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A NEON GENESIS EVANGELION fanfic.
Rights belonging to GAINAX and AD Vision.
Used without permission.

HERZ
by E.L.Toh

PRODUCTION NOTES 
(aka REALLY LONG AUTHOR'S SQUARK)

   Of all the GAINAX characters in Eva, I regard IKARI 
SHINJI as the most important. Thus his centrality to HERZ.
In my story, he has matured somewhat and gained some self-
confidence. This is due to the love he has found from all
those around him and his awareness of his responsibilites
as a husband and father as well as being one of the 
Children. 

   However, his first instinct is still to avoid conflict
if he can, thus his residual 'spinelessness'. This gave me
the chance to incorporate some humour into the story: his
'house husband' persona is an extension from the anime 
series where he dutifully dons an apron and does the chores
in the Katsuragi household; his 'hen pecked husband' persona
arises from his mousiness in contrast to his fiery wife.

   Andrew Huang was very astute in his EFRS review of HERZ
when he noted that he could "really see [Shinji and Asuka]
turning out like that, after years of happy (though doubt-
lessly a bit rocky) marriage." HERZ is perhaps my counter-
point to fics where Shinji and Asuka fall into each other's
arms in two seconds and live happily ever after. They value
their marriage not just because of the happiness it has
brought them but also for the many difficulties they had to
overcome. Therefore whatever the outcome of Alain Gravel's
'The One I Love Is...' saga, his sophistication in this
area earns my greatest respect.

   The most significant source of tension is IKARI ASUKA
LANGLEY SOHRYU's insecurity. This insecurity leads to fear,
and as Yoda says, leads to anger. The most obvious signs
of that insecurity are her mixed feelings about Akiko's
resemblance to Rei, her disfigured appearance and the threat
she perceives Kurumi to be.  

   Nonetheless, the difference between the Eva anime series
and HERZ is that Asuka is not alone. She has the active 
love and support of her husband and her daughter. She has
accepted that she must open her heart before Unit 02 will
move, before she can experience the love of others.

   Asuka is a mother, wife and soldier. Her competitive
and proud nature ensure that she performs those roles to
the best of her considerable abilities. This enabled her
to establish her identity and self-worth beyond that of
simply being an Eva pilot. Asuka, as a woman warrior, 
fights for her family, her beliefs and the future. It is
also another aspect where the male/female role inversion
indicated by the (in)famous kiss scene in Episode 15 is
perpetuated.

   KATSURAGI MISATO was a particularly challenging 
character to write about. I seized on and expanded a 
ruthless streak in her (exemplified by her decision to
send Asuka well beyond the maximum safety depth in Episode
10, her statement to Shinji that he was right to kill
Kaworu in Episode 24, her killing of the JSSDF commandoes
in the End of Evangelion etc). 

   As Commander of HERZ, the very fate of the human race
rests on her shoulders as she struggles against SEELE, 
the United Nations bureaucracy and the nation states to 
maintain HERZ's independence. In this context, her 
ruthlessness is given full expression. 

   A physical representation would be her adoption of 
the 'Gendou Position' (which she did actually use in 
Episode 9). Jerico Mele remarked that she seems "to have
read a bit too much of Gendou's 'How to be a bastard' 
handbook." 

   This parallel to Gendou was deliberate - to the extent
that Misato's words were sometimes taken straight from 
Gendou's lips. ("Good work." in Part 3 was taken from 
Episode 7 and "Rei is taking care of it." in Part 6 came
from Episode 14.) I personally don't subscribe to the
'Gendou is the Devil/Gendou must die!' school of thought.
Misato's actions are partly an indication of how pressure
and responsibility could account for some of Gendou's
own ruthlessness.

   However, David Johnston pointed out that it would go
too far for Misato to display gratituous cruelty. In 
earlier drafts, Misato had the leader of the Army of God
tortured before having him meet a very unpleasant end. As
a result of David's comments, that part was modified.

   Misato is a very human figure. I am especially in debt
to Joyce K Wakayashi for her direct advice and the indirect
influence of her fanfics on writing Misato as a woman and
about how to approach her relationship with Kaji. Misato's 
other redeeming features are her feelings of guilt and her
concern for those she feels responsible for, particularly
Shinji.

   Well, actually I did have IKARI GENDOU killed off in 
HERZ. But not before I portrayed him in a kinder, gentler
light. Family scenes - paying respects at Yui's grave, 
talking to his daughter-in-law (I still want to laugh every
time I think of Asuka calling Gendou 'Father') and playing
with his grand-daughter - all serve to highlight my view
that Gendou is human.

   In the absence of his menancing aura of authority, he
starts to become a much milder man. His death at the hands
of SEELE has elements of martyrdom and penance. His dying
exchange with his son represents father and son finally
coming to terms with each other. It is HERZ's acceptance
of the 'Thank you Father' motif revealed by Anno towards
the conclusion of The End of Evangelion. ('Goodbye Mother'
is given expression by the permanent loss of Unit 01 in
both EoE and Part 12 while 'Congratulations to all the 
children' is the reunion of the Ikari family and the 
conception of Ikari Sakiko.) 

   Despite being my favourite character, AYANAMI REI does
not make many appearances but still makes her presence
felt throughout HERZ. This helps in portraying her as
being somewhat cold, distant and mysterious. With Adam and
Lilith literally in her hands, Rei's power is beyond 
imagination and impervious to challenge. However Rei 
recognizes that Shinji is the key to humanity's fate and
thus defers to him. I draw this conclusion from the End of
Evangelion where Fuyutsuki says "From the start, everything
has rested with the son of Ikari." and Rei's defiance of 
Gendou at that last crucial stage because "Ikari-kun is
calling me."

   New characters ('technically' known as Author Created
Characters) were introduced into the Eva universe to 
further the political and GEIST elements in the story as
well as to explore the dynamics of the Ikari marriage.

   And not a single ACC's name was original.

   Anime influences were spotted early on by many readers
with respect to the Kagero sisters, Kurumi and Natsumi,
being named after the 'Tendou' sisters in a 'Ranma 1/2'
OVA. However, not many picked up on kagero which means
gossamer and was a class of Japanese Imperial Navy 
destroyer. It was also a reference to the tragic female
ninja in the excellent 'Ninja Scroll'. Also not quite 
obvious were the Ikari daughters, Akiko and Sakiko, who
were named after the seiyuu giving voice to Tsujimoto 
Natsumi and Kobayakawa Miyuki of 'You're Under Arrest'.

   Minor characters followed the convention in Eva where
characters were named after World War II ships or nautical
terms. Misato's deputy and operations chief was named 
after the 'Peter Strasser' - a WW2 German battleship. The
Director of the MIMIR Institute in Part 3 was named after
the 'Makarov' - a Russian battleship built in Germany.
Even the Chinese general in Part 7 was named after a
warship in China's fairly insignificant WW2 surface fleet.

   Within the Eva framework, there was also room to use
names from other sources. GAINAX apparently took the names
Suzuhara Touji and Aida Kensuke from Ryu Murakami's novel,
'The Fascism of Love and Fantasy (Ai to gensou no fascism)'

   Roughly in this vein, the three HERZ bridge bunnies were
named after the members of a favourite J-pop band of mine.
Everything Little Thing is made up of Igarashi Mitsuru 
(keyboards and composer), Mochida Kaori (vocals) [WAAAIII!
WE LOVE YOU, KAORI!] and Ito Ichiro (guitar) [which is why
he occupies Aoba Shigeru's place on the deck.]


ANNEX A

   Annexe appended at the end of Parts 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7
were used to explain the political context that HERZ was
in so that readers might find Misato's politicking more
understandable. I also hoped to inject a sense of realism
and the tension of high politics into HERZ with those 
references. Hikari was a convenient mouthpiece for this.

   As annexe, it gave information which might have other
wise cluttered up the text, interrupting the flow and pace
of the story. Also readers who were not interested in this
aspect of HERZ could be able to circumvent it more easily.

   Given the emphasis on world politics in HERZ, the names
of the members of GEIST were chosen from prominent academic
figures in the discipline of international relations:

   Edward Hullett Carr was first person to hold the first
chair of international relations ever to be established.
Author of 'The Twenty Years' Crisis'.

   Susan Strange was a leading thinker in the area of
international political economy. Author of 'Markets and
States'.

   Michael Walzer wrote the standard text on the ethics of
war, 'Just and Unjust Wars'.

   Raymond Aron was a leading figure in the realist camp
after World War Two and unusually for a Frenchman in de
Gaulle's era, a keen supporter of American involvement in
Europe. Author of 'War and Industrial Society'.

   Rosalyn Higgins is the first female judge ever to sit
on the International Court of Justice. Author of 'Problems
and Processes in International Law'.

   Kenneth Waltz is regarded as the founding father of the
neo-realist movement. Author of 'Man, the State and War'
and 'The Theory of International Politics'.

   Barry Buzan is a writer concerned with strategic studies.
Author of 'Peoples, States and Fear'.

   Ernst Haas is a pioneer in the idea of epimistic 
communities in regime theory and transnational relations.
Author of 'Beyond the Nation State'.

   Jane Elshtein is a leading feminist writer seeking to
'gender the discipline' of international relations. Author
of 'Public Man, Private Woman'.

   Hidemi Suganami wrote one of the most incisive studies
about the aetiology of interstate conflict. Author of 'On
the Causes of War'.

   Cynthia Enloe is another leading feminist writer. Author
of 'Bananas, Beaches and Bases' and 'The Morning After:
Sexual Politics at the end of the Cold War'. Got to love 
the snazzy titles.
   
   Speaking of titles, HERZ has an unintended double edge. 
Primarily meaning 'heart' in German, it is also a reference
to John Herz, a leading international relations writer who
was most active in the immediate aftermath of World War 2. 

contact: toheel@singnet.com.sg or teloong@cwcom.net
archive: http://www.teloong.mcmail.com/