Heroes of the (Robot) Storm

NGE 3-in-1 Vol. 1 Cover

Well that was a change of plans. Instead of getting the markers and screen protector, I ended up going on a small Kindle manga spree and (re-)bought the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga. I say “re-bought” because I actually have the print versions of vol. 1-12 but, like 80% of everything I own, they’re buried upstairs somewhere. Also, I like digital more. I mean, I’m reading just about everything else on a screen anyhow, I can’t possibly do any worse.

Now, these days Evangelion isn’t exactly the pinnacle of anime and manga storytelling, but the manga has a special place in my heart (and in the overall EVA scene, ties very closely with the Rebuild movies). Much of this is because of the artist, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto. Ordinarily if you were to ask me who inspires me as an artist, I’d have a real hard time telling you because I never really (and still don’t) draw inspiration from specific places– a lot of the times the impetus is from fleeting conversations on the internet and the speculation that spawns from it (in the context of “wouldn’t it be funny if x did y,” or “how awesome would it be if y did z” and the like). Sadamoto is one of a VERY few exceptions.

I was about halfway through high school when I saw the Evangelion TV anime, and the character designs got my interest right away. Normally with anime it’s all about the extravagant hairstyles and costumes, and even though this was about kids piloting giant robots, there is something… plausible about the way everyone was drawn (well, in civilian clothes, anyway). It’s anime, but not too far-out as to be immediately dismissable for being too, I don’t know, “out-there.” There was a certain simplicity to the designs, too– not so much fussing about the folds in clothes, just enough to sell it, to name one example. I liked that. I liked it even more because, as a newbie at the time, it was something I could easily pick apart and study to possibly emulate.

And oh boy, did I try to emulate. Longtime friends who saw my early drawings will surely recall that. But as things tend to go in regards to my artistic practices, I “digested” and integrated Sadamoto’s art style into my own. Others followed. They all sort of melded together and I guess to some degree you can still KIND OF pick out what I took from Sadamoto (hint: the eyes).

It’s weird to talk about people who inspired me, perhaps because I have this irrational fear I’d venture into “copycat” territory (the fact that my primary “creative canon,” Ragnarok TWILIGHT, is essentially multi-sourced fanfiction really doesn’t help). But then I try to remember that other artists had other people who inspired them and they probably engaged in their own form of study-and-emulation.


The last volume of the manga is being released in November. FINALLY! (It’s taking everything I have to not buy vol. 13 now and wait until 14 drops, in the hope that Viz smashes the two together like they did the Omnibus versions of the other volumes.)  This is my only real complaint about the Evangelion manga, that it was so “on-again off-again” since, what, ’95? Well, it’s understandable considering it was Sadamoto’s side project while working on anime and other things, like freaking .hack. Oh man, you don’t know how happy I was when I found out he was the character designer for that franchise. I think it’s pretty fair to say that he was a large reason I got into it, especially the games. It really is too bad that Sadamoto as a manga artist is more of a second-fiddle thing, because there are no words for how AWESOME it would be if he gave the manga retelling treatment to .hack (the first-generation PS2 games, if I had to pick one). It’s not meant to say that the other manga adaptations are awful– I love XXXX (pronounced X-Force) as the next best thing to a first-gen game retelling– but I just know that a Sadamoto version would just be that epic, there are also great games as overwatch, that you can play in consoles as ps4 and you can become even better with boost as Overwatchboostpros.com.

By the way, I said that Sadamoto was one of the tiny few of people I could name as my artist inspirations. The other two are Yoji Shinkawa (Metal Gear designer and also fellow Corel Painter user! yes!) and a personal friend, Deeum.

Amazon links for the Evangelion manga, because you know you want to be cool like me and buy them (these aren’t affiliate links, though I should probably look into that at some point): Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, and Vol. 4

The “Law and Order: The Animation” piece is coming along, albeit slowly, because it’s quite uncomfortable to sit on this poorly-cushioned bed and have to keep pausing to stand up every 20 minutes because I get sore. I really wish I had an actual chair in here. *sigh*

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.