Name: Asuka Langley Sohryu
Birthday: December 4, 2001
Classification: The Second Child
Piloting: Evangelion Unit-02
Asuka Langley Sohryu is the Second Child and the designated pilot of Evangelion Unit-02. She is German but with an American father and a half-Japanese and half-German mother. Unlike Rei or Shinji, Asuka has a fiercely independent, energetic, and often arrogant personality that most find either overbearing or refreshing. However, Asuka is not without her reasons for being the way she is.
Asuka's mother, Kyouko Zeppelin Sohryu, was a lead scientist on Project E at the Germany branch when she suffered a complete mental collapse following a contact experiment with Evangelion Unit-02. Her hold on reality lost, she came to believe that Asuka's doll was in fact her daughter, failing to even acknowledge the real Asuka's presence. Her condition eventually led her to hang herself and the doll, leaving Asuka to find her body.
The incident had a devastating effect on Asuka's young mind, leaving deep emotional scars. Asuka promised herself never to cry again, and her egoistic personality and superiority complex are in fact defense mechanisms she employs not only to keep others away, but also to reassure herself of her own self worth, which in secret, she does not feel she has.
Having graduated from college at the age of 14, Asuka is a highly intelligent, driven child. Unlike the other children, she is also proud to be an Evangelion pilot, and often boasts about her superior abilities and higher Sync Ratio. It is this need to feed her unstable ego that often causes her to belittle and abuse Shinji Ikari, the Third Child and pilot of Evangelion Unit-01. She sees Shinji as competition to her skills as a pilot.
Having been replaced by a doll in the eyes of her insane mother, Asuka also harbors a deep rooted resentment towards dolls. Rei Ayanami, the Second Child and pilot of Evangelion Unit-00, is often the target of that resentment as her obedience, lack of emotion, and poor social skills make her seem like a doll in Asuka's eyes. Asuka also sees Rei as competition for Shinji's attention/affection, even though she violently suppresses those emotions.
After a string of defeats, Asuka's mental state begins to deteriorate. At the battle against Arael, the Fifteenth Angel, her mind is violated, forcing her to relive many of her most painful memories. Already in a fragile mental state, the incident is enough to trigger her complete mental breakdown.
Towards the end of the series Asuka loses her will to live, and is no longer able to synchronize with Evangelion Unit-02. She is instead hospitalized in a comatose state, and is as replaced as the pilot of Evangelion Unit-02 by Kaworu Nagisa, the Fifth Child.
It is not until The End of Evangelion that Asuka recovers by accepting that she does not want to die. It is then that she realizes it was in fact her mother that always looked out for her inside Evangelion Unit-02. By coming to terms with this, Asuka finally regains consciousness, brutally lashing out against the attacking Strategic Self Defense Force and SEELE's Mass Production Evangelion Units