For my tenth Evangelion book review, here is Sore o Nasumono – Shin Seiki Evangelion Concept Design Works (That Which Forms It – Neon Genesis Evangelion Concept Design Works), published by Kadokawa Shoten. As the title suggests, this book is full of concept art… mainly in the form of black-and-white sketches, but there are also several full color illustrations at the beginning, including a nice foldout page. The book is not available in English or French, but the fascinating (and sometimes bizarre!) pictures include a number of ideas that didn’t make it into the final version of the anime, so this book is quite interesting to look at even if you can’t read Japanese. The illustrations are mostly the work of Ikuto Yamashita, the mecha designer for Evangelion, so there’s a lot of focus on the Evas, or related weapons and equipment. However, there is also a section at the end devoted to conceptual art by Seiji Kio, concentrating on Nerv’s architecture plus some miscellaneous designs.
This book is also noteworthy for containing pieces of two stories written by Yamashita that didn’t make it into the final version of the anime: a TV Last Scenario “Prot” which was his suggested ending for the Evangelion TV series, and Another Movie Episode which was going to be a film taking place after the series. This movie scenario included a mysterious contamination which altered people’s minds and eventually changed their physical appearances as well, causing them to look like werewolves! Here’s part of an illustration that shows Asuka as a werewolf, plus Shinji sharpening a large wooden stake, and Rei holding a gun with her middle finger on the trigger (What the heck?!):
Pretty weird, huh? This movie plot also featured a weapon referred to as the “Shinigami no Sebone” (Spine of the Death God). You can see Unit-01 wielding it on the book’s front cover, shown at the very beginning of this book review. (By the way, the book has a removable dust jacket, although the cover art hidden underneath is just the same image in orange and white.) What’s interesting about the Spine of the Death God is that the idea seems to have been revived for Yamashita’s light novel Evangelion ANIMA, which has a weapon with similar capabilities called the “Tenshi no Sebone” (Spine of the Angel). Want to see a couple more ideas that didn’t make it into the TV series but eventually showed up in various other Evangelion works? Keep reading for the rest of the book review, plus a few more pictures!
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