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Here be franchise-wide unmarked spoilers. You have been warned.
The Children (Eva pilots)
Voiced by: Megumi Ogata (JP), Spike Spencer (EN), Victor Ugarte (Latin-American Spanish)
Shinji, the Third Child, is the estranged son of NERV Commander Gendō Ikari. He is the main protagonist and the Ordinary High School Student of the cast, and the series is actually mostly about him and his relationships with the other characters. He witnessed the death of his mother Yui when he was four years old (she was seemingly killed in an early test stage of Evangelion Unit 01), and was abandoned by his father shortly thereafter. He suffers from an extreme lack of self-confidence throughout most of the storyline, has a very low opinion of himself, and generally does whatever is asked of him.
Especially in the early episodes, Shinji is the series' resident Butt Monkey, the victim of almost every joke the scriptwriters could come up with for purposes of comedy relief. He's The So-Called Coward who saves the day occasionally but never gets any respect; the "No Respect" Guy who means well but can't ever get a break; the "Well Done, Son" Guy who desperately wants his father to validate his existence. His day-to-day personality is meek, insecure, and indecisive, shaped by his constant fear of being hurt by his relationships with others. Although this is the only way he can cope when dealing with people, it hinders his interactions with fellow pilots Rei and Asuka, both of whom he is attracted to, and with his extroverted and very attractive guardian, Misato Katsuragi. Only when piloting Eva and fighting the Angels does an inner core of strength and Determination shine through. Unfortunately, because of his psychological trauma, it often takes a mixture of Unstoppable Rage and suicidal fear to bring it to manifest.
In the first episode, Gendo blackmails Shinji into piloting Unit 01 with the threat that if he doesn't, a severely-wounded Rei will be sent out in his place to certain death. From then on, Shinji is reluctant to pilot his Eva, doing it more out of a sense of duty and moral obligation than anything else. He seems to be the only pilot who fully grasps what is at stake, although he does not want such responsibility, and it weighs heavily upon him and constantly preys upon his mind. More than once he tries to run away or escape from his life as a pilot, only to return when driven back by the knowledge that he can't stand by while the world is destroyed. However, despite whatever conviction influences his decisions, an overriding theme in the series is that his actions are those of a child seeking approval, piloting Eva to earn his estranged father's praise or desperately trying to be accepted and valued by the people around him.
Over the first half or so of the series, Shinji makes noticeable progress toward becoming more stable and more accepting of others. However, beginning with the Angel Leliel's attack, and the increasing toll subsequent Angels' attacks and revelations about the truths behind NERV and SEELE take on him and everyone around him, Shinji becomes increasingly alienated, increasingly depressed, and his sanity slowly erodes. By the end of episode 24, he is on the verge of a nervous breakdown or starting one. This leads to a major point of contrast between the anime's more hopeful resolution in episodes 25 and 26, and End of Evangelion, where he becomes much less sympathetic, particularly at the start when he masturbates over a comatose Asuka and later attempts to strangle her. What was once bravery becomes insane recklessness, as his pain drives him to a point where he no longer really cares whether he (or anyone else) lives or dies.
In the manga version, Shinji's personality has noticeable differences, as he is more apathetic, depressive, and prone to anger or snarkiness, rather than being fearful and cringing. Although he is portrayed as being a bit more stable, he is fundamentally the same damaged child.
Rebuild 's Shinji is subtly different from the original, which is mostly attributed to the movies' different thematic focus.
- A God Am I: Somewhat becomes this during End of Evangelion, where he is asked whether or not he wants humanity to continue existing as it is or not. The question being asked shortly after his Despair Event Horizon, humanity is forced to take it up the ass. Or not.
- Accidental Pervert:
- His first actual conversation with Rei starts with this, and is notable for being one of the first major signs that Rei isn't normal.
- This happens again with Mari in Rebuild 2.0. Again, Shinji is the only one of the two who seems to care.
- Action Survivor
- Adorably Precocious Child: Well, he used to be one.
- Anti-Hero: Type I, specifically, with hints of Type IV as the plot advances.
- Apologises a Lot: Too often, according to Asuka.
Asuka: Stop apologizing to me! Grow some backbone!
- Audience Surrogate: Whether people want to admit it or not, Shinji acts much the same way a lot of people would act given the circumstances, asks many of the same questions the audience is asking, and shares many of the audience's views on the events happening in the series (or vice versa, thanks to the story being told from his perspective). This, naturally, leads into a lot of the Fan Wank about the series.
- Awesome McCoolname: His name can be read as "Wrath of the Divine Child".
- Ax Crazy: When sufficiently stressed.
- Badass Adorable
- Beginner's Luck: Subverted in several ways.
- Berserk Button:
- In the TV series in Episode 03 and 24. Then, in End of Evangelion.
- In Rebuild, anyone or anything hurting Rei gets a dose of Shinji's new-found rage. This comes to a head in Rebuild 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance when Rei is devoured by Zeruel, and he decides to take a page from Kamina and rip the angel to pieces with glowing eyes of rage to save her.
- The Berserker
- Beware the Nice Ones: When he's driven over the edge, horror ensues for the Angels, Asuka, and possibly for Gendo.
- Big Damn Heroes: Sometimes as the rescuer, sometimes as the rescued. His one indisputable moment of this comes in episode 19, in the battle against Zeruel. It was also reenacted in Super Robot Wars MX, but with Rom Stol encouraging Shinji to perform said act in game.
- Bishonen: Shinji's level of bishie-ness (or non-bishie-ness) is very polarizing in the fandom, although Sadamoto wrote that he designed Shinji to be a delicate/vulnerable-looking bishonen.
- Break the Cutie: One of the defining examples of this trope, at least in anime.
- Butt Monkey: To the extreme, but not in a comical way.
- Byronic Hero
- Character Tic: The twitching of his fingers, and opening and closing his hand.
- Chick Magnet: Asuka, Misato and Rei's actions around him say much...and then there's Kaworu.
- Clueless Chick Magnet: And yet, somehow, Shinji will find a way to make sure nothing happens.
- As of Rebuild 2.0, it's official. If you've met Shinji, you will want to screw Shinji. No exceptions.
- Conscription: It's been said that the reason Shinji gets so much flak from anime fans is because he has far more in common with a Vietnam War draftee than with most Shonen protagonists. While the reasons the animosity are up for debate (like virtually everything else in Eva), there certainly isn't any doubt that Shinji was pretty much shanghaied into becoming an Eva pilot.
- Covert Pervert: As evidenced by his dream sequences. No more than Truth in Television level for a hormonal teenager, though.
- Cowardly Lion
- Creepy Child: He's all over this in The End Of Evangelion.
- Cross-Dressing Voices: Only in the original Japanese. Spike Spencer voices him in the English dub.
- Deadpan Snarker: In the manga, especially to Asuka.
- Heck, he even has signs of this in the anime, at least in the beginning, before Break the Cutie rears its ugly head.
- Despair Event Horizon: In a horribly cruel fashion he crosses this line more than once. How does that even work? Something will happen that will break him, throwing him into a Heroic BSOD (for example, the incident with Eva Unit 03 where he goes into a complete Freak-Out), and then he will slowly and painfully pull himself back from the brink into some semblance of barely-functioning normality... and then something else will happen to just decimate him all over again and drive him back over the horizon. Each time he "recovers", he is more damaged and less stable than the time before, so it becomes even easier next time for him to be broken. It's only in The End of Evangelion that he becomes permanently fixed beyond the Despair Event Horizon by virtue of the fact that he is so completely and utterly destroyed -- his mind being a broken mess of psychological torment and agony -- that becoming an Empty Shell would be a relief.
- Determinator: In Rebuild, even if his flesh tears away, he WILL save Ayanami.
- It's more than that. Willing Unit 01 to reactivate and proceeding to turn physics inside-out and getting torn apart, all to save Rei? Hell yeah, total Badass Determinator. But that's not enough, oh no. Since an Angel's physical form is defined by its AT Field -its soul- what we have here is a boy who by dint of his conviction is able to rip into the soul of the most powerful Angel NERV has ever faced and *tear it apart* to get back the girl he loves. Clearly, Third Impact is just another name for what happens when Shinji's balls drop.
- But there is also a disturbing implication to this action, namely the fact that Shinji is willing to disregard all consequences, including the death of the entire human race, to be reunited with a girl whom he relies on emotionally. He has basically adopted his father's screwed worldview. And just to drive the point home, the action is centered around the clone of the same woman.
- He also shows this in the original anime. If you convince him that he has to destroy an angel he will do anything to destroy it. The difference between Rebuild and the original anime, is that in the original he is generally terrified out of his mind or on the verge of a psychotic break when in Determinator mode, while in Rebuild it seems to be more of a function of Unstoppable Rage. The second is probably more emotionally healthy, considering that in the original he always goes through a period of pretty severe post-traumatic stress afterwards, which he doesn't seem to be getting so much in Rebuild.
- Determined Defeatist
- Dreadful Musician: He considers himself as such, but is actually a pretty decent cello player. Case in point: he can play the prelude to Bach's Cello Suite No. 1, a piece known for requiring a considerable amount of skill, very well. Even Asuka is impressed.
- Driven to Suicide: He comes close to it about twice before The End of Evangelion, after which he is continuously in a state of suicidal depression.
- The Eeyore: Not (generally) played for laughs; he's genuinely depressed, and we're meant to feel his pain.
- What makes this even more painful to watch is the contrast the audience sees in episodes ten to fourteen, where he actually seems to be genuinely smiling for a short period of time and seems relatively happy (or at the very least content, with a fair bit of emotional stability thrown in for good measure). This doesn't last long, though.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Played straight, subverted, or both at once, depending on how you look at it. His interactions with Kaworu fall into Ho Yay territory, but end very messily. None of his relationships with the other characters turn out well either, due to his insecurities and everyone else's unique psychological issues.
- Expy: In a sense; Shinji's character design is a Gender Flip of Nadia.
- He also has a few character traits similar to Noriko.
- Extreme Doormat: Less so in the manga and Rebuild.
- The Four Loves: A lot of Shinji's problems stem from the fact that he believes nobody loves him.
- Freak-Out: happens often. Earlier in the series the occasional Freak Outs just temper into a Heroic BSOD, and eventually he seems to "recover" for a bit. However, as the series goes on, they become more and more damaging, and it becomes more and more difficult for him to recover from. And then we get to The End and well...
- Genre Savvy: His Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 incarnation to an extreme degree. He even teaches Kira Yamato Dealing With an Angry Tsundere 101. He demonstrates by subduing a pissed off Cagalli with food.
- Go Mad From the Revelation: Starts late in the series and goes full blast in End.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Second movie, towards the end. They're blood red, and it is truly, unconditionally terrifying.
- Here's a pic. Be warned, it WILL freak you out.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: There's a reason why he's such a good pilot.
- Hates Being Touched
- Headphones Equal Isolation
- The Hero
- Heroic BSOD: Several times over the course of the series, and so much so in End that after the Dude, She's Like, in a Coma opening, he becomes a passive Death Seeker.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Gendo really did something awful to his self-esteem.
- Heroic Willpower: He mustn't run away. (The one time he does, it's Ten-Minute Retirement.)
- Hurting Hero
- If It's You It's Okay: Possibly towards Kaworu. Shinji is most likely straight considering how he expresses attraction to Misato, Asuka, and Rei. However, in the manga at one point he thinks "I was attracted to him (Kaworu) even though I knew I shouldn't like a boy like that." The most common fan theories are that he's either Bi or just starving for affection.
- The anime pretty heavily implies that Kaworu is the only relationship of Shinji's that has any chance of being functional. Reinforced in End when Kaworu is the only person that Shinji's happy to see.
- I Ate What?: In response to trying Misato's cooking.
- I Just Want to Be Normal
- Incest Is Relative: The relationship between him and Rei (who, unbeknownst to either of them, is a clone produced from a mixture of his mother's DNA and Lilith's').
- Just how genetically close Shinji and Rei are is one of the more debated topics among fans, and is frequently played with in fanfiction, especially among Shippers. Depending on who you ask, a relationship between the two could be Parental Incest, Brother-Sister Incest, Kissing Cousins, or not incest at all.
- Introverted Character, Extroverted Actor: Spike Spencer, Shinji's English voice actor, is a perpetually hyperactive, highly sociable guy who loves cracking jokes and being the center of attention and doesn't care much for contemplation - that is to say, he's the polar opposite of Shinji.
- Interspecies Romance: Shinji/Rei might also be this, since she is a Half-Human Hybrid.
- It's All My Fault
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Shinji hates being an Eva pilot.
- I Will Protect Her: In the manga version of End of Evangelion, Shinji piloting Unit-01 takes a stand against the MP Evas once Unit-02 shuts down and, vastly outnumbered, speaks this line in utter Badassitude:
"I will... protect Asuka!! Never... again... shall anyone die!!"
- The Kirk
- Kissing Cousins: His possible relationship with Rei in Shinji Ikari Raising Project, where she is his distant cousin.
- Like Brother and Sister: His relationship with Rei has some shades of this, not least due to Rei's origins.
- Loser Protagonist
- Midnight Blue Eyes
- Mr. Fanservice
- Oedipus Complex: Especially in the manga, where Shinji throws a punch at Gendo, and later has a dream sequence about killing him. Also, while trapped inside Unit-01, he is tempted by the naked spirit of his mother.
- Ordinary High School Student: At the beginning. On the other hand, his family past is such that he could never have had an ordinary life to begin with, which Kaji makes amply clear in the manga.
- Also, like so much of Evangelion, deconstructed since it shows how well an actual ordinary teenager would react to being unwillingly thrust into war against Eldritch Abominations.
- Parental Abandonment: He watched his mother die. Dad is emotionally neglectful/abusive (especially in the manga). Misato tries to fill in, bless her heart, but she simply can't get the job done.
- Precision F-Strike:
- "I'm so fucked up."
- "Now if I were to run away, let's analyze that: where the FUCK would I go??"
- Short Wimpy and Brunet
- Shrinking Violet
- The Scream: Screams quite a bit throughout the series, and at least three times in End of Evangelion. Usually coincides with a particularly painful Freak-Out or begging Gendo to stop doing something highly unethical.
- The So-Called Coward: Subverted; he saves the day again and again, but rarely gets any respect for it.
- Stepford Smiler: For most of the series he walks around quietly with a little smile on his face, even when it becomes clear he's dying inside.
- Super Mode / One-Winged Angel / Physical God: When the sync rate with Unit-01 is at 400%. In the anime, manga, and Rebuild continuities, this is pretty much only used once, against Zeruel. In the manga, however, it also happens when Shinji decides to protect Asuka during End of Evangelion...
- Supreme Chef: So good, even Asuka didn't want to share hers with anyone when he made lunch.
- Ten-Minute Retirement
- This Loser Is You
- Took a Level In Badass:
- Subverted in that everyone was waiting for him to do this. There are at least two instances in which he goes completely, homicidally, and brutally ballistic toward his enemies, which at one point included his father along with the rest of NERV and Tokyo-3. And after all of that, he's still quite "wimpy."
- In fan works on the other hand, Shinji does this all the freaking time. If you're reading an Eva fanfic that's not Original Flavor, there's a 90% chance that Shinji will either Level Grinding in badass or have his natural courage played up over his cowardice and various mental traumas. Whether this works or backfires spectacularly depends on the fic.
- Super Robot Wars has done this with Shinji a lot, and in ways that are much more realistic than Fan Fics. The most triumphant example would have to be SRW Alpha, where the End Of Evangelion events happen TWICE, two years apart from each other. They get as far as the MP Evas in @1 and everyone is actually tanged in 3, which thanks to Shinji and the heroes who actually accepted him as friend, doesn't last long. By Alpha 3 Shinji has grown enough to Bright Slap Kira Yamato and leads the charge on Central Dogma against Gendo near the end of the game.
- There was the time in SRW Final where Shinji got Bright Slapped by Bright Noa himself.
- The Rebuild incarnation of Shinji, in comparison to the original.
- Tragic Hero: He oscillates back and forth during the series between terrified near-catatonia and insane superhuman courage, though by the end he's clearly heading for a nervous breakdown, and completely snaps in End of Evangelion.
- Trauma Conga Line: Shinji's entire life, basically. A lot of it courtesy of Gendo.
- As for the result types, hes a result B in the original, but shifts to a variation of a result D in Rebuild.
- Ugly Guy's Cute Son
- Unlucky Everydude
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: After all, he is the central character, and on a fundamental level the series / franchise is all about growing up, including learning about the opposite sex. First and foremost, with Asuka.
- Unstoppable Rage: Whenever he gets pushed too far by the stress of being an Eva pilot.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: He's this way up until the incident with Unit-03, at which point his wanting to reconcile with Gendo dies a very messy death.
Voiced by: Megumi Hayashibara (JP), Amanda Winn-Lee (EN, series), Brina Palencia (Rebuild), Circe Luna (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Gabriela Ugarte (Latin-American Spanish, second dub)
Rei, the First Child, is a Shy Blue-Haired Girl. She is beautiful, fey, and otherworldly, and has a Mysterious Past that is only partially revealed late in the series. When asked why she pilots her Eva, she says that it's because she's "bonded" to it, or that it's her bond to humanity, or something like that. She displays little concern for her own life (see the quote); this takes on seriously creepy layers late in the series.
At first, her only human relationship is with her commanding officer, Gendō. Shinji once stops to observe a conversation between Rei and Gendō from some distance, and though neither he nor the audience can hear what they're saying, Rei and Gendō are shown smiling at each other. Gendō, for his part, appears to care for Rei more than anybody else, even his own son. After a failed test forces Rei to eject from her Eva, Gendō, in an uncharacteristic panic, is the first to reach her entry plug, burning his hands while forcing it open to retrieve her. Rei still keeps the broken glasses that fell from his face during this incident, and is initially very defensive of him, as exemplified when she slaps Shinji for saying negative things about Gendō. At one point, Shinji also observes her smiling and appearing to have a friendly conversation with Gendo. This deceives Shinji and the audience into thinking that they are close; later, when Shinji asks Rei about Gendō, she replies that she doesn't know what kind of person he is. By the end of the story, her attitude toward Gendō has changed dramatically.
She is stated in Episode 17 to have strong feelings for Shinji, though her thoughts and feelings are for the most part revealed neither to the people around her nor to the audience. This is changed in the manga adaption where, as well as the pair having more scenes together, she shows much more of a fondness towards him and openly admits it. However, the true depths of her feelings are still hidden until later in the story.
She is in many ways the polar opposite of Asuka, and is compared to Yui Ikari, implicitly and explicitly, on multiple occasions.
- Action Girl: She has her moments.
- Anti-Hero: Type III. Given her willingness to share uncomfortable truths whether someone wants to listen or not.
- Apocalypse Maiden
- Artificial Humanoid Abomination: See below.
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: Bonding with Lilith causes the resulting hybrid being (commonly referred to as "Giant Naked Rei") to grow gigantic, and then monumentally gigantic.
- Badass Adorable
- Badass Bookworm
- Bandage Babe: To an outrageous degree.
- The Berserker
- Bizarre Human Biology: While Rei is canonically known to be at least partially human, the specifics aren't made clear. To compensate, Fanfics tend to depict her with either this trope, Bizarre Alien Biology, or both, each in various ways. To list them all would be a herculean task, given the size of the fandom; one notably common aspect, however, is whether or not she has an S2 Engine/Organ, and its exact role in her physiology.
- Bob Haircut
- Body Backup Drive
- Came Back Wrong: This could apply to either of Rei's second or third versions, depending on how you interpret her personality in regards to the previous version(s).
- The Chick
- Cloning Blues: She hates being a clone, especially the fact that she cannot die and will just be replaced if she does.
- Conditioned to Accept Horror
- Creepy Child
- Dandere: Toward Gendo.
- Death Seeker: Of sorts. She flat out states that she wants to die, though this can be interpreted as not having the ability to due to her Cloning Blues. She does not take the pointlessness of her Heroic Sacrifice well at all.
- Defrosting Ice Queen
- Determinator Plucky Girl: DetermiReitor?
- Disney Death: Subverted; she's really dead...until she's re-cloned.
- Emotionless Girl: Subverted; see Kuudere below.
- Expendable Clone: "If I die, I can be replaced."
- Extreme Doormat: Perfectly willing to commit suicide if Gendo asks her to.
- Fountain of Expies: You know you're one when you have your own page dedicated to your Expies.
- Good Is Not Nice: She has no problem telling Asuka and Shinji they suck when the need arises, going as far as slapping Shinji when he badmouths his father.
- Half-Human Hybrid
- Heroic Albino: Sort of.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Rei is the empress of this trope, risking her life no less than four times depending on how you count them. **Subverted somewhat due to her origins. Subverted moreso when you realize that she has this mindset because she is aware of this and places no value on her life period; some have interpreted her as an outright Death Seeker.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: This is the reasoning for her frosty, pragmatic, distant personality, and why she becomes more pissed off and tired near the end.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Rei appears to have No Nudity Taboo thanks to a lifetime of scientific experiments. Her reaction to Shinji walking in on her naked, falling on top of her, and accidentally groping her was limited to politely asking him to move without a hint of embarrassment or annoyance, let alone asking him to leave the room while she dressed.
- Kissing Cousins: Her possible relationship with Shinji in Shinji Ikari Raising Project, where she is his distant cousin.
- Kuudere: Although she initially comes across as emotionless, aside from the aforementioned scene with Gendo, in truth she's so disconnected from meaningful human contact that until Shinji enters her life, she doesn't really know how to emote, something she essentially admits at the end of episode 6. She shows brief flashes of emotion in a handful of episodes afterward, culminating in episode 23. Quite funny when she is a main inspiration for the real emotionless girls (at least the modern ones). She's even more so in the manga, which explores her feelings in more detail.
- Luminescent Blush: Displays this a few times when Shinji is particularly kind to her.
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter
- Messianic Archetype
- Ms. Fanservice
- My Hero Zero: She pilots Unit 00, and her first name means "Nothing". This ends up being inverted for the most part, as her synch-rate is several points lower than either Shinji or Asuka. However, she has some talent in piloting.
- Mystical Waif
- No Social Skills: To the point where she will ask if there's something she should feel or do in social situations.
- Oracular Urchin: Borderline; Rei clearly knows more than she lets on, though she only rarely speaks.
- The Other Darrin: Her first English VA, Amanda Winn-Lee, was replaced with Brina Palencia for the Rebuild of Evangelion dub.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Ennis, is that you? Naw, sounds more like a stoic Child Soldier abused by a callous, single-minded commander. Or maybe a certain extremely beautiful and cute...Boy?!
- Or a loli-cious demon, and also a powerful, fan-wielding, fire-spell casting yet classy high school student. One of the two.
- The Philosopher: "Mankind has always feared the darkness".
- The Quiet One: Rei says little, and almost never initiates conversations with anyone whose last name is not Ikari.
- Quiet Character Manic Actress: Listening to the audio commentary for End of Evangelion can be a jarring (but fun) experience, as Rei's voice actress, who was also a writer/producer/just about everything for the show, might be the single most hyperactive woman ever with shades of Perky Goth as she squeals with delight seeing a body get run over with a car.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Zigged zagged. From about episode six she displays a willingness to help (outside of her obsession with self sacrifice that is,) but things get complicated through her difficulty in associating with people, somewhat lacking in tact and even with character development flip flops between genuine kindness and basically telling others they are wrong.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Asuka's red.
- Replacement Goldfish: For Gendō, in a sense. It's important to note, for what it's worth, that if Gendo and Yui had had a girl instead of Shinji, she'd have been named Rei.
- Shy Blue-Haired Girl
- The Spock
- The Stoic: Although the second version was Not So Stoic by the end.
- Strange Girl
- Take a Third Option: Gendo wants her to cause Instrumentality. Rei doesn't want to. What's she do? Ask Shinji.
- Technicolor Eyes
- Through Her Stomach: In Rebuild 2.0, Shinji sharing miso soup with her at the sea life preserve, and later preparing a lunch for her at school, are the major keys toward getting her to open up to people.
- Tyke Bomb
- Uncanny Valley: Rei was supposed to invoke this. Whether or not it actually worked is another story.
- Unkempt Beauty: So true.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Justified, since everybody except Shinji knew her for years, and the strangeness of her blue hair and red eyes are nothing special by the start of the series.
- Warrior Therapist: Rei plays this to Shinji, Asuka, and in the manga Ritsuko, and demonstrates that the world is so effed up that it's better There Are No Therapists.
- Weak but Skilled: The lowest synch rate and the worst Eva, but she makes up for it with piloting ability and capacity to follow the plan.
- We Have Reserves: Maybe one of the creepiest examples ever.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?
- When She Smiles: Used to be the page image, and probably the cutest moment of a bleak and depressing series.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Gendo wants her to. Rei, unsurprisingly, doesn't.
- With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: To Shinji in the movies.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Her second incarnation gains some shades of this after she defrosts. She is quite serious, never shows any animosity towards anyone (even to Asuka, whose dislike of Rei is very evident) unless they insult the Ikaris, either of whom she would die for at any given moment. She also reacts with a Luminescent Blush to being told that she'd would make a good housewife. It's more obvious in Rebuild where she tries to get Shinji to get along with Gendo by inviting them to a home-cooked dinner.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair
Asuka Langley Soryu/Shikinami
Voiced by: Yuko Miyamura (JP), Tiffany Grant (EN), Norma Echevarria (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Gina Sanchez (Latin-American Spanish, second dub)
Asuka, the Second Child, is an obnoxious, conceited, abrasive German-Japanese girl with a short temper, who alternates between flirting with Shinji and brutalizing him both emotionally and physically. She is a Teen Genius who has a college degree at the age of fourteen, speaks at least three languages fluently, and is very determined and very athletic. She pilots gleefully because she wants to become famous the world over for her intrepid exploits. She glories in combat, and it's very nearly all she lives for. Her naturally red hair and blue eyes also make her exotically attractive by Japanese standards. Her almost pathologically arrogant, rude, and selfish personality, on the other hand, is patently offensive even by Western standards - never mind in a country that values politeness, consideration, and humility, especially for women, as much as Japan does.
She is infatuated with Ryōji Kaji, Misato Katsuragi's on-again, off-again boyfriend, and throws herself at him again and again in an aggressive manner that is, for cultural reasons, quite shocking to the Japanese (and still fairly obsessive and disturbing even in more demonstrative cultures). She initially offers to be friends with Rei because "it would be convenient", but quickly comes to hate her because she perceives Rei as being akin to a doll or puppet, something Asuka harbors a deep hatred for. She is a complex love interest for Shinji: there is a comical and clumsy First Kiss scene between them, and Shinji is one of only two males with whom she ever flirts in the whole series, but she makes her hostility towards him quite clear. She is not the main focus of the program, so her thoughts and feelings are not displayed as much as Shinji's are, but she is shown to have strong feelings for Shinji... the problem (usually for him) is that whatever these feelings are, they seem to be either deeply conflicted or aggressive and violent. Word of God says that Asuka actually is attracted to Shinji, meekness and all, and is hurt by his shying away from her, never realizing that it's her dominant and hateful attitude that's pushing him away.
As the series goes on, she becomes more sympathetic when her own painful past is revealed, which is proportionate to the emotional issues she's developed as a result. Her personality and attitude are shown to be psychological defenses against cripplingly low self-esteem, and that she abuses others partly out of a fear of intimacy and partly out of sheer anger at the world. She does not change for the better, but, depending on interpretation, there is a hint at the very end of End of Evangelion that she has come to realize how much she has hurt everyone around her.
The manga version of Asuka is not much different; the main changes are to her background (she is a test-tube baby), her introduction (which establishes her as more of an outright Badass than in the anime), and her traumatic past (an extra event is introduced which compounds the tragedy and which plays itself out again through Asuka).
- Ace Pilot: Deconstructed.
- Action Girl: More so in the manga where we see her in action outside of the EVA.
- Alpha Bitch: In the anime especially. Is more bearable in the manga, and in the Rebuild films, she isn't an Alpha Bitch at all even when a jerkass, depicted as completely antisocial in school rather than the popular girl like in the anime.
- Anti-Hero: Type IV
- Arrogant Kung Fu Chick: She uses her overconfidence and Ace Pilot status to obfuscate just how screwed up she is.
- Ax Crazy
- Attention Whore: Due to her abandonment issues.
- Back From the Dead: She's the first human being - besides Shinji - who gets out of Instrumentality.
- Badass Adorable
- Badass Bookworm: While not quite to the extent of Rei, Asuka did manage to graduate from college, and she does have quite a good knowledge of Science: The only reason she has trouble in the exams is because she hasn't mastered Kanji.
- Bandage Babe: During the last scene of End. She suffers from similar wounds to Rei's.
- Bastard Girlfriend: Deconstructed, since her abuse is neither played for laughs nor sexy.
- The Berserker
- Blood Knight
- Blue Eyes
- Break the Cutie: Her breaking happened a little later than Shinji's but was much harsher and traumatic.
- Break the Haughty: Since her entire self-conception revolves around being the best Eva pilot, anytime she fails is a major blow to her confidence.
- Broken Ace: Eva pilot, intelligent, already has a university degree, the most popular girl in school...and packing childhood trauma equivalent to Shinji's.
- Broken Bird: She already qualified for this at the start of the show. This being Evangelion It Got Worse, and after the Mind Rape she was almost completely broken.
- Broken Smile: She's currently featured on the page image.
- Bungled Suicide: It's implied that she tried to cut her wrists in episode 24, when she's seen in a bathtub with water that looks like it's stained red, and may have been starving herself. Section 2 finds her and she's too weak to resist being taken into custody.
- But Not Too Foreign: She's born to a half-German, half-Japanese mother and an American father of unknown ethnicity (though if Langley is assumed to be his surname, he's likely English), and has an American passport.
- Cannot Spit It Out: For extra fun, she has a hard time even admitting her feelings for Shinji to herself, let alone telling him.
- Of course, it probably doesn't help that on the occasions when she subtly or not-so-subtly flirts with him, it doesn't work at all.
- Catch Phrase: "Anta Baka?", meaning "What are you, stupid?"
- Character Development: Following her Mind Rape, she starts questioning who she is and nearly kills herself in the process. After returning from the LCL, she shows Shinji a sign of affection by caressing his face (though it's clear she's still mad at him).
- Character Escapist Phase: After her Mind Rape and before her suicide attempt. She briefly became obsessed with videogames to cope with her horrible reality. Even Hikari was worried about her playing games all the time. Not surprisingly she is the trope picture.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: In the presence of Kaji.
- Also towards Shinji, not that she would ever admit it. Even catching Shinji looking at Rei can trigger an outburst, and then there's Episode 22, where in the midst of her Heroic BSOD she spots Shinji and Rei talking to each other. The next time she interacts with Rei, Asuka goes into a screaming meltdown and slaps her.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: The way that Asuka checks out in End of Evangelion is definitely not for the faint of heart...or stomach.
- Defrosting the Ice Queen: There are shades of this immediately following her introduction. She steadily becomes less and less of a Jerkass to Shinji until finally they have an awkward kiss scene. Unfortunately, then things went south when she interpreted his awkward reaction to the kiss as a rejection. Then her jealousy flares back up once he surpasses her as a pilot, and his relationship with Rei grows warmer. Then came the Mind Rape...
- Designer Baby: In the manga adaptation.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!
- Driven to Suicide: Shortly after her mental breakdown and Mind Rape. It fails when she is found, but she falls into a coma.
- Expy: She is a Gender Flip version of Tetsuya Tsurugi. Tetsuya is the Trope Codifier and Trope Maker of Hot-Blooded Ace Pilot in the Super Robot Genre. He also would be a Deconstruction if he actually was not THE FIRST ONE). He was so arrogant whoever doubted his skills had troubles with him (in fact, suggesting he had lost was one of his Berserk Buttons). He could not stand someone showed him up, and often he seemed more concerned about showing off than protecting people when he fought. He also was a Tsundere Would Hit a Girl, even if she was his Love Interest and Battle Couple. Deep down he was not a bad person, but when he was angry, upset or jealous, he could be a BIG jerkass. However, all of that arrogance and rudeness was a cover-up to hide he was an orphan child with huge abandoment issues, a HUGE Inferiority Superiority Complex and an utter lack of self-confidence. He was deadly afraid of if he was not the best pilot ever, he would be replaced and forgotten, and then he would be worthless (piloting Great Mazinger was his way to prove the world he existed). His adoptive father did nothing to address those issues, being more concerned with training him to become a soldier than with treating him like a father. Tetsuya's arrogance, jealous and lack of self-trust caused many troubles throughout the entire series, until he finally got a nervous breakdown and went through a very tragic Break the Haughty moment. And it must be mentioned in one storyline of one of the original series he fought nine mass-production models of his Humongous Mecha. Honestly, the only differences between Asuka and him is Asuka is red-haired and female.
- Eye Scream: The poor girl is doomed to this in both continuities. In End of Evangelion, she gets stabbed through the eye when a fake Lance of Longinus flies at Unit-02, and as a result of the high sync rate she bleeds profusely. In Rebuild 2.0, the Eva she is piloting is infected by Bardiel and ripped apart by Unit-01, who chops down on the plug with her still inside it. The previews for 3.0 show her with an eyepatch.
- Fiery Redhead: The page picture.
- Foreign Cuss Word: Asuka's American voice actress can speak German, and peppers Asuka's speech with German profanity.
- Foreign Fanservice: Has German, Japanese and American heritage.
- The Gadfly: A rather Jerkass example.
- Girlish Pigtails: Wears true tsundere tails.
- Glory Hound
- The Glomp: On Kaji.
- Hair-Trigger Temper
- Hates Being Touched: After her Mind Rape.
- Heroic BSOD: Episode 22 starts with Asuka going into a mental breakdown that sends her sync ratio plummetting, then she gets Mind Raped.
- Hot Girls Are Bitches
- Hurting Heroine
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Spam Attacked to Gorn levels with her death in End of Evangelion.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex
- Japanese Politeness: Is constantly annoyed by Shinji apologizing. Is also the most prominent foreigner on the show.
- Jerkass: Jerkass Facade version: acts like one to not have anybody pitying or dominating her. As stated above, she's much less so in the Rebuild movies.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Manga version, post her initial appearance in Volume 4. For example: she's actually visibly worried about Shinji when he's liquefied and sealed inside his Eva; in the anime, her reaction was much more guarded. She also expresses out loud the desire to save Touji during the Unit-03 incident, and, considering the argumentive relationship between the two, that's saying something. She's also this in the Rebuild of Evangelion movies.
- The Lancer
- Leeroy Jenkins: Part of the series' Deconstruction of the Hot-Blooded Ace Pilot is Asuka's occasional tendency to be this. Her first attempt to work together with Shinji was a disaster, after which she got better as she learned to work together with her teammates before reverting back to this due to her mental breakdown.
- Like an Old Married Couple: Her bickering with Shinji is Lampshaded by Touji in class when he addresses them as the "newly weds" making them both Luminescent Blush.
- Master of the Mixed Message: Towards Shinji.
- The McCoy
- Mind Rape: One of the cruelest examples ever; became the Trope Namer.
- Ms. Fanservice: A contender for the position with Misato and Rei.
- Panty Shot: In her first appearance. Hilarity Ensues.
- Patient Childhood Love Interest: In the Anime's Alternate Universe scenes, she is one.
- The Perfectionist
- Plucky Girl
- Poirot Speak: In the Mexican dub.
- Precocious Crush: On Kaji.
- The Rival: Whenever Kouji Kabuto and Asuka meet in the Super Robot Wars series, they often butt heads.
- Slasher Smile: During her battle with the Eva Series.
- Smitten Teenage Girl: She's 14 and has a crush on the much older Kaji, who, despite acting like a Casanova toward most of the adult female cast, simply isn't interested.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Okay, odd example, considering the ending of End of Evangelion, and it's still not quite certain here, considering that Third Impact has just been initiated, but in the manga Shinji manages to save her before she is killed by the Eva Series.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Is it Soryu, Sōryū, Souryu, Sohryu, Soryuu...? ADV's subs for the Platinum Edition use Sohryu, while the official English translation of the manga uses Soryu.
- Stepford Smiler
- Tall, Dark and Snarky
- Team Prima Donna: Although she is a very good pilot pilot when not in the middle of a mental breakdown.
- The Tease
- Testosterone Brigade Bait
- The Hero: In the radio drama Shin Sentai Evangelion, she creates her own sentai series and says she'll be the leader because she's wearing red.
- Troubled but Cute
- Tsundere: Very tsun, with a heavily repressed dere side. She's essentially an answer to the question, "How messed up in the head would a person actually have to be to act like an anime tsundere?"
- Tsunshun: Describes her perfectly. She's not the page image for nothing.
- Tyke Bomb
- Unknown Rival: Her relationship with Rei has elements of this in the original show; Asuka is very vocal about her dislike of Rei, while Rei barely acknowledges Asuka's existence. While much of this is fueled by their contrasting personalities, Asuka's dislike markedly increases as she develops an interest in Shinji.
- It does bear mentioning that some of Rei's internal dialogue indicates that she actually does view Asuka as a rival for Shinji's attention, but this being Rei she never treats Asuka as such or even realizes that she does secretly view Asuka as such (yes, Rei's mindset is honestly that screwed up). The manga takes this further, especially during Rei's mental confrontation with Armisael.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Practically the walking embodiment of it. Most of all, with Shinji.
- Waif Fu: Her first appearance in the manga involves gratuitous handsprings during a fight scene.
- Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: It is clear that at least some of her meanness towards Shinji stems from her belief that Misato's acceptance of his apologetic and passive behavior only enables it. She embodies it completely during the episode 26 fantasy sequence.
- Wife Husbandry: Inverted and subverted. Asuka is the closest thing Kaji has to a daughter, Asuka desperately wants to do stuff with Kaji, but despite Asuka's continued advances the most Kaji ever does is let her down gently.
- The Worf Effect: Despite starting out with highest sync rate and being described as a very talented and competent pilot, she is also the one who suffers the most defeats on the battlefield, which eventually severely worsens her confidence and erodes her psychological stability, causing her sync rate to drop drastically.
The Rebuild version of Asuka differs quite a bit from the depiction in the original anime. Her last name is changed from Souryū to Shikinami, her loathing for dolls is seemingly gone, and so is her obsessive crush on Kaji. While still having made a remarkable achievement at her age, instead of graduating University at the age of 14, she joined the European Air Force, reaching the rank of Captain at age 14. While still kind of a jerk most of the time, Asuka Shikinami is merely hostile, selfish and arrogant as opposed to being pathologically narcissistic. Not only is she more emotionally healthy, she's actually willing to open up to other people, displaying some affection for Shinji and coming to respect and befriend Rei. Her character design, while starting out the same way as in the anime, undergoes a small but rather drastic change at the very end of Rebuild 2.0, namely an Eyepatch of Power.
Tropes Present in Rebuild:
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She actually gets to become a better human being.
- Eyepatch of Power: In the preview for Rebuild of Evangelion 3.0, which makes her, implied disfigurement notwithstanding, even cuter. God save us from the tsundere that is to be unleashed.
- Flanderization: The tsundere aspect.
- Hand Puppet: She is seen talking with one soon after moving in with Shinji and Misato. Unless her backstory has changed, it might mean she isn't quite as healthy as she seems to be.
- I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: When Asuka determines that Rei loves Shinji, she decides to let them be together despite her own feelings for him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Shikinami Asuka Langley has a genuinely considerate, caring and kind-hearted side that finally qualifies her as a traditional Tsundere as opposed to a mere female Jerkass.
- Pet the Dog: In Rebuild 2.0, she takes Rei's place piloting Unit 03 so that Rei can host her party (even though she insists it's just so she can pilot an Eva while Unit 02 is sealed off, Misato thinks otherwise.)
- Tsundere: While it's debatable whether or not Soryu ever was one, Shikinami is undeniably a tsundere, as she does show more of a good side.
Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (JP), Joe Pisano (EN, eps 3-18), Michael O'Connor (19-20), Brett Weaver (21-26, Death and Rebirth, End of Evangelion), Justin Cook (Rebuild), Enrique Medeiros (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Luis Daniel Ramirez (Latin-American Spanish, second dub)... whew!
Toji, in his first appearance, punches out Shinji because his little sister was injured during Unit 01's fight with Sachiel. However, after experiencing firsthand what Shinji has to go through as an Eva pilot, he becomes sympathetic to Shinji. He has Shinji pay him back with a punch of his own, and he, Kensuke, and Shinji become friends. Later, he is selected as the Fourth Child, only to have his Eva taken over by the Angel Bardiel. During the ensuing battle, Asuka and Rei are quickly defeated by the Angel-possessed Unit 03. Shinji balks at orders to attack, wanting to try to save the pilot, and Gendō orders Unit 01's Dummy Plug to be activated. Out of Shinji's control, Unit 01 tears Unit 03 apart, then rips out and crushes the Entry Plug, crippling Toji.
There are a few noticeable differences between Toji's portrayal in the anime and manga. Shinji's payback for his punch is different, and their out-of-classroom antics are shown more. Also, he reveals to Shinji that he is Unit 03's pilot prior to its activation/takeover, and he is actually killed when his Entry Plug is destroyed.
- Adaptation Dye Job: Switches between black (anime) and brownish-blond (manga).
- An Arm and a Leg: Toji survives the slaughter of EVA-03, but Shinji can't stop Unit 01 from crushing his entry plug with the dummy system overriding his control... and so, Toji wakes up in the hospital light a left leg, all thanks to Gendo Ikari.
- Apologetic Attacker: When he first meets Shinji and slugs him. Inverted an episode later when he has Shinji hit him so he can apologize for the earlier incident.
- The Big Guy
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In the anime, his last scene is of him talking to Hikari when she visits him in the hospital. He is mentioned a few times here and there, but, aside from some brief moments in episode 26 and End of Evangelion, he doesn't make any more on-screen appearances.
- Covert Pervert:
- In the manga, Toji tries to teach Shinji how to turn cleaning the stairs into a peeping opportunity, but gets caught by Hikari.
- Inverted in the anime when he gives Asuka her "change" after she takes her "viewing fee" in episode 8.
- Custom Uniform: Toji always wears the same tracksuit ensemble. It's clearly not the school's gym uniform, but for some reason he never gets in trouble for it.
- Death by Adaptation: In the anime, Touji survives the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by the dummy-controlled EVA Unit 01, though has become crippled. In the manga, however...
- Demoted to Extra: His part in the story was given to Asuka in Rebuild, turning him and Kensuke into just Those Two Guys. However whether or not that will change for the next films is uncertain.
- Lampshade Hanging / Mythology Gag: In Rebuild, when Kensuke mentions that NERV is looking for a test pilot for the recently arrived Unit 03, the camera pans to Touji, who looks down at his bare popsicle stick and says, "Damn, I didn't get it." He's talking about a giveaway contest.
- In the dub, this becomes "Man, nothing lasts forever," turning it into Fauxshadowing.
- Four Is Death: He's the Fourth Child and pilots the fourth created EVA (counting Unit-00). He only dies in the manga adaptation, but it doesn't end well for him either way.
- Thirteen Is Unlucky: The 13th Angel possesses Unit-03.
- Heel Face Turn: From raging bully to Shinji's friend over the course of two episodes.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Toji is DOMON KASSHU!
- The Idiot From Osaka
- Jerk Jock
- Kansai Regional Accent: Of the Brooklyn rendition in the manga.
- Only Sane Man: or at least the most mentally stable man
- Spared by the Adaptation: In End of Evangelion.
- The Other Darrin: Good LORD, just look at that list of English voice actors!!
- Token Good Teammate
Voiced by: Akira Ishida (JP), Kyle Sturdivant (EN, series), Greg Ayres (Director's Cut), Aaron Krohn (Movies), Jerry Jewell (Rebuild), Ernesto Lezama (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Edson Matus (Latin-American Spanish, second dub)
Bishounen, as fey and mysterious as Rei, and possessed of an unnatural calm, Kaworu is the last major character to appear in the anime, puts in only 13 minutes of screen time in one episode, yet is a critical character for a variety of reasons, and marks a significant turning point in the plot.
Kaworu is sent by SEELE as the Fifth Children in order to replace Asuka when her synchronization ratios fall too low, a task he handles with startling ease. He shows a strong interest in Shinji, showing him more physical and emotional affection than probably any other character, which Shinji appears to accept, to a degree he shows to none of the other characters. Kaworu even goes as far as to say that he likes/loves Shinji (the word used can be translated either way). He also expresses an appreciation for humans and their achievements, particularly music. The next morning, however, Kaworu reveals his true nature as Tabris, the 17th Angel, and attempts to invade Terminal Dogma. After failing to achieve his goals, he concludes that because his success would cause Shinji to die, he cannot be allowed to exist and asks Shinji to kill him, which Shinji reluctantly does after a full minute of animation showing nothing but a single frame of Unit 01 holding Kaworu in its hand. He later shows up in The End of Evangelion to help Shinji make the decision to reject Instrumentality.
Kaworu's behavior towards Shinji and their interactions are very open to interpretation, and have been hotly debated since the show aired. A homosexual subtext clearly exists, and is carried through to both Alternate Continuity works and some official artwork. However, how much this particular aspect of Kaworu's personality is emphasized, and how Shinji tends to react to him, vary greatly depending on the work in question.
In the manga, Kaworu is a much more prominent character, showing up well before the battle with Armisael, and fighting against the Angel in Unit 02. His personality is also noticeably different, making him a more sinister character and drastically changing his interactions with the cast, especially Shinji. His fate is ultimately the same, but plays out in a fashion that is more complex than in the anime. It remains to be seen if he will appear again.
Oh, and wait until the third Rebuild of Evangelion movie comes out...
- Ambiguously Gay: Since Kaworu is like Rei (a human body with the soul of an Angel - in his case, Adam's soul), the human concept of sexuality doesn't seem to exist for him. That said, a lot of what he does around Shinji is really questionable. Also, while he has more knowledge about human emotions than Rei does, he is just as oblivious to them as she is and doesn't see any sexual undertones in his interaction with Shinji, and also doesn't see anything wrong when he does something that makes others uncomfortable.
- Anti-Villain: Allows himself to be killed so that Shinji and humanity can survive: of course, that's if he was a villian in the first place (though he definitely was one in the manga.)
- Ascended Extra: He only appeared in one episode of the original anime but is a more major character in all other adaptations. The original drafts of 25 & 26 show that he was meant to play a larger role, and he does in the movie versions of the intended ending. More of a case of Demoted to Extra.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: In Rebuild he's shown on the moon without a spacesuit. Or any clothing for that matter.
- Bishonen: As Akira Ishida's star-making role, it's no surprise the route his career took afterwards.
- Breakout Villain: He only appeared in one episode in the original series. Then Death and Rebirth advertised him heavily, he made an appearance in End of Evangelion, was among the main cast in several AU spin-offs, and now he's become a more prominent character in the manga version and the Rebuild movies.
- Closet Key: Seemingly is this for Shinji, though Shinji seems to be more Ambiguously Bi than anything.
- Creepy Child
- The Determinator: What he admires about Shinji, in contrast to Gendo and SEELE, is that Shinji keeps going despite all the heartbreak life causes him.
- Dissonant Serenity: Not only does he smile a lot despite the fact that he is introduced at a moment in which events have taken a turn for the tragic, he even manages to smile as he asks Shinji to kill him.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He appears at the very end of vol.7 of the manga, a full two volumes before his actual introduction. The first Rebuild movie has him in a scene at the very end.
- Enigmatic Minion: The Trope Codifier.
- He does possess the soul of a Seed of Life, which pretty much is as close to a god as one can get without being of the First Progenitor Race.
- Gory Discretion Shot: His death. But that sound...
- Heroic Sacrifice
- Hope Spot: Someone who thinks that human culture and Shinji saving the world by piloting a giant mecha are actually pretty awesome? In Evangelion? Obviously he had to be killed off.
- Humanoid Abomination: The most powerful of the angels, in fact.
- Humans Are Special: Believed that humanity, and Shinji, should control the future, not angels or SEELE's plots.
- I Am Your Father: when Gendo and Fuyutsuki visit SEELE's moon base in Rebuild 2.0, he addresses one of them as "otousan" (Japanese for "father").
- Or, if Gendo fused Adam onto his hand in that continuity, he could also have been referring to that.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Why he asked Shinji to kill him. Unless it was a Batman Gambit, intended either to break Shinji or force him to recognize that he wanted to live hard enough to kill the one person to ever show him affection and think he was worth something.
- I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: An Alternate Character Interpretation. Canon for Neon Genesis Evangelion Gakuen Datenroku, and there are hints in Rebuild.
- Inconsistent Dub: The French translators cannot seem to agree between Kaworu or Kaoru.
- Jerkass: Seeing how polite he is in the show, it's jarring to see how he behaves in the manga.
- Laser Guided Tykebomb: SEELE's equivalent of Rei Ayanami, until he either decided to deny them their victory or reveals that he was never going to in the first place.
- Leitmotif: Beethoven's ninth symphony, fourth movement. Oddly, they even get the mood right, going to the largo parts just before he dies. Fittingly, he earlier described it as one of the greatest achievements of human culture, which is part of what he's dying to preserve.
- And before he enters Heaven's Door, the choir's singing "Und der Cherub steht vor Gott/Steht vor Gott/Vor Gott!" (Replace "cherub" with "angel".)
- Manipulative Bastard or Guile Hero?
- Meaningful Name: "Nagisa", though not with the same kanji, means "messenger". Also, Tabris is the Angel of Free Will: very appropriate for a character who decided to Screw Destiny, even at the cost of his own life. Not to mention that Tabris, as the name being so different indicates, is from an entirely different tradition/version of Christian mythology than the other angels.
- Mercy Kill/Shoot the Dog: Shortly after he and Shinji meet in the manga, Kaworu kills a starving kitten that was following Shinji around, reasoning that a swift death was kinder than letting it die of starvation.
- Morally Ambiguous Albino: Much moreso in the manga.
- Mr. Fanservice: An unintentional example, much like how Rei was with her unintended role.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Yet another thing Kaworu doesn't get about humans or willingly ignores. Especially noticeable in the scene where he reaches for Shinji's hand while they're bathing, to say nothing of what he does in the manga.
- No Social Skills
- One-Episode Wonder: Or two episode wonder. While he only shows up in episode 24 of the original series, the movies later released give him a larger role as Shinji's Spirit Advisor in the new "episode 26".
- He appears for a little bit in episode 25 as well, but more just a freezeframe of him and the text "Why did you kill him?" over and over again.
- Physical God: If he hadn't surrendered, they wouldn't have had a prayer of stopping him from causing Third Impact.
- Power of Friendship (or Power of Love, given the Ho Yay): What he represents in Shinji's subconscious mind. What he and Rei symbolize, and the feelings he had for both of them, are what make Shinji decide to break free of Instrumentality and go back to living as a human.
- Punny Name: Nagisa means "messenger", the same as the Greek angelos.
- Screw Destiny: Third Impact, the entire point of an angel's existence (supposedly) was within his reach and he decided not to. Of course, he is the Angel of Free Will.
Kaworu: But people must act of their own free will, or nothing will change at all.
- Shirtless Scene: In Rebuild 2.0, he gets a brief one on his first appearance, sitting there half naked on the Moon.
- Shout-Out: A minor one to either Zyuranger or Power Rangers: Kaworu pilots his Eva from the outside, which is a common trait of Sixth Rangers.
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: Betrays SEELE by not causing Third Impact in the moment of his/their victory.
- The Smart Guy
- Spanner in the Works: To SEELE, and since Gendo's goal involved Shinji accepting instrumentality...
- Spell My Name with an "S": In the original anime, it was Kaoru. But since his name is written in katakana, it's technically Kaworu (which is how it's officially spelt in romaji).
- Spirit Advisor: Along with Rei, he appears to Shinji after Third Impact: they, and what they represent, are what convince Shinji to leave Instrumentality and give life another try.
- Stealth Pun: Koui ("kindness")/Koi ("romantic love").
- Technicolor Eyes
- Thanatos Gambit: It's agreed he was playing a deeper game, the question is what, given that he obviously wasn't after Third Impact. His stated goal is to help Shinji and humanity survive: Alternate Character Interpretation says that he was just out to hurt Shinji more, but that would make him inspiring Shinji to return to life a Nice Job Fixing It, Villain.
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: One of the earliest quintessential examples in anime history.
- Yandere: He slowly becomes this in the manga adaptation.
- Also, in the Angelic Days manga, Kaworu is Shinji's childhood friend, and is severely possessive of the boy when Asuka or Rei get too close.
Mari Illustrious Makinami
Voiced by: Maaya Sakamoto (JP), Trina Nishimura (EN)
A new character from the Rebuild continuity, Mari Makinami is the designated pilot of Unit-05 and the undesignated pilot of Unit-02 later on in 2.0 when she makes off with it to join in the battle against Zeruel.
In contrast with Shinji, Asuka, and Rei, she's shown to genuinely enjoy piloting, taking pleasure in killing the Angels and describing it as "fun." Also in contrast with the rest of the main cast, she appears to be a relatively sane person -- outside of battle, at least.
Her personality has a few feral aspects, such as her fixation on scent and her reckless style of fighting.
- Action Girl
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Her default strategy.
- Badass Adorable
- Blood Knight: If not Axe Crazy.
- Blind Without'Em
- This trope may be an act for her, however. In the 3.0 preview, she's seen without them off and still being able to see fine enough to glare at Rei.
- Blue Eyes
- But Not Too Foreign: Half Japanese, half British, according to the pamphlet included in the Evangelion 2.22 Blu-Ray.
- Cloudcuckoolander: She's pretty perky for an Eva pilot, retaining her cheerful, aloof outlook on life even in the face of gruesome pain and impending apocalypse.
- Not to mention charging into her battle with Unit-05 against the bone Angel while singing a jaunty little tune.
- Crash Into Hello: Turned Up to Eleven - she crashes into poor Shinji with a parachute.
- Cute and Psycho: A corollary to a love of violence and cute persona.
- Deadpan Snarker: "Things just seem to work out for him, huh?"
- Double Agent - Possibly. Her sneaking into Japanese territory via parachute indicates she's up to something, as does her line "I don't really feel comfortable bringing adults into my affairs." Plus, jacking Unit 02 without official approval isn't exactly standard NERV procedure. The preview for 3.0 also indicates she's collaborating with SEELE, likely behind NERV's back.
- On the other hand, they could be interrogating her.
- Foreign Fanservice
- Gag Boobs: She complains that her original plugsuit is too tight around her chest, and then jiggles her boobs enthusiastically when she gets her new one.
- Girlish Pigtails
- God-Created Canon Foreigner - Anno apparently wrote her up specifically for the Rebuild movies, and has described her as the only character who is not "a part of him".
- Hair Color Dissonance: Within canon her hair is brown, but in supplemental materials (like the picture above) and in fanart it often gets represented as violet.
- Hot-Blooded: People are calling her a female Kamina, for Heaven's sake. It doesn't help that she openly sympathizes with Unit 02 while it turns into a robotic, coked-up man-frog from the Wrath circle of Hell.
- Marshmallow Hell: with Shinji
- Meganekko: For the most part.
- Ms. Fanservice: Particularly that moment when the camera focuses on her well-shaped bust as she says "this [plugsuit] is a nice fit!" She seems to know it, too, proclaiming she's glad that "they finally got my measurements right!" as the camera cuts to her chest.
- Nice Girl: Her actions toward Shinji seem like this...time will tell if this ends up being a subversion or not.
- Nightmare Fetishist: She seems, uh, awfully fond of LCL. While it remains to be seen what role LCL will play in Rebuild, it's difficult not to think of the original series, where it's essentially the blood of Lilith (and smells like it, according to Shinji). It's that and, of course, Tang.
- No Name Given: Outside of supplementary materials, her full name doesn't appear in her debut film at all with the exception of the credits and preview of 3.0.
- No Sense of Personal Space: To Shinji.
- Playing Against Type: Sakamoto's not always put in an Ax Crazy role, and considering that Maaya's debut role is Hitomi Kanzaki, it is jarring enough.
- Precision F-Strike: "Just... fucking... die!!"
- Sixth Ranger: Literally and figuratively.
- Slasher Smile: Oh, yes.
- Strange Girl
- Surprisingly Good English: Maaya Sakamoto speaks English just well enough that she can at least be understood without subtitles, which if nothing else puts her a few measures above Koichi Yamadera's "English" earlier in the film.
- This Is Sparta: See Precision F-Strike above.
Voiced by: Kotono Mitsuishi (JP), Allison Keith (EN), Tony Rodriguez (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Marisol Romero (Latin-American Spanish, second dub)
The hedgehog's dilemma...the nearer we get, the deeper we hurt each other...
Misato is the beautiful late-twenties Genius Ditz who is appointed to be the guardian and personal tutor for Shinji Ikari and Asuka Langley
Shikinami Soryu, as well as their tactical commander in battle.
She is a very complex character, with three important aspects to her personality:
She is one third Plucky Comic Relief -- her obvious crippling alcoholism is played for laughs, especially early in the series. She even has her own theme music for the comedy portions, which sounds like a sort of musical paraphrase of all the wacky 1960s sitcom theme music you ever heard. She wears extremely skimpy clothes when off duty, has a pet genetically engineered penguin named Pen-Pen who can beat her at chess, and is a borderline Cordon Bleugh Chef. She is a cheerful, optimistic, ditzy, hedonistic slob, if a bit on the immature and irresponsible side.
She is one third Action Girl: tough, smart, cunning, hard-nosed, determined, and ultra-competent in strategy and tactics, particularly as the series nears its end.
The last third of her personality is what unifies those two seeming opposites: despite her age, she is, like Shinji, a broken-hearted child, striving to live up to crushing responsibilities, yearning for love and acceptance, and trying desperately to hide how very sad, lonely, and afraid she feels by pretending that she's either tougher or more cheerful than she really is (by episode 21, after Ryōji Kaji dies, the mask cracks). She can be childish, touchy, and short-tempered (she loves to tease people, but loses her temper whenever anyone tries to tease her), because she is so insecure. Most of her problems come from not knowing if she should hate her father for leaving her mother, or love him for sacrificing his life to save her own during Second Impact.
She hates the Angels, blaming them for her father's death and her own near-fatal injuries in the cataclysm of 2000, and that hatred drives her to amazing feats of cunning to defeat them. Unfortunately, it also drives her to say the worst possible things at the worst possible moment to Shinji near the end of episode 24, in the aftermath of Tabris' attack on NERV (see Kaworu's entry for details), traumatizing him even further and pushing him into his final slide toward a nervous breakdown.
She and Shinji become very close, perhaps even come to love one another, as the series goes on -- though not in any openly romantic way. In End of Evangelion she kisses him just before her own heartbreaking heroic death, though her motivations for doing so are subject to debate. It is very sad to watch, as the series goes on, that whenever Shinji is in the most pain and needs Misato the most, she's either wallowing in drunken self-pity or angry that he doesn't share her rage, and whenever Misato is in the most pain and needs Shinji the most, he can't handle seeing her in pain and tries to ignore her -- not because he doesn't care, but because he doesn't know what to say or do. 
Her on-again, off-again boyfriend is the aforementioned Ryōji Kaji; their relationship, at least at first, is all about Belligerent Sexual Tension.
The only noticeable difference in the Rebuild movies is that she starts as a Lt. Colonel and the Second Impact looks quite different.
- Adult Child - Played for tragedy.
- The Alcoholic: Borderline.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Gave one to Ritsuko after Shinji is absorbed into Leliel. The slap was powerful enough to knock Ritsuko's glasses off.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: She has serious scars, but considering their placement on her chest, most of the characters never get to see them, and the audience doesn't see them much either.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's friendly, but it is not wise to piss her off.
- Big Breasts, Big Deal: Our (and Shinji's) very first image of her has an arrow scribbled by her to point it out to us.
- Bottle Fairy
- Broken Bird
- Bunny Ears Lawyer: She is certainly a Bottle Fairy and definitely marks for Plucky Comic Relief, but there is a very good reason why she is 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.
- The Captain --> Majorly Awesome --> Colonel Badass: Proves her Badass credentials several times in the anime, End of Evangelion, Sadamoto's manga, and Rebuild; and she starts out as a Captain in the original anime and manga before being promoted to Major, and as Lieutenant Colonel before becoming a full Colonel in Rebuild.
- Christmas Cake: And not happy about it.
- Click Hello: To Ritsuko when she was about to show Shinji the origins of Rei.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She gets quite jealous whenever Kaji runs off to flirt with another woman.
- Cool Big Sis: Subverted. Misato attempts to be this towards Shinji to get closer to him. It doesn't work.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Ramen and curry do not mix well. But tell that to her...
- Creepy Cool Crosses
- Cute Mute/Dumb Struck: For at least a few years after Second Impact due to Heroic BSOD.
- A Day in the Limelight: Episode 7.
- Disappeared Dad: Her father was a scientist who was caught in the middle of the Second Impact with his crew. 14-year-old Misato was the only known survivor of the expedition. Do your math.
- Doctor Jekyll and Mister Jack Daniels: When she's sober, she's a force to be reckoned with. Drunk...not so much.
- Flanderization: Fanon has a field day with her cooking and driving, making her a high-level Lethal Chef (sometimes to the point that Even the Rats Won't Touch It) and a codifier for Drives Like Crazy, even though nobody actually says anything that implies questionable driving skills on Misato's part, and in all apparent instances, she was either 1) attempting to protect Shinji from a just-stomped-into-wreckage gunship's explosion, 2) trying to dodge death by stomping from a massive alien monster, and 3) was deliberately trying to scare Shinji after he insulted her.
- In addition, despite the claims of both fans and herself, she is not a slut. In fact, all evidence in the series says that she's only had sex with one person in her entire life: Kaji.
- Genius Ditz
- Hangover Sensitivity: She gets quite a few hangovers.
- Heroic Sacrifice: See Taking You with Me.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: With Ritsuko and Kaji
- Hot-Blooded: A milder example.
- I'll Take Two Beers, Too!
- I'll Tell You When I've Had Enough!: When she's pissed off and drinking, don't try to stop her.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: She does drink a lot.
- Killed Off for Real: The poor gal takes a fatal bullet wound in End of Evangelion, but just to make sure the audience knows for sure she's kicking the bucket, her body gets incinerated by a sudden, very unexpected explosion.
- Kotono Mitsuishi
- The Ladette
- 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 Shinji, takes down several JSSDF soldiers who were about to kill him.
- Messy Hair: When she wakes up, obviously.
- Motor Mouth: During her college days, according to Ritsuko. She even wonders while talking to Naoko if Misato is compensating for her Cute Mute years (see above).
- 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 fan service she's giving. (At least until things start going south.)
- Not a Morning Person: Especially when she has to attend Shinji's parent/teacher conference.
- Parental Substitute: Usually comes across as a mother-figure for Shinji.
- 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: "So fucking what if I'm not you??"
- And 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.
- Sensei-chan: She is one in the alternate universe depicted during Instrumentality.
- Shipper on Deck: Seems to be one for Shinji/Rei, if the look on her face as she sends the former to drop off the latter's new ID card is any indication.
- Shotacon: Possibly towards Shinji.
- The breakfast scene in episode 7 may make one wonder. Or not.
- There's also her attempt to comfort Shinji after Rei's death, which can easily be seen as a come-on.
- This is more straightforward in the Japanese version with her saying "This is just about all I can do for you." and leaning in for what may be a kiss.
- Her kissing Shinji just before her death in End of Evangelion and the manga.
- Shout-Out: 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".
- Smoking Hot Sex
- Stepford Smiler: Acts like a Bottle Fairy to hide her daddy issues and emotional problems.
- The Strategist: To an exceptional degree, and enough that even Gendo recognizes her skills.
- Taking You with Me: Her death, in the manga. When the military comes to kill her for letting Shinji reach Unit 01, she just smiles and pulls out a grenade from her jacket, blowing everyone up.
- Tsundere: Type A towards Kaji.
- 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. Lampshaded in the closing credits song to You Can (Not) Advance, which is a love song from Misato and / or Rei to Shinji.
- Urban Legend Love Life: Her flirtatious facade hides a desperately lonely woman who only has eyes for Kaji.
- Work Hard, Play Hard: At least, until it all goes wrong.
Doctor Ritsuko Akagi
The interaction of men and women isn't very logical.
Ritsuko is NERV's resident computer scientist, tasked with the development and upkeep of the MAGI supercomputers and research on the Evas. She, Misato, and Kaji have been friends since college, and she often acts as a foil to Misato. She is also something of a Crazy Cat Lady. She dyes her hair blonde -- late in the series we see her in a Flash Back as a teenage girl with dark brown hair.
Ritsuko is extremely intelligent and competent, but has a coldly logical and often cynical attitude, and can be callous and petty. She also doesn't seem to really understand human nature, and is in some ways childishly naive. Secretly, she is romantically involved with Gendō Ikari, as was her mother Naoko before her death ten years before the series opens. Despite Gendō's ambiguous intentions, she has convinced herself both that he loves her and that Rei is actually her rival for his romantic attentions, and she deeply resents Rei because of this. She also shows little concern for the lives of the pilots during battle, and is ready to sacrifice them should such a tactic seem necessary, a position Misato vehemently disagrees with.
- Absent-Minded Professor: Inverted, so so much.
- AI Is a Crapshoot: The MAGI computers are built around different aspects of Naoko's personality; this bites Ritsuko hard in End.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: She received one from Misato, knocking her glasses off.
- Anti-Hero: Type V, while not as villainous as Gendou or the guys from SEELE.
- Badass Labcoat
- 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 and is arrested.
- Beta Test Baddie
- Blown Across the Room: In End when Gendo shoots her.
- Boxed Crook: Let out of prison to install a firewall in End Of Evangelion.
- Christmas Cake
- 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.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Death Seeker: She begged Misato to kill her after she destroyed the Rei clones. She lampshades this to Gendō in End Of Evangelion.
Ritsuko: I will kill you first, then I will die myself. They say this happens often. In cheap dramas.
- Dumb Blonde: Inverted with her being the head of a secret government agency's science department before she hit age 30... and subverted, as it's not her natural hair color; she's actually a Brainy Brunette who dyes her hair in an attempt to defy Generation Xerox. This can be seen by noting her eyebrows, which are quite dark and well-defined.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Maya surely does.
- Fan Service: Two brief scenes, with the latter edging into Fan Disservice due to the circumstances.
- Firing One-Handed: In EoE of course.
- Flat What: In addition to "That's not possible!" and "Oh no!"
- 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.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Ritsuko toes the line between the distinction.
- Heroic Sacrifice: This depends on one's view of her.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: With Misato and Kaji, though her coldness questions if she could ever be a life partner with anyone.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: She expresses displeasure at coming over to visit Misato, but does it anyway, and even eats with her, Shinji, and Pen Pen.
- Hot Scientist: A mini-skirt is not standard work attire...
- 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.
- 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: She's certainly willing to sacrifice the Eva pilots if necessary.
- Kuudere: Early on in the TV series. Definitely in Rebuild.
- Mexican Standoff: With Gendō in End Of Evangelion. Needless to say, it doesn't end well.
- Million-to-One Chance
- Morally-Ambiguous Doctorate: Because committing 2nd degree mass murder is a sane act
- Never a Self-Made Woman: It's not clear what extent Naoko played in landing Ritsuko her job at GEHIRN, but Ritsuko definitely resents standing in her mother's shadow. Part of the reason she bleaches her hair.
- Nietzsche Wannabe: A milder example.
- Oedipus Complex: She seems to have a love/hate relationship with her mother Naoko.
- Oh Crap: She fails to activate the MAGI computers in End of Evangelion.
- The Philosopher
- 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.
- Rape as Drama: It's slightly implied that Ritsuko was raped during her time in prison.
- Scary Shiny Glasses
- Showdown At High Noon: She faces off against Gendō at Terminal Dogma in End Of Evangelion.
- Smoking Is Cool: Her ashtray is filled with cigarette butts stained from her lipstick.
- Stop or I Will Shoot: She attempts to shoot Gendō in End Of Evangelion.
- Taking You with Me: In End Of Evangelion, she attempts to detonate Terminal Dogma to stop Gendō from instituting Instrumentality, or possibly for her petty revenge.
- Took a Level In Jerkass: The redub and Director's Cut paints Ritsuko as a decidedly more horrid person.
- Tragic Villain: Depending on one's view of her.
- Yandere: Over Gendou. 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 Gendou. It may have actually made Rei better.
- You Always Hear the Bullet: And she does, when she is shot in cold blood by Gendō.
- We Meet Again: To Gendō.
- Where's the Kaboom?: Ritsuko...you should have known better. Now look what you did.
Voiced by: Fumihiko Tachiki (JP), Tristan MacAvery (series), John Swasey (Director's Cut and Rebuild), Humberto Solorzano (Latin-American Spanish)
There is no one else who can pilot the Evas. As long as they survive, that is what I'll have them do.
Gendo Ikari (neé Rokubungi) is the secretive head of NERV and Shinji Ikari's estranged father. While he is not the series' true Big Bad, he is without a doubt one of the main antagonists. He is NERV's liaison to SEELE, and a member of SEELE's Committee for Human Complementation, but in reality he is playing his own scenario which runs counter to SEELE's plans. To see this plan succeed, he is more than willing to use and betray everyone around him without hesitation, from his own son to NERV's central personnel to SEELE itself. He is confident, brooding, self-possessed, self-controlled, cunning, intimidating, cold-blooded, amoral, humorless, and utterly ruthless -- the very definition of Manipulative Bastard.
Yet, for all of this, the series gradually makes clear that Gendo's primary motivation for all of his bastardry is, in fact, love. In college, he met and fell in love with Yui Ikari; while it's possible that he had ulterior motives, his love for her was genuine, so much so that he took her surname when they married. After Yui's death in Unit 01, Gendo became focused on a plan to reunite himself and Yui through a modified version of SEELE's plans for Third Impact that would involve the Angel Adam and the Evangelion which now held Yui's soul. Everything that he does in the series is just step after step toward seeing this plan to completion.
For some, Gendō appears to be quite the ladies' man. First, Yui fell in love with him, and he with Yui. After Yui's death, he took Naoko Akagi as a lover, then her daughter Ritsuko after her death, although in both cases it's revealed that these trysts were solely to use them for their knowledge. He also has a brief and thin friendship with Rei, which is a sore point with Ritsuko; he shows more concern for Rei than he does for his actual son, but to Ritsuko (and the audience) the whole thing seems to have some 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.
- A God Am I: His true objective (made Anviliciously clear) in the manga.
- Abusive Parents: His emotional abandonment of Shinji is horrible, and he admits it before his death. May have had them himself; and in certain continuities, he did have them. In the manga, he is more openly abusive, both verbally and emotionally.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the manga, Gendo's Pet the Dog moments towards Shinji are absent, and Gendo shows no regrets for mistreating him as he does in the anime.
- Ambiguously Evil: At the beginning it is unclear whether he does care about Shinji or is just an evil jackass.
- Anti-Villain: Arguably, a Type III.
- Badass Beard
- Byronic Hero:
- Casanova: Gendo tends to be popular with the ladies.
- The Chessmaster
- Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive: Trope Codifier
- Comic Book Fantasy Casting: Overlaps with Fake Nationality. His character design his based heavily off of Ed Bishop in his staring role on the Britsh television show UFO.
- Dark and Troubled Past: The finer details before he met Yui are unknown, but it's implied he had a rough childhood. Though Yui's death definitely sent him off the edge, he was already there before he met her.
- Dark Messiah
- Diabolical Mastermind: In a sense.
- The Dragon: As it would seem, at first, to Seele.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Gendo was a pretty epic Deadpan Snarker back in the day, as shown in the flashback episode, but when Yui died she apparently took his funny bone with her.
Fuyutski: You said it was luck you left the day before but you took all your files with you... even though the expedition wasn't over!
Gendo: Those weren't shredded? How careless.
Fuyutski: And I've been looking into your finances as well, quite a sum for a college professor!
Gendo: Remarkable, are you now teaching economics as well?
- Fallen Hero: Yes, really. The flashback episode makes it clear that he and Yui were planning to try to prevent the Third Impact after all of the Angels were defeated. After her absorbtion into Unit-01, he decides to plot out his own version so they can be reunited.
- Freudian Excuse: It's clear someone or something made him lose his grip even before Yui's death.
- It's strongly implied that he had a decidedly less than pleasant childhood.
- Fond Memories That Could Have Been: Three words. "Forgive me, Shinji."
- Former Teen Rebel
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul
- General Failure: There's a reason he hired Misato to run military matters.
- Generation Xerox: It is implied a few times, especially in End of Evangelion, that Gendo shares most of his character traits with Shinji.
- Happily Married: To Yui before her death.
- Hot Dad
- Inferiority Superiority Complex
- Jerkass Facade: He truly does care about Shinji, and in his dying moments he regrets everything he's done to him.
- Karmic Death: Unlike everyone else who got to be embraced by images of their loved ones before turning into LCL, Gendo is picked up by Unit 01 and bitten in two. He did deserve a good metaphorical smacking from the cosmos, and his death (provided that it isn't just a remorse-fueled hallucination, or what happened to him actually counts as dying) drips of poetic justice.
- In the Manga, Ritsuko manages to shoot him in the throat after she herself is shot.
- Knight of Cerebus: Became this after activating the Dummy Plug in the Unit-03 incident.
- Kubrick Stare
- Love Makes You Evil: An extreme version.
- Love Redeems: A reverse zig-zag. Before he met Yui, he had few friends and was accustomed to hatred. Then he met Yui, fell in love with her, and actually became a somewhat decent and caring guy. Then Yui died, and he did a full 180 into Love Makes You Evil territory and spent the rest of his life trying to find a way to bring her back... and was willing to destroy the entire human race to do so.
- The Maiden Name Debate: Gendo (Rokubungi) took Yui's surname when he married her.
- Worth noting is that this fact is not revealed until late in the series and is the first strong piece of evidence that Gendo's love for Yui is no act.
- Manipulative Bastard: In every appearence.
- 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.
- More Than Mind Control
- Necromantic: He still thinks of Unit-01 as Yui.
- Not So Different: He and Shinji are more alike than they both know.
- Not So Stoic: Gendo's true agony begins to leak out in End of Evangelion, culminating with his final apology to his son.
- Perpetual Frowner
- 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
- Psychotic Smirk: It's usually hidden behind his hands.
- 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
- The Quiet One
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: In his final (and only) soliloquy he states that the reason he abandoned Shinji was because he was afraid of hurting him, in the process giving Shinji one of his deepest emotional scars.
- Scars Are Forever: His hands, as a result of opening Rei's entry plug after the failed activation of Unit 00. His scars are much worse in the manga, too.
- 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.
- Shadow Archetype: Of Shinji.
- The Heavy: As SEELE's chief agent, Gendo is directly responsible for triggering the events of Second Impact and organizing the global push towards Human Instrumentality
- The Stoic
- Not So Stoic: At Rei's accident and eventual betrayal.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Very icy, with the sugar only showing up around Rei.
- Sunglasses At Night
- Tall, Dark and Snarky
- The Unfettered
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
- White Gloves: First used to hide his scars. Later used to hide the embryonic Adam, which has been fused with his hand.
- Yandere: For Yui.
Doctor Kozo Fuyutsuki
Voiced by: Motomu Kiyokawa (JP), Guil Lunde (series, Director's Cut), Michael Ross (movies), Kent Williams (Rebuild), Jesse Conde (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Rolando de Castro (Latin-American Spanish, second dub)
As long as one soul still exists, it will be eternal proof that Mankind once existed.
Dr. Fuyutsuki is the Deputy Commander of NERV, Gendō Ikari's right hand man, and is as clos e 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.
- A Good Way to Die: Accepts his fate to become LCL with no fear at all.
- The Comically Serious
- Comic Book Fantasy Casting: Just like Gendo, his character design is based off of a star from UFO, in this case George Sewell. In fact, his character design mirrors Sewell so much that the only difference in appearance between them is hair color. Which means that he canonically looks British, not Japanese... certainly not the weirdest thing in this show.
- The Consigliere, The Lancer: Fuyutsuki is both of these for Gendo.
- Cool Old Guy: Fandom considers him this, since he's among the few more or less sane people in the cast.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Voiced by Motomu Kiyokawa, one of the more classic "older men" seiyūs.
- 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)
- Only Sane Man: And how.
- The Philosopher
- The Professor: To Yui and Gendō.
- Throughout the entirety of the series, the only time Gendo refers to him as "Professor" is during flashbacks and his final descent into Terminal Dogma.
- The Stoic
Voiced by: Koichi Yamadera (JP), Aaron Krohn (EN, series), J Michael Tatum (Rebuild), Enrique Cervantes (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Gerardo Garcia (Latin-American Spanish, second dub)
The gulf dividing men and women is deeper and wider than any ocean.
Ponytailed, Perma Stubble-ed, confident, and charismatic, 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 to his credit he does not take her up on her premature offers. It doesn't help that, in some continuities, he's strongly hinted to have been her guardian after her mother's death. Much to Misato's chagrin, Kaji flirts with several of the female staff, including Ritsuko and Maya. As the series progresses, Kaji and Misato renew their stormy relationship, and Kaji briefly becomes more of a father to Shinji than Gendō ever was. Tragically, he digs too deep when he rescues Fuyutsuki from SEELE after they kidnapped the old man shortly after the 14th Angel. SEELE (or NERV) responds by having him assassinated.
In the manga, Kaji's role and personality are unchanged, but he is given a tragic backstory: he was a war orphan and Street Urchin who carries a huge burden of guilt for ratting out his friends to soldiers so he wouldn't be killed for stealing their supplies.
While not quite an Expy, Gainax have revealed that Kaji is strongly "based" on Col. Paul Foster from the TV series UFO. They also add that Foster was not nearly the lech that Kaji is (though admittedly Kaji's lechery is partially an act).
- Anti-Hero: Type II
- Big Brother Mentor: To Shinji.
- Bi the Way: Some of his lines to Shinji can be interpreted as heavy flirting.
- Call to Agriculture: Chooses to enjoy his last hours this way.
- Casanova / Casanova Wannabe / Chivalrous Pervert / Handsome Lech: Take your pick; however, at least some of this is an act.
- He seems to compulsively flirt with virtually everyone he talks to save for Asuka and Gendo at one point or the other over the course of the series. It could be an act, it could be a psychosis, or maybe he just likes to mess with people, we'll never really know.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Double Agent
- Engrish: Kaji's attempts to speak to Americans in Rebuild 2.0. Everyone else who speaks English in the film is really quite good, but Kaji is ear-crunchingly awful. If it weren't for the subtitles he'd almost be unintelligible. What makes it worse is that it's smack-dab in the middle of a dramatic scene, and the sheer Narminess of his accent almost completely ruins the tension.
- Estrogen Brigade Bait: Both in and out of universe.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Although he doesn't show it, it's revealed in an artbook that Kaji is a self-hating mess.
- Informed Attribute: We find out that he's a self-hating wreck on the inside from a series art book.
- The Mole / Reverse Mole: He's all over the mole map.
- Murderer POV
- Perma Stubble
- Smoking Is Cool
- Stepford Smiler: Is calmly smiling even when he's about to be shot to death.
- Supplementary materials reveal that he's a self-hating wreck who's just very good at covering up his problems. This is one possible explanation for why he didn't do anything to stop his own death.
- The Stool Pigeon: ...in the manga, of the Betrayer Barry model. As a kid, he and his friends were stealing food and supplies from a military base; when he was caught, he gave up his friends.
- Street Urchin: His backstory in the manga.
- Survivor Guilt: In the manga, due to his friends being killed by the soldiers he ratted them out to.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: He flirts with almost every female he meets. Most (not all) are appreciative, or at least pretend to be. On occasion, he even seems to be trying to flirt with Shinji, although it's not entirely clear if this is out of genuine interest or just habit -- flirting may be how he manipulates people.
- Urban Legend Love Life: Behind his flirtatious facade there are hints that he is in fact a very lonely man, and no question that he only has eyes for Misato.
Voiced by: Miki Nagasawa (JP), Kendra Benham (EN, series), Amy Seeley (movies), Monica Rial (Director's Cut), Caitlin Glass (Rebuild), Alma Wilhelme (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Mariana Ortiz (Latin-American Spanish, second dub)
Oh God! I can't watch...!
Dr. Fuyutsuki isn't the only one who's 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 Ritsuko, 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.
- Actual Pacifist
- Bridge Bunny
- Doesn't Like Guns: In End of Evangelion, she completely freaks out when Aoba tries to give her a gun to defend herself from the JSSDF:
Aoba: [hands Ibuki a gun] Release the safety.
Maya: I can't! I just can't shoot this thing, Aoba!
Aoba: Of course you can! You've had basic training!
Maya: But I shot at targets, not at other human beings!
Aoba: Idiot! You kill or you die!
- Gender Flip: Whether intentional or not, Maya is basically a female version of Shinji appearance-wise; this has carried over to some non-canon NGE works, such as Gakuen Datenroku, and has also fueled WMG that she may be a child of Gendo's from a relationship prior to Yui.
- Lipstick Lesbian
- Machine Worship: She's extremely enthusiastic about the prospect of the Magi supercomputers running everybody's lives, and most of her Ship Tease moments come from watching someone do something amazing with computers.
- In Episode 11 Aoba rolls his eyes at her blatant technophilia, making him one of the few people in or out of the show to comment on this.
- One exception to this is the Dummy Plug, which she openly distrusts even before it's first activated. It's also the only thing that ever causes her to openly protest against Ritsuko's actions.
- Only Sane Woman: Compared to the character traits and emotional baggage of most of the other characters, Maya is pretty normal.
- Vomit Discretion Shot: Twice in the anime, during Unit 01's destruction of Bardiel and when Unit 01 starts eating Zeruel, and again in End of Evangelion, when Unit 02 is being torn apart.
Voiced by: Hiro Yuki (JP), Matt Greenfield (series), Keith Burgess (movies), Mike McFarland (Rebuild), Enzo Fortuny (Latin-American Spanish, first dub), Roberto Mendiola (Latin-American Spanish, second dub)
It's okay, Major... besides, dying beside you wouldn't be a bad way to go out.
A geeky, bespectacled computer technician in the command center; he is in love with Misato Katsuragi 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.
- Bridge Bunny
- Dogged Nice Guy
- Hopeless Suitor
- It Has Been an Honor
- The Other Darrin: The majority of the characters in the Evangelion dub have been recast at some point, but likely the most infamous case was that of Hyuga in Death & Rebirth and The End of Evangelion, wherein he was replaced by a black man who sounded nothing like the previous voice whatsoever. What makes it even worse is that he might have been cast out of spite by Manga Entertainment, who pulled the license for End out from ADV Films, since Matt Greenfield, the former voice of Hyuga, was the co-founder.
Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (JP), Jason C. Lee (series), Vic Mignogna (Director's Cut), Phil Parsons (Rebuild)
Idiot! You kill or you die!
The long-haired, guitar-playing computer technician in the command center. Unlike everyone else in the series he seems to have no one he truly cares about, although he appears to get along well with Maya and Makoto.
- Air Guitar
- And I Must Scream: While everyone else touched by a messenger Rei gets to enjoy seeing a form of their most trusted loved ones before being turned to LCL, Aoba trusts nobody, so he gets the exclusive horror of being suffocated by a mob of Reis, cowering and screaming like hell under a table.
- All There in the Manual:
- And I Must Scream While everyone else gets to enjoy seeing a form of their most trusted loved ones before being turned to LCL, Aoba trusts nobody, so he gets suffocated by a mob of Reis cowering and screaming like hell under a table.
- Bridge Bunny
Voiced by: Megumi Hayashibara (JP), Kim Sevier (EN, series), Stephanie Young (Rebuild)
Any place can be paradise, as long as you have the will to make it so.
Shinji's mother, Gendō's wife, creator of Evangelions...she is a linchpin for a lot of things that happen in the story, and while Shinji is the main character, Yui is more central to the overall plot. Despite this, we see very, very little of her in the story, almost entirely in flashbacks. A great deal about her is left open for the viewers to interpret.
Yui's treatment in the manga is virtually identical, but certain aspects of her attachment to Unit 01 are changed, and also played with in a very disturbing fashion.
- Action Mom: Sort of.
- All There in the Manual: One of the Evangelion games tells us that Yui is a daughter of a SEELE member, which is why she received their backing in the first place. Canonicity is debated.
- Badass: Whenever Unit 01 awakens.
- Berserk Button: On no account should you EVER hurt Shinji inside EVA Unit-01 while Yui's soul is aware of it. You will pay the price.
- The Berserker
- The Chessmaster/Puss in Boots: One alternate interpretation of her character, reinforced in End Of Evangelion. The implication that she was acting on her own accord throughout the whole series is disturbing.
- Happily Married: To Gendo, before her death
- Hot Scientist
- Hot Mom
- I Am a Humanitarian: Unit-01 eating one of the Angels.
- Mama Bear: The Eva her soul is imprisoned in goes apeshit more than once to protect Shinji.
- Missing Mom
- My Beloved Smother: In a benign sense - it's pretty much a given that if Yui shows up in any NGE work as an actual character (games, fanfic, Episode 26), it's abundantly clear that she wears the pants in the Ikari household and Gendō and Shinji simply follow her lead.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning: It's been hinted by conversations in certain flashbacks that she had planned both her "accident" and Shinji's presence during it in advance, for an as-of-yet not explicitly explained purpose; it seems implied that she "was running out of time" (i.e. someone was targeting her for assassination, and she was rushing to finish her work beforehand).
- Posthumous Character: Kind of.
- Sealed Good In An Eva: Although "good" is debatable.
- Unstoppable Rage: Note to giant alien monsters who may be reading this: Do not give Yui-sama a reason to take control of Unit 01, because she will kick your ass.
Voiced by: Mika Doi (JP), Laura Chapman (EN)
I acted like a mother only when it suited my desires... which wasn't often.
Naoko Akagi is Ritsuko's mother, and was the creator of the MAGI supercomputers, basing each on a particular aspect of herself. She and Gendo Ikari were lovers for some time after Yui's incident with Unit 01, but Naoko learned through the first Rei that Gendo was only using her for her genius. She killed Rei, and died violently shortly thereafter.
- Berserk Button: Rei calling her an old hag and revealing that Gendo was just using her caused her to snap.
- Driven to Suicide: Ambiguous in the anime; strongly implied in the manga.
- Hot Mom: If not Hot Crazy Mom
- I'll Kill You!: If you call her a hag she most likely will.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Hated Yui Ikari's guts and praised her "death," then finally exploded when she pictured Rei I as Yui calling her an "useless old hag" and strangled her.
- Morally-Ambiguous Doctorate: Just pure crazy, up to and including murdering Rei I.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After suddenly realizing she just strangled Rei.
- Posthumous Character
- Room Full of Crazy -- The interior of at least one of the MAGI cores is covered with post-it notes left by Naoko, some of which are notes, some of which are threats, and one of which reads, "Ikari, you jerk!"
- Your Cheating Heart: She had an affair with Gendo Ikari after the death of Gendo's wife, and Rei seems to have witnessed it.
- Yandere -- Over Gendo.
Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu
Voiced by: Maria Kawamura (JP), Kimberly Yates (EN)
Come die with me, Asuka...
Kyoko Sohyru was Asuka's mother, and developed Unit 02 at NERV's Germany Branch. When Asuka was five, Kyoko went through the same contact experiment that fused Yui Ikari with Unit 01, but only the maternal part of her soul was absorbed into the Eva. As a result, she was committed to a psychiatric hospital. While there, she became convinced that one of Asuka's dolls was actually Asuka, referring to the real Asuka as "that girl there" and ignoring her. On the day that Asuka was selected to be Unit 02's pilot, she came to the hospital to tell Kyoko the news, but found that Kyoko had hanged both herself and the doll.
Her manga portrayal is basically the same, although an extra scene is added to the time before her suicide that compounds the tragedy and how it damaged Asuka, and she appears to play more of a role in her reveal to Asuka before the battle with the Mass Produced Evas.
- Action Mom -- For about five minutes?
- Ax Crazy -- After losing part of her soul.
- Driven to Suicide
- Ironic Hell -- A definite interpretation. The maternal part of her mind is trapped in Unit 02 and can only watch as Asuka suffers, not even realizing that the mother Asuka loved resides within Unit 02 until the very end... and by then, it's too late...
- The Ophelia
- Posthumous Character -- Ssssorta. Her original body is dead, but that doesn't mean she isn't still around.
- Slasher Smile -- When her face is revealed for the first time in the manga, she wears a pretty unsettling one of these...right before she tries to kill Asuka.
Voiced by: Mugihito (JP), Richard Peeples (series), Tom Booker (movies), Bill Jenkins (Rebuild)
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 killing 'em all.
- Anti-Hero: Has good intentions at heart, but the extremes he's willing to go to realize them are unforgivably cruel, even merciless.
- Assimilation Plot: Wishes to enact Third Impact as a means of merging all humanity's souls into one via Instrumentality to end all suffering.
- Big 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 secretely pursuing his own agenda; Keel is seen only occasionally by the audience, and often in the form of a featureless black monolith.
- Cyborg: Keel sports a heavy degree of state-of-the art biological implants and a visor to cope with dehabilating injuries that would otherwise leave him frail, crippled, and nearly blind. When further inspected, those injuries he suffered and extensive, painful surgery could be an underlying reason behind his suffering and motivation for Instrumentality- he wants to end his own pain.
- 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 EoE but unlike Gendo, SEELE got what they wanted and is also absorbed into LCL.
- This could be subverted entirely if Yui's words are correct; once people start escaping the LCL prison, he would be completely alone.
- However, if Keel imagines himself as through his own heart, he can be fully restored in a perfect human form- without needing any cybernetic implants anymore.
- The Man Behind the Man
- The Philosopher
- Robotic Reveal: After reverting to LCL in End, Keel is revealed to be a cyborg, from surgery done to fix damage caused by unknown injuries or a condition.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Canonically, his name is Keel Lorenz, but it's frequently spelled "Kihl".
Voiced by: Tetsuya Iwanaga (JP), Kurt Stoll (EN, series, movies), Greg Ayres (Rebuild)
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 is 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.
- Ascended Fanboy: He becomes an Eva pilot in the second Girlfriend of Steel game, and in Evangelion Battle Orchestra
- Expy: Of Jean from Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water
- 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.
- Nerd Glasses
- Otaku: If it's something to do with the military, he's into it; he even goes out into the woods and plays army...by himself.
- The Other Darrin: An eerie case. Greg Ayres had a role in the original series as Kowaru Nagisa as well!
- This Loser Is You - A not too subtle reminder to the really Otaku viewers of what they could or already have become.
Voiced by: Junko Iwao (JP), Carol Amerson (EN, series), Leah Clark (Rebuild)
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.
- Alliterative Name
- Class Representative
- Girlish Pigtails
- 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.
- Through His Stomach: To Toji.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: She's the Girly one, with Asuka as the Tomboy.
- Tsundere: Possible; either she's a Type B (deredere aka "sweet default mode), or...
- Yamato Nadeshiko: At least the beginnings of one, and Touji is just that good at getting under her skin.
Voiced by: Megumi Hayashibara (JP), Amanda Winn-Lee (EN, series), Mandy Clark (Director's Cut), Monica Rial (Rebuild)
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.
In the manga, he is a result of genetic experimentation, and was saved from being euthanized by Misato.
- Cross-Dressing Voices
- Everything Is Better With Penguins
- 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
Voiced by: Megumi Hayashibara
From Girlfriend of Steel / Iron Maiden.
- Ascended Extra: She's one of the very few non-canon characters to reappear in another spin-off (Ikari Shinji Raising Project), and has prominent roles in the Fan Fics Shinji and Warhammer 40 K and Nobody Dies.
- Becoming the Mask: She was supposed to befriend Shinji to get under his skin and steal info from SEELE. She falls for him for real.
- Break the Cutie: Her backstory as a member of a group of Child Soldiers.
- But Now I Must Go: In the happier of the Multiple Endings.
- Girl Next Door
- The Mole
- Third Option Love Interest
- Tyke Bomb: Sort of.
Voiced by: Kyoko Hikami
From the Sega game 2nd Impression.
The Angels / Seeds of Life
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.
- Adaptive Ability: Ireul's superhigh-speed adaptation.
- Alien Geometries:
- Leliel is a nanometers-thick black void with a spherical shadow that's completely disconnected from it.
- Rebuild's version of Ramiel; see Stance System below.
- 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 introduced in Neon Genesis Evangelion 2's Classified Information files, which were based on interviews with the franchise' creator, Hideaki Anno.
- It should be noted that in spite of their alleged source, the canonicity of material in Evangelion 2 is still the subject of some debate.
- Archangel Lucifer: In the roleplaying materials, one of the angels is named Iblis.
- 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.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Their motivations are unknown. All they seem to want is to be reunited with Lilith.
- Body Horror: The result of Armisael's choice method of attack.
- Dark Is Edgy: Leliel
- Eldritch Abomination: All except Tabris, who is more Humanoid Abomination.
- Fearful Symmetry: "Hi. I'm Israfel-A, and this my twin Israfel-B. Will you dance with us?"
- Four Is Death: Bardiel (Toji is the fourth child.) and Zeruel. (Fourteen is "death wish".)
- Giant Spider: Matarael is shaped like an opilione.
- Healing Factor: Another mostly standard Angel power.
- Hollywood Acid: Matarael.
- Humans Are Cthulhu: Lilim, the 18th angel, is humanity itself.
- Knight of Cerebus: Bardiel, and arguably Leliel.
- Light Is Not Good:
- Adam is occasionally referred as "the giant of light".
- Shamshel's name means "Sun of God". Angel of day. Yeah.
- Ramiel is the Angel of lightning.
- Arael's "heavenly" beam of light.
- 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.
- 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 it).
- Sachiel also means "Covering of God" referencing it covering EVA-01 before self destructing.
- Shamshel (literally "Sun of God") appears to be an exception to the rule, as neither its name's meaning nor its namesake have any particular relevance to its design or its actions. As it can mean Angel of the Day, however, it might simply be related to the timing of the Angel's appearance.
- Shamshel is a cherub, meaning he guards Eden. Toji and Kensuke break the rules in order to see Shinji in action, basically gaining forbidden knowledge. It could be that Angel of the Day refers to the phallic appearance, to go with Leliel (the Angel of the Night)'s uterine appearance.
- Ramiel (literally "Thunder of God") is the angel of thunder; and while the NGE Angel does not control electricity or weather, its energy attack is basically a "thunderbolt" of destructive force.
- Israfel is the angel of music (its defeat involved dancing to a specific musical score).
- Sandalphon is the angel of embryos (discovered during a "larval stage", its "voice" is composed of electronically distorted baby wailing), among other things.
- Matarael ("Premonition of God") is the angel of rain (it "rains" acid).
- Sahaquiel is the angel of the sky (it appears in freakin' outer space[!]).
- Ireul (Hebrew Yireuel, "Fear of God") is the angel of terror (the first Angel to penetrate almost every line of defense in the Geo Front, reached closer to Terminal Dogma than any other Angel save Tabris, hacked its way into NERV's database and the MAGI supercomputers with astonishing ease and speed, and was a fraction of a second away from blowing the entire NERV base with its self-destruct system)
- Leliel can mean "Angel of Night", and is associated primarily with shadows, black and white patterns, and an infinite pocket dimension with no observable properties.
- Bardiel is the angel of haze and hail (it infests Unit 03 while its cargo plane flew through a thunder cloud). Its name means "humiliated son of God", referencing the fact that it has no body of its own.
- Zeruel (literally "Arm of God") is the angel of power and strength (it 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.
- Arael is the angel of birds (no bonus points for guessing its general appearance)
- Arael 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)
- Tabris is another subversion of this trope, as neither are there any official Judeo-Christian source that lists an angel with that name (or one close to it), nor is the name's etymology clear; Word of God, however, is that he's named after the angel of free will, and the character exercises that free will to allow Shinji to kill him. Whether it's a Heroic Sacrifice or not is up to debate.
- Spell his name with two B's...
- Tabbris seems to come from bris, which in Ashkenazi Hebrew means "covenant". "Covenant with God". Yeah.
- Mind Probe: Leliel, and...
- Monster of the Week: Naturally.
- Our Angels Are Different: Boy howdy.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: Some of them are really weird.
- 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. And for specific forms of it...
- 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.
- In the Rebuild continuity, Sahaquiel's cilia curl up like a spider's legs when it dies and the entire island-sized creature explodes into a fountain of blood that floods most of the city. How they cleaned it all up is anyone's guess.
- Shock and Awe: Ramiel.
- Stance System: The Rebuild incarnation of Ramiel changes form in extreme, often impossible ways to adapt its offense and defense to the constantly changing requirements of the battlefield.
- 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).
- 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, currently discredited hypothesis that otherwise bears little to no relation.
- Also applies for all the Angels, as the MAGI identifies them during each invasion as Blood Type: BLUE. What that means is anyone's guess, especially since none of them have actually blue blood.
- Humans (and Evas) are Blood Type: ORANGE. LCL is orange. Hmmm...
- The Virus: Ireul is a colony of nanites.
- Theme Naming: Aside from being named "Shito" (which can translated as either "Apostle" or literally "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).
- Thirteen Is Unlucky: And how! Bardiel arrives when the show really gets dark.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Zeruel appears to do a version of this in Rebuild. After Shinji forces Unit-01 into activation, Zeruel rushes forward and attempts to use its Death Ray that has destroyed everything it has been used on so far, but 01 blocks it with an AT Field without flinching. 01's previously cut off arm then regenerates as pure energy and 01 prepares to use it to blast Zeruel away. Zeruel's reaction to having it pointed in its face before firing is to lean back and whimper.
- Tomato in the Mirror: The 18th Angel is Lilim, the offspring of Lilith, more commonly known as mankind.
- What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: Cross-shaped blasts, and the Judeo-Christian (often fitting) names, to name a few.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: "Human" is a loosely-defined term in the Evaverse. In light of this fact...
- Whip It Good: Shamshel.
- White Mask of Doom: Present on several Angels, including Sachiel, Zeruel, and nearly every Angel in Rebuild, including Lilith.
- You Are Number Six: The Angels are almost always referred to by the characters according to their order of appearence (3rd Angel, 5th Angel, etc.)
Voiced by: Hiro Yuuki (JP), Matt Greenfield (EN, TV/Director's Cuts), Jason C. Lee & Taliesin Jaffe (EN, movies), Mike McFarland (EN, Rebuild)
The Evangelions are biomechanical mecha designed by GEHIRN, and later by NERV, as a means of fighting the Angels. Their effectiveness against the Angels is based on their ability to generate an AT field, the same form of defense that the Angels use. It's eventually revealed that the Evas are actually cloned Angels, all based on Adam except for Unit 01, which was derived from Lilith. The Evas have human souls bonded to them, and are piloted by select 14-year-old teenagers who can synchronize with those souls; in the case of Units 01 and 02, those teens happen to be the children of the women who were bonded to those Evas.
- Appendage Assimilation:
Yui-samaUnit 01 attaching and then transmogrifying Zeruel's arm to replace her own, and later absorbing his "precious" S2 engine/organ.
- The Berserker: whenever you hear an Evangelion roar, someone is about to die messily. No exceptions.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Unit 02. Poor Kyoko...
- Unit 03 too, if we look at it from the Eva's point of view.
- Cyber Cyclops: Unit 00.
- Eva Fins: The Trope Namer. 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.
- Flawed Prototype: Unit 00 is massively inferior to the later models, only getting deployed to achieve numerical advantage.
- In Rebuild, Unit 05 is also referred to as a prototype but suffers from Crippling Overspecialization: it can't leave Bethany's tunnels without switching to battery power, has no ranged attack capabilities and is restricted to using a freakin' jousting lance as its Weapon of Choice as its mechanical pincers can't hold anything else. On the other hand, Unit 05's ass is basically a rocket it uses for Flight.
- Four Is Death: Unit 04 explodes and takes a whole local branch of NERV and a chunk of the Nevada desert with it. The actual fourth Eva, Unit 03, is possessed by the Thirteen Angel.
- Healing Factor: Unit 01 exhibits some of this, restoring its broken arm during the battle with Sachiel and regenerating its blown-out eye immediately after.
- The Mass Produced Evas in the Manga regenerate after being curb-stomped by Shinji in Unit 01. Ironically, for years Fanon has mistakingly believed that MP Evas in End were capable of regenerating, while in reality they couldn't, they were just that determined to kill Asuka, wounds and missing limbs be damned.
- Heroic RROD: Shinji forces Unit 01 to do this against Rebuild!Zeruel. The consequences are very grave...
- High-Pressure Blood
- The blood fountaining from Unit 01's eye socket and skull after getting impaled by Sachiel.
- Rebuild!Zeruel causes a similar reaction when it impales Unit-01's torso. Interestingly, Shinji is projectile-vomiting blood at the same time.
- Unit-02 demonstrates the trope in both incarnations of the Zeruel battle: both arms in the original, one arm and a chunk of its head in Rebuild.
- Good God, Unit 03's destruction leads to blood-spattered buildings.
- The blood fountaining from Unit 01's eye socket and skull after getting impaled by Sachiel.
- Holy Halo: Unit-06. Unit-01 too but only in Rebuild.
- Living Weapon
- In End of Evangelion, Unit-02 takes over the role.
- Mama Bear: The Eva are imbued with the souls of their pilots' mothers. Special mention goes to Yui Ikari/Eva Unit-01, who goes berserk at the drop of a hat if Shinji is in danger.
- 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 means "Good news" and it was applied to the Bible books about Jesus because they spread the news about the resurrection of the Lord and salvation for mankind.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: They need to absorb human souls before they can function at all.
- Restraining Bolt: The "armor"'s primary purpose.
- Slasher Smile: One of many creepy things about the Mass Production Models. Also sported by an armorless, bandage-swathed Eva Unit-01 while undergoing repairs after eating Zeruel, although she could just have More Teeth Than the Osmond Family, as Eva aren't normally seen out-of-armour.
- Send in the Clones: They're essentially "clones" (by NGE's loose definition of the word) of the First Angel Adam, or the Second Angel Lilith in Unit 01's case.
- Super Prototype: Unit 01, kinda. Unit 04 might count as well, if we ignore the Explosive Overclocking part.
- Twinmaker: 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
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: See the Angels' entry. Also, consequentially...
- Artificial Human: As "clones" of Adam (and Lilith, in Unit-01's case).
- 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 in a given scene.
- Super Robot Wars gave a size to the Evangelions... but that's Super Robot Wars.
- They are listed as 40m in the Proposal while height comparisons with humans in the shots that feature both put them somewhere around 55m.
- 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 it was playing "hopscotch" with a ship the exact same size, which means it has shrunk down to the size of its own shoe.
- Super Robot Wars gave a size to the Evangelions... but that's Super Robot Wars.