A Girl and Her Toys - Katsuragi Misato

Katsuragi Misato

Katsuragi Misato is one of the main characters in Shin Seiki (Neon Genesis) Evangelion, first a captain, then later promoted to Major, she is the field combat commanding officer of NERV.

Standard Notes: This is my opinion of this character. Very little of this is fact; this is my analysis of Katsuragi Misato based on what I have seen of her, which includes the movies (Death, Rebirth, and End of Evangelion), and what knowledge of her I have gleaned from numerous EVA FAQ's and discussions (see link list on main EVA page).

Ah, Misato. We hardly knew ye.

Actually we got quite a glimpse of the Misato she wanted the world to see. Misato was...outgoing to say the least. She liked attracting attention and she liked using that attention to gain control of people.

Because if she can control you, she can keep you from hurting her.

Misato uses sex and her own sex appeal, as well as her command, to keep people in line with her own wishes. She's used to being hounded after and drooled over by men, and in this way she can keep her relationship with them light and transient. Deeper relationships with men (her father, Kaji, and, to a lesser extent, Shinji) have always gotten her in trouble.

Children learn what they live.

The lesson Misato has learned is that if you love too much, too deeply, you get burned. Her father was killed in the Second Impact, and even though she didn't LIKE him, she still loved him. She thought she hated him, but it's hard to hate someone who gives up their own life to save yours.

She fights the Angels because it's a hard realization to deal with, and the Second Impact made her confused. Her relationship with her father had been easy, if not exactly ideal - she hated him. Clear. Easy. But because of Second Impact, because of Adam, she realized that he did love her and now all of a sudden, life is not so clear, not so black and white anymore. She hated her father, perhaps childishly wished him dead...and he obliged.

Is it any wonder she remained completely silent, locked up inside herself for so long?

So she strikes out at the Angels because they made her simple life complicated.

And then there's Ryouji Kaji. The only man Misato's loved and she still has a problem admitting it. Love is too deep and involved for her and she's trying so hard to be cool, aloof. There's a country song that I think Misato would like (she'd probably belt it out in a drunken stupor, but she'd like it), and the chorus is:

No one else on earth could ever hurt me
Break my heart the way you do
No one else on earth was ever worth it
No one could love me like
No one could love me like you.*

The song talks about "I've been a rock and I've got my defenses/I never let them down/When it comes to love, I keep my senses/I don't get kicked around," and that is also Misato. She maintains her defenses, never lets anyone else get too close, so that she will not get hurt.

To simplify things, she is an older, female Shinji. She also suffers from the Hedgehog's Dilemma - how to get close to another hedgehog (human) without getting hurt? She simply chooses a different way of running, because she's prouder than Shinji is. To actually run away from the problem is weak, and if you're weak, you're CERTAIN to be hurt.

Remember that it is Misato, in episode 1, who tells Shinji, "You musn't run away." He picks it up as his mantra. And it is, in the end, Misato who motivates Shinji to take the final step and fight the final battle (in End of Evangelion).

Shinji has three women in his life: Rei, Misato, and Asuka. Misato is his present: she represents him the way he is now and she is also a more physical, literal reminder of his present duty as an Evangelion pilot.

And, at the end of it all, Misato realizes all of this. She knows how she has spent her life, running and not seeming to, working so hard to be strong and independent, and yet crying and reaching out for the warmth of another at the same time. She's never really grown up. She is a child forever now.

* "No One Else on Earth" by Wynonna Judd

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