Neon Genesis Evangelion: Shinji Ikari Raising Project Vol. #03 -

Manga Review

Mania Grade: B-

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Neon Genesis Evangelion: Shinji Ikari Raising Project Vol. #03

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Shinji Ikari Raising Project Vol. #03 Manga Review

By Matthew Alexander     April 16, 2010
Release Date: December 23, 2009

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Shinji Ikari Raising Project Vol. #03
© Dark Horse Comics

Asuka may lose Shinji to Rei forever if she doesn’t pick things up.  But who kisses him first?

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Osamu Takahashi
Translation: Michael Gombos
Adaptation: Carl Gustav Horn

What They Say
Now, it's important for a father to participate when it's time for a parent-teacher conference, but you're still going to feel a little nervous as the student -- or, if your father's name is Gendo Ikari, a lot nervous! While Shinji's girl troubles continue to be a public spectacle, Kaworu and Ritsuko are going behind his back . . . straight to SEELE. Love, comedy, and mystery continue in volume 3.

The Review!

Asuka’s jealousy towards Rei continues to be front and center for this series.  These moments tend to be some better parts of this series, at least when they lead to flashbacks.  Shinji and Asuka have been friends since they were children, and Asuka’s memories build up their relationship, as awkward as it might be.  The two have a sibling-like friendship with undertones of love.  I think they even believed they would eventually end up together, despite their public bickering.  However, Rei’s arrival and her feelings for Shinji has thrown a wrench into things.  
Rei tries just about everything she can to get Shinji on a date without coming right out and asking him.  Trying both the ‘let’s walk home together’ and the ‘we should study together’ moves.  Both might have worked, if Asuka wasn’t watching Shinji like a mother chicken and his friends weren’t a bunch of ‘D’ students that need his class notes.  Of course all these near misses could be avoided if Rei would just come out and reveal how she feels.  Instead, she goes the other route, Rei plays aloof towards Shinji and his attempts to be nice.
Teenage romance aside, Seele decides to make a move.  They aren’t happy with Ikari’s management, so they kidnap Rei.  Luckily, Ikari has had Misato following Rei for awhile, so Misato can track the GPS locator hidden on Rei’s body.  But why would Seele make such a bold move, and what could they want to tell Rei?  Perhaps the An-gel/Artificial Evolution storyline will be given a chance to jump to the forefront?
In Summary:
Did volume two have the last of the silliness we’ll see in this series like I had hoped?  Yes and no.  Volume three has some moments, but nothing as bad as the ‘running the lab on energy from stationary bikes’ scene as in volume two.  I can easily accept chapters on Ikari attending parent teacher conferences and his speeches about human fortitude and can-do-it-ness as long as nothing like that stationary bike ever rears its ugly head again.
This volume continues to focus on the awkward interactions between Shinji, Asuka, and Rei.  This has quickly evolved into a love triangle that carries most of the steam for this story.  Just when I think Shinji has chosen Rei, he goes and does something really nice for Asuka, which reignites her hope for their love.  I know Shinji is just trying to be nice to his friend and he probably doesn’t want to throw away their friendship or ruin anything in case Rei doesn’t like him, but it really isn’t fair to string Asuka along.  So the real question is when will Shinji shoot down one of the girls affections and who will it be?


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