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Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion (pronounced Eh - van - geh - lee - on) is a 26-episode anime series created by Gainax, followed by a pair of movies: Death and Rebirth, and End of Evangelion (although Death and Rebirth is essentially a highly condensed re-edit of the series plus the first half of End of Evangelion). It also spawned a manga. Production of a live action version has now been announced. This is to be made by ADV Films (the company holding the US rights to the series), Gainax and Weta Workshop Ltd.

In the original Japanese it is 新世紀エヴァンゲリオン, Shinseiki Evangelion; literally "New Century Evangelion".

When first aired in Japan at a time slot intended for teenagers, it was not especially popular. However, when aired again in a time slot more suitable for adults, its popularity exploded and rekindled many adults interest in anime. Evangelion was, and continues to be, a strong influence on anime generally.

Warning: Spoilers follow

Although it starts as a regular mecha anime, the focus tends to shift from action to analysis of main characters.

The director, Hideaki Anno[?], probably according to his own experience, displays in this show plenty of mood disorders and emotional health[?] problems, especially depression, trauma and separation anxiety disorder.

Table of contents


Evangelion takes place in the near future (2015 AD), fourteen years after the catastrophic Second Impact, and describes a war fought between the beings called the Angels and humanity. In this conflict, mankind is represented by the mysterious organizations called NERV and SEELE. NERV is in theory under the control of SEELE, but NERV has its own agenda, driven by its commander.

NERV carries out two tasks: to defend the Earth by means of a small number of Evangelions, which appear to be massive biomechanical robots and can be piloted only by 14 year old children. The secret second task is called the Human Instrumentality Project, which (if successful) would start an artificial evolution of mankind.

Theme Songs


Rei Ayanami

First Child and pilot of Eva Unit 0. 14 year old socially-withdrawn girl. She turns out to be a clone, and is widely theorised to be a clone of Yui Ikari or a hybrid of Yui Ikari and the angel Lilith. Three clones of Rei play a significant part in the series, and are referred to as Rei I, II and III.

Asuka Langley Soryu

Second Child, pilots Eva unit 2. 14 year old girl from Germany, but with an American father and a half German, half Japanese mother. Obsessed with being the best. Has a crush on Kaji Ryoji.

Shinji Ikari

Third Child. Pilot of Eva Unit 1. 14 year old socially-inept boy who hates his father, Gendo Ikari. His mother is Yui Ikari.

Toji Suzuhara

Fourth Child. 14 years old. Seen as a bully towards the beginning, but later revealed to be sweet and very caring for his sister. In the same day he becomes a pilot, his Evangelion, Unit 03 is taken over by Bardial (13th Angel) and destroyed. He is injured in this. Only chose to pilot the Evangelion to get his sister better hospital care.

Misato Katsuragi

29 year old operation officer at NERV and roomate to Shinji. Chose to have Shinji move in with her rather than him live alone.

Yui Ikari

Shinji's mother. Proclaimed dead in 2004, after she disappeared during an experiment known as Project E (the project to resurrect the original Adam). There was no body to be recovered so her grave contains nothing.

Gendou Ikari

Shinji's father and commander of NERV. 48 years old. Formerly known as Gendou Rokubungi, he took his wife's surname when he married her.

Kaji Ryoji

Officially employed as special inspector at NERV, but secretly works for SEELE investigating NERV's true intentions. Once seriously dated Misato, but they had long broken up. After he came to NERV, they slowly got back together out of desperation despite Misato's hatred for him.

Kensuke Aida

Best friend of Toji Suzuhara. 14 year old military geek.

Hikari Horaki

14-year old girl. A friend of Asuka, she is in love with Toji Suzuhara. Also the class president.

Ritsuko Akagi

NERV head technician. 30 years old. Close associate to Misato Katsuragi. Had a fling with Gendou Ikari. Bleaches her hair blond.

Naoko Akagi

Ritsuko's mother. Creator of MAGI computer system and former NERV head technician. The MAGI computer is built on three opposing principles from the life of it's creator: Naoko as a scientist (Melchior), Naoko as a mother (Balthasar), and Naoko as a woman (Casper). These three aspects are in constant conflict, and together they delegate to form the MAGI's answer. After Rei I called her an "old hag", and said that her lover, the widowed Gendo Ikari, called her that, Naoko murdered Rei I and then killed herself.

Maya Ibuki

Technician at Nerv. 24 year old woman. Very Good with computers. Works very closely with Ritsuko, and is possibly in love with her.

Kouzou Fuyutsuki

Once a professor at Kyoto University, and taught Yui Ikari before her death. Vice-commander at NERV, essentially Gendou's right-hand man. 58 years old. Possibly in love with Yui Ikari.

Makoto Hyuga

First Lieutenant at NERV and a computer technician. Also secretly loves Misato.

Shigeru Aoba

Lieutanant. Plays Guitar. Nihilist.

Pen Pen

Misato's pet warm water penguin.

Kaworu Nagisa

Fifth Child, replacement pilot for Unit 02 sent by SEELE to NERV, after Unit 02's pilot's Synchronization Ratio falls below usability. See 17th Angel. Some Romaji purists insist that his name should be rendered "Kaoru" and not "Kaworu". However, Gainax refers to him as "Kaworu", and this name can be clearly seen on the mass-production Dummy Plugs in End of Evangelion.

Evangelion Units

Entry Plug

The pilots are contained in "Entry Plugs" that are their cockpit and are filled with LCL fluid. It is frequently stated that LCL stands for "Link Connect Liquid", but this has been denied by Gainax.

Dummy Plug

The "Dummy Plugs" are artificial pilots. All the regular Eva units are fitted so they can be operated with the pilot or the Dummy Plug. There are two types of Dummy Plugs, those based on Rei and those based on Kaworu (used in the Mass Production types). It is said that they are programmed with operator data collected from their subjects, but others believe that they contain soulless physical clones of Rei and Kaworu.

Evangelion pre-Unit 00

Several Test Type models were made that all failed, these can be seen in the Evangelion graveyard. They are all orange and have one eye.

Evangelion Unit 00

Piloted by Rei. This is the only successful Test Type Model. It has one eye, and was initially orange, but that armour was destroyed by the 5th Angel and was rebuilt with blue armour.

Evangelion Unit 01

Unit 01 is piloted by Shinji, and has the best battle record of all the Evangelions. Has been known to act without power (so called berserker mode), esp. when Shinji's life is endangered. Widely theorised to contain Yui Ikari's soul. This is the Prototype Model, and has two eyes.

Evangelion Unit 02

Asuka's Eva. Colored red, and has a native language mode of German. First Production Model, made by NERV Germany, has four eyes.

Evangelion Unit 03 (13th Angel - Bardiel)

Black production model Evangelion produced by NERV USA, identical to Unit 02. (See 13th Angel)

Evangelion Unit 04

Silver production model Evangelion produced by NERV USA, was never seen onscreen. It was destroyed when its S2 Engine exploded, also wiping out NERV USA, and all things for miles around (as seen from reconnaissance satellite), while undergoing initial S2 Engine testing.

Mass Production Evangelions

Evangelion Units 05 to 13, white in color, Mass production model. Produced by the G7 countries (US, Germany, Italy, France, UK, Canada, Japan), Russia and China. They have wings, use artificial "Lances of Longinus" as primary weapons, and have mouths with teeth with big red lips, and no eyes. They all use the Dummy Plug system. These Evangelion units appear in End of Evangelion.

The Angels (Shito) There is not a univerally-accepted list of Angels. Some reverse the first two angels. Some start the list with a 0th Angel or otherwise disagree with this list. The inclusion of Mankind as the "18th Angel" is particularly controversial, but is done for completeness.

1st Angel - Adam

When found in the Antartic in 2000, this Angel's awakening caused the second impact. The act of containing Adam turned him into an embryonic form.

2nd Angel - Lilith

Lilith is the mother of mankind (who are referred to by Kaworu as the "Lilim"). She is secured to a giant cross in Terminal Dogma by nails and by the Lance of Longinus (the "Spear of Destiny"). The Rei clones were possibly created from Lilith's legs. Her blood is generally reckoned to be the LCL fluid used to hold the pilots in their Entry Plugs. The mask she wears is the mask of God, with the 7 eyes of God (Eva 00, 01, 02 combine to have seven eyes as well). This mask is also the logo of SEELE.

3rd Angel - Sachiel

First angel to attack Tokyo 3. Defeated by Berserker Eva Unit 01.

4th Angel - Samshel

Second angel to attack Tokyo 3. Electrowhip attack. Defeated by Shinji in Eva Unit 01.

5th Angel - Ramiel

Diamond shaped. Attempted to drill into NERV HQ. Had energy beam attack. Defeated by Shinji in Eva Unit 01 with the Positron cannon as Rei held off the attack. Afterwards Unit 00 was rebuilt with blue armour instead of orange.

6th Angel - Gaghiel

The only angel to be fought at sea. Defeated by Asuka and Shinji in Eva Unit 03.

7th Angel - Israfel

When attacked, it split into 2 identical "twins". Defeated by a coordinated attack by Shinji and Asuka in Eva Units 01 and 03 (respectively).

8th Angel - Sandalphon

Found as an embryo inside a volcano. Asuka was sent to capture it but it awoke. Defeated by Asuka using coolant and Unit 2's Progressive Knife.

9th Angel - Matariel

Angel that attacked during a blackout. Had acid attack. Defeated by Rei, Shinji and Asuka in their respective Eva Units.

10th Angel - Sahaqiel

This angel was in low-earth orbit. It dropped explosive pods down on the Earth, and attempted to drop itself on Tokyo 3. Defeated by Shinji as it attempted its final drop.

11th Angel - Ireul

Something like a computer virus. It infected MAGI. Was capable of evolution at an extraordinary pace. Defeated by Ritsuko and Maya.

12th Angel - Leliel

Angel that existed in a type of negative space. It enveloped Eva Unit 01, but before Shinji's Oxygen ran out, Eva 01 went berserk and destroyed the Angel.

13th Angel - Bardiel (Evangelion Unit 03)

A cloud creature that infected Eva Unit 03 while in aerial transport from US to Japan. The infection added extensible rubbery arms capability to the unit. Was destroyed by Eva Unit 01 and the Dummy Plug system. Pilot's Entry Plug was crushed by Unit 01.

14th Angel - Zeruel

Destroyed by Eva Unit 01. The berserk Eva Unit then devoured its S2 Engine and broke free of NERV's controls.

15th Angel - Arael

Attacked from space. Mind-raped Asuka. Was destroyed by Rei using the Lance of Longinus.

16th Angel - Armisael

Attempted to merge with Rei and Eva Unit 01. Rei self-destructed her Eva to prevent the merge, destroying herself, Eva Unit 00 and most of Tokyo 3 in the Process, but saving Shinji from being merged.

17th Angel - Tabris (Kaworu Nagisa)

Fifth Child, replacement pilot for Unit 02. Although he appears in only one episode of the original series, he is in fact one of the most critical characters to the theme. Initially appearing in the form of a boy, the "angel of free will" appears to fall in love with Shinji and permits himself to be destroyed rather than destroy humanity by contacting Lilith's body stored in Terminal Dogma. Posesses some physical characteristics in common with Rei Ayanami, and believed by some to be a human-Adam hybrid created by SEELE in the same way that NERV created Rei as a human-Lilith hybrid.

"18th Angel" - Humanity

In End of Evangelion, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces attack NERV under UN orders. Nevertheless, by then the Third Impact had already begun.

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