Rei Ayanami is the First Child (First Children in the Japanese version) and pilot of EVA-00. She is socially withdrawn and hardly interacts with anyone, except for Commander Ikari, who she initially displays some loyalty to but has a much more distant relationship with than commonly believed (she says in Episode 15 that she "doesn't know what kind of person he is", and seems confused by Shinji's belief that the two are close). She lives by herself in a nearly barren apartment in Tokyo-3. Toward the end of the series, Shinji comments that her apartment is very similar to the place where Ritsuko Akagi says she was born.
Throughout the series, Rei's cool and emotionally stunted personality added to her intrigue, and later resulted in arousing the scorn of Asuka, who referred to her as a "doll" or "puppet". Rei is the diametric opposite of Asuka, not only in terms of personality, but also physically. Asuka is outspoken, emotionally extreme, and violent; Rei is the opposite of Asuka on all these major accounts. Asuka has red hair and blue eyes, while Rei has red eyes, but blue hair. This color shift between the characters may also relate to the difference between how they are seen by others and what their true feelings are: Rei is frequently mistaken for being unemotional, while Asuka feigns arrogance to hide her insecurities. Rei and Asuka are believed by many fans to be caricatures of the respective female ideals of Japan and Europe. Rei also shares the traits of light hair, pale skin, and red eyes with Kaworu Nagisa, leading some fans to suggest that these traits are angelic in nature, and leading other fans to believe that these characters have albinism. The show's character designer, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, later said that these features exist solely to make Rei look more "distinguished" from the rest of the cast, though he did not specifically mention any of these theories. Rei describes blue as "agreeable" and red as the color that she "hates". She says that she dislikes eating meat, but does not call herself a vegetarian. Her color and food preferences might be due to an association with blood, which LCL is known to smell like, or due to some aspect of her origins, though these possibilities are pure speculation. It can be noted that the series creator, Hideaki Anno, is also a vegetarian.
Age:14 Sex:Female Birthday:March 30, 2001? Relations:Other cloned vessels of Rei - the "spare parts" Brother:Kaworu? Japanese seiyū:Megumi Hayashibara English voice actor:Amanda Winn Lee
- Main article: Rei Ayanami
Rei Ayanami (綾波レイ Ayanami Rei) is the First Child, and the pilot of Unit 00. She is socially withdrawn and hardly interacts with anyone. Rei's cool and emotionally-stunted personality has garnered the scorn of her schoolmates; Asuka calls her a "doll" or "puppet." Clones of her, which lack souls, are kept hidden under the NERV building to be the supposed "cores" of the Dummy Plugs. Although she once only associated with Gendo, she and Shinji break the ice after the battle against Ramiel, and grow progressively closer for a while.
Physically and genetically, her appearance has some importance in the series. It is readily apparent that Rei is the diametric opposite of Asuka, not only in terms of personality, but also physically. Asuka is outspoken, emotionally extreme, and violent; Rei is the opposite of Asuka on all these major accounts. Asuka has red hair and blue eyes, while Rei has red eyes and blue hair. This color switch between the characters may also relate to the difference between how they are seen by others and what their true feelings are. However, the lead character designer has said that Rei's coloration was intended to make her look "more distinct," so this color inversion may simply be a coincidence.
Rei's mysterious background has led fans to develop multiple theories of just what exactly went into creating her. Gendo Ikari first introduced her to the NERV staff as an "acquaintance's child" whom he is temporarily taking care of. The Red Cross Book states that Rei was created from the "salvaged remains" of Yui after her death in 2004, in spite of the popularized 2001 birthdate (derived from the character's seiyū). There is evidence shown to support the Red Cross Book: Shinji Ikari tells her that he thinks she'd "make a good mother," and later compares Gendo's manipulation of her to his manipulation of Yui; they are also shown to have a physical resemblance. In episode 24, Kaworu mentions that he and Rei are "the same." This statement was expanded in the "director's cut" of the episode, in which Kaworu goes on to say that he and Rei are human vessels for the souls of Adam and Lillith, respectively; however, since at least part of the information SEELE gave him is known to have been inaccurate (the location of Adam's body, for instance), there's no way to know how much credence to give to this statement. There's certainly some connection between them: both have red eyes, pale skin, and light hair, and while the NERV Dummy Plugs contain Rei clones, SEELE's Evas use Kaworu-powered Dummy Plugs. Kaworu is the seventeenth Angel, and Rei demonstrates Angelic powers later in the series (though only after her fusion with the sixteenth Angel, Armisael, allowing the possibility that the powers came from Armisael).
It is generally believed that Rei died twice; in the series, this stems from the fact that Rei herself says "I think I'm the third one," shortly after her suspected death when Unit 00 self-destructed, an event that she could not remember. The first Rei is thought to have died as a small girl at the hands of Dr. Naoko Akagi for revealing carelessly (or perhaps in an intentional set-up by Gendo Ikari) to Naoko that Gendo called her a "useless old hag." Naoko's tone of voice after supposedly killing her would seem to confirm this. The theory is that her soul and most of her memories are transferred to one of the clones every time she dies, which then takes the preceding Rei's place as if she had not died at all. This was reported by the Red Cross Book, although it is considered by a minority of fans to be a questionable source of information since Gainax has had to correct it for a number of errors.
Age:14 Sex:Female Relations:Mother: Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu Father: "Papa" Step-mother: "Mama" Guardian: Misato Katsuragi Former Guardian: Ryoji Kaji Japanese seiyū :Yuko Miyamura English voice actor :Tiffany Grant
Asuka Langley Soryu (惣流・アスカ・ラングレー Sōryū Asuka Rangurē) is the Second Child and pilots Unit 02. She is from Germany, but with an American father and a half-German, half-Japanese mother. Her mother, Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu, went insane after an Eva-related experiment and began to believe that an Asuka-like doll was, in fact, her daughter, to the point that she refused to even acknowledge the real Asuka. Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu hung herself on the very day that Asuka was chosen to become an Eva pilot. On that day, Asuka promised herself that she would never cry again. This event gives her an innate hatred of dolls and all things that she perceives to be doll-like, especially Rei. Asuka's father later remarried a woman for whom Asuka feels no affection. Asuka feels the need to verbally and sometimes physically lash out at everyone around her, except to her sole friend, Hikari, and her unrequited crush, Kaji, who is Misato's ex-boyfriend and more than twice Asuka's age. On her better days, however, she can be quite cheerful and friendly.
As a pilot, Asuka greatly fears being inadequate, often venting by lashing out at Shinji and Rei. Asuka says that she would rather die than be saved by the skill of another pilot. Her pride and recklessness affects her performance: she grows jealous of NERV's special treatment of its best Eva pilot, causing a massive drop in synchronization rate. Eventually, Asuka loses all functional synchronization with Unit 02. In her second-to-last battle, she suffers massive emotional damage as her Eva loses both arms and its head to the fourteenth Angel, Zeruel. She is only saved from death by Central Dogma's split-second decision to undo her remaining neural connections with the Eva. Her synchonization rate drops below-viable levels after she is attacked by the fiftheen Angel, Arael. Due to her inability to pilot the Unit 02 again, she finds herself useless and attempts suicide. Failing again, she falls comatose, and is tended in the NERV's infirmary until REBIRTH.
In Rebirth, Asuka is saved from assassination by NERV, being placed inside her Eva and dropped seventy meters below the surface of the lake in the underground crater. She awakens to the sound of battle and, despite her previous feelings of inadequacy, combats and takes out the nine SEELE Eva in less than three minutes, proving (albeit briefly) that she is indeed the most competent Eva pilot.