Manga Bites: Shinseiki Evangelion – Gakuen Datenroku

evagakuencover.jpg

I wouldn’t be surprised if Shinji shoots his head and summons Eva-01…

null This was the year of ’96. I barely had entered my teen years and the only decent stuff on public TV was Samurai X (Rurouni Kenshin) and animes like Tenchi Muyo and Lost Galaxy. Then, without any kind of advertizing, a new anime starts to air at Saturday at 10 am. That anime was Neon Genesis Evangelion and changed the way I was looking into anime.

From those times to the current days, there was alot of spin-offs of the main serie ranging from OAV’s like End of Evangelion to high school romance versions like Angelic Days, showing the trend that when japanese like one thing, they will milk it until it runs dry, similar to what happened to Doraemon, Pokemon and Gundam.

Now, we have the most recent “milkage” of the Evangelion branch, a manga called Shinseiki Evangelion: Gakuen Datenroku, which can be better described as “Persona 3 setting meets Evangelion cast”. Is this actually a fresh and decent adaptation of the Evangelion universe or a lame attempt of exploiting a bit more the name of Evangelion?

High school is such a dangerous place these days.

Ikari Shinji is your typical student at the NERV Foundation Academy, the top elite academy in Tokyo. But his peaceful days end one night with 2 events: the finding of a odd marble on the ground and the sighting of classmate Rei Ayanami with a mysterious guy, which is later revealed as the new transfer student, Kaworu Nagisa.

shinjidumb.jpg

He looks even dumber than before….

Perplexed by the indiference that Kaworu and Rei show for each other and the apparent interest that Kaworu reveals for Shinji, he decides to stalk both of them. Then he gets involved in a fight between them and a misterious guy, Ramiel, who has black wings and calls himself an angel…

My Impressions

Because NGE was one of the animes that marked my adolescence, I tend to view the spin-offs as lower quality material. But this new manga has managed to pick my interest in several points. Being a recent manga (in only has 5 chapters so far), there isn’t many details of the plot revealed so far, but we can already apprehend some aspects, like the high school warriors thematic, similar to Busou Renkin and Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchō: Tō. The elements of NGE universe are well transplanted into this story, such as the weapons they use (lol at Rei using the Lance of Longinus) or several terms like EVA, AT-Fields and Lilim.

But one of the best conversions of those elements are the Angels itself: they are portrayed as bodyless consciences, similar to a viral mind, who take over the body of other creatures, killing the original mind of the host in the process. When they are in human hosts , they can spawn black wings, making the term Angels even more litteraly in this manga. They seem to possess powers derived from the mythological angels they are named from (Ramiel, which litteraly means Thunder of God, is able to produce electric based attacks)

ramiel.jpg

An Angel that is an angel. How ironic.

Also, the concept of Yggdrasil is a smart plot element added; deriving from the Multiple Universes theory, the World Tree is portrayed as the physical manifestation of the boundariess that split this version of the universe from the others. If you know the details of the Instrumentality Project from NGE, you can see how that conversed to a time-space equation.

Speaking about the artwork and design, it’s kinda akward adapting ourselves to these new versions of the characters; Shinji even looks more of a wuss than his NGE counterpart. But in spite of this detail, they have a solid design and it helps the manga differenciate from the original. The rest of the artwork is normal, although it doesn’t have anything that it’s remarkable to comment.

Read It or Drop It?

This was a nice start, considering it has the handicap of having some raised expectations due to the fame that NGE has. If they keep this plot reminiscent of Persona 3, this could turn into a fairly nice story, so I’ll keep reading it. And i’m alsy dying out to know if Kaworu is gay for Shinji…again.

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18 Comments

  1. Posted February 25, 2008 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Great site u have! can we exhange link?
    if u agree pls e-mail me or leave comment at my blog.
    my blog
    http://online-dragonball.blogspot.com

  2. Myssa Rei
    Posted February 25, 2008 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    I say give the series a chance (I’m kind of open-minded with these types of things, my previous history with EVA nonwithstanding). At the very least, it’ll make an amusing read, even if it’s premise seems to have been taken straight from a crossover fic…

  3. Posted February 25, 2008 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Shinji looks even more badass as ever. :O

  4. Shippoyasha
    Posted February 25, 2008 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    I can’t help but remain unimpressed by the story and mythos of Evangelion. World Tree? Come on…

  5. Omar Ali
    Posted February 26, 2008 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Hey I’ve been reading this too and I agree with you that this is a very good manga but where did you get ch4 and 5 I’ve only found up to chapter 3?!

  6. saphir
    Posted February 26, 2008 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    can u please post a link to where this manga is posted or if possible send it to my e-mail
    it seems very interesting

  7. Posted February 26, 2008 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    @Shippoyasha: The Yggdrasil isn’t originaly from NGE, it’s an adaptation from Norse Mythology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yggdrasil

    They have just adapted that legend and mixed it with space-time theories and concepts, which surprisingly makes it more viable than the Instrumentality plot of NGE.

    @Omar: Raws help :-p

    @saphir: Sorry, but whe don’t want to post here links to manga scans or anime videos, unless they are fan made like AMV’s or trailers/OP’s/ED’s. If we started doing this, we would have to to the same for each other post we make, and the aim of the blog is to talk about manga and anime, not to provide them.

    Even so, a quick search on Google would help you, Saphir.

  8. John
    Posted February 26, 2008 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    You’d think they’d use Sephiroth instead of Yggdrasil

  9. Posted February 26, 2008 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    @John: First, this isn’t 666 Satan…and second, the goal here was to use a “symbol” to represent the boundaries between their dimension and the other dimension: the Sephirot isn’t the best way to represent, Yggdrasil is.

    Don’t forget, just because this is a NGE spi-off, doesn’t mean that all the elements have to be gnostic related.

  10. Posted February 26, 2008 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the review. I was actually interested in checking this series out but someone said Shinji and Rei are a pairing here and being a pairing whore that I am, when they put Shinji with anyone but Asuka the fangirl rage inside me begins to boil lol.

  11. Myssa Rei
    Posted February 26, 2008 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    … Uh, I just can’t imagine the fangirl hate that the manga serialization of the Ikari Shinji Raising Game received from Hinano now. o_o

  12. John
    Posted February 26, 2008 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Well considering that the first image we see on the intro of NGE is Sephiroth, I just thought it would be more fitting all things considering.

  13. Posted February 26, 2008 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    @Hinano: Well, this is way too fresh to know the pairings, but it’s true that Kaworu teases Shinji a bit. The personalities here are similar to the NGE counterparts (in Angelic Days, for example, Rei was the clumsy shy type. Here, she is back to the cold personality, eyepatch included)

    …And Asuka is still Tsun :-)

  14. Posted February 27, 2008 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Myssa> You don’t have to imagine, I’ve already blogged about it (and Rei’s fat butt inside the color pages. xD)

    Extrange> It’s good to know that Rei is back to being Rei. Seeing her be all fucking happy and clumsy was really creepy lol.

    I think my whole dislike of Shinji x Rei is because I’m following the original story so much I feel like it’s Shinji doing his mom T_T;

  15. chupacabra-food
    Posted March 4, 2008 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    I agree the series seems to show some promise.

    >>>And i’m alsy dying out to know if Kaworu is gay for Shinji…again.

    Well from the little implied hintage dropped in chapter one with Shinji blushing, Im thinking so. Lets see~

  16. Posted May 19, 2008 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Your site is the best!!
    Please link to this site.
    http://evangelion-nerv.blogspot.com/

  17. Posted August 17, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I love anime. Naruto, Neon Genesis Evangeleon, Bleach, Gundam. I am a very fond of these ones. I would also I want to find some updates on said animes I have said. It is nice to know that this anime has been osted here. I got interested and since I just knew this I would like to read other posts relating to the said topic you have discussed.

  18. Posted October 16, 2010 at 4:08 am | Permalink

    Was soll denn das hier? Ich find das echt nicht ok, was ihr hier treibt!

One Trackback

  • [...] THAT Animeblog wrote an interesting post today on Manga Bites: Shinseiki Evangelion – Gakuen DatenrokuHere’s a quick excerpt I wouldn’t be surprised if Shinji shoots his head and summons Eva-01… This was the year of ‘96. I barely had entered my teen years and the only decent stuff on public TV was Samurai X (Rurouni Kenshin) and animes like Tenchi Muyo and Lost Galaxy. Then, without any kind of advertizing, a new anime starts to air at Saturday at 10 am. That anime was Neon Genesis Evangelion and changed the way I was looking into anime. From those times to the current days, there was alot of spin-offs of the [...]

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