Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol. #03 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 172
  • ISBN: 1-59116-401-X
  • Size: Tall B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol. #03

By Eduardo M. Chavez     July 28, 2004
Release Date: May 01, 2004



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Sadamoto Yoshiyuki/Gainax
Translated by:Lillian Olsen
Adapted by:

What They Say
she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate
The front line is everywhere in Shinji's life; in a darkened room... on a schooltop roof... across the battlefielf. And he shares them all with his fellow pilot, the pale, remote, and beautiful Rei Ayanami...

Eva Vol. 3 contains a Japanese sound FX glossary plus a special bonus commentary by the voice of Rei, anime superstar Megumi Hayashibara!

The Review
Packaging:
After going with new cover art for volume two, Viz uses the original cover art for volume three. Volume three features Ayanami Rei awkwardly sitting in front of her Unit-00 on a matted finish cover. With the large Eva glowing orange and yellow in the background Rei's light suit, blue hair, and fair skin really stick out making her red eyes look even more mysterious. The reverse cover has a cropped image from the 2-page color spread found in the Kadokawa Shoten version. Here Shinji, in school uniform, is chilling at his school's art room. Inside there is a page of character intros, a brand new volume header, a short thought from Sadamoto (originally in the dust jacket for the original), and a commentary from Hayashibara Megumi (voice of Ayanami Rei). The printing is a touch dark. Actually some pages are better than others, but there is quite a bit of detailing lost in a few pages. The lack of color pages is a shame as well as Sadomoto's original color volume header is now in black and white (and has been covered by text, as it's being used as a contents page).

Artwork:
Having created the character designs for the animated version Sadamoto's designs are familiar and perfectly reproduced on paper. His designs may be a little leggy and often have heads that look like turnips, but his lines are strong and his expressions are subtle but powerful (which is critical with these personalities). Sadamoto's characters here tend to have a long lanky look to them. At times they may be a little off scale, but generally they look good and tight. Sadomoto's background art is amazing and this volume really shows that off. The amount of detail and perspective he presents can be much more impressive than his character work. Strong backgrounds really help the layout which may look simplistic but does a good job with pacing and point of view.

SFX/Text:
Fred Burke and Carl Gustov Horn do a wonderful job with Lillian Olsen's translation. This is their best job yet, as their adaptation is almost word for word with the original. There is one placement error on page 14: dialogue in panel two is from panel three and vice-versa. They do not use honorifics, apart from the occasional Shin-chan, which can be disappointing considering how these characters interact with each other. That interaction will be vital to the plot as the inter-personal drama builds in future volumes (I have to admit I felt a little confused when I did not read "Shinji-kun" in Misato and Ritsuko's dialogue bubbles).
SFX have been translated in a glossary at the back of the book. Viz's glossaries feature the literal kana translation as well as an appropriate translation into English. Nice. Because of the level of detail in Sadamoto?s art, I really appreciate Viz doing this for this series.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Shinji finally realized that running away would be the simple way out - the coward's way out - of dealing with life's probelms. Now that he is back home, he has to live up to the resposibilities that he has as a student, a pilot, a friend and a human being. For someone like Shinji who has been alone and ignored by the person he believes should be closest to him, this is not an easy task. He have some help, though. His new family and friends have helped him understand that, but there is still much for him to learn and decide on his own.

One thing that has been on Shinji's mind recently has been his father. Ikari Gendou is his commander, one of the guys behind this circus called NERV, his flesh and blood, and his enemy. Shinji knows not why Gendou has not been a father figure to him. He has no clue what Gendou feels about him. Why would a father abandon his only child? Did he run away as well? He already is something of a coward. Then why the concern over Ayanami. If he cares about his work so much, why not send som encouragement to Shinji as well? Are the not both just pilots? Is there something else between them?

What about Ayanami? She finds out that she has no past. She rarely shows signs of emotion. She is almost like a robot; maybe even an Eva. Atfer a bit of thought, maybe her personality is perfect for this position. Nothing seems to faze her, and she seems to disregard her own life easily. Maybe, that is why she is here. Could it be that trust she says she has in Gendou and his work? A perspective on life like hers may not be possible for Shinji, yet even he admits it might help when things appear to be at their worst. Still, has Ayanami always been this way? She could not have been born to be an Eva pilot? Who could be?
Being a pilot has been a responsibility that Shinji has struggled with since the job was thrust onto him at the start of this series. Few, if any, people know why the Angels have being making their way to Tokyo. In all truth, to this point they have not caused the damage that giant monsters from other stories have. However, they are a potential threat that could cause unimaginable damage. The Eva program appeared to have been created to control that threat, but there was nothing made to prepare the Eva pilots for what they were to encounter. The combat, the fear, the risk of death cannot be taught through a manual. At this point, Shinji and Rei really only have their trust for their program and by the end of this GN, each other. If Shinji wishes to not be a coward, his strength will have to come from trust and hope, for now.

Comments
With Shinji staying in Tokyo for good, the young man begins to understand that maturity and survival comes with hardships and plenty of confusion. For Shinji, accepting and actually doing anything is a step in his development, as he has so far dealt with adversity by escaping from reality and ingoring his part of the responsibilty. Unfortunately, he has to deal with all of this as a high schooler. He does not get to have the chance to live a "normal" life, instead normal for him is training himself, testing his limits and eventually battling for survival. If you think about it, there is a metaphor to life there and it can be applied to both Shinji and Rei.

As Sadamoto starts to work on NERV and its operations, he continues to reconstruct Shinji. The angle he goes about it is pretty interesting. By having Shinji confront some of his problems on his own, he is showing some more maturity from the infamously weak main character. Meanwhile, Sadamoto also has Shinji making an effort to relate with the mysterious Ayanami Rei. The relationship between these pilots is just starting, but already Shinji starts to feel that he has a few things in common with his counterpart. In essense, they are both alone in this world with their only "family" being members of the NERV project. They have nothing to lose if they fail, but with success hopefully will come moments of happiness that they could charish until their final moments. Pretty depressing outlook on life, but in the end these two end up realizing that with each other their is much more to hope for. Knowing that you are not alone brings much more than comfort when times are tough.

This volume had it all: giant robots, a little techo-babble, sexual tension, slap-stick comedy, and frontal nudity. With all of that, how can one pass this title up?! Seriously, in this volume there are the good examples of what makes this title so entertaining and one of the better sci-fi series available in English. Viz does a solid job with the production with this series and it is tough to pass Evangelion up.

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