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Pen Pen (ペンペン) is a fictional character from the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise. It is Misato Katsuragi's pet, although she refers to him as a member of the family. He is a warm-water penguin, who lives in a second freezer she keeps in her apartment. She apparently took him with her when she left her previous job.
There does not seem to be a direct real-world equivalent to the species of penguin that Pen Pen is, though the closest equivalent seems to be an Erect-crested Penguin. Pen Pen clearly possesses retractable claws (three on each "hand"), which no living bird species actually have. He also appears to have noticeably increased intelligence. He has been seen watching television, reading newspapers, taking baths in hot springs, eating human food and drinking beer, and it seems to be subtly hinted that he has a near-human understanding of events around him. All of this suggests that Pen Pen is a new species, created through advanced genetic experimentation.
Through the course of the story, the existence of Pen Pen creates various comical situations, particularly in the first days of Shinji Ikari and Asuka Langley Sohryu, who are surprised to find Pen Pen taking a bath in the bathroom just when they were about to take one.
In other media
Pen Pen is a Fiordland Penguin who was genetically altered in an experiment that made him quite intelligent. After the experiment was done, he was going to be killed. However, Misato Katsuragi felt sorry for him and adopted him, keeping him as a pet. He lives in Misato's apartment, having his own small refrigerated room to make him feel more in his natural ambiance.
Pen Pen is simply named by repeating "Pen" from "penguin". His choice stemmed from the association of Hakone, the real world city Tokyo-3 is set on, with hot springs. However, rather than having a monkey as an animal mascot, he decided on a penguin, "the animal most unsuited to a hot spring". His name was undecided at first. He is hinted to be the result of genetic experimentation, outright stated in early design documents, along with an age of 2. He's speculated to also be inspired from the 1986 anime special Mr Pen Pen. His nameplate also features a serial number, BX 293A.
- "Super straightforward naming, but I thought the repetition sounded cute. His name has officially become the 2nd power of Pen (Pen²). I was reluctant at first, but we thought we needed a mascot character, so we had an animal appear in the show. As it happened, the show is set in Hakone, which one associates with hot springs, which in turn are associated with monkeys. But that is no fun, so we decided to make it a penguin, the animal most unsuited to a hot spring. I'm positive that "hot spring penguin" was Sadamoto's idea. - Character Name Origins
- Hot springs Penguin Age 2 Male
Created artificially by genetic manipulation. Intelligence of an infant.
Usually resides in a large refrigerator. Loves to bathe in hot springs for some reason. - Evangelion Proposal