There’s no way the Eva can be man-made. With its moving on its own, with its regeneration, with the line about the Eva’s “true form”.
With Rei’s Eva being 00, that counters my thoughts on Shinji’s 01 being the first made. So, how many Eva’s are there, and where did they come from? Are they related to the Angels in some way? Whether the Eva’s were made by man or not, they were made to be piloted, to house a pilot, even though they are capable of movement on their own. Then again, they could have been made for piloting, with a berserk mode as a last resort.
Even though Shinji and Eva 01 lead to the defeat of the Angel, it was the Angel which defeated itself. As Shinji learns to pilot the Eva, there should be little to no need for berserk mode over time, and other Angels may not self destruct. This nicely allowed defeating a powerful opponent in the beginning, while still leaving room for difficult battles against other, equally-powered Angels later on.
This is turning out to be one of those series where an episode seems to be over before I’ve realized any time has passed. It’s still not my type of series, not my genre, but the story’s keeping a hold on me. There was an Angel attack (one or multiple?) 15 years prior which lead to the project to create the Eva’s. But, were the Eva’s created from scratch, or did they exist to be modified to use? Did mankind think it could create something from nothing able to stop an Angel? What happened 15 years ago, a time when Shinji either hadn’t been born yet or was just a baby, or young toddler? What became of the Angel back then?
As for the characters, Misato is shown to be, essentially, an irresponsible (in various things), childish person, and a stereotypical drinker of beer. She does have a penguin, though, which sets her apart from other stereotypical beer drinkers. Miss Yukari in Azumanga Daioh didn’t have a penguin, for example (although Chiyo-chan did, within a dream).
Shinji, it’s too early to tell what kind of character he’ll be. He’s been quiet, and kept to himself. With Rei being formally introduced in the next episode, maybe this’ll give Shinji more of an outlet for his personality, giving him a chance to talk, and let known who he is. At the very least, it should let him get to know more about his father’s work, about the Eva’s, about the Angels, via talking with Rei.