Translated interviews about making 'Evangelion 2.0' w/Anno, Higuchi, Enokido, & Tsurumaki
source; created: 29 Aug 2011; modified: 31 Aug 2015; status: in progress; confidence: log; importance: 1
- Hideaki Anno
- Shinji Higuchi
- Yōji Enokido
- Kazuya Tsurumaki
- Commentary From Designers
- External links
The Evangelion 2.0 Complete Records Collection (ISBN 978-4-905033-00-4) is a large official book released after Evangelion 2.0; it contains the storyboards, various draft elements, annotations, and multiple extensive interviews with people involved in making the film by Ryusuke Hikawa (氷川竜介). This is an edited compilation of Numbers-kun’s translations of the CRC, variously posted on the Evageeks forum (forum discussion of the book).
The response to the “Break” [Evangelion 2.0] preview as the impetus for major changes
— I’d like to ask you about “Break”. Preproduction for “Break”—including work on the scenario and the settei1—was underway at the same time as “Prelude” [Evangelion 1.0]. That was because, I think, they were consecutive works, planned to be successively released. That plan was significantly changed. I’d like to hear how it came about that you revised the script that existed at the time of the “Prelude” premiere. Things changed just following the premiere, right?
Hideaki Anno: Right. It was from that point that the big changes were made.
— If I was to make a conjecture on the basis of the various [CRC] interviews, during work on “Prelude” there was a version of the script that did not yet include the most interesting parts. [[*] TODO what did this footnote refer to?] [Shinji] Higuchi-san said that he had drawn storyboards based upon the script at that time.
Anno: Certainly, a script had been written by March 2007, at the same time “Prelude” was being made. The eleventh draft became the final version of that script. Work on the storyboards was also taking place during “Prelude” from that earlier version of the script. From the point of view of quantity, I think the first drafts were already completed for about two-thirds of the whole. That’s because we had planned to begin work on “Break” without any pause or interruption once “Prelude” was finished. However, I couldn’t live up to it. After the [“Prelude”] premiere, I decided to look again at the content of the second part, starting from zero.
— Was the highly favorable reaction of the viewers at the premiere a significant reason for that?
Anno: Yeah. It started after I heard the reaction to the preview at the Milano theater in Shinjuku. [“Prelude”] was a theatrical film, but because I wanted the format to be the same as the TV series, I intended from the beginning to insert a “preview” [at the end]. The same music would be used. I thought, as “service”, it would please the viewers of the original work. However, I didn’t expect that big a reaction. Originally, I thought, because there would be a “gap” until the second part, attaching a preview at the end would increase the viewers’ anticipation. I also expected that, among the viewers, there would be some for whom this [preview] would be the “peak” of the film. However, this was more than I imagined. In particular, the reaction to the new character was bigger than I expected.
— At the theater I went to, [the crowd] was extremely charged up, even at the very end.
Anno: Right. I didn’t expect that much. The staff who went to see [the film] were also deeply impressed and excited [by the reaction].
In the first version of the plot I thought of, the new character would have a very active role from the third part on. I didn’t think the character would do any more than make an appearance in the second part. Although, because she appeared in the original series, she doesn’t seem much like a new character, Asuka was also a highly important “new character” who, in the Rebuild films, would appear from the second part on. Because I would surely place emphasis upon [?] Asuka, I didn’t intend to seriously deal with a new character in the second part. However, there was so much anticipation for the new character among the viewers that I felt I had to respond to that. So, I decided to increase the number of the new character’s appearances. It was at that point that I first began the work of reviewing the second part. The strength of the response to the preview, the intensity of the viewers, significantly changed the way I looked at “Break”. It moved my heart, and the “rudder” of the work began to significantly shift.
— How did the actual work [process] change?
Anno: There was the content of the film, the script, but I began by looking at how I was making the films.
During the making of the first part, “Prelude”, I feel like I was half-fixated [?] on reenacting the TV series. Because we had lacked money, workers, and time, I wanted to recreate the old material. I was so fixated on the idea of reenaction that I was making [the film] without deviating from the timing of the [original] timesheets. Half-way through I realized that it was okay to alter the timesheets. Although it might seem strange, despite [the film being] a kind of “new, digital satsuei2 work”, I was overly hung up on the initial phrase, “film remake”. During the initial screening of “Prelude”, I felt that, if I had gone this far in updating all the images, I could have deviated a bit more from the [original] storyboards. [?] The original conception was that the films would start out from the same place as the TV series, but I felt I was too fixated upon that place. So, from the second part onwards, I intended to abandon those elements “fixated” on the original series and proceed with the feeling that I was making an entirely new work. I would set out from “ground zero”.
To begin with, I naturally thought I would correct my mistake by altering the script. The scripted plot, at that stage, was still developing in accordance with the original work, and with a view to utilizing the genga3 of the original work, so from that point I decided to make changes. I returned the plot and the outline to their initial state and reexamined things from the beginning. In order to examine the drama and the course of the plot as a whole, and to establish the new character, Mari [Makinami], I held a retreat. This mainly involved scrutinizing the outline with the directoral camp and (Yoji) Enokido-san, who was participating once again [owing to Tsurumaki’s suggestion ?]. It was only men; we shut ourselves up in Atami for three days and two nights. At that point new ideas and drastic amendments to the plot were proposed—for example, Masayuki’s suggestion that, following the main title, the film begin with the graveyard visit, or Enokido-san’s suggestion of a Shinji-Mari “Love Love” pairing. From that point, a full-scale revision had seriously begun.
— No changes were made to Mari’s appearance in the pre-title sequence itself?
Anno: Right. Mari and the provisional Unit-05, the third angel, and so on—the idea of beginning with this character and this mecha that we’ve never seen before, and this new setting, “Bethany Base”, outside of Hakone—this remained unchanged from the first draft outline. The plan of the battle, Mari’s dialogue and personality—these sort of things changed, but the course itself, the general course of the story of the pre-title sequence, didn’t change. I wanted it to impact both viewers of the original series and people for whom “Break” was their first time seeing Eva. I thought that, although people familiar with the original series would be overwhelmed with unfamiliar things [?], because of Kaji, there was a common denominator which could enable them to feel secure for the moment. Starting with English and Russian dialogue with Japanese subtitles was the same. First of all, I wanted to begin the film with the impression of things being different than they have been up until now.
— The provisional Unit-05 was not a familiar EVA with a “bipedal” form.
Anno: Right. I wanted to introduce an unfamiliar Eva with a form you could immediately identify as different. I also wanted, for the pre-title sequence, to try to create fully CG images, including the angel and the Eva. A fully CG battle was itself, within Eva, an unfamiliar image, [so I wanted to use it] for the pre-title sequence. I also had an “experimental” intention. To what extent was a fully CG Eva battle possible? I thought it would be good if we could test technical things out or experiment with how things are set up within the work. The form and details were complex, with the four legs, and so on. It would have taken a lot of time and effort to draw by hand; the design is considerably difficult to draw. It was a battle scene where the movement and so on couldn’t be efficiently drawn if we didn’t use CG, so I wanted to take this opportunity to experiment with it. We had also put together a complex design for the angel intended to be rendered in CG. The background animation was also something where its creation was directed with an eye to CG. [?] I figured, in addition, that the pre-title sequence was the beginning of the work, so there was plenty of time left on the production schedule. Even if there were various difficulties with a full CG battle scene, I figured that we had plenty of time to investigate the difficulties using animatics4 and so on.
However, in the end, for various reasons, we ran out of time. There were cuts that worked well in the animatics, but, to sum things up, they didn’t really go as planned, which was a bit unfortunate. [?] Among other things, we added in hand-drawn effects, and introduced CG explosions. Including the satsuei treatment, we continued experimenting with various things until we almost ran out of time. As an on-screen image, I think the final result paid off. However…
— CG was used in “Prelude”, but here there is more action, and things have much progressed.
Anno: Yeah. With people who can draw the Eva genga really well being limited, if I wanted to maintain or increase the quality—I thought from the outset that I wanted to replace, as much as possible, elements like walking and running movements, which would originally just get repeated [?], with CG. The angels, as well—since I conceived of the plot I intended to make all the angels mostly CG, excluding Unit-03 (the ninth angel) and the final tenth angel—the opposite of the pattern from “Prelude”. There, we began with hand-drawn angels, and ended with full CG. I considered the total amount of work to be done and its allocation between hand-drawn and CG parts, and the script reflects that consideration. [?] I always take production-related risks into account, so the number or amount of battle scenes are decided in advance, before starting the script or the script outline.
A script bogged down in revisions upon revisions
— It seems that during the scriptwriting process an enormous number of serious revisions accumulated.
Anno: Yeah. Counting both large and small revisions, there was a total of more than forty revisions of the script. The first major changes took place from November 2006 to the start of December, while we were still working on “Prelude”.
— What sort of changes were those?
Anno: Asuka became the test pilot for Unit-03. Up until that point Touji had been the test subject, just as in the TV series. The only difference was that Shinji knew that in advance. Up to that point, the script as a whole was filled with various “nuances” reminding of, or “tastes” of, the original series: an “adult” depiction of Kaji and Misato, Asuka’s discord with her mother, Asuka’s idolization of Kaji and her immediate friendship with Hikari, and so on. In addition, the climax around this time was a kind of synthesis between episodes 19 and 23 of the TV series, where Shinji would be persuaded by Kaji to launch in Unit-01 and Rei would sacrifice herself in order to save Shinji; faced with this grief, Shinji’s heart would be unable to bear it, and Unit-01 would go out of control. The drafts up to number five were written according to this plan. [The first draft storyboards up to part C that were requested before the premiere of “Prelude” were generally based upon the drafts of the script written up to this point. ???]
— What was the impetus for the change?
Anno: The big thing was the comments made by Makki (Director Kazuya Tsurumaki’s pet name). “For this, we can’t make films just by summarizing the TV series”. He also said, “I want Asuka to have a ‘film-like’ role. At this rate, she will just be making an appearance—she provides no drama vis-a-vis Shinji, the protagonist; she is not involved”. Furthermore, “As a story, it’s not different enough from the original series”—all these in succession. He further said, “Isn’t a change as drastic as having Asuka pilot Unit-03 necessary?” I think, because this was a major, fundamental change, opinion was divided when I researched the views of a number of staff members. (Ikki) Todoroki, in particular, was tremendously opposed5. After thinking about it, I ultimately adopted Tsurumaki’s proposal and decided to change the pilot of Unit-03. That was the sixth draft of the script. It was finished following the 2007 new year, on January 8th. In this draft, the test pilot was simply changed from Touji to Asuka, [and the reason for it—Mari, the new pilot, is reassigned to NERV HQ from Europe, and Asuka will be taken off of Unit-02, so she volunteers—was really just improvised. ?] The change of test pilot was forced into the draft, with the characters and situations left unaltered.
So, naturally, I received, and agreed with, a proposal memo sent out by Tsurumaki, which said, “We have to provide Shinji, as well as the audience, with the same degree of shock and sense of loss as when Touji was lost in the TV series. For that reason, by boldly portraying Asuka as a ‘good character’6, I hope to greatly convey that sense of loss”. Because of that, I wanted to have Asuka pilot Unit-03 in order to do something for Rei, and Shinji, and others—something for other people. As Tsurumaki put it, it’s like a “death flag” is raised7. As a result, Asuka piloting Unit-03 ended up being made into the “peak” of her drama. I changed various parts of the script in accordance with this. For example, Asuka’s impetus for piloting Unit-03 would connect with the story of Rei [learning to cook and?] preparing a dinner party for Shinji and Gendou. It seemed like these things, as well as Asuka’s character, dialogue, and so on, had gradually become solidified.
Aside from Mari, the course of the story and drama up to Part C was roughly the same in the eleventh draft of the script, dated March 11, 2007, as it would be in the film. However, Part D still followed the course of the original series. Up to the eleventh draft, the plan for what would be done with Unit-02 during the battle with the tenth angel—for example—had continually changed. I went from a proposal from Tsurumaki which suggested that, “as it puts pressure on production, it would be better if Unit-02 did not appear [during that scene]”, to “Mari will pilot Unit-02”, and at one point I even settled on a plan where “an unconscious Asuka will pilot Unit-02 using the dummy system”. The eleventh draft [?] was written along those lines. The development following the defeat of Unit-02 and Unit-00 just followed the course of the original series, where Rei, who is consumed by or united with the angel, tries to take in Unit-01, and, when she notices what she is doing, self-destructs. At this point, I temporarily stopped working on the script. That was because work on “Prelude” was facing a great crisis, and I had to focus upon it. If I’m not mistaken, at one point I requested image boards and storyboards of the last battle based upon this draft from Shin-chan Shinji Higuchi.
— When was the suspended work on the “Break” script resumed?
Anno: I was in a daze for a little while following the first “Prelude” screening. From there I once again uncovered various issues, large and small. Gathering [the various opinions expressed at ?] the script retreat held at the end of October, as well as my own thoughts, I revised a large portion of the script, producing what you might call a new version. This twelfth draft was completed on December 6, 2007. At this point, there was a development where, during the fight with the falling angel8, Mari and Asuka are present in the [Unit-02] entry plug together. Then I wrote the entire script anew, rewriting it with the feeling that it was an all-new work. Because of that, the parts of the script predicated upon the appropriation of materials [genga etc.] from the original series were largely eliminated.
In addition, one more new, significant change emerged at this time. Abandoning the scenario where Rei self-destructs in the last scene to save Shinji, I decided on a course where Shinji saves Rei. This was due to (Toshimichi) Otsuki’s opinion as a producer that, because [the story of the second part would also lead to the third part ?], he wanted it to end hopefully, with a positive feeling. Regarding this, opinions among the staff were again divided. This time, it was Tsurumaki who particularly opposed, or resisted, this change. Makki said that he wanted to prominently feature Rei III, who was barely present in the old work, in the third part [of Rebuild], developing her in depth. It seemed like this had been one of his motivations for participating [in Rebuild]. However, in the end I decided on the scenario where Rei is saved, and he assented, saying “If it’s all right with Anno-san…” I think I decided that way because, with “Break”, I was searching for something called “change”. As well, I thought this would lead to the next change. At this point I could generally see what the roles of Asuka, Rei, and Misato would be. The problem was Mari.
As a foreign element, Mari struggles to enter
— I heard that you had a very hard time with the creation of Mari’s character.
Anno: Right. It was extremely difficult. Ever since I started the new films I had decided on this “one trick” where I would increase the count of female pilots by one with a new character. I felt that there was a danger where, if I didn’t do this, I would end up repeating the same story, and be unable to significantly change things. I felt that, even if I had to force it, if I didn’t throw a new Eva pilot as an extreme, foreign element into the films, then Eva would not significantly change. At the start, I feel like I forcibly thrust her into the story. The early drafts were so erratic that, being unrelated to the story, Mari’s very existence seemed to have no basis. Outside of the pre-title sequence, she practically did not appear at all. But because at the time I expected that, if she made more than a cameo appearance in the second part [2.0], I would be unable to develop Asuka or Shinji or someone else, I left things as they were. I figured that I should develop the new character from the third part [3.0] on, where the story would completely change. It would be easy to insert her there. Well, that was a thoroughly naive outlook.
At any rate, when it came down to actually increasing her appearances, I couldn’t fit her in at all. It just wasn’t possible for her to appear. The original Evangelion had been more rigidly made than I had thought. There was no real margin for new elements to enter into the story or into the drama. I created the original series by selecting the best ways of doing things that I could think of at the time, so if I damaged one element, other elements would become damaged as part of a chain reaction. At the end, I started to get less and less interested in doing it.
This was difficult to deal with. The work was more than ten years old, but still, I had created it myself, so it wasn’t easy for me to damage. This isn’t self-congratulation—I was forced to again recognize that the “flow” was very well constructed. The original Evangelion was entirely created from my unembellished feelings and my improvised writings, so it was not completed according to a theory. As a result, I thought I would get other people, outsiders, to help me destroy it—Tsurumaki in particular. In addition, there’s parts of myself that are different compared to that time. So, I tried to change [Eva]. It was a battle with my so-called past self, my self eleven years ago. It took a great deal of inner strength.
— It’s a process where you might end up repudiating your inner core, so I can imagine the pain involved. Practically speaking, how did you attempt to insert Mari into the story?
Anno: To begin with, I left [certain things] to others. I tried to propose as little of her image myself as I could. I gave O-sada [Yoshiyuki Sadamoto] and Makki a rough impression of her settei: her outward design was to be that of a English private school girl, a bit “O-nee-san”-like, maybe with a love of animals as well, and so on. After that I left them to work things out; I felt like I would just check what they completed. I think, since it had been decided that [the character] would appear, the teamwork on the character design started at very early stage. I think Sadamoto struggled greatly [with Mari] for a while as well, but arrived in the direction of “a meganekko, with long, straight hair”, and so forth, early on. After all, the rough design was ready in time for the preview at the end of “Prelude”. He struggled with it again when the time came to gather and revise everything to produce Mari’s settei images, but I think the result was very good, as you would expect from O-sada.
However, there were some difficulties as her personality wasn’t coming together. Things started with a process of elimination. There was already a “normal” character in Hikari, and “eccentric” characters in Rei and Asuka. First off, [we] tried to take those personality characteristics and aspects of appearance that had not been yet been used in Eva as a starting point. She was made up of simple elements; for example, “she wears glasses as an accessory, which we had avoided using up to this point because they were hard to animate”. Yet if this were all, she wouldn’t be a new character, only a “not” character—whatever Rei, Asuka, etc., weren’t. The positions of the characters in the original work were also extremely rigidly constructed. If Mari were to be inserted carelessly the drama, the story, and the balance of the whole would completely fall apart. Although I was aiming for change, if it was only different from the original work, in the end it would be nothing but a “counter” to what had come before…
— That’s surely the case, as being a “counter” means that it becomes a premise in which the same sense of values is incorporated.
Anno: Right. Well, it’s difficult. By the draft of February 15 2008, draft 13a, I had the idea that “Mari’s appearances following the pre-title sequence will come sooner, be more numerous, and be more impressive. To that end, Mari will take charge of the battlefield during the fight against the falling angel, riding with Asuka, who hates the situation, in the entry plug [of Unit-02]”. Then Mari covers [庇う] for Asuka, but a wound she received during the pre-title sequence grows worse, so she is hospitalized until she reappears again in the last scene. That was the plan, but it didn’t work out.9 It seemed artificial, and didn’t fit. On the other hand, if Mari continued to appear, scenes which related Mari to Shinji would become necessary, and because of that Asuka’s presence would become too far reduced for the scene where she pilots Unit-03 to be allowed to remain. On top of that, scenes between Mari and Shinji where I felt “this is right” were not coming easily to me. Furthermore, as the screenplay had nobody knowing Mari, the conversations did not go anywhere. So, I made her a senior schoolmate of Asuka’s from Europe, but then this weakened the sense of Asuka’s isolation, so that was again no good. At that point the balance [of Eva] was coming apart like a tower made of toy blocks.
http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=463004#463004 part 3 continued
With all those various drawbacks and time running out, we totally cut the appearance of Mari in Part B when we worked on the storyboards instead of doing it in scripts. In the storyboards, I think there is about one cut remained that had the frame with Mari behind Asuka on Unit-02 and with a big X-mark inside. The saku-uchi [team discussion and working on the drawing] of that scene was done at an early stage, so there was no more time to do re-think for it. But with this revised script the parts except Mari’s, up to Part C, became relatively complete.
Well, still there were also many script revisions piling up concerning small changes in dialogues or switching the scene order in places like the section with Touji/Kensuke and Shinji or the SEELE scene. Things like the story of Asuka’s relationship with her mother, or the somewhat “adult” episodes between Misato and Kaji, were revised or eliminated at the stage when the storyboards were being brought together. With the “flow” being brought together, we became unable to incorporate parts that didn’t involve Shinji. I had also wanted to incorporate as much as I could an “adult vividness”, but this time I decided to take the risk of leaving it out. I decided to make it an easily comprehensible view of world building that put junior high students at the center.
— After that much arranging and getting down to what was essential, Mari and Part D still remained [to be dealt with], right?
Anno: Right. The fourteenth draft, dated January 14th 2008, was separate from what came before, beginning from Part D. At that point it was fixed that Mari would pilot Unit-02. However, Misato and Shinji’s separation, what the course of action would be after the berserk of Unit-02 that Mari piloted, what happens after the angel consumes Unit-00—these sorts of things were a long way from being settled. Mari’s appearances, as well—in draft 13b, dated May 23rd, there was a scene where she had tea with Shinji on the roof of the school. For Part D, I focused on continually producing revisions from May to about September. There are 13 drafts just in the data that still remains. Really, it was like all sorts of ideas were coming up and then disappearing.
The first story plan was dated August 3rd, 2006, so the script went through about two years and five months of repeated twists and turns in total. Anyway, I think I devised new ideas every day in order to make things interesting.
“[We] persisted in changing Mari’s appearances up until the very last minute”
— It seems like the changes to the script continued even though the date of the film’s release was getting close.
Anno: Yeah. Tsurumaki, who was in charge of the storyboards plus the director of Part D, persevered until the very end. Especially in regards to Mari. Draft 15.2, dated September 25, was at one point sent to be storyboarded, but when it came time for Tsurumaki to do it, there were things in the script that, no matter what, he was not convinced about. [With these points] unsettled, a memo emerged from him concerning them. He said that if these [problems] were not resolved, he couldn’t draw the storyboards. So, during the studio’s new year’s holiday, we sequestered ourselves at my house and at a hotel in Hakone, and we did nothing but think of ideas in order to clear up the difficulties. We were delighted when we came up with them. The script put together as the solution to these difficulties, draft 16.2, turned out to be the final draft. This was the part stretching from the conversation in the bomb shelter between Shinji and Mari in the heavily damaged Unit-02 to the Kaworu epilogue. That was January 18th, 2009, so it was a situation where we were almost out of time on the production schedule, and didn’t know if the images [for the film] would be finished in time for the premiere. We storyboarded after that, so we persisted in revising things to the point of real danger.
— You had half a year until the premiere. It would seem that, even if you had started the afureko [voice recording] after the new year, a portion of the scenes would still not have been in a condition suitable for recording. That includes the parts involving Mari and Shinji, right?
Anno: Mari and Shinji’s encounter was finally storyboarded on February 28th, 2009. At the stage when Makki storyboarded the script [the scene] was in a revised form with additional ideas. Tsurumaki was determined to get Mari to arrive from the sky. I feel he just kept at it until an idea emerged that cleared [the way for] that.
But really, Mari’s encounter with Shinji, the scene where she re-emerges, was created by repeated trial and error; I forget how many times I rewrote it. That scene, as well, was initially intended to be placed after Unit-02 was sealed away, but when we watched the rushes through, it didn’t flow properly. In editing, we tried inserting it at various points, and in the end it was decided that the scene would be advanced to an earlier point in Part B. The connection where [Shinji’s] S-Dat falls on the roof and begins acting up was really a chance result.
http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=464064#464064 Part 4 [Continued]
— In addition, there were scenes that just featured Mari.
Anno: Concerning Mari, at the very last minute, during editing, the opinion was expressed—maybe by O-Sada—that Mari does not appear in enough scenes, that we forget her along the way. Well, I think he felt this way because, as a result of moving the roof scene to a position earlier than was originally planned, there was a gap until her appearance in Part D. So, we decided to think of additional scenes in the way of content we could produce from that point on. Because afureko was already complete, we thought of various [possibilities] without [using] dialogue, making use of different takes from other [unused] cuts; digging up rough layouts, inserting them in editing, and taking a look at them; and so on. We declared [options] to be useless a number of times, and in the end we decided on inserting a scene that used genga from the 2.0 preview trailer after [a shot of] Touji. Oh my, concerning Mari we really were at a loss and struggled till the very very end. I think for this kind of situation [it would be great] if I had the ability to suddenly hit upon something. I wish I had the power to quickly come up with ideas that could clear the challenges.
— In what way do you think Mari’s character was established in the film as a result of those difficulties?
Anno: I think she became a good character who for all her short appearance was impressive. This was again due to Tsurumaki’s persistence. In any case, we depicted her with great care in order to leave an impression. I wanted Mari to be an outsider within myself as well as an alien presence in the world of Eva. Because of that, I entrusted a significant potion [of the work concerning her] to Makki. If I had taken too much initiative, there was a risk that she might become [just like] the already existing characters. I think the result was very good, and I’m pleased with it, because the character contains something of the feeling of an alien presence. The image of her voice was also not decided by me, and the suggestion of (Maaya) Sakamoto-san, if I recall correctly, was, in addition, made by O-Sada. I guess Makki also approved [of that suggestion] at the time. I think I said something then, but at the end I said something like “I think it’s fine”.
That was at the time of a drinking party at the studio. Otsuki-san, who had grown impatient with the fact that, despite being close to the afureko period, the casting was still undecided without me having made any suggestions, was asking staff members then and there which seiyuu would be good for the new character, and Sakamoto-san’s name was brought up. The response of the surrounding staff members was favorable. So, Otsuki-san said, “Anno-san, Sakamoto-san is fine; we’ll choose her. Tomorrow, we’ll talk at the office”. “Yeah, that’s fine”, I said. [So far] I had only said hello to her in some events, but I thought that [the decision] was something good. She also performed well in Top 2 (Aim For The Top 2!), and as it was a recommendation from O-Sada and Makki, I thought there would be no problems. Well, later when I went to drink with various people, I was told by Minami [Masahiko] of Bones, “Anno took our Maaya without asking us blah blah” (laugh)
— What was the result like, [using] Maaya-san?
Anno: Sakamoto-san was extremely good. She performed as part of a regular team that had already been formed more than ten years ago without hesitation. Well, she was good. When I heard her first test I was convinced that it would work. Her song was excellent as well.
— Was it your idea that she sing that, the “365-step march”?
Anno: That was me. It was a song from the Showa period I heard when I was a child. I had her sing it as I wanted to bring out a feeling of ease despite it being her first campaign. In addition, wanting to bring out a ‘Showa-era old man’ feel from her character, I also put in actions like her saying “Dokkoisho” when she stands up, or her unconsciously striking her palm with her fist when she says “Yoshi. So da”.10 To put it in terms of cooking, that was just about the final seasoning.
— Concerning Mari’s naming, I believe [the name] came from Anno-san, but what was the source for it?
Anno: “Illustrious” is the name of an English aircraft carrier. “Makinami” comes, not from the former Imperial Navy, but from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Ayanami class of destroyers [escort ships]. “Shikinami” is the same. I don’t know whether or not I will bring this out in the main work, but in the new films, I altered the settei of the Eva pilots compared to the original. Because of this, Asuka[’s name] changed as well, from Soryu to Shikinami. As for the name “Mari”, I originally got the name “Mariko” from a character who appeared in my wife’s (Moyoco Anno) manga, but for various reasons it was changed to “Mari”. Well, Bucchan [Yutaka Izubuchi] was also probably pleased with the change (laughs).
— The Mari Izubuchi-san enjoys, would that be Brave Raideen’s Mari Sakurano?
Anno: Yeah. Around the end of the original Eva, I was asked by Bucchan if Asuka and Rei[’s names came from] Rei Asuka of Brave Raideen. I was somewhat unfamiliar with Raideen, and unthinkingly responded with the question, “Was there such a character?”, upon which I was emphatically told, “Yes, there was!!” Until I was told that, I hadn’t noticed it. I hadn’t been conscious of it at all. Part-way through [production] I thought about changing [Mari’s name] to Chizuru11; if I had done that I think it would have pleased Sho-chan (Shoji Kawamori’s pet name). There was also my wife’s character; and after all happened I finally had a chance to save Bucchan’s face by making a link with Raideen; so after all I went with Mari (laugh)
— That’s a truly beautiful friendship.
Anno: It is, isn’t it (laughs). By the way, I prefer the voice of Raideen’s Mari in the first half of the show. Hiromi Oka—she was good, wasn’t she?12
The various changes made to the main characters were…
— What was the reason for changing Asuka’s name to Shikinami?
Anno: I mentioned this before, but, because I changed the settei relating to the Eva pilots, in order to provide consistency in accordance with that I thought it was best to change the name. I also thought that the change in name of a main character would enable viewers from the previous work to receive the message, “This time is different, a new feeling”. Of course I felt uncomfortable [about it], and there are things that I think are better in the original, but here I feel like I [had to] risk changing things. [?] As I thought that fans from the original work would probably not expect changes to the extent that Asuka’s name would be changed, I wondered if the sense that, “Ah, this is different than before” could be conveyed in a shocking and easy-to-understand way; and I wondered if it might be good as a topic [for conversation] as well.
— Indeed, when articles were published in the anime magazines on the changed design of Unit-02, I wondered what was going on, not seeing much of a response, but as soon as Asuka’s name change was announced there was an enormous reaction.
Anno: I would imagine so, as the majority of the fans are focused on the characters rather than the mecha.
I also had a lot of difficulties creating Asuka’s character this time. For the design itself, it was okay to make not much more than minor changes to her plugsuit, but it was hard establishing her personality and personal history for the new films. Well, it was difficult.
— It’s not just Mari and Asuka, who participate [in the new films] from “Break” onwards. It was impressive to see Rei display significant changes as well. In particular, there is the fact that she prepares a meal, or the shock of her saying “poka-poka”. Concerning changes made to the regular characters as well, if there were reasons [for this], please inform us of what they were.
Anno: With Rei, for some reason, i just feel “it happened like that” naturally. I never remember why it happened that way. Regarding Rei’s dinner party for Shinji and Gendo, that was originally a plot I had thought of using for episode 4 of the TV series. I remembered it and thought I would include it this time. I have a memory of it being, at that time, something like Shinji’s birthday party. I think I replaced that with the dinner party this time. So, the episode where Rei prepares a meal was already in the first draft of the script. The dialogue where Rei says, “…it’s a secret. I’ll tell you when I get a little better [at it]” was included in the second draft, dated September 9th, 2006. That’s the second time that Rei smiles at Shinji. The Rei of “Break” was established from this point on. Since I hit upon that dialogue, I feel like Rei spontaneously became a character whose emotions leak a little bit into her outward appearance. As far as Rei is concerned, [I am] unconscious. I don’t control anything. With “poka-poka”, as well, I felt like she said it of her own volition before I was even aware of it.
It’s also the same with Shinji. In my mind he is so much a matter of course that, despite him being the protagonist, I often forget that he exists.
As for Misato, in the new films, I made her position as a secondary protagonist as opposed to Shinji clear. Shinji, as well as Rei, as well as Misato, as well as Asuka—as they express their emotions within the limited space of a film, to a certain extent they will act in accordance with given roles. I feel that, within the development of the story, things that I have to do have already been determined. If this was TV, even I went on various tangents I would still have room to recover, so [the characters] would act as I pleased. [???] In a film, I can’t do anything about this.
Nevertheless, I had the feeling that the characters were not simply extensions of the old work, but were new characters as a result. Although they were characters who already existed inside of me for over fourteen years, I feel like they were still changing. Asuka in particular changed from her [original] character settei.
http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=473270#473270 Part 5 [Second Segment]:
— With Asuka’s relationship to Kaji also changed, I felt something new [about her].
Anno: Yeah. I completely cut it from the film. The main reason was that, in a film, there is simply not enough room to depict something like Kaji and Asuka’s story. Even if we had put just a little [of that] in, then she would not have worked as a character, and it would inevitably have been a nuance that only those who knew the original series would understand. So I completely cut that [relationship], and instead decided to have Kaji be close to Mari. That decision was made because of the fact that, among the main characters who had appeared up to this point, there were none who knew Mari, and this was causing me various difficulties in writing. That being the case, I figured that Kaji was the most suitable. He was, like Mari, a character who appears from “Break” onwards. He’s someone who seems to know various secrets, and to have various connections.
— I feel like you killed two birds with one stone there, and I had the impression that that also had a big impact to Asuka’s incident with Unit 03.
Anno: Yeah. As [part of the] drama, I wanted to increase Asuka’s degree of isolation even more than in the original work. Because, in the series, the total amount of time available is significant, and I was able to play around with her portrayal, it became “Asuka is a girl who has the man she longs for nearby, and who, on the surface, is skilled at social relations”. In a film like this, because the time available is short, and the characters will be a mess if you cannot pull them together compactly, I simply isolated her from her surroundings, so it’s as though she doesn’t know anyone except for Misato. I thought her subsequent change of heart would also be easier to understand if I had her start with no friends. Because of that, I separated her from Kaji as well. If I hadn’t, the feeling that she had come [to Japan] alone would have become diluted. In accordance with this, I kept her contact with others besides Misato and Shinji slight, and I also kept her conversations with Hikari relatively short in the [film’s] second half.
In any case for movies if one film lasts around 2 hours, I think bigger extents of change are better for conveying [messages] to the audience. I set the Unit-03 incident as the climax for Asuka, and with her emotional peak being the moment right before she disappeared from the stage I wanted to make the gap between this and [the part] after her disappearance as big as possible. Starting form the falling angel battle which she could not deal with by herself, she got liberated little by little, and at last she laid bare her feelings for the first time to other people which was Misato. But, well, it was hard work to think up and bring about various stories in order to liven things up here. [She is] not the protagonist, and then there is also the weighting balance. That said, Part C is almost a story with Asuka as center.
Because Rei’s dinner party became the hinge for the rest of Part C, the main character, Shinji, had a hard time making appearances in the story. Because there are many “waiting” situations rather than a feeling of activity, you just forget about him. Watching the rushes that were made along the way, Shinji’s appearances were too few, or should I say that he didn’t appear for too long a period of time. So, in order that the audience would not forget [him], the scene where he listens to the radio while studying was afterwards added. Despite that, as far as Shinji’s story [in Part C] goes, it is nothing but “looking forward to Rei’s dinner party”, so when Shinji finally appears again, [the added appearance] only emphasizes that.
Devices used and changes made in order to fit [the film] into a limited length [of time]
— It seems that the changes in the characters and story were not so much made according to a plan as decided in accordance with various “balances”.
Anno: It’s not just “Break”; it’s like that for all my works. I all of a sudden noticed things when I read the script or the storyboards. I noticed a variety of things, large and small, with surprise when I watched the rushes. So, I hurriedly went to deal with these various things. It was a cycle of repetition. It was really creation by trial and error. Because this caused my staff troubles, I wish I had more of the capacity to settle everything at once in an interesting way. Nevertheless, because “Break” had many characters and there were many sequences that it had to incorporate, I couldn’t see the overall flow and balance if I didn’t actually experience it firsthand.
— [The film] had to incorporate an extraordinary number of things. That was naturally a great challenge this time around.
Anno: That’s because, if you put it in terms of the TV series, [the film goes] from episode seven to about episode twenty-three. That’s a length of about eighteen episodes of twenty-two minutes and thirty seconds. When it comes to showing that in a little less than two hours, [you can’t do it] if you don’t cut off a sizable amount.
— Was that problem of what to keep and what to remove a major challenge starting from the scenario stage?
Anno: I knew from the start that there was absolutely no margin to develop various scenes, but for some reason, during the initial stages, it was hard for me to recognize that, and I ended up inserting various things. First, I served up a full plate, and had the work afterwards of cutting things down: “I won’t put this in, I won’t put that in”. Especially as concerns the characters, there was even a period where I tried in a number of ways to increase the number of scenes depicting them. Asuka’s scenes also ended up increasing, and when I finally noticed I was faced with the difficulty that she now seemed to be the main character.
— There’s an inviolable rule that [another character] can’t be more prominent than Shinji.
Anno: In the end, he is the main character. But, well, from a compositional point of view, if we have Shinji involved in even the side stories, well, [I thought] that could be done without problem.
— In the [finished] film as a whole, Shinji clearly stands out as the main character.
Anno: That was the result of an accumulation of a variety of great efforts. As we were talking about, in case it was poorly done, the implication could be the risk that [Shinji] might just appear abruptly only at the end.
— Asuka also had a “romantic comedy”-like part: the development where she cooks a meal, and so on.
Anno: With that, for some reason or other I wanted to develop, in an easy-to-understand way, a “junior high school-like” part.
— The heavy emphasis on “having a meal” was also striking, but was there something intentional in that?
Anno: I thought that I would attempt to adopt a slight fixation with the idea of “eating”. The influence of my wife is significant. Owing to her, I have changed a little bit. So, I tried increasing the emphasis on meals. Up until the 13th draft of the script I had also inserted a scene where, after the battle with the falling angel, Misato invites Kaji, Ritsuko, and the three operators to go to a Ramen shop, and they sit around Asuka and have a meal together. Kaji tells Shinji, who has both of his arms bandaged, “No Problem. Here, open up–”13. Asuka reluctantly feeds ramen to Mari, and, in response to Misato’s words, “Asuka, helping another person probably feels pretty good”, says, “It’s just irritating”. But, in the end I decided to cut it. Because I wanted to focus quietly on Asuka and Shinji’s reactions, and because it’s hard to animate a meal scene, I decided not to do it. It wasn’t in draft 13a of the script.
Because this time the climax was based on episode 19 of the TV series, the image where Eva consumes an angel—well, the result was the opposite [of that], but, I wondered if I should feature the act of “consuming prey”, including that sort of image.
— [The motif of] “Food” has been placed throughout the film. Having a meal together with friends, buying and eating ice candies, eating a bento at school, making a meal [for someone] and suddenly stopping… This seems to me to be tied into these “Break”-type changes, where [you feel], “this is a new impression although it’s the same Eva”.
Anno: I think, concerning that, that it probably has less to do with scriptwriting considerations than with what was discussed previously, my personal changes. I finally tried to take an interest in “eating”, and I think that’s something like a manifestation of that14. For myself, I wondered what sort of thing “eating” was supposed to be. I myself have many likes and dislikes, and since childhood I was not so attached to the idea of “eating”, so I wanted to try to do some rethink on that area. Because of that, while I connected the depictions to form the story flow, I intentionally center it on the act of “eating”.
The increase in the amount of car scenes is the same; it’s because I started driving. From the time I got my license right after I left high school up until my marriage, I have practically been a “paper driver”.15 The streets of Tokyo are frightening. I started driving eight years ago, and became interested in cars for the first time. I started to remember the makes and models of cars, and I began being able to hold conversations with Sadamoto and Tsurumaki about cars. So, this time, I wanted to try to put as much of those parts of me that hadn’t existed at the time of the old series or twelve years ago into [the film] as I could. Things like having an interest in eating meals, or riding cars, or being in Kamakura with my wife, or, at a social level, being married, and also working at my own new production studio. It’s a reaction to those parts. Unless I intentionally imbued [the film] with those parts of me that didn’t exist twelve years ago, then I would feel like things hadn’t changed after all.
I thought it would be good if these, if those “feelings” that weren’t previously present would take hold in the film. And for new interesting points that I could not fill in myself, I intended on quickly inserting new elements from the staff like Tsurumaki or Masayuki to get [the whole thing] into chaos…
http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=492149#492149 First segment
“The relationship between Eva and Hideaki Anno’s authorship16”
— But the final decision is made by Anno-san. Tsurumaki-san’s opinion was that this is the reason that [the work] becomes “Eva.”
Anno: Before that [decision] I ask my assistant Todoroki what he thinks about it. Todoroki’s viewpoint, both as a fan and as a creator, is extremely accurate, so I’m very grateful for his advice. I think, if I’m aiming at entertainment, it’s no good if only I find it interesting. I also have to aim at the greatest happiness of the greatest number. I think it’s good if, to the best of my ability, I align my feelings about what is interesting with that.
Well, I insert my individual likes and preferences into the parts that are playful and not that important. That way it connects to [one’s] “fetishism”, and is good, I think, because it brings out “flavor” and “thickness” in the work. It’s not really the case that I’m forcibly [bending it to my whims]. At any rate, the things I am fixated on are there as well, but of course that’s because I wanted to place importance, not on envisioning the work from the beginning, but on the work somehow ending up a certain way without my intending it to, due to the course of the actual situation or to the unconscious, or to the mood. Well, it means always “favoring the interesting direction.” Eva in particular is created in this flexible manner.
— Just because it’s “Eva”, the vast majority of people in society still believe that [the films are] a product of Anno-san’s authorship. This account must have been given many times.
Anno: It depends on the definition of authorship, but I don’t really feel that’s the case. That’s because, in my situation, rather than having a firm blueprint at the outset and saying, “as an author, I want to depict this theme”, I create while every day blindly trying to work out what I can do to make things interesting. It’s not a way of doing things where I start with the finished form and create [the work] aiming at that. Until the first screening I don’t know how it will end up; I do nothing but constantly change things in order to make it interesting. I do that up until the very last minute of the schedule. It’s like this every time. Well, it’s a lot of trouble for the staff.
It’s something like, “the principle of the supremacy of the work”, or that I want to place more importance on what will be of benefit to the work than on what I want to do personally. I think that’s what’s important. Well, I’m not concerned about my authorship and so on. I feel, more than anything, if the work is interesting, if it becomes more interesting, that’s good. I just have the responsibility of ultimately choosing, in accordance with what is possible to complete on time, what seems like it will end up being the most interesting idea or way at a given point in time.
I’m able to amuse and entertain the customers who pay to see [what I make]. If I put something in which makes them feel unpleasant, that’s also done with their interests in mind. Commercial films are both works [of art] and products. You’re creating for the people who watch them. I’ve always thought our job was [a part of] the service industry.
— Although I felt that trying to treat Anno-san as an author was out of place with an evaluation of “Break”, I was somehow satisfied by what you said just now. [??]
Anno: Because, for Eva, I’m at the core of the actual work, writing the original scenario and the scripts, I think that something like my authorship will leak out or seep through no matter what, but I feel that much is just right. Unlike manga or novels, you create as a group, which is something I love about film work. Of course, there is also a method of creating which says, “the purpose of the staff is to put the vision of the director onto film without the slightest deviation”. Anime in particular points in this direction, since, as a matter of efficiency, it’s well suited to the realization of a vision. For people who want to create an image along the lines of their visions, this is the recommended [form of] visual expression. But, if [anime is] well suited to realize a long-prepared vision, I think the work will end up being more interesting if, as far as possible, one were to combine the visions of various staff members, rather than just establishing a single vision. I think, if the work has a heart or a core, then it’s better if the image is entirely [thrown into] chaos. Rather than a whole with a sense of unity, I prefer that it be lacking in some respects. I think that human beings and human society are themselves like this, and that if the work too is composed of a variety of things, it will be more real for the audience, or carry a greater sense of reality. So, a cosmos forms in the midst of complete chaos, according to the intention of the director, or else naturally. That’s good. That’s how Eva is created. Over and over again—it’s extremely difficult.
New scenes necessary in order to bring Shinji towards adulthood
— During voice recording, two versions of scenes, for example the cable car [i.e. the NERV tram] scene, were recorded. Was this [a kind of] insurance based on the assumption that there would be cuts?
Anno: It was among other things [a kind of] insurance, but in the end [that scene] was cut. Work [on that scene] progressed to the layout stage, but when I watched the rushes through, the only information there was Asuka playing a game by herself, Kaji appearing and [the film] communicating to the audience that he knows Misato, and the meeting between Shinji and Kaji. I thought the amount of essential information was slight, considering just how much was being crammed into a single sequence. That was the only purpose of the scene. This was a mistake of the script. Tsurumaki said, “this scene makes no sense.” Because it was storyboarded from an early version of the script, it was still forcibly including the image [of the meeting] from episode 8 of the TV series. I thought it wasn’t very good to include Misato there. However, when that scene was cut, Shinji and his friends ended up not meeting Kaji until the aquarium, [and you end up asking,] when did they get to know each other? However, for a number of reasons, I cut it.
— Surprisingly, I didn’t notice that Shinji and Kaji first met at the aquarium.
Anno: That’s because you know the TV series. You had that image in mind before watching [the film], so to a certain extent you saw it in that way, but I think someone who didn’t know the TV series would definitely have caught it. So, because the initial meeting between Shinji and his friends and Kaji is an essential scene, we remade [the meeting] from the storyboards upwards and included it in 2.22.
— The new aquarium-like sequence at the water purification plant takes on much of the weight of the [character?] depictions, but was there a special intention behind it?
Anno: It was to depict something Shinji had to know about. Something like “the enormity of the world.” [I wanted to depict] the sea and the sky and the earth, in a concrete way. If only the school and the city were depicted the whole way through, then that extensity would never emerge. As well, I wanted to put it in as a partial depiction of what really happened to the world to make the seas red.
— For the earth, there’s the scene where he’s gardening with Kaji.
Anno: Right. This time as well, Kaji takes on the role of the adult who broadens Shinji’s knowledge. Kaji does the rite-of-passage type things that bring [a child] closer to adulthood and which one’s parents would do in a normal situation. The action of Shinji touching the earth in the [watermelon] patch was added afterwards. At the earliest point, due partially to the difficulty of the sakuga17, Shinji only looked at the watermelons with Kaji; he didn’t help out with the weeding. However, after the premiere of “Prelude,” I went to Yamagata to collect information with my wife and her friends. For the first time in a long time I gathered up wild plants to eat, and I felt that this was of course the sort of situation that Shinji needs. I remembered the scent of the earth, something I had forgotten. It was owing to that real-life experience that I added Shinji pulling up the weeds. Although I pulled up weeds often when I was a child, after I went to Osaka and Tokyo, I no longer did it at all. Recently I moved to Kamakura, and once again my opportunities to come into contact with the soil have increased. It’s owing to my wife that I’ve been able to have this sort of experience [again]. From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful [to her].
Through the collective effort of a number of creators, completely revised angel designs
— I would like to inquire about the angels as a new element this time around. Were the images of the angels basically something that you put forward?
Anno: For the third angel, I did the rough original sketch. The concept was that it had already been captured, dissected, analyzed, and securely stored away by human beings. So, the image was that of a specimen, the enormous skeleton of a living being. Also, because we associate skeletal monsters with Stegon18, we jokingly discussed giving it the ability to spew corrosive liquid from its mouth as a weapon (laughs).
— Why did you end up choosing [Mohiro] Kitoh-san?
A: Because his designs are unique and interesting. I asked for something more along the lines of Narutaru than Bokurano. I thought that the image of the dragon king’s palace [to do with Narutaru?] was interesting, and that I would try creating an angel along the lines of that impression.
— Was it created assuming that it would be in CG?
A: That’s right. Assuming it would be in CG, I had the image in mind of [a creature that was] basically just bones. Also, thinking that you might not get a sense of movement if it didn’t have some kind of legs, I added small ones. When we set it in motion, the impression it conveyed somehow became more cute than frightening. I thought, because of this, it could become popular with women, too (laughs). For the movement of its neck and tail, I of course had in mind the souen19 of tokusatsu.
— The seventh angel was in the old familiar Heiwajima style.
A: That didn’t come from me. It was an idea proposed by (Daizen) Komatsuda-kun and Shigeto Koyama-san together.
— There is a spikiness to it reminiscent of the Toshiba IHI pavilion at the 1970 World’s Fair.
A: I felt that, as it was constructed out of a number of identical components, like [a construction with] blocks, geometrical, and possessing many components, it couldn’t be drawn by hand, and was best suited to CG. I [?] did express the opinion that it might end up being like the World’s Fair pavilion20. The final result tended a bit towards being “art”, but I thought it was good.
The design of the seventh angel changed repeatedly. When we were first doing work on “Prelude,” I requested a design in advance from okama-san. The studio was not yet ready for commissions [?]; this was at a considerably early stage. Anyway, I had him make many drawings with no predetermined image, and then we would go back and forth in response to them. As, at this stage in the work, it was so early that the visual image of the new films had yet to fully solidify in my mind, I had okama-san just draw for me. Afterwards, we had a plan in place where Unit-02 would be introduced by diving from mid-air to battle an angel in the water. So, an image of, or commission for, an aquatic angel that we could get away with not having move very much was decided upon. Since [depicting] Unit-02 here would use up our sakuga-drawing time, I decided from the beginning to do the angel in CG. However, before the “taste” of okama-san’s angel could really come together, I became busy with “Prelude,” and that [earlier] work seemed to spontaneously come to an halt.
So, when work resumed on “Break” after the first “Prelude” screening, I told Komatsuda-kun, who was in charge of that scene, that we could change the storyboards, and I asked him if he had any ideas. At that point he and Koyama-kun presented their proposal, and although I apologized to okama-san for doing so, I decided to use it. As the angel would only appear briefly, as, so to speak, a “yarare21 mecha”, I wanted it to have a visual impact. That was something the proposed design provided. In addition, it was good that the structure of the design, including the movement, was well-suited to CG.
— What about the 8th angel, which you called the “falling angel” in production?
A: To start with, I asked (Takashi) Watabe-san [to do the design]. His design incorporated alterations while preserving the image of the original. The idea or conceit whereby the angel unfolds from a spherical shape was contributed by Watabe-san at this point. Only I felt his design was a bit too biological to be well-suited to CG. I wanted something with a strong visual impact, simple and geometrical as well as exciting. [Considered] as a [mental] image, it’s [really] just [something] falling, so I wanted to have that feeling visually. When I thought, who would be well-suited for this, then I realized, of course, it could only be Mahiro (Maeda). It was great, as we had time on the schedule, and Mahiro attacked the work enthusiastically. He submitted things like a visual image of something the color of squid ink moving, and a design where mysterious human forms danced along the bottom of a sphere. I liked that there was a strange kind of continual motion.
As I recall, the angel concealing itself when it first appears with a kind of mosaic effect22 was conceived during the making of the preview trailer. I didn’t want to clearly show the forms of the angels in the trailer. So, not knowing what to do, that was a desperate measure, but the result was good. Furthermore, the covering of itself with the A.T. Field and the deployment of the field as a rudder were ideas that we came up with on the spot and incorporated while viewing the output during the CG work.
— What about the human form that finally emerges from within [the angel]?
A: As it becomes entangled with Unit-01, I decided that it would be the only part [of the angel] to be drawn as sakuga. I asked (Yoshito) Asari-san, who was occupied in the studio with the 10th angel’s design, if he would be able to do yet another task for me, and had him draw a few rough sketches or idea sketches on the spot. I have a feeling [this] commission was made relatively early on. I had Honda-kun make a final consolidation of the idea sketches. Later on, once Mahiro’s full design was complete, I had Honda-kun redraw the design all over again in order to give it consistency or identity. That became the form [of the angel] we would put on the screen.
— I heard that the CG team had a great deal of difficulty with this angel.
A: Things didn’t go well at all. [There were difficulties with] the sense of enormity and the movement, and there was not enough time. We continually experimented with the image [of the angel] without it becoming settled. The work around that point went on in a total state of confusion. Again, we were doing a variety of things right up until satsuei.
— I heard that the part where [the angel is] defeated was redone an astonishing number of times.
A: There were a number of difficulties doing that cut—the movement of the angel up until it liquefies, conveying the size of the angel, the utilization of the initial layout—and in the end we ran out of time, so we finished the minimum possible before the film went to theaters. Just about the only good thing was (Takashi) Hashimoto-kun’s sakuga of the wave. Accordingly, in 2.22 we tackled [that sequence] once again.
— The onrush of the wave was tokusatsu-esque.
A: That was a scene Masayuki added in storyboarding. It was a cut he “ad-libbed” that wasn’t in the script, but the fact that it looked like the way water is poured out in tokusatsu was great. Hashimoto-kun’s sakuga were excellent, the satsuei and so on also went well, and [it ended up being] a great scene that looks like the product of an uncompromising effort. When I first watched the rushes, I thought that it needed a close up shot—or should I say, that I wanted to see one!—so I asked Norita (Takashi Hashimoto’s pet name) to add an additional cut. I was aiming at the tremendous energy of the scene where Sapporo collapses in the TV version of Japan Sinks.23
— Did the design of the ninth angel—that is, of Eva Unit-03—change?
A: Well, the design of Unit-03 itself [remained] just about the same, I think. We basically just changed the colors a little bit.
— In the battle with Unit-03, the design of the dummy plug is new.
A: As there was no time at all to alter the design [of the plug] during the TV series, just about all that we could do was to have a laser disc start spinning in the back and change the color scheme with a full screen para overlay24. This time we finally had the chance [to thoroughly change it], so I asked (Ikuto) Yamashita-kun to alter the design of the rear interior. He suggested that we give the rear interior a human form. I wanted the dummy plug to have the sense of a jumble of a number of elements: a slimy motion using CG, or a disgustingness to its motion; a robotic coldness, and yet a biological feeling that makes it seem like it might contain a human being. We took pains with the details of the movement, appearance, and so on, but the result was good.
— After the dummy system begins operating, it becomes impossible for Shinji to see what is going on outside.
A: Right. This time I wanted to emphasize the sense that Shinji couldn’t do anything, so we created a situation where his hands had been forcibly restrained by lever-like devices [?], his monitors had been completely appropriated for the usage of the dummy system, and he could only guess what was happening based on the noises reverberating inside the plug. I thought, the dummy taking his place in the cockpit, his forward field of vision will also be obstructed. The image on the monitors is information from the outside seen from the perspective of the dummy system. [Just] an unusual screen image was enough.
— Has the settei of the dummy plug itself also changed a little? There is a scene where Gendo is suggestively touching [the dummy plug].
A: Right. I’m not sure it will come out in the work, but I am thinking in terms of a settei slightly altered from the original.
— The design of the tenth angel, which corresponds to the angel from episode nineteen of the TV series, has also been considerably altered.
A: Right. That was also the result of repeated changes. I wanted to transform [the 14th angel from the TV series] into a new angel based on the original design, as I wanted new designs for all the angels in “Break”. Accordingly, just like with the TV series, I had Asari-san drawing various rough sketches [of the angel’s design] in the studio. I had Honda-kun revise those into settei.
Only the face remained identical to the TV version, as the face, I thought, was good, after all. The idea was that it would be more interesting to start by misleading the audience members who knew the previous work into thinking for a moment that this was the same angel [as before], and then rapidly transform it. The idea came up at a meeting between Asari-san, Makki, and myself.
— The transforming, the growing of the tentacles, and so on, is an idea characteristic of Asari-san.
A: Yeah. I believe that the foundation, and many other things, were ideas that came from Asari-san. As we were aiming at something that would appear the same as before but be in fact different, Asari-san was greatly troubled [by the difficulty of it].
— When I interviewed Tsurumaki-san, he said that the “pata-pata” [sound of paper fluttering; i.e. the paper arms] conceit was material that came from the proposal for the TV series25, and he wasn’t sure why it was changed [in the film].
A: That was because I thought that its impact was, in the end, likely a one-time thing. Originally, at the time of the series proposal, the initial image was an “origami angel,” a cube that would change shape, going “pata-pata.” Then, it would link up and form a Moebius strip, and so on. That was what we were thinking during [the initial] planning. However, in the production environment of a television series at that time, that sort of depiction was very much impossible. So, that really was a design used in the series proposal that existed from the beginning. However, I intended to at least use the “pata-pata” idea somewhere. So, for episode 19, I thought that, as this is the most powerful angel, I have to use it here. The Moebius strip [idea] was considerably simplified and brought over to episode 23. But, we were able to do it at that time because we were finally able to use simple 3D CG models as guides for the sakuga.
The “pata-pata” [element] of the angel was really well done, so it was hard to abandon it, as a visual [element] as well [as a design concept]. But I feel like I took the risk of switching to a different method of attack because I was searching for change.
— Was the new development where [the angel] devours Unit-00 also something you conceived during the initial scenario-writing stage?
A: Well, the storyline where Unit-01 devours the angel was no longer present at the earliest stage of the plot. For the new movies, from the earliest stage of planning there was a conception where “Unit-01 will reach its operational limit, cease moving, and nearly become absorbed by the tenth angel; in order to save Shinji, Rei will forcibly unite Unit-00 with the angel and self-destruct.” The script was written according to that conception up until the fifth draft. That changed from the seventh draft on to a conception where the angel devoured Unit-00. It seemed more natural that, rather than deliberately fusing with the angel, Rei would be devoured by the angel and absorbed against her will. I didn’t arrive at that idea until a great deal of time had passed. I lamented my lack of talent [afterwards], wondering why I hadn’t thought of it before then.
— Why hadn’t you?
A: Well, it was as Ritsuko’s line expresses it, something impossible. [Impossible] in terms of the settei in my mind. But I thought that was good, so it was better this way. I thought, I can just rethink the settei to conform with it (laughs). What was important was the appeal of the circumstance of the angel devouring the Eva.
— Tsurumaki-san also said something about wanting to make the design after the absorption resemble a Sentai Series villainess.
A: I thought, if we put it on screen, it would be a little too much [like] a manga. I felt that, if it has a vaguely human body and balances itself, in cel anime, a symbolic [means of] expression, it won’t be seen as anything but a giant human being. I thought that, if this was live action, there would be a way to do it, but it’s difficult in anime. We didn’t have the time or resources to do something with it. On top of that, Komatsuda-kun saying that he wouldn’t allow a woman to be beaten [in the film] was a major reason. He had a strong negative reaction, saying that, even if it is not a woman in terms of the settei, the male protagonist will be striking something that can only appear [to the viewer] as a woman, and that he was unable to direct or depict that. I thought that it certainly isn’t good if we have a person rejecting [the design] to this extent. So, with accumulated revisions, it became the current design. In color coordination, there were still a variety of issues concerning what to do about base colors and what to do about irowake26. Finally, it reached its current form.
The Eva designs change with “Break”
- In part D, there is a new development where Mari activates Unit-02’s bestialized form, “the beast.” How did you decide upon that?
Anno: I wanted Unit-02 to go out of control, but it would be dull if it was just the same as with Unit-01. So [the concept] arose when I asked for suggestions. It combined ideas from Shin-chan and Yamashita-kun. I think it was Yamashita-kun [who came up with the idea of] an Eva being liberated by the control rods coming out of its body. The addition [of the structure of the rods] resembling the dorsal fin of a monster, and other things, [was made], I think, in Shin-chan’s image boards. My memories of that period are a little unclear.
The struggle to depict the [Eva’s] abandonment of humanity was [surely] difficult. I got [some people] to do something about it by way of deploying good sakuga. Really, they did an excellent job, with no time for Unit-02’s sakuga on the schedule. Incredible. As is typical of them.
— It seems that the design of Mark.06 is a bit different than it was in the preview [at the end] of “Prelude.”
An.: It’s fundamentally the same. The design of Unit-06 was more or less completed during work on “Prelude.” For this film, only a few balance-related adjustments were made. The dark blue coloring, too, was decided upon from the outset.
— This was the Eva that you intended Kaworu to pilot.
A: Yeah. In the earliest version of the script I thought he would make a showier entrance, but [in the end] I felt having him be so quiet was better for the scene.
— The lance we see at the lunar base is the same one that appears in the final scene.
A: Yeah. I think, because we covered it up, it was hard to understand as foreshadowing, but I thought that much was fine. The lance also has a name, which was supposed to appear in Kaworu’s final dialogue. However, as the events of the story prior to that changed, it ended up not coming in. Even so, in the fifteenth draft, Kaworu was going to say a number of things. However, in the final sixteenth draft, that part was cut out entirely, because it was boring to have him just recite the settei.
— How was it doing Eva design once more?
A: I had determined in advance that Unit-05 would be done in CG, so from the beginning it had the settei of being provisional. Because of that, from the [design] requests onwards, it was decided that it would not be bipedal. At the initial uchiawase [for Unit-05] with Yamashita-kun, I said something like, it could move on caterpillar treads, and when it stands erect shift to bipedal movement as well. I wanted to try doing the rolling movement of ritai and pivot turns27 in CG. However, that was rejected by Yamashita-kun, who said that he didn’t want to do it because it would resemble Shin Getter-3 (sad expression). Due to that, it [was given] a four-wheel type of movement. That way, it could drift, and also convey a feeling of speeding along, so that was fine too, I thought.
Since I wanted to avoid having it fight hand-to-hand with [small] hand-held weapons, it was given a lance, which only had to thrust, and a claw as its weapons. As an anti-angel weapon, a lance had [something of] the image of the lance of Longinus, and it also made it feel like [Unit-05’s] operation had been specialized, so I thought that would be good.
The idea of giving it power through a trolley system28 also came from Yamashita-kun. That was good, as it also changed things visually, and again gave the feeling that [Unit-05’s] operation had been specialized for [use] within the base. After Yamashita-kun’s work had finished I added a few minor details. I believe the work of revising the model was terrible [for Yamashita]. Though I was sorry about that, there was nothing I could do.
Since the main body was developed jointly by Europe and Russia, the coloring integrates the images of the R-type rocket29 and the Eurostar in an easily understandable way. Even though we had this image [of integrating the R-type rocket and Eurostar] we struggled to achieve a balance in the color scheme and we ended up taking time. Although at one point we settled on a scheme, the large number of colors was annoying, so I asked [Yamashita] to redo it once more, toning down the coloring. The digital components really caused great difficulty.
Since [work on] “Prelude” I had been thinking that, if we were taking the trouble to make a new work, then I would change Unit-02[’s design] as well. I thought to simply add a pair of fins or antenna to bring out [or alter?] the shape of the head, but when I gave it to Yamashita-kun, he changed [the design] a little too much, so I asked Shisho (Takeshi Honda’s pet name), [serving as] a sakkan, to make the final adjustments. What resulted was like the bow of a warship. Maybe that was due to the fact that around that time I was producing the Yamato model design (laughs)30. The coloring was established to conform with [the style of] Unit-01 and Unit-00 in “Prelude.” I remember having difficulties with the color of the arms. This time around—for Unit-01, as well—we changed the colors of things like the multi-layered chest armor plates and the spinal covering a little. For the arms, too, I added a stripe, thinking that since this was “series two” I wanted a “Return Of…” [kind of] feeling. Honda-kun changed the full-body proportions of the Evas of his own initiative, [in accordance with] how he wanted them to be. As a I mentioned earlier, Unit-06 was just about the same [in “Break”] as in the preview [at the end] of “Prelude.”
— The designs of the plugsuits changed a little bit this time around as well.
A: Yeah. I entrusted it to O-Sada, and he changed them a bit for me. I wanted to add a different feeling onto the screen, even if only a little bit. With Mari, I aimed to distinguish her from the other pilots by having her wear two kinds of suits, a generation behind and a generation ahead, old and new.
[TODO: Is this an interview or some sort of excerpt from the storyboard section of CRC? Is it complete?]
Higuchi’s interview is really funny, because he seems to really dislike the “chaotic” way Eva comes together (he said it was the same for 1.0, even without the major plot changes… he makes many jokes about the whole thing) and just shuts himself off from the “scriptwriting” process, and draws whatever storyboards people request from him ^__^ Higuchi comments on a bunch of his old storyboards shown to him by the interviewer, and I want to post up the storyboards + the description of each + Higuchi’s comments on each one.
[It’s worth noting that Higuchi’s portrait in The Notenki Memoirs is the professional, a director who will get things done on time, a pinch-hitter; for example, directing a number of Nadia episodes when Gainax began falling behind.]
“Asuka corroded by the ninth Angel. Rough sketch for the image board”.
The Asuka/Kaworu dialogue in question is:
KAWORU: This isn't like you. ASUKA: It's not like me? KAWORU: Because happiness doesn't suit you. ASUKA: The happy me... is scary. So I'll return to the usual me.
I am more interested in the storyboard above the Kaworu meeting 4 Rei clones. There is a sex scene between giant Rei and Eva-01 in 2.0 ??? (the storyboard explicitly said it is a sex scene).
It’s a strange scene! It wasn’t used in 2.0; it was based on the originally scripted finale, which followed episode 23 much more closely and was changed very late in production. Shinji Higuchi drew the storyboard, and made an interesting comment in the CRC interviews; here is the excerpt. The storyboard is a version, I think, of this scene from episode 23 of the series.
Higuchi: When I watched the preview screening, it was [the Asuka possession scene] that shocked me the most. The scene was supposed to be cruel, with Asuka becoming “corroded” and losing her face, but the [final] treatment had become incredibly gentle.
— In the first scenario, her fortune was to be pierced by a number of ultra-fine needles.
Higuchi: So it was like the image of a “hedgehog”. The fact that the needles were directed towards the interior meant that Asuka was becoming intropunitive [self-punishing].
— Therefore the scenario unfolds with Kaworu’s address: “It’s not like you”. In Higuchi-san’s storyboard, the detached skin also becomes a face and addresses [Asuka]. The horror resembles Kazuo Umezu’s “Nikumen”, but from what image did this “peeling off” come from?
Higuchi: The order was, “something like ‘plastination.’”
Higuchi: Right. Here, I was thinking only of something that people would hate. Up to then there had been a somewhat “poka-poka” mood. Thinking “this ‘homeroom drama’ is not Eva!”, I wanted to confront [the audience] with something hateful. In actuality, from the point of view of the story, from that point on “hell” begins and that sort of happiness does not endure. “Eva” is really like this; that “poka-poka” atmosphere will descend into chaos! I put that sort of feeling of ill-will into my drawing.
When that sort of shocking thing didn’t happen, I thought that the development by which the happiness that had [been portrayed] up to that point changes to tragedy probably wouldn’t occur. As for the Asuka of “Break”, it was a situation where the entire team was at odds. This being the case, I thought this [scene?] was an absolute “death flag”. I thought about a cruelty worse than death, and this was the result.
— I thought that this “‘Nikumen’ version” had been selected [to be used]. It was also used in Tsurumaki-san’s storyboards, and during the recording sessions I have a memory of it being recorded.
Higuchi: As for when and how it was changed, I don’t know, but probably the malice [I felt] when I drew the scene was too much for people to see up front.
Early Provisional Draft Storyboard / Shinji HIGUCHI Corresponding to section C-1367 of the completed work. A scene where Shinji leaves Tokyo-3. For provisional draft storyboards, cut numbers are omitted. Mari: I'm not interested in boys who run away with their tail between their legs...! Are you stupid? [_Anta baka_?] One person almost died? What? Are you a coward? Don't take [me?] for granted[?]. Instead, I'll only thank you if you fight. Your expression---like you alone carry all the burdens on your shoulders---looks idiotic! ... is what Asuka-chan would say if she was here. / MARI: It's not the case that you could become God because you piloted Eva. There are people you can save, and people you can't.
— […] As for Mari, there is a scene where she has a conversation with Shinji after he parts from Misato. She imitates Asuka’s manner of speaking there, right? Afterwards, at the climax of the battle where Unit-01 grows wings, she is staring at it from a distance…
Higuchi: If I had to say, I’d say she was like a female version of Kaworu.
Early Provisional Draft Storyboard / Shinji HIGUCHI Corresponding to section C-1456 and following of the completed work. A scene where Eva Unit-02 battles the 10th Angel in the Geofront. An unconscious Asuka is restrained within the Entry Plug.
— […] Mari does not pilot Eva-02 during the climax in your June 2007 storyboard.
Higuchi: That’s right, that’s right. We had an unconscious, “puppet/doll-like” Asuka riding in Unit-02, right?
Early Provisional Draft Storyboard / Shinji HIGUCHI Corresponding to section C-1676 and following of the completed work. A scene where the 10th Angel invades Command Center No. 1 of Nerv HQ. The HQ control tower retracts and gun turrets appear, firing upon the Angel.
— Only, if we look at the first storyboards they are not completely the same [as the original episode 19]. Masayuki-san’s new idea “the command center becomes a battleship” was also inserted.
Higuchi: “Let’s add artillery. The artillery of a battleship will emerge from the command center and fire. Tee-hee!” I received a proposal like that from Banchou [“delinquent leader”] (Director Masayuki), so I drew the storyboard. But that development meeting took place much earlier than the “Prelude” premiere, in a distant haze; I don’t know how long ago the conversation was.
As far as I understand it, [Yōji] Enokido only worked on the movie for three days (at Atami). Probably the most important reason for getting him on board was to get an “outsider” to decide on the final cuts to be made (especially considering the fact, as the interview shows, that whoever had to make those decisions risked incurring the wrath of the others ^^). Afterwards, he didn’t know if his ideas would end up being used in the film or not. Later in the interview he says he was surprised to see a final sequence so close to the idea he proposed at Atami.
According to Enokido, Anno wrote the drafts of each Rebuild script by himself, and then consulted other people on various things afterwards. This is almost the reverse of how he worked on the series, where he described a plot, another writer produced the draft script, and finally Anno amended it.
Also according to Enokido, when Anno explained the “background” (裏設定) of Eva to him at Atami, it struck him as a continuation of what Anno had told him 16 years prior, when Enokido was writing for Eva. The mood at Atami was on the whole “heavy”.
Enokido: Because “Rebuild of Evangelion” is basically a reconstruction of the TV series, we presume that sooner or later Rei II will die. If Shinji-kun were to save Rei II it would mean a significant departure from the TV series. However, I believed that the last scene of the film had to be an earth-shattering climax. When I had this idea, it was impossible for me not to communicate it. I remember, on the third day [of the sessions], performing a solo play in front of everyone using hand gestures and body movements entitled “this is how it ends!”
— So, in this play, you performed actions like [Shinji] pulling [Rei] up and out [of the Angel]?
Enokido: Right. Rei gets completely absorbed by the Angel. It’s just as though she has died and entered the netherworld. The audience is thinking that Rei is dead. Despite this, Shinji pilots Unit-01 again in order to save Rei. He cries out “Ayanami!” and reaches forward, with an awful noise, through the front of the entry plug. He must establish some means of descending to the underworld. Finally, having grabbed (the unclothed) Rei’s hand, he pulls her out with a sudden movement. I feel I demonstrated this method of rescue with all my might. I completely transformed into Shinji. I think everyone was staring at me very coldly (laugh).
Enokido: … I felt the development of the second half of the TV series was incredible. Only, I was a little saddened by death of Rei II and her replacement by Rei III. For myself, I wanted that Rei who had repeatedly shared battles and encounters with Shinji to go on to the end. But the original scenario for “Break” was, naturally, similar to the TV series, with Rei II self-destructing. On the morning of the third day [the production team] stayed together, I suddenly had the thought: “What if, in the final scene, Shinji happened to save Rei? … It would be incredible!” I worked myself up into a frenzy. Among the reasons for my enthusiasm was the recognition that this would completely overturn the expectations of the audience. When we speak of the most important “catharsis” provided by film, we might say that a film creates in the audience a sense that the characters are in danger, only to overturn it: we go from, “this character is in danger and surely will be badly hurt,” to “it can’t be!” This constitutes, so to speak, a betrayal of the audience in the form of a sudden change. This “salvation” is the essence of the final scene.
[Note: I couldn’t quite work out the complete meaning of the first two sentences of this part without knowing the question Enokido was asked, so I left them out. They seem to relate to Anno and his assistant Todoroki “taking over” the concept.]
Enokido: … At that time I had only decided that Shinji would save Rei II. Afterwards, as I was performing and speaking more or less off the top of my head, I was entering a kind of trance state. As is typical of me, when I reached the climactic scene where [Shinji] cries “Ayanami!” and begins to walk forward, just as I grabbed [Rei’s] hand and pulled [her] upwards, I suddenly came back to myself (laugh). “Now what happens?” I wondered. Now, in the film, when Shinji saves Rei, Kaworu-kun suddenly descends from heaven and impales him with a spear. When I was enthusiastically performing the “saving” scene, I couldn’t envision anything except Kaworu-kun stabbing me with something sharp and screaming “That’s Enough! Act Responsibly!” (laugh)
“In short, Rei or someone else is caught in a desperate situation, a situation in which she absolutely cannot be saved. Shinji saves that person by means of an impossible method. I could not help wondering if the subtitle ‘The Only Neat Thing To Do’ implied such a scene, which achieves a cathartic reversal in a miraculous way”.
A Request to Perfect the Screenplay
— We received a strong demand from Anno-san that an interview with Enokido-san be included in the “Complete Works Collection”.
Enokido: I see! If that’s the case, I’ll answer enthusiastically (laughs).
— When we were gathering information from (Kazuya) Tsurumaki-san before the premiere, he told us that, in “destroying” Eva, your ideas are being incorporated everywhere32. So we’re interested [to talk to you]. Do you remember the first occasion when [Anno] reached out to consult you?
Enokido: The document [produced as a result] still exists, so I brought it.
— Thank you. The story of the exact moment contains a strange “pattern”, right?
Enokido: It was two years ago, so I think there are parts I’ve started to forget. The first talk was in 2007, I think in late September or in October.
— So just following the premiere of “Prelude”?
Enokido: Yeah. I went to see the movie, as a fan, soon after it opened. As I watched the preview trailer after the ending, I thought, “So, from the next film forward we get new developments? This seems interesting”.
— You saw it as “a complete outsider”, right? (smiles)
Enokido: That night I received a call from “Khara-san” [Anno]. “What do you want to do for the second film?” “Huh? Me?” I remember a conversation along those lines.
— The fact that you had seen the first film just before that … it seems predestined, right? How did you view it?
Enokido: It was very interesting. I think it was a kind of conformation. To this day I still haven’t asked [Anno], but I wondered, “why choose me for ‘Break’”? I thought it was either because of my collaborations with Tsurumaki-san on FLCL and Gunbuster 2, or else I had been called because of my contributions to the scripts of the original “Eva” series as a rotating staff member.
— When we were conducting other interviews, we got the feeling that the project reached a “limit”, followed by some kind of major change. It seems like Enokido-san’s ideas were relied on more than what had been developed previously.
Enokido: When I was called, there were already scheduling pressures. At that time I also heard that two different versions of the last scene had been storyboarded and scrapped.
— That being the case, did you have the impression of seeing things from completely outside of the “Rebuild” project?
Enokido: Yes. Because I worked as a scriptwriter on four episodes of the original TV series, I am credited in the “Rebuild” films as a “screenplay consultant”. However, I did no work at all on “Prelude”, and at the time I was called to work on “Break”, a complete draft of the film’s script already existed. As Anno said he wanted further changes, I was sent a copy of the script before a meeting between us was even arranged. So first of all I read the script, and found it very interesting.
— What sort of things seemed interesting?
Enokido: To begin with, considering that “Prelude” has to recreate episodes one through six in less than two hours, I think they did an excellent job organizing the film and maintaining balance. The story development is the same; it’s okay if they crowd out the details. That being the case, when I thought about “Break”, I expected that they would do a good job if they managed to cover episodes eight to thirteen or so. But when I realized they were attempting to treat everything up to episode twenty-three in one go, I couldn’t understand how they would do it. However, when I read the script, I saw how amazingly skillfully things had been organized. “Just as I expected!” I thought. “Indeed, if they do it like this, the entire series becomes a single episode”.
— And yet, despite doing so well, they had lost their bearings, and asked you to fix things?
Enokido: Right… I had received the impression that Mari’s character development was not yet complete. Furthermore, I think that there were parts that still retained the atmosphere of a “summary film”. Because an outside observer often sees further than the participants, I thought it would be good to begin by pointing out these sorts of things. I wrote an entire “plan of organization” or “plan of revision”; I believe it was this document here (Dated October 13; reproduced in CRC 2.0 pp. 236–237). To the extent it discusses the plot no changes are made; it’s a “compositional memo”. I submitted the memo shortly after the script arrived, and after that a meeting was arranged, but the location was not Khara-san’s studio. I was ordered, “Come to Atami!” and I was led away as though I were being abducted. It’s as one expects from “Eva”, right? (laugh)
— That was the “Atami Retreat”, right?
Enokido: When I asked, “Why Atami?” I was answered, “If we are to arrange a proper meeting, we should go where the food is delicious”. That’s a very Anno-like proposal. As the script had already been written, there were not supposed to be any major changes, and so I had thought that when I sent the memo, that would be it. When we began the “Atami Retreat” on October 31st, I was wondering what on earth was going on.
The Overpowering Characters of Rei and Asuka
— So big changes were being intended at Atami.
Enokido: The truth is, the day before I went to Atami, I received a call from (Toshimichi) Otsuki-san, and I was told that they would leave the content alone, and there was only one matter they wanted to pursue. At that time, based on the current screenplay, the film was projected to run between 130 and 140 minutes, and the aim was to reduce it to less than 120.
— Besides yourself, who were the members of the retreat?
Enokido: There were the directors, Anno-san, Tsurumaki-san, and Masayuki-san, as well as (Ikki) Todoroki-san, who was performing secretarial duties.
— So you begin the Atami Retreat with the assumption that you would be deepening Mari’s character a little and fine-tuning the screenplay to reduce the length of the film, but what was the reality?
Enokido: Concerning the matter of strengthening Mari’s character, Anno-san had already been asking me if I had any ideas, so I started to investigate the problem. However, as I worked through it, the twosome “Rei and Asuka” was such a powerful combination that they seemed to stand in the way. When I tried to investigate what made this pair so strong, I realized that this combination followed the archetype of the so called “harem anime”, and that all the desires, lusts, and dreams of young men were bound up in them.
One “type” is the girl who was a childhood friend, who has always been with you since you were born, and with whom there are no new or strange feelings. Rei is established to resemble a “mother” in some respects, and so she produces in young men a feeling of distance [from things?] as though they were still half in the womb.33 Now, Asuka’s particular type is that of the girl who comes from a foreign country. This also produces a very good feeling. Probably it is the male instinct to think, in some respects, that girls from another world are better than girls who are familiar and close to hand (laughs).
— Certainly, if we assume that there is a male instinct to “spread” DNA, or propagate the species by mixing heterogeneous elements.
Enokido: The sadness and happiness of young men is bound up in the fact that they always possess these two contradictory wishes. The so-called “Harem Anime” genre is for the most part intended to satisfy these desires. In “Urusei Yatsura”, Shinobu is the Japanese girl who was one’s childhood friend and always by one’s side, and Lum is the “alien girl”. We say “alien”, but [such characters] perhaps [have] an “American” image. Rei and Asuka exactly fit the pattern of this “perfect lineup”.
Now, coming up with a plan as regards the third girl who must compete with this “ultimate combination” seemed to me a very difficult job. In addition, Director Anno had not, up to this point, developed anything himself, but, expressing the desire for a completely new character, had left Mari’s development to others.
This being the case, my first proposal for an additional type was a Sapphire (from [Tezuka Osamu’s] Princess Knight) type. If Rei and Asuka are completely different types, I wondered if a “neutral”, lighthearted type who battles with an “innocent” image would be good. At this point, though Anno-san agreed that it would be good, he thought a Wato (Chiyoko) type (from [Tezuka’s] The Three-Eyed One) would be more realistic, and he got quite excited about it.
However, Tsurumaki-san, who had been listening nearby, was looking at us with a distant expression. It looked as though he was thinking, “It’s a pleasant conversation [for you], but just who is going to be saddled with the difficulty of placing that character in the world of Eva?” (laughs) I think the result of finalizing Mari’s appeal was that Tsurumaki-san was made to suffer with storyboards.
— Since viewers were heavily anticipating a new character from the first film’s preview, you want to give Mari more to do; was that the atmosphere [at Atami]?
Enokido: As we had many conversations relating to Mari, I think it was. As for other images, there was the part of a Miko-san [shrine maiden] channeling the gods. She is not “practical” like Asuka, but thinks about “deep” things, like someone who somehow can see mysterious things like those connected with the gods. She is not “unworldly” to Rei’s extent and she talks a lot. As nothing had yet solidified, we had these sorts of discussions about ideas.
— I have a feeling that those ideas influenced the final film. What other discussions did you have about Mari?
Enokido: We didn’t just discuss her character traits, but we were also tangled up in discussing to what extent she should appear in the film. I remember that this caused everyone a great deal of distress. If we wanted to increase her appearances we could, but, because we were limited by the running time of the film, the number of scenes depicting the activity of other characters would be reduced. Even watching the completed film, there are selections we made at the last minute. If we added more Mari, we would have to further cut strong scenes involving Rei and Asuka, but if we didn’t, then there would have been no point to putting Mari in the second film [to begin with]. In the end I think we were impressed with her character and have high expectations for her in the future.
— In the original scenario Mari was the daughter of a distinguished English family who kept dogs and cats, and so on; what were the circumstances [relating to that]?
Enokido: Speaking of that, I also remember conversations like, “What if we gave her tattoos of the names of all the pets she’s kept up until now?” For example, we would insert a bath scene where we see the area from her chest to her stomach is completely covered in tattoos. If she gets asked, “Why do you have them?” she’d answer something like, “They’re the names of all my pets that have died up until now. The tattoos ensure I don’t forget them, and that they still ‘live’ with me”.
— That’s a striking character trait.
Enokido: Did this development survive or die off? Because Mari hasn’t undressed yet, nobody knows (laughs). With things like this, we tried too hard to develop Mari’s character traits; when I think back on it, we were only discussing “forced” or “absurd” things. In asking “how can we beat Rei or Asuka?” we had a tendency to get a little bit too much into an “impact contest”.
— After all, if you want to insert Mari somewhere, you have to leave out Rei or Asuka. We also heard about this difficulty from Tsurumaki-san.
Enokido: There were versions of the unfinished screenplay where Mari appears only at the beginning, and doesn’t participate in the battle at the end.
Boarding ‘Eva’ Again After Sixteen Years
— This memo34 you put out, with what kind of feeling was it made use of?
Enokido: That was mainly a list of scenes to be cut. At that time we were still wondering whether scenes like the pilots going to eat Ramen together should be left in. I not only participated in the original TV series but watched it as a fan, so I knew which scenes were my favorites. However, as far as the film was concerned, I thought it was best to focus on Shinji-kun’s scenes. In addition, I would comply with (the producer) Otsuki’s order to bring the film under 120 minutes. Therefore, I rapidly cut sequences which, although famous, did not have a strong relation to the main story. However, as I did this everyone naturally saw favorite scenes being cut, one by one, and because of this I was becoming increasingly shut out by the group (laughs). For example, Anno-san lost his favorite Misato scene…
— Which Misato scene?
Enokido: There were many scenes at the start of the script showing a deeper friendship between Misato, Ritsuko, and Kaji that were discarded. They were “film-like” scenes and, from the dramatic perspective, very good; however, because I thought it was best to organize the film around Shinji, I proposed that they be cut. Because Anno is the chief director, if he hates a cut he can prevent it by saying “I want that scene to stay”. However, he doesn’t do so. Nevertheless, when he’s displeased the atmosphere becomes very oppressive (laughs).
Furthermore, when even Tsurumaki-san, the one person I expected to support me, started saying things like “I’m an Asuka fan, and I won’t be happy if this scene gets cut”, I had a feeling like, “Huh?” (laughs). At that time, Masayuki-san came to my rescue, saying “Look, we should just do as Enokido-san says, okay?” I had the impression that I had just barely kept my place [at Atami] (laughs). Masayuki probably decided to bring “balance” to the sessions (laughs).
— It was difficult, wasn’t it? (laughs)
Enokido: Only, once we had cut a few scenes, naturally the next problem was the opposite one; owing to the cuts you could begin to see gaps detracting from the organization of the whole. As these gaps arose from cuts I had made, naturally I, as the person responsible, had to fix them. For example, while in the first half of the film Asuka appears as a character who strongly repels others, in the second half she becomes a little kinder, and develops into a character who is concerned with Shinji’s feelings. This development is crucial, but I had a feeling that, due to my excessive cuts, the basis for this change became too thin. Trying to make up for that loss, I had the idea for a scene where Asuka, unable to bear her loneliness, enters, uninvited, the room of the sleeping Shinji.35 The scene used in the film was translated from the concept almost exactly. By inserting this scene, it seemed likely that something of a connection between the “first half” Asuka and the “second half” Asuka could be skillfully established.
Because I had broken off my journey aboard the TV series in the middle of the voyage, this time I had the privilege of boarding the “New Theatrical Edition” in the middle of the voyage, and I have the profound impression that Eva, [for me,] is finally connected by a single line. I had the privilege of a rare personal experience of which few other examples exist (smiles).
— There’s not many stories of people bridging a gap of ten years or more.
Enokido: Near the beginning of “Break”, Asuka says: “It’s not just the color that’s different. (…) This is the world’s first ‘true’ Evangelion, designed for real combat”. 16 years ago I wrote those lines of dialogue for episode eight of the television series. When I heard those lines spoken in the movie, I was so overcome with emotion I couldn’t speak. There were two sides to the feeling: “At last, the line is connected”, and “The journey isn’t over” (smiles). I have the impression that the train I departed from has returned as a high-speed express, and, just as before, I am a passenger once more (smiles).
[‘The first memo is a “group memo” taken down by Ikki Todoroki on the third day of the Atami retreat and contains a list of all the scenes expected to remain in the script. There are some interesting differences between this and the final film. The final scene appears to be a synthesis of the original Rei “suicide scene” and the “Shinji saves Rei” scenario.’]
"Evangelion New Theatrical Edition: Break" Screenplay Retreat Memo 2007/10/31--11/2 Atami "Break" Outline North Pole: Mari/Unit-05 versus the 3rd Angel [On Lake ??]: Asuka/Unit-02 versus the 7th Angel (Main Staff Titles) ~ Main Title ~ - Graveyard: Gendo and Shinji visit Yui's grave Rei's appearance in Gendo's VTOL aircraft. Shinji returns in Misato's car. Regarding Operation Yashima: "Your father appreciates you, too". Shinji recognizes Misato's concern. - Navy port? : Arrival of Unit-02 Misato and Shinji returning from Yui's grave. Appearance of Mari as Unit-02's backup pilot. Appearance of Kaji. - Depiction of everyday life Kaji and Ritsuko. Asuka and Mari become part of Shinji's class. Asuka, Shinji, and Misato's daily life together. A conversation about Misato's scar and Second Impact? Mari living at Hikari's house. - Nerv HQ: Synchro Test Mari's synchro rate exceeds Asuka's. - The Moon: Gendo and Fuyutsuki observing Unit-06 Meeting with Kaworu. - Aquarium: Shinji, Asuka, Mari, Hikari, Touji, Kensuke, Kaji Everyone eats bentos made by Mari and Hikari. Rei understands the value of cooking. Asuka is isolated. Shinji calls Gendo but doesn't get through. Kaji tells Shinji about Second Impact. - Spaceship returning from the moon: Gendo and Fuyutsuki viewing the Earth's tragic appearance - Attack of the 8th Angel Mari selected as Unit-02's pilot. She is injured from the battle with the 3rd Angel, but instead of declining, she accepts. Asuka is shocked. Shinji asks Mari why she pilots. Mari talks about "severe reality". A confrontation between Misato and Ritsuko concerning the pilots. - Battle with the 8th Angel: A victory where Unit-01 takes the leading role Shinji is praised by Gendo. "What Misato said was true". Shinji and Misato make eye contact. Unit-00 and Unit-02 are partly damaged. - Depiction of everyday life Conversation between Rei and Shinji. "You seemed like a mother". Shinji makes Bentos for everybody. Rei, Hikari, Mari, and Asuka eating them. Conversation between Touji and Shinji. "You've changed". Rei's room. "Thank you. Words of gratitude. The first time I've used them". - Rei's tank---A meal with the commander Rei in the tank. Gendo and Ritsuko, "Rei no Kankei". [Rei's connection? A conversation connected with Rei??] Rei invites Gendo to a dinner party with Shinji. - Nerv HQ Lounge---Watermelon Patch Conversation between Kaji and Shinji. "Something good happened?" "Somewhat". "You gained some self-confidence?" "A little bit". - Rei's room---School Rei practicing cooking. ~ Eyecatch ~ - Misato's Apartment Asuka making Miso soup. She knows about Rei's plans for her dinner party. - Unit-04's disappearance Explanation of Eva's relation to world affairs. Discussion regarding the Unit-03 activation experiment. - Preparation for the Unit-03 activation experiment Unit-02 goes to Sasebo (is this necessary?) Gendo has the dummy plug installed in Unit-01. Conversation between Maya and Ritsuko. - Who is the pilot of Unit-03? Unit-03's activation on the same day Rei plans to have her dinner party. Asuka understands Rei's feelings for Shinji. Asuka declares herself a candidate to pilot Unit-03. Rei phones Asuka "Thank you". Touji's sister leaving the hospital. - Unit-03 activation experiment Conversation between Asuka and Misato. "It's a nice feeling to talk to someone". Unit-03 taken over by the 9th Angel. - Battle against Unit-03 Unit-01's dummy plug is installed. Kaworu watching what happens to Asuka (アスカの成り行きを見ているカヲル). Shinji refusing to destroy Unit-03 ("I won't do anything" Shinji) Unit-01 switches over to the dummy system. Unit-01 crushes Unit-03's entry plug. Asuka, terribly injured. - Nerv Headquarters A rebellious Shinji remains inside Unit-01. Shinji faints due to increased LCL pressure. Unit-01's power stopped. - Hospital Rei in the lobby holding a Bento box. Shinji's dream. "I couldn't forgive my father's betrayal". And so on. - Nerv Command Room Conversation between Shinji and Gendo. "I don't want to pilot Eva anymore". - Shinji leaves Nerv Hikari, Kensuke, Touji call Shinji. Ritsuko talking to someone. "Rei, she didn't cry". Shinji's DAT player abandoned in a garbage container. Rei's room, abandoned cooking utensils. - Considering the Location (is the scene itself necessary?) Conversation between a departing Shinji and Misato. Conversation with Mari? - 10th Angel Attacks Nerv battles an Angel that invades the Geofront. The Angel shrugs off every attack. - Shelter---? Shinji sees the tragedy of the ordinary people (Nerv staff members?). - Nerv Command Center Unit-01 refuses the dummy plug. Gendo facing the cage. - Watermelon Patch Conversation between Mari and Shinji. (At the time of the Unit-03 affair, protect Asuka or kill her and protect the world, there was nothing you could do). - 10th Angel versus Unit-00 Unit-00 plunges forward with a bomb. Unit-00 is seriously damaged and can no longer fight. The Angel eats Unit-00. In headquarters, Rei's signal vanishes. - Watermelon Patch / Geofront Shinji decides and stars running. Shinji struggles over rubble and other obstacles. - Nerv Headquarters The Angel penetrates into headquarters. Gendo faces a wounded Shinji covered with blood. "Let me pilot". - 10th Angel versus Unit-01 (1) Eva-01 plunges into the command Center. Eva-01 is shot into the Geofront and attempts to tear Unit-00 apart from the Angel. - Angel becomes the "corroding type" Rei's heart wants to be one with Shinji. Unit-00 (taken in by the Angel) corrodes Unit-01. Unit-01 is accepting and nonresistant. "So you came to trust Rei that deeply, Shinji-kun?" [そんなにレイに心を許していたのね, シンジ君. In the storyboard, そんなに is そんなにまで and the line is spoken by Ritsuko.] Unit-01 is near its power limit. Rei begins to self-destruct. - 10th Angel versus Unit-01 (2) Unit-01's power limit reached. Unit-01 goes berserk. 400% synchro rate, furious Shinji. Unit-01 plunges its body (arm?) into the Angel. In the same way, Shinji stretches out his arm inside the entry plug. Rei's hand materializes; when Shinji pulls her out, her body materializes. The berserk doesn't stop; Unit-01 transforms into a giant of light. Unit-01 destroys the Angel with overwhelming power. - Unit-06 Arrives Suddenly, a spear flies in. Unit-01's berserk is halted. Unit-06 enters the atmosphere. Removes Unit-01's entry plug. Fuyutsuki and Gendo's conversation. "Finally, he has come". "From here, everything begins". The reunion of Kaworu and Shinji. ~ To be continued ~ Concerning Mari: - A character like Wato-san from "The Three-Eyed One". The type who will suddenly initiate physical contact. "Boku" character She has very serious thoughts. The most adult of all the pilots. - Mari lives together with Hikari in Hikari's house. They are close friends (Asuka's position in the previous work). They make Bentos together, and so on. - She has the names of the pets she has kept tattooed along her back. - Asuka thinks Mari is just the backup pilot for Unit-02. She calls Mari "Hoketsu" [substitute]. Other things: - Concerning the battle with 8th Angel. At the time of the operation, Unit-02 flies in via transport? The 8th Angel materializes from a vortex of clouds resembling the eye of a typhoon. - When the dummy plug system is put into operation, the dummy plug's "human model" [ヒト型] pins down Shinji's body so he can't escape. End Participants: Hideaki ANNO, MASAYUKI, Kazuya TSURUMAKI, Yōji ENOKIDO, Ikki TODOROKI. Memo taken down by: Ikki TODOROKI.
[‘The second memo is the one referred to in the interview above and is an attempt by Enokido to “develop” the Asuka-Mari rivalry. Only four pages of this memo are reproduced.’]
Evangelion New Theatrical Edition: Break Organizational Plan Draft 2007/10/13 Yōji ENOKIDO The major elements of the story are fundamentally unchanged. Mari and Asuka's development will be slightly altered. At the beginning, after the battle with the Angel at the Arctic Branch, Mari and Kaji return together to Japan. On the way, Mari destroys an Angel with Unit-02. Asuka arrives separately, at the same time as Mari and Kaji. As both Asuka and Mari are designated pilots of Unit-02, they have a rivalry. Because Asuka believes that she is unquestionably the true pilot and Mari is a spare, she is especially strongly attached to Unit-02. Mari is more composed than Asuka, and appears to be interested in Shinji instead. After the synchro test results, it is decided that Mari is to be Unit-02's true pilot. Asuka is shocked. When the Angel that falls from the sky is defeated, Mari is piloting. The operation succeeds, but Unit-02 is heavily damaged. Unit-03 arrives in Japan, and Asuka is chosen as the pilot. Asuka is delighted. But there is a tragedy. When Shinji revolts against Gendou and abandons Eva, Mari persuades him to pilot again. - "Old" North Pole (Pages 1-2) The scene by itself is not changed. Only: One thing pertaining to Mari's character development. Mari is portrayed as the exclusive pilot of provisional Evangelion Unit-05, but Unit-05 is in the care of the Arctic Base; conversely, it is to be clearly indicated that she is there temporarily to safeguard the third angel's seal, and was originally the pilot of Unit-02. In brief, in this work Asuka and Mari become rivals to pilot Unit-02. In this case, it's probably necessary to slightly alter scenes, adding lines like "you're not much like Asuka-chan". - Pacific Ocean---Old Ito-Area Waters (Pages 2-3) One is reminded of a return to the naval fleet transport scene from Episode 8, but the attacking angel is different. Unit-02 stands on the deck of a ship to meet the angel's attack. Kaji gazes at the frame of Unit-02, shining deep crimson beneath the open sky. But, the pilot in the cockpit---is Mari. Proceeding from the opening scene, Kaji accompanies Mari on her transfer. So Asuka is not aboard the naval fleet. Mari destroys the angel with Unit-02. - The military transport vessel arrives in port (Pages 3-4) Shinji, Touji, and Kensuke watch Evangelion Unit-02 arriving. Asuka arrives via a VTOL aircraft (or something similar). She arrives by herself from Germany. Asuka, who is convinced she is the exclusive pilot of Unit-02, boasts to Shinji and his friends about Unit-02 (as in the script). But, Asuka is shocked when she sees Mari emerge wearing Unit-02's plug suit. "You used Unit-02 without my permission‽" Furthermore, when she sees Mari's behaviour with Kaji, she is shocked once again. - At school---Year 2 Class A (Page 4) Asuka and Mari are moving into their new places. Asuka introduces herself as "The true pilot of Evangelion Unit-02". Meanwhile, Mari's reaction to seeing Shinji. - At school---By the school gate (Page 6) Asuka no longer becomes friends with Hikari. Or, somehow worried about Asuka, Hikari is about to call out to her, but she is interrupted by Mari calling out to Hikari, etc. - (Pages 7-8, in and around the scene where Asuka moves into Misato's place --) Insert a scene with Mari living at Hikari's house. "I don't like living alone. (For this reason she kept many cats and dogs, etc.)" "I already have two sisters living here, so one more person doesn't matter". Mari becomes friends with Hikari. In short, by becoming the pilot of Unit-02, arriving with Kaji, becoming friends with Hikari, and so on, Mari usurps Asuka's position in this world. Mari herself has no evil intention, but Asuka is overtaken. It's not related to the main story, but if we insert a scene with Hikari's sisters in pajamas or changing clothes, we can hope for the "economic result of the African Campaign in Gundam" (ガンダムのアフリカ戦線経済結果). - Facility for the Preservation of Saltwater Sea-life (Page 8 onwards) Mari also comes along. Hikari and Mari have already become intimate friends. Hikari and Mari have made an O-bentou together, and so on. * * * Shinji has been wondering about Asuka and her desire to pilot Eva. This is because he truly did not want to pilot Eva. - The Falling Angel (Page 12 onwards) The Asuka and Mari Synchro Test scene is inserted here. Mari's synchro rate is higher. As in the TV version, Asuka is on her period. (Despite absolutely not wanting children) The operation to destroy the falling angel begins. It is decided that Rei will pilot Unit-00, Shinji will pilot Unit-01, and Mari will pilot Unit-02. Asuka is shocked. - Rei and Asuka in the Elevator (advancing the scene on page 18) Mari is present. Rei comments on Asuka's low synchro rate. Asuka becomes furious. [Pages 4-5 excluded] PAGE SIX - Watermelon Field (Page 47) The intense fight between the angel and Unit-00. In a somewhat isolated place, so Shinji just stands and stares at the fight. He stands in Kaji's watermelon field. Mari arrives at the watermelon field. Shinji and Mari meet and stare at one another. In the background the battle between Unit-00 and the angel continues. "Why don't you fight? Aside from you no one can do anything; only you can do something, right?" "..." "... so, you got angry because Asuka was hurt? You're angry at the adults who sacrificed Asuka? You've just rebelled against the ways of adults? You've just rebelled against your father?" "..." "If you don't fight, everybody dies. In the end, both Asuka and Rei will die...". * * * Unit-00 battle scene. Rei engaging in a difficult battle. * * * "Even if Commander Ikari sacrificed Asuka, he did it to protect everyone... but you won't even do that?" "..." Suddenly Shinji pushes Mari to the ground. (Or she possibly collapses as a result of an explosion?) One [or more?] watermelon[s] bounce[s] and break[s] apart. The red juices stain both of their bodies. "These are the watermelons Kaji was raising", Shinji mutters. "They were important to him. But I have no important memories or anything else important to me..". * * * Reflection insert (page 19 onwards). Gendou: Human beings live on by forgetting their memories, but there are some things one must not erase. * * * "Just think about it..". Mari says. "Think about it a little. Maybe, right now, there's nothing important and worth protecting for you in this world. But..". "! (Surprised Shinji)" Mari now: A. Kisses Shinji B. [REDACTED] C. [REDACTED] [All pages after 6 excluded]
“The CRC 2.0 Tsurumaki interview is actually, I believe, a revised and expanded version of an interview included in the original Eva 2.0 theatrical program, including material from an additional, later interview.”
A major turning point following the ‘Prelude’ premiere36
— To begin with, I’d like to speak with you for the program to be distributed before the premiere. According to Chief Director Anno’s intention, it was decided that we would “publish an interview with Makki entitled ‘the man who destroyed Eva.’”37 Before we begin, I’d first like to confirm that you were made aware of that intention.
Tsurumaki: This seems suspicious (laughs). As far as making me into “the criminal responsible for destroying [Eva]” is concerned, I’ll resist with all my might.
— Only, if we look at “Break” as a destroyed Eva, surely everyone would want to know the details of how and why this happened.38
Tsurumaki: As far as [the title] “Break” is concerned, Anno-san probably discovered a new reason for it part of the way through. As usual. Although, I think it would have been better if Anno-san had taken the lead in destroying [Eva] himself. [It would surely have been difficult for him to destroy it. I think he well understood that, and had no choice [but to do as he did].39] However, it was not myself alone who destroyed Eva. Even Masayuki-san, or Sadamoto-san, who writes the manga, would have been fine [for the interview].
— This successful “destruction” was unexpectedly the core [of the film]. So [the conception of] a “jo—ha—kyuu” [序破急] structure where you would begin destroying Eva in the second part was not present from the beginning?
Tsurumaki: In the initial stages we thought more in terms of a recap or summary film; we didn’t think that we would “break” [anything]. We decided upon the subtitles “jo—ha—kyuu” themselves relatively early on. They only had the meaning “1, 2, 3”—at the time I didn’t think that “ha” [“Break”] had any special significance. The development of the story of “Break” was already underway before we started work on “Prelude”.40
— I have the impression that the development of “Prelude” and “Break” began at the same time.
Tsurumaki: Right. We decided, with relatively few objections, that we would bring “Prelude” to a climax with episode six of the TV series, and immediately after that we began developing the story of “Break”. However, work on “Prelude” became increasingly hectic, so we decided to just focus on making “Prelude” first. We returned to “Break” once we had just about finished “Prelude”.
— For my part, I was reading through the script for “Break” around the time “Prelude” was completed (the latter part of August 2007). Also, (Shinji) Higuchi-san was supposed to have drawn the storyboards for “Break” that summer. At this point, the contents [of the film] are probably quite different [than they were, at that point].
Tsurumaki: It would turn out that more than just the plot would be developed further. In any case, after the premiere of “Prelude”, Anno-san proposed that we include more of the new character, Mari, and it was decided that we would revisit the script. My impression was that “Prelude” was received more favorably than expected; furthermore, the preview for the next film was very well received. So, I think Anno-san probably thought, “I want to give the viewers more service”. Probably, [his] specific means [of doing that] was to place Mari more prominently [in the film].
— Considering Anno’s “spirit of service”, that would naturally be the case, right? So, that would lead to [Anno] increasing the number of Mari’s appearances?
Tsurumaki: The truth is, at the earliest stage of planning, Mari was such a character that, in the extreme case, if she hadn’t spoken at all, it would have been okay. For example, Misato just reading the materials on her, [and saying] “It seems that Unit-05 was in Hong Kong and had a battle with an angel. The pilot was this person”—would have been fine, I think…
— In that case, she would become an amazingly weak character.
Tsurumaki: Yeah. The appearance of a new character and Eva Unit-05 was requested by executive producer (Toshimichi) Otsuki-san. I think the motive was a commercial one—to strengthen the appeal of the film.41
— Surely, the new films themselves become a burden to the extent they represent a story that preexists the new character; you had to “create carefully”, right?
Tsurumaki: [Yes,] because at first we intended [simply] to summarize the original series. For example, the current structure in which the new character is actively involved before the main titles was put in place at that stage in the film’s plot [development]. In addition, [she] would appear only once more, watching the battle just before the climax. That was the extent to which she appeared.
— So, she was hardly related to the characters of the original story.
Tsurumaki: It’s Anno-san’s usual method. He allows possibilities to remain without making up his mind. By no means have things been decided. Because, if he was bound to a decision, he wouldn’t be able to do anything but that. He was still undecided about how to handle her, and at that time he probably thought that introducing her but leaving her without definite relations [to anything] would be safe for the moment.
— I see. In a different set of circumstances,42 I would also have thought, “As expected, the storyline of Eva is quite fixed, and new interventions are not possible”.
Tsurumaki: Naturally. Therefore, daring to have her appear at the core of the story, even more, bringing her close to the center of the drama—in short, we intended to make her a character who would change the story. That was the major shift following the premiere of “Prelude”.
What occurred with the increase of Mari’s scenes43
— The result being that [the story] would become increasingly different from the script that you had prepared?
Tsurumaki: We were almost starting everything over again. We had hardly thought about what would be changed, and how it would be changed, in order to incorporate Mari. It was from that point, I think, that we really began.
— So, the question of how to destroy Eva ends up really being the question of how to connect Mari [to the existing story].
Tsurumaki: Right. However, while we had resolved to change [the story], Anno-san had for one reason or another not thought at all about the elements of Mari’s character. As a result, I was continually requesting explanations in regard to them. When I requested an explanation of Mari’s character before we began doing the storyboards for the pre-title sequence, Anno-san gave me a rather abstract, “thematic” explanation.
Tsurumaki: It was, “By introducing Mari, we will destroy the world of Eva”. Concerning this idea of Mari as a character who represents the subtitle “Break”, the explanation that we would directly project her “thematic” character traits onto the story was not sufficient, so I just smiled and nodded. However, we were about to draw the storyboards without something essential—Mari’s concrete character was undetermined. The resulting stress would continue for a long time [after that].
— The establishment of her character—in other words, her personality?
Tsurumaki: Is she a girl with a calm demeanor, or a girl with an intense personality, or a dojikko [clumsy girl]? Even that much wasn’t clear. I felt like it changed each time the script was revised. Even if the theme of her character was “the destruction of Eva’s story”, there were numerous concrete ways you could conceive of doing that. In the extreme case, she could “steal” Shinji and destroy all his relationships up to that point, or act as a “nonsense” character who would destroy the “serious” worldview [of Eva]. As there was no trace of a [fixed] methodology according to which she would destroy [Eva], the arguments concerning her continued endlessly.
— Which parts did the arguments center upon?
Tsurumaki: Certainly Mari’s appearances had increased. Furthermore, if there were scenes where Mari appeared by herself, that was still fine. Even in the early stages of the plot[’s development], we didn’t really feel that such scenes were a problem. The difficulty lay in her relationships with other characters. Especially, if we intended to portray a relationship between Shinji and Mari, it would entail strange things happening. At one point she would have Rei Ayanami’s role in relation to Shinji, at another point Asuka’s, at another point Misato’s. There was a sense that her character was changing depending upon the circumstances of each scene. In the first place, if it’s Rei’s role, Rei herself can do it, and if it’s Asuka’s role, Asuka herself can do it. To the extent that this newly arrived character, Mari, is just partially substituting for roles that other people have carried out up until now, the story itself is really unchanged. My impression was, if that’s going to be the case, Mari is probably not needed.
Because a new character is introduced, naturally, it’s already become a different story, but if we step back and look at it, almost nothing has changed. That’s useless. As a result, on one occasion Anno-san handed off this problem to [Yōji] Enokido-san. Basically, he told [Enokido] that he wanted to create a plot in which Mari’s character was more developed. It’s not a brief story; I remember thinking that it was quite a serious situation. For my part, because I thought the fact that Anno-san was writing the scripts himself44 was an important characteristic of the new films, it [seemed] all the more [serious]. Partially because of that, Enokido-san’s position, it seemed, was that he would absolutely not submit plots or scripts, but [only] ideas. What came out of this was an extremely eccentric, interesting, Enokido-like idea. In short, [Enokido] proactively made use of the fact that Mari could not simply act as a substitute.
— In specific terms, how did [Enokido] intend [Mari] to act?
Tsurumaki: To put it simply, it was an idea where Mari completely usurped Asuka’s role. For example, Asuka is unable to pilot Unit-02, because Mari is constantly getting to things before Asuka. Mari even thrusts herself into the middle of the relationship between Shinji and Asuka; [Asuka is] completely thwarted. Even though Asuka makes a great effort to fulfill the role she played at the time of the TV series, because Mari is always there it becomes impossible for her to do it; something like that.
— That’s interesting.
Tsurumaki: The reaction of Asuka fans to it would probably be terrifying (laughs). Because, in Enokido’s idea, Asuka, thwarted by Mari, is never able to pilot Unit-02. There were voices on the staff pointing out the size of the risk [involved], but Anno-san somehow understood [the idea], saying, “Well, I’m going to take that idea and put it in the script”. However… [this idea] immediately went back to the drawing board (laughs).45 For example, when Asuka tries to pilot Unit-02 at the time of the battle with the eighth angel, she is told by Ritsuko, “Mari, the pilot who arrived on short notice from Europe, can pilot Unit-02, so you are on standby”. Asuka is mortified. That was Enokido’s idea, but in Anno-san’s script, he changed it so that the two of them would be piloting Unit-02 together (laughs).
Tsurumaki: It’s excusable to just focus on the good things, but [Anno] was trying so hard to please everybody that the story was becoming confusing. Probably Anno-san thought that the story would not change unless he could deeply connect Mari to it, and for this reason he tried to place all the responsibility for changing the story upon Mari. Nevertheless, contrary to his intentions, even though he had tried to introduce Mari, he was not able to change the story.
— It’s as though some mysterious, compelling force was operating.
Tsurumaki: But, I somehow understand that everyone experiences this. We don’t change [so easily], even though we swear, “starting tomorrow, I will change!” (laughs) Being unable [to change] despite knowing [you should]; that’s something common to everyone. I think, in due time, Anno-san will reveal the real reason [for its existence] himself, but when Masayuki-san first did the storyboards for the battle with the eighth angel, the scene where the two pilot together was storyboarded, based upon the plot [at that time].
— How [did Anno] get them both onto [the Eva]?
Tsurumaki: It’s as though Asuka secretly got on ahead of time (laughs). It wasn’t just there, [though]. Things like that continued to happen almost entirely throughout. So, we were truly in difficulty. [Anno] said there would be changes in “Break”, and in practice more than 90% [of the film] was [comprised of] new scenes, but, even though we had taken the trouble to produce this new material, the story had not changed. Of course the situations, the characters, and the dialogue had changed. However, if we examine the significance of what was done there, we will get something like, “Eh? This happened in episode xx”, or “This scene [could go] in episode xx”.
— Hmm… It’s as though you repainted [Eva], but the sense or significance of the TV series rose to the surface from the foundation.
Tsurumaki: So, it was coming to seem like a summary version made with some slightly new material. A while ago, I had been told that the “Evangelion” TV series was quite rigidly fixed; it was, I think, certainly like that.47 It seemed like, if you change things in one place, things go badly not only there but elsewhere as well; a host of derivative problems arise. If you try to fix it, it’s an enormous task to make the story consistent everywhere.48
— Even if it goes well, won’t the “spirit” of the original series still end up dwelling there?
Tsurumaki: Yes. This sort of thing continued, and for a while we were truly in difficulties. I think that was the main reason the script couldn’t be fixed, and that as a result [we] spent so much time doing storyboards.
— Even though they were deliberated to the point of staging a retreat for the script, there were some things that just couldn’t be “boiled down”, right?49
Tsurumaki: Well, I think the Atami Retreat, which Enokido-san participated in, was extremely worthwhile. An audacious idea for the last scene, which was almost all right [as presented], emerged there. That was the development, which remains now, whereby Shinji rescues Rei. As far as the film’s climax goes, the work to be done after that hardly concerned us. The difficulty was arranging for Mari’s involvement, [which was necessary] in order to bring the story to that point. The most simple solution was—just as in the early stages of the story—to keep Mari’s appearances to a minimum, to leave her with no relationship with Shinji or Asuka, and for [the story] to follow a course similar to the TV series. In the end, this [approach] would go the most smoothly.50
— A course leading up to episode 19 of the television series.51
Tsurumaki: Yes. Strictly speaking, the part corresponding to episode 19 incorporates parts [of the series] from up to episode 23. Rei self-destructs in the TV series; [here] Shinji rescues her, and she is not made to self-destruct. Keeping things the same besides that was the safest way to do it. However, Mari had appeared [in the story], so she somehow had to act; we had to leave a path open for Mari. That was the most stressful [part].
[Incorporating] change itself into the structure of the film
— Setting Mari aside, having Asuka pilot Unit-03 was a major change in “Break”. How was this decision made?
Tsurumaki: Just as with Mari, we wanted Asuka to be significantly involved in the story. Since we decided to make the new films we’ve somehow felt misgivings [about Asuka?]. When we [developed] the plot there were many scenes and dialogues involving Asuka, but we weren’t able to assign her a role in the story. She didn’t decisively impact Shinji, Rei, or the others. To say it plainly, we had the feeling that she was becoming something like a character who only “made noise” at the side. Asuka is a crucial character, so we wanted to involve her more in the story. She’s a popular character, so we hated the idea of her appearing as “side entertainment”.
— So how did she become linked with the Unit-03 sequence?
Tsurumaki: Sadamoto-san’s advice was important. There was an initial conversation where he made the point that, “among Kaworu, Touji, and Asuka, you will not be able to sufficiently develop more than two of them, probably only one”. Because he had carefully considered his experiences putting together the manga, I placed great weight on his opinion.
— In actuality, the story of Touji and Unit-03 remained in the manga version, right?
Tsurumaki: Yeah. With a manga, in a way, you have a great deal of freedom. For example, you could use an entire volume of the manga just for Episode 18 of the TV series, and it should be okay. I myself really liked Touji’s episode; I think it was good in that it broadened the scope of the series, and so I understand Sadamoto-san closely following the TV version in his manga. However, because a film has to develop a “flow” within a limited amount of time, we wouldn’t have the space to closely develop three characters in “Break”. I could predict that, when we positioned the TV series’ Unit-03 incident as a crucial, climactic episode, we would have no choice but to abandon portraying Asuka [as a major character]. If that happened Asuka’s role in the plot would completely vanish. Moreover, after the Unit-03 incident, even the scenes where she does appear were bound to be reduced. If this is the case, could we simply replace Touji with Asuka? I tried proposing this to Anno-san, including Sadamoto-san’s views on the matter.
— It seems that, for the film, a great deal depended on this determination. So this plan was accepted with no objections?
Tsurumaki: No, there was considerable resistance from the staff. I think it’s only natural. I myself was afraid of making such a change. Anno-san, as well, probably wasn’t eager to do it at first. Nevertheless, the decision about the Unit-03 incident had to be made at an early stage.
— I think the result of the plan to have Asuka pilot Unit-03 was a point where the new film impacts [the audience] with an impression of its character. I wondered if it was like a symbolic proclamation: “We are making something different”.
Tsurumaki: When we began the new films, I wondered if we could actually create a film about the condition of “remaking” a work. Something like [what happened with] Apocalypse Now. Filming in a jungle far from their home country, [hearing] a language they didn’t understand, [following] a schedule with no end in sight, lacking sufficient funding; the very circumstances of a film crew making a movie about Vietnam strongly “synchronized” not only with the mental state of the soldiers who fought in Vietnam but with an America unable to withdraw from a war that had become a “quagmire”.
So, I wondered if it was possible to develop something like “a film about the act itself of remaking the same thing over again”. It seems like … changes in the story would be stressful for the creators, to begin with, but also stressful for the characters in the film and for the viewing audience. I wondered if it was possible to make a film that took all of this into account.
— This “metafictional” approach is really interesting. It’s like a kind of “stress contest” between the creators and the viewers.
Tsurumaki: So, when I asked Anno-san “How would this be?” he immediately replied “No. That’s useless”. (laughs) It’s certainly a different direction than the “easy-to-understand entertainment” which we initially aimed at with the new films. So, at that time I just gave it up. Nevertheless, during the course of its creation “Break” certainly became like this…
— I felt like the various changes within the story came off as things that you had aimed at from the beginning. No doubt about it.
Tsurumaki: Despite people saying “Kaeru Kaeru”, [“change, change”] in reality things stay the same as before and cannot be changed. It’s the same with the viewers, who, on the one hand, come to the theater anticipating changes, and, on the other hand, are prepared in advance to complain if the direction of the changes doesn’t suit them. This sender/receiver relationship exists naturally. Obviously, it’s something that’s both “inside” and “outside” the film, between the “story” and the “real world”. [When we speak of] “film” [the word] also includes this [situation].52 As I wanted to aim for this at the start, I’m satisfied with the current state of the film, which I think is approaching that once- rejected and abandoned “metafictionality”.
— It’s a situation where there is a structural entanglement between something like reality and the creative situation or between something like the “film” and the “fan”.
Tsurumaki: It’s certainly “Eva-esque”.
— This is an amazingly thought-provoking account, in that it sheds light on what it means to transform Eva into “Break” / to “Break” Eva.53
Tsurumaki: I don’t know to what extent the audience will be really interested in it! (laughs)
— No, no, it’s extraordinarily interesting. I think it’s a valuable account.
Tsurumaki: Certainly this should be an interesting conversation for the “heavy” Eva fan. I myself also really like it. “To repeat”, “to remake”, “to want to change”, “to have to change;” these things themselves become the themes of the story, and produce a new structure. There is the TV series, and there are the new movies; a reiteration. “To do it one more time”: within this development, one says one wants to change but does not. It’s as though one wants to change and yet one doesn’t want to change… this incredible structure developed, and I really like it.
The magic that was hidden in Episode 1954
— Even though it’s interesting, the actual work must naturally have been difficult.
Tsurumaki: There are different considerations if you are part of the creative process! (laughs) If you have control of this “meta” way of creating [something], then things aren’t too bad. At first I tried to exercise this control, but when I talked to Anno [I learned that] it was “useless”, so I thought, well, there’s nothing I can do. However, in this state where I had no control, [the film] became [“metafictional”] in the end. That’s what happened.
— So it took care of itself?
Tsurumaki: Yes. It’s exactly a state where it’s been left to take care of itself. (laughs) I think that’s probably terrible, right?
— I’m sorry, but I think “deep” [濃い] fans of Eva will absolutely say “that’s okay!” (laughs) Their fear and mistrust of a “destination unknown” melts away, owing to their “pre-established harmony” [with the creators/franchise]. Moreover, if we watch the completed film, there’s no sign of things that were produced by “giving up control”. It’s beyond the imagination of anyone to sense what you were able to bring about and what formed [accidentally]. Moreover, it seems as though everything was calculated from the beginning… I think that, certainly, is “Eva-esque”, and an extremely interesting phenomenon.
Tsurumaki: That’s true, isn’t it? Some time ago there was a topic of conversation dealing with the story structure of the TV series as being extremely fixed, extremely strong, and at the time I thought this way as well. I thought, “Anno-san, he’s amazing!” Amazing to come up with this structure. It’s a structure where turning over one piece brings the entire series of connections to life.55 I thought it was amazing. However, when I started to work on “Break”, and we looked at and analyzed the climactic scene, corresponding to episode 19 of the series, over and over again, then I came to realize that this was not entirely true. Everybody really loves episode 19, and it’s said to be extremely well made, right?
— Yeah. In that [episode] we get a tightly compressed reiteration of the TV series up to that point; it’s a technique that shows us a condensed version of the story of Shinji’s growth, right?
Tsurumaki: Nevertheless, if you analyze the incredible “magic” happening there you will really understand. I don’t mean to be impolite, but, to put it simply, everybody is being deceived. Even we, the staff, were deceived.56
— What on earth do you mean by that?
Tsurumaki: The most important point is that Shinji says there that he won’t pilot the Eva again. When Shinji decides to leave Tokyo-3, one moment he is separating from Misato at Hakone-Yumoto station, and before we know it he is in an underground shelter in the Geofront. When the Angel attacks he is standing on a hill overlooking Tokyo-3—which lies on the other side of a mountain from Hakone-Yumoto57—saying to himself “I won’t pilot”. But in the next scene he is in the underground shelter. While he is saying “I won’t pilot” his body is gradually coming closer and closer to Unit-01. I didn’t really realize this at the time. This also has to do with Masayuki’s transcendental editing technique and the fact that “BANK” is frequently used.58
— なんだか見覚えのシーンをパッパッと短くつないで 入れ子にしてあるから、よけい印象が強くなって見えるんですようね。59
Tsurumaki: In addition, there is also the lack of information characteristic of TV Anime. For example, there is the sky in the background behind the character, but no information is given outside of that; is he on the top of a mountain? Is he inside the city? We don’t really know.60 We are gradually disoriented by means of an accumulation of indeterminacies.
— Certainly, owing to the “magic” of the television image, we have the impression that, even though Shinji is going [somewhere] with all his might, we don’t know where he is.
Tsurumaki: But if we observe carefully, we feel confused. Even at that [earlier] time I realized that much. My interpretation was that, even though Shinji was saying he wouldn’t pilot, he also understood that he had to pilot. As for his saying “I won’t pilot”, I believed that if he wasn’t saying it he would certainly pilot.61 As a result, although he was saying “I won’t pilot, I won’t pilot”, his body was going towards the center of the battle. Even though he came as far the Geofront, where the battle was raging, he was still saying “I won’t pilot, I won’t pilot”. Then Unit-02’s head falls down, and Unit-00 is damaged, and so on; and when [Shinji] goes outside Kaji is there, and they have a famous conversation. Finally, Shinji gives up and pilots, deciding that, “as I thought, I have to pilot… I knew it, but it was just as I expected”. That sort of development was how I interpreted things.
— That’s also my interpretation, and, I think, the interpretation of countless viewers…
Tsurumaki: [There must be a] “however”, right? When I was doing the storyboards for “Break”, and went to confirm with Anno-san that portraying Shinji like this was good, I was emphatically told, “What are you talking about, Makki? This is completely wrong!” What a shock I received! (laughs) Anno-san continues, “Shinji really doesn’t want to pilot, and that’s what he says”. From my point of view Shinji’s declaration “I won’t pilot” was half a hate campaign against his father, a child and “da-da” type situation. It was the same as a child who had quarreled with his father saying “If that’s the case, I won’t study!” Emotionally, Shinji doesn’t want to pilot, but he understands that he has to. To that extent I had thought he was a “grown-up” character.
However, when I seriously thought over what Anno-san had said, I understood that Anno-san’s Shinji is not like that. I understood that he was a character who, if he feels he doesn’t want to pilot, absolutely will not pilot. Shinji is the exact opposite of what the conventional impression of him is. He is not cowardly and indecisive; he is obstinate and doesn’t pay any mind to other people.
— In short, a character who will not pilot, no matter what?
Tsurumaki: Exactly right. According to Anno-san, “He pilots because he wants to pilot, and as long as he doesn’t want to pilot he won’t pilot”. But I remained unsatisfied. “That would be acceptable if this were a trivial argument over something like studying.62 However, if he doesn’t pilot Eva, humanity will be destroyed, Misato will be in great difficulties, Rei Ayanami will have to undertake a suicide attack, and so on; even if he knows this, will he still not pilot Eva?” When I again tried to ask Anno-san this, he replied, “Because Shinji is extremely angry there, his heart is closed and he doesn’t notice those things”.
When I was told that, I understood the irrational speech and conduct that could be sometimes seen in Anno-san! (laughs) In short, he’s someone who, once he starts to say he doesn’t like something, absolutely will not budge. From my perspective, at such times Anno-san is obstinate to what feels like an abnormal extent.
I am the opposite. I truthfully dislike even doing this interview for the program.63 However, since Anno-san wouldn’t do it, it seemed like someone had to… I don’t care one way or the other about the interview.64 (laughs) But Anno-san, he’s someone who sometimes displays an irrational obstinacy reminiscent of Shinji in Episode 19.
All of this is just a guess,65 but Anno-san has never in his life had the experience “I didn’t want to do it, but I did it”. If he did something, it was only because he had wanted to do it. For myself, there were many things I did because I wanted to do them, but just about as many things I didn’t want to do, but did because I had no choice.
— It’s generally the same for every working adult, right?
Tsurumaki: However, was Shinji really portrayed in episode 19 the way Anno-san said he was? No matter what, the question was there, but when I ask Masayuki-san, who was responsible for directing that episode, for confirmation, for one reason or another he doesn’t give me a clear answer. As a result I wonder if he is changing the depiction of Shinji’s character behind Anno-san’s back.66
— Isn’t that an even more shocking discovery?
Tsurumaki: A reason that can explain why Shinji returned to the Geofront… In short, in his heart Shinji believes that he has to pilot Eva so he goes of his own volition. Even if the truth is that Anno-san’s script arrives at a different explanation, [the other] is easily inserted. If such things as Shinji’s monologue alongside the voices of the evacuees, the stream of announcements on the public address system, and so on, are present, Anno-san will believe that “this is certainly following my script”. However, Masayuki-san treats that skillfully, and then inserts an ambiguous depiction which could be taken a different way. As far as this is the case, Masayuki-san’s directoral plan should have been fundamentally the same as my interpretation.
— I’ve got it. It’s that ambiguity that is the main reason viewers have such sympathetic feelings for episode 19.
Tsurumaki: Right. To the extent they hold those feelings, Shinji is not obstinate. The impressions [produced by the episode] can be interpreted this way.67 I think Masayuki-san’s words were something like, “It’s this because that stupid Anno said so, but…”68 (laughs) I wondered if [Masayuki-san], like myself, wanted to avoid a definite conflict or rejection, and so, with a skillful deception, had things both ways. ???69 However, Masayuki-san’s unique editing technique and film-like montages [映画的なモンタージュ] were accompanied by the lack of information peculiar to television; [the result is] something established through a perfect balance.
— This is a very interesting explanation. As a result, what the viewers finally see is left to the imagination of the viewers. So the viewers will reach the conclusion “I was able to see what I wanted to see”.
Tsurumaki: Right. Precisely because the information provided in TV anime is slight, it’s left up to the viewers. The technique depends upon this precondition. However, if we attempted to do the same thing with film-quality images, then that would absolutely lead to problems. I believed we couldn’t achieve the same thing [in the film] using the technique from episode 19.
What is it that strengthens the structure of Eva?70
— Even if episode 19 is a masterpiece, in reality its structure lacks strength. Notwithstanding that, why does Eva as a whole appear this way [i.e., to be structurally sound]?
Tsurumaki: From this point on, these are completely my own suppositions, so Anno-san would probably reject this, but the secret is, I think, likely to be Anno-san himself. Anno-san is not someone who creates according to an inductive method71, but according to a deductive method72. The inductive methodology would involve deciding one one’s destination and working out what you will do to get there, but that’s not the case [with Anno], who hasn’t really decided what the end point will be. Even if he has decided [on something, he’s done it] very vaguely, and as he tries to go on he gets bored with it.73 I have reached the point where I firmly believe this.
To put it another way, he just ends up choosing the things he likes. For example, suppose that there is a fork in the road. [He’s?] faced with [the choice] “save Rei/not save Rei” and [he] chooses “save Rei”. [He’s] faced with [the choice] “pilot Eva/not pilot Eva” and [he] chooses “pilot Eva”. [He] goes on choosing the path he likes from a continuous series of two alternatives. The structure of Eva’s story is assembled in this manner. It’s no longer a structure.
— It’s just like a single road, right? If this is the case, the story of “Eva” as a whole is Anno Hideaki’s “individuality”74 itself. Isn’t it like what he told me, somewhere in the past: "_mata modotte shimau"?75
TODO: who said this following line, the interviewer or Tsurumaki?
Because I had a different impression at the time of the first CRC interview with Chief Director Hideaki Anno, I am digging deeper using what I heard. ???76 [Anno said that] one of his objectives for the “New Movie Edition” was to reconstruct Evangelion as an “entertainment” liberated from his own “authority” [or “authorial nature”: 作家性], so that even other directors would be able to create [future “Eva” works]. In reality, “Prelude”, despite imparting a sense of this potentiality … This was the meaning of the phrase.
Tsurumaki: However, in the end, I can’t understand it any further. Because the fact is that the structure of the story appears to be solid, and Anno-san is someone who won’t change his mind once he’s decided.
— Is the foundation of this solidity then Hideaki Anno’s “individuality”?
Tsurumaki: Let’s say we had an Artificial Intelligence which, where there are two choices, is unfailingly biased towards selecting what is, even if only by a small margin, “the bright side”. So if we have, say, the numerical values “49” and “51”, it will certainly choose “51”. The AI’s route is consistent. There is no necessity or reason to go off course. In this sort of manner, I believe all of Eva’s options were selected by Anno-san according to his liking. The reality is, now, “Break” has also become like this. (laughs) Even though I think Anno-san wants to change, I think there are certainly also reasons why he was simply unable to change. Even at the time of the TV series, everything was already [just] Anno-san selecting the direction he liked. “If we do this, it will be kakkouii”. “I like this direction.” “It will be fun if this happens.” Because he always chose such a way, changing that means having to do things he dislikes. So, he wasn’t able to change… That’s how I understood things.
— I see. Interesting. My ease in understanding this conversation is due to my memory of a symbolic remark made by a certain person at the time when “Prelude” was first being advertised. “Of course, if Anno-san does it, anything will become Eva. In short, if Mr. Eva’s hands touch it, then it’s Eva!”77 The conversation we’re having now really goes hand in hand with that.78
Tsurumaki: If we assume it’s possible that there’s some sort of logical basis [for Eva], then of course it’s “Hideaki Anno”. Accordingly, parts [of Eva] emerge that even those of us who are very close [to Eva/Anno] don’t understand well. To be honest, [Eva is] like a “black box”, and so there are many occasions when I am convinced that a particular way is “Eva-esque” and it turns out not to be.
— Only, more than ten years have passed since the 1995 version [of Eva], and Anno-san himself has changed, right?
Tsurumaki: Naturally, I also expected that, for the “New Theatrical Edition”, because Hideaki Anno has changed with age, Eva will change as well, but… This is also [just] my own speculation, but in truth he has probably not changed much at all. I feel like nothing has changed since he was a middle school student watching Ultraman and [Space Battleship] Yamato. There is a “switch” in Anno-san’s mind that is completely unchanged, a switch constantly clicking back and forth between two alternatives. Of course, in the man himself, there is a desire to change. For this reason Mari was introduced, and he wanted [things] to be changed, but …
— That [desire] includes the “spirit of service” which wants to live up to the expectations of the audience, right?
Tsurumaki: That’s also probably there. Only, with regards to the new films, the circumstances are unique, and unlike what has happened up until now. Anno-san is the original creator, the scriptwriter, the chief director, the producer (substantially), the sponsor79, the head of the production studio, and he also overlooks distribution and advertising; it’s an awe-inspiring situation. Every final decision is being made by him alone. In his capacity as producer and chief director, Anno-san believed that he had to introduce Mari and change the story; however, as the original creator, scriptwriter, and author, he did not want to make the changes. I think that, more than a resistance to change, he had the feeling that if he changed Eva it would somehow not be “his” Eva, and so he was divided. Even though he knew that the story would inevitably have to change if he introduced a new character, preserving the essence [of Evangelion] while having that new character play an active role was a great problem.
— This resistance, or should I say conflict, paid off, and, in the end, somehow this broken “Break” took form, right? ???80
Tsurumaki: Ultimately, I think that [the film] forthrightly expressed what Anno-san had stated, that “Shinji truly doesn’t want to pilot”. As a result, the story clearly differed from my interpretation of episode 19 as “Shinji truly knowing that he has to pilot, and so piloting in the end”.81
— At what point did you decide that the climax would blend the story of episode 19 with elements of episode 23?
Tsurumaki: I had suggested that this would be a good idea, and it was [in place] from a very early stage. The original plan had been for “Break” to comprise episodes eight to nineteen. I thought this would be difficult. If the number of episodes covered would be large in any case, I thought we should instead increase the range to include episode 23, and free up the third part onwards. I thought it would be unpleasant to leave “homework”.
— So you could admit new elements in the future?
Tsurumaki: Right. There was a feeling that we wanted the difficulties to be, as far as possible, confined to “Break”, because we wanted a situation where we would be able to try various things in the third part. So, after Rei’s death in episode 23, Kaworu comes to Shinji; we attempted a structure similar to the TV series. But, in the end, Rei didn’t die…
— Instead, it seemed that Shinji and Rei “got together”.
Tsurumaki: There is probably some other intention there, so I think you should check with Anno-san [about that]. However, because there was a feeling that Rei III had been poorly developed in the TV series, after Rei II died in “Break”, we wanted to develop in detail the drama of Rei III in “Q” [3.0].
— So it’s something you were not able to fully realize in the TV series. “Because I am the third” is an amazingly impactful, famous line of dialogue, but, in truth, I felt that [Rei III] didn’t really mean much after that…
Tsurumaki: I thought going deeply into that would be interesting, even in a “Science Fiction”-like way. As Rei realizes the fact, and the significance of the fact, that there has been more than one Rei before her, how, as a clone, will she achieve her independence as an individual? I wanted to develop a story like that. However, it was decided that Rei wouldn’t die, and, in the climax of “Break”, we strongly and actively push the idea of “Rei and Shinji being brought together”, a development taken over from “Prelude”.
— That was an extraordinarily surprising development.
Tsurumaki: Because it’s even linked with the motivation for having Asuka pilot Unit-03, it ended up being a stronger way of developing things than I thought. ??85
— There’s one thing that mystified me. Despite the fact that the original scenario for the climax was different, in “Prelude” Gendou mentions something like a “love love strategy” intended to bring Rei and Shinji closer together. Why does that appear to be consistent [with “Break”]?
Tsurumaki: Anno-san probably hasn’t thought about that very deeply.
— Eh? That wasn’t foreshadowing?
Tsurumaki: We on the staff had a conversation about that dialogue from “Prelude”, wondering if it was okay to have [Gendou] say that. Not to mention that I thought Rei II was going to die in “Break”.
— Then why, despite that, was there a consistency?
Tsurumaki: This is evidence that the story was developed, not with an “inductive” technique, but with a “deductive” one. “He already said it there, so we have no choice”. It’s something like a methodology where [the story] is adjusted, even forcibly, to be consistent with what has already been done.
— This is quite a shock (laughing)! Surely, immediately following “Prelude”, there are people who grin and say of the “love love strategy”, “This is a big change!” Surely it leaves a strong impression on everyone. As a result, they will surely think during “Break”, “Ah, as I thought, those two were brought together!”
Tsurumaki: The impression that Anno-san mainly wanted to convey was that Gendou and Fuyutsuki were devising a secret plot. Because Shinji happens to go to Rei’s room just after that, that was what they discussed. When “secret plot” and “Shinji and Rei” were combined, it probably appeared something like “a strategy to bring together Shinji and Rei”.
— Rather than being disappointed, I’m impressed. All the more, I have a pleasant feeling that things have become “Eva-esque”. The fact that this consistency is inherent [makes it] extremely valuable; I am delighted [to think] that this may be the much-discussed “live feeling”.86 In any case, there will surely be many viewers who have the impression that, this time, Gendo’s Human Instrumentality Project [somehow depends on] this “love love strategy”. Fuyutsuki also says something like, “As we thought, owing to those two Unit-01 has awakened”.
Tsurumaki: And Gendou replies something like “A little while longer, and our project is complete”. I had doubts storyboarding that conversation, and sent Anno-san a series of questions about it. “So Gendou knew this would happen to Unit-01? Or was Gendou also surprised and troubled? Or was Gendou surprised, but pleased with the outcome?” I didn’t understand the specific meaning of the statement, so I struggled to interpret it. Anno-san replied that, “For now, we’ll say he aimed at this and things went the way he expected”. I wondered if that was enough. For myself, I am still skeptical that even Gendou isn’t really panicking inside, but…
— So [everything] will probably be overturned again next time?
Tsurumaki: That is perfectly likely (laughs).
— One more thing: Kaworu’s existence in light of the fact that we are given this strong impression that, “this time, the human instrumentality project was this ‘love love strategy’ with Shinji and Rei”. There’s no doubt that female fans were extremely pleased by Kaworu’s line after the ending: “Ikari Shinji-kun, this time, I will make you happy”.
Tsurumaki: Kaworu’s line stayed the same from the very first storyboard. It was something he said while wearing his usual relaxed smile. Of course, at the last minute, just, I think, before we started post-synchronization, we began talking about whether or not it would be better if Kaworu looked scary during that scene.
— As a result, it looks like he’s come to take his bride by force!87
Tsurumaki: Right, right (laughing). [We thought it would be] more interesting if Kaworu looked like [he was thinking]: “You’ve been with a woman while I’ve been away? How dare you…!” It’s not Kaworu’s usual relaxed expression; he’s somehow become irritated, right?
The significantly changed Angels of “Break”
— This time around, the designs of the Angels, such as the “Heiwajima-like” seventh Angel, have all radically changed. Was this the intention from the outset?88
Tsurumaki: 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. The design was put together by Shigeto Koyama-san and Daizen Komatsuda-kun […].89
— Who did the design for the eighth Angel?90
Tsurumaki: The design of the falling Angel was done entirely by Mahiro Maeda-san; the design of the humanoid that emerges from its center was done by [Takeshi] Honda-kun. It was a part I didn’t supervise, so I don’t know the details, but I think the CG was relatively difficult. With the sixth Angel in “Prelude”, even if things weren’t perfect, we could somehow see what we had done correctly, and figure out how to proceed in a way that would bring us closer to our goal. However, with the falling Angel, it seems that things were more or less done by trial and error, with no goal in sight.91
Tsurumaki: That’s right. Anno had done a rough sketch, but the idea that Kitoh-san submitted seemed nearly definitive on the first attempt.93
— […] why was the design of the tenth Angel altered?94
Tsurumaki: I don’t know the reason. I think, at the earliest stage of plot development, that even the fact that it would change form had not been determined. Originally, the design of the TV series’ fourteenth Angel contained excellent ideas. The folding fan-paper style arms were especially interesting. That conception appeared from the beginning, to the extent that, in the proposal for the TV series, there was an image board where Unit-01 battled an Angel that was just a flying [pair of] origami-like arms.95 I don’t really know the reason that was changed.96
— In episode 19 of the TV series, Eva consumes the Angel, but, in “Break”, the Angel consumes Eva. I think this reversal is impressive. The audience will be first of all surprised by the change in form, and then doubly surprised by the act of consumption. I think this Angel might symbolize “Break”.97
Tsurumaki: It’s different than the direct consumption in the battle with Unit-03. We used an idea where the impression would be of something resembling the act of a predatory animal. If it had been a TV series, a week would have passed in between, so it probably wouldn’t matter, but in a film, I thought that having a scene conveying a similar impression just thirty minutes prior would have been awkward. [More than transforming, it felt like it was gradually developing. It seemed like the Angel was gradually coming closer to a human being. ??] Even though we had started the storyboards, the design was changing day by day without being solidified. Even in the storyboards, at different periods a variety of types and different designs were used. As for the Angel’s final form, I wanted to do something resembling a female villain from the Sentai Series. I still feel that way.98
— Eh, you mean [with some sort of] headgear?99
Tsurumaki: Yeah. Similar to Riderman [from Kamen Rider]. From the mouth to the nose you would have the face of a woman, and the head from the eyes upwards would be covered by the Angel. The body would be nude and enormous. When I submitted this proposal, it was immediately rejected (laughs). In the Sentai Series, there are the scenes where [the villain/monster] grows enormous on the other side of the mountains [?] and rages violently, right? Using “muriyara na gousei”100 [you have the villain/monster] kicking around styrofoam boulders, [and so on]. [It was] this sort of image, but when I showed the drawing to Anno-san, he naturally thought it was no good. If I was to say which I prefer, I’m someone who enjoys the Sentai Series even more than Kamen Rider, but probably Anno only enjoys the Sentai Series as a joke, and doesn’t seriously like them. However, I think we ended up with an interesting design.101
Tsurumaki: That part was the same as it was in the [original] storyboards; beyond the change in design of the Angel, we treated things in such a way so as to only modify those parts we had to change. At first we thought that the “katto wari” should be completely changed, but it wouldn’t have gone well if we had changed it. For me, changing episode 19 was extremely stressful in and of itself; I felt like the more we changed it, the more the quality [of the sequence] would suffer.104
Casting That Stressed The Element Of Surprise
— I’m going to bring the subject [of the conversation] back, once more, to Mari. I’d like to ask you about the selection of Maaya Sakamoto-san [for the role]. Around when was the casting [for Mari’s role] discussed?
Tsurumaki: The decision was made almost at the last minute. As far as Mari was concerned, Anno-san was, on the whole, extremely circumspect. Maybe it was less circumspection, than the fact that, from a certain stage, [he thought] it would be better if he didn’t decide [about Mari]. Perhaps he thought, “If I make the decisions, of course she won’t end up being the character who destroys Eva” … I don’t really know.
Even concerning the [voice] actor’s selection—first of all, Mari’s character had remained unsettled the whole way up to that point. Just prior to voice recording, at a period when, if we didn’t decide [on an actor] we wouldn’t be able to make an offer—even though we had reached such a stage, we received no indication from Anno-san as to his desires or the direction [in which we should proceed]. Having no other choice, at the end of last year Sadamoto-san and I discussed things at the level of a “standing conversation”, raising the names of as many actors as the two of us could come up with, one after the other, responding [to each] with things like, “That’s a possibility”, or “That won’t work”, and going on and on like this forever. It was then that Sakamoto-san’s name first appeared.
— Given Aim For The Top 2!, anime fans would be likely to conjecture that you and Sadamoto-san would decide upon Maaya Sakamoto-san.
Tsurumaki: I’m sorry [to say that] we didn’t think along those lines at all. I don’t mean to be rude; Sakamoto-san’s name came up much later in the conversations between Sadamoto-san and I… Even though the [nature of Mari’s] character had not been indicated [to the staff] by Anno-san, the work of producing [the film’s] storyboards had continued. I had no choice but to portray Mari [in the storyboards] according to my own definition [of her character]; [I saw her as] an “irresponsible”105 and “cunning”106 character. [To say] “cowardice”107 would be wrong; it was a “cunningness”108 at the opposite remove from “diligence”109, “obstinacy”110, and so on—or could I say it was a feeling of “the right mix of seasonings?”111 … I thought that, otherwise, she would overlap [with] the existing Eva characters and be lost among them.
Anno-san had previously said, “All the characters that appear in Eva are me”; he said that not just Shinji, but Kaji and Misato as well, and even characters like Kaworu and Rei, are aspects of himself. In this sense, every character is ultimately the same. On the surface, different “seasonings” have been used, but inside [the characters] really are very similar. If Mari were to end up the same as them, she would not be able to destroy that world. As a result, for me, Mari was a girl who made use of that “frivolousness”112 that was the opposite of diligence for her own benefit.
— [She] has lines [in the film] that give that impression. “In [my] own interest”…
Tsurumaki: However, that would be the exact opposite of Sakamoto-san’s natural tendencies [as a voice actor]. Sakamoto-san herself is the same way. [You get] the impression that the characters Sakamoto-san has played up until now are honor students and “diligent” [individuals]. Because of that [I] didn’t think of Sakamoto-san’s name.
— But, instead, [you thought] the opposite [type] was suited for the role?
Tsurumaki: Yeah. When Sadamoto-san brought up Sakamoto-san’s name, I thought, “that might be interesting”. During the first casting in 1995, we appointed (Megumi) Hayashibara-san [to play] a silent and melancholy girl, and offered (Kotono) Mitsuishi-san a female character who was a twenty-nine year old adult; that was almost inconceivable at the time. There was an element of surprise there, and [that] was impressive. The combination of Mari and Sakamoto-san suddenly reminded us of that time; it resembled [those decisions].
Nevertheless, [we] were extremely uneasy [about it]. Anno-san had no concerns about the ability of Sakamoto-san herself, and he finds it interesting when the voice doesn’t match the style of character,113 so, when we suggested [to Anno,] “how would Maaya Sakamoto-san be?”, [he responded] something like, “Good! Good!”, and it was settled.
— [He] responded immediately?
Tsurumaki: Yeah. However, I don’t really know whether he thought deeply about it [personally], or whether [he just thought that] whatever Sadamoto-san and myself decided upon would be good (laughs).
The Presence of a Voice Which Penetrates the Character114
— You actually witnessed the voice recording sessions. How did they go?
Tsurumaki: I was worried, even as we reached the day appointed for the sessions. Until we tried matching a voice with the picture, [we] were completely unable to say how the [role of the] pre-title sequence, something like “a young girl who fights while humming to herself”, should be performed. Usually, [we] somehow arrive at a conjecture. If [the actor is] performing a character that resembles something done previously, then [we] have a general sense of it, only this time [we] couldn’t even form an impression—should [Sakamoto] perform with an “adult” voice or a “girlish” voice?115 […] Was the “mismatch” we were aiming at really going to cause an interesting “chemical reaction”, or…? However, in the very first test, I was already grinning hearing her voice appended to the “fast cut”. In my heart I was thinking, “victory!”
— I was also present on that occasion. The [very] first shot at a test for the pre-title sequence was good, right? It’s amazing that her delivery on the first cut [produced] a perfect test.
Tsurumaki: That test was truly amazing, to the extent that there were cuts already being approved by the chief director at the test. We recorded multiple takes afterwards, but we almost entirely settled on the direction of the first test.
— What sort of difficulties related to Mari were there in the performance?
Tsurumaki: Concerning the pre-title sequence, after the final version of the storyboards was submitted and we had met to discuss producing the images, Mari’s dialogue was almost completely revised. As a result, not only the dramatic role, but the personality [of the character] changed. In this way, because she was a character created in a state of indecision, it could seem that she was a different character in each scene she appeared in. Someone designated a “problem child”, a girl who can pilot Eva with pleasure and without protest; she hums to herself while fighting, and when it comes down to it and she gives her all, cries “Ora ora!”116 and impales the angel, saying that even her pain is exciting; with great zeal she finishes [the angel] off despite the exchange of blows, and politely thanks Unit-05 for its efforts. I felt dizzy when this character emerged from Anno-san’s revisions. I couldn’t help thinking that, even in this short pre-title sequence, the character was divided [into multiple personalities]. Like in the storyboards, she would be wearing a helmet that hid her facial expressions, so it wouldn’t be clear if she was speaking seriously or messing around. Even when I asked [Anno] for an explanation, he gave me nothing but vague responses. I think it was probably quite a difficult role for Sakamoto-san as well. Owing to this state of affairs, at a single glance [everything] might appear to be “blurred”, with pieces scattered everywhere. [We] wanted a voice that would convince [us] that all [these elements] were present within a single young girl.
That being the case, there were already no problems with her acting technique. That was probably already settled before she stepped in front of the microphone. This [question of technique] is interesting as well. The relationship between the actors of Eva and their characters, and their relationship to Anno-san, is completely different than a in normal production. It’s unique, I think, in that it incorporates feelings lying adjacent to reality. It no longer has anything to do with skill or lack of skill. It’s not because the technique is masterful or because the quality of the voice is good. It’s not just to provide what is being requested; if there’s nothing in [the performance] that transforms the very work itself, then…
— […] I think, owing to Maaya Sakamoto-san’s voice being inserted into the film, another “Break”-like change occurred.117
Tsurumaki: I thought that was really good. [Mari] was different than the characters Sakamoto-san has portrayed up until now, and, from the impression [I received] at the test, she had practiced considerably [for the role]. I wonder if this is acceptable for a director, but, when [Sakamoto’s] voice came in, it was like I understood Mari for the first time.
‘A “suggestive” scene between awakened Eva-01 and the giant Rei.’122
“Should I feel relieved that, after a decade of living (mostly alone) with my idiosyncratic depravity, it is revealed that someone from the original Eva team has contemplated the notion of nuclelingus? Or should I be frightened that the scenario is one involving a Rei torso emerging from Zeruel and coming onto an upside-down Eva-01 hard?”123
Unit 05, sketches with legs rather than wheels
At the side it seems to say:
- Kaworu plus Rei (black) x 4 (3 of them are 6–10 years old)
- Background is gradated
- Water’s surface: cel/cell [seru “水面はセル”]124
Then in the image, at the top “ceiling pattern”, and at the bottom, “water’s surface.”125
For a little bit, the last cut is of Asuka.
She can’t help but have a cat face!
←A feeling of a slight smile.126
(Compare with final 2.22 animation.)
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.”
(Positioning/page number of this and last image are unclear.)
…At this point, there was a development where, during the fight with the falling angel, Mari and Asuka are present in the [Unit-02] entry plug together…By the draft of February 15 2008, draft 13a, I had the idea that “Mari’s appearances following the pre-title sequence will come sooner, be more numerous, and be more impressive. To that end, Mari will take charge of the battlefield during the fight against the falling angel, riding with Asuka, who hates the situation, in the entry plug [of Unit-02]”. Then Mari covers [庇う] for Asuka, but a wound she received during the pre-title sequence grows worse, so she is hospitalized until she reappears again in the last scene. That was the plan, but it didn’t work out.
[first page, left] Rei: “Goodbye.”
Shinji: “Stop! AYANAMI!!!”
Rei: [No idea what the first part says because it’s impossible to read with the flash on the camera, better image sauce please!] “I’m doing this for my own sake.”
And there’s the bottom stuff in moon. OCR not picking up what it says about (I’m assuming) general script notes, but the important part is: “Scene of the 10th Angel’s corrosion, Rei’s decision to pull Eva-00’s lever”.127
- Reichu, “Eva 2.XX Storyboards vs. Final”
Lit. “establishment”. As far as I understand it, “settei” refers to all designs, drawings, and information used to establish or flesh out the world of the animation and its characters, and to inform and direct the process of animation itself.↩︎
Lit. “photography”—process of converting cels to film. I believe CG and so on is added at this time. –Editor↩︎
Lit. “original images” or “primary images”—key animation cels (I believe). –Editor↩︎
I’m not very familiar with the term; see NAveryW’s reply below:
“An animatic is basically the storyboard set as… not quite an animation, but timed to how the final movie will look. It usually has voice-overs and sometimes sound effects and music. It’s also known as a leica reel”.
“he’s a CM director who is credited in the Rebuild films as Anno’s assistant and also as being involved in publicity or advertising. In the interviews so far he’s been mentioned as taking notes at Atami [see Enokido Memo 1] and modifying one of the 1.0 posters according to Anno’s directions”. http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=438684#438684↩︎
“To be honest, my first instinct was to translate 『良いキャラ』 as”real character“, where”good" means “well-developed”. So, “real character” or “well-developed character”. On the other hand, the context seemed to suggest that maybe Tsurumaki was proposing softening Asuka’s character so that the audience couldn’t fail to become emotionally invested in her before the Unit-03 sequence. In the end, I felt unsure, so I just translated it literally. I think symbv would certainly understand the remark, but I’m not 100% sure what it meant". http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=461297#461297
[symbv] “…I would lean towards a translation to”good character" as well. It allows all the ambiguity to stay intact. As for interpretation, I would go for making audience emotionally invested in Asuka deeper. I have not seen Rebuild but from the examples he gave and what I already knew about the food party, I would say that they wanted to make Asuka a “nice girl” whom Shinji could feel certain empathy, and thus gave him the “shock and sense of loss” on Touji’s level (whom Shinji definitely had close relationship with) as in the series". http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=461351#461351↩︎
Urban Dictionary defines it as
"An instance where a character is subject to extreme danger foreshadowed with grim implications. Examples of death flagging:
- Unknowingly ticking off a unstable individual.
- Wondering into a zone at the wrong time.
- Taking on a dangerous deed with slim chances of success.
- Short sighted approach to a ludicrous event."
The NSFW site Danbooru defines it as
“(Shibou Furagu) A sign to the audience that a character is going to die. A death flag is usually raised by such things as saying or doing something that can be seen as tempting fate, a character doing something that he or she has been warned (sometimes repeatedly) will lead to death, an unrequited relationship finally being requited, etc.”
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this whole section regarding the scrapped (storyboard) sequence of Mari and Asuka working together in the Entry Plug (of Eva-02?)? Or does it actually refer to the final film product of Mari compared to Asuka?” http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=461196#461196
“This does refer to that storyboarded sequence. Judging from the comments in the other interviews, I think what happened in it was that Mari was given Unit-02 after the sync test (based on Enokido’s idea) and then Asuka sneaks on board Unit-02 anyway, so after the fight Mari presumably makes some excuse to prevent Asuka from being punished. It was a very strange series of ideas, so I can’t say I’m disappointed it didn’t end up being used!” http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=461276#461276↩︎
Mari’s actions during the battle with the 10th angel.↩︎
Meaning that Kaji feeds Shinji with chopsticks…!↩︎
In the video “Hideaki Anno talks to kids”, Anno expresses little interest in food and lists a restricted diet (as one might expect of an animator). It is interesting to compare his newfound interest to Goro Miyazaki; from “Grounding a Romance in Memories”, 7 March 2013:
Home-cooked meals play a significant role in Poppy Hill. Umi is usually the one responsible for making meals at the boardinghouse where she lives with her grandmother, siblings and other residents. In an early scene she prepares rice and eggs for breakfast. In other scenes she shops for food. And the lunches she takes to school are the envy of her classmates: mouthwatering concoctions like an obento box, including cod roe, pickled plum, Japanese omelets and spinach with sesame dressing. “To eat is to live, and animated characters can’t really come to life if they don’t feel alive,” Mr. [Goro] Miyazaki said. “So eating was something I looked very closely at. How characters eat can tell you a lot about them. And while they’re eating, what they’re thinking at the time can be expressed too.” Mr. Miyazaki included a number of eating scenes but said it wasn’t until he finished the film that he fully realized the importance of food in it.
Someone with a license who doesn’t drive.↩︎
Sakuga is an animation term which generally refers to key frames, top animators who do them, and the scenes themselves which are generally particularly important or striking movements or actions. –Editor↩︎
The fossil monster Stegon, which appears in episode 10 (“The Dinosaur Explosion Directive”) of the tokusatsu series The Return of Ultraman. A dinosaur fossil discovered at a construction site revives as a skeletal monster.↩︎
Among tokusatsu staff, the department which causes the activity of non-human actors such as miniatures. In the case of a monster costume, they control those parts which do not conform to the human body, such as a long neck, tail, or wings, using hanging wires (piano wire). In “Prelude”, the fifth angel was also depicted according to the concept of [an apparently] wire-utilizing “souen style” CG.↩︎
A number of radically-designed pavilions in the 1970 Osaka World’s Fair were created according to an architectural school of thought called “Metabolism” which had been put forth by a then-young group of architects. The Toshiba IHI pavilion, designed by Kisho Kurokawa, was a typical example, a structure of linked tetrahedral units made of black iron. [For images & links, see the later discussion of the Toshiba IHI pavilion. –Editor]↩︎
Mecha which appear in great numbers and tend to support or be destroyed by the main characters. –Editor↩︎
The SF novel Japan Sinks has had considerable influence over the years. In particular, Yasuhiro Takeda mentions in his The Notenki Memoirs that the novel author Sakyo Komatsu often worked with him and other Gainaxers on SF events; Hideaki Anno was interviewed by him in 1999 or 2000; and the book comes up in Toshio Okada’s 2004 roundtable & Sawaragi’s 2005 essay. –Editor↩︎
This refers to the color of everything going red when the dummy plug is activated in episode 18. “Para” is short for “paraffin”. –Editor↩︎
The specific part is probably page 07, “Eva-01 faces off against the Apostolo Sahaquiel. (Original drawing by Yo Yoshinari; painting by Sadamoto.)” and page 31, “Apostolo Sahaquiel (Angel of the Sky), wheeling over Tokyo-3” against an spear-wielding Evangelion. –Editor↩︎
Refers, I think, to deciding which parts of an image or design will be colored what color. –Editor↩︎
Pivot Turn: Designates a maneuver where, by having the treads on both sides of a tank or piece of heavy machinery roll in opposite directions at exactly the same speed, the body can turn in any direction without moving [forwards or backwards]. Ritai refers to treads that allow the traversal of uneven ground. They are also called crawler or caterpillar [treads]; however, the widely known name “caterpillar” is a registered trademark.↩︎
Trolley System: A system whereby electricity can be gathered from aerial wires using a power collector mounted on the roof of a train car, such as a pantograph. Also called “aerial wire power collection system.”↩︎
Producing the Yamato Model Design: Hideaki Anno sought a [physical] image of his ideal Space Battleship Yamato, and realized it through a Shoichi Manabe prototype. Through the co-operation of the Bandai Visual and Bandai Hobby divisions [of Bandai], it was made into a 30cm long plastic model and included as an extra in the “Space Battleship Yamato TV DVD-Box,” which went on sale in February 2008. In the release materials the following words of chief [model] supervisor Hideaki Anno are recorded. “With this model I was finally able to give form to the images I preserved [within myself] of the Yamato’s hull—the image [of the Yamato] in the opening sequence, especially where the camera pulls back from the Captain’s cabin; the full side-image of the Yamato as it launches in episode 3, and the identical double-page spread in black and white from the Yamato illustrated guide; the image from the full-color pullout from the Yamato illustrated guide [?]; the color cover image from the March issue of Boken-o ["King of Adventure" manga magazine]; and so on.”↩︎
It seems that this memo is not reproduced in the CRC.↩︎
“Destroy” [破壊] is a play upon “Break” [破].↩︎
Numbers-kun explains this:
Anno did write both scripts himself. As I currently understand it, the idea of a new character was suggested by Otsuki during the first film, and I believe Anno let Tsurumaki and Sadamoto design the character’s appearance at that point, checking back with him at certain points (to see if Anno liked what they did). Anno wrote her into the initial “Ha” script, but in such a way that she had a very minimal role and it wasn’t really clear what her personality was like. When Anno began rewriting the script to give her a bigger role, this is where the difficulties emerged. The feeling among Tsurumaki and others, I think, was that they were being given these scenes to storyboard without Anno having any sense of what kind of character she was. As Tsurumaki says, Anno’s interest in her was more “thematic” or abstract. Anno wanted to use her to “break” Eva, but he hadn’t actually developed her as a character, and what development had been done had been primarily done by others. At least, that’s how I understand things so far, and how I would understand Enokido’s comment.
This is where someone sits behinds you, usually concealed, and acts as your arms.↩︎
See the geography here: http://punynari.wordpress.com/2010/05/23/english-hakone-instrumentality-map/ The mountain is listed there as “Mt. Daigatake”.↩︎
“BANK” is a script direction indicating the usage of pre-existing footage. It’s used once, for example, in the 2.0 script as part of the directions for a brief flashback to the first film. Cf. Reichu here: http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=194288#194288↩︎
Probably one of the passages Numbers-kun previously wrote of: “In a couple of places I couldn’t figure out any satisfying rendition with certainty, so I just left the Japanese as it was. None of those instances contain crucial information, but tend to just reinforce what’s being said in the context.”↩︎
The shot Tsurumaki is referring to occurs somewhere around 11:23–11:30 in episode 19.↩︎
I would instinctively read this as “I return again (despite what I intended)”. Maybe “I have returned again.” Or “the film has returned…” Or “Eva returns…”. Any thoughts on this? ^^ Might need the original context.↩︎
[Mr.] Hikawa, who assisted with the advertising for “Prelude”, had seen a few of the drafts of the designs for the “Stairs Poster” that became a key visual [for the “Rebuild” films]; however, none of them honestly struck him. One day, when he was shown the version of the poster with various “key words” written horizontally across it, he received the impression “Suddenly, it’s become ‘Eva’!” and forthrightly communicated his shock to the people in charge at that time. That version was not contributed by the designer. Hideaki Anno had personally directed his assistant, Ikki Todoroki, to create it. When this came out, Hikawa experienced a second shock and made the remark in question. (See page 305 of Ikki Todoroki’s interview.)↩︎
According to 2 Anno interviews in 2011 & 2012, this is literal: Anno personally funded the development of Khara & Rebuild: “Suzuki: You made [the new] Eva with your own money?/ Anno: Yeah. / Suzuki: Incredible. / Anno: 100 percent [—]. It is a risk, but also an opportunity for return.” and “The production cost of the new works has been entirely financed by Studio Khara, without inviting contributions from outside investors. They are so-called ‘independently produced works.’” –Editor↩︎
??? 2 そういう抵抗というか葛藤のかいもあって、最終的には何とか壊れた『破』になったのではないでしょうか。↩︎
There is a footnote about this. It refers to Anno’s desire to bring the “live feeling” of theater into anime.↩︎
その結果、略奪婚に来たみたいに見えますよね。“略奪婚” refers, I believe, to the ancient practice of abducting one’s bride from a hostile tribe. Today I believe it’s used to mean a marriage that results from an adulterous affair, i.e. “stealing a husband/wife from someone”. I assume the original meaning must be intended here?↩︎
鶴巻 第７使徒は、実はTV版第八話の原画がまるまる紛失していて、BANKが使えなかったという事情がそもそもの理由です。もし原画が残っていたら、作監（作画監督）はやり直すにしても第八話のエピソードはまるごと残ったかもしれません。原画を流用できないなら、アスカ登場シーンは全部変えましょうってことです。デザインはコヤマシゲトさんと小松田（大全）君でまとめて、最終的にはCG上で詰めた感じですね。あの使徒も硬くて複雑なものがゆっくり動く、 CGが生きるようなデザインなので、作画ではなかなか難しいかと。↩︎
鶴巻 落下する使徒のデザインは全体が前田真宏さんで、中から出てくるヒト型は本田君ですね。僕の担当パートではないので詳しくは分からないけど、あの CGは相当大変だったと思いますよ。『序』のときの第６使徒は、完全ではないにせよなんとなく勝利ポイントが見えていて、そのゴールにどう近づくかという進め方でしたが、落下してくる使徒はゴールがよく見えない中でかなり試行錯誤していたように思えます。↩︎
Literally something like “forced synthesis”. I think it means something like combining two images, etc., from different sources. Maybe, in the context, something like this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlRiWTE4CQc↩︎
I think this term refers to how a sequence is “blocked”, or how the shots are set up, and therefore points to something like the cinematography, but I am not very familiar with the term.↩︎
Apparently a stereotypical battle-cry; one site defines it as “what you say when you punch somebody repeatedly. A fighting taunt or war cry; we’ve had it loosely translated as ‘Take that!’ ‘Try this!’ (see also dorya, orya, sorya, uraa)”↩︎
I’m not sure why the design is described with reference to “Heiwajima.” This is also mentioned during the Tsurumaki interview. My guess is that its a reference to a monument in Heiwajima Koen: http://1000enpark.com/park/tokyo/oota/photo_heiwajima/p_main.jpg.↩︎
I marked parts I felt uneasy about, and left out a line I wasn’t sure how to translate.↩︎
I’m not sure what I was thinking, but セル is not “Seele” but “seru,” probably either “cell” or “cel.” “The water’s surface is [a/the] [cell/cel].” Maybe refers to an animation cel, or something else?
水面はセル means extra animation cel should be used to depict the water surface (not some CG for example).