Reviews: The Wild Horse Thesis
If you can stomach the character bashing, it's pretty good.
Warning: Unmarked Spoilers The fic, while mainly pretty good, goes out of its way to bash basically every Ranma One Half character other than Ranma, Kasumi, and, oddly enough, Cologne and Nabiki. Ranma is written without any of his flaws, while pretty much every other recurring character (with the aforementioned exceptions) has every character flaw they were ever written with accentuated. By the end of the story, every recurring male antagonist (and Shampoo) is dealt with, several in rather jarring manners ( notably: Kuno is castrated, Mousse and Shampoo are crippled using the moxibustion technique, Mousse is also mode-locked as a duck, and Ryouga is killed), while Ranma makes out like a bandit. That said, if you can look past the character-bashing and blatant favoritism, the fic is damn good. And if you can't look past the character bashing and blatant favoritism, just don't read the scenes involving the Ranma One Half characters once Ranma is dropped into the Neon Genesis Evangelion world and ignore the last chapter. The Evangelion characters are pretty much dead-on in their characterizations, and what bashing is involved comes mainly from Ranma (who is very vocal about his opinions toward the characters in Evangelion that he doesn't like). The fic deals a lot in wish-fulfillment, but manages to do it in a manner that doesn't feel like dues ex machina (well, any more than a smarter, less impulsive Ranma with better social skills replacing Shinji counts as a dues ex machina). The series initially follows the Evangelion storyline pretty closely, with Ranma's changes being minor, but by the end of it, Ranma manages to form enough alliances to manage to turn everything around and save the day, which comes off feeling like a Fix Fic done right. And then you hit the last chapter, and the ending takes away from it. All in all, the Neon Genesis Evangelion portions are done better than the Ranma One Half portions (unless you basically hate all the characters in Ranma One Half, in which case you'll enjoy seeing them get their comeuppance), and the fic probably would have been better if it hadn't had the Ranma One Half character reaction interludes and had ended one chapter earlier with Ranma never being sent back.
When the best of writing meets the worst (Spoilers)
I love this fanfic. I really do. There's so much good, and so much... I don't want to say bad... so much not-good with this story that I honestly don't know what to make of it. Okay, let's get the bad stuff out of the way: I'll agree that the fiancees needed to be taken down a peg or three, and the author certainly tries that. But it takes chapter upon chapter for these realizations to sink in, even after they've heard Ranma's opinion of them directly from the Wild Horse's mouth. If this was supposed to be a parody of how the NGE characters refuse to absorb their lessons, it certainly worked on that front, but it still irritates me. The second half of the last chapter irks me the most. Shampoo being the only fiancee who learns nothing from this experience, even after being told by Cologne to give up, reeks of author bias against the character, and Ryoga's death was completely unnecessary and just unpleasant. The fic ends on a disappointing note with a menstuation joke. I honestly wouldn't have minded, and actually would've preferred if the fanfic ended with the scene at the Nerima ice cream shop, preferably with Shampoo joining them. The story would've ended on a high note. Also, it rather irks me how the author simply dismisses the Eva-verse once they're out of it. It would've been nice to have Misato come with them, or at least say goodbye. Okay, now onto the good stuff: the fic wastes no time getting us to what we want to see: Ranma in Evangelion. The bookends to each chapter of the fiancees watching the tapes is a very clever idea, and I loved it. But where this story really shines is in the interactions between Ranma, Rei, and Asuka. You legitimately believe that these three are deeply in love with each other, and it's adorable. Literally every scene with them after they move into Misato's apartment is fantastic and expertly-written, and I have gone back and read all of those scenes multiple times. The author even somehow manages to have them give each other nicknames without having them becoming Sickeningly Sweethearts, which is a feat all on it's own. All in all, a hidden gem that desperately needs some polishing, but is nice to look at as it is. I give this story 8/10 on my personal scale.
Oh, that. I figured Ranma was being deliberately overblown as a means of soothing Asuka's ego and making a good first impression (he does have quite a bit of experience in dealing with angry tsunderes with hair-trigger tempers, yeah?), but I guess Your Mileage May Vary. Your Mileage May definitely Vary on this. While this isn't as badly written as it could have been, it really does just come off like a blatant Possession Sue fanfic.
Warning noted, but I liked this one anyways. Ranma may be a borderline Marty Stu of the "character as wish-fulfillment device" type, but given that this is Evangelion, he's at least as much a wish fulfillment device for the reader as he is for the writer, and the story itself is a very cathartic read if you aren't dangerously allergic to Mary Sues (Because really, who doesn't want to beat the crap out of Gendo, hook up with Rei and Asuka, and save the day?). Fans of Original Flavor Eva will probably want to avoid this one, though. Also, I have to ask the above poster what exactly he's talking about in regards to the Straw Feminist thing; if there was anything of the sort in this fic, it went completely over my head.
Word of warning: Massively OC, Ranma is almost a Mary Sue, and can get pretty Straw-feministy sometimes. On a bit further introspection, that troper would say he'd been having some issues with straw-feminists himself when he wrote that, and got a bit misogynistic. It's not so much Straw-Feministy, but a few instances (The authors preference of female Ranma, Ranma's rather...well, overblown reaction to Toji seeing Asuka's skirt flare, and acting as if women and men were fundamentally different) gave him the impression. I'd retract that bit, but it'd make the above comment kinda off.
Inkki Bookman's review
This is actually quite a good COMPLETE story which this little troper has read at least 5-6 times. The concept that the Tendos and the rest of the NWC are able to watch Ranma as he plays his version of the role of Shinji is wonderful, moreso because Ranma knows the Evangelion story as well as its downer ending and he has to use his brain (for a change) and his knowledge of the story to change the outcome. I also love the idea that the side effect of hearing Ranma's true thoughts about things and people back in his home dimension is that the Status Quo is no longer God! The Rei and Asuka pairings don't feel forced either. If you are a hardcore Ryoga fan, though, you wouldn't be too happy with this story.