FGC:Episode 02 Scene 02

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Unfamiliar Ceiling ~ Ground Zero ~ The Committee

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Screenshots Cut # Description/Dialogue Commentary

02 C001.jpg

Closeup of Shinji suddenly opening his eyes
thewayneiac: Hey! Wait a minute! We still don't get to see what happens?! How can they do this twice in the same fight?

Reichu: Because they know how to manipulate their audience. ;;>

thewayneiac: I suppose it means something that he's still alive.

Shin-seiki: (001~004) Here we see Shinji do the "wake with a start, shirt soaked with sweat" deal typically used to depict the notion of waking from a bad dream. Cut 001 is recycled a few times over the course of the series, including (sort of) this moment from #26': "Woah! I just had a bad dream that I initiated Third Impact! Oh, wait; don't tell me…"

Keisuke-kun: I find it kinda of interesting that the light quality in the hospital is always the same.

Reichu: Indeed, all of these hospital scenes employ similar lighting… Very washed-out blues and purples, at times nearly grey. The same pallette is used for the main characters' "uncomfortable flashbacks", as well… What's the connection?

HeWhoPostsStuff: Perhaps gray or blue symbolizes "discomfort" or something like that in Japanese culture…I know that in Kabuki theater (and possibly Noh or other types as well, I don't know for sure) certain colors are supposed to represent certain characteristics or emotions in many cases. In any event, most people would likely find a hospital or trauma unit a rather uncomfortable place to be under most any circumstances, not unlike being trapped in a bad dream or unpleasant memory…

02 C002a.jpg

02 C002b.jpg

BGM START: "RAJIO Taisou" ["Radio Aerobics"]

Morning, a hospital room. Screen pull out. Shinji sits up.

SE <<Voices of cicadas>>

Reichu: Do we know anything about this BGM, aside from the title?

Keisuke-kun: Traditional Japanese "radio exercises". (If you watch Battle Royale, Kitano-sensei does a bit towards the end.) It's a normal thing to hear in the hospital because radio exercises are usually practised by old people (who have a tendency to go to hospitals).

Reichu: Speaking of Battle Royale, I wonder if it's the same audio that is used in NGE. They sound awfully similar.

Keisuke-kun: Radio exercises follow a specific form that's always the same and follows the music. It's made to be done by large groups of people in tandem. Some people do it every day really early because it's supposed to be good for you. If you go on a sleep away active field trip, you will probably do them, as well.

Shinji from behind.
OMF: The plastering of sweat on his gown is a nice touch. It's a wonder Shinji doesn't have night terrors for the rest of the series.

Reichu: Heh, who's to say he doesn't?

02 C004.jpg

Shinji in an unstable composition.

SE <<Again, the voices of cicadas>>

Reichu: Sorry about the Engrish. Couldn't make sense of it.

02 C002b.jpg

02 C005b.jpg

Screen pull back, Shinji on the bed.

02 C006.jpg

From Shinji's POV. Ceiling light.
Shin-seiki: Get used to seeing this shot (or variations thereof) recycled over and over, too.

02 C006.jpg

Shinji:“…A ceiling I don't know.”

BGM END: RADIO Taisou [Radio Aerobics]

Reichu: Would anyone care to speculate on the importance of ceilings? We don't hear Shinji saying, "A floor I don't know" or "A wall I don't know".

Keisuke-kun: Well, when you lay down in bed, a ceiling is what you see… if you're Japanese. Most Japanese people have the uncanny ability to sleep on their back, which I find very uncomfortable. I think most people who have seen NGE have used the "unfamiliar ceiling" bit when at a strange house. I have, when I first came to Japan.

Reichu: Now that you mention it… When I was first settling into my first dorm, five hours from home, I'd lay down in that unfamiliar bed (about five feet off the ground!) and this scene (and another one later on) were the first things to come to mind.

02 subtitle.jpg

Title A
Episode #02
"Unfamiliar Ceiling"
Incisivis: Episode #02 is one of my favorites. I tend to prefer the second half of NGE, but there's enough to entertain me in the first half. I also like to think of the more solemn moments as tying the first half of the series with the second, so that there's not the sense of a total change.

Reichu: According to "Shinji Takase", Anno originally planned to use a little ditty for the episode subtitles (as in "secondary title", not "subtitles" as we tend to think of them), the piece known only as F-4. If you've heard it (it's included in S2 Works for those interested), perhaps you'd agree with me that Anno did well not to use it.

02 C008a.jpg

02 C008b.jpg

Closeup of a building wall surface. When that cuts off, you see a crater within the city itself, a tent in its epicenter.

On the outskirts are special vehicles and red lights. Underground armor plates are exposed in the central part.

SE <<Helicopter sounds>>

Reichu: Ah, don't you just love non-chronological storytelling? It's obvious something big happened here, but they make you wait to find out! The nerve!!

Hexon.Arq: That crater is a bit too clean for me…

Shin-seiki: Not to nit-pick or anything, but an explosion sufficient to excavate a crater that size would have vaporized the surrounding buildings.

Dr. Nick: The artists of Gainax have a bad habit of ignoring the effects of explosion shock waves, as will be seen later on in the show (C-065 in episode #03, for one).

Shin-seiki: It is interesting to note the artificial-looking layer exposed at the center; the first layer of armor over the Geofront, apparently.

02 C009.jpg

Sign UP: "Danger, No Entry Zone"

SE <<Sounds of helicopter (faint), crane, whistle, cars, etc.>>

02 C010.jpg

Behind the wire mesh, a scene of work in progress. The Eva's head is being transported. Behind that, a melted building.

SE <<Crane sounds, whistle sounds, the hum of voices, etc.>>

Reichu: Here we go again! Eva is still a robot, ergo, what we're seeing here is her actual head. Ahem

02 C011a.jpg

02 C011b.jpg

From inside a damaged building, the Eva's head can be seen outside.

Committeeman A (p.d.):“So the Angels have returned?”

HeWhoPostsStuff: So THAT'S what that enormous crater is from! Way to use those cognitive reasoning skills, Committeeman A!

A small council room, seen from above. Ikari, along with five other men.
Shin-seiki: Well, here they are: the true villains of this story (though the true depth of their ruthlessness and depravity only becomes apparent towards the end…). This is Seele, or, to be more precise, the Instrumentality Committee, to which Gendo answers directly.

Sharp-kun: The committee are the "respectable" arm of Seele. They deal with all the annoying things like the UN, etc., while Seele itself remains in the shadows.

Reichu: Except for Keel Lorenz, of course… (He doesn't seem to say much at these committee meetings, though.) With the exception of him, none of these dirty old men are ever named, but, thanks to production drawings, we at least we know their respective countries of origin:

A/green = United States
B/yellow = France
C/red = United Kingdom
D/blue = Russia

Shin-seiki: Keel, of course, represents Germany.

thewayneiac: In the closing credits for the French language version on ADV's original DVDs, they are billed as Messieurs Vert (Green), Jaune (Yellow), Rouge (Red), and Bleu (Blue).

Reichu: You know, these guys really need actual names. How about we call them Teddy, Pierre, Nigel, and Vladimir? ::D Now, we just need some naval vessels from the appropriate nations...

A:“It's so sudden.”

B:“It's the same as it was fifteen years ago. A disaster comes as it will, without warning.”

Reichu: It's odd that this guy seems to be implying that Second Impact happened "without warning". Isn't "Pierre" one of the committee members we later hear behind a Seele monolith, i.e., an actual member of Seele, like Keel? And, as we know, Seele engineered 2I for their purposes.

02 C013.jpg

C:“We could say it was fortunate, in the sense that our prior investments were not a waste.”
Sharp-kun: At this point, Seele's need for EVA-01 is still minimal — the Spear is still within their grasp. If the Eva was central to their plans, they wouldn't talk about her possibly being a "waste".

tv33: Is it me or does the American guy look like an evil Teddy Roosevelt?

thewayneiac: Uh..., yeah. Isn't that probably why Reichu proposed calling him "Teddy"?

02 C014.jpg

D:“You can't be sure about that yet. If it doesn't pay off, it's a waste all the same.”
Sharp-kun: As above. I would say he's refering to EVA-01 in the context of her being an Angel killer, not as the cornerstone of their plan.

02 C015.jpg

B:“Indeed. Now our anti-Angel measures are common knowledge, Nerv must control the information about them in a speedy and prudent manner.”
Sharp-kun: One of the many subtle hints that NERV isn't all it seems to be. Feeding the masses propaganda?

02 C016.jpg

Ikari:“It's already been taken care of. You can rest assured of that.”

Bird's-eye view of the crater, a tent within it. ("UN" is on the roof.)

Woman A (OFF, channel 12):“In regards to yesterday's declaration of the special state of emergency…”

Woman A (Channel 12):“…the government administration's announcement was carried out this morning in the official residence of the prime minister of Tokyo-2.”

A TV on a desk inside the tent. Plastic bottles, paper cups, etc., are lined up around it.
Misato's POV. A high-ranking government official is on the screen.

Reichu: Misato's channel-surfing prevents us from hearing the news dialogue in full, which, I'm sure, has made attempts at translation particularly difficult. Fortunately, the full statements are included in the script, so I'm including complete transrations here. (The gray coloured parts are information not heard in the show itself.)

Question — what is the official deal with all of these self-defense forces we hear about? JSSDF, JASDF, SSDF (Strategic Self-Defense Force), etc.?

tv33: The abbreviations refer to the branches of the Japanese military.

  • JSSDF - Japanese Strategic Self Defense Forces
  • JGSDF - Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (Army)
  • JASDF - Japan Air Self-Defense Force (Air Force)
  • JMSDF - Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (Navy)

They have to be called "self-defense" forces because after WWII the Japanese were banned from using their army in an offensive manner. It's a normal army in all but name, though; the Japanese spend about 43 billion dollars a year on their military, the second most in the world behind the US.

Keisuke-kun: Regarding "SSDF", perhaps, since we're in Japan, the "Japan" part is inferred.

Reichu: "'This isn't manga.'" Maybe not — but it's pretty darn close! And, heh, notice the Coca-Cola™ on the right; wonder how much money Gainax got for that?

HeWhoPostsStuff: Apparently not enough to do the show the way they intended, in any case.

Hexon.Arq: Does Nerv really need to print their own cups? How much did that cost?

Reichu: They've got their own mugs, too!

BTW, Tokyo-2 is, in the NGE continuity, Japan's current capital, moved from Tokyo to Matsumoto (Nagano Prefecture). There is actually another branch of Nerv there, as well. We'll learn more about the Tokyo-2 situation in a few episodes.

thewayneiac: Channel BS7 lives up to its name.

02 C018b.jpg

The TV beeps as Misato changes the channel, but every time the picture remains the same.

Man A (Channel 4):“As for the participation of the SSDF in this incident not being recognized, this was negated.

02 C018c.jpg

Woman B (Channel 8):“They advocated that the U.N. forces' sortie into Japan was within the scope of the law.

02 C018d.jpg

02 C018e.jpg

02 C018f.jpg

Man B (1~BS7):“When confronted with the claim, 'Was this not an alien attack?', they laughed, saying, 'This isn't manga.

Misato (pre.):“So the public announcement is a scenario B-22?”

She turns it off.

02 C019.jpg

Misato fans herself.

Misato (center):“So, we're keeping the truth in the dark again.”

Ibuki (back - right channel):“No, there's no threat of contamination from the center of the explosion.”

Ritsuko (left ch.):“Our PR department seems happy to finally have something to do.”

Ibuki:“The only Angel samples collected were adhered to the Eva.”

Misato:“We're being pretty casual about it.”

Ritsuko:“I don't know about that. I think everyone's actually scared.”

Shin-seiki: This cut and 015 serve to indicate that BS is an important component of what Nerv is about. Misato will find out over time that, despite her rank in the organization, she is being BSed just as much as anyone…

Reichu: ("...there's no threat of contamination from the center of the explosion.") What kind of contamination do you suppose she's referring to?

thewayneiac: Then its not a Psycho-hazard Area?

02 C020.jpg

Misato, dripping with sweat.

Ibuki:“Correct. As in the model simulation, approximately 99.9% of it appears to have evaporated.”

Misato:“Of course we are.”

OMF: Ibuki's comment clears up the lingering question of why we don't see Sachiel's blue-bloodied remains spread out over a 5km radius. However, the Tokyo-3 street cleaning division won't always get off so lightly.

The small council room, seen from above.

Committeeman D:“Well, we must acknowledge that.”

02 C021B.jpg

A:“However, Ikari-kun, isn't there a better way to utilize Nerv and Eva?”
Sharp-kun: Such as? I've never quite worked out what they mean here. Instrumentality is the obvious other use, but it's too early in the schedule for that.

Dr. Nick: Considering what they say in the next cut, I think that by "better" they mean cheaper, i.e, "can't you get rid of those angels without causing HUGE property damage?"

02 C022.jpg

B:“First the repairs to EVA-00, and now to EVA-01, which you wrecked in its first battle.
It's enough to bankrupt an entire country.”
Sharp-kun: More evidence of the differences between the committee and Seele. I doubt Seele would be concerned about costs, while I suspect the committee has to do some reporting to the UN, even if it is just a sham.

Keisuke-kun: Costs don't matter. Seele and Nerv could bankrupt all the countries they want. The world is gonna end in less than a year.

Sharp-kun: They don't matter to Seele, but the committee has to at least pretend to care. They're the more public part of Seele, and the UN, etc., don't know of Seele's plans.

Reichu: Just to nitpick, is EVA-00 really being repaired? Her lower body needs to be freed from the bakelite, but is that really the same thing?

Sharp-kun: Repairs could also cover correcting the problem that caused her to go berserk.

Reichu: Apparently they didn't do a very good job, being as virtually the exact same thing happens in episode #14!

HeWhoPostsStuff: Perhaps Nerv could justify that occasion, as Gainax themselves did in the creation of that scene, to budget cuts. :D

02 C013.jpg

C:“We understand that you gave that toy to your son, did you not?”
thewayneiac: Hey, be fair, Mr. Red. There wasn't anyone else.

tv33: This makes me wonder how much the committee actually knows about the Evas. His line seems to imply that he thinks anyone can pilot an Eva. Gendo did not give it to Shinji; he was the only one who could pilot it. (Well, except for Rei, but she was in no condition to do so.)

Soluzar: Besides, if they are gonna complain, what about who he gave EVA-00 to? :-D

Reichu: But it's more fun for them to take direct stabs at Ikari by complaining about his son. To them, I suppose Rei is just some anonymous nobody (which, considering she has no legal past, she is, in a sense).

HeWhoPostsStuff: It seems to me that he's being sarcastic here. He knows that the Eva is no toy, but suggests that Gendo treated it like one by "giving" it to his son, inexperienced (and downright unwilling) as he was.

02 C014.jpg

D:“Manpower, time, and money.
How much will be consumed by you and your son before you are satisfied?”
thewayneiac: Considering what they are going to do, why do they care how much money this costs?

Reichu: See Sharp-kun's comment in 022.

02 C025.jpg

Ikari far-in, from Keel's POV.

C:“And that is not your only responsibility.”

The front cover of a file displayed on the light table. It reads:

Top Secret
Human Instrumentality Project
International Alliance Supreme Executive Council
17th Interim Report
Human Instrumentality Committee
2015 Business Plan Outline

C (OFF):“The Human Instrumentality Project.”

Sharp-kun: Major plot point.

02 C027.jpg

C (OFF):“That should be your highest priority.”

02 C028.jpg

The entire committee, from Ikari's POV.

B:“Precisely. Under these desperate circumstances, that project is our one and only hope.”

02 C029.jpg

Keel:“In any case, we cannot excuse any delays in that project's schedule due to the reappearance of the Angels. We will consider the issue regarding the budget.”
thewayneiac: Hmmm… I thought that project couldn't be completed until the Angels had all been dealt with. Did Anno not know that at this point?

Reichu: Yeah, really. Aside from overseeing the slaughter of Adam's offspring, there doesn't seem to be much else Gendo is supposed to be doing.

02 C030b.jpg

02 C030c.jpg

A:“Now, the rest of this meeting concerns only the committee.”

B:“Ikari-kun, your presence here was appreciated.”

The committeemen all vanish, along with the light on the floor. Only Keel and Ikari remain.

Keel:“Ikari. There is no turning back.”

Keel vanishes, as well.

Ikari:“——— I know.”

thewayneiac: Hey, magic!

Reichu: Or, rather, more of that lovely holographic technology that we first saw in the Command Room. In a sense, this usage of the technology is more impressive: It is able to generate creepy committee men that are indistinguishable from the real thing (aside from being tinted, but that was done on purpose). Apparently real-time translation technology has been developed, as well — or perhaps the fact that they all speak Japanese can simply be attributed to the Magic of Fiction.

OMF: Keel's little informal parting here indicates that he may be closer to Gendo than the other members. (We'll see another private aside of theirs in #21', as well.) Gendo's good standing with Keel might go a ways towards explaining why the committee tolerates his actions later.

Ikari:“Mankind has no time left.”
Soluzar: Pointless comment, but… I do love this shot! No matter how many times they recycled it.

Reichu: It's pretty much a visual icon by this point, isn't it? ^_^

Hexon.Arq: To whom is he still trying to appear ominous?

Reichu: The audience, of course! Or, you could say Gendo is the kind of guy who doesn't even need to try.

BTW, I would normally translate the word ningen as "humanity" (as a matter of principle), but, if Gendo spoke English, he just seems like the sort of guy who would say "mankind" instead. Don't you think?

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FGC Index:
Episode 01: Scene 01 | Scene 02 | Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07 | Scene 08 | Previews
Episode 02: Scene 01 | Scene 02 | Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07:A |Scene 07:B | Scene 08 | Previews
Episode 03: Scene 01 | Scene 02 | Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07:A |Scene 07:B | Scene 08 | Scene 09 | Previews
Episode 04: Scene 01 | Scene 02:A |Scene 02:B | Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07 | Scene 08 | Previews
Episode 05: Scene 01 | Scene 02 |Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07 | Scene 08 | Previews
Episode 06: Scene 01 | Scene 02 |Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07 | Scene 08 |Scene 09 | Previews
Episode 07: Scene 01 | Scene 02 |Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07 | Scene 08 |Scene 09 | Scene 10 | Previews