FGC:Episode 05 Cut 101

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Screenshots Cut # Description/Dialogue Commentary

05 C101.jpg

A bird’s eye view of the three. Ritsuko is already sitting down.

Shinji:“My father did that…? ?”

Ritsuko:“That's when he burned his palms.”

Kendrix: So Daddy isn't a COMPLETE bastard? That's how Rei came to represent 'hope' in Shinji's head/became the voice of Reason in his inner world. Gendo saved that girl, so maybe he isn't that bad. Shinji starts hoping that they might be able to come to an understanding.

Look at Ritsuko's notably uncomfortable pose here, with her hands in her lap and her knees close together. For being the one who created them and otherwise morally "hardened", Ritsuko tends to react quite strongly to the sight of Berserking EVAs.

Reichu (Quoting the Platinum dub): “Bullshit! My father did that?”

thewayneiac: Way to add gratuitous cursing, ADV. That really doesn't match the tone of this scene at all.

Additional Commentary  

Cody MacArthur Fett: Shinji's disbelieving exclamation of "Bullshit!" in the ADV dub once again cements his status as the Audience Surrogate. In this case it's a reference to the popular belief that Gendo Ikari has no soul, only another AT Field.

thewayneiac: That's a popular belief? Anyway, his status doesn't need to be cemented any more than it was in the original. Adding things that aren't in the original isn't proper translation. And as I said, it wreaks the whole tone of the scene, which is all about Shinji's astonished disbelief in seeing a side of his father that he's never before seen. It doesn't fit the expression we've seen on his face his entire sequence. It's just one more strike against the dub, especially in light of the fact that it was added to Platinum. They didn't learn anything from when they originally dubbed the show.

Cody MacArthur Fett: Well, I suppose it's more of a personal preference thing, thewayneiac. Personally I find Shinji's exclamation in the Platinum dub to be both extremely appropriate and bloody hilarious, but then again I'm hardly someone to give a rat's behind about exact translations. If you're someone who prefers exact translations then you're going to find the addition of that line grating, but if you only care about watching the show then you're probably not going to mind, care, or notice. As for Gendo: yes, that is the popular belief. If you go on FF.net for instance and read through the stories posted there you'll notice that not only are 87% bad but you'll also notice that 95% of them portray Gendo as being two steps away from drinking a baby smoothie while flogging the Children with a bullwhip, metaphorically speaking of course. A lot of people have a hard time believing that Gendo is actually capable of doing a selfless deed, and automatically assume that anything and everything he does is part of a plan to destroy the world. It's blatant fanon Fladerization of the character, but that's the way things seem to go and there's certainly more examples of this in the series.

thewayneiac: Now wait a minute. Do you realize what you seem to be saying? Because it is a popular belief on FF.net and other sites that Gendo is a soulless S.O.B. ADV should let that inform their translation? O.K., for one thing, the contents of many fanfics show that their authors don't actually know much about Eva. Many of them are based on the worst Eva falsehoods, like Naoko in Unit-00, the "combination girl" theory, or the "Adam and Eve" theory. Should ADV also let those guide their dub? That is just plain silly. The fan opinions ought to be based on the show, not the other way around. Besides, I can't say I agree ADV was deliberately trying to appeal to the fanfic crowd; I think they were just trying to express their own opinion. This is the same sort of junk dubbing that gives dub viewers such an insanely twisted view of Ritsuko. If anyone has been Flanderized in the dub it's her. As Shin-seiki once said, it's surprising that ADV didn't use computer overlays to give her a mustache to twirl.

Dubs are already inaccurate by their nature; the translation must be re-written to match the lip flaps. This is why for Wiki analysis we consider only the subtitle script, and refer to the dub only to point out its worst inaccuracies. To introduce further inaccuracies by adding things that don't exist in the original is never acceptable.

Cody MacArthur Fett: OK, allow me to elaborate on my position. Shinji's position in the story is that of the Audience Surrogate, which means that his job is to act as the viewer would if they were to find themselves in his circumstances. This also means that while adapting a work an Audience Surrogate's mannerisms have to be slightly altered to fit the cultural norms so they can do their jobs effectively. In this particular instance a Japanese person would not curse but an American almost certainly would, thus Shinji curses in the ADV dub so that American viewers may more easily place themselves in his position.

As for the fandom influencing the dubbing: I don't believe that's the case, in fact I think it's the exact opposite. People's opinions of people like Gendo, or Asuka, or whoever, are the way they are because Evangelion is a tale told from Shinji's perspective. People only see things from Shinji's perspective most of the time, and as a result his opinions and biases start to become the viewers as well. It's sort of like a reverse case of Becoming The Mask, albeit with the added “benefit” of fandom Flanderization.

Also, I can't really comment on Ritsuko's treatment in the English dub since I haven't seen much of the Japanese dub (especially the parts dealing with Ritsuko) to compare it with, and even if I did I don't understand a lick of Japanese anyway. So for all I know she could be talking like the Japanese version of Gilbert Godfrey and I'd be none the wiser. It's just not something I can talk about with any degree of accuracy. Though it is worth noting that I never saw Ritsuko as being totally evil while watching the dub – mentally unstable in the last few episodes, sure, but not evil.

thewayneiac: For an example of the way in which Ritsuko's personality was altered, go to the scene in ep. 23 where she is speaking on the phone to her grandmother. In Japanese she sounds genuinely concerned. In English she sounds like she is blowing her off. She practically sounds like "Don't call me, I'll call you, granny." Ritsuko comes off as a lot more one dimensional in the dub.

Cody MacArthur Fett: Having just watched that scene over again in both English and Japanese four times I have to admit something: I still don't know what all the hullabaloo is about. OK, so Ritsuko comes off as slightly more callous in the English dub but then again I've heard that tone and context used so many times in my life I think of it as normal, and since I don't understand Japanese I have no idea whether she's actually more caring not especially since her tone does not sound like it changes at all from her normal speaking voice.