Reviews for Relapse
AirGuitar035 chapter 15 . 7/30/2023
To be concluded?! NOoooOoOOOO

Just kidding, I know this story can't go on forever. This is another fantastic chapter, and another example of why you're one of the best authors in the Eva fandom.
Romulo Nidoking BR chapter 15 . 7/29/2023
Those last updates got me mad and sad.

Because we are so close to the end.

So I will ignore the new chapters divisions (because I end up re-reading everything with every update, anyways) and make this review.

I could talk a lot about those last chapters. I could talk about how I really liked the Langley's characterization, the fact that you revealed that both of them also had to deal with the phantom of Kyoko in a similar way that Shinji and Asuka deal with the ghosts in their heads (which keeps us guessing if those hallucinations are only mental representations of guilty and their broken minds or some nasty side effect of instrumentality, in good and old Evangelion ambiguity), and also how that arc was the perfect set up for the gran finale where they will finally deal with Misato and make the story goes full circle. I could even nitpick how you made a small typo and switched Mana for Maya in one scene (maybe a side effect of Asuka's constantly missing Kendall's name).

But nah. Leave that to other reviewers.

What I really want to talk about this update is about the journey so far.

Not only their journey. But yours. And ours too.

It's no secret that this story is often compared with your older work "Scar Tissue", as they both have a strong mark of yourself -the writer - and your personal views, approach to subjects, passions and - why no? - your soul embedded in those stories.

So, if Scar Tissue kinda reflected your approach to Eva and life at your teenage/younger adult view, Relapse reflects your approach to those as a mature man.

And that's why Relapse - even if its still incomplete - finally surpassed Scar Tissue as my favorite Evangelion fanfiction.

Let's go back to the start of this story.

Just like Scar Tissue, this story started with all things going bad. Really bad. If Anno was animating those scenes, we would see it like a train crash and lot's of poles disconnected and cracked up on the floor.

Shinji, Asuka, Misato, Toji and virtually everybody else were hanging on and trying to live, but avoiding the elephant in the room and running away for the main issues. Disconnected, frustrated, incapable of settling up their conflicts, frustrations and relationships.

You choose to build several degrees and levels for those frustrations. From severe physical trauma and fatigue, to drug addiction and psychological trauma, to murders and dealing with criminals, to betrayals and cheating... you basically picked up about 90% of all possible human traumas and issues and each one of them would be able to cripple and destroy a person's life forever.

And from this pit of total despair you manage to write a fantastic and hopeful tale about how people can heal from that. Because for each overdose, we had a healthy meal. For each betrayal, we had honest heart to heart conversation and huge displays of affection and friendship. For every sin, we had redemption and forgiveness. For each wound, we had healing. For each "I hate you, we had an "I love you". For each unsent gift and unread letter, the perfect delivery.

Yes. After setting up the worst of tragedies and throwing them at our favorite characters, you started to show the light and how even in the darkest circumstances, our armors can be cracked and we can return to be the better version of ourselves.

The development of the journey of Shinji and Asuka relationship and the way they healed it while also healing all those broken bridges and relationships with their friends, family and inner demons really felt like a goddamn fucking therapy session. Maybe for you, but I guess that everyone who got invested into the reading and the themes would be able to relate to it that way.

And that's the key point of everything, at least to me. People here on this site have been reading Evangelion fanfiction. In my case, for more than 20 years. Why we do that? Why bother with all those stuff? Maybe we want to see more about our favorite characters. Maybe we want to play and laugh at crack scenarios. Maybe we want to see romance happening and characters kissing. Maybe we want to read about retellings of the original story with twists or see the canon being expanded in many different ways.

But in my case, I really like to see works that capture the feelings and the "soul" of the original experience of NGE and EoE. Works that makes us laugh and cry at the same time. Works that destroy all hope and then reconstructs it again or at least gives us hope to go on.

And guess what? You did it. While telling a story that mirrors your professional experience in your field of knowledge and your personal experiences with different themes in your own life, you polished your writing skills to deliver those feelings in your text.

Your writing can deliver that mix and tonal change of mood in the text, being able to alternate between comedy, drama, romance, tragedy, horror and a full spectrum of emotions at the same time, sometimes in the same paragraph or dialogue.

They way those scenes flow and deliver those confusing feelings and explosion of emotions, while also keeping up the characterization of the character we love so much is unique. That's why reading this story is extremely satisfying for an old timer like me, because it feels like watching someone untangling an ugly mess of wires over a tightrope and seeing that - despite almost falling a few times - he is able to make it and turn those mass of wires into a beautiful, clean and aesthetic vision.

Some people can say that this flow and explosion of emotions it's too unrealistic edgy or over the top. Burning the witch in the car? MMA/knife fights? Professional cooking abilities? Speedrun PHD in Medicine? Being able to act as overly mature people at age 22 while also blushing and making dumb teenage mistakes and blushing over simple issues?

Well, fuck them. Relapse is an Evangelion story that shows those characters as symbols/avatars of complex dramas and human struggles and relationships, so putting them in those extreme situations and in tune with their core essence and characterization and being able to pull it out while advancing the plot and making each scene counts and not only deliver fanservice moments? That's is just perfect.

And most important: it's your story. Not only about you, but about your view regarding Asuka, Shinji and all of Evangelion lore. All the cast, all the characterization, all the original characters making the difference in a journey from despair and hopelessness caused by the separation (in all senses) of our two favorite hedgehogs to the reconciliation and true bonding between themselves, each other, the people around them and the world.

They hurt and bleed. But got better and stronger. Like Scar Tissue. But better.

I will save more words for the last chapter, king.

PEACE
YourBlandestNightmare chapter 15 . 7/29/2023
This is one of the most adorable things I've ever read. The starting scene was illegally cute, and it warms my heart to see Toji and Hikari rebuilding their relationship. Mr. Langley and Katya teasing Shinji and Asuka made me laugh like I haven't in a long, long time. And Kyoko's final appearance, and her words, were the perfect sendoff for Mr. Langley. There are not enough "cheff kiss" that could properly express the perfection of that scene. Well done, my King.

And yet, you managed to outdo yourself with the airport scene. Four words. Four simple words by Shinji, a common day expression that in any other scenario would be devoid of any deep meaning; here it's a testament that the healing is done. Not just of the body, but also the healing of the soul. Misato welcomes Shinji home. Brilliant in its simplicity.

It just feels so rewarding, seeing our Shinji after so long. And yet, at the same time it's a new Shinji, one that has learned from his mistakes and become better, without sacrificing what made him Shinji. Same with Asuka. By the way, the asushin scenes are still the GOAT, the KINO, the MVP. Beautiful, all of them.

Can't believe the story is almost over. It's been a wonderful journey, from the darkness to the light, and one of the most rewarding WAFFs in the history of asushin fanfiction. Thank you, my King. I'll be waiting for the grand finale for as long as I need.
YourBlandestNightmare chapter 14 . 7/29/2023
My King, your feel-good SOL stuff is never, and could never be boring.

Loved the opening interaction between Shinji and Mr. Langley; but what really tugged at my heartstrings were the scenes of Asuka and her father. The flashback, the earrings and the dress... and the hug! THE HUG! It was beautiful, brother. Thank you for giving a happy ending to Asuka's dad and stepmom as well, it's the perfect seasoning to accompany a delicious asushin story.

Fritz stole the show in just a few lines, and has now become my second favorite db OC. The first is still Trainer Motherfucking Jackson.

Also, I take off my hat to the scene with the therapist. It was professional and respectful without being preachy, while at the same time giving us an understandable reason of why Shinji doesn't like them, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME showing how much he has improved by keeping his anger under control. Chef kiss.

And of course, the asushin is always great. Thank you so much for this beautiful chapter, I'll review the next one in a moment.
Born2Walken chapter 6 . 7/29/2023
Chapter 6 Spoilers

Something you may not know about me Joe Rogan I smoke rocks and read Relapse. This chapter once again was very much centered on world building as we begin to focus on other main stay characters besides the two pilots though thankfully they still both are very much the focus. We get a rather tense and almost noir opening with Kensuke spying on Shinji which is written very well. It’s a pretty interesting introduction to him as a character and he seems to be definitely more fleshed out then he normally is in most fics. If I’m being honest the idea that Kensuke despite spying on Shinji for his own wellbeing has basically been kind of simping over Asuka all these years is one I didn’t particularly care for. I completely understand why it’s here and its purpose as it’s a Meta commentary on 4.0 and Eva shipping in general but to me I felt Asuka’s boyfriends in Germany were enough even though it’s clear Kensuke never actually had a chance with Asuka. It’s probably just a personal preference thing too or maybe even it was designed to make the reader fell that way. Something that this scene definitely highlights well is just how much danger and how many near death experiences Shinji has had in a short amount of time and it truly weighs on one’s soul and makes you worry for the character. Even though 3rd impact was 7 years ago Shinji has basically been fighting an even more gruesome never ending battle without rest. In the next sequence we get an interesting flashback from a year back of Shinji at the gym that allows us to not only see what he was like prior to the first chapter but also see the repercussions of the fact that both him and Asuka are worldwide famous. Something your fics always go out of the way to show us is how these two would be very public figures and sadly be prone to the media and interviews.

The TV interview with Asuka shows that she is even more talented at masking her true self and actual feeling than she was as a teenager as she able to transform into a professional public figure seamlessly. Which of course makes her doing everything in her power to not have mental breakdown and being unable to hold back tears after the douche bags commits all the more heartbreaking. We can feel Shinji’s rage through the passages as you describe the tension the other gym members feel perfectly. You can see how much his gym mates truly care for him yet they are completely powerless to help him. The scene of him calling upon Lilith shows just how dangerous Shinji is and how despite this fic trying to be a real as possible this is very much a reality that could only happen to Asuka and Shinji pacifically and hammers in that unlike most people they can only be healed by each other. We come to understand that just like Asuka, Shinji has been just as obsessed with her as much as she’s been with him this whole time. Shinji sitting outside waiting for the prick to come out of the bar feels and plays out just like a movie that cuts right before the carnage. Also it’s not something you think Shinji would listen to but my god no one should ever complain when mother fucking pride and joy is used! Back in the present we see both of the former pilots are beginning to be getting so use to each other so much that they are almost nearly becoming copies of their former self’s from all those years ago hence the chapter title.

It’s understandable that Asuka is completely livid after the stunt Shinji pulled after she screams but it hits hard after such a beautiful night the two just had. She definitely feels overly cruel here upon first reading but considering her lack of sleep and what she has to go latter on and do in this chapter it makes sense. It’s also a sobering reminder that all great moments in relationships don’t last forever and unfortunately ups and downs are a common thing that can’t be helped and despite how much unbelievable progress they made yesterday they still have a very long way to go. It’s also worth noting how Asuka is only acting as harsh as she is cause she’s deeply worried about him and the statement that Shinji gives on how he crush anyone who would try to hurt her has a profound impact on her. The panic attack Shinji has prior to her leaving is maybe the most stressful one to read yet and is the stuff of nightmares. Honestly makes me feel that Asuka should’ve waited to Krista came before leaving Shinji but I guess she knew she wouldn’t be in a good place to interact with her who knows.

What happens next is easily the most emotionally intense moment of the chapter and it may even be the most intense moment concerning Asuka and Misato together I’ve ever read. It’s opened perfectly with a very uncomfortable silence telling us right off the bat that the relationship between these two has not changed one bit since the series proper in fact it’s gotten even worse over time. What follows next is heavy and emotional grueling debate on each other’s actions particularly with Shinji. What fascinating and what I really liked about it is if you mean it or not to me both women as overly cruel as their statements are, are actually both right about each other mistakes the big takeaway is of course that unlike Asuka Misato still doesn’t realize just how much damage she has personally caused to Shinji. Misato understandably doesn’t approve of her unorthodox methods of helping Shinji in allowing him to take some pills and drink some alcohol which is completely understandable to an outsider despite the fact Asuka does actually know what she’s doing.

Misato of course brings up all her horrible behavior to which to Asuka doesn’t dare defend. But the real verbal poison is done through Asuka as she tears apart essentially every action and choice the women has done and made in the series as despite not being the brains of the operation and actually caring for Shinji, she still technically had a hand in ever horrific thing that happen to him and even failed to protect him in the events of EOE. Now is Asuka being overly harsh I believe so but it’s necessary to point out as to make Misato order stand that despite caring for him she was horrible and un fit guardian to Shinji and she has to except that she’s partially to blame for the way he’s become. What happens next is Misato understandingly falling apart and being placed in a more emotionally state than I’ve ever seen her in any fic and it’s well earned. I love how while both women have not forgiven each other they are (mostly Asuka) able to hold and comfort each other showing there’s hope for them yet as we see how much Asuka has grown so much since EOE. This part really asks some very interesting questions and makes some excellent points about Misato and the franchise as a whole as far as how much damage she did unintentionally or not.

We also get a lot of great little character moments with Asuka sprinkled throughout such as her looking with disgust at kids ignoring each other and being occupied with their phones, an act of miscommunication and something she knows all about so well and the adorable scene of being in complete joy over the fact Shinji swore to protect her from anything as she’s finally beginning to fully understand what it’s liked to be loved and also for the first time in her life she actually feels safe. The realization that Asuka didn’t see Shinji on better circumstances because she had to perform surgery on her step mom of all people is a bittersweet revelation that shows without a doubt she’s become a good and selfless person. It’s also nice to finally get a scene with both Toji and Hikari separately and it shows like the entire main cast they are in a terrible place and lost in life while also going through a great deal of guilt over what happened to Shinji. Hikari’s scene in particular shows just how out of control Shinji truly was. Again not too crazy about the Kensuke crushing on Asuka thing especially when he’s engaged but some of their banter is enjoyable and it’s neat to see that Asuka can actually be very sociable to people she trusts.

The Reishin Meta stuff was pretty funny too. Krista and her girlfriend coming to the apartment and forcing Shinji to let them take care of him was awesome and heartwarming not to mention pretty funny. Krista again shows why Shinji was pretty drawn to her as a friend. The scene with a large number of his gym mates inviting themselves in to help him with dinner was pure bless and a great way of showing Shinji how much of a fool he’s been for thinking he has no friends. I almost wish that scene when on longer but Shinji being moved to tears was more than enough to make the point, wonderful stuff. We now come to the most DB moment in this fic so far and I got to say it fits the Deathbringer seal of absolute fucking carnage approval. The whole beginning of the scene is very tense and nerve wracking as Asuka ventured alone in a sketchy building where Shinji was at his lowest. To which we have a tense conversation with the man who supposedly nearly beat Shinji to death. The fact he is actually working with Asuka raises a lot of questions as far as what the hell actually went down during the whole Mari ordeal but Vol definitely fits the bill as a less over the top alternative to Dmitri and an interesting look how that even vicious murders are capable of doing good.

The scene where Asuka watching the four goons who hospitalized Shinji get executed is some legit Quentin Tarantino shit and while insanely over the top I can say it isn’t satisfying or that the fuckers didn’t have it coming. The last guy in particular death pure poetic justice in the most gnarly of ways. It’s some real inglorious bastards shit and while I’m not sure Asuka would actually be able to stomach all of this it does is adds to the theme of Asuka being as lost and cruel if not crueler then Shinji despite seemingly not coming across as so. I think it’s very appropriate for her sanity that Asuka is at least able to puke after watching such a scene. What follows is a lovely scene with her guardian Fritz who low key might be the best side character in the story so far if not just for the fact he is clearly the first adult figure who Asuka can actually count on. I love his honest answer to her on if she’s a bad person or not in that she’s simply a lonely one whose tries to protect what she holds dear.

Finally we come to the finale and most beautiful part of the chapter as after an entire hellish day Asuka is rewarded with coming to what she feels for the first time is truly home. It is wonderful seeing Shinji after such a short time stand up to his visions and make an active decision to try to become healthy and maybe even try to be happy. For Asuka it says a lot how she is celebrity who comes from money and to her Shinji’s apartment which she’s only stayed in for a few days is to her the first place that to her has ever felt like home. It’s a beautiful statement that without someone who cares for you no home or life style can bring someone true happiness. Watching them just interact with each other and just trying to keep a straight face while deeply wanting to fall apart and cry in each arms is at once bittersweet and hopeful. This is shown brilliantly with Asuka falling apart and crying in tears bless and hope in the bathroom a steep contrast from a few chapters early when she cried in that same room outta sorrow.

I may have mentioned before but the fact Asuka and Shinji are young adults here makes their inner thoughts so much more emotional, direct and passionate with no second guessing like you often see when the two are still adolescence. It’s also satisfying to see them feel so passionate after being so tragically apart for so long. The over dramatic reactions of Asuka with eating Shinji is both kind of funny to read but also such a sweet and lovely way of the two completely opening up to each other in a way that doesn’t evolve talking and the line about this being the first time Asuka is following directions from Shinji really speaks volumes. I especially love the seemingly small but actually enormous victories of Asuka getting Shinji to actually smile and laugh and it feels as if we’re witnessing it in real time along with her. The closing cuddle scene once again touched me to my very core as so much of this story does. It truly feels like the right and appropriate moment for both to willing partake in it. It’s set up perfectly from the beginning of the chapter with its necessity really only being an excuse for both of them to be with each other.

Every great Asushin fic has a defining moment where Shinji is able to finally break through Asuka’s Wall of Jericho and Shinji reaching to Asuka here certainly feels like this fics version of that moment. Rather than two scared teenagers they are both desperate adults who are so deprived of affection that they throw away all hesitation and hold each other in a slow and beautifully described moment that just might be one of the most sweepingly romantic moment I’ve ever read and probably the most beautifully passion scene of too people holding each other to sleep I’ve ever seen in any medium. Asuka commenting on Shinji’s many scars reads like a much more emotional and impactful recreation of the scene from Indian Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark with Indy and Marion. This scene does a standout job in putting a close on the first half of the story as the two have started letting themselves into each other’s hearts and now the mountain of staying sober is what awaits and I’m fully invested in these two making a happy life with each other. This story is such a beautiful example of just how truly beautiful love is and how can truly change one for the better till next time!
HydrationStation chapter 13 . 7/28/2023
My man Kensuke almost met God today lmao, that's kind of on his ass for appreciating what he's already got. But anyways, I see you've been laying out the ground work for a lot healing, which has been anticipated in a long time, which I like, it's not at all forced. It is also a resolution in some way since we have a Germany arc going on.

Man. You have no idea how much I relate to that shopping spree scene, it was weird reading this in 2020 on my lonesome versus now that I got my novia, really makes me appreciate the work that goes into relationships, Shinji and Asuka's never ending dance of learning boundaries and countering those passing storms reminds me a lot of that, I finally get it.

Anyways I'm looking forward to seeing more of Langley

Oof, that Misato scene was rough but sadly realistic, she's apologetic and wants to be in her kids life again, but she's also proud and wants to save face, therefore downplaying her wrong doings which just doesn't really lend to much mending fences. Toji's got the right idea, so maybe Kaji and Misato deserve each other in that way and will just be that crabby old couple that won't admit their fuck ups but still come to Christmas dinners while everyone else dreads the inevitable rants.
Calborghete chapter 15 . 7/28/2023
Rei child is so cute that my heart won't take it... This as always was a good chapter, Asuka pregnant? Hehehehe the two then did the "thing", it's nice to see the two getting happy, they deserve it.
TheOneAndOnlyErik chapter 15 . 7/28/2023
First things first. You bitch, you had me confused all day thinking I had read the wrong chapter until I saw you had done a double chapter drop hahaha.

I think my nitpick here would be something like Sky would say, a lot of new original characters these chapters. Not that I mind it much, you have a certain charm with OCs making them feel and read like they've been part of Eva for sometimes.

Now little Rei part of the story, I see you've learned from me with the adorable stuff hahahaha! But I fucking love seeing Hikari and Toji like this now after so long. I can still feel there is a bit of bitterness between them because of the past events but now it's slowly disappears with them spending time together and making new and healthy memories. Bravo DB, you always nail the parts of humans ability to recover from past events and move on.

This is my review for both chapter 14 and 15, I liked them both and completely forgot how big the word count is because that's how good the story has been. Huge progress from you.

Welp, now we wait UTB buddy. Don't think we forget :)
HydrationStation chapter 12 . 7/27/2023
It's good to get back into Relapse after a while, this chapter ran smooth like butter

First off, I really like how this chapter has been showing the long tilled results of sobriety first off, Shinji for the first time (At least I think it is) see's his actual mother and not some horrific corpse for example. All this time I was under the impression that Shinji had a sort-of/kind-of supernatural curse or it was a dramatic manifestation of his trauma. I guess it is the latter, but after processing some addictions of my own, I see that it's more than a metaphor, it's a lens on his life. How he viewed his mother, Mari, Gendo, and even himself in the child form.

From his body, his blood and all the way to his mind, Shinji was sick, from the Third Impact, to living in this new, grimier world and seeing everyone around him spiral all the way to coping with substances and corroding habits to escape from that reality gave him this black tinted lens of the world. Lost in the sauce if you will, that's the thing about drugs and other kinds of addiction, it rots your brain so you forget you have a rot in the first place. Really insidious shit.

All these previous chapters were mostly about how strong that hold over him is, and when you see him relapse you feel like this is just something he's going to live with forever. But going clean opens the door to new lines of thought, I think in a way he was able to stop hating his mother because firstly, he stopped hating himself. Obviously he hasn't let go of every wrong doing in his life, atleast with Kensuke and Kaji, that's more out of what they've done to Asuka, so you would think that applies to his mother and father too. But those are reflections of Shinji, so which every passing day that he gives himself sympathy, he can see them in kinder eyes too.

And therefore, that's the result of sobriety, it's a growing pain, but once you learn to live with yourself, I guess it takes away the need for a dulling. It almost makes me want to give up drinking and smoking too.

Followed with that, you see two other's struggling with sobriety too, Toji and Kaji. Mad props to the monkey, by God, he's doing it. I like how he's clearly taking a page from Shinji's book and trying to stay strong, that whole waiting by the apartment bit would look amazing on animation.

Then you got good ol Kaji. Couldn't last five fucking seconds without a smoke lmao. What dumbass smoking indoors, this guy.

But yeah man, the asushin was wholesome af, a little sappy but by God they've earned it, chapter ran really smooth can't wait for the next one
skyf0x chapter 14 . 7/27/2023
After the latest developments in the story, I was really looking forward to the new chapter. And finally, after quite some time, we got this update. Overall, the content presented here is worth appreciating properly. The first meeting with Asuka's parents, the trip to Germany? Yes, this should be very interesting. And in some places, it can even lead to some interesting thoughts.

Overall, my understanding was that the main characters' interactions with Asuka's father and stepmother should have been the main course in this arc. After finishing reading this chapter, it turns out that's not quite the case, but either way, my expectations for what was going to happen were confirmed, and I'm very happy about that. Moreover, this dynamic between the characters, though so expected, came out so refreshing in terms of the narrative. I really wanted to see more immersion into who they were, Asuka's parents.

"Overprotective Mr Langley" is quite an ironic approach, even with a kind of double meaning, I'd say. On the one hand, if taken directly (as Shinji did, I suppose), it can be a bit threatening. Like a typical father protecting his daughter, as ridiculous as that sounds, considering that this same father didn't fulfil a similar function when it was needed most. On the other hand, it's in this particular instance that it seems obvious that the whole thing is being played out as some sort of half-joke on Mr Langley's part. He himself realises what a bad parent he has been, and it gnaws at him. And here he's just playing with Shinji, literally doing everything on purpose just to "have fun". Very mischievous, I love that sort of thing. I even think, for some reason, that this particular side of the character is like the author's attempt to show himself in the text. I believe that deathbringer, if he had a daughter, would behave in exactly the same way with the man she brought into the family. Kind of an attempt at a joke, but kind of serious. Like a mischievous test of a man.

Obviously Shinji passed the test already some time ago, and here is just this sandbox for Mr Langley to play in. But underneath all the fun stuff is the real drama - the unbearable guilt of a father who has let his daughter down. We all realise that he could have done things much better in the past, but what's most important is what he's trying to do right here and now. It's quite an interesting approach to show that he blames himself so much that he sees Kyoko, just as Asuka sees her. It's quite poetic, kind of like a confirmation of how traumatic everything has been the last few years for the characters, kind of like a confirmation that it's father and daughter, and that Kyoko's death was such an important event. But if you think about it a little more, this move seems self-repeating. Still, it might be weird that Langley sees the same horrible things, it's like we're putting him on the same level as Asuka and Shinji's suffering. I think it's probably wrong, and could have been done with just Langley remembering Asuka's mother and apologising for everything, without the "ghost" appearing. The uniqueness of this sort of thing is lost when it comes out that even Asuka's father is traumatised enough to see it all.

It's a pretty standard way to show that Asuka's family is rich and has a mansion like this, it can even be taken for granted in fanfics. But more interesting here is Shinji in this environment. His reactions play a good role to give the reader a sense of what this whole house is like without describing this house in the text. Shinji is out of place, everything is alien, everything is cold, everything pressures him. And we can understand this as a hint that it's all the same for Asuka and has been that way for years.

I was surprised we didn't see what was in the letter Shinji sent to Asuka. It was like some kind of cliffhanger in the previous chapters, and here we continue to be in the dark about the whole thing. And I can say that I'm even enjoying it. Everything is presented to us with some sort of hints, and the leitmotif of it is only somewhere in the background. But we know there was something important there, that even Asuka came up and talked to her father, and we saw an impossibly emotional scene of another "reconciliation". Yes, Asuka is about to leave home and be literally away from her father, but now she and her father are closer than ever. It's beautiful. I really want to know more details about the letter after these events, but even if we never find out all the details, that's okay too. This plot element fulfilled its purpose, I believe.

Maybe it's my personal perspective, but I thought it was a bit odd how easily Shinji can kiss Asuka right in public, in front of other people. It's basically easy to see it as an awkward moment with regular and normal people, something people usually try not to do unless they're too bold and thirsty 15 years olds. But here we have characters like Shinji and Asuka. And if Asuka basically doesn't give a damn about some kind of social norms, then I think Shinji wouldn't try to do things like that. Plus, he's also Japanese, and here it feels too cheesy and unnatural for him to do such things at times like this.

Finally we see an explanation for why Asuka wanted Shinji to meet her therapist so badly. Before this, I'll admit it seemed like a weird idea on her side. Basically this whole part came out a bit questionable for me. First and foremost is the character of the therapist and how he is presented to us in the narrative. Perhaps I'm missing some reference or something I don't remember from Eva's lore? That sounds just like another OC to me. But the text and Shinji's reaction bring us to it in a way that feels like we should know who it is, like we should get some kind of emotional reaction too. Almost as if someone like Fuyutsuki was supposed to be there, for example, and we're supposed to be as surprised as Shinji is. But it comes out that it's just another layer of this fanfic, and that Shinji has some sort of history connected to all of this, and for some reason it's causing him to have reactions. But it doesn't affect the reader, I think, in any way, unlike what the narrative is trying to do, and I was just sitting with a "Who?" look on my face the whole time.

But I did like the information Shinji gets there. That whole footage of him talking to Kensuke is one of the best moments here. All that emotion and context? I'm sure it was important for Shinji to hear that. It even looks like a possible way for Shinji and Kensuke to become friends again. And it opens us up to some of Asuka's backstory in this story. I'd say the reason for what career Asuka chose was pretty obvious and convenient for the plot of this story. After all, this is a story about Shinji and Asuka, so, it wasn't a surprise to me, albeit a bit too melodramatic. But when Asuka once again, even at this stage of the relationship, went to push the "you can leave me, I'll understand" topic, it already felt like some completely unnecessary going around in circles that hardly adds anything to the plot. Well, perhaps this is Relapse, and characters should be relapsing from time to time? But it's not drugs, one way or another, and it seems like this character behaviour is already a bit out of place at this point in the story in this context.

And this kind of ending started to give me some thoughts. The story and narrative style, the content and events, it's all wonderful, and I'm sure fans are willing to read this fic forever if it's needed. This story is one of my favourites after all. But here we are at 300k words already, and perhaps we should prepare for this story to be wrapped up nicely? I'd like the ending to come out well, and I'd like this work to not slip into some sort of abyss of self-repetition. In the meantime, I'm expecting a good second part of this chapter, maybe I'll get to see more of my favourite scenes at Langley mansion.
5queso chapter 15 . 7/26/2023
Damn, we got the double whammy chapters back to back. Good job for the both of them, it was well worth the wait. Can't wait to see how this series ends. And keep up the good work!
Guest chapter 15 . 7/26/2023
Well happy ending coming soon.

So one thing in this world that’s really interesting is how everyone has a ghost (or more), originally I thought it’s just instrumental left over fi a few, or maybe PTSD, but now looks like for some it was more than a metaphor.

Peter and Kyoko feels more PTSD than instrumentality left over though, but either way glad at least he found the peace too, no father would want to loose their daughter
Guest chapter 15 . 7/26/2023
My balls are cold
Calborghete chapter 14 . 7/26/2023
Hello old friend, I'm glad to see you're alive... your chapter was total shit (kidding Hehehehe)... but seriously now, it was good, it was cool to see how Shinji was trying his panic crisis, it was very realistic and well written, you have a good talent.

Strong hug and an announcement... Crack is the best thing to use while writing.
B123 chapter 15 . 7/26/2023
Aww this chapter was so wholesome.

From Toji and Hikari to all the way till the end with Shinji and Asuka coming back home to Japan was heartwarming.

Little Rei is such a sweetie and I love how everyone dots on her like a little princess, especially Shinji when he called her the Queen of Tokyo lol

Also I find it funny when everyone who sees Asuka assumes that could be pregnant considering she’s seems like she’s glowing when in her own words she just really happy with how everything’s turned out for the better. It would be funny if it was revealed in the next final final chapter that Asuka was pregnant but didn’t know it lol

So another great chapter DB and can’t wait for the next and final chapter.
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