The rumor of the "Four Barons of Hell" is one that has been floating
around in Neon Genesis Evangelion circles for ages, before even 2000.
While this rumor is supported by several Evangelion fansites (1), and
even collegic papers (2), not only is there no evidence of the appearances
of the Evangelions being based on these creatures, there's also no
evidence they were ever part of any religious texts, especially Judeo-
A quick google search will lead you to endless Evangelion and Doom
websites, but no religious ones. So, where did the idea of the Barons
come from, and if not that Barons, what are the Evangelions based on?
"Lost", a member of Animeboards.com, makes a suggestion that the
Barons of Hell (3) came from Inferno, Dante Aligreli's classic novel
about a journey to Hell. However, a full scan of Inferno gives no mention
of the words "Barons of Hell", nor does looking for a description of the
Barons lead to anything. Inferno is out.
A common mistake, the the four Barons of Hell are the same as the
Bible's Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse leads to several mistaken
references to the Bible's Revelation. However, the Horsemen don't fit
the description of the Barons at all, and can be eliminated as well, including
the Apocryopha, as searched in by Animeboards.com's "baragon21" (4).
"Shin-Chan 911" provides more of a hint at the origin of the Barons of Hell,
but can't provide any definite proof: " ... taken from the four Elder
gods of Babylon.
There names are: Anu, the God of Heaven. Enlil, the God of Air. Ki
(aka Nintu), Goddess of earth, and Enki, God of Water. They are called
the four Creating Gods, because apparently all gods came from them.
And as I said before Judeo-Christianity turned these four creating God
into the Four Barons of Hell. " (5) Shin-Chan locks
out the four 'Creating Gods' with his next statement ... " But after
intense research, I found no trace of anything about them having "Four
Eyes" or a "Horn" or any description what so ever. " (5)
It's now become widely believed that the Barons of Hell don't exist
in any religious
text, and that the quote is a hoax by an Evangelion fan. But if this
is the case, where
did Evangelion get it's color-scheme, and shapes and such?
One answer comes from "Mecha Designer" Ikuto Yamashita (6), who
writes: " ' So, why did Evangelion wind up with that shape? ' I figure
that from now on, I will hear that
question countless times. The director instructed me to make, 'the
image of a demon.'
A giant just barely under the control of mankind. I get the feeling
I've seen that correlation before... The image I had for the design
concept was the fairy tale, Gulliver's Travels. Enormous Power
And I wonder if what I came up with was what the director was driving
at. Or was I
simply come unprepossessing unknown leading a charmed existence. What I came up
with was a giant that looks like a relief on a wall. To achieve my
selfish desire, I happily discarded the efficiency and feeling of
giant size that you can guess at by sight alone. "
Another answer, the best in my opinion, comes directly from the Creator, Director,
and Mastermind behind Neon Genesis Evangelion, Hideaki Anno himself in an
interview with Aerial Magazine's Amos Wong: " There's a monster in
Japan called the Oni; it has two horns sticking out of its head and
the overall image of the Eva is based on that. I also wanted to give
the impression that beneath this 'robot monster' image is not so much
a robot, but a giant human." " (7)
The main design influences with the Evangelions are the Japanese demons Oni,
and not at all the alleged four Barons of Hell.
(1) " The Evangelions are modeled after the four Barons of Hell from
Judeo-Christian mythology. " -- KenleyChial,
(2) " EVA's resemble the four barons of Hell 'whom are characterized
by respectively having a featureless face with only one eye, a
solitary horn and [gnashing] teeth, blood red skin with four eyes and
two jaws, and one that's pitch black with unusually long
arms'(Anderson). " by May Basse at
(3) " but i do believe that the barons are patterned after the barons
of hell in Dante's Inferno. " -- Lost at
http://animeboards.com/showthread.php?t=13793&page=2&pp=15 on April
(4) "I found nothing of the Barons in the Revelation or anywhere else.
I even did searches of the Bible online - it says nothing ... As for
the Apocrypha, I saw nothing about it, either. " -- baragon21 at
http://animeboards.com/showthread.php?t=13793&page=2&pp=15 on July
(5) Both statements by ShinChan911 on December 16th 2001 at
(6) " The design concept is 'Enormous Power Restrained'" by Ikuto Yamashita,
as translated in the English Paperback "Special Collector's Edition
"Graphic Novel Edition of Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol. 1 published by
Viz Communications in
(7) Hideaki Anno, in an interview with Amos Wong for the January Edition of
Aerial Magazine as reprinted with permission at: