Neon Genesis Evangelion Academy: Record of Heaven's Descent

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新世紀エヴァンゲリオン 学園堕天録
Shin Seiki Evangelion Gakuen Datenroku
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Author: Min Min (眠民)
Publish date: September '07

Neon Genesis Evangelion Academy: The Records of Heaven's Descent (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン 学園堕天録) (released as "Campus Apocalypse" in the U.S.) is an officially licensed manga spin-off of Neon Genesis Evangelion. It is authored by Min Min and published in Asuka magazine.

The story starts with Shinji losing a coin beneath a vending machine, when he seeks to retrieve it he discovers a marble-like stone which is later revealed to be a core. The core Shinji discovers acts as a key into a secret organisation of students (Asuka, Rei, and Kaworu) within the school he goes to, Nerv Foundation Academy, who battle the Angels (who seek the cores for themselves).

The cores are needed to sustain the "World Tree," which has been withering. If the World Tree were to die all forms of existence would become one, and worlds would merge into one as well.

The Angels, in competition with the Guardians (Shinji, Kaworu, Rei, and Asuka), who seek to wipe them from existence. Though they are in competition with the Guardians, the Angels are revealed to be one of the things that holds the world together, much like the cores. These Angels must take a vessel to exist in the world. Otherwise they exist only as a mind.

Current EvaGeeks articles on the manga volumes:

Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3

Story Overview

Volume 1

Shinji finds a reddish orb-like object under a vending machine one night, which is later revealed to be a core. He then sees Rei Ayanami, a girl from his class, with a boy he doesn't recognize.

The next morning at school a new transfer student is introduced to Shinji's class. It is Kaworu Nagisa, the boy he saw with Rei the previous night.

Kensuke also shows Shinji a website describing a prophecy that fortells the world's destruction. Kensuke says that date of destruction will happen this year.

Shinji

After school Shinji follows Rei and Kaworu, but soon loses sight of them. But out of nowhere Rei runs into his path, holding an object that looks like the Lance of Longinus. She hurls it at a crow (who is summoning up a ball of energy to be used as an attack), destroying it. A core like the one Shinji found falls from the crow and is retrieved.

The second Angel, called Ramiel, attacks Kaworu, Rei, and Shinji at that same scene. Kaworu is badly injured from pushing Shinji out of the way of falling rocks during the battle, and Shinji tries to wake him. As Ramiel flys towards him, Shinji screams and a bright light radiates from his body, which appears to eliminate the Angel. After, Shinji wakes up in Nerv Foundation Academy's infirmary, and is taken to Nerv headquarters by Rei. He is told that he will battle with the Guardians (Kaworu, Rei, and Asuka), though Shinji is hesitant to accept this.

Later, Ramiel gets a new body and attacks Shinji while he's walking home from school. Asuka appears to help him. As Asuka is distracted by Shinji, Ramiel take the opportunity to attack her. Shinji uses his Eva gun successfully and stops Ramiel's attack. Kaworu and Rei show up. Kaworu defeats the Angel and retrieves its core.

Volume 2

After fully understanding the gravity of his actions with the Guardians, Shinji doesn't know if he wants to fight, and starts to feel awkward around Kaworu. Kaworu stays the night at Shinji's house and is able to reassure him while fixing their friendship. Shinji later meets up with Rei, which causes him to examine why he wants to fight with the Guardians. He agrees with himself that he wants to fight so he can live happily with the people he has come to know and like.

Kensuke is given a game by a developper from GNX games. He is told to spread it to all the school's computers so it can be beta-tested. Kensuke does so before going missing, and soon students playing the game fall unconscious.

It is revealed that the developper of the game is an Angel, and that he implanted an Angel named Iruel into the game to allow it to exist. He says the point of the game is to establish a link to Nerv headquarters.

Kaji reveals that Shinji was placed in an orphanage after his mother was killed. Since then, neither Kaji nor Shinji have heard from Shinji's father, and believe him to be dead or overseas.

Volume 3

Shinji meets his father, who is unusually cold towards him. After this, Shinji falls under Nerv's custody and will leave the apartment he lives in with Kaji.

Iruel controls Kensuke

Kaji creates an article on what he believes Nerv is doing, which includes his hypothesis on the Angels. He questions the ethics of Nerv when Misato calls him to tell him Shinji won't be living with him anymore.

After Nerv found that there's an Angel in the game Kensuke spread around the school (called "Apocalypse of Night"), the Guardians train in a simulated world.

Toji and Hikari follow Kensuke to the school, where they witness Iruel materializing out of the computer. Kaji witnesses Kaworu and Rei fighting children controlled by Angels. Kaji, Toji, and Hikari are later caught by two other Angels and tied up.

After training, Shinji and Asuka enter a virtual world connected to the game that would allow them to find the Angel and retrieve its core. However, once in the virtual world, Asuka falls prey to a bug in the game and is separated from Shinji. Iruel poses as Asuka's parents, and it is revealed that Asuka was forced to kill them when they became Angels. Shinji is able to break Asuka out of the bug, and Iruel reveals itself to them.




Characters

Guardians

Kaworu Nagisa

Kaworu from Record of Heaven's Descent

Kaworu Nagisa is a new transfer student to Nerv Foundation Academy. He excels in sports and academics, and often thinks about the philosophical aspects of existence. He is a good-natured, positive, caring person. While playing "Apocalypse of Night," his character was a fallen angel named Tabris. He is the leader of the Guardians, and his Eva takes the form of a white stylized sword.

He is the only human to be able to project an AT Field, and he can sense Angels. His body is devoid of any regenerative capabilities, so he must have parts replaced if he is injured. He has a strong attachment to Shinji. From time to time he remembers parts of his past from before Nerv was reformed after the "tragedy," and in these times he always sees himself in a surgical or hospital gown, and sometimes with bandages. He remembers Shinji from that time, and that rememberance reinforces his wish to be good friends with him. However, flashbacks hint at a time when his and Shinji's friendship was compromised. Kaworu also makes mention of a "promise" he's keeping.

He also says he won't double-cross Ritsuko (the way that this is possible has not yet been revealed), since he'll play along with their plan as long as Shinji's life remains intact. He also shows a fondness for Rei, and cares about her well-being. His reason to fight includes the wish to preserve the world that he says gave him life.


Rei Ayanami

Rei from Record of Heaven's Descent

Rei, like Kaworu, attends Nerv Foundation Academy, and is Shinji's classmate. She is quiet and withdrawn, much the same as her original character but not unkind. She refrains from showing warm emotion and acting in a familiar fashion towards her classmates and fellow Guardians ,besides eating lunch with Kaworu. Her Eva manifests as a spear or lance, identical to the Spear of Longinus, except in size, which she wields in battle. Rei is often seen reading a 'Growth/Development Report'. It is unclear whether this report actually defines her growth and development, and it seems likely that she only reads it out of either habit or instruction, as opposed to her own personal enjoyment.

Rei is unusually dedicated to Nerv and her missions. If one tells her that a certain job is a mission, she will put every ounce of energy into that task and perform it extremely well. Her fellow Guardians are aware of this trait, such as Asuka, who utilises it in order to have Rei learn new lines for a school play in a short amount of time. Kaworu states that Rei does not usually show interest in other people, but she seems concerned with Shinji's choices for the future and his development as a Guardian.

Rei also bears physical similarities to Yui Ikari, and it is known that she makes regular contact with Gendo Ikari. She feels that her reason for fighting is that if she does not follow orders that are given to her and participate in combat against the angels to the best of her abilities, she will posses no purpose, as she believes that her role as a Guardian is all that defines her.






Shinji Ikari

Shinji from Record of Heaven's Descent

Shinji attends Nerv Foundation Academy, and is in the same class as the rest of the Guardians. His Eva takes the form of a gun. He originally was not included in Nerv's exploits with the Guardians, but he found a core under a vending machine. After, he became too deeply involved to back out (he followed Kaworu and Rei once, and destroyed Ramiel, before becoming a Guardian).

He was often plagued with uncertainty and fear in regard to fighting with the Guardians. At a time he even felt awkward around Kaworu. However, the pureness and level of satisfaction that he gets from his new-made friendships overrode his indecision, and so he vows to fight so he can live happily with his friends. Formerly unnerved by Kaworu's interest in him, he has since developed a strong friendship with him. He cares for Asuka, as he risked his life to break her out of the trap she fell into in the virtual world. Asuka often calls him a wimp and berates him for "playing the victim." She also has a grudge on him. He has a crush on Rei, and is embarrassed at the times that she holds his hand to lead him, or when he catches her when she is about to fall.

Shinji has very poor reflexes and isn't athletic, so he scores low on the tests designed for training the Guardians. It is said that the reason he can call forth an Eva is because he would be naturally compatible it. His mother's DNA was made as a base for the Evas. After his mother's death, Shinji was left at an orphanage or a special home, where he developed an expressionless face and empty eyes. Since being taken in by Kaji he has returned back to normal. When he met his father for the first time in years, he ran to him. However, he was pushed back and only asked if he was willing to fight. He seeks a connection with his father, but finds he has grown unusually cold towards him.

Asuka Langely Soryu

Asuka from Record of Heaven's Descent

Asuka is a Guardian and is in the same class as the rest of them. She can be sarcastic, boastful, and pretentious. She often yells at Shinji and makes little of him. Her Eva takes the form of a whip, and she considers herself an accomplished Guardian.

She didn't always live in Japan. Later it was revealed that she was created as part of a test at Nerv. Nerv wanted to see which was superior: Guardians made by artifical means or Guardians produced as offspring of former Guardians. This led to her parents putting a lot of expectations on her, which led her to stress and put a lot of importance into performing better than the other children. She ended up having to kill her parents because they became Angels, and this was a huge source of guilt for her.

Iruel used this to its advantage. In the virtual world trapped Asuka in a nightmare of these memories. Shinji was able to rescue her from Iruel, so maybe she will be more accepting of him. She refuses to spend a lot of time in public with Kaworu and Rei, because she doesn't want to be seen as being weird like they are.





Nerv Personnel and Other Adults

Kaji Ryoji

Kaji is a journalist who had a connection to Nerv in its past before the "tragedy." He says that one day he recieved a letter in the mail from Gendo telling him to take care of Shinji and enroll him in Nerv Foundation Academy. He did so, and before Nerv took Shinji under custody Kaji shared an apartment with him. Prone to late nights, he often at home has a disheveled appearance. He has been collecting data on the Angels and what he believes Nerv to be doing. However, he is told by Misato to keep out of Nerv's business. He's also interested in Misato.

Misato Katsuragi

Misato is the Guardians' teacher. She also serves as a tactical officer at Nerv. She may have once had a relationship with Kaji, but all that is certain is that they know each other personally and Kaji is interested in a relationship with her. She says that she doesn't delude herself into thinking that what Nerv does is right.

Gendo and Yui Ikari

Gendo Ikari is the Commander of Nerv. He is a cold, silent person who broke off contact with his son for a number of years. He was thought by Shinji and Kaji to have been dead until he appeared before Shinji at Nerv. His goal is to bring Yui "back." How this will conflict with the saving of the World Tree is unknown. Shinji says that he used to be different, back from when Shinji was a child.

Yui Ikari was lead researcher of the "pillars," which led the way to the development of the Evas. The Evas are imbued with her biological data as a base. During what is known as the "tragedy" of the Nerv organization, instead of fleeing the building she told Gendo (who tried to get her to leave) she had to do something, and went into a room. She didn't escape, because she was killed there.

Manga vs. Anime

The manga uses elements from the television series in new ways, while adding new ideas. The above about the use of cores and the World Tree being some examples of many.

'Evas' come in pods that get written into their DNA. They must focus their thoughts on their right hands to summon their Eva which varies as weapons depending on the character. Kaworu has a long sword with lettering on the hilt, Rei wields the Lance of Longinus, Asuka uses a whip and Shinji has a gun.

The Evas were created with Yui Ikari's biological data as the foundation. That is why Shinji is able to call forth an Eva without formal training. It is similar to Shinji's ability to sync with Unit-01 without prior training because its core contains his mother's soul.

Yui was killed during what members of the original Nerv organization refer to as the "tragedy." The events surrounding the tragedy have not been revealed yet. All that is known about Yui's death is that she told Gendo she had to do something, and would not escape the organization's building with him.

The Guardians attend a Catholic school called Nerv Foundation Academy. Shinji, Asuka, Rei and Kaworu's homeroom teacher is Misato Katsuragi.

Shinji does not live with his father, Gendo Ikari. He lives in an apartment with Kaji Ryoji, who says he is Shinji's guardian because Gendo is overseas. Yui Ikari is deceased, however.

Kaworu's body is unable to heal on it's own. He must be fixed with new body parts if they are damaged. Rei's body can heal on it's own, however. She is often seen with bandages while Shinji has noted that Kaworu never has any scars.




Manga
Eva and Eva 2 Anthology | Girlfriend of Steel 2 (manga) | Neon Genesis Evangelion (manga) | Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse | Shinji Ikari Raising Project (Manga) | Shinji Ikari's Detective Journal