This is Chamber K6821. He is a robot, and he also happens to be the greatest character in the show.
Chambers commentary and interaction with the MC is absolutely essential to the plot and flow of the show, and I don't mean from an exposition point of view. Chamber is, basically, the MC's father figure by most any metric that matters.
"I am a pilot support and enlightenment system. By helping you achieve further and greater success, I accomplish my purpose of being."
The same could be said of basically any scifi story, so that's not a meaningful critique.
It remains true that, in the story that was actually told, the Evangelions are central. The characters have their own individual plots, but the main plot has to do not just with the Evangelions themselves but why the children choose to pilot them and the ramifications of that. Remove the evangelions from the picture and you suddenly have a huge hole in the narrative, as they are a source of great pressure and stress that pushes the pilots to (and eventually past) the breaking point.
After the Leliel fight, a significant portion of the plot is simply devoted to uncovering the dark secrets of what the hell the Evangelions even are, underneath the cover story.
Even taking that approach, as I already explained the Evangelions have a constant and significant impact on the characters and their story. The stresses of Evangelion piloting contribute massively to the tumbling down of Shinji, Asukas entire arc hinges on her reasons for why she pilots the Eva and how that leads to her downfall, and Kaji gets killed (sending Misato into a downward spiral of depression) as a result of trying to discover the truth about them.
There is no definition where the Evangelions are not central to the story, even if the focus are the characters. Don't fall back on semantics or claims that if you are willing to change the fundamental nature of the story there is nothing you cannot remove.
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