This...doesn't quite work, as it doesn't quite feel like we're really dealing with Misato. The story is determined not to help in this, by doing everything it can to disguise who this new EVA pilot is. Measures taken to disguise it from the other characters rapidly spread to the rest of the text, making it harder for the reader to stay connected with this-is-Misato.
There is room in the interplay between the guardian and the guarded for a good story, and the author bought even more room for themselves with the age-down, but the execution failed in the author's rush to shear off the bits of Misato's adult life so he could avoid any potential squick. The Distant Finale
, which rejects either of them taking any sort of pride or having any sense of accomplishment about, y'know, saving the human race or in Misato's case wiping out the Angelic one, is the capstone to a long, slow breakdown of characters.