Shinji Ikari, the "3rd Child", is the main character of Neon Genesis Evangelion. He is also the designated pilot of Evangelion Unit 01 (Eva-01). His mother, Yui, died when he was only young and he has been living separately from his father, Gendou, until he was requested to become an EVA pilot. At first, he did not want such a responsibility but was forced to take on this responsibility when he saw Rei Ayanami and all her injuries. Later, he realised that the reason why he pilots his EVA was so that his father would praise him for his efforts. Personality-wise, Shinji is quiet and introverted. He feels insecure about himself and needs to reassure his confidence telling himself that he mustn't run away. Usually, when he is told to do something, he will just do it. That is how he gets through life, as Ristuko Akagi points out. She also states that he suffers from the condition known as The Hedgehog's Dilemma; where he is afraid of getting close to another human being because it may lead to heartache and pain. He constantly struggles to find a reason to live.
Designated pilot for EVA Unit 00 (Eva-00), Rei Ayanami is the "1st Child". She has suffered many injuries as a result of Unit 00 going berserk during the first activation test. She is also a quiet girl, but Shinji notices that she enjoys talking to Commander Ikari. There is much mystery surrounding Rei. Because Rei is quiet and solitary, she has not related to many of her classmates and does not have many friends. She lives alone in a dark and cold apartment which resembles the place she was "born" in. Rei does not value her life to a great degree and states that she pilot her EVA because she is "bonded" to it, like she is to all people.
Asuka pilots EVA Unit 02 (Eva-02), the production model. She is the "2nd Child" and is from Germany. Unlike Rei or Shinji, Asuka is "loud" and preoccupied with her own self-image. She hates losing anything and finds it difficult to co-operate with others unless she is in charge. Asuka prides herself in her abilities to pilot an EVA. Her reason for piloting was to show the world how great she was. However, after several failures in combat, Asuka's synchronisation ratio began to drop along with her self esteem and reason for living. She was eventually replaced by Kaoru Nagisa, the 5th Child. In the movie, Asuka returns as the pilot of EVA Unit 02 to defeat the UN Forces and the EVA Series.
Touji goes to the same school as Shinji, Asuka and Rei. He points out that only "weirdos" must be chosen to pilot EVAs. However, he himself becomes the "4th Child", designated pilot for Eva-03. Touji really cares for his sister who was injured during the battle against the 3rd Angel. When he found out that Shinji was the pilot, Touji took revenge on him by beating him up at school, something he deeply regreted later. He only accepted the position of EVA pilot so that NERV would transfer his sister to their private hospital.
Nagisa Kaoru was sent directly to NERV Headquarters, as a replacement for Asuka, after her breakdown, to pilot Eva-02. He was called the "5th Child". While he was piloting Eva-02 it produced the highest AT Field ever recorded. But due to his unusual synchronization data, he was found to be the "Seventeenth Angel", the last Angel. He had become Shinji's friend, unfortunately being an Angel, Shinji had to killed him too. Once he told Rei they were the same and Rei seemed to agree with him.
Ikari Gendou is the chief commander of NERV. A man respected more than liked, fear even by his own son. He has confidence in NERV's ability to defeat the Angels. He is also planning for "The Human Completion Project". Although he's Shinji's father, he treats Shinji as a reserved pilot only showing little patience to the boy's weaknesses, but treats Rei like if she were his own daughter. He once burnt his hands to save Rei's life on an Eva accident. He rarely express his emotions, he's weak in expressing himself.
Yui is Shinji's mother and Gendou's wife. She appears in the series in frequent flashbacks. She was a research student of Kouzou Fuyutski in the University of Tokyo. That was where she met Gendou. She was portrayed in the series as a loving mother and wife.
Fuyutzuki Kouzou is the assistant commander of NERV. Although he and Gendou has been friends since college, Kouzu is much older. He even refers to Gendou as Ikari instead of Commander Ikari. Gendou trust him enough to give him full charged of NERV when his absent. He used to be the professor of Ikari Yui, Shinji's mother. Shortly after the Second Impact, Fuyutsuki discovered the secret behind the Second Impact and joined Gehirn, which later became NERV. He knows more about Gendou's relationship to his son, that the same Shinji.
Katsuragi Misato is part of the First division of the Operation Section in the Department of Tactics and Operation of the NERV Headquarters. She is also the field commander in the operations against Angels, and the direct supervisor of Shinji, Rei and Asuka. Even though she's one of the highest ranking personnel in NERV, she lives a wild life. She volunteered to be Shinji's guardian when he first came to NERV. She lives with Shinji, Asuka and a penguin named Pen Pen. She is a beutiful, optimistic and cheerful woman. Shinji respects her a lot.
Kaji belongs to the Department of Special Inspection in NERV, and also the Department of the Interior of Japan, the Department of Inquiry. He came form Germany with Asuka and ADAM. He came to NERV to work for the Japanese goverment as a spy to investigate NERV. When he came to NERV, Misato and Ritsuko became competitors for him. He notices both of them are in love with him and uses this to get NERV secrets from both of them.
Akagi Ritsuko belongs to the First Technology Division in the Department of technology and Development of the Nerv Headquarters. She is responsible of the development of Evangelion. She's a beautiful scientist. She's an old school friend of Misato. Her mother was the computer scientist who invented MAGI(NERV's main computer), she decided to become a computer scientist to keep her family tradition.
Dr. Naoko Akagi is the mother of Ritsuko Akagi and was responsible for the creation of The MAGI; Casper, Melchior and Balthasar. These three super computers represented the three aspect of her personality; herself as a women, herself as a scientist and herself as a mother. She was in love with Gendou whilst she was working for him. The MAGI were completed by Ritsuko, who also shared a secret intimate relationship with Gendou.
Maya works as an operator in Eva fighting. She is also the assistant of Akagi Ritsuko
Hyuga is another of NERV three main operators. He is the assistant strategist for NERV, second to Misato. He has a certain crush on Misato which is not really explored in the series. But he staes that dying beside her wouldn't be so bad. With the help of Kaji, Misato and Hyuga discover secrets about NERV and the Evangelions. Hyuga hangs around Maya and Aoba in the front terminals of the Geofront and likes reading comics in his spare time.
Often seen with Maya and Hyuga, Aoba is the operator of the Central Military Operation Room at NERV headquarters. Aoba is fond of guitars and even brings them to work. Whenever there is free time, Aoba will practice is chords on his imaginary guitar. He is a Lieutenant but does not talk that much during the series. He shows his loyalty to NERV when he remains at his post even after being ordered to evacuate during a battle with an Angel.
Hikari is the class rep. She is hard-working and always makes sure everyone is doing the right thing in class. She is close friends with Asuka when she arrived from NERV Germany. Later in the series, Hikari develops a crush on Touji. Although, she hides it from him. Hikari is seen as responsible since she is the class rep. She also has two sisters which she prepares lunches for and even offers to make Touji's lunch. Sometimes she can be quite aggressive when she is angry but is quiet and meek in front of Touji. She reveals to Asuka that she loves his compassionate side.
Kensuke is another of Shinji's classmates. He tags along with Touji. Kensuke is a real military fanatic and carries his video camera around where ever he goes. On one occasion, he and Touji left the evacuation centre because he really wanted to watch the battle against the 4th Angel, which almost resulted in their deaths. He really wanted to become an EVA pilot and even begged Misato if she would chose him to be the pilot of Eva-03.
Pen Pen is Misato's house pet. He is a new breed of penguins resulting from an experiment. When they were going to get rid of him, Misato took him into her home as a pet. Living with Misato, Pen Pen has learnt to drink beer as well as cooking. He lives in her refrigerator and provides a lot of comic relief during the series. Later in the series when Tokyo-3 is under a lot of danger, Misato sends Pen Pen to live with Hikari where it is much safer for him.
The chairman of the Committee of Human Instrumentality Project, also the director of SEELE. He gave instructions of direct occupation of the secret agency NERV, so as to start complementation with EVA-01.