FGC:Episode 04 Scene 02b

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Daybreak ~ Silence and Solitude

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Screenshots Cut # Description/Dialogue Commentary

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Scene of a road at dawn. Sky in the distance. Just a building and the mountains slowly turn red.

SE <<Crow voices increasing in number>>

SE <<Early morning road background noise>>

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The sky is being dyed red.
tv33: Ooooh! Pretty!

Magami No ER: I've actually seen skies at dusk turn a beautiful red color, dying everything in a wonderful rouge. Pretty, indeed

Mr. Tines: "Red sky… Red, the colour I hate." If a blue sky with clouds is symbolic elsewhere, is this, too? Or is it a case of "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar"?

Reichu: Color symbolism is sort of like numerology in its almost futile ambiguity. As will be proven by Rei's monologue later on, though, the color red certainly is significant in some way… Perhaps red represents imprisonment and containment, whereas blue is openness and freedom? I'm really just pulling that out of my arse, though.

OMF: It's got to represent blood, violence, anger, etc. Negative emotions. Especially considering Rei's words following the above quote by Mr. Tines.

Reichu: I dunno, man. That seems a bit too obvious. Especially since you guys are getting Rei's mind-boggling psychology involved.

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The world red, a shadow in the exact shape of the neighborhood's buildings spreads over a road seen from a true overhead view.

Shinji is walking.

Written on the road:
Next 100m

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Shinji walks. The morning sun is beyond the buildings. The number of cicada voices increases from one to two, and onward.

SE <<Increasing number of cicada voices>>

Mr. Tines: It's already gone beyond morning cool into heat. (The cicadas wake up as it gets hotter.)

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Shinji seems to have a frightened look in his eyes. (Track back.)
Soluzar: (068-070): Cicadas must be scarier than I realised. We don't get them round here, but I never assumed they were as terrifying as Shinji would appear to find them.

Reichu: That gives me one of the cheesiest ideas for a doctored image yet!

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His figure from behind. He looks around. (Track back.)

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Shinji turns his head to quickly look in the other direction; his eyes look frightened.

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An unreal shot!

(Track back.)

Reichu: What is this? Cicada-induced hallucinations? Can someone please tell me what the hell is going on?

The Eva Monkey: Film makers occasionally use a degree of surreal imagery or instances to convey something in a work of film. I believe this is essentially what we are seeing here. There is no logical reason why Shinji would be "hallucinating". Rather, I think that we are seeing his emotional state being conveyed by surreal imagery. Shinji is "feeling" his world closing in on and swarming about him, as if his present circumstances are tormenting him, regardless of the fact that he is running away from them.

Incisivis: The cicadas may represent the "sound" of his conscience, which he's covering his ears to block out, a futile gesture since the noise is coming from inside his head.

Gundampilotspaz: Perhaps the cicadas are just a manifestation of Shinji's internal turmoil. When he decides to run away, the cicadas suddenly stop. Like magic, no?

Reichu: In an earlier version of the script (published in Evangelion Original I), anyway, the cicadas are represented as being inarguably real and clearly have something to do with Shinji's reaction. In it, Shinji exits the theater and looks up, frightened, at the sky. He says to himself, "……I should go back… I should go to school……", abruptly followed by the first cicada. He then overhears an elderly couple out for a morning stroll stopping and listening to the cicadas. The "vision" is absent, but the end result is the same: Overwhelmed by the cacophony, Shinji covers his ears and runs away.

Referring back to a comment Shin-seiki made at 041, it would seem that Shinji started the morning planning to get his act together, but is, ahem, "deterred" by his environment.

Ark: Assuming the cicadas are real, maybe he finds cicadas to be an oppressive presence. I've been to Florida and they can get pretty loud.

Mr. Tines: Having lived for a while in warmer climes, I got accustomed to the way that when it got hot, the noise of the cicadas added an almost synaesthetic quality, where the heat "sang" or "seethed". It could get as loud as traffic, and shriller, and I can understand it getting to be oppressive in a "Shut up, I'm trying to think" sort of way. (These days, years later, when we do have a hot summer, I'm still disoriented by quite how quiet the heat is.)

OMF: Perhaps the cicadas are like the "character theme" for Tokyo-3, representing the underlying menace pervading the city. We never see them, but they are always about, chirping, endlessly chirping…

Reichu: When all is said and done, the cicadas remain a rather mysterious element to me. Are they real or not? Maybe it's a Hobbes sort of deal.

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Shinji side UP, pressing against his ears. He starts running!

SE <<(until C-074) Voices of cicadas>>

Mr. Tines: Just want the din to shut up! The background noise can get to be like tinnitus.

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The ground flies by. Shinji's shadow runs, cutting through trees.

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Shinji runs off into the distance.
thewayneiac: This is a curious sequence. There's no sign of Shinji having this sort of attack anywhere else in the show.

Soluzar: Maybe he spent the last night smoking pot, man. The comedown must be rough on him.

Reichu: :imagines Shinji inanely yukking it up to that cheesy movie:

A fluorescent lamp in front of Misato, who is unable to get back to sleep. She stares at the ceiling.

SE <<Voices of cicadas>>

Reichu: A car magazine! They're being consistent about something!

04 C076.jpg

Misato opens the fusuma to Shinji's room.

04 C077.jpg

She seems a little annoyed… but she's actually lonely.


Reichu: Well, look on the bright side… At least you have the penguin.

Sharp-kun: But she doesn't have the same "ideas" for the penguin, apart from in sick and twisted doujin…

Reichu: Isn't that debatable? :naughty: We'll deal with that when the time comes, though.

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A mountain road. A bus runs.

A sign reads, "Fire Prevention".

SE <<Bus Sound>>

thewayneiac: "The people on the bus go up and down..."

Shinji lingers at the side of the bus stop.

SE <<Bus sound, leaving>>

Sign: Drop-Off Only Hakone Tozan Railway Co.

Mr. Tines: Waiting for Totoro?

Shin-seiki: I'd say it's pretty likely that this was intended as an homage to "My Neighbor Totoro". (NGE is full of such nods to other anime.) This image of Mei and the statues is included in a book I have about Miyazaki, so I made the connection when I took a good look at the shot of Shinji.

The statue is of Jizo-san, a Buddhist diety who is the patron of travelers and children, and a common sight along rural roads in Japan. Here is the caption for the shot of Mei in the book I mentioned above:

Seated by a line of statues, Mei wonders what to do now that she is well and truly lost. The statues represent a Buddhist deity who takes care of all children, so the Japanese audience knows she'll be okay… [Helen McCarthy, “Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation”, p.134]

Dr. Nick: The possibility of an homage isn't really that far-fetched, considering how the boys and girls of Gainax are apparently big Studio Ghibli fans.

Reichu: And whoever isn't should be hunted down and shot.

Also, here is more on the Hakone Tozan Railway.

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Rural landscape.
Mr. Tines: We'll see many of these images again.

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The sky aflow with clouds.

A Shinji-like silhouette walking. Shadows of clouds moving.
Magami No ER: Yet another cross. So many already, so many more left to go…

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Shinji walks a road overlooking Ashinoko.

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The lake surface fills the screen. Shinji cuts across (slightly silhouetted).
Magami No ER: It's too bad he's in a state where he can't appreciate the beautiful scenery.

Reichu: I wonder if Gainax received funding from any Japanese tourism agencies for this episode.

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Shinji passes through a field of sunflowers.
Sharp-kun: Something about this always seemed out of place to me. Not the mood of it, just the art.

Soluzar: Does it remind anyone else of a butter commercial?

Hexon.arq: This shot reminds me of a scene in Akira Kurosawa's Dreams, in which a young man, chasing after Vincent Van Gogh, covers ground in many of the artist's paintings. While Van Gogh didn't paint anything quite like this sunflower field (that I can recall or find), the similar degree of surrealism in the change of environment is just as striking.

As for this shot in particular, the assertion seems to be that Shinji is so lost in his despairing ponderences, he wouldn't even notice if he had chanced to step into Heaven. Otherwise, there would be no need of golden skies (or else that is just one big damn field).

Dr. Nick: It is a big damn field, obviously.

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OMF: Given that a lot of the earths arable land is now underwater, perhaps these mountains have been terraced to provide more space for tillage.

Reichu: Stealing some info from japan-guide.com:

Owakudani is the area around a crater created in the last eruption of Mt. Hakone 3000 years ago. Sulfurous fumes, hot springs and hot rivers can be experienced on a walk in the area. Eggs boiled in the hot springs are said to prolong one's life by seven years and are readily available for sale.

Soluzar: Is there a "Spring of Drowned Girl"?

Reichu: How about a "Spring of Drowned Penguin"? :D

Soluzar: Also, is that seven years per egg, 'cause if it is, I have got to get me some of those!!!

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Suddenly the clouds break. Shinji's back to us, shadows drop and crawl upon the mountainside and clouds are visible.

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Shinji stands there in a daze, a fairly strong wind blowing against him. His face turns.
Reichu: Shinji is going into bishounen territory here. Not very hard, though, considering he has Nadia's face.

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Flowing clouds.

When it pans, Toyko-3 becomes visible.

Mr. Tines: Like times and dates, distances are "as long as they need be". He's had the chance to turn this into a road movie, but he's just been moving in circles (literally as well as metaphorically).

Reichu: We're viewing Tokyo-3 from the northeast (note the Mirror System in the background, by the lake's edge). Kind of makes one wonder just how much walking Shinji is doing, to have gone through Owakudani, walked alongside Ashinoko, and ended up at this vista when he was through.

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Shinji crouches; flowing clouds fill the background.

Shinji sitting squat at the edge of a cliff that looks like a famous suicide site.

Misato (OFF) (p.d.):“He's only fourteen years old…”

Reichu: Strangely, I had never looked at this scene in quite that morbid a light. Illuminating.

Mr. Tines: Well, now we know he's not a jumper.

Reichu: Anno himself has actually commented on Shinji's inability to commit suicide.

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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