Reviews: Neon Exodus Evangelion
It's Not "Evangelion Done Right".
Ah, one of the most controversial pieces of fanfiction in the Evangelion community. Is it "Eva done right", like so many say? The writing, on paper, is not terrible. However, the excessive technobabble, pointless pages on meaningless topics (such as video games, unpacking, and various other lengthy and unnecessary scenes), and the completely unlikable main character seal the fate of this fan fiction. DJ Croft is somehow liked by everyone and can break any rules he wants. The only people who don't like him are the villains. His "development" doesn't change him in any major way. What can I say about the rest of the cast? They're either DJ worshipers, will soon become a DJ worshiper, or are villains. A fair chunk of the cast isn't even there, though. It takes most of the fic until Shinji arrives, Fuyutsuki is completely replaced, and 2/3ds of the bridge staff is replaced by a author avatar. The way canon is handled is atrocious. (Spoilers ahead, by the way.) The Angels from the original series have a clear motivation. They're born from Adam and want to return to him in order to cause Third Impact and destroy all humans. In this piece of fanfiction, the Angels are literal Angels who are seeking to redeem Lucifer, who is Eva-01. I can excuse some mangling of canon. Until the "Classified Information" was released detailing much of the universe's background, nobody knew what was up. But mangling canon this badly cannot be excused. I would talk about the crossover elements, but the author has admitted that they were mainly there to differentiate the fanfiction from the original and that many elements were thrown in on a whim. The author also admitted that they were clunkily inserted, which I do agree with. I would say that the author needed an editor, however, from the start, it was a collaboration between two people. In the second arc, they added two more to the writing staff. How did they get away with the pointless, lengthy scenes discussing arcade games, or long info dumps on various topics throughout the work? Inexcusable. I'll give them this - It has good grammar and spelling. You could tell that it had been proofread, which is something many fanfiction authors fail at doing. My overall opinion - negative. It may not be a complete piece of trash, but it certainly fails at doing Evangelion "right" as promised.
I always liked it for one reason, one that a lot of people miss: It's essentially Shinji And Warhammer 40 K before it was a gleam in Charles Bepin's eye. It downplays Eyrie Production Unlimited's self-insertion antics to insert a snarky, kick-ass action hero into Evangelion's damned colon, giving EVERY NAMED CHARACTER IN THE SERIES A CROWNING MOMENT OF AWESOME. Yes, even freaking Gendo. If you like Shinji And Warhammer 40 K and don't like this, you're a damned member of the Hate Dom and should just freaking admit it. The writing is exquisite, and even though Shinji is initially replaced, he gets an in-character development which provides fulfillment for the fans. To say it gets a lot better after the first few chapters is an understatement.
The Hatedom is probably going to roast me on a stick for this recommendation, but I would go so far as to call Exodus one of the very best Eva fics you could possibly read so long as you're looking for Lighter And Softer reconstructions. Fans of the original Eva's tone should steer clear, though, as should anyone who has allergic reactions to Marty Stus; I'm part of the crowd that says DJ is a deconstruction of the Stu, but he does come across as rather overly perfect for several chapters before the fic starts to Grow The Beard.
After the MS Ting crew at Elmer Studios introduced me to DJ Croft, I was puzzled why he'd be up here. Then, they introduced me to Tom Dyron. And Jim Beckett. And Isamu. And...(shudder)...Issei. Now I've concluded that while Mr. Croft has some problems, they aren't crippling, mind-poisoning problems. I'll give his creator a conditional recommendation based on being able to at least write a narrative, while every other link I posted gets a recommendation for being either a hilarious riffing of a fanfic, a So Bad Its Good piece of garbage, or both.
Shay Guy's review
This is one of the most controversial Eva fics in the Anglosphere, if not the most. The first several chapters (maybe more) have MiSTings.
I kind of but almost didn't like this fic — the fact that somehow, all of the good guys manage to survive to the very end without getting killed kind of destroyed my suspension of disbelief.
Be warned — the first few chapters can be rather hard to get through due to DJ Croft who, in the first three chapters or so, is good at everything and liked by everyone but Gendo.