Mmmm. I dunno 'bout that. I think NGE has precious few holes, but I suppose a lot of that is open to interpretation.
But that's for other threads. :)
In EoE, we don't get any indicator either way as to how soon other people would return. OtS assumes at least a few weeks go by before other people show up (or, at least, before they show up in the rather small part of the world that the story takes place in), but does indicate that life hasn't disappeared forever by way of Asuka noting the seagulls' appearance in the epilogue. They're the only two around for the duration of the story because it's equally as plausible as anything else, and because it's convenient to the plot.
Sure. And I don't knock that; I just think it ought to be addressed within the context of the narrative. I actually find it quite plausible that these two would be the only ones to come back for awhile, since they have more experience manipulating their AT fields than most anyone else. But Shinji at least should be going "wait, what?" when no one else shows up, since Yui told him flat out that other people could come back.
I don't want to read another "The Only Way Out Is Through*;"
I didn't wanna read the first one. :P
I want to delve into the characters' heads and the core of their emotional issues with as little distraction from it as possible, and the supposition that it takes a while longer for other life to return works well for that. You could argue it's a crutch, but I don't think there are many plot devices in all of fiction that couldn't be simplified down in the same way.
No, I agree with you here. I just want the author to lampshade it and show us that he's thought about it, that's all.
*a post-3i fic which I would not recommend, unless you're looking for torture, miseryporn, and literally no hope for characters you care about reading.
Yeah, I've seen it. The bit where Shinji got crucified was particularly delightful. And oh look, new characters!