Calling Neon Genesis Evangelion a mecha anime series is a gross disservice. It is not a show as much as a highly ornate philosophical and psychological endeavor — and this story is told through explosive fights between giant robots: one set known as Angels, the other controlled by humans. Each character in Neon Genesis Evangelion acts as a symbol of religion, death, and the unconscious mind.
Interestingly, most fans hated how the show ended, as a sort of surreal stream of consciousness that made very little attempt to complete the story. The creators then released a movie called Evangelion, which completely redirects the final two episodes into something more palatable. Seeing how popular the series is, we have created a list of the most important characters/entities according to the Dungeons & Dragons moral alignment system.
10 Yui Ikari – Lawful Good (Crusader)
Yui Ikari is at the literal core of Neon Genesis Evangelion, considering that she inhabits the heart of Unit-01. As the wife of Gendo Ikari, one of the founders of the Human Instrumentality Project, Yui lost her body during her husbands experiments — with her soul now transferred into an Evangelion, she fights alongside her son, Shinji, often taking extreme risks in order to protect him against the Angels. These traits are typical of a Crusader, as a flashback reveals that Yui willingly planned to remain within Unit-01, as she alone understood the sacrifice necessary to protect the future of humanity.
9 Misato Katsuragi – Neutral Good (Benefactor)
Misato is the operations chief at NERV, doing her job with incandescent pride and dignity. However, she is terrible at maintaining her private life, given her total inability to survive without Ramen and beer. Misato embodies the Benefactor, as, in addition to her already stressful profession, she takes on the guardianship of Asuka and Shinji — neither of whom are easy children to handle. At the end, she shows the full extent of her empathy, as she saves Shinji right before her body is destroyed in an explosion.
8 Shinji Ikari – Chaotic Good (Rebel)
Shinji is first introduced as a relaxed, shy kid, so when he is guilted by his father into commandeering Unit-01, his first instinct is to refuse. He is emotionally delicate because of his father’s total lack of parenting, and therefore prefers to be in his own world. However, after a few successful missions with his Evangelion, Shinji gradually turns into a Rebel, often taking his fights with the Angels as a matter of personal honor. This does lead him into trouble, as seen when he rashly takes on the shadow Angel, Leliel, which proceeds to engulf him into a non-world from which he cannot escape.
7 Ritsuko Akagi – Lawful Neutral (Judge)
Ritsuko Akagi is the NERV’s chief scientist, overseeing day-to-day maintenance as well as caring for the Magi, a supercomputer triplet created by her mother. She bears a calm, aloof persona, preferring to think things through in logical ways before making a decision (especially during a battle.)
As a Judge, Ritsuko has both limitless patience and a strong sense of mental organization, for instance when she calmly attempts to fix the Magi, as they are being infected by the Angel Ireul, without showing any emotional distress at the fact that one of the brains employed by the Magi was her own mother’s.
6 Lilith – True Neutral (Undecided)
Lilith is an ancient being who arrived after her so-called Black Moon crash-landed on Earth. She was sent by an extremely powerful alien race in order to seed the planet and bring about life. In the timeline of the series, she was crucified by unknown forces, deep underground; NERV took advantage of her condition and implanted her soul into Rei Ayanami. As a True Neutral, Lilith took no steps to prevent this from happening. Her role was fulfilled, the planet was teeming with life, so there was nothing much else to do.
5 Rei Ayanami – True Neutral (Undecided)
Given that Rei was a somatic clone of Yui Ikari embedded with Lilith’s soul, there is no other alignment she can be than True Neutral. She is an extreme introvert, and, with the exception of Gendo Ikari, shows no clear emotional connection with anyone else. In fact, even with Gendo her relationship is not intimate, considering that she only keeps a pair of his glasses as a keepsake. Rei’s personal quarters are as empty as her private life; Shinji mentions that they look almost identical to the place where she was cloned.
4 Asuka Langley – Chaotic Neutral (Free Spirit)
Asuka Langley is a brassy character, regularly attempting to cow the other pilots (Rei and Shinji) into submission — and getting into massive tantrums when they refuse. Asuka, being a Free Spirit, rarely acknowledges the opinions of others (with the possible exception of Ryoji Kaji.) She hates being given instructions as she insists that NERV officers stop treating her like a child, since she is risking so much for them. Asuka takes her Free Spirit attitudes too far on several occasions, for instance forcing herself into the private lives of other people (Shinji).
3 Gendo Ikari – Lawful Evil (Dominator)
Gendo Ikari is the reason behind the Evangelions, as well as the main architect of the project to save the human race from extinction. Nevertheless, he is a Dominator, as he is shown to display almost no love for his son, Shinji, abandoning him when he was very little.
Even after he asks Shinji to fight in Unit-01, his temperament remains the same — only expressing disinterest and annoyance whenever Shinji wanted to talk with him. Gendo has only one aim: that of reuniting with his wife Yui, and to that end discards anything else that comes in his way, even his own son.
2 Kaworu Nagisa – Neutral Evil (Malefactor)
Kaworu Nagisa is depicted as a teenager with existential angst; he has a predilection for saying things like “The hope of man is written in sorrow.” Shinji takes to him almost immediately, looking up to him as a role model (their short-lived relationship also bears extremely obvious romantic connotations). However, Kaworu manifests his Malefactor personality when he enters the lowest level of NERV headquarters, Terminal Dogma, seeking to fuse with Adam and bring about the end of humanity. He does not (or cannot) care even when Shinji begs him to stop, which consequently leads to his death at the hands of Unit-o1.
1 SEELE – Chaotic Evil (Destroyer)
SEELE is a secret organization that has apparent control over most national regimes. Their main aim is to completely obliterate the Angels and combine all people on the planet into one, thereby forcing humanity to discard their petty problems and evolve into a single universal being. While this seems like a noble goal, SEELE’s refusal to take into account the feelings and opinions of the actual people living on Earth makes them nothing more than Destroyers — whose plans are thankfully halted in their tracks when Shinji realized the crippling misery of solitude and reverted the Human Instrumentality Project.
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