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22h c22 2DeadlyPole
Hey DB! First off, sorry for taking so long to finish reading your story. I don't have much free time for these things, I haven't even finished the epilogue for my story yet!

Also before I go into my review I would like to mention that, obviously, what is about to follow is my opinion. Also that, despite the contents of my fanfic "Shinji and Asuka", I do not want any of what I say to be considered "rich" or "hypocritical" as I know the many flaws my story had.

I will start with the fact that I actually began reading your fic many years ago, probably around 2009 or something. I believe it was up to chapter 8 at that time, and that was what I read up to. I don't exactly remember why, but I didn't add your story to my follow list, I think it was because I didn't like what Asuka did to Shinji. As ironic as it might sound coming from an author that wrote something similar, I definitely found Asuka's 8 or 9 months of physical and mental torture of Shinji to be far too much and that's even without her raping him. That "happy birthday" scene, man that was cruel heh. Rape is never tasteful, obviously it's something that does happen, but it probably doesn't really have a place in Evangelion fanfic (again, I say this despite what I wrote). And so that whole aspect of this story left a sour taste in my mouth as I could never see Asuka do so much bad to another person including, after all that torture, almost killing him in an extremely barbaric way. I was at least glad the other characters had appropriate reactions of disgust towards Asuka for her actions.

The next thing I didn't really like was Shinji's character. Not because he wasn't manly enough or submissive enough or similar. It was simply that he was too nice and faultless towards Asuka, I feel like throughout your story he never does anything wrong. In my opinion, Shinji and Asuka's relationship would have felt a lot more genuine in your fic if they had a fights, or Shinji made some actual blunders and later apologised or made up for his shortcomings. The only thing that comes close to that is the final part of the story where he takes control of Unit 02, but he kinda had no choice in that as otherwise they would have died.

I also didn't really like Rei's characterisation, because it didn't feel like Rei to me when I was reading it. Asuka deserved much punishment given her actions, but I can't fathom Rei behaving like you wrote her. However, someone did need to be giving Asuka shit, and making Asuka understand the gravity of her actions. I just kinda wish you had chosen someone else to take that role, but this is a minor issue to me anyway.

I thought it was unrealistic that Misato was so retarded or something that after EoE and everything that happened, she decided to be the worst guardian ever. And I don't mean she consciously made the choice "I don't give a damn about my two wards", but that her actions of intentionally ignoring the abuse Shinji was receiving and not doing anything to help Shinji or Asuka until Asuka almost kills Shinji. That level of irresponsibility seems beyond Misato, as much as you tried to explain it, it didn't feel believable to me. In my opinion, Misato's actions are almost worse than Asuka's because she was an adult who had a lot more maturity and understanding, whereas Asuka was seriously psychologically fucked up - Misato SHOULD have intervened much earlier.

The last major thing I did not like was how much of the character development between Shinji and Asuka, that is, the resolution of their inner turmoils and feelings for each other happen so "easily" for lack of a better word. You made both Shinji and Asuka have such clarity on their respective character & psychological issues that they were always able to resolve everything. It's not realistic, people don't understand themselves, and people normally bumble about with each other slowly realising certain things, usually with the help of others. I also had mixed feelings about The Beast, so I'll just leave it at that.

I don't expect you or the other readers to agree with me on everything of course, this is simply what I felt when reading it.

The more minor things I didn't enjoy were Dmitry, he was too much of an exaggerated villain, and I found his brutality and ridiculous tortures to be over the top. But in the end, for the most part he was necessary and there were good things about him. I felt like the fact he was actually helping Shinji and Asuka at the end to be too much of a Deus Ex Machina for some reason - I possibly missed some details, so forgive me if I'm mistaken, but some little hints here and there about Dmitry doing this would've helped make the big reveal more reasonable.

The story is far too long, I found large sections of the story quite boring to read. Mostly the middle. The story starts off quite interesting, loses its appeal and then gets really good again. The fact that this story is over 500K words helps prove my point - it took me quite a while to read haha.

Then lastly, there were quite a lot of spelling & grammar errors littered throughout the chapters, but for a story so long it's certainly forgiveable. I only mention it because it took away the immersion when I read "Mayor" instead of "Major" and similar mistakes lol. Also when using other languages, you should have placed the translation next to the foreign words in parenthesis or just explained that it was said in German or Russian or whatever. You can't copy text from the site to use for google translate.

However, putting all that aside, this fic has plenty of good too. It is certainly very well written, you had solid description and dialogue all throughout the story. I definitely felt and understood what was happening, I felt the emotions the characters were experiencing, I could easily imagine what was happening in the scenes.

You had solid world building, describing the world and how things came about. How Shinji and Asuka survived over time, how NERV came back together, how Unit 02 managed to regenerate and how you tied in various aspects of the world with the SEELE leaders, Dmitry, the past experiments, the serum. It was all very well done and believable.

I believe the two best written characters in your story are Asuka and Ritsuko. Asuka was very true to her character and had some really good character development moments - I just wish you hadn't made her such a villain at the beginning.

Ritsuko was the best eva fanfic Ritsuko I've ever read in my opinion (though I haven't read hundreds of eva fics to be fair). I like how you made her want to atone for her past and with that new direction, used her character, skills etc towards that end. It was very enjoyable reading the way you wrote her and the events that transpired.

I even liked how you portrayed Gendo as well. I like that he was still king bastard, but realised that his son needed him and endeavoured to help him out in his own way.

I was almost expecting Yui to return as well, given that most of the characters end up surviving (even Kyoko!), but for whatever reason you decided against that.

Ironically, even though this fic had some seriously dark moments, there was some solid waff and wholesome moments with Shinji and Asuka. I really didn't expect it, but those scenes were really great to read, that bite scene was just so damn good. And that ending really topped it! I also appreciate that you had very little lemon in your story, I thought that made Shinji and Asuka's development much better, plus it made sense given Shinji would have had PTSD from Asuka's abuse.

In any case, that's all from me. Now go review my awful story. Thanks!
7/16 c22 15JDH1080
Jesus Christ. I just put this chapter into a word counter to see how many it was. 50k. Damn, this could be split into five chapters and they'd all still be pretty lengthy. No wonder this took me so long to read EVEN WHEN I WAS SKIMMING AT PARTS.

Anyway I just want to say Congratulations! I'm very happy to see this story complete and being able to actually read it all the way through. I remember discovering it years and years ago when it was still new and wondering when/if it would be finished. Many great fics go unfinished, and thankfully this one, despite taking a decade to write, did not fall by the wayside.

Anyways I know my last review was a tad on the negative. I still feel mostly the same way about those. But I do like this story and I'm glad I sat down to reread the first half up to where I originally left off and continue reading till the end. I'll be honest I was skimming here and there. Maybe one day I'll come back and try to read every last word, but not any time soon. I could read Stephen King's It in less time.

So the good. Your characterization was spot on, and the development was believable. You have a good understanding of these characters and you portrayed them well. This and Advice and Trust are two Eva fics I know of that depict Shinji and Asuka in a codependent relationship. And I like your version way, way more. Because you kept the characters true to themselves. Shinji didn't suddenly become macho man or emotionally mature and always knows what to do. He did grow some confidence and allowed his moments of courage to shine through. Asuka didn't become lovey-dovey or lose her fiery attitude. She became more honest about the things she wants, and strived to be less hurtful.

I also liked the care and time you gave to other characters. When Shinji and Asuka's friends were kidnapped and traumatized by what happened. It was interesting to see the aftermath and how they coped. Also probably helped for them to put into perspective the kind of shit their friends deal with on a regular basis. I also really liked Rei and this and how she and Asuka were always at each other's throats, but seemed to develop some sort of unspoken mutual respect for each other when Shinji's involved.
Misato was also great in this. Her guilt at her continued failures as a guardian and working to be around more after Asuka nearly kills Shinji.

There's more I want to say about this story. I have mixed feelings about it, and it bugs me. There's a lot I really, really like. And there quite a bit that made it hard to read at times. I can't rank this in my top five, but it definitely deserves a spot somewhere in my top ten Eva fan fics.

This story had a lot going for it. The relationship between Shinji and Asuka and watching them try to undo the damage they had caused each other was moving to read. Your writing was pretty good. As the chapters went on I noticed less and less errors. The plot for the most part was enjoyable. Even if what kept me going was the character interactions.

So yeah, again congratulations on finishing this story. Despite my few gripes I am very happy that I devoted the last few days of my free time trying to get through this. I look forward to whatever you write in the future.
7/15 c20 JDH1080
(Enter: Berserk 2016 OST: Blood and Guts and Guts and Blood)

So yeah, this is kind of a pet peeve of mine. But please do not take time to tell your readers what music should be playing during a scene. It's immersion breaking and the kind of thing bad writers on this site do because they can't just let their writing express the emotion of a scene. And it annoys me here because You. Are. Better. Than that. You're a pretty good writer and this just made me slap my forehead. Because it's cringe.

Speaking of cringe. I got the impression from some of your ANs that Dmitri isn't well received and I wish I could say that people are wrong to not appreciate his presence in this story...but he just doesn't do it for me. My impression of him is that he's edgy and honestly it's just kind of annoying. To the point that I've started skimming when he shows up. Probably the only thing I liked that he did was the assignation attempt on Shinji and Asuka many chapters ago. I thought it was a good scene, but you could have replaced him with anyone and I would still think it was a good scene. Mostly because of how Shinji reacted and how a possible rival would perceive him as a worthy adversary that they want to take on further down the road. To be fair when it comes to OCs I'm harsh, especially when they take time away from the characters I'm already invested in. It takes a lot for me to like an OC. The best examples I can think of comes from everyone's favorite Evangelion fanfic. Genocide. The OCs in this story surprisingly don't annoy me because they're inserted seamlessly into the plot and feel like real people who could exist in the world of NGE with their own real wants and motivations. Dmitri feels like a cartoon villain. I will admit that despite the kind of cribge name, I actually do like The Beast. He makes for a good personification of Shinji's more negative emotions and it makes sense that Shinji would have that all locked inside of him, and might even have those kinds of mental arguments with himself. I also like 2.0 as they've called the fragments of Asuka that's inside Unit-02. Kind of wish we could have gotten more with her, because I thought she might play a slightly more important role other than what we've seen so far.

I really hate to bash on this right now, and I know it may seem like I'm just laying out hate for this story. But I don't hate it. For the most part it's really, really good. The writing, despite the occasional mistake, is good, the characterization of the Eva cast is gripping and feels in character. The plot is also mostly good. I also really like your depiction of the world after Third Impact. A lot of other fics like to gloss over the world returning to normal, but this one. It's almost a year later and the world is still reeling from the effects of 3I. So good job on depicting that. I honestly think the best part of this story is the original selling point of Asuka and Shinji's relationship and how they've gone from their lowest point, to recovering together. I don't have a problem with their being a big plot conflict that needs to happen in this post 3I world, honestly it'd be weird if there wasn't. But I don't know, maybe it'd be better if we had a more interesting antagonist for the kids to personally face.
7/14 c18 JDH1080
Not going to lie, I am both impressed and overwhelmed by how long this story is. It's probably the longest Evangelion fic on my favorites list. I am happy with that, because the story itself is very good. I'm glad to see as time has gone on your writing improved drastically. There's still the occasional misspell or misused/misplaced word here and there, but at this point in the story it's a rarity.

So anyway yeah, I'm glad I've read this story this far. I remember really enjoying it back in the day when you were in the process of writing it. I wish I could have found the time and motivation to finish it sooner, but these things happen. This has been great so far, and I eagerly await the moment when I reach the conclusion. (Whenever that is. God this story is long, and I wish I had more time to dedicate to reading it.)
7/11 c11 JDH1080
Really good chapter with Shinji finally coming home. Enjoying the interactions between him and Asuka as she's trying to make things better between them. Also like seeing Gendo here, curious as to what he'll do.

I noted that previous chapters had a lot of spelling mistakes. This chapter had a few small instances here and there. But not as frequently as previous chapters
7/10 c10 JDH1080
So it has been a long time since I looked at this story. In fact when I was reading it, I think it was about half way finished. Anyway I remember having a very high opinion of this story, and rereading it from the beginning has solidified my old opinions. Sadly there are some cracks that I did not remember. The story as good and gripping as it is, is riddled with errors. The occasional spelling mistake, a missing word here and there, an awkward phrase.

Obviously you wrote this a long time ago and I'm sure your writing has only improved. And I believe in your notes you claimed that English is not your first language. So it's understandable. But it really does make it hard to get through. But I shall endeavor, because the story is really good.
7/3 c7 Uncle Dork
Ok. You got me good.
6/29 c23 Guest
Hey dude, maybe only you would like to be raped and used as a punching bag.
This was sick man.
6/21 c1 soryu-asuka-langley
love this story and your analysis behind it. absolute great stuff, db. i’m greatly looking forward to the revised edition of it and i’m sure many of us, myself included, would relish in the emotions that this story imbued with new life would evoke. i love how you pour your soul into writing your stories and i think this is the pinnacle of it. i’d point to this if someone were to ask me to recommend a heavy intense story that immerses the reader to empathise and analyse the characters as deeply as the oroginal show did, as well as the waff that the central pairing and its significance brings to the story.

peace out
6/19 c23 2NoseGum
Angst and WAFF, and lots of both.

I think the character interactions and inner dialogue (which was edgy at times, but whatever) are great. Shinji's hospitalization doesn't cause Asuka to unrealistically and immediately warm up to him or see the error of her ways. She still felt that to a certain degree, Shinji deserved the pain, she still felt some hatred for him, albeit less so than before. It's not that she suddenly felt guilty for torturing him for 8 months, the guilt was always there. It just became more pronounced when she nearly killed him and had to deal with the consequences.

Did Shinji deserve it? Hell no. The kid was thoroughly broken in EoE and didn't deserve any of that either. The story does a good job of playing with guilt and acknowledging how much of a monster Asuka allowed herself to become, although Shinji's adamant refusal to blame her for anything bad doesn't make that obvious. I see a lot of "Asuka is put up on a pedestal" and "deserves more punishment" in reviews. Asuka is put up on a pedestal because that is how Shinji views her. To every other character, she's an insane, broken bitch (except maybe to Misato). Yes, karma doesn't really come into full effect for Asuka, but honestly, should it? I think having to live with what she did to him and knowing that he blames himself for it would be punishment enough. The characters have been through enough. Also, seeing as they are sickly codependent at this point, any punishment to Asuka would be a punishment to Shinji's mental state, and the kid honestly doesn't need any more of that.

Dmitri. When I started reading, I didn't like the D-man. As I continued, I still didn't like the D-man. I started to dislike the D-man less as I read through the end of the final fight. I realized I liked the D-man with the big reveal at the end of the story. The man quoted the Joker, Bane, etc. Goddamn, did the D-man make me laugh quite a bit. On a reread of the story, D-man goes from "that annoying OC that won't go away" to the D-man. There's no other way to describe the D-man. He's just the D-man, my guy.
5/8 c23 Guest
This was beautiful ABSOLUTE beauty my friend if I could hug you I would 1000 times
The depth within this story was so amazing, it's as if Hideaki Anno himself wrote this
You are truly an amazing writer, and I hope you continue to write with or without source material
Thank you for making this from the bottom of my heart

Side note:strangely I cant bring myself to hate Dimitri, I mean I hate that hes a maniac who kills for fun, but hes also broken like our protagonists and has a sense of justice buried deeply within himself, and the fact that he hates rapist makes me happy, I absolutely despise rape and and the thought of it makes angry, NGL I was very uncomfortable when scenes involved the mention of rape, overall I very happy he got a happy ending and I'm hoping he grows to become a better person for his brother
5/2 c1 BearGlitch
this is hilarious
4/27 c1 Guest
Hey man uh...
Have you ever done LSD?
I'd like to read your stories on LSD
4/1 c22 jimothy
Hell of a ride. Started out great, very dark, hard to pry your eyes away from. The reintroduction of characters was fine too, like with feelsbad Gendo and a more human Rei. Around the middle it just kind of started to lose its luster, especially with all the Dmitri stuff. Didn't mind it at first, but by the end it's ehhh, especially with what's revealed at the end. Ending fight definitely needs some trimming, it's an absolute slog otherwise, except for some key dialogue. Solid ending though, it's on the highest note possible for everything the characters went through.
3/31 c1 Guest
Ow the edge.
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