Introduction To The Project
This is a work-in-progress and will remain so for a good long time.
Bookmarks to the various subsections on this page:
- Yeesh, another NGE website?
- Who are “we”?
- Explanation of the Commentary Pages
- Creation Process
- Further Questions (Formatting & Script Jargon)
- Disclaimer & Contact Information
Neon Genesis Evangelion. If you have no idea what this is, you might want to leave. Even if you are familiar with this psychotic anime, but you haven't seen it in its entirety (TV series, “Director's Cut” episodes, DEATH, and End of Evangelion), you definitely should leave. There are no spoiler warnings here; read at your own risk. However, if you are a NGE neophyte who has seen everything and is still confused as hell (rightfully so!), read on.
Yeesh, another NGE website?
Heh, it's not just another NGE website! Upon completion, this will serve as a grand compendium of the NGE knowledge we have accumulated over years of nerdy obsession (or “passion”, as some might prefer to put it) and countless forum posts. Even after many of us inevitably move on with our lives, and the Earth, the Moon, and even the Sun have disappeared, this site will remain — our eternal legacy to enlighten future generations of n00bs. Well, that's a bit over-optimistic, but you get the idea.
We hope to realize our goals in the form of a “commentary” — a visual, web-based one as opposed to the audio ones that have been popularized via the DVD video format. (A condensed audio form of the commentary is an eventual possibility, but right now we are just concentrating on generating the written content.) Currently, the process works something like this:
- A series of web pages (called commentary pages) are created to represent a particular episode (or other part of the series we want to comment on).
- A thread is created over at this forum, where people are free to post comments, ask questions, and let the discussion flow. (No trolling or other unpleasantries, of course.)
- Over time, content is pulled from the discussion thread, edited into a more concise form, and placed into the appropriate commentary page.
- When we feel we are done with that episode, we move on with the next. (Previously covered segments, however, are always open for new additions and changes.)
In addition, appendices are created as the need arises to supplement the content in the commentary itself.
Who are “we”?
The fan-geeks devoted to realizing this project. I hope that some people will stick around until the very end (especially those present for the project's inception), but, due to the nature of life and the Internet, we'll certainly see participants come and go. And, naturally, some people have more to say than others. (Not meant as a put-down, BTW; there are those who prefer simply to lurk most of the time.) Just so you know, this project is open to everybody, not a set group, so please don't think you need to ask my permission first or anything.
Here are little profiles of some of the “main players” thusfar. For now, names are just in alphabetical order — well, except for a couple of especially hard-working individuals. ;;>
Real Name: Rachel K. Clark
Homeland: New Jersey, USA
Role: Commentary Mistress
Lot in Life: Student of Illustration
I'm a hardcore NGE geek, obviously, although a somewhat peculiar brand; I'll let my comments speak for themselves. It's been said that the commentary is my “baby”. That is to say, while the commentary includes comments and feedback from everyone, I'm the actual one putting this site together. My list of duties is a long one indeed… But, hopefully, the labor will be more evenly divided as time goes on. We'll see.
Real Name: Brian Shea
Homeland: Boston, MA, USA
Role: Script and Translation Assistant (Episodes #03 and up)
Lot in Life: Recent College Grad
Webmaster of Escaflowne Online, Quiddity is perhaps best-known in the fan community for promoting the little-known-outside-of-Japan classic anime Space Runaway Ideon, one of the inspirations for NGE, which he hopes to eventually subtitle himself. He has been a great help to poor Reichu, typing up the Japanese scripts and doing the preliminary translations himself; but, strangely, this doesn't seem to make Reichu work any faster, the lazy girl!…
Real Name: Niko Astikainen
Role: Nitpicker & Axeman
Lot in Life: Student of Translation Sciences
My right-hand man, Dr. Nick is always ready to pick my work apart; his plentiful feedback and suggestions help make my job much easier.
Real Name: Craig Gabrielsen
Homeland: New Jersey, USA
Role: Village Idiot
Lot in Life: Student of Art & Drama
A.k.a. “Stuffman” (and variations thereof). This poor soul met Reichu at some community college in New Jersey and somehow managed to get suckered into joining our motley crew. Of course, we pay for it by having to put up with his gawdawful jokes — which are, of course, nothing compared to his laughable artistic ability.* But, in all seriousness, although a little green at times, he holds much promise as an Eva-geek and is, in fact, “stuff enough.”
Real Name: Rumpelstiltskin (gotcha!)
Schnitzelbank Los Angeles,
Lot in Life: Gawd Only Knows
Of no recognizable gender or nationality, Hexon.Arq is a mystery to most, ver secret known solely by Eva Monkey. Perhaps it would be best to let ver comments speak for themselves.
Real Name: Amanda Wells
A master of eye-opening character insight who we're quite glad to have on the team. Not to mention a little additional estrogen (a rare commodity on this commentary crew) always helps! She's an avid fan of the dub, but we forgive her. ;;>
Magami No ER
Real Name: Nicole C.
Homeland: New York, USA
Lot in Life: High school student, artist, new generation Eva fan, and major Kaworu fangirl
The youngest contributor. Reichu has apparently been a bad influence on her and her artwork, but, shhh, don't tell anyone!
Real Name: Gustavo Andres Barona
Homeland: Florida, USA
Role: Script Assistant (Episode #02)
Lot in Life: Student
Currently studying overseas in Japan, Keisuke-kun (the one formerly known as “Washu-chan”) helps me with the laborious process of typing the Japanese NGE scripts whenever he can.
Real Name: Michael Wignall
Homeland: Brisbane, Australia
Role: NGE Encyclopedia
Lot in Life: Student, Software Engineer, Traveller of the World!
Wigs has been an NGE fan for longer than most of us (he had to wait for End of Evangelion to be fansubbed!) and has accumulated an encyclopedic knowledge of this series. Within the English-speaking domain of NGE fandom, he has become quite well-known and highly regarded for his many contributions. (Without him, many of us might still be thinking Naoko is inside EVA-00!) He's a busy guy, but he contributes what he can to our noble cause. Hey, where is MDWigs, anyway??
Real Name: Steve Gilham
Role: Web Design Consultant, Dirty Old Man
Lot in Life: Software Engineer (i.e. professional geek)
The Dirty Old Man of the group, Mr. Tines manages to thwart all known wisdom about the anime geek generation and be over twice the age of most of us! With age, though, brings wisdom that us youngsters lack, and Mr. Tines regularly manages to put my brain into a blender with his talk of physics, “Singularities”, and cyber-punk miscellany. He's a big help with this website, too! Mr. Tines is the anti-Shinji/Asuka shipper, though, so watch out!
Real Name: Andrew Sharp
Homeland: Glasgow, Scotland
Role: Sticky-Man & Screencap Minion
Lot in Life: Student of Computer Science and Economics
The busy S-Mod of AnimeNation's Evangelion forum, where this all began (and continues at its own leisurely pace). He has been a great help, stickying the latest commentary threads and keeping trolls at bay. He also assists with the laborious process of capturing the myriad screenshots we need.
Real Name: Scott Frost
Homeland: Melbourne, Florida, USA
Role: Master of Analysis, Screencap Minion Overlord
Lot in Life: Wage Slave and Anime Addict
Shin-seiki has become famous at our forum due to his keen analytical mind and the heavy screenshot content of many of his posts. He holds firm to two main philosophies of NGE geekdom: (1) To understand NGE, the visuals are just as important as the dialogue, and (2) Everything in NGE should be taken at face value (by default, anyway). I, for one, have found his approach invaluable to furthering my own understanding of this convoluted show. Need I mention, Shin-seiki has also been a big help with screencaps.
Real Name: Richard “The Biscuit” Taylor**
Homeland: Midlands, UK
Lot in Life: Student of English Literature
Another mainstay of the project, handling forum admin tasks.
The Eva Monkey
Real Name: Aaron Clark
Homeland: Maryland, USA
Role: Web Host
Lot in Life: Student
Of absolutely no relation to myself. On our team as of Otakon '04, you may know of him as the webmaster of evamonkey.com, where the Commentary Project is now hosted. Now, if only he would say more! Eva Monkey really is “teh sux”. ;;p
Real Name: Wayne I'm-Not-Telling
Homeland: Florida, USA
Lot in Life: Unknown
A real-life associate of Shin-seiki. Somewhat elusive and of fewer words than many of us, but he has proved himself capable of hardcore insight on more than one occasion.
Real Name: Nicholas Lovell
Homeland: Binghamton, New York, USA
Lot in Life: Student of History
The living embodiment of Gendo (or so he claims), he is always thinking of Rei (but not in “that” way). Of special note are his towering intellect and irresistible male charm, as fictional as they both may be.
Ark, Beer Goggles, Brendan Brown, DeepThought, GandalfsWhisper, Gundampilotspaz, felineki, Jinpun, NakedEYE666, Someone, Spanky the Dolphin, TheAtomicWaffle, TheUserName, Treize X, Z Metalla
Sorry, Stuffman, I couldn't resist. ;;p
No, not the WETA guy.
Explanation of the Commentary Pages
Okay, so that wasn't in the form of a question… But you probably do have a few questions about the commentary pages (i.e., the framework onto which our comments are laid), which I will hopefully address here. The headers should hopefully help you locate the answer to your specific inquiry.
Creating these pages is a labor-intensive process comprised of many steps. I begin by typing up the original Japanese script for the episode in question. (These were provided as extras, sans the storyboards meant to accompany them, on the Renewal DVD BOX-SET; many kudos to thekillingmantra for the JPEGs.) These are exceptionally useful, as they break each episode down into individually numbered cuts (each one usually encompassing a single continous “camera” shot), which, suffice to say, serve as a concise system for referencing specific parts of a particular episode. The scripts also provide text descriptions for each scene (which can range from the thoroughly enlightening to the thoroughly useless), dialogue (in its original Japanese glory), and sound effects (courtesy of the Japanese language's mindbogglingly extensive onomatopoeia system).
The “Description/Dialogue” column from the commentary pages combines the description and dialogue/SE (“SE” standing for “sound effect”) columns of the original script — and tries to include as much of the information from the script as possible. My Japanese skills are fairly rudimentary, but, fortunately, most of the language used for describing scenes is within my ability to grasp. Hence, I have been able to include a “pseudo-translation” of the script descriptions (sometimes with a little assistance from these fellows) — it's simplified in places, and sometimes rephrased/rewritten (due to changes that can occur from storyboard to screen), but on the whole the information should be accurate. As my knowledge of Japanese improves, the quality of the material translated from the scripts should improve, as well.
…is another matter. Fortunately, most of NGE's dialogue has been translated multiple times. In deciding which translations to use, I check the original Japanese dialogue with the translations by
- The Literal Translation Project (original TV series only).
- ADV, responsible for bringing the NGE TV series to the Western world. Upon the DVD release, they updated their original VHS subtitles, and with the “Director's Cut” and “Platinum” releases, the subtitles are being revised yet again. Although their subtitles initially had many problems, ADV's most recent efforts are exceptionally accurate and are, by and large, preferable to the LTP translation.
- bochan_bird, responsible for translating the New Production Cut (or Video Release Version, a.k.a. “Director's Cut”) scenes and The End of Evangelion, and well-regarded within the NGE fan community.
- Manga Entertainment, responsible for the domestic release of the movies (Death and Rebirth and End of Evangelion). Although their subtitles for End of Evangelion have in some instances elicited outrage from us geeky fans, their translation is nonetheless useful for comparison purposes.
In some cases, I had to translate dialogue completely on my own, but this is almost solely the supplemental dialogue with which subtitlers tend not to bother, due to either screen space or audibility issues. Neither is a real problem here, as the scripts provide virtually all the supplemental dialogue, including, I am happy to say, the dialogue added to the 5.1 channel audio track for Renewal. To my knowledge, none of this has been translated before, with the exception of a few clearly audible lines ADV decided to subtitle for Platinum. (Most of the 5.1 dialogue plays while other characters are talking or serves as background “noise”, and is thus virtually impossible to hear. It contains some interesting techno-babble, nonetheless.)
In other cases, the script designated certain lines as “ad-libbed”, or, in the case of the Next Episode Previews, they do not provide the dialogue at all. Being as my ability to transcribe spoken (as opposed to written) Japanese is pretty goddam awful, here I have to rely more or less blindly on what previous translators have done. Which kind of sucks, but what can ya do.
Sound Effects & Music
Sound effects, by and large, I do not bother with. Japanese onomatopoeia is so bloody complicated and tends to translate so poorly (if at all), this is probably for the best. However, if the sound effects are not actually given in onomatopoeia form (e.g., “the sound of breaking glass” or “the voices of cicadas”) or are exceptionally obvious to this ignorant n00b (e.g., “PI´” and its variations = “BEEP”), they are included.
Aside from scene descriptions, dialogue, and sound effects, I also include within the Dialogue/Description column the BGM start/end cues. Music is, after all, as important to film as dialogue and sound effects, and is thus as important to take note of in a non-audio presentation such as this. Not to mention it helps remind the commentators to discuss a particular BGM, either on its own merits or within the context of a particular episode. On a side note, the BGM cues correspond to the Renewal version of the show; to see where they differ in the original, go here.
The final process of getting each page ready for comments is, of course, thumbnails. Small though they are, hundreds are needed for a single episode and, as such, they make these pages a bandwidth nightmare. Regardless, I feel they are necessary to include, considering visuals are such an important part of this show and are referenced constantly in the commentary itself. Taking and processing all of the screenshots necessary to represent an entire episode is, as might be suspected, a pain in the ass, especially when dealing with action sequences or, one of Anno's favorite gimmicks, tons of images being flashed in rapid succession. In cases of the latter, we will attempt to compile mini-guides to each such sequence, to which links will be provided at the appropriate times. In addition, thumbnails of important or noteworthy images will have colored borders and be linked to larger versions, which will open in a separate window.
Here, I elaborate on matters of formatting and script terminology.
This is used to designate certain types of text, as follows:
- Something that is quoted from an external source.
- “Regular” supplemental dialogue
- Supplemental dialogue exclusive to the 5.1 audio channel in Renewal.
- Music start/end cues.
- Something that we need to research properly (or otherwise confirm)!
These all come from the original Japanese scripts. Due to my lack of knowledge in the realm of Western script writing, some of my ‘translations’ may not reflect equivalent terminology used officially over here. In such cases, feel free to inform me as to the proper terms. For more info on some of these terms, please consult this great page about anime camera work.
- bleed (from koboshi or kobosu) = Indicates that the dialogue “bleeds” into the subsequent cut.
- conc. (from douji ni) = Concurrent. Two characters speaking at the same time.
- EYECATCH = The short sequences seen at the midway point of anime, meant to precede and follow the commercial break when the episode originally aired. Normally, these include the title of the show and, in NGE's case, the episode's second title (the one in English). Eyecatches are also used sometimes in OVA or theatrical releases.
- MONO = (Inner) Monologue. In other words, a character is thinking to him/herself.
- OFF = Off-Camera. Sometimes the speaker may be on-screen, but his/her face is not visible.
- ON = On-Camera. This is only indicated if someone speaking continous dialogue was previously MONO or OFF.
- pre. = Preemptive (from sankou) = Indicates that the sound effect or dialogue occurs before we actually see the source of the sound or speaker.
- p.d. = Preemptive Dialogue (from sankou serifu) = See above.
- SE = Sound Effect
- SUBTITLE = Not “subtitles” as we normally think of them. This refers to the first of the two titles provided for a given episode, presented as a telop sometime during Part A; and, unlike the second title, this one is in Japanese. Although the term “subtitle” seems to imply “secondary title”, the Japanese titles seem to be treated as the primary ones.
- T.U / T.B = Track Up and Track Back. The camera moves in to focus on a smaller area, or moves back to focus on a larger one. In NGE, anyway, these don't seem any different than Zoom In and Zoom Out.
- UP = Closeup
This site is made by fans for fans, is completely non-commercial, and is completely unaffiliated with Gainax, ADV, Manga Entertainment, or any other corporate entities mentioned. Neon Genesis Evangelion and related images, characters, and concepts are copyright © Studio Gainax. All other material is the copyright of its original owner. All original material is copyright © 2004–2005 The NGE Fan-Geeks Commentary Project.
How To Reach Us
Reichu can be reached at her e-mail address. (rachel dot k dot clark at com cast dot net — If it hasn't been automagically updated by scripts, you can probably figure out which part of that you need to change…) and Mr. Tines at “tines at ravna and tines dot com”. All of us can be found at AnimeNation's Evangelion Forum. If you feel you have something to add, please join us!