Commentary

 

How, when, where, why

This was written in quite a blaze. I didn't record the start date, how late in April '04, after finishing Redemption-E, which in turn I began at the end of March at the earliest; but I began chapter 2 on the Eurostar to Paris on 1–May–04, and by the time I was returning home on 8–May–04, I was about 1/3 of the way into chapter 4. I remember writing parts of Chapter 9 in the Cathedral close in Salisbury in the first few days of June; and the completed (but still to be proofed and nitpicked) chapter 12 went up on 11–Jun–04.

I've tweaked and primped them for a couple of months, but now it has all pretty much iterated to stability.

The music & the message

No, it's not an original idea. The Viz editions of the manga suggest alternate tracks to replace the light-classical material in the original; NXE did it, and NRE places songs from SKU into the narrative. And I felt that having a downbeat number over the final scene felt right, so the other pieces are there to support that final outro (except for Canta per me in chapter 10, which is there for the narrative, because of the mondegreen). For those not familiar with the pieces, the intention for each:

Technobabble

In chapter 4, Ritsuko's speech attempts to be respectable, based on modern quantum gravity theories, while explaining both what we see and why Ritsuko refers to it as a Dirac sea, the original one being the continuum of all negative energy (and thereby anomalous) states of the electron.

In chapter 12 “the futile seas of orgasmine locked in that endless moment” — originally coined (not by me) as “orgasmium”, a material that can sustain some consciousness that permanently experiences an ultimate pleasure, a reductio ad absurdum of how the balance of positive qualia (good subjective experiences) over bad in the universe as as whole might be adjusted by some obsessive transhuman entity. It seems a possible end-state of humanity as a sea of LCL — but to me, the “-ium” ending implies something solid and metallic, whereas “-ine” is more approprate for a liquid.

Chapter 10

When I started this fic, I knew where I wanted to end up — a happier outcome for Asuka, or at least as much happier as one can given that this is Evangelion, after all; and I had the gimmick for starting it off. As I started to work through outlining the intervening episodes, and assigning tentative titles, the shape of how episode 24 had to be altered, what its titles had to be, became obvious. This was the one I was most looking forward to writing as I edged my way towards it. This one would be the last human-scale part, indeed the most human-scale, before the sheer spectacle of Instrumentality.

Part of the appeal was that by edging Asuka away from her collapse, and having her remain active after the 16th Angel, the situation now permitted, even required, the impossible-in-canon, and thus under-exploited, Asuka/Kaoru pairing — only by having Asuka yielding psychologically, if not physically, to Kaoru did it make sense that he could still override her presence and command Unit 02.

This is the first time I've tried my hand at romance in any form, let alone in first-person female to male, so wasn't sure how it would work out. Perhaps the fact that it had to end tragically, Asuka having to suffer torments analogous to those that Shinji did in canon, made it easier to pull off effectively, or at least, effectively for me : I had to pause for occasional snuffle breaks while writing it, but then I'm just sentimental like that. So it was startling to me that when I handed it to a test reader, it also managed to move them to weeping.

Honorifics

Preferring to watch anime with sub-titles, I see and hear the mixture of forms of address, and that is somewhat reflected in the text. By default I use personal names in Western style, without decoration. Titles of rank — Major, Dr. or such — are kept in English, other cases as felt appropriate in context. The few uses of English stylings tend to have definite purpose - to convey gender issues (chapter 1), lack of title (chapter 8); or to convey that there hasn't yet been an introduction (chapters 1,10), which latter is a very Western idiom. Otherwise I use Japanese honorifics by feel, when there is something particular to convey in the manner of address.


© Steve Gilham 2004
© Mr. Tines 2004


Contents

Save Asuka Project home page


Valid XHTML 1.1! d
Valid CSS! d
A-Prompt Version 1.0.6.0 checked. WAI level 'double A' d