Reviews for Relapse
BrokenNow chapter 9 . 6/12/2022
This fic really made sense to me. As someone who has struggled with addiction and other demons, I can understand where Shinji is coming from and for that matter Asuka as well. I think the author did an outstanding job of conveying those feelings. The dynamic between Shinji and Asuka is very compelling.
I really enjoyed when they go get a bite to eat and the paparazzi follows them, then Asuka tells them off. One of my other favorite scenes was when Asuka took Shinji back to his gym and watched as his gym mates welcomed him back. I liked how she set back and watched as things unfolded and they welcomed back Shinji, then they realized Asuka was there. She said somthing along the lines of "Hi, I'm Asuka Langley Sohryu, charmed huh" I loved that, so Asuka. I also liked that both Shinji and Asuka have their own problems with addiction that they are trying to overcome. I enjoy that Asuka has not only come back to reconnect and help Shinji but also to face her own demons (at least thats how I interpreted it). I also think that what you've done with Toji, Hikari and Kensuke are true to the characters, not only in the story but also in cannon. I can see how all these characters have grown over the years and are having these real same problems. Toji and Hikari being apart for so long but still having a connection, Kensuke working with Asuka to keep tabs on Shinji. Misato finally having a child of her own and trying to juggle that with her surrogate son in Shinji was a nice touch.
The way Asuka was jealous of Krista but knew she'd need her help to get Shinji clean. I also liked Shinji's interaction with the yakuza. I think it shows how Shinji would sink to any low to get his fix but also how even people such as the mafia realize what he has sacrificed for the world and are willing to enable him. One of my favorite scenes was when Asuka was singing and dancing to Lateralus. Maybe its because I'm a Tool fan but I could just see her moving to the flow of Lateralus and Shinji watching in awe, it was perfect.
I must also talk about the Shinji/Asuka dynamic, I obviously love it. The way they both need each other to help with their addictions and how together they are stronger and can overcome their problems. All I can say is its compelling reading. I realize there has been no criticism in this review but honestly, this is my favorite piece of fanfic I've ever read. I just really wanted to leave a review for this fic because I love it so much. I can't wait for the next chapter and the chapter after that. Great job!
Also I just have to say, I loved what you did with Mari. I personally can't stand the rebuilds and despise her character. Just thought I'd throw that in there. It's also evident how much work and time you put into your fics. The writing and chapter length prove that. I've also read Scar Tissue, Everlong and Wet Sand, they are all great! As I said before I can't wait for the next chapters of this amazing story. Untill then I will be patiently waiting. Keep up the good work!
BirdBro chapter 9 . 6/4/2022
Relapse is one of the most interesting fanfics I've ever read. One of the most brutal and yet, attention grabbing stories too. It hooks you in and doesn't let you go no matter how dark and gruesome it gets. I find it incredibly unique in how this fic breaks the typical mold of Asushin fics, as apposed to Shinji reaching out to Asuka (as it usually is), he has drawn so far within himself that she is the one who has to reach out.

Your portrayal of the characters is spot on here, this Shinji is one of the most monstrous ones I've ever seen. The trauma and tragedy he went through has turned him into a truly violent man, almost like a beast. But through this fic we still see the signs of his old self shine through, and this final chapter (so far) appears to have been the apex of this, at his heart he is still a scared boy.
But I think Asuka is the strongest here. Her desire to help Shinji through everything is endearing in a way, and how you showed the way that she suffered from the guilt of what she'd done to him in the past was heartbreaking in contrast. How she almost breaks at the start but stands strong at the end of this chapter when faced with Lilith was just perfect.

I love the side characters of this fic. Toji and Kensuke are both broken people as well, I'm really looking forward to how you'll take this story from here. And Toji's proper reunion of sorts with Shinji in this chapter was just so satisfying to watch. Misato is a grieving woman here and despite having a family she seems to be at her lowest point yet. In terms of OCs, I think you've come a long way from Dmitri in Scar Tissue - I enjoyed how they took a back seat this time around, they are important to the plot, but they merely serve to influence Shinji and Asuka here, as it should be in my opinion. They're not perfect, but definitely an improvement.

On my probably only issue though, I'll be honest with you. I'm not a fan of the Mari scenes of the story, I felt a bit put off by just how terrible a person she is. And while I only saw the Rebuilds recently she seems to be very different to her portrayal in them, I don't completely hate it though. Mainly because I really loved how you showed that what Asuka did to Mari had a huge impact on her, despite doing such to try and protect Shinji. The way that you showed how the guilt she feels from this affects her and by extension her interactions with Shinji was something I really enjoyed.

But yeah, overall I think this fic is fantastic. In spite of it being such a bleak world, you proved to me again that you are the master of somehow turning it all around for the better, in a way that is believable and oh so satisfying to read. But you also made a showcase of how things can get worse. Just when I thought things were getting better Shinji overdoses (I see you like to hurt him). It seems their progress is ruined and yet you turned it all around again in this chapter. Masterful. Despite the bleak world it's set in Relapse is almost sweet to read sometimes, and I can't help but feel excited at what's to come whether it's good or bad for these two. Every chapter is just loaded with emotion, joy, sadness, madness and the like. I can't help but love it.

Again I've rambled on about one of your fics, even when I promised myself I wouldn't. To reiterate I love this fic. Is it better than Scar Tissue? I'm not sure, but I hope these incoherent thoughts of mine on this fic I've sprawled out at 3am got that across at the very least. I look forward to how things go from here!
Burke23 chapter 6 . 4/26/2022
I thought that this chapter was very well written, though a tad confusing, maybe because I have not read the first 5
Titan6970 chapter 9 . 2/27/2022
Great fic so far, its really easy to relate to the characters struggles and see the other characters from their point of view, a formatting issue for me was the random flashbacks that came up, made it a bit hard to follow at times, could put up a 'flashback' heading at those parts. Misato's and kaji's pov could have been shown a bit more 'onscreen' imo though I see your point of them being more negligent in your fic, but as a sort of redemption for them. I hope the next chapter's more asuka's trauma/past centered. Also personally I would like to see you write an omake of sorts to show mari's obsessive nature. Excited for ashley's confrontation with shinji as well.
Guest chapter 1 . 2/19/2022
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Calborghete chapter 9 . 2/11/2022
Hello friend... finally I could finish reading this story, our dear Shinji is literally broken now, you like to hurt him huh? hahahaha, good story this, I wonder how it will be when Shinji finds out what Asuka did to Mari, this will be tense... Misato, poor Misato, I can feel her wanting to help, but as always she doesn't know how, poor her, I hope this will change in the end. Who will be this girl in the end? Things got really tense, well see you next chapter :)
Papa ingor chapter 9 . 12/26/2021
From scared tissue to this every single chapter you just seem to improve and innovate as a writer it’s so much fun along with the story to see you grow as a writer and I’m so excited for the things you’ve set up and teased for the rest of this story ( I can’t wait for sinji to knock him out with those sledgehammers ) ( hopefully)
DeadUser1 chapter 9 . 11/29/2021
Well I have officially catched up with Relapse and I love it. The drama, the sadness and the angst, I love it all. I love the emotional situation between them. The back and forth hurting cycle. The lengths which Asuka will go to ensure Shinji can recover are emotional and amazing. Also the lenght she will go to ensure he is not hurt are, frankly, fucking scary and just jawdropping. I am excited to read the next chapters once they come out. Good Job.
Iggi chapter 9 . 11/20/2021
God, this is the best I've read! Write more, please write more and more!
NoseGum chapter 9 . 11/8/2021
I come into every chapter excited, and every chapter I leave with my expectations thoroughly exceeded. You're crazy good at taking these characters into genuinely dark places, effectively managing their stay so as to not get redundant, and having them bounce back in the most satisfying ways.

If I were to describe the last chapter as an emotional rollercoaster, then this one would be the feeling of euphoria you get after having ridden a rollercoaster. Though this one's just as much a rollercoaster in and of itself, so that metaphor doesn't go too far. I think.

The characters are on point, their actions, their interactions, they're all on point. We have Toji who feels an ever present regret and self loathing over friendships and a relationship gone awry. Kensuke, who feels disgusted by himself because he can't help but feel a way he thinks he shouldn't. Shinji, there's a lot to unpack there. And Asuka, the strongest character in this story, in my opinion

She molded herself into the very picture of inner strength over the timeskip, and it's tough to read her crumble like she did in this (as well as the last) chapter. Not only does she put herself in the same detoxification situation as Shinji, which, yeah, that's dumb, but she also stands firm in the presence of Lilith when Shinji calls for her. Shinji's reaction to that is also way too funny. She only starts to break down later on, and slowly, and it hits that much harder when Shinji returns the favor for her care, proving once again how whatever..."thing" they have going on is a two way street.

Mari. See, on the first mention of what happened to her and who was responsible, I laughed. I laughed, and I laughed, and I was also a little put off by it. I accepted that the Mari in this is essentially a different character altogether from her canon(?) incarnation, and was still pretty put off by it. It wasn't until some of last chapter and mostly this one that I could accept the situation surrounding Mari as a decent part of the story. As always, you know how to play with guilt really well, and it's good to see that what happened to Mari weighs heavily on Asuka's shoulders at all times. Her regret, her acceptance if Mari could make Shinji happy, Shinji thinking he brought what Mari did to him upon himself, it all makes sense. She wasn't just "some psycho bitch," she was "some 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘤 psycho bitch." It's certainly not my favorite part of the story, but you've polished it enough for me to not absolutely hate it. It's a major event and it's treated as such, and I respect that.

Misato and Kaji. Seeing things from their perspective certainly helps a lot. Yeah, Kaji definitely wasn't in the wrong for decking Shinji. Getting agitated in the presence of a baby? And with Shinji's track record? Not a good look, even if he wouldn't have done anything. And Asuka did totally push Shinji off part of a building years back. It's not hard to see why they would be suspicious of the two, given they've only seen the bad and not the recent good developments.

Toji's a real g.

Asuka and Shinji's interactions are just great. Not everything's sunshine and roses in the healing process. They get frustrated, they get jealous, they even get sick of each other, and that's human. As seemingly morbid as it is, part of Shinji wishing that he were the one in Moritz's pictures is human as heck. Sure, a lot of his anger comes from protectiveness, a lot from disgust, but there's that sense of jealousy that you expanded upon in this chapter that just makes his reasoning feel complete. The same applies to Asuka and how she felt about Hikari and Mari. The detoxification applies in more ways than one, I guess. Asuka and Shinji are flushing the drugs out of their systems, sure, but they're also shedding all of their layers upon layers of protection, the walls are coming down and they're finally being their truest selves. And it's sweet to read.

Things are looking up and I like that there are some exciting developments near the end. Thanks for the dope chapter, babe.
Bwanagator chapter 9 . 11/7/2021
Relapse good. End review.

Just kidding! I liked the dream sequences and oh man that scene with Asuka singing that song. We also now know what the final fight will be and boy am I looking forward to that one. Anyways keep up the good work DB!

See you starside, cowboy.
Romulo Nidoking BR chapter 9 . 11/5/2021
I was on my first extended holiday since that m****fu****ing pandemics in a place with crappy internet access, but once I've seem a Relapse update I had to change some plans and take a time to read it.

We are living in times in which old franchises - anime, movie series, cartoons - are being remade, rebuilt, rewritten for commercial reasons but, mostly, because it's safe for authors and companies to play in the "safe zone" and profit from the well build and established lore and characters of the old series. In other words: they are making "official fanfictions".

But the thing is... most of them are missing the point because authors and producers... are not fans. So, most of those new stories lacks something. Notably passion and, maybe, understanding of what made the original works so great.

That's why your stories are always a pleasant reading. You not only has a great understanding of Eva and it's characters, but you always write your stories about them with passion, being able to deliver proper characterization with also tackling AU's and rl related issues. Because even if Evangelion is not a history only about the characters and their struggle to relate and connect to each other (some will say that is just another dumb show about giant robots), well, f*** it. It's also about that, and you are able pick up that cherry on the top, the better and most appealing aspect of the series, and develop it in a more meaningful and interesting way than official releases.

If I already admired your writing skills as a reader, as a writer my admiration grew over 9000 times, since I know now how hard is to put up several thousand words in a foreign language while delivering a well built setup and a thrilling story.

As for this chapter, well, there were so many great moments.

The whole thing about Asuka's plan of facing withdrawal with Shinji is crazy (and maybe some of "that kind" of reviewers wouldn't like it), but also so in character for Asuka and it fits well with the story flow.

This conflict has set the tune for this chapter and got its climax on the amazing moment of "confrontation", when Shinji used his "Lilith" powers against Asuka, in a very powerful scene that showed us 1) how Rei/Lilith is suffering with Shinji's state (and powerless to help him to recover), 2) how Asuka - even broken - managed to hold her own against her worst nightmares, because she is in a mission to help Shinji (and how bad were the consequences for her latter) 3) how Asuka's plan involved not only her crazy approach of facing withdrawal with Shinji, but also in building up a safety net for it, realizing that her presence only won't be enough. A sign of maturity and character growth for her and also an important rl lesson: to face a thing as bad as a relapse, one really need that kind of support to be able to recover.

It's really a war. Several battles are needed to face this invisible enemy. Asuka has been preparing for this mission for years, but is already showing signs of weakness and Shinji will have to make an effort for both of them. Maybe they would have an easier time if they were fighting Samael and Dmitri. To win this battle in Relapse they will need to lean into each other and in every moment where they start to fall, they would have to find strength to do better for each other's sake.

The way you're writing this battle is ten times more exciting and thrilling than to read about mechas fighting each other for the sake of humanity and reality itself.

Toji was a pleasant surprise in this chapter. His scenes with Kaji, Asuka and Shinji made justice to his character and developed him well to act as the only possible bridge to try to sort things between Shinji and Kensuke. Also, it's great to see that while this story is about Shinji's relapse, his healing process will also means a return to normalcy and "healing" to everyone else. Again, it's kinda like rl: once a person is able to bounce back and return from a relapse and become clean, everybody else that care for that person will be able to get happier.

The scenes about the letters were pure WAFF (although i might have missed a connection between the letter and the Christmas gift exchange scene - maybe a paragraph was missing).

I would definitely like to see more about those exchanged letters in future skits. Especially Asuka's letters.

Thanks for writing.
Chucky117 chapter 9 . 11/5/2021
This and every chapter that came before this is one damn hell of a rollercoaster. A lot emotions and events are told in very digestible way.

I especially love that Asuka was willing to going through withdrawal as well with Shinji. It was a different way to show that she "wanted to share his pain", to show that "they were in this together", and that "he was not alone through this". Was it a bit dumb of her to do? Yes, but, to me, it most definitely shows her overwhelming commitment to Shinji and I love it. Every scene where the two are trying to break through and help each other are so well done.

Toji trying to mend his friendships and every scene he was in were very enjoyable, heartfelt moments to me. Looking forward to how Toji is going handle the reunion with Hikari in the next chapter(s) to come.

You are most definitely a master at this. Looking forwards to the next one!
shadowfang6421 chapter 9 . 11/4/2021
This chapter was excellent. I really liked Asuka's and Shinji’s arguments as they are both being strained to their limits, and just as we saw with the neighbors realizing it as well, there’s a different energy with their arguments, like they are becoming more and more raw due to their withdraws. It does help to accent the letter readings (those are always enjoyable) and more soft parts of the chapter though. The breaks we get from Shinji and Asuka are also a great help to the chapter, if it had been only them constantly there would have been a bit of burnout, so that bit of deviation is great.

Overall, great chapter, happy to see the characters moving forwards and starting to truly want to he healthy. Shinji’s realization was a great moment which finally kinda cemented that, he in fact will get better, he just has a painful journey ahead to get there, and a certain redhead is willing to be by his side and suffer along with him.

Keep up the great work, I’ll be anxiously awaiting the next chapter!
IkeaisOP chapter 9 . 11/3/2021
I read this chapter over 2 days while studying for various tests and to be honest its a very a good release of stress. I love lines like "And it rains on rainy days" that helped me unwind with a good laugh. Then there's scenes like the talk shinji and asuka had. While I did not fully understand the circumstances to how Asuka got sick, I found the the scene very cathartic. Then there's the telling off of Misato, which was deeply satisfying for me because i could relate to shinji's annoyance with misato albeit at a smaller scale. As for the withdrawal scenes, while I have no experience with drugs, nor do I know anyone suffering with withdrawal symptoms, I could still visualize the character's pain to some extent so that's great writing. Now that we're introduced to ashley, I'm wondering if Shinji saved her because the hair reminded him of asuka? Also very excited for Shinji beating the shit out of Moritz being the piece of scum that he is. All in all, great chapter, great material to unwind to and forget about some stress and I'm very excited for the next chappie!
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