Was Rei Ayanami of Evangelion Named After Sailor Moon’s Rei Hino?

Rei and... Rei?

Rei and… Rei?

Due to the sheer volume of anime and manga produced in Japan every year and the large number of characters appearing in these series, it’s certainly not uncommon for a lot of anime and manga characters to wind up sharing the same first or last name – especially when it comes to names relatively common in the real world. But when you stop and consider (1) the relatively short time period in which Sailor Moon and Neon Genesis Evangelion took place and (2) just how uncommon a name like Rei is in the first place, it’s a little harder to write it off as pure coincidence. So what exactly is the connection between the two?

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What’s So Special About the Number Zero?

Wing Zero Custom – One of Many Zeroes

Wing Zero Custom – One of Many Zeroes

While one may be the “loneliest number that you’ll ever do,”1 for anyone who has watched a substantial amount of anime, ready even a few manga in passing, or played more than a couple Japanese-made games, you’ll be more than a little familiar with the fixation on making anything with “zero” somewhere in its name overpowered and nearly unstoppable. But where exactly does this come from, and why is zero – literally meaning ‘nothing’ – viewed as better than any of the natural numbers? That’s what we’re going to look into today.

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