The synopsis for this story just so perfectly describes the tale you are about to read.
“Coffee Shop AU! Shinji struggles with depression and his troubled past until he meets Kowaru, a painter with his head in the clouds. One would imagine calamity would ensue, however, there is a beauty to be found between those who seek love and a sense of clarity.”
Clarity by OftheWind is an ongoing fanfiction featuring the Evangelion pairing of Kowaru Nagisa and Shinji Ikari in an alternative universe with no Eva or Angels but a difficult real life and a cafe where Shinji works alongside Asuka and Rei.
The coffee shop AU is a common trope used within many fanfiction communities where they take characters from a fantasy, sci-fi or other setting and puts them in a setting more grounded in reality but try to keep the characters as in character from their own universe as possible. Sometimes like here it can work and other times well let’s just say there are a lot of bad AU fanfictions out there.
Clarity is yet another fanfiction I recommend that deals with a lot of heavy subject matter. There are themes of child abuse, mental instability, and social anxiety all played as part of the drama of the story so if you are sensitive to these issues I would not recommend this one to you. The reason why I recommend this story, however, is because it is one I myself am currently following and thoroughly enjoying the realistic growth of all the characters in the story.
The only thing I have found so far not to my liking is the personal choice for Rei Ayunami. A very quiet and stoic enigma of a character in the series something about her just feels off to me in this story. Some characters are hard to write in fanfiction and Rei is one of these characters and the personality change does fit the story but at times some of her reactions to situations can seem jarring.
The meat of this story, however, is the growing relationship between Shinji and Kowaru. You can see Kowaru helping Shinji come out of his comfortable shell but at the same time, you also see how Shinji helps keep Kowaru grounded something his character has trouble within this particular story. If you are a fan of this pairing I cannot recommend Clarity to you enough.
Do you like the pairing of Kowaru Nagisa and Shinji Ikari? Do you have a favorite fanfiction of the pairing you would like to share? Let me know down in the comments below.