Neon Genesis Evangelion (manga)

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Neon Genesis Evangelion
Cover of the first English edition of the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga, published by Viz Media in 1998.
(Shin Seiki Evangelion)
Genre Mecha, Post-apocalyptic
Written by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Published by Kadokawa Shoten
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen (1994–2009)
Seinen (2009–2013)
Imprint Kadokawa Comics Ace
Magazine Shōnen Ace (1994–2009)
Young Ace
Original run December 26, 1994June 4, 2013
Volumes 14 (List of volumes)
Anime and Manga portal

Neon Genesis Evangelion (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン Shin Seiki Evangelion?) is a long-running manga series by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (story & art) and Gainax's co-founder Hideaki Anno (original work) and published by Kadokawa Shoten. It began in the February issue of Shōnen Ace in December 1994 and ended in June 2013.[1][better source needed] It consists of 14 volumes, each composed of several "stages" or chapters.

Initially released before the anime series of the same name, the manga was quickly outpaced and only reached its conclusion in June 2013, over 15 years after the conclusion of the TV series.


Neon Genesis Evangelion was created after a meeting between Hideaki Anno and King Records in 1993.[citation needed] Although the anime TV series was conceived first, the manga was released beforehand. The plan was to boost public interest in the upcoming TV series while it was still under production. Due to severe production delays on the TV series, it ultimately aired a full 10 months after the manga first appeared in Shōnen Ace.[citation needed]

When the series finally premiered in October 1995, Sadamoto's manga storyline (which would later become volumes 1 to 3) had reached the battle against the octahedron Angel Ramiel, corresponding to episodes 5 and 6 of the TV series.The TV series soon rapidly outpaced the manga, to the point that the chapters comprising volume 4 (which included the introduction of Asuka, corresponding to TV episode 8) were not released until over a year after the TV series had finished airing.[2][better source needed] Sadamoto would continue to have a slow production schedule on the manga as he divided his time between other projects, releasing a new volume (out of an initially planned twelve) at a rate of roughly one every year and a half.

While the manga had been running for more than 18 years, only 14 volumes have been published. The reason for this is that while the ostensible publishing schedule was one "stage" a month in Shōnen Ace, Sadamoto's actual publication schedule had been irregular. For example, between the publication in Japan of volume 4 and volume 5, two years elapsed.[3]

In 2008, it was announced that the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga was approaching its conclusion. In July 2009, it was moved to a new Shoten seinen magazine, Young Ace.[4] It was published there until the January 2010 issue, when Sadamoto stopped writing the manga, putting the publication on hiatus in order to work on the latest Rebuild of Evangelion film. The December 2010 issue of Young Ace announced that the manga would resume that 'winter' (early 2011); the April 2011 issue announced the next stage would be published April 4, 2011.[5][dated info]

On February 12, 2012, half of the 90th Stage was published, retelling the Third Impact as seen around halfway into Episode 26 from The End of Evangelion. This was reportedly to be the final chapter.[6] On May 2, 2012, Kadokawa Shoten announced that the 13th volume of the manga would be released on November 2, 2012, with ANN noting that "neither Sadamoto nor Kadokawa has confirmed that the 13th manga volume is still the final one."[7]

Character differences from the anime[edit]

Sadamoto was the original character designer for the anime with Hideaki Anno as the supervisor. His manga versions of the characters and plot often differ in subtle ways from the TV series.[8]

Shinji Ikari
Shinji Ikari's eyes are brown instead of blue. He is also less introverted and expresses himself more, although he is still plagued by self-doubt and hatred for his father to the point where while dissolved in his Eva (episode 20), he imagines that he actually kills him.
Rei Ayanami
Rei Ayanami is more of a "human" character in the manga, in that she is slightly more talkative and becomes more connected with the people around her, largely through her interactions with Shinji. The manga also shows her thoughts and feelings, and indirectly shows that she is in love with Shinji.
Asuka Langley Soryu
Asuka Langley Soryu is depicted as strawberry blonde, rather than red haired. She is not as verbally abusive toward Shinji and somewhat more open about her true feelings, but is still as difficult to get along with and initially puts on a "good girl" facade in front of authority figures. It is when she drops this facade that she begins to truly improve and be more open. Her feelings for Shinji are not quite as easily discovered, though it is hinted in various chapters that she is attracted to him. She is a test-tube baby of genius parents, her first meeting with Shinji and his friends is different, and she is left in a comatose state immediately after being defeated by Arael.
Kaworu Nagisa
Kaworu Nagisa is introduced earlier in the storyline. He fights Armisael alongside Rei in Unit 02. Kaworu is portrayed as being ignorant of many aspects of social interaction, creating some comic relief, but is also colder and more of an unsettling presence than in the anime. Because of this, Shinji dislikes and distrusts Kaworu, while Kaworu makes advances toward Shinji and is upset that Shinji does not return his affections. Sadamoto stated this is because of him picking up Rei's emotions.
Toji Suzuhara
Toji Suzuhara's English-translated dialogue is heavily accented (due to him being from Osaka), and his hair color is changed. He is more verbally abusive toward Asuka, calling her "bitch" multiple times. He is killed during Volume 6 of the manga series instead of being crippled. Additionally, Shinji is aware that Toji is the pilot of Unit 03 before the battle against Bardiel.
Ryoji Kaji
Ryoji Kaji is given more of a back story; he tells Shinji of his past to motivate Shinji to return to Nerv after the fight against Bardiel (this takes place in a hidden supplies cellar rather than a watermelon patch).
Yui Ikari/Unit 01
In addition to the presence of Yui Ikari's soul inside Unit 01, the Eva's Angelic aspect has its own identity, depicted as the unarmored Eva. This being shows itself to both Shinji and Rei while they are synchronized with the Eva, and it attempts to trap Shinji inside the Eva with itself after the battle with the Angel Zeruel by taking Yui's form and manipulating Shinji's desire for contact with his mother. Rei is able to establish a mental link with this Angelic part of Unit 01 while outside the Eva, and the two acknowledge that they are directly connected to each other.


With the success of the anime, the manga has also become a commercial success; the first 10 volumes have sold over 15 million copies,[9] and the 11th volume reached #1 on the Tohan charts,[10] taking the total to over 17 million.[11] In particular, as the manga has drawn closer to its conclusion, attention surrounding it has reached new heights, with the 11th volume staying atop the Japanese Comic Ranking charts for 4 straight weeks, a remarkable achievement even for long-running series.[12] It won the 1996 Comicker fan manga poll.[13] Volume 12 opened at #1 on Oricon's manga rankings and has sold over 600,000 copies.[10] As of October 2012, the series has sold over 23 million copies in 15 countries.[14]

English release[edit]

Viz claims that its releases of Evangelion were the first releases of an unflipped manga in English.[13] In August 2011, Viz announced that the manga would be serialized at $1 a chapter online and through its Apple apps.[15]


  1. ^ Timeline (pg 16), Takeda 2002. pg 162 of Fujie 2004.
  2. ^ Takeda 2002
  3. ^ Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol.5 (Author's Notes). Viz Media. ISBN 1-59116-403-6. You've been anxiously waiting for two years! Vol. 5 is finally here! First, I'd like to give a heartfelt "thank you" to those of you who bought this book and are reading it now. I know you kind souls won't ask any questions about why it is so late, and will wait just as patiently for Vol. 6. Yes... I know you'll wait. I think you'll wait. Probably. [page needed]
  4. ^ "News: Kadokawa to Launch Young Ace Magazine with Eva in July (Update 2)". Anime News Network. 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  5. ^ "Sadamoto's Evangelion Manga to Resume in April". Anime News Network. 2011-03-02. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  6. ^ "Sadamoto finally putting an end to Evangelion manga". Japanator. Retrieved February 23, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Evangelion Manga Volume 13 slated for November 2". Anime News Network. 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  8. ^ "Carl Gustav Horn explains how the Angels are coming to America". Archived from the original on February 14, 1998. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  9. ^ "9-9-06 (8:55AM EDT)---- Further Evangelion Shin Gekijou Ban Details". Anime News Service. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  10. ^ a b "News: Japanese Comic Ranking, March 29-April 4". Anime News Network. 2010-04-07. 
  11. ^ "Sadamoto designed characters for the legendary anime but was more involved in drawing the manga adaptation of Evangelion, which began its print run in Gekkan Shōnen Esu, a monthly magazine for boys, in February 1995--before the anime series was launched on TV. As of 2008, the anime series has already receded more than a decade into the past, and two movie versions have come and gone, but the manga series has not ended yet. It still continues, though irregularly, in the same magazine. So far, the manga episodes have been compiled into 11 volumes in Japanese, while San Francisco-based Viz Media has translated 10 of them into English. In Japan, the book form has sold more than 17 million copies in total." from The Daily Yomiuri (Tokyo) March 7, 2008 Friday. "Grim, complex 'Evangelion' easier to digest in print form"; by Shigefumi Takasuka, Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer, Yomiuri; Pg. 13
  12. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, June 26–July 16". Anime News Network. 2007-07-18. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  13. ^ a b "Carl Gustav Horn explains how the Angels are coming to America". Viz Media. Archived from the original on February 13, 2004. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  14. ^ 史上最大!全世界15カ国&地域に2012 年11月2日同時発売!!! (PDF) (in Japanese). Kadokawa Group. 2012-10-30. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-16. Retrieved 2014-11-19. 
  15. ^ "Digital Version of Sci-Fi Manga Masterpiece Neon Genesis Evangelion Launces on and the VIZ Manga App". Anime News Network. 2011-08-15. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 

General references[edit]

  • Fujie, Kazuhisa; Martin Foster (2004). Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Unofficial Guide. Tokyo, Japan; printed in the USA: DH Publishing, Inc. ISBN 0-9745961-4-0. 
  • Takeda, Yasuhiro; Yu Sugitani, Yasuhiro Kamimura, Takayoshi Miwa; translated by Javier Lopez, Jack Wiedrick, Brendan Frayne, Kay Bertrand, Gina Koerner, Hiroaki Fukuda, and Sheridan Jacobs (2002, 2005). The Notenki memoirs: studio Gainax and the men who created Evangelion. ADV Manga. p. 190. ISBN 1-4139-0234-0.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]