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Manga / RE-TAKE

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Plot and art by Studio Kimigabuchi

"I feel sick."

"Didn't you know? One does not 'get' answers... normally, one is forced to receive them."

RE-TAKE, a multi-volume doujinshi produced by Studio Kimigabuchi, presents an alternate storyline and ending to Neon Genesis Evangelion (and The End of Evangelion by extension). Due to its art and story, RE-TAKE became one of the most popular fan-created works amongst Evangelion's international fanbase in short order; by now, it has likely become the most famous Eva doujinshi in existence.

After seeing visions of a horrible future, Shinji Ikari—now armed with the knowledge of his potential fate—wakes up just before Bardiel attacks. Shinji's determination to prevent the future in his visions lets him single-handedly defeat three Angels and raise his synch-ratio with EVA Unit-01 to unheard-of levels. Over time, Shinji falls in love with Asuka, and he soon dedicates himself to living with her. Asuka learns to share his affection and the two plan to spend the rest of their lives with each other.

The lovestruck couple has one small problem standing in the way of their happiness, though: Shinji's visions of a ghost who looks exactly like Asuka—and doesn't look the least bit happy to see Asuka and Shinji together.

The original version of RE-TAKE, which contains numerous scenes of explicit sexual content, consists of six volumes published in the following order: RE-TAKE 1, RE-TAKE 2, RE-TAKE 3, RE-TAKE 0 (which provides the experiences of the first three volumes from a different perspective), RE-TAKE 4, RE-TAKE After, and the in-between chapter RE-TAKE 1.5. An "All-Ages" version released later on features a completely new translation, condenses the story into three volumes, and eliminates the original version's sex scenes while retaining the violence. Said Safe-For-Work version can be read here and here.

The original version was published from 2004 to 2006, followed by the All-Ages version from 2007 to 2008. The All-Ages version (with extras) was officially published in Russian in 2023. It also has a Spanish and Italian translation.

In 2018, Studio Kimigabuchi began a sequel called RE-TAKE Kai which incorporates elements from the manga adaptation and the Rebuild of Evangelion movies. Set after the events of the manga's ending, it involves both Shinji and Asuka going back in time after all of their friends are killed in an unexpected Angel attack, as an alternate Shinji from a timeline based on the Rebuild continuity serves as the ghost influencing the story... And later, some iteration of the ghost Asuka steps in. The story is still ongoing, and as such, no All-Ages version of this story exists as of yet and the doujin is decidedly Not Safe for Work.

Compare with other Evangelion doujins, including Evangelion 303 and Aki-chan's Life.

Check Doing It Right This Time, Once More with Feeling, The Second Try or Higher Learning to see other Peggy Sue Eva stories. Check Advice and Trust, The Child of Love, The Ikaris, Nobody Dies and The One I Love Is... to see other AU Eva fics. Check A Crown of Stars, HERZ, Neon Genesis Evangelion R, Scar Tissue and Walking in the Shadow of Dreams to see other Eva continuation fics. Go to Children of an Elder God, Hail to the King (Thuktun Flishithy), Last Child of Krypton, Shinji And Warhammer 40 K, Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton and Thousand Shinji if you are interested in crossovers.

Please limit trope examples to the All-Ages version.

RE-TAKE contains the following tropes:

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  • Adaptational Heroism: Gendo of all people proves this, despite his cruelty in the series, pulling off a Redemption Equals Death.
  • Adaptation Species Change: Shinji becomes an Angel due to Instrumentality.
    • Kaworu is a human rather than an Angel.
  • After-Action Healing Drama: The proper story starts out when Shinji wakes up in a hospital bed after the battle against Bardiel, and he notices Rei is sitting by his side and Asuka is waiting out of the room.
  • All Just a Dream: How the first book starts out. It's really a case of Or Was It a Dream?, with the answer being that no, it was an alternate universe.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Shinji became the final Angel as a result of Instrumentality.
  • Arc Words:
    • "I feel sick." (Less so in the All-Ages version)
    • "You're going to regret this."
  • Armor-Piercing Question: After Ghost-Asuka explains to Shinji and Asuka's daughter / God that she's seen all the alternate universes created by Canon-Shinji, and the one thread tying them all together is that invariably Shinji and Asuka fall in love; Ghost-Asuka therefore concludes that Shinji just sees her as a trophy to be won, as a reward for being "The Great Shinji." God then simply asks:
    God: "What if he just loves you?"
  • Awful Truth: Ghost-Asuka to Shinji: "You are an Angel."
  • Babies Ever After: An epilogue shows that the Alternate Shinji and Asuka did end up having a daughter, one who very much resembles "God" and had dreamed of what had happened in her parents' past.
  • Back from the Dead: Asuka, in an extremely convoluted way that involves her and Shinji's unborn child using its AT field to save her from Unit 02's destruction, with the consequence of regressing her to a child-like mind. She eventually gets better.
  • Badass Adorable: God, having power surpassing even the Angels while looking like a kid Asuka.
  • Battle Couple: Shinji was being completely trashed by the MP-Evas. Then Ghost-Asuka joined him, and together they annihilated the MP-Evas.
  • Blatant Lies: Ghost-Asuka joins Shinji to help against the MP-Evas, saying it's just because of her vendetta against the MP-Evas, not because she likes Shinji. He's not fooled.
  • Broken Ace: Shinji becomes an alien-killing machine, but he's severely broken.
  • But Now I Must Go: Subverted. At the end, Canon-Shinji and Ghost-Asuka leave the alternate timeline and go back to their own time. However, no one ever finds out about their sacrifice.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Shinji didn't spit his feelings out because he thought Asuka would turn him down.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • Asuka is always this. She is extremely possessive of Shinji at first, telling when they start dating that she'll kill him if he ever cheats on her, touches another woman or even talks to another woman. Though she does quickly let up on the last one when Shinji agrees.
    • Ghost-Asuka is probably worse in this regard, especially telling Shinji that he's hers.
    • So is Rei II who committed suicide when Shinji turned her down. Rei III averts this even later, being a Shipper on Deck.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The "All-Ages" version is essentially this to the Adult version, cutting out the sex scenes and fan service. (Volume 1 contains RE-TAKE 1 and 2, Volume 2 has RE-TAKE 3, 0, and the first part of 4 and Volume 3 has the rest of 4 and ~After~.) An example of Tropes Are Not Bad as most consider the story to flow much better without them.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Both Shinji and Asuka lost their mothers. After the final battle, Shinji is fatherless, too.
  • Cosmic Retcon: This is practically the best definition for what happened in the ending.

  • Death Equals Redemption: In addition to abandoning his son and summoning him back to blackmail him into piloting a giant robot to fight alien monsters, Gendo manipulated the events of a battle so that Asuka would blow herself up and Shinji went along with his scenario. When he was dying, though, he admitted all his wrongs. Ritsuko forgave him while he lay bleeding.
  • Deliberate Under-Performance: Shinji doesn't want to upset Asuka by outscoring her in synch tests, so he makes sure to do just slightly worse than her. This initially works and in fact the apparent competition inspires Asuka's own abilities to improve, but when she discovers that Shinji was losing on purpose she gets even angrier than she was originally.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Around once a volume, each with a different character.
    • Rei gets one in book one (she hangs herself).
    • For Shinji, this happens around the end of book 2 (the supposed "death" of Asuka) and book 3 (Ghost-Asuka playing with his mind).
    • invoked In book 0 and 4, Ghost-Asuka suffers from this, and in the last part of After, Asuka gets this upon realising that she gave up her chance to be happy with Shinji. Swiftly subverted when she opens the door to go to the airport and back to Japan, only to find that Shinji is walking down her street looking for her house.
  • Doujinshi: it's not an official work by Gainax or anyone else involved with the original TV series or subsequent movies.
  • Driven to Suicide: Rei II decides to hang herself, as a result of being rejected by Shinji for Asuka.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Asuka, though not necessarily by choice.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Ghost-Asuka and her universe's Shinji come to realize they actually do love each other, and the Shinji and his companions of the world they visited get to live out normal lives in a world without the Angels.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Gendo sends Asuka out with the intent she will die with the intent of Shinji crossing the Despair Event Horizon and joining his plans. The look on his face implies that even he feels bad about it.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Ghost-Asuka is a mean-spirited jerk nihilist who delights in Shinji's pain due to the grudge she has after he left her to die events of End. But despite wanting to see him suffer she didn't take an satsification in hearing him scream after Asuka's seeming death. Though it's not enough for her to let go of her hate.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Ghost-Asuka isn't a full blown villain but she is a cynical jerk. Due to her dim view of Shinji, she can't grasp why he would still try to save the world, even after realizing that he is an Angel and will have to die for the world to be saved. Likewise she thought Shinji would abondon her past self after seeing the state she was in after she survived.
  • Eye Scream: As is evident in the page pic, Shinji loses an eye during the fight against the MP Evas. Afterwards he is suddenly shown with both eyes again, suggesting he has been granted a prosthetic.
  • Fan Disservice: In Issue 1.5 of the manga sees Shinji and Asuka having sex in a hotel. It's all pretty graphic, par for the course explicit imagery, except it's intercut by shots of Rei hanging from the end of the previous issue clearly showing this is what's on Shinji's mind.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot: The most popular of the Evangelion Peggy Sue stories, and possibly the reason they are such a popular Evangelion plot. Even though it's not actually a Peggy Sue. It can be argued that RE-TAKE has fertilized the Stealth Sequel Epileptic Trees for Rebuild of Evangelion.
  • First-Name Basis: In one of the most TearJerking examples ever, involving Rei and Asuka. The night Rei (II) hangs herself, Asuka falls to sleep promising to start calling Rei by name: "Maybe from now on I should start treating her better... Starting tomorrow, I'll call her by her name, at least... Ayanami Rei" — last words of volume 1 (not counting Shinji's scream). Asuka tries later with Rei III, but gets a...cold reaction: "Umm... Rei, are you feeling alright?" "Why?" "You were hospitalized..." "Not that. Why do you refer to me by my first name?" "N...No reason in particular." "Then cease, Second. It is most unsettling."
  • Foreign-Language Tirade: At the end, Asuka gives has a fairly romantic one, which is subtitled for the viewers. Shinji, however, doesn't speak German, and so has to ask for clarification. Asuka provides clarification via a tackle-hug and kiss.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The ending consists of Shinji viewing an ideal, normal future with Asuka, with barely any reference the EVAs, and then proceeds to shatter the fourth wall and stating that it's a possible future for Shinji. It got extremely weird from there.
  • From Bad to Worse: As they got worse in the main series, they inevitably start getting worse with Asuka nearly dying and then when it reaches the events of End.

  • Gainax Ending: There are two different "endings" for each set of Shinjis. While the first is pretty comprehensible, the second goes into this territory.
  • A God Am I: "God", Shinji and Asuka's unborn child.
  • Go into the Light: Asuka
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted. Asuka heads directly to Ritsuko after the series' main events and requests an abortion. Ritsuko says Asuka might regret it later and Hikari wonders if this will affect Asuka's relationship with Shinji, but no one really argues that it would be a good idea for an amnesiac 14-year-old to go through with a pregnancy. Asuka openly tells everyone she had the procedure, no one gives her any further grief about it, and she and Shinji eventually reconcile and have a daughter when they're older.
  • Go Through Me: Rei III wants to go help Shinji against the MP Evas, and Touji blocks her saying she has to fight him to get through. The two of them do fight, and while Rei is determined to get past Touji, he's equally determined to stop her. As Touji is a good deal bigger than Rei is, she can't beat him, and only reaches Unit 00 because Ghost-Asuka makes it come to her.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Kaworu's death, although his remains are actually shown.
  • Graceful Loser: In RE-TAKE 4, which happens during this timeline's version of End, Gendo is told by Kaji that Rei and the other Eva pilots have been moved to a safe location. Gendo calmly admits he lost anyways, as he didn't have Adam's embroyo like in canon. He did decide to wait for Rei at Lilith's body in case she decided to come to him through a secret tunnel, and accepts that she didn't show up.
  • Grasp the Sun: Asuka's "death", as it was in the movie.
  • Grew a Spine: Beset by nightmares of a horrible future, Shinji forces himself to grow up and become a badass to avert it. In the process he gets hurt, despairs, loses Asuka and then he gets her back... and he finally and trully becomes a hero and selflessly saves the world.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Shinji and Asuka's unborn child, who is part angel and part human. She simply introduces herself as God. Though a scene from After implies that she is also from another universe like Ghost-Asuka and Ghost-Shinji.
  • Happily Married: Almost reached in RE-TAKE 2, and apparently reached by the end of RE-TAKE After.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Asuka, Shinji, Ghost-Asuka, Ghost-Shinji, Rei (III), God, Gendo... most everyone, really. Subverted as everyone, save Gendo, survives. In Ghost-Asuka's and Ghost-Shinji's case (and likely God's as well) they simply return to their own world, their past unchanged, but emotionally healed, and they have granted their other selves a chance at a normal life.
  • High-School Sweethearts: Two-for-one in this story. After returning to the past (or so he thought) Shinji starts to reach Asuka out. They fell in love and Asuka proposed to him despite of them being only fourteen. Later Shinji found out that was not his past but an alternate dimension. He returned to his own time with his Asuka and they finally got together. Meanwhile their counterparts tried to solve their own issues. The series concludes when that timeline's Shinji travels Germany to find his Asuka and proposes to her. She says yes.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Rei loves Shinji, but he will not love her back because he is committed to Asuka.
  • Hope Spot: Rei using the positron rifle on the MP Evas, they still regenerate from it despite it blasting holes in them.
  • Hourglass Plot:
    • Shinji and Ghost-Asuka end up almost exactly mirroring each other's roles in The End of Evangelion.
    • We also have another occur, though it's with Shinji in place of Ghost-Shinji. After the MP-Evas are defeated and Misato is leaving to fight the remains of SEELE, she states she won't go after Kaji saying they haven't the right to be together, but Ghost-Shinji convinces her otherwise. After Ghost-Shinji and Ghost-Asuka leave we have the roles reverse, with Shinji afraid to go after Asuka since all the things that led to the two of them getting together before Asuka lost her memories weren't his doing, but Misato encourages him to go ahead.
  • Humongous Mecha: The bio-mechanical Evangelions.
  • I Am Who?: Shinji discovers he's an angel.
  • I Hate Past Me: Asuka feels somewhat vitriolic toward her past self, particularly when she enters into a romantic relationship with Shinji, whom future Asuka has much more reason to hate. There's also some self-loathing and jealousy involved.
  • Imagine Spot: After Asuka's apparent death, Shinji is suddenly informed by Misato that Asuka miraculously survived by hiding within Unit 2's core. The two then kiss, but then it turns out it was all just a hallucination from Ghost-Asuka. She then twists the knife even further by reminding Shinji that an Eva's core implodes when it self-destructs. Ultimately subverted though, since Asuka DID survive the self-destruction.
  • Immune to Bullets: After The Reveal, Misato tries to shoot Shinji only for the bullets to be stopped by an AT field.
  • Ineffectual Death Threats: Shinji screams that he'll kill Gendo when Gendo orders the destruction of Unit 02 and Asuka. He doesn't. Gendo still dies at the end — surprisingly, while acting like a father to Shinji.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Shinji let Asuka beat him in the synch tests because he knows that she pretends to be arrogant but her self-esteem is very, very fragile.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: In the All-Ages version Rei interrupts Shinji and Asuka when they are about to have sex in the lockers after defeating Arael.
  • Intertwined Fingers: The last image of RE-TAKE 4.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Eventually Ghost-Asuka tries to pull this for Ghost/Canon-Shinji, letting him have his tragic dream. Luckily he turns it down for her.

  • Jerkass Has a Point: Ghost-Asuka's hate for Shinji stems from him leaving her to die in End. Shinji doesn't deny she had right to be angry even after all the hate she showed him.
  • Kick the Dog: After Asuka's seeming death, Ghost-Asuka torments him with a dream that Asuka survived, just to torment him. Re-Take 0, showing the series from her perspective, revealed that despite appearing to delight in his misery, even she felt bad about it.
  • Kid from the Future: Shinji and Asuka's daughters that we meet in both timelines.
  • Kill the Cutie: Asuka (sorta), Rei (sorta)
  • Knight of Cerebus: Initially came off as Peggy Sue fic where Shinji found the rest of the series after he escaped from Leliel was just a dream starts acting to prevent Asuka's fate in the actual series, leading to the two of them confessing their love... Then a second, badly injured and very embittered and angry Asuka appears that only Shinji can see, proving the first sign that everything is not going to work as perfectly at it first looks.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: Yep. Considered inferior to the original by many a fan, though. At any rate, considering it was made by an Adult's Video Studio TMA who has been parodying other popular anime like Haruhi Suzumiya, it's the only one fans can get.
  • Love Confession: Asuka heard Shinji telling he loved her by chance as he was talking to Rei. When he came home she asked him if he swore he would always be always hers and then she confessed she loved him back.
  • Love Interest: Shinji and Asuka are each other's.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Shinji starts hallucinating in 3. Having a vengeful "Ghost" constantly messing with his mind probably helped this along. The fact that he EATS Kaworu to ingest a S2 engine is also a pretty good example.
  • Love Makes You Evil:
    • Shinji, very nearly — "I will throw the world into the pits of hell to find Asuka again!"
    • Gendo's Batman Gambit was based off this: force Shinji into a situation where he would initiate 3rd Impact of his own will just to see Asuka again, giving Gendo the opportunity to meet Yui.
  • Love Triangle: This is what causes Rei to hang herself in RE-TAKE 1. She then seems to get over it in the later volumes.

  • Mandatory Motherhood: Shinji got Asuka pregnant. She wasn't ready for motherhood, but she wanted to have her baby anyway.
  • The Masochism Tango: Ghost-Asuka and Canon Shinji are this. Their relationship was one where the unintentionally hurt each other due to their lacking social skills but were desperately in love with each other. In RE-TAKE Ghost-Asuka spends most of the story trying to hurt Shinji but still declared him to be hers.
  • Mind Screw: Especially after "God" shows up.
  • Morning Sickness: In the second volume Asuka goes to the toilet and throws up. As she washes her face she thinks it was her idea and now she must face the consequences. Few scenes later she told Shinji she was pregnant.
  • The Multiverse
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Shinji after Rei commits suicide, since he knows that it was his fault. Later when he discovers Kaworu in this universe was a human after eating him
  • Never Found the Body: Asuka, Kaworu, or at least his top half; see above.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The All-Ages version, while free from having any smut, still has all the violence from the original version, and even added some more in to replace some of the aforementioned porn.
  • No Social Skills: Unsurprisingly, Shinji keeps having this trouble. He was incapable of explaining Rei calmly that he cared for her a great deal, but he couldn't love her back. So she commited suicide because he couldn't reassure her.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Ghost-Asuka is neither imaginary, nor (for the first 3-4 books) a friend.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Shinji fights the MP EVAs, and we don't get to see most of the fight. Then when Unit 1 awakens and gets the Lance of Longinus with Asuka's help, he proceeds to slaughter the MP Evas, and we don't get to see it.
  • Old Flame: Misato and Kaji. They got back together after the War.
  • One True Love: Ghost-Asuka told that after Third Impact countless alternate realities were born, all of them different and unique... and the single only unifying element was that Shinji and her ALWAYS met and fell in love.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Shinji and Asuka are both orphans and they went through a great deal of trauma after the loss of their mothers. Even after the War, Asuka feels awkward around her stepmother.
  • Oh, Crap!: SEELE's reaction to seeing Shinji and Ghost-Asuka working together, taking the Lance of Longinus and Unit-01 getting back in the fight, seeing they completely lost.

  • Parental Substitute: Misato to Shinji and Asuka, even though Asuka left Japan at the end of the story. She took care of them and even encouraged Shinji to be happy.
  • Peggy Sue: Subverted. "The past" is in fact an Alternate Universe, which Shinji experiences by possessing his analogue in that universe. While he is able to change some things in that universe, what happened in his own can not be undone, and in the end, he learns to accept that.
  • Pet the Dog: Teased when Gendo changes his schedule to attend Shinji's wedding. Turns out it was all part of the plan.
    • Played straight in his final moments where it's revealed he unlocked the Posistron Rifle and allowed Rei to use it against the MP-Evas.
  • Race for Your Love: Done twice: once normally, with Misato chasing down a departing Kaji in a tank, and once as a subversion. Shinji gets there in time (thanks to, among other things, Misato's car and Rei's Evangelion), but Asuka decides that it would be kinder to Shinji to let him keep the image of a strong, self-reliant love in his mind rather than a broken, depressed love physically. It doesn't quite work like she intends it.
  • Red Is Heroic: Asuka is a redhead, wears a red plugsuit and rides a red robot.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Pulled off by Gendo of all people.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Hotheaded, impulsive Asuka is the Red to cold, quiet Rei's Blue.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • Canon Shinji and Ghost Asuka get together.
    • Alternate Shinji and Asuka get married.
    • Kaji proposes Misato after the war.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Subverted. Shinji appears to have this until it's revealed that he hasn't gone back in time at all. He's merely possessed an alternate universe Shinji.

  • Sex for Solace: Shinji repeatedly has sex with Asuka to cope with Rei's suicide.
  • Shipper on Deck: In the end, all of NERV ships Asuka and Shinji.
  • Ship Tease: Shinji and Asuka have the bulk of the teasing since the frist pages when Shinji is happy because Asuka came to visit him in the hospital.
  • Sleep Cute: Canon Shinji and Asuka at the end. It's a very minimalistic example, since their fingers are only barely touching the other's, but for them, it's an extremely meaningful show of affection.
  • Something Else Also Rises: There is an instance of a male orgasm represented by a shot from the Ramiel battle — namely, Unit 01 firing the positron cannon. That's gotta be some orgasm...
  • Spanner in the Works: No amount of planning by SEELE or Gendo could possibly prepare them what foils their plans this series.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Subverted. Shinji wakes up in the past, just after the battle with Leliel. He tries to set right everything that went wrong to prevent Third Impact. It turns out he's only making life better for an alternate version of himself, and there's nothing he can do to change that. He eventually accepts it, and returns to the Crapsack World future he belongs to. Though there is an implication of a Happy Ending for him, so it's all good.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Kaji, though it's never made clear if that was a result of Shinji messing with the past or he just survived normally in that timeline.
    • Also Touji, as Shinji knows that if doesn't do anything, Gendo will activate Unit 01's dummy plug, cripples it without killing him, though he's Put on a Bus for the next two chapters since he was still injured during the fight.
  • Spotting the Thread: Ritsuko is quick to figure out that Shinji is acting substantially different based on various context clues. The most notable example is when she asks Shinji if he sees anything unusual after returning from Leliel. He replies that he doesn't see anyone (while seeing Ghost-Asuka), which tips her off that something's up.
  • Survivor Guilt: Shinji gets this. Twice. (Possibly thrice, if you count 1) Original End of Evangelion ending, 2) Rei's suicide, 3) Asuka's sacrifice.
  • Talking in Bed: At the beginning of the second chapter, Asuka asks Shinji if he's upset about something when they're lying on their bed.
  • Tank Goodness: Misato chasing down a departing Kaji in one, no less.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Shinji ends up getting Asuka pregnant, resulting in her decision to retire from being an Eva pilot and to propose to Shinji. Once the action is all over, an amnesiac Asuka ends up getting an abortion. She and Shinji meet again in Germany, reconcile and end up having a child as adults.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: See Awful Truth above. Though if you want an explanation, here's an attempt: As explained above by Peggy Sue, RE-TAKE takes place in an Alternate Universe, which canon-Shinji (or rather Ghost-Shinji) experiences by possessing his analogue in that universe. However, by bending the universes in this manner, he has unknowingly created a new kind of alternate human being (i.e. a human possessed by an other-worldly entity), meaning that he is the final angel instead of Kaworu.
  • Took a Level in Idealism: Shinji goes from wanting everyone dying because he thought nobody cared about him to fight to save a world, even if he disappears, because the struggle itself is more important than the outcome. And Asuka goes from being utterly cynical, angry and jaded to realize someone truly loves her.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • You wouldn't think it possible to make Gendo more of a bastard. They did.. It is indicated that Gendo KNEW that sending Asuka out against Armisael (the 16th Angel — the floating helix-ring) would result in her death, and did so anyway to make sure that Shinji, when implementing Instumentality, would follow Gendo's scheme to meet their loved ones. Let me just make this clear: Gendo sent his soon-to-be-daughter-in-law (one day later, and it would have been daughter-in-law) and his grandchild to their deaths merely to make sure that Shinji followed Gendo's basic desire in Instrumentality. What. A. BASTARD!
    • Shinji suffers from this a bit, at least in Volume 2: "No, it doesn't really matter. She's the third, anyway." Granted, he knew that one hadn't developed any feelings, though Asuka didn't know that.
    • To an extent, also Asuka... though only Ghost-Asuka, seeing as though she is following Shinji around everywhere he goes just to screw around with his head, though her motivation is somewhat justified considering that she feels Shinji both left her to die in the real world and is disgusted by what happened in the hospital room. She gets better, though...
  • Tragic Dream:
    • Ghost-Asuka sees Shinji's dream (married to Asuka, with a child and living peacefully in some sort of Avalonesque utopia) when repairing his mind. Needless to say, not everything is...quite right. Firstly, the reason why Shinji's mind needs repairing is that just last volume, Asuka self-destructed her Evangelion to save Shinji. Secondly, Ghost-Asuka is bitter at Shinji for abandoning her in End of Evangelion and is repairing his mind so she can keep on punishing him. Lastly, Shinji is being possessed by Shinji from End of Evangelion, so this might not really be that Shinji's dream.
    • Subverted when Shinji has the chance to achieve his dream but he turns it away because it would doom the world he has saved — he says himself being so selfish would be unforgivable... and because if he took it, Ghost-Asuka would be alone.
  • Trauma Conga Line: After going through the Angel War and Third Impact, Shinji has a second chance. Then Rei commits suicide. Then Asuka blows herself up to destroy an Angel. Then he's told he's an Angel, and his presence in that world can destroy it. At least, at the end he and Asuka get to repair their relationship, even if they live in a post-apocalyptic world.
  • Tsundere:
    • As always Asuka. Though she starts growing out of it when she and Shinji start dating. After losing her memories, she goes back to this
    • Ghost-Asuka is a more extreme case. She spends most of the story trying to break Shinji and actively laughs at his misery. But at the same time she still desperately wants him. Even when she stops denying her feelings she still refuses to admit that helping Shinji is because she likes him.

  • Victory-Guided Amnesia: After the MP-Eva's are defeated, Shinji and Asuka (the pair from the alternate universe, not Ghost/Canon Asuka and Shinji) wake up but have no memories past the events of the 12th Angel.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Asuka as she says it best, no one can touch Shinji unless she says so even if you're an Angel.
  • Willfully Weak: For most of the first chapter, Shinji intentionally keeps his sync ratio below Asuka's because he knows that nothing good will come from beating Asuka.
  • With This Ring: The ending to RE-TAKE After. Shinji flies to Germany to meet Asuka again. Right when she thinks that her pride will get in the way of her heart again, he asks her closing her eyes for a second. When she opens them, she is wearing an engagement ring.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Shinji's reaction to Gendo's swift change from nice, almost fatherly figure to an uncompromising, uncaring nigh monster who orders, without flinching, the destruction of Unit 02 and Asuka, on the day Shinji was going to marry her.
    • Shinji EATS KAWORU.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Shinji assumes he's in a conventional Peggy Sue fic. The end of the first chapter gives him a rude awakening. Ghost Asuka assumes the story is every bit on the edge towards cynicism as the canon Evangelion; she starts to realize she's wrong around the point where she actually helps Shinji.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Subverted when Shinji ends his own existence to avoid destroying the world. Shinji is still alive, but he loses all the memories of the events in RE-TAKE. So let's explain it with spoilers! Shinji, who is actually Shinji from Universe A (canon/ghost Shinji), possessing Shinji from Universe B, realizes that if he stays in Universe B, he will be the end of humankind in Universe B because HE (Canon/Ghost Shinji) is the final angel instead of Kaworu. Thus, to ensure survival of the people in Universe B, he relieves his control of Universe-B Shinji, who afterwards has none of Universe-A Shinji's memories (and is no longer an angel). This is about close to as we get to an explanation.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Touji. And what a hit!

"But...I'm alive. Alive. If I don't live my life to its fullest, I can't die. That's why I'll fight. Even if...I have no chance of winning. Even if...there's no future for me there."