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Manga / Neon Genesis Evangelion

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The manga version of Neon Genesis Evangelion, written and drawn by character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, which tells the same story as the anime but with a number of changes. It ran from December 1994—June 2013 (including several hiatuses), having originally started out as promotion material for the then-upcoming anime.

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  • Adaptation Distillation: Compared to the original anime, the manga cuts out several scenes, especially when it comes to some of the Angel battles, such as Sandalphon, Matarael, Ireul, and Leliel which are skipped entirely. Others scenes again are altered and/or shorted, such as the encounter with Gaghiel, which instead happens in a flashback. A couple of characters, especially when it comes to their backstories, are also altered, some in subtler ways than others.
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  • Adaptation Expansion: The manga details more of the odd relationship between Shinji and Rei (and Rei's character in general), gives Kaji a tragic backstory, makes Kaworu much more prominent, and the battle with the MP Evas is expanded since Shinji gets in on the action.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Asuka has a couple of such tops in the manga. Whether she wears these to subtly flirt with Shinji or is just comfortable enough around him to show off a bit isn't clear, although given the manga's de-emphasis on their romantic angle and the first instance being one of the first evenings of their time together before the second Israfel battle, the latter seems more likely. She also wears only a short top and underwear in one of the chapter title still arts, the image conveying a tone of vulnerability and fragility.
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  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Kaworu and Shinji in the manga. Compared to the immediate friendship the two develop in the anime, manga-Kaworu's relationship with Shinji is built around tension and the uneasiness Shinji feels around him. Kaworu is also no less interested in Shinji, but is presented as far more naive and a rather big Jerkass. Sadamoto described their relationship as two schoolboys who are constantly bickering but secretly desire to impress the other.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Depending on how you interpret things, the manga ending is this. Humanity has been restored in the wake of the aborted Instrumentality, and everyone who survived to the end is shown to be living normal lives. However they've lost all of their memories from their time at Tokyo-3, but as Shinji's chance encounter with Asuka and Kensuke at Tokyo shows, there's still a possibility to re-establish those lost ties, as the future is now wide open for everyone to take advantage of.
  • Body Motifs: The manga places more attention on hands than the anime ever did, even playing into the story's resolution. During Instrumentality Shinji concludes with Rei that even though people in his life hurt him with their hands, or he hurt them with his, he still had much happiness with all of them, so even if he might get hurt again, he still wants to be with them one more time.
  • Book-Ends: The manga begins and ends with Shinji walking through the streets by himself depressingly in the first chapter, triumphantly in the last.
  • Darker and Edgier: Zig-Zagged with the manga. Some consider it even darker than the anime, with Evil Manga Kaworu, Touji dying instead of getting injured after Unit 03 is destroyed, Gendou's villainous traits being played up, and having him outright saying to Shinji's face that he doesn't love him.note  On the other hand, the main characters (especially Shinji) are generally more mentally stable than in the anime, and while the movie had an ambiguous ending that's subject to a variety of interpretations to this day, the manga ending is more of a clear-cut bittersweet, if not a downright Earn Your Happy Ending.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The manga ending. After enduring a slightly different version of the events of End of Evangelion, humanity seems to have been given a fresh start. Even the Earth seems to have recovered, with the first scene showing heavy snowfall on Shinji's hometown despite Japan's previously tropical climate due to Third Impact. However in return everyone who survived (Shinji, Asuka, etc.) have lost all their memories of the time they spent at Tokyo-3, and have all went their separate ways. That said, as Shinji's chance encounters with both Asuka and Kensuke at Tokyo demonstrate, it's still possible to re-establish ties anew, and as Shinji muses, the future is now full of possibilities. Touji's back too! The optimistic, confident way he carries himself, directly paralleled to the moody Shinji of the first chapter, says it all.
  • Eyelid Pull Taunt: In the manga, Asuka does this to Shinji after her initial strike against the Angel Israfel (seemingly) killed it.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: In the manga, Gendou has a large eyeball in the middle of his left palm due to swallowing Adam.
  • Hidden Eyes: Shinji's uncle, aunt, and bullies in the manga.
  • Long Runner: The anime series had a standard length of 26 episodes. The manga adaptation, on the other hand, ran for just under twenty years, starting in 1994 and concluding in 2013.
  • More Than Mind Control: Manga Gendou uses Shinji's insecurities and loneliness to try to convince him he's every bit as evil, desperate and vengeful as Gendo is.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Kaworu in the manga, which is one of the reasons Shinji doesn't like him. This actually leads to a rather funny scene where Kaworu barges into Shinji's shower stall looking for soap, then wonders why Shinji's freaking out.
  • Panty Shot: Subverted twice in the manga, first when Touji tries to teach Shinji how to turn cleaning the stairs into a peeping opportunity and gets caught by Hikari, and then when Shinji, Touji, and Kensuke first meet Asuka in the arcade.
  • Product Placement: The manga has UCC Coffee and Coca-Cola vending machines, Kaji brings Misato food from McDonald's, a bottle of Evian water is seen, and also an iPod in at least one chapter.
  • Quitting to Get Married: A flashback in the manga has Yui Ikari, Shinji's mother, get asked by Dr. Fuyutsuki where she's planning to work after getting her doctorate. She answers she's actually planning to marry Gendou and start a family. It was only temporary, though, or else there wouldn't be a plot.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: The Evangelion manga moving from Shonen Ace to Young Ace, thus cementing its Seinen demography since 2009. The actual reason for moving was Sadamoto's infamous Schedule Slips and the fact that Young Ace's editorial puts less pressure on their manga-ka because the magazine is less mainstream than Shonen Ace but still is just as popular. With that said, the actual contents in the series did not change at all to justify its newfound mature demography. If it wasn't for Sadamoto's tight schedule Kadokawa Shoten surely would have transfered Evangelion to just another Shonen magazine.
  • Sleep Cute: Shinji and Asuka do a take on this after defeating Israfel in the manga. They practiced all night for the battle, and it catches up to them almost immediately after everything's over, so they end up conking out in their tangled-up Evas (Shinji flubbed the landing, which Asuka chided him for) as Misato and the rest of the crew watch in bewilderment.
  • Take That!: In the manga, Kaji brings Misato some McDonald's, since she's too stressed over Shinji being trapped in Unit-01 to leave to get food. When she protests, he urges her to eat up "before the grease solidifies". She ends up throwing the bag at him and he jokingly complains about it staining his clothes.
  • Tsundere: Some fans view manga!Shinji as a tsundere character, mainly in his sarcastic treatment of Asuka and Kaworu.
  • Wham Shot: In Chapter 96.5 of the manga, a unnamed friend of Yui Ikari grows jealous of her budding relationship with Gendo Rokubungi and her upcoming hiring at NERV. As the two reconcile, Yui ties her friend's hair in twintails and puts an old pair of glasses on her. revealing her identity to the audience as Mari Makinami. Admittedly, it is subverted a bit by the fact that Yoshiyuki Sadamoto has later stated that the scene is Canon Discontinuity and was just something he did for fun.


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