Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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

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Postby Sachi » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:54 pm

School just started for me, so I'm going through a short period of adjustment and finding ways to budget my time. I've watched the episode and took notes, but I've been only been able to sit down in short bursts to type my thoughts. Here are my thoughts on the first half of episode 03, up until the title card.

Episode 03

The episode begins with Shinji in training to pilot his Eva. The shot begins in red, flashes a few colors, before settling on a natural lighting. Notice that the bags under his eyes disappear under the normal lighting. While he looks noticeably tired under the different colors, his fatigue disappears under natural light. A subtle way to express how he projects himself to others, versus how he feels inside. ("This is the me that exists in your mind")

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As the scene continues, Ritsuko lectures him on the workings of the Eva. Emphasis is placed on the monotony of the routine. "Position the target in the center. Pull the Trigger". He's not enjoying what he's doing, but rather he's doing it because he's been told to. Ritsuko and Maya even discuss as much. We soon get another glimpse at Shinji's fatigue, this time the shadows under his eyes are created by his hair, the angles of which mimick bags under eyes.

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The next morning, Shinji gets ready and leaves for school. Notice how clean the apartment is since we've last seen it! Shinji is no slob. Misato's room is still clearly a mess however.
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Misato and Ritsuko have a conversation about Shinji over the phone, while we're shown shots of Shinji and other students from the school. Notice the distance he places between himself and the other students. This is when Ritsuko explains the Hedgehog's Dillemma. We get a lot of shots of students interacting with each other, enjoying each others company. If you look closely though, there are a few loners in the crowd too. Also, are those Shinji clones in the second to last image??

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Before moving on, let's examine this shot of Ritsuko's desk we see during the conversation as well. Ritsuko occasionally wears purple lipstick. I wonder if the black and white cats are there to symbolize her duality, between that of friend and that of a mad scientist working for Nerv.

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Back to the classroom. We're introduced to our school trio, Hikari, Kensuke and Toji. Hikari and Kensuke discuss possible injuries from the Angel attack, and Toji walks in a moment later confirming that his sister was one of the injured. One thing I noticed is that Shinji can be seen in the background in many of these shots. Given that they're talking about him, and we know how sensitive he is to that sort of thing, I wonder if Shinji is eavesdropping on them? I know he has his headphones on, but it's a simple thing to turn the volume off and listen. I do it all the time in my day to day life.

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The teacher arrives, class begins. Shinji receives a message from a classmate, asking if he's the pilot. He looks around and sees the sender is a girl! What, a girl paying attention to him? Well, of course he's going to respond positively. And as a result, he gets embarrassed by the entire classroom. Perfect example of the Hedgehog's Dilemma at play. He was tempted by the possibility of friendship by another, opened up a little, and as a result was left completely exposed to the classroom. Oh, and he also gets beat up because of it. Lesson here, kids, is to have no friends.
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As Shinji is left there, bruised and on the ground, we see the mysterious blue hair girl come and approach him. For the first time she speaks, and she calmly informs Shinji that there's an emergency before running off. Weirdo. The camera shoots her from below, giving us Shinji's POV, but also giving her a distorted, unsettling appearance, emphasizing her mystery.

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And that's all I have time for now. Will have the rest of the episode posted sometime this week. I'll perhaps start splitting the episodes into multiple posts and post them throughout the week of the episode.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby pwhodges » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:06 am

View Original PostSachi wrote:Image

It struck me that this could be the prototype for Mana - just change the hair colour.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby Sachi » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:11 pm

Okay, Episode 03, part II!

Shamshel appears! It's discussed how incredibly soon this attack is relative to the last one, three weeks, and how Tokyo-03 had hardly finished recovering from the last one. Misato makes a comment about how "they're the type we women hate the most". Not too long later, when the military is shown wasting its resources on the Angel, Misato makes another comment about how the military is even more obnoxious than the Angel, attacking for the sake of it. Clearly there's some gender commentary going on here, and it doesn't help that Shamshel looks like a gigantic penis. There's even a shot where the Angel is juxtaposed with a damn lighthouse. It's also an Angel that "penetrates" Unit-01.

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Anyways, Shinji launches in Unit-01 to confront the Angel. We're given this familiar shot, reminding us of Shinji's earlier training, and how this is once again something tiring for Shinji, something he doesn't want to be doing, but is doing so anyway out of duty.

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Shinji doesn't really think before fighting, and follows the same motions he was taught to perform, which results in him losing the Angel in a cloud of smoke. The Angel takes the upper hand in the fight, and begins dominating Unit-01. Shinji is consumed by fear and unable to act, forgetting his training and being left to be taken advantage of. He's thrown a distance onto a hill where Toji and Kensuke had snuck out to in order to watch the fight. Thinking quickly, Misato orders them into the Eva's entry plug so that they could be extracted safely and for Unit-01 to retreat. Ritsuko immediately objects to the idea of allowing unauthorized civilians into the entry plug, but Misato overrules her. This is the first of many disagreements between the two, which gives us an insight of the power structure at Nerv, and the power struggle between these two. Ritsuko even feels the need to emphasize Misato's rank of captain. Meanwhile, we can see Hyuga stuck in the middle, simply keeping his head down and doing as he's ordered.

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Instead of retreating as ordered, Shinji repeats to himself "I mustn't run away", and works himself up to attack the Angel head-on. As his internal battery reaches a minute remaining and the alarm goes off, he screams and charges the Angel. When the timer reaches a minute, the screen goes red. Meanwhile, Toji and Kensuke are left in horror, getting far more than they bargained for when they wanted to see the fight from the front row. Shinji continues screaming as he stabs into the Angel, and during the entire remaining minute before the battery dies along with the Angel. Once the battery goes out, the screen goes blue, and Shinji begins quietly crying. Toji and Kensuke are still witnessing, but now the emotions have gone from intense to sympathetic, from focusing on the Angel and the action, to focusing on Shinji and his more personal side. The battle is over.

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Some time later (three school days), Toji comments on how Shinji hasn't been to class since the incident. Detecting his worry, Kensuke gives Toji the number to Shinji's personal phone and tells Toji to leave a message. We're shown Toji dialing, however, it's made ambiguous as to whether he completes the call, leaves a message, or hangs up before anybody answers. Based on the fact that Toji and Shinji are friends next time we see them together, one might by interpret that he made the call after all. Either way, I love that this episode makes it purposely ambiguous, and the rain may even deter audiences from thinking optimistically about it. Toji is presented as a bully at the beginning of the episode, but by the end we can see that he suffers from the same social anxieties as anybody else, that the Hedgehog's Dilemma affects him too.
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The end.

Actually, I also just want to say that I really love this episode for how simple and effective it's themes are. The episode is about the Hedgehog's Dilemma and the difficulty people have in getting close to one another. Shinji tries to open up, and as a result he gets embarrassed by the class and beaten up by a bully. Yes, this is something that might happen; you might get hurt. However, the only way to make these worthwhile connections is to take those risks and open yourself up and let people in. During the Shamshel fight, Shinji has to literally let Toji and Kensuke into his entry plug. That symbolic act of Shinji opening up allowed Toji and Kensuke to see Shinji's true emotions, how he suffers within the Eva, and right then and there a bond was formed between them. Next time we see them together, these guys are best friends.
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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 The Flying Fortress » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:36 pm

I have always liked this scene when Samshel overtakes the lighthouse and is ringing the siren, I think it is that eminently dangerous sense of approaching.

I always find it a little ridiculous to stand up straight from Shamshel, what is that? Plus the angle of the camera is even more unfavorable because it seems that Shamshel is showing a "tongue" and he has a retarded face :)

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

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Postby Sachi » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:35 pm

Episode 04 is more of a slower-paced, emotional episode. I don't have a lot of notes, or time for that matter, so I think I'll keep this episode commentary brief.

Episode opens with rain, same as how the last episode ended. Even though this is a new episode, the mood of the last episode is being carried on into the next episode.

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Misato wakes up and looks noticeably somber. She attempts to communicate with Shinji through his bedroom door (ATF) in order to urge him into going to school (indicating that it's been five days since the attack and that Unit-01 had been repaired). She opens the door, and realizes he's packed his things and run away, leaving behind his Nerv ID.

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Later, after Misato had gotten ready, the doorbell rings. Misato rushes to open it, expecting Shinji, but realizes it's actually his classmates who had come to check in on him. Misato perks right up and tells a bold-faced lie to their faces, saying he's at Nerv's training facilities. Notice as she's lying to them, she's keeping the door threshold between them. As soon as she's able to close the door, she releases her true emotions, expressing her frustration with Shinji.

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Next is a TRAAAAIN!

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Shinji is riding the Tokyo-03 loop train, which loops around the city, over and over and over. Meanwhile, he's replaying the same tracks on his SDAT, over and over. As Shinji remains still in his one spot on the train, we see a bunch of people coming and going around him, interacting with each other, or otherwise engaged with something. Attention is being drawn to Shinji's isolation. He eventually rides for so long that the train eventually goes out service for the night. Once his loop has been broken, he decides that he should maybe go back.

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However, all the transportation routes are out of service for the night, and Shinji is stranded in the city. He passes some time by going in a movie theater (which is playing dialogue strangely descriptive of the real 2I). While in the theater, Shinji notices a young couple getting intimate. Shinji's stare goes from passive and loosely engaged, to visibly upset, perhaps even jealous.

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He ends up sleeping in the hallway of the theater. In the early morning, Shinji begins wandering back into town, and this very strange scene occurs. Presumably, Shinji has decided at this point to return, and he simply needs to make his way back home. However, when crossing what appears to be a park, he gets spooked and begins running, as if away from something. The scene is entirely cast in purple, and we get prominent visual of the city of Tokyo-03. I can't make much sense of the scene, other than that Shinji was reminded of the incredible weight he has to carry by protecting the city, which triggers his anxiety and scares him into running away; the purple is a visual reminder of Unit-01. He's first shown crossing a large void in the middle of the frame, which symbolizes the gap he's attempting to cross. He gives up on returning home at this point, and we next seem him taking a bus outside the city.

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And that's all I got for now. Maybe you guys can help me make heads or tails of this purple scene. Part two of Episode 04 will be up before the end of the week.
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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 imprimatur13 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:54 pm

Nice! I especially liked the way you identified the whole "looping trains/SDAT/passengers" motif. Very cool.

About the purple, sadly, I don't have anything to add that wasn't already stated (primarily by EM) in the relevant cut(s) in the FGC, which I imagine you already read long ago. So, just to show a level of surreality. (Though, I would like to hear a better, metaphorical explanation for the specific color used...)

Looking forward to Part 2! (Especially the Kensuke/tent scenes... I have some theories on those :shifty: )

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

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Postby Sachi » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:45 pm

Episode 04, part II

After the strange purple sequence, Shinji leaves the city entirely, taking a bus to outside the city. We get a lot of peaceful shots of the landscape as he wanders. He eventually arrives at a mountain overlooking Tokyo-03. Apparently this is a famous suicide spot in Japan; knowing that creates context for why Shinji is shown sitting outside the fence and by the edge. This provides us a lot of insight into his character. Having run away from the anxiety and responsibility of Eva and the city, he escapes the city and flees to the peace and quiet of nature, where there's no expectation of him. He's running away from his responsibilities, and by extension considers ending his own life, the ultimate form of running away.

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Meanwhile, Misato and Ritsuko discuss the situation. Misato expresses that she doesn't believe he'll come back this time, and we get a flashback to the debriefing between her and Shinji after the Shamshel fight. Misato and Shinji are framed looking passed each other, unable to connect. She's criticizing him for disobeying a direct order during the fight, while he's sort of just dismissing her, telling her yes, while not absorbing what she's saying. When she calls him out on that, he says it doesn't matter because they won, to which she replies that he'll get killed if he goes into a fight with that attitude. He says he wouldn't mind, and digresses saying he's the only one that can pilot anyway, speaking with bitter resignation in his eyes.

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Next we see Kensuke playing war in a random field. From the first few moments of the scene, we get a sense that Kensuke is a daydreamer, craving excitement and adventure, from an innocent, childish point of view. By strange coincidence, Shinji stumbles near the same field. Kensuke offers him food and shelter in his tent, which I'm sure Shinji appreciates as it was beginning to get dark by the time they found each other. While talking over the campfire, Kensuke lets him know that Toji's sister is alright, and that she chewed Toji out for punching Shinji. Kensuke also expresses his envy of Shinji's life, getting to live with a hot babe like Misato and pilot a super cool robot. He may seem naive, but he provides excellent counterpoint for Shinji at that moment. Shinji believes his own life is worthless, yet here is somebody right in front of him saying they wish they could be him. This ties into the larger themes of outlook and perspective explored later in the series, and how our reality is largely shaped by ourselves, and how others can have a completely different but valid perspective of the same object.

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As the sun illuminates the mist the next morning, Nerv's Security Intelligence comes to pick Shinji up. Shinji and Misato meet and talk again, this time in a cell. She asks him if he'll pilot the Eva again. He says he will, but she can tell he doesn't want to. He says of course he doesn't want to, but because everybody expects him to, he will. Misato scolds him, and tells him it has nothing to do with anybody else, and that if he doesn't like it he can get out. This pierces Shinji to the core, leaving him speechless. Misato would later realize she misunderstood his intentions here. Notice how the lighting keeps Misato's face hidden the entire time, creating a layer of disconnection between the two of them, and how the Nerv logo hangs over them.

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So, Shinji resigns. As he prepares to leave aboard a train, Toji and Kensuke meet up with him to say good bye. When Shinji question how they knew he'd be there, they explain that they've gotten used to saying farewells to other students here. This makes Shinji noticeably sad, as he seems to hold some regret over leaving them behind. Toji wishes to make things even between them, and demands that Shinji punch him back. This subtly builds a bridge between the two of them, creating another thread of regret Shinji has in running away and leaving them behind. Before being taken away by the Nerv goons, Shinji let's his emotions off his chest, expressing to Toji and Kensuke that he's weak and a coward.

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Meanwhile. Misato has an epiphany regarding the Hedgehog's Dilemma. She realizes Shinji has no other way of expressing his feelings than to do as others tell him to; he pilots the Eva because he wants to make others happy. She rushes to the train station to tell him, but arrives too late; the train is already departing. However, as the train leaves the platform, we realize Shinji remained. For him, he suddenly remembered Misato's words to him his first night at the apartment: "hang in there". He realizes his home is here in Tokyo-03 with everybody else, and Misato welcomes him. When it seemed their relationship was over, that the communication had been broken due to the Shamshel incident, they both independently came to the conclusion that their home was with each other.

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

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Postby imprimatur13 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:36 pm

Kensuke, in my opinion, was the "prototype" for Kaji (who was the prototype for Kaworu). He is another of Shinji's "Mother-figures" (who all seem to be male... This theory was inspired by the essay on Kaji as "Bond-girl", as well as Reichu's theory of Kaworu as Mother; why not have ALL of his "Mother-figures" be male?).

It's been one of my pet theories that Kensuke was recycled into Kaji. They both present (different kinds of) masculine exteriors, they both enjoy manipulating the situation and emotions of people around them (Kensuke loves doing that to Toji), they are both after the truth (which they are convinced is hidden), and they both have very interesting conversations with Shinji while surrounded by nature. Also, the "tent in the wilderness" setting, with the fire, is creating a safe, warm, womb-like place for Shin-chan to be.

Kensuke is playing war games, a masculine activity, but then settles into "nature-appreciation", with the cicadas.

Also, "I'm the same as you, Ikari." Remind you of a certain bishounen?

Look at the tent scene again, and you'll see how Kensuke goes from apologizing for Toji, to making fun of Toji, cicadas, envying Shinji for Misato and Eva, talking about his own mother, sympathy, nurturing Shinji with food, disparaging his own masculine facade of war games (both those last 2 are classic Kaji), and then he gets completely serious. He accepts his own defeat (when MIBs take Shinji away), just like Kaji accepts his death. “Only an idiot fights when he knows he can't win. Balls have nothing to do with it.”

This switching from topic to topic, adopting many different roles within the space of a few minutes, is the mark of someone who is skilled at changing his personae on the fly. Classic Kaji.)

Also, Kensuke's role is decreased a lot when Kaji appears. To make room for "Handsome Adult Kensuke" :wink: .

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

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Postby Sachi » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:39 pm

Ep 05 is our formal introduction to Rei. Until now, Rei had simply been in the background as the mysterious other pilot.

The episode begins with a flashback to the Unit-00 activation test (22 days prior to the current episode. If you count the week since Shamshel that Ep 04 covered, and the stated two weeks between Sachiel and Shamshel, that would mean this activation test occurred a matter of days before Ep 01).

We see that very recently, Gendo had been wearing plain reading glasses. In this scene, a lot of focus is placed on Gendo's face, particularly the determination in his eyes. The clear reading glasses don't obscure his eyes the same way his tinted orange glasses do, so we get a much more intimate moment with the man than previously in the series.

As the activation test is underway, something goes wrong and the Eva begins to lose control of itself. It rips free of its restraints, and clutches at its own head as if confused or struggling to think clearly. This is the second berserk of the series, and by this time the audience really ought to be asking themselves just what the hell an Eva is, especially with the glimpse of the fingernails back in Ep 03. It begins punching at the observation deck, directly at Gendo, who remains motionless. It's not until the entry plug auto-eject happens that Gendo reacts with a cry out. He demonstrates unrestrained concerned for the pilot, Rei Ayanami, and rushes to the entry plug to make sure she's okay (this is the same guy who has no relationship with his son). Without hesitating, he grabs onto the handles of the entry plug door, burning his hands, but he continues anyways, absolutely determined. Ritsuko looks on with worry (this shot will bear more meaning later on, when he learn of Ritsuko's jealousy of Rei and her fear of being replaced). Upon getting the entry plug open, he asks if she's okay, to which she replies with a nod. With understanding, he relaxes. The scene ends with a shot of his glasses, which had fallen from his face, cracking from the heat of the bakelite, which had been released to restrain the Eva.

This scene is neat because it explains the injuries Rei has at the beginning of the series. It also gives us insight into Gendo, who had until this point been portrayed as a cool and collected individual, always in control; now we get to see him show unrestrained emotion and desperation. Rei is very important to Gendo. On the surface, it seems very strange that he shows so much concern for this person, but not for his own son (and this is highlighted again later in this episode). However, we eventually learn of Rei's true nature, and how she fits into Gendo's plans and things make more sense. He eventually learn why he distances himself from his son as well, and that it isn't because he dislikes him.

WARNING: image dump  SPOILER: Show
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We then flash forward to the present, as Unit-00 is finally being removed from its bakelite prison. Ritsuko and Misato discuss Rei, the incident, and what might have caused it. Ritsuko says they're not sure, but they think mental instability on the part of the pilot is a primary factor. Ritsuko continues, beginning to say that there might be another possibility, but quickly dismisses the thought and keeps it to herself.

I think Rei's mental instability is an important thing to keep in mind here, versus later on in the episode when she reactivates Unit-00. We don't know much about Rei before the series, however, we do know that a large part of her attachment to Gendo is due to him saving her in the failed activation test. What was she like before then, I wonder?

Flash forward even further, we visit the site where Shamshel was defeated, as the crew is cleaning up and gathering samples from the Angel's corpse. Ritsuko, Misato, and Shinji sit down to look at the results. Ritsuko explains that the data cannot be analyzed, however they do know that the Angels are made up of a unique matter consisting of both particles and waves. Following that, all three of them simultaneously sip their cups of coffee, punctuating their cluelessness (which I found really funny). Ritsuko then shows that the Angels inherent patterns are a 99.89% match to humans, a tip indicated the close relationship humans and Angels share.

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Gendo and Fuyutsuki arrive, and begin examining the salvaged remains of Shamshel's core with intent interest. (this core would later be transported to Germany, where it would be researched and reverse engineered to create an S2 engine, which is tested on Unit-04, and successfully implemented with the Mass Production Series). Shinji notices the burns on Gendo's hands and wonders why. Ritsuko explains what happened during the activation test, and how Gendo burned his hands saving Rei.

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All this talk about Rei finally segues into seeing her. But I'll save the second half of the episode for another day this weekend.
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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 pwhodges » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:56 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:the Angels are made up of a unique matter consisting of both particles and waves.

Given the long-standing acceptance of (universal) wave-particle duality in physics, this always comes over to me as a really cack-handed bit of cod science. Fortunately it has no other significance, and can be readily forgotten.
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Avatar: Kaworu starts to prepare Shinji for dual-piloting (details); Past avatars.
Afterwards... my post-Q Evangelion fanfic (discussion)

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

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Postby Sachi » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:09 pm

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:Given the long-standing acceptance of (universal) wave-particle duality in physics, this always comes over to me as a really cack-handed bit of cod science. Fortunately it has no other significance, and can be readily forgotten.

My recent viewing lends me to believe the explanation is basically a "LOL WE HAVE NO IDEA", especially since it's followed by the three of them sipping on their coffee. It emphasizes the bizarre nature of the Angels, and how we're unable to understand them. Since Angels are largely a metaphor for Other, it could be an extension of how we can never truly understand one another, even though we're fundamentally the same. 99.89%~
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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 imprimatur13 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:21 pm

Ohh! Ritsuko's afraid of being replaced... it makes so much sense now! Just like Naoko...

I imagine Rei was simply either withdrawn earlier, or Gendo had always been taking care of her (seems he had a personal relationship with Rei I, at least), and this was just the most dramatic example.

(shot of Misato + Shinji looking up is priceless... nice screenshot-skillz!)

Again, of course, with the hands. Always with the hands.
Last edited by imprimatur13 on Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

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Postby Sachi » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:28 pm

View Original Postimprimatur13 wrote:Rei II was born just before the test. Very possible, no?

Later in this same episode, Toji and Kensuke say Rei transferred to their school in the 7th grade. I don't know if they're all in 8th or 9th grade, but this at least implies they've known her for some time before the series start.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby imprimatur13 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:30 pm

I see... edited post. Sorry.

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

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Postby Sachi » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:22 am

Ep 05, part II.

After all this talk about Rei, we finally get to see a bit of her in the episode. At school, she sits by herself during swim class. The reflection of the water is a subtle visual nod to Rei's relationship with the Sea of LCL. We see that her injuries have healed, and she no longer needs her bandages. From the field below, the boys are sitting together, ogling the girls in their swimsuits. It's an interesting setup, separating the boys from the girls for this scene, implying a rift between the two sexes, as each look back at each other. Shinji, however, is more interested in his MOM CLONE (we're not supposed to know that yet), suggesting his oedipus complex. I like how it's all hot and sweaty during this scene, furthering the sexual, primal undertone.

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Later, after a test in the Eva, Shinji notices Gendo approach Rei and begin talking to her. To his complete shock, they appear happy and smiling when speaking with each other. Gendo never pays Shinji any sort of positive attention, so it appears strange that he seems to have a positive relationship with the other pilot of his same age, who is considerably unsociable in her own right. Shinji probably worries that he isn't good enough in the eyes of his father.

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Next scene is a home dinner between Shinji, Misato, and Ritsuko. Ritsuko comments that Misato still eats the same junk food from college, indicating that they've known each other for a long time. Just being at Misato's apartment, in casual clothing, seems to indicate a deeper friendship between Misato and Ritsuko then previously implied. This scene does a great job once again highlighting Misato as a slob in a comedic manner. I don't think I noticed this before, but Misato tells Shinji to get her another beer, and he does it, highlighting his passiveness and willingness to be useful for others. As Shinji is handing Misato her beer, Ritsuko asks Shinji to deliver Rei's new ID card to her apartment. Once again, Shinji is teased for staring at Rei. Also, lots of funny faces in this scene.

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Rei lives in the ghetto, in a run-down apartment building, in a filthy apartment. Her mailbox is overflowing, her carpet is stained with footprints, her bed sheets stained with blood. All these visual indicators are there to imply Rei does very little self-maintenance and has low esteem for her well-being. She's minimally engaged, save for what she's been told to do. When Shinji knocks at the door, he gets no response, so he opens it up and comes inside anyway; he has entered her AT Field, and is now about to get unexpected insight about her (boobs).

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Shinji notices the glasses on the dresser. You can already see the drawer with the panties cracked slightly open, foreshadowing what's about to happen. Shinji puts on the glasses, and on cue Rei appears behind him, fresh out of the shower. She sees Gendo's glasses and is visibly upset that Shinji has invaded her privacy like that (even though she cares little about being seen naked), and advances toward him. Like a dork, Shinji stumbles on top of her, pulling the drawer open and raining panties everywhere. Oh, and rainbow! This scene provides very mixed emotions of arousal and extreme awkwardness; in any other anime, this would be a sexy, comic relief scene, but not in Eva. Shinji is positioned awkwardly over Rei, handful of breast, yet she is unphased by it; after several awkward moments, she finally asks him to get off, as if it was a minor inconvenience. As she begins dressing, she asks him what he wants, however he's bumbling so much he can't get through a sentence. So she just leaves (savage).

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The next scene is neat. Rei is going to Nerv, and Shinji is awkwardly following behind her, too scared to catch up to her. When they finally arrive at an entrance to Nerv, Shinji finally finds the pretense to approach her again by giving her the new ID card, which she takes and moves on with out him. On the escalator, Shinji asks her if she's scared to pilot the Eva, to which she replies with another question of if Shinji has faith in his father's work. He says no, how could he ever trust him again, insulting him. This triggers Rei to slap him. This is the third time in the episode Rei exhibits emotions related by Gendo (first the smile when talking to him, then being angry about the glasses, and now this), while she's relatively indifferent to everything else.

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We then go to Unit-00's reactivation test, which goes smoothly. Unlike the prior activation test, we get to see inside the entry plug and gain a little bit of insight about Rei during the test. She brought Gendo's glasses along with her from the apartment, and kept them with her as a memento for the reactivation. Also in this scene, more focus is placed on Gendo's determination, and one shot is even dedicated to Ritsuko observing Gendo. I mentioned earlier that Rei's mental instability was thought to be a primary factor in the initial failed activation. It would seem that Gendo's actions were the key factor in stabilizing Rei's mental state for the reactivation. This makes me wonder how she felt about Gendo prior to the initial activation test, or just her mental state in general.

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Anyways, as soon as Unit-00 successfully activates, Ramiel shows up, and the test gets cut short. Unit-01 is sent out to sortie with the Angel, but is immediately hit with a powerful beam of energy. To be continued...

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

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Postby imprimatur13 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:24 am

As she begins dressing, she asks him what he wants, however he's bumbling so much he can't get through a sentence. So she just leaves (savage).

Sachi, what do you mean by the "(savage)" at the end there?

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

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Postby pwhodges » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:24 am

That it's harsh for her to leave without comment rather than try to get him to clarify or wait for him to recover his composure.
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Re: Let's Watch NGE Together! Unofficial Commentary Thread

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Postby imprimatur13 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:49 am

Ah, thanks, pwhodges.

Analysis of rainbow:

The rainbow is (as it says in the wiki) a sign of the divine covenant that the world shall not be destroyed by flood. That's all well and good. After all, we interpret that as meaning, that the Angels (divine messengers) are not going to destroy the world.

Problem:

What does that have to do with floods? According to the wiki:
It's been suggested that the rainbows appear in the wake of Angels' deaths (which unleashes "floods" due to their bodies dissolving into red fluid) as a sign that the covenant is being fulfilled.

Which is nice, except it doesn't make sense. The whole point of the covenant is that the flood will NOT come again, so showing a flood with the rainbow is NOT showing that it is being fulfilled.

My humble opinion:

HERE is the true symbolism of the flood. What was the flood? A huge earth-covering ocean, that obliterated all life (except those in the ark, and the fish), and started the whole earth-experiment over again. In other words, an Impact. I think that's been discussed already on EGF by my senpai-tachi. However:
Isn't that what the Angels are here to do? The Angels are here to cause Impact, i.e., another Great Flood.
In other words, the Rainbow represents that the flood has been STOPPED. Angel's sent to cause Impact/Flood, and Rainbow appears to show failure of that mission.
The Impact/Flood is a physical manifestation of the anti-AT field, that mixes everything/all souls together. The Rainbow is a symbol of the opposite, it is a symbol of the AT field's holding out against the forces of assimilation.

Ok. Now, about Rei:

In this vein, the rainbow here symbolizes the fact that, although Rei and Shinji are almost in a very intimate (ATF-breaking) situation, they are not in fact so. Because Shinji feels so awkward about the boobies, and Rei's upset about the glasses. Not only are they not intimate, they are in fact on completely different pages (to use the idiom), because they're not even bothered by/thinking about the same things at all.

So, rainbow symbolizes the ATF holding strong in the face of circumstances which might otherwise cause it to fall. Here too.

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

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Postby Sachi » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:38 pm

@imprimatur13: A lot of the information you're pulling is from Rebuild. Angels don't explode into a flood in NGE, but they do in Rebuild. The covenant that's being fulfilled is the one with Lilith, which is also a Rebuild thing.

I think the rainbow is furthering Rei's association with water. I can't think of other instances of rainbows in the original series. The rainbow is caused by the beaker of water on the desk, which resembles the strange aquarium thing Rei frequently relaxes in.

Otherwise, I do like your analysis about Shinji and Rei being on separate pages. Good explanation for their situation.
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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 imprimatur13 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:48 pm

View Original PostSachi wrote:@imprimutar13: A lot of the information you're pulling is from Rebuild. Angels don't explode into a flood in NGE, but they do in Rebuild. The covenant that's being fulfilled is the one with Lilith, which is also a Rebuild thing.

I know, but... can't we make thematic cross-continuity references? Ok, fine...
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View Original PostSachi wrote:I think the rainbow is furthering Rei's association with water. I can't think of other instances of rainbows in the original series. The rainbow is caused by the beaker of water on the desk, which resembles the strange aquarium thing Rei frequently relaxes in.

Hmm... maybe. Interesting.
View Original PostSachi wrote:Otherwise, I do like your analysis about Shinji and Rei being on separate pages. Good explanation for their situation.

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