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Toonami Wiki

Neon Genesis Evangelion (literally "Gospel of a New Era"), often shortened to Evangelion or Eva, is a Japanese anime series that first aired in Japan from October 4, 1995 to March 27, 1996. It was created by the anime studio Gainax and was both directed and written by Hideaki Anno. Evangelion is an apocalyptic anime in the mecha genre that delves into many themes including spirituality, psychology, and philosophy, while still remaining an interesting drama and exciting action series.

In the United States, the first two episodes saw nationwide broadcast in dubbed format from February 24–25, 2003, on Cartoon Network as part of Toonami's Giant Robot Week. Both episodes were heavily edited for content.[1] Later, the entire series aired almost entirely unedited on Adult Swim from October 20, 2005[2] to April 13, 2006.


In 2000, the "Second Impact", a global cataclysm, destroys most of Antarctica and leads to the deaths of half of all humanity. The Impact, thought by the public to have been a high-speed meteorite impact, causes devastating tsunamis, changes in the Earth's axial tilt (leading to global climate change), and later geopolitical unrest (including general economic distress and nuclear war). Over the next ten years, the research organization Gehirn and its benefactor, the mysterious SEELE organization, achieve a number of impressive scientific and engineering goals, including the creation of giant humanoids known as Evangelions and the construction of Tokyo-3, a militarized civilian city located on one of the last dry sections of Japan, in preparation for the arrival of beings known as Angels.

Fifteen years later, 14-year-old Shinji Ikari is summoned to Tokyo-3 by his father Gendo Ikari, the Machiavellian commander of NERV (the paramilitary successor of Gehirn), and coerced into becoming the pilot of Evangelion Unit 01 on the eve of an Angel attack. Shinji begins living with Captain Misato Katsuragi and is soon joined in his mission to locate and destroy the Angels by Rei Ayanami (pilot of Unit 00) and Asuka Langley Soryu (pilot of Unit 02). However, the true nature of the Angels and the Evangelions is increasingly called into question by the conflicting conspiracies and agendas of both SEELE and NERV, and their links to the mysterious Human Instrumentality Project.


EVA Pilots[]

Shinji Ikari — The Third Child and the pilot of Unit 01. He is the son of Gendo and the "late" Yui Ikari. Abandoned by his father when he was a toddler, Shinji has grown up to be reclusive and withdrawn, choosing to often run away from difficult situations. Over time and with encouragement from Misato, he learns to be less cowardly, more outspoken, and more confident, but his progress is undone near the end of the series. He becomes friends with Toji and Kensuke, something akin to a sibling relationship with Rei, and has a love-hate relationship with Asuka.

Rei Ayanami — The First Child, and the pilot of Unit 00. At the start of the series, she is shown to be socially withdrawn, seemingly emotionless, and remote, with her only apparent relationship being with Gendo Ikari. As the series progresses, she and Shinji grow closer. It is eventually revealed that Rei is a vessel for the soul of the Angel Lilith, and was created specifically by Gendo to be used as a tool for accomplishing instrumentality. Soulless clones of her are kept hidden in the deepest levels of Nerv headquarters to be used as the supposed "cores" of the Dummy Plugs and as replacement bodies for Rei if she should die.

Asuka Langley Soryu — The Second Child and the pilot of Unit 02. She is of mixed German and Japanese descent, but her nationality is American. Asuka is brash, egotistical, and often verbally abusive (especially to Shinji), and has a very high opinion of her appearance and her skill as an Eva pilot. She also has a fierce desire for independence. Her attitude, however, is a front masking deep-seated insecurities stemming from her traumatic childhood. Asuka is openly infatuated with Ryoji Kaji, but is also attracted to Shinji; however, she cannot properly express her affections.

Toji Suzuhara — The Fourth Child. Toji is a tough boy, the stereotypical "jock". His younger sister was injured in the battle between the third Angel, Sachiel, and Unit 01, and he beats Shinji up soon after for being indirectly responsible. However, after witnessing first hand the suffering Shinji experiences piloting Unit 01 in the battle against Shamshel, Toji comes to respect Shinji, apologizes for beating him up, and the two eventually become friends. Toji is eventually chosen as the Fourth Child and during the activation test for EVA Unit 03, the EVA is possessed by the Angel Bardiel and Toji becomes trapped in his entry plug. The rampaging Unit 03 is destroyed by Unit 01 under the control of the "Dummy Plug" system, after Shinji refused to fight against the possessed EVA out of concern for the pilot. Shinji was unaware the pilot was Toji and only discovers this after the battle, seeing him being carried out of the wreckage of the entry plug. Toji survives but is severely injured, (in the manga however, Toji actually dies due to the injuries).

Kaworu Nagisa — The Fifth Child, and the seventeenth Angel, Tabris. He is sent to NERV by SEELE as a replacement pilot for Unit 02 after Asuka's synchronization ratio falls below viability; however, his true purpose is to hasten the Human Instrumentality Project's implementation. He breaks into Terminal Dogma to return to Adam and initiate the Third Impact, but upon discovering that the being there is actually Lilith, he implores Shinji to destroy him. After his death, Kaworu appears in the beginning and middle of Third Impact in The End of Evangelion.

NERV Personnel[]

Gendo Ikari — The commander of NERV who is responsible for the research done on the EVAs, Rei Ayanami, and the Human Instrumentality Project. He is the father of the Third Child, Shinji Ikari, and the guardian of Rei. His original surname was Rokubungi, but he changed it to Ikari following his marriage to Yui. At the start of the series, he is the only person that has an effective connection to Rei. As the series progresses, his unscrupulous past is revealed, as is the intensity with which he loved Yui. It is later revealed that he wished to use the Human Instrumentality Project as a means of reuniting with his wife inside Unit 01, where all human consciousness would be merged into one, with the initiator of the project becoming god-like.

Kozo Fuyutsuki — The deputy commander of NERV. He met Gendo and Yui Ikari while teaching metaphysical biology at Kyoto University in 1999. After the Second Impact, Kozo is called upon by the United Nations to conduct a formal investigation into the event. Kozo meets Gendo again, reinforcing his initial suspicions about Gendo, and begins to think he and a mysterious organization named SEELE may be responsible for the catastrophe and the deaths of billions of people. Eventually Gendo asks Kozo to collaborate with him to build the new history of mankind; for unknown reasons, Kozo accepts and later becomes Gendo's close associate.

Misato Katsuragi — The chief operations officer at NERV. In the series, she initially holds the rank of Captain, with a later promotion to Major. She is the field commander for the EVA pilots, issuing orders and giving battle strategies as well as handling some bureaucratic matters. She is also Shinji and Asuka's guardian, letting them live in her apartment rather than have them live alone. While she is professional and diligent in her duties, she is a slob and a drunkard while off-duty. She is the only survivor of the Katsuragi Expedition, the scientific study led by her father which triggered the Second Impact; the cross pendant she wears was given to her by her father just before his death. She and Ryoji Kaji were lovers during college, and slowly rekindle their romance over the course of the series.

Ritsuko Akagi — The head of the first section of the technology department at NERV headquarters. She was the head of "Project E" which resulted in the creation of the EVAs. Ritsuko, along with Gendo and Kozo, is the only person at Nerv fully aware of the EVAs' true nature and the purpose of the Instrumentality Project. She is also responsible for the management of the Magi supercomputer, which her mother Naoko created before her suicide. She is a workaholic and heavy smoker, and has been friends with both Misato and Kaji since college. Like her mother before her, Ritsuko is romantically involved with Gendo, but feels betrayed by him when she realizes that he was using her in the same way that he used her mother.

Ryoji Kaji — A member of the Investigations Department of the Japanese Government Ministry of Internal Affairs that is assigned by SEELE to monitor Gendo Ikari while working undercover as a member of NERV's Special Investigations Department. He has known Ritsuko and Misato since college, the latter of which he had a romantic relationship with. When Ryoji joins NERV, he is transferred to Germany and appointed guardian of the second child Asuka. In 2015, he travels with Asuka to Japan and meets his former university friends. During the trip, he carries in absolute secrecy the embryo of Adam, the first Angel, and delivers it to Gendo Ikari. Ryoji is a spy and constantly carries out espionage missions for his employers. However, Gendo is aware of Ryoji's double game and allows his transgressions as it helps to further his agenda. Although the motive for Ryoji's actions remain unknown, he tries to find the truth about NERV's real objectives.


Kensuke Aida — A student in class 2-A of the first municipal middle school in Tokyo-3. Like his classmates Shinji, Toji, Rei, Asuka and Hikari, Kensuke is motherless. After Shinji arrives at school, Kensuke and Toji become his friends. Kensuke has strong dialectical skills, is a fan of military life and often plays survivor games when he is alone in the countryside. He often laments at the fact that he is not an EVA pilot and tells Shinji how lucky he is, even going so far as to beg Misato to let him be chosen as the Fourth Child. Some of the dialogue in the seventeenth episode suggests his father is part of the NERV administration, either in the research department or in the general affairs division.

Hikari Horaki — The 2-A class president of Tokyo-3 Municipal Middle School. She has an older sister named Kodama and a younger sister named Nozomi that she takes care of. Hikari can be rigid and rule-abiding but hides a sweet, caring and patient side that she shows to her sisters and friends. Hikari constantly taunts and reprimands Toji, probably to repress her feelings of love towards him. Upon Asuka's arrival in Japan she joins class 2-A and Hikari befriends her.

Voice Cast[]

Character English Voice Actor (ADV) English Voice Actor (NETFLIX) Japanese Voice Actor
Shinji Ikari Spike Spencer Casey Mongillo Megumi Ogata
Rei Ayanami Amanda Winn-Lee Ryan Bartley Megumi Hayashibara
Asuka Langley Soryu Tiffany Grant Stephanie McKeon Yūko Miyamura
Toji Suzuhara Joe Pisano (ep. 3-18)
Michael O'Connor (ep. 19-20)
Brett Weaver (ep. 26)
Johnny Yong Bosch Tomokazu Seki
Kaworu Nagisa Kyle Sturdivant Clifford Chapin Akira Ishida
Gendo Ikari Tristan MacAvery Ray Chase Fumihiko Tachiki
Kozo Fuyutsuki Guil Lunde JP Karliak Motomu Kiyokawa
Misato Katsuragi Allison Keith Carrie Keranen Kotono Mitsuishi
Ritsuko Akagi Sue Ulu Erica Lindbeck Yuriko Yamaguchi
Ryoji Kaji Aaron Krohn Greg Chun Kōichi Yamadera
Kensuke Aida Kurt Stoll Benjamin Diskin Tetsuya Iwanaga
Hikari Horaki Carol Amerson Abby Trott Junko Iwao
Pen Pen Amanda Winn-Lee Cherami Leigh Megumi Hayashibara
Makoto Hyuga Matt Greenfield Daniel MK Cohen Hiro Yūki
Maya Ibuki Kendra Benham Christine Marie Cabanos Miki Nagasawa
Shigeru Aoba Jason C. Lee Billy Kametz Takehito Koyasu
Naoko Akagi Laura Chapman Mika Doi
Yui Ikari Kim Sevier Ryan Bartley Megumi Hayashibara
Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu Yvonne Aguirre Maria Kawamura
Keel Lorenz Rick Peeples D. C. Douglas Mugihito
Shiro Tokita Rob Bundy Hōchū Ōtsuka



Color Season Episodes Adult Swim Season Premiere Adult Swim Season Finale
1 26 October 20, 2005 April 13, 2006

All episodes of the series have been released on VHS and DVD in the U.S., most recently as a seven-disc version of the Platinum Edition, the "Platinum: Perfect Collection", which was released on November 27, 2007, but has since gone out of print. The entire series, including the two movies, was released on Blu Ray in North America on November 9, 2021.

Broadcast History[]

The series was originally broadcast in Japan on TV Tokyo from October 4, 1995 to March 27, 1996. In 2003, WOWOW also aired the series. The series first aired in North America on San Francisco–area PBS member station KTEH in 2000. The first 2 episodes of the series first saw nationwide broadcast in dubbed format on Cartoon Network as part of Toonami's Giant Robot Week from February 24–25, 2003; with both episodes heavily edited for content. Later, the entire series aired, nearly unedited, on Adult Swim from October 20, 2005 to April 13, 2006, with reruns continuing through June 22, 2006.

  • Japan (TV Tokyo) — October 4, 1995 - March 27, 1996
  • Japan (WOWOW) — 2003
  • Australia (SBS) — January 2, 1999[3] - June 14, 1999
  • Latin America (Locomotion) — November 1, 1999 - 2000
  • Latin America (Animax) — May 6, 2008 - 2008
  • United States (PBS) — March 5, 2000[4]
  • United States (Cartoon Network) — February 24-25, 2003[1]
  • United States (Adult Swim) —October 20, 2005[2] - June 22, 2006
  • United States (Anime Network) — December 2002[5]
  • United Kingdom (Sci-Fi) — July 6, 2002[6] - 2003
  • United Kingdom (Propeller TV) — June 3, 2007[7]
  • Canada (Razer) — 2006


Neon Genesis Evangelion received critical acclaim but also garnered controversy. Particularly controversial were the last two episodes of the series, as the ending was considered confusing and abstract to many viewers and critics alike. In 1997, Hideaki Anno and Gainax released the feature film The End of Evangelion, which brought more context to the original ending of the show. A series of four films, titled Rebuild of Evangelion, retelling the events of the series with different plot elements and a new ending, were released between 2007 and 2021.

External Links[]

See Also[]


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