Evangelion
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Evangelion


Just an idiot fights when he knows he can't win. Having balls have nothing to do with it.
—Kensuke

Kensuke Aida (相田ケンスケ[?], "Aida Kensuke") is a fictional character from the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise. He is an military otaku, Toji's best friend, and one of the "Other Children," Eva pilot candidates in the same class as Shinji Ikari, Toji Suzuhara, Rei Ayanami, Asuka Langley Sohryu, and Hikari Horaki. Kensuke solidifies his friendship with Shinji after Shinji saves him and Toji during the fight against the fourth Angel, Shamshel. Kensuke dreams of becoming an Eva pilot and ceaselessly begs Shinji to pull strings in NERV so he can be selected as a pilot, despite Shinji telling him that he has no say in the matter. Like Toji, Kensuke has a crush on Misato Katsuragi. He is rarely seen without his camcorder at hand.

In the PS2 Battle Orchestra game, Kensuke is the appointed pilot to the Unit-04, wearing a yellow plugsuit. He is voiced by Tetsuya Iwanaga in Japanese and Kurt Stoll in the English adaptation.

Background

Kensuke Aida in the anime opening

Kensuke's past is never explained, but some important facts of his life are revealed: he was born in Yokohama on September 12, 2001; his father works in one of NERV's bases, and his mother is deceased. He is first seen when Shinji comes to school for the first time. Here, Toji beats him, blaming him for his sister's wounds. Kensuke initially supported Toji, but after their first encounter with the Eva pilot and during Shamshel's attack in the city, he shares with his friend his crazy desire to witness the battle himself and tells him that maybe hitting Shinji was a mistake and is his obligation to be there supporting him. Besides Kensuke's manipulation, Toji agrees and thanks to this, the two children were nearly killed if it wasn't for Shinji, who brought them inside Unit-01. After this event, Toji seems to forgive Shinji, but the Third Child is not seen at school again.

Kensuke encounters Shinji in the mountains during a camping activity. The two start talking about how similar they are (both without mothers) and Kensuke tells Shinji about Toji's regrets, and later about how lucky he (Shinji) is for being an Eva pilot. Unfortunately, NERV's people tracked Shinji to Kensuke's tent and took him away.

Toji and Kensuke finally reached Shinji before he leaves Tokyo-3. Toji apologizes and asks the boy to hit him, so they can be in peace. After the meeting, Shinji realizes he now has two new friends in his new life.

Kensuke is usually seen with Toji and Shinji at school or coming for him at Misato's place, with the excuse of seeing the Major in the morning and often teasing Shinji at being such an idiot, living with such beauty and not taking a chance.

Kensuke at school

Kensuke is later invited with Toji to come aboard the Over the Rainbow to meet the Second Child, Asuka Langley Sohryu. He passed most of the time excited, and records in his video camera everything around him, such as airplanes, the other battleships and the intense battle between Unit-02 and the sea Angel Gaghiel.

Like Toji, he does not like Asuka in any form. However, he recognizes her good looks and thus takes pictures of her (even when changing clothes), selling them for money at school and making a huge business out of it. Kensuke is surprised and a little disturbed when he discovers that Shinji and Asuka are living together, getting concerned by the situation. After being around Asuka long enough, he realizes she is very self-conscious.

When the "New Yokosuka" arrives in Japan, Kensuke skips class to watch it in person. He later tells Shinji about Unit-04's incident and Unit-03's arrival to Tokyo-3. He begs Shinji to convince Misato to make him an Eva pilot, but Shinji tells him he doesn't have the final word on the matter. Despite this, he later goes to Misato's place to ask it to her personally, but he has no good answers from her.

Kensuke at Gaghiel's battle

After Unit-03's incident, Kensuke knows about Shinji leaving Tokyo-3 again and calls him, leaving a message in a recorder. Upset, he asks why Shinji is running again and still wonders why Toji got the chance to shine, and he didn't. The recorder turned off before he finished recording.

With the passing of time, all of Kensuke's classmates started to leave as well. Kensuke realizes how lonely he is now, him and Hikari Horaki being two of the few children left in the class.

After Unit-00's explosion, it's implied that Kensuke left the city, like Toji and Hikari. He is never seen again after this.

Personality

Kensuke Aida before Arael's Attack

Kensuke has a quirky and self-dependent personality, being the opposite as Shinji, all confident and objective. This includes his passion and desire to pilot an EVA, and his family relationships which in this case, are pretty much the same as his friend´s. Even though Shinji seems distant as a consequence, Kensuke may have became a more mature boy thanks to this, understanding that he is the only one responsible for his dreams coming true. He also has some eccentric hobbies, like camping in the mountains surrounding Tokyo-3 and playing at simulated war re-enacting - by himself. He is like a very childish kid who refuses to grow up, but has some adult behaviors that make him unique.

Kensuke is keen, friendly and talented (Having prepared a dinner at Misato's place to give Asuka a "Welcome" party.), but he can sometimes be intense, manipulative, and a little selfish. He also seems oblivious to the intense physical and psychological distress endured by Eva pilots, and usually seems to ignore others' feelings thanks to his own fantasies. Besides being a headache most of the time, Kensuke has proved himself to be a good friend, supporting his pals. He can be even wise when the occasion needs to and somebody who understands loneliness, just like Shinji needs to.

Curiously, despite being seen as a weirdo by other people, Kensuke is one of the few characters in the series that that does not show any serious psychological issues.

In other Media

Manga adaptation

Main article: Neon Genesis Evangelion (manga)

Kensuke Aida in the manga

His role in the manga is the same as the anime, with just some little changes. In this adaptation, Kensuke has a crush on Asuka. His hair color has also changed, just like Toji's, but this time from brown to blond.

Like in the series, Kensuke ignores the fact that Toji has been chosen to pilot the Evangelion Unit-03. After this, he and Hikari stay in school all by themselves without understanding why Shinji is not coming anymore.

Later on, Kensuke meets Kaworu Nagisa, seeing him from his classroom window, realizing how strange Kaworu is by thinking: "Creepy...something inhuman..."

After Toji's death, Kensuke understands that his friendship with Shinji is over and that things will never be the same. He says goodbye to him leaving a message on his cellphone, wishing him good luck on his life.

In the new world Shinji chose, Kensuke appears in the train station, talking to Shinji when he first meets him after seeing Asuka with him. They both discover they're going to the same high-school and Kensuke wishes him luck, stating they're now rivals. This shows that maybe there's a chance of the two children to be friends again in this reality.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Battle Orchestra

In Kensuke Aida story mode, after Tōji Suzuhara becomes the pilot of Evangelion Unit-03, SEELE selects Kensuke to become the pilot of Evangelion Unit-04 in a full-on battle with NERV. Initially he only fights in simulations against NERV EVA units, asking Keel Lorenz why should he fight EVA units instead of angels. Keel dismisses him, saying that they don't have the data for angels. He is concerned about it, but he is happy to pilot the Evangelion. He fights against Unit-00, Unit-02 and Unit-01 in these simulations.

After these simulations, Keel says that NERV Evas were defeated by an Angel and Kensuke must fight it. There he fights against Leliel. After this fight, he is told by Keel that NERV has betrayed SEELE and he must attack the NERV HQ. There he finally fights against the 3 NERV EVAs near the Geofront. Kensuke ponders about what they did, but Keel says that he shouldn't worry about it and just complete the mission.

After this battle, Kensuke meets Kaworu Nagisa piloting the Evangelion Type β, he informs Kensuke that he is also a pilot of SEELE. Kaworu asks for Kensuke to fight against Evangelion Unit-03 and runs to his objective. Kensuke asks who is the pilot of Unit-03 but receives no answer from the group, only saying it was a former pilot sent by SEELE. He wonders who is the pilot but still leaves his doubts behind and get ready to fight it.

After the battle, when Kensuke wins, Keel orders the final blow and before Kensuke delivers it, he hears Tōji's voice, but is informed by Keel that the pilot no longer lives. The story mode end with the Kensuke's gasp.

In Tōji Suzuhara story mode, Kensuke is the final boss, but instead of defeating Toji, he is defeated and surrenders. After they realize who is the other pilot, Toji explains that they are being deceived by SEELE in helping the Human Instrumentality Project. Both of them ally against SEELE, going after them.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: ANIMA

In Neon Genesis Evangelion: ANIMA, Kensuke is 17 years old. He has become an agent of the Intelligence Department of NERV Japan and works with Kaji to find activities from SEELE. In one of these missions, in Cyprus they find the Keel Lorenz visor. Kaji suspects that Kensuke traded information with the germans for the location of the visor, giving information about the Allegorica in exchange. Rather than letting Kensuke puts the visor in, he puts it instead, wondering how they were too similar at this point. [1]

Character notes

Early sketches of Kensuke, Shinji and Toji

Kensuke and Toji's names both come from the novel Ai to Gensou no Fascism. Character designer Sadamoto has mentioned he identified with Kensuke the most out of all characters, as Shinji himself is instead modelled on Anno, and for the the manga he preferred to have an alternate intepretation of him, but not one based on himself. He is the only staff member to have associated himself with Kensuke.[2][3]

References

  1. Evangelion ANIMA Vol 2 Chapter 9
  2. "I think I was pretty sociable. But I didn't like to stand out. In terms of characters, I was probably more like Kensuke. I wasn't that straightforward, honor student type, and I was often told that I was calm. It seems that I give up quickly, but in fact I am persistent. I wasn't what you'd call a delinquent, but I did a lot of bad things and reflected on them. I think that part of me is similar to Shinji in the manga." -Yoshiyuki Sadamoto: The Other Side of the Story (Newtype 12/1997)
  3. "Among the characters of Evangelion, Sadamoto sees himself a lot in Kensuke Aida, a military otaku who really likes girls, but he also empathized a lot with Gendo Ikari, as, being both fathers of families, he saw himself in his dilemmas, in his parental anxieties and difficulties in establishing relationships with children. He doesn't feel like Shinji in the least." Milan Manga Festival 2014

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Kensuke Aida (相田ケンスケ[?], "Aida Kensuke") is a fictional character from the Rebuild of Evangelion movie series. He is an military otaku, Toji's best friend, and one of students in the same class as Shinji Ikari, Toji Suzuhara, Rei Ayanami, Asuka Shikinami Langley, and Hikari Horaki. Kensuke solidifies his friendship with Shinji after Shinji saves him and Toji during the fight against the Fifth Angel.

Appearance

Kensuke is a teenager with brown messy hair and freckles on his face. He wears a pair of red glasses. His usual attire includes the usual school uniform, with blue jeans pants and a shirt not under the belt over a red T-shirt. Sometimes he wears camouflage shirts, short hiking pants and a military vest and military boots. In 3.0 + 1.0, Kensuke's hair is less messy, has lost his freckles and has stubble in his face, he is usually seen using black pants and boots, a long shirt with a green vest over it, sometimes he also wears a green coat over it and also carries a backpack with materials inside it, he also sometimes wears a hat with stripes under it. He lives in a hut near Village 3.

Personality

Kensuke is an energetic teenager, and is rarely seen with a sad face. Obsessed with military stuff, Aida is often seen carrying a hand videocam recording videos of military vehicles and the Evangelions. In 1.0, during the attack of the Fifth Angel, Kensuke risks his life by escaping the ground shelter with Toji, just wanting to see Evangelion Unit-01 in action. However, he is almost crushed by the unit itself, and Misato's order them to get inside the entry plug by climbing a ladder.

Story

Kensuke Aida in Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

In Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, Kensuke and Toji escapes from the shelter to see the Evangelion fight. After the battle witth the Fifth Angel He becomes friends with Shinji and later, they encourage him to fight the Sixth Angel, by telling they have faith in him.

In the second film, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance, Kensuke goes with Shinji and the others to a Second Impact restoration center, and shows how envious he is of Shinji when he knows that Rei has invited him to dinner. During the final showdown, he is seen with Toji, Hikari, and Pen-Pen, fleeing from the 10th Angel's attack.

Kensuke does not appear and is not mentioned in Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo.

These sections contain spoilers pertaining to new or unreleased content. Read ahead at your own risk!

Kensuke returns in Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A Time as an adult, working as a self-described "jack-of-all-trades" in the Village 3. He is very friendly to Shinji and supports Asuka as a father figure[1][2][3][4][5] and she lives in his house when not in the AAA Wunder where she instead shares quarters with Mari. Asuka remains isolated from the community, as she wishes to avoid "the Lilim", when not on the AAA Wunder, calling him by the nickname "Ken-Ken", though he still refers to her only as "Shikinami". Toji mentions how helpful Kensuke, the "survival otaku" has been in keeping their community together. Visually, Kensuke looks very similar to Ryoji Kaji, the elder. After Kensuke leaves on a supply run, Asuka strolls around naked in his house and finds Shinji, who much to her irritation, reacts badly to her DSS Choker, 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. 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".

Kensuke proves a supportive figure for Shinji also, not unlike Kaji, telling him about how he overcame his difficulties in life and became a pivotal part of the community. When the Rei attends school, for instance, he is also teaching a class to the children of the village. Ryoji Kaji refers to him as "Aida-sensei". He is receptive to Shinji's situation with his father, and tells him of Kaji's death and Ryoji Kaji, named after him. When the Wunder arrives to pick-up Asuka, Kensuke and the others insist on Shinji not going with her, but he insists. Later, 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.

Spoilers end here.

References

  1. 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.
  2. "That's what I was told during the recording, and I thought, "Why?" (laughs). But there are many kinds of love scenes. When a father takes a picture of his daughter in her furisode (a long-sleeved kimono), it's [parental] love. The daughter is like, "Hey, stop it, Dad!" I'm not trying to force to deny it, but Kensuke is a good guy... If he's a good guy, he won't touch her. If Asuka is lonely and wanted to be pampered, it ends only at "there, there". There's nothing more to it than that. In other words, Kensuke is a good guy." - Miyamura Newtype June interview
  3. Asuka and Kenken's facial expressions, and their movements also seemed intimate. When I asked General Director Anno "Why are they intimate?", He said "No?" (Laughs). I remember having a conversation saying "It's not bad ..." I'm smiling. "
    "Kenken is a really good guy. He can watch over Shinji with the attitude of waiting” until he recovers, "and I felt that to Asuka he was like a father. I'm sure Kenken is like a father. I think he was patient and waited for Asuka to open her heart and accepted him. I also want to be told, "Miyamu (Miyamura) can stay as it is" (laughs). ). However, in my interpretation, Asuka and Kenken have a clean relationship! - 25 Years as Asuka
  4. Character designer Hidenori Matsubara commenting on Asuka and Kensuke's relationship, translation by Richitzer: "I was just talking with Kazuya Tsurumaki, the director, about Eva... He said he loves Asuka. He was still annoyed over the Asuka and Kenken thing." This tweet is from April 12th, a day after they started work on the Evangelion 3.0 (-120 min.) prequel manga at Anno's suggestion.
  5. 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."
    [...]I think the fans think that Asuka has to be rescued. In regards to the meaning of rescuing, Asuka’s finger puppet was very symbolic. I think it’s almost certainly something that’s irreplaceable for Asuka. Because it’s an important prop, in the scene where Kensuke is wearing a certain puppet costume says, “Asuka is Asuka, that’s enough.” I interpreted it as Kensuke was the prop that rescued Asuka because he was inside [the puppet costume]. - Tetsuya Iwanaga (Kensuke), 3.0+1.0 booklet interview

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