FGC:Episode 03 Scene 06

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A Step Forward Into Terror


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Screenshots Cut # Description/Dialogue Commentary

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Shinji inside the entry plug.

SE <<Call sound>>

Misato (OFF):“Shinji-kun, are you ready to head out?”

Shinji:“…Yes.”

Ritsuko (OFF):“Listen to me. Neutralize the enemy's A.T. Field, then fire a volley from the pallet gun. Do it just like we practiced, and you'll be fine.”

Shinji:“Right.”

Hexon.Arq: Take a shot every time you see this image in the series. (Including the opening… Misato mode.)


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Misato side UP.

Misato:“Launch!!”


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BGM START: E-9 [A STEP FORWARD INTO TERROR]

The locks on Eva's feet release!


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EVA-01 shoots up.
thewayneiac: No! Drugs aren't the answer!


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Eva ascends.
Reichu: Hey… Those last four cuts sure feel familiar, don't they?


Soluzar: Don't they just! By the end of the series, you almost feel as though you could draw them from memory. If you have any drawing talent, of course, which I don't. :-


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The dugout gate is left ajar.

SE <<Outdoor sounds (mountains and forest)>>

Beer Goggles: Thinking about it, those shelters need to be fairly easily-accessible so that escape can be possible in such emergency situations, like evacuation perhaps. It still seems stupid, though, that Toji and Kensuke were allowed to so easily escape.


Reichu: Well, Kensuke did need Toji's help… I wonder what that entailed?


Hexon.Arq: Lookout, probably. (Security my ass.) Either that or "POW!!!"


Reichu: Yeah, that was my thinking as well. Still, any emergency door that can be opened by a 14-year-old jock probably needs a bit of work… Or the lookout theory is correct, and Kensuke just hacked the door open with his laptop, R2D2-style.


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A flight of stone steps going up to a mountainside jinja (Shinto shrine). Two people race up them with all they can muster.
Reichu: Seems like Toji is pretty excited about this, too.


tv33: With giant robots fighting monsters, what guy wouldn't be?


Incisivis: What about us ladies? Huh?


Soluzar: He acts tough, but he's just as excited as Kensuke, really. Toji's tough guy act is largely a front.


Reichu: It usually is…


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Kensuke runs up, bringing his camera to the ready. Toji follows close behind. The jinja and its torii (shrine archway) are further in.
Reichu: Incidentally, the jinja and torii are the only references I've caught to Shintoism — Japan's local religion — in the whole series. NGE actually seems blatantly lacking in references to the more "colorful" aspects of Japanese culture and tradition in general, whereas most anime are simply swimming in it (even shows that don't actually occur in Japan, like Pocket Monsters, a.k.a. Pokémon). I suppose that to fit in all of the wacky Judaeo-Christian stuff, something had to go. ;;>


Hexon.Arq: Being that I always thought Shammy looked like some kind of sushi, I think it fits here better than anywhere else. (Okay, that was wrong.) I'll be frank and say that I know nothing, NOTHING about Shinto, but the placement of the torii here brings to mind the image of Death.


Reichu: What does a torii have to do with death?


Hexon.Arq: Nothing directly. A torii is just a gateway; the script specifies the jinja into which it leads. A jinja also has nothing directly to do with death, but being a Shinto shrine, you may have the worship of the deceased. The idea of kami worship might also be said to fit, as the boys are entering into the presence of a deity: EVA-01. (A stretch, I know. But I spent the semester learning to make these connections.) Being that a jinja may be a place of worship for a fairly diverse roster of things, it's a lot more practical than a church for this meaning, as the unspecified god is easier to spot than the connection to the One God that isn't there.

The placement of seemingly arbitrary details does more than just provide something to fill up the space outside of the characters' mass. In my mind, this particular environmental prop comes off as comical more than anything else. "We opened the gate! Okay, now let's go get dead!" Being that I've often perceived this to be the approach to the Supreme Ordeal of the Prologue Arc, the direness of this situation (in which human life is visibly brought into the picture for the first time) could be a reason for this choice of setting.


Reichu: BTW, anyone know if this an actual shrine? There are quite a few of them in the Hakone region, so I couldn't begin to speculate.


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The Angel, shining black, emerges from behind a building.

Reichu: Is it just me, or does Shamshel sound like an airport?


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Shamshel, hidden behind buildings. She transforms into her battle form. The orientation of her head stays the same, while her left and right hands spread out to the sides. It's kind of eerie.
Reichu: Must… resist… urge to make… tasteless jokes…!


Soluzar: What, not even to say that it might have been funnier if they'd waited until Shogouki came out before Shamshel did that? What a waste of a good opportunity. You must be losing your edge, Reichu! ;)


Reichu: Oh, don't worry. I'm just caching my "perverted indulgence" for later on. >::D


Hexon.Arq: You know, it's easy to become jaded to seeing big monsters in the middle of cities in anime. Upon really getting a good look at this shot, I realize just how fucking terrifying Shammy would be in real life. Remember, kiddos, always take advantage of a good presentation shot when supplied one; pause it and take a moment to imagine how soaked your Underoos would be if you ever saw these guys (and gals) in your world. And then before you go to bed, tell yourself, "OMFG, it could totally happen!"


Reichu: Oddly, Shamshel's arms completely change their morphology when she switches from "flight form" to "combat form". I don't mean they simply spread apart — they do look completely different. See for yourself. And this all happens in the space between 178 and 179 — they don't bother showing how this change occurs. Sadamoto even gleans over the issue in his manga — but can you spot what he did differently?
Also, notice how Shamshel tucks away her eight legs; she has a ventral heart-shaped recess exclusively for the purpose. A pre-battle precaution, perhaps?


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Toji cowers at the sight of the grotesque Angel. Kensuke, on the other hand, is in high spirits.

Toji:“…”

Kensuke:“Awesome! This was worth all the troubles! Oh, this is what I've been waiting for!”


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Lift Building. Lock bolts on the rooftop rise up.

A warning sound rings out.


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The base of the lift building. The warning lights on the ground turn on. Running along rails on the four corners, cylindrical guides rush up with great force. (The screen shakes.) When the screen shake ends, the lock bolts sink into place.


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The shutter on the building's front surface opens and Eva Unit 01 appears, equipped with a pallet gun.


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The two are completely awestruck.


Kensuke:“———— It's here.”


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Eva UP.
Reichu: That brief blurry distortion is apparently an effect of the A.T. Field being deployed. This "blur motif" will actually utilized throughout the series (although not on a totally consistent basis) in situations involving the employment of the ATF's "higher functions" — i.e., the cool stuff that Angels and Evas can do, but pathetic little humans can't.


OMF: I totally missed this for the first, like, five times through the series! Strangely enough, though, I still attributed the Eva's feats to the mysterious A.T. Field, so I must have copped it at some stage that the ATF wasn't just referring to the giant octagonal barriers that appear from time to time.


Reichu: The ATF blurs are rather more difficult to spot in the original print. But even with Renewal, they are often quite easy to miss.


Gundampilotspaz: It is important that at this point the presence of the A.T. Field is forced upon the viewer. If they do not understand it now, they will be lost later on.


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missing number


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Shinji's mouth UP. He mutters to himself, although we can't hear him too well.

Shinji:“"arget in the center, pull the switch. Target in the center, pull the switch…”

Ibuki (OFF - radio):“A.T. Field deployed.”

Misato:“Do it just as planned, alright, Shinji-kun?”

Shinji:“Right.”

After he speaks, he moves slightly.

Mr. Tines: Mr. Motivation strikes again!


Incisivis: I like this scene. Shinji's nervousness really comes through.


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At the start of the cut, Eva nimbly rushes to the side.
Reichu: There are some very interesting coloration errors in this cut… What's funny is that they aren't even consistent across multiple cels. Check out the second image and see how many you can pick out.


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Eva draws out her gun and starts firing.


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Eva (in front) and Shamshel. The Angel is engulfed by gunfire.
Mr. Tines: The Pallet Gun clearly fires some form of high explosive munition, rather than a kinetic-kill or AP type of round.


Reichu: "Kinetic-kill"?


tv33: There are various kinds of munitions, especially for large caliber weapons like the one Shinji is using. A kinetic energy round (such as those made out of depleted uranium) uses the speed and density of the round, rather than explosive power, to do damage. What Shinji is firing is probably some type of HE (high explosive) round, where the center of the shell is hollowed out and packed with explosives, which is why we see the big plumes of smoke.


Reichu: Notice how Shamshel finally has her tentacles out here. The official name for them is hikari no muchi, or "whips of light". ("Lance of light", "whips of light" — what's next?) These are apparently physical structures (I will point out the evidence for this when it comes), normally retracted within the body, that are powered and amplified by energy when extended. They're a much more versatile weapon than what Sachiel had — the whips can slice, pierce, sizzle, plus they're prehensile.


Gundampilotspaz: Shamshel really is presented as an evolved version of Sachiel, from the superiority of her weapon to the very construct of this battle. Earlier in the episode (013~014), Shinji faced a copy of Sachiel in a situation that was very close to this one. Sachiel was beaten easily, whereas Shamshel isn't even phased. Another subtle hint (there are alot of them) that the Angels are getting stronger.


Reichu: Well, that was just a stationary, ATF-less simulation. If you set your training mode opponent in Super Smash Bros. to "Stand Still And Take It", you're not going to get a very accurate assessment of vis true power. ;;>

But, yes, the Angels do tend to get "bigger, better, faster, stronger" from here on out, though don't get the idea into your head that the logic for this is anything but "intelligent plot design", kids. The Angels are not being sent by anyone. They apparently do not share any common consciousness, so each one must evolve and adapt on vis own terms, as opposed to learning from the mistakes of vis predecessors. Of coure they get stronger and more difficult to defeat — to the main characters, they must serve as a series of trials, and what fun would that be if each one fell over and exploded after being dealt a few rounds of ammo?


Hexon.Arq: If they wanted to add variety and rid us of suspicion, they could have pulled a "CoaEG" and had something like Amaliel, the Koosh Angel of Weakness. (It also would have brought the number to 18, making Lilim #19, or the one that doesn't fit.) So to answer the question, QUITE fun. :D


Dr. Nick: Right now, Lovecraft is spinning in his grave like a dervish on ecstasy.


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Shinji continues to squeeze the trigger frantically.
Reichu: That second thumbnail really flashes by when you're watching this live — but doesn't it look cool? ^_^


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Eva and the Angel (an antenna in front). Shamshel is hit by gunfire.
Reichu: We are quite obviously seeing a reenactment of the simulation from the first scene. Like Shin-seiki always says: Nothing in NGE happens just once.

Also, here's another good example of Anno's tendency to put large objects in the foreground for no obvious reason. At least here, the antenna is a compositional divider, whereas the plant in Misato's apartment was… just a plant.


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Eva continues to attack. Shamshel is hidden by the barrage. The explosions continue.


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Misato:“Idiot! The enemy's covered in smoke from the explosions!!”
tv33: Hardly seems like Shinji's fault…


Reichu: Well, he could have stopped firing before things got that bad. ::P


Soluzar: Cut him a little slack. He's not trained military.


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At the end of the cut, Eva ceases her attack.
HeWhoPostsStuff: I half expect to see the Eva chest-deep in spent shells, a la Hot Shots!


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Shinji breathes heavily.
Reichu: Shinji: "If I can't see it, maybe it can't hurt me!"


Magami No ER: I notice that a lot of the facial expressions in this episode, like this shot, are very humanistic, especially those of Shinji, Misato, and Toji. Another useless but fun inference. :P But seriously, doesn't he look intense?


Incisivis: I'd say it's a combination of "Oh, crap, I can't see it!" and "I'd better keep an eye out before it attacks again!". He's scared, but he's trying to focus.


OMF: I'd say there's also an element of "Well, I did like I was told, so it should be dead, right?"


Reichu: Yeah, there's a bit of anticipation in those eyes.


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Eva in front, slowly trailing smoke further in.


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With great speed, whips of light fly out, swinging.
thewayneiac: "When a problem comes along, you must whip it!"


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A surprised Shinji.

Shinji:“!?”

Reichu: Shinji: "Doh! Guess I was wrong."


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A narrow escape!

She drops her hips to avoid the whips of light, but the pallet gun is cut straight in half. Further in, the lift building, sliced through, starts to collapse.

Reichu: They call it a "narrow escape", but, if the following sequence is any indication, Shamshel doesn't seem especially intent on reducing her opponent to a pile of well-diced flesh and scrap metal. At least, not yet.


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Toji and Kensuke watch the battle. Kensuke holds his camera steady.

Toji:“What the hell?! He's already losing!”

Kensuke:“It's all right.”

Magami No ER: He seems rather confident.


Hexon.Arq: I think at this point, Kensuke has forgotten that his life is in danger. "It's okay," he thinks, "we can edit that part out if we have to." He's a regular Chimino. The application of his camera (as iconic of him as Shinji's phone is of Shinji) to his character reminds me very strongly of that line in "The Blair Witch Project": "I know why you like looking through this thing; it's not quite reality." The whole time, he always seems to be on top of what's happening in the workings of Nerv, yet he has no clue about what's really going on in the world around him, even in places where it should be obvious, like his friends. Everything is like a movie to him. (Ironically, this fact fails to pay off in that he's the one person who never seems affected by anything even by the end. Perhaps Anno had a thematic reason for this, or he just decided to ignore Kensuke altogether later on.)


Reichu: While there does seem to be some truth in what you're saying, the end of this episode also seems to imply that Kensuke might have a better idea of what's going on that he lets on.


Hexon.Arq: I think I know what you're getting at. He hands Toji a number and gives him a lecture on his own flaws. He's a bright kid. But for someone like Toji, wouldn't a monkey be able to make such a diagnosis and provide such an obious solution? If anything, Kensuke's "handle" on the situation with his friend doesn't conflict with my interpretation of his cluelessness:

He has the mind of an observer; we can all know things, but can also be lacking the maturity to apply or hang onto them. What we see throughout the series is the deterioration of his ability to assess persons (however strong that might have been; he's guiding Toji, after all) and his obsession clouding over his abiliy to excercise better judgment. His fixation on his unfulfilled Dream and unchecked (though not harsh) mouth about Shinji's cowardice later on seem to illustrate that.

This scene with the camera and Shammy, perhaps, are intended to present this mindset strongly enough that, while perhaps not applicable so early in the story, they mirror the movement that he will make in a larger arc. Through the glass, anything can appear exciting, and the turbulent waters are never as deadly as they are without a barrier. (That almost makes his glasses seem relevant.)


OMF: Confession: The first time I watched this episode, I though Kensuke was some kind of spy. He is, after all, the kid who knows too much.


Reichu: Thank goodness he wasn't! All we needed was Kensuke hitting on Shinji so that he could get into Nerv HQ.


OMF: I may have just spawned another Eva H-doujin horror. :uhhh: I take full responsibility…


Reichu: Either that, or a future doctoring of some Girlfriend of Steel screenshot. :imagines Kensuke in a girl's school uniform:


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Misato leaning in front of Hyuga.

Misato:“I'm sending you a spare rifle.”


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An armored building's shutter opens. A spare pallet gun lays within.

Misato (OFF - Speaker):“Take it.”

BGM END: E-9 [A STEP FORWARD INTO TERROR]


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His hand shakes, clasping the grip rigidly. Beyond that, the "Take the gun" siren flashes on and off.


Misato (OFF):“Shinji-kun? … Shinji-kun?”

Reichu: Dammit, Shinji! Why do you have to suck so much?


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Kensuke's video screen. Eva is still down, motionless.

SE <<VTR activation sound>>

Kensuke (OFF):“Oh, man!”


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Kensuke:“Being beaten up must have really messed him up.”

Toji is a little agitated.

Toji:“Sh…shut up!”

HeWhoPostsStuff: "Yeah, unlike the first battle he had before you beat him up, when he was as graceful as a gazelle."


Reichu: Toji's reaction here always cracked me up.


thewayneiac: Yes, I think Kensuke's enjoying this in more ways than one.


Soluzar: Well-animated guilt is a wonderful thing.

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FGC Index:
OP/ED: OP:A | OP:B | ED
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