|"You won't die...I'll be protecting you."|
Also, the pilots are amusing in their own ways. Shinji is always befuddled and doesn't like doing anything, and seems to have PTSD. Asuka is an egotistical megalomaniac. But Rei...well, Rei seems like a little bit of a sociopath. My kind of people. They are the only three pilots so far in the series where I am. Sadly, Rei is the least used of the three to this point, because she was injured for a good portion of it, and Unit 00, her EVA, is the prototype and has lots of problems and never seems to work quite right.
In the Episode "Rei II" she has kind of a cool moment with Shinji before they go to kill an Angel (which are all different, but most of them remind me of "Space Invaders") with a sniper rifle that uses all of Japan's power grid. Basically, he's trying to force an emotional moment with her, with the old 'this might be our last night on Earth' gambit. It just doesn't work on Rei. Comedically so.
So far into the series, Rei's primary plot purpose is to be a foil for Asuka's ego. It usually goes something like this:
Asuka: "But Misato, [task] is impossible. I'm not going to do it, and besides, it's all Shinji's fault!'
Misato: "Rei, take over, see if you can do it."
Rei: "Yes Captain" [Rei succeeds at task]
Asuka: "Grrr, out of the way Rei, no one's taking my moment from me!"