It is the year 2015, and Tokyo-3 is under attack by the Angels. With fifteen years of relative peace disrupted, mankind faces its toughest enemy. Summoned by his father to NERV headquarters, Shinji Ikari finds himself tasked with having to pilot an Evangelion - a powerful weapon which is humanity's only chance of defeating the Angels. As well as having to shoulder the burden of protecting a city, Shinji must struggle with school, his father and his fellow pilots as well as himself. But will he even be able to survive his first encounter against the enemy?
When a group of children discover a strange cave at the beach, their lives are forever changed. Inside they meet a man called Kokopelli who seems to have a lot of advanced gadgetry. He invites them to participate in a ‘game' in which they play heroes saving Earth from fifteen giant monsters. To defeat the invaders, he will give them a powerful mecha of black armor. The children eagerly sign the contract, name their new weapon Zearth, and must now take turns to pilot it; but the ‘game' is in fact all too real and the consequences of battle become the stuff of nightmares. With no option to cancel the contract, is there any way to stop the game before it is too late for all of them?
In both Neon Genesis Evangelion and Bokurano children have to fight in gigantic Robots against extraterrestrial forces without knowing why. Both mangas are about why they have to fight and how they handle this burden.
An injured yakuza outcast is taken in by a disfigured young woman; he finds himself looking back on his life of crime and violence while experiencing genuine kindness for the first time in ages. An experimental theater troupe is taking on a project that is becoming all too real for them. And an eccentric manga artist named Hiroki Endo is struggling with an early midlife crisis, past regrets and a sudden penchant for high school girls. Each of these troubled souls, among others, struggles with doubts, fears and regrets, while at the same time doing their very best to find joy and meaning in their existence.
People who loved Evangelion for its cast of well-developed characters who were realistic and interesting in how profoundly flawed they were should check out Tanpenshu.
The short stories in Tanpenshu introduce the reader to a large number of character who are also deeply troubled and yet do everything they can to find joy and purpose in their lives. Sometimes humurous, often troubling, always unflinching. It comes as no surprise that Hiroki Endo (the creator of Tanpenshu) is a big fan of Evangelion, given the similar style of characterization; featuring human beings at their most visceral.