Maya Ibuki

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Maya Ibuki
OP C040 maya.jpg
伊吹マヤ
Rank / Title Computer Technician, Assistant
Affiliation(s) Nerv
National Heritage Japanese
Age 24
Birthday 07/11/1991
Seiyū Miki Nagasawa
Voice Actor (English): Kendra Benham (TV), Amy Seeley (films),
Monica Rial ("Director's Cut"), Caitlin Glass (Rebuild), Christine Marie Cabanos (Netflix)
(Italian): Barbara De Bortoli
(French): Ariane Deviègue
(Spanish): Nuria Trifol, Alma Wilhelme
(German): Maria Koschny (TV and Rebuild) , Tanja Schmitz (Films) , Flavia Vinzens (Netflix)

First Lieutenant Maya Ibuki[1] is one of the three main computer technicians at Nerv HQ, along with Makoto Hyuga and Shigeru Aoba, and serves directly under Dr. Ritsuko Akagi. Maya frequently acts as Ritsuko's assistant, particularly with work on the Magi supercomputers that control the base, and computer readouts from the the Evangelion units. During combat against the Angels she, along with Aoba and Hyuga, operate the primary control stations on the Command Center's bridge level, monitoring the status of the Evas and their pilots in battles and directing support for them.

Profile

Maya is an optimistic, cheerful, and caring young woman. Her sensitive nature is evident by her tendency to hide her eyes or retch during the more violent Eva battles, and when the JSSDF soldiers stormed Nerv headquarters in The End of Evangelion, she refuses to fire on any of them, saying that she does not have the nerve to kill another human being.

Maya has also been shown to have a faithful, trusting nature. She is in awe of the technological advancements current society has achieved. In particular, that this advancement followed Second Impact 15 years ago: unlike the 14 year old Eva pilots, Maya is old enough that she was a child at the time of Second Impact and thus unlike them probably remembers having to grow up through the ensuing global chaos in which human civilization painfully rebuilt itself, in a society struggling to feed its people. It is possible that Maya idealizes human science and technology because it is what ultimately saved the world she grew up in from the brink of collapse.

Maya believes in the technological utopia that Tokyo-3 represents, remarking with starry-eyed enthusiasm "That's a city of science for you. It's really an era where science reigns supreme!", though Aoba dismisses her beliefs by saying "Talk about an old-fashioned line". Notably, she admires Commanders Gendo and Fuyutsuki for their coolness in the stifling headquarters during a power outage, not realizing that Fuyutsuki had his feet in a bucket of water (Episode 11).

Maya has some girlish affectations, including having a rabbit-face sticker on the side of her laptop screen, and a pink cat pillow which she sits on at her station.[2] Maya is notably shorter than most of the other Nerv personnel (only halfway between the 5'4''/165 cm Misato and the 14 year old Eva pilots[3]), so it appears she has to sit on a pillow so she'll be the proper height at her control terminal. Maya’s cat pillow might be related to Ritsuko Akagi’s affinity for cats, since Maya has a strong bond with Dr. Akagi. She is seen reading what appears to be a romance novel during a slow day at Nerv.

Maya is friendly to the Eva pilots and supportive, and expresses her misgivings to Ritsuko about particularly dangerous new technologies such as the Dummy Plug system (Episode 14). It's not clear just how much Maya knows about Nerv's hidden agenda, but it is implied that, while Maya doesn't have the malicious pragmatic edge of Ritsuko and Gendo, as Ritsuko's aide she ultimately knows more about Nerv's agenda than Misato or Hyuga. She does seem to think that the destruction of the final Angel would end Nerv's mission and she had no idea why Seele would want to kill so many people to get the Evas, so it appears that she honestly doesn't know that Nerv's true goal is the human instrumentality program.

At first Maya's attraction to Ritsuko only appears to be a professional admiration, enhanced by Maya frequently being seen working aside Ritsuko, and Maya always referring to the other woman as "Ritsuko-sempai" or merely "Sempai", an honorific directed towards a person of higher rank. However, Maya’s transition guide in Episode 26' takes the form of Ritsuko Akagi, who types "I need you" (literally:" I NEED YOU . ") on Maya’s laptop with her hands over Maya’s, and then embraces her. Before turning to LCL Maya cried "Sempai! Sempai! Sempai!" with a look of ecstasy, tears flowing from her eyes. This suggests that Maya was secretly in love with Ritsuko, though whether Ritsuko knew about this attraction or reacted to it is uncertain. Some have taken Maya’s appearing uncomfortable when Kaji flirted with her (Episode 17) to be further proof of her sexuality.

In Rebuild of Evangelion

Maya Ibuki
Maya Ibuki in 1.0 and 2.0


Maya Ibuki in 3.0

Maya Ibuki in 3.0
伊吹マヤ
Rank / Title Computer Technician, Assistant
Evangelion maintenance chief (3.0)
Affiliation(s) Nerv
Wille (3.0)
National Heritage Japanese
Age 24
38 (3.0)
Birthday 07/11/1991
Seiyū Miki Nagasawa
Voice Actor (English): Caitlin Glass
(Italian): Barbara De Bortoli
(French): Ariane Deviègue
(Spanish): Nuria Trifol, Alma Wilhelme
(German): Maria Koschny

Maya reprises the same role in Rebuild of Evangelion, although her relationship with Ritsuko seems more distant than in the TV series. In Evangelion 3.0, she complains about not being able to stand younger men, but whether this is an indication of her sexuality or of her becoming short tempered over the years is not clear.

In Other Media

Eva2-22 C0750.jpg

"Making something... Nurturing something is really great. You can see and learn so many things from the process."
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In the Manga

Notes

  1. Maya is named after two warships- the canceled aircraft carrier Ibuki and the Takao-class Heavy Cruiser Maya. The warship Maya was named after a mountain (摩耶山 Maya-san) which in turn was named for Buddha's mother (摩耶夫人). It's possible that Maya's given name in Kanji would also be identical to that of the warship.
  2. Her girlish affectations and youthful appearance may be factors for her popularity, as Maya is a disproportionately popular subject for merchandising, either on her own or alongside the more significant female characters. Other minor characters such as her fellow bridge crew Hyuga and Aoba do not receive this kind of attention.
  3. It is also worth noting that Maya's face resembles Shinji's. Whether this aspect character design was deliberate or coincidental is unanswered.



Characters
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
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