Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby Sachi » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:57 pm

View Original Postimprimatur13 wrote:I know, but... can't we make thematic cross-continuity references? Ok, fine...

My personal rule of thumb is that this can apply going forward, but not backwards. Certain concepts from NGE can be used to fill in gaps in Rebuild (such as a working model of Human Instrumentality, or the unexplained ruins at Nerv HQ in 3.33.). However, things introduced in Rebuild likely were not present in NGE, such as the Covenant with Lilith.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby pwhodges » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:27 pm

View Original Postimprimatur13 wrote:I know, but... can't we make thematic cross-continuity references? Ok, fine..

Well there's an argument for saying that Rebuild exists in a universe with the knowledge of NGE, and so NGE might in some ways have informed its development (well, obviously, really, up to a point); but the other way doesn't apply - NGE is itself with no influence from later continuities.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby Sachi » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:17 pm

Sorry about the lack of updates recently. Taking my dog to the vet the other week threw off my entire groove and I've been stressed out over the finances.

That said, when I finally got around to watching Ep 06, I was surprised by how straight forward most of the episode is. The entire first half of the episode is almost entirely exposition regarding Operation Yashima, but it's exposition done extremely well. They take Misato's convoluted and batshit crazy plan, and explain it in a way that's both understandable and entertaining. Much of this episode is showcasing Misato's ingenuity, and her ability to execute plans under pressure. The montage of moving parts that come together to form Operation Yashima is a technique Anno has revsited a few times, notably with Rebuild's Operation Yashima, Q's launching of the Wunder, and throughout Shin Godzilla, and it can argued that it all started here with this episode. I'm not going to hash out the whole episode this time, but simply parts of it that I'd like to examine.

More doors. After being retrieved from Unit-01 at the beginning of the episode, Shinji is rushed to the emergency room. Misato accompanies him but is left behind a shut door, symbolizing her inability to help Shinji despite her desire to be there for him.
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Macy's Parade Balloon Eva 01! I love this. When testing out Ramiel's capabilities, they send out a giant balloon. This makes me really want to go to a parade somewhere and see a giant Unit-01 balloon. That's all I have to say really.

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One question I have is, just how many offices does Gendo have? When Misato goes to propose her idea for the operation to Gendo and Fuyu, it occurs in a large empty office, furnished only by Gendo's desk. However, this room is appears distinct from his office with the sephiroth symbols. Does he have one for every day of the week?

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When Shinji wakes up, Rei is there to brief him on the upcoming mission. Shinji expresses his uncertainty about piloting Eva again. Rei doesn't seem to care about his personal concerns though, and states that if he won't do it, she will. In this scene, Rei sees Shinji naked, which now makes them even after the last episode. As Rei leaves, the door closes behind her. At this point Rei is still a closed individual, and hasn't shown any kind emotions toward Shinji. The reason she was there in the first place was because she was ordered to inform him about the operation.
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During the final debriefing for the mission, as Ritsuko and Misato explain the plan to Shinji and Rei, the four of them are silhouetted by extremely bright lights. The blinding lights symbolize the immense pressure of the situation. All eyes are on them, and the entire country of Japan has entrusted them with their electricity. They cannot afford to fail. Each of the characters in this scene are framed in odd angles too, adding to the feeling of uneasiness and pressure upon them.

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Just before beginning the operation, Shinji and Rei share a moment. In an attempt to understand his own reasons for piloting Eva, Shinji asks Rei why she does it. She claims she's bonded to the Eva. Before leaving, she gives an ominous good bye. Thus far, Rei has been portrayed as a no bullshit, do the job kind of girl. She isn't really concerned about herself, and is prepared to die piloting the Eva. She appears as a very detached person with little humanity of her own. This changes by the end of the episode, when Shinji saves her from the entry plug in a way that directly mirrors how Gendo saved her during the activation test. Shinji very honestly pours his emotions out, and Rei is dumbfounded by his reaction. She admits she doesn't really know how to act in these sorts of situations, which probably extends to any kind of emotional relationship. She's caught off guard when Shinji tells her to just smile, immediately reminded of the way Gendo smiles at her, which softens Rei up into smiling back herself. We finally start to see a real person within her cold exterior.

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The thing about this episode, however, is that Rebuild outclasses it in every way. Going back and watching this now, Operation Yashima is very anticlimactic. They miss the first shot, and immediately prepare the second shot; the only thing that raises the stakes is when Unit-00 puts itself in danger to defend Unit-01. In 1.11, they form the narrative around Shinji finding the will to pilot, which comes to a climax in the middle of the operation, and it's freaking fantastic. There's also a lot of cheesy moments in the original that were rightfully cut from 1.11, such as Unit-00 lifting the roof of a building like it's a damn lid.

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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby Cybermat47 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:23 pm

I agree, the RoE version of Yashima is much better in every way.

But I disagree about 00 lifting the roof. It's a great scene because it's so cheesy - I was half expecting Godzilla to appear and shake hands with 00 ^_^
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:28 am

The Rebuild version shows how the technology and budget had improved over the intervening decade. Missing out on an upgraded version cut 259 in the remake still remains a disappointment, though.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby Sachi » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:19 pm

Ep 07 begins with Gendo speaking on the phone to a mysterious man about nefarious activities. Under something called the Freedom of Information Act, Nerv is apparently obligated to share its information regarding the Angels and other things. The man assures Gendo that he was able to falsify the documents, keeping Nerv's information secret. This is the first of many clues within this episode regarding the shadier side of Nerv. The scene ends with mention of their next plan, and we're shown an image of the Jet Alone.

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We move on to a typical morning at Misato's apartment. Shinji and Pen wake up both wake up bright and early to enjoy breakfast. Meanwhile, Misato emerges from her bedroom, disheveled and half-asleep, and immediately cracks open a beer. (Really? A beer this early, Misato? Have we mentioned that this woman is an alcoholic yet?) It's important to note that Misato reveals herself through the opening of a door (AT Field symbol). Shinji shows his judgemental side, asking her what's wrong with coffee, reminds her that she forgot to cook this morning, and proceeds to say it's no wonder a woman like her is single at this age. Ouch. The point of this scene seems to be to once again highlight Misato's slobbish nature, setting the audience up for the stark contrast we see when see in her later in the episode when she decides to be professional.

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The doorbell rings, and Shinji mentions also that it's embarrassing to be seen around her when she's dressed like that, so he asks her to change. Toji and Kensuke are at the door to meet with Shinji so that they can walk to school together. As they leave, Misato comments about how nice it is that Shinji is making friends and behaving like a normal teenager. After that, however, she makes a quick call, informing someone that he just left, and to keep an eye on him. This is mostly like the black-suit goons from Section 2. Does she still not trust him after he ran away in Ep 04? Quick side note: she cracks open a second beer after her shower. :|

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At school, Misato soon arrives to participate in a parent-teacher thing for Shinji. As she pulls up, all the boys (from the entire school apparently) devote their attention to the hot babe that just walked onto campus. Toji and Kensuke too both ogle at her, saying how any man would be lucky to have a woman like that. Shinji cynically shoots down all their praise, responding that she's a slob and not really as cool as she seems, but they don't listen. Shinji feels that his more intimate knowledge of Misato grants him a better perspective on her, allowing him to "know better" about her than anybody else. As the boys ogle Misato, the girls stand by, either with disinterest or jealously. We even get Rei in the Gendo pose.

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Later, Shinji is testing in the Entry Plug. He comments on how he really doesn't know anything at all about the Eva, but pilots it anyways. He then mentions that the entry plug always smells like blood, yet in the next breath emphasizes how comfortable and relaxed he is while in the Eva. This is one of the earlier hints toward the maternal aspect of the Eva, and how the entry plug symbolizes returning to the safety of the mother's womb.

In a passing scene, discussing the various financial worries of Nerv's repairs and such, Ritsuko mentions that Unit-02 will be coming from Germany soon for support. Aside from hinting at Asuka's debut, this is also another of many references to finances in this episode.

The next reference is during the very next scene, as Gendo is traveling on a mostly empty jet plane. A random suit comes in and sits down next two him, and the two begin discussing finances. They mentioned that the budget for Unit-06 has been approved by all voting parties except for the U.S., and that they're approval is to be soon expected. The suit mentions that the U.S. is "allergic to unemployment", suggesting that the budget for the Evas is coming at the cost of the U.S. economy. The position of the U.S. can be interpreted a couple ways, but the way I see it is that they're framed as not seeing the "bigger picture" when it comes to Eva technology, and they would much rather focus on their own interests than a perceived greater good. The suit also discusses that his country (China?) will take over construction of Unit-8. The scene ends with them mentioning that they don't want a repeat of Second Impact, and we get a aerial view of Antarctica.

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The mention of Second Impact segues nicely into the next scene, as Shinji discovers that what he's learned about Second Impact in school has been a lie. Ritsuko reveals to him what really happened. Meanwhile, Misato is accompanying them, but seems distracted. At this point, we're not aware of her status as the sole survivor of Second Impact, so it's easy to miss that she's somewhat bothered by the narrative Ritsuko is presenting. Ritsuko regains Misato's attention by asking her if she's ready for the event tomorrow.

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This brings us right into the next day. Begins like another typical morning at Misato's apartment with Shinji and Pen Pen enjoying breakfast. However, when Misato emerges from her bedroom, in stark contrast to the earlier scene, she's already completely dressed, entirely professional and ready to go. Even Shinji and Pen Pen are visibly shocked by this. She says she's going to be gone for a while on business, and leaves.

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What business? Well, Ritsuko and Misato have been tasked to represent Nerv during the Jet Alone demonstration. If you notice, they're the only two people from Nerv to show up, while the rest of the tables are bustling with people, presumably investors of the project. The Jet Alone is described as being a safer, more practical, and more controllable alternative to the Eva, however it runs on an internal nuclear reactor. Ritsuko questions Shiro on the practicality of land-based, close-quarters combat-intended, nuclear reactor in populated areas. The back and forth goes on, while Misato comments on how childish they're being (while she herself is being childish about having to listen to it). At one point, Shiro mentions that there are countries starving due to the massive budget and debt that the Evas are responsible for (the third mention of finances in this episode). The bickering ends with Shiro comparing the berserk Eva to a hysterical woman, which visibly angers Ritsuko, and he also reveals his awareness of the AT-Field and how it would just be a matter of time before figuring it out. Apparently the concept of an AT-Field was supposed to be kept secret (more information withheld by Nerv from the Freedom of Information Act?), but somehow got leaked.

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Although Misato acts indifferent, she releases her pent up frustration on a locker door after the reception. Meanwhile, the coin is flipped, and Ritsuko is now the one acting indifferent, as if she knows something nobody else does. Just before the Jet Alone demonstration begins, we get a glimpse of the Jet Alone's coding being deleted.

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The Jet Alone demonstration proceeds, it becomes clear that it's gone out of control. JA proceeds to smash through the observation building, and marches toward a populated area. Since the JA people are unable to do anything, Misato takes charge of the situation, and formulates a plan to stop Jet Alone, spouting out one of her most famous lines "acts of men are better than acts of god". We get a brief gag about bureaucracy, as Shiro attempts to get permission to share the emergency shut-off password (typical Anno). Having eventually got the password, Misato gets Shinji in Unit-01 to carry her directly Jet Alone so she can access the maintenance hatch and do an emergence shut down from within. Once inside, she attempts to enter the password Shiro gave her, yet it doesn't work. At this point it becomes clear to Misato that somebody must have tampered with the Jet Alone. She desperately and hopelessly tries to manually activate the cooling rods. At the last minute, before complete meltdown, everything seems to be lost, yet suddenly the JA stops and everything is fixed. Shinji praises Misato for her accomplishment, but she remains quietly suspicious of something much larger and more sinister going on here.

The shot of Misato smiling at the camera and giving the peace sign is a visual parallel to earlier in the episode when she does the same thing to Kensuke's camera at the school.

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The action is followed by Ritsuko reporting to Gendo that almost everything went according to plan, confirming that Nerv was responsible for sabotaging the JA and eliminating their competition. This makes me wonder if they would have just let the Jet Alone explode if Misato hadn't gotten involved. The man on the right is presumably the same man Gendo was on the phone with at the beginning of the episode.

Also, see what I mean about his office appearing completely different from his other one in the previous episode?

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The episode ends with things returning to normal at Misato's apartment. Typical morning as Shinji and Pen Pen eat breakfast, and Misato eventually emerges, half-asleep and disheveled. Shinji seems particularly annoyed that she's gone back to her old ways, and when Toji and Kensuke come to pick him up, he impatiently rushes out the door. Once again, Toji and Kensuke gush over how amazing Misato is, and once again Shinji denies this, saying that they don't know how she really is, a slob and drunk. In response, they tell him how lucky he is. He seems confused, but then they go on to explain that Misato allows Shinji to see a side of her that she wouldn't ever show anybody else, and that this means the two of them are family. Shinji seems content with this revelation, and the episode ends with him smiling.

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Despite being a filler episode relative to a lot of the other episodes, this one is surprisingly tightly written and cohesive. While the main plot doesn't push the series forward, the little details provided throughout help to create a richer world for the characters to inhabit. We learn of things like the finanicial woes of other countries, the true nature of Second Impact, as well as the shadier side of Nerv. Shinji also gets to learn a lesson about family and comes to appreciate Misato in a different way. I really like this episode, and it's probably one I enjoyed the most since Ep 03.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby whisperwind777 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:05 am

Actually what Rei says to Sinji in Ep06 is 'Sayonara' which means 'farewell', implying Rei is ready to die any time. That's why Shinji tells her not to say 'Sayonara' because it's too sad.

By the way, do you watch NGE with headphones on? I highly recommend it. You'll be missing lots of background sound effects without headphones, some of which even convey interesting messages. Also, background voice acting such as TV and Radio programs gives subtle parallels to the lines. Hard to notice without a detailed subtitle.


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