Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby Sachi » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:06 pm

Hello everybody! After a couple years of sitting in storage at my dad's house, I have finally recovered my Perfect Collection of NGE, plus D&R/EoE. I'm planning to go through the series again (first time in at least 3 years) and I wanted a place to share random thoughts of each episode as I watch them. Things I notice, be it the way the plot develops, random moments/themes that pop out to me, the way shots are framed, and any other commentary I might have. Why keep all the fun for myself though? I invite everybody to use this thread for that purpose and to revisit it for future rewatches.

This thread will be a place for ongoing, casual conversation for those currently watching or rewatching the series. Please share any thoughts inspired by your latest viewing while it's still fresh in your mind. Questions or ideas you have may have answers or relevant discussion that can be linked to. Some questions or ideas may not have prior discussion to refer to, and can be potential material for new threads. Any tangents that develop in this thread can be split and further explored in their very own threads. Hopefully this can be a place to fuel new ideas to discuss.

I'll watch and take notes on Ep 01 tonight and afterward share them here, complete with screencaps and everything. Please join me and share as well, and it can be as though we watched the series together. ^_^
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:41 pm

Sounds like a great idea. I look forward to any discussions that will come of this
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Postby imprimatur13 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:28 pm

This DOES sound like a great idea. I may (NOT) participate, but I'll definitely like to read it. I look forward to it! (Besides, even if FGC is revived, this'll give me a chance to give my thoughts on 1-6, if I get around to it...) Thanks Sachi!

(P.S. Once you get to Death, I actually have my own comments in a post already.)
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Postby Cybermat47 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:32 pm

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Postby Joseki » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:31 pm

Do you plan to have a schedule, maybe one episode every day or every week? I would love to rewatch the TV show and post my random thoughts but I don't think I could do it daily.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby Sachi » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:42 pm

No schedule in mind currently. I doubt I'd be able to do a daily episode either. After the first one, I should have an idea of how much time I need to set aside for each one.

Perhaps it can be a weekly thing, to be in the spirit of the way it originally aired. It's good to let the episode stew inside for a bit before moving on. Rushing it might lead to overlooking things. That way we also have time to discuss the episode with each other before moving on as a group to the next.
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Postby Joy Evangelion » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:43 pm

This is a pretty cool idea Sachi. I can't take part(my yearly viewing is in early December), but I look forward to seeing what everyone will be writing. Luckily I've got all of the episodes down to memory so maybe I can throw my two cents in here or there.

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Postby imprimatur13 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:05 pm

@Sachi
I second the idea of a weekly thing. There's just so much material in each episode, you can't hope to cover it all in less time.

@Joy Evangelion
Yearly viewing in early December? Does EoE coincide with January 1st, by any chance :shifty: ?
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Postby The Flying Fortress » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:19 pm

Is not there something like that already, like, Eva commentary Project? , Anyway, I wish I could comment on the episodes in a more informal way, I'm not the type to write theses or make very deep comments, so that seems perfect to me.

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Postby imprimatur13 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:24 pm

Well, there is, but the Fan Geek Commentary is currently on hiatus. Stopped at episode 7, IIRC. Anyway, this is a chance to start fresh!
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Postby Sachi » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:36 pm

I don't wish for this to be a formal commentary project. More a casual commentary thread for anyone to participate in at anytime whenever they rewatch the series. Later on, it might just become a "hey, I watched this episode, and had this, this and this to say about it" thread, without committing to full-blown discussion over each thing noticed. To kick it off, I'm starting with my rewatching of the series.
"Chaos is merely a human construct. The world only knows its own natural law of harmony and order."
"So you are saying it's the human heart that throws the world into confusion."

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Postby imprimatur13 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:46 pm

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

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Postby Sachi » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:22 am

Alright, I just finished Episode 01. I took more notes than I thought I would, three written pages. Here's what I've got:

Right away we're told it's the year 2015. We see a broken city, partially submerged in water. A state of emergency is being declared. From the condition of the city, it's clear that this may not be the first time this sort of emergency has needed to happen. It's a future not too distant, yet still unfamiliar.

We're given our first glimpse at our main characters, Shinji and Misato. They're trying to meet up, and both have each other's photos to go by. We see the photos of each before being introduced to them properly, yet we can get an idea of their personalities. Shinji is formal and conservative, while Misato is flirtatious, purposely drawing attention to her cleavage, lipstick stain being the cherry on top.
SPOILER: Show
ImageImage


Our first actual look at Shinji, however, is him on the phone. He's attempting to communicate, yet the line is out of service. At the very first obstacle, he questions why he's even trying and considers giving up. Our first ten seconds with the kid basically sums up his character.
SPOILER: Show
Image


Sachiel is forever my favorite. He just strolls in, not in a hostile way, but more in a curious way. The military is throwing all their might at him, and the Angel seems rather indifferent. He's not trying to destroy anything, yet is tearing through the military's defenses. Look how innocently the Angel tilts its head and blinks. ^_^
SPOILER: Show
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We're then shown the military, desperate to defeat the Angel and frustrated that they're making no progress. One guy breaks his pencil in anger. We also see an ashtray littered with used cigarettes, signalling how stressful the situation is. Meanwhile, Gendo is in the back, separate from the military types. The shot creates a triangle around Gendo, making him stand out from the rest.
SPOILER: Show
ImageImage


Then we go back to Shinji and Misato, as the UN is about to drop an N2 on Sachiel. Misato is focused intently on the events surrounding her, while Shinji is more focused on the breasts in his face. As the N2 bomb is dropped, Misato curls over Shinji, giving the audience a shot of her rear, and no doubt a good feel for Shinji. Finally we get the money shot.
SPOILER: Show
ImageImageImage


Only after that, do they formally introduce each other. Convenient, huh? After a brief cut to Gendo and the military dudes, we go back to Shinji and Misato. Misato is on the phone securing a route into Nerv. The angle of the shot is provocative enough, as we're given a decent view up Misato's skirt and of her torso, but not of her face. Shinji seems unaware, until Misato puts the phone down, visually appearing over his lap as if giving a hand job, and then he takes notice.
SPOILER: Show
ImageImage


Later when we see Gendo again, it's when the military is giving him his chance at the operation. They appear above him in an authoritative way, suggesting their superiority over him. They're giving him an opportunity, yet his confident demeanor suggests he was in control all along, simply waiting his turn out of formality. He's the underdog, confident and sure of himself. The final two shots are also exmaples of symmetrical framing, with one thing offsetting it (in this case, Fuyu).
SPOILER: Show
ImageImageImage


As Shinji and Misato arrive at Nerv Headquarters, she mentions his father, which triggers some memories for Shinji. Here we see our first glimpse at his abandonment at a train station. The yellow line clearly indicates that he's on a train platform. His shirt appears stretched, as if he was dragged against his will. The very next cut is of the train Misato and Shinji are on, another visual indicator of the train motif.
SPOILER: Show
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Then we meet RItsuko. Ritsuko is not normally a sexualized character, however the way she's introduced might have you think otherwise. Our first look at her is as she's removing her wetsuit. She then confronts Misato and Shinji in the elevator sporting a one-piece bathing suit and cleavage. At that point, Shinji is now surrounded by two beautiful women. Notice how prominent the breasts are in the final shot, moreso than the faces
SPOILER: Show
ImageImageImageImage


As Gendo goes to meet Shinji, we see sentimental Fuyu, followed by serious Fuyu when the Angel situation calls his attention, complete with the blue/red color change. They were even playing with it way back when.
SPOILER: Show
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When Shinji finally meets Gendo, he appears as a looming, shadowing figure standing above him, symbolizing the torment Shinji feels from Gendo and the way Gendo dominates his life. Between the two of them is mommy-bot. We also get a focus shot on Gendo's mouth, drawing attention to his words/his orders rather than his emotions, his coldness rather than his tenderness. Finally, as the pressure builds upon Shinji, we also see Unit-01 gazing longingly at Shinji.
SPOILER: Show
ImageImageImage


We get our first glimpse at Misato's cold-hearted side. The is the first hint toward what we later learn is her personal vendetta against the Angels, and how she's willing to use Shinji in order to accomplish her goals. However, this is also when she first offers Shinji his personal mantra, "you musn't run away". It's easy to forget that she's the first one to say it, and she elaborates by telling Shinji he must confront his father and himself. Gendo, meanwhile, seems more sad than disappointed that Shinji won't pilot, as though he wants his son to step up the challenge.
SPOILER: Show
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Gendo then orders Rei in the room. Our very first shot of her is of her body, rather than her face. It's only a moment later once we see her face do we make the connection to the mysterious apparition earlier in the episode. Interestingly enough, we now have three women AND Shinji's own father pressuring him into getting in the Eva. If he's not doing something for approval from his father, his motivation appears to be related to encounters with the opposite sex.
SPOILER: Show
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When the debris falls, Unit-01 activates on its own to protect Shinji. This is our first hint that there's more than meets the eye with this robot (and I don't mean it can turn into a fire truck). Gendo seems awfully satisfied. This is also when Shinji first starts repeating to himself that he musn't run away, as he decides to finally pilot.
SPOILER: Show
ImageImageImage


My final note is regarding Unit-01's preparation. We're shown that multiple restraints have to be released before activation. The visual imagery implies a cage, suggesting the bestial nature of the Eva which needs to be contained.
SPOILER: Show
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And we're left with the promise of an epic fight between Shinji in Unit-01 and mysterious Angel in the next episode.

I took a few more notes beyond this, but they seemed relatively minor and this post was long enough. I may bring them up again later, depending on how things go with this. Anyways, this is what I saw and thought while watching the first episode again. Is anybody else planning on watching along with me? Either way, please share your comments and we can maybe elaborate on some of these notes. Thanks.
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"So you are saying it's the human heart that throws the world into confusion."

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

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Postby Cybermat47 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:03 am

Absolutely agree with you about Sachiel being more curious than hostile at first. Anno portrayed Godzilla in the same way.
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Postby The Flying Fortress » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:54 am

Tip: You can put something to identify each scene as '' Ep01S02 '' so we can organize it more simply, even if it's informal, anyway, here are my comments:

So, I do not want to be obvious and talk about Sachiel, I'd like to start with Ritsuko: the image shows no but Ritsuko seems to impose a strange way on Misato here when he gets out of the elevator, then Misato apologizes, so that initially I thought Misato was subordinate to Ritsuko or something.

The reenchant scene between Shinji and Gendo is really striking to me, this is a time when I thought this was a different anime than I had ever seen before, it was a sense of surprise that created good expectations for me to be able to Progress in the anime.

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

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Postby imprimatur13 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:45 am

Ok, I intend to keep my serious comments separate from the (semi-)humorous ones by putting the funnies in parentheses.

@Sachi
Importantly, you're right. The theme of broken communication is set up from the very beginning.
Never thought about the shirt being an indication of being dragged against his will. Nice.
I also never noticed the "blue/red" color change. I'll have to look for it now :).
(There are 6 Shinji's in the screens. This is because he represents the masculine, while the feminine is represented by 7.)
Gendo really does (read with voice of Sofia Vergara) love him... Aww...
I wonder if one of the reasons Gendo was so happy: Maybe Yui hadn't surfaced before this. Maybe her soul was dormant, and he was happy now that she was coming back, 'cause of Shin-chan. He (read with voice of Sofia Vergara) loves her... Aw...
Right of course, about the cage. Good catch!

@Cybermat47
Does he really? I really should watch that one of these days...

@FlyingF
I agree with the "scene organization" thing. And your last paragraph is very poignant.

Ok, here goes:

(Sachiel's first weapon? A penis. Coming out of his arm, but any long thin object will be henceforth referred to as such :). This ties in to my interpretation of the Angel attacks on NERV as a rape-metaphor. They want to invade NERV, to forcibly "know" the Lilin/Adam, and they are put off by Misato, who specializes in preventing any overly close relationships from developing. Misato also compares Shamshel explicitly to "the worst kind of man".

Ok, the used cigarettes and the pencil-breaking. I think they are (what else?) phallic symbols. The cigarettes are limp, and the pencil is broken. Those symbolize the powerlessness of the JSSDF against the Angels. (You know how a cigarette is sometimes just a cigarette? Not if you're watching Eva, it's not.))

It's worth mentioning that Shinji could also have been looking at the cross, if you look closely at his eyes.

You know what I notice here? At the shot with Mitchan and Ritchan's cleavages, Ritsuko's breasts are revealed. Misato's, on the other hand, are completely covered, and they have the cross on top. I think this is very interesting, because you think of Misato as the "freer" one, and Ritsuko as the "cold, business-like" one. So, this imagery kind of hints that they're more than they seem on the surface. In fact, like most Eva characters, their outward personae are the exact opposite of their true selves. Which means that Misato's persona is Ritsuko's true self, and vice versa. That's what I think is going on in this shot. (About those pairs, same could be said about Asuka/Rei.)

Yui-sama in between dominating Gendo and dominated Shinji, implies a sort of role, as intermediating the father/son relationship. Here's the true meaning of the shot, to me, anyway:
Gendo is above Shinji. He's not in contact with him, it's not that he's *dominating* him, he's just so above him as to be unapproachable. This is reinforced by his speech: He's not speaking forcefully. Just matter-of-factly. Shinji's head is lowered in sadness, because he can't connect to Gendo. Now here's the problem: Because Gendo cannot connect to Shinji, he can't perform the duties of a parent. So, Yui takes care of all that. Hence, why she protects him from falling debris.
Again, I think that Yui's soul had been dormant till now, and Gendo was smiling at its awakening.
Last edited by imprimatur13 on Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby The Flying Fortress » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:45 am

View Original Postimprimatur13 wrote:
Ok, the used cigarettes and the pencil-breaking. I think they are (what else?) phallic symbols. The cigarettes are limp, and the pencil is broken. Those symbolize the powerlessness of the JSSDF against the Angels. (You know how a cigarette is sometimes just a cigarette? Not if you're watching Eva, it's not.)



Okay .These theories of phallic symbolism are already overcoming the limit now (wait until episode 3 so we can look at Shamshel).

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Postby Sachi » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:34 pm

Ah yes. Limp cigarettes. I was trying to make a connection between the ash tray and Nerv HQ, and this helps. The ashtray has the Nerv logo on it, and the ridges make it look like a castle wall. The cigarettes are limp and powerless within their fortress walls, unable to defend themselves from attack.
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Postby imprimatur13 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:32 pm

@FF
Ok, I'll try to tone it down a bit :). (Or perhaps enclose it in the "parentheses of humor")

@Sachi
Nice! Of course, the "pleb" explanation (i.e. the one that actually makes sense :) , and is not the product of our over-analysis ) is that they were just smoking to calm their nerves, but this tickles my brain :). Thanks!
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby Sachi » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:46 am

I edited the OP a bit to hopefully clarify my intents with this thread. I also resized the images in my initial post about episode 01.

One thing that caught my eye when watching the episode, but I couldn't quite gather my thoughts on before was while Shinji and Misato are first entering Nerv. As Misato's car pulls in, the gate closes and the *RED* emergency light turns on. Immediately after the color change, Misato introduces Nerv to Shinji. This promotes the highly secretive and protective nature of Nerv. Answers kept locked away under the highest security.
SPOILER: Show
ImageImage


Misato continues, and this exchange happens.

Shinji: And that's where my father works?

Misato: Well, yeah. You do know what he does, don't you?


SPOILER: Show
Image


The shot then cuts to Shinji, and with a simultaneous sound cue, the red light disappears.

SPOILER: Show
Image

Shinji: All my teachers told me was that it was important to the
future of mankind.


Shinji has no idea what his father really does. He's not in on the secret. Just like Nerv, Gendo is also highly secretive and protective of what he does. The color change signals this shift from being "in-the-know" versus not. Knowledge is a major theme of the series, whether one has it or not. Characters like Kaji revolve themselves around finding the truth. Gendo is a character with all the knowledge. Shinji is a character with relatively little knowledge.
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"So you are saying it's the human heart that throws the world into confusion."


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