Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 3 by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

April 1, 2013 by  

The third omnibus leads to another major character death but also pasts for various individuals are revealed. “Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-in-1 Edition, Volume 3” features graphic novels 7-9 and is exciting, action-packed, emotional and extremely entertaining! Highly recommended!

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Image courtesy of © khara – GAINAX. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 3

STORY AND ART BY: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kadokawa Shoten, Co., Ltd.


RATED: T for Older Teen

Available on May 14, 2013

Once Shinji didn’t care about anything; then he found people to fight for – only to learn that he couldn’t protect them, or keep those he let into his heart from going away. As mankind tilts on the brink of the apocalyptic Third Impact, human feelings are fault lines leading to destruction and just maybe, redemption and rebirth.

With the death of his friend Toji, Shinji has never felt so much hatred towards his father.

Shinji quits NERV, not wanting to have anything to do with his father, leaving Rei and Asuka to fight against the Angels.

And more tragedy comes to NERV HQ, who is the next to die?

Find out in Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s “Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 3 (graphic novel volumes 7-9).

The History of Neon Genesis Evangelion?

It all began with a deal between King Records rep Toshimichi Otsuki and director Hideaki Anno in discussion of an anime TV series and project. Suffice to say, both men would not know how successful the project known as “Shin Seiki Evangerion” (Neon Genesis Evangelion) would be.

With a 26-episode animated series by Tatsunoko Productions and GAINAX achieving critical acclaim in 1995-1996, two major films with “Evangelion: Death and Rebirth” and “The End of Evangelion” in 1997 and 1998, interest in Evangelion still continued in the next ten years with video games and eventually leading up to the 2006 announcement that four films titled “Rebuild of Evangelion” with an alternate retelling of the TV series would be released. And to this day, three of the “Rebuild” films have been released as of 2012.

But prior to the TV series and radio programs, the manga series by the anime series character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (“.Hack” series, “Royal Space Force – The Wings of Honneamise”, “Gunbuster” series”, “Summer Wars”) was released in Feb. 1995 (to help drum up interest in the anime series and toyline). Surprisingly, while the animated series was completed back in 1998, the manga series has somewhat been released in a much slower pace, with volume 13 having been released in Japan and the USA on November 2nd.

Flashforward to 2012 and Viz Media who have been releasing the “Neon Genesis Evangelion” manga series since 2004 would release the first three chapters/graphic novels again in an omnibus format titled “Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 1”.

“Neon Genesis Evangelion” is set in an alternate Japan, a.k.a. Tokyo-3 which is at war against giant creatures known as Angels.

A teenager named Shinji Ikari receives a message from his estranged father to go to Nerv headquarters. Picking him up would be Captain Misato Kasuragi and immediately, while she picks Shinji up, Tokyo-3 is under attack by an Angel.

Barely escaping the attack, the two managed to make it into Nerv HQ where they meet Nerv’s chief scientist Ritsuko Akagi. He is quickly introduced to a synthetic android and Earth’s weapon code named “Evangelion”. And not long after he sees the robot, Shinji’s father, Commander Ikari shows up to tell his son that he asked him to come to Nerv, because he will be fighting the Angel that is out there.

Shinji is shocked because he thought perhaps his father asked him to come to see him, but instead, his father wants him to immediately fight the Angel. Without any explanations, his father tells him to get inside which upsets Shinji who thinks his father contacted him to order him to his death. The Commander tells Shinji that if he doesn’t go out there, all humanity will perish and the existence of the human race is on his shoulders. Shinji refuses! And his father calls him coward.

While Misato feels for Shinji, when an injured Evangelion pilot named Rei is brought in and is badly injured, Commander Ikari requests that despite her injury, she has no choice but to fight again. Seeing that Rei can’t fight, Shinji reluctantly agrees to go out there with the Evangelion unit.

And immediately, he begins fighting the Angel, without any training, Shinji is getting himself beat to the point that the Evangelion has lost all function. But somehow, when Shinji starts screaming of how he does not want to die, the Evangelion somehow reactivates and is able to reheal the Evangelion defeating the Angel.

Despite beating the Angel, there is no close relationship with his father and as for Shinji, he doesn’t know why he has to fight. But he eventually becomes Misato’s roommate and attends the local high school and wonders why his father cares so much about the pilot Rei Ayanami, than caring for him.

As Shinji is not so sure why he is being part of this whole project, he still feels that with him being there, it may lead his father to finally get close to him. But with the weight of humanity on his shoulders, even though he doesn’t want to be part of it, Shinji has no choice but to become the pilot of the Evangelion and defend humanity from the creatures known as Angel.

In volume 2 of “Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-in-1 Edition” (featuring graphic novel volumes 4-6), a new pilot named Asuka Langley Soryu has come to join the Japanese branch of NERV but with her brash attitude of feeling superior to everyone, she and Shinji don’t get off on a good start.

And when the two go against an Angel who can split themselves into two, both Asuka and Shinji fail in their first attempt.

So, in order to get them in rhythm as partners, Misato comes up with a plan. Having Asuka move into Shinji’s room and together, they must practice and work together.

Meanwhile, Misato’s ex-boyfriend Kaji also accompanies Asuka to work at the Japan branch. But for some reason, Misato hates him with a passion. What did Kaji do?

In the next storyline (graphic novel volume 5), it is revealed that Kaji maybe working against NERV and Misato’s past is revealed.

But what happens when the power of NERV’s headquarters is shut down for some unknown reason, Misato and Kaji are stuck inside an elevator, meanwhile Asuka who becomes jealous that Shinji gives too much attention to Rei, wants to see if Shinji will kiss her.

Also, Kaji reveals the truth to Misato of why he returned and Shinji remembers his past and what happened to his mother.

In the final arc of this omnibus (graphic novel volume 6), Toji becomes the fourth pilot for NERV is selected and this person has a connection to Shinji. Meanwhile, something tragic happens to one of the major NERV facilities and Toji’s Evangelion becomes possessed by an Angel.

Losing control, the Evangelion begins to work on its own and fighting against the group leaving only Shinji to fight his good friend.

This leads us to the volumes featured in “Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 3”.

For volume 7, due to Shinji’s father ordering a dummy plug to take control of his Evangelion, the EVA-01 ends up killing Toji. Upset with his father, Shinji has never felt so much hatred towards him and the argument leads to Shinji quitting NERV.  But also leaving Rei and Asuka to fight the Angels.  But with those two, are they enough to beat them?

In volume 8, seeing how Rei and Asuka were getting defeated by the Angels, Shinji comes to their rescue.  But with power levels nearly draining to zero on the Eva-01, something takes over and allows the Eva-01 to defeat the angel but also consume the S2 engine.  But because of that, Shinji is comatose for a month and allows him to communicate with his mother in his dreams.  Meanwhile, is Rei starting to have feelings for Shinji?

Meanwhile, Kaji begins acting and kidnaps the NERV Professor Fuyutsuki and brings him to SEELE.  The history of Professor Fuyutsuki and Shinji’s parents Gendo and Yuki and the Second Impact is revealed.

Another major character death.

In volume 9, with the death of the major character, it begins to have an effect on Misato and Asuka.

Meanwhile, the Fifth Child (pilot) of NERV is revealed.  Kaworu Nagisa is unlike other pilots and he has no past or records at all.

Asuka then fights an Angel by herself, but in the process, the Angel possesses her mind and Asuka’s past is revealed.

Meanwhile, Kaworu Nagisa may be the new EVA-02 pilot but he also has secret ties that NERV is unaware of.

With the latest three volumes featured in the third omnibus of “Neon Genesis Evangelion”, things become much more darker and complex as we see the workings of NERV and SEELE, two organizations that appear to be working together but have different agendas.

With Angels becoming more powerful to defeat, it’s becoming more problematic for the EVA pilots and they are starting to show that perhaps, they are not powerful to fight them.  But also, something within Shinji’s EVA-01 is starting to take over and what is happening, is not known at this time.

With the collateral damage increasing, SEELE becomes suspicious of the decisions of Gendo Ikari and both organizations begin to work possibly against each other.

While a major character death happens in this latest omnibus volume, also the pasts of various characters are revealed.  From Asuka’s dark childhood to what really happened behind-the-scenes during the Second Impact, we see a past of Shinji’s parents and the formation of NERV.

As for Shinji Ikari, I would imagine that with the events leading to the first volume, Shinji is quickly learning that he and his father will not have a relationship and that his father cares about NERV more than his son.  But somehow during his comatose state, he was able to communicate with his mother and whether or not it is dreams or reality, it has helped him become a bit stronger but also leading him close to Rei, who appears to be developing feelings for Shinji.

Suffice to say, this third volume is rather complex (in a good way), as it starts to show various motivations between NERV and SEELE but also showing how members of NERV are starting to feel that something corrupt is going on within the organization.

It’s important to note that with the next omnibus, it’s probably going to be the last onmnibus for awhile.  As the fourth omnibus will feature graphic volumes 10-12, vol. 13 was released in Japan in November 2012.  And Yoshiyuki Sadamoto works on three chapters (one volume) per year.  So, the next time we see a “Neon Genesis Evangelion” fifth omnibus may be in 2014 or 2015.

So far, “Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-in-1 Edition, Volume 3” continues this excellent series with a heavy hitting, complex but entertaining storyline. Illustration and storyline is fantastic and even if you watched the anime series or even the animated films, you may find something new in the manga.  But there is no doubt that Sadamoto’s manga series is exciting, action-packed, emotional and extremely entertaining!

“Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 3” is highly recommended!

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