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What is the meaning behind the unique cuttings in Eva? 1of3

Nov 24, 2020

This is the translation of the beginning part of the Okada Toshio's Seminar on April 8th (#225).

One of the characteristics of the visual style of "Evangelion" is the unique cutting style.

This is the second scene in the second episode of Eva, "The Beast," the title opening.

People are having a meeting.

We find out later that this is a meeting of the Instrumentality of Mankind, but we don't know at this point.

It’s a conversation between Commander Ikari and guys there.

First of all, the cut showed them all from an overhead view.

They say "The Angel revisited? That's too sudden." "It's the same as 15 years ago." "Misfortune comes without warning."

Every time one person speaks a line, the cut switches from here.

Then the screen changed to a close-up view and he says, "It's a good thing we didn't waste our investment. The U.S. representative in front says, "We're fortunate that our prior investment was not in vain."

Then the Russian national team next starts talking, "We don't know that yet."

The compositions of these two shots are interesting.

There are only two people placed side by side, but there's a diagonal perspective from the back to the front.

'I don't know about that one yet. If it doesn't work, it's useless.' the Russian representative in front says hatefully.

It's the Chinese national team, pictured next to the Russian national team in this cut, that says the next line.

So, normally, he doesn't need to switch the cut but the cut changes again.

He says, "Correct. You have to make it sure that all of the angel handling, information manipulation, and Nerv operations, which are now well known facts, are handled properly and quickly," from under Ikari Gendo's armpit.

Then Gendo Ikari replies.

Again, the composition, with Gendo, the talker, placed as far as he can in the corner.

He says, "Don't worry. I've already dealt with that matter."


The structure is designed to cut the scene every time one person says one line.

Normally, we don't do this wasteful work.

Especially with the scenes where the Chinese representative speaking, it's really a waste of time.

The Russians next to China speak, and then the Chinese speak. It would have been easier to make them speak with the same cut and less layout. But for some reason, they cut a section and made the Chinese representative speak from a very unnatural angle.

Of course, this kind of "cutting for each line" was done before Eva but this was used a lot in Evangelion.

Especially the cuts that aren't even meant to be separated that I just showed you, it looks like he's just trying to create a unique style.




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