Asuka Langley Soryu

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For information on the New Theatrical Edition character, see Asuka Shikinami Langley
Asuka Langley Soryu
OP C057 asuka.jpg
惣流・アスカ・ラングレー
Rank / Title Second Children
Affiliation(s) Nerv
National Heritage Japanese, American, German
Relations Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu (mother), Langley (father),
Stepmother (Kyoko's doctor and Asuka's stepmother)
Age 13[1]
Birthday 12/04/2001
Seiyū Yuko Miyamura
Voice Actor (English): Tiffany Grant, Stephanie McKeon (Netflix)
(Italian): Ilaria Latini, Domitilla D'Amico (young)
(Brazilian): Fernanda Bulara,
(French): Marjolaine Poulain
(Spanish,Spain): Ana Pallejà
(Spanish,Latin America): Norma Echavarría, Georgina Sánchez(redub)
(German): Julia Ziffer , Johanna Dost (Netflix)

Asuka Langley Soryu[2] is the Second Child, designated pilot of Evangelion Unit-02.

Character Summary

Crossplug.jpg

"Her past has been eradicated. All her personal records were erased."
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Early Life

Asuka is 1/4 Japanese and 1/4 German (from her mother Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu's side), although her nationality is American, as is, apparently, her father's. When Asuka was very young — prior to her selection as an Evangelion pilot — her mother was involved in a contact experiment with Evangelion Unit-02 and lost her mind as a result, thinking that a rag doll was her daughter and ignoring Asuka. At the same time, Asuka's father proceeded to have an affair with Kyoko's doctor. Kyoko eventually turned suicidal, and asked Asuka to die with her, which Asuka agreed to, as she was too young to understand what her mother asked of her and believed it was the only way she could convince Kyoko to be her mother again. After being selected as an Evangelion pilot at a very young age, an overjoyed Asuka rushed to tell her mother, only to be devastated on finding that her mother had committed suicide, having hanged the doll in Asuka's place. At Kyoko's funeral, Asuka refused to cry, declaring she would have to look out for herself now. Following Kyoko's death, her father married his mistress. Asuka's new stepmother initially tried to bond with Asuka, but she ended up being discouraged as she found the young girl's overly serious disposition for her age and coldness towards her to be somewhat disturbing, and the two have kept each other at a mutual distance ever since. Her mother's death and her father's infidelity and remarriage have left deep scars on Asuka's psyche.

Until some point in 2015, Asuka lived in Germany[3], where she met Misato Katsuragi and Ryoji Kaji.

Arrival in Tokyo-3

Main articles: Episode 8, Episode 9

Asuka and Eva 02 are transported from Germany to Japan by the Pacific Fleet. Upon meeting (and attempting to impress) her former handler and the first children, she isn't impressed by Shinji (in fact, she seems very annoyed when Kaji praises Shinji's first battle in the lunchroom) but changes her mind when Kaji tells her he achieved 40% synchronization on his first battle. Right after that, Asuka feels the need to bring Shinji with her and show him the Eva-02 while talking about the Eva's capabilities. During this demonstration, they hear an explosion, and quickly get to the deck to see what was the cause, upon realizing that it's caused by an Angel she mutters to herself that it's her "chance" and drags Shinji along with her to sortie on Eva-02, forcing him to wear one of her plugsuits, as the two manage to eventually defeat the angel.

After failing to defeat Israfel the first time, on a suggestion of Kaji's, Asuka moves in with Misato and Shinji in Misato's Apartment to properly train for a coordinated double attack on the angel. After initial difficulties coming to a proper unison with Shinji, Asuka is "persuaded" to improve when faced with the prospect of Rei taking her place. After rigorous practice, Asuka and Shinji manage to defeat the Angel. At the end of the battle, Asuka and Shinji start arguing, and Shinji unwittingly ends up confessing he tried to kiss her while she was asleep.

Ace pilot and schoolgirl

Main articles Episode 10, Episode 11, Episode 12, Episode 13, Episode 14

Asuka participates in Nerv's attempt to capture Sandalphon, descending in a magma filled crevice in Eva-02 using D-Type Equipment. The operation is aborted when the Angel awakens, and with some quick thinking, Asuka is able to defeat it by subjecting it to thermal shock using her equipment's cooling fluid. Asuka narrowly escapes falling into the abyss when Eva-02's cables fray, but she's caught in time by Shinji in Eva-01. Asuka will later recall this rescue during Arael's mind probe.

During the blackout, Shinji, Asuka, and Rei have to manually infiltrate Nerv HQ, with Asuka assuming the self-appointed leadership of their party. Asuka tries to tease Rei for being the commander's favorite, but is angered when Rei does not respond. Along the way, the trio discovers that the ninth angel Matarael is attacking the base. When Shinji asks what the Angel's are and why they are attacking, Asuka remarks that they have to fight back at the strange beings attacking them. Eventually reaching the Eva Cages, All three Evangelions sortie under emergency power. Upon encountering the Angel's acid attack, and with their power supplies running low Asuka devises a plan to defeat it, placing herself in the most dangerous "offense" position during this. The plan works and Matarael is defeated, with Asuka regarding her debt to Shinji's earlier rescue repaid.

Asuka is irritated by Shinji's improving synchronization scores, though they remain behind her own. When Tokyo-3 is attacked from orbit by the 10th angel Sahaquiel, Misato orders all three Evangelions sortie in order to catch the Angel as it falls; Asuka openly disapproves of the reckless nature of the operation -- though puts on a show with Shinji afters Misato promises them a steak dinner. Before the operation begins, in response to his question, Asuka tells Shinji that she pilots her Evangelion to display her talents to the world. During Sahaquiel's attack, after Eva-01 catches the angel first, Eva-00 and Eva-02 arrive to dispatch it, with Asuka delivering the killing blow with her Prog knife. After the battle, when Shinji tells Misato that he pilots the Eva for his father's praise, Asuka regards this as a silly reason for piloting.

Asuka takes part in the tests with the simulation bodies in the Pribnow Box along with Shinji and Rei. During the tests, the 11th angel Ireul infiltrates the Pribnow Box and attacks, and Asuka and the other pilots are ejected. Nerv deals with the angel without using the Evangelions, while the pilots are left alone in their plugs for the duration, much to Asuka's irritation.

Asuka does not take part in the Eva cross-synch tests in Episode 14. When she asks why, Misato convinces her that she wouldn't want to pilot any other Eva but Eva-02 anyway -- though Misato does not tell her Eva-02 is not, in fact, interchangeable at all. After Eva-00's accident during the tests, Asuka wonders what kind of girl Rei really is.

Descent and Arael's mind invasion

Main articles: Episode 15, Episode 18, Episode 19, Episode 22, Episode 23, Episode 24

See also: Theory and Analysis:Film Montage Theory in Evangelion

While Misato and Kaji are out at a wedding, Asuka asks Shinji if he wants to kiss, claiming she is bored. Due to Asuka and Shinji's respective interpersonal difficulties, the kiss does not go well, and despite her overt reaction, Asuka is secretly deeply disappointed by Shinji's awkward reaction. This disappointment is compounded when Asuka smells Misato's lavender perfume on Kaji after he brings her home. It is very possible that the failure of the kiss and the feeling of "losing" Kaji are among the primary factors that lead to her sync ratio and capacity as a pilot gradually decay, further increasing her anguish and making her issues more apparent.

Shortly before the attack of Leliel, Shinji surpasses Asuka in sync ratio, an event which leaves Asuka stewing in barely restrained anger. The battles of Bardiel and Zeruel both end for Asuka in her being defeated while being outshined by Unit 01, something which further erodes her confidence and sanity. Asuka also becomes increasingly aware and ultimately jealous of Shinji and Rei's close relationship, eventually expressing a perceived defeat to Rei when she spots her and Shinji having a casual conversation. Asuka also starts having increasingly frequent anger breakdowns, something which does not go unnoticed by Misato, who admits to Ritsuko that she considers placing Shinji and Asuka in separating housing.

When Arael attacks, Asuka and Eva-02 are trapped by a beam of light from the Angel which proceeds to invade Asuka's mind. Asuka is forced to confront her relationships with Kaji, Shinji, and with herself with devastating consequences.[4] When Rei defeats the Angel with the Lance of Longinus, Asuka is recovered, Shinji tries hesitantly to comfort Asuka, but she is furious by having been saved by Rei, which is yet another perceived humiliation for her. In the aftermath of Arael's attack, Asuka avoids returning to the Katsuragi household for extended periods of time, instead staying at Hikari's house, where she does nothing but play video games all day.

The lingering effects of Arael psychic attack finally become apparent during the attack of Armisael. Asuka's sync ration by this point is so low that she is sent out as backup for Rei, though only with the hope that Eva-02 might be able to act as a decoy. Asuka, however, is by this point so deeply depressed that she is unable to make the Eva move even in the slightest, necessitating her immediate retrieval from the field.

Later, Shinji informs Asuka about Kaji's death, which seems to be what finally pushes her over the edge and makes her run away from home (similar to Shinji in Episode 4) only to be found naked and malnourished in an abandoned apartment by Nerv agents, seven days later.

For her own safety, Asuka is interned in the Geofront's hospital, and placed under an artificial coma in Room 303.

The End of Evangelion

Shinji, in a stage of deep sorrow and depression over Kaworu's death at his hands, visits the sedated Asuka in the Geofront hospital, being too afraid to turn to Misato or Rei. He attempts desperately, but fruitlessly, to wake Asuka, and in his attempt, he ends up ripping her shirt open and expose her breasts. He then goes on to masturbate to the sight.

When the JSSDF attack NERV, Misato realizes that Asuka will be a high-priority target for the invaders and has her placed inside Eva-02 on the bottom of the Geofront lake to keep her out of their reach. No longer sedated, Asuka eventually returns to consciousness and is surprised to find herself inside the Eva. Just then the JSSDF, having located the Eva, attempts an attack with depth charges, the explosions from which sends Asuka into a panic. Asuka starts repeatedly declaring that she refuses to die, and as she does so, she hears Kyoko's voice inside the Eva, telling her not to give up, and realizes that her mother was inside the Evangelion all along and makes contact with her soul. A reinvigorated Asuka proceeds to reactivate the Eva, and rises from the lake engaging the JSSDF force in battle and later defeat all of the Mass Production Evangelions single-handedly. However, Eva-02 is eventually defeated when its power runs out and it is impaled through the left eye by a replica of the Lance of Longinus. The horde of Mass Production Evas, able to reactivate themselves with their S2 engines proceeds to brutally rip Eva-02 apart, with Asuka feeling all the pain. The Mass Production Evas eventually pauses their attack and takes to the skies, leaving a decrepit and mostly broken Eva-02 behind. Despite the pain and the state of Eva-02, Asuka manages through pure persistence and rage to force the Eva into berserk mode, as she determinedly reaches for the Mass Production Eva in the sky, swearing repeatedly she will kill them all. But in response, the Mass Production Evas each throw their replica spear into Eva 02, killing Asuka inside.

During Third Impact, Asuka features heavily in Shinji's experiences in Complementation.

See also: Theory and Analysis:Final Scene in End of Evangelion

After Third Impact, during One More Final, Asuka ends up alongside Shinji on a beach, seemingly unconscious and with a bandaged right arm and left eye. Shinji starts to strangle her. However, Asuka stops him with a gentle caress of her hand across Shinji's cheek. Shinji begins to sob into her chest and after a few seconds, she looks directly at him. She breaks the silence by simply saying "Kimochi warui." meaning "How disgusting." and the movie ends.[5][6]

Profile

Education

Asuka graduated college despite being a minor[7], although what degree she received is not stated. She is attending school with the rest of the children in order to learn kanji.[8]

Personality

The series' creators have described Asuka as a girl "who seeks to put herself above all others"[9]: in the very first scene Asuka appears in, she is standing on the control tower of the aircraft carrier, physically standing high above the landing pad where Shinji, Misato & Co. exit their helicopter transport. This also occurs later in this same episode, when Asuka feels driven to show off Eva 02 to Shinji, and is compelled to stand on top of Eva-02 to look down on Shinji far below. Also, when Asuka initially finds Shinji and orders him to come see Eva-02 with her, she is standing at the top of an escalator he is riding.

As an Eva pilot

As a consequence of these needs, Asuka loves to pilot an Evangelion for the positive attention she receives, but beyond that, Asuka seems to have a genuine zest for piloting, because it makes her feel powerful. Asuka is so proud of being a pilot that she constantly wears her Interface Headset, even when in a swimming pool or at a hot springs bath. However, because Asuka does not pilot out of a pure warrior’s spirit, she is trapped in the same bind that Shinji Ikari is, of being unable to have an identity separate from an Evangelion.

Asuka is the character with the most consistent "color scheme" in the series. Her Plug suit, Interface Headset, Evangelion, and hair are all red. This might be meant to symbolize her temperamental, passionate personality or to solidify the sense of identity she needs from her Eva. This can be further supported by the fact that she is also the only Children whose number designation matches with her Evangelion's.

Asuka is so identified with piloting that the loss to Zeruel in Episode 19 devastates her. This, followed by a mind-rape from Arael that forced Asuka to relive childhood trauma, and then being rescued by Rei Ayanami, whom she despised, started a breakdown that lead to a nearly comatose state in which she cared about nothing.

Relationships with Other Characters

With her mother

After her contact experiment with Evangelion Unit-02, Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu went insane and eventually committed suicide. Before Kyoko killed herself, she would talk to a doll that she thought was Asuka and ask her daughter to die with her, as Asuka's father wanted neither of them. On the day she was chosen to be an Eva pilot, the young Asuka opened the door to see that Kyoko had hanged herself along with the doll. When her mother told Asuka that she was not wanted, and so should die with her, it might have been the impetus for Asuka’s entire teenage personality, as she certainly tries to make people "notice" her, and also to assert her independence and adulthood.

Much of Asuka's obsession with being seen as an adult and fear and hatred of dolls, also stems from her experiences with her mother. When Kyoko asked Asuka to die with her, Asuka, at the time, being both too young to fully understand what was asked of her and desperate for Kyoko to acknowledge her as her daughter, agreed to the request, begging Kyoko to be her mother again while doing so. It is obvious that Asuka has later come to realize the implications of Kyoko's request, and felt deeply disturbed and powerless about how easily and readily she agreed to it; how she at that very moment was her "mommy's doll", so obedient to and depended on another person that she was willing to give up her life without a second thought. As a result, Asuka has come to resent the idea of being so beholden to anyone again and has become obsessed with being an independent adult who thinks only for herself in order to shield herself from ever ending up in a similar situation again.

With Shinji

Asuka, upset that Shinji didn't hold her as they kissed.

Main article: Theory and Analysis:Shinji and Asuka's Relationship

Asuka is attracted to Shinji Ikari, which appears to cause conflict in her. Their relationship takes up a large portion of the show and is very important to its themes. Initially Asuka seemed to view Shinji as competition in Episode 08 because of all the praise he was getting, and she tried hard to show off to him[10], even though Shinji didn’t act like competition. Following this, Asuka showed frustration with Shinji’s accepting nature and reflexive apologies, often arguing with him[11], but Asuka also flirted with Shinji and seemed disappointed when he didn’t respond.[12][13]

Episode 22 shows Asuka internally complaining of this. "You won't do anything!" (After the "Wall of Jericho" sequence from Episode 09, in which Shinji didn’t take to her reverse psychology), "You won’t help me! (Shinji had actually saved Asuka from the volcano in Episode 10) "You won’t even hold me!", (upset that Shinji didn't hold her while they kissed in Episode 15), demonstrating the true nature of her feelings towards him.[14] She is also the first person to return from Instrumentality after him, and her caress stops him from choking her.[15][16]

The state of their relationship is left open from there. As an interesting aside, Sadamoto also suggested during conceptualization of Eva that the relationship between Asuka and Shinji would be similar to the relationship between Jean, Nadia's love interest and eventual husband in the earlier Nadia.[17] In contrast to the simple "favourable feelings" Shinji has with most other characters, Evangelion Chronicle describes their relationship as "complex feelings" and "love and hate."[18] [19]

With Rei

Asuka’s relationship with Rei Ayanami is also strained. Though it starts with Asuka often mocking Rei, later in the series Asuka acts blatantly hostile towards her, likely reflecting Asuka’s own deteriorating level of control. But the motivation is the same in either case: Asuka hates Rei because she’s the opposite of everything Asuka has tried to be. This antithesis is also spelled out thematically though re-occurring motifs. When Asuka makes her first appearance, she is standing facing the "camera" silhouetted against the Sun behind her, just as Rei is often seen against the moon. In addition, Asuka’s blue eyes and red hair are the inverse of Rei Ayanami’s blue hair and red eyes. [20]

Asuka also sees Rei as mechanical and doll-like because of her tendency to do anything she is ordered to. When confronted in episode 22, Rei admits that, if ordered, she would kill herself, which sends Asuka into a frenzy because of her traumatic childhood experience with dolls.

With Misato

It is made clear that Asuka views Misato as more a barricade stopping her from becoming an adult. She is constantly seen berating Misato for various things, ranging from her preferring Shinji to her messy apartment.

Asuka also shows jealousy for Misato's awkward relationship with Kaji. She expresses this to him before arriving in Tokyo-3 by dismissing her as boring.

With Others

Asuka tends to push people away, acting abrasive towards others if not snubbing them completely. She also tends to avoid relationships with boys of her own age (despite her popularity with them)[21], possibly to enhance her own image of "maturity". For this same reason, Asuka prefers to chase after the adult Ryoji Kaji though he ignores her advances.

Episode 22 demonstrates that Asuka also tries to appear totally independent in order to distance herself from the sadness caused by her mother’s death, swearing that she would never cry again. Episode 25, however, reveals that Asuka really doesn’t want to be alone, that retreating from others didn’t cure her pain. Despite her outer strength, Asuka does not have inner happiness.

End of Evangelion

In Episode 25', Asuka appeared to have regained her power through contact with her mother’s soul, however, the extent of Asuka's control over Unit-02's actions is a matter of debate.

During pre-Third Impact Instrumentality, Asuka told Shinji that she knows how he masturbated by her bedside at the start of Episode 25', and told him to "Do it again like usual... I'll even stand here and watch." But she also said that if she couldn’t have Shinji all to herself, she didn’t want anything from him, indicating that she wanted to possess him utterly. In Pre-Instrumentality, Asuka also told Shinji to stay away--for all he ever did was hurt her--and accused him of only going to her for help because she was the person who would hurt him the least.

Although Asuka was the first person to return to human form after Shinji rejected Instrumentality, it was unclear why she did this. She may have been motivated by a strong will to live, or merely a desire not to be so close to others’ souls, as one of her lines towards Shinji in Pre-Instrumentality was, "But, if I have to be with you, I'd rather die!"

Despite wearing bandages that coincide with her final battle injuries in the final scene of The End of Evangelion, the fact Asuka was able to move her right arm and caress Shinji's cheek suggests she imagined herself in her own heart as healed. Asuka caressing Shinji's cheek is a noted as a sign that she may have changed for the better.

In Other Media

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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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Manga Adaptation

Apart from having a different shade of hair color (more of a strawberry blonde), Asuka's personality and origins are vastly different from those seen in the anime. In the manga she is a test-tube baby, proud of being "The product of an elite sperm and an elite egg". She is also trained in the martial arts, and single-handedly beats up a group of thugs who threaten her and Shinji. Her family situation is also different- the issue of her father, Langley, is never brought up, but as in the anime, she does want her mother's attention and love. She was actually throttled by her dysfunctional mother, and later "reenacts" this with Shinji when hospitalized.

Unlike the anime, where Shinji develops romantic feelings for her very quickly, Sadamoto's Shinji thinks of Asuka as "a real bitch", and his relationship with her is one of with a disagreeable coworker but gradually evolves into something of a friend, with romantic feelings hinted toward the end. Sadamoto conceived their dance training as akin to a "kiss", underlining their psychological connection, in place of the kiss scene in Episode 15. Similar to the anime, when they first meet in the manga, Shinji calls her "Soryu", and later "Asuka", her first name implying a greater degree of intimacy. However, after Kaworu's death, Shinji comes to visit Asuka in the hospital, similar to The End of Evangelion. He confesses his need for Asuka, saying, "The Asuka I want to protect isn't this empty shell!" She wakes up from her sedated state after this, and begins to choke Shinji, screaming about how she "hates everyone." Sadamoto claimed Asuka would be Shinji's symbol for his longing for the opposite sex, differently from Rei's "motherly" existence.[22]

In Rebuild of Evangelion

Asuka's counterpart in Rebuild of Evangelion is Asuka Shikinami Langley, whose character develops in a markedly different manner from the original Asuka, aside from the change in name.

Shinji Ikari Raising Project

Main article: Shinji Ikari Raising Project

In this manga version, Asuka is a childhood friend of Shinji's. Although she still makes fun of him, she's also shown to have romantic feelings for him. As such, she was jealous when Rei joined them in school. The two of them dispute his attention for the remainder of the manga.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Angelic Days

Main article: Angelic Days

Similarly to SIRP, Asuka is Shinji's childhood friend and has strong feelings for him. They constantly get into fights and Asuka is shown to be jealous of Rei and particularly Kaworu. At one point, Shinji is invited to play a concerto with Kaworu but he decides to take care of a sick Asuka instead. Her feelings of inferiority are preserved, and she tries to overcompensate, as she is especially violent in the earlier chapters of the series, but mellows out eventually. She and Shinji eventually realize their feelings and declare their feelings for one another, and by the ending are adjusting to being a couple.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Gakuen Datenroku

Main article: Neon Genesis Evangelion Academy: Record of Heaven's Descent

Asuka is generally the same as she is depicted in the original manga and routinely teases Shinji. She is an artificially created child, like Rei and Kaworu. She is the only one of the three to have had parents or go to school prior to her current one. It is later revealed that on one of her first assignments, Asuka was forced to kill her mother after Angels took possession of her body. Despite her hatred of Angels, she still befriends Kaworu after he reveals his true heritage to her. Unlike other versions, she also seems to get along well with Rei, and is visibly upset when Rei is shot by Gendo. At the end of the series, she is shown attending school alongside Shinji and Rei, starting up a normal life after Gendo's death and the defeat of the Angels.

Petit Eva: Evangelion@School

Main article: Petit Eva: Evangelion@School'

In Petit Eva, Asuka is also shown to be Shinji's childhood friend, constantly getting into fights. She is very energetic. In the Nintendo DS videogame adaptation, she also shows romantic interest in him and almost kisses him before being interrupted by Kensuke filming them and the rest of the cast watching them.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

In the 2007 anime Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann, Asuka, alongside Rei, as well other female characters from other Gainax works, appear in episode 6, dressed in bunny outfits working in a bathhouse. However, it is revealed by the end of the episode that those girls were instead beastmen in disguise.

Other characters include Mahoro from Mahoromatic, Nono, and Lal'c from Diebuster.

Edge Of Spider-Verse

Asuka makes a cameo appearance alongside Kaworu, Rei and Shinji in the fifth chapter of Marvel's Edge of Spider-Verse storyline, as classmates of Peni Parker.

Non-Franchise Video Games

Asuka appears in the Super Robot Wars game series, where she often butts heads with equally hot-headed and intelligent Kouji Kabuto, the pilot of Mazinger Z and Mazinkaiser. She is also implied to have developed crushes on famous heroes, such as Char Aznable (in the guise of Quattro Bageena) and Amuro Ray. However, the writers of the Super Robot Wars are evidently believers in Asuka and Shinji's suppressed feelings for each other. For example, in Super Robot Wars Alpha, Asuka jealously seizes a bouquet of roses Shinji meant for Lynn Minmei. In Super Robot Wars Alpha 3, she snaps Shinji out of his depressed state during the battle with the mass-produced Evas by declaring that she could not be with someone who'd simply lie down and die.

In KOF: Maximum Impact 2 the character Leona Heidern has an alternate costume that resembles Asuka's plug suit. She also has a costume that resembles Rei.

Notes

See also: Character Name Origins

Asuka's Japanese surname comes from the Japanese WWII aircraft carrier Soryu. Her German surname comes from the American aircraft carrier Langley, also from WWII, while her mother's name refers to the nearly completed Nazi German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin.

Her first name comes from Saki Asuka, who is the main character of a Japanese manga "SuperGirl Asuka", 超少女明日香, Cho-Shojo Asuka, written by Shinji Wada. Her mother's first name, "Kyoko", also comes from that manga's character Kyoko Aoi.

Depending on the Kanji used, "Asu" could mean "tomorrow" and "Kyo", "today" in Japanese.[23][24] For the German terms used in the scenes with Asuka, Anno asked for help from an American employee of Gainax, Michael House, who exploited his basic knowledge of the language, acquired in high school, and a Japanese-German dictionary from a local library.[25] Gainax did not pay attention to the dialogues' German grammar, believing the series would never be successful enough to be distributed to native German speakers.[26] Anno originally placed Asuka with a clear-cut personality, but the character rapidly gained his affection and he spontaneously started to develop her further. He says the character was truly born when he created the "Are you stupid?" line[27] Asuka eventually became his favorite character.[28] Miyamura had originally auditioned for the role of Rei.[29]

Asuka's story reflected the changes in the latter half of the series: although she had been introduced in an essentially positive role, her character became increasingly dramatic and introverted, going against the expectations and the pleasure principle of anime fans. In the twenty-second episode, Anno focused on the girl's disastrous emotional situation, harassed by her first menstrual cycle, but not considering herself capable of exploring such a delicate and feminine theme, he condensed everything into a single scene. The author's original intent was a long live action segment for the film, with different content than the final version. The original segment focused on Asuka. In the alternate universe, Shinji would never have existed; walking the streets of Tokyo-2, however, Asuka would hear his voice calling her. Ogata actually choking Miyamura for the EoE scenes was clearly consensual, despite rumours to the contrary.[30]

References

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"You mean you couldn't read the questions in Japanese?" "Right, I haven't learned all the Chinese characters yet. We didn't study it in college over there."
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"No, this is... Lilith!? I see. I understand the Lilin now."
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  1. Going by Asuka's birthday, she is actually 13 for the majority of the series, as opposed to 14 (the "official age" for Eva pilots). Curiously enough, her age is provided as 14 in official materials, even, in some instances, right in juxtaposition with her birthday (e.g., Evangelion Chronicle)!
  2. Asuka is named after two warships, one Japanese, the Aircraft Carrier Soryu, the other U.S., the USS Langley. For more information on how Asuka and the other characters were named, see Character Name Origins. Asuka's surname is spelled differently from the name of the warship Soryu(蒼龍). The warship's name literally means "Green Dragon", but Asuka's name contains characters for "All" and "flow/flux/current/stream". No explanation has been given for the difference in name. Although the change could have been because "Green Dragon" would be a rather fantastical surname, Japanese surnames with the character for "dragon" in them exist. Adding to the mystery, aside from Ritsuko Akagi all the other characters share the same Kanji in their surnames as the warships they were named after, making their names at least as improbable.
  3. In Episode 08, Asuka's voice actress, Yuko Miyamura, noticeably struggles to pronounce Asuka's extended piece of German dialogue as she is starting up Eva-02. The English voice actress for Asuka, Tiffany Grant, quickly recites the German startup list much more fluidly. Aside from the fact that Tiffany Grant speaks German in real life, English and German are fairly closely related languages, while German is entirely alien to a speaker of Japanese. In the original Japanese track, Asuka actually speaks German only at two distinct points in the entire series: in Episode 08 when Asuka recites Eva 02's startup checklist, and later in Episode 22 when she has a phone conversation in German with her stepmother. For the English dub, Tiffany Grant (aided by her ability to speak German in real life) inserted many German words and phrases into Asuka's dialogue throughout the series.
  4. In the expanded Director's Cut version of Episode 22, Anno also took inspiration from a 1996 doujin by author Nobi Nobita called Bridal Veil, which depicted an expanded mindrape scene itself. Curiously, while making his own scene, Anno made it clear that Asuka's feelings were directed at Shinji, having supplanted her crush for Kaji. It also adds more lines for Asuka bemoaning Shinji and makes this context even clearer by adding additional past scenes with Asuka and Shinji, like him rescuing her in Episode 10. This isn't made clear in the doujin, wherein it seems ambiguous if she's talking about Shinji or Kaji. This doujin has been translated on Evageeks and a full scanlation is also available on its thread.
  5. "Kimochi warui" literally means "sick feeling", and depending upon the context, could be translated any number of ways, such as "I feel sick", "how disgusting", "I have a sick feeling", "this makes me sick", "you make me sick", ect. The difficulty in translating it into English is determining the context. Thus various translations have have gone with different interpretations. It is an expression used many times before to express shock, discomfort or disapproval - for instance, when Shinji is first immersed in LCL in Episode 1 and in a sense embraced by Yui, and when Asuka complains about sharing a bathtub, and a house with Misato and Shinji in Episode 22, as she is unwilling to belong. Because of its unclear meaning, it is hard to say whether she's referring to Shinji, herself, or soothing else. Asuka might be expressing disapproval at the situation they are in and Shinji acting meekly again. It might also be interpreted as how strange it feels for her to finally accept another person, something which so far has terrified her.
  6. It's still a long way off, but what will the end be like? Will it be about the connection between Shinji and Asuka like the anime?
    That's the hard part. I don't know how it will turn out yet. I want to make a happy ending, but it's difficult to say what is happy. The movie version is happy in its own way. Humans are nothing when they are born and at the moment of death, so if the process of living is not enjoyable, they cannot live. Shinji had a hard time, but he wanted to live. That's why he's happy. - Sadamoto, Sadamoto, The Other Side of the Story, Newtype December 1997
  7. She tells Shinji of this in Episode 10.
  8. Characters in the Japanese writing system that are borrowed from Chinese and represent words, as opposed to hiragana and katakana, which represent syllables.
  9. Platinum Vol 2 Episode Commentary. Retrieved 2011/03/03.
  10. When Asuka first meets Shinji she dismisses him as "boring", but when she hears from Kaji about his surprisingly high sync rate, she feels compelled to show off Eva-02 and its production model features, and then to demonstrate her prowess first hand by dragging Shinji into battle with her.
  11. "Anta baka?" becomes a trademark line delivered by Asuka frequently, usually directed at Shinji. The best translation is "Are you stupid?".
  12. In the "Wall of Jerico" scene in Episode 09 or the "Kiss" scene in Episode 15 for instance. See Theory and Analysis:Shinji and Asuka's Relationship for more details.
  13. "Why does Asuka want to kiss Shinji? Even assuming she was spiteful of Kaji, one doesn't understand the real underlying motive. After the kiss, Asuka states: "I did it just to kill time." She yells, as if to make Shinji perceive it and to confirm it to herself, as if she wants to hide some embarrassment" Neon Genesis Evangelion Film Book vol 5, pp. 44–45.
  14. "And likewise, after the kiss scene from Episode Fifteen, "Lies and Silence," there is a new scene showing her looking frustrated after rinsing her mouth. And from Asuka's dialogue that overlaps these scenes, it becomes clear that she has been looking for help and love from Shinji." Episode 22 Platinum Commentaries
  15. Evangelion Cardass Masters "Shinji renounced the world where all hearts had melted into one and accepted each other unconditionally. His desire... to live with 'others' -- other hearts that would sometimes reject him, even deny him. That is why the first thing he did after coming to his senses was to place his hands around Asuka's neck. To feel the existence of an 'other'. To confirm (make sure of) rejection and denial."
    "In the sea of LCL, Shinji wished for a world with other people. He desired to meet them again, even if it meant he would be hurt and betrayed. And just as he had hoped/wanted, Asuka was present in the new world. Only Asuka was there beside him. The girl who he had hurt, and by whom he had been hurt. But even so, she was the one he had hoped/wished for...."
    "Neither Yui, Rei nor Misato could do as a woman for Shinji. Asuka alone was the only girl on equal footing with him. So, Shinji desired/sought after Asuka. "I'm afraid of Misato and Ayanami." However, Shinji's crude affection only hurt her. In the end, he used her as an object of lust/desire to soothe/ console himself..."
    - H-11
  16. According to Megumi Ogata, Shinji's voice actress, the scene itself was modeled on a experience of a female friend of Anno's. This friend got into an argument with her boyfriend, and at some point he choker her in rage. Instead of reacting violently, this friend felt no fear, hatred or even a need for survivl, but rather a desire to caress him tenderly. In response, her boyfriend lost her grip. However, Anno's friend instead grew cold, and muttered Asuka's line from the EoE draft almost verbatim. Ogata believes this scene was how Anno wanted to "convey different ways how to bring feelings of love to a conclusion that exist in reality. You are you, I am I". Naturally, this reflects on the films of individuality and the duality of reaching out to others present in Eva.
    Anno also guided Ogata to treat OMF partly as a separate story: "as something that just exists. As if everything that happened before in the movie is merely a dream that never happened. It is its own narrative unity, something that can fundamentally be taken away from its context in the movie and still be interpreted as a dramatic whole. It is and is not the final scene of EoE."
    Furthermore, Ogata asked Anno to help her understand what Anno wanted to convey through the scene and how Shinji is supposed to act. Hearing this, Anno first stands silent and confused for a moment. Then he firmly wraps his arms around himself and hugs himself. This is on the "purpose" of what he is trying to express. As for how Ogata should play Shinji Anno asks her to not play Shinji: " "For this scene alone, I want Ogata to take on and express my feelings rather than Shinji's" - 『井手功二のエヴァンゲリオンフォーエヴァー』(アミューズブックス)
  17. "An easily recognizable silhouette is also important, but I designed the characters so that their personalities could be more or less understood at a glance. For example, even the color and length of the hair expresses personality. I thought that Asuka would occupy the position of an "idol" in the Eva world, and that [Asuka and] Shinji should be just like the relationship between Nadia and Jean." -EVA If it weren't for Sadamoto – Redux Translation of interview with Yoshiyuki Sadamoto about designing the series.
  18. Shinji/Asuka: Colleague-Complicated Feelings;Colleague-Love/Hate
    Rei/Shinji: Colleague-Favorable;
    Kaworu/Shinji: Colleague-Favorable
    "Proud and assertive, Asuka possessed many strong qualities but lacked the ability to truly control her feelings. [...]It was only after Kaji's death and the Fifteenth Angel's psychological attack that Asuka came to realize Shinji and Kaji both occupied a similar place in her heart. This realization was quite shocking to Asuka, as she had thus far gone out of her way to dismiss and mock Shinji whenever possible.
    Asuka's default behaviour toward Shinji emphasized mockery and distaste, though she couldn't deny also feeling some semblance of romantic interest toward him. When their synchronicity levels "officially" indicated that Shinji was superior to Asuka in some way, she started suffering a kind of psychological instability and had a hard time dealing with the love/hate she felt for him"
    By chance, Asuka observed Rei and Shinji sharing a conversation. Asuka felt a very dark emotion welling up inside of her as she watched Shinji enjoying himself in Rei's company.
    During Instrumentality, Asuka encountered Shinji inside his inner world and told him she didn't need anything if she couldn't have all of him. Despite the significance of this statement, Shinji's response was vague at best and he only sought a place at her side because it was a "comfortable" place to be. Hurt by the notion that she was nothing more than an escape for Shinji, Asuka outright rejected him. As a result, the Human Instrumentality Project did not reach its intended result, and any changes to the relationship between Asuka and Shinji were left unclear.
    "Though Shinji and Asuka are both EVA pilots and living under the same roof、they are polar opposites. Despite their differences、Shinji did feel an attraction to Asuka at certain moments throughout their time together. When Shinji expressed his feelings to Asuka and sought her help during his instrumentality、she outright rejected him. Shinji and Asuka in the new world where the Human Instrumentality Project was not fulfilled Shinji had chosen a world where others existed、and for him Asuka became the first "Other".
    "Asuka Langley Soryu Piloting EVA-02 was Asuka's way of maintaining her self-respect, and it also served to deepen her confusing love/hate for Shinji. Her repeated failures in combat against the Angels during the war had forced Asuka to face her own weaknesses, and though she did make a comeback during SEELE's forced requisition of NERV headquarters, she fell in battle against the mass-production model EVA units. Immediately after Asuka's defeat, the Human Instrumentality Project was activated, Asuka was the first "other" to exist in the new world that was created when Shinji wished for a world where others existed, and she was found lying next to Shinji."

    - The Essential Evangelion Chronicle, Side B
  19. Yuko Miyamura describes Asuka in 2007 as "what we now call a tsundere. It's Shinji that she's interested in as a member of the opposite sex, but she cannot really show it - Miyamura 2007 interview, FLASH EX
  20. See Theory and Analysis:Rei and the Moon
  21. See the locker full of ignored love letters in Episode 09.
  22. Sadamoto interview, Newtype 1997
  23. https://jisho.org/word/%E6%98%8E%E6%97%A5
  24. https://jisho.org/search/%E4%BB%8A%E6%97%A5
  25. https://www.gwern.net/docs/eva/2011-house
  26. The Indestructible Studio Gainax, ANN
  27. "I want to be told, "What are you, stupid?" Miyamura and Anno interview, Animage July 1996.
  28. “Virtual Panel! Meet Hideaki Anno,” Animerica vol 4, no.9
  29. https://twitter.com/khara_inc/status/1312610900302413825
  30. MO: I'm delighted that you think I sounded natural as if I was doing ad-libs. I don't remember doing anything experimental. There was a time when I actually pushed Yuko Miyamura to the floor to strangle her during the last scene of the "Evangelion" movie in which Shinji strangles Asuka. I couldn't act very well in playing that scene. I was so agitated that I strangled her too hard, making it impossible for her to say her lines for a while. Of course, I apologized to her for doing that. I almost killed her. - Statements by Evangelion Staff - Megumi Ogata on fandom and choking Yuko Miyamura
    CF: Did Megumi Ogata (Shinji) really strangle you while recording the voices for the End Of Evangelion to get a realistic performance?
    YM: Yes, she did. I tried many times to make it sound like I was being strangled, but I couldn’t get it right. So, Megumi Ogata helped me make realistic sounds by actually strangling me. She’s nice isn’t she!? - Gold Coast Film Festival 2010



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