The One I Love Is… is my favorite Evangelion fan fiction. At first it seems like a typical Rei/Shinji/Asuka romance triangle thing. Believe me–it’s hard enough to write one couple pairing. Most ficcers barely get farther than one chapter with that sort of thing, and they run out of steam. Not the case here.
What I love about it is that it starts from a specific point in the series: where Rei sits in Eva-01 (Shinji’s giant robot) to test synchronization. Since Eva-01 contains the soul of Shinji’s mother (spoilers!), the idea of attraction is implanted in her head, and she attempts to pursue a romantic relationship with him… in the imperfect, cutely androidish way she knows how. And of course, the hair-trigger tempered Asuka reacts in kind, and the battle ensues. It takes one small thing, twists it, and ends up with a completely different story.
It’s simple, lovable, and each character acts plausibly. Most times in this sort of fic, you see Rei as a robot, Asuka as a bitch, and Shinji suddenly grows a spine. Not so, in this case. And like in Deus Ex Jenova the characters have sexuality which is more prominent with young adults. And the characters make mistakes. Both Asuka and Rei’s attempts to woo Shinji result in them irreparably destroying their relationships, which prevents them from doing what they were supposed to be doing in the first place — saving the world.
And that’s the other thing I like. The story doesn’t just take place in a single time bubble. From where it starts, it reaches the same end that the series does, but not in the same way. And it reaches a plausible and satisfying climax.
Maybe that’s what makes this story so good — it offers a conclusion to the incomprehensible puzzle of Evangelion more satisfying and entertaining than the series itself. I’ve said before how the mark of a great fan fiction is that it takes the existing universe and improves on it. The One I Love Is… does that.
Rakna, the author, appears to still be writing fan fiction, albeit slowly. There’s a lot of distractions on the Internet you know. Cat videos and such. I don’t blame him.