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Asuka Shikinami Langley (式波・アスカ・ラングレー) is a fictional character from the Rebuild of Evangelion movie series. Born on December 4, 2001, she makes her debut in the second movie of the quadrilogy, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance. She is the designated pilot of the Evangelion Unit-02 (including its repaired variations), as well as the test pilot of the ill-fated Evangelion Unit-03.
Profile & Appearance
Much like her original series' incarnation, Asuka Shikinami Langley is a very proud individual, especially in her piloting, and comes across to others as proud and strong, with a very high opinion of both her appearance and her skill as an Eva pilot. She does not like being looked down upon or told what to do as she wants to be viewed as an adult and be praised for her piloting skills. She is aggressive and can be very opinionated. this version of Asuka is significantly different in terms of her history and characteristics compared to Asuka Langley Sohryu: instead of graduating University at the age of 14, she joined the European Air Force, reaching the rank of Captain at age 14, she lacks a fear/hatred of dolls; as she would play with a hand puppet when in low spirits. Other significant differences include her never having any obsessive crush on Ryoji Kaji, not being a close friend of Hikari Horaki, more open to others as she feels open attraction towards Shinji, helps Rei so she can host a dinner party with Shinji and Gendo, lastly she confides to Misato shortly before piloting Eva-03 and joins WILLE under Misato.
In 3.0, 14 years after Near Third Impact, as result of the 14 years of constant war and struggle against remnants of NERV that still intended to cause another Impact, she became colder and far more aggressive than she used to be in spite of retaining most of her former personality. Her voice-actress noted that her current personality was comparable with that of an embittered mercenary. Though she actually worried about Shinji (possibly more than Misato), this worry still didn't abate her anger for the destruction that he inadvertently caused during the fight against 10th Angel. Unfortunately, because of everything she has gone through and her own anger towards Shinji she had no chance to tell him about Near Third Impact that he inadvertently caused. To make matters worse, the said anger also pressured Shinji into further being manipulated by Gendo and SEELE, had she put aside her anger and tried to reason with Shinji, he possibly wouldn't have caused Fourth Impact in the first place (in an allusion to both End of Evangelion and Neon Genesis Evangelion: ANIMA). In spite of her negative interactions, Asuka actually never intended to let him die or run away from his problems after Near Third Impact.
Asuka seems to have a thematic association with cats; in Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo her Beast Mode has a distinctly feline appearance. She also wears both a hat and a helmet that have cat ear-shaped adornments. She also wears an eye-patch over her left eye. The latter glows during the course of the movie, showing that her left eye is maybe still intact but somewhat mutated.
Asuka´s pride is put to the test when Misato tells her that Rei invited Shinji to a dinner at her house, while at the time Asuka was cooking for Shinji also since she wanted to get his attention away from Rei, even later meeting Rei on a NERV elevator (the scene is much like Episode 22 from the series). Here she mocks Rei for being the Commander´s toy, and remarks that Shinji and Rei only became pilots due to their connections with Gendo, while she was chosen as a "real" pilot entirely because of her skill. Rei states that she is not a toy and just as Asuka intends to slap her, Rei stops her. Asuka feels empathy toward her as she sees her fingers wounded due to the cooking, and as she leaves the lift, Asuka asks Rei whether she likes Shinji. Rei explains that she doesn't know, but states that she just wants to make him happy, to which Asuka, saddened, throws a temper tantrum, though not before telling herself that Rei is indeed in love with Shinji.
After this event she takes on the role of the test pilot for the activation of Unit-03 after the incident in the USA with Unit-04. She chooses to do so on her own will as an act of kindness towards Rei, who intended to reunite Shinji with Commander Ikari at the same day of the activation test. On the way to the testing base, Rei through Ritsuko´s cellphone thanks Asuka, an act that makes Asuka oddly happy, since she admits to enjoying her solitude but comments that she has come to enjoy others' company as well. Misato and Asuka are brought closer by a conversation not long prior to the test, where Asuka tells herself that she can even pilot with a big smile just before the capsule is contaminated by the Ninth Angel.
Asuka is not seen for the rest of the film other than in a quarantine chamber with Angel-sealing Hex Pillars. Ritsuko says that although she is alive, her mind has the possibility of being corrupted due to the Eva unit having been possessed by an Angel.
In Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, Asuka is one of the Evangelion pilots of the WILLE organization, first appearing during the mission to rescue Shinji, where she faces several Evangelion Mark.04 units. She shows aggression toward Shinji during their reunion out of both concern and his involvement in Near Third Impact, ranging up to a punch in the window of the room where he is enclosed. She informs him about the "Curse of Eva" which prevents pilots from physically aging before leaving, obviously too upset to explain to Shinji about what has happened on Earth. Suddenly, Evangelion Mark.09 attacks AAA Wunder, prompting Asuka to have Mari destroy it. However, the said Evangelion escapes, much to Asuka's exasperation, before she calls Shinji a "brat" as she knows that they have no chance to reveal NERV's true nature.
Asuka is later seen again with Eva Unit 02, where she intercepts Shinji and Kaworu piloting Evangelion 13. She is shocked that Shinji has piloted another Eva, and demands him to get out of it immediately. Before she can incapacitate Evangelion 13, Evangelion Mark.09 attacks her and nearly dismembers her Eva before Mari intervenes with Anti-AT Field bullets. As she attacks Eva 13, Asuka tries to reason to the misguided Shinji that his actions would cause Fourth Impact and aggressively demands him to stop, even going so far as to threaten him with death. Unfortunately, her Eva’s power supply runs out, which gives Shinji the opportunity to swat her aside much to her frustration.
Horrified that he would go too far by removing two spears from Evangelion Mark.06 that fuses with Lilith’s remains, Asuka orders Mari to destroy Eva 13 by using AA bullets, only for the efforts to be proved futile when the bullets pass through it, and Shinji successfully pulls both spears. The process causes Lilith to explode, and Eva Mark. 06 is freed from Lilith’s remains. Worse, Evangelion Mark. 09 decapitates the said Eva and releases the Twelfth Angel inside. The freed Angel immediately turns into a giant core and Asuka attempts, futilely, to destroyed it. As she and Mari watch, the transformed Twelfth Angel shrinks in size and is devoured by Eva 13 and awakes, becoming a Radiant Giant and rising at high speed from Central Dogma in the process. This starts the Fourth Impact.
She and Mari, with their respective Evas immediately climb to the surface and watch AAA Wunder being attacked by Mark.09, which has become Adam’s Vessel. Asuka goes to intercept Adam’s vessel, and immediately resorts to using Beast Mode to attack it. The bewildered Rei Ayanami (Tentative Name) in Adam’s Vessel is confused on what her deceased incarnation would do, to which Asuka says she should decide by herself, prompting Rei to eject herself from Adam’s Vessel. When Adam’s Vessel ultimately reveals that its whole body as core with regeneration and counterattacks, Asuka reluctantly has her Eva self-destruct, but not without ejecting herself.
An unspecified amount of time after the end of the battle, Asuka finds Shinji's entry plug in the wasteland created by the Fourth Impact and finds him in an unresponsive state. She drags him through the desert, with Rei following, to "where the Lilin are".
Guiding Shinji and Rei through the outskirts of Tokyo-3, Asuka arrives at a town comprised of survivors. When not on the Wunder she lives with Kensuke, much like with Mari on the Wunder, and he cares for her as a father figure , as Asuka would rather isolate herself from the rest of the community.  After Kensuke leaves on a supply run, Asuka takes a shower and strolls around naked in his house and finds Shinji. Asuka waits for Shinji to do something, but he remains catatonic. This irritates Asuka greatly, as she expected Shinji to "blush a bit or be impressed" at her naked body. Shinji notices she is also wearing a DSS Choker, and vomits, still traumatized by Kaworu's death. Kensuke appears, covers Asuka, and cleans Shinji's vomit. They talk and Asuka expresses irritation at Shinji's inaction, but Kensuke defends him. Asuka explains to Shinji how their existence in the village is full of hardships, and force-feeds him protein bars. Later, Kensuke finds out Shinji ran away, but before leaving to retrieve him, thanks her for feeding Shinji, to which Asuka responds: "It's not like I did it for him or anything".
When the Wunder arrives to pickup Asuka, Shinji insists on going with her, much to her surprise. Mari teases Asuka over Shinji again, telling her she thought Asuka didn't care for "boys his age", but Asuka expresses that Shinji "needs a mother, not a girlfriend". When the Wunder prepares to go to Antartica, Mari and Asuka get their new plugsuits. Asuka decides she needs to talk with Shinji. Shinji admits he failed to take responsibility during the incident with the Ninth Angel. Recognizing Shinji is growing up, Asuka confesses she loved him before the incident with the Ninth Angel, but she "grew up first".
During the battle at Antartica, Asuka takes off her eye-patch and reveals the Ninth Angel contained within. She converts Eva-02 in a new form, but is absorbed by Eva-13. During the process, Asuka meets "her original", revealing that she is a member of the Shikinami series of clones.
In a flashback to Shikinami's childhood during Instrumentality, she laments not having a parent to care for her, and Kensuke tells her it is alright. In a callback to the beach scene in The End of Evangelion, Shinji thanks Asuka for telling him she liked him, and confesses that he also liked Asuka, causing her to blush and be overwhelmed with emotion.<ref>"–– How did you feel in your performance when Asuka told you that she had grown up first?
I know how Asuka feels. For example, when I met a classmate at a class reunion, I had grown 14 years older, and although I was 14 years older and had various life experiences in those 14 years, the boy I liked at that time [in junior high school] remained a junior high school student, both emotionally and physically, and was an adult. If you haven't grown up at all, you won't feel like you used to. I think the other boy is the same [as Shinji] as what I’m talking about. -Megumi Ogata, 3.0+1.0 booklet interview
She is seen at the train platform in the rebuilt world later.
- Shikinami is the name of the Type II (Ayanami) of Fubuki class destroyer of the Japanese Imperial Navy
Notes and references
- Shinji's still fourteen both inside and out, and I don't think he could have helped Asuka, a girl fourteen on the outside but twenty-eight on the inside. Kensuke's twenty-eight on the outside and on the inside, so wouldn't he be the person who could do it? In the group for all the EVA voice actors on the LINE messaging app, Miyamura Yuko posted, "If Kensuke's the one who can be there for her, then please be there her." - Tetsuya Iwanaga (Kensuke), 3.0+1.0 booklet interview
- Let’s talk about Ken Ken. First, when I received the script, I noticed Kensuke was written into it. Even though he wasn’t called Ken Ken, there wasn’t that kind of connection in the previous film, Q. In the TV series, he was one of the “three idiots.”<brAsuka will give people nicknames like “baka Shinji” and the like.
Asuka’s not a human and can’t live with the people in the third village so she freeloads off of Kensuke.
Asuka was isolated, she couldn’t grow up, only her hair grew.
Ken Ken is trying to take care of an isolated Asuka.
Ken Ken took the place of Mr. Kaji.
Try to think about this everyone. Ken Ken is such a good guy. Do you think such a good guy would try to advance a physical relation with a troubled 14-year-old girl?
Asuka says to Shinji that she's already become an adult but that doesn't mean sexually.
Asuka says “I am alone (in the film)”. Asuka was isolated.
Ken Ken has been watching over Asuka.
I think Ken Ken is like a father [to Asuka].
Asuka and Kensuke’s relationship is not a romantic one but rather a parental one.
When Shinji said “I think I liked Asuka,” it means that at the time he liked Asuka, even though he never came back 14 years ago.
To be honest, at the time of recording the last scene, Director Anno and Assistant Director Tsurumaki explained it.
Director Anno told me that Asuka’s ending scene correlates to the idea that Ken Ken is like a father to child Asuka.
Asuka really wants the father and mother that she's never had and Kenken could see this so his intention was to foster something like that.
Personally, I really think that “Ken Ken’s not a bastard.”
I'm not a fan of the "Ken Ken" scene.
I personally strongly think "no way Ken Ken is acceptable [as Asuka's partner]"
I think the Original Asuka is not Asuka Soryu.
My performance instructions were “Please do Soryu and Shikinami differently”
Asuka Soryu was not a clone.
When adult Asuka says, “Baka Shinji,” it has a special meaning.
Ken Ken doesn’t make a move on Asuka.
Ken Ken would never make a move on 14-year-old Asuka.
Ken Ken whose affection is deeper than the sea, stands by Asuka's side without laying a finger on her. [Imitating Asuka's voice].
Miyamura confirms Tsurumaki was in charge of everything Asuka-related, and asks fans to create new fanworks on pixiv for her to see.
Yuko Miyamura, MIYAMURA YUKO Corp. - Fanicon March 20th 2021, around 37 minute mark.
- Asuka is also implied to not be fully trusted by Wille (much like Shinji), as she is seen wearing a DSS Choker. Her quarters with Mari on the Wunder are also a sort of isolation chamber. This is referenced as such in concept art for the 10th Khara anniversary exposition. Asuka and Mari are referred to as "dangerous persons" that must be kept apart from the crew. This further adds to her estrangement from humanity.
- "I think I felt sorry for Shinji because he’s depressed and there’s nothing he can do. The only thing Asuka can say is “Do the best you can."Asuka is doing her personal best, so she can tell other people to do their best.That's why I wanted Shinji to wake up and say, "I'll do my best," but I guess she felt like she couldn't reach Shinji no matter what she said. Asuka's effort is not rewarded. [When Asuka says,] “You are too mentally weak,” she blame’s Shinji. When I performed this line of Asuka’s, I really almost cried. In the 14 years of effort Asuka has accumulated, by saying this, I didn’t expect Shinji to do anything about it but she was unable to say what she wanted. But, in this way, thanks to saying what she wanted, I have a feeling that Asuka was able to progress.[...]
-Finally, the way Asuka says "Baka Shinji". How did you come up with this?
This was also a storyboard shot, so I think I was shown a picture of Asuka's appearance at that time and performed it with that impression. That "Baka Shinji" is just a love letter to the people who have supported Shinji x Asuka!" - Yuko Miyamura, 3.0+1.0 booklet interview