If you’re wondering if this is worth getting: yes. It’s the best Hagio Moto artbook I’ve seen around, featuring about 120 old and new color images as well as reproductions of many black and white manga pages. I was especially thrilled by the inclusion of art from Unicorn to shojo (top image), an early romantic science fiction piece by Hagio that I’ve always adored. This book also includes a database of all of Hagio’s sci-fi works, and brief comments by Hagio on many of her favorite pieces.
For my twenty-seventh Evangelion book review, here is Shin Seiki Evangelion E-conte Shuu #5 (Neon Genesis Evangelion Storyboards Collection #5), published by Fujimi Shobo. The E-conte Shuu books are a series of five volumes devoted to the storyboards for the Evangelion TV series – the original versions of the episodes, not the Directors’ Cut versions – and there is also one more book called Shin Seiki Evangelion Gekijouban E-conte Shuu (Neon Genesis Evangelion Theatrical Edition Storyboards Collection) published by Starchild Records which covers the Eva movies Death(True)² and The End of Evangelion. These books are not available in English or French, but there are plenty of pictures. I usually prefer collecting “finished” artwork rather than rough sketches, so I only bought the fifth volume, which starts with episode 21 and goes all the way to the end of the TV series. Pretty much the entire episodes are shown in storyboard form, minus the Directors’ Cut scenes.
Here is a page from the episode 21 storyboards, which shows the flashback of Fuyutsuki seeing a prototype Evangelion for the first time:
The column on the left is the dialogue for the scene (if a line of dialogue is marked with the English word “off”, it means the character is speaking from offscreen), the column in the middle is rough sketches of the visuals for the scene, and the column on the right has instructions such as which way the camera should be panning. If you’re fascinated by the pre-production process of filmmaking, the book is full of great stuff like this! Also, if you like spotting differences between the storyboards and the final animation, note that Gendo appears to be wearing a helmet in the last box of the middle column, but he isn’t wearing one during that part of the actual episode… he was wearing it only moments before that, though, so either the animators goofed or we’re supposed to assume that Gendo removed his helmet while Fuyutsuki was gawking at the Eva. Oh yeah, and the episode shows a dramatic spotlight behind Gendo and Naoko, instead of the more mundane background shown in the storyboard. Keep reading for the rest of the book review, plus a few more pictures!