I mean, some people online are even talking about the use of an N2 mine! Is Japan going through a civil war? The U.N. still refuses to comment, but a few conspiracy theorists on reddit are claiming it's proof of their "Angel" theory. I'm not a fan of conspiracies, but I mean... they're claiming Japan's Evangelions were actually put to use. Do you think somebody hijacked one? Maybe an anti-U.N. separatist? I hope not... not another war.
Scary News out of Tokyo-3 is a live web roleplay of Neon Genesis Evangelion which unfolded in Real Time throughout the latter half of AD 2015, the same stretch of time covered by the series. With one or two notable exceptions, it does not directly follow the main cast. Rather, it takes the perspective of a motley assortment of NERV insiders, reporters, intelligence agents, politicians, and web wizards — in other words, the kind of people who would have access to an online forum post-Second Impact — watching the story from the outside, so to speak. Wild conspiracy, in-depth world-building, and eldritch horror combine with paranoia and shout-outs to make a gumbo of drama and hilarity well worth reading. It is also surprisingly accessible to those who are not familiar with NGE, since the events are reported on from the perspective of the public and those who do know what's going on can't talk.
WARNING: Given the presence of SPOILERS for Neon Genesis Evangelion, anyone who has not watched the series reads this page at his or her own risk.
Scary News out of Tokyo-3 provides examples of:
- Adapted Out: Hikari's sisters do not live with her and her father in this story.
- The Alcoholic: Arizona becomes one over the course of the story; in the final months — after a nervous breakdown forces him into retirement — the quality and coherence of his posts begin to fluctuate wildly, depending on whether or not he's sober at the time.Arizona: & jus yestreday My cousin the M.D. told me I'd be dead inside of three months if I Kept on going lilke this... I just laughed. What else coiuld I do, knowing what I know now?
- Alternate History: Second Impact was the point of divergencenote , and a lot has changed. Many countries, including the United States and the UK, are still struggling to recover from the Third World-level poverty they were plunged into after Impact.Rainfall: Man, I miss the 90's. Coastal cities were sooo nice.
0Megabyte: I know, right? I mean, I miss New Orleans. At least Seattle's mostly alright though!
Also, I kinda wish I'd been able to see the Statue of Liberty in person, you know? Or the Twin Towers. Yeah, they're still standing... for now. But that whole area is a no-go zone. At least they rebuilt parts of Boston. Isn't NERV's first branch at the old MIT campus over there?
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: Drogo plays Genji Horaki for most of the story, but his final posts are made from the point of view of his daughter, Hikari, who takes his phone after he is arrested by the JSSDF.
- Apocalyptic Log: Everything posted after 26 December, 11:59 PM, is part of one. The last coherent message in the thread (that isn't automated or from Adam/Kaworu or Lilith/Rei) is from JohnBiles, describing the end of the world as seen from rural Texas.JohnBiles: Is this the last judgement? What have we unleashed?
I am listening to Christmas music; I can hear distant gunfire; it's Texas, of course someone tries to shoot the Angel of Death.
- Ascended Extra: Hikari Horaki, understandably, since Drogo is playing her father and LibraryLass takes a job as their au pair in order to have a place to live that's close to the story.
- As the Good Book Says...: Late in the game several posters, especially Arizona and chiasaur11, begin making biblical allusions, particularly when Kaworu makes his entrance.
- Batman Gambit: Subverted; SEELE takes out the AAA Wunder's S2 engine during the invasion of Tokyo-3, ruining 0Megabyte's plan to stop them.
- Berserk Button: Shadowjack pushes Gendo's when he manages to finagle an interview with him. His first question is about Yui; Gendo promptly gets up and storms out of the room without saying anything, and Shadowjack finds himself locked in a holding cell in NERV HQ for several days.chiasaur11: From all I've heard, you're a very lucky man to be free and breathing, then.
0Megabyte: What was the question?
Shadowjack: "Do you think your wife would approve of what you've done?" I was in an inadvisably foul mood and got away lucky, yes. But one can sometimes find moral satisfaction in childish outbursts.
Kreuzritter: I will continue to remain silent on this subject until I am in a safe location. but yeah, you dodged Gendo trying to strangle you with his own hands
- Big Brother Is Watching: NERV has cameras EVERYWHERE. Also PA speakers, apparently.
- Brand X: Thanks to the historical divergence, several organizations and products wound up with different names. PayPal is called FundFriend, Patreon is Patronus, Indiegogo is GoIndyGo, Slate.com is Shale.com, Wikileaks is Quickleaks, and the iPhone is simply the Apple Phone. (The Other Wiki doesn't exist, although the characters say it would be helpful if something like it did.)
- The Internet itself falls into this — the characters frequently refer to it as the Wired.
- Broken Pedestal: Later in the series, NERV in general and Gendo in specific both lose the aura of Hero Worship they'd acquired through their early successes.
- Butt-Monkey: Fireballed Mage, thanks to a Running Gag where an Angel attack wipes out his workplace every time he gets a new job.
- This gag culminates in him becoming the pilot for the boat that floats in the LCL sea in Terminal Dogma. Just before Kaworu's attack.The Fireballed Mage: WHY DOES NERV HAVE AN [REDACTED] IN ITS BASEMENT?!? A MOTHERLOVING [REDACTED] THATS STARING AT ME WITH ITS [REDACTED] EYES!?! ALL [REDACTED] OF THEM!! AND [REDACTED] TO A GIANT RED [REDACTED]!!!!
- The last post in the thread is a corrupted copy of his resumé.
- Draco Light winds up getting locked in the bathroom during Angel attacks several times in a row. At first he's annoyed by it, but changes his mind after it saves his life during Armisael's attack. And then he gets shot when the JSSDF invades the Geofront, and crawls into the same bathroom to die.
- This gag culminates in him becoming the pilot for the boat that floats in the LCL sea in Terminal Dogma. Just before Kaworu's attack.
- California Collapse: Happened in the wake of Second Impact as a result of violent earthquakes. The remains of Los Angeles and San Francisco are archipelagoes, and several communities in the former Mojave Desert are now only a few miles inland; Lancaster is described as a "thriving seaside community" in a news report.
- Call-Back: After witnessing Sahaquiel's Orbital Bombardment attack, Arizona comes back to his offices to find someone with a sick sense of humor playing the Aphrodite's Child album 666: The Apocalypse of Saint John over the speaker system. Months later, the first quote in his Third Impact rant is from "Four Horsemen", off the same album.
- Canon Foreigner: Everybody, really, except for ZeroGirl00 and IkariFanboy, who are playing as Rei and Kaworu, respectively. Beyond that, Hikari's mother is still alive in this roleplay, but is divorced from her father.
- Canon Immigrant: Mari Illustrious Makinami is introduced as Pip's niece and the daughter of the British SEELE member. She eventually transfers to Tokyo-3 and befriends Hikari, Asuka, and LibraryLass shortly before Asuka's Mind Rape-induced collapse.
- The Cassandra: Chiasaur11. A deep insider, given to ominous and invariably pessimistic pronouncements about what's really going on, which get passed over with little comment because they're too vague to be of any use. Granted, if he was any less vague NERV would probably kill him.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Seemingly played straight at first but averted later on: no mention is made of either of Hikari's sisters at first. It is later revealed that they live with their mother, which results in them being even more Out of Focus than in the original anime (where they didn't even get canonical names or appearances until the 20th anniversary of the series.)
- Clear Their Name: Kreuzritter has been working for a long time now to clear Gendo of accusations that he killed his wife. Having more or less succeeded, he is then tasked to investigate whether someone else could have killed her.
- Crazy-Prepared: Shadowjack turns into this after a frightening close call during Matarael's attack.All my kit had been in the house, my helmet, my flak vest if they had n-nuked the thing, all I'd have had for protection would've been the drainage ditch. You can damn well bet I'm bringing my full kit from now on, even if it's just down to the corner store.
- Shadowjack also programs a Dead Man's Switch macro into his computer to leave a message in the thread in case he doesn't check in for a few days — even though he doesn't think he'll actually need it.The last place I was going was: [interview at NERV HQ, 30 Oct 2015]
[text goes here:] Probably got detained again. If not the other thing. Wait a few days before mourning or executing Plan F. I should put more text here but I just hacked this thing together and don't actually expect it to be used.
- He also detects the gas when NERV arrests him, and actually manages to get a gas mask on before they come in to taze him.
- Shadowjack also programs a Dead Man's Switch macro into his computer to leave a message in the thread in case he doesn't check in for a few days — even though he doesn't think he'll actually need it.
- Different World, Different Movies: Played straight in some aspects, averted in others.
- Disney's production schedule was disturbed by Second Impact, but LibraryLass's rant on the arrested development of Second Impact survivors indicates that The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Brave, and Frozen still exist, as do the Transformers film series, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Steven Universe (which started out as a wildly successful comic book in this timeline) and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- John Carpenter's filmography ended in 1998 with John Carpenter's Vampires. He survived Second Impact, but before he could get back to filmmaking he was murdered by a gang of lunatics who thought his Prince of Darkness had predicted the apocalypse.
- Pacific Rim is a manga co-created by Guillermo del Toro and Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.
- And Hideaki Anno is still an animator, but the show that made his reputation is Kushana, a television spinoff of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. (Reality Subtext: Anno actually was one of the lead animators on Nausicaa; his work on the God Warrior sequence can be seen as an early antecedent to NGE.)
- Dramatic Drop: Misato apparently does this with her phone when LibraryLass tells her that Rei isn't dead.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first few dozen pages contain all sorts of weirdness — players having whole conversations out of character, explicit references to events that haven't happened yet — that gets filtered out as the thread goes on.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Angels, obviously, even more than usual since they're shown from a civilian perspective. Aside from their being made of elements not native to our universe, the thread explodes when Ritsuko Akagi reveals in an interview that — alien elements or no — the Angels have DNA, and it's 97% identical with human DNA (which puts them on par with apes and other primates).chiasaur11: I'm not sure these are aliens. At least, not by the conventional definition.
Peter Svensson: Cryptids? The Angels are cryptids? We're spending millions of dollars fighting Bigfoot?
Pip: Please tell me it's not time travellers, the ghosts of the dead, or the Titans escaped from Tarterus? Because if they're any of those things I've definitely lost the betting pool over here ;)
Arizona: Incidentally, the story I've heard regarding the physical makeup is a bit different from what Dr. Akagi said, but it still doesn't sound any less Lovecraftian [...] they're composed of hitherto unknown and unseen isotopes of the elements we know — isotopes that simply don't exist on Earth, and probably shouldn't exist in this universe... actually, these things probably ought to be radioactive. The fact that they aren't is only one of the many things that the current state of modern science cannot explain.
- Eldritch Location: The remains of Antarctica, described in vivid detail by 0Megabyte. A red sea, barely still water, sterile of all living things, with pillars of salt rising hundred of meters into the air.
Arizona: There's a motherfucking HOLE in the Nevada desert a hundred miles across and six hundred feet deep, a big flat crater that looks like God dented the landscape with a giant ball peen hammer. It's all just gone, nothing but dirt and dry bedrock. There were small towns and farmlands within the radius of this explosion — or whatever it was — that just aren't there anymore. I shudder to imagine how many thousands of people are no longer accounted for; hell, I don't even want to know, except that it's my job.
- The former NERV Second Branch (housed at Area 51) becomes this as well, after the accident that destroys it.
- Entertainingly Wrong: All these silly conspiracy theorists, thinking they live in a world that makes sense and people have sensible motives... it says something when the mad conspirators aren't crazy enough to grasp the truth.Peter Svensson: None of these pilots are really doing the work. It's all a conspiracy to make us feel better about the fact that we're living through the end times by giving the handful of kids left role models to keep them going. Seriously. It's all AI. The pilots get told they're doing the work, but we should know better. 14 year old kids piloting giant robots? If I believed in that, I'd have to accept that all of this bullshit I see on the news is real, and that ain't happening.
Jhiday: "Children" is clearly a code name to avoid disclosing their real identities. Which is obviously that they're AIs. I mean, you've all seen the blurry pictures : there's no way a human being can pilot such complex movements with levers and buttons. (And cybernetic controls are still science-fiction in this day and age.)
LibraryLass: NERV memos published on Quickleaks last night allege that the Evas use a mental interface that, for whatever reason, gains superior results with subjects born within a certain time window of Second Impact. Maybe that alien meteor theory was correct and they accidentally seeded the planet with some kind of radioactivity that made the kids psychic or something? Nah, that sounds like something out of an anime.
- Fantastic Religious Weirdness: Second Impact did a number on religions. The people who get most mention are the Scientologists. Some are normal(ish), many are Affably Evil Ruthless Modern Pirates, and some — like the Cruisist splinter faction — are certifiably insane.Pip: It is weird what 2I did to religious belief. Loads of religious people lost their faith, loads of secularists found one, and lots of new faiths springing up and really old ones being resurrected. We've got a bunch of neo-Manichaeans down here. Nice lot. Weirdly fatalistic outlook, of course.
Kreuzritter: In terms of weird cults, I've encountered my share of Gnostics, pagans, maltheists, even a Manichaean, but the weirdest has to be some guy who claimed that God (or maybe a god, it was unclear) loves Mother Earth sexually, and that the Angels are part of the divine reproductive system. Apparently there's an egg buried somewhere inside the Earth and if the Angels reach it it will become fertilised and humanity will become the template from which a new God will be born
- IkariFanboy/Kaworu Nagisa has some very strange ideas that the posters explain away as due to his upbringing in a Gnostic sect.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: With the number of crossovers brought in, it's inevitable.
- Fate Worse than Death: Mentioned by name near the end.Arizona: it occurs to me that howver hackneyed a phrase it may be there ARE fates worse than death
- First-Name Basis: LibraryLass refers to almost everyone by their first-name, and only rarely uses a title or honorific.
0Megabyte: ... and if you DONT have an exit plan, PM me. Limited time offer, though.
- This is turned around on her in 0Megabyte's farewell message after she refuses his offer to leave Tokyo-3 while she has the chance.
LibraryLass: I'm tempted to... but I'm also tempted to see this whole crisis through.
0Megabyte: Clock's ticking, sadly, so I'm taking you at your word. Goodbye, Rachel.
- Flat "What": Occasionally uttered in response to an Angel or to the plan put in place by Major Katsuragi to stop it.
- In the wake of the Israfel fight, Arizona scales up from Flat "What" to Big "WHAT?!" over the course of a single post.
What was that.
WHAT WAS THAT.
WHAT IN THE ETERNAL BLUE-AND-GREEN FUCK WAS THAT.
- Flock of Wolves: Inevitably speculated about, given how many secret and semisecret agencies and organizations and governments are connected to the plot.Shadowjack: This is going to turn out like The Man Who Was Thursday, isn't it? It turns out that everyone is spying on NERV, and no one down there actually works for them.
- Framing Device: The roleplay takes place as the interactions between people on a web forum, just not the one it actually takes place on.
- Freak Out: Pretty much everyone who isn't dead by the time Instrumentality starts goes through this.
- Earlier on, Shadowjack goes through one after seeing Matarael at very close quarters (it comes over a mountaintop right in front of him). Several seconds of his memory are completely blanked out, and he comes home with a bad case of the shakes and doesn't expect to sleep too well after the experience.
- Fun with Autocensors: Several characters are behind firewalls that will auto-redact their posts if they say anything too interesting. This has entertaining results.Pip: But, seriously, why does the Yossarian-22 keep redacting my name? What the hell is wrong with "Dr. Adam F. Black-Moon"?
- Ghost Town: Tokyo-3 itself, by virtue of being too large for what population it has.The Fireballed Mage: [...] it's like they forgot that Second Impact and the chaos that followed wiped out half of humanity. So you built a city that should include a huge number of people living there, but it's all facade. There are places in the city that are absolutely thriving, but walk away from the main drag and suddenly... stillness. You're surrounded by buildings, telephone and power lines, but you realize it's row upon row of apartment blocks that have almost no one living in them.
- Godzilla Threshold: Discussed by name. Especially once Unit 01 essentially becomes a Kaiju in its own right.
- Good Is Not Nice: NERV's internal opinion of Gendo.Drogo: Gendo Ikari is the Boss From Hell. Period.
He has to be! This man was put in charge of a multi-trillion Euro project to create a defense against the Angels and told to get the job done. No time table, no research plan, barely any direction, other than 'it involves metabiology'. And yet he brought this huge project in over the course of more than ten years on time.
You don't do that by being a nice guy.
- He Knows Too Much: Occasional mentions of people who learn too much, even accidentally, vanishing in black bags.
- Heroic BSoD: 0Megabyte undergoes one after his fiancee dies. Becomes considerably less heroic when we find out he's the one who killed her.
- Hero Worship: Comes up a lot, especially regarding Major Katsuragi and the Children.chiasaur11: [re: Shinji Ikari] Incompetent? Really? Have you seen Ikari's record? Teenager, no prior combat experience, and he's burning through Angels like the wrath of God. Even allowing for some genetic tinkering, the kid's a miracle worker.
Shadowjack: [re: Ritsuko Akagi] She's an amazing person, very poised, very intimidating, but in a human way. They should write a book about these people.
0Megabyte: [re: Misato Katsuragi] She is a pro at this. Only one on the planet, too. Let's just say that if I live that long, I will probably be teaching classes at West Point based on her methods of Angel combat. Hopefully there will be no more Angels. But just in case, she is writing the fucking book, every day out here. And there's this element of personal interest to her fight too, that belongs in heroic epics. Three thousand years on, we won't remember any of today's nation states, or any of our identities. But there will be the story of the girl who witnessed the coming of Angels, and when she grew up was destined to lead the fight to kill them.
- Hope Spot: As to the world as a whole getting better. Many characters in the know see the development of autopiloted EVAs to be the key to winning the Angel War, and minor details such as the defeat of the Cruisists in the background imply there is hope for the post-2nd-impact world. Unfortunately, we know how this all ends.
- Interface Screw: Rarely engaged in, usually when a character is having a Freak Out and can't convey their distress in any other way than changing the appearance of their text.
- Arizona takes it to the next level during Instrumentality, switching colors, font, size and language nearly every line during his breakdown.
- Intrepid Reporter: A few, notably Shadowjack and LibraryLass.
- Is That What They're Calling It Now?: Drogo, as a high-ranking NERVite, starts a rumor that the UN are about to conduct an in-depth onsite audit of NERV's finances; Fuyutsuki sees through Drogo's plan, but approves his proposal of a day off for most of the staff, since he's also anxious to keep them as far from the headquarters as possible when the UN and JSSDF arrive. Chiasaur11 and Arizona both get very sarcastic about the use of the word audit, and Kreuzritter pointedly suggests that this audit may have "non-negotiable terms".
- Mad Prophet: Arizona seems to be having cryptic apocalyptic visions when in alcoholic stupors, and they're disturbingly on point.Arizona: Idiots, idiots, IDIOTS. did my blackout drunk self not tell anyone any thing theu could hear?
- The Man Behind the Curtain: There are repeated implications that the all-powerful members of SEELE are really not all that impressive in person.
- Manchild: Discussed. Several posters — especially LibraryLass — are of the opinion that Second Impact stunted the maturation of their generation, arguing that things like Frozen, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, and superhero movies could not have become the pop-cultural juggernauts they are without a huge, traumatic disaster with worldwide repercussions at the beginning of the 21st Century.
- Memetic Mutation: There are a lot of memes about NERV on the post-2I Internet; most of them refer in some way to Gendo, particularly this video. Rei approves.ZeroGirl00: ...I have rarely smiled as widely as when I heard this in my head after you posted it. Thank you.
- Mind Screw: Given the source material, the ending...
- Mind Screwdriver: ...becomes a somewhat different experience with Cas Warner's final post. It reads like a disappointed fan questioning Anno until he gets some damn answers. ("It's not usually this straightforward, is it?" "No.")
- Missed Him by That Much: Shadowjack drops in the day after the Armisael attack to tell everyone excitedly that Rei Ayanami is alive — he just saw her coming out of the hospital. Unfortunately, he has no time to read previous updates or stick around to read replies, so he misses ZeroGirl00 informing everyone of the fact on the previous page.
- Moral Event Horizon: Consensus among the posters is that Gendo crossed his with his horrendous botch of a strategy for the fight against Bardiel. Nobody, not even the posters from NERV, is willing to defend him after that; Drogo suggests, only half joking, that a group of NERV security agents ought to arrest Gendo and hold him down while Shinji kicks him in the crotch.
- Motor Mouth: Misato, apparently.Shadowjack: You'd never know Katsuragi spent years in speech therapy. She talks a mile a minute.
- Mythology Gag: Plenty of them, including references to Rebuild of Evangelion and other spin-offs and alternate timelines from the series.
- Never Live It Down: In-universe, a photo of Arizona (collapsing in horror at the edge of the Nevada Crater) that approaches Memetic Mutation levels of universal recognition. He complains that the picture is going to follow him around for the rest of his life.
- Nightmare Fetishist: It turns out there are people who actually LIKE the bloody smell of LCL (and get oedipal about it), while others find the bloody gore and brutal violence of Angel vs EVA to be exciting. These are things that cause most people to take SAN damage.
- Noodle Incident: Many are mentioned in passing, thanks to the events of post-Second Impact history not being known to the reader — the Colorado River War, for example (all we know of it is that Needles, California was devastated and Hoover Dam was blown up).
- There's also the "Invasion of '02". We're told enough in passing to put together a story of food rioters from Chicago and Detroit trying to force their way across the Canadian border and into Toronto, but that's about it.
- Not Himself: Shortly after chiasaur11 leaves a post that's incredibly blunt and cynical even for him, he makes another post panicking and insisting that the previous message wasn't from him.chiasaur11: ...What the hell? I didn't post that. Who's on my account? Look, I appreciate a joke as much as the next guy, but considering the circumstances... not the best taste.
- ZeroGirl00's personality seems to undergo a change after she almost dies in Armisael's attack; she becomes more forthright and less reserved, and winds up finally admitting — on a sudden impulse — that she's really Rei Ayanami.
- Not Quite Dead: Several characters disappear for extended lengths of time, usually after Angel attacks, and the others tend to speculate on whether or not they're dead until they show up again. Notably, ZeroGirl00 was thought to have been caught in the explosion that took out Armisael, but:ZeroGirl00: So... hi.
LibraryLass: Well then. I don't think I've ever been so pleased by two words.
- Oh, Crap!: Comes up all the time. It's entirely justified.
- Orbital Bombardment: Referred to by name during Sahaquiel's attack. darkgloomie and Arizona are both able to see the opening shots from the California coast.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: No prizes for guessing who ZeroGirl00 is. Especially as she gives away knowledge that only a deep NERV insider would have, and frequently talks about Rei Ayanami in I Have This Friend... fashion.
- Ironically, in-universe the disguise DOES work. Opinion varies on whether "she" is Ritsuko, Shinji, or someone else entirely; it takes months before anyone thinks it could be Ayanami, and even then nobody believes it until she outright admits it.
- Averted with IkariFanboy, who doesn't even try to hide his identity when he shows up.
- Plot-Sensitive Snooping Skills: Pip's character notes the friction and resentment between members of his family, but is completely oblivious to the clues that they are all members of SEELE.
- Pre-Climax Climax: Maya and LibraryLass sneak off to a Love Hotel on Christmas Day to consummate their relationship, both knowing that with the war over it's their only chance before the wolves descend on NERV.
- Properly Paranoid: After Angels have repeatedly trashed Fireballed Mage's attempts at employment, this is 0Megabyte's response to him getting a new job:I've put my people on high alert, and given the appropriate warnings to the Commander and Major Katsuragi.
- In the words of chiasaur11: "I work for one of the conspiracies. I think I've earned a little paranoia now and then."chiasaur11: I'm more worried about the people trying to pretend this is all normal. We're down 3 billion people, aliens are invading Japan, and in general I would say the end is pretty seriously nigh.
Guessing that maybe, just maybe, something is rotten in the land of Denmark seems like the bare minimum reasonable course of action.
- In the words of chiasaur11: "I work for one of the conspiracies. I think I've earned a little paranoia now and then."
- Ragnarök Proofing: A certain extent, almost literally, with the infrastructure that runs the web. This is why automated contingency messages from some characters post after they are tanged, along with a few message fragments emerging from Instrumentality.
chiasaur11: Keeping my last little scraps of sanity. I'm going to enjoy the privilege of seeing the last things with my eyes open.
- Slybrarian and chiasaur11 imply that they've each got some kind of contingency in place that will allow them to survive and wait out Instrumentality. It probably doesn't speak in their favor that the posts in which they reveal this are their last posts in the thread.
Slybrarian: Well, best of luck with your apotheosis. I think I'll watch the rest of this from a safer vantage point.
0Megabyte: Safer? Like what, orbit?
Slybrarian: There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
chiasaur11: Door locked. Power on. All that's left is the waiting.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: In-Universe, many people realize that their world is patently ridiculous. Especially notable with the attack by the Angel Sahaquiel, where it's noted that it looks like a B Movie reject.PenguinZero: [re:the Twins] I feel like we've crossed the tipping point now. The giant robots, alien invasions and all that were one thing, but life is now officially weirder than anime ever could be.
Hilarion: [re:Sahaquiel] I don't want humanity destroyed by something that...goofy. Did the alien design team responsible for the Angels just run out of money?
- Real Life Writes the Plot: After a server hiccup destroys several hours' worth of posts, the players promptly Throw It In! as a brief but widespread Internet outage due to a possible MAGI malfunction.
- Red Baron: A dark take on it. Once the true nature of the EVAs becomes apparent, Unit-01 (not its pilot) starts to be called The Devil Himself; in fact, Kreuzritter initially refuses to call it anything else.
- Regional Redecoration: Happened all over the world in the wake of Second Impact; see California Collapse above. Several further redecorations occur over the story's run — some of which are personally witnessed or attested to by the players.
- Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman: In a reverse example, rather than continuing his musical career, Roger Waters served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (though he is rapidly losing ground to Norsefire).
- Sanity Slippage: Common among those who learn too much. Frequently combined with I Need a Freaking Drink. Arizona is the most obvious example; after receiving a document outlining the truth about the SEELE/NERV conspiracy, his messages start becoming even more drunkenly garbled, he starts having dreams of Third Impact, and during Impact itself completely devolves into a religious/lyrical rant ending with him repeating the outro to "Hey Jude" before he is Tanged.Arizona: I find that when you've buried twelve million of your own people, you tend to become rather inured to such thoughts as the idea of being mulched back into primordial soup.
I have also just found that if you stare at it long enough, "Scotch" no longer looks like a real word.
- Scrapbook Story: Most of it is forum posts, but due to the Intrepid Reporter characters, there are a few news articles and interviews sprinkled throughout — including in-character interviews with Misato, Ritsuko, and Rei.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Many of the posters are still dealing with the losses and horrors they've seen in the wake of Second Impact.Arizona: Needles. That's the place I always think back to. After the fighting was over, Needles looked like a zombie apocalypse had hit it.
Shadowjack: I remember. And I remember being downstream when Hoover Dam went up. After that, I finally decided to learn how to swim...
- Shout-Out: Numerous, usually contributing to the world building.
Until you've spend a week looking for sites in the UK with good access, but which are far away from populated areas and which comes with sufficient grounds to do major construction on you don't realise just how many old stately homes have fallen under crown ownership down the years. The names all start to run together, too: Caversham, Pemberly, Skyfall, Wood Norton, Manderly, and so on.
- Susan Calvin was a colleague of Yui Ikari.
- Egon Spengler is named as one of the founding minds of metaphysical biology. Along with Doctor Vahlen — who is revealed by ZeroGirl00 to be Asuka's stepmother.
- The events of Who Goes There? and The Thing (1982) were both actual Antarctic expeditions, though how much the public knows about them is unclear.
- At the time of the Katsuragi Expedition in 2000, Gendo compared it to the ill-fated expedition from At the Mountains of Madness. The scary thing is how much sense it makes, given the backstory of the Elder Things.
- On the anniversary of Second Impact, a band made up of NERV members (called Battle School) sets up in the street and performs Pink Floyd's The Wall in its entirety. Highlights include a NERVite dressing up as Gendo to play The Teacher and The Judge, Maya Ibuki singing lead on "Comfortably Numb", off-duty security officers charging onstage in their uniforms during "In The Flesh", and the retracted towers suddenly beginning to rise right behind the band at the end of "The Trial".
- Most of Arizona's posts during the UN/JSSDF invasion of the Geofront are liberally peppered with (or even entirely consist of) Pink Floyd lyrics, as well. LibraryLass also gets in on the action when Instrumentality hits.
- The investigation into Ramiel's corpse is invaded by an unkempt scientist and a teenage boy who show up waving official-looking clearance papers. The scientist takes scrapings from Ramiel, crushes them into powder, and snorts them.
- It turns out that Rick Sanchez is legitimately connected with NERV's previous incarnation, GEHIRN. He was a friend and associate of Misato's father, and co-authored a top-secret paper (possibly on dimensional theory) with another GEHIRN employee referred to only as Dr. Freeman.
- Rei Hino and the Hikawa Shrine exist in this Tokyo, so it's probably an alternate universe where the Sailor Senshi failed to stop Second Impact for whatever reason.
- The Sailor Moon connection has now been elaborated on, and it's confirmed to take place after season 3. Yui Ikari studied at Mugen Academy and was on the hairy edge of being made into one of the Witches 5. The university did indeed go up in a horrible meta-bio accident. And worse, it's implied that there's a connection between what Gendo has been up to and what happened to Dr. Tomoe — who is himself considered a crackpot far ahead of his time, much like Tesla.
- NERV's auto-censor software is named, of course, for the protagonist from Catch-22. It includes a self-diagnostic that crashes the computer when it finds a program fault — in other words, running the error-catching feature only works properly when there aren't any errors to catch.
- The U.S. Department of Defense uses Winston 8.4. It also redacts documents, but does so by compiling a new file and then deleting the original. People have lost vital materials this way, thanks to not keeping backups.
- One of the player characters quotes from A Song of Ice and Fire, and mentions that it was never completed thanks to Second Impact; as a result of George R. R. Martin's death, neither the finished series nor Game of Thrones exists in this universe.
- A parallel version of Breaking Bad exists, called Angel's Fall and starring Bryan Cranston. In this version of the story, his character isn't dying of cancer — he's just desperate to keep his family alive and safe in the wake of Second Impact.
- There is mention of a pessimistic and therefore alarmingly accurate horoscope from a London newspaper, dated 13 September 2000 (the date of Second Impact). The regular astrologer was on vacation and convinced a certain friend to fill in for him; in one of the Contrived Coincidences that seem to follow this friend around, he correctly predicted that every Pisces who read the paper was about to die.
- John Titor is, in this universe, claiming to be from the world of Rebuild of Evangelion.
- There's a reference to the Mitakihara City hurricane of 2011.
- Further elaborated on, in this universe Madoka Magica exists as a visual novel, the climax of which is set in the middle of a hurricane that was an actual event from recent history. Whether there is more going on is not specified, but it's been made clear that the premise of harvesting Soul Power is entirely feasible, and probably inspired some aspects of this supposed version of the story.
- It's strongly implied that Gendo Ikari may have attended Ohtori Academy in the past (and that he may have been responsible for the massive fire there). Also that Akio is probably a member of SEELE.
- 0Megabyte gets into a relationship with Nanami, then — for reasons not made clear — is forced, in his capacity as an intelligence agent, to assassinate her.
- At ZeroGirl's request, Kreuzritter hunts up a photograph of Yui Ikari to demonstrate the close resemblance between her and Rei Ayanami, but he is quick to note that it means nothing and is probably sheer coincidence — a similar search for Shinji revealed that he was a dead ringer for a famous female circus acrobat from the 1880s.
- The Fireballed Mage's list of aborted careers — which dates back to before Second Impact — includes a brief stint at Umbrella Corporation.The Fireballed Mage: I've done a fair bit of structural evaluation testing when I worked for Tyrell Corp (before the whole 'tell me about your mother' incidents); drove a fork-lift for the Rival Ninja Corporation office in Quagmire, Texas (before the Ken-terminator event); did some construction for Wayne Industries before SI (and before the boss got locked up for putting on a mask and beating up the mentally ill); and was involved in the early work on the super-sub Tuatha de Danaan before budget cuts killed it.
- Remarking on British politics, posters bemoan the fact that King Henry IX (Prince Harry in our world) is an Upper-Class Twit and Prime Minister Roger Waters is an ineffective figurehead...Pip: At this point the UK government's basically just a coalition of everyone who isn't actually a fascist, and Norsefire are still making gains. Dark days ahead.
- Serial Experiments Lain comes up fairly frequently, both references to computer technology and to Accella being the weirdest drug on the market in Tokyo-3. Rei apparently takes Accella medicinally for some of her issues.
- Titus Crow gets a reference in the form of the Wilmarth Foundation, which moves in the same circles as NERV.
- The rumored Fifth Child after Shinji's disappearance is named Alberto Minoleta, after the guy who made a fake golden ticket in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
- One of The Fireballed Mage's failed job prospects includes learning that GENOM isn't hiring.
- Then there's this from Pip:
Drogo: I thought Manderlay burned down? What about Chatsworth or Brideshead?
chiasaur11: I'm pretty sure they went to Brideshead already. Then again, it might be worth a second look.
- Spy Fiction: Several posters, including Kreuzritter, 0Megabyte, and chiasaur11, are intelligence officials or secret agents for one organization or another. There are frequent references to Kaji's status as a NERV Double Reverse Quadruple Agent, and (on rare occasions) cryptic messages from one spy to another.
- Square-Cube Law: The posters lampshade this in the early stages.Arizona: I don't even care how the two Angels we've seen to date are doing that, I want to know how the hell we managed to get around it.
Shadowjack: We stole it from them, duh. :)
- Tempting Fate: Drogo, after the last Angel is killed: "We're done! We survived!"
- Testosterone Poisoning: Mentioned by Kreuzritter, who went to college with Gendo and calls him "the most hyperactive overemotional macho goofball you ever met," aside from just finding him generally disturbing.Kreuzritter: last I saw him, he said he was trying to woo this genius hottie he met in a bar fight. which is good, because if the guy were to grow a creepy looking neckbeard and put on sunglasses, he'd actually look LESS like some creepy child molester
- That Man Is Dead: Those who knew Gendo when he was younger are shocked to see him now, and this trope is dropped by name later in the series.
- There Are No Therapists: Discussed by the posters, most of whom are praying that this is not the case.Arizona: I don't think there's a single person of any importance over there, dead or alive, whose life hasn't been deeply marred by some catastrophic personal loss or personal failure. We all had just better hope that NERV has a few psychiatrists on the medical staff, because otherwise our fate is in the hands of what is likely the most underprepared and unqualified group of people in the entire world.
Shadowjack: Mental health services globally took a tremendous hit after Impact, at a time when we really needed them most. Those with medical degrees generally wound up providing physical care instead, and that left a mark on the profession. And afterward there's been a widespread attitude of "we didn't need no shrinks to get through Impact, and we don't have the money for 'luxuries', so kids today can just suck it up".
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Things have been (relatively) better for Fireballed Mage lately. First he turned down the job that would have had him present when a huge chunk of the state of Nevada vanished, and then he isn't immediately fired after an Angel attack. He even earns hazard pay!
- Yank the Dog's Chain: No, he's still let go. The generous severance pay is real, though.
- Triang Relations: Type 10. Maya Ibuki and LibraryLass begin dating about halfway through, but Maya still retains her attraction to Ritsuko. LibraryLass doesn't know the specifics, but worries from time to time that she's just a substitute for someone else.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Gendo, of all people. He used to be a genius goof prone to Testosterone Poisoning and a knack for winding up an Accidental Pervert: basically the protagonist of a screwball comedy. Yeah, he's come a long way...
- Viewers Are Geniuses: All over the place; scientific jargon, erudite quotes, pop-culture gags, and literary references abound (as evidenced by how goddamned long the Shout-Out entry is). Coupled with a huge amount of Shown Their Work regarding both canon details and crossovers.
- Villainous Breakdown: 0Megabyte absolutely loses his shit when SEELE takes out WILLE. Includes a lengthy Cluster F.U. Bomb directed at literally the entire universe.
- Weirdness Magnet: Fireballed Mage obviously, but Yui Ikari qualifies in the backstory. Student at Mugen Academy, colleague of Susan Calvin, married Gendo.
- Wham Line: "Come now, am I really that terrible news, people? I bring nothing but good tidings!" Kaworu starts posting in the thread.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Some people have quaint ideas, like the NERV commanders trying to keep the pilots psychologically healthy and socialized like normal people. Often, they get called out on it.Rainfall: Teenagers piloting giant robots happen all the time in anime, but in real life that would be insane.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Although the original meaning of this phrase, and its English translation ("AT Field"), are of primary relevance here, there are a few humorous references to the otaku slang.Pip: What idiot translated these design specs? "Distance top of socks to hem of skirt: 3m"