Manga Volume 1 Commentary

Author: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Translated by: William Flanagan & David Ury
Source: Originally published in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 1

On the floor of the midbrain is the ventral tegmental system, that neurobiologists call region A10.  Cells soaked in dopamine, certain emotions are processed here; such as the thoughts of two lovers--or of a parent and child.  And it is the synchronization of the threads and bundles of A10 that splice pilot and Eva together; to become one entity, to fight.  In other words, the power of love drives this weapon of mass destruction.  Well, what a simple and corny and emotional and wonderful story.


Manga Volume 2 Commentary

Author: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Translated by: William Flanagan & David Ury
Source: Originally published in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 2

The design concept in Eva was that the characters themselves should lean towards a relatively subdued appearance.  But the plug suits!    Gaudy as hell.  Embarassing--I mean, they almost look like, y'know, body paint.  Naturally, I thought the cos-players wouldn't even consider attempting it.  But there were, at the December '95 Comic Market, the February '96 Wonder Festival, at the... You know, I hate crowds, so ordinarily the whole cos-play scene is no more than a distant reality.  But this... this, I had to see.  Specifically, I had to see the girls in sky-blue wigs, wearing white plugsuits.  Mmmm.  I had to see it.


Manga Volume 3 Commentary

Author: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Translated by: William Flanagan & David Ury
Source: Originally published in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 3

I heard that dogs and cats have emotions too, though of course their facial expressions don't change as much as ours.  And of course, it would look pretty damn creepy if they did.  But might it also result in fewer abandoned animals?  An emotional change causes muscles in the face to tense, producing an "expression".  Rei is expressionless, but is it that she doesn't feel emotion, or that she is merely unable to express it?  Back in reality, it's my moment of happiness to see a girl's innocent smile.  But I guess there won't be any of those as long as they're reading this manga.


Manga Volume 4 Commentary

Author: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Translated by: William Flanagan & David Ury
Source: Originally published in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 4

Cars, motorcycles, the summer sun, and the sleepy-time that summer sun brings.  Yes, these are my favorite things--the things that interfere with my work.  I started forward on this particular career path knowing full well the likes of me could never hold down a regular job.  But even managing to draw a manga has proven an uphill battle for a manga-ka such as you see before you: a good-for-nothing entirely empty of self-management skills.  It's not like I've got to come up with a whole new story or anything in doing the Evangelion manga.  I mean, I'm just supposed to do a chapter every month, not every week like the TV show.  And still I want to give myself a reward if I so much as manage to turn it in on time.  Sigh.  It's tough to go on living, isn't it?  It's like you have to take 100 strokes of the whip for just one lick of the lollipop.  But this particular lollipop you're reading now--it is my guess--would not taste sweet at all without first laying down those lashes.


Manga Volume 5 Commentary

Author: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Translated by: Lillian Olsen
Source: Originally published in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 5

You've been anxiously waiting for two years!  Vol.5 is finally here!  First, I'd like to give a heartfelt "thank you" to those who bought this book and are reading it now.  I know you kind souls won't ask any questions about why it's so late, and will wait just as patiently for Vol. 6.   Yes... I know you'll wait.  I think you'll wait.  Probably.  I hope.  Pretty please...?  All right!  Time to limber up, buff out, and crawl forward!  Get going already, me!


Manga Volume 6 Commentary

Author: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Translated by: William Flanagan & David Ury
Source: Originally published in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 6

I've gotten into bicycling lately.  Not racing, you understand... just wandering around the neighborhood. When I think about it, the bike I got as a kid was probably the first time in my life I ever received a "modern convenience."  So is this some sort of back-to-basics? I don't know. Or am I just getting old?  ...Still, it feels good to my 38 year-old self, those innocent memories and emotions evoked: the joy of ownership, combined with the primitive thrill of a pedal-powered engine. If only any of this struggle affected my weight in the slightest.


Manga Volume 7 Commentary

Author: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Translated by: William Flanagan & David Ury
Source: Originally published in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 7

This volume first came out in Japan in 2002 the year I hit the big 4-0!  Now—let's flash back to 1992, the year I turned 30. If you had asked me then whether I expected to grow up a bit in the future, I would have said “Why—surely.”  However, new research has uncovered the finding that my emotional age had by then already stalled permanently in place. Sometime during my twentysomethings, apparently.  Let me close on a recent illuminating anecdote. The other day I saw a withered coot clutching a glossy teen idol book in the store. At first I looked upon the dirty sod with disgust. Then my disgust was overcome by fear—fear that I was looking at Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, circa 2022 A.D.  The upshot was that I left the store without buying all the idol books that I had wanted. The future is unknown. But just for that one day, I had proven myself better than the old man.


Manga Volume 8 Commentary

Author: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Translated by: William Flanagan & David Ury
Source: Originally published in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 8

They say that a story's hero will serve as a mirror by which you may always see the artist. And I'm not saying it isn't true.  It's just, you know, sometimes it's more like a funhouse mirror. Here's what I remember of my mother when I was young.  I wanted this plastic toy--it cost 100 yen. I stole some change from her purse.  She found out. She dragged me to this half-built house in our neighborhood, and, like the outlaws of yesteryear, lashed her son to one of the foundation posts for all to see. Yes, how well I recall that long day spent sobbing--and how the construction workers laughed... and laughed...  A mother's love is truly unconditional. Hey... thanks, Mom! Look at how I grew to be an upright human being!


Manga Volume 9 Commentary

Author: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Translated by: William Flanagan & David Ury
Source: Originally published in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 9

The way she looks, the way she moves--the graceful beauty of her form. There is nothing like a sports car. Invest your time, money and affection in one and you will get guaranteedrewards.  By contrast, relationships often lack that promise of exhilarating speed, nimble maneuverability, and elegant bodywork.  Still, I admit I have an unfathomable fascination with romance--and whether your object of affection be a pop star on TV or a two-dimensional drawing, you may count upon the pitiful genetic programming of that degenerate creature called man to rise to the fore. Hence my careless life of cars, women, and manga. All that's missing is alcohol. You never know; perhaps my laid-back ethic would be better suited for the Caribbean.


Manga Volume 10 Commentary

Author: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Translated by: June Honma
Source: Originally published in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 10

I thought at great length about how nice it is to be young, especially when it comes to love. As long as you have feelings of love towards one another, you can overcome obstacles—but the obstacles become more difficult the older you get. Work, income, domestic life, health, the future—especially the future, which, even as you contemplate it, sees your pure unadulterated love go stale.

Although the world that Shinji, Rei, and Asuka are experiencing is of course a two-dimensional, imaginary one, I believe there is a place like this somewhere out there. I am writing this and reliving my youth, even if only in my emotions—while eating gelatin with coenzyme Q10.


Manga Volume 11 Commentary

Author: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Translated by: June Honma
Source: Originally published in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 11

I have never had feelings for someone of the same sex before... or so I thought. In my childhood I was enamored with anime and superheroes. I tried imitating them a lot, and apparently there was even a time that I thought I was Obake-no-Q-taro. All of the pictures taken of me during that phase had me doing mischievous poses, so I think that there may have even been a time that I was mischievous.

Even after reaching an age of discretion, I was influenced by novels and movies that depict the way men live and die. Stories about Kamen Rider, Bruce Lee, the Seven Samurai, James Bond, Lupin III and the like. More often than not though, they were about men. Hmm.

In Kaworu's case, through Rei's heart flowing into his own, he is held captive by feelings that would get him nowhere—because he was still unable to even comprehend the feelings.

Actually, when I was drawing this volume, I was thinking to myself, "Kaworu is a pretty good guy," and "Shinji, try and understand," and "You're actually a little interested aren't you?"

Then, I came to the realization that I was sort of starting to develop feelings for Kaworu.

Whoa! Yikes!!


Manga Volume 12 Commentary

Author: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Translated by: HC Language Solutions/John Werry
Source: Originally published in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 12

They say children don't choose their parents, but luckily my father was someone I respected. One minus, though, was that he died young and made my mother sad.

If I think about it, I always put myself in Shinji's emotional state when I draw the rough layouts, but I've got a son who's in high school, so I'm more like Gendo. I can't emit an A.T. field, but when it comes to selfishness... (^_^)


Manga Volume 13 Commentary

Author: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Translated by: HC Language Solutions/John Werry
Source: Originally published in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 13

I'm finally 50. My joints feel numb, my eyesight is going and I need to pee a lot. But to my surprise I also realize that in spirit, I haven't aged a bit. Waaah! So, I'm going to proceed with a fresh outlook on life, just like a baby. Life, like manga, just keeps on going. I'm word of volume 14!


Manga Volume 14 Commentary

Author: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Translated by: John Werry & Evan Galloway
Source: Originally published in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vol. 14

I'm filled with mixed emotions as I write this, but without a doubt I can say that it feels as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

So many things have happened in the world over the last twenty years, yet by some sort of miraculous blessing, I'm able to sit in the same chair at the same desk and continue working.

Guess I've got my ancestors and some sort of god to thank for that.

I don't know how long I'll be able to keep on drawing, but I hope to stay at it and announce projects at my own pace.

To my readership, thank you so much for sticking with me all this time.

To my assistants, staff, and everyone involved that helped me along the way, I am incredibly grateful for you all.

See you again on my next project.