Neon Genesis Evangelion Dating Sim: Shinji Ikari Raising Project
Written by Rastafoo69, edited by Otaku Apologist
Shinji Ikari Raising Project, a Neon Genesis Evangelion visual novel developed by Gainax. Released September 24, 2004. For PC Windows. Full voice acting. Censored genitals. Download the English fan translation patch here.
You play as Misato from the popular mecha-anime series, Neon Genesis Evangelion! Set up a schedule for Shinji Ikari and try to raise him in a positive direction. As his guardian, your choices will affect his life for years to come!
This title is alternatively known as “Ikari Shinji Ikusei Keikaku” or “SIRP”.
There are three main routes for this game. They are called “Thanatos”, “Pathos”, and “Campus”. It is impossible to choose your route without using a game guide. Even with a guide, much of the game is randomized.
There are 18 endings in total. A total of 6 are relationship related. The relationship endings are only available on the “Campus” playthrough, which is only accessible by playing halfway through the “Pathos” route and fulfilling some secret hidden conditions. In other words, getting an ending where you marry your waifu will be incredibly difficult.
The other 12 endings are “Job Endings”. These are determined by your stat values. Intelligence and sex appeal are key factors in what job you get. Regardless of what ending you get, completing the game unlocks a homosexual side story.
The story follows the Evangelion Anime completely until it splits into different routes. Misato picks up Shinji, he fights the third Angel, he gets to know Rei Ayanami, and the story continues.
The plot is easy to digest. Compared to the anime, the story is easier to understand because everything is explained in order. For example, from the moment you start the game, you’re given background info on the second impact and Misato’s father.
While the plot is explained much more clearly, it removes any sense of mystery from the experience. That’s okay though, because this game is clearly focused on pleasing Evangelion fans with tons of fan service.
The game introduces 3 new characters who are female NERV Technicians. The existing characters are changed to fit a more comedic and relaxed storyline. For example, the nerd Kensuke is now a total deviant and pervert. He takes ecchi photos of girls in class, then sells them to random guys. This makes him far less likable than in the original show.
Shinji is much more happy in this game. There are very few sad or emotional moments.
Shinji Ikari Raising Project is a visual novel simulation game. Its gameplay copies from the more popular “Princess Maker” series. If you’ve played that series, this game will be easy to pick up.
There are three basic points to understanding gameplay here.
First, the weekly schedule. Misato will tell Shinji where to go and what to do with his free time. Example tasks include attending school, testing your sync ratio, and doing strength training. Each of these will level up certain stats that affect gameplay at large.
Second, the battles. Every few weeks, an “Angel” will come and attack humanity. Misato will tell Shinji what to do and what equipment to use during the battle. Your success depends on Shinji’s sync ratio, the equipment available, and Shinji listening to you.
Thirdly, the dialogue. On occasion, Misato will have to make choices that will heavily shape the plot for the rest of the game. For example, placing Shinji in music club will open a romance plotline with a girl at school.
There are three basic routes to complete the game. Accesing these routes absolutely requires a game guide. Without it, you will never figure it out. Seriously, use the game guide or you will never be able to access other routes.
Although Shinji’s stats are clearly visible, many others are not. His relationship levels with the girls in-game are hidden and impossible to track. Just keep spending time with the girls and hope the stats are rising. Another invisible stat is Shinji’s “Independence Level”. You’re never told about it in-game, but if it gets too low, you’ll be locked out of the third route.
There are a lot of strange game design choices to be found. Combat power is randomized. Sometimes you deal 30 damage and other times just 5. I’ve loaded game saves and redone battles just so the RNG would favor me.
It’s impossible to track your progress in romance. I spent every single day with Rei Ayanami, and only got one event from it. Similarly, your stats don’t have a lot of impact. I had 800 sex appeal, and nothing in the game changed whatsoever.
This game takes a minimum of ten hours to complete. Depending on how fast you read and how quickly you make decisions, this game may take thirty hours or more. The multiple routes and romance partners give this game a lot of replay value, but a ten hour commitment is a lot! Especially because most of the game is setting schedules!
The visuals are a mix of standard anime art and animated 3D models. All visual assets in this game are original to the developer, which gives it a fresh and exciting feeling. There are hundreds of art assets and variation images. From character stills to full scale CG images, this developer placed significant emphasis on their visual presentation. After all, Gainax is an anime company, so it only makes sense they gave the visuals so much care.
The anime art makes heavy use of softened edges as well as earth tones of brown and black. Everything is pretty standardized, with mouth and nose shapes being the same across most characters. There is significant detail in almost every image. From Ayanami’s unique Christmas outfit to the stubble across Kaji’s chin, the artists put hours of tender loving care into each scene.
The 3D models expose the age of this game. At one glance you know it’s from 2004. The polygons are clearly visible to the naked eye while the movement is clunky and embarrassing. Back in 2004 this was a welcome surprise, but in 2019, it’s not impressive.
Most characters look slightly different from their anime counterpart. The sprite art for Hikari shows her head to be far too wide and long. Another problem is that the character sprites are always smiling. Even during tense and serious moments, almost all characters smile by default. It ruins the moment.
VOICE ACTING AND SOUND EFFECTS (SFX)
Shinji Ikari Raising Project has full and complete voice acting. Both male and female characters are fully voiced. Even the random shop keepers have unique voiced dialogue! From the loud and demanding Asuka to the quiet and demure Ayanami, each character has a voice that matches their personality and mannerisms. Even if you don’t speak Japanese, these voices are instantly recognizable! Misato gets the most lines, considering she is the player character for most of the game. Her womanly and youthful way of speaking is pure music!
The sound effects were sourced from Gainax, and are of the highest quality possible. Many of them come directly from the Evangelion anime, while some are standard to an anime sound library. The chopping of vegetable, the fluttering of papers in the air, the splash of water in a pool, everything sounds perfect!
There are at least 20 music tracks in the game. All of the music comes from the Evangelion OST produced by Studio Gainax. The track “Angel Attack” plays whenever there’s a battle scene. “Barefoot in the Park” is the number one most played track for having a neutral and casual tone that doesn’t convey any real emotions.
Guitar, Piano, and various horn instruments are commonly used to create a relaxing and breezy tone as you raise Shinji Ikari. This is univerally recognized as one of the greatest anime OST collections of all time.
There is no hentai content in this game. Instead, there are a variety of ecchi and fan-service scenes. Using the mouse scroll wheel, players are able to fully examine the sexy bodies of their favorite ladies. If you have a fetish for Misato’s feet, go wild!
Photos of panties are very common. Misato has a nude scene in the bath tub that is pretty much unavoidable. Rei wears a cute little swimsuit when you go to the beach. Even the romantic endings don’t include sexual content.
I really wish that increasing Shinji’s sexual interest would change some dialogue. We don’t need hentai scenes, just Shinji commenting and admitting that he finds Misato attractive. Too bad that no matter how high you raise it, nothing ever changes.
Shinji Ikari Raising Project is a classic Evangelion dating sim. Controlling Misato, you lead Shinji in whichever direction you choose. This game absolutely requires a guide to help you on your way. Anime fans will have an unforgettable experience.
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