Well, this third volume doesn’t make me want to stop reading the series entirely, but it doesn’t give me much hope for its conclusion either. We find out more about the Angels’ plans to spread their influence throughout the NERV Academy by way of a sinister computer game, but the overall plot never really becomes interesting or picks up any momentum. Personally, I wish they had gone with an “Angel of the Week” monster-hunting premise and built up an arc around that. It may not be the most original of premises (not that originality wants anything to do with this series), but it would’ve given the proceedings more pep.
Even the central gimmick of seeing the “Evangelion” cast in new situations has worn thin with this volume. Either they’ve fallen back into familiar roles, as is the case with the core cast, or are just on hand to serve as window dressing. Then there’s the unfortunate case of Asuka who has her assertiveness and arrogance turned up to “Queen Bitch of the Frozen Waste” levels here. It’s so bad that when we get to the point where she’s meant to thaw after Shinji saves her, it just doesn’t seem believable at all. After what I’ve read here, I’m glad that this series is ending with the next volume. I doubt it’ll be good enough to redeem the whole affair, but at least it’ll fit better on my shelves.