Neon Genesis Evangelion source anthology

Extensive anthology of Gainax/Anno/Evangelion quotes, excerpts, sources, references, and analyses, organized by reliability and year.
NGE, anime, criticism, sociology, bibliography
2009-09-302019-11-17 notes certainty: log

This page is an exten­sive anthol­ogy of Gainax/Hideaki Anno/Evan­ge­lion-re­lated quotes, excerpts, sources, ref­er­ences, & analy­ses, orga­nized by reli­a­bil­ity & year.

The pur­pose of com­pil­ing a large page of quotes & ref­er­ences clas­si­fied by date & source level is to make it eas­ier to put NGE into a his­tor­i­cal con­text by trac­ing the evo­lu­tion of plot or char­ac­ters, cross-ref­er­ence state­ments made in inter­views, jump for­ward and back­wards to flesh out oth­er­wise obscure allu­sions to events, and enable easy key­word-based search for var­i­ous con­cepts (eg. the con­nec­tion of Kaworu to cats, Gainax’s baffle­ment that view­ers might think Mis­ato killed Kaji, the influ­ence of earth­quakes on peo­ple, con­nec­tions to Aum Shin­rikyo, gar­bled infor­ma­tion about sui­cide attempts, Anno’s con­ser­v­a­tive nation­al­ist views1 or phi­los­o­phy of “poi­son”, ret­cons like swap­ping the Adam and Lilith plot devices, pansper­mia & First Ances­tral Race being slowly removed from pro­duc­tion mate­ri­als and then post-NGE slowly restored, the many con­flict­ing pieces of infor­ma­tion on the end of NGE TV and EoE, Yam­a­ga’s ques­tion­able reli­a­bil­ity etc).

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

This page is sorted by chronol­ogy to allow track­ing the flow of causal­ity and ref­er­ences over time, and help high­light changes like ret­cons or self­-serv­ing mem­o­ries. So the date is when­ever a source was cre­ated, not when it was pub­lished or oth­er­wise dis­sem­i­nat­ed. Within each year, entries are fur­ther cat­e­go­rized by level of involve­ment:

1. Pri­mary is mate­r­ial from some­one who worked on an object of inter­est: eg. Hideaki Anno or Hiroyuki Yam­a­ga. (I include Japan­ese seiyuu because as Asuka’s last line shows, they have direct input, or as Rit­suko’s last line shows, spe­cial insight.)
2. Sec­ondary is a source from some­one who knows Pri­maries or is report­ing about events/statements first-hand: eg. Carl Horn or Toshio Okada, or fans attend­ing events.
3. Ter­tiary is any source fur­ther removed than that—­main­stream news cov­er­age, aca­d­e­mic analy­sis, fan spec­u­la­tion & analy­sis etc.: eg. Mari Kotani, David Samuels, Aaron Clark. Ter­tiary sources can be insight­ful, but they also are often work­ing with rumor or out of date infor­ma­tion.

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

1990

1990 Tertiary

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

1991

1991 P

Ani­m­age: What would you rec­om­mend?

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

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

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

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

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

1993

1993 P

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

–Ya­suhiro Takeda, pg 165

Early Evangelion

Project Meeting

Pre­lim­i­nary Meet­ing

[The­me]

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

[Analy­sis]

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

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

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

Reichu offers a par­tial trans­la­tion of Sore o Nasumono:

p. 45 [WEAPON]

By the time human­ity came into being, a pre­his­toric civ­i­liza­tion with super-ad­vanced tech­no­log­i­cal capac­ity had existed on Earth in two phas­es. The first civ­i­liza­tion made EVA, which brought upon their ruin. The next civ­i­liza­tion made the Spear of Long­i­nus, and EVA was suc­cess­fully con­tained. Apos­to­los [An­gels] were placed into slum­ber as safe­guards – fully auto­mated secu­rity devices, one could say – in the event that some­one later revived EVA.

Lit­tle did we know at the time that the story had already got­ten away from us. But even so, this [the Spear con­cept design] became des­ig­nated set­tei [set­ting design work] at the project meet­ing.

Although a plain old spear is bor­ing, I pri­or­i­tized “ulti­mate tech­nol­ogy”-esque sim­plic­i­ty, leav­ing the design at a twisted band of met­al. This started off as an anti-Eva gun bar­rel. Nor­mally it’s a looped thing resem­bling a rub­ber band stretched taut. The Spear’s shape folds the space inside its rings, trap­ping vast energy with­in, though this can’t be seen [in the draw­ing]. If an Eva approach­es, the band tears sharply, form­ing a bar­rel that con­tains a twist. When the Spear is dri­ven into the Eva, a bul­let shell slides out that is gen­er­ated within the bot­tom-most ring.

Evangelion Proposal

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

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

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

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

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

Kaworu & cat sketch from New­type 100% Col­lec­tion

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

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

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

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

The Feel Of A Game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[To­ji] Father works for the research cen­ter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1993 T

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

1994

1994 P

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

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

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

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

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

“The Human Sup­ple­ment Project” is put in motion

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

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

Really “mes­sen­gers of the gods” at all?

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

What is the appeal of Giant Robot Ani­me?

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

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

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

Adults know “the diffi­culty of liv­ing.”

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

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

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

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

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

Japan­ese Chil­dren Avert­ing Their Eyes From Repul­sive Things…

This con­ver­sa­tion was made pos­si­ble thanks to Anno-san express­ing his wish to speak with direc­tor Tomino dur­ing our inter­view for the V Gun­dam spe­cial edi­tion, being a devoted fan of his. Anno-san con­sid­er­ing V Gun­dam as the best TV anime in recent years,

Tomino: …G Gun­dam is some­one else’s work, but it’s not just a work aside of mine. I’m will­ing to fol­low its recep­tion.

Anno: I have hope in G Gun­dam. I think kids will like it. But I think works with com­pli­cated rela­tion­ships like V Gun­dam don’t appeal to chil­dren any­more. As a mat­ter of fact, even peo­ple about 20 years old pre­fer clean stuff now, and are becom­ing more and more reluc­tant when filthy parts are vis­i­ble.

Tomino: Even when talk­ing about vari­ety, we often hear things like “In response to user’s require­ments” or “to respond cus­tomer demand”, but what we’re offered are only differ­en­ti­a­tions inside a very nar­row range of pos­si­bil­i­ties, not actual vari­ety in my opin­ion.

Ani­m­age (to Anno): When you told us about it on May’s issue, you said the only solu­tion would be diver­si­fi­ca­tion.

Anno: On the other hand I think anime nowa­days has gone too far into its own spe­cial­iza­tion, to the point where it’ll soon col­lapse.

Anno: I did­n’t feel like it was rel­e­vant to blind her [a V Gun­dam char­ac­ter need­ing pun­ish­ment, Kate­ji­na]. Doing so makes it the main focus of that cli­max. If she sur­vives any­ways she could have lost an arm, or a leg…

Tomino: These all infringed TV codes so we turned them down. Besides, that’s why we lim­ited our­selves to sug­gest­ing that she may not see any­more.

Anno: In the nov­el, Kate­jina gets burned. I pre­fer that.

Tomino: I’d rather have done that, but it’s com­pletely taboo on TV. Also when we reflected on how much of that kind of imagery an audi­ence who prefers clean things could take, well…

Ani­m­age: So you mean there is an issue with the audi­ence’s tol­er­ance towards that kind of rep­re­sen­ta­tion, even before think­ing about taboos in the media?

Tomino: That’s exactly the prob­lem. In that sense it’s totally true that we com­pro­mised too much.

Anno: That’s what I thought.

Tomino: Yes­ter­day I ran­domly came by [a D&D-themed RPG ani­me], that’s the name, right? So I watched it. On a tech­ni­cal view­point I thought “Wow, Rin­taro-san’s very good”. Even pro­cess­ing after his direct­ing was fine to my mind. But as a cre­ator, when I actu­ally step into that kind of work, I can’t help but reject­ing it instantly and in its entire­ty. What do you think about it?

Ani­m­age: Draw­ings look good, and it was a big hit as a prod­uct.

Anno: I under­stand very well that it sells well. But I don’t find it enter­tain­ing.

Ani­m­age: View­ers’ mind­set seems to be on the side of enjoy­ing its safe, pre­de­ter­mined out­come.

Tomino: Of course, they would­n’t like to face what they find the most gross or uncom­fort­able on medi­ums like video or ani­me.

Anno: Since it’s com­pen­satory behav­ior, sure they don’t want to pay money to see repul­sive things. In V Gun­dam for instance, many kids stopped watch­ing when Uso’s mother died, say­ing they did­n’t want to watch an anime like this. View­ers react to peo­ple’s death more than we expect.

Tomino: No doubt there are kids like that.

Ani­m­age: But now that the bub­ble has end­ed, there’s the eco­nomic cri­sis, and cli­mate is becom­ing more and more aus­tere, so I think there will be changes from now.

Anno: On the con­trary, I think they’re going to lock them­selves up even more.

Tomino: Chil­dren nowa­days lack the energy to live in these times. I think peo­ple actu­ally suffer­ing from autism would­n’t be able to live in such an envi­ron­ment. But I’m in the kind of posi­tion where even if there’s only dark­ness one step ahead, I want to do my best until I die. At least I want to show that life is not so bad, even when we don’t know what we’re liv­ing for.

Anno: I think peo­ple need a will to live to keep on liv­ing. They won’t go on liv­ing unless they’re repeat­edly told to. If reli­gions teach obvi­ous things such as ‘peo­ple must live even if they’re suffer­ing’, it’s prob­a­bly because they need to be told so and to real­ize it in order to keep on liv­ing.

Tomino: Exact­ly. That’s how unfor­giv­ing the world is. Our only mes­sage is: be more pre­pared to it. But for chil­dren nowa­days, par­tic­u­larly mid­dle and high­-school­ers, maybe it’s their entire school life which causes them trou­ble. I think that’s why they don’t want to see depress­ing images, includ­ing the kind of story they could live them­selves. But the other impor­tant thing is that there are chil­dren who actu­ally take things as lit­tle as this harsh­ly.

Anno: Indeed.

Tomino: Recently there have been rice short­ages from time to time, and it’s a very good thing in my opin­ion. It allows them to imag­ine a lit­tle bit more seri­ously a case where there really isn’t any more food. The advan­tage for peo­ple cre­at­ing enter­tain­ment in that case is to be able to say “Sorry if it’s dis­turbing, but we’re show­ing these aus­tere parts in anime you like as well”, in case it helps 10 or 20 years from now (laugh).

Anno: Indeed, we must put a bit of poi­son inside our works (laugh), par­tic­u­larly for chil­dren.

–July 1994 issue of Ani­m­age; “Inter­view: Hideaki Anno vs. Yoshiyuki Tomino (Ani­m­age - 07/1994)”/“Japan­ese Chil­dren Avert­ing Their Eyes From Repul­sive Things…”; trans­lated by Noh Acro for Wave Motion Can­non

1994 T

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

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

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

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

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

1995

1995 P

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also, as he was involved in this work he had a thought some­thing like the fol­low­ing. “For exam­ple, I won­der if a per­son over the age of twenty who likes robot anime is really hap­py.2 He could find greater hap­pi­ness else­where. Regret­tably, I have my doubts about his hap­pi­ness.”

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

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

… Ayanami Rei

Voice by: Hayashibara Megumi

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

Kat­suragi Mis­ato

Voice by: Mit­su­ishi Kotono

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

(Rit­suko image) Akagi Rit­suko

Voice by: Yam­aguchi Yuriko

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

(Sh­inji image) Ikari Shinji

Voice by: Ogata Megumi

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

(Asuka image) Soryu Asuka Lan­g­ley

Voice by: Miya­mura Yuko

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

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

LD Liner Notes Vol.4

Voices from the Cast - Miya­mura Yuko

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

Miya­mu­ra: “Mon­keys (heart mark)”

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

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

–1995-03-25 episode of Tokyo Boo­gie Nights radio show, Hitoshi Doi; in the same show, Megumi Hayashibara dis­cusses her sur­prise at the male homo­sex­ual vil­lains in the recently air­ing Sailor Moon - one of which seiyuu, Ishida Aki­ra, would voice Kaworu Nag­isa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manga Mania, 1998?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Even so, insist­ing on some­thing orig­i­nal-?

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

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

Episode 8

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

Episode 24

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

EDITED BY THE STAFF OF JUNE
1143 YEN - ISBN4-906011-25-X - ABOUT 6 inches BY 8 inches
236 PAGES (12 IN FULL COLOR)

Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion JUNE Tokuhon: Zankoku-na Ten­shi no These, “The Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion JUNE Reader”–the book’s sub­ti­tle is the name of the open­ing theme of Eva, “Like a Cruel Angel’s Premise”. The cover shot is of Kaworu gaz­ing up smil­ing from within Shin­ji’s tightly clenched fist, and the edi­tors of the JUNE Reader know from whereof they speak on the top­ic; for over twenty years the bi-(­nat­u­ral­ly) monthly mag­a­zine has car­ried the flam­ing torch of shonen ai (“boy love”), the cat­e­gory of manga that involves gay rela­tion­ships.

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

NGE episode 24 drafts overview

Draft 1:

Draft 2:

EGF.org Dis­cus­sion of drafts, extra mate­r­ial

Inde­pen­dent cov­er­age of Draft 1’s invo­ca­tion of , also draw­ing on June

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

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

Cake-s­lice com­ments:

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

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

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

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

1995 T

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

1996

1996 P

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

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

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

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

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

On the unique appear­ance of the Evan­ge­lion Units…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…On anime cre­ators who inspired him…

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

…On how the pro­tag­o­nist of Evan­ge­lion reflects Anno him­self…

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

On his reli­gious beliefs…

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

On whether he is a veg­e­tar­ian like Nadia and Rei …

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

On express­ing him­self through ani­ma­tion…

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

…On Evan­ge­lion’s suc­cess…

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

On his next pro­ject…

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

…On the future of the anime indus­try…

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

…On his hob­bies and inter­ests…

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

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

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

…On get­ting into the anime indus­try…

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

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

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

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

“I’d say Asu­ka. She’s cute.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thus, humans run and hide in dreams.

They watch films as enter­tain­ment.

…If the direc­tor so desires, even mal­ice toward oth­ers could be intro­duced straight into film. I guess that’s one of the attrac­tive things about ani­me. Chang­ing the tribu­la­tion of real­ity into dreams and con­vey­ing that to the peo­ple… is that what our work is? For the sake of peo­ple who for­get real­ity until the bill comes due, who want to devote them­selves to happy fal­lac­ies. I guess that’s our job in the enter­tain­ment and ser­vice3 sec­tor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I did­n’t have any inter­est in study­ing human psy­chol­ogy in the past. I only took a course about it at uni­ver­si­ty, but I sup­pose I always had some­thing in my mind to ana­lyze human psy­che. I thought I was­n’t inter­ested in humans very much, but then, when I started talk­ing about myself, I needed words to explain. So, I started read­ing books on psy­chol­o­gy. From Episode #16, EVANGELION’s story went into the direc­tion to ask just what the human mind is all about inside. I wrote about myself. My friend lent me a book on human psy­cho­log­i­cal ill­ness and this gave me a shock, as if I finally found what I needed to say.4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anno: Aum is part of my gen­er­a­tion. I under­stand them well.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

O - And then there is par­tial col­or­ing.

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

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

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

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

A - It becomes red­dish…

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

But the ones he watched most are The longest day of Japan and Bat­tle of Oki­nawa6. He even played it as BGV [back­ground video] when he was doing sto­ry­board­ing at one time, and then slowly his atten­tion was drawn to the video and ended up spend­ing 3 hours watch­ing it.

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

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

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

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

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

Skipped the part about talk­ing with the audi­ence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A - for movies, con­sen­sus is impos­si­ble

O - Direc­tor must be a dic­ta­tor

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

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

A - It was put in there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Num­ber­s-kun, June (orig­i­nal scan)

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

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

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

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

— That’s really cool.

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

When it came to Rei, I was com­pletely blocked. I could­n’t write any­thing at all. I had intended to make Rei a schiz­o­phrenic (分裂症的) char­ac­ter7, but when I tried to write, I could­n’t think of any­thing - noth­ing at all. Final­ly, I thought, when writ­ing mad­ness, one has no choice but to become mad. At that time I con­sulted a bit with my friends. When I asked if there was some­thing com­posed by a mad­man, I was loaned a “Bessatsu Takara­jima”8 vol­ume on men­tal ill­ness. It was an “easy and rea­son­able” book [イージーでリーズナブルな本] (laugh­s), but inside it there was a poem writ­ten by a mad­man.9 That was extremely good. When I read the poem I had a strong impres­sion, as though this was the first time that I had come close. I had a feel­ing like a light glint­ing upon the tip of a sharp knife. It was cer­tainly not the feel­ing of an ordi­nary man. That was good. If I think about it now, this sort of ‘capac­ity’ was [al­ready] within me (laugh­s). 10 It’s mad to believe that the writ­ings of a mad­man are of the high­est qual­i­ty. I read that [po­em] and was filled with images; I was able to write [Rei’s mono­logue] in one sit­ting.11

It’s alleged that [the mono­logue] was based upon another text, but in all hon­esty, that’s not so. There was some­thing that inspired it, but it was com­pletely differ­ent. It’s alleged that it strongly resem­bles some­one’s poem, and it that it was prob­a­bly copied from it, but, “Ah, well, that man is prob­a­bly crazy too” (laugh­s). It seems to be a famous poem. Being able to write some­thing to the extent that it’s said to be the same, I can’t help think­ing, “Don’t I have tal­ent, too?” (laughs)12

After the tele­vi­sion broad­cast fin­ished, I became worse and worse, and went to see a doc­tor. I even seri­ously con­tem­plated death. It’s like [I] was emp­ty, with no mean­ing to [my] exis­tence. With­out the slight­est exag­ger­a­tion, I had put every­thing I had [into Evan­ge­lion]. Real­ly. After that fin­ished I real­ized that there was noth­ing [left] inside of me. When I asked [the doc­tor?] about it after­wards, [he said?] “Ah, that is an ‘iden­tity cri­sis’ (self-col­lapse) [自我崩壊].”13 It was a sen­sa­tion as though I had taken some­thing like extremely bad LSD. I was told, “It’s amaz­ing that you were able to do that with­out med­ica­tion.” Yeah, now, I feel very for­tu­nate (laugh­s).14 In order to deter­mine whether or not I really wanted to die, I went up to the rooftop of this build­ing (the GAINAX build­ing) and stuck my foot out, wait­ing to lose my bal­ance and fall for­ward. I did it to per­son­ally deter­mine [whether I wanted to live or die], [think­ing,] if I really want to die, I should die here, and if I don’t want to die, I’ll step back. Well, it did­n’t lead to my death, and so I’m here.

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

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

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

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

–1996-08-22; first inter­view in June; scans (1 2 3) hosted by Lili & trans­lated by Num­ber­s-kun

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

… 1. Anno’s Love of Shojo Manga

Anno wept a lit­tle when he read Nobi’s con­tri­bu­tion to Kara­sawa’s book. Nobi cried many times dur­ing Evan­ge­lion, begin­ning with Rei’s mono­logue in Episode 14. Nobi is asked about her the­ory that the artists and view­ers are locked in bat­tle. She felt that she was in a bat­tle with Anno. Anno thinks his first bat­tle was with his staff15. In junior high school, Anno had a friend - nowa­days, he says, you would call her a girl­friend - named Rit­suko16, who had a major impact on his life and intro­duced him to sci-fi and shojo man­ga. Aside from titles like “Dev­il­man” and “Team Astro,” Anno was largely unin­ter­ested in shonen man­ga. How­ev­er, Anno does­n’t think he would be able to do jus­tice to a shojo manga in an anime adap­ta­tion17. Anno would read “Bessatsu Mar­garet,” “Ribon,” “Hana to Yume,” “Bet­su­comi,” and, at one point, even “Ciao.” Among the authors he likes, he men­tions Fusako Kuramochi, Jun Ichikawa, Shinji Wada, Yu Azuki, Mariko Iwa­date, Hideko Tachikake, Yukari Taka­hashi, Yumiko Oshi­ma, and Taeko Watan­abe. 2. Dev­il­man and Evan­ge­lion

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

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

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

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

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

When Anno thought of Eva, he wanted to cre­ate an anime that would sur­pass “Gun­dam” and “Yam­a­to.” How­ev­er, he became dis­sat­is­fied with his early ideas. The script for the first episode took half a year to com­plete18. He was stuck after that, so he wrote episodes 5 and 6, and then came back to episode 3. He felt he had to go beyond reg­u­lar TV anime in devel­op­ing real­is­tic char­ac­ters in episodes 3 and 4. How­ev­er, the first six episodes left the staff drained and feel­ing weighed down by the heavy mood, so he felt it nec­es­sary to lighten the feel­ing of the series for episodes 7, 8, and 9. This early stage of pro­duc­tion took 4 or 5 months in total; the sto­ry­boards were done in two months. How­ev­er, the sched­ule became more and more con­strained. The series was only fin­ished thanks to the supreme efforts and tal­ents of the staff. Episode 26 was com­pleted in only three days19. Episode 24 was put together almost entirely by Masayuki alone in the space of three weeks.

1. Rei’s Mono­logue / Anno’s Depres­sion

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

Nobi is not sure that female manga writ­ers will be able to match the imag­i­na­tion of the male authors. Anno wanted to do a longer story involv­ing Asuka’s men­stru­a­tion, but because he felt it was impos­si­ble for a man to write, he aban­doned it. Only a sin­gle scene remained. He feels he can’t match the way Nobi por­trayed Asuka in the dou­jin­shi “Absolute Safety Razor” (or “Absolutely Safe Razor” - “Zettai Anzen Kamisori”)20. 10. Group Men­tal­ity

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

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

– 1996-08-22; sec­ond inter­view in June; para­phrased by Num­ber­s-kun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– 1996-10-04? inter­view with Pierre Gin­er; pub­lished Ani­me­Land #32 (May 1997); orig­i­nal excerpt/translation Sep­tem­ber 1997; full sources: scan//. (The final Q/A pair has also been excerpted & trans­lated from an inter­view pub­lished 1997-07-18 (“the day before the release of EoE”) in the Ital­ian mag­a­zine Man-ga! #3. The con­nec­tion is unclear - did Man-ga! trans­late into Ital­ian & reprint Ani­me­Land’s inter­view?)

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

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

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

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

Eva FAQ; trans­lated by Bochan Bird

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

of May/June 1996 inter­view by myself and oth­ers

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

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

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

ORIGINAL

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

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

• Sev­enth Mes­sen­ger, episode 1 (? guess from first men­tion of N^2 being first episode), “In EVANGELION ORIGINAL, the N^2 mine was orig­i­nally called P-type mine. I won­der why.”

• Sev­enth Mes­sen­ger, episode 1, Mis­ato’s line: “Did­n’t even Rei take seven months to sync with the EVA? He’s just arrived. He can’t pos­si­bly con­trol it!”

• Bochan_bird, episode 2, scene vari­ant: SEELE scene dis­cussing the first Angel attack; differ­ent from ADV or LTP trans­la­tion (ORIGINAL ver­sion dis­cusses how it was expected and SEELE’s con­tempt for the rest of human­i­ty; aired ver­sion dis­cusses how their prepa­ra­tions may not pay off and the need for NERV to be very care­ful)

• Shin-seiki says episode 03, “Hedge­hog’s Dilem­ma: Rain, after run­ning away”, was orig­i­nally titled “Hedge­hog’s Dilem­ma: The Wan­der­ing Third Chil­dren” (TODO: was this con­firmed in the Plat­inum com­men­tary?)

• Bochan_bird, episode 3 & episode 7, changed lines:

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

Sev­enth Mes­sen­ger notes this lat­ter line is not men­tioned in any foot­note either, indi­cat­ing it was added very late in pro­duc­tion.

• Nanashi, as part of a NGE TV chronol­o­gy, copies out the dates Episode 4 spec­i­fied before they were cut from broad­cast (pos­si­bly con­tra­dict­ing other chronolo­gies like the Rei Ayanami Rais­ing Project cal­en­dar):

• "Day b+2 - Sat­ur­day, 7-15-2015

• Day b+3 - Sun­day, 7-16-2015

• Day b+4 - Mon­day, 7-17-2015

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

• Night in Ken­suke’s camp.
• Episode 4 end­s."
• Savant dis­cusses the Chi­nese ver­sion of ORIGINAL I, con­firm­ing Reichu’s descrip­tion of the mar­gin­a­lia and quotes one such com­ment: “This script por­trays Shinji as being more ‘soft’ than in the fin­ished series.”

• Seven Mes­sen­ger, episode 12, Mis­ato-Sh­inji dis­cus­sion of her father (seems same as TV)

• CuSO4 con­firms that episodes 13 and 14 were mis­tak­enly swapped

• Sev­enth Mes­sen­ger, episode 14, vari­ant synch-ra­tio line by Rit­suko Aka­gi. (Sev­enth Mes­sen­ger tran­scribes this as episode 13 with episode 14’s titles but as noted above by CuSO4, ORIGINAL swaps them)

• Reichu men­tions that episode 17 orig­i­nally men­tions an ‘Essene’ orga­ni­za­tion rather than ‘Seele’, fit­ting in with the sto­ry­board; Bochan_bird says “…SEELE is the rem­nant of the Essene branch that wrote the DSS (based on infor­ma­tion in EVANGELION ORIGINAL)…” and NAv­eryW spots of the word in a ‘Project Meet­ing’ doc­u­ment (a brain­storm­ing ses­sion appar­ently pre­dat­ing the Evan­ge­lion Pro­pos­al; see Project Meet­ing.)

• Sev­enth Mes­sen­ger trans­lates a deleted scene in episode 18 where Touji vis­its his sis­ter in the hos­pi­tal, a mod­i­fied scene between Rit­suko & Mis­ato, and a mod­i­fied scene in episode 3.

• Sev­enth Mes­sen­ger, episode 19, some tech jar­gon

• Bochan_bird para­phrases a sec­tion in episode 19 where Eva-01 eats the S2 Engine of an angel; in ORIGINAL, Eva-01 attaches the Angel’s arm to itself and then pushes the S2 engine into its own stom­ach

• Sev­enth Mes­sen­ger pro­vides the Tou­ji-Hikari hos­pi­tal scene in episode 19, and Yui’s flash­back plugtest scene in episode 21

• Nanashi trans­lates the episode 20 scene notes for Shinji reform­ing out of LCL

• Sev­enth Mes­sen­ger, episode 21, vari­ant tech­no-bab­ble line by Naoko Akagi

• NAv­eryW (trans­la­tion by Eric Blair in #evageek­s), episode 21, deleted Mis­ato line: “I know the Angels aren’t just bat­tle weapons left by the First Root Race.” Reichu tran­scribes the kanji and trans­lates them as “I know the Angels aren’t just weapons left behind by the First Indige­nous Race.” This is impor­tant - it is one of the few solid leads (aside from the Project Meet­ing and the Pro­pos­al) that the First Ances­tral Race was not invented for the video games but were part of the back­story early on.

• Bochan_bird, episode 21, changed scene descrip­tion; Rei I sur­vives! This is worth quot­ing in full:

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

• Sev­enth Mes­sen­ger, episode 21, scene descrip­tion: “Analy­sis plat­form. Noth­ing remained where the corpse of Dr. [Naoko] Akagi had fallen except a white out­line. There was blood on the cover of Gas­par.”

• Sev­enth Mes­sen­ger, episode 21, cut scene: “At the bot­tom of the page that Bochan quot­ed, there’s a lit­tle foot­note that says GAINAX excluded the scene of Rei wak­ing up.”

• Sev­enth Mes­sen­ger excerpts 3 Rit­suko scenes from episode 23: the dis­posal of Rei’s remains, Rit­suko before the SEELE mono­liths, and Rit­suko enter­ing Cen­tral Dogma with Mis­ato & Shinji

• Bochan_bird, episode 24, trans­la­tion dis­cus­sion - did Kaworu say “It means I like you” or “It means I love you”?

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

• Sev­enth Mes­sen­ger, episode 24, Kaworu’s order to Unit-02: “Ok, bet­ter get going. Come, [clone?] of Adam, slave of Lilith.”

• Bochan_bird (sec­ond trans­la­tion) trans­lates a cut episode 24 scene fits per­fectly in EoE but not EoTV, in which SEELE dis­cusses Kaworu’s death; Reichu trans­lates her copy, Keele’s line in this one runs

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

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

Director’s Cut (EoTV)

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

TEXT: Pre­view

MISATO (OFF): Shinji defeated the final angel,

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

And the promised time comes.

The impend­ing anni­hi­la­tion of Nerv.

Asuka is dri­ven to the brink of death.

The Human Instru­men­tal­ity Project

is about to be acti­vated along with Rei.

Over the heads of the peo­ple rebelling against their own real­ity

and feed­ing their dreams, the Eva series descends

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

Next time: “Air.”

TEXT: Next time

Pre­view for episode 26’

Text: Pre­view

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

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

Where there is no pain called ‘real­ity’.

Where there is no fic­tion called ‘myself’.

Where there is no fear called ‘other peo­ple’.

Where there is no hope called ‘oth­ers’.

Where there is no exis­tence called ‘the self’.

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

End of Evangelion

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

Mis­ato exe­cut­ing JSSDF sol­diers

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

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

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

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

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

1996 S

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pos­si­ble NERV acronym:

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

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

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

Scan of the rel­e­vant New­Type 100% page

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

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

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

# TV-Tokyo broad­cast “Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Conscience of the Otaking”

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

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

“Conscience” part 1

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

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

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

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

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

A: They’ve got their finances under con­trol?

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

“Conscience” part 2

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

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

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

A: So did Yam­aga end up writ­ing the screen­play?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Conscience” part 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

O: Even Gainax’s staff can get con­fused about this sto­ry. There’s also a woman at Gainax who says it was she who got the idea for the title, and I think I found the con­cept. And Yam­aga says it was he. No one knows what’s the real sto­ry. In the end, we all just thought about the title “Oh, that’s it! That’s it.” So, no prob­lem. But inter­view­ers always think, the direc­tor’s the direc­tor. They never real­ize that at Daicon Film, or Gainax, there is no direc­tor, and no pro­duc­er, and no ani­ma­tors, and no accoun­tants21. Every­one did those jobs, in the good old days of Gainax. So, what Yam­aga says, the media likes to think these things are the facts, and so ‘his­tory’ is made. But, in truth - no one knows, because WINGS was made in that kind of chaos.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

O: Yeah. Four light-years away.

A: But you never pur­sued that idea seri­ous­ly?

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

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

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

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

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

“Return of the Otaking”

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

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

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

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

[OKADA:] Mr. Miyaza­k­i’s new movie, MONONOKE-HIME, is going to be using 80 cuts of com­puter graph­ics in it. If there were more oppor­tu­ni­ty, time, or avail­abil­i­ty, he would have wanted to use 120 cuts in it. So Mr. Miyazaki is also one of the peo­ple start­ing to use com­puter graph­ics, too. And, also, Mr. Miyazaki says, “If we’d had a com­puter sys­tem when we made LAPUTA, there’s half of it I’d like to remake.” So there’s great pos­si­bil­i­ties with com­puter graph­ics. And Mr. Anno has said, in remak­ing the last two episodes of EVANGELION, he’s going to Stu­dio Ghi­bli to study Mr. Miyaza­k­i’s sys­tem. And that stu­dio has a big sys­tem for com­put­er-graph­ics images. I’ve heard they’ve got five, or sev­en, Sil­i­con Graph­ics work­sta­tions. What Anno wants to make is a “snow world”– the Eva units fight­ing the enemy amidst a world of snow, on a snow- cov­ered moun­tain. But it’s very diffi­cult to por­tray snow falling and pil­ing, and the robots walk­ing through the snow–it’s very diffi­cult to draw by the human hand. Mr. Anno wants to make a mas­ter­ful scene of a bat­tle amongst the snow.22

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

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

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

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

“Return of the Otak­ing”, part 4

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

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

“Return of the Otak­ing”, part 5

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

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

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

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

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

“Return of the Otak­ing”, part 7

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

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

OKADA: Oh! I think pro­duc­ers always say that. But I talked with Mr. Anno about this a month ago, and then he said, “I’m almost the pro­ducer of EVANGELION, but I must be so, because Tat­sunoko did not do any­thing for EVANGELION.” See, he is very dis­ap­pointed with Tat­sunoko, and some rumors have said that Tat­sunoko lost the film, or cels before they were shot.23

AUDIENCE: Wow!

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

AUDIENCE: Oh, wow.

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

AUDIENCE: Of course.

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

“Return of the Otak­ing”; the lost cel anec­dote is inter­est­ing as cel-col­lec­tor Mike Toole claims that “A lot of Evan­ge­lion cels were stolen.” Was there cor­po­rate con­flict? Ani­mEigo alludes darkly to their obtain­ing cels from a Miyazaki and another unnamed anime under highly sus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances24, and Ani­mEigo was fairly well-con­nected to Gainax through Toshio Okada & Michael House… Bochan_bird says Bandai/Sega (ma­jor Eva spon­sor per Notenki Mem­oirs) made the lim­ited machine/hand-painted repro­duc­tions which the real cels would have com­peted with. Carl Horn points to Okada’s men­tion of Tat­sunoko as a cel source, and dis­cusses prices/descriptions of legit­i­mate cels auc­tioned on Man­darake25. Bochan_bird then claimed it was an ‘inside job’ - Tat­sunoko delib­er­ately sold off the cels and most of them are still in dealer stock­piles. Bochan_bird also men­tions sit­ting in on high­-s­takes back­-room cel deals, which cer­tainly would fit sell­ing batches of stolen Eva cels… There was only one con­test for legit­i­mate real cels. And in the , Tsu­ru­maki drops a bomb­shell: “As far as the sev­enth Angel is con­cerned, the truth is that the orig­i­nal rea­son [for the change in design] was that the genga for that episode had been entirely lost, and we could­n’t use the ‘BANK’. If the genga had remained, even if the key ani­ma­tion direc­tor decided to redo them, episode eight would prob­a­bly have remained [in the film] in its entire­ty. [We thought,] if we can’t make use of the gen­ga, let’s com­pletely change Asuka’s intro­duc­tory scene.” They lost the genga for an entire episode of one of the most pop­u­lar anime of all time, the episode whose cels any Asuka fan would covet most‽ The STAR TREK plan is a lit­tle odd; may be a ver­sion of the scrapped Olympia project (see the Olympia - the phan­tom project” chap­ter in The Notenki Mem­oirs).

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

“Return of the Otak­ing”, part 9

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

… Because many anime and seiyuu mag­a­zines are ask­ing Mr. Anno that ques­tion, and every time his answer changes. It’s “con­fused, con­fuse-er, con­fuse-est.” He’s not happy right now. Maybe you know that back in Jan­u­ary, or Feb­ru­ary, he shaved his head26. It’s a Japan­ese ges­ture of con­tri­tion. Peo­ple said, “Oh, he’s feel­ing a lot of respon­si­bil­ity towards the pro­duc­er, or T.V. Tokyo, or the spon­sor.” Not so. He felt a very strong respon­si­bil­ity about his stuff. “Sor­ry, I can’t do it!” So he shaved his head. This sum­mer, he hates anime fans. I think he’ll feel hap­pier by autumn.

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

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

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

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

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

1996 T

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOUJI & KENSUKE & HIKARI

Where do bro­ken dreams and wishes go?

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

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

GENDOU & REI, MISATO & SHINJI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1997

1997 P

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

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

Sep­tem­ber 1997 New­type; snip­pet trans­lated by Num­ber­s-kun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some other inter­est­ing tid­bit that Yamashita Ikuto put togeth­er:

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

Almost 5 years ago.

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

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

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

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

This was from Shonen A’s Sadamoto Yoshiyuki inter­view:

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

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

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

Anno: I know!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ebj:

I have a shot I found in an Ital­ian anime mag which is quite sim­i­lar: there are Anno and Miyazaki again, the setup is an air­port run­way with desert land­scape all around, there actu­ally is a biplane, but it’s big, with some win­dows for pas­sen­gers (say 15 mt over­all length), it’s red, with a sign on the side which says “O.K - K.O”, and Miyazaki is wear­ing a mechanic suit, lean­ing on the plane, while Anno stands on top of it (around 4 mt above) in a red ‘tunic’ and sun­glasses doing the Ultra­man pose. BTW, Stu­dio Ghi­bli did the draw­ings for episode 12 of Eva…you can see that they did draw episode 12 look­ing at the hair­style of the speaker of the pro­pa­gan­da-van for can­di­date Nozoku Taka­hashi (the name is derived by Nozomu Taka­hashi, pro­ducer of Stu­dio Ghi­b­li).27

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

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

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

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

Theatrical pamphlets

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

D&R
Intro

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

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

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

Timeline

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glossary

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

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

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

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

Seiyuu

I was torn apart by a new pain.

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

Some­times slow­ly, some­times with a quick jerk,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes

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

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

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

“Pilot­ing Eva is all I have.”

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

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

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

… “Yes, wor­thy of friend­ship.”

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

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

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

D&R Special Edition (2)
Commentary

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

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

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

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

Children

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

Shinji Ikari.

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

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

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

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

Kaworu Nag­isa.

The Fifth Chil­dren.

A gen­tle boy.

The first per­son to whom Shinji ever opened his heart.

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

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

The first per­son to whom he ever opened his heart.

By his own hand….

SOHRYU ASUKA LANGLEY

A Sul­lied Heart

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

Sohryu Asuka Lan­g­ley.

She lost her mother at a ten­der age.

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

So, she sought after strength.

The strength to beat any­one.

The strength to be able to live alone.

The strength that could become her rai­son d’être.

… But there were already oth­ers before her.

Shinji Ikari. And Rei Ayana­mi.

These two must be beneath her.

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

“I lost to stu­pid Shin­ji…”

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

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

Her dreams within that white dark­ness are bit­ter…

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

Smiles. Wor­ry­ing. Words of thanks.

These were all for him.

Smiles directed toward him. Wor­ry­ing about him.

“Thank you” said to him.

And with her first tears, she finally real­ized.

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

But death engulfed her before she could con­vey her heart.

Alter­nate trans­la­tion, unknown 4chan poster: (mir­ror)

Terminology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Production notes

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

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

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

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

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

Notes

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

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

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

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

Red Cross Book
Commentary

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

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

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

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

Glossary

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

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

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

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

… His [Ka­ji] curios­ity proved his ruin, and although he was con­se­quently shot to death, he left the results of his inves­ti­ga­tions to Mis­ato.28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tsurumaki interview

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

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

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

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

– I see.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KT - That’s right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The fear of break­ing down.

Rejec­tion, despair, plea­sure, rap­ture, aver­sion….

It was all so real – it was live.

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

3 years dur­ing which I unmis­tak­ably faced “Me”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes

Episode 25’ - Air

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 26’ - Magokoro wo, kimi ni

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

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

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

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

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

EoE

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

Gainax ini­tially pro­posed EVANGELION: REBIRTH 2 as the title:

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

THE END OF EVANGELION is nigh on 19 July

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

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

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

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

Then,
why are you here?

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

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

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

Staff (in Japanese alphabetical order)

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

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

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

Toei Studios, Inc. logo in triangle

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

(Vertical screen text:  Neon Genesis Evangelion Cinema Edition)

–EoE pro­mo­tional trail­er; trans­lated Bochan_bird

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

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

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

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

“Magokoro o kimine” is the Japan­ese title for “Flow­ers for Alger­non” when it was trans­lated and pub­lished in Japan29. Project Eva/Mr. Anno decided to use the “Magokoro o kimine” as the movie title stated in the liner note.

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

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

Q: Who is going to sing the song for the new movie?
Otsuki: A gai­jin.
Q: Who?
Otsuki: I can’t say yet.
Q: Male or female?
Otsuki: Female, a black female.
Q: What type of song?
Otsuki: Gospel. It’s great. We will release a sin­gle of it too. We are dub­bing it in Lon­don right now.30

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

…Q: What is that pic­ture with Mis­ato, Asuka, Maya, and Hikari going into a pool of blood? Are they going to die?31 Otsuki: There will be some peo­ple who die.
Q: Will there be peo­ple who don’t die.
Otsuki: Yes.
Q: Are there any char­ac­ters who did­n’t do voic­es?
Otsuki: Tou­ji, Ken­suke, Hikari.

…Q: Who is your favorite char­ac­ter in Evan­ge­lion?
Otsuki: All of them.
Q: But what if you had to choose just one?
Otsuki: Fuyut­su­ki.32

…Q: What will you do after Evan­ge­lion?
Otsuki: We have already started work­ing on the next one. I was think­ing about say­ing some­thing, but it’s still too ear­ly.
Q: Can you tell use when it will come out?
Otsuki: Next year.
Q: TV?
Otsuki: Movie.33
Q: Is it ani­me?
Otsuki: Can’t say right now.

Q: Will there be any live action scenes in the Evan­ge­lion movie?
Otsuki: Can’t say right now.34

…There will a show­ing of movie pre­views. There will be a 2000 yen pam­phlet, which only had 10000 copies printed35.

ゲルゲトショッキングセンター - 1997.06.09, par­tial trans­la­tion by Hitoshi Doi of the 1997-06-09 Geruge radio show

Q: How was the record­ing.
[Na­ga­sawa] Miki [seiyuu, Maya Ibuk­i]: It was diffi­cult.
Q: The pic­ture was there.
Miki: Yes.
Q: How was Mr. Anno?
Miki: He was very picky.

… Q: Who do you think Maya likes?
Miki: Aoba, may­be?
Q: Was there some­thing with Rit­suko in the movie?
Miki: No… I don’t think. [Is that so?]

…The “Evan­ge­lion Story” was by Nag­isa Kaoru (Ishida Aki­ra). Kaoru talked about meet­ing Shinji and Rei, his true iden­tity as the 17th shi­to, and the bat­tle against Shin­ji. This mono­logue was about 3 min­utes 30 sec­onds long.

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

Q: Was the record­ing diffi­cult?
Aki­ra: Very diffi­cult. It was yes­ter­day and the day before. Yes­ter­day, we started at 10 AM, and I was there until 9:45 PM. I was the last one, with Ogata Megu­mi, Hayashibara Megu­mi, and Kiyokawa Moto­mu.
Q: Which scene was that?
Aki­ra: The very last scene was done before that, so this was the scene before the last scene.

Q: Kaoru is a key per­son?
Aki­ra: Sort of..

Q: Was Kaoru in the emo­tional sce­nes?
Aki­ra: Kaworu’s scenes weren’t that emo­tion­al.

Aki­ra: It released a lot of pres­sure off of my back when I fin­ished. If Evan­ge­lion had ended with the TV, I only appeared once and it was all over. But with the movie, there was a lot of pres­sure on me. When I found out that the movie would be split, it added more pres­sure.

Q: What do you think was the best scene with Kaoru?
Aki­ra: I would say the scene in episode 24 of the TV series..
Q: What about in the movie?
Aki­ra: He does­n’t appear as a per­son (with a phys­i­cal body) in the movie. The only per­son that Kaoru inter­acts with is Shin­ji.

– 1997-06-10, Geruge radio show, trans­la­tion Hitoshi Doi

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

Q: Are there any live action scenes for you?
Fumi­hiko: No. Girls only. The male fans will be hap­py.36

Q: Can you say any of the new lines from the movie?
Fumi­hiko [in a voice like he is dying]: Rei!
Q: Is Gendo going to die?
Fumi­hiko: Maybe.

…Q: How was the record­ing for Gen­do’s voice?
Fumi­hiko: It took two days, and there are more lines than usu­al.

Q: If you did­n’t do Gen­do, which char­ac­ter would you like to do?
Fumi­hiko: Rei. I like the char­ac­ter Rei, and I also like the way she talks, from a seiyuu point of view.

…The “Evan­ge­lion Story” was by Ikari Shinji (Ogata Megu­mi). Shinji talked about him­self, and some of the char­ac­ters around him. The BGM were a lot of songs and music from Evan­ge­lion. This mono­logue was about 2 min­utes 40 sec­onds long.

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

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

Q: Who does Shinji like? Rei or Asuka?
Megu­mi: Both.. but I don’t think he really likes either.
Q: Is there any­thing in the movie regard­ing the rela­tion­ships?
Megu­mi: It’s just like the usual Shin­ji. But with Rei.. there was that shock­ing scene in the Rebirth movie (in the spring). This time that same scene was made longer.
Q: Did you retake the voices of the Rebirth part?
Megu­mi: Yes, all scenes were redone.

Q: What is the black moon?
Megu­mi: I don’t know about it too well. Shinji does­n’t have to know.. Kaoru and Rei are the ones who explain things. The last scene, which is about 5 pages in the script, took one and a half hours to record. The scene is only about 2 or 3 min­utes.37
Q: Were there a lot of lines for Shinji in that scene?
Megu­mi: None. It was only ad lib.

–1997-06-11, Geruge radio show, trans­la­tion Hitoshi Doi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A 30-bil­lion yen ani­me?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EoE script/translation:

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

Gregg Turek, Otakon 1999

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

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

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

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

The final scrip­t’s dia­logue does­n’t help:

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

Gen­do: Death gives birth to noth­ing.

Lorenz: We will gift you with death.

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

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

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

Cut 39 Sound:

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

Shin­ji: ……

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

Shin­ji: ……

Description/Notes:

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

PAGE 509…­Cut 40

Sound: (Ball bounc­ing sound grow­ing fainter)

Description/Notes:

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

Bren­dan Jamieson con­firms bas­ket­ball court scene:

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

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

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

Last A

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

Thew, we see the graves[­mark­ers]38 Shinji made (it’s stated by Anno it was he who made them). The names of all main Eva char­ac­ters are writ­ten on them, except for “Ayanami Rei”.

We then see Asuka’s grave.

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

(you can still see these graves in the actual end­ing… no names, but there is Mis­ato’s pen­dant nailed on one of them, and an other has been kicked down39 ^^ )

We then see Shinji and Asuka on the beach… and you know that scene, too (but this draft demon­strates that Shinji and Asuka did­n’t just wake up there after Third Impact… they’ve been liv­ing here for some times… mean­ing they could be the two only humans will­ing to return, after all… ^^; )

When Shinji starts cry­ing, Asuka was sup­posed to say some­thing like “Idiot. No way I’ll let you kill me” (“idiot” was removed in the sto­ry­boards… and the whole line was mod­i­fied, even­tu­al­ly).

Then, the end­ing music (so, there was one… ^^ ) was sup­posed to begin, and the staff cred­its were to appear (Anno sug­gests a hor­i­zon­tal scrolling, like in Gun­buster, I guess).

We were to see Eva-01 lying on the Moon, and wom­an’s hair show­ing from its bro­ken mask (but her face remains unseen).

Behind Eva-01, you could see Earth, entirely red.

And the Black Moon, destroyed.

The cam­era goes to the sun, then to the stars.

Cred­its end.

“Shûgeki” (“the end”).

Now the true end­ing is based upon Last A. Last B is slightly differ­ent.

Last B

It begins like the pre­vi­ous one, but Asuka does­n’t show up in the “graves scene”.

We then see Shinji lying on the beach.

His right hand is hold­ing a white one.

“I’ll never see them again.”

“It’s bet­ter to think of it this way.”

“I’m still alive, so I’ll keep on liv­ing.”

He squeezes the hand hard­er.

Then, he sees Rei (like in the actual episode and Last A).

We even­tu­ally see that there is nobody lying near Shin­ji. Just a white arm with­out the rest of the body.

The cam­era then shows the full moon.

The end­ing cred­its are the same as in Last A.

The last line in the EoE Sto­ry­board book is:

“… Anta nanka ni korosareru no wa map­pira yo.”

Which I trans­late as:

“… (I’ll be) damned if I’ll be killed by the likes of you.”

The direc­tion to the VA is:

“Kore ijou naku tsumetai koe de”

Which is lit­er­al­ly:

“In the cold­est voice pos­si­ble”

So no Gen­e­sis 0:0 In the Begin­ning. Shame, as it has Anno talk­ing about the show, & another Gainax guy in a row­boat. Is there any chance of a trans­la­tion please?

PS. By the way the TV CM (com­mer­cial) for the EoE movie is quite strange….. a mish-mash of real-life video show­ing the hum­drum of a few young wom­en’s day-to-day life. The video is done in the doc­u­men­tary way, with thick par­ti­cles and slightly blurred focus. The names of all the pro­duc­tion staff appears con­tin­u­ously through­out the CM, with one name last­ing only for 0.1s (my guess) and you can’t even read the names at all. At the begin­ning it asks “So, it’d be good if every­body die…” and at the end it asks “Then, why are you here?”

Sea of LCL is also the “Source of Life” (film­book pg. 88), and “the wish of Shinji” (film book pg. 91.)

…“blank screen”: In the orig­i­nal Japan­ese release of the film, after the screen text, ‘Fin.’ is shown, the screen goes com­pletely black and no end­ing cred­its are shown. Audi­ences waited in the cin­ema for around 5 min­utes to make sure the film was really over.

Bochan_bird on audi­ences watch­ing EoE

Schizo/Prano

Schizo & Prano, were 2 related books of ‘inter­views’ pub­lished 1997; ISBN 4872333152 & 4872333160 (book cov­ers). While pre­sented as inter­views, appar­ently they (but not the char­ac­ter pro­files, accord­ing to Num­ber­s-kun) were heav­ily edited after­wards by Anno accord­ing Tokyo Otaku Mode, 2014-11-07:

The event “The World of Hideaki Anno” was held at the Tokyo Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, where excel­lent works from all over the world are gath­ered and screened. Con­tin­u­ing from our pre­vi­ous report on the “Live-Ac­tion Edi­tion” of the event, we now report on the “Direc­tor Edi­tion” in which he dis­cusses the ani­ma­tion he has direct­ed…It seems that for the movie pro­duced after the end of the TV series there was a plan to cre­ate an entirely new story in addi­tion to remakes of Episodes 25 and 26. Anno also used his motto for this all-new pro­ject, and he gave him­self up emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cal­ly. The sce­nario was sim­i­lar to Attack on Titan, as Anno explained: “There is a city sur­rounded by an A.T. Field, and in that city live only humans. There is only one bridge in or out of the city. Out­side the walls of the A.T. Field live Angels who prey on humans.” “What we could­n’t do on TV was show humans being eaten because being eaten is extremely ter­ri­fy­ing to peo­ple,” said Anno regard­ing this com­pleted work that would become a phan­tom. Even the Evan­ge­lion that the main char­ac­ters pilot were cre­ated with very human-like fea­tures, and fresh con­cepts were used, like a sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure being required to pilot them.

One other new Evan­ge­lion truth was revealed. Two books con­tain­ing long inter­views with Anno, Schizo Evan­ge­lion and Parano Evan­ge­lion, were pub­lished after the end of the broad­cast of Evan­ge­lion. This is a mon­u­men­tal inter­view col­lec­tion in which Anno’s raw thoughts from that time can be read. The truth, how­ev­er, is that these books aren’t actu­ally long inter­views but rather as Anno said with­out divulging any­thing fur­ther, he wrote them him­self. Fans who have known of Evan­ge­lion for years were given a huge shock with this news.

Schizo

[Rei’s] body inher­its half each of Yui and Adam’s genet­ics.

Anno: Ai to Gen­sou no Fas­cism. [Mu­rakami’s The Fas­cism of Love and Fan­tasy or The Fas­cism of Love and Illu­sion] I like “Zero” [from that nov­el]. He is a highly depen­dent per­son­al­i­ty. I think Ryuu Murakami and I are the same [as Zero]: empty peo­ple. Really pathetic peo­ple.

Takekuma: His writ­ing style is very styl­ish. [His books are] the type you keep read­ing because of the style.

Anno: In the end, there’s noth­ing else. It’s pathetic peo­ple try­ing to main­tain them­selves, liv­ing depen­dently on women.

Takekuma: So, the char­ac­ter Zero is Murakami’s own self­-pro­jec­tion.

Anno: He remains unable to reject Zero. That also reveals a pathetic qual­i­ty; the man him­self aims at the oppo­site, but in the end part of his true feel­ings come out through Zero. It’s an amaz­ingly good nov­el. I think Murakami is also an “oral stage” depen­dent type. He is overly fix­ated on the moth­er, and overly fix­ated on women. He is also fix­ated on the idea of cry­ing into a wom­an’s chest. Final­ly, he is always think­ing of doing away with his father. I think it’s a story of the Oedi­pus Com­plex.

Takekuma: In the desire to destroy the sys­tem, the orig­i­nal desire is there, right?

Anno: Yes. It’s a story of the Oedi­pus Com­plex, where one kills one’s father and vio­lates one’s moth­er. How­ev­er, when I started [Eva], I thought I was the same. Because it [was?] a story where Shinji kills his father and steals his mother from him.

Takekuma: A mother who has become a giant (laugh­s).

Anno: There was this replace­ment by a robot, so the orig­i­nal mother is the robot, but then there is a mother of the same age, Rei Ayanami, by [Sh­in­ji’s] side. [She is] also by the side of the real father. There is also another father there, Adam, who gov­erns the over­all course of events. An Oedi­pus Com­plex within these mul­ti­ple struc­tures; that’s what I wanted to do. Ai to Gen­sou no Fas­cism. I think there are ide­o­log­i­cal ele­ments that are the same as those in the nov­el. […] The thing that most moved me was [the fact that] when the pro­tag­o­nist, Touji Suzuhara, attempted to kill the cur­rent Prime Min­is­ter, he felt [the Prime Min­is­ter] was a lot like his father. I think he kills his father and vio­lates the mother “Japan.” That’s why he goes on to destroy Japan. I really like that pas­sage. I like that Ryuu Murakami’s real feel­ings are com­ing out. In a big way. The novel itself is extremely bor­ing, how­ever (laugh­s).

http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=414209#414209

Anno: I under­stood the moment Toji [Suzuhara] felt con­tempt for his staff. I once had such a moment myself. At that point, I felt like for the first time I under­stood the posi­tion of a direc­tor. As I am in the posi­tion of both pro­ducer and direc­tor, my staff have to depend on me. That’s an inevitable part of the sys­tem. There’s no other per­son who can place them­selves in my posi­tion. Inevitably, a producer/director is a dic­ta­tor, but [be­ing a dic­ta­tor] is its own kind of iso­la­tion.

Oizumi: At that point Zero alone is in the same posi­tion, and [To­ji] feels a bond with him.

Anno: Right. To those on the out­side, it looks like an illu­sion, but when it comes down to it I believe that hap­pi­ness itself is an illu­sion. Human beings can­not escape from their soli­tude. All they can do is for­get it. At that moment [of for­get­ful­ness], they will be hap­py. That’s my recent con­clu­sion. In order [to for­get], you can watch ani­me, or sleep with a girl, and if you can escape from your lone­li­ness while doing it, then per­haps you will be hap­py. If, when I get totally drunk, I feel like I am not alone, that’s an illu­sion, but it’s hap­pi­ness.

It’s a work that mir­rors the self of each and every per­son that watches it. That’s because [the show con­tains] an exces­sive amount of infor­ma­tion, and the pro­jec­tions of the view­ers sim­ply return to them. For each per­son, the appeal [of the show] is also differ­ent.

–“Hap­pi­ness is an Illu­sion”; Num­ber­s-kun

[For human beings?], there is no ‘orig­i­nal.’ … When those like me, who don’t watch any­thing but anime and man­ga, sud­denly hit upon some­thing, what we dis­cov­ered will only be some­thing within us we for­got about, there will nec­es­sar­ily be some orig­i­nal [else­where]. … I feel a bit bad [about it].

Fun­da­men­tal­ly, Eva is just my life copied out onto film. I’m [still] alive, so the story has­n’t fin­ished.

The char­ac­ters of ‘Eva’ are all com­pos­ite per­son­al­i­ties based around my own per­son­al­i­ty.

Shin­ji-kun is the cur­rent me.

I think that [one?] has to be more cog­nizant of that. The fact that we have noth­ing.

I think [Mu­rakami] is the same as me, an empty per­son.

If we assume that an ‘orig­i­nal’ exists, it’s noth­ing but my life. … I can’t deny that every­thing else may be coun­ter­feit.

http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=420652#420652

The finale of Eva will end up being [like] Dev­il­man. That’s what the story has to be. I guess I’m doing it uncon­scious­ly. [Eva] already com­pletely con­tains the “taste” of Go Nagai. I can’t wipe it away. I can no longer deny the impact of Dev­il­man. If I were to deny it, I feel that I would end up com­pletely over­turn­ing my own life.

–trans­lated by Num­ber­s-kun; Japan­ese a com­bi­na­tion of a 2chan and Wikipedia excerpt. Num­ber­s-kun points out the uncanny resem­blance of the Dev­il­man finale with the Last B sce­nario (half a torso ver­sus half an arm):

…I will note, though, that there is a prece­dent for ‘sequel the­ory’ that might have influ­enced Anno. Go Nagai’s was revealed in its final chap­ters to have been a sequel to Dev­il­man. In Vio­lence Jack, it turns out that, after its destruc­tion, the world was recre­ated by the fallen angel Ryo Asuka for the sake of try­ing to res­ur­rect Akira Fudo, whom he had fallen in love with. How­ev­er, the recre­ation was not entirely suc­cess­ful.

With­out ques­tion, Anno is famil­iar with Vio­lence Jack (ac­cord­ing to the Japan­ese wikipedia, in Schizo, Anno men­tions the Slum King as one source of inspi­ra­tion for the design of the Evan­ge­lion­s). In addi­tion, some Eva fans have noted par­al­lels between Ryo Asuka and Kaworu Nag­isa (in­clud­ing Hal­i­cat and Synap­sid on EGF). Kaworu’s appear­ances in NME espe­cially seem rem­i­nis­cent of both Ryo Asuka and the sto­ry­line of Vio­lence Jack.

From “Yoshiyuki Sadamo­to’s First Meet­ing With Direc­tor Anno” (Schizo); Num­ber­s-kun’s trans­la­tion:

Sadamoto: [I first met him when] I worked part-time draw­ing genga for the Macross tele­vi­sion series as a Uni­ver­sity stu­dent. I would help out a lit­tle in between attend­ing school. So I think the first [en­coun­ter] was when I caught sight of Anno-san at Art­land. There was a unit called the “Mecha Squad,” which included (Ichi­ro) Itano-san among its mem­bers, who were all liv­ing there [at Art­land] (laugh­ing). The story would take some time to recoun­t…I was attend­ing the manga stud­ies pro­gram at the Tokyo Uni­ver­sity of Art and Design. Mahiro Maeda was a stu­dent there, and he invited me to work together with him on Macross. When Maeda was in high school, (Takami) Akai-san had been an older stu­dent [at his school], and [Akai’s lat­er] class­mates at the Osaka Uni­ver­sity of Arts were Hiroyuki Yam­aga and Hideaki Anno. In the begin­ning those three were all work­ing on Macross. Akai-san quickly gave up on it and returned to Osaka, but Yam­a­ga-san and Anno-san remained behind at Art­land and helped out with Macross. Yam­a­ga-san was placed in charge of direct­ing an episode for the first time with episode nine…

Sato: The sto­ry­boards as well?

Sadamoto: Yeah, he ended up doing the sto­ry­boards and the direc­tion, and [saw] he did­n’t have enough peo­ple. Yam­a­ga-san began search­ing for tal­ented peo­ple in Tokyo, and when he asked Akai-san about it, [Akai] told him to use [an old] school­mate of his in the manga stud­ies pro­gram at the Tokyo Uni­ver­sity of Art and Design. So Mahiro Maeda, seem­ing not to want to go by him­self, invited me to go with him. I had an inter­est in ani­ma­tion, so I assisted [on Macross] for about a year. Dur­ing that peri­od, I would from time to time catch sight of Anno-san. [I noticed,] “there is this tall fel­low who some­times walks around in his bare feet” (laugh­ing).

Takekuma: At that time, he did­n’t give off a sense that you could approach him very eas­i­ly, right?

Sadamoto: I did­n’t approach him. Anno-san, he was always talk­ing to him­self in a loud voice. You could under­stand what he was say­ing even from far away. You would hear this loud voice from the other side of the hall­way: “I’ve got it! The tim­ing of Itano’s explo­sions - !” [the Itano cir­cus] (laugh­ing loud­ly)

Sato: That’s the same as he is now.

Sadamoto: He would say “I’ve got it!” and sud­denly begin draw­ing, and go to (Sho­jo) Kawamor­i-san, or some other direc­tor - my own imme­di­ate [su­per­vis­ing] direc­tor was Fumi­hiko Takaya­ma-san - he would go to Takaya­ma-san and explain the draw­ing in minute detail, say­ing how many frames it should take, and how things were to be arranged, and how it would dis­ap­pear. So, when, see­ing his inten­si­ty, I won­dered who he was, Mahiro Maeda told me “That’s Anno-san; he worked on Daicon III.” “Ah, I see,” I thought. “He loves to draw mecha.”

From “The AT-Field”, Num­ber­s-kun:

Oizumi: I find that both Anno-san and Takeku­ma-san [pro­duce] incred­i­bly self­-ref­er­en­tial works.

Takekuma: Isn’t that the ten­dency of our gen­er­a­tion?

Anno: Well, we want to under­stand our­selves.

Takekuma: We have indefi­nite selves with­out mod­els or norms, so we refer back to our selves [in our work­s].

Anno: Soci­ety is indefi­nite as well. There are count­less indefi­nite aspects [of our sit­u­a­tion]. That indefi­nite­ness dis­gusts me. Every­one and every­thing - includ­ing anime fans, and even Aum - is hazy and uncer­tain. It’s the soci­ety that sets those val­ues. Even Aum was some­thing hazy and uncer­tain prior to the inci­dent.

Oizumi: [As part of my research [Oizumi wrote one of the early & stil­l-cited works on Aum]] I’m a mem­ber of Aum now, and even now it’s extra­or­di­nar­ily indefi­nite. Every mem­ber is differ­ent. [It’s com­posed of] a vari­ety of differ­ent peo­ple, but the soci­ety has declared it to be this [par­tic­u­lar sort of] orga­ni­za­tion.

Anno: Anime fans and the anime indus­try are also indefi­nite. In a man­ner of speak­ing all of Japan is indefi­nite. I hated this, and I wanted to con­struct a bar­rier between myself and soci­ety. Express­ing it in terms of the show, it was an “AT Field,” a pat­tern [of behav­ior] where I would tear apart or reject any­thing that crossed the bound­ary line between myself and oth­ers. Per­haps [that was the] “bar­rier of the heart.”

From “Dev­il­man”, Num­ber­s-kun:

Anno: Another [ma­jor influ­ence] was the sev­enth vol­ume of the Nau­si­caa man­ga.

Takekuma: That [vol­ume] is incred­i­ble. It reversed all the val­ues [that had been in place].

Anno: I felt like it was the same as what I [was doing]. After that I could­n’t help but make [the work into] Nau­si­caa, to treat the same themes as the sev­enth vol­ume of Nau­si­caa.

Oizumi: Nau­si­caa was unable to live as one of the ancients.

Anno: She rejected coex­is­tence [with them]. She blood­ied her hands so that her own peo­ple would sur­vive. That was good. This karmic pun­ish­ment that required [her] to destroy [them] with the abhorred fire of the God War­riors - that was good (laugh­ing). [Good] because the true views of Hayao Miyazaki were expressed, and there, at least, he took off his under­wear [and showed him­self naked]. In the manga he took off his under­wear, and his penis was erect (laugh­ing). I am hop­ing that he will do the same in Princess Mononoke.

Mit­sunari Oizu­mi’s Intro­duc­tion to Schizo

Sep­tem­ber, 1995. The Aum train­ing facil­ity at Sug­i­na­mi. A ser­mon being deivered by Fumi­hiro Joyu. “At this moment I am research­ing ani­me. [The mem­bers of] Aum are the so-called ‘New­types.’ The chil­dren who watch anime are uncon­sciously choos­ing and envi­sion­ing the form of their own future. In the future, many peo­ple will come to pos­sess psy­chic pow­ers. Armaged­don is com­ing.” This is what Fumi­hiro Joyu said. … [A mem­ber of] the non-fic­tion indus­try, I spent almost all of 1995 gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion on Aum (espe­cially through inter­views and direct expe­ri­ence of their spir­i­tual train­ing), while seri­al­iz­ing “The Dis­ap­pear­ance of the Man­gaka” in Quick Japan; I was a com­plete stranger to the anime indus­try. On the other hand, Mr. Anno was some­one who had lived his whole life in the anime indus­try. With the two of us hav­ing no point of con­tact at all aside from being absorbed in Eva, Takeku­ma-san splen­didly served as a trans­la­tor between the two of us, and exhib­ited a match­less capa­bil­ity as an inter­viewer as well. I want to express my grat­i­tude to him in writ­ing. More than any­thing, I want to express my sin­cere grat­i­tude to Mr. Hideaki Anno for accept­ing this inter­view and open­ing him­self up to us.

From “Aum Shin­rikyo and Eva.” This sec­tion actu­ally deals with Oizumi and Takeku­ma’s intro­duc­tions to and ini­tial impres­sions of Evan­ge­lion, and con­tains lit­tle con­tri­bu­tion from Anno.

Oizumi: I myself have been engaged in gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion on Aum since around Jan­u­ary of last year. Since I had did­n’t know what kind of orga­ni­za­tion they were, in the end I joined them, and, col­lect­ing infor­ma­tion the whole time on what kind of peo­ple were attracted by the pull of Shoko Asa­hara, put [my find­ings] into a book. When I first saw Evan­ge­lion last year, I was shocked, won­der­ing if a show like this should be air­ing, since [the title] con­tained the same phrase as Aum’s radio pro­gram [broad­cast] from Rus­sia, “Evan­ge­lion Tes Basileias.”

Anno: A simul­ta­ne­ous occur­rence. I did­n’t know any­thing at all [about the radio pro­gram].

Oizumi: So that made a strong impres­sion on me. After that there was another thing, the images of a Kab­bal­is­tic design in the open­ing sequence. Asa­hara had also plunged into a vari­ety of differ­ent reli­gions, but he had not gone into Kab­balah (laugh­ing). I relaxed a lit­tle because of that.

Takekuma: But it was [still] dan­ger­ous enough, since in its later period Aum had gone so far as to steal [ele­ments from] Chris­tian­i­ty.

Oizumi: Kab­balah is an eso­teric form of Judaism, so it was mar­ginal [to Aum’s use of Chris­tian­i­ty]. When I first watched Evan­ge­lion, I thought that it was based upon Kab­bal­is­tic thought.

Anno: That was quite a mis­con­cep­tion (laugh­ing).

This is the unti­tled open­ing pas­sage of Chap­ter 2, “How to Fin­ish A Sto­ry.”

Takekuma: I heard that the sec­ond half of the pro­duc­tion of Eva was dread­ful in terms of the sched­ul­ing…

Anno: That’s true. We held out well, I think. I don’t think that peo­ple out­side [of the pro­duc­tion] real­ize this, but it was a mir­a­cle that we held out as long as we did. To fin­ish that sched­ule with so few peo­ple. Although [you could] also [say] we did it because we were an elite few. To do some­thing like that, with so few peo­ple, in such a short amount of time - in this sense, we did very well. There were many points where I depended upon the pas­sion or the men­tal­ity of the staff. But these are things that peo­ple out­side [of the pro­duc­tion] are unable to see. The great major­ity of peo­ple judge only the final result. From my per­spec­tive, we did every­thing that we were able to do. Of course, doing some­thing like this is impos­si­ble for some­one who won’t shed their own blood. Peo­ple who don’t shed their own blood won’t be able to under­stand it at a deep lev­el.

Takekuma: A lit­tle while ago you described this sort of work as a ser­vice indus­try, but you car­ried out some­thing like a betrayal of this [prin­ci­ple of] ser­vice (in aban­don­ing the sto­ry); did­n’t you feel that to be a self­-con­tra­dic­tion?

Anno: No, that was my ser­vice (laugh­ing).

Takekuma: Of course (laugh­ing).

Anno: It may not have looked like ser­vice, but it was ser­vice. It was ser­vice that could­n’t be rec­og­nized [as such]. One aspect of it was, if [the audi­ence was] going to be angry, then I was really going to make [them] angry. Rather than being angry about the [qual­ity of] ani­ma­tion, it would be cleaner if they had a feel­ing that made them want to flip over the table in front of them.

Anno: I also [thought] it would be a topic of dis­cus­sion, even after it was fin­ished. A part of it was that, for me, pro­vid­ing that dis­cus­sion would be [a form of] ser­vice. [An] unprece­dented [ser­vice]. Work­ing assid­u­ously at it, we got that kind of end­ing. [?]

Oizumi: This has to do with the fact that you ended up spend­ing all your mon­ey… From an eco­nomic stand­point, it’s a well-known story that lit­tle money remains to be passed down to the ani­ma­tors, or those occu­py­ing the low­est posi­tions [among the staff].

Anno: Right. [What they get] is not at all pro­por­tion­ate to the [amount of] con­tent [they cre­ate]. All they get to com­pen­sate for that [in­suffi­cient amount of mon­ey] is some­thing psy­cho­log­i­cal. [I can] only have them be pleased with the fact, when they see the fin­ished work, that it is inter­est­ing and they are glad to have worked on it. I could only arrange for them to receive a psy­cho­log­i­cal [form of] remu­ner­a­tion. But that becomes a kind of pres­sure in its own way, because they may stop work­ing on it if it becomes unin­ter­est­ing. I always have to pro­vide some­thing inter­est­ing. It was a game played in earnest.

Takekuma: What did the other staff mem­bers say about the final two episodes?

Anno: There were some who were sat­is­fied with it, and some who thought that it was accept­able.

Takekuma: So there was­n’t any­one who was dis­sat­is­fied with it?

Anno: Hardly any­one. I did­n’t feel that I could do the final two episodes any other way. [The lack of dis­sat­is­fac­tion] also had to do with the fact that I said we would “retake” [the final two episodes].

Takekuma: If you [had said you] were unable to “retake” [the final two episodes], the reac­tion would prob­a­bly have been a lit­tle bit differ­ent.

From “At First Glance, a ‘Happy End’”

Anno: That’s the same thing as I [my­self] becom­ing an adult. I’m often asked if Shin­ji-kun [rep­re­sents] an old ver­sion of myself, but that’s not the case. Shin­ji-kun is my cur­rent self (laugh­ing). I act like a four­teen-year-old boy; I’m still child­ish. No mat­ter how you look at it, in psy­cho­log­i­cal terms, I’m [still] in the Oral Stage. A melan­cholic oral-de­pen­dent type. Well, this is a truth I can’t deny; I can’t do any­thing about it. I wanted to move for­ward from there, but the result was that I ended up regress­ing back to myself. A dead end.

Takekuma: Then in a cer­tain sense the final episode of Eva is an unhappy end­ing.

Anno: Right, in a cer­tain sense. If you take mov­ing beyond that as being hap­py, then it’s an unhappy end­ing. If you think it’s fine, then it’s a happy end­ing.

Takekuma: At first glance, it takes the form of a happy end­ing.

Anno: I made [the idea?] the title of the last song on the sound­track CD. “Good, or Don’t Be.” OK, or don’t live. Good or bad. [Or] is it both? I revealed a lit­tle bit of my feel­ings there. How­ev­er, I believe that we have stopped grow­ing where we are and are going around in cir­cles under a [kind of] mora­to­ri­um, but one [rea­son] is that we have lost our [ca­pac­ity for] mod­el­ing. There is noth­ing orig­i­nal in human beings. If I don’t know Japan­ese at least, I can’t com­mu­ni­cate. Since my par­ents spoke this way, that’s how I speak. If my par­ents spoke Eng­lish I would speak Eng­lish, even if I was in Japan. If my friends spoke Japan­ese, and I did­n’t know what [they were say­ing], then I would go over to speak­ing in Japan­ese. I can’t invent the Japan­ese lan­guage myself. I’m only capa­ble of doing things through imi­ta­tion. At that time I begin to imi­tate my par­ents and sib­lings, those clos­est to me. I can either honor my par­ents and suc­ceed them, or rebel and fol­low a differ­ent path from my par­ents. Either way, if I don’t have a mod­el, then I can do nei­ther one. No mat­ter how much of a genius one is, there is some­thing that awakes inspi­ra­tion. If, like me, you look at noth­ing but manga and ani­me, when you have thought up some­thing and cre­ated it, what you have thought up will only be some­thing that you have for­got­ten; with­out ques­tion there will be some pre­vi­ous source for it. Then you will real­ize it, and rec­og­nize what it was, and feel a lit­tle bad. Since that was all you looked at, well, it was inevitable, because you are just uncon­sciously draw­ing out those things that have sed­i­mented inside of you. No mat­ter how much of a genius you are, if you are trans­lat­ing the emo­tions of see­ing a [cer­tain] flower into a song or a nov­el, if you were not really cog­nizant of that flow­er, you will not get the novel or the song. Human beings can­not cre­ate some­thing out of noth­ing. With so much infor­ma­tion flood­ing [us], we don’t know what we should be mod­el­ing. Even if I don’t know my class­mate’s birth date, I’ll know on what day Momoe Yam­aguchi was born (laugh­ing). I’ll know the minute [de­tails of] an idol’s pro­file, like her bust, waist, and hip mea­sure­ments. It’s a world, I think, where you feel closer to Momoe Yam­aguchi than to your class­mate. Char­ac­ters on tele­vi­sion have a stronger feel­ing of real­ity than your class­mates who really exist. It’s incred­i­ble, the aware­ness that the vir­tual is higher than the real. Grow­ing up in such an envi­ron­ment, we aren’t sure if things that are well done have been cre­ated or not. [?] When we get old­er, even if we rec­og­nize that those things are false, we take what the announcer on NHK news says to be true. The Japan­ese have a strong ten­dency in this direc­tion.

From “An Attach­ment to Defor­mity”

Oizumi: About the com­plex you have because of your father’s body… you said, for instance, in an inter­view with Ani­m­age that even when draw­ing a robot you’re not sat­is­fied until you’ve erased some part of it.

Anno: Prob­a­bly I have an attach­ment towards defor­mi­ty. I can’t love [some­thing] if it’s not bro­ken some­where. I believe that’s [due to] the influ­ence of my father[’s con­di­tion].

Takekuma: Toji lost his leg. Why did­n’t he die there?

Anno: I could­n’t kill him.

Takekuma: Of course.

Anno: No, um, I made a cer­tain promise, though I think now I should have bro­ken it. At the very begin­ning, when [we] drew up the plan [for Eva], [I met] with the pro­duc­er, from King Records, who told me, “I will approve the plan you sub­mit, what­ever it is, because I have faith in you. How­ev­er, there will be two con­di­tions. The first one is that you will remain with me for five years. You can­not, for exam­ple, do a film ver­sion with another [pro­duc­er]. The addi­tional con­di­tion is that you will not kill any chil­dren. The adults can die, but I don’t want chil­dren dying.” Because of that con­di­tion I could­n’t kill [To­ji].

“Gaianx, the Ama­teur Group”

Anno: I’m not sure that it’s a real father [that Gendo rep­re­sents]. Well, not a father in the sense of a par­ent with a blood rela­tion to his child, but more, I think, [in the sense of being] a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of soci­ety or the sys­tem. That’s why he has that expres­sion.

Takekuma: So, he’s kind of amor­phous.

Anno: The angels are the same. I made them appear amor­phous in that way because, for me, soci­ety is unclear, the enemy is unclear.

http://forum.evageeks.org/post/637739/Books-Shizo-Parano/#637739

Sadamoto: In the end [the usage of the Dead Sea Scrolls and so on in Eva] is an after­effect from Nadia. In the final episode there is a scene where Gar­goyle40, the vil­lain, comes into con­tact with the light [from the Blue Water] and turns into a pil­lar of salt. So, in the ini­tial pro­posal for Eva, the huge explo­sion that was caused in Antarc­tica [in the final series] was [in­stead] an explo­sion at the Dead Sea.

Tsu­ru­maki: The “Dead Sea Evap­o­ra­tion Inci­dent.”

Sadamoto: It was the “Dead Sea Evap­o­ra­tion Inci­dent,” in the ini­tial pro­pos­al. So it was con­nect­ing up with the world view of Nadia. I believe that Anno-san was think­ing about that.

Sato: [Eva tak­ing place] in a par­al­lel [world].

Takekuma: [Eva would have been] some­thing like a con­tin­u­a­tion of Nadia, in actu­al­i­ty.

Sadamoto: I believe that [An­no] was think­ing of some­thing like that at the begin­ning. I think [it was going to be] a bit more of a man­ga-esque world.

In 1997, a pair of com­pan­ion books about Evan­ge­lion, fea­tur­ing inter­views with cre­ator Anno, were released in Japan. One of the books, Hideaki Anno Parano Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion, opens with a sec­tion of char­ac­ter descrip­tions, one of which describes Kaworu’s rela­tion­ship to Shin­ji. I con­tacted four peo­ple flu­ent in Japan­ese, includ­ing a native Japan­ese speak­er, who all trans­lated this pas­sage in the same way: “To Shin­ji, Kaworu was the first friend he could open up to, and he could also be some­one that could be a same-sex part­ner.” The key phrase “same-sex part­ner” also trans­lates to “same-sex lover” and “some­one he could love roman­ti­cal­ly.” Each of the peo­ple I spoke to was adamant that there is no room for inter­pre­ta­tion in this para­graph.

This is a sec­tion of the book that is sep­a­rate from Anno’s inter­views, and per­haps was writ­ten by its edi­tor, Ken­taro Takeku­ma, and not taken from Anno him­self. But the inclu­sion of this ref­er­ence to the love between the two char­ac­ters makes it clear, at least, that an explic­itly queer read­ing of the char­ac­ters was offi­cially on the radar as early as 1997.

In his email, how­ev­er, Kane­mitsu noted that Anno makes no ref­er­ence to the char­ac­ters’ sex­u­al­ity in the inter­views that appear in the two books. He shared with us quotes from Anno, taken from the other com­pan­ion book. (Vox has ver­i­fied Kane­mit­su’s trans­la­tion.) In that book, Hideaki Anno Schizo Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion, Anno repeats sev­eral times in his inter­view that the series is meant to be ambigu­ous, some­thing of “a Rorschach test.” As trans­lated by Kane­mitsu in his email, one pas­sage in par­tic­u­lar implies that Anno intended for every­thing to be up for debate:

Anno: [Eva is a work] where the remain­ing process [of com­plet­ing the work] is in the hands of the audi­ence. I place strong empha­sis in that rela­tion­ship. After you get to a cer­tain point, I want them to make their own judg­ment. There are por­tions where things are left ambigu­ous, so it all depends on how you view [and judge it for your­self.] I think the char­ac­ter of the per­son [e.g. a per­son­al­i­ty] reveals itself in that process. [Eva is a work] where if ten peo­ple watch it, not all of the ten will [com­pli­ment] it. In that sense, it’s very Japan­ese.

Trans­la­tion by Dan Kane­mitsu, 2019-06-24

Num­ber­s-kun trans­la­tion of Japan­ese web­page:

• Part One: Long Inter­view with Hideaki Anno (by Mit­sunari Oizu­mi)

• Chap­ter One: We are empty

• Aum Shin­rikyo and Eva41
• I had got­ten tired of Anime fans
• Tele­vi­sion depen­dency
• Eva is a pri­vate film
• An unprece­dented ser­vice42
• Chap­ter Two: How to fin­ish [a?] story

• How to fin­ish [a?] story
• A ten­ta­tive “happy end”
• Not merely a copy
• One should mix in poi­son43
• A new track
• The influ­ence of Yam­ato
• Chap­ter Three: Cre­ation is a mas­tur­ba­tion show

• An attach­ment to defor­mity
• The first episode of Gun­dam is the ulti­mate
• The work and other peo­ple
• Pic­turesque mas­tur­ba­tion
• Gainax, the ama­teur col­lec­tive
• A taste of Go Nagai
• Chap­ter Four: Dev­il­man and the Oedi­pus Com­plex

• Hap­pi­ness is an illu­sion
• Towards Cere­brism44
• We have no time
• Dev­il­man
• The AT Field
• Anx­i­ety after the end of the broad­cast
• Columns: Story Digest

1. Episode 1 - Episode 7
2. Episode 8 - Episode 15
3. Episode 16 - Episode 19
4. Episode 20 - Episode 22
5. Episode 23 - Episode 26
• Part Two: Hideaki Anno “tried in absen­tia” by the staff of Evan­ge­lion (First Part)

• Yoshiyuki Sadamo­to’s first meet­ing with Direc­tor Anno

• Masayuk­i’s first meet­ing with Direc­tor Anno

• Hiroki Sato’s first meet­ing with Direc­tor Anno

• Toshimichi Otsuk­i’s first meet­ing with Direc­tor Anno

• Kazuya Tsu­ru­mak­i’s first meet­ing with Direc­tor Anno

• The “ter­ror” of Hideaki Anno

• Pick­ing up girls [?] using the “God War­rior”

• Hideaki Anno as an ani­ma­tor

• Hideaki Anno as a direc­tor

• The begin­ning of Eva (1)

• On Rei Ayanami (1)

• On Rei Ayanami (2)

• The begin­ning of Eva (2)

• On Rei Ayanami (3)

• On Kaworu

• On Rei Ayanami (4)

• On Rei Ayanami (5)

• Part Three: What is Rei Ayanami? (Mit­sunari Oizu­mi)

Prano

Oizumi: When I look at Rei Ayanami, I’m reminded of the girls in Aum. In short, they’re all depen­dent upon their Guru, Asa­hara.

Takekuma: [She devotes her­self] whole­heart­ed­ly, with a heart like a hard shell.

Oizumi: Exact­ly. And, on the topic of sub­sti­tu­tions, can we think of Rei Ayanami as being a per­son like your moth­er?

Anno: That’s not quite right.

Takekuma: There’s also noth­ing like the image of a girl you pre­vi­ously dated [in her], right?

Anno: No. Well, Rei is prob­a­bly [the char­ac­ter] clos­est to my deep psy­che. I don’t really under­stand her. … The truth is, I have no emo­tional attach­ment to her at all.

Takekuma: Huh? Is that right?

Anno: Yeah. I have no emo­tional attach­ment to her. Well, Nobita-san wrote [about her] as being a sym­bol of schiz­o­phre­nia. There were parts where that was actu­ally what I wanted to do [with her].

Anno: But Rei is [the char­ac­ter] I least under­stand. In addi­tion, I’m not really that inter­ested in her. There were parts where that’s what I was con­sciously doing, actively try­ing to put aside my pre­sup­po­si­tions, try­ing to bring out the most prim­i­tive, the most core, the purest parts within me.

Oizumi: So Rei is per­haps [some­thing] embed­ded in your uncon­scious [that] can’t be expressed in words.

Anno: Even in the midst of mak­ing Eva, I sud­denly real­ized I had for­got­ten her. Her very exis­tence. In episode sev­en, I remem­bered, and added a sin­gle shot with Rei. I had no emo­tional attach­ment to her at all. I think that was fine, because she did­n’t appear in episode eight, not even for a sin­gle shot.

…In the midst of mak­ing Eva, I sud­denly real­ized that I had for­got­ten her. Her very exis­tence. For exam­ple, in episode sev­en, I remem­bered and added one shot with Rei. I had no attach­ment to her at all, right? I think that was okay, because in episode eight, she does­n’t appear, right? Not even in a sin­gle shot.

Episode 6 was too ear­ly.

At the end Rei says “I don’t know what to do,” and Shinji says, “I think you should smile,” and Rei smiles. … After­wards, when I thought about it, I cursed. In short, if she and Shinji com­pletely “com­mu­ni­cated” there, then isn’t she over with? At that moment, Rei, for me, was fin­ished.

When she smiled, she was already fin­ished, this char­ac­ter.

from page ~95-96; http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=414209#414209

Nag­isa Kaworu The fifth Eva pilot whom Seele sent in. To Shin­ji, he was both the very first friend he could con­fide in as well as a same-sex roman­tic inter­est. On the account of his true nature as an “Angel”, he attempts to merge with the First Angel, Adam, ensconced in Nerv’s under­ground, to trig­ger Third Impact. Dri­ven at the far end of his anguish, Shinji kills that beloved friend of his with Eva Unit-01.

Unknown trans­la­tor; posted on 4chan & 17th Angel. Page num­ber (107) con­sis­tent with being half-way through Prano in “Intro­duc­tion to the main char­ac­ters of Eva” since Prano has 190 pages.

Anno: [Mak­ing the last two episodes] it felt like my brain kept on pro­duc­ing all these chem­i­cals. When I saw episode 25 after first putting it togeth­er, I thought, “I’m a genius.” How­ev­er, when I re-edited and re-watched it after­wards, I was crushed. It was no good at all. I was embar­rassed my lack of abil­i­ty. I apol­o­gize to the staff.

Takekuma: Well, but, the last scene in the final episode was quite some­thing, where the screen cracks and every­one is applaud­ing and con­grat­u­lat­ing the main char­ac­ter. Watch­ing that, I felt like I was going crazy. It was like, how far are you going with this…?

Anno: Well, there were a lot of things I was think­ing about there. The biggest rea­son [for that scene], I have no inten­tion of reveal­ing. The heart of it, I won’t tell any­one. The most cru­cial part of the rea­son why I made episode 26 like that - I still haven’t revealed that any­where, includ­ing in [this mag­a­zine,] Quick Japan. That part at least, I won’t tell any­one.

Oizumi: You mean, some per­son­al, for­ma­tive expe­ri­ence you can’t tell any­one?

Anno: Some­thing a bit more ide­o­log­i­cal. …

From “Epi­logue”

Sadamoto: (Kotono Mit­su­ishi) cried read­ing a script, for exam­ple. When Anno-san heard that - ! (laugh­ing)

Masayuki: What episode was that?

Takekuma: Mis­ato’s voice actress cried read­ing the script?

Sadamoto: So Anno did a guts pose. The super­vi­sor of the manga also cried [read­ing it], and when Anno heard that, he did another guts pose (laugh­ing). He was vic­to­ri­ous, because two mem­bers of soci­ety had been reduced to tears. How­ev­er, after it was fin­ished, peo­ple told him var­i­ous things, and he went into a state of col­lapse. What hap­pened to the guts pose? (laugh­ing)

Masayuki: When he was mak­ing episode 25 he was say­ing, “I’m a genius.” Then after it had broad­cast, he came out of his room look­ing dazed. “Why did I make such a strange thing?” (laugh­ing)

Sato: The last episode was the same, was­n’t it?

Masayuki: Well, he did­n’t say any­thing about the last episode. Just with episode 25, he seemed to be extremely pleased with it. Then when he saw the broad­cast, it was like, “I’m an idiot…” (laugh­ing)

Sato: After­wards he was look­ing at the reac­tions on mes­sage boards from a dis­tance (laugh­ing). Although he was say­ing he was going to ignore them, he was still look­ing out of the cor­ner of his eye at the mon­i­tor. “I’m prob­a­bly not going to look….” he said. “Right, I’m not going to look.”

Sadamoto: But I thought that the final two episodes were fine. I thought it was sim­ply a mat­ter of the con­nect­ing episode between episodes 24 and 25 being miss­ing. That’s why we’re doing the orig­i­nal episode 25 (the remake ver­sion) now. I think it’s just that that episode was miss­ing. I saw the ini­tial script. If the orig­i­nal episode 25 had been there, then there would have been a clear link lead­ing up to the tele­vi­sion ver­sions of episodes 25 and 26. Just one episode was miss­ing. So I thought [the end­ing] was fine.

Masayuki: We know that because we’re the peo­ple who worked on [the series].

Sadamoto: So in my mind there’s a clear link [bridg­ing episode 24 and 25]. But the ordi­nary view­ers, although they wanted to see the con­tin­u­a­tion of episode 24, it was omit­ted. So, they got mad at it.

Oizumi: That’s com­pletely right.

Sadamoto: They could­n’t see the rela­tion­ship [be­tween 24 and 25].

Tsu­ru­maki: Well, it’s because the orig­i­nal episode 25 script was com­pleted [but not used].

Sadamoto: Because I’ve seen [that scrip­t], I thought, [watch­ing the end­ing], well, even this much is fine.

From “On the Final Two Episodes”

From “What’s so great about Gen­do?” (Xard trans­la­tion):

Oizumi: My wife loves Rit­suko Aka­gi. At times, she says sim­i­lar things to her and if I men­tion the resem­blance she becomes elat­ed. “It’s tough hav­ing a fas­tid­i­ous nature”, for exam­ple.

Takekuma: In the end I was sur­prised when she was revealed to be Gen­do’s lover. What’s good about old man like him?

Anno: Hmm, I won­der what it is indeed.

Takekuma: His wife Ikari Yui also says things like “but he also has a cute side”, does­n’t she?

Oizumi: That became a basis for so many gags.

Anno: I won­der what’s good about him. Hmm. Well, on one hand, there is some­thing. Even say­ing that is unseem­ly.

Takekuma: To sum it up, isn’t this the case with Anno too, right? (laugh)

Anno: Well, that is partly the case.

Takekuma: Isn’t the gist here “though he is this kind of per­son, he also has a cute side”?

Anno: Maybe it’s about penis. (laugh) My penis is the only cute part of me. “Oh my, how tiny!” and the like.

Takekuma: Do you lack con­fi­dence that bad­ly?

Anno: I lack a penis.

Takekuma: It’s not like I have much to talk about either. (laugh)

Oizumi: What if your sizes match. This is becom­ing ter­ri­ble. (laugh)

Anno: Well, I guess mine would be about the aver­age size for Japan­ese. Slightly smaller than aver­age.

Oizumi: How­ev­er, being too big is also a prob­lem. My friend has one like a beer bot­tle, and pros­ti­tutes hate it.

Anno: That is also a tragedy in its own way.

Oizumi: It truly is a tragedy.

Anno: Well, if you’re small and hear “oh, it’s already in?” the shock will last a life­time.

Takekuma: But women don’t really care that much, do they? In real­i­ty.

Oizumi: Well how are you hung, Oizu­mi? (laugh)

Takekuma: This is not a brag but I have a phi­mo­sis. (laugh) Reverse­ly, I guess peo­ple who fix­ate on breast size care about boobs being small or big, but I don’t really mind the size much.

Oizumi: I can’t stand big boobs. How about you, Anno? In terms of pref­er­ences.

Anno: Hmm, well, small ones are no good. Too big is no good either. There’s a lot Giant Tits manga out there, right. That’s com­pletely out of ques­tion. They don’t even look like breasts any­more.

Takekuma: It’s a world of cows or the like.

Anno: Well no, it’s bet­ter to have some rather than none at all but I do won­der if hav­ing too much is good either.

Oizumi: Speak­ing for myself, Mis­ato and the like might be slightly too big.

Takekuma: Mis­ato, what is up with her sexy body? Espe­cially with those eat­ing habits and she’s already 3X years old, right?

Anno: But her boobs have started to sag. Even Mis­ato has lost resilience of her skin.

Num­ber­s-kun trans­la­tion of Japan­ese web­page:

• Part One: Long Inter­view with Hideaki Anno (by Ken­taro Takeku­ma)

• Chap­ter One: I won’t study any­more

• An honor stu­dent in my home­town
• My fam­ily
• The first work I saw
• The mon­ster and the hero
• Yam­ato on a black­-and-white TV
• I won’t study any­more
• The leg­endary Yam­ato fea­ture
• Farewell Yam­ato
• Absorbed in 8-mm film
• Chap­ter Two: The birth of Daicon Film

• Meet­ing Hiroyuki Yam­aga
• Begin­ning on Ultra­man
• The birth of Daicon Film
• The rea­son I became Ultra­man
• Set­back and sep­a­ra­tion
• Chap­ter Three: The long road to Eva

• Selected for Nau­si­caa of the Val­ley of the Wind

• An inso­lent new­comer

• A sec­ond mas­ter

• Grave of the Fire­flies

• The direc­tor Isao Taka­hata

• Hayao Miyaza­k­i’s view of Royal Space Force

• The for­ma­tion of Gainax

• Gainax did­n’t break up

• Aim for the Top!

• Anime loses money

• The sus­pen­sion of Blue Uru Chap­ter Four: Feel­ing despair, but that point was the begin­ning

• Con­flict

• What’s so great about Gen­do?

• To “depict a human being”

• Noth­ing changes in the world

• On roman­tic love

• Cry­ing in the arms of a woman

• The true mean­ing of words

• Look­ing for one’s mother in a woman

• Epi­logue

• Columns: Hideaki Anno’s ama­teur period (1) (2)

• Intro­duc­tion to the main char­ac­ters of Eva

• Part Two: Hideaki Anno “tried in absen­tia” by the staff of Evan­ge­lion (Sec­ond Part)

• Why is the main char­ac­ter a boy?

• On “I must­n’t run away”

• Father and Mother (1) - (5)

• Can Hideaki Anno “change”? (1) (2)

• Why did Shinji pilot? (1) (2)

• Rei Ayanami’s smile

• On the last two episodes

• Cri­tique of Otaku

• Sui­ci­dal desires (1)

• Psy­cho­log­i­cal attack

• Sui­ci­dal desires (2)

• At the end

• Part Three: Me and Evan­ge­lion (Ken­taro Takeku­ma)

1997 S

The re-run for Evan­ge­lion were aired on Sat­ur­day nights from 1997.02.01 to 1997.03.15, at 26:55 (2:55 AM Sun­day). They aired four episodes in a row, and after that they had some live clips. They were as fol­lows.

Date Ep Extras
1997.02.01 1-4 press con­fer­ence of the Evan­ge­lion movie
1997.02.08 5-8 otaku in lines wait­ing to buy tick­ets for the Eva movie
1997.02.15 9-12 main seiyuu com­ment­ing on the Eva movie: Ogata Megu­mi, Hayashibara Megu­mi, Mit­su­ishi Kotono, Miya­mura Yuko
1997.02.22 13-16 video clips from some Evan­ge­lion events: Miya­mura Yuko, Mit­su­ishi Kotono, Hayashibara Megumi
1997.03.01 17-20 inside Gainax stu­dios: staff, cels, CG room
1997.03.08 21-23 30 minute spe­cial (nar­ra­tion by Tachiki Fumi­hiko)
1997.03.15 24-26

1997.03.08

The 30 minute spe­cial that was aired on 1997.03.08 gave infor­ma­tion about how big a hit Evan­ge­lion was: 200,000 advance tick­ets for the movie were sold, 2,420,000 LDs and videos were sold, 880,000 CD sin­gles were sold, 1,240,000 CDs were sold, (the 3rd sound­track reached num­ber 1 in the Ori­con chart­s), 3,500,000 comics were sold.

There were high­lights from the TV series, live video of Anno Hideaki (cre­ator and direc­tor of Evan­ge­lion), some clips of the main seiyuu (same clips that were used in the pre­vi­ous week­s), some inter­views with fans.

“Evan­ge­lion re-runs” (last updated 1997-03-03 by ); they ran on TV Tokyo

The cult anime named Evan­ge­lion. A for­bid­den anime about how a group led by morally/spiritually bank­rupt indi­vid­u­als uses an autis­tic boy to wage pitched bat­tles against incom­pre­hen­si­ble crea­tures, and how through con­tact with the hearts of a men­tally frag­ile, ban­daged girl and an overly self­-con­scious, trau­ma­tized girl, that boy ulti­mately attains deliverance/salvation him­self in the final episode. Some view­ers became enraged, some despon­dent, some lost friends as a result of hys­ter­i­cal dis­putes, and some attained deliverance/salvation them­selves.

… If mem­ory serves cor­rect­ly, when the plan arose they made up to Ep6 (de­spite Anno appar­ently say­ing in Quick Japan mag­a­zine that they had “made up to Ep7 in advance”) and sent out feel­ers in all direc­tions, but were given the cold shoul­der by every com­pa­ny. (laugh) Even Bandai snubbed them based on the past results of the huge fail­ure of “Wings of Hon­neamise (Royal Space Force)”. (laugh) They had con­nec­tions with a TV Tokyo pro­duc­er, but if you can’t get spon­sors it does­n’t mat­ter. So after wan­der­ing lost by the way­side for a bit, Kadokawa Shoten finally picked them up. But the truth is that even Kadokawa just barely picked them up, and flatly rejected their bud­get requests, say­ing that they only intended to bud­get the same level and not a yen more than other anime Kadokawa had spon­sored in the past (Tenchi Muyo, etc.).

… Anno him­self also replied in an inter­view that, “We com­pletely ran out of time part­way through….” How­ev­er, the direct cause was not the PTA or a lack of time, but the more press­ing issue of “bud­get”.

… …fi­nally mov­ing his heavy arse, Anno vastly restruc­tured the pro­duc­tion sys­tem. First, 75% or more of the pro­duc­tion staff from Ep16 onward were out­sourced South Korean staff45. In terms of the ani­ma­tion as well, when reusing sequences other than bank sequences or for still shots, instead of using the film, these sequences were instead dubbed in at the end using a video deck. This is why char­ac­ter close-ups and other shots that seemed to jig­gle increased part­way through the series. They even mixed stu­pid pho­tographs and other stuff into the men­tal image scenes. In the worst cases some scenes just showed a still screen that lasted for a minute or more. But no mat­ter how much they strug­gled, they had already exceeded their bud­get and time lim­its. And then to top it all off were those last two episodes.

Although bud­get issues were the main prob­lem, Gainax had also quar­reled con­stantly with TV Tokyo since before the TV air­ing over moral issues such as how the show would end and other details. These ranged from triv­ial points such as it being improper to show wom­en’s under­wear in the hang­ing laun­dry, to major items such as the bru­tal scene at the end of Ep18 “The Choice of Life”. It’s kind of let­ting the cat out of the bag now, but the truth is that “Asuka dies from mad­ness (she lives in the TV ver­sion),” “Shinji dis­solves but reforms,” and “Rei also dies” were already deter­mined before the TV air­ing start­ed, and Gainax had quar­reled a num­ber of times with the TV Tokyo pro­ducer and related par­ties over these plot devices. Fur­ther­more, the end­ing was sup­posed to have been “The main char­ac­ters die one after anoth­er, and the final bat­tle is Ikari Shinji vs. Ikari Gen­do,” although there prob­a­bly isn’t any evi­dence left to sup­port that now. (laugh) Well, except it seems that Hayashibara Megumi (voice actress for Ayanami Rei) said on a radio pro­gram some­thing like: “I might end up fight­ing against Shin­ji.” I also heard talk that “Mis­ato and Rit­suko both die fight­ing each oth­er, and Mis­ato’s death awak­ens Shin­ji(?)” Sur­pris­ing­ly, it seems the char­ac­ter who was the key to the cli­max was not Rei, but Mis­ato. But then I guess it does­n’t mat­ter what is said now. (laugh)

… When Ep20 aired, com­plaints poured in from the PTA. This infu­ri­ated TV Tokyo all the way up to the upper man­age­ment, which made it impos­si­ble for Gainax to take any bold mea­sures. Nowa­days it’s pretty much taken for granted that the only peo­ple who com­plain over every lit­tle thing in chil­dren’s TV anime or manga are peo­ple like Kofuku-no-K­a­gaku* pulling a pub­lic­ity stunt for their “evil book ban­ning move­ment”…. Still, at that point the TV Tokyo upper man­age­ment issued the severe notice that “Any anime that is del­uged with com­plaints from the PTA even once from now on will be can­celed regard­less of the rea­son.” The anime “Bakuretsu Hunters” and “Fushigi Yugi” were air­ing on the same chan­nel at the time, and these also caught flak and received strict warn­ings even though they had not done any­thing. (laugh) That’s why there were so many unnat­ural changes in the story con­tents from Ep20 onward.46

So for these rea­sons, the Eva [TV] end­ing was made under con­di­tions with Gainax’s hands tied in terms of bud­get, time and con­tent. Con­sid­er­ing that the last two episodes were made under those con­di­tions, Direc­tor Anno might even be viewed as amaz­ing…. Nope, I just can’t view him like that. (laugh) After all it was his own damn fault that things turned out that way.

… Anno said in some anime mag­a­zine that “Kat­suragi Mis­ato is mod­eled in part on my first love,” but do you know who he was talk­ing about? It’s Hidaka Noriko, the voice actress for Jean in “Nadia and the Secret of Blue Water”. (laugh) When the TV ver­sion of “Nadia” launched, Anno con­fessed his feel­ings to Hidaka Noriko. This is a famous story in the indus­try. Appar­ently Anno told her that he “looked at her not as an object of adoration/longing, but as a seri­ous love inter­est!” (ROTFL!) Appar­ently he was even seri­ously think­ing of mar­riage. How­ev­er, Hidaka Noriko refused him flat­ly, say­ing “I have no inten­tion of mar­ry­ing some­one in the anime indus­try.” Wait, what? Don’t we know now that she was mar­ried to some ani­me-re­lated pro­ducer at the time? (ROTFL!) But Anno would not give up, and told her, “Well, watch my next work, and then decide!” In other words Anno was propos­ing an affair to the already mar­ried Hidaka Noriko. (laugh) Any­way, Anno next work was “Evan­ge­lion”, so… Evan­ge­lion might be con­sid­ered a work that embod­ies some­thing of a stalker obses­sion.

… But it looks like there is no short­age of peo­ple will­ing to get paid and become famous for writ­ing mag­a­zine arti­cles on the sub­ject. Isn’t that right? Okada-san? Takeku­ma-san? Otsuki Ken­ji-san?47 (ROTFL!)

The Kai­bun­sho; Carl Horn’s crit­i­cism of the above Kai­bun­sho (but see his arti­cle men­tion­ing ‘gos­sip’ link­ing Anno & Miya­mu­ra): http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2006-September/003726.html http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2006-September/003730.html. Olivier Hagué gave in 2001 the same story about Anno & Noriko, but it’s unclear whether he’s draw­ing on the Kai­bun­sho or whether that story had been cir­cu­lat­ing inde­pen­dent­ly.

Mari Kotani’s Immac­u­late Vir­gin:

Dec. issue of New­Type has an inter­view with Sadamoto Yoshiyu­ki. With my very lim­ited skill in Japan­ese, I think Sadamoto talked about the fact that the differ­ences between the TV and manga is some­thing he did very delib­er­ate­ly-with a more tra­di­tional Shonen Manga approach . Maybe Patrick should trans­late that inter­view for us which I find will be much valu­able… [wink to Patrick]

1997 T

• 1997-an­i­ma­tion­plan­et-nge01.pdf
• 1997-an­i­ma­tion­plan­et-nge04.pdf
• 1997-animer­i­ca-a­mand­win­nin­ter­view.pdf
• 1997-animer­i­ca-gener­icde­scrip­tion.pdf
• 1997-animer­i­ca-in­ter­views19921997.pdf
• 1997-animer­i­ca-spike­spencer­in­ter­view.pdf
• 1997-marikotani-newmil­len­ni­al­ist.txt
• 1997-newswire-car­toonevavoidy­outh.txt

The end­ing scene has burnt in my mind. It is a scene that is hard to for­get…. I actu­ally saw peo­ple sob­bing at the end when I was at the cin­ema watch­ing EoE. http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1997-October/006527.html

Anno, as late as the Novem­ber ’96 issue of New­type mag­a­zine, still denied that the last two episodes were a “lousy job” and argued that the Gainax crew worked incred­i­bly hard to fin­ish the series, which he thinks “ended beau­ti­ful­ly.” He regret­ted that fans can­not appre­ci­ate Gainax’s efforts.

Asked about the vio­lence and unchar­ac­ter­is­tic sex scene in episodes 18 and 19, Anno said that the scenes were nec­es­sary to develop the story and “to under­stand real life.” He felt that chil­dren should be exposed early to the real­i­ties of life so that they do not grow up weak and shel­tered and so that they will become immune to some of the harsh sit­u­a­tions they will even­tu­ally expe­ri­ence. Many fans at the con­ven­tion thought that this was an inter­est­ing view­point on his part.

Do you won­der why Eva got so dark and psy­cho­log­i­cal near the end? After all, Anno is the guy who directed Nadia of the Mys­te­ri­ous Seas, one of the liveli­est and fun­ni­est anime I’ve ever watched. Accord­ing to Anno, from episode 16 on, he began read­ing books about human psy­chol­ogy and became very inter­est­ed. He wanted to explore “what the human mind is all about inside.”

“I wrote about myself. My friend lent me a book on psy­cho­log­i­cal ill­ness and this gave me a shock, as if I finally found what I needed to say,” he says in the Novem­ber New­type.48

The orig­i­nal show ended in April, but EVA’s suc­cess has con­tin­ued unabat­ed, with best­selling sales on laserdisc and video- even its music has gone through the roof, with vol­ume 3 of the EVA sound­track being the first anime album to hit #1 on the Japan­ese pop charts since GALAXY EXPRESS 999, sev­en­teen years before.

but its non­tra­di­tional struc­ture, nar­ra­tive tech­niques, and an end­ing that over ten mil­lion Japan­ese tuned in to, only to raise a national howl of protest by the time the clos­ing cred­its rolled.

Much of the premise and many of the early ele­ments of EVA are famil­iar, indeed stereo­typed ele­ments of Japan­ese TV sci­ence fic­tion: teenage boy is cho­sen to pilot a robot his father built and fight against the ene­my. It’s rem­i­nis­cent of anime from GIGANTOR to GIANT ROBO ( on which Anno was spe­cial - effects direc­tor ) , and the weird organic forms of the ene­my, who attack one at a time, are rem­i­nis­cent of the “mon­ster of the week” tokusatsu shows such as ULTRAMAN ( Anno’s favorite tele­vi­sion show ) . The direc­tor of EVANGELION began from an imme­di­ately famil­iar and rec­og­niz­able tem­plate, but in an inter­view before the show first aired, put the ques­tion up front: “If a per­son likes robot or cute girl ani­ma­tion, can they still be happy with it after the age of twen­ty?” It may seem like an odd ques­tion for Anno, 36 year - old super - otaku, who cre­ated in EVA an anime full of robots and cute girls, to pose.

But the direc­tor was quite seri­ous: his stu­dio, Gainax is known as the otaku who exam­ine them­selves. The per­son­al, alle­gor­i­cal nature of their work was treated seri­ously in HONNEAMISE and humor­ously in OTAKU NO VIDEO, and it emerges through­out the length of EVANGELION, many of whose multi - gen­er­a­tional cast of char­ac­ters are painted masks for the show’s staff and most espe­cially for Hideaki Anno him­self.

… but Gainax’s con­tin­u­ing chal­lenge to the indus­try is in some ways more intrigu­ing, as it attempts to effect a rev­o­lu­tion from deep insid­e-its otaku build­ing their intri­cate fan­tasy cas­tles in a super - detailed style of obses­sive detail, then dis­man­tling them brick by brick to show their sense of an under­ly­ing and inescapable real­i­ty.

Scott Rid­er, EoE review

If you’re on the news­group and read this, could you per­haps answer a ques­tion about End of Evan­ge­lion?

What actu­ally hap­pens in the movie is that as Nine Inch Nails’ “March of the Pigs” blares, Anno, backed by strobe lights, nude except for a tip of the hat to William Bur­roughs, and vis­i­bly aroused, blows away suc­ces­sive EVA char­ac­ters with a 12-gauge Moss­berg air­soft, the six mil­lime­ter pel­lets shred­ding acetate avatars. At the end, cov­ered by flecked and filmy rem­nants, he inserts the gun into his own mouth, only to find the bore choked by wads of mer­chan­dis­ing cash.

–Carl “I wear this crown of shit/Upon my liar’s chair” Horn

1998

1998 P

“Feb/98 issue of Ani­m­age fea­tures Anno Hideak­i…The Love & Pop fea­ture in Ani­m­age is really wide-rang­ing: There are inter­views with all 4 actress­es, inter­view with Anno Hideaki (He got a spe­cial inter­view­er, who is a woman manga artist), inter­view with Ryuu Murakami (the orig­i­nal author of the epony­mous nov­el), inter­view with Miyuki Nanri (the pro­ducer of the movie), inter­view with Yuki Masa (the cast­ing of the movie, also direc­tor of Death and Rebirth: Evan­ge­lion), inter­view with Takahide Shibanushi (the film pho­tog­ra­pher of the movie), and excerpts of feed­back from peo­ple (aged from 16 to 30) who saw the pre­miere show of the movie. Finally there is a report of Anno win­ning the 18th SF Award of Japan. Alto­gether there are 26 pages cov­er­ing the movie, a real trib­ute to Anno, espe­cially one com­ing from an anime mag­a­zine.”

from the May 1998 issue of EVANGELION:

On Anno’s severe depres­sion, his “cri­sis of the soul,” as a motive in the devel­op­ment of Evan­ge­lion.

YAMAGA: Well, I think Anno may have appeared in the Japan­ese media as you sug­gest; he’s made com­ments about want­ing to die, and so forth, but at least from my per­spec­tive, things were never as seri­ous as they appeared in the press. [LAUGHS]

On the rea­sons for use of Judeo-Chris­t­ian sym­bol­ogy in Eva

YAMAGA: I don’t know exactly why. I sus­pect that Mr. Anno may have read some book on it, and there was some thoughts he wanted to express on it. I per­son­ally am glad that, rather than Chris­tian­i­ty, he did­n’t express some obscure Bud­dhist the­me, because then it would have been linked more with Aum Shin­rikyo. [LAUGHS]

On whether Anno and Yam­aga are fans of David Lynch, and whether Anno is “the Kurt Cobain of ani­me.”

YAMAGA: As far as Mr. Anno com­mit­ting sui­cide or any­thing like that [LAUGHS], I’m not really sure how to say this, but, while some­times he might seem very emo­tion­al, when you get to know him, he does­n’t come off like that at all. [LAUGHS] As far as David Lynch is con­cerned, I don’t dis­like David Lynch, but on the other hand, he’s not some­one I’m a huge fan of, either. As far as Anno, there have been peo­ple who have called Evan­ge­lion the anime equiv­a­lent of Twin Peaks. [LAUGHS]

http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2006-September/003693.html (see also http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-June/015609.html); these com­ments are sourced from the 1998 Fanime panel with Yam­a­ga; Peter Svens­son con­firms the ‘some book’ com­ment (see http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-February/010543.html and per­sonal com­mu­ni­ca­tion, but also later says “Well, at Fanime Con, Yam­aga said that Anno was influ­enced(on the reli­gious aspects of EVA) by a nov­el…”. A mis­take or were 2 books dis­cussed? TODO emailed Svens­son again)

Asahi News­pa­per pub­lishes a weekly mag­a­zine “AERA.” AERA 08/31/1998 issue dealt with an inter­view with Hideaki Anno.

As you know, he is 180 cm tall. He is a kind of giant for nor­mal Japan­ese.

He always fears some­thing. But he him­self is a kind of fear.

He was born in 1960 in Ube city, Yam­aguchi Pre­fec­ture. In his child­hood, Ube city has ship­yards. His inside pro­to-land­scape is like such a ship­yard, say, NERV base. (Fac­ulty of Med­i­cine, Yam­aguchi Uni­ver­sity is located at Ube city.)

His father Takuya Anno lost his left leg like Touji Suzuhara.

Hideaki Anno fears ani­mal. There­fore he is a veg­e­tar­i­an.

He said, “I can­not break my own heart shell. How­ever I think I can enlarge it because I com­pleted EVA.”

He is shy in fact.

He made EVA as his pri­vate ani­me. After EVA, he escaped from work. He tried to kill him­self49. In order not to kill him­self, he had to live at the build­ing of GAiNAX, Musashino-c­i­ty, Tokyo.

But he lost his every­thing because he wasted out his all inside to make EVA.

http://web.archive.org/web/20071207235755/www.geocities.com/Tokyo/4081/file425.html#3 cf.http://webspace.webring.com/people/cu/um_2708/colj089.html (the one leg is con­firmed in Prano men­tion of his father’s defor­mi­ty; for more on the details of how Takuya Anno’s leg was lost and his trou­bled abu­sive rela­tion­ship with Hideaki Anno, see the 1999-10-03 inter­view in the Asahi Shim­bun)

[An­no] The rea­son the game busi­ness pros­pered and grew so fast is because it was a ven­ture. But games have finally tanked too. It hap­pened pretty fast, did­n’t it? Our gen­er­a­tion is nat­u­rally a shal­low one, and there’s no-one who’s try­ing to over­turn things. There isn’t any­one try­ing to make “me-anime” now, is there?

…[An­no] The first time I saw “Vir­tua Fighter”[2], I thought, is this what anime is up again­st? It was quite a shock. That’s when I real­ized I’d have to level up some­where other than the visu­als, I guess right before I did “EVA”. Visual impact is ani­me’s strong point, but since games had fol­lowed on ani­me’s heels, it had become a time when a method­ol­ogy no differ­ent from the oth­ers just would­n’t cut it. All the cards had already been dealt, so we had no choice but to change the com­bi­na­tion, or turn over cards that were thought to be taboo. That’s what I mean when I say that “EVA” did­n’t use even a sin­gle new method­ol­o­gy.

[Ikuhara] Ah, like what the media talks about as cre­ator­hood when dis­cussing ani­mated works. But that’s just an illu­sion, and actu­ally in the anime busi­ness no such thing as a cre­ator is any­where to be found. All there are are peo­ple who were brought along by the found­ing of the sys­tem. The peo­ple who devise the form of the anime of today.

…[An­no] Recently I watched some “Kinchuu” (“Kingiyo Chu­ui­hou!”)[9]. As research for “Kare Kano”. I thought that per­haps that was what gags and shoujo manga were. But it felt a lit­tle old.

[Ikuhara] Old? It feels like things are divided into the time before and after “Sailor Moon”. I feel like it really infected the tastes at Comiket. [An­no] Yeah. Whether some­thing’s major or not at Comiket amounts to whether or not it gets made into erotic stuff. After all, the sex indus­try is strong no mat­ter what era it is. As Tsu­ru­maki (Kazuya) said, earnestly value all things equal­ly. Both Hiro­matsu Junko and Ayanami Rei. I can’t express it in words, but I feel the same chasm within myself.

[Ikuhara] I think it’s the feel­ing of anti-sep­tic­ness. The impres­sion that they don’t smell like any­thing is good.

[An­no] Yes, yes, exact­ly.

[Ikuhara] Appar­ently stuff like unnec­es­sary hair, or nose hair, isn’t absolute. Of course, in pic­tures the char­ac­ters don’t actu­ally have nos­trils (laugh). I bet every­one would start hat­ing pic­tures of girls if we drew nos­trils on them.

[An­no] Cel anime fans are more ster­ile than that.

[Ikuhara] The idols of a decade ago felt really ster­ile. But recently actresses and TV tal­ents are feel­ing less remote and more real­is­tic.

[An­no] Does that include us, by any chance? It’s an exis­tence where courage and famil­iar­ity seem to be drain­ing away.

[Ikuhara] If so, the place that the peo­ple who rec­og­nize the feel­ing of steril­ity are car­ry­ing with them in their thoughts will dis­ap­pear.

[An­no] That’s why I’m going with the cel anime sys­tem.

[Ikuhara] There’s some­where where we’ll give up, isn’t there. We’re try­ing to ful­fill our own ambi­tions vir­tu­al­ly. I sup­pose if we were doing it for real we should be try­ing to make more prop­erly ideal cities and bet­ter human rela­tions. I can’t really say it in any­thing but pedes­trian terms, but, like with things like the Aum[*1] inci­dent, I can under­stand the feel­ings of the peo­ple who want to reor­ga­nize the world.

[An­no] In order to see a made-up dra­ma, there are even peo­ple who neglect their real lives, right? That kind of per­son does things like become a seiyuu fan.

[Ikuhara] I bet what they really wanted was to touch an anime char­ac­ter.

[An­no] For some­thing that could con­nect the vir­tual and the real, I too turned to the seiyuu. But that was a mis­take. That’s why I tried to show some­thing differ­ent in “Kare Kano”. But alter­ing the exist­ing sys­tem is tough.

…[An­no] Yes, a world where some­thing is done with the body alone. Noth­ing else befits a doc­u­men­tary. A world that shows noth­ing of cre­ation.

[Ikuhara] Take “Utena” and “EVA”. They take a frag­ment of our work and talk about us intro­duc­ing impact into our ani­ma­tion, say­ing it’s like Ter­ayama Shushi[12]’s work or some­thing. It’s noth­ing that nar­row, is it? I think that what appears in our works is the com­plex about the body that peo­ple who make made-up anime feel.

[An­no] I use the word “life­like-ness”. Com­pared to that, cel anime is pretty and vir­tu­al. Because I feel a sense of thwarted life in cur­rent cel ani­me, I want to try to peek at it from a slightly differ­ent direc­tion. Like try­ing not to use any of the estab­lished seiyuu.

New­type Octo­ber 1998 inter­view (mir­ror); EML copy of orig­i­nal Usenet trans­la­tion

Horn’s affir­ma­tion that Peter Svens­son really did ask at ’98 Fanime of Yam­aga whether Anno was sane: http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2006-August/003688.html

“The May 1998 issue would have been called”Book Two, Issue #3" on its cover (that is, it con­tained the third chap­ter from vol. 2, Stage 9). It con­tained a spe­cial fea­ture tran­scrib­ing some of Hiroyuki Yam­a­ga’s answers to audi­ence ques­tions at Fanime Con ’98 after a screen­ing of Evan­ge­lion: Death (True) and Evan­ge­lion (Re­birth). I believe Mr. Yam­a­ga’s panel was also cov­ered in Pro­to­cul­ture Addicts, but they may have included some remarks and not oth­ers (and the reverse is likely true for my piece)."

–per­sonal email with Carl Horn

• Miss­ing pri­mary source books (listed in E-Mono):

‘As for the books by Hideaki Anno. They were not writ­ten by Anno. The Blue one “Suk­ina Evan­ge­lion” (EVA that I love) is sup­posed to be a very “detailed” inter­view with Anno. The yel­low one “Barano Evan­ge­lion” (EVA like rose) is sup­posed to be a very detailed inter­view with the pro­duc­tion staff “when Anno was not around”.’ http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-February/010670.html

‘I’ve checked the E-MONO book and now I know which two books you are talk­ing about. The ones with blue and yel­low cover respec­tive­ly, right? Unfor­tu­nate­ly, they were not “writ­ten” by Anno. The “suk­ina” (blue) book is sup­posed to be a “very detailed” inter­view with Anno; while the “barano” (yel­low) book is sup­posed to be also a “very detailed” inter­view with the pro­duc­tion staff “when Anno was not around”. I don’t have them in pos­ses­sion though.’ http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1998-February/010182.html

"the unfor­giv­ing other

the sub­sti­tute oppo­site sex

the sud­den humil­i­a­tion

the anx­i­ety of depar­ture (from oth­er)

the hor­ror (scare?) of the other

dan­ger­ous think­ing (wis­dom)

the proud of tak­ing chance (????)

mercy of the weak

the unhappy photo

the scar of the pass

the uncomfortable/embarrassing stage (?)

beyond com­mon sense

ques­tion the value

com­bi­na­tion of lust and love

empty time ( the time here I think is being used as noun….so time­less­ness?)

the vision of dis­trac­tion

the fic­tional begin­ning

the con­tin­u­a­tion of real­ity

this, is the end of the dream"

–The Sym­phony of Evan­ge­lion con­cert had a num­ber of telops flashed dur­ing EoE pieces; George Chen made the pre­ced­ing list.

Episode 23

A-Part

1. Cut 1-51 Added Rit­suko’s room scene. Cor­rec­tions on var­i­ous back­ground.
2. Cut 52-118 When the Angel try­ing to get into Unit-00, added one “Mon­i­tor scene”.
3. Cut 139-163 The inner Uni­verse of Rei. Huge cor­rec­tions on the draw­ings (note: accord­ing to the newslet­ter any­way)
4. Cut 139-163, 335-378, 182-190. Here, there are a lot of new scenes. We are sup­pose to see a “Giant Rei” before Unit 00 explodes (note: Like I said, I will not be able to con­firm these notes till Sun­day night. ^_^)

B-Part

1. 191-223 Var­i­ous cor­rec­tions of scenes of Mis­ato and Shin­ji.
2. Cut 223B-F Gendo and Fuyut­suki in front of the Dummy Plug. New scenes (Note: !!!!! Will see it Sun­day night!!!!!)
3. Rei III. Var­i­ous cor­rec­tions but no new footage.
4. Cut 256-278 Agen­t’s room. The com­po­si­tion which Fuyut­suk­i’s in is differ­ent. Seele with the nude Rit­suko; com­po­si­tion of the scene is differ­ent.
5. Cut 279-303. Minor cor­rec­tions in the ele­va­tor scenes with Rit­suko, Mis­ato and Shin­ji. There seems to be more “space” after the mod­i­fi­ca­tions.
6. Cut 304-334. While Rit­suko describe the nature of Rei. There are added scenes of dis­cov­ery of Adam, and cre­ation of Eva.

Episode 24

A-Part

1. Cut 1-14. The scenes which Asuka learned that Kaji is dead is added.
2. Cut 15-58. The bath­tub scenes are much more “clear” now due to the TV vs. LD (Note: no cen­sor­ship).
3. Cut 71-79. The Rei and Kaworu scenes. New dia­logue between the 2 added. (!!!)
4. Cut 319-337 Seele and Kaworu—Misato’s mon­i­tor (????). New Scenes. (Note: Since this is just notes….­plus I am doing a lit­eral trans­la­tions of those notes….I will have to put this into con­text later on…a­gain…­Sun­day night)
5. Cut 150-310. News scenes which Unit 02 descend­ing into Cen­tral Dog­ma. Seele’s dia­logue is new. Lilith started to grow legs. (Which in the orig­i­nal the scenes only con­tain Lilith with­out lower part of the body).
6. Cut 311-318. Light pole had been added to the scenes by the lake (Note: So? A_A ). Reflec­tion on near the shore had been cor­rect­ed.

In the pre­view sec­tion: The orig­i­nal pre­view of TV 25, 26 are retained but also added the pre­view of “Air” and “My Pure Heart for you”.

George Chen, describ­ing the notes accom­pa­ny­ing the Japan­ese release of Gen­e­sis 0:12 and describ­ing the changes & addi­tions made as part of the Direc­tor’s Cut

Anno: Before that I read Mr. Mat­sumo­to’s Bat­tle­field manga series, and I also liked Wadachi. I was hang­ing out in my neigh­bor­hood brows­ing through an issue of Adven­ture King when I saw the announce­ment for the first episode: “New series, Space Bat­tle­ship Yam­a­to.” The title caught my fas­ci­na­tion imme­di­ate­ly. In our house we had one TV and the rest of my fam­ily wanted to watch Hei­di, but I wanted Yam­a­to. That was how it first pulled me in and got me devot­ed. These days we call it a ‘ham­mer.’ I think that was the first work to give me such an expe­ri­ence.

Mat­sumo­to: Well, one of the few peo­ple who was in our audi­ence! Our rat­ings were close to zero.

Anno: I went out and pros­e­ly­tized for it. I told all my school­mates, “watch Yam­a­to!” They could always catch Heidi in reruns. Or maybe not. (Laugh­ter)

…An­no: If not for that, I don’t think I’d be doing my job now. That’s for sure. I recorded episodes on cas­sette then, because there were no VCRs, so I think Miya­gawa-sen­sei’s music was the only kind I lis­tened to. (Laugh­ter)

Yam­ato was an epic. It made us feel like we were see­ing adult anime for the first time. It was­n’t directed at chil­dren. The music was very adult, too. Of course, it had a huge visual impact, but since I was in the gen­er­a­tion that lis­tened to Yam­ato on tape, it’s what gave me an ear for music. By the virtue of those two things, that’s why I’m here now.

Mat­sumo­to: An eighth-grader, about 14 years old. That was the first age where you could really get into it. That’s how it was with my gen­er­a­tion, too, but we drifted away when it did­n’t suit us any­more. Yours is the gen­er­a­tion that was assim­i­lated into the screen.

Anno: The influ­ence of Cap­tain Okita was very big. Goro Naya’s voice telling us to over­come our fears and believe in tomor­row. I said, “Yes! That’s it!” (Laugh­ter)

My view of life and the way I think about things was surely influ­enced by that.

…[Leiji Mat­sumo­to]: Any­way, it [Space Bat­tle­ship Yam­ato] was my first ani­ma­tion job. It was pretty hard. Hon­est­ly, I was­n’t con­cerned about the rat­ings. I brought it up, but I don’t mind it par­tic­u­lar­ly.

Anno: It had a lot of ener­gy. The work of [An­i­ma­tion Direc­tor] Noboru Ishig­uro was very good.

Mat­sumo­to: We’re the same age. We were about 36 then. The main staff was gen­er­ally about that age. That was the gen­er­a­tion that would­n’t go down with­out a fight. We’d have shout­ing matches or turn a deaf ear and kick up a big fuss about things and stay up all night.

Anno: Ishig­uro once asked me if I was over 30. I said I was already 32, and he said “you’ve got three more years. You’ll do the best work of your life at 35.” That’s about how old he was when he made Yam­a­to, so it’s true.

I was 35 when I made Evan­ge­lion, so I guess that’s my best work. 35 or 36 may be the right age.

…Mat­sumo­to: It’s a very pow­er­ful thing, a dream inspired by the fem­i­nine. It gives men a lust for life. To per­se­vere through many hard­ships for the sake of a match­less beau­ty.

Anno: Like hear­ing the voice of Star­sha and fly­ing all the way to Iscan­dar? I’d go for her, but if it was some scruffy guy instead, I would­n’t answer the call no mat­ter how urgent. I would­n’t believe him! (Laugh­ter)

Mat­sumo­to: Nei­ther would I!

Anno: If there isn’t an incred­i­bly beau­ti­ful woman at the end of the jour­ney, there’s no use. I’d want to go just to meet the woman.

As far as I’m con­cerned, Shinji is all grown up, as of the end of the movie. Every­one has their own feel­ings on the sub­ject, start­ing with the direc­tor, but to me, he’s fin­ished wan­der­ing from child to adult. Thus I was pretty stuck when it came to doing this game. You see, this is still Shinji at that time in his life when he’s lost, and it was pretty tough for me to recall that peri­od. That may well have caused me to blank out at times, which might be just like Shin­ji, in some per­verse way (laugh­s). To me per­son­al­ly, Shinji grew up, very nat­u­ral­ly…and would­n’t want to go back to the way things were. I may well have made him a differ­ent char­ac­ter from the way he was before, in fact. I’m sorry (laugh­s).

… –What was it like squar­ing off with other char­ac­ters?

I only played off Hidaka Noriko, and the shows she worked on (Top and Nadia) had pretty differ­ent world­views from Eva, which left me kind of stuck. Shinji was a very real sort of char­ac­ter, in that he did­n’t act like an anime char­ac­ter, but typ­i­cally talked very qui­etly and spar­ing­ly, and it was like he was sud­denly thrust into an anime world (laugh­s). Here I was, talk­ing with Shin­ji’s gloomy voice, and right next to me is Hidaka Noriko, with her pos­i­tive, impas­sioned man­ner of speech. I thought that this must be what your aver­age anime hero is really like (laugh­s). The gap in ten­sion lev­els between these char­ac­ters was so great that I’m wor­ried that it might have put a crimp in her per­for­mance too.

…If you use Shin­ji, you’re likely to lose, so I rec­om­mend against it (laugh­s).

Megumi Ogata, seiyuu inter­views for Gainax web­site on mahjong game (likely trans­lated by Michael House); that is the only trans­lated inter­view avail­able in IA, although an old email may imply that other inter­views were trans­lat­ed. The more inter­est­ing of the other mahjong inter­views:

On the 9th (fi­nal) vol­ume of the film comics, the com­ments for episode.26 starts with sev­eral lines end­ing with “At last, the HCP has been exe­cut­ed. … How about the com­ple­men­ta­tion of Shin­ji? How about the com­ple­men­ta­tion of Shin­ji’s heart? Here the path of Shin­ji’s com­ple­men­ta­tion is described. This is just one form” [kat­achi: shape, form; I am tempted to trans­late it as sce­nar­io, but I think I’d bet­ter pre­serve the orig­i­nal word as much as pos­si­ble. The Japan­ese here “Kore wa mata hitotsu no kat­achi de atta” has the con­no­ta­tion that there are other “forms”, which I inter­pret as other pos­si­bil­i­ties, or other end­ings.].

At the very end of the episode, when Shinji is smil­ing and all that. The com­ment said, “Shin­ji’s bliss­ful smile. This is the smile of com­ple­mented Shin­ji. This is just one form, one of the many pos­si­bil­i­ties.”

Karekano research

In 1998, Hideaki Anno, prior to pro­duc­tion of , engaged in a series of dia­logues with stu­dents in sev­eral high schools, which were pub­lished by the Mainichi Inter­me­di­ate-School News and even­tu­ally trans­lated & repub­lished on the Gainax web­site (and like every­thing else ever pub­lished there, since delet­ed): “Please Lis­ten To Me, Mr. Anno! Anno Hideaki X High­school Boys & Girls” index:

Anno Hideaki is work­ing on the prepa­ra­tions for his new anime series, “Kareshi; Kanojo no Jijoo”. As this will be a high­-school love com­e­dy, Anno is per­son­ally doing research into what high­-school kids are like these days. There is a col­umn in the young peo­ple’s news­pa­per, Mainichi Chugaku­sei Shim­bun (Mainichi Mid­dle-School­er’s News), called “Anno-Kan­toku Kiite Yo! (Hear What Anno Hideaki Has to Say)”, which details this ongo­ing pro­ject. With the gra­cious per­mis­sion of the paper’s edi­to­r­ial sec­tion, we are priv­i­leged to bring you install­ments from the fea­ture. Now you can enjoy con­ver­sa­tions between pre­sen­t-day Japan­ese high­-school­ers, and Anno Hideaki, who was a high­-schooler twenty years ago.

Fujimi High School:

Kana­gawa Pre­fec­tural Ikuta High School:

The Meiji Uni­ver­sity Asso­ci­ated Junior-High and High Schools of Nakano and Hachio­ji:

Tokyo Toyama Pub­lic High School:

Tokyo Nishi Pub­lic High School:

The dia­logues are inter­est­ing because of the wide range of mate­r­ial dis­cussed like con­tem­po­rary pol­i­tics. I sus­pect the dia­logues did influ­ence His and Her Cir­cum­stances, par­tic­u­larly in how the pro­tag­o­nists have sex early in the series.

Here, I’ve found what I had lost—Anno said this with a heart­felt voice.

How could Toyoko Acad­emy have noth­ing but nice peo­ple like this? No bul­ly­ing, no vio­lence, no fail­ures to com­mu­ni­cate…the edi­to­r­ial staff were them­selves pro­foundly moved to find that a school such as this exists in a soci­ety full of ugli­ness, hate, and despair. Is it really like this, though? We asked the stu­dents to tell us more.

… Kashi­wara: Even within a given class, we respect one anoth­er. It makes me feel good to have such good friends. We pat one another on the back when we do some­thing good, and cry together when some­thing sad hap­pens.

Anno: Here, I have found what I had lost. I guess I’ve just got­ten hard and crusty. But my heart is burst­ing at the thought that peo­ple like you still exist.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050211083730/www.gainax.co.jp/special/kiiteyo/toyoko02-e.html “(From the Oct. 1, 1998 edi­tion of Mainichi Inter­me­di­ate-School News)”

Anno: There’s really noth­ing I can say here. I mean, I’ve been aware of the exis­tence of high­-school stu­dents like you, intel­lec­tu­al­ly. Right now, I’m work­ing on an anime series based on a girls’ man­ga, but the world of girls’ comics, where every­one is nice, looks com­pletely unreal to me. It’s a major sur­prise to find that there are peo­ple in the world who praise oth­ers so unre­served­ly. I guess such peo­ple really do exist after all.

Kashi­wara: Do unpleas­ant things really exist?

Anno: There’s no need to go out of your way to find them.

Kasagi: I think that’s one of your good points, though, Aya (Kashi­wara). You’re con­fi­dent in your­self, so you can’t let any­one see even a lit­tle bit of break­down. You prac­tice in secret, out of pride.

Anno: You should start by throw­ing away your pub­lic image.

All: “Pub­lic image?”

Anno: Yes, the image you decide on, where you are this or that char­ac­ter type.

Kashi­wara: There are times, though, when you think that you can’t cry because you are who you are. You do have your par­tic­u­lar char­ac­ter. I get the feel­ing that that’s how the teach­ers really see the stu­dents. There are harsh things which they would say to me because I can han­dle it, but that they would­n’t say to a stu­dent who’s more eas­ily hurt by such things. I’ve never cried, even when I’m hurt­ing, because I prac­tice hard at home. I’ve made mod­i­fi­ca­tions to my home. I installed a barre and other stuff, and did it all myself.

Muraya­ma: I’d like to work with film and video. I was really impressed by Evan­ge­lion, and it’s got­ten me inter­ested in anime and stuff like that late­ly.

Anno: I apol­o­gize for get­ting you all worked up. You’d best stay away from it.

… Muraya­ma: It looks incred­i­ble from where I’m sit­ting.

Anno: I can’t really be all that proud of my own work.

Muraya­ma: Is that so? I think it’s ter­rific.

Anno: It does­n’t mat­ter whether one does this kind of work or not, so you’re bet­ter off not doing it.

Muraya­ma: I think it’s great to be doing what you want.

Anno: You’ve got it all wrong. This is the only thing I can do. Get­ting mar­ried, hav­ing kids, and rais­ing them to be adult­s–that’s far and away more of an accom­plish­ment than mak­ing a movie. And the biggest accom­plish­ment of all is to do all of that and make anime at the same time. In my case, I’ve man­aged to get this far because I gave up every­thing else. I don’t see any need for any­one else to sac­ri­fice every­thing else in life for this, though.

… Anno: But if you like it, who cares? You need to like this sort of thing a cer­tain amount to be able to do it. And once you’ve given it up, you’ll be OK.

Taka­hashi: Once you’ve given it up?

Anno: Right. The instant you wake up to real­ity again. When you real­ize that enjoy­ment alone won’t see you through.

Shibasaki: You mean, you give it up, but even then, you still keep doing it?

Anno: Well, that’s where you find out what you’re really made of. To some extent, any­one can each a cer­tain level of achieve­ment if they try. Whether they can go beyond that point depends on the given indi­vid­ual. Going beyond that point requires qual­i­ty. Hard work alone won’t do it. And there will always be some­one bet­ter than you. If you get car­ried away by how good you are, what do you sup­pose will hap­pen when you dis­cover that there are far bet­ter peo­ple in the world already?

… Anno: Exact­ly. I put my work ahead of every­thing, which makes me cold. I sac­ri­fice peo­ple, includ­ing myself. Going that far is like being pre­pared to die.

Taka­hashi: But don’t your par­ents tell you things like, “That’s why Japan is going into the toi­let”? When I say that I think things are OK, my folks reply with, “That’s what’s wrong with the Japan­ese way of think­ing.”

Mutoo: I hate Amer­i­ca.

Anno: (laughs)

Mutoo: I’ve learned to hate it.

Taka­hashi: I bet peo­ple who debate inter­na­tional rela­tions all hate Amer­i­ca.

Mutoo: Is all they do in Amer­ica to crit­i­cize oth­ers with­out look­ing at them­selves? Don’t they act like they’re the great­est? Always say­ing they’re the world’s best.

Hirata: I don’t like Amer­ica either. Right now, Japan’s econ­omy is bad. But when it was really good, Amer­ica said that it was doing too well, and now that it’s bad, they won’t help us out. They just say that it’s our own fault. Makes me think, who do they think they are, any­way?

All: (laugh­ter)

… Anno: Asia is where it’s at now. We’d best get in good with our neigh­bors. The pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion is with Amer­i­ca. Those cur­rently in their 50’s typ­i­cally think in terms of Amer­i­ca. In reac­tion to los­ing the War to Amer­i­ca, they all want to live the Amer­i­can lifestyle. Like all going to Europe, that sort of thing.

Taka­hashi: I get that feel­ing when I read the­ses writ­ten by peo­ple of that time.

Anno: It’s like an Amer­i­ca-first phi­los­o­phy. In my gen­er­a­tion, though, you turn more and more to domes­tic mat­ters, look more inward. When I was in the boon­docks of Yam­aguchi, Tokyo as I saw it on TV looked so incred­i­ble, so I always wanted to go there. I wanted to go to Tokyo to attend col­lege, that sort of thing.

Anno: Put it on TV, though, and old ladies with time on their hands watch it. We got one such old lady call­ing the TV sta­tion while “Evan­ge­lion” was on the air, say­ing that we should­n’t have sexy scenes.

Miyabu: Just for that?

Anno: Yep. There’s no sense of real­ism about high school stu­dents hav­ing a romance with­out sex, is there. I’m think­ing about putting a mes­sage at the begin­ning of each episode telling grade-school stu­dents not to watch.

Miyabu: Are the main char­ac­ters of “Kareshi Kanojo no Jijoo” going to be junior-high or high school stu­dents?

Anno: They’re in their first year of high school, and in the manga they’ve recently had sex. And it just hap­pened, with­out any buildup. I’m try­ing to fig­ure out how to make some­thing dra­matic out of this. Could that be the way it is? Do they just do it?

Miyabu: What do you think?

Anno: I think I’m stuck. The male lead seemed to me to be so ter­ri­bly upstand­ing, I fig­ured he’d treat her bet­ter than that, when he up and has sex with her. He’s not the char­ac­ter I thought he was. Maybe that’s what it’s like nowa­days. Peo­ple don’t waste time, or some­thing.

… Anno: Every­one defines pure love differ­ent­ly. But old bid­dies like the one who com­plained (about Eva) have never expe­ri­enced it. They do things like that to kill time, because they’re dis­sat­is­fied with kids today. They’re not dis­sat­is­fied with them­selves, but with their envi­ron­ment, their sur­round­ings. They ignore any blame they may have for their sit­u­a­tions, instead blam­ing every­thing on ani­me. I never thought I’d get caught up in it. Nobody sounds as loud as old bid­dies like those. They have so much time on their hands that instead of call­ing tele­phone dat­ing clubs, they call TV sta­tions.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050211082031/www.gainax.co.jp/special/kiiteyo/ikuta03-e.html

Anno: I did­n’t have any girl­friends in high school. I did manga and astron­o­my, as well as watch anime and play mah jongg. When there was a test, I’d tell my folks I was going to a friend’s house to study. We’d play all-night mah jongg, then we’d catch a nap before even­tu­ally going to school, and when the test was over we’d go back and play mah jongg some more. It was all anime and mah jongg. Back then, girls avoided me like the plague, because I was so gloomy.

… Anno: In junior high, I had a lit­tle fling that seemed like love, but was­n’t. It turned into a tri­an­gle with a pal of mine, and that turned into a cri­sis. All through high school, I decided that being the way I was, was fine, and had no romances the whole time. Some under­class­women came on to me, but I showed them no inter­est. The world was full of things more inter­est­ing than women. I was much more inter­ested in mak­ing movies back then than dat­ing. I regret it now, though. My life might be differ­ent now if I’d had sex back then.

… Anno: I don’t rec­om­mend tech­ni­cal schools. Every­one who goes to one of those places starts off by hav­ing the same field of spe­cial­ty, after all, so monot­ony soon sets in. Take anime schools for exam­ple. You go to one of those, and you’ve got a gath­er­ing of peo­ple who’ve all been social and class out­casts up to now. You’ll start suffer­ing the illu­sion that the world revolves around you as a result. I haven’t yet seen any­one who liked anime and who’d ever got­ten any use out of what he learned in those places.

Anno: I hate school, you know? And the thing I hate about it is no differ­ent from 20 years ago. Teach­ers also ought to have hated school, see­ing as how they were about the same age as me. So they should have hated it too, you know? Why did becom­ing teach­ers change them into teach­ers?

Anno: And it’s scary to think that they had to have been stu­dents too. The world changes peo­ple. Par­ents too: they had to have been kids them­selves once, and yet as par­ents they’re so differ­ent.

… Noguchi: When it comes to law, you’ve got pri­vacy safe­guards, for exam­ple, but there are also things that need to be made pub­lic, and in cases where a choice has to be made, it ends up in a court­room, with the deci­sion being left up to the judge to make.

Anno: Laws in the light of a trial are unrea­son­able things. School is accli­ma­tiz­ing you to that, so you won’t com­plain about it.

Ichikawa: We’re being trained, like pets.

Anno: Absolute­ly.

Kawakami: When did you know what you wanted to do with your life, Mr. Anno?

Anno: I just let life carry me along, like that guy over there said.

Anno: I was basi­cally the hon­or-s­tu­dent type up until junior high. I was always on stu­dent coun­cil, that sort of thing. I got into the best feeder schools in my area, up to high school. I swore that I would­n’t do any more study­ing once I passed my exams. I did­n’t like to study, so I stud­ied only the areas and sen­tences that inter­ested me, and that as lit­tle as pos­si­ble. What good is alge­bra going to do me in real life, after all?

… Anno: When I got a zero, the school got annoyed because they were sup­posed to be a feeder school. So I made sure not to get neg­a­tive marks. When I got to high school, all I did was play mah jongg and make 8mm movies. I spent all my high school years just goofing off. So nat­u­rally there were no uni­ver­si­ties I could get into, and at the time, Osaka Col­lege of Art had no entrance exams. Rather, I got in on my accom­plish­ments. But I stopped going in my third year, and ended up get­ting expelled.

… Anno: What it boils down to is, soci­ety only sees the num­bers. When it comes to movies too, there’s a need to apply either of two labels, either that it was inter­est­ing or that it was­n’t. School grades are the same way, because Japan only has one eval­u­a­tion method, that of neg­a­tive test scor­ing. I think cumu­la­tive test scor­ing would be more inter­est­ing, per­son­al­ly. In the final analy­sis, the sys­tem is about how can you avoid mak­ing mis­takes. The top score is set at 100 points. It’s a game, and the object is to fig­ure out how to min­i­mize your mis­takes and keep teach­ers from reduc­ing your points. I’d say that the prob­lem lies with this neg­a­tive scor­ing sys­tem, but if asked, I’d also have to say that cumu­la­tive scor­ing would­n’t solve things either.

… Anno: I think it’s clear that they’re a far cry from when I was in high school. They’re smart. I get the feel­ing that they can see their own lives in an instant, by observ­ing their par­ents and other grown-ups around them. And I’m enjoy­ing that.

Kawakami: I heard some­thing to the effect that as part of mak­ing ani­me, you meet and talk with lots of differ­ent peo­ple.

Anno: I think that’s more or less what I said. Anime and manga are com­pletely fic­tional pic­ture worlds, and thus what hap­pens in them is impos­si­ble in real life. Now, there are two approaches you can take. You can either make it look like a dream all the way to the end, where you bring it back to real­i­ty, or you can show real­ity all the way to the end, and fin­ish up with a dream. A lot of anime starts out as a dream, and ends as a dream. This is no good, because it feels like you’re using dreams as a retreat. And Japan is not such a tough place to live.

I can’t help but won­der why peo­ple are with­draw­ing into dreams in a rea­son­ably pros­per­ous coun­try. A lot of these peo­ple in par­tic­u­lar are anime fans, and for a while I could­n’t deal with that. I got fed up with Evan­ge­lion too, for that rea­son. I can’t stand peo­ple who run away, who refuse to face real­i­ty. Surely you’ll find some­thing for your­self if you face real­ity head on. If noth­ing else, take a good look at your imme­di­ate sur­round­ings. Don’t turn away from unpleas­ant­ness. Have a look at it too. With this in mind, ulti­mately I want to show a lit­tle real­ity in my works. If noth­ing else, I don’t feel any real­ism in some­thing that has no real­ity mixed in with it. Thus, while my next pro­duc­tion will be a girl’s manga about a high­-school girl, it’s also partly real.

Ikeda: You may get really tired, but if you’re not aware of it, it’s the same as not being tired at all, isn’t it? Even if I should real­ize it and keel over from exhaus­tion, that’s fine, because my life right now is good. It’s great. Right now, I fig­ure I’ll keep on going the rest of my life, in just this way.

Anno: Speak­ing with a sense of grand­moth­erly con­cern, the scari­est part of that line of rea­son­ing is when you actu­ally do keel over.

Ikeda: As long as each moment of my life is plea­sur­able, that’s fine.

Anno: Exact­ly. That’s just what that kind of per­son will say.

… Ikeda: Is it so rad­i­cal to think that tomor­row may not come?

Anno: Yeah, I think it’s bet­ter to believe that tomor­row is always with us, rather than that it can be cleanly cut away. That does­n’t mean that you do the same thing tomor­row as today, though. It’s impor­tant to form an image of tomor­row being even just a lit­tle differ­ent, say, even as lit­tle 3% or 5%, from today. If you believe that you want to be a cer­tain way, chances are you’ll move in that direc­tion. Hav­ing a clear image is the key.

… Tak­agi: I want to destroy the sys­tem itself.

Anno: It’s tougher than you might think. I’ve tried numer­ous times, and I’ll tell you, it’s not at all easy. (Ev­ery­one laughs) The work itself is pretty enjoy­able. But it’s a fleet­ing plea­sure.

Nag­amori: What mat­ters is how the pieces shake out.

Anno: As long as you’re not dead, you’ll be OK.

Ikeda: Then I’m safe. Peo­ple tell me I would­n’t die even if I were mur­dered.

Anno: I’ve known my share of girls, but it’s always the ones who tell you they’re absolutely all right, they’re the ones you have to watch out for…

… Uehara: Are you happy with the work you’re doing cur­rent­ly?

Anno: Yes, I am.

Tak­agi: Does it feel like it’s a hob­by?.

Anno: It feels like a hobby that keeps going on.

… Ikeda: It’s a sure bet that you (Tak­agi) will end up home­less.

Anno: I think that’s OK too.

Ikeda: It’s not OK. You end up with­er­ing away, say­ing “It really should have turned out differ­ent­ly.”

Anno: And if you end your life that way, that’s fine too.

• Carl Horn, in the Viz manga let­ters, men­tions that Yam­aga in Fanime­con ’98 called the reli­gious ele­ments “only win­dow dress­ing”. - in Pro­to­cul­ture Addicts #39? TODO: check this when my PAs come…

• Gainax unin­volved in ADV trans­la­tions? http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/2001-October/040552.html; Bochan_bird quotes a Gainax fax he appar­ently received:

“All trans­la­tions into Eng­lish, Chi­ne­se, Kore­an, etc. are han­dled exclu­sively by the con­tract­ing com­pa­nies, and GAiNAX does not issue spe­cific instruc­tions as to the con­tent of this trans­la­tion.”

Con­fus­ing­ly, Bochan_bird says in 2005 that:

ADV was also sup­posed to let Gainax check the script trans­la­tion and other things (this was back when Gainax stilled cared about artis­tic integrity instead of just whor­ing fran­chises for cash), but when Gainax noted a bunch of things to be fixed/changed, ADV basi­cally told them “tough luck” because they were already in pro­duc­tion and could­n’t change any­thing.

[spec­u­la­tion] These things may have con­tributed to the high ask­ing price to ADV for the Eva movies. The atti­tude that “fine, if that is how things are going to be, then you can pay the price for it” is very preva­lent in Japan­ese anime/manga cir­cles, and even in the fan­dom where you get incred­i­ble deals if a collector/dealer likes you, or get pre­sented out­ra­geous prices if they don’t. [/speculation]

Cardass Masters

The rel­e­vance of the card texts to Eva inter­pre­ta­tion have been crit­i­cized and defended.

• Bochan_bird: Part II (movie) card A-17 “2nd Angel Lilith”:

A Source of Life Angel called/named ‘prog­en­i­tor’ like Adam. Until being noticed by Nag­isa Kaworu, Nerv had mis­rep­re­sented the giant cru­ci­fied in Ter­mi­nal Dogma as Adam, but it was actu­ally Lilith. Ayanami Rei is a being with the soul of this Lilith and (a copy of) the body of Ikari Yui.

• Bochan_bird, Put card P-R1:

All life was drawn indis­crim­i­nately into the world desired by the medium/avatar Shin­ji. Led by the Reis – the mes­sen­gers of sal­va­tion – hurt and suffer­ing hearts dis­solved into homo­ge­neous LCL. Even those who did not wish sal­va­tion were pow­er­less to resist. Aoba fran­ti­cally rejected Rei, but the A.T.­Field that pro­tected him had already lost its pow­er.

• Bochan_bird, Drama card D-88; “Kimochi warui”:

Shinji renounced the world where all hearts had melted into one and accepted each other uncon­di­tion­al­ly. His desire… to live with ‘oth­ers’ – other hearts that would some­times reject him, even deny him. That is why the first thing he did after com­ing to his senses was to place his hands around Asuka’s neck. To feel the exis­tence of an ‘other’. To con­firm (make sure of) rejec­tion and denial.

• Card H-11

• Reg­u­lar side, pic­ture descrip­tion: “What we see is the after­math of Third Impact, like in the end­ing sequence, there is Shinji stand­ing (dressed in his school uni­for­m), his hand, palm up, in front of him, and he’s look­ing at (and cast­ing his shadow upon) an uncon­scious Asuka, lay­ing of the ground in an uncon­scious-but-al­so-invit­ing-and-some­what-sur­ren­der­ing pose, her home attire messed up so that all what was vis­i­ble of her in the orig­i­nal scene is there for Shinji and the viewer to see.” Bochan_bird trans­la­tion:

In the sea of LCL, Shinji wished for a world with other peo­ple. He desired to meet them again, even if it meant he would be hurt and betrayed. And just as he had hoped/wanted, Asuka was present in the new world. Only Asuka was there beside him. The girl who he had hurt, and by whom he had been hurt. But even so, she was the one he had hoped/wished for….

• Reverse side: “3rd Chil­dren Ikari Shinji”:

Nei­ther Yui, Rei nor Mis­ato could do as a woman for Shin­ji. Asuka alone was the only girl on equal foot­ing with him. So, Shinji desired/sought after Asu­ka. “I’m afraid of Mis­ato and Ayana­mi.” How­ev­er, Shin­ji’s crude affec­tion only hurt her. In the end, he used her as an object of lust/desire to soothe/ con­sole him­self… -Bochan_bird, card H-14;

• Reg­u­lar side: Mis­ato & Shinji EoE kiss

“3rd Chil­dren, Ikari Shinji – Mis­ato mon­i­tored him in her capac­ity as Nerv Tac­ti­cal Oper­a­tions Chief. Mon­i­tor­ing in the for­mat of liv­ing togeth­er, a for­mat that would not agi­tate him. Play act­ing, search­ing for a com­fort­able dis­tance, clash­ing, reject­ing, wor­ry­ing, jok­ing, fight­ing, and under­stand­ing. The apart­ment changed from a sim­ple dwelling to a home…”

• Gold side: Shinji and Mis­ato dressed up and shar­ing cock­tails in a club. Title: “That’s a grownup kiss. We’ll do the rest when you get back.”

“While fight­ing the Angels togeth­er, the two began to view each other not just as Tac­ti­cal Oper­a­tions Chief and pilot, but in a spe­cial way. Older sis­ter and younger broth­er, mother and son, girl and boy… but the two did not notice/realize the word used to express these feel­ings (this rela­tion­ship?). How­ev­er, time would teach them, just as it had fos­tered the rela­tion­ship between them.”

• Card H-2 shows Shinji in his plug suit fac­ing Gendo (back view). The title is “I was praised by my father/My father praised me”, and the fine print reads: “‘You did well, Shin­ji.’ – Gendo praised Shin­ji, who had piloted Eva. Shin­ji, who had avoided and rejected his father, realised how much he needed/wanted his father. At the same time, Gendo was also com­ing to under­stand a sense of (com­fort­able) dis­tance with his son. As father and son move toward each oth­er, how­ever slow, per­haps one day….” This is per­haps the most ambigu­ous of the three cards, but it is still a far cry from “Shinji rec­on­ciles with Gendo”.

• Card H-5 shows Rei and Shinji fac­ing each other with the moon in the back­ground. The title is “This is my heart? I want to be one with Ikar­i-kun?” (Ep23 dialog), and the fine print reads: “As the sce­nario pro­gress­es, he changes her. A smile, wor­ry­ing, words of thanks… Even­tu­al­ly, with her first tears, she real­izes. ‘I want to be with Ikari.’” Not only does this describe the TV series scene per­fect­ly, but I hardly think it qual­i­fies as “Rei gets Shinji”.

• Card H-12 shows Asuka hug­ging some­one whose face is cut off at the top of the image and thus can­not be seen. This per­son might be mis­taken for Shin­ji, except that the rel­a­tive size of the per­son obvi­ously makes it an adult, and the card deals with Asuka wak­ing up in Eva-02 at the bot­tom of the Geofront lake (EoE scene) and real­iz­ing that her mother is there and has always been watch­ing over her.

1998 S

Every­one in Evan­ge­lion is “seri­ously messed up,” Anno’s trans­la­tor at 1996’s Anime Expo offered. Hav­ing gam­bled and won on Evan­ge­lion, Anno can afford to dis­miss his crit­ics. But this ulti­mate “fan­boy”, who breaks into “Ultra­man” poses when in front of the cam­era, is as hard on him­self as he is on his indus­try and its fans. Evan­ge­lion was a strug­gle against four years of his own cow­ardice - a hia­tus from work where “all I was doing was sim­ply not dying”, said Anno to his Amer­i­can audi­ence. “If I talk about the ‘lim­i­ta­tions’ of the indus­try, after all, what does that mean? Aren’t I really talk­ing about the lim­i­ta­tions inside myself? It is the cre­ators who have to change their frame of mind.” Most peo­ple who make ani­me, Anno said, have the kind of “autism” he him­self has suffered from. “They have to try and reach out with their work, and com­mu­ni­cate to oth­ers. What’s the great­est thing anime has ever achieved? The fact that we’re hold­ing a dia­logue right here and now.” When a fan of the mas­ter asked for advice to those who’d like to break into ani­me, he shot back, “Be inter­ested in other things besides ani­ma­tion.”

Carl Gus­tav Horn, Wiz­ard: Manga Scene; TODO: are some of these AX quotes oth­er­wise unknown?

…Oshii Mamorou’s TV anime series Uru­sei-y­at­sura (81-8) was famous for both its cult appeal to otaku cul­ture (ab­surd SF plot, pretty girls, queer-de­signed mechas, images bor­rowed from Japan­ese folk sto­ries) and his approach as a direc­tor being influ­enced by 70’s Japan­ese under­ground the­ater (for exam­ple, Shuji Ter­aya­ma). He fre­quently exper­i­mented using abstract images, fast cut- ups, (seem­ing­ly) philo­soph­i­cal con­ver­sa­tions or over­ac­tive move­ments of char­ac­ters, to decon­struct ordi­nary anime pat­tern­s…In addi­tion, we also should note that Miyaza­ki, Otomo and Oshi­i’s in attempt­ing to make ani­ma­tion closer to real films seems to stem their com­mon detes­ta­tion of the anime genre (“genre” here means no typ­i­cal images or nar­ra­tives but dis­tri­b­u­tion sys­tem, fan’s accep­tance and so on. Miyazaki and Oshii intended to sep­a­rate them­selves from both anime and anime dis­tri­b­u­tion­s). It is very iron­i­cal that almost all the best results of Japan­ese ani­ma­tion come from such a (pseudo)­self-ha­tred.

…In the first place Evan­ge­lion con­tains not only mechas and pretty girls but many kind of otaku “ser­vices.” Anno bor­rowed or some­times par­o­died innu­mer­able images from 70 - 80’s Japan­ese ani­mes, SF films or comics as for exam­ple the pro­tag­o­nist father’s uni­form is obvi­ously designed as a par­ody of the cos­tume aes­thetic in Space Bat­tle­ship Yam­ato (74). Gainax (formerly Daicon Film) started its career by mak­ing par­ody anime films in a typ­i­cal “post­mod­ern” man­ner. Evan­ge­lion suc­ceeds in using a lot of clich­es, only to invert their func­tions: For exam­ple, such char­ac­ters as Asuka or Toji must not be seri­ously injured in an ani­me. Anno intend­edly breaks such kind of implicit expectation/regulation.

…As Anno him­self remarks [where?], in Evan­ge­lion he does not want to make ani­ma­tion film closer to real films. Instead, he attempts to make the most of ani­me’s abstract­ness (which results from an unavoid­able limit of infor­ma­tion’s quan­tity in one frame). Krys­t­ian Woznicki: So Anno changed the orig­i­nal plot of the story when he saw the news about the inva­sion of Aum’s hide out by the police50. Did he change it because it was too close to real­i­ty?

Azuma Hiroki: Yes, he said so.

KW: But did why he change it? What is the prob­lem with Evan­ge­lion being so close to the Aum case?

AH: Anno thought that the orig­i­nal sce­nario will not be suit­able for broad­cast­ing.

KW: So he feared cen­sor­ship.

AH: A kind of cen­sor­ship. But this is very typ­i­cal of the anime sit­u­a­tion. TV ani­ma­tions are sup­posed to be seen by young­sters under 15, 16 years old. And I think, if it this was­n’t the case, then Anno would have thought that its obvi­ous sim­i­lar­ity with the real­ity would decrease Evan­ge­lion’s imag­i­na­tive poten­tial. But any­way, the orig­i­nal sce­nario [the Pro­pos­al?] is so shock­ingly close to the polit­i­cal moti­va­tion of the Aum Shin­rikyo group, they fight against the upshot of the ene­my, with­out know­ing what the enemy really is. The angels change their form for exam­ple into pyra­mids, into shad­ows.

I asked Anno about such abstract char­ac­ter­is­tics of the angels. He said that this reflects the feel­ings of his gen­er­a­tion. For his gen­er­a­tion the enemy is not polit­i­cal. It is also not defi­nite. I men­tioned to Anno that such abstract char­ac­ter­is­tics of the enemy are very close to the con­cep­tion of Aum as enemy (e.g. poi­son gas) which he admit­ted. He also admit­ted the sim­i­lar­ity of Evan­ge­lion with Aum. Nev­er­the­less it is too sim­ple to con­clude that Anno was sym­pa­thetic with Aum. He empha­sizes the closed­ness and exclu­sive­ness of this group. They lost any con­tact with real­i­ty. In Anno’s view this again is very close to the sit­u­a­tion of anime fans. In fact Evan­ge­lion crit­i­cizes anime fans, and anime cul­ture: it begins with ambigu­ous flir­ta­tions with con­di­tions cen­tral to Aum, and ends with its cri­tique as launched on the sit­u­a­tion of anime fans.

KW: Why do you think that Evan­ge­lion’s flir­ta­tions with the Aum case are so essen­tial to its “cul­tural mean­ing”?

AH: As you may know there was this par­tic­u­lar case with . He is said to have been sur­prised when Nihon Seki Gun [Japan­ese Red Army] got : in 1972 the Japan­ese Red Army stayed in a house close to Mount Asama. They fought with the Japan­ese police and army. This affair was very close to the novel Kozui wa waga tamashii ni oyobi [The Flood invades my spirit] which Oe Ken­z­aburo wrote and wanted to pub­lish at that time. How­ever Oe had to change the plot as it was too close to real­i­ty. The orig­i­nal plot is said to have been partly changed. Although I am not sure that Anno is com­pa­ra­ble to with Oe, it seems unques­tion­able that he is one of the smartest sto­ry­tellers in Japan­ese cul­ture of the 90’s.

KW: But do you really think that the par­al­lels to Aum are char­ac­ter­is­tic of, or say, unique about Evan­ge­lion? For instance the case you just men­tioned has occurred in var­i­ous cases of recent film pro­duc­tions e.g. in the case of Fukui Sho­jin’s Rub­ber’s Lover whose pro­duc­tion goes back to 1992 and which shortly after Aum came to fruition. Out of the fear to pro­voke mis­read­ings Fukui changed some parts, as he feared those to be mis­taken for a sym­pa­thetic account of Aum…Angel Dust made about two years before Aum hap­pend describes cer­tain con­di­tions that became dom­i­nant in the Aum phe­nom­e­na: again iso­la­tion, brain-wash­ing, extor­tion. But the aspect of cir­cu­la­tion, as it is linked to the mode of recep­tion is per­haps unique about Evan­ge­lion and on this level also com­pa­ra­ble with Oe’s case: Evan­ge­lion was broad­cast at 6:30 p.m. in the after­noon on a major chan­nel, reach­ing mil­lions of peo­ple whereas the films just men­tioned are usu­ally seen by a lim­ited audi­ence…

AH: I admit that the close­ness to Aum is not the priv­i­lege of Evan­ge­lion. The point is that Evan­ge­lion is an intrin­sic cri­tique of Aum. Anno’s career is so close to that of Aum. The Anime fan is the typ­i­cal type of Japan­ese otaku. The Aum affair tack­led the cul­tural ter­ri­tory of the Otaku.

Azuma Hiroki: I think that this phe­nom­e­non is very new in Japan­ese cul­tural scene of the 80’s: the mul­ti­pli­ca­tion in num­ber does not mean that they social­ize and get open. Anno is very con­scious about such close­ness. In other inter­views [mit ein­schlaegi­gen Ani­memagazi­nen [Ani­m­age]] he says that in the begin­ning of mak­ing Evan­ge­lion he wanted to enlarge the num­ber of otaku. It was some kind of mas­ter plan for “otakuza­tion” in order to break the closed­ness. But towards the end [of the pro­duc­tion process] he had to break that pat­tern and to diffuse it. This change, that occurred in less than half a year is very impor­tant to Japan­ese cul­ture, because it clearly shows that one typ­i­cal strat­egy to implode a closed/specialized cul­tural ter­rain nec­es­sar­ily results in fail­ure. The series Evan­ge­lion can be divided in 2 parts. The first part is a well made Sci-Fi ani­me. The char­ac­ters are described as happy and com­mu­nica­tive; typ­i­cal Sci-Fi anime char­ac­ters such as Asu­ka. Rei is of course very excep­tion­al. The first part seems to develop into a happy end­ing, which is of course the most desir­able plot for anime fans. The way they watch these films is a process of iden­ti­fy­ing with the char­ac­ters. They want to be Shinji or Asu­ka. But the later part diverges from such a typ­i­cal pat­tern. The reviews and com­ments of Anime fans pub­lished in their respec­tive mag­a­zines show their dis­ap­point­ment with the later episodes, since there is no hope for a happy end­ing and no space for their iden­ti­fi­ca­tion with char­ac­ters. The mys­tery of the Evan­ge­lion world gets increas­ingly crit­i­cal and com­pli­cat­ed. This is obvi­ously not a typ­i­cal Anime plot any­more. Another level is the level of imagery. The speed of cut ups is very high towards the end. When I asked Anno about influ­ences he did not men­tion Nou­velle Vague, although I expected him to say Godard. He named Okamoto Kihachi, a film­maker of the Japan­ese Nou­velle Vague, who was actu­ally influ­enced by Godard. [Blue Christ­mas was by Kihachi.]

[AH:] …In episode 19 Evan­ge­lion punches the ene­my, the black Evan­ge­lion. This scene is very vio­lent and bru­tal. Such cruel imagery can­not be accepted by Anime fans.

AH: Anno did­n’t speak about this issue clear­ly. He just said that some­body made a claim. TV pro­duc­ers, adver­tis­ers, … I don’t know. It seems a del­i­cate mat­ter.

KW: …In Anno there is a remark­able shift towards reduc­tion. The imagery is very sim­plis­tic, yet sophis­ti­cat­ed.

AH: Instead of mul­ti­ply­ing infor­ma­tion within one frame, Anno does mul­ti­ply infor­ma­tion by the speed and rhythm of cut ups. In Anno the infor­ma­tion included in one frame is very lim­it­ed.

KW: Some­times we see a sta­tic image for 30 to 90 sec­onds or so. Some­times there is a min­i­mal, mechan­i­cal move­ment on the ver­ti­cal, hor­i­zon­tal axis within this basi­cally sta­tic image such as the descend­ing move­ment of esca­la­tors on which peo­ple have “seri­ous” con­ver­sa­tions. The sta­tic mechan­i­cal­ness recalls the begin­nings of this genre where sto­ries are nar­rated ver­bally to a large degree.

AH: A sta­tic image fol­lowed by fast, almost shock­ing cut ups is so char­ac­ter­is­tic for Anno. To him Otomo and Oshi­i’s style is very lim­ited due to tech­ni­cal rea­sons. TV ani­ma­tors always work under diffi­cult con­di­tions. Either there is a lack of time or man pow­er.

AH: As you know Anno’s angels have such dou­ble char­ac­ter. You can see that the angels get the form of a virus in some of the episodes. Evan­ge­lion describes the con­cept of the enemy in the 90’s Japan­ese sit­u­a­tion, such as Aum. In the 90’s the Japan­ese com­plain about things get­ting worse and worse in econ­omy and soci­ety, etc. Many have a very crit­i­cal feel­ing about the Japan­ese sit­u­a­tion, while they can not trace the source of this devel­op­ment. Their feel­ings cir­cu­late in vain, with­out iden­ti­fy­ing what/who the enemy is. This con­di­tion is well described in Evan­ge­lion.

KW: There are so many mys­ter­ies in this Ani­me. My impres­sion is that Anno con­structed the story by implant­ing a del­uge of details and sub­-s­to­ries in order to con­fuse the reg­u­lar Anime view­er, who usu­ally sets out to fol­low and inter­pret the plot on all lev­els.

AH: In my opin­ion Anno began Evan­ge­lion with the idea to solve all mys­te­ri­ous points final­ly. I think he changed his mind in the mid­dle. He decided not to solve the mys­ter­ies, but to mul­ti­ply them, which would be another way of crit­i­ciz­ing the view­ing habits of his audi­ence.

AH: In Miyaza­k­i’s film [Laputa] this ele­ment is cen­tral and reap­pears. Nadia was sup­posed to be the TV ver­sion of it, and on top of it, ren­dered with Miyaza­k­i’s taste. Of course, Anno dis­liked this idea. He wanted to do an orig­i­nal work, but it was impos­si­ble to do that within the frame­work of this assign­ment. For exam­ple, he could not cre­ate any cruel scene. After that he decided to make an inde­pen­dent film with Gainax.

AH: Okada is a critic now. The uncon­ven­tional char­ac­ter of Evan­ge­lion’s lat­ter part very much con­tra­dicts Okada’s point of view.

KW: Did he say some­thing about Evan­ge­lion?

AH: As I heard, dur­ing a meet­ing with fans Okada said that he did not see Evan­ge­lion. (laughs)

KW: That’s a clear state­ment.

AH: Sure, but you have to under­stand that his com­pli­cated rela­tion­ship with Gainax also makes it diffi­cult for him to com­ment upon it.

AH: At that time they [Gainax] began to pro­duce com­puter soft­ware. The most suc­cess­ful result was a soft­ware called Princess Maker, which was a sort of sim­u­la­tion soft, in which you can edu­cate a girl. The final goal within this pro­gram for instance is mar­riage. You could chose to make your daugh­ter a sci­en­tist, design­er, or a “naughty girl”. Many choic­es. In 1991 this soft­ware was a big hit. Peo­ple seemed to enjoy the idea to have a sort of a fic­tive, per­sonal toy-girl. It was strictly Otaku busi­ness. Then another turn occurs. Anno went to his home­town and is asked about his pro­fes­sion. He was very ashamed to say that he was an anime direc­tor as his out­put was mainly com­mer­cial. There was noth­ing he could be proud of. Anno was very frus­trat­ed, and came up with the plan to make Evan­ge­lion.

AH: You should not under­es­ti­mate Dojin­shi writer’s skills. Most pro­fes­sional comic writer come from the Dojin­shi Mar­ket. Many pro­duc­ers and edi­tors fol­low Dojin­shi Mar­ket trends, where they would pick up some new tal­ents. A friend of mine writes for an erotic mag­a­zine on the Dojin­shi mar­ket. I was very sur­prised to hear that he sold over 3,000 books ..There are for instance many books on the Dojin­shi Mar­ket which par­ody Evan­ge­lion. Gainax allows it. The com­mit­tee of the Dojin­shi Mar­ket, which may con­sist of some artists, pays a small amount to Gainax as a trib­ute. The expan­sion of the mar­ket is amaz­ing though. As I just said, my friend sold a cou­ple thou­sands of his book. A pro­fes­sional writer in the lit­er­ary field in Japan can not sell so many.

KW: Her [Rei Ayanami] room looks any­way like in a hos­pi­tal. One rea­son is, because she is wear­ing a ban­dage and has always blood all over her clothes/body.

AH: In her apart­ment two images inter­sect. One is refugee, the other one is sci­en­tific dis­-or­na­ment. The inter­sec­tion of these two motifs recalls the hide out of Aum called Satiyam. [Aum’s build­ings were named “Satyam”, eg “Satyam no. 7” was where the sarin was pre­pared.]

KW: I am try­ing to show that there are cer­tain par­al­lels and that Anno is just also not entirely dis­con­nected from the sub­-cul­tural move­ments of the last years.

AH: Of course such con­tem­po­rane­ity is very impor­tant. The point is that in Anno all these images and motifs are very con­vinc­ing and some­how brought to the point.

TOWARDS A CARTOGRAPHY OF JAPANESE ANIME: Anno Hideak­i’s Evan­ge­lion. Inter­view with Azuma Hiroki” “by Krys­t­ian Woznicki for BLIMP Film­magazine” inter­view with Azuma Hiroki; Azuma is refer­ring to his own inter­view of Anno in 1996 (that inter­view is not trans­lat­ed, but Num­ber­s-kun con­firms what a Google Trans­late sug­gests) The arti­cle seems avail­able in Ital­ian; the full inter­view is also avail­able in Ital­ian; it seems to differ some­what:

This is a dra­ma, and thus fic­tion.
It is ani­me, which means it is all told in draw­ings.
The pro­duc­tion sched­ule is also impact­ed.
But it is my hope to fill this work to the brim with the sense that this is what we feel.
I hope that this work will touch your hearts and souls.
I hope that it will reach you beyond just a sense of cute­ness.
None of us will ever truly under­stand any­one else.
The big­ger our hopes, the greater our fail­ures.
Real­ity has no mer­cy.
But if there is a tomor­row, we will think again on those who mat­ter to us.
That means you as well as me.
In hopes that we may all meet and fall in love with some­one won­der­ful.

Karekano pro­duc­er, Sato Hiroki; orig­i­nal Japan­ese

Any­way, I haven’t seen Karekano episode 2 yet, as I imag­ine most of you read­ing this haven’t, either. I feel a kind of shock at miss­ing the show on the air already (there’s an unwrit­ten law about GAINAX staffers hav­ing to watch it on the air).

–from the 1998-10-09 diary of Mura­matsu Ryouko, asst. pro­ducer; rel­e­vant to EoTV - even pro­duc­ers don’t see the final pro­duct, and this from early in pro­duc­tion when there are no prob­lems? Gainax tra­di­tion indeed…

Chang­ing the sub­ject, there’s a win­dow in direct line with the sec­ond-floor hall­way of the GAINAX Build­ing, with a chair right next to that win­dow. It’s for those who want to take a breather, look out­side, and have a smoke. When I passed by there this after­noon, though, there was some­one just sit­ting on the cold floor of the hall­way, smok­ing a cig­a­rette. It was Hirose, who’s doing cel run­ning for episode 8.

Mura­mat­su: Isn’t your butt cold sit­ting like that?

Hirose: If I get warm, I’ll fall asleep.

Seems he had­n’t had any decent sleep in a week, and was des­per­ately fight­ing off fatigue. When I peeked in the pro­duc­tion room about five min­utes lat­er, how­ev­er, he was sleep­ing the sleep of the just. So much for that. I guess this just goes to prove that the peo­ple draw­ing the pic­tures aren’t the ones who have it rough.

–1998-11-06, Mura­matsu Ryouko; the crunch con­tin­ues. (In a sim­i­lar vein, Carl Horn says that “Yam­aga once asked an Amer­i­can fan who wanted to work at Gainax if she had ever seen the movie , because he said that did a good job sug­gest­ing the work space”.)

1998 T

• 1998-animer­i­ca-al­lisonkei­thin­ter­view.pdf

Their best orig­i­nal work­s–Ya­m­a­ga’s Royal Space Force, Takeshi Mori’s Otaku no Video, Kazuya Tsu­ru­mak­i’s FLCL, and Anno’s Evan­ge­lion–dis­play Gainax’s odd insid­e-out para­dox of being super-ob­sessed fans who, through their med­i­ta­tions, nev­er­the­less some­times come to enlight­en­ment about the nature of them­selves, their medi­um, their indus­try, their times, and their world.

–Carl Horn, “Edi­tor’s Note, Manga Vol­ume 1”

Although Death and Rebirth has not yet had a com­mer­cial release on video or disc in Japan, it recently aired on the Japan­ese cable chan­nel WOWOW, and this copy was the source for the pub­lic screen­ing at Fanime – a screen­ing believed to be the first in the United States.

Death and Rebirth came out in Japan on March 15, 1997. A month prior to the film’s Japan­ese pre­miere, Eva direc­tor Hideaki Anno called a Valen­tine’s Day press con­fer­ence to announce that while “it was my intent to con­clude (Eva) with (Death and Rebirth)… the story expanded far beyond the vision I had when we began pro­duc­tion, and we went vastly over the planned run­ning length and frames of ani­ma­tion.”

… Death is an edited ver­sion of the events of episodes #1-24 of the Evan­ge­lion TV series, yet it is no mere syn­op­sis; besides con­tain­ing sev­eral new scenes (it opens with secret UN footage from their Antarc­tic Base shortly before the Sec­ond Impact), Death tells the story of Eva in a com­pletely differ­ent order that leads the viewer to con­tem­plate direc­tor Anno’s choice of view and focus. Hiroyuki Yam­aga com­pared Anno’s edit­ing method to that of a DJ, “sam­pling” the episodes in a com­plex, non-lin­ear mix. In anoth­er, lit­eral sense as well, Death is a musi­cal com­po­si­tion – the movie is struc­tured as a string con­certo in four parts, and we return at var­i­ous points in the edit to the same mys­te­ri­ous locale where much of the events of Eva TV episodes #25 and #26 take place (thus strongly sug­gest­ing that despite the pre­sen­ta­tion of The End of Evan­ge­lion – of which Rebirth is of course the first part – as a “remake” of those final two episodes, it might be bet­ter regarded as another view­point on them instead) where var­i­ous Eva char­ac­ters per­form, sep­a­rately and togeth­er, musi­cal selec­tions from Bach, Beethoven, and Pachel­bel.

I was flip­ping through the old Japan­ese clas­sics “Genji Mono­gatari” (Tale of Gen­ji) the other day. It’s been quite some time since I looked at the final part of this mon­u­men­tal work, and I found that the name of the hero in this part of the story is “Kaworu”!!

I did some more research on this name. These are the facts about “Kaworu” that I find out:

• The rea­son why “Kaworu” is writ­ten with a “wo” char­ac­ter is prob­a­bly influ­enced by clas­sics work like “Genji Mono­gatari”. In the Heian ages and medieval peri­od, “wo” and “o” were quite sep­a­rate words. At that time “Kaworu” was indeed writ­ten with “wo” char­ac­ter. The two char­ac­ters merged in their pro­nun­ci­a­tion in the Edo period and thus cre­ated the con­fu­sion as to why “Kaworu” should have a “wo” char­ac­ter. It is pos­si­ble that some Japan­ese may not even know this, and it has become com­mon prac­tice to write “Kaoru”. This cre­ates more con­fu­sion.
• “Kaworu” is a seri­ous but also roman­tic hero in the last third of the Tale of Gen­ji. And lit­er­ally the kanji for “Kaworu” means fra­grance (of incense wood). Indeed in Tale of Gen­ji, Kaworu was born with a very spe­cial bod­ily fea­ture: His body bore a sweet fra­grance smell. So the name “Kaworu” is com­monly related to the idea of intel­li­gent, hand­some and roman­tic hero.
• And one more strik­ing thing. “Kaworu” can be a girl’s name as well!!This adds to the ambi­gu­ity of sex impli­cated by this name. Put it into the con­text that Kaworu is an epit­ome of shou­jo-anime bis­honen (hand­some boy) with ambigu­ous sex­u­al­i­ty. Now it seems to me that Gainax actu­ally put some thought in choos­ing his name.
• Last­ly, it can now become clear that despite “Kaworu”’s Cau­casian look, he indeed has a Japan­ese name.

Patrick Yip (In­ter­est­ing­ly, in Anno’s 2000 char­ac­ter name essay, he has no idea what the first name sig­ni­fies.)

Well the PTA man­aged to stop Go Nagai’s Shame­ful School (Harenchi Gakuen) from being pub­lished. U-Jin’s Angel was pulled from pub­li­ca­tion a few years ago after loud PTA objec­tions, but then it came back in a new 3-D stere­ogram edi­tion essen­tially uncut. If EVA was a late night ani­me, the PTA prob­a­bly would­n’t have raised a ruckus, if it ever did. But since EVA was shown on prime­time, when chil­dren (as well as adults) would likely be able to watch, con­cerned par­ents might have objected to it. From what I’ve gath­ered, EVA had more “mature sit­u­a­tions” than any anime on prime­time tele­vi­sion. It also had reli­gious themes (or those that could be inter­preted as such) that are vir­tu­ally nonex­is­tent in the medi­um.

1999

1999 P

…In an inter­view with Asahi Shim­bun he said his father [Takuya Anno], who wears an arti­fi­cial leg, has over­come the stigma of dis­abil­ity by work­ing as a news­pa­per deliv­ery man. Wounded sol­diers in his ani­ma­tions reflect father’s influ­ence, he said, adding, “Some­thing bro­ken or defi­cient comes more nat­u­rally to me.”

My father has only one leg. While work­ing at a lum­ber mill he had his left leg seri­ously injured with an elec­tric saw. He was 16 years old at the time. He wears an arti­fi­cial leg below the thigh. He has trou­ble walk­ing, so he used to stay at home.

He was run­ning a tai­lor’s shop with his wife in Ube, Yam­aguchi Pre­fec­ture. He became a tai­lor because he could work sit­ting on a chair. He had no trou­ble ped­al­ing the sewing machine.

Father had an oper­a­tion at a local hos­pi­tal, but the sur­geon did a poor job. I often saw an edge of the bone still peek­ing out of the flesh. And he felt pain because his arti­fi­cial leg did­n’t fit. After walk­ing for a long time, he would take off the device and mas­sage his thigh. So about the only time I went out with him was when there was a fes­ti­val in town.

In my boy­hood, father was melan­choly. I often over­heard him com­plain­ing to moth­er, “I would­n’t lose out to any­body if I had two healthy legs.” As a small child I could under­stand how he felt about his hand­i­cap.

I think he was emo­tion­ally unsta­ble. Maybe that’s why he beat and kicked me when I did some­thing wrong. Some­times mother came to my res­cue and ran away hold­ing me in her arms. Father also said some­thing very cruel to me, though I don’t remem­ber exactly what he said. It had the same con­no­ta­tion as what a frus­trated mother might say to her unwanted child - “I wish you were not here.”

When I was in senior high school, low-priced ready-made suits hit the mar­ket, and father could­n’t make a liv­ing just run­ning a tai­lor shop. So he began deliv­er­ing news­pa­pers. He made his rounds in the town on a bicy­cle. Maybe he wanted to show he could work like any­body else.

I think some­thing in him changed after that. He stopped com­plain­ing around that time. He got a dri­ver’s license and often made a short trip with my moth­er.

Father says noth­ing about my pro­duc­tions. Maybe he does not under­stand ani­ma­tions. I meet him per­haps once every two or three years. I feel dis­tant from my fam­i­ly.

But there is no doubt that I have been influ­enced by father’s phys­i­cal hand­i­cap. I can­not love any­thing per­fect. To me, robots with­out a hand or leg look bet­ter. In my ani­ma­tion “Tet­su­jin 28-go” (Iron Man No. 28), the robot loses his arm. I love that scene.

While in ele­men­tary school I would draw a robot in my note­book or in a blank space of the text­book, and then I would rub out a part of the body and show some­thing that looks like a bone.

The robots that appear in my pro­duc­tions usu­ally get injured in bat­tle and end up in bad shape with a part of the body bro­ken.

Some­thing bro­ken of defi­cient comes more nat­u­rally to me. Some­times that thing is the body. Some­times it is the mind.

—“Dis­abil­ity Shapes Taste for the Imper­fect: A Father’s Way”, Asahi Evening News, Sun­day 1999-10-03 (tran­scribed by EGF Wiki from pho­to­graph of printed news­pa­per)

In 1997, shortly after the suc­cess of Evan­ge­lion and some­where dur­ing pre-pro­duc­tion of Kare Kano, Anno par­tic­i­pated in a pop­u­lar NHK show called “Wel­come Back for an Extracur­ric­u­lar Lesson, Sem­pai!”, where pop­u­lar per­son­al­i­ties revisit the town they grew up in to teach a class at their old pri­mary schools. For any­one who has peeked into the very, very dark cur­rent of thought he vented so read­ily in Evan­ge­lion, the thought of this is impos­si­ble not to snicker at.

… Before Anno arrives, they are to draw and write what they think he’s like, based on their thoughts from watch­ing Eva. Puz­zled, they just start com­ing up with silli­ness.

… “Why is that robot­-thingy called Evan­ge­lion?”

“It comes from a Chris­t­ian word mean­ing ‘Gospel’ and it’s sup­posed to bring bless­ings. It has some Greek roots. I chose the name because it sounds com­pli­cat­ed.”

“What does Rei like?” Otaku boy asks. “I haven’t thought about it,” is Anno’s curt reply. He’s not exactly a ver­bal per­son, but he’s keenly aware of sub­tle things that affect how the kids might react to him, so he does things like main­tain eye level with them. Anno admits he has a self­-es­teem prob­lem. “I’m not crazy about myself. I’m often told that those who don’t like them­selves have high ide­als, but I think some­one who says that does­n’t really under­stand the pain that’s involved,” he mus­es.

“Do you like the anime you make?”

“There’s parts I like and parts I don’t.”

“What parts do you dis­like?”

“The parts that I’m in.”

… After a quick school lunch (Anno barely eats, and refuses all meat and fish) The kids are brought by bus into town to inter­view Anno’s par­ents and child­hood friends. [cf. the ’96 anime pan­el]

… After the kids present their (much improved) ani­ma­tions, Anno wraps up by explain­ing the point of such free-form exer­cis­es. “In school tests, there’s only one answer for each ques­tion, and you might get zero or half points if you’re wrong. But in the real world, things aren’t so black and white, so think about things on your own and express them in words or pic­tures. That’s how you com­mu­ni­cate with peo­ple. That’s so impor­tant.”

… The power lines, the land­scapes of man-made struc­tures – includ­ing many of Anno’s visual trade­mark shots – are so obvi­ously influ­enced by these sur­round­ings that we almost expect to see Asuka round­ing the cor­ner.

“Buried Trea­sure: ‘Hideaki Anno Talks to Kids’”; pic­ture of par­ents in Hideaki Anno Talks to Kids

When the very first meet­ing was held before the title had even been decid­ed, Anno had already pro­vided the theme of “a bat­tle between gods and humans”. Both Anno and I – our gen­er­a­tion – was influ­enced by Go Nagai, so mak­ing some­thing on a grand scale meant it ended up like “Dev­il­man”. The char­ac­ter design request from Anno was that “the lead char­ac­ter is a girl, and has an old­er-sis­ter type fig­ure like Coach next to her,” so it was struc­turally sim­i­lar to “Gun­buster”. So I first designed an Asuka-type girl as the lead char­ac­ter, but after “Gun­buster” and “Nadia” I felt some resis­tance to mak­ing the lead char­ac­ter a girl again. I mean a robot should be piloted by a trained per­son, and if that per­son just hap­pens to be a girl then that is fine, but I could­n’t see why a young girl would pilot a robot… So I remem­ber say­ing to Anno, “It’s a robot sto­ry, so let’s make the lead char­ac­ter a boy.” And just about that time, I was watch­ing the NHK [pub­lic TV chan­nel] pro­gram “Brain and Heart”51 and learned about the exis­tence of the A10 nerve, and I told Anno about the idea that popped into my head at that time. That was the idea where “the dead mother is inside the robot, which is oper­ated by mental/psychical bond­ing with the child. More­over, par­en­t-child rela­tions are parched/strained due to the death of the mother at a young age.”

… An eas­ily rec­og­niz­able sil­hou­ette is also impor­tant, but I designed the char­ac­ters so that their per­son­al­i­ties could be more or less under­stood at a glance. For exam­ple, even the color and length of the hair expresses per­son­al­i­ty. I thought that Asuka would occupy the posi­tion of an “idol” in the Eva world, and that [Asuka and] Shinji should be just like the rela­tion­ship between Nadia and Jean. And then I set Rei as the oppos­ing “Ying” por­tion. It was my idea to have her wrapped in ban­dages. The most diffi­cult was Mis­ato. So I thought it would be inter­est­ing to have some­one like the older girl next door as a mil­i­tary per­son.

We had talked a lot in the begin­ning about want­ing a title like “Space Run­away Ideon (Le­gendary Giant God Ideon)”, so I think I did push that. And to tell the truth, the story com­po­si­tion is also sim­i­lar. For exam­ple, Nerv can be con­sid­ered the same as the Solo Ship fight­ing a lonely bat­tle against both humankind and the Buff Clan, and then there are the incom­pre­hen­si­ble robots that can only com­mu­ni­cate with chil­dren and tend to go berserk, etc. It might not be an exag­ger­a­tion to say that if you add “Ideon” and “Dev­il­man” together and divide by two, you get “Evan­ge­lion”. (laugh)

–Sep­tem­ber Der Monde Sadamoto inter­view; par­tial trans­la­tion, cov­er­ing key char­ac­ter design. Inter­view was reprinted in Osadebon (“Book of Sadamoto”), a sup­ple­ment to the Decem­ber 2000 Ace-A manga mag­a­zine. e writes that the con­tents of the Osadebon are:

• "Stage 1 of Eva manga (40 pages).
• Sadamoto Long Inter­view men­tioned above (8 pages).
• Sadamoto My Favourites (5 pages - he writes about his favourite cars, bikes, idols, movies and anime/manga).
• Kotou no Oni manga (32 pages - orig­i­nally pub­lished in New­type in 1994, then in the Der Mond Deluxe Edi­tion, art by Sadamo­to, story by wife Takaha Mako).
• Otou­san no Fut­suu Seikatsu manga (9 pages - by wife Takaha Mako).
• 1 page list­ing all tank­oubon (and related Eva books) by Sadamo­to.
• 2 pages of all com­ments made by Sadamoto in the con­tents page of Shonen Ace since 1995.
• 2 pages list­ing Sadamo­to’s main works, with short com­ments by Sadamo­to.
• 1 page ad for vol­ume 8 of the Eva man­ga.
• 1 page time­line of Sadamo­to’s life, start­ing with birth in 1962."

Go Nagai: I told myself that it was a good idea to cre­ate a hero who was­n’t nec­es­sar­ily good, that we could have a bad hero, that’s where the inspi­ra­tion came. At that time I was watch­ing movies like Godzilla and I was really iden­ti­fy­ing myself to him. With­out know­ing why, through the eyes of Godzil­la, I felt the need to crush tanks or to dis­perse crowds of peo­ple with kicks, I found that enter­tain­ing… It’s in this same state of mind that I started writ­ing Mao Dante.

[Hideaki Anno:] …In brief, I was fol­low­ing the man­ga, and I arrived to the part of the “big bat­tle”. It was some­thing unex­pect­ed, and for a child like me, it was shock­ing.

G: And what marked you?

H: For exam­ple, this scene where a char­ac­ter faced school­girl pris­on­ers, whose clothes were torn, were hid­ing their breasts and the crotch, and tells them “Hands up !” It’s remark­able, like a com­i­cal scene. I think it was one of my first mem­o­ries of your work. But your influ­ence on me is incal­cu­la­ble, impos­si­ble to eval­u­ate. After all, even in Evan­ge­lion, I could­n’t get away from the Dev­il­man influ­ence…

G: Oh yes ? I was told that there were sim­i­lar­i­ties, there­fore I went to see Evan­ge­lion in the cin­ema with that idea, but I did­n’t feel that.

H: No, but I think I did­n’t do it con­scious­ly… After that, peo­ple made me notice : “Ah this is Dev­il­man”, etc…

…[In­ter­view­er] You both are from two differ­ent gen­er­a­tions. What was your idea of a mon­ster, when you were kids ?

H: I was­n’t a big fan of mon­ster movies, not as much as Mas­ter Nagai… I did­n’t hate it, but for me war movies was rather my thing. After that, I started on hero sto­ries like Ultra­man.

G: You were not watch­ing Ultra Q, Ultra­man’s pre­quel?

H: I saw it, but I could­n’t get a hold of it. We were see­ing only mon­sters, and scary stuff… We can con­clude that I pre­fer giant heroes over mon­sters.

G: Some­one told me that Evan­ge­lion was visu­ally inspired by Ultra­man, is it true ?

H: EVA is an “Ultra­man-ian” char­ac­ter, sure. But to be hon­est, the visual inspi­ra­tion also comes from Dev­il­man.

G: Really ?

H: There’s also some Shuten Douji in it. And also the idea that even demons and ogres with their scary faces. I think the thing we name “power” is some­thing really scary. So when the design was to be made, I par­tic­u­larly insisted that he is scary-look­ing. If kids could start cry­ing just by watch­ing an episode, that would be ide­al. To the point to make it an anti-hero, some­thing which is scary. For that, Dev­il­man was the per­fect mod­el. I had drawn a “rough” ver­sion of EVA which looked a lot like Dev­il­man, with the curved back, la taille fine, a thick chest plate. It was the image that I made from Dev­il­man. But EVA also has com­mon points with Mazinger Z. Him too has a scary demonic face.

G: For what is Dev­il­man and Mazinger Z, I did­n’t have the inten­tion to give them night­mare-esque faces, but that nat­u­rally came to me ! (Laughs)

H: In Mao Dan­te, the ears of Ryo Utsugi become the eyes of a demon, right ? In the first ver­sion of EVA, when we looked at its eyes close­ly, we also noticed an influ­ence from Mao Dante. Before that I did the Gun­buster ova, and for the robot design, I told myself that giv­ing it two eyes was a bit dull. So I made it like a cyclops, but later I real­ized it was a mis­take. Even with their shad­ow, robots like Mazinger remained rec­og­niz­able, even if the eyes were no longer just two white shapes. In Gun­buster, with its unique eye, it did­n’t work well. I there­fore told myself that next time, I will defi­nitely make a robot with com­pound eyes, like an insect. For that, I coloured all of the body of the first ver­sion of EVA with a gloomy colour, except for the eyes, which I left in white, to attract atten­tion.

…H: Still con­cern­ing the face, I love Mazinger Z in pro­file towards the first episode in the pre­pub­li­ca­tion. It’s his first appear­ance and Kouji dis­cov­ers it with a stun­ning cry.

G: The scene in the house of the grand­pa, is that it ?

H: Yes, it really marked me. That must be why I gave the same kind of eyes to the first ver­sion of EVA. When I brought these rec­ti­fi­ca­tions on the orig­i­nal draw­ings, I could­n’t pre­vent myself from draw­ing the eyes in the style of Mas­ter Nagai.

And in the first episode of Evan­ge­lion, the first appear­ance of EVA is a big shot on his face, right ?

H: Eh yes, that’s it. (Laugh) Sor­ry.

G: Fancy that ? (Laugh)

…HA : The manga that was appear­ing in Terebi Mag­a­zine was­n’t bad, but how­ev­er, it was­n’t the tv ver­sion… I was watch­ing, but at that time when I was in 5th grade, me and my friends had the impres­sion that it was for lit­tle kids, and that they were tak­ing us a bit for idiots. It’s the same thing for the Get­ter Robo ani­me. The manga of Mas­ter Ken Ishikawa was like a bible to me. In the anime of Mazinger Z, there was only one episode that I liked, the n°32 (“Three headed beast machine of ter­rorr”), where Mazinger Z was hurled in the sky by hang­ing on to the “breast­-mis­siles” [Aphro­dai Ace - NDT]. In my mem­o­ry, it’s the only scene that fas­ci­nated my child­ish heart. And for Get­ter Robo, it’s the episode where they were forced to pilot by them­selves… The one where the robot gets decap­i­tated ? (N°30 : “When the Phoenix res­ur­rects”)

HA : That’s all. It’s the only episode I liked, the one where Get­ter Robo is defeat­ed. That seemed plau­si­ble to me. Also, I really liked the open­ing song too.

…TO : In your work, there are fright­en­ing images of dis­fig­ured char­ac­ters, torn bod­ies or human-dogs, which were very scary, and in addi­tion to that, there were frights that we pre­fer not to talk about, gen­er­ally speak­ing. It’s the kind of things we pre­fer not think­ing in our every­day life. In Dev­il­man and Mao Dan­te, the mem­ory that in the past, humans were the prey of demons, it’s really some­thing ter­ri­fy­ing.

GN : Whether it comes from our mem­o­ries or else­where, we have this kind of mem­o­ries in us.

TO : It actu­ally exists by the way. There was a time when humans were preys, with­out a doubt. I think that’s why we started using our hands, mak­ing fire etc… so as not to be eat­en! It’s some­thing that we have for­got­ten, but some­thing still says in our mem­o­ry, as a species. At that time, we were simi­ans, we were attacked by sauri­ans, et since these beasts were a source of fear, we got used to the idea of demons.

Hideaki Anno : I like well the con­cept of “freaks” who counter attack, for exam­ple in Mazinger Z. For me, the mechan­i­cal beasts are like an army of “freaks”, also, they’re led by a crazy sci­en­tist! As a kid, I loved to see the crazy sci­en­tist who was oppressed and started shout­ing “For­ward for the world’s con­quest!”

GN : It’s a bit the same thing with demons, right? From a his­toric point of view, most of peo­ple who were iden­ti­fied to demons were tyran­nised. I expressed that uncon­scious­ly… I maybe go that idea some­where, to say … Who knows that can hap­pen to me in another life?Any­way, what­ever hap­pens, I can­not be on side of those with pow­er, I’ll nat­u­rally be for the ones oppos­ing pow­er. And even if Satan was iden­ti­fied as the big evil, I won­der if he’s as bad that. Et puis au final. At the end of Dev­il­man, we can also reach a con­clu­sion that God is the evil one. Satan too opposes power : He opposes God…

…HA : When we have char­ac­ters hose lose their orig­i­nal form and mixes them­selves with one anoth­er, that’s Ken Ishikawa. How­ev­er, when we see bod­ies well cut in two with blood com­ing out, that’s Go Nagai.

GN : In the cin­ema ver­sion of Evan­ge­lion, your use of vis­cer­al­ity isn’t bad at all…

HA : That’s right… We also intro­duced the con­cept of can­ni­bal­ism. But it’s hard to make it fright­en­ing in ani­ma­tion.

GN : I thought it was effec­tive enough!

HA : What would be ideal is that kids who watch it start to vom­it, but they did­n’t even get a small nau­sea. That should have made them sick. Because if I think it’s bet­ter to show repug­nant things just as they are. If we suc­ceed to trans­mit the emo­tion that atro­cious things are atro­cious, it’s mis­sion suc­ceed­ed. When some­one tells me “It’s too hor­ri­ble, too vio­lent”, that pleases me, because it’s a healthy and nor­mal reac­tion. When they tell me “I can­not watch, it’s too much”, I say “Okaaaaay!” (Laugh­s).52

…HA : Actu­ally (with Evan­ge­lion), I only thought of renew­ing the genre. At its core, it’s still Mazinger Z. I thought to myself how Mazinger Z would be if it was cre­ated today. With stuff like train­ing the pilots in lab­o­ra­to­ries… How­ev­er, this was quickly derailed.

…TO : No, noth­ing at all. But tell me, Anno, you will have to clar­ify me on a point : In the cin­ema ver­sion of Evan­ge­lion, the NERV fights against the army… As far as the intrigue goes, it reminded me of the war between the min­istry of edu­ca­tion and the shame­less school, in Harenchi Gakuen. On one side, you got those who back up the total war, say­ing that it’s jus­ti­fied, and on the other side, there are those who say it’s going to be a mas­sacre. When I watched the movie in the the­atres, I told myself that this looked like a seri­ous ver­sion of Harenchi Gakuen’s end­ing…

HA : Actu­al­ly, since the time when we pro­duced the TV series which pre­ceded the movie, I was think­ing of the image of the soci­ety as ene­my. So, in the end, char­ac­ters linked to the gov­ern­ment are actu­ally a form of author­i­ty, from our point of view. It’s a story which shows how adults destroy the lives of chil­dren. I can­not say I’m com­pletely opposed to the sys­tem, but since my child­hood, I always had this vague impres­sion of being squashed by the pres­sure around me.

…HA : I ask myself at what moment peo­ple started to value vir­tual things over real things. Maybe kids today think that vir­tu­al­ity has more val­ue.

TO : I think that’s the case. As a con­se­quence, real­ity has less value in their eyes, they think it’s easy to kill peo­ple. So that if we give real­ity its ade­quate val­ue, it’s hard to decap­i­tate some­one or do these kind of things…

H: As for the images of girls, when I was small, I was more addicted to Yam­aguchi Momoe (A Japan­ese “Idol” singer) than my girl class­mates. Peo­ple that we see on tv are more impor­tant than those who exist just two steps away from us. It’s a form of idol­i­sa­tion.

…H: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto con­sid­ers you sim­ply like a God. His main rea­son for going to a party organ­ised by Kodan­sha was to meet you. Me too, when I went to the cer­e­mony of prize awards of Sci­ence-Fic­tion, that was for the same rea­son.

…H: In our days, it’s unde­ni­able that we ask ques­tions on the valid­ity of fic­tion. Also, doc­u­men­taries are becom­ing more and more inter­est­ing. To the point where real­ity itself become just as chaotic just like fic­tion. I explain myself : the things that M. Nagai wrote about 25 to 30 years ago have already mate­ri­al­ized. Recent­ly, I was wan­der­ing in Shibuya quar­ters, around 21 hours. I had the impres­sion of being there. The “infer­nal earth­quake of the Kanto planes” did­n’t hap­pen, but it was as if I was in the slums of Vio­lence Jack. There’s an atmos­phere of des­o­la­tion. Peo­ple who were found there had no place of work, and when they worked, it did­n’t bring them any­thing. It’s before every­thing else a spir­i­tual pover­ty.

…G: I partly wrote Dev­il­man with the inten­tion of alert­ing peo­ple. In our days in Japan, we are indiffer­ent to arma­ment com­pared to the past. I want to say that in this time, noth­ing other than talk­ing about the prob­lem of the army could cool down the ambiance. For some time, that’s no longer the case.

Toshimichi Otsuki: It’s as if they were telling me ear­lier : It’s “vir­tual”. We’re “wait­ing for the war”, I think. I some­time ask myself if every­one does­n’t want war.

G: And I have the impres­sion that this want for war is becom­ing real­i­ty. How did it hap­pen, again? … Yes, for the Japan­ese sol­diers of the autode­fense force sent to a for­eign place can par­tic­i­pate in mil­i­tary activ­i­ties, we cre­ated rules of coop­er­a­tion with the peace main­te­nance force from the UN. It will start like this. If we admit that it’s accept­able to send army forces in large quan­ti­ties, we are two fin­gers away from approv­ing armed aggres­sions. What scares me, it’s to extrap­o­late that.

–In­ter­view between Hideaki Anno and , pub­lished in the 1999 art­book Dev­il­man Tab­u­lae Anatom­i­cae Kaitaishin­sho; trans­lated into French (ful­l?) by Jay­Wicky, and then into Eng­lish

“I think my friend wanted me to do this” is the sole, mys­te­ri­ous expla­na­tion offered for his [Hideaki Anno’s] new, one-night old hair­style.

…“Yeah, I fit into the otaku group-or at least I’m an otaku who has opened up. But maybe then I’m not an otaku any more because of that. It’s hard to define …”

…“I became an ani­ma­tor by chance, real­ly-it did­n’t hap­pen by my will. Before I knew it, I was an ani­ma­tor. When I was a child, I wanted to be a bus dri­ver or a train con­duc­tor; I never really had a spe­cific vision or dream.”

…“Eva was a fluke …,” Anno pauses for a moment, almost recon­sid­er­ing his reply, then adds, “I don’t think my sto­ries are really meant for a wide audi­ence. I guess what I felt at that time just hap­pened to strike a chord with the youth.”

…“Japan is the only coun­try in the world that actu­ally has an anime indus­try, and can mass-pro­duce ani­mated works of a high qual­ity for a large audi­ence. It’s only nat­ural then, that this prod­uct would be in demand from the rest of the world.”

“Japan is unri­valed in this sense. Dis­ney is really no com­pe­ti­tion because Dis­ney can only release one film at a time. They are not capa­ble of han­dling the wide range of sto­ries that we see in Japan­ese ani­me. Real anime exists only in Japan, and this is about the only orig­i­nal prod­uct Japan can offer to the world-anime, manga and com­puter games.”

…So, when asked directly about the future of Japan in the next mil­len­ni­um, Hideaki Anno becomes the dark vision­ary that the kids know so well.

“Whether it be a few years into the future or 10 years in the future, I don’t know, but there is going to be a rad­i­cal change or event that will change Japan.”

“There will come a time when Japan is going to go through a big shake-up-so much so that Japan may no longer be able to sur­vive. But it won’t be because of pol­i­tics, and it won’t be the result of any nat­ural dis­as­ter.”

“It’s the Japan­ese econ­o­my; the back­lash of our econ­o­my. Right now, peo­ple are always telling us that our econ­omy is on the upswing and all that …” (pause) … “but I don’t believe them.”

“‘Opened-up’ otaku opens up: The nation’s - nay, the world’s - fore­most cyberan­i­ma­tor comes down to Earth to talk.” (EML mir­ror); Asahi Shim­bun, Decem­ber 30, 1999

“PS We did man­age to find out that it is Kaworu play­ing the vio­lin in Death & Rebirth.”

–Saxon Heffer­nan, “Pil­grim­age to Gainax”

Anno had planned to visit Aussiecon Three and then Ayres Rock; can­celed when he fell down a Tokyo esca­la­tor dur­ing rush hour, “hit­ting his head seri­ously enough to require seven stitches in his fore­head”.

12-11-99—- Japan Mar­itime Self­-De­fence Force Series Super­vised By Hideaki Anno

The film­ing of Japan Self­-De­fense Force [JSDF] equip­ment and train­ing, super­vised by Gainax direc­tor, Hideaki Anno (Evan­ge­lion), is being released in Japan on LD and DVD. The first vol­ume: “JUSDF FLEET POWER1 -Yoko­suka- Japan Mar­itime Self­-De­fense Force” went on sale on Nov. 25th. The first vol­ume includes scenes of car­ri­er-based air­craft and asroc shoot­ing and retails for 5800 Yen.

Source: J-Dream Direct Newslet­ter, J-Dream Web

1999 S

Japan Edge: The Insid­er’s Guide to Japan­ese Pop Sub­cul­ture, 1999 ISBN 156931-345-8; con­trib­u­tors: Carl Gus­tav Horn, Mason Jones, Patrick Maci­as, Yui Oniki, Matt Thor; ‘Ani­me: Overview; “As You Are, As You Were, As I Want You To Be”; Future Trend/Collection/Bio’, by Carl Gus­tav Horn:

Gainax’s Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion would even­tu­ally become the national phe­nom­e­non to make the pre­dic­tion come true. Gainax (their name even sounds like Gen-X) under­stood the cul­ture of inter­na­tional post­mod­ernism that draws every­day lessons from Bewitched and reserves the big, abstract issues for Star Wars. But what made Gainax spe­cial was their insis­tence that this was all, on some lev­el, true and authen­tic. The ’60s gen­er­a­tion claimed that a ninja comic was a Cliff Notes for Marx. Gainax had no need to plead a higher author­i­ty; they saw noth­ing wrong with find­ing guid­ance just in the ninja comic itself. They had a spe­cial kind of self­-knowl­edge some­times acces­si­ble to those who grow up play­ing not with the world but with other peo­ple’s mod­els of the world, to those who con­tem­plate not cre­ation but arti­fice.3

3: Pauline Kael’s com­ments on Mas­cu­line-Fem­i­nine in The New Yorker fit Gainax’s con­cep­tion of the otaku per­fect­ly: “This com­mu­nity of unbe­liev­ers has a style of life by which they rec­og­nize each oth­er; it is made up of every­thing adults attack as the worst and shod­di­est forms of…de­hu­man­iza­tion. It is the vari­ety of forms of ‘Coca-Cola’ - the syn­thetic life they were born to and which they love, and which they barely make human and more beau­ti­ful and more ‘real’ than the old just-bare­ly-hang­ing-on adult cul­ture. Mem­ber­ship is auto­matic and nat­ural for the crea­tures from inner space…they have the beauty of youth which can endow pop with poet­ry, and they have their feel­ings for each other and all those shared prod­ucts and responses by which they know each oth­er.” Gainax’s pas­sion is, then, a French kiss-in-cheek, a tongue stuck out, but say­ing some lovely things. Hideaki Anno and Hiroyuki Yam­a­ga, both born when the Bea­t­les were still a Chuck Berry cover band, are the Lennon and McCart­ney of Gainax. At least, Yam­aga main­tains that Anno looks like the “smart one”, while per­son­ally dis­claim­ing any resem­blance to “the cute one”. (But nei­ther of the two are fans, par­tic­u­lar­ly; Anno loves the sound of retro-SF themes and clas­si­cal music, while Yam­aga has shown a pen­chant for the ’80s elec­tronic of Ryuichi Sakamoto and ’90s trance-Goa pio­neer DJ Tsuyoshi, both of whom Yam­aga picked to score his movies.) “If any­body’s going to get shot, though, I would want it to be Anno”, he says, laugh­ing as he speaks of his com­rade of many years. “Sup­pos­edly he made Evan­ge­lion for a tar­get age of four­teen, but I think he really made it for peo­ple his own age - about thir­ty-five.”

Like Miyazaki and Taka­hata’s polit­i­cal fables, Gainax’s know-thy­self anime ran on a part­ner­ship of two direc­tors. The crit­i­cal detail for Gainax is that the “moment of clar­ity” - as Amer­i­can otaku Quentin Taran­tino would have it - for Hiroyuki Yam­aga (b. 1962) and Hideaki Anno (b. 1960), came at decid­edly differ­ent speeds. For Yam­a­ga, the per­cep­tion came first, as a burst from deep space: illu­mi­nat­ing with a bril­liant, light-speed flash. Long years lat­er, the shock­wave arrived for Anno, crack­ing his pri­vate world apart.

Yam­aga pre­sented as a fairly respectable, ath­letic young man with an inner pas­sion for cre­ative and finan­cial suc­cess in the film world, when he arrived at col­lege in 1980 - just like Kubo, the fresh­man pro­tag­o­nist of Otaku no Video, which Yam­aga wrote under a pseu­do­nym. The col­lege he attended was no Todai or Gakushuin, but the arts uni­ver­sity of Japan’s heavy indus­trial cen­ter, Osa­ka. Walk­ing through the quad one day early on in his stu­dent career, he found him­self sud­denly in the midst of a live-ac­tion bat­tle between wild cos­tumed stu­dents, one side dressed as nin­ja, the other in SWAT gear. “When that becomes a daily occur­rence, what am I sup­posed to say?” Yam­aga exclaimed to Amer­i­can fans in 1997 upon a visit to Sil­i­con Val­ley’s mas­sive annual anime gath­er­ing, Fanime Con. Then, a tall, gan­gling, and mys­te­ri­ous upper­class­man intro­duced him­self not with the cus­tom­ary hello but by con­fid­ing that he knew prac­ti­cally every line in Space Bat­tle­ship Yam­ato (Star Blaz­ers) by heart. “I think I for­got what was nor­mal at that point”, recalled Yam­a­ga.

Soon he found him­self mak­ing 8 mm Power Rangers-type super­hero films with Anno and his friends, and, of course, anime - cut­ting up indus­trial plas­tic sheet­ing into cels to save mon­ey. The anime shorts were not so much nar­ra­tives as col­lec­tions of pop-cul­ture rhyming-and-steal­ing, as fran­tic as a Beastie Boys track. In an Anno-Ya­m­aga stu­dent pro­duc­tion, cities for A-bombed just for effect while Play­boy bun­nies crossed light sabers with Darth Vad­er. Yam­a­ga, who, when he arrived at col­lege, had no inten­tion of becom­ing an otaku, much less an ani­me-mak­er, became both by the time his group incor­po­rated in 1984 as Stu­dio Gainax.

It was the year of Nau­si­caa, and only three years lat­er, Gainax would make an anime epic of their own - Royal Space Force: The Wings of Hon­neamise.4 The con­cept for the film, said Yam­a­ga, came to [pg19] him in that most Gen-X of cathe­drals, the coffee­house. It was a prod­uct of otaku con­scious­ness. “I thought how [anime] should reflect soci­ety and what it should rep­re­sent, and to me it seemed it should be like a mir­ror in a coffee­house - a dou­ble space, an illu­sion. We have a lim­ited time here in our lives, but we feel that through tele­vi­sion and film, we can under­stand a great deal more… In school, you may be taught that the world is round, but with your own eyes, you’ll only be able to con­firm, to directly expe­ri­ence, a very small part of that world, a very small part of what we’re capa­ble of imag­in­ing… We wanted to cre­ate a world, and we wanted to look at it from space.”

4: At Fanime Con, Yam­aga described how they raised the money for the film. One might say that Gainax decided to walk into Jabba the Hut­t’s palace with a ther­mal det­o­na­tor. Freshly dropped-out of col­lege, they entered the cor­po­rate head­quar­ters of Bandai, the multi­bil­lion-dol­lar Japan­ese toy giant that pro­duces half the anime in Japan, includ­ing titles famil­iar to Amer­i­cans, such as Sailor Moon. Gainax pre­sented Bandai with a ten-year busi­ness plan they had drawn up - not for Gainax to fol­low, but Bandai! In the stunned silence that fol­lowed, Gainax pres­i­dent Toshio Okada (who went to col­lege just to join the sci­ence fic­tion club and today teaches at Taka­hata’s alma mater) man­aged to fash­ion a movie bud­get with the help of a cre­ative-minded young exec­u­tive at Bandai, Shigeru Watan­abe, who quickly became a fer­vent dis­ci­ple of Gainax’s vision. Watan­abe remains the patron behind some of Japan’s most pro­gres­sive anime films - films that he and Hon­neamise took the blows to make pos­si­ble. The ther­mal det­o­na­tor bit proved no joke: the movie bombed. Hon­neamise was a clas­sic exam­ple of the film too far ahead of its time that today every­one acknowl­edges as the work of genius. At least some­one under­stood, though: Yam­aga may have taken some pater­nal com­fort from Miyaza­k­i’s praise of his film in an inter­view in Kinema Jumpo in 1995 (the year after Hon­neamise finally began to turn a profit). Miyazaki saw kin­dred spir­its in the mak­ers of Gainax’s break­through film; their approach reminded him of his work with Taka­hata on the mak­ing of Horus: “Hon­neamise is the proof [that] it’s still pos­si­ble… Those who made it were ama­teurs in terms of expe­ri­ence. In their mid-twen­ties, they made it by them­selves, liv­ing and eat­ing togeth­er, with no dis­tinc­tion between the work and their pri­vate lives.”

Gainax made good on their ambi­tion; under Yam­a­ga’s direc­tion, an explo­sion of twen­ty-some­thing cre­ative energy gave The Wings of Hon­neamise the most sophis­ti­cated and cos­mopoli­tan art direc­tion of any anime film made before or since. In an achieve­ment beyond even that seen in the movies of Terry Gilliam or Rid­ley Scott, the team crafted an imag­i­nary alter­nate world in every fas­ci­nat­ing detail, from the bongs to the jet planes. It was a kalei­do­scopic mir­ror, for the set­ting of Hon­neamise con­tained every ele­ment of our mod­ern lives: class, faith, sci­ence, war, and of course, tele­vi­sion - but all with the jum­bled look of no par­tic­u­lar coun­try, or many coun­tries, in an inter­na­tional visual lan­guage.

Yam­aga imag­ined an ordi­nary young man in his early twen­ties, named Shi­ro, for the pro­tag­o­nist of Hon­neamise. How­ev­er, in a bril­liant plot con­ceit, the direc­tor turned the clock of Shi­ro’s par­al­lel world back to a time when space travel was a dream few believed pos­si­ble. Shiro always says he wants a sim­ple life, but a child­hood vision of flight flick­ers within him. With­out the grades to get into avi­a­tor school, he falls in with a tiny, no-bud­get gov­ern­ment pro­gram, whose mum­bling com­man­dant styles his bored young stu­dents the Royal Space Force, and talks of one day send­ing the first man into orbit. For no bet­ter con­scious rea­son than to impress a girl who seems to believe in him, Shiro astounds every­one by vol­un­teer­ing. The story begins from there, as Shiro begins his long jour­ney to the rock­et.

His ill-con­sid­ered deci­sion changes him from a man con­tent to stare, into some­one who, for the first time in his life, must take a good look around. Before he will ever get to leave the ground, the would-be astro­naut has to explore his own fallen world and the inner space inside him. What begins for him as a sci-fi joke becomes shad­owed by assas­si­na­tion, ter­ror­ism, social unrest, and war, as both he and his mis­sion become pub­lic sac­ri­fice pawns in the global power game. Yet the ques­tion of whether the first man will go into space is to be decided pri­vate­ly, as Shiro con­fronts his own capac­ity for vio­lence and delu­sion in moments with­out a wit­ness. Few motion pic­tures of any kind have so well used the make-be­lieve of movies in such a pow­er­ful and sus­tained metaphor as Hon­neamise. As an ani­me, it remains in many ways unsur­passed.

Anno had been the spe­cial-effects genius on Hon­neamise, and unlike Yam­a­ga, Hideaki Anno never had any doubts that he was either an otaku or an ani­ma­tor. On the cusp of ado­les­cence, he with­drew from the realm of senses into a world of watch­ing anime and mak­ing 8 mm movies. Girls avoided him like the plague, and he avoided them - an entente cor­diale of the kind por­trayed in 1991’s Otaku no Video. It was oddly appro­pri­ate that after Otaku no Video stro­belit Anno and his friends like a string of fire­crack­ers, Gainax fell silent in the smoke for the next four years as they strug­gled fruit­lessly with an abortive plan to make a sec­ond motion pic­ture.

The rea­son lay in large part with Anno him­self, who never had any doubts because he never asked him­self any ques­tions. When he at last asked, with an anime called Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion, he was to change the face of anime once again, as Yam­a­ga’s Hon­neamise had years before - only this time, the pub­lic would respond to the seeds Gainax had sown. And when Anno had the answer, it was a high school girl who got it from him. One day in August of 1998, while vis­it­ing stu­dents to research his next show, she came up to him, full of admi­ra­tion, to say that she loved Evan­ge­lion, believed in pur­su­ing one’s dreams, and intended to grow up and one day make anime her­self. He warned her: “You’ve got it all wrong. This is the only thing I can do… I’ve man­aged to get this far because I gave up every­thing else.”

By the time he was twen­ty-four, while still a stu­dent film­mak­er, Anno was being men­tored by Hayao Miyaza­ki, who gave him key work on Nau­si­caa - and hailed as a ris­ing star. After Hon­neamise, he directed and cowrote for Gainax both the 1988 roman­tic space-war epic video series Gun­buster and the 1990 TV anime Nadia, a Jules Verne-like adven­ture set in a fan­tas­tic nine­teenth cen­tury (and a con­cept orig­i­nally devel­oped for Miyaza­k­i). Then it was all over, not from a lack of suc­cess - Anno’s two direc­to­r­ial efforts had proved pop­u­lar - but because he had bro­ken qui­etly one day. For four long years he was unable to make anime any­more. It was when he real­ized that, in a world full of life, not mak­ing anime was for him the same as not liv­ing, that the shock­wave hit. On Octo­ber 4, 1995, he began at last to speak about it, with the pre­miere of a TV series four years in the wait­ing, Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion - ancient Greek for New Begin­ning Gospel.

Evan­ge­lion takes place in 2015 - fifteen years after the sec­ond-to-Last Judg­ment. On Sep­tem­ber 13 in the year 2000, a mas­sive explo­sion in Antarc­tica trig­gers a global cat­a­stro­phe that leaves half the world dead. The offi­cial story is that the blast is caused by a giant mete­or. The truth though, as they say, “is out there”, and there may be time to dis­cover it as human­ity makes its last stand in Toky­o-3, a super-tech fortress city under assault from the hideous, uncom­mu­nica­tive enti­ties code-named the Angels.

Evan­ge­lion fol­lows the course of this war and, most espe­cial­ly, the per­sonal con­flict between the three differ­ent gen­er­a­tions at NERV: the four­teen-year-old “Chil­dren” who pilot the equal­ly-mon­strous bio­me­chan­i­cal Evan­ge­lion Units against the Angels, their twen­ty-some­thing com­mand­ing offi­cers, and the Chil­dren’s par­ents, sci­en­tists who know far too much and tell far too lit­tle. The 1995-96 Eva TV show was a phe­nom­e­non in japan; ten mil­lion peo­ple tuned in for its final episode. The 1997 Evan­ge­lion movies, which pre­sented a differ­ent ver­sion of the TV show’s con­tro­ver­sial end­ing, made about $28 mil­lion, the mer­chan­dis­ing well over$200 mil­lion.5

5: Although Evan­ge­lion has remained strictly on video for now in the United States, it has been a con­sid­er­able suc­cess, which has made the per­sis­tent rumor that it might be picked up by MTV seem cred­i­ble. When Hous­ton’s A.D.V. Films released the final episode here, their print ads, trad­ing on Eva’s renown in the Amer­i­can mar­ket, were mys­te­ri­ous and tex­t-on­ly, show­ing no anime images at all - the first U.S. anime ad to dare such an approach. Some ele­ments of Eva’s suc­cess needed no Eng­lish trans­la­tion, such as the visual design which Emmy-award win­ning CG pro­gram­mer Allen Hast­ings (Baby­lon 5) has described as the most sophis­ti­cated of any anime TV series ever, or the attrac­tive char­ac­ters drawn by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto - most notably, the Zen beauty of Rei Ayanami, whose appeal as The Face in Japan dur­ing ’96 to ’97 proved portable when she appeared on a pop­u­lar boot­leg T-shirt worn by a char­ac­ter on NBC’s Veron­i­ca’s Closet. Like the major­ity of ani­me, Evan­ge­lion was made with no audi­ence in mind but the one in Japan. Nev­er­the­less, to the West­ern­ers who see it, it has a spe­cial res­o­nance. Eva’s use of Judeo-Chris­t­ian sym­bol­ism, escha­tol­ogy, and eso­ter­ica are exotic and fas­ci­nat­ing dec­o­ra­tions for the Japan­ese, but they are part of the actual cul­ture of the West, most espe­cially Amer­i­ca, where fallen pres­i­dents have prayer break­fasts, cit­i­zens claim in polls to still believe in the God of Abra­ham, and many fear a mil­len­nial Armaged­don - or seek to help it along with a lit­tle fer­til­izer and gaso­line.

Anno claims no spir­i­tual beliefs but the ani­mism of Shin­to. In fact, many of Evan­ge­lion’s reli­gious ele­ments - most par­tic­u­larly his use of the Kab­balah - come not through reli­gion per se but the psy­cho­log­i­cal the­o­ries of C.G. Jung, who con­sid­ered the Kab­balah a valu­able set of sym­bols with which to under­stand the human psy­che. Thus, in Eva, the Angels’ and Man’s bat­tle for their place in the scheme of cre­ation becomes a dra­matic and metic­u­lously con­sid­ered device that allowed Anno to stage spec­tac­u­lar fights and show­case fan­tas­tic tech­nol­o­gy, all in the ser­vice of his own per­sonal lake of fire, a pub­lic burn­ing every Wednes­day at 7:30 p.m. nation-wide.6

6: It is as much a metaphor for the real vio­lence within the intri­cate depths of Anno, who speaks with a differ­ent aspect of his per­sona through every char­ac­ter - from his cow­ard­ly, des­o­late “son”, Shin­ji, who moti­vated him to cre­ate Eva in the first place to the cryp­tic, dic­ta­to­r­ial “father”, Gen­do, who the dri­ven direc­tor was said to resem­ble as the series neared the wrack­ing end of its pro­duc­tion. “Your God is dead / And no one cares / If there is a Hell / I’ll see you there”, is the scream from Nine Inch Nails’ song “Heresy” off The Down­ward Spi­ral, an album that Japan­ese social critic Kenji Sato, late of M.I.T. and The New York Times Mag­a­zine, com­pares to the feel­ing of Eva as the series approaches the whirlpool of its end. Eva isn’t really about the end of the world, but the per­sonal apoc­a­lypse. Some Amer­i­can fans had already made this asso­ci­a­tion inde­pen­dent­ly, or saw in Anno’s inti­ma­tions of sui­cide not John Lennon but Kurt Cobain. Cer­tainly nei­ther Nir­vana or NIN had any direct con­nec­tion with Evan­ge­lion or the show’s musi­cal style, but it’s nat��ural that young fans tied into the U.S. music scene should asso­ciate the show that, for once, really meant it, with the songs that in the four years before Eva’s 1995 pre­miere made pop music mean some­thing again. Anno also made Eva as a com­ment on the des­o­la­tion of youth and cul­ture in Japan, but Amer­i­can teens don’t have giant robots to com­mand in their rage. They have semi­au­to­matic rifles. It is the emo­tion, too, of Evan­ge­lion, that needs no trans­la­tion.

Today Japan­ese ani­ma­tion, in its search for the next Eva, pop­u­lates its new series with the Eva look - the exotic tech­nol­ogy called mecha in anime and a cast of sad toma­toes - with­out per­haps ever real­iz­ing what kind of com­mit­ment another Evan­ge­lion would require from its cre­ators. Pretty faces and cool devices drew Evan­ge­lion’s ini­tial audi­ences, but it was the unrav­el­ing of the strands of the life of a real human being who would never have admit­ted to watch­ing anime before - that brought in the out­siders. In a sav­age irony, many hard­core otaku - despite the ani­me’s req­ui­site por­tion of cute girls and hi-tech action - felt robbed by Eva, and wanted to know what kind of a show was ulti­mately about noth­ing more than a per­son’s unre­solved soul.

Post­script. Somewhere/Anywhere

There isn’t likely to be “another Evan­ge­lion”. Nor is that par­tic­u­larly desir­able. What Eva has led to is much bet­ter - its suc­cess has spawned an explo­sion of new anime shows in Japan on a level unseen since the early ’80s; it’s just like the excit­ing col­lege days that encour­aged Gainax to enter the indus­try in the first place. Some shows are tak­ing chances and try­ing to move anime along. Oth­ers are sim­ply pro­vid­ing anime with the diver­sity of demo­graph­ics and themes that the medium so des­per­ately needs to catch up with the suc­cess and respect manga already enjoys in Japan.

Gainax is not the Beat­les; first of all, that was Ghi­b­li’s gen­er­a­tion. In a 1998 inter­view with the author, Yam­aga invoked the Fab Four not as his­to­ry, but as myth, for he is well aware that to the Japan­ese -as well as to their Amer­i­can fans - he and Anno have them­selves become myth as much as his­to­ry. Yam­aga accepts their fame with a cau­tion­ary wink: “The press is say­ing good things about us… If they were insult­ing us or say­ing nasty things - yeah, then I would [pg23] be moti­vated to go out and cor­rect them. As I make my own liv­ing writ­ing sto­ries that aren’t true… Look at all the things they said about the Bea­t­les. If you do, you’ll prob­a­bly find a lot of stuff that was made up as well… Well, it would be great if we could be as suc­cess­ful as them… The main thing the indus­try has learned from Evan­ge­lion and Mononoke”, says Yam­aga dry­ly, “is that there’s a lot of money to be made in ani­me.”

…Re­cent­ly, Miyazaki and Anno took an extra­or­di­nary jour­ney togeth­er, an air safari across the Sahara in a vin­tage plane, which retraced the path of avi­a­tion pio­neer and author of The Lit­tle Prince, Antoine de Sain­t-Ex­u­pery. Land­ing in the mid­dle of that desert from whose winds Ghi­bli takes its name, the two posed for a pic­ture on a dune, strik­ing the stat­u­ary poses of beard­ed, bespec­ta­cled lead­ers of the rev­o­lu­tion. Miyaza­ki, with the dig­nity of a grey suit, the shade of a sen­si­ble hat, points straight ahead. Anno, in a black pullover, his bare head cov­ered with scrag­gly curls, raises his arm high in the air; after a moment you real­ize he’s doing an Ultra­man pose. Sorry - it’s not “look upon my works, ye might, and despair”, because anime is just in the hands and the imag­i­na­tion; there’s noth­ing ever there to see but the man. And it’s not like they’re going to stick around wait­ing to be cov­ered by the sand - father or son, they’ve got places to go still. What­ever place you want to put them, they’ll leave that some­where behind. They pre­fer any­where.

[pg26] For­tu­nate­ly, I met two teens there, named Bruce Bai­ley and Brian Foun­tain, who ran a lit­tle refuge for their fel­low run­aways [pg28] from that scene. They would show me copies of Japan’s Ani­m­age mag­a­zine and play Agnos­tic Fron­t’s Vic­tim in Pain. Through them I began to under­stand that this was a vital, golden age for ani­me, that things were hap­pen­ing over in Japan. It was they who intro­duced me to shows like Lupin III, Dirty Pair and Fist of the North Star, which we watched with many a “huh-huh-huh”. They showed me that anime was­n’t just an all-male world; there was het­ero­sex­u­al­ity and les­bian­ism as well in an anime called Pop Chaser. Years lat­er, I would find out that Evan­ge­lion’s Hideaki Anno worked on it, although he has writ­ten that he only did the explo­sions. Which explo­sions, he did­n’t spec­i­fy.

Tak­ing him to the air­port after Fanime one year, I asked Hiroyuki Yam­aga about Anno and Miya­mu­ra, whether it was true they were going out (which was the story I had heard–not the story that she rebuffed him). If you’ve ever seen THE CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO, he was kind of reclin­ing back in the car seat at the time like Jigen was, just before they blew the tire. He sort of gave a “where’d you hear that?” response. Mr. Yam­aga is usu­ally not shy about gos­sip­ing about Anno, which leads me to believe either 1. they were never going out (90% pos­si­bil­i­ty) or 2. they were but jeal­ousy fore­bade him from con­firm­ing it (10% pos­si­bil­i­ty).

… It’s quite pos­si­ble that this strug­gle was inter­preted instead as a strug­gle with Anno, which cer­tainly made for juicier rumors. Nor was it all that far-fetched, as there was at times a great deal of ten­sion within Gainax over the mak­ing of EVA.

Anno was also at one time roman­ti­cally linked with Ayako Fuji­tani, whose novel “Shik­i­jitsu” he, of course, adapted into film. They appar­ently first met when she was star­ring in the remakes of the GAMERA series (Ya­m­aga claimed at one time the real rea­son Anno walked away from KARE KANO was because he was too busy edit­ing his “mak­ing of GAMERA” doc­u­men­tary). Ms. Fuji­tani is, of course, also the daugh­ter of Steven Sea­gal, mak­ing the rumored rela­tion­ship not with­out great per­sonal risk.

–Carl Horn, http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=16516#16516 TODO: the year is a guess; also, per­haps Yam­aga counts as Pri­ma­ry?

Con­tin­u­ing the topic of Anno & Miya­mu­ra:

Real­is­ti­cally – I have to ques­tion the authen­tic­ity of such a story53. The direc­tor, in this case Anno, really did­n’t have to go along with what the VA want­ed. Gos­sip linked the two roman­ti­cal­ly, but even in this sce­nario I don’t think Anno would be will­ing to com­pro­mise the screen­play unless he pre­ferred her sug­ges­tion. He could always have used another actress (it is almost a whis­pered line) or even said the line him­self (which is actu­ally what sev­eral peo­ple thought hap­pened).

“…in regards to the rumor that Yuko Miya­mura (Asuka’s VA) and Anno were an item, it seems that this was more than just a rumor for a time, although there is lit­tle infor­ma­tion as to whether the rela­tion­ship is con­tin­u­ing. How­ev­er, the lat­est gossip/scandal sur­round­ing Yuko Miya­mura is an adult video which she appeared in before becom­ing famous as a voice actress. This video, which has actu­ally been out for quite some time, is of course in Asuka’s voice…And it’s being sold as a set with the Eva Hen­tai video/VCD on Yahoo! Japan…”

Bochan_bird; more infor­ma­tion, 2011 “Don’t Let a Lit­tle Thing Like a Sex Video Slow You Down” Kotaku arti­cle:

“As the voice of Asuka Lan­g­ley Soryu, one of Evan­ge­lion’s prin­ci­ple char­ac­ters, Miya­mura grabbed a brass ring in Japan­ese voice act­ing. The anime took the coun­try by storm dur­ing the 1990s, and Miya­mura scored other major roles, such as Kazuha Toyama in the Detec­tive Conan ani­me. She also released CDs and picked up game roles like Chun-Li in the Street Fighter Alpha and EX games as well as Akane in Poké­mon. But in 1997, a porno, dubbed Expe­ri­enc­ing Erotic S&M as a Cou­ple, sur­faced. The video was appar­ently from when she was in her early 20s. It was­n’t until the fol­low­ing spring that Japan­ese tabloid Fri­day ran a story on the video. Fans were cer­tain that the woman in the video was Miya­mu­ra, who was still rid­ing high with Evan­ge­lion. But the video, com­bined with her mar­riage, quick divorce, and sec­ond mar­riage changed the way fans viewed her. By 1999, Miya­mura was in the hos­pi­tal from fatigue (it was later dis­cov­ered that she suffered from Graves’ dis­ease). Out­side Evan­ge­lion and Conan, the voice work slowed, and the TV appear­ances came screech­ing to a halt. The music CDS, always a good indi­ca­tor of an idol’s pop­u­lar­i­ty, stopped. Her image had been changed.”

Sankaku Com­plex includes NSFW screen­caps in “Which Are Worse - The Seiyuu or Their Creepy Fans?”:

“Fans man­aged to iden­tify her (by her teeth and other char­ac­ter­is­tics) in”SM Erotic Expe­ri­ences for Two," an old ama­teur fetish AV from her stu­dent days. Her image amongst these fans was irrepara­bly ruined, although she man­aged to retain the Asuka role….[pic­tures]…Her per­sonal life, resem­bling that of a nor­mal per­son and involv­ing the full gamut of mar­riages, divorces, chil­dren, ill­ness­es, etc., also con­tributed to her los­ing most of her work."

Bryan was tak­ing some video of the peo­ple walk­ing by as a snap­shot of every­day peo­ple. Because it was Sat­ur­day after­noon, some of the peo­ple trav­el­ing through the sta­tion were school stu­dents return­ing home after a half-day at school. Of course, they were wear­ing uni­forms of the style we learned to expect in ani­me. Although it may appear obvi­ous and nat­ural to some of you, my impres­sion of every­thing we saw in Japan that matched what I had seen in anime was chang­ing my impres­sion of the coun­try and its cul­ture. What I came to real­ize is how accu­rately anime por­trays many ele­ments of Japan­ese cul­ture. This means that I had to reeval­u­ate the impres­sion of Japan that anime had given me, and look more closely at what I had pre­vi­ously not con­sid­ered accu­rate por­tray­als of every­day life: the sound crows make, the lay­out of city streets and rail­ways, the hus­tle and bus­tle of daily life at a train sta­tion, the zon­ing laws, what peo­ple wear, what they look like, how they color their hair (^), what they eat for break­fast, the size and thick­ness of one slice of bread (^), and so on.

… Note: I’m not absolutely cer­tain these are the rea­sons, nor are they nec­es­sar­ily the sole rea­sons, for Anno’s depar­ture from the pro­duc­tion of Kare-Kano.

Anno objected to the restric­tions placed on TV anime by TV Tokyo after the Pocket Mon­ster inci­dent, so in protest, he decided to have noth­ing more to do with TV Tokyo and left the pro­duc­tion of Kare-Kano in the hands of Sato, who joined Gainax after hav­ing worked for the gov­ern­ment in a pub­lic works man­age­ment posi­tion.

“Anno wanted to write an orig­i­nal story for the sec­ond half of the TV series. You can find sev­eral men­tions about that plan in”old" issues of Ani­m­age or New­type (ie before the TV series aired). That’s why the “rhythm” of the first half of the series is that fast : they intended to adapt most of the manga in 13 or so episodes. But TV Tokyo got cold feet and feared that Anno would go back to his old ways (ie the last TV episodes of Eva…), so they asked Gainax to stick with the man­ga… Anno was obvi­ously frustrated/infuriated… ^^;"

Actu­al­ly, there is ‘canon’ that can ‘dis­prove’ this. Nation­wide parental (PTA) objec­tions against Eva’s con­tent are a known fact. These objec­tions reached such a level (even receiv­ing Japan­ese news­pa­per cov­er­age) that TV Tokyo was forced to set up a screen­ing panel includ­ing PTA mem­bers which effec­tively ‘nixed’ the orig­i­nal episodes 25 and 26 that were cur­rently under pro­duc­tion. (ie: The ‘intended’ script/storyline was sub­mit­ted for review but reject­ed.) Being forced to redo two entire episodes from a late stage led to the time and bud­get restric­tions which resulted in still images, stick fig­ure ani­ma­tion and telops.

Bochan_bird on the cen­sor­ship that forced changes from the end­ing being pro­to-EoE to being the actual EoTV; repeats claim else­where, eg. Novem­ber 2001. In August 2002, he said that Boo­giepop Phan­tom suffered under the PTA, and Brian Shea con­curred with “Cow­boy Bebop too, so bad that 14 of the 26 episodes never aired on the first run. Includ­ing the first episode and the final 8. With all the talk about Eva’s influ­ence on the genre (although I’ll admit here and now that I’m one of those who thinks it was very lit­tle), the biggest influ­ence it had may have been the cen­sor­ship atmos­phere…”

What was I ago­niz­ing over, you ask? Well, when the sub­ject of buy­ing drapes came up, I asked Anno if he had any color pref­er­ences, and he replied, “Red.” If I were buy­ing scarves, that would be one thing, but come on… (Trans­la­tor’s note: If you get the “Red Scarf” ref­er­ence, go to the head of the class, and explain it to some­one who does­n’t–if you dare.–MH) There really isn’t much in the way of red cur­tains, at least, not off the shelf. So I set­tled for a color mix that would at least show that I’d made a hard try to meet Anno’s request.

–1999-05-07, Mura­matsu Ryouko, asst. pro­ducer of Karekano

[Sh­inji Ikar­i:] “He and his father Gendo have lived apart for at least a decade. A sud­den mes­sage from Gendo brings Shinji to Toky­o-3, and on that very day, an”Angel" attacks the city. As a cho­sen Evan­ge­lion Oper­a­tor, he fights on, though thor­oughly ago­nized. He is referred to as “Third Chil­dren” (a term mean­ing “the third qual­i­fier”). In per­son­al­i­ty, he is a qui­et, over­achiever type."

1999 T

• 1999-corlis­s-times-hon­neamisepraise.txt
• 1999-manga­max-spooky­janeway.pdf
• 1999-schilling-con­tem­po­rary­jap­film.txt

“I read in an old ani­ma­tion mag­a­zine”Ani­me­fan­tas­tic" IIRC, an arti­cle by J. Lamp­lighter, that Gainax/Anno had some influ­ence on the ADV TV dub for spe­cial vocab­u­lary, & had to approve what was done before it could be print­ed." http://www.mania.com/aodvb/showthread.php?p=1502313

“The mag­a­zine is Ani­maze­ment & it has Rei on the cov­er, with the title”God in 3 Robots"“. Ani­me­fan­tas­tique”Sum­mer 1999. Vol.1 #2.Eva pp 32-43 Gainax 44-45 Eva manga pp46-7 most by L. Jagi Lamp­lighter." http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/evangelion/2005-April/002629.html

The first EVA arti­cle breaks down the series into plot, char­ac­ter con­flicts, reli­gious ref­er­ences, fan reac­tion, the end: movies vs TV, and voice actors. It also con­tains sev­eral EVA lingo as well as reac­tion from the AD vision Eva staff. An other EVA arti­cle relates to END OF EVANGELION (con­tains spoil­er­s). Basi­cally what it tries to do its explain what hap­pened in EoE and what major plot knots were resolved. There’s another one that cov­ers the Manga ver­sion. Noth­ing spe­cial here but still some cool info about differ­ences and stuff. Finally there is an arti­cle that takes you through the his­tory and cre­ations of Gainax. http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/1999-April/027834.html

“How­ev­er, its vio­lence and sur­re­al­ism will not be new to those who have seen the TV show; nei­ther will its view of a soci­ety of bro­ken souls, where men and women are grains of fly­ing sand, blast­ing each other to bone. Play­wright Kenji Sato, who does not like Evan­ge­lion, com­pares it to Nine Inch Nails’ album The Down­ward Spi­ral; it is an excel­lent com­par­ison, and I agree, except that I like Eva. It’s only a car­toon; it’s only a life.”

“The End’s main char­ac­ters are a man and a wom­an, Shinji and Asuka, and direc­tor Hideaki Anno when he does not present him­self through Mis­ato, Gen­do, or every other char­ac­ter in the series iden­ti­fies with them both (gos­sip links him roman­ti­cally with Asuka’s voice actress, Yuko Miya­mu­ra). As Anno explained at the out­set of the series, in an essay reprinted this month in Viz’s col­lected Book One of the Evan­ge­lion man­ga, he began this because he felt sick, and the final line of The End, spo­ken by Asuka back to Shin­ji, could not put things any more plain.”

“This is The End of Evan­ge­lion. It is the same end­ing as that of the tele­vi­sion series. It is told big-bud­get, stitched with bul­lets, limned with guts, and tagged with blood, in case it was too sub­tle the first time. But it is the same end­ing. You will see all this: a man, stunted in emo­tion, has a spe­cial gift within him. He can move his human hands and feet with the stride and reach of a giant. Because he knew love once, and lost it, he sketched one map on his floor where he stood and one in the sky above, until he had drawn between them a world of mys­ter­ies and won­ders, a world of things to love and of those in love. But when they put their hands towards him, he drew away; when he put his hands on them, they were cold and still. In his frus­tra­tion, he tight­ened his grip to take sat­is­fac­tion by force: a load shot to nowhere, a stran­gle­hold on beau­ty, clenched fists bat­ter­ing down his cre­ation, until there was noth­ing left but him­self again.”

Viz Com­mu­ni­ca­tion web­site ‘MY EMPIRE OF DIRT: The End of Evan­ge­lion; Car­l’s Anime Pick’ (mir­rors: 1, 2) TODO: Sato’s full remarks

By break­ing with the long-s­tand­ing tra­di­tion of bas­ing their ani­mated works on pre-ex­ist­ing sto­ries and folk tales, GAINAX has been cred­ited with free­ing ani­ma­tion from the con­straints which have allowed it to be per­ceived as a deriv­a­tive medi­um. In so doing, they have estab­lished ani­mated film as a self­-suffi­cient art form (Time Mag­a­zine, Novem­ber 22, 1999).

In a recent issue, Rolling Stone pro­claimed Nir­vana’s Kurt Cobain to have been, for west­ern pop­u­lar music, the Artist of the Decade. I have no prob­lem with that assess­ment, any more than I have in say­ing Evan­ge­lion’s Hideaki Anno should hold that title for Japan­ese ani­ma­tion. But both made their state­ment when there was still plenty of Nineties left: Cobain killed him­self in 1994 and Anno’s pop cul­ture sui­cide hap­pened in either the spring of ’96, when Eva had its con­tro­ver­sial TV end­ing, or in the sum­mer of ’97, with its even more talked-about movie end­ing-you may take your pick. There­fore, the rea­son Cobain and Anno deserve the title is not that their tal­ent bestrode the decade like a head­less colos­sus, but because they posed the ques­tion of what will you do, now that you know to all those that came after them. Evan­ge­lion sug­gest­ed, as Nir­vana did in both their first and last song, “you could do any­thing, you could do any­thing…” Yet it seemed that few in TV anime chose to respond to Eva’s exam­ple of free­dom of expres­sion. In 1998, ser­ial exper­i­ments lain (the title is in low­er-case) came and went from Japan­ese tele­vi­sion in a mere thir­teen episodes. But it was enough to show that lain’s cre­ators, scriptwriter Chi­aki Kon­aka (whose pre­vi­ous Armitage III was also pro­duced and released by Pio­neer) and new­comer Ryu­taro Naka­mura had under­stood the pos­si­bil­i­ties and chose to seize upon them.

Evan­ge­lion is an ambigu­ous prod­uct. On the one hand it strongly appeals to otaku’s sen­si­bil­i­ties, (2) but on the other it implies rad­i­cal crit­i­cism against otaku’s men­tal­i­ty….

In a sense, Evan­ge­lion is extremely inte­rior and is lack­ing in social­i­ty, so that it seems to reflect pathol­ogy of the times. I think for some peo­ple it is noth­ing more than a bad prod­uct which is sim­ply to increase otakus.

For instance, some Japan­ese crit­ics, such as Eiji Otsuka and Tet­suya Miyaza­ki, crit­i­cized Evan­ge­lion TV series on the grounds that the last two episodes, in which inte­rior mono­logue of Shin­ji, the hero, went on all the time, were like brain­wash­ing or psy­cho-ther­a­py, and it was only a self­-affir­ma­tion of otaku’s autis­tic ten­dency for escapism. Yoshiyuki Tomi­no, who had once directed sev­eral epoch-mak­ing ani­mes such as Gun­dam and Ideon, (3)-these ani­mes had a great influ­ence on Hideaki Anno, the direc­tor of Evan­ge­lion-also crit­i­cized Evan­ge­lion bit­terly on the grounds that it is some­thing like clin­i­cal records of a mor­bid per­son who con­fines him­self to the world of infor­ma­tion and can­not real­ize actu­al­i­ty….

The lat­ter half of Evan­ge­lion TV series, espe­cially the last two episodes clearly had inten­tion to break the closed domain of anime that keeps on offer­ing nar­cis­sis­tic plea­sure to otakus, that is, Evan­ge­lion had inten­tion to crack the closed domain of ani­me, not from the out­side, but from the inside, remain­ing within it, just as its purity is high­est, or to make joy of anime self­-de­struct at the utmost lim­its.

The last part of Evan­ge­lion TV series-in which the progress of the story was stopped by Shin­ji’s inte­rior mono­logue and he came to affirm him­self ground­less­ly, say­ing “I can stay here!”-was not a play for the sal­va­tion of the self­-some peo­ple mis­read it so-like brain­wash­ing or psy­cho-ther­a­py, but some­thing like harass­ment with mal­ice and irony to some anime fans. I think the last mes­sage of the last episode of the TV series-“Con­grat­u­la­tions to all the chil­dren!”-was a quo­ta­tion from the last scene of Yoshiyuki Tomi­no’s anime movie The Ideon (1982), as many peo­ple have already pointed out it. In the last scene of The Ideon, after the human race had died out, the souls of the dead char­ac­ters were drift­ing in outer space and they heard the singing, “Happy birth­day dear chil­dren!” That is iron­ic, in short, the last episode of Evan­ge­lion TV series implies that closed and self­-sus­tained inte­ri­or­ity is noth­ing other than a kind of “death.” It is death of the self as loss of the oth­er. It also implies that the world of joy for otakus such as the first half of Evan­ge­lion TV series can­not help com­ing to a death on account of its close­ness….

The world of the first half of Evan­ge­lion TV series, which had been full of joy of ani­me, col­lapsed grad­u­ally in the lat­ter half: In the 18th episode, Evan­ge­lion Unit-01-Sh­inji was inside it-at­tacked Evan­ge­lion Unit-03 as an “Angel,” and Tou­ji, the pilot of Evan­ge­lion Unit-03 and Shin­ji’s class­mate, got badly wounded and lost a leg. In the 22nd episode, Asuka, the pilot of Evan­ge­lion Unit-02, became as good as the liv­ing dead because of Angel’s psy­chic attack, get­ting non com­pos men­tis. In the 23rd episode, Rei, the pilot of Evan­ge­lion Unit-00-in the episode it was found that she was some­thing like a clone cre­ated from Shin­ji’s moth­er-blew her­self up in order to pro­tect Shinji from Angel’s attack, and the city Shinji lived in-Third New Tokyo City-be­came a ruin. In the 24th episode, Shinji was forced to kill Kaoru, a boy who was Shin­ji’s beloved friend, as an Angel, or ene­my. In the last two episodes, the progress of the story was stopped and the work Evan­ge­lion itself broke down as if to reject a com­ple­tion of itself as an ani­me. It is, as it were, clos­ing of the world, or “death” itself….

The lat­ter half of Evan­ge­lion TV series, in which a world of joy was col­laps­ing and clos­ing because it was sim­ply hedo­nis­tic and regres­sive, reminds me of Mamoru Oshi­i’s anime movie Uru­sei Yat­sura 2 Beau­ti­ful Dreamer (1984). (4) In Beau­ti­ful Dream­er, an end­less slap­stick com­edy at a high school like Uru­sei Yat­sura TV series-Oshii him­self had directed the TV series-is depicted as an ideal world to Lum, the hero­ine, or an occur­rence in Lum’s inner space. In the world, the progress of time has stopped and one and the same day-the day before the school fes­ti­val-is being repeated over and over. In the inner space, the peo­ple who were hin­drances to Lum van­ished one after anoth­er, and the town she lived in became a ruin except for the house Ataru Moro­boshi-the hero and Lum’s “dar­ling”-lived in and a con­ve­nience store near­by. The more the purity of the world as Utopia to Lum is enhanced, the more the close­ness and fic­ti­tious­ness of the world become promi­nent. Ataru wan­dered about in the world of inner spaces like this and then tried return­ing from the infi­nite chain of the inner spaces like “dreams” to “actu­al­i­ty.”

The End of Evan­ge­lion pre­sented the the­sis that actu­al­ity is the end of a dream. Con­cern­ing the the­sis, Oshi­i’s Beau­ti­ful Dreamer pre­cedes Anno’s Evan­ge­lion. If the world of Uru­sei Yat­sura TV series had switched sud­denly to the level of Beau­ti­ful Dream­er, it would have been sim­i­lar to the last two episodes of Evan­ge­lion TV series. The rea­son that Evan­ge­lion TV series seemed to break down at the con­clu­sion was that the shift-from fic­tion to meta-fic­tion-was too sud­den and self­-de­struc­tive. It may be that the peo­ple who showed rejec­tion reac­tion to the last two episodes of the TV series could not bear its irony and self­-ref­er­en­tial­i­ty.

The world where Shinji oper­ated Evan­ge­lion Unit-01 and fought against the Angels, the world of a comic love story at a junior-high school, in which there were no Evan­ge­lions or Angels (the last episode of the TV series), the world where the peo­ple con­grat­u­lated Shinji and he came to affirm him­self ground­less­ly, and the world where Shin­ji, Asuka, Rei and Kaoru were rehears­ing a string quar­tet at a hall of school (Evan­ge­lion: Death)… It can be thought that each of these worlds was an occur­rence in inner space, or one of par­al­lel worlds. The theme of Evan­ge­lion is, so to speak, the world as inte­ri­or­i­ty.

…Maybe Evan­ge­lion gave up being a story at a cer­tain point in time, I think. In the 6th episode of the TV series, Shinji and Rei, who were “closed-minded chil­dren,” fought together against an Angel and “opened their minds,” exchang­ing smiles with each oth­er. Although this scene was prob­a­bly first cli­max of the series, maybe Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion as a story of “growth and inde­pen­dence of a boy”-like a Bil­dungsro­man-ended there once. Evan­ge­lion as a story has stopped there.54

…The End of Evan­ge­lion, released as a movie, is a remake of the last two episodes of the TV series, and it is the last pro­gram of Evan­ge­lion series. I think the largest point in dis­pute con­nected with the eval­u­a­tion of this last pro­gram is this. Did Evan­ge­lion only end in a self­-affir­ma­tion of closed inte­ri­or­i­ty, or did it show the way to get out of prison of self­-con­scious­ness?

It seems some peo­ple antic­i­pated that the movie ver­sion of Evan­ge­lion would end as a story of “growth and inde­pen­dence of a boy,” like a Bil­dungsro­man, but The End of Evan­ge­lion avoided such a pop­u­lar end­ing and was com­pleted as works that renewed the last two episodes of the TV series in another way. The End of Evan­ge­lion is a rep­e­ti­tion and vari­a­tion of the theme pre­sented in the lat­ter half of the TV series. It is not an end­ing of a sto­ry.

…This EoE end­ing can be regarded as crit­i­cism against reli­gion, because it avoided an ideological/aesthetic solu­tion and faced the ugly real­i­ty. It is highly eth­i­cal. The peo­ple, who equated Evan­ge­lion with moti­va­tional sem­i­nar or the Aum Shin­rikyo cult and called it ‘tech­no-mys­ti­cism’, should be ashamed of their thought­less­ness.55

In my view, The End of Evan­ge­lion ended on the phase when Shin­ji, the hero, found Asuka as “the oth­er.” For Shin­ji, Asuka is an ambigu­ous exis­tence. On the one hand she lec­tures and inspires him because she minds him, but on the other she is also an exis­tence beyond his con­trol-the other that can never be inte­ri­or­ized. Asuka’s ambi­gu­ity is also the ambi­gu­ity of the work Evan­ge­lion as it is.

The last two episodes of Evan­ge­lion TV series and The End of Evan­ge­lion have a rela­tion like a Möbius strip. They are the two views of one and the same theme. The dis­cov­ery of the other in The End of Evan­ge­lion is the reverse expres­sion of the loss of the other in the last two episodes of the TV series. The unso­phis­ti­cated peo­ple who could not read the irony in the last two episodes of the TV series will prob­a­bly over­look the crit­i­cal essence of The End of Evan­ge­lion as well.

“Prison of Self­-con­scious­ness: an Essay on Evan­ge­lion”, Man­abu Tsuribe, Feb­ru­ary 1999

“Actu­al­ly, there is ‘canon’ that can ‘dis­prove’ this [that "They had prob­lems, they surely were short in bud­get"]. Nation­wide parental (PTA) objec­tions against Eva’s con­tent are a known fact. These objec­tions reached such a level (even receiv­ing Japan­ese news­pa­per cov­er­age) that TV Tokyo was forced to set up a screen­ing panel includ­ing PTA mem­bers which effec­tively ‘nixed’ the orig­i­nal episodes 25 and 26 that were cur­rently under pro­duc­tion. (ie: The ‘intended’ script/storyline was sub­mit­ted for review but reject­ed.) Being forced to redo two entire episodes from a late stage led to the time and bud­get restric­tions which resulted in still images, stick fig­ure ani­ma­tion and telops.”

A week or two ago, the Japan­ese Tax Agency dis­played the ‘evi­dence’ foud­is­cov­erednd dur­ing their inves­ti­ga­tion of GAiNAX. In other words, they are so con­fi­dent that they went pub­lic with the evi­dence. (Of course, find­ing ¥500 mil­lion [about US$4 mil­lion) in cash hid­den in a secret safe, among other things, would prob­a­bly make me con­fi­dent, too…)…This evi­dence has also been used on TV spe­cials con­cern­ing tax eva­sion as an exam­ple of ‘tax eva­sion by a par­tic­u­lar anime pro­duc­tion com­pany’. Bochan_bird, 1999-07-7 It is now offi­cial. Today (July 13) at 10:00 am, the Japan­ese Tax Agency offi­cials entered the GAiNAX offices/shop and the pri­vate res­i­dence of GAiNAX pres­i­dent Takeji Sawa­mura with search war­rants, and arrested GAiNAX pres­i­dent Sawa­mura and one other per­son (whom they are now questioning/interrogating as to the where­abouts of the remain­der of the mon­ey). GAiNAX is being charged with hid­ing ¥1.5 bil­lion (about US$12.5 mil­lion) in income, result­ing in the eva­sion of ¥580 mil­lion (about US$4.8 mil­lion) in cor­po­rate tax­es. This eva­sion took the form of faked trans­ac­tions with related com­pa­nies and paper accounts in order to over­state pro­duc­tion expens­es. Given the amounts involved and the obvi­ous intent to evade, it seems that the Tax Agency is ‘mak­ing an exam­ple’ of GAiNAX. The author­i­ties have already pub­licly dis­played the evi­dence found (in­clud­ing ¥500 mil­lion (about US$4 mil­lion) hid­den in a safety deposit box), and are mak­ing sure that the case receives as much pub­lic­ity as pos­si­ble. The two arrestees will prob­a­bly not have to serve actual jail time, but will have to undergo detention/questioning and court time, pay all evaded taxes plus some hefty fines, and upon admit­ting their guilt and express­ing the proper remorse, will receive guilty sen­tences with sus­pended jail time.

Gainax posted an offi­cial state­ment 1999-07-19; George Chen translates/paraphrases it

Mainichi Shim­bun reports that Takeji Sawa­mu­ra, 40, allegedly evaded pay­ing cor­po­rate taxes by report­ing fic­ti­tious costs for com­pany soft­ware dur­ing the years of 1996 and 1997. Tax accoun­tant Yoshikatsu Iwasaki was also arrested on sim­i­lar charges. Accord­ing to pros­e­cu­tors, Gainax allegedly faked the costs by pay­ing fees to soft­ware com­pa­nies under false con­tracts. The com­pa­nies then refunded the money back to Gainax, minus a pre­mi­um.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/1999-07-18/gainax-president-arrested-for-tax-evasion

Gendo and EoE bor­row from ? Notice the white gloves Mishima wore…

Hideaki Anno’s TV series Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion (1995) has a sound­track that is so Japan­ese it will be decades before Occi­den­tal forms of audio­vi­sual enter­tain­ment begin to suc­cess­fully mimic it. Not only does Evan­ge­lion have many mem­o­rable vocal per­for­mances (Sh­in­ji, his father Gen­do, the other ‘chil­dren’ Rei and Asuka) but there is a total logic to the sound design which both typ­i­fies its ‘Japan­ese­ness’ and qual­i­fies the role of the recorded voice within its aural net­ting. In fact, it should never be for­got­ten that ‘sound design’ is the cre­ation of a sonic logic wherein all ele­ments are orches­trated in accor­dance to our pecu­liar and pre­cise under­stand­ing of how an imag­ined real­ity would acousti­cally oper­ate and psy­choa­cousti­cally res­onate. To under­stand how any one ele­ment - a voice, for exam­ple - appears, hap­pens and/or is ren­dered in a nar­ra­tive form, one must wholly inves­ti­gate the nar­ra­tive’s sonic log­ic. Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion exem­pli­fies 4 pri­mary cat­e­gories of audio­vi­sual nar­ra­tiv­ity which define the sense of its sound­track: mecha design, musi­cal eclec­ti­cism, spa­tio-tem­po­ral rup­ture, and emo­tional com­paction.

The design of mechan­i­cal devices and machines - known as mecha design - is an impor­tant area of pre-pro­duc­tion in Japan­ese enter­tain­ment. In manga and anime , objects are imag­ined, envis­aged and designed as if they have to be used. That is, their logic is based less on their ‘look’ (a very West­ern notion that joins DaVin­cian optics and mod­ernist sen­si­bil­i­ties) and more on their tac­til­i­ty. Vir­tu­ally all Japan­ese design pro­motes an erotic rela­tion between user and machine, between object and hand, between shape and body. This per­vades every­thing from a Kawasaki motor­bike to Sailor Moon’s skirt. Most impor­tant­ly, the ‘look’ of objects in Japan­ese design is accepted as a sep­a­rate and aux­il­iary aspect of the objects’ pur­pose and func­tion. Bank machines can be based on the look of toma­toes; sky­scrap­ers on milk car­tons; cars on deep sea crus­taceans; per­fume bot­tles on car­bu­re­tors. They each will do what is required of them, so there is not real rea­son for them to spe­ciously prove their exis­tence through their look. (This is but yet another aspect of the ‘cal­li­graphic’ in Japan­ese cul­ture, where an image or a look is embraced as pure visual sub­stance with no ref­er­ent to the real.) The design of machin­ery in Japan­ese manga and anime is there­fore a prime tex­tual layer in the many futur­is­tic sce­nar­ios wherein man and machine exist in a com­plexly mod­u­lated har­mo­ny. It is no sur­prise then that Japan­ese sound design­ers for anime obey the logic of the mecha design, care­fully ana­lyz­ing issues of weight, den­si­ty, force, energy and mass before they even start to imag­ine the acoustic and trans­mis­sive prop­er­ties of the machines.

…Sec­ond­ly, each of the Angels (the dia­bol­i­cal threat to Earth) has their own look and an equally dis­tinc­tive sound. This is espe­cially notice­able due to the design of the Angels whose visu­al­ity ref­er­ences a series of mod­ernist and ancient arche­types of bio­mor­phic form - from Aztec wall paint­ings to Miro’s murals to Don­ald Judd cubes. Amaz­ingly com­pounded sound effects accom­pany their ter­ri­ble force, based on the power of vio­lence they unleash on Tokyo 3. And despite the prob­lem in design­ing sound for such impos­si­ble imag­in­ings, an effec­tive ‘mis­match­ing’ of unex­pected sounds with unex­pected forms/shapes/beings runs through­out Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion .

…Japan­ese anime has con­sis­tently offered alter­na­tives to the Wag­ner­ian leit motiv approach to seri­ally repo­si­tion­ing a melodic refrain or theme through­out a film score. While this approach has typ­i­fied both roman­tic and mod­ernist film scor­ing, anime employs a string of motifs which effec­tively can­cel each other out - or at least ren­der their sig­nifi­cance fluid and unfixed. Amer­i­cans have often com­mented on how the Japan­ese place their music cues in the ‘wrong’ place - as if George Lucas and John Williams con­trol the uni­ver­sal imag­i­na­tion. The use of New Jack Swing in Blue Seed (1995), Elec­tro-Am­bi­ent in Please Save My Earth (1995) and Prog Rock in La Fil­li­ette Rev­o­lu­tion­aire [Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Girl Utena] (1997) as score rather than sourced songs fur­ther typ­i­fies this seem­ing ‘wrong­ness’ about ani­me. The Euro­pean orches­tral machine is employed in anime for pure effect - not because ‘that’s how movie music should sound’. Fur­ther, there is usu­ally no gov­ern­ing or deter­min­ing style in any one ani­me. Shiro Sag­isu’s score to Evan­ge­lion at vary­ing times sounds like The Thun­der­birds, FM-soft rock, Steve Reich and Ken Ishii. but the result of this eclec­ti­cism is not arched, strained or post­mod­ern: it sim­ply mutates and evolves in response to the surges and pul­sa­tions in the loca­tion and dis­per­sion of dra­matic ener­gy.

While the score to Evan­ge­lion seems to sim­u­late a radio sta­tion pro­grammed in a chaotic ran­dom fash­ion, there is a pur­pose behind such chop­ping and chang­ing. For the future in Evan­ge­lion - like the post-apoc­a­lyp­tic con­tin­uum which paves the way for Japan’s unset­tling exis­tence - is on the brink of destruc­tion, and all that is calm is merely the poten­tial for rad­i­cal desta­bi­liza­tion. Spa­tio-tem­po­ral rup­ture thus rages through­out Evan­ge­lion. Often we are caught in the claus­tro­pho­bic mind of young Shinji as he grap­ples with an aching exis­ten­tial dilemma of how to live alone, divorced from social and human con­tact. The screen will go black, white, or assault the eye with Poke­mon-style strobe-cut­ting; rad­i­cal shifts in sound den­sity will accom­pany these visual rup­tures. Silence screams and pierces the sound­track; det­o­na­tions capit­u­late to a soft roar; all ener­gies are con­tin­u­ally inverted and reversed to com­ple­ment and coun­ter­point their dra­matic weight. Some­times com­plete sec­tions of plot dis­ap­pear to con­vey Shin­ji’s loss of con­scious­ness inside an Eva. Some­times his psy­chic sen­si­tiv­ity tele­ports him unex­pect­edly to ill-de­fined locales and spaces. The musique con­crete col­lage of sounds and atmos­pheres which play with these spa­tio-tem­po­ral rup­tures is never gra­tu­itous. If the sound design - like the music - in Japan­ese anime sounds ‘wrong’ it is not sim­ply because we aren’t lis­ten­ing care­fully enough, but that we are not cog­nizant of the way that Japan­ese sound reflects nar­ra­tive, rather than neu­tral­iz­ing it as does West­ern audio­vi­sual enter­tain­ment.

…Not that Japan­ese char­ac­ters behave ‘differ­ently’, but that the schisms which we per­ceive as cor­rupt­ing and inter­fer­ing with a char­ac­ter’s iden­tity are acknowl­edged as the sub­stance of a char­ac­ter’s iden­ti­ty. In the West, we will crudely des­ig­nate the hero, the buffoon, the cyn­ic, the sage, etc.; in the East, char­ac­ters are founded upon their schiz­o­phre­nia, estab­lished through their mul­ti­plic­i­ty, and defined by their inabil­ity to be ground­ed. Evan­ge­lion’s char­ac­ters - espe­cially the three ‘chil­dren’ who com­plexly rep­re­sent Japan’s own prob­lema­tized Gen­er­a­tion-X - are formed by means of emo­tional com­paction. Joy har­mo­nizes grief; suffer­ing prompts laugh­ter; com­pas­sion folds vio­lence; hatred sup­presses inno­cence. Evan­ge­lion’s char­ac­ters are quin­tes­sen­tially good, bad and ugly. Music, sound and voice dance in intri­cately orches­trated lines that map out these char­ac­ters not as con­tain­ers or ves­sels of emo­tion, but shim­mer­ing and shift­ing appari­tions of emo­tional com­plex­ity - not ‘rounded out’ by autho­r­ial con­ceit, but unre­fined as befits the prickly irra­tional­ity which dic­tates our every­day exchanges.

“Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion: The Tyranny of the Eng­lish Voice in Anime”, Philip Bro­phy, Real Time No.31, Syd­ney, 1999

Of all the places in Japan, why did the Japan­ese gov­ern­ment pick Mat­sushiro (Nagano Pre­fec­ture) for the site of the new Capi­tol? Well, aside than the fact that the rise in sea level caused by 2nd Impact hap­pened to sub­merge most major Japan­ese cities (which are located along the coast­s), there is also the under­ground com­plex in Mat­sushiro which dates back to WWII.

This unfin­ished tun­nel com­plex is hewn out of solid bedrock and con­sists of two por­tions: a ‘func­tional’ area con­sist­ing of a tun­nel grid sev­eral hun­dreds of meters in each direc­tion, and sep­a­rate Impe­r­ial quar­ters com­plete with shrine and emer­gency escape tun­nel.

The com­plex was con­structed dur­ing the late WWII years as Japan came within range of bomb­ing raids, and was intended as an emer­gency bomb shel­ter (it would be diffi­cult to destroy even with a direct nuclear blast) capa­ble of sup­port­ing gov­ern­ment func­tions should Tokyo become unin­hab­it­able.

Bochan_bird; see on those bunkers. The loca­tion is yet another WWII ref­er­ence in NGE.

“I remem­ber talk­ing to Carl Horn about EoE and about the hos­pi­tal scene in par­tic­u­lar. His feel­ings on the hos­pi­tal scene is that Anno was send­ing a mes­sage to the otaku. The fact that the main char­ac­ter, who most of us (the fans) iden­tify with, jack­ing off in front of their acetate avatar, was NOT OK. What Shinji does in front of Asuka SHOULD NEVER be con­sid­ered fan-ser­vice. Con­sid­er­ing that Anno also uses the same unflat­ter­ing self­-por­trait in Love & Pop, I have a feel­ing that there is some truth in that state­ment.”

“Actu­al­ly, although Anno is listed in the Mecha design too, his ini­tial sketches are quite dis­tant from the final Evas we got in the end. As an exam­ple of the fact that Anno was in charge of the project but did­n’t do it all by itself, not even on a story lev­el: influ­ences from Kiichi Hadame for episodes 3 and 4, expert in pre­sent­ing teenage prob­lems (Gun­dam) graph­i­cal­ly, Shinji Higuchi direct­ing the humor­ous or lighter episodes, sup­ported by Shin’ya Hasegawa’s draw­ing style, Kei­ichi Sug­eya­ma’s direc­tion and sto­ry­board­ing of”A human work" result­ing in the inter­locked scene shifts, Ghi­b­li’s hand­i­work in co-di­rec­tion and draw­ing of episode 11 (but let’s not for­get Masayuk­i’s hand too), etc. I agree with the fact that Anno was the one who came up with the idea, but the final prod­uct was the result of his cowork­ing with oth­ers at all lev­el­s."

Ebj

“1995 (IIRC), and I am pretty cer­tain that the cult had no influ­ence what­so­ever on Evan­ge­lion. How­ever, they did show scenes and episodes from Evan­ge­lion (in­tro­spec­tive sce­nes, etc.) at recruiting/training sem­i­nars. In fact, that was part of the draw for the sem­i­nars – the cult would dis­trib­ute fliers say­ing that there would be an air­ing of Evan­ge­lion at a cer­tain place and time (ie: pig­gy-back­ing on Eva’s pop­u­lar­i­ty), and then when unsus­pect­ing (and mostly younger) vic­tims showed up they would try to equate some of their teach­ings with the soul-search­ing in the show and ‘recruit’ them.”

"I have seen some of these weird fliers when I was in Japan 2 years ago. Now, what I am curi­ous about is what’s the name of the group that pro­duced these fliers. I hope that’s not the infa­mous Aum Shin­rikyo…

Yes, Aum Shin­rikyo is the cult that used Evan­ge­lion in its fliers. They don’t use Evan­ge­lion out­wardly (eg: fliers) any more because it received atten­tion by the media and also prob­a­bly because GAiNAX threat­ened with a law­suit. As for inter­nal use, who knows…"

Bochan_bird (his dis­cus­sion of is inter­est­ing in light of sub­se­quent events)

2000

2000 P

Komat­su: There’s some­thing that I was a bit curi­ous about in the work Anno-san direct­ed, “Shin Seiki Evan­ge­lion.” The word “Evan­ge­lion” itself [con­notes] a way of think­ing that appears in Chris­t­ian escha­tol­ogy. but what was the rea­son you appended a title with that sort of con­no­ta­tion to your work?

Anno: The truth is, it did­n’t have such a deep mean­ing. (laughs) Although I seem to get attacked when I say this. The mean­ing of the orig­i­nal word, if I’m not mis­tak­en, is some­thing like “the cry of vic­to­ry.”

…An­no: The truth is, the image of hear­ing that “cry of vic­tory” came first. [The title] was appended with a vague rea­son, some­thing like, “please bring about hap­pi­ness.”

Komat­su: For what rea­son did the “escha­to­log­i­cal” ele­ments appear [in the work]?

Anno: They were made up as I went. (laughs)

Komat­su: That’s ter­ri­ble, real­ly. (laughs) But, it’s cer­tainly amaz­ing that you com­pleted a story that seri­ous from with­in.

— [In­ter­view­er]: Up to this point var­i­ous things have been said about Evan­ge­lion, but you could say that it is the anime which deals with things like “the­ol­ogy or evo­lu­tion­ary the­ory” in the most up-front man­ner.

Anno: [It was] just pedantry.

Komat­su: So, it’s not as if you had a par­tic­u­lar inter­est in Chris­tian­i­ty……

Anno: No. I guess it was con­ve­nient mate­r­ial for struc­tur­ing the sto­ry. I think that, gen­er­al­ly, reli­gion is out of place in Japan. Noth­ing has grown [in Japan] but “indige­nous-feel­ing” or ani­mistic reli­gions. At first glance, there are parts of daily life that seem to be rooted in Bud­dhism, but in actu­al­ity Bud­dhism is not use­ful for much more than funer­als.

Komat­su: It’s said that the native reli­gion in Japan is a kind of ani­mism, but it’s not just a sim­ple “pan-a­n­imism.” It’s like this: in the moun­tain there is a god of the moun­tain, in the river there is a god of the riv­er. Its char­ac­ter­is­tic is that every­thing in the world becomes an object of reli­gion. The opin­ion that this was some­thing prim­i­tive and embar­rass­ing that we should stop first emerged in the Meiji Era, and then again just after the war.

—An­no-san, you say that it was just con­ve­nient mate­r­ial [for struc­tur­ing the sto­ry], but what do you think about that struc­ture? Although Niet­zsche said “God is dead,” if that’s the case, isn’t the “SF-like” way of think­ing “Let’s cre­ate a God”? There are parts like this in Evan­ge­lion as well.

Anno: Because orig­i­nally God is some­thing cre­ated by human beings. I think that there is a tran­scen­dent being, but that image was only some­thing fab­ri­cat­ed. I don’t think it mat­ters that each per­son has their own God. In short, I do not at all intend to repu­di­ate reli­gion. Only, I don’t think it’s nec­es­sary for every­one to have the same God.

Komat­su: And then there is Dar­win’s evo­lu­tion­ary the­o­ry. It’s the foun­da­tion of mod­ern sci­ence; how­ev­er, it also [indi­cates that,] in the end, the most advanced [life­form] is of course the human being. But I won­dered if human beings were really that great. Because of that, and think­ing that there may be some­thing greater besides [hu­man beings], I ended up writ­ing “sci­ence fic­tion” sto­ries where alien beings appeared. [The phrase] “cry of vic­tory” came up pre­vi­ous­ly; what does Anno-kun think about sal­va­tion?

Anno: Evan­ge­lion also includes a “sal­va­tion-like” sto­ry, but it’s not true sal­va­tion. It was a work where, think­ing about the des­ti­na­tion of mankind, I began by bor­row­ing ele­ments from Chris­tian­i­ty. It’s like, think­ing about some­thing like the evo­lu­tion of mankind or the mean­ing of exis­tence, I tried to make some­thing con­cern­ing the des­ti­na­tion of mankind.

—In Anno-san’s work, a type of alien or life­form appears which is painful for human beings to come in con­tact with.

Anno: It’s more real that the aliens be incom­pre­hen­si­ble. The aliens you see on tele­vi­sion even show that they can speak Japan­ese on an earth that they are sup­posed to have come to for the first time. I don’t think that some­thing like that is an alien. (laughs)

—I won­der if Eva and Lilith were intel­li­gent life-forms.

Anno: What con­cerned me more than [them hav­ing] intel­li­gence was whether they had a kokoro or not. In short: the prob­lem of the soul [tamashii]. Regard­ing the kokoro and the body, there are many things that have been said by dual­ism, but I think that they are two faces of the same thing.

—Ko­mat­su-san, what do you think about the prob­lem of the soul [ta­mashii] or the koko­ro?

Komat­su: The koko­ro, I think, is some­thing that mam­mals are sur­pris­ingly able to share. How­ev­er, in the case of an alien race, then things are differ­ent. Regard­ing intel­li­gence, it’s pos­si­ble that there are intel­li­gences inca­pable of con­tact­ing human beings. Think­ing this through is the appeal of sci­ence fic­tion. It would be nice if the world was con­ve­nient in the man­ner of Star Trek; how­ev­er…

Anno: When I really think it through I think that’s how it is. I don’t hate Star Trek, but I’m not that into it. You can see some­thing of the arro­gance of Amer­ica [in it]. There is a story of influ­enc­ing or enlight­en­ing the native peo­ple of the des­ti­na­tion plan­ets, or there is a romance with their most admirable woman in a fron­t-line base. I feel like this is Amer­i­can impe­ri­al­ism itself.56

Komat­su: More than impe­ri­al­ism, it’s the impo­si­tion of a Chris­t­ian sense of jus­tice.

Anno: Some­how this way Marx­ists are por­trayed as being prim­i­tive peo­ple. I can’t get used to that kind of Amer­i­can world­view. I think the Enter­prise is cool, but…

–Hideaki Anno & Komatsu Sakyô (Japan Sinks; Japan­ese SF author & orga­niz­er, see The Notenki Mem­oirs) round­table (orig­i­nal tran­script); trans­la­tion by Num­ber­s-kun: “On the main inter­views page (here) it’s listed as being from 2000. It seems to have been tran­scribed from this book, pub­lished in April 2000. So, the inter­view was prob­a­bly from early 2000 or some time in 1999, maybe two and a half years after EoE.”

—Dur­ing the Eva Boom books such as “Read­ing the Dead Sea Scrolls” came out. Did you antic­i­pate that?

Anno: I could some­how under­stand that. When I was in mid­dle school, because I loved the anime “Space Bat­tle­ship Yam­a­to,” being inter­ested in the wave motion gun, warp dri­ve, and so on, I would buy “blue books”57 [Ko­dan­sha books on pop­u­lar sci­ence]. (laughs) My knowl­edge of the the­ory of rel­a­tiv­ity and so on was due to the influ­ence of Yam­a­to. I feel it’s fine by itself if peo­ple become inter­ested in the Dead Sea Scrolls because of that [be­cause of Eva]. If through that they get inter­ested in psy­chol­ogy and move on to that direc­tion, it will also be inter­est­ing. As for the ele­ments relat­ing to Chris­tian­i­ty, I just researched them quickly using dic­tio­nary-like books. Because these sort of con­ve­nient things exist in the world, (laughs) around the time when we were stu­dents, the anime “Macross” was show­ing on TV, and there was a “cat­a­log gen­er­a­tion,” a gen­er­a­tion inter­ested in noth­ing but “specs” and cat­a­logs. They would only eval­u­ate things on the basis of “cat­a­log-like” ele­ments.58 They did­n’t care about “inte­rior” ele­ments but were only caught up in what was on the sur­face. So, you can extend that [idea]. [In Eva] there are var­i­ous “key­word-like” terms but, in truth, these are just sym­bols. They don’t really have mean­ings taken indi­vid­u­al­ly. As they are mixed togeth­er, for the first time some­thing like an inter­re­la­tion­ship or a mean­ing emerges. If you inves­ti­gate each one indi­vid­u­ally you will very quickly reach the bot­tom.

…—You pre­vi­ously said you have an inter­est in psy­chol­o­gy, but in Eva things like Kierkegaard’s “The Sick­ness Unto Death” are cited as well…

—Eh‽

Anno: I just quoted it.

—I thought you must have liked it.

Anno: In no time at all I lost my inter­est [in it]. I did­n’t under­stand it. I made guesses based on skim-read­ing, and so on. And, I would seem intel­li­gent if I remem­bered a phrase [from it]. (laughs)

—It was­n’t that you based [Eva] on Chris­tian­ity because you liked it…

Anno: It was­n’t at all because of that. I don’t under­stand Chris­tian­ity at all. It was because of the atmos­phere. (laughs)

…An­no: If the planned rela­tions had worked out - the plan was that the ‘uncon­scious Shin­ji-kun’ would be Ayanami Rei, the Shin­ji-kun who appears on the sur­face would be Ikari Shin­ji, and the ‘ideal Shin­ji-kun’ would be Nag­isa Kaworu-kun. [Ka­woru was] sup­posed to be an ideal male but when I tried putting him together he was just a strange fel­low (laugh­s). That was some­thing of a lack of capa­bil­ity on my part.

–Ex­cerpt trans­lated by Num­ber­s-kun(first excerpt, sec­ond excerpt, third excerpt; full orig­i­nal); 5 Decem­ber inter­view ‘with a mem­ber of Waseda Uni­ver­sity for the pur­pose of “char­ac­ter study.”’

"…Gendo is bor­rowed from another anime project before Eva that was abort­ed. [Aoki Uru?]

Ikari is the same as before. Yui sounds sim­i­lar to Rei, and it’s also a lit­tle pun on yui [唯, “only one”].

Keel is also a com­po­nent of a ship. Lorenz is named after a zool­o­gist or some­thing, but I can’t remem­ber clear­ly. Am I just get­ting old? Oh, well.

Super straight­for­ward nam­ing [for Pen2], but I thought the rep­e­ti­tion sounded cute. His name has offi­cially become the 2nd power of Pen [Pen²]. I was reluc­tant at first, but we thought we needed a mas­cot char­ac­ter, so we had an ani­mal appear in the show. As it hap­pened, the show is set in Hakone, which one asso­ciates with hot springs, which in turn are asso­ci­ated with mon­keys. But that is no fun, so we decided to make it a pen­guin, the ani­mal least suited to a hot spring. I’m pos­i­tive that Sadamoto came up with the idea of a “hot spring pen­guin”.

… [Ken­suke Aida] Also from Murakami’s nov­el. By the way, I was just inter­ested in a char­ac­ter “Zero” in this nov­el, rather than the story about rev­o­lu­tion and dic­ta­tor­ship itself….

This char­ac­ter was named by the screen­play writer Akio Sat­sukawa. Nag­isa [shore] is a word related to the sea. Also the kanji nag­isa 渚 con­sists of katakana SHI シ and kanji SHA 者, there­fore he’s SHISHA シ者 [mes­sen­ger 使者]. He said it also comes from the movie direc­tor . But what is Kaworu? Sor­ry, I will ask him next time. [Anno dis­cussed Oshima in a 1997 New­type?]"

Hideaki Anno, per­sonal web­site; orig­i­nal trans­la­tion by mas­sangeana on Japan.Ani­me.E­van­ge­lion, Decem­ber 2000. (It’s strik­ing how ran­dom and mean­ing­less many names seem to be.)

Oguro: The rela­tion between the fan and the work.

Anno: Right, right. So, they can’t meet the real Rei Ayanami, but because, as an act of com­pen­sa­tion, they can meet the voice actress who does her voice, they go to events [where she appears]. Or, they get that pic­ture signed by Yoshiyuki Sadamo­to, the man who drew it.

Oguro: As a sub­sti­tute for the real Rei Ayana­mi.

Anno: I believe that anime char­ac­ter mer­chan­dise sells well sim­ply because it is a means of get­ting close to the char­ac­ter. You can’t express your love for Rei Ayanami except by putting her poster up on your wall. So, char­ac­ter mer­chan­dise sells well because of that.

Anno: Every­one under­stands that it’s a fic­tion, but pre­cisely because it’s a fic­tion you have a pure feel­ing, you fall for the char­ac­ter to an even greater extent. You assume that an anime char­ac­ter will not betray you. Iku-chan said [to me], “in the last episode, please have Rei Ayanami get mar­ried and become preg­nant. Just please betray the Ayanami fans. The Rei Ayanami they are think­ing of is not real. The real Rei Ayanami gets mar­ried, and her bel­ly…”

Oguro: (laughs) Ah, if Ayanami really exist­ed.

Anno: He told me some­thing like, “please, make them real­ize that, If she were real, she would get mar­ried, become preg­nant, have a child, and grow old­er.” I was think­ing, “we don’t have to go that far…” (laugh­s).

Oguro: (laughs) Iku-chan is a wicked man.

–Trans­lated by Num­ber­s-kun based on 2chan excerpts and scans; this extract is from an April 2000 inter­view pub­lished in Monthly Anime Style (in-depth mag­a­zine, suc­ces­sor to Anime Style), which was reprinted in the 2011 inter­view anthol­ogy アニメクリエイタ-・インタビュ-ズ この人に話を聞きたい２００１-２００２ (Anime kurieitā intabyūzu : kono hito ni hanashi o kik­i­tai; ISBN 9784063648515). See also the 1996 Ani­me­land inter­view.

Anno: […] I want to focus on con­tem­po­rary Japan. Since we [my gen­er­a­tion] does­n’t have the post-war period or any­thing else, there is noth­ing but the pre­sent. The wor­thy past was out­side of our for­ma­tive expe­ri­ences, so even if we base some­thing on the past, it only becomes more defi­cient. On the other hand, to the extent we depict the future, it is with­out opti­mism. If we depict the future, today it will surely only be in a pes­simistic way. This being the case, I want to con­front what is right before my eyes, but when I do so, my empty self comes into sharp relief, and I merely become per­plexed. In the case of Evan­ge­lion, I thor­oughly pre­sented this empti­ness, but now beyond that - I am emp­ty, so what should I do? - that’s what I have to do, but I’ve been strug­gling to find [what that is], and so come to a stand­still. At such a time I saw “Taboo,” [and thought,] “Ah, this old man is giv­ing his all, [but I] ….”

Oshima: (Laugh­ing)

Anno: Feel­ing this way, I have been dri­ven into a cor­ner. I am strug­gling to find an exit. I think that is com­mon to [my gen­er­a­tion]. For peo­ple now in their for­ties and below, since there is no joint strug­gle or anpo [toso], see­ing those things on tele­vi­sion, a neg­a­tive feel­ing, a so-called “shi­rake mood” [feel­ing of apa­thy] like, “even if I do some­thing it won’t make any differ­ence,” has taken root. I think that we who have been “blocked” since the time we were chil­dren will always be haunted by [the ques­tion of] what we should do in order to be able to move for­wards.

–Un­trans­lated copy of the dia­logue is avail­able online; excerpt trans­lated by Num­ber­s-kun; M Arnold, Miyazaki ML (pub­lic mir­ror) sum­ma­rizes it:

The cur­rent issue of Eureka, a literary/art crit­i­cism mag­a­zine, is about Japan­ese film direc­tor Oshima Nag­isa. Among a score of other essays and arti­cles it includes a tran­script of a dia­logue between Oshima and Anno Hidea­ki. I haven’t read the whole thing, but they talk about Oshi­ma’s new film “Gohatto” (which is great, by the way) and the diffi­cul­ties (well, Anno’s diffi­cul­ties) in find­ing moti­va­tion and issues to tackle in films now.

At the end, I asked the ques­tion: “You’ve started out doing Sci­ence-Fic­tion (Gun­buster, Royal Space Force, Nadia) and now you’re doing Shou­jo, why is that?”

Yam­a­ga’s answer: “We’ve always worked in both sci-fi and Shou­jo. EVA was a com­bi­na­tion of both.”

Peter Svens­son, Fanime 2000; in 2001, Svens­son described the ques­tion as “Is the Gainax of today, which makes the Shoujo series Kare Kano, the same Gainax that made Royal Space Force?”

Amer­i­can fans enjoyed the [Daicon] film’s broad par­o­dy, but its Japan­ese cre­ators have fixed feel­ings. “They’re a source of pride and some­thing you want to stran­gle,” said Yam­a­ga, who is more inter­ested in new pro­jects. “I don’t want to see them for a long time. Just think­ing about them sends shiv­ers down my spine,” added Akai, say­ing that he wants to pro­duce bet­ter films than the old ones."

… “Some­how, the con­ver­sa­tion turned to the ani­mated films the two cre­ated for the Daicon con­ven­tions in Japan. Those films are known as the first Gainax films - and remem­bered for the all-con­quer­ing bunny girl char­ac­ter. Amer­i­can fans enjoyed the film’s broad par­o­dy, but its Japan­ese cre­ators have fixed feel­ings.”They’re a source of pride and some­thing you want to stran­gle," said Yam­a­ga, who is more inter­ested in new pro­jects. “I don’t want to see them for a long time. Just think­ing about them sends shiv­ers down my spine,” added Akai, say­ing that he wants to pro­duce bet­ter films than the old ones.

–From a Fanime pan­el: http://web.archive.org/web/20070707233248/www.fansview.com/2000a/022400d.htm

I met Mr. Yam­aga at Car­l’s party after Fanime­con 2k, and he said (as one might assume) that Eva was Anno’s thing, not his, so we talked about Hon­neamise. You wont get the answers you want from him.

It’s [Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Girl Utena] directed by Ikuhara, one of Anno’s good friends. I call it the Shoujo EVA.

Ikuhara actu­ally called it that him­self at Otakon this year. He made the Utena movie as revenge against Anno. He wanted to make some­thing seri­ously dent­ed, and I think he accom­plished just that…

The manga ideas came first, though I don’t think the author really pro­duced much before the ani­me. Ikuhara tempted the author away from GAiNAX (I wish I could remem­ber the guy’s name…Hasegawa? I know he was the char­ac­ter designer for the ani­me) and they worked together rather stealth­ily on the anime because Ikuhara was still under con­tract for Sailor Moon (and he did­n’t want Anno to find out). So I guess my answer is the Utena manga idea came first, but the anime took hold and then the real manga began.

Did that end­ing scene (EOE) seem a lit­tle euphoric to any­one else? Is there any evi­dence that Anno was on crack or LSD while writ­ing this?

Funny you should men­tion that… At the Utena panel at Otakon this past August some­one asked that of Ikuhara (a good buddy of Anno, col­league, and some­time co-work­er, as well as direc­tor for Utena and Sailor Moon), and Ikuhara sim­ply replied, “I was born like this.”

Been away for a while for the clas­sic Lucca Comics Expo here in Italy…Ikuhara said that he did NOT sub­sti­tute Anno at the direc­tion of the lat­est episodes of Kare Kano, con­trar­ily to some rumors that have been going on for a while.

Ebj

I remem­ber Kuni­hiko Ikuhara com­ing to a con­ven­tion here in Italy (one in Luc­ca, 2001 or 2002 pos­si­bly), and being asked about his col­lab­o­ra­tion with Anno (did­n’t like it, he was pre­sent­ing the Utena movie back then), and he too did say that the Chris­t­ian sym­bol­ogy was, as far as he knew/had been told by Anno, cool­ness fac­tor. The con­ver­sa­tion went there because a weirdo tried to get him to admit there was a par­al­lel between the Utena movie and Gnos­tic doc­trines - don’t ask - and while Ikuhara just laughed ner­vously and mum­bled about not even know­ing the word, it was clear from the face of the trans­la­tor that such embar­rass­ments weren’t wel­come any­more.

Ebj

Yoshiyuki Sadamoto: The staff loved (the work) while they were mak­ing it. The film ver­sion was really planned to be a com­pletely differ­ent story that would only use the char­ac­ters from the orig­i­nal.

Hiroki Sato: We really had planned it so that peo­ple who had­n’t seen the TV series would be able to enjoy it as well, but the staff said that they were worn out, and we did­n’t think we would be able to do it any more. Well, since the film [be­came] a remake of episodes 25 and 26, we decided to do it along the lines of the left over orig­i­nal script. But the orig­i­nal film col­lapsed.

Sadamoto: Right. [The staff] were worn out. I wanted to see the orig­i­nally planned film.

Sato: If I was to say which [di­rec­tion it was head­ing in], it would have been a return to the ear­lier sci­ence-fic­tion [ori­ent­ed] sto­ry. In the plan which fell apart, we wanted to seri­ously cre­ate a world in which giant robots would exist. The design team con­structed this idea, which would have been another side of - well, if I had to say, some­thing like a “hard-ge­lion” (laugh­ing).

SD: But, hav­ing worked end­lessly on the TV series, the staff had already run out of steam. “You’re telling us to keep up this bru­tal work for merely one more year?” The entire staff was worn out, Anno-san includ­ed.

ST: After Anno-san reha­bil­i­tated for half a year, he had work on the video ver­sion start up again. Since doing that worked out sched­ul­ing-wise, we had announced it around when the TV series had first end­ed, but we were also think­ing about an orig­i­nal film. [???]

SD: Eva takes place in a “sum­mer world.” It was planned that [the film] would com­pletely change the art style, so that sud­denly snow-cov­ered moun­tains, and Mis­ato and the oth­ers wear­ing coats, would appear in a “win­ter world.”59 Think­ing that would be very cool, I was a lit­tle bit excited inside. That became the remake [in­stead], and [it was then like,] “What? There’s no job for me?”

–ex­cerpts trans­lated by Num­ber­s-kun; SF online #35, 2000-01-24. Note that the ‘snow world’ is con­sis­tent with both Okada in “Return of the Otak­ing” part 4 in 1996 and with Olivier Hagué’s April 2001 com­ments:

But did they ever state that there would be no more Eva? After all, they intended to make the Sum­mer 97 movie an orig­i­nal sto­ry, inde­pen­dently from the alter­nate end­ing (first sup­posed to be released on video only)… And there are still some Gainax mem­bers who would like to make (or at least, to see ^^) that one.

It was sup­posed to take place in snowy land­scapes (in­stead of the “end­less sum­mer” set­ting), to have new char­ac­ters, and over­all a more real­is­tic touch (some of the Gainax mem­bers called it “a sort of Hard-ge­lion” ^^). Who knows?… In a few years, may­be?…

2000 S

• 2000-animer­i­ca-es­say­tomi­no-no­e­va.pdf
• 2000-animer­i­ca-tomi­noin­t­er­view.pdf Tomino inter­view where he slags on NGE: Ani­mer­i­ca, Vol 8 #2 (March 2000) “Inter­view: Yoshiyuki Tomino”, Ani­mer­ica 8:2 pg 12-13, 34-37

Tomi­no: For instance, Brain Pow­ered came out after Evan­ge­lion did, so I am often asked ques­tions sim­i­lar to yours about the con­nec­tion between them, but in real­ity the plans for Brain Pow­ered and the over­all story had all been com­pleted before Evan­ge­lion came out. I never meant Brain Pow­ered to be an antithe­sis to Evan­ge­lion. I knew when I saw Evan­ge­lion that Brain Pow­ered would be called an antithe­sis to it, but I did­n’t want to change my plans any, so I just resigned myself to that.

This is con­nected with my wish for more ani­ma­tors to see them­selves as enter­tain­ers. I don’t think I suc­ceeded with Brain Pow­ered, and I don’t think it was very good with enter­tain­men­t–but there was one thing I did try to do with it. If 100 peo­ple come to see an anime with giant robots, then chances are that not every one of those 100 peo­ple will be a huge fan of robot ani­me. What I wanted to do was to make an anime that had a truly inter­est­ing story that would­n’t cause the peo­ple who watched it to have a ner­vous break­down. I also tried to make a story that would tell anime fans that there were often other things out there bet­ter than ani­me. That’s the goal I chal­lenged myself to do. I don’t think the series itself was a suc­cess, though, I have to admit that. 1 So I was very upset when I saw Evan­ge­lion, because it was appar­ent to me that the peo­ple who made it weren’t think­ing at all about mak­ing fun for or gain­ing the sym­pa­thy of the audi­ence. Instead they tried to con­vince the audi­ence to admit that every­body is sick, prac­ti­cally in the mid­dle of a ner­vous break­down, all the time. I don’t think you should show things like that to every­body. It’s not enter­tain­ment for the mass­es–it’s much more inter­ested in admit­ting that we’re all depressed ner­vous wrecks, I thought. It was a work that told peo­ple it was okay to be depressed, and it accepted the psy­cho­log­i­cal state that said if you don’t like the way the world works, then it’s okay to just pick up a gun and attack some­one. I don’t think that’s a real work of art. When peo­ple see that, they begin to real­ize they are the same way. I think that we should try to show peo­ple how to live health­ier, fuller lives, to fos­ter their iden­tity as a part of their com­mu­ni­ty, and to encour­age them to work hap­pily until they die. I can’t accept any work that does­n’t say that.

Ani­mer­i­ca: Is that differ­ent from your down­beat end­ings?

Tomi­no: I make sure my audi­ence knows it’s fic­tion and that what hap­pens to my char­ac­ters does­n’t nec­es­sar­ily say any­thing about their own lives.

2000 T

‘Evan­ge­lion’ deploys otaku clichés with mechas and girls, with par­o­dies and quo­ta­tions from the his­tory of the genre all the way back to ‘Space Bat­tle­ship Yam­ato’ of 1974.(20) At the same time, Anno crit­i­cizes the closed nature of the Otaku cir­cle, and its divi­sion into ever-s­mall­er, strictly sep­a­rated areas of inter­est.

The otaku would appear to be suc­cess­fully escap­ing the shack­les of one prison named soci­ety only in order to build them­selves a new hous­ing com­posed of tech­no­log­i­cal medi­at­ed­ness and self­-ref­er­en­tial­ism. As Toshio Okada writes in his book ‘Our Brain­wash Soci­ety’ (Boku­tachi no sennô shakai, Asahi Shim­bun­sha, Tokyo, 1995), he too detects the main prob­lem in this clos­ing off.

2001

2001 P

Some of the jokes, gags, and ele­ments in FLCL are sub­cul­tur­al, and if it was very diffi­cult for him to explain some of the ele­ments to the staff, it may be even more so to Amer­i­cans - or so is his assump­tion. Tsu­ru­maki told the Otakon pan­el, “Hon­estly speak­ing, I’m very happy that Amer­i­cans like my work, but the Eva TV series and movies, Kare Kano, and FLCL are basi­cally made for the Japan­ese audi­ences. So when I hear that they are being well received by Amer­i­can audi­ences, I feel very hap­py; but at the same time I feel a lit­tle awk­ward.”

When PULP asked him what he meant by that, Tsu­ru­maki said, “For exam­ple, in Eva, I thought Shin­ji’s char­ac­ter would only be under­stood by Japan­ese fans of this gen­er­a­tion. But I was very happy - or actu­al­ly, shocked - to find out that his kind of char­ac­ter is also under­stood by Amer­i­cans.” I appre­ci­ated the direc­tor’s implied vote of con­fi­dence in us, but won­dered whether the oft-re­marked-upon Japan­ese sense of cul­tural sin­gu­lar­ism was strong enough to can­cel out the uni­ver­sal fact of youth dis­affec­tion, let alone the world­wide report­ing on inci­dents such as the mur­ders at Columbine.

Another per­son at Tsu­ru­mak­i’s press con­fer­ence took up that ques­tion. Tsu­ru­maki averred that Shin­ji’s char­ac­ter was based per­son­ally on that of Hideaki Anno. Tsu­ru­mak­i’s ver­sion of the metaphor was that Shinji being sum­moned by his father to pilot the Evan­ge­lion stood for Anno being “sum­moned” by Gainax to direct their first anime in four years, and his in five - he traced Anno’s ambigu­ous feel­ings about his craft back to Nadia. At the same time, said Tsu­ru­maki, Anno felt, “But maybe by doing Eva I can change, I can grow.”

Most of the Gainax shows are also tar­get­ed, Tsu­ru­maki said, for an audi­ence “that tends to be rather weak and has prob­lems with their fam­ily” - and the direc­tors at Gainax are those kind of peo­ple. “A lot of fam­i­lies in Japan a gen­er­a­tion ago - and per­haps even now - had fathers that were worka­holics and never home. They were out of their chil­dren’s’ lives. My own father was like that, and I hardly ever got to asso­ciate with him until quite recent­ly. I’m the same sort of per­son as Hideaki Anno. That prob­a­bly influ­ences the type of anime I cre­ate.”

Nev­er­the­less, if Tsu­ru­maki feels that he will never be safe, he will never be sane, he wanted to express that fran­tic inside in a comedic mode, rather than with the vio­lent con­vul­sions of Evan­ge­lion. Sim­ply put, he per­son­ally was ready for a con­trast to that apoc­a­lyp­tic dark­ness. Tsu­ru­maki com­pares the bizarre robots pop­ping forth from Nao­ta’s head to stir up the town in FLCL to the bizarre ideas pop­ping forth from his head dur­ing its pro­duc­tion, stir­ring up the post-Eva Gainax. For some­one involved with such a talked-about film, Tsu­ru­maki hardly ever watches movies him­self, telling the panel he receives influ­ences instead from Japan­ese TV dra­mas and man­ga, his favorite being those of Leiji Mat­sumo­to.

…None of the Evan­ge­lion pro­duc­tion staff are them­selves of a West­ern reli­gious back­ground. Tsu­ru­maki, for his own part as assis­tant direc­tor, said at Otakon that he always envi­sioned the exten­sive use of Judeo-Chris­t­ian iconog­ra­phy in Evan­ge­lion to be more of a way for the show to dis­tin­guish itself visu­ally in the mecha field. Evan­ge­lion’s escha­tol­ogy is in fact too well-de­vel­oped to be regarded as a mere motif, how­ever if it is a syn­cret­ic, sym­bolic and eso­teric approach, it is not an igno­rant one. Tsu­ru­maki remarked that Eva, being a show only meant for Japan, allowed Gainax to cre­ative free­dom in the use of West­ern ele­ments, remov­ing any con­cern about how their inter­pre­ta­tion might cause offense. By the same token, Yam­aga has expressed a sense of relief that Gainax could­n’t be eas­ily smeared with the media hys­te­ria over Aum Shin­rikyo, since Evan­ge­lion’s own high­-tech cultists used West­ern, not Bud­dhist, rev­e­la­tions. It should be obvi­ous that if this is viewed as an armor for Evan­ge­lion to com­ment on con­tem­po­rary Japan­ese events, it is an effec­tive one - an applic­a­bil­ity many Japan­ese crit­ics in fact accept­ed.

P: Do you think, then, that the dis­tinc­tive Gainax projects are the ones which actu­ally orig­i­nate from within the stu­dio, rather then their adap­ta­tions of some­one else’s work?

KT: It depends on the time in which it was released, but yes, works like Royal Space Force: The Wings of Hon­neamise, Gun­buster, Nadia, and FLCL would be con­sid­ered the ones with the true Gainax fla­vor, their mile­stones.

Tsu­ru­maki said he was sur­passed [sur­prised] that Shinji Ikari was under­stood so well by North Amer­i­can Evan­ge­lion fans, and admit­ted that Shinji was mod­eled after the direc­tor Hideaki Anno. “Shin­ji, he gets sum­moned by his father to ride a robot, and Anno was sum­moned by Gainax to make a big ani­ma­tion show after he had had a prob­lem with Nadia of the Mys­te­ri­ous Seas and did­n’t know if he still wanted to direct.” Some fans think that the extreme vio­lence in End of Evan­ge­lion was inspired by fans’ dis­ap­proval of Anno, but Tsu­ru­maki said that was not the case. “It was­n’t a bit­ter­ness toward the fans. A lot of peo­ple think anime should always have happy end­ings, but that’s not always the case. We wanted to edu­cate the fans that anime can have bit­ter end­ings.”

#2. Why were the Direc­tor’s Cuts made and how impor­tant are they to the sto­ry?

(an­swer: they aren’t that impor­tant to the sto­ry, they were made as an apol­ogy to fans for delay­ing the release of the video so long. And also to help under­stand the later episodes, which he admit­ted were made quickly and rough­ly).

…He men­tioned that Anno was work­ing on Nadia when the Eva oppor­tu­nity arose, and that he took the job because he thought he could change. Tsu­ru­maki com­pared this to Shinji being sum­moned by his father to con­trol Eva…an­other par­al­lel of staff and fic­tion!

MDWigs sum­mary of Tsu­ru­maki Otakon panel. Tsu­ru­maki was also asked whose soul was in Unit-03 (much dis­cussed - Toji’s moth­er? sis­ter? ran­dom third par­ty?); he was just con­fused. (Bren­dan Jamieson tells the story in 2004 but of Unit-00; he says he was prob­a­bly just mis­taken.)

fuller tran­script: “Amus­ing Him­self to Death” part 1; part2; part3:

Why does Evan­ge­lion end vio­lent­ly, and some­what unhap­pi­ly?

KT: Peo­ple are accus­tomed to sweet, con­trived, happy end­ings. We wanted to broaden the gen­re, and show peo­ple an ugly, unhappy end­ing.

Why is the char­ac­ter of Shinji por­trayed as he is?

KT: Shinji was mod­eled on direc­tor Hideaki Anno. Shinji was sum­moned by his father to ride a robot, Anno was sum­moned by Gainax to direct an ani­ma­tion. Work­ing on Nadia [Na­dia: Secret of the Blue Water, one of Anno and Tsu­ru­mak­i’s ear­lier pro­jects] he won­dered if he still wanted to work like this. He thought that work­ing on Eva could help him to change.

Is there any par­tic­u­lar rea­son why so many Gainax series fea­ture very anx­ious, unhappy young male pro­tag­o­nists with no par­ents?

KT: Yes, the direc­tors at Gainax are all basi­cally weak, inse­cure, bit­ter, young men. So are many anime fans. Many Japan­ese fam­i­lies, includ­ing my own, have worka­holic fathers whose kids never get to see them. That may influ­ence the shows I cre­ate.

Could you explain the mecha burst­ing from Nao­ta’s head in FLCL?

KT: I use a giant robot being cre­ated from the brain to rep­re­sent FLCL com­ing from my brain. The robot rav­ages the town around him, and the more intensely I worked on FLCL the more I destroyed the peace­ful atmos­phere of Gainax.

Why does­n’t FLCL fol­low one sto­ry?

KT: In the third episode Ninamori was almost a main char­ac­ter, a kid who, like Nao­ta, has to act like an adult. After episode three her prob­lem was solved so we wrote her out. She has many fans in Japan and we got plenty of let­ters about that deci­sion. For FLCL I wanted to por­tray the entire his­tory of Gainax, and each episode has sym­bols of what hap­pened behind the scenes on each of Gainax’s shows. Episode one has many ele­ments of Kare Kano; episode two, a lot of Evan­ge­lion ref­er­ences, etc.

Where does the title FLCL come from?

KT: I got the idea from a CD in a music mag­a­zine with the title Fooly-Cooly. I like the idea of titles that are short­ened long Eng­lish words. Poke­mon for “Pock­et-Mon­sters” for instance, and an old J-pop band called Bril­liant Green that was known as “Bril­ly-Gril­ly.”

Is there any rea­son why the extra scenes added to Eva for the video release were cut in the first place? Did you think the story would mean some­thing differ­ent with them intact?

KT: The scenes that were added to Eva for its video release aren’t that impor­tant. We added them as an apol­ogy for tak­ing so long to get the video out. Maybe they’ll help peo­ple under­stand things, because the episodes were done under tough dead­lines the first time around.

Ear­lier today you said that you were try­ing to broaden the genre by giv­ing Eva a sad end­ing. Does the same­ness of much of today’s anime bore you?

KT: First of all we did­n’t use a sad end­ing to annoy fans. When they’re upset, that really both­ers us. Per­son­al­ly, I think a happy end­ing is fine, but not if it is achieved too eas­i­ly. That’s no good.

Can you explain the sym­bol­ism of the cross in Evan­ge­lion?

KT: There are a lot of giant robot shows in Japan, and we did want our story to have a reli­gious theme to help dis­tin­guish us. Because Chris­tian­ity is an uncom­mon reli­gion in Japan we thought it would be mys­te­ri­ous. None of the staff who worked on Eva are Chris­tians. There is no actual Chris­t­ian mean­ing to the show, we just thought the visual sym­bols of Chris­tian­ity look cool. If we had known the show would get dis­trib­uted in the US and Europe we might have rethought that choice.

At the Gainax Live! event in Nagoya a few years back, Sadamoto said that he wished the manga was over so that he could move on to new things since he had been doing noth­ing but Eva for 6-7 years.

Bochan_bird, 2004; guess­ing 2001, as , and see also a Tsu­ru­maki quote

You men­tioned pre­vi­ously that Japan­ese ani­ma­tion is not in a good sit­u­a­tion right now. Why not?

MO: Unfor­tu­nate­ly, anime is gen­er­ally rated low by the Japan­ese pub­lic. One rea­son is that many peo­ple still think anime is for small chil­dren, which is no longer true. A series of very abnor­mal mur­ders of small chil­dren that occurred in 1989 can be another rea­son. Because the crim­i­nal was over 20 years of age, and a devo­tee of anime and video games, the whole nation started per­se­cut­ing and dis­crim­i­nat­ing against anime and its fans. Those feel­ings still remain. Cre­ative teams now must make anime within very small bud­gets - this includes voice actors. Fur­ther­more, the ongo­ing reces­sion makes it more diffi­cult to train good actors and artists to cre­ate good works. We are now fac­ing a hard time and there­fore we are given fewer oppor­tu­ni­ties to use our high abil­i­ties and tech­niques; and the sit­u­a­tion is get­ting worse every year. I feel that we must do some­thing about it.

Do you think shows for chil­dren in Japan are more sophis­ti­cated than Amer­i­can or Euro­pean shows?

MO: I think that is true in some ways, but it isn’t always true. I think Dis­ney movies are won­der­ful. I can­not believe that “Fan­ta­sia” was made that many years ago. But the sit­u­a­tion of the Japan­ese ani­ma­tion indus­try in which the best tech­niques and abil­i­ties can­not be fully uti­lized is some­thing that we are ashamed of. If we had the sup­port of big spon­sors from abroad, the sit­u­a­tion may turn out differ­ent­ly. It’s a shame.

…You are prob­a­bly best known in the US for play­ing Shinji in “Evan­ge­lion.” Some of Shin­ji’s speeches sound like they might have been ad-libbed. Did you get to ad-lib and exper­i­ment when you were work­ing on “Evan­ge­lion?”

MO: I’m delighted that you think I sounded nat­ural as if I was doing ad-libs. I don’t remem­ber doing any­thing exper­i­men­tal. There was a time when I actu­ally pushed Yuko Miya­mura to the floor to stran­gle her dur­ing the last scene of the “Evan­ge­lion” movie in which Shinji stran­gles Asu­ka. I could­n’t act very well in play­ing that scene. I was so agi­tated that I stran­gled her too hard, mak­ing it impos­si­ble for her to say her lines for a while. Of course, I apol­o­gized to her for doing that. I almost killed her.

A cen­sored ver­sion of “Sailor Moon” has been air­ing in the US. Haruka and Michiru were turned into cousins and much of their dia­logue was changed. When the show first aired in Japan, was there any con­tention com­ing from par­ents or reli­gious lead­ers?

MO: When I was cast to play Haruka, I asked direc­tor Kuni­hiko Ikuhara, “Are they gay?” He answered, “Act as if they are mar­ried cou­ple.” And I asked him again, “Mar­ried cou­ple? You, mean, with two ladies?” He replied, “Yes.” So they are hus­band and wife. Their appear­ance on TV was sen­sa­tion­al, some­thing unheard of in TV car­toons. And the show was aired every Sat­ur­day at 7 p.m. when every mem­ber of the fam­ily would be gath­er­ing around the TV. Even so, it seems that we were able to grab the view­er’s heart. The pro­gram’s rat­ing con­tin­ued to rise, and I received a lot more fan let­ters than before. Because many peo­ple watched the show with their fam­i­ly, not only the anime fans but also small chil­dren and their moth­ers became our fans as well. There was a time I was called “a madam killer” [a term used to describe a per­son so charm­ing that they can get any wom­an, usu­ally applied to men, how­ever Ms. Ogata’s seiyuu career stands as a tes­ta­ment to how appro­pri­ate the term is for her].

I’m sure that the anime also appealed to gay peo­ple, too. I heard that “Sailor Moon” was the talk of the town in Shin­juku 2-chome, a famous gay street in Japan. Of course, it may have caused con­tro­versy in some strict, reli­gious fam­i­lies, but the enter­tain­ment won a vic­tory over the reli­gious fanat­ics. Maybe it’s because Japan is not as reli­gious a coun­try as the U.S. But the anime is not only about girls with mini skirts and gay cou­ples. It also has a very inter­est­ing sto­ry. It focuses on very impor­tant aspects of human behav­ior, and it is very well writ­ten. The anime deserved pop­u­lar­i­ty. Of course, the sex­i­ness is also an impor­tant thing. Per­haps the most impor­tant. I am attracted to anime with a touch of sen­su­al­ity - with­out being too inde­cent like X-rated movies - because sexy things are sim­ply enter­tain­ing. [With the voice of Haruka Tenoh] “Don’t you think so too, my cute lit­tle Amer­i­can kit­ties?”

– From a Megumi Ogata inter­view (note that stran­gling-Megumi story is con­firmed by the Megumi Live­door inter­view and her later Aus­tralian inter­view): sin­gle page (part1, 2, 3)

• EVENT CALENDER
• 04/10 Term starts [Pre­sum­ably the begin­ning of the series]
• 04/25 Field trip
• 05/early 3rd Angel Sachiel
• 05/late 4th Angel Shamshel
• 06/early ID card
• 06/middle 5th Angel Ramiel Rei is hos­pi­tal­ized
• 06/late 6th Angel Gaghiel Asuka’s first appear­ance
• 07/03 Asuka arrives in Japan and begins school
• 08/early 7th Angel Israfel
• 08/early 7th Angel Israfel rematch
• 09/middle 8th Angel San­dalphon If this occurs before 09/12, the Eva pilots go on the field trip with the rest of the class. If not, they go to the hot springs (as we know, the canon event is hot springs)
• 09/14-6 Hot Springs
• 09/middle 9th Angel Matarael Bat­tle
• 10/late 10th Angel Sahaquiel Bat­tle. Lat­er, they go out for ramen.
• 11/middle 11th Angel Ireul
• 11/middle Eva 00 goes berserk
• 11/late 12th Angel Leliel
• 12/21-3 Secret harsh train­ing (pos­si­bly when Rei starts using LoL)
• 12/24 Christ­mas eve
• 01/01 New year’s
• 01/middle 13th Angel Bardiel Bat­tle
• 01/middle 14th Angel Zeruel Bat­tle. Eva 01 goes berserk, Shinji
• revives a month lat­er.
• 02/late 15th Angel Arael
• 03/24 16th Angel Armisael - Rei II’s End­ing
• 17th Angel Tabris [Ar­rival]
• 03/27 Rei III is released from hos­pi­tal
• 03/29 Events of ’24, Shinji vs Nag­isa-Kun
• 03/30-31 Events of EoE (??)
• Rei Ayanami Rais­ing Project chronol­ogy (ap­par­ently incon­sis­tent with the Episode 04 dates cut in Evan­ge­lion ORIGINAL)

Besides, Anno-tachi worked on Macross, which had episodes deliv­ered to the stu­dio min­utes before air­time… So says Yam­a­ga…

Peter Svens­son (Fanime 1999/2000; Svens­son is unsure which)

“I felt my career as an ani­ma­tion direc­tor had gone as far as it could, and decided I would like to try a new cre­ative media. I am not com­plain­ing about the ani­ma­tion indus­try, but I felt I could­n’t get any more sat­is­fac­tion from mak­ing ani­ma­tion and I needed to try some­thing new to stim­u­late my cre­ativ­i­ty. I knew Ayako Fuji­tani and I loved her book when I read it. So I decide to try and make it into film.”

The style of Rit­ual is not dis­sim­i­lar to your ani­mated work?

“Yes, there is some sim­i­lar­ity in the two, but it isn’t direct copy. Though I used some spe­cial-effects, I was try­ing to make the images in the film look painter­ly. It’s odd that when I used to do ani­ma­tion, I would try hard to realise the char­ac­ters as if they were in a live-ac­tion movie, but when I did Rit­ual I put a lot of effort in mak­ing the image more graph­ic!”

Why you choose Shunji Iwai to act in the film?

“Two rea­sons. First, the pro­fes­sion of the main char­ac­ter in Rit­ual is a direc­tor, so it seemed ideal to get a ‘real’ direc­tor to do it. Sec­ond­ly, I think Shunji Iwai is really cool, so I thought he could cap­ture the qual­ity of the main char­ac­ter.”

–Hideaki Anno, Look@Ritual (Shik­i-Jitsu)

Anno: How­ev­er, if I was to speak just of anime as an art­form, I believe it is rapidly declin­ing. I find the anime of twenty or thirty years ago to be over­whelm­ingly bet­ter [than today’s]. […] Of course, even now, although we have skill­ful peo­ple, I feel we have a ways to go before we match the move­ment of the older ani­me.

• What is the cause of that?

Anno: It’s a prob­lem of the qual­ity of the Japan­ese peo­ple them­selves. To express it in the style of Shiba Ryotaro, the volt­age of Japan is decreas­ing. It’s not just ani­me; nov­els, films, man­ga, no mat­ter the kind of cul­ture, they are all surely declin­ing, I believe. It’s not sim­ply a mat­ter of the old times being good. We[, my gen­er­a­tion,] and those after are already a “copy cul­ture”, so there’s noth­ing else we can do. As copy piles upon copy, they quickly become dis­torted and dilut­ed. […] In this sit­u­a­tion, things can hardly be improved. It’s diffi­cult, I think. From here, Japan will prob­a­bly rapidly reach an impasse. Per­haps years from now, or per­haps longer, some­one will fig­ure out some­thing, and per­haps things will just keep declin­ing. In Japan as a coun­try, cul­ture has already become “blocked.” Korea, Chi­na, and South Asia have been able to pro­duce exem­plary works, and the day may arrive when they do away with Japan­ese things. I believe the inten­tion to break down this “block­age” is essen­tial.

–the August 2001 issue of Eureka, on Miyaza­k­i’s Spir­ited Away; trans­la­tion by Num­ber­s-kun

2001 S

Carl Horn inter­view with (former) Gainax Gen­eral Prod­ucts USA head Lea Her­nan­dez; cov­er­age of Otaku no Video sec­tion which depicts & insults an Amer­i­can otaku (Craig York):

LH: I was orig­i­nally in Tex­as, but they wanted to have the busi­ness in San Fran­cis­co.

P: Why?

LH: You know what? It’s because, the truth is, they just wanted to say they had a busi­ness in San Fran­cis­co. There was really no other rea­son.

P: Did it have a cachet?

LH: Yeah, it had a cachet. And I think it was also because Toren [Smith] was here. But even­tu­ally it became, “We have a busi­ness in San Fran­cis­co, and we have a very-good look­ing vice-pres­i­dent.” [laughs]

P: Speak­ing of which, they later put you into a man­ga. [pro­duces copy of Comic Weapon Cyber Comix Spe­cial Edi­tion: Comic Gun­buster Vol. 2, an anthol­ogy of “offi­cial” Gun­buster dojin­shi released in May of 1991 through Bandai]

LH: Yes, they did. That’s me. There’s no doubt. It’s my glass­es, it’s my hair, it’s my dress. I had a shirt-dress, with an elas­tic waist that was gath­ered in.

P: Does this manga story have any basis in real­i­ty?

LH: Some­what. I remem­ber [laughs] they were the biggest bunch of per­verts. They went out to Manga no Mori60 right after the release of Gun­buster and saw that some­one had already done a dojin of it. And from what I could gather from their reac­tion, they saw it as evi­dence of “We’ve caught fire among the fans”–we’re gold. [laughs] In their imag­i­na­tions, they were gold. “We can sell them any­thing.” Shon [How­ell–­to­day active as an artist pub­lished through Radio Comix], who took over for me lat­er, described their reac­tions, where they got one of these really raunchy dojin, and [Ya­suhi­ro] Takeda [found­ing mem­ber of Gainax and today its pres­i­dent] opened it and went, “Mooohh­h­h­h­h­h­hhh!” and his feet came off the floor of their own accord. I was like, “Let me see.” And they’re like, “No, no, no, no, no!” And I’m like, “I’ve seen this and worse by peo­ple who were a lot less tal­ent­ed.”

LH: And they did­n’t want to show me any of this stuff. Even when I went over to [anime stu­dio] , and was show­ing me all these cov­ers for all these dojin, and all these cute lit­tle girls, I said, “Can I open it?” and he slapped his hand down and said, “No.” [laughs] “No, no, no, no.” And I think [the man­ga] might have also been ref­er­enc­ing that, even though it does­n’t show Son­oda-san doing it.

P: There’s a scene here where the guy gets humil­i­ated when you see his Gun­buster dojin.

LH: And I love the way they drew me here, with these gigan­tic boobs.

P: He’s espe­cially upset that it’s a for­eigner who’s see­ing this. Before giv­ing in, he briefly draws him­self as a shonen manga hero, “The Japan­ese Who Can Say No,” as opposed to . [politi­cian con­tro­ver­sial con­tem­po­rary trea­tise on US-Japan rela­tion­s].

LH: Yeah, it’s fun­ny. As if there was­n’t ample evi­dence all over Gun­buster that they were a bunch of per­verts [laugh­s]. Like it’s a big secret, when there’s this cel lying in a box on the floor there, and it’s this up-shot of Noriko, this crotch-cam on her lit­tle gym­suit. And I’m like, “Guys, I know how you think.” But they were like, “Oh, it’s our pretty vice-pres­i­dent, and she wants to look at the porn!”

…LH: Viz, among oth­ers. I was actu­ally doing at the time. So I got to hear all these sto­ries about how “Uru­sei Yat­sura wrecked my life!” It seemed that for any­body who worked on it, it was like . Bad things hap­pened. Peo­ple’s lives got fucked up while work­ing on Uru­sei Yat­sura. Every­body wanted it, and nobody who got it was hap­py. It was just the way things were going at the time. And Toren [Smith] told me, “You know, the guys from Gainax need some­one to run their Amer­i­can divi­sion. They want me to do it, and I don’t want to. Do you?” And I’m like, “Yeah­h­h­hh! Yeah! I’ll live in San Fran­cis­co! And be a vice-pres­i­dent! And be rich! Yeah­h­h­hh!”

P: It does sound very Otaku no Video.

LH: Yeah, some of it is ref­er­enced in Otaku no Video. Not very flat­ter­ing­ly, I might add. The gai­jin they “inter­view,” “Shon Her­nan­dez” [the pseu­do­nym given to Craig York, another Amer­i­can who worked for Gen­eral Prod­uct­s], with his line, “Ah, to be born in this golden land!” Half of me was kind of flat­tered that they even remem­bered that I was there, since they seemed to want to for­get once I left, and half of me was like, “Fuck you! Fuck you, man! Fuck you fuck you fuck you!” ’Cause it was really very insult­ing. They knew they had a live one in this fel­low Craig York. They knew they had a total, total geek. And they just turned on the cam­era and let him talk. And he was pour­ing out his heart, and they took the piss on him. I felt really bad for Craig, and I was like, “You guys are really being dicks. This is really very unkind and very ungrate­ful. We all worked very, very hard for you. We were very sin­cere, and we wanted the com­pany to suc­ceed, and you’re just mak­ing fun of us.” I was a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ed.

P: Although Gainax was a lit­tle hard on them­selves, as well.

LH: Yeah, I guess every­one got shit on in that video.

LH: I was V-P for almost exactly a year, before I could­n’t take the non­sense any more. Noth­ing was work­ing, and every move I made was wrong, and they fre­quently for­got to send me my oper­at­ing cap­i­tal–and my pay­checks. And, you know, it was­n’t really uncom­mon for my check to be two weeks to a month late at least. And it was heart-stop­ping liv­ing out in Cal­i­for­nia, which was more expen­sive than we ever sus­pected or imag­ined. It was hard to find hous­ing, it was hideously expen­sive to buy any­thing and every­thing here…And I really was very seri­ous. I came within days of just putting it all on a van and leav­ing in Decem­ber, after about three months of that.

P: Was the prob­lem that Gen­eral Prod­ucts would­n’t let you cre­ate the busi­ness plan, that they were try­ing to cre­ate it from the other side of the ocean?

LH: I don’t know. I think part of the prob­lem was–and I’m guess­ing here, because I don’t know what was going on, this is pure­ly, purely spec­u­la­tion on my part–that there was never any­body at Gen­eral Prod­ucts Japan whose only job it was to run GP-USA, which they needed some­one to be doing. And they found out they had all this stuff they wanted to sell, and they found out that Art­mic [the stu­dio behind the orig­i­nal series] put the skids under it, and they could­n’t get any of the anime mer­chan­dise they wanted to sell. They I wanted us to sell things from, what was that thing called? _ And I was, like, “Nobody knows A.R.I.E.L., and nobody wants stuff from A.R.I.E.L. They want stuff from Dirty Pair.” And they were, “Why do they want stuff from Dirty Pair? It’s so over!” I said, “It isn’t over in Amer­ica.”

P: They could­n’t grasp the fact of the time lag.

LH: They could not under­stand that things took years some­times to get over to Amer­i­ca, and espe­cially in those days. It’s almost instan­ta­neous now, but in those days there’d be a year or two gap, at least. They did­n’t under­stand when we said we wanted this, this, and this. There were a lot of things they did­n’t under­stand, how anime fans and busi­ness worked over here, and we just could not bridge the gap.

TODO: Part 2 says there is more, but dig­ging around reveals noth­ing; Carl Horn on 2009-12-01 said (but has­n’t replied since):

I’m not sure. My orig­i­nal Word file of that inter­view does have two more ques­tions (and answers) after what appeared in print, but the tran­scrip­tion does­n’t seem to end at a nat­ural point (i.e., no con­clud­ing remarks, or such) sug­gest­ing to me that per­haps there was more to the inter­view that was­n’t tran­scribed from tape–­maybe some­thing else came up at the mag­a­zine and it was­n’t fol­lowed up on. I’ll try to see if I can find the orig­i­nal tape, and check.

2001 T

• 2001-azu­ma-o­taku­japans­data­basean­i­mal­s.pdf
• 2001-napier­su­san-anime­fro­maki­rato­princess­mononoke.pdf

“The ques­tion of what worked and what did­n’t there­fore does­n’t seem a per­ti­nent one to me; to me the show is about dys­func­tion­al­i­ty: of the artist, of his cre­ation, and of his artis­tic attempts to phrase and por­tray that cre­ation. If Evan­ge­lion”worked" it would be Gasaraki or Brain Pow­erd. Less flip­pant­ly, it might be Gun­dam or Getta Robo G. But what would have been the point of mak­ing them again?"

….

"We’ve seen instances, from Anno in inter­views, to the pseudo-ex­poses of Otaku no Video, to com­ments by peo­ple we know, that they even­tu­ally got tired of the grind­ing unre­al­ity of ani­me, which became quite as oppres­sive as the grind­ing real­ity they thought to escape by becom­ing an otaku. The prob­lem with that expla­na­tion for me is that I don’t believe one ever escapes from real­i­ty, the chal­lenges of exis­tence, the issues of hav­ing been born into this world: of being a human being.

Reject­ing the otaku and his works isn’t going to teach you how to see, any more than the rig­or­ous motions of otaku cul­ture will make you go blind. Upon embark­ing upon his post-Eva project Kare Kano, Anno remarked as an epi­gram for the show that “real­ity has no mercy”. He based his approach to the series in large part by talk­ing to stu­dents in con­tem­po­rary Japan­ese high schools: try­ing to restore the con­ver­sa­tion he had cut off when he was their age."

… “The com­plaint may cer­tainly have some valid­ity within Gainax itself. Anno him­self fore­saw this in”What Were We Try­ing To Make Here?“, when he said,”I know my behav­ior was thought­less, trou­ble­some and arro­gant. But I tried. I don’t know what the result will be, because I don’t know where life is tak­ing the staff of the pro­duc­tion. I feel that I am being irre­spon­si­ble. But it’s only nat­ural that we should syn­chro­nize our­selves with the world within the pro­duc­tion." The synch rate was­n’t always 100%. Masayuki, Kazuya Tsu­ru­maki, and Yoshiyuki Sadamoto had their own ideas; Ikuto Yamashita, the man most respon­si­ble for the dis­tinc­tive mechan­i­cal designs of Evan­ge­lion, had his detailed sce­nario for how the story should end (it would have involved the “emer­gence” of the Eva unit­s). "

–Carl Horn, “I Dis­cov­ered the Word”

http://web.archive.org/web/20071103111305/www.cjas.org/~leng/hikiko.htm “The cur­rent sta­tus of”otaku" and Japan’s lat­est youth cri­sis"

Much has been made of the fact that the sense of anger, dis­gust, and con­fu­sion per­va­sive to Stu­dio Gainax’s smash-hit series NEON GENESIS EVANGELION was­n’t some­thing done sim­ply to fol­low the tra­di­tion of ani­me’s angst-filled robot jocks, but was rather a per­sonal emo­tional con­fes­sion of its direc­tor, Hideaki Anno. Not only did Anno frighten and shock new audi­ences when they glimpsed an intense, reflex­ive hon­esty anime cre­ators rarely think (or, per­haps, think bet­ter than) to put on dis­play, but towards those con­verted to hard­core fans, Anno dis­played a some­time mock­ing atti­tude towards their obses­sions and expec­ta­tions for EVA (and as an otaku him­self, this was of neces­sity also self­-mock­ery). Hor­ri­fied or vil­i­fied, it did­n’t mat­ter?au­di­ences ate it up with a sou­pline ladle, and EVANGELION became the great­est com­mer­cial suc­cess in Gainax’s his­to­ry.

But Gainax had tried this once before, and it was their great­est com­mer­cial fail­ure. It was a differ­ent time, 1991, and the approach was satire, not dra­ma. Some have even gone as far to say it was the chilly recep­tion of their forth pro­duc­tion, 1991’s OTAKU NO VIDEO, which ush­ered in the four-year absence of the stu­dio from new anime ven­tures, bro­ken spec­tac­u­larly with EVANGELION. Actu­ally a com­pi­la­tion of two videos released sep­a­rately in Japan in that same year, OTAKU NO VIDEO 1982 and MORE OTAKU NO VIDEO 1985, Ani­mEigo’s release of OTAKU NO VIDEO is a unique doc­u­ment in ani­me: Stu­dio Gainax’s con­fes­sion of their feel­ings as obsessed fans, or “otaku” – part satire, part auto­bi­og­ra­phy, and part wish-ful­fill­ment. OTAKU NO VIDEO’s struc­ture cuts back and forth between anime and live-ac­tion. The anime por­tion, with unfor­get­table char­ac­ter designs by Ken’ichi Son­oda (BUBBLEGUM CRISIS, GUNSMITH CATS), tells the story of Kubo, a clean-cut young uni­ver­sity stu­dent who gets grad­u­ally sucked into the otaku lifestyle and, sub­se­quently rejected by soci­ety, vows to become “Otak­ing,” and attempts to “otakuize” the human race through build­ing a mighty cor­po­ra­tion that will sell “otaku cul­ture” to the world. The live-ac­tion por­tions con­tain mock­ing, pur­ported inter­views with “real otaku” whose iden­ti­ties are con­cealed in the style of a tabloid-TV “true crime” show.

… But OTAKU NO VIDEO hardly bore an aus­pi­cious name as it sat on store racks. The name of Tsu­tomu Miyazaki – a ser­ial killer arrested in 1989 whose otaku back­ground was exploited as a media cir­cus (in a man­ner not unlike the live-ac­tion seg­ments of ONV) – was still fresh in the pub­lic mind, and made Gainax, to any poten­tial main­stream audi­ence, appear to be merely expos­ing a dis­taste­ful patho­log­i­cal sub­cul­ture. Which, of course, is what they were, in fact doing, for the pur­pose of lay­ing all their cards on the table. Amer­i­can anime fans are often con­cerned about the image the main­stream media may present of their devo­tion; in the light of such fears, ONV was a pre-emp­tive strike. The black­-com­edy truth is that any main­stream-me­dia exposé could not pos­si­bly put otaku in a worse light than the one Gainax shines on itself. Yet ONV’s satire also branches out to encom­pass the larger soci­ety, as it por­trays scenes of “nor­mal” peo­ple who would never fall prey to obses­sion and bad cul­ture like an otaku, stand­ing in line for hours to buy a design­er-la­bel sweat­shirt or going to qual­ity fare like a revival of KRAMER VS. KRAMER. And of course, respectable cor­po­ra­tions in ONV are quite happy to take over and mar­ket the cre­ations of otaku oper­at­ing out of six-mat offices and give those same cre­ators the old heave-ho.

… And Gainax was clearly out to bite the hand that fed them?the ben­t-over, twitch­ing, hen­tai com­puter game-o­taku, socially par­a­lyzed, hid­ing from the sun, has got a card from Gainax’s own NADIA on his PC-98, and is acti­vat­ing his man­ual hand release to Gainax’s own dirty on-screen pro­gram, “Cyber­netic High School.” The con­trast between ONV’s anime por­tion – upward­ly-mo­bile, world-strid­ing anime otaku designed by Son­oda, over­com­ing every set­back to make their cul­ture the cul­ture of all mankind – and the otaku of ONV’s live-ac­tion por­tion – stark, low-res, poorly lit, crudely obscured, and not likely to ever leave that room – gave ONV a schiz­o­phrenic qual­ity that must have made it diffi­cult for many hard­core fans to bear.

“There’s an inter­est­ing chap­ter on Evan­ge­lion as well. I think the author respects Anno’s work more than just about any­thing else she researched, but there is a degree of ambi­gu­ity in inter­pret­ing the show’s con­clu­sion. Is it show­ing the ben­e­fits of women enter­ing”men’s" soci­ety and tak­ing power roles, destroy­ing the struc­ture of the “men’s coun­try” or is it sim­ply show­ing how women fail when they try to join in? I don’t think there’s any­thing on Taka­hata’s work in the book."

–M Arnold, Miyazaki ML (pub­lic mir­ror), describ­ing the 2001 anime crit­i­cism book Kouit­ten ron

The title of Movie Episode 26, “Magokoro wo kimi ni” is the Japan­ese trans­la­tion of “Flow­ers for Alger­non.” How they trans­lated that to “Pure heart for you” is beyond me…

Actu­al­ly, it’s the Japan­ese title of “Charly”, the movie based on “Flow­ers for Alger­non”. The Japan­ese title of the novel is just “Alger­non ni Hantaba o”. Anno most prob­a­bly chose to use the movie title because episode 26’ was a “the­atri­cal episode”.

Anno has been using SF novel/short sto­ries titles for final episodes of his series for quite some time, now… The 39th and final episode of “Nadia The Secret of Blue Water” was named “Hoshi o Tsugu Mono…”. That was the Japan­ese title of “Inherit the Stars”, by James P. Hogan. The 6th and final episode of “Gun­buster Aim for the Top !” was named “Hateshi Naki Nagare no Hate ni”. That was the title of a novel by Komatsu Sakyô.

I’d much rather see things you way. For me, the end of EVA is not a sad end­ing, it is not a tragic end­ing, it is a point­less end­ing. From what I can see, every­one is dead and thus there was no point to any­thing that went on. Your inter­pre­ta­tion makes things much hap­pi­er. Peo­ple will be climb­ing out of the soup any minute now, then they’ll start putting the world back togeth­er. Your view makes it a sad end­ing but with a hope shin­ing bright in the dis­tance, a hope that the world could be put back togeth­er. Actu­al­ly, gives it a sim­i­lar feel to the old Macross episode, the big bat­tle for earth. Just about every­one on Earth was killed in the Zen­traedi bom­bard­ment. Rick res­cues Lisa from the ruins of the Grand Can­non base. They’re sit­ting on the ground out­side the base dis­cussing what has hap­pened. Rick men­tions that they have to con­sider the pos­si­bil­ity that the SDF-1 was destroyed and they’re the last two peo­ple left alive on the plan­et. Not too dis­sim­i­lar to EoE. Then they see the SDF-1, bat­tle-s­corched but still under con­trol, descend­ing into a blast crater. The SDF-1 sur­vived. Macross city sur­vived. There would be a chance to start over. Rick fires up his Valkyrie and they fly towards the super-di­men­sional fortress.

The major differ­ence between this sit­u­a­tion and EoE is that we see visual proof that there is hope. But o well.

Greg Muir; note that Anno worked on Macross, is surely famil­iar with it, and this inter­pre­ta­tion tracks with the end­ing of Space Run­away Ideon and Tsu­ru­mak­i’s var­i­ous com­ments

2002

2002 P

“It seems like all [old­er?] men see younger girls as bet­ter than any­thing else. I guess it’s because of their age. They have this incred­i­ble energy which older men are lack­ing. In fact, there’s no energy left in Japan.”

, sea­son 1, episode 02; Hideaki Anno inter­view:

• Anno’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in draw­ing & pub­lish­ing doujinshi/hentai as part of the Cho­sen Ame dou­jin­shi cir­cle: http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=408293#408293; descrip­tion of phonecards Gainax released, described by Bochan_bird as hen­tai:

“…priced at around $80 to$100 per set. The only prob­lem was that you would need to be 18 or over to buy them. Asuka was posed buck naked sprawled out face down, Hikari was feel­ing her­self with her face con­torted in plea­sure, Rei was semi­-naked on hands and knees with a ban­daged arm and eye­patch, Mis­ato was wear­ing some rather skimpy black lin­gerie, Rit­suko was also in lin­gerie which was even more sug­ges­tive than Mis­ato’s, and Maya was hav­ing fun like Hikari. The art­work was done by var­i­ous GAINAX staff, and the style could be best described as semi­-hard hen­tai dou­jin­shi – ie: things were peek­ing out all over…”

These phonecards may or may not be the same phonecards printed (along with some of the pre­vi­ous ecchi cal­en­dars) in a book Gainax pub­lished in 2005 with erotic Eva art­work.

Yoshiyuki Sadamoto has been rumored to be the hen­tai artist ‘YS-11’; Carl Horn, dis­cussing a paint­ing included in Sadamo­to’s Der Mond of Asuka & Rei together

“Sadamoto painted it as the cover to one of the very first EVA dou­jin­shi, one edited by Hiroyuki Utatane (the artist of SERAPHIC FEATHER) which was sold at the Win­ter 1995 Comic Mar­ket.”

What is your usual day at work like?

‘The pro­duc­tion of anime is very hard, time-con­sum­ing work. There are times where there are more things to do, and times where there are less. Dur­ing the pro­duc­tion of Evan­ge­lion, I was only able to sleep six hours a night and spent the rest of the time work­ing. I slept at the stu­dio and only went home very rarely. Evan­ge­lion was an extreme case, I nor­mally work twelve hours a day.’

…Does it sur­prise you that Evan­ge­lion, Nadia and OMG are con­sid­ered “clas­sics” in Ger­many? Do you occa­sion­ally hear of the reac­tions from Ger­many in Japan?

‘I know that anime is very pop­u­lar in Amer­i­ca. I was­n’t aware that this also applies to Europe by now. There is almost no infor­ma­tion or feed­back about fans in Europe. We get a lot more infor­ma­tion from Amer­i­ca.’

How come that one Episode of Kare Kano was not pro­duced with draw­ings, but with “paper fig­urines”? Was­n’t that very labo­ri­ous?

‘This is some­thing only Gainax could do, since it’s very unusual to pro­duce an episode in such a differ­ent fash­ion. At Gainax, we have peo­ple who like live action movies, Sci­ence Fic­tion and spe­cial effects, as well as oth­ers who sim­ply want to pro­duce ordi­nary ani­me. Another group likes to mix differ­ent styl­is­tic ele­ments, which was very appar­ent in Kare Kano. Hideaki Anno already used to pro­duce “ama­teur ani­mes” with spe­cial effects before he started work­ing at Gainax.’ [This is an under­state­ment; Gainax­ers were much more heav­ily involved in that sort of thing, see The Notenki Mem­oirs.]

…Ikari Gendo is a very con­tro­ver­sial char­ac­ter. How do you see the role of Ikari Gendo in Evan­ge­lion?

‘Ikari Gendo is not exactly pop­u­lar in Japan. Many think that he is too stern with Shinji and that he gen­er­ally exudes the aura of a hard, tra­di­tion­al, strict father. Gendo was meant to be a strong father who should have a pos­i­tive influ­ence on Shinji so that he could grow to be more con­fi­dent and adult-like. [!] Many mod­ern fathers in Japan are “mol­ly­cod­dled” which was another rea­son to make Ikari Gendo into a strong father.’

…What mean­ing does the cross sym­bol hold in Evan­ge­lion?

‘We did­n’t think that using this Chris­t­ian sym­bol would lead to prob­lems out­side of Japan. In Japan, there were none. It’s meant to make the series look more exotic and mys­te­ri­ous, there isn’t any par­tic­u­lar reli­gious aspect to it. We thought that the mix­ture of sci­ence and reli­gion would make the series more inter­est­ing.’ [cf. Tsu­ru­maki and Yam­a­ga’s other state­ments on this top­ic]

…Who killed Kaji? What’s your ver­sion of it?

‘This is a ques­tion that many Japan­ese fans also won­der about. Kaji wanted to inves­ti­gate a deeper part of NERV (SEELE) and learn of its secrets. He was tricked by one of his infor­mants and then killed. It was­n’t Mis­ato or Rit­suko.’61

…Is the scooter in front of the Gainax shop really the vehi­cle from the FLCL end­ing?

‘Yes, it’s the Vespa from the end­ing, and it’s mine. Alas, it can­not fly.’

Why are the male pro­tag­o­nists in Gainax-animes often “wimps”?

‘There are ani­mes like Drag­onball where the pro­tag­o­nists keep get­ting stronger and stronger, but we at Gainax tend to base the pro­tag­o­nists on Otakus, and that’s why we can’t make a story where the char­ac­ters get stronger and stronger.’

…What do you think of Anime Music Videos that are often made by fans?

‘I own a small broad­cast sta­tion in Japan and I really like music videos. I don’t have any prob­lems with such videos - FLCL is already pretty close to a music clip, any­way.’

Do you know the Fan-Video “Kodomo no EVA”? There are rumors that Gainax employ­ees were involved with it.

‘No, these were real Otakus, not Gainax employ­ees.’ (grins)

FUNime inter­view with Kazuya Tsu­ru­maki, Eng­lish trans­la­tion by Kendrix; issue 27 (3/2002). (FUNime appears to be a Ger­man mag­a­zine pub­lished by “Soci­ety for the Pro­mo­tion of Japan­ese pop­u­lar cul­ture in Ger­many”.)

Mae­jima Satoshi presents a num­ber of defi­n­i­tion attempts of [sekaikei] in his Sekaikeito wa Nani ka: Posu­to-Eva no Otaku Shi…A more spe­cific delin­eation of what is meant by ‘exten­sion’ in Uno’s defi­n­i­tion can be found in a state­ment of anime stu­dio GAINAX co-founder Okada Toshio on the tele­vi­sion pro­gram “BS Manga Night Talk” broad­cast on 2002-10-28, where he defined ‘Post-E­van­ge­lion Syn­drome’ as fol­lows: “One’s own inner prob­lems end up drawn along the same line as a world-s­cale cat­a­stro­phe, such as a war or that sort of thing.”29 [Mae­jima pg 29]

--["'You Cannot See Yourself Unless There Are Others': _Sekaikei_ as Exhortation of Societal Participation", Thomas 2016](http://fansconf.a-kon.com/dRuZ33A/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/SekaikeiArticlePhoenixPapers2015.pdf)

2002 T

• 2002-napier-when­thema­chinestop­s.pdf
• 2002-or­baugh­-sexandthesin­gle­cy­borg.pdf

In addi­tion, the Sep­tem­ber 2002 issue of Ani­mer­ica has a cover arti­cle on the launch of the Evan­ge­lion movies, includ­ing an inter­est­ing inter­view with Amanda Win­n-Lee.

Otaku no Video com­men­tary

I think Pro­duc­tion I.G’s Yoshiki Saku­rai sums it up best.

“Influ­ences or copy­ing could be seen com­monly within Japan­ese anime itself as well. Evan­ge­lion suc­ceeded in uti­liz­ing and express­ing the sit­u­a­tion. It was, as it is often said, FULL of par­o­dies and influ­ences or some­times even exact copies (on pur­pose of course) from some scenes of var­i­ous ani­me, manga and Japan­ese mod­ern nov­els and WW2 war­ship names etc etc etc not to men­tion the Bible. Anno-san him­self says it was a huge col­lage of past works. The older gen­er­a­tions who under­stood the orig­i­nal, enjoyed the par­o­dy. Younger gen­er­a­tions who did­n’t know, enjoyed the piece as it is. The bril­liant bal­ance of Evan­ge­lion is that it could be enjoyed both ways.”

http://forum.evageeks.org/viewtopic.php?p=198735&sid=1c479269d4ac6116cfc609783b335275#198735; http://www.shoryuken.com/showthread.php?t=191202&s=65c676ffdd7a5288ae6df1d4c912cbf6&p=7122209&viewfull=1#post7122209; Appar­ently from Pro­duc­tion IG forums: http://eva.onegeek.org/pipermail/oldeva/2002-December/041932.html points to http://www.productionig.com/forums/index.php?act=ST&f=33&t=861&s=25ff4325918b4df2a7f03c170068d1f4 but I have failed to find any copies of the forum after much search­ing.

“To be fair, Eva does seem to con­tain a host of per­sonal sym­bols. It is said that the trou­bled rela­tion­ship between Shinji and his dis­tant manip­u­la­tive father is based on Anno’s own child­hood. But the last­ing suc­cess of Evan­ge­lion seems to indi­cate that by some­how try­ing to cre­ate a very per­sonal work, Anno wound up tap­ping into some­thing very uni­ver­sal.”

How­ev­er, before every­one rushes to buy the DVD (or get the fan­sub), it should be noted that Mahoro­matic is a 180-de­gree rever­sal from the epic film Wings of Hon­neamise (Royal Space Force). Not only is the art­work and ani­ma­tion qual­ity quite sim­ple due to the lim­ited bud­get and pro­duc­tion time for a TV series rather than an ani­mated movie, but the show is also quite pos­si­bly the biggest glob of fan-ser­vice that I have ever seen in a TV series (al­beit satel­lite TV).
The first episode of Mahoro­matic was screened at the Gainax Live! event held in Nagoya on Jan­u­ary 20, and to be hon­est the fan-ser­vice (otaku/hentai) was so fla­grant that it was quite embar­rass­ing to watch. Most of the audi­ence vis­i­bly squirmed in their seats through­out the episode (I know I did), and the applause after­wards was polite but mut­ed…It resem­bled some of Gainax’s com­puter games…

Direc­tor Yam­aga him­self described Mahoro­matic as essen­tially a “bespec­ta­cled, seri­ous and inno­cent young boy meets over­ly-friendly girls/women with big tits” show, with no real men­tion of any­thing else.

2003

2003 P

“…The other thing I thought of was about copy­ing. Quite apt­ly, Anno declared him­self a copy, say­ing, ‘I’m a copy of a copy’. But this is a ‘copy of a copy of a copy’. In the future, there will undoubt­edly be ‘a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy’, and undoubt­ed­ly, this chain of copies will con­tin­ue. Ani­ma­tion has also already entered this world, and there no longer as such things as orig­i­nals…”

–Mamoru Oshii, sec­tion ‘Whether One is Aware of Being a Copy or Not’ of in RahX­ephon: The Motion Pic­ture; see the extended Izubuchi/Oshii quotes in 2003 Ter­tiary

[Miya­mu­ra:] At first I did­n’t… how do I put it? I’ve never played a role of a char­ac­ter like her, so I tried really hard to find ways to con­nect to her. By now, she’s already become a part of me. Now, she’s absolutely adorable. Um, now, she’s the… girly part of me that I haven’t been able to express before….My Asuka had a sad end­ing in the anime series, so I’m hop­ing for some­thing differ­ent in this movie.

…[Sadamo­to:] Hav­ing a neck­tie or not, even with the same white shirt, could change his [Sh­in­ji’s] whole char­ac­ter. I drew him wear­ing a reg­u­lar shirt, in just an ordi­nary school uni­form so he seems like an aver­age char­ac­ter.

[On Mis­ato] There’s a char­ac­ter called Mine Fujiko in an old series called Lupin. And when I was young, I was… err… thought it was really inter­est­ing. She looked like she’s still 20, but she also seemed like she’s in her 30s. As for her bangs, well, I just stuck Usag­i-chan’s bangs on her. It started as a joke. But now hav­ing the voice actor, Mit­su­ishi-san and all, it’s no longer a joke. [On Rei] One of my favorite bands is called the Buff Girl Team and in one of their songs, there’s this line “a white girl in ban­dages.” I had an image of her even before I started Evan­ge­lion. Like a girl with a dark past. I thought it’ll be inter­est­ing to have a girl in ban­dages. And maybe she’ll have the antibac­te­r­ial smell like hos­pi­tals. If I had known her when I was 14, I would have hes­i­tated to get close to her. She’s cute, but her world’s the far­thest away from mine. But I end up admir­ing her. In the ani­me, I designed her as kind of an idol fig­ure.

[On Rit­suko] I got a rare request from Anno-san to make a hot girl. He wanted a side­kick girl for Nishimura Shi­nobu. He wanted her to be really girly, so I took that and added my own ideas to her. Mat­sushita Yuk­i-san in the drama “He’s there when I turn around” is wear­ing… not a miniskirt, but hot pants under her white lab coat. That left a really strong impres­sion on me, so I thought I’ll try mak­ing Rit­suko wear a miniskirt under her lab coat.

Not just with design­ing char­ac­ters, but when I’m mak­ing a Gainax sto­ry, I can influ­ence the story quite a bit. For exam­ple, this time, my most influ­en­tial work was called… Mind and Soul, one of the shows on NHK. I got my themes from that, and I tried to con­vey my idea to the fans. When they ask me why are the main char­ac­ters are only 14 year-olds, or why is it that only kids can ride in it, I actu­ally did­n’t think of a rea­son why at first, so I got those ideas, and oth­ers, from that show.

My very first char­ac­ters were Gendo and Shin­ji. I made those two quite eas­i­ly. I was aim­ing for a char­ac­ter that’s both real­is­tic and ordi­nary. I wanted a char­ac­ter that’ll be hard for oth­ers to make.

…Q. What role does school play?

[As­sis­tant Direc­tor Tsu­ru­maki Kazuya:] By hav­ing it pre-ex­ist, it makes the story as a whole more cheer­ful… or rather… less seri­ous. By insert­ing a school-set­ting, or a roman­tic com­e­dy, like more teenager-like aspects, it makes it eas­ier for the audi­ence to con­nect to the sto­ry. But actu­al­ly…­parts of it have become like…a school ani­me, and other parts have…­gone a bit off the orig­i­nal intent.

[Hideaki Anno:] There are cer­tain things that only work on a TV show. In the closed world of ani­ma­tion, there’s a feel­ing of clo­sure and suffo­ca­tion among those who’ve been locked in togeth­er. Some peo­ple feel it, and oth­ers don’t. At least I felt it. And you want to express that feel­ing some­how, but it’s a lit­tle hard to do in movies. That’s where you real­ize there are some things only TV can do. The main char­ac­ter this time is both an intro­vert and right­eous. He also tends to cat­e­go­rize things. And those kinds of char­ac­ters usu­ally have some­thing hid­den. Like a way to escape from that clo­sure. Not sui­cide though. Sui­cide is what’s left after hope is gone. It’s not loss of hope. Well, I don’t think humans can lose hope. We might be liv­ing, try­ing to see what los­ing hope is like.

So the ques­tion becomes, how can an intro­vert like him change? Well, all the char­ac­ters are intro­verts by nature. Like they don’t last long in team work. Their loose human rela­tion­ships are reflected in the movie. Some peo­ple feel sym­pa­thy for them, and oth­ers might feel threat­ened by them. But we’re pre­pared for that. Well, we expect that.

“New Era” becomes “Neon Gen­e­sis” in Eng­lish. The “Era” is trans­lated using its alter­nate mean­ing. On the other hand, its Japan­ese coun­ter­part has another mean­ing. This is done to express both mean­ings. The word does­n’t look very good in Katakana, so we used Eng­lish and Japan­ese to play on the pun. This comes from our desire to make some­thing new from the ani­me.

That’s all.

It means both the new era and the new gen­e­sis that marks that. That’s what the title means.

Renewal bonus extras, Brikhaus’s sub­ti­tles sourced through Hyper Shin­chan

The main differ­ence in the GAINAX of today com­pared to the past is sta­bil­ity in ani­ma­tion pro­duc­tion. “For a dozen years or so, we just kept going with­out much plan­ning,” says Yam­a­ga–it’s the ‘with­out much plan­ning’ part he wants to drop. “I guess we did­n’t really start think­ing about how to run the com­pany more effec­tive­ly, like a com­pany should be run, until maybe two or three years ago. Seri­ous­ly.” It’s a mat­ter of tak­ing on work, defin­ing the goals and check­ing to see if they’re being ful­filled. “I mean, none of this is any­thing new,” he remarks. “I guess nor­mal peo­ple do it that way from the start.”

…Of his thoughts regard­ing Evan­ge­lion, Yam­aga replies, “Before then, we were aware that this thing called ‘anime’ was mak­ing waves, but it was­n’t the kind of thing where famous per­son­al­i­ties would get up on TV and say, ‘I watch anime’–I doubt Kimu­Taku [Takuya Kimura of the group SMAP] would just sud­denly go ‘Evan­ge­lion!’ you know.” Yet he found the series was con­tin­u­ally being men­tioned and incor­po­rated into TV drama mate­r­ial at the time. “From that point on, the dis­tinc­tion between ‘some­one who likes anime’ and ‘a nor­mal per­son’ began rapidly dis­ap­pear­ing. That’s the thing that impressed me the most.”

The series was not only a land­mark in the indus­try and for GAINAX; finan­cially speak­ing, it was the first anime pro­duc­tion to actu­ally make money for the com­pa­ny. “Not mak­ing money is one thing, but that does­n’t mean they weren’t hits,” stresses Yam­aga of their pre-Eva works. “The oth­ers were cer­tainly hits, but the con­tracts were at fault.”

“We never had very good con­tracts,” he admits. “In fact, we did­n’t have a very good con­tract for Evan­ge­lion, either, but it was just so pop­u­lar. So basi­cally we made money on the prod­ucts we put out our­selves. They said on the news how Evan­ge­lion had passed the 30 bil­lion yen mark, so even if the con­tract only gave us 1% of that, it’s still be 300 mil­lion yen!”

Until then, the games divi­sion kept GAINAX run­ning. Yam­aga recalls that Takami Akai, who’d been with the group since their col­lege days, sud­denly bought a com­puter and announced, “Let’s do games! If we do games, we can make mon­ey.”

“Accord­ing to him, at that time with Japan­ese com­puter games, the art was done by the pro­gram­mers, so it totally sucked,” Yam­aga explains. Since Akai was a painter, he’d be able to cre­ate decent images, even with the limit of 16 dis­playable col­ors at the time. “He was like, ’If we do this, there’s no way we can go wrong!”

Akai’s con­cept was lit­er­ally on the mon­ey. “Princess Maker (1991) was a big hit, and that paid our salaries for quite a while,” Yam­aga says on the princess rais­ing sim­u­la­tion. “Unlike the anime and films, we make the games all in-house and sell some of them our­selves, so it’s not just that we have the rights; we get to keep the take in those cas­es, so hit or no hit, the amount of money com­ing in is totally differ­ent.”

…Highly antic­i­pated by GAINAX fans is Yam­a­ga’s grand pro­ject, Aoki Uru, which some say is a sequel to Hon­neamise. Yam­aga says there’s noth­ing he can impart on its devel­op­ment just yet, though he assures us that the project is matur­ing and mov­ing for­ward. It’s tied in with how GAINAX will evolve, their posi­tion with respect to the indus­try and the posi­tion ani­ma­tion occu­pies within Japan.

…A reg­u­lar US con­ven­tion guest, he observes that com­pared to Japan­ese fans, over­seas fan­s–e­spe­cially the ones also study­ing Japan­ese–­tend to approach anime intel­lec­tu­al­ly, akin to how Japan­ese study Euro­pean film or for­eign lit­er­a­ture. As an exam­ple, Yam­aga men­tions the dic­tio­nar­ies and ref­er­ence books cre­ated by fans. “It’s such an aca­d­e­mic atmos­phere.”

…“That debate’s been going on for a long time, but we’ve gone along ignor­ing it, mak­ing things that tar­get Japan, and they’re still very pop­u­lar over­seas. Sen to Chi­hiro was an extremely ‘Japan­ese’ film, was­n’t it? There were parts that even Japan­ese view­ers could­n’t under­stand with­out some research.” He stresses the point with an anal­o­gy: “I really like French wine from Bor­deaux, so do I want some­thing that the busi­ness­men over there have whipped up espe­cially for Japan­ese? No–­give me the stuff the French peo­ple like.”

…Among the pro­duc­tion mate­ri­als on Hideaki Anno’s desk is an area occu­pied by var­i­ous toys from Thun­der­birds, UFO, and Space: 1999. Anno is a big tokusatsu (spe­cial effects film) fan–he shot a live-ac­tion Ultra­man par­ody on 8mm film dur­ing his stu­dent days–so it’s not sur­pris­ing to also spot a col­lec­tion of the ultra heroes stand­ing in for­ma­tion, as well as a set of sim­i­larly arranged Kamen Rider fig­ures. Although he has­n’t been get­ting into recent movies and music, tokusatsu hero shows remain a favorite view­ing of his. “I’ve been watch­ing Kamen Rider 555 and AbaRanger,” he says. When asked about the long-run­ning Kamen Rider series’ evo­lu­tion over the years, Anno replies, “I haven’t seen them all, but I think change is a good thing.”

The acclaimed direc­tor of anime has shifted gears in recent years, with cred­its that include two live-ac­tion films, Love & Pop and Shik­i­jitsu, adap­ta­tions of nov­els by Ryu Murakami and Ayako Fuji­tani, respec­tive­ly. While tight-lipped regard­ing details of a new live-ac­tion work he’s cur­rently direct­ing, Anno says it’s an action movie, due to wrap toward the end of the year. In the mean­time, Shik­i­jitsu is slated for DVD release this sum­mer in Japan. “It’s the story of a man and a woman meet­ing, and what hap­pens dur­ing their one month togeth­er.” Author Fuji­tani also stars as the lead, and direc­tor Shunji Iwai (of Swal­low­tail But­ter­fly fame) is also cast in the film.

Anno believes that his first fea­ture, Love & Pop, was visu­ally very light in com­par­i­son. Shot on dig­i­tal video with exper­i­men­tal cam­er­a­work and a doc­u­men­tary-like pre­sen­ta­tion, it depicts school­girl Hiromi’s foray into the world of sub­si­dized dat­ing to acquire the funds for a much cov­eted ring. “It did­n’t have any tricky ele­ments to it or have a heavy feel,” he states. “Fol­low­ing that up with some­thing with the exact same feel would be bor­ing. That’s why on Shik­i­jit­su, I tried to liven things up by using 35mm film and Cinescope, and by thread­ing the images together in a visu­ally appeal­ing way. I wanted to shoot some really good-look­ing images.”

“The nov­els were inter­est­ing, but there was also the more real­is­tic aspect of it: that I could do this,” Anno says of the fac­tors that drew him to develop the nov­els for the screen. He did­n’t know how much money he’d be able to round up, but believed the projects could be real­ized with rel­a­tively small bud­gets. “I assem­bled a staff of very tal­ented indi­vid­u­als, from one per­son who did a cou­ple of films out of his own pocket when he was at uni­ver­si­ty, to another who’s an incred­i­bly gifted pro­duc­er. I think that’s why, even though I was head­ing into uncharted ter­ri­to­ry, I was able to make the tran­si­tion from anime direc­tor to live-ac­tion, and make movies with a min­i­mum of prob­lems.”

Com­par­ing the two medi­ums, he remarks that live action offers more free­dom. “Anime is an alto­gether differ­ent sto­ry; you have to cre­ate the visu­als in order to move ahead. With live-ac­tion, you can end up with visu­als that you had­n’t expect­ed, or that are differ­ent from those you’d imag­ined. Actu­al­ly, the part about live-ac­tion that I liked was that it did­n’t turn out as I’d planned.” We com­ment that Love & Pop seems to exude spon­tane­ity from the cast’s per­for­mance to the cam­era work, freed from the rigid­ity of anime once the sto­ry­boards have been set. Anno agrees. “It was all about that.”

He sug­gests that bud­ding live-ac­tion film­mak­ers should ref­er­ence both anime and live-ac­tion works and incor­po­rate the best of both worlds. Indeed, ani­me-in­spired shot com­po­si­tions lend a unique feel to Love & Pop’s visu­als.

…Re­gard­ing his other early works, we men­tion a 1991 Japan­ese inter­view with manga artist Kazuhiko Shi­mamo­to, in which Anno remarked that when he saw Nadia in its entire­ty, he was sad because he felt it was too geared toward chil­dren.

“I don’t think it was ‘sad’” he clar­i­fies. “The nuance was a lit­tle differ­ent when trans­lated into Eng­lish. NHK’s vision for Nadia was very, very strong. I was able to do what I wanted within that vision, but I could­n’t change the basic parts. I was able to do a lot of the things I wanted to do, but I could­n’t do every­thing that I’d really wanted to do. Which, I think, gave it the nuance of being a more child-ori­ented work. And that’s why, even though I did every­thing I pos­si­bly could, Nadia is a work that I still have regrets about. I won­der if that’s the nuance that came across in Eng­lish.”

…Then there’s Oruchuban Ebichu, a hilar­i­ously per­verted series brim­ming with dia­logue (mostly from its diminu­tive star) and con­tain­ing sit­u­a­tions unprint­able in this pub­li­ca­tion, There’s a mis­con­cep­tion that Kotono Mit­su­ishi (Misato’s voice actress) orig­i­nally brought the manga to Anno’s atten­tion dur­ing the pro­duc­tion of Evan­ge­lion, which led to him plan­ning the anime adap­ta­tion–it was actu­ally another friend who intro­duced him to the work.

…The same friend intro­duced Anno to the Kareshi Kanojo no Jijo (“His and Her Cir­cum­stances”) man­ga. When we com­ment on its deft bal­ance between com­e­dy, per­sonal strug­gle and dra­ma, he replies, “I did­n’t really care much about the under­ly­ing strug­gle; the com­edy was what was inter­est­ing. The story relied on com­edy as its base, and it was very east to turn the atmos­phere of the orig­i­nal into the ani­me.”

…“Now, seven years lat­er, the show has been a hit, so they gave us a bit of money and time [for the Renewal remix of NGE]. Both the pic­ture and sound are rad­i­cally differ­ent. Differ­ent, but also the same as was present in the orig­i­nal.” The extra audio chan­nels cour­tesy of Dolby Dig­i­tal 5.1 opened up new sonic avenues. “It’s a remix, with us fix­ing parts where the sound was­n’t good enough before,” he com­ments. “We fixed over 100 parts of the pic­ture.” The remas­ter boasts sharper, jit­ter-free visu­als with inten­si­fied col­ors; the enhanced audio is pal­pa­ble as soon as the open­ing song fires up, when per­cus­sion ele­ments and back­-up vocals are intro­duced via the sur­round speak­ers in an envelop­ing effect. Action scenes give sub­woofers a notice­ably increased work­out.

New­type USA, July 2003, Vol­ume 2, Num­ber 7, Pages 8-19 http://www.evamonkey.com/inside_gainax.htm

There was a spe­cial New­type mag­a­zine issue (De­cem­ber extra issue) devoted entirely to Evan­ge­lion, which also con­tained a DVD with sam­ples of Eva2 game sce­nar­ios. In addi­tion to spot­light­ing Eva2, this mag­a­zine also con­tained a 1-page sum­mary of each TV episode with “check­points” which are like the New­type TV film­book check­points but with even less infor­ma­tion. IMO the only thing worth not­ing was the Ep25/26 check­points which stated quite clearly that EoE (mainly “Air”) was the orig­i­nally intended TV end­ing, but could not be made due to pro­duc­tion sched­ule and other rea­sons.

Bochan_bird; was the extra issue Decem­ber 2002 or 2003? Could be either. (EGF request)

Platinum commentary

From the plan­ning stages, Hideaki Anno, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive cre­ator of GAINAX, was at the heart of the pro­duc­tion work and his indi­vid­u­al­ity col­ors every aspect of the show. Fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ters, a cap­ti­vat­ing sci-fi premise, dynamic bat­tle sce­nes, and super-high den­sity of infor­ma­tion that incor­po­rates Chris­tian­ity and psy­cho­analy­sis. Each of those ele­ments sur­passed the realm of all anime that had come before it and made it a work wor­thy of the title “New Cen­tury (Neon Gen­e­sis).”

From back when it was air­ing on TV, Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion had the ardent sup­port of fans and its pop­u­lar­ity boomed even after it fin­ished its run. Its influ­ence was not lim­ited to anime fans but also spread to the gen­eral pop­u­lace, and it was even called the third impact, fol­low­ing Space Bat­tle­ship Yam­ato and Mobile Suit Gun­dam.

Reunited with Shinji for the first time in 3 years, the exec­u­tive com­man­der of NERV, Gendo Ikari, orders him to get on the Eva and out into the field on the spot. And faced with Eva Unit-00 and Rei Ayanami, he repeats over and over, “I Must­n’t run away,” as if he is try­ing to con­vince him­self of it. “Com­mu­ni­cat­ing with oth­ers” is a vital theme of Evan­ge­lion and depict­ing how Shinji inter­acts with those around him is part of the story of Evan­ge­lion. The reveal­ing of why Gendo treats Shinji so coldly is left to Episode Twen­ty-Six, “My True Heart For You,” which was released the­atri­cal­ly.

When Shinji comes to New Toky­o-3, he sees a girl that seems to be Rei Ayanami for just an instant. Con­sid­er­ing how she is injured and wrapped up in ban­dages, when he later meets her in NERV Head­quar­ters, the nat­ural assump­tion would be to think that this was a phan­tom vision. But in Episode 26, “My True Heart For You,” a differ­ent pos­si­bil­ity is sug­gest­ed. The girl that appeared for just one cut in this scene may be the Rei Ayanami who is “the exis­tence that gazes upon man.”

… Shinji was sup­posed to live by him­self, but instead, Mis­ato takes him in and the two begin their life together in her apart­ment. In order to try to close the gap between her and him, Mis­ato acts silly around Shinji and as if in response to that, Shinji acts exag­ger­at­edly sur­prised by the pres­ence of Pen Pen, the hot spring pen­guin. See­ing Shin­ji’s true inten­tions in his actions, Mis­ato says to her­self, “Maybe I’m the one who’s trans­par­ent.” It is a most Eva-like depic­tion con­cern­ing “com­mu­ni­ca­tion.” In the pre­view, the idea of her tak­ing Shinji in is clearly stated as “Mis­ato’s arro­gance.” The sense with which they coolly cap­ture such events is also part of the appeal of Evan­ge­lion.

… Toji, who con­sciously behaves like a man, and Ken­suke, who has his own world of his hobby con­cern­ing all things mil­i­tary and who also knows how to get on in the world, are very con­trast­ing char­ac­ters com­pared to Shin­ji. The names of these two char­ac­ters are taken from the main char­ac­ters in Ryu Murakami’s The Fas­cism of Love and Illu­sions, which pro­vides no small amount of inspi­ra­tion for Direc­tor Anno.

… In this episode, Rit­suko talks about the “hedge­hog’s dilem­ma,” which is a psy­chol­ogy term that orig­i­nates from Schopen­hauer’s fable, and it expresses the com­pli­ca­tions and ambiva­lence that arises as peo­ple seek the psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­tance to main­tain between each oth­er. This is where the Eng­lish episode title “Hedge­hog’s Dilemma” for Episode Four “Rain, Escape, and After­wards” comes from. In addi­tion, what Mis­ato says in this same scene allows us to see what her thoughts on com­mu­ni­cat­ing are at this time, so that is also very inter­est­ing.

… Episode Four depicts the wan­der­ings of Shin­ji, who has run away from Mis­ato and NERV. Shinji and Mis­ato hurt each other with their thorns as they try to get closer, and yet even then, they need one anoth­er. The rela­tion­ship between these two is indeed just like the “hedge­hog’s dilemma” that Rit­suko had men­tioned in Episode Three. There is no bat­tle with an Angel and it largely stays away from address­ing any of the mys­ter­ies, but when con­sid­ered from a the­matic per­spec­tive, this is truly Eva-like dra­ma.

In actu­al­i­ty, this episode was once omit­ted in terms of the series com­po­si­tion and it was planned that what is now Episode Five would come after Episode Three. But as pro­duc­tion pro­gressed, staff mem­bers voiced their opin­ion that per­haps there was a need to depict Shin­ji’s rela­tion­ship with the peo­ple around him after Episode Three, and thus, this episode was made, greatly chang­ing the con­tents from what had orig­i­nally been con­ceived. Because of this, the script for this episode writ­ten after the script for Episode Five had already been final­ized. This is the one and only episode of all the TV and movie episodes in which Direc­tor Anno did not have a direct hand in the plot and script.

In terms of per­for­mance, the high­light has got to be the final cut at the train sta­tion where Shinji and Mis­ato gaze at each oth­er. This cut, which has absolutely no dia­logue or move­ment, lasts roughly 50 sec­onds. It is a silence that would nor­mally be incon­ceiv­ably long, but it depicts Shin­ji’s feel­ings in find­ing it diffi­cult to express him­self in words.

Among the footage shown are included a num­ber of char­ac­ters and images who appear towards the mid­dle and end of the show as well. At the time this show aired, these served as signs of things to come and the pre­sen­ta­tion of mys­ter­ies to the view­ers. How will the images of Unit-01’s bloody hand and of the bloody util­ity poles and Unit-01’s foot unfold and appear within the sto­ry? What is the giant of light that pos­sesses a sil­hou­ette that looks like an Eva? Who are the pen­cil sketches of the woman and the boy with the pierc­ing gaze? What about the mys­te­ri­ous let­ters in the final scene? Or why does the cap­tion “ANGEL” appear after the scene of the boy’s face and the scene of Rei Ayanami? All the answers to the mys­ter­ies pre­sented in the open­ing are pre­sented in the show and the movies.

http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum-booklets/episode-commentaries-07-13.php; Yes, what about those mys­te­ri­ous let­ters? TV script for the OP calls them ‘angelic script’ and they resem­ble but don’t match the real angelic script of West­ern occultism. Patrick Yip writes that a num­ber of Japan­ese fan books ana­lyze the script as dis­torted ancient Chi­nese for the NERV slo­gan “God’s in His Heaven” etc.

The name “Oper­a­tion Yashima” is a ref­er­ence to when Yoichi Nasuno shoots the fan with his bow from atop his horse on the beach in the “Bat­tle at Yashima” in the first year of Bunji (1185). That’s Chief of Oper­a­tions Kat­suragi for you, quite the intel­lec­tu­al. In addi­tion, “Yashima” writ­ten differ­ently is also the old name for Japan. Thus, the name also con­tains a ref­er­ence to the oper­a­tion gath­er­ing elec­tri­cal power from all of Japan.

… You can also enjoy the Kihachi Okamo­to-esque cam­er­a­work that Direc­tor Anno excels at. The drama of com­mu­ni­ca­tion between Shinji and Mis­ato also hits a plateau. The seg­ment From Episode One to this episode can be thought of as the “Pro­logue Arc” of the series.

Mis­ato is nor­mally sloven­ly, but here, she gal­lantly stops the J.A. with­out any regard for her own life. Shinji is dis­ap­pointed by the enor­mous differ­ence between these two sides of her, but at the end, he learns that the rea­son she shows that defense­less side of her to him is because that’s how much she trusts him. Back­-to-back with that is revealed the ironic truth that the J.A. going out of con­trol and the mir­a­cle that Mis­ato and the oth­ers brought about were all plot­ted by Gen­do, but the way Shinji begins to walk for­ward when he under­stands that his rela­tion­ship with Mis­ato has become closer is refresh­ing enough to even erase the sense of upset.

… The name of J.A comes from the robot, Jet Jaguar, which appeared in the spe­cial effects film Gozilla vs Mega­lon (1973). Jet Jaguar was a robot whose design was cho­sen from sub­mis­sions from the pub­lic, and when it was ini­tially announced, its name was Red Alone. Jet Alone is a name made by com­bin­ing Red Alone and Jet Jaguar. It is truly a geeky GAINAX-like name.

… This episode depicts the actions of Eva Unit-02 and its pilot, Asuka Lan­g­ley Sohryu. Start­ing here, the series charges into the sec­ond part, the “Action Arc,” which depicts bat­tles with var­i­ous Angels in stand­alone episodes. The spir­ited char­ac­ter of Asuka ush­ers in a new phase of Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion. Appar­ent­ly, Asuka’s char­ac­ter became solid­i­fied in Direc­tor Anno’s mind when he came up with the lines “This is my Chance!” and “What are you, stu­pid‽”

… The con­tents of the trunk that Kaji is car­ry­ing looks like a human embryo and Gendo calls this “the first man, Adam.” In Episode Seven in the SSTO con­ver­sa­tion, they were talk­ing about the “revised bud­get for the sam­ple col­lec­tion,” but that sam­ple is prob­a­bly this Adam. Adam’s exis­tence is one of the great­est mys­ter­ies in this show. Could it be related to the Adam that appears in the Old Tes­ta­ment? The name of Adam’s wife in the Old Tes­ta­ment is Eva.

… Episode Nine is also the episode where Asuka’s char­ac­ter gets filled in. At the begin­ning in the scene where she talks to Rei at school, she is stand­ing on the edge of the flower bed, but this is because in Direc­tor Anno’s plans regard­ing her, one of the things was “she is a girl who endeav­ors to stand at a higher spot com­pared to the per­son she is address­ing when greet­ing peo­ple.” In Episode Eight, she also addresses Shinji from the top of the ele­va­tor.

Asuka says, “This is the wall of Jeri­cho, never to fall!” of the slid­ing door that sep­a­rates the two rooms, but the “Wall of Jeri­cho” is a ref­er­ence to the West­ern film It Hap­pened One Night (1934, Amer­i­ca). In the movie, a rich run­away girl and an unem­ployed news­pa­per reporter end up spend­ing a night in the same room, and they put a blan­ket as a divider, call­ing it the “Wall of Jeri­cho.” Inci­den­tal­ly, the orig­i­nal “Wall of Jeri­cho” is a cas­tle wall that appears in the Bible. Also, she says, “It is proper that boys and girls sleep apart after the age of sev­en,” but the cor­rect proverb is “it is proper that the boys and girls sit apart after the age of sev­en.” This is a say­ing in the ancient Chi­nese Con­fu­cian text of The Book of Rites, and the seat refers to a straw mat. In ancient Chi­na, sit­ting on the same mat meant that the two were hus­band and wife. Is it the genius girl’s pride that leads her to want to use diffi­cult say­ings, even though she’s not sup­posed to be used to Japan­ese yet?

… At the begin­ning, Hyuga com­pares the data on the Sev­enth Angel and says, “Pat­tern blue, con­firmed as an Angel,” and at the time, the screen dis­plays “BLOOD TYPE: BLUE.” In the scene before that, with the data on the Sixth Angel that Rit­suko had ana­lyzed, it also has “6th ANGEL pat­tern: BLOOD TYPE: BLUE.” This indi­cates that it is an Angel. The term “BLOOD TYPE: BLUE” comes from a sci-fi film directed by Kihachi Okamoto called Blue Christ­mas (1978, Japan).

[This Com­men­tary tal­lies with Patrick Yip’s claims: The Japan­ese SF fans man­age to trace the influ­ence behind the deci­sion of mak­ing “Blood Type Blue” the sig­nal for dis­cov­ery of “alien”. They trace this to a quite-well-known Japan­ese SF writer (for­got his name) which wrote a SF in the 60’s about some “blue-blood” peo­ple being hunted down by “ordi­nary” peo­ple and the main char­ac­ter in the story was forced to kill his girl­friend because she has “blue blood”.’]

… There is also a scene depict­ing the three oper­a­tors tak­ing a break between work. Maya Ibuki is read­ing a romance nov­el. Makoto Hyuga is read­ing a comic mag­a­zine. Shigeru Aoba has a music mag­a­zine next to him as he mim­ics play­ing a gui­tar. Aoba’s hobby is to play the gui­tar, and in Episode Eleven, he can be seen com­ing to work with a gui­tar case con­tain­ing an elec­tric gui­tar. This was never real­ized, but there was an idea of hav­ing him play his gui­tar and singing nearby Shinji and the oth­ers in the final scene on the hill.

The model that the Eighth Angel was based on was the Anom­alo­caris, the largest car­ni­vore of the Cam­brian Peri­od. The Anom­alo­caris was taken up on the NHK Spe­cial Life - A Long Jour­ney of 4 Bil­lion Years (1994, Japan), and at the time the show aired, the crea­ture was a hot top­ic.

http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum-booklets/episode-commentaries-07-13.php (For a review of Blue Christ­mas, see http://wtf-film.com/site/2007/09/24/buru-kurisumasu/)

Fur­ther­more, this is also the one and only Angel that appeared some­where other than New Toky­o-3. Its object is believed to have been one of two things, either the Unit-02 being trans­ported by the Pacific fleet or the con­tents of Ryoji Kaji’s trunk.

http://www.evamonkey.com/platinum-booklets/angel-profiles.php; should­n’t you guys know?

This episode depicts the com­mo­tion and a bat­tle with an Angel with the great black­out at NERV Head­quar­ters in the back­ground. Paper fans, can­dles, buck­ets and other small props that are gen­er­ally not seen around NERV Head­quar­ters make an appear­ance here. The “It’s luke­warm” at the end of Part A is the one and only gag uti­liz­ing Gen­do, but there are numer­ous humor­ous sce­nes, includ­ing when Hyuga takes over an elec­tion PR car and the var­i­ous raggedy antics of the three Chil­dren. The glimpse into an aware­ness of the prob­lem of mod­ern life rely­ing too much on a tech­no­log­i­cal civ­i­liza­tion could also be said to be very Direc­tor Hideaki Anno-like. The Eng­lish sub­ti­tle is a ref­er­ence to a sci-fi movie clas­sic The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951, Amer­i­ca)

… The ani­ma­tion for this episode was han­dled by Stu­dio Ghi­b­li, known for their work on such films as My Neigh­bor Totoro. Nozomu (writ­ten as “peek”) Taka­hashi, the city assem­bly elec­toral can­di­date, who only appears as a name is a twist on the pro­ducer of Ghi­b­li, Nozomu (writ­ten as “aspire”) Taka­hashi.

… At the sea at the South Pole, where Gendo and Fuyut­suki travel on board an air­craft car­ri­er, the waters are red and there are giant pil­lars of salt. This is also due to the effect of the Sec­ond Impact. Gendo calls the post-Sec­ond Impact South Pole “a world that has been purged, untainted by the orig­i­nal sin.” In gen­er­al, orig­i­nal sin refers to the sin Adam, the father of mankind, com­mit­ted in “Gen­e­sis” of the Old Tes­ta­ment, as well as to the sin that all of mankind was bur­dened with as a result of it. In the con­ver­sa­tion in this scene, it is revealed that Fuyut­suki and Gendo dis­agree on var­i­ous top­ics, such as the Sec­ond Impact, mankind, and sci­ence. Fuyut­suki says, “I pre­fer the world where man lives, no mat­ter how tar­nished by sin it is.” One won­ders how he felt being involved in the Human Instru­men­tal­ity Pro­ject.

“By the hand of man” and “a mir­a­cle has value when it is brought about” are two lines that are famil­iar from some of Direc­tor Anno’s pre­vi­ous works. In this episode, it is revealed that Rei dis­likes meat, but Nadia: Secret of Blue Water was also a veg­e­tar­i­an. Direc­tor Anno him­self is also famous for not eat­ing meat. Inci­den­tal­ly, Rei orders a gar­lic ramen with­out the pork at a ramen shop, but the script has Rei order­ing sea­weed ramen. It is a rare exam­ple of pure adlib­bing on the part of a voice actress in this show.

… The super­com­puter MAGI is com­posed of three differ­ent com­puter sys­tems, Mel­chior-1, Balthasar-2, and Gas­par-3. Var­i­ous cal­cu­la­tions, prob­lems and oper­a­tions are exam­ined by these three. The nam­ing of the MAGI come from the three wise men from the East, who fore­told the birth of Jesus in the “New Tes­ta­ment.” The names Mel­chior, Balthasar, and Gas­par are also taken from each of the wise men. The word “magi” also means “astrol­ogy” and is the ori­gin of the Eng­lish word “magi­cian.”

In order to pre­vent the Angel from invad­ing the lower regions of NERV head­quar­ters, Gendo com­pletely phys­i­cally seals off the region in the Cen­tral Dogma below the Sigma Unit. The pyra­mid-shaped build­ing stand­ing in the Geo-front is but a small part of the NERV Head­quar­ters. Stretch­ing directly below the square lake adjoin­ing the pyra­mid-shaped build­ing is an incred­i­bly deep facil­ity going down approx­i­mately 7km. The major­ity of this incred­i­bly deep facil­ity is called the Cen­tral Dogma and the Sigma Unit is a part of it. Inci­den­tal­ly, the name Cen­tral Dogma came from biol­o­gy. Genetic infor­ma­tion is trans­ferred DNARNA→protein, and this flow of genetic infor­ma­tion is called the cen­tral dog­ma.

… Every so often, the show was aired at an irreg­u­lar time in the Tokyo region, such as on Jan­u­ary 3rd, when it was aired at 8 a.m., and thus, Episode Four­teen was cre­ated as a recap episode of sorts. The Eng­lish sub­ti­tle is also a ref­er­ence to the fact that this episode is a recap.

… Part A has no BGM, and there is also very lit­tle dia­logue. The lack of “sound” and the heavy use of Bold Min­cho cap­tions cre­ate a sti­fling ten­sion. The struc­ture of dis­play­ing the sub­ti­tle at the end of Part A was also effec­tive. In addi­tion, in Part A, the names of the Angels and oper­a­tions that had appeared up through Episode Twelve “The Value of a Mir­a­cle” became clear. The names of the Angels are the same as the names of angels that appear in the Bible, and each of their spheres of influ­ence, char­ac­ter­is­tics, and the sit­u­a­tions in which they appear are con­sis­tent. At the end of Part A, the terms “Dead Sea Scrolls” and “SEELE” appear for the first time. Gen­er­al­ly, the “Dead Sea Scrolls” refers to the ancient doc­u­ments dis­cov­ered in a cave on the west bank of the Dead Sea in 1947. They con­tained the “Old Tes­ta­ment,” the “Apoc­rypha,” and other reli­gious writ­ings not included in the Bible. They are thought to be writ­ings from around 200-100 B.C., mean­ing around the era that Christ was alive. Though it is said to be the great­est find of this cen­tu­ry, full dis­clo­sure of it to the pub­lic was dragged out for another 45 years. Addi­tion­al­ly, there is spec­u­la­tion that parts of it have been delib­er­ately with­held from being released due to it con­tain­ing writ­ings that shake the very foun­da­tion of Chris­tian­i­ty. It is unclear whether the “Dead Sea Scrolls” that they speak of are the actual “Dead Sea Scrolls.” SEELE is the con­trol­ling orga­ni­za­tion of NERV and its mem­bers seem approx­i­mately the same as the Human Instru­men­tal­ity Com­mit­tee. Seele means “soul” in Ger­man.

… In the final scene, what Unit-02 is hold­ing is the Spear of Long­i­nus that was being trans­ported from the South Pole in Episode Twelve. In the Bible, the Spear of Long­i­nus is the spear that pierced Christ on the cru­ci­fix.

Start­ing with this episode, the drama is pre­sented more dense­ly, enter­ing into the third part, which dri­ves the theme strong­ly. The first episode in this part, Episode Fifteen, shines a spot­light on the human rela­tion­ships between such peo­ple as Mis­ato and Kaji, Shinji and Gen­do, Asuka and Shin­ji, etc.

… Through Kaji’s inves­ti­ga­tions, it is revealed that the orga­ni­za­tion cre­ated to select Eva pilots, the Mar­duk Insti­tute, is largely insub­stan­tial. The name for the Mar­duk Insti­tute comes from a Baby­lon­ian god said to have 50 names. The god Mar­duk had 50 names, and the Mar­duk Insti­tute in Eva was using 108 names.

The home­osta­sis that Rit­suko men­tioned is a biol­ogy term that refers to a qual­ity that crea­tures have that allows them to main­tain their phys­i­cal and bio­log­i­cal con­di­tion within sta­ble lev­els and to sur­vive in response to var­i­ous changes in their envi­ron­ment. The Amer­i­can biol­o­gist Canon (Wal­ter Brad­ford Canon: 1871 - 1945) pro­posed it as a uni­ver­sal prin­ci­ple of life. Com­bin­ing that with its com­pan­ion con­cept of tran­sis­ta­sis to come up with the idea that “hav­ing these two con­tra­dic­tory qual­i­ties is what defines life” is orig­i­nal to this series.

… Episode six­teen depicts the fight against the Twelfth Angel that takes its oppo­nent into imag­i­nary space and Shin­ji’s strug­gle within the inner space. This is an episode that could only be a part of Eva, pos­sess­ing two very dis­parate appeal­ing aspects in its depic­tion of sci-fi drama and the abyss that is the “human heart.” And the scene of Shin­ji’s inner space in the lat­ter part of Part B could be said to be one of the finest exam­ples of this. This sequence on board a train car at dusk with no one else present depicts the world of Shin­ji’s heart in a most vivid way by using meth­ods that could even be called exper­i­men­tal, such as express­ing the char­ac­ter as a white “line” on a black screen and inter­ject­ing var­i­ous images through­out the sequence. In addi­tion, the image of “inside a moth­er’s womb” can be taken from the entry plug that Shinji can’t escape from, and the image of “giv­ing birth” can be taken from the scene where Unit-01 escapes from within the Angel, cov­ered in blood. Thus, this is also an episode with strong sym­bol­ism.

In the inner space sequence, the ques­tion, “Is it okay to live by string­ing only the happy things in life together like a rosary?” is pre­sent­ed, and later on, it becomes one of the themes car­ried through­out the series. In the same sequence, Shin­ji’s moth­er, Yui Ikari, appears for the first time. Shin­ji’s line, “No. Mother was smil­ing,” serves as a fore­shad­ow­ing to the mys­tery involv­ing Yui. Also, there is a direc­tional rea­son for why she is voiced by Megumi Hayashibara, who also voices Rei Ayana­mi.

The episode title is a ref­er­ence to “The Sick­ness Unto Death” (Syg­dom­men til Doden, 1849), the most impor­tant work put out by the father of exis­ten­tial­ism, the philoso­pher Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855) of Den­mark. “The sick­ness unto death” refers to “despair,” and in the intro­duc­tion of this work, Kierkegaard says that for a Chris­tian, “Even death itself is not ‘the sick­ness unto death.’ Not to men­tion any of the suffer­ing on Earth known as des­ti­tu­tion, ill­ness, mis­ery, pri­va­tions, mis­for­tune, pain, anguish, grief, or regret.” The Eng­lish episode title, “Split­ting of the Breast” refers to a psy­cho­log­i­cal process by which an infan­t’s impres­sion of the breast becomes split into two, a “good object” and a “bad object.”

The “Dirac’s sea” that took Shinji and Unit-01 in is a con­cept that the British the­o­ret­i­cal physi­cist Dirac (Paul Adrien Mau­rice Dirac: 1902-1984) used in his hole the­o­ry. A vac­uum is filled with neg­a­tive energy elec­trons, and this is what is called “Dirac’s sea.”

… The three episodes span­ning Episode Sev­en­teen to Episode Nine­teen are a ser­ial piece called the “First Child Tril­o­gy.” This ser­ial piece is the great­est cli­max in the mid­dle of the series and also holds impor­tant mean­ing in terms of Shin­ji’s dra­ma. The first of these episodes, Episode Sev­en­teen, is one that focuses on depict­ing daily life. The main plot is of Toji being cho­sen as the fourth Eva pilot and of how he finds his resolve con­cern­ing that, but at the same time, such things as Shin­ji’s growth as a per­son, Rei’s emo­tional uncer­tain­ty, and Hikaru’s roman­tic feel­ings are also depict­ed. Episode Eigh­teen and Episode Nine­teen, which fol­low, become more intense in terms of both drama and action. This episode is meant to be “the calm before the storm.”

In a con­ver­sa­tion with Kaji, Shinji says, “You know, I’m a man.” So far, Mis­ato and Asuka have repeat­edly harangued him about, “You’re a man, aren’t you?” and he never offered a respon­se, but now, he says this with­out a hitch. Does this mean he is feel­ing more at ease, just as Toji had said in Rei’s room? It is also note­wor­thy that he looks at Toji with a smile as Toji stub­bornly declares that clean­ing is not a man’s job. In Shinji and Kaji’s con­ver­sa­tion at the water­melon field, the top­ics cov­ered are once again “enjoy­ing” and “suffer­ing,” fol­low­ing up on the inner space in Episode Six­teen “The Sick­ness Unto Death, and…”

The peo­ple who per­formed the Eng­lish oper­a­tor dia­logue at the begin­ning were Michael House, George A. Arrio­la, and Hiromi Arrio­la. Michael House was a GAINAX employee at the time, who did in-house trans­la­tion work. George A Arriola and Hiromi Arriola were friends of his and are appar­ently hus­band and wife. [see the House inter­view]

The Eng­lish title for this episode is “Ambiva­lence.” Ambiva­lence refers to a state where two con­tra­dic­tory emo­tions or atti­tudes exist at the same time within an indi­vid­ual. It was orig­i­nally a psy­cho­an­a­lyt­i­cal term, which was first used by a Swiss psy­cho­an­a­lyst, Bleuler (Paul Eugen Bleuler: 1857-1939). Per­haps the title of “Ambiva­lence” was given to this episode because Shinji is con­flicted between his mis­sion to defeat Unit-03 and his emo­tional reluc­tance to fight Unit-03, which has a human pilot on board.

… As the story unfolds, Shinji resolves to fight on his own and gets on board the Eva. And with a fierce bat­tle that can truly be called “a man’s bat­tle,” Episode Nine­teen is upheld by the fans as hav­ing the most excit­ing con­tent in the series. How­ev­er, what in fact defeats the Angel is nei­ther his resolve nor his fight­ing spir­it, but the berserk Unit-01. Hav­ing aggres­sively faced the Angel, Shinji is taken in by Unit-01 as a result, and there is not even any por­trayal of him real­iz­ing vic­to­ry. In that sense, this episode also has a most Eva-like ironic struc­ture.

The Eng­lish episode title “Intro­jec­tion” is a psy­cho­an­a­lytic term mean­ing “to take in.” It refers to tak­ing in var­i­ous attrib­utes of another per­son and mak­ing it one’s own. It is one form of a defense mech­a­nism. For exam­ple, by tak­ing in a moth­er’s pro­hib­i­tive or deny­ing aspects, the super-ego is formed. Intro­jec­tion is a term that refers to a phe­nom­e­non that occurs in the world of the psy­che, but in this episode, it is likely used both in terms of its orig­i­nal mean­ing and how Unit-01 took in the Angel’s abil­i­ties.

In the entry plug, Shin­ji’s body has become one with the LC.L. and sep­a­rated from his psy­che, Rit­suko sets a plan in motion to recon­struct his body and get his psy­che to anchor itself in it. As the Eng­lish episode title “Weav­ing A Story 2” indi­cates, this episode is a sum­mary of sorts, like Episode Four­teen. In point of fact, it is made largely cen­tered around the reuse of already exist­ing com­pos­ite mate­r­ial and film, how­ever its con­tents do not look back on what hap­pened in the past but tell a com­pletely differ­ent sto­ry. Hav­ing become an exis­tence solely con­sist­ing of his psy­che, Shinji ago­nizes and suffers over things like “his rela­tion­ship to oth­ers” and “the estab­lish­ment of self.” Depic­tions in his inner space is the locus of this episode and just as in Episode Six­teen, exper­i­men­tal meth­ods are abun­dantly used. Also, with this episode as a turn­ing point, This show begins to show a stronger ten­dency to directly por­tray “the human mind.”

Rit­suko says that the Eva “con­tains a human will” and that the fact Shinji was taken in “might be the Eva’s will as well.” Mis­ato felt she was say­ing it jok­ing­ly, but when con­sid­ered along with things like how the story unfolds later and how Rit­suko said, “So, she’s awok­en…” in Episode Nine­teen, it becomes clear that what Rit­suko said is con­vey­ing the truth to Mis­ato to a cer­tain degree.

Towards the end of Part A, Shinji recalls that he knew the Eva even ear­lier and that when he found out, he ran away from his mother and father. And the images of that flash­back are the scene of the exper­i­ment from Episode Twen­ty-One “NERV Is Born,” in which Yui Ikari is the sub­ject. Shinji ran away from that site, and that inci­dent is likely what planted the com­pul­sive idea that he “must not run away”.

While the final scene at the love hotel con­tained no explicit images, the love scene was depicted bold­ly, which caused quite a stir when it was orig­i­nally aired. After touch­ing upon Mis­ato’s tryst, Rit­suko’s line, “I guess I’m in no posi­tion to talk,” is also curi­ous.

The Eng­lish episode title “oral stage” is also a psy­cho­an­a­lyt­i­cal term. The oral stage is the first stage of devel­op­ment in Freud’s (Sig­mund Freud: 1856-1939) libido devel­op­ment the­o­ry. It is the time period when the mouth serves as the prin­ci­pal source of plea­sure. It is said that the oral stage starts at birth and ends around the age of 1 1/2. in the scene where Mis­ato and Rit­suko are in the car, a radio DJ show can be heard from the car radio. We can sup­pose that this is the same show that was air­ing in Episode Twelve. A woman DJ is advis­ing a lis­tener on their roman­tic prob­lems, but the term “oral stage” appears here as well. In this case, the oral stage refers to the oral per­son­al­i­ty. In other words, it points to per­son­al­ity ten­den­cies that strongly lean towards being depen­dent and needy for love Peo­ple with an oral per­son­al­ity hap­pily sac­ri­fice them­selves in order to obtain the love of oth­ers. Shinji could be said to have an oral per­son­al­ity at this point in time.

Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion has numer­ous mys­ter­ies to engross the fans. After all 26 episodes of the TV series were aired, the remake ver­sion of Episode Twen­ty-Five and the Final Episode were released as a the­atri­cal piece, in which sev­eral of the mys­ter­ies were resolved. Or there were clues pre­sented with which to think about the mys­ter­ies. Fur­ther­more, in the video ver­sion (re­leased on LD and VHS at the time) of Episodes Twen­ty-One through Twen­ty-Four, which were released after the movie opened, new footage was added that also pre­sented infor­ma­tion regard­ing the mys­ter­ies.

If you look at Eva as a story whose pro­tag­o­nists are Gendo and Fuyut­suki, then the hero­ine would be Yui Ikari. She fas­ci­nates Fuyut­suki and she says, “He’s quite a sweet per­son,” of Gen­do. Gen­do’s resolve to advance the Human Instru­men­tal­ity Project is surely also related to her dis­ap­pear­ance. Many mys­ter­ies, such as the Eva and Adam, the cir­cum­stances of Ayanami’s birth, Unit-01 going out of con­trol, etc., are linked with Yui’s exis­tence.

… When it was first aired on TV, it seems no few fans sus­pected that it was Mis­ato that shot Kaji in this episode. In the “video ver­sion,” dia­logue explain­ing that SEELE has dis­cov­ered that Kaji has deliv­ered a sam­ple of Adam to Gendo and has made his posi­tion pre­car­i­ous has been added and the way the scene where Kaji is shot con­nects to the next scene has been changed. It leads the audi­ence to think that the cul­prit is some­one on SEELE’s side.

… In the fourth part, the drama unfolds tak­ing an even deeper look into the char­ac­ters. Not only Shin­ji, but Asuka, Rei, and Mis­ato are put through hearth-wrench­ing expe­ri­ences. In Episode Twen­ty-T­wo, the spot­light is on the Unit-02 pilot, Asuka Lan­g­ley Sohryu. It becomes clear why she had been so hung up on the Eva and worked so exces­sively hard, and when that is uncov­ered by the Angel, she loses her psy­cho­log­i­cal bal­ance. Just as it holds true for the Fifteenth Angel that appears in this episode, non of the Angels that appear in the fourth part launch brute force attacks, but instead, try to shake the Eva pilots psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly.

The big addi­tions in the “video ver­sion” are the car­rier at the begin­ning, the scene where Asuka is look­ing at Shinji and Rei at the sta­tion, and the bath scene. The high­light is the strug­gle in Asuka’s inner space when she is being attacked psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly, which took as much as 70 cuts to accom­plish. In the sta­tion scene, she speaks nas­tily of Shinji and Rei’s rela­tion­ship, say­ing, “He is totally back to his usual thing again.” Per­haps Asuka thought that the two were a cou­ple or at least in a rela­tion­ship close to it. Note that in the strug­gle in her inner space, a scene where she is hang­ing her head in dejec­tion with the slid­ing door closed has been newly inserted after the scene from Episode Nine, “Moment and Heart Togeth­er,” where she shuts the slid­ing door. And like­wise, after the kiss scene from Episode Fifteen, “Lies and Silence,” there is a new scene show­ing her look­ing frus­trated after rins­ing her mouth. And from Asuka’s dia­logue that over­laps these sce­nes, it becomes clear that she has been look­ing for help and love from Shin­ji.

… In the fourth part, the effec­tive­ness of cer­tain impor­tant scenes has been increased by the use of well-known clas­si­cal pieces as BGM. The piece used in this episode is Han­del’s ora­to­rio “Mes­si­ah.” Mes­siah means sav­ior and the lyrics have been taken from the Bible. The piece por­trays the prophecy of Christ’s birth all the way to his res­ur­rec­tion in three parts.

… Episode Twen­ty-Three is the episode where the spot­light falls on Rei Ayana­mi. The secrets of her inner thoughts, her death, and her third self are depict­ed. This is also the episode where Rit­suko’s drama is depict­ed, and just as the title “Tears” indi­cates, Rei cries in the first half and Rit­suko cries in the sec­ond half. The way the story unfolds in a cool, detached way in spite of the fact the episodes por­trays the life and death, and the love and hate, of the char­ac­ters is very much in char­ac­ter with this show.

… Stand­ing before the Reis in the tank, Rit­suko speaks of the rela­tion­ship between Rei and the dummy plugs, and also of the rela­tion­ship between “God” and the Evas. It is a scene that pro­vides the great­est amount of infor­ma­tion regard­ing the mys­ter­ies in Eva. What exactly is this “God” who dis­ap­peared 15 years ago? Was it not Adam appeared 15 years ago? She said that the “God” humans res­ur­rected was Adam, but is this Adam the embry­o-like Adam that showed up in Episode Eight? Or could it pos­si­bly be the giant under­ground? In the same scene, Rit­suko says, “The Cham­ber of Gaf was emp­ty, you see.” The Cham­ber of Gaf, accord­ing to Hebrew leg­ends, is a room in the house of God in Heaven where the souls dwell. Babies receive a soul from this room before they are born. It is said that if there are no more souls in the Cham­ber of Gaf, it is an omen that the world will fall to ruin.

Up to this point, Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion has depicted themes sur­round­ing “the human heart” and “com­mu­ni­ca­tion between peo­ple” through the sto­ries of the main char­ac­ters. How­ev­er, the cli­mac­tic episodes, Episode Twen­ty-Five “The World End­ing” and the Final Episode “The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World,” reverse the rela­tion­ship between the story and the theme. What would nor­mally be con­sid­ered the story is kept to the bare min­i­mum and “the theme itself” is told. The mate­r­ial is the­o­ret­i­cal and exper­i­men­tal, and with­out a doubt, some­thing never seen before in TV ani­ma­tion. When it orig­i­nally aired, it became an incred­i­bly hot topic and divided the fans in their opin­ion. The con­clu­sion to the drama and illu­mi­nat­ing the mys­ter­ies. In response to fans clam­or­ing for those two things, it was decided that there would be a remake of Episode Twen­ty-Five and the Final Episode. The result of that are Episode 25 “Air” and Episode 26 “A Pure Heart For You,” which were released as the the­atri­cal “The End of Evan­ge­lion.” Thus, the story of Eva would branch into two sto­ries with the diverg­ing point being the end of Episode Twen­ty-Four “The Final Mes­sen­ger.” The two sto­ries each unfold differ­ently and arrive at their own cli­max­es. Episode Twen­ty-Five and the Final Episode tell the theme direct­ly. And the other ver­sion, Episode 25 and Episode 26, depict the same, fol­low­ing the sto­ry. It is not that one is the com­plete ver­sion and the other is incom­plete. Just like the mul­ti­ple end­ings of a game, two differ­ent end­ings were pre­pared for one sto­ry.

Kaworu only appears in this episode of the show, but his unique atmos­phere and his rela­tion­ship with Shinji led to his char­ac­ter gar­ner­ing over­whelm­ing sup­port from female fans. When you dis­as­sem­ble the char­ac­ter for his last name, “Nag­isa”, it becomes “shi” and “sha”. Thus, it is a play on the sub­-ti­tle, “The Final Mes­sen­ger (saigo no shisha)”. The “Nag­isa (shore)” also forms a pair with Rei Ayanami’s “nami (wave)”.

Only the fourth move­ment of Beethoven’s Sym­phony No. 9 in D minor, Opus 125 “Choral” is used as BGM in this episode. Event what Kaworu is hum­ming when he first appears and what Shinji is lis­ten­ing to on the S-DAT are from No. 9, show­ing quite a thor­ough­ness. Dur­ing the cli­max, it plays for over 7 min­utes mak­ing a strong impact on the audi­ence. The lyrics for the choral “Ode to Joy” are from the poem “To Joy” by the Ger­man poet and play­wright, Schiller. There is a pas­sage in those lyrics that goes, “We enter, drunk with your fire, Oh heav­enly one, into your sanc­tu­ary.” it can be thought of as link­ing to the con­tent of the sec­ond half of this episode.

… This is a sin­gu­lar piece of work with an exceed­ingly exper­i­men­tal struc­ture. In spite of the story unfold­ing only through mono­logues and con­ver­sa­tions between char­ac­ters, the direct­ing does a bril­liant job main­tain­ing the high ten­sion. When it was orig­i­nally aired, many voiced their opin­ion that they could not under­stand the story in Episode Twenty Five and the Final Episode. How­ev­er, there is actu­ally a bare-bones expla­na­tion of the story within the show. That being… Gendo uses Rei to exe­cute the Human Instru­men­tal­ity Project and the com­ple­men­ta­tion of man begins. See­ing the remakes, Episode 25 “Air” and Episode 26 “A Pure Heart For You”, may in fact make the con­tent of Episode Twen­ty-Five eas­ier to under­stand. The depic­tions of Mis­ato and Rit­suko being shot to death, Unit-02 hug­ging its knees in the lake, and Asuka like­wise hug­ging her knees within Unit-02 all cor­re­spond to Episode 25.

Gendo says, “All souls will become one and find eter­nal peace”. His Instru­men­tal­ity Project must have been for all human souls to be com­bined as one and to com­pen­sate each other for what they have been deprived of. In the story that fol­lows from Episode 25 “Air” to Episode 26 “A Pure Heart For You”, he was not able to exe­cute the sce­nario he had drawn up. It may be that it was in Episode Twen­ty-Five and Episode Twen­ty-Six that his wish actu­ally came true.

The Eng­lish sub­ti­tle, “Do you love me?” is from the book of the same title writ­ten by a British psy­chother­a­pist named R.D. Laing (Ronald David Laing: 1927-1989). It is a work that is done in a dis­tinc­tive style as a dis­course between indi­vid­u­als, and the style in which this episode is advanced through con­ver­sa­tions between the char­ac­ters is rem­i­nis­cent of “Do you love me?”

… “Vividly draw­ing peo­ple” is a dis­tinct qual­ity of this show, and it was also the cre­ative theme. In that sense, step­ping deeper into Mis­ato’s mind using the rea­son she slept with Kaji as a lead into it can be called the end point for Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion in depict­ing peo­ple.

… This is the final episode of the TV series. The year is 2016 A.D., and the com­ple­men­ta­tion of mankind is ongo­ing. Shinji ago­nizes over the value of his exis­tence and his rela­tion­ship with other peo­ple and comes to a con­clu­sion. The sub­ti­tle “The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World” is from a story by Amer­i­can sci-fi author Har­lan Elli­son (1934 - ) of the same name. Tak­ing the sub­ti­tle of the final episode from a sci-fi novel is a tra­di­tion of Direc­tor Anno’s works, con­tin­u­ing from Aim for the Top! and Nadia: Secret of Blue Water. The “love (ai)” being writ­ten in katakana is likely a play on the “love (ai)” and the Eng­lish “I”.

The final episode also takes the unusual route of unfold­ing entirely within what appears to be the world within Shin­ji’s mind. In terms of tech­nique, there are also var­i­ous modes of expres­sion used in abun­dance, such as still pho­tographs, paper ani­me, and illus­tra­tions. Direc­tor Anno and the ani­ma­tor You [Yoh] Yoshi­nari are the ones who did the key ani­ma­tion for the paper ani­me.

… The moment that Shinji gains con­vic­tion that it is okay for him to be there, the back­ground changes, and the blue Earth spreads beneath his feet. How­ev­er, there are no con­ti­nents on this Earth, and it is cov­ered by a gigan­tic coral reef. It seems this is the Earth that has been trans­fig­ured by the Instru­men­tal­ity Pro­ject. This episode ends with the cap­tions “To my father, thank you.” “To my moth­er, farewell.” “And to all the Chil­dren.” “Con­grat­u­la­tions!” Eva is some­thing of an Oedi­pus com­plex sto­ry, where a boy feels love and hatred for his father and moth­er, so the first two cap­tions can be thought to means that Shinji has come to an under­stand­ing with his father and grown out of his depen­dence on his moth­er. Per­haps the lat­ter two cap­tions mean, “This is a world where all the chil­dren born into it deserve to live.” It is left for the audi­ence to decide whether this end­ing is the Best End­ing or the Bad End­ing. [vi­sual novel ter­mi­nol­o­gy]

RahXephon Complete

• 2003-izubuchi-an­no-rahx­ephon-in­ter­view.jpg

• ; inter­view with Anno (A) & Izubuchi (I) in the RahX­ephon Com­plete book:

A: Yeah, just the begin­ning of it. Also “Mazinger”, based on the orig­i­nal work that appeared in Shonen Jump. The images of human-shaped robots by Mr. Nagai Go, I think, was also inspired by Mr. Yokoya­ma’s, like the way he drew legs / feet.

I: The nail-tips look like rub­ber and they are curled out­wards.

A: And the way he cre­ates high­lights, or shade and lus­ter (gloss) effects. So, I still pre­fer the robots’ legs and hands to be round columns, even though they have all become square after Gun­dam. You know, like, here, bel­lows, round (join­t), round, and go (fast) (laugh).

I: I liked it, but I did­n’t go into it. At that time things that fea­tured spe­cial film­ing tech­niques (tokusat­su) were much more pop­u­lar. It was a period when even the boys’ comic mag­a­zines had a “smell” of under­ground cul­ture, and car­ried some con­tro­ver­sial works. Each issue of those mag­a­zines con­tained an amaz­ing mix­ture of so many differ­ent things.

A: There were tons of Tokusat­su, manga and ani­me, weren’t there? I think we were born and brought up dur­ing the best peri­od. Along with the evo­lu­tion of the tele­vi­sion - the tele­vi­sion spread when we were very young and begin­ning to under­stand things, and we grew up at the same speed as TV the TV caught on. We were lucky in that we were able to absorb many things , both good and bad. I won­der how the kids who grow up with the anime nowa­days are going to turn out in the future.

— You mean they are biased from the begin­ning?

A: I guess so. They watch those intri­cate images with shades and every­thing from the moment they start to be aware. The amount of infor­ma­tion their mind has to process is huge. It’s very demand­ing. And it’s also scary that they begin with a pre­con­cep­tion that they can take per­fectly done CG for grant­ed.

I: You know Eva’s face shows up before Shinji in the first episode, right? That made me hap­py…it was like, “That’s Con-V!”

A: Yeah, the first episode of ‘Con-V’ is the stan­dard, ortho­dox way of doing it. All char­ac­ters are gath­ered, and the robot is shown from the face first. In the manga “Mazinger,” beyond the star­tled face of Koji, there’s the face of the robot. You have a robot, and it has a face. . That’s what the face is there for.

…— Actu­ally I’ve heard that Mr. Izubuchi also took part in the design­ing of Neon Gen­e­sis Evan­ge­lion at that time, and I want to know about the sto­ry.

I: The ini­tial title was “The Flash Argion”, was­n’t it?

A: The name changed a few times. The first one was Evan Gerion, but it was hard to remem­ber and so we changed it. Then the next one had no impact (laugh). Finally it was named Jin­zou Nin­gen [Ar­ti­fi­cial Human] Evan Gerion. It was also trashed because they said “Jin­zou Nin­gen” sounded old fash­ioned, so the bit was removed.

I: I gave out a cou­ple of designs of Eva’s body. I got the rough sketch and some requests about the details from Anno-chan, and it was more like a (me­chan­i­cal) robot than now.

A: It was­n’t dri­ven by motor gears or oil pres­sure, it was pre­sented as an mod­i­fied human being that moved with arti­fi­cial mus­cles.

I: I was told that they wanted a demon-like air. So I put the mouth, and the two eyes that looked like they are raw and star­ing. I ended up giv­ing it four eyes (laugh).

A: With just one eye, it was hard to rec­og­nize his face as such when he stood ful­l-screen it as a sil­hou­ette. So we needed two eyes in order for it to look like a human shape. Absolutely two, I thought it needed two eyes.

A: In the end, it’s about the differ­ence between the “hero” genre and the “mil­i­tary.” Zaku62 has only one eye, and the rea­son why peo­ple rec­og­nize Gun­dam as a “hero” is because he has two eyes. Jim63 has no eyes at all. Nei­ther does Gan­can­non nor Gan­tank. The rea­son why Gun­dam is the only one that sells so well is because that’s the only “hero” one among them.

…— Did Mr. Anno aspire to be a direc­tor from the begin­ning?

A: The moti­va­tion was that I did­n’t want to waste the sec­ond episode of Top wo Nerae. Yam­a­ga’s script was in the air, nobody would direct it, so I had to take the job. I was­n’t really hop­ing to go into direct­ing.

A: For me it was because I worked best with Robot Ani­me. In Nadia there were no robots appear­ing and I thought “Oh a robot would have made it much eas­ier” (laugh). My favorite and best type of work is bat­tle­ship or robots. With them, I run a good chance of suc­ceed­ing. And the vir­tual enemy in the Top is Pat­la­bor.

I: Is it?

A: Yeah. If Labor took the real­is­tic line, I wanted to make a proper giant robot one. There was a back­ground rea­son within the indus­try - the two movies were planned around the same time and they decided on Pat­la­bor to go first. So when I saw it, there was no action at all and it ended right before the robots bat­tle start­ed, with a line “Rocket Punch!” I thought “You’ve gotta be kid­ding.” My plan was being scrapped by some­thing like this? I was­n’t hav­ing it. There­fore, the vir­tual enemy at the time was Pat­la­bor.

…— In Eva, Mr. Anno’s work, the enemy is not a human shaped robot.

A: If I made them human-shaped, it would have been much more work. They do bat­tle prop­erly in the first and the sec­ond episodes, but that was because at that time we still had resources to employ ani­ma­tors. In the fifth or sixth episode it was just done with­out.

I: That’s what hap­pens some­times. If we make an impact strong enough to hook the audi­ence in the first or the sec­ond episode, we can sur­vive on it.

A: Then we reduce the num­ber of the char­ac­ter (draw­ings) and use more in the bat­tle scenes. In Eva we used fewer than 4500 cels, but it looks like we used 6000 cels. That’s because we did that trick.

I: You told me when I helped you with Eva that you would go for a straight­for­ward, stan­dard type of work, did­n’t you? How did it end up the way it did?

A: Strange, isn’t it? There was a point when I adopted an any­thing-goes atti­tude, and I went with the flow, and the result was some­thing entirely differ­ent from the orig­i­nal plan. It was really strange. For me the ini­tial idea was Mazinger and Gun­dam.

I: You said that you were think­ing of a big happy end­ing. It was a kind of happy end, but was­n’t it differ­ent from what you were thought of in the begin­ning?

A: Yeah, it feels differ­ent. I think it’s strange.

I: Strange…? (laugh).

I: I felt you were a bit wor­ried about the genre itself. The genre of giant robots was almost extinct except the Tokusatsu Sen­tai Robo at that peri­od.

A: Yeah. I wanted to work with proper giant robots, not designed pri­mar­ily as toys, but designed with a per­spec­tive in the real world. But it’s strange that it turned out like that.

I: I think as a result it was good, but I remem­ber there was a point of time when it was sud­denly ele­vated to a sub­cul­ture sta­tus. And it was becom­ing irrel­e­vant to the pas­sion for robots you have, and taken out of con­text to a differ­ent direc­tion. Watch­ing it, I felt like “Ah, Anno is get­ting crushed…”

A: In that way… I did­n’t plan it like that. It was very strange.

I: How did you plan it?

A: I planned to do it more like stereo­typed. See, it was like, the father is mak­ing the robots, and there is a lab­o­ra­to­ry, and the robot comes out from the base­ment, it is intro­duced in the first episode, then the enemy comes out, and they fight… Basi­cally it’s the ortho­dox line.

— Then why?

I: That’s what every­one wants to know (laugh).

A: Why…? It just turned out like that. I guess it’s because I was try­ing to incor­po­rate ideas from many peo­ple around, it just went in that direc­tion. I did­n’t mind, that was OK the way it went too. Maybe I have mul­ti­ple per­son­al­i­ty. I don’t even under­stand myself.

I: Maybe the influ­ence of Makky (Tsu­ru­maki Kazuya) and Masa (Masayuki) was big, right?

A: Yeah, and also oth­ers like Mr. Sat­sukawa (Akio), Enokido (Yōji), Shin-chan (Higuchi Shin­ji), and Mr. Honda (Yu­u), Mr. Iso (Mit­suo), and lot of oth­ers are all mixed in me. Well… I did plan to work in Gun­dam

A: I think that there is no one who can cre­ate from scratch, except the very few genius­es…[­lines miss­ing]…An entirely orig­i­nal work from scratch, I think, is the result of those very few peo­ple’s brains short­-cir­cuit­ing or some­thing, pro­duc­ing totally new ideas.

I: If it were pre­sented straight­for­ward­ly, it would be seen as mad.

A: Yeah. After all, it’s a sim­ple mat­ter of bas­ing your work on a pre­de­ces­sor’s but not get­ting too close to the work it’s based on, that kind of lev­el, I think. Like if my par­ents did­n’t speak Japan­ese I would­n’t be speak­ing Japan­ese, basi­cally that’s the way human life is, and you can’t go for­ward if you get too stuck in try­ing to be orig­i­nal. But I can’t tol­er­ate over-sam­pling (of oth­er’s work).

A: The world we are liv­ing in today is no longer a world where brute force is the answer to prob­lems. But soon it will be again a “power is jus­tice” world, and then the robot work will revive, I think.

I:Yes, as the world changes for the worse that is pos­si­ble….

A: All the same, we solve every­thing with pow­er. The baddy has to GO! by the Spacium64

I: I won­der what is that (laugh).

A: In the end it’s like this!! (a pose of Ultra­man) All the enemy is smashed!! That’s it. But not now…

Anata to Watashi no Gainax

Untrans­lated Kodan­sha inter­views with Gainax­ers:

• Takami Akai (introduction/background, biog­ra­phy):

• Hideaki Anno (introduction/background, biog­ra­phy)

1. First inter­view:
• part 1 (Nadia & death dis­cus­sion, another descrip­tion of Japan as child­ish?)

• part 2 (anime bub­ble)

• I think, since the 1960s, there has been noth­ing but coun­ter­cul­ture. Some­thing was there, and you react against it; in the end you react again, against the [ini­tial] reac­tion. It was just this cycle of rep­e­ti­tion. Now, there is noth­ing left to react again­st, so cre­ative activ­ity has been reduced to noth­ing but recy­cled, “copy­-col­lage” type works. The works cre­ated today are only made by “copy­ing and past­ing.” I think there is no choice left but to do this. Today, when the poten­tial of each indi­vid­ual has been low­ered to this extent, and only the amount of infor­ma­tion has increased, there is more or less noth­ing but copy­ing and past­ing.

I do believe that some­day this sit­u­a­tion, along with the sit­u­a­tion of con­tem­po­rary Japan­ese soci­ety, will change, but… If a sin­gle mis­sile just now fell on Tokyo, it would no longer be the time and the place to cre­ate ani­me. “Are you mak­ing bishojo anime at a time of emer­gency like this‽” (laughs) How­ev­er, in con­tem­po­rary soci­ety, there would still be far more peo­ple who would rather watch bishojo anime than news reports about the mis­sile that fell on Tokyo.

– Among peo­ple who draw manga in Europe, there are many who have stud­ied draw­ing pro­fes­sion­al­ly, and there are great differ­ences in visual designs and so on. How­ev­er, the otaku men­tal­ity is no differ­ent [there] than it is in Japan. You even see peo­ple doing things like draw­ing manga and apply­ing for prizes for new­com­ers from Japan­ese manga mag­a­zines. Otaku eas­ily cross national bound­aries.

Anno: I feel that otaku have already become com­mon to all coun­tries. In Europe, in Korea, in Tai­wan, in Hong Kong, in Amer­i­ca, otaku really do not change. I think that this is amaz­ing. I say crit­i­cal things towards otaku, but I don’t reject them. I only say that we should take a step back and be self­-con­scious about these things. I think it’s per­fectly fine so long as you act with an aware­ness of what you are doing, self­-con­scious and cog­nizant of the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. I’m just not sure it’s a good thing to reach the point where you cut your­self off from soci­ety. I don’t under­stand the great­ness of soci­ety, either. So I have no inten­tion of going so far as to call for peo­ple to give up otaku-like things and become more suited to soci­ety. Only, I think there are many other inter­est­ing things in the world, and we don’t have to reject them.

How­ev­er, I take offense when otaku are crit­i­cized by non-o­taku. Stu­pid idiots, I think, [crit­i­ciz­ing] though you don’t under­stand any­thing (laugh­s). There are truly many peo­ple who don’t seem to really under­stand. I know these things with­out being lec­tured to by these peo­ple. It’s like, why now? But say­ing those things are still bet­ter. There are many who com­pletely missed the mark. When peo­ple don’t even try to under­stand speak about otaku as though they were far above them, I think: what stu­pid peo­ple.

– I have a strong impres­sion that you have sep­a­rated your­self from anime in recent years. I imag­ined that per­haps one rea­son for this was that you grew sick of mak­ing the things that fans of con­tem­po­rary anime want. Was this the case?

Anno: If we think [of ani­me] purely in terms of ser­vice, then it’s prob­a­bly fine to straight­for­wardly make what the cus­tomers want. I think that offer­ing ser­vices other than those desired [by the cus­tomers] is still ser­vice [eg. ‘poi­son’]. It’s diffi­cult. I think it’s less that I got sick of it, than that I gave up [be­came resigned].

Anime fans, in a nar­row sense, do not change. I resigned myself to the fact that their under­stand­ing would prob­a­bly not change in my life­time. Of course, they are con­form­ing to a sin­gle stan­dard. As long as they are alive, they only like the same things. They’re not look­ing for change. They end­lessly seek the same plea­sures. Even if you say that other inter­est­ing things exist, they can’t be both­ered. It’s some­thing they did­n’t ask for and don’t care for. I have my own extreme likes and dis­likes in regard to food, so I can’t be find­ing all these faults with other peo­ple (laugh­s). I’ve been told, “you should eat meat, because it’s really deli­cious,” but I don’t eat it. Meat does­n’t seem like food [to me]. So, I’m sorry (laugh­s). I’m sure it’s deli­cious, but I have no inten­tion of eat­ing it. I’m fine with yakko [to­fu]. I would rather eat 250 yen hiyayakko than meat which cost tens of thou­sands of yen. Because of this I can’t really say any­thing. Or should I say: I, too, am truly an otaku (laugh­s).

• part 4

2. Sec­ond inter­view:
3. Third inter­view:
• part 1 (men­tion of Evan­ge­lion 2?)

• part 2 (re­mark that ‘this [NGE] is inter­est­ing’, par­al­lel New­type?)

• part 3; excerpt trans­lated by Num­ber­s-kun:

Anno: Part of the “theme” of mak­ing Eva was, “hav­ing pride in the work.” That was all I tried to do, regard­less of if [peo­ple] praised or degraded it. So, I hoped to make a work that would not make peo­ple ashamed who uttered the word “Eva” in pub­lic. For exam­ple, at the work place [some­one] says, “Last night’s Evan­ge­lion was bor­ing,” and, being asked by some­one who does­n’t know about it, “What’s that?”, replies, “There’s this anime on now.” So, when the per­son who learns about it watches it [with the idea], “if there’s an anime like that, maybe I’ll try watch­ing it a lit­tle,” I wanted to make a work where, apart from whether they become inter­ested in it or not, they would­n’t think that it was some­thing child­ish. Of course, anime is fun­da­men­tally some­thing child­like or child­ish. I don’t think that peo­ple who are men­tally adults feel a need to watch it. Even so, I wanted to have an ounce of pride before soci­ety. Instead of just want­ing 20,000 anime fans to enjoy it, [I want­ed] a vec­tor aim­ing towards the out­side, even if just by a lit­tle. How­ev­er, the result was, in the end, that I went in a direc­tion that was really pop­u­lar among anime fans, so in the end I felt that I, too, was an otaku. (laughs)

…I feel that my strong emo­tion towards works like Yam­ato and Gun­dam, or the feel­ing that I wanted to sur­pass those works, has sub­sided within me. I won­der if this is a kind of res­ig­na­tion. I feel, as things stand, that I can’t beat Yam­ato and Gun­dam. It has noth­ing to do, I think, with hav­ing some­thing good enough to beat them; I can’t beat the works and the peo­ple of that era. Also related to this are the cir­cum­stances of the era in which I grew up, so it’s prob­a­bly some­thing I can’t do any­thing about. Because, actu­al­ly, there has yet to emerge any­one from my gen­er­a­tion who has beaten Yam­ato and Gun­dam. This is absolutely my per­sonal per­spec­tive, but, as to whether or not [peo­ple] felt the same impact from Eva as I received back when I saw Yam­ato and Gun­dam, I feel like Eva is still lack­ing. If we com­pare accord­ing to the cur­rent moment, then per­haps I am capa­ble of cre­at­ing more inter­est­ing works than [the cur­rent] Tomi­no-san. How­ev­er, I feel I am far from being a match for the Tomi­no-san of the time of Gun­dam and Ideon. …I watched robot anime end­less­ly, and the impact I felt when I was nine­teen years old was [that of] Gun­dam. “Those robot ani­me… have become some­thing like this!” For me, this impact can never be sur­passed. The impact of the first episode of the first Gun­dam was that pow­er­ful. There was an energy like the G-ar­mor hav­ing to come out [?] [in episode 24?], an energy like, even though the chains of robot anime up to this point were still wrapped around it, from here on out it was going to do some­thing new. That energy was amaz­ing. In Gun­dam, there was very much an antithe­sis or a counter to the the­sis that had been built up by robot anime up to that point. I was deeply affected by that. Com­pared with that, Eva is still a long ways off. Even though I pro­duced as much energy as I could, I feel like it did­n’t have the same degree of impact. …Yam­ato is the same way. The orig­i­nal broad­cast was when I was four­teen years old. At that time I was in the sec­ond year of junior high school, and was being told by my par­ents and friends, “You’re still watch­ing ani­me?” “At your age, you should stop look­ing at things like man­ga; cut it out and grow up.” Well, I think they had a point. How­ev­er, when I was in sec­ond year, Yam­ato was the show I was not ashamed of talk­ing to my friends [about]. As no one watched it in those days, I would pros­e­ly­tize it to my friends and even to peo­ple out­side my class. “Don’t watch ‘Army of the Apes,’ watch this!” Or, “Don’t watch ‘Hei­di,’ watch this!” There was hardly any­one who lis­tened. (laughs) At that time, I liked juve­nile SF and mil­i­tary his­to­ry, and there were manga that ful­filled [my desire for] the things I liked. [Yam­ato] met my inter­ests resound­ing­ly. It was a pro­gram that I, in my sec­ond year, was not embar­rassed to watch, and which con­vinced me that, “as I thought, it’s fine to read man­ga.” If I had­n’t seen Yam­ato in my sec­ond year, I would prob­a­bly not have read manga any longer after that….The mem­o­ries of these per­sonal expe­ri­ences are ingrained within me. [?] I think the differ­ent appeals of Yam­ato and Gun­dam are also in Eva, but from my own per­spec­tive, I can’t cre­ate some­thing that exceeds the impres­sion I felt see­ing Yam­ato at the age of four­teen. I can’t go beyond the impact I felt when I was nine­teen and, hav­ing con­tin­u­ally watched robot anime since the time I was a child, saw the first episode of Gun­dam. It seems extremely diffi­cult to be capa­ble of beat­ing the mem­o­ries inside of me. I have the desire to sur­pass them, but on the other had, I am resigned to the fact that I can’t do it. If I myself change, then maybe I can find a differ­ent approach. I feel, at least for now, that it can no longer be some­thing like Evan­ge­lion. Per­haps it can’t be that sort of des­per­ate and pres­sur­ized work. Some­thing a lit­tle bit more pleas­ant would be good, I think.

• part 4 (mar­riage, food)

• Shinji Higuchi (introduction/background, biog­ra­phy)

1. First inter­view:
2. Sec­ond inter­view:
3. Third inter­view:
4. Fourth inter­view:
• Tadashi Hira­matsu (introduction/background, biog­ra­phy); this inter­view has been fully trans­lated into Eng­lish which is for­tu­nate because only one page out of ~7 sur­vives

• Yasuhiro Kamimura (introduction/background, biog­ra­phy)

1. First inter­view:
2. Sec­ond inter­view:
3. Third inter­view:
• Masayuki (introduction/background, biog­ra­phy)

1. First inter­view:
2. Sec­ond inter­view:
3. Third inter­view:
• Showji Mura­hama (introduction/background, biog­ra­phy)

1. First inter­view:
2. Sec­ond inter­view:
• Masahiko Otsuka (introduction/background, biog­ra­phy)

1. First inter­view:
2. Sec­ond inter­view:
3. Third inter­view:
• Toshimichi Otsuki of King Records (introduction/background, biog­ra­phy)

1. First inter­view:
2. Sec­ond inter­view:

1. First inter­view:
• part 1; e sum­ma­rizes:

Sadamoto based his manga on orig­i­nal mate­ri­als relat­ing to the anime (script etc) - he does refer to ask­ing Anno ques­tions like “What is this?” and Anno would side-step the issue by reply­ing “What indeed?”. Sadamoto points out that Evan­ge­lion was delib­er­ately made to be ambigu­ous and feels this is one of its good points.

• part 2

• part 3

2. Sec­ond inter­view:
3. Third inter­view:
4. Fourth inter­view:
• Hiroki Sato (introduction/background, biog­ra­phy)

1. First inter­view:
2. Sec­ond inter­view:
3. Third inter­view:
4. Fourth inter­view:
• Yasuhiro Takeda (introduction/background, biog­ra­phy)

1. First inter­view:
2. Sec­ond inter­view:
3. Third inter­view:
4. Fourth inter­view:
• Kazuya Tsu­ru­maki (introduction/background, biog­ra­phy)

1. First inter­view:
• part 1

• Tsu­ru­maki: I won­der about that. On the con­trary, I am fre­quently told by Anno or Yoshiyuki Sadamoto that things are not [sen­su­al] enough.

— If we’re talk­ing about ecchi then it’s not enough, but you get the feel­ing of an extremely mys­te­ri­ous eros.

T: Well, maybe I can’t bring it out directly because of my shy­ness, but I put ecchi ele­ments into [the work] in my own way. [The ele­ments] are there, but rather than a direct, “tak­ing the breasts out” sort of thing, it’s a bit con­cealed. I like when it’s cov­ered up and comes out indi­rect­ly. So, the peo­ple who notice it will prob­a­bly think it is ecchi. How­ev­er, Anno expresses it like… “I love breasts!” From the per­spec­tive of some­one like Anno, the impres­sion [of what I do] is prob­a­bly, “what a bor­ing thing to be doing.”

— I’ve read that, for Evan­ge­lion, you were fix­ated on Rei Ayanami tak­ing on the qual­i­ties, or at least some­thing of the qual­i­ties of a human being, but in Rei Ayanami’s orig­i­nal set­tei, [she was a] sen­sual [char­ac­ter].

T: She’s Shin­ji’s mother genet­i­cal­ly, and yet a class­mate he’s inter­ested in. Fur­ther­more there would be a sense of, not her being [Sh­in­ji’s] father’s lover, but of her receiv­ing [from him] an affec­tion like that of a lover’s. That was the sug­ges­tive sit­u­a­tion. Because of this set­tei, with its extremely tan­gi­ble eroti­cism, I thought, at first, that it would be amaz­ing if we did this in an ani­me.

How­ev­er, I think that [sen­su­al] feel­ing was brought about by Sadamoto [and not Anno]. I think that Anno prefers a more direct eros over that sort of mys­te­ri­ous sen­su­al­i­ty. It might be a mis­un­der­stand­ing on my part, but Anno is frank to the point of say­ing things that are not usu­ally said, and a sort of nuance sug­gest­ing “to express things frankly is adult” can be felt [in his work­s]. Even in Aim for the Top! there is dia­logue which makes ref­er­ence to Noriko’s men­stru­a­tion65. When I saw that part I was taken aback a lit­tle (laugh­s). Anno wants to insert that sort of ele­ment. Even Nadia of the Mys­te­ri­ous Seas was like that, with lines that you might think were bet­ter left out. So, I think Rei Ayanami’s kind of eros was prob­a­bly sug­gested by Sadamoto [rather than Anno].

— In that regard, I sup­pose you aren’t one of those peo­ple who expresses things frankly.

T: I was still mak­ing the final part of FLCL, work­ing every day at the office, even though the New Year was about to arrive, when I received a phone call from Anno-san. It seemed that he had some­how gath­ered his acquain­tances and was hold­ing a year-end par­ty. He told me that -san, the direc­tor of Project A-Ko (’86) and Agent Aika (’00 [ac­tu­ally 1997]), said that he had some­thing to say to me, so he would put him on. So Nishi­ji­ma-san went off on me, shout­ing, “why are you mak­ing such pre­ten­tious ani­me!” (laughs) “Breasts and panchira - that’s kind of stuff, that’s ani­me!!”

Well, Nishi­ji­ma-san was drunk, but I did my best to talk with him, telling him that I express my own sort of eros. But Nishi­ji­ma-san would no longer accept this at all (laugh­s). I got chewed out through the tele­phone receiver, like, “that’s use­less!” This despite the fact that I had hardly ever talked with Nishi­ji­ma-san before (laugh­s). I don’t have any­one who speaks to me that frankly. Real­ly, I was grate­ful for it.

• part 4

2. Sec­ond inter­view:
3. Third inter­view:
4. Fourth inter­view:

—Yoshiyuki Sadamo­to-san has pre­vi­ously said that “Tsu­ru­maki under­stands moe bet­ter than I do.” When I read the defi­n­i­tion you wrote - “the indi­vid­ual act of com­pen­sat­ing for a lack of infor­ma­tion in regards to a par­tic­u­lar char­ac­ter” - I thought it was absolutely right.

Tsu­ru­maki: I wrote that about three years ago. I feel like the mean­ing of the word moe has become frag­mented in the course of its becom­ing pop­u­lar, but I think that, in the begin­ning, the phe­nom­e­non of moe was an act of com­pen­sa­tion. I don’t think it was the case that moe was [some­thing] depicted in works. I think that moe existed on the side of the audi­ence, and it was an impe­tus that grew spon­ta­neously within audi­ences. I feel that recent ani­me, in try­ing to incor­po­rate moe [di­rect­ly] into the works, has come to an unfor­tu­nate state.

I don’t think [moe is] like that. I’m sure you’ve had an expe­ri­ence where it’s just as if a “seri­ous work” unre­lated to moe causes all the more moe feel­ings pre­cisely on account of its being “seri­ous.” I thought it was essen­tially the sort of activ­ity [that came] solely from the side of the audi­ence…The term “mecha moe” exists as well, so it surely isn’t sim­ply a feel­ing directed towards cute girls. I think my think­ing this is prob­a­bly due to the fact that I myself have been a “good view­er.” Mean­ing that, in the eyes of those who cre­ate the works, I am a “suit­able audi­ence.” I com­pletely imag­ine by myself those things that are not depict­ed. On my own, I involve myself emo­tion­ally with the char­ac­ters, and I work out the con­sis­tency of the unde­picted parts. Among the view­ers of ani­me, there were many more or less like this, in a sense, “dili­gent peo­ple.” Maybe you could say that, filled with my imag­in­ings con­cern­ing these char­ac­ters, I fell in love with them in my own way. (laughs) You’re not intend­ing to make [the audi­ence] fall in love with this char­ac­ter, you’re not pre­sent­ing [that char­ac­ter] with the inten­tion to make them fall in love, but there are view­ers who develop roman­tic feel­ings for [that char­ac­ter] in their own way; those peo­ple, I think, are otaku. So I imag­ine that moe has its ori­gins in anime as a genre.

It might be that a work like Sailor Moon was self­-con­scious [of this]. After that, Evan­ge­lion made it into a sys­tem. From the begin­ning [Eva] inten­tion­ally pro­duced gaps and made the audi­ence fill them. Eva was the most pow­er­ful moe ani­me. Nowa­days, it’s a real mess, with [sce­nar­ios?] like, “twelve younger sis­ters.” [] Inso­far as [peo­ple] try to make moe because “moe sells,” moe dis­ap­pears. Now the mean­ing of moe has changed. Only the word is left, and the mean­ing has been hijacked. [Moe] is no longer moe.

• Shigeru Watan­abe of Bandai Visual (introduction/background, biog­ra­phy)

1. First inter­view:
2. Sec­ond inter­view:
3. Third inter­view:
4. Fourth inter­view:

2003 S

…This is the open­ing for EVANGELION: DEATH and an intro­duc­tory part of Bach’s unac­com­pa­nied cello suite #1 played by a boy who looked just like Shin­ji.

…This BGM was played also when the Strate­gic Self Defense Forces attack the NERV HQ. The estab­lished fero­cious image of the BGM actu­ally empha­sizes that the enemy for humans are other humans. [cf.Blue Christ­mas, Bat­tle of Oki­nawa]

…As the title [“The Beast”] indi­cates, this song is used mainly in the scenes where the EVA unit goes out of con­trol just like a beast. [Not an Antichrist ref­er­ence]

…The coor­di­na­tion of the song was done by the exec­u­tive pro­duc­er, Mr. Toshimichi Otsuki (how­ev­er, his name is not on the cred­its in the film). He requested to change the stream­ing melody into a crispy notch­ing style in the demo stage. To sup­port the atmos­phere aimed by Mr. Otsuki for the open­ing direc­tion, the anime staff pushed them­selves with rapidly chang­ing edits which reflect their amaz­ing efforts and good