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Rei appears in Neon Genesis Evangelion as a main protagonist and pilot of Evangelion Unit-00. Rei first appears in the first episode of the anime in an injured state after a failed activation test with her Evangelion. After she recovers from her injuries, she goes on to assist Shinji in defeating the Angels with their first major victory being against Ramiel. Rei's next significant Angel encounter occurs during Matarael's attack on Tokyo-3 where she cooperates with Shinji and Asuka to defeat the Angel.She then battles Sahaquiel alongside Shinji and Asuka. She is seen later when creating the dummy plugs for the Evangelions. She, along with Shinji and Asuka, later battle Leliel. She and Asuka attempt to overcome the Angel Zeruel, but are defeated. Rei is seemingly killed saving Shinji from Armisael late in the series yet she returns under mysterious circumstances; it is then revealed that the resurrected Rei is in fact the third incarnation of Rei, the first having been killed years prior to the series and the second having died in the previously stated incident