Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995)


Volume 1

Neon Genesis Evangelion - Volume 1 (1995)

Author/Artist: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Original Story: Gainax
Publisher: Kadokawa Comics Ace

A boy is recruited by his estranged father into a top secret program designed to protect the world from an alien menace known as the Angels.

This volume basically corresponds to the first two episodes of the TV series. The only significant difference is that we see the battle with Sachiel as it happens rather than as a flashback later on. Personally, I though the series' approach was more effective, but it's a minor thing. For the most part, the manga plays rather closely to the series. As the writing credit goes only to Gainax as a whole, I couldn't say if the differences that show up are Anno's effort to do a sort of director's cut treatment to the story or what. I can't imagine anyone who hasn't first seen the series reading this, but putting myself in that perspective, this does a good job of setting up the premise while posing plenty of questions that won't be answered anytime soon. We have yet to delve into the pathologies of the other characters, so at the moment we just see Shinji as a depressed, detached kid, though he's still fairly functional at the moment. It's not much of a spoiler to say things are going to get worse from her (for the characters, at least, possibly for the reader as well depending on your opinion).

Because the art is done by the character designer for the series, there's spot-on correspondence with the look and Yoshiuki Sadamoto's work is very high quality. The sense of dynamism for the action scenes are very well done as well. You won't find to many other manga that are better looking than this and I can tell you now that the standard isn't going to drop from here either. (If only the same could've been said for the original series.)

We get little blurbs from series director Hideaki Anno and mech designer Ikuto Yamashita, which provide some good behind-the-scenes insight.

Fans of the series are definitely going to want to have this in their collection and even if you somehow haven't been introduced to Eva already, it's definitely worth a read. I highly recommend it.

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