Top 10 Angels in "Neon Genesis Evangelion"

Updated on October 1, 2019
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy enjoys anime when not working as a chemist or building manager.

What are the Angels in Neon Genesis Evangelion?

Major spoilers ahead.

Throughout NGE, giant-sized monsters called Angels attack Tokyo while the NERV organization utilizes giant "Evangelion" robots to counter them. But secrets abound, and the name Evangelion hints that the Angels and robots actually share a common ancestor—the being called Adam.

To make a very long story short, humans come from an ancient being called Lilith, while Angels (and Evangelions) stem from Adam; Lilith and Adam were mistakenly sent to the same planet long ago by the mysterious First Ancestral Race.

Philosophical discussion aside, the Angels demonstrate various powers as they attack Tokyo—which reign supreme? These are the ten strongest Angels in Neon Genesis Evangelion!

Armisael NGE
Armisael NGE

10. Armisael

Number: 16 (Adam is 1 and Lilith is 2)
Name Meaning: Mountain of Judgment of God

One of the last Angels fought, Armisael required the combined efforts of Eva Unit-00 (piloted by Rei) and Unit-01 (by Shinji) to defeat. Even then, it was only stopped after Rei sacrificed herself in a last-resort self-destruct.

This actually killed Rei (a clone becomes the new Rei), making Armisael one of few Angels to successfully take down an Eva pilot. He also displayed some interesting powers, like the ability to merge with Evas and communicate with Rei.

Bardiel (controlling Eva Unit-03)
Bardiel (controlling Eva Unit-03)

9. Bardiel

Number: 13
Meaning: Humiliated Son of God

Bardiel begins as an ooze-like substance that quickly infects the new Eva Unit-03, sending it to battle the prior models. As Unit-03, Baridel swiftly defeats Asuka in Unit-02, and Rei and Shinji hesitate to attack him because of the innocent pilot (Toji) trapped inside.

Whether this was an intentional ploy by Bardiel or a lucky accident remains unclear; either way, it lets him dispatch Shinji and Rei without resistance. Bardiel is only defeated when Gendo orders the new "Dummy Plug" system to take over Unit-01, seizing control from Shinji and causing his Eva to enter a ferocious berserk-like state.

Ireul NGE
Ireul NGE

8. Ireul

Number: 11
Meaning: Terror of God

Ireul's an unorthodox Angel; instead of presenting himself as a hulking beast, he invades NERV headquarters as a microscopic virus-like parasite initially mistaken as corrosion. Despite his size, when lasers were employed against him, Ireul repelled them with a fierce A.T. field, and he hacked the crucial MAGI system, essentially granting him control over NERV.

Ireul came disturbingly close to implementing a self-destruct sequence, only thwarted by ingenious programming from Ritsuko Akagi. Were it not for her, Ireul would have destroyed NERV, safe from the Evas thanks to his minuscule size.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Matarael NGEMatarael's eye-acid
Matarael NGE
Matarael NGE
Matarael's eye-acid
Matarael's eye-acid

7. Matarael

Number: 9
Meaning: Premonition of God

This freaky spider-like Angel drops dangerous acid using his central eye, and he manages to infiltrate Tokyo undetected thanks to a fortuitous power outage. Matarael falls after a clever three-pronged attack where the Eva pilots penetrate his central eye with prolonged rifle fire.

While Matarael died pretty quickly, he's definitely one of the creepiest Angels and one of few who battled all three Evas simultaneously.

Sahaquiel NGE
Sahaquiel NGE

6. Sahaquiel

Number: 10
Meaning: Ingenuity of God

Capable of flight, Sahaquiel appears in low orbit, making it difficult for the generally-grounded Evas to battle him. He also utilizes a jamming signal that prevents NERV from contacting its commanders, and he shrugs off the powerful N² bombs.

Sahaquiel attacks by dropping pieces of himself onto Earth, resulting in bomb-like blasts. When he launches his entire body at NERV headquarters, it takes the combined might of the three Evas to fend him off (Shinji holds him while Rei pierces his A.T. field and Asuka attacks with a blade).

Leliel NGE
Leliel NGE

5. Leliel

Number: 12
Meaning: Jaws of God

Leliel initially appears as a floating sphere, but this is actually a deception—his true body is the shadow beneath the orb. When the three Evas engage him, the shadow engulfs Shinji, and the remaining Evas barely escape.

With Unit-01 trapped within Leliel's warped pocket-dimension, NERV brainstorms a risky plan to have the other Evas pierce Leliel's A.T. field while NERV bombards him with every remaining N² bomb. However, we'll never know if this plan would have worked—with its power drained, Unit-01 entered its berserker state and carved its way out of Leliel (a grotesque metaphor for childbirth).

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Zeruel NGEZeruel vs Unit-01
Zeruel NGE
Zeruel NGE
Zeruel vs Unit-01
Zeruel vs Unit-01

4. Zeruel

Number: 14
Meaning: Arm of God

The strongest "direct-combat" Angel, Zeruel appears soon after Bardiel's attack, before the Evas have been fully repaired. Zeruel rapidly pierces through Tokyo, successfully penetrating the GeoFront. There, he dismembers Unit-02 and survives Unit-00's sacrificial bomb attack.

With only Unit-01 left, Shinji almost defeats the Angel before his Eva runs out of power. But as we've seen time and time again, Unit-01's berserker mode saves the day, destroying Zeruel and consuming his S² Engine (paving the pathway to Third Impact in the film End of Evangelion).

Arael NGE
Arael NGE

3. Arael

Number: 15
Meaning: The Light of God

Sometimes the best offense is a good defense; Arael floats above Earth's atmosphere. At that range, Asuka's rifle fire can't hit such a distant target, but Arael can send mind-invading blasts to Earth, leading to the infamous psychic attack that ravages Asuka's mind (forcing her to continuously relive her worst memories).

With no other means of victory in sight, NERV commander Gendo Ikari orders Rei to toss the ancient Lance of Longinus (a devastating A.T.-penetrating weapon) at Arael, defeating him but losing the Lance in orbit.

Ramiel NGE
Ramiel NGE

2. Ramiel

Number: 5
Meaning: Thunder of God

Despite appearing fairly early on, Ramiel immediately demonstrates remarkable power. Carrying an odd geometric shape, Ramiel fires lethal energy beams (the first of which immediately defeats Unit-01), and he wields a sturdy A.T. field, even by Angel standards.

After regrouping, NERV barely defeats Ramiel by funneling all of Tokyo's electricity into a rifle blast fired by Shinji while Rei defends him with a specially-constructed shield (which doesn't last long against Ramiel's blasts).

Kaworu Nagisa NGE
Kaworu Nagisa NGE

1. Tabris (Kaworu Nagisa)

Number: 17
Meaning: Hand of God

To make a long story short, Kaworu is the 17th Angel in human form who carries Adam's soul, contrasting Rei (who carries Lilith's). But before NERV realizes this, they plan to use Kaworu as the next Eva pilot, and his betrayal particularly unhinges Shinji.

Despite his human size, Kaworu demonstrates phenomenal powers; he can command Adam-based life, shown when he makes Unit-02 battle Unit-01. He also wields the strongest A.T. field yet (until Rei's eclipses it) and likely would have taken down NERV had he not taken pity on mankind and let Shinji kill him.

Which Angel do you prefer?

See results

What do the Angels Want?

Today's list excludes Adam and Lilith, both because they aren't shown fighting and because they shouldn't be counted as true Angels—Adam spawned the Angels, and Lilith is an entirely separate entity who created humans.

But what were they Angels really after? According to info from video game Neon Genesis Evangelion 2, "some of them were trying to access Lilith and reset all life, some of them had nothing in mind, and some were trying to recover their progenitor Adam."

This provides a solid explanation for the Angels' actions, and I'll do my best to answer further questions below. But for now, as we await more from the NGE universe (which is currently remaking the series as several films), vote for your favorite Angel and I'll see you at our next anime countdown!

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Jeremy Gill

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)