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Angel (使徒(しと), shito?) is an ambiguous term that has various meanings within the Evangelion mythos depending on the context.


As most commonly used in the show and elsewhere, the word "Angel" refers to any of Adam's fifteen children, whom NERV must systematically destroy over the course of the story. Adam itself, the designated "First Angel", is occasionally included with its offspring when speaking of Angels collectively.[1]

However, considering SEELE's list of designated Angels in full, it includes entities as dissimilar as the Seeds of Life, Adam and Lilith[2][3], the natural progeny of Adam, the human-shaped vessel of Adam's soul, Kaworu Nagisa, and Homo sapiens itself, the Lilin.

This conflict between the heavily-reinforced concept of Angel, god-like beings antithetical to human life, and the more inclusive version rightfully raises the question of what an Angel is actually supposed to be. Evangelion plays a similar game with terms related to humanity (hito, ningen, and jinrui).


One possibility is that Angel actually refers to all beings whose origin is ultimately traceable to the First Ancestral Race. This species, the prototypical humans of NGE, produced the Seeds of Life in order to propagate new lifeforms on distant worlds, into which the F.A.R.'s souls would be reincarnated.[4] Consider also that both "angel" and "apostle" (the literal meaning of Angel's Japanese equivalent, shito) inherently mean "messenger". Furthermore, the F.A.R. are stated to be esteemed as gods by Adam's children and the Lilin.[5] (On a perhaps related note, Rei muses, "What is a human? A creation of God? Is man a human creation?")[6] "Angels", then—which we know to refer to both Seeds of Life and their progeny—could be thought of as "messengers" for their "God(s)". The "message" to be disseminated is humanity itself.


The characters in NGE are actually calling the Angels "shito", which usually is used to translate what in English is called an "apostle", while the Japanese word normally used for the western concept of angels as heavenly beings is "tenshi". However, all these terms mean essentially the same thing, as Greek words "angel" (ἄγγελος, angelos) and "apostle" (ἀπόστολος, apostolos) both mean "messenger", and the Japanese word "tenshi" (天使) also literally means "sky messenger". These are all translating the original Hebrew scriptures, which, though having 8 - 10 different names for angels, will often simply call them "[God's] messengers" (in the singular, מלאך, mal'ach). Nevertheless, the word 'apostle,' in the scriptures, is clearly defined as a bringer of Jesus's word and his mission. In Evangelion, they carry out the destructive mission of Adam. Thinking that the apostles in Evangelion, named after angels, we clearly see Shinji stating the following in episode 11:

Shinji: Shito. Kami no tsukai. Tenshi no na wo motsu bokura no teki.
Shinji: Apostoles. Emissaries of God. Our enemies, that have names of angels

Likewise, in episode 20, we see Shinji state:

シンジ:敵、テキ、てき、敵! 使徒と呼ばれ天使の名を冠する僕らの敵!
Shinji: Teki, teki, teki, teki! Shito to yobare tenshi no na wo kansuru bokura no teki!
Shinji: Enemies, enemies, enemies, enemies! Our enemies called Apostoles that bring with them names of angels.

At one point in the show's production, the term "Apostolo" (アポストロ?) was going to be used as a counterpart to "shito" instead of "Angel".[7]

Adam's Children[]

Adam's children (アダムの子供達, Adamu no kodomotachi)[8] refers to the Angels originated from the Seed of Life Adam.

In the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series, Adam's children encompass the Third through Seventeenth Angels (manga: Third through Twelfth). The first fourteen are Adam's natural offspring. Adam's last child, Tabris, is the result of an experiment in which Lilin genes fused into Adam.

Adam's children began appearing around Tokyo-3 fifteen years after Second Impact, starting with the 3rd Angel, Sachiel. It is assumed that the Angels' intention is to cause Third Impact and reclaim Earth from humanity by making contact with Lilith. The Evangelions' task is to protect mankind by defeating Adam's children, in accordance with both Gendo Ikari's and SEELE's plans.


Angels are a variant form of humanity that originate from Adam, as opposed to humans, the Lilin, who originate from Lilith. Despite being segregated into separate "Angels" (Third, Fourth, etc.), Adam's children essentially comprise a single race of humanity – one possible variation upon a theme. Accordingly, Angels and Humans share a 99.98% genetic match. They are described as "humans who cast aside human form".

In comparison to humans, Angels have an extremely powerful AT Field as beneficiaries of the fruit of life, which in practical terms is a result of their S2 Engine, an organ that provides theoretically limitless energy. While human AT Fields are only strong enough to maintain their individual psyche, an Angel's AT Field is so powerful that it manifests as a physical barrier that can be modified for offensive, defensive and utility functionality. Each Angel's powerful AT Field causes their body to resemble their self-image; the only feature consistent among almost all Angels is the presence of a Core, a spherical red object that contains the S2 Engine and other vital 'organs'. The only way to kill an Angel is to destroy it's core, as any bodily damage can be repaired over time through the application of the Angel's field. As an AT Field can only be meaningfully neutralized by another AT Field, the only weapon humanity has against the Angels are the Evangelions.

In Transformers Mode “Eva” it is revealed Angels can be possessed and controlled by other cosmic beings as the Ghost of Starscream easily took control of an angel (Implied to be the Fourth Angel) and mutated it in his own appearance and the Autobot leader Optimus Prime was able to copy EVA-1's traits and size allowing him to use his axe infused with Red Energy from his own Core to take down Angel-scream.

Evangelions, by contrast, are Angels artificially manufactured by humanity. Unlike their natural brethren, Evangelions lack an S2 Engine in their Core, and require an attached power cable to fuel their motion and AT Field. Evangelions have been modified with mechanical components, most particularly a plug system that allows a pilot to interface with the Core and control the Evangelion.


Angels appear to begin life as humanoid entities, developing embryologically in perhaps the same way as Adam or an Evangelion would. Going by Sandalphon, the Angels develop inside oblong objects resembling eggs, compared in the show to a chrysalis. After developing to an indeterminate point,[9] the Angel's human form is "rejected". Immediately prior to hatching, the Angel undergoes a spontaneous metamorphosis into its "adult form", then emerges from its "chrysalis".[10]


How Adam generated its offspring is completely unknown. Explanations can be as disparate as "pieces of Adam blown off at Second Impact grew into the various Angels" to "Adam laid the Angels' eggs billions of years ago, but didn't give them souls until the day of Second Impact, when they were scattered by the explosion". The proposed theories have varied pros and cons.

Whether the Angels existed in some form prior to September 13, 2000, or only came into being on that very day, it doesn't seem to be any coincidence that Adam opened its Doors of Guf on Second Impact (implying the release of souls), and its children began to "appear" fifteen years later.

Motivations & Psychology[]

Almost universally, Angels seek to penetrate Tokyo-3 to access Terminal Dogma, which contains Lilith. It is implied by Tabris that the Angels believe that Adam is in fact within Tokyo-3, which in turn implies the Angels may be attempting to free their progenitor so that their branch of life can dominate the planet instead of Liliths. It is also possible that the Angels sense Lilith and are attempting to neutralize a rival. One explanation of their motivations, found in the Classified Information states, "Some of them were trying to access Lilith and reset all life, some of them had nothing in mind, and some were trying to recover their progenitor Adam."

Adam's children are generally uncommunicative, and the forms they take tend to be inexpressive, with the result that we have little insight into their thoughts. However, some is provided by Leliel, Arael, and Armisael, who engage the Eva pilots in forms of communication. Some of the Angels also provide some insight into their psychology through their behavior, such as Sachiel and Zeruel. It appears that each angels goals and motivations are their own, much like humans, some desiring to reunite with their progenitor, some seeking their own alien agendas, and some even experiencing what could be called loneliness. In practice, Angels are so alien that meaningful communication is impossible, and their presence is near-universally detrimental to humanity as a whole.

Common Traits[]

While each of Adam's children has a form unique to itself, there are many traits common to or prevalent among the group. (Some of these, in turn, can be found in other so-called "Angelic" lifeforms, such as the Seeds and Evas.)

A.T. Field[]

All of Adam's children have souls and, hence, A.T. Fields. Their A.T. Fields are much more powerful than those of LCL-based lifeforms, giving them various paranormal, especially psychokinetic, abilities. Common utilizations include barriers ("force fields"), levitation, and metamorphosis.[11]

See also: A.T. Field


Blood is observed for many of Adam's children, including: Sachiel, Ramiel, Leliel, Bardiel, Zeruel, Arael, and Armisael. It is red in all instances save for Sachiel, whose is blue (albeit changed in Rebuild to adhere to the norm). It is unclear why, or how, Angels whose forms seem to preclude the possession of circulatory systems possess blood. On one level, it might be considered a visceral reminder of their intrinsically human nature.

In the Rebuild continuity, the Angels dissolve into a red fluid resembling blood when their cores are destroyed, attributed to the collapse of their A.T. Fields.[12] This is possibly an analogue to LCL.

Blood Type[]

Most register "Blood Type Blue". "Orange" is seen on some rare occasions (Leliel's spherical shadow and Unit-03 parasitized by Bardiel; Armisael cycles between orange and blue when it first appears). What "Blood Type" actually refers to is unclear.

See also: Blood Type


The core is a spherical red organ containing the soul and S² Engine. Observed in nearly all of Adam's children. This feature derives from Adam.

See also: Core

Energy Projection[]

Several Angels demonstrate an ability to harness energy to trigger explosions or generate focused energy beams / energy-based projectiles. Angels possessing eyes—Sachiel, Israfel, and Zeruel—involve them in the energy projection process, although it's not entirely clear how this works. (I.e., if the eyes actually emit the energy, or if they simply act as a "focal point" of some sort.)

Both Sachiel and Zeruel are capable of projecting the infamous cross-shaped explosions. Unit-01 and Unit-02 appear to have the same ability, suggesting that it perhaps "runs in the family".

In Transformers Mode “EVA" web novel, after possessing an Angel Starscream ends up mutating it to resemble his old body and gains his nullrays which was strong enough to disable Unit-01 even while was shielded by Optimus Prime.


Most Angels are capable of enduring vast amounts of physical damage. As long as an Angel's core and S² Engine is intact, it can theoretically regenerate the damaged tissue, given enough time. In a few cases, after being severely injured, Angels have been shown forming an impenetrable cocoon-like field of energy around themselves during the lengthy regeneration process.

S² Engine / Fruit of Life[]

Possessed by all of Adam's children. The source of their theoretically limitless motive energy. Despite the name, the S² Engine appears to be organic in nature.

See also: S² Engine

Rebuild of Evangelion[]

In the Rebuild of Evangelion film series, twelve Angels are clearly prophetised by the Dead Sea Scrolls which shows them, as explained by Gendo Ikari in Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A Time, Angels received the Fruit of Life and are the children of the Gods. Mankind, blessed with the fruit of knowledge, were left with two options: being destroyed by Angels, or destroying them in turn, claiming their power and their place and casting aside their humanity, the latter option is implied to be what is meant by Human Instrumentality. In this continuity it seems there is no direct links between the five Adams and the Angels, their number also vary as Kaworu Nagisa is the first and thirteenth Angel.

List of Angels[]

This is a breakdown of all numbered Angels according to the three main Evangelion continuities.

Neon Genesis Evangelion[]

SEELE is thought to obtain the Angel names and ordinals from the Secret Dead Sea Scrolls. It is unclear why entities such as the Evangelions (copies of the Seeds) and Rei Ayanami (Lilith's "answer to" Tabris) are not included. Despite the apparent omission, they would also qualify as "Angels", under the more expansive definitive.

Neon Genesis Evangelion manga[]

Rebuild of Evangelion[]

Shin 765 Operation[]

Neon Genesis Evangelion: ANIMA[]

By 2018 the Angels are said to all have been defeated however NERV Japan now has created a network system of searching-and-destroying using the Evangelion Unit-0.0 in the space, monitoring further attacks. As they are attacked by Armaros, sending beings called Angel Carriers to attack NERV Japan by bringing Angel Larva collected in a mysterious glass structure in the Moon that is connected to the Ark. Various Angels appear in limited form inside the cocoon of each Carrier.

Other Angels[]

A list of miscellaneous Angels from works outside the primary continuities.


In the Neon Genesis Evangelion Proposal, it is written that the true identity of the Angels, they are ancient relics left behind by prehistoric intelligent life forms called First Ancestral Race. The Angels lies dormant in various parts of the world. There are 28 Angels in total. The first confirmed Angel, "Adam" was excavated by humans 15 years ago on the shores of the Dead SeaWP, but had already been destroyed by a mysterious explosion.



  1. Episode 12:
    • Misato: "Destroying Angels is my duty."
    • Ritsuko: "Your duty? Don't make me laugh. This is for your own sake, isn't it? Your revenge against the Angels!"
    • Misato: "The only thing that was clear to me was I wanted to destroy the Angels who caused the Second Impact. So in order to do that, I joined NERV."
  2. Lilith's designation as the Second Angel is never provided in-show, although it can be reasonably deduced due to the fact that no Second Angel is ever named, and Lilith is never assigned an ordinal. Its status as Second Angel is stated outright in several supplemental canonical sources (including Bandai's collectible card game, the Classified Information, and Evangelion Chronicle). It is also stated directly in the Rebuild canon:
    Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone. Misato (showing Shinji the giant in Central Dogma):
    "[This is] the bringer of life to this planet, and the agent of its extinction. The Second Angel, Lilith."
  3. Episode 26'. Misato: "Shinji-kun, we humans were born from the one called Lilith -- a source of life, just like Adam. We are the 18th Angel." This translation stems from Bochan_bird's reading of the script, which is ambiguous as spoken; he apparently also ran the question by Tsurumaki in 2001.
  4. Neon Genesis Evangelion 2: Another Cases. Kaworu's Scenario: Good Ending.
  5. Neon Genesis Evangelion 2. Classified Information. First Ancestral Race.
  6. Neon Genesis Evangelion. Episode 14. Platinum subtitles.
  7. Omori: Yes, it is. It also has challenges that seem to anticipate cyberpunk. However, Mitsuse's world is more oriental in its view of impermanence, but Evangelion is more Western.
    Anno: I'm not into Western civilization, you know. Somehow I don't trust Western civilization very much.
    Omori: Is that as something to be denied?
    Anno: It doesn't relate to me, so I can use it. If I were a Christian, I'd be too scared to use Christian stuffs.
    Omori: Indeed. You don't have any attachments, so you can use the name of an angel. Like let's use this name because its sense of language sounds nice.
    Anno: To equate apostles and angels is so much to complain about from a westerner's point of view. There is an American worker in our company, and he scolded me for many things, saying it was wrong. That's normal. But I didn't care about that and just did it. - The World of Neon Genesis Evangelion, SF Magazine, Aug 1996
  8. The collective grouping has no unique canonical name, although the phrase "Adam's children" was used by Misato in a preliminary draft for Episode 25'.
  9. In episode 10, Ritsuko says that Sandalphon hatched sooner than expected, leaving the "norm" unknown.
  10. While the terms used invite an insect analogy, there is no canonical evidence that the Angels had a free-moving "pupal" stage at some point and later cocooned themselves. Rather, "chrysalis" seems to apply to the extent that the entity it contains undergoes a drastic metamorphosis before emerging.
  11. There is an extremely common myth that AT Field is a real psychology term. It is not.
  12. Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone:
    • (observing the crater of "blood" left by Sachiel's self-destruction)
    • Ritsuko: "The collapse of the Angel's A.T. Field was more destructive than we predicted."
    • Ibuki: "This blood is like a lake from hell... It reminds me of the Second Impact."
  13. Yasuo Nagayama, 2021, 『進撃の巨人』にそっくり!? 実現しなかった『エヴァンゲリオン』幻の完全新作劇場版, Bunshun Online