[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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.


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.


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