The secret of Evangelion is that they took super robot pilots and reversed their genders
if Rei was male, he'd be the awesomely silent/cool/calm guy.
When he rushes that angel with an N2 mine under his arm sacrificing his life ... that is the scene where MANLY TEARS flow for A MAN'S WAY OF LIFE AND DEATH.
Asuka, if a man, would be an awesomely HOT BLOODED pilot. And pervy with his advances on Shinji, but a little tsundere.
And Shinji, as a weak little girl, as a girl, puts it into context. You'd be fapping furiously to Shinjiko every night because of her shy demeanour
And with girl Kaworu, Shinji x Kaworu would be amazingly hot.