Anime Meta-Review


Neon Genesis Evangelion Manga


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-4 of 4+
  • type: manga
  • grade: exemplary
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title is a personal favourite.
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

This is a wonderful experience. Both because the NGE story is so rich and open to analysis that another interpretation is welcome, and because it works to demonstrate the different capabilities of manga and anime. It is also worth noting that the author is a core gainax member, and that the manga started before the anime aired, so it can be considered to have equal standing to the anime, rather than being a manga adaption of the anime. The story itself has close links to the anime, being based on the same material, but ends up having a significantly different feel.

To be honest I really like this manga, although it is hard to say anything too definite until the manga gets further into the NGE story. It has the darkness of the anime, the rich characters and frightening events but is a bit less tortured (which many may consider a negative). The characters are still flawed, but feel less like symbols and more like people. This is partly due to the author and partly due to the strengths of manga. The manga relies strongly on dialogue and `pivotal' expressions to carry meaning whereas the anime used a lot of atmosphere, pacing and ambiance. In addition we get to see into the characters thoughts more clearly here, and in some ways understand them better, whereas the anime often left their internal dynamics open and gave clues only through the delivery of the characters dialog. These characters are also a bit more expressive in general than the anime versions which is not suprising considering the author was the character designer. His version of the lead characters is very true to the anime, but the ways in which they think and express their natures is very different. And occasionally very beautiful, as there are some really nice scenes here. Indeed the author is very willing to vary the presentation, and include entire new sections, to tell his version of the story.

The production quality of the manga is also very high, although I must sat that volume 4 slipped a bit. The artwork is capable of displaying a high degree of character and some of the individual frames look more like artwork than manga. The dialog, body language and expressions are all strongly characterised and really good. The technical and action scenes are detailed and the EVA's look as good as they do in the anime. The action scenes are still dramatic, but the manga format somewhat reduces the impressiveness and atmosphere of the combat scenes. I really have no problem recommending this as a stand alone manga, and suspect that all but the most purist anime fans will find something of interest in this rendition. Of course, given the NGE storyline, nothing certain can be said until the manga is complete.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:17 WST 2009