Ghosts of Evangelion

Everything Evangelion Fanfiction related.

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Postby ChaddyManPrime » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:56 am

Oh boy, I hope Kyoko and Shinji get into a shit slinging contest. I wonder if Asuka will pick a side?
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Postby ThanatosII » Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:50 am

So glad to read another Chapter!

I don't have any issues with this one. I do have a question though, and forgive me if this already covered before, but when people come back, are they aged physically? Or are they the same age they were from Third Impact?

Also, about the title stuff, when I first came across this fanfic, I assumed it was referencing to Yui and Kyoko as the 'Ghosts' of the Evangelions. The more I read on though, it didn't exactly seem like a major reference and I eventually just came to the conclusion that I, as you rightly assumed, didn't grasp the significance. -o-;
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Of course, that's why we spend so much time trying to understand ourselves and others.
That's what makes life so interesting."
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Postby Bagheera » Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:47 am

People are not aged when they come back, no. And yes, this can create some interesting situations with parents and children.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Bagheera » Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:30 pm

Oh dear gods, are these ready? I don't even know. I'm pretty sure these need some editing. But fuck it, here goes: first, Kyoko and Dr. Okada:

SPOILER: Show
June 24, 2024
Dr. Okada scrutinized the woman seated before him, trying to gauge her state of mind. "How are you feeling today?" he asked her.
Kyoko Soryu shrugged. She stared at the ground, playing absently with a lock of her hair.
Dr. Okada waited, giving her the opportunity to speak. But she remained silent, settling into her chair as she stared blankly at the ground. Okada sighed. "Mrs. Soryu, is there anything you'd like to talk about?" he pressed.
She looked at him directly then, her hands going still. "I don't remember anything," she said, her voice barely above a whisper.
"How do you mean?" he asked.
"It's all gone," she said. "I remember carrying Asuka, and giving birth to her, and worrying about her. But I don't remember her father at all," she went on. "I remember being trapped in the Eva, and I remember the Angels, and I remember . . . other things." She scowled briefly, but even that flash of emotion faded quickly. "But I don't remember my childhood, my work, my family . . . anything. I remember Asuka and my time with her, but nothing else."
Dr. Okada frowned thoughtfully. "As I understand it, the Contact Experiment with Evangelion Unit 02 was very traumatic for you," he said.
She nodded.
"Perhaps this is the result of that," he ventured. "Perhaps the maternal half of your identity was drawn into the Eva, leaving the rest behind. That would explain why the Kyoko who died nearly twenty years ago did not recognize her daughter after the Experiment."
"Is that all I am, then?" she spat bitterly. "Some ridiculous caricature defined by nothing more than her status as a mother?" She shook her head. "What a sick joke."
Dr. Okada stroked his chin. "I think that might be oversimplifying things," he mused.
She looked him in the eye again. "What do you mean?" she asked.
He leaned back in his chair. "I've been puzzled by the fact that Miss Soryu saw a vision of Miss Rei Ayanami shortly after you returned," he said.
She squinted, confused. "Rei Ayanami?"
He nodded. "The First Child, created from the remains of Yui Ikari."
"I see," Kyoko said. "Yes, that Lilith creature. What about her?"
"Such visions are not unprecedented," he went on, "but they are very rare. It is not something normally associated with returnees." He frowned. "In fact, the only other instance of such a thing that I've encountered was associated with the return of your daughter, long before everyone else."
"And you think this is significant?" she asked.
He nodded. "I do. If you were the caricature you speak of you would not harbor such dark thoughts about the notion," he observed. "Motherhood would be your identity, and you would want nothing more than to fulfill that role. But by the sound of it you want far more than that. Is this correct?"
She shrugged. "I don't see that it matters," she said bitterly.
He paused a moment. "Mrs. Soryu, do you recognize the term 'metaphysical biology?'"
She nodded. "Of course," she said. "It is the study of the souls of living things, and of the manner in which they use their A.T. fields to separate themselves from the rest of the world."
He smiled smugly. "And why do you know that?" he asked.
She blinked. "I . . . " She thought a moment, then shook her head. "I don't know. I shouldn't, should I? I forgot everything about my work. How do I know anything about that?"
He chuckled. "I suspect you'd be better equipped to address the particulars than I," he noted wryly. "But suffice it to say I think the circumstances surrounding your return are perhaps more complex than they might have first appeared. Perhaps you've been given a fresh start?"
She scowled. "'A fresh start,' you say," she said, acid in her tone. "Seems pretty rotten to me."
He held up a hand defensively. "Sorry, sorry," he said. "Perhaps not the best choice of words. But even so you take my meaning, yes? I do not think you're quite so trapped as you might have feared."
Kyoko pinched the bridge of her nose, rubbing gently. "Either way, things are a mess." She slouched in her chair. "I wake up screaming every morning, and that Katsuragi woman doesn't seem to know what to do with me. I have no place to live, and Asuka--" she broke off, a look of misery crossing her face. "She's hiding something from me, I can tell." She shook her head bitterly. "It's all a damn nightmare, and now you're telling me I need to rebuild my entire identity from scratch? Doctor, I don't even know how I'm going to make it to tomorrow, let alone manage all of that."
Dr. Okada nodded grimly. "I have some idea of what you're going through," he said. She started to object, but he held up a hand to silence her. "I know because I've treated your daughter for years, and she went through many of the same things you did. You are not alone, Mrs. Soryu. We are here to help you."
She said nothing in response, but didn't look convinced.
Dr. Okada sighed. "Alright," he said. "Let's start with something more straightforward: why do you think Miss Soryu is hiding something from you?"
She shrugged. "She's being evasive," she said. "I asked her where she lived, if there was a place for me there, and she never really answered me. I asked her about her personal life, and she changed the subject. She won't talk to me about anything."
"Remember that this is a big adjustment for her as well as you," the doctor observed. "She needs to figure out how she's going to fit you into her life. And of course, she also has learn your limits, so as not to overwhelm you or make you uncomfortable."
"So you think she's lying to me for my sake?" she scoffed.
He shrugged. "It's possible," he said. "Your daughter can be harsh when she's feeling threatened, but when she's more secure, as she is now, she can be surprisingly kind."
She glowered at him. "You don't have to tell me that!" she said hotly. "I'm her mother. It's not like I don't know her."
He nodded. "Exactly," he said. "You know her, and you know she loves you dearly. Surely that merits some benefit of the doubt?"
She huffed. "It's probably about some man," she groused. "That's how these things always work. You're all scum."
He let the insult pass. "I thought you didn't remember your past?" he asked.
She shrugged. "I know enough. I know what she saw her father do when I was in the hospital. The nerve of the man, going on like that with his three-year-old daughter in the room! Absolutely disgusting."
"Do you not want her to remain single forever?" he asked.
"Of course not!" she snapped. "She's my daughter, of course I want her to be happy. I just . . . " She frowned. "I never got to raise her," she said. "I never got to see her grow up. I missed everything, and now I'm inconveniencing her on top of that."
Dr. Okada frowned. "Is that what she said?"
She shrugged.
"Have you talked to her about that?" he asked.
"I don't have to," she said. "I can tell. It's the only way her behavior makes sense."
"Perhaps she wants your approval," he observed.
"That's ridiculous," she scoffed. "I'm her mother, I'd never deny her anything."
"Does she know that?" he asked.
"I--" she broke off. "That's right," she said, grimacing. "I abandoned her, didn't I? Everything that happened to her was my doing." She dragged a hand across her face, miserable. "Why did I even come back?" she whimpered. "I should have stayed in that damn ocean."
"I can tell you with absolute certainty that your daughter would not have wanted that," he said, voice resolute.
"Then what am I supposed to do?" she demanded.
Dr. Okada held out a hand in a calming gesture. "One day at a time, Mrs. Soryu. Give her room to breathe, and let her introduce you to her life in a way that makes her comfortable. She will do everything she can to help you, I'm sure of it. Just have faith in her."
She let out a shaky breath. "Okay," she said, hesitant. "Fine."
He nodded. "Alright, then. Now, about these nightmares . . . "
Last edited by Bagheera on Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:10 am, edited 3 times in total.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Bagheera » Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:32 pm

And next, Asuka and Kaji:

SPOILER: Show
March 14, 2021
Kaji opened the door to the roof of the apartment complex and stepped outside. He turned his head, taking in the city's skyline, then stopped short when he discovered the roof was already occupied. Asuka was there, lying spread eagled on the ground, a completely bored and listless expression on her face. She turned at the sound of the door opening, regarding him with a frown.
"Heya kid," he said, the friendly mask slipping into place. He strode over to her as she sat up. "What brings you up here?"
She shrugged, bringing her knees to her chest. "Just wanted to get away from them," she said.
He stuck his hands in his pockets, regarding her with a frown. "I thought you all got along these days," he said.
She shrugged. "More or less, yeah," she said. "But they can still be annoying sometimes."
He laughed lightly. "Oh? And why's that?"
She stood up. She was much taller now, he noted, probably 168 cm or so. She looked around, brushing her hands together as she replied. "They're just so . . . helpful," she grumped.
Kaji nodded sympathetically. "I see," he said. "That is truly tragic, yes."
She scowled at him. "That's not what I mean," she said. "It's always 'help Asuka' and 'take care of Asuka' and 'make sure Asuka's alright'. And it's not just Shinji being a dumb guy, either. Misato does it too. It gets irritating after awhile."
"Hmmm." He looked at her curiously. "Are they being patronizing?"
She shook her head. "Nah, nothing like that. They mean well, it's just that . . . well, I start to feel like a leech after awhile."
Kaji nodded in understanding. "I think I see the problem," he said. "You feel like you should be returning the favor, even though that's really not your style."
"Pretty much, yeah," she agreed.
Kaji dug out a cigarette and lit up. "Kid, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret," he said, inhaling deeply. "They aren't doing that for you."
She cocked her head, incredulous. "What are you talking about?" she asked.
"Don't misunderstand," he said. "I'm not saying they don't care for you, because it's obvious they do. But when they hover over you like that it's for their sake, not yours. They feel terrible about what happened to you, and any chance they get to make things easier for you is a gift to them. For them, it's all about balancing the scales, about trying to undo the sins of the past."
She grinned wryly. "So you're saying I'm doing my part just by letting them fuss over me?"
He shrugged. "That's how they work. Helping others lets them feel useful, lets them validate their own existence. People like us don't really understand that, since we define our self worth in other ways. And that's fine, really; they're happy when they can help us, and we're happy when they're happy. It's a symbiotic relationship, one that benefits everyone." He scratched his cheek self-consciously. "I used to think that was a man/woman thing, but between you and Shinji I'm not so sure anymore."
"Idiot," she said. "Girls are more complicated than you think." She frowned, considering. "Guys too, I guess."
He chuckled. "So I'm learning."
She plucked his cigarette out of his mouth, taking a deep drag on it before handing it back to him and heading toward the rooftop door.
"Since when do you smoke?" he asked.
"I don't," she said. "It annoys the idiot. But sometimes, when the opportunity presents itself . . . " She shrugged, hands outstretched, then ran her fingers through her hair.
She opened the door to the roof and headed inside, Kaji watching her backside all the while. He smiled to himself, thinking about how lucky Shinji had it, then looked out past the edge of the roof to the city lights beyond.


Next up are Asuka/Shinji/Kyoko and a beach scene in Okinawa. Oh yeah, and Katsuragi senior.
Last edited by Bagheera on Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby MisterHalt » Sat Oct 11, 2014 6:19 pm

If what we read earlier is any indication, there will be sparks flying in the Asuka/Shinji/Kyoko bit. Can't wait to see what Shinji does.
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Postby NemZ » Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:48 pm

Kaji is a wise man.

Now the real question is will it be Misato's dad, or her mysterious mom? The latter would be something truely unique.
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Postby Literary Eagle » Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:39 pm

June 24, 2024:

Ouch, poor Kyoko. That Contact Experiment really did a number on her. Having her come back in this state is an interesting choice, and I'm very curious to see how things will go from here!

typos:

She looked hm in the eye again.

"Have you talked to her abut that?"

March 14, 2021

Ooh, I liked this part very much! Kaji has given Shinji some good advice at times, and it's nice to see him do that with Asuka here. Good stuff!
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Postby pwhodges » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:12 am

I particularly liked the Kaji/Asuka section. It was more concise than most, and that's something that appeals to me.
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Postby Gob Hobblin » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:34 pm

So....I've just read this story up to date for the first time, because I miss good bandwagons like that (I'm a dunce, I know). And I've really...really liked this story. At some point, I'll do a chapter-by-chapter review (I feel I owe it to you, Bagheera!), but for now (and in a spoiler tab so as not to disrupt the flow of the thread), I'll just lay down my overview.

SPOILER: Show


As a general Shinji and Asuka fic, this is among the better ones I have seen, in its maturity, frankness, and tenderness. It does not shirk the ugly things they would have to work through, and (I feel) does a very good job of portraying a relationship. It shows us as the Children peg at each others boundaries, make the same mistakes over and over, learn how to communicate and what needs to be communicated. It shows them grow up, and we see where they go wrong (and try to fix it), and where they go right. It's a very well plotted work.

And it hits on what makes WAFF good, which is heartache. WAFF is great, but on its own, and you have a big bowl of syrup. Mingling in the frustrations, the downfalls, the hurt and harm, and you make that WAFF meaningful. It's the reward for working through the suffering, and that's why it works so well. There have been some times you've balanced too far in the direction of WAFF, but that's not a bad thing, especially in light of how you've established the brokenness of the characters.

Speaking of which, you make them all very similar to their canon partners while still making them YOUR characters. They feel like Eva characters, if much more garrulous. Which is good, because dialogue is one of your strong-points. You write excellent, realistic conversations between these characters, and they are a delight to read. You do conversations well.

And the out-of-sequence chapters...I like it. It actually feels like it tells a story here, and it works for the story it's telling: showing us the characters in the present, what happened in the past, the in between...it is a non-traditional plot structure that still maintains a very good plot.

I really like the story, basically.

That being said....

There are some spots that need cleaning up. There is some exposition-esque dialogue that sometimes sounds unnatural (one sentence in particular that sticks out to me is Shinji in the hottub, describing how this was better than being at home or why. It just seemed like an odd thing to say). You put a lot in the dialogue, which means you have characters telling things a lot, instead of letting the story show us. You do more show than tell, but I wanted you to be aware of it.

There's other points in there that need mentioning, but I can do that chapter by chapter. All in all, an excellent story, Bagheera.
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
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Postby Gob Hobblin » Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:05 pm

So, I'm going to go through and review these things for Bagheera chapter-by-chapter: just a heads up so as not to break the flow of discussion.

...IGNORE ME!!!

SPOILER: Show

It is so damned hard to find the right 'hook' to start a story, but there does seem to be a great advantage to starting in the middle of the action. It gives that sense of bewildered curiosity as an outsider trying to catch up: you are compelled to read along. In this case, though, the intrusion is...natural. You don't feel the confusion, just interest.

I chalk this up to dialogue, Bagheera: I told you once, and you'll hear it a lot. The dialogue is very well written, fluid, and natural.

And it generally FEELS like the characters. I know being as close to canon as possible is a big deal for you. This is something I have a hard time judging, because I like to treat characterization in a fanfiction like jazz, but stepping away from that...I can see you took great pains to try and figure how these characters would be in between the time we saw them on the beach, to this point later in life.

So...working through it from start to finish:

The first exchange. Very Shinji and Asuka, but very...developed. Asuka still has her mean-streak (note: I will, for the sake of these reviews, do my best to avoid my inclinations in labeling Asuka a bully, as regardless of how I think her in canon, this is your story, and I understand that you are trying to characterize her as you view her...which is not as a bully). Shinji is still passive. Here, though, it's a 'tried-and-true' mean streak and passivity. Asuka is not glouting or boistrous: she's irritated and thoughtless. Shinji isn't meek and cowardly: he's evasive and exhausted. They aren't the caricatures of their old selves, but the comfortable pattern of those selves. Just the way Shinji exits the situation, and the way Asuka absolutely cuts him, is something that is very familiar to couples the world over (on both partners' parts).

On the second exchange, again, that easy, natural feeling. The way Shinji, despite still being hurt and probably a bit resentful, wordlessly accepts and acknowledges Asuka's presence. This is a wonderful point of security in a relationship, where two people can be at odds but still be in the same room. Not necessarily compartmentalizing, so much as accepting or adjusting. I also like the addition of 'a bit too quickly.' It is a nice, sweet little nod that Asuka is still nervous about her slip, and eager to 'fix' it.

I am seeing your self-described problem with commas, though. For instance:

"It's not that," she explained. "She just doesn't understand things like synchronization or angel contamination, it doesn't make sense to her."


The comma between 'contamination' and 'it doesn't' is not inaccurate (as far as I know) and would serve the purpose of creating a sense of tone (if that's what you intended). A semi-colon would have been more appropriate.

...I am going to talk about dialogue a lot, because that is a big chunk of your writing, and I seriously love the hell out of it. Your handle on small talk is great. On setting and context, though...something I like is you described the action of Asuka putting her clothes in a hamper before returning to her room.

Now, this is going to be a silly thing for me to mention and go into detail about: the act of her doing that. That being said, while this is an action that can easily go without saying, the fact that you put it in there is excellent. Having those little chunks sprinkled throughout a work, demonstrating mundane tasks or the actions of the character...it helps to ground us in that moment. I can't explain it exactly, but having something like that in there...humanizes the character nicely.

The exchange following is something I'm going to repost, so I can go through it:

She left, heading for the bathroom. When she finished, she put her dirty clothes in the hamper and returned to his room. The light was out, moonlight illuminatiing the room, and he was in bed, facing the wall. She crawled into bed beside him. "Shinji?"
"What is it?" he asked.
"I'm sorry about this morning."
He paused. "It's fine."
Her brow wrinkled at the tone of his voice. "Shinji." Her voice was insistent.
"What?" he asked.
She didn't reply. "Shinji." When he didn't respond she grabbed his shoulder, tugging lightly. "Hey, Shinji!"
He turned over, irritated. "What do you want?" His ire faded when he saw the look in her eyes. It was soft, and fragile somehow. Her eyes were a very deep shade of blue. He took her hand, and gave her a warm smile, a genuine smile. "It's fine," he said. "Really."
She didn't reply, just released a breath and closed her eyes. Sleep followed shortly thereafter.


This...is sweet. It's very real. The way she kind of sneaks into the bed, the way she asks him (through his name) before apologizing. Not just declaring it ("Sorry, by the way."), but earning his attention, letting him know she's focused on him.

And the way he shoots it down! It's subtle, but there. You demonstrate that you don't have to go into big detail to show a character's discomfort or resentment over something. The action speaks for itself, as does the mild, insistent "Shinji?" that follows until he turns around to pay attention to her. And the focus on the expression, as opposed to anything Asuka might say.

I like that. The fact that she can say so much with just her face and eyes, and Shinji understands. This is something Kora does to me: she's not a natural talker, and most the time when she wants something, it just tends to be...very much like the expression you described (honestly, she's like a cat half of the time...she'll just stare at me until I do what she wants :|). It just wraps up the dialogue beautifully.

I would say the last sentence is weak, though. If you removed it entirely, the passage would have ended just as strongly. While some mundane tasks are worth describing, others are unnecessary, and break the flow: this felt like one (I have the same problem...).

...anyhoo...

When she awoke she found she had turned over, and that his arm was around her midsection. She scowled in irritation.


Ah, yes...the mid-sleep cuddle assault. These are not unknown.

She got up, careful not to wake him, and headed for the bathroom. When she returned she spared him a glance, then began gathering her clothes and her bag.
"Where are you going?" he asked.
She looked up, startled. "I have a lot of reading to do for seminar Monday, so I should get some sleep."
"You can stay if you want," he said.
"No, I should really--" she began.
"I want you to stay," he said, his voice full of certainty.


This is a nice kind of assertiveness for Shinji. He's learned to push his viewpoint, to stand by what he means and wants. It's clear, though, that he is still trying to find the boundaries; the right way to do it. I also like how that conversation evolves, how he implies that she can stay if she wants, and when she continues to beg out, he states what HE wants.

That assertiveness continues when he pulls Asuka in. And her response is golden, as is the exchange after. No sarcasm, no cutting remarks: they are sharing, and discussing. This is like Relationship 101 right here. I could cut into this in so much more detail about how well put-together this bit is: from the way you describe their expressions, to the hesitance in the words, and the gradual arrival each one has when coming to their points.

Also, this:

She fidgeted a bit. "I know that," she said. "I guess I just . . . wanted you to fix it, somehow."
He chewed his lip. "I don't know how to do that," he mumbled.
"Idiot. That's because it can't be fixed."
He frowned. "Then what are we supposed to do?"
She shrugged. "Deal with it, I guess. Work through it. Keep trying."


There are so few fics that acknowledge the WORK a relationship has. Even the most perfect Prince/Princess Charming arrangement is a butt-load of EFFORT and WORK on the part of the two partners, and Asuka and Shinji would be a nightmare of work.

So just having this point right here...it let's us know what we're in for. It establishes the kind of story this will be from the get-go, and it does so with a nice, dry statement.

The final part is wonderfully frank, unashamed in its content (as a private conversation between an established couple would be), and filled with those little attempts at levity (some of which that work) two people would intersperse in a conversation like this. And it reminds us that these are still the same characters we had before (Asuka: aggressive and pro-active to the point of self destruction, and Shinji: hesitant and cautious to the point of indecisive inaction), but they've DEVELOPED: in this case, Asuka wants something that is a wonderful thing for two people who love each other to share, but she just wants to force into it.

Like this line: If it hurts, it hurts. What an awful way to approach sex, but it is the exact way Asuka would do that. It doesn't even occur to her that this might be the wrong approach, but she is so earnest and matter-of-fact in it. And you can't deny her reasons, if not her logic: she wants them to have a full-relationship, and she thinks this is the way to do it (which...it's not. And you address that. But later...). She's willing to do it wrong, just so long as they do it.

Here, in this case, Shinji's hesitance is the 'correct' course. He dances around the fact that they don't NEED sex to be a loving and stable couple, and he seems to understand that there is something wrong in Asuka's approach, even if he can't vocalize it. And even then, his correct stance is still rooted in his fears, indecision, and overly-cautious nature. It has given him a healthy warning in this case, but it still stems from a very unhealthy past.

Which is one of the reasons this exchange is so great: it's gray. Both characters have layers to why they have their stances, and they are human layers. You have a handle on showing how complex a simple conversation can be, how simple thoughts can have deep subtext: the fact a person can be right for all the wrong reasons, and another can be wrong for all the right reasons. I don't know if that's what you were going for, but you hit it.

Also, this:

"Say, Asuka?" he asked.
She looked at him. "What is it?"
He licked his lips. "This means you won't be able to call me a pervert anymore, doesn't it?"
She scoffed. "In your dreams. You'll always be a pervert, stupid Shinji. As of Saturday you'll just be a very lucky pervert."
He groaned in defeat. She just laughed at him and took a bit of her omelet.


That's just cute.

Overall, it's a great start to the story, especially considering that you skip us forwards and backwards throughout. Starting right in the middle of the action (both in the chapter, and the chapter itself!) is a perfect place to start: we are at neutral here. Let's see what it was like when it was bad, then see how it is when it's healthy, and go from there.

It's a good choice. It works.

The only major criticisms I have so far are a few spelling mistakes and your reliance on commas. Don't be afraid to break sentences down if you need to! Sometimes, short, choppy sentences set the mood just as good as long, involved ones.

Last edited by Gob Hobblin on Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

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Postby Bagheera » Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:31 pm

View Original PostGob Hobblin wrote:So, I'm going to go through and review these things for Bagheera chapter-by-chapter: just a heads up so as not to break the flow of discussion.

...IGNORE ME!!!


Oh dear gods, don't do this! This review is perfect, it's everything I wanted, it's someone who gets it. READ THIS!

Seriously, thank you for this. It's what I needed to keep going.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby NemZ » Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:32 pm

He does express much more accurately what I liked so much about the early chapters.

Also, sidenote? I wish you'd give the scenes names rather than just dates, even if it's just "Okinawa 1" or the like.
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Postby Bagheera » Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:49 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:He does express much more accurately what I liked so much about the early chapters.

Also, sidenote? I wish you'd give the scenes names rather than just dates, even if it's just "Okinawa 1" or the like.


I'll work on that. Some have names already, informally at least, and the others will follow. And "earlier chapters"? Shit. That sounds like the more recent ones haven't been up to snuff. I see that in some cases, but not others. I don't even know how I'm doing now.

Also, Gob? You make me feel brilliant. Thank you for that. I'll try to make future chapters live up to your expectations.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:04 pm

Well, you are brilliant. I had nothing to do with that.

;)
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

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Postby Monk Ed » Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:39 pm

Took a bit? Not a bite?
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Postby Bagheera » Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:58 am

View Original PostMonk Ed wrote:Took a bit? Not a bite?


Jeez, that thing's gone through a bunch of revisions and has been scrutinized by half a dozen people. How have none of us caught that until now? Ah well. Fixed.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:40 am

Review for Chapter 2:

SPOILER: Show
This is one of those interesting twists that always has the chance of blindsiding you when going with an out of sequence story. We go from progress to a tense situation with no forewarning, heads up, or expectations, and it is jarring. But in a good way.

That being said, while I liked the background and resolution of this chapter, there did seem to be a lot of...closure? An unrealistic amount, I guess. But more on that later.


September 10, 2018
Asuka opened the door with a look of absolute boredom. "What do you want?"
Misato gave her a sunny smile. "Morning Asuka!" She looked Asuka up and down, then frowned. "You don't look so good; did you sleep well?"
"I haven't slept well for years."


For some reason, I just laughed at this exchange. I mean, it's set for success from the get-go, right?

"Hey, buddy!"
"I hate you and want you to die."
"...So, how's it going?"

It's stark, and not intentionally funny, but it just creates that amusing image in my head: Misato chipper and trying to be 'old Misato,' and Asuka...not old Asuka. She's not having any of it.

And it catches Misato off-guard. I think there would be the strong temptation to just have her Katsuragi her way through it, but that just wouldn't be the case following EoE. She would be in a fragile state herself: her cheeriness would be a front, and if confronted with a strong wall, it would waver.


The exchange after this is a very real take on PTSD: detachment. PTSD isn't always about the overdramatic stuff you see with crazed vets in television. It's withdrawal, depression, and an inability to give a damn about your surroundings. You nail that in the next exchange, with the one-word replies and the indifferent responses.

And Misato's response is probably the best one can do in that: carry on, talk, try to motivate the other person into engaging. It sucks, and it might incur really negative responses, but that's what needs to be done: a negative response is better than a fugue.

You write it perfectly, too: Misato's cautious bubbly nature, trying to direct the conversation and just be in the moment when she's up against this wall of apathy.


Misato blinked. "Sounds like you feel pretty strongly about that. Dr. Kotetsu reported that you were making great progress --"
Asuka snarled at the mention of the doctor's name. "I'm not going back, Misato."
"Did something happen?" Misato asked.
Asuka didn't respond.
"If it did," Misato went on, "you should talk to me about it."


This was the beginning of some of my initial confusion on the second readthrough...Misato seems...really put together. And she wasn't when the series ended. What was it that compelled this? Did she take some time in coming back to reassess things? Is she...not as engaged as she seems to be, just really making the effort?

Those are questions that would be fantastic to allude to: I don't know if they need to be answered. Misato is here fulfilling her purpose in driving the story, but there has to be some measure of what it is that drove her here. Is this her penance?


"Why?" Asuka asked. "It's not like you care anyway. You just want to find a way to get me out of your hair, same as always."
Misato laughed nervously, taken aback. "Now Asuka, that's not really fair --"
Asuka laughed, a short, vicious bark. "Don't talk to me about fair, you bitch! You never wanted to deal with me in Germany, and when I came here you watched me fall to pieces in front of your eyes without doing a damn thing about it."
"Hold on now --" Misato began.


This was a sequence I liked, but also had a hard time engaging with. I liked it because it was Asuka, being domineering, and it was Misato, not able to keep up. You see what's actually under the surface (hurt rage and passive regret).

There's also a lot of baggage being aired here, something I suspect was a long time in the building. Which is great, and would be the perfect exchange between these two...only it seems to come out of nowhere. Granted, these sort of things happen in real life all the time: triggers have no rhyme or reason, and breakdowns are not known for convenient timing. This seems like a lot of venting exposition, though.

Essentially...it's payoff without the work.

Which is the risk you run into with out of sequence stories. This is Asuka letting Misato know, at long last, that she is hurt, and broken, and that she thinks Misato failed her. Significantly. That is...brilliant drama. That is the sort of thing we would love to see, and see how the two characters navigate that. Here, though, we're seeing the end result of a long build-up, but not the build-up. That's the story, though: this is almost like reading a climax.

It's not bad, but it does feel a little forced.


Misato stared at her, tight-lipped, waiting for her charge's anger to run its course. "Are you finished now?"
"Tch."


Two things: this is a very mature response on Misato's part, and I really want to know how it was she was capable of doing it. Also, this is the first instance of a verbal tic on Asuka's part that I really enjoy. I'm a fan of Tiffany Grant's work, and this was something that suddenly connected Asuka's dialogue to her voice. And now it's what I hear when reading through the rest of the story. Good addition.



"It might surprise you to learn I agree with you." Asuka's eyes narrowed in surprise at the admission.

As was I. I really liked Misato's maturity and frankness in the exchange after this, but it does...seem not Misato. While seeming Misato.

It is her, but it's not her. It's very confusing. It's more of what I said earlier: how did Misato become this mature individual? How did she get to the point of being able to make an honest self-assessment, and to engage with people without running away (whether putting on a silly face, or being professional and cold)?

There's an interesting story in that, and it's necessary for the progress in this chapter. But...how did it happen!?

And her solution: putting Asuka in her own place, but within flip-flop distance: that's an excellent solution. It's the one that Misato kind of danced around in the canon series, but couldn't quite make the mature jump to: "I need to take care of this kid: let's put him in my place! There's nothing wrong with a teenage boy living with an adult woman who can barely take care of herself!"

"Oh, and since you just woke up you must be hungry." She got up, heading for the pantry. "Why don't I --"
Asuka's eyes widened, and she leapt after Misato. "No, that's okay! I'll make breakfast!"


Wise move, Asuka.

October 10, 2018


I...hold grudges. Or, I can hold grudges. I can be a vindictive and vengeful person. Which is why I loved the hell out of this resolution.

I did not know what happened with Kotetsu, but you set up (in very few words, too!) that something awful had happened. So, having Misato do something underhanded like that...very Mama Bear. I like it. I really do.

...but I wanted to LOVE it. I wanted to HATE Kotetsu. I wanted to be able to read this, and say, "Fucking A. This is the Godfather payoff we NEEDED." This is good, it cements Asuka's loyalty to Misato and has her see her guardian in a new way ("Yes, Asuka: I care enough to kill to protect you."). This is fantastic. But it's the payoff without the struggle!

This sort of resolution needs to be saved, and cultivated. We need to be led to understanding WHY Kotetsu was so hated. Why Asuka was spiteful of him...and perhaps even a little afraid (though she wouldn't admit it and see it as something else). We needed to have him built up a bit more, to make the impact of what Misato did all the more necessary. Why would it be that this event would be the thing that brings Asuka over?

This is good stuff. This is really good: but you have to TORTURE us! You have to abuse your readers to an extent! Make us earn this resolution. Give us dessert after broccoli. You have the handle on writing tormenting situations: you demonstrate it later in the story. You can make us cringe without driving us away. You strike the right balance of heartfelt angst with drawing in the commitment. But you have to pace it.

This chapter would have worked better without the epilogue: the epilogue was good, but it would serve it's purpose better AFTER we understood Kotetsu a bit more.

...it's still incredibly badass of Misato, though.
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?

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Postby xanderkh » Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:10 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:
Also, Gob? You make me feel brilliant. Thank you for that. I'll try to make future chapters live up to your expectations.


I've been telling you that for years Bags. :lol:

Seriously though, of Gob of all people says that your fic is good, then you've got a heck of a winner of a fic. Gob's behind you, Shadowjack is behind you, SSD is behind you, I'm pretty sure JimmyWolk is behind you, what more proof do you need? :tongue:
"You're na�ve, Cecil. Even knowing betrayal and despair, you would depend on the whims of others?" - Golbez
---------------------------------------
Sephiroth: "Do you miss the Light?"
Golbez: "Hmph...I merely have duties to fulfill."
Sephiroth: "Too close to the brightness, and you may get scorched."
Golbz:.............
Golbez: Your loss can strengthen you.

"NGE Shinji is broken, Manga Shinji is an asshole, Rebuild Shinji is an idiot. Which is best? Uh, can I get some other options? All of these really suck." -Bagheera

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Postby Gob Hobblin » Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:01 pm

Chapter 3:

SPOILER: Show
This is a good chapter in terms of establishing where the kids started, and how far they've come. They're both broken, they're both in the Bad Place, with no clear way forward or out. I guess the one thing I have issue with in this chapter is...they don't FEEL like we saw them at the end of the series, all things considered.

Shinji has the resolve to do something, even if he doesn't know what it is. Asuka has the resolve to let him help her, despite how angry she is. And this is where I get a little squinty. It's not a major issue, because I think this is in an area of personal interpretation over anything else. Seeing how they were in the wake of EoE, it's hard for me to visualize Asuka as being so...forceful? I know she would have nightmares, and be highly traumatized, but the outgoing force of it...we saw her gradually ground down throughout the series, and by the end of it, she was a broken husk of an individual.

Even her argument with Shinji in Instrumentality was one of subdued and almost silent resentment. It lacked the force we were used to seeing with Asuka in the earlier part of the series. So, going from that, to her physically confronting Shinji...I'm trying to see the transition.

Essentially, it fits the characters as you have written them for the story, and I don't think it's inconceivable for them to behave this way in the wake of Impact. It just comes down to a matter of transition. How did they go from the hollow people we see at the end of Instrumentality (having gone through all they did) to these individuals right here (who are a bit more in characterization with a pre-Instrumentality visualization of the characters)?
Though, Gob still might look good in a cocktail dress.
-Sorrow

Rei wanted to know what waffles tasted like.
-Literary Eagle

We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, and work. But work has to come in third.
-Leslie Knope

Come read EVA Sessions! This place has it, too! There'll be pizza! Not really! There are other things, too! Not EVA Sessions! Did I mention the pizza!?


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