Commentary: Episode #02

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Soluzar [ANF]
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Postby Soluzar [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:42 pm

Reichu wrote:Well, personally, I don't think the possession of a "vertical main axis" should be the sole determinant for whether or not Anno is messing with our minds. Turn EVA-02's eye sockets 90 degrees, and, well, there you go. Of all the eye sockets I've seen, the Evas' are the only ones that look like they were pulled out of an uncensored H-doujin. Image

I totally agree with your thoughts that there is a lot of vulvic symbolism in NGE, and to my mind, an important part of what makes these images clearly symbolic is the fact that they are often depicted as having something emerge from them, which could be seen as symbolic of the birth function associated with this kind of imagery.

If it were just the shapes alone, then I'd have my doubts, but the fact that in a couple of situations, this type of shape has been shown with, for example, a new eye sprouting from it, tends to swing my opinion towards the symbolic meaning.

Not that I've ever seen one with eyes sprouting from it, myself, but my experiences in life are not all encompassing. Image

Originally posted on: 13-Oct-2004, 00:01 GMT

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Postby Hexon.Arq [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:43 pm

Is it too early to say that the GNR eye-thing may not be a minduck so much as Anno's possible desire to include Hindu tradition in his big multi-traditional climax via use of a depiction of Shiva and Shakti, substituted for Rei's Third Eye in an effort to condense the two references into one shot?

You can only call the penetration imagery "Freudian" on so many levels.

Originally posted on: 13-Oct-2004, 00:06 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:43 pm

Soluzar wrote:I totally agree with your thoughts that there is a lot of vulvic symbolism in NGE, and to my mind, an important part of what makes these images clearly symbolic is the fact that they are often depicted as having something emerge from them, which could be seen as symbolic of the birth function associated with this kind of imagery.

The 'birth' idea works with EVA-01's eye and core deal. EVA-02's eva sockets look blatantly more 'vulvic' than EVA-01's in #02, and they don't have anything coming out of them, so I don't know WHAT the deal is there...

Of course, there's no "birth" thing going on with GNR's third eye in EoE; instead, there's a long, pointy thing going into it. I think even MDWigs agreed about what was going on there. (Ahem-ahem.)

Hexon.Arq wrote:Is it too early to say that the GNR eye-thing may not be a minduck so much as Anno's possible desire to include Hindu tradition in his big multi-traditional climax via use of a depiction of Shiva and Shakti, substituted for Rei's Third Eye in an effort to condense the two references into one shot?

My knowledge of Hinduism is next to none. Perhaps you can elaborate a little.

You can only call the penetration imagery "Freudian" on so many levels.

But there are so many Freudisms in NGE, how can we ignore it?

Originally posted on: 13-Oct-2004, 04:56 GMT

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Postby Soluzar [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:43 pm

Reichu wrote:Of course, there's no "birth" thing going on with GNR's third eye in EoE; instead, there's a long, pointy thing going into it. I think even MDWigs agreed about what was going on there. (Ahem-ahem.)

Naturally. Not really open to much debate, really. It's either non-symbolic, or if it is symbolic, then it can only be of one thing in that case. I would only say that I don't find that scene as vividly symbolic as the 'birth' scenes.


Reichu wrote:But there are so many Freudisms in NGE, how can we ignore it?

The mistake that Freud is often accused of making is that of overapplying his theories, which were based upon a small and non-representative sample of the population. This leads a certain type of person to say that Freudian concepts should not be used at all. This is just as incorrect. There is a time and a place to look for Freudian symbolism. To my way of thinking, any anime where the main character is both in (sexual) love with a person who is (very loosely speaking) his own mother, and regularly enters the symbolic representation of his own mother, not to mention that he would probably like to kill his father has to be a valid target for Freudian analysis. I just don't see how anyone can look at Shinji, and not see complex piled upon complex.

My advice to anyone who dislikes Freud's theories: Choose a new anime! Image

Originally posted on: 13-Oct-2004, 05:27 GMT

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Postby Hexon.Arq [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:43 pm

Well, in Hindu tradition, Shiva is the Absolute Cosmic Being, or life force in its purest form; an embodiment of consciousness so pure it transcends individual consciousness. Shakti is the absolute power of the phenominal universe, neither living nor dead; everything that simply is. Shiva is represented by the lingam, or penis (not specifically, just a phallic symbol), and Shakti is represented by the yoni (a word for the vagina). As I understand it, the image of the lingam (Shiva) set in the base of the yoni (Shakti) can be found near many Hindu temples.

The joined Shiva-Shakti dynamic is essentially the act of sex taken to a level which encomasses all existence. It is able to produce unrivaled joy and also excruciating pain, "To make and to rip apart" (Many Peoples, Many Faiths - Robert Ellwood).

If GNR is indeed a symbol of femininity and divinity in a Freudian sense (as well as any other sense), then the role of Shakti does befit her. Lilith was a passive being (from what we know), and is the fundamental larger half of the T.I. pairing. Eva-01, with the Lance (the Lance's fusion being key, not Eva's own sexuality), seems to have some qualities of Shiva when contrasted with our Shakti. It is, to say the least, conscious and active, a beast of action. Of course, these are weak stretches, but even discarding them, the dynamic remains the same.

What I mean by the limitation on Freudian descriptions is that sexual imagery has connotations far beyond pshychology. While its use as such is most appropriate, its use as a quotation of Eastern religious expression may be just as valid, especially in the context of something like Third Impact. The act of penetraion (as in Kama-Sutra) is a representaion, and therefore an invokation of all creation and destruction. The prevalence of penetration in the imagery of the rite may be more than just a recycling of the Freudian themes we have already been introduced to. To me, at least, the insertion of the Lance into the Core, the blissful penetration of the "Rei Units", and the GNR eye-poke make a lot more sense as an Eastern statement of creation-destruction than just penetration for the sake of having big, Freudian vaginas all over the place. Anno, a Japanese man, is, after all, someone who has no real reason to limit the religious symbolism to Judeo-Christian-Occult motifs.

I'll be perfectly honest and say that I am one of those people who believe that the lack of substance in the religious symbolism is part truth, part blatant falsehood. Things like cross-explosions and esoteric names may fit the description of frivolous window dressing, but other occurences simply make too much sense to be dumb luck. It is very, very easy to deny an intention of the past. While I don't accuse the creators of anything (to hold on to my own credibility a little), I will say that if some of these occurences came from a place of actual mastery of occult knowledge, however minimal, then there is no reason to doubt the use of traditions outside the boundaries of those most commonly quoted.

Originally posted on: 13-Oct-2004, 06:20 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:43 pm

Hexon, that's really quite interesting... You're probably onto something, and it will certainly be put to good use whenever the hell we get to EoE. (It's so easy to get sidetracked in these early episodes!)

Meantime, I will continue to meditate over the Evas' vulvic eye sockets. Image

Originally posted on: 13-Oct-2004, 06:29 GMT

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Postby Incisivis [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:43 pm

Reichu wrote:I'm glad you haven't forgotten about us!

Awww, thanks...

Yeah, I wanted to jump in a while ago, but seeing that I'm a full-time university student, with midterms coming up, I had to scrape it together on the side.

But I'll always be here, commenting....

I thought I just mentioned Gendo and Rei in connection with tv33's "profile" (admittedly, due to lack of inspiration... don't worry, he already chewed me out for it). Though I suppose your Shinjiphilia is of significant notoriety that it's worth mentioning. Image If you could share your "lot in life", that would be good. You probably told me in one of our e-mails a while back, but that would require some digging...

Image Currently I'm in University, majoring in English, minoring in Psych, and plan to become a librarian sometime in the future.

But if you want the truth, I never thought of my interest in the dub as a defining trait of my fandom, so I was surprised it was up there in my profile, which was partially why I suggested the thing about Shinji.

But I'm just hairsplitting.

Your stuff is, as always, tight as an Eva's arse (not THAT kind of "tight", you perverts! although, yeah, they're probably tight that way, too...), so there's not much I have to add.

Thank you. *bows* That's me, bad taste, sharp mind. Image

But yeah, it's really fun. I consider my observations rather trivial, but it's nice to know you appreciate them.

Are you going to later on?

Well, I did think that my ep2 commentary would be the best place to put my ideas, it's just that I was worried about taking up too much space, or going off on a tangent.

So, here's my amateur theories:

If the sexes in the Shinji/Misato situation had been reversed, it would have been a lot harder for the Japanese to get the early-ep comedy out of it, and ADV might not have been so flippant, for several reasons. Among them, pedophiliac relationships where the male is the abuser have greater precedent, so right from the start it'd be very hard to see it as "innocent" if it weren't immediately presented as another "dirty-old-man" joke. Secondly, most people seem to expect the man to be the "dominant" one in a relationship. The male is always going to be able to say no, going to want sex, and can't be violated by a woman, no matter the age difference.

By 'original', do you mean the original translation or the "proper" translation (of the original Japanese)?

Whatever ADV translated it as on the DVDs. The line, I think it goes, "I guess I should be nicer...but he's probably already made up his mind about me,". I think your version is better, by the way; it fits more with the image I have of Misato, and adds another layer to it.

This suggestion fits in quite well with what Anno himself has said about Misato: "...a 29-year-old woman who lives life so lightly as to barely allow the possibility of a human touch. She protects herself by having only surface-level relationships, and running away."

Holy hell, you're right! I completely forgot about that. Thanks for reminding me.

I also find this interesting, in that Misato has literally devoted her life to "avenging her father", yet, now that her vengeance is being achieved (by overseeing the slaughter of the Angels), she feels no satisfaction from it.

Yeah. I guess that Misato, like a lot of people, doesn't really have an idea of what will make her happy.

... "Dude, this is pretty f***ed up right here."

On many levels, yes. Which one in particular did you come up with? Image

And she has a rather disturbing talent for it, as well! One wonders how the woman avoided permanent vocal cord damage.

I think it's rare that a VA's performance can be so stressful there's premanent damage, based on my limited experience. It usually seems that some actors with difficult performances get pushed to their limits in a session and have to stop, but are fine later (this happened frequently to Richard Horvitz while recording for Invader Zim). Although, the first dub actress for Excel from Excel Saga had to quit because the hyperactive performance would have damaged her vocal cords. Don't know of any Japanese cases, but I'd imagine things are the same.

You captured my thoughts about that shot exactly... I wasn't sure how to verbalize them.

Thanks again. *bows*

Originally posted on: 14-Oct-2004, 18:53 GMT

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Postby TheUserName [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:43 pm

Reichu wrote:I never really thought of comparing the two before... Interesting. Any speculation about exactly what Pen^2's 'backpack' is for, anyway?

Maybe it's to weigh him (do we know it's sex?) down so he can't fly away? I'm well aware that penguin's cant naturally fly but this is anime afterall. Another reason could be that it supplies him with the neccasary heat for him to survive, we know he's a 'warm water' penguin and he may well need the perfect temparature of that water to survive out of he's naturall enviroment.

191 - In this shot, Eva 01 is very much similar to how Sachiel was postured in Episode 1, 037.

Image
Image


164 - For no other reason than mere obsivation, this is the first time we see bakelite being used. Bakelite is re-occuring in Eva.

104 - Shinji's reluctance can really be felt in this scene.

120 - Everytime I see this I cant help but think 'giant floating jelly-bean'.

Originally posted on: 16-Oct-2004, 08:11 GMT

Reichu [ANF]
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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:43 pm

TheUserName wrote:Maybe it's to weigh him (do we know it's sex?) down so he can't fly away? I'm well aware that penguin's cant naturally fly but this is anime afterall. Another reason could be that it supplies him with the neccasary heat for him to survive, we know he's a 'warm water' penguin and he may well need the perfect temparature of that water to survive out of he's naturall enviroment.

Pen^2 is male. Misato calls him kare, which actually does mean "he"/"him".

The odd thing is, if Pen^2 is a "hot springs" (onsen) penguin, why does he live in a fridge? I've never quite been able to figure that out.

Unless Pen^2 enjoys Kaworu-style levitation, I don't think anyone has to worry about him "flying" away.

164 - For no other reason than mere obsivation, this is the first time we see bakelite being used. Bakelite is a re-occuring theme in Eva.

"Theme" is the wrong word, methinks.

Originally posted on: 15-Oct-2004, 22:07 GMT

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Postby Hexon.Arq [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:43 pm

The odd thing is, if Pen^2 is a "hot springs" (onsen) penguin, why does he live in a fridge? I've never quite been able to figure that out.

My memory is a bit muddled, but is it ever confirmed to be a fridge? Maybe it's a humidifier. (Although, why he would need one of those is something I wouldn't know, either.)

Unless Pen^2 enjoys Kaworu-style levitation, I don't think anyone has to worry about him "flying" away.

Image

Originally posted on: 16-Oct-2004, 05:58 GMT

Reichu [ANF]
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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:43 pm

Hexon.Arq wrote:My memory is a bit muddled, but is it ever confirmed to be a fridge? Maybe it's a humidifier. (Although, why he would need one of those is something I wouldn't know, either.)

Shinji (OFF) "Err... What's with the other refrigerator?"
Misato "Ah, don't mind that. He's probably still sleeping."

Originally posted on: 16-Oct-2004, 10:41 GMT

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Postby TheUserName [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:43 pm

Reichu wrote:Shinji (OFF) "Err... What's with the other refrigerator?"
Misato "Ah, don't mind that. He's probably still sleeping."

Maybe this is some correction on the subbing of the Plainum Edition's part, but in the original R2 releases he say's something to the effect of...

''What's in the other one''

I always assumed that Shinji's assumption that the 'other one' was a fridge could have been incorrect, maybe it was some kind of steam room?

Originally posted on: 16-Oct-2004, 12:23 GMT

Reichu [ANF]
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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:44 pm

TheUserName wrote:Maybe this is some correction on the subbing of the Plainum Edition's part, but in the original R2 releases he say's something to the effect of...

''What's in the other one''

I always assumed that Shinji's assumption that the 'other one' was a fridge could have been incorrect, maybe it was some kind of steam room?

The original line is "Ano~ acchi no reikouzo (refrigerator) wa?".

The script also refers to it specifically as a "large-scale refrigerator" (oogata reizouko).

Originally posted on: 16-Oct-2004, 13:16 GMT

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Postby Mr. Tines [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:44 pm

Reichu wrote:I never really thought of comparing the two before... Interesting. Any speculation about exactly what Pen^2's 'backpack' is for, anyway?

My guess is that it's - if not exactly life support, something that helps match the bird and his environment. Of course if we take the manga ex-lab-animal origin, then it might be something connected with whatever experiments he was subject to.


TheUserName wrote:164 - For no other reason than mere obsivation, this is the first time we see bakelite being used. Bakelite is a re-occuring theme in Eva.

This is one of my friction points. Call the stuff "unobtanium" and I'm happy. Call it after something real, then it should like that stuff - and Eva bakelite doesn't.

Bakelite is "cured" from the liquid precursor under heat and pressure, and in its pure form is very brittle. The brownish bakelite that made up the insulators of much early-mid 20th century electrical equipment is actually resin-soaked sawdust, with the wood fibres providing the strength. This makes it pretty much unlike the pour-and-set stuff that NERV uses.

That said, I just mentally replace the references to it with something appropriate to the context.

Originally posted on: 16-Oct-2004, 21:29 GMT

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Postby TheUserName [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:44 pm

211 - This scene actually tells us quite a bit about how one must synchronize with the Eva. Naturally the plug suit isn't required, only those clips that are attached to the head. I can only assume that those clips monitor and transmit the pilots thought's and brainwave patterns to the Eva, in order for it to be active (at least until it goes berserk) the plug suit then, must serve as some sort of protective feild gear, which i'll comment on a further way's down the line...

257 - Notice the way that the jaws need to almost be forced open, there not mean to do this ; )

Originally posted on: 17-Oct-2004, 11:36 GMT

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:44 pm

156:
Image Image
Misato "I wonder if I've been a little TOO cheery? Maybe I'm the one who's transparent."

I just found a very interesting comment about this line in the Episode Commentaries included in Platinum (which are a translation of the original provided with Renewal):
Shinji was supposed to live by himself, but instead, Misato takes him in and the two of them begin their life together in her apartment. In order to try to close the gap between her and him, Misato acts silly around Shinji and as if in response to that, Shinji acts exaggeratedly surprised by the presence of Pen Pen, the hot springs penguin. Seeing Shinji's true intentions in his actions, Misato says to herself "Maybe I'm the one who's transparent." It is a most Eva-like depiction concerning "communication".

Well, I would say that puts quite an interesting perspective on that scene; it seems to indicate that Shinji realizes that Misato is condescending to him, in a way, by putting on an act for his benefit, so he lets her know he sees through her by putting on his own ridiculous performance over Pen Pen.

Originally posted on: 21-Oct-2004, 04:49 GMT

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Postby HeWhoPostsStuff [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:44 pm

If that's the case, then methinks Shinji demonstrates more backbone here than most give him credit for, seeing as he doesn't seem to have many hesitations about exposing himself in front of a woman for the sake of a joke...unless, of course, he only intended to overplay the yelling part and just sort of forgot his state of undress either way...

Originally posted on: 21-Oct-2004, 06:20 GMT

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Postby Hexon.Arq [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:44 pm

lol, Shinji the Flasher. Good god.

That explanation does have a lot of merit over a situation that otherwise seems completely silly and unnecessary, especially in that it does a lotto clarify Misaot's thought, but then this thing about Shinji's intentionally shameless display does kind of seem to counter its plausibility.

Originally posted on: 22-Oct-2004, 01:50 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:44 pm

Hexon.Arq wrote:That explanation does have a lot of merit over a situation that otherwise seems completely silly and unnecessary, especially in that it does a lotto clarify Misaot's thought, but then this thing about Shinji's intentionally shameless display does kind of seem to counter its plausibility.

It seems to be completely out of character, for one thing... I dunno, to me, Shinji's reaction to finding a penguin in the shower, while silly and overblown, felt "honest" to me, and not the sort of thing Shinji would just decide to do at the drop of a hat. Was the commentary writer on drugs, or am I just missing something?

Originally posted on: 22-Oct-2004, 13:11 GMT

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:44 pm

Reichu wrote:It seems to be completely out of character, for one thing... I dunno, to me, Shinji's reaction to finding a penguin in the shower, while silly and overblown, felt "honest" to me, and not the sort of thing Shinji would just decide to do at the drop of a hat. Was the commentary writer on drugs, or am I just missing something?

You have a point there, but, on the other hand, putting the scene (not just Shinji reaction to Pen Pen, but Misato's behavior the whole time) in that context does make Misato's line "I wonder if I've been a little TOO cheery? Maybe I'm the one who's transparent." make perfect sense...

Originally posted on: 22-Oct-2004, 13:57 GMT


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