|Model Type||Test Type|
|First Sortie||Episode 01|
Evangelion Unit-01 (エヴァンゲリオン初号機, Evangerion Shogouki, or Eva-01 for short) is the flagship mecha of the Evangelion saga. Eva-01 is piloted by the series' protagonist Shinji Ikari and inhabited by the soul of his mother, Yui Ikari.
Eva-01 was produced by the Hakone branch of Gehirn as the Evangelion Test Type model. Unlike the other Evas, its body was generated directly from the body of Lilith, and is consequently referred to as Lilith's "offspring" or "clone." On a physical level, Eva-01 has the same characteristics as an Adam-based (i.e., any other) Evangelion, so the exact nature of its relationship to Lilith remains a subject of debate. Eva-01 received its soul as a result of the Contact Experiment with Yui Ikari in 2004, but was not "finished" until 2014.
As with the rest of the Eva Series, it was ostensibly created as a weapon to be used against the Angels, and was the first Evangelion to face actual combat (against the Third Angel Sachiel). Eva-01 is infamous for going berserk and moving without any power supply (prior to the acquisition of the S² Engine from the Angel Zeruel). While Eva-00 has gone out of control before and Eva-02 goes berserk immediately before being destroyed, Eva-01 is the only Eva that has gone berserk in direct combat, to deadly effect.
Eva-01 is treated by the higher-ups at Nerv HQ, namely Gendo Ikari, with suspicious favoritism. Once all of the Angels are destroyed, Eva-01 becomes the key to both Gendo and Seele's scenarios for Third Impact, in which the former intends to use it as an "ark to save humanity from the nothingness of Third Impact," and the latter as a "medium" to Lilith, who has been rendered unusable by the loss of the original Spear of Longinus. The implication is that, by its unique creation, Eva-01 was intended as a "backup" for Lilith all along.
Eva-01 has a distinctive chest plate that resembles pectoral muscles, as opposed to the V-shaped chest plate seen on other Evangelions, and its pylons have a unique configuration as well. The reason for the differences in design has never been explained. The Eva's distinctive helmet visually evokes the horn and frill of a ceratopsian dinosaur.
Biologically, Eva-01 possesses two completely green eyes, with four nostrils situated between them. Its skin is dark brown (although much lighter on the arm regenerated from Zeruel's). Its forehead possesses an "Angel face" marking, from which concentric patches of gradually darkening color emanate. Its neck is depicted with rows of curious slits evocative of gills.
At the end of End of Evangelion, Eva-01 is seen to have hair, though Evas don't seem to have any to start with.
Eva-01's operational history is the longest of any Evangelion. It is the first Eva to see combat, deployed when the Third Angel, Sachiel, attacks. It exhibits the infamous tendency to go berserk from the very beginning, first when it moves its arm to shield its pilot, Shinji Ikari, from falling ceiling lights, and again in battle with Sachiel, attacking the Angel until it dies. It sustains moderate damage during Sachiel's suicide explosion.
Eva-01 suffers damage again at the hands of the Fourth Angel, Shamshel, which it defeats, and it takes down the Angel Ramiel with a shot from a positron rifle while being shielded by Evangelion Unit-00. The Eva takes part in stopping the out of control robot Jet Alone and in the defeat of Matarael and Sahaquiel.
In the same vein, Eva-01 brutally puts the Angels Leliel, Bardiel, and Zeruel to death. Then, after being sucked into Leliel for over sixteen hours, the resident soul of the Eva, Yui, makes contact with the pilot and the Eva goes berserk, moving without a power source and ripping open the Angel from the inside. Under the control of the Dummy Plug, Eva-01 rips apart the Angel Bardiel-infected Eva-03, and goes berserk again in the battle against Zeruel, killing it and eating the Angel's S² organ. Eva-01 remains grounded during the battle against Arael and sorties against Armisael to rescue Eva-00, but to no avail.
In End of Evangelion, Eva-01 sets off a cruciform explosion and is completely under the control of its resident soul from that point forward. It plays a critical role in Third Impact and Instrumentality, eventually floating off into space as a memorial for all mankind.
See also: Theory and Analysis:Yui's Agenda
Eva-01's soul is that of Yui Ikari. For this reason, her son, Shinji Ikari, was chosen as Eva-01's pilot. Yui's exact motivations for becoming the resident soul of Eva-01 are not completely understood, but it is known that she was against Seele's interests, and may have been in danger of being eliminated by them. Being inside the Evangelion allowed her to influence events far more than she ever could have as a normal person. Another possibility is that Yui may have foreseen the importance of Eva-01's role to combat the Angels, and chose to become the resident soul of the Eva in order to protect Shinji.
In Rebuild of Evangelion
"Making something... Nurturing something is really great. You can see and learn so many things from the process."
Of course, Eva-01 again plays the central role as the Eva piloted by protagonist Shinji Ikari. In Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone, which covers up through Episode 06 of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Eva-01's role is nearly identical that of the the original. The scene in which the Eva shields Shinji from the falling lights is absent, and we are not shown its exposed face this time. However, we learn of Yui's presence in the Eva much earlier, and Eva-01's face is briefly revealed in an easily-missed shot while it is being outfitted with the G-Type Sniping Equipment.
Eva-01's return in Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance advances her role even further, and raises new questions about her nature. As in the original, Eva-01 takes part in the Sahaquiel operation and attacks Eva-03, but this time she displays a considerably greater strength and ferocity under the control of the Dummy System. In the battle against Zeruel, she demonstrates totally new abilities as she appears to shift into an almost godlike state above and beyond the usual "berserk" mode: manifesting a halo, regenerating limbs, manipulating her A.T. Field, and shooting powerful beams from her eyes. Eva-01 destroys Zeruel with its eye beams, and as she absorbs the Angel's Core, she begins to metamorphose, but is stopped by Eva-06. For more information, see Eva Pseudo-Evolution.
Eva-01 is barely seen in Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, except for one shot in a monitor on the interrogation room in the AAA Wunder, serving as the vessel's power source. Shinji has been recovered from the Eva's entry plug and reconstituted, but Yui and Rei appear to remain absorbed. The Eva does not play any active role and remains inside the Wunder at the end of the movie. It should be noted that the exact manner in which the Wunder utilizes Unit-01 is unknown, but that it is somehow capable of harnessing the powers within it. The Unit is also seen at the beginning of the film for a brief time inside the Tesseract, and Awakens again for 12 seconds to destroy the first set of Nemesis Series drones. The Eva then returns to her slumberous state as she falls into the atmosphere.
As with the other Evas, Eva-01's design has been modified for Rebuild of Evangelion. Its proportions are more humanlike and less exaggerated, and the pylons are greatly reduced in size. The color scheme has been altered, using a concept created by Ikuto Yamashita (see below) that had been considered for the original series, with luminous green added to the helmet, chest, and waist, along with a blue "pelvic boot" and modified shoulder decals. Judging from the scene during the Shamshel battle where Eva-01's hand coverings are burnt off, its skin is now a significantly lighter tone.
The nature of Eva-01 in Rebuild is a mystery. In the original series, the Eva had several moments where it seemed genuinely human, such as the battle against Leliel, with more animated and lively movements. In Rebuild, however, the Eva seems somewhat mechanical and more controlled than free - until the Eva "awakens" in 2.0 when it walks similarly to Eva-03 and appears to feel pain.
|Evangelion Unit-01 in Rebuild|
- Evangelion is from Greek, roughly tranlating to "Good News". Although this doesn't make sense with regards to the Evangelion Units, it is of thematic importance.
- Ririsu no bunshin (リリスの分身) is the original Japanese phrase used to describe Eva's relationship with Lilith.
- For more, see: Theory and Analysis: Eva-01 and Lilith
- It is unknown whether this is because it had not been successfully activated prior to Shinji's arrival, or if its physical body was incomplete until this time.
|Failed Evangelion Prototypes | Simulation Bodies|
|Eva-00 | Eva-01 | Eva-02 | Eva-03 | Eva-04 | Mass Production Evangelions (Evas 05~13)|
|Rebuild of Evangelion: Mark.04 | Eva-05 | Mark.06 | Eva-08 | Mark.09 | Eva-13|
|Eva 8+2 | Mass Production Evangelions | Failures of Infinity|
|Other: Extracanonical Evas|