NGE, like Gurren Lagann, is another extremely successful Gainax series that has the freedom to get many spinoff titles. The original TV anime never really caught my interest, but I’ve always liked the character of Asuka, so I gave it another chance through the new movies and this school manga series.
Gakuen Datenroku takes away the concept of the gigantic EVAs and places the power in the indivdual NERV children to create a mahou shoujo/shounen scenario. All of the main characters are there and Kaworu is among the NERV kids from the start. Their weapons vary: Rei’s Lance of Longinus, Kaworu’s sword and Shinji’s gun.
I love Asuka’s crazy whip, just for the range of destruction it can create. Even Angels know she’s a force to be reckoned with.
Oh, and those homoerotic tones between Kaworu and Shinji in the original series. Yeah, they’ve been amped up a teeny bit. I think their relationship is Gainax’s way of trolling hardcore manly mecha fans. Same thing goes for Gundam 00 and Sunrise.
There are several attractive attributes to NGE Gakuen: the art style and the fact that Shinji has a backbone. Sure he’s not excited about fighting, but he’s not as whiny or bitchy as the original series had him. Of course, Gendo’s recent introduction can mess all that up in a flash.