[Fic] Crying Man (Or, How Dr. Katsuragi Found God)

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Re: [Fic] Crying Man (Or, How Misato's Dad Found God)

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Postby Reichu » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:49 am

There's no rush, really, given the speed at which I've been putting chapters together as of late... (SLOW! TOO SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooow) I haven't looked into multimedia incorporation, though I probably should. I don't really intend on illustrating the story in any kind of formal way, but whatever drawings DO emerge should be readily accessible.

Some more pics to pad out the wait:

- Quickies of Akira as (A) bishounen in early teens, and (B) college-aged biseinen.
- Akira in proto-plugsuit, ready for his big moment. His face didn't turn out quite right, but I figured I'd gotten enough good ideas onto paper that I could just leave it alone. Yes, I know the cranial probe array is the very opposite of subtle. I don't care. :tongue:
- Attempt to reimagine Adam at Second Impact. I haven't yet designed the proto-Eva prosthetic modifications that were invariably made to Adam, so she's just buck naked here.
What if... Kaworu bonded with Misato instead of Shinji, and the two of them were siblings?
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Re: [Fic] Crying Man (Or, How Misato's Dad Found God)

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Postby SawItAtAge10 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:43 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Some more pics to pad out the wait:

- Quickies of Akira as (A) bishounen in early teens, and (B) college-aged biseinen.
- Akira in proto-plugsuit, ready for his big moment. His face didn't turn out quite right, but I figured I'd gotten enough good ideas onto paper that I could just leave it alone. Yes, I know the cranial probe array is the very opposite of subtle. I don't care. :tongue:
- Attempt to reimagine Adam at Second Impact. I haven't yet designed the proto-Eva prosthetic modifications that were invariably made to Adam, so she's just buck naked here.


I'm digging the sexiness (as usual) and the "Crown of thorns" that is some awesome pseudo-symbolic Evaness! :clap:

I do have two questions about all of this:

1) Would you be opposed to other people's artwork being associated with this fic (based on a number of factors such as remaining relative to the work and its quality)?

2) I haven't gotten quite far enough in the story yet to know whether or not this is the case, but are there or is there going to be a scene(s) in Crying Man where Akira and Yui have a moment or two? I only ask because of what I read in your post paralleling Shinji to Misato via their parents. Plus, I think it would be a kind of hilarious mirroring of when Kaworu and Rei meet in ep. 24.

Can I just say, given your level of research on the matter, that I practically count the Dr. K and Kaworu connection as fact? I mean really is Kaworu "Nagisa" Kaworu of the (dead)sea shore. I mean, surely the ocean imagery are more than symbolic to form some connections right?
FROM EVANGELION:
"Acts of Man are greater than acts of God!"

"I'm saying that I love you."

NOT FROM EVANGELION:
"You are excrement. You can change yourself into gold."

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Re: [Fic] Crying Man (Or, How Misato's Dad Found God)

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Postby SawItAtAge10 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:05 pm

Thoughts on Chapter 2

Very interesting character interactions and expansion of the pre-NGE universe!

Another familiar face: Young Misato! I take it that this ties in directly to her “child from” as seen in her mental flashbacks? At this point, she’s done being a kid who “tries to be good for her mommy” and is more of pissed of teen, I take it?

That kitchen scene…First of all, NGE and Kitchens! Then, this! One word: WOW. Now, it strikes me as somewhat odd in that Eva’s never just went for the straight pornographic route (sans some explicit nudity and masturbation of course), but I understand why it’s there. It would seem, Akira’s undergoing his own “hedgehog’s dilemma” with Sayaka. Although, I can’t really understand why exactly he’s so afraid of intimacy with his own wife…I mean what could’ve happened to him/them to make their relationship so sad? Is it simply because of the way he’s delved so deeply into his work? Beyond that, the green shirt he wears was a nice shout out to Shinji (If that was intentional).

Side Note: It seems weird to say, but as I am reading and enjoying the story, I can’t help but find all these little things that act as tiny references to the source material. It’s like finding little Easter eggs, it’s very neat and fun within the read itself.

Anyway, the ducks on the pond were an interesting call forward, both to Pen Pen and the White Geo-Front lake. Haru is certainly an interesting character. He kind of reminds me of the random guy in the ep. 21 flashbacks who urges Fiyutski to “be more socialable.” Also, great call forward with Hajime Ikari Foundation…This signals (to me at least) funding for projects > Yui > SEELE. In that sense, it’s like all of the independent fields of research, various projects are all starting coalesce (unbeknownst to our desperate, angst-ridden protagonist of course) towards the greater scheme regarding Second Impact, The Angels/Evas, etc.

Dammit, I wish Akira had just crawled into bed with Sayaka at the end of the chapter (‘d have him spoon up againts me anytime, lol)…ARRRGrrr!!! But canon being what it is…The decline of their relationship is a necessary devil.
One other thing…Kyoko’s e-mail. I think it would’ve been interesting to see some of what she actually wrote. Not necessarily the stuff about agencies and grants (that would be rather difficult). But, perhaps the personal/flirtatious stuff where she addresses Akira directly. This isn’t really a criticism or even a strike against your writing. I just think it would be interesting from a character-building point of view. You could have all that stuff and then have it lead into the funding stuff and leave that part up to the description you provided.

Other than that, this is some really great stuff! I’m really digging the emotional tonality of the whole thing thus far! Great writing as usual Reichu! What I really like about all of this is how much of the story acts as such a “sparse NGE” because of its prequel nature, it’s somewhat of a deconstruction of the original story’s narrative. But like NGE’s universe you have the central focus on characters/emotions set to the backdrop of greater world changing events going on behind the scenes. That is something I can greatly appreciate.
FROM EVANGELION:
"Acts of Man are greater than acts of God!"

"I'm saying that I love you."

NOT FROM EVANGELION:
"You are excrement. You can change yourself into gold."

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Re: [Fic] Crying Man (Or, How Misato's Dad Found God)

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Postby Reichu » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:29 pm

A lot of your questions and comments will be addressed in the story itself with further reading, so I'm not gonna say nothin' about those. ;)

View Original PostSawItAtAge10 wrote:1) Would you be opposed to other people's artwork being associated with this fic (based on a number of factors such as remaining relative to the work and its quality)?

Huh. What in particular do you have in mind?

2) I haven't gotten quite far enough in the story yet to know whether or not this is the case, but are there or is there going to be a scene(s) in Crying Man where Akira and Yui have a moment or two? I only ask because of what I read in your post paralleling Shinji to Misato via their parents. Plus, I think it would be a kind of hilarious mirroring of when Kaworu and Rei meet in ep. 24.

I guess this doesn't really give anything of significance away, so: yeah, they're going to meet. Oddly, though, I didn't consider referencing the Kaworu/Rei scene. That's a good suggestion -- thanks!

Can I just say, given your level of research on the matter, that I practically count the Dr. K and Kaworu connection as fact? I mean really is Kaworu "Nagisa" Kaworu of the (dead)sea shore. I mean, surely the ocean imagery are more than symbolic to form some connections right?

I've learned the hard way not to treat it as "fact". You saw all the eye-rolling cynics in my K4 thread, I assume. It's a complicated series of ideas that supposes something is hidden in the narrative and never explicitly revealed. Film analysis that delves into such arcana is always going to be contentious. Even if I redid that thread from scratch and presented all of the intended arguments as lucidly as possibly, a lot of people would disagree with it. But I guess that's okay. Pointing out the observations so people can make up their own minds about what it means is what's important, at the end of the day. If you find that Kaworu being Misato's half-brother enhances your NGE experience, then let it be part of your head canon. It's a deeply ingrained part of mine! :wink:

For the purposes of the story, I do want "Nagisa" to have some sort of personal meaning for Akira. In terms of the K4 theory, though, I don't think there's any connection. I've assumed that the principal significance of "seashore" is to tie in with NGE's creation motifs. Namely, the recurring image of waves crashing upon a shore and everything that it stands for: Motherhood, Creation, (Re)Birth. In NGE, life emerging from the seas is symbolically equivalent to a human life emerging from the womb. As the avatars of Earth's two creator deities, Rei and Kaworu are two sides of the same coin: Rei Ayanami is the wave (Ayanami = "twill wave"), and Kaworu Nagisa is the shore.

Beyond that, the green shirt he wears was a nice shout out to Shinji (If that was intentional).

I can't even remember Shinji ever wearing a green shirt, heh. The real reason for the green goes back to my early attempts to draw Akira (which are terrible and should not be seen by anyone), some of which I would color in with Photoshop. Akira's Gehirn-issue turtleneck (which he totally rocks because of that long, skinny neck of his, swoooon) ended up being forest green simply because it complemented his dark purple hair. So I figured, if it's a color that worked for him, he would wear it on a regular basis anyway.

Damn, this really makes me want to set up that desktop so I can color my drawings again. Soon, Akira-san; please be patient...

It seems weird to say, but as I am reading and enjoying the story, I can’t help but find all these little things that act as tiny references to the source material. It’s like finding little Easter eggs, it’s very neat and fun within the read itself.

It's not weird at all, as a good number of them are 100% intentional. ^_^ Others creep in of their own accord. (The things you pointed out about the courtyard scene, for instance.) I try to notice this organic creep whenever possible so I can best take advantage of it. One of my favorite things about NGE is how its narrative and setting form a hyper-dense tapestry of connections, and, this being a tribute to NGE, it's something I wish to emulate.

One other thing…Kyoko’s e-mail. I think it would’ve been interesting to see some of what she actually wrote. (snip)

Thanks for the suggestion! It's something I'll definitely mull over.

BTW, I had a question for you up here. I dunno if you missed it or just didn't have an answer or what, but I'd love to hear back.

------------
Work on the next chapters (the ARQA two-parter) continues, very slowly. I wish I knew the exact reason why it's taking so long. I suppose the most obvious one would be that the narrative is "going to the next level". Everything is stepping up in complexity. Weaving a story is really hard! ......But the result will be so worth it. :emogendo:
What if... Kaworu bonded with Misato instead of Shinji, and the two of them were siblings?
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Re: [Fic] Crying Man (Or, How Misato's Dad Found God)

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Postby Reichu » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:36 pm

Finally started assembling chapter 10! It was somewhat horrifying to realize that I first started working on it over a year ago. What the hell have I been doing all this time?! (Adjusting to a new living situation and getting repeatedly distracted by this and that, but still.)

To psyche myself up, I've started working on a piece that is positively oozing with symbolism and foreshadowing. Find, below, the in-progress concept drawing. I didn't plan as well as I should have, so the whole intended composition didn't fit on the page -- no biggy. My hope is to eventually turn this into my first completed color piece in... I can't even remember how many years.

artistic nudity warning  SPOILER: Show
Image

The only explanations I'll provide at this point are the ones right on the drawing.
What if... Kaworu bonded with Misato instead of Shinji, and the two of them were siblings?
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Re: [Fic] Crying Man (Or, How Misato's Dad Found God)

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Postby IfallOnTragedy » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:33 am

It has been some time since I've last revisited this story and I found myself getting all caught up. I noticed what you said here:

It's not weird at all, as a good number of them are 100% intentional. ^_^ Others creep in of their own accord. (The things you pointed out about the courtyard scene, for instance.) I try to notice this organic creep whenever possible so I can best take advantage of it. One of my favorite things about NGE is how its narrative and setting form a hyper-dense tapestry of connections, and, this being a tribute to NGE, it's something I wish to emulate.


Funny thing, I found one scene in the last chapter that struck me as one of those Easter Eggs, but I'm not sure if it was intentional or not. I'm referring to this passage:

SPOILER: Show
Sayaka glances away and wraps her arms across her chest. “Yes. Maybe it wasn't something you would normally do. But why would you do it at all if there was no enmity there?” The accusing, pitiful dark eyes turn back. “You went out of your way to keep it secret. The way you were acting, I thought you were seeing someone else. Do you have any idea what that's like, Akira?”

Akira doesn't remember that time very well at all — it was at least eight years ago, and confusing in every possible way — but apparently it's when Sayaka's own lapses into melancholy became a habitual thing. He knows what deepest melancholy is like. Intimately. But that's not what she's asking about, is it? While he has frequently worried about being abandoned by her, he's never actually harbored suspicions of infidelity. He can imagine it, maybe, if he puts his mind to it, but he's never actually been there. “No, Sayaka, I don't. Thanks to you, I don't.” He tries to sound grateful…


Well it definitely reminds me of Misato and Kaji's breakup, or more specifically their late night talk about the breakup in Episode15. The incident in question happening 8 years ago, the miscommunication, and the suspicion of infidelity that ends up being dispelled exactly 8 years later. I guess this is where I ask: was that all intentional? Either way: Bravo ^_^

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Re: [Fic] Crying Man (Or, How Misato's Dad Found God)

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Postby Reichu » Wed May 24, 2017 3:04 pm

Chapter 10 is finally here!

The ARQA detour was originally supposed to take only two chapters, but it bloated into three. The next two are being written simultaneously. No "Next Time" required, since, alas, the previous one still applies.
What if... Kaworu bonded with Misato instead of Shinji, and the two of them were siblings?
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Re: [Fic] Crying Man (Or, How Dr. Katsuragi Found God)

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Postby Derantor » Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:28 pm

As promised in the FBML thread, here are my thoughts on Crying Man.

Reading this turned out to be a much slower process than anticipated. A hundred thousand words, easy peasy, I thought to myself, before realizing that it is quite intense and I find myself rereading passages again and again to savour all the little details. I also tend to get so absorbed in Akiras mindset when reading it that it all turns into a stream of thoughts rather than active reading and I forget what's actually been written, necessitating reading it all again since I want to pay attention to the style and keep a critical view as well.

That's why, instead of giving my thoughts all at once like I intended to, I'll start with what I have until now. I thought it would turn out even longer but there is just not much to disagree with or criticise here, and I don't want to state the obvious over and over again.

Chapter 1  SPOILER: Show
I'll address your author's notes first, if those are even still up to date.

I didn't find the "first name conceit" cringe inducing. I feel it's something people might talk about as a way to break the ice. It's also instant characterization, so, hm. Not sure why you are dissatisfied. Except, of course, if Kyoko wasn't intended to come off like she does here.

Regarding the physics-techno-babble: It's perfectly fine. "Spiral super strings related to super symmetrical particles in higher dimensions" doesn't sound any more outlandish than "The palatial twistor approach to Einstein lambda vacuums", a lecture by Sir Roger Penrose. Even the Dirac Sea is used correctly, as far as I understand it (even though the concept is outdated by now. And it has a different meaning in the Eva-verse anyways). I've got no clue though what you mean by FIP equation - the only thing I could find is Fielding Independent Pitching, which relates to baseball player ratings, I think. But I only looked it up after reading the authors notes, it didn't strike me as unusual while reading.

Other than that: Loved the part in the alcove and the paragraph right after. The "assimilation" line is pure gold. It was late at night when I red the paragraph above that line for the first time and I completely missed the first line explaining it's a drink he's talking about, and that made it even better as I had no clue what you were talking about, but it was a beautiful description anyways. I thought it was about some mystical concept, turns out, it was just his drink.

I love the dialogue as well. Akiras lecture is great, the academic details as well, the conversation they have is great ... The characterization is in depth, right from the start. Kyoko is a little too ... hm ... too flamboyant, maybe? For my taste at least. But maybe that's just because I have a different Kyoko in my head and never gave her much thought beyond the parts that directly relate to Asuka and the "split soul" thing making her ... weird. I hate Adrian already. I get rapey wibes from him, or domestic abuse, or something like that. At the very least he comes off very embittered. Or jealous. Or both. Well, no wonder with his wife being the way she is, I guess.

Other than that I haven't got much to say which wouldn't be repeating the same stuff over and over again - and since it is an establishing chapter, there is not much plot here to pick apart either.


Chapter 2  SPOILER: Show
And now I know why Misato projected her father complex onto Shinji. Akira IS Shinji. Jesus. Poor Sayaka. But I guess he should be happy that Misato pranked him. At least he got some sexy time (not that he enjoyed it anyways. Poor Akira). At first I thought his reluctance was a little over the top, but then I realized that this is shortly before Second Impact, so of course everything is already in shambles.

Nice stylistic choice in the first paragraphs of the university section (the extremely short yet still effective description/describing the body parts as if they move on their own - something I like to do as well, as it gives mundane things this air of importance, or rather, a focus, like zooming in on foreground details in a movie and just hearing the action). I never thought Misatos haircolour was genetic, though. I always thought she'd just dye them. I think this was mentioned in the first chapter as well, but I just noticed it again here. I sometimes forget that Eva is still an anime world :bigeyes:

I am terrible at guessing, so I've got no clue who this mysterious woman is supposed to be (and it will be explained later, I think), so I'll just say it's either his sister or his mom. My money is on mom, though, setup for some delicious mommy-issues later.

I like the double use of 'surreal' in his dialogue. Makes it life-like. He just can't describe it, so he goes back to the same thing again. One of the things I like about writing dialogue: You don't have to worry about repetition or lack of variation. Some people even have their favourite words they use whenever possible. A completely different game compared to writing everything else. This was just an example, otherwise I can just repeat my chapter one comment regarding the dialogue: It's great. His conversation with Haru especially really feels like some depressed guy talking to his well-meaning, but ultimately unhelpful friend (not because Haru did anything wrong, of course; Akira is just unable to act on his advice). ALL of the story so far seemes ripped out of real life, so ...

First hints of plot: The Ikari connection, the (all to real and depressing) search for grants, the inevitable downfall we know it will all lead to ... Everything woven naturally into the story, and mostly backdrop for the depressed ramblings, as you called them. Ah, the wonders of the depressed mindset, able to ruin everything, like being unable to snugge up to your wife even though you BOTH want it.

Regarding the authors notes: I think I get why you are not happy with the title. The blatant connection to Eva, this being Annos words, comes off as somewhat ... blunt? Unrefined? It is difficult to express the same concept with other words, though. Maybe "A Clock Right Twice a Day", or something like that. "Infinite Regress" comes to mind as well. "Iterations and Repeats", maybe. Or: "The Mandelbrot Set", given that fractals repeat themselves ad infinitum.

I've never seen a kitchen table that wouldn't withstand the rigours of copulation ... what kind of kitchen tables do they have where you live? :bigeyes:

Funny to see that you go to the same lengths as I do when researching locations and unfamiliar concepts. The internet truly is a blessing: On look at google streetview and you don't have to imagine everything, you can just see it.

And now I am curious what you wanted to change in this chapter before I got to read it. Does it by chance have anything to do with the kitchen scene, given your unease with it?


Chapter 3  SPOILER: Show
I could only repeat myself again regarding the prose, as well as how well done everything is, from dialogue to the inclusion of correctly applied (or plausible) physics-terms. I find myself just leaning back and enjoying it without trying to analyze anything, which is always a good sign. So I'll go straight to the authors-notes, as constantly gushing over things starts to feel like it is coming off disingenuous even though it isn't meant that way.

What pacing issues? This is a slow burning story. I am surprised something is happening at all, plotwise. The fat is the interesting stuff here, isn't it? But I guess writing and reading the same thoughts over and over again can get tiring at a certain point.

I see no need to excise that bit about sensei's absence, whether it leads somewhere or not. It works nicely setting the scene, and is, again, just lifelike. People talk about this stuff, even depressed introverts like Akira. His interactions with his normal collegues always hammer home just how insecure he really is.

Which reminds me, I found something to criticise!
"So much excitement and anxiety, all squashed together into an unnavigable mess."
This sentence is at the same time right to the point and wholly unnessecary. Something like it needs to be there to conclude the section, but your prior description already made it perfectly clear how he feels, you don't have to hit the reader with it again. I'd chosen something a little more indirekt, maybe a description of him sighing and walking away or something like that.

(I always get the feeling that I am needlessly lecturing you on things you already know, so, please don't take it that way. I am mostly trying to sort my own thoughts.)
I don't know if that is what went through your mind, but when I write those kinds of sentences I feel like I have to explain something or hammer home a certain interpretation that MUST come out right to the reader - which is why avoid such things so vigorously and as much as possible. I always fear that my writing is not clear enough on its own (which is also why I take forever to write these replies and why they are full of bracketed annotations or edited five times afterwards), so I get the urge to explain stuff beyond what's necessary and am unhappy later and delete those parts again, only to be faced with the same conundrum as before.
That said, sometimes it is exactly this directness which gives a story its punch. I mean, that's exactly what I praised your writing for in FBML, and it happened in Crying Man before as well - so it isn't a bad thing per-se (besides being a pet peeve of mine), it is just that the exposed positioning of the sentence, standing all alone and right at the end, gives it a different feeling. It reads more like a comment by the author than a thought of Akira.
But then again, maybe Akira is self-aware and that's exactly what's going through his mind at that moment.

I think I can slowly put down my finger on why your other fan was disappointed with FBML. This is much more in-depth and it feels "novel-like" - in the sense that it reads like some published work from time to time. FBML feels more unique in that regard, while Crying Man is more conservative in its approach. So, unmet expectations might be the reason for his disappointment. Still, I couldn't pinpoint exactly whats different. Your writing style hasn't changed much, and where it did it is very subtle and hard to put into words. It would require an in-depth comparative analysis to figure out exactly what changed.


Chapter 4  SPOILER: Show
Small little details keep coming up, like Akira feeling relieved as well as threatened by Tatsuta's directness. Not bothering to correct her when she makes an ill fitting compliment about his sense of times reads like defeatism, not like he is happy that he managed to impress her. More and more there is this air of sadness around him, of a man once young and lively now completely spent, owing to his work, his hang-ups and his inability to balance work and family.

I keep having to look up the Japanese terms. Most of them are either more or less fluff or easily understandable given the context, but I still find it mildly distracting. At the same time, they give off an exotic air and speak to your familiarity with that country, so I'm not saying you should remove them. It reminds me of 19th century novels, where writers constantly used french expressions or even whole scenes in a different language, just because they could, and reading and writing was still something done mostly by and for educated people, and since I am a hopeless romantic for times long lost, I get a melancholic feeling of nostalgia. (As an aside, I constantly have to look up english words as well, but that is of course no point against a work written in english.)

"Lost that battle to Sayaka, of course." Like every other battle with her, I guess, except her battle for a healthy relationship, which he decidedly won. Congratulations, I guess? I think he's right about concentration, though. Certainly seems like nobody is paying attention to anything for more than fives minutes anymore.

Sudden lemon out of nowhere - with Akira being just as surprised. Finally something nice happening to him, poor bastard. "Love seat" - I am always amazed at the sheer unending amount of descriptive names the english languages has for things (no German counterpart: It would just be "Zweiersofa", literally meaning "double-(seat)-couch".

And then he gets hopelessly romantic, even. Quite a feat, given his state of mind. Of course, her words of encouragement will come back to bite him later, as he decides to go through with it and everything crashes down even further. No, Akira, no happy ending for you.

Hm, somehow, this time it turned more into an actual review, or more a stream of thoughts. But I am just going more with the flow and try to not think about the technical aspects of the writing and the implications for canon so much, or how it relates to other fan-fictions and their take on things, as well as my own interpretation of NGE's themes. In short, less thinking, more enjoyment and just reacting.


Chapter 5  SPOILER: Show
Ugh, how can it already be more than a month since I added something to this?

Twelve year old Misato definitely is something I never thought about before. You do not know my sister, perchance? But I guess everybody truly is not so different. The whole situation with her being grossed out, trying to be the adult, her constant conflict with her father, the awkward breakfast, her barely contained impulse to run away because dad is acting so weird, when normally, he is at fault for everything - sounds all too familiar. I think I cringed twice as hard at Akiras music-related compliments, though. And what a sneaky way to get "Freude Schöner Götterfunken" somewhere in there. That final thought, acknowledging that that moment was just a fantasy, seems all too relateable too. One thing, though: Misato thinking about "emotional dependency" seems too technical a thought for a twelve year old. I was amazed at how childlike you managed to make her otherwise, thats why that stuck out.

Whelp, and then Misato ruins her parents morning just like they ruined hers. Karma, I guess. On the funny side of things, I learned a lot of english by reading about mechanical stuff, so when Akira mentions he doesn't want to "wear her out", my mind went to "wear and tear" immediately, which is of course much more rude than the actual meaning here.

I like the backstory for Sayaka, and that she is such a completely different character from Akira. Her religiousity (or rather, spirituality) is an interesting choice. In hindsight, it might explain a little why she stuck with Akira for so long. And jeez, Akira's backstory is tragic as well, making it the tragic backstory to a tragic backstory. His great-aunt's name, Katori - another warship reference, I suppose? And I am glad that I stumbled on that old thread regarding unisex names, otherwise I'd been confused by Kaworu. Also, was it a coincidence that they witness a shrine "cointaining" all the Kami? Like Instrumentality?

Sayaka going with open eyes towards the doom she already sees is pretty sad. But she hasn't really got a good choice here, either. That's life, I guess.

Overall, I am amazed that we have so many similar ideas, while the execution is completely different. I am not sure why I am surprised by this, after all, you are not me. Must be the tension between feeling like I am ripping your ideas off because mine are so similar from time to time, down to finding similar sentences, while at the same time, you include angles I'd never think about and include details I leave mostly out. For example, turns out my Shinji is awefully close to your Akira in many ways, which is awefully close to series Shinji. Shinjiception. :tongue: Well, I guess there are many similar things in fan fiction, but I never get this sense of familiarity reading another writer.

Regarding the Chapter notes: The jump in perspective is perfect; as his state of mind changes, so changes the perspective. Out of curiostiy: Was that a concious decision, or did it just happen to end up that way?

The exposition for Sayaka is fine. It pays off at the end of the chapter, and we need to get up to speed with her side of things. It also fleshes out Misato's relationship with Akira, and while it might be a little longer than normal, that only feels that way in contrast to FMBL, but fits in well with Crying Man.

Heh, I started using a calendar as well, saves one so much trouble but brings a different kind as well.


Chapter 6  SPOILER: Show
Somehow I get Terminator 2 vibes from this chapter, with Misato starring as young John Connor. I got a really vivid impression of her and her friends, and I want a story focused on young Misato now. :tongue:

Edit: Forgot to add: Even Misato's friends are attracted to her father? Geez, how beautiful/attractive is this guy? *Looks at pictures upthread* Allright, definitely an Akira different from the one I had in mind, which reminds me more of the steretypical borderline scrawny coroner with deep purple hair. Well, I guess that explains some things. I really do forget that we are still in Anime land.

The Akira/Sayaka part feels of course completely different. It is a little scary how worked up he gets, how enthusiastic he is. I'm enjoying it immensely that you blend in physicality throughout. Too many fics I've read treat it as some form of dangerous gambit that is only to be used once everything else is clear and completely forget that physical intimacy is very powerful in its own right. That said, I dread Akira's fall even more now. He can tear down that wall, but that will leave his heart open to hurt (I'll just assume that you put that concrete wall there as a literal representation of this concept).

Not much else that I can say; I could pick out every paragraph and point at something I like, ranging from the inclusion of Akira thinking about "making things grow" (hello, there, Kaji and your Melons, who becomes Misato's lover later on for completely unknown reasons, which absolutely have nothing to do with her father at all), to the overall flow of the chapter, starting off fairly upbeat and then crashing down just like Akira breaks down, juxtaposed with Misato's rebellious, somewhat brooding demeanor and her completely misreading the situation when she returns home.


So, that's the first part of my review. I am curious as to why you feel unable to finish this, but maybe there will be some clues in the later chapters.
Last edited by Derantor on Sun May 10, 2020 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [Fic] Crying Man (Or, How Dr. Katsuragi Found God)

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Postby Derantor » Sun May 10, 2020 5:03 pm

Starting a new post because the other one is starting to lag when I edit it <.<

Chapter 7  SPOILER: Show
This reads like a twisted version of Misato and Kaji getting back together. Complaining, I am not, though. A rather short chapter, but that's stating the obvious. That Frisch guy seems fishy, as does Miss Tatsuta (that tattoo can only mean trouble, given the Japanese cultural context). I guess I just don't trust anybody working for SEELE, even if indirectly, and I sense danger coming poor Akira's way. Mr. Frisch certainly seems to be quite full of himself, and I am not sure Akira will like what he has in store for him, if I read the sexual innuendo right.

Your attention to detail is still mindboggling. I'd never given those two characters the time of day, and left them completely blank, handling the whole exchange in a few sentences, but you give both of them enough backstory to make them into real characters.

I like the lampshading of the fact that "mental health" is certainly of no concern to Gehirn (or the ISTAA, rather). I didn't think the situation in Japan was so dire, but then again, only in the last decade or so has mental health become more than "witchcraft" in the eyes of many. I should definitely read more.

Reg. the chapter notes: I don't get the "silver fox" double meaning, have to google later. I liked Chiyoe's last sentence - I'd certainly think something similar, probably even less friendly.

Ah, no more Chiyoe from now on? Didn't think that that would happen after the effort spent on designing her, but oh well. Secondary characters who served their purpose suffer this terrible fate. (Hello, Japanese Name Generator, which I use whenever there is a need for some rando to say something barely plot critical) :emogendo:


Chapter 8  SPOILER: Show
[This was written before I send you the PM, just had to clean up a little, but left everything intact]

Hm, I think I'll do stream of thought again, that's the most pleasant way when reading for the first time - I can just take notes on the fly. So, here we go!

Hey, wtf happened to Akira? Who is this guy? Eating, exercising, being happy, getting complimented by superiors ... This seems too good to be true. I like that even Haru doesn't buy it and is even more wary than before. Nice litte details on Gehirn and the beginning construction in Hakone. I always thought that only happened after Second Impact.

His tight-rope-walk with Misato is ... all too real. Children can be cruel that way - and from their perspective, they are of course completely right in their anger.

Ouh, an intimate meetup? This ... is getting even stranger. I didn't think Sayaka would agree to something so frivolous, and they even did it before?

(Whelp, my mind is in the gutter again. Don't ask me why, but I somehow got the feeling that Akira wants to gift her a dildo. That seems like the kind of completely inappropriate gift a suddenly very sexually active guy would think about, especially with a planned encounter coming up. I guess the male brain truly is easy to figure out: If one cock is good, two must be better, especially if there is no rival attached to it.)

Yura's and Sayaka's meeting is really nice. Glad to see that there are some people without any real problems in this fic - seeing somebody succeed for once is refreshing and reassuring. I wonder though if Sayaka really is the type of person who'd like a degree. Don't get me wrong, not saying she shouldn't get one, but so far, she seems to be so grounded in tradition and her homelife that it is hard to imagine her giving up on all that. I wonder how much of that is her trying to be her big sister.

Figures that Akira didn't tell Sayaka about wanting another child. Don't know why he would tell Yura, though. They don't seem terribly close (then again, Akira is not close with anybody, besides ... ah for crying out loud, names escape me. You know who I mean - his best friend. Haru? Oh yes, I've written his name down above. :facepalm:)

Yes, I can definitely see Yura recommending something like this. I'll never get why anybody would want to meet at a love hotel, but, ok.

>I've brought my own, thank you.
Whelp, thanks for giving me ideas. But I guess Akira would settle for something more tasteful than my guess, some lingery or somesuch.

Oh. Ooooh. OOOOHHHHH. Jeesus fucking christ, I WAS right. Kinda. Holy fuck. THAT turned sour incredibly fast. One second I was snickering at my immaturity, next second THAT happened. What an aweful situation for both of them. I'd never expect that being bisexual would be the ghost of Akira's past ... Man, what did he expect? It is one thing being tolerant, even accepting of others, but partaking in their desires, when they obviously clash with their own leanings - thats a whole different story, even between lovers. Give her some time, man. She is not rejecting you, she is just overwhelmed. And of course she has to bring up the stupid baby thing from ten years ago because she talked with her sister and give him the completely wrong impression on top of that. Of course she becomes all the bullies of his past incarnate, while she can only think about how she's not enough for him, when he needs her to change her body for him to be satisfactory. Well, it wasn't entirely new for her, and she recovered quite quickly because of that. I don't want to take sides here, but given how much Sayaka has accomodated him, Akira could have at least have asked her beforehand. The dangers of overblown enthusiasm and not talking. :facepalm:

I wondered how you'd make their relationship crash (that much was clear from reading FBLM). Now I know. What an aweful situation.

The only thing I'll say to the chapter notes is that I wouldn't foreshadow this more, or at all. Otherwise, much of the shock value is lost for first time readers. I am glad that I didn't read the tags beforehand. Seriously, don't ask me why I was exactly on the right track with his gift, that was pure accident, I didn't skim the chapter or anything. I suspected that I was right when Akira said it would be for both of them, and already had some unpleasentness playing out in my head but ... nothing of this scale. Heavy stuff.


Chapter 9  SPOILER: Show
[Same disclaimer as with the previous chapter]

What a depressingly accurate depiction of depression.

Even being unable to lie is part of that. What a lucky man Mr. von Frisch is. Akira just made a big mistake by acting on assumptions alone and destroyed all his progress in one fell swoop by going too fast, and now by being too hurt to see that his mistake was not even that serious to begin with. Sayaka should have talked to him - but I guess nothing would have gotten through, even if she had no reservations of her own anymore. And now, the circling shark comes in to eat his bleeding prey. Ah, how I despise such people.

"Zum Anknabbern" made me chuckle. Not sure how that name came about, but it is a nice play on words.*

Ah damn Akira ... stop and think before you let yourself get so sweeped up in excitement because you find Frisch really attractive ... I get why you'd do it, but only more pain awaits you where you are going. You even explained it perfectly well to yourself: He is trying to manipulate you. And he does it by giving you openness, asking you questions, seeking similarities or pretending to share them. Quite perfidious. And that Bratwurst trick? Jeez ... In a way, Frisch is to Akira what Kaworu is to Shinji.

That motherfucker Frisch. Playing every card in the book. Using Akiras own ideals against him, even his daughter. I bet he isn't even left-handed. Prolonging the handshake a little longer just to make it all the more obvious that everything was a forgone conclusion, and that Akira had no way to stop any of it in the first place, giving him another excuse. And of course Akira agrees. So much for any chance reuniting with his family.

Quite the ride so far, I must say.

Jeez, she just left him at the hotel? Understandable from her point of view but ... god damn Sayaka. How much worse can this get?

Oh well, pointless question I guess. I'd liken this to a rollercoaster, if the rollercoaster was only going downwards, and the ride never ends.

Great chapter. Liked it the best so far. Makes me want to give up writing again. I wouldn't change the moodshift at all - that drastic swing feels quite lifelike to me. I'm surprised he is not outright trying to assault Sayaka, given his pain.

*(To overexplain a perfectly good joke for everybody else and talk about something not depressing this chapter: Normally, "Zum" in this context is used to point at the signature feature of the restaurant: "Zum Goldenen Löwen" is called that because it has a golden lion on its sign, "Zur Eiche" might be called that because it is situated right next to an old oak tree. "Zum Fetten Wilhelm" might point out the the owner is a very fat guy called Wilhelm. "Zum Anknabbern" is a play on this, meaning "[made for being] nibbled into" - while the appropriate German expression would be "Zum Anbeißen" - lit. "[made for being] bitten into", fig. "looks so delicious I just want to take a bite out of it" - quite the opposite of "good enough to eat", even with the somewhat childish alteration (anknabbern is really only used for cookies or sweets, or to describe babies or animals nibbling at stuff, but carries no negative implications whatsoever in this context). So for me, this was especially funny, as that name would totally fly in Germany. Every hip establishment has a cutesy name like that nowadays (except if you are the sushi bar next to our local cinema, which is called Pearl Harbour. Go figure) and the expression is just so slightly wrong that I suspect that the owner is actually Japanese. It would also fit with the Bavarian style, which is the go-to "German thingy" everywhere. So really, this name works on very many levels for me, whether intended that way or not.

To stick to German things for a moment, you'd capitalize Schweinebraten, Kartoffelklöße and Sauerkraut, if you want to go for maximum authenticity. Other than that, I can't really comment - I've never set foot into Bavaria, so, no clue what their Restaurants are like or what they serve, besides Weißwurst, which is just as much a meme here as Sauerkraut is everywhere else. I've also got no clue what Düsseldorf is like. But given your level of research and a quick google search, it seems like it does have a Japanese quarter. Curious.)


Chapter 10  SPOILER: Show
Not sure how much the Yen course changed, but 480.000Y is just a little more than 4000€ - add another zero to the sum, and it is still peanuts, but obviously a large sum for Akira.

Whelp, so Akira is aware that he is walking into the abyss. The honesty on display here (especially his feelings towards Misato) is heavy.

Next section is just as heavy. Not much else I can say. No wonder Akira wants to escape.

Hah, I was right about Tatsuta.

Interesting stuff about the UN. Much thought went into this, I can tell. (I would say more, but then this would turn into pages upon pages of tangents).

Slight break in the flow with landing in Tel-Aviv - a hint that they would have to take another flight in the previous paragraph would make that less jarring. Oh. Just noticed that they went to Moscow first - making that a little clearer would be nice as well.

I start drifting off into tangents while reading again, during Frisch's and Akira's conversation in the bar. This touches on so many topics I thought about for a long time now, that I just can't help it. But it also means that I am utterly immersed, right through to the end - a really honest look at life, scary in its accuracy. And now I want to write an essay to touch on everything you put in there.


Edit, 2020.05.11: Took me long enough to get through this. I blame that solely on the density of it all, but once I found the right mood, it was smooth sailing. It's an utter crime that a mere ten (!!!) people have given Kudos on Ao3. If anything to come out of Eva deserves more recognition, this is it.


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