Thousand Shinji by Academia Nut
Length: 13 Chapters, Ongoing
Sources: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Warhammer 40k
Ever notice how Evangelion fanfiction with a less spineless Shinji seems to follow a certain pattern with him being trained by someone powerful and then ending up confident and often cunning enough to keep a low profile? …and how a similar pattern exists in stories which replace Shinji with someone braver? (eg. Ranma) How about a story which does it so well that it employs almost no recycled plot elements whatsoever?
In “Thousand Shinji”, we see a Shinji whose cunning is more Gendo-like… as it probably would be in real life. We also see that he’s human enough for his mask to crack every now and then and to, against his will, start to see Misato as a alternate mother. (his own term) It also has a wonderfully philosophical show of Shinji getting Rei to think for herself… which results in her making a decision Shinji didn’t intend (she decides to worship the most slovenly of the Warhammer 40k chaos gods) and a nicely original personality for our emotion-exploring Rei. (Trust me. You have to read it to believe it.)
I also love the new egypt-themed paint jobs the Evas get (If I can ever find time to learn to draw, I’ll have to whip up some fanart.) and the never-before-seen plot twist of Gendo taking Alka-Seltzer (cherry-flavored because he’s out of the regular stuff) and telling Fuyutsuki that, because he’s so busy with SEELE, he doesn’t have time to figure out how deep his son’s schemes go.
Usually, the author just keeps the schemes hidden from Gendo… and that gets old quickly. It’s so freeing (both plot-wise and to the author’s creativity) to have Shinji so manipulative that he can get away with things that’d normally have him killed or locked up. (You’ll see what I mean) …and it’s a ton of fun to see Shinji getting his kicks by purposefully annoying Asuka and Rei having fun by spoiling Shinji’s less important schemes. (Like annoying Asuka and then successfully evading pursuit)
Of course, if nothing else, you should read this to see Shinji gleefully sync directly with the berserker soul of Eva 01, almost forgetting to sync with his mother’s soul so they will get a normal-seeming sync ratio measurement. (Not that he knows it’s his mother’s soul yet)
The author does have an ongoing problem with mixing tenses, but it’s mainly with regards to dialogue (eg. “says” instead of “said”) and not really that noticeable when you’re enjoying the story… and I enjoyed it enough that I wish I still rated things out of 6. Among many reasons, because the author recognizes that judicious use of mild curse words adds realism to dialogue and thought.
There are a fair few other highly entertaining and original bits to this story, but this review is already long enough, so I’ll just have to say they’re great and let you read for yourself.