- Episodes : 26
- Genre : Action, Dementia, Drama, Mecha, Sci-Fi, Psychological
- Airing Date : Oct 3, 1995 - Mar 27, 1996
- Producers : Studio Gainax
Misato Katsuragi Preview (No Spoilers)
Neon Genesis Evangelion is the story of Shinji Ikari, suddenly asked to Tokyo in order to Pilot the Evangelion, a mecha designed to protect humanity. Misato Katsuragi becomes Shinji Ikari’s guardian, and the two learn about what makes themselves and eachother, tick as people.
Shinji and Misato, along with fellow pilots Asuka Langely Soryu and Rei Ayanami, have to combat the enemies called, Angels, all while examining their deep-seated traumas, as well as trying to figure out what life and the world has in store for them.
Misato Katsuragi Bio
Misato Katsuragi’s father was a key scientist in the Antartica Expedition that was destroyed in the cataclysmic ‘First Impact’, which caused worldwide devastation and the death of her father. Fueled by her desire for revenge, as well as resentment of a father who was too busy to really care for her, Misato is a deeply conflicted soul.
Despite this, she still manages to perform expertly at her job as the Operations Director for NERV, the agency which fights the Angels. Misato is also determined to protect and care for Shinji, conscious of the burden and pressure put on the boy, who is essential for fighting the Angels.
Misato Katsuragi Highlights
1. It’s Tough to Care for Someone When You’re Hurt Yourself.
One of the reasons Misato Katsuragi sticks out so much due to the nature of how Evangelion works as a series. Eva is deeply focused on a cast of characters who are all pretty messed up in the end. They have psychological issues, deep-seated traumas, and many are plagued by self-hate, depression, and even some suicidal thoughts. Shinji Ikari, the main character of the series, is a standard bearer for a new type of protagonist, one that has to overcome crippling emotional issues, instead of just becoming a typical macho hero.
Misato herself, is one of these messed up characters. There’s a lot that has happened to her in her life that she struggles with. Despite this, she gives it her all to look after Shinji and act as a foster mother. Misato watches over Shinji almost as If her life depended on it, and you get a sense that Misato sees some of herself in the young boy.
As Shinji demonstrates, it’s not easy to take care of yourself when you have psychological issues, but Misato does her best to care for him and other people. She’s not the perfect foster-mother, but she always tried, and did whatever she thought at the time was best for his happiness and well-being.
2. Too Cool for School
Aside from the mental hangups that Evangelion is famous for, when it all comes down to it, Misato is just plain cool. She’s the head of NERV’s Operations Department, meaning that, essentially, she’s the field commander of the Evangelion’s and the fight against the Angels. She also demonstrates that she’s a competent soldier in all regards, and is a killer shot with a pistol to boot.
In addition to being a female soldier that Motoko Kusanagi herself can be proud of, there’s a lot that’s cool about her. I’m pretty sure she can drink anyone under the table, while staying super fit despite consuming an amount of beer that would give anyone a gut. She drives an obscure sport’s car as if the famous ones are just too mainstream for her. She embodies the ‘work hard, play hard’ slogan, excelling it at a highly demanding job, while knowing how to have a good time at home.
3. ‘Bond Babe’ Inverted
Though her romantic interest throughout the series, Ryouji Kaji, is actually a triple agent who works for NERV, the Japanese Government and the shadowy group SEELE, Misato is actually more of the typical action hero. She’s highly skilled and more focused on concrete action and survival then Kaji. Even their hobbies would be considered ‘non-traditional’ for their gender. We’ve talked about how Misato loves cars and beer, as opposed to Kaji’s love of gardening, which is generally considered more feminine.
Misato and Kaji have an interesting dynamic between them that reveals a lot about each other’s personalities. Kaji often puts up a masculine front, a smooth-talking ladies man who almost borders on what you’d say is ‘womanizing’ back in the day. In contrast, Misato put’s up a highly feminine and sexualized front, despite that it’s implied Kaji is the only man she’s really slept with.
It seems that being a soldier comes much more natural to her than Kaji, since she views it as the duty to defeat the angels and avenge her father, who she see’s in Kaji’s resemblance, driving her away from him. The two have a relationship that stray’s from the norm that you often see in anime or media in general.
4. Purple Hair is God-tier.
I’ll come out and say it, purple hair is reserved for a breed apart of Anime characters. Purple, is after all, the color associated with royalty, stemming from when the Roman Emperors adopted it as the imperial color. There’s an elite subsection of purple haired anime girls which are all critically well-received and popular characters.
Nadia, from Nadia, Secret of Blue Water is actually the first character Hideaki Anno (Director of Evangelion) gave purple hair to. However, Misato herself is one of the cornerstones of this trope. Nadia might be the first but Misato Katsuragi, along with Motoko Kusanagi, might have a lot to do with putting this trope on the map.
Team Purple-Hair is a tradition that has been continued from Faye Valentine, all the way to Senjougahara Hitagi, who continues to bear the standard.
5. Not Afraid to Risk Her Own Life
In the ‘Jet Alone’ episode, Misato Katsuragi volunteers to try to manually shut-down the out of control robot. Jet Alone is equipped with nuclear power, so the fact that it’s AI has gone rogue could mean that a shut-down is triggered in a major population center. Misato averts a catastrophe by risking herself in order to board Jet Alone and trigger a manual shut-down.
This is not the only time she does this throughout the series. Misato continues to try to look into the secrets of NERV and SEELE, trying to carry out Kaji’s wish and find out the truth of her father’s death, and the organization she fights for.
She also pays the ultimate sacrifice in the end on behalf of Shinji. After killing several soldiers, who were about to kill Shinji, as if she was Rambo, she eventually is shot while escorting Shinji to the Evangelion. Misato’s final act was trying to protect Shinji, as she has throughout the entirety of the series.
Evangelion has a number of tremendous characters, and Misato is one of the best. She’s one of the most interesting and well-written characters in the history of anime. She cares about others and tries to fight to protect those she cares about. She’s an action hero that get’s drunk more than any one with a job as important as her’s has a right to be, but she pulls it all together and always knows what to do in a jam. Watching Evangelion for the first time as a 15 year old, it was hard not to be enamored by Misato Katsuragi, and that’s why she’s my Woman Crush Wednesday!