Reviews: EVANGELION RE-TAKE
I actually have read both versions, and recommend the All-Ages version for the better translation. Moving along... This is quite possibly the best doujin in existence. The characters are spot on, only getting out of character when justified. The plot is amazing and well thought out with a major twist that will catch people off guard. And the best part? It feels like Evangelion. This does not feel like some cheep fanfiction knockoff. No, if they animated this and said it was the true ending, I would believe it. Overall, if you want a great story (Especially if you like Shinji x Asuka), then read this now.
Right kind of wrong
I'm not exactly amongst those who paid attention to show's quality and dissect it to the tiniest detail piece by piece, I just saw everything by "Awesome", "Good", "Eh", "Lol", and "Meh". Then I read RE-TAKE By that point, the only stuff I knew is End of Evangelion, Rebuild 01, and multiple (lighthearted) spinoff. I never saw the original series myself. I was pulled into doujin for hours wondering why the hell this is not official, it got the feel that's different than everything I read to that point, then I saw the original and "Whoa buddy, holy crap!". Plot holes aside, this doujin got what could be considered essence of the original series. No instant happy ending, no hopeless struggle, and aside form multiple pointless sex scenes (though at least one being plot crucial) it's story and message heavy. If you want Lighter And Softer or Darker And Edgier, this doujin is not what you want. You want a fanfic with the feel of original series, then this is what you want.
Some flaws, but still very good.
I'm just reviewing the All Ages version. I haven't read the longer version, and I almost certainly never will. I went into this expecting to read an above-average fanfic. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when I found this to be pretty good even by "professional" standards. The artwork is great. There was no point where I saw an image and thought "Okay, this is off-model" or such. Of course, I didn't inspect every single picture with a microscope. I liked the concept and, for the most part, the plot. Although I may have missed something, I think there are a few plot holes here and a few contrived coincidences there. For the life of me, I can't figure out why Asuka lost her memory. Shinji, yes, but Asuka? Otherwise, the plot is as good as one would expect from Evangelion. Between Shinji, Gendo, SEELE, Asuka, Ghost Asuka, and the ...(trying to avoid spoilers)... odd relationship between Shinji and the universe, the end result looks like something out of Light Yagami's nightmares. I love it. There is one defect in the story which must be addressed, and I think it fits the best under "plot". The first volume of the story is simply not as good, maybe not even half as good, as the second and third volumes. The relationship between Shinji and Asuka is rushed, as is Shinji's character development and the Angel battles. I got the feeling that the author had the later volumes done in his/her head first, and that the first was just them trying to quickly get the background facts in. My last point is characterization, which probably makes up the highest and lowest points of the story. The characterization of Asuka and spine-ified Shinji is better than any fanfic I can think of off the top of my head. Matter-of-fact, Asuka is written so well that the author had to throw in a contrived coincidence in the near last scene in order to prevent a downer/bittersweet ending. However, the author doesn't seem to have a good grasp of Rei's character. She was kinda OOC in later volumes, and jarringly OOC in the first volume. All in all, I think this is more than worth the read, and I like to think of it as an alternative ending to End of Evangelion, despite it's flaws. (Note, this is my first review, if anyone thinks I revealed/spoiled too much, please comment and I'll change it.)
Caellach Tiger Eye's review
Your Mileage May Vary a lot, depending on where you stand in terms of theme, plot and personal taste. Even the good writing of the story — and the art — doesn't redeem what I saw to be Wall Bangers in the storyline — won't list them here, but let's just say many of the overall major character developments and takes left me feeling very empty inside on a personal level. Some will definitely love this story — I didn't.
Ultra Sonic 007's review
In my opinion, the All Ages version is the superior of the two versions, due to cleaner art, new pages to expand on the story...and, personally, the removal of the citrus does wonders for the pacing. Heartwarming all around.
Much better than you might think (spoilers)
All-around excellence. The story is surprisingly well-written, and bounces from heartwarming to action-packed to heartbreaking to tear-jerking with ease. Overall, the hentai material is integrated into the story in a sensible manner, and is actually key to one of the major storylines. My only quibbles are that the first Rei's handling of the changes in Shinji just don't feel right, and Asuka remembering the harpies' destruction of Unit 02 as her being gang-raped by them was the one explicit scene that felt truly gratuitous and over-the-top. As was said in a previous review, if you're of legal age, this is a must-read. Now, that being said, I do not recommend RE-TAKE 1.5. It's a short interlude chapter which consists of nothing more than Shinji dragging Asuka to a hotel and borderline-raping her, all the while angsting internally over how Rei handled him rejecting her for Asuka. It's pure smut, adds nothing of significance to the plot aside from a reveal that was covered in a much more poignant fashion in the main story, and while Shinji angsting isn't anything new, the tone of this feels very Out Of Character.
Excellence. Bold illustrations and surprisingly canny writing make this worth reading, in spite of the lurid smuttishness of some earlier scenes. Almost realistic character development and genuinely moving story-telling actually brought tears to my eyes. Not the greatest thing ever (some contrived coincidences and tragedy seemed too manipulative to me) but certainly worthwhile.
Clendy 82's review
Aside from a few nude scenes which plummet in prominence after the first 1 1/2 volumes, this is a masterpiece in Original Flavor. Aside from the slightly more mature main character who drives the story (which is completely justified in storyline terms), every characterization is nothing less than perfect. You would believe this to be the perfectly logical, if slightly more heartwarming, follow-up to the series. There is still plenty of Mind Screwing, violence, and angst for the traditional fans; it's just that here, it actually goes somewhere. Pretty much the entire final volume is a giant Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming. Just make sure you clear away any dust before reading; this troper kept getting something in his eye. Again, if you do not mind the sight of a few pages of line art nudity, give this one a try. Highest possible recommendation.
I'll recommend the Doujinshi Evangelion: Re-Take, for everyone over the age of 18 who doesn't mind explicit (heterosexual) content. Yeah, it's Hentai, but outside of a few such middling-quality scenes, it's excellent Original Flavor and a nice Deconstruction of a lot of Fan Fic tropes, while still not being as depressing as the show itself. It's also one of the few fanworks I've ever seen with its own soundtrack. Look it up if you're legal.
Firstly, I am a massive NGE fan. So I thought I would never find a work that lived up to my stupidly high standards. I even was critical of Shinji+40K and Nobody Dies. Boy, was I stupid (Baka!). Easily the greatest fanwork of any medium I have encountered. It manages to maintain the feel of the original series perfectly, with everyone in-charater (apart from one early moment where Rei is a tad OOC), the scenario seems almost to fit better in the NGE world than the actual show and film. I personally consider (and prefer) this the actual ending. Your reactions will be as follows: Early V1: Well this is sweet but boring. Shinji is just God-Mode (ironic) Late V1: HOLYCRAPWTH!. And your view about Re-Take being a light NGE fanwork is gone forever. Early V2: ...things are looking up after that. Maybe it'll stop being dark. "Hey, it's Gendo!" (being nice) Late V2: ... ... And from that point on, this work reaches new heights. The story is complicated and messed up. The characters are, while seeming stronger, as vulnerable as their canon counterparts (if they ARE counterparts... Not entirely sure on that front.). The art is brilliant, and the "script" spectucular. Mind Screw (Asuka Mind Rape is averted, thankfully. Shinji gets it from G-Asuka though), C Mo Awesome, Heartwarming, Funny (though there is rather less), Tear Jerkers and even some Nightmare Fuel are found in every volume, all of a quality and quantity that matches the actual show (apart from the funny). One problem people seem to encounter is the fact that apparently around V0/V4 it becomes slighlty mind-screwy. I never seemed to be mind screwed by it, but I could be missing something. If you have a problem, just mention it in a review and I'll try and help. Imusn'trunawayfromreviewers Imusn'trunawayfromreviewers Imusn'trunawayfromreviewers. Verdict: Mentioned this before, but it's my favourite fanwork of all time. Yes, that does make my review biased. I acknowledge this. If you are even slightly interested in this, I recomend getting a snack, and maybe some tissues for the Tear Jerker moments (V2) and spending an hour or two reading this. Note: this fic is HEAVILY S/A focused. If you are a massive S/R fan, then... well you might not want to read this for the romance. Should still read it for the story and art though.