As Dr. Carroll introduced in the video lecture, there are many retroactive shots or elements employed in this film. In the video lecture, Dr. Carroll uses the third assassination mission and Hanada’s escape through the balloon as the example of the retroactive scene. Similarly, the two preceding missions are similarly narrated in this method. In the first mission, the audiences are given a tilting medium shot showing Hanada climbing up to an enclosed seemingly iron-cage. The close-up shows the photo of the target being thrusted through a cursive iron bar. Interestingly, the subtitles in Japanese tells the audiences the space for this mission is Kitano station. Obviously, the surroundings of Hanada do not represent any people’s expectation of this station, which confuses the audiences. However, the next shot gives this lighter advertising board a frontal view. Gradually, the lighter opens and the gun appears. At this moment, audiences could understand that Hanada is hidden inside the board.
Similarly, in the second mission, after Hanada enters the building, the next shot directly depicts him turning the knot down from the tube. This confuses the audiences apparently. This confusion lasts longer than the previous one, as the next shot immediately switches to the close-up inside the clinic, showing the doctor taking off the fake eye. After a series of actions taking place between the client and the doctor, the camera shows the doctor near the sink. Weirdly, tilting the camera down to the pipe part, audiences are confused again. This deliberate shot showing the pipes soon answers the viewers’ confusion: after a explosive sound, the doctor falls down on the sink, with a bullet hole on his head. Next shot shows Hanada pulling his gun out of the pipe. Therefore, viewers understand this strange method of assassination through water pipes.
In addition, there are other retroactive sequences which could only be partially explained by the later shots. Around 46 minutes, after Hanada leaves Miyako’s house, there is a sequence of shots showing Hanada wandering in the darkness. As the camera only shows the upper half of his body surrounded by darkness, audiences do not know Hanada’s position and where he is heading towards. Soon, there are various patterns appear on the screen and it seems that Hanada could see them as well: large white butterfly, different stripes of butterflies in either horizontal or vertical way, and tilted lines as the rain drops. Audiences will be confused by this sudden seemingly avant-garde method. After this mysterious sequence ends, the next establishing shot showing Hanada lying on the roadside, facing down, and the sun has risen. Therefore, the audiences may partially understand or speculate that the preceding parts are the dreams by Hanada.