What REALLY motivated Ritsuko to turn against Gendo in #23

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What REALLY motivated Ritsuko to turn against Gendo in #23

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:53 pm

This thread is intended as a continuation of the What Gendou said to Ritsuko: Solved? (seriously) thread. I feel that I need to start this as a new topic, because, in the year or so that has elapsed since I initiated that thread, I have reached new conclusions regarding what is really going on with Ritsuko in Episode 23 - Tears/Rei III. These conclusions tend to render a lot of what I posted in the first two pages of the old thread sort of wrong-headed and misleading. For that reason, I feel it is better to re-start my exploration of this issue in a new thread. I am confident that what I have to say here will supercede the earlier thread, and I feel that it will be more convenient if people don't have to dig way deep in "What Gendo said to Ritsuko" to access my new Ritsuko "thesis".

As I work my way thru the various scenes in #23' that have some bearing on this topic, you will notice that I will refer quite a bit to the various English translations of the original script that ADV has presented in the DVDs they have released up to now. It is my contention that ADV's dub script, and the old version of the subtitle script, have managed to obscure certain subtle, yet crucial plot points. Unfortunately, these are the translations that the vast majority of NGE fans in the English-speaking world have necessarily had to rely on. However, ADV has, for the most part, managed to redeem themselves with the revised, (i.e. much more accurate) subtitle script utilized in the Directors Cut episodes included in the Resurrection and Genesis Reborn DVDs, (which were unavailable when I started the old thread). It was while watching episode 23' with the new subs that "the scales fell from my eyes", and the truth concerning Ritsuko, Gendo, and SEELE, finally came into focus.

Also, on a personal note, I would like to thank Reichu, who has rendered timely and invaluable assistance to me as I have pursued this project. I should also thank her for her patience, and apologize for my looonnnggg procrastination in getting my act together to actually post something (many months ago I had to share some of my new ideas on this topic with her, so that she could take a close look at certain crucial lines in the original Japanese script to confirm whether they were actually saying what they seemed to be saying in the new DC sub script. Reichu has been very good about keeping this to herself all this time. Arigatou! Image )


Note: The format I intend to follow, as I go thru the various scenes that feature Ritsuko , or are otherwise pertinent to the topic, in #23', will go something like:

1: For ease of reference, I'll post transcriptions, for each scene in turn, of the old ADV Subtitle script, the Dub script, the New DC Subtitle script, and for comparison, the Literal Translation Project script.

2: I'll then do a screen-cap walk-thru of the scene, with dialog from the new ADV subs. Unfortunately, the formating here on AnimeNation only allows a measly four embedded images per post, so this will necessitate spreading even short scenes over multiple posts.

3: I'll offer my comments and analysis (which may entail more screen-caps), and then respond to your feedback.

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 13:33 GMT

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:53 pm

ADV's original subs:

Ritsuko:
So, you haven't seen her?
Yeah, I think so too.
The cat has come to the end of her life.
Don't cry Grandma.
Yes, I'll come home as soon as I can.
It's been three years since I visited my mom's grave.
I'll call you.
Well, I'll talk to you later.

So, the cat died.

-----------------------------

ADV's dub:

Ritsuko:
So, that child is gone.
Yes, even cats die.
Don't cry Grandma.
Yes, I'll come home as soon as I have time.
I haven't visited mother's grave in three years.
Yes, I'll call you next time.

Yeah, so even cat's can die...

-------------------------------------

ADV's new subtitles on the Resurrection DVD, #23':

Ritsuko:
I see, so she passed away.
Yes, probably, even cats eventually reach the end of their lives.
Don't cry anymore, Grandma.
I will. When I get some time, I'll come home for a bit.
I haven't visited Mother's grave in three years either.
I'll call you next time.
Okay, I'm hanging up now.

So, she died.

--------------------------------------------

LTP #23

Ritsuko: Well, that child is gone.
hmm, probably.
Even cats die.
Don't cry, grandma.
Hmm, I will come home when I have time to.
I haven't been to my mom's grave for three years.
Next time, I will call you.
OK, I have to go.

Ritsuko: So, that cat died.

-------------------------------------------------

034
Image
Nerv HQ. Late at night.
The sounds of rush construction work resonate.
The exterior is almost as it was before.


035
Image
An ashtray on a desk. Full of cigarette butts (with lipstick on them).
Ritsuko (on phone)
I see, so she passed away.

036
Image
Cold coffee and a coffee maker
Yes, probably, even cats eventually reach the end of their lives.

NPC cut (new)
Image

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 13:33 GMT

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:53 pm

037
Image
Her office desk. Ritsuko's backside.
Don't cry anymore, Grandma.
I will. When I get some time, I'll come home for a bit.
I haven't visited Mother's grave in three years either.
I'll call you next time.
Okay, I'm hanging up now.

038
Image
She switches the phone off.
SE <<BEEP>>

039
Image
Although she is growing weary, she speaks matter-of-factly.
So, she died.

Image

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 13:34 GMT

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:53 pm

040
Image
Ritsuko's office.
The cat ornaments on her desk.




This scene is simple, and, at the same time, enigmatic.
Its 'surface' meaning is straight-forward enough; Ritsuko's grandmother calls her to let her know that her cat had died: what's not to 'get'? What is hard to figure out is "Who cares?!" That is, why should we give a rat's *** about some cat we've never seen, and whose existence was just once vaguely alluded to, in the previous episode (Misato: "I won't listen to this from someone who conceals her loneliness with pet cats.")... It's fair to say that this scene must bear some some symbolic or metaphorical weight, otherwise, why is it it here? Anno obviously intends it to mean something, because the first thing out of Ritsuko's mouth in #24, in her confrontation with Gendo, is "My cat died..."
The significance of this scene will come into focus when it is, in a sense, continued in the second half of #23, so I will elaborate on my interpretation of the Great Cat Metaphor when we get to that point.

It is interesting to note how Ritsuko refers to the late cat as "that child" (you can distinctly hear her say "ano ko"); I think that there may be some significance to her choice of words, so it is unfortunate that that detail is 'lost in translation' in both of ADV's subtitle scripts (while the dub manages to get it right).

One thing that I, as one who hardly ever watches the dub, can't help but comment on is: What the hell is up with Ritsuko in the dub?! I had to play the dub to transcribe that version of the script, and all I can say, after listening for the first time in years to Sue Ulu's hammy, over-the-top performance, is that sub-Ritsuko and dub-Ritsuko are essentially two different characters. It's not really fair, though, to blame this all on Miss Ulu, however lousy her acting may be, because she was simply reading the script that was presented to her, and in the manner that she was directed to do so... The person really responsible for the fiasco that is ADV's dub is, of course, Matt Greenfield; he's the one who seems to have conceived of Ritsuko as some scary bitch-villainess, a la Cruella De Ville: in fact, if dub-Ritsuko was a guy, I imagine 'he' would be running around twirling his moustache like Snidely Whiplash. Note for instance, how Greenfield gratuitouly has Ritsuko refer to Asuka as "that little bitch" in the Mind Rape scene in #22, which has nothing at all to do with what she actually says in Japanese, or, to get back to the topic of this scene, note how her voice is dripping with impatience and disdain as she tells her grandmother "Yes, I'll call you next time...", which is a gross perversion of the calm, sympathetic tone with which Ritsuko addresses her grandma in the original.

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 13:35 GMT

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Postby Mr. Tines [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:53 pm

I will be interested to see how this develops.

One think I shall have to check is that I have some memory of a mention of the cat having gone AWOL back in ep17 - this conversation felt like it was using the thread that had already been laid for the purpose as a means of introducing the subject of bereavement - and thus the continuing estrangement of Risuko from her mother, even in death.

I confess that as a cats-not-kids person myself, I felt "been there, done that, had the hangover".

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 14:06 GMT

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:53 pm

ADV's original subs:

SEELE:
It's impossible to recover the Lance of Longinus.

SEELE:
Why did you use it?

SEELE:
Are you aware that we do not have enough of the Eva series yet?

Gendo:
Destroying the Angel is our top priority.
This is the fact that we have to face.

SEELE:
Is that it? You should come up with a better excuse.

SEELE:
You're disrespectful to the committee these days.

Gendo:
Fuyutsuki, were in the middle of deliberations.
I understand.
There is an Angel approaching. Let us adjourn for now.

SEELE:
Your seat will be waiting for you.

Keel:
Will Ikari betray SEELE?

--------------------------------------

ADV's dub:

SEELE:
It is impossible to retreive the Lance of Longinus.

SEELE:
Why did you use it?

SEELE:
And about the EVA Series; we don't have them all scheduled yet.

Gendo:
Destroying the Angels is our top priority.
There was no other way.

SEELE:
No other way? You'd better come up with a more believable excuse!

SEELE:
Your actions these days belie a lack of respect for this committee.

Gendo:
Fuyutsuki, I'm in conference... Understood.
Another Angel is approaching. We must finish this later.

SEELE:
You're assuming you'll still have a seat here.

Keel:
Are you going to betray us, Ikari?

-------------------------------------

ADV's new subs, #23' (Resurrection DVD):

SEELE:
It is impossible for us to recover the Lance of Longinus.

SEELE:
Why did you use it?

SEELE:
We still do not have the planned number of the Eva series.

Gendo:
I made destroying the Angel my top priority.
It was an unavoidable situation.

SEELE:
Unavoidable, was it?
You should make your excuses more convincing than that.

SEELE:
Your recent actions have become intolerable.

Gendo:
Fuyutsuki, we're in the middle of deliberations here.
All right.
An Angel is curently drawing near.
Let us continue this at another time.

SEELE:
If your seat is still waiting for you, that is.

Keel:
Ikari... Does he intend to betray Seele?

---------------------------------

LTP #23

Seele: It is impossible for us to retrieve Lancea Longini.

Seele: Why did you use it?

Seele: And about the Eva series, we don't have all
of them scheduled.

Gendou: The annihilation of the Angel was more important.
There was no other way.

Seele: No other way? Your excuses should be more persuasive.

Seele: The things you have done recently are too bold.

Gendou: Fuyutsuki, I am in conference.
Alright.

Gendou: An Angel is approaching right now.
We will finish this discussion at the next opportunity.

Seele: If your chair remains.

Seele: Ikari, are you going to betray Seele?

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 16:21 GMT

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:54 pm

Image
SEELE:
It is impossible for us to recover the Lance of Longinus.

SEELE:
Why did you use it?

SEELE:
We still do not have the planned number of the Eva series.

Image
Gendo:
I made destroying the Angel my top priority.
It was an unavoidable situation.

SEELE:
Unavoidable, was it?
You should make your excuses more convincing than that.

SEELE:
Your recent actions have become intolerable.

(SE) [phone rings]

Image
Gendo:
Fuyutsuki, I'm in conference... Understood.

Image
(hangs up phone; shuts drawer)

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 16:21 GMT

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:54 pm

Image
An Angel is curently drawing near.
Let us continue this at another time.

Image
SEELE:
If your seat is still waiting for you, that is.

Image
(Gendo's hologram disappears)

Image
Keel:
Ikari... Does he intend to betray Seele?

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 16:22 GMT

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:54 pm

The reason I include this scene, even though it doesn't include Ritsuko herself, is that it adds the necessary context of SEELE's increasingly suspicious and antagonistic relationship with Gendo by this point in the story. As Fuyutsuki anticipated in the previous episode, the Committee is in an uproar over Gendo's decision to use the Spear of Longinus against the Fifteenth Angel (and thus conveniently get rid of it):

SEELE:
It is impossible for us to recover the Lance of Longinus.

SEELE:
Why did you use it?

SEELE:
We still do not have the planned number of the Eva series.


Note how both the Lance and the Eva Series are brought up here at the start; this touches on the divergent ends and means that SEELE and Gendo had in mind for initiating Third Impact; it is beyond the scope of this presentation to get into all the details thereof. Suffice to say that SEELE had been counting on utilizing the Lance, and that Gendo needed to eliminate it from the equation, and that SEELE was ultimately obliged to go to 'Plan B', which entailed using the Eva Series.

Gendo:
An Angel is curently drawing near.
Let us continue this at another time.

SEELE:
If your seat is still waiting for you, that is.


Note how ADV managed to completely blow the translation of that last line in its original subtitle script:

SEELE:
Your seat will be waiting for you.


Also note this:

Keel:
Ikari... Does he intend to betray Seele?


From the beginning of the series, we see that the rest of the Committee seems to have it in for Gendo, but Chairman Keel seems more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. In the EVA 2 game, we're told that Yui Ikari was the daughter of a high ranking SEELE member, thus Gendo effectively 'married into' the organization. I think there are a few hints that there was a more personal relationship between Gendo and Keel than with the others; note, for instance, how #21' (and Death) has the two of them in effect sharing a good laugh at the expense of the the Katsuragi Team scientists who unwittingly do their dirty work in initiating Second Impact (while Gendo, of course, knew enough about what was in store to get the hell out of Antartica the day before), and how we see Gendo hobnobbing with Keel during the subsequent cover-up:
Image

However, after the events of #19 (EVA-01 acquiring an S^2 organ), #21' (Kaji suggests that SEELE may already be catching on to his complicity in swiping the Adam Sample), and #22 (the Lance ending up in lunar orbit), even Keel is starting to get wise to Gendo's apparent perfidy. The events of #23 involving Ritsuko are basically about SEELE's ruthless determination to find out what Gendo is really up to...

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 16:22 GMT

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Postby Mr. Tines [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:54 pm

I was wrong about ep 17; but there is this interesting line in ep#15 while casting around:

Ryoji: Oh, here you are. A souvenir from a cat.

Light dawns - I think I know where this is going; and it does place the Misato/Ritsuko thread in a different light, doesn't it, by Jove!

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 16:33 GMT

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:54 pm

Mr. Tines wrote:I was wrong about ep 17; but there is this interesting line in ep#15 while casting around:

Ryoji: Oh, here you are. A souvenir from a cat.

Light dawns - I think I know where this is going; and it does place the Misato/Ritsuko thread in a different light, doesn't it, by Jove!

To tell the truth, I've racked my brain trying to tie that line by Kaji in #15 to the Ritsuko/Cat deal in 23/24, but I've never really gotten anywhere...So, needless to say, I'm interested in finding out where you think this is going Image

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 16:41 GMT

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Postby Mr. Tines [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:54 pm

Shin-seiki wrote:To tell the truth, I've racked my brain trying to tie that line by Kaji in #15 to the Ritsuko/Cat deal in 23/24, but I've never really gotten anywhere...So, needless to say, I'm interested in finding out where you think this is going Image




I may be barking up the wrong tree here, but at the moment, I'm thinking that this is "grandma" with her cats

Image

- it's just that one of them is standing on two legs behind the door.

Kaji's style has tom-cat written all over it; and it would be all very cloak-and-dagger Intel style for him to have picked up the handle, and be referring to himself by the tag "a cat" to Ritsuko at that reception.

EDIT - Needless to say, in this case it's obvious which feline in the picture above is "The cat is dead." in ep#23.

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 16:59 GMT

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:54 pm

Yeah, Kaji=Cat has been kicked around before; but how does that square with
(#24)
Ritsuko:
Commander Ikari,
My cat died,
which my grandma had been taking care of.
I hadn't been taking care of it for a long time.
Suddenly now, I cannot see it again.


Also, would that make Gendo's line:
(#25')
Ritsuko Akagi, honestly, I didn't kill your cat.

Ritsuko:
Liar...


IOW, why would she say liar? In any case, I have definitive proof that Gendo didn't kill Kaji (which I will get to later in this thread) so why would Ritsuko think he did (thus "Liar...")?.

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 17:21 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:54 pm

I don't know if "cat" has the same sorts of connotations in Japanese that it would in English. These things seldom go both ways. (I do know, thanks to Magami, that "neko" can refer to a homosexual, at least...)

Sometimes, a cat is just a cat.

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 17:28 GMT

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:54 pm

Reichu wrote:I don't know if "cat" has the same sorts of connotations in Japanese that it would in English. These things seldom go both ways. (I do know, thanks to Magami, that "neko" can refer to a homosexual, at least...)

Sometimes, a cat is just a cat.

Yeah, and another thing that occurs to me, is that in Scene 01 above, if Ritsuko were just finding out that Kaji was dead, she takes that news a bit too calmly, if you ask me (especially, if she had some "personal history" with him, as Mr Tines seems to be hinting...)

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 17:37 GMT

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Postby Reichu [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:54 pm

One interesting thing about cats in Japan is that they tend to be associated with the feminine. I guess this is part of the reasoning behind nekomusume (cat girls) and the fact that you almost never hear a guy doing a "talking cat" role (e.g., Nyarth in "Pocket Monsters" and Jiji in "Kiki"; rather tellingly, guys were assigned these roles in the dubs). Associating Kaji with a cat just doesn't make any sense to me, especially when viewing things in light of Japanese vs. western attitudes about such things.

Besides, Misato KNOWS that Ritsuko has a history with felines... I suppose her life circumstances (i.e., her job) forced her to push them (or simply the one) onto her grandmother (who ends up surviving both Naoko and Ritsuko -- funny), but I suppose that did not reduce their sentimental importance to her. Like you've suggested to me, Scott, it seems a bit more likely that her cat(s) represented something to Ritsuko, and perhaps have done so all these years, and the death of "that child" (or "that girl", possibly) bore an additional symbolic weight.

What that is, however, I have no idea. Image

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 18:12 GMT

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Postby Magami No ER [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:55 pm

Some people treat their animals like children....maybe this was symbolic of Naoko's treatment of Ritsuko....that's just what I thought reading this. Ritsuko put her work above her cat, and while this is seemingly a more "normal" thing to do, since the cat isn't human and in many people's minds, worth less than a child, Ritsuko treated it like maybe how her mother would act(or maybe Ritsuko just assumes her mothers behavior in a situation like this). I think of Naoko because the topic of how Ritsuko hadn't been to her grave in three years just seemed to rather abrutly came up in the conversation.

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 18:35 GMT

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:55 pm

I just remembered that Reichu had gone to the trouble of translating the Renewal script comments for Scene 01 for me... [fixed]

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 19:59 GMT

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Postby Mr. Tines [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:55 pm

Mr. Tines wrote:I may be barking up the wrong tree here



I think the material posted while I've been out for the evening is enough to convince me that I was, in the main (too much bad espionage fiction and conspiracy-theory engineered paranoia, I guess). And checking at the LTP, it looks like I must have hallucinated the memory about the foreshadowing (perhaps in dissonance between the dub and the sub).

I still think it likely that these cats - one of the very few appearances on screen of animal life - may be the subject of the allusion Kaji's later line

Magami No ER wrote:Some people treat their animals like children



Even without going to extremes of anthropomophism, they can fit into a child-shaped gap.

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 21:03 GMT

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Postby Shin-seiki [ANF] » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:55 pm

Mr. Tines wrote:I still think it likely that these cats - one of the very few appearances on screen of animal life - may be the subject of the allusion Kaji's later line

Actually, I would encourage you to keep thinking about it (God knows thewayniac and I spent a lot of time and mental energy trying to figure out whether Kaji=Cat leads anywhere), and see if you can connect the dots (if in fact any exist) that eluded us

Originally posted on: 31-Mar-2005, 21:10 GMT


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