The full story behind NERV and SEELE is revealed.

Story & Art by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Based on the series by Hideaki Anno
Translated by Lillian Olsen
English Adaptation by Fred Burke & Carl Gustav Horn
Published by Viz Media

Available from Amazon.com

The Premise

Shinji Ikari has been absorbed into Eva Unit-01. Ritsuko & Misato attempt to get him back, while Shinji faces a literal existential crisis inside the Eva.

After Shinji gets out, SEELE orders Kaji to kidnap Fuyutsuki. Through his memories, we see the origins of NERV and SEELE, and how Gendo became the emotionally distant manipulator he is now.

High Points

Learning the full story of NERV could turn out to be very dry but it isn’t. Learning this fills in some of the holes of the story of “how it came to this.”

Low Points

The “Shinji’s Existential Crisis” episode, in the show, did a great job of laying out Shinji’s psychological issues – the trauma of having to pilot the the Eva versus his desire to protect his friends, his confusion over how he should feel towards Misato & Rei (whether his feelings should be familial or romantic) combined with his feelings with Asuka, and his hatred for his father versus his desire for his approval. In the manga this is heavily truncated, hurting the development of these relationships some.

Also, there is some information in Fuyutsuki’s flashback in the Director’s Cut of the show that we don’t get here.

Scores

Originality: Aside from the omissions, this volume changes little to nothing. 3/6

Artwork: 6/6

Story: The almost full story of NERV is spelled out very well, and it doesn’t get boring. 4/6

Characterization: Fuyutsuki gets the characterization he’s been lacking for the whole series, plus additional development for Shinji & Misato. 5/6

Emotional Response: And wham volume #4.

Flow: 6/6

Overall: 6/6

In total, this volume 35/42.