Gendo Ikari (left) is the head of NERV, the only agency that has been able to come up with a counter to the threat of the angels. He was initially involved in the research on the first angel Adam. After the Second Impact, he took up the position of the head of the Human Instrumentality Project in 2003. In 2010 he became the head of NERV. Gendo is both a brilliant scientist and an astute politician. As a human being, he is emotionally distant. This distance allows him to accomplish his goals over all opposition. Even though he is under the control of SEELE, Gendo has a secret agenda of his own. Gendo will use people as tools to accomplish his goals, even his own son. And these tools are expendable once they have outlived their usefullness.
Yui Ikari was a brilliant young graduate student when she met and eventually married Gendo. Following the Second Impact, she was instrumental in many of the scientific programs that eventually developed into NERV. She helped clone the angel DNA of both Adam and Lilith in the programs that developed into the Evas, and also the cloning process that created Rei Ayanami. Rei, infact, was grown from a combination of DNA from Yui, and from the angel, Lilith. Tragically, Yui disappeared when Shinji was about 4 years old, during an attempt to activate the Evangelion that eventually becomes Eva Unit-01. Some say that her soul was taken into the Eva, and accounts for why the unit has sometimes been known to move on its own, without a human pilot to make it move.
The picture on the right is of Gendo and Yui with Professor Fuyutsuki when they were graduate students of his, prior to Second Impact.
Kouzou Fuyutsuki (left) is Gendo's right hand man in running NERV. In the past, Fuyutsuki had been Gendo's and Yui's professor when he and Yui were both very promising graduate students. Of all people, Fuyutsuki is able to discuss anything with Gendo in a frank and forward manner. Fuyutsuki is the vice-commander of NERV.
Naoko Akagi (right) stepped into the emptiness left by Yui Ikari when she vanished, filling both her scientific role in research at NERV, and the role of lover to Gendo Ikari after Yui was declared dead. She developed the Magi computer network which runs NERV. Her life ended tragically when Rei called her "Old Hag" and then informed her that that is what Commander Ikari privately referred to her as, saying that he had no further use for her now that the Magi were complete. In a fit of anger, she strangled young Rei to death, and then seeing what she had done, took her own life. Mysteriously however, Rei did not remain dead. Some think Naoko's soul ended up in Unit-00, which is why it went berserk, injured Rei, and tried to kill Gendo the first time Rei tried to synchronize with it.
Ritsuko Akagi is a scientific researcher who currently works at the heart of the NERV scientific program. She is the computer master of the Magi computer systems, three computers initially developed by her mother, Naoko Akagi. She was a college student when her mother, many years earlier, was a scientist at NERV. She both admired and resented her mother's science, which often kept the two apart. Her mother however committed suicide, and Ritsuko eventually stepped into her mother's shoes at NERV. Ritsuko is in command of the evangelion synchronization tests, data analysis, and the Magi computer network. Dr. Akagi's social life is extremely limited and it appears that she had an affair with Gendo after joining NERV herself.
Maya Ibuki works as part of the tactics department in the command center at NERV. She assists Ritsuko in developing new Eva technologies, even ones that she disagrees with, such as the dummy plugs. She follows orders, even ones that she considers distasteful. Maya is actually a gentle soul who hates violence and seems out of place at NERV. Being a lesbian, she might be the only age-of-consent female at NERV besides Misato who hasn't had an affair with Gendo.
Makoto (left figure) and Shigeru (right figure) are the other two of the staff of the command center of NERV central.
Makota is a 2nd Lt. and Bridge operator at NERV. He assists Misato with tactics and operations. He also reads manga in his spare time.
Shigeru is a 2nd Lt. and the NERV Bridge Operator for the NERV command staff, handling all communications. He enjoys music in his spare time and plays an e-guitar.
Kaji is one of the most mysterious figures in Evangelion. As a NERV operative, he was assigned to take care of Asuka when she was in Germany. In episode 8, he escorts her and Unit-02 to Japan, along with the embryo that was formerly Adam, the first angel. Kaji is assigned many secret NERV tasks that require risk. He is also a spy for the Japanese government who has infiltrated NERV and is keeping the government informed on what NERV is up to.
Kaji has ruggedly handsome good looks and is clearly a lady's man. He attended college with Misato and had an intense relationship lasting for years, that eventually led to a bitter break-up. At 31, he is single, and very available. Asuka has a serious crush on him, but he does not take her feelings at all seriously, and does not reciprocate the advances. Kaji is driven to discover the truth about NERV at any cost, even the risk of his own life.
Kensuke Aida is a total military freak and camcorder buff who truly, totally trips out on the concepts of military equipment and especially the idea of a teenabe boy piloting the ultimate fighting mecha, the evangelion units. When the fourth angel attacks, instead of going to the shelter, he convinces Tohji to go and watch the fight. They almost get killed, and Shinji has to take them into his LCL plug to keep them safe(r) from the violent action going on, than if they were left outside. Later, when he hears that NERV is picking a fourth pilot, who goes to Misato to beg her to pick him. Unfortunately the decision is that of the Marduk Institute, under SEELE, and begging is not a tactic that is going to work.
Tohji Suzuhara starts out hating Shinji at first sight, because his younger sister was severely injured as an innocent bystander in Shinji's first fight with an angel. He punches Shinji out, and has to be restrained. He is subsequently made to understand that it wasn't something that could be helped, and eventually he and Shinji become friends. Later, the Marduk Institute picks Tohji as the Fourth Child, the fourth Eva pilot. Tohji only agrees to do it if his sister can be transferred to a hospital run by NERV, where she will receive the best of care. His short stint as a pilot ends tragically however when a nanomolecular angel infects his unit, Unit-04, making it a threat to NERV. Shinji's Unit-01 has to destroy Unit-04, severely injuring Tohji in the process. Somewhere I read that Tohji loses an arm and a leg in the incident.
Shinji develops a couple of close friendships with Kensuke and Tohji, despite the rocky start of Tohji blaming Shinji for the injuries that his sister received as an innocent bystander to Shinji's first battle with an angel. The friendship is such that I'm sure Asuka would refer to them as the 3 stooges if they had that concept in Japan.
PenPen is the unofficial mascot of Evangelion. PenPen is a warm springs penguin who lives in a specially modified refrigerator in Misato's apartment. It doesn't make sense, but hey, it's anime, so it doesn't have to. PenPen contributes nothing to the story line except occasional comic relief, but sometimes that's enough.
Hikari Horaki is the class rep for Shinji's high school class. Initially unknown to Shinji, all the students of his school have tested positive as being potential evangelion pilots. Hikari, as class rep, assumes an important political role in their school. She and Asuka quickly become fast friends. Hikari eventually decides that she really likes Tohji, a fact that escapes him because she is always riding him about stuff that he does. But about the time she starts trying to treat him especially nice, he gets selected as the fourth child, and becomes critically injured on his first outing as a pilot.
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