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This "alternate-world" reimagining of the highly acclaimed Evangelionanime, a near-future tale about teens piloting giant biorobots called Evangelions against invading Angels, is based on the Japanese Evangelionvideo game, Girlfriend of Steel 2. In turn, the video game was inspired by a fantasy sequence in the finale of the EvangelionTV series showing pilots Shinji, Asuka, and Rei living normal junior high lives instead of the torture and angst they endure in the main story. This six-volume series, accurately rated 13+, veers close to shojo territory as it focuses on the relationships among Shinji, his childhood friend Asuka, and their classmates (including male violinist Kaworu's feelings for Shinji); and how the arrival of Rei, remote and repressed in the anime but outgoing and forthright here, changes things. The anime is so hard on these characters that it's nice to see them enjoying themselves and acting as regular kids here. But the awkward inclusion of watered-down action and dramatic elements from the anime, including the Angel attacks, turns this into Evangelionlite, without the deep psychological focus and bold ideas that made the original so compelling. Still, this series will find an audience wherever Evangelionis popular.