[MANGA][NGE] What's the general consensus here?

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[MANGA][NGE] What's the general consensus here?

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Postby SAWgunner » Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:37 pm

First of all, I was exposed to the manga long before I ever saw the show, and it's been a really long time since I've actually seen the anime itself.
But from what I remember of the show compared to my beloved manga, I actually thought it was a little better.
Firstly, Sadamoto's Shinji was and still is a lot closer to me in terms of personality than his anime counterpart. That, plus the greater use of internal dialogue with all of the characters, made them all that much more relatable and less opaque.
Secondly, were some of the changes to major events that he made that I thought improved them. The best example I could think of would be his take on the fight against Bardiel in volume 6. By not only having Shinji know that Toji was inside Unit 03 but to have Toji tell him in such a poignant way before the battle made the event much more dramatic and sad. Having Toji die in the end hurt that much more.
Sadamoto also left out some of the worst of the filler episodes, graced Kaji with a better backstory than just "I banged out Misato", and made Rei's first smile absolutely beautiful (as opposed to the drugged-up [ableist insult redacted] of the series). And on the subject of Rei, her and Shinji's charming and ambiguous preternatural courtship in the manga is something that touches even this cynical and weary heart.
I'm just wondering what other people think of it.

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Postby NemZ » Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:57 pm

I think it's different... sometimes better, sometimes worse.

I find this version of Asuka even more insufferable all around and I missed Liliel quite a bit. Like isn't the right word, but Kaworu definately works better in this incarnation. I like the added scenes with Kaji and Rei, and found Toji's demise a more powerful scene.

Holy crap does this series need an editor who understands deadline though.
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Postby SAWgunner » Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:39 pm

Yeah, Asuka got the short end of the stick in that one. She is slightly worse of a person in the manga but she was never much of a charmer anyway.

And yeah, I'm sick of waiting two years between volumes too. Then again, Yoshiyuki is probably bored with it. He's basically been drawing the same exact thing for fourteen years now. His wife probably has to kick his ass every day to get him to work.

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Postby Reichu » Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:23 pm

For me, the manga is just kind of there. There are additions, modifications, and little touches here and there that I like, but there's also a lot of things that I think are "lol wut" or just plain dumb. Overall, I rank myself as relatively dispassionate. I'm pretty sure Sadamoto's version is missing some fundamental quality of the anime, some indescribable whatever without which my psyche would never have gotten snagged. I guess it might be easiest to say that it's the "Anno Element", because we KNOW that's missing there. Anno brought something to the production that appealed to me, and Sadamoto doesn't offer anything that I find equally captivating. If I'd encountered NGE as a manga first, I honestly wonder......

Wish I could articulate this better, but I haven't put much effort into analyzing the manga or my own thoughts about it. If Sadamoto finishes the damned thing, I won't have any more excuse not to.

I wonder how Sadamoto compares to the other infamous mangaka procrastinators out there (like Kentaro Miura, who's cranked out 33 volumes of Berserk since 1989 and is still going, slowly; plus the Guyver guy).
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:36 pm

Reichu wrote:For me, the manga is just kind of there. There are additions, modifications, and little touches here and there that I like, but there's also a lot of things that I think are "lol wut" or just plain dumb. Overall, I rank myself as relatively dispassionate. I'm pretty sure Sadamoto's version is missing some fundamental quality of the anime, some indescribable whatever without which my psyche would never have gotten snagged.


This.

In terms of characterization, Manga-Shinji pisses me off to no end, because I feel it's missing the point by making Shinji a more stereotypical mecha pilot with the attitude he has. And while I don't have a problem with more Rei/Shinji interaction, Sadamoto screwing over Asuka and Misato's relationships with Shinji in the process misses the point of how each of the three women are important in Shinji's character development/ overall growth in their own ways.

Also, it'd be nice if Sadamoto would stick more to deadlines. I understand he has other shows or manga he's working on, but come on...
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Postby Reichu » Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:46 pm

SSD: I know that I'm just channeling myself from some previous incarnation of this topic, but how is the characterization "beside the point" if this is Sadamoto's own version? That is to say, "the point" is precisely the one he is interested in making. He's been given permission to do his own thing, and if he just copies the characters verbatim, what's the point? So he's giving us his own versions and working from his own sensibilities. Now, while one might find the product disagreeable, how can an honest critique be undertaken unless it's done on the manga's own terms?
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:04 pm

I mean it's missing the point from the what anime is showing with Shinji since the manga characterization really doesn't seem to be given a reason for his more angrier personality; he just is. Anime Shinji, on the other hand, it's easy to see why he has depression or anxiety throughout the series; it's because of all the stresses placed on him.

I know Sadamoto is doing his own thing with characterization as well as the manga itself, it just doesn't seem that Sadamoto gives much reasoning behind why for example, Shinji's angrier then his anime counterpart or the fact manga-Rei speaks to others before being spoken to (whereas in the anime, Rei gradually opens up to others).

I hope that clarifies things somewhat despite the fact it's hard for me to articulate my point.
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Postby SAWgunner » Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:47 pm

Sailor Star Dust wrote:I mean it's missing the point from the what anime is showing with Shinji since the manga characterization really doesn't seem to be given a reason for his more angrier personality; he just is. Anime Shinji, on the other hand, it's easy to see why he has depression or anxiety throughout the series; it's because of all the stresses placed on him.

I know Sadamoto is doing his own thing with characterization as well as the manga itself, it just doesn't seem that Sadamoto gives much reasoning behind why for example, Shinji's angrier then his anime counterpart or the fact manga-Rei speaks to others before being spoken to (whereas in the anime, Rei gradually opens up to others).

I hope that clarifies things somewhat despite the fact it's hard for me to articulate my point.


The reason why Shinji's angrier in the manga is the exact same reason you stated for why he's so depressed in the anime: The stresses placed on him. He's really the same in both, the only difference is that manga Shinji is more prone to snapping. Anger is a natural outgrowth of depression; my EMT book even states that 20% of violent acts are attributed to it. Sadamoto explains quite clearly why Shinji is the way he is just by showing what he goes through. No different than the anime. Rei opens herself up just as slowly as she does in the anime, the only difference is that her and Shinji develop a much closer relationship (if you can really call what they have 'close') and so she's more likely to speak. Perhaps the fact that we see a lot more of her inner life may cause people to think that she's more open.
And even though Asuka doesn't have as much attention payed to her and she doesn't get too much development early on, she isn't completely shut out either. It's just that we see less of her. I know that must suck for the Asuka fans though. And Misato gets a lot of face time. I mean LOTS.

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Postby Reichu » Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:16 pm

SSD: The impression I get from your post is that the anime's depictions of the characters are "true" or "default", and any deviations Sadamoto decides to make must be rigidly justified in some way by the writing. In any case, this feels like the wrong approach. For starters: The characters as depicted in the TV show were never "100% justified" to begin with. The things that are considered important are explored by the writing, and the rest "simply is".
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:19 pm

I was under the impression that Eva was Anno's creation, although Sadamoto and the other Gainax members gave various and important input on things as they went along (Sadamoto mentioning the lead character should be a boy, for instance). Also, there's that Sadamoto quote of him "using the anime as a base for the manga", implying the anime was created first, though that's not even what I'm talking about.

Ergo, anime=original way the work was intended to be told, Anno's vision.

manga=alternate telling, Sadamoto's revisioning.

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. Just clarifying what I thought is all.
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Postby NemZ » Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:39 pm

Sailor Star Dust wrote:manga=alternate telling, Sadamoto's revisioning.


You're right, but you're also not giving the manga a fair shot on it's own terms. You might as well complain that a divergent fanfic isn't staying true to the original.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:16 am

Reichu wrote:I wonder how Sadamoto compares to the other infamous mangaka procrastinators out there (like Kentaro Miura, who's cranked out 33 volumes of Berserk since 1989 and is still going, slowly; plus the Guyver guy).


Somebody buy Sadamoto a copy of [email protected], and let's see how that turns out.
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Postby SAWgunner » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:36 am

Well, I just finished volume 11 and I was kind of let down. The first part with Kaworu was alright, but it lost me a little when it went into EoE territory. Maybe it's because the pacing was off. That's understandable though since a manga artist can't exactly pan or do any other funky camera work.
And where's my Shinji jerk-off scene!? I know this is going to sound bad but I absolutely loved it. Showed just how much of a mess he was.

And on top of the let-down I was especially unhappy with Horn's post-script but that's neither here nor there.

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Postby The Eva Monkey » Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:26 am

I like the manga, and I would remind you that it's better than GoS2 or ISIK. Dunno about Gakuen Datenroku, that might just be off in another plane of comparison entirely.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:58 pm

NemZ: I've read all the stages of the manga that were released and some of Sadamoto's differences from anime are interesting (Rei and Eva-01 chatting in Vol 8 was interesting, but the concept of an evil part of Yui keeping Shinji trapped in there was just bizarre. I like that idea of Rei realizing she had a connection to Yui; it's just confusing that she somehow figured such out when she doesn't even realize she's Lilith.), but I just don't like it. A better example with character interaction is Misato and the Big Irony Bomb. If Sadamoto didn't want to include that like in episode 23' of the series (what he'll do for the "adult kiss" in EoE, who knows) that's fine since it's his telling of the story, but I don't see why Sadamoto bothered including Misato's "I'm not gonna put the moves on a kid" line back in Volume 1. Yes that scene is meant to be played for laughs, but there IS deeper meaning with Misato's personality which is VERY important on her relationship with Shinji that Sadamoto could have divulged into but didn't.

For the record, I do like Kaji having a backstory, the story behind how Misato acquired Pen Pen, as well as even Evil Manga Kaworu. It's nice to see Kaworu act creepy; kitten-killing and all, although not so nice Sadamoto was playing up the "Kaworu must be gay if he loves Shinji" idea. :rolleyes:

I just felt that Asuka's past with having foster parents and being a test tube baby was odd ("Asuka, MAMA WANTS YOU TO PROVE YOU'RE BETTER THEN YOUR FOSTER PARENT'S DAUGHTER!"); although it gives her a reason to overcompensate with piloting to maintain her pride as opposed to Asuka proving her independence and what a genius pilot she is to Langley and her stepmother amongst others like in the anime.

Monkey wrote:I would remind you that it's better than GoS2 or ISIK. Dunno about Gakuen Datenroku


GoS2 manga= Good story, bad artwork.
ISIK manga= Good artwork, bad story.

The Gakuen Dantenroku manga is awesome on the count that it's so...different from other Eva manga. It gets double awesome points for having Rei act more like Rei instead of RiAO and such.

SAWgunner wrote:And where's my Shinji jerk-off scene!? I know this is going to sound bad but I absolutely loved it. Showed just how much of a mess he was.


I agree 100%. At least Asuka strangling Shinji in the manga is a hint at some scene of Shinji strangling Asuka; whether it's Instrumentality or on the beach or both remains yet to be unseen of course.

Also, I've said it before but I'll say it again: The manga needs to end with Last B. Rei's severed arm or bust! :mwahaha:

edits: durr hurr typos
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Postby Reichu » Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:16 pm

I wrote out this whole thing and hit "preview" to see that SSD had snuck in a post. So some of this might be obsolete now (keep in mind when replying!), but ... oh well. You're stuck with it.

The Eva Monkey wrote:I like the manga, and I would remind you that it's better than GoS2 or ISIK. Dunno about Gakuen Datenroku, that might just be off in another plane of comparison entirely.

I don't think one could meaningfully compare fluff like GoS2 and ISIK to Sadamoto's more straightforward adaptation, either.

SAWgunner wrote:Maybe it's because the pacing was off. That's understandable though since a manga artist can't exactly pan or do any other funky camera work.

It's a different storytelling format – a “flow of images” (they don’t even need to be in discrete panels) and (often) text arranged in such a way that a narrative is conveyed. Is it possible to create a sense of time or pacing in comics/manga, where things only move as fast as your audience reads? Sure. Think about how novelists can create suspense with words alone. Comic artists (or insert label of choice here) get to manipulate visual images, using the full complement of artists’ “tricks”, and use the written word in order to create the desired effects in the audience.

So if the pacing felt off, it’s probably because Sadamoto hasn’t really mastered the format. I haven’t read enough manga and/or “graphic novels” to really have an educated opinion on the matter, but I’ve heard others criticize him to this effect. His handling of action scenes gets hit particularly hard. And, while many NGE fans laud the artwork, one comment that stuck with my memory noted that it was pretty average (if even that) compared to manga on the whole. (I’ve been reading Berserk lately, and it makes Sadamoto’s work for NGE look like napkin noodles; not on account of stylistic differences, either. But I’ve also heard that Berserk is above-average, so I’ll stop talking now.)

And where's my Shinji jerk-off scene!? I know this is going to sound bad but I absolutely loved it. Showed just how much of a mess he was.

Interesting. Most NGE manga fans I’ve heard are thoroughly pleased with the change. I don’t share the gushing enthusiasm you see at places like the Eva Mailing List, but I thought the modified scene seemed “to fit”, if for no other reason that it paralleled a manga-only scene from earlier, when little Asuka was throttled by Crazy Kyoko. Now, the original scene didn’t make any particular sense – why did a little kid have access to an unsupervised, mentally-ill woman? – but the inclusion of the parallel does suggest that Sadamoto is putting at least a modicum of thought into his adaptation :wink:, and maybe we’ll be treated to some “insight” into this choking stuff later. Or, alternatively, even he doesn’t know where he’s going with all this; procrastinating bastard just loves to keep us guessing.

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I think I need one, too… :toothy:

SSD wrote:Ergo, anime=original way the work was intended to be told, Anno's vision.

manga=alternate telling, Sadamoto's revisioning.

I dunno if the story was necessarily “intended” to be told the way it came out… You can put all the planning in the world into a work, but unless you have the most rigid and anal personality in the world, and the production is under your complete control, it’s going to be an organic and in many ways unpredictable process. You won’t know the end result until it’s finished.

But that nitpick aside: You yourself use the words “alternate telling”, which directly implies, well, not being bound to the original. If Sadamoto was writing stuff intended for the original continuity, then you could complain if he changed the characterizations. But he’s not, and the changes are intentional and part of the license he’s been granted. It’s part of the “deal”, as it were, and it seems that quite a few people object to the manga simply because they never accepted this underlying “deal”. We get various gradations of the Darknemo Syndrome as a result, where complaints about the manga have more to do with overprotective fanboy/girl-ish attachment to the anime (especially amusing when Sadamoto is depicted as a diabolical figure whose manga has brought untold evils upon the franchise -- lawl) than actually criticizing the work on its own.

I was there once, but it got rather silly after a while, and I realized it was more interesting to read about and (occasionally) discuss the manga itself than talk about how it wasn’t the anime.

EDITS: Nothing major.
Last edited by Reichu on Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SAWgunner » Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:38 pm

Here's my turn to be vague. I think that possibly, the biggest difference between the anime and the manga is that the manga is more "concrete". For instance, in the anime, we had very little to go on to figure out what was happening in each character's head save for staring really hard at their facial expressions and hyperanalyzing things that they said. Whereas in the manga, there was a lot more inner dialogue with each character, thus making them less opaque.
Then again, this is coming from the guy who hasn't seen the series in six years and only got back into it because he got blazed and randomly watched End of Evangelion one night. So take me with a grain of salt.

Another thing I just figured out about why Manga EoE (MEoE?) hasn't blown me away so far. Shinji has a lot of people around him during this part of the story. Misato, random hospital staff, Rei and Gendo, Kensuke's voicemail, and a semi-lucid Asuka all come to mind. Compare that to the movie, where he spends the entire time between Asuka Sexytime and Misato finding him alone. Shinji seems much less isolated in the book and the effect is diminished.

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Postby The Eva Monkey » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:23 pm

Reichu wrote:
The Eva Monkey wrote:I like the manga, and I would remind you that it's better than GoS2 or ISIK. Dunno about Gakuen Datenroku, that might just be off in another plane of comparison entirely.

I don't think one could meaningfully compare fluff like GoS2 and ISIK to Sadamoto's more straightforward adaptation, either.

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Postby Reichu » Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:10 pm

SAWgunner wrote:I think that possibly, the biggest difference between the anime and the manga is that the manga is more "concrete". For instance, in the anime, we had very little to go on to figure out what was happening in each character's head... Whereas in the manga, there was a lot more inner dialogue with each character, thus making them less opaque.

Hmm... Are you taking into account some of the anime's rather long "mindfuck" scenes, i.e. metaphysical depictions of what's going on in their heads, which may involve them directly saying what they're thinking? (Granted… this may itself sometimes be rather opaque…) There's also some very, shall we say, "unsubtle" dialogue in places. ("Hey, Yui. I was a shitty dad because I didn't want to hurt Shinji and I don't think I deserve to be loved and…”) Maybe you can explain a little more?

Shinji has a lot of people around him during this part of the story. … Compare that to the movie, where he spends the entire time between Asuka Sexytime and Misato finding him alone. Shinji seems much less isolated in the book and the effect is diminished.

Is it “diminished”, or intentionally different? This isn’t the same Shinji, after all – according to some of the interpretations I’ve seen, he’s more a reflection of Sadamoto than Anno (which would make perfect sense), so here, at the big “all the Angels are dead and Rei is a freak and Asuka is a vegetable and…” turning point, he’s handling things differently. How effective this is in terms of the Shinji persona Sadamoto has built up to that point, I would honestly need to do a reevaluation … plus we still need to wait (and wait, and wait, and wait…) and see where things end up going. We’re probably not going to get any “fetal position beneath the stairs” moments, but some kind of massive plunge is probably still yet to come.

Sailor Star Dust wrote: Rei and Eva-01 chatting in Vol 8 was interesting, but the concept of an evil part of Yui keeping Shinji trapped in there was just bizarre.

It was my impression that this was less Yui and more some non-Yui consciousness attached directly to the Eva. The concept of an Eva having any mind aside from the one that’s put into it is more or less ruled out in the anime, but I’m not sure if the manga is so explicit. I have no idea how a bi-psyche Eva-01 would rationally work, either.

Doesn’t it tell Rei something like, “I AM WHO YOU USED TO BE”? lolwtf

I don't see why Sadamoto bothered including Misato's "I'm not gonna put the moves on a kid" line back in Volume 1. Yes that scene is meant to be played for laughs, but there IS deeper meaning with Misato's personality which is VERY important on her relationship with Shinji that Sadamoto could have divulged into put didn't.

Maybe he didn’t know at the time whether he was “going to go there”. Or maybe he’s a “denier” and he doesn’t want to “go there” anyway. :wink:

For the record, I do like … Evil Manga Kaworu.

Fo shizzle? I haven’t really articulated much of an opinion on this guy yet; it’s been all too easy to blow him off and stick to making dumb jokes about kittens/masturbation, mouth-to-mouth, and the like. My superficial impression from way back was that he was a simultaneously aloof and clingy jerk. I think I was disappointed with the fact that Sadamoto didn’t do anything with the “Adam” angle, as well. He just kind of goes for creepy behavioral patterns, but there isn’t much of a sense that there’s an ancient progenitor being beneath it all. The encounter with Armisael, for example…

although not so nice Sadamoto was playing up the "Kaworu must be gay if he loves Shinji" idea. :rolleyes:

Is that what he was actually doing? I honestly forget.

I agree 100%. At least Asuka strangling Shinji in the manga is a hint at some scene of Shinji strangling Asuka; whether it's Instrumentality or on the beach or both remains yet to be unseen of course.

Maybe it’s anticipating another instance of Asuka strangling Shinji. (Shinji strangled Asuka twice in the movie, after all. Well, technically only once.)

Also, I've said it before but I'll say it again: The manga needs to end with Last B. Rei's severed arm or bust! :mwahaha:

I thought I started that joke? “Give ME Rei’s severed arm!”, and all.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:16 pm

Reichu wrote:Is that what he was actually doing? I honestly forget.


In the afterword to the last manga volume he just about states in as many words that he was going gay for Kaworu during the recent run of chapters. One can make inferences from that, even if he doesn't spell it out.

And I agree with SSD that LastB is the only remotely satisfactory conclusion we can hope for.
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