypse Cult: What they are at heart. Behind their Illuminati-esque trappings, there's not actually much that ideologically separates them from any other millenarian Christian cult, and End even shows that they have specific chants and rituals prepared for the day of Instrumentality. The really terrifying part is that SEELE has all the resources they need to bring about the end of days on their own terms.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: They want to unite humanity into a single organism to end all its problems. Certain supplemental materials indicate that they are also trying to rig the game so that they can raise themselves above over the rest of humanity and rule as gods, but this isn't explained in the series itself.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Seele" is German for "soul".
  • Cosmopolitan Council: Background material reveals each of the seen members to be respectively from France (Yellow), Germany (Keel), Russia (Blue), The United Kingdom (Red), and the United States (Green). It is also heavily implied that the full SEELE council, i.e. the Monoliths, consist of a multitude of different nationalities.
  • Covert Group: Downplayed. The organization's existence was semi-public knowledge, at least in academic circles, before Second Impact.
  • Evil Old Folks: They're all at least in their fifties, and Gendo likes to collectively refer to them as "the old men".
  • Evil Running Good: They are the backers behind NERV, an organization meant to save humanity from the Angels and the apocalyse they would cause. But actually, SEELE wants to cause said apocalypse themselves, and is merely bent on eliminating the Angels because they represent both a hindrance and the main competitors to this plan. Once it becomes clear to them that Gendo is a competitor too, they don't hesitate to throw NERV under the bus at the first oppotunity.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: In a nutshell. Their goal is to trigger an Assimilation Plot on their terms because they feel humanity has otherwise "stagnated" as a species.
  • Government Conspiracy: Although not exclusively, as it is implied that they have quite a few corporate sponsors.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: Before Second Impact, they were (in)famous in academic circles for lending financial support to unethical avenues of research. There is the fact that their activities has resulted in the death of half of humanity, and they are still aiming to have the other half undergo an, at best, questionable ascension. They also have the other trappings of the trope, such as seemingly endless resources, covert power over local governments everywhere, and that the exact number of their members is kept rather ambiguous.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Supposed to be from all over the world. No accents are attempted in both the dub and the original soundtrack.
  • Milkman Conspiracy: Downplayed. In relation to their existence being semi-public knowledge, they were only known for giving grants to research and promising grad students. But they also had a shady reputation for dishonest and unethical conduct. Still, nobody thought of them as Illuminati-like schemers trying to cause the apocalypse.
  • Mysterious Backer: First for GEHIRN, then for NERV.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: The original dubs pronounced the name as say-lay (or occasionally se-le). The new VSI dub gives the name a pronunciation closer to the proper German of zee-lee.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: They sure are quite found of using heavily metaphorical language during their meetings.
  • Sinister Geometry: The monoliths they use for meetings.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Perhaps one of the most nihilistic examples of the trope. SEELE, by using the information in the secret Dead Sea Scrolls, deliberately orchestrated Second Impact and the subsequent war against the Angels in order have a chance at achieve godhood. To clarify, the "means" in this case were knowingly triggering an absolutely devastating global disaster that caused massive damage to the Earth's environment and killed off about half of the world's population, and then gambling the surviving half of humanity on a prolonged fight against an enemy who only had to win once to end all of mankind's existence permanently.
  • You Are Number 6: When they meet as the SEELE council they appear as featureless monoliths, only distinguished by their numbers.

    Keel Lorenz 

Chairman Keel Lorenz / SEELE-01

Voiced by: Mugihito (Japanese); Richard "Rick" Peeples [ADV], Bill Jenkins [films], D.C. Douglas [VSI] (English)note 

"The beginning and the end are one and the same. Yes... all is right with the world."

As the chairman of SEELE, Keel Lorenz is NERV's superior and commissioner of the Eva project. He possesses secret Dead Sea Scrolls that tell of a way to evolve all life into a perfect being with no cares, that lives in eternal bliss inside this being's mind. Despite his "honorable" intentions, he is perfectly willing to force the issue when things don't go his way, up to and including causing NERV's extermination.

  • Assimilation Plot: Wishes to enact Third Impact as a means of merging all of humanity's souls into one via Instrumentality to end all suffering.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Ambiguously. Despite the efforts of other characters such as Gendo and Kaworu to impede his plans, the Third Impact occurs more or less according to the agenda that he and SEELE have laid out. However, Shinji's revelation allows him to reject Instrumentality and manifest back into the physical world, leaving open the possibility that the rest of humanity might be able to follow him, meaning everything Keel did was All for Nothing.
  • Big Bad: Being SEELE's Chairman, he is effectively the driving force behind the events of Second Impact and the subsequent global push towards human Instrumentality. However, the plot of the series centers around the events at NERV directed by Gendo Ikari, a SEELE agent who effectuates the organization's will while secretly pursuing his own agenda. Keel is seen only occasionally by the audience, and often in the form of a featureless black monolith.
  • The Chessmaster: He organized all the events of the series from the Second Impact onward, with the ultimate goal of bringing about the Third Impact on his terms.
  • Cyborg: Keel sports a heavy degree of state-of-the art biological implants and a visor to cope with debilitating injuries that would otherwise leave him frail, crippled, and nearly blind. When further inspected, those injuries he suffered and extensive, painful surgery could be an underlying reason behind his suffering and motivation for Instrumentality—he wants to end his own pain.
  • Evil Old Folks: No official age for Keel is ever given, but if the original Evangelion proposal is anything to go by, he's well into his sixties.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: His voice is noticeably deeper than the other Council members.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Of sorts. Worth noting is that Konrad Lorenz was an evolutionary biologist.
  • Karma Houdini: In End of Evangelion, Keel and the rest of SEELE are the ones responsible for the actions of ''The End'', but unlike Gendo, Keel is apparently content with the ultimate outcome of the human race being turned into a joint consciousness, even though SEELE doesn't achieve their goal of ascending themselves to godhood. However, this could be subverted entirely if Yui's words about how to escape the LCL prison are correct: regular people will eventually re-form their biological bodies by wishing themselves to life, but as Keel is a crippled cyborg and most likely cannot survive without the implants he left behind, he is unable to do the same even if he wants; thus, at the end, he will be completely alone in the LCL void forever.
  • Knight Templar: Believes that the entire human race is slave to sin and suffering and thus can never properly atone before God unless they were to meld their consciousness and become a God-like entity themselves, reaching God level of perfection. He'd say, then, that the intentions behind his actions are just and good. Said actions, however, are far from just or good.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Gendo is The Heavy but only acts as The Dragon to this man and his council. They fund NERV, providing them with the resources to conduct the experiments and research to carry out the Human Instrumentality Project but never directly interact with the protagonists, leaving the day-to-day operations to their subordinates.
  • Minor Major Character: He's the Diabolical Mastermind behind almost all of the series' events, and strongly implied to be the de facto ruler of post-Second Impact Earth, but he's only in a few episodes, and most of his scenes are Stock Footage (that picture up there comprises about 85% of his screen time). The rest of his cabal are even more minor than him, with only four of the twelve or so ever seen in non-monolith form, and they don't get names. They do, oddly enough, get nationalities: the mustachioed one is American, the burly one is British, the weedy, bespectacled one is French, and the one that looks like The Penguin is Russian.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Austrian zoologist and co-founder of ethology Konrad Lorenz.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: All he ever does is sit in a room and talk to the rest of SEELE, he leaves almost all the planning up to Gendo and never takes direct action himself. It's unlikely that Shinji and most of the cast even know he exists.
  • One-Way Visor: What better way to look more mysterious?
  • Orcus on His Throne: Is never seen outside of the holographic chamber SEELE uses to conduct their meetings, and even when in human form he's always seated. Judging by his extensive cybernetic prostheses, it's likely the man has injuries that prevent him from going out too much.
  • The Philosopher: He's prone to waxing rhapsodic about the nature of humanity, fate, destiny and evolution, amongst other things. To say nothing of founding SEELE entirely to exert his philosophical conclusions into reality.
  • Robotic Reveal: When reverted to LCL in End, it's shown Keel's prosthesis goes far beyond the visor, to the point of the majority of his body, including his entire spinal cord, is cybernetic.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Canonically, his name is Keel Lorenz seeing how he is German, but it's frequently spelled "Kihl" or "Kiel".

Class 2-A

    Kensuke Aida 

Voiced by: Tetsuya Iwanaga (Japanese); Kurt Stoll [ADV], Ben Diskin [VSI], Greg Ayres [Rebuild] (English)note
"This is SO COOL!!!"

Kensuke is, at the start of the series, Toji's best friend. He reveals to the class that Shinji is a pilot, and later bonds with Shinji after he runs away the first time. He is very computer savvy and a die-hard military otaku, constantly badgering Shinji to get him pilot clearance and practically salivating over the trip to the Over The Rainbow in episode 8. Also one of the only characters in the series who does not show any sign of serious psychological damage.

  • Adjusting Your Glasses: Is often seen doing this by the bridge of his spectacles, most notably in the opening credits, which provides his image on this page.
  • A Loser Is You: A variation. In another series, an affable military buff, and otaku who is friends with the main character might get drawn into the main plot. But he doesn't and remains slightly odd but no means unpleasant side character.
  • Amazon Chaser: In the manga, he expresses attraction to Asuka both because of her beauty and her domineering attitude.
  • Ascended Fanboy: He becomes an Eva pilot in the second Girlfriend of Steel game, and in Evangelion Battle Orchestra.
  • Camera Fiend: Wherever he goes somewhere he often brings along his video camera, always hoping to getting a chance of capturing some good footage of any military hardware he happens to lay his eyes upon, especially the Evas.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the later episodes. Justified in that Shinji is too guilty from recent events and aggravated by Kensuke's obsession with being an Evangelion pilot to want to see him.
  • The Heart: He quickly takes it upon himself to smooth out the differences between Shinji and Toji after they both get a rather poor first impression of each other.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Toji and, eventually, Shinji.
  • Hidden Depths: His camping trip with Shinji early on in the series shows him to be a lot more insightful and supportive than he may initially seem.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Kensuke really wants to be an Eva pilot, and remains constantly oblivious to how unhappy the actual Eva pilots are. He finally gets his wish in some Alternate Continuity games.
  • Knowledge Broker: He has a talent for hacking, and his father and grandfather are both employees of NERV. While he doesn't know the full picture, these points do allow him to covertly gain knowledge on the Eva program. He occasionally attempts to probe Shinji for more intel, but Shinji is kept so uninformed that he's the one learning from these conversations.
  • Missing Mom: During a heart-to-heart talk with Shinji, he notices that they are the same in that their mothers both are dead. Turns out it actually also applies to their entire class.
  • Muggle: While he's not quite normal (no one at Shinji's school is), Kensuke is a perfectly regular guy who hasn't been forced to experience all of the horrors his friends do. To further emphasize this, he thinks being an Eva pilot, a job that each of the real pilots hate to varying degrees, is the coolest job you could ever have.
  • Nice Guy: While he's certainly not above mocking Toji and Shinji, he's overall a very caring friend who genuinely enjoys spending time with Shinji.
  • Opaque Lenses: Whenever Kensuke is intensely obsessed about something, his glasses turn opaque, to show he getting distant from the world and people around him in these situations.
  • Otaku: If it's something to do with the military, he's into it; he even goes out into the woods and plays himself.
  • Out of Focus: Happens to him about the same time as Toji and Hikari, although a bit slower in his case. Kensuke still makes some proper appearances in the show after the Badiel incident, but he effectively disappears from the show in Episode 22, where his last proper appearance is him making a rather pointed comment about Shinji and the other pilots never showing up for school anymore and he takes it as a sign that things has gotten really serious. Like Toji, he is still (sort of) Back for the Finale in Episode 25 and 26, where he appears numerous time as a spiritual advisor for Shinji, and also shows up with the other characters to congratulate him on his epiphany in the very last scene.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Disspears when the plot turns towards the finale.
  • Those Two Guys: Him and Toji frequently hang out together. Though they later form a trio with Shinji, they are still operating as a duo on many levels.

    Hikari Horaki 

Hikari Horaki

Voiced by: Junko Iwao (Japanese); Carol Amerson [ADV], Kimberly Yates [Death & Rebirth], Abby Trott [VSI] (English)note 

"Sit down, you guys!!"

Hikari is the no-nonsense Class Representative of Shinji's class, and the second-born of three sisters. She later becomes Asuka's best friend, and tries to give her emotional support in the later episodes as Asuka becomes more and more distraught. She nurses a crush on Toji as well.

Her role in the manga is unchanged, but she gets more scenes with Shinji. However, near the end she has essentially shunned Shinji, feeling that having him around is a too-painful reminder of Toji's death.

  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Her crush getting maimed in the series was bad enough, but in the manga, he dies.
  • Alliterative Name: Hikari Horaki.
  • Ascended Extra: In Evangelion -ANIMA-, where she becomes an Eva pilot, albeit Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Beta Couple: Forms one with Toji. In keeping with the trope, her romance arc with Toji develops in a more stable and straightforward manner than the great big mess of misunderstandings and complicated emotions Asuka finds herself embroiled in.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Hikari is usually unfailingly polite, but she can be quite bossy and aggressive when she feels the situation calls for it.
  • Class Representative: She's this to the Children's class, and takes it seriously enough that Toji's preferred (mocking) way of addressing her is through referring to her simply as "Class Rep".
  • Demoted to Extra: After Asuka's breakdown she stops appearing altogether. Justified in that Shinji was only really friends with her through Toji, who he is intentionally trying to avoid after the Unit-03 incident.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Pretty appropriate choice of hairstyle for one of the series' most idealistic and innocent characters.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's the class rep who tries to keep everyone under control, though she does go a little too far in this. Also, she does blame Shinji for making Asuka 'cry' and orders him to go after her. However, she is willing to make friends with everyone and she shows a great amount of sympathy.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: She's the light, with Asuka as the dark.
  • Out of Focus: The last of the classmates to fall victim to this fate. While the process starts about the same time as with Toji and Kensuke, Hikari is the last of them to have a proper appearance, as Asuka hangs out at her house in Episode 23 in the aftermath of her Mind Rape, and Hikari is at a loss when it comes to consoling her. Like Toji and Kensuke, she is also (sort of) Back for the Finale where she appears as a spiritual advisor for Shinji (though it is subtly acknowledged at several points that, unlike Toji and Kensuke, she doesn't really know Shinji well enough to make an informed judgement of his character), and also shows up with the other characters to congratulate him on his epiphany in the very last scene.
  • Panty Shot: A brief one in the manga thanks to Toji trying to teach Shinji how to use cleaning the stairs for peeping; Toji freaks out at getting caught and ends up knocking Shinji down the stairs.
  • Through His Stomach: She attempts to convey her feelings to Toji by making a bento lunch for him. Unfortunately, she's unable to give him the food she made due to Toji being selected as the Fourth Child and his subsequent injuries from Unit-03 being possessed by an Angel.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: She acts as the more traditionally feminine counterpart to the hard-nosed and Hot-Blooded Asuka.
  • Tsundere: The Sweet type. She's polite and kind to everyone, but Toji gets her very easily worked up since he's just that good at getting under her skin.
  • Vehicular Theme Naming: She and her sisters are named after the Tokaido Shinkansen's three train services, with each sister's age corresponding to the increasing order of the services' speeds (Kodama -> Hikari -> Nozomi). Interestingly, the Hikari service was the first one out of the three to be introduced; no points for guessing which of the sisters was first seen in-series.

    The Old Teacher

Voiced by: Eiji Maruyama (Japanese)

The only seen teacher from the Children's class, though it is never really disclosed what exactly he is a teacher of. Pretty much all his screen-time consists of him boring the students of 2-A with the official Second Impact cover-up propaganda.

  • Apathetic Teacher: His students don't care much for his lectures and typically spend class time chatting over the school intranet—if they're awake at all, that is. When Shinji reveals over chat that he is the pilot of Unit 01, the entire class noisily runs over to excitedly ask him questions, and the teacher continues on as if nothing happened. In fact, he first perks up once he hears the bell ring and is able to formally dismiss the class.
  • Doomed Hometown: His hometown of Nebukawa is now underwater thanks to the sea level rise caused by the Second Impact.
  • Lecture as Exposition: He only ever teaches things directly relevant to world-building and the plot; if the students learn ever about anything other than the Second Impact, we never see it.
  • No Name Given: His name is never said. Even the Japanese script notes just calls him by "Nebukawa no Sensei", since he lived in Nebukawa prior to the Second Impact.
  • Old Windbag: His long-winded and rambling lectures on the history of Second Impact don't exactly do much to hold the students' attention.
  • Rambling Old Man Monologue: Appearently all his classes consists of.


    The Angels / Seeds of Life
First rownote ; second rownote ; third rownote . For Tabris (17th), see Kaworu Nagisa's entry on the Children.
The Angels are the monstrous adversaries that NERV is committed to battling. Little is revealed about them, except that the "molecular structure" of their DNA is very analogous to that of human DNA, their presence was predicted by the secret Dead Sea Scrolls in SEELE's possession, and that should an Angel make contact with Adam (one of the two Seeds of Life, the other being Lilith), it will cause a version of Third Impact that would annihilate humanity and leave the Angels (or just that particular Angel; it's unclear which) as the dominant life form on the planet.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: And how! Bardiel arrives when the show really gets dark.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Zeruel's "arm" weapons look like incredibly thin ribbons, but they're able to cut off Unit 02's arms with no trouble at all, and decapitate it with the same ease.
  • Acid Attack: Matarael oozes a powerful acid from the eye in the bottom of its body.
  • Adaptive Ability: Ireul's superhigh-speed adaptation.
  • Alien Blood: Subverted by most of the Angels, who prominently bleed bright-red blood (despite being labeled as blood pattern Blue), but played straight with the Angel in Terminal Dogma which is the first sign that it is not from the same seed as the other Angels that attack NERV. Sachiel actually does have blue blood.
  • Alien Geometries: Leliel is a nanometers-thick black void with a spherical shadow that's completely disconnected from it.
  • All There in the Manual
    • Adam and Lilith's classification as "Seeds of Life", and the fact of their and the Angels' origin as artificial creations by extremely powerful extraterrestrial mysterious precursors, was only explicitly stated in Neon Genesis Evangelion 2's Classified Information files, which were based on interviews with the franchise' creator Hideaki Anno. The precursors were also earlier referred to in the original series proposal that Anno originally showed to Gainax.
    • A short summary to give you the gist of it, possibly with some inaccuracies: all life in the universe was spread by Negligent Precursors termed the "First Ancestral Race", who did this by launching "Seeds of Life" throughout the cosmos. Seeds of Life are awesomely powerful beings who can create an entire biosphere. But to prevent new life they created from being powerful god-like aliens like themselves, they split their attributes between two different types of Seed: Lilith-type Seeds make what we would consider normal biospheres, that give rise to species with human-like consciousness and intelligence, while Adam-type Seeds produce exotic, Angel life-forms possessing massive power levels but not human-like intellects that can produce science and technology. If the two types of Seed mixed, it could create a god-like being. Adam actually landed on Earth first, which was supposed to be an Angel planet - they're from Earth, arguably more than humans, though both originated from transpermia from a Progenitor race. Through a cosmic accident, however, Lilith crash-landed onto Earth instead of her designated target elsewhere (this crash was the real "First Impact"). The FAR Progenitors did include a fail-safe device with each Seed they sent out: the Lance of Longinus, an advanced artifact of Progenitor technology that can actually "shut off" a Seed and send it into dormancy, if it ever accidentally landed on the wrong planet and was in danger of mixing with the opposite kind of Seed. Problem was, Lilith's Lance was destroyed when she crash-landed on Earth - so making the best of a bad situation, Adam's Lance sent him into dormancy, rather than have two active Seeds on the same planet. Lilith then created the terrestrial biosphere as we know it; her blood, LCL, is literally the primordial ooze from which Terran life evolved, culminating in humans. Unfortunately, the FAR also sent an instruction manual of sorts along with each Seed, as a warning to any sapient Lilith-evolved race who stumbled across an Adam-type Seed. SEELE, an Illuminati-like power cabal, found these Progenitor alien records and made up a cover story that they were just the "Dead Sea Scrolls". SEELE then abused the knowledge they gained from the alien records, trying to merge Adam and Lilith to achieve godhood (as the Progenitor records explicitly warned them NOT to do). Step one was to send the Katsuragi expedition to recover the dormant Adam from his resting place in Antarctica: but in their attempt to restrain Adam, they briefly reactivated him, resulting in the explosion of Second Impact, and the scattering of Adam's "children", the Angels, still in embryonic form (as seen with Sandolphon, who landed in a volcano). Gendo Ikari, however, had other plans to seize control of the project for himself.
    • Sachiel's and Shamshel's genders, which were confirmed by Yoshitoh Asari as male and female respectively.
  • Angelic Abomination: Automatically such on account of their name, but special mention goes to Arael and Armisael which are beings of light (a bird and a halo respectively).
  • Animalistic Abomination: Shamshel has clear elements of a horseshoe crab to it, Gaghiel looks like a giant monstrous fish, Arael looks like an enormous bird made entirely of light and Matarael looks like a huge spider. Sandalphon's adult form was based on that of the Anomalocaris, a prehistoric proto-arthropod.
  • Archangel Lucifer: In the roleplaying materials, one of the Angels is named Iblis.
  • Arrow Catch: Sachiel does this with a ballistic missile to demonstrate the Angels' Nigh-Invulnerability.
  • Artificial Human: They (and by proxy, "Mankind"/Lilim) are creations of the First Ancestral Race.
  • Asteroids Monster: Israfel, though it only splits once.
  • Beehive Barrier: The AT-field defensive barrier for Ireul, which is hexagonal. The rest of the Angels (for the AT-field is a standard power for all Angels and Seeds of Life, whether or not it was actually shown on-screen), have octagonal fields. The AT Field projected by Gendo in the manga is octagonal as well.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Their motivations are unknown and they have few ways to express themselves that we would understand. All they seem to want is to be reunited with Adam. Kaworu's final words along with supplementary materials provide some possible insight into their motivations: they wanted to merge with Adam (or Lilith) and wipe out all human life with the resulting Third Impact so they could survive and thrive as the planet's dominant lifeform. They can't coexist with humans because of their different natures.
    • In a matter of speaking, they're simply trying to fix a mistake that was made untold ages ago. Unfortunately mankind is the mistake, so we're rather obligated to have an issue with that.
  • Body Horror:
    • Bardiel and Armisael both appear to merge their tissue into whatever's touching them, causing vein-like growths under the skin. This is seen when Bardiel tries to infect Unit 00's arm, and when Armisael attacks Unit 00 and merges with Rei inside the entry plug.
    • Lilith appears to have been cut in half at some point, with the lower half of its torso sprouting a mess of tumors from which half-formed human beings appear to be growing.
  • Canon Foreigner: Various minor angels: Iblis and Baraqijal from the tabletop RPG, The Insubstantial Angel from the videogame Second Impression and Diemay, a fan design that won a contest Gainax held to get draw by the official artists on a single animation cell.
  • Casting a Shadow: Leliel's attack mechanism resembles this, creating a vast shadow that physically engulfs everything it touches. In reality, the "shadow" is actually the Angel proper and the floating orb is its shadow, courtesy of being a living mass of Alien Geometry.
  • Creative Sterility: It is indicated that the Angels, while revealed to be conscious and even actually quite intelligent, lack the capacity for any kind of abstract thought. Most notably, Leliel and Armisael cannot independently conceive of the very concept of emotions, but have to draw extensively on Shinji and Rei's knowledge and understanding of it before they are able to talk about it, and even then it is obvious that they are struggling to comprehend it. The most human-like Angel, Kaworu/Tabris, admits to admiring humanity for their ability to create music, strongly indicating that he lacks the means to do so himself. According to the supplemental material, this was a Necessary Drawback installed into them by the FAR to balance the immense raw power they were gifted with.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: Sachiel explodes into a cross-shaped pillar of light, Zeruel's eye beams create similar looking explosions wherever they hit, and Lilith is kept nailed to a massive cross at the bottom of Terminal Dogma.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Sachiel's fight with Unit 01 initially has it dishing this out since Shinji had almost no idea how to pilot her, but was on the receiving end of it after Unit 01 went berserk.
    • Zeruel dishes this out to all the Eva Units that stood in its way till it received one from Unit 01 after it went berserk.
  • Eldritch Abomination: All of them to some extent (though more specifically Tabris is a Humanoid Abomination and a few are Animalistic Abominations). Leliel especially qualifies, being a creature whose existence can only be explained by very abstract mathematics. It is even more evident in the cases where the Angels tries directly communicating with the pilots. In the case of Shinji and Leliel, the result is very strange, essentially turning into a prolonged psychoanalysis of Shinji's character. Something similar happens in the case of Asuka and Arael, though the communication is so aggressive and invasive on Arael's behalf that it nearly breaks Asuka's mind. The case of Rei and Armisael is perhaps the most coherent one, but it is still clear that Armisael's way of thinking and speaking is inherently very alien and it obviously has a very limited understanding of the human mind.
  • Energy Weapon: Sachiel's "arm lances." Ramiel also has one in the form of a Wave-Motion Gun.
  • Eye Beams: Used by Sachiel and Zeruel.
  • Eyeless Face: Iblis, though he does have one on the end of his tongue.
  • Faceless Eye: His "brother" Baraqijal, by contrast, is one big floating orange eyeball.
  • Fearful Symmetry: Israfel splits into two nearly-identical copies.
  • Festering Fungus: Bardiel's original form is similar to a slime fungus.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: In the cases where the Angels make contact with the mind of the pilots, they always appear to assume the form of some form of mirror image of the pilot. In the case of Shinji and Asuka, Leliel and Arael appears as younger versions of themselves, while in the case of Rei, Armisael appears as a straight-up copy of her. Of course, there is something inherently off with these mirror images; the younger Shinji's face is cast in shadows, he wears a striped shirt that invokes Leliel's image, and he doesn't appear to be looking directly at Shinji during their conversation, the younger Asuka is Deliberately Monochrome and reveals a face that looks like a doll's, and Armisael-Rei's hands and lower body is hidden by the pool of LCL they are standing in and their only facial expressions swing between a Psychotic Smirk and an outright Slasher Smile. Most disturbingly, it is not revealed whether or not this is a deliberate tactic on the Angels' behalf to erode the pilot's sanity, simply a case of You Cannot Grasp the True Form on the pilots' behalf, or maybe even the other way around; the result of the Angels failing to fully understand the human mind because of their alien way of thinking.
  • Four Is Death: Bardiel (Toji is the fourth child) and Zeruel (Fourteen is "death wish").
  • Gender-Blender Name: Adam is apparently considered female, as she is referred to as "our mother" by Kaworu in Episode 24.
  • Giant Flyer: Many of them can fly and are very large, though Arael is the most obvious, due to being a gigantic birdlike Energy Being.
  • Giant Spider: Matarael is shaped like an opilione.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Armisael transforms into an enormous, nude clone of Rei and reaches joyously up to the sky before being killed by Unit 00's self-destruction.
  • Healing Factor: Another mostly standard Angel power.
  • Heart Drive: The Angels' core, a red spherical organ which contains both their soul and their S2 engine. This seems to be their only vital component.
  • The Heavy: While Gendo and SEELE provide the main conflict for the character relations, fighting the Angels is the main focus of the series.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Tabris, Lilith, and Adam. Though it is implied all the Angels may start out as this, if Sandalphon's embryonic form is any indication.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Lilim, the 18th Angel, is humanity itself, if you take a line of Misato's dialogue in End of Evangelion at face value.
  • Human Subspecies: Despite the extreme differences in size, appearance, biology, and quantum states, both Angels and humans are, according to Word of God, variations on the same template. They're even described as "humans who cast aside human form". On the other hand, supplemental materials such as NGE2 state that SEELE spread a lie about the Angels being other forms of humanity to help convince their servants that the world needed to end. Either way, analysis by NERV does suggest that their (bizarre equivalent of) genetic makeup is nearly identical to human DNA, and the statement of humanity being the "18th Angel" suggests that each angel is an equal form of life to all of mankind.
  • In Name Only: Symbology aside, the Angels are nothing like traditional two-winged angels and don't even resemble the multi-eyed and bizarre angels of Daniel or Ezekiel (though a few of them being Sinister Geometry may be a reference to the "wheel angels", the Ophanim).
  • Inscrutable Aliens: A lot of information has been provided in the time between the series first airing and nowadays, but for the most part it is strictly "All There in the Manual" territory and only available to the audience. In-Universe, most of the cast has no damn clue of what the hell is it with these damn monsters, the ones who have a clue keep it close to their vest by any means necessary (and even then it's implied they don't know a lot — just enough to create their schemes and believe they are worth it), and the Angels never say anything concrete about themselves, even when one appears with a human form.
  • The Juggernaut: Zeruel is by far the most physically powerful of them, absolutely plowing through Units 00 and 02 with minimal effort and coming within a hairs breadth of obliterating the Geofront itself.
  • Kaiju: Most of them take the form of massive creatures of one sort or another, with Sachiel, Shamshel, Gaghiel, and Zeruel being the most straightforward examples.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Bardiel is the first antagonist that demonstrates how bad the cliche "villains hijack one of the good guys' robots" plot could go. Instead of saving the pilot and the robot, the commander gives up on both after a token resistance and has both destroyed. Bardiel is the beginning of the show's ultimate nosedive into insanity and things never become the same after its appearance.
  • Light Is Not Good:
    • Adam is occasionally referred as "the giant of light" and manifests as one during the Second Impact.
    • Shamshel's name means "Sun of God". Angel of Day. Yeah.
    • Ramiel is the Angel of Lightning.
    • Arael's "heavenly" beam of light, considering what it does...
    • Tabris: Albino.
  • Living Shadow: A unique and essentially literal case with Leliel, as the "shadow" is actually its super-thin body, while the floating sphere is its three-dimensional shadow. Don't think about that last part too much; just chalk it up to higher-dimension quantum physics and leave it at that.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Leliel, Arael (a more sinister version), and Armisael.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Arael's beam apparently blasts out "Hallelujah!" (this may or not be an actual in-universe effect or just an out-of-universe sound design choice).
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Adam and Lilith are the first humans in certain unorthodox Jewish mythological texts and the progenitors of Mankind and the demons known as Lilim, respectively, while the eponymous Seeds of Life are the progenitors of the Angels and Mankind, respectively.
    • Sachiel is the angel of water (guess where we first see him).
      • Sachiel also means "Covering of God" referencing it covering Unit-01 before self destructing.
      • His namesake is also one of the two Cherubs placed to guard Eden so that Mankind wouldn't take the Fruit of Life and become like God. Fittingly, he's the first Angel who appear when Mankind starts playing God.
    • Shamshel ("Sun of God") is specifically one of the two Cherubs guarding Eden. After Sachiel's death, stopping Mankind's attempt at becoming like God was her job. Toji and Kensuke break the rules in order to see Shinji in action, gaining forbidden knowledge.
    • Ramiel ("Thunder of God") is the angel of thunder; and while the NGE Angel does not control electricity or weather, its energy attack is a "thunderbolt" of destructive force.
    • Gaghiel (or Gagiel) is the angel of fishermen (he's like a fish and his defeat involves a tactic that resembles fishing) and its name means "Roaring Beast of God".
    • Israfel is the angel of music (its defeat involved dancing to a specific musical score).
    • Sandalphon is the angel of embryos (discovered during a "larval stage", its "voice" is composed of electronically distorted baby wailing), among other things.
    • Matarael ("Premonition of God") is the angel of rain (it "rains" acid).
    • Sahaquiel is the angel of the sky (it appears in freakin' outer space) and its name means "Ingenuity of God" (it doesn't take any risk getting down to Earth to fight the Evas, and instead bombs its objective from orbit).
    • Ireul (Yireuel, "Fear of God", in Hebrew) is the angel of terror (the first Angel to penetrate almost every line of defense in the Geo Front, reached closer to Terminal Dogma than any other Angel save Tabris, hacked its way into NERV's database and the MAGI supercomputers with astonishing ease and speed, and was a fraction of a second away from activating NERV's self-destruct system).
    • Leliel is the angel of night, and is associated primarily with shadows, black and white patterns, and an infinite pocket dimension with no observable properties. Its name means "Jaws of God", and he can nicely engulf things.
    • Bardiel is the angel of haze and hail (it infests Unit 03 while its cargo plane flew through a thunder cloud). Its name means "Humiliated Son of God", referencing the fact that it has no body of its own.
    • Zeruel ("Arm of God") is the angel of power and strength (he takes out Units 00 and 02 in no time flat, devastates NERV headquarters, and very nearly destroys Unit 01). Also, Unit 01 eats it, regenerating its arm. Further, Zeruel is specifically the Angel that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone.
    • Arael is the angel of birds (no bonus points for guessing its general appearance), and means "Sight/Vision of God" referencing its desire to look into Asuka's mind to understand human psychology.
    • Armisael is the angel of the womb (it's vaguely shaped like an umbilical cord, and attempts to give "birth" to previously destroyed Angels from Unit-00's flesh).
    • Tabris, being already unusual on his own, also sticks out name-wise as his name comes from a different branch of Judeo-Christian mythology (though it seems to be more frequently spelled as Tabbris), wherein he is the angel of self-determination. Fitting for the angel who is the most human of them all and in the end chooses to rebel from both SEELE's plans for him as well his species' programming, willingly sacrificing his life in the process, so that mankind can continue to exist instead.
  • Metamorphosis Monster: Both Sandalphon and the videogame exclusive Insubstantial Angel (one of whose forms is, like Kaworu/Tabris, a human teenager, but unlike him the poor girl has absolutely no idea what she really is)
  • Mind Probe: Leliel, Armisael, and Arael, especially the latter. Armisael's reasoning for probing Rei's mind is because it was lonely and wanted a friend, while Arael wants to simply disassemble Asuka's psyche until there's nothing left, for the sake of understanding the nature of human thought.
  • Monster of the Week: They serve this role to the series as a whole, especially in the run of episodes in the first half where every episode focuses around the appearance and defeat of a new angel. Subverted, though, in that while they appear only to be defeated, the psychological effects they have on the characters persist past their destruction.
  • The Needless: Angels are functionally immortal as long as their core is intact. They don't eat, sleep, or age. Sahaquiel was perfectly fine flying through the vacuum of space, which means they don't need to breathe either.
  • No Biological Sex: Considering that the Angels are capable of producing life by themselves, the other possibility is that they're this. It's very likely that Kaworu used "mother" for Adam because of all the mother symbolism in Eva.
  • Odd Name Out: Sandalphon is the only one of Adam's Children (minus Tabris) to not have his/her name end in "-el" or "-ul."
  • One-Hit Kill: Eva weapons are powerful enough that most of them die this way once their AT Field is breached.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Most of them actually. Only Sachiel made an effort to attack Tokyo-3 itself, the rest of the mostly seemed only focused on fusing with Adam, if even that, and they usually only attack the Eva units in self-defense.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Boy howdy. They're some kind of alien bio-mechanical organism created by a mysterious race of Neglectful Precursors.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Some of them are really weird. Angels and Seeds of life are said to be made of an exotic form of matter with properties of both waves and particles, like light. Despite this, the "molecules" of the Angels (assuming you could call them that) are arranged into a pattern 99.89% similar to human DNA (putting them in the same league as other Great Apes)... only with a different color wavelength. Yeah.
  • Outside-Context Problem: While they're said to be Adam's children, nobody's sure exactly how they were made. Theories range from them being pieces of Adam scattered across the world by the second impact to eggs laid billions of years ago that are now hatching. A throwaway line in the Second Impact videos implied some of them may have been born that day, but it's never officially confirmed.
  • Perpetual-Motion Monster: Literally. The S2 engine is an organ that grants the Angels infinite energy along with immortality.
  • Pile Bunker: Sachiel has one in its palms; when retracted, the spikes extend from its elbows. It pierces right through the Unit 01's eye, in a very painful-looking way.
  • Plague Doctor: Sachiel is designed to resemble one, which is fitting if you know the Angels' actual mission.
  • Pocket Dimension: The nature of Leliel's main power, contained within and entered through its flat body and connected to its floating spherical shadow.
  • Pure Energy: Energy blasts and beams; used by Sachiel, Ramiel, Israfel, Zeruel. Arael's beam of light is a variant of this, used to allow it to gain access to the minds of those it desires to 'study'.
  • Rain of Blood:
    • Leliel's quite graphic death. True to its physics-defying nature, the blood spurts from the floating sphere that is its shadow.
    • Bardiel's also quite graphic death as Unit-03.
  • Restraining Bolt: The Lance of Longinus keeps Lilith's growth in check. When it's removed from her body, she immediately grows her legs back and is technically ready to initiate Instrumentality once the other pieces are in place.
  • Rubber Man: Bardiel is able to stretch Unit 03's limbs out to incredible lengths to attack targets.
  • Sea Monster: Gaghiel is a giant, fish-like creature.
  • Shock and Awe: Ramiel.
  • Single Specimen Species: No two Angels look the same.
  • Sinister Geometry: Ramiel provides the page image.
  • Slow Laser: Zig-Zagged. Some Angels produce beams slow enough to be seen by the naked eye, others are so quick, it only appears as a brief flash, followed by massive destruction (and Creepy Cool Crosses).
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Some of the angels' names can be spelt differently, usually depending on the translation, i.e. Ariel vs Arael.
  • Starfish Aliens: With the exceptions of Adam, Lilith, Sachiel, and Tabris. Technically, all Angels are starfish humans, being "humans that cast aside/rejected human form" due to being Fruit of Life-based beings.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • Sachiel's last-ditch move, which ultimately fails.
    • Sandalphon attempts this with Asuka.
    • Sahaquiel's default and only tactic — it drops small portions of itself in order to refine its aim, then dive-bombs Tokyo-3 with its entire body.
    • One interpretation is that Ireul may have been going for this with it activating NERV's self-destruct.
    • Zeruel seems to have been gearing up for one before Unit 01 eats him up.
    • Ironically, that's the exact move that Rei uses to defeat Armisael.
  • Techno Babble:
    • Part of the on-screen exposition on the (in-universe-wise presumed) mechanics behind Leliel's "Sea of Dirac," which is named after a real, though discredited, hypothesis that otherwise bears little to no relation.
    • Also applies for all the Angels, as the MAGI identifies them during each invasion as Blood Type: BLUE. What that means is anyone's guess, especially since none of them (except for Sachiel) have actually blue blood.
  • Time Abyss: There are no clear answer to how old Adam and Lilith actually are, but their ages can be counted in billions of years.
  • Theme Naming
    • Aside from being named "Shito" (which can translated as either "Apostle" or "messenger"; "angel" is descended from the Greek word for "messenger"), all names are of Judeo-Christian Angels excluding two cases - Adam and Lilith (see Meaningful Name above).
    • All of Adam's Childrens' names either end with -el or -ul, with the exception of Sandalphon.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The 18th Angel is The Lilin, the offspring of Lilith, more commonly known as mankind. Though mankind being classified as the 18th Angel may simply refer to the fact that the last enemy the Evas fought were humans (or at least man made in the case of the Mass Production Evas).
  • Turtle Power: Iblis, from the obscure tabletop RPG, looks like a giant purple and white tortoise.
  • Ultraterrestrials: As it turns out, Adam landed on Earth long before Lilith, thus subverting the apparent Alien Invasion story.
  • The Virus: Ireul is a colony of nanite-esque organisms similar to bacteria.
  • Voice of the Legion: When Armisael confronts Rei in her mind, it speaks to her using her own voice with this effect added. It uses the same voice when attacking Shinji.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Ramiel's energy beam.
  • Whip It Good: Shamshel sports energized whips on its "arms".
  • White Mask of Doom: Present on several Angels, including Sachiel, Gaghiel, and Zeruel.
  • You Are Number 6: The Angels are always referred to by the characters according to their order of appearance (3rd Angel, 5th Angel, etc.), outside of the recap in Episode 14 which refers to the angels Sachiel to Sahaquiel by name and a quick recap in 23 which reveals all the rest.

    The Evangelions 

Voiced by: Hiro Yuuki, Megumi Hayashibara (Japanese); Matt Greenfield [TV series and Director's Cut], Jason C. Lee & Taliesin Jaffe [films] (English)
L - R, top to bottom: Unit-00 (post-refitting), Unit-01, Unit-02 and Unit-03.
Click here to see the Mass Production Evangelions. 

The Evangelions are biomechanical mecha designed by GEHIRN, and later by NERV, as a means of fighting the Angels. Their effectiveness against the Angels is based on their ability to generate an AT field, the same form of defense that the Angels use. It's eventually revealed that the Evas are actually cloned Angels, all based on Adam except for Unit 01, which was derived from Lilith. The Evas have human souls bonded to them, and are piloted by select 14-year-old teenagers who can synchronize with those souls; in the case of at least Units 01 and 02, those teens happen to be the children of the women who were bonded to those Evas.

  • Action Girl: The Evangelions (almost) always contain the souls of women and they kick a lot of butt.
  • Action Mom: They carry the souls of the pilots' mothers and are strongly associated with womb imagery. They're also powerful enough to be considered literal gods in-universe.
  • Achilles' Heel: The fact that they take so much energy to power that they have to have a large cable connecting them to their power source. Without it they can only run for a minute, or five if at low gain mode. Multiple times in both the original and Rebuild of Evangelion continuities, tension is generated when a disconnected Eva shuts down at an inopportune moment.
  • An Arm and a Leg: All of them get dismembered by Zeruel, with Unit 02 losing both arms and its head.
  • Appendage Assimilation: Unit 01 attaching and then transmogrifying Zeruel's arm to replace her own, and later absorbing his S2 engine/organ.
  • Artificial Human: As "clones" of Adam (and Lilith, in Unit-01's case), the Evangelions are technically human beings. NERV in fact designates them as artificial humans, and each carries a human soul inside it.
  • The Berserker: Whenever you hear an Evangelion roar, someone is about to die messily. No exceptions. This is especially true for Unit-01; whenever she awakens, she attacks her enemy with frenzied animalistic fury, and will tear her opponent apart given the chance.
  • BFS: The Mass Production Evas all wield double-bladed swords which are almost as tall as they are. They can also transform them into the Lance of Longinus and throw them as javelins, somehow.
  • Bioweapon Beast: What they really are-giant, cloned Angels to fight what they're based off, made to look like Humongous Mecha.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Unit 02 is speared through the head with a Lance of Longinus replica, which turns out to just be the beginning of its Rasputinian Death.
  • Call-Back: Upon learning that the Evas are organic rather than mechanical, you realize the show told you this in episode 1, where they're designated as "Synthetic Lifeforms."
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Unit 01 is crucified on a massive cross of energy by the Mass Production Evas as part of the initiation of Instrumentality. The Mass Production Evas themselves end up petrified in crucifixion poses at the end of the film.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Units 02 and 03 are both torn to pieces, by the MP Evas and Unit 01 respectively.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Unit 00, and more than one of the dead Eva protoypes in the deepest levels of NERV. End of Evangelion and the manga make this especially clear.
  • Determinator: Due to their neural link, the human pilot of an Evangelion feels the pain of all the wounds the Eva takes. If the Eva gets its arm ripped off, the pilot feels like their own arm got ripped off and goes into shock (i.e. Rei when fighting Bardiel). In later episodes, however, with more experience, pilots do keep fighting after losing limbs, powering through on sheer adrenaline. In the fight against Zeruel, Shinji keeps fighting after Eva-01 loses an arm, and Asuka tries to charge it after Eva-02 loses both arms. Even so, they still can't just ignore the shock of what would be fatal injuries for a human: the same fight with Zeruel culminates in it decapitating Eva-02, but the control room frantically shuts down the neural link with the pilot the split-second before so it doesn't outright kill Asuka from shock.
    • Given that they don't have human pilots as such, Evas equipped with the automatic "Dummy Plug" system (blank clones of Rei or Kaworu) can basically keep fighting until they're hamburger. The Mass-Production Evas in the final battle with Eva-02 don't actually regenerate, they just reactivate, severed limbs be damned.
  • Evil Knockoff: The Mass Production Evas, used by SEELE as a trump card against NERV and piloted by dummy plugs based on Kaworu.
  • Extra Eyes: Unit 02 has four eyes.
  • Eyeless Face: Mass Produced Evas have no visible eyes, unlike the other Evas.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Unit 03 receives a lot of hype in-universe, but gets possessed by an Angel before it can even be activated and has to be put down.
  • Female Monster Surprise: For most of the series, the Evas are treated as genderless and are always referred to as "it", but they contain the souls of the pilots' mothers or other individuals (usually female), such as Unit-01 with Yui Ikari and Unit-02 with Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu. This isn't a case of One-Gender Race, as in the -ANIMA- light novels, Unit-01 "evolves" into Super Evangelion and is instead powered by Shinji's own soul.
  • Flawed Prototype: Unit 00 is massively inferior to the later models, only getting deployed to achieve numerical advantage.
    • Turns out that there were a lot of outright failed prototypes, the skeletons of which are dumped in a lower warehouse of NERV HQ. Their crooked shapes and odd armor silhouettes hint at a lot of Body Horror.
  • Four Is Death:
    • Unit 04 explodes and takes a whole local branch of NERV and a chunk of the Southern Nevada desert with it.
    • The actual fourth Eva, Unit 03, is possessed by the Thirteen Angel.
  • Guardian Entity: The Evangelions are less like mecha and more like Guardian Entities you control from the inside. Kaworu takes this a step further when he controls Unit 02 remotely, and it's implied he can do this with any Adam-type Evangelion.
  • Healing Factor:
    • Unit-01 exhibits some of this, restoring her broken arm during the battle with Sachiel and regenerating her blown-out eye immediately after.
    • The Mass Produced Evas in the manga regenerate after being curb-stomped by Shinji in Unit-01. Ironically, for years Fanon has mistakenly believed that MP Evas in End were capable of regenerating, while in reality they couldn't, they were just that determined to kill Asuka, wounds and missing limbs be damned.
  • Heart Drive: The same red cores as the Angels, in fact.
  • High-Pressure Blood:
    • The blood fountaining from Unit 01's eye socket and skull after getting impaled by Sachiel.
    • Unit-02 when Zeruel cuts her arms off.
    • Unit 03's destruction leads to blood-spattered buildings.
  • Holy Halo: Unit-00 in the Director's Cut/Renewal Version for episode 23. When it self-destructs, taking Armisael and a huge chunk of Tokyo-3 with it, we see the Eva briefly turn into an all-white vision of Rei with an halo, right before she explodes.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Both Zeruel (devoured) and Unit 01 (devourer) are technically "human", by the NGE universe's internal terminology. The Mass Production Evas also start feasting on Unit 02 after disabling it.
  • Light Is Not Good: The regular EVA units are colored blue, red, purple, and black, but the nine Mass Production Models are all colored bone-white.
  • Living Weapon: The Evas are a mecha version—mostly-organic creatures that can fight the Angels on their own terms because, in essence, they are Angels.
  • Mama Bear: Because the Evas are imbued with the souls of their pilots' mothers, whenever they act of their own will it's usually for this purpose. Special mention goes to Yui Ikari/Eva Unit-01, who goes berserk at the drop of a hat if Shinji is in danger.
    Asuka: Mama, now I understand the meaning of the AT Fields. You're protecting me! You're watching me! You've been together with me from the beginning, Mama!
  • Meaningful Name:
    • (Most) Evas are "made" out of the first Angel, Adam, akin to how the Biblical Eva (Eve) was made out of the first human of the same name.
    • "Evangelion" itself is the Greek word for the gospelnote , the Bible books about Jesus because they spread the news (evangelion literally means "good news", and gospel comes from "gōd-spell", an Old English word meaning the same) about the resurrection of the Lord and salvation for mankind. Accordingly, the Evas were created by cloning the Seeds of Life (essentially Gods) and are used to defend mankind.
    • Additionally "Angel" and "Evangel(ion)" both come from the same Greek root angelos meaning "messenger". The eu-/ev- prefix simply indicates that the message being delivered is a "good" message, hence the use of the phrase to denote the Gospel as mentioned above.
  • Meat-Sack Robot: Evangelions are ultimately revealed to be synthetic life-forms based on Angel "DNA". In layman's terms, each Eva is a lobotomized cloned Angel outfitted with a Brain–Computer Interface "cockpit" and bound in tight mechanical armor to both keep them under control and conceal the grisly truth.
  • Mook Chivalry: The Mass Production Evas don't attack Asuka all at once until she's already run out of power, allowing her to savage them one at a time.
  • Oni: Per Anno himself, the Evangelions' designs are meant to be evocative of oni. Their unique appearance is also intended to distance them from the mecha of other franchises. The combined effect creates the distinct impression that they are giant armored superhumans as opposed to simply being large robots.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: They need to absorb human souls before they can function at all, after which they need to be controlled by certain children to control them directly. (Double subverted when NERV figures out how to trick the Evas into believing they are interfacing with humans via the Dummy System... which is itself Powered by a Forsaken Child indirectly.)
  • Purple Is Powerful: One of Unit-01's major colors is purple.
  • Rated M for Manly: They're enormous, extremely powerful, very scary-looking and can enter a horrifying Unstoppable Rage if provoked, although most of them are powered by female souls despite traditional uses of this trope.
  • Real Robot: Subverted. They initially seem like they'd be this, seeing as they're cumbersome, hard to handle, and an enormous drain on resources when operating at full capacity, but then comes the reveal that they're cloned Angels encased in restraining armor and powered by human souls. Once that's made clear, the Evas begin displaying blatantly godlike abilities, such as reactivating despite being totally out of power and regenerating lost limbs using Angel flesh.
  • Restraining Bolt: The "armor"'s primary purpose is to serve as a way to keep Evas under control, through a nebulous combination of physically restraining them and containing cybernetic implants that can be used to mentally or physically paralyze them.
  • Scary Teeth: Sported by an armorless, bandage-swathed Unit-01 while undergoing repairs after eating Zeruel.
  • Send in the Clones: They're essentially "clones" (by Neon Genesis Evangelion's loose definition of the word) of the First Angel Adam, or the Second Angel Lilith in Unit 01's case.
  • Series Mascot: Eva Unit-01 is the most famous and prominent icon of the series. Oddly enough, its pilot Shinji is not this for the human characters despite being The Hero.
  • Slasher Smile: One of many creepy things about the Mass Production Models.
  • Soul Fragment: Unit-02 contains only part of Asuka's mother's soul; her physical self was left mentally ill from missing that part.
  • Soul-Powered Engine: The Eva's cores contain the souls of their pilot's parents. The pilots' synchronizing with these souls is what enables the Evas to function.
  • Sniper Rifle: A positron rifle was used by Unit-01 against Ramiel.
  • Super Prototype: Unit-01 is referred to as the "test type", but is actually one of the most important Evangelion Units.
  • Taking You with Me: Rei blows Unit 00 up with herself inside to kill the Angel Armisael.
  • Twin Maker: Freeze-frame play of the director's cut version of episode 23 reveals that Unit 01 is actually Lilith's missing lower half.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Part and parcel of an Eva going berserk.
  • Vertical Mecha Fins: The former Trope Namer ("Eva Fins"); they store the Evas' progressive knives. Units 01, 02, and 03 come with the signature shoulder attachments from the get-go. Unit 00 gets them when its armor is replaced after the Ramiel battle. The MP Evas don't have them.
  • Weapon of Choice: Unit-02 has a unique progressive knife that looks like a box cutter. It's the weapon it uses most often, when controlled both by Asuka and by Kaworu.
  • Winged Humanoid: The Mass Produced Evas have huge wings that collapse into pod-like structures on their backs when they're on the ground. It ironically makes them look much more like classic angels than the actual Angels in the series.
  • Wolf Pack Boss: Asuka has to fight all 9 of the Mass Production Evas at once.
  • Youkai: Not examples themselves, but from Word of God here, the physical appearance of the Evangelions are based off oni.
  • Your Size May Vary: No official heights have been given for them, and they seem to shift depending on what will look correct/intimidating/cool in a given scene. This is most noticeable in Episode 8 when after Gaghiel explodes, Unit-02 is launched out of the sea, lands on an aircraft carrier's deck, and collapses. Nothing wrong there, until you remember that just a few scenes ago she was playing "hopscotch" with a ship the exact same size, which means she has shrunk down to the size of her own shoe.



Voiced by: Megumi Hayashibara (Japanese); Amanda Winn-Lee [ADV], Mandy Clark [Renewal], Cherami Leigh [VSI] (English)note 


Pen-Pen is Evangelion's main non-Butt-Monkey comic relief, and a mysterious character to boot. Gainax has never stated where he came from; all that is known is that he is Misato's pet penguin. He is also superintelligent (for a penguin), being able to read and watch television, and has claws that are used for grasping objects. What anyone would need a superintelligent penguin that can grasp objects and live in warm temperatures for is not known, but he's both cute and funny. He is also one of the few characters not to undergo an emotional breakdown at some point... as far as we know.

Given that penguins were native to Antarctica, which was destroyed by Second Impact, there may also be some hidden significance in Pen-Pen's presence in Misato's life. However, the manga claims he's a Fiordland Penguin, which would make him native to New Zealand.

When he leaves the story, you know that a change in tone is imminent.

In the manga, he is a result of genetic experimentation and was saved from being euthanized by Misato.

  • Ambiguous Robots: He has retractable claws (which no bird species has) and wears a backpack at all times, leading some fans to theorize he is one. One fan theory suggests he was a test subject for the bionic technology that went into creating the Evas and his "backpack" is some kind of precursor to the intra-spinal Entry Plug system. The manga makes this explicit.
  • The Bus Came Back: In the original series, he abruptly returns during the now-iconic "Congratulations!" sequence after Shinji rejects instrumentality.
  • Cartoon Creature: Penguin edition; he doesn't match any particular species, with the long beak seen in Kings and Emperors and the crests of the crested species, albeit red instead of yellow. The manga claims he's a modified Fiordland Penguin.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Is a penguin and widely agreed to the only character not to have any unsympathetic moments.
  • Repetitive Name: Combines this with A Dog Named "Dog".
  • Seldom-Seen Species: According to the manga he's a Fiordland Penguin, which would makes this the only mainstream work to feature this species.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: See below.
  • Shoo the Dog: Misato eventually sends him away to live with Hikari's family, where he'll be safer.
  • Team Pet: He serves as the beloved cuteness-and-funny-generating family pet for the first half of the series.


Voiced by: Toshihiko Seki (Japanese)

Asuka's American father.

  • Adapted Out: While he has very little screen time in the anime, the manga does away with him almost entirely, with Kyoko divorcing him and then using an anonymous sperm donor to produce Asuka. In both versions, the lack of a real father figure in Asuka's life still causes significant damage to her psyche, but in different ways.
  • The Faceless: In his only physical appearance (in a flashback) he is exclusively seen with his back to the camera.
  • Foil: To Gendo in a sense. Both were married to scientists heavily involved with the Evangelion project, and both unions produced one child. Both of their wives were then damaged because of a Contact Experiment, after which they both turned emotionally distant and negligent towards their children, who both grew up to be Evangelion pilots with deep-seated psychological problems. However, where Gendo loved Yui more than anything and couldn't move on from her after she was gone, Langley moved on from Kyoko before she was even truly gone, casting doubt on whether he ever actually loved her. Also, while Gendo's deep love for Yui is perhaps his most sympathetic trait, Langley's swiftness in moving on from Kyoko ends up making him come across as rather low and dishonorable.
  • No Name Given: He is never actually named, as Asuka only ever refers to him as "Papa". His last name of Langley is strictly speaking never mentioned either, but can be inferred from the fact that Asuka must have it from somewhere.
  • Parental Neglect: It is quite evident from his dialogue that he had little actual interest in being a parent, and by all appearances he keeps his involvement in Asuka's life to an absolute minimum, seeing how he only ever shows up in her flashbacks.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Painted in a somewhat negative light, since he began the process while his wife was still alive but too lost in her own world to protest, and with her doctor, no less. At any rate, Asuka never really accepted her stepmother as a new parental figure.
  • Remarried to the Mistress: It is rather heavily implied that Kyoko had barely been put in the ground before he officially tied the knot with her doctor.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: His appearances are limited to a couple of flashbacks in Episode 22, but if Kyoko's insanity and suicide played the biggest part in creating Asuka's psychological problems, his actions during and after those events easily comes in as a close second.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: