Writing the characters when they are older.

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Writing the characters when they are older.

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Postby Geometer » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:33 pm

Hello, I'm starting my first fic where the characters are all a little bit older. I'm thinking about 4 years, important years for our young pilots. I think it could be very interesting to see these characters at an older age. They wouldn't have to face the extreme stresses of piloting so young, but they never got over their problems, and still aren't exactly bastions of maturity. The plot basically would start four years late, with mostly everything else the same. Shinji would just be arriving at tokyo-3. He might be a bit more knowledgeable about Nerv but still very much forced into a situation beyond his understanding and ability.

Shinji: He is in danger of becoming Gendo. Shinji already was quite cynical (more so in manga/rebuild) and could get violent if things get bad for him. I think these traits plus bad high school years would lead to Shinji being quite the young scrapper by 18 or so,similar to young Gendo. He would be outwardly more defiant, but if he thinks people will legitimately like him for doing something(i.e piloting that god damn robot) he will snap and make excuses but is really just seeking acceptance like always. I think his arc would be a mix of the good old self acceptance of eva, as well as learning that his actions of pushing everyone way and acting hostile is just an excuse to keep him for getting hurt. I also think he still would be quite far truly hurting people in the way that Gendo does, and may believe that by scaring them off he is protecting them for letting him hurt people like his father did to him.

Asuka: She would defiantly cool down in a few years, but still be troubled as hell. She would be less outwardly hyper competitive, but still competitive in more subtle ways. I think she would be very much a false marry sue, she was kind of that in the show, but now she would be even more of the over achiever. She would have multiple degrees, talents, maybe hold a 2nd job as a model/singer/actress. She would have learn to replace super aggressive behavior with false smiles and kindness. Although her old personality would sweep in a times, witch will be played both for laughs and for serious. Shinji of course will be the master of doing this. I think her struggle would be that she is smart enough to realize that all the praise she gets is not true affection, but she doesn't think she deserves true love so she does it anyway. Her arc would be realizing that this attitude only increases her pain in the long run much like Shinji's avoidance in NGE.

Rei: Oh boy, quite the difficult character to write for. Hard to see how she would be in few years. Hard to see her as an adult. Without Shinji to interact with her she may have ended up like Rei Q-lite. On the other hand maybe having time to.... well '"be" has made her more accepting of herself. She may want to prove her existence through interacting with others, however her total social ineptness and knowledge of her "purpose"/clones makes it almost impossible for her to do, confirming her suspicions that she isn't a real person, that is until Shinji comes along and turns everything upside down for her. However I find it difficult to think of how this relation would work with a bitter Shinji. Honestly I'm pretty lost on how to write her, would take suggestions.

Misato: One of my favorites. I'm thinking of making her Asuka's guardian for the past 4 years. They would have a positive relation and would care a lot for each other, but both of them never really opened up to each other. Misato, of course would fear that she is her father(and would be). She would rationalize it away with Asuka's outward success. She knows deep down that she didn't give Asuka all the love she needed and hates herself for it. She knows that despite Asuka's outward success she is not happy and needs love, the love she was too afraid to give. She would still have her whole complex with Kaji too. I don't think she would be very close to Shinji in this scenario, even if she learns he is a sweet guy deep down it would be too late for her to adopt him. Shinji might even be quite jealous of their relationship and think Asuka has it better than she really does.

Thats the main ones I have on my mind. As for the others:

Ristuko: Same as in NGE, don't see what I could really do for her. Maybe even more bitter but nothing major will happen to her so I don't see any real changes to her.

Gendo: Not quite sure how he would react to Shinji being a little punk. He probably would just manipulate him little differently. Maybe at some he could have genuine anger or sadness that Shinji is shaping up to be like him?

Kaji: Would be mostly the same I think. Not sure how 4 more years and Misato being a quasi-step-parent to Asuka would affect their relation. I think his interactions with Shinji could be fun. Also I think Asuka would drop her crush on him,I think with time and distance she would grow out of it.She would also realize that this make her look immature and cut it out.

Fuyustuski: Meh, hes all just been there, and thats probably his flaw, just following Gendo/Yui not taking action into his own hands. Don't see what I could do with him.

School Children: Hikari could be Asuka's old friend or a new one doesn't matter too much.She is a nice person, but like in the show the relationship is not as strong as Asuka needs it to be. Making Toji and Kensuke become friends with Shinji would be harder, if Toji hits Shinji in this case he will fight back this time. I do think Toji could empathize with Shinji quite a bit this time though, he would see him as someone who is rough on the outside but actually has a protective side a bit like him. For Kensuke I think a few more years of maturity would make him realize piloting the eva's isn't all that great. Maybe he idolizes the pilots this time instead?

Bridge Bunnies: Not a big deal really. Shigeru might be more openly nihilistic. Makato may have abandoned his crush on Misato, or might made a move, or might feel bitter about it and never have done anything. Maya would probably be a little less soft.

So what do you think? My biggest concerns are Rei and balancing out Shinji's shinjiness and gendoness at this point in his life. There are of course plot and back story details I need to get done but I'm worried about nailing the characters psyches down first.
Last edited by Geometer on Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Writing the characters when they are older.

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Postby brer rabbit » Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:57 pm

You could give Kensuke a friends with benefits relationship with Rei as I can see that happening with them.

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Re: Writing the characters when they are older.

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Postby Geometer » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:54 am

View Original Postbrer rabbit wrote:You could give Kensuke a friends with benefits relationship with Rei as I can see that happening with them.


I highly doubt that. Remember Rei has so little personal drive she doesn't even buy any extra clothing or clean up her room. I doubt she would start any kind of sexual relationship. Anno said that Rei was suppose to be creepy, but to me she was always quite sympathetic, you just want to hug her and tell her she not just a tool, and get her to try to actually enjoy some of her human life. I think an adult Rei would feel alot more creepy and might like the sympethicness or the cuteness she had as an 14 year old. This could be a challenge for her character as she would want contact, but would repulse most people. Though I'm not sure in this case she would, in NGE she didn't even realizes this till it was too late

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Re: Writing the characters when they are older.

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Postby Kendrix » Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:02 pm

Obviously the way they end up would be a result of what would happen in the meantime and your premise seems to be to have them remaining on the same trajectory a little longer.

Though I gt whre your idea comes from, I don't see Shinji as delinquent material tho, though I don't see him initiating any great changes by himself, either. That creative potential would stay untapped, rather he'd probably the sort of super nondescript person who'd go on to do some stereotypically boring job like being hidden away as an accountant somewhere.
Like, though we saw edge in extreme situations where he was pushed very far, his overall demeanor tends to be passive & polite.

For Asuka (and Mari should you chose to include her) you have their Q selves as an indication but what they'd become under constant warfare isn't necessarily that indicative, though it would make a case for a less childish, more professional adult Asuka who'd be 'cooled down' & 'less campy'/ might fit well with what you're describing if you don't overdo it, but, she'd probably keep picking ou new challenges for herself to keep getting validation & would be better at that.

As for Rei, I don't think it makes sense for her to be 'Rei Q like', why would more living experience make her less developed?
I'd say she'd have carried on doing the things she does like think about her existence, reading science books etc. and might have becoe somewhat knowledgeable and wise in a subtle way, but only in areas pertaining to NERV stuff -
Like I' think she'd have a few, inconsequential things of her own like the books or gendo's glasses or a natural continnuaton of that, though without Shinji showing up she'd probably continue a mostly isolated existence
I guess another thing you could do is underline the 'soldier or cult-member-like' aspects of her and have her naturally transision into having a sort of stoic/devoted intensity & actively working for gendo's cause as an operative.
Last edited by Kendrix on Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Writing the characters when they are older.

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Postby Geometer » Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:58 pm

^
Interesting ideas about Rei, that makes sense. I suppose I was thinking that an adult who is socially isolated to Rei's degree would have a harder time overcoming it than a teenager who is of course more malleable, but that really doesn't specifically to Rei.

As for Shinji I wouldn't call him a delinquent. I don't think he would break the law or actively start trouble. I wasn't thinking so much as delinquent as much as "edgy loner". The type of person who has given up on getting attention(or at least pretends to). I in high school, he would end up one of those kids who skipped a lot of classes in high school, doesn't look for fights but still ends up in a lot of them because of bad attitude, has a that "society is full of stoopid sheeple" attitude. You now those kinds of kids. Also he would be very much a false nihilist. Still not sure of exactly how old I want them to be, but I could see him in a low wage job, not really caring about improving himself, maybe to even going to college. Then again maybe your right and I'm exaggerated his darker elements.

I've also considered making him a total pathetic suck up. Someone who works hard to achieve praise, just like Asuka, at tasks (school, work, cooking or music)to get praise, that doesn't really make him happy. Just with a polite face instead of Asuka's outward pride and competitiveness. Not sure if I want to characters doing the same exact problem. I mean they do have the same problem but different ways of acting on it and thinking about it. Having them both be over compensating try hards would make for a boring story IMO.

Or I could have him be (falsely) apathetic, at least towards social interactions. Someone who pretends to have given up social acceptance and only is worried with basic self interest. I don't think he would be a pure egoist, he wouldn't seek out to cause people trouble for his gain, but would have the mindset "why should I help them if no one wants me". He would convince himself that he is piloting for pure self interest, but really would be his same old self down there somewhere.

I suppose there are plenty of ways he could grow up. I think I'm mostly drawn to my first idea,because it shows a regression on Shinji's personality, it shows for all his flaws, he does have a good side about him, and that could be lost if he had just sulked around. Its also a bit of a jab on the old "Shinji needs to man up,pilot every time without hesitation, fuck Rei/Asuka/Misato, and kill Gendo" types. Yes he does need to grow up, but he should keep his good qualities as well and not some arrogant hot shot pilot with no self doubt. I think by taking away his better qualities, his kindness, his compassion, his willingness to to help others, as an young adult could be worse than he was when he was 14. His arc would be partially about regaining some of his better qualities.

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Re: Writing the characters when they are older.

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Postby Kendrix » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:28 pm

View Original PostGeometer wrote:Just with a polite face instead of Asuka's outward pride and competitiveness. Not sure if I want to characters doing the same exact problem. I mean they do have the same problem but different ways of acting on it and thinking about it. Having them both be over compensating try hards would make for a boring story IMO.


That the two have has always been an integral point of the contrast between the two characters, tho.

After all, despite partially similar inner mechanics, their exterior & reaction to it are completely different, they wouldn't be "try hards" in very different ways. Asuka would be after archievement to prove her worth to herself (but relying upon external validation as an indicator & secretly longing for connection through it), whereas for Shinji it's not about 'archievement' in the sense of popularity or good grades (indeed he tends to be content with crumbs) but about not giving anyone reason to complain or yell at him on a simple moment- to moment basis... It's up to you if you want his actual understanding there to deepen or not.

Asuka is also a tad 'meaner' about getting what she wants, as a result of being more of a go-getter naturally, though her more adult self would probably have the blunt edges softened in order to be more presentable, you wouldn't have things like Touji's & Kensuke's reaction to her.

It's probably a good idea to look at how, say, Misato, Ritsuko and Kaji are presented as adults, who have plenty of unresolved issues, but keep them hidden behind professional masks & usually restrained or molded to a degree that is mostly compatible with fuctionality, at times seeming like that veneer being the only real distinction to the younger characters.

Their neuroses would be more sophisticated, less obvious to the observer.

View Original PostGeometer wrote:I suppose there are plenty of ways he could grow up. I think I'm mostly drawn to my first idea,because it shows a regression on Shinji's personality, it shows for all his flaws, he does have a good side about him, and that could be lost if he had just sulked around. Its also a bit of a jab on the old "Shinji needs to man up,pilot every time without hesitation, fuck Rei/Asuka/Misato, and kill Gendo" types. Yes he does need to grow up, but he should keep his good qualities as well and not some arrogant hot shot pilot with no self doubt. I think by taking away his better qualities, his kindness, his compassion, his willingness to to help others, as an young adult could be worse than he was when he was 14. His arc would be partially about regaining some of his better qualities.


Agreed.
If you wanted the character's , it should produce 'happy/adult/functional/better versions of them' not the author's conception of an idealized 'happy/functiona/badass' person.

Same with these fics that equate 'developing' Rei with turning her into a generic extrovert.
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Re: Writing the characters when they are older.

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Postby Geometer » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:55 pm

View Original PostKendrix wrote:It's probably a good idea to look at how, say, Misato, Ritsuko and Kaji are presented as adults, who have plenty of unresolved issues, but keep them hidden behind professional masks & usually restrained or molded to a degree that is mostly compatible with fuctionality, at times seeming like that veneer being the only real distinction to the younger characters.
.

That actually does gives quite a bit of insight, don't know why I didn't think of it.


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