Kaworu Nagisa

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Kaworu Nagisa / Tabris
Kaworu Nagisa
渚カヲル / タブリス
Rank / Title NGE : Fifth Children & 17th Angel
Rebuild : 1st Angel & 13th
Manga : Fifth Children & 12th Angel
Affiliation(s) Nerv, Seele, Angels
Relations Adam (salvaged soul), Unknown donor
Age NGE : 15
Rebuild : Unknown
Manga : 15
Birthday 09/13/2000
Seiyū Akira Ishida
Voice Actor (English): Kyle Sturdivant (TV), Aaron Krohn (films),
Greg Ayres ("Director's Cut" episodes), Jerry Jewell (Rebuild),
Clifford Chapin (Netflix)
(Italian): Massimiliano Alto (TV),David Chevalier (films)
(Brazilian): Yuri Chesman
(French): Olivier Jankovic
(German): Robin Kahnmeyer (TV and Rebuild 1&2) , Markus Pfeiffer (Films)
Dirk Petrick (Rebuild 3.33) , Jeremias Koschorz (Netflix)

Kaworu[1] (渚カヲル) also known as Tabris (タブリス), is both the 17th Angel and the Fifth Children. Although classified as an Angel, Kaworu is similar to Rei Ayanami in being a Seed of Life inhabiting a human body. Despite his human form, Kaworu evidently does not consider himself to be human, as he refers to humans as "the Lilin."

Though his feature in the TV series was brief, lasting only one episode (Episode 24), his appearance made a disproportional impact on Evangelion fans, prompting his return in Evangelion: Death and Rebirth and End of Evangelion, an increased, though still smaller importance in spin-off media, manga and video games, and an expanded role in the Rebuild of Evangelion series.


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"Making something... Nurturing something is really great. You can see and learn so many things from the process."
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See also: Theory and Analysis:Identity of Kaworu's Donor

Kaworu's body appears to have been created as a result of the Contact Experiment with Adam, wherein DNA from an unknown human donor dove into and fused with Adam's flesh[2], explaining Hyuga's discovery that Kaworu was "born" on the day of Second Impact.[3] Seele salvaged Adam's disembodied soul into Kaworu[4][5], whom they may have recovered in embryonic form in Antarctica.[6]

Kaworu's origin from Adam, only intimated in the anime, is flatly stated in Sadamoto's manga.[7]

Since Kaworu was delivered to Nerv by Seele, it is believed that Kaworu has been living under Seele's surveillance prior to his appearance in the series.

As a Pilot

Kaworu is brought to Nerv as the Fifth Children to replace Asuka[8], who is no longer able to pilot Unit-02. He is only able to pilot Unit-02's soul is in hiding. In his first test, Kaworu immediately achieves impressive synchronization results. It later emerges that Kaworu is able to achieve whatever level of synchronization he chooses with Unit-02.

Though he seems to have been sent to destroy it, Kaworu shows a marked interest in human culture, as well as human issues of pain and loneliness.

When Shinji first sees him sitting on top of an angel statue (a visual theme that binds together appearances of Kaworu[9]), Kaworu was humming part of the composer Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the fourth and final movement "Presto - Allegro assai", more popularly called the "Ode to Joy" after the poem by Friedrich Schiller, from which it is adapted. He then says that he considers singing to be the finest achievement of the Lilin (human) civilization.

Kaworu appears comfortable in his identity (far more than Rei), and also warmer and more emotionally open. However, he does show a detachment from human protocols and shares Rei's tendency to speak in universal rather than personal terms.

Relationship with Shinji

Main article: Kaworu and Shinji (Relationship)

Though fans have speculated on the exact nature of Shinji's relationship with Kaworu, it is clear that Kaworu represents a sort of idealized figure to Shinji[10], as he appears out of seemingly nowhere when Shinji is completely desperate for any sort of connection with anyone, as all of his friends are either dead, unreachable or alienated from him. Kaworu had premeditated encountering Shinji in the lake. He immediately shows great interest in Shinji, making him initially uncomfortable. [11] However, Kaworu telling him he liked him surprised Shinji as he is afraid of talking to Asuka, Misato or Rei, as Shinji has internalized his belief that nobody cared about him thanks to his own partly self-imposed isolation - afterwards, feeling that Kaworu has simply used him further reinforces this, as he thinks everyone is lying to him, because Shinji is unwilling to recognize the ambiguity and insecurity in other people, and the risk and uncertainty involved in reaching out to them himself, something Kaworu temporarily allowed him to ignore. Kaworu uses the ambiguous "suki" form which includes intimacy or friendship or anything more, and can simply mean "like" or "fond of", and that he is deserving of "koui" (好意), which means simply "good will" or "favor", not "koi", "love".[12] When he mentions this to Misato later, Shinji also used the ambiguous "suki" form. This line has necessary ambiguity in order to represent Kaworu's own lack of understanding regarding levels of intimacy and societal norms, part of what shocks Shinji and allows Kaworu to bypass his barriers of self-defense, as he isn't even aware those exist, as he himself has none. When Shinji is fighting Kaworu, he states Kaworu has betrayed him, just like his father did, indicating he might have been seeking a similar form of support from him, reinforcing his role as an idealization. This metaphorical meaning of his presence is emphasized further with the reappearance of Kaworu in End of Evangelion, when Shinji is traumatized by experiencing Misato's death and seeing Asuka's dead Eva, Shinji becomes desperate, but Kaworu reveals himself to be part of Lilith to stop Shinji from going into a frenzy and allow Third Impact to begin, although Shinji only enters Instrumentality after Lilith reverts to Rei's form and melts by seeing a woman's breasts, when Yui asks him what he wishes for. Though the precise nature of their relationship is debatable and yet to be determined, Kaworu forms a strong connection with Shinji. His absence from Instrumentality and even the Congratulations scene when even characters like Aoba are present bring into question how much Kaworu affected him besides Shinji's own desperation. Shinji, in fact, seeking unconditional affection from everybody, unwilling to return their own needs, is a fact that has hindered Shinji's happiness throughout most of the series, and Kaworu, being a somewhat non-human character without his own emotional needs (whereas Rei had slowly developed those) is the only one that does that. Moreover, the way Kaworu treats Shinji as a sort of avatar for humanity also brings into question if his affection is directed towards humanity as a whole.[13]

This, paired with the fact that Shinji had killed what he saw as a human being and someone he cared about, was part of what drove him into his state of absolute despair in Episode 25, in which he declared that he felt unworthy even of the piloting which had consumed his identity, thinking that if all he did was hurt and kill others, it was better to do nothing. By that, though, he may have condemned Asuka, who was fighting against the Mass Production Evangelions, to death. Had this not been the case, it is very possible he and Asuka could have defeated the Evas and stopped Third Impact altogether, a fact that greatly benefits SEELE. Shinji depositing all of his hopes for self-worth onto Kaworu, and having that fail him, also reinforces Shinji's notions that if he can't rely unconditionally on people and never risk rejection then he is not actually loved by anyone at all and everyone should just die, part of what motivates him to start Third Impact. In End of Evangelion, Shinji desperately seeks this same sort of unconditional affection from Asuka, and is still certain that he is unloved and unworthy, as he demonstrates he has, in fact, returned to his own childish beliefs about himself, even after the way Kaworu (whom he does not even mention) treated him, and other characters respond to him that he is, in fact, liked and treated nicely by them, but Shinji refuses to believe it. In contrast to Kaworu, when Shinji, in a similar state of desperation, asks for Asuka's own unconditional affection, Asuka refuses as she does not want to be an emotional crutch and an escape for him, and demands he gives himself to her as well, but Shinji is unwilling to give back any affection himself. Asuka says he doesn't really like anyone, as he doesn't even love himself. When Kaworu and Rei as Adam and Lilith state they collectively represent the hope for understanding and love, Shinji replies it is just a pretense, but if he returns to the real world, at least there he will know his feelings are real.

Relationship with Seele

Main article: Theory and Analysis:Kaworu's Agenda

Kaworu was sent to NERV by SEELE in order to advance their goal of Instrumentality through a Third Impact that would occur under their direction. Before his final battle, Kaworu is seen talking with a phantasm of SEELE that apparently only he can see and it can be assumed that he has been in previous communication with SEELE (for example being briefed on his mission to enter NERV as a pilot). The conversation indicates that they have (falsely) told them that they favor the "true successor" Angels over their own kind.[14]

It is uncertain what exactly SEELE had in mind for Kaworu. Did they plan for him to attack Terminal Dogma, or was that his own plan? We do know that once the attack commenced they wanted Unit-01 to defeat him.[15], and presumably him being killed by Shinji was a necessary part of their plan, allowing them to start their own version of Third Impact. It also begs into question if they needed Kaworu to contact Shinji, and while this seemed to have been his own initiative, they did benefit from Shinji's state of mind afterwards, as Kaworu proceeds to go after Adam even after meeting Shinji and getting to know him, and even uses Unit 02 in order to delay him. In fact, Kaworu only changes his mind when he realizes it is, in fact, Lilith in Terminal Dogma, as by that point he is unable to start any sort of Third Impact regardless.

Similarly, Kaworu's subsequent actions also greatly help SEELE: had Shinji not been in a state of mind that made him refuse to pilot for most of End of Evangelion, it is very possible he and Asuka could have defeated the MP Evas and stopped Third Impact altogether. He is also responsible for stopping Shinji from going into a frenzy after seeing Asuka's dead Eva, which allows Third Impact to begin, as the Seele councilmen start chanting ritualistically.

As an Angel

As the vessel for Adam's soul, Kaworu's designation is "Tabris" (Arabic: تبريس). As revealed in Newtype publications such as ADAM and used by Keel Lorenz in the manga, Tabris (タブリス), is the 17th and final Angel. He is considered the Angel of free will, which is considered a gift of God; Bochan_bird expands:

The Newtype Evangelion Filmbook Remix Vol. II states that while Tabrith is the name of the Angel of Free Will, Kaworu/Kaoru is also that of the Angel of Betrayal.

Although Kaworu was sent by Seele for a specific purpose, he also has his own agenda. See Theory and Analysis:Kaworu's Agenda for an in-depth discussion.

Unlike the Angels who came before him, but like Rei, Kaworu has a Lilin body, with no visible physical difference from a regular human except for very pale skin, light grey hair and red irises. Although his body is presumably composed of the same "particle-wave matter" as Rei and the Angels, it is impossible to say if he possesses a core and S² Engine. Tabris is the only Angel to infiltrate Terminal Dogma.

Kaworu's human body is a vessel for the salvaged soul of Adam itself, and wields all of the power that comes with it. He is in effect Adam reborn as a human. His A.T. Field is described by the Magi as the strongest yet encountered (until it is surpassed by Rei's). Kaworu is observed using it for levitation, to control Eva-02, as a massive barrier that prevents the Command Center from receiving wave transmissions, and, (evidently) to bypass the LCL Plant's locking mechanism.

By being both the First Angel (Adam, whose body and soul were separated in Second Impact) and the Seventeenth and final Angel, he is in effect both the first and the last of his kind. Kaworu is "born from Adam," and describes Adam as "our (the Angels') Mother." As Kaworu is the vessel for Adam's soul, that paradoxically makes him his own mother.


During the battle while descending to Terminal Dogma, Kaworu is manipulating Eva-02, but the manipulated Eva doesn't seem to put up as much of a fight as it possibly could under his control. While Shinji aimed for Eva-02's head and neck to incapacitate it, both of Eva-02's knife strikes were in the pectoral region where damage was limited. Kaworu might simply have wanted to delay Eva-01 as far as possible, so that he could use the Eva to realize his own death if necessary.

Indeed, Kaworu decides to willingly let Shinji kill him to let Lilin live and Angels remain dead shows. As the human incarnate of Adam, a fact disclosed by the Seele monoliths, the sheer strangeness of the sacrifice is that Kaworu allowed Adam's (and by extension, his own) children to remain dead while letting the children of Lilith live on.

The same music that Kaworu hummed in his introduction plays during his descent into Terminal Dogma, and so serves as a leitmotif for his character. The poem was written to be dedicated to the unity of all men under God. The moment Kaworu opens the doors to Terminal Dogma is in synch with the line "Und der Cherub steht vor Gott"---"And the Cherub (Angel) stands before God."

End of Evangelion

Kaworu makes several appearances in End of Evangelion, and is often alluded to.

The first instance is at the very beginning, as Shinji stands by the lake and the (headless) bloody angel statue; the sound of the dropping debris recycles the sound effect used for Kaworu's head splashing into LCL in Death & Rebirth[16]. In addition, "KAWORU" is written on the side of the dummy plugs for the Mass Production Evangelions, suggesting that his thought processes were used instead of Rei's. A multitude of his appearances involve him appearing simultaneously in two places at once, which Yui and most notably, Rei/Lilith demonstrate. Kaworu is present within the massive Rei/Lilith/Adam being and has control of the being for a brief period of time in order to bring down Shinji's A.T. Field, but otherwise remains passive. Whether or not Kaworu's identity survived at the very end remains unanswered.

In Rebuild of Evangelion

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"We've seen it. The proof of its construction was very useful."
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Kaworu Nagisa (First Angel)
First Angel
渚カヲル (第1の使徒)
Number First (later, Thirteenth)
Appearance(s) Evangelion 1.0, Evangelion 2.0,

Evangelion 3.0

Defeated by Voluntary death by DSS Choker

Kaworu Nagisa is the First and Thirteenth Angel in the Rebuild continuity. No angelic name has been revealed for him.

Kaworu appears in Evangelion 1.0, rising from a coffin on the moon in sight of an Eva-sized giant in a white covering (Eva-06 under construction). He speaks to Keel Lorenz (via his monolith), agreeing that "the child" is progressing as predicted in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and saying that "The Third is still the same." (Referring to Shinji, not the Third Angel) He ends the conversation saying that he hopes to meet Shinji Ikari. Bizarrely, Kaworu appears to be capable of breathing and even speaking in the absence of air.

In Evangelion 2.0, Kaworu is seen on the moon base (Tabgha base), when Fuyutsuki and Gendo approach it on an SSTO to inspect the construction of the new, Seele-built Eva-06. Fuyutsuki, looking out of the spacecraft window, observes Kaworu sitting on Eva-06's finger, clad only in his trousers, and wonders whether Kaworu is human or not. Kaworu greets Gendo as "Father"[17], although the circumstances render it impossible to determine whether he used the word in a literal or metaphorical sense. Kaworu is seen putting on a plugsuit immediately before the battle with Zeruel, standing on top of the now-complete Eva-06, confirming that he is the new Evangelion's pilot. He reappears at the end of the movie and stops Eva-01 from transforming with a staff-like weapon thrown from his Eva, addressing Shinji and saying, "This time, I'll be sure to bring you happiness."

Kaworu appears in a more major role in Evangelion 3.0. As Asuka and Eva-02 to Earth with the recovered Eva-01, he states he has been waiting for Shinji. Kaworu appears once more when Shinji arrives at the now derelict Nerv Headquaters playing piano, and when Gendo tells Shinji he will pilot Eva-13 along with him. As Shinji spends time with Kaworu at Nerv, Kaworu teaches Shinji how to play the piano. Both form a deep friendship to the point of Kaworu declaring "I was born to meet you." He also shows Shinji the devastation caused by the Near Third Impact. Shinji is devastated by this and says he only wanted to save Rei, but Kaworu replies that humanity does not see it that way. Later, Kaworu gives him an offer: he tells him they can alter the world again, by pulling the Spears of Longinus and Cassius. Before they pilot Eva-13, Kaworu takes away Shinji's choker, telling him that he would shoulder the burden of Shinji's punishment.

As Kaworu and Shinji descend into Terminal Dogma with Rei in Mark.09, he explains to Shinji about what has happened to Lilith and Mark.06, and finally explains what they were sent here by Gendo to do: remove the Spears of Longinus and Cassius from Lilith's now headless, gigantic corpse. However, Kaworu becomes confused, wondering why both Longinus and Cassius now have the same shape. He appears to be physically unwell during Shinji's battle against Asuka in Eva-02 and Mari in Eva-08, and when Shinji grabs the Spears and begins to pull them out, Kaworu begs Shinji not to do so. Shinji does not listen to Kaworu, and once the Spears are pulled, Lilith's body disintegrates, the Twelfth Angel is revealed to be inside Mark.06, and a chain of events begin as Eva-13 goes out of Shinji's control. Kaworu states that he who was First Angel is now the Thirteenth Angel, and implies that Gendo, whom he refers to as "The King of Lilin", is responsible for setting up the events.

Eva-13 awakens and ascends into the sky, beginning Fourth Impact, which Kaworu confirms to a horrified Shinji. As the Impact begins, the choker begins to activate. Despite everything, Kaworu tells Shinji that the Fourth Impact was his fault, due to him becoming the Thirteenth Angel, becoming the trigger. He tells Shinji he is sorry, as this was not the happiness he desired. He declares he will close the Doors of Guf, telling him that "We'll meet again," before the choker explodes and decapitates him. After Kaworu's death, Fourth Impact is finally stopped by Mari ejecting Shinji from Eva-13, during which there is a momentary shot of Kaworu in his school uniform. Shinji is thrown into a catatonic state by Kaworu's death.

In Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0 Thrice Upon a Time, Kaworu appears as a vision to Shinji just after Asuka leaves after she expresses her feelings for him. Kaworu tells him that he can find peace on his own and that fate will guide him, and once more that they will meet again. When Asuka is absorbed, Kaworu's remains can be briefly seen inside Evangelion 13.[18]

When the Additional Impact starts, Shinji confronts Gendo, and Kaworu appears, explains to Shinji that Gendo is the center of Instrumentality, "the origin of the cycle". During Instrumentality, Kaworu's memories are revisited, including farming with Ryoji Kaji, the elder, during the timeskip. When Shinji tells him he wants to help Asuka and everyone else, Kaworu recognizes Shinji is getting used to reality. After Shinji returns Asuka's feelings, Kaworu asks if Shinji won't be lonely, to which he says it will be alright.

In a visual callback to their encounter in the original series, Shinji affirms having met him before. Kaworu explains that he has written ShInji's name in the Book of Life, which allows him to meet him in the cycles the cast is trapped in. In a version as a small child, Shinji says it is a way for them to become friends.

Shinji says that Kaworu is just his father Gendo Ikari in his single-mindedness over Yui Ikari. Shinji replies that he won't cry anymore, as it won't help the people he cares about. Kaworu says he'll be lonely, but it's alright. Shinji destroys Kaworu's Eva-13. Afterwards, Kaworu talks to Kaji and reminisces on the inevitability of his fate and how he is unable to die. Kaji tells him that he wanted to make himself happy through Shinji. Kaworu apologizes for mistaking Shinji's happiness. Shinji breaks the cycle, and he thanks Kaji, who calls him "Commander Nagisa", for saving him. Kaworu thus seeks to find out happiness on his own, and moves on from using Shinji to find his own happiness.

At Kaji's suggestion, Kaworu agrees to become a farmer with Misato Katsuragi and her son with Kaji in the survivor's village. In the rebuilt world, the Children are present as adults, and Kaworu is seen as an adult talking with Rei Ayanami, also an adult in the other side of the train station.

In Other Media

Sadamoto's Manga

Kaworu's introduction comes much earlier: he is first seen waking up in an LCL tube with Keel Lorenz talking to him, and then he speaks to Seele, who call him by his Angel name "Tabris" and refer to an agreement made between them. Shinji does not initially like or trust Kaworu, and in fact actively avoids him. His arrival in Tokyo-3 is shortly before the battle with Arael. Shinji first finds Kaworu playing Ode to Joy on a piano in a ruined church, and Kaworu immediately earns Shinji's immense dislike when he breaks a starving kitten's neck as an act of mercy[19]. At school, Kensuke thinks of him as "creepy...something inhuman." When Arael attacks, Kaworu is a spectator in Central Dogma, and is disturbed by Gendo's use of the Spear of Longinus. After Asuka enters a vegetative state from the mental attack, Kaworu takes her place in the battle with Armisael, proving himself a spectacular Eva pilot, but refusing to reveal his true nature to the invasive Angel. Despite momentarily feeling Rei's love for Shinji, he tells him that Rei was stupid in sacrificing herself, drawing an intense outburst of violence from Shinji.

In volumes 9 and 10, Kaworu pilots Unit-02 alongside Rei in the battle with the Angel Armisael. The Angel partially assimilates Unit-02, connecting the already-assimilated Rei to Kaworu and causing him to feel Rei's love for Shinji, which makes him cry. After the battle, Shinji nearly punches Kaworu after he calls Rei a fool. Despite this, Shinji stays in Kaworu's apartment rather than go home to Misato, believing that being around the emotionally distant Kaworu would be more tolerable than being around people who would also be sad about Rei's death. He reluctantly accepts Kaworu's offer to use one half of the bed. That night, Shinji begins to hyperventilate while having a nightmare, and Kaworu uses the chance to perform CPR on Shinji, using the lack of a handy paper bag as an excuse. Shinji becomes angered and repulsed when he wakes fully and realizes what Kaworu did, and is even more angered when Kaworu asks him if what he felt while connected to Rei was love and attempts to physically advance on Shinji. Shinji is repulsed by this, and quickly storms off as he finds out Rei is still alive, visibly upsetting Kaworu.

Kaworu allows Shinji to kill him in the end, although he displays none of the self-sacrifice portrayed in the anime.Shinji refuses to kill a non-resisting opponent, and Kaworu concludes Shinji hates him. Shinji says he has never said that, and then Kaworu decides to persuade Shinji to kill him as "proof of what (Shinji) really think(s) of (him)" instead of obsessing over his own guilt in the aftermath, comparing it to when he kiled the stray cat. Shinji imagines himself choking Kaworu in the same place they initially met, after Kaworu killed the cat. In the following chapter (75), Shinji admits that he was drawn to Kaworu, even though he knew he shouldn't be because he feels guilty and unworthy after killing Toji. Shinji wonders why people get close to other people. Misato tells him it is because people are incomplete and seek each other in order to not live alone. He is not mentioned again.

The bonus materials in volume nine of the English adaptation of the manga contain an article written by the editor Carl Gustav Horn which compares Kaworu to the character Satan in Mark Twain's novella, Mysterious Stranger.. Sadamoto has stated that his relationship with Shinji in the manga is like that of a younger primary school student seeking admiration from an older, middle school one, not romance.[20] Sadamoto has also explained he wished to make the relationship less ambiguous in the manga. Sadamoto says Kaworu feels for Shinji a reflection of Rei's feelings, however Shinji rejects him as he is not Rei. The choking scene in the manga is inspired from a film called Betty Blue, by Jean-Jacques Beineix. This is contrast to the scene in End of Evangelion, which according to Megumi Ogata was based on an experience of a female acquiantance of Anno's. He says it does not have the same meaning as the film's. He also says he does not understand the success of his character. [21] In an interview Sadamoto compared his death to a "contradictory fumi-e", an ancient Japanese ritual consisting of the trampling of Christian icons, asking Shinji to kill him if he cared about him at all. Through this Shinji would have to confront the situation of caring for and being close to other people, as later referenced in the following chapter. [22]

Shinji Ikari Raising Project

In the noncanonical Shinji Ikari Raising Project, Kaworu is an agent sent by SEELE to infiltrate Shinji's school (much like the original). Here, he is helped by Ritsuko Akagi. He teases Shinji frequently, drawing Asuka's (and eventually, Rei's) ire. He is also implied to be the cause of a blackout at NERV (in an homage to the original outage in the anime), and is also a potential romantic interest for Shinji alongside Rei and Asuka, though Shinji seems unaware of Kaworu's intentions. Kaworu is mostly used as comic relief, and is completely absent from the story after the early chapters as it returns to focusing on Rei and Asuka.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Angelic Days

Cover for It's A Miraculous Win

In Angelic Days, Shinji met Kaworu in their childhood and this has gotten Shinji used to run away to him when he fights with Asuka, his first childhood friend, however Shinji always makes peace with her. Asuka is somewhat hostile to Kaworu as Shinji's attention is divided between Asuka, Rei and Kaworu, though she eventually mellows out. Eventually, Kaworu starts to understand Shinji's feelings for Asuka when he chooses to take care of her instead of going to a concert with him and Rei. Inside a Instrumentality of sorts, Kaworu offers Shinji a world that doesn't change in which they're children forever. Shinji refuses, realizing he needs to grow up, and Kaworu wills himself out of existence. This leads to Asuka and Shinji realizing their feelings for one another. Near the ending Kaworu, in fact, seems very happy for them and refers to Asuka as "your girlfriend" to Shinji. He also appears in a flashback with Gendo and Yui in their high school days, before disappearing again, similarly motivating Gendo to connect to Yui.

It's a Miraculous Win

In this this spin-off manga, a character that looks just Kaworu works in an Eva pachinko parler, and dates the protagonist, a female obssesed Eva fan called Sakura Mogami.


  • In early designs, Kaworu was depicted as a schoolboy with a pet cat who could switch to an "Angel form".[23] In vol. 9 of the manga, one of Sadamoto's artworks is a portrayal of Kaworu dressed in black and holding a black cat. This is sardonically referenced in the manga as Kaworu kills a stray cat when he meets Shinji. There is also an official figure of him holding a cat. Kaworu was named by screenplay writer Akio Satsukawa as detailed in the Character Name Origins page. Kaworu's surname "Nagisa" comes from the Japanese word nagisa (渚), meaning "waterside" or "shore", concerned with the sea. It also comes from Japanese movie director Nagisa Oshima. Adding to these, the character "渚", when divided, can be read as "shi-sha" (シ者). The title of episode 24 is "The Last Shisha"|最後のシ者|Saigo no Shisha. "シ者" includes two Japanese words read as "shisha" (the character "シ" only represents the sound "shi"). The first is "messenger" or "apostle" (使者, shisha), while the other is "dead (person)" (死者). Kaworu seems to be the only character not named by Anno.
  • Yoshiyuki Sadamoto conceived his design to be "more elegant and more refined" than Shinji, compared to which he should have been "taller, thinner and with a smaller face". For the features of his face, he decided to blend those of Rei, Shinji himself, and Asuka Langley Soryu. Following a personal request from the director, his eyes were dyed red by the colorist Harumi Takaboshi, to draw an analogy with Rei's and give him "a distinct impression". Although he was conceived to appear only in the final episodes, during the making of the opening theme the main staff decided to depict him with a sketch by Sadamoto; in the editing phase, the sketch was inserted just before a frame depicting Rei Ayanami and the caption "Angels". Some fans have long speculated on Kaworu being modeled on a real person or experience, but this has been denied long ago by both Anno and Sadamoto.[24][25], neither is this ever even alluded to in multiple Sadamoto interviews detailing his design.[26]
  • In an interview for JUNE, Hideaki Anno claimed that Kaworu was intended to be Shinji's idealised version of himself, something which allows Shinji to easily drop his defense mechanisms as he does not feel he is not exactly dealing with an "Other". Anno goes on to give examples from psychology and the process of realising the good and bad in other people and coming to terms with this duality as part of growing up and maturing in Episode 25, something which he does not do with Kaworu.[27]
  • Kaworu's piano in Evangelion 3.0 is a Yamaha CF III, which had its last production run in September of 2000. [28].


  1. The name "Nagisa" is a pun. The kanji character "Nagisa" consists of the katakana "shi" and the kanji "sha," forming the word "Shisha," or "messenger." Kaworu, after all, is the final messenger, and the word used for "Angel" in the original Japanese is "shito," or "Apostle" (messenger of God). See Character Name Origins for more information.
  2. Neon Genesis Evangelion. Episode 21'.
    Man E: "The contact experiment with the donor is scheduled for the 13th of next month. There will be time for any adjustments."
    (later) Woman B: "The genes that dived into Adam have already undergone physical fusion!"
  3. Neon Genesis Evangelion. Episode 24. Platinum subtitles.
    HYUGA: But the one thing we do know [about Kaworu Nagisa] is that his birthday coincides with the Second Impact."
  4. Neon Genesis Evangelion. Episode 24'. Platinum subtitles.
    SEELE A (speaking to Kaworu): [Adam's] salvaged soul exists only within you.
  5. Neon Genesis Evangelion 2. Classified Information: Adam. "At the time of Second Impact, [Adam's] body was torn apart, and its soul flew off somewhere as a result. Adam's soul was later recovered by Seele and incarnated."
  6. End of Evangelion Theatrical Booklet. Glossary: Kaworu Nagisa. "It is likely that he was an Angel which had been captured by SEELE in the embryo stage." (Translation by bochan_bird.)
  7. Neon Genesis Evangelion (manga). Volume 9, Stage 72.
    Ritsuko: Kaworu Nagisa... His date of birth is the same as Second Impact. Probably because, on that day, in that place, he was the final Angel to be born.
    Misato: You can’t mean... Are you saying that all the Angels were born from Adam? What did humans do to Adam on that day?
    Ritsuko: Humans tried to return Adam to an egg before the other Angels awoke. The result was Second Impact. Among the data from your father’s research team that was retrieved just before it happened, I have heard that there were indications of an attempt to use human genes in some way. If that was actually done in secret, if the Angel born at that time took human form, and if the Committee got their hands on it, then according to MAGI everything adds up.
  8. Kaworu's Plug Suit has an inverted, divided triangle symbol on its chest rather than a proper number, though he was sent to be the replacement pilot for Eva-02.
  9. See Reichu's analysis (archive) of all the visual allusions and connections to the angel statute.
  10. "Anno: But that is a boy. It's as if there was no womanly feel at all. That's because it's Shinji and one more Shinji. Because ideal Shinji appears it's no good to make him a female. - Ahh, I see. Anno: [He is ideal Shinji] Because he is a character who has been cleared of all of Shinji's complexes." - JUNE Interview
  11. The Essential Evangelion Chronicle: Side B
  12. Some early fansubbers misheard this as "koi", but the scripts for this episode make it clear it is "koui". As for "suki", the original ADV VHS subtitle translation gives the word as "like," while Platinum and the English dub use "love." The Netflix release, translated by Khara, chose to use "like" again. Khara's own official translator has publicly defended this change, and the ambiguity it retains from the original text.
  13. Shinji/Asuka: Colleague-Complicated Feelings;Colleague-Love/Hate
    Rei/Shinji: Colleague-Favorable;
    Kaworu/Shinji: Colleague-Favorable - The Essential Evangelion Chronicle, Side B
  14. One section of this conversation concerns the "Lilins' hope" The word hope, "kibou" appears several times, once, when used by Kaworu, in katakana instead of kanji:
    "SEELE 04: "There is a man trying to close the box before the hope at the bottom appears."
    Kaworu: "Hope? You're saying that is the Lilin's hope?"
    SEELE ??: "Hope exists in as many forms as there are people."
    SEELE ??: "And that is because hope only exists in the hearts of people."
    Keel: "However, our hope is becoming substantiated."
    It is likely that it is spelled this way just for emphasis, but it has been suggested that there is some wordplay going on here; spelled with a different kanji, kibou means "trick". This might be a subtle clue that Kaworu is being deceived.
  15. SEELE 02: "Humans forget their foolishness and repeat their mistakes."
    SEELE ??: "If humans do not redeem themselves willingly, they will not change."
    SEELE ??: "We will not rely on the powers of Adam or the Angels."
    KEEL: "Our only choice is to make changes with our own hands for the future. I will be praying that Unit-01 will accomplish its task."
  16. Bochan_bird: "Incidentally, it has been noted that the splash made by Kaworu's head was redone for "Death & Rebirth" to exactly match the splash of the falling electrical part at the start of Air (EoE). IIRC the actual splash in TV episode 24 was different, and since "Death" can be considered not only a recap of the series but also a psychological sequence, the similarity in the splashes may represent Shinji tormenting himself (over Kaworu's death) by transposing the splash made by the electrical part as the splash made by Kaworu's head."
  17. Evageeks.org: Kaworu calling Gendo "father." Retrieved 2011/02/19.
  18. "We only said so much at the discussion today. In Shin Evangelion, this is what's actually inside the reactivated Unit 13's entry plug. Inside the LCL, the remains of what used to be him are floating about. Even with his soul gone, his body was reconstructed to allow Unit 13 to move, and his fingers sometimes flutter on the control keys." - Ikuto Yamashita
  19. In the anime's original plan, Kaworu was a boy who had a pet cat and who could switch from "human form" to "Angel form" at will. As in the manga, he was to appear earlier in the series (although unlike the manga, he was to attack far earlier as well). Sadamoto seems to have made an ironic reference to Kaworu's initial concept with the kitten-killing scene.
  20. "Speaking about Kaworu and Shinji’s relationship, I want to write it like what often happen between primary school boys and middle school boys. For the boys, instead a girl’s admire, they actually want to have admire from the other boys. That is why they imitate other boy’s behavior. The same thing happened to me. When I was a primary five student, a transfer student came to my class from Tokyo. Even though I thought “Tokyo is not great” in my mind, but I still felt that he looks handsome. He liked to say “だからさー”, though I said “it make me sick”, but secretly I thought it was very cool.(laugh) It is this kind of feeling. It is not romance……It is a delicate feeling in a delicate age." - Interview with Yoshiyuki Sadamoto from All About Kaworu Nagisa book, pages 148-152
  21. "First, Sadamoto claims that he does not understand the success of Kaworu's character. Personally, he loved the voice of the character, thus finding himself in difficulty in making it on paper and therefore deciding to modify it compared to the anime. If in the anime he had remained deliberately ambiguous about the true nature of his relationship with Shinji, leaving the viewer free to create their own interpretation, in the manga Sadamoto decided to better define everything leaving less freedom to the reader. In the manga, Kaworu, whom Sadamoto remembers being an angel while Shinji is a human, feels for Shinji a reflection of Rei's feelings, however Shinji rejects him as he is not Rei. [...] Speaking instead of the scene in which Shinji strangles Kaworu, it is a quote from a film that the master adores: Betty Blue" Milano Manga Festival: Reportage dei Sadamoto Days
  22. CUT Magazine, December 2014
  23. NEWTYPE 100% COLLECTION: NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. 1997 Kadokawashoten. ISBN 4-04-852700-2. Partial translation.
  24. "What about whatever research you’d done?
    Anno:There was none."
    [...]"Telling someone or being told by someone, “Your heart is like glass,”—did anything like that actually happen to you?
    Anno: Nope, nothing like that." - JUNE interview
  25. —When you designed Kaworu, did you base his looks on someone?
    Huh? No. But, as the last Angel, if I make his profile a combined form the of people that the past Angels made a contact with——what about something like this——I have this concept. That is why some parts of Kaworu look like Shinji, some parts look like Rei, some parts look like Asuka. - All About Kaworu Nagisa interview
  26. Neon Genesis Evangelion Film Book 9.
  27. Hideaki Anno JUNE Interview discussion thread
  28. https://www.buymeacoffee.com/rikki/evangelion-3-0-you-can-not-redo-released-song-i-ve-heard

Main characters: Shinji Ikari | Rei Ayanami | Asuka Langley Soryu
Nerv staff: Misato Katsuragi | Gendo Ikari | Ritsuko Akagi | Kozo Fuyutsuki | Ryoji Kaji | Maya Ibuki | Makoto Hyuga | Shigeru Aoba
Classmates: Toji Suzuhara | Kensuke Aida | Hikari Horaki
Other characters: Kaworu Nagisa | Yui Ikari | Naoko Akagi | Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu | Dr. Katsuragi | Keel Lorenz | Pen Pen
Rebuild of Evangelion: Asuka Shikinami Langley | Mari Makinami Illustrious | Sakura Suzuhara | Ryoji Kaji (Jr)
Miscellaneous: Minor Characters | Minor Characters (Rebuild) | Extracanonical Characters
Theory and Analysis: Name Origins (Warships) | Designs | Relationships | Profiles
Resources: 2015: The Last Year of Ryohji Kaji

Angels (general)
First and Second Angels (Seeds of Life): Adam | Lilith
Third to Seventeenth Angels (Adam's Children):
Sachiel | Shamshel | Ramiel | Gaghiel | Israfel | Sandalphon | Matarael | Sahaquiel
Ireul | Leliel | Bardiel | Zeruel | Arael | Armisael | Tabris
Eighteenth Angel: Lilin
Rebuild of Evangelion: ?Adams? | Lilith | 3rd Angel | 4th Angel | 5th Angel | 6th Angel | 7th Angel | 8th Angel | 9th Angel | 10th Angel | 11th Angel | 12th Angel | 1st/13th Angel
Other: Extracanonical Angels