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Built by NERV Second Branch in Massachusetts, USA, Evangelion Unit-03 is one of two Units built with the Second Production Model design. It is the brother Unit of Unit-04 (Unit-03 and Unit-04 were oddly the only Evangelions who were addressed as males during the series). The United States government insisted on having the rights to build Unit-03 and Unit-04.
A few minor changes were made between the first and second Production Models. Unit-03's color was unique, with much darker plates than any other Evangelion. The head was oddly shaped, too, with a rounded top and exaggerated chin. Unit-03 sports a predominately black color scheme with white and red highlights. It has grey eyes, as evidenced by freeze-frame play of its destruction. However, when it first activated, red veins could be seen in the eyes of the Evangelion, showing the infection of the angel.
The pilot assigned to it was Tōji Suzuhara, but in transit to Japan, it was possessed by the thirteenth Angel, Bardiel, which appeared as a cloud. As Bardiel, it was savagely torn apart by Unit-01, after the control of Unit-01 was switched from Shinji to the Dummy Plug system, designed to simulate Rei Ayanami as the pilot. Toji, the pilot, is severely injured but ultimately survives.
The events surrounding Unit-03 are nearly identical in the manga, however after the conclusion of the fight, rather then being severely injured Toji is killed.
In the game this unit is piloted by Tōji Suzuhara and it fights using two tonfas.
- While not shown in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Evangelion Unit-04's design is based on Unit-03 with the black being replaced by chrome, likely for the purpose of selling more toys.
- Incidentally, Unit-00 and Unit-01, which were designed in and built in Japan, and Unit-02, which was designed in Japan and then built in Germany, are designated by the Chinese Characters for their Number assignments. Unit-03 and onwards are designated by the Arabic numerals. - Platinum Episode Commentaries