Misato Katsuragi

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Misato Katsuragi
Neon Genesis Evangelion character
Misato Katsuragi.jpg
Misato Katsuragi by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
First appearance Neon Genesis Evangelion anime episode 1
Created by Hideaki Anno (series creator)
Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (character designer)
Voiced by Japanese
Kotono Mitsuishi
English
Allison Keith
Profile
Relatives Pen Pen (pet)
Shinji Ikari (ward)
and Asuka Langley Soryu (ward)

Misato Katsuragi (葛城 ミサト Katsuragi Misato?) is a fictional character from the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise created by Hideaki Anno. She is the operations director at Nerv, initially with the rank of captain; she is later promoted to major. In Rebuild of Evangelion Misato's rank is lieutenant colonel. Her duties at Nerv include acting as a field commander for the Eva pilots, issuing orders and relaying battle strategies as well as processing input from Ritsuko Akagi and the technicians monitoring the Evas. She also handles many bureaucratic aspects of Nerv's operations.

At the beginning of the series, Misato first brings Shinji Ikari to Nerv and is able to convince him to pilot the Eva Unit 01. She then chooses to have Shinji move in with her rather than live alone, and later takes in Asuka Langley Soryu. As the series progresses, through her former lover Ryoji Kaji she learns the truth behind the Human Instrumentality Project and the depths of deception that Nerv and Seele have gone to keep the Project secret, even from her.

Conception[edit]

Yoshiyuki Sadamoto found Misato's design the most difficult - conceiving her as an older "girl next door" who was also in the military. He wished to have Misato be a fashionable character, changing her clothes constantly, but found that his own lack of fashion sense made him unable to show this. Furthermore, he envisaged Misato as a "loser girl" who would be promiscuous and not take things seriously.[1] Director Hideaki Anno described Misato as "...a woman, twenty-nine, who lives life so lightly as to barely allow the possibility of human touch. She protects herself by keeping relationships on the surface, and by running away."[2] He has also described her as an adult Tsukino Usagi, with whom she shares a voice actress as well as hair design.[3] The disparity between her professionalism on the job and her slovenliness at home, as well as her issues in her relationships with her father and Kaji and the ambiguous nature of her relationship with Shinji, ties into her psychological issues (Incidentally, foregoing her psychological issues happen to resemble Shinji's psychological issues, so the two gradually begin to retain sympathy for each other as the story develops in spite of their clumsy relationship). While grateful to her father for saving her life, she also admits to hating him, as he devoted his life to his work and neglected her and her mother. Her reason for joining Nerv (and later, her drive to fight the Angels) is related to her issues with her father. Kaji implies in one discussion that Misato suffers from nightmares about her past, as he describes her as "sleeping uncomfortably." Also, Misato admits "seeking her father in Kaji's embrace."[4]

Like many characters in Evangelion, Misato was named for a ship: the Katsuragi, an Unryū class WWII Japanese aircraft carrier. Her given name is from a heroine in Minako Narita's manga Aitsu.[5]

Misato drives a bright blue Renault Alpine A310. She is a devotee of this particular marque of car, as on her bedroom wall she has a poster of an earlier Alpine A110 shot from the back during a race. She also carries an Heckler & Koch USP as a sidearm. It is only seen a few times throughout the series, but she is revealed to be a crack shot with it.

Appearances[edit]

Neon Genesis Evangelion[edit]

At the beginning of the anime Misato is the Captain (一尉 Ichi'i?) of Nerv's Tactical Operations Department. Under her command most of the important decisions in the battles between the Evas against the angels are made, and she takes complete responsibility of the possible outcomes. She also assumes Shinji Ikari's guardianship at the time when he arrives in Tokyo-3, and later Asuka's. Her personality is seen to be quite loose and sloppy, but as a professional she proves to have a great leadership character and tenacity. Her loyalty to Nerv seems to be unbreakable, although apart from the main target of destroying the angels, many of Nerv's real intentions are unknown to her. After the success of the "Operation Yashima", a highly expensive military operation panned by her that consisted of using the energy system of all Japan to destroy the fifth angel, Ramiel, she was promoted to Major (三佐 Sansa?).

Misato shares a special friendship with Ritsuko Akagi, and was Ryoji Kaji's girlfriend at the time when the three of them were college students. In a flashback,[6] a 14-year-old accompanies her father, Dr. Katsuragi (the leader of the Katsuragi Expedition) to Antarctica. She was seriously injured as the Second Impact was beginning, but her father placed her in a protective capsule (resembling an Entry Plug) just before he is killed.[7] The capsule saved her life, but her injuries left a large scar on her chest.[8] In another flashback, Misato is aboard the ship which brought Kozo Fuyutsuki and Gendo Ikari to the ruins of Antarctica two years after Second Impact.[9] After seeing her in her room, Fuyutsuki was told that she had not spoken since the incident.[9] Her mutism went away when she began to attend college, and she became more social and talkative, so much so that Ritsuko, while reminiscing about her friendship with Misato and Kaji, says in college Misato was making up for lost time.[9] Misato's job(s) before being employed at Nerv are not specified, but in the manga, her last job involved genetic experimentation on animals, as Pen Pen was a result of one such experiment. She chose to keep Pen Pen as a pet rather than let him be euthanized, and converted a refrigerator into a heated sleeping area for him. Her relationship with Kaji appears to be rather complicated, involving feelings of love, lust, jealousy, and an association of him to her father, apart from a bizarre love triangle that includes Ritsuko. In the developing of the story Misato discovers that Kaji, besides of working for Nerv, secretly he is also working for the Intelligence Department of Japan. Misato threatens to kill him if he does not desist from his sabotage plans. However, thanks to him she begins to realize what Nerv and Seele's secret plans are, most remarkably the Human Instrumentality Project.

The End of Evangelion[edit]

In The End of Evangelion, Misato saves Shinji's life by killing three JSSDF soldiers. She drags him into her car and rushes Shinji towards the door of Unit 01's launch bay. However, Misato is mortally wounded in the process. She persuades Shinji to pilot Unit 01 one more time before giving an adult kiss. Shortly before dying, Misato wonders if Kaji believes she has done the right thing. Her body is destroyed by JSSDF demolition teams. Just moments before the explosion, an image of Rei is shown above her body.[10]

Rebuild of Evangelion[edit]

Misato Katsuragi in Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo

Misato returns as a central character in Rebuild of Evangelion. Her first appearance in this continuity is in Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, where she appears to be almost identical to her anime counterpart apart from some minor differences, such as her hair being a darker shade of purple. In Rebuild, Misato appears to be more involved in what is going on at Nerv and her rank is Lieutenant-Colonel (二佐 Nisa?). Because of that, she actually knows about their possession of Lilith.[11]

In Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance, Misato encourages Shinji to get closer to his father and also brings Asuka into her household in hopes of establishing camaraderie between the two pilots. She plays more of a big sister role towards Asuka and also does not restart her romantic relationship with Kaji. In a flashback regarding Second Impact, Misato is shown to have been awake and seen her father die before her eyes in this continuity.[12] After her Renault Alpine is damaged during Asuka's arrival, she drives a first generation Mazda Cosmo.

In Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, her character undergoes profound changes. She is now the head of the organization known as Wille, which aims at the destruction of Nerv and its Evangelions. She is seen much more unsympathetic and bitter than in any of the previous chapters of the series, and her appearance went through drastic changes as well, making Shinji unable to recognize her when he sees her for the first time. Misato indicates her willingness to kill Shinji by activating an explosive collar Wille has put in his neck if he have contact with an Evangelion again. When Shinji escapes from Wille's craft, she hesitates to pull the trigger until he is out of range of the detonator, allowing his escape.

In other media[edit]

Misato appears in many media based on Neon Genesis Evangelion, including the manga adaptation of the anime by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto. She also appears in various video games based on the franchise, including the popular cross-over series Super Robot Wars. In the Super Robot Wars games featuring Evangelion and Gundam (UC timeline), Misato develops a crush on ace pilot Amuro Ray, alluding to their voice actors' other famous anime roles as Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Kamen respectively. She also makes some Sailor Moon comments when admiring the Nobel Gundam from Mobile Fighter G Gundam on Super Robot Wars MX, and points out similarities in voice with Vega from Gear Fighter Dendoh and Murrue Ramius from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (two other characters voiced by Kotono Mitsuishi).

Reception[edit]

Misato has been described as being "in no way a mother figure", and as encouraging Shinji to view her as "vacillating between hip guardian and possible sexual object".[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "EVA If it weren't for Sadamoto -- Redux". Translation of interview with Yoshiyuki Sadamoto about designing the series. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  2. ^ Sadamoto, Yoshiyuki (December 1998) [1995]. "What were we trying to make here?". Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 1. Essay by Hideaki Anno; translated by Mari Morimoto, English adaptation by Fred Burke. San Francisco: VIZ Media LLC. pp. 170–171. ISBN 1-56931-294-X. 
  3. ^ 新世紀エヴァンゲリオン完全攻略読本, 1997, Shinseiki Fukuin Kyoukai, ISBN 4-380-97219-4
  4. ^ Evangelion, episode 26
  5. ^ "Evangelion character names". Translation of essay by Hideaki Anno about character name origins; includes a link to the original essay in Japanese. Retrieved August 19, 2007. 
  6. ^ Evangelion, episode 12; also in the manga
  7. ^ Evangelion, episode 12
  8. ^ Evangelion, episodes 10, 12, and the manga
  9. ^ a b c Director: Hiroyuki Ishido, Writers:Hideaki Anno, Akio Satsukawa (1996-2-21). "He was aware that he was still a child.". Neon Genesis Evangelion. Episode 21. TV Tokyo.
  10. ^ Kazuya Tsurumaki, Hideaki Anno (directors) (1997). The End of Evangelion (Film). Toei Company, Ltd. 
  11. ^ Hideaki Anno, Kazuya Tsurumaki, Masayuki (directors) (2007). Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (Film). Studio Khara. 
  12. ^ Hideaki Anno, Kazuya Tsurumaki, Masayuki (directors) (2009). Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (Film). Studio Khara. 
  13. ^ Milutis, Joe (2006). Ether: the nothing that connects everything. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 70–71. ISBN 978-0-8166-4644-9.