Yet another Eva pilot comes to Tokyo, and Asuka’s crisis of confidence deepens.

Title: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Volume 9
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

Kaworu Nagisa has arrived in Tokyo-3 as Asuka’s sync rate continues to ebb, as Asuka is distraught by Kaji’s disappearance, and her loss of the of the top spot as pilot, a position she’s based much of her identity on.

High Points

Kaworu gets considerably more development in this volume than in the series. The character’s introduction draws reminds me a lot of the first appearance of Six from the New Battlestar Galactica miniseries.

Low Points

Rendering Asuka comatose after her mental contact with Arael, the mind-rape Angel, while explainable, feels like the character is being shunted aside to make way for Kaworu’s expanded spot. Also, while Kaworu gets more development, his actions and Shinji’s response to them leave me feeling like he will get more development, his death will be less devastating to Shinji.

Scores

Originality: Aside from Kaworu’s earlier introduction, and Asuka’s coma meaning that we lose the plot of her aimless search for attention prior to her suicide attempt in the show, there are few changes. 4/6

Artwork: 6/6

Story: Asuka’s forced introspection is more brief then the scene from the show, and the narrative suffers for it. 4/6

Characterization: Asuka’s last character developments are well written, and Kaworu is fleshed out well. 5/6

Emotional Response: 5/6

Flow: 6/6

Overall: 6/6

In total, this volume gets 36/42.

Differences

  • Kaworu is sent to Tokyo-3, not summoned after Asuka is removed from piloting duty. Kaworu also pilot’s Eva-02 as Rei’s backup, instead of Asuka.
  • Kaworu “mercy”-kills a kitten in front of Shinji, putting the two on the wrong foot.
  • Kaworu & Asuka meet.