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Manga Review - Evangelion Campus Apocalypse

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Campus Apocalypse ( Gakuen Datenroku in OL), is about another Alternate Universe Shinji & Co. In it, instead of big robots, Shinji, Asuka, Rei, and Kowaru use wrist mounted omni-tool looking EVAs to fight Angels. Surprising right? Well, in this case, the angels are more like actual angels that are able to possess human forms. One of the amusing parts to me is that the Omni-Evas give each character their own weapon; a sword for Kowaru, a gun for Shinji, a whip for Asuka, and a friggin' Lance of Longinus for Rei. Anyone else think Asuka got shortchanged?

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PROS:

  • Different. This, as mentioned above, is an Alternate Universe story. Unlike many of the other alternate universe stories, however, there really is a lot more twists, rather than the same characters in different situations, or different characters going through largely the same story (how SIRP or Angelic days, respectively, seem to run).
  • Rei! Campus Apocalypse Rei bears a lot more similarities to Rebuild Rei than most Alternate Universe versions. Not shy, not outgoing, she's the same great 85 pound sociopathic killing machine we all remember and love. I wouldn't go so far as to say she's as damaged as TVRei, but Rebuild, sure.
  • TRONEVA! Yeah, they have to fight a video game. It's amusing.

CONS:

  • Confusing. There are definitely parts where I got perplexed about who was who. This sometimes happens for me in this series when people get referred to by the different versions of their name. On top of that, in this scenario, you have many of the antagonists have more than one body, and several have similar hairstyles. Perplexing.
  • Art style. They are going for a noire type dark art style with lots of black blocks where a typical manga would have white or a pattern. It looks good most of the time, but in some of the fight scenes, it makes the action a bit hard to follow.
  • The Bermuda Love...Hyphen? The usual dilemma facing Shinji does not appear in this telling. Unless...you want to count Kowaru, I guess. Works to my satisfaction, but still. If you're used to the trifecta, it's not here.

All in all, I did enjoy Campus Apocalypse quite a bit. It was a nice diversion from the oppressive original EVA story, but more hard boiled than the eternal fan service of The Shinji Ikari Raising Project. I did this review in one part, rather than by volume as with the others, because it's quite short. All of the installments are maybe one solid afternoon's reading.

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