Art Synk

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Asuka Langley Soryu's Top Expys

Anime, Mar 22, 2022
asuka langley soryu expys

It's said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. An expy, short for exported character, is designed to resemble animated icons, both in personality and appearance. Minor qualities may be changed, but they are often indistinguishable from their predecessor. Expys are a common trope seen in anime, and they reinforce other archetypes.

Asuka Langley Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion is credited for popularizing the tsundere character trope. A tsundere appears cold or aggressive at first, and this attitude is often towards a person they secretly like. The term comes from the combination of the Japanese words terms "tsun tsun," which means to turn away in disgust or anger, and "dere dere," which means to become affectionate. Their hot tempered personalities are often visually portrayed with features like bright colors, especially red and deceptively cute faces. With her fiery red hair and quick temper, Asuka exemplifies the misunderstood tsundere and has inspired countless others.


About Asuka

asuka langley soryu reading magazine

In Evangelion, Asuka is the second child and designated pilot of EVA Unit 2. She is a prodigy with a university diploma by the age of fourteen. She is proud of her accomplishments to the point of arrogance and isn't afraid to brag about them. Her bravado, however, is used to mask insecurities. Asuka was raised on conditional love and is constantly under pressure to prove her worth. As a result, she finds it difficult to accept her own failure, becoming overly self-reliant and hating to ask for help.

She grew up in a troubled household. Her father abandoned his family for another woman when she was a child. This caused her mother to slip into a psychotic state, and she began to neglect Asuka, believing that a doll was her daughter. This can be interpreted as Asuka's mother expecting her to be perfect and not allowing her to make human mistakes. This may also reflect the trauma of her husband leaving and blaming herself for his infidelity.

The scene of Asuka running home after being accepted as an EVA pilot demonstrates her need to be praised. She excitedly exclaims, "Mama, they chose me! I'm an elite pilot now. I am the best in the whole world! I must keep this a secret, but I'll only tell you mama. Everybody's so nice to me now. I don't feel lonely anymore. I'm okay now, even without papa. Look at me, look at me mama. LOOK MAMA!" She opens the door and discovers that her mother committed suicide by hanging herself.


Sakurako Tenmaku of Ai Kora is the Perfect Doppelganger

ai kora Sakurako Tenmaku looks like asuka

With her long red hair, twin tail bows, and wide blue eyes, Sakurako resembles her the most. Ai Kora follows the story of self-described creep Hachibei Maeda, a teenage boy who moves to Tokyo for high school. Upon arriving, he meets Sakurako, who has no patience for his immaturity. She is short-tempered and throws him out of the dorms on the first day.

Sakurako is known for having beautiful blue eyes, which she uses to her advantage. She can be very persuasive and is not afraid to haggle. She loves discounts, and her eyes will light up when she spies a good deal.


Rin Tohsaka from Fate/Stay Night is Goth Asuka

rin is goth asuka

Like Sakurako, Rin sports Asuka's long twin tail hairstyle but with a dark twist. Their personalities also share many similarities, especially Rebuild's Asuka in her desire to be left alone. Despite her popularity, Rin barely talks to other students in her school and is focused on becoming the successor to her family's magecraft. Unknown to her classmates, she is a Magus and a Master in the Fifth Holy Grail War. Like Asuka, Rin is fiercely competitive and always ready to prove herself. She also has a tendency of putting the protagonist in his place and calling him out for being stupid.


Zero Two and Miku Split Asuka into Two in Darling

zero two and miku darling in the franxx

Darling in the Franxx has divided fans. Some call it an Evangelion knock-off or parody, while others praise it as meta commentary of the iconic show. The fact that the heroine pilots in a bright red suit and is named Zero Two supports all of these ideas.

Zero Two is bold and unapologetic. She is known as the partner killer because of her ruthlessness when it comes to piloting her Franxx. Unlike Asuka though, she does not hide her affection for Hiro, openly declaring her love and calling him darling. Her sleek pink hair is also a departure from Asuka's more wild mane.

Asuka's appearance and personality are better represented by Miku, who is the tsundere of the group. She is confident and opinionated, harboring no qualms to telling others how she feels, especially when they annoy her. She also strikes up a rivalry with Ichigo, who is resident "mother" and is comparable to Rei in many aspects. Miku sports Asuka's style of hair and eyes, looking more like her than Zero Two.


Yuuri!!! On Ice's Yuri Plisetsky Reps the Tsundere Boys

yuri plisetsky reminds me of asuka

Like Asuka, Yuri is a child prodigy competing in the Grand Prix at only fifteen. In addition to matching Asuka's ambition, he is rude and moody. The audience first meets him as he bullies Yuuri, calling him "baka." His antagonistic attitude toward the other Yuuri does not relent, and he competes with him to have Victor as a coach, which he ultimately loses. Halfway through the season, a sequence of photos on Yuri's phone show the source of his rage against Yuuri. He not only competes with him, but he also has a crush on him.


Louise Francoise Le Blanc de La Valliere from The Familiar of Zero

louise and tabitha the familiar of zero look like asuka and rei

Louise not only rivals Asuka for having a memorable name, she is also self absorbed and antagonistic. Playing up Asuka's bratty side, Louise is a protagonist you either love or hate. Like Asuka, Louise's sense of self worth relies on her ability to perform well. She believes that in order to be worthy of love, she must constantly prove her value. Unfortunately for Louise, she struggles academically, unable to cast spells and earning the nickname "Louise the Zero." When one of her spells goes horribly wrong, a boy appears, and Louise proceeds to make him her slave. Something tells me Asuka would like this anime.

This show gets bonus points for its Rei expy, too.


Naru Narusegawa from Love Hina is Full of Surprises

Naru Narusegawa from love hina looks like shinji and asuka

Despite her modest appearance, Naru possesses a fiery temper. Never afraid to stand up for herself, Naru has a tendency to become overly aggressive and sometimes violent. She, like Asuka, is brilliant, and her high academic standing won her a place at Tokyo University, the school protagonist Keitaro failed to get in.

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