I picked this series up in a comic book shop during my last hiatus. The complete series is only two volumes so its no too bad an investment, unless your local comic book shop it a complete rip off, like mine…. *sigh* … Anyway, here’s just a short review of the series. I didn’t do any ‘first impressions’ or ‘reflections’ of it, because I had the series completed before I got the chance.
The Shinji Ikari Detective Diary is a short alternative telling of the popular series ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’. The series features all of the main characters from the original series, but instead of their work at nerve fighting the Angels, the characters find themselves working for two competing detective agencies. The first company features Shinji and Kaworu working for Kaji and Misato, and the other featuring Rei and Asuka working for a ‘mystery figure’. During the first couple chapters we see the characters actually out attempting to solve mystery’s, such as a ghost in the school. However, the entire detective element is lost pretty quickly. The series resembles more of a school days series which is a lot more care free and easy reading then the original series. The Eva’s also make a couple of appearances, however, instead of being robotic beings piloted by the main characters, they are sort of Genie like figures who help the detectives.
Having read most of the Neon Genesis Evangelion series (still waiting on volume 14), this retelling is a nice break from the original. As a stand alone series, Shinji Ikari Detective Diary doesn’t have a chance. The characters are not developed well, as you are expected to already know them, the whole detective element is lost as I mentioned previously, and the whole presence of the Eva’s make no sense. In a series which is only eleven chapters long, adding in the Eva’s to only half the chapters is just unnecessary, especially when they add absolutely nothing to the story.
On the other hand, If you have read the original series, or watched the anime, you may enjoy this series. It’s a nice short alternative story, which isn’t quite as depressing and Shinji isn’t as moody all the time. It’s actually quite cute and portrays the relationship between himself and Rei as a little more normal. Just a little. He’s still depressed and she’s still weird as hell. I can see why a lot of people don’t like this series (seen it get a lot of hate online) but honesty, if you don’t take it too serious and just roll with it, its quite an enjoyable read.
I wouldn’t even consider recommending this series to anyone who hasn’t read or seen the original series. You will have no idea what’s going on and just not enjoy it. Don’t read it. However, if you have read or seen it, and are also interested in somewhat light hearted series’, check it out. It’s only two volumes, so it doesn’t take much investment to pick it up. It’s just so nice to see these characters actually get happier as the story goes on instead of the great depression that was neon genesis. Last comment, Do not take Shinji Ikari Detective Diary’s seriously. It’s a satire, just read it and enjoy it while we all await volume 14 of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Of which I hear is finally being released in Japan in November.