Shin Persona Evangelion is a Fusion Fic between Neon Genesis Evangelion and Persona, from the same author as Destiny: Gospel of a New Genesis and Mobile Fighter Evangelion. The story can also be read on Fanfiction.net , on Archive Of Our Own, and on Sufficient Velocity Dot Com here.
Fifteen years ago, an event known as Second Impact triggered the spread of Angel Syndrome, a global outbreak of mass hysteria that's killed hundreds of millions of people. Mankind only survived by learning to utilize the power of Persona, in order to combat Angel Syndrome within the cognitive world.
In the present day, Shinji Ikari is summoned to Tokyo-3 and learns that he possesses the power of Evangelion, the one-in-a-billion ability to channel a Persona's power in the real world. Additionally, he finds that he can use multiple Personas with the seemingly-unprecedented power of the Wild Card. As Shinji discovers that not all is as it seems, he finds himself thrust into the center of ancient conflict.
As per usual, there are spoilers for numerous elements below. Proceed with caution if you have yet to read!
See Neon Genesis Evangelion and Persona for the tropes of those respective franchises.
Shin Persona Evangelion provides examples of:
- Adaptational Intelligence: Many characters are far more self-aware as a result of gaining a Persona; for example, Misato knows that her Daddy Issues would make it challenging for her to be a good parental figure.
- After the End: Here, Second Impact's cataclysmic event was a collective psychotic breakdown by millions of people worldwide who became nigh-unkillable berserkers. Subsequent occurrences are less widespread but still deadly, to the point where many towns and cities have become desolate and abandoned, with some places being so damaged in the Metaverse that cognition itself becomes impossible within their real world equivalent.
- Arc Words: "Take a stand."
- Artifact Collection Agency: Much of the population voluntarily agrees to let their Shadows be contained within Cognitive Protection Centers, for their own safety. Additionally, cognitive agents can issue arrest warrants to the Shadows, which causes their real selves to turn themselves over to the authorities.
- Ascended Extra: Not only are Kensuke and Toji given more screen time due to being 'party' members, but extracanonical characters like Mana Kirishima and Mayumi Yamagishi also have more screen time.
- Beach Episode: Occurs during the summer vacation arc, specifically at Japan's Cape Irago. There's scenic views, sand castles, beach volleyball, and baffled approbation of Mana's abdominal muscles.
- Big Damn Heroes: When Shinji, Kensuke, Toji, and Mana rally together to save Mayumi from Armisael.
- Bland-Name Product: Continuing the Persona tradition, there are numerous things which receive a lawyer-friendly replacement for something in Real Life: from manga (such as Escapulario+Lichgirl), to anime (such as Time Fugitive Eidolon), to film (such as Reverse from the Past), to restaurants (such as Kernel's Fried Chicken), among others. Averted in other places, such as with certain vehicle brands like Toyota.
- Central Theme: A few, so far:
- How much are you willing to endure in order to become who you want to be?
- How do bonds change you as a person?
- How would you act in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles?
- Child Soldier: Relatively commonplace due to the preponderance of youthful Persona-users since Second Impact, to the point that the practice has become legally regulated (via the Child Soldier Laws of the UN's Valentine Treaty, or Japan's own Cognitive Service Act).
- Christianity is Catholic: Although other denominations are mentioned, Catholicism is the most prominent, largely due to Mari Makinami being a Religious Bruiser of a nun. Other characters include Bebe as a French Cardinal, and Taro Namatame as the Pope.
- Church Militant: If a religious character gets any screen time, more than likely they either: (a) can use their A.T. Field in combat; (b) have a Persona; or (c) all of the above.
- Cool Car: Two of the adult chaperones for Shinji and company's summer vacation (namely, Junpei Iori and Ken Amada) are introduced driving an actual DeLorean.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Misato Katsuragi's initial 'training' of Mana Kirishima consists of this (and on purpose, courtesy of Shiro Tokita, so that Mana would become more capable through Training from Hell).
- A more typical example occurs when Misato is thrashed by Minako Arisato, on the orders of the One Who Sits Upon the Throne.
- Demoted to Extra: Most of the main cast members from the Persona games only make sporadic appearances, largely as strangers who've never met each other. Some, like Chie and Yosuke, are long-dead by the time the story begins.
- Door Stopper: The story is just past two months into the plot, and is already at around half a million words. Per Word of God, the story will at least be going through December 25th, which is over four months away.
- Eldritch Location: The Angels themselves, at least in terms of where their soul and mind manifest in their fullness. Alien Geometries are commonplace, yet vary from Angel to Angel.
- Numerous parts of the Metaverse also apply.
- Also...wherever it is that the One Who Sits Upon the Throne resides.
- Forever War: Only a few people know that the war with the Angels has been going on far, far longer than most are aware of. In a long-ago Divine War, several factions, including Adam and the Angels, fought to obtain the Heavenly Throne, only to lose out to the Usurper. This entity, The One Who Sits Upon The Throne, uses their newfound power to continually reset the timeline for some unknown reason, all while the Angels try to take ultimate power for themselves. The canon plots of Evangelion and the Persona games were just single parts of an endless cycle. The few people who are aware of all this, like Rei and the Wild Cards, can only make small, furtive moves in the distant hope of finally ending all this.
- Hope Spot: A government agency decides to confront Shinji's group on a ferry, but first they send in a friendly agent to calmly talk things out instead of resorting to violence. This actually does work and they establish a dialogue, but then the Usurper has Minako kill the agent, triggering a massive brawl.
- Hot Springs Episode: Shinji's group visits an onsen during their vacation in Nishiawakura. Ren immediately makes an excuse to not come along, silently fearing the return of the Unprovoked Pervert Payback Running Gag. While he's half-right about that, more importantly the group runs into Strega in the hot springs.
- Insistent Terminology: Besides the normal Evangelion staples like metaphysical biology and A.T. Field, we have Angel Syndrome, cognitive dead zones, Archetypes, and so on.
- Island Base: Tokita's JET ALONE project is located on a remote Pacific island within the Metaverse, which makes escape nearly impossible.
- Jurisdiction Friction: Although the Anti-Terror Task Force is de jure the organization serving as the frontline against Acolytes and Ghosts worldwide, that doesn't mean government agencies and other companies aren't trying to get a leg up on them. This becomes more pronounced after July 16, when numerous Shadow retention facilities administered by the A.T. Task Force are destroyed by the Angels, resulting in millions of casualties.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: It is made clear that this story occurs after the canonical games of the Persona series (up through Persona 5, including Royal and Strikers), so references to those events are frequent.
- Meaningful Echo: Part of Shinji and Mayumi's friendship stems from her trying to help him understand and read through the Shakespearean play The Tragedy of Hamlet. Later, when Armisael is telling Shinji that trying to save Mayumi is pointless, he actually quotes portions of Hamlet's dialogue that they've read, which helps Mayumi come to her senses.
- Mental World: The cognitive world, also known as the Metaverse, is more expansive than its counterparts in the prior Persona games. Also, unlike the prior games, the public at large are aware of its existence.
- New Game Plus: There's an omake series occurring in a hypothetical "New Game+" where Shinji arrives in Tokyo-3 with all of his Social Stats already maxed out. Hilarity Ensues.
- N.G.O. Superpower: The Anti-Terror Task Force has branches in numerous countries and is charged with the legal administration of cognitive facilities that hold the Shadows of civilians.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Sometimes, the wild souls of those killed by Acolytes manifest in the physical world, which is especially chaotic as Personas can't manifest there. These Ghosts can be brought down by conventional weaponry, thankfully, but still tend to cause a lot of collateral damage.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Jet Alone project, in order to utilize cognitive and metaphysical power in the real world like the Evangelions can, involves stuffing a soul into a weapon, along with the wielder's Shadow. Mana's sisters were made into the LABRYS ax and AIGIS shield, though she can still feel their presence to some degree.
- Road Trip Plot: Shinji's old guardian Sojiro Sakura invites him to visit for summer break, and the Third Child decides to invite several of his friends along for a vacation. For security reasons, they take the scenic route instead of going straight to Nishiawakura, and also need several adult chaperones so they don't get into trouble. Of course, with Shinji being a Doom Magnet, trouble comes to him anyway.
- Straight Man and Wise Guy: Toji is the straight man to Kensuke's wise guy. This dynamic is also displayed by Ken Amada and Junpei Iori.
- The Unmasqued World: After Second Impact, the existence of the cognitive world became known to humanity as a whole.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Kensuke Aida and Toji Suzuhara.
- Weaker in the Real World: Like in Persona canon it's more-or-less considered impossible to manifest a Persona outside the Metaverse, which makes fighting those afflicted with Angel Syndrome a major issue. Evangelion users are so prized because they can use their abilities outside the Metaverse, by basically doing what is described as using their soul as a container for their Persona, allowing them to interact with the real world, a bit like how a space suit allows an astronaut to survive in space when they normally can't.