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Humans constantly feel pain in their hearts. Because the heart is so sensitive to pain, humans also feel that to live is to suffer.
~ Kaworu Nagisa.

Kaworu Nagisa is anti-villainous antagonist in Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise, first appearing in episode 24 of original television anime series produced by Gainax Company as the one-shot antagonist, as well as posthumous antagonist in series' film sequel titled The End of Evangelion. He reappears in the manga adaptation of television written by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto as the central character and final antagonist of Volume 9. His last appearance marks Rebuild of Evangelion anime film reboot tetralogy, appearing as episodic character in every installment except Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, where he serves as villainous protagonist alongside Shinji Ikari.

Artificially created from both human and Adam's DNA, Kaworu Nagisa was secret special agent of secret society known as SEELE, as well as spare pilot for Evangelion Unit-02 working for NERV Organization after Asuka Langley Soryu went to comatose state. After betraying them and revealing his true nature, Kaworu Nagisa was designated as the Last Angel in the original series, while both manga adaptation and film tetralogy describe him as the Thirteen Angel.

In Japanese, he has been voiced by Akira Ishida by all appearances. In English, Kaworu has been voiced by Kyle Sturdivant, Clifford Chapin, Greg Ayres, Aaron Krohn, and most recently, Jerry Jewell.

Biography

Original Canon

Creation

Kaworu Nagisa in original television series' continuity was supposedly created in the day of Second Impact, September 13 year 2000. His past is largely left for interpretation, but supplementary material suggest that the soul of Adam was salvaged by SEELE some time after Second Impact's occurrence into Kaworu's body. He was presumably raised by one of SEELE's members or private childerminder.

The Final Messenger

Kaworu appears for a very short time in the original series. In episode 24, he appears sent by SEELE to begin the Human Instrumentality Project while posing as the Fifth Child and replacement for Asuka Langley Soryu. His goal is to make it to Terminal Dogma, where he believes Adam is held, and unite with his to begin Instrumentality.

Along the way, he meets Shinji Ikari and the two become quick friends. The higher-ups at NERV quickly become suspicious of Kaworu based on how high his synchronization rates with the EVA unit were right off the start and they quickly suspect him to be the final Angel. Their suspicions are confirmed when Kaworu, revealed to be the Angel Tabris, takes EVA-Unit 02 and uses it to force his way past NERV's defenses and into Terminal Dogma.

Shinji Ikari is called to stop Kaworu but initially refuses to believe his friend is an Angel. He comes to the realization and gives chase in Unit 01. He is unsuccessful in stopping him and Kaworu reaches Terminal Dogma but is shocked to find the being there is not Adam, but rather Lilith. Kaworu believes that this destroys his purpose in life and begs Shinji to kill him, which he does after a long moment of hesitation. Kaworu's death sets of the events in End of Evangelion.

Human Instrumentality Project

Some time after Kaworu's death, Adam's soul came back to its body, which was now absorbed into Gendo Ikari's hand. When Rei-III severs it and absorbs the Adam to her stomach, she flies up to Lilith's torso and allows herself to be assimilated by it, creating a forbidden Adam-Lilith hybrid.

Later, the said hybrid appeared before Awakened Evangelion Unit-01, piloted by Shinji Ikari. A sight of Kaworu's face apparently calmed Shinji down, knowing that the boy still blamed himself for Kaworu's death. After the Third Impact is initiated, Kaworu Nagisa alongside Rei Ayanami and Yui Ikari appear before dying Gendo Ikari. Aside from briefly commenting NERV Commander's motivations for abandoning his son, Kaworu simply listens to his confession.

Rebuild Canon

Awakening

Kaworu - Tabgha Base % 28Rebuild% 29.png

Shortly after 6th Angel's failure and demise, Kaworu Nagisa is seem emerging from the coffin at NERV's base on the Moon, completely naked. The Angel then speaks to Chairman Keel Lorenz, who communicates with him through his monolith. Keel indicates that NERV's progress has been going as stated in Dead Sea Scrolls. Gazing at the Earth, Kaworu Nagisa with satisfaction states that the Third Child (Shinji Ikari) has not changed.

Later, Kaworu Nagisa is discovered by Gendo Ikari and Kōzō Fuyutsuki during their trip to Tabgha Base. There, they witness Kaworu sitting at Evangelion Mark 06's finger, who greets them and calls one of them his "father".

NERV Commander

After Tenth Angel is defeated by Awakened Evangelion Unit-01, Kaworu Nagisa pilots Evangelion Mark 06 and stops Shinji from accidentally triggering the Third Impact by impaling Unit-01 with Spear of Cassius. Forcibly putting Unit-01 into dormant state, Kaworu declares Shinji (who has been absorbed into Unit-01) that this time he will grant him happiness.

Realizing Gendo's betrayal, SEELE deprives him of his commander status and gives it to Kaworu. Fuyutsuki is also fired, being replaced by Ryoji Kaji as wice-commander. Kaji questions Nagisa's relationship with Shinji, stating that he uses him as means of archiving his own happiness.

Third Impact

At some point, Gendo Ikari alongside Fuyutsuki regained their positions at NERV. Now-automatic Mark 06 and Lilith merge with each other to trigger the Third Impact event. This causes the immense devastation of Earth's biosphere, making most of its landmass uninhabitable to human beings and animals, which leads to global mass extinction. This makes former members of NERV Organization turn against their masters, forming a WILLE Organization that seeks to eliminate the remaining loyal members of NERV, such as Kaworu Nagisa.

Fourth Impact & Death

Currently degraded to Evangelion's pilot, Kaworu Nagisa is working for Gendo Ikari and Fuyutsuki. After fourteen years since Tenth Angel's death, Evangelion Unit-01 is finally brought down by WILLE from Earth's orbit, with Kaworu watching it with a smile on his face.

When Rei Ayanami successfully captures Shinji Ikari from WILLE and brings him to NERV, Shinji sees Kaworu playing on his piano, suddenly starting to look directly at him. Later, Gendo Ikari explains to Shinji that he is going to pilot Evangelion 13 along with Kaworu to recover Spear of Cassius and Spear of Longinus from Terminal Dogma, which are stuck in Lilith's corpse.

While NERV is preparing to defrost Evangelion 13, Kaworu and Shinji spend time together by playing piano. Shinji says he does not know how to play a piano, but Kaworu insists. Later, Shinji asks Kaworu why is everyone except him hostile, to which Kaworu shows him aftermath of the Third Impact. Mentally broken and devastated when Fuyutsuki reveals the truth about Rei Ayanami, Shinji absolutely refuses to pilot Evangelion ever again. He also mentions that even if he wanted to, DSS Choker on his neck would decapitate him. In response, Kaworu takes off DSS Choker and puts on his own neck instead. Seeing how he could be trusted, Shinji decides to pilot the Evangelion.

Both of them descend to Terminal Dogma inside the Evangelion 13, with Rei Ayanami in Evangelion Mark.09 covering their backs. Nagisa quickly notices that the spears are odd in shape, almost as if there were two Spears of Longinus impaling Lilith's body. Moment later, both of the Evas become a target of Unit-02'β and Unit-08. While Kaworu is thinking as to why the spears are not right in shape, Shinji tries to defend 13 from Asuka. After she's incapacitated due to her Eva running out of the battery, Kaworu begs Shinji not to pull the spears out of Lilith as it would trigger another impact, only to Shinji have to pull the spears out of Lilith.

To stop Shinji from destroying the world, WILLE has activated DSS Choker. However, since Kaworu was wearing DSS Choker at that time, he ended up decapitated. Moments before his death, Kaworu said to Shinji to not be upset, as "they will met again".

Personality

Unlike Rei, a being like him that mostly emotionless and less comfortable in her nature and identity, Kaworu is more comfortable with his true nature as Adam as well as warmer and more emotionally open. However, he does show a detachment from human protocols and shares Rei's tendency to speak in universal rather than personal terms. Though he seems to have been sent to destroy it, Kaworu shows a marked interest in human culture, as well as human issues of pain and loneliness.

In the manga, his personality is more or less same but portrayed as being ignorant of human emotions and taboos regarding social interaction and personal space, creating some comic relief. The already eerie aura that he has even worse than in anime series due to him calmly killed a starved kitten who followed Shinji.

Physical Appearance

Kaworu Nagisa is skinny human male of average height for the boy of his biological age with unusually pale skin, medium-long white hair and crimson-red eyes. His typical attire is consisted of standard Japanese school uniform, including orange (purple in Rebuild) T-shirt, white short-sleeved shirt, black long-sleeved pants, white shoes and brown belt. As Eva pilot, he is dressed in a full-body skin-tight plugsuit with color scheme consisted of dark blue, purple and black.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

  • Angel/Human Physiology: As an Angel-human hybrid similar to Rei-III, Kaworu Nagisa retains genetic makeup of human, making him essentially undetectable to NERV's security systems as long as he keeps his AT Field folded while also retaining his powers of an Angel, although to far lesser degree.
    • Apocalypse Inducement: Due to being an Angel, Kaworu can merge with beings directly created by First Ancestral Race such as Adam or Lilith. This would grant him ability to initiate the Third Impact, allowing him to manifest Anti-AT Field and break down human bodies into primordial soup.
    • AT Field: Thanks to having Adam's soul inside of his body, Kaworu is able to generate, project and encase himself within AT Field, nigh-impenetrable force field which he describes as "Light of the Soul". According to MAGI, Kaworu's AT Field surpassed all previous descendants of Adam, whose AT Fields were able to withstand conventional weaponry and atomic explosions as well as be used in offensive manner. However, Kaworu himself is exceeded by Rei-III, whose AT Field was powerful enough to cancel his own, even from long distance.
    • Levitation: Commonly amongst the Angels, Kaworu could ultilize his AT Field to essentially invalidate gravity pull around him which allowed to hover in air for extended periods of time.
    • Eva Piloting Intuition: Despite not having his mother's soul absorbed into Evangelion Unit's core, Kaworu can nevertheless reach high levels of synchronization with Adam-based Evas and even remotely control them with his mind alone. However, this ability does not work against exceptional models such as Unit-00 (due to unstable soul), Unit-01 (due to being both Lilith-based and having active dominant soul), Unit-03 (due to being possessed by Bardiel) and Unit-13 (as it requires two pilots to control it). He also notes that Unit-02 was earlier mentally incapacitated by Arael and her soul was "hiding", allowing him to control her without an issue.
    • Retroactive Immortality: As noted by himself in Thrice Upon Time, Kaworu is trapped forever inside of an endless time loop with only constant of him dying shortly after meeting with Shinji Ikari. However, after Shinji finds happiness at the end of the film, Kaworu is now freed from the cycle.
    • Space Survivability: As shown by first two Rebuild of Evangelion films, Kaworu was capable of surviving in a vacuum of space with no air or oxygen to breathe without any protective suit.
    • Telekinesis: Kaworu has also demonstrated ability to move objects without need to physically interact with them, as shown when he enters Lilith's chamber.

Abilities

  • Advanced Intelligence
  • Master Manipulator
  • Talented Pianist

Navigation

           Neon Genesis Evangelion Logo.png Villains

SEELE
Keel Lorenz | Gendo Ikari | Kozo Fuyutsuki | Kaworu Nagisa

Angels
Adam | Lilith | Sachiel | Shamshel | Ramiel | Gaghiel | Israfel | Sandalphon | Matarael | Sahaquiel | Ireul | Leliel | Bardiel | Zeruel | Arael | Armisael | Tabris

Godzilla vs. Evangelion
Godzilla | King Ghidorah

           Gainax Villains

Gargoyle | SEELE (Keel Lorenz | Gendo Ikari | Kaworu Nagisa) | Lordgenome | The Four Supreme Generals (Thymilph the Raging Wave | Adiane the Elegant | Guame the Immovable | Cytomander the Swift) | Viral (Gurren Lagann) | Anti-Spiral | Ghosts (Big Brown Eye | The Fast And Not So Furious | Queen Bee | Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf | Cowpers | Hell Pound | The Fabulous Lingerie Ghost | Oscar the Snot | Boogey Pukey | Loser Ghost | The Fallen | Money Ghost | Wife Petter | Other Gods) | Cocktimus Prime | Corset | Mingeatron | Scanty and Kneesocks | Stocking | Stockingcons

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