The Evangelion manga reviews continue.
Title: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Volume 2
Story and Art: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Creator: Hideaki Anno
Translator: Lillian Olsen
English Adaptation: Fred Burke & Carl Gustav Horn
Publisher: Viz Media

Available from Amazon.com

The Premise

After defeating his first Angel, Shinji attempts to settle in at a new school. However, Shinji finds himself overwhelmed by his classmates’ excitement at the discovery that the new transfer student is an Eva Pilot, and also intimidated by the anger of fellow classmate Toji Suzuhara, whose sister was injured in the collateral damage of Shinji’s first battle.

The stress of this, and getting chewed out for letting Toji and his friend Kensuke into the entry plug so they wouldn’t get trampled leads Shinji to run away, and then impulsively resign from NERV.

High Points

There’s more character growth in this volume for Shinji & Misato’s familial relationship, that we didn’t get in the show.

Low Points

I’m not sure whether the fan-service shot of Misato in this volume is disappointing for being gratuitous and unnecessary, or disappointing for the missed opportunity to show her Second Impact scar.

Scores

Originality: If the last volume expanded on the first two episodes, this one streamlined them. Shinji’s aimless wanderings on his own are truncated in a fashion with a tighter narrative. 4/6.

Artwork: 6/6

Story: These episodes, in the show, provided a little bit of useful world-building for Tokyo-3. That world-building is kind of lost here. The characterization makes up for it though. 5/6

Characterization: In the TV show, the second half of this volume was spent with Shinji in isolation. In the manga, more time is spent on the interactions between people – Shinji & Kensuke, Shinji & Misato, Misato & Ritsuko. 5/6

Emotional Response: In the manga, as with the show, Shinji’s decision to stay is a big moment, and it feels like it. Similarly, Shinji’s decision to not hit Toji was a big comic relief release valve that I think the manga needed this early. 5/6.

Flow: Again, the Eva fight was hard to track, in part because we’re returning to the Civilian’s Eye View perspective, for Toji and Kensuki’s views on the fight. 4/6.

Overall: 5/6

In total, this volume gets 35/42.

Differences

  • The train car (which becomes a symbol used in Shinji’s inner analytical moments in the show), does not appear.
  • Misato admits to her need for a family to Shinji, and the two embrace.
  • Shinji does not punch Toji, saying that he prefers Toji “owe” him.