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Date is whenever a source was created, not when it was published or otherwise disseminated.

  1. Primary is material from someone who worked on a object of interest: eg. Hideaki Anno or Hiroyuki Yamaga. (I include Japanese seiyuu because as Asuka’s last line shows, they have direct input, or as Ritsuko’s last line shows, special insight.)
  2. Secondary is a source from someone who knows Primaries first-hand: eg. Carl Horn or Toshio Okada.
  3. Tertiary is any source further removed than that - mainstream news coverage, academic analysis, fan speculation & analysis etc.: eg. Mari Kotani, David Samuels, Aaron Clark.

Source is based on the ultimate origins of information, not proximate; an email forwarding an anonymous fan translation of a Anno interview in a Japanese book is considered primary, not tertiary. Some people or materials shift statuses; eg. Carl Horn is sometimes recording Anno (primary), statements by Hiroyuki Yamaga (primary or secondary), or his own interpretations (tertiary). It is usually clear which classification applies best.

The purpose of compiling a large page of quotes & references classified by date & source level is to make it easier to put NGE into a historical context by tracing the evolution of plot or characters, cross-reference statements made in interviews, jump forward and backwards to flesh out otherwise obscure allusions to events, and enable easy keyword-based search for various concepts (eg. the connection of Kaworu to cats, Gainax’s bafflement that viewers might think Misato killed Kaji, the influence of earthquakes on people, connections to Aum Shinrikyo, garbled information about suicide attempts, Anno’s conservative nationalist views or philosophy of “poison”, retcons like swapping the Adam and Lilith plot devices, panspermia & First Ancestral Race being slowly removed from production materials and then post-NGE slowly restored, the many conflicting pieces of information on the end of NGE TV and EoE, Yamaga’s questionable reliability etc).

As I compile more material, I become increasingly convinced that far from Evangelion being a baffling mystery, it is in fact one of the most understandable anime out there, with a wealth of information about almost every detail, from the earliest planning meetings to how long particular episode productions took to the source of minor details like the “A-10 nerve”, and that Hideaki Anno, far from being a reticent auteur of mystery, has collectively been forthcoming about anything one might ask - to the point where multiple interviews could justly be described as “book-length” (the books in question being_June_, Schizo, Prano, the 1.0 CRC, & the 2.0 CRC). There is so much material that half the difficulty is simply collating the existing materials, and some extensive sources seem to have been lost to both the Japanese and English fandoms (eg. there seem to be no mentions or quotations of the Anata to Watashi no Gainax interviews in the Japanese web). Hopefully this page will help remedy the problem.

1990

1990 Primary

1990 Secondary

1990 Tertiary

extreme but interesting 1990 article on otaku: ‘“I’m alone, but not lonely”: Japanese Otaku-Kids colonize the Realm of Information and Media; A Tale of Sex and Crime from a faraway Place’

1991

1991 P

Animage: What would you recommend?

Anno: Shows like Yamato or Gundam (1979, TV) which have soul, emit the staff’s “cry of mind” out of the screens as a certain vibration. On the other hand, I feel bad when I watch shows that are made sluggishly without such soul.

… Anno: Of the movies, I recommend Gundam III - Meeting in Space. The picture is quite nice. Moreover, if I have to recommend Mr. Tomino’s animation, I would choose Legendary Giant IDEON (1980, TV). It would be best to watch the movie version’s Part II (1982, movie) after watching the TV series. Although some of the picture quality might be poor, please tolerate it.

…Anno: Yes, I did, although it is a little bit light. I was just overwhelmed by its adult mood throughout the animation. I can’t express such mood yet. Actually, I felt sad when I watched Nadia, which I directed, soon after watching it. I felt Nadia was too childish. (laughs)

… Anno’s Top 10 Anime 1. Yamato (1974, TV) 2. Mobile Suit Gundam (1979, TV) 3. Gundam–Char’s Counterattack (1988, movie) 4. Legendary Giant IDEON (1980, TV & movie) 5. Animal Treasure Island (1971, movie) 6. Fight! Pyuta! (1968, TV) 7. Future Boy Conan (1978, TV) 8. Aim at Ace (1973, first TV series) 9. Tom & Jerry (1944) 10. Ann the Red Hair [Anne of Green Gables] (1979, TV)

–Kazuhiko Shimamoto (Gyakyoo Nine) and Hideaki Anno (Nadia); from Animage magazine, September 1991; translated by Masashi Suzuki; The Rose #33, July 1992

1991 S

1991 T

1993

1993 P

“We had no trouble starting up another project right away. All the outside staff we had hired for Aoki Uru were now gone, but Anno and the rest were still there. They went on a retreat to Matsumoto in Nagano and before you knew it, they had a project plan all drawn up. Still, it would take over a year to go from project start to broadcast. Anno had been running on empty ever since Nadia finished, but Evangelion seemed to be just the thing to get him up and running again. And once he puts his mind to something, he goes all out…”

–Yasuhiro Takeda, Notenki Memoirs pg 165

Early Evangelion

Project Meeting

Preliminary Meeting

[Theme]

Before the birth of the human race, there twice existed prehistoric civilizations with advanced technology. The first civilization (the First Ancestral Race) created the EVA, but because of this they were destroyed. The next civilization (the Second Ancestral Race) created the Spears of Longinus, thus successfully containing the EVA; afterwards, as a countermeasure to anyone reviving the EVA, they planted Angels all over the world.

[Analysis]

At this stage EVA are not to be considered “man-made”, but beings resurrected by the Ancestral Races. Hence, the Angels exist largely to destroy the EVA and remove traces of their presence in the case of their revival. However, it goes without saying that very similar themes are to be found in some of Director Anno’s works such as “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” and “Nadia”. Ancient civilizations that boasted great technology are a typical theme found in Science Fiction anime. At this stage, it is difficult to imagine works with the same level or originality and complexity coming after EVA.

–translated by AyrYntake from a Japanese fansite, with unclear sourcing; I date this to September-December 1993. That there are two predecessor civilizations is supported by Ikuto Yamashita in the 1998 Sore o Nasumono; Olivier Hagué in 2001:

Actually, I was referring to the “two ancient civilizations” bit mentioned in “Sore o Nasu Mono”, here… I guess “Aruka” was supposed to be the ruins of one of those?…

Reichu in 2008 offered a partial translation of Sore o Nasumono:

Spear of Longinus: By the time humanity evolved, two prehistoric civilizations with extremely advanced technology had led existences on Earth. The first civilization created Eva, which was the cause of their destruction, and the next created the Spear of Longinus and successfully contained Eva. Afterwards, as a safeguard in the event that someone revived Eva, Angels were planted [placed into slumbers] to act as fully-automated safety devices, so to speak.

Evangelion Proposal

Also, in the Eva production timeline in the Collectors Box Set, Anno proposed the first in-house draft of “Evangelion” to Gainax for consideration on September 20, 1993 – over two years before the start of the series.

The Series Plan (2nd draft) and plot/synopsis of all 26 episodes was submitted on January 5 of the following year (1994), and for the most part “fixed” (in-house) the following month on February 4. The Planning Draft for external distribution was completed in April of that same year – a year and a half before the start of the series.

Production work for Ep.1 was completed in April 1995, and Ep.2 in May 1995, but the opening and ending sequences were not finished until September.

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/2001-March/039407.html

In the notes of the DVD volume 7, it says that the cat was supposed to be the real Angel, actually…but in the previous outline the Kaworu is ‘humanoid Angel’

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/2001-March/039397.html TODO: I never did figure out what notes these were; there is no cat in the Platinum commentary

Kaworu & cat sketch from Newtype 100% Collection

more pics & translations; note that episodes 23-26 were re-translated (& better):

Humanity has reached its evolutionary limit. Their salvation lies in invoking the Human Instrumentality Project. In order to disrupt the plan, a group of unidentified giant battle weapons have invaded.

The Apostolos. They’ve been given the names of angels, but can they really be Messengers of the Gods?

… [Notes: They use the word Kamigami, “Gods,” for the phrase (Kamigami no tsukai), or, “Messengers of the Gods” on page 2. In this context it’s different than saying the one Christian God. Kind of noteworthy, I thought. -AET]

http://wiki.evageeks.org/Resources:Neon_Genesis_Evangelion_Proposal_%28Translation%29#Page_2_.28Synopsis_and_Staff.29

The Feel Of A Game

The main project will include all sorts of game elements to be inlaid into the main story.

In the second half of the story, preparations to invade a discovered enemy stronghold would be done in the vein of a simulation or RPG game

http://wiki.evageeks.org/Resources:Neon_Genesis_Evangelion_Proposal_%28Translation%29#Page_5_.28Highlights.29

Possessing various forms and various super-scientific special abilities, the mysterious objects Apostolos advance upon mankind. In actuality, they are ancient relics that were left sleeping all around the world by prehistoric lifeforms called the First Ancestral Race [!!!]. There are 28 in all. Adam was the first one confirmed, excavated by mankind 15 years ago in the Dead Sea region, but it was destroyed by a mysterious explosion. 27 will subsequently awaken.

http://wiki.evageeks.org/Resources:Neon_Genesis_Evangelion_Proposal_%28Translation%29#Page_7_.28Apostolos.29

The translator does not appear to be familiar with the series and thus some errors are present.

What is meant by “The Human Complementary Plan,” a plan to save mankind from despair?

Mankind has already obtained the power to antagonize God. This is the basis of this story and the great international project known as “The Human Complementary Plan.” Half a century ago, we developed nuclear fusion. Next up for mankind, who can store the sun in the palm of his hand, is a complementary plan to create the “perfect human” with their own hands. The goal is to liberate all of mankind by scientifically re-creating “the tree of life” forbidden by God, by taking away “death” from man, and by freeing him from the original sin and the curse that plagues him. The one who is advocating and recommending this plan is Gendo Ikari, the father of the main character. Through “artificial evolutionary research,” he is single-mindedly pursuing the form of a human who has achieved the ultimate evolution…

http://wiki.evageeks.org/Resources:Neon_Genesis_Evangelion_Proposal_%28Translation%29#Page_13_.28Human_Instrumentality_Project.29

Specially educated and trained from the beginning as an exclusive operator. A determined girl who is apt to stretch herself depending on the situation. Hobby is playing video games. Hates to lose and hates boys. Aspires only to be like Kaji. Quarter Japanese, also has German-American blood. Step mother lives in Germany (her father passed away).

http://wiki.evageeks.org/Resources:Neon_Genesis_Evangelion_Proposal_(Translation)#Page_13_.28Human_Instrumentality_Project.29; note that in episode 23, Asuka holes up in Hikari’s room playing video games (‘HIKARI (MONO): She won’t go to school and she won’t go back home. She just keeps playing games.’). in Rebuild 2.0 trailer, Asuka whips out a handheld to play. TODO: how much does she play in the movie?

[Gendo:] Gradually becoming fixated on the research itself and turning into a digitalized human who justifies any means in order to achieve the goal. Believes his plan will form a utopia bringing true equality to all people.

http://wiki.evageeks.org/Resources:Neon_Genesis_Evangelion_Proposal_(Translation)#Page_13_.28Human_Instrumentality_Project.29

[Toji] Father works for the research center.

…[Kensuke] Father is a civil worker. (Mother passed away.)

…[Ryoji] Childish but very strict. Greatly influences Shinji’s development.

…[PenPen] Created artificially by genetic manipulation. Intelligence of an infant. Usually resides in a large refrigerator. Loves to bathe in hot springs for some reason.

http://wiki.evageeks.org/Resources:Neon_Genesis_Evangelion_Proposal_(Translation)#Page_13_.28Human_Instrumentality_Project.29 Notes: PenPen has no name though he has the manga backstory (?), Keel Lorenz is described quite differently, nothing about Hikari or Toji’s mother - but note that Kensuke’s mother is dead

Episode 13, 14, 16 – I believe the translation for original planned episode 13 should say that defeat is expected because Shinji is more arrogant, not that Shinji expected defeat. If you think about the descriptions of these three episodes, you can see that most of it was compressed into Episode 16 in the series. – Shinji gets a higher sync ratio than Asuka, so he becomes arrogant. He gets trapped inside the Eva (well trapped in the Eva in the Angel). There’s a plan to rescue Shinji from Unit 1. Shinji has a conversation with an Angel.

Episode 17 - Asuka’s first date. The basis of this was used in Lies and Silence. Asuka does go on a date in that episode if we remember. Another translation that I think I am reading correctly; it should be Misato recalls past episodes not that she recalls her own past. In other words, the clip show would have been here.

Episode 20 - NERV’s birth - so the details changed, but it was still about the history of NERV

Episode 21 - the underwater battle was moved to a different episode, and the character changed but there was still a mental attack from an Angel [Asuka instead of Shinji]

… Episode 25 - I believe what the translation should read here is that as the 12 most powerful Angels descend from the Moon, the UN dissolves Human Instrumentality to stop it and resolves to destroy the Laboratory because that’s the reason the Angels/Apostles have been coming (I think “deciding on destruction” is referring to the first sentence where it says Aruka is held by the Laboratory. After all, why would they dissolve the project and then continue attacking the Angels?] And this is pretty close to what happened in Episode 25’ Air; they send in the troops to take over.

–translation corrections & comments from JoeD80 with regard to the current Eva wiki translation

1992 S

1993 T

GAINAX, the studio that created Gunbuster, was made up of fans who really–I mean really–knew anime. They were out to have as much fun with it as possible, and break a few boundaries while they were at it. They were the best anime has ever seen. Look at their short film that opened Daicon IV, following that up with the incredible four-minute ROYAL SPACE FORCE, the film that got them the funding for their masterpiece (and only feature film) THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE. With NADIA and GUNBUSTER, they demonstrated they could produce classics in the TV and OAV genres as well. In their coda, OTAKU NO VIDEO, they made anime’s great roman a clef, closing the circle for anime fans and exiting in style.

–Carl Horn http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.anime/browse_thread/thread/f0401912352a88b1/f82f63a1f3571cb3?hl=en&q=author%3ADHORN%40ricevm1.rice.edu+roman+a+clef&pli=1

1994

1994 P

“So why did Evangelion wind up with that shape?” I figure that from now on I will hear that question countless times. The director instructed me to make, “the image of a demon [oni].” A giant just barely under the control of mankind. I get the feeling I’ve seen that correlation before… The image I had for the design concept was the fairy tale, Gulliver’s Travels. Enormous Power Restrained.

“Ikuto Yamashita Discusses Eva’s Design” (Ikuto was the mecha designer)

[Yutaka] Izubuchi drew some design proposals on the Evangelions. Anno sent him instructions and rough sketches, and Izubuchi drew some designs. Izubuchi introduced one with four eyes like what unit 02 ended up having. We don’t know how much his proposal influenced the final design though, since he’s not credited for the final designs.

… I’d always thought Izubuchi had influenced the mecha (for lack of a better term) designs in Eva; there’s a good deal of resemblance between the Eva-01 and Izubuchi’s Kaempfer design from Gundam 0080, particularly around the head. Nice to see that there is actually some proof to back me up on this.

http://www.animenation.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-197689.html

For the salvation of mankind who are approaching evolutionary dead-end as living things

“The Human Supplement Project” is put in motion

Attacking to prevent that project, an unidentified fleet of gigantic battle weapons ? “The Apostles”

Are they, bestowed with the name of “Angels”,

Really “messengers of the gods” at all?

packet, page 02; tentatively assigned to 1994 Primary, promotional material related to the Proposal? (archive)

What is the appeal of Giant Robot Anime?

“Giant robot anime” is an expression of children’s subconscious desires.

That is to say, the thing called “giant robot anime”

Is compensation for the complexes and various suppressions that children hold, a means of resistance, compensatory behavior.

Adults know “the difficulty of living.”

And, at the same time they also know “the fun of living.”

In order to live, even if they know it is a “lie”

They know that “hope” and the “dream” called “justice and love” are necessary.

We can communicate purely to children with no sense of difference between fiction and reality due to a characteristic of the means of expression called animation, namely, usage of the view of the world where everything are “pictures” drawn by people.

That is the greatest appeal that “giant robot animation” holds.

package, page 03 (archive)

1994 S

1994 T

In the end, Leiqunni’s attempt to isolate herself from a world she regards as evil is no more productive than Shiro’s initial refusal to even consider good and evil in the world (that’s why I prefer to render his opening line as “I don’t know if it’s good or bad” although one could say “For better or worse”). HONNEAMISE is a film advocating anti-detachment.

… Yamaga has not merely jerked Shiro’s strings to commit this act–indeed, the act derives from choice and serves to illustrate that Shiro knows he has a choice–Leiqunni believes she has none. Leiqunni believes in original sin, that “all are guilty.” But if one is guilty from birth, the entire concept of “sin” as a choice becomes meaningless, for we are evil–indeed, doomed, by nature and can do nothing but ask for grace.

But Shiro doesn’t believe this is true. His prayer at the end comes only after a long string of conscious choices, actions, and decisions on his part. He prays not out of a belief that God’s mercy is the only thing that can save the helplessly evil human race–on the contrary, his prayer is based on the careful observation of humanity’s historical record: full of choices that led to slaughter. And yet, he simultaneously recognizes that the same human race has made it here, to “God’s space”–what used to be thought of as Heaven. What he beseeches, then, is a light to mankind–“In our despair, give us one, fixed star.” A beacon of truth–to remind us that we always have a choice.

The more I look at HONNEAMISE, the more convinced I am that Yamaga knew what he was doing. The film holds with [Andre] Gide’s warning: “Do not understand me too quickly.” Whether the necessity for the viewer to go back again to fully comprehend it, will be a liability in its release here–I don’t know–there is so much one can get from the first viewing only. But in that endurance, the viewer discovers that which endures: the art of THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE. The film is Yamaga’s choice–and also, still, a light to anime–a genre that doesn’t believe in itself as it should…

–Carl Horn, “Some more thoughts on the rape scene in HONNEAMISE”; incidentally, Bochan_bird bought Honneamise “character/mecha drawing references and animator storyboards”, and mentions “The attempted rape scene unfolds differently in the storyboards.”

1995

1995 P

And in that world, a 14-year-old boy shrinks from human contact. And he tries to live in a closed world where his behavior dooms him, and he has abandoned the attempt to understand himself. A cowardly young man who feels that his father has abandoned him, and so he has convinced himself that he is a completely unnecessary person, so much so that he cannot even commit suicide.

And there is a 29-year-old woman who lives life so lightly as to barely allow the possibility of a human touch. She protects herself by having surface level relationships, and running away.

Both are extremely afraid of being hurt. Both are unsuitable-lacking the positive attitude-for what people call heroes of an adventure. But in any case, they are the heroes of this story.

They say, “To live is to change.” [This is apparently a quote of the last line of Miyazaki’s Nausicaa manga.] I started this production with the wish that once the production complete, the world, and the heroes would change. That was my “true” desire. I tried to include everything of myself in Neon Genesis Evangelion - myself, a broken man who could do nothing for four years. A man who ran away for four years, one who was simply not dead. Then one thought. “You can’t run away,” came to me, and I restarted this production. It is a production where my only thought was to burn my feelings into film. I know my behavior was thoughtless, troublesome, and arrogant. But I tried. I don’t know what the result will be. That is because within me, the story is not yet finished. I don’t know what will happen to Shinji, Misato or Rei. I don’t know where life will take them. Because I don’t know where life is taking the staff of the production. I feel that I am being irresponsible. But… But it’s only natural that we should synchronize ourselves with the world within the production. I’ve taken on a risk: “It’s just an imitation.”

…July 17, 1995, In the studio, a cloudy, rainy day.

…By the way, Shinji’s name came from a friend of mine. Misato’s name came from the hero of a manga. The name Ritsuko came from a friend of mine in middle school. I borrowed from everywhere. Even names that have no bearing on anything actually came from the countless rules that govern these things. It might be fun if someone with free time could research them.

“What were we trying to make here?” Anno, original manga vol 1 (for character name sources, see Anno’s 2000 discussion of Character Name Origins)

[Anno] ’“It isn’t completed yet, but in episodes one and two my recent ‘feelings’ should be faithfully reflected. When I realized this I thought ‘Ah, well done.’”

… [Anno] “I think this will become a greater cult film than ‘Nadia’, because there will probably not be another work with this ‘feeling’.”

… We visited Gainax towards the end of January. By then, they were busy refining the first few episodes of the new TV series “New Century Evangelion.” To start off our information gathering, Anno Hideaki said, “How could I think of doing an old-fashioned robot anime?”

… Thinking this, we wondered why he would participate in and direct a robot anime project.

“One reason is that we thought it would be good to put on TV a robot anime that is not sponsored by a toy company.”

He said that since having an attached sponsor can interrupt how the mecha is designed, this work was not going to have one. He also said, “Robot anime has been stuck in a pattern, and we wanted to break out of it.” They are trying to make a film with an entirely different stance than “robot anime” being made with tie-ins to ordinary toy companies. [See the Otsuki anecdote in the “Shinseiki Evangelion” chapter of The Notenki Memoirs.]

He said that originally this was not a project that started with a psyched-up feeling, but when they began the real project it began turning into a fairly “hard and heavy” robot anime.

Also, as he was involved in this work he had a thought something like the following. “For example, I wonder if a person over the age of twenty who likes robot anime is really happy.1 He could find greater happiness elsewhere. Regrettably, I have my doubts about his happiness.”

… The protagonist, Ikari Shinji, is not portrayed as an “otaku”, but from my point of view [the reporter’s] he is not making a positive start in his work, and he could be considered a dependent young man.

“As I was making this work I wanted to try to consider what in the world could the ‘happiness’ of such a person be?”

… Ayanami Rei

Voice by: Hayashibara Megumi

Pilot of Evangelion device #0. Reticent, rarely showing her emotions, a nihilist. She’s 14.

Katsuragi Misato

Voice by: Mitsuishi Kotono

Introduced as being like Shinji’s older sister. She appears to be an optimist, but she has a core of firmness. Her private life is quite….. She’s 29.

(Ritsuko image) Akagi Ritsuko

Voice by: Yamaguchi Yuriko

The person responsible for the Evangelion development team. Intellectual, firm. She and Misato are close friends. 30.

(Shinji image) Ikari Shinji

Voice by: Ogata Megumi

Protagonist of the stories. He becomes the pilot of the #1 Evangelion device. He’s a relatively obedient honor-student type. He’s 14.

(Asuka image) Soryu Asuka Langley

Voice by: Miyamura Yuko

Pilot of the #2 Evangelion device. High-spirited personality, Japanese-German ancestry, from the American quarter. 14.

“Skill Up”; (“From Newtype, April 4, p. 4, article entitled ‘Skill Up’.” Internal evidence dates this to April 1995)

LD Liner Notes Vol.4

Voices from the Cast - Miyamura Yuko

… Director Anno: “Hey, what kind of stuffed animal do you like?”

Miyamura: “Monkeys (heart mark)”

…[Note: Asuka’s stuffed monkey doll is a pre-Eva character drawn by Miyamura Yuko, and is her trademark, appearing in many of her other works and sometimes her autograph.]

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/2001-December/040737.html

A question from a listener (for Kotono [Mitsuishi]), “Is there any new TV show that you will be doing a voice for this spring? Is there any new show that you will be doing with Megumi?”
Megumi [Hayashibara] said, “Well not this spring, but this fall. Evangelion. We will start recording the voices soon.”
Kotono said, “It has robots, and a boy rides in it. I still don’t know much about it.”
Megumi said, “I’m surprised that I’m doing a girl who doesn’t talk much at all.”
Kotono said, “Yeah, there are three who ride the robots.”
Megumi said, “The cute girl, the boy (Ogata Megumi), and the quiet girl (me). I have to challenge something new.”
Kotono said, “For me this is the first time I’m doing a role of someone older than myself.”
Megumi said, “I also auditioned for that role too. But the director suddenly asked me to audition for the other role too. I thought that it wasn’t me, but you never know what happens.”

–25 March 1995 episode of Tokyo Boogie Nights radio show, Hitoshi Doi; in the same show, Megumi Hayashibara discusses her surprise at the male homosexual villains in the recently airing Sailor Moon - one of which seiyuu, Ishida Akira, would voice Kaworu Nagisa

What I read in Evangelion Design Work, is that, Mr. Anno asked every staff on the team to write out what the ending of the TV series should be and in the Design Book Yamashita Ikuto (the main mecha designer) re-printed his story…

BTW, Mr. Anno ask the staff to do that as a way to generate ideas/leads for his own ending.

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-August/019406.html (Tentative guess at 1995 rather than ’94)

  • _Evangelion Design Work (the aforementioned Yamashita book; partial translation of his movie proposal; next to nothing on his TV ending)

Yesterday I bought “Sore wo Nasu mono: Shin Seiki EVANGELION design works” by YAMASHITA Ikuto and KIO Seiji. ISBN number is 4-04-852908-0. On page 44, YAMASHITA comments:

Well, ‘serious’ fans may feel anger that I got inspiration of EVA-02 from synchronized-swimmer-gay(1) with goggles who appears with crying ‘SEXY DYNAMITES!’ before the last stage of PC-Engine game ‘CHOU-ANIKI’(2)

(1) not a typo of “synchronized-swimmer-guy”. (2) “Chou-ANIKI” is, IIRC, a shooting game. What’s peculiar of the game is, both background story and all the characters are written/designed under the concept of “stereotypical image of muscular gay” ( again, not “muscular guy” ).

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-March/012161.html

In 1995, Sadamoto told Newtype magazine what led him to volunteer for the manga job:

Four years after Nadia, I began to think it would be fun to write and plan a manga. At the time I had no experience in that area, but it was something I really wanted to try. Everyone wanted to see my previous work or sales figures, but I had nothing that would prove I was a bona fide comic creator

The approaching release of Gainax’s new series gave Sadamoto that chance to prove himself. Resisting the doubts of his Gainax colleagues, Sadamoto took the scripts and storyboards for the TV episodes, and began producing 24 pages a month for Shonen Ace magazine.

‘When I started on the manga, we’d only plotted about five or six episodes, so I didn’t have too much of an idea where we were going. We hadn’t even decided what colour Evangelion was going to be, or how to design the cockpit! Also, although I was very well acquainted with certain characters through my assignments as a designer, I had to immerse myself in the rest of the Evangelion universe, in whose creation I hadn’t been so closely involved.’

For this reason, the first few issues of the manga kept extremely close to the TV storyline. But Sadamoto was already using the manga to play up his own interests, accentuating elements that might have passed the viewing audience by. In the manga version, the first shot of the underwater angel attack shows it drifting past the submerged hulk of the Gainax building. The character of Doctor Ikari is slightly more sympathetic: the Sadamoto version permits him a relieved smile when Shinji agrees to pilot the Evangelion. It also puts the early episodes back into chronological order, ditching the anime’s flashback approach which saves Shinji’s first battle until the end of episode two.

‘Of course I wanted to add as much to it as I could,’ says Sadamoto, ‘and to try and make the manga version slightly different. The TV series is very much dominated by Hideaki Anno and the staff, but the manga is a “Sadamoto Brand” product, because I’ve been able to devote myself to it.’

Sadamoto recognised early that the anime team would always have more success with the moving, full-colour battle scenes, and so concentrates more on the characters’ thoughts and feelings. Consequently, there is more in the manga on the psychological damage suffered by the pilots, and extra scenes of Shinji recuperating in the hospital. Most notably, there is a cycle of dream sequences in which Shinji encounters his mother, only to see her transform into a fearsome Evangelion machine.

Manga Mania, 1998?

Hayao Miyazaki, from January 1995 Comic Box, “I Understand NAUSICAA a Bit More than I Did a Little While Ago” (compare Anno’s 2010 memories about making new Nausicaa, and Miyazaki’s 2013 comment “I’ve come to think lately that if he wanted to do it, it would be fine for him to do it”):

MIYAZAKI; Nausicaa and Kushana are very similar - they are two sides of the same coin. But Kushana, whose background I showed a little of, has some deep, physical wounds. I think that she had the capacity to become an extremely fair ruler. But I didn’t know if a competent front line commander was capable of being a competent ruler, so I didn’t make her one. I made her a surrogate ruler, someone who could take the place of the king. I thought that she could be limited to that role. But as I wrote about her, I kept feeling sorry for her. Her character wasn’t being communicated through the writing. I was perplexed. I thought that I had to touch on her relationship with her mother and that I had to depict her more clearly, but I had only one page in which to do all that. In the end, though, I had no choice but to get to it.

  • I hadn’t thought about it that deeply. Mr. Anno (director of ‘Fushigi no Umi no Nadia’) previously sent a note saying that he would like to write a story with Kushana as the heroine. I feel that it would be a rather interesting story.

MIYAZAKI: No, I don’t think so. It would be boring. He just wants to play war games. I don’t dislike playing war - I think that the battle scene I did in volume 3 was done perfectly. It was done well enough that I could say “See! Told you so!!” - but that’s just overweening pride. When it comes to depicting war, I think that I can do it just as well as anyone else. But Nausicaa is not a manga about war.

  • But [obstinately] what’s wrong with having an hour and a half long fighting scene with Kushana as a peerless front line commander?

MIYAZAKI: It’s useless. Terrible. Well, that goes without saying, doesn’t it? If that’s the only plan that’s been made then it would be much better to just give up the movie entirely. [laughs] Lots of movies about peerless front line commanders have already been done in America. Combat for example. [the 1962-1972 series Combat!?]

— What was the reason you wanted to do an original work, despite these circumstances?

Anno: Of course, for myself (laughs). There is always a very personal reason for creating [something]. There is probably no need to say any more [than that] here.

— Even so, insisting on something original-?

Anno: It’s probably so my self-existence will remain within the film.

Newtype January 1995; “Creator’s Talk - Anno Hideaki x Yoshiyuki Sadamoto”, untranslated transcript; excerpt by Numbers-kun; there is apparently another interview in the January issue: “on page 14 it’s between Anno and a couple of the Seiyuu”

Episode 8

http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=289843#289843 “Didn’t quite understand this, but might be part of a draft for episode#8?”: http://ameblo.jp/tetsuyasan/entry-10351913360.html Google Translate doesn’t help; tentatively assigned to 1995: if episode 8, might be 1994?

Episode 24

In August & November 1996, Anno was extensively interviewed by the fujoshi-oriented magazine June, which was republished as a book. From Carl Horn’s “Eight Books of Evangelion”

EDITED BY THE STAFF OF JUNE
1143 YEN - ISBN4-906011-25-X - ABOUT 6 inches BY 8 inches
236 PAGES (12 IN FULL COLOR)
Neon Genesis Evangelion JUNE Tokuhon: Zankoku-na Tenshi no These, “The Neon Genesis Evangelion JUNE Reader”–the book’s subtitle is the name of the opening theme of Eva, “Like a Cruel Angel’s Premise”. The cover shot is of Kaworu gazing up smiling from within Shinji’s tightly clenched fist, and the editors of the JUNE Reader know from whereof they speak on the topic; for over twenty years the bi-(naturally) monthly magazine has carried the flaming torch of shonen ai (“boy love”), the category of manga that involves gay relationships.

The JUNE Reader gets a 30-page interview out of Hideaki Anno (one of his longest ever), kicking off the book with his thoughts not only on Shinji and Kaworu, but important influences on the director like Nausicaa and Devilman, and his thoughts on shojo manga as a genre.

NGE episode 24 drafts overview

Draft 1:

Draft 2:

EGF.org Discussion of drafts, extra material

Independent coverage of Draft 1’s invocation of Bruges-la-Morte, also drawing on June

See also Patrick Yip’s comments on the archaic and feminine naming of Kaworu.

Morgan Bauman has been independently translating parts of June (EGF compilation):

First half: http://avocado-slice.tumblr.com/post/50755437341/sato-we-made-a-special-collection-about-eva-then

Interview scans: http://s978.photobucket.com/user/TTGL/library/?sort=3&page=1

Cake-slice comments:

There are some scenes mentioned in the JUNE book interview that doesn’t appear in these drafts, or have a variation which are probably Anno’s doing when making Episode 24 himself. For example:

  1. A scene at the school’s music room.
  2. The scene with them bathing at the lake, but at night. Also mentioned here.

…Some events in second draft are sightly similar to the manga version of Kaworu’s episodes [post-2002]. Dare to say that the manga would have probably turned out like this draft if Kaworu wasn’t rewrote to be socially retarded and Shinji wasn’t so bratty.

  1. Shinji finds Kaworu playing piano on the ruins of what was the school gym.
  2. There is an scene of Shinji fainting and Kaworu taking care of him for a while.
  3. They also kiss but in Shinji’s room and nobody is getting punched or screamed at for that (lol).

This draft also implies horrible things between Ritsuko, Rei and Gendo…

1995 S

1995 T

  • 1995-animerica-newdirectionrobotanime.pdf
  • 1995-ebert-chicagosuntimes-honneamisereview.txt
  • 1995-mangazine-previewdescription.pdf

1996

1996 P

Because there is no real original in this world but one’s life.

–Anno, Studio Voice October 1996; translated by Numbers-kun

Interviewer: Is it possible that the fates of the characters in the manga (drawn by Sadamoto) will differ from the anime?

Sadamoto: Well, that’s possible. I might have everybody die, for example. Maybe something like, “This is getting difficult to keep up… Okay, next month is the final episode!” -Kaboom! (laugh) Third Impact occurs and it’s over! (laugh)

Interviewer: (laugh) Well, I hope you won’t let that happen…

–translated by Bochan_bird: “The Japanese for this interview can be found on P64 of the Photo File”Eve“. (Interviewed on February 14, 1996 - before the initial airing of the TV series ended)”

On the unique appearance of the Evangelion Units…

ANNO: There is a monster in Japan called the oni, which has two horns sticking out of its head, and the overall image of the EVA is based on that. I wanted also to have an image that beneath the image of that robot monster is a human. It’s not really a robot, but a giant human, so it’s different from other robot mecha such as those in Gundam.

On Gunbuster’s alternate future – is it dominated by Russia?

ANNO: There’s a Japanese Empire. In the year 2000, the U.S. and Japan had a war, and Japan occupied Hawaii. Sorry.

On the decision to have the final episode of Gunbuster in black-and-white…

ANNO: When you have color, you have an extra dimension of information. Color would have gotten in the way of the sense of scale we wanted to portray with the black hole bomb. Also – no one had ever done it before.

On the date 2015 which figures in both Gunbuster and Evangelion…

ANNO: The date is from an old show I liked as a kid, and it was also the year in which Tetsuwan Atom took place.

…On anime creators who inspired him…

ANNO: Outside of my staff, Mr. Yoshiyuki Tomino. Tomino’s Mobile Suit Gundam and Space Runaway Ideon are my favorite anime besides Yamato. Hayao Miyazaki, with whom I worked on Nausicaa, animating the scene where the God-Soldier fires, was also a mentor to me.

…On how the protagonist of Evangelion reflects Anno himself…

ANNO: Shinji does reflect my character, both in conscious and unconscious part. In the process of making Evangelion, I found out what kind of person I am. I acknowledged that I’m a fool.

On his religious beliefs…

ANNO: I don’t belong to any kind of organized religion, so I guess I could be considered agnostic. Japanese spiritualism holds that there is kami (spirit) in everything, and that’s closer to my own beliefs.

On whether he is a vegetarian like Nadia and Rei …

ANNO: I like tofu. I just don’t want to eat meat or fish. It’s not for religious reasons.

On expressing himself through animation…

ANNO: Animation makes sense to people in the process of their seeing it. So when people get confused by my themes, or cannot get the overall message, the connection is not really going through, because it didn’t satisfy that person. So there would be less meaning for that individual. There has to be a relationship that comes into being between the person watching and what the character’s saying in the animation itself.

…On Evangelion’s success…

ANNO: As for all the merchandising, it’s just a matter of economics. It’s strange that Evangelion has been a hit. Everyone in it is sick!

On his next project…

ANNO: Another TV show, probably some kind of space adventure.

…On the future of the anime industry…

ANNO: The creators have to change their frame of mind for the field to advance. And it doesn’t look too hopeful in today’s Japan. It’s in a critical condition right now. I don’t think there’s any bright future. That’s because the people who are producing it are not doing well. But there’s also problems in the people who are watching it. The people who make it, and the people who want it, they’re always wanting the same things. They’ve been making only similar things for the past ten years, with no sense of urgency. To get it going once more, you need to force people to go outside, to go out again.

…On his hobbies and interests…

ANNO: My hobby is scuba diving, and besides science fiction, I like to read romance novels written by women. Since I’m a male, I don’t really know the emotions of women. And because I want to understand their feelings, and create more realistic female characters, this is something I have to pursue.

To an American fan who boasted of having spent all his schoolbook money on anime goods…

ANNO: You’re a fool. Study harder. If I could go back in time and tell my college-age self something, I would tell him to study harder, too.

…On getting into the anime industry…

ANNO: If you want to get into anime, my best advice to you as a creator is to please have diverse interests in things besides animation. Look outward, first of all. Most anime makers are basically autistic. They have to try and reach out, and truly communicate with others. I would guess that the greatest thing anime has ever achieved is the fact that we’re holding a dialogue right here and now.

–“Virtual Panel! Meet Hideaki Anno,” Animerica 4:9, p. 27 http://web.archive.org/web/20020606012703/http://masterwork.animemedia.com/Evangelion/anno.html

“This was a one-page transcript of Anno’s remarks at Anime Expo ’96. This is hard to imagine today, but at that point (July 1996) the series had been over for two months, yet many American fans still hadn’t seen it–not because they didn’t want to, but because there was as yet no digital distribution of anime, fan or licensed–only by getting a physical copy of the tape could you watch it. This limited the speed at which an audience could grow, of course, and ADV’s version was not yet on the market. Anno said a few things at the AX’96 panel that have been remembered, but what I find most interesting is”when asked about Evangelion’s last two episodes, which upset many fans, Anno cooly replied, ‘I have no problem with them. If there’s a problem, it’s all with you guys. Too bad.’" I’m not absolutely sure (it may be in my transcription notes) but I think Anno might have said “too bad” in English, presumably for emphasis."

Carl Horn on the AX panel

“Pen-Pen was a creation of Sadamoto, to soften the atmosphere. But I tended to forget its existence.”

“I’d say Asuka. She’s cute.”

“Last year I brought back some of your miracle drug, melatonin.”

– Some of Carl Horn’s (TODO: ask him for rest of 3 pages) random notes of things Anno said

This was excerpted from the Neon Genesis Evangelion Book Two:3’s letters page, featuring Q&A with Hiroyuki Yamaga from Fanime Con ’98.

And speaking of letters pages, Book One:3 had a question Widya asked Hideaki Anno at Anime Expo ’96:

WS: Would you consider yourself to be more of the John Lennon or Paul McCartney of Gainax?

HA: I don’t listen to the Beatles, so I don’t know.

Fuuma Monou

There are too many painful things for people to go on living in reality.

Thus, humans run and hide in dreams.

They watch films as entertainment.

…If the director so desires, even malice toward others could be introduced straight into film. I guess that’s one of the attractive things about anime. Changing the tribulation of reality into dreams and conveying that to the people… is that what our work is? For the sake of people who forget reality until the bill comes due, who want to devote themselves to happy fallacies. I guess that’s our job in the entertainment and service sector.

One of the distinctive features of Studio Ghibli’s works is that, even if there are obsessive actions, there are things which appear to have not forfeited their goal. Forfeiting ones goal leads to despair, and is a sickness that can prove fatal. I wonder if Miya-san and his people are familiar with that feeling of despair. Perhaps they don’t want to show that anguish to other people. I think they specifically don’t want to display the negative things called self-loathing and complexes to others. That’s why Studio Ghibli’s works can’t show anything but superficial happiness and a reproduction of reality with all the dirty things omitted. A fiction that imitates reality, and nothing more than a single dream. I suppose that is the governance of entertainment

…When I helped out as an animator for Nausicaa, there’s something that Miya-san often told me. It seems to have come from a Chinese sage, but “There are three conditions for accomplishing something. Those are: Being young, Being poor, and Being unknown.” And, “No matter what, make friends.” So I was taught. This was more than 12 years ago. Yes, I’ve known Miya-san approximately 12 years. In that time, I think Miya-san has achieved various things. However, he also lost many things.

…Postscript. Yesterday, when I was in a state of mental collapse after my latest work had ended [Nadia?], I was moved deep within my heart by an encouraging phone call I received. The words of concern proceeding from the receiver became joy on my end as, with a exultant face, my whole body was buoyed. In secret, I rejoiced in receiving some recognition for myself. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

–“A Dream World That Hasn’t Forfeited its Goal” –Anno Hideaki, Ghibli ga Ippai Liner Notes; apparently dates to before August 1996

“Evangelion is like a puzzle, you know. Any person can see it and give his/her own answer. In other words, we’re offering viewers to think by themselves, so that each person can imagine his/her own world. We will never offer the answers, even in the theatrical version. As for many Evangelion viewers, they may expect us to provide the ‘all-about Eva’ manuals, but there is no such thing. Don’t expect to get answers by someone. Don’t expect to be catered to all the time. We all have to find our own answers.”

“…Evangelion is my life and I have put everything I know into this work. This is my entire life. My life itself.”

“…For [my generation, after the political failures of the previous], there was nothing to speak of but what was within the ‘magic box’ (television). It’s pathetic, but we had no other options. I think admitting that is a start.”

…[Anno says something to the effect that he (consciously) identifies with Shinji, Asuka, and Misato, but Kaworu and especially Rei belong to his unconscious (Kaworu is his “shadow”).]

Protoculture Addicts #43; Anno, newtype interview: psychology (may be source of claim “Although ANNO Hideaki has admitted to being influenced by Jungian psychology, this statement desperately begs a Lacanian reading of the formation of identity.”), ending, interpretation; but maybe it was actually PA63? TODO: when my back-issues finally come in, figure this out

Protoculture Addicts #39; Anno in Newtype interview: satisfactory ending, censorship

However - in Protoculture Addicts issue 42, the editorial speaks of a discussion with a Gainax employee at Anime Expo 1996 (when Anno attended). It says, “[…] did confirm that the last episodes (from 19 on, but mainly 25-26) were censored following pressure from the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association; but no mention of any legal action) and that they had been botched.”

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/2001-August/040229.html; see also http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/2001-November/040705.html

Protoculture Addicts #39 excerpts

According to what he said, making EVANGELION was a very difficult job, as we can imagine. He really looked tired and his words were sometimes too harsh to be reported here.

…“EVANGELION is my life”, Anno says, “and I have put everything I know into this work. This is my entire life. My life itself!” As many fans want to know about the ending of this series, episodes 25 & 26, he says that he is making a different version and those two girls (Misato and Ritsuko) are dead in the end. He says, “I truly believe that sex and violence are part of our human life. These days in Japan, I think Japanese children need to know about those things more… instead of being protected too much from the society. Those matters are a little like a poison: we need to give them to the children little by little to establish an immunity, so they would have the ability and mental strength to resist. A lot of youth I know just don’t have this immunity, and when something terrible happens, they can’t deal with it. In a way, the poison can be the medication at the same time, and I believe that the more we know about those things, the more we can protect ourselves against specific matters.”

Among Japanese fans, Rei is the most popular character from this series, and I asked him why. He says, “Rei-chan is very popular… I think that she’s very quiet and doesn’t wish to talk very much, and doesn’t complain. In Japan, I suppose that girls like that are very much desired. They’re quiet, patient, and don’t complain and work hard. As for Rei-chan, she was created as a pilot for Evangelion… in other words, she is a clone of a human being. When we humans are born, in general, we just show up without having a purpose in our human life! Later, we find a purpose and choose our own way and decide how to live our life. Rei-chan’s case is not like that. She was created solely for the purpose of being an EVA’s pilot and I’m not quite sure if she’s happy.”

…Anno-san says, “Gendo is a type of person who can see and think about the welfare of an organization as a whole. In other words, he’d do anything to succeed. He takes drastic and extreme measures by fair means or foul, or by hook or by crook, in order to accomplish his own purpose. In some ways, he’s mean. He hardly cares about Shinji.”

…I asked him what kind of foods he likes, and he says, “For my daily diet, I eat and love tofu, and I like fish too. I’m not a strict vegetarian but I just don’t like the taste of meat, so I end up eating vegetables.”

…He also says that he has been trying to read romance novels. He says, “I’m kinda shy myself and I don’t know much about the feelings of young women. In order to write something like EVANGELION, to create Misato and other young women, I have to understand more about feelings and their behaviors. Reading romance novels seems to help a lot.”

Basically, he says he practices no religion, but he believes in the human spirit. He’s very much interested in studying Christianity, but personally he feels he hasn’t received much influence from it.

Now, this is Anno-san’s question: “Why has our animation become so popular in foreign countries?”

…To conclude, here is an extract from an interview of Hideaki Anno in the November issue of NEWTYPE magazine (1996-11, pg. 20-23):

I didn’t have any interest in studying human psychology in the past. I only took a course about it at university, but I suppose I always had something in my mind to analyze human psyche. I thought I wasn’t interested in humans very much, but then, when I started talking about myself, I needed words to explain. So, I started reading books on psychology. From Episode #16, EVANGELION’s story went into the direction to ask just what the human mind is all about inside. I wrote about myself. My friend lent me a book on human psychological illness and this gave me a shock, as if I finally found what I needed to say.2

Lately, due to the ending of episodes #25 & 26, some people started watching EVANGELION. They were not anime fans. In fact, many of them are females and they tell me that they really enjoyed episode #25, objectively. Most anime fans are furious. I understand their anger. I can’t help laughing when hard-core anime fans say that we did a very lousy job, with intentional negligence. No, we didn’t. No staff members did a lousy job. I feel sad that those fans couldn’t see our efforts. Personally, I think the original TV version we showed ended beautifully.

EVANGELION is like a puzzle, you know. Any person can see it and give his/her own answer. In other words, we’re offering viewers to think by themselves, so that each person can imagine his/her own world. We will never offer the answers, even in the theatrical version. As for many EVANGELION viewers, they may expect us to provide the “all-about EVA” manuals, but there is no such thing. Don’t expect to get answers by someone. Don’t expect to be catered to all the time. We all have to find our own answers.

–Miyako Graham, Protoculture Addicts #43 quoting Anno at AX96, and a Newtype

The design concept in Eva was that the characters themselves should lean towards a relatively subdued appearance. But the plug suits! Gaudy as hell. Embarrassing–I mean, they almost look like, y’know, body paint. Naturally, I thought the cos-players wouldn’t even consider attempting it.

But there were, at the December ’95 Comic Market, the February ’96 Wonder Festival, at the… You know, I hate crowds, so ordinarily the whole cos-play scene is no more than a distant reality. But this… this, I had to see. Specifically, I had to see the girls in sky-blue wigs, wearing white plugsuits. Mmmm. I had to see it.

–Sadamoto, manga vol 2 commentary

[The show had] a ‘live feeling.’ [cf. May/June 1996 NewType] I [Anno] was creating everything in accordance with the situation at the time….The truth is, the ‘complementation project,’ up until about half-way through the series, I was doing things without having clearly decided [about] the complementation of human beings, [about] what is being complemented.

…I [Anno] really hate the fact that animation - or at least Evangelion, the work I’ve been doing - has become merely a “place of refuge.” Nothing but a place where one escapes from reality - by becoming deeply absorbed in it, [people] simply ran from the pain of reality, and from there was hardly anything that came back to reality. To that extent I feel like [the work] did not arrive [at reality]. Steadily the number of people taking refuge [in the work] increases, and if this keeps up, in the extreme case, it would become a religion. It would become the same [situation as with] the Aum adherents and Shoko Asahara. Perhaps, if I did things correctly, I would have had the potential to become the founder of a new religion, but I hate [that idea]. For clutching at straws [lit. “grasping at a spider’s web”], one person is enough.

–Translated by Numbers-kun; first quote, second quote; from an otherwise untranslated July 1996 Animage interview with Anno and Yuko Miyamura: http://johakyu.net/lib/2007/07/2007-07-27-000535.php

The sudden abandonment of the narrative conclusion and puzzles of the fictional world that had been constructed up until the 24th episode, brought about an intense shock in animation fans….

It’s fair to say that Evangelion is a story which depicts “anxiety without a cause” which exhaustively ends with a convincing feeling of tension. It’s clear that this kind of feeling is widespread when we look at the AUM incident and its repercussions. On this point, the work has a striking feeling of the present. However, the thing that we should pay closer attention to is the paradoxical whereby feelings of anxiety are always determined materialistically, but for the people who are caught in the center of this kind of anxiety, they can only experience it abstractly….

One of my friends who is from Poland described his completely accurate impression of Rei as being related to the problems of post-war, in other words Rei is linked to the problems of Bosnia,etc. At the same time I thought that the room overlaps with a science laboratory, particularly a medical laboratory. Therefore, ANNO intersected images of refugees/ trauma with the “scientific” – this is the only word that can accurately express the situation – motif of stark anti-decorativeness. (After all, this would be linked to questions about AUM, more specifically to the problem of “Satyan,” AUM’s scientific laboratories) Rei’s solitude is grounded in a completely tactile substantiality which gives us extremely realistic images of the discommunication that children of the present face. And these images of discommunication belong neither to Kogyal(“child girl”)-like autism nor to otaku-like autism which has been defined in opposition to Kogyal-like autism. (And these two types of autism are nothing more than the opposing gender extremities of post-modern decorativeness)

Motifs such as charming beautiful girls and hi-tech machines which has strengthened the barrenness of anime, and in the end became important elements in his [Hideaki Anno’s] work. It became crucial to articulate 90’s-like problems through stereotypes and abstract motifs. To begin with “Evangelion” is an extremely otaku-like work which was by lots of details referenced from former anime and science fiction films, from the design concept of cockpit to the brand of beer (Here in this aspect I don’t have time to treat it, although it’s important) In other words, it can be said that ANNO broke through the literary imagination of the 1980’s by strongly mixing and re-editting the motifs of the anime-like imagination, which had been completely barren for some ten years….

In the opening scene of “Evangelion” he already inserts a cut of a character which had initially been introduced in the 24th episode. The countless devices of this type means that Anno started the broadcast after conceiving the total structure pretty clearly [indeed?]. Actually, the speed of the narrative development of numerous foreshadowing in the first few episodes indicates that his work was made by reverse calculation of a precise, total construction. The flavor of the episodes of the first half is consistently the same. (Some comical episodes after the 8th episode are considered within this consistency). This story revived the genre of animation and at the same time, clarified the limits of the literary imagination…

In the opening scene of “Evangelion” he already inserts a cut of a character which had initially been introduced in the 24th episode. The countless devices of this type means that Anno started the broadcast after conceiving the total structure pretty clearly. Actually, the speed of the narrative development of numerous foreshadowing in the first few episodes indicates that his work was made by reverse calculation of a precise, total construction. The flavor of the episodes of the first half is consistently the same. (Some comical episodes after the 8th episode are considered within this consistency). This story revived the genre of animation and at the same time, clarified the limits of the literary imagination.

According to Anno himself, this change of attitude came about while creating and producing the work. “Evangelion” was received enthusiastically among anime fans. He said that in noticing that autistic, enthusiast reception, he thought he should changed the entire conceptual structure of the work, and in the end that’s what he did. After all of the episodes were broadcast, in what looks like a self-tormenting, auto-destructive critique of anime fans that ANNO would repeat many times in radio interviews, specialty anime magazines, etc., he would clearly reiterate the personal intellectual history of MIYAZAKI and OSHII. All three of them isolated themselves from “anime-like things” owing to their hate of the autism after they achieved overwhelming success among anime fans. But ANNO is completely different from them on two critical points. The first difference occurs in “Evangelion” with its simultaneous deep absorption in the anime-like and it’s distance from it. In Anno’s case the change was terribly compressed. In Miyazaki’s case, the change occurred between the time of the success of “Lupin the Third, The Castle of Cagliostro” (1979) and “Totoro,” and in Oshii’s case he took about ten years between the time of the television version of “Urusei Yatsura” and “Mobile Police, Patlabor 2.”

In the second difference, as perhaps an inevitable result of that temporal compression, in ANNO the successful critique of anime was brought about by the logic of acceleration and multiplication, while in the case of MIYAZAKI and OSHII the critique of anime succeeded because of the logic of removal. The last half of “Evangelion” takes the form of a critique of previous anime works through developing all the narrative possibilities and anime-like expressions and pushing them to their limits; in other words producing a totality of the anime-like. Simply put, in the second half of “Evangelion” ANNO produces a super-complicated and super-high speed anime and thereby achieved a qualitative change. Several compositions were made for the purposes of constructing a 90’s savior narrative were rapidly inverted and were instead employed to tear to shreds the interactive communication among the characters. This means that for ANNO, he deliberately cut off communication with anime fans who supposedly can only appreciate works by identifying themselves with and investing their emotions into the characters….

There are no compromises in Anno’s second half. By employing difficult lines and the omission of mise-en-scene , quick scene shifts, and busy cuts with few frames (in animation this is extremely luxurious because it requires a new illustration for speeds less than one frame-per-second) he manages to condense the narrative which would usually have required several episodes into one. For example, Rei dies in the time of just two minutes. We are overwhelmed by its speed. On the other hand simultaneously Anno will one after another invert riddles in the second part of the story that had been solved in the first half. Therefore, if we only watch an episode only one time, the plot will be almost impossible to follow. (In other words this means that ANNO completely disregarded the age of the viewers who would have been expected to be watching at that broadcast time following the rules of the televisual medium. ) Nevertheless, in the last half of “Evangelion” in a dimension completely separate from that of the narrative logic, he was fairly successful at communicating the feeling of anxiety and the misery of the characters who are one after another wounded to the point of death. How did he accomplish that?

The last half of “Evangelion” gradually loses the co-ordination with the complicated foreshadowing that was installed in the first half and loses the science-fictional, simulational reasonableness of the composition of the fictional world. (Which is natural given by the change of direction) However, it doesn’t mean that the structure became careless. Instead a density and strange necessity arises. For example in episode #22 there is the unfolding of an incomprehensible story as Eva brings down the angel on a satellite orbit only by the throw of a special spear. A rational explanation is not even provided inside the story. But certainly the unfolding of the story possesses a certain inevitability with the flow of the scenes. That “inevitability” which exists especially independent from the narrative strategy is the true worth of the last half of “Evangelion.” That inevitability allows for the dissemination of despair and tension….

To put it boldly, from episode 17 until episode 24 (but especially in episode 18, 19, 22, and 23) at the moment when that condensed unfolding reaches its highest point, he several times makes me thing of GODARD. That is not an explanation related to the quality of cinema itself. That doesn’t mean that ANNO tried to cite or parody GODARD. Anybody can borrow stereotypical “Godard-like” images. (Of course ANNO himself does it. For instance using lots of subtitles)

“Anime or something like it: Neon Genesis Evangelion”, Hiroki Azuma; the quotes from Anno are from an untranslated Hiroki Azuma interview with Anno: http://johakyu.net/lib/2007/07/2007-07-27-000536.php. Numbers-kun translates part of the interview:

Azuma: Finally, only one question about the “set up” of the work. The enemy called “Angel” has no concrete image. It might be a pyramid, a ring of light, a virus…. in what way did you intend that?

Anno: They were paradoxically presented as things without form. For me the idea of an “enemy” is ambiguous, because my relationship to “society” is ambiguous….. The adults of the previous generation taught us that, despite fighting against the system, they were not able to accomplish anything.

Azuma: I felt it was awfully close to the image of the enemy [presented] by Aum Shinrikyo.

Anno: Aum is part of my generation. I understand them well.3

Azuma: Although I’m roughly ten years your junior, from my perspective there seems to be a strong sympathy with Aum from people of your generation. But if you say “an Aum-like thing,” you have to distinguish it from the reality of Aum, right?

Anno: We create works that “rationalize” or “sublimate” our “Aum-like” parts. The people who joined Aum did not do this. Hating society, they cut themselves off by their own volition. I wish Aum itself had “sublimated,” but I think instead it steadily came apart and finally collapsed, ending with this act of self-destruction. Even though there was, to a certain extent, some talent there, overall I had no sympathy for the organization.

Omori: However, [Ryu] Mitsuse-san is more governed by something like an Eastern sense of the transience of things, but the world of Evangelion is more along the lines of Western civilization……

Anno: I dislike Western civilization. I don’t place much trust in Western civilization.

Omori: That is, [you consider it] as something one must repudiate? Not positive -

Anno: No, it’s something like, because I don’t care that much about it, I can make use of it. If I were a Christian believer I couldn’t have inserted Christian elements [into Eva] in that way. I would have been scared to.

Omori: No question. Because you have no attachment to [Christianity], you can make use of the names of the angels without being concerned. Ah, [you can use] these names because the word makes a strong impression, for example. [You can use them] as you think appropriate.

Anno: Even if I received complaints from the perspective of Westerners about the equation of [the terms] ‘apostle’ and ‘angel’, I don’t think it would make any difference [to me?]. Well, there is a single American [see the Michael House interview for his version] in our company, and he scolded me about various things. “You can’t do this.” As I had expected. But I did those things [anyway], I think, without taking any notice of that.

–excerpt from discussion between Hideaki Anno and SF critic/translator Nozomi Omori; translation by Numbers-kun (full original)

The first film will be a feature-length edit of the first 24 episodes, the second, an all-new version of the final two which will provide, according to Anno, “the same ending, but from a different perspective.”

The Anime Guide

Check the second last color page of the filmbook Vol.9. There it says “the smile of Shinji – who is complemented. And then this is one ending, out of many possible ones”.

Patrick Yip

…here is the literal translation: [TV Filmbook Vol.9 (Ep26), p.95, seq.19 checkpoint]

“Congratulations” “Congratulations” “Congratulations” Shinji’s friends, acquaintances and parents unanimously congratulate him. Amidst the many words of congratulations, a smile appears at the corners of Shinji’s mouth. A happy/contented smile – that is the figure of the complemented/instrumentalized Shinji. This ending is just one shape, one possibility out of many.

Bochan_bird

…that particular checkpoint at the bottom of Newtype TV filmbook #9 p25 has a big “maybe” attached. This is not the usual “appears” or “seems”, but instead an explicit “maybe” (ka mo shirenai). The literal translation is:

Misato stretched out her hand to Shinji. At this time she may have intended to offer her body to comfort Shinji. However, this was merely substitutive behavior in order to assuage her own loneliness.

Bochan_bird

Becoming more and more emotionally intense in later episodes, the clever and intricate design work, otaku in-jokes and bouncey “fan service” expected from Gainax are in EVANGELION interleaved with bizarre, brutal, surrealistic and shocking scenes which caused much controversy and even calls for a boycott against the show. Public outrage over the ambiguous, mocking conclusion of the series - combined with the factor of EVANGELION’s vast popularity - led to the announcement from Gainax that a double-feature EVA “movie” would be released in the spring of 1997. The first film will be a feature-length edit of the first 24 episodes, the second, an all-new version of the final two which will provide, according to Anno, “the same ending, but from a different perspective.”

The Complete Anime Guide: Japanese Animation Film Directory & Resource Guide (second edition) (1 February 1997)

Okamoto (O) said that he watched Evangelion twice though he watched the ending first. He said the reference material he received along with the video has “controversial” written in it. He did not understand at first but later knew why once he watched the whole series.

O - Gunbuster is easier to understand. The final episode in the second video is black-and-white. I think it might be done to make it stand out - I mean the “Okarinasai” at the end.

A (Anno) - My generation was the age when black and white moved to color. I would like people living now to see how great to have color. That was 35 monochrome.

O - I love black and white. Perhaps nearly half of my works are black and white?

A - Recently there are more black and white CM on TV. Poster too. Somehow it is getting popular.

O - And then there is partial coloring.

A - “Part Color”… Everyone is now so familiar with beautiful full color, so on the contrary they see that as unusual.

O - But development cost is high. In the past development solution for black-and-white was always available. Now you need to order it first and then they make the development solution.

A - If it’s color development can be done in the same day. For black and white, they told me to give them 2 days and it became a problem to me schedule-wise. If there is a rush, they would not get it done unless they have 2 days.

O - But that thing does not fade. Print is easy to fade as time passes by.

A - It becomes reddish…

Then some talk about Okamoto’s Nikudan. Anno watched it twice and Okamoto said it’s more than enough…Anno said he still remembered a lot of the scenes and how they are edited and linked.

But the ones he watched most are The longest day of Japan and Battle of Okinawa4. He even played it as BGV [background video] when he was doing storyboarding at one time, and then slowly his attention was drawn to the video and ended up spending 3 hours watching it.

Then Okamoto talked about his filming Battle of Okinawa in Okinawa and the problem with lack of manpower and resource, ended up doing one of the characters.

Then Anno said it’s easier in anime – if one more character is needed just draw him. But Anno said anime and real life both have aspects that the other side may envy. For example in anime, the camera does not move, and the shadow and body motion needs to be made realistic. Even with CG it has become easier, it still has that CG feel. Anno then said for anime the main work is still about fixing the motion. Scrolling and wrapping the background is particularly inefficient.

Then more flattery from Anno about how Okamoto’s tempo and scene cutting is suitable for anime. And then Anno talked about frame aspect ratio – love Cinescope and miss its disappearance. Hate standard ratio and also not like Vista. He loves the way when Cinescope aspect is used audience have to follow the scene by moving their heads which is something not possible with TV watching.

Skipped the part that talks about Blood and Sand [血と砂 (No English release - reads “Chi to suna”), 1965] and Sengoku yarou [1963], and use of long shots. Except that Anno mentioned the fun thing with anime is that the photographer doubles as the actor in anime and in real-life you never see cameraman doubles as actor.

Very technical talk about how many frames of films to use for one blink. Anno said 6-7 frames, if he does not want the scene to get noticed, he put 6, if he wants to make sure it gets noticed he put at least 9 frames. And he said that if it is familiar and static scene, even 2 frames can leave an impression. 3 frames may already make it too slow. But if it is fighting it needs 7-8 frames. Took 12 frames in film, cut may be 5-6, depending on how the pictures look. And of course in dialogue how to cut is already predetermined. He said he spent 12 hours to cut 20 min of animation. The longest time took him 24 hours.

Skipped the part about talking with the audience.

About line of eye sight:

A - In the case of anime, the acting and performance usually does not take that much into account. One reason could be the character design. The eyes of the characters usually stress on the details of the eyes and this make it difficult to put acting by using line of sight. However, in Eva the character design is comparatively easier to do such acting, so I put some effort into that. Like where the character is looking at in that scene, or whether the audience are going to see the eyes or not…

Because it is so fundamental I took great care about it. So unusually I put instructions in the storyboard like “Eyes are looking here”. As I am influenced by director Okamoto, I used camera line of sight more than usual

O - if possible, line of sight should be on somewhere close. And on direction, A would look at B and then speak, and B would look back at A in reaction. It has to be like that…

A - for me, camera line of sight is often on the front. The drawing staff usually hates it. Drawing frontal face is more difficult and often it could not be done well. But if the line of sight goes the other way, it becomes hard to use it to act.

O - There is power if the guy’s sight is close to you

A - yes, that’s it. That has energy in it.

A - I don’t like switching between front and side. It is easier to frame the position of eyes of the characters if it is a front to front exchanges between the lines of sights of two persons. Anime is at the end a 2D thing so the amount of information is limited.

When it is cut to a new scene, the audience will try to search for something to focus, and if it is a face, it will be the eyes they look first. So when the eyes have expressed the information, you can cut to another scene already. In TV anime, static scenes are many.

I think this is the proper way to go. Although I think acting by eyes is very important it is also very tedious. I don’t mind putting effort into doing it but somehow when I look at it later I have a feeling that it won’t get noticed, or nobody cares. And then I get a bit irritated.

O - Perhaps because eyes in anime characters are so big…

A - That has many physical reasons. If we do not make the eyes big and treat it as a symbol for the characters, it will become difficult for many to draw.

O - but one can act just by eyes. Like the position of the iris…

A - true, but as the end we only have the drawings to fall back on. If we overdo that kind of serious acting, it carries a risk of looking ridiculous. Character Design is a difficult thing.

About Director: Skipped the part about old time directors and struggles with studio about rights to edit. Except Anno said that for anime sometimes it needs to do editing without having all drawings. But he thinks editing is fun. Gather extra cuts and then try to experiment by switching the cuts or rearranging order and that is interesting. And even the question of whether to cut 2 frames or not can make a difference.

About Storyboarding: More flattery from Anno about watching Ghost Train and Okamoto said because of AD’s mistake he once needed to take 140-150 cuts in one day.

A - for movies, consensus is impossible

O - Director must be a dictator

A - He is a despot. Nothing can move forward if we have to wait until someone else makes a decision and approves. Also the personal character would not come out. In anime, a overall design called storyboard is made from the very beginning. And the production system is based on that design, so it is easier to unify opinions. On the other hand, there is an image that the director’s job is over once the storyboard is decided.

O - since we are on it, in Gunbuster and Eva last episode, there are parts in black and white, that flashback, that kind of stood out. It used quite a bit of sketch like drawings. Did the storyboard also cover that?

A - It was put in there.

O - Oh, those sketches were interesting. It somehow feels it’s moving.

Anime vs real-life film: Okamoto said real-life is not necessarily better. Anno said many anime directors want to do real-life. Many simply put drawings in place of real-life images and they seem to want to push anime to look closer to real life film. And both think it is not a good idea.

Final comment by Anno - Animation is a kind of static world, but there is a yearn for thrill when it switches from one static world to another static world and that cut to new scene is a most efficient way to get such thrill. And he thinks Okamoto’s style of film cutting has similar effect

A - in a TV anime, 30 min of video has a limit of 3500 pictures. So the images cannot move as much as I want. And how to squeeze out the best from the image in such lack of motion, it is all in the cutting.

–January 1997 Animage interview/discussion between Anno and film-maker Kihachi Okamoto; Japanese source; translated by Patrick Yip/symbv; “In fact at the end of the article, it was stated the talk took place at the home of Okamoto in Ikuta-ku Kawasaki-shi Kanagawa Prefecture on Wednesday 1996 Oct 16th.”

Nobi Nobita: “Evangelion reduced me to tears many times. It was truly the first time I cried out and my shoulders shook from weeping due to an anime. The first time it struck me was episode 14. I found the summary part well made too, but, after the commercial ended, there was the point when Rei’s monologue suddenly began. I was like, uwaaaaaa…. crying (laughs). It was like that was the first time it hit me. Up to that point I had thought it was just an entertaining anime, but I felt that this was my own issue.”

Numbers-kun, June (original scan)

— Nobi-san was reduced to tears by Episode 14. How [did you compose] Rei’s monologue?

Anno: I had intended to recap the series in the first half of the episode. When I did the second half, I had long forgotten to explore what sort of person Rei was, so [I believed] it was necessary to develop her.

The script for episode 16 had been written before that. At first I had planned [a scenario where] Shinji and the angel would make “first contact,” but I wasn’t able to pull it off.

In the original conception, the languages of various countries and the cries of various animals and miscellaneous noises would appear on the screen; [selecting from] among these, the angel would finally hit upon Japanese. When this happens, there is a sharp noise, an image [suddenly] fills [the screen], and [the angel] asks if this is right for [Shinji’s] thought-language or thought-patterns; it would have started from there.

— That’s really cool.

Anno: As far as that goes, I thought it was fine, but then when [the angel] speaks Japanese that was the end [of my conception]. Kaworu-kun had been prepared as a “human type” [angel] from the start, and I wanted to hold on to the idea of [an angel] conversing in human language until then. When I wondered, well, what will [Shinji] do after he gets taken into the angel, I wondered if this might be [his] chance for self-reflection. Episode 16’s “inner space”-like environment was the first [of that sort]. That went relatively smoothly.

When it came to Rei, I was completely blocked. I couldn’t write anything at all. I had intended to make Rei a schizophrenic (分裂症的) character5, but when I tried to write, I couldn’t think of anything - nothing at all. Finally, I thought, when writing madness, one has no choice but to become mad. At that time I consulted a bit with my friends. When I asked if there was something composed by a madman, I was loaned a “Bessatsu Takarajima”6 volume on mental illness. It was an “easy and reasonable” book [イージーでリーズナブルな本] (laughs), but inside it there was a poem written by a madman.7 That was extremely good. When I read the poem I had a strong impression, as though this was the first time that I had come close. I had a feeling like a light glinting upon the tip of a sharp knife. It was certainly not the feeling of an ordinary man. That was good. If I think about it now, this sort of ‘capacity’ was [already] within me (laughs). 8 It’s mad to believe that the writings of a madman are of the highest quality. I read that [poem] and was filled with images; I was able to write [Rei’s monologue] in one sitting.9

It’s alleged that [the monologue] was based upon another text, but in all honesty, that’s not so. There was something that inspired it, but it was completely different. It’s alleged that it strongly resembles someone’s poem, and it that it was probably copied from it, but, “Ah, well, that man is probably crazy too” (laughs). It seems to be a famous poem. Being able to write something to the extent that it’s said to be the same, I can’t help thinking, “Don’t I have talent, too?” (laughs)10

After the television broadcast finished, I became worse and worse, and went to see a doctor. I even seriously contemplated death. It’s like [I] was empty, with no meaning to [my] existence. Without the slightest exaggeration, I had put everything I had [into Evangelion]. Really. After that finished I realized that there was nothing [left] inside of me. When I asked [the doctor?] about it afterwards, [he said?] “Ah, that is an ‘identity crisis’ (self-collapse) [自我崩壊].”11 It was a sensation as though I had taken something like extremely bad LSD. I was told, “It’s amazing that you were able to do that without medication.” Yeah, now, I feel very fortunate (laughs).12 In order to determine whether or not I really wanted to die, I went up to the rooftop of this building (the GAINAX building) and stuck my foot out, waiting to lose my balance and fall forward. I did it to personally determine [whether I wanted to live or die], [thinking,] if I really want to die, I should die here, and if I don’t want to die, I’ll step back. Well, it didn’t lead to my death, and so I’m here.

At first I was manic, but I rapidly developed a severe depression. I wouldn’t leave my office at work; I would leave only to use the bathroom, and I would almost never eat meals. A dilemma suddenly arose: I didn’t want to encounter other people, and yet I did want to encounter other people.

I don’t return home [at the end of the day], because the time and effort spent returning is bothersome. I just stay overnight here all the time; I don’t return home more than a few times in a year. At work, when I go to the bathroom, I go across the studio, I have to encounter people. I just wanted to think by myself, so I returned home for the first time in many months. My bed is never made, so there’s nothing to do but crawl into it. When I took my clothes off and lay down - I can’t put it any other way than extraordinarily terrifying, terrifying thoughts [怖い考え] - I had a sensation like my whole body was enveloped in such [thoughts]. When I was enveloped by this, I suddenly leapt to my feet and, in a panicked state, threw on my clothes, grabbed my bag, and went out onto the street, [crying,] “Taxi!” I went back to my workplace, I went back to my office at my workplace and slept. This is the “identity crisis.” I don’t have the feeling that I want to die, or anything like that. There’s nothing I can say [that can explain things]. On the other hand, that was how seriously I took “Evangelion.”

— I wonder why human beings require a meaning to their existence. [The lack of such] produces anxiety.

Anno: I think it’s more natural for human beings to be anxious. I think happiness is nothing but an illusion [錯覚].

–22 August 1996; first interview in June; scans (1 2 3) hosted by Lili & translated by Numbers-kun

[Numbers-kun’s paraphrases follow] This interview contains Nobita Nobi as a special guest. Nobi is a manga/dojinshi author and critic who writes dojinshi, shonen-ai, and criticism under the name Nobita Nobi and writes elsewhere under the name Nariko Enomoto (I assume, but I’m not certain, that this is her real name). She began working on Eva dojinshi during the series.

… 1. Anno’s Love of Shojo Manga

Anno wept a little when he read Nobi’s contribution to Karasawa’s book. Nobi cried many times during Evangelion, beginning with Rei’s monologue in Episode 14. Nobi is asked about her theory that the artists and viewers are locked in battle. She felt that she was in a battle with Anno. Anno thinks his first battle was with his staff13. In junior high school, Anno had a friend - nowadays, he says, you would call her a girlfriend - named Ritsuko14, who had a major impact on his life and introduced him to sci-fi and shojo manga. Aside from titles like “Devilman” and “Team Astro,” Anno was largely uninterested in shonen manga. However, Anno doesn’t think he would be able to do justice to a shojo manga in an anime adaptation15. Anno would read “Bessatsu Margaret,” “Ribon,” “Hana to Yume,” “Betsucomi,” and, at one point, even “Ciao.” Among the authors he likes, he mentions Fusako Kuramochi, Jun Ichikawa, Shinji Wada, Yu Azuki, Mariko Iwadate, Hideko Tachikake, Yukari Takahashi, Yumiko Oshima, and Taeko Watanabe. 2. Devilman and Evangelion

Nobi sees similarities between Devilman and Evangelion. This is due to the fact that Shinji’s mother is ultimately, or ultimately becomes, a kind of angel. As a result Shinji questions his self-identity. In the end, the foundations of human identity are overthrown. Anno says that the similarities to Devilman in this sense were unconscious; he noticed them afterwards. Evangelion follows the pattern of Ultraman and Devilman, in the sense that an enemy is defeated, but the power of that enemy is absorbed. Human beings make a copy of the angels, and then combine it with the human heart or mind. 3. Anno and Miyazaki

Anno was asked to write a commentary for the Studio Ghibli box set; however, in it, he criticized Miyazaki. Anno and Miyazaki are basically at one in their approaches; however, Miyazaki aims for a broad appeal, and Anno does not. Miyazaki risks ending up at “Sazae-san”. In Anno’s view, Miyazaki’s greatest work is volume seven of the Nausicaa manga. If I understood the next part correctly (Anno laughs a lot telling this), when Nausicaa was being serialized in Animage Anno used to visit Miyazaki’s office and ask to see the part of Nausicaa currently in progress; Miyazaki wouldn’t let him, so he would go in and look at them when Miyazaki wasn’t there. Anno wished that Miyazaki would stop making anime and focus on the Nausicaa manga. Miyazaki struggled greatly with how to end the manga; now, Anno completely understands how Miyazaki felt. According to Anno, Evangelion ended up being a cross between Devilman and volume seven of the Nausicaa manga. At an “ideological” level, Anno had to arrive at the same answers. Nobi was deeply moved by the Nausicaa movie when she first saw it, but less impressed after reading volume 7 of the manga. The darkness of the manga is eliminated in the film. However, for Nobi, Anno goes in the opposite direction, and is a kind of “black Miyazaki.” 4. The “Onanii Show”

Anno only makes works for himself, and not for an audience. However, making works is still the only way he can relate to other people. This relationship is like a “masturbation show,” because other people are watching him act to please himself. They decide by themselves how they react to it. He does not directly “pleasure” others. It requires some narcissism to be an author; someone entirely lacking self-confidence wouldn’t “expose” themselves. 5. Anno’s Vegetarianism

Anno’s vegetarianism is the result of the fact that he has no interest in ordinary life, including eating. When he was young his ideal sort of food was what astronauts would take into space. Today he regularly uses “Energy In”. He stopped eating meat at a young age. He wouldn’t eat school meals. When he was in his second year of elementary school, a teacher made him stay behind until he ate his meal. At 8PM the teacher gave up. Anno won’t do things others force him to do. He would rather have died than eat that meal. His parents couldn’t affect him, either. His body is no longer accustomed to eating meat, and now the taste makes him physically sick. He has few “worldly” desires. He has very little desire for food or money. His sexual desire is average. 6. Cel Anime and Expression

The interviewer feels that, behind the desire of women for “June”-like manga and stories, lies the problem of the family, and this is something Eva portrays. However, Anno feels he could not portray human relationships well because of the limitations of the medium, which he discusses. Precisely because of those limitations one must try to remain fixated on “human drama.” 7. The Production of Eva

When Anno thought of Eva, he wanted to create an anime that would surpass “Gundam” and “Yamato.” However, he became dissatisfied with his early ideas. The script for the first episode took half a year to complete16. He was stuck after that, so he wrote episodes 5 and 6, and then came back to episode 3. He felt he had to go beyond regular TV anime in developing realistic characters in episodes 3 and 4. However, the first six episodes left the staff drained and feeling weighed down by the heavy mood, so he felt it necessary to lighten the feeling of the series for episodes 7, 8, and 9. This early stage of production took 4 or 5 months in total; the storyboards were done in two months. However, the schedule became more and more constrained. The series was only finished thanks to the supreme efforts and talents of the staff. Episode 26 was completed in only three days17. Episode 24 was put together almost entirely by Masayuki alone in the space of three weeks.

  1. Rei’s Monologue / Anno’s Depression

I made attempt at a translation here [Numbers-kun’s translation is quoted previously in this section]. When Anno was working on Rei’s monologue in Episode 14, he wanted to develop her in a “schizophrenic” direction, and wondered how to portray a kind of madness. He was loaned a magazine-like book on mental illness that contained a poem by someone who suffered from a mental disorder, and that triggered his imagination. Anno experienced a kind of nervous breakdown following Eva’s conclusion. He no longer wanted to see people, and climbed up onto the roof of the Gainax building to see if he really wanted to live or to die. In the end he wanted to live, but after making Eva he felt he had nothing left inside of him. 9. Asuka’s Period

Nobi is not sure that female manga writers will be able to match the imagination of the male authors. Anno wanted to do a longer story involving Asuka’s menstruation, but because he felt it was impossible for a man to write, he abandoned it. Only a single scene remained. He feels he can’t match the way Nobi portrayed Asuka in the doujinshi “Absolute Safety Razor” (or “Absolutely Safe Razor” - “Zettai Anzen Kamisori”)18. 10. Group Mentality

Nobi was irritated by male Rei otaku at Comiket. Anno emphasizes with her irritation. Anno says that Aum demonstrated that some people are driven to be a part of a group. Anno realized how easy it is to become a cult leader. However, the problem is that human beings also cannot live alone and must somehow depend on others. In addition, people nowadays, including Anno and Gainax, make and use film and anime as a kind of drug.

. The AT-Field At the bottom of one section of the interview there are a few quotes besides images of AT-Fields. I assume these quotes are from Anno, and also came from the interview. There Anno says that the image of opening an AT field is one of violation. It is based on the tearing of clothes. Clothes are the most basic form of protection for human beings. Originally the AT-Field was used to explain why only Evas could damage Angels. Later on Anno wondered what the meaning of it was. He later felt it was the barrier of the heart or mind. It protects what is most valuable to human beings.

– 22 August 1996; second interview in June; paraphrased by Numbers-kun

The difficult thing [when creating filmbooks] is to establish rules as to how much to write – How much information which is not explicitly stated in the work (secret settings, etc.) can be released? How far is allowed? This is because these criterion are rather subtle and vague. For example, there are cases where it is okay to publish facts (settings) [settai?] that are public knowledge among staff, and other cases where these facts absolutely must not be made public. This information control was particularly difficult with Eva, because the copyright holder’s (GAINAX’s) checks were much stricter than for anime works produced by other companies….

–translated by Bochan_bird, who gives the source as: “Osamu Kishikawa – Editor (structure/text), Newtype Eva TV/movie filmbooks and Eva Remix filmbooks Excerpted from comments at the end of Filmbook Remix, Vol.II”

Neon Genesis Evangelion OST II booklet has a statement by Otsuki? Asked on EGF

Bochan_bird, resident in Japan during NGE’s airing, included a partial timeline of the aftermath as background material for his translation of the Kaibunsho; the timeline is not sourced from the Kaibunsho, and all translations seem to be his own:

  • 1996/04/14: Director Anno appears live as a guest on Megumi Hayashibara’s radio program “Tokyo Boogie Night” and says that fans should “return to reality.”
  • 1996/04/26: Shonen Ace-A June issue article states that: “The video/LD vol.13 (Ep25-26) release will be a complete remake of the TV ending and will focus on the story elements. In addition, a complete and new cinema edition that differs from the video version is scheduled for release in summer 1997.”
  • 1996/04/27: MEGU June issue becomes the first anime magazine to review the TV ending, and brands it a “betrayal” and “nightmare”.
  • 1996/05/10: Newtype Magazine June issue contains the first in-depth interview with Director Anno following the conclusion of the TV airing, in which Anno criticizes anime fans and otaku in particular. [See excerpts later from full translation of this interview.]
  • 1996/05~06: Eva remains a subject of interest, and various incidents of Eva fan obsession and “otaku-ness” occur such as the Mitaka City “Rei in kimono” posters and pencil boards mentioned in the kaibunsho.
  • 1996/06/10: Animage (Anime Magazine) July issue includes a dialog between Director Anno and Yuko Miyamura (Asuka voice actress) in which Anno again criticizes anime fans (albeit tempered by self-deprecation and some jests by Miyamura) and makes a number of other frank remarks and criticisms.
  • 1996/06~1997/02: Numerous review articles and interviews appear in anime magazines, some positive and some not so positive. Among these, the Quick Japan (music and sub-culture magazine) #9 issue features a lengthy Anno interview in which he once again criticizes the fans, but also makes some frank criticisms and observations about himself. He also mentions the harried production schedule and other behind-the-scenes talk. Various announcements are also made regarding the movie release schedule during this period.

This understandably can’t be used as a reference, because there is nothing to support it but my word, but I have mentioned before that I received a phone call from a Gainax staffer while episode #25 and #26 were in production, asking me to confirm where in the Book of Revelation the part about “I am the Alpha and the Omega” appears. I mentioned that it actually appears three times in different forms, and gave the citations. The implication was that they were considering quoting it in the final episodes. In any case, they did not use those verses, but if you’re skeptical that they would have considered such a thing, note that the booklets that accompanied the Japanese Evangelion I, II, and III soundtracks actually do have Biblical quotes as epigrams. These were some of the very first things ever released on the show; I believe “Eva I” hit the market even before the TV series had finished its initial airing. “Eva III,” as you might know (that’s the one with all the remixes of “Fly Me To The Moon”) would become the first anime soundtrack to go #1 in Japan since GALAXY EXPRESS 999.

Carl Horn

Hideaki Anno: Originally, and even today, Japanese animation are products of ordinary [habitual/common] consumption, created for the Japanese public. It is indeed amusing to see the success of animation abroad, but I think that fans everywhere have the same tastes. Animation is a universal language.

HA: Of course, it’s the same formula which made “Idols” just as popular. They are not really humans, they are only a sketch on a piece of paper, incapable of doing anything really, and [they are] out of the reach of their fans. For example, when a boy makes love with a woman in an anime, it is only part of a scenario, it is nothing more, and the fan knows, he steps back from what he sees.

AnimeLand: Yet, there are some fans that no longer go out with real girls…

HA: It is true that some fans of animation display unfortunate behavior.

AL: And yet you continue to create this kind of characters for them.

HA: You need to understand that Japanese animation is an industry that is, for the most part, male, and as is quite evident, everything is made for their gratification. Further, it is more gratifying for us to draw this sort of character, rather than old grandmothers.

AL: So actually, animators draw their ideal woman on celluloid?

HA: It’s much easier. Characters in animation do not cheat. They do not let you go for another. Animation is on certain points, very close to the pornography industry. All your physical needs are met. You can watch different animations and find anything you desire.

AL: Have you received any complaints for using Christian concepts in your work? The angels are supposed to represent something good, benign, which doesn’t seem to be the case in Evangelion.

HA: I am not familiar with many things in Christianity, and I have no intention of approaching it or criticizing it either. Isn’t it said that Lucifer was an angel himself before having fallen?

AL: Imagine that a European company decided to buy the rights to Evangelion, and to change certain scenes because of religious concerns. Would you agree with censoring these scenes?

HA: I don’t know, it would depend on the circumstances. After all, this series was made for a Japanese audience.

AL: American and European animation seem more and more smothered by their laws and codes of discipline, whereas Japanese animation offers more adult subjects and characters. Don’t you believe that the controversy and the problems that meet Japanese animation come from here?

HA: Actually, I think that some censorship is necessary, but it is not normal that we should be ordered by a conventional [literally, bien-pensant] minority. I do not think you can get away with anything for the so-called well-being and protection of children.

AL: Violence seems to be more admissible for these people than the notion of sex. Doesn’t it seem backwards to you?

HA: The legal context obviously differs between nations and eras. The only universal constant is the thirst of humans for sex and violence. We need to try to manage this without falling into the opposite extreme, and brainwashing. Films are extremely influential and powerful, especially as propaganda tools.

HA: No, Gainax examined my project for Evangelion and told me, “OK, you have carte blanche.” I have never been limited on anything, except perhaps time and money.

HA: I don’t know. I used components that I liked and that appeared to me necessary to advance the story. I also worked in concepts that were popular at the time. When I hear the criticism from fans about the end of Evangelion, I really wonder if we can say that I have as good a knowledge of the environment as you seem to say.

AL: Where did you get the idea of the EVAs?

HA: I was inspired by Japanese demons [oni]. I gave them a modern appearance, but such characters have been around a long time.

AL: It seems that there exists a sort of recurring message in your series, that one cannot live alone, or even separated from a group or ethnic identity. Why this message, addressed to otaku, who live at the same time in a relatively separate world?

HA: You can find whatever message you want to find in any film or series. I have not wanted to pass on this or that message in particular, but the fact that you reflect on this is a good one. I made Evangelion to make me happy and to make anime lovers happy, in trying to bring together the broadest audience possible.

– 4 October 1996? interview with Pierre Giner; published AnimeLand #32 (May 1997); original excerpt/translation September 1997; full sources: scan/French transcription/English translation. (The final Q/A pair has also been excerpted & translated from an interview published 18 July 1997 (“the day before the release of EoE”) in the Italian magazine Man-ga! #3. The connection is unclear - did Man-ga! translate into Italian & reprint AnimeLand’s interview?)

Our aim was to be the antithesis of all the giant robot animated shows around us. It’s not a world where the wind blows through your hair while you declare your purpose in a booming voice. Especially in the past one or two years, this type of refractive, feminine character has not been seen.

Yoshiyuki Sadamoto Taken from Viz Comics’ Collected Evangelion Manga, Vol. 2

The Newtype Filmbook description for the scene states (literally):

Amidst the many words of congratulations, a faint smile starts at the corners of Shinji’s mouth (and spreads across his face). A happy face – that is the figure of the Complemented Shinji. This conclusion is also one form, one possibility among many.

Eva FAQ; translated by Bochan Bird

Newtype Filmbook 8 rather straightforwardly says, “She [Naoko] throws her body down from the Command Center” (Kanojo wa mizukara no karada o, hatsureijo kara nage-otosu).

http://www.animenation.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-117875.html

Addition audio-drama; humorous audio drama, apparently with input from Anno; good for sarcastic commentary, such as Asuka calling Kaworu ‘homoboy’ - good for bad explanations of the angels?

Anno commented in various interviews after the conclusion of the series that “anime fans need to have more self-respect” and to “come back to reality”; in a Newtype interview on 10 May, after the announcement on 26 April of a new movie and re-edited versions of the TV series, he also stated that “computer networking is graffiti on toilet walls.”

–Fujie 2004 TODO: Fujie is unreliable; I’d rather use the Protoculture Addicts issues

When I heard that EVANGELION was censored (see our article “Evangelion Controversy” on page 45), I was totally outraged. How this could be possible in our modern world? And all this (we speculated) in the name of religious belief? What about free speech? How could a legal system go along with this? Well, maybe it did not and the TV station censored the show itself to avoid offending certain sensibilities. We cannot really know where the truth lies. I was particularly confused when my friend Miyako read me Hideaki Anno’s interview in NEWTYPE of June. He avoided the subject of censorship and skillfully defended his work. His point of view made sense and he made some interesting comments about the Internet fans who excessively criticized the show.

“I think the people who are very much involved with the Net,” Mr. Anno said, “have very narrow views toward life and the world. They’re always in their rooms and don’t go out very often to communicate in person. Because of their information on the Net, they feel they know everything without searching the real truths.” They easily and anonymously say things that they would never say in person. “Their messages are like graffiti in a public toilet.” They attack other while they are staying in a safe place. “They don’t have anything certain to hold on… that’s probably why they watch anime shows. (…) I would like to add and say to those fans, hey, go out and visit towns. I am 35 now and I am realizing the importance of human contact little by little…”

(This interview, published in the June issue of NEWTYPE, was made by Mr. Shinichiro Inoue. He encourages people to send comments and questions to Anno-san by writing to: Mr. Hideaki Anno, Monthly NEWTYPE Magazine, Kadokawa Shoten, Tokyo, 162-77, Japan.)

http://www.protoculture.ca/PA/edito41.htm

The development of Evangelion gives me the feeling of a ‘Live’ concert. Whatever the story or the development of the characters, I made them without a plan. During the production, whether listening to various opinions or analysing my own state of mind, I kept questioning myself. I got the concepts from this personal stocktaking [self-assessment]. At first I had intended to make a simple work featuring robots. But even when the main scene became a high school, it did not differ compared to other productions in the same style. At this point, I did not really think of creating a character with two faces, two identities: one shown at school, and the other inside the organization he belongs to [Nerv]. The impression of ‘Live’ concert that gives me the birth of Eva, was the team joining me in developing it, in the manner of an improvisation: someone plays the guitar and, in response, the drums and bass are added. The performance ended with the TV broadcasting ending. We only started working on the next script once the previous one was done. It took longer than usual. When we finished a screenplay, we went back and checked it against the previous ones. When we said: ‘Ah, I thought so, that’s wrong there’, we made corrections to the storyboard. In fact, with the last episode approaching, we have not even been able to finish on time.

…The reason why the main character is fourteen years is that he is no longer a child but not yet an adult. He lives alone, but is attached to others. In past centuries, he would soon celebrate his coming of age. Back then, life expectancy was fifty years, so people had to grow up in fourteen years. Today, we live more than seventy years, and although the age of majority in Japan is twenty years, most people still depend on their parents at that age.

…Speaking of improvisation, when I added the ‘Human Complementation Project’ that appears in the second episode, and which was going to become the fulcrum/pivot of the plot, I still had no idea about what it was going to ‘complement’. It’s just a verbal bluff [laughs]. In the world of Eva, the human population was cut by half, but as a rule, we can say that the worlds where the population has been decimated are typical of cartoons. I think worlds isolated and torn to shreds, where because of a past disaster humanity has been decimated, are characteristic of Japanese animation.

…whatever the viewpoint, Nerv is a group of amateurs. It looks like an army, but it is not one. I did not want to make a military group. I found it odd that anime magazines readjust the image of Misato in writing that she is a ‘skilled soldier’. I think she is more adept at many other things…Hence when we look at them, her strategies are a little haphazard. Nothing but luck. Honestly, the only person who plans her strategies a little bit is Ritsuko.

…About the problem of the heart, I did not realize it immediately, but part of Japan and America can meet most of their desires, right?…For example, some extremely materialistic people do not bother to consider whether they make themselves disliked by others or not. I think we should live more fundamentally [essentially]. In our current material security, the problem of the heart becomes a very current topic.

…in the course of making Eva, I got where I got for a number of reasons I could never really explain. But as far as the original stories of episodes 25 and 26 (the last ones), I managed to finish episode 25 as far as the script was concerned. Unfortunately, I had to abandon episode 26 while it was still at a very early planning stage. I’m reworking the episodes 25 and 26 that will be sold on LD [LaserDisc] and video next year, but as far as episode 26 goes, that’ll be a complete revision, so that it’ll be more ‘visual’. I’ll do it again by deconstructing the original plan. Episodes 25 and 26 as broadcast on TV accurately reflect my mood at the time. I am very satisfied. I regret nothing.

…At that point, the script for the last episode was not yet complete. It would be the following week. In essence, there remained three days in the schedule. But in the end/as a matter of fact, I didn’t need drawings to represent my vision of things. In truth, I would’ve been just as happy to explain myself by spoken word. I would’ve done it, but alas, it was rejected. Without cels, we made do by using the sketches of the storyboard in their place. It wasn’t a matter of having time to make them or not. In any event, we ended up doing without animation on cel. Cels are symbolic representations. After having drawn Asuka with a marker, as soon as Yuko Miyamura gave it her voice, it was more Asuka than ever. I even came to detest myself for having wasted time on cels at all [until then]. But that doesn’t mean never going through computer-aided drawing. I just wanted to show that, as far as animated drawings as a means of expression went, using sketches could work. I meant a message to those misguided fools who have expressions like: ‘since it is not on celluloid, it is unfinished’ or ‘because it’s not on celluloid, it is slapdash’. To destroy at all costs the kind of ideas that I myself had held. Once you hold the prejudice that you can’t use anything but cels to represent characters, you’ve finally become a fetishist… the first time we showed this was through what the ‘lines’ in episode 16 narrated. A cartoon is composed of simple signs and therefore from the outset, it is a fake world, right? Nothing but an optical illusion. Nobody would imagine that it’s a documentary. Trying to integrate a documentary aspect into the film, that’s my personal feeling of being ‘Live’. I think the deconstruction of these signs is rare in cartoons that are shown on TV. When we aired our line drawings, some people in the industry called our work shoddy, even though it was impossible to consider it such. Disregarding the intent of making that linework into a ‘representation’ [of something] implies that it doesn’t communicate any idea at all, any concept at all. Under these conditions, the last episode wouldn’t be any better than a jumble of slogans [aphorisms/sentences]… Me, I think that, by looking at it methodically, one can find other things in it, too.

…Among the people who use the Internet, many are obtuse. Because they are locked in their rooms, they hang on to that vision which is spreading across the world…On the message boards [Internet] someone can still make a rebuttal, but this remains at the standard of toilet graffiti. One does not need to sign it. It quietly arrives directly at your door. It’s so convenient that careless people use it without remorse, without stopping [for consideration]. Obviously, not all Internet users are not like that…I just want to say ‘come back to real life [réalité] and get to know the world’. For example, when it was decided to redo episodes 25 and 26, the news spread quickly from Gainax’s server across the Internet. If we had not set the tone, completely outlandish rumors would have emerged. But by revealing the information, plenty of incoherent statements like ‘they make it for the money’ were thrown in our faces. I realized my own hypocrisy when I let myself be convinced that, not knowing our financial situation, this kind of talk was only fair. Whatever they say, I do not think you can see other negatives in Evangelion! (Laughter) By not paying attention to childish ideas which they are subjected to, we take the anime-fans for being stupid. They do not leave their [comfortable little] world. They feel safe. They have nothing solid in themselves on which to rely. That’s why I tried to go to the rescue of Japanese animation. I do not say, like [Shuji] Terayama, to ‘throw away your books and flee the city’, but to go to town and meet people. Why can I say that? Well, I noticed what I was missing for me, in my heart. For twenty-one years I have been an anime-fan, and now, thirty-five years old, I notice with sorrow: I’m nothing but an honest fool (laughs).

translation of May/June 1996 interview by myself and others

To update on the EVANGELION controversy, nothing really came out from Anno-san at Anime Expo. He seemed embittered, and quickly lost patience with the fans. “If you don’t understand, it is your problem”, he said! He made many comments in such terms that our reporter on location couldn’t put them on paper. For more details, check our report on Anime Expo in the next issue. Anyway, someone who worked on EVANGELION did confirm that the last episodes (from 19 and on, but mainly 25-26) were censored following pressure from the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association; but no mention of any legal action) and that they had been botched. To be continued.

http://www.protoculture.ca/PA/edito42.htm (Mirror; PA #43 doesn’t mention the PTA…)

Anno interview in June, mentioning draft material of Kaworu episode 24 (see previous section):

ORIGINAL

  1. Evangelion Original I ISBN 4-8291-7321-1 C0076 P980E (episodes #1 - #9)
  2. Evangelion Original II ISBN 4-8291-7322-x C0076 P980E (#10- #18)
  3. Evangelion Original III ISBN 4-8291-7323-8 C0076 P980E (#19- #26)

These 3 books were published 1996-1997; they seem to be nearly-final drafts - they include a number of dialogue changes and occasional deleted scenes. They were used by the Literal Translation Project, but unfortunately LTP seems to have edited their transcription to conform to the final aired anime episodes & omitted all the interesting differences such as the deleted scenes. (This is a pity because some changes are quite interesting, like Rei I surviving.) Parts of ORIGINAL have been translated:

  • Seventh Messenger, episode 1 (? guess from first mention of N^2 being first episode), “In EVANGELION ORIGINAL, the N^2 mine was originally called P-type mine. I wonder why.”
  • Seventh Messenger, episode 1, Misato’s line: “Didn’t even Rei take seven months to sync with the EVA? He’s just arrived. He can’t possibly control it!”
  • Bochan_bird, episode 2, scene variant: SEELE scene discussing the first Angel attack; different from ADV or LTP translation (ORIGINAL version discusses how it was expected and SEELE’s contempt for the rest of humanity; aired version discusses how their preparations may not pay off and the need for NERV to be very careful)
  • Shin-seiki says episode 03, “Hedgehog’s Dilemma: Rain, after running away”, was originally titled “Hedgehog’s Dilemma: The Wandering Third Children” (TODO: was this confirmed in the Platinum commentary?)
  • Bochan_bird, episode 3 & episode 7, changed lines:

    In EVANGELION ORIGINAL I, p. 3-11, Touji said his father and mother worked at the research institute (NERV?), but this was changed in the actual series to his father and uncle [Bochan seems mistaken here - Literal & ADV both say father and grandfather; Proposal only mentions father], thus eliminating his mother. The girl’s line about her mother [episode 7, “My mother is decorating a lot for the discussion of post-graduate life. She’s so silly!”] does not appear in EVANGELION ORIGINAL, so it was added at a later date (during the recording?) and may have slipped through the editing process.

    Seventh Messenger notes this latter line is not mentioned in any footnote either, indicating it was added very late in production.
  • Nanashi, as part of a NGE TV chronology, copies out the dates Episode 4 specified before they were cut from broadcast (possibly contradicting other chronologies like the Rei Ayanami Raising Project calendar):

    • “Day b+2 - Saturday, 7-15-2015
    • Day b+3 - Sunday, 7-16-2015
    • Day b+4 - Monday, 7-17-2015

      • Night in the movie theater.
    • Day b+5 - Tuesday, 7-18-2015

      • Night in Kensuke’s camp.
      • Episode 4 ends."
  • Savant discusses the Chinese version of ORIGINAL I, confirming Reichu’s description of the marginalia and quotes one such comment: “This script portrays Shinji as being more ‘soft’ than in the finished series.”
  • Seven Messenger, episode 12, Misato-Shinji discussion of her father (seems same as TV)
  • CuSO4 confirms that episodes 13 and 14 were mistakenly swapped
  • Seventh Messenger, episode 14, variant synch-ratio line by Ritsuko Akagi. (Seventh Messenger transcribes this as episode 13 with episode 14’s titles but as noted above by CuSO4, ORIGINAL swaps them)
  • Reichu mentions that episode 17 originally mentions an ‘Essene’ organization rather than ‘Seele’, fitting in with the storyboard; Bochan_bird says “…SEELE is the remnant of the Essene branch that wrote the DSS (based on information in EVANGELION ORIGINAL)…” and NAveryW spots of the word Essene in a ‘Project Meeting’ document (a brainstorming session apparently predating the Evangelion Proposal; see Project Meeting.)
  • Seventh Messenger translates a deleted scene in episode 18 where Touji visits his sister in the hospital, a modified scene between Ritsuko & Misato, and a modified scene in episode 3.
  • Seventh Messenger, episode 19, some tech jargon
  • Bochan_bird paraphrases a section in episode 19 where Eva-01 eats the S2 Engine of an angel; in ORIGINAL, Eva-01 attaches the Angel’s arm to itself and then pushes the S2 engine into its own stomach
  • Seventh Messenger provides the Touji-Hikari hospital scene in episode 19, and Yui’s flashback plugtest scene in episode 21
  • Nanashi translates the episode 20 scene notes for Shinji reforming out of LCL
  • Seventh Messenger, episode 21, variant techno-babble line by Naoko Akagi
  • NAveryW (translation by Eric Blair in #evageeks), episode 21, deleted Misato line: “I know the Angels aren’t just battle weapons left by the First Root Race.” Reichu transcribes the kanji and translates them as “I know the Angels aren’t just weapons left behind by the First Indigenous Race.” This is important - it is one of the few solid leads (aside from the Project Meeting and the Proposal) that the First Ancestral Race was not invented for the video games but were part of the backstory early on.
  • Bochan_bird, episode 21, changed scene description; Rei I survives! This is worth quoting in full:

    Dr. Akagi glimpses Yui in Rei’s leering face. She impulsively clutches at Rei’s throat and begins to strangle her. Muffled cries escape from Rei’s throat and Dr. Akagi regains her senses. Rei’s arms dangle limply…The loud ‘thud’ of a falling object is heard. Rei’s breath rasps in her throat as she tries to breathe again. She looks around but Dr. Akagi is nowhere to be seen. Expressionless, she gets up and staggers out of the control center…Exterior view of completed NERV Headquarters (pyramid) with the blood-red NERV logo on its front.

  • Seventh Messenger, episode 21, scene description: “Analysis platform. Nothing remained where the corpse of Dr. [Naoko] Akagi had fallen except a white outline. There was blood on the cover of Gaspar.”
  • Seventh Messenger, episode 21, cut scene: “At the bottom of the page that Bochan quoted, there’s a little footnote that says GAINAX excluded the scene of Rei waking up.”
  • Seventh Messenger excerpts 3 Ritsuko scenes from episode 23: the disposal of Rei’s remains, Ritsuko before the SEELE monoliths, and Ritsuko entering Central Dogma with Misato & Shinji
  • Bochan_bird, episode 24, translation discussion - did Kaworu say “It means I like you” or “It means I love you”?

    The ambiguous word is “suki” which can be interpreted as ‘like’ or ‘love’. I interpret it here is ‘like’ because of the preceding word “koui”, which has probably been mistranslated, thus deepening the misunderstanding. “Koi” (short ‘o’) means ‘love’. “Koui” (long ‘o’) means ‘friendship/affinity/goodwill’. While the long and short ‘o’ are difficult to hear, the kanji in the written script are those for “koui”.

  • Seventh Messenger, episode 24, Kaworu’s order to Unit-02: “Ok, better get going. Come, [clone?] of Adam, slave of Lilith.”
  • Bochan_bird (second translation) translates a cut episode 24 scene fits perfectly in EoE but not EoTV, in which SEELE discusses Kaworu’s death; Reichu translates her copy, Keele’s line in this one runs

    Keel: The Angels who were the Children of Adam have all perished. Only the final Angel - humanity, us - remains. The promised day has come. When Lilith is enwombed with a soul*, this impure world shall be cleansed.

  • Seventh Messenger translates the opening from episode 26; primary difference is “Everyone has lost something. Because of this, the complementation of the heart and soul continues.”, as opposed to “The thing that people lost, in other words, the complementation of the mind has begun.” or “The thing that people had lost / In other words, the instrumentality of souls was still ongoing”.

Director’s Cut (EoTV)

Preview for D&R/EoE, included on the LD releases for the TV, which otherwise was NGE+DC; transcript of voice-over (preview for 25’, on episode 24):

TEXT: Preview

MISATO (OFF): Shinji defeated the final angel,

but unable to deal with reality, he shuts the world out.

And the promised time comes.

The impending annihilation of Nerv.

Asuka is driven to the brink of death.

The Human Instrumentality Project

is about to be activated along with Rei.

Over the heads of the people rebelling against their own reality

and feeding their dreams, the Eva series descends

as if mocking the deception that is about to be uncovered.

Next time: “Air.”

TEXT: Next time

Preview for episode 26’

Text: Preview

Misato (Off): Finally, Shinji Ikari faces the Pandemonium that is reality.

Unable to cope with the trauma, he resigns himself to a fantasy world.

Where there is no pain called ‘reality’.

Where there is no fiction called ‘myself’.

Where there is no fear called ‘other people’.

Where there is no hope called ‘others’.

Where there is no existence called ‘the self’.

Next time, the finale: “My Pure Heart for You”

End of Evangelion

From the Renewal box-set extras, a pre-production image of the scrapped original TV episode 25, showing that the EoE scenario was not an afterthought:

Misato executing JSSDF soldiers

“The Many Worlds of Neon Genesis Evangelion”

The EoE screenplays that we have archived on the site were written after the TV show, in its original form, was completed, and apparently in tandem with the development of the DC additions. (You can see a note making reference to potential TV revisions at the beginning of the 26’ screenplay.)

Reichu

It was more abbreviated than Patrick’s. Also wished they used that last line in the hospital scene that was translated from the Evangelion: THE MOVIE page - “I’m fucked up”

It’s actually - “Ore wa saitei da” (I’m the lowest, with all the irony Shinji’s shift from “boku” to “ore” implies) but yes, that’s probably the best translation.

Zhou Tai An; ‘boku’ is a boy ‘I’ pronoun, while ‘ore’ is stereotypically manly

The cover by Karel Thole of one edition of the obscure & mediocre SF collection, The General Zapped an Angel, bears an extraordinary resemblance to the final scene of EoE; this may constitute another SF reference by Anno in EoE along with the Tiptree allusion.

1996 S

The television broadcasts were finished two months ago. But “Eva fever” has not yet cooled down. As a matter of course, there was also a big reaction to the interview with Anno Hideaki in the June issue of NT (Newtype). It seems like bunches of letters are delivered to the editorial office daily for Director Anno, which he is reading little by little as his busy schedule permits

‘From Newtype, July 7, 1996 issue’ (“Note: this is still a rough translation.”)

However, despite being made as a group operation, there are TV series that are colored almost entirely by the personality of one individual. Hayao Miyazaki’s “Conan, Boy of the Future” is that way, and many of the series where Yoshiyuki Tomino served as chief director are also the same.

“Neon Genesis Evangelion” is also a series that was shaped by the personality of its one creator, Hideaki Anno. The worldview, character creation, creation of Mecha, the gadgets, the division of cuts, and even to the point of each line of dialogue, everything is inscribed with the name of “Hideaki Anno.” For example, the mental landscape of Anno is, of course, reflected in the story, behavior patterns of the characters and the like. Anno’s mood is reflected and his intent is clear even in trivial places like the name of a department store or the brand of can coffee that appears.

“Individuals, Groups, and the System”; from the TV filmbooks by Gainax? (archived)

Those “thoughts” about a piece of work are, for the viewer, a bit of a sophisticated way of enjoying it. After viewing a piece of work, that work is assimilated in the viewer’s head through thinking, “Did that mean this?” and “Is that right?” and will go on to become the building block of thought. Being able to come across works that can be contemplated is an irreplaceable encounter.

However, recently I feel that these encounters are scarce. I wonder if I’m just imagining this?

… Thinking requires effort. When anime is thought of as “entertainment”, I’m not denying that there is also a policy that the audience not be made to use unnecessary effort. Works that are just to been seen and enjoyed. Those are also probably necessary. However, weren’t there too many of those types of works? Among those, “Neon Genesis Evangelion” was clearly a work that could be thought about. While keeping its entertainment value as a piece of work, it also offers enjoyment that the audience thinks about. The Eva Boom that you all know about proves that. Everyone is starving for thinking.

And the story pregnant with riddles concluded, for many of the audience members, still pregnant with those riddles. There were also fans who screamed, “I was betrayed” by that ending. However, this is also certain proof that Eva draws people in.

… In reaching the film’s completion, it might also be interesting to try reading about things like how the drama was put together and corrected and how the implications continued to change.

http://webcitation.org/5mYowkBjV; (archived)

Here’s part of a Neon Genesis Evangelion Wizard Manga Scene article by Carl Gustav Horn(the same guy in charge of the Viz EVA manga translation BTW.) It may give a glimpse into Anno’s personality.

Having gambled and won on ‘Evangelion,’ Anno can afford to dismiss his critics. But this ultimate ‘fanboy,’ who breaks into ‘Ultraman’ poses when in front of the camera, is as hard on himself as he is on his industry and its fans. ‘Evangelion’ was a struggle against four of his own cowardice - a hiatus from work where ‘all I was doing was simply not dying,’ said Anno to the American audience. ‘If I talk about the ’limitations of the industry, after all, what does that mean? Aren’t I really talking about the limitations inside myself? It is the creators who have to change their frame of mind .’Most people who make anime ,Anno said,have the kind of ’autism’ he himself has suffered from. ‘They have to try and reach out with their work, and communicate to others. What’s the greatest thing anime has ever achieved? The fact that we’re holding a dialogue right now. ’When a fan of the master asked for advice to those who’d like to break into anime, he shot back, ’Be interested in other things besides animation.’

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1996-November/000809.html

It’s the words of Anno’s translator at 1996’s Anime Expo.

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1996-November/000812.html

Possible NERV acronym:

The Newtype 100% collection has a sketch of the NERV logo with the words “NEO EARTH RETURN V……?” team. Can’t quite make out the V word.

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1997-October/006688.html

From the Newtype 100% collection book, i can barely make out in one drawing…“Neo Eath of Retarn Vererasion ….” (those of you who have it its on page 168)

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1997-October/006691.html

“I just looked at the book for the spelling, and the full title says”Neo Eath of Retarn Vercerasion team" which probably doesn’t mean a thing. I think the designer was just roughing out the NERV logo and perhaps at the time they were thinking of making an acronym, for an additional double meaning. In its place, they used the quote “God’s in his heaven, all’s right in the world” which (to me, anyway) works better than an acronym."

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1997-November/001208.html

Scan of the relevant NewType 100% page

“Neo Eath Of Retariv Vercerasion Team-Term” –http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-October/022081.html

[first email] I have a couple of friends who work in the Anime industry. They told me about the influence of “Evangelion.”

The most significant issue is that because “Evangelion” series had excessively atrocious and erotic scenes, and GAINAX presented/deliver incomplete products to the TV station, as the result, TV stations began to review the scripts before animated and also they began to order anime producers to present/deliver the products one week before on air. Not only TV-Tokyo*1 but also most of TV stations in Tokyo began these acts.

# TV-Tokyo broadcast “Neon Genesis Evangelion.”

In some sense, the relationships of mutual trust between Anime producers and TV stations were destroyed by “Evangelion,” and consequently, TV stations set up more strict rules for anime production to make it safer.

Due to the before-animated-review by TV-Stations, now that Anime producers have to revise scripts a lot. As the result, some anime productions suffer from the too tight schedule which had been carried out without problems before.

The friends of mine in the Anime industry say, “if GAINAX wished to make an atrocious and erotic Anime or an experimental Anime, it could have make OVA. More over, they must recognize the significant influence to the entire Anime industry by the fact that the coarse manner in the production resulted those two episodes” (They mean the last two episodes).

…[second email] Anyhow, the friend of mine who often tell me the story about the Anime industry are directors of drawings, and scenario writers who do the series construction and main-writing. They are at Toei Doga, Tokyo Movie, or at Sunrise, and are engaged in the TV Anime presently on air.

In order to prove my story, I think I have to show at least one fact. OK. You know the TV Anime series “Famous Detective Conan.” [Case Closed] By the influence from Evangelion, Nippon TV checked the scripts before aired which has never been done before. And the station ordered to retake the script because “The way of the murder is not appropriate.” As the result, the honorable schedule was much disturbed. (I sympathy with those staffs.)

Which part, do you say, has the questionable scenes? I watched each episode, 2,3 times, but I can’t figure out which.

Is that so? Don’t you think it is questionable if a woman’s voice at sex is aired in the TV anime around early evening. If you don’t think so, you have a very different point of view from mine, thus, I don’t want to discuss further.

What does not make sense even more is the part concerning “The incomplete film”. How can TV Stations evaluate the “incompleteness”?

It is hard to evaluate the “incompleteness” quantitatively. However, from the point of view of common sense, don’t you think it is natural to think that the picture-show like( or less than that in some scenes) last two episodes would be regarded as “incomplete.” It is their excuse that the schedule was too tight. GAINAX is responsible of the tight schedule. For the TV station, the delivered film is the only object to evaluated the show’s quality. That is the contract between companies.

I ask you a question. If GAINAX had had enough time for the making (in general it takes about one month to make a 30-minute TV anime show) and had enough manpower, had GAINAX made that kind a film?

–Junichi Toyouchi, posting to the fj.rec.animation Usenet newsgroup; original Usenet posting. Both emails translated by Kentaro Onizuka (also of Literal Translation Project) in rec.arts.anime.misc; the emails are consistent with the Kaibunsho

Toshio Okada

“Conscience of the Otaking”

“This was part one of a four-part interview with the founding president of Gainax, Toshio Okada, conducted at Otakon ’95, and should certainly be read as an alternate viewpoint to many of the events described in “The Notenki Memoirs”. It ran in Animerica 4:2 through 4:5, although Okada only touches on Eva in 4:2. At the time the interview was conducted, Evangelion was in production but had not yet aired, and Okada mentions episode 5 in the context of how Gainax (since he left) has gained more control over its scheduling. He also makes the interesting assertion that he was talking about”the base story of Neon Genesis Evangelion" with Anno back when he was still at the company (he dates his departure to 1992). Hiroyuki Yamaga would later respond to some of Okada’s remarks in Animerica 6:5, but not those related to Eva (I don’t believe Yamaga’s 1997 and 1998 Fanime remarks on Eva ever appeared in Animerica, although I think Miyako Matsuda-Graham may have covered it for Protoculture Addicts)."

Carl Horn

See the full text with PDF & Markdown links; the following are excerpts:

“Conscience” part 1

Okada: Well, then, when the Gainax staff asked me what we should make next, I said we shouldn’t make any more anime for two years. Hiroyuki Yamaga thought that maybe we should do something else. But Hideaki Anno disagreed. As he put it, we already had the staff, so he felt we should keep going with anime projects. So I then decided we should continue. Bu I didn’t really have any feelings from deep inside, and I didn’t really think we should continue in this kind of work if we didn’t have anything inside of us to support it.

O: And so, I guess I’ve otakuized the computer game genre as well as anime, with such games as Denno Gakuen (“Cybernetic High School”) and Battle Skin Panic, and software versions of SILENT MOEBIUS and NADIA. But that was enough for me, and then I had nothing more to do with computer games either. [LAUGHS] By that time, it had been two years since I had been able to decide on anything to do with anime. At that point, Takami Akai told me I should change my job. Because we’re friends - not ‘presidents’, not ‘producers’ - Yamaga is not a ‘director’. In the beginning of Gainax, we were all just friends. So, just like a role-playing game, the idea was that we’d switch jobs. Akai told me, “I’ll be the producer, you can be the creator, and Anno can be the director.” About then, Anno and I started talking about the base story of NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. But Yamaga had another plan. He wanted to make AOKI URU (BLUE URU), part two of HONNEAMISE. I couldn’t understand why it should be made at all. So I said to Yamaga, Okay, this is your plan…I can have nothing to do with it. So he was going to produce it on his own, and Anno was going to direct. But then the plan crashed, due to problems with money and staff. Finally, after all this, I was talking with my wife, and I asked her what she thought of the whole thing and how she felt. And she said, “I think you’re a stupid man, because you’re still president of Gainax, yet you’ve made nothing for two years. It’s not your way.” I was very surprised to hear that. [LAUGHS] And so I decided to leave Gainax.

ANIMERICA: Was this in 1993?

O: 1993…1992, I think. And then later, back in Osaka, I gave my friend Takeshi Sawamura a call, because I’d heard that he was now president of Gainax. And then I heard my friend Yamaga is president of Gainax, Huh? Yamaga? He’s a director! [LAUGHS] I start thinking to myself, he’s not that good at ordering around a staff, or a company. So I asked my friend Yasuhiro Takeda to call me up and explain, and he says, “Uh, I’m not on the main staff of Gainax now.” Huh? What’s happened in my - what used to be my company? And then the main staff explained it to me: “Okay, it’s just that now there are two presidents of Gainax, Mr. Sawamura and Mr. Yamaga. To the press, Yamaga will say, ‘I am president of Gainax’, and to the bankers and financiers, Sawamura will say, ‘I am president of Gainax’.”

A: Why, for the purposes of the media’s view of Gainax, would Yamaga be president?

O: I don’t know, because it’s very hard for me to ask Yamaga. If I asked him, he couldn’t really explain anything to me. [LAUGHS] So I can only wonder about it, but many people have said that Gainax has changed these last three or four years. Three months after I left, many other people left as well: Mahiro Maeda, Mr. Kanda, Mr. Murahama, and Shinji Higuchi - right now Shinji’s the SFX director of the new GAMERA film; he’s a very talented man. In those days, many talented and powerful people left Gainax. It used to be that we worked together, we talked together, we never got enough sleep - it was very hard, but we were like a family. That was Gainax. It was no ordinary company, and no bankers would finance such a company. But things have changed. Princess Maker 1 and 2 made a lot of money for Gainax, and it’s almost an ordinary company now.

A: They’ve got their finances under control?

O: Yes, and they’ve got control of their work. They’ll say, “This month we’ve got to do the DOS/V version of that game, next month, that screen saver, this month’s for Princess Maker 3, and that month of EVANGELION episode 5.” [LAUGHS] They’re very controlled, and I think it’s a good thing for the Gainax staff, because now their creative plans can be under control too. In my day, one year we would make so much money, and - ha, ha, ha - next year, very poor. One month we’d be making films [BERSERKER SCREAM] every, every, every day! But next month we wouldn’t have any work [CRY OF DESPAIR]. That’s the way it was. But now, things are under control. And I really think it’s very good for the staff. But… it’s not my way.

“Conscience” part 2

Okada: He was on the staff of the Daicon III Opening Anime. At first, Hideaki Anno and Takami Akai were the only two people on its main staff–Anno drew the mecha and the special effects, and Akai drew the characters and most of the motion. But then Yamaga appeared, and said he’d do the backgrounds. Then they all went off to Artland to study professional filmmaking, and worked on the original MACROSS TV series. Anno studied mecha design, and Akai had wanted to do characters, but he couldn’t because Haruhiko Mikimoto already had such an advanced technique. So when Akai realized he wouldn’t get the opportunity to do anything on MACROSS, he went back to Osaka. And it was there that Yamaga learned how to direct–his teacher was Noboru Ishiguro [see ANIMERICA, Vol. 3, No. 8, for details on Ishiguro’s legendary career in anime–Ed.], Yamaga designed the storyboards for the opening credits of MACROSS…They went back to Osaka, in 1983, to make the Daicon IV Opening Animation. Of course, those people on the MACROSS staff, who would later become very important people in the industry, were quite angry with them. But, as Anno and Yamaga explained to Ishiguro and Shoji Kawamori, they had to go back to Osaka so they could make amateur films again. [LAUGHS] At first, the plan for Daicon IV Opening Anime was to make a fifteen-minute short in 16mm. I liked the screenplay–no dialogue–but the idea of portraying an original world, well, that was the beginning of what would eventually become THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE. We thought we were strong enough to take on such a project, but Yamaga couldn’t deal with the storyboards, and Anno couldn’t deal with the animation–in the end, it was just impossible. So we quit, and decided to make the five-minute, 8mm film that became the Daicon IV Opening Animation. But when that was done, it was quite natural that Yamaga and I began to talk about the original plan, with the idea of making that film in a professional way. At that time, we were thinking of WINGS as a 30-minute movie.

ANIMERICA: Did you write the screenplay for the next Gainax production, AIM FOR THE TOP! GUNBUSTER?

O: I wrote the base story, then I gave it to Yamaga and told him to write the screenplay. And Yamaga said, “Okay, this is my kind of work! But don’t hope for a good screenplay. I’m going to make a stupid robot-girl anime.” [LAUGHS] I said, like…okay, okay, okay! Then he asked me what I would like. And I told him that I like space best as the setting for everything. We talked for more than three months…I talked, he asked, he talked, and I’d say no…no…no. Then he went back to Niigata, and about a week later he sent me his screenplay–and when I read it, I was laughing all over the place. And I called up Yamaga, and told him “You’re a good screenwriter!” And he said, “No! That screenplay is stupid!” [LAUGHS]

A: So did Yamaga end up writing the screenplay?

O: Yes, but Anno changed everything! [LAUGHS]…To me, GUNBUSTER was a science-fiction film. But to Yamaga, it was a stupid robot-action girl film. [LAUGHS] So he sent the script to Anno. And Anno thought, “Ah! This is a real mecha anime!” And he cut up Yamaga’s screenplay, then asked me, “How do you want to make it?” But everyone else on the staff was telling him, “Make it this way! That way! This way! That way!” Anno was so confused, he gave it to Higuchi and told him, “You can draw the storyboards any way you like!” So, Higuchi drew the storyboards…with no screenplay. Nothing but a theme: science-fiction-stupid-girl-action-robot-mecha! [LAUGHS]

A: Is that why it’s a comedy at the start, and a drama at the end? It’s so different, Part One from Part Six.

O: Part Six was the very first idea I had for the film–and it would be at the very end, I told Yamaga. That last scene, “Welcome Back”–it’s so far from the idea of a stupid-comedy-action-parody-girl-robot-film. At that point, every fan is sobbing–Yamaga was so ashamed of himself! [LAUGHS]

A: Maybe GUNBUSTER was so successful because it had a little something of everything.

O: Yes. Somehow, I thought the ‘chaos strategy’ ended up giving the screenplay a stronger structure. That’s why I think maybe we could have changed WINGS. But that was all ten years ago. [LAUGHS]

A: OTAKU NO VIDEO seems to have a pretty strong structure. It’s chronological, and you more or less wrote it by yourself. Is it true that in OTAKU NO VIDEO, the characters of both Tanaka and Kubo symbolize you?

O: Yeah. They’re two sides of my mind. Sometimes I think just like a Tanaka, and sometimes just like a Kubo. Sometimes I’ve taken people aside and told them, “You must become otaku…otaku…otaku…” But other times it’s been people telling me, “You must see this…see this…see this!”

A: But in comparing, say, OTAKU NO VIDEO’s structure to NADIA, you might say…

O: NADIA was true chaos, good chaos and bad chaos! [LAUGHS] On NADIA, Anno didn’t direct the middle episodes, Shinji Higuchi did. And some episodes were directed in Korea–why, no one knows exactly. [LAUGHS] That’s real chaos, not good! What I mean to say is, controlled chaos–that’s good. Controlled chaos is where you’ve got all the staff in the same room, looking at each other. But on NADIA you had Higuchi saying, “Oh, I’ll surprise Anno”, hide, and change the screenplay! Screenplays and storyboards got changed when people went home, and the next morning, if no one could find the original, I authorized them to go ahead with the changes. No one can be a real director or a real scriptwriter in such a chaos situation. But on GUNBUSTER, that chaos was controlled, because we were all friends, and all working in the same place. But on NADIA, half our staff was Korean, living overseas. We never met them. No control.

A: Was NADIA the first Gainax film to have Korean animators?

O: No, we used Korean animators even on GUNBUSTER. But we had never before used a Korean director or animation director. It was real chaos, just like hell.

“Conscience” part 3

Okada: Japanese movie critics only review live-action movies. The Japanese art scene doesn’t address anime, and its critics have nothing to say about it. And when it comes to the anime magazines, all they ever say is “It’s good, it’s good, it’s good!” That’s all. ANIMAGE, NEWTYPE - they’re all the same. They’re just merchandising magazines. They do have a “Reader’s Voice Corner”, where people write in their opinions. Some readers liked WINGS, but in those days PROJECT A-KO was what most anime fans thought of as good, and such money-making anime was the type that was promoted in the industry, which put WINGS in a very difficult place. Some people said “It’s very good!” But almost all said, “I can’t understand it.” And I can’t…I can’t understand why they can’t understand. It is a very simple film. Maybe it’s difficult for them.

ANIMERICA: Probably the one thing people discuss most about the movie in America is the attempted rape scene - what does it mean, why did he do it…there are all kinds of theories. I think it’s because it’s so very shocking, so sudden.

O: That scene wasn’t good technique. When I said the screenplay was weak, I was referring to such things. If WINGS had a stronger structure, the audience could always follow Shiro’s mind, his heart, his feelings. But sometimes the film is undercut by a weak screenplay, and the audience ends up saying, “Oh, why, why, why? I can’t understand Shiro - and of course, Leiqunni [LAUGHS] - what am I missing?” I think the audience gets confused at three points in the film: the first scene, which is Shiro’s opening monologue, the rape scene, and the prayer from space. Why? The film needed a stronger structure. A little more. A few changes, and the audience would be able to follow Shiro’s thoughts. But right now, they miss it, and that’s a weakness. It’s true that there will be 10 or 20% of the audience who can follow it as it is, and say, “Oh, it’s a great film! I can understand everything!” But 80% of the audience is thinking, “I lost Shiro’s thoughts two or three times, or maybe four or five.” Those are the kind of people who will say, “The art is great, and the animation is very good, but the story - mmmm…”

A: Well, as an ‘art’ film, if you compare WINGS to, say, the animated version of Miyazaki’s NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF WIND - which compresses a very long manga into a movie, and an ending where the protagonist becomes a messiah…I understand Yamaga has said specifically that he did not want an ending like that - that he did not want Shiro to become some kind of higher being. He would still be a human being. Even though he’d gone into space, he’d be the same person.

O: I know that we wanted to make it a very realistic film, so Shiro’s speech from orbit never hurt anyone, and he came back from space to the planet, lived a long time, and died as an ordinary person. That was his only story. The film was Gainax’s call to the world, of how we would be. The story of the anime is explaining why we are making anime in the first place. The lift-off of the rocket was only a preview of our future, when we were saying to ourselves, “Oh, we will do something!” But those feelings are mostly gone, just like memories, just like the person you were when you were young. It has almost gone away. But there is still the real thing, the film we made, that tells our story.

A: Yamaga has said (in AILE DE HONNEAMISE) that he was in a coffee shop in August of 1984 and heard someone ordering “Royal Milk Tea”, and the title “Royal Space Force” just clicked for him.

O: Even Gainax’s staff can get confused about this story. There’s also a woman at Gainax who says it was she who got the idea for the title, and I think I found the concept. And Yamaga says it was he. No one knows what’s the real story. In the end, we all just thought about the title “Oh, that’s it! That’s it.” So, no problem. But interviewers always think, the director’s the director. They never realize that at Daicon Film, or Gainax, there is no director, and no producer, and no animators, and no accountants19. Everyone did those jobs, in the good old days of Gainax. So, what Yamaga says, the media likes to think these things are the facts, and so ‘history’ is made. But, in truth - no one knows, because WINGS was made in that kind of chaos.

A: But - even though you are, as you say, ‘amateurs’, you still made WINGS. There are many anime films which you can see once or twice, and you’ll never get anything more out of it. But WINGS you can see again and again, and notice more details - not just in the artwork, but in the political, the social, the economic - you find more and more layers.

O: Yeah. Well, actually, there’s another reason for the design complexity. Take, for example, Hayao Miyazaki’s films. They’re very simple to understand, yet very interesting and very good. That’s because Miyazaki is a strong controller. One man does all the storyboard, the screenplay, directs the animation - he maintains control over everything. But in WINGS, or even GUNBUSTER, we didn’t have that kind of control, because neither Yamaga nor Anno are that kind of strong director, as Miyazaki is. On a Gainax anime project, everyone has to be a director. Therefore, everyone’s feelings and everyone’s knowledge are going into it, creating all that detail. That’s the good side of how Gainax’s films are different from others. But we have no strong director, and that’s the weak side.

“Conscience” part 4
  • “The Conscience of the Otaking: The Studio Gainax Saga in Four Parts: Part Four”. Animerica 4:5, pg 8-9, 24-27

ANIMERICA: Where did “Honneamise” come from? I’ve always wondered why they chose something that sounds French.

O: Yes, it’s French, but it doesn’t mean anything. [LAUGHS] When they ordered us to come up with another title, all we could think was that we were going to make an utterly meaningless title, “Honneamise”–meaning nothing.

A: Well, wasn’t the name of Shiro’s kingdom, “Honneamano”?

O: Yes, but we came up with that after the new anime. –“Oh, THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE…? What is Honneamise? Ah! Oh yes, it’s the country’s name!” [LAUGHS]

A: You just liked the sound of “Honneamise”?

O: It wasn’t that it sounded right to us, but that it was a meaningless sound–so, we liked it. [LAUGHS]

A: I like the little legend that was made up about “Honneamise”, to explain it–about a bird who one day tried to fly to heaven and was turned by God into a fish for his temerity.

O: Yeah. Mr. Yamaga was drinking some whiskey, and thinking, “Oh, yes,–the meaning!” The publicity people had told him that his new title had to have some kind of story behind it. He said to them, “Oh, yes–but–but–I’ll have to have some drinks before I can come up with one!” [LAUGHS] And they said “Ohhhhhkay!” That’s all.

A: So you chose that meaningless title because you didn’t want to call it anything else in the first place?

O: Yes. On the LD box set, it’s finally called THE ROYAL SPACE FORCE.

O: Back during the 1987 premiere, Yamaga and I were talking about the next story of WINGS. It would be that world, a hundred years later. A spaceship from the world of WINGS then journeys to our present-day Earth, from their homeworld, four light-years from us.

A: Wow! Interesting! So they’d be ahead of us technologically. Four light-years…so the world of WINGS is around Alpha Centauri?

O: Yeah. Four light-years away.

A: But you never pursued that idea seriously?

O: Well, no one asked me. [LAUGHS] But when we’d finished WINGS, and were at the “premiere” in L.A., Yamaga and I were always talking about what the next stage of the story would be, one-hundred years after the original. On Earth, it would be either the present day, or the near-future.

A: You could set it in the GUNBUSTER universe and really screw up the timeline. [LAUGHS] Is it true, by the way, that GUNBUSTER is the future of NADIA?

O: No, not really. The similarities are because Anno was trying to get an idea… “Ohhhhh…I’m not getting anything…” [LAUGHS] “I need a name for a spaceship…how about…something from…GUNBUSTER!” [LAUGHS] “How about Eltreum or Exelion?”

A: Occasionally, I’ve asked Gainax’s translator [Michael House?] to ask Yamaga questions for me about WINGS, and Yamaga has responded, “You know, I don’t remember–it was ten years ago.”

O: That’s probably the truth. I almost forget myself, because we saw the film two or three hundred times, and had so many different ideas about it. So you forget.

“Return of the Otaking”

OKADA: I had a lot of fun making GUNBUSTER, but I didn’t have that burning sensation when I made OTAKU NO VIDEO. It was something that I lightly made. I made it that way because I thought the people who watched it were like the people in the live-action portion–not the people who made it. 1983 was the turning point for myself and my friends. Basically what I wanted to do was set the stage for 1983 because that was when everything was changing; I wanted to show people what it was like during that period back in 1983, how we lived, basically, what our life was as otaku.

PANEL: I’d like one more question, and then I’m going to open it up to everybody: There are many themes…I go back to OTAKU NO VIDEO–you talk a lot about, and it seems like you predicted in that film, a lot of the commercialization and product management that is now very, very common in the animation industry. Do you feel more strongly now about the way things have to be processed, and managed, and shoved out the door–you see all around you the selling of creativity?

OKADA: That world we made in OTAKU NO VIDEO, it was not a prediction: it was an otaku’s dream. Maybe we can be more major, or a bigger group, or maybe we can make our own theme parks! But in these days, I can’t believe all of the things that are happening–our otaku’s dreams are beginning to become a reality in the United States. I am very surprised, and very glad.

“Return of the Otaking”, part 2; Anime America 1996 panel

[OKADA:] Mr. Miyazaki’s new movie, MONONOKE-HIME, is going to be using 80 cuts of computer graphics in it. If there were more opportunity, time, or availability, he would have wanted to use 120 cuts in it. So Mr. Miyazaki is also one of the people starting to use computer graphics, too. And, also, Mr. Miyazaki says, “If we’d had a computer system when we made LAPUTA, there’s half of it I’d like to remake.” So there’s great possibilities with computer graphics. And Mr. Anno has said, in remaking the last two episodes of EVANGELION, he’s going to Studio Ghibli to study Mr. Miyazaki’s system. And that studio has a big system for computer-graphics images. I’ve heard they’ve got five, or seven, Silicon Graphics workstations. What Anno wants to make is a “snow world”– the Eva units fighting the enemy amidst a world of snow, on a snow- covered mountain. But it’s very difficult to portray snow falling and piling, and the robots walking through the snow–it’s very difficult to draw by the human hand. Mr. Anno wants to make a masterful scene of a battle amongst the snow.20

…AUDIENCE: Many Americans believe the line Kubo [OTAKU NO VIDEO] has concerning wanting to become the tyrannical king to be a reference to Nostradamus. We were wondering if it really is, and if Gainax was into other forms of Western occultism, like Masonry, or the Knights of Malta.

OKADA: No, no! (waves dismissively at audience).

PANEL: [TO AUDIENCE MEMBER] You’re a bad boy!

OKADA: The setting of 1983 is still the primary focus of OTAKU NO VIDEO, and the characters in that video during the time had seen the movie, NOSTRADAMUS: THE MAN WHO SAW THE FUTURE [narrated by Orson Welles-ed.]. Anyway, what it was, is that, their idea–that vision was so strong in their minds that they presented that story. And what I wanted to do was for people to see it, and make that, and say, “Oh, there are still people like this!” or, “Yes, that was the way it was back then.”

“Return of the Otaking”, part 4

AUDIENCE: Many Japanese intellectuals are Christians. Similarly, the characters in OTAKU NO VIDEO were clearly outcasts. Do you believe that liminality is necessary for creativity? [sotto voce] Try and translate that one, pal…O.K….Do you feel it is easier for social outcasts to be creative, to invent original ideas?

OKADA: That’s right. Basically, creativity will not come out of happy lives, but from people who become outcasts. There is no reason for you to become purposely unhappy. ’Cause everybody who watches anime is happy–the people who watch it who are not happy, are the people who make it [LAUGHS]. It’s not too good of a thing to make anime. I think a peaceful life is to take anime merchandise cheap from Japan, and then sell it expensively over here and/or work at Viz and make some weird American anime magazine. Very happy! [LAUGHS]

“Return of the Otaking”, part 5

OKADA: In THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE’s story, that planet is six light years from our Earth. So, I told Mr. Yamaga, we should make a continuation story where their spaceship, not interplanetary, but interstellar, arrives here 100 years after the time of HONNEAMISE. So, they come to our Earth, and make contact with Earth. So, it is a continuity of that story. But it is very difficult to make. The plot I want to have, if I am to make a continuation of THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE, is to have the story of them making their own interstellar ship, And that ship will arrive in our solar system right about the time Earth is able to colonize Mars. Not a warp drive, but an acceleration ship.

…OKADA: Yes. It would take 30 or 40 years. And then I’d try to show the conflict between the two cultures, the two planets. I would be really enthusiastic were I able to make a war between the two planets.

“Return of the Otaking”, part 6; this may be connected to the weird cut EoE scenes (see my argument)

…[OKADA:] The difference I see is that it’s becoming merchandise-based. And if they see something wrong with it, they don’t have this burning sensation inside of them to basically say, “Well, if I made it like this–” For example, if you watch RANMA 1/2, and say, “Well, there’s something wrong here, but if I made it like this, it’s going to be like this…” But I don’t see that burning sensation as much in the United States or Japan as I did back in 1983 or 1985. What I first started learning in my high school years, when I saw STAR BLAZERS, UCHU SENKAN YAMATO, it was like, “If I had made it like this, it would have been like this.” So there’s not too much of that anymore, so I guess it’s like, “Oh, well, then, I guess everybody’s happy–that’s fine, then.”

…OKADA: Right now, he’s an executive at Bandai Visual. And he still has a religion: he believes in Mamoru Oshii, just like Jesus Christ [PRAYS TO HEAVEN]. In those days, in 1983 or 1984, he asked of everything to Mr. Oshii: “Is it good, or is it bad?” And if Mr. Oshii said, “Oh, it’s good!,” so Mr. Watanabe would think, “Oh, it’s good, it’s good, I must make it, I must make it!” And then I told Mr. Watanabe, “I want to make this film, THE WINGS OF HONNEAMISE,” and he thinks, “I think it’s a good idea, but I can’t decide if it’s really good. So–just a moment, I must go to Mr. Oshii’s house” [RUNS IN PLACE; LAUGHS]. And Mr. Oshii says, “Oh– it’s interesting!” So, he thought, “It’s good, it’s good, it’s good!” [LAUGHS] And it’s a very powerful motivation for him, inside. So, he works very hard, and gets a very large budget for our film from the president of Bandai. So Mr. Oshii, he is a very good person for me, or for Studio Gainax, but…but…it is very strange to say, “Maybe it is good, but maybe it is not so good.” It was a religion. But just now, Mr. Watanabe, he’s come out of his brainwashing. So, he sometimes says: “Maybe…maybe, maybe, Mr. Oshii is sometimes wrong.” [LAUGHS]

“Return of the Otaking”, part 7

OKADA: Not so. It’s almost the same, from what I said to you at Otakon. You must remember that EVANGELION is produced at Tatsunoko, so the schedule is out of the control of Gainax–it’s the responsibility of Tatsunoko. Tatsunoko almost rules, when it comes to control. So, I think, the responsibility was not with Gainax. People say, “It’s the responsibility of Mr. Anno,” but they’re wrong. Control over schedule is the responsibility of the producer. But Tatsunoko and T.V. Tokyo couldn’t handle it. It was out of Gainax’s control.

AUDIENCE: I talked to a person from Tatsunoko. He said he does not blame Mr. Anno, but he blames other people at Gainax, who might be telling Anno about his schedule, and–

OKADA: Oh! I think producers always say that. But I talked with Mr. Anno about this a month ago, and then he said, “I’m almost the producer of EVANGELION, but I must be so, because Tatsunoko did not do anything for EVANGELION.” See, he is very disappointed with Tatsunoko, and some rumors have said that Tatsunoko lost the film, or cels before they were shot.21

AUDIENCE: Wow!

OKADA: And I asked Mr. Anno, “Is it the truth?” And he says, in a dark voice, “Yes.”

AUDIENCE: Oh, wow.

OKADA: But that was in the middle of the episodes. That wasn’t the trouble with the last two episodes, the confusion. It was just Mr. Anno’s teleplay. He said to me, “I can make a schedule on my own.” At that time, I heard from Mr. Anno about his new plans, so maybe you want to–?

AUDIENCE: Of course.

OKADA: After EVANGELION, his next plan is to make a STAR TREK. Not that STAR TREK–a sort of anime like STAR TREK, a crew in a spaceship, who go to every planet, and each planet has its own culture. For example, one planet will have a very democratic culture, and everyone will approve, so they’ll board, or they say, “no,” and they talk with the crew about everything. And the spaceship crew will sometimes fall in love in some way on the planet, or something will happen–maybe some robots fight [LAUGHS]. He wants to make that film, because Mr. Anno thinks it will be a very good experience for the Japanese animation world. But the sponsor says, “It’s not so good.” because, in Japan these days…of course, you know, several years ago, it was the toy makers, like Bandai, who had a very strong control over the production of anime, and what they would want would be something like, “We need three new robots in this film,” and so the anime was made with the three new robots. But right now, it’s the record companies, like King, Polydor, or Sony Music Entertainment, who have very strong control over the production of anime. And what they want, is, “O.K., we’ve got two new idol singers, and we want to promote them.” And so the anime is made with two new characters. [A dig at the Macross franchise?]

“Return of the Otaking”; the lost cel anecdote is interesting as cel-collector Mike Toole claims that “A lot of Evangelion cels were stolen.” Was there corporate conflict? Bochan_bird says Bandai/Sega (major Eva sponsor per Notenki Memoirs) made the limited machine/hand-painted reproductions which the real cels would have competed with. Carl Horn points to Okada’s mention of Tatsunoko as a cel source, and discusses prices/descriptions of legitimate cels auctioned on Mandarake22. Bochan_bird then claimed it was an ‘inside job’ - Tatsunoko deliberately sold off the cels and most of them are still in dealer stockpiles. Bochan_bird also mentions sitting in on high-stakes back-room cel deals, which certainly would fit selling batches of stolen Eva cels… There was only one contest for legitimate real cels. And in the 2.0 CRC, Tsurumaki drops a bombshell: “As far as the seventh Angel is concerned, the truth is that the original reason [for the change in design] was that the genga for that episode had been entirely lost, and we couldn’t use the ‘BANK’. If the genga had remained, even if the key animation director decided to redo them, episode eight would probably have remained [in the film] in its entirety. [We thought,] if we can’t make use of the genga, let’s completely change Asuka’s introductory scene.” They lost the genga for an entire episode of one of the most popular anime of all time, the episode whose cels any Asuka fan would covet most‽ The STAR TREK plan is a little odd; may be a version of the scrapped Olympia project (see the Olympia - the phantom project” chapter in The Notenki Memoirs).

OKADA: Right now, I think there’s more than fifty people who work at Gainax. Most of these people work on making computer games, and half of them work on making CD-ROMs, such as the CD-ROM featuring Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s artwork. And there’s maybe only two or three people who work on anime. The anime part of Gainax, I think, is Mr. Anno and Mr. Suzuki, and one other person. So, the animation department is very, very small. Most of the people in Gainax just now work on artwork CD-ROMs. When they make anime, they must join forces with another studio. It’s a bad case of a company that’s grown larger and larger–they have to make a lot of money every year, every month, so they have to make and sell a lot of CD-ROMs, because animation loses money. The case of EVANGELION, where they’re actually making money, is something of a miracle, in the opinion of Gainax executives such as Hiroyuki Yamaga and Mr. Sadamoto, and not something they can expect as normal. They want to keep on making anime, but since it’s unprofitable, they must make more CD-ROMs and computer games to balance things out. And so the computer game department gets larger and larger, and the animation department gets smaller and smaller. It’s not good.

“Return of the Otaking”, part 9

OKADA: I think the style, or mood, of EVANGELION, is not so far, not so different, from the serious side of GUNBUSTER or NADIA. The biggest difference would have been in the style of planning the last episode. My style is to always plan the ending first, as I did with GUNBUSTER–everything then follows from that. In NADIA, Mr. Anno couldn’t decide on the ending–it wasn’t fixed until only three months before the final episode was shown. [Compare Okada’s comments about Anno & deciding NGE’s ending!] So subsequently, I was confused about NADIA, and there was a lack of control over the various episodes. EVANGELION is a very great series–I think it’s one of the top anime ever made. But–the last scenes were never fixed. When I talked to Mr. Anno a month ago, he said he couldn’t decide the ending until the time came. That’s his style. So, if I had made EVANGELION with him, I couldn’t do such a thing. I’d think I’d have to fix the ending, what would happen with every character. Then, everything would follow: the first episode, the second episode…If I wanted to show a boy’s coming-of-age story, a bildungsroman, the last scene would show the grown-up man; the first scene, a boy who hates everything about the adult world. That would be the structure; I’m very careful about a regular construction. But Mr. Anno’s style on EVANGELION was not so. He wants to put it together episode-by-episode. It’s just like the style of a manga. In your typical manga, the artist doesn’t have any picture of the last scene, or the last episode. They just think of building up on past episodes. And finally, the manga artist, and his assistants, and editor…[BURIES HEAD IN HANDS], they work out an idea about the last sequence. If it’s a good idea, the whole episode is very good. If they can’t make a good idea, the whole episode is not so good. It’s an unhappy story. And I think that’s what happened with the last two episodes of EVANGELION. Mr. Anno and his staff couldn’t make a good idea for it. He told an anime magazine in Japan that he couldn’t make what he wanted because of schedule or budget. But that’s not correct. I talked with Mr. Yamaga and Mr. Anno. They said, “It’s not only a problem of schedule or budget. It’s a problem of what the ending is going to be.” Mr. Anno couldn’t decide. Mr. Anno’s and my own style of production are very different.

… Because many anime and seiyuu magazines are asking Mr. Anno that question, and every time his answer changes. It’s “confused, confuse-er, confuse-est.” He’s not happy right now. Maybe you know that back in January, or February, he shaved his head23. It’s a Japanese gesture of contrition. People said, “Oh, he’s feeling a lot of responsibility towards the producer, or T.V. Tokyo, or the sponsor.” Not so. He felt a very strong responsibility about his stuff. “Sorry, I can’t do it!” So he shaved his head. This summer, he hates anime fans. I think he’ll feel happier by autumn.

“Return of the Otaking”, part 10; NAveryW highlights how Okada’s account of Yamaga & Anno still not knowing what the ending was directly contradicts Yamaga’s later 2010 statements, and Anno knowingly lying to the public with different answers.

This reminds me of Takeshi Honda at Katsucon many years back. He said that Anno constantly changed things. He changed many of the later episodes at the last minute, and that was so frustrating for him that he did not speak to Anno until after The End of Evangelion was completed….Indeed, Takeshi Honda gave me the impression that towards the end, Anno was rewriting the episodes the day before they were scheduled to sit down and start doing the key animation.

Aaron Clark after reading above thread; part 2

OKADA: Yeah, maybe that’s right. Right now, many anime fans in Japan are fighting each other over whether that ending was good or bad. Some say, “Anno must feel no obligation towards the fans–he must make something true to himself.” Many fans are fighting over this. Your question has come up in these debates. In my personal opinion, if he wanted to make such a statement, to say, “this is just fiction, and you should go back to the real world,” he could do it a better way. If that’s what he wanted to say, it’s not necessary to make an anime to do it. But he’s still an animator, and he wants to make another anime series. So his true mind does not say, “it’s only animation, and I should go back to the real world.” So I think Mr. Anno’s confused just now.

…My style is to look for a good idea, or a good scene, in the midst of a not-so-good manga. If I make it into an anime, maybe it can be better than it was. I heard that Mr. Miyazaki thinks the same way. In FUTURE BOY CONAN, he took the basic novel THE INCREDIBLE TIDE, by Alexander Key–not a very good story, in Mr. Miyazaki’s view. But he said, “I can take that story, and make a good anime out of it.” He has the power to turn a not-so-good story into a good anime. I think he’s a not-so-good person–just like me.

“Return of the Otaking”

In 1970, in Japan, the world Expo was held in Osaka. The theme was human progress. I was only an eleven year-old boy back then, and I thought, science can do everything, and make everything better. Man has gone to the Moon, and he’ll go to Mars, and Pluto, and to other solar systems. Everything can happen, and everyone will be happy. And I thought the United States could do anything; everyone there is happy. We Japanese will follow them. So we believed then. Of course I can’t say that now, in these confused times, but the 1970 Osaka Expo had a tremendous influence on me then, as a young man–that humanity shall progress towards everything, and progress is good. I don’t think so, right now…but deep in my mind, there’s still a little voice saying, “Human progress is very good! Trust the United States!” [LAUGHS]

“Return of the Otaking”

1996 T

  • 1996-animerica-avengingangeladvann.pdf
  • 1996-animerica-ngedescchardesign.pdf
  • 1996-pa41-editorial.txt
  • 1996-pa41-feature-controversy.txt
  • 1996-pa41-feature-manga.txt
  • 1996-pa41-feature-mechafiles.txt
  • 1996-pa41-feature-products.txt
  • 1996-pa41-feature-review.txt
  • 1996-pa41-feature.txt

If you’re a diehard EVA fan you might want to buy this month’s issue of Animerica,Anime and Manga Monthly(Volume 5 Number 11).

… There’s also a page long AV Interface article on the four-disc Girlfriend of Steel CD-Rom game set ,an AnimExpress column for Genesis 0:8:Lies and Silence,and an End of Evangelion CD Compact View review.This issue also has that hilarious Planet Anime ad with the faces of Asuka,Shinji,and Rei superimposed on real life models.You’ve gotta see it to believe it.^_^Oh,and there’s an ad from Rising Sun Creations for a Tsukuda Hobby life size(approximately 3 foot tall) pre-painted Pen-Pen model with stand! http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1996-December/005205.html

Let us study in detail one by one and try to piece together the personal relationships these frightened adults and children are fated to fence each other into. Let us also study how these small, ordinary relationships grow to be the power that changes the world.

… It would seem that all is clear between Shinji and Asuka. The situation with them has changed so they can express their feelings and, so to speak, become as close as childhood friends.

Asuka yells “Hot!”, splashing the morning bath water, rages over forgetting her lunch box, and openly states her feeling, like an incantation, of being frustrated with wanting Shinji as her partner; from these facts we may infer that her feelings for him as a man are less than they appear to be.

Shinji appears to be henpecked by Asuka. However, since he got very flustered when she slipped into his futon one night, and since he couldn’t look straight at her figure in a sexy bathing suit, we may read between the lines that Shinji has feelings for her as a woman. Before the split between Asuka and Shinji, when their friendship was turning into passion, possibilities for Shinji seemed good.

… TOUJI & KENSUKE & HIKARI

Where do broken dreams and wishes go?

… However, Touji was selected as the fourth candidate, and when EVA device #1 attacked Touji’s EVA device #3, this relationship was broken. Kensuke’s dream of being an EVA pilot was also broken, and Hikari’s feelings for Touji too…

The ‘promise’ of a personal relationship was seldom made in “Evangelion” and it made a touching picture that Hikari, an honor student and class president, was charmed by Touji, who had a bit of an image as a delinquent. Hikari was portrayed as a girl who was wishing, “I’m not yet able to confess my feelings, but I want to transmit them somehow,” and Touji, either knowing or not knowing about her feelings, promised to eat the leftovers of her box lunch. Touji, Hikari, and Kensuke; from here on we will not be able to take our eyes off of them.

GENDOU & REI, MISATO & SHINJI

… Concerning actual blood relatives introduced in this story, the only pair is the protagonist, Ikari Shinji, who meets with his father, NERV Commander Gendo. However, one very rarely sees “family feelings” between these two. Rather, we can observe more cases where unrelated companions form family-like ties.

… That Katsuragi Misato lets Shinji live in her apartment is also not merely from sympathy. If Rei and Gendo have exchanged smiles with the same mutual warmth, as peacefully as in a “husband and wife” relationship, Misato and Shinji have something spiritually like an “older sister/younger brother” relationship.

Shinji appears to be afraid of contact with others, and Misato can identify with this, since she continues to be troubled by the loss of her father in the Second Impact. Misato surely has experienced Shinji’s feelings of hesitation and pain. Therefore, she blames herself for not giving his feelings enough support at this important stage.

Having just come through such a path herself, Misato is capable of throwing Shinji off without hesitation when his heart is in torment. Misato is shown in this story to be the one with the greatest understanding of Shinji, the one who wants to be his guiding hand. Also, Shinji is the one who truly understands her pain.

‘From Newtype, March 3 1996 p.4, cover story: Stray Children.’

There’s a peculiar thing Shinji does with his Super - DAT Walkman as early as the second episode of EVANGELION: he keeps switching back and forth between tracks 25 and 26 - the numbers of the final two episodes - and when those two episodes arrived, they were undoubtedly the most controversial hour of anime television in recent memory. The uproar over #25, " Do You Love Me? " and #26, " Take Care of Yourself, " was somewhat reminiscent of that over the final two episodes of the British 1960s TV classic THE PRISONER - a series which EVA had already made reference to in episode 4, when Shinji resigns temporarily from NERV. Like the conclusion of THE PRISONER, EVA’s ending had a jerking, interrogative style, and seemed to suggest the show was about something else than what it appeared to be at the beginning - and even that the show’s legions of fans should re - examine their motives for liking EVA in the first place. Complaints were so numerous over the conclusion that even many Japanese who didn’t follow anime heard about the situation, and that this Gainax was a bunch of " bad boys. "

http://web.archive.org/web/20010304203436/j-pop.com/anime/archive/feature/03_evangelion/end1.html

No sooner did EVA have its controversial TV ending that Gainax announced it would produce two more endings by the spring and summer of 1997: for the video and LD release, it would entirely remake the last two episodes, releasing them as a fourteenth two - episode volume after the first thirteen (as well as remake for the ongoing video release selected scenes in the latter part of the series it was dissatisfied with). There will be a two - part theatrical release to accompany it; one movie will be a compressed " digest " of the series’ plot - the other will be the two new episodes. In addition to this, there will be an EVA theatrical movie with an entirely original plot and a third ending. Anno indicated at the Expo that these " additional " two endings would in fact really be the same ending as the final TV episode, but from different viewpoints.

… Indeed, there seems to be evidence that Anno’s dissatisfaction with the original conclusion was more with its often minimalist (if interestingly - handled) visuals, a result of running out of time and budget, than its writing per se: Toshio Okada, in last issue’s “Return of the Otaking”, [LINK HERE - SUNDAY MORNING SECTION] spoke of Anno’s ambitious plans for a CG-enhanced battle sequence in the remake. Okada also pointed out that Anno has tended to give different rationales concerning the remake, and of late Gainax’s own publicity has rather coyly spoken of fan interest being the cause.

http://web.archive.org/web/20010305211004/j-pop.com/anime/archive/feature/03_evangelion/end2.html

1997

1997 P

  • 1997-annotalkstokidspart1of2.wmv
  • 1997-annotalkstokidspart2of2.wmv
  • 1997-yamaguchi-2015thelastyearofryojikaji.txt
  • Compared with your [other] works thus far, Eva was a work where your own thoughts were strongly projected onto it.

Anno: I think that, seen from the perspective of those who value suppressing one’s self and depicting other people, there is nothing more foolish than what I have done. But, we who have lived in the midst of a vague feeling of “blockage” for ten, twenty, or thirty years, can do nothing but call attention to ourselves. I think we are a lonely generation who can do nothing but get others to recognize [our?] individual existences, being unable to recognize our own existences.

September 1997 Newtype; snippet translated by Numbers-kun

The reality within the fiction
The hope within the “blockage”
In short, the dream
All I was doing was searching
For something with the same feeling.

–Anno’s Love & Pop postscript; snippet translated by Numbers-kun

As a matter of fact, Anno is a student of Leni Riefenstahl, and parodied her Triumph of the Will in the Nadia omake. In the spring 1997 issue of Tokion he said regarding the dangerous potential of art: “Nazi Germany was a perfect example. Those guys were making great movies! Even the anti-Nazi propaganda films Disney produced, portrayed Nazis as being fashionable” (He also said of Evangelion in that same interview, “I’m obviously not from a Christian upbringing, so they will have to excuse me for borrowing certain Christian words and images.” He didn’t say, “They will have to ignore my borrowing them, because they have no meaning whatsoever within the story”).

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2009-December/005598.html

There’s also both Genesis 0:0 features (0:0 - IN THE BEGINNING and 0:0’ - THE LIGHT FROM THE DARKNESS) which are recap and making of pieces, neither very interesting although the first has very brief interviews with Sadamoto Yoshiyuki and Anno Hideaki. There’s also a series of brief questions asked of the voices of the three main female characters, Mitsuishi Kotono (Misato), Miyamura Yuko (Asuka), and Hayashibara Megumi (Rei). Also included is a separate collection of short TV spots for the End of Evangelion movie I’d never seen before which were QUITE interesting, I’ll put it that way.

http://www.mania.com/neon-genesis-evangelion-renewal-evangelion-dvdbox_article_75523.html; TODO find out what this was about; tentative assignment of Genesis 0:0 to ’96 or ’97

…in an interview, director Anno indicated that Misato’s character design is modeled after Tsukino Usagi. The hair style (sans odango), especially the front, is almost an exact duplication of Usagi. He has even used the words “Misato is Usagi in her 29th years” (I am not quoting the words here, as I forgot the exact wording).

Ref: Shinseiki Evangelion Kanzen Kouryaku Tokuhon, by Shinseiki Fukuin Kyoukai, ISBN4-380-97219-4

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1997-November/002387.html

The part about Misato being inspired by Usagi was mentioned by Sadamoto in the bonus disc of the Renewal as well but only in the regards of her hairs; in that interview he also said that he was inspired by Fujiko Mine from Lupin, he liked the fact that at the same time she seems to be in her 20s and in her 30s.

HyperShinchan

In the notes accompanying LD 0:2, it was stated that during the storyboard stage of episode 4, a staff asked Anno what Misato is like, and Anno replied that Misato is just like Tsukino Misato. [error; should be ‘Tsukino Usagi’]

Anno is a Sailor Moon fans, and he had participated in drawing some cells in episode 46. [see also: “I recall reading one time that Anno himself worked some on Sailor Moon, animated the Outer Senshi’s transformation scenes, but I don’t know if that is really true or not.” http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1999-January/024692.html]

In the special EVA video dated before the TV series, Sadamoto stated that Misato’s front bangs was modeled after Sailor Moon.

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1999-January/024719.html

Some other interesting tidbit that Yamashita Ikuto put together:

Evangelion was first proposed as a project by Mr. Anno on Sept. 20 1993.

Almost 5 years ago.

The unique look and feel of Tokyo-03 was strongly influenced by the fact that in 1994 GAiNAX relocated their office to the city of Mitaka (3 Eagles) which gave them a new environment to visualized the the world of Evangelion. “Eva LD Movie Box Set”

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-December/023860.html

I’ve gotten curious enough to ask. Precisely what is Rei doing in that tank in central dogma? (I think it’s episode 15 or in that neighborhood).

Making backups of Rei’s memory. A member of GAINAX said that in an interview.

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1997-December/003255.html; from some anime magazine (TODO: but which & when?)

This was from Shonen A’s Sadamoto Yoshiyuki interview:

…there were a lot of holes in the plot. For example, I asked (Hideaki Anno) why only children pilot EVAs. His immediate response was ‘Right, I must get this sorted out.’, then he got all worked up.

Leonard Tai; TODO was this really from 1997? Maybe there was an interview in 1998 before Tai wrote in May 1998 and I am unduly pessimistic about how old his information is?

Miyazaki: Anyway, I think it’s good that you had success with Evangelion. It gives you an opportunity to work and an influential voice. Besides that, escape from the ghost of Evangelion as fast as possible. You can’t be “that Mr. Anno who made Evangelion” 10 or 20 years from now.

Anno: I know!

Miyazaki: So, I think you should keep your hands off Evangelion entirely from here on out.

Don’t worry about that. The evil spirit has already gone. So, I’m going to do shoujo manga (His and Her Circumstances) for now. (laughs)

…Miyazaki: Isn’t that film (Love & Pop) something like an exorcism of Evangelion? (laughs)

Anno: To put it bluntly, yes, it is. (laughs)

“もののけ姫 vs エヴァンゲリオン (宮崎監督と庵野監督:97年夏の師弟対決を中心に)”; excerpts from an interview apparently during their Sahara trip

  • Carl Horn’s description: “Miyazaki and Anno took a special plane journey through the Sahara together in the late 1990s in a vintage [red] plane, retracing the route of Antoine de Saint-Exupery (a book was written about their trip)”; CuSO4 discusses it a little & Patrick Yip describes it extensively and also provides a photo & video. Luna1883:

    …the north African itinerary and attendant snapshots was documented in “quick japan” (or a sister publication). the feature basically says that Anno and Miyazaki wanted to follow the final flight of the author of the “little prince”, Antoine de saint-Exupery, who died in 1943; and also pay their respects to a certain Oscar-winning epic (and Booker prize-winning novel) about the high-flying life of adulterous mapmakers in the Sahara during WW2–a quietly beautiful film that asked very pointed questions about the concept of identity (national and otherwise)…what is extraordinary is that Miyazaki and Anno flew a vintage plane (a 2-seat Sopwith-camel biplane like the English patient’s, i hope) across the desert. (lets hope Anno wasn’t the pilot). anyway, there is a picture on top of a dune with Miyazaki wearing a sensible hat and grey suit, pointing straight ahead, and Anno in a black pullover, no hat, doing an Ultraman pose!

    Ebj:

    I have a shot I found in an Italian anime mag which is quite similar: there are Anno and Miyazaki again, the setup is an airport runway with desert landscape all around, there actually is a biplane, but it’s big, with some windows for passengers (say 15 mt overall length), it’s red, with a sign on the side which says “O.K - K.O”, and Miyazaki is wearing a mechanic suit, leaning on the plane, while Anno stands on top of it (around 4 mt above) in a red ‘tunic’ and sunglasses doing the Ultraman pose. BTW, Studio Ghibli did the drawings for episode 12 of Eva…you can see that they did draw episode 12 looking at the hairstyle of the speaker of the propaganda-van for candidate Nozoku Takahashi (the name is derived by Nozomu Takahashi, producer of Studio Ghibli).24

From Bochan_bird’s background Kaibunsho material (see previous 1996 quotation for discussion):

  • 1997/03/10~: Quick Japan #9 and #10 issues contain interviews and a roundtable discussion by Gainax figures Toshimichi Otsuki (Producer), Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Eva character designer and manga artist), Hiroki Sato (PR Manager), Kazuyshi Tsurumaki (Assistant Director) and Masayuki (Assistant Director). The roundtable discussion covers topics ranging from Eva story contents to behind-the-scenes happenings, past activities, a personal critique/characterization of Director Anno, and so on.

In October 1983, Anno saw an advertisement in the magazine Animage. The anime film of Nausicaa was falling behind schedule, and animators were needed. On the Nausicaa DVD, Toshio Suzuki recalled Anno’s appearance: “One day he just showed up. Afterwards I realised how much guts it must have taken to walk right in and hand Miyazaki samples of his work.” Anno was hired, and set to animating the God Warrior. According to Suzuki, “Miyazaki wanted something with impact, very detailed, with a unique sense of movement.” Among the stories of Anno’s time on Nausicaa, it’s said that he suffered from terrible diarrhea, which his colleagues joked was the God Warrior’s curse. Miyazaki sent him a memo saying, “Use two colours for the smoke. If you use three colors, I kill you!” The director also forced Anno to restrict the number of frames in the God Warrior sequence. Anno wanted to die when he saw the final result. That the terrific scene didn’t satisfy him speaks volumes about Anno’s drive, his obsession with bringing titanic images to anime.

–quoted in “Anno’s Dominus: Andrew Osmond on the oddest casting decision in recent memory… or is it…?”; original: “The Birth of Studio Ghibli”, 1997? TV program included on the 2005 DVD release

Theatrical pamphlets

Background: http://wiki.evageeks.org/Movie_Pamphlets

D&R
Intro

The series [NGE] featured attractive SF settings, dynamic battle scenes, a pedantic flavor from incorporating Christian motifs and psychoanalytical jargon into a dramatic work, and a super-intensive amount of information. Evangelion exceeded the bounds of conventional anime on all these counts, making it truly worthy of the title “Neon Genesis”. The series enjoyed the enthusiastic support of numerous fans, and also spawned discussions on various topics.

The TV series ended in a manner that could be considered incomplete. This became an intense issue, and by that meaning could be said to have spurred on Evangelion’s popularity. The voice of the fans grew stronger and stronger as they demanded a proper ending to the drama, explanations of the mysteries, or even a new story. In order to meet these expectations, a cinema edition was planned – this is “EVANGELION DEATH AND REBIRTH”.

… “REBIRTH” is Part 1 of the “Conclusion” which retells TV episodes 25 and 26 as a new story. Evangelion will conclude by showing this Part 1 together with Part 2 of the Cinema Edition which is scheduled for release this summer.

Timeline

2001: Yui and Gendo Ikari have their first child, Shinji. Had the child been a girl, Gendo intended to name her “Rei”.

2003: Fuyutsuki, through his independent research, draws closer to a massive deception surrounding Second Impact, at the fore of which is Gendo Ikari, Chief of Research at the U.N. Artificial Evolution Laboratories (AEL). When Fuyutsuki visits the AEL and threatens Gendo with a public exposé of the truth, Gendo guides Fuyutsuki to Central Dogma – a gigantic cavity sprawling deep underground the Laboratories. There Fuyutsuki meets Dr. Naoko Akagi, a foremost authority on bio-computers, who calls their organization “Gehirn”. Standing before the incomplete EVA-00, Gendo tempts Fuyutsuki, saying, “Won’t you create a new future for humankind together with me?” After careful consideration, Fuyutsuki accepts Gendo’s offer…

2010: Rei Ayanami (the 1st) visits Gehirn. Gendo, who is accompanying her, explains that she is the child of an acquaintance.

MAGI is completed through the efforts of Dr. Naoko Akagi. That same night, Naoko learns from Rei that she is merely a tool for achieving Gendo’s plans. In a rage of passion, she strangles Rei and then throws herself from the Command Center and dies.

  • http://www.evaotaku.com/html/dr1-timeline.html; the interest of 2001 lies in the sibling (and unromantic!) relationship between Shinji & Rei, the interest of 2003 in the ‘Laboratories’ connection to the Black Moon/Central Dogma and the Proposal’s final episode; the interest of 2010 in confirming that Naoko committed suicide
Characters

She [Asuka Soryu Langley] is one quarter Japanese and German, but her nationality is American. In contrast to Shinji and Rei, she is a bright and active young girl. She hates to lose, and is full of pride. As the battles against the Angels continue, she gradually loses her self-confidence as a pilot, becoming both mentally and physically exhausted.

… His [Kaworu Nagisa] birthdate is given as September 13, 2000 – the same date as Second Impact.

… Normally casual and indirect, he [Kaji] rarely shows his true colors. He understands Shinji and Misato, and occasionally offers them advice.

… She [Misato] lives with Shinji, and acts as his guardian. During strategic operations she is a bold and daring commander, but normally she is a cheerful optimist who looks after Shinji and the other pilots in the capacity of an older sister. However, she also carries about a past of losing her father due to an Angel, and thus joined NERV to take her revenge on the Angels.

… Shinji is an introverted young boy who is awkward at communicating with other people, and harbors doubts as to the value of his own existence. Ordered by his father from whom he had lived apart for over ten years, he piloted EVA-01 and fought against the Angels. He continues to search for his place in life amidst the fierce battles with the Angels.

… He [Gendo Ikari] appears cold-blooded and ruthless – capable of doing anything to achieve his aims – but there are many mysteries surrounding his conduct.

… He [Fuyutsuki Kozo] is currently a member of NERV as a willing collaborator with Gendo, but his true intentions are unknown.

… He [Hyuga Makoto] has an easy-going personality, and appears to harbor some affection toward Misato.

… She [Horaki Hikari] has a very down-to-earth character, and takes her responsibilities as Class President seriously. For this reason she is somewhat shunned by the boys in the class. While outwardly appalled at Touji’s unmannerly character, she secretly harbors affection toward him, but never says so openly. She is one of Asuka’s few friends in Japan.

… There appear to be some secrets concerning her [Ikari Yui] death. She met Gendo while in university, and married him soon after graduating. She is also the one who brought together Fuyutsuki and Gendo.

Glossary

The relation between the actual “Dead Sea Scrolls” and SEELE’s “Secret Dead Sea Scrolls” is unclear.

… [Instrumentality Project/Human Complementation Project (HCP) (JINRUI HOKAN KEIKAKU)] Like the name implies, this is a project to complement humankind’s wanting parts and achieve a “perfect existence”. This project was being advanced by the Instrumentality Committee as well as Gendo Ikari and NERV.

In “REBIRTH”, Misato says that it is a project to “artificially evolve Humankind, which has reached its limit as a colony of flawed and separate entities, into a perfect single being.” However, it appears that the complementation of humankind envisioned by the elders of SEELE does not equal the complementation aimed for by Gendo and Fuyutsuki.

Children Evangelion pilots who are limited to 14-year old boys and girls. These pilots are called “Children” (qualified persons), and are identified as First, Second and so on according to the order of their selection. Of these, the First (Rei) and Third (Shinji) Children have extremely similar personal patterns, and Eva crossover tests are even performed between the two. All the candidates for Children are gathered in the New-Tokyo-3 First Municipal Junior High School which Shinji attends, and all members of Class 2-A are in fact candidates. It is not clear why the plural form (CHILDREN) is used instead of the singular form (CHILD). Incidentally, the word CHILD includes various additional meanings such as: embryo, fetus, descendant, product, and even a person who has emerged from a special environment.

Seiyuu

I was torn apart by a new pain.

Even though they were fresh wounds, with fresh blood spilling out, it felt like I was peeling off old scabs which remained on my skin.

Sometimes slowly, sometimes with a quick jerk,

The claws of a merciless ‘Creator’ peeled away the layers of my heart…

I would be happy if I were able to touch the ‘Shinji’ inside everyone.

The ‘Shinji’ inside me is waiting for the time of complementation.

… [Yuko Miyamura, Asuka’s seiyuu]: Please, people – Let’s try to be a little happier!!

… [Kotono Mitsuishi, Misato’s seiyuu]: I am truly glad to have met the woman named Misato. Although she doesn’t easily speak her true feelings, which often gave me some trouble, I truly like her bright manner by which she hides the loneliness and darkness deep within her heart. After the TV series had ended, I listened to “Cruel Angel’s Thesis” again and was struck by the phrase “Although I cannot become a goddess, I will live on.” Surely this must be the voice of Misato’s heart. I look forward to watching Misato in this cinema edition, as well as seeing who and how Shinji fights.

… [Fumihiko Tatsuki, Gendo’s seiyuu]: Although the answer to most of the rumors is “YES”, I vacillate between ! and ? with each episode on whether I like or hate Evangelion and Gendo Ikari. However, I can’t help but feel an endless fascination at the way Eva’s story unfolds, tinted by an infinite amount of information amidst drama with needlessly excessive ‘fan-service’…

“Refrain”
Notes

“People found a God, and in their folly tried to acquire it. Thus retribution was visited upon mankind.”

Ritsuko Akagi thus ridiculed Second Impact – the greatest calamity since the dawn of history which was visited upon humankind in the final year of the 20th century.

… Another “Children”, Rei Ayanami, was a manufactured girl – manufactured to carry out a certain task. She shed the first tears of her life upon realizing that she was “lonely”, but then died in battle immediately thereafter. A third Rei was prepared at once – a new Rei who knew not the reason for her tears.

“Piloting Eva is all I have.”

The dedicated pilot of EVA-02, Sohryu Asuka Langley’s pride was sustained by piloting Eva. Losing her mother at a young age had made her choose “strength” as her raison d’être. The strength of being needed by those around her, and yet not needing anyone around her.

But Asuka had been beaten – by Shinji, by the Angels, and by herself.

Having lost the ability to pilot Eva, she lost her sense of worth – a broken person.

… “Yes, worthy of friendship.”

The Fifth Children, Kaworu Nagisa, achieved a chance meeting with Shinji, and conveyed his friendship. Kaworu’s words gently opened up Shinji’s heart, which had shut itself away in its shell. But Kaworu’s true identity was that of the final Angel – the enemy of humankind.

… The Angel’s name was Kaworu Nagisa – The first person to ever tell Shinji that he liked him. And the first person to whom Shinji ever opened up his heart. Having killed Kaworu by his own hand, Shinji shut away his heart once again and implored Asuka to help him. Asuka - the spirited young girl who had always made fun of him. But Asuka’s pride had been shattered, and she did not respond. On the other hand, the death of the last Angel meant the completion of SEELE’s scenario. To artificially evolve Humankind which has reached its limit as a colony of flawed and separate entities into a perfect single being – that was the true meaning of the Instrumentality Project (HCP), and was also synonymous with Third Impact.

… What does Gendo plan in the midst of this hopeless situation. What will SEELE’s scenario bring to pass? Is there a future for Asuka, lying curled up like an unborn child inside the unmoving EVA-02? What runs through Ritsuko’s head as she smiles coldly inside MAGI? And Misato dashing through the battlefield that was once NERV HQ – will she make it in time? The clashing of various people’s wills amidst a complex battle resembles a council that will decide humanity’s future. Evolution and death, stagnation and birth, truth and lies – and the future chosen by humankind?

D&R Special Edition (2)
Commentary

From the initial planning stages, this series has evolved around its director Hideaki Anno, and it could be said that all aspects from the basic concept to the conclusion bear the mark of Anno’s creative individuality.

… Evangelion became centered on the theme of “people’s hearts” from around the middle of the TV series. As the culmination of this trend, the climax of the series, episodes 25 “Owaru sekai (Ending World)” and 26 “Sekai no chuushin de ai wo sakenda kemono (The Beast who Shouted”I/Love" at the Center of the World)“, took an experimental and shocking approach in that the story developed within the inner worlds of the main characters. While this climax may have fulfilled the basic thematic requirements, it left the mysteries presented thus far mostly unsolved, and gave a strong impression of having ended with the story incomplete.

This ending became an intense issue, and by that meaning could be said to have spurred on Evangelion’s popularity. The voice of the fans grew stronger and stronger as they demanded a proper ending to the drama, explanations of the mysteries, or even a new story. In order to meet these expectations, a cinema edition was planned – this is “EVANGELION DEATH AND REBIRTH”.

… “REBIRTH” is Part 1 of the “Conclusion” which retells TV episodes 25 and 26 as a new story. It was originally intended that Evangelion would conclude only with “REBIRTH”, but the story content increased as production progressed, so “REBIRTH” is being released as only Part 1 of the conclusion. Evangelion will conclude by showing “REBIRTH” together with Part 2 of the Cinema Edition which is scheduled for release this summer.

Children

A cowardly soul. A wanting heart. The desire to be loved.

Shinji Ikari.

… Rei Ayanami – Bandages. Mysteries. Indifference. An object of interest. Mother.

Sohryu Asuka Langley – Girl. Perplexing. Formidable. Indecipherable. Sex.

Misato Katsuragi – Adult. Superior. Meddlesome. Soldier. Family.

… But the word “like” swept away his [Shinji’s] darkness.

Kaworu Nagisa.

The Fifth Children.

A gentle boy.

The first person to whom Shinji ever opened his heart.

… Piloting Eva-01, Shinji strains under these complex emotions, and kills Kaworu.

The first person to ever tell him he “liked” him.

The first person to whom he ever opened his heart.

By his own hand….

… SOHRYU ASUKA LANGLEY –

A Sullied Heart

A high but fragile wall. A tightly stretched thread. The fear of not being needed.

Sohryu Asuka Langley.

She lost her mother at a tender age.

Her mother killed her within her heart by giving her love to a doll instead.

So, she sought after strength.

The strength to beat anyone.

The strength to be able to live alone.

The strength that could become her raison d’être.

… But there were already others before her.

Shinji Ikari. And Rei Ayanami.

These two must be beneath her.

Sortie. Soaring. Victory. Action. Military prowess. Achievement. Defeat of the enemy. Mistakes. Defeat. Rear guard. Dismissal.

“I lost to stupid Shinji…”

Her pride collapsed, and she ran away. But the organization found her and brought her back, confining her in a white solitary cell called a sickroom. Asuka slumbers amidst the sheets, but her heart is shut away.

“Nein [No]… Stop… Tod [Death]… Pain… Schmach [Shame]… Mother… erhängen [hang]…”

Her dreams within that white darkness are bitter…

… As the scenario progresses, he [Shinji] changes her [Rei Ayanami].

Smiles. Worrying. Words of thanks.

These were all for him.

Smiles directed toward him. Worrying about him.

“Thank you” said to him.

And with her first tears, she finally realized.

“This is my heart. I want to be with Ikari.”

But death engulfed her before she could convey her heart.

Alternate translation, unknown 4chan poster: (mirror)

Terminology

Their English name is not APOSTLE (= SHITO), but ANGEL (= TENSHI). To be sure, Sachiel, Shamshel, Ramiel and the other names given to the Angels except for the 1st Angel Adam are all angel names. Further, just as the name of the 6th Angel which appeared from the ocean is that of “fish” angel, Gaghiel, and the name of the 10th Angel which plummeted down from satellite orbit is that of “sky” angel, Sahaquiel, the names of the Angels bear a mysterious symbolism with the attributes, place of initial confirmation, and conditions of appearance of each Angel. Unlike the style of the angels recorded in the Bible. which are generally believed to “have wings, wear white robes, and have an angelic halo about their heads,” these Angels come in varying shapes and sizes including humanoid and animal-like forms, giving rise to the speculation that the Angels do not have a specific form, or are amorphous.

… Incidentally, the widely circulated idea that L.C.L is the abbreviation of “Link Connected Liquid” is incorrect.

… S2 engine mounting tests were repeated in various locations, but this brought about the tragic result of the disappearance of the 2nd US NERV Branch.

… The helix of light Angel. When discovered it was a double helix loop reminiscent of DNA floating in the sky.

… This same red sphere was confirmed in the chest of Eva-01, but it is unclear whether one also exists in the other Eva. However, when selecting the Fourth Children, Dr. Ritsuko Akagi referred to Touji Suzuhara as “a child for whom a core can be prepared.” This suggests the fact that NERV can “prepare” cores, and further that an individual core is prepared for each pilot.

… The Fourth Children = Touji Suzuhara, who was piloting the Eva at the time, suffered the loss of a part of his leg, but was otherwise rescued unharmed.

… It is unclear whether SEELE drew up its “scenario” as a set of plans based on these “Dead Sea Scrolls”, or whether the two are one and the same. These same documents described the invading Angels and other information.

… Many cross-like images are used in Evangelion: the explosions caused by the Angels, Misato’s pendant, the stop signal plug inserted into the berserked EVA-00, the cross used to transport Eva-03, the pillar on which Lilith is crucified underground, etc. The cross is widely known as the symbol of Christianity, but before Christ it was nothing more than an implement of punishment used to bring about a painful death, and it was the death of Jesus Christ that transformed it into the embodiment of love and forgiveness and the symbol of self-sacrifice. However, in prehistoric times the cross was widely used to symbolize the sun, the heavens and the wind. So, is the meaning of the cross in Evangelion derived from Christ or from before Christ?

… This figure [Tree of Life] is comprised of ten spheres linked by 22 paths, and can be interpreted in various ways: as a step-by-step diagram for meditation, a map leading to wisdom, or a prediction of humankind’s future, etc.

… This area [Terminal Dogma] was probably the objective of the Angel invasions. Although Angel intrusion was prevented for a long time, the area was finally penetrated by a humanoid Angel = Kaworu Nagisa.

… There are theories which place Lilith, confined in the depths of Terminal Dogma, as the 2nd Angel, but the truth is unknown.

… These three are all enrolled in Class 2-A, but this is because all the members of Class 2-A were candidates for Children. Touji Suzuhara, also a member of this class, was selected as the Fourth Children with the transfer of command of Eva-03 to Japan. This junior high school is referred to as “code 707” within NERV. It is nestled in the foothills near Gate No. 20 in order to facilitate Evangelion sorties.

… Incidentally, the Eva series units from Eva-05 onward use dummy plugs into which the personality of Kaworu Nagisa has been transplanted. [But whose souls are in the Mass Production Evas themselves? Shinji’s classmates? There’s suggestive evidence…]

… Special Agency NERV has a mark which consists of three parts. The first of these is the organization name, “NERV”. Written below that are the words, “God is in his heaven. All’s right with the world,” a phrase taken from “Pippa Passes”, written by 19th century poet Robert Browning. The third part is the figure of a fig leaf. It hardly needs be said that the fig leaf symbolizes the original sin entangling Adam and Eve. [RCB glossary extends this with “and brings to mind the humans who ate of the Fruit of Wisdom.”] It is unclear why NERV’s mark uses only half of a fig leaf.

… Incidentally, this [Yashima] strategy comes from a legend in which Nasuno Yoichi shot an arrow from horseback which pierced a fan on a ship during the Battle of Yashima in 1185. Because this strategy also gathered electric power from throughout Japan, it also includes the meaning of Yashuu Strategy (in ancient times Japan was referred to as “Yashuu” [8 states/countries]).

… The Eva units which were built outside NERV HQ. [RCB glossary clarifies that they were built at ‘the various NERV branches’. Not that there are that many…]

… According to SEELE, it seems that human complementation originally planned to use Lilith, and Eva-01 is also said to be the clone of Lilith.

Timeline
Production notes

In addition to selecting the used episodes and scenes, the series of image scenes where Shinji and the others play instruments in the school gymnasium, and linking the various scenes in a shuffled manner rather than simply arranging them in order were also the ideas of Akio Satsukawa.

… Approximately 30 minutes of “DEATH” were newly produced. These contents can be divided into the following three patterns. First is the series of image scenes where Shinji and the others play instruments in the school gymnasium. This is original film shown only in “DEATH”. Second is retakes of the TV series film. Third are the scenes scheduled to be added as new cuts to the video release versions of episodes 22 to 24.

… The third type was the scenes scheduled to be added as new cuts to the video release versions of episodes 22 to 24. Work proceeded on these cuts separately from this cinema edition. These include the scene where Yui talks with Fuyutsuki while appeasing the infant Shinji, Asuka’s monologue in the bathroom, Kaji and Asuka’s dialog before meeting Shinji and the others, etc.

… Production of “REBIRTH” initially started as a remake of episodes 25 and 26 of the TV series Evangelion, that is to say as the conclusion to Evangelion. However, the content grew much larger than planned during the course of production, with the two episodes together totaling almost 70 minutes in length. Therefore, it was decided to start with a theater release of the first half corresponding to episode 25.

… After the storyboard work for “REBIRTH” had been finished, Chief Director Anno started work on Part 2 of the movie edition corresponding to TV episode 26. A separate team was also assembled for the artwork of episode 26, and work proceeded in parallel with episode 25.

Notes

Episode 25’ “Air” is based on the original episode 25 script which was completed during production of the TV series. Due to production time limits and other problems, this script was not used and the TV episode 25 “Owaru sekai (The Ending World)” instead became a drama which unfolded within an inner universe like episode 26. In this sense, episode 25’ could be considered a return to the originally intended contents. In contrast, episode 26’ adds much more story and dramatic content to TV episode 26, thus deepening the theme.

This movie was created as the remake of the last two TV episodes, so the TV episode format is followed, with each episode having its own subtitle and eyecatch scenes.

… Some real-life shots were used to depict the inner universe of Shinji in episode 26’, and a team called the “Special Production Team” was formed to film these shots. Hideaki Anno also wrote the script and served as chief director for these parts, with Shinji Higuchi participating in the role of special effects director. “Special effects director” in this context means directing the filming of special effects. The actual filming proceeded with Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi mutually discussing their ideas and opinions of each shot.

… The other song is the insert song “Komm, süsser Tod” used in episode 26’. The lyrics are the English translation of words composed by Chief Director Anno. The title is German, meaning “Come, Sweet Death”. The vocalist is Arianne [Schreiber], and composition and arrangement are by Shiro Sagisu.

Red Cross Book
Commentary

For the TV series, episodes 25 “Owaru sekai (The Ending World)” and 26 “Sekai no chuushin de ai wo sakenda kemono (The Beast who Shouted”I/Love" at the Center of the World)" were shown following episode 24 to conclude the series. Thus, the story of Evangelion branches into two after the last scene of episode 24. There is one ending as shown in TV episodes 25 and 26, while episodes 25’ and 26’ as shown in “THE END OF EVANGELION” are another ending. (Here, plain numbers are used to indicate the TV episodes, and numbers with apostrophes for the movie episodes)

… From the initial planning stages through this cinema edition, Neon Genesis Evangelion has evolved around its director Hideaki Anno. All aspects from the overall theme and framework of the story down to each individual drawing and line of dialogue bear the mark of Anno’s creative individuality.

… The show’s soaring popularity rivaled the biggest hits of the past such as “Star Blazers (Space Battleship Yamato)” and “Mobile Suit Gundam (Kidou Senshi Gundamu)”, giving rise to the phrase “the Eva phenomenon”.

… Episodes 25’ (Air) and 26’ (Magokoro wo, kimi ni) are packed with breathtaking cinematic scenes: the drama of the characters, action scenes, solutions to mysteries, etc. On the other hand the movie also takes an experimental approach which deals squarely with the issue of “people’s hearts” in the same manner as the climax to the TV series. Thus, in both name and fact, this is the complete conclusion to Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Glossary

Although the personalities of these three Rei differ from one another, this is due to environmental factors. Their soul is one and the same, and it appears to have been that of Lilith. At the final stage of the Instrumentality Project, Rei betrayed Gendo, returned to Lilith of her own judgment and entrusted the future to Gendo’s son – Shinji Ikari.

… Introverted in character, he is concerned about how he is viewed by others. Further, he is awkward at expressing himself and communicating with others, so he repeatedly evades confrontation and disobeys orders. At the time of the JSSDF attack on NERV, he had fallen into a state of self-loss, which is also the reason why his counter-attack was delayed.

… She died in an accident during a test in 2004, but her soul remained inside Eva-01. Further, it seems that this accident was actually intended by her.

… The name Eva is thought to derive from “Eva”, wife of Adam in the Old Testament, and “Evangel”, the English word for “gospel”.

… His [Kaji] curiosity proved his ruin, and although he was consequently shot to death, he left the results of his investigations to Misato.25

… Misato said that, viewed from the Instrumentality Project, humankind is “a colony of flawed and separate entities”. Colony means a group of individual organisms linked to each other, with new individual organisms produced by splitting or budding. Each individual organism within the colony has the capability to live independently.

… Beings originated from the source of life called Lilith. They take various sizes and shapes: from a giant octahedron to a minute Angel the size of bacteria, or even a “shadow” Angel without tangible form. Borrowing Fuyutsuki’s words in episode 26’, it seems that Angels are beings which got the “Fruit of Life” whereas humanity got the “Fruit of Wisdom”. In other words, “Angels” are another form of humankind with the same potential as humans. Thus, humans are the 18th Angel.

… Also, the physical body of Eva-01 was apparently created from Lilith. This is why when the Lance of Longinus was lost, Eva-01 became the sole substitute for Lilith as the medium for Instrumentality (Human Complementation).

… A plan to artificially evolve humanity, which had reached its limit as a colony of flawed and separate entities, into a perfect single being. It was promoted under the direction of SEELE, with Special Agency NERV as the implementing organization. However, it seems that SEELE’s objective differed from that of NERV – that is to say of Gendo and Fuyutsuki. Eva was not actually built as a weapon, but instead with the aim of realizing this project. Specifically, this appears to have been a project to artificially initiate Third Impact, thus eliminating all of humanity who, after shedding their human forms, would then evolve to a new stage.

… SEELE’s Instrumentality Project proceeded according to the account written in the “Secret Dead Sea Scrolls”, and aimed to move humankind to the next level of evolution. However, the loss of the Lance of Longinus and then the further rebellion of NERV Commander Gendo Ikari forced SEELE to modify the plan at the final stage.

… An insignia consisting of seven eyes on an inverted triangle. The same pattern was painted on the mask that covered Lilith’s face, but its relation to Yahweh, the absolute God of the Old Testament who is said to have seven eyes, is unclear.

… Called so because the catastrophe was the largest since an asteroid collided with Earth 4 billion years ago (= Giant Impact).

… The Second Children, and dedicated pilot of Eva-02. She is one quarter German and Japanese, but her nationality is American. Highly intelligent, she graduated from university at the age of 14 and boasted a higher synchronization rate than the Third Children in the early stages of actual combat. The suicide of her mother led her to develop an overly-aggressive character, and she maintained her mental balance by outwardly publicizing her superiority. Birthdate: December 4, Blood type: O, Age: 14

… The real mother of Sohryu Asuka Langley. She suffered mental breakdown due to an accident during an experiment, and thereafter lived in a dream world until committing suicide. Her soul appears to have been used in the core of Eva-02.

… The objective of the Instrumentality Project was the artificial evolution of humankind into a “perfect single being”. This single being means a life form which ends as a single individual, and is used to differentiate from “colony” – a life form comprised of multiple individuals.

… What is common to these Children is that they are all young boys and girls who have lost their mothers. Incidentally, the candidates for Children were grouped into Class 2-A of the First Municipal Junior High School of New-Tokyo-3.

… It is likely that he [Kaworu] was an Angel which had been captured by SEELE in the embryo stage.

… He [Makoto Hyuga] harbors affection toward Misato Katsuragi, his superior, and assisted with her objectives, including the occasional gathering of information.

… He [Fuyutsuki] appears to have harbored more than a little affection towards Yui Ikari.

… Although its lower body was missing while pierced by the Lance of Longinus, its lower body grew back as soon as the Lance was pulled out. The Instrumentality Project originally planned to use Lilith, but the loss of the Lance caused SEELE to change the plan and attempt complementation using Eva-01 instead. At that time, Keel Lorentz says that Eva-01 is “Lilith’s clone”, which apparently indicates that Eva-01 was made by copying Lilith.

Tsurumaki interview

I honestly think it would have been best simply to end it with the TV series. Frankly speaking, I feel that everything after that was a bit of unnecessary work, although I guess normally one should feel happy about having their work made into a movie.

… It felt really good toward the end – after finishing the work for episode 16, and especially from episode 20 onward. Of course, physically I was dead tired, but my mind was still sharp as a knife. I felt that I was utilizing my natural abilities to their maximum potential.

… – Episode 16 made quite an impression, and seemed to mark a turning point for Evangelion.

KT - That’s because it was the first episode where the direction of drawing from the inside like that appeared.

– I see.

KT - The first draft of the scenario was actually a dialog between Shinji and the Angel. However, we felt it would be too anti-climactic to have an Angel start talking like some pulp fiction alien (speaks while tapping his Adam’s apple with his hand) “Your analog mode of thought is incorrect.” So we came up with the idea actually used in this episode, which was to have Shinji converse with himself.

– There was a line in that dialogue – something like, “We can’t weave our lives only out of things we like….” That line was pretty intense. I would have thought it would strike right to the heart of anime fans, but there was almost no reaction from anyone. (laugh)

KT - Well, most people don’t pay close attention to the dialog when watching a TV anime. That is to say, we hear the words, but they don’t enter our minds. I’m that way too. Hideaki Anno understands this, and started to incorporate expressions that convey the message to the viewers in a more direct manner. Thus, elements which attempted to somehow convey the message within the bounds of the story gradually became fewer, and expressions which were more introspective or emotionally expressive became more frequent.

… It was probably about then that we began to see the direction of “Eva” – that we were moving toward that kind of introspective story. That’s why we made Part A of episode 16 like a normal story. By this meaning, the boundary between Parts A and B of episode 16 could be considered the dividing line between the front and back of “Evangelion”.

… KT - I didn’t mind it. The schedule was an utter disaster and the number of cels plummeted, so there were some places where unfortunately the quality suffered. However, the tension of the staff as we all became more desperate and frenzied certainly showed up in the film.

… KT - About the time that the production system was completely falling apart, there were some opinions to the effect that, “If we can’t do satisfactory work, then what’s the point of continuing?” However, I didn’t feel that way. My opinion was, “Why don’t we show them the entire process including our breakdown.” You know – make it a work that shows everything including our inability to create a satisfactory product. I figured that, “In 10 years or so, if we look back on something that we made while we were drunk out of our minds, we wouldn’t feel bad even if the quality wasn’t so good.”

… – I see. Then, it’s true that Shinji’s feelings are Director Anno’s feelings?

KT - To tell the truth I’m not sure, but at the very least I tried to work on the project from that viewpoint. That’s why in the scenario planning sessions I was always saying something like, “Isn’t that a little too hero-like for Shinji to say? Hideaki Anno isn’t that much of a hero.”

– In episode 25’ Shinji becomes completely despondent. Does this mean that Director Anno had also experienced that?

KT - I think Hideaki Anno’s tension after the TV series had ended had probably fallen to about that level.

… – Was this cinema edition made to match Director Anno’s state of mind?

KT - I believe so. There was a time when Hideaki Anno clearly wanted to attempt a more cathartic development. It didn’t end up that way, but I don’t think we lied.

– When you say “lie”, do you mean to suddenly conclude with something like “love saved the world”?

KT - Exactly. And we didn’t do that with this movie. I feel no dissatisfaction at the ending. I really like it.

– At the end of this movie, Shinji seems to have reached a sort of settlement regarding troubles of the heart.

KT - Well, my personal view is, “Do we really need to complement these troubles of the heart?” Regardless of whether or not we are complemented, have troubles, or find our answers, interpersonal relations exist, and the world goes on. I thought the last scene meant to say that life goes on, but I could be wrong.

– In the end, Evangelion was a story about communication – at least judging from that last scene.

KT - That was the intent from the start of the TV series. That was what I tried to produce from episode 2 onward.

– Yes, that was the scene where Misato and Shinji talk while measuring distances from each other in Misato’s apartment, right? Although they appeared to be getting along fine with each other, Shinji was thinking, “She seems okay, but….”, while Misato was thinking “I wonder if he sees through me?”

KT - there were other scenes in episode 2 as well. For instance, when Misato talks to Shinji but doesn’t enter his room. Even in episode 3, they are having a casual morning conversation, but are not looking at each other. Like they looking through a slightly opened door, but not connecting. This is the same between Shinji and Rei, and between Shinji and his father. It’s no wonder there was a lot of distant, awkward communication.

– I see. So, the theme remained the same throughout the series?

KT - That’s right.

… – Now even businessmen are debating the mysteries of “Eva” in bars. (laugh)

KT - (laugh) For example, Hideaki Anno says that, “Anime fans are too introverted, and need to get out more.” Further, he should be happy that non-anime fans are watching his work, right? But when all is said and done, Hideaki Anno’s comments on “Evangelion” + “Evangelion” are that it is a message aimed at anime fans including himself, and of course, me too. In other words, it’s useless for non-anime fans to watch it. If a person who can already live and communicate normally watches it, they won’t learn anything.

– But, don’t all the people watching “Evangelion” now actually have this type of anime-fan complex? Doesn’t everyone share some feelings of uneasiness at not being able to get along with the world.

KT - Yes, maybe that’s so. Hideaki Anno’s statements certainly are true when looking at the small circle of anime fans, but stepping back and looking at the much wider circle of Japanese people in general, we may find many of the same types of problems. They’re not problems specific to just anime fans.

Seiyuu comments

[Megumi Ogata (Shinji Ikari)] I sometimes felt a loathing when I held the script.

And was shocked to realize that this loathing was towards a part of me.

Pain as I peeled away the scabs from my heart one after another.

The fear of breaking down.

Rejection, despair, pleasure, rapture, aversion….

It was all so real – it was live.

A strip show that was more embarrassing than actually taking off my clothes.

3 years during which I unmistakably faced “Me”.

I thought that when the story was over, I would be able to view it somewhat objectively – but I couldn’t. Because it was still continuing – because I am alive – because the people I like are alive. So I think that I will surely repeat over and over as I gasp for breath amidst a certain peace of sorts. Foolish pursuits – and the pursuit of an irresistible love.

… [Kotono Mitsuishi (Misato Katsuragi)] I am truly glad to have met her. It was difficult playing Misato Katsuragi even during the TV series – because she is a person who doesn’t easily speak her true feelings. During scenes where her feelings exploded or she poured out her heart, I also became a bit over-emotional and afterwards couldn’t remember exactly what kind of performance I had given (- not a good thing). My hands shook and it took all my might to keep the script I was holding from rustling and making noise. (Times like these make me feel that voice acting is a bit restricting.) I have focused exclusively on Misato for so long – wanting to know her, to get close to her – concentrating all of my five senses on her. That’s the way I am, so I am unable to objectively look at “Eva” right now after finishing the voice-over work. My perspective is still on the same level as Misato, but I feel that’s fine. In episode 25’ “Air” she was strong, brave and a woman. The sole survivor of Second Impact 15 years earlier, her cross necklace is the keepsake of her father. I wonder if it’s just me who feels that she alone survived in order to give that cross to Shinji?

… [Yuko Miyamura (Sohryu Asuka Langley)] Evangelion has finally reached its conclusion…. Congratulations, everyone, on a job well done. No, really – Thank you very much. 24 years ago as I gave my birthing cries in Kobe, surely not even Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto of the combined fleet or Nostradamus could have predicted that I would participate in the project called Evangelion. Evangelion’s popularity is unstoppable – like the raid on Pearl Harbor. I’m sure that every Eva fan with a Japanese Spirit will feel like singing none other than “Off to Sea” from “Sally Forth” as they watch this conclusion. If so, then I’d like to send everyone to the theater with a big cheer of “Banzai!” In case you couldn’t tell, I think I had a “Kamikaze” feeling during the voice-over. (heart) Haha… (heart) Well done everyone.

… [Yuriko Yamaguchi (Ritsuko Akagi)] Ritsuko fades away with her final word, “Liar.” But what was this “Liar” in reference to? The script for this last scene only has Gendo saying: “Ritsuko Akagi, I truly….” followed by Ritsuko saying: “Liar (gets shot)”. I can imagine many words that might follow “I truly….”, but I can’t decide on any in particular. That is the complexity of Gendo and Ritsuko’s relationship.

From Ritsuko Akagi’s inner feelings as a scientist, she could be considered a woman who blindly gave her love to Gendo Ikari, and also a foolish woman that walked the same path as her mother Naoko who committed suicide after being betrayed by Ikari. I personally wanted her to end as a convenient, submissive woman who simply wanted to die righteously. But in the previous movie (D&R) she ended as a deeply jealous woman filled with nothing but hatred toward Ikari.

Feeling unsatisfied with this, I looked for a way to accept her death at the hands of Ikari. This made the interpretation of “Liar” very important. But the voice-over grew nearer and nearer….

Director Anno must have noticed how I felt. When it came time to do the voice-over, he showed me a single, hidden hint at the last moment. With that one incredible hint, I, and Ritsuko Akagi, were utterly defeated. It hardly needs saying, but Director Anno is incredible. Truly awesome – a genius.

… [Fumihiko Tatsuki (Gendo Ikari)] I feel that the more I say about Evangelion, the more I am “living the wrong way.” However, as long as I can liberate the feelings in my heart, I feel that my performances as a “voice actor involved with Eva” might not be merely a bunch of fine plays and bloopers, but rather a series of mysterious and concealed performances. Although I took the approach of not exaggerating emotional expression in playing the role of Gendo Ikari, I did my best to squeeze out every ounce of power I could given my present abilities so as not to be overshadowed by the incredible detail and overall high level of this anime.

I cannot find words enough to thank Director Anno for stolidly watching over this forlorn role…

… [Motomu Kiyokawa (Kozo Fuyutsuki)] I was riding the subway about the time of the spring theater release (D&R), and overheard three junior high school aged kids discussing Evangelion. The discussion basically took the course of: “That part means such and such,” “No, I disagree,” and so on. There haven’t been very many anime works that people have really discussed, and I think this is one of the great things about Eva.

I feel that even when acting on stage, the type of drama that makes the audience feel and think various things is interesting drama, and also good drama. Of course, the audience won’t imagine anything if the drama is devoid of content. Director Anno created many such places in Evangelion where the audience can imagine things. That’s why I think it is great. Being able to interpret something in various ways means that much effort has been put into the pictures and story.

… [Akira Ishida (Kaworu Nagisa)] Starting from nothing more than this perception, the character of Kaworu Nagisa began to express itself with each passing day. The circumstances surrounding Kaworu Nagisa established him as a navigator for delving into the labyrinth of Evangelion, and give new insight into its unspoken meaning.

… Luckily, however, this time I was able to associate myself with Evangelion as Kaworu to the very end. Was Kaworu’s choice correct? Did Kaworu really “keep on living”? While this answer appears to have been entrusted to Shinji, I am honestly happy to have been lucky enough to see it through to the end with my own eyes.

Notes

Episode 25’ - Air

SEELE immediately instructs Gendo and Fuyutsuki to complete the Project using Eva-01, but the two are reluctant to carry out a plan that will bring about the death of all people, and they rebut SEELE’s wishes.

… Sohryu Asuka Langley had lost everything. Her mother, her confidence, her pride, and even the will to live

… Inside Eva’s womb, Asuka realizes that she is with her mother – that her mother is by her side. The swarming enemy are no longer a match for Asuka, and even the nine Eva series units cannot stop her. Eva-02 careens valiantly across the battlefield, soaring, crushing, toppling, stabbing, strangling, kicking, sweeping, shooting, striking, running, stopping, and stopped… its operational limit reached. The nine Eva series units alight on top of the motionless Eva-02 – and the violation of Eva by Eva begins.

… Misato and Shinji rush through gunfire and smoke; two people with a delicate relationship: mother and son, older sister and younger brother, lovers, adult and child, superior and subordinate…. Shots ring out! As Misato covers Shinji, her legs buckle and the two tumble toward the back of the passageway. Tears and anger mix, and naked emotions clash. Choked words, exasperation, the baring of one’s heart, affection, and the meeting of two people’s lips – passing from a mere brushing of lips to an adult kiss. In many ways, Misato was Shinji’s first woman.

“We’ll do the rest when you get back…” were her words, but Shinji knew there would be no “rest”, for Misato’s still warm hands and lips were covered with blood…

Episode 26’ - Magokoro wo, kimi ni

Shinji screamed at seeing the brutally violated form of Eva-02. The howls of Eva-01 create maelstroms inside the Geofront, and Shinji’s rage calls back the Lance of Longinus from the Moon. This was also the trigger for starting the two Projects – the Instrumentality Projects of SEELE and of Gendo. Having regained the Lance, SEELE aims to achieve the Instrumentality (Complementation) of humankind through the indiscriminate death of all life and prayer

… On the other hand, deep underground NERV Headquarters which is being laid bare by the JSSDF’s attack, Gendo Ikari stands together with Rei before Lilith in Terminal Dogma. Gendo has brought Rei to Lilith to attempt the forbidden joining of Adam and Lilith. Two Instrumentality Projects being executed simultaneously in the heavens and in the bowels of the earth. Will people achieve complementation in either case…? The answer lies within Eva-01….

… On the other hand, there were also humans who took the Fruit of Life at that time. These are the Angels – a different possibility who will fight for the future; another form of human.

… People are surrounded by emptiness… And loneliness fills their hearts. And when humans’ history reaches its conclusion, Gendo Ikari will be reunited with his wife. Yui Ikari – the woman who loved a man unworthy of love. Did the Instrumentality Project exist to bring her back? Instrumentality (Complementation) for Gendo could only mean the resurrection of Yui. Having achieved this eagerly awaited reunion, Gendo confesses that he was “afraid” – afraid that contact with his son would only hurt his son. The hedgehog’s dilemma whereby the nearer we draw to one another, the more we hurt each other. This may be the nature of people who estrange themselves from each other using barriers of the heart. Gendo was also this type of weak person. Like his son, Shinji, he was nothing more than a cowardly, weak man. With his last words “Forgive me… Shinji,” Gendo is crushed by the jaws of Eva-01. Was this the retribution toward a man who kept running from the world, or was it also his salvation…?

… “Do you really think you understand me‽ It makes me uneasy! That’s the easiest way not to get hurt. Let me hear your voice! You’re all you have! Care about me! You don’t understand anything, you IDIOT! I’m afraid this way. Don’t come near me anymore… But ambiguity only makes me insecure. No. Help me! I think you can save me. Maybe I won’t be needed again someday. How pathetic… It unsettles me. That is so ARROGANT! I tried to understand… I get so pissed off whenever I look at you! Then be nice to me. If you want to do it with me, get down on your knees and beg! You’re all just hiding behind a smile! You’re only using me as an escape… Don’t leave me alone! You’ve never really liked anyone! Don’t kill me! …….. No…” [Mostly quoted from the “Komm Susser Tod” scene; a mix of Asuka & Shinji lines.]

EoE

[The Door Into Summer] It’s the tentative title for episode 25’ in the storyboards as well (board No. 7C).

Olivier Hagué

Gainax initially proposed EVANGELION: REBIRTH 2 as the title:

The End of Evangelion Movie Poster The poster reads: “Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone would just die?” (Image © 1997 Gainax/Eva Production Committee)

THE END OF EVANGELION is nigh on 19 July

Toei announced 19 July as scheduled premiere date for the eclectic SF drama NEON GENESIS EVANGELION’s theatrical finale, THE END OF EVANGELION (Japanese title: “SHIN SEIKI EVANGELION GEKIJOUBAN: Air/MAGOKORO O, KIMI NI.” Gainax initially proposed EVANGELION: REBIRTH 2 as the title). This planned 70-minute feature will begin with the incomplete 27-minute Rebirth portion from March’s NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: DEATH AND REBIRTH (SHIN SEIKI EVANGELION GEKIJOUBAN: SHI TO SHINSEI) film and finish with new animation.

The full poster reads:

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone would just die?

ocean of hopelessness
fragile souls
devious smiles
morbid objects
self-destruction
cruel strangers
replacement of the opposite sex
immediate cure
spreading enfeeblement
wish for nothingness
imprisoned ego
fear for separation
one-sided mistakes
fright of strangers
dangerous thoughts
denial with strangers
aversion to harmony
arrogant understanding
pity for the weak
uneasy photographs
scars from the past
blurred borders
divergence of common sense
lonely people
question of value
fusion with desire
return into the womb
empty time
decline of yearning
needless me

beginning of fabrications
continuation of reality
that's the end of the dream

Then,
why are you here?

...do you really want to stay here?
The End of Evangelion Neon Genesis Evangelion The Movie Air/My Purest Heart for You

George Chen (TODO: link the poster scans, original & translated)

(Screen text:  So, everybody just go and die...)

Staff (in Japanese alphabetical order)

Random women's voices:
You don't really know if it's love until after the infatuation stops.
Men just want a mother figure who'll spoil them.
Men...You do it with them once and they think they own you.
Ritsuko?
Yeah, that's okay,too.
You'll be sorry for that.
That's not romantic in the least.
Men are all scum...
Don't think I'm going to forgive you!
TITLE SCREEN: THE END OF EVANGELION
Neon Genesis Evangelion Cinema Edition - Air/Sincerely Yours (My Pure Heart For You)
 (Screen text:  Then, why are you here?)
(Screen text:  ...Is it okay for me to be here?)

Premiering July 19 (Sat.) Advance tickets including original poster on sale.
General admission: 1500 yen Students: 1200 yen
Created by the EVA Production Committee (Project EVA)
Distributed by Toei Studios, Inc.
This film is animated.

TITLE SCREEN:  THE END OF EVANGELION
Neon Genesis Evangelion Cinema Edition - Air/Sincerely Yours (My Pure Heart For You)
Premiering July 19 (Sat.)
Created by the EVA Production Committee (Project EVA)
Distributed by Toei Studios, Inc.

Toei Studios, Inc. logo in triangle

Eirin (Eiga Rinri Kitei Kanri Iinkai = Motion Picture Code of Ethics Committee) registration in circle

(Vertical screen text:  Neon Genesis Evangelion Cinema Edition)

–EoE promotional trailer; translated Bochan_bird

The tentative title for episode 26, in the first drafts of the overall story, was “Tatta Hitotsu no, Saeta Yarikata”. “Tatta Hitotsu no Saeta Yarikata” is the Japanese title of “the Only Neat Thing to Do” by James Tiptree Jr.

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/2001-March/039361.html

‘Alice Sheldon, writing as James Tiptree Jr., wrote a clear lineal descendant of “The Cold Equations,” called “The Only Neat Thing to Do”, (not available online) in 1985. The 1950s had made way for the 1980s and in this story the young female protagonist makes the decision for herself. The situation is somewhat different; she is alone in a spaceship with a parasitical alien that could be a danger to her world if she returns, so she does the “only neat thing” by heading outward forever, in effect committing suicide by eventual diminution of resources. As Godwin did, Tiptree stacked the deck to make only one neat thing available to her protagonist.’

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2005/20050919/notkin-c.shtml

In short, while I can understand why the Japanese translated Flowers for Algernon to something like “Honestly for You” or “Yours Truly,” I can’t understand why someone would translate it back to English as “My Purest Heart for You.”

But Gainax states on their webpage that it translates as “For you, my heart and soul” so, just deal with it. Pure heart for you, IS a translation of the Kanji. Spoken Japanese, and Written Japanese are different!

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-October/021412.html

“Magokoro o kimine” is the Japanese title for “Flowers for Algernon” when it was translated and published in Japan26. Project Eva/Mr. Anno decided to use the “Magokoro o kimine” as the movie title stated in the liner note.

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-October/021406.html

Title “Do you love me” (episode 25) came from British Psychologist R.D. Ren’s (?) essay title. [Also based on liner notes]

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-October/021356.html

This week is an “The End of Evangelion” special on Geruge. (About 45 to 50 minutes of the first 90 minutes of the radio show were devoted to Evangelion and the guests.)…The “Evangelion Story” was by Horaki Hikari (Iwao Junko). Hikari talked about herself and the students in her class (Rei, Asuka, Shinji, Kensuke, Touji). This monologue was about 4 minutes long.The second guest was Mr. Otsuki, producer of Evangelion. He answered a lot of questions from listeners and the Geruge personalities.

Q: Who is going to sing the song for the new movie?
Otsuki: A gaijin.
Q: Who?
Otsuki: I can’t say yet.
Q: Male or female?
Otsuki: Female, a black female.
Q: What type of song?
Otsuki: Gospel. It’s great. We will release a single of it too. We are dubbing it in London right now.27

…Q: Have you done the after recording?
Otsuki: We are doing it now. Yesterday, today, and the day after tomorrow. It will take about four days.

…Q: What is that picture with Misato, Asuka, Maya, and Hikari going into a pool of blood? Are they going to die?28 Otsuki: There will be some people who die.
Q: Will there be people who don’t die.
Otsuki: Yes.
Q: Are there any characters who didn’t do voices?
Otsuki: Touji, Kensuke, Hikari.
…Q: Who is your favorite character in Evangelion?
Otsuki: All of them.
Q: But what if you had to choose just one?
Otsuki: Fuyutsuki.29
…Q: What will you do after Evangelion?
Otsuki: We have already started working on the next one. I was thinking about saying something, but it’s still too early.
Q: Can you tell use when it will come out?
Otsuki: Next year.
Q: TV?
Otsuki: Movie.30
Q: Is it anime?
Otsuki: Can’t say right now.
Q: Will there be any live action scenes in the Evangelion movie?
Otsuki: Can’t say right now.31
…There will a showing of movie previews. There will be a 2000 yen pamphlet, which only had 10000 copies printed32.

ゲルゲトショッキングセンター - 1997.06.09, partial translation by Hitoshi Doi of the 9 June 1997 Geruge radio show

Q: How was the recording.
[Nagasawa] Miki [seiyuu, Maya Ibuki]: It was difficult.
Q: The picture was there.
Miki: Yes.
Q: How was Mr. Anno?
Miki: He was very picky.
… Q: Who do you think Maya likes?
Miki: Aoba, maybe?
Q: Was there something with Ritsuko in the movie?
Miki: No… I don’t think. [Is that so?]
…The “Evangelion Story” was by Nagisa Kaoru (Ishida Akira). Kaoru talked about meeting Shinji and Rei, his true identity as the 17th shito, and the battle against Shinji. This monologue was about 3 minutes 30 seconds long.

…Ishida Akira [seiyuu, Kaworu Nagisa] answered some questions.

Q: Was the recording difficult?
Akira: Very difficult. It was yesterday and the day before. Yesterday, we started at 10 AM, and I was there until 9:45 PM. I was the last one, with Ogata Megumi, Hayashibara Megumi, and Kiyokawa Motomu.
Q: Which scene was that?
Akira: The very last scene was done before that, so this was the scene before the last scene.
Q: Kaoru is a key person?
Akira: Sort of..
Q: Was Kaoru in the emotional scenes?
Akira: Kaworu’s scenes weren’t that emotional.
Akira: It released a lot of pressure off of my back when I finished. If Evangelion had ended with the TV, I only appeared once and it was all over. But with the movie, there was a lot of pressure on me. When I found out that the movie would be split, it added more pressure.
Q: What do you think was the best scene with Kaoru?
Akira: I would say the scene in episode 24 of the TV series..
Q: What about in the movie?
Akira: He doesn’t appear as a person (with a physical body) in the movie. The only person that Kaoru interacts with is Shinji.

– 10 June 1997, Geruge radio show, translation Hitoshi Doi

Tachiki Fumihiko [seiyuu, Gendo Ikari] answered questions by listeners (and the Geruge personalities).

Q: Are there any live action scenes for you?
Fumihiko: No. Girls only. The male fans will be happy.33
Q: Can you say any of the new lines from the movie?
Fumihiko [in a voice like he is dying]: Rei!
Q: Is Gendo going to die?
Fumihiko: Maybe.
…Q: How was the recording for Gendo’s voice?
Fumihiko: It took two days, and there are more lines than usual.
Q: If you didn’t do Gendo, which character would you like to do?
Fumihiko: Rei. I like the character Rei, and I also like the way she talks, from a seiyuu point of view.
…The “Evangelion Story” was by Ikari Shinji (Ogata Megumi). Shinji talked about himself, and some of the characters around him. The BGM were a lot of songs and music from Evangelion. This monologue was about 2 minutes 40 seconds long.

The second guest was Ogata Megumi, who said that her throat was sore from the Evangelion recording on Sunday and Monday. She played the quiz game with a listener, and they got 8 questions correct.

Ogata Megumi answered some questions.

Q: Was there a lot of screaming?
Megumi: Yes.

Q: Who does Shinji like? Rei or Asuka?
Megumi: Both.. but I don’t think he really likes either.
Q: Is there anything in the movie regarding the relationships?
Megumi: It’s just like the usual Shinji. But with Rei.. there was that shocking scene in the Rebirth movie (in the spring). This time that same scene was made longer.
Q: Did you retake the voices of the Rebirth part?
Megumi: Yes, all scenes were redone.
Q: What is the black moon?
Megumi: I don’t know about it too well. Shinji doesn’t have to know.. Kaoru and Rei are the ones who explain things. The last scene, which is about 5 pages in the script, took one and a half hours to record. The scene is only about 2 or 3 minutes.34
Q: Were there a lot of lines for Shinji in that scene?
Megumi: None. It was only ad lib.

–11 June 1997, Geruge radio show, translation Hitoshi Doi

The song Komm Susser Todd (German for “Come Sweet Death”) used for the film, The End of Evangelion: Episode 26’ - Sincerely Yours, is an English translation of Director Hideaki Anno’s original Japanese lyrics.

http://www.evaotaku.com/omake/Komm.html

From the beginning, everyone has been saying that the “Death” part of “Death and Rebirth” is a “perfect collection” of the TV series, but it wasn’t an easy-to-understand digest edition, as in “Space Battleship Yamato” and “Mobile Soldier Gundam.”

Ignoring the timeline of the TV series, the psychological condition of the main characters is shown…. Shocking and exciting scenes are put together as if just randomly shuffled, and nowhere do we see the introduction, development, turn, and conclusion [as in a well-composed Chinese poem]. This is a somewhat unkind thing to do to people who have never seen the TV series. “Death and Rebirth” could be labeled “No first-time customers” because of this.

[Note: “No first-time customers” is a sign on some very conservative restaurants in Japan that only take regular customers and people introduced by regulars.]

The completely new section “Rebirth”, is a 24 part continuation – a story that replaces the final two episodes which gave rise to all sorts of public criticism.

… An animated TV series (with 26 episodes) broadcast on TV Tokyo Channel from October ’95 to March ’96. The ratings were only 7.1%, but bit by bit from the second half on it moved up to a central place by word of mouth, and after the broadcasts ended it extended into even more of a boom. The movie is a continuation of the TV series.

… This story is told primarily from the point of view of Shinji Ikari, who was suddenly called to become an Eva pilot against his will by his father, Gendo Ikari, who is the commander of Nerve. Shinji is convinced that he was abandoned by his father when he was very young, and he is extremely frightened by contact with strangers. Also, everyone around him at Nerve likewise carries a wound in their heart and a sickness in their soul.

… The final two episodes of the TV series were 25 and 26. The story suddenly totally abandons what had been foreshadowed up to that point, its SF-style development, etc., and ends by depicting only the inner world of the protagonist, Shinji Ikari. Shinji gets a psychological breakthrough, and the curtain closes with the other characters saying “Congratulations” to him. It also includes things like rough, graffiti-like art, and forms of expression so far from normal you can’t even call it “experimental”; this kind of ending, with fans instantly spouting out arguments pro and con, became one reason for the increasingly widespread popularity of Eva.

A 30-billion yen anime?

At any rate, related software was selling and selling. The video LD has totaled over 2.5 million in sets of 10 disks, the sound-track edition (album) has sold over one million in sets of three, the three-volume collected comics and the nine-volume filmbooks have totaled 7.7 million copies, and 1.23 million people have gone to see the movie “Neon Genesis Evangelion Movie: Death and Rebirth” from when it was released in March.

Besides this, if we add in the plastic models and related goods, it easily breaks through the 30 billion yen mark. Furthermore, the TV series video LDs are not yet all sold and the movie edition packages are not yet on sale. Who can say how long the sales will continue?

… Someone connected to the consumer electronics industry said they are hoping “it will become a trigger for the spread of DVD,” and so on July 19th volume 1 of the Eva videos will be offered for sale. In the first period of five volumes, episodes 1-20 of the TV series will be recorded four to a volume, and they will be released one per month.

… If it really becomes a “trigger,” this will be one more thing to increase the legend of Eva.

… As with Megumi Hayashibara of “Ranma 1/2,” and Kotono Mitsuishi and Aya Hisakawa of “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon” before, a group of new, nearly “untouched” voice actors have grown along with their production and have been enjoying immense popularity.

Among the ranks of the “Eva” players, one could say that Yuko Miyamura matches this pattern. As almost the only “new person”, she has made her break in the role of Asuka Langley Souryuu in a difficult lone battle. It could well be said that her energy had no small part in bringing about Eva’s popularity.

… Miyamura: I’m still really new to television series and there were always more experienced actors around me. Especially in Eva with its adult drama, I have learned a lot from the acting and many talents of the experienced actors.

Also, because Asuka was completely finished by losing her mind in the TV series, I also got into a similar mental state; the stress built up and I suffered from bulimia for a while.

“The following is a set of articles from Nikkei Entertainment, the August 1997 issue. I am in the process of translating the whole set.”

Director’s Cut additions to episodes 21-24; originally were part of Death:

EoE script/translation:

Production IG’s translation was the most interesting item…they translated the last line as “You disgust me!”

Gregg Turek, Otakon 1999

  • End of Evangelion preliminary drafts; these appear to be ‘black’, stolen or leaked from Gainax, but they seem to be genuine (Olivier Hagué, Bochan_bird, and myself all agree):

    • cut scenes: real SEELE plan? Gendo/Yui wanted to colonize other planets?

    Gendo: “Humans should evolve into a new world. That is the purpose of the Eva series.”

    Keel and Seele: “We don’t have to give up our human forms to enter an Ark called Eva. We don’t have to aim for new lands either. Humans can be called humans because of their actual shape. That shape [Eva’s shape, I’d assume?] is not that of humanity. We’ll bring equality to all life forms. And we’ll proceed by the means of a”death" conferred to all humans [no, I’m not sure I understand that one… this sentence could be translated in various ways, I think, but none of them seems to make a lot of sense to me ^^;]. It is a rite of passage. To bring about the rebirth of a blocked [clogged? ^_^;] life. If everything doesn’t come to an end, nothing can truly begin. The fate of destruction is also the joy of rebirth. So God, humans, all life forms can be united under Lilith."

    The final script’s dialogue doesn’t help:

    SEELE: God, man and all life will use death to become one.

    Gendo: Death gives birth to nothing.

    Lorenz: We will gift you with death.

    –Final script translation by Numbers-kun (compare other translations); he also comments of the opaque lines, “There they seem to be debating whether or not the new life form will have a”human shape," or whether or not Eva-01 will be the new life itself or merely the means for a “sea of LCL” scenario. I don’t know why one would cause “death” and not the other, especially after Ritsuko’s “horobiru” comment."

    • describes the live-action scenes
    • includes Last A and Last B

cut storyboards, assault on Geofront by JSSDF (in trailers) (“There are also extended cuts of the assault on NERV.”)

japan.anime.evangelion newsgroup; original posting of 2 endings and live action http://groups.google.com/group/japan.anime.evangelion/browse_thread/thread/3fc12c1f9f33edd/e9888baf7dd332b3 http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/2001-October/040587.html http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2003-November/000714.html cut anime scene in EoE; explains why Hikari & Touji & Kensuke never showed up; can be read to show that Kensuke was to be the pilot of Eva-04. good also for showing Shinji’s bad mental state

Cut 39 Sound:

Touji: And I really mean it, Shinji. Thanks.

Shinji: ……

Kensuke: See you later, Ikari. You take care.

Shinji: ……

Description/Notes:

  • Distant shot – long, drawn-out pause.
  • (as if to cheer Shinji up) Touji passes the basketball to Shinji without saying anything, but Shinji drops the ball.

…PAGE 509…Cut 40

Sound: (Ball bouncing sound growing fainter)

Description/Notes:

  • Shinji’s hands remain where he failed to catch the basketball.
  • Shinji’s hands quiver/convulse slightly.

Brendan Jamieson confirms basketball court scene:

I would say that scene was scrapped because it overlooked that Touji, Hikari and Kensuke were out of Tokyo-3 in EoE (IIRC, aren’t they watching fighter jets flying overhead to NERV?). There are also extended cuts of the assault on NERV.

Independent source about Touji/Kensuke scene, and also the SEELE conversation about arks and other worlds:

Cut live-action Asuka scene; covers 2 unused EoE endings:

Last A

You already know the beginning of this one (a beach, petrified headless Evas, etc).

Thew, we see the graves[markers]35 Shinji made (it’s stated by Anno it was he who made them). The names of all main Eva characters are written on them, except for “Ayanami Rei”.

We then see Asuka’s grave.

And Asuka’s foot kicking it to the ground. ^^;

(you can still see these graves in the actual ending… no names, but there is Misato’s pendant nailed on one of them, and an other has been kicked down36 ^^ )

We then see Shinji and Asuka on the beach… and you know that scene, too (but this draft demonstrates that Shinji and Asuka didn’t just wake up there after Third Impact… they’ve been living here for some times… meaning they could be the two only humans willing to return, after all… ^^; )

When Shinji starts crying, Asuka was supposed to say something like “Idiot. No way I’ll let you kill me” (“idiot” was removed in the storyboards… and the whole line was modified, eventually).

Then, the ending music (so, there was one… ^^ ) was supposed to begin, and the staff credits were to appear (Anno suggests a horizontal scrolling, like in Gunbuster, I guess).

We were to see Eva-01 lying on the Moon, and woman’s hair showing from its broken mask (but her face remains unseen).

Behind Eva-01, you could see Earth, entirely red.

And the Black Moon, destroyed.

The camera goes to the sun, then to the stars.

Credits end.

“Shûgeki” (“the end”).

Now the true ending is based upon Last A. Last B is slightly different.

Last B

It begins like the previous one, but Asuka doesn’t show up in the “graves scene”.

We then see Shinji lying on the beach.

His right hand is holding a white one.

“I’ll never see them again.”

“It’s better to think of it this way.”

“I’m still alive, so I’ll keep on living.”

He squeezes the hand harder.

Then, he sees Rei (like in the actual episode and Last A).

We eventually see that there is nobody lying near Shinji. Just a white arm without the rest of the body.

The camera then shows the full moon.

The ending credits are the same as in Last A.

http://www.evamonkey.com/writings_wignall02.php http://www.angelfire.com/anime4/mdwigs/livesequence.html;

The last line in the EoE Storyboard book is:

“… Anta nanka ni korosareru no wa mappira yo.”

Which I translate as:

“… (I’ll be) damned if I’ll be killed by the likes of you.”

The direction to the VA is:

“Kore ijou naku tsumetai koe de”

Which is literally:

“In the coldest voice possible”

Bochan_bird

So no Genesis 0:0 In the Beginning. Shame, as it has Anno talking about the show, & another Gainax guy in a rowboat. Is there any chance of a translation please?

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2005-February/002407.html

PS. By the way the TV CM (commercial) for the EoE movie is quite strange….. a mish-mash of real-life video showing the humdrum of a few young women’s day-to-day life. The video is done in the documentary way, with thick particles and slightly blurred focus. The names of all the production staff appears continuously throughout the CM, with one name lasting only for 0.1s (my guess) and you can’t even read the names at all. At the beginning it asks “So, it’d be good if everybody die…” and at the end it asks “Then, why are you here?”

Patrick Yip

Sea of LCL is also the “Source of Life” (filmbook pg. 88), and “the wish of Shinji” (film book pg. 91.)

George Chen

…“blank screen”: In the original Japanese release of the film, after the screen text, ‘Fin.’ is shown, the screen goes completely black and no ending credits are shown. Audiences waited in the cinema for around 5 minutes to make sure the film was really over.

Bochan_bird on audiences watching EoE

Schizo/Prano

Schizo & Prano, were 2 related books of interviews published 1997; ISBN 4872333152 & 4872333160 (book covers)

Schizo

[Rei’s] body inherits half each of Yui and Adam’s genetics.

Sadamoto, pg 180; Sadamoto; http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=403905#403905

Anno: Ai to Gensou no Fascism. [Murakami’s The Fascism of Love and Fantasy or The Fascism of Love and Illusion] I like “Zero” [from that novel]. He is a highly dependent personality. I think Ryuu Murakami and I are the same [as Zero]: empty people. Really pathetic people.

Takekuma: His writing style is very stylish. [His books are] the type you keep reading because of the style.

Anno: In the end, there’s nothing else. It’s pathetic people trying to maintain themselves, living dependently on women.

Takekuma: So, the character Zero is Murakami’s own self-projection.

Anno: He remains unable to reject Zero. That also reveals a pathetic quality; the man himself aims at the opposite, but in the end part of his true feelings come out through Zero. It’s an amazingly good novel. I think Murakami is also an “oral stage” dependent type. He is overly fixated on the mother, and overly fixated on women. He is also fixated on the idea of crying into a woman’s chest. Finally, he is always thinking of doing away with his father. I think it’s a story of the Oedipus Complex.

Takekuma: In the desire to destroy the system, the original desire is there, right?

Anno: Yes. It’s a story of the Oedipus Complex, where one kills one’s father and violates one’s mother. However, when I started [Eva], I thought I was the same. Because it [was?] a story where Shinji kills his father and steals his mother from him.

Takekuma: A mother who has become a giant (laughs).

Anno: There was this replacement by a robot, so the original mother is the robot, but then there is a mother of the same age, Rei Ayanami, by [Shinji’s] side. [She is] also by the side of the real father. There is also another father there, Adam, who governs the overall course of events. An Oedipus Complex within these multiple structures; that’s what I wanted to do. Ai to Gensou no Fascism. I think there are ideological elements that are the same as those in the novel. […] The thing that most moved me was [the fact that] when the protagonist, Touji Suzuhara, attempted to kill the current Prime Minister, he felt [the Prime Minister] was a lot like his father. I think he kills his father and violates the mother “Japan.” That’s why he goes on to destroy Japan. I really like that passage. I like that Ryuu Murakami’s real feelings are coming out. In a big way. The novel itself is extremely boring, however (laughs).

http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=414209#414209

Anno: I understood the moment Toji [Suzuhara] felt contempt for his staff. I once had such a moment myself. At that point, I felt like for the first time I understood the position of a director. As I am in the position of both producer and director, my staff have to depend on me. That’s an inevitable part of the system. There’s no other person who can place themselves in my position. Inevitably, a producer/director is a dictator, but [being a dictator] is its own kind of isolation.

Oizumi: At that point Zero alone is in the same position, and [Toji] feels a bond with him.

Anno: Right. To those on the outside, it looks like an illusion, but when it comes down to it I believe that happiness itself is an illusion. Human beings cannot escape from their solitude. All they can do is forget it. At that moment [of forgetfulness], they will be happy. That’s my recent conclusion. In order [to forget], you can watch anime, or sleep with a girl, and if you can escape from your loneliness while doing it, then perhaps you will be happy. If, when I get totally drunk, I feel like I am not alone, that’s an illusion, but it’s happiness.

It’s a work that mirrors the self of each and every person that watches it. That’s because [the show contains] an excessive amount of information, and the projections of the viewers simply return to them. For each person, the appeal [of the show] is also different.

–“Happiness is an Illusion”; Numbers-kun

[For human beings?], there is no ‘original.’ … When those like me, who don’t watch anything but anime and manga, suddenly hit upon something, what we discovered will only be something within us we forgot about, there will necessarily be some original [elsewhere]. … I feel a bit bad [about it].

Fundamentally, Eva is just my life copied out onto film. I’m [still] alive, so the story hasn’t finished.

The characters of ‘Eva’ are all composite personalities based around my own personality.

Shinji-kun is the current me.

I think that [one?] has to be more cognizant of that. The fact that we have nothing.

I think [Murakami] is the same as me, an empty person.

If we assume that an ‘original’ exists, it’s nothing but my life. … I can’t deny that everything else may be counterfeit.

http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=420652#420652

The finale of Eva will end up being [like] Devilman. That’s what the story has to be. I guess I’m doing it unconsciously. [Eva] already completely contains the “taste” of Go Nagai. I can’t wipe it away. I can no longer deny the impact of Devilman. If I were to deny it, I feel that I would end up completely overturning my own life.

–translated by Numbers-kun; Japanese a combination of a 2chan and Wikipedia excerpt. Numbers-kun points out the uncanny resemblance of the Devilman finale with the Last B scenario (half a torso versus half an arm):

…I will note, though, that there is a precedent for ‘sequel theory’ that might have influenced Anno. Go Nagai’s Violence Jack was revealed in its final chapters to have been a sequel to Devilman. In Violence Jack, it turns out that, after its destruction, the world was recreated by the fallen angel Ryo Asuka for the sake of trying to resurrect Akira Fudo, whom he had fallen in love with. However, the recreation was not entirely successful.

Without question, Anno is familiar with Violence Jack (according to the Japanese wikipedia, in Schizo, Anno mentions the Slum King as one source of inspiration for the design of the Evangelions). In addition, some Eva fans have noted parallels between Ryo Asuka and Kaworu Nagisa (including Halicat and Synapsid on EGF). Kaworu’s appearances in NME especially seem reminiscent of both Ryo Asuka and the storyline of Violence Jack.

From “Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s First Meeting With Director Anno” (Schizo); Numbers-kun’s translation:

Sadamoto: [I first met him when] I worked part-time drawing genga for the Macross television series as a University student. I would help out a little in between attending school. So I think the first [encounter] was when I caught sight of Anno-san at Artland. There was a unit called the “Mecha Squad,” which included (Ichiro) Itano-san among its members, who were all living there [at Artland] (laughing). The story would take some time to recount…I was attending the manga studies program at the Tokyo University of Art and Design. Mahiro Maeda was a student there, and he invited me to work together with him on Macross. When Maeda was in high school, (Takami) Akai-san had been an older student [at his school], and [Akai’s later] classmates at the Osaka University of Arts were Hiroyuki Yamaga and Hideaki Anno. In the beginning those three were all working on Macross. Akai-san quickly gave up on it and returned to Osaka, but Yamaga-san and Anno-san remained behind at Artland and helped out with Macross. Yamaga-san was placed in charge of directing an episode for the first time with episode nine…

Sato: The storyboards as well?

Sadamoto: Yeah, he ended up doing the storyboards and the direction, and [saw] he didn’t have enough people. Yamaga-san began searching for talented people in Tokyo, and when he asked Akai-san about it, [Akai] told him to use [an old] schoolmate of his in the manga studies program at the Tokyo University of Art and Design. So Mahiro Maeda, seeming not to want to go by himself, invited me to go with him. I had an interest in animation, so I assisted [on Macross] for about a year. During that period, I would from time to time catch sight of Anno-san. [I noticed,] “there is this tall fellow who sometimes walks around in his bare feet” (laughing).

Takekuma: At that time, he didn’t give off a sense that you could approach him very easily, right?

Sadamoto: I didn’t approach him. Anno-san, he was always talking to himself in a loud voice. You could understand what he was saying even from far away. You would hear this loud voice from the other side of the hallway: “I’ve got it! The timing of Itano’s explosions - !” [the Itano circus] (laughing loudly)

Sato: That’s the same as he is now.

Sadamoto: He would say “I’ve got it!” and suddenly begin drawing, and go to (Shojo) Kawamori-san, or some other director - my own immediate [supervising] director was Fumihiko Takayama-san - he would go to Takayama-san and explain the drawing in minute detail, saying how many frames it should take, and how things were to be arranged, and how it would disappear. So, when, seeing his intensity, I wondered who he was, Mahiro Maeda told me “That’s Anno-san; he worked on Daicon III.” “Ah, I see,” I thought. “He loves to draw mecha.”

From “The AT-Field”, Numbers-kun:

Oizumi: I find that both Anno-san and Takekuma-san [produce] incredibly self-referential works.

Takekuma: Isn’t that the tendency of our generation?

Anno: Well, we want to understand ourselves.

Takekuma: We have indefinite selves without models or norms, so we refer back to our selves [in our works].

Anno: Society is indefinite as well. There are countless indefinite aspects [of our situation]. That indefiniteness disgusts me. Everyone and everything - including anime fans, and even Aum - is hazy and uncertain. It’s the society that sets those values. Even Aum was something hazy and uncertain prior to the incident.

Oizumi: [As part of my research [Oizumi wrote one of the early & still-cited works on Aum]] I’m a member of Aum now, and even now it’s extraordinarily indefinite. Every member is different. [It’s composed of] a variety of different people, but the society has declared it to be this [particular sort of] organization.

Anno: Anime fans and the anime industry are also indefinite. In a manner of speaking all of Japan is indefinite. I hated this, and I wanted to construct a barrier between myself and society. Expressing it in terms of the show, it was an “AT Field,” a pattern [of behavior] where I would tear apart or reject anything that crossed the boundary line between myself and others. Perhaps [that was the] “barrier of the heart.”

From “Devilman”, Numbers-kun:

Anno: Another [major influence] was the seventh volume of the Nausicaa manga.

Takekuma: That [volume] is incredible. It reversed all the values [that had been in place].

Anno: I felt like it was the same as what I [was doing]. After that I couldn’t help but make [the work into] Nausicaa, to treat the same themes as the seventh volume of Nausicaa.

Oizumi: Nausicaa was unable to live as one of the ancients.

Anno: She rejected coexistence [with them]. She bloodied her hands so that her own people would survive. That was good. This karmic punishment that required [her] to destroy [them] with the abhorred fire of the God Warriors - that was good (laughing). [Good] because the true views of Hayao Miyazaki were expressed, and there, at least, he took off his underwear [and showed himself naked]. In the manga he took off his underwear, and his penis was erect (laughing). I am hoping that he will do the same in Princess Mononoke.

Schizo table of contents

Numbers-kun translation of Japanese webpage:

  • Part One: Long Interview with Hideaki Anno (by Mitsunari Oizumi)
  • Chapter One: We are empty

    • Aum Shinrikyo and Eva37
    • I had gotten tired of Anime fans
    • Television dependency
    • Eva is a private film
    • An unprecedented service38
  • Chapter Two: How to finish [a?] story

    • How to finish [a?] story
    • A tentative “happy end”
    • Not merely a copy
    • One should mix in poison39
    • A new track
    • The influence of Yamato
  • Chapter Three: Creation is a masturbation show

    • An attachment to deformity
    • The first episode of Gundam is the ultimate
    • The work and other people
    • Picturesque masturbation
    • Gainax, the amateur collective
    • A taste of Go Nagai
  • Chapter Four: Devilman and the Oedipus Complex

    • Happiness is an illusion
    • Towards Cerebrism40
    • The Dead Sea Scrolls
    • We have no time
    • Devilman
    • The AT Field
    • Anxiety after the end of the broadcast
  • Columns: Story Digest

      1. Episode 1 - Episode 7
      1. Episode 8 - Episode 15
      1. Episode 16 - Episode 19
      1. Episode 20 - Episode 22
      1. Episode 23 - Episode 26
  • Part Two: Hideaki Anno “tried in absentia” by the staff of Evangelion (First Part)
  • Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s first meeting with Director Anno
  • Masayuki’s first meeting with Director Anno
  • Hiroki Sato’s first meeting with Director Anno
  • Toshimichi Otsuki’s first meeting with Director Anno
  • Kazuya Tsurumaki’s first meeting with Director Anno
  • The “terror” of Hideaki Anno
  • Picking up girls [?] using the “God Warrior”
  • Hideaki Anno as an animator
  • Hideaki Anno as a director
  • The beginning of Eva (1)
  • On Rei Ayanami (1)
  • On Rei Ayanami (2)
  • The beginning of Eva (2)
  • On Rei Ayanami (3)
  • On Kaworu
  • On Rei Ayanami (4)
  • On Rei Ayanami (5)
  • Part Three: What is Rei Ayanami? (Mitsunari Oizumi)

Prano

Anno: The truth is, I have no emotional attachment to Rei at all.

In the midst of making Eva, I suddenly realized that I had forgotten her. Her very existence. For example, in episode seven, I remembered and added one shot with Rei. I had no attachment to her at all, right? I think that was okay, because in episode eight, she doesn’t appear, right? Not even in a single shot.

Episode 6 was too early.

At the end Rei says “I don’t know what to do,” and Shinji says, “I think you should smile,” and Rei smiles. … Afterwards, when I thought about it, I cursed. In short, if she and Shinji completely “communicated” there, then isn’t she over with? At that moment, Rei, for me, was finished.

When she smiled, she was already finished, this character.

from page ~95-96; http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=414209#414209

Nagisa Kaworu The fifth Eva pilot whom Seele sent in. To Shinji, he was both the very first friend he could confide in as well as a same-sex romantic interest. On the account of his true nature as an “Angel”, he attempts to merge with the First Angel, Adam, ensconced in Nerv’s underground, to trigger Third Impact. Driven at the far end of his anguish, Shinji kills that beloved friend of his with Eva Unit-01.

Unknown translator; posted on 4chan & 17th Angel. Page number (107) consistent with being half-way through Prano in “Introduction to the main characters of Eva” since Prano has 190 pages.

Prano table of contents

Numbers-kun translation of Japanese webpage:

  • Part One: Long Interview with Hideaki Anno (by Kentaro Takekuma)
  • Chapter One: I won’t study anymore

    • An honor student in my hometown
    • My family
    • The first work I saw
    • The monster and the hero
    • Yamato on a black-and-white TV
    • I won’t study anymore
    • The legendary Yamato feature
    • Farewell Yamato
    • Absorbed in 8-mm film
  • Chapter Two: The birth of Daicon Film

    • Meeting Hiroyuki Yamaga
    • Gundam starts broadcasting!
    • Beginning on Ultraman
    • The birth of Daicon Film
    • The reason I became Ultraman
    • Setback and separation
  • Chapter Three: The long road to Eva

    • Selected for Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
    • An insolent newcomer
    • A second master
    • Grave of the Fireflies
    • The director Isao Takahata
    • Hayao Miyazaki’s view of Royal Space Force
    • The formation of Gainax
    • Gainax didn’t break up
    • Aim for the Top!
    • Anime loses money
    • The suspension of Blue Uru Chapter Four: Feeling despair, but that point was the beginning

    • Conflict
    • What’s so great about Gendo?
    • To “depict a human being”
    • Nothing changes in the world
    • On romantic love
    • Crying in the arms of a woman
    • The true meaning of words
    • Looking for one’s mother in a woman
    • What would be madness?
    • Epilogue
  • Columns: Hideaki Anno’s amateur period (1) (2)
  • From Nausicaa to Nadia
  • Introduction to the main characters of Eva
  • Part Two: Hideaki Anno “tried in absentia” by the staff of Evangelion (Second Part)
  • Why is the main character a boy?
  • On “I mustn’t run away”
  • Father and Mother (1) - (5)
  • Can Hideaki Anno “change”? (1) (2)
  • Why did Shinji pilot? (1) (2)
  • Rei Ayanami’s smile
  • On the last two episodes
  • Critique of Otaku
  • Suicidal desires (1)
  • Psychological attack
  • Suicidal desires (2)
  • At the end
  • Part Three: Me and Evangelion (Kentaro Takekuma)

1997 S

The re-run for Evangelion were aired on Saturday nights from 1997.02.01 to 1997.03.15, at 26:55 (2:55 AM Sunday). They aired four episodes in a row, and after that they had some live clips. They were as follows.

Date Ep Extras
1997.02.01 1-4 press conference of the Evangelion movie
1997.02.08 5-8 otaku in lines waiting to buy tickets for the Eva movie
1997.02.15 9-12 main seiyuu commenting on the Eva movie: Ogata Megumi, Hayashibara Megumi, Mitsuishi Kotono, Miyamura Yuko
1997.02.22 13-16 video clips from some Evangelion events: Miyamura Yuko, Mitsuishi Kotono, Hayashibara Megumi
1997.03.01 17-20 inside Gainax studios: staff, cels, CG room
1997.03.08 21-23 30 minute special (narration by Tachiki Fumihiko)
1997.03.15 24-26

1997.03.08

The 30 minute special that was aired on 1997.03.08 gave information about how big a hit Evangelion was: 200,000 advance tickets for the movie were sold, 2,420,000 LDs and videos were sold, 880,000 CD singles were sold, 1,240,000 CDs were sold, (the 3rd soundtrack reached number 1 in the Oricon charts), 3,500,000 comics were sold.

There were highlights from the TV series, live video of Anno Hideaki (creator and director of Evangelion), some clips of the main seiyuu (same clips that were used in the previous weeks), some interviews with fans.

“Evangelion re-runs” (last updated 3 March 1997 by Hitoshi Doi); they ran on TV Tokyo

The cult anime named Evangelion. A forbidden anime about how a group led by morally/spiritually bankrupt individuals uses an autistic boy to wage pitched battles against incomprehensible creatures, and how through contact with the hearts of a mentally fragile, bandaged girl and an overly self-conscious, traumatized girl, that boy ultimately attains deliverance/salvation himself in the final episode. Some viewers became enraged, some despondent, some lost friends as a result of hysterical disputes, and some attained deliverance/salvation themselves.

… If memory serves correctly, when the plan arose they made up to Ep6 (despite Anno apparently saying in Quick Japan magazine that they had “made up to Ep7 in advance”) and sent out feelers in all directions, but were given the cold shoulder by every company. (laugh) Even Bandai snubbed them based on the past results of the huge failure of “Wings of Honneamise (Royal Space Force)”. (laugh) They had connections with a TV Tokyo producer, but if you can’t get sponsors it doesn’t matter. So after wandering lost by the wayside for a bit, Kadokawa Shoten finally picked them up. But the truth is that even Kadokawa just barely picked them up, and flatly rejected their budget requests, saying that they only intended to budget the same level and not a yen more than other anime Kadokawa had sponsored in the past (Tenchi Muyo, etc.).

… Anno himself also replied in an interview that, “We completely ran out of time partway through….” However, the direct cause was not the PTA or a lack of time, but the more pressing issue of “budget”.

… …finally moving his heavy arse, Anno vastly restructured the production system. First, 75% or more of the production staff from Ep16 onward were outsourced South Korean staff41. In terms of the animation as well, when reusing sequences other than bank sequences or for still shots, instead of using the film, these sequences were instead dubbed in at the end using a video deck. This is why character close-ups and other shots that seemed to jiggle increased partway through the series. They even mixed stupid photographs and other stuff into the mental image scenes. In the worst cases some scenes just showed a still screen that lasted for a minute or more. But no matter how much they struggled, they had already exceeded their budget and time limits. And then to top it all off were those last two episodes.

Although budget issues were the main problem, Gainax had also quarreled constantly with TV Tokyo since before the TV airing over moral issues such as how the show would end and other details. These ranged from trivial points such as it being improper to show women’s underwear in the hanging laundry, to major items such as the brutal scene at the end of Ep18 “The Choice of Life”. It’s kind of letting the cat out of the bag now, but the truth is that “Asuka dies from madness (she lives in the TV version),” “Shinji dissolves but reforms,” and “Rei also dies” were already determined before the TV airing started, and Gainax had quarreled a number of times with the TV Tokyo producer and related parties over these plot devices. Furthermore, the ending was supposed to have been “The main characters die one after another, and the final battle is Ikari Shinji vs. Ikari Gendo,” although there probably isn’t any evidence left to support that now. (laugh) Well, except it seems that Hayashibara Megumi (voice actress for Ayanami Rei) said on a radio program something like: “I might end up fighting against Shinji.” I also heard talk that “Misato and Ritsuko both die fighting each other, and Misato’s death awakens Shinji(?)” Surprisingly, it seems the character who was the key to the climax was not Rei, but Misato. But then I guess it doesn’t matter what is said now. (laugh)

… When Ep20 aired, complaints poured in from the PTA. This infuriated TV Tokyo all the way up to the upper management, which made it impossible for Gainax to take any bold measures. Nowadays it’s pretty much taken for granted that the only people who complain over every little thing in children’s TV anime or manga are people like Kofuku-no-Kagaku* pulling a publicity stunt for their “evil book banning movement”…. Still, at that point the TV Tokyo upper management issued the severe notice that “Any anime that is deluged with complaints from the PTA even once from now on will be canceled regardless of the reason.” The anime “Bakuretsu Hunters” and “Fushigi Yugi” were airing on the same channel at the time, and these also caught flak and received strict warnings even though they had not done anything. (laugh) That’s why there were so many unnatural changes in the story contents from Ep20 onward.42

So for these reasons, the Eva [TV] ending was made under conditions with Gainax’s hands tied in terms of budget, time and content. Considering that the last two episodes were made under those conditions, Director Anno might even be viewed as amazing…. Nope, I just can’t view him like that. (laugh) After all it was his own damn fault that things turned out that way.

… Anno said in some anime magazine that “Katsuragi Misato is modeled in part on my first love,” but do you know who he was talking about? It’s Hidaka Noriko, the voice actress for Jean in “Nadia and the Secret of Blue Water”. (laugh) When the TV version of “Nadia” launched, Anno confessed his feelings to Hidaka Noriko. This is a famous story in the industry. Apparently Anno told her that he “looked at her not as an object of adoration/longing, but as a serious love interest!” (ROTFL!) Apparently he was even seriously thinking of marriage. However, Hidaka Noriko refused him flatly, saying “I have no intention of marrying someone in the anime industry.” Wait, what? Don’t we know now that she was married to some anime-related producer at the time? (ROTFL!) But Anno would not give up, and told her, “Well, watch my next work, and then decide!” In other words Anno was proposing an affair to the already married Hidaka Noriko. (laugh) Anyway, Anno next work was “Evangelion”, so… Evangelion might be considered a work that embodies something of a stalker obsession.

… But it looks like there is no shortage of people willing to get paid and become famous for writing magazine articles on the subject. Isn’t that right? Okada-san? Takekuma-san? Otsuki Kenji-san?43 (ROTFL!)

The Kaibunsho; Carl Horn’s criticism of the above Kaibunsho (but see his article mentioning ‘gossip’ linking Anno & Miyamura): http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2006-September/003726.html http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2006-September/003730.html. Olivier Hagué gave in 2001 the same story about Anno & Noriko, but it’s unclear whether he’s drawing on the Kaibunsho or whether that story had been circulating independently.

Mari Kotani’s Immaculate Virgin:

Dec. issue of NewType has an interview with Sadamoto Yoshiyuki. With my very limited skill in Japanese, I think Sadamoto talked about the fact that the differences between the TV and manga is something he did very deliberately-with a more traditional Shonen Manga approach . Maybe Patrick should translate that interview for us which I find will be much valuable… [wink to Patrick]

1997 T

  • 1997-animationplanet-nge01.pdf
  • 1997-animationplanet-nge04.pdf
  • 1997-animerica-amandwinninterview.pdf
  • 1997-animerica-genericdescription.pdf
  • 1997-animerica-interviews19921997.pdf
  • 1997-animerica-maskorface.pdf
  • 1997-animerica-spikespencerinterview.pdf
  • 1997-marikotani-newmillennialist.txt
  • 1997-newswire-cartoonevavoidyouth.txt

The ending scene has burnt in my mind. It is a scene that is hard to forget…. I actually saw people sobbing at the end when I was at the cinema watching EoE. http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1997-October/006527.html

Anno, as late as the November ’96 issue of Newtype magazine, still denied that the last two episodes were a “lousy job” and argued that the Gainax crew worked incredibly hard to finish the series, which he thinks “ended beautifully.” He regretted that fans cannot appreciate Gainax’s efforts.

Asked about the violence and uncharacteristic sex scene in episodes 18 and 19, Anno said that the scenes were necessary to develop the story and “to understand real life.” He felt that children should be exposed early to the realities of life so that they do not grow up weak and sheltered and so that they will become immune to some of the harsh situations they will eventually experience. Many fans at the convention thought that this was an interesting viewpoint on his part.

Do you wonder why Eva got so dark and psychological near the end? After all, Anno is the guy who directed Nadia of the Mysterious Seas, one of the liveliest and funniest anime I’ve ever watched. According to Anno, from episode 16 on, he began reading books about human psychology and became very interested. He wanted to explore “what the human mind is all about inside.”

“I wrote about myself. My friend lent me a book on psychological illness and this gave me a shock, as if I finally found what I needed to say,” he says in the November Newtype.44

http://www.cjas.org/~echen/articles/spring97/05_03b.html>/<http://www.evaotaku.com/omake/anno.html

The original show ended in April, but EVA’s success has continued unabated, with bestselling sales on laserdisc and video- even its music has gone through the roof, with volume 3 of the EVA soundtrack being the first anime album to hit #1 on the Japanese pop charts since GALAXY EXPRESS 999, seventeen years before.

but its nontraditional structure, narrative techniques, and an ending that over ten million Japanese tuned in to, only to raise a national howl of protest by the time the closing credits rolled.

‘Anno Mirabilis: The Triumph and Controversy of Gainax’s NEON GENESIS’; part 1

Much of the premise and many of the early elements of EVA are familiar, indeed stereotyped elements of Japanese TV science fiction: teenage boy is chosen to pilot a robot his father built and fight against the enemy. It’s reminiscent of anime from GIGANTOR to GIANT ROBO ( on which Anno was special - effects director ) , and the weird organic forms of the enemy, who attack one at a time, are reminiscent of the “monster of the week” tokusatsu shows such as ULTRAMAN ( Anno’s favorite television show ) . The director of EVANGELION began from an immediately familiar and recognizable template, but in an interview before the show first aired, put the question up front: " If a person likes robot or cute girl animation, can they still be happy with it after the age of twenty? " It may seem like an odd question for Anno, 36 year - old super - otaku, who created in EVA an anime full of robots and cute girls, to pose.

But the director was quite serious: his studio, Gainax is known as the otaku who examine themselves. The personal, allegorical nature of their work was treated seriously in HONNEAMISE and humorously in OTAKU NO VIDEO, and it emerges throughout the length of EVANGELION, many of whose multi - generational cast of characters are painted masks for the show’s staff and most especially for Hideaki Anno himself.

… but Gainax’s continuing challenge to the industry is in some ways more intriguing, as it attempts to effect a revolution from deep inside-its otaku building their intricate fantasy castles in a super - detailed style of obsessive detail, then dismantling them brick by brick to show their sense of an underlying and inescapable reality.

part 2

Scott Rider, EoE review

If you’re on the newsgroup and read this, could you perhaps answer a question about End of Evangelion?

What actually happens in the movie is that as Nine Inch Nails’ “March of the Pigs” blares, Anno, backed by strobe lights, nude except for a tip of the hat to William Burroughs, and visibly aroused, blows away successive EVA characters with a 12-gauge Mossberg airsoft, the six millimeter pellets shredding acetate avatars. At the end, covered by flecked and filmy remnants, he inserts the gun into his own mouth, only to find the bore choked by wads of merchandising cash.

–Carl “I wear this crown of shit/Upon my liar’s chair” Horn

from rec.arts.anime.misc

1998

1998 P

  • 1998-animerica-sadamotointerview-fr-opening.txt
  • 1998-animerica-sadamotointerview.pdf

“Feb/98 issue of Animage features Anno Hideaki…The Love & Pop feature in Animage is really wide-ranging: There are interviews with all 4 actresses, interview with Anno Hideaki (He got a special interviewer, who is a woman manga artist), interview with Ryuu Murakami (the original author of the eponymous novel), interview with Miyuki Nanri (the producer of the movie), interview with Yuki Masa (the casting of the movie, also director of Death and Rebirth: Evangelion), interview with Takahide Shibanushi (the film photographer of the movie), and excerpts of feedback from people (aged from 16 to 30) who saw the premiere show of the movie. Finally there is a report of Anno winning the 18th SF Award of Japan. Altogether there are 26 pages covering the movie, a real tribute to Anno, especially one coming from an anime magazine.”

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-January/008175.html

from the May 1998 issue of EVANGELION:

On Anno’s severe depression, his “crisis of the soul,” as a motive in the development of Evangelion.

YAMAGA: Well, I think Anno may have appeared in the Japanese media as you suggest; he’s made comments about wanting to die, and so forth, but at least from my perspective, things were never as serious as they appeared in the press. [LAUGHS]

On the reasons for use of Judeo-Christian symbology in Eva

YAMAGA: I don’t know exactly why. I suspect that Mr. Anno may have read some book on it, and there was some thoughts he wanted to express on it. I personally am glad that, rather than Christianity, he didn’t express some obscure Buddhist theme, because then it would have been linked more with Aum Shinrikyo. [LAUGHS]

On whether Anno and Yamaga are fans of David Lynch, and whether Anno is “the Kurt Cobain of anime.”

YAMAGA: As far as Mr. Anno committing suicide or anything like that [LAUGHS], I’m not really sure how to say this, but, while sometimes he might seem very emotional, when you get to know him, he doesn’t come off like that at all. [LAUGHS] As far as David Lynch is concerned, I don’t dislike David Lynch, but on the other hand, he’s not someone I’m a huge fan of, either. As far as Anno, there have been people who have called Evangelion the anime equivalent of Twin Peaks. [LAUGHS]

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2006-September/003693.html (see also http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-June/015609.html); these comments are sourced from the 1998 Fanime panel with Yamaga; Peter Svensson confirms the ‘some book’ comment (see http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-February/010543.html and personal communication, but also later says “Well, at Fanime Con, Yamaga said that Anno was influenced(on the religious aspects of EVA) by a novel…”. A mistake or were 2 books discussed? TODO emailed Svensson again)

Asahi Newspaper publishes a weekly magazine “AERA.” AERA 08/31/1998 issue dealt with an interview with Hideaki Anno.

As you know, he is 180 cm tall. He is a kind of giant for normal Japanese.

He always fears something. But he himself is a kind of fear.

He was born in 1960 in Ube city, Yamaguchi Prefecture. In his childhood, Ube city has shipyards. His inside proto-landscape is like such a shipyard, say, NERV base. (Faculty of Medicine, Yamaguchi University is located at Ube city.)

His father Takuya Anno lost his left leg like Touji Suzuhara.

Hideaki Anno fears animal. Therefore he is a vegetarian.

He said, “I cannot break my own heart shell. However I think I can enlarge it because I completed EVA.”

He is shy in fact.

He made EVA as his private anime. After EVA, he escaped from work. He tried to kill himself45. In order not to kill himself, he had to live at the building of GAiNAX, Musashino-city, Tokyo.

But he lost his everything because he wasted out his all inside to make EVA.

http://web.archive.org/web/20071207235755/www.geocities.com/Tokyo/4081/file425.html#3 cf. http://webspace.webring.com/people/cu/um_2708/colj089.html (But did his father lose a leg? The only known footage of him is Hideaki Anno Talks to Kids, and the video doesn’t show very much: he sits normally, and is standing normally, and his bow doesn’t seem odd - but those are undemanding actions which wouldn’t be odd with a good prosthetic.)

[Anno] The reason the game business prospered and grew so fast is because it was a venture. But games have finally tanked too. It happened pretty fast, didn’t it? Our generation is naturally a shallow one, and there’s no-one who’s trying to overturn things. There isn’t anyone trying to make “me-anime” now, is there?

…[Anno] The first time I saw “Virtua Fighter”[2], I thought, is this what anime is up against? It was quite a shock. That’s when I realized I’d have to level up somewhere other than the visuals, I guess right before I did “EVA”. Visual impact is anime’s strong point, but since games had followed on anime’s heels, it had become a time when a methodology no different from the others just wouldn’t cut it. All the cards had already been dealt, so we had no choice but to change the combination, or turn over cards that were thought to be taboo. That’s what I mean when I say that “EVA” didn’t use even a single new methodology.

[Ikuhara] Ah, like what the media talks about as creatorhood when discussing animated works. But that’s just an illusion, and actually in the anime business no such thing as a creator is anywhere to be found. All there are are people who were brought along by the founding of the system. The people who devise the form of the anime of today.

…[Anno] Recently I watched some “Kinchuu” (“Kingiyo Chuuihou!”)[9]. As research for “Kare Kano”. I thought that perhaps that was what gags and shoujo manga were. But it felt a little old.

[Ikuhara] Old? It feels like things are divided into the time before and after “Sailor Moon”. I feel like it really infected the tastes at Comiket. [Anno] Yeah. Whether something’s major or not at Comiket amounts to whether or not it gets made into erotic stuff. After all, the sex industry is strong no matter what era it is. As Tsurumaki (Kazuya) said, earnestly value all things equally. Both Hiromatsu Junko and Ayanami Rei. I can’t express it in words, but I feel the same chasm within myself.

[Ikuhara] I think it’s the feeling of anti-septicness. The impression that they don’t smell like anything is good.

[Anno] Yes, yes, exactly.

[Ikuhara] Apparently stuff like unnecessary hair, or nose hair, isn’t absolute. Of course, in pictures the characters don’t actually have nostrils (laugh). I bet everyone would start hating pictures of girls if we drew nostrils on them.

[Anno] Cel anime fans are more sterile than that.

[Ikuhara] The idols of a decade ago felt really sterile. But recently actresses and TV talents are feeling less remote and more realistic.

[Anno] Does that include us, by any chance? It’s an existence where courage and familiarity seem to be draining away.

[Ikuhara] If so, the place that the people who recognize the feeling of sterility are carrying with them in their thoughts will disappear.

[Anno] That’s why I’m going with the cel anime system.

[Ikuhara] There’s somewhere where we’ll give up, isn’t there. We’re trying to fulfill our own ambitions virtually. I suppose if we were doing it for real we should be trying to make more properly ideal cities and better human relations. I can’t really say it in anything but pedestrian terms, but, like with things like the Aum[*1] incident, I can understand the feelings of the people who want to reorganize the world.

[Anno] In order to see a made-up drama, there are even people who neglect their real lives, right? That kind of person does things like become a seiyuu fan.

[Ikuhara] I bet what they really wanted was to touch an anime character.

[Anno] For something that could connect the virtual and the real, I too turned to the seiyuu. But that was a mistake. That’s why I tried to show something different in “Kare Kano”. But altering the existing system is tough.

…[Anno] Yes, a world where something is done with the body alone. Nothing else befits a documentary. A world that shows nothing of creation.

[Ikuhara] Take “Utena” and “EVA”. They take a fragment of our work and talk about us introducing impact into our animation, saying it’s like Terayama Shushi[12]’s work or something. It’s nothing that narrow, is it? I think that what appears in our works is the complex about the body that people who make made-up anime feel.

[Anno] I use the word “lifelike-ness”. Compared to that, cel anime is pretty and virtual. Because I feel a sense of thwarted life in current cel anime, I want to try to peek at it from a slightly different direction. Like trying not to use any of the established seiyuu.

Newtype October 1998 interview (mirror); EML copy of original Usenet translation

“Is Anno sane?” (see also http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2006-August/003688.html and http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2006-August/003689.html)

Horn’s affirmation that Peter Svensson really did ask at ’98 Fanime of Yamaga whether Anno was sane: http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2006-August/003688.html

“The May 1998 issue would have been called”Book Two, Issue #3" on its cover (that is, it contained the third chapter from vol. 2, Stage 9). It contained a special feature transcribing some of Hiroyuki Yamaga’s answers to audience questions at Fanime Con ’98 after a screening of Evangelion: Death (True) and Evangelion (Rebirth). I believe Mr. Yamaga’s panel was also covered in Protoculture Addicts, but they may have included some remarks and not others (and the reverse is likely true for my piece)."

–personal email with Carl Horn

  • Missing primary source books (listed in E-Mono):

‘As for the books by Hideaki Anno. They were not written by Anno. The Blue one “Sukina Evangelion” (EVA that I love) is supposed to be a very “detailed” interview with Anno. The yellow one “Barano Evangelion” (EVA like rose) is supposed to be a very detailed interview with the production staff “when Anno was not around”.’ http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-February/010670.html

‘I’ve checked the E-MONO book and now I know which two books you are talking about. The ones with blue and yellow cover respectively, right? Unfortunately, they were not “written” by Anno. The “sukina” (blue) book is supposed to be a “very detailed” interview with Anno; while the “barano” (yellow) book is supposed to be also a “very detailed” interview with the production staff “when Anno was not around”. I don’t have them in possession though.’ http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-February/010182.html

“the unforgiving other

the substitute opposite sex

the sudden humiliation

the anxiety of departure (from other)

the horror (scare?) of the other

dangerous thinking (wisdom)

the proud of taking chance (????)

mercy of the weak

the unhappy photo

the scar of the pass

the uncomfortable/embarrassing stage (?)

beyond common sense

question the value

combination of lust and love

return to the womb (!!!)

empty time ( the time here I think is being used as noun….so timelessness?)

the vision of distraction

the fictional beginning

the continuation of reality

this, is the end of the dream"

–The Symphony of Evangelion concert had a number of telops flashed during EoE pieces; George Chen made the preceding list.

Episode 23

A-Part

  1. Cut 1-51 Added Ritsuko’s room scene. Corrections on various background.
  2. Cut 52-118 When the Angel trying to get into Unit-00, added one “Monitor scene”.
  3. Cut 139-163 The inner Universe of Rei. Huge corrections on the drawings (note: according to the newsletter anyway)
  4. Cut 139-163, 335-378, 182-190. Here, there are a lot of new scenes. We are suppose to see a “Giant Rei” before Unit 00 explodes (note: Like I said, I will not be able to confirm these notes till Sunday night. ^_^)

B-Part

  1. 191-223 Various corrections of scenes of Misato and Shinji.
  2. Cut 223B-F Gendo and Fuyutsuki in front of the Dummy Plug. New scenes (Note: !!!!! Will see it Sunday night!!!!!)
  3. Rei III. Various corrections but no new footage.
  4. Cut 256-278 Agent’s room. The composition which Fuyutsuki’s in is different. Seele with the nude Ritsuko; composition of the scene is different.
  5. Cut 279-303. Minor corrections in the elevator scenes with Ritsuko, Misato and Shinji. There seems to be more “space” after the modifications.
  6. Cut 304-334. While Ritsuko describe the nature of Rei. There are added scenes of discovery of Adam, and creation of Eva.

Episode 24

A-Part

  1. Cut 1-14. The scenes which Asuka learned that Kaji is dead is added.
  2. Cut 15-58. The bathtub scenes are much more “clear” now due to the TV vs. LD (Note: no censorship).
  3. Cut 71-79. The Rei and Kaworu scenes. New dialogue between the 2 added. (!!!)
  4. Cut 319-337 Seele and Kaworu—Misato’s monitor (????). New Scenes. (Note: Since this is just notes….plus I am doing a literal translations of those notes….I will have to put this into context later on…again…Sunday night)
  5. Cut 150-310. News scenes which Unit 02 descending into Central Dogma. Seele’s dialogue is new. Lilith started to grow legs. (Which in the original the scenes only contain Lilith without lower part of the body).
  6. Cut 311-318. Light pole had been added to the scenes by the lake (Note: So? A_A ). Reflection on near the shore had been corrected.

Additional changes:

In the preview section: The original preview of TV 25, 26 are retained but also added the preview of “Air” and “My Pure Heart for you”.

George Chen, describing the notes accompanying the Japanese release of Genesis 0:12 and describing the changes & additions made as part of the Director’s Cut

Anno: Before that I read Mr. Matsumoto’s Battlefield manga series, and I also liked Wadachi. I was hanging out in my neighborhood browsing through an issue of Adventure King when I saw the announcement for the first episode: “New series, Space Battleship Yamato.” The title caught my fascination immediately. In our house we had one TV and the rest of my family wanted to watch Heidi, but I wanted Yamato. That was how it first pulled me in and got me devoted. These days we call it a ‘hammer.’ I think that was the first work to give me such an experience.

Matsumoto: Well, one of the few people who was in our audience! Our ratings were close to zero.

Anno: I went out and proselytized for it. I told all my schoolmates, “watch Yamato!” They could always catch Heidi in reruns. Or maybe not. (Laughter)

…Anno: If not for that, I don’t think I’d be doing my job now. That’s for sure. I recorded episodes on cassette then, because there were no VCRs, so I think Miyagawa-sensei’s music was the only kind I listened to. (Laughter)

Yamato was an epic. It made us feel like we were seeing adult anime for the first time. It wasn’t directed at children. The music was very adult, too. Of course, it had a huge visual impact, but since I was in the generation that listened to Yamato on tape, it’s what gave me an ear for music. By the virtue of those two things, that’s why I’m here now.

Matsumoto: An eighth-grader, about 14 years old. That was the first age where you could really get into it. That’s how it was with my generation, too, but we drifted away when it didn’t suit us anymore. Yours is the generation that was assimilated into the screen.

Anno: The influence of Captain Okita was very big. Goro Naya’s voice telling us to overcome our fears and believe in tomorrow. I said, “Yes! That’s it!” (Laughter)

My view of life and the way I think about things was surely influenced by that.

…[Leiji Matsumoto]: Anyway, it [Space Battleship Yamato] was my first animation job. It was pretty hard. Honestly, I wasn’t concerned about the ratings. I brought it up, but I don’t mind it particularly.

Anno: It had a lot of energy. The work of [Animation Director] Noboru Ishiguro was very good.

Matsumoto: We’re the same age. We were about 36 then. The main staff was generally about that age. That was the generation that wouldn’t go down without a fight. We’d have shouting matches or turn a deaf ear and kick up a big fuss about things and stay up all night.

Anno: Ishiguro once asked me if I was over 30. I said I was already 32, and he said “you’ve got three more years. You’ll do the best work of your life at 35.” That’s about how old he was when he made Yamato, so it’s true.

I was 35 when I made Evangelion, so I guess that’s my best work. 35 or 36 may be the right age.

…Matsumoto: It’s a very powerful thing, a dream inspired by the feminine. It gives men a lust for life. To persevere through many hardships for the sake of a matchless beauty.

Anno: Like hearing the voice of Starsha and flying all the way to Iscandar? I’d go for her, but if it was some scruffy guy instead, I wouldn’t answer the call no matter how urgent. I wouldn’t believe him! (Laughter)

Matsumoto: Neither would I!

Anno: If there isn’t an incredibly beautiful woman at the end of the journey, there’s no use. I’d want to go just to meet the woman.

“A Yamato Discussion with Hideaki Anno, Leiji Matsumoto, and Hiroshi Miyagawa; translated from the 1998 Railway of Fantasy Concert Program”

Tell us about your feelings vis-a-vis your character.

As far as I’m concerned, Shinji is all grown up, as of the end of the movie. Everyone has their own feelings on the subject, starting with the director, but to me, he’s finished wandering from child to adult. Thus I was pretty stuck when it came to doing this game. You see, this is still Shinji at that time in his life when he’s lost, and it was pretty tough for me to recall that period. That may well have caused me to blank out at times, which might be just like Shinji, in some perverse way (laughs). To me personally, Shinji grew up, very naturally…and wouldn’t want to go back to the way things were. I may well have made him a different character from the way he was before, in fact. I’m sorry (laughs).

… –What was it like squaring off with other characters?

I only played off Hidaka Noriko, and the shows she worked on (Top and Nadia) had pretty different worldviews from Eva, which left me kind of stuck. Shinji was a very real sort of character, in that he didn’t act like an anime character, but typically talked very quietly and sparingly, and it was like he was suddenly thrust into an anime world (laughs). Here I was, talking with Shinji’s gloomy voice, and right next to me is Hidaka Noriko, with her positive, impassioned manner of speech. I thought that this must be what your average anime hero is really like (laughs). The gap in tension levels between these characters was so great that I’m worried that it might have put a crimp in her performance too.

…If you use Shinji, you’re likely to lose, so I recommend against it (laughs).

Megumi Ogata, seiyuu interviews for Gainax website on mahjong game (likely translated by Michael House); that is the only translated interview available in IA, although an old email may imply that other interviews were translated. The more interesting of the other mahjong interviews:

On the 9th (final) volume of the film comics, the comments for episode.26 starts with several lines ending with “At last, the HCP has been executed. … How about the complementation of Shinji? How about the complementation of Shinji’s heart? Here the path of Shinji’s complementation is described. This is just one form” [katachi: shape, form; I am tempted to translate it as scenario, but I think I’d better preserve the original word as much as possible. The Japanese here “Kore wa mata hitotsu no katachi de atta” has the connotation that there are other “forms”, which I interpret as other possibilities, or other endings.].

At the very end of the episode, when Shinji is smiling and all that. The comment said, “Shinji’s blissful smile. This is the smile of complemented Shinji. This is just one form, one of the many possibilities.”

Patrick Yip

Karekano research

Here, I’ve found what I had lost–Anno said this with a heartfelt voice.

How could Toyoko Academy have nothing but nice people like this? No bullying, no violence, no failures to communicate…the editorial staff were themselves profoundly moved to find that a school such as this exists in a society full of ugliness, hate, and despair. Is it really like this, though? We asked the students to tell us more.

… Kashiwara: Even within a given class, we respect one another. It makes me feel good to have such good friends. We pat one another on the back when we do something good, and cry together when something sad happens.

Anno: Here, I have found what I had lost. I guess I’ve just gotten hard and crusty. But my heart is bursting at the thought that people like you still exist.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050211083730/www.gainax.co.jp/special/kiiteyo/toyoko02-e.html

Anno: There’s really nothing I can say here. I mean, I’ve been aware of the existence of high-school students like you, intellectually. Right now, I’m working on an anime series based on a girls’ manga, but the world of girls’ comics, where everyone is nice, looks completely unreal to me. It’s a major surprise to find that there are people in the world who praise others so unreservedly. I guess such people really do exist after all.

Kashiwara: Do unpleasant things really exist?

Anno: There’s no need to go out of your way to find them.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050211081520/www.gainax.co.jp/special/kiiteyo/toyoko04-e.html

Anno picture: http://web.archive.org/web/20050211083507/http://www.gainax.co.jp/special/kiiteyo/toyoko06.jpg

Kasagi: I think that’s one of your good points, though, Aya (Kashiwara). You’re confident in yourself, so you can’t let anyone see even a little bit of breakdown. You practice in secret, out of pride.

Anno: You should start by throwing away your public image.

All: “Public image?”

Anno: Yes, the image you decide on, where you are this or that character type.

Kashiwara: There are times, though, when you think that you can’t cry because you are who you are. You do have your particular character. I get the feeling that that’s how the teachers really see the students. There are harsh things which they would say to me because I can handle it, but that they wouldn’t say to a student who’s more easily hurt by such things. I’ve never cried, even when I’m hurting, because I practice hard at home. I’ve made modifications to my home. I installed a barre and other stuff, and did it all myself.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050211083507/www.gainax.co.jp/special/kiiteyo/toyoko06-e.html

Murayama: I’d like to work with film and video. I was really impressed by Evangelion, and it’s gotten me interested in anime and stuff like that lately.

Anno: I apologize for getting you all worked up. You’d best stay away from it.

… Murayama: It looks incredible from where I’m sitting.

Anno: I can’t really be all that proud of my own work.

Murayama: Is that so? I think it’s terrific.

Anno: It doesn’t matter whether one does this kind of work or not, so you’re better off not doing it.

Murayama: I think it’s great to be doing what you want.

Anno: You’ve got it all wrong. This is the only thing I can do. Getting married, having kids, and raising them to be adults–that’s far and away more of an accomplishment than making a movie. And the biggest accomplishment of all is to do all of that and make anime at the same time. In my case, I’ve managed to get this far because I gave up everything else. I don’t see any need for anyone else to sacrifice everything else in life for this, though.

… Anno: But if you like it, who cares? You need to like this sort of thing a certain amount to be able to do it. And once you’ve given it up, you’ll be OK.

Takahashi: Once you’ve given it up?

Anno: Right. The instant you wake up to reality again. When you realize that enjoyment alone won’t see you through.

Shibasaki: You mean, you give it up, but even then, you still keep doing it?

Anno: Well, that’s where you find out what you’re really made of. To some extent, anyone can each a certain level of achievement if they try. Whether they can go beyond that point depends on the given individual. Going beyond that point requires quality. Hard work alone won’t do it. And there will always be someone better than you. If you get carried away by how good you are, what do you suppose will happen when you discover that there are far better people in the world already?

… Anno: Exactly. I put my work ahead of everything, which makes me cold. I sacrifice people, including myself. Going that far is like being prepared to die.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050211080410/www.gainax.co.jp/special/kiiteyo/fujimi04-e.html

Takahashi: But don’t your parents tell you things like, “That’s why Japan is going into the toilet”? When I say that I think things are OK, my folks reply with, “That’s what’s wrong with the Japanese way of thinking.”

Mutoo: I hate America.

Anno: (laughs)

Mutoo: I’ve learned to hate it.

Takahashi: I bet people who debate international relations all hate America.

Mutoo: Is all they do in America to criticize others without looking at themselves? Don’t they act like they’re the greatest? Always saying they’re the world’s best.

Hirata: I don’t like America either. Right now, Japan’s economy is bad. But when it was really good, America said that it was doing too well, and now that it’s bad, they won’t help us out. They just say that it’s our own fault. Makes me think, who do they think they are, anyway?

All: (laughter)

… Anno: Asia is where it’s at now. We’d best get in good with our neighbors. The previous generation is with America. Those currently in their 50’s typically think in terms of America. In reaction to losing the War to America, they all want to live the American lifestyle. Like all going to Europe, that sort of thing.

Takahashi: I get that feeling when I read theses written by people of that time.

Anno: It’s like an America-first philosophy. In my generation, though, you turn more and more to domestic matters, look more inward. When I was in the boondocks of Yamaguchi, Tokyo as I saw it on TV looked so incredible, so I always wanted to go there. I wanted to go to Tokyo to attend college, that sort of thing.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050211082632/www.gainax.co.jp/special/kiiteyo/fujimi06-e.html

Anno: Put it on TV, though, and old ladies with time on their hands watch it. We got one such old lady calling the TV station while “Evangelion” was on the air, saying that we shouldn’t have sexy scenes.

Miyabu: Just for that?

Anno: Yep. There’s no sense of realism about high school students having a romance without sex, is there. I’m thinking about putting a message at the beginning of each episode telling grade-school students not to watch.

Miyabu: Are the main characters of “Kareshi Kanojo no Jijoo” going to be junior-high or high school students?

Anno: They’re in their first year of high school, and in the manga they’ve recently had sex. And it just happened, without any buildup. I’m trying to figure out how to make something dramatic out of this. Could that be the way it is? Do they just do it?

Miyabu: What do you think?

Anno: I think I’m stuck. The male lead seemed to me to be so terribly upstanding, I figured he’d treat her better than that, when he up and has sex with her. He’s not the character I thought he was. Maybe that’s what it’s like nowadays. People don’t waste time, or something.

… Anno: Everyone defines pure love differently. But old biddies like the one who complained (about Eva) have never experienced it. They do things like that to kill time, because they’re dissatisfied with kids today. They’re not dissatisfied with themselves, but with their environment, their surroundings. They ignore any blame they may have for their situations, instead blaming everything on anime. I never thought I’d get caught up in it. Nobody sounds as loud as old biddies like those. They have so much time on their hands that instead of calling telephone dating clubs, they call TV stations.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050211082031/www.gainax.co.jp/special/kiiteyo/ikuta03-e.html

Anno: I didn’t have any girlfriends in high school. I did manga and astronomy, as well as watch anime and play mah jongg. When there was a test, I’d tell my folks I was going to a friend’s house to study. We’d play all-night mah jongg, then we’d catch a nap before eventually going to school, and when the test was over we’d go back and play mah jongg some more. It was all anime and mah jongg. Back then, girls avoided me like the plague, because I was so gloomy.

… Anno: In junior high, I had a little fling that seemed like love, but wasn’t. It turned into a triangle with a pal of mine, and that turned into a crisis. All through high school, I decided that being the way I was, was fine, and had no romances the whole time. Some underclasswomen came on to me, but I showed them no interest. The world was full of things more interesting than women. I was much more interested in making movies back then than dating. I regret it now, though. My life might be different now if I’d had sex back then.

… Anno: I don’t recommend technical schools. Everyone who goes to one of those places starts off by having the same field of specialty, after all, so monotony soon sets in. Take anime schools for example. You go to one of those, and you’ve got a gathering of people who’ve all been social and class outcasts up to now. You’ll start suffering the illusion that the world revolves around you as a result. I haven’t yet seen anyone who liked anime and who’d ever gotten any use out of what he learned in those places.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050211082224/www.gainax.co.jp/special/kiiteyo/ikuta04-e.html

Anno: I hate school, you know? And the thing I hate about it is no different from 20 years ago. Teachers also ought to have hated school, seeing as how they were about the same age as me. So they should have hated it too, you know? Why did becoming teachers change them into teachers?

All: Sad but true.

Anno: And it’s scary to think that they had to have been students too. The world changes people. Parents too: they had to have been kids themselves once, and yet as parents they’re so different.

… Noguchi: When it comes to law, you’ve got privacy safeguards, for example, but there are also things that need to be made public, and in cases where a choice has to be made, it ends up in a courtroom, with the decision being left up to the judge to make.

Anno: Laws in the light of a trial are unreasonable things. School is acclimatizing you to that, so you won’t complain about it.

Ichikawa: We’re being trained, like pets.

Anno: Absolutely.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050211080453/www.gainax.co.jp/special/kiiteyo/meidai02-e.html

Kawakami: When did you know what you wanted to do with your life, Mr. Anno?

Anno: I just let life carry me along, like that guy over there said.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050211083050/www.gainax.co.jp/special/kiiteyo/meidai04-e.html

Anno: I was basically the honor-student type up until junior high. I was always on student council, that sort of thing. I got into the best feeder schools in my area, up to high school. I swore that I wouldn’t do any more studying once I passed my exams. I didn’t like to study, so I studied only the areas and sentences that interested me, and that as little as possible. What good is algebra going to do me in real life, after all?

… Anno: When I got a zero, the school got annoyed because they were supposed to be a feeder school. So I made sure not to get negative marks. When I got to high school, all I did was play mah jongg and make 8mm movies. I spent all my high school years just goofing off. So naturally there were no universities I could get into, and at the time, Osaka College of Art had no entrance exams. Rather, I got in on my accomplishments. But I stopped going in my third year, and ended up getting expelled.

… Anno: What it boils down to is, society only sees the numbers. When it comes to movies too, there’s a need to apply either of two labels, either that it was interesting or that it wasn’t. School grades are the same way, because Japan only has one evaluation method, that of negative test scoring. I think cumulative test scoring would be more interesting, personally. In the final analysis, the system is about how can you avoid making mistakes. The top score is set at 100 points. It’s a game, and the object is to figure out how to minimize your mistakes and keep teachers from reducing your points. I’d say that the problem lies with this negative scoring system, but if asked, I’d also have to say that cumulative scoring wouldn’t solve things either.

… Anno: I think it’s clear that they’re a far cry from when I was in high school. They’re smart. I get the feeling that they can see their own lives in an instant, by observing their parents and other grown-ups around them. And I’m enjoying that.

Kawakami: I heard something to the effect that as part of making anime, you meet and talk with lots of different people.

Anno: I think that’s more or less what I said. Anime and manga are completely fictional picture worlds, and thus what happens in them is impossible in real life. Now, there are two approaches you can take. You can either make it look like a dream all the way to the end, where you bring it back to reality, or you can show reality all the way to the end, and finish up with a dream. A lot of anime starts out as a dream, and ends as a dream. This is no good, because it feels like you’re using dreams as a retreat. And Japan is not such a tough place to live.

I can’t help but wonder why people are withdrawing into dreams in a reasonably prosperous country. A lot of these people in particular are anime fans, and for a while I couldn’t deal with that. I got fed up with Evangelion too, for that reason. I can’t stand people who run away, who refuse to face reality. Surely you’ll find something for yourself if you face reality head on. If nothing else, take a good look at your immediate surroundings. Don’t turn away from unpleasantness. Have a look at it too. With this in mind, ultimately I want to show a little reality in my works. If nothing else, I don’t feel any realism in something that has no reality mixed in with it. Thus, while my next production will be a girl’s manga about a high-school girl, it’s also partly real.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050211083241/www.gainax.co.jp/special/kiiteyo/meidai05-e.html

Ikeda: You may get really tired, but if you’re not aware of it, it’s the same as not being tired at all, isn’t it? Even if I should realize it and keel over from exhaustion, that’s fine, because my life right now is good. It’s great. Right now, I figure I’ll keep on going the rest of my life, in just this way.

Anno: Speaking with a sense of grandmotherly concern, the scariest part of that line of reasoning is when you actually do keel over.

Ikeda: As long as each moment of my life is pleasurable, that’s fine.

Anno: Exactly. That’s just what that kind of person will say.

… Ikeda: Is it so radical to think that tomorrow may not come?

Anno: Yeah, I think it’s better to believe that tomorrow is always with us, rather than that it can be cleanly cut away. That doesn’t mean that you do the same thing tomorrow as today, though. It’s important to form an image of tomorrow being even just a little different, say, even as little 3% or 5%, from today. If you believe that you want to be a certain way, chances are you’ll move in that direction. Having a clear image is the key.

… Takagi: I want to destroy the system itself.

Anno: It’s tougher than you might think. I’ve tried numerous times, and I’ll tell you, it’s not at all easy. (Everyone laughs) The work itself is pretty enjoyable. But it’s a fleeting pleasure.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050211083512/www.gainax.co.jp/special/kiiteyo/nishiko04-e.html

Nagamori: What matters is how the pieces shake out.

Anno: As long as you’re not dead, you’ll be OK.

Ikeda: Then I’m safe. People tell me I wouldn’t die even if I were murdered.

Anno: I’ve known my share of girls, but it’s always the ones who tell you they’re absolutely all right, they’re the ones you have to watch out for…

… Uehara: Are you happy with the work you’re doing currently?

Anno: Yes, I am.

Takagi: Does it feel like it’s a hobby?.

Anno: It feels like a hobby that keeps going on.

… Ikeda: It’s a sure bet that you (Takagi) will end up homeless.

Anno: I think that’s OK too.

Ikeda: It’s not OK. You end up withering away, saying “It really should have turned out differently.”

Anno: And if you end your life that way, that’s fine too.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050211081114/www.gainax.co.jp/special/kiiteyo/nishiko05-e.html

  • Carl Horn, in the Viz manga letters, mentions that Yamaga in Fanimecon ’98 called the religious elements “only window dressing”. - in Protoculture Addicts #39? TODO: check this when my PAs come…

  • Gainax uninvolved in ADV translations? http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/2001-October/040552.html; Bochan_bird quotes a Gainax fax he apparently received:

    “All translations into English, Chinese, Korean, etc. are handled exclusively by the contracting companies, and GAiNAX does not issue specific instructions as to the content of this translation.”

    Confusingly, Bochan_bird says in 2005 that:

    …ADV was also supposed to let Gainax check the script translation and other things (this was back when Gainax stilled cared about artistic integrity instead of just whoring franchises for cash), but when Gainax noted a bunch of things to be fixed/changed, ADV basically told them “tough luck” because they were already in production and couldn’t change anything.

    [speculation] These things may have contributed to the high asking price to ADV for the Eva movies. The attitude that “fine, if that is how things are going to be, then you can pay the price for it” is very prevalent in Japanese anime/manga circles, and even in the fandom where you get incredible deals if a collector/dealer likes you, or get presented outrageous prices if they don’t. [/speculation]

Cardass Masters

The relevance of the card texts to Eva interpretation have been criticized and defended.

  • Bochan_bird: Part II (movie) card A-17 “2nd Angel Lilith”:

    A Source of Life Angel called/named ‘progenitor’ like Adam. Until being noticed by Nagisa Kaworu, Nerv had misrepresented the giant crucified in Terminal Dogma as Adam, but it was actually Lilith. Ayanami Rei is a being with the soul of this Lilith and (a copy of) the body of Ikari Yui.

  • Bochan_bird, Put card P-R1:

    All life was drawn indiscriminately into the world desired by the medium/avatar Shinji. Led by the Reis – the messengers of salvation – hurt and suffering hearts dissolved into homogeneous LCL. Even those who did not wish salvation were powerless to resist. Aoba frantically rejected Rei, but the A.T.Field that protected him had already lost its power.

  • Bochan_bird, Drama card D-88; “Kimochi warui”:

    Shinji renounced the world where all hearts had melted into one and accepted each other unconditionally. His desire… to live with ‘others’ – other hearts that would sometimes reject him, even deny him. That is why the first thing he did after coming to his senses was to place his hands around Asuka’s neck. To feel the existence of an ‘other’. To confirm (make sure of) rejection and denial.

  • Card H-11
    • Regular side, picture description: “What we see is the aftermath of Third Impact, like in the ending sequence, there is Shinji standing (dressed in his school uniform), his hand, palm up, in front of him, and he’s looking at (and casting his shadow upon) an unconscious Asuka, laying of the ground in an unconscious-but-also-inviting-and-somewhat-surrendering pose, her home attire messed up so that all what was visible of her in the original scene is there for Shinji and the viewer to see.” Bochan_bird translation:

    In the sea of LCL, Shinji wished for a world with other people. He desired to meet them again, even if it meant he would be hurt and betrayed. And just as he had hoped/wanted, Asuka was present in the new world. Only Asuka was there beside him. The girl who he had hurt, and by whom he had been hurt. But even so, she was the one he had hoped/wished for….

    • Reverse side: “3rd Children Ikari Shinji”:

    Neither Yui, Rei nor Misato could do as a woman for Shinji. Asuka alone was the only girl on equal footing with him. So, Shinji desired/sought after Asuka. “I’m afraid of Misato and Ayanami.” However, Shinji’s crude affection only hurt her. In the end, he used her as an object of lust/desire to soothe/ console himself… -Bochan_bird, card H-14;

    • Regular side: Misato & Shinji EoE kiss

    “3rd Children, Ikari Shinji – Misato monitored him in her capacity as Nerv Tactical Operations Chief. Monitoring in the format of living together, a format that would not agitate him. Play acting, searching for a comfortable distance, clashing, rejecting, worrying, joking, fighting, and understanding. The apartment changed from a simple dwelling to a home…”

    • Gold side: Shinji and Misato dressed up and sharing cocktails in a club. Title: “That’s a grownup kiss. We’ll do the rest when you get back.”

    “While fighting the Angels together, the two began to view each other not just as Tactical Operations Chief and pilot, but in a special way. Older sister and younger brother, mother and son, girl and boy… but the two did not notice/realize the word used to express these feelings (this relationship?). However, time would teach them, just as it had fostered the relationship between them.”

  • Miscellaneous: a

    • Card H-2 shows Shinji in his plug suit facing Gendo (back view). The title is “I was praised by my father/My father praised me”, and the fine print reads: “‘You did well, Shinji.’ – Gendo praised Shinji, who had piloted Eva. Shinji, who had avoided and rejected his father, realised how much he needed/wanted his father. At the same time, Gendo was also coming to understand a sense of (comfortable) distance with his son. As father and son move toward each other, however slow, perhaps one day….” This is perhaps the most ambiguous of the three cards, but it is still a far cry from “Shinji reconciles with Gendo”.

    • Card H-5 shows Rei and Shinji facing each other with the moon in the background. The title is “This is my heart? I want to be one with Ikari-kun?” (Ep23 dialog), and the fine print reads: “As the scenario progresses, he changes her. A smile, worrying, words of thanks… Eventually, with her first tears, she realizes. ‘I want to be with Ikari.’” Not only does this describe the TV series scene perfectly, but I hardly think it qualifies as “Rei gets Shinji”.

    • Card H-12 shows Asuka hugging someone whose face is cut off at the top of the image and thus cannot be seen. This person might be mistaken for Shinji, except that the relative size of the person obviously makes it an adult, and the card deals with Asuka waking up in Eva-02 at the bottom of the Geofront lake (EoE scene) and realizing that her mother is there and has always been watching over her.

1998 S

Everyone in Evangelion is “seriously messed up,” Anno’s translator at 1996’s Anime Expo offered. Having gambled and won on Evangelion, Anno can afford to dismiss his critics. But this ultimate “fanboy”, who breaks into “Ultraman” poses when in front of the camera, is as hard on himself as he is on his industry and its fans. Evangelion was a struggle against four years of his own cowardice - a hiatus from work where “all I was doing was simply not dying”, said Anno to his American audience. “If I talk about the ‘limitations’ of the industry, after all, what does that mean? Aren’t I really talking about the limitations inside myself? It is the creators who have to change their frame of mind.” Most people who make anime, Anno said, have the kind of “autism” he himself has suffered from. “They have to try and reach out with their work, and communicate to others. What’s the greatest thing anime has ever achieved? The fact that we’re holding a dialogue right here and now.” When a fan of the master asked for advice to those who’d like to break into anime, he shot back, “Be interested in other things besides animation.”

Carl Gustav Horn, Wizard: Manga Scene; TODO: are some of these AX quotes otherwise unknown?

…Oshii Mamorou’s TV anime series Urusei-yatsura (81-8) was famous for both its cult appeal to otaku culture (absurd SF plot, pretty girls, queer-designed mechas, images borrowed from Japanese folk stories) and his approach as a director being influenced by 70’s Japanese underground theater (for example, Shuji Terayama). He frequently experimented using abstract images, fast cut- ups, (seemingly) philosophical conversations or overactive movements of characters, to deconstruct ordinary anime patterns…In addition, we also should note that Miyazaki, Otomo and Oshii’s in attempting to make animation closer to real films seems to stem their common detestation of the anime genre (“genre” here means no typical images or narratives but distribution system, fan’s acceptance and so on. Miyazaki and Oshii intended to separate themselves from both anime and anime distributions). It is very ironical that almost all the best results of Japanese animation come from such a (pseudo)self-hatred.

…In the first place Evangelion contains not only mechas and pretty girls but many kind of otaku “services.” Anno borrowed or sometimes parodied innumerable images from 70 - 80’s Japanese animes, SF films or comics as for example the protagonist father’s uniform is obviously designed as a parody of the costume aesthetic in Space Battleship Yamato (74). Gainax (formerly Daicon Film) started its career by making parody anime films in a typical “postmodern” manner. Evangelion succeeds in using a lot of cliches, only to invert their functions: For example, such characters as Asuka or Toji must not be seriously injured in an anime. Anno intendedly breaks such kind of implicit expectation/regulation.

…As Anno himself remarks [where?], in Evangelion he does not want to make animation film closer to real films. Instead, he attempts to make the most of anime’s abstractness (which results from an unavoidable limit of information’s quantity in one frame). Krystian Woznicki: So Anno changed the original plot of the story when he saw the news about the invasion of Aum’s hide out by the police46. Did he change it because it was too close to reality?

Azuma Hiroki: Yes, he said so.

KW: But did why he change it? What is the problem with Evangelion being so close to the Aum case?

AH: Anno thought that the original scenario will not be suitable for broadcasting.

KW: So he feared censorship.

AH: A kind of censorship. But this is very typical of the anime situation. TV animations are supposed to be seen by youngsters under 15, 16 years old. And I think, if it this wasn’t the case, then Anno would have thought that its obvious similarity with the reality would decrease Evangelion’s imaginative potential. But anyway, the original scenario [the Proposal?] is so shockingly close to the political motivation of the Aum Shinrikyo group, they fight against the upshot of the enemy, without knowing what the enemy really is. The angels change their form for example into pyramids, into shadows.

I asked Anno about such abstract characteristics of the angels. He said that this reflects the feelings of his generation. For his generation the enemy is not political. It is also not definite. I mentioned to Anno that such abstract characteristics of the enemy are very close to the conception of Aum as enemy (e.g. poison gas) which he admitted. He also admitted the similarity of Evangelion with Aum. Nevertheless it is too simple to conclude that Anno was sympathetic with Aum. He emphasizes the closedness and exclusiveness of this group. They lost any contact with reality. In Anno’s view this again is very close to the situation of anime fans. In fact Evangelion criticizes anime fans, and anime culture: it begins with ambiguous flirtations with conditions central to Aum, and ends with its critique as launched on the situation of anime fans.

KW: Why do you think that Evangelion’s flirtations with the Aum case are so essential to its “cultural meaning”?

AH: As you may know there was this particular case with Oe Kenzaburo. He is said to have been surprised when Nihon Seki Gun [Japanese Red Army] got Assama Sanso Jiken: in 1972 the Japanese Red Army stayed in a house close to Mount Asama. They fought with the Japanese police and army. This affair was very close to the novel Kozui wa waga tamashii ni oyobi [The Flood invades my spirit] which Oe Kenzaburo wrote and wanted to publish at that time. However Oe had to change the plot as it was too close to reality. The original plot is said to have been partly changed. Although I am not sure that Anno is comparable to with Oe, it seems unquestionable that he is one of the smartest storytellers in Japanese culture of the 90’s.

KW: But do you really think that the parallels to Aum are characteristic of, or say, unique about Evangelion? For instance the case you just mentioned has occurred in various cases of recent film productions e.g. in the case of Fukui Shojin’s Rubber’s Lover whose production goes back to 1992 and which shortly after Aum came to fruition. Out of the fear to provoke misreadings Fukui changed some parts, as he feared those to be mistaken for a sympathetic account of Aum…Angel Dust made about two years before Aum happend describes certain conditions that became dominant in the Aum phenomena: again isolation, brain-washing, extortion. But the aspect of circulation, as it is linked to the mode of reception is perhaps unique about Evangelion and on this level also comparable with Oe’s case: Evangelion was broadcast at 6:30 p.m. in the afternoon on a major channel, reaching millions of people whereas the films just mentioned are usually seen by a limited audience…

AH: I admit that the closeness to Aum is not the privilege of Evangelion. The point is that Evangelion is an intrinsic critique of Aum. Anno’s career is so close to that of Aum. The Anime fan is the typical type of Japanese otaku. The Aum affair tackled the cultural territory of the Otaku.

Azuma Hiroki: I think that this phenomenon is very new in Japanese cultural scene of the 80’s: the multiplication in number does not mean that they socialize and get open. Anno is very conscious about such closeness. In other interviews [mit einschlaegigen Animemagazinen [Animage]] he says that in the beginning of making Evangelion he wanted to enlarge the number of otaku. It was some kind of master plan for “otakuzation” in order to break the closedness. But towards the end [of the production process] he had to break that pattern and to diffuse it. This change, that occurred in less than half a year is very important to Japanese culture, because it clearly shows that one typical strategy to implode a closed/specialized cultural terrain necessarily results in failure. The series Evangelion can be divided in 2 parts. The first part is a well made Sci-Fi anime. The characters are described as happy and communicative; typical Sci-Fi anime characters such as Asuka. Rei is of course very exceptional. The first part seems to develop into a happy ending, which is of course the most desirable plot for anime fans. The way they watch these films is a process of identifying with the characters. They want to be Shinji or Asuka. But the later part diverges from such a typical pattern. The reviews and comments of Anime fans published in their respective magazines show their disappointment with the later episodes, since there is no hope for a happy ending and no space for their identification with characters. The mystery of the Evangelion world gets increasingly critical and complicated. This is obviously not a typical Anime plot anymore. Another level is the level of imagery. The speed of cut ups is very high towards the end. When I asked Anno about influences he did not mention Nouvelle Vague, although I expected him to say Godard. He named Okamoto Kihachi, a filmmaker of the Japanese Nouvelle Vague, who was actually influenced by Godard. [Blue Christmas was by Kihachi.]

[AH:] …In episode 19 Evangelion punches the enemy, the black Evangelion. This scene is very violent and brutal. Such cruel imagery cannot be accepted by Anime fans.

KW: Was there a controversy about this particular scene?

AH: Anno didn’t speak about this issue clearly. He just said that somebody made a claim. TV producers, advertisers, … I don’t know. It seems a delicate matter.

KW: …In Anno there is a remarkable shift towards reduction. The imagery is very simplistic, yet sophisticated.

AH: Instead of multiplying information within one frame, Anno does multiply information by the speed and rhythm of cut ups. In Anno the information included in one frame is very limited.

KW: Sometimes we see a static image for 30 to 90 seconds or so. Sometimes there is a minimal, mechanical movement on the vertical, horizontal axis within this basically static image such as the descending movement of escalators on which people have “serious” conversations. The static mechanicalness recalls the beginnings of this genre where stories are narrated verbally to a large degree.

AH: A static image followed by fast, almost shocking cut ups is so characteristic for Anno. To him Otomo and Oshii’s style is very limited due to technical reasons. TV animators always work under difficult conditions. Either there is a lack of time or man power.

AH: As you know Anno’s angels have such double character. You can see that the angels get the form of a virus in some of the episodes. Evangelion describes the concept of the enemy in the 90’s Japanese situation, such as Aum. In the 90’s the Japanese complain about things getting worse and worse in economy and society, etc. Many have a very critical feeling about the Japanese situation, while they can not trace the source of this development. Their feelings circulate in vain, without identifying what/who the enemy is. This condition is well described in Evangelion.

KW: There are so many mysteries in this Anime. My impression is that Anno constructed the story by implanting a deluge of details and sub-stories in order to confuse the regular Anime viewer, who usually sets out to follow and interpret the plot on all levels.

AH: In my opinion Anno began Evangelion with the idea to solve all mysterious points finally. I think he changed his mind in the middle. He decided not to solve the mysteries, but to multiply them, which would be another way of criticizing the viewing habits of his audience.

AH: In Miyazaki’s film [Laputa] this element is central and reappears. Nadia was supposed to be the TV version of it, and on top of it, rendered with Miyazaki’s taste. Of course, Anno disliked this idea. He wanted to do an original work, but it was impossible to do that within the framework of this assignment. For example, he could not create any cruel scene. After that he decided to make an independent film with Gainax.

AH: Okada is a critic now. The unconventional character of Evangelion’s latter part very much contradicts Okada’s point of view.

KW: Did he say something about Evangelion?

AH: As I heard, during a meeting with fans Okada said that he did not see Evangelion. (laughs)

KW: That’s a clear statement.

AH: Sure, but you have to understand that his complicated relationship with Gainax also makes it difficult for him to comment upon it.

AH: At that time they [Gainax] began to produce computer software. The most successful result was a software called Princess Maker, which was a sort of simulation soft, in which you can educate a girl. The final goal within this program for instance is marriage. You could chose to make your daughter a scientist, designer, or a “naughty girl”. Many choices. In 1991 this software was a big hit. People seemed to enjoy the idea to have a sort of a fictive, personal toy-girl. It was strictly Otaku business. Then another turn occurs. Anno went to his hometown and is asked about his profession. He was very ashamed to say that he was an anime director as his output was mainly commercial. There was nothing he could be proud of. Anno was very frustrated, and came up with the plan to make Evangelion.

AH: You should not underestimate Dojinshi writer’s skills. Most professional comic writer come from the Dojinshi Market. Many producers and editors follow Dojinshi Market trends, where they would pick up some new talents. A friend of mine writes for an erotic magazine on the Dojinshi market. I was very surprised to hear that he sold over 3,000 books ..There are for instance many books on the Dojinshi Market which parody Evangelion. Gainax allows it. The committee of the Dojinshi Market, which may consist of some artists, pays a small amount to Gainax as a tribute. The expansion of the market is amazing though. As I just said, my friend sold a couple thousands of his book. A professional writer in the literary field in Japan can not sell so many.

KW: Her [Rei Ayanami] room looks anyway like in a hospital. One reason is, because she is wearing a bandage and has always blood all over her clothes/body.

AH: In her apartment two images intersect. One is refugee, the other one is scientific dis-ornament. The intersection of these two motifs recalls the hide out of Aum called Satiyam. [Aum’s buildings were named “Satyam”, eg “Satyam no. 7” was where the sarin was prepared.]

KW: I am trying to show that there are certain parallels and that Anno is just also not entirely disconnected from the sub-cultural movements of the last years.

AH: Of course such contemporaneity is very important. The point is that in Anno all these images and motifs are very convincing and somehow brought to the point.

“TOWARDS A CARTOGRAPHY OF JAPANESE ANIME: Anno Hideaki’s Evangelion. Interview with Azuma Hiroki” “by Krystian Woznicki for BLIMP Filmmagazine” interview with Azuma Hiroki; Azuma is referring to his own interview of Anno in 1996 (that interview is not translated, but Numbers-kun confirms what a Google Translate suggests) The article seems available in Italian; the full interview is also available in Italian; it seems to differ somewhat:

  1. part 1
  2. part 2
  3. part 3
  4. part 4

    This is a drama, and thus fiction. It is anime, which means it is all told in drawings. The production schedule is also impacted. But it is my hope to fill this work to the brim with the sense that this is what we feel. I hope that this work will touch your hearts and souls. I hope that it will reach you beyond just a sense of cuteness. None of us will ever truly understand anyone else. The bigger our hopes, the greater our failures. Reality has no mercy. But if there is a tomorrow, we will think again on those who matter to us. That means you as well as me. In hopes that we may all meet and fall in love with someone wonderful. –Karekano producer, Sato Hiroki; original Japanese

Anyway, I haven’t seen Karekano episode 2 yet, as I imagine most of you reading this haven’t, either. I feel a kind of shock at missing the show on the air already (there’s an unwritten law about GAINAX staffers having to watch it on the air).

–from the 9 October 1998 diary of Muramatsu Ryouko, asst. producer; relevant to EoTV - even producers don’t see the final product, and this from early in production when there are no problems? Gainax tradition indeed…

Changing the subject, there’s a window in direct line with the second-floor hallway of the GAINAX Building, with a chair right next to that window. It’s for those who want to take a breather, look outside, and have a smoke. When I passed by there this afternoon, though, there was someone just sitting on the cold floor of the hallway, smoking a cigarette. It was Hirose, who’s doing cel running for episode 8.

Muramatsu: Isn’t your butt cold sitting like that?

Hirose: If I get warm, I’ll fall asleep.

Seems he hadn’t had any decent sleep in a week, and was desperately fighting off fatigue. When I peeked in the production room about five minutes later, however, he was sleeping the sleep of the just. So much for that. I guess this just goes to prove that the people drawing the pictures aren’t the ones who have it rough.

–6 November 1998, Muramatsu Ryouko; the crunch continues. (In a similar vein, Carl Horn says that “Yamaga once asked an American fan who wanted to work at Gainax if she had ever seen the movie Das Boot, because he said that did a good job suggesting the work space”.)

1998 T

  • 1998-animerica-allisonkeithinterview.pdf

Their best original works–Yamaga’s Royal Space Force, Takeshi Mori’s Otaku no Video, Kazuya Tsurumaki’s FLCL, and Anno’s Evangelion–display Gainax’s odd inside-out paradox of being super-obsessed fans who, through their meditations, nevertheless sometimes come to enlightenment about the nature of themselves, their medium, their industry, their times, and their world.

–Carl Horn, “Editor’s Note, Manga Volume 1”

Although Death and Rebirth has not yet had a commercial release on video or disc in Japan, it recently aired on the Japanese cable channel WOWOW, and this copy was the source for the public screening at Fanime – a screening believed to be the first in the United States.

Death and Rebirth came out in Japan on March 15, 1997. A month prior to the film’s Japanese premiere, Eva director Hideaki Anno called a Valentine’s Day press conference to announce that while “it was my intent to conclude (Eva) with (Death and Rebirth)… the story expanded far beyond the vision I had when we began production, and we went vastly over the planned running length and frames of animation.”

… Death is an edited version of the events of episodes #1-24 of the Evangelion TV series, yet it is no mere synopsis; besides containing several new scenes (it opens with secret UN footage from their Antarctic Base shortly before the Second Impact), Death tells the story of Eva in a completely different order that leads the viewer to contemplate director Anno’s choice of view and focus. Hiroyuki Yamaga compared Anno’s editing method to that of a DJ, “sampling” the episodes in a complex, non-linear mix. In another, literal sense as well, Death is a musical composition – the movie is structured as a string concerto in four parts, and we return at various points in the edit to the same mysterious locale where much of the events of Eva TV episodes #25 and #26 take place (thus strongly suggesting that despite the presentation of The End of Evangelion – of which Rebirth is of course the first part – as a “remake” of those final two episodes, it might be better regarded as another viewpoint on them instead) where various Eva characters perform, separately and together, musical selections from Bach, Beethoven, and Pachelbel.

http://web.archive.org/web/20010219070024/j-pop.com/anime/archive/reviews/11_comp_graphics/picks0.html

I was flipping through the old Japanese classics “Genji Monogatari” (Tale of Genji) the other day. It’s been quite some time since I looked at the final part of this monumental work, and I found that the name of the hero in this part of the story is “Kaworu”!!

I did some more research on this name. These are the facts about “Kaworu” that I find out:

  • The reason why “Kaworu” is written with a “wo” character is probably influenced by classics work like “Genji Monogatari”. In the Heian ages and medieval period, “wo” and “o” were quite separate words. At that time “Kaworu” was indeed written with “wo” character. The two characters merged in their pronunciation in the Edo period and thus created the confusion as to why “Kaworu” should have a “wo” character. It is possible that some Japanese may not even know this, and it has become common practice to write “Kaoru”. This creates more confusion.
  • “Kaworu” is a serious but also romantic hero in the last third of the Tale of Genji. And literally the kanji for “Kaworu” means fragrance (of incense wood). Indeed in Tale of Genji, Kaworu was born with a very special bodily feature: His body bore a sweet fragrance smell. So the name “Kaworu” is commonly related to the idea of intelligent, handsome and romantic hero.
  • And one more striking thing. “Kaworu” can be a girl’s name as well!!This adds to the ambiguity of sex implicated by this name. Put it into the context that Kaworu is an epitome of shoujo-anime bishonen (handsome boy) with ambiguous sexuality. Now it seems to me that Gainax actually put some thought in choosing his name.
  • Lastly, it can now become clear that despite “Kaworu”’s Caucasian look, he indeed has a Japanese name.

Patrick Yip (Interestingly, in Anno’s 2000 character name essay, he has no idea what the first name signifies.)

Well the PTA managed to stop Go Nagai’s Shameful School (Harenchi Gakuen) from being published. U-Jin’s Angel was pulled from publication a few years ago after loud PTA objections, but then it came back in a new 3-D stereogram edition essentially uncut. If EVA was a late night anime, the PTA probably wouldn’t have raised a ruckus, if it ever did. But since EVA was shown on primetime, when children (as well as adults) would likely be able to watch, concerned parents might have objected to it. From what I’ve gathered, EVA had more “mature situations” than any anime on primetime television. It also had religious themes (or those that could be interpreted as such) that are virtually nonexistent in the medium.

Fuuma Monou

1999

1999 P

In 1997, shortly after the success of Evangelion and somewhere during pre-production of Kare Kano, Anno participated in a popular NHK show called “Welcome Back for an Extracurricular Lesson, Sempai!”, where popular personalities revisit the town they grew up in to teach a class at their old primary schools. For anyone who has peeked into the very, very dark current of thought he vented so readily in Evangelion, the thought of this is impossible not to snicker at.

… Before Anno arrives, they are to draw and write what they think he’s like, based on their thoughts from watching Eva. Puzzled, they just start coming up with silliness.

… “Why is that robot-thingy called Evangelion?”

“It comes from a Christian word meaning ‘Gospel’ and it’s supposed to bring blessings. It has some Greek roots. I chose the name because it sounds complicated.”

“What does Rei like?” Otaku boy asks. “I haven’t thought about it,” is Anno’s curt reply. He’s not exactly a verbal person, but he’s keenly aware of subtle things that affect how the kids might react to him, so he does things like maintain eye level with them. Anno admits he has a self-esteem problem. “I’m not crazy about myself. I’m often told that those who don’t like themselves have high ideals, but I think someone who says that doesn’t really understand the pain that’s involved,” he muses.

“Do you like the anime you make?”

“There’s parts I like and parts I don’t.”

“What parts do you dislike?”

“The parts that I’m in.”

… After a quick school lunch (Anno barely eats, and refuses all meat and fish) The kids are brought by bus into town to interview Anno’s parents and childhood friends. [cf. the ’96 anime panel]

… After the kids present their (much improved) animations, Anno wraps up by explaining the point of such free-form exercises. “In school tests, there’s only one answer for each question, and you might get zero or half points if you’re wrong. But in the real world, things aren’t so black and white, so think about things on your own and express them in words or pictures. That’s how you communicate with people. That’s so important.”

… The power lines, the landscapes of man-made structures – including many of Anno’s visual trademark shots – are so obviously influenced by these surroundings that we almost expect to see Asuka rounding the corner.

“Buried Treasure: ‘Hideaki Anno Talks to Kids’”; picture of parents in Hideaki Anno Talks to Kids

When the very first meeting was held before the title had even been decided, Anno had already provided the theme of “a battle between gods and humans”. Both Anno and I – our generation – was influenced by Go Nagai, so making something on a grand scale meant it ended up like “Devilman”. The character design request from Anno was that “the lead character is a girl, and has an older-sister type figure like Coach next to her,” so it was structurally similar to “Gunbuster”. So I first designed an Asuka-type girl as the lead character, but after “Gunbuster” and “Nadia” I felt some resistance to making the lead character a girl again. I mean a robot should be piloted by a trained person, and if that person just happens to be a girl then that is fine, but I couldn’t see why a young girl would pilot a robot… So I remember saying to Anno, “It’s a robot story, so let’s make the lead character a boy.” And just about that time, I was watching the NHK [public TV channel] program “Brain and Heart” and learned about the existence of the A10 nerve, and I told Anno about the idea that popped into my head at that time. That was the idea where “the dead mother is inside the robot, which is operated by mental/psychical bonding with the child. Moreover, parent-child relations are parched/strained due to the death of the mother at a young age.”

… An easily recognizable silhouette is also important, but I designed the characters so that their personalities could be more or less understood at a glance. For example, even the color and length of the hair expresses personality. I thought that Asuka would occupy the position of an “idol” in the Eva world, and that [Asuka and] Shinji should be just like the relationship between Nadia and Jean. And then I set Rei as the opposing “Ying” portion. It was my idea to have her wrapped in bandages. The most difficult was Misato. So I thought it would be interesting to have someone like the older girl next door as a military person.

We had talked a lot in the beginning about wanting a title like “Space Runaway Ideon (Legendary Giant God Ideon)”, so I think I did push that. And to tell the truth, the story composition is also similar. For example, Nerv can be considered the same as the Solo Ship fighting a lonely battle against both humankind and the Buff Clan, and then there are the incomprehensible robots that can only communicate with children and tend to go berserk, etc. It might not be an exaggeration to say that if you add “Ideon” and “Devilman” together and divide by two, you get “Evangelion”. (laugh)

–September Der Monde Sadamoto interview; partial translation, covering key character design. Interview was reprinted in Osadebon (“Book of Sadamoto”), a supplement to the December 2000 Ace-A manga magazine. e writes that the contents of the Osadebon are:

  • “Stage 1 of Eva manga (40 pages).
  • Sadamoto Long Interview mentioned above (8 pages).
  • Sadamoto My Favourites (5 pages - he writes about his favourite cars, bikes, idols, movies and anime/manga).
  • Kotou no Oni manga (32 pages - originally published in Newtype in 1994, then in the Der Mond Deluxe Edition, art by Sadamoto, story by wife Takaha Mako).
  • Otousan no Futsuu Seikatsu manga (9 pages - by wife Takaha Mako).
  • 1 page listing all tankoubon (and related Eva books) by Sadamoto.
  • 2 pages of all comments made by Sadamoto in the contents page of Shonen Ace since 1995.
  • 2 pages listing Sadamoto’s main works, with short comments by Sadamoto.
  • 1 page ad for volume 8 of the Eva manga.
  • 1 page timeline of Sadamoto’s life, starting with birth in 1962."

Go Nagai: I told myself that it was a good idea to create a hero who wasn’t necessarily good, that we could have a bad hero, that’s where the inspiration came. At that time I was watching movies like Godzilla and I was really identifying myself to him. Without knowing why, through the eyes of Godzilla, I felt the need to crush tanks or to disperse crowds of people with kicks, I found that entertaining… It’s in this same state of mind that I started writing Mao Dante.

[Hideaki Anno:] …In brief, I was following the manga, and I arrived to the part of the “big battle”. It was something unexpected, and for a child like me, it was shocking.

G: And what marked you?

H: For example, this scene where a character faced schoolgirl prisoners, whose clothes were torn, were hiding their breasts and the crotch, and tells them “Hands up !” It’s remarkable, like a comical scene. I think it was one of my first memories of your work. But your influence on me is incalculable, impossible to evaluate. After all, even in Evangelion, I couldn’t get away from the Devilman influence…

G: Oh yes ? I was told that there were similarities, therefore I went to see Evangelion in the cinema with that idea, but I didn’t feel that.

H: No, but I think I didn’t do it consciously… After that, people made me notice : “Ah this is Devilman”, etc…

…[Interviewer] You both are from two different generations. What was your idea of a monster, when you were kids ?

H: I wasn’t a big fan of monster movies, not as much as Master Nagai… I didn’t hate it, but for me war movies was rather my thing. After that, I started on hero stories like Ultraman.

G: You were not watching Ultra Q, Ultraman’s prequel?

H: I saw it, but I couldn’t get a hold of it. We were seeing only monsters, and scary stuff… We can conclude that I prefer giant heroes over monsters.

G: Someone told me that Evangelion was visually inspired by Ultraman, is it true ?

H: EVA is an “Ultraman-ian” character, sure. But to be honest, the visual inspiration also comes from Devilman.

G: Really ?

H: There’s also some Shuten Douji in it. And also the idea that even demons and ogres with their scary faces. I think the thing we name “power” is something really scary. So when the design was to be made, I particularly insisted that he is scary-looking. If kids could start crying just by watching an episode, that would be ideal. To the point to make it an anti-hero, something which is scary. For that, Devilman was the perfect model. I had drawn a “rough” version of EVA which looked a lot like Devilman, with the curved back, la taille fine, a thick chest plate. It was the image that I made from Devilman. But EVA also has common points with Mazinger Z. Him too has a scary demonic face.

G: For what is Devilman and Mazinger Z, I didn’t have the intention to give them nightmare-esque faces, but that naturally came to me ! (Laughs)

H: In Mao Dante, the ears of Ryo Utsugi become the eyes of a demon, right ? In the first version of EVA, when we looked at its eyes closely, we also noticed an influence from Mao Dante. Before that I did the Gunbuster ova, and for the robot design, I told myself that giving it two eyes was a bit dull. So I made it like a cyclops, but later I realized it was a mistake. Even with their shadow, robots like Mazinger remained recognizable, even if the eyes were no longer just two white shapes. In Gunbuster, with its unique eye, it didn’t work well. I therefore told myself that next time, I will definitely make a robot with compound eyes, like an insect. For that, I coloured all of the body of the first version of EVA with a gloomy colour, except for the eyes, which I left in white, to attract attention.

…H: Still concerning the face, I love Mazinger Z in profile towards the first episode in the prepublication. It’s his first appearance and Kouji discovers it with a stunning cry.

G: The scene in the house of the grandpa, is that it ?

H: Yes, it really marked me. That must be why I gave the same kind of eyes to the first version of EVA. When I brought these rectifications on the original drawings, I couldn’t prevent myself from drawing the eyes in the style of Master Nagai.

And in the first episode of Evangelion, the first appearance of EVA is a big shot on his face, right ?

H: Eh yes, that’s it. (Laugh) Sorry.

G: Fancy that ? (Laugh)

…HA : The manga that was appearing in Terebi Magazine wasn’t bad, but however, it wasn’t the tv version… I was watching, but at that time when I was in 5th grade, me and my friends had the impression that it was for little kids, and that they were taking us a bit for idiots. It’s the same thing for the Getter Robo anime. The manga of Master Ken Ishikawa was like a bible to me. In the anime of Mazinger Z, there was only one episode that I liked, the n°32 (“Three headed beast machine of terrorr”), where Mazinger Z was hurled in the sky by hanging on to the “breast-missiles” [Aphrodai Ace - NDT]. In my memory, it’s the only scene that fascinated my childish heart. And for Getter Robo, it’s the episode where they were forced to pilot by themselves… The one where the robot gets decapitated ? (N°30 : “When the Phoenix resurrects”)

HA : That’s all. It’s the only episode I liked, the one where Getter Robo is defeated. That seemed plausible to me. Also, I really liked the opening song too.

…TO : In your work, there are frightening images of disfigured characters, torn bodies or human-dogs, which were very scary, and in addition to that, there were frights that we prefer not to talk about, generally speaking. It’s the kind of things we prefer not thinking in our everyday life. In Devilman and Mao Dante, the memory that in the past, humans were the prey of demons, it’s really something terrifying.

GN : Whether it comes from our memories or elsewhere, we have this kind of memories in us.

TO : It actually exists by the way. There was a time when humans were preys, without a doubt. I think that’s why we started using our hands, making fire etc… so as not to be eaten! It’s something that we have forgotten, but something still says in our memory, as a species. At that time, we were simians, we were attacked by saurians, et since these beasts were a source of fear, we got used to the idea of demons.

Hideaki Anno : I like well the concept of “freaks” who counter attack, for example in Mazinger Z. For me, the mechanical beasts are like an army of “freaks”, also, they’re led by a crazy scientist! As a kid, I loved to see the crazy scientist who was oppressed and started shouting “Forward for the world’s conquest!”

GN : It’s a bit the same thing with demons, right? From a historic point of view, most of people who were identified to demons were tyrannised. I expressed that unconsciously… I maybe go that idea somewhere, to say … Who knows that can happen to me in another life?Anyway, whatever happens, I cannot be on side of those with power, I’ll naturally be for the ones opposing power. And even if Satan was identified as the big evil, I wonder if he’s as bad that. Et puis au final. At the end of Devilman, we can also reach a conclusion that God is the evil one. Satan too opposes power : He opposes God…

…HA : When we have characters hose lose their original form and mixes themselves with one another, that’s Ken Ishikawa. However, when we see bodies well cut in two with blood coming out, that’s Go Nagai.

GN : In the cinema version of Evangelion, your use of viscerality isn’t bad at all…

HA : That’s right… We also introduced the concept of cannibalism. But it’s hard to make it frightening in animation.

GN : I thought it was effective enough!

HA : What would be ideal is that kids who watch it start to vomit, but they didn’t even get a small nausea. That should have made them sick. Because if I think it’s better to show repugnant things just as they are. If we succeed to transmit the emotion that atrocious things are atrocious, it’s mission succeeded. When someone tells me “It’s too horrible, too violent”, that pleases me, because it’s a healthy and normal reaction. When they tell me “I cannot watch, it’s too much”, I say “Okaaaaay!” (Laughs).47

…HA : Actually (with Evangelion), I only thought of renewing the genre. At its core, it’s still Mazinger Z. I thought to myself how Mazinger Z would be if it was created today. With stuff like training the pilots in laboratories… However, this was quickly derailed.

…TO : No, nothing at all. But tell me, Anno, you will have to clarify me on a point : In the cinema version of Evangelion, the NERV fights against the army… As far as the intrigue goes, it reminded me of the war between the ministry of education and the shameless school, in Harenchi Gakuen. On one side, you got those who back up the total war, saying that it’s justified, and on the other side, there are those who say it’s going to be a massacre. When I watched the movie in the theatres, I told myself that this looked like a serious version of Harenchi Gakuen’s ending…

HA : Actually, since the time when we produced the TV series which preceded the movie, I was thinking of the image of the society as enemy. So, in the end, characters linked to the government are actually a form of authority, from our point of view. It’s a story which shows how adults destroy the lives of children. I cannot say I’m completely opposed to the system, but since my childhood, I always had this vague impression of being squashed by the pressure around me.

…HA : I ask myself at what moment people started to value virtual things over real things. Maybe kids today think that virtuality has more value.

TO : I think that’s the case. As a consequence, reality has less value in their eyes, they think it’s easy to kill people. So that if we give reality its adequate value, it’s hard to decapitate someone or do these kind of things…

H: As for the images of girls, when I was small, I was more addicted to Yamaguchi Momoe (A Japanese “Idol” singer) than my girl classmates. People that we see on tv are more important than those who exist just two steps away from us. It’s a form of idolisation.

…H: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto considers you simply like a God. His main reason for going to a party organised by Kodansha was to meet you. Me too, when I went to the ceremony of prize awards of Science-Fiction, that was for the same reason.

…H: In our days, it’s undeniable that we ask questions on the validity of fiction. Also, documentaries are becoming more and more interesting. To the point where reality itself become just as chaotic just like fiction. I explain myself : the things that M. Nagai wrote about 25 to 30 years ago have already materialized. Recently, I was wandering in Shibuya quarters, around 21 hours. I had the impression of being there. The “infernal earthquake of the Kanto planes” didn’t happen, but it was as if I was in the slums of Violence Jack. There’s an atmosphere of desolation. People who were found there had no place of work, and when they worked, it didn’t bring them anything. It’s before everything else a spiritual poverty.

…G: I partly wrote Devilman with the intention of alerting people. In our days in Japan, we are indifferent to armament compared to the past. I want to say that in this time, nothing other than talking about the problem of the army could cool down the ambiance. For some time, that’s no longer the case.

Toshimichi Otsuki: It’s as if they were telling me earlier : It’s “virtual”. We’re “waiting for the war”, I think. I sometime ask myself if everyone doesn’t want war.

G: And I have the impression that this want for war is becoming reality. How did it happen, again? … Yes, for the Japanese soldiers of the autodefense force sent to a foreign place can participate in military activities, we created rules of cooperation with the peace maintenance force from the UN. It will start like this. If we admit that it’s acceptable to send army forces in large quantities, we are two fingers away from approving armed aggressions. What scares me, it’s to extrapolate that.

–Interview between Hideaki Anno and Go Nagai, published in the 1999 artbook Devilman Tabulae Anatomicae Kaitaishinsho; translated into French (full?) by JayWicky, and then into English

“I think my friend wanted me to do this” is the sole, mysterious explanation offered for his [Hideaki Anno’s] new, one-night old hairstyle.

…“Yeah, I fit into the otaku group-or at least I’m an otaku who has opened up. But maybe then I’m not an otaku any more because of that. It’s hard to define …”

…“I became an animator by chance, really-it didn’t happen by my will. Before I knew it, I was an animator. When I was a child, I wanted to be a bus driver or a train conductor; I never really had a specific vision or dream.”

…“Eva was a fluke …,” Anno pauses for a moment, almost reconsidering his reply, then adds, “I don’t think my stories are really meant for a wide audience. I guess what I felt at that time just happened to strike a chord with the youth.”

…“Japan is the only country in the world that actually has an anime industry, and can mass-produce animated works of a high quality for a large audience. It’s only natural then, that this product would be in demand from the rest of the world.”

“Japan is unrivaled in this sense. Disney is really no competition because Disney can only release one film at a time. They are not capable of handling the wide range of stories that we see in Japanese anime. Real anime exists only in Japan, and this is about the only original product Japan can offer to the world-anime, manga and computer games.”

…So, when asked directly about the future of Japan in the next millennium, Hideaki Anno becomes the dark visionary that the kids know so well.

“Whether it be a few years into the future or 10 years in the future, I don’t know, but there is going to be a radical change or event that will change Japan.”

“There will come a time when Japan is going to go through a big shake-up-so much so that Japan may no longer be able to survive. But it won’t be because of politics, and it won’t be the result of any natural disaster.”

“It’s the Japanese economy; the backlash of our economy. Right now, people are always telling us that our economy is on the upswing and all that …” (pause) … “but I don’t believe them.”

“‘Opened-up’ otaku opens up: The nation’s - nay, the world’s - foremost cyberanimator comes down to Earth to talk.” (EML mirror); Asahi Shimbun, December 30, 1999

“PS We did manage to find out that it is Kaworu playing the violin in Death & Rebirth.”

–Saxon Heffernan, “Pilgrimage to Gainax”

Anno had planned to visit Aussiecon Three and then Ayres Rock; canceled when he fell down a Tokyo escalator during rush hour, “hitting his head seriously enough to require seven stitches in his forehead”.

12-11-99—- Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Series Supervised By Hideaki Anno

The filming of Japan Self-Defense Force [JSDF] equipment and training, supervised by Gainax director, Hideaki Anno (Evangelion), is being released in Japan on LD and DVD. The first volume: “JUSDF FLEET POWER1 -Yokosuka- Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force” went on sale on Nov. 25th. The first volume includes scenes of carrier-based aircraft and asroc shooting and retails for 5800 Yen.

Source: J-Dream Direct Newsletter, J-Dream Web

http://www.animenewsservice.com/archives/dec13.htm

1999 S

  • 1999-japanedge-insiderguidejapanesepopsubculture.pdf

Taking him to the airport after Fanime one year, I asked Hiroyuki Yamaga about Anno and Miyamura, whether it was true they were going out (which was the story I had heard–not the story that she rebuffed him). If you’ve ever seen THE CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO, he was kind of reclining back in the car seat at the time like Jigen was, just before they blew the tire. He sort of gave a “where’d you hear that?” response. Mr. Yamaga is usually not shy about gossiping about Anno, which leads me to believe either 1. they were never going out (90% possibility) or 2. they were but jealousy forebade him from confirming it (10% possibility).

… It’s quite possible that this struggle was interpreted instead as a struggle with Anno, which certainly made for juicier rumors. Nor was it all that far-fetched, as there was at times a great deal of tension within Gainax over the making of EVA.

Anno was also at one time romantically linked with Ayako Fujitani, whose novel “Shikijitsu” he, of course, adapted into film. They apparently first met when she was starring in the remakes of the GAMERA series (Yamaga claimed at one time the real reason Anno walked away from KARE KANO was because he was too busy editing his “making of GAMERA” documentary). Ms. Fujitani is, of course, also the daughter of Steven Seagal, making the rumored relationship not without great personal risk.

–Carl Horn, http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=16516#16516 TODO: the year is a guess; also, perhaps Yamaga counts as Primary?

Continuing the topic of Anno & Miyamura:

Realistically – I have to question the authenticity of such a story48. The director, in this case Anno, really didn’t have to go along with what the VA wanted. Gossip linked the two romantically, but even in this scenario I don’t think Anno would be willing to compromise the screenplay unless he preferred her suggestion. He could always have used another actress (it is almost a whispered line) or even said the line himself (which is actually what several people thought happened).

Bochan_bird

“…in regards to the rumor that Yuko Miyamura (Asuka’s VA) and Anno were an item, it seems that this was more than just a rumor for a time, although there is little information as to whether the relationship is continuing. However, the latest gossip/scandal surrounding Yuko Miyamura is an adult video which she appeared in before becoming famous as a voice actress. This video, which has actually been out for quite some time, is of course in Asuka’s voice…And it’s being sold as a set with the Eva Hentai video/VCD on Yahoo! Japan…”

Bochan_bird; more information, 2011 “Don’t Let a Little Thing Like a Sex Video Slow You Down” Kotaku article:

“As the voice of Asuka Langley Soryu, one of Evangelion‘s principle characters, Miyamura grabbed a brass ring in Japanese voice acting. The anime took the country by storm during the 1990s, and Miyamura scored other major roles, such as Kazuha Toyama in the Detective Conan anime. She also released CDs and picked up game roles like Chun-Li in the Street Fighter Alpha and EX games as well as Akane in Pokémon. But in 1997, a porno, dubbed Experiencing Erotic S&M as a Couple, surfaced. The video was apparently from when she was in her early 20s. It wasn’t until the following spring that Japanese tabloid Friday ran a story on the video. Fans were certain that the woman in the video was Miyamura, who was still riding high with Evangelion. But the video, combined with her marriage, quick divorce, and second marriage changed the way fans viewed her. By 1999, Miyamura was in the hospital from fatigue (it was later discovered that she suffered from Graves’ disease). Outside Evangelion and Conan, the voice work slowed, and the TV appearances came screeching to a halt. The music CDS, always a good indicator of an idol’s popularity, stopped. Her image had been changed.”

Sankaku Complex includes NSFW screencaps in “Which Are Worse - The Seiyuu or Their Creepy Fans?”:

“Fans managed to identify her (by her teeth and other characteristics) in”SM Erotic Experiences for Two," an old amateur fetish AV from her student days. Her image amongst these fans was irreparably ruined, although she managed to retain the Asuka role….[pictures]…Her personal life, resembling that of a normal person and involving the full gamut of marriages, divorces, children, illnesses, etc., also contributed to her losing most of her work."

Bryan was taking some video of the people walking by as a snapshot of everyday people. Because it was Saturday afternoon, some of the people traveling through the station were school students returning home after a half-day at school. Of course, they were wearing uniforms of the style we learned to expect in anime. Although it may appear obvious and natural to some of you, my impression of everything we saw in Japan that matched what I had seen in anime was changing my impression of the country and its culture. What I came to realize is how accurately anime portrays many elements of Japanese culture. This means that I had to reevaluate the impression of Japan that anime had given me, and look more closely at what I had previously not considered accurate portrayals of everyday life: the sound crows make, the layout of city streets and railways, the hustle and bustle of daily life at a train station, the zoning laws, what people wear, what they look like, how they color their hair (^), what they eat for breakfast, the size and thickness of one slice of bread (^), and so on.

… Note: I’m not absolutely certain these are the reasons, nor are they necessarily the sole reasons, for Anno’s departure from the production of Kare-Kano.

Anno objected to the restrictions placed on TV anime by TV Tokyo after the Pocket Monster incident, so in protest, he decided to have nothing more to do with TV Tokyo and left the production of Kare-Kano in the hands of Sato, who joined Gainax after having worked for the government in a public works management position.

http://web.archive.org/web/20040203105028/http://nausicaa.net/~michj/tokyo/990203.html In 2001, Olivier Hagué agreed:

“Anno wanted to write an original story for the second half of the TV series. You can find several mentions about that plan in”old" issues of Animage or Newtype (ie before the TV series aired). That’s why the “rhythm” of the first half of the series is that fast : they intended to adapt most of the manga in 13 or so episodes. But TV Tokyo got cold feet and feared that Anno would go back to his old ways (ie the last TV episodes of Eva…), so they asked Gainax to stick with the manga… Anno was obviously frustrated/infuriated… ^^;"

Actually, there is ‘canon’ that can ‘disprove’ this. Nationwide parental (PTA) objections against Eva’s content are a known fact. These objections reached such a level (even receiving Japanese newspaper coverage) that TV Tokyo was forced to set up a screening panel including PTA members which effectively ‘nixed’ the original episodes 25 and 26 that were currently under production. (ie: The ‘intended’ script/storyline was submitted for review but rejected.) Being forced to redo two entire episodes from a late stage led to the time and budget restrictions which resulted in still images, stick figure animation and telops.

Bochan_bird on the censorship that forced changes from the ending being proto-EoE to being the actual EoTV; repeats claim elsewhere, eg. November 2001. In August 2002, he said that Boogiepop Phantom suffered under the PTA, and Brian Shea concurred with “Cowboy Bebop too, so bad that 14 of the 26 episodes never aired on the first run. Including the first episode and the final 8. With all the talk about Eva’s influence on the genre (although I’ll admit here and now that I’m one of those who thinks it was very little), the biggest influence it had may have been the censorship atmosphere…”

What was I agonizing over, you ask? Well, when the subject of buying drapes came up, I asked Anno if he had any color preferences, and he replied, “Red.” If I were buying scarves, that would be one thing, but come on… (Translator’s note: If you get the “Red Scarf” reference, go to the head of the class, and explain it to someone who doesn’t–if you dare.–MH) There really isn’t much in the way of red curtains, at least, not off the shelf. So I settled for a color mix that would at least show that I’d made a hard try to meet Anno’s request.

–7 May 1999, Muramatsu Ryouko, asst. producer of Karekano

[Shinji Ikari:] “He and his father Gendo have lived apart for at least a decade. A sudden message from Gendo brings Shinji to Tokyo-3, and on that very day, an”Angel" attacks the city. As a chosen Evangelion Operator, he fights on, though thoroughly agonized. He is referred to as “Third Children” (a term meaning “the third qualifier”). In personality, he is a quiet, overachiever type."

http://web.archive.org/web/19991127120613/http://www.gainax.co.jp/anime/eva/chara-e.html

1999 T

  • 1999-corliss-times-honneamisepraise.txt
  • 1999-mangamax-spookyjaneway.pdf
  • 1999-mangamax-whatsitallaboutshinji.pdf
  • 1999-schilling-contemporaryjapfilm.txt

“I read in an old animation magazine”Animefantastic" IIRC, an article by J. Lamplighter, that Gainax/Anno had some influence on the ADV TV dub for special vocabulary, & had to approve what was done before it could be printed." http://www.mania.com/aodvb/showthread.php?p=1502313

“The magazine is Animazement & it has Rei on the cover, with the title”God in 3 Robots“”. Animefantastique “Summer 1999. Vol.1 #2.Eva pp 32-43 Gainax 44-45 Eva manga pp46-7 most by L. Jagi Lamplighter.” http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2005-April/002629.html

The first EVA article breaks down the series into plot, character conflicts, religious references, fan reaction, the end: movies vs TV, and voice actors. It also contains several EVA lingo as well as reaction from the AD vision Eva staff. An other EVA article relates to END OF EVANGELION (contains spoilers). Basically what it tries to do its explain what happened in EoE and what major plot knots were resolved. There’s another one that covers the Manga version. Nothing special here but still some cool info about differences and stuff. Finally there is an article that takes you through the history and creations of Gainax. http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1999-April/027834.html

“However, its violence and surrealism will not be new to those who have seen the TV show; neither will its view of a society of broken souls, where men and women are grains of flying sand, blasting each other to bone. Playwright Kenji Sato, who does not like Evangelion, compares it to Nine Inch Nails’ album The Downward Spiral; it is an excellent comparison, and I agree, except that I like Eva. It’s only a cartoon; it’s only a life.”

“The End’s main characters are a man and a woman, Shinji and Asuka, and director Hideaki Anno when he does not present himself through Misato, Gendo, or every other character in the series identifies with them both (gossip links him romantically with Asuka’s voice actress, Yuko Miyamura). As Anno explained at the outset of the series, in an essay reprinted this month in Viz’s collected Book One of the Evangelion manga, he began this because he felt sick, and the final line of The End, spoken by Asuka back to Shinji, could not put things any more plain.”

“This is The End of Evangelion. It is the same ending as that of the television series. It is told big-budget, stitched with bullets, limned with guts, and tagged with blood, in case it was too subtle the first time. But it is the same ending. You will see all this: a man, stunted in emotion, has a special gift within him. He can move his human hands and feet with the stride and reach of a giant. Because he knew love once, and lost it, he sketched one map on his floor where he stood and one in the sky above, until he had drawn between them a world of mysteries and wonders, a world of things to love and of those in love. But when they put their hands towards him, he drew away; when he put his hands on them, they were cold and still. In his frustration, he tightened his grip to take satisfaction by force: a load shot to nowhere, a stranglehold on beauty, clenched fists battering down his creation, until there was nothing left but himself again.”

Viz Communication website ‘MY EMPIRE OF DIRT: The End of Evangelion; Carl’s Anime Pick’ (mirrors: 1, 2) TODO: Sato’s full remarks

By breaking with the long-standing tradition of basing their animated works on pre-existing stories and folk tales, GAINAX has been credited with freeing animation from the constraints which have allowed it to be perceived as a derivative medium. In so doing, they have established animated film as a self-sufficient art form (Time Magazine, November 22, 1999).

http://www.evamonkey.com/writings_gleicher01.php

In a recent issue, Rolling Stone proclaimed Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain to have been, for western popular music, the Artist of the Decade. I have no problem with that assessment, any more than I have in saying Evangelion’s Hideaki Anno should hold that title for Japanese animation. But both made their statement when there was still plenty of Nineties left: Cobain killed himself in 1994 and Anno’s pop culture suicide happened in either the spring of ’96, when Eva had its controversial TV ending, or in the summer of ’97, with its even more talked-about movie ending-you may take your pick. Therefore, the reason Cobain and Anno deserve the title is not that their talent bestrode the decade like a headless colossus, but because they posed the question of what will you do, now that you know to all those that came after them. Evangelion suggested, as Nirvana did in both their first and last song, “you could do anything, you could do anything…” Yet it seemed that few in TV anime chose to respond to Eva’s example of freedom of expression. In 1998, serial experiments lain (the title is in lower-case) came and went from Japanese television in a mere thirteen episodes. But it was enough to show that lain’s creators, scriptwriter Chiaki Konaka (whose previous Armitage III was also produced and released by Pioneer) and newcomer Ryutaro Nakamura had understood the possibilities and chose to seize upon them.

http://web.archive.org/web/20010219070334/j-pop.com/anime/archive/reviews/14/05_serialexplain.html

Evangelion is an ambiguous product. On the one hand it strongly appeals to otaku’s sensibilities, (2) but on the other it implies radical criticism against otaku’s mentality….

In a sense, Evangelion is extremely interior and is lacking in sociality, so that it seems to reflect pathology of the times. I think for some people it is nothing more than a bad product which is simply to increase otakus.

For instance, some Japanese critics, such as Eiji Otsuka and Tetsuya Miyazaki, criticized Evangelion TV series on the grounds that the last two episodes, in which interior monologue of Shinji, the hero, went on all the time, were like brainwashing or psycho-therapy, and it was only a self-affirmation of otaku’s autistic tendency for escapism. Yoshiyuki Tomino, who had once directed several epoch-making animes such as Gundam and Ideon, (3)-these animes had a great influence on Hideaki Anno, the director of Evangelion-also criticized Evangelion bitterly on the grounds that it is something like clinical records of a morbid person who confines himself to the world of information and cannot realize actuality….

The latter half of Evangelion TV series, especially the last two episodes clearly had intention to break the closed domain of anime that keeps on offering narcissistic pleasure to otakus, that is, Evangelion had intention to crack the closed domain of anime, not from the outside, but from the inside, remaining within it, just as its purity is highest, or to make joy of anime self-destruct at the utmost limits.

The last part of Evangelion TV series-in which the progress of the story was stopped by Shinji’s interior monologue and he came to affirm himself groundlessly, saying “I can stay here!”-was not a play for the salvation of the self-some people misread it so-like brainwashing or psycho-therapy, but something like harassment with malice and irony to some anime fans. I think the last message of the last episode of the TV series-“Congratulations to all the children!”-was a quotation from the last scene of Yoshiyuki Tomino’s anime movie The Ideon (1982), as many people have already pointed out it. In the last scene of The Ideon, after the human race had died out, the souls of the dead characters were drifting in outer space and they heard the singing, “Happy birthday dear children!” That is ironic, in short, the last episode of Evangelion TV series implies that closed and self-sustained interiority is nothing other than a kind of “death.” It is death of the self as loss of the other. It also implies that the world of joy for otakus such as the first half of Evangelion TV series cannot help coming to a death on account of its closeness….

The world of the first half of Evangelion TV series, which had been full of joy of anime, collapsed gradually in the latter half: In the 18th episode, Evangelion Unit-01-Shinji was inside it-attacked Evangelion Unit-03 as an “Angel,” and Touji, the pilot of Evangelion Unit-03 and Shinji’s classmate, got badly wounded and lost a leg. In the 22nd episode, Asuka, the pilot of Evangelion Unit-02, became as good as the living dead because of Angel’s psychic attack, getting non compos mentis. In the 23rd episode, Rei, the pilot of Evangelion Unit-00-in the episode it was found that she was something like a clone created from Shinji’s mother-blew herself up in order to protect Shinji from Angel’s attack, and the city Shinji lived in-Third New Tokyo City-became a ruin. In the 24th episode, Shinji was forced to kill Kaoru, a boy who was Shinji’s beloved friend, as an Angel, or enemy. In the last two episodes, the progress of the story was stopped and the work Evangelion itself broke down as if to reject a completion of itself as an anime. It is, as it were, closing of the world, or “death” itself….

The latter half of Evangelion TV series, in which a world of joy was collapsing and closing because it was simply hedonistic and regressive, reminds me of Mamoru Oshii’s anime movie Urusei Yatsura 2 Beautiful Dreamer (1984). (4) In Beautiful Dreamer, an endless slapstick comedy at a high school like Urusei Yatsura TV series-Oshii himself had directed the TV series-is depicted as an ideal world to Lum, the heroine, or an occurrence in Lum’s inner space. In the world, the progress of time has stopped and one and the same day-the day before the school festival-is being repeated over and over. In the inner space, the people who were hindrances to Lum vanished one after another, and the town she lived in became a ruin except for the house Ataru Moroboshi-the hero and Lum’s “darling”-lived in and a convenience store nearby. The more the purity of the world as Utopia to Lum is enhanced, the more the closeness and fictitiousness of the world become prominent. Ataru wandered about in the world of inner spaces like this and then tried returning from the infinite chain of the inner spaces like “dreams” to “actuality.”

The End of Evangelion presented the thesis that actuality is the end of a dream. Concerning the thesis, Oshii’s Beautiful Dreamer precedes Anno’s Evangelion. If the world of Urusei Yatsura TV series had switched suddenly to the level of Beautiful Dreamer, it would have been similar to the last two episodes of Evangelion TV series. The reason that Evangelion TV series seemed to break down at the conclusion was that the shift-from fiction to meta-fiction-was too sudden and self-destructive. It may be that the people who showed rejection reaction to the last two episodes of the TV series could not bear its irony and self-referentiality.

The world where Shinji operated Evangelion Unit-01 and fought against the Angels, the world of a comic love story at a junior-high school, in which there were no Evangelions or Angels (the last episode of the TV series), the world where the people congratulated Shinji and he came to affirm himself groundlessly, and the world where Shinji, Asuka, Rei and Kaoru were rehearsing a string quartet at a hall of school (Evangelion: Death)… It can be thought that each of these worlds was an occurrence in inner space, or one of parallel worlds. The theme of Evangelion is, so to speak, the world as interiority.

…Maybe Evangelion gave up being a story at a certain point in time, I think. In the 6th episode of the TV series, Shinji and Rei, who were “closed-minded children,” fought together against an Angel and “opened their minds,” exchanging smiles with each other. Although this scene was probably first climax of the series, maybe Neon Genesis Evangelion as a story of “growth and independence of a boy”-like a Bildungsroman-ended there once. Evangelion as a story has stopped there.49

…The End of Evangelion, released as a movie, is a remake of the last two episodes of the TV series, and it is the last program of Evangelion series. I think the largest point in dispute connected with the evaluation of this last program is this. Did Evangelion only end in a self-affirmation of closed interiority, or did it show the way to get out of prison of self-consciousness?

It seems some people anticipated that the movie version of Evangelion would end as a story of “growth and independence of a boy,” like a Bildungsroman, but The End of Evangelion avoided such a popular ending and was completed as works that renewed the last two episodes of the TV series in another way. The End of Evangelion is a repetition and variation of the theme presented in the latter half of the TV series. It is not an ending of a story.

…This EoE ending can be regarded as criticism against religion, because it avoided an ideological/aesthetic solution and faced the ugly reality. It is highly ethical. The people, who equated Evangelion with motivational seminar or the Aum Shinrikyo cult and called it ‘techno-mysticism’, should be ashamed of their thoughtlessness.50

In my view, The End of Evangelion ended on the phase when Shinji, the hero, found Asuka as “the other.” For Shinji, Asuka is an ambiguous existence. On the one hand she lectures and inspires him because she minds him, but on the other she is also an existence beyond his control-the other that can never be interiorized. Asuka’s ambiguity is also the ambiguity of the work Evangelion as it is.

The last two episodes of Evangelion TV series and The End of Evangelion have a relation like a Möbius strip. They are the two views of one and the same theme. The discovery of the other in The End of Evangelion is the reverse expression of the loss of the other in the last two episodes of the TV series. The unsophisticated people who could not read the irony in the last two episodes of the TV series will probably overlook the critical essence of The End of Evangelion as well.

“Prison of Self-consciousness: an Essay on Evangelion”, Manabu Tsuribe, February 1999

“Actually, there is ‘canon’ that can ‘disprove’ this [that “They had problems, they surely were short in budget”]. Nationwide parental (PTA) objections against Eva’s content are a known fact. These objections reached such a level (even receiving Japanese newspaper coverage) that TV Tokyo was forced to set up a screening panel including PTA members which effectively ‘nixed’ the original episodes 25 and 26 that were currently under production. (ie: The ‘intended’ script/storyline was submitted for review but rejected.) Being forced to redo two entire episodes from a late stage led to the time and budget restrictions which resulted in still images, stick figure animation and telops.”

Bochan_bird

A week or two ago, the Japanese Tax Agency displayed the ‘evidence’ foudiscoverednd during their investigation of GAiNAX. In other words, they are so confident that they went public with the evidence. (Of course, finding ¥500 million [about US$4 million) in cash hidden in a secret safe, among other things, would probably make me confident, too…)…This evidence has also been used on TV specials concerning tax evasion as an example of ‘tax evasion by a particular anime production company’.

Bochan_bird, 7 July 1999

It is now official. Today (July 13) at 10:00 am, the Japanese Tax Agency officials entered the GAiNAX offices/shop and the private residence of GAiNAX president Takeji Sawamura with search warrants, and arrested GAiNAX president Sawamura and one other person (whom they are now questioning/interrogating as to the whereabouts of the remainder of the money).

GAiNAX is being charged with hiding ¥1.5 billion (about US$12.5 million) in income, resulting in the evasion of ¥580 million (about US$4.8 million) in corporate taxes. This evasion took the form of faked transactions with related companies and paper accounts in order to overstate production expenses.

Given the amounts involved and the obvious intent to evade, it seems that the Tax Agency is ‘making an example’ of GAiNAX. The authorities have already publicly displayed the evidence found (including ¥500 million (about US$4 million) hidden in a safety deposit box), and are making sure that the case receives as much publicity as possible. The two arrestees will probably not have to serve actual jail time, but will have to undergo detention/questioning and court time, pay all evaded taxes plus some hefty fines, and upon admitting their guilt and expressing the proper remorse, will receive guilty sentences with suspended jail time.

Bochan_bird

Gainax posted an official statement 19 July 1999; George Chen translates/paraphrases it

Mainichi Shimbun reports that Takeji Sawamura, 40, allegedly evaded paying corporate taxes by reporting fictitious costs for company software during the years of 1996 and 1997. Tax accountant Yoshikatsu Iwasaki was also arrested on similar charges. According to prosecutors, Gainax allegedly faked the costs by paying fees to software companies under false contracts. The companies then refunded the money back to Gainax, minus a premium.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/1999-07-18/gainax-president-arrested-for-tax-evasion

Gendo and EoE borrow from Yukio Mishima? Notice the white gloves Mishima wore…

Hideaki Anno’s TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995) has a soundtrack that is so Japanese it will be decades before Occidental forms of audiovisual entertainment begin to successfully mimic it. Not only does Evangelion have many memorable vocal performances (Shinji, his father Gendo, the other ‘children’ Rei and Asuka) but there is a total logic to the sound design which both typifies its ‘Japaneseness’ and qualifies the role of the recorded voice within its aural netting. In fact, it should never be forgotten that ‘sound design’ is the creation of a sonic logic wherein all elements are orchestrated in accordance to our peculiar and precise understanding of how an imagined reality would acoustically operate and psychoacoustically resonate. To understand how any one element - a voice, for example - appears, happens and/or is rendered in a narrative form, one must wholly investigate the narrative’s sonic logic. Neon Genesis Evangelion exemplifies 4 primary categories of audiovisual narrativity which define the sense of its soundtrack: mecha design, musical eclecticism, spatio-temporal rupture, and emotional compaction.

The design of mechanical devices and machines - known as mecha design - is an important area of pre-production in Japanese entertainment. In manga and anime , objects are imagined, envisaged and designed as if they have to be used. That is, their logic is based less on their ‘look’ (a very Western notion that joins DaVincian optics and modernist sensibilities) and more on their tactility. Virtually all Japanese design promotes an erotic relation between user and machine, between object and hand, between shape and body. This pervades everything from a Kawasaki motorbike to Sailor Moon’s skirt. Most importantly, the ‘look’ of objects in Japanese design is accepted as a separate and auxiliary aspect of the objects’ purpose and function. Bank machines can be based on the look of tomatoes; skyscrapers on milk cartons; cars on deep sea crustaceans; perfume bottles on carburetors. They each will do what is required of them, so there is not real reason for them to speciously prove their existence through their look. (This is but yet another aspect of the ‘calligraphic’ in Japanese culture, where an image or a look is embraced as pure visual substance with no referent to the real.) The design of machinery in Japanese manga and anime is therefore a prime textual layer in the many futuristic scenarios wherein man and machine exist in a complexly modulated harmony. It is no surprise then that Japanese sound designers for anime obey the logic of the mecha design, carefully analyzing issues of weight, density, force, energy and mass before they even start to imagine the acoustic and transmissive properties of the machines.

…Secondly, each of the Angels (the diabolical threat to Earth) has their own look and an equally distinctive sound. This is especially noticeable due to the design of the Angels whose visuality references a series of modernist and ancient archetypes of biomorphic form - from Aztec wall paintings to Miro’s murals to Donald Judd cubes. Amazingly compounded sound effects accompany their terrible force, based on the power of violence they unleash on Tokyo 3. And despite the problem in designing sound for such impossible imaginings, an effective ‘mismatching’ of unexpected sounds with unexpected forms/shapes/beings runs throughout Neon Genesis Evangelion .

…Japanese anime has consistently offered alternatives to the Wagnerian leit motiv approach to serially repositioning a melodic refrain or theme throughout a film score. While this approach has typified both romantic and modernist film scoring, anime employs a string of motifs which effectively cancel each other out - or at least render their significance fluid and unfixed. Americans have often commented on how the Japanese place their music cues in the ‘wrong’ place - as if George Lucas and John Williams control the universal imagination. The use of New Jack Swing in Blue Seed (1995), Electro-Ambient in Please Save My Earth (1995) and Prog Rock in La Filliette Revolutionaire [Revolutionary Girl Utena] (1997) as score rather than sourced songs further typifies this seeming ‘wrongness’ about anime. The European orchestral machine is employed in anime for pure effect - not because ‘that’s how movie music should sound’. Further, there is usually no governing or determining style in any one anime. Shiro Sagisu’s score to Evangelion at varying times sounds like The Thunderbirds, FM-soft rock, Steve Reich and Ken Ishii. but the result of this eclecticism is not arched, strained or postmodern: it simply mutates and evolves in response to the surges and pulsations in the location and dispersion of dramatic energy.

While the score to Evangelion seems to simulate a radio station programmed in a chaotic random fashion, there is a purpose behind such chopping and changing. For the future in Evangelion - like the post-apocalyptic continuum which paves the way for Japan’s unsettling existence - is on the brink of destruction, and all that is calm is merely the potential for radical destabilization. Spatio-temporal rupture thus rages throughout Evangelion. Often we are caught in the claustrophobic mind of young Shinji as he grapples with an aching existential dilemma of how to live alone, divorced from social and human contact. The screen will go black, white, or assault the eye with Pokemon-style strobe-cutting; radical shifts in sound density will accompany these visual ruptures. Silence screams and pierces the soundtrack; detonations capitulate to a soft roar; all energies are continually inverted and reversed to complement and counterpoint their dramatic weight. Sometimes complete sections of plot disappear to convey Shinji’s loss of consciousness inside an Eva. Sometimes his psychic sensitivity teleports him unexpectedly to ill-defined locales and spaces. The musique concrete collage of sounds and atmospheres which play with these spatio-temporal ruptures is never gratuitous. If the sound design - like the music - in Japanese anime sounds ‘wrong’ it is not simply because we aren’t listening carefully enough, but that we are not cognizant of the way that Japanese sound reflects narrative, rather than neutralizing it as does Western audiovisual entertainment.

…Not that Japanese characters behave ‘differently’, but that the schisms which we perceive as corrupting and interfering with a character’s identity are acknowledged as the substance of a character’s identity. In the West, we will crudely designate the hero, the buffoon, the cynic, the sage, etc.; in the East, characters are founded upon their schizophrenia, established through their multiplicity, and defined by their inability to be grounded. Evangelion’s characters - especially the three ‘children’ who complexly represent Japan’s own problematized Generation-X - are formed by means of emotional compaction. Joy harmonizes grief; suffering prompts laughter; compassion folds violence; hatred suppresses innocence. Evangelion’s characters are quintessentially good, bad and ugly. Music, sound and voice dance in intricately orchestrated lines that map out these characters not as containers or vessels of emotion, but shimmering and shifting apparitions of emotional complexity - not ‘rounded out’ by authorial conceit, but unrefined as befits the prickly irrationality which dictates our everyday exchanges.

“Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Tyranny of the English Voice in Anime”, Philip Brophy, Real Time No.31, Sydney, 1999

Of all the places in Japan, why did the Japanese government pick Matsushiro (Nagano Prefecture) for the site of the new Capitol? Well, aside than the fact that the rise in sea level caused by 2nd Impact happened to submerge most major Japanese cities (which are located along the coasts), there is also the underground complex in Matsushiro which dates back to WWII.

This unfinished tunnel complex is hewn out of solid bedrock and consists of two portions: a ‘functional’ area consisting of a tunnel grid several hundreds of meters in each direction, and separate Imperial quarters complete with shrine and emergency escape tunnel.

The complex was constructed during the late WWII years as Japan came within range of bombing raids, and was intended as an emergency bomb shelter (it would be difficult to destroy even with a direct nuclear blast) capable of supporting government functions should Tokyo become uninhabitable.

Bochan_bird; see Wikipedia on those bunkers. The location is yet another WWII reference in NGE.

“I remember talking to Carl Horn about EoE and about the hospital scene in particular. His feelings on the hospital scene is that Anno was sending a message to the otaku. The fact that the main character, who most of us (the fans) identify with, jacking off in front of their acetate avatar, was NOT OK. What Shinji does in front of Asuka SHOULD NEVER be considered fan-service. Considering that Anno also uses the same unflattering self-portrait in Love & Pop, I have a feeling that there is some truth in that statement.”

Avery Davies

“Actually, although Anno is listed in the Mecha design too, his initial sketches are quite distant from the final Evas we got in the end. As an example of the fact that Anno was in charge of the project but didn’t do it all by itself, not even on a story level: influences from Kiichi Hadame for episodes 3 and 4, expert in presenting teenage problems (Gundam) graphically, Shinji Higuchi directing the humorous or lighter episodes, supported by Shin’ya Hasegawa’s drawing style, Keiichi Sugeyama’s direction and storyboarding of”A human work" resulting in the interlocked scene shifts, Ghibli’s handiwork in co-direction and drawing of episode 11 (but let’s not forget Masayuki’s hand too), etc. I agree with the fact that Anno was the one who came up with the idea, but the final product was the result of his coworking with others at all levels."

Ebj

“1995 (IIRC), and I am pretty certain that the cult had no influence whatsoever on Evangelion. However, they did show scenes and episodes from Evangelion (introspective scenes, etc.) at recruiting/training seminars. In fact, that was part of the draw for the seminars – the cult would distribute fliers saying that there would be an airing of Evangelion at a certain place and time (ie: piggy-backing on Eva’s popularity), and then when unsuspecting (and mostly younger) victims showed up they would try to equate some of their teachings with the soul-searching in the show and ‘recruit’ them.”

Bochan_bird

“I have seen some of these weird fliers when I was in Japan 2 years ago. Now, what I am curious about is what’s the name of the group that produced these fliers. I hope that’s not the infamous Aum Shinrikyo…

Yes, Aum Shinrikyo is the cult that used Evangelion in its fliers. They don’t use Evangelion outwardly (eg: fliers) any more because it received attention by the media and also probably because GAiNAX threatened with a lawsuit. As for internal use, who knows…"

Bochan_bird (his discussion of Fumihiro Joyu is interesting in light of subsequent events)

2000

2000 P

Komatsu: There’s something that I was a bit curious about in the work Anno-san directed, “Shin Seiki Evangelion.” The word “Evangelion” itself [connotes] a way of thinking that appears in Christian eschatology. but what was the reason you appended a title with that sort of connotation to your work?

Anno: The truth is, it didn’t have such a deep meaning. (laughs) Although I seem to get attacked when I say this. The meaning of the original word, if I’m not mistaken, is something like “the cry of victory.”

…Anno: The truth is, the image of hearing that “cry of victory” came first. [The title] was appended with a vague reason, something like, “please bring about happiness.”

Komatsu: For what reason did the “eschatological” elements appear [in the work]?

Anno: They were made up as I went. (laughs)

Komatsu: That’s terrible, really. (laughs) But, it’s certainly amazing that you completed a story that serious from within.

— [Interviewer]: Up to this point various things have been said about Evangelion, but you could say that it is the anime which deals with things like “theology or evolutionary theory” in the most up-front manner.

Anno: [It was] just pedantry.

Komatsu: So, it’s not as if you had a particular interest in Christianity……

Anno: No. I guess it was convenient material for structuring the story. I think that, generally, religion is out of place in Japan. Nothing has grown [in Japan] but “indigenous-feeling” or animistic religions. At first glance, there are parts of daily life that seem to be rooted in Buddhism, but in actuality Buddhism is not useful for much more than funerals.

Komatsu: It’s said that the native religion in Japan is a kind of animism, but it’s not just a simple “pan-animism.” It’s like this: in the mountain there is a god of the mountain, in the river there is a god of the river. Its characteristic is that everything in the world becomes an object of religion. The opinion that this was something primitive and embarrassing that we should stop first emerged in the Meiji Era, and then again just after the war.

—Anno-san, you say that it was just convenient material [for structuring the story], but what do you think about that structure? Although Nietzsche said “God is dead,” if that’s the case, isn’t the “SF-like” way of thinking “Let’s create a God”? There are parts like this in Evangelion as well.

Anno: Because originally God is something created by human beings. I think that there is a transcendent being, but that image was only something fabricated. I don’t think it matters that each person has their own God. In short, I do not at all intend to repudiate religion. Only, I don’t think it’s necessary for everyone to have the same God.

Komatsu: And then there is Darwin’s evolutionary theory. It’s the foundation of modern science; however, it also [indicates that,] in the end, the most advanced [lifeform] is of course the human being. But I wondered if human beings were really that great. Because of that, and thinking that there may be something greater besides [human beings], I ended up writing “science fiction” stories where alien beings appeared. [The phrase] “cry of victory” came up previously; what does Anno-kun think about salvation?

Anno: Evangelion also includes a “salvation-like” story, but it’s not true salvation. It was a work where, thinking about the destination of mankind, I began by borrowing elements from Christianity. It’s like, thinking about something like the evolution of mankind or the meaning of existence, I tried to make something concerning the destination of mankind.

—In Anno-san’s work, a type of alien or lifeform appears which is painful for human beings to come in contact with.

Anno: It’s more real that the aliens be incomprehensible. The aliens you see on television even show that they can speak Japanese on an earth that they are supposed to have come to for the first time. I don’t think that something like that is an alien. (laughs)

—I wonder if Eva and Lilith were intelligent life-forms.

Anno: What concerned me more than [them having] intelligence was whether they had a kokoro or not. In short: the problem of the soul [tamashii]. Regarding the kokoro and the body, there are many things that have been said by dualism, but I think that they are two faces of the same thing.

—Komatsu-san, what do you think about the problem of the soul [tamashii] or the kokoro?

Komatsu: The kokoro, I think, is something that mammals are surprisingly able to share. However, in the case of an alien race, then things are different. Regarding intelligence, it’s possible that there are intelligences incapable of contacting human beings. Thinking this through is the appeal of science fiction. It would be nice if the world was convenient in the manner of Star Trek; however…

Anno: When I really think it through I think that’s how it is. I don’t hate Star Trek, but I’m not that into it. You can see something of the arrogance of America [in it]. There is a story of influencing or enlightening the native people of the destination planets, or there is a romance with their most admirable woman in a front-line base. I feel like this is American imperialism itself.51

Komatsu: More than imperialism, it’s the imposition of a Christian sense of justice.

Anno: Somehow this way Marxists are portrayed as being primitive people. I can’t get used to that kind of American worldview. I think the Enterprise is cool, but…

–Hideaki Anno & Komatsu Sakyô (Japan Sinks; Japanese SF author & organizer, see The Notenki Memoirs) roundtable (original transcript); translation by Numbers-kun: “On the main interviews page (here) it’s listed as being from 2000. It seems to have been transcribed from this book, published in April 2000. So, the interview was probably from early 2000 or some time in 1999, maybe two and a half years after EoE.”

—During the Eva Boom books such as “Reading the Dead Sea Scrolls” came out. Did you anticipate that?

Anno: I could somehow understand that. When I was in middle school, because I loved the anime “Space Battleship Yamato,” being interested in the wave motion gun, warp drive, and so on, I would buy “blue books”52 [Kodansha books on popular science]. (laughs) My knowledge of the theory of relativity and so on was due to the influence of Yamato. I feel it’s fine by itself if people become interested in the Dead Sea Scrolls because of that [because of Eva]. If through that they get interested in psychology and move on to that direction, it will also be interesting. As for the elements relating to Christianity, I just researched them quickly using dictionary-like books. Because these sort of convenient things exist in the world, (laughs) around the time when we were students, the anime “Macross” was showing on TV, and there was a “catalog generation,” a generation interested in nothing but “specs” and catalogs. They would only evaluate things on the basis of “catalog-like” elements.53 They didn’t care about “interior” elements but were only caught up in what was on the surface. So, you can extend that [idea]. [In Eva] there are various “keyword-like” terms but, in truth, these are just symbols. They don’t really have meanings taken individually. As they are mixed together, for the first time something like an interrelationship or a meaning emerges. If you investigate each one individually you will very quickly reach the bottom.

…—You previously said you have an interest in psychology, but in Eva things like Kierkegaard’s “The Sickness Unto Death” are cited as well…

Anno: I didn’t read it.

—Eh‽

Anno: I just quoted it.

—I thought you must have liked it.

Anno: In no time at all I lost my interest [in it]. I didn’t understand it. I made guesses based on skim-reading, and so on. And, I would seem intelligent if I remembered a phrase [from it]. (laughs)

—It wasn’t that you based [Eva] on Christianity because you liked it…

Anno: It wasn’t at all because of that. I don’t understand Christianity at all. It was because of the atmosphere. (laughs)

…Anno: If the planned relations had worked out - the plan was that the ‘unconscious Shinji-kun’ would be Ayanami Rei, the Shinji-kun who appears on the surface would be Ikari Shinji, and the ‘ideal Shinji-kun’ would be Nagisa Kaworu-kun. [Kaworu was] supposed to be an ideal male but when I tried putting him together he was just a strange fellow (laughs). That was something of a lack of capability on my part.

–Excerpt translated by Numbers-kun(first excerpt, second excerpt, third excerpt; full original); 5 December interview ‘with a member of Waseda University for the purpose of “character study.”’

“…Gendo is borrowed from another anime project before Eva that was aborted. [Aoki Uru?]

Ikari is the same as before. Yui sounds similar to Rei, and it’s also a little pun on yui [唯, “only one”].

Keel is also a component of a ship. Lorenz is named after a zoologist or something, but I can’t remember clearly. Am I just getting old? Oh, well.

Super straightforward naming [for Pen2], but I thought the repetition sounded cute. His name has officially become the 2nd power of Pen [Pen²]. I was reluctant at first, but we thought we needed a mascot character, so we had an animal appear in the show. As it happened, the show is set in Hakone, which one associates with hot springs, which in turn are associated with monkeys. But that is no fun, so we decided to make it a penguin, the animal least suited to a hot spring. I’m positive that Sadamoto came up with the idea of a “hot spring penguin”.

… [Kensuke Aida] Also from Murakami’s novel. By the way, I was just interested in a character “Zero” in this novel, rather than the story about revolution and dictatorship itself….

This character was named by the screenplay writer Akio Satsukawa. Nagisa [shore] is a word related to the sea. Also the kanji nagisa 渚 consists of katakana SHI シ and kanji SHA 者, therefore he’s SHISHA シ者 [messenger 使者]. He said it also comes from the movie director Nagisa Oshima. But what is Kaworu? Sorry, I will ask him next time. [Anno discussed Oshima in a 1997 Newtype?]"

Hideaki Anno, personal website; original translation by massangeana on Japan.Anime.Evangelion, December 2000. (It’s striking how random and meaningless many names seem to be.)

Oguro: The relation between the fan and the work.

Anno: Right, right. So, they can’t meet the real Rei Ayanami, but because, as an act of compensation, they can meet the voice actress who does her voice, they go to events [where she appears]. Or, they get that picture signed by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, the man who drew it.

Oguro: As a substitute for the real Rei Ayanami.

Anno: I believe that anime character merchandise sells well simply because it is a means of getting close to the character. You can’t express your love for Rei Ayanami except by putting her poster up on your wall. So, character merchandise sells well because of that.

Oguro: Express your love?

Anno: Everyone understands that it’s a fiction, but precisely because it’s a fiction you have a pure feeling, you fall for the character to an even greater extent. You assume that an anime character will not betray you. Iku-chan said [to me], “in the last episode, please have Rei Ayanami get married and become pregnant. Just please betray the Ayanami fans. The Rei Ayanami they are thinking of is not real. The real Rei Ayanami gets married, and her belly…”

Oguro: (laughs) Ah, if Ayanami really existed.

Anno: He told me something like, “please, make them realize that, If she were real, she would get married, become pregnant, have a child, and grow older.” I was thinking, “we don’t have to go that far…” (laughs).

Oguro: (laughs) Iku-chan is a wicked man.

–Translated by Numbers-kun based on 2chan excerpts and scans; this extract is from an April 2000 interview published in Monthly Anime Style (in-depth magazine, successor to Anime Style), which was reprinted in the 2011 interview anthology アニメクリエイタ-・インタビュ-ズ この人に話を聞きたい2001-2002 (Anime kurieitā intabyūzu : kono hito ni hanashi o kikitai; ISBN 9784063648515). See also the 1996 Animeland interview.

Anno: […] I want to focus on contemporary Japan. Since we [my generation] doesn’t have the post-war period or anything else, there is nothing but the present. The worthy past was outside of our formative experiences, so even if we base something on the past, it only becomes more deficient. On the other hand, to the extent we depict the future, it is without optimism. If we depict the future, today it will surely only be in a pessimistic way. This being the case, I want to confront what is right before my eyes, but when I do so, my empty self comes into sharp relief, and I merely become perplexed. In the case of Evangelion, I thoroughly presented this emptiness, but now beyond that - I am empty, so what should I do? - that’s what I have to do, but I’ve been struggling to find [what that is], and so come to a standstill. At such a time I saw “Taboo,” [and thought,] “Ah, this old man is giving his all, [but I] ….”

Oshima: (Laughing)

Anno: Feeling this way, I have been driven into a corner. I am struggling to find an exit. I think that is common to [my generation]. For people now in their forties and below, since there is no joint struggle or anpo [toso], seeing those things on television, a negative feeling, a so-called “shirake mood” [feeling of apathy] like, “even if I do something it won’t make any difference,” has taken root. I think that we who have been “blocked” since the time we were children will always be haunted by [the question of] what we should do in order to be able to move forwards.

–Untranslated copy of the dialogue is available online; excerpt translated by Numbers-kun; M Arnold, Miyazaki ML (public mirror) summarizes it:

The current issue of Eureka, a literary/art criticism magazine, is about Japanese film director Oshima Nagisa. Among a score of other essays and articles it includes a transcript of a dialogue between Oshima and Anno Hideaki. I haven’t read the whole thing, but they talk about Oshima’s new film “Gohatto” (which is great, by the way) and the difficulties (well, Anno’s difficulties) in finding motivation and issues to tackle in films now.

At the end, I asked the question: “You’ve started out doing Science-Fiction (Gunbuster, Royal Space Force, Nadia) and now you’re doing Shoujo, why is that?”

Yamaga’s answer: “We’ve always worked in both sci-fi and Shoujo. EVA was a combination of both.”

Peter Svensson, Fanime 2000; in 2001, Svensson described the question as “Is the Gainax of today, which makes the Shoujo series Kare Kano, the same Gainax that made Royal Space Force?”

American fans enjoyed the [Daicon] film’s broad parody, but its Japanese creators have fixed feelings. “They’re a source of pride and something you want to strangle,” said Yamaga, who is more interested in new projects. “I don’t want to see them for a long time. Just thinking about them sends shivers down my spine,” added Akai, saying that he wants to produce better films than the old ones."

… “Somehow, the conversation turned to the animated films the two created for the Daicon conventions in Japan. Those films are known as the first Gainax films - and remembered for the all-conquering bunny girl character. American fans enjoyed the film’s broad parody, but its Japanese creators have fixed feelings.”They’re a source of pride and something you want to strangle," said Yamaga, who is more interested in new projects. “I don’t want to see them for a long time. Just thinking about them sends shivers down my spine,” added Akai, saying that he wants to produce better films than the old ones.

–From a Fanime panel: http://web.archive.org/web/20070707233248/www.fansview.com/2000a/022400d.htm

I met Mr. Yamaga at Carl’s party after Fanimecon 2k, and he said (as one might assume) that Eva was Anno’s thing, not his, so we talked about Honneamise. You wont get the answers you want from him.

Sean McCoy

It’s [Revolutionary Girl Utena] directed by Ikuhara, one of Anno’s good friends. I call it the Shoujo EVA.

Ikuhara actually called it that himself at Otakon this year. He made the Utena movie as revenge against Anno. He wanted to make something seriously dented, and I think he accomplished just that…

Vera LaPorte

The manga ideas came first, though I don’t think the author really produced much before the anime. Ikuhara tempted the author away from GAiNAX (I wish I could remember the guy’s name…Hasegawa? I know he was the character designer for the anime) and they worked together rather stealthily on the anime because Ikuhara was still under contract for Sailor Moon (and he didn’t want Anno to find out). So I guess my answer is the Utena manga idea came first, but the anime took hold and then the real manga began.

Vera LaPorte

Did that ending scene (EOE) seem a little euphoric to anyone else? Is there any evidence that Anno was on crack or LSD while writing this?

Funny you should mention that… At the Utena panel at Otakon this past August someone asked that of Ikuhara (a good buddy of Anno, colleague, and sometime co-worker, as well as director for Utena and Sailor Moon), and Ikuhara simply replied, “I was born like this.”

Vera LaPorte

Been away for a while for the classic Lucca Comics Expo here in Italy…Ikuhara said that he did NOT substitute Anno at the direction of the latest episodes of Kare Kano, contrarily to some rumors that have been going on for a while.

Ebj

I remember Kunihiko Ikuhara coming to a convention here in Italy (one in Lucca, 2001 or 2002 possibly), and being asked about his collaboration with Anno (didn’t like it, he was presenting the Utena movie back then), and he too did say that the Christian symbology was, as far as he knew/had been told by Anno, coolness factor. The conversation went there because a weirdo tried to get him to admit there was a parallel between the Utena movie and Gnostic doctrines - don’t ask - and while Ikuhara just laughed nervously and mumbled about not even knowing the word, it was clear from the face of the translator that such embarrassments weren’t welcome anymore.

Ebj

Yoshiyuki Sadamoto: The staff loved (the work) while they were making it. The film version was really planned to be a completely different story that would only use the characters from the original.

Hiroki Sato: We really had planned it so that people who hadn’t seen the TV series would be able to enjoy it as well, but the staff said that they were worn out, and we didn’t think we would be able to do it any more. Well, since the film [became] a remake of episodes 25 and 26, we decided to do it along the lines of the left over original script. But the original film collapsed.

Sadamoto: Right. [The staff] were worn out. I wanted to see the originally planned film.

Sato: If I was to say which [direction it was heading in], it would have been a return to the earlier science-fiction [oriented] story. In the plan which fell apart, we wanted to seriously create a world in which giant robots would exist. The design team constructed this idea, which would have been another side of - well, if I had to say, something like a “hard-gelion” (laughing).

SD: But, having worked endlessly on the TV series, the staff had already run out of steam. “You’re telling us to keep up this brutal work for merely one more year?” The entire staff was worn out, Anno-san included.

ST: After Anno-san rehabilitated for half a year, he had work on the video version start up again. Since doing that worked out scheduling-wise, we had announced it around when the TV series had first ended, but we were also thinking about an original film. [???]

SD: Eva takes place in a “summer world.” It was planned that [the film] would completely change the art style, so that suddenly snow-covered mountains, and Misato and the others wearing coats, would appear in a “winter world.”54 Thinking that would be very cool, I was a little bit excited inside. That became the remake [instead], and [it was then like,] “What? There’s no job for me?”

–excerpts translated by Numbers-kun; SF online #35, 24 January 2000. Note that the ‘snow world’ is consistent with both Okada in “Return of the Otaking” part 4 in 1996 and with Olivier Hagué’s April 2001 comments:

But did they ever state that there would be no more Eva? After all, they intended to make the Summer 97 movie an original story, independently from the alternate ending (first supposed to be released on video only)… And there are still some Gainax members who would like to make (or at least, to see ^^) that one.

It was supposed to take place in snowy landscapes (instead of the “endless summer” setting), to have new characters, and overall a more realistic touch (some of the Gainax members called it “a sort of Hard-gelion” ^^). Who knows?… In a few years, maybe?…

2000 S

  • 2000-animerica-essaytomino-noeva.pdf
  • 2000-animerica-tominointerview.pdf Tomino interview where he slags on NGE: Animerica, Vol 8 #2 (March 2000) “Interview: Yoshiyuki Tomino”, Animerica 8:2 pg 12-13, 34-37

Tomino: For instance, Brain Powered came out after Evangelion did, so I am often asked questions similar to yours about the connection between them, but in reality the plans for Brain Powered and the overall story had all been completed before Evangelion came out. I never meant Brain Powered to be an antithesis to Evangelion. I knew when I saw Evangelion that Brain Powered would be called an antithesis to it, but I didn’t want to change my plans any, so I just resigned myself to that.

This is connected with my wish for more animators to see themselves as entertainers. I don’t think I succeeded with Brain Powered, and I don’t think it was very good with entertainment–but there was one thing I did try to do with it. If 100 people come to see an anime with giant robots, then chances are that not every one of those 100 people will be a huge fan of robot anime. What I wanted to do was to make an anime that had a truly interesting story that wouldn’t cause the people who watched it to have a nervous breakdown. I also tried to make a story that would tell anime fans that there were often other things out there better than anime. That’s the goal I challenged myself to do. I don’t think the series itself was a success, though, I have to admit that.

So I was very upset when I saw Evangelion, because it was apparent to me that the people who made it weren’t thinking at all about making fun for or gaining the sympathy of the audience. Instead they tried to convince the audience to admit that everybody is sick, practically in the middle of a nervous breakdown, all the time. I don’t think you should show things like that to everybody. It’s not entertainment for the masses–it’s much more interested in admitting that we’re all depressed nervous wrecks, I thought. It was a work that told people it was okay to be depressed, and it accepted the psychological state that said if you don’t like the way the world works, then it’s okay to just pick up a gun and attack someone. I don’t think that’s a real work of art. When people see that, they begin to realize they are the same way. I think that we should try to show people how to live healthier, fuller lives, to foster their identity as a part of their community, and to encourage them to work happily until they die. I can’t accept any work that doesn’t say that.

Animerica: Is that different from your downbeat endings?

Tomino: I make sure my audience knows it’s fiction and that what happens to my characters doesn’t necessarily say anything about their own lives.

http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=71301#71301

2000 T

‘Evangelion’ deploys otaku clichés with mechas and girls, with parodies and quotations from the history of the genre all the way back to ‘Space Battleship Yamato’ of 1974.(20) At the same time, Anno criticizes the closed nature of the Otaku circle, and its division into ever-smaller, strictly separated areas of interest.

The otaku would appear to be successfully escaping the shackles of one prison named society only in order to build themselves a new housing composed of technological mediatedness and self-referentialism. As Toshio Okada writes in his book ‘Our Brainwash Society’ (Bokutachi no sennô shakai, Asahi Shimbunsha, Tokyo, 1995), he too detects the main problem in this closing off.

http://web.archive.org/web/20071204000038/waste.informatik.hu-berlin.de/Grassmuck/Texts/otaku00_e.html

2001

2001 P

Some of the jokes, gags, and elements in FLCL are subcultural, and if it was very difficult for him to explain some of the elements to the staff, it may be even more so to Americans - or so is his assumption. Tsurumaki told the Otakon panel, “Honestly speaking, I’m very happy that Americans like my work, but the Eva TV series and movies, Kare Kano, and FLCL are basically made for the Japanese audiences. So when I hear that they are being well received by American audiences, I feel very happy; but at the same time I feel a little awkward.”

When PULP asked him what he meant by that, Tsurumaki said, “For example, in Eva, I thought Shinji’s character would only be understood by Japanese fans of this generation. But I was very happy - or actually, shocked - to find out that his kind of character is also understood by Americans.” I appreciated the director’s implied vote of confidence in us, but wondered whether the oft-remarked-upon Japanese sense of cultural singularism was strong enough to cancel out the universal fact of youth disaffection, let alone the worldwide reporting on incidents such as the murders at Columbine.

Another person at Tsurumaki’s press conference took up that question. Tsurumaki averred that Shinji’s character was based personally on that of Hideaki Anno. Tsurumaki’s version of the metaphor was that Shinji being summoned by his father to pilot the Evangelion stood for Anno being “summoned” by Gainax to direct their first anime in four years, and his in five - he traced Anno’s ambiguous feelings about his craft back to Nadia. At the same time, said Tsurumaki, Anno felt, “But maybe by doing Eva I can change, I can grow.”

Most of the Gainax shows are also targeted, Tsurumaki said, for an audience “that tends to be rather weak and has problems with their family” - and the directors at Gainax are those kind of people. “A lot of families in Japan a generation ago - and perhaps even now - had fathers that were workaholics and never home. They were out of their children’s’ lives. My own father was like that, and I hardly ever got to associate with him until quite recently. I’m the same sort of person as Hideaki Anno. That probably influences the type of anime I create.”

Nevertheless, if Tsurumaki feels that he will never be safe, he will never be sane, he wanted to express that frantic inside in a comedic mode, rather than with the violent convulsions of Evangelion. Simply put, he personally was ready for a contrast to that apocalyptic darkness. Tsurumaki compares the bizarre robots popping forth from Naota’s head to stir up the town in FLCL to the bizarre ideas popping forth from his head during its production, stirring up the post-Eva Gainax. For someone involved with such a talked-about film, Tsurumaki hardly ever watches movies himself, telling the panel he receives influences instead from Japanese TV dramas and manga, his favorite being those of Leiji Matsumoto.

…None of the Evangelion production staff are themselves of a Western religious background. Tsurumaki, for his own part as assistant director, said at Otakon that he always envisioned the extensive use of Judeo-Christian iconography in Evangelion to be more of a way for the show to distinguish itself visually in the mecha field. Evangelion’s eschatology is in fact too well-developed to be regarded as a mere motif, however if it is a syncretic, symbolic and esoteric approach, it is not an ignorant one. Tsurumaki remarked that Eva, being a show only meant for Japan, allowed Gainax to creative freedom in the use of Western elements, removing any concern about how their interpretation might cause offense. By the same token, Yamaga has expressed a sense of relief that Gainax couldn’t be easily smeared with the media hysteria over Aum Shinrikyo, since Evangelion’s own high-tech cultists used Western, not Buddhist, revelations. It should be obvious that if this is viewed as an armor for Evangelion to comment on contemporary Japanese events, it is an effective one - an applicability many Japanese critics in fact accepted.

“FLCL is the formula: 4. emerging from the head of Gainax”, PULP (archive)

P: Do you think, then, that the distinctive Gainax projects are the ones which actually originate from within the studio, rather then their adaptations of someone else’s work?

KT: It depends on the time in which it was released, but yes, works like Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise, Gunbuster, Nadia, and FLCL would be considered the ones with the true Gainax flavor, their milestones.

“FLCL is the formula: 5. and so the Pulp interview”, PULP (archive)

Tsurumaki said he was surpassed [surprised] that Shinji Ikari was understood so well by North American Evangelion fans, and admitted that Shinji was modeled after the director Hideaki Anno. “Shinji, he gets summoned by his father to ride a robot, and Anno was summoned by Gainax to make a big animation show after he had had a problem with Nadia of the Mysterious Seas and didn’t know if he still wanted to direct.” Some fans think that the extreme violence in End of Evangelion was inspired by fans’ disapproval of Anno, but Tsurumaki said that was not the case. “It wasn’t a bitterness toward the fans. A lot of people think anime should always have happy endings, but that’s not always the case. We wanted to educate the fans that anime can have bitter endings.”

Tsurumaki Otakon panel

2. Why were the Director’s Cuts made and how important are they to the story?

(answer: they aren’t that important to the story, they were made as an apology to fans for delaying the release of the video so long. And also to help understand the later episodes, which he admitted were made quickly and roughly).

…He mentioned that Anno was working on Nadia when the Eva opportunity arose, and that he took the job because he thought he could change. Tsurumaki compared this to Shinji being summoned by his father to control Eva…another parallel of staff and fiction!

Wignall summary of Tsurumaki Otakon panel. Tsurumaki was also asked whose soul was in Unit-03 (much discussed - Toji’s mother? sister? random third party?); he was just confused. (Brendan Jamieson tells the story in 2004 but of Unit-00; he says he was probably just mistaken.)

fuller transcript: “Amusing Himself to Death” part 1; part2; part3:

Why does Evangelion end violently, and somewhat unhappily?

KT: People are accustomed to sweet, contrived, happy endings. We wanted to broaden the genre, and show people an ugly, unhappy ending.

Why is the character of Shinji portrayed as he is?

KT: Shinji was modeled on director Hideaki Anno. Shinji was summoned by his father to ride a robot, Anno was summoned by Gainax to direct an animation. Working on Nadia [Nadia: Secret of the Blue Water, one of Anno and Tsurumaki’s earlier projects] he wondered if he still wanted to work like this. He thought that working on Eva could help him to change.

Is there any particular reason why so many Gainax series feature very anxious, unhappy young male protagonists with no parents?

KT: Yes, the directors at Gainax are all basically weak, insecure, bitter, young men. So are many anime fans. Many Japanese families, including my own, have workaholic fathers whose kids never get to see them. That may influence the shows I create.

Could you explain the mecha bursting from Naota’s head in FLCL?

KT: I use a giant robot being created from the brain to represent FLCL coming from my brain. The robot ravages the town around him, and the more intensely I worked on FLCL the more I destroyed the peaceful atmosphere of Gainax.

Why doesn’t FLCL follow one story?

KT: In the third episode Ninamori was almost a main character, a kid who, like Naota, has to act like an adult. After episode three her problem was solved so we wrote her out. She has many fans in Japan and we got plenty of letters about that decision. For FLCL I wanted to portray the entire history of Gainax, and each episode has symbols of what happened behind the scenes on each of Gainax’s shows. Episode one has many elements of Kare Kano; episode two, a lot of Evangelion references, etc.

Where does the title FLCL come from?

KT: I got the idea from a CD in a music magazine with the title Fooly-Cooly. I like the idea of titles that are shortened long English words. Pokemon for “Pocket-Monsters” for instance, and an old J-pop band called Brilliant Green that was known as “Brilly-Grilly.”

Is there any reason why the extra scenes added to Eva for the video release were cut in the first place? Did you think the story would mean something different with them intact?

KT: The scenes that were added to Eva for its video release aren’t that important. We added them as an apology for taking so long to get the video out. Maybe they’ll help people understand things, because the episodes were done under tough deadlines the first time around.

Earlier today you said that you were trying to broaden the genre by giving Eva a sad ending. Does the sameness of much of today’s anime bore you?

KT: First of all we didn’t use a sad ending to annoy fans. When they’re upset, that really bothers us. Personally, I think a happy ending is fine, but not if it is achieved too easily. That’s no good.

Can you explain the symbolism of the cross in Evangelion?

KT: There are a lot of giant robot shows in Japan, and we did want our story to have a religious theme to help distinguish us. Because Christianity is an uncommon religion in Japan we thought it would be mysterious. None of the staff who worked on Eva are Christians. There is no actual Christian meaning to the show, we just thought the visual symbols of Christianity look cool. If we had known the show would get distributed in the US and Europe we might have rethought that choice.

Sadamoto says Nadia=Shinji pic is joke, but close to truth: http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2006-November/003857.html

At the Gainax Live! event in Nagoya a few years back, Sadamoto said that he wished the manga was over so that he could move on to new things since he had been doing nothing but Eva for 6-7 years.

Bochan_bird, 2004; guessing 2001, as 20011994=7, and see also a Tsurumaki quote

You mentioned previously that Japanese animation is not in a good situation right now. Why not?

MO: Unfortunately, anime is generally rated low by the Japanese public. One reason is that many people still think anime is for small children, which is no longer true. A series of very abnormal murders of small children that occurred in 1989 can be another reason. Because the criminal was over 20 years of age, and a devotee of anime and video games, the whole nation started persecuting and discriminating against anime and its fans. Those feelings still remain. Creative teams now must make anime within very small budgets - this includes voice actors. Furthermore, the ongoing recession makes it more difficult to train good actors and artists to create good works. We are now facing a hard time and therefore we are given fewer opportunities to use our high abilities and techniques; and the situation is getting worse every year. I feel that we must do something about it.

Do you think shows for children in Japan are more sophisticated than American or European shows?

MO: I think that is true in some ways, but it isn’t always true. I think Disney movies are wonderful. I cannot believe that “Fantasia” was made that many years ago. But the situation of the Japanese animation industry in which the best techniques and abilities cannot be fully utilized is something that we are ashamed of. If we had the support of big sponsors from abroad, the situation may turn out differently. It’s a shame.

…You are probably best known in the US for playing Shinji in “Evangelion.” Some of Shinji’s speeches sound like they might have been ad-libbed. Did you get to ad-lib and experiment when you were working on “Evangelion?”

MO: I’m delighted that you think I sounded natural as if I was doing ad-libs. I don’t remember doing anything experimental. There was a time when I actually pushed Yuko Miyamura to the floor to strangle her during the last scene of the “Evangelion” movie in which Shinji strangles Asuka. I couldn’t act very well in playing that scene. I was so agitated that I strangled her too hard, making it impossible for her to say her lines for a while. Of course, I apologized to her for doing that. I almost killed her.

A censored version of “Sailor Moon” has been airing in the US. Haruka and Michiru were turned into cousins and much of their dialogue was changed. When the show first aired in Japan, was there any contention coming from parents or religious leaders?

MO: When I was cast to play Haruka, I asked director Kunihiko Ikuhara, “Are they gay?” He answered, “Act as if they are married couple.” And I asked him again, “Married couple? You, mean, with two ladies?” He replied, “Yes.” So they are husband and wife. Their appearance on TV was sensational, something unheard of in TV cartoons. And the show was aired every Saturday at 7 p.m. when every member of the family would be gathering around the TV. Even so, it seems that we were able to grab the viewer’s heart. The program’s rating continued to rise, and I received a lot more fan letters than before. Because many people watched the show with their family, not only the anime fans but also small children and their mothers became our fans as well. There was a time I was called “a madam killer” [a term used to describe a person so charming that they can get any woman, usually applied to men, however Ms. Ogata’s seiyuu career stands as a testament to how appropriate the term is for her].

I’m sure that the anime also appealed to gay people, too. I heard that “Sailor Moon” was the talk of the town in Shinjuku 2-chome, a famous gay street in Japan. Of course, it may have caused controversy in some strict, religious families, but the entertainment won a victory over the religious fanatics. Maybe it’s because Japan is not as religious a country as the U.S. But the anime is not only about girls with mini skirts and gay couples. It also has a very interesting story. It focuses on very important aspects of human behavior, and it is very well written. The anime deserved popularity. Of course, the sexiness is also an important thing. Perhaps the most important. I am attracted to anime with a touch of sensuality - without being too indecent like X-rated movies - because sexy things are simply entertaining. [With the voice of Haruka Tenoh] “Don’t you think so too, my cute little American kitties?”

– From a Megumi Ogata interview (note that strangling-Megumi story is confirmed by the Megumi Livedoor interview and her later Australian interview): single page (part1, 2, 3)

  • EVENT CALENDER
  • 04/10 Term starts [Presumably the beginning of the series]
  • 04/25 Field trip
  • 05/early 3rd Angel Sachiel
  • 05/late 4th Angel Shamshel
  • 06/early ID card
  • 06/middle 5th Angel Ramiel Rei is hospitalized
  • 06/late 6th Angel Gaghiel Asuka’s first appearance
  • 07/03 Asuka arrives in Japan and begins school
  • 08/early 7th Angel Israfel
  • 08/early 7th Angel Israfel rematch
  • 09/middle 8th Angel Sandalphon If this occurs before 09/12, the Eva pilots go on the field trip with the rest of the class. If not, they go to the hot springs (as we know, the canon event is hot springs)
  • 09/14-6 Hot Springs
  • 09/middle 9th Angel Matarael Battle
  • 10/late 10th Angel Sahaquiel Battle. Later, they go out for ramen.
  • 11/middle 11th Angel Ireul
  • 11/middle Eva 00 goes berserk
  • 11/late 12th Angel Leliel
  • 12/21-3 Secret harsh training (possibly when Rei starts using LoL)
  • 12/24 Christmas eve
  • 01/01 New year’s
  • 01/middle 13th Angel Bardiel Battle
  • 01/middle 14th Angel Zeruel Battle. Eva 01 goes berserk, Shinji
  • revives a month later.
  • 02/late 15th Angel Arael
  • 03/24 16th Angel Armisael - Rei II’s Ending
  • 17th Angel Tabris [Arrival]
  • 03/27 Rei III is released from hospital
  • 03/29 Events of ’24, Shinji vs Nagisa-Kun
  • 03/30-31 Events of EoE (??)
  • Rei Ayanami Raising Project chronology (apparently inconsistent with the Episode 04 dates cut in Evangelion ORIGINAL)

Besides, Anno-tachi worked on Macross, which had episodes delivered to the studio minutes before airtime… So says Yamaga…

Peter Svensson (Fanime 1999/2000; Svensson is unsure which)

“I felt my career as an animation director had gone as far as it could, and decided I would like to try a new creative media. I am not complaining about the animation industry, but I felt I couldn’t get any more satisfaction from making animation and I needed to try something new to stimulate my creativity. I knew Ayako Fujitani and I loved her book when I read it. So I decide to try and make it into film.”

The style of Ritual is not dissimilar to your animated work?

“Yes, there is some similarity in the two, but it isn’t direct copy. Though I used some special-effects, I was trying to make the images in the film look painterly. It’s odd that when I used to do animation, I would try hard to realise the characters as if they were in a live-action movie, but when I did Ritual I put a lot of effort in making the image more graphic!”

Why you choose Shunji Iwai to act in the film?

“Two reasons. First, the profession of the main character in Ritual is a director, so it seemed ideal to get a ‘real’ director to do it. Secondly, I think Shunji Iwai is really cool, so I thought he could capture the quality of the main character.”

–Hideaki Anno, Look@Ritual (Shiki-Jitsu)

Anno: However, if I was to speak just of anime as an artform, I believe it is rapidly declining. I find the anime of twenty or thirty years ago to be overwhelmingly better [than today’s]. […] Of course, even now, although we have skillful people, I feel we have a ways to go before we match the movement of the older anime.

  • What is the cause of that?

Anno: It’s a problem of the quality of the Japanese people themselves. To express it in the style of Shiba Ryotaro, the voltage of Japan is decreasing. It’s not just anime; novels, films, manga, no matter the kind of culture, they are all surely declining, I believe. It’s not simply a matter of the old times being good. We[, my generation,] and those after are already a “copy culture”, so there’s nothing else we can do. As copy piles upon copy, they quickly become distorted and diluted. […] In this situation, things can hardly be improved. It’s difficult, I think. From here, Japan will probably rapidly reach an impasse. Perhaps years from now, or perhaps longer, someone will figure out something, and perhaps things will just keep declining. In Japan as a country, culture has already become “blocked.” Korea, China, and South Asia have been able to produce exemplary works, and the day may arrive when they do away with Japanese things. I believe the intention to break down this “blockage” is essential.

–the August 2001 issue of Eureka, on Miyazaki’s Spirited Away; translation by Numbers-kun

2001 S

Carl Horn interview with (former) Gainax General Products USA head Lea Hernandez; coverage of Otaku no Video section which depicts & insults an American otaku (Craig York):

LH: I was originally in Texas, but they wanted to have the business in San Francisco.

P: Why?

LH: You know what? It’s because, the truth is, they just wanted to say they had a business in San Francisco. There was really no other reason.

P: Did it have a cachet?

LH: Yeah, it had a cachet. And I think it was also because Toren [Smith] was here. But eventually it became, “We have a business in San Francisco, and we have a very-good looking vice-president.” [laughs]

P: Speaking of which, they later put you into a manga. [produces copy of Comic Weapon Cyber Comix Special Edition: Comic Gunbuster Vol. 2, an anthology of “official” Gunbuster dojinshi released in May of 1991 through Bandai]

LH: Yes, they did. That’s me. There’s no doubt. It’s my glasses, it’s my hair, it’s my dress. I had a shirt-dress, with an elastic waist that was gathered in.

P: Does this manga story have any basis in reality?

LH: Somewhat. I remember [laughs] they were the biggest bunch of perverts. They went out to Manga no Mori55 right after the release of Gunbuster and saw that someone had already done a dojin of it. And from what I could gather from their reaction, they saw it as evidence of “We’ve caught fire among the fans”–we’re gold. [laughs] In their imaginations, they were gold. “We can sell them anything.” Shon [Howell–today active as an artist published through Radio Comix], who took over for me later, described their reactions, where they got one of these really raunchy dojin, and [Yasuhiro] Takeda [founding member of Gainax and today its president] opened it and went, “Mooohhhhhhhhhh!” and his feet came off the floor of their own accord. I was like, “Let me see.” And they’re like, “No, no, no, no, no!” And I’m like, “I’ve seen this and worse by people who were a lot less talented.”

LH: And they didn’t want to show me any of this stuff. Even when I went over to [anime studio] [Artmic](!Wikipedia), and Kenichi Sonoda was showing me all these covers for all these dojin, and all these cute little girls, I said, “Can I open it?” and he slapped his hand down and said, “No.” [laughs] “No, no, no, no.” And I think [the manga] might have also been referencing that, even though it doesn’t show Sonoda-san doing it.

P: There’s a scene here where the guy gets humiliated when you see his Gunbuster dojin.

LH: And I love the way they drew me here, with these gigantic boobs.

P: He’s especially upset that it’s a foreigner who’s seeing this. Before giving in, he briefly draws himself as a shonen manga hero, “The Japanese Who Can Say No,” as opposed to The Japan That Can Say No. [politician Shintaro Ishihara’s controversial contemporary treatise on US-Japan relations].

LH: Yeah, it’s funny. As if there wasn’t ample evidence all over Gunbuster that they were a bunch of perverts [laughs]. Like it’s a big secret, when there’s this cel lying in a box on the floor there, and it’s this up-shot of Noriko, this crotch-cam on her little gymsuit. And I’m like, “Guys, I know how you think.” But they were like, “Oh, it’s our pretty vice-president, and she wants to look at the porn!”

…LH: Viz, among others. I was actually doing Urusei Yatsura at the time. So I got to hear all these stories about how “Urusei Yatsura wrecked my life!” It seemed that for anybody who worked on it, it was like The Monkey’s Paw. Bad things happened. People’s lives got fucked up while working on Urusei Yatsura. Everybody wanted it, and nobody who got it was happy. It was just the way things were going at the time. And Toren [Smith] told me, “You know, the guys from Gainax need someone to run their American division. They want me to do it, and I don’t want to. Do you?” And I’m like, “Yeahhhhh! Yeah! I’ll live in San Francisco! And be a vice-president! And be rich! Yeahhhhh!”

P: It does sound very Otaku no Video.

LH: Yeah, some of it is referenced in Otaku no Video. Not very flatteringly, I might add. The gaijin they “interview,” “Shon Hernandez” [the pseudonym given to Craig York, another American who worked for General Products], with his line, “Ah, to be born in this golden land!” Half of me was kind of flattered that they even remembered that I was there, since they seemed to want to forget once I left, and half of me was like, “Fuck you! Fuck you, man! Fuck you fuck you fuck you!” ’Cause it was really very insulting. They knew they had a live one in this fellow Craig York. They knew they had a total, total geek. And they just turned on the camera and let him talk. And he was pouring out his heart, and they took the piss on him. I felt really bad for Craig, and I was like, “You guys are really being dicks. This is really very unkind and very ungrateful. We all worked very, very hard for you. We were very sincere, and we wanted the company to succeed, and you’re just making fun of us.” I was a little disappointed.

P: Although Gainax was a little hard on themselves, as well.

LH: Yeah, I guess everyone got shit on in that video.

LH: I was V-P for almost exactly a year, before I couldn’t take the nonsense any more. Nothing was working, and every move I made was wrong, and they frequently forgot to send me my operating capital–and my paychecks. And, you know, it wasn’t really uncommon for my check to be two weeks to a month late at least. And it was heart-stopping living out in California, which was more expensive than we ever suspected or imagined. It was hard to find housing, it was hideously expensive to buy anything and everything here…And I really was very serious. I came within days of just putting it all on a van and leaving in December, after about three months of that.

P: Was the problem that General Products wouldn’t let you create the business plan, that they were trying to create it from the other side of the ocean?

LH: I don’t know. I think part of the problem was–and I’m guessing here, because I don’t know what was going on, this is purely, purely speculation on my part–that there was never anybody at General Products Japan whose only job it was to run GP-USA, which they needed someone to be doing. And they found out they had all this stuff they wanted to sell, and they found out that Artmic [the studio behind the original Bubblegum Crisis series] put the skids under it, and they couldn’t get any of the anime merchandise they wanted to sell. They I wanted us to sell things from, what was that thing called? _A.R.I.E.L. And I was, like, “Nobody knows A.R.I.E.L., and nobody wants stuff from A.R.I.E.L. They want stuff from Dirty Pair.” And they were, “Why do they want stuff from Dirty Pair? It’s so over!” I said, “It isn’t over in America.”

P: They couldn’t grasp the fact of the time lag.

LH: They could not understand that things took years sometimes to get over to America, and especially in those days. It’s almost instantaneous now, but in those days there’d be a year or two gap, at least. They didn’t understand when we said we wanted this, this, and this. There were a lot of things they didn’t understand, how anime fans and business worked over here, and we just could not bridge the gap.

TODO: Part 2 says there is more, but digging around reveals nothing; Carl Horn on 1 December 2009 said (but hasn’t replied since):

I’m not sure. My original Word file of that interview does have two more questions (and answers) after what appeared in print, but the transcription doesn’t seem to end at a natural point (i.e., no concluding remarks, or such) suggesting to me that perhaps there was more to the interview that wasn’t transcribed from tape–maybe something else came up at the magazine and it wasn’t followed up on. I’ll try to see if I can find the original tape, and check.

2001 T

  • 2001-azuma-otakujapansdatabaseanimals.pdf
  • 2001-napiersusan-animefromakiratoprincessmononoke.pdf

“The question of what worked and what didn’t therefore doesn’t seem a pertinent one to me; to me the show is about dysfunctionality: of the artist, of his creation, and of his artistic attempts to phrase and portray that creation. If Evangelion”worked" it would be Gasaraki or Brain Powerd. Less flippantly, it might be Gundam or Getta Robo G. But what would have been the point of making them again?"

….

“We’ve seen instances, from Anno in interviews, to the pseudo-exposes of Otaku no Video, to comments by people we know, that they eventually got tired of the grinding unreality of anime, which became quite as oppressive as the grinding reality they thought to escape by becoming an otaku. The problem with that explanation for me is that I don’t believe one ever escapes from reality, the challenges of existence, the issues of having been born into this world: of being a human being.

Rejecting the otaku and his works isn’t going to teach you how to see, any more than the rigorous motions of otaku culture will make you go blind. Upon embarking upon his post-Eva project Kare Kano, Anno remarked as an epigram for the show that “reality has no mercy”. He based his approach to the series in large part by talking to students in contemporary Japanese high schools: trying to restore the conversation he had cut off when he was their age."

… “The complaint may certainly have some validity within Gainax itself. Anno himself foresaw this in”What Were We Trying To Make Here?“, when he said,”I know my behavior was thoughtless, troublesome and arrogant. But I tried. I don’t know what the result will be, because I don’t know where life is taking the staff of the production. I feel that I am being irresponsible. But it’s only natural that we should synchronize ourselves with the world within the production." The synch rate wasn’t always 100%. Masayuki, Kazuya Tsurumaki, and Yoshiyuki Sadamoto had their own ideas; Ikuto Yamashita, the man most responsible for the distinctive mechanical designs of Evangelion, had his detailed scenario for how the story should end (it would have involved the “emergence” of the Eva units). "

–Carl Horn, “I Discovered the Word”

http://web.archive.org/web/20071103111305/www.cjas.org/~leng/hikiko.htm “The current status of”otaku" and Japan’s latest youth crisis"

Much has been made of the fact that the sense of anger, disgust, and confusion pervasive to Studio Gainax’s smash-hit series NEON GENESIS EVANGELION wasn’t something done simply to follow the tradition of anime’s angst-filled robot jocks, but was rather a personal emotional confession of its director, Hideaki Anno. Not only did Anno frighten and shock new audiences when they glimpsed an intense, reflexive honesty anime creators rarely think (or, perhaps, think better than) to put on display, but towards those converted to hardcore fans, Anno displayed a sometime mocking attitude towards their obsessions and expectations for EVA (and as an otaku himself, this was of necessity also self-mockery). Horrified or vilified, it didn’t matter?audiences ate it up with a soupline ladle, and EVANGELION became the greatest commercial success in Gainax’s history.

But Gainax had tried this once before, and it was their greatest commercial failure. It was a different time, 1991, and the approach was satire, not drama. Some have even gone as far to say it was the chilly reception of their forth production, 1991’s OTAKU NO VIDEO, which ushered in the four-year absence of the studio from new anime ventures, broken spectacularly with EVANGELION. Actually a compilation of two videos released separately in Japan in that same year, OTAKU NO VIDEO 1982 and MORE OTAKU NO VIDEO 1985, AnimEigo’s release of OTAKU NO VIDEO is a unique document in anime: Studio Gainax’s confession of their feelings as obsessed fans, or “otaku” – part satire, part autobiography, and part wish-fulfillment. OTAKU NO VIDEO’s structure cuts back and forth between anime and live-action. The anime portion, with unforgettable character designs by Ken’ichi Sonoda (BUBBLEGUM CRISIS, GUNSMITH CATS), tells the story of Kubo, a clean-cut young university student who gets gradually sucked into the otaku lifestyle and, subsequently rejected by society, vows to become “Otaking,” and attempts to “otakuize” the human race through building a mighty corporation that will sell “otaku culture” to the world. The live-action portions contain mocking, purported interviews with “real otaku” whose identities are concealed in the style of a tabloid-TV “true crime” show.

… But OTAKU NO VIDEO hardly bore an auspicious name as it sat on store racks. The name of Tsutomu Miyazaki – a serial killer arrested in 1989 whose otaku background was exploited as a media circus (in a manner not unlike the live-action segments of ONV) – was still fresh in the public mind, and made Gainax, to any potential mainstream audience, appear to be merely exposing a distasteful pathological subculture. Which, of course, is what they were, in fact doing, for the purpose of laying all their cards on the table. American anime fans are often concerned about the image the mainstream media may present of their devotion; in the light of such fears, ONV was a pre-emptive strike. The black-comedy truth is that any mainstream-media exposé could not possibly put otaku in a worse light than the one Gainax shines on itself. Yet ONV’s satire also branches out to encompass the larger society, as it portrays scenes of “normal” people who would never fall prey to obsession and bad culture like an otaku, standing in line for hours to buy a designer-label sweatshirt or going to quality fare like a revival of KRAMER VS. KRAMER. And of course, respectable corporations in ONV are quite happy to take over and market the creations of otaku operating out of six-mat offices and give those same creators the old heave-ho.

… And Gainax was clearly out to bite the hand that fed them?the bent-over, twitching, hentai computer game-otaku, socially paralyzed, hiding from the sun, has got a card from Gainax’s own NADIA on his PC-98, and is activating his manual hand release to Gainax’s own dirty on-screen program, “Cybernetic High School.” The contrast between ONV’s anime portion – upwardly-mobile, world-striding anime otaku designed by Sonoda, overcoming every setback to make their culture the culture of all mankind – and the otaku of ONV’s live-action portion – stark, low-res, poorly lit, crudely obscured, and not likely to ever leave that room – gave ONV a schizophrenic quality that must have made it difficult for many hardcore fans to bear.

“Carl’s Pick: Otaku no Video”

“There’s an interesting chapter on Evangelion as well. I think the author respects Anno’s work more than just about anything else she researched, but there is a degree of ambiguity in interpreting the show’s conclusion. Is it showing the benefits of women entering”men’s" society and taking power roles, destroying the structure of the “men’s country” or is it simply showing how women fail when they try to join in? I don’t think there’s anything on Takahata’s work in the book."

–M Arnold, Miyazaki ML (public mirror), describing the 2001 anime criticism book Kouitten ron

The title of Movie Episode 26, “Magokoro wo kimi ni” is the Japanese translation of “Flowers for Algernon.” How they translated that to “Pure heart for you” is beyond me…

Actually, it’s the Japanese title of “Charly”, the movie based on “Flowers for Algernon”. The Japanese title of the novel is just “Algernon ni Hantaba o”. Anno most probably chose to use the movie title because episode 26’ was a “theatrical episode”.

Anno has been using SF novel/short stories titles for final episodes of his series for quite some time, now… The 39th and final episode of “Nadia The Secret of Blue Water” was named “Hoshi o Tsugu Mono…”. That was the Japanese title of “Inherit the Stars”, by James P. Hogan. The 6th and final episode of “Gunbuster Aim for the Top !” was named “Hateshi Naki Nagare no Hate ni”. That was the title of a novel by Komatsu Sakyô.

Olivier Hagué

I’d much rather see things you way. For me, the end of EVA is not a sad ending, it is not a tragic ending, it is a pointless ending. From what I can see, everyone is dead and thus there was no point to anything that went on. Your interpretation makes things much happier. People will be climbing out of the soup any minute now, then they’ll start putting the world back together. Your view makes it a sad ending but with a hope shining bright in the distance, a hope that the world could be put back together. Actually, gives it a similar feel to the old Macross episode, the big battle for earth. Just about everyone on Earth was killed in the Zentraedi bombardment. Rick rescues Lisa from the ruins of the Grand Cannon base. They’re sitting on the ground outside the base discussing what has happened. Rick mentions that they have to consider the possibility that the SDF-1 was destroyed and they’re the last two people left alive on the planet. Not too dissimilar to EoE. Then they see the SDF-1, battle-scorched but still under control, descending into a blast crater. The SDF-1 survived. Macross city survived. There would be a chance to start over. Rick fires up his Valkyrie and they fly towards the super-dimensional fortress.

The major difference between this situation and EoE is that we see visual proof that there is hope. But o well.

Greg Muir; note that Anno worked on Macross, is surely familiar with it, and this interpretation tracks with the ending of Space Runaway Ideon and Tsurumaki’s various comments

2002

2002 P

“It seems like all [older?] men see younger girls as better than anything else. I guess it’s because of their age. They have this incredible energy which older men are lacking. In fact, there’s no energy left in Japan.”

Japanorama, season 1, episode 02; Hideaki Anno interview:

  • Anno’s participation in drawing & publishing doujinshi/hentai: http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=408293#408293; description of phonecards Gainax released, described by Bochan_bird as hentai:

    “…priced at around $80 to $100 per set. The only problem was that you would need to be 18 or over to buy them. Asuka was posed buck naked sprawled out face down, Hikari was feeling herself with her face contorted in pleasure, Rei was semi-naked on hands and knees with a bandaged arm and eyepatch, Misato was wearing some rather skimpy black lingerie, Ritsuko was also in lingerie which was even more suggestive than Misato’s, and Maya was having fun like Hikari. The artwork was done by various GAINAX staff, and the style could be best described as semi-hard hentai doujinshi – ie: things were peeking out all over…”

    These phonecards may or may not be the same phonecards printed (along with some of the previous ecchi calendars) in a book Gainax published in 2005 with erotic Eva artwork.

    Yoshiyuki Sadamoto has been rumored to be the hentai artist ‘YS-11’; Carl Horn, discussing a painting included in Sadamoto’s Der Mond of Asuka & Rei together

    “Sadamoto painted it as the cover to one of the very first EVA doujinshi, one edited by Hiroyuki Utatane (the artist of SERAPHIC FEATHER) which was sold at the Winter 1995 Comic Market.”

What is your usual day at work like?

‘The production of anime is very hard, time-consuming work. There are times where there are more things to do, and times where there are less. During the production of Evangelion, I was only able to sleep six hours a night and spent the rest of the time working. I slept at the studio and only went home very rarely. Evangelion was an extreme case, I normally work twelve hours a day.’

…Does it surprise you that Evangelion, Nadia and OMG are considered “classics” in Germany? Do you occasionally hear of the reactions from Germany in Japan?

‘I know that anime is very popular in America. I wasn’t aware that this also applies to Europe by now. There is almost no information or feedback about fans in Europe. We get a lot more information from America.’

How come that one Episode of Kare Kano was not produced with drawings, but with “paper figurines”? Wasn’t that very laborious?

‘This is something only Gainax could do, since it’s very unusual to produce an episode in such a different fashion. At Gainax, we have people who like live action movies, Science Fiction and special effects, as well as others who simply want to produce ordinary anime. Another group likes to mix different stylistic elements, which was very apparent in Kare Kano. Hideaki Anno already used to produce “amateur animes” with special effects before he started working at Gainax.’ [This is an understatement; Gainaxers were much more heavily involved in that sort of thing, see The Notenki Memoirs.]

…Ikari Gendo is a very controversial character. How do you see the role of Ikari Gendo in Evangelion?

‘Ikari Gendo is not exactly popular in Japan. Many think that he is too stern with Shinji and that he generally exudes the aura of a hard, traditional, strict father. Gendo was meant to be a strong father who should have a positive influence on Shinji so that he could grow to be more confident and adult-like. [!] Many modern fathers in Japan are “mollycoddled” which was another reason to make Ikari Gendo into a strong father.’

…What meaning does the cross symbol hold in Evangelion?

‘We didn’t think that using this Christian symbol would lead to problems outside of Japan. In Japan, there were none. It’s meant to make the series look more exotic and mysterious, there isn’t any particular religious aspect to it. We thought that the mixture of science and religion would make the series more interesting.’ [cf. Tsurumaki and Yamaga’s other statements on this topic]

…Who killed Kaji? What’s your version of it?

‘This is a question that many Japanese fans also wonder about. Kaji wanted to investigate a deeper part of NERV (SEELE) and learn of its secrets. He was tricked by one of his informants and then killed. It wasn’t Misato or Ritsuko.’56

…Is the scooter in front of the Gainax shop really the vehicle from the FLCL ending?

‘Yes, it’s the Vespa from the ending, and it’s mine. Alas, it cannot fly.’

Why are the male protagonists in Gainax-animes often “wimps”?

‘There are animes like Dragonball where the protagonists keep getting stronger and stronger, but we at Gainax tend to base the protagonists on Otakus, and that’s why we can’t make a story where the characters get stronger and stronger.’

…What do you think of Anime Music Videos that are often made by fans?

‘I own a small broadcast station in Japan and I really like music videos. I don’t have any problems with such videos - FLCL is already pretty close to a music clip, anyway.’

Do you know the Fan-Video “Kodomo no EVA”? There are rumors that Gainax employees were involved with it.

‘No, these were real Otakus, not Gainax employees.’ (grins)

FUNime interview with Kazuya Tsurumaki, English translation by Kendrix; issue 27 (3/2002). (FUNime appears to be a German magazine published by “Society for the Promotion of Japanese popular culture in Germany”.)

2002 S

2002 T

  • 2002-napier-whenthemachinestops.pdf
  • 2002-orbaugh-sexandthesinglecyborg.pdf

In addition, the September 2002 issue of Animerica has a cover article on the launch of the Evangelion movies, including an interesting interview with Amanda Winn-Lee.

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/2002-August/041506.html

Otaku no Video commentary

I think Production I.G’s Yoshiki Sakurai sums it up best.

“Influences or copying could be seen commonly within Japanese anime itself as well. Evangelion succeeded in utilizing and expressing the situation. It was, as it is often said, FULL of parodies and influences or sometimes even exact copies (on purpose of course) from some scenes of various anime, manga and Japanese modern novels and WW2 warship names etc etc etc not to mention the Bible. Anno-san himself says it was a huge collage of past works. The older generations who understood the original, enjoyed the parody. Younger generations who didn’t know, enjoyed the piece as it is. The brilliant balance of Evangelion is that it could be enjoyed both ways.”

http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=198735&sid=1c479269d4ac6116cfc609783b335275#198735; http://www.shoryuken.com/showthread.php?t=191202&s=65c676ffdd7a5288ae6df1d4c912cbf6&p=7122209&viewfull=1#post7122209; Apparently from Production IG forums: http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/2002-December/041932.html points to http://www.productionig.com/forums/index.php?act=ST&f=33&t=861&s=25ff4325918b4df2a7f03c170068d1f4 but I have failed to find any copies of the forum after much searching.

“To be fair, Eva does seem to contain a host of personal symbols. It is said that the troubled relationship between Shinji and his distant manipulative father is based on Anno’s own childhood. But the lasting success of Evangelion seems to indicate that by somehow trying to create a very personal work, Anno wound up tapping into something very universal.”

Animerica, July 2002, Vol.10 No.7: “Animerica Spotlight: Neon Genesis Evangelion”

However, before everyone rushes to buy the DVD (or get the fansub), it should be noted that Mahoromatic is a 180-degree reversal from the epic film Wings of Honneamise (Royal Space Force). Not only is the artwork and animation quality quite simple due to the limited budget and production time for a TV series rather than an animated movie, but the show is also quite possibly the biggest glob of fan-service that I have ever seen in a TV series (albeit satellite TV).
The first episode of Mahoromatic was screened at the Gainax Live! event held in Nagoya on January 20, and to be honest the fan-service (otaku/hentai) was so flagrant that it was quite embarrassing to watch. Most of the audience visibly squirmed in their seats throughout the episode (I know I did), and the applause afterwards was polite but muted…It resembled some of Gainax’s computer games…

Bochan_bird

Director Yamaga himself described Mahoromatic as essentially a “bespectacled, serious and innocent young boy meets overly-friendly girls/women with big tits” show, with no real mention of anything else.

Bochan_bird

2003

2003 P

“…The other thing I thought of was about copying. Quite aptly, Anno declared himself a copy, saying, ‘I’m a copy of a copy’. But this is a ‘copy of a copy of a copy’. In the future, there will undoubtedly be ‘a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy’, and undoubtedly, this chain of copies will continue. Animation has also already entered this world, and there no longer as such things as originals…”

–Mamoru Oshii, section ‘Whether One is Aware of Being a Copy or Not’ of “Talk About RahXephon: In Search of Fantasy and Details” in RahXephon: The Motion Picture; see the extended Izubuchi/Oshii quotes in 2003 Tertiary

[Miyamura:] At first I didn’t… how do I put it? I’ve never played a role of a character like her, so I tried really hard to find ways to connect to her. By now, she’s already become a part of me. Now, she’s absolutely adorable. Um, now, she’s the… girly part of me that I haven’t been able to express before….My Asuka had a sad ending in the anime series, so I’m hoping for something different in this movie.

…[Sadamoto:] Having a necktie or not, even with the same white shirt, could change his [Shinji’s] whole character. I drew him wearing a regular shirt, in just an ordinary school uniform so he seems like an average character.

[On Misato] There’s a character called Mine Fujiko in an old series called Lupin. And when I was young, I was… err… thought it was really interesting. She looked like she’s still 20, but she also seemed like she’s in her 30s. As for her bangs, well, I just stuck Usagi-chan’s bangs on her. It started as a joke. But now having the voice actor, Mitsuishi-san and all, it’s no longer a joke. [On Rei] One of my favorite bands is called the Buff Girl Team and in one of their songs, there’s this line “a white girl in bandages.” I had an image of her even before I started Evangelion. Like a girl with a dark past. I thought it’ll be interesting to have a girl in bandages. And maybe she’ll have the antibacterial smell like hospitals. If I had known her when I was 14, I would have hesitated to get close to her. She’s cute, but her world’s the farthest away from mine. But I end up admiring her. In the anime, I designed her as kind of an idol figure.

[On Ritsuko] I got a rare request from Anno-san to make a hot girl. He wanted a sidekick girl for Nishimura Shinobu. He wanted her to be really girly, so I took that and added my own ideas to her. Matsushita Yuki-san in the drama “He’s there when I turn around” is wearing… not a miniskirt, but hot pants under her white lab coat. That left a really strong impression on me, so I thought I’ll try making Ritsuko wear a miniskirt under her lab coat.

Not just with designing characters, but when I’m making a Gainax story, I can influence the story quite a bit. For example, this time, my most influential work was called… Mind and Soul, one of the shows on NHK. I got my themes from that, and I tried to convey my idea to the fans. When they ask me why are the main characters are only 14 year-olds, or why is it that only kids can ride in it, I actually didn’t think of a reason why at first, so I got those ideas, and others, from that show.

My very first characters were Gendo and Shinji. I made those two quite easily. I was aiming for a character that’s both realistic and ordinary. I wanted a character that’ll be hard for others to make.

…Q. What role does school play?

[Assistant Director Tsurumaki Kazuya:] By having it pre-exist, it makes the story as a whole more cheerful… or rather… less serious. By inserting a school-setting, or a romantic comedy, like more teenager-like aspects, it makes it easier for the audience to connect to the story. But actually…parts of it have become like…a school anime, and other parts have…gone a bit off the original intent.

[Hideaki Anno:] There are certain things that only work on a TV show. In the closed world of animation, there’s a feeling of closure and suffocation among those who’ve been locked in together. Some people feel it, and others don’t. At least I felt it. And you want to express that feeling somehow, but it’s a little hard to do in movies. That’s where you realize there are some things only TV can do. The main character this time is both an introvert and righteous. He also tends to categorize things. And those kinds of characters usually have something hidden. Like a way to escape from that closure. Not suicide though. Suicide is what’s left after hope is gone. It’s not loss of hope. Well, I don’t think humans can lose hope. We might be living, trying to see what losing hope is like.

So the question becomes, how can an introvert like him change? Well, all the characters are introverts by nature. Like they don’t last long in team work. Their loose human relationships are reflected in the movie. Some people feel sympathy for them, and others might feel threatened by them. But we’re prepared for that. Well, we expect that.

“New Era” becomes “Neon Genesis” in English. The “Era” is translated using its alternate meaning. On the other hand, its Japanese counterpart has another meaning. This is done to express both meanings. The word doesn’t look very good in Katakana, so we used English and Japanese to play on the pun. This comes from our desire to make something new from the anime.

That’s all.

It means both the new era and the new genesis that marks that. That’s what the title means.

Renewal bonus extras, Brikhaus’s subtitles sourced through Hyper Shinchan

The main difference in the GAINAX of today compared to the past is stability in animation production. “For a dozen years or so, we just kept going without much planning,” says Yamaga–it’s the ‘without much planning’ part he wants to drop. “I guess we didn’t really start thinking about how to run the company more effectively, like a company should be run, until maybe two or three years ago. Seriously.” It’s a matter of taking on work, defining the goals and checking to see if they’re being fulfilled. “I mean, none of this is anything new,” he remarks. “I guess normal people do it that way from the start.”

…Of his thoughts regarding Evangelion, Yamaga replies, “Before then, we were aware that this thing called ‘anime’ was making waves, but it wasn’t the kind of thing where famous personalities would get up on TV and say, ‘I watch anime’–I doubt KimuTaku [Takuya Kimura of the group SMAP] would just suddenly go ‘Evangelion!’ you know.” Yet he found the series was continually being mentioned and incorporated into TV drama material at the time. “From that point on, the distinction between ‘someone who likes anime’ and ‘a normal person’ began rapidly disappearing. That’s the thing that impressed me the most.”

The series was not only a landmark in the industry and for GAINAX; financially speaking, it was the first anime production to actually make money for the company. “Not making money is one thing, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t hits,” stresses Yamaga of their pre-Eva works. “The others were certainly hits, but the contracts were at fault.”

“We never had very good contracts,” he admits. “In fact, we didn’t have a very good contract for Evangelion, either, but it was just so popular. So basically we made money on the products we put out ourselves. They said on the news how Evangelion had passed the 30 billion yen mark, so even if the contract only gave us 1% of that, it’s still be 300 million yen!”

Until then, the games division kept GAINAX running. Yamaga recalls that Takami Akai, who’d been with the group since their college days, suddenly bought a computer and announced, “Let’s do games! If we do games, we can make money.”

“According to him, at that time with Japanese computer games, the art was done by the programmers, so it totally sucked,” Yamaga explains. Since Akai was a painter, he’d be able to create decent images, even with the limit of 16 displayable colors at the time. “He was like, ’If we do this, there’s no way we can go wrong!”

Akai’s concept was literally on the money. “Princess Maker (1991) was a big hit, and that paid our salaries for quite a while,” Yamaga says on the princess raising simulation. “Unlike the anime and films, we make the games all in-house and sell some of them ourselves, so it’s not just that we have the rights; we get to keep the take in those cases, so hit or no hit, the amount of money coming in is totally different.”

…Highly anticipated by GAINAX fans is Yamaga’s grand project, Aoki Uru, which some say is a sequel to Honneamise. Yamaga says there’s nothing he can impart on its development just yet, though he assures us that the project is maturing and moving forward. It’s tied in with how GAINAX will evolve, their position with respect to the industry and the position animation occupies within Japan.

…A regular US convention guest, he observes that compared to Japanese fans, overseas fans–especially the ones also studying Japanese–tend to approach anime intellectually, akin to how Japanese study European film or foreign literature. As an example, Yamaga mentions the dictionaries and reference books created by fans. “It’s such an academic atmosphere.”

…“That debate’s been going on for a long time, but we’ve gone along ignoring it, making things that target Japan, and they’re still very popular overseas. Sen to Chihiro was an extremely ‘Japanese’ film, wasn’t it? There were parts that even Japanese viewers couldn’t understand without some research.” He stresses the point with an analogy: “I really like French wine from Bordeaux, so do I want something that the businessmen over there have whipped up especially for Japanese? No–give me the stuff the French people like.”

…Among the production materials on Hideaki Anno’s desk is an area occupied by various toys from Thunderbirds, UFO, and Space: 1999. Anno is a big tokusatsu (special effects film) fan–he shot a live-action Ultraman parody on 8mm film during his student days–so it’s not surprising to also spot a collection of the ultra heroes standing in formation, as well as a set of similarly arranged Kamen Rider figures. Although he hasn’t been getting into recent movies and music, tokusatsu hero shows remain a favorite viewing of his. “I’ve been watching Kamen Rider 555 and AbaRanger,” he says. When asked about the long-running Kamen Rider series’ evolution over the years, Anno replies, “I haven’t seen them all, but I think change is a good thing.”

The acclaimed director of anime has shifted gears in recent years, with credits that include two live-action films, Love & Pop and Shikijitsu, adaptations of novels by Ryu Murakami and Ayako Fujitani, respectively. While tight-lipped regarding details of a new live-action work he’s currently directing, Anno says it’s an action movie, due to wrap toward the end of the year. In the meantime, Shikijitsu is slated for DVD release this summer in Japan. “It’s the story of a man and a woman meeting, and what happens during their one month together.” Author Fujitani also stars as the lead, and director Shunji Iwai (of Swallowtail Butterfly fame) is also cast in the film.

Anno believes that his first feature, Love & Pop, was visually very light in comparison. Shot on digital video with experimental camerawork and a documentary-like presentation, it depicts schoolgirl Hiromi’s foray into the world of subsidized dating to acquire the funds for a much coveted ring. “It didn’t have any tricky elements to it or have a heavy feel,” he states. “Following that up with something with the exact same feel would be boring. That’s why on Shikijitsu, I tried to liven things up by using 35mm film and Cinescope, and by threading the images together in a visually appealing way. I wanted to shoot some really good-looking images.”

“The novels were interesting, but there was also the more realistic aspect of it: that I could do this,” Anno says of the factors that drew him to develop the novels for the screen. He didn’t know how much money he’d be able to round up, but believed the projects could be realized with relatively small budgets. “I assembled a staff of very talented individuals, from one person who did a couple of films out of his own pocket when he was at university, to another who’s an incredibly gifted producer. I think that’s why, even though I was heading into uncharted territory, I was able to make the transition from anime director to live-action, and make movies with a minimum of problems.”

Comparing the two mediums, he remarks that live action offers more freedom. “Anime is an altogether different story; you have to create the visuals in order to move ahead. With live-action, you can end up with visuals that you hadn’t expected, or that are different from those you’d imagined. Actually, the part about live-action that I liked was that it didn’t turn out as I’d planned.” We comment that Love & Pop seems to exude spontaneity from the cast’s performance to the camera work, freed from the rigidity of anime once the storyboards have been set. Anno agrees. “It was all about that.”

He suggests that budding live-action filmmakers should reference both anime and live-action works and incorporate the best of both worlds. Indeed, anime-inspired shot compositions lend a unique feel to Love & Pop’s visuals.

…Regarding his other early works, we mention a 1991 Japanese interview with manga artist Kazuhiko Shimamoto, in which Anno remarked that when he saw Nadia in its entirety, he was sad because he felt it was too geared toward children.

“I don’t think it was ‘sad’” he clarifies. “The nuance was a little different when translated into English. NHK’s vision for Nadia was very, very strong. I was able to do what I wanted within that vision, but I couldn’t change the basic parts. I was able to do a lot of the things I wanted to do, but I couldn’t do everything that I’d really wanted to do. Which, I think, gave it the nuance of being a more child-oriented work. And that’s why, even though I did everything I possibly could, Nadia is a work that I still have regrets about. I wonder if that’s the nuance that came across in English.”

…Then there’s Oruchuban Ebichu, a hilariously perverted series brimming with dialogue (mostly from its diminutive star) and containing situations unprintable in this publication, There’s a misconception that Kotono Mitsuishi (Misato’s voice actress) originally brought the manga to Anno’s attention during the production of Evangelion, which led to him planning the anime adaptation–it was actually another friend who introduced him to the work.

…The same friend introduced Anno to the Kareshi Kanojo no Jijo (“His and Her Circumstances”) manga. When we comment on its deft balance between comedy, personal struggle and drama, he replies, “I didn’t really care much about the underlying struggle; the comedy was what was interesting. The story relied on comedy as its base, and it was very east to turn the atmosphere of the original into the anime.”

…“Now, seven years later, the show has been a hit, so they gave us a bit of money and time [for the Renewal remix of NGE]. Both the picture and sound are radically different. Different, but also the same as was present in the original.” The extra audio channels courtesy of Dolby Digital 5.1 opened up new sonic avenues. “It’s a remix, with us fixing parts where the sound wasn’t good enough before,” he comments. “We fixed over 100 parts of the picture.” The remaster boasts sharper, jitter-free visuals with intensified colors; the enhanced audio is palpable as soon as the opening song fires up, when percussion elements and back-up vocals are introduced via the surround speakers in an enveloping effect. Action scenes give subwoofers a noticeably increased workout.

Newtype USA, July 2003, Volume 2, Number 7, Pages 8-19 http://www.evamonkey.com/inside_gainax.htm

There was a special Newtype magazine issue (December extra issue) devoted entirely to Evangelion, which also contained a DVD with samples of Eva2 game scenarios. In addition to spotlighting Eva2, this magazine also contained a 1-page summary of each TV episode with “checkpoints” which are like the Newtype TV filmbook checkpoints but with even less information. IMO the only thing worth noting was the Ep25/26 checkpoints which stated quite clearly that EoE (mainly “Air”) was the originally intended TV ending, but could not be made due to production schedule and other reasons.

Bochan_bird; was the extra issue December 2002 or 2003? Could be either. (EGF request)

Platinum commentary

From the planning stages, Hideaki Anno, a representative creator of GAINAX, was at the heart of the production work and his individuality colors every aspect of the show. Fascinating characters, a captivating sci-fi premise, dynamic battle scenes, and super-high density of information that incorporates Christianity and psychoanalysis. Each of those elements surpassed the realm of all anime that had come before it and made it a work worthy of the title “New Century (Neon Genesis).”

From back when it was airing on TV, Neon Genesis Evangelion had the ardent support of fans and its popularity boomed even after it finished its run. Its influence was not limited to anime fans but also spread to the general populace, and it was even called the third impact, following Space Battleship Yamato and Mobile Suit Gundam.

http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum_vol1_introduction.htm; TODO: something is wrong with some of the Evamonkey links, so may need to use Internet Archive versions

Reunited with Shinji for the first time in 3 years, the executive commander of NERV, Gendo Ikari, orders him to get on the Eva and out into the field on the spot. And faced with Eva Unit-00 and Rei Ayanami, he repeats over and over, “I Mustn’t run away,” as if he is trying to convince himself of it. “Communicating with others” is a vital theme of Evangelion and depicting how Shinji interacts with those around him is part of the story of Evangelion. The revealing of why Gendo treats Shinji so coldly is left to Episode Twenty-Six, “My True Heart For You,” which was released theatrically.

When Shinji comes to New Tokyo-3, he sees a girl that seems to be Rei Ayanami for just an instant. Considering how she is injured and wrapped up in bandages, when he later meets her in NERV Headquarters, the natural assumption would be to think that this was a phantom vision. But in Episode 26, “My True Heart For You,” a different possibility is suggested. The girl that appeared for just one cut in this scene may be the Rei Ayanami who is “the existence that gazes upon man.”

… Shinji was supposed to live by himself, but instead, Misato takes him in and the two begin their life together in her apartment. In order to try to close the gap between her and him, Misato acts silly around Shinji and as if in response to that, Shinji acts exaggeratedly surprised by the presence of Pen Pen, the hot spring penguin. Seeing Shinji’s true intentions in his actions, Misato says to herself, “Maybe I’m the one who’s transparent.” It is a most Eva-like depiction concerning “communication.” In the preview, the idea of her taking Shinji in is clearly stated as “Misato’s arrogance.” The sense with which they coolly capture such events is also part of the appeal of Evangelion.

… Toji, who consciously behaves like a man, and Kensuke, who has his own world of his hobby concerning all things military and who also knows how to get on in the world, are very contrasting characters compared to Shinji. The names of these two characters are taken from the main characters in Ryu Murakami’s The Fascism of Love and Illusions, which provides no small amount of inspiration for Director Anno.

… In this episode, Ritsuko talks about the “hedgehog’s dilemma,” which is a psychology term that originates from Schopenhauer’s fable, and it expresses the complications and ambivalence that arises as people seek the psychological distance to maintain between each other. This is where the English episode title “Hedgehog’s Dilemma” for Episode Four “Rain, Escape, and Afterwards” comes from. In addition, what Misato says in this same scene allows us to see what her thoughts on communicating are at this time, so that is also very interesting.

… Episode Four depicts the wanderings of Shinji, who has run away from Misato and NERV. Shinji and Misato hurt each other with their thorns as they try to get closer, and yet even then, they need one another. The relationship between these two is indeed just like the “hedgehog’s dilemma” that Ritsuko had mentioned in Episode Three. There is no battle with an Angel and it largely stays away from addressing any of the mysteries, but when considered from a thematic perspective, this is truly Eva-like drama.

In actuality, this episode was once omitted in terms of the series composition and it was planned that what is now Episode Five would come after Episode Three. But as production progressed, staff members voiced their opinion that perhaps there was a need to depict Shinji’s relationship with the people around him after Episode Three, and thus, this episode was made, greatly changing the contents from what had originally been conceived. Because of this, the script for this episode written after the script for Episode Five had already been finalized. This is the one and only episode of all the TV and movie episodes in which Director Anno did not have a direct hand in the plot and script.

In terms of performance, the highlight has got to be the final cut at the train station where Shinji and Misato gaze at each other. This cut, which has absolutely no dialogue or movement, lasts roughly 50 seconds. It is a silence that would normally be inconceivably long, but it depicts Shinji’s feelings in finding it difficult to express himself in words.

http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum_vol1_episode_commentaries.htm

Among the footage shown are included a number of characters and images who appear towards the middle and end of the show as well. At the time this show aired, these served as signs of things to come and the presentation of mysteries to the viewers. How will the images of Unit-01’s bloody hand and of the bloody utility poles and Unit-01’s foot unfold and appear within the story? What is the giant of light that possesses a silhouette that looks like an Eva? Who are the pencil sketches of the woman and the boy with the piercing gaze? What about the mysterious letters in the final scene? Or why does the caption “ANGEL” appear after the scene of the boy’s face and the scene of Rei Ayanami? All the answers to the mysteries presented in the opening are presented in the show and the movies.

http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum_vol2_introduction.htm; Yes, what about those mysterious letters? TV script for the OP calls them ‘angelic script’ and they resemble but don’t match the real angelic script. Patrick Yip writes that a number of Japanese fan books analyze the script as distorted ancient Chinese for the NERV slogan “God’s in His Heaven” etc.

The name “Operation Yashima” is a reference to when Yoichi Nasuno shoots the fan with his bow from atop his horse on the beach in the “Battle at Yashima” in the first year of Bunji (1185). That’s Chief of Operations Katsuragi for you, quite the intellectual. In addition, “Yashima” written differently is also the old name for Japan. Thus, the name also contains a reference to the operation gathering electrical power from all of Japan.

… You can also enjoy the Kihachi Okamoto-esque camerawork that Director Anno excels at. The drama of communication between Shinji and Misato also hits a plateau. The segment From Episode One to this episode can be thought of as the “Prologue Arc” of the series.

Misato is normally slovenly, but here, she gallantly stops the J.A. without any regard for her own life. Shinji is disappointed by the enormous difference between these two sides of her, but at the end, he learns that the reason she shows that defenseless side of her to him is because that’s how much she trusts him. Back-to-back with that is revealed the ironic truth that the J.A. going out of control and the miracle that Misato and the others brought about were all plotted by Gendo, but the way Shinji begins to walk forward when he understands that his relationship with Misato has become closer is refreshing enough to even erase the sense of upset.

… The name of J.A comes from the robot, Jet Jaguar, which appeared in the special effects film Gozilla vs Megalon (1973). Jet Jaguar was a robot whose design was chosen from submissions from the public, and when it was initially announced, its name was Red Alone. Jet Alone is a name made by combining Red Alone and Jet Jaguar. It is truly a geeky GAINAX-like name.

… This episode depicts the actions of Eva Unit-02 and its pilot, Asuka Langley Sohryu. Starting here, the series charges into the second part, the “Action Arc,” which depicts battles with various Angels in standalone episodes. The spirited character of Asuka ushers in a new phase of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Apparently, Asuka’s character became solidified in Director Anno’s mind when he came up with the lines “This is my Chance!” and “What are you, stupid‽”

… The contents of the trunk that Kaji is carrying looks like a human embryo and Gendo calls this “the first man, Adam.” In Episode Seven in the SSTO conversation, they were talking about the “revised budget for the sample collection,” but that sample is probably this Adam. Adam’s existence is one of the greatest mysteries in this show. Could it be related to the Adam that appears in the Old Testament? The name of Adam’s wife in the Old Testament is Eva.

… Episode Nine is also the episode where Asuka’s character gets filled in. At the beginning in the scene where she talks to Rei at school, she is standing on the edge of the flower bed, but this is because in Director Anno’s plans regarding her, one of the things was “she is a girl who endeavors to stand at a higher spot compared to the person she is addressing when greeting people.” In Episode Eight, she also addresses Shinji from the top of the elevator.

Asuka says, “This is the wall of Jericho, never to fall!” of the sliding door that separates the two rooms, but the “Wall of Jericho” is a reference to the Western film It Happened One Night (1934, America). In the movie, a rich runaway girl and an unemployed newspaper reporter end up spending a night in the same room, and they put a blanket as a divider, calling it the “Wall of Jericho.” Incidentally, the original “Wall of Jericho” is a castle wall that appears in the Bible. Also, she says, “It is proper that boys and girls sleep apart after the age of seven,” but the correct proverb is “it is proper that the boys and girls sit apart after the age of seven.” This is a saying in the ancient Chinese Confucian text of The Book of Rites, and the seat refers to a straw mat. In ancient China, sitting on the same mat meant that the two were husband and wife. Is it the genius girl’s pride that leads her to want to use difficult sayings, even though she’s not supposed to be used to Japanese yet?

… At the beginning, Hyuga compares the data on the Seventh Angel and says, “Pattern blue, confirmed as an Angel,” and at the time, the screen displays “BLOOD TYPE: BLUE.” In the scene before that, with the data on the Sixth Angel that Ritsuko had analyzed, it also has “6th ANGEL pattern: BLOOD TYPE: BLUE.” This indicates that it is an Angel. The term “BLOOD TYPE: BLUE” comes from a sci-fi film directed by Kihachi Okamoto called Blue Christmas (1978, Japan).

[This Commentary tallies with Patrick Yip’s claims: The Japanese SF fans manage to trace the influence behind the decision of making “Blood Type Blue” the signal for discovery of “alien”. They trace this to a quite-well-known Japanese SF writer (forgot his name) which wrote a SF in the 60’s about some “blue-blood” people being hunted down by “ordinary” people and the main character in the story was forced to kill his girlfriend because she has “blue blood”.’]

… There is also a scene depicting the three operators taking a break between work. Maya Ibuki is reading a romance novel. Makoto Hyuga is reading a comic magazine. Shigeru Aoba has a music magazine next to him as he mimics playing a guitar. Aoba’s hobby is to play the guitar, and in Episode Eleven, he can be seen coming to work with a guitar case containing an electric guitar. This was never realized, but there was an idea of having him play his guitar and singing nearby Shinji and the others in the final scene on the hill.

The model that the Eighth Angel was based on was the Anomalocaris, the largest carnivore of the Cambrian Period. The Anomalocaris was taken up on the NHK Special Life - A Long Journey of 4 Billion Years (1994, Japan), and at the time the show aired, the creature was a hot topic.

http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum_vol2_episode_commentaries.htm (For a review of Blue Christmas, see http://wtf-film.com/site/2007/09/24/buru-kurisumasu/)

Furthermore, this is also the one and only Angel that appeared somewhere other than New Tokyo-3. Its object is believed to have been one of two things, either the Unit-02 being transported by the Pacific fleet or the contents of Ryoji Kaji’s trunk.

http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum_vol2_angel_profiles.htm; shouldn’t you guys know?

This episode depicts the commotion and a battle with an Angel with the great blackout at NERV Headquarters in the background. Paper fans, candles, buckets and other small props that are generally not seen around NERV Headquarters make an appearance here. The “It’s lukewarm” at the end of Part A is the one and only gag utilizing Gendo, but there are numerous humorous scenes, including when Hyuga takes over an election PR car and the various raggedy antics of the three Children. The glimpse into an awareness of the problem of modern life relying too much on a technological civilization could also be said to be very Director Hideaki Anno-like. The English subtitle is a reference to a sci-fi movie classic The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951, America)

… The animation for this episode was handled by Studio Ghibli, known for their work on such films as My Neighbor Totoro. Nozomu (written as “peek”) Takahashi, the city assembly electoral candidate, who only appears as a name is a twist on the producer of Ghibli, Nozomu (written as “aspire”) Takahashi.

… At the sea at the South Pole, where Gendo and Fuyutsuki travel on board an aircraft carrier, the waters are red and there are giant pillars of salt. This is also due to the effect of the Second Impact. Gendo calls the post-Second Impact South Pole “a world that has been purged, untainted by the original sin.” In general, original sin refers to the sin Adam, the father of mankind, committed in “Genesis” of the Old Testament, as well as to the sin that all of mankind was burdened with as a result of it. In the conversation in this scene, it is revealed that Fuyutsuki and Gendo disagree on various topics, such as the Second Impact, mankind, and science. Fuyutsuki says, “I prefer the world where man lives, no matter how tarnished by sin it is.” One wonders how he felt being involved in the Human Instrumentality Project.

“By the hand of man” and “a miracle has value when it is brought about” are two lines that are familiar from some of Director Anno’s previous works. In this episode, it is revealed that Rei dislikes meat, but Nadia: Secret of Blue Water was also a vegetarian. Director Anno himself is also famous for not eating meat. Incidentally, Rei orders a garlic ramen without the pork at a ramen shop, but the script has Rei ordering seaweed ramen. It is a rare example of pure adlibbing on the part of a voice actress in this show.

… The supercomputer MAGI is composed of three different computer systems, Melchior-1, Balthasar-2, and Gaspar-3. Various calculations, problems and operations are examined by these three. The naming of the MAGI come from the three wise men from the East, who foretold the birth of Jesus in the “New Testament.” The names Melchior, Balthasar, and Gaspar are also taken from each of the wise men. The word “magi” also means “astrology” and is the origin of the English word “magician.”

In order to prevent the Angel from invading the lower regions of NERV headquarters, Gendo completely physically seals off the region in the Central Dogma below the Sigma Unit. The pyramid-shaped building standing in the Geo-front is but a small part of the NERV Headquarters. Stretching directly below the square lake adjoining the pyramid-shaped building is an incredibly deep facility going down approximately 7km. The majority of this incredibly deep facility is called the Central Dogma and the Sigma Unit is a part of it. Incidentally, the name Central Dogma came from biology. Genetic information is transferred DNA→RNA→protein, and this flow of genetic information is called the central dogma.

… Every so often, the show was aired at an irregular time in the Tokyo region, such as on January 3rd, when it was aired at 8 a.m., and thus, Episode Fourteen was created as a recap episode of sorts. The English subtitle is also a reference to the fact that this episode is a recap.

… Part A has no BGM, and there is also very little dialogue. The lack of “sound” and the heavy use of Bold Mincho captions create a stifling tension. The structure of displaying the subtitle at the end of Part A was also effective. In addition, in Part A, the names of the Angels and operations that had appeared up through Episode Twelve “The Value of a Miracle” became clear. The names of the Angels are the same as the names of angels that appear in the Bible, and each of their spheres of influence, characteristics, and the situations in which they appear are consistent. At the end of Part A, the terms “Dead Sea Scrolls” and “SEELE” appear for the first time. Generally, the “Dead Sea Scrolls” refers to the ancient documents discovered in a cave on the west bank of the Dead Sea in 1947. They contained the “Old Testament,” the “Apocrypha,” and other religious writings not included in the Bible. They are thought to be writings from around 200-100 B.C., meaning around the era that Christ was alive. Though it is said to be the greatest find of this century, full disclosure of it to the public was dragged out for another 45 years. Additionally, there is speculation that parts of it have been deliberately withheld from being released due to it containing writings that shake the very foundation of Christianity. It is unclear whether the “Dead Sea Scrolls” that they speak of are the actual “Dead Sea Scrolls.” SEELE is the controlling organization of NERV and its members seem approximately the same as the Human Instrumentality Committee. Seele means “soul” in German.

… In the final scene, what Unit-02 is holding is the Spear of Longinus that was being transported from the South Pole in Episode Twelve. In the Bible, the Spear of Longinus is the spear that pierced Christ on the crucifix.

http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum_vol3_episode_commentaries.htm

Starting with this episode, the drama is presented more densely, entering into the third part, which drives the theme strongly. The first episode in this part, Episode Fifteen, shines a spotlight on the human relationships between such people as Misato and Kaji, Shinji and Gendo, Asuka and Shinji, etc.

… Through Kaji’s investigations, it is revealed that the organization created to select Eva pilots, the Marduk Institute, is largely insubstantial. The name for the Marduk Institute comes from a Babylonian god said to have 50 names. The god Marduk had 50 names, and the Marduk Institute in Eva was using 108 names.

The homeostasis that Ritsuko mentioned is a biology term that refers to a quality that creatures have that allows them to maintain their physical and biological condition within stable levels and to survive in response to various changes in their environment. The American biologist Canon (Walter Bradford Canon: 1871 - 1945) proposed it as a universal principle of life. Combining that with its companion concept of transistasis to come up with the idea that “having these two contradictory qualities is what defines life” is original to this series.

… Episode sixteen depicts the fight against the Twelfth Angel that takes its opponent into imaginary space and Shinji’s struggle within the inner space. This is an episode that could only be a part of Eva, possessing two very disparate appealing aspects in its depiction of sci-fi drama and the abyss that is the “human heart.” And the scene of Shinji’s inner space in the latter part of Part B could be said to be one of the finest examples of this. This sequence on board a train car at dusk with no one else present depicts the world of Shinji’s heart in a most vivid way by using methods that could even be called experimental, such as expressing the character as a white “line” on a black screen and interjecting various images throughout the sequence. In addition, the image of “inside a mother’s womb” can be taken from the entry plug that Shinji can’t escape from, and the image of “giving birth” can be taken from the scene where Unit-01 escapes from within the Angel, covered in blood. Thus, this is also an episode with strong symbolism.

In the inner space sequence, the question, “Is it okay to live by stringing only the happy things in life together like a rosary?” is presented, and later on, it becomes one of the themes carried throughout the series. In the same sequence, Shinji’s mother, Yui Ikari, appears for the first time. Shinji’s line, “No. Mother was smiling,” serves as a foreshadowing to the mystery involving Yui. Also, there is a directional reason for why she is voiced by Megumi Hayashibara, who also voices Rei Ayanami.

The episode title is a reference to “The Sickness Unto Death” (Sygdommen til Doden, 1849), the most important work put out by the father of existentialism, the philosopher Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855) of Denmark. “The sickness unto death” refers to “despair,” and in the introduction of this work, Kierkegaard says that for a Christian, “Even death itself is not ‘the sickness unto death.’ Not to mention any of the suffering on Earth known as destitution, illness, misery, privations, misfortune, pain, anguish, grief, or regret.” The English episode title, “Splitting of the Breast” refers to a psychological process by which an infant’s impression of the breast becomes split into two, a “good object” and a “bad object.”

The “Dirac’s sea” that took Shinji and Unit-01 in is a concept that the British theoretical physicist Dirac (Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac: 1902-1984) used in his hole theory. A vacuum is filled with negative energy electrons, and this is what is called “Dirac’s sea.”

… The three episodes spanning Episode Seventeen to Episode Nineteen are a serial piece called the “First Child Trilogy.” This serial piece is the greatest climax in the middle of the series and also holds important meaning in terms of Shinji’s drama. The first of these episodes, Episode Seventeen, is one that focuses on depicting daily life. The main plot is of Toji being chosen as the fourth Eva pilot and of how he finds his resolve concerning that, but at the same time, such things as Shinji’s growth as a person, Rei’s emotional uncertainty, and Hikaru’s romantic feelings are also depicted. Episode Eighteen and Episode Nineteen, which follow, become more intense in terms of both drama and action. This episode is meant to be “the calm before the storm.”

http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum_vol4_episode_commentaries.htm

In a conversation with Kaji, Shinji says, “You know, I’m a man.” So far, Misato and Asuka have repeatedly harangued him about, “You’re a man, aren’t you?” and he never offered a response, but now, he says this without a hitch. Does this mean he is feeling more at ease, just as Toji had said in Rei’s room? It is also noteworthy that he looks at Toji with a smile as Toji stubbornly declares that cleaning is not a man’s job. In Shinji and Kaji’s conversation at the watermelon field, the topics covered are once again “enjoying” and “suffering,” following up on the inner space in Episode Sixteen “The Sickness Unto Death, and…”

The people who performed the English operator dialogue at the beginning were Michael House, George A. Arriola, and Hiromi Arriola. Michael House was a GAINAX employee at the time, who did in-house translation work. George A Arriola and Hiromi Arriola were friends of his and are apparently husband and wife. [see the House interview]

The English title for this episode is “Ambivalence.” Ambivalence refers to a state where two contradictory emotions or attitudes exist at the same time within an individual. It was originally a psychoanalytical term, which was first used by a Swiss psychoanalyst, Bleuler (Paul Eugen Bleuler: 1857-1939). Perhaps the title of “Ambivalence” was given to this episode because Shinji is conflicted between his mission to defeat Unit-03 and his emotional reluctance to fight Unit-03, which has a human pilot on board.

… As the story unfolds, Shinji resolves to fight on his own and gets on board the Eva. And with a fierce battle that can truly be called “a man’s battle,” Episode Nineteen is upheld by the fans as having the most exciting content in the series. However, what in fact defeats the Angel is neither his resolve nor his fighting spirit, but the berserk Unit-01. Having aggressively faced the Angel, Shinji is taken in by Unit-01 as a result, and there is not even any portrayal of him realizing victory. In that sense, this episode also has a most Eva-like ironic structure.

The English episode title “Introjection” is a psychoanalytic term meaning “to take in.” It refers to taking in various attributes of another person and making it one’s own. It is one form of a defense mechanism. For example, by taking in a mother’s prohibitive or denying aspects, the super-ego is formed. Introjection is a term that refers to a phenomenon that occurs in the world of the psyche, but in this episode, it is likely used both in terms of its original meaning and how Unit-01 took in the Angel’s abilities.

In the entry plug, Shinji’s body has become one with the LC.L. and separated from his psyche, Ritsuko sets a plan in motion to reconstruct his body and get his psyche to anchor itself in it. As the English episode title “Weaving A Story 2” indicates, this episode is a summary of sorts, like Episode Fourteen. In point of fact, it is made largely centered around the reuse of already existing composite material and film, however its contents do not look back on what happened in the past but tell a completely different story. Having become an existence solely consisting of his psyche, Shinji agonizes and suffers over things like “his relationship to others” and “the establishment of self.” Depictions in his inner space is the locus of this episode and just as in Episode Sixteen, experimental methods are abundantly used. Also, with this episode as a turning point, This show begins to show a stronger tendency to directly portray “the human mind.”

Ritsuko says that the Eva “contains a human will” and that the fact Shinji was taken in “might be the Eva’s will as well.” Misato felt she was saying it jokingly, but when considered along with things like how the story unfolds later and how Ritsuko said, “So, she’s awoken…” in Episode Nineteen, it becomes clear that what Ritsuko said is conveying the truth to Misato to a certain degree.

Towards the end of Part A, Shinji recalls that he knew the Eva even earlier and that when he found out, he ran away from his mother and father. And the images of that flashback are the scene of the experiment from Episode Twenty-One “NERV Is Born,” in which Yui Ikari is the subject. Shinji ran away from that site, and that incident is likely what planted the compulsive idea that he “must not run away”.

While the final scene at the love hotel contained no explicit images, the love scene was depicted boldly, which caused quite a stir when it was originally aired. After touching upon Misato’s tryst, Ritsuko’s line, “I guess I’m in no position to talk,” is also curious.

The English episode title “oral stage” is also a psychoanalytical term. The oral stage is the first stage of development in Freud’s (Sigmund Freud: 1856-1939) libido development theory. It is the time period when the mouth serves as the principal source of pleasure. It is said that the oral stage starts at birth and ends around the age of 1 1/2. in the scene where Misato and Ritsuko are in the car, a radio DJ show can be heard from the car radio. We can suppose that this is the same show that was airing in Episode Twelve. A woman DJ is advising a listener on their romantic problems, but the term “oral stage” appears here as well. In this case, the oral stage refers to the oral personality. In other words, it points to personality tendencies that strongly lean towards being dependent and needy for love People with an oral personality happily sacrifice themselves in order to obtain the love of others. Shinji could be said to have an oral personality at this point in time.

http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum_vol5_episode_commentaries.htm

Neon Genesis Evangelion has numerous mysteries to engross the fans. After all 26 episodes of the TV series were aired, the remake version of Episode Twenty-Five and the Final Episode were released as a theatrical piece, in which several of the mysteries were resolved. Or there were clues presented with which to think about the mysteries. Furthermore, in the video version (released on LD and VHS at the time) of Episodes Twenty-One through Twenty-Four, which were released after the movie opened, new footage was added that also presented information regarding the mysteries. http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum_vol6_introduction.htm

If you look at Eva as a story whose protagonists are Gendo and Fuyutsuki, then the heroine would be Yui Ikari. She fascinates Fuyutsuki and she says, “He’s quite a sweet person,” of Gendo. Gendo’s resolve to advance the Human Instrumentality Project is surely also related to her disappearance. Many mysteries, such as the Eva and Adam, the circumstances of Ayanami’s birth, Unit-01 going out of control, etc., are linked with Yui’s existence.

… When it was first aired on TV, it seems no few fans suspected that it was Misato that shot Kaji in this episode. In the “video version,” dialogue explaining that SEELE has discovered that Kaji has delivered a sample of Adam to Gendo and has made his position precarious has been added and the way the scene where Kaji is shot connects to the next scene has been changed. It leads the audience to think that the culprit is someone on SEELE’s side.

… In the fourth part, the drama unfolds taking an even deeper look into the characters. Not only Shinji, but Asuka, Rei, and Misato are put through hearth-wrenching experiences. In Episode Twenty-Two, the spotlight is on the Unit-02 pilot, Asuka Langley Sohryu. It becomes clear why she had been so hung up on the Eva and worked so excessively hard, and when that is uncovered by the Angel, she loses her psychological balance. Just as it holds true for the Fifteenth Angel that appears in this episode, non of the Angels that appear in the fourth part launch brute force attacks, but instead, try to shake the Eva pilots psychologically.

The big additions in the “video version” are the carrier at the beginning, the scene where Asuka is looking at Shinji and Rei at the station, and the bath scene. The highlight is the struggle in Asuka’s inner space when she is being attacked psychologically, which took as much as 70 cuts to accomplish. In the station scene, she speaks nastily of Shinji and Rei’s relationship, saying, “He is totally back to his usual thing again.” Perhaps Asuka thought that the two were a couple or at least in a relationship close to it. Note that in the struggle in her inner space, a scene where she is hanging her head in dejection with the sliding door closed has been newly inserted after the scene from Episode Nine, “Moment and Heart Together,” where she shuts the sliding door. And likewise, after the kiss scene from Episode Fifteen, “Lies and Silence,” there is a new scene showing her looking frustrated after rinsing her mouth. And from Asuka’s dialogue that overlaps these scenes, it becomes clear that she has been looking for help and love from Shinji.

… In the fourth part, the effectiveness of certain important scenes has been increased by the use of well-known classical pieces as BGM. The piece used in this episode is Handel’s oratorio “Messiah.” Messiah means savior and the lyrics have been taken from the Bible. The piece portrays the prophecy of Christ’s birth all the way to his resurrection in three parts.

… Episode Twenty-Three is the episode where the spotlight falls on Rei Ayanami. The secrets of her inner thoughts, her death, and her third self are depicted. This is also the episode where Ritsuko’s drama is depicted, and just as the title “Tears” indicates, Rei cries in the first half and Ritsuko cries in the second half. The way the story unfolds in a cool, detached way in spite of the fact the episodes portrays the life and death, and the love and hate, of the characters is very much in character with this show.

… Standing before the Reis in the tank, Ritsuko speaks of the relationship between Rei and the dummy plugs, and also of the relationship between “God” and the Evas. It is a scene that provides the greatest amount of information regarding the mysteries in Eva. What exactly is this “God” who disappeared 15 years ago? Was it not Adam appeared 15 years ago? She said that the “God” humans resurrected was Adam, but is this Adam the embryo-like Adam that showed up in Episode Eight? Or could it possibly be the giant underground? In the same scene, Ritsuko says, “The Chamber of Gaf was empty, you see.” The Chamber of Gaf, according to Hebrew legends, is a room in the house of God in Heaven where the souls dwell. Babies receive a soul from this room before they are born. It is said that if there are no more souls in the Chamber of Gaf, it is an omen that the world will fall to ruin.

http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum_vol6_episode_commentaries.htm

Up to this point, Neon Genesis Evangelion has depicted themes surrounding “the human heart” and “communication between people” through the stories of the main characters. However, the climactic episodes, Episode Twenty-Five “The World Ending” and the Final Episode “The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World,” reverse the relationship between the story and the theme. What would normally be considered the story is kept to the bare minimum and “the theme itself” is told. The material is theoretical and experimental, and without a doubt, something never seen before in TV animation. When it originally aired, it became an incredibly hot topic and divided the fans in their opinion. The conclusion to the drama and illuminating the mysteries. In response to fans clamoring for those two things, it was decided that there would be a remake of Episode Twenty-Five and the Final Episode. The result of that are Episode 25 “Air” and Episode 26 “A Pure Heart For You,” which were released as the theatrical “The End of Evangelion.” Thus, the story of Eva would branch into two stories with the diverging point being the end of Episode Twenty-Four “The Final Messenger.” The two stories each unfold differently and arrive at their own climaxes. Episode Twenty-Five and the Final Episode tell the theme directly. And the other version, Episode 25 and Episode 26, depict the same, following the story. It is not that one is the complete version and the other is incomplete. Just like the multiple endings of a game, two different endings were prepared for one story.

http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum_vol7_introduction.htm

Kaworu only appears in this episode of the show, but his unique atmosphere and his relationship with Shinji led to his character garnering overwhelming support from female fans. When you disassemble the character for his last name, “Nagisa”, it becomes “shi” and “sha”. Thus, it is a play on the sub-title, “The Final Messenger (saigo no shisha)”. The “Nagisa (shore)” also forms a pair with Rei Ayanami’s “nami (wave)”.

Only the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Opus 125 “Choral” is used as BGM in this episode. Event what Kaworu is humming when he first appears and what Shinji is listening to on the S-DAT are from No. 9, showing quite a thoroughness. During the climax, it plays for over 7 minutes making a strong impact on the audience. The lyrics for the choral “Ode to Joy” are from the poem “To Joy” by the German poet and playwright, Schiller. There is a passage in those lyrics that goes, “We enter, drunk with your fire, Oh heavenly one, into your sanctuary.” it can be thought of as linking to the content of the second half of this episode.

… This is a singular piece of work with an exceedingly experimental structure. In spite of the story unfolding only through monologues and conversations between characters, the directing does a brilliant job maintaining the high tension. When it was originally aired, many voiced their opinion that they could not understand the story in Episode Twenty Five and the Final Episode. However, there is actually a bare-bones explanation of the story within the show. That being… Gendo uses Rei to execute the Human Instrumentality Project and the complementation of man begins. Seeing the remakes, Episode 25 “Air” and Episode 26 “A Pure Heart For You”, may in fact make the content of Episode Twenty-Five easier to understand. The depictions of Misato and Ritsuko being shot to death, Unit-02 hugging its knees in the lake, and Asuka likewise hugging her knees within Unit-02 all correspond to Episode 25.

Gendo says, “All souls will become one and find eternal peace”. His Instrumentality Project must have been for all human souls to be combined as one and to compensate each other for what they have been deprived of. In the story that follows from Episode 25 “Air” to Episode 26 “A Pure Heart For You”, he was not able to execute the scenario he had drawn up. It may be that it was in Episode Twenty-Five and Episode Twenty-Six that his wish actually came true.

The English subtitle, “Do you love me?” is from the book of the same title written by a British psychotherapist named R.D. Laing (Ronald David Laing: 1927-1989). It is a work that is done in a distinctive style as a discourse between individuals, and the style in which this episode is advanced through conversations between the characters is reminiscent of “Do you love me?”

… “Vividly drawing people” is a distinct quality of this show, and it was also the creative theme. In that sense, stepping deeper into Misato’s mind using the reason she slept with Kaji as a lead into it can be called the end point for Neon Genesis Evangelion in depicting people.

… This is the final episode of the TV series. The year is 2016 A.D., and the complementation of mankind is ongoing. Shinji agonizes over the value of his existence and his relationship with other people and comes to a conclusion. The subtitle “The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World” is from a story by American sci-fi author Harlan Ellison (1934 - ) of the same name. Taking the subtitle of the final episode from a sci-fi novel is a tradition of Director Anno’s works, continuing from Aim for the Top! and Nadia: Secret of Blue Water. The “love (ai)” being written in katakana is likely a play on the “love (ai)” and the English “I”.

The final episode also takes the unusual route of unfolding entirely within what appears to be the world within Shinji’s mind. In terms of technique, there are also various modes of expression used in abundance, such as still photographs, paper anime, and illustrations. Director Anno and the animator You Yoshinari are the ones who did the key animation for the paper anime.

… The moment that Shinji gains conviction that it is okay for him to be there, the background changes, and the blue Earth spreads beneath his feet. However, there are no continents on this Earth, and it is covered by a gigantic coral reef. It seems this is the Earth that has been transfigured by the Instrumentality Project. This episode ends with the captions “To my father, thank you.” “To my mother, farewell.” “And to all the Children.” “Congratulations!” Eva is something of an Oedipus complex story, where a boy feels love and hatred for his father and mother, so the first two captions can be thought to means that Shinji has come to an understanding with his father and grown out of his dependence on his mother. Perhaps the latter two captions mean, “This is a world where all the children born into it deserve to live.” It is left for the audience to decide whether this ending is the Best Ending or the Bad Ending. [think visual novel terminology]

http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum_vol7_episode_commentaries.htm

RahXephon Complete

  • 2003-izubuchi-anno-rahxephon-interview.jpg
  • 2003-rahxephoncomplete-anno-izubuchi.page; interview with Anno (A) & Izubuchi (I) in the RahXephon Complete book:

    A: Yeah, just the beginning of it. Also “Mazinger”, based on the original work that appeared in Shonen Jump. The images of human-shaped robots by Mr. Nagai Go, I think, was also inspired by Mr. Yokoyama’s, like the way he drew legs / feet.

    I: The nail-tips look like rubber and they are curled outwards.

    A: And the way he creates highlights, or shade and luster (gloss) effects. So, I still prefer the robots’ legs and hands to be round columns, even though they have all become square after Gundam. You know, like, here, bellows, round (joint), round, and go (fast) (laugh).

    I: I liked it, but I didn’t go into it. At that time things that featured special filming techniques (tokusatsu) were much more popular. It was a period when even the boys’ comic magazines had a “smell” of underground culture, and carried some controversial works. Each issue of those magazines contained an amazing mixture of so many different things.

    A: There were tons of Tokusatsu, manga and anime, weren’t there? I think we were born and brought up during the best period. Along with the evolution of the television - the television spread when we were very young and beginning to understand things, and we grew up at the same speed as TV the TV caught on. We were lucky in that we were able to absorb many things , both good and bad. I wonder how the kids who grow up with the anime nowadays are going to turn out in the future.

    — You mean they are biased from the beginning?

    A: I guess so. They watch those intricate images with shades and everything from the moment they start to be aware. The amount of information their mind has to process is huge. It’s very demanding. And it’s also scary that they begin with a preconception that they can take perfectly done CG for granted.

    I: You know Eva’s face shows up before Shinji in the first episode, right? That made me happy…it was like, “That’s Con-V!”

    A: Yeah, the first episode of ‘Con-V’ is the standard, orthodox way of doing it. All characters are gathered, and the robot is shown from the face first. In the manga “Mazinger,” beyond the startled face of Koji, there’s the face of the robot. You have a robot, and it has a face. . That’s what the face is there for.

    …— Actually I’ve heard that Mr. Izubuchi also took part in the designing of Neon Genesis Evangelion at that time, and I want to know about the story.

    I: The initial title was “The Flash Argion”, wasn’t it?

    A: The name changed a few times. The first one was Evan Gerion, but it was hard to remember and so we changed it. Then the next one had no impact (laugh). Finally it was named Jinzou Ningen [Artificial Human] Evan Gerion. It was also trashed because they said “Jinzou Ningen” sounded old fashioned, so the bit was removed.

    I: I gave out a couple of designs of Eva’s body. I got the rough sketch and some requests about the details from Anno-chan, and it was more like a (mechanical) robot than now.

    A: It wasn’t driven by motor gears or oil pressure, it was presented as an modified human being that moved with artificial muscles.

    I: I was told that they wanted a demon-like air. So I put the mouth, and the two eyes that looked like they are raw and staring. I ended up giving it four eyes (laugh).

    A: With just one eye, it was hard to recognize his face as such when he stood full-screen it as a silhouette. So we needed two eyes in order for it to look like a human shape. Absolutely two, I thought it needed two eyes.

    A: In the end, it’s about the difference between the “hero” genre and the “military.” Zaku57 has only one eye, and the reason why people recognize Gundam as a “hero” is because he has two eyes. Jim58 has no eyes at all. Neither does Gancannon nor Gantank. The reason why Gundam is the only one that sells so well is because that’s the only “hero” one among them.

    …— Did Mr. Anno aspire to be a director from the beginning?

    A: The motivation was that I didn’t want to waste the second episode of Top wo Nerae. Yamaga’s script was in the air, nobody would direct it, so I had to take the job. I wasn’t really hoping to go into directing.

    A: For me it was because I worked best with Robot Anime. In Nadia there were no robots appearing and I thought “Oh a robot would have made it much easier” (laugh). My favorite and best type of work is battleship or robots. With them, I run a good chance of succeeding. And the virtual enemy in the Top is Patlabor.

    I: Is it?

    A: Yeah. If Labor took the realistic line, I wanted to make a proper giant robot one. There was a background reason within the industry - the two movies were planned around the same time and they decided on Patlabor to go first. So when I saw it, there was no action at all and it ended right before the robots battle started, with a line “Rocket Punch!” I thought “You’ve gotta be kidding.” My plan was being scrapped by something like this? I wasn’t having it. Therefore, the virtual enemy at the time was Patlabor.

    …— In Eva, Mr. Anno’s work, the enemy is not a human shaped robot.

    A: If I made them human-shaped, it would have been much more work. They do battle properly in the first and the second episodes, but that was because at that time we still had resources to employ animators. In the fifth or sixth episode it was just done without.

    I: That’s what happens sometimes. If we make an impact strong enough to hook the audience in the first or the second episode, we can survive on it.

    A: Then we reduce the number of the character (drawings) and use more in the battle scenes. In Eva we used fewer than 4500 cels, but it looks like we used 6000 cels. That’s because we did that trick.

    I: You told me when I helped you with Eva that you would go for a straightforward, standard type of work, didn’t you? How did it end up the way it did?

    A: Strange, isn’t it? There was a point when I adopted an anything-goes attitude, and I went with the flow, and the result was something entirely different from the original plan. It was really strange. For me the initial idea was Mazinger and Gundam.

    I: You said that you were thinking of a big happy ending. It was a kind of happy end, but wasn’t it different from what you were thought of in the beginning?

    A: Yeah, it feels different. I think it’s strange.

    I: Strange…? (laugh).

    A: It changed gradually…

    I: I felt you were a bit worried about the genre itself. The genre of giant robots was almost extinct except the Tokusatsu Sentai Robo at that period.

    A: Yeah. I wanted to work with proper giant robots, not designed primarily as toys, but designed with a perspective in the real world. But it’s strange that it turned out like that.

    I: I think as a result it was good, but I remember there was a point of time when it was suddenly elevated to a subculture status. And it was becoming irrelevant to the passion for robots you have, and taken out of context to a different direction. Watching it, I felt like “Ah, Anno is getting crushed…”

    A: In that way… I didn’t plan it like that. It was very strange.

    I: How did you plan it?

    A: I planned to do it more like stereotyped. See, it was like, the father is making the robots, and there is a laboratory, and the robot comes out from the basement, it is introduced in the first episode, then the enemy comes out, and they fight… Basically it’s the orthodox line.

    — Then why?

    I: That’s what everyone wants to know (laugh).

    A: Why…? It just turned out like that. I guess it’s because I was trying to incorporate ideas from many people around, it just went in that direction. I didn’t mind, that was OK the way it went too. Maybe I have multiple personality. I don’t even understand myself.

    I: Maybe the influence of Makky (Tsurumaki Kazuya) and Masa (Masayuki) was big, right?

    A: Yeah, and also others like Mr. Satsukawa (Akio), Enokido (Yōji), Shin-chan (Higuchi Shinji), and Mr. Honda (Yuu), Mr. Iso (Mitsuo), and lot of others are all mixed in me. Well… I did plan to work in Gundam

    A: I think that there is no one who can create from scratch, except the very few geniuses…[lines missing]…An entirely original work from scratch, I think, is the result of those very few people’s brains short-circuiting or something, producing totally new ideas.

    I: If it were presented straightforwardly, it would be seen as mad.

    A: Yeah. After all, it’s a simple matter of basing your work on a predecessor’s but not getting too close to the work it’s based on, that kind of level, I think. Like if my parents didn’t speak Japanese I wouldn’t be speaking Japanese, basically that’s the way human life is, and you can’t go forward if you get too stuck in trying to be original. But I can’t tolerate over-sampling (of other’s work).

    A: The world we are living in today is no longer a world where brute force is the answer to problems. But soon it will be again a “power is justice” world, and then the robot work will revive, I think.

    I:Yes, as the world changes for the worse that is possible….

    A: All the same, we solve everything with power. The baddy has to GO! by the Spacium59

    I: I wonder what is that (laugh).

    A: In the end it’s like this!! (a pose of Ultraman) All the enemy is smashed!! That’s it. But not now…

Anata to Watashi no Gainax

Untranslated Kodansha interviews with Gainaxers:

  • Takami Akai (introduction/background, biography):

    1. first half
    2. second half
  • Hideaki Anno (introduction/background, biography)

    1. First interview:
      • part 1 (Nadia & death discussion, another description of Japan as childish?)
      • part 2 (anime bubble)
      • part 3; Numbers-kun translation:

        I think, since the 1960s, there has been nothing but counterculture. Something was there, and you react against it; in the end you react again, against the [initial] reaction. It was just this cycle of repetition. Now, there is nothing left to react against, so creative activity has been reduced to nothing but recycled, “copy-collage” type works. The works created today are only made by “copying and pasting.” I think there is no choice left but to do this. Today, when the potential of each individual has been lowered to this extent, and only the amount of information has increased, there is more or less nothing but copying and pasting.

        I do believe that someday this situation, along with the situation of contemporary Japanese society, will change, but… If a single missile just now fell on Tokyo, it would no longer be the time and the place to create anime. “Are you making bishojo anime at a time of emergency like this‽” (laughs) However, in contemporary society, there would still be far more people who would rather watch bishojo anime than news reports about the missile that fell on Tokyo.

        – Among people who draw manga in Europe, there are many who have studied drawing professionally, and there are great differences in visual designs and so on. However, the otaku mentality is no different [there] than it is in Japan. You even see people doing things like drawing manga and applying for prizes for newcomers from Japanese manga magazines. Otaku easily cross national boundaries.

        Anno: I feel that otaku have already become common to all countries. In Europe, in Korea, in Taiwan, in Hong Kong, in America, otaku really do not change. I think that this is amazing. I say critical things towards otaku, but I don’t reject them. I only say that we should take a step back and be self-conscious about these things. I think it’s perfectly fine so long as you act with an awareness of what you are doing, self-conscious and cognizant of the current situation. I’m just not sure it’s a good thing to reach the point where you cut yourself off from society. I don’t understand the greatness of society, either. So I have no intention of going so far as to call for people to give up otaku-like things and become more suited to society. Only, I think there are many other interesting things in the world, and we don’t have to reject them.

        However, I take offense when otaku are criticized by non-otaku. Stupid idiots, I think, [criticizing] though you don’t understand anything (laughs). There are truly many people who don’t seem to really understand. I know these things without being lectured to by these people. It’s like, why now? But saying those things are still better. There are many who completely missed the mark. When people don’t even try to understand speak about otaku as though they were far above them, I think: what stupid people.

        – I have a strong impression that you have separated yourself from anime in recent years. I imagined that perhaps one reason for this was that you grew sick of making the things that fans of contemporary anime want. Was this the case?

        Anno: If we think [of anime] purely in terms of service, then it’s probably fine to straightforwardly make what the customers want. I think that offering services other than those desired [by the customers] is still service [eg. ‘poison’]. It’s difficult. I think it’s less that I got sick of it, than that I gave up [became resigned].

        Anime fans, in a narrow sense, do not change. I resigned myself to the fact that their understanding would probably not change in my lifetime. Of course, they are conforming to a single standard. As long as they are alive, they only like the same things. They’re not looking for change. They endlessly seek the same pleasures. Even if you say that other interesting things exist, they can’t be bothered. It’s something they didn’t ask for and don’t care for. I have my own extreme likes and dislikes in regard to food, so I can’t be finding all these faults with other people (laughs). I’ve been told, “you should eat meat, because it’s really delicious,” but I don’t eat it. Meat doesn’t seem like food [to me]. So, I’m sorry (laughs). I’m sure it’s delicious, but I have no intention of eating it. I’m fine with yakko [tofu]. I would rather eat 250 yen hiyayakko than meat which cost tens of thousands of yen. Because of this I can’t really say anything. Or should I say: I, too, am truly an otaku (laughs).

      • part 4
    2. Second interview:
    3. Third interview:
      • part 1 (mention of Evangelion 2?)
      • part 2 (remark that ‘this [NGE] is interesting’, parallel Newtype?)
      • part 3; excerpt translated by Numbers-kun:

        Anno: Part of the “theme” of making Eva was, “having pride in the work.” That was all I tried to do, regardless of if [people] praised or degraded it. So, I hoped to make a work that would not make people ashamed who uttered the word “Eva” in public. For example, at the work place [someone] says, “Last night’s Evangelion was boring,” and, being asked by someone who doesn’t know about it, “What’s that?”, replies, “There’s this anime on now.” So, when the person who learns about it watches it [with the idea], “if there’s an anime like that, maybe I’ll try watching it a little,” I wanted to make a work where, apart from whether they become interested in it or not, they wouldn’t think that it was something childish. Of course, anime is fundamentally something childlike or childish. I don’t think that people who are mentally adults feel a need to watch it. Even so, I wanted to have an ounce of pride before society. Instead of just wanting 20,000 anime fans to enjoy it, [I wanted] a vector aiming towards the outside, even if just by a little. However, the result was, in the end, that I went in a direction that was really popular among anime fans, so in the end I felt that I, too, was an otaku. (laughs)

        …I feel that my strong emotion towards works like Yamato and Gundam, or the feeling that I wanted to surpass those works, has subsided within me. I wonder if this is a kind of resignation. I feel, as things stand, that I can’t beat Yamato and Gundam. It has nothing to do, I think, with having something good enough to beat them; I can’t beat the works and the people of that era. Also related to this are the circumstances of the era in which I grew up, so it’s probably something I can’t do anything about. Because, actually, there has yet to emerge anyone from my generation who has beaten Yamato and Gundam. This is absolutely my personal perspective, but, as to whether or not [people] felt the same impact from Eva as I received back when I saw Yamato and Gundam, I feel like Eva is still lacking. If we compare according to the current moment, then perhaps I am capable of creating more interesting works than [the current] Tomino-san. However, I feel I am far from being a match for the Tomino-san of the time of Gundam and Ideon. …I watched robot anime endlessly, and the impact I felt when I was nineteen years old was [that of] Gundam. “Those robot anime… have become something like this!” For me, this impact can never be surpassed. The impact of the first episode of the first Gundam was that powerful. There was an energy like the G-armor having to come out [?] [in episode 24?], an energy like, even though the chains of robot anime up to this point were still wrapped around it, from here on out it was going to do something new. That energy was amazing. In Gundam, there was very much an antithesis or a counter to the thesis that had been built up by robot anime up to that point. I was deeply affected by that. Compared with that, Eva is still a long ways off. Even though I produced as much energy as I could, I feel like it didn’t have the same degree of impact. …Yamato is the same way. The original broadcast was when I was fourteen years old. At that time I was in the second year of junior high school, and was being told by my parents and friends, “You’re still watching anime?” “At your age, you should stop looking at things like manga; cut it out and grow up.” Well, I think they had a point. However, when I was in second year, Yamato was the show I was not ashamed of talking to my friends [about]. As no one watched it in those days, I would proselytize it to my friends and even to people outside my class. “Don’t watch ‘Army of the Apes,’ watch this!” Or, “Don’t watch ‘Heidi,’ watch this!” There was hardly anyone who listened. (laughs) At that time, I liked juvenile SF and military history, and there were manga that fulfilled [my desire for] the things I liked. [Yamato] met my interests resoundingly. It was a program that I, in my second year, was not embarrassed to watch, and which convinced me that, “as I thought, it’s fine to read manga.” If I hadn’t seen Yamato in my second year, I would probably not have read manga any longer after that….The memories of these personal experiences are ingrained within me. [?] I think the different appeals of Yamato and Gundam are also in Eva, but from my own perspective, I can’t create something that exceeds the impression I felt seeing Yamato at the age of fourteen. I can’t go beyond the impact I felt when I was nineteen and, having continually watched robot anime since the time I was a child, saw the first episode of Gundam. It seems extremely difficult to be capable of beating the memories inside of me. I have the desire to surpass them, but on the other had, I am resigned to the fact that I can’t do it. If I myself change, then maybe I can find a different approach. I feel, at least for now, that it can no longer be something like Evangelion. Perhaps it can’t be that sort of desperate and pressurized work. Something a little bit more pleasant would be good, I think.

      • part 4 (marriage, food)
  • Shinji Higuchi (introduction/background, biography)

    1. First interview:
    2. Second interview:
    3. Third interview:
    4. Fourth interview:
  • Tadashi Hiramatsu (introduction/background, biography); this interview has been fully translated into English which is fortunate because only one page out of ~7 survives
  • Yasuhiro Kamimura (introduction/background, biography)

    1. First interview:
    2. Second interview:
    3. Third interview:
  • Masayuki (introduction/background, biography)

    1. First interview:
    2. Second interview:
    3. Third interview:
  • Showji Murahama (introduction/background, biography)

    1. First interview:
    2. Second interview:
  • Masahiko Otsuka (introduction/background, biography)

    1. First interview:
    2. Second interview:
    3. Third interview:
  • Toshimichi Otsuki of King Records (introduction/background, biography)

    1. First interview:
    2. Second interview:
  • Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (introduction/background, biography):

    1. First interview:
      • part 1; e summarizes:

        Sadamoto based his manga on original materials relating to the anime (script etc) - he does refer to asking Anno questions like “What is this?” and Anno would side-step the issue by replying “What indeed?”. Sadamoto points out that Evangelion was deliberately made to be ambiguous and feels this is one of its good points.

      • part 2
      • part 3
    2. Second interview:
    3. Third interview:
    4. Fourth interview:
  • Hiroki Sato (introduction/background, biography)

    1. First interview:
    2. Second interview:
    3. Third interview:
    4. Fourth interview:
  • Yasuhiro Takeda (introduction/background, biography)

    1. First interview:
    2. Second interview:
    3. Third interview:
    4. Fourth interview:
  • Kazuya Tsurumaki (introduction/background, biography)

    1. First interview:
      • part 1
      • part 2; partial translation:

        Tsurumaki: I wonder about that. On the contrary, I am frequently told by Anno or Yoshiyuki Sadamoto that things are not [sensual] enough.

        — If we’re talking about ecchi then it’s not enough, but you get the feeling of an extremely mysterious eros.

        T: Well, maybe I can’t bring it out directly because of my shyness, but I put ecchi elements into [the work] in my own way. [The elements] are there, but rather than a direct, “taking the breasts out” sort of thing, it’s a bit concealed. I like when it’s covered up and comes out indirectly. So, the people who notice it will probably think it is ecchi. However, Anno expresses it like… “I love breasts!” From the perspective of someone like Anno, the impression [of what I do] is probably, “what a boring thing to be doing.”

        — I’ve read that, for Evangelion, you were fixated on Rei Ayanami taking on the qualities, or at least something of the qualities of a human being, but in Rei Ayanami’s [original] settei, [she was a] sensual [character].

        T: She’s Shinji’s mother genetically, and yet a classmate he’s interested in. Furthermore there would be a sense of, not her being [Shinji’s] father’s lover, but of her receiving [from him] an affection like that of a lover’s. That was the suggestive situation. Because of this settei, with its extremely tangible eroticism, I thought, at first, that it would be amazing if we did this in an anime.

        However, I think that [sensual] feeling was brought about by Sadamoto [and not Anno]. I think that Anno prefers a more direct eros over that sort of mysterious sensuality. It might be a misunderstanding on my part, but Anno is frank to the point of saying things that are not usually said, and a sort of nuance suggesting “to express things frankly is adult” can be felt [in his works]. Even in Aim for the Top! there is dialogue which makes reference to Noriko’s menstruation60. When I saw that part I was taken aback a little (laughs). Anno wants to insert that sort of element. Even Nadia of the Mysterious Seas was like that, with lines that you might think were better left out. So, I think Rei Ayanami’s kind of eros was probably suggested by Sadamoto [rather than Anno].

        — In that regard, I suppose you aren’t one of those people who expresses things frankly.

        T: I was still making the final part of FLCL, working every day at the office, even though the New Year was about to arrive, when I received a phone call from Anno-san. It seemed that he had somehow gathered his acquaintances and was holding a year-end party. He told me that Katsuhiko Nishijima-san, the director of Project A-Ko (’86) and Agent Aika (’00 [actually 1997]), said that he had something to say to me, so he would put him on. So Nishijima-san went off on me, shouting, “why are you making such pretentious anime!” (laughs) “Breasts and panchira - that’s kind of stuff, that’s anime!!”

        Well, Nishijima-san was drunk, but I did my best to talk with him, telling him that I express my own sort of eros. But Nishijima-san would no longer accept this at all (laughs). I got chewed out through the telephone receiver, like, “that’s useless!” This despite the fact that I had hardly ever talked with Nishijima-san before (laughs). I don’t have anyone who speaks to me that frankly. Really, I was grateful for it.

      • part 4
    2. Second interview:
    3. Third interview:
    4. Fourth interview:

      —Yoshiyuki Sadamoto-san has previously said that “Tsurumaki understands moe better than I do.” When I read the definition you wrote - “the individual act of compensating for a lack of information in regards to a particular character” - I thought it was absolutely right.

      Tsurumaki: I wrote that about three years ago. I feel like the meaning of the word moe has become fragmented in the course of its becoming popular, but I think that, in the beginning, the phenomenon of moe was an act of compensation. I don’t think it was the case that moe was [something] depicted in works. I think that moe existed on the side of the audience, and it was an impetus that grew spontaneously within audiences. I feel that recent anime, in trying to incorporate moe [directly] into the works, has come to an unfortunate state.

      I don’t think [moe is] like that. I’m sure you’ve had an experience where it’s just as if a “serious work” unrelated to moe causes all the more moe feelings precisely on account of its being “serious.” I thought it was essentially the sort of activity [that came] solely from the side of the audience…The term “mecha moe” exists as well, so it surely isn’t simply a feeling directed towards cute girls. I think my thinking this is probably due to the fact that I myself have been a “good viewer.” Meaning that, in the eyes of those who create the works, I am a “suitable audience.” I completely imagine by myself those things that are not depicted. On my own, I involve myself emotionally with the characters, and I work out the consistency of the undepicted parts. Among the viewers of anime, there were many more or less like this, in a sense, “diligent people.” Maybe you could say that, filled with my imaginings concerning these characters, I fell in love with them in my own way. (laughs) You’re not intending to make [the audience] fall in love with this character, you’re not presenting [that character] with the intention to make them fall in love, but there are viewers who develop romantic feelings for [that character] in their own way; those people, I think, are otaku. So I imagine that moe has its origins in anime as a genre.

      It might be that a work like Sailor Moon was self-conscious [of this]. After that, Evangelion made it into a system. From the beginning [Eva] intentionally produced gaps and made the audience fill them. Eva was the most powerful moe anime. Nowadays, it’s a real mess, with [scenarios?] like, “twelve younger sisters.” [Sister Princess] Insofar as [people] try to make moe because “moe sells,” moe disappears. Now the meaning of moe has changed. Only the word is left, and the meaning has been hijacked. [Moe] is no longer moe.

  • Shigeru Watanabe of Bandai Visual (introduction/background, biography)

    1. First interview:
    2. Second interview:
    3. Third interview:
    4. Fourth interview:

2003 S

…This is the opening for EVANGELION: DEATH and an introductory part of Bach’s unaccompanied cello suite #1 played by a boy who looked just like Shinji.

…This BGM was played also when the Strategic Self Defense Forces attack the NERV HQ. The established ferocious image of the BGM actually emphasizes that the enemy for humans are other humans. [cf. Blue Christmas, Battle of Okinawa]

…As the title [“The Beast”] indicates, this song is used mainly in the scenes where the EVA unit goes out of control just like a beast. [Not an Antichrist reference]

…The coordination of the song was done by the executive producer, Mr. Toshimichi Otsuki (however, his name is not on the credits in the film). He requested to change the streaming melody into a crispy notching style in the demo stage. To support the atmosphere aimed by Mr. Otsuki for the opening direction, the anime staff pushed themselves with rapidly changing edits which reflect their amazing efforts and good sense. As per Director Anno’s request, we cut out the male chorus in order to emphasize maternal affection for the opening song.

…This one [“Asuka Strikes!”] is also a cheerful song with the country style to bring out the charming point of Asuka’s unyielding spirit. Further, ASUKA’S THEME was played for Rei’s appearance scene as a transfer student in the World of Possibility, the last episode of the TV series, and MISATO’S THEME was played when Asuka was introduced as Shinji’s childhood friend. I wonder if these are also an audio indicator for giving the suggestion of “another possibility.”

…The production of DEATH and REBIRTH was announced and was supposed to be a brand new story for the final episode; however, the concept of the story got so big that the real final episode was carried over to that summer. And it was decided in haste that the middle of episode 25, AIR was drawn instead. Although such a fact was already announced prior to the opening, loud stirring noises were echoed in the theater when the beginning of the song started playing in the scene with the EVA series. The world of the endless summer that was described in EVANGELION is the season of incidents that lets a boy grow or the season that has a lot of homework in store. So it’s no coincidence that the final episode was released in summer. [gatotsu911: Is he implying that the film was deliberately held back to get a summer release?? Oh Anno, you rascal!]

…21. Expansion of Blockage

This is the most amazing BGM that is played dramatically throughout the TV series and the movies. It is no less than impressive that throughout this nearly 7 minute long BGM the pictures are perfectly in synch. Director Anno previously made a comment that he wanted to “break down the blockage” in his TV anime making. He thinks that one of the reasons EVANGELION had such a huge success is that this blockage that he talked about synchronized with general society’s own blockage.61 Apparently this series jumped out from the frame of anime and became the EVANGELION boom; however, it’s not like it was delivered to society. More or less society stepped into the world of EVANGELION…? In contrast to the more open visual scenes (set aside either from self-ridicule or sarcasm), it is a title that consciously expresses something.

  1. THE HEADY FEELING OF FREEDOM (OP Strings)

Although it came to such a climax when Episode 24 of EVANGELION was aired on TV, none of the mysteries were solved in the last show, Episode 25 [sic]. Due to the consistent effort to portray an avant-grade, play-like depiction using experimental techniques, fans’ shock and confusion were not measurable. It was just like Shinji would say, “You have betrayed me!” However if you watch AIR and SINCERELY YOURS along with the last two episodes from the TV series, you’ll realize their stories have common story lines although their expression methods are different from each other. Coincidentally, we have put together Track 21 and 22’s strings, and Track 23 and 24’s piano’s beginnings and endings which are naturally connected to make a suite from the last two songs from the TV series and movies.

  1. Good, or Don’t Be. (OP - 2D type)

Generally an in instrumentally arranged opening theme is used very often in the film as a BGM, but in EVANGELION, only previously mentioned Track 22 and this one are used in the final episode. Therefore, this song would have become a suitable song to decorate the finale with such a sense of accomplishment. The TV series ended with the impact of destroying a stereotype that in an anime’s final episode everything had to be settled.

  1. Opening of a Dream (Piano - Leave It To Version)

Shinji’s independence that he bid farewell to his mother and chose to live in the world of others despite the fact that he would hurt others is portrayed in this song with a somewhat sad piano solo. It is as if it suggested the relationship between the project of EVANGELION and audiences.

[Komm, Süsser Tod / Come, Sweet Death]…Opposite from the rhythmical arrangement, Director Anno’s lyrics have a sense of heartrending sorrow. MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM III ENCOUNTER IN SPACE (’82) is a project which used the song written by the general director in the crucial scene of the final version.

…This CD concludes with this phantom song that we once planned to use as “one other possibility” along with Track 25. By the way, during the production of this album, we received news that Hollywood will shoot EVANGELION as a live action film. Who will play each character? Will EVA and Angels be drawn with computer graphics? (or played by people in rubber suits? Unlikely!) How about the view of the world? What about the story? And the music that will color the film… we’d like to look forward to it with you.

Refrain of Evangelion OST booklet; full transcript, partial SSD transcript

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion 2

  • Classified Information; Newtype USA says NGE2 draws on 10 hours of interviews with Anno, but it’s unclear what of the CI is straight from Anno and what is from the game-makers; see the forum debates on canonicity.
    • Kaworu’s Good Ending includes considerable background not included in the CI; but as this is just one possible ending, it’s probably even less canon than the CI…

http://web.archive.org/web/20071214012009/www.cjas.org/~leng/otakingdom.htm Leng following Toshio Okada around

The Japanese saw the American cartoons and decided they wanted to see cartoons like it on TV regularly. However, this was considered a financial impossibility, because animation is actually more expensive than live action. Mr. Osamu Tezuka, the father of modern manga, actually solved this problem in his production of the famous “Tetsuwan Atom” (“Mighty Atom” or “Astro Boy”) - his solution was to pay poor people low wages to do the work. (His studio went bankrupt three times, however.)

Finally, there was a stigma associated with being an adult; adults were, at some level, “denied.” Not only is a child’s growth to adulthood seen as acquiring responsibilities, but it is also seen as the person becoming more polluted or dirty.

Hence (Mr. Okada argues), Hollywood coming-of-age movies show characters growing up and becoming mature, but Japanese culture prefers to show characters going back to the innocence of being a child.

Effects in Anime The Japanese society post-war, then, inherited the combined heavy weight of love of now with a deep distrust of adults.

The 1960s-1970s saw this attitude in the TV anime creative staff. The products therefore placed a sort of faith or belief in children, and likewise showed the issues and problems of adulthood.

This resulted in the strange phenomenon that children’s anime and manga became full of adult themes such as racism, rape, and poverty - and the adults did not mind the 10 year old kids seeing these issues. (When I asked Mr. Okada later for examples of these shows, he said they were too numerous to count. My impression is that shojo (girls’) manga dealt frequently with issues of rape, and I know an example of a manga that touches upon racism is the classic Cyborg 009 manga.)

Don’t Forget Merchandising…. However, remember that anime also had to sell merchandise to be profitable.

So now these heavy societal issues of racism, rape, and so on, are combined with giant robots and superheroes.

…What about women otaku? Mr. Okada said that, of the 600,000 people who attend the Japanese Comic Market, 60% are actually female. If one just watches TV, one sees mostly males because the women are far more likely to run away from cameras. In fact, Mr. Okada went on to explain, women are very good at hiding otakuness. Males may wear embarrassing otaku T-shirts on the trains on the way to Comic Market, but the females wear staid business suits and pumps, and only once at the destination will they change in the bathrooms into their embarrassingly otaku cosplay clothes. (The applicable Japanese word is “gitai,” implying camouflage or mimicry.) While men do not hide their otaku-ness from their wives, otaku wives apparently are very good at hiding their otaku-ness from their husbands, keeping their doujinshi and erotic doujinshi purchases in a hidden cache.

…Perhaps the biggest influence on anime from the game industry (in Mr. Okada’s view) is the idea of having multiple possible endings (“another scenario”). Hence, it now happens that a TV show may have a happy ending, but the video of the same story may have a tragic ending.

Has the US market influenced Japanese anime production? Not very much, not yet. Japan has only just figured out that many Americans like anime. Japan still makes a number of visible blunders in dealing with depictions of the West. An example is that the Japanese tend not to differentiate between Protestants and Catholics in anime - they are all just “Christian.” So supposedly Western graveyards will all be filled with upright crosses instead of any other style of headstone, and every authority figure in a church must be a priest. When feedback started arriving about these issues, the Japanese reaction was a startled, “Oh really?”

A person in the audience noted that he actually enjoys seeing the Japanese view of Western culture, seeing his own culture transformed in the eyes of a different culture. Mr. Okada noted that American films also portray Japanese culture in mistaken ways that amuse the Japanese. For example, the film “Rising Sun” had Japanese scenes that were accompanied by strangely Chinese music. “Even now, Americans can’t figure out the difference between Japanese and Chinese!” was the apparent reaction; and Mr. Okada noted the Japanese and Chinese are as different as hydrogen and helium (which anyone familiar with science will know are two extremely different atoms with hugely different properties!).

Mr. Anno (“Evangelion”) apparently never read the Bible, despite the heavy Christian symbology of his work; he just (according to Mr. Okada) picked out a few interesting technical terms. Likewise, the anime creation staff might open a book on psychology and, rather than read it thoroughly, simply go through it picking out “great technical terms” to use in the anime!

…If American amateurs were to make anime with computers, the online equivalent of doujinshi manga, what would the Japanese community reaction be? Mr. Okada thought “They would probably be happy.” However, one big difference is that Japanese creators don’t worry about copyrights (unlike in the U.S.). Most mangaka remember copying their favorite authors when they were starting out, so they don’t feel they can complain. Only high level publishing or anime studio executives tend to complain about copyright violations. In fact, Mr. Kenichi Sonoda, who writes the “Bubblegum Crisis” manga, apparently likes receiving doujinshi of his work, including erotic doujinshi depicting his characters in sexual situations. “How lucky I am to be able to read this without having to write it myself!” is his apparent attitude.

… How have otaku in Japan changed in the past 20 years due to the influence of computers? Mr. Okada said that, in the past 10 years, otakus have seen less and less of a need to hide their otakuness. But more than this, the Internet helps them connect with other otakus and make friends. However, a drawback is that they no longer sit under tremendous pressure - the dual pressure of loving anime and of yet having no outlet. The dual pressure often led to the person going out and doing something, but now, the fact they have outlets means they don’t have the pressure pushing them to action any more.

…Why is Japanese doujinshi seemingly of a higher quality level than American material? First of all, American society as a whole does not encourage emulation and copying; it is not very good at it. Mr. Okada said he believes creativity is built upon emulation. Japan is very good at emulation and copying, and children in Japan who like manga start copying manga at an early age, perhaps as young as six or seven. Moreover, the dedicated children are always, always drawing - they would be drawing or doodling through Mr. Okada’s lecture.

…Ideally, a project will have three people. “Daicon III” had three core members: Mr. Takami Akai, Mr. Anno, and Mr. Okada. Each was determined to carry on even if one of the others left - and supposing one of them fell over dead, Mr. Okada himself would have felt the responsibility of finding a replacement. (That responsibility is the role of the producer - and should the producer leave, a replacement should be found!) However, three people may be a luxury - most projects around the world have only one or two core committed people. The idea of committing to a questionable project (in a form of “Banzai attack”) is perhaps (Mr. Okada said) not a very smart one that would appeal to MIT people. After all, it might be folly to commit to something without knowing if you can actually succeed. But it is what is necessary. (And I argued that MIT people often do these kinds of projects with such things as MIT pranks.)

…Why is Japanese anime still sticking with the traditional large eyes, small noses, small mouths, and strangely colored big hair? Because it is an established art style (much like every artistic era’s notions of beautiful art styles) that the fans love. Mr. Oshii is among those who don’t like it - he also doesn’t like cute female characters that encourage a growing sense of attraction and connection - however, since he can’t find or develop a new style, he chooses to make anime that looks realistic instead.

http://web.archive.org/web/20080504115217/www.mit.edu/people/rei/manga-okadaluncheon.html

Among the most notable of the “Dropouts” are names such as Tomino, Miyazaki, and Oshii. An example of the changes these people brought to the animation industry is “Umino Toriton” - a 70s series that started off stereotypically with the good, peaceful society of Toritons (Tritons?) fighting the “evil” Poseidons. The last episode of the series, however, was anything but kiddie stuff: our 10 year old hero destroys all of the evil Poseidons in a single powerful flash of light. Practically the last scene of the series is of this child asking “What have I done?” (Of course, this kind of deep-thinking anime would see a historic pinnacle in the original “Gundam” series that aired around 1980.)

…First off, in Japan, animation doesn’t pay well. Mr. Okada, toward the end of the evening, remarked that not a single Japanese animator has yet gotten a house with an attached pool. Apparently, the director of “Gundam” had long ago insisted that someone in the industry needed to get a house with a pool, but even now, years later, no one has gotten enough money to afford this luxury.

Secondly, the job demands dedication. Mr. Leiji Matsumoto, creator of “Captain Harlock” and “Galaxy Express 999,” apparently was talking with Mr. Okada and Mr. Hideaki Anno at one point, and remarked: “Any man that takes more than four baths in a year cannot do anything truly great!” The idea: a person who truly devotes himself heart and soul to a project won’t have the time or inclination to bathe for months on end. But the truly shocking part of the story was that Mr. Anno, standing next to Mr. Okada, was nodding and making noises of agreement!

… “Daicon IV” was deliberately made to be the same length and cel count as “Daicon III” - however, its particular theme was slightly darker, along the lines of destroy the old to create the new. It also played with the fun of half-losing one’s sanity - the semi-insanity necessary to devote oneself to anime.

For example, an audience member happened to ask about the “GAINAX bounce,” a characteristic jiggling of the female cartoon character’s breasts. This was apparently introduced in “Daicon IV” by Mr. Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, who added in the margin of the animation instructions: “Make this scene a little erotic (H).” The animation industry reacted with shock to this animation (“Is it OK to do this kind of thing?”) and of course the technique was promptly adopted by other animation houses, including Cream Lemon’s porn features.

With “Evangelion,” Mr. Okada said the animators were not quite confident about it, so they ran a manga 4 months before, both to garner some popularity as well as increase the odds of funding. http://web.archive.org/web/20080504115212/www.mit.edu/people/rei/manga-okada.html

Regarding that interview segment, the onscreen text listed him as “Shon Hernandez”. According to the Otaku no Video liner notes, that’s a reference to Shon Howell and Lea Hernandez, “who, together with Craig York (the real person in this segment), were the core of General Products USA.”

I read an interesting interview with Lea Hernandez where she talks about Craig York being filmed for Otaku no Video.

… At Fanimecon 2003, Gainax-member Hiroki Sato mentioned that he was one of the Otaku no Video interviewees, and that unlike the other interviews which required some setup time, they just came to his home and starting filming. My best guess is that he was the garage kit otaku, who was listed as “Sato Hiroshi (pseudonym)”. If that was him, he had quite a place ^_^;

http://web.archive.org/web/20071104075936/www.cjas.org/~leng/onvlive.htm

…Before the series hit the airwaves, a RahXephon manga by Takeaki Momose was published. “I wasn’t heavily involved with it”, Izubuchi says, believing that it wouldn’t be as interesting if both versions were exact replicas in narrative. Although the setting was discussed with Momose to establish the parameters, the artist was asked to create the manga freely.

“We decided to debut the manga before the show, otherwise the anime would finish much earlier”, he explains. “I think it’s much better to synchronize the endings. For example, the manga of Evangelion is still running…and the show finished years ago!”

– Amos Wong (February 2003). “Interview with Yutaka Izubuchi” Newtype USA Vol. 2. n 2. pp. 14-15

2003 T

  • 2003-kirkpatrick-likeholdingabird.txt
  • 2003-lightandsound-eoereview.txt

“Not surprisingly, Neon Genesis Evangelion, which appeared in 1995, proves important. As with Aum Shinrikyo, this work also had dual implications, straddling the Era of Fiction and the Era of Animals. This anime is a work that initially aspired to grand narrative in a very straightforward way. As the title suggests, it is an evangelical narrative of human salvation. In any event, this grand narrative broke down spectacularly in the last episode of the TV series. Moreover, what appeared at the moment of its breakdown was the world of secondary or fan production. Specifically, what appeared in the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth episodes of the TV series Evangelion was the world of secondary production as already in circulation through the Comiket (comic market) and personal computer communications. In other words, its creators made a parody of the parody in advance. And, in their rather wonderful way, they pieced together an autocritique of their impasse.

In other words, in his effort to see this grand narrative through to the end, its director Anno Hideaki ultimately could not help but criticize the character industry, in order to preserve his status as author, as a matter of self-defense. Anno flirted with the impossible task of constructing a grand narrative in the 1990s, but in the end it proved impossible, and all that remained was Ayanami Rei as a moe kyara, that is, as an affective figure. In this respect, I think that the scene in the twenty-sixth episode of Evangelion in which Ayanami Rei appears running with bread in her mouth marks a turning point in otaku culture, the moment when the Era of Fictions became the Era of Animals, when the Era of Fictional Histories gave way to the Era of Affective Response to Characters (kyara moe). This is why Evangelion remains such an important work."

–“The Animalization of Otaku Culture”, Hiroki Azuma, translated in Mechademia 2 (pg175-189), originally published in the 2003 anthology edited by Azuma, Mōjō genron F-kai; marked Tertiary because Azuma does not seem to be drawing on information from his talks with Anno. Worth noting that his claim about NGE and moe appears nowhere in another essay of his, “Anime or something like it: Neon Genesis Evangelion”

http://members.efn.org/~dredmond/GV.html (Archive) The World is Watching: Video as Multinational Aesthetics 1967-1995, Dennis Redmond.

http://web.archive.org/web/20040301065812/http://escaflowneonline.com/eva/ideon.html “Evangelion, from 1980? Tomino’s version of Eva, made 15 years earlier”

Oshii: In the end, there just aren’t any designers. Right now, in anime, there’s a real shortage of designers who do artistic designs, which are absolutely necessary to work in the details. When a room like this is shown, it’s really just a box and there’s nothing to it. You don’t feel anything from the room, and it’s just a backdrop. The story part and the world part are completely separate. When you do that, the sentiments just run idle, and the story that you’re supposed to be telling loses its edge and becomes empty. With both movies and animated works, there’s a lot in them that you have to reinforce with visuals, which is even truer for sci-fi, where you need vast amounts of details and situations. It’s a lot of work even under normal circumstances, but now, there aren’t enough people. With Eva [Neon Genesis Evangelion], it was like all the people involved were designers, from the director to the animators, so they managed to hang in there until the end, but aside from unique studios like that, if you look at how well today’s studios can cope with the amount of details that a story requires, it’s hopeless.

Oshii: The story is set in Tokyo, but because it’s where the characters are, the town itself has to be a character, or rather, it needs to come to the foreground as unified presentation. For the longest time, backgrounds in animation were nothing more than something to fill the space behind the characters. Inside the house, there are walls and tatami mats on the floor, and if you go outside, if there are drainpipes, it would be an open lot. That was all there was to it. But in my projects, that’s not how it works. The background and the characters have to be even. You have to take it as far as making the character a part of the background, or you’re not really depicting a world. But-chan’s worked with me, so he understands that, and I think he also knows how much work that is.

O: I thought, ‘I haven’t seen this in a long time.’ I felt like I remembered seeing movies like this two or three times in the past. One was Eva, of course. Going even further than that, it would be another 17-18 years ago. Shou Kawamori’s [Shoji] theatrical version of Macross [Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love?] What they have in common, basically, is ‘fantasy’. Movies have a drama separate from the story. The drama is ‘how a certain person changes’. The story is ‘there’s a villain, and there are those wo oppose him, and how that develops’. When you look at that drama part, all three of them have something in common. In other words, it’s ‘the story of a vivid desire’ of a young boy. Ultimately, in a word…

Izubuchi: That’s what you say, but you’ve never summed it up in a word (laughs).

O: In other words, it’s the desire to see a girlfriend the same age as him accept everything, or that he wants to be reunited with her when he’s become an ‘older woman’, who will protect him.

O: No, no. The reason why is because modern young boys find girls their own age hard to deal with. They can’t keep up with the girls’ needs, and they can’t hold up. So, the desire on the part of the boy is ‘to be reunited with his girlfriend when she’s grown older than him’. I think it can be summed up that way.

O: If you sum up Eva, it’s ‘the aimless wandering of the soul of an introverted boy’. Macross is a movie that can be summed up as ‘wanting to date an older girl on Earth after a nuclear war’. And for that, they have a war in space and a nuclear attack on Earth. It’s about how forcefully you warp the world to realize one ambition. I think this is the most correct form of what sci-fi primarily should be. The issue is how brilliant the method is that is used for warping the world. In the case of Macross, they brought out giant carriers and robots. Eva was a little more evolved and created organizations and cities, trying to build a sense of the world. At any rate, those methods are the meat of the movie and the backbone or the nerves is turned towards the ambition. A fantasy holds meaning only when it possesses the details to convince people of it. Without that, it just becomes gibberish. If you can flesh out the fantasy, warp the world and force it to come together into one movie, it has a tendency to turn into something great, and it can’t help but become something great because the source material is so simple.

O: We advance the story by making it a rule that something is incomprehensible, even though it would be comprehensible with a little rational thought. That’s the kind of drama we depict. Over half of it is a world built on words. In other words, it’s a ‘fantasy story’, and there’s absolutely no need to brandish the word ‘realism’ in situations like that… And being mindful of that, I resettled myself again. Thinking, ‘That’s probably the direction it’s going to go in.’ But then, it didn’t go anywhere from there (laughs). By anywhere, I mean that when the girl says ‘I’m so-and-so’, and her identity becomes known, and when the main character confirms it, saying ‘You’re so-and-so, aren’t you?’ is when the story is supposed to end. A drama that can exist without that is actually no drama at all. Conflicts that develop due to the main character being immature can’t be called drama. The majority of the drama in Japanese animation is that sort of ‘unnecessary drama’. Drama that materializes because just one thing remains unsaid. Or dramas that materializes because the main character is immature. Like Eva is a drama that would end the instant he [Shinji] says ‘I’m going to take responsibility!’ Everything converges on that point. And how long you can stretch that out for determines how many episodes the series will last.

I: Oh, I think we might have dragged it out in the series.

O: I dislike that sort of thing. I dislike it.

Why I dislike stories based on trauma is because the drama ends when the main character is told the true nature of the trauma and he understands it. Because the drama is planned from the beginning to converge on that point, it’s not like any of the people have changed or anything. In other words, it’s not dialectic. As a movie, this doesn’t work at all. It’s an enormously easy way out that works only in Japanese animation, which provides details to feed the audience’s appetite. I think substantiating fantasy is probably our fundamental job for those of us working in animation or sci-fi or special effects movies. That’s why it’s undoubtedly the easy way. Endlessly, we start from that point and return to that point. This film is a product of that great trend and unmistakably takes that easy path. But with me, my theme is on how you can escape from that easy path. That’s why I can’t help but be conscious of it. And as for why it particularly caught my attention with RahXephon, side from the fact that I personally know But-chan, is that it hadn’t been done recently. After Eva ended, there were a mountain of shows similar to it, but all they did was trace the details. But none of them identified the true nature of it and tried to make a grand world out of the incredibly simple motive of ‘wanting to substantiate desire as a fantasy’. That was done here for the first time in a while, so I got to see something nostalgic somehow (laughs). And it even has a punch line at the end.

Oshii: The other thing I thought of was about copying. Quite aptly, Anno declared himself a copy, saying, ‘I’m a copy of a copy’. But this is a ‘copy of a copy of a copy’. In the future, there will undoubtedly be ‘a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy’, and undoubtedly, this chain of copies will continue. Animation has also already entered this world, and there no longer as such things as originals.

Izubuchi: But the easy path that you mentioned earlier is a part of a world that has existed since a long time ago.

O: That’s true, but in the case of Anno, he was aware of being ‘a copy of a copy’. In other words, that’s Anno’s stance. The very existence of self-consciousness, you could say it’s the position you’re standing in when creating something. Other directors aren’t even conscious that what they’re making are copies. Of course, I don’t mind at all if they are copies. We’ve been making movies for over 100 years, so new stories, new situations, and new scene allocations don’t exist. Everything references other things, and I’m fully aware of that. The issue is if you’re doing it intentionally and how conscious you are that what you’re making is a copy. These days, he fact that there is no controversy concerning copying in animation and that there’s no awareness of it is a big problem. In my mind, the greatest achievement of Eva is that it was self-aware of being a copy. That was a huge change, and it was a big turning point. That’s why I pay attention to Anno. Not about what he’s going to make next but as a situation.

–Mamoru Oshii & Yutaka Izubuchi, 23 May 2003, “Talk About RahXephon: In Search of Fantasy and Details” in RahXephon: The Motion Picture; note partial duplicate, of the ‘copy’ quote, in 2003 Primary

2004

2004 P

Hour: Why did you decide to direct the movie version of this anime? Were you a fan of Cutie Honey when you were younger? What did it mean to you?

Hideaki Anno: As a child I was a fan of the original author, Mr. Go Nagai….

Hour: What inspired you in making Cutie Honey in terms of its retro feel?

Anno: Since the original was created in the ’70s, I valued the original image. I think that the ’60s and ’70s were a time when energy was full of people, for Japan. Therefore, I thought that I wanted a spectator to remember the vitality of the time. I myself like the design line of the time, and think that it is more interesting than a present-day one. And I reflected it in the movie.

… Hour: What do you think is the message of Cutie Honey, or is it just about a pretty girl called Cutie Honey?

Anno: Strong will which responds to reality and makes a living. And power of surviving life.

“Flesh from fantasy: With the comely confection Cutie Honey, director Hideaki Anno gets into the skin of anime”, by Dimitri Katadotis for Hour (see also the uninteresting Anno quotes in “ANDROID ANGEL: ’70s anime sex symbol makes a rather demure comeback”, Asahi Shimbun)

“I wanted to say, ‘Don’t run into the virtual world of fiction, but live in an actual life,’” says Anno in an e-mail interview with the Mirror.

…He also earned a reputation as one of the most “controversial” filmmakers in Japan, and reporters accused him of being defensive and antagonistic at press conferences when asked about his followers’ reactions. He seems to have come to terms with negative feedback since then.

“A work is also a fan’s thing, from when it is released,” says Anno. “I think that they are free to react how they choose. However, I have recognized that there are many of those who judge people with insufficient sensitivity.”

Although Anno went on record admitting he liked the ending of his series, out of respect to his co-workers on the set, he buzzed off all his hair, which he says is an ancient Japanese custom that expresses remorse and taking responsibility for one’s actions.

“I shaved my head62 because the TV series was not completed in its original image,” he says. “My feeling of apologia was to the staff and the cast.”

“Sticky sweet: The anime-inspired Cutie Honey gets to the heart of the (live) action”, Montreal Mirror

“In fact, in his latest interview (still working, folks – have patience), Anno himself says that if/when he returns to anime, he could not make another Eva simply because he is a different and much happier person now. He attributes this partly to his marriage, and says that he would want to make a lighter, happier and faster-paced anime. (Now we know where the Cutey Honey live-action film came from…)”

Bochan_bird; in 2005 clarified it was a TV interview (Top Runner?)

Top Runner

According to a very frank and open 40-minute interview by Anno on the NHK TV program “Top Runner” (http://www.nhk.org.jp/tr/) about a week or so ago, all religious and philosophical references, while providing a coherent setting for the story, were used for the specific purpose of looking cool and to make Anno & company appear intelligent.

Anno himself called it “pedantry” (the display/parading of one’s intelligence)

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2004-May/001289.html; see also the forum discussion which links to Japanese transcripts:

SSD translation of key portion http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=353508#353508 :

’Interviewer: “Being a know-it-all…”

Anno: Yes. Escapism is a “medium”*, among other things. From behind reality, there’s a refuge when it comes to “equipment”. Sort of like winning a girl’s heart, it looks unpleasant. During the time we shouldered the film (97 was when it played in theaters) originally such plans were transparent. Audiences were doused with water** right away, something that enlightened them and made them want to go home. That’s the sort of thing I wanted it to be. And so, I picked up on that “service”.***

Anno: I think audiences picked up on a good thing. They continue to stay within their comfort zones, but I also think that one service in Eva’s case is it was already a hopeless atmosphere.

Anno: At least becoming enlightened seems to give a motive that it’s necessary to do something… That good thing seems to be what audiences say; the conclusion developed from that sort of thing. I can confidently say I picked up on such “service”.

Notes:

*This term was used in EoE. Best example comes from EoE’s Theatrical booklet: “[Medium (YORISHIRO)] An object which attracts divine spirits (= souls) or which acts as a media through which these spirits manifest themselves. In episode 26’, Fuyutsuki refers to Eva-01 as a”Medium" (Well of Souls) when SEELE uses it to create the Tree of Life."

**Purification ritual, akin to baptism that is performed before material arts and such. Because it sounds similar to “being hit with a bucket of cold water”, perhaps Anno is referring to how the start of EoE shocked audiences right away with the masturbation scene…

***Anno seems to mean fan-service as well as a general kind of “service” (favor/action) being performed for somebody else.

Numbers-kun translation of the same portion (but larger):

[Manami] Honjo: I feel there was, um, an extraordinary mania [for Evangelion]. I feel it really became a social phenomenon… Now, do you look back and think about what caused that?

Anno: I think that an atmosphere where [people] wanted to try and examine any “inner” thing suddenly intensified at that time.

Honjo: Things like a protagonist that in an extraordinary way, um, expressed his feelings in words, things like that left an incredible impression. I guess everyone was searching for that sort of thing.

Anno: That was the case at the time. Myself personally, I am ignorant of philosophy. I have never really done anything “philosophical.” Eva has been described in this way, but it is “pedantic” rather than [a work of] philosophy.

[A caption explaining pedantry: “To boast of one’s knowledge”]

Anno: Um, I think “pretending to know” is the closest expression. Pedantic…

Honjo: “Pretending to know”…

Anno: It means that, if I use this word, even though I don’t really understand it, then I appear intelligent… (slight audience laughter). That was [the case with] Eva. However, things that seemed intelligent suddenly appeared “cool.” “There’s something hidden, isn’t there?” I think, getting to that point, that was the methodology [of Eva]… How do I put it - for me film is a “service industry.” The customers supply the money, if it’s a movie [they] come to see it paying 1000 [yen] or so, so your job, I think, is to give back to the customers something interesting or something they enjoyed seeing of equal value to the 1000 or so that the customers paid. At least, since this is a service industry, you have to give the customers something like a “satisfied feeling.” I think you have to put that into the film. So, um, I feel the situation with Eva was that it was “too effective”…

[Shinji] Takeda: Too effective?

Anno: Yeah. Something like a “yorishiro” [vessel to which a kami is summoned] of escapism. It was increasingly becoming something like a “device” in which [people] were taking refuge from reality, but I felt disgusted seeing this. When the film was made (it opened in theaters in 1997), I expected this from the beginning, however, I wanted the viewers to wake up and return, dousing them, for the moment, with cold water… that [intention] was there. For me, this was also “service.” I think this was something good for the viewers. I think that continuing on that way, being in a comfortable place the whole time, is also one [kind of] service, but in the case of Eva I felt like I could no longer do this. I had to at least include a kind of impetus for them to wake up… I did that in the end, because it was something good for the viewers. For me that was also “service.”63

2004 S

Recent remarks by Gendo and Fuyutsuki of NERV seem intriguingly to confirm that certain details of the Angels differ in this version of events. Although the first Angel to appear, Sachiel [in Stages 1-5], had been previously assumed to be the Third Angel as so coded in the anime, it is now suggested that in this version of events it was actually the Second. Fuyutsuki commented that the Angel Sahaquiel [Stage 30]–the Tenth Angel as coded in the anime–was actually “[number] seven,” to which Gendo replied, “Yes. And five remain.” According to this differing classification, then, the Third Angel would be Shamshel [Stages 9-10], the Fourth, Ramiel [Stages 15-19], the Fifth, Gaghiel [Stage 20], and the Sixth, Israfel [Stage 22-26]. Note that the Angels Sandalphon and Matarael–the Eighth and Ninth respectively–have not appeared in this version of events, as they did in the anime where they followed Israfel and preceded Sahaquiel.

–Carl Horn, “Secrets of Evangelion: Special Dossier Section; Volume Five”; evidence of constant retconning

2004 T

  • 2004-kimigabuchi-retake.tgz

We got to the last two episodes and were so utterly confused, we didn’t know what to make of it. At the time I was upset with the ending, and felt cheated.

Over the next year, I watched the series numerous times, read every explanation I could find, combed fan sites, forums, anything I could take in to understand the ending. I don’t think it was until I spoke with Matt Greenfield at a panel at Otakon 2001 that I finally understood. I rewatched the show, and it all made a newfound sense. The catharsis, the introspection, it all resonated within myself. I cannot say when it began, but it was an epiphany that would become more and more apparent and integral within myself. I felt very much like Shinji at the very end of the series a little more each day. My depression faded, the apathy waned, and I began to find a respect for myself.

It seems odd to say that a “cartoon” is what helped you cope with feelings of depression and suicide, but its true. I can not say for certain whether I would still be alive, had I not been exposed to the show. It’s a very strange notion, one I’ve had trouble coming to terms with myself, and one I try very hard to convey to others, but its hard when its so personal.

–Aaron Clark, “Thank you Anno”

–Lawrence Eng, ‘A look at “The Four Revolutions of Anime”’; worthwhile stats about Eva, and decent Leng analysis

“Masturbation is better than conventional sex,” claimed Hachiro, a self-admitted virgin. “I guess I’m frightened of sex. I watch a lot of videos and read manga, and that’s about as far as I want to go.”

“I don’t know if it’s fear so much as a matter of getting along with objects better than people,” Hachiro said. “If it were possible to have sex with objects, then that would be a different matter.”

–Greenfeld, “The Incredibly Strange Mutant Creatures who Rule the Universe of Alienated Japanese Zombie Computer Nerds: (Otaku to You)”, Wired

2005

2005 P

Well. I think that the world of animation is cyclic and has not evolved much for 20 years. At the time, the large madness was around Zeta Gundam, and 20 years later, Gundam is in the news and very popular. With regard to Newtype, I will say that you do not have to be concerned. As long as there will be series of popular animation, the magazine will continue to exist. However, I think that the industry rests too much on large successes like Gundam, which you could call the “Old Type,” which is a little annoying with a magazine which is called Newtype. As I said earlier, the world of animation follows a regular cycle. The cover of the 10th anniversary issue was Evangelion, the cover of 20th is Gundam– thus it is logical that the cover of the 30th will again be Evangelion. You’d better reserve it as of now.

–Anno interview: http://www.evamonkey.com/2005/06/anno-hideaki-newtype-20th-annivesary.php

For the first time in ten years, some of them told the private episodes of those days. Producer Otsuki said he allowed Anno to do whatever he wanted in the anime except for the theme music. Otsuki was particular about the theme and handled the music staff by himself. No anime staff, even Anno, met the music staff, he said.

Miyamura who played Asuka revealed the movie’s final line “Kimochi warui”64 (Disgusting) was her idea, and it proved the rumor “Asuka’s final line was Miyamura’s idea.”among the fans was true. She said the final line supposed to had been “Anta nankani korosareru nowa mappira yo!” It can be translated “I’d never want to be killed by you of all men, absolutely not!”

[Miyamura:] “I had been thinking directors should convey their ideal how the show should be to us. But Anno pitches us questions such as”What do you think for yourself if things went on such and such ways to you?" After recording all lines of the movie, I was called to the studio because the final line needed to be revised. Ogata came there too as it was Asuka and Shinji’s scene. Asuka’s final line was “Anta nankani korosareru nowa mappira yo!” in the film scenario. Anno didn’t live with my line no matter how many times I tried. Ogata and I were at a loss how we should play what Anno wanted to express; she even tried to ride on me and choke me to meet his demand. He must have been pursuing reality. Concerning the final line we adopted, I’m not sure whether I should say about it in fact. At last Anno asked me “Miyamura, just imagine you are sleeping in your bed and a stranger sneaks into your room. He can rape you anytime as you are asleep but he doesn’t. Instead, he masturbates looking at you, when you wake up and know what he did to you. What do you think you would say?” I had been thinking he was a strange man, but at that moment I felt disgusting. So I told him that I thought “Disgusting”. And then he sighed and said “… thought as much.” He said. " I thought as much."

I had been thinking he was a strange man, but at that moment I felt disgusting. So I told him that I thought “Disgusting”. And then he sighed and said “… thought as much.” He said. “I thought as much.”"

–the Asuka EoE line was Miyamura’s idea: http://animaniajapan.livedoor.biz/archives/17687653.html (consistent with her June 2011 paraphrase at Supanova) ; newsgroup discussion of BS AnimeYawa program; full Japanese transcript. (Open question: there were English rumors on the EML of this before 2003, but this show was 2005. How did the rumors start?) Yip/symbv’s translation of Miyamura’s memory of Anno’s question:

If in the room where Miyamura was sleeping, when you were sleeping by yourself in your own room, through the window came a man whom you did not know. And moreover you still did not notice it and kept sleeping, and although it was a situation where you could be attacked at any moment, you were not attacked. He just looked at where I was sleeping, and although it was not really the scene of Shinji just before, he masturbated and when he was done you woke up. How about that?

When I first met Anno in college…the first thing he told me was how he knew every line in SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO, except for the first episode, and the reason he didn’t know every line in the first episode was because he didn’t record it, and the reason he didn’t record it was because he didn’t know if the series would turn out to be any good…What you saw in OTAKU NO VIDEO is pretty much what happened.

–Hiroyuki Yamaga; quote from Carl Horn in 2005 (TODO: when did Yamaga say this? Many possible years. Possibly February 1998 Fanimecon given that a similar quote is attributed to Yamaga by Amazon Trio/Peter Svensson; Peter says that “I recognize that speech about Anno memorizing all of Yamato, but I think it was a later Fanime. 2000 sounds right.”)

Actually during a private business dinner with Gainax, good old Yamaga re-interpreted the point with something that sounded much ‘they gave us a lot of money, we gave ’em the franchise. We’re very happy with the money, and we don’t give a shit anyway’.

Gualtiero Cannarsi (Cannarsi is like Carl Horn; he seems highly trustworthy and experienced in the Italian anime/manga industry, see the Italian Wikipedia)

Oh - and Anno prefers the young actress who plays ‘Hermione’ in the Harry Potter movies as Asuka for the live action project. She is, unfortunately, likely to be a bit too old for the role even if shooting starts next year. This info from Matt Greenfield @ the Eva Panel @ Pittsburgh Comicon this past Saturday

Ray Miller

…Yet I feel the greatest pleasure of this “Yasuhiko Gundam” lies in the resuscitation of a Tale lost among our memories of First Gundam. It has already been twenty-five years since the broadcast of First Gundam. I’m afraid the legacy of Gundam dwindled down to the mobile suits, in the form of plastic models as a business and military hobbyism. Even these mobile suits were summarized down to the protagonist mecha, Gundam, so that friend and foe alike were all uniformly Gundams.

…In recent years, in the world of anime and manga too, the hollowing out of mainstream culture and the putative rise of subculture severely diluted and eroded the standing of the Tale. Audiences have come to need only a work only as an escape from reality, as a comfortable dream, judging everything on the criterion of moe, while creators’ intellectual paucity and the jumble of trivial touches have encouraged that structure. At the same time, TV-type mass consumption, which prizes instant gratification and simplistic results, laid the improverished grounds of contemporary Japanese entertainment, giving rise to masses that can only respond with praise for superficial details and technical proficiency; with tears, laughter, fear, or some outpouring of simple emotions ; or with identifying and particularism. And here we are, in this stagnant state of affairs. I am stuck here myself. It’s embarrassing and frustrating, and I also regret that I contributed to it. I want it fixed. The sooner, the better.

–Hideaki Anno, “Celebrating the Revival of Gundam as Tale”

Airing

The re-run for Evangelion were aired on Saturday nights from 1997.02.01 to 1997.03.15, at 26:55 (2:55 AM Sunday). They aired four episodes in a row, and after that they had some live clips. They were as follows.

  • 1997.02.01 1-4 press conference of the Evangelion movie
  • 1997.02.08 5-8 otaku in lines waiting to buy tickets for the Eva movie
  • 1997.02.15 9-12 main seiyuu commenting on the Eva movie - Ogata Megumi, Hayashibara Megumi, Mitsuishi Kotono, Miyamura Yuko
  • 1997.02.22 13-16 video clips from some Evangelion events - Miyamura Yuko, Mitsuishi Kotono, Hayashibara Megumi
  • 1997.03.01 17-20 inside Gainax studios: staff, cels, CG room
  • 1997.03.08 21-23 30 minute special (narration by Tachiki Fumihiko)
  • 1997.03.15 24-26

1997.03.08 The 30 minute special that was aired on 1997.03.08 gave information about how big a hit Evangelion was: 200,000 advance tickets for the movie were sold, 2,420,000 LDs and videos were sold, 880,000 CD singles were sold, 1,240,000 CDs were sold, (the 3rd soundtrack reached number 1 in the Oricon charts), 3,500,000 comics were sold.

There were highlights from the TV series, live video of Anno Hideaki (creator and director of Evangelion), some clips of the main seiyuu (same clips that were used in the previous weeks), some interviews with fans.

“Evangelion re-runs”, Hitoshi Doi; these are Tokyo re-runs, it seems

Basically, as many anime fans know, Evangelion is a TV show which was on the air two years ago (Wednesday, 7:00 p.m., on TV-Tokyo and, at first, only in Tokyo, Osaka and Sapporo). People at Gainax Studio thought it would be a show for highschool age children or perhaps college students, but Mr. Yamaga says, “I think that director Hideaki Anno changed his mind and he aimed at adults like himself… like 35 years old!…He also adds,”Basically Evangelion was a robots show made for children and I knew it would be a great success as soon as I saw the first episode! We all grew up with Ultraman, Gundam, etc., and those shows made us the way we are today. Mr. Anno also wanted to put something deeper in Evangelion, like a scream from the bottom of the soul, philosophy, thoughts, reflection on the way we live and think. There are also many scenes of sexual expressions, as well as extremely violent scenes. There was a plan to show Evangelion on midnight at first… but not children would have been able to watch it.

Protoculture Addicts 50: “Anecdotes from Mr. Hiroyuki Yamaga”

Was at the [Anime Expo] Eva panel with Matt Greenfield and Tiffany Grant. [They] Expressed the view that the movies were a reaction to those who saw the 2nd showing of Eva as the first only hit 5 stations in japan the first time. Many cuts were done especially due to time constraints and they being behind in the stories plot.

Doug Dennis

…the “only 5 stations” were those in the major population centers which account for well over half of the total population, and the viewer ratings in these markets reached as high as 30%….Eva’s high initial quality made it a near instant sensation, and most anime publications had special features on it within the first few episodes. Early on it was getting ratings in the mid double digits, and the 25-30% or more figures came later in the series as the general public started to catch on and see what all the fuss was about.

Bochan_bird; second email

The very initial broadcast was, IIRC, limited to TV Tokyo which airs in only a limited part of the Tokyo urban area. Much like the original Gundam 15 years before, Eva started slowly and then became a tidal wave…Not exactly what they said, but as far as how important they took it to be: remember Gianni Versace’s death? How it was plastered on the front cover all newspapers and magazines, including Time? Well, in the Japanese edition of Time he was in a tiny box by the bottom, and the cover was for Rei.

Ebj

EVA also made the cover of the Japanese edition of NEWSWEEK–a Rei and Shinji cover, I believe. What I recall is that the final episode of EVA (in its initial run) had 10 million viewers, which, as had been said, does not equal children’s hits like CHIBI MARUKO-CHAN (it’s important to remember that even in Japan, anime hits for children are generally bigger than anime hits for adults), but very impressive numbers for an anime show directed at teens and older viewers. I don’t know the numbers offhand for the re-run that was done before the EVA movies. It seems likely they would have been larger, owing to the notoriety the series had gained, and the larger number of stations it was on the second time round. One can dig up copies of NEWTYPE from this period; they list the audience numbers.

Carl Horn

See also Leavitt’s 2011 request:

Can anyone link me to relevant info regarding how much, where, and when Evangelion was re-run after its initial television broadcast slot? According to Patrick Galbraith in his new article in Mechademia 5, it reran frequently through the late ’90s and “expanded the ranks of otaku,” but there’s no cite.

Alex Leavitt

2005 S

According to inside information from a friend who has direct dealings with Gainax, Gainax has drawn up plans for an Eva prequel covering the pre-SI, SI, Gehirn, and early NERV periods up to the start of the TV series. These are not firm plans, but more an early draft for a potential project. Now before any fanboys start gushing, let me emphasize again that this is just one of many project proposals and drafts that Gainax has drawn up, and even though it would be a guaranteed money maker (albeit on a much lesser scale than Eva itself), it may still never get made. At present it is just one of many ideas.

Also, Ep4-6 of Gunbuster-2 are supposed to get more serious and hard-core, which if true has to be a relief to anyone who has suffered through Ep1-3 (and especially the rather low-tension Ep3) so far. (FWIW, this information comes straight from the mouth of Tsurumaki.)

Bochan_bird; apparently Gainax went with Rebuild instead, but note that Bochan_bird was quite right about Diebuster getting more serious in episodes 4-6

2005 T

OTAKU NO VIDEO was the last original production Gainax made under their founding president, Toshio Okada (the ONV character “Tanaka” is in large part inspired by him) before being succeeded by Hiroyuki Yamaga (the model for ONV’s “Kubo”). It was also the last production Gainax made before the four-year gap that preceded EVANGELION.

Today it’s common for anime to be made specifically for and about otaku (COSPLAY COMPLEX, COMIC PARTY, GENSHIKEN), but Gainax, being the original gangstas, did it first. Compared to such recent titles, OTAKU NO VIDEO is both more idealistic and more insulting about being an otaku; ONV keeps cutting between the anime segments, where the young members of Gainax (called “Grand Prix” or “Giant X” in ONV) boast that they will “otakuize” the world, and live-action interviews with pathetic, ashamed, and anti-social otaku in reality. Both images, as far as Gainax was concerned, were, of course, true.

Carl Horn

[Hiroki Azuma]: In Korea or the United States, citizen journalists express important political opinions online. Few Japanese networks are interested in political opinion, they’re interested in posturing, in mocking. One of ISED’s members, Kitada Akihiro has a theory that these attitudes are rooted in 1980s TV culture. Our generation was in its teens in the 1980s, when Japanese TV culture bred a kind of irony. It encouraged people to laugh at everything, and believe in nothing. That kind of irony remains very strong in our generation, And it infects Japanese networks. On 2-Channel [2chan], everyone can laugh at anything, everyone questions mass media messages, but there is no object to it. Maybe in Korea or the United States, the point of questioning by bloggers is to develop alternative political opinions, or an alternative worldview. But in Japan, questioning itself the object.

[Doug McGray]: Do you see the influence of 1980s culture in your own interests?

HA: In the 1980s, Japanese were just economic animals, enjoying consumer society. Japanese seemed paralyzed when it came to political discussion or military discussion. But this situation made otaku culture flourish. Also design, architecture, and literature. These things were very rich in the 1980s compared with the 1990s.

DM: What happened?

HA: 1995 was very important year in Japan. In January, there was a very big earthquake in Kobe. Then in March, the terrorists Aum Shinrikyo attacked Tokyo. Before 1995, few Japanese could dream of such danger in their lives. After that, Japanese were changed. But this realism made youth culture very monotonous. The profile of Japanese literature and manga began to shrink. And most of it focused on the young generation’s psychological problems, or suicide, or youth crime. It was very dark.

DM: A couple of Toyota design managers told me about a series of focus groups they held with young European consumers, asking them for words they associated with Japan. Some were predictable: “cutting edge,” “sushi,” “sumo.” One I didn’t expect to hear was “violent.” Could the otaku culture Japan exports today give a warped impression of Japanese society?

HA: Before 1995, otaku culture was only fantasy. There were very violent themes, like war or assassination, but all in the context of fantasy. After 1995, the violence can be regarded as a more realistic reflection of Japanese society. Maybe Japan is very safe compared with Europe or the United States, even now, but we Japanese do not feel so. After 1995, Japan seemed to get worse and worse, more and more dangerous. If some European or U.S. young people absorb otaku works and think Japanese society is very dangerous, maybe that is our reality.

DM: You began your career studying traditional philosophy and criticism. Your Suntory- prize winning book, Ontological, Postal, focused on the work of Jacques Derrida. Did you face resistance from your academic colleagues when you started writing about pop culture?

HA: There are two or three generations of otaku culture, with very big gaps between the first and third generation. First generation otaku stayed outside of society. Their culture was regarded as childish, and fringe. Now, the youngest generation of otakus, people in their teens or 20s, think of otaku culture as mass culture. Older generation intellectuals may not use e-mail, they do not play video games, they know nothing about otaku culture. But the younger generation grew up with anime and games; to them, anime is a hero of Japanese culture. So it is natural for them, if they are interested in sociology or networking or postmodernism, to study anime or games.

DM: Compare your approach to traditional cultural studies.

HA: Cultural studies focuses on themes of work, but I set themes aside. My analysis focuses on how otakus consume anime or manga or games, and what they get out of them. The older otaku generation, and also cultural studies academics, think recent otaku culture is empty, because their stories and characters are very superficial. But Japanese anime or games can be analyzed as a combination of former works. Almost all characters or game plots are actually a combination of earlier characters and plots.

…The period from 1970, the year of the Osaka Exposition, to 1995, was a very strange age in Japanese history. Until 1970, Japanese believed in economic growth, they wanted to be more like U.S. society, and they worked very hard. They shared a grand narrative. In the 1970s, and 1980s, and early 90s, they got richer and richer, but they lost their objectives, their ideologies. The younger generation, meanwhile, believed in less and less. But they still needed some kind of grand narrative. In the 80s, otaku works made up for a lack of Japanese national objectives. They had big themes: law, or justice, or a kind of nationalism. Works like Space Battleship Yamato or Gundam can be analyzed as a kind of supplement.

DM: And young people no longer need that?

HA: They don’t need narratives, they don’t need objectives. They need communication. I think they want a kind of entertainment infrastructure, a way to kill time and chat on the internet. Maybe otaku entertainment is now only a kind of platform. From this point of view, otaku works since the 1990s represent a long history of Japanese losing their grand narratives. With a few very minor exceptions, Japanese otaku works today have no themes, no political implications; but this lack of political meaning has political meaning.

…Some Japanese readers see this phenomenon and conclude that the younger generation is not interested in philosophy and criticism. But times were changing: They should have started paying attention to the new generation of intellectuals, and they did not. Literary and social criticism can still make for bestsellers. In Animalizing Postmodernity, for instance, I mention Otsuka Eiji and Miyada Shinji. Miyadai is a sociologist, and Otsuka is a comic writer, but their work is key to understanding 90s Japanese society.

DM: Neither of those authors has been translated into English, unfortunately.

HA: My impression is that nobody has introduced Japan’s critical and intellectual writing of the 1990s to the United States. That makes it very difficult for Americans to understand contemporary Japan. Japanese high literature is known in the US, because of Japanese government funding. Manga get exported, but they have no context, they are just commodities. Murakami Takashi introduced himself to the US, but Americans know nothing about the 90s context that made Murakami, so they see Murakami as a symbol of otaku culture-a very simple view, in my opinion. It is not enough to see the art or otaku works around Murakami; it is necessary to investigate the discursive context, or historical context of otaku culture in 90s Japanese society, including the work of 90s intellectuals.

“A conversation between Hiroki Azuma and Doug McGray on literature, anime, and otaku culture in contemporary Japan”, August 26, 2005

[Hiroki Azuma]: …When I was about twenty-five, Evangelion became a huge phenomenon. I don’t know if the questioner is familiar with this, but Japan has this thing called “Comic Market,” which is where a tremendous number of dojinshi, or fan fictions are exchanged. So when Evangelion became a huge hit, many fans created their own version of Evangelion stories that used the characters of Evangelion, but developed stories that are completely different from the original. From my perspective, to understand Evangelion more thoroughly, we need to look at how people communicate using the artifact Evangelion, including the secondary productions, the simulacra, because in a way, the entirety of it is the phenomenon created by Evangelion.

The phenomenon of the dismantling of the narrative, ways in which the meaning of the narrative becomes lost and just the characters themselves circulate over and over in the consumer society…New creators emerge under these conditions too. I argue that the situation is highly postmodern. I’m oversimplifying my point here. Of course my actual argument is much more complex…

Therefore, the way I related postmodernism and anime is based neither on visual expression nor the narratives themselves, but the way in which they’re consumed. What are otaku doing, getting saturated in anime? That’s where I paid close attention and called it postmodern. Does this answer satisfy your question?

Q: This is a question for Sato-san and Azuma-san. Many of the early most influential manga and anime creators’ generation outlived World War II. Reiji Matsumoto, Osamu Tezuka were all influenced by the war and the early crises of modern Japan. But what about the recent crises that Japan’s new generation faces, such as the sarin gas attack in 1995 and the Kobe earthquake? I wonder if these events have reshaped the otaku mentality, and the mentality of Japanese culture.

HA: This was also the thesis of my book, so it’s very difficult to answer, but I’m happy to receive such sharp questions. 1995 was an incredibly important year for the Japanese society, and it drastically changed otaku mentality as well. From what I can tell, ’95 marked what is now considered a split within otaku culture.

One was a return to realistic expression, instead of remaining in the abstract and artificial world of manga and anime. The other is to detach entirely from the “real,” and to restrict themselves to more “artificial,” or symbolic avenues of expression. Today, we see these two extremes. This is also related to tonight’s theme, and Mr. Sato belongs to the former. However, there are also a significant number of otaku who want to write stories that are incredibly elaborate and sign-based, with absolutely no sense of reality. The shock of ’95 contributed to this result.

…In Animalizing Postmodernity [Database Animals], I focused on the latter case: of otaku who pursue fictitious, symbol-driven expressions. I’m going to digress a little bit, but because of this split, Mr. Sato and I never met until the Japan Society invited us here. Mr. Sato has read my book, and I am of course familiar and have seen Mr. Sato’s works many times. Yet, since 95, we have been, respectively, a critic and scriptwriter belonging to opposite ideological poles within otaku culture. For this reason, no events have ever arranged for us to meet. A lot of you probably maintain a single image of anime culture. But in Japan, it is actually heavily split in two ways. This happened in 1995. It was the year when Evangelion was first released. This anime led the split, but it also carries both elements. On one side, it depicts the “real” emotional conflicts of a teenager, and battle scenes are also highly realistic. But on the other hand, it also expresses fictive quality of a symbolic imagination. This split is becoming deeper and deeper. That’s my answer.

HA: To add one small point: what basically I wanted to discuss in Animalizing Postmodernity was to show that it is nothing but the reality, which prompts twenty-first century otaku to produce (and take part in) a significant exchange in fictional semiotics. People use the word escapism, that otaku are escaping from reality, but then you must also recognize that reality itself is what makes them want to escape.

In any case, if you only look at what’s produced… well, we did speak of Japanese pop culture in terms of “huge success” and “golden age” tonight, but to tell you the truth, as this is something we haven’t said at all, but in Japan people have actually given up on the future and potential for anime and games. This is because it has been ten years since Evangelion, and we still haven’t had anything that exceeds it, to put it bluntly. Of course, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is truly great and I mean it (!), but it’s not easy to exceed Evangelion, right?

(Sato nods.)

HA: To put it simply, it is as if things have stopped for the last ten years. In the last decade, we’ve only accumulated more and more fictional, symbol-laden stories with lots of cute girls. What in the world is going on here? That’s the general impression of otaku in Japan. At the same time, we know that there is something that makes this necessary.

You won’t see these elements, no matter how many times you watch their works. What goes on in each piece is just a bunch of useless junk (laughs). But if you place this work in a certain context, and read it in a certain way, it begins to appear as a response to the reality. That’s what I do as my job.

This may be a little different from what Sato-san said, but you can see different facets of reality by changing the way you read. You may not find them directly reflected in the artifacts themselves. It’s actually a pretty challenging task to analyze the influences of ’95 (sarin, Kobe earthquake) and ’01 (9/11 attack) in Japanese anime. But I do think, that if you decipher with a certain method, you can observe the influences very clearly. That’s my opinion.

Q: Do you think the growth of otaku represents alienation from the mainstream Japanese society? If so, does it represent any threat to the cohesiveness and homogeneity of Japanese society?

HA: Yes. I agree with you. Actually, I also wrote a little bit about this in my book. (laughs) Otaku has been discussed as a problem in close relation with another problem, which is social withdrawal. It is basically a refusal to enter the social sphere of adults, to stay home at all times, to keep reading lots of manga and playing lots of games. It depends on how the statistics are measured, but it is said that there are as many as one million kids like this in Japan.

Another highly common characteristic of younger generation is to be, beyond anti-social, completely asocial. Instead of rousing and expressing their discontent with society as a whole, they refuse any behavior involving any kind of participation in the social network at all. There is no doubt that the notion of social withdrawal as a conscious choice, and the expression itself, “otaku” are deeply connected. And on top of all that, Japan has been experiencing a very long recession since the 90’s. The entire Japanese society has lost a sense of purpose.

Japanese society is commonly described in terms of the word “wa,” as a society that prides itself in being strongly cohesive. But in my opinion, it was a typical symptom during the high economic growth. After the burst of the bubble, and growing differences in the distribution of wealth, there is no longer the same sense of purpose to be found in the society. And, going to a good university no longer promises high income in the future. Under these conditions, the young generation distances themselves more and more from the harmony, and so-called unity of the society. It is true that otaku expression functions as a platform to construct an alternative media through alternative modes of communication. So the answer to the question of whether the collapse of the cohesiveness of Japanese society and the growth of otaku culture and expression are related is yes. Indeed, the two are absolutely related.

“Otaku Unmasked: The Life, Death and Rebirth of Japan’s Pop Culture”, 30 November 2005, Japan Society; Douglas McGray, Hiroki Azuma, and Dai Satō.

Little Boy

Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture, ISBN 0300102852

“Earth In My Window”

Takashi Murakami, “Earth In My Window” pg 98-149, trans. Linda Hoaglund

Ōtomo’s work, in which each frame is an individual image, rejected that approach. Ōtomo defined a method in which it is the characters that cement the construction of their world, even as they guide the narrative. And he added another element using manga to critique manga. Instead of defining a closed narrative circle, he strove to devise a “meta-manga”.

Let us consider the ending of Akira, volume 6. First, Ōtomo closes the narrative cycle.

United Nations forces have arrived amid the evident destruction of Neo Tokyo soon after Akira’s explosion, prompting Kaneda to scream,

“Take your guns and get the hell out of our country!

We’ll keep all the damned aid you’ve brought. But anything beyond that, and you’re interfering with sovereign affairs.

Akira lives on in our minds!"

A cry for freedom from a defeated Japan, its own constitution legislated by another nation after the war.

Don’t touch me, let me be independent. We don’t need your U.N. or any other help. The image of Kaneda and the others waving a “Greater Tokyo Empire Akira” flag, with none of the conviction that accompanied brandishments of the former imperial flag of Japan, seems to mock our current “Japanese Nation of Children”. But this is where the story ends, giving way to layouts that conceal new possibilities for manga.

A few pages before the end, Kaneda and the other protagonists race around ruined skyscrapers on motorbikes, even as the skyscrapers rebuild themselves before our eyes. The city, destroyed by Akira and Tetsuo, noiselessly returns to its former state, rendered in painstaking with Ōtomo’s characteristic realism. The reconstruction of Neo Tokyo’s skyscrapers embodies a movement from dystopia to utopia. The link to Tezuka, who, inspired by Fritz Lange’s Metropolis, penned an eponymous manga and created Astro Boy around a similar theme, appears unexpectedly in these last pages….The decrepit children who appear in Akira accept the futility of life and encounter their own deaths as children, despite their chosen status and supernatural powers; they are exactly like the Japanese today.

…The DAICON animations reveal two characteristics that appeal to otaku. First, they contain abundant references to elements of the subculture that would later be called otaku culture, including Godzilla and Space Battleship Yamato. Second, even though these hand-drawn, 8mm anime films are extremely short at five minutes each, they demonstrate an extraordinary artistic and technical level that exceeds expectations for independent films: not only is the quality of the animation high, but the DAICON animators were able to integrate the picture and the music seamlessly and deploy such sophisticated techniques as multiple exposures far more skillfully than “professionals”. Indeed, the DAICON animators’ relentless pursuit of quality and sophisticated prompted the evolution of science-fiction-based subculture into full-fledged otaku culture…With every last possible science-fiction (otaku-style) character from around the world - and throughout time - present and accounted for, the film is obviously a mammoth labor of love. By stuffing their film with all of the beloved creatures that inspired them, the creators displayed a level of passion incommensurate with a work created as the opening event of an amateur competition. There is the thrill of navigating the border between parody and art. More than twenty years after the original screening, this film deserves renewed respect for the energy involved in fashioning a work of such astounding perfection. And yet, as if this achievement were not sufficient in itself, in the last scene of DAICON IV Opening Animation, the fundamental metaphor for any Japanese creator, the atomic bomb - our symbol of “destruction and rebirth” - explodes in an unexpected way.

After the sequence in which Bunny Girl flies around tirelessly, everything is destroyed by (what can only be construed as) an atomic bomb. In the ensuing whirlwind, petals from Japan’s national flower, the cherry blossom, engulf everything in a blast of pink; the streets become scorched earth, mountains are burnt bare, and the whole world becomes a wasteland. Amidst this devastation, Spaceship DAICON, symbolizing otaku, floats in midair emitting a powerful beam - the beam of science-fiction fans. The world revives, giant trees rise in a flash, and Mother Earth is once again bedecked in green. Characters from the world of science fiction gather on the restored planet to celebrate.

In accordance with the rubrics of otaku taste, all of the characters are happy, their chests puffed up proudly at the light of hope. Characters who have never occupied the same screen gradually interact with each other and assemble in the final mob scene - a perfect encapsulation of the science-fiction conference’s message. the politics or ideology of the atomic bomb. This is why they were able to portray the end of the world, without hesitation, as a kind of revolution, and follow it with a “blizzard” of cherry-blossom petals. Hideaki Anno, who later directed Neon Genesis Evangelion, created the explosion scene, and it is almost painful to watch his pathological obsession with it, as an atomic whirlwind destroys the city.

At first glance, this scenario for Japan’s recovery from an atomic bomb seems offhand, but the creators’ compelling message is deeply felt in the urgency of the production values. In a way, otaku sensibilities have much in common with those of American hippies in the 1970s. A lifestyle that seems to turn its back on the world is founded on a nearly groundless obsession with peace and happiness, tremendous curiosity for the internal world of the self, extreme sentimentality, and keen sensitivity, all of which contribute to futuristic creation.

The fact that Japan’s IT industry is built on otaku is also significant, as it suggests a parallel between the hippie movement and otaku culture. One indication of the filmmakers’ obsession with quality and concept was their use of a then-rare personal computer, which enabled them to calculate planetary orbits and thus design the solar system that appears in the last scene. The complexity of this design process offers further evidence of the filmmakers’ obsession with realism.

Surprisingly, it turns out that the ultimate dream of otaku aesthetics, scrupulous yet fanatically obsessed with reality, is a happy party, a peaceful festival.

…The 1970 World Exposition in Osaka was a national symbol beloved by first-generation otaku (born from the late 1950s to late 1960s). “Progress and Harmony of Mankind” was its theme. Expo ’70 inspired Japanese children to dream of a future free of national borders in which the notion of “progress for the future” could conquer even human strife. This convergence of artifacts, suggesting a tranquil and peaceful world with human progress represented by technology and space development, made it possible to believe in the future. For the Japanese, their hearts newly healed from post-war trauma, this was the perfect scenario for the future. For the children, the scenario was “real”. Yet that future has never arrived - their dreams were shattered. And they grew into adults, unable to relinquish those dreams.

…We feel an abiding sense of righteous indignation at the use of atomic bombs to bring the Pacific War to a close. We level cheap shots at the Japanese government, which placed Japan in that final scenario and then concealed the truth about the bombs’ effects. We feel complex emotions towards the Americans who thrust the terror of nuclear annihilation upon Japan. Added to this is our own cowardly rage for accepting media control as a necessary evil. All of this simmered in the Japanese consciousness as dogma without direction. When these contexts emerged, the message reached its audience in the guise of children’s programming; because reality was portrayed through anime, Japan finally discovered genuine respect for its creators.

…The first atomic bomb hit on August 6, at the height of summer. The war was over. Summer is the season when the story ends and hell begins. Peace was immediately transformed by a unique sense of time. The blinding white light of the sun and the light of the atomic bomb coalesced, delineating the beginning and end of the narrative.

Postwar Japanese narrative themes jumble summer vacations together with leukemia; many tell stories of doomed love.

…The creators of DAICON IV Opening Animation would come to occupy a central place in the current anime world. The key members of the DAICON group opened the science-fiction store General Products, which was professionally incorporated as Gainax in 1984 upon production of the feature-length anime The Wings of Honneamise (released in 1987). Neon Genesis Evangelion (pl. 33), written and directed by Hideaki Anno and produced by Gainax, is the landmark otaku anime film, which marked the most brilliant moment of otaku subculture.

Evangelion became an explosive hit immediately after the twenty-six original episodes were first broadcast on television in 1995-96. Caught up in the cult-like fervor surrounding the work, fans willingly accepted the controversial and irregular release of the subsequent film: unable to complete it on time, Gainax released an unfinished version to theaters in March 1997 and released the final version a few months later as a different film. This phenomenon points to the complicit relationship by then formed in the world of animation between the creators and the audience, which recognized Evangelion as an instant entertainment classic. The original TV series and the subsequent feature films attracted not only anime fans but also young culture-lovers and anime veterans who had outgrown otaku obsessions. Evangelion is an unsurpassed milestone in the history of otaku culture.

…A complex amalgam of science fiction and human drama in the form of robot anime, Evangelion showcased Gainax’s skillful animation, along with Anno’s bold use of white-on-black subtitle graphs and speedy, almost subliminal construction of action sequences. In many ways, Evangelion is a meta-otaku film, through which Anno, himself an otaku, strove to transcend the otaku tradition.

While dutifully paying homage to the pop- and otaku-culture landmarks that preceded it, Evangelion pushed its depiction of the psychological and emotional struggles of the young motherless pilots to the extreme. The final scenes were presented in a few different forms and media, including the original TV version, the feature-film version, and finally the DVD version, which combined the preceding two. Each was unfailingly controversial. Especially shocking were the final two episodes of the TV series, which unconventionally mix anime scenes with drawings and video footage. These episodes focus on Shinji, the central character among the pilots, and his painful search for what his life means both as a person and as an Evangelion pilot. With the purposeless Shinji’s interior drama taking center stage, Evangelion is the endpoint of the postwar lineage of otaku favorites - from Godzilla to the Ultra series to Yamato to Gundam - in which hero-figures increasingly question and agonize over their righteous missions to defend the earth and humanity.

The final sequence of the theater version, which incorporated scenes from the TV version in a somewhat confusing manner, constituted the apogee of otaku anime.

The title of the final episode of the TV version is “The Beast that Shouted Ai at the Heart of the World”. (The use of katakana, a Japanese syllabic script, for the word ai allows the term to carry the double meaning of homonyms “love” and “I”.) Both the title and concept are borrowed from Harlan Ellison’s eponymous science-fiction novel. In a contest pitting the audience (readers), who are normally on the receiving end of entertainment, against the author’s vision, who can fly higher? How far can the audience both compel and follow the director’s vision? With Evangelion, the director Anno raised a challenge to works that refused to allow audiences any escape from the reality of their own self-consciousness.

The subtitle to the film version’s final sequence also alludes to science fiction, referencing the film Charly (based on Daniel Keyes’s Flowers for Algernon), which was released in Japan as Magokoro o kimi ni (My heart to you). Evangelion also incorporated references and elements, such as the “Spear of Longinus” and “AT (Absolute Terror) Field”, that were freely adapted from Judeo-Christian religious mysticism, psychology, biology, and a wide range of sources. Their juxtaposition with robots and anime provoked widespread speculation and much deeper readings. This simulation-based approach stood Japanese anime’s fundamental disregard for dramatic themes on its head. But ultimately, by arousing sympathy in its audience, it laid bare a true otaku heart.

It is the final scene of the film version. When Shinji comes to he has been asleep, naked. Rei, also naked, straddles him, her hand poised to melt and fuse with Shinji’s torso. The Humanity Complementation Program will ensure that all humans liquefy, fuse, and become one. The giant crucified on the cross deep beneath the special agency NERV is recognized as Lilith, and all humans are destined to merge with her, ultimately fusing into one. Lilith was the biblical Adam’s first wife, but the children born of their union, Lilin, were regarded as demons; they represent humanity in the film.

Shinji: “Am I dead?”

Rei: “No, everything’s just becoming one. This is exactly the world you dreamed of.”

Shinji: “But this is different. This isn’t it.”

Rei: “If you wish for others to exist, once again,” “the walls of your heart will pull you away from everyone else. A new terror of others will begin.”

Shinji: “That’s fine.”

Shinji removes his hand from Rei’s torso and shakes her hand. Shinji chooses a world in which a barrier separates him from others. He notices the others again. Those who have already fused begin to reappear in individual silhouettes as each person regains his individuality. On the beach, Shinji is strangling Asuka. Asuka caresses his cheek with her injured right hand. As he releases his grip, Shinji weeps and a tear lands on Asuka’s cheek. Asuka blurts out, “That’s disgusting.” “The End” appears in a corner of the frame, and abruptly, the film is over.

Shinji longs for the self that has split away from him to acknowledge his remaining self. He would like for his neighbors to acknowledge him as well. And so he rejects total fusion with Rei; but he’s wary of the pain that accompanies interaction with others. Should he let himself become the object of another’s love? Alone with Asuka, the only person left who may understand him, Shinji tries to kill her. But as he strangles her, Asuka extends her hand to him. She strokes his cheek. Skin touches skin. Primitive communication, ambitions derailed. Even though he attempts to kill her, Shinji wants Asuka to understand his real intention: that what he really seeks is simply himself. But he also knows that this is impossible. Seeing this pathetic side of Shinji, Asuka mirrors the response of society. She asserts that she finds Shinji, who is only capable of self-involved communication, “disgusting”.

In the last scene of Katayama’s novel Crying Out Love from the Center of the World, the protagonist, Saku, has grown up. With a new lover in tow, he returns to a highschool campus drenched in memories of his dead lover. He is not in the least concerned that his new lover neither knows he lost Aki to leukemia nor appreciates his memories of the dead girl. In fact, his driving purpose is to reaffirm an enduring sentimentality that he has reserved entirely for himself, and it is this that triggers sympathy in the reader.

In Evangelion, Shinji would fulfill his desire to complete a solitary journey of the heart by murdering Asuka, his only counterpart.

The drama of this murder attempt exists on the level of a child who discovers the meaning of life by killing a frog. Such paralysis signifies both the otaku’s apex and his genesis.

In a sense, the search for a place in the world, which so torments Anno’s alter-ego Shinji, is the insurmountable challenge facing Japan. Our relief at finally putting the trauma of the war behind us was brief, for we immediately were confronted by our inability to devise an independent future. Japan is now enmeshed in the search for what it means to have a self.

On the other hand, in his “journey to self-abandonment”, Miura Jun, the man who coined the term yuru chara, asks whether or not there is a self worth searching for; the more such paradoxes emerge, the more a meaningless “journey of self-discovery”, which offers no apparent or ultimate independence, becomes the theme of Japan.

…The otaku aspect of the cult group Aum Shinrikyo triggered a media bonanza, disseminating an impression of otaku as evil incarnate. From the amateurish technology of its self-produced propaganda videos and electric-equipped helmets for followers, to the launch of its Mahāpōsha store selling cheap homemade computers in Akihabara (Tokyo’s electronics district) to raise cult funds, Aum Shinrikyo could be characterized by its wide-ranging otaku-esque behavior. The clincher was the sect’s creation of a detoxification system dubbed “Cosmo Cleaner”, a direct appropriation of the identically named radiation-disposal device prominently featured in Space Battleship Yamato. Aum Shinrikyo’s otaku dimension had become so extreme that the group was perceived throughout Japan both as a laughingstock and as an incomprehensible species.

…Of course, Gundam also rewrote the book on robot anime. Its reevaluation of the axiomatic meaning or purpose of fighting an enemy, and provision of a context that gave the enemy a righteous cause, startled Gundam’s original audience. Prior to Gundam, robot anime had served up moralistic stories featuring a “mecha” (mechanical) protagonist and his nemesis, who were engaged in pro-wrestling-style battles with tactics intended to attract children. Originally, robot anime was simply a promotional tool devised by toy companies to sell their robots, and all storylines were linked to marketing strategies. Then Gundam’s director, Yoshiyuki Tomino, decided to challenge this status quo…Opportunity came in the form of an offer to direct several robot anime films, culminating with Gundam and its long-awaited New Type conception. The encyclopedic handbook Gundam Officials (Kōdansha, 2001) describes the defining elements of this concept:

The core of Zeonism, the greatest philosophy of this century [“Universal Century”, the periodization employed in Gundam], is the New Type theory. The human race has a subliminal adaptability to new environments, and when civilization advances to the point of colonizing space environments, our race will devise a new, specially adapted human form. [This form] will possess clairvoyance and the requisite environmental cognizance for survival in the vast region we know as the cosmos. Its powers will also enable smoother human communication, allowing [these humans] to perceive the totality of things without any misunderstanding. Historical imperative dictates this.

Zeon Daikun christened this race “New Type”. Because New Types understand things in totality, they communicate in modes that far surpass the restricted channels of language. This results in an expansion of cognition not limited to New Types, but extending to all humanity. Thus, New Type society will function by human consensus, and will correct any individual errors immediately, eliminating the improprieties of mutual misunderstandings. The composite, common consciousness born of this expanded communication and its attendant intellectual capacity is the essence of New Type. (pp. 533-34)

Thus described is an evolutionary process in which a new human race - a race adapted to life in space, a race that devises a new form of communication that facilitates understanding without language - emerges as a by-product of our expansion into space and the future.

The notion that aborted communication causes intertribal warfare and prejudice is an enduring theme; it appears in the biblical account of the Tower of Babel, in which God garbles human language to bring the tower’s construction to a halt. Our dependence on a language that is inadequate for communicating our intentions and needs, and the resulting strife, prejudice, and misunderstandings, pose obstacles that humanity strives to overcome.

Later, in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Hideaki Anno outlined his Human Complementation Program, offering a tragic denouement for the New Type model. In a sense, this was Anno’s reply to Gundam’s vision of expanded communication.

“Otaku Talk”

“Otaku Talk”, pg 164-185 of Little Boy; a roundtable of Toshio Okada, Kaichiro Morikawa, Takashi Murakami, as translated by Reiko Tomii:

[Toshio Okada]: Back then [during the 1980s and early 1990s], there were a hundred thousand, or even one million people who were pure otaku—100-proof otaku, if you will. Now, we have close to ten million otaku, but they are no more than 10- or 20-proof otaku. Of course, some otaku are still very otaku, perhaps 80 or 90 proof. Still, we can’t call the rest of them faux otaku. The otaku mentality and otaku tastes are so widespread and diverse today that otaku no longer form what you might call a “tribe.”

[Kaichiro Morikawa]: In my opinion, otaku are people with a certain disposition toward being dame [“no good” or “hopeless”]. Mind you, I don’t use this word negatively here. To some extent, people born in the 1960s are saddled with the baggage of an “anti-establishment vision.” In contrast, otaku, especially in the first generation, have increasingly shed this anti­establishment sensibility. It’s important to understand that although otaku flaunt their dame-orientation-an orientation toward things that are no good-it’s not an anti-establish­ment strategy. This is where otaku culture differs from counterculture and subculture.

[Takashi Murakami]: Indeed, otaku are somewhat different from the mainstream. They have a unique otaku perspective, even on natural disasters. For example, the reaction of Kaiyodo’s executive, Miyawaki Shuichi, to witnessing the destruction of the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995 was, “I know it’s insensitive to say this [after such terrible disaster], but I think Gamera [5] got it wrong.” You know, the aftermath of a real earthquake was used as a criterion in otaku criticism.

TO: At the time of the earthquake, I raced to Kobe from Osaka, hopping on whatever trains were still running, taking lots of pictures. I agree, Gamera got it wrong. To create a realistic effect of destruction, you need to drape thin, gray noodles over a miniature set of rubble. Otherwise, you can’t even approach the reality of twisted, buckled steel frames. It was like, “If you call yourself a monster-filmmaker, get here now!” When Mt. Mihara [6] erupted in 1986, the production team of the 1984 Godzilla film went there to see it.[7] They were true filmmakers.

[TO] Moe is not an easy concept to comprehend, but when you linked the three ideas linguistically, it made a lot more sense. Those who are unfamiliar with the concepts of wabi and sabi [meaning “the beauty and elegance of modest simplicity”] must surely wonder what’s appealing about feigning poverty. Likewise, with moe, until you get the concept, I’m sure people question the origins of this seeming obsession with beautiful little girls, bishojo.10 But once you get it, you start to feel like moe might become a megaconcept, exportable like wabi and sabi.

[KM] There is a huge gap between people who know the word moe and those who don’t. Every otaku person knows moe. For them, it’s so basic. But it’s not like all young people know the term. While at graduate school, I asked my colleagues about moe but almost none of them knew it. It dawned on me that most mainstream people just don’t know it.

KM: Otaku are self-conscious about being condescended to, when they go to fashionable places like Shibuya.14 But they feel safe in Akihabara, because they know they’ll be surrounded by people who share their quirks and tastes. Over time, the focus of otaku taste shifted from science fiction to anime to eroge 15 [erotic games], as young boys who once embraced the bright future promised by science saw this future gradually eroded by the increasingly grim reality around them. I think they needed an alternative.

[TO]: In a previous conversation we had for a magazine article, you said, “Otaku is about the vector toward dame.” As a way of expanding on that, when otaku choose this orientation, they head in the direction of becoming more and more pathetic. At the same time, they enjoy watching themselves becoming increasingly unacceptable. If you think about it, in a very, very loose sense, this is wabi and sabi. I suspect this orientation is inherent in Japanese aesthetics. If you look for a Western equivalent, it would be Decadence, or the Baroque, though theirs is a tendency toward excessive decorativeness. I imagine such people think of themselves not in terms of “See what we’ve done. We’re amazing,” but more like, “See what we’ve done! How pathetic we are!”

TO: Mania is an analogue of otaku. Obsessives are adults who enjoy their hobbies, while otaku don’t want to grow up, although financially, they are adults. These days, you’re not welcome in Akihabara if you aren’t into moe. I was already a science-fiction mania when otaku culture kicked in. I can understand it, but I can neither become an otaku myself nor understand moe. [Laughs]

TO: I believe otaku culture has already lost its power. What you find in Akihabara today is only sexual desire. They all go to Akihabara, which is overflow­ing with things that offer convenient gratification of sexual desire, made possible by the power of technology and the media.

[KM]: This dame-orientation is evidenced by the history of otaku favorites. Up until the 1980s, people who watched anime-any kind of anime, be it Hayao Miyazaki20 or Mamoru Oshii21 or whatever-were all considered otaku. Today, Japanese anime is so accomplished that one film even won an Academy Award. As a result, grown-ups can safely watch, say, Miyazaki’s anime without being despised as otaku. The upshot of this is, as soon as anime and games earned respectability in society, otaku created more repugnant genres, such as bishojo games22 and moe anime,23 and moved on to them.

TO: I totally disagree. Morikawa-san and I have two vastly different conceptions of who are the core tribe of otaku…In my experience, otaku like science fiction and anime not because these things are worthless, but because they are good. Otaku are attracted by things of high quality. Some otaku obsessions become hits, others don’t. But according to Morikawa-san’s definition, the question of “quality” becomes irrelevant in otaku culture. But what’s survived in otaku culture hasn’t become unacceptable. It’s survived the competition because its quality has been recognized. Once something like a bishojo game achieves a certain level of quality, you buy it even if you don’t actually like bishojo games. I feel otaku are tough customers who demand high standards. As a producer of videos and manga magazines, I was keenly aware of their standards and thought, “They make me work really hard because they won’t fall for cheap tricks.”

K. Morikawa: If you track the central focus of so-called otaku through the generations, Okada-san’s generation focused on science fiction, followed by a generation that favored anime, which was in turn followed by another interested in moe anime and bishojo games. How did this evolution take place? Manga provide a handy example. Before I was born [in 1971], college students reading manga on the trains were considered a serious social problem.

Back then, manga were for children. Grown-ups were supposed to watch TV dramas. Foreign TV dramas were better than domestic ones, and films were even better than that. And European films were considered more sophisticated than Hollywood movies. There was a clear cultural hierarchy, and manga were at the bottom. The spiteful label of otaku was attached to grown-ups who had unacceptable tastes and still enjoyed kids’ stuff. As far as society is concerned. today’s otaku taste for moe is more repugnant than watching porn. Eroticism is not the only motivation that informs their fascination with moe. They have a strong urge for what is unacceptable. Otaku who buy Weekly Dearest My Brother not only feel affection for toy figures, but also enjoy being the kind of people who “buy embarrassing, tasteless things.”

TO: Otaku are bashful. They are intelligent but so bashful that they’re more comfortable with children’s anime than regular movies. They can shed their reserve if a serious idea is filtered through a “Made for Children” label … At any rate, I have never seen an orientation towards the unacceptable among otaku. … Well, then, do you mean from the mid- to late 1970s, things got progressively more unacceptable from Yamato to Gundam, and then Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind? I don’t think so. An inclination for dame appears to exist because otaku have shifted to bishojo these past few years. Within this limited context, you may have a point, but veteran otaku have to disagree.

KM: Generally speaking, I see a downward spiral. Aum Shinrikyo was influenced by Genma Wars [Genma Taisen]. In the 1980s, otaku dreamt of Armageddon; they fantasized about employing supernatural powers to create a new world after the end of the world. But Aum’s subway attack in 1995 thoroughly shattered the post-apocalyptic otaku dream of creating a new world in which they would become heroes. After their apocalyptic fantasies collapsed, they steadily shifted to moe. Before their Armageddon obsession, there was science fiction, which provided otaku with an alternative to the actual future. In the broadest terms, moe has replaced ‘future.’

TO: Not necessarily. I am sympathetic to your observation that Expo ’7065 prefigured an otaku landscape, and that today’s otaku are fascinated with moe. But as far as your definition of otaku is concerned, I think you are wrong. Because we are reading different “texts”.

TM: I’m beginning to see a crucial generation gap between Okada-san and Morikawa-san. Speaking from my generation, I, too, find otaku more compelling than moe.

TO: I can prove you wrong. Some otaku works are socially accepted, others are not. Anime films by, say, Hayao Miyazaki or Mamoru Oshii are respected. Have otaku lost interest and quit watching them? No.

I don’t think societal labeling affects what they are attracted to. In fact, many otaku support Mamoru Oshii’s latest animated film, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.66

Morikawa-san, when you talk about dame, the unacceptable, aren’t you talking about “literature” (bungaku)? For practitioners of jun-bungaku67 [literally, “pure literature”], literature was about becoming unacceptable. After Evangelion68 came out as a TV anime series in 1995, everybody fell in love with dame.

Until then, literature was relevant only within the realm of pure literature. Some rock musicians may have liked it a bit. But, thanks to Evangelion, ordinary people, young people enthusiastically embraced it. Eva made it OK for the main character to be pathetic. By the standards of conventional anime, it’s inconceivable that Eva’s main character doesn’t try harder. But that’s precisely what makes him so appealing today. While literature used to shock and surprise us in the past, anime shocks and surprises us today. A dame-orientation is not a new thing; in the old days, a dame-orientation was called literature.

KM: Don’t you think Gundam got a similar reception? The main character was a computer geek.

TO: In Gundam, one thrust of the story was the main character’s desire to be recognized by others. So Gundam and Eva are completely different.

KM: As I said before, the 1980s-era fascination with the apocalyptic was shattered by Aum. I think moe emerged as an alternative, to fill the void.69

TO: I see. To me, Eva was all about “Since I can’t do anything about changing the world, I will do something about myself.” Don’t you think “robot anime” is all about “trying to change the world”? Morikawa-san, you talked about the apocalyptic. One step before that is “social reform” (yo-naoshi). One of the key concepts for understanding otaku is “a child’s sense of justice.” The reason grown-ups are enthusiastic about Kamen Rider and the “warrior team” genre (sentai mono) is because that basic sense of justice, which we abandoned in society a long time ago, is still meaningful in the world of these TV shows. Of course, there’s also the terrific monster designs and panchira70 [the fleeting display of girls’ panties], but that’s not enough to keep the boys interested. That basic sense of justice worked until Eva. But with Eva, it became clear that no one could save the world. And Eva complicated the whole thing, raising issues such as “Maybe I should at least save myself” and “What’s wrong with me, thinking only about saving myself?” Eva marked a turning point. Whatever we discuss today, we cannot avoid Eva.

TO: Reading just a couple volumes of She, the Ultimate Weapon will give you a sense of the sekai-type sensibility.

In the typical logic of sekai-kei, the same weight is assigned to one’s private emotions and the end of the world. In She, the world comes to an end. The main character witnesses the annihilation of the world, which happens to be caused by his girlfriend. His love for her and his despair over the destroyed planet are expressed through the same emotion.

But making a sekai-kei ends artists’ careers.

KM: You mean, like Hideaki Anno,71 who created Eva?

TO: That’s right. Anno-san has been in rehabilitation ever since [by getting away from anime and working on live-action films].

2006

2006 P

’“Twelve years is enough time for you to be able to look back on earlier works objectively”, he explains. “Shortly before we started this project, Anno had a big Eva marathon where he watched the whole series in one go.

The first thing he said when he finished watching was, ‘This show really is interesting, isn’t it? I never realized how interesting it was’. That comment really shook me.“’

… “Everyone was completely burned out during the second half of the original TV run and the movies, but now they’re fresh and enthusiastic again. They’ve gotten older, but they’re still full of energy. It’s almost like watching kids prepare for a holiday celebration. The staff will also include a bunch of younger twenty-somethings who decided to join the anime industry after watching Eva and being inspired.” [Otsuki?]

… “It’s true that Eva was a huge hit,” Otsuki says. “But its success spawned a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding in the in the industry, the end result being a bunch of mass-produced junk. That mindset has persisted for ten years, but now we’re in a position to prove it wrong. We’re determined to close the door on the post-Eva era for good.”

…“The new story takes place in the same period as the 1995 TV series, but the plot is completely different,” producer Toshimichi Otsuki elaborates. “This isn’t a remake or a quick fix. It’s a totally new production.”

…“It’ll be something viewers can enjoy if they’ve never seen the TV series,” Otsuki continues. “I want everyone–from hardcore fans of the original work to people who only know it because of the licensed stuff–to look at it as a standalone film series.

The complexity has been somewhat lessened to make it more accessible to newbies, but it’ll still take a bit of thought to understand." Otsuki adds that they’re removing much of the deliberate obfuscation that made Eva infamous: “Filling works with difficult words and concepts in order to create confusion among viewers was a good technique 12 years ago, but not anymore, and one of our primary goals for this project is to turn everyone’s expectations upside down.”

The core creative team from the TV series has reunited, with original director Hideaki Anno (Gunbuster) overseeing the production. Kazuya Tsurumaki (FLCL) is taking on the mechanical design. Anno himself came up with the storyline for the first installment, while fellow GAINAX co-founder Shinji Higuchi is responsible for storyboarding. A number of new staff members will also be brought on as the production advances.

http://web.archive.org/web/20070127034239/http://www.evamonkey.com/2006/12/transcript-of-newtype-usa-article.php; another copy: http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=55812#55812; cf. Bochan_bird’s translation

We’re not going to confuse people with a metafictional ending along the lines of the TV version, or do an absurd, end-of-the-world type ending along the lines of the movie version. Oriented towards entertainment, the ending will be close to the idea from the beginning of planning. I wanted to do it all along, and the director finally came around to it.

–Otsuki, September 2006 asahi.com article; translation by Numbers-kun

It is the fault of “Neon Genesis Evangelion” that anime has become useless. (Excerpted from the November 2006 issue of Cyzo.)

  • In an interview in the October issue of Monthly Newtype, you said that, “the impact of the Neon Genesis Evangelion boom has birthed excessive confusion and misunderstanding and led to the mass development of inferior works.” I think the fans have seen it as a terribly shocking “affair” that the instigator of the boom himself would make such a statement.

Otsuki: I myself thought, “How dare I say that! Was I not the number one producer of inferior works?” (laughing) However, in the end someone has to voice criticism of the present situation.

  • So you ventured to raise this difficult question with the expectation of being criticised?

Otsuki: A vast difference in the quality of [modern] sakuga has developed when compared to the anime of the 80s, even when it comes to the mass developed, inferior works. But the planning is lacking. Ever since Eva appeared on television, a barrier has existed, whereby the entire anime industry operates under the curse of Eva. To put it in concrete terms, ever since Eva was a hit, within the anime industry things have come to be judged based not on the quality of the work but on the amount of sales. As a result, [the industry] has deserted the middle and high school students who are supposed to be the primary audience, and there has been an overflow of “moe” anime directed towards obsessive fans in their 30s who spend money, centered around late-night broadcasts. That is the current situation. This year, “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya,” the definitive version of “gakuen moe,” has come out, and DVD sales have already peaked; from here they can only go down. At this rate, anime has no future. If I were to say why, it’s that today’s middle and high school students feel that anime is foolish and don’t want to see it. Originally anime was made for children to watch. Imperceptibly, the anime industry has become a business of greed, due to the marketability of “moe.” The fact that the people who watch these anime works oriented towards obsessive fans range in age from twenty to over forty is, I think, something of a deviation. Ever since Eva, the axis of the world has spun out of control, away from what the form should naturally be. And, the fault is entirely on our side, the side of the makers and the anime producers. This is part of what are called the “faults” in the faults and virtues of Eva. The “virtues” are lacking. Or if they exist, that can only [depend upon the] evaluation of the works as works.

  • In such a situation, between early summer next year and early summer 2008, you will release “Evangelion Shingekijoban,” a reconstruction of the TV series version of Eva divided into four parts. But, what is your aim? I think what many fans expect from you and Director Anno is a “second Eva” and not an “Eva remake.”

Otsuki: This is often misunderstood, but it’s true that I have never once said to Anno-san, “let’s do a sequel to Eva,” all these past twelve years. Because, to perverse people, if you say something like that, you’ve all of a sudden lost your enthusiasm (laughing). However, at last I recieved the following words from Anno-san: “I want to first of all create the ‘foundation’ for creating the ‘next Eva’.”

  • In short, this new movie version is really for the purpose of clearing the ground for the “next Eva”?

Otsuki: Right. If I say too much it will be a spoiler (laughing). With the situation of society at that time, Anno-san’s internal problems, and so on, and especially because the film version ended ruinously, with the world destroyed and Shinji and Asuka the only survivors, continuing the Eva of twelve years ago is not possible. However, with the passing of twelve years, and the turn of a [new] age, Anno-san has settled things within himself. The new films should be, in a sense, Eva with a happy end, or if I had to express it in a single phrase, a story which leads to hope.

  • However, hearing that I worry that [Eva] will become like Gundam in the “bad sense,” and that from now on nothing but sequels to Eva will be made.

Otsuki: Anno-san says that he wants to make [Eva] Gundam in the “good sense.” After all, despite the fact that in tokusatsu there are standards like “Kamen Rider” and “Ultraman” which stand towering over everything, in the world of anime there is only “Gundam.” Because of that, we want to make Eva into a new standard for the world of anime with these films. The production studio, as well, is not Gainax. We will make [the new films] centered in a new company, Studio Khara.

  • So, what do you hope to bring about with new Eva films in the world of anime corrupted by Eva?

Otsuki: First of all, we want to give middle and high school students the feeling that Eva is interesting and that they want to see it. Since, within the allowances of today’s middle and high school students, nearly five thousand yen disappears each month due to the packet fees of mobile phones, they can’t buy things like anime DVDs. So, [we want] the collapse of the ethic which says, “because of this, we’ll make moe anime directed towards the 30-somethings who buy DVDs.” In doing this, we industry people have overlooked all the most important things. Ever since Eva, even more than the creation of works, the number of people who can only write things like “the number of yen taken in at the box-office,” or “the company has been listed, and its stock price went up this much” has suddenly increased. To be honest, it makes me sick. If we only say those kind of things, this industry will be in deep trouble before too long.

  • You mean you want to inject vitality into your industry.

Otsuki: In my heart I believe that, in the twelve years since Eva, I have been the most useless of all (bitter laugh). Because of that, I want to give my purposeless and aimless self of the last twelve years a good kick by making Eva one more time, here and now. A few days ago, we had the opening of Studio Khara. Anno-san, Sadamoto-san, Tsurumaki-san, everyone was brimming over with motivation and looked to be in great spirits. I thought, here is the feeling I have been missing these last twelve years of involvement on many different anime projects. It was too amazing, these forty-something men with eyes like the eyes of young boys. This will be a great studio, and these will be great films. The sakuga will be completely new, so please look forward to it.

–Otsuki, Cyzo magazine November 2006; Numbers-kun translation of an online page

Production on the Evangelion TV series began about one year before it actually started airing, but Anno and the team working under him spent a considerable amount of that period working on Episode One and Episode Two.

“I mustn’t run away,” a line Shinji mutters repeatedly to himself in Episode One, would become a mantra that summed up the entire Evangelion series in Japan.

Until Evangelion, anime had ignored concepts such as having an ordinary person piloting such an elaborate and powerful machine as the Eva. (What?)

“We had to think deeply about how we were going to present Shinji. And because we were thinking along these lines, we set our minds on the idea that the entire series would largely focus on how Shinji deals with things going on inside himself,” Gainax’s Sato recalls.

…Sato sees Episode 16 was of particular importance. A spherical black Angel called Ririeru (Leliel in English) appears and Shinji’s Eva Unit 01 is absorbed into it.

Normally, such close contact between an Evangelion and an Angel would have resulted in combat. Instead, in this episode, Shinji is confronted by another version of himself.

The two Shinjis engage in conversation as the young boy probes “himself” about who he really is and the meaning of “self.”

The episode clearly shows how Shinji explores his inner self as he continues asking why it is that he has been selected to pilot the Eva.

The series continues in this way with a strong focus on Shinji’s internal struggles until Evangelion draws toward its climax.

A controversial ending In Episode 24, Evangelion took a major change of focus with the appearance of an Angel called Kaworu.

Kaworu was almost indistinguishable from an average human, which allowed the Angel to get close to Shinji and eventually befriend him before they being forced to take opposing sides in battle.

Their fight scene is conducted with Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” playing in the background and the intensity of the battle with a foe that should represent the final enemy seemed to be setting up an appropriate ending to be carried out over the series’ final two installments.

…When Episode 25 first aired the following week, nearly all viewers felt betrayed.

The story did not develop at all and focused almost entirely on what was going on inside Shinji, a plotline that had been pursued numerous times in the past.

Episode 26, the final show of the series, was much the same as it explored the thoughts of Shinji and two other major characters, Asuka and Misato.

The TV series ended with people gathered around Shinji, praising him for saving them and the young boy finally realizing that he belonged in the world and apparently feeling at ease.

Some people claimed the convoluted ending to the series came about because the production team had been unable to make deadlines, or that the team was too concerned about the movie version of Evangelion that was due to hit theaters shortly after.

Anno never clearly spoke out about the final two episodes and why they were made the way they came out.

Bitter disputes broke out on online bulletin boards, with some critical of the producers for failing to provide a clear-cut end to the story, and others who praised the finish for being “typically Evangelion-like.”

But when commentator Eiji Otsuka sent a letter to the Yomiuri Shimbun, complaining about the end of the Evangelion series, the debate went nationwide.

“The debate that erupted over the ending went way beyond our calculations,” Gainax’s Sato chuckles. “Anno probably knew what was going on. He realized that media other than anime had taken notice of Evangelion.”

Otsuki, the show’s producer and a close collaborator with Anno, agrees. “Anno loved it when the media wanted to report on him.

He was especially keen when the media had nothing to do with anime," Otsuki says. “I suppose that ending was something that Anno really wanted to make.”

…Evangelion also proved to be inspirational for other animators.

Tomoki Kyoda spoke of how Evangelion had spurred him on to create an anime that would be bigger than it had been and methods and character developments in his work shows the influence.

Evangelion also created what has been called the “Third Generation Otaku,” young adults who grew up reading Evangelion manga and watching the TV series, with successful novelist Tatsuhiko Takimoto including himself among their number.

Will there ever be anything as big as Evangelion again? Even the creators of Evangelion concede that their careers are unlikely to ever produce such a phenomena again. Evangelion producer Otsuki openly admits that he has still to create a work that has surpassed it.

Gainax’s Sato says, “The opening credits of Evangelion have the words ‘Hideaki Anno, Director’ in very large letters. No anime released since then has had a name attached to it so prominently.”

…In those 10 years, I’ve produced works like “Shojo Kakumei Utena” (Revolutionary Girl Utena) and “Sokyu no Fafuna” (Dead Aggressor), but nothing I’ve done has surpassed Evangelion.

WHAT WERE THE TOUGHEST TIMES?

Without doubt, the hardest thing was when we couldn’t make the opening deadline for the movie back in 1997.

We couldn’t release a complete work and were forced to bring out a movie in both the spring and again in the summer.

We had been working on the movie version while the TV series while still running for the first time, but I knew by the end of 1996 that we weren’t going to make the deadline, so I made the decision to create two movies.

Anno-san never apologized, though. The end result was that we got almost the same amount of people in to watch both movies, which made the distributor, Toho, very happy, but it was really tough to make the decision to split up the story.

Even then, we still had to work up until the very last moment to get the second movie out on time. I went home to catch up on some sleep without even watching the movie.

Another difficult matter was the scheduling of the end of the TV series.

I have absolutely no recollection of having seen the rushes before the shows aired. Before I knew it, I was seeing things like (Eva) Unit 03 fighting on the screen and thinking: “What the hell is going on here?” [This is very interesting given the reports by the likes of Rob Fahey about how the time-crunch resulted in no review by outsiders of episodes, leading to public & PTA criticism, and then the initial EoE-style drafts being thrown out, and 25/26 being produced in just the final few days.]

There have been two major changes in the anime world since Evangelion came out.

The first is that TV networks have expanded their programming to include more manga. There’s also more manga being shown on satellite and late-night TV. I think Evangelion proved without a doubt that anime could be a powerful business.

The other transformation Evangelion brought about was changing the face of (the central Tokyo district of) Akihabara.

Up until then, Akihabara had only been a place where people bought household appliances and electronics, but anime gradually began to make its presence felt more and more.

At the time, people could only buy either laser discs or video cassettes, but we still managed to change Akihabara so that it became a place that went from selling appliances to selling software.

…Anno-san concentrated on producing the work itself, while I concentrated on basically every other task associated with it.

It was me who made the orders when we needed to produce more laser disc and CDs and it was me who met with all the sponsors and the TV network people.

I only had one person working under me at the time, and we were constantly unable keep up with production demand for products because they kept selling so quickly.

…In terms of doing something that had never been done before, it was almost as though we were a “pre-Colombian Columbus.”

I can still clearly remember going to one advertising agency while on a search for sponsors and doing a presentation about Evangelion.

When I’d finished, one of the agency bigwigs turned to me and said, deadly serious, “If you bungle this project, you’re fired.”

When I went to the toy manufacturers, the reaction was pretty much the same.

I suppose the idea of a record company executive trying to sell an anime was unprecedented. Everything we did then was unprecedented.

Otsuki interview, Mainichi Times

During the high tide of the EVA boom in 1997, the enjo kosai [“compensated dating”] hoo-ers [whores] in Tokyo were reported to be affecting bandages.

Carl Horn

It will be a work that can be enjoyed even if you have not seen the TV series. I want old hard-core fans and even fans who just know Eva from pachinko to view it as a single (i.e. stand-alone) movie. We welcome first-time viewers, so the contents will be simpler, but we don’t intend to make something on a level that can be understood just by spacing out and watching it.

When you say ‘Eva’ there are probably people who are reminded of a worldview steeped in mystery, but this time it looks like those types of elements will be kept to a minimum.

This is because techniques such as intentionally scattering difficult to understand phrases to create uncertainty are 12 years old. The essence of this project is to foil all expectations that everyone has towards Eva.

–Otsuki, (September?) Newtype interview; translated by Bochan_bird

Iijima-san and I discussed the animation field, including Gainax and Evangelion’s roles therein for several minutes in English, then he dropped a bombshell, telling me Representative Director of Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Shinichiro Inoue and Evangelion Executive Producer Toshimichi Ootsuki [Otsuki] (how the man spells his family name on his own business card although some more “authoritative” encyclopedias and such spell it “Ohtsuki”) were going to give a stage greeting and small talk event in-person just before the movie screening that night. Ootsuki-san was the central figure interviewed in the October issue of Newtype Magazine who broke the big Rebuild Of Evangelion scoop a few months ago. He’s the Managing Director of King Records. Working directly with Director Hideaki Anno in the past Ootsuki-san said he often handled all the running and business related matters on the projects while he left Anno to the creative process of actually making the animation. I was asked if I’d like to be introduced to Ootsuki and of course saying yes, we quickly finished our drinks and left the pizzeria as the best chance for meeting him would be to catch him before the start of the show, there were about 30 minutes to go….The main house lights dimmed, a spotlight was focused towards the front, 2 men appeared to walk out a door near the left side of the front of the theater, very close to our seating position. One man, (Inoue-san) I didn’t recognize at first but the other (ootsuki-san) I did recognize immediately from his most recent picture in the Evangelion Newtype scoop piece. Ootsuki talked at length about working on Eva in the mid-late 1990’s leading into the films we were about to see. Some of the conversation I could pickup on and some I couldn’t. Luckily, I was sitting next to Iijima-san and he provided on the spot translation (A big thanks!!!!!). Having covered Eva’s past the conversation then turned to the new Rebuild of Evangelion project and series’ future. Familiar still images from the spreads in the October issue of Newtype appeared on the big screen as he recapped a lot of that info. The slide show stopped on the cover image of Kaworu and Rei, it was at this point that it was mentioned the 2 characters would play a feature role in the “first part” of the new film series and that the story would focus on a school setting prior to the angel arrival.

“Exclusive Screening Report: Shin Seiki Evangelion Movies Death (True)2 / Air / Magokoro Wo, Kimi Ni (The End Of Evangelion) At animecs T!FF In Akihabara 2006”, Jonah Morgan

Hayao Miyazaki, to me, is “Zero Marks as a Father, Full Marks as a Director”.

My father was almost never at home. That’s why for me, when I was a child, my mother had to fill the place of my father.

My father came home every day in the middle of the night, after I had already gone to sleep. He was always very conscientious in this regard - apparently, no matter how late it was, he always made sure that he came home. But almost every Saturday and Sunday he was still at work regardless. That’s why, from my earliest awareness to the present day, I hardly ever had the chance to talk to him.

He always came back after I was asleep, and when I left for school at 8 o’clock he was still asleep. That’s why, when I was in elementary school, before going to school I often used to go and look in the bedroom to see if my father was there or not.

My father threw himself completely into his work. Not only did he not look after the children, he never did a single bit of housework. So my mother did all of that.

My mother was also an animator, but when my younger brother was born, just before I started going to elementary school, my father changed workplaces, and his work got even busier than before. So the result was, that in order to bring up the children, my mother had no choice but to give up being an animator.

“Goro Miyazaki’s Blog Translation (Page 39); 22nd February 2006; Number 39 - Zero Marks as a Father, Full Marks as a Director”, see also MangaUK’s “Family Feud?: Andrew Osmond examines Tales From Earthsea; relevant to Gendo and to Anno’s discussions of fathers

2006 S

The broadcast of the TV series finished in March 1996. In April, the fact that episode 25 (“A World Ending”) and episode 26 (“The Beast that Shouted ‘I’ at the Heart of the World”) would be remade in a form in accordance with the original script [or scripts] was announced. Following that, the production of a movie version was announced. At the stage when production of the movie version was first announced, it was explained that it would be a completely new, original work, different from the remakes of episodes 25 and 26. In the end, the completely new Eva film version was not made, but I would certainly like to know what it would have been like if it had been made.

“第60回 エヴァ雑記「EVANGELION DEATH AND REBIRTH」”; translation by Numbers-kun: “The writer, Yuichiro Oguro, wrote the commentary for the original LD release of Evangelion and was responsible for the written content of the theatrical programs for Death and Rebirth and EoE. He also wrote extra commentary for the Tomo no Kai [Eva Fan Club] pamphlets.”

2006 T

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  • 2006-mechademia1_emergingworldsofanimemanga.pdf
  • 2006-ruh-therobotsfromtakkunshead:cyborgadolescenceinflcl.pdf

Many of the short “TV series” sold to the American market began as late-night programs airing long past midnight, and can have content designed to match. Primetime television in Japan has become increasingly censorious since the mid-1990s, when controversial episodes of EVANGELION were broadcast without prior executive approval. The resultant timidity on the part of broadcasters has played into the hands of the late-night shows and cable networks, with shows such as GANTZ enjoying two distinct existences: one in a widely available but edited form and another in a more graphic version requiring cable subscription or DVD rental. In the case of COWBOY BEBOP, the main story arc was only seen on WOWOW and DVDs-the version seen on terrestrial TV was missing 14 episodes.

…A deeply personal, psychological odyssey that allowed Anno to remake his earlier GUNBUSTER at a slower pace, Eva similarly replayed the Pacific War from the Japanese point of view, specifically the apocalyptic final events. Cosmetic use of Western religious imagery, such as Angel weaponry exploding in cruciform patterns, may appear to suggest that Western beliefs themselves are an alien invasion, but this owes more to Anno’s own readings in Jungian psychology and archetypes as he coped with creative doldrums post-Gunbuster72 …Ultimately, however, Eva ended in a series of disappointments. Gainax was criticized for later scenes broadcast without network approval, indirectly causing the more censorious climate that hurt COWBOY BEBOP. Later episodes ran visibly low on funds, with overlong pauses to stretch the animation budget and two concluding episodes that were glorified radio plays. Rumors abounded that Gainax had run out of money and/or time, and that the final chapters were thrown together in just two weeks when Anno’s hard-hitting original finale was disallowed. However, Gunbuster similarly ended with a montage of stills rather than the promised climactic battle, leading some to suggest Anno had always planned it this way and that the violent nature of the theatrical sequels reflected his annoyance that his “intellectual” ending was unappreciated by the audience…In the aftermath of Eva, Anno reused many of its stylistic conceits (such as multiple onscreen titles) in the live-action Love & Pop (1999) and the anime romance HIS AND HER CIRCUMSTANCES. Sagisu’s score was also recycled when parts of it were lifted for Katsuyuki Motohiro’s live-action TV series Bayside Shakedown.

The Anime Encyclopedia by Jonathan Clements & Helen McCarthy; first quote from pg 121 (‘Censorship and localization’), second quote pg 211 (‘Evangelion’)

2007

2007 P

Distinguished less by the quality of its animation than by its dark subject matter, nonlinear storytelling, and heavy, depressive stoner vibe, the series is regularly praised by animators, novelists, cultural theorists, and visual artists as the flower of Japanese pop culture. It has been credited with defining gender roles, influencing attitudes toward the environment, and spawning the madly obsessive - and immensely profitable - otaku subculture embraced by tens of thousands of geeky fans who spend their lives unraveling the larger message of the show and collecting pornographic comic books featuring the show’s female characters.

In person, Hideaki Anno, dressed in a military-green jumpsuit and black boots, slouches deep in his battered office couch and glowers. In a country where conformity is still a virtue, Anno stands out on account of his curly black hair and large, cauliflower-shaped ears, which, in combination with his jumpsuit, give him the appearance of an angry hobbit in black-rimmed glasses. Before creating his famous anime, Anno went through a four-yearlong depression, during which he did no work and spent most of his time alone in his room. In 2003, Gainax sold the live-action rights to Neon Genesis Evangelion to a film producer that is collaborating with Weta Workshop, a company whose principals include Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. I am particularly interested in talking to Anno about the character of Rei, a depressive, suicidal girl whose big eyes, girlish body, and blank expression have been the model for the central female characters in Japanese anime for the past decade.

“Rei is someone who is aware of the fact that even if she dies, there’ll be another to replace her, so she doesn’t value her life very highly,” Anno explains, slouching ever-deeper into the couch. “Her presence, her existence - ostensible existence - is ephemeral. She’s a very sad girl. She only has the barest minimum of what she needs to have. She’s damaged in some way; she hurts herself. She doesn’t need friends.”

Anno understands the Japanese national attraction to characters like Rei as the product of a stunted imaginative landscape born of Japan’s defeat in the Second World War. “Japan lost the war to the Americans,” he explains, seeming interested in his own words for the first time during our interview. “Since that time, the education we received is not one that creates adults. Even for us, people in their 40s, and for the generation older than me, in their 50s and 60s, there’s no reasonable model of what an adult should be like.” The theory that Japan’s defeat stripped the country of its independence and led to the creation of a nation of permanent children, weaklings forced to live under the protection of the American Big Daddy, is widely shared by artists and intellectuals in Japan. It is also a staple of popular cartoons, many of which feature a well-meaning government that turns out to be a facade concealing sinister and more powerful forces.

Anno pauses for a moment, and gives a dark-browed stare out the window. “I don’t see any adults here in Japan,” he says, with a shrug. “The fact that you see salarymen reading manga and pornography on the trains and being unafraid, unashamed or anything, is something you wouldn’t have seen 30 years ago, with people who grew up under a different system of government. They would have been far too embarrassed to open a book of cartoons or dirty pictures on a train. But that’s what we have now in Japan. We are a country of children.”

The storyboards for the first movie have already been finished and sent off to the animators, so show director Hideaki Anno is already plotting out the scenario for the second film. Other names from the first series, including Masayuki, and Kazuya Tsurumaki, are also busily working away.

“While Tsurumaki freely admits that the first of the four film installments–slated to hit theaters in Japan sometime mid-2007–will run like a digest of the TV series, employing key scenes to bring viewers up to speed on the basic story and setting, no one is very willing to speculate on the content of the second, third, or final films.

“Frankly, it just got too chaotic,” Tsurumaki comments on the brainstorming sessions that were initially meant to provide an overall plot outline and final resolution to the story. “We’re all working from the assumption that we weren’t able to reach our destination with the original TV series, but the exact nature of that”destination" is still unclear to everyone on the staff. Since we’re going to all the trouble of making these new productions, we’d at least like to take the story as far as we took it back then, but it’s been an uphill struggle so far. I get the feeling this project is going to be a very unstable project–in a lot of ways."

Unstable, maybe. But brilliant, almost certainly. We’re come to expect nothing less from Evangelion."

In April 10, the Otona Anime http://d.hatena.ne.jp/otonaanime/20070331 Magazine (vol. 4) had an interview with the planning director of Studio Khara, Todoroki Ikki. In the article says that the script comes from Anno only, even when he let open the doors to new ideas in the production meetings. The participants were Anno, Tsurumaki, Masayuki, Otsuki, Todoroki, Yoshikawa Ryoutarou (Science Fiction author) and Sakurai Keiki (script writer).

The script for the second movie took more than half year in making, but is close to be finished. It’s still a secret what new characters will appear in the movies. The Yashima Operation was re-drawed detailed, and is notable the influence of Higuchi Shinji. The script for final parts weren’t still defined.

Article’s Images:

  1. http://img105.imageshack.us/img105/4170/32rn9.jpg
  2. http://img105.imageshack.us/img105/152/33oh0.jpg
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PsyBear

2007 S

The running out of cash thing isn’t true - that’s something that’s become a popular theory more recently, which confuses me a bit because at the time, there was absolutely no debate over what happened to the final episodes. In fact, it was reported in Japanese newspapers at the time - it was quite a big news story, given Eva’s huge popularity in its original terrestrial broadcasts.

Anno and the rest of the Gainax team had been pushing production of the various episodes up closer and closer to the deadlines issued by their TV station, to the extent that they were actually biking episodes over to the broadcast center on Beta tape only minutes before the broadcast time73. This was tolerated, because Eva had some of the highest ratings of any show ever - until Episode 24.

Episode 24 arrived at the station so late that it couldn’t even be watched before being broadcast - it was slapped in a Beta drive and transmitted directly, without being reviewed by any staff at the station. Episode 24, you’ll recall, is the Kaworu episode, which aside from the homosexual overtones (probably not actually an issue), ends with, er, a pop. Bear in mind that this was broadcast in a 6.30pm weekday slot on Japanese national television.

The network went apeshit - it may have been in silhouette, and he may have been technically non-human, but you can’t show a 14 year old popping his 14 year old friend’s head off at 6.30pm on TV, even in Japan. Gainax, and Anno specifically, were accused of deliberately holding back the episode to prevent the network from seeing it before broadcast - and the network staff demanded to see the storyboards for the next two episodes.

Since the storyboards they were then shown were the two episodes which ended up in EoE, it’s no surprise that the network execs told Gainax that they were having a bleedin’ bubble, and insisted (with seven days to go!) that they make new episodes instead. Hence the original episode 25 and 26; all re-used footage, with a few random bits and bobs of footage that had been animated for other purposes or cut from earlier episodes, and a few frames of new footage. 25 and 26 were the “fuck you” episodes, absolute nonsense thrown together on an incredibly short schedule after they were told that the original planned episodes wouldn’t be screened.

(I think that the theories about Gainax running out of cash may be down to people getting confused over some other facts about the studio - Gainax DID run into major financial trouble, but this was several years after Eva was released. In fact, the trouble was down to the fact that they hadn’t paid their taxes on a lot of the money they made from Eva, and the fines levied by the government as a result almost bankrupted the company…)

–Irish journalist Rob Fahey (posting as Shinji on Eurogamer); CitizenGeek described him as someone who “seems very connected to the world of Japanese animation (In fact, he worked for Gonzo for a while and has been to Japan on many occasions)”. Original Eurogamer posting: http://www.eurogamer.net/forum_thread_posts.php?forum_id=1&thread_id=86082&start=60; EGF mirror. Listed under ‘secondary’ because unclear whether Fahey is drawing on personal experience, rumors, or Japanese media reports

2007 T

  • 2007-animeintersections:traditioninnovationthemetechnique.pdf
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  • 2007-redmond-moreeastasiannonsense.pdf
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“I just don’t get these ero-ge playing, gashapon-collecting, cosplaying, maid-cafe-patronizing kids anymore, they say. The Internet has made it so easy to zero in on others with your own interests that we’ve raised a generation of nerds mired in their own tiny spheres of influence. Fans of a given genre use information technologies to surround themselves with like-minded people in impenetrable cliques. The thought of a broader society beyond their own tiny subculture never occurs to them. Call it the”otaku singularity" worldview.

It wasn’t like this back in the golden age, they continue, thumping their glasses of shochu on the countertop for emphasis. Otaku of different stripes hung out together (thunk)! There was an exchange of ideas (thunk)! The military otaku and PC otaku and anime otaku and Gun-pla otaku all shared ideas, created things they wouldn’t have been able to do on their own. It was like… like… an otaku utopia!

… Not having lived in Japan during the “Otaku 1.0” era (late ’70s - late ’80s), it’s tough for me to tell how much of this idyllic “cross-pollination” really happened on a regular basis. But it’s a seductive image and one mirrored in Okada’s autobiographical film Otaku no Video, in which a house full of freaks with wildly different interests pools their talents to launch their own company."

“I Believed in Otaking”

2008

2008 P

“How did you come up with the idea for Gurren Lagann?”

The answer: Toys. Yamaga-san seemed happy to answer this one. I’m paraphrasing the answer. He was quicker than what I could write down. He said that he met with a business contact who asked him, “Do we make a Gundam-like animation?” The contact continued, “Gundam is awesome, appeals to little kids and old school fans, and it can alternate between the two audiences easily.” Yamaga-san then pointed out that another company is responsible for Gundam and continued that this person was an earnest person and took the advice seriously. He then later ran into a president of a toy company who told him that “Giant robots are eternal. They never go away.” “Being a creator, I took it as a challenge. Trying to make a robot show that appeals to kids and adults.”…The two GAINAX guys did talk briefly about their other giant robot show and how they wanted Gurren Lagann to be different from that one. What is interesting is that they came up with the basic mecha concept and the name, but most of filling out the story was left to the director and the scriptwriter.

…The next question concerned the sixth episode, and if GAINAX drew inspiration from their older work. “We are GAINAX. We will parody ourselves.” (Bandai later clarified that the TV version of the sixth episode will be shown on Sci-Fi, but the DVDs will have the DVD version or maybe both versions.) A big part of why they had two episode sixes was that they had a hard time with the Japanese censors. It was not because they were running late or whatever.

After that, a question about GAINAX’s financials that was answered with “We walk a tightrope of bankruptcy and lowering our animator’s wages.” (Note: most of the animators were in the audience.) “We don’t do more than 26 episode series because we’ll go bankrupt.”

…Keeping with the naming question, how did they come up with the name, “Gurren Lagann”? “‘Gurren Lagann’ sounds Japanese and foreign, so that was good. Honestly, the meeting to decide the name lasted three minutes.”

…Next question was “Why did it start airing on Sunday morning? Wouldn’t afternoon be a better time?” The panel (don’t remember who, my notes only said, “ZOMG, cute Nia cosplayer in the third row.”) answered that Sunday morning is actually the new primetime for anime. They said that a few years ago, the weekend afternoons were great for anime, but now it has shifted that Sunday morning is where the ratings are at. They aimed Gurren Lagann for that time slot, and they had to deal with more censors or something to that effect. My notes aren’t clear…

…After that was a question on the large faced mecha design… “Director’s idea to do robots with large faces. Because it is strange, we do it.”

…Then I got to ask my second and final question, “Are Simon and Kamina apologies for Shinji Ikari?” Brought the room down with laughter as well as a face palm from a few panelists. Yamaga defiantly said, “What do you mean apology? Why does we have to apologize? Shinji is a great character.” He seemed like he meant it.

–Fanime http://blogsuki.com/archives/2008/05/25/1415/

  1. Whose idea was the new Evangelion movie series project, and how did it come to be?

The project came to be through director [Hideaki] Anno. All I know is after he developed the concept, he pulled together the team of which I am a part.

…6. Was it hard getting the original cast from the TV series together to do the films?

This is something that I wasn’t involved with, but it seems that the director was able to just pick up the phone and everyone flocked back.

  1. Without spoiling anything, what are some of the differences fans can expect to see between the original TV series and the upcoming movie series?

There’s quite a bit of new visuals, some new designs, the coloring has been updated. Because we recorded the voice overs first, we were able to get a different sort of expression from the voice actors. There will be new plots and new stories involved as well. It’s a brilliant work and I hope fans will really enjoy it.

  1. What was the hardest thing about making the films?

I wouldn’t say that there were any real obstacles or anything difficult; it was quite the opposite because the original Evangelion was such a huge hit in Japan that many of the staff in the intervening time have become the top of their fields within animation, so to be able to work with the top people in animation was an incredible opportunity, and I don’t remember any true difficulties.

http://www.theotaku.com/fanwords/view/1131/evangelion_1.0_interview%3A_kobun_shizuno/, New York Anime Festival interview, Kobun Shizuno (co-director Eva 1.0)

Interviewer: Mr. Nishizaki, how did Yamato production start?

Nishizaki: At first I hit on the idea of a flying battleship. There was a prototype of this in a magazine called Boy’s Club at the time. The ideas coalesced into Space Battleship Yamato. It began 34 years ago, in 1974. Anno, when did you first see it?

Anno: I was an eighth-grader. I was already a fan of battleships, but when I saw the anime it was unprecedented. At the time, though, we didn’t say ‘anime,’ it was ‘TV manga.’ I was fascinated just by the opening title. It was something adults would not be embarrassed to watch.

I did ‘missionary work’ for Yamato at my school. I drew my own poster and put it up on the campus to spread the word! (Laughs)

Nishizaki: The staff and I were very particular about making it as photographic as possible. If we could find anyone who could describe a real battleship I’d say ‘I’ll be there in 30 minutes,’ and jump in my car.

However, our ratings were bad. We had planned to do 39 episodes, but we were reduced to 26. Heidi of the Alps was on another channel, and that was everyone’s popular pick.

Anno: A whole family would watch Heidi together. But as for Yamato, it was just me (laughs). But my father was soon tempted, too. After all, it was a program adults could enjoy.

The first episode was a big surprise, and I became an instant fan. When the 2nd episode came on, I put my cassette recorder next to the TV. I noisily begged my parents for one to help with English study. After listening three times I could repeat all the dialogue (laughs)!

Nishizaki: The sound effects were very good. Which did you like best?

Anno: The main guns firing. In fact, we used that sound in Nadia and the Secret of Blue Water. Those sounds should be preserved for posterity!

Interviewer: By the way, did you actually use that cassette recorder for English study?

Anno: (Laughs) No, only for recording Yamato! I also recorded the commercials. I can recall all the catchphrases even today.

Nishizaki: Was Yamato the model for Nadia?

Anno: Your favorite works are always your model, whether or not you admit it. But Yamato’s influence was large, especially on the spaceships.

…Interviewer: Nishizaki’s dynamic connection! By the way, there is a rumor that Dessler was modeled after you. Is that true?

Nishizaki: That was probably an accident! (Laughs) I sympathized with the role of Dessler. He was faithful to his desires. Some said that in that way he resembled me very much! (Laughs)

Anno: Dessler’s a great character. A lot of anime villains would attack without reason, but with him there was always a good reason. He completely overturned the morality of anime works. His story did a lot to spread the Yamato worldview.

…Nishizaki: If Yamato failed, I was thinking about quitting the anime business. So I’m really grateful the fans liked the movie and the TV reruns.

Anno: We fans should thank you. If not for Yamato, Japan might not have anime now. Neither anime fans nor Otakus would have been born. Yamato started it all.

Nishizaki: I’m glad the idea of a realistic anime was accepted.

Anno: When I first saw Yamato, I was at the age where we were expected to ‘graduate’ from watching anime. Because I saw it, I continued watching after middle school. It was my whole life in high school. The first animation cel I painted was of Yamato. I shot it with an 8mm camera to make it look like it was flying forward. That was my first self-produced anime. Seeing Yamato got me into anime.

Japan’s Weekly Playboy magazine, published February 25, 2008

ANN: Gainax has had to deal with concerns from television stations regarding mature images and themes in previous series. For Gurren Lagann, airing at a child-friendly time slot last year, did any television stations raise similar concerns about the series?

[Yasuhiro] Takeda: Well, it’s not Gainax’s problem - it’s the television stations’ problem (laughter). We had a number of problems though - in particular, episode 6, the bathhouse episode. If only the television stations would just look through the original scripts when we submitted them instead of waiting until the animation footage was made. When we actually first suggested [the episode], they said, “Oh, it shouldn’t be a problem.” Yet, when we completed the animation footage and showed it to them, they said, “There’s no way we can show this.” The biggest issue was that peeking into the women’s bath - that act alone - is illegal. Therefore, we can’t show that during a child-friendly timeslot. Why couldn’t they have told us that when we gave them the script before? So we had to do what we could to get it on the air. I mean, we took the script to them, we took the storyboards to them, and eventually, when we finally took the animation footage to them - only then, did they finally say that they had a problem with it.

“Interview: Gainax on Gurren Lagann; possibly relevant to discussions of censorship and rushing in the final episodes - perhaps the network approved the script, per this scenario, even though they would have rejected the animated version

  • …Someone asked what they felt was the main difference between working on the TV series and the movie. The Character designer said “drawing bigger tits for Yoko”.

  • Someone compared the beginning of the series to a work of Plato (no joke). Something about them being in the cave and shut off from the outer world being alike to people shutting themselves off from the outside or something. Gainax just answered that they just wanted to show the path of a character from “the bottom to the top”.

Connichi Gainax panel

I have been asked directly by a few people before now if I was the model for Kaworu. Where did that information come from? I was completely uninvolved [in Kaworu’s creation] as one of the principals. Kaworu is very good-looking, so if I said I was his model I imagine I would receive complaints from his fans. However, it’s not the case that I have no idea at all [what the speculation might refer to]. During the period when Evangelion was still in its preparatory stages, I was in very close contact with Anno-san. At that time, the staff of Sailor Moon went on a company trip to an onsen, and Anno-san was also among our members.74 The two of us ended up talking the whole night. Even after everyone else had collapsed we went on and on, drinking sake and talking, sitting side by side in an open air bath and talking. So, I think the conversation we had that night had perhaps the same flavor as the exchange between Kaworu and Shinji. I also felt this way when I saw episode 24 for myself. Well, the situation with the bath was the same; that’s easy enough to understand. But, it seems there are rumors - I’m not really sure - that the line of dialogue, “You are worthy of love,” was something I said to Anno-san, and so on (laughs). I don’t think it was a case where I was Kaworu and Anno-san was Shinji. Only, if I had to say which [is which], Anno-san seems to say more Kaworu-esque cynical things, right? So, I remember telling [Anno] a story about the time of my adolescence. When I was fourteen or fifteen, I was truly in despair, thinking my life prospects were very bleak. With tests and such things, I had the feeling that I was not permitted even a slight failure. Today it seems like even failures receive attention, or that there is freedom to be “dame”75 but at that time it seemed that you would have no future after failing even once. Up until the 70s there was the anpo toso [widespread protest movement against the U.S.-Japan security treaty, which led to massive demonstrations in 1960 and 1970 against the signing of the 1960 treaty and its renewal in 1970], but when that ended, an atmosphere - “ah, as we suspected, you can’t revolutionize the world” - began to spread. So, I thought that I would be dead before I was twenty years old, and any life I lived beyond that would be a kind of omake - that was the story I told [to Anno]. Probably, just the fact that I was able to tell that story was of value to both of us.

…My own impression of Anno-san is a feeling like he’s not human. He’s big, hunches over, and seems to resemble an Evangelion. [For example,] often he’s had a utility knife, and cried out “Yah!” as he slid the blade out (laughs).

He’s ordered to come back by his father, he’s slapped by Ayanami, he’s called stupid by Asuka, he’s yelled at to straighten up by Misato… Shinji doesn’t receive much affirmation from others. I think, in this situation, the only one who tells him that he’s fine just the way he is, is Kaworu. “You don’t have to try to so hard.” Perhaps because of that, after Kaworu appeared, the girls who had been watching Eva and who found it interesting but didn’t feel the kind of enthusiasm that the boys felt about it were able to finally connect emotionally with Shinji. Perhaps because of that everyone loves Kaworu. Hm? Have I ever said to anyone, “you’re fine just the way you are”? Isn’t that something I’m always saying?

–Kunihiko Ikuhara; translation by Numbers-kun. Excerpt from the interview “‘そのままの君でいいよ’という魔力“/”The magic of ’you’re fine just the way you are’” in October 2008 book on Kaworu Nagisa, ALL ABOUT 渚カヲル A CHILD OF THE EVANGELION (other photos). Cf. Anno’s comments on student activists and the discussions of Aum Shinrikyo

As everyone might remember Strike Witches director is a Gainax guy and the character designer on Mahoromatic and He is my Master. Here he is very happy because Anno has praised the show and asked for the DVDs http://vanishingpoint.air-nifty.com/blog/2008/08/post_7c10.html Later after going to Khara for a meeting with Anno and Tsurumaki he sees the DVDs buried under stuff on Anno’s desk and writes that he’s thankful. http://vanishingpoint.air-nifty.com/blog/2008/10/post-359f.html Takamura seems quite fond of Anno. SW’s second season’s first episode was also likely based on Gunbuster episode 5.

…Look what I stumbled upon today. Turns out the source was “Strike Witches Official Fanbook” and someone took a photo of Tsurumaki’s quote. http://imgur.com/CQwmq Here’s the rest of them http://d.hatena.ne.jp/karenbach/20101011/1286814712

Noriko is my wife

I got to meet Yuko Miyamura, the original voice of Asuka, yesterday. We did a panel together today and a 3 1/2 hour autograph session afterwards. We had SO much in common, and we have similar opinions about all things Asuka and Eva. So yes, Jeremy, she thinks I should hit you for saying those disgusting things about Shinji and Asuka - ICK!

–Tiffany Grant, 20 April 2008; Jeremy is vtr9kvictor: “…I do think that when Asuka is ready to move to a romantic relationship (not the childish fascination she has with Kaji) she might go to Shinji first, since they share so much in common.”

2008 S

Toshio Okada on old-school, hundred-proof “Otaku 1.0” from the Eighties: “individuals who chose to pursue childish hobbies as a means to intellectually and emotionally isolate themselves from society.”

Toshio Okada on the current generation of otaku: “a growing ghetto of weak individuals who blame society when others fail to understand their personal interests.”

Toshio Okada on himself: “I’m done.”

… He portrays the rise and fall of Japan’s otaku in three stages. The first generation are called “otaku aristocrats” – early adopters from the late Seventies and early Eighties who felt the need to proselytize and convert their friends to the lifestyle. This sense of noblesse oblige eventually gave rise to the second generation of “otaku elite” from the late Eighties through the late Nineties, who spurned and scorned anyone without the good sense to share their taste in entertainment. And finally, this self-centered attitude reached its apex in the current generation of “moé-otaku,” purveyors and consumers of anime, comics, and video games that feature infantile female characters instead of plotlines.

Okada defines the otaku crowd he grew up with as a group of “individuals who chose to pursue childish hobbies as a means to emotionally and intellectually isolate themselves from society,” defending their behavior as a form of rebellion and empowerment. According to Okada, this early generation of otaku weren’t outcasts but rather noble outsiders, individuals who were more than willing to face public scorn rather than give up the things that were important to them. Essentially discriminated against by society at large, they had no choice but to circle their wagons and wall themselves off from it, like native Americans (yes, that is his parallel) forming reservations in an attempt to preserve their way of life. In other words, it wasn’t a hobby, it was an cultural group, a tribe

… In contrast, Okada takes the current generation of otaku to task for continuing to “ghettoize” themselves, retreating ever-deeper into individual virtual worlds when they encounter any sort of resistance to their interests. Where’s the sense of pride, of camaraderie? he wonders. He decries their inward focus, their passivity, their apparent lack of desire to learn about or interact with subcultures outside of their own tiny worldviews. (The last is a hallmark difference, at least in Okada’s idealized view, between the moe-otaku and traditional old-school otaku, who actually forced themselves to partake of genres or titles they didn’t particularly like in order to broaden their horizons.)

… In the end analysis, Okada’s swansong is as much about the collapse of Japan’s bubble era (which fueled the super-consumerism that allowed the otaku to flourish) as it is about the collapse of a subculture. Whether you consider him an astute analyst or a sentimental relic pining for times long gone by, there’s no question that Okada played a key role in articulating the subtleties of otaku culture to the outside world. Now that he’s officially declared Otaku 1.0 dead and buried, who will speak to the secret lives of their modern counterparts?

“Speaker for the Dead”

2008 T

  • 2008-mechademia3_limitsofhuman.pdf

‘Hey guys, I’ve got some interesting tidbits of info from ADV C.E.O. John Ledford while I was at Anime Expo, and they actually sounded somewhat positive. Should I post them here or in the general Anime Expo thread? … Anyway, John Ledford had some interesting things to say about “Neon Genesis Evangelion”. As far as the “Rebuild of Evangelion” movies go, we’re not likely to see those come out in North America anytime soon. It has to do with Hideaki Anno, the creator of the original series. These movies are done entirely under his control, they’re independent films basically, and he has his own ideas about how they should be released overseas, specifically he thinks they should be released in North America in a way where people will get to watch it for free. Also I know a lot of fans believe ADV likes to hold onto their T.V. shows just to fill up their Anime Network and not take priority with other channels, but it’s not as bad as some would think. They’ve been trying hard to get “Neon Genesis Evangelion” on Cartoon Network since 1997, and obviously we saw some fruits in that with Giant Robot Week, but of course I started talking to John about how that thing just wasn’t done well. I asked then why it took so long for them to get it on [adult swim] when they apparently were always interested in it, and he said, “Well it was just Cartoon Network’s decision at the time.”’

firecrouch; unclear how seriously to take this. Rumors on the EML nearly had Eva airing on MTV rather than Cartoon Network, and I have heard nothing to the effect that Funimation paid little for Rebuild; on the other hand, Anno feeling like that would explain why Rebuild keeps running in theaters despite meager sales & not qualifying for Oscars regardless.

“Aum Shinrikyo and a Panic About Manga and Anime”, Gardner 2008 (published in Japanese Visual Culture, ISBN 978-0-7656-1601-2):

The recent success abroad of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away has introduced this aspect of Japan’s visual culture to an even wider audience and led some to predict a new “golden age” for Japanese film (Napier 2003, 22). In the midst of the accolades, it is important to recall that there have been moments in recent history when manga and anime have been regarded as potentially dangerous or as emblems of what is wrong with Japan. Such was the case in the months following the release of sarin gas in several Tokyo subway lines by members of the religious group Aum Shinrikyo on the morning of March 20, 1995. As the extent of the Aum’s crimes gradually became clear, Japanese journalists, scholars, intellectuals, and commentators of every sort attempted to explain the origin and rise of Aum, the reasons for the group’s turn to violence, and what the appearance of such a group might mean about Japan. In the various theories and explanations presented, nearly every aspect of Japanese society, culture, and religion has been held to be at least partially accountable for the rise of Aum and the turn to violence by some of its members (see Gardner 1999, 221-222; 2002a, 36-42). In the efforts to explain Aum, considerable attention was given to the roles that manga and anime might have played. This resulted in what might be described as a panic about their possible negative influence on Japanese culture and society.

…Some have suggested a link, for instance, between Aum’s increasingly pessimistic vision of a coming war and cataclysm and the suspicions surrounding the group after the disappearance of lawyer and anti-Aum activist Tsutsumi Sakamoto and his family in November 1989 (Aum members later confessed to the killing of the Sakamotos). Other possible sources of this shift in vision include the defeat of Aum candidates in the 1990 Diet elections, the arrest of Aum members for land fraud in 1990, an increasingly vocal anti-Aum movement, and the group’s increasing financial difficulties as its expansion slowed (Reader 2000, 126-161). While Asahara’s prophecies concerning “Harumagedon” were relatively optimistic throughout the 1980s, they became increasingly pessimistic in the 1990s. Because Aum’s teachings were being ignored, Asahara pronounced that the world was inevitably moving toward a cataclysmic war that only a small fraction of the world population would survive …While there is no longer hope of preventing Harumagedon, Aum adepts will be able to survive to establish a new one-thousand-year kingdom on earth. This is the same one-thousand-year kingdom foreseen by St. John in Revelations, by Nostradamus, and by Adolf Hitler, whom Asahara considers another great seer. In Asahara Shoko, senritsu no yogen (The Shocking Prophecies of Asahara Shoko), the date for Harumagedon is moved up to 1997. Freemasons and Jews are identified as agents involved in a conspiracy leading the world to disaster. Those who develop supernatural powers in time will be able to survive (Asahara 1993).

…The apocalyptic or cataclysmic themes in manga and anime throughout the 1970s and 1980s must be understood, of course, within a larger context. Apocalyptic, millennial, or cataclysmic themes are not unknown in modern Japanese religious traditions and are particularly notable in many of the movements labeled as New New Religions (Shimazono 1986, 55-86; 1992, 46-50). Related themes have also been dealt with extensively in modern Japanese literature as well as film (Napier 1996, 181-219; 1993, 327-351). Also relevant are phenomena such as the “Nostradamus boom” in Japan, sparked by the publication of The Great Prophecies of Nostradamus in 1973 (Goshima 1973). There is not yet any compelling, definitive account of how all these apocalyptic or cataclysmic scenarios are related either to each other or to changes in Japanese culture and society. We must thus content ourselves with some preliminary, exploratory observations. Among the manga and anime frequently mentioned in connection with Aum are Reiji Matsumoto’s Uchu senkan Yamato (The Space Battleship Yamato, known in the United States as Star Blazers), which first appeared as an animated television series in 1973; Hayao Miyazaki’s Mirai shonen Konan (Conan, The Boy of the Future), an animated television series broadcast by NHK beginning in 1978; Miyazaki’s Kaze no tani no Naushika (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind) which appeared in manga form from 1982 to 1994 and as a feature film in 1984; Kazumasa Hirai and Shotaro Ishimori’s Harumagedon: Genma taisen (The Great Battle with Genma), which appeared as a feature-length anime in 1983 and did much to popularize the term “Harumagedon”; and Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira, which appeared in manga form beginning in 1984 and then as an animated film in 1989. Despite their many differences, these works share a few general features. All present a situation in which an existing civilization has undergone a traumatic transformation (Conan, Nausicaä, and Akira) or is confronting imminent destruction (Yamato and Genma). The destruction originates from either human evil or stupidity (Conan, Nausicaä, and Akira) or an external evil civilization or force (Yamato and Genma). In all cases, a small band of heroes must save themselves as well as whatever part of the world they are still capable of saving. In all but Yamato, the heroes are set aside from most people by virtue of the supernatural powers they have developed or mysteriously acquired. In the cases of Genma and Akira, salvation seems possible only for those who have developed extraordinary powers. This brief account of apocalyptic scenarios in Aum’s teachings and in manga and anime should make clear that there are some intriguing parallels between the two.

…important is Aum’s development and use of various forms of media. Publications of books by its founder, Shoko Asahara, and other Aum leaders began in 1986. The monthly magazine Mahayana began appearing in 1987. In addition, Aum soon began producing manga, anime, promotional videos, music recordings, and tapes of Asahara’s preaching. Some of the audio and videotapes were meant not only for proselytizing but also for use in Aum’s religious practices. In the early 1990s, Aum began weekly radio broadcasts from Russia and also established its own homepage on the Internet.

…Aum’s understanding of the mass media is conveniently summed up in the February 1995 issue of the group’s monthly journal Vajrayana Sacca. Contained here is a special section of over one hundred pages entitled “The Devil’s Mind Control: Exposing the Plot to Brainwash Humanity” (Aum Editorial Board 1995, 6-112; see also Aoyama 1991, 82-88). The opening essay, “Subliminal Seduction,” details how subliminal images are being used to influence people: “Foolish Japanese Pigs! Devote Yourselves to Sex! First Public Report in Japan! Subliminal Japan up until the present, the Japanese mass media has kept silent and refused to discuss the use of subliminal techniques in Japanese advertising. That is because they have been using such techniques themselves. Vajrayana Sacca will expose for the first time in history the use of subliminal techniques in Japan!” (1995, 8-9). A number of images from advertisements are also presented here in “computer-enhanced” form to reveal that messages, such as the word “sex,” are often included not only in ads but even on the potato chips we eat. …It should also be added, however, that one Japanese television station did make use of subliminal images in its coverage of Aum and had to issue extensive apologies once this came to light (Gardner 1999, 223).

…The dangers of manga and anime are explained by linking the ideas of information and data to Aum’s notions of an astral world (a realm of data) and causal world (a realm of images), both of which greatly influence the phenomenal world and the beings residing in it. Thus, images from the mass media, including manga and anime, not only influence people on first exposure but continue to exert influence through their presence in the astral and causal worlds. Particular emphasis, it might be noted, is placed on the powers of visual images. Despite this critical evaluation, later Aum publications portray manga and anime more positively. They do so by noting the parallels between Aum’s vision of Harumagedon and depictions of the cataclysmic or apocalyptic scenarios found in many manga and anime. For example, Vajrayana Sacca no. 5, which appeared in the spring of 1992, contains a five-part approximately 100-page “special report” devoted to the theme of “Terrifying Prophecies of the End of the World.” Its first section, entitled “Images of Harumagedon: The World is Awaiting Ruin,” shows pictures, accompanied by brief explanations, from manga, anime, and films dealing with the theme of worldwide cataclysm and destruction (Aum Editorial Board 1992, 8-14). On the first page of this section, the creators of such works are described as prophets: “We cannot make light of novelists, scriptwriters, and manga and anime artists. No one shows more interest in the future nor does more to express in vivid form images of the future. As a matter of fact, much of what they have envisioned in recent decades is becoming a reality in the 1990s. They are, in other words, contemporary prophets, and their works are the books of prophecy nearest to us in the modern age. So let us begin by taking a look at how the fate of people in the near future is portrayed in these modern prophecies” (1992, 8). Manga and anime here are seen not as symptoms of the evil mind control being carried out by the mass media but as potentially valuable prophetic works.

…Hidetoshi Takahashi, a member of Aum’s science team who managed somehow to correctly predict the Kobe earthquake of January 17, 1995, and subsequently left the group following its sarin attack on the Tokyo subway system, wrote the following in an account of his time in Aum: “Though there may be some who do not believe in Harumagedon, it is not a matter of belief in the usual sense. The notion of the ‘end’ was inputted into our generation as a general sense of things. . . . Our favorite anime such as The Space Battleship Yamato, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and Akira all dealt with the theme of the state of the world after cataclysmic destruction” (Takahashi 1996, 160). Making use of the metaphor “input,” Takahashi sees apocalyptic manga and anime of the 1970s and 1980s as having created an atmosphere of expectation among those coming of age in those decades that helped render Asahara’s vision of Harumagedon plausible and compelling. There is also evidence that The Space Battleship Yamato may have held some significance for Aum members. A former member who once served as Asahara’s chauffeur, for example, noted in an interview that “[w]hen we were traveling by car once, I sang the theme song of The Space Battleship Yamato with the Master. The Master said, ‘Yamato was a ship carrying the last hope for the earth. It’s just like us, isn’t it?’” (Kiridoshi 1995a, 51). This connection is also made in an Aum-produced anime in which Asahara is depicted as captain of the “Spaceship Mahayana” in a way that clearly refers to The Space Battleship Yamato (Oumu Shinrikyo no sekai, n.d.). Moreover, by the time of the sarin attack in March 1995, at least some Aum facilities were equipped with Cosmos Cleaners, air purification systems named after the “cosmos cleaner” that the Yamato brought back to save the earth.

…In the weeks and months following the Tokyo sarin attack, commentators saw nearly every aspect of contemporary Japanese society as a possible cause for Aum’s violent behavior. More than a few identified manga and anime as a major factor behind Aum members’ “bizarre” beliefs and actions (Oizumi 1995, 42-43).3 In addition, they often described Aum members as unable to distinguish between reality and the fictional worlds of manga or anime.

…an article appearing as part of a series on violence in Japan in the Asahi shimbun, a major national newspaper, in January 1995 noted that some of the fourteen junior high school students involved in a school bullying incident confessed that they had wanted to try out techniques they had seen in a computer game. The article went on to quote an expert, Akira Sakamoto of Ochanomizu Women’s University, who concluded that computer games were dangerous because youth seemed to lose their ability to distinguish reality from illusion, fantasy, or simulation. Though not explicitly mentioned in the text of the article, a term for virtual reality (kyozo riaru) appears in a caption beneath a picture of a child playing a computer game. The dangers of virtual reality remained a recurrent theme in newspapers throughout 1995 and 1996. One series of articles entitled “The Creator God Virtual Reality,” which appeared in Nihon keizai shimbun, the Japanese equivalent of the Wall Street Journal, from January 22 until January 26, 1996, even seemed to attribute divine creative power to virtual reality. The term “virtual reality” was used early on to describe Aum after the sarin attack. For example, Sadao Asami, who, as a professor at Tohoku Gakuin University and an anti-cult activist, was a major commentator on Aum, used this terminology in his description of the group: “As a result of isolation from society, it is easy for persecution complexes and antisocial behavior to develop. If a cult is composed mostly of young people, such behavior can intensify and cult paranoia becomes ‘virtual reality’” (Asami 1995). In this and other cases, “virtual reality” seems to have lost any connection with its original meaning and simply becomes a way of saying that Aum members have lost touch with reality. One of the first articles to link Aum directly with manga and anime, Keiko Ihara’s “Their Shared Language is SF Anime,” appeared in the weekly magazine AERA. The article opens with a description of an imaginary village that draws on features of Aum’s commune near Kamikuishiki and themes from The Space Battleship Yamato. Japanese readers are expected to grasp the connections immediately. Reports of Aum’s use of Cosmos Cleaners had already alerted the public that Aum saw a parallel between their own situation and that faced by earth in Yamato.

In a village someplace on earth in the 1990s, there are repeated mysterious poison gas attacks. The villagers’ health is deteriorating and the village is on the verge of destruction. But another country offers to help by providing both weapons and a cosmos cleaner, a device to clean the air of poison gas. The villagers attempt to make their way to the other country but they are obstructed by a mysterious power until finally the final battle of Harumagedon breaks out with laser weapons, plasma weapons, and an earthquake machine being deployed. Attacked with new-style weapons by a mysterious power, the villagers respond with cutting edge science and supernatural powers. A heroic life-and-death struggle ensues. (Ihara 1995, 19).

Just as the earth in Yamato found itself under attack by an unknown alien power, Aum claimed that their commune was being attacked with poison gas by an unknown assailant (although Aum suggested at various times that it was the Japanese state, the U.S. military, or the Japanese new religion Soka Gakkai who were responsible for the attacks). Ihara adds that many Aum women, including high officials, had long straight hair resembling that of Stasha, the queen of the planet offering to help earth in Yamato. Ihara suggests that Aum members, many of whom grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, were greatly influenced by popular manga and anime like Yamato that had plots about evil forces threatening the world with cataclysms and catastrophes. She also notes that Asahara, older than most Aum members, had grown up when robot anime were popular and was influenced by them, as indicated in his wish that he desired “to create a robot empire someday” (Ihara 1995, 20).

…At least one other writer of science fiction works, Shin’ichi Ichikawa, also expressed a sense of responsibility concerning the influence of such works on Aum members (Shin’ichi Ichikawa, “Seigi no kamen o tsuketa wakamonotachi,” Asahi shimbun (July 19, 1995))…In a brief column appearing in the weekly magazine AERA, Inoue clearly identifies manga and anime as a major influence on, if not a cause of, Aum (Inoue 1995a, 3).

…Some producers of manga and anime, such as Yoshiyuki Tomino, even accepted some responsibility for the appearance of Aum.4 Best known for the animated television series Kido senshi Gandamu (Mobile Suit Gundam), which aired from 1979 through 2002, Tomino was involved in the production of a number of robot anime in the 1970s. He acknowledges a connection between the content of these anime and Aum’s vision of Harumagedon. In Kido senshi Gandamu, for instance, earth is fighting a desperate battle against an evil empire in which even teenagers are pressed into service and, in the course of their training, gradually develop what might be termed supernatural powers. Members of Aum, he argues, took as real the fictional evil empire that was originally envisioned simply to create a scenario in which anime heroes could emerge (Tomino 1995b, 52; see also Kiridoshi 1995b, 58-61). Tomino notes here that the works of two other well-known makers of anime have been cited in relation to Aum, Hayao Miyazaki and Reiji Matsumoto, but they have avoided discussing the issue of whether they and their works bear some responsibility for Aum…Beginning in the 1970s, however, partly in response to the number of anime Tomino had helped produce, fan clubs began to form, indicating a rising interest among teenagers and adults. Tomino sees the anime of the 1970s as responsible for the loss of “aesthetic sensibility” among a whole generation (Tomino 1995b, 53). He suggests, in other words, a regrettable move from the visual experience of reading written words to watching manga and anime.

…None of the discussions of the topic provides anything close to approaching a compelling argument concerning how manga and anime, in relation to other factors, “caused” Aum either to develop the view of the world it did or to resort to violence.10 Perhaps the most percipient observation on the whole question has been provided by Frederik L. Schodt, a translator and writer who has done much to introduce manga and anime to English-language readers: “Ultimately, any attempt to directly link manga, anime, otaku, religion, and crimes against humanity requires a considerable stretch of logic” (Schodt 1996, 48). Discussions of the topic, however, do tell us much about the reaction to Aum in Japan and efforts to understand it. Perhaps the most common understanding of Aum members was that they were mad or crazy; they believed the unbelievable and were incapable of distinguishing between reality and fantasy. Though some introduced the notions of cult and mind control to explain this madness, such efforts tended to simply rename rather than explain the phenomenon of “madness” (Gardner 1999, 220-221). Efforts to link Aum with the influence of manga and anime showed a similar pattern. Discussions of the topic moved from exploring how the content of manga and anime might have influenced Aum members to simply arguing, usually implicitly, that the similarities between Aum’s views and some manga and anime showed that the group’s members were incapable of distinguishing reality from manga and anime. As recently as February 2004, when Asahara was sentenced to death, describing Aum members as “manga-like” (manga-teki) or “anime-like” (anime-teki) became an alternative way of saying they were crazy.

2009

2009 P

Sadamoto: The original Evangelion film, End of Evangelion really expressed (creator) Hideaki Anno’s psychological landscape at the time. I’m taking Anno’s story as a basis, and filtering it through the lens of my own interpretation. I’ve always considered Evangelion to be, at its heart, the story of the relationship between a father and his son. I’ve been pursuing this angle from the outset of the manga series, and I’d like to pursue it to the end.

… S: The new films were originally intended to be a sort of “digest” of the original television series, but as you can see particularly with You Can (Not) Advance, they’ve begun to take a direction of their own. The theme will be that of isolation, if I’m not mistaken, and I don’t believe that the story will be connected to my manga adaptation. That said, I’d like it if fans appreciated the new films and my manga version as separate stories.

… S: Around the time Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise came out, I was young and competitive and channeled all of my efforts into drawing characters that were as detailed and realistic as possible. Taking note of this and reflecting upon it as I began the character designs for my next project, Nadia: the Secret of Blue Water, I tried to make characters that were more animated and expressive, the way that they are in manga. Moving from that project to Evangelion, then on to The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and eventually to Summer Wars, I think that I’ve slowly eased back into a more detailed and realistic style. Well, FLCL and Diebuster are exceptions, of course (laughter).

Particularly with The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars it was important for me to create designs that fit (director) Mamoru Hosoda’s ungilded style of presentation, with the result that, visually, I think the designs do share a lot in common with the designs I did for The Wings of Honneamise.

…S: The new films are so accessible! It really surprised me; it wasn’t what I had been expecting. There are certain small details in the presentation, like the way music from the Showa Period is played in the background, that I thought were very Anno-esque, though (laughter). In general, the new films are something just about anybody can enjoy and appreciate. Anno’s really calmed down since getting married (laughter).

A lot of people are saying that Shinji is much more optimistic and willful in the new films, particularly in You Can (Not) Advance, but I’ve always thought that the original film, End of Evangelion, was the exception. Shinji is pretty dark and introspective in End of Evangelion, but I never got that impression of him watching the television series. I was really moved by Shinji’s strength and unwillingness to give up in You Can (Not) Advance. I also thought that Rei’s character was much less of a question mark. She was more fleshed out. Her speaking style is so rapid fire (laughter)! I really thought that you can perceive her gradual change in character in the new films. Asuka’s also more approachable as a character. In a bit of a change from the original series, she doesn’t just reject Shinji outright, but actually displays a degree of jealousy. Her character feels more like an actual teenage girl.

The original series, the original film, and the new films are all windows into Anno’s inner world, so it’s interesting to see all of these changes.

… S: I thought it was fitting that the new films should include a new character. I really strove to design a character who was distinct from Asuka and Rei, though I do worry that there are some small but telling similarities that remain. My idea was to create a character so distinct from the other Evangelion characters as to almost feel out of place in the Evangelion world. I suppose I could’ve designed her as a sort of “halfway point” between Asuka and Rei, but Asuka and Rei are both such strong characters, in their own separate ways. I wanted to bring something completely different to the table with Mary.

For Mary, I’d been asked to design a character who “goes about with a parasol, like the sort of heroine you see in an anime”. As I initially designed her, she was very adult-like, having attended a strict private Christian school in Britain. However, in the original script, there was a scene where she returns home to a room full of birds and dogs and begins talking to them, to indicate that she was also rather idiosyncratic. Mr. Anno had also requested that she be more adult-like in appearance and manner than either Asuka or Rei, to set her apart. And that she have a huge chest (laughter).

There was a television drama I’d really been enjoying at the time I began designing Mary. The heroine in this drama had a pair of long ponytails. I really liked this character feature, and worked it into Mary’s design. After all was said and done, we ended up with the design that we have now, although there are still many elements of my personal tastes and interests of the time in Mary’s design (laughter).

Incidentally, I decided to give Mary glasses because I thought that this would be a simple yet affective way to set her apart from the other characters. Some people have said that she “doesn’t seem like an Evangelion character”, which is exactly what I was aiming for. I’m glad to see, though, that the majority of people have appreciated her character.

YA: How did you go about designing Mary’s uniform and plug suits?

S: I’d been asked to make Mary seem very British, so I tried to design accordingly. For her school uniform, I thought that a large bow and long socks, along with a traditional checked skirt, would look the part.

For Mary’s old plug suit, I combined a rich green that seemed to me very reminiscent of British clothing with the design aesthetic of the space suits the Soviets were using around the time of the Cold War. The Soviet space suits are the reason for the checkered pattern of the lower half of the suit. Because Unit Five uses a lance, I also looked at a lot of fencing outfits and tried to incorporate elements of those into the design of her suit, as well. However, I also included what look like large plugs where pipes and the like could go, to convey the impression that this is, after all, a plug suit just the same as those of Shinji and the others.

On the other hand, when I designed her new plug suit, I wanted it to look more sleek, capable and well-crafted than the other plug suits. I wanted it to have the appearance of something that was just manufactured using the latest technology. For inspiration, I looked at the design differences between the Lotus Elise Series I and Series II. Lotus’ vehicles really have that feel of a classic design updated to the cutting edge.

… YA: We don’t suppose you can drop any hints about the upcoming, third Evangelion film?

S: Actually, I’ve yet to hear anything from Anno at all, so I really can’t (laughter). Even with things like Mary appearing in both You Are (Not) Alone and You Can (Not) Advance, the story followed that of the television series to some extent, but who knows? Maybe the next story will be a complete departure from the television series. Given the possibilities, it should really be interesting to see where things go from here.

YA: Which do you think will end first, the new films or the new manga series?

S: Hmm… good question (laughter). I think I’d like to wrap up the manga series first, and begin to devote my time to Q, my upcoming project.

– Translation originally posted at http://theplanetsthatmatter.com/features/yoshiyuki_sadamoto_young_ace_interview/yoshiyuki_sadamoto_young_ace_interview.html; site is dead, a mirror

  • Share with us your impressions after reading the script.

  • [Megumi] Wow! I did not expect! This is a breakthrough! Otpad, I burst!

… - Do you think, what actually changed “Eva”?

  • [Megumi] It has become a bit brighter, such as light of heart, but that’s all. In the same series, before sharing feelings with each other, Asuka and Shinji just playing games, just having fun with Kensuke and Toji. And it’s all very strange. There is clearly some kind of trick.

  • What are you so impressed in his story?

  • [Maya] I said that Marie had destroyed “the former Eva”.

… - Parting words filmmakers somehow affected the result?

  • [Maya] When I heard about the “destruction”, then realized what an important role, and at the same time extremely responsible mission entrusted to me.I’m sure: to destroy the so ingrained image of the product, the new creation must be a monstrous adventure. And I threw all worries about leaving “Old Eva”, and decided to voice Mari as some kind of an alien element, that today’s Anno needs.

– The 10 July 2009 NewType had a 4 page interview with Megumi Hayashibara (Rei’s seiyuu) and a 1 page interview with Maya Sakamoto (Mari’s seiyuu), according to Hitoshi Doi; a scan; Russian translation (archive); Google Translate thereof. Key quotes respectively (lightly edited):

Ogata: It was quite difficult [About the recording for Eva 2.0]. The recording for Eva 2.0 was split up and done over a period of a few days, and the recording on the last day had me basically shouting for the entire time.

Nakata: That much‽

Ogata: In the end I just couldn’t stay standing anymore and collapsed on the studio floor, and while I was sitting on the ground, Director Anno came in and sat on the studio floor with me. While sitting, he said “Thank you very much” and I replied “Thank you, too” and we shook hands (laughs). This was the first time I got praised by Anno.

Nakata: That was the first time!

Ogata: And then he said two things to me which made me really happy. The first was “Thank you, for keeping the character’s feelings unchanged even after 13 years”

Everyone: Oh!

Ogata: And second was “On top of that, thank you, for adding 13 years of your own experience to the current Shinji”

– excerpt from Continue (archive) on 2.0

From an NewType Interview (to Producer) - Extract:

Producer: Eva Q will be released before what we thought. Studio Khara changed the schedule. More or less. Now we’ve gathering the staff. For Q there’ll be not limit in budget. We’ll maintain the staff and the present quality, unfortunately while we’re working on Q, the supervisors doesn’t have the time to take a press conference.

Interviewer: So you’re saying that Q is complete?

Producer: Yes. The draw are just completed. Its publication will be in summer 2010.

– August/September (?) NewType 2009 http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2009-September/004918.html translating http://tokyo3cn.com/bbs/thread-18322-1-1.html (Google Translate seems to agree)

As Jōyū Fumihiro (the former PR manager of Aum Shinrikyō) stated during my interview, that for Aum believers, the “armageddon” was a purpose as well as a prophecy: they wanted to fulfill the prophecy themselves. They spread poison gas themselves to test their own air purifiers called Cosmo-Cleaner (named after a device in the anime Star Blazers - TN.); and they tried to bring about the “armageddon” themselves by spreading sarin gas or anthrax. They were even researching the possibility of triggering the eruption of Mt. Fuji using a plasma-powered weapon.

…But this “original world [sekai] type” spectacularly failed as they tried to manipulate the primary reality. Since then, the “original world type” died out, and instead the “world type,” involved only in the secondary reality, began to rise. In other words, the “original world type” retreated to the “world type.” In fact, switching places with the failure of Aum Shinrikyō in 1995, the age of the “world type” began with the TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion in the fall of 1995. In a review columns on current public discourses (rondan jihyō) for Asahi Shimbun in 1996, I discovered a characteristic of this work in its strange semantics: while this work raises “the mystery of the world” and “the personal mystery,” it only resolves “the personal mystery” directly, and the resolution of the “personal mystery” directly (and without explanation) leads to the resolution of the “mystery of the world.” Since around 2002, works dominated by this kind of semantics are called the “world type.”

No “armageddon” needed in a school fantasy

Evangelion, as the first work of the “world type,” in a way bridges Aum Shinrikyō (the “original world type”) and the “world type” that continues to expand in the new century. A comment by Anno Hideaki, the director of Evangelion offers a key to understanding this. When I had dinner with him, he revealed to me that he “originally wanted to shoot a ‘school drama’ post-armageddon (World War III.)” Toward the end of the TV series Evangelion, there is a “dream sequence” using the framework of the school drama. Anno stated that “that part was supposed to be the body of the story.” In fact, since Anno was in the state of depression just before the production, the part on the armageddon expanded and the whole story became an “Oedipal drama with the armageddon in the background.” But in its initial conception, the armageddon (World War III) was required to set up a “school as a paradise,” much like the stage for the dating simulation game Tokimeki Memorial. That is what Anno said.

This is interesting: the “school drama” required the setting of “after the armageddon.” Why? Everyone has school experience. It may be good experience or bad experience; some have good memories but some have bitter ones. No matter what their memories are about school, everyone should have had the experience of fantasizing an “ideal school that could have been.” This is why many “world type” manga, games, and novels are set in “that school” or “the school that could have been.” But why do people stop fantasizing about “the school that could have been”? It is because they grow up. More specifically, it is because they grow up and the “gravity of society” weighs heavily upon them. In the adult world, the kind of uniformity in school in which “everyone is a student” is impossible.

–Shinji Miyadai, “Transformation of Semantics in the History of Japanese Subcultures since 1992”, 1 April 2009

The emotionally expressive Mari’s most characteristic expression is probably a fearless smile. One could say that her smile, which she maintains even in hopeless situations, is a manifestation of her bottomless strength.

The fearless and yet provocative smiling expression Mari always wears against the enemy surely [marks her as] someone who was born to fight. Despite this bravery, the fact that, when her emotions rise up, even in the midst of battle, she involuntarily ends words with the sound “nya76, [shows that] she has a cute side.

Rebuild Evangelion Chronicle, Mari ‘Personality’ section; translation by Numbers-kun. See also his translation of the relationships graph (scans), which specifies Mari is Kaji’s subordinate, Hikari & Asuka are friends, ‘Does Kaworu know Shinji?’ (anti-sequel evidence)

2009 S

2009 T

  • 2009-lu-perceivedraceofasuka.pdf

Top1 #5, “Ai Ni Jikan Wo” as Robert Anson Heinlein’s “Time Enough for Love(1973)”.

Top1 Last, “Hateshinaki Nagare No Hateni.. (At the End of the Endless Stream..)” as Komatsu Sakyô’s “Hateshinaki Nagare No Hateni (1965)”.

Nadia Last, “Hoshi Wo Tsugu Mono” as James P. Hogan’s “Inherit the Stars(1977)”.

Eva TV Last, “Sekai No Cyu-shin De Ai Wo Sakenda Kemono” as Harlan Ellison’s “The Beast that shouted Love at The Heat of The World(1971)”.

Eva TV Last(planed.), “Ta-ta Hitotsu No Saeta Yarikata” as James Tiptree Jr’s “The Only Neat Thing to Do(1985)”.

Eva Movie #26, “Magokoro Wo Kimi Ni (My pure heart for you)” as a title when showing movie “Charly(1968)” in Japan. The “Charly” was the movie version title of Daniel Keyes’s “Flowers for Algernon(1966)”.

Top2’s last episode title “Anata No Jinsei No Monogatari” was named based on Ted Chiang’s Sci-Fi Novel “Story of Your Life”.

Habría que agregar Gurren Lagann; el ultimo capítulo se llama “Ten no hikari wa subete hoshi”, como un cuento yanqui “The lights in the sky are stars”.

Piti

“However, I’d love it if more people could see my works, even if it means I get feedback like:”The copy of Space Runaway Ideon: Be Invoked that I saw was great!" The way that [the story] was presented in this particular work may not be good - but it’s a story where even though humans and aliens have been annihilated in a battle, there is still hope."

“Interview: Yoshiyuki Tomino (Updated)”; reminded me of varying interpretations of the end of EoE

This time I only showed up a little bit as a regular customer. The doujin on criticism genre really got a lot of attention. Compared to what it was a few years ago the passion was like from another world. I have a feeling that it is about time mass media will starts to take notice. I myself also wants to keep this state to last as long as possible. It got me to feel acutely the responsibility of giving various ideas not just in Zeoaka last year but also in future as well.

…Well, having said that, the day before the flea market my birthday celebration was held. I received the complete six volumes of Studio Kimigabuchi’s Evangelion dojinshi “RETAKE” as a present from Zeroaka member Sakagami-kun, who said, “Azuma-san’s passion for Eva has dwindled recently, so please read this and revive it.” The truth is, I tried to accept the new movies with a somewhat cool air, as I didn’t really care about the change to Asuka’s name or the introduction of the meganekko, but……

Well well well well well as Sakagami-kun had wanted, my super passion was very much revived!! Asuka etc are truly so cool!! Yes!! The idea like sticking a poster (as I live by myself) even came up to me www!! It got me!!

Well, really, RETAKE is a very well done work. The game-like realism is so full of energy. It made me think again, after a long time, about the potential for expression that can only be achieved by secondary works.

Nevertheless, if I had had a daughter at that time, I would probably have named her Asuka…(in Retake there is also a similar story)

Hiroki Azuma on the popular NGE doujin series RETAKE, translation by Patrick Yip/symbv (full original; Numbers-kun initial translation)

Apparently that Anno’s trademark hand shot we talked about comes from Bio-Armor Jushin Liger, which is apparently one of the darker series by Go Nagai. This is pretty much the least surprising thing ever, knowing how Nagai’s Devilman was one of the two primary influences for Eva.

Screenshot of an upraised right palm with a white mark on it
Screenshot of an upraised right palm with a white mark on it

The only real difference is that there’s a glowing beast sign instead of blood or spunk.

Dr. Nick

2010

2010 P

My belief is that they had no idea what to do with her. There was an interview with Tsurumaki in which he confessed that during the production of “Ha” they still weren’t sure about what to do with Mari, even the name which was tentatively “Mariko”. They HAD to have a new character (a new pilot), but they didn’t have much of an idea as to what to do with it. That says a lot about all this. http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=357818#357818

… That was before the theater release announcement for 2.0 I believe. Guess it was in one of those CUT magazine specials. But it was something that was never translated from Japanese AFAIR

http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=358412#358412

Some of Gainax’s works become particularly famous for their soundtracks, particularly FLCL, as well as Evangelion and Gurren Lagann. How does Gainax approach the music? Does it come later in the production process?

We don’t decide the music on our own at Gainax. Depending on the series we have different sponsors, like Evangelion had King Records, who said we had to use their musicians. For Gurren Lagann we were working with Aniplex, which is part of Sony, so we had to use Sony artists. We actually wanted a guy rock band to do the opening music, and Sony said that they didn’t have one, so how about using Shokotan, and that’s how Shoko Nakagawa sang the opening song. So sometimes stuff like that happens, and that’s how music gets selected. Weird coincidences and stuff.

…Was that a specific goal in designing the EVA units? Bigger than Gundam?

Originally we wanted it to be as tall as Ultraman, but Ultraman is maybe 45 meters, so if you put him into Tokyo NOW, he’d be shorter than the buildings, because they were a lot shorter in the ’60s! So to keep the same scale we had to make the EVAs taller.

Hiroyuki Yamaga; consistent with King Record’s Otsuki’s statements about total control of music

http://www.evageeks.org/2010/05/gainax-panel-at-fanime-2010/ / http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?t=9158

Someone asked if Neon Genesis Evangelion ended the way it did due to budget problems. Yamaga responded that the problem was with time, not with budget. He then stated that the television ending was planned to be as it was from the beginning; Gainax thought “Wouldn’t it be interesting if the show ended this way?”. I brought up that the 1993 proposal created to attract sponsors contains a different ending in its summary, and asked if the proposal’s ending was made up because nobody would sponsor a show if they knew what the real ending would be. Yamaga knew nothing of the proposal and told me that if I got my information off the Internet, somebody probably made it up. I responded that the proposal was in Newtype, and upon the translator’s request repeated that the proposal was from 1993. Yamaga responded that he didn’t believe the show had an ending at that point.

…Someone asked about the canceled Wings of Honneamise sequel. Yamaga said it was never canceled, but is on indefinite hiatus. The man who was to sponsor it was arrested for financial matters the translator was vague about, but he’s out of jail now and building a rocket that he intends to fly into space.

…A man said “You probably get asked this a lot, but” the television ending of Evangelion was “not well received by a lot of people”, and asked if End of Evangelion was created as revenge against the fans. Yamaga said that everyone at Gainax was satisfied with the TV ending, repeating that it had been planned that way from the beginning, but once the show was over the staff still wanted to do “more Eva”, so they made the films. For the sake of making sure Yamaga had to repeat himself a third time, Sailor Stardust asked if the script for episode 25’ was based on the intended script for episode 25, and Yamaga said once again that the television ending was the one they’d always intended. Fans like to make up rumors.

In the same vein, http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=359336#359336:

According to Hiroyuki Yamaga, they had no budget problems with Eva, but they did have scheduling problems. This is consistent with Tsurumaki’s statements in the Red Cross Book. What I found really surprising, because I’ve never seen this stated anywhere, is that Yamaga insisted that Neon Genesis Evangelion’s television ending was planned from the beginning. In his (translator’s) exact words, they thought “Wouldn’t it be interesting if the show ended this way?”. I asked if the alternate ending in the 1993 proposal was made up because they knew nobody would sponsor the show’s real ending, but Yamaga didn’t know what I was talking about. He said that if I got my information from the Internet, someone probably made it up. I said the proposal was printed in Newtype, repeated (at translator’s request) that it was from 1993, and Yamaga responded that he didn’t believe the show had an ending at that point.

Yamaga must be treated cautiously http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=359409#359409 as NAveryW remarks:

Yamaga has made contradictory statements in the past and even during that one panel. For example, someone asked about the international anime industry and Yamaga mentioned that anime studios, including Gainax, now have an international audience in mind and try to make series Americans will like. However, a few questions later, Carl Horn asked about how the language barrier affects internationalization, and Yamaga responded that it’s impossible for them to tell what shows foreign audiences like so Gainax just does things the way they’ve always done– making shows for Japanese audiences.

Some of Gainax’s works become particularly famous for their soundtracks, particularly FLCL, as well as Evangelion and Gurren Lagann. How does Gainax approach the music? Does it come later in the production process?

We don’t decide the music on our own at Gainax. Depending on the series we have different sponsors, like Evangelion had King Records, who said we had to use their musicians. For Gurren Lagann we were working with Aniplex, which is part of Sony, so we had to use Sony artists. We actually wanted a guy rock band to do the opening music, and Sony said that they didn’t have one, so how about using Shokotan, and that’s how Shoko Nakagawa sang the opening song. So sometimes stuff like that happens, and that’s how music gets selected. Weird coincidences and stuff.

…That’s good, because some fans out here feel like some studios are pushing out moe show after moe show and that they aren’t really trying to push the boundaries anymore. Do you have any thoughts on that?

I don’t think it’s just Gainax that’s trying to push boundaries…the companies that are still around are the ones that are doing it right. But with so much moe anime out there…I think that only one or two of those titles really sold well, and anyone can see that, but they keep producing it…which is why I don’t want to do it! But if moe was really selling that well, we’d probably do it too.

…What do you think is the biggest fan misconception about Gainax– one thing people might assume about Gainax and its employees that just isn’t true?

That we have lots of money. That’s so not true. I remember some fans from overseas came to see our office, and since Gainax is such a well-known name they thought they’d see some impressive building, a big high-rise or something…but it’s just a regular small building, they were quite shocked.

…Was that a specific goal in designing the EVA units? Bigger than Gundam?

Originally we wanted it to be as tall as Ultraman, but Ultraman is maybe 45 meters, so if you put him into Tokyo NOW, he’d be shorter than the buildings, because they were a lot shorter in the ’60s! So to keep the same scale we had to make the EVAs taller.

Do you think Anno will ever be done with Evangelion? Will these movies really be the final version, or do you think someday he’ll come back again?

That I do not know. That, only Anno knows.

Fanimecon 2010, day 2:

Dark Horse manga editor Carl Horn, who edits Evangelion: The Shinji Ikari Raising Project and the upcoming Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse, asked whether Gainax concerns themselves with their overseas audiences, which Yamaga answered more or less with a no.

Carl Horn writes about rumors that Gainax & Khara are bitter enemies:

Anno and Yamaga go way back; they were in the same dorm at college, and have been making films together just as long. I asked Yamaga-san directly about the Gainax/Khara split. He said that it wasn’t that he and Anno had a fight or anything, it was more that in 2006 Yamaga wanted Gainax to make Gurren Lagann, and Anno wanted Gainax to make Rebuild. Since they couldn’t make both at the same time and Anno was set on Rebuild, they came to an understanding that Anno would form his own studio for that purpose; i.e., Studio Khara–and that way, of course, both anime got made…As for Gainax’s future prospects–maybe, but their obituary has been written many times before (their first predicted breakup was in 1987), nor is this the first time a studio has split off from them to make other projects; Studio GONZO formed itself initially around the original Eva’s Maeda, Honda and Yamashita. I hope Anno will work together again with Gainax–and of course, I hope most that it will be on something new

The face of “Asuka with the torn off identity” speaks in Kaworu’s voice. K: “It’s not like you.” A: “Not like me?” K: “Being happy doesn’t fit you.” A: “My happy self is scary. // So let’s go back to the usual me.”

And then she takes her face back again.

–cut scenes in 2.0 http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=385155#385155

According to Suzuki, because Anno hoped to make Nausicaa 2, Suzuki often suggested to Miyazaki that they make Nausicaa as a three part film, with Anno directing part 2 and Miyazaki directing part 3. But Miyazaki rejected this idea. Anno says he wants to make a film of Vol. 7 of the Nausicaa manga [note: this is the final volume of the manga, completed several years after the Nausicaa movie itself which covers approximately only volumes 1 and 2].

According to Anno, there was a cool fight scene of an Ohmu and the God Warrior in a cut scene of the story boards. Anno says, “I wanted to watch it. But if those story boards were used, I could not draw it.”

Anno still has regrets about the scene of the revival of the God Warrior. He wanted to use seven pieces of animation cels between key flame animations. But Miyazaki did not allow it because there was no time. So, five pieces animation cel were used. And Miyazaki did not allow the use of three colors for a shade. He did not allow two colors either at first, but accepted it. Anno says “There was a memo ‘If you use three colors, I will kill you’ from Miya-san.”

Suzuki says, “Your salary (of God Warrior scene) was low, wasn’t it?” Anno answers “No, No. I got much. I was surprised because salary then was low. The salary of TV series Macross, I did it as a part-time job when I was a student; it was 1,800 yen per one cut.”

Anno says, “I kept to my house after the TV series of Eva. I lost the point of living. That time, Miya-san called me and say ‘Anyway, take a rest.’”

http://www.nausicaa.net/wiki/2010-01-News#Hideaki_Anno_Appears_on_Ghibli_Asemamire; for Miyazaki’s version of the Nausicaa proposal, see 1995 Primary sources

Apparently Anno requested Shikinami wear bunny-girl hairclips with the “slutsuit”. For whatever it’s worth, here’s some interesting information from the 2.22 booklet (that comes with the DVD/BD): “Test Plug Suit: This design, based on rough drawings by Hideaki Anno, was the culmination of the ideas of pop idol-loving staff members, and derived from ‘Aim for the Top Gunbusters (sic) 2’, an anime by Shigeto Koyama, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, and Kazuya Tsurumaki. Based on a proposal by Koyama to position the sensor array like buttons so that they penetrate to the center, the final refinements were made by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto. The head sensor retains the bunny girl image originating in a proposal by Anno.”

–SSD

COLIN FONG: It’s now 10 years since the original Neon Genesis Evangelion series ended. What was your reaction when it was announced they would be remaking the series into four movies?

YUKO MIYAMURA: At first, I was very surprised because I heard the producer say they would never make any new Evangelion movies. When the news had been announced, I looked forward to seeing the new movies.

CF: How different has the experience been in re-doing this role for you?

YM: At the End Of Evangelion (first series ending) Asuka had been through a lot of horrible things. As her voice actor I went through the pain and sorrow she had. I hated feeling like that. In the new movies, Asuka is more approachable. So, I felt that Asuka was able to become closer with Shinji, Rei, Misato and everyone else. It made me happy as an actor.

CF: What do you like the most about her character?

YM: She is so cute. If I were to say what is cute about her it would be her “tsundere” character. “Tsundere” in Japanese describes someone who is selfish and easily irritable, but on the inside they’re actually lonely and they just want to be loved.

CF: Were you surprised how different the Asuka in 2.0 is compared to the Asuka in the television series?

YM: Yes, I was. Not only because of her personality change but also because she has a different name. In the first series her name was Asuka Langley Soryu. In the new movies it has changed to Asuka Langley Shikinami.

CF: Why your character’s last name has changed?

YM: I can’t tell you because I don’t why! The director Hideaki Anno is keeping it a secret from everybody.

CF: What are some of the biggest challenges you have to undertake in the role of Asuka?

YM: The role of Asuka in the new movies was easy for me because I have been her voice for many years. However in the new movies I also did the voice acting for Evangelion Unit 3. It was my first time doing the voice of character/creature, so that was very challenging for me.

CF: Did Megumi Ogata (Shinji) really strangle you while recording the voices for the End Of Evangelion to get a realistic performance?

YM: Yes, she did. I tried many times to make it sound like I was being strangled, but I couldn’t get it right. So, Megumi Ogata helped me make realistic sounds by actually strangling me. She’s nice isn’t she‽

“INFORMER CINEMA: Gold Coast Film Festival - Yuko Miyamura Interview”

Sadamoto: As in the concept, we wanted it to be “genuine EVA seifuku”. In animation we have to draw numerous cells, so we have to keep it simple. This goes for the expression of the characters and other details. We have to abbreviate many details when making an anime. But I wanted to include all the abbreviated parts of the anime into the detail of the genuine seifuku to make it real, even though imaginary. The seifuku in the anime is simplified, so lets make the original - this became the concept. Let’s not just reproduce the drawing, lets make the genuine seifuku that the anime is based on.

http://www.sekai-seifuku.org/en/interview1_1/:

asianbeat: Which part of the uniform were you particular about?

Sadamoto: I suppose it is the lines rather than the total shape. The fine shirt fabric, the starched lines and folds, the body in places with room - I thought these areas are the most attractive parts….though some may say it might be a fetish (LOL) Maybe it is because I am an anime artist that I am fussy about the body. When I first started drawing I drew white cloths with definite folds and lines. Perhaps it is because I draw that I reacted to the “smart lines and folds”. I reckon that if you get the right fabric it can give an impression of being genuine.

Aiura: Well the fabric we have used for the shirts is the same as what we use for actual seifuku. Fabric selection is of the utmost importance. The checked skirt that the new Evangelion character Mari wears is a woven tartan check with warp and weft weave. There is no comparison between a mere print and the real woven fabric.

asianbeat: In the projects you have been involved in, have you been particular about what seifuku you want a certain character to wear?

Sadamoto:No, I haven’t been so particular about design. It is more of a means to depict a character. Some wear their uniforms neatly, and others wear their pants low on the waist. But by lining the two types together I can create a contrast in character. That’s how I use it. I don’t make many anime where all girls wear seifuku. It is very difficult to use seifuku in animation, like where the skirt is pleated and waves as the character moves. I once was in charge of a scene where four to five girls wearing seifuku walked into a restaurant and all sat down. It took about three days, but it was on air for an instant. Just hearing the word “seifuku” makes me say “aahhh”.

asianbeat: For an animator the thought of seifuku seems to bring a reaction of “this will be hard”. In depicting the different character and style of the girls was it difficult to make the seifuku?

Sadamoto: Hard…well it was difficult to, let’s say find a loose fitting one for Ayanami with her indifferent character, where Asuka needed to wear a more tight fitting one. I had that kind of, image of what suited who. When I got the first sample from CONOMi and saw the baggy form they had worked on, it wasn’t quite there.

http://www.sekai-seifuku.org/en/interview1_2/

Sadamoto: Seifuku itself was on the scene before with the Russian girls unit t.A.T.u. But I think the reason for its recent popularity is largely to do with Japanese anime. Recent Japanese animation is full of soft high school dramas where nobody gets killed or hurt, and I think people long for this kind of school experience. Everyone getting together and having fun - I think this is what people prefer.

Sakurai: Speaking of seifuku, when I went to the Salon del Manga in Barcelona in 2007 (Spain’s biggest ever Japanese anime/manga event) I interviewed two girls wearing seifuku. I asked them “Why do you wear seifuku” to which they replied “Japanese high school girl’s seifuku is a symbol of freedom”.

Sadamoto: Freedom‽

Sakurai: I double checked to see if I got their answer right to which they replied “yes, it is unmistakably freedom”. Overseas girls didn’t have a concept of school uniforms being fashionable, but when they see Japanese girls shortening the skirt length and arranging their seifuku freely, overseas girls begin to think the seifuku fashion is cool and pay the Japanese school girls respect.

Sadamoto: That’s interesting, especially because seifuku was originally designed to restrict fashion freedom.

Sakurai: It seems like they are taking our culture as a sort of a counter culture. And Chinese high school girls have said, that to them, Japanese high school itself is seems like a fantasy. Dying their hair brown, wearing seifuku - unheard of in China. To them it seems like the reality of Japan and the world of anime are one and the same. This is symbolized by their desire to wear seifuku. The seifuku in the anime has become the object of girls’ desire - especially in China.

Aiura: For us in the seifuku making industry we get a lot of inspiration from anime, movies and TV dramas when creating a garment. On the other hand, I think animators use actual high school seifuku to base their creations on. Anime is not necessarily detached from reality, and it is a bit like the chicken and the egg. I feel that kawaii seifuku is a result of this mutual synergy.

http://www.sekai-seifuku.org/en/interview2_1/

Sadamoto: I have asked people why they prefer the world of anime and manga, and they reply that they used to be fans of idols in their early twenties. But those young idols grow older and get married, and when they do it is a cold shock to the system - but Lum Invader will never get married! They say “I would rather be in the anime world where you never age”, and I can see where they are coming from. If you are going to follow an idol who is out of reach, you may as well follow a two-dimensional anime/manga idol.

Sakurai: Anime is a big factor behind the popularity of seifuku among junior and high school girls overseas. There have been some cases of anime seifuku being reproduced overseas, but to tell the truth the quality wasn’t much good. They must long for the seifuku that Japanese wear. Is it difficult to draw seifuku in anime?

Sadamoto: Yes it is. You can’t cut corners drawing seifuku. Drawing pleats sends a shiver down my spine. For example, with Mari’s skirt, I have instructed that only the outline of her skirt be pleated. We don’t draw the pleat lines. We only draw the check lines. We don’t draw any vertical lines, just draw the outline fluttering. Just think of how difficult it is. Ayanami’s Tokyo-3 First Municipal Middle School Girls Uniform has two pleats in the front and one at the back and I’m always thinking how to reduce the number! If you have a pleated skirt and you want to make the skirt flutter the pleats make it really difficult. If only I could even reduce just one line… Perhaps I am being too pessimistic here?

…Sakurai: Mari’s seifuku is a kawaii design that you could wear to school as is.

Sadamoto: Yes. When I got the instructions on Mari’s seifuku design, the document consisted of only two lines: British-style and Christian Missionary School-style. When I asked the general director Anno-san “What is Missionary School-style”, he replied “I don’t know, create an image from the words”! I then asked him for some reference material and a few days later he brought some photos of British school girls and said “Like this”. All their skirts were long - 15cm below the knee - and some looked so old! Looking at all the photos I found that many used check designs, most school girls wore tights and the blazers had colored edges. I used these features in creating the design. I told Amano san that if she didn’t wear a blazer it wouldn’t look very British. In the trailer of EVA 1 you know Mari is wearing a Blazer, but in EVA 2 it would not be right if she wore one so I changed the design.

…Sadamoto: I think the Tartan check looks cute because of the combination with the mini skirt. If it was longer it just wouldn’t look so cute. It has become a bit of a boom recently.

Sakurai: Come to think of it, Tartan check mini skirts are a Japanese invention aren’t they?

Sadamoto: You may be right. Also, with the combination of black knee-high socks to make the zettai ryoiki is also a Japanese original.

http://www.sekai-seifuku.org/en/interview2_2/

Sadamoto: Yes, pink is the symbol of femininity. In anime we can’t really use white. It would break up the background. We add a shade of another color to white, sometimes green and sometimes blue to match the character’s complexion, so we often add a little pink to the white background. However, I think I put in blue for Ayanami. Pink has been popular for a long time in the anime world. Speaking of pink, at first it wasn’t used at all for Mari’s plug suit and we didn’t even test it. For over two weeks we would try green, then yellow, and then it struck me “Pink is it”. We photoshopped in pink and it was perfect, and decided on the spot to make it pink.

Sakurai: Wow! I can’t imagine Mari’s plug suit being any color other than pink - it’s perfect.

Sadamoto: Ayanami’s plug suit is white, and Asuka’s is red. Pink is in between these two colors and it loses some impact, so I did think about making it a more outrageous color. Black would be more British, but a bit harsh, so I went for green. Mari’s older model plug suit is green, but I was surprised how much pink suited her.

Kitamura: This pink is a very kawaii color. I feel more kawaii just by wearing pink. My image of Mari is not kawaii, but the color really suits her.

…Sakurai: Well, America has the chain store culture. For example, if an American opened a maid café, rather than giving each store their own special atmosphere they would probably make it into a chain store franchise. High school girls adjust the length of their skirt, trying to look different to others in a way that nobody really notices, is important to Japanese. Japan likes this kind of minute, unique adjustment. I think seifuku and anime goods have reached this stage.

…Sadamoto: Character design is much the same - trying to be the first to put out the opposite of what is in fashion. Ayanami’s black socks are an example. When it was first broadcast the loose socks were in the middle of a boom. I thought to myself that it would be embarrassing to draw loose socks at a time when they are so popular, so I went the other way and drew black socks. I was rather hesitant at first about drawing something “not in fashion” back then, but I thought that they would suit a character like Ayanami. Now, fashion has caught up with her and you see black socks everywhere and her socks now look common. Seifuku in its basic form has appeal so most people balk at going against the basic norms in design.

http://www.sekai-seifuku.org/en/interview2_3/

In junior high school, he was a member of the school’s art club. Anno didn’t bother with basic figure drawing practice, and instead devoted his time to manga and oil paintings.

One particular subject that Anno excelled in flunking at was English, a state of affairs that began when he rebelled against his English teacher during his first year in junior high school. But thanks to a makeup exam where the answers were given out prior to the test, he was able to graduate with no questions asked. As it so happens, Japan’s university entrance exam system was completely revamped the year Anno was set to apply, and the then-new National Standardized Primary Examinations for College Entrance were established. English was a required subject in the exams, and as a result, Anno’s enthusiasm for the university entrance exams evaporated and his interest in studying waned even further.

He hardly studied at all in the one-year period after he flunked his college entrance exam, a time in which he was supposed to be studying to retake it the following year. Instead, he worked part-time making morning and evening newspaper deliveries, played mahjong, religiously recorded episodes of Mobile Suit Gundam as it was first broadcast, and engaged in other manga- and anime-related activities day in and day out. Eventually, his parents and his former high school- which was desperate to not have its alumni acceptance percentage lowered - begged him to pursue a university education, and thus Anno finally resolved to study and prepare for the entrance exams. But then, leafing through the numerous university brochures he had gathered aimlessly, he noticed one college, the private Osaka University of Arts, was willing to approve applications based not on scholastic test scores, but rather on successful display of required skills. Furthermore, upon learning that acceptance into the Department of Visual Concept Planning was (at the time) based on providing original continuity sheets (a detailed form of storyboards), Anno’s mind was put at ease, so he went back to goofing around.

In 1980, the same year Ultraman 80 was broadcast, Anno successfully entered the Osaka University of Arts. While on campus, he met Hiroyuki Yamaga and Takami Akai, and together they worked on their required school work assignments. During his sophomore year, an invitation from a friend lead Anno to participate in the production of the opening animation sequence of the 20th Japan Science Fiction Convention in Osaka (commonly known as DAICON III). Anno fell in love with the joys of the team effort that went into film production and the preparation and execution of conventions.

Anno participated in the production of the work produced by the DAICON FILM group, produced as a means of promoting the 22nd Japan Science Fiction Convention, as well as to help train the participating crew and staff. Although this was an independent film project, Anno was overwhelmed by the pressures of being a director of such a major undertaking involving large numbers of people, causing him to become frustrated in his lack of interpersonal communication skills.

Later on, invitations from members of Studio Nue who had seen the opening animation sequence of DAICON III, coupled with the personality and career of animation director Ichiro Itano, lead Anno to participate in the production of the TV series version of Super Dimension Fortress Macross. He gained invaluable experience from working and sleeping at the studio offices, as well as Itano’s apartment. The bizarre allure of the production studio had Anno in its spell. It was around this time that Anno first met Yoshiyuki Sadamoto and Mahiro Maeda.

And then, in 1983, Anno participated in the production of the opening animation sequence (directed by Hiroyuki Yamaga) featured at the 22nd Japan Science Fiction Convention in Osaka (a.k.a. DAICON IV.) Once again, Anno was mesmerized by the magic of completing a film and wrapping up a showcase event.

Busy with making self-financed films, Anno stayed away from college and didn’t bother to pay his tuition, and before long, he was expelled. Thus, he took this opportunity to look for work in Tokyo. The result was that Anno was hired as a key animator by director Hayao Miyazaki for the 1984 film Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind. He moved to Tokyo with a single bag and all his hopes riding on that one job. Once again, he spent all his time at the studio offices, and following Nausicaä, he worked on the 1984 film Macross: Do You Remember Love? (directed by Noboru Ishiguro and Shōji Kawamori.) During the production of the movie adaptation of Macross, Anno met Shō-ichi Masuo and helped establish an independent animation studio named Studio Gravitron that gathered together numerous freelance animators. He worked side by side with animators such as Katsuhiko Nishijima and Kōji Itō, who were members of the studio at the time. Now, Anno would live at the offices of Studio Gravitron and only work on projects when he was broke or when something caught his fancy. In this way, Anno fell victim to the seduction of an idle, decadent lifestyle. It was around this time that he first met Masayuki, Shinji Higuchi, and Toshimichi Otsuki. Back then, Anno used to tool around Tokyo on a moped that was given to him by Miyazaki.

In 1984, Anno was a founding member of Gainax, a corporation that brought together friends and workmates from his Osaka days that was established to produce the theatrical film Royal Space Force. He was also involved in the production of the initial pilot film for the movie. The Gainax studio was established inside a large apartment at Takadanobaba. Once the initial presentation was complete, Anno traveled overseas for the first time for the purpose of conducting research for the film. He witnessed a launching of the space shuttle and traveled across America, thus learning a little something about the size and scope of the world. He regretted not paying more attention in his English classes. Alas, this was forgotten as soon as he arrived back in Japan at Narita Airport.

In 1986, after nearly 18 months of work on developing the script and visual designs of the film, animation production finally started to begin in earnest for Wings of Riquinni - Royal Space Force, (the working title at the time), a film by Hiroyuki Yamaga that would be released in 1987. The studio was moved to Kichijōji in order to accommodate the large number of people participating in the production. Anno took on the responsibility of recruiting staff for the film, as well as contributing as a mechanical designer and acting as director of animation. Anno was once again captivated by the experience of producing a feature film and attracted by the allure of working as an animator. It was around this time that he finally decided to rent an apartment in the Tokyo area.

After the release of Wings of Honneamise - Royal Space Force, Anno distanced himself from Gainax slightly and worked more closely with Studio Gravitron, which had recently moved because of the increasing numbers of animators that were joining its ranks. But one day,he happened by chance to read through the script of the 2nd episode of an original video animation project that had lapsed into development limbo because no director was attached to the project. This project was Gunbuster, and Anno was moved to tears by Hiroyuki Yamaga’s script. He agonized over the question for while, but he decided he would apply to assume the mantle of director on the project. But due to certain issues that came into play, the start of production was delayed somewhat, so Anno took the opportunity to participate in the production of Isao Takahata’s 1987 film Grave of the Fireflies. Nearly one month’s worth of hard work by Anno went into a sequence depicting the Heavy Cruiser Maya, but seeing how the ship was blackened out on screen left him feeling dejected.

In 1988, Anno assumed the role of director over the 1988 original video animation Gunbuster!, a dedicated commercial project. He encountered numerous situations that he had never faced before, and due to various factors, Anno accepted the job of chief director on the 1990 TV series Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, at which point he was swamped with even more situations that he had never known before. He learned firsthand the horrors that lurk within the production of a TV animation series. It was around this time that he met Kazuya Tsurumaki.

In 1991, Anno spent many unproductive days as a result of his inability to mentally distance himself from the Nadia series even after the broadcast had ended. He would work out numerous plans and projects, both on his own initiative and in collaboration with others, but they all fell through, and in the end, Anno’s idle days were dotted with projects that he imploded by design. In the midst of all this, one project, a feature film entitled Blue Uru, finally took shape and animation production began, only to be shut down due to circumstances beyond his control. With this shutdown, the days where Anno was spinning his wheels in wasted effort came to an end. It was around this time that he suddenly took up “normal” hobbies, such as scuba diving and skiing.

Immediately after Blue Uru was put on indefinite hold, Otsuki called up Anno to talk about something, but conversation shifted toward the subject of TV animation projects. The two of them agreed that there was a need for an all-original TV animation series, something not based on some other work. Otsuki remarking, “Bring me something, anything, and I’ll make sure it gets green-lit” lead to Anno assuming the role of director of the 1995 TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion. Anno encountered a wide array of experiences he had never faced before, and immediately after the series finished airing, he broke down.

In 1996, Anno traveled alone to Tappizaki, Sōyamisaki, and Rebuntō Island, walking around in sandals in a season when snow was still on the ground. This was a time for Anno where the days slipped by with no purpose and no meaning. Thanks to the support of his friends and colleagues, Anno was somehow able to bounce back six months later, and worked on the 1997 film edition of Neon Genesis Evangelion as chief director. But faced with the situation where the film was not ready for its spring release, Anno encountered further heartbreaks and valuable experiences. At this same time, Anno became bewitched by the promise that new digital cameras held for live-action photography. It was around this time that he met Miyuki Nanri.

Perhaps as a reaction to working on the Eva films, Anno worked on his first commercial live-action film Love & Pop immediately after. The 1998 film was based on the novel by Ryu Murakami. Once more, Anno was gripped by not only the allure of live-action movies themselves, but also by aspects of their filming and production that he was previously unfamiliar with. After the release of the movie, Anno traveled to Morocco at a friend’s behest and saw the Sahara Desert firsthand. This was the first time he had traveled somewhere overseas beyond the United States and Korea. The journey involved layovers in London and Frankfurt, giving Anno the opportunity to experience each city, if only to briefly breathe in their air. Anno was dumbfounded by the majesty of the vast dessert. [See the 1997 P item discussing Miyazaki and Anno’s Sahara trip]

Next, Anno directed the 1999 TV series His and Her Circumstances based on the shōjō manga by Masami Tsuda. He also worked as chief director on the behind the scenes video companion to Gamera 3, titled Gamera 1999. He encountered a fast-paced, highly condensed work schedule that was unlike anything he had experienced before.

And then in 2000, Anno helmed a live-action film one more time, Shiki-Jitsu, based on the novel by Fumiko Fujitani. This was his first experience with 35mm film production, and Anno was absorbed by its delights, both in terms of visual impact and the enhanced qualities of filming 35mm in the field. Later on, a series of short, hectic assignments would dominate Anno’s work schedule. He would work on a promo video for Takako Matsu, then return to animation after a considerable hiatus with Anime Tenchō, and then work on a short, live-action film project, Ryusei Kachō.

On March 26th of 2002, Anno filed the paperwork for marriage with manga artist Moyoco Anno77. This was his first experience with married life. Later on, people close to him would remark that Anno had changed, both physically and mentally (he lost weight and became less edgy). Following his marriage ceremonies in June of 2002, Anno started driving again. It occurred to Anno that driving is an interesting medium to facilitate communication.

Work on the Eva renewal, which started in Autumn of 2002, grew to tremendous proportions, and Anno ended up spending nearly 6 months on that process alone. Then in spring of 2003, production of the Cutie Honey project that Anno had been working on since the Autumn of 2000 finally kicked into high gear. Overcoming the harsh reality that a film could languish in development for over two years while its actual production could take a mere six months, Anno completed the DLP version in December of 2003. During production, Anno shed tears of joy over watching the rush print of his first live-action special effects scene that featured miniatures. It was a moment where he reaffirmed his love affair with the tokusatsu genre. Later on, Anno acted as chief director in the animated spin-off of the live-action Cutie Honey project, Re: Cutie Honey. He also participated in TV commercial production, appeared in movies, and provided assistance on numerous projects belonging to other people.

In May of 2006, Anno established a new movie planning and production company, Khara Inc. In September of 2006, he created Studio Khara as a place where movie production could be undertaken. One year later, in September of 2007, its first production film, Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone was released in theaters.

In October of 2007, Anno resigned from Gainax Co. Ltd.

Anno was unable to go home for over four months during the so-called “crunch period,” in which the successful completion of the film constantly hung in the balance. But in the end, the second film was completed and the first print was successfully screened. In June of 2009, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance was released in theaters.

http://khara.co.jp/hideakianno/personal-biography.html; tentatively identified as Primary because parts of it read as if it were being narrated or written by Anno himself

ANN.au: In regards to Evangelion 2.0, you voice act Asuka. How would you describe her?

Yūko Miyamura: In the TV series of Evangelion, Asuka was more an unfortunate character. In the movie, I wanted her to be happy. In 2.0, Asuka encounters a terrible event but I hope she can overcome that and reach happiness this time. I believe that she can!

ANN.au: You’re hoping that she’ll fare better this time around–do you think she will?

Yūko Miyamura: [laughter] Only the director knows! He hasn’t told anybody yet.

ANN.au: If Shinji Ikari showed up today, and said, “I would change any one thing in the world for you,” what would you ask for?

Yūko Miyamura: I wonder… Maybe I want him to change himself into a brighter, easy-going boy.

… ANN.au: Have you ever looked back on your voice acting and gone, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have done that’?

Yūko Miyamura: At one point in time, I thought to myself that I would never act as Asuka again.

ANN.au: Really?

Yūko Miyamura: For a very long time, I wanted to erase Evangelion.

ANN.au: Was Evangelion really that hard to work on?

Yūko Miyamura: It was very hard.

ANN.au: That’s kind of scary.

Yūko Miyamura: [laughter]

ANN.au: Considering how popular Evangelion is, do you have Japanese fans flying to Australia or the US and trying to find you because you are Asuka? Do they go over the line?

Yūko Miyamura: In the past there was a time when I had a stalker and I have had many scary incidents. Recently, there haven’t been many stalker-like fans, but there have been people who have followed me to a Hawaiian convention and SMASH, and they’re more friends and family than they are fans. They know me more than my husband now.

ANN.au: What direction do you think anime in Japan is taking? Do you like where it is going?

Yūko Miyamura: It’s a difficult question, but I’ve always thought about this. For four years I’ve been a sound director, and the sound director can’t give an opinion on the story. Sometimes I wonder if the stories are appropriate for children. I would like this age to revive many themes of old anime, easily understood themes like friendship and love–I would like to see shows with these themes to come back.

“Interview with Yūko Miyamura - SMASH 2010”

Q: Hanamaru Kindergarten, Panty&Stocking and Dantalian no Shoka all don’t really look like classical GAINAX shows. Is some kind of new GAINAX in the works in contrast and is this intended?

A (Hiroyuki Yamaga): Even if GAINAX made in the past some robot shows, in his point view GAINAX was never a mecha studio. They made different series. Perhaps Hanamaru Kindergarten was slightly more different but Dantalian no Shoka is for him very fitting show for GAINAX. The overlaying continuity of all GAINAX shows is to tell stories in the border area between reality and fantasy.

Q in English: There were rumors that the rights of Evangelion went from GAINAX to Hideaki Anno’s studio Khara. Furthermore, it is said that this lead to some bad mood between both companies. Can Yamaga-san comment this?

A (Hiroyuki Yamaga): That’s not true. The rights for the movies are at Khara but nothing else changed. They are not fighting each other. A lot of people from GAINAX are working at Khara and vice versa.

Q in English: A question about a project Takami Akai mentioned last year at Japan Expo.

A (Hiroyuki Yamaga): The project is still in progress, but he can’t say anything about at the moment.

…Q [JimmPantsu’s Question]: There are some “brutal scenes” in the light novels. How will they be illustrated in the anime?

A (Yutaka Uemura): There isn’t much brutality allowed in Japanese television but the light novels don’t have many explicit scenes so that it shouldn’t be a problem. They want to emphasize the dramatic scenes.

…Q: How does he think about the second part of Evangelion 2.0 because it’s really similar to the mecha battles in Gurren Lagann?

A (Yutaka Uemura): The influence of director Imaishi-san on the design in the Gurren Lagann TV series was quite big but the mecha designer Yoshinari-san was told to really go wild for the second movie. [Something got lost in the translation or in my transcript].

“Connichi 2010: GAINAX / Dantalian no Shoka Panel”, September 20 (German convention, Connichi)

Yamaga said at Fanime 20…10?… that he took on the jobs of directing Mahoromatic and Abenobashi only because the staff was spread so thin at the time. He’s also said (separately) that Mahoromatic was the sort of project he’d always wanted to do, so that’s presumably why he chose that one. But overall he’s apparently not that enthusiastic about doing much directing himself. SSD can back me up, probably.

NAveryW

2010 S

Otsuki Toshimichi was born in 1961 in Ibaraki. His route into anime was radically different from most. As a student he worked part time at Animage magazine, before finding work after graduation with King Records, the largest record in Japan not to be owned by a foreign conglomerate.

Otsuki’s work was at the popular end of music publishing - his early projects at King included producing CD soundtrack collections for the Certain Death and Godzilla movie series, under the subsidiary label Starchild. Then, after a mass exodus of Starchild staff to form the anime company Youmex, Otsuki became Starchild’s manager by default - he was literally the last man standing.

Otsuki began to focus on new niches in the fan market - he commissioned ‘image albums’ as spin-off soundtracks for manga that had never been (and would never be) adapted into films. He was instrumental in pushing many anime voice actresses into singing careers and thus helped foster voice actor fandom and merchandizing.

Otsuki began to commit Starchild’s money to front-end investment in anime itself, often as a means of securing the music rights and spin-offs. His name, and Starchild’s, began to turn up on production credits for many eighties video series and key television anime of the Nineties, including Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995, dir. Anno Hideaki), Slayers (1995, dir. Watanabe Takashi et al) and Revolutionary Girl Utena (1997, dir. Ikuhara Kunihiko et al). He remains a potent force in modern anime, both initiating productions and encouraging a style that will lend itself to musical spin-offs.

J. Cl. [Jonathan Clements]

pg 189, Manga Impact! The World of Japanese Animation, ISBN 0714857416; see also Otsuki’s biography in Anata to Watashi no Gainax

2010 T

2011

2011 P

Madoka Magika surpassed Eva? Isn’t it something? It would be bad if a relic from the past stays on top forever lol But if I am to say a word to the staff who made this, it would be “Do not confuse the fact that the work was praised at a level above the quality of the staff as things like it is the quality of the staff itself. Just keep going and try hard to improve…” I guess?

…The guy who wrote that is Junni Suzuki,

  • Eva TV - animation director ep.1,5,7,15,23 key animation ep.9,20, 24,26
  • Eva TV director cut - director ep.21, animation director ep.21, 23, key animation ep.23
  • Rebuild 1.0 - chief animation director, key animation
  • Rebuild 2.0 - design works, animation director, key animation

Yip/symbv translation

Has Madoka surpassed Evangelion? Well that’s not too bad. It would be troublesome if a relic of the past remains at the top forever [referring to Evangelion] I do have one thing to say to the staff, however Do not confuse the quality of the show and the quality of your actual merits So keep on focusing on what you do next, okay?

so what he’s probably saying is the show itself was good, but it was not because of the staff. Since he is the photography director I am sure he is referring to the technical aspects of the show

It’s not as hostile and you make it to be. This is why you should NEVER react to sensationalist headings right away

Key Board translation

Back and forth between Suzuki and Madoka staff: 新エヴァの作画監督が『まどか☆マギカ』に一言「スタッフの実力以上に作品が評価されているのを自分の実力などと勘違いしないことですね」

Comments on Kandoku Shikkaku from director Hideaki Anno: “Why did I want to make this movie?”

2010 Feb I got a phone call from Amagi-san (who worked in the production team of this movie). It was about “do you want to make a new film from Hirano-san together?”. Although at that time I was short of time and mental energy because of the making of Rebuild Eva and working as a company CEO and I thought “if I agree to take this it will be tough.”, I immediately answered “I’ll do it.”. I felt in my guts that the title I heard was a good one, but more than that, I wanted to repay Hirano-san.

1997 May at the recommendation of Amagi-san I watched “Yumika”. It was the time when I was mentally absolutely tired and worn down with the making of the old Eva movie. The “power of images” that could not be expressed by animation was there. And looking at the images of Yumika-san and Hirano-san himself captured and weaved together, I thought “I cannot overtake these people..”. And due to that to use some exaggerated expression I felt “I was saved”. For repaying, it is because it helped free my heart which was totally closed up by that feeling.

2010 March, I met Hirano-san. It was the first time we met since I could not manage to greet him at the farewell ceremony of Yumika-san. While we drank, I asked him what movie he wanted to make. I also asked him what will be his motivation. I could feel that the feeling coming from his answer “If I do not put a break with Yumika behind me I cannot do anything next. Because of that I will face Yumika once again.” was similar to what I felt when I was making Eva again in order to escape from the cursed embrace of Eva. I just listened quietly to Hirano-san and just kept nodding. And then I knew that this is not a movie that can be made just with the thought of repayment by turning that general idea into a movie. There must be quite a bit of “mental preparation” in doing production work. And I promised him “I will help you” while I drank up the sake. As I wanted Hirano-san to move forward even if it means confronting face on to the death of one human individual.

2010 October, after the third edit rush, I finally came to see the result from director Hirano. I just kept crying at the last scene. I could only shed tears when I thought about the feeling of Hirano-san, who was chased to the breaking point by the process of editing work that any sane person would not be able to tackle. At that time I thought “it was good” to get this movie made.

2011 March the test showing of the version 0 of the completed work of “Kandoku Shikkaku” was held. And with this Hirano-san now hopes to move on to his next work. And now I just want everyone to go and watch this work. As it would be difficult to describe this work with my words.

Again, I would like to give my thanks to the mother and younger brother of Yumika-san. Thank you.

Producer Hideaki Anno (at Khara in a sunny day 2011 Mar 09)

『エヴァ』庵野秀明の独占コメント掲載 実写映画初プロデュース作品は伝説の女優・林由美香を元恋人・平野勝之のカメラが追ったドキュメンタリー!; partial translation by Yip/symbv; apparently the movie is a documentary about its director Katsuyuki Hirano and his dead AV lover Yumika Hayashi

The Kartel - Will you be working on the next two Evangelion movies? There hasn’t been much news about them lately.

Iida - They haven’t even started pre-production on those yet. Well, pre-production has started, but the actual animation has not started yet. They are doing a lot of the story…pre-pre-production, you could call it?

The Kartel - Is there a dream project you’ve wanted to work on, whether it be an existing anime series or an original property you have come up with?

Iida - Yes, there is. He can’t talk about it because…of pre-pre-production [laughs].

An interview with Fumio Iida, animator for GAINAX

Hideaki Anno, who had only recently announced the scheduled release of the latest entry to the Eva series “Evangelion New Movie Edition: Q” in fall 2012, appeared in the press conference for the film “Kandoku Shikkaku” which is his first real-action film as a producer. In Billboard Live Tokyo, located in Roppongi Tokyo, which acted as the press conference site, Anno joined force with Director Katsuyuki Hirano and Akiko Yano who worked on the theme song. He said with emphasis, “for each work there is a best way of expression. Eva can only be expressed as an anime that materialized the images in head, and for this work it can only be realized in a form of real-action documentary that captured things there as they were.”

“庵野秀明「『ヱヴァ』はアニメでしか表現できない」”, translated by Patrick Yip

Me: Where do you personally want Shinji and Asuka’s relationship to head towards in the future/next movie?

…Yuko Miyamura: “That’s an interesting question…one time Tiffany and I were together on the same panel and asked a similar question. We both came to the same idea that Shinji and Mari would be together. Just leave Shinji to Mari”

Leighton, Supanova (June) convention panel

During a panel, Miyamura was commented that at one point Anno came to her asked her something along the lines of ‘If you were lying in bed but couldn’t move and someone came up to the bed and did something [bad] in front of you, what would your response be?’ (Please bear in mind that it’s been 3 months since this panel and I didn’t take notes. What I’ve quoted is very rough - it was only the general gist of what she said.) Miyamura replied to Anno - “kimochi warui”.78 It was only as she was making this comment during the panel that she seemed to make the connection between Anno’s question and the hospital/Shinji masturbation scene.

At the panel, out of personal interest I asked the two actresses about their interpretations of the ending of the TV series: did Shinji reject Complementation at the end or not? Tiffany Grant gave a reply along the lines that she felt much of the series was in Shinji’s head and she referred to the fact that in the series, when he’s listening to his SDAT player, he keeps cycling back between tracks 25 and 26. Miyamura Yuko replied that she remembered that as the series progressed the actors were wondering how the series was going to end. but she has no particular view on whether Shinji rejected Complementation or not.

…I can’t recall exactly what she said, but that was the distinct impression I got from her reply. The sequence of events might have run as follows:

  • Miyamura comments on the “kimochi warui” line;
  • audience member comments on the hospital scene;
  • Miyamura makes comment suggesting (to me, at least) she just connection between the line and the hospital scene.

e; second email

Can you tell me how the idea for Evangelion: 3nd Impact came up? Like, how you started making it?

Akira Yamaoka: So how it all started is that Namco Bandai, they just threw out: “Evangelion - is there anything that we think we can work on together?” And so Grasshopper actually came up with a few other concepts, including the one that now is 3nd Impact. “So an action RPG, and what about this music-based, rhythm-based game?” And from there on, everything just kind of moved forward.

…It was a big cultural phenomenon in Japan in the ’90s, right?

AY: It was a movement.

…Did you have to work really closely with Studio Khara to produce the game, or were you left on your own, away from the license holder?

AY: We had to work very, very closely with Studio Khara. And like I said earlier, it was all about being respectful to the franchise, but also making sure that it was treated in a way that anyone who would be touching this product knew that the DNA of Evangelion was kept in a way that it should. And so working with them was key in order to make sure that that came through.

–Christian Nutt, “Grasshopper’s Evangelion / 山岡晃の新たな終わる世界”, insert credit

October 2011: Hiroyuki Imaishi & Masahiko Ohtsuka have quit Gainax for their own studio

Part of me wonders if some sort of drama took place within the last year or so. I have a friend who worked at GAINAX in the CG department (gave me a personal tour of the studio in 2009!), but only about six months ago or so he said he was leaving GAINAX as well. Only said for “personal reasons” and didn’t elaborate. It does seem like many of the very talented people at GAINAX are leaving, and that leads me to wonder why. Might e-mail my friend and see if he’ll let me know anything. Some of the people who are leaving surprise me, I know Otsuka’s been with GAINAX for quite a while.

Pacific Pikachu (quite possible; previously cited some tours of Gainax’s building)

Hideaki Anno: “It feels good to see Kyubey to be so thoroughly worked as a symbol as well as a character. The symbolization of the witches is also skilfully done. And then the music is good. And then the way HomuHomu was depicted in Ep.10 was good. I have good expectation of the movie edition.”

–November Newtype announcement of new Madoka movies; translation by symbv/Patrick Yip

Hideaki Anno’s cat of 6 years is named “Mighty Jack” after the tokusatsu TV series; Twitter, blog post (also discusses Kandoku Shikkaku)

Kato: So there will be two movies next, right?

Nagazawa: It used to be a four part series with Q and ?. But now [the two] were merged and became Q.

Kato: So it ends with Q?

Nagazawa: I think… it ends [with that]. I have not heard about that far. So how would it become?

Anyway, it is from the talk in the mini-event in the theater (Vald9, the same one Xard saw Macross Frontier movie) after the showing of the TV version of 2.22 which was hosted by Natsuki Kato, an otaku talento, and Miki Nagazawa, seiyuu of Maya

Patrick Yip, in part based on http://yaraon.blog109.fc2.com/blog-entry-3630.html

Remember when they said parts 3 and 4 would be shown back-to-back as one movie, years back? And we pretty much assumed they had changed their plans since then? Well, according to Maya’s voice actress, that’s still the idea.

Still from the same event, Katô said that some people in-the-know find the plot for those last parts to be “too dark”. Guess we shouldn’t expect a Disney ending.

Erigu

At an event in Tokyo yesterday, Maya’s voice actress said that Q will move Rebuild ‘swiftly in a grim direction’, and is expected to strongly divide the audience. The host of the event said he’d heard that many of the staff working on the film feel that it’s ‘too dark’.

Mr. Pointy, relaying a 4chan post

According to Azuma-san, the re-broadcast of Neon Genesis Evangelion in midnight time slots just before the release of the movies (1997) was the start of the Midnight Anime as an established business. Azuma-san was working in the business (department) on this project then. As he looked back he said “Usually (in midnight slots) a rating of 2% was considered to be the pass mark, and since Eva had 5-6%, I started to think ‘this could go to midnight!’”

At the time, the anime hours in TV Tokyo was 6pm and for an anime like Eva which had a difficult theme, the tendency (if it is broadcast in that time slot) would probably be an uphill battle on rating which is the “lifeblood” for a TV station. Besides, the development of the midnight time slots was also a windfall to the TV station.

…According to Japan Animation Society, the number of titles of TV anime was stuck at 70-90 in the years from 1990 to 1997 but in 1998 it broke through the 100 mark. As other TV stations saw the success of midnight anime in TV Tokyo, they also took up similar approach, and in 2006 it reached a peak of 279 titles.

However since 2010, the number TV anime titles had decreased for 4 years in row and was down to 195. In the meantime, anime in golden time slots has almost disappeared.

Azuma-san is worried, “In the case of midnight anime, it is hard to spread its appeal to the mainstream audience. In truth a social phenomenon like what happened in Eva would never happen now.” He is also mindful of the shift among the anime viewers. The spread of internet means there is more information available and opportunity to know about more works has also increased, but it also means works favored by fans can get over-concentrated, according to Azuma-san.

Patrick Yip, translating part of a Mainichi interview “with Fukashi Azuma, a veteran and well-known producer of anime programs for TV Tokyo, a station which put in the most effort in midnight anime broadcast then and now”

Toshio Suzuki: You made [the new] Eva with your own money?

Hideaki Anno: Yeah.

S: Incredible.

A: 100% [—]. It is a risk, but also an opportunity for return.

Podcast interview (MP3); this is an excerpt from ~26:15, as translated by Numbers-kun

2011 S

  • ‘Evangelion manga official guidebook’ by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Kadokawa page

    • Chapter 1 the Characters: Description and Profile for each character
    • Chapter 2 the Episodes: Story line chronological chart for each manga volume; highlights of the important parts of the stories
    • Chapter 3 All of Yoshiyuki Sadamoto: Q&A, collection of all b/w stage illustrations, list of publication (art album, manga etc) from Sadamoto, personal history of Sadamoto, comments of Sadamoto published in Shonen Ace or Young Ace
    • Chapter 4 Message from Eva friends: Talk between Sadamoto and Hiroya Oku (mangaka of Gantz), republication of messages by Eva staff that were previously published in Eva manga, collection of Eva illustrations by other mangaka
    • Chapter 5 Comic Eva History: Collection of all Eva covers of Shonen Ace and Young Ace, pictures of merchandise that is related to Eva manga
    • Chapter 6 Extra Part: Glossary of Eva terms, Psychology test (I am Asuka type! :-) Almost become Misato type though…)

    Yip/symbv

    Partial translation by Numbers-kun of Q&A from a photograph:

    Q1: It’s been sixteen years since the manga first serialized. To begin with, please tell us how you honestly feel now.

    A1: Sixteen years… that’s a long time. To be honest, even I am surprised I’m still doing it. I am truly sorry [that it’s taken so long].

    Q2: What is it actually like, converting the anime into the manga?

    A2: [It would seem that,] since [you are adapting from] an original work, it would take a smaller effort than [writing] an original work, but that’s not the case… I’m always worried by the distance between the anime and the adaptation. If you meddle with things too much, it ends up not being Eva.

    Q3: As the serialization continues, has there been any change in your stance towards or way of thinking about Eva as a work?

    A3: My surrounding environment and my treatment [of things?] has changed, but my stance in regard to my work has probably not changed. Only, the response of the readers has become far more visible than it used to be, so I have started to think about the impact that the work has.

    Q4: What did you feel when your own child turned fourteen - the same age as Shinji and his peers?

    A4: I thought, “my house is so peaceful!” (laughing). Besides that, as I looked on my 14-year-old son, I thought how realistic it was that Shinji was unable to simply pilot a robot super-weapon made to protect the world.

    Q5: You have taken long breaks a few times. With what kind of attitude do you begin [again] when you “reboot”?

    A5: I read the manga from the beginning again, and then it’s like I gradually become focused. But I always get anxious about whether or not I’ll really be able to draw the storyboards [each time I return]. It’s serious (laughing).

From the Profile of Kaworu in Chapter 1 the Characters:

Report 4: Born from Adam

The reason why Kaworu could set his synchro rate with Eva02 at will is because like Eva02 he was born from Adam. Had the Eva not had a soul already, he could have merged into the Eva. He could also control the Eva without actually piloting from inside. - The reason why reconfiguration of core is not necessary is because he had the same soul as the Eva. - Because the soul inside the Eva was closed inside its shell, he could control the Eva at his will.

…For Shinji, it has one page that gave his “Mind’s journey”. It credited his opening up to his encounter with Rei and “other classmates”, with the high point being the party at Misato’s place. After that it wrote:

With repeated demanding battles and then “death of Rei”, Shinji’s mind got more and more weary. He lost the thing he wanted to protect and he started to close up his heart again. Now he started to have questions regarding protection of this world.

It also mentioned his seeing his mother in the second times when Eva01 went berserk.

And in Report 4 of Shinji’s Profile, it touched upon Shinji’s relationship with his father:

Report 4 - Gap with his father

Because Shinji was put to live with his uncle and for over 10 years he did not hear from his father, Shinji held a strong feeling of being abandoned, and he was not comfortable facing his father. On the other hand, he also had in his heart a desire to be recognized by his father.

  • Shinji had this struggle in his heart that he hated his father but he did not want to hate him. Deep in his heart he wanted to believe in him as his father.
  • In the emergency situation when Nerv HQ was assaulted by JSSDF, Shinji got to hear the real mind of his father (the manga drawing has Gendo snatching Shinji by his shirt and drew him in, saying “Since the moment you were born, I was jealous of you who got all the love from Yui your mother.”)

There is another page which is about “Shinji’s Personality” and basically it said he piloted Eva purely to get his father to recognized him as his son, though later he volunteered to pilot Eva because he knew he wanted to protect everybody.

Yip/symbv; classified as Secondary because unclear whether Sadamoto wrote all of the material (may be reclassified as Primary in the future)

Completing the storyboards for one thirty minute episode of a TV series takes about four weeks. Doing all that work and not being able to use it…we’d be taking a huge risk. It’s pretty different from trusting someone with ten cuts of key animation.

…I think this was originally a rule of theater and the stage. From the audience’s perspective, the right side is stage left. The left side is stage right. The people performing enter from stage left, and proceed to stage right when they exit. When someone comes in, they do so from stage left. When someone goes out, they proceed to stage right.

…Still, stage left and stage right are used not only to direct movement, but also to direct action. When you perform some sort of action, you face the stage left side from the stage right side. In Kyojin no Hoshi, there’s a scene in which Hoshi Hyuma pitches a ball from the mound. Hoshi Hyuma is on stage left and his rivals Hanagata and Samon are on the stage right side. In short, since this isn’t a story about whether Hanagata and Samon can hit a major league pitch, but a story about about whether the main character, Hoshi Hyuma, can strike out his rivals, the action takes on a stage-left-to-stage-right orientation. In live baseball the pitcher and batter are shown in the center of the image, so it’s reversed a bit. It’s probably because there are a lot of right-handed pitchers, huh? I think that’s why, though I’m not really sure. But live baseball is a “production,” not a “story,” so there’s no need for it to be constrained by “stage left and stage right.”

In the first episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion–at the beginning–in the scene where the Angel attacks, the Angel moves from stage left toward stage right. However,at the end, in the scene where Unit 1 assaults the Angel, the Angel is at stage right and the Eva is at stage left. Who is at the center of the action? As a rule, I think we should see the center of the action as the one moving from stage left to stage right.

So, say you have Person A and Person B. An imaginary line tying the two together develops when you have a view of both of them. In this case, we have the camera film on one side of the imaginary line between the two people. The rule of the imaginary line is that the camera may not cross the line and go over to the other side. This may sound a little confusing, but at first you have Person A and Person B; and when A is on the right and B is on the left in the layout, during that scene-as a rule-A will always be on the right side of the screen and B will always be on the left side of the screen. Even when looking at A over B’s shoulder, that should hold true. As an example of what not to do, take a situation in which the two people are facing each other, and the next cut has B in the right background looking at A, who is in the left foreground. In this case, the camera has crossed the imaginary line by revolving over to the other side. This confuses the arrangement of people and makes intuitively distinguishing between the characters more difficult. You might think, if A were a red-haired person and B were a blue-haired person, that “since the blue-haired person was talking, I can tell the difference.” However, even though this example involves characters with unusually distinct colors-like in anime-it’d be tough and confusing to actually watch. If we want to create a set-up in which we are looking at B over A’s shoulder, we should place A in the right foreground of the screen and B in the left background. If we do this, we aren’t crossing the imaginary line. And if we were to draw a close-up of B in the next cut, we wouldn’t do so from directly in front of the face, but instead draw B facing the right side of the screen without showing what he or she is looking at. Doing this alone strengthens the link between the character and viewer.

For example, in Ultraman, Ultraman is usually on the stage left side and the monster is on the stage right side. When you have the kind of action that you do in Ultraman, Ultraman and the monster, naturally, switch positions all the time. This means you can create an image of Ultraman on stage right and the monster on stage left-and when you draw this kind of position-switching action, it also means it is okay for them to take on opposite positions from the next cut on. In short, it is not the case that Ultraman must always be on the right side. As long as you convey the information that they have switched positions, Ultraman can be on the left side and the monster can be on the right side. However, the camera may never go over to the opposite side. The imaginary line exists precisely for when both characters switch positions. If you feel you absolutely must cross the line, you must do so in a way that won’t cause confusion. You would probably need to insert an unrelated cut to limit the shock of disrupting the connection between the character and the viewer. That said, if you do this over and over again, confusion is inevitable. For now, we won’t think about crossing the imaginary line. Let’s stick with the process; and when the time comes that we feel we absolutely have to, we’ll think about it then. I know it may sound kind of extreme, but…

MGS05’s translation of a Kazuya Tsurumaki blog/video on storyboarding (V discussed it later using Google Translate)

Actually, Gainax never owned any rights to Nadia [cf. chapter “Fushigi no Umi no Nadia” of The Notenki Memoirs]; NHK (as in Welcome to the) did, together with Sogovision and Toho. The fact Nadia was a big hit (not as big as Eva, but big) yet Gainax didn’t profit from it is what made them insist on co-ownership of Evangelion before they made it.

[In reply to Xard wondering why Gainax seemed so poor prior to NGE if Gunbuster was one of the best-selling OVAs ever]

My understanding is that Gunbuster was a real success, but Bandai owned Gunbuster, just as they owned Honneamise. So you might say that Gainax didn’t have to deal with the massive medium-term financial loss Honneamise represented (the movie eventually made its money back in September of 1994, after the LD box set release), but they also didn’t profit from Gunbuster’s success.

–Carl Horn, comment 1 and 2

Michael House

In late 2011, I conducted an email interview with Michael House, a translator Gainax hired around the time of NGE. The following are excerpts from it:

Why did Gainax want an English translator at all? (For example, the English parts of the Gainax website seem to have lapsed somewhere in the late 1990s/2000s, while the French site, Gainax.fr, regularly receives new or translated content, which is a difference that has never been explained to me79.)

I’ve wondered that myself more than once, then and since. Japanese business was going through one of its periodic fads for “internationalization” or “globalization.” They might hav