NTE - general easter eggs

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition"). The final instalment made its debut in Japan on March 8, 2021.

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Postby BernardoCairo » Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:52 am

Hey, guys! I'm creating this thread so that we can share some "NTE easter eggs" with each other!
To get started, I would like to talk about one little secret that caught me off guard. During some scenes in HA, we are able to see Asuka playing with some sort of handheld device that clearly uses cartridges. The interesting element, however, can be seen on the label of her games. It uses the same visual pattern as a classic line of Famicom game packs! Take a look:

Image

Image

In the Famicom community, these cartridges are known as being part of the "pulse line collection".They are truly iconic, to say the least. I mean, this style of labeling is inextricably connected with the launch of the Famicom in July 1983. All three games available for purchase on day one (Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr and Popeye) came in this visual configuration.

Image

That's a pretty obvious easter egg. But it made me happy, nevertheless hahaha!
Last edited by BernardoCairo on Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Kendrix » Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:58 am

good catch!
Alas poor Kaworu, I knew him well...

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Postby Xenoblade » Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:00 pm

View Original PostBernardoCairo wrote:we are able to see Asuka playing with some sort of handheld device that clearly uses cartridges.


The hardware itself may be based on a Bandai Wonderswan:

Image

Sold from 1999-2003.

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Postby Joseki » Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:26 pm

It is indeed a WonderSwan

Image

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Postby BernardoCairo » Fri Mar 19, 2021 3:19 pm

Yeah, guys. You're right! It is definitely a WonderSwan! Just take a look at how similar the cartridges in these two pictures are.

Image

Image

Even that little detail at the top of the cartridge was reproduced in the movie.
Last edited by BernardoCairo on Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ElMariachi » Fri Mar 19, 2021 8:10 pm

An easter egg that might foreshadow the time skip (if Anno already planned it while making Ha), in Ha when Kaji first arrive at Tokyo-3 and asks Shinji at which train station is the Geofront, he says that it's been only 2 years since he left, yet the city changed so much that he feels like Urashima Tarō :
Image

For those who don't know, Urashima Tarō is the protagonist of a fairy tale: a simple fishermen who one day rescues a small turtle from children that were torturing it for fun, and release it to the sea. The following day, a huge turtle appears and tells him that the small turtle that he rescued was the daughter of the god of the sea, Ryūjin, and that said god want to meet him to thank him for rescuing his daughter. The turtle brings Urashima Tarō to Ryūjin's underwater palace where he meets said god and the small turtle, now transformed into the beautiful princess Otohime. Urashima spends three days with the princess before asking to go back to his village, as his mother is old and he wants to be by her side. The princess is sad to have him go, but let him, offering him a mysterious box that will protect him and tells him that he should never open it.
Then when Urashima finally goes back to his village, he realizes that it wasn't three days that he spent in the underwater palace, but three centuries! His mother is long gone, as well as his house and everyone he knew. Struck by grief, he absentmindedly opens the mysterious box, which release a white smoke that transforms him into a frail old man: the box contained Urashima Tarō's real age. (some version of the story has him then transforming into a crane and becoming a minor divinity)

If we think about it, Shinji's story has a lot of similarities with the tale of Urashima Tarō: he saved a princess (Rei who might be Lilith in human form like in NGE) and spent what he thought was a small moment with her in the god's castle (when they embrace at the end of Ha inside EVA-01's core) only to come back to the real world where he learns that several years have passed and everything is different (and the people he once knew changed so much that they are like completely different persons at first glance). If we want to push the parallels further, the SDAT might be the equivalent of Otohime's box that she gave to Urashima. (depending on if the SDAT has some important role in Shin)

I'm curious to see if this will get a reference in Shin (if Kaji turns out alive and speaks with Shinji), with Kaji noting that Shinji literally became an Urashima Tarō.
Last edited by ElMariachi on Sun Mar 21, 2021 7:26 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Kendrix » Sat Mar 20, 2021 1:02 am

So are the pilots gonna find a magic box that transforms them into normal 28 year olds?

Mari & Asuka might be glad for it, Shinji & ReiQ not so much...
Alas poor Kaworu, I knew him well...

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Postby Archer » Sat Mar 20, 2021 1:37 am

View Original PostKendrix wrote:So are the pilots gonna find a magic box that transforms them into normal 28 year olds?

Mari & Asuka might be glad for it, Shinji & ReiQ not so much...

I’m a proponent of the idea that the “curse of Eva” also freezes your mental maturation, because while Asuka is different in 3.0, she doesn’t feel like she’s actually matured emotionally. She doesn’t feel like a 28 year old stuck in a 14 year old body - she comes off like a 14 year old who’s had the last year of her life stretched into a decade and a half.

Thematically, I think it also makes more sense for them to be mentally stuck at 14. The most obvious read on the “curse of Eva” is that it’s a metaphor for the children not being able to grow up and have normal lives by virtue of basically being child soldiers, and this wouldn’t really fit with the notion that only their bodies are un-aging. That’s not even counting the fact that your brain is also part of your body, and that its physical maturation also contributes to one’s growth as a person.

I think the sensible solution to the “curse of Eva” is that it just... stops. There’s no magical age-up, they’re just allowed to grow up and have a taste of the normal life they were denied.

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Postby baldur » Sat Mar 20, 2021 10:17 am

View Original PostArcher wrote:I’m a proponent of the idea that the “curse of Eva” also freezes your mental maturation, because while Asuka is different in 3.0, she doesn’t feel like she’s actually matured emotionally. She doesn’t feel like a 28 year old stuck in a 14 year old body - she comes off like a 14 year old who’s had the last year of her life stretched into a decade and a half.

100% agree with this. Like you said, it just makes a lot more sense thematically. Also conveniently doesn't make Shinji's dynamics with the pilots too strange.
View Original PostArcher wrote:The most obvious read on the “curse of Eva” is that it’s a metaphor for the children not being able to grow up and have normal lives by virtue of basically being child soldiers, and this wouldn’t really fit with the notion that only their bodies are un-aging.

I'll also say that there's a more meta aspect you can read into. The "curse of Eva" not allowing its "pilots" to grow up feels to me like a not-so-subtle message about the audience of Evangelion. I think much of Q has to do with the legacy of Evangelion as a series and the impact it had on both its fans and its creators. There's an interview with Toshimichi Otsuki from before the release of 1.0 where he says that "ever since Evangelion appeared on television, a barrier has existed, whereby the entire anime industry operates under the curse of Eva."

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Postby Kendrix » Sat Mar 20, 2021 11:20 am

Honestly, I disagree.

As someone pretty close to Asuka's chronological age I wonder what great feats of maturity ppl are expecting from her or like what about how she acts is so childish.

Turn on the news and look at how irrational middle aged or seniors act every day including politicians and educated people in power.

We see her last-name-and-rank Misato like Ritsuko used to do it, constantly talk about how priorities are different, she's very far from her earlier frivolousness & focus on winning or whatever.

ppl point to her behavior towards Shinji as proof that she's "childish" but by that def all of WILLE would be childish. They're at war & living in a wasteland & acting exactly like ppl would under that circumstance. Alas you don't grow immune to irationality not at 18 not at 30 not ever.

The interviews too bear this out with how Miyamura was told that "shes a general or mercenary now" and how Ogata (or was it Ishida) was told that "Shinji is the only one who's still a middle schooler"

I mean generally ppl who are put through wars act older faster & not the other way around, (& just never get the chance to be innocent) so even as a metaphor it doesn't hold up;
I'd look at it more as a body horror/ alienation from being exposed to something alien & in a sense transformed. If there wasn't any mismatch you'd be taking all the horror out
(though any interpretation must be incomplete without the knowledge of if and how it gets reversed in the last film... again it irks me so much that the answers already exist & are just beyond my reach...)
Though you could look at Shinji#s time displacement as a metaphor for feeling you're being left behind in life.
Alas poor Kaworu, I knew him well...

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Postby Archer » Sat Mar 20, 2021 12:30 pm

I feel like if the mismatch were the point, they should’ve been more explicit with her development - the biggest flaws of the old Asuka ground away by the sands of time, now she’d just be a ruthless mercenary who’s all business and gets shit done. Realistic or not, you need to clearly telegraph to the audience that she’s not the same angsty teenager we know but a grown-ass adult who’s learned in the face of war to be less impulsive. At the end of the day Evangelion is a narrative, sure adults IRL may behave immaturely but if your narrative goal is to show how Shinji’s been left behind by time, then you need to contrast that by showing how much everyone else has developed - and what better contrast than with the traditionally bratty and immature Asuka turning into a no-nonsense woman who won’t take his shit anymore?

Sure it’s not unrealistic for Asuka to develop into a bratty 28 year old, but I argue this doesn’t really fulfill the stated goal of the narrative; because if emphasizing the body mismatch the goal, then it was completely lost on me. At no point did I ever get the impression that I was supposed to view Asuka as an adult in a teenager’s body. Just based on how everyone was acting, the timeskip felt more like it was 4-5 years at most instead of 14.

I also don’t think being stuck in an eternally youthful body is particularly effective at being body horror in the first place, if that was their intention. Sure it’s definitely something that CAN be played up as horrifying, but it’s something you’d have to go out of your way to emphasize, which doesn’t happen in 3.0. Besides, if the point was to show body horror after being in contact with something alien, there’s other more effective and less obtuse ways of conveying that, like putting more emphasis on her eyepatch and maybe giving us a peek of what’s under it.

With regards to war aging people faster, this is what I think obviously accounts for the differences in her personality. But if anything, all her bluster about things being different now and how much she’s changed comes off as more of the posturing of an eternal child soldier who’s been forced to take on adult responsibilities and is treated by everyone as an adult. Whether it was intended or not, this would make for an interesting thematic counterpoint to NGE Asuka, who desperately chased this desire for perceived maturity. In a way, Asuka Shikinami got exactly what Sorhyu always wanted.

I also don’t see how the metaphor fails to hold up because growing up in a war zone surrounded by death and constant danger doesn’t create someone who’s wise beyond their years, it creates traumatized children. Loss of innocence is almost always symbolic of the end of childhood, but “no longer being a child” and “being a mature adult” is not a binary operation. In fact I think the state she’s stuck in - neither adult nor child - is a perfect metaphor for someone who’s had their adolescence robbed from them and forced to face the harsh reality of war before she was really ready for it.

If the point was to show how Shinji was the only middle schooler, imagine how fucking insane it would’ve been to walk into 3.0 and straight up just see an adult Asuka. If anything would drive home the point that Shinji’s still stuck in the past, THAT would’ve done it like no other, and you can’t tell me that adult Asuka would be a flop from a merchandizing perspective. That being said, I doubt this would’ve happened because I’m still 99% sure that 3.0+1.0 is going to drop the bomb that Mari’s been afflicted with the “curse” since the events at the Artificial Evolution Lab 10 years before the start of the series. If this were true I feel like it lends more credence to my interpretation as well, because she’s a character who very much behaves like an immature teenager throughout her appearances who would’ve actually been a grown-ass adult literally every time we’ve seen her.

——

In short summary, I don’t believe that the body mismatch is emphasized enough (....or at all honestly?) in the movie for it to be the main thematic purpose of the “curse”, and I certainly don’t think the body horror element is present at all as anything other than her angel-fied eye, which has nothing to do with her eternal youth. Not saying your interpretation is wrong - just that if that WERE the creator’s intent, they didn’t do a good enough job of conveying it for me to pick up on, especially when there’s a much more straightforward interpretation I presented that already fits with the existing themes of the franchise without requiring extratextual justification.
Last edited by Archer on Sat Mar 20, 2021 2:07 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Postby baldur » Sat Mar 20, 2021 12:58 pm

View Original PostArcher wrote:If the point was to show how Shinji was the only middle schooler, imagine how fucking insane it would’ve been to walk into 3.0 and straight up just see an adult Asuka. If anything would drive home the point that Shinji’s still stuck in the past, THAT would’ve done it like no other, and you can’t tell me that adult Asuka would be a flop from a merchandizing perspective. That being said, I doubt this would’ve happened because I’m still 99% sure that 3.0+1.0 is going to drop the bomb that Mari’s been afflicted with the “curse” since the events at the Artificial Evolution Lab 10 years before the start of the series. If this were true I feel like it lends more credence to my interpretation as well, because she’s a character who very much behaves like an immature teenager throughout her appearances who would’ve actually been a grown-ass adult literally every time we’ve seen her.

My thoughts exactly. If Asuka is an adult in a teenager's body, there really is no point in including the curse of Eva in the first place. Obviously, it could be that it's just a cheap excuse for retaining the teenage designs of the characters, but idk, I would certainly prefer the alternative.

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Postby ElMariachi » Sat Mar 20, 2021 1:40 pm

View Original PostKendrix wrote:Honestly, I disagree.

As someone pretty close to Asuka's chronological age I wonder what great feats of maturity ppl are expecting from her or like what about how she acts is so childish.

In order :
  • Raging and screaming almost non-stop during battle
  • Breaking WILLE's property (the glass wall) just to vent off her frustration before launching on an edgelord tirade on how one life doesn't mean anything and the world doesn't cater to Shinji's ego when all he did was asking if they found the person he got his skin flayed off to save (and whom from his POV is literally the last person he saw a moment ago)
  • Screaming and raging some more during the last fight instead of at least trying to reason Shinji when it was clear that he was manipulated and wasn't willingly working for neo-NERV and SEELE (which was clear literally after the first phrase he muttered)
Asuka changed for sure in those past 14 years, she doesn't want to be the center of attention and does teamwork well (if peppered by constant remarks against her partner), but she's definitively not what I would call mature.


Anyway, back to the actual subject of the thread, the food trays that Shinji uses at neo-NERV are a reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey, which has the almost exact same food trays with multicolored goo:
SPOILER: Show
Image
Image

There's another small 2001: A Space Odyssey snuck in AVANT1 in Shin, but for obvious reasons I won't post it here! :D
Last edited by ElMariachi on Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Archer » Sat Mar 20, 2021 2:01 pm

Yeah, might be worth it to ask a mod to split these posts into another thread. I think it’s a discussion worth having that would also be expanded on once 3.0+1.0 gets a wide release but it’s obviously very off-topic to this thread.

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Postby ElMariachi » Sat Mar 20, 2021 2:36 pm

View Original PostArcher wrote:Yeah, might be worth it to ask a mod to split these posts into another thread. I think it’s a discussion worth having that would also be expanded on once 3.0+1.0 gets a wide release but it’s obviously very off-topic to this thread.

Might I suggest this topic, the subject of the pilots' maturity has been brought there before: thread/13468/Curse-of-Eva/
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Postby baldur » Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:22 pm

I agree with the above posts.

View Original PostElMariachi wrote:Anyway, back to the actual subject of the thread, the food trays that Shinji uses at neo-NERV are a reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey, which has the almost exact same food trays with multicolored goo:
SPOILER: Show
Image
Image

Ooh, good catch.
View Original PostElMariachi wrote:There's another small 2001: A Space Odyssey snuck in AVANT1 in Shin, but for obvious reasons I won't post it here! :D

Does the spoiler policy not exclude AVANT1?

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:36 pm

View Original Postbaldur wrote:Does the spoiler policy not exclude AVANT1?
The policy refers to the 10-minute version from 2019. The 12-minute version released hours before the movie premiered had extra details added that were not present in the earlier draft (as well as adding 2 minutes of extra material).
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Postby baldur » Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:42 pm

Gotcha.

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Postby BernardoCairo » Sat Mar 20, 2021 7:00 pm

ElMariachi
Both easter eggs you've brought to the table were interesting! I didn't know about the first one, in particular. If this was a narrative device used to foreshadow Q's timeskip, I'm pleased. However, I'm not sure if Anno was already thinking about this particular element of the story while writing HA hahaha!
Anyway, I believe that this scene speaks more about Kaji's character than anything else. I've always picture him as a "detached" guy who "goes with the flow" and is opened to life's many nuances. He reminds me of Jake, from Adventure Time hahaha!
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Postby ElMariachi » Sat Mar 20, 2021 7:46 pm

View Original PostBernardoCairo wrote:ElMariachi
Both easter eggs you've brought to the table were interesting! I didn't know about the first one, in particular. If this was a narrative device used to foreshadow Q's timeskip, I'm pleased. However, I'm not sure if Anno was already thinking about this particular element of the story while writing HA hahaha!
Anyway, I believe that this scene speaks more about Kaji's character than anything else. I've always picture him as a "detached" guy who "goes with the flow" and is opened to life's many nuances. He reminds me of Jake, from Adventure Time hahaha!

We'll have to wait for the 3.0/Shin CRC with Anno's interviews to know for sure if he planned the time skip since the beginning.
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Kensuke is a military otaku who, at one point, is shown creepily taking pictures of girls to sell. He would clearly fit right in as an animator at Studio Gainax. -- Compiling_Autumn
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Seriously, that is the most fananked theory I've ever heard, more than Mari being Marty McFly travelling through time to keep her parents (Asushin) together. -- Jäeger


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