Who is Rei Ayanami? Characters in Evangelion


Japanese anime series and characters are known for driving audiences insane and enthralling them. Rei Ayanami and the Evangelion series are no exception. Who is Rei Ayanami? With Janbox, let’s learn more about this girl and this amazing series!

I. Who is Rei Ayanami? Rei’s Appearances

Rei Ayanami (綾波 レイ) is a fictional character from the Gainax-produced Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series. She is the Evangelion Unit 00’s First Child (First Children in the Japanese version) and pilot. Rei is an intriguing figure at the start of the series, whose strange behavior perplexes her contemporaries.


She becomes more connected with the people around her as the series continues, particularly her classmate and fellow Eva pilot Shinji Ikari. She is shown to be a pivotal figure in the events that bring the story to a close. Her participation in the ending isn’t totally evident in the TV show, but it’s one of the main plot points at The End of Evangelion.

1. Neon Genesis Evangelion

In the original series, Rei’s birthday is never mentioned. All information about Rei’s history is unknown or has been destroyed; the only known thing about her is her age (14 in 2015). Officially, Rei is chosen as the First Child and pilot of Eva Unit-00 by the Marduk Institute to battle beings known as Angels for the special agency Nerv, which is directed by Gendo Ikari. 

She enrolls at the new city of Tokyo-3’s first municipal middle school, and Gendo becomes her legal guardian. Rei, who is initially utterly obedient to Gendo’s will, becomes friends with fellow Eva pilot and classmate Shinji Ikari during the course of the series, and her attitude changes. She learns to recognize her own identities and interests as well.

Rei decides to sacrifice herself alongside Eva Unit-00 in the battle with the Angel Armisael in order to save Shinji and defeat the enemy. Dr. Ritsuko Akagi admits she was born in the Laboratory for Artificial Evolution’s third branch, which is located beneath Lake Ashino and Hakone city, after her apparent death. Her albino-like body was produced in complete secrecy from the resurrected remains of Yui Ikari, a bright researcher who died in an Evangelion Unit 01 testing experiment. 


Ritsuko also discloses that several Rei clones are maintained on the deepest level of Nerv’s headquarters, so that if one Rei dies, she may be replaced. When a clone is awakened from the level Terminal Dogma, she is endowed with the soul of Lilith, the second Angel, although remaining distinctively different from all previous incarnations. Her memory is eventually recorded in the Dummy Plug Plant, a device that looks like a spinal column and is inserted in the Central Dogma of the Nerv. 

Gendo introduced her first clone (Rei I) to the Gehirn base, the forerunner of Nerv and responsible for the invention and manufacturing of the first Evangelion units, in 2010. Dr. Naoko Akagi, Gend’s colleague, and secret lover assassinated the first Rei. Rei I got lost in the laboratory control room on her visit to Gehirn and met Naoko, calling her an “old hag” as if to provoke her.

She went on to say that Gendo was the one who had nicknamed Naoko like that. In an outbreak of violence, Naoko identified Yui’s facial traits in the little girl’s face and strangled and killed her, then committed herself.

Rei II is replaced with a third and final clone after her sacrifice. Ritsuko later destroys all of the other bodies in Terminal Dogma. Because of her close friendship with Shinji, the final Rei character decides to defy Gendo’s orders. As a result, Rei III serves as the key catalyst for the apocalyptic event known as Third Impact. She joins with Lilith, giving Shinji complete control over the course of Instrumentality, during which all of humanity becomes one collective consciousness. 

During the process, a huge white and naked Rei appears in wide space, carrying Shinji’s Eva-01, and this figure decomposes as Shinji rejects Instrumentality. Shinji briefly sees a form of Rei hovering over him from afar after rematerializing before vanishing.

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2. Rebuild of Evangelion

Rei appears in the first episode of the Evangelion saga, Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, as the main character in Rebuild of Evangelion (2007). Her character is nearly identical to that of the anime, serving as a pilot for Evangelion Unit-00 and assisting Shinji in his fight against Angel Ramiel. The Rebuild, according to writer Thomas LaMarre, makes Shinji and Rei’s connection a more significant feature of the tale, enhancing and strengthening the scenes representing them. 

Her character evolves and her bond with Shinji is revealed much more freely in the second film, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (2009), than in the original series. She tries to arrange a dinner party for her fellow pilots, which is a change from her usual demeanor.


Anno had planned to employ this concept in the fourth episode of the original anime, but the idea was shelved during the series’ development. Angel Zeruel devours Rei and Unit-00 during the climax. Shinji forces his way into the Angel when Unit-01 loses control, bringing her out, and the two hug. At the end of the conflict, they are both locked inside Unit-01 when the action triggers the Third Impact. 

During the feature film, it is also implied that Gend and Fuyutsuki intend to bring Shinji and Rei together; when asked about this by assistant director Tsurumaki, Anno “didn’t think very deeply” about it, whereas the director’s final scene was most likely inspired by the idea of “bringing the two boys together.”

3. In other media

Further variances in Rei’s characterization can be seen in Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s official Neon Genesis Evangelion manga. In comparison to her animated counterpart, she is more empathic and open to human interaction in the manga. Furthermore, in the comic, the character is given more room than Asuka, who plays a prominent role in the anime under the influence of Hideaki Anno. 

In contrast to the original series, Sadamoto attempted to tread lightly on her relationship with Shinji, emphasizing the symbology of the touch of hands and the notion of motherhood, both of which were influenced by Kazuo Umezu’s The Drifting Classroom. 

She believes herself to be empty and useless at first, having been created purely for the purpose of flying the Evangelion under Ikari’s orders; however, Shinji’s touch alters his mind. Rei gets burned while brewing tea with Shinji in a scenario from the manga’s fifth volume where they are both at Rei’s house, and their hands briefly meet. 

Rei takes advantage of the situation by inviting Shinji to speak with his father and open up to him; later in the book, she wonders if her hands will ever be able to touch Shinji again. During the battle with the Angel Armisael, Rei becomes increasingly aware of her sadness and fondness for Shinji, with whom she had shown some romantic interest. Shinji and Rei’s feelings were described by Sadamoto as “shared affection.”

Another universe with a different story from the preceding episodes is given in a sequence from the animated series’ last episode. Rei is presented as a girl who has just moved into Asuka and Shinji’s class, with a dramatically different personality: cheery, preoccupied, and irascible.


Some Neon Genesis Evangelion spin-offs, such as Neon Genesis Evangelion: Angelic Days, which is set in an alternate reality of the final episode, include an exciting Rei. Petit Eva: Evangelion@School, a spoof of the original animated series, has three Ayanami sisters: one is conscientious and shy, another is sport-oriented and outgoing, and the third is a four-year-old girl with a soft-toy obsession. 

Rei Troi, pilot of an Eva named Evangelion Unit-02 Type II Allegorica, Rei Quatre, Rei Cinq, and the seven-year-old incarnation Rei Six, all pilots of Evangelion-0.0 units, appear in Neon Genesis Evangelion: Anima, set three years after the End of Evangelion in an alternate scenario. 

Rei has a mystery link with Kaworu in Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse, which draws Shinji’s attention. She also appears in Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legend of the Piko Piko Middle School Students. The player takes on the role of Rei’s caretaker in the simulation game Neon Genesis Evangelion: Ayanami Raising Project. 

She is also a romance choice in Neon Genesis Evangelion 2nd, Neon Genesis Evangelion 2, Neon Genesis Evangelion: Shinji Ikari Raising Project, and its manga adaptation, where she is Shinji’s distant cousin. Rei has also appeared in non-Evangelion media such as Monster Strike, Super Robot Wars, Tales of Zestiria, Puzzle & Dragons, Keri Hime sweets, Summons Board, Puyopuyo!! Quest, Line Rangers, Unison, MapleStory, Valkyrie Connect, Ragnarok Online, The Battle Cats, and an official Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion crossover episode.

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II. Appeared for the first time


Eva-00’s First Child or Exclusive Pilot is Rei Ayanami. Rei Ayanami is 14 years old according to official records, although it is claimed that all records of her past have been destroyed. Rei lives alone in a run-down apartment, which is unusual for a child her age. Rei is a member of Class 2-A at Tokyo-3 Junior High School.

Rei Ayanami is most well-known for her unique appearance. Her hair is blue, her complexion is pale, and her eyes are crimson. The producers of the series allegedly planned for Rei’s distinctive features to make her stand out. Surprisingly, Rei’s odd appearance is never mentioned in the series.

III. Characters’ personalities of Rei Ayanami

Rei Ayanami is a quiet girl who keeps her relationships to a minimum and follows orders mechanically, even if they are exceptionally nasty. She is calm, shy, and socially distant. Rei can appear calm and aloof on the outside, spending a lot of time alone reading books. She is, however, often perplexed by emotions and appears to be disconnected from her own. Throughout the series, she demonstrates an indifference to life and engages in drastic deeds that may result in her death.

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In the preceding article, questions such as “Is Rei Ayanami human?” or “Who is Rei Ayanami?” were addressed. So, why haven’t you seen this fantastic Anime series? There will be relaxing moments in this film, and anime aficionados will not be disappointed. If you want to discover the entire series of this movie, Janbox is the place to go.