Every once in a while, we come across some record-breaking creation. A book, an illustration, a piece of music. In the world of anime, this genius was titled ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’. The anime is filled with complex characters, and its plot is worth reading between the lines. On the first look, Neon Genesis Evangelion seems like a regular mecha genre anime with good fights and strong figures. But as the story progresses, it introduces controversial theories and dynamic angles to already existing plot twists. What makes it even more indulging are the quotes from Neon Genesis Evangelion, each striking new questions in mind and answering them at the same time.
Neon Genesis Evangelion, in all its glory, is an anime that brought fans from different genres together. It is set in a fantasy post-apocalyptic era, built among machines, turned into psychological thrills, and gives you several comic reliefs at the same time. Even years after its release, Neon Genesis Evangelion is just as much of a sensation as it was when on its release. Only a person devoid of emotions can feel themselves drifting away from this anime.
Heavy words and relatable phrases are what make an anime an attachment. Here are our 40 favorite quotes from Neon Genesis Evangelion that won our hearts.
Shinji Ikari Is the protagonist of Neon Genesis Evangelion, who has visibly low esteem and has suffered from insecurities ever since he was abandoned by his father. He is devoid of all sorts of self-love and grows distant from people due to this. However, Shinji tries hard to get over his trauma and move ahead in the entire series.
“Living alone is fine with me. I’m alone anyway.”-Shinji Ikari
Loneliness is a curse for some, but some get used to it.
“It’s so desolate, the city seems so lonely.”- Shinji Ikari
Even a city filled with people could get equally lonely.
“I still don’t know where to find happiness. But I’ll continue to think about whether it’s good to be here…whether it was good to have been born. But in the end, it’s just realizing the obvious over and over again. Because I am myself.”-Shinji Ikari
Seeking happiness is not easy, especially when one has spent their life being insecure about things. Questioning their existence serves no answer. What matters is who they are now.
4. Happy moments
“No one can justify life by linking happy moments into a rosary.” -Shinji Ikari
Life is beyond just the good parts. It’s the sadness, the bitterness that makes life. There’s no person who has felt only happy their whole life.
5. A world without pain
“I thought this was supposed to be a world without pain and without uncertainty.”- Shinji Ikari.
This is undoubtedly one of the deepest quotes from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Irrespective of what perspective you hold, life will give you lemons by the end of the day.
6. Piloting an Eva
“I’m not worthy of piloting an Eva because I don’t understand anything! I’m incapable of doing anything good for anybody else.” – Shinji Ikari
Shinji Ikari was a complex character. His past trauma had left him insecure and underconfident. But this side of him also made him quite relatable.
7. Must not run away
“I mustn’t run away! I mustn’t run away! I mustn’t run away!”- Shinji Ikari.
Shinji Ikari had several moments of glory, but there were also several times when he faced fear. Fear is natural, and it is okay to want to run away. What matters is whether you give in to your fear.
Kaworu Nagisa is classified as an Angel in the Neon Genesis Evangelion series. He displays a polite tone when communicating and tends to be emotionally open. He grows a connection with Shinji Ikari. However, despite his politeness and friendly nature, he is often noted to be unattached.
“Humans cannot create anything out of nothingness. Humans cannot accomplish anything without holding onto something. After all, humans are not gods.” –Kaworu Nagisa.
There will always be things that people hold on to that give them the push to move forward.
9. The absolute freedom
“Whether I live or die makes no great difference. In truth, death may be the only absolute freedom there is.”-Kaworu Nagisa.
There are several thought-provoking quotes from Neon Genesis Evangelion. However, this one is my favorite. What is freedom? Do we ever achieve it? Because we are always bound by money, emotions, limitations, and whatnot, no matter where we go. Perhaps freedom can only be achieved in death.
“The fact that you have a place where you can return home, will lead you to happiness. That is a good fact.” -Kaworu Nagisa.
No matter how much a person likes to roam around, everybody wants to have a place they can call ‘home’.
11. Hope and sorrow
“The thread of human hope is spun with the flax of sorrow.”-Kaworu Nagisa.
I love the ability of Neon Genesis Evangelion to use beautiful metaphors. This quote here is a perfect example of this amazing ability.
“Man cannot erase this sadness because all men are fundamentally alone.” – Kaworu Nagisa
Loneliness is everlasting. It is within everyone. People can learn to live with it or not.
Misato Katsuragi Quotes From Neon Genesis Evangelion
Misato Katsuragi was the Operation director at NERV initially and later the Major. She lets Shinji and Ikari live with her. Personality-wise, Misato Katsuragi is a laid-back and intelligent woman. She is strong but has trouble getting close to people on an emotional level. She also tends to feel lonely. When she meets Shinji, she somewhat sees herself and her own worries in his words.
13. Wishful Thinking
“Sometimes you need a little wishful thinking just to keep on living.” – Misato Katsuragi
To live on, you need to see the world’s brighter side and hope for the better, even in times of despair.
14. Giving up
“Giving up halfway is worse than never trying at all.”-Misato Katsuragi.
It’s rather conflicting. To never try doing something that will give you regrets but giving up in the middle might kill you inside.
“Never underestimate the ability of the human-animal to adapt to its environment.”-Misato Katsuragi.
Humans are social animals. They adapt to people, new surroundings. It’s in their genes to get along to survive.
16. Part of growing up
“Part of growing up means finding a way to interact with others while distancing pain.” – Misato Katsuragi
Being attached to everyone brings pain. When people grow up, they start learning to be with everyone but keep the attachment to the minimum. It’s almost like a coping mechanism to remove a little pain from life.
“The one who deserves to survive is the one who has the will to make it happen. He wished for death. He ignored his will to survive and chose to die for a false hope. Your survival is not a mistake, Shinji.” – Misato Katsuragi
Misato Katsuragi’s quotes from Neon Genesis Evangelion have always been deep, strong, and motivational. They seek to push people forward and pull them out of the slump of emotions.
Ritsuko Akagi was the head scientist at NERV and the former lover of Gendo Ikari. She is very close to Misato and often makes comic remarks about her. Ritsuko is extremely intelligent. She is one of the few people who actually knew about the Human Instrumentality Project.
“The reason he seems so withdrawn is because he’s afraid of being hurt.” – Ritsuko Akagi
I love how this could be relatable to so many people in the real world too. Distancing from people in fear of getting hurt is not a new coping mechanism that people have come up with.
“Even though a hedgehog may want to become close with another hedgehog. The closer they get, the more they injure each other with their spines.”-Ritsuko Akagi.
Sometimes pain tags along even if two people wish to come closer.
20. Ritsuko Akagi to Gendo
“Liar” – Ritsuko Akagi
This was a truly sad scene. Minutes before she died, Ritsuko was betrayed by her own mother. Although we never know what Gendo told Ritsuko before shooting her, all we know is that she didn’t believe his words.
This is man’s ultimate fighting machine, the synthetic life form known as Evangelion, Unit 1. Built here in secret, it is mankind’s last hope.” –Ritsuko Akagi
Ritsuko Akagi explaining the Evangelion will never not be amusing to me.
22. Confront yourself
“Exactly why did you come here? You mustn’t run away, you must confront your father, and you must confront yourself!” – Ritsuko Akagi
Rather than running away, people need to confront their fears, past, and insecurities.
Asuka Langley is one of the major characters in Neon Genesis Evangelion. She is an American who was brought up in Germany. Ever since a young age, she has been trained to be a pilot. She grew up under the guardianship of Ryoji Kaji and has often been seen to idolize him. Asuka is seen as s determined girl who also looks out for Shinji.
23. Duty of the Elite
“It is simply the duty of the elite to protect the ignorant masses.” -Asuka Langley
The powerful must save the weak.
24. Defiling my mind
“My mind is being eaten away…Kaji-san, it’s unraveling my mind! What should I do? It’s defiling my mind.”-Asuka Langley.
Asuka says this after getting tortured. This was one of the most impactful quotes from Neon Genesis Evangelion, said right after Asuka came face to face with everything she didn’t want to remember.
25. Love yourself
“You never even loved yourself! You’re all you have, and you never even learned to like yourself!”-Asuka Langley
Despite the bluntness in the tones, I believe that more people need to hear this. Loving oneself is a luxury, and I believe more people need to be encouraged to do so.
“I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die. I DON’T WANT TO DIE.” – Asuka Langley
Rei Ayanami is one of the primary characters in Neon Genesis Evangelion. She resembles Kaworu in being one of the human vessels of Adam and Lilith. Initially, she is rather distant, but as her character develops, she gets closer to the other characters.
27. Being alone
“You don’t want to be by yourself, correct? We are many, but you are alone. You hate it, don’t you?” – Rei Ayanami
Feeling alone in a crowd of people is probably one of the worst feelings one could ever encounter.
28. Your heart
“Then tell me, what is your heart for?” – Rei Ayanami
Rei was often laying down questions for Shinji in her own awkward, shy ways.
29. Fear of the darkness
“Man fears the darkness, and so he scrapes away at the edges of it with fire.” – Rei Ayanami
Quotes from Neon Genesis Evangelion, especially those by Rei Ayanami, are mostly speaking of deeper and darker emotions.
30. Hate and love
“Those who hate themselves cannot love or trust others.”-Rei Ayanami
Rei Ayanami, too comments about self-love, and we couldn’t agree with her more.
“Dreams are a continuation of reality. Reality is at the end of your dream.” – Rei Ayanami
What are dreams? What is reality? Sometimes the answers need not be very complicated.
32. A human
“What is a human? A creation of God? Is man a human creation?”
There’s such a spiritual and scientific twist to the question that makes one think twice about human existence.
33. Rainy days
“Rainy days make you feel gloomy.” – Rei Ayanami
I wonder how many people would connect with Rei’s statement.
Gendo Ikari is one of the major antagonists of the Neon Genesis Evangelion series. He seeks out to destroy the angels and to fulfill this plan, and he decides to get along with Yui Ikari. However, he falls deeply in love with her and loses his mind when she disappears.
“Mankind’s greatest fear is Mankind itself.” – Gendo Ikari
It’s been long known that by the end of the day, what haunts people the most are other people. Now that’s something to think about.
“I didn’t believe that anyone could love me. I never deserved to be loved.” – Gendo Ikari
Feeling undeserving of love is such a common feeling. In the case of Gendo, he felt the depth of love through Yui Ikari.
36. Do it now or leave
“If you’re going to do it, do it now! If not then leave!” – Gendo Ikari
Gendo Ikari must have been an antagonist, but he was also a victim of a tragic past that ruined his heart.
37. Burying memories
“Burying memories is man’s way of surviving. But there are some things a man should never forget. Yui taught me that one irreplaceable thing, Shinji. That is the reason I come here, to confirm that commitment.” – Gendo Ikari
A person is meant to forget the past to move ahead. But shall everything be forgotten and removed from the mind just like that?
Yui Ikari was Shinji Ikari’s mother and an outstanding bioengineer. She is depicted as a kind woman who brought out the good in Gendo when they were together. Yui Ikari is known for her positive impact on the Neon Genesis Evangelion story.
“Anywhere can be paradise as long as you have the will to live. After all, you are alive, so you will always have the chance to be happy. As long as the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth exist, everything will be alright.” – Yui Ikari
Paradise is a far-fetched concept, and people say it’s beautiful. But paradise is conceptual. It could be here, in your life, if you choose to make it.
39. Everything will be alright
“As long as the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth exist, everything will be alright.”–Yui Ikari.
This is rather a continuation of the previous quote from Neon Genesis Evangelion. However, I love the positive energy this part of the quote emits.
40. Invisible bonds
“And you were terrified by the invisible bonds that people form.”
People are afraid of attachments, seeing the possibilities that could hurt them despite the beauty and comfort in them.
Neon Genesis Evangelion is a true masterpiece. If these quotes made you nostalgic and made you want to watch the series again, you can always binge it on Netflix.