- This article has a collection of images to further represent its content. To see its gallery, visit Tōji Suzuhara/Gallery.
Tōji Suzuhara (鈴原 トウジ, "Suzuhara Tōji") is a fictional character from the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise. He is the Fourth Child (Fourth Children in the Japanese version), selected to be the pilot of Evangelion Unit-03.
Toji is a tough boy, the stereotypical "jock," as evidenced by the fact that he is the only student in Shinji's class that refuses to wear the school uniform (although he does actually wear it once, in the ninth episode). Toji is best friends with Kensuke Aida, and is in constant conflict with Asuka Langley Soryu. Toji's younger sister, was injured in the battle between Sachiel and Unit-01, and after learning that Shinji Ikari was Unit-01's pilot, he beats Shinji up as payback. However, after witnessing firsthand the suffering Shinji experiences piloting Unit-01 in the battle against Shamshel, Toji comes to respect Shinji and the two become friends.
Unbeknownst to Toji for much of the series, his normally by-the-book class rep Hikari Horaki actually has a crush on him, which she tries to repress and disguise by bossing him around. Later in the series, she begins bringing especially big homemade lunches to school for Toji, since he loves to eat ("Toji the Stomach", as Kensuke refers to him). Subsequently, her feelings begin to come to the forefront and Toji seems to return her affection.
Toji is eventually selected to be the Fourth Child, and agrees on the condition that his sister be moved to NERV's medical facilities. En route to the testing facility, Unit-03 is taken over by Bardiel. When Toji is inserted in the entry plug and the Eva is powered up, Bardiel takes over and the Eva goes on a rampage. All the other Evas are deployed to stop Unit-03, but Units 00 and 02 are quickly defeated, and Shinji refuses orders to destroy Unit-03, wanting to try to save the pilot. However, Gendo orders that Unit-01's Dummy Plug system be activated, overriding Shinji's control. Unit-01 proceeds to tear Unit-03 to shreds and crush its entry plug. After the battle, Shinji learns that Toji is the pilot as the wreckage of the entry plug is examined. Toji survives but is critically injured, losing his left leg. Along with Kensuke and the rest of his class, he is eventually evacuated from Tokyo-3; what happens to him after that is unknown. He appears at the end of episode 26 in Shinji's subconscious.
In Yoshiyuki Sadamoto's manga adaptation of Evangelion, the English translation of Toji's dialogue gives him a distinct accent, which could be described as a "New York gangster" dialect, an English approximation of Toji's Osaka-ben dialect. He is prone to violent displays of temper (even more than in the anime) and is more verbally abusive toward Asuka, calling her a "bitch" multiple times. His interactions with Shinji are mostly identical to the anime; however, after he is selected to be the pilot of Unit-03, he confesses to Shinji that he is terrified of the task and is ashamed of his treatment of Shinji when they first met. Shinji learns that Toji is Unit-03's pilot before the battle rather than afterward, leading to his refusal to destroy the possessed Eva. Toji is also killed when Unit-01 crushes Unit-03's entry plug.
Another change was to Toji's hair color, which went from black (in the anime) to dirty blond/light brown (in the manga).
Neon Genesis Evangelion -ANIMA-
In Evangelion ANIMA, Toji is 17 and still part of NERV (now NERV JAPAN). His severed limbs were to be replaced by new ones grown from his body cells. This was however canceled as Bardiel's infection was detected and thus he was grafted with mechanical limbs instead. His relation with Hikari has reached a point where they now kiss each other and he serves as a big brother figure for Rei Six. Toji shows himself to be a reliable field agent and right hand to now General Misato Katsuragi. When Misato herself falls into a trap in an attempt to learn Kaji's fate, Toji is promoted to Acting Deputy Commander, in succession to previous title holder Kōzō Fuyutsuki three years previously.
Shinji Ikari Raising Project
Toji is mostly the same as his anime counterpart, although he doesn't get into shouting matches with Asuka as often. He's also captivated by Rei when she arrives at the school.
Toji maintains much of his same qualities as the anime, although he was accepted into NERV early on, much like the other main teen characters.
In the fighting game Neon Genesis Evangelion: Battle Orchestra, Unit-03 (piloted by Toji) is an unlockable playable character, he also has his own story arc in the game.
- Toji is named after one of the main characters in the novel The Fascism of Love and Fantasy (Ai to Gensou no Fascism) by Ryu Murakami.
- Toji's voice was recast twice, for unspecified reasons, for the English dub of the series. He was voiced by Joe Pisano from his first appearance in Episode:03 to Episode:18, by Michael O'Connor in Episode:19 and Episode:20, and Brett Weaver in Episode:26. Weaver reprised the role in Evangelion: Death and Rebirth.
- In two of the Super Robot Wars game series featuring Evangelion, Toji can be unlocked as a playable character, even after the events of Episode 18. However, the player might have to fulfill certain conditions to unlock him. Toji continues to pilot Unit-03 if he is unlocked. In Super Robot Wars MX for the PS2, he automatically joins in the course of the game without requirements, owing to some crossover storyline help from the RahXephon.
- Toji is originally from Osaka, and thus in the original dub, he speaks with an Osakan accent. English dubs of various series sometimes try to represent an Osakan accent with a comparable English accent, such as a "Brooklynese" accent for Meowth in Pokémon, or a southern accent for Ayumu Kasuga in Azumanga Daioh. The official English dub of Evangelion did not try to give Toji a particular accent, instead, he just speaks more casually than other characters. His voice actor Tomokazu Seiki is from the Asakusa district of Tokyo, however, and had difficulty in portraying the dialect.
- Toji seems to have been majorly influenced by Anno's father. The loss of his leg inspired Toji's own, as Anno was not allowed to kill him.
- Film Book 2
- "My father has only one leg. While working at a lumber mill he had his left leg seriously injured with an electric saw. He was 16 years old at the time. He wears an artificial leg below the thigh. He has trouble walking, so he used to stay at home.
But there is no doubt that I have been influenced by father's physical handicap. I cannot love anything perfect." - Disability Shapes Taste for the Imperfect
- Oizumi: About the complex you have because of your father's body... you said, for instance, in an interview with Animage that even when drawing a robot you're not satisfied until you've erased some part of it.
Anno: Probably I have an attachment towards deformity. I can't love [something] if it's not broken somewhere. I believe that's [due to] the influence of my father['s condition].
Oizumi: The Evas often got deformed as well (laughing).
Takekuma: Toji lost his leg. Why didn't he die there?
Anno: I couldn't kill him.
Takekuma: Of course.
Anno: No, um, I made a certain promise, though I think now I should have broken it. At the very beginiing, when [we] drew up the plan [for Eva], [I met] with the producer, from King Records, who told me, "I will approve the plan you submit, whatever it is, because I have faith in you. However, there will be two conditions. The first one is that you will remain with me for five years. You cannot, for example, do a film version with another [producer]. The additional condition is that you will not kill any children. The adults can die, but I don't want children dying." Because of that condition I couldn't kill [Toji]. - Schizo/Parano