Shinji's last words in Ep. 21

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barnett
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Shinji's last words in Ep. 21

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Postby barnett » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:46 am

At the end of the episode Shinji sees Misato crying in the kitchen, as she just learned of Kaji's fate. It is implied that Shinji did not listen to Kaji's message, as he is showed listening to the SDAT and stopping only when he hears Misato's cry (this would open another question, when and how he knew that Kaji died -he would tell Asuka days later- but this is not that important).
What I always found interesting are his words at the very end of the episode. A translation from the dubbed dialogue of my DVD is something like "At that time I could only escape from Misato-san. I could not say anything, because I was only a child. That was the moment when I realised it [that I was only a child, or that I knew of Kaji's death? unclear in the translation]". Now, this always seemed to me a unique occurrence in NGE, as Shinji himself gives a post-facto commentary on the events showed to the audience. It sounds like an adult Shinji (therefore a post-EoE Shinji) reminiscing and reflecting on his own (peculiar) teenage experiences.
1) Could it be a mistake of the Italian translation? Does this passage sound similar in English, and more importantly, in Japanese?
2) Do you make something out of it? Maybe a hint towards a different ending of the show (maybe with an adult Shinji) which somehow survived the revisions and was not discarded?
3) Am I missing similar reflections made by Shinji or any other characters in the show? I do not believe so, but it could be.

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Re: Shinji's last words in Ep. 21

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Postby anonymaus » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:06 am

Episode 21 is almost entirely a flashback episode except for that scene, so you could say that it was only done that way to preserve the cinematographic consistency of the episode. Even though chronologically we're back to the present, it's still delivered as a flashback in terms of narrative tense.
Maybe it could be something else. This is the episode right after Shinji was melted into EVA 01.

It is a little bit weird though. Both of the times we see scenes relating to the effect Kaji's death has on characters, they are delivered as flashbacks. Episode 24 opens with a quick, almost parenthetical flashback to Shinji telling Asuka that Kaji is dead. I have always thought it was an extremely weird scene. As a memory, it also seems to comprise half of the "kitchen fight" scene from EoE.

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Re: Shinji's last words in Ep. 21

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Postby Reichu » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:56 pm

I looked at the Japanese, and the English-language Platinum translation adheres very closely.

シンジ(MONO)「その時僕はミサト
さんから逃げる事しかできなかった……。
……他には何もできない、
  他も云えない…
子供なんだと……僕はわかった」

Shinji (MONO):
Right then, all I could do was run away from Misato.
There was nothing I could do or say.
I was a child.
It made me realize that.


Since the last part is what you were interested in, there's no ambiguity in Japanese. It's a single sentence with a dramatic pause in the middle; without that pause, it's "I realized I was a child". The translator probably broke it into two sentences so that the subtitles would flow more intuitively.

It never occurred to me to wonder why Shinji is thinking in the past tense, though I guess, yeah, that is kind of weird...

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Re: Shinji's last words in Ep. 21

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:48 pm

The way the Japanese is rendered in past tense, I thought maybe it was a POV from adult Shinji, too. (Or at the very least, post-EoE?)
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Re: Shinji's last words in Ep. 21

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Postby StrokeMeGoat » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:05 am

I think what he says here is pretty straight forward, so I doubt there are any kinds of hidden meanings or anything like that. Shinji, was just making a statement about himself to rationalize the fact he didn't go to console Misato--instead hiding at the first sight of her after peaking around the corner (iirc, been a while since i last watched NGE) and running into is room to bury his head under his pillow.

What Shinji is meaning by that statement is that, the situation he found himself in at that moment was both too much for him to handle (more in a social interaction sense with Misato, rather than Kaji being dead), and that he was confronted with (at least, what he believes to be reality, he arguably could've still tried to do something at least rather than running away, which ties into the theme of the show) the reality that he was powerless to help in that situation. Misato went through 2nd Impact and her father sacrificed himself for her, and then here with Kaji... the most Shinji can likely do is try and relate over the fact his mother died and he's dealt with loss in general, but what good would bringing that up or pretending to understand how Misato feels do?

So, with the recognition of that, he concludes this by pointing out that he was, after all, still a child. What normal child or teen, even given Shinji's mother, could have anything of real value to share about Kaji dying or what to do that Misato wouldn't already be aware of? Him referring to himself as a child is kind of like.... god, this analogy isn't really the most appropriate here, but it's basically the "icing on the cake" for his decision to run away from Misato being justified.


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