Evangelion
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Evangelion
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This article is about the organization from the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series. For the organization from Rebuild of Evangelion movie series, see NERV (Rebuild).

NERV (German for "nerve") is a special organization that was put together to combat the Angels after the Second Impact and is the organization responsible for the creation of the Evangelions.

Profile

NERV is an international organization with their center of operation located in the city of Tokyo-3, Japan. More specifically, they run the majority of their research and operations out of NERV Headquarters, a large facility located in the GeoFront. Outside of their main operation in Japan, NERV also has operations in the United States, Germany and possibly more.

As far as the world is concerned, NERV is under the control of the United Nations however the truth isn't so simple. In reality, the shadowy organization SEELE are in control of the United Nations and as such, they are also direct overseers to NERV. Despite this oversight, they still mostly operate as an independent organization with SEELE being their main source of funding.

As an orgnization, it is the successor to Gehirn and therefore the two organizations have a lot in common. Major contributions to NERV from Gehirn include almost all their staff, the incomplete Evangelion units and Project-E and the Magi, three supercomputers which run all of the headquarters, help in critical decision making and also essentially run the Japanese government. Most NERV headquarters around the world have a Magi system with the original being located in Japan. Despite this connected history, in practice NERV functions differently as their main goals and focus more on the application of their technologies to destroy the angels rather then just the development. For this reason, many new staff hired work in combat oriented positions and their headquarters have several security mechanisms to protect from incoming attacks.

Beyond their stated goals, NERV also secretly works with the Human Instrumentality Committee to further progress on the Human Instrumentality Project which is arguably the organizations true purpose with their objective of creating the Evangelion and defeating the angels only being necessary steps in achieving human instrumentality.

The organization is massive and is composed of security personnel, technicians in various fields, and maintenance crews for the Evangelions, and retrieval teams. All personnel are issued standard ID cards in order to allow entry into NERV HQ. All security within NERV HQ are instructed to shoot to kill intruders on sight in restricted areas of NERV; however, they are merely well-armed security guards with minimal weapons training. Security is split into two separate groups, one to defend the Geofront, outlaying structures and road stops and the other group is assigned to protect the HQ itself. Security personnel assigned to the Geofront are armed with Steyr MP7 submachine guns and are distinguished from other personnel by their signature red berets. HQ personnel are armed with both MP7 Steyr and M9 Berettas which utilizes ballistic shields and large defensive covers and are distinguished from other personnel with bright magenta patches on both side of the uniforms arms. While retrieval teams are armed with MP5 submachine guns, base crew personnel like maintainance personnel and technicians are usually unarmed, and only key personnel assigned to sensitive areas are armed. Key staff members are apparently allowed to own their own firearms as seen in the The End of Evangelion.

Operational History

Founding

NERV Headquarters located at the bottom of the GeoFront.

After the death of Naoko Akagi and the completion of the Magi supercomputer, NERV was founded as the successor to Gehirn under the direction of Gendo Ikari and direct supervision of SEELE. While their headquarters moved buildings to the newly build NERV Headquarters, many of the Gehirn staff became employees of NERV and most of their work, including Project-E, continued uninterrupted by the change in name and aided by the now completed Magi.

Evangelion Activation Test

Unit-00 going berserk during the failed activation test.

After many years of development under Gehirn and NERV, Project-E began to reach its conclusion as both Evangelion Unit-00 and Evangelion Unit-01 in Japan as well as Evangelion Unit-02 in Germany were reaching their final stages of completion and were ready for testing.

The first of these units, the prototype Unit-00 was the first to undergo testing. While the pilot, Rei Ayanami, managed to synchronize with the unit allowing it to initialize, the activation test soon turned into a crisis situation as the Evangelion lost control and went berserk, attempting to kill Ritsuko Akagi. After exhausting all options to stop the rogue unit, the only option left was to let the internal battery deplete. Before succumbing to a lack of power, the unit ejected its entry plug and due to the enclosed space of the testing area, the plug didn't have space to safely land causing Rei to sustain major injury.

First Angel Attack

Sachiel beginning its attack on Tokyo-3.

Soon after the failed activation test, the first angel to attack Tokyo-3, Sachiel would appear. Knowing only the Evangelion would be able to defeat the angel and with Unit-00 and its pilot rendered inoperable, NERV had no choice but to enlist the pilot candidate for Unit-01, Shinji Ikari, who had previously been contacted but was not yet a formal member of the organization. Since he was their only option to pilot, his handler, Misato Katsuragi was sent to recover him.

Due to NERVs position in the military chain of command, the Japanese Strategic Self Defense Force were first in line to attempt to defeat the angel. Despite their best efforts, including the use of an N² mine, their conventional weapons were no match and command of the operation was given to NERV, leading to the start of their first combat operation.

Around this time, Shinji arrived at NERV Headquarters and was brought to Unit-01. Despite refusing to pilot at first, careful manipulation of his emotions using an injured Rei convinced him to become the units pilot. After managing to synchronize with the unit, Shinji entered into battle and while he was able to make the unit walk, combat against an angel proved to be too much as he was almost immediately defeated and knocked unconscious. He likely would have been killed if the unit had not gone berserk, ultimately managing to defeat the angel while also causing a moderate amount of collateral damage. Despite the damage sustained to the pilot, city and unit, the first combat deployment of an Evangelion was ultimately successful setting the stage for the future of NERV as an organization.

Operation Yashima

Ramiel beginning its attack on Tokyo-3.

While the first angel attack on Tokyo-3 didn't take place until 14 years after second impact, subsequent angel would appear far more frequently, each stronger than the last.

Some time after the second angel attack by Shamshel, the fifth angel, Shamshel would appear over the city, stationing itself directly over NERV HQ. As they had done twice before, NERV deployed Evangelion Unit-01 however this time, the unit would be defeated by the angels beam attack before the unit had a chance to fully deploy. With Shinji in critical condition, NERV was forced to perform an emergency retrieval on the unit and start forming a new plan of attack.

While all this was occouring, the angel was slowly drilling into NERV HQ. Their defenses proved to be somewhat effective in slowing the threat, however time was not on the side of NERV as they would realistically only have one chance to stop the attack.

Incomplete Positron Rifle in NERV HQ.

After performing a series of tests to see how close they would be able to get to the angel before it began to attack, it became clear their usual close combat tactics would not work. The only way to defeat the angel would be to use an extremely powerful, long ranged weapon. After considering using their own version of the Positron Rifle, it was descided that their weapon wouldn't be suitable so they instead requisitioned the JSSDF R&D labs "Positron Sniper Rifle", a weapon so powerful it would take the entire Japanese power grid to charge, something which they also requisitioned. In addition to the rifle, NERV also prepared Evangelion Unit-00 for its first combat operation, giving it a shield large enough to defend itself and Unit-01 if needed.

Unit-01 in sniping position.

Beginning in the dead of night, Unit-01 was assigned to the rifle with Unit-00 there to defend them in case of an incoming attack. The plan was to defeat the angel in a single shot as a second would likely be impossible. After lining up the sight, the first shot was taken however instead of defeating the angel, it quickly deflected the shot.

Shinji began to recharge the rifle to get a second chance however as a result of the first shot the angel was now aware of the Evangelion and began a counterattack. To buy Shinji the required time to recharge the rifle, Rei in Unit-00 used the shield to block the attack however the shield quickly vaporized leaving only the body of Unit-00 protecting Unit-01. With the rifle fully recharged, Shinji shot through Unit-00 into the angel, destroying its core, killing it in the process. With the angel defeated, both pilots surviving and both Evangelion relatively undamaged, the operation was a great success.

Jet Alone Sabotage

Jet Alone before its activation test.

Despite the relative success the Evangelion found in combating the angel threat, the large amount of funding the project consistently received was inevitably going to attract competition. Developed by Japan Heavy Chemical Industries, the remote controlled, nuclear powered Jet Alone development had potential to be a serious concern for future funding of the Evangelion and therefore needed to be put to an end.

Everything appeared to be going well during the initial activation of the Jet Alone however the event quickly soured as the supposedly infallable Jet Alone unit quickly went out of control nearly killing those who attended its activation and threatening the nearby area since the unit had effectively become an unstoppable and out of control nuclear bomb.

Much to the dismay of Ritsuko, in response to the impending threat the unit posed Evangelion Unit-01 and Misato were deployed in an attempt to it from causing any damage with the Evangelion physically restraining it and Misato entering inside it to forcefully shut down the reactor. After entering into the control room, Misatos attempts to deactivate the controller failed as the computer was rejecting her shutdown code. In a final attempt to stop the Jet Alone, she tried to physically reengage the control rods with no success. Despite her apparent failures and the seemingly imminent meltdown, suddenly the control rods reengaged and the issue was suddenly resolved.

While most chalked it up to luck, in reality NERV had hacked into the unit and had been in complete control the entire time, using the opportunity to damage the reputation of Jet Alone and bolster the confidence in the Evangelion in order to secure their own funding. Ultimately, their plan worked and funding for the Evangelion would continue.

Arrival of Unit-02

  • Various angel of the week things

Dummy Plug Production

Despite already having weapons capable of defeating the Angels, research and development of new technologies to strengthen their arsenal continued. Many tests on the pilots were conducted and many new and innovative weapons were developed however one of the most notable innovations was the Dummy System and its corresponding dummy plug, an artificial co-pilot for Evangelion which could in theory take full of the unit if needed.

Like the Evangelion, most of the staff were aware of the plugs existence with the true nature of the plugs remaining top secret known to only the top scientists and officials of NERV.

During their development they were able to synchronize however they were not yet reliable and were seen as unfit for combat, a sentiment which would soon change.

NERV US and the Aftermath of Unit-03

While the angels were attacking Tokyo-3, various NERV facilities were working on the production of Evangelion Units 3 through 13. Evangelion Unit-03 and Evangelion Unit-04 were produced in NERVs second branch in the United States and while Unit-03 was fairly traditional in its construction, Unit-04 was unique as it was a test bed for the new generation of Evangelion as it had an S² Engine salvaged from Shamshel which would in theory power the unit indefinitely. In practice, the engines performance proved to be the least of their concerns as during the activation test for the unit, it as well as the entirety of the second division was consumed by the Dirac sea.

Due to the massive amount of damage done by this incident, it was decided against activating Unit-03 in the states, instead choosing to have it sent to the main branch for its activation test. Upon its arrival in Japan, Tōji Suzuhara was chosen to be the units designated pilot and a date for its activation was scheduled.

Bardiel beginning its attack.

The activation was going well at first but similarly to the activation of Unit-04, the activation of Unit-03 did not go according to plan as at the final stages of initialization the angel Bardiel took control of the unit. In response, NERV deployed Unit-00, 01 and 02 to intercept it, however their pilots were not expecting to see an Evangelion and Unit-00 and 02 were swiftly defeated leaving only Unit-01. Realizing there was likely another child his age in the rogue Evangelion, Shinji refused to fight back choosing to die rather than potentially take the life of another. With no other options, the dummy system was activated and Bardiel along with Evangelion Unit-03 were quickly annihilated, greatly injuring Toji the process.

In the aftermath of this event, Shinji resented NERV and especially his father for the harm which befell his friend. Wanting to avoid another similar situation, Shinji vowed to never pilot an Evangelion again and departed from NERV leaving Rei as the new pilot for Unit-01 with the dummy system as its backup.

  • Zeruel attacks, dummy plug doesn't work, Shinji returns to NERV, defends it and is absorbed into the Evangelion
  • NERV launches a salvage mission to recover his physical form.

Truth of the Marduk Institute

  • Investigating the Marduke institute
  • Rescued Kōzō Fuyutsuki from SEELE's interrogation
  • NERV launched an operation and successfully managed to hunt him down and kill him
  • Passed on secrets of NERV to Misato Katsuragi

Siege on NERV HQ

  • NERV were branded as a rogue organization due to pressure from SEELE
  • HQ attacked, many people killed, bad things happened :(

Departments

Technical Division

The Technical Division, headed by Ritsuko Akagi corresponds to the scientific branch of NERV, responsible for research and development of Evangelions, as well as maintenance and development. She also carries out scientific analyzes about the Angels to try to better understand them and help the Operation Tactical branch in their fight.

Each NERV facility accommodates a large number of mechanics, electricians and other personnel dedicated to maintenance, repair and construction. The standard uniform consists of an orange jumpsuit and a hat. Personnel involved in Evangelion research, development and testing wear the standard khaki NERV uniform. Doctor Akagi wears a white lab coat instead of a uniform.

Intelligence and Security Department

The NERV Intelligence and Security Department is a division of NERV that includes intelligence and counterintelligence activities. They are also special agents tasked with tracking Evangelion pilots and investigating security breaches. They manage to recover from Shinji Ikari after his escape two days earlier.

Public Relations

NERV has its own public relations department, which creates propaganda and controls media coverage of various events to hide information about Angels and the Evangelion from the general public. After the fight against the Fourth Angel, the official information released indicates that no one was injured in the fight between Evangelion Unit-01 and the Angel, when in reality Sakura Suzuhara was mentioned to be injured.

While their propaganda was mostly effective during the first couple angel attacks, maintaining their coverup forever proved to be impossible and the veil of secrecy began to break as a result of the countless angel attacks on the city leading to massive amounts of destruction which could not be hidden from the public.

Neon Genesis Evangelion Divisions

Magi attack on Nerv Japan.

Main Division

NERVs main division operate out of NERV Headquarters located at the bottom of the Geo front under Tokyo-3. This base holds the original version of the Magi supercomputer, the body of Lilith and runs the majority of operations throughout the series. Though the Magi attack during Episode 26' displays multiple Magi units, they don't seem to be necessarily congruent with their branch number.

First Division

The 1st Division, or NERV-01, is located in Massachusetts, United States. This is where Evangelion Unit-03 was built.

Second Division

NERV-02 is located within Nevada, United States. This is where Evangelion Unit-04 was built.

Third Division

NERV-03 is located somewhere in Germany. This is where Evangelion Unit-02 was built.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: ANIMA Divisions

NERV Japan

NERV U.S.

NERV Germany

Known Members

Evangelion Pilots

Senior Officers

Crew Members

Equipment Used

Evangelion Units

Evangelion Weapons

See Evangelion Weapons for complete list and specific details

  • Pallet Rifle
  • Progressive Knives - Unit-01 and Unit-02 Variant
  • Positron Sniper Rifle

Evangelion Equipment

See Evangelion Equipment for complete list and specific details

Non Combat Equipment

Trivia

  • NERV's slogan is a reference to the poem "Pippa Passes" by Robert Browning.
  • NERV's logo features a fig leaf covering up part of the name. This is symbolic of the fig leaves which covered Adam's and Eve's genitalia.


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