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 robersora » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:42 am

^
I'd argue that Misato is a character with wrong or lacking knowledge - her knowledge is confined to what she needs to know to deal with the attacks. So the emergency color here even adds another dimension.

I love this thread. There's a few little things I've never noticed, or seen that way before (like the aforementioned color shift). So please continue, I love reading about it :)
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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:48 am

Will this commentary only be for the tv series, or could it extend to EoE and NTE?
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Postby imprimatur13 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:05 am

I love the color shift idea, Sachi. Would never've noticed it myself :).
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby Sachi » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:35 am

View Original PostArcadia's legacy wrote:Will this commentary only be for the tv series, or could it extend to EoE and NTE?

NTE would for sure be in it's own thread. I currently plan to do EoE in this thread in two parts, as Ep 25' and 26'.
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Postby imprimatur13 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:18 pm

I like the idea of doing EoE as 2 parts.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby Sachi » Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:30 am

Let's examine our first shot of Nerv HQ from the outside:

SPOILER: Show
Image


We have three parts. Primarily, there's the pyramid; this is Nerv HQ itself. On the left, taking up the majority of the space in the frame, is a lake. The lake is an inverse pyramid digging into the ground. The angles and lighting draw attention to the deepest point of the lake. This suggests that there's something "below the surface" going on at Nerv HQ, complete with a literal surface of water to conceal it under (keep in mind also, that Nerv is located below the surface of the Earth within the Geofront). Going from the left side to the right, we have a gigantic wall protecting Nerv HQ, guarding those secrets kept deep below, not only from the Angels, but from anybody else as well. The upper level of Nerv HQ is the more public level, serving humanity by defending it from the Angels (Misato and the bridge bunnies), while the lower level consists of those serving another end (Gendo, Fuyu, and to an extent Ritsuko). We also later learn that Lilith is held contained in Terminal Dogma, the deepest level of Nerv.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby pwhodges » Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:41 am

The term "Geofront" (usually as "Geo-Front" in the subtitles) gets used without explanation, and Shinji is clearly familiar with it. I had never heard it before, so it was meaningless to me on first watching. I gather it was used earlier in Patlabor, and in the Gits manga, but even now most online citations refer to Evangelion. I've always wondered how it was derived - it doesn't seem to have any descriptive element.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby Reichu » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:49 am


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Postby pwhodges » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:43 pm

Thanks. Sadly that article has neither dates nor useful references. The earlier references I have been able to find to "Geo-Front" are in 1989, and both used quotes which I took to indicate that it was a somewhat new and unfamiliar term.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby The Flying Fortress » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:34 am

Sachi
Why can not it just be an outrageous design? , sorry ^_^

Also, have you ever thought how Geo-front is such a cool name? , Is the best name to give yourself a secret base.

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Postby Guy Nacks » Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:53 pm

I haven't watched the series beginning to end in about 6 years. And I've only watched it that way about 4 or 5 times.

Though on my most recent viewings, I noticed a couple things:

Anno uses the most anime-esque sweatdrop ever as the final bit of humor that the series has when Asuka reacts to Hikari's crush on Toji. This is notable, as the series hadn't resorted to such stereotypical visual anime gags up until that point and that was the most blatant.

The Japanese dub uses a different version of Borderline Case that has notably different synth effects and wasn't made available on any of the soundtracks.
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Postby Sachi » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:44 am

One thing that occurs to me now about episode 01, and what makes if unique as a pilot episode, is that it ends as Shinji chooses to pilot the Eva and face the Angel. The fight itself isn't important, and is even pushed back till the end of the episode 02. Aside from the Angel fight, episode 02 is even more character-based than episode 01. It's clear the series is more about people than it is the aliens and robots. Episode 01 isn't about the first challenge in the Eva; it's more about the choice to address the challenge rather than running away.

Like I mentioned before, when we're introduced to Shinji he's on the phone, attempting to communicate, but considering giving up when challenged. Later, when Shinji is presented with piloting the Eva and the challenge of facing the Angel, he considers running away. But what makes him stay? Remember that in the moment Gendo gives up on him to choose Rei, Shinji feels despair about not being needed. The reason that brought him there in the first place is communication and belonging. He longs to connect with his father, the one who he perceives summoned him. He also has these beautiful women around him, urging him to step up. The episode isn't about the challenge of the Angel itself, but about choosing to rise up to the challenge, deciding not to run away from adversity, and instead taking control of one's life, taking control of the wheel and piloting it (even if you need mommy's training wheels at first).

View Original PostGuy Nacks wrote:Anno uses the most anime-esque sweatdrop ever as the final bit of humor that the series has when Asuka reacts to Hikari's crush on Toji. This is notable, as the series hadn't resorted to such stereotypical visual anime gags up until that point and that was the most blatant.

Interesting. I'll definitely keep an eye out for humor moments, or lack thereof, in the final episodes and report back what I see. Get back to you in about 20ish weeks.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby imprimatur13 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:29 pm

For a (pretty phallic) comment on Episode 1, see the last paragraph of this post by Reichu, in reply to mine (in another thread). Quite interesting, I must say.
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Postby Sachi » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:14 pm

Alight, just finished episode 02. Here are my fresh thoughts:

The episode begins where the first one left off. Shinji has agreed to pilot the Eva, and is ready to face the Angel. He's told to just concentrate on walking. As he takes his firsts steps, he stumbles and falls. The metaphor is that even though Shinji has agreed to face adversity, he's still hasn't learned to walk on his own yet and is inexperienced in the ways of the world. It's one thing to choose live, but it's another thing to actually do so, and failing along the way is inevitable. As he makes his firsts steps toward adversity, he stumbles. Shinji freezes up, and ceases to do anything, letting himself get taken advantage of by the Angel. Instead of acting, Shinji does nothing when things get tough. Because of that, the battle seems lost.

SPOILER: Show
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We then, however cut to the morning as Shinji wakes up in a hospital room. He apparently survived, and things are okay? It's unknown to the audience what happened, and it becomes clear that Shinji doesn't remember what happened either. We're placed in his position to help empathize with his situation. The color scheme of the hospital scenes in this episode is an interesting choice. The bright white lights, overall haziness, and some interesting angles give the impression of a dream or waking up from one. We get another glimpse at the mysterious blue haired girl, and close-up shot of part of Shinji's face from below.

SPOILER: Show
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Cut in between the hospital scenes is Gendo's meeting with the Human Instrumentality Committee. Most of the scene consists of the various committee members lecturing Gendo about finances, public reception, and HIP. Neither Kiel nor Gendo speak until the end of the scene. The scene is another example of Gendo being spoken down to by superiors, yet he expresses a presence of control. One interesting thing to note as that the four committee members aside from Gendo and Kiel are represented by different colors, while Gendo and Kiel themselves are represented by white. Could this be a visual representation of how these are basically non-characters representing different "shades" of the same group, which is ultimately headed by Kiel?

SPOILER: Show
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Before Shinji and Misato leave the hospital, we get an awkward exchange at the elevator between Shinji and Gendo, one of the few times they stand close together in the entire series. Notice that emphasis is placed on the elevator door threshold, creating a barrier between them that isn't crossed. The door threshold is an important symbol that is revisited later in the episode as well. The shot is also done from a low angle, adding to the awkwardness of the situation. We later learn the reason Gendo was in the hospital in the first place was to visit Rei, and not Shinji. Also, in the last image: is it just me, or do those tile designs look like bones, branches, or possibly even NERVE CELLS?

SPOILER: Show
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Misato realizes that Shinji would end up living on his own, so she arranges for him to come live with her. I only really want to bring this up, because I noticed a parallel with a shot later in the episode. When Misato tells Ritsuko about the arrangement, she makes a joke about taking advantage of Shinji, which results in Ritsuko yelling over the phone, causing Misato to pull the phone away from her ear. Much later in the episode, when the two are having another conversation over the phone (Misato in the bath, Ritsuko at work), Ritsuko teases Misato over wanting to have Shinji in her apartment with her, which results in Misato yelling over the phone, and causing a similar reaction from Ritsuko. Their positions oppose each other as well.

SPOILER: Show
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Anyways, as Misato and Shinji make their way home, they stop by a convenience store for supplies for their welcoming party. This is one of the few instances in the series we get any insight into the general public of Tokyo-03. When making their purchase, Shinji overhears some strangers talking about the incident. He's appears to be innocuously overhearing the conversation, however as the strangers pass by, we can see that he's troubled by what they're saying. Shinji is extremely sensitive to people around him, what they're doing, what they're saying, and what they're feeling. He's especially sensitive to when people are talking negatively about him. He's scared of how others perceive him, so he normally stays within a safe shell. Misato notices Shinji's trouble.

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Perhaps as her way of cheering Shinji up, Misato takes him to see a view of the city. Upon arriving, Shinji notes that the city appears desolate and lonely. However, he becomes awe struck as the city arises from the ground and becomes full. Is this to show Shinji that things aren't always what they appear to be? That there's much more to the world than there is at first glance? That there's hope?

SPOILER: Show
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The two arrive at Misato's apartment. Shinji is hesitant about crossing the door threshold because he feels intrusive. Misato reassures him that this is his home now, and that he is welcome. Finally, Shinji tentatively crosses the threshold. The threshold was previously used as a barrier between Shinji and Gendo that neither crossed; in this instance, Shinji builds the courage to cross the threshold onto Misato's side of the door. This represents Shinji allowing himself to connect with Misato by lowering his AT Field.

SPOILER: Show
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Upon entering Misato's domain, Shinji gets tremendous insight into Misato's homelife. Mostly apparently, she's an alcoholic. Given her upbeat nature and professional status, she's a highly functioning one. However, her homelife is a mess that she seems able to ignore, cluttered with empty beer cans, liquor bottles, full trash bags, and unpacked boxes. The shot of Shinji's face is in the fridge surrounded by beer cans is a visual metaphor for the "house of booze" he's now within. When they later decide their chores (the majority of which go to Shinji), a pyramid of stacked beer cans is in the background, also emphasizing the house of booze. Did I mention Misato is an alcoholic yet?
SPOILER: Show
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During dinner, we get more insight into the conservative versus sexual nature of Shinji and Misato's relationship. The two sit opposed to each other; Shinji is in his usual school uniform, while Misato had changed into her lounge clothes upon getting home. Misato's home attire is much more comfortable, revealing more skin. She's relieved herself of her bra as well, another subtle hint toward freeing her body. Notice also the difference in their poses. Shinji is sitting passively with his shoulders slouched, hands between his legs, taking up little space. Meanwhile Misato is sitting with confidence and taking up as much space as possible. She's completely comfortable, while he's remaining reserved. Reserved, but still very observant, as he and the audience are treated to a nice view.

SPOILER: Show
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Skipping forward a bit, my next major note is Misato's bathtub scene. She's initially having a conversation with Ritsuko over the phone, as mentioned earlier, and hangs up on her after RItsuko teases her about wanting to take responsibility of Shinji. After hanging up, Misato admits during inner monologue that she was just using Shinji as a tool. This is more development from episode 01 when I pointed out how quickly Misato became cold when she ordered Shinji into the Eva. Notice that we only see this more introspective side of Misato when she's alone and naked in the bath.

SPOILER: Show
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As Shinji is lying in bed, listening to his SDAT, the memories of Angel fight finally come rushing back to him. The scene picks up with Unit-01 being wrecked by Sachiel. Shinji was unable to walk on his own, and so no mommy-bot is here to protect him. Prior to going berserk, we get image of Shinji in the color red. The Eva reactivates, breaks open its mouth restraints (holy shit?!), and begins owning the shit out of Sachiel. In a lot of ways, the fight is visually evocative of rape. After forcing itself through Sachiel's AT Field, the Eva lunges onto the Angel. Once it has the Angel pinned onto the ground from the waist, the Eva begins ripping open the Angel's chest to expose the core. After the clothes have been ripped off After exposing the core, the Eva then begins stabbing and penetrating the core with a phallic object.

SPOILER: Show
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In the aftermath of the fight, Shinji is left dumbfounded. He had no control over what just happened, and was only witnessing it. The Eva's helmet falls off, exposing the face beneath. All suspicions are now confirmed: the Eva is biological. Notice at the forehead is a shape that appears a lot like Sachiel's face. Subtle hint toward the Angel/Eva connection. Question: how is it that the Eva is able to regenerate it's own eye? Normally after receiving damage, the series suggests that the Eva needs to go through a medical repair process of some sort, but Unit-01 just grows back it's eye. I guess the question applies to the arm as well, but the eye bugs me more. Anyways, upon witnessing that, Shinji's face gets shown in blue just before screaming and passing out. Earlier red was used to signal Shinji letting go and handing control over to Unit-01. The blue I think is his return to reality. It may also be being used to visually bookend his lapse in memory.

SPOILER: Show
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And that's about all I can gather into a cohesive post right now. More random thoughts later. Let me know what you think, and I appreciate any feedback.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:09 pm

Wait, does that eye have three extra pupils?!! :cringe:
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby Reichu » Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:52 pm

View Original PostArcadia's legacy wrote:Wait, does that eye have three extra pupils?!! :cringe:

Evas have four nostrils, too!

I always assumed that the Evas(/Seeds) had mortal antecedents because it doesn't make much sense for something that is 100% incomprehensible god to be a giant bag of meat. Far more logical for them to have been made in someone's image. This wasn't the Lilin's image, obviously, leaving the First Ancestral Race as the only possible choice. From that point of view, weird features like auxiliary pupils and redundant nostrils can be explained as biological vestiges of an unknown evolutionary past.

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Postby The Flying Fortress » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:51 pm

When I saw the meeting scene of the committee for the first time I thought that the countries' members were multicolored aliens.

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Postby imprimatur13 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:25 pm

@Sachi
All good stuff. Keep 'em coming! (I couldn't think of this in a million years...)

@Reichu
Good point! The FAR were humanoid, after all...

Thoughts: (Apologies to FF, but no phallic imagery here! And, this is meant completely seriously. With Anno, everything is put in place for a reason, especially fanservice.)

Camera above Misato's chest while drinking beer. No breasts shown. She notices he doesn't want to eat. “That's no excuse! You can't be so finicky!” Then, Gainax bounce! Focuses on breasts, because breasts represent maternal instinct to take care of Shin-chan.

She bends over the table, shoving her breasts in his face (practically). This represents that she wants to mother him, so she's putting her "organs of motherhood" toward him.

However, her nether-regions are then shown, in that position. But only to the audience, NOT to Shinji. This is to show that, underneath her maternality, there is a hidden sexuality involved. She wants to mother him, yes, but she ALSO wants to sleep with him ("Of course I'm not gonna try anything"... Yeah, right. Flash forward to 23...). But she doesn't want to reveal that to him, or to herself. Only we see it.

Bet you've never heard that before, eh? ;)
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby StrokeMeGoat » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:57 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:The episode isn't about the challenge of the Angel itself, but about choosing to rise up to the challenge, deciding not to run away from adversity, and instead taking control of one's life, taking control of the wheel and piloting it (even if you need mommy's training wheels at first).

I have to admit I haven't read the whole thread yet, don't really have time, so I hope this hasn't already been pointed out (wouldn't surprise me if it has though). The first episode follows the stages of the Hero's Journey pretty much exactly:
1. THE ORDINARY WORLD. The hero, uneasy, uncomfortable or unaware, is introduced sympathetically so the audience can identify with the situation or dilemma. The hero is shown against a background of environment, heredity, and personal history. Some kind of polarity in the hero’s life is pulling in different directions and causing stress.

The scene showing Shinji in Tokyo-3 before the missile targeting the Angel blasts through

2. THE CALL TO ADVENTURE. Something shakes up the situation, either from external pressures or from something rising up from deep within, so the hero must face the beginnings of change.

Can be seen as both the Angel appearing and being directly asked to pilot

3. REFUSAL OF THE CALL. The hero feels the fear of the unknown and tries to turn away from the adventure, however briefly. Alternately, another character may express the uncertainty and danger ahead.

Pretty obvious, Shinji all "BUT I CAN'T, THERE's NO WAY I CAN PILOT THAT THING, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE!"

4. MEETING WITH THE MENTOR. The hero comes across a seasoned traveler of the worlds who gives him or her training, equipment, or advice that will help on the journey. Or the hero reaches within to a source of courage and wisdom.

Misato becoming Shinji's surrogate parent, caretaker, and commander
5. CROSSING THE THRESHOLD. At the end of Act One, the hero commits to leaving the Ordinary World and entering a new region or condition with unfamiliar rules and values.

Shinji becomes an official pilot

6. TESTS, ALLIES AND ENEMIES. The hero is tested and sorts out allegiances in the Special World.

Other Angels show up

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

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Postby Sachi » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:01 pm

^ Agreed. The opening episodes of NGE fit the Heroes Journey quite well. For NTE, Anno claimed to want to make Eva into a tale, and having that foundation for the Heroes Journey already present made that translation easy. Rebuild 1.0 is an even more concrete example of the Heroes Journey with just a few subtle changes, such as Misato mentoring Shinji about Lilith, and Shinji's decision to press forward during Operation Yashima.
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