Neon Genesis Evangelion (Manga)

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title Neon Genesis Evangelion
Original title 新 世紀 エ ヴ ァ ン ゲ リ オ ン
transcription Shin Seiki Evangerion
country JapanJapan Japan
author Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
publishing company Kadokawa Shoten
magazine Shōnen AceYoung Ace
First publication December 26, 1994 - June 4, 2013
expenditure 14th

The manga Neon Genesis Evangelion ( jap. 新世紀エヴァンゲリオン, Shin Seiki Evangerion ) by Japanese artist Yoshiyuki Sadamoto one's adaptation of the anime - TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion .

The plot of the manga is based on that of the series, but differs in many places, but is based on the same prehistory . The work can be classified into the genre of science fiction , mecha , his own and dystopia .


When 14-year-old Shinji Ikari comes to Neo-Tokyo because he was called there by his father Gendo Ikari, he finds himself in the fight against an angel who is attacking the city. Misato Katsuragi, who is supposed to pick him up, saves him from the danger area. Since conventional weapons fail against the angel, Shinji is supposed to fight against him in an Evangelion (EVA). And this under the command of his father, who belongs to the NERV organization, which runs the EVAs. After his resistance to it is broken and he is in combat, he is almost defeated. But when he recognizes his mother in his EVA-01, he can defeat the angel despite the lack of energy supply. After the fight, Shinji moves in with Misato. At his school he is beaten by his classmate Toji Suzuhara because his sister was injured in the fight. When the next angel attacks, Shinji saves Toji and his classmate Kensuke Aida. After the fight, Shinji runs away because he doesn't want to hurt anyone anymore. Soon after, he is brought back and decides to stay with Misato and control the EVA.

In the following time Shinji wonders about the behavior of Rei Ayanami, the pilot of EVA-00. She often had problems controlling her EVA. They must defeat the next angel together. After the fight together, Rei begins to open up to Shinji. Shinji and his classmates later meet Soryu Asuka Langley, the third female pilot, in downtown Neo-Tokyo. She has just arrived from Germany, has already defeated an angel on the way to Japan and is now in a fight that she started herself. She decides to live in an apartment with Shinji, Misato and Pen² (PenPen).

Kaji Ryoji came to Japan with Asuka, who brought Adam's embryo with him. This plays a central role in the project to perfect mankind. In the fight against the next angel, Shinji and Asuka must coordinate their movements to be successful. This can only be done after extensive practice, as both of them have difficulty getting along. Misato and Kaji soon get closer, both of whom were together once in their youth. Shinji, Rei and Asuka are also becoming more and more open with each other. Together they can ward off the attack of the next angel. But soon afterwards Shinji and Misato Kaji follow into the catacombs of the NERV headquarters. There he shows them a huge figure hanging on a cross, which he calls Adam. He explains to Shinji that the organization SEELE is behind NERV and the EVAs. These follow a plan from the scrolls of Qumran , which also includes fighting the angels. As a result of this knowledge, Shinji withdraws more.

A short time later, Toji, without Shinji knowing about it, becomes the "Fourth Children" and is supposed to control the EVA-03. But during the test run it is owned by an angel. When Shinji is supposed to fight the EVA, he gets scared because a person is sitting in there. The dummy plug system then takes over his EVA and Shinji has to watch as EVA-03 is torn to pieces in front of his eyes. He then learns that Toji was the pilot and died in the fight. When he wants to take action against his father and NERV commander, he is sent away.

When the next angel attacks, he manages to quickly get to NERV and defeat the other EVAs. At the same time, Kaji Shinji tells of his youth as a street boy after the Second Impact, during which many of his friends died. He can convince Shinji to fight the angel again in EVE. But when the energy supply breaks down again, the EVA becomes independent again and devours the angel's energy source, the S² organ. Then he can be tamed again, but now poses a danger himself. Shinji is now trapped in it and is confronted with his psychological problems. Meanwhile, Misato, Asuka and Rei hope to be saved soon. After the rescue, SEELE investigates the incidents. In the following years, Kaji Ryoji was shot dead by a stranger.

Rei and Shinji are closer to each other again, whereupon Asuka withdraws more and more. When the next pilot, Kaworu Nagisa, arrives, an angel attacks again. Asuka is so psychologically damaged that she can no longer control her EVA-02. Now Kaworu is supposed to control it. During the fight against the next angel, Rei is forced to blow herself up with her EVA in order to save Shinji. Shinji then spends the night with Kaworu because he doesn't want to go home, although he doesn't like him very much. During the night Kaworu tells Shinji that he loves him. Shortly afterwards it becomes known that Rei is still alive. However, she keeps her distance from Shinji again. Ritsuko soon reveals to Shinji and Misato that Rei is a clone and that after their death the third took the place of their predecessors. After Ritsuko destroys the other clones, Rei becomes unique too.

Shortly afterwards, Gendo Ikari takes in the embryo of Adam. It is revealed that the Second Impact was triggered by humans to keep Adam and the angels from destroying humanity. Kaworu reveals himself as the twelfth angel and Shinji has to fight him. Finally he kills Kaworu at his request, since he would also die if he would trigger the Third Impact. Before that he tells Shinji that SOUL wants to destroy humanity in order to resurrect it as a perfect being. Soon after, the Japanese army attacks NERV so that SEELE can implement this plan. Shinji is almost killed by the army, which penetrates deeper and deeper into the headquarters of NERV, but Gendo and Misato save him. He learns that his father wants to thwart SEELE's plans in order to get revenge on them and God. Misato tells Shinji that life was brought to earth through the First Impact. Now alternative forms of humans have appeared in the form of angels who wanted to take their place. Man himself is the thirteenth angel, whom SOUL wants to destroy in order to take his place as a better being. Shinji should now prevent this. Meanwhile, Asuka realizes that her mother's soul is in EVA-02, so that she can control it again and stop the army with it. SEELE is now using nine automatic Evangelions that they had produced for this purpose. Misato brings Shinji to EVA-01, but she is killed by the soldiers.

Asuka cannot survive the fight against the EVA series, but Shinji comes to her aid. However, the EVA cannot be killed, so they finally get EVA-01 with Shinji under their control. This is the beginning of the ceremony for the perfection of mankind aimed at by SEELE. Meanwhile, Gendo Ikari and Rei are with the creature in the NERV headquarters, which is actually Lilith. Gendo wants to let Rei and Adam merge with Lilith in his hand and thus manipulate the ceremony of SEELE in his sense. But Rei does not obey him and unites with Lilith of his own will to meet Shinji. As a giant figure of light she rises to EVA-01, which was brought by the EVAs in the sky above NERV. Gendo Ikari and Ritsuko, who tried to stop him, shoot each other. The ceremony continues, EVA-01 with Shinji in it first becomes the tree of life and then unites with Lilith. She promises Shinji and all people the end of all mental pain, as now all people lose their bodies and their souls unite. Misunderstandings, rejections and hostility are no longer possible. At this moment, Lilith appears to all people as a person they particularly love.

But Shinji decides, in contrast to the appearance of Reis, that humanity should not end like this. He remembers his mother's promise to protect the happiness of all people. It is true that people can no longer inflict pain on each other, but they can no longer love each other, feel no happiness and are like dead. Lilith then dissolves and the souls of people fall back to earth. Shinji's mother, whose soul still lives in EVA-01, says goodbye to him and assures that everyone will get their body back when they remember their shape.

Origin and themes

Yoshiyuki Sadamoto says he drew the manga because he wanted it while working on the television series. He changed the plot because he prefers straight lines and wants a happy ending. However, this could only consist of Shinji surviving, similar to the film Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion . The fight scenes would be made simpler because in the manga they could never keep up with those in the series, so he focused on other things.

According to Helen McCarthy, the manga appeared before the anime to arouse curiosity about the upcoming TV series. Like the anime series, the manga is about the alienation of the protagonists, especially Shinji Ikaris in his relationship with his father and others. Too much trust in oneself and the technical progress to save humanity, which however fails, is a main topic. In contrast to the television series, the manga focuses more on the interaction of the characters.


The manga appeared in Japan since December 1994 in the manga manga Shōnen Ace published by the Kadokawa Shoten publishing house, almost a year before the television series was published. In October 2007, the series with chapter 77 appeared for the last time Shōnen Ace and paused afterwards. In July 2009 it was resumed in the first edition of Young Ace , in which on June 4, 2013 (edition 7/2013) with chapter 96 the series was concluded. So far 13 anthologies ( Tankōbon ) have been published, with a 14th planned.

In addition to German, the manga is published in English by Viz Media (USA) and Madman Entertainment (Australia), in French by Glénat , in Spanish by Editorial Ivréa and Grupo Editorial Vid , as well as in Chinese (People's Republic and Taiwan), Finnish, Italian , Polish and Portuguese (Brazil), but also in Danish, Dutch and Swedish.

Carlsen published all 14 volumes in German by 2015. The translation is by Antje Bockel.


By October 2010, the anthologies had sold more than 23 million copies in Japan. The Young Ace 7/2013 with the last chapter was sold out across the country within a few days, so the publisher the unusual step that decided the final chapter in the sequence output again reprint. Helen McCarthy cites her apocalyptic mood as the reason for her success, which hit a nerve in Japan in the mid-1990s. The Kobe earthquake struck in early 1995 .

Tatsuya Seto particularly emphasizes Yoshiyuki Sadamoto's filigree, dynamic drawing style in 1001 Comics , with which he succeeds in the subtle depiction of feelings, even in the face of the emotionless Rei Ayanami. The complex story of the manga is dominated by Shinji's internal conflicts, questions about his identity, mission and existence. This distinguishes the series from other science fiction works and is the reason for its success. Jean-Marie Bouissou cites the manga as an example of the more complex plot and themes in the mecha genre in the 1990s , which deal with the protagonists' existential problems. Jason Thompson points out that focusing on interpersonal relationships rather than fighting makes the plot easier to follow. The deviations from the television series are interesting, also and especially for fans of the anime, and also reveal something about Sadamoto's personal view of the characters he created for the television series. In any case, his manga is much better than other adaptations of the anime.

According to Splashcomics, the manga not only contains a good story, but also a lot of manga-typical humor. But because the manga is very close to the series, the charm and atmosphere of this would be retained. The characters would be examined in detail down to their psyche and the plot would become increasingly complex. Sadamoto's drawings are also praised for being rich in detail and precise. A gloomy mood is created and a lot of symbolism is used.

Individual evidence

  1. Interview with Yoshiyuki Sadamoto from the magazine Animerica Issue 6 No. 8 1998
  2. a b Helen McCarthy : A Brief History of Manga . ILEX, 2014. p. 62.
  3. a b Jason Thompson: Manga. The Complete Guide . New York 2007, Del Rey, ISBN 978-0-345-48590-8 . P. 240 f.
  4. Yasuhiro Takeda: The Memoirs Notenki - Studio Gainax and the Man who created Evangelion . ADV Manga, 2005
  5. a b 史上 最大! 全世界 15 カ 国 & 地域 に て 2012 年 11 月 2 日 同時 発 売 !!! . (PDF; 340 kB) (No longer available online.) Kadokawa Group Holdings, October 30, 2010, archived from the original on October 16, 2013 ; Retrieved June 9, 2013 (Japanese, press release about the simultaneous publication of Volume 13 in 15 countries and regions.). Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. エ ヴ ァ 最終 回 で 雑 誌 ヤ ン グ エ ー ス 完 売 店 続 出! 超 異 例 の 次 号 再 掲 載 が 決定 !! . Kadokawa Shoten, June 7, 2013, accessed June 9, 2013 (Japanese).
  7. Scott Green: "Young Ace" To Reprint End of "Evangelion" Manga. In: Crunchyroll. June 9, 2013, accessed June 9, 2013 .
  8. Paul Gravett (eds.) And Andreas C. Knigge (transl.): 1001 comics you should read before life is over . Zurich 2012, Edition Olms, p. 642.
  9. Jean-Marie Bouissou: Manga: A Historical Overview In: Toni Johnson-Woods (Ed.): Manga - An Anthology of Global and Cultural Perspectives . Continuum Publishing, 2010. p. 29.
  10. Review by Splashcomics for Volume 2, by Peter Hirsch
  11. Review of Sprashcomics for Volume 7 by Mario Vuk
  12. Review by Splashcomics for Volume 8 and Volume 10 by Brigitte Schönhense

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