FGC:Episode 02 Scene 01

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The First Sortie

Commentary Navigation
<< Back to Episode #01 Episode #02 Scene List Continue to Scene 02 >>
Screenshots Cut # Description/Dialogue Commentary
Explanatory note: Because this scene was shifted, the numbering starts at 185.

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Tokyo-3 at night. The two giants oppose each other.
thewayneiac: Finally! After a whole week we get to see what happens!

Reichu: Ah, the wonders of watching shows on DVD long after they have aired…

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BGM START: E-5 rhythm only

Eva front UP.

Misato (OFF - radio):“Are you ready, Shinji-kun?”

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Shinji inside the plug, tense.


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Misato leaning forward slightly UP.

Misato:“Release the final safety lock!”

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The restraints on the shoulder pylons disengage.
Reichu: The actual term used in the script (and on many production drawings) for the Evas' shoulder-thingies is "shoulder parts" (kata no PÂTSU, the no sometimes omitted). However, I've seen Yamashita refer to them instead as shoulder pylons, which, I would imagine, sounds much cooler to the average English-speaker.

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Misato slightly from above UP.

Misato:“Evangelion Unit 01, lift off!”

Sharp-kun: Random trivia: In Super Robot Wars MX, there's a great moment where Vega (Gear Senshi Dendoh) stands in for Misato when EVA-01 launches. ^^

Vega: EVA Unit-01, LAUNCH!!
Shinji: Yes ma'am!
Vega: …well, how about it? Do I sound enough like her?
Shinji: V… Vega-san!?

Reichu: No! It's the "U" word!!! I avoid this evil term as much as possible by using "EVA-##" as the English equivalent of "#gouki". (At least, as often as humanly possible.)

Sharp-kun: "Unit" can be used to refer to many things, including people (soldiers, for example), so I don't see any real issues with it. :P

Reichu: Watch "Beavis & Butt-Head Do America", and you will understand.

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The rear gantry disengages. The Eva staggers forward slightly.
HeWhoPostsStuff: While Ikuto Yamashita said outright that the guide words for designing the Evas were "enormous power restrained", several times in the series, this being one of the first, I see them depicted more as "enormous power dormant" instead. The loosely-hanging arms, the slouching shoulders, the drooping head, all suggest a "puppet-like" stance, and in all honesty I think that this is even more effective in building a sense of fear and apprehension about the Evas than the "restraints" (in the form of their "armor") are. The feeling is that, instead of the creatures' massive strength eventually bursting through whatever meager barriers were put there to hold them back, they really have nothing standing in their way, and are simply biding their time, to violently lash out unopposed whenever the urge strikes them. It enhances the sense of a conscious mind behind the fear-inspiring power, in my view.

Reichu: It is true that, when it comes down to it, the various checks placed upon the Evas can be rendered utterly useless. However, I do think that they make things somewhat more difficult for an Eva to act on her own. She may be a "giant just barely under the control of mankind" (as Yamashita put it), but, in EVA-01's case anyway, she has to pick and choose those moments when she breaks free carefully. But, heh, not to get ahead of things…

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Shinji braces himself.

Ritsuko (OFF):“Just think about walking right now.”

Shinji (MONO):“—walking.”

Soluzar: Looks a lot like Shinji is piloting the Eva with physical controls, much like any other giant mecha, doesn't it? Makes you wonder if the animators knew that this was not the case.

Reichu: Probably Shinji doesn't know any better at this point. He's thrown inside a "giant robot" he knows absolutely nothing about; there are hand levers inside; it's only natural for him to put his hands on them.

Shin-seiki: My theory on the reason the entry plugs have levers for the pilots to manipulate while controlling the Evas is tied to the notion that utilizing the motor cortex of the pilots' brain to actually do something physically (as opposed to simply visualizing in one's mind the action one wants the Eva to perform) probably produces a much more effective 'brain wave impulse' for the Eva/pilot neural link to key on, and thus produce the synchronized movement by the Eva. Of course, from the animators' standpoint, it is certainly more effective visually speaking, to have the pilots do something to correlate with the actions of the Evas, instead of just sitting there, thinking about what they want the Evas to do…

Dr. Nick: Of course, the levers also help the pilots to stay on their seats during combat — just look at Asuka during the harpy-fight (#25'), for example.

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The Eva's upper body slowly advances forward a step.

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The right foot lands (telephone booth in front). The shoe sinks down, then slowly rises back up.
Reichu: I want shoes that look like that…

OMF: They can be yours for only ¥12,880! (via the Japanese Evastore)

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The Eva on the command room's front monitor. All voices rise in excitement.


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Ritsuko blinks, impressed.

Ritsuko:“It walked…”

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EVA-01 frozen in walking position.

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The Eva tries to come forward, shifting her weight to the right.

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As she advances her left leg, she loses her balance and pitches forward.
HeWhoPostsStuff: Misato: "No! Wait! Stop! Dammit, who put that banana peel right in front of the launch area?"

Reichu: That would have to be one hell of a banana peel!

HeWhoPostsStuff: Nah, a regular ol' banana peel can disorient absolutely ANYthing in an animated world. In fact, seeing as NGE takes place within just such a world, I wonder why Nerv didn't pick up on this… Forget all the useless gun emplacements and mines, if you really want to stop the Angels, put out banana peels and marbles. And forget N2 bombs, drop anvils! The image of Sachiel pulling out and opening up one of those tiny little umbrellas right before he gets hit would alone be worth the effort, methinks.

Reichu: For the longest time I thought that, here, it looked like Shogouki tripped over the umbilical cable. But on closer inspection, it really is just a matter of Shinji losing balance… "Shinji, you must be one with the Eva's inner ears!"

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Passively, she falls flat onto the road.
Shin-seiki: Oooh! Face plant!!

Reichu: Watch the horn closely here… It actually shifts its position so that EVA-01 can fall flat onto her face! Is there some kind of joint or special allowance that allows the horn to do this, and still manage to retain its normal posture at all other times?

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BGM END: E-5 rhythm only

Shinji leaning forward, his head hanging down.


Misato (OFF - radio):“Shinji-kun…”


Reichu: Even through the armor, it still hurts. This is the first time we see the phenomenon of the Eva's pain being felt by the pilot, a subject I'll get back to momentarily.

HeWhoPostsStuff: Or maybe he hit his head on the front of the plug when the thing fell over?

Reichu: Well, considering the angle that the cockpit would be at after EVA-01 falls, I would have expected him to fall out of his seat entirely! The show largely seems to disregard these kinds of issues and treats the cockpit as if it is always upright, regardless of what position the Eva is in.

The angel draws towards Shinji's head.

Misato (OFF - radio):“…are you okay?!”

Reichu: From EVA-01's point of view, she shouldn't be able to see much aside from asphalt… so how is Shinji able to see Sachiel so clearly here? The answer, if evidence we'll see in future episodes is any indication, is that the visuals projected onto the cockpit's interior screens come from cameras in the Eva's helmet and not the Eva's actual eye(s). I suppose that would mean that the information from the Eva's visual cortex is somehow "blocked" and the pilot is allowed to see "normally", i.e., perceive vis exterior environment via the viewscreens, as opposed to having it go directly to their brains (in the way that, say, the Eva's tactile senses obviously do).

Considering the limited nature of the Evas' own visual range (due to their helmets, eye "goggles", etc.) and the benefits of mechanical optics (zooming, etc.), this system seems practical enough — in theory. However, as will be increasingly clear as we go along, it seems to create more technical issues and discrepancies than it's worth!

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Shinji has a face of sheer terror!

Misato (OFF - radio):“Hurry!! Get up, quickly!!”

Shinji (faintly):“Aaaaah…”

OMF: Judging from his reaction here, we can tell that Shinji really isn't cut out for this sort of thing. At all. This paralysing terror will beset him regularly over the course of the series, usually when things aren't going to plan.

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Sachiel's left hand draws near. His palm fills the screen.
Reichu: I have to wonder about Sachiel's palm here… This red structure looks like a shiny orb, not unlike the core.

Keisuke-kun: Maybe they harbor their own energy to power the lance of light.

Reichu: Either that or they serve as an energy focus point of some sort, supported by C-217 ("A structure in the center of Sachiel's hand also begins to light up"). But if there's an orb here, how does his lance pass through his palm? Realistically, he would need to have some kind of sphincter here to permit the passage of his arm-lance. WTF!?

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Sachiel with the rooftops of the buildings in front. The head of the Eva in hand, he lifts her up.
EVA-01 is like a marionette whose strings were cut; Sachiel moves like a crane, machinelike.
Reichu: Interesting metaphors… The Evas are repeatedly referred to as "dolls" (ningyou) or "toys" (omocha), while both they and the Angels suffer the indignity of being compared to machines — which, as will be increasingly apparent, neither are. Granted, here the animator certainly did his job; Sachiel's movement is very mechanical, and the accompanying sound effect reinforces this.

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Sachiel in the monitor with Shinji in front, slowly being lifted up.
Keisuke-kun: The entry plug viewscreen seem to have a lot of blind spots.

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Shinji UP.

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The Angel's hand seizes the Eva's left arm and lifts it completely up!
Reichu: I don't find the way the 'brachial pylon' (just what the hell IS this piece of armor called?) responds to Sachiel's grasp here very convincing… These structures would seem to be made of the same rigid material as the shoulder pylons, helmets, torso armor, leg armor, etc. — ergo, they would not exhibit the kind of flexibility that we see in the neck armor and "shoes".

On another note, once Sachiel breaks EVA-01's arm, the damage (to both her arm itself and to the 'pylon') is depicted differently in different cuts — but I guess that's to be expected.

HeWhoPostsStuff: I notice that from here on in you put an exclamation point after some of the "stage directions" in the script, as opposed to the usual declarative period; is there some detail in the translation of these "exclamated" scenes that prompts that?

Reichu: Oh yes… LOTS of exclamation marks are thrown into the cut descriptions for these action sequences, far more, in fact, than it would have been within good taste to retain in the translation! Too many of those things and the scene suffers — in English, anyway — from a total surfeit of zeal… and sugar.

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Sachiel still holding the Eva up. Both arms thicken, and he pulls.
Reichu: Talk about your flexible necks… Are these Evas made of rubber? It doesn't seem like Sachiel should be able to pull on her neck like that without incurring some kind of damage, but he still does.

Here we see Sachiel's "Instant Muscles" trick yet again. Though unlike in episode #01, it seems to be drawn correctly here.

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Shinji pressing down on his left arm in pain.


Misato (OFF - radio):“Shinji-kun, calm down! That's not your arm!!”

Soluzar: This was a very interesting point for me. The pilots feels the damage to their Evas, as though it were to themselves.

Reichu: Regarding the issue of why it is necessary for the pilots to feel the Evas' pain, I remember reading a great explanation for this a while back. Paraphrased: The senses of touch and pressure are crucial to being able to adequately control one's body. Pain is really just an extension of this — it lets you know if you're doing something wrong, or if something bad is being done to your body by an external force. Without these senses intact, it would be like trying to move around with your sensory nerves completely anaesthetized — and, for me at least, trying to walk when one of my feet has fallen asleep is difficult enough!

Sharp-kun: One of the things I used to argue with EvaOtaku over was how far the link between pilot and Eva actually goes. Obviously, as we can see here, they feel what the Eva does, with the "strength" depending on the sync rate. What would happen if it was sufficiently high, though? Would the physical injury be carried on to the pilot…?

Reichu: A rather trixty topic that we'll cover more as time goes on…

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Bird's-eye view of Eva and Angel. The Eva's left arm is being stretched slightly.

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Ritsuko:“What's going on with the Eva's defense system!?”

Ibuki:“The signal's not working!”

Ritsuko looks at the monitor.

Hyuga (OFF):“The Field's not deploying!”

Ritsuko:“———It's no use!?”

SE <<Off-screen, the sound of wires snapping.>>

Woman (OFF):“Degree of damage is 0.8, 1.7, 4.6, 10.5, 38.2…”

Shin-seiki: I wonder: just how, exactly, does one go about getting an EVA to "deploy" an A.T. Field? It's doesn't correspond to anything a human normally consciously does, like moving one's arms and legs…

thewayneiac: Yeah, Shinji should have to yell something like, "Eva A.T. Field, deploy!" (in English, of course).

Reichu: There is the possibility that deploying the A.T. Field is a special function that is not controlled "ordinarily," i.e., by simply thinking about it. The entry plug apparently makes contact with the core itself, so perhaps the same technology that allows synchronization with the resident soul also 'stimulates' the soul to deploy the ATF. Then again, there's stuff later on that blatantly invalidates this idea.

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The Eva's arm in front of Sachiel. It endures for a little while, but then it abruptly gives in with a loud snap.
thewayneiac: Now that's gotta hurt.

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Abnormal-looking Shinji UP.

Ibuki (OFF - radio):“Left arm damaged!!”

Hyuga (OFF - radio):“The circuits have snapped!”

Hexon.Arq: As you can see, the pain of battle is a lot like an acid trip.

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Sachiel lifts EVA-01 up further. When his left arm is fully raised, his elbow structure extends and lights up!

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A structure in the center of Sachiel's hand also begins to light up.
Reichu: Relating back to 205, perhaps this thing is a "sphincter" after all and is only "lighting up" because the lance (which powered up in 216) is beginning to emerge?

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Shinji UP. Fear.

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Misato leans forward.

Misato:“Shinji-kun!! Dodge it!!”

Reichu: I always found it odd that Misato tells Shinji to "dodge". Wouldn't it be more logical to escape from Sachiel's clutches first?

Keisuke-kun: Judging from Shinji's performance, I doubt he could manage even that.

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Sachiel strikes the Eva with his lance of light! A light is emitted the instant it hits. (Repeat three times)


Reichu: This reminds me an NGE doujinshi I've seen but wish I could just forget… In its rather unsavory take on this scene, Sachiel has two lecherous Gendo-faces, EVA-01 is substituted with a giant, naked Rei (GNR? ::P)… and we won't get into what is coming out of Sachiel's palm instead of the lance of light. You can see the first few pages (translated by me) here.

HeWhoPostsStuff: "Darn it! These single-serve Capri Sun™ packs are impossible to open with the flimsy straws they give you!"

Reichu: Oh, good grief… On a side note, this scene also seems vaguely similar to the fight in "Gunbuster" #01 between Noriko and Reiko Kashiwara… or is it just me?

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Shinji presses down on his eye.


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The Angel's attack in the monitor, Shinji in front. Cracks start to form in the monitor and noise appears on-screen.


HeWhoPostsStuff: I wonder what exactly is being cracked here… The following cut says that the Eva's skull is being fractured, but does that imply that the camera recording the visuals for the front cockpit screen goes through the forehead someplace?

Reichu: You got me… This is just a case of artistic license, IMO.

HeWhoPostsStuff: Another question is how the thing managed to survive so many direct bashings from an object bigger than it is (and energy-charged to boot).

Reichu: Probably the same way that Eva armor in general puts up with all hell and then some. Plus, when it comes down to it, poor Sachiel really is just a wuss. ;;>

Doh! In the previous cut, we see Shinji clutching his eye, whereas here he seems remarkably unconcerned. Recycling (from 207, in this case) always takes precedence over continuity.

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Ibuki:“A crack is forming at the front of the cranium!”

Woman(OFF):“89.4, 91.6, 94.6.”

Reichu: Considering how the bridge normally talks about the Eva, I find it odd that they reference part of her actual skeleton here. I'm also wondering exactly how the bridge monitors the Eva's body like this; what kind of technology allows them to know a single bone is in the process of being fractured?

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Ritsuko:“The armor won't hold much longer.”
Sharp-kun: I'm amazed it lasted as long as it did.

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Close-up of the Eva's head, cracks appearing as it is struck.


Missing number:

Track back from Shinji's right eye

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Finally, the lance of light shoots through the Eva's right eye, penetrating her head, and she slides backwards.

Missing number.

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Sachiel extends his lance of light and EVA-01 flies backwards.
Reichu: Sachiel using the same trick as he did back in episode #01 (C-040)

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The Eva comes flying backwards and crashes into the building!

Her left arm smashes into the rooftop of a building in the foreground.

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The lance is retracted and Eva lurches forward. A moment later, red fluid gushes out.
Reichu: Note how it's "red fluid", not "blood"… At this point, the script is playing up to the notion that the audience initially believes — and rightfully so — that the Eva is a robot. By not calling it "blood," there are no organic connotations; after all, robots bleed red fluid all the time, right? ;;P

Sharp-kun: Anyone who's watched Go Nagai's super robot series (most recently Mazinkaiser: Death! Ankou Daishogun!) will be very familiar with robots "bleeding".

Reichu: Now, how did I know you were going to mention that? ;;>

Mr. Tines: At this point one might still be thinking hydraulic fluid under pressure (and you'd need it for a system like that). But with later data, that no longer washes.

Reichu: I find it odd that there is not blood on Sachiel's lance when he retracts it, considering the amount that spouts out afterwards. It's interesting that EVA-01 bleeds at all, actually. Being as the lance is amplified by energy, I would presume that it is rather hot; ergo, might any injury inflicted by it be automatically sealed by cautery? (I remember my sister using this as an argument for why light saber duels are relatively bloodless.)

HeWhoPostsStuff: Further, would the Eva's blood be under such pressure so as to spurt out in fountain-esque fashion like that, rather than flowing from it, as with most wounds? Probably just done for stylistic reasons…

Reichu: This is actually an interesting difference between the anime and manga; Sadamoto's Evas bleed "normally". Perhaps we need to look no further than the Laws of Anime for the real reason:

#18: Law of Hemoglobin Capacity:
The human body contains over 12 gallons of blood, sometimes more, under high pressure.

And the Evas, of course, are just really large, strange humans, so…

Hexon.Arq: An Eva that spewed red silly string from its head would have been a hell of a thing to market based on this scene. Of course, if they don't already make that, it's only a matter of time.

Reichu: Strangely enough, there is actually a glitch in Renewal here! (You didn't expect perfection, did you?) Consult the Original vs. Renewal page for more details.

Hexon.Arq: I did notice that glitch. It completely ruined my year.

Dr. Nick: Oh dear. Just wait till I get my Gainax quality control rant started in episode #12.

missing number

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"Emergency Situation" display, UP

Aoba(OFF):“Head damaged! Extent unknown!!”

Woman(OFF):“EVA-01 has sustained critical damage.”

SE <<All types of warning sounds.>>

Reichu: The word I translated as "critical" typically means "fatal" or "mortal", but that would sound strange, considering the bridge crew treats Eva as some kind of robotic entity. Later on, it also becomes blatantly obvious that what the bridge considers "critical damage" is just the tip of the iceberg: Evas are experts at taking punishment like nobody's business. "Broken arm? Hole in the head? Big deal. That all you got, punk!?! BRING IT ON!!!"

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Display UP, the plug is being disconnected bit by bit.

Ibuki(OFF):“The control nerves are disconnecting one by one”

Woman(OFF):“Degree of damage is… Calculating… Calculating… 126.8, 132.”

Keisuke-kun: GLITCH!! One of the numbers kinda forgets to turn off before the connection separates.

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Graph flowing downwards. All reactions are extinguished.

Hyuga(OFF):“No response from the pilot!”

HeWhoPostsStuff: "Nerv stock just took a hit! Sell! Sell! Sell!"

Reichu: Another goof here — the text reads "parietal lode" instead of "parietal lobe". FYI, all of the items on this graph (amygdala, hippocampus, etc.) are parts of the brain.

Hexon.Arq: Still, nothing beats "Summery".

Reichu: Heh, save that one for episode #21. :P

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The Eva, her head hanging, stationary.
HeWhoPostsStuff: You'd think that such a huge wound would have left a bit more of a mess than that…

Reichu: Especially when you see the wound in question up-close-and-personal later (C-328).

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Misato super-UP.



Commentary Navigation
<< Back to Episode #01 Episode #02 Scene List Continue to Scene 02 >>
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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
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Episode 06: Scene 01 | Scene 02 |Scene 03 | Scene 04 | Scene 05 | Scene 06 | Scene 07 | Scene 08 |Scene 09 | Previews
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