New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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Postby Captain Crooks » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:20 pm

Hello EvaGeeks,
I am a long term Eva fan, but new to this forum. I watched the original series on television when it aired here in Australia back in the late 90's, taped every episode and examined them in minute detail over and over, such was my obsession.

When the dvd's came out I snapped them up and watched them with subtitles for the first time, and was thrilled with the fact that the subtitle translations were slightly different and gave added insight to certain scenes.

However one element that nagged me all this time was the apparent error in continuity when Shinji's plugsuit appeared in the episode after he is absorbed wearing his school uniform. It seemed to really be at odds with the attention to detail paid to the series as a whole.

Last week I watched Evangelion on Netflix for old time's sake. I watched it in Japanese with English subtitles and noticed an interesting change in the scene where Ritsuko is explaining what has happened to Shinji. The line describing the plugsuit in the old subtitles is:

"...his Ego image is giving a sort of substance to his plug suit."

In the Netflix translation, the line is:

"His mental self-image is manifesting a facsimile of his plug suit."

The second translation seems to infer that the plug suit was created by Shinji, rather than being left behind when he dissolved.

I don't know any Japanese apart from the few words necessary to navigate a crowded Tokyo train station (i.e. "excuse me, sorry, sorry, excuse me") so I don't have anything to offer apart from those two quotes and a question - is the Japanese dubbing different on the Nerflix version from the original series release, or does this new subtitle translation 'solve' the issue of the 'continuity error' - in the EvaGeeks wiki it is still listed as such so I assume this question either hasn't been raised yet, or has been and was already discounted - my apologies if it is the latter :)

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Re: New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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Postby UrsusArctos » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:17 am

Welcome to the forum, Captain Crooks, and that's quite a fascinating first post! Thank you for pointing out something very interesting, indeed.

The Japanese dub hasn't changed at all, but Netflix's subtitles were done by Dan Kanemitsu, who does the in-house translation work for Studio Khara. And in this case it makes a heck of a lot more sense than the old subtitles, because the old subtitles gave the impression that he had gone into the plug with his plugsuit on but that his ego was sort of filling the space taken by it. It was pretty unclear.

The Episode 20 wiki page hasn't been touched since 2011, and I added the bit about the continuity error in 2010 (nine and a half years ago? wow) because that was what it seemed to be at the time. I'm going to go right ahead and change it. Thanks again!
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Re: New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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Postby Captain Crooks » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:34 am

It was my pleasure, but I should be thanking you, it seems a small enough thing but it feels good to put my mind at rest on this issue :)

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Re: New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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Postby UrsusArctos » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:10 pm

Great to hear that - and it was my pleasure as well! Please let us know if there's anything else that bothers you, or ask any questions that you have in mind. Feel free; the wiki is meant to be informative rather than authoritative. Our whole purpose creating and updating it is to try to put out as much correct information as we can and improve or fix things we don't get quite right. When anyone points out things that could be better, that's to everyone's benefit.
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Re: New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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Postby thewayneiac » Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:54 pm

That translation does make more sense, but it still doesn't help us know whether they animated it that way deliberately, or if that line was written to cover up a continuity error.
Last edited by thewayneiac on Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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Postby UrsusArctos » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:20 am

Now that I think about it, the possibility that the line was written that way to cover up a goof is actually valid now, given Khara's control over the translation. Is there a Japanese speaker we know of who can vouch for the validity of the new translation?
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Re: New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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Postby GuiBiancarelli » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:06 am

The line is absent in the manga too (and the plug suit is replaced by his normal clothing). It might have been a late addition to Netflix version.

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Re: New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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Postby StrokeMeGoat » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:32 am

When you're reading a translation, you want to try and avoid being too exact with the way you interpret the wording. I had always taken that line to mean what the Netflix translation seems to clarify for us with a more accurate translation. If the suit had simply been what remained after Shinji dissolved, rather than dissolving with Shinji, why would they even bother saying anything about Shinji's Ego giving substance to anything at all? Wouldn't they just plainly state that the suit hadn't dissolved along with him if that's what happened? Why would Shinji's Ego have anything to do with it unless you chose to interpret the line as meaning essentially what the Netflix translation says but with more precise wording?

Not trying to sound rude or anything btw, I'm just literally asking what I would have if I had interpreted the line the way you originally seemed to have. While I was in high school taking my 4th year of Spanish, my teacher had us watch a lot of movies by that point (usually with subtitles off by then, but that's not as relevant here) and quizzed us periodically over what's going on in the movies... or foreign soap operas in one case. I digress. The point here is that she gave me an extremely useful tip for developing an understanding for what's going on, which is to interpret translations in a very general manner until you are able to gather some more context later on to help come to a more nuanced understanding. Translations are hard--it's very inexact for two reasons. Depending on the translator's knowledge of the language they're translating the original language from, the regional dialects of the native speakers, and word choice... let's call them habits or customs are a huge source of confusion on their own. The next, obviously, is that there often never actually is an exact translation.

You see, translators are often more concerned with being grammatically correct than they are being as accurate as possible to translating the meaning. For one thing, if they're being paid, an editor or some kind is going to be more concerned with grammar and sentence structure themselves, and there is little incentive to do more than is required for a job unless it's a passion project, but even then that means risking butting heads with somebody higher than you with a less detailed understanding. No one wants to risk a job for something like that. Then there's simply being ignorant of the trends in foreign language. What's being said could be entirely correct from a technical standpoint, but the usage of a word with perhaps a negative connotation that a translator doesn't know about gets used in a situation where normally it would imply something bad, but that wasn't actually what was intended.

I think you're probably just looking a little too far into things. Given I originally interpreted the line exactly the same way I do the new line way back then and you didn't, the reason for the change is probably the result of somebody somehow or another becoming aware of that potential for confusion and a decision being made to give it a better translation.

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Re: New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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Postby Sachi » Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:38 am

^The error in question has to do with how the plug suit ended up in the entry plug in the first place. In Ep 19, when Shinji reclaims Eva-01 to face Zeruel, he goes in his school uniform (just like he did against Sachiel, likely because there wasn't any time to spare), and is subsequently absorbed into the Eva when he reaches the 400% sync rate. However, in the next episode, when Nerv is trying to recover Shinji from the Eva, his plug suit is seen within the entry plug rather than his school uniform.

The original translation ignores this, but the new translation lends credit to the idea that Shinji manifested it as part of his ego. It's odd, but it's at least an attempt to explain why the plug suit is there rather than it being ignored and chalked up to a error in continuity.
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Re: New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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Postby Reichu » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:04 pm

It's a continuity error, straight up. The screenplay and storyboard versions of the script do not have the line about "pseudo-substantiation". In other words, it was added in only after the continuity error was noticed and it was too late to do anything about it.

The new translation doesn't fix anything, since the original Japanese still literally says "his self-image is pseudo-substantiating his plugsuit" and it's patent gobbledygook nonsense no matter what. Later it comes in handy as a way of handwaving stuff like Asuka showing up with an intact plugsuit. Lemons and lemonade, I guess.

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Re: New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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Postby thewayneiac » Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:43 pm

There's an aspect to this that I don't ever recall discussing: what happened to the street clothes that he was wearing?
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Re: New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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Postby UrsusArctos » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:51 am

They plain forgot about what clothes he'd been wearing, so the school uniform just ceased to exist. Had there been genuine continuity instead of a goof, his school uniform (which is what his street clothes are) would have washed out of that plug rather than the plugsuit.

Perhaps Ritsuko's line should've been "His ego is pseudo-substantiating his clothes into a plugsuit" to cover up the missing school uniform too? :lol:
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WAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!(<-link to lunacy)...Taste me, if you can bear it. (Warning: Language NSFW)
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Re: New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:24 pm

While I concur that Ep 20 has a more-than-usually obvious continuity error, I am suspicious of the idea that Khara trying to mitigate that with by simply fudging the English translation ever so slightly. It's not that I think that Khara/Anno is a paragon of truth or honesty, but rather I can't imagine the English-speaking market being so important to anyone in that company that they would fix something for us, but not fix it for their own Japanese audiences. Is this decision mirrored in other language translations? Is Khara planning on re-recording one or two characters' lines to fix that error for the Japanese audience while they already have the voice actresses in the booth for Shin Eva?

The only thing that makes sense is that someone at Netflix was an ultra Evangelion perfectionist and decided that he needed to fix it himself in order to make sure that the show was above continental reproach. (As though there weren't enough Netflix set conspiracy theories roaming around the net these days.) I just can't imagine Khara being that invested in this weird, meaningless error for only one foreign market.

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Re: New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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Postby Reichu » Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:27 am

Or it was just a decision that Dan decided to make for whatever weird reason. For all the complaints about him being "too literal", these folks are only whining about when his take feels more wooden than the overly liberal ADV dub version they were used to. In contrast to the Platinum subs, which are so accurate they have seldom failed a serious student of the original text, the Dansubs are SUPER liberal.

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Re: New info re: Episode 20 continuity error?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:19 pm

I motion that we call such behavior in the Netflix subs “Danfoolery.”


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