Welcome to Waifu Wednesday, Nicchiban’s new column where we talk about anime characters, their appeal, and a little on their history.
Today on Waifu Wednesday, Misato Katsuragi from Neon Genesis Evangelion. While most fans argue between Rei or Asuka, Misato comes up as a largely neutral third option in the debate.
Misato is the Operations Director at NERV, and is introduced early on in the series as a sort of mentor or guide for Shinji. In a way she’s almost a surrogate parent, with Shinji’s father being distant and cold and his mother having since passed away.
As the more social face of NERV, Misato has a gregarious and outgoing personality than other adult characters in the series like Dr. Ritsuko Akagi. This allows her to act as a mediator between Shinji and Asuka, who have to overcome their own personal faults in order to more adeptly pilot their EVAs.
Misato is the daughter of Dr. Katsuragi, who led the Katsuragi Expedition to Antarctica shortly before the Second Impact. During the Impact, Dr. Katrsuragi was able to save his daughter from the destruction by putting her in a capsule. For years after the accident, Misato was rendered mute by the trauma.
However she became more outgoing during her college years, and entered a relationship with Special Inspector Ryoji Kaji. According to the film book however, Misato’s outgoing personality is just to mask her own inadequacies, and reflects how she lacks confidence socially unless leveraging her sexuality. Misato protects herself by keeping relationships superficial and meaningless so she can’t be hurt by loss.
The appeal of Misato Katsuragi lies in her mature contrast to the rest of the female cast, a niche she also occupies with Dr. Ritsuko Akagi, but between the two Misato receives much more screen time. Fans also appreciate the role of maternal surrogacy that Misato takes when it comes to Shinji, and that despite her irresponsible attitude she’s a capable individual.
Even so, as a secondary character, Rei and Asuka will always tend to be more popular. In a recent Evangelion character poll in Japan, Misato ranked 5th after Asuka, Kaworu, Rei, and Shinji (in that order).
What do you think? Is Misato your favorite Waifu from Neon Genesis Evangelion? Is there a different character you want us to cover next week? Let us know in the comments!