Platinum Booklets – Episode Commentaries 14-20
Originated from evamonkey.com (5/9/13)
Episode: 14 Weaving a Story
Aired January 3, Heisei 8 (1996)
Script & Storyboards: Hideaki Anno / Directors: Masahiko Ohtsuka, Ken Ando
Every so often, the show was aired at an irregular time in the Tokyo region, such as on January 3rd, when it was aired at 8 a.m., and thus, Episode Fourteen was created as a recap episode of sorts. The English subtitle is also a reference to the fact that this episode is a recap.
Part A looks back on the Angel battles thus far in the form of the Human Instrumentality Committee and Gendo Ikari reviewing these battles. The number of new scenes was kept to an absolute minimum for this part, but this was also true for Part B, in which a new story unfolds. The entire episode was produced by mainly reusing photographic materials from previous episodes. The number of new cels animated for this episode was about 500.
Part A has no BGM, and there is also very little dialogue. The lack of “sound” and the heavy use of Bold Mincho captions create a stifling tension. The structure of displaying the subtitle at the end of Part A was also effective. In addition, in Part A, the names of the Angels and operations that had appeared up through Episode Twelve “The Value of a Miracle” became clear. The names of the Angels are the same as the names of angels that appear in the Bible, and each of their spheres of influence, characteristics, and the situations in which they appear are consistent. At the end of Part A, the terms “Dead Sea Scrolls” and “SEELE” appear for the first time. Generally, the “Dead Sea Scrolls” refers to the ancient documents discovered in a cave on the west bank of the Dead Sea in 1947. They contained the “Old Testament,” the “Apocrypha,” and other religious writings not included in the Bible. They are thought to be writings from around 200-100 B.C., meaning around the era that Christ was alive. Though it is said to be the greatest find of this century, full disclosure of it to the public was dragged out for another 45 years. Additionally, there is speculation that parts of it have been deliberately withheld from being released due to it containing writings that shake the very foundation of Christianity. It is unclear whether the “Dead Sea Scrolls” that they speak of are the actual “Dead Sea Scrolls.” SEELE is the controlling organization of NERV and its members seem approximately the same as the Human Instrumentality Committee. Seele means “soul” in German.
At the beginning of Part B, Rei’s inner space is depicted through her monologue and various images. This is the first scene seriously depicting someone’s inner space in Eva and how this depiction was constructed would greatly affect the story later on in Eva. We are also able to get a read on how Rei Ayanami perceives the “world” from this monologue.
In the final scene, what Unit-02 is holding is the Spear of Longinus that was being transported from the South Pole in Episode Twelve. In the Bible, the Spear of Longinus is the spear that pierced Christ on the crucifix.
EPISODE:15 Those Women Longed For the Touch of Others’ Lips, and Thus Invited Their Kisses
Aired January 10, Heisei 8 (1996)
Script; Akio Satsukawa, Hideaki Anno / Storyboards: Kiichi Hadame / Director: Naoyasu Habu / Assistant Director: Masahiko Ohtsuka / Chief Animator: Shunji Suzuki / Assistant Chief Animators: Katsuichi Nakayama, Naoya Furukawa / Assistant Character Designers: Mitsuo Iso, Yu Honda
Starting with this episode, the drama is presented more densely, entering into the third part, which drives the theme strongly. The first episode inthis part, Episode Fifteen, shines a spotlight on the human relationships between such people as Misato and Kaji, Shinji and Gendo, Asuka and Shinji, etc. In the meantime it is also structured to reveal that NERV, which our protagonists are all part of, is actually a mysterious organisation. This is an episode with absolutely no mecha action, but it is finished in a way that is well worth watching. In particular, with the scene in Part B with Misato and kaji walking down a street at night. the work of Kiichi Hadame, who handled the storyboards, and Kotono Mitsuishi’s acting were splendid.
Through Kaji’s investigations, it is revealed that the organization created to select Eva pilots, the Marduk Institute, is largely insubstantial. The name for the Marduk Institute comes from a Babylonian god said to have 50 names. The god Marduk had 50 names, and the Marduk Institute in Eva was using 108 names.
The homeostasis that Ritsuko mentioned is a biology term that refers to a quality that creatures have that allows them to maintain their physical and biological condition within stable levels and to survive in response to various changes in their enviroment. The American biologist Canon (Walter Bradford Canon: 1871 – 1945) proposed it as a universal principle of life. Combining that with its companion concept of transistasis to come up with the idea that “having these two contradictory qualities is what defines life” is original to this series.
Misato sees the giant crucified in Terminal Dogma inside central Dogma. Is this the First Angel, Adam, which caused the second impact just as Kaji says? If so, then what about its connection to the human fetus-like thing that appeared at the end of Episode Eight? Thrust into its chest is the Spear of Longinus that also appeared in Episode Fourteen.
Episode:16 Splitting of the Breast
Aired January 17, Heisei 8 (1996)
Script: Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Hideaki Anno / Storyboards & Director: Kazuya Tsurumaki / Assistant Directors: Masahiko Ohtsuka, Ken Ando / Chief Animator: Shinya Hasegawa / Assistant Character Designer: Kazuya Tsurumaki
Episode sixteen depicts the fight against the Twelfth Angel that takes its opponent into imaginary space and Shinji’s struggle within the inner space. This is an episode that could only be a part of Eva, possessing two very disparate appealing aspects in its depiction of sci-fi drama and the abyss that is the “human heart.” And the scene of Shinji’s inner space in the latter part of Part B could be said to be one of the finest examples of this. This sequence on board a train car at dusk with no one else present depicts the world of Shinji’s heart in a most vivid way by using methods that could even be called experimental, such as expressing the character as a white “line” on a black screen and interjecting various images throughout the sequence. In addition, the image of “inside a mother’s womb” can be taken from the entry plug that Shinji can’t escape from, and the image of “giving birth” can be taken from the scene where Unit-01 escapes from within the Angel, covered in blood. Thus, this is also an episode with strong symbolism.
In the inner space sequence, the question, “Is it okay to live by stringing only the happy things in life together like a rosary?” is presented, and later on, it becomes one of the themes carried throughout the series. In the same sequence, Shinji’s mother, Yui Ikari, appears for the first time. Shinji’s line, “No. Mother was smiling,” serves as a foreshadowing to the mystery involving Yui. Also, there is a directional reason for why she is voiced by Megumi Hayashibara, who also voices Rei Ayanami.
The episode title is a reference to “The Sickness Unto Death” (Sygdommen til Doden, 1849), the most important work put out by the father of existentialism, the philosopher Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855) of Denmark. “The sickness unto death” refers to “despair,” and in the introduction of this work, Kierkegaard says that for a Christian, “Even death itself is not ‘the sickness unto death.’ Not to mention any of the suffering on Earth known as destitution, illness, misery, privations, misfortune, pain, anguish, grief, or regret.” The English episode title, “Splitting of the Breast” refers to a psychological process by which an infant’s impression of the breast becomes split into two, a “good object” and a “bad object.”
The “Dirac’s sea” that took Shinji and Unit-01 in is a concept that the British theoretical physicist Dirac (Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac: 1902-1984) used in his hole theory. A vacuum is filled with negative energy electrons, and this is what is called “Dirac’s sea.”
EPISODE:17 Fourth CHILD
Aired January 24, Heisei 8 (1996)
Script: Shinji Higuchi, Hideaki Anno / Storyboards: Akira Oguro / Director: Minoru Ohara / Chief Animator: Mou Hanahata
The three episodes spanning Episode Seventeen to Episode Nineteen are a serial piece called the “First Child Trilogy.” This serial piece is the greatest climax in the middle of the series and also holds important meaning in terms of Shinji’s drama. The first of these episodes, Episode Seventeen, is one that focuses on depicting daily life. The main plot is of Toji being chosen as the fourth Eva pilot and of how he finds his resolve concerning that, but at the same time, such things as Shinji’s growth as a person, Rei’s emotional uncertainty, and Hikaru’s romantic feelings are also depicted. Episode Eighteen and Episode Nineteen, which follow, become more intense in terms of both drama and action. This episode is meant to be “the calm before the storm.”
The scripts for Episode Seventeen and Episode Eighteen were written by Shinji Higuchi, who handled the storyboards for Episode eight and Episode Nine. In Episode Eighteen, Shinji Loses his Relationships with both Misato and his classmates, which had been his emotional support up until then. In order to make Shinji’s place in life clear as a setup to that, Episode Seventeen shows plenty of his life at school. Furthermore, New Tokyo-3 is a city that was built for combat, and the existence of the school Shinji and the others attend is one that could be snuffed out at any time. Higuchi apparently wanted to show how fragile that situation was.
There are NERV facilities all over the world. Eva Unit-00 and Unit-01 were built at NERV Headquarters in Japan, Unit-03 at First Branch in America, Unit-04 at Second Branch likewise in America, and Unit-02 was built at Third Branch in Germany. The topic of conversation at the beginning of this episode is Second Branch in the Nevada Desert that disappeared. Incidentally, Unit-00 and Unit-01, which were designed in and built in Japan, and Unit-02, which was designed in Japan and then built in Germany, are designated by the Chinese Characters for their Number assignments. Unit-03 and onwards are designated by the Arabic numerals.
EPISODE: 18 Ambivalence
Aired January 31, Heisei 8 (1996)
Script: Shinji Higuchi, Hideaki Anno / Storyboards & Director Tensai Okamura /Assistant Directors: Masahiko Otsuka, Ken Ando / Chief Animator: Kazuya Kise
The second episode in the “Fourth Child Trilogy.” Continuing from the previous episode, Part A is set in daily life, depicting the human interaction between Shinji, Asuka, Rei, Toji, Kensuke. and Hikari. Part B depicts the tragedy that results from Unit-03 being taken over by an Angel. The grim and fiercely tense battle with Unit-03 that takes place in a mountainous region dyed red by the sunset is one of the outstanding battle scenes in the series. Many shot compositions that remind you of special effects movies can also be seen.
This is the next episode Production I.G. cooperated or the production after Episode Thirteen “Angel Invasion”. Tensai Qkamura, who handled the storyboards and directing, has worked as a director on such shows as Medabots and the Stink Bomb segment of Memories, and among his more recent works is Wolf’s Rain. Kazuya Kise is the star animator at Production I.G. Among his representative works are the theatrical Mobile Police Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell, and Blood, the Last Vampire.
In a conversation with Kaji, Shinji says, “You know, I’m a man.” So far, Misato and Asuka have repeatedly harangued him about, “You’re a man, aren’t you?” and he never offered a response, but now, he says this without a hitch. Does this mean he is feeling more at ease, just as Toji had said in Rei’s room? It is also noteworthy that he looks at Toji with a smile as Toji stubbornly declares that cleaning is not a man’s job. In Shinji and Kaji’s conversation at the watermelon field, the topics covered are once again “enjoying” and “suffering,” following up on the inner space in Episode Sixteen “The Sickness Unto Death, and…”
The people who performed the English operator dialogue at the beginning were Michael House, George A. Arriola, and Hiromi Arriola. Michael House was a GAINAX employee at the time, who did m-house translation work. George A Arriola and Hiromi Arriola were friends of his and are apparently husband and wife.
The English title for this episode is “Ambivalence.” Ambivalence refers to a state where two contradictory emotions or attitudes exist at the same time within an individual. It was originally a psychoanalytical term, which was first used by a Swiss psychoanalyst, Bleuler (Paul Eugen Bleuler: 1857-1939). Perhaps the title ofl “Ambivalence” was given to this episode because Shinji is conflicted between his mission to defeat Unit-03 and his emotional reluctance to fight Unit-03, which has a human pilot on board.
Aired February 7, Heisei 8 (1996)
Script: Akio Satsukawa, Hideaki Anno/ Storyboards & Director: Masayuki / Assistant Directors: Ken Ando, Masahiko Otsuka / Chief Animator: Takeshi Honda / Assistant Character Designers: Yoshito Asari, Masayuki
Shinji ran away from piloting the Eva in Episode Four, and once again, he runs away from the Eva. However, though he ran away from the “unpleasantness” of piloting the Eva, what awaited him was an “unpleasantness” that was even more painful. Having realized that, Shinji resolves to pilot the Eva. Episode Nineteen is the final episode in the “Fourth Child Trilogy” and also an episode where “the tale of Shinji’s growth,” which has continued since Episode One. comes to the end of a chapter. The memorable cuts and developments from Episode One, Episode Two, and Episode Four are repeated. By Shinji taking different actions than he did before in the same situations, his growth is really highlighted
Following Episode Eighteen, this episode is also very full of mecha action. In addition to the powerful lineup of Masayuki directing and Takeshi Honda as chief animator, mecha action experts Yasushi Muraki, Hiroaki Aida. Shoichi Masuo, and Mitsuo Iso also participated. The final images are worth the watch and worthy of the battle against “the greatest” Angel.
As the story unfolds, Shinji resolves to fight on his own and gets on board the Eva. And with a fierce battle that can truly be called “a man’s battle,” Episode Nineteen is upheld by the fans as having the most exciting content in the series. However, what in fact defeats the Angel is neither his resolve nor his fighting spirit, but the berserk Unit-01. Having aggressively faced the Angel, Shinji is taken in by Unit-01 as a result, and there is not even any portrayal of him realizing victory. In that sense, this episode also has a most Eva-like ironic structure.
The English episode title “Introjection” is a psychoanalytic term meaning “to take in.” It refers to taking in various attributes of another person and making it one’s own. It is one form of a defense mechanism. For example, by taking in a mother’s prohibitive or denying aspects, the super-ego is formed. Introjection is a term that refers to a phenomenon that occurs in the world of the psyche, but in this episode, it is likely used both in terms of its original meaning and how Unit-01 took in the Angel’s abilities.
EPISODE:20 Weaving a Story 2 : oral stage
Aired February 14, Heisei 8 (1996)
Script: Hideaki Anno / Storyboards: Kazuya Tsurumaki, Hideaki Anno / Director: Masahiko Ohtsuka/ Chief Animator: Kazuya Tsurumaki
In the entry plug, Shinji’s body has become one with the LC.L. and separated from his psyche, Ritsuko sets a plan in motion to reconstruct his body and get his psyche to anchor itself in it. As the English episode title “Weaving A Story 2” indicates, this episode is a summary of sorts, like Episode Fourteen. In point of fact, it is made largely centered around the reuse of already existing composite material and film, however its contents do not look back on what happened in the past but tell a completely different story. Having become an existence solely consisting of his psyche, Shinji agonizes and suffers over things like “his relationship to others” and “the establishment of self.” Depictions in his inner space is the locus of this episode and just as in Episode Sixteen, experimental methods are abundantly used. Also, with this episode as a turning point, This show begins to show a stronger tendency to directly portray “the human mind.”
Ritsuko says that the Eva “contains a human will” and that the fact Shinji was taken in “might be the Eva’s will as well.” Misato felt she was saying it jokingly, but when considered along with things like how the story unfolds later and how Ritsuko said, “So, she’s awoken…” in Episode Nineteen, it becomes clear that what Ritsuko said is conveying the truth to Misato to a certain degree.
Towards the end of Part A, Shinji recalls that he knew the Eva even earlier and that when he found out, he ran away from his mother and father. And the images of that flashback are the scene of the experiment from Episode Twenty-One “NERV Is Born,” in which Yui Ikari is the subject. Shinji ran away from that site, and that incident is likely what planted the compulsive idea that he “must not run away”.
While the final scene at the love hotel contained no explicit images, the love scene was depicted boldly, which caused quite a stir when it was originally aired. After touching upon Misato’s tryst, Ritsuko’s line, “I guess I’m in no position to talk,” is also curious.
The English episode title “oral stage” is also a psychoanalytical term. The oral stage is the first stage of development in Freud’s (Sigmund Freud: 1856-1939) libido development theory. It is the time period when the mouth serves as the principal source of pleasure. It is said that the oral stage starts at birth and ends around the age of 1 1/2. in the scene where Misato and Ritsuko are in the car, a radio DJ show can be heard from the car radio. We can suppose that this is the same show that was airing in Episode Twelve. A woman DJ is advising a listener on their romantic problems, but the term “oral stage” appears here as well. In this case, the oral stage refers to the oral personality. In other words, it points to personality tendencies that strongly lean towards being dependent and needy for love People with an oral personality happily sacrifice themselves in order to obtain the love of others. Shinji could be said to have an oral personality at this point in time.