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Angelic Days (EVA) 1-2
Distributor ADV Manga
Author/Artist Fumino Hayashi
Hands up who remembers this section from the last episode of Evangelion. While taking a dive into Shinji’s mind (and trying to figure out what the hell is going on), we see a glimpse of the world Shinji would like. All his friends are with him in school and Asuka is his childhood friend of many years. Rei is a new transfer student and it all kicks off from there. Well, imagine that being expanded into a new universe for the characters and you have Angelic Days.
Everyone from EVA is together, but the Angels have never appeared and it seems the second impact never occurred. With Rei arriving and Shinji’s mother alive and well, the only seemingly obvious existence of NERV is a Science Facility inside Tokyo-3. Even Kaworu is there for the complete fan-service.
In fact, fan service pretty much sums this one up. Originally a doujinshi (fan comic), it’s been picked up by ADV Manga and offered as a full fledged series. The first thing to strike the reader is the art style. Whilst the characters are instantly recognisable, the art style is very different from what we expect from EVA. At times it can be very detailed and quite beautiful, but when the standard manga face expressions start to come through the artwork takes a dip in quality which can be quite distracting at times.
Now you would think this would be just a one-off volume focusing on the new relationships of the characters and the fact that Asuka and Rei start fighting over Shinji (lucky git). However, the series is quick to develop with the second volume. Unfortunately, by trying to shoe-horn the original storyline into this series, it begins to weaken. It’s not a good fit and it ends up being uncomfortable. Shinji’s father, even with his mother still alive, is still an ass, which makes a mockery of his character development within the original series.
With Angel sightings starting, the discovery of the underground NERV centre and of course the return of the EVA’s this new alternate universe is starting to become a lot like the original, with Rei’s newfound personality one of only a few quirks to make it stand out. Sadly, with the re-emergence of the familiar themes, Angelic Days begins to sink faster than mankind’s odds against the Angels themselves.
Hopefully by the third volume the sci-fi aspect may actually sit a bit better with the relationships that have been created. Until then, this is one purely for the fans and even then they will need to let a few things slide to make it worth reading.