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Title I Shin Seiki Evangerion
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Title II Neon Genesis Evangelion
Manga Book 01 (Issue 01) Cover
Cover of the first English edition of the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga
Genre Mecha, Psychological, Apocalyptic
Medium Shōnen Ace (1995-2009, Shōnen)
Young Ace (2009-2013, Seinen)
Written by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Release Date February 1995 - June 2013
Volumes 14

Neon Genesis Evangelion (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン[?], "Shin Seiki Evangerion") is a long-running manga series by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto and published by Kadokawa Shoten; it began in the February issue of Shōnen Ace in December 1994.[1] It consists of 14 volumes, each composed of several "stages" or chapters. It was released before the anime of the same name, and was intended to increase public interest.[2] In 2008, it was announced that the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga is approaching its conclusion. In July 2009, it was moved to a new Shoten seinen magazine, Young Ace,[3] being published there until January's issue, when Sadamoto stopped writing the manga, putting the publication on hiatus in order to work on the latest Rebuild of Evangelion film, 3.0: Q Quickening.[citation needed]

The Japanese printing of the manga uses the anime's logo imagery for its title, while the American printing simply uses the English title.[4]


Sadamoto was the original character designer for the anime with Hideaki Anno as the supervisor; his versions of the characters and plot often differ in subtle ways from the TV series.[5]

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. Also, his cello playing is not a part of the story.
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 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 slightly more of a brat, putting on a "good girl" facade in front of authority figures. Her feelings for Shinji are not quite as obvious, 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).
Gendo Ikari
Gendo Ikari is Shinji's Father, His behavior, looks and final desire are different from the anime series, making him a deeper character rather than a background character. He plays one of the most relevant roles in the manga, even more with the AT-field from Adam. Gendo successfully managed to take full control of that power and became crazy, with godly desires.
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.

Publishing history and critical successEdit

With the success of the anime, the manga has also become a commercial success; the first 10 volumes have sold over 15 million copies,[6] and the 11th volume reached #1 on the Tohan charts,[7] taking the total to over 17 million.[8] 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.[9] It won the 1996 Comicker fan manga poll.[10] Volume 12 opened at #1 on Oricon's manga rankings[7] and has sold over 600,000 copies.[7]

The manga ran from December 26 of 1994 to June 4 of 2013. The reason for this is that while ostensibly publishing one "stage" a month in Shōnen Ace, Sadamoto's actual publication schedule was irregular: for example, between the publication in Japan of volume 4 and volume 5, two years elapsed.[11] (Volume 5 consisted of stages 27–29, published in January, March, and May 1998, with a year-long hiatus,[12] then stages 30–33 were published between July/October 1999.)

While both the anime and the manga contain language that would normally be censored for television broadcast, the manga uses "fuck" twice (in volumes 4 and 5), although abbreviated to the first letter of the word. The word was not used in the English subtitles or dub of the original series, but appeared in the subtitles and dub for The End of Evangelion.

Apparently, Sadamoto's authorship of the manga caused problems for Gainax as multiple publishers felt "that he was too passé to be bankable".[13]

Viz claims that its releases of Evangelion were the first releases of an unflipped manga in English.[14]

See alsoEdit


  1. Timeline (pg 16), Takeda 2002. pg 162 of Fujie 2004.
  2. Takeda 2002
  4. See here and here for distinctions in the covers
  5. "Although the basic events of each anime episode occur in the EVA manga, the way individual scenes unfold is often quite different from how things happen in the TV show...In the first installment of the manga, for example, before Shinji even arrives at NERV headquarters, Rei engages the Third Angel, using the Eva Unit-01 that will later become Shinji's to pilot. You won't find this incident in the first episode of the EVA anime. Shinji, our protagonist, also displays a subtle shift in character. He is somewhat less withdrawn in his actions than in the anime, yet more openly cynical. Compare Shinji's remark to Misato about NERV's purpose as they enter its headquarters; he says it in a neutral manner in the anime -- but in a markedly sarcastic tone in the manga. And check out the "Institutionalized" essay with which Shinji opens the story..." Carl Horn
  6. "In that time new things with story have happened and Sankei Shimbun has interesting new information on the project already. First off they mention the original 3 Eva films made 4.5 billion Yen in total at the Japanese box office. The manga published by Kadokawa Shoten has exceeded 15 million copies sold over the existing 10 volumes." from "9-9-06 (8:55AM EDT)---- Further Evangelion Shin Gekijou Ban Details" [1] [2] by the Anime News Service.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2
  8. "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
  9. Japanese Comic Ranking, June 26–July 16;
  10. "...the EVANGELION manga was the 1996 winner of Japanese manga-focus magazine COMICKERS' fan poll for best manga."
  11. "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." (Emphasis in the original. Author's note in Viz's volume 5, ISBN 1-59116-403-6).
  13. pg 167 of Takeda 2002.
  14. "In an unprecedented move for manga in English, Neon Genesis Evangelion is being offered in two special monthly formats: regular, reading from left to right; and Neon Genesis Evangelion Special Collector's Edition, printed from right to left with original sound effects, exactly as first published in Japan. Comic connoisseurs have for years requested 'unflipped' manga in the original Japanese format, and now Viz Comics answers the demand."

External linksEdit