(maybe it was too long? I'll try posting... half of it by editing it in? - Adding the other half via edit didn't work. Could somebody please bump this so I can add the second half in a separate posting? Thank you!)
This forum hasn't been quite the same, ever since that Q-related zergrush....
I got sidetracked by a whole lot of different things, and then I sort of lost the flow of it... but I can't NOT contribute to such a huge project - You always notice new things in the scripts and besides, I can't leave a mayor interpretation work that new fans will look to for ages so severely lacking in team-blue perspective. /silly.
Title: And so the legend begins:
Anno wrote:'Eva' is a story that repeats.
It is a story where the main character witnesses many horrors with his own eyes, but still tries to stand up again.
It is a story of will; a story of moving forward, if only just a little.
It is a story of fear, where someone who must face indefinite solitude fears reaching out to others, but still wants to try.
For all the deconstructing he did, Anno was far too much of a geek to resist the classic Sci-Fi opening line. We've probably all seen "In the year...." almost as often as "It was a dark and stormy night..." or "XY was a completely ordinary boy/girl untill..." or a Baby being abandoned at someone's doorstep. To my experience, however, the former has a somewhat higher chance of being followed by pure compressed awesome, with NGE being just one of the examples.
I'll use this moment to note that according to some interviews (not sure if it was the CR or the "what are we trying to make here" statement), Anno's intention with the first episode was to create an image of utter hopelessness and incredible odds against the protagonists that should change over the course of the series. In retrospect, he was somewhat dissatisfied with his sucess here which is probably why he felt the need to add the red sea/ruined environment for Rebuild.
001: And here it comes, the glistening water surface. Anno really loves those (They're also quite abundant in "Nadia", tough that makes a lot more sense since it's set on a submarine), so prepare to see a lot of them, from above and below the surface. This here could be considered the setup for book ends (even tough not even Anno knew how this would end and what call backs that ending would contain by the time they made episode 1, some materials state he was quite undecided and with all we know about the creative proccess of Rebuild, I believe it, after all, he could never decide and thus gave us two endings XD) as the surface of liquid/a shoreline with destroyed infrastructure around it is also one of the last things we'll see.
On the water surfaces/shorelines themselves, they're said to be associated with the border between the concious and the subconcious and obviously used with that in mind in some of the introspection scenes... here, it's probably just to create the proper atmosphere while keeping in mind what associations the ocean is going to create in the audience's mind , being an ancient, primal force of nature but also the source of all life.
Another thing that makes this opening scene so effective is that its dominated by harsh, loud sound effects with only silence in the background, no music, no human voice, gives it all a very "reality-like" feel, detached as a documentary would be without sensationalising anything or trying too hard to be epic.
002: A ruined city left to the Elements always speaks for itself, it is always a monument of humanity being defeated by forces greater than themselves, even if it might be the humans themselves who unleashed this forces... especially to the Japanese who are constantly threatened by Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Tsunamis and what not... The Level of Crazy Preparednes Nerv displays (and the technology levels they have) might not look that futuristic to the technology-savy, crazy-prepared Japanese. Remember that big earthquake that hit the country recently? Not a single train derailed and all the elevators had automatically moved to the ground floor and deactivated. Most damage came from the Tsunami, because, there's only so much you can do against everything being submerged under three stories of water. - in fact, the many backup systems and technological wonders that we in Germany use to dispose of our used water made me think of the way Nerv happens to have special equiptment for every possible situation. This shot is quick to establish that some catastrophe has taken place and we're in for something post-apocalyptic. (Or rather, as the existence if working helicopters suggests, something post-post apocalyptic, since civilization has had the time to rebuild which is, in itself, one of the many subversions of known conventions we're going to see here. )
The flooded buildings, a staple of Evangelion, also showcase the fragility of the world as we know it. Humanity has always been somewhat obsessed with the apocalypse, every day, people find new reasons to preach that the end of the world is near, perhaps because we subconciously prefer to end with a bang to a whimper, or because, as this very show later points out, humans are about the only creatures capable of hating themselves. This show with its contant threat of "pop end of the world" and subtler, all the more scarier hints that humanity is dying (the birth rates decreasing, "the room of Gauf is empty", the constant mysterious ramblings about how the Instrumentality Project is the only hope... diffuse backgruond things you can't fight with Mechas and oversized knives), of course, taps into that sentiment, (Don't the sunken cities make you think of all that horror scenarios about Global Warming?... And let's not even start about the fanatists and conspiracies (SEELE)) but ultimately critizises it, not by denying that the problems of this world are there and partially our own fault, but by telling us to accept responsibility and face the problem while, at the same time, being a love poem to human ingenuity, adaptability, endurance and willpower.
Here, we also see the tendency of modern writers to include a big cataclysmic event in the backstory of their setting, roughly as far away in the past as WWII is to make said setting relatable - now, WWII is much further from the 90ies than SI is from the series's main timelime, but since Shinji is Anno's sort-of avatar, the WWII-like event and its temporal distance would have to suit that of Anno's generation. (He thinks most of them still behave like brats, anyway)
Again, here we see the typical Sci-Fi tactic of creating a fantastic analogue to a real world issue to dissect certain aspects of it in peace - What the following 26 episodes and 6 movies will try to make a point about is not WWII itself (For Anno beat that particular horse to death in "Nadia") but rather, the sort of society that Japan has brought forth after it, thus, the disaster in the past was made a neutral, force-of-nature like catastrophe (or, as we shall find out, the result of rather fantastic/abstract plotting) so that the story can deal with the post-catastrophe society alone
003: And here comes the classic giant monster approaching Tokyo - So far, all of this could still have turned out very archetypical. Of course, we're being lulled into a sense of false security. One might wonder why Sachiel is called the "Angel of Water" if one forgets this little silent sequence.
004: Here, we meet out ever-present friend the wird camera angles. This one reminds me of some cuts of Fassbinder's film version of "Effi briest" where we observe the protagonist and her mother through the branches of a tree. It's a detached sort of perspective, with something (the walls/windows) between the object of interest and the fourth wall.
005: And here is our other constant companion, the technology porn, by courtesy of the military geek directing this show, and the frequent, haunting sound motif of chirping insects. Again, harsh background noises, mechanical imaginery which looks even more detached/un-personal/documentary-like if you notice how all those tanks look almost identical/are lined up behind each other. Even though many ought to be working here/shouting orders, they don't show us a single human here.
006: The entire shore is full on them.
007: The classic but effective imagery of animals fleeing from things that are bad and wrong, to sort reinforce the image of a "dying world".
But otherwise, we see trees and a nice horizon, all is blue, it fits the treacherous silence, that tension created by the background noises, the calm before the storm... even the big splash created by the Angel is played down/shown only from the distance, again, creating that documentary-like feeling, like we're seeing it all through cameras placed in fixed spots.
008: More scenes of a somewhat dissonantly serene, dying world, with dead trees, sloped buildings/telephone poles and broken windows being other archetypical elements there. And in spite of it all, there is this beautifully drawn landscape, the bright sunlight nonchalantly reflecting from the broken windows being one of the most groptesque contrasts.
We finally hear human voices, but it's still a fairly "mechanical" thing, such an announcement, it still fells like a documentary or a news broascast, the "world"/setting of the shown being shown at large before "zooming in" on our protagonist.
009: Another thing we'll soon have to get used to is all the urban imagery used in this show, train stations, appartment blocks, power lines... This shot, again, tells us a lot about the setting with one glance, we see the old rails having fallen into decay (kinda like the sunken buildings) and the rebuilt, modern stuff that came after. The lone figure, be it someone who got informed to late, a looter, or Shinji who just arrived (which I personally find more likely since it makes sense that he'd have the honor of being the first human being to appear on screen - I mostly agree with Shin-seiki's scenario here, Misato was late, so Shinji decided to try and phone her.) it is definitely a nice touch that adds to the whole "abandoned city" scenery by emphasizing that a city (this time, an intact one) being abandoned means that something made the people in it run away.
Also, note the perspective, we see it all from far away, were the modern train station in question is almost fading into the background.
010: A classic way to stop that something very bad is going on is to show that all transport has come to a halt. Note the numerous details on the Rails and the trains (After all, most Science Fiction is written by people who like looking at cool machines for people who like looking at cool machines).
011: There has always been something inherently epic about train stations, perhaps because they are places where journeys end and begin, in any case, we'll be seeing a lot of trains and train stations along the way, so perhaps showing an empty one in pure white (in contrast to the more orange-ish ones we'll be seeing later) is a way to start the motif off.
Also, this particular train station is a mayor relevant location that we'll be seeing often enough for it to merit some exposition cuts.
012: Here we see that it doesn't just look deserted, it actually is. Also leaves the realization of said deserted-ness more time to sink in before the action starts.
013: Note that that one car has its door open - Presumably, someone didn't make it out before all traffic was closed down (note the red lights) and just ran for it, leaving the car right where it was. Given that cars are rather expensive and something people rely on a lot for their everyday life, someone must be really panicked to leave it behind wide open.
014: A navigation system - here, observant viewers are given a chance to begin suspecting that Misato's sense of orientation sux, allowing them to chuckle to themselves and say "I knew it!" when the inevitable happens at Nerv headquarters...
015: ... well, "not outdated" except for that phone with a cable on it... the fact that they had one of these Nerv phones (get used to them, too) built into their employee's cars is the first thing to begin showcasing Nerv's level of crazy-prepared-ness, before we saw all those improbable displays. The car is also meant to reflect that this is "The Future ~" because while 2015 sounds like the classic "twenty minutes in the future" kind of setting to us, it was closer to "exty years from now" when it was first created, hence the "futurustic" car. (That's always a big question one has to ask oneself before making a Sci-Fi... just how far ahead. The closer it is to the present, the more relatable the setting is and the more you can mention present-day problems, but being closer to the present means it must seem feasible for the tech to have appeared in the meantime - no one will buy us having FTL by 2030, for example. ) Shinji's cassete player was also cutting edge by the time the series came out, the implication being that everyone would have such cool stuff by 2015. Such prediction are sometimes strikingly accurate... and sometimes, they aren't. Our modern MP3 Players and the sheer amount of music that fits on them looks rather Star-Trekian compared to a tape or a CD.
I like how it was done, tough, establishing the setting as "the future", without any cheesy exposition scenes, but by showing us little details as they went on (Misato's automatic front door, the battery-powered car...) just as background details.
Other things remarkable of this frame are, of course, more technology drawn with love for details (This time, Sadamoto is to blame - he's a car buff.) a picture of someone who will obviously be relevant to the plot, and our first dose of SAABISU! - At this point, half the audience will still be fooled into thinking this is your average giant monster show, and thus, this female who seems to have a clue of what is going on is presented in a cool, bond-girl like manner. Of course, to mantain the tension, they're not showing us her face yet.
016: It's a pity that we never actually see Shinji wear that black outfit there, he has never looked better in anything else - I strongly suspect that this is what he was wearing when Sadamoto first scribbled him unto a piece of paper. Being all black and high-collared, it brings out the family resemblance quite a bit, but also makes him look a bit gloomy.
017: In the flesh, (and his standart outfit) he doesn't look quite that impressive... still, I'd like to use this occassion to praise his rather effective character design. At first glance, he looks pretty unremarkable with little distinctive features to him, even defying the unwritten rule that the protagonist of any anime/ manga has to have a hairstyle that stands out. (In fact, it was written in one of the first "how to draw manga books" I got my hands on, and seems to reflect reality, think of a Anime/Manga protagonist whose hair wouldn't stand out in a crowd - as the "face" of the frachise they're required to be memorable), but then, there's those dark blue eyes of his. Here, almost half the ppl have em, but in Japan, these would be a rare feature, like someone with red hair or a white streak in their hair, except that you'd need to take a closer look at him to notice them. (Yeah, Anime in general is infamous for its technicolor population, but EVA generally uses realistic palettes unless the person in question has plot relevant reasons to look weird. )That extends to his name, which is a very common one, but can mean "divine child", which is just perfect for "the chosen one" of our story - Basically, he does not seem particularly heroic at first glance, but he does have his qualities. Also, he's - just the perfect age for some good drama: Not too old to angst about his parents, but not too young to fall in love and angst about that, too. As we all probably remember, being a 12/13 year old girl or a 13/14 year old boy (a.k.a a helpless victim of puberty)sucks big time.
018: This larger shot here emphasizes that our protagonist is all alone in a big, abandoned place he doesn't know. The trees in the BG even give it shades of "middle of nowhere".
020: Misato probably thought this was just a harmless joke. Still, big character establishing moment there: This single shot tells us that mystery lady we'll soon be meeting is apparently hot, humorous, bold, confident about herself and her body and perhaps a little bit lacking in shame and maturity (since that's her superior's son whose stash of fap material she just augmented)...or at least, that's how she wants to sell/advertise herself to others, this card being a means of "presenting" herself/creating the first opinion she wants to create. There are, of course, lots of hidden dephts to be discovered here, but for now, let's believe we've been fooled into thinking she's an uber cool, hypercompetent bond-girl type.
Note the pararellism here: Both Shinji and Misato can be seen looking at a photograph of the other before their first meeting.
Also, remember those glorious hot pants: We shall soon be seeing them again.
022: Looks suspiciously like all these Rei apparitions from EoE, some of which appeared before the actual TI, implying a)temporal transcendence. and b) this being one of them. According to some interpretations, this is both the first time he sees her and the last time she sees him. And he can't recognize her/realize the meaning of this because he hasn't met her yet, which is just plain heartbreaking in an uniquely science-fiction-y way. Note that the second "bookend Rei" is explicitly floating and has her eyes covered by her hair/ classic anime "dark face" while this one is standing on the ground and has her eyes visible.
The way she is right in the middle of the street and not anywhere you'd normally walk (the sidewalk, the cross walk...) just reinforces the "ghostly/out of place" look of her figure.
That aside, there's also something surprisingly romantic about this when you consider that when Shinji eventually meets her properly, he's gonna have the faint feeling of having seen her somewhere before...~<3
023: Many animals are better that humans at sensing faint vibrations like, for example, those preceding an earthquake... or caused by big, green feet stomping around. Those birds probably fleed because they could tell Sachiel was comming.
024: This shot reveals the one before as having been from Shinji's POV as he is glancing upwards, he probably heard the birds flying away, and thought he could continue staring at Rei/asking himself who she is and why she's there later... Id'd light to highlight the drama here: She appears before him one last time, and he's busy with some birds because, at this point, she's just a random chick to him.
(Reminds me of a certain Doctor who episode that got much, much more tearjerking in hindsight)
025: I say she's actually there - firstly, Shinji does look at her (021: "...He notices someone", 026: "He looks puzzled" [since she's no longer there], secondly, we know that projectng spectral images of herself isn't beyond her capabilities, at least after she pretty much turns into a goddess, and fourthly, Shinji has a flashback of this in episode 14 (to be fair, that scene is, of course, another can of worms) which is probably when he makes the connection between this "random girl on the street" and the Rei he knows. Note that he only saw her for a moment, and from afar, and the state he was in when he next saw her.
027: Various details...
028: ...Showcasing that something *huge* is comming. It's little thingies like this that construct that impression of majestic ginormousness.
029: Ouch. Shockwaves can be a bitch on your eardrums. Good job remembering that sort of Details, Gainax ppl!
030: And now, enter the giant monster! At this point, poor Shinji probably starts wondering wether he took the wrong turn and ended up on the set of some cliched action movie.
As for Sachiel's design, I kinda like his color. Also, I always interpreted his relatively slow mood (and the way he often seems to "look around") as him sort of carefully "scouting" the enemy terrain.
031: That he isn't running for his life yet shows just how shocked/overwhelmed he is. He's still in the denial/"Am I dreaming"/"What the fuck even..."-Phase here. He hasn't yet processed that this is really real, so it takes a while for his self-preservation instincts to kick in.
032B: You can hardly hear this if you're not reading the script... but the very existence of this forum proves that there *are* ppl nerdy enough to be interested in the technicalities... So, thanks, Anno!
This also shows the level of Detail Anno put into this... and why not? Many Animes/Movies are based on Books or Mangas, and so often don't make use of just how much information you can squeeze into a video - you have the whole picture, lots of pixels, not just those where the main story is happening, BGM, sound, dialogue... Anno uses the whole picture7screen, not just the parts that are moving.
He even manages to put that sort of information density into a romance comedy - Kare Kano (and Eva, too) are much more fun if you have a pause and a replay button.
033: And here, we meet Gendo and Fuyutsuki- Fuyutsuki exists largely to give Gendo someone to talk with (this being Eva, he does get fleshed out more with a few little scenes in thre action arc and a big damn flashback episode after which many ppl went "How come I totally overlooked this nuanced, three-dimensional character all along?"), and as such, was made a sort of contrast figure... It starts with their looks, Fuyu being slender and neatly-dressed, while Gendo has broad shoulders and a slightly unkempt appearance (Beard, unzipped uniform, cheap sunglasses, tanned...)... With his edgy, gaunt-ish face, his rampantly growing beard and the lines under his eyes, he always looks like he's in a state of disrepair. Fuyu is a bit more "sentimental" than Gendo and has more quals/ethical doubts abbout things, giving Gendo a chance to display his pragmatism and his negative world view.
Interestingly, the "callous guy"/ "concerned guy"-dynamic reverses whenever the subject changes to Rei. (As I will detailedly point out later)
Maybe Fuyu tries to emotionally distance himself from her and see her as "just an experiment" because he can't deal with the things (shame? guilt? I don't mean attachment, more a remainder of having "failed" Yui. ) he'd feel if he didn't.
034: Ah, at times I'm rather envious of the Japanese writers, their language gives them so much tools to characterize both their characters and their relationships to others just by having them say some sentence.
What you guys say about Gendo's speech really suits his character - He doesn't really respect his superiors or many of the people he deals with (Remember his younger self blatantly smiling in Fuyutsuki's face, obviously bullshitting him with a good ounce of trollish delight?), and it's only right for a very pragmatic big boss guy to talk in a dry, concise manner. "Do it!" I also noted the accentuation thing, and I always thought that it was very appropiate for the individual scenes - He hardly uses Shinji's name, so when he does, it's plot relevant.
As for Gendo's English VA... I get that many of you would be attached to the version you knew but... If you ask me, he ruined it. The Rebuild one was somewhat better, but not that much. He sounds too much like a... cliched over-the-top villain of sorts (I don't know if america's rampant hate of him (He isn't really that popular anywhere, but I did make the observation that the English fandom has more of a tendency to omit his few positive traits than most of the German fanfics... he has haters here, too, but the extent of simplification is notably different... just my impression, tough.) is possibly caused by that, or if he got that sort of voice because the Americans who made the dub hated him), and Gendo's supposed to be sorta ambiguous. Also, he's not really that bossy arrogant guy who hurts others for fun and profit, he's more like... very pragmatic to the point of callousness, bitter and tired.
On the point of Sachiel... I like these little scenes that hint at the Angel's intelligence/as monstrous or mechanical as they look... here, he seems to be looking at the camera, like he's aware of the tiny humans watching him... which is proven right when he later decides to shoot down cameras.
Of course, us veteran fans hardly notice anymore, but this is the point where that monster is first rather paradoxically identified as an Angel.
Nice idea here, since our legends mention that YHVH spawned that other population of beings there... not that far fetched (for someone reading this from an outside perspective) that the other batch of creations might've gotten the other fruit and have, like, their own stories...
It is also worth noting that while they often disguised themselves in human form, some old testament scenes paint Angels as rather lovecraftian... not sure if Anno knew that or just went for expectation-subversion, but it's still kinda cool.
(Islam, of course, outdoes them all, they put great emphasis on how Allah is utterly abstract. He'd make good cosmic horror material if he wasn't sorta benevolent... then again, the Qu'ran often states that he "does as he pleases" Rather intriguing/fascinating.)
subtitle: After a few episodes, you could tell that, when you hear this music, Murphy's law will strike - It spoils quite some sudden dangers. Or maybe it's like the spoiling previews/supposed to freak us out/create tension in advance
035: BAM! And suddenly, he's in the middle of a war zone. It doesn't help that this thing looks like it's coming from the screen/flying over our shoulders if you're watching this on an actual TV and not a little laptop, you see it disapear into the depht of the picture...
036: Since it actually flew over his head, it's not "somewhere far away" anymore, it's really in the, uh, sphere of space he occupies. It can touch him. and worse.
037: Or maybe he had yet to get a feel for how much he can block.
038: Yay, explosions!
Again, little details of destruction showing vaguely human-sized objects help to create the "big impression" of something HUGE attacking/the battle being very real and very close.
037: So I finally find out what that acrynom stands for.
040: I get the impression that he's sort of testing his power on these random planes.
041: Again, another shot accentuating how he's stuck in a warzone of all sudden... Just look at just how tiny Shinji looks in this picture (it zooms out, making him even tinier), how the perspective doesn't really allow us to gauge the distance between Shinji and the BOOM and just how this is all generally beyond his ability to handle.
042: Nice observations. They seem to go well with my theory that he's sorta testing his powers/ looking around.
He was either able to gauge his goal's position a bit more accurately and left for it, or he simply lost interest in the small fry and decided to further pursue his actual objective.
Again, note the little details of destruction (the foreground) and how that yellow light creates an impression of heat and power.
This is something giganticly powerful that breaks manmade things apart like toothpicks.
Another thing: Angels are generally thought of as being flying beings... and well, look, Sachi flies. Way to make these rather un-angel like Angels just angel-like enough to freak you out.
While only Arael really had the classic wings, the broad mayority of the Angels can levitate or levitates by default, especially the stronger ones... This could be taken as implication that even those with legs can levitate, but chose to use their legs out of convenience (and, in Kaworu's case, stealth)
043: A very fast motion here, following the levitation very fluently. Sachi disapears into the left side of the creen and Shinji promptly distances himself from the right one, which, dispite the very different "zoom lenses", creates an impression that the pictures are connected like two halves of a pannorama view that is panned over.
044: CRUNCH! Again, we see how mankind looks insignificant before this incomprehensible, logic defying monster. We're used to seeing big kaiju on the screen, so we have to work hard to bring across the fact that this thing should normally collapse under its own weight, m'kay?
After all, the protagonist is gonna be freaked out to a realistic degree.
I also agree on the "accidental" version (or more like he just doesn't care what sort of silly lillim constructs are between him and his goal - the plane is no different from the street to him, we don't merit his attention... classic cosmic horror staple. ), he's not stomping on the middle of it like he's deliberate, but severs a wing. When there's a big, stomping monster, you need it to stomp something to show off its power.
Anno & co were probably too nerdy to *resist* the obvious stomping.
049: Way to make a classic cool entrace à la Bond. The majority of episode 1 presents Misato as impossibly cool, hypercompetent and your perfect 21th century power-woman. Oh, she is certainly a nice discription of the life some women in our time live, but in a more realistic way... for once, the coolness gets discarded along with her shoes on the doorstep of her house.
A similar thing could be said about Ritsuko who's first shown as similarity hypercompetent, cool and a perfect rolemodel for every little girl... and then deconstructed to hell, but in a different way.
Misato is a realistic portrayal of some "modern" women our society produces with the more shadowy parts included ("You slut!", late /lack of marriage...) while our "cool solitary rational science woman" turns out to be rather submissive at heart... (even tough its a bit more complicated than that)
To go back to Misato, as far as Episode one goes, you might be forgiven to mistake her for the hot cool fanservice bond-girl-y sort of character, having the "warm", "experienced", oddly maternal kind of sexy to her and the looks to match: She's tanned, tall, assertive, humurous, huge hips, that "popular" kind of ass, relatively large boobs (well, by Japanese standarts I guess - She is the main source of boob-service until Mari comes along,(Rebuild still loves Misato's hips and ass) the emphasis on Asuka's fairly modest chest is more Shinji's PoV / at least as much plot relevant as fancervice-ish.)
047: The sunglasses and the nonchalant playful-ish apology make her even cooler.
048: Ah, and now, let's get a good closeup at that chick's face since she's obviously gonna be important later. Earrings, Lipstick, a dress revealing much skin - Artificial prettyness enchancements.
Part of its purpose is certainly to complete the action-movie-babe look. But Make-up has a lot of connotations, especially if used in a way that doesn't make it too hard to tell that make-up was used at all.
It is, of course, something that can be wiped away like a mask, something that's used to disguise imperfections (The entirety of Misato's "action hero" look and her "cool serious business persona" can be said to serve this purpose on some level... )
Lots of prettyness-enchancements can, of course, be associated with trying to impress men in a cheap way/is often percieved that way by men or even some women, but in reality, short skirts, makeup, decorations etc are more about self-expression and your level of self-confidence. For example, miniskirts were originally considered an expression of freedom.
Wearing a miniskirt means you're not afraid of (or don't care about) people insulting you because of your looks, it means that you're happy in your skin... or at least want to give others that impression. Some women do indeed seek attention, but most of the time, it's just general, social attention instead of just sexual attention, i.e., they want the other girls to admire them, too.
And Misato is a rather effective Character because she's used to explore those psychosocial implications of today's women... basically, you try to do things because you want to, or to like yourself better (the latter case, which is mostly the one applying to Misato, is more interesting because it means a certain vulnerability is present; nasty retorts can do damage) and find themselves faced with the possibility of being percieved as "sluts".
It is certainly a sign of improvement in our society that lately, men have been trying to make themselves look appealing too, instead of just demanding the girls in front of them be hot, with things like hair gel, piercings, tatoos, chains, men's perfume... It just reflects that men are becoming aware that they're not the ones doing all the choosing. Then again, this does showcase the remaining vestiges of the double standards: since a piercing or hairgel will usually be recognized as self-expression or at least meant to grab "social" attention, while a minidress will still occasionally get you percieved as "slutty".
050: The last pic looks oddly like Sachiel just discovered that he's a little ticklish. By thins point, he's not even trying to evade, and just observes the projectiles with what looks like curiosity. Yeah, this thing is out of our league.
052: At least they are keeping their distance now.
054: Nice perspective shot that also serves to remind us that the protagonists and the monster are still unfortunately close to each other.
And oh, a tailbone. Another of these nice little cues foreshadowing that they're more similar to us than we'd ever want to know. And as they're called an "alternate evolutional possibility/path", well, the only things that make you think of the word "evolution" faster than tailbones would be mentions of Darwin or the Galapagos Isles.
055: The Gainax staff, being huge nerds themselves, never miss out on an opportunity on showing us machinery in gorgeous detail. Fingerless gloves and cool if slightly don't-try-this-at-home-y things with cars are, of course, another classic "cool action movie" staple.
Also, look at this other gracious use of scenes with very different perspectives/ "zooms" being shown in rapid succession, but remaining interconnected by lots of cleverly placed fast movement.
056: And thus, the oddissey of Misato's car begins. The damage will only acumulate from now on.
057: Here come the impossibly cool vehicle acrobatics.
058: Sachiel is just huge and doesn't care what he steps on.
059: Ah, the Central Dogma, aka, our good old mission control... Everybody has spent a long time analizing the religious alusions and explaining where they're from, but I'd like to point out that Anno uses at least as much imagery from Biology, especially genetics and neurology (All the spines and nerves etc). This, in particular, is a reference to the "central dogma of molecular biology", which stated that the transfer of Information in organisms always flows from DNA to RNA to Proteins and never the other way around. As the name implies, it used to be one of the great principles of molecular biology untill it got destroyed... by AIDS.
No, really, AIDS. The HIV and other retroviruses have enzymes capable of reverse transcription, i.e, transkribing RNA to DNA. This enzyme is, for various reasons more or less the source of the HIV's deadliness, also because its transkription is very inexact - at first, that sounds rather inconvenient, but the more complex an organism gets, the more damage can be caused by a smaller error, for example, a zebra fish can have too many cromosomes in the mayority of it's cells and live perfectly fine, a tree can still survive as a whole if one large branch dies, but a human would die or face severe repercussions.
Viruses are as simple as lifeforms come, to the point that the scientists are still debating wether they can be considered alive at all, and given how much replications take place in one patient's body, it's not even that much of a problem if the majority of the viruses are defective - so that simple, little thing that's basically a strand of RNA in a nice packaging manages to exploit the very force of evolution that grinds all living beings to dust between its wheels if they don't adapt to its advantage, becoming a "worthy oponent" for things like us with brains and self-awareness and science. We have little problems subjugating other mammals and since we have guns, we needn't fear any predators anymore, but we, the most complex of beings, are still having trouble with the most simple ones. I think that's all very fascinating and strangely poetic.
in any case, naming something after a huge scientific principle that was debunked is a nice way of telling the alert viewer that by the end of the series, this place or those who work in it are BLOWING UP that's a bit less obvious than nbaming it "Hindenburg", "Titanic" or "Kobayashi Maru".
060: Bad random military dude, pencils have feelings, too!
As for why they're there, well, they're technically Gendo's superiors... at least on the papers. They were probably called here so they could watch and at least get the illusion that they're in charge... they *were* comanding the efforts with the conventional weapons until Gendo took over when it all failed.
062: Because Anno wants to draw the hatch opening, of course. More shiny machines. Again, this is *the future* and obviously, everything is bigger and more explosive in the future. Haven't you watched any Science-Fiction movies? XD
064: This thene simply makes for a better demonstration of destructive power than just another explosion leaving no effect.
065: This drawing of Sachi appearing out of the smoke/heated air is rather cool and that he's appearing somewhat gradualy.
066: It's not like seeing people smoke is particularly interesting. The trays are enough to tell us that smoking takes place and they can be conveniantly placed in the fore- or background while that same screentime can be used for interesting dialogue.
068: Aha, look. While everybody else is sort of panicking, those two renmain cool and seem to know exactly what is going on. Indeed, they know much more than everyone else at this point, and even the audience will need a while to figure them out.
069: Again, behold the cool technology and all the cards used.... (Oh, the nineties, when phones still had cables attached to them!)
070: At this point, the context already makes it clear that whatever they're plabnning will be at least somewhat inconvenient, solely because of Murphy's law and the fact that it's not the "informed, cool people" who came up with this plan.
071: Note that both Sachi and Misato's car have, at this point, put some distance between themselves and the part of the city the train station is in, they're out in the open now.
Again, another of these cuts connected by fluid motions, and another hot action movie chick cliche: The cool gadgets!
Also, this showcases how EVA often just "throws" its terminology like "N²-Mines" or "AT-Field" on us without explaining what they mean. You can more or less puzzle it together, but when you first watch this episode, they'll be just complicated words to you... a nice way of giving the audience a taste of Shinji's situation, since he doesn't have a clue either and probably hardly gets what Misato is talking about.
I love how there isn't a big closeup shot of the protagonist noticing a small plot relevant detail like the neckacle, he can be seen looking at it in a cut that also has other things happening in it, you have to pay attention... after all, you get rewarding by the funny observation that, judging by his expression, he obviously got uncomfortably smothered by her boobies.
A first sighn that our poor protagonist magically attracts embarassing situations, particularly those involving mamaries.
I swear, if some girl were to, say, descend with a parachute anywhere in Tokyo-3 vincinity, I guarantee you that her breats would end up landing exactly on Shinji's face... oh, wait.
073: Oh, Anno you genius. Only few people can spell "oh shit" with just a quiet image of a landscape. How? well, that's the view without the binoculars, and while we can't see Sachiel like this, we see those same mountains and get that Shinji and Misato are dangerously close to whatever "trump card" the military had its own planes retreat from.
074: Butt ~<3
"covers him with her body", heh? This both creates an... arkward situation that would certainly tick some checkboxes on the "how to become a love interest list", both by being akward and by her protecting him by putting herself in danger without a moment's hesitation, but you might also interpret it as some maternal instinct awakening there. In many ways, a very fitting beginning for their later relationship.
Knowing when to duck, saving the clueless protagonist while showing off just how short her dress really is is of course another "cool action movie chick" staple.
075: Again, Anno & co have a talent for the depiction of "great power" (tough we won't be seeing the full extent of that until the next episode)- the target disapearing into light, the ground blowing up/partially desintegrating... yeah, that was one hell of a "boom". It takes things like these to remind an audiente that's accustumed to things exploding of how explosions are things to be in awe of, involving terrific heat and overwehelming physical force.
076: It totally makes sense that the ppl *in-universe* would want big explosions that don't leave everything irradiated, and given the level of technology they have...
077: Nothing says "intense heat" like a red/orange filter. I also always liked the slightly "delayed" shockwave there.
078: That's one of these details you miss if you blink - it's easier to see in rebuild where they could put in more detail/had a larger color palette for the shading. But yeah, she's clinging to him there.
079: Nothing says "epic" like terrific heat that makes everything glow ang go wobly, and what better way to show that out protagonist has gotten caught up in something really bagi far past his understanding than to have him narrowly survive an explosion without any real idea what's going on?
082: But of course, the viewer already knows that it's the unfazed guys in the background they should pay attention to.
083: @Reichu: Wow. That's one cool detail for them to think of.
084: It kinda looks like the surface of the moon... and look how small the car looks compared to the footprints and the craters.
085: Of course, a silly little thing like a monumental explosion won't stop the cool lady with the sunglasses.
087: Nice details on the detent metal here. And so, the car's odyssey continues...
090: Note how the uncovering of her eyes coincides with her recieving a Name, unveiling them along with her identity and the fact that she seems to be nice. And of course, our cute little protagonist gets a name, too. Ikari Shinji. Now, most the surnames in this show are fairly odd because there's a nautic theme naming going on - when the names aren't taken from WWII ships, they're taken from random ship related terms. The last name means "anchor", but is homophonous with the Japanese word for "wrath". As we find out soon, both this name and, yes, the berserker rage it implies are hand-me-downs from his mommy, even if neither of them really look the part.
As for his first name, it's very common, Japan is filled to the brink with Shinjis, but it also means "divine child" which is perfect for a chosen one who looks very ordinary/not chosen-one-y at all on first glance.
At this point, we can expect those two to more or less bond over the course of the series, she immediately tries to present herself as someone who isn't all stiff and formal and can be talked to,
091: Note how he's more on the right side of the screen while Misato was more on the left one... makes for a nice transistion.
096: Again, I must praise the composition here, the screen makes the military guys look small, much like the uncomfortable truth it presents them with makes them look useless.
097: These mines give nice occasions for us to compare the angels' power to each other. Sachiel is affected, but not as much as Israphael was.
I like how early on, the angels seem to defy that cliche that the "villains" always appear in exact order of their streght, just when the heroes can beat them. Then again, the latter angels are more intelligent and the last one is indeed the strongest, but Sachiel certainly wasn't the weakest, and Ramiel is a relatively strong foe who appears fairly eatly on.
Relish the days where those N²-mines would still buy us some time, for there will come the day when even they are rendered totally useless. Some stronger, more plot-relevant angels just brush these things off like they're nothing.