Shinji Ikari Raising Project (Manga)

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Raising Project Manga English Title.jpg

Japanese Volume 1 cover

The Shinji Ikari Raising Project is an Evangelion-based manga spin-off of the video game, which was set in the original series timeline. The series was created by Takahashi Osamu, but is actually set in a universe based on the Alternate Universe seen in Episode 26. This manga is also similar in concept to another Evangelion spin-off, Girlfriend of Steel 2 which also a video game based on Shinji's alternate reality dream-world from Episode 26, which then spawned its own manga spin-off, Angelic Days.

The series ran from June 2005 until February 2016 in Shōnen Ace, which was the same magazine the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga was published in. The series has a total of eighteen Tankōbon volumes and is published in Japan by Kadokawa. The series final Tankōbon volume was published in May 2016. An English translated version of the manga is currently being published by Dark Horse Comics in the U.S., which has released all 18 of the Tankōbon volumes, with the final one being released (slightly behind schedule) in August 2018. On August 10, 2016 Dark Horse Comics released Volume 1 of the Shinji Ikari Raising Project Omnibus, which includes 3 volumes in one book.[1] The omnibus is currently on Volume 5 (Volume 13 - Volume 15 of the normal series).

Summary

The series follows Shinji, Rei and Asuka as they go through their junior high school life, with accompanying hormones, while also helping out helping out with research at the Artificial Evolution Research Lab, headed by Shinji's parents, Gendo and Yui. A secret organization, named SEELE plans to disrupt the Artificial Evolution Research Lab's experiments in order to reach its goals. SEELE's main target is the MAGI System, and Shinji, because of his parental connections to the lab. SEELE uses computer viruses (which look and act like the Angels from the series) to try and infect the MAGI system. The three children are put into a virtual reality (with plugsuits) to stop the advancing computer viruses. SEELE tries to use Kaworu Nagisa to distract Shinji from being able to sync and defend the MAGI with either Asuka or Rei.

The links to the individual volumes of the manga are listed below:

The Shinji Ikari Raising Project Volumes
Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3 | Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6 | Volume 7 | Volume 8 | Volume 9
Volume 10 | Volume 11 | Volume 12 | Volume 13 | Volume 14 | Volume 15 | Volume 16 | Volume 17 | Volume 18


Another Compromising Position


Differences Between the Original Series and Raising Project

  • The psychological issues present in the anime and manga are not as prevalent.
    • However, personality wise, Shinji comes off as a clutz and a perv (as shown in briefly in Episode 26). This is especially so when it seems Shinji is lavishing his attention on Rei or one of the bridge bunnies.
      • Shinji also ends up in any compromising positions with the girls due to his excessive clumsiness.
    • Asuka can be neurotic and possessive of Shinji at times, (which may be based on her line from End of Evangelion).
  • Shinji and Asuka now have a much less antagonistic relationship, they are childhood friends, having met when they were both 4.
  • Yui is still alive, and is working alongside Gendo at NERV as head scientist, instead of Ritsuko.
  • Kyoko is still alive, works at NERV and wants Asuka and Shinji to marry. Notably, she has long blonde hair, unlike her short, apparently red hair in Episode 22 of the anime.
  • Rei is introduced as a distant relative of Shinji's from Yui's side of the family. She is wildly different from her character in the series, being more reminiscent of her alternate universe self from Episode 26.
    • She is also one of Shinji's love interests (keeping in mind that Japanese or even European definitions of incest do not extend to cousins of various degrees; this is a common occurrence in various anime series).
  • Gendo and Shinji's relationship is less negative and more complex, with each in competition with the other and always trying to outdo each other.
    Satsuki, Kaede, and Aoi
  • Gendo also acts like a clutz at times, with Yui making sure to keep him in line and focused.
  • Misato is the homeroom teacher at Shinji's school and Ritsuko is the school nurse, although both still have some sort of connection with NERV.
  • Kaji also works at the school as a different homeroom teacher. Misato and him had dated in the past, and Misato ends up owing Kaji money, which leads to many atics in an attempt to pay him back.
  • Kaworu has some sort of connection with Ritsuko, and seems attracted to Shinji. This forces Asuka and Rei to put aside their mutual differences to prevent Kaworu from stealing Shinji away.
  • Mana Kirishima also appears in the manga as more competition for Shinji's affections, and another source of ire for Asuka and Rei.
  • Maya, Hyuga, and Aoba don't appear in the main story, However, the Bridge Bunnies from the game, Kaede Agano, Satsuki Ooi, & Aoi Mogami, replace them as the main technicians.
    • Satsuki has a crush on Shinji (much like in the game) that she exploits several times during the story to very comical results.


Differences Between Angelic Days and Raising Project

  • The series also diverges from Angelic Days where Rei is more recognizable as a character, being overly shy.
  • Rei moves in with Shinji's parents, while Shinji himself is moved to his homeroom teacher's apartment with Asuka.
  • Asuka and Rei are also rivals for Shinji's affections, but do team up to keep "outsiders" such as Mana or Kaworu away from their competition for Shinji's affections.
  • Angelic Days is overall more of a shoujo romance story, with more character drama and development, whereas SIRP is a sort of ecchi comedy story, with more of a shounen focus, and relies constantly on comedy, fanservice and absurd situations. This is also reflected in the very shoujo-esque art style in Angelic Days, whereas the art style in ISRP is quite similar to the one in Sadamoto's manga. Shinji also does end up with a girl in Angelic Days.

Notes

  • The series, while it carries the name Neon Genesis Evangelion, Evangelions play no part in the story whatsoever. Instead, inside the Matrix-esque simulations the kids use to fight the Angels, they are directly equipped with weapons to attack, and have little protection from harm save for the fact they have digital avatars.
    • There do appear to be some stakes involved however that are explained in great detail, again similar to the Matrix.
    • Unit-01 and Zeruel do appear at one point commiserating that they aren't a part of the story.
  • Even though Shinji is the main character in the manga, he is featured on only three covers (1, 2, & 18).
    • Shinji is the only male character to feature multiple times on the cover. The only other time males are featured on the cover is on Volume 18 where the entire cast is present.
    • With the focus of the series being on fanservice, the covers more often than not feature Rei or Asuka on their own, or paired with each other or other female characters.
  • The manga is geared towards fanservice. The earlier volumes have more suggestive fanservice, while the later volumes become more explicit with what is shown.
    • For example Shinji has odd dreams of Asuka & Rei fighting over him that become more erotic as the story progresses.
  • While NERV and SEELE play a part in the plot, they do take a backseat to the love triangle of Shinji/Asuka/Rei.

References



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