Name: Gendo Ikari
Title: NERV Commander
Birthday: April 29, 1967
Gendo Ikari (initially Gendo Rokubungi) is the Commander of Special Duty Organization NERV, and is responsible for research and development of Project E and the Human Instrumentality Project. He is husband to Yui Ikari and father to Shinji Ikari, the Third Child and pilot of Evangelion Unit-01. He is also the guardian of Rei Ayanami, the First Child and pilot of Evangelion Unit-00.
While a brilliant scientist in his own right, Gendo is somewhat of a ruthless politician. He is often seen as a master of puppets in the series, one of the few characters who know and control everything. He tends to be very cold, distant, and unapproachable to most people, even his own son Shinji, who he had given away following the death of his wife Yui Ikari.
As bloody and cold as Gendo appears in the series, his motives can nonetheless be considered noble. His wife Yui, whom by all accounts he genuinely loved, had vanished during a contact experiment with Evangelion Unit-01 in 2004 (her body and Soul were actually absorbed into the construct). Following the incident Gendo comes up with a plan to highjack the Human Instrumentality Project in an attempt to be reunited with her.
Gendo's cold ambiguity towards his son is one of his major character flaws. He is naturally a very anti-social individual, one who has himself admitted that he is not used to being liked, and that hate is much more familiar. This is perhaps also why he is so in love with Yui, who seems to complement his flaws with her strengths. Ironically, this is exactly what the Human Instrumentality Project is supposed to do for all of humanity.
While Gendo's plans for the Human Instrumentality Project may be considered selfish, he also disagrees in principle with SEELE over their scenario of total destruction and rebirth. This becomes evident once he makes his final stand against them, for which he is branded a traitor and sentenced to death. It is unclear if Gendo actually cares about mankind or if that is simply Yui's influence, who was opposed to the idea.
However, while Yui worked and died on Project E in her efforts to stop SEELE and bring about a brighter future for their children, some believe that Gendo inadvertently violates her principles in his efforts to bring her back. Others still see it as Gendo choosing to sacrifice the world to save her.
Eventually Gendo attempts to initiate the Third Impact by merging Rei Ayanami, Adam (whose embryo he had grafted onto his hand), and Lilith. Fortunately at the last moment Rei rebels, and upon merging with Lilith instead gives control of the Instrumentality process to Shinji Ikari. As a result the Human Instrumentality Project follows neither SEELE's nor Gendo's scenario, as seen in The End of Evangelion. As Gendo is complemented by the Instrumentality process, he is confronted by Yui and asked to atone for the pain he had inflicted upon their son Shinji. He is then consumed by Evangelion Unit-01 and supposedly killed.