Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby Blockio » Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:00 am

eldomtom2 wrote:The draft EoE script explicitly that Gendo's words should be inaudible due to "an explosion or something".

Now here's the thing: The draft said it. Not the final product. And since the draft openly contradicts the final product in this particular case, whatever the fuck is in the draft can safely be ignored, because it was deliberately changed to be something different.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:44 am

If you can play the clip back from the movie where we hear deafening explosions over Gendo’s line, then that would certainly be a point proven.

Here’s the thing; when people make movies, there will always be three different versions: the version that’s written, the version that’s filmed, as the version that’s edited. Each version differs from the last until the filmmakers hand it over to the audience and lose all control over its perception. If you like the version Anno wrote, that’s great. I’m not here to take that away from you. But that’s not the version he animated or edited.

View Original Posteldomtom2 wrote:And you have a source for this? It seems to be that you are confusing "director" with "animation director". We know from other sources that the episode directors on the TV series were not mere instruments of Anno's will.

While my understanding of the Japanese animation process is limited, if it’s anything like the American animation process then there are a multitude of directors that approves the animation for various stages. Some Animation Directors have been known to draw keyframes themselves, and even some Chief Directors have been known to single-handedly animate entire shots. My source of Anno being Chief Director (the role in an animated that makes off of the narrative and tonal decisions in a film) are the credits to the film itself. Many directorial roles under Chief Director simply approve animation and sometimes draw key frames themselves, though, as previously stated, those roles can be flexible as well. Beyond testimonials and interviews specifying people’s particular involvement in this movie, the only thing we have to go on is how these roles tend to be. Unless expressed otherwise, people who are not in Hideaki Anno’s role of Chief Director don’t make grand sweeping narrative and tonal decisions.
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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby LPeyrani » Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:16 am

To me the reason for cutting the audio is clearly narrative. It's like Bastian screaming his mother's name at the end of the Neverending Story movie: if you heard what was said it would add nothing (and maybe subtract something), so the best choice is to make it impossible to hear. It is a common device in art in general. What works without being shown, works better if not shown. The whole opposition between gothic art and art of the renaissaince revolves around this point (negative theology vs positive science, eroticism vs pornography).
Anno chose this approach for the dramatic conclusion of Ritsuko's arc, so he first thought of the battle noise. But there was a problem: obviously hiding the words from the audience didn't mean that the words didn't reach Ritsuko, otherwise that would downplay the whole climax and even risk an undesired parodic paradoxical effect. Then he thought of something more modern and radical (at least to us Westeners): no shallow narrative expedient (the explosion); instead they talk to each other in perfect conditions of audibility but at the right moment the audio is cut (irrespective of POV or whatever the directing choice for the images was). The audio even comes back in time to let us hear Ritsuko's answer, so that we are reassured that she did hear him: the message was "forbidden" to our ears only.

The whole theory of Ritsuko not listening is, IMO, overthought. And thinking that Ritsuko was not listening is... strange. She's very emotional before pushing the self-destruction button, the idea that one second later she's totally absent-minded and disinterested in Gendo touches the absurd. Not much unlike the strangling theory. I wonder if you (FreakyFan) are joking or if you're a psychopath (no offense intended: I stricly mean in the sense of emotional misperception/not-perception).

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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:43 pm

^ lol, no offense taken. I tend to be the more emotionally empathetic in my friend group, so any form of psychopathy is highly unlikely.

As for whether or not I’m joking, I’m not. I’m legit serious. This theory comes from how the film cuts to Ritsuko’s POV shot while also cutting out the audio. Maybe “not listening” isn’t the best way to convey my thought, though. She seems to me to be detaching herself from whatever the is that Gendo is saying. But all of my ideas around Gendo’s silent line come directly from the film language being used in the film. It’s not rocket science. If a movie cuts to a character’s POV, the audience is experiencing what the character is as authentically as possible. Eva uses POV shots in other scenes and the audience can hear the dialogue just fine. (The ones that come to mind are Asuka telling Shinji to suit up in Ep 8, and Asuka telling Shinji that he’s been “rejected for the new model” or whatever in Ep 9. In each case, we get to see Shinji’s POV of those moments.) So why, then, does the dialogue cut out with Ritsuko’s POV in EoE? The answer is simple: she’s not paying attention to the dialogue, and the audience experiences that perspective simply by nature of the POV shot.

As for why she’s doing that, emotionally speaking there could be several reasons. She could be in emotional shock, so she’s not “ignoring Gendo” inasmuch as Gendo’s words are just running through her; in one ear and out the other, as it were. So the cut dialogue in the POV allows the audience to experience that effect as well. Again, it’s not rocket science. Her facial expressions both before and after the silent line do reflect some intense emotional shock due to the betrayal of both her mother and Gendo.
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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby nullyoaG » Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:55 pm

Let me guess, you have never watched the Japanese version am i right? The Japanese VA for ritsuko put a lot of effort to ensure she sounded "defeated" after actively listening to gendos words. Her attitude changes after hearing the silent line as indicated by the voice acting . In the english version this entire scene has been americanised so that this detail is omitted, the american ritsuko VA attitude remains unchanged after the silent line, there was no impact as if she wasn't listening to a word he had said. As for the POV, the purpose was to show the gun pointing directly at her as well as the distance of separation between the two, in orrder to illustrate the emotional atmosphere of their relationshiip (clearly they now stand at opposite ends and not side by side as they once were)

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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:11 am

I have only seen the Japanese version. I think the only time I came across the English dub was when watching Amanda’s audio commentary track.

Ritsuko’s Japanese VA sounded defeated as soon as Casper betrayed her, and the animation does a stellar job visually expressing the defeat as well. If being betrayed by your own mother’s handiwork isn’t enough for you to believe that Ritsuko should start feeling defeated at that point, then everything after that exact moment could be attributed to Gendo pulling out his own gun, which, I think you’ll agree, is a pretty big moment of defeat for Ritsuko in and of itself.

I’m not sure what you guys have against all of the visual/audio elements of this scene being complete in their own right, thus being ripe and ready for interpretations based on their own merits. Like I said, this isn’t rocket science; it’s basic film language. POV shots aren’t that much more complex than a a set of shot-reverse-shots, so this really isn’t any stretched logic here. I mean, I get how it can feel anti-climactic to have all of Eva’s “mysteries” boils down to Occam’s Razor, - the most likely conclusion giving the available information, - but that’s just how these things go sometimes. No need to assume complexity where none is needed. And I know it might be radical to apply simple film language theory in a forum that is more interested in exploring Evangelion’s vast world-building than it is in appreciating the art for what it presents itself to be, but I think that there can be room for both.

But I can’t help as though I might have acted as the fun police, suggesting that because the silent line was meaningful in its own way that speculating on the silent line wasn’t a meaningful endeavor, and I didn’t mean to suggest that. It’s fun and can serve somewhat as a Rorschach test for how we see Gendo as a character. If you ask me point blank what he said there, my guess is that it’s “I need you/I needed you,” or something like that, given the context of how the rest of the movie plays out, and the fact that Gendo is never shown to be vocal about his capabilities as a pimp-daddy, as OP suggested. But as for why the line is rendered silent in this movie, well, like I said, it’s evident in the language the film uses in that scene. As all of you have already exquisitely point out, the line was going to be silent from the very beginning, as evidenced by the earlier script drafts of the film. I just find it interesting that, out of all of the methods the filmmakers clearly explored to mask the line (off-screen explosions, etc.) the filmmakers decided to switch to Ritsuko’s POV shot at that time to provide an emotional reason for the silent line. You can’t argue that all of this isn’t evident in the film. (Which is probably why you guys have been exploring reasons outside of the film in order to figure out why I have this theory, like asking if I’m psychopathic or if I’ve only seen one of the two existing English dubs or whatever.) It’s all there in the Japanese version of the film itself. I’ve presented my case clearly and I've cited my sources and reasonings for doing so. There is meaning in the silence. I don’t think we’re meant as the audience members to go seeking out new meaning to that (or any) scene in Eva that isn’t already contextually self-evident. It’s fun to guess what the line could have been, but were not expected to, and thereby it isn’t necessary to understand the meaning of the scene itself.

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TLDR: Why you booing me? I’m right. (Or, at least I’m right as anyone can be when it comes to this scene.)
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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby Derantor » Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:15 am

I have to agree with FreakyFilmFan: Whatever Gendo says, Ritsuko doesn't believe him (or rather, it doesn't matter to her anymore). Her expression after the line reads as one of melancholy to me: She remembers how she used to be fooled by him, and part of her wishes that she could still give in to that fantasy, but she's beyond that now. It's just a remnant of the past, another thing lost.

That's why the line is silent as well: Whatever Gendo says, it is meaningful to Ritsuko, but not to us. We don't know how or why they became "lovers", what they told each other in their intimate moments. Could be something like "I truly ... did enjoy your morning coffee", something thats immensely meaningful to them but not to us. It could be something sinister as well, but that's irrelevant. Whatever Gendo feels for her doesn't change the scene, as it is all about Ritsukos PoV, and she is clearly over him by then. It's the Gendo in her mind speaking, so to speak.

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Postby nullyoaG » Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:38 am

I thought i should also mention that the line spoken by ritsuko : "usotsuki" although was translated as liar, would probably be more appropriately translated as "no way, /it can't be/ i can't accept that/oh no/what have i done/how could it turn out this way, etc" I could be wrong about this but if anyone is Japanese speaker maybe they can correct me on this....and if I recall the scene correctly , the VA expressed surprise at casper's betray, and then defeated/devastated after hearing gendo's line.....perhaps someone could find a youtube link for the scene in Japanese to check over this since my memory could be vague. edit: <quote>The word 嘘つき (Usotsuki) is an insult. It means "liar" in English. It can also mean "kidding" or "Joking" when it's not used as an insult.</quote?> copied from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMzKQd4W6eI so i guess the appropriate translation in that context of defeat would have been "you gotta be kidding me/i cant accept what you just said etc" whereas in the american subtitle they thought it was supposed to be an insult when in fact it definitely was meant as an expression of defeat so i guess "liar" is actually a mistranslation (or maybe it was intentional that there should be 2 versions: a defeated ritsuko who listened -japanese version (VA interpretation), and an aggressive/triggered/shocked ritsuko who zoned out - english version (freaky's interpretation)....who knows)

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:05 am

I would like to point out that defeat really isn’t an emotion, rather it’s a social state from which one emotes. “Feeling defeated” isn’t a specific emotion inasmuch as it’s a collection many different emotional responses that one could feel in response to the social state of being defeated. Yuriko Yamaguchi saying that she “felt defeated” by Hideaki Anno’s script allowed her to focus on one of the many different appropriate emotional responses to that devastating shift in the relational dynamics of the characters.

So all of the emotions that are listed here:

View Original PostnullyoaG wrote:aggressive/triggered/shocked ritsuko who zoned

...are all appropriate and plausible emotional reactions to the social state of defeat.

As for the actual/accurate translation of “Liar,” who knows? There’s been a set of subs floating around on this forum that I’ve been using that claim to be the most accurate, and “Liar” was used in that scene as well. I’m sure there are people far more knowledgeable than I to confirm or deny the appropriate usage of that word in that scene.
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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby eldomtom2 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:48 am

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:While my understanding of the Japanese animation process is limited, if it’s anything like the American animation process then there are a multitude of directors that approves the animation for various stages. Some Animation Directors have been known to draw keyframes themselves, and even some Chief Directors have been known to single-handedly animate entire shots. My source of Anno being Chief Director (the role in an animated that makes off of the narrative and tonal decisions in a film) are the credits to the film itself. Many directorial roles under Chief Director simply approve animation and sometimes draw key frames themselves, though, as previously stated, those roles can be flexible as well. Beyond testimonials and interviews specifying people’s particular involvement in this movie, the only thing we have to go on is how these roles tend to be. Unless expressed otherwise, people who are not in Hideaki Anno’s role of Chief Director don’t make grand sweeping narrative and tonal decisions.

My point is that there is not a single piece of evidence that "chief director" means "director" in this context and that "director" means "animation director" - in fact we know via the credits that episode directors and animation directors were separate positions on the TV series. Anno was "chief director" for the series and films, yes, but that doesn't inherently mean that Tsurumaki was in an non-creative position.

I would also dispute that a change from drowning out the dialogue via sound effects to just muting it is a "grand sweeping narrative and tonal decision", and in any case it being his idea would not mean that it was done without Anno's knowledge or approval.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:44 am

Chief Directors of animation tend to follow the project into the editing room, where sound effects are decided upon. Given that Tsurumaki wasn't a Chief Director, it is less likely that he followed the project beyond its animation production phase. In the animation industry, it usually takes more than one director to approve animation. The Animation Directors of which you speak have more supervisorial roles in the production of the animation itself on a shot-to-shot level, less by a scene-to-scene level. (I think...) Tsurumaki was certainly focused more on a scene-to-scene level of supervision, along with Anno himself, but I don’t know if Tsurumaki followed the production into its post-production processes, especially one as niche as sound effects. (Which are mostly stock sounds for these types of productions anyway, excluding Eva roars and such.) That’s what I mean by “grand sweeping narrative decisions.” Anno’s decisions effect multiple departments, up to and including his screenplay credit. Tsurumaki’s directorial decisions probably effected multiple production stages of animation (key frames, in-betweens, color, lighting, storyboarding, cinematography/framing, etc.), but he’s probably not directly making decisions in the post-production departments of editing, sound fx, music, etc, unless he’s specifically credited in those other departments.

Like I said, “probably.” Back in the day these Gainax productions had to be pretty flexible based on a rather unfortunate necessity. (Based in recent reports, anyway.) Just look how many episodes of Kare Kano that Anno was credited for directing when he was most likely preoccupied with Love & Pop development at the time. My point is, unless interviews provide greater nuance, we have really don’t have a solid foundation for speculating on the extra credit work of the filmmakers in this particular production. Maybe Tsurumaki did do stuff for EoE beyond the production phase. Maybe it was even in sound. Maybe it was in something else entirely. Who knows?

Either way, the point is rendered moot anyway. The finished version of the film cuts to a POV shot of Ritsuko during Gendo’s silent line, so Ritsuko’s perspective is the most probable cause of that line being rendered inaudible. Does that argument crumble if Tsurumaki made that decision instead of Anno? No. No, it does not. (And, being Chief Director, Anno probably had to be 100% on board with all of Tsurumaki’s decisions anyway, so...)
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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby LPeyrani » Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:13 pm

FreakyFilm: I hope you really were not offended.

Anyway, I will take my turn with the Rorschach test.
I don't think the dialogue felt humilating because Gendo's words showed contempt for Ritsuko, but because of Ritsuko's reaction to them.
Moreover, I don't think the actress sounds defeated after listening to Gendo's words, but that that happened before, when her mother betrayed her, and that after listening to Gendo's words on the contrary she sounds flattered, and that it is precisely her being flattered that made the actress feel completely defeated.
I always thought that Gendo's line was "Akagi Ritsuko, in truth you are a far better scientist than your mother ever was".

This line has various levels to it. It is actually meant to tell her why she didn't understand that Caspar was to betray her. What Gendo didn't say is "I need you", what Gendo didn''t say is "you were a better woman, a better lover than your mother was". Ritsuko was a better Melchior (if I remember correctly that's her scientist side) than her mother, but she was "blocked" regarding human relationships, love and sex. This is a theme recurring through the series, itis the fault that Naoko herself (and Misato) pointed out to her before, and now Gendo himself is telling her that her problem was underestimating emotions and the animal part of herself.
The fact that Ritsuko would be wholly satisfied in knowing that she is a better scientist than her mother (so much so that she can't literally believe it), not understanding that what is implied in Gendo's words is that a) she is a worse lover than her mother and b) that's the reason she didn't understand Caspar, is the total defeat of Ritsuko's character: all of this in her brief but revealing reaction.

I thought of that line instinctually, but when I rationally examined it as the closure of Ritsuko's arc I found everything fit (to my perception).
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Postby ASW_Canuck » Sun Apr 19, 2020 2:09 pm

"I needed" you has the interesting contrast between the emotional attachment that Ritsuko wanted, versus Gendo's purely utilitarian requirements. The same phrase could be interpreted different ways by Gendo and Ritsuko, with Gendo's interpretation being clarified by him disposing of a now-useless tool with a gunshot.

"You're as big a fool as your mother" would also work, since it would be an Gendo's explicit confirmation for Ritsuko that “Like mother, like daughter, we're both big fools!”.

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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby UrsusArctos » Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:27 am

View Original PostASW_Canuck wrote:"I needed" you has the interesting contrast between the emotional attachment that Ritsuko wanted, versus Gendo's purely utilitarian requirements. The same phrase could be interpreted different ways by Gendo and Ritsuko, with Gendo's interpretation being clarified by him disposing of a now-useless tool with a gunshot.


And it would also be Gendo getting rid of a now-dangerous tool who would never let him execute his plan while she was alive. "I needed you" - "hitsuyou datta" in Japanese - actually fits how Gendo speaks. Gendo almost never says more than what is necessary. It also refers to Ritsuko's own words "You never needed me, even when you were using my body!", proving Ritsuko wrong just before she died.

"You're as big a fool as your mother" is a far pettier throwback, it's an insult that doesn't go with Gendo's unusually formal and respectful way of addressing Ritsuko in this confrontation, and it proves Ritsuko right. Ritsuko wouldn't have teared up if Gendo had told her something she believed was true.
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Postby kuro hazama » Sun May 10, 2020 5:32 am

I think the interpretation of Gendou saying something negative or sort of giving her a last blow are almost undoubtedly wrong if we follow what Yuriko Yamaguchi said in an interview in the book Evangelion Forver(1997).

Basically though she wont disclose what Gendou said to her, she knows the precise exact line because Anno didnt just merely gave her a hint as was stated in other interview(I think It was the EoE program, Im probably wrong), they even recorded the line with Fumihiko Tachiki saying It and she confessed she wrote the line in her submission for the program text because she thought the audience would hear it in the film and Anno told her she would have to change it. Apparently she didnt know what the line was before recording and she was very anxious about what Usotsuki meant in context, so first Anno kind of told her what Gendou was saying and later they recorded it with the line being spoken to her.

The important thing is:

A) She said that what he said is no big mistery(yeah, right!), she thinks everyone could guess it easily, that its very obvious.

and B) the only hint she could give on this interview was when she was asked what Anno said Usotsuki (you are lying...) meant, she said It meant "It´great to love this man, he is such a good man...". Meaning, Gendou said something that made her so happy that she was in complete disbelief.

This means that a correct translation of the line should ideally reflect not an angry expression of objection/accusation, but romantic admiration and surprise. Doesnt mean its easy with such a short line and such an ambiguous expression as generally you dont see "liar" or related as something other that an accusation and an offense in popular western writing and culture these days, or so I think.

Its kind of drastic, but If we knew the full context(what Gendou says) one could even propose adaptations such as "you cant be saying that" "I cant believe it" or the aforewritten "your are lying", Im only saying that a succint "liar" has maybe(just maybe) been too misleading as a reading for most english speaking audiences and in my opinion Yamaguchi completely conveyes the original intention through her performance, not to mention he animation in that particular cut(she is even smiling).

Basically, It appears we can discard "you are the same as your mother", "she was the better fuck", etc. However, Its anyone´s guess if maybe Ritsuko can react that way to Gendou saying "I always loved her", "I need you", "I love you" etc.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sun May 10, 2020 5:48 pm

^ Ditto. Also, I tend to lean towards “I need you” as Gendo’s silent line because

1) Gendo doesn’t seem the type to make his hurtful statements too direct. He’s sneaky. If he’s gonna hurt someone, he’s gonna do it slyly, not directly. (“Your mom was hotter” or whatever is WAY too direct.)

2) He needs to emotionally disarm the woman who’s planned an attack against him. Sure, Casper betrayed Ritsuko and screwed up her plans, but, if Gendo was unaware of this change then he’s probably thinking that there might be other plans as well. He needs to do something before Ritsuko can call up whatever “Plan B” may have been.

And,

3) The Ritsuko apparition types “I need you” on Maya’s computer during Third Impact (equally emotionally disarming Maya for 3I juicing), the final English title for EoE is “I Need You,” Misato expresses some need towards Shinji before she dies, Asuka had her maternal need fulfilled when she found her mother in Unit 02 before she died, and Shinji gives into his need for others at the end of the film. The whole movie is about people expressing or fulfilling their needs for each other. In this greater thematic context it’s more than plausible that Gendo (perhaps falsely?) expresses his need for Ritsuko, emotionally disarming her in order to kill her.

But those are just my two cents.
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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby UrsusArctos » Sun May 10, 2020 9:35 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:2) He needs to emotionally disarm the woman who’s planned an attack against him. Sure, Casper betrayed Ritsuko and screwed up her plans, but, if Gendo was unaware of this change then he’s probably thinking that there might be other plans as well. He needs to do something before Ritsuko can call up whatever “Plan B” may have been.


That's an interesting argument for it being a plain, present tense, "I need you". I've always of the opinion that it was in the past tense - after all, Gendo didn't need Ritsuko any longer, and "I needed you" would've been entirely true. "I need you" becomes a lie the moment Gendo shoots Ritsuko.

There are two more reasons to add about why the line is almost certainly "I need(ed) you". During instrumentality in the old Episode 25, Ritsuko says something to the effect of, "It's good to be needed, even if it's only physical". And during her breakdown in Episode 23, when she's asked about why she destroyed the Dummy System, one of her statements against Gendo is "You never needed me, even when you were using my body". Neither of those scenes, however, confirm the tense in which the line is spoken in EoE. Is it an entirely honest "I needed you" (confirmation that he really did need her) or is it "I need you" (proven a lie a second later when Gendo shoots)?
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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Mon May 11, 2020 5:50 am

I think it’s fun to go back and forth between the tenses. It’s not unreasonable to assume that Gendo lied with a present tense “I need you,” especially since “liar” is exactly Ritsuko’s response to the line. (Also, Gendo is trying to kill Ritsuko. Honesty isn’t necessarily the goal of anything Gendo is trying to say here, and I wouldn’t know what his motivation would have been for that anyway.) But, at the same time, Gendo could have been more truthful with a paste tense “I needed you,” and the emotional shock of the line would cause Ritsuko to exclaim “liar” in disbelief.

(But, also, on a more basic note, does Japanese even have present tense and past tense forms of words? I know literally next to nothing about the language outside of a small handful of mostly commonly said, single-syllable words.)
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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby Reichu » Wed May 13, 2020 10:03 am

Yes, Japanese allows verbs to be conjugated for tense.
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Re: Gendo's silent line: new theory

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Thu May 14, 2020 4:40 am

Cool, thanks. I know I ask dumb question sometimes. :lol:
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