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MANGA REVIEWS

Story and Art by Sadamoto Yoshiyuki
Copyright © GAINAX 1995




Book 3:3, 3:4
—by Jeremy Johnson

What new can be said about EVANGELION? The story of Ikari Shinji, the mysterious Angels, and second impact, it was the personal work of Anno Hideaki, in cooperation with Sadamoto Yoshiyuki, Yamashita Ikuto, and GAINAX that seemingly took anime fandom by storm. It appeared everyone had an opinion about EVA (good or bad) back when it came out a couple years ago. Viz has been publishing the manga version, done by Sadamoto, which actually began running in SHONEN ACE several months before the anime first aired on Japanese TV.
  Printed right to left, the Collector's Edition preserves the original feel of the manga, even leaving the Japanese sound effects intact (translated conveniently in the back for those who don't understand katakana). Book 3:3 covers the arrival of Ramiel, the fifth angel, and NERV's struggle to defeat the seemingly perfect opponent. Shinji is rushed to the front in Unit 01 only to be blasted by a particle beam from the angel's deadly center. The direct attack on NERV begins and Misato hatches a plan to use every last watt of power in Japan to save mankind's only chance for survival.
  So how is it? It's EVA. Anime purists may decry Sadamoto's departure from the original story line, and non fans may only raise a disinterested eyebrow, but it is reasonably entertaining as a manga. Sadamoto's drawn art closely resembles the anime, and while his version occasionally parts ways with what ADV buyers know, there isn't so much of a difference in the early volumes that I felt the two stories were wholly different. The editor notes that later the plot makes a fundamental left turn from Anno, but I suspect by then the committed fan will have matured to the point where he/she can accept the differences for what they are: two authors telling unique personal versions of the same story.
  I applaud Viz's effort to keep the visuals intact and wish more companies were willing to experiment with this format. Reading right to left is a simple matter for those fans who are familiar with Japanese (I sometimes catch myself flipping through English books backwards) and even newcomers will have little troubling following Sadamoto's page flow. Personally, I'm waiting for Viz to release a graphic novel/compilation of this series. The 32 page large format comic is, to me, too flimsy and not satisfying enough in individual installments, but this can hardly be construed as criticism.
  The EVANGELION COLLECTOR'S EDITION is a good manga and the right choice for those who are looking for a good story. If you don't mind the differences from the anime, this version is worth your time.

Original Concept by Gainax
Released by Viz Comics
B/W, 32 pages
$2.95
Available Now
Where to buy


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