Evangelion 3.0+1.0 Assorted Translations
"Making something... Nurturing something is really great. You can see and learn so many things from the process."
"We've seen it. The proof of its construction was very useful."
The Evangelion New Theatrical Edition: 3.0+1.0 Program Book became available at the theatrical release of Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0 Thrice Upon a Time. It features the final character and mecha designs from the film, cast and director interviews and theatrical posters.
Please note most of these translations are early and are likely to get revised. Many interviews are still undergoing translation.
- 1 Intro by Hideaki Anno
- 2 Cast interviews
- 2.1 Megumi Ogata as Shinji Ikari
- 2.2 Megumi Hayashibara as Rei Ayanami (tentative name)/Rei Ayanami/Yui Ikari
- 2.3 Yuko Miyamura as Asuka Langley Shikinami
- 2.4 Maaya Sakamoto as Mari Illustrious Makinami
- 2.5 Mitsuishi Kotono as Misato Katsuragi
- 2.6 Yuriko Yamaguchi as Ritsuko Akagi
- 2.7 Miriya Ise as Midori Kitakami
- 2.8 Miyuki Sawashiro as Sakura Suzuhara
- 2.9 Tomakazu Seki as Toji Suzuhara
- 2.10 Tetsuya Iwanaga as Kensuke Aida
- 2.11 Junko Iwao as Hikari Suzuhara
- 2.12 Akira Ishida as Kaworu Nagisa
- 2.13 Takehito Koyasu as Shigeru Aoba
- 2.14 Hiro Yuuki as Makoto Hyuga
- 2.15 Anri Katsu as Hideki Tama
- 2.16 Sayaka Ohara as Sumire Nagara
- 2.17 Miki Nagasawa as Maya Ibuki
- 2.18 Koki Uchiyama as Ryoji Kaji (Junior)
- 2.19 Motomu Kiyokawa as Kozo Fuyutsuki
- 2.20 Koichi Yamadera as Ryoji Kaji
- 2.21 Fumihiko Tachiki as Gendo Ikari
- 3 Director interviews
- 4 Music lyrcis
- 5 Other interviews
- 6 Minor translations
- 7 Notes
Intro by Hideaki Anno
What were we trying to make three times?
It has been 11 years since we started pre-production, We spent four years from the start of full-scale pre-production, spent a huge amount of production costs, and packed as much fun as possible devoted to various sensory and technical frames of an animated film.
The fun of design. The fun of movie composition. The fun of hand-drawn images and motion. The fun of 3DCG movies and motion. The fun of color. The fun of background art. The fun of photography. The fun of storyboarding. (The fun of splitting cuts)（カット割） The fun of changing cuts. （カット代わり） The fun of editing. The fun of voice acting. The fun of music and sound effects. The fun of acoustic arrangement and balance. The fun of directing to integrate these things.
In addition, the fun of adopting the sensation and technique of the special effects I was trying to do around Eva: Jo.
Also, I always searched for what was best for the work so that it would be interesting as a movie, that is, the script and story would be even a little interesting, and I've spent all my sensibilities, skills, and experience until the last minute.
As a result, this work is finished.
To all members of the audience, if you enjoy the fun, charm and comfort of animated films as entertainment even a little and are satisfied, I will be happy.
Finally, I would like to thank all the staff, cast, fans who led the work of Evangelion to completion three times, and my wife who continued to support the work and me both publicly and privately.
Megumi Ogata as Shinji Ikari
On July 6, 2019, when the video of Avant 1 was announced, Ms. Ogata participated in the Japan EXPO in Paris, France.
In Paris, I was given a great role. About three weeks before, I was suddenly asked to fly to Paris. I adjusted my schedule and managed to get there, but I was the only one on the last minute flight. Others took an early flight to prepare for the show, but I flew on a midnight flight the day before the show, arrived in Paris at 4AM early in the morning that day, and left my luggage at the hotel. It was a super-forced schedule to go to [the place where the expo was held]. At that time, I was asked, "Ms. Ogata, I'm really sorry, but would you please bring the completed video to be played simultaneously all over the world?" Even though I was the last one, I wasn't worried that I had such a big role. For example, if you fell in the bathroom, you wouldn't apologize to the entire world.
If that’s the case you’re ready to say, "There are two parts to being a manager. Please bring a spare for Ms. Ogata." As expected, I’m ready. (laughs). "I have to do this. I brought it to France” and I said that “I shouldn't run away” (in Shinji's voice). I think I apologized to the manager for the other animations, saying," I can't bear that heavy of a responsibility. "However, the production team of Evangelion knew that it would be a trial and error process until the very end, and they thought that “if Ogata loses it, that's it.”(laughs). No, I can't afford to be spoiled, but if I thought about it, I was likely to be crushed by the pressure. I've been associated with "Eva" for the last 25 years, but it wasn't difficult (laughs). For 25 years, I experienced something that I couldn't experience anywhere else, but every time I talk about [Eva], all the other animation producers turn around and say, "No way? Is that true!?" (Laughs)
––What was it like to directly see the reactions of the audience in Paris?
All the overseas fans are passionate. We were enthusiastically welcomed by everyone in Paris. However, the difficult thing is that I talk through an interpreter overseas, so there is a delay between when I talk and getting it to everyone. In Paris, there was an online broadcast, so Japanese people would understand as soon as I spoke, but since it was live in Paris, it took a long time for the reaction to come back, even while thinking ”Is this okay for a show?” I was also able to do it.
––Was that the first time you saw the video?
I could only see a little bit. The Eiffel Tower was shown a lot. Anyway, it was amazing. Rather than the content, instead, I was really relieved that [the video] was delivered safely (laughs).
––How did you feel when you first read the script?
It was a long time ago that I read the script for the first time. I mean, I wanted to read in advance the scenario in the pre-planning stage before it became a completed script. That's something I've never done before ... Suddenly in the winter of 2018, Mr. Khara contacted me saying "I would like to talk about the scenario." It was the first time I was told such a thing. Voice actors rarely participate in the scenario development stage at the animation studio. Evangelion, especially, is a work that expresses the inner world of director Anno, so in the scenario meeting, I wondered what it would be like to be called on by him. I received a preliminary scenario that said, "I want you to read it when you attend the meeting," I nervously read it, and somehow I understood. Then, when I finally attended the meeting, the first thing Anno said was “I want to hear your opinion on what to do to bring back Shinji who can’t speak any more at the end of Q”. So I asked, "Why did you ask me that in the first place!?" I don't know if it was instrumental at that time or what it meant, but he said, "Among the members of this meeting only Todoroki (Ikki) and you understand Shinji's feelings”. (laughs). So I had a little discussion with the staff about how Shinji would act.
––What did Ogata think about Shinji's comeback?
I thought that his conduct was not important and that whatever Shinji's feelings were drawn, it would work. In addition, the result of saying "If anything, this is it" has led to the depiction of some of Shinji in Part A. As an aside, after a very responsible meeting, everyone went out to eat and took a picture there. Then Anno uploaded our first “two-shot” picture I took with him the following new year's. [Two shot picture: a photograph of two people, usu. male and female] By going through that process, when I received the completed script, I knew the rough content a little earlier than everyone else in the cast.
––Did the content that you read the earlier change in the final script?
I just read it roughly, so I knew what had changed and what hadn't changed. In the first place, I didn't really see the scenario during the review stage, and I was worried that if there was a difference in the final draft after provisionally reading it, there would be a problem if it influenced my performance. I read it as if I borrowed it for a meeting, and sealed it away after that.
––How did you feel when the voice recording started?
First of all, do you have multiple scripts? I was surprised that it was the final volume. In the end, there were four parts, but at first I received two volumes, Avant and Parts A and B. The Part B is very light and I thought it was like a doujinshi (laughs). Part A and B were recorded in early 2019. At first, I recorded Part A with Kensuke (Tetsuya Iwanaga) and Asuka (Yuko Miyamura), but at a relatively early stage, as usual, by like, Take 30 we began to attack it intensely.
––Did Ms. Ogata have to do any retakes?
There weren't many Shinji lines in Part A, and there were many reaction ad-libs (expressions such as breathing) such as "ha" and "fu", so there weren’t many retakes. I sometimes got out of the booth and waited for the other actors to finish. I didn’t talk but I watched the two performances because I thought it would be difficult for them to do it. The C and D parts in the latter half have more lines in the performance, but I think that it was almost like recording by myself throughout the whole story, not with everyone. However, in the latter part, I was told that "Gendou and Shinji want to record together," and I did it with Fumihiko Tachiki. But at that time, when it was Mr. Tachiki’s turn to record, he recorded many takes over and over again, so I waited once more, and in the end, after our recording time was finished for the day, on the way home, I went to drink with Mr. Anno and all the main staff came. "I drank with my dad (in Shinji's voice)" (laughs)
––Were there any diagrams (illustrations) when you were recording alone?
What do you mean? I don’t know but...In any case, at the stage of recording the latter part, it was said that all of Shinji’s parts would be finished recording, except for the scenes that involve Gendo. After all, as I said, the interaction with Gendou was limited to the first few pages.
––Isn't Shinji so special?
I felt that this time Shinji played a major supporting role. In the final act, the conflicts of various characters are drawn abundantly and Shinji as a major supporting character in his line interjects by saying, “So how was it?”Is it a position like "another Shinji" that often appeared in the TV series? Often, when Shinji A shouted, "What the!?", Shinji B replied, "What does that mean? Do you think you're bad?" This time, only B (who asks) feels, and it is not Shinji who is expressing his thoughts but Gendou and Asuka. In that sense, after previously completing the story of Gendou and Asuka, maybe I wanted Shinji to speak with objectivity. This is just a guess.
––Wasn't it difficult to perform by yourself?
To be honest, I like to perform with people rather than acting alone. Obviously, it's best to perform live together. It's more fun to perform together than alone. It’s because [it’s something that] can only be created in the moment. As expected, I don't say the lines without listening to the previous lines, but I perform while listening to the voices recorded by everyone else in advance, but I think it's different from performing together in a scene. But, well, it's a work that has been done for as long as 25 years, and I think the first thing is to be able to do what the executive director wants to do. Since the actors are all veterans, I felt that they were talking with an awareness along the lines of "Ogata would say something like this."
Although it was recorded separately, it seems that everyone formed a LINE group and solidified their unity. I made it when a lot of actors unexpectedly came to the New Year's party hosted by Mr. Khara on New Year's Day 2019. It’s always busy at the launch of [a new] "Eva”, so the actors don't get together so much, but at that time, a lot of people gathered, so I created a LINE group as a contact network. At first, when I made it, I thought that everyone wouldn't actively send messages, but surprisingly, there were many people who reported on their activities. Even during the recording sessions, they would say, "I'm going to record today." Good luck! " Because we bought a lot of Eva LINE stamps, we used the stamps to say "Good luck" (laughs). It's a pity that the picture alone doesn't show up. There are many Eva stamps but unfortunately, there aren’t many “boy stamps”.
––How did you feel about meeting your old colleagues who took a year to live again in this world?
I already experienced the surprise that my acquaintances are getting older before I knew it in “Q”. At first, Shinji couldn't understand the current situation in "Q". Asuka has the same face, but why did she get scared so suddenly? Misato and her crew feel like they're getting older, but he doesn’t understand what they're saying. Black plugsuit Rei Ayanami helped him, but what can I say? And so on, there were only such questions. The reason he finally realized the current situation was when Kaoru showed Shinji the devastated scenery, saying, "This is what you did." After that, Shinji was extremely depressed ……….
––In the "Q" pamphlet, Ms. Ogata's thoughts at that time were spelled out.
During the second half of "Q" Shinji rushed just for the hope that he might return to his original state if only those spears were pulled out. As a result, his friend died in front of him and he lost his will to speak. In short, in "Q", Shinji was informed that the situation has drastically changed, but in Part A of "Shin", in the part where Shinji cannot speak, it took time for Shinji to be able to slowly understand and comprehend that 14 years had passed. That said, as I said earlier, I have never spoken about the scenes where Shinji is silent, and I haven't seen any pictures, so at this point, I've only imagined what it looks like by reading the script. When I recorded Part A, there were almost no images yet ... With normal dubbing, by actually listening to the exchanges in the previous scenes, the emotions of various people come out, and I myself can act after being moved by them. I didn't have that this time, and I had no choice but to fill in my emotions only from my imagination, so I'm still not sure if I'm performing properly, but I believe in the executive director who gave me the OK! (Laughs)
––How did you interpret the feeling of returning to the Wunder?
Overall, Shinji was kind of lonely or perhaps I should say I think Shinji manufactured a world inside his heart that he fell into where only he was left behind. Everyone is his friend, but they’re not the same friends, right? Although he treats everyone the same as before, from Shinji's point of view, they are no longer the same friends as he was back then. Everyone has been accumulating experiences for the past 14 years, and each has a different family or has put themselves in a new living environment. In short, everyone has grown up. So, they’re not the same as him anymore. The reality is that he is only 14 years old and can't return to the same place as everyone else, he is in the midst of despair, yet one step to living again in this world is to return to the Wunder. I think it was the choice to go back there. I think it's gradually becoming possible for him to swallow and accept the situation he was placed into.
–– How did you feel in your performance when Asuka told you that she had grown up first?
I know how Asuka feels. For example, when I met a classmate at a class reunion, I had grown 14 years older, and although I was 14 years older and had various life experiences in those 14 years, the boy I liked at that time [in junior high school] remained a junior high school student, both emotionally and physically, and was an adult. If you haven't grown up at all, you won't feel like you used to. I think the other boy is the same [as Shinji] as what I’m talking about.
––You really read the script thoroughly, didn’t you?
Rather than reading the script thoroughly, it's more like a long accumulation [of experience]. In the last scene of "2.0", I was so tired from recording the scene where Shinji saved Ayanami that I couldn't move, so I sat down on the floor of the studio. Then Anno-san jumped in and came into the studio with me. He sat down on the floor and took my hand and said, "Thank you for adding your experience to Shinji while still maintaining the heart of a 14-year-old." He said, "You managed to do it because you haven't let go of your 14-year-old heart." I was really happy [that he said that]. Then, with "Q", [Anno said,] "This time, everyone around you has grown up. What I want you to do is to show your own loneliness of being left behind with a 14-year-old heart in this film." "If you keep feeling like when you were 14 years old, you [Ogata] personally should have a sense of discomfort with others and a feeling of loneliness that only you can fall into, so please act with that in mind." In "Shin", if anything I noticed that if I was alone, then, with this, what should be done becomes an exploration on what I should do in my own way as Shinji acts. I think that is also the part that is familiar to me now. There is a stereotypical way of thinking that "adults should be like this", especially Japanese people tend to think and say that. He has a strong sense of conformity and tends to impose things like "shouldn't it be like this" and "shouldn’t be like this for members of society", and excludes other people. When I realize that "everyone around me may be different from me," I also go through the process of finding where I should be.
––It's been 25 years since you've performed that type of role where you’ve included your inner self. Miyamura, who plays Asuka, said in an interview earlier, "Ms. Ogata, thank you very much for your hard work."
Like Shinji, I think Miyamura became Asuka because it was her. Twenty-five years ago, she was still a voice actor, and although she doesn't know it, I think she performed with her body, which was the basis of Asuka. Of course, not only Miyamura, but everyone else, I think it's a rare work in which the individuality and experiences [of the performers] are projected into their roles. I wonder if we were the "chosen children" (laughs).
––Ms. Ogata, please tell us the lines that you were most impressed with this time.
I don't really think about the lines because they just come out, but the additional line that was suddenly given to me at the time of the last recording, "Goodbye, all of Evangelion" [stood out]. I was surprised by that. I was told, "Goodbye to your current feelings," and I did it several times while thinking "Um." Gradually, I didn't know if Shinji was saying it or Megumi Ogata was saying it. When I asked, "Which will you use in the end?", I was told, "I'll decide later because they’re all good", so I don't know which [take] will be included until I see the finished product (laughs).
––Looking back on 25 years, how do you feel now?
Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to have many hits in the 90's, including "Eva". Currently, in addition to "Eva", there are series from the 90's that continue to make new works such as "Cardcaptor Sakura" and "Yu Yu Hakusho", and not only animation but also apps and games are attached to them. Many collaboration products were also made. Among them, "Eva" has continued for 25 years, although there [were times when a new Eva series wasn’t being made], above all, I continued to be involved as the main character the whole time. I'm really grateful that I was able to come into contact with such a work. How many actors can have such an experience, leaving a character that can only be projected onto their own life? I really appreciate it.
––To that extent Shinji and yourself are connected?
I don't think my acting is particularly good ... I don’t think I’m suitable as an actress in terms of my personality. Previously, when I made my second animation, "Glass Mask", I played the role of the main character, Kitajima Maya. Maya is an actor who "wears a thousand masks", but I want to be an actor who "removes masks" rather than an actor who "wears a mask". If you have a thousand pieces of armor that you have worn, then peel off a thousand pieces. Everyone is acting = wearing armor and living. But it's difficult to remove it at the right time. I want to be an actor who can convey that. You can peel it off at any time. All ages and genders can be transcended. I have thought that there is no value as an actor other than being myself. Even if the people around me grow up, I can stay 14 years old... I almost backed down many times, but fortunately, I was praised in the "new movie version" for "holding on well", and for the first time I thought "I'm glad I’m an actor". Of course, I also love other works, but maybe I was able to become a voice actor to do "Evangelion"... I don't know what it is, but I think I was able to come this far because I was able to do it with a power that cannot be seen.
Knowing that it is misunderstood, "Evangelion" itself is like another life of mine. So, at the same time as it is incredible at the end, it is strange to say "somehow it does not end", but it is a complete work, and since there is a large part that links the role to myself, as long as I am alive, I feel like I will continue to live in the story of "Evangelion". Someday, when I'm asked if "I'm going to do another world beyond the final edition, but can I still be 14 years old?", I want to be able to say "I'll do it" without hesitation. I wish I could stay as an actor who can play the heart of a 14-year-old until I die.
Megumi Hayashibara as Rei Ayanami (tentative name)/Rei Ayanami/Yui Ikari
––How did you feel when you received the new script, eight years after ":3.0"?
It's been like that for a while now, but for better or worse, there have been various "Evas" between movies, and as for Rei, her flesh and blood voice hasn't been interrupted for the past eight years. There have been various collaborations such as pachinko and video games. However, these are just recreations of famous lines from the past, or the incorporation of lines from the past into current games so that people who enjoy the games can remember the past. Only "Eva," Anno's new creation, is ultimately the present, the future, and the new work. When I touch it, it has a juiciness and freshness like a freshly peeled fruit, which makes me nervous but also happy. First of all, I didn't expect another Rei [Ayanami Rei (tentative name)] to be so talkative. I've said this many times before, but when Ayanami Rei blew herself up in the TV anime series, she was over for me. I felt as if I had said goodbye to her, but then the Rei appeared again in the form of "maybe the third one," and after that, every time she appeared in one of the many Raising Projects or games, I would think that this was the fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth Rei, and I would try to make sense of her in order to make my I've been working with her, making sense of her to make it easier for me to do my job. This time, however, I was convinced that she was not just how many Rei's there were, but that she was Rei Ayanami." The soul of Rei Ayanami, whether it is black or white, is Rei. However, she's a different person, so there are some details that need to be worked out, such as how to play the black Rei and how to play the white Rei. But at the root of it all, there's something that connects them. I think it was refreshing for me to realize that this time.
––What was Ayanami Rei to you?
I don't want to give a specific significance to her, so I won't say what we discussed. But when I asked Anno why Rei was like this in a scene where she didn't have any lines, he said, "Well, I don't know..." He looked at the sky and there was a pause. When I saw his unique way of thinking, I was strangely convinced, "Oh, I see”. However, it would not be good if my answer was wrong, so I listened to what General Director Anno had to say. If I were to use an analogy, when the leaves were falling in the fall, a child asked, "Mom, why do the leaves fall in the fall?" to which the mother replied, "I wonder why". I got the impression that it was very similar to something like that. There is a reason why the leaves fall. The cells are reborn and they fall for this reason. There is a natural order to the fact that leaves fall in the fall and new leaves sprout in the spring, and when you try to explain this to children in a way that they can understand, the words disappear. In the same way, everything from the earth to the wind to the seasons is probably connected in Director Anno's mind. So if I asked him to explain this scene, he would have to scoop up the explanation from a huge number of connections. The way he said, "Hmm, I wonder why" was just like that.
––Did you ask him that during the recording?
After all my work as Ayanami Rei was finished, I said, "Good work. I'll see you later." We were chatting. For me, there are many works that I play based on my understanding of the character from the way of life and descent. For example, if it's a historical story, I would explore the historical background. Having done all that approaching in the TV anime series, I definitely have a shell of Ayanami Rei in me. So this time, I'm just trying to figure out what Anno wants to do and present it to him. It's not so much that I'm making it, but that I'm trying to get closer to what is required. We didn't know what was required of us when we were working on the TV animation series, and we all struggled with that.
––There is a conclusion to the 25 years of "Eva" as a whole, and a conclusion as "EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME", what does each of these mean to you?
I don't know if that's the answer, but I feel like all of them are just "Evangelion". It's just Evangelion, that's all. In a very simple way, if you want to say it's a parallel world, you can say that, or if you want to say it's the future or the near future, you can say that, and I think it's up to each person's interpretation. The point is that human karma and greed are created by non-humans, and battles occur all the time, whether it's religion or discrimination, and the purple object that has concentrated human karma, including these, has passed through many things (laughs). The station is inside each individual. Like the Evangelion bullet train? (laughs).
––Is it the bullet train (laughs)?
Yes, something like that. Time and space, time, the various livelihoods that people have decided on, and the Evangelion that passes through all of that. I don't know anything about Evangelion, really, but I wonder how much that lack of understanding contributes to the work. It's not that I can understand it logically, but I have a huge world of "Eva" inside of me, including the feeling, the air, Yui's thoughts, the appearance of the EVA-01 TEST TYPE, etc. I also have a lot of scenes that don't exist in the movie. It's Shinji's face as Rei sees it, the world as seen through the water, the sky as seen when it comes up from the ejection port at great speed. She's looking at the sky when she's piloting the EVA-01 TEST TYPE, but there's no emotion there. When I was playing the role, I was thinking a lot of things like, "When I see the sky, there's Angel," or "I can feel Shinji's fear," and that was more than enough for me.
––In "EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME", there is a scene in which Gendo remembers Yui very strongly. What did you think about it from Yui's point of view?
From Yui's point of view, I think she always knew that Gendo was like that. The whole time I was playing the role, I was thinking, "He's a little too cold to my son," and " You should have grown up by now." This time, what I think is that everyone should be saved. In Yui's opinion, there is no soul that cannot be saved. It's impossible if the person doesn't want to be saved, but if you really want to be saved, after you die, after you dissolve, if you have a soul, it's not because you prayed, it's not because you compared yourself to something else, or resented something else, or all the bad things that happened to you, all the painful things that happened to you, if you can accept that you lived this time, then you can be saved as an individual. Rei may have been a tool, but she doesn't think of herself as a tool, because she lives in one body, one mind.
––This time, there is a scene where Rei is involved in field work in the village.
I didn't expect her to be working in the fields (laughs). I thought that was a great point. You're kidding! That's what Megumi Hayashibara would say. It was fun for me as another Rei. The actors [elderly woman A: Ai Satou, elderly woman B: Roko Takizawa, elderly woman C: Mami Horikoshi, elderly woman D: Kyo Yaoya] are my favorite seniors who have been really helpful to me, and I was happy to be able to record with them. As soon as they walked into the studio, they said, "Hayashibara, this work is very popular, isn't it? I'm so happy for you." I've never been surrounded by such a lively group of ladies in an "Eva" studio before. During breaks, they would say, "Sorry, we're too noisy," and start chatting. But I can't tell you how much the atmosphere healed me. They were so happy to be there. This is "Eva," right? It's not a mistake, is it? It was really relaxing. I wanted to spend all my time surrounded by these ladies. "Evangelion: Agriculture Edition". I'm going to go sell agricultural tractors and learn how to drive them (laughs).
––In ":2.0", there was a line from Rei, "I feel nice and warm". Was it even more relaxing this time?
In ":2.0" we were only with the NERV and school members, so even though Rei was watching Shinji, inviting Commander Ikari to dinner, and eating lunch at the Oceanic Institute, the scenery wasn't much different from the TV anime series. But this time, I didn't expect to see a "field". The sun in "Eva" up until now has been a bit unbelievable, but the impression of the moon is rather strong, especially for Rei, who always had the moon floating in the background. I've always imagined the soil in such places as dirt that turns to gravel in your mouth and tastes like blood. But this time, when I touched it, it was moist, warm, and cold, and the sound of water was pleasant. Of course, I didn't have any of those things in the studio, and the pictures weren't finished, but I had a lot of images in my mind of working in the fields and eating food on the ground with everyone. I had actually helped my friend's parents work in the fields, so I didn't think I would be able to use that experience here (laughs).
––Do these physical feelings naturally come out in your voice? Or do you have to be conscious of the technical aspects of your work so as not to change your voice?
It's both. In some cases, it is better to add emotion, and in other cases, it is better to cut it out. In my case, I barely remember the script as text, but as scenery. So when you say the scene with the famous line, I think, "Oh, there...". But I think you can see Rei standing there with the moon, and of course I remember that, but at the same time I can feel the presence of Shinji holding his knees, the wind, and the lights of the city.
––In Eva, being "tsukareru"(tired) means being "tori-tsukareru" (possessed) by a character.
That's the difficult part. If I tried to be pure, I would get criticism, and if I tried to be less emotional, I would get criticism again. There is a part of Anno that he definitely wants. He wants the emotions to be fuller here, and he wants the characters to be younger. There's a sense of tension that I can't deviate even 0.1mm from the nuances Anno wants to achieve. There's no way to get anything but the perfect strike. It's very tiring to try to find that out.
––You must be a very reliable person for Anno.
I think that's true for everyone. That's how everyone got through "Eva". But it's not like we were able to do that from the beginning. It had to be that way because otherwise it would never end. But I don't mind the effort. It's very "tiring" (tsukareru) though. I think "tired" is closer to "possessed". It's about the characters, and about Anno's passion for his work. Sometimes it's like Gendo, sometimes like Shinji, and sometimes like Anno the director. There's also Rei in Anno. I'm possessed by it. If that were the case, I would think that the general director should just do everything himself (laughs), but that's not possible. It's quite terrifying to hear him say, "Hmm, that was really good, let's try that again." If it was so good, why don't you just let it go? What do you want if you say, "It was good, so let's try it again." Is it some kind of different nuance? Hmmm! How about it! There are times when I feel like that. And he says, "I'll take the one you did three takes ago." But sometimes I think that one is better and that's interesting.
––Despite the fact that EVANGELION: 3.0 and EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME are connected in the timeline of the films, they took 8 years to complete. How did you feel about those years in terms of achieving the best performance?
As far as I'm concerned, I don't really care much about it. Then what's the best performance? I think I should just do 120% of what I can do now and I believe that what needs to be done will come when it needs to be done. In other words, I think, " Now, eight years later, there must be a point to doing this." In the first place, the work itself is like a twisted time and space, like there is no time at all. And since we are voice actors, we only need to use our mental faculties and a little bit of our physical voice. It's not good to be too proud, but I tried not to think about the eight years.
Evangelion is coming to an end. But I'm sure there will be something that will start from where it ends for everyone.
Yuko Miyamura as Asuka Langley Shikinami
––You've performed Asuka for 25 years. Now that the recording of the concluding chapter in the series is finished, are you having thoughts about all kinds of different feelings?
Thoughts of all kinds of different feelings ... I haven't had them yet ... because there are still some parts that remain to be recorded. However, this time, from beginning to end, I had warm feelings. That's because this time, the cast members made a LINE group, and those who had finished their recordings reported, "It's over today!" in order. Since "Eva" is recorded separately, there are few opportunities to be in scenes together, so we communicated with each other. In this way, and every time someone finished, we all sent out stamps clapping "Congratulations". I'm really reserved on LINE, and I just send stamps in the [part of the conversation] where everyone is talking, but when I was mostly finished, I gently reported to everyone that it was over. I'm glad that technology has evolved dramatically since the TV series started 25 years ago, and it has become possible to [share warm feelings among the group] even when they are far away.
––What were your candid thoughts when you first received the script?
First, when the Part A [script] came in, I reread the script of " Q" and remembered "Ah, so that was it," and then read the script. I recorded Part A and the Part B together and after that, I think maybe I got the script for the C and D parts.
––Asuka appears equally from the A to the D part. What do you think about Asuka this time?
I think everyone who has seen "Eva" up until now will understand. Throughout the entire series, I’ve felt sorry for Asuka. I have been worried about this for a long time. Even though I do my best. Because I always suffer and feel sorry [for Asuka], I've been hoping for a long time that her ending would be happy. I want everyone to imagine Asuka's happiness in the future for me. Everyone, I leave Asuka’s happiness to each and every one of you!
––In any case, I think it seems that one possibility of happiness was depicted.
Because [Asuka] is like a daughter to me, [I was thinking] “Kensuke, you bastard, I didn’t realize it!” I was surprised that Asuka suddenly became close with Kensuke without any lead up to it. For example, Kensuke shoots a video of Asuka when she is facing the other direction*. In this scene [I was thinking], “what’s going on here?” I wanted to put a clever comeback in this scene (Laughs). Asuka also entered Kensuke's room and played games without permission**.
––After understanding your relation to Kensuke, did the nuance of your [young dry] voice change?
But that's not the case for Asuka. Regarding Shinji’s condition and her role in Wille, she has many problems. When Misato says "Asuka please [pilot the Eva]", she must immediately launch. "This crappy organization! I'm forced to do everything! It’s only me and Mari [who do all the work]!" (In Asuka's tone). While surely being frustrated, she also has to resign herself to not grow up as a child. By now, Asuka has no other option but to fight hard.
––You mentioned in the “Q” pamphlet that you performed "like a mercenary or a military commander".
That's right. I was fighting and thinking that I was a professional soldier. I don't know what Misato thinks or knows and at any rate, I have to obey her orders. When you are told to "protect [something]", you protect it. When you are told to "recapture [something]", you recapture it.
Every day, I was in a situation where I had no choice but to do it, and I think I was happy with the warmth of Kensuke (laughs). I've said a lot, but I was very happy when I was recording my scenes with Kensuke. The reason is that the Kensuke that I can see, who seems to have been abruptly thrust into a heavy burden, was gracious and trying very hard to support her. Mr. Iwanaga, who played the role of Kensuke, said a lot, "I'm doing my best to rescue Asuka! Can this make Asuka happy?”, so I thought, "I'm glad that Kensuke was so concerned about Asuka." However, before, when I played the heroine in another work, I also thought that I would be connected to the main character because she was the heroine, but sometimes the main character was taken by a character that appeared in the middle of the series. This time too... I thought that there weren't many roles like that in terms of cause and effect (laughs).
––How was the scene where you met Asuka's original, the former Asuka, face-to-face?
I recorded a few lines like a villain as an adult but I didn't know which one was used in the end. When it comes to Asuka's feelings, “Original” Asuka’s existence is one that I definitely do not want to get on the side of, but for Yuko Miyamura, up until now, she has been pecked by something like a bird, stabbed by a spear, or as if I turned into a messy pile of meat. Compared to being attacked (laughs), I thought it was welcome because it was a very beautiful impression.
––Both Rei and Asuka are said to have been "prepared from the beginning" by Gendo.
Still, I don't think Asuka is in control! Even so, that's not true...I tried to say that, but I don't know for sure. However, I just thought, "That’s it, that’s it, Gendo is selfish" (laughs). It's like, "What are you talking about, Gendo!? What do you know!?" This selfishness has involved the world! I wonder if I understand Gendo. It's very troublesome to other human beings. Isn’t it? Good grief. What do you think of Gendo? Isn't he extremely selfish? (shouts)
––Ms. Miyamura is still passionately shouting and Asuka has been screaming fiercely in every series.
To that extent, do I think “Asuka screaming” is “Eva”? She sure does scream. This time I shouted at Mari, not at Shinji. At the time of the recording of the screaming, the picture was not completed yet, so I imagined scenes from the stage directions and listened to the director’s explanations for the scenes and heard "It hurts" or "It's passionate" at that time I tried my best to feel it. While being told, "It doesn't hurt yet" ... At that time--this time, we weren't together and I remember Ms. Ogata's moral support. Because Shinji also had the same painful experience, there were a lot of screaming scenes (laughs), [Ogata] gave me motivation and I screamed.
––This time, I was surprised because you suddenly pulled out a sealing pillar from your left eye. How was it for you when you saw that image?
I pulled it out, didn’t I? It seems painful! There have been times when something pierced me, but I thought, "this time I’m pulling it out?" (laughs). At the time of "2.0", I knew there was a theory that I became an angel from all the fan speculations. I started dubbing after seeing everyone's speculations (laughs).
––Wasn't there any explanation from the directors?
There was an explanation from the directors before the recording, “I see” I said and understood the theory, but it is difficult because I’ve never personally had a [angel] sealing pillar or spear stabbed [in my eye] (laughs). But when an actor says "I can't do [something] because I've never done it", it's over. So, I used all of my imagination and I pretended to stab my body. I understand that it corresponds to pain when I pull [the sealing pillar] out. I imagine that it's like peeling off flesh while you’re doing it. Anno and Tsurumaki had detailed criticisms and asked me for more realism. "It feels like something really hot is coming out." Humans usually feel the heat at about 43°C in the bath (laughs), and that's not enough, so imagine how hot it is. But even though I asked "How [hot] was it?" I don't remember. In my performance, I'm 100% desperate and I can't hold on to [these feelings] and live my daily life. So when the recording was finished and I left the studio, I tried to forget everything.
––Don’t you worry about damaging your throat? Do you perform in a somewhat controlled way?
That won’t happen because my schedule for "Eva" is open (laughs). In the case of "Eva", I am fully prepared to push myself to the limit so the scheduling and health care are perfect. Moreover, I exerted myself this time as well and [my voice] was completely flawless. Apart from that, I might be talking the whole time. When I shouted, "Yes, OK, now the next cut," I said to myself, "Even if you do your best as Asuka, you won't be rewarded next time!" Even if Asuka does her best by saying, “I'll do something about it!”, I'll fall into a trap next time, won’t I?" That's Yuko Miyamura’s “meta-speech”, but when I do Asuka, I become Asuka and perform as Asuka, but if I don't put in a comeback line like that, I will feel bad about Asuka’s loneliness.
––You say you used to like Shinji. What was that exchange like?
Unfortunately, I haven't interacted with Ms. Ogata. Ms. Ogata said that she would after recording. In the part before Part A, Shinji was still like an invalid no matter what he did. When he realized that 14 years have passed and such a thing happened to Kaworu in front of him, I think I felt sorry for Shinji because he’s depressed and there’s nothing he can do. The only thing Asuka can say is “Do the best you can." Asuka is doing her personal best, so she can tell other people to do their best. That's why I wanted Shinji to wake up and say, "I'll do my best," but I guess she felt like she couldn't reach Shinji no matter what she said. Asuka's effort is not rewarded. [When Asuka says,] “You are too mentally weak,” she blames Shinji. When I performed this line of Asuka’s, I really almost cried. In the 14 years of effort Asuka has accumulated, by saying this, I didn’t expect Shinji to do anything about it but she was unable to say what she wanted. But, in this way, thanks to saying what she wanted, I have a feeling that Asuka was able to progress.
––For Ms. Miyamura, Asuka’s peak is in Part A
I didn't precisely say what I clearly liked there and I guess I went ahead and said it at the end. In Part A, I didn't say "I liked you," but I felt like I had already made a stride in my feelings for Shinji.
––In performing Asuka for the first time in 8 years with various things coming to an end, did you feel a weight off of your shoulders as an actress?
Yes, I feel like a weight off of my shoulders has been lifted. Executive director Anno said, "I'm glad Asuka was Miyamura" when my screen time was over. In fact, not only me, but the cast, staff, and everyone involved was good. So the executive director faced this work with thanks by saying to everyone, "I'm glad you were in this cast" and "I'm glad you were on this staff." I think so too. It’s because everyone is like a war buddy who have been together for 25 years and avoided the verge of death. I think I said to all members, “Good work. Well done, everyone!” Above all, I personally want to say that to Ms. Ogata. Ms. Ogata, that was really good work! I definitely want to participate if there is a cast party. Now that I'm back in Japan, I want to go to the cast party.
––Finally, the way Asuka says "Baka Shinji". How did you come up with this?
This was also a storyboard shot, so I think I was shown a picture of Asuka's appearance at that time and performed it with that impression. That "Baka Shinji" is a love letter to the people who have supported Shinji x Asuka!
––Lastly, what is happiness for Yuko Miyamura?
Happiness? I want someone to tell me too (laughs). It's difficult. Hmmm. But conversely, I would like to ask you something. Each character went in their own direction, and on the other hand, I think the audience may sense it too. "Was your happiness inside this [work]?"
Maaya Sakamoto as Mari Illustrious Makinami
—What did you think when you heard about EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME after 8 years?
I thought it had finally come (laughs). But in the meantime, I've been playing Mari's lines many times a year on pachinko slot machines, so I didn't feel like eight years had passed.
—" In :3.0+1.0" she played a big role from cold open1. I was also surprised to hear Mari's humming from the background of each company's logo.
When I recorded the humming, I had no idea that it would be used in that way. Anno gave me the two songs from the Showa era, and on the day of recording, he just ordered me to sing them happily, so I followed his instructions. I thought that one of the songs would be used in between the lines, but it turned out that both songs would be used in full size. Later, during the additional recording of parts A and B, they showed us Avant1, which was to be released prior to the film, and the logos of the companies that appeared at the beginning were covered with my humming, so I turned pale wondering what the audience would think when they saw it (laughs). Thankfully, I was relieved to hear positive comments from many people, such as "I saw it" and "You played a very significant role."
—Beginning with your humming, you were all over the place in Avant1.
In the beginning, I only received the script for parts A and B, and I didn't know what would happen in the second half, so I just had to do what I had to do. At this point, I thought that this would be Mali's mountainous point in "3.0+1.0", and played the role as best I could. Looking back on it now, I think the directors may have made a fine calculation to make Mari the main character so that the audience could enjoy the feeling of the unknown because if the familiar characters from the TV series were active in Avant1, it would have given away too many hints about what was to come.
—As a result, she plays a very important role in the whole story, and it seems that Mari is also a very important person in the whole "Eva" world.
It was a heavy burden for me, wondering if the fans would scold me for having such a newcomer hold hands with Shinji at the end (laughs). However, there have been many ways to portray "Eva" in the past, and if you can think of this as one of the possible endings, I'll be saved.
—I'm also curious why you call him "Gendo-kun" with a "kun".
We now know that she must have been connected to Gendo and the others for a long time. However, no matter what circumstances she was living under, Mari is fundamentally an optimist and does not worry too much. She may have her own worries, but she's not the type to show them, and she always seems to be having fun. I think that's what makes her such a contrast to Shinji and the other characters. She has no two faces, so I tried to play the role with as few complex nuances as possible. No matter how desperate the scene may seem, Mari believes that things are going in the right direction, and she is happy, which is the nuance of joy I tried to convey in my voice. I tried to keep her voice positive and not too sorrowful. At the climax of the film, I tried to convey in my voice my strong desire to come and find Shinji no matter what.
―I heard that the staff had been discussing what kind of character Mari would be from the time she appeared in ":2.0".
The main story is about Shinji, Rei, Asuka, and the others, and I used to think that Mari was just a cheerful character who would be a spice to the story. In fact, she wasn't really the focus of ":3.0", and I was aware that that was the way it was going to be, but I didn't expect to be given such an important role at the very end. I don't know if he intended it to be this way from the beginning or if he went towards this place while making it. When Mari appeared in ":2.0" for the first time, Anno explained her role to me, but he said, "Tsurumaki is more interested in the portrayal of Mari, so I'll leave it to Tsurumaki," so I assumed that Anno didn't have any feelings for Mari. So I was a little curious as to why she was given such an important role (laughs).
Neutral tone, neither male nor female, neither older nor younger.
—Did you have a wide range of demands during the recording process?
For example, this time, the line "Let's go next!" He asked me to act like Chou-san of the Drifters (Chosuke Ikariya of the Drifters). I could understand the nuance of the line, but I wasn't sure if I could act it out. I was worried because I couldn't prepare in advance, but I gave it my best shot. After five or six takes, I was told, "You've already done a good job so far, so let's do it one last time," so I did something completely different. Then I was told, "The last one was the best because it was the most like Chou-san" (lol). I often get orders like this. In the scene where I was shooting the gun, I improvised a phrase saying in desperation, "Meow meow meow," and they liked it. No matter how crazy the order is (laughs), don't worry about "What?", I just accept it and challenge myself positively, and sometimes something unexpected comes out of me.
I feel as if I'm being trained by a demon instructor at the "Eva" post-recording site (laughs).
—That's a tough way to respond.
It's fun. Becoming what is required is the real pleasure of being an actor. Besides, Anno never denies, "The play you just did is not what I want." He would say, "That one is good, that one was good too," only to not give me the OK (laughs). "One more time." "Let's try it again." He patiently waits for something to come out. He really understands how actors feel, because if he says, "No," they get stuck, but if he says, "Good, one more time," they get motivated. Basically, actors want to be dyed in your hue (laughs).
—How did you feel when you voiced Evangelion Unit 02 Beast Form 2nd Phase in :2.0?
I remember I was told, "Make it look like a beast." Even though it was processed, it was quite difficult. I had to use a very low voice and bark like a beast, so my throat was crushed in no time. I had to use a very low voice and bark like a beast, so my throat gets hoarse in a flash. I've never played such a role before, but I've learned to take the chance and do things out of the blue, without any preparation beforehand, and thanks to that experience, I feel like I'm not afraid of any situation. In ":3.0+1.0", I'll be playing the role of Unit 8, so it's going to be even harder than before. (The interview took place before the recording of the EVA voice)
―Is there anything that you pay attention to in order to create a sense of dynamic and scale in Mari?
Mari is a very energetic person, so if I relax even a little, people say, "You've lost your energy." So I keep putting a lot of effort into it. It seems that if my voice is too high or too low, it doesn't sound like Mari, and I often have to re-record my voice because of the range problem: "The current one is too high," or "The current one is a little low and people might be afraid." Through such a process, I think we were able to set a tone that was typical of Mari.
―What do you feel is the tone that is typical of Mari?
Neutrality, I guess. She looks like a girl, but inside she's like an old man from the Showa era, not old, not a child, masculine and feminine, with no excesses or deficiencies. She is neither male nor female, neither older nor younger, but in a neutral state that I thought was Mari.
―Was there a scene that was difficult for you?
The conversation with Fuyutsuki. It was my first time talking with Fuyutsuki, and he was talking about something difficult. I read the script and searched for the words I didn't understand, but on the day of the performance, I pretended to know what I was doing. I was a little surprised that I got the OK after just one try.
―What do you think of Mari's obsession with "smell" in relation to Shinji?
"You smell good" is a memorable line from Mari's first appearance in ":2.0". I think it was a memorable scene for the audience as well since it is always included in pachinko-type slot machines. At the end of this episode, there is another line about the smell that seems to be foreshadowing, and I really like it. I thought it was nice that they spent a long time coming back to the ‘smell’. I feel that Mari just really likes people. She likes Shinji, but I think Asuka is special to Mari. Even though Asuka treats her coldly, Mari always calls her "Princess" and respects and protects her as a special person. In addition to the battles, they have together, the scene where she cuts her hair is very quiet and calm, and it has a nice sentimentality to it. I thought the contrast between the two was well-drawn. For the scene with Asuka, it was great to be able to record her voice with Yuko Miyamura.
―Did you have a chance to communicate with the other cast members?
I think the voice actors who have experienced the TV anime series have the feeling that they have been working together with each other every week. However, in "Rebuild of Evangelion", most of the scenes were recorded separately, so there were not many opportunities for us to interact with other people. This time, too, I didn't see anyone except for Miyamura, and I had to do the post-recording almost alone, thinking only about Mari.
However, at the Khara New Year's party, there was a large gathering of all the main cast members, and we created a LINE group on the spot. Everyone was tweeting all the time, so we were able to communicate with each other. For example, Megumi Ogata reported to us, "I've been to Paris," or "I've finished my recording," or "I'm just about to start," and so on.
When Avant1 was released, we all shared our thoughts on it. Even though we didn't record it together, it gave us a sense of closeness, as if we were having a regular conversation. I was so excited that everyone was using the "Eva" LINE stamp, and I thought, "A real Eva is using a real stamp!" (laughs).
―Finally, please tell us your impressions of "Evangelion" after 25 years of existence.
When I watch the story from Mari's point of view, I feel that all the characters are lovable. This time, I was especially relieved to see that Gendo seemed to have resolved his suffering neatly. I'm sure that the ending will make everyone feel that all the characters were lovable. I think that each person who has seen "Eva" over a long period of time has projected various thoughts and feelings onto it, so even if this is not necessarily the only correct answer, it may be the happiest ending that we can think of at the moment. At the same time, I feel that even after all this, there is still a lot of space left for us to think and enjoy. Perhaps that is the best part of the concluding episode.
It's been a quarter of a century since the TV anime series, and for some people, "Rebuild of Evangelion" may be the first "Evangelion" they've seen.
For those people, it will be interesting to go back and watch the past works.
I was lucky enough to be there at the moment when a legendary work ended in a good way that threw something new at us.
Mitsuishi Kotono as Misato Katsuragi
Translation: Nuclear Lunchbox
––Misato really plays a big part in this final film, doesn't she.
Misato was so cold to Shinji in Q, but I really do think she was on his side until the very end.
––It was eight years from the release of Q to the release of Shin. How did that time go for you?
I worked on a handful of Evangelion crossovers during the past eight years, so I was never too far from Misato. I wasn't ever away from her for too long! Though of course, I'm only really playing Katsuragi Misato when Anno is directing me for his films. It's very different from voicing her in a crossover, where the part feels so limited.
––What went through your head when you read the script for the first time?
The first material I got was for Avant, part A, and part B. I thought "Well, I guess the whole script isn't finished yet. Again." [Laughs] All I could really do was speculate, so I'd have to say what went through my head was, "Wow, I wonder what's going to happen".
––The first part of Avant was released July 2019 in Paris, right?
Yeah, with the Eiffel Tower in it. I got a message from Ogata saying she was getting rushed out to Paris. I was thinking about how rough that had to be for her, and then before I knew it I'd missed the broadcast window and the event was over. I was feeling disappointed until Miyamura said to me, "You can watch it here!" and sent me a link, so it was thanks to them I was able to catch it. Misato only gets a handful of off-screen dialogue, no screen time. I guess she's technically in charge of the operation, but Ritsuko's the one who gets all the attention! [Laughs] Though watching the entire sequence, I was absolutely blown away. After Avant came out, I was thinking about what I'd seen just like everyone else in the crowd. Speaking personally, Maya's really the most important character, isn't she? [Laughs] I've felt this way since the TV series, but when it comes to the world of Evangelion, sometimes you're watching while understanding less than half of what you're seeing. (Don't tell anyone, but sometimes I'm only pretending I understand what's happening.)
––This film shines a little light on what happened to Misato after the events of Ha, the second film. How do you feel about Misato having a son?
When we were recording the lines for Q, I actually asked about what happened to Misato after Ha, but nobody would tell me. I decided that Misato had been through something truly horrible, and read her lines as if everything were Shinji's fault. I remember thinking if I laid it on a bit thick, someone would step in and tell me, "No, you don't have to go at it that hard", and then I would read the lines with a bit less raw emotion. But I guess that didn't turn out to be the reason.
––The real reason ends up being even more powerful, doesn't it.
She's doing everything for the sake of a new world, right? She leaves everything to Ritsuko. After we finished dubbing the film, Anno came to me and said, "I'm so happy you were the one to voice Misato. When she says that line, 'This is the only thing I can do as a mother', we couldn't have done that when we started making Evangelion. In the same way, I was only able to make this film after all this time, I think it was a line that you were only able to say after all this time too." And you know, I think he was exactly right. We've been doing this for so long, we've gathered years and years of lived experiences, and I think it's those experiences we were able to pour into our characters.
––What was it like to read that line?
When we had to deliver particularly weighty lines, or in scenes where characters were furiously arguing with one another, Anno would block things so a character would have their back to the camera, or just so their face wouldn't be seen. That way we wouldn't have to worry about matching to a character's mouth movements and could focus on our acting. He actually did that for that scene, I think. It's a technique taken from theater actors, creating that sort of environment for us. I saved the lines I needed to read as a mother for last because up until that moment I was the Captain of the Wunder, I was the carrier of the dying wishes of my fallen crew, I was doing what I believed was right. I could do everything I did because it was for Ryouji, for my son. And then I apologized that I couldn't do anything for him as his mother, and wished for his happiness from the bottom of my heart.
––As the captain of the Wunder, Misato pushes down her emotions and the bright, bubbly parts of her personality fade away. Do you think you were able to make that change feel natural to the audience?
I think I did, and I think I had to! Misato's been working so hard for the ten-plus years that have passed, so hard that those parts of her personality got buried. And when she entrusts everything to the people who will come after her, I think that's connected to when Misato's father entrusted everything to her when she was younger, passing on the torch.
––Is Misato also carrying Kaji's burdens, now that he's no longer with her?
I think she knows there's no turning back anymore.
––What do you think about the level of impact and gravitas these films have come to have?
It really is an incredible film, isn't it? We never doubted that people were going to get immersed in these movies. Animated films like this don't really get made anymore, so speaking as an actor, I'm incredibly happy I was involved with these. Ever since the days of the TV series, Evangelion was a property that people were always nervous would flop for one reason or another, but that's what happens when you have such a unique show on your hands. Of course, the directors and staff would be worried about the success of what they'd poured their blood, sweat, and tears into! But with the different strengths of every person working on the show, there was no A.T. Field we couldn't break through. When the TV series started airing, I hadn't taken many guardian-like roles like Misato. I put everything I had into the part, pushing the limits of my acting to find Misato's character, but it sometimes felt like anybody could replace me and it wouldn't make a difference. Eventually, I realized, "I'm pretty close to how old Misato actually is, why the heck I trying to fake my way there?" and started having a lot more fun with the role. I had a great time working on this film, too!
––Now that you're a mother yourself, is it easier to act the "mother" aspect of Misato?
[Laughs] I felt like, "There go my excuses!" It felt like having to work on my greatest weakness. And it definitely is my greatest weakness. I'm stuck here until that kid grows up.
––You said earlier you feel Misato was on Shinji's side until the very end. She was also his guardian until the end too, wasn't she.
She may have been cold towards Shinji, but I think she must have trusted him deeply. That's what I think was going on in that final scene. I don't think that trust was misplaced, either: Shinji's really grown into an adult, maybe not on the outside but definitely on the inside. After he falls down into the village and meets all the people living there, I think she thinks, "I'm so happy he's grown-up". Shinji actually is lucky, isn't he? As a parent, all you can really do for your kids is give them food, clothing, and shelter. If you dictate "This is how you should live your life" or "This is what you need to learn", of course your kid is going to rebel and head down the wrong path. If you let your child develop on their own, if you're reaching out to them and helping lift them up, I think that's less parenting and more treating them as another adult. Shinji really had wonderful people like that around him, so I thought to myself, "You lucky boy!" He may not have always had a smile on his face, but the people around him didn't have an ounce of malice in their bones. "He really is lucky", I thought.
––So really, Misato is interacting with Shinji like he's an adult.
Deciding to finish life on her own terms, bearing the weight of her decisions, sending him off with a smile and a "Take care", I really don't think I'd be able to do that. I admire Katsuragi Misato tremendously. When she uses her body to shield Shinji from the bullets people are shooting at him, I thought "Not in the back again!" [Laughs] She got shot in the back in End of Evangelion as well, and I thought, "Is this a callback?!" She sacrificed herself in that film to get Shinji where he needed to be too! The role of Misato is a part of me. When that part of me dies, I feel a sense of thankfulness, but also like I'm taking a part of my heart and locking it away. It takes a lot of strength to come back to a role you thought was over. I'm remembering how I felt when I came back as Misato for Jo, the first film.
––We heard you cried a little when you were reading through the full script.
I started crying as I was getting ready for Misato's final scene, which I have a bad habit of doing! When we were recording, I started crying so hard we couldn't keep going. I read and re-read the lines over and over again at my home, and I kept crying every time, so eventually, I just had to steel myself and deal with it at the studio. [Laughs] I felt like if I concentrated really hard, maybe I would be okay. I tried it with video playback, I tried it with no video and just speaking into space, I asked people to try anything they could think of. Yuriko (Yamaguchi) was in the room, and I was so happy when she teared up and said, "These are some good lines." Yuriko's a mom too, so I think she could empathize with how Misato was feeling as a mother.
––So the two of you together were able to put real "mother-ness" into the scene?
Feeling like something resonates with you because you're a mother is one thing, getting hung up because you have kids is another. The best I can say to that is, "I wonder..."
––Yamaguchi Yuriko was wondering if you felt the two of you made a good pair together.
Yeah, of course! Yuriko and I are always together when we're recording our lines, so it's always a great time. Sometimes you get a little down when you're on your own, but when you're with someone else, you can be like, "This bit is like this, right?" "Yeah, like that." That's how it feels. [Laughs] You can help one another get through the sections you're not sure about. And you know, Misato is also supported by Ritsuko in the same way in the movies.
––Actually, Yamaguchi said the exact same thing.
Excellent, it would be a problem if our stories didn't match up. [Laughs] Even when we're not in the same place, I feel like "Wooww!" I'm happy we thought the same things. She'll always be honest with you, and she's just a really good person. When it comes to acting, she has a guiding "I wanna do it like this!" attitude. Yuriko has such a natural charm when she's playing a super-STEM woman like Ritsuko.
––Anything else you'd like to say to the people reading the theatrical pamphlet?
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you all for coming on this journey with us. Thank you so, so much. I've tried to deliver that tiny Spear of Gaius from Misato to all the Shinjis of the world. When you watch these movies, I want you to find what makes them significant to you. I hope they'll stay important to you, as you keep watching other films. This is probably the conclusion of Evangelion, but the name of the film does have that little repeat mark in there, doesn't it. [Laughs]
Yuriko Yamaguchi as Ritsuko Akagi
Miriya Ise as Midori Kitakami
Miyuki Sawashiro as Sakura Suzuhara
Tomakazu Seki as Toji Suzuhara
Tetsuya Iwanaga as Kensuke Aida
––Even though a lot of unexpected things came out [in the movie], I was surprised by Asuka’s relationship with Kensuke.
Kensuke's been this friend she's never quite been able to get rid of ever since middle school. At the beginning I thought he was helping her out of friendship, though Miyamura Yuko said the two of them were suspiciously close, since Asuka calls him "Ken-ken". I thought to myself, "Huh, she might be right," and now I'm pretty sure she's on the money. [Laughs] Shinji's still fourteen both inside and out, and I don't think he could have helped Asuka, a girl fourteen on the outside but twenty-eight on the inside. Kensuke's twenty-eight on the outside and on the inside, so wouldn't he be the person who could do it? In the group for all the EVA voice actors on the LINE messaging app, Miyamura Yuko posted, "If Kensuke's the one who can be there for her, then please be there her." I was happy she didn't say, "Wait, Asuka's going to end up with Kensuke?!" I wonder if the fans are going to feel the same, "I'm glad Kensuke could be there for her". I'm looking forward to the premiere.
I think the fans think that Asuka has to be rescued. In regards to the meaning of rescuing, Asuka’s finger puppet was very symbolic. I think it’s almost certainly something that’s irreplaceable for Asuka. Because it’s an important prop, in the scene where Kensuke is wearing a certain puppet costume says, “Asuka is Asuka, that’s enough.” I interpreted it as Kensuke was the prop that rescued Asuka because he was inside [the puppet costume].
There’s a lot of good scenes with Asuka. Asuka is a character in Eva who hasn’t been rescued.
Junko Iwao as Hikari Suzuhara
Akira Ishida as Kaworu Nagisa
Translation: 4chan user "Luuki" (translation posted on EvaGeeks by Mr. Tines)
––What were your initial thoughts when you first read the script?
"You did well to finally make it this far, Shinji-kun" and "Thank you for your hard work all this time, Kaworu".
––Were there any especially strong memories you had recording for Eva since your first appearance in episode 24 of the TV series up to now?
Doing voice work for Q was the most impactful for me. I would have to record scenes over and over until I was sweating and shivering before takes were OK'd. Having Ogata-san there with me in the studio really saved me mentally.
––Was it hard to play such a mysterious character like Kaworu? You had to say a lot of complex/abstract things.
I could never quite get used to having to say such profound lines all the time, so it's not as if I can say that was something I had no trouble with at all. But when I was given lines I couldn't understand the meaning to, I would ask (the staff) what they meant. I wasn't left in the dark to figure out his character by myself.
––Kaworu has remained an extremely popular character since his initial appearance in episode 24 of the TV Series, and he has had many fans throughout the generations. Why do you think that is?
It really is a puzzling thing, I'm not sure why myself. Because he leaves such a lasting impression as a character, perhaps? Or maybe a more simple reason is it's because he's a handsome young man.
Though if I think about it a bit more seriously, it's because from the audience's perspective, he is straightforward and kind. He plays an affirming role in Shinji's life, so I think that's why so many people took a liking to him.
––How do you personally interpret the new information we learn about Kaworu in Shin?
There's not much in the way of interpretation I can add here. Though I was pleased with the skillful way the name "Nagisa" was explained in the movie. I always thought the Nagisa in his name was linked to the subtitle of episode 24 in the TV series, "The Final Messenger". To think from the very beginning there was always another nuance to his name...I find it amazing they waited to reveal this information from us all this time up to now.
––With Shin concluding this 4-part Rebuild series, what are your final thoughts on the story in its entirety?
I don't think there's anyone out there that denies we live our lives by steadily and naturally growing. In the first place, it's because we hardly realize we're changing bit by bit that we're able to live such peaceful lives. Though I personally can very much relate to those who have doubts about the rightness in the decisions they make and having immediate negative reactions to any spontaneous changes that might occur in their lives.
At the very least, it made me aware I'm an ultraconservative person.
Takehito Koyasu as Shigeru Aoba
Hiro Yuuki as Makoto Hyuga
Anri Katsu as Hideki Tama
Sayaka Ohara as Sumire Nagara
Miki Nagasawa as Maya Ibuki
Koki Uchiyama as Ryoji Kaji (Junior)
Motomu Kiyokawa as Kozo Fuyutsuki
Translation: 4chan user "Luuki"
(translation posted on EvaGeeks by Mr. Tines)
––What were your initial thoughts when you first read the script?
After the previous movie, I was curious where the story would go from here. When I read Shin's script I thought each and every character's feelings came together and concluded in a very beautiful way.
––With Shin concluding this 4-part Rebuild series, what are your final thoughts on the story in its entirety?
I feel the story overall is a tremendously strong depiction of how humans live their lives; how they conflict, love, and rationalize with one another. I think the story's conclusion sends a message of kindness and hope to the next generation, so you could say the ending is its own beginning in that regard.
––How do you approach voicing Fuyutsuki as a character? For instance, how did you make out Fuyutsuki's feelings about taking Gendo's side during the scene where Nerv and Wille battle?
I have always voiced Fuyutsuki as a man of strong conviction with consideration, especially towards Gendo. In the midst of all the action going on, Fuyutsuki is already thinking ahead on how to proceed with his plans. I voiced my lines to give off a bit of that impression. Since Fuyutsuki acts of his own will and personal feelings, I record his dialogue with a strong sense of calmness.
––Is there anything else you had to pay attention to when voice acting?
In the time the story took to complete I aged quite a few years so I think it made voicing the character more difficult for me. But I feel it's precisely because Shin is the culmination of all those years that my emotional investment in playing the role of Fuyutsuki grew as strong as it did.
––You have voiced Fuyutsuki for over 25 years now, do you have any final thoughts on his character you'd like to share with us?
Kiyokawa: I'm thankful I got to keep playing the role these past 25 years since the TV Series. It's entirely thanks to all the staff and fans who kept supporting the franchise all this time. I myself have a strong attachment to Eva, it's an important work to me - so I'm a little sad to see it ending. That's why I put all my feelings up to now into voicing the role one last time. I hope Eva continues to live on in everyone's hearts.
Please enjoy watching the film, everyone.
Koichi Yamadera as Ryoji Kaji
––Kaji doesn’t appear in “Q. Did you hear that he had screen time in “Shin”?
When I originally found out that Kaji didn’t appear in “Q”, I was prepared to never reprise my role again. I heard that in “Q,” 14 years of time in the story were missing, so, for example, I wondered if I would also appear in a flashback scene afterwards. So I’m happy that I was able to appear this time. However, I couldn’t completely predict in what way it would be approached. Just to be sure, when I rewatched “Q”, I didn't know what happened because the story of Kaji's involvement with Wille wasn't told in so much detail. I thought he probably died.
––What kind of feeling did you have when the script of “Shin” was delivered to you?
From what I remember, I received Part A and Part B first. I thought to myself, “Part A came out! there’s a young Kaji”. (laughs) In Part B, there was a flashback scene just as I expected and there were only a few words in my line. However, when I read Part A and Part B, I knew what I wanted to do as Kaji. He was on a very important mission, acted to accomplish his ideals, and entrusted the organization to Misato. I read it and thought, "Oh!" After a considerable amount of time, the D-part came but it was only an excerpt of my parts on a few pieces of paper. Without warning, a conversation with Kaoru was written, but Kaji has never even met Kaoru in the TV series. In spite of not even knowing what the kind of relationship they had, I was amazed because suddenly, I'm calling him "Commander Nagisa"
––This is also a mysterious part of "Eva," isn't it?
There are various religious words, and it's a difficult story about how humanity and the earth will change but the whole time when I think through it, "Eva" is about "living life," "people and relationships," "isolation," "parents and their children," etc. Deep universal themes are depicted, aren’t they? I thought that these are exactly the themes in “Shin” as well. In particular, I was moved by Gendo's last line, and began to feel like "Ohhhh, there are some things I don't have to understand." No matter how much I'm not able to understand the mysteries presented in the script of "Eva," in the end, I was able to be convinced and said to myself, "Ah, that's right." and that's something that's deeply moving. This time, there were a lot of parts where the characters were expressing their own thoughts, so I thought, "I wonder if it's more about investigating how human beings fundamentally live." Kaji also makes mysterious remarks to Commander Ikari and gives the impression, "what does this imply?" but what he says to Misato and Shinji are nothing like this. It was very human, just like how we usually think.
Kaji has a lot of expressions involving life advice as well as something along the lines of a famous collection of walking quotes too. Up until now, I have continued to perform many of Kaji's lines from the TV show in various places and I’ve been made to quote them. But you definitely didn’t hear that from me! (laughs)
––What do you think of Kaji’s humanity?
I've always thought, as a person, he's a really charming man, including the part where he cracks jokes wrapped in cheap flattery. He's easy-going but will say important things. He knows what to say and who to say it to. Mainly, to Misato and Shinji. While keeping a lot of secrets, he has a relatable point of view to the people who see him and he captivates adults with a familiar presence. He was a wonderful person. That's why, except for difficult words, I didn't really think to myself, "Why am I saying this?"
––Where do you place Kaji in relation to your career?
When I started doing the TV series, I was already at a reasonable age, and I performed [the role of Kaji] after gaining a lot of experience as an ordinary guy, so it was very rewarding. There are many people who have recognized me as "Ryoji Kaji of Eva," since it is a series that has become a social phenomenon. When asked, "What is your most representative role?" I always want to say that it’s this role. However, I wonder what people who haven't watched the TV series and started watching the series from the "new theatrical edition" think of Kaji. I was especially surprised to learn there was a young Kaji and said, "No way!" Kaji used to drink with Misato in "Ha" so it wouldn't be unusual that it happened.
––"Shin" is also the first time in the series in which Kaji and Misato have children.
I was happy with that. However, it’s a strange feeling. Suddenly, everyone's talking about the past that I didn't know. "Was that me?" (laughs) It was an interesting experience to know what Kaji did later, like how Kaji was one of the people on the inside who heralded the Anti-Nerv [movement], stood up to them [Nerv], and how he had a reassuring comrade like Takao. Since his name is on the crew plate inside the Wunder and Misato is the ship's captain, Kaji also was a leader in some way. I would really like to do a spinoff about this missing part in [Kaji’s story]. After all, Misato fell in love with Kaji and she named her child after him but I only have a vague impression from the scenes where Kaji isn't shown. I said, ”Really, that's it? If you really have such strong feelings for him then show him!" (laughs)
––How did you feel during the recording process?
I don’t take a logical approach to “Eva.” In what kind of world this is, I'm thinking that maybe it's good to go beyond reason in regards to the relationships between this person or that person. Since I understand the meaning of the sentences written in the script, I naturally come up with my own image, but without being bound by it, I leave it to the directors. It's a work where there are a lot [of parts] that I'm not able to understand in my head so I don't think it's necessary to perform very detailed and profound things in a logical way. It can be said that each viewer has their own experience of something that’s been completed in this way. Perhaps, this might be the only work that I've done that produces so many varied interpretations.
––I heard there were numerous takes but about how many takes did you record?
In my case, I didn't record that much. If I was bombarded with "No, No, No, no," we might be able to have a deeper discussion but to my surprise, I was given the "OK" right away. That’s why it’s a game that happens in an instant. [He’s referring to the recording process]. I might not understand something deeply but I try to do it in my own way first. So when I hear the OK, I think, "Is my interpretation correct?" Even if the staff for this movie is a little different, they won't compromise.
––For example, what kind of feelings did you put into your lines such as "Good luck, Katsuragi [in the Third Impact flashback scene]"?
I think I recorded a few different ways of saying it in spite of the short lines, but it's surprisingly better not to put too much emotion into these lines. So I didn't say it with a lot of gravitas from the get-go. Even if I originally have a lot of feelings in my heart, to say something without hesitation is Kaji. However, since there were only a few words about how Kaji was prepared to die, my thought was to also put in a little nuance in how I did it. Even so, I thought it would be cooler to say my lines deliberately without hesitation. There was a line from Misato saying, "I really wanted to remain [with Kaji] too," so while saying "Good luck" I thought he was worried because he didn't know what would happen to her. However, in a battle that wagers the life of all humanity, it's also a story that goes beyond the life of an individual. I wonder if the soul is eternal...I can imagine these kinds of things in Kaji's final moments.
––How do you feel about welcoming the completion of "Eva" which has continued for the past 25 years?
Even now, I'm still excited to watch the first TV series and I'm still able to interpret it from many perspectives. This time, with the release of this new four-part work, it's amazing that I can reminisce for one more time on "what happened in the past" and "how the previous movie versions were." I think after this, I'm sure I will also try to continue to understand the mysteries presented in “Eva” over the course of my life.
Fumihiko Tachiki as Gendo Ikari
Translation: 4chan user "Luuki" (translation posted on EvaGeeks by Mr. Tines) ––What were your initial thoughts when you first read the script?
When I first read it I was really shocked, even more than I was with Q.
Even from the very first scene, Shin felt completely different to me compared to the story up until now. When I was given the script, I had to go over my lines while watching the unfinished visuals from the VTR, so they sped me through Part A of the film. Yet no matter how many times I thought it over in my head, I just couldn't understand it. Despite being a movie in the Rebuild series, Shin feels so foreign from the prior three films - it really took me aback. Of course, it's a clear continuation of the story. But as someone who has been part of this franchise since the TV series, it just didn't feel like "Eva" to me… In a sense, I guess you can say it's a work that betrays the fans in a good way.
––What was it like working on this film as a voice actor?
In order to properly perform the role, I had to mentally prepare myself to “become the character” as they are within the story. I feel like Eva is the one and only work where I’ve had to really do that as a voice actor. It’s not enough to merely just voice the character, I had to completely immerse myself into the story and the role - that’s what made working on Eva so unique.
––How did it feel to perform in the recording studio?
My first recording sessions were just doing dialogue with Fuyutsuki. Since I was recording with someone older like Fuyutsuki’s seiyuu, I felt like I could relax a bit more. It’s probably thanks to that I could see in what direction to take my performance from then on. Gendo’s scenes here were just part of the prologue, after all.
––And then, Gendo gets a much larger part in the second half of the film.
I was told in advance his role here would be a culmination of everything from the TV series up to now; that I’d be voicing lines totally unlike anything he’s said before. I knew I had to draw out that culmination as his voice actor, if I didn’t lay Gendo’s heart out completely bare for the audience it wouldn’t be believable. But when I actually read this part of the script for myself, I was surprised. This is the scene where Shinji finally talks with Gendo, who has remained a static character up to this point. I thought they would ask me to voice him emotionally, as if he’s become a completely different person. Instead, I was instructed to voice him naturally. No passion, no tension - just to speak completely naturally.
––Is that what you meant by Shin’s story feeling foreign to you?
Yes, exactly. Just by seeing the visuals, I could immediately sense this was a Gendo completely unlike the Gendo we’ve seen up until now, that’s what made acting out the scene so difficult. I’ve voiced Gendo for such a long time, so I figured it'd turn out alright if I just voiced him as usual. With each take, they’d give me feedback to change the emotion of my delivery or explain the scene’s situation a bit more, and we kept at it like that until the take got OK’d.
––When you say you had to lay Gendo’s heart out to bare, does that mean up until now you were voicing him as if he was hiding those feelings?
Up until now I wasn’t really given a concrete answer on whatever Gendo is feeling, so I felt he was hiding behind his words. I was made aware of that especially for the Rebuild movies, so I mostly voiced him to give off the impression he’s not revealing his true nature. However, this time around he has moments where he finally reveals himself - or rather, he can’t help but reveal his true self.
Up until now he’s said nothing implicative in his lines, though there were plenty of times where you could feel there was something more to him - like when he talks to Shinji as a “parent”. In Shin, he makes no attempt to hide himself anymore. In his moment of weakness, Gendo talks with Shinji but his presence as his son is gone. Rather, it feels like Gendo is talking to himself - he’s finally confronting himself.
––Did you notice any changes in Megumi Ogata’s performance as Shinji?
I did. Her performance had a very “Adult-like” feeling to it. Gendo speaks haughtily, he’s already an adult - yet when Shinji approaches him in this spiritual world, it’s as if his son has already caught up and surpassed him. This scene where they talk with each other really gives off that impression.
––Gendo’s past reveals his strong parental love for Shinji, but the son is the one who grows closer to the father in the end.
We’ve seen small buds of Gendo’s parental love in Ha and Q, but it turns out his son has already grown far past the need for that. Being able to clearly see the stages in his development really surprised me. It’s perfect timing that he’s developed to such an extent by the time in the story where he confronts his father, which happens just a little bit before the last scene of the film. Personally, I really love the way the story progresses to the last scene of Shin. I felt a whirlwind of emotions even when I was just reading it in the script, it was heart-wrenching enough to make me want to cry. Out of all the “last scenes” Eva has had up to now, this is by far my favorite one. It doesn’t explain everything, so I think allowing the audience to come to their own conclusions is good. Since this is the story’s conclusion, I thought Gendo really ought to take responsibility for his mistakes, so I feel it turned out to be a very orthodox climax in that regard.
––And when Gendo finally reveals everything, what we find out is…
Gendo truly had no one else but Yui, that is laid out clearly and vividly in his dialogue. We knew she was precious to him to some extent from the very beginning of the story, but to think she meant this much to him… As soon as he starts to talk about Yui, he starts bawling. I had to physically raise my voice the most and go all out when recording these lines. It took me a few tries, but I didn’t have to go through too many takes until my performance was OK’d. However, the part where I had to cry out Yui’s name was definitely the hardest to get right. I was instructed to put all of Gendo’s emotions and feelings into calling out her name. Actually, I had to record this line so many times my throat started to feel sore, which is pretty rare for me. My throat has always been fairly strong, I had never felt it go sore like that when recording before. I feel like I had to talk a lot more this time around than in the TV Series and previous Rebuild movies. But what was most exciting was getting to act my heart out; putting my entire body and soul into my performance. It really felt like I had become one with Gendo as a character! Drawing out emotions I didn’t even know I had with just the right amount of energy...I feel like I put my entire being into it. I’ve always wanted to pilot an Eva, at least once.
––Gendo finally has a scene where he himself pilots and fights in an Eva. I’m sure the audience will be quite surprised when they see that, but how did you initially react to it?
Voicing Gendo here was such an epoch-making experience for me, I'll never forget it as long as I live. I had always wanted to try piloting the Eva, at least once (lol). I even got to voice the Eva’s roars and howls. I was perplexed, but also overjoyed that I finally got to have the same experience the other voice actors did. It only took 2-3 tries in recording before the director OK’d my take. I was really looking forward to seeing this part in the theater, so I begged them not to cut it from the movie (lol). I had no idea how they were going to use it in the final version of the film, though.
––Do you feel Gendo’s character was concluded in this movie?
Yeah, I really think so. I’m really thankful about that. After I finished recording the scenes I had the most trouble with, Anno-san told me “I’m really glad you were the one to voice Gendo, Tachiki-san.” I was overwhelmed to hear him say that. Just thinking back on it makes me emotional. I’ve played a lot of different roles over the years, but I’d never really been told something like that up to now - it made me so incredibly happy. I feel like there’s a lot of parts of Anno-san reflected in Gendo, so I think that’s why I was filled with so much emotion hearing those words from Anno-san after I finished recording. I’m glad I was able to put my whole soul into voicing the role of Gendo.
To move the work along well in a group
一First of all, can you tell us about the time you participated in ":3.0"?
Maeda: ":3.0" was my first project as a director, so I worked on it with a fresh sense of Anno's approach. I didn't know the context of "Eva" at all, and I thought that this lack of knowledge was the reason for my existence.
―And then you got to “EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME”.
Maeda: There was a long blank of eight years after ":3.0". However, it's not that I didn't do anything during that time, but I did a lot of work with Anno at the core, and released a lot of works. In the midst of all of this, I realized that when I was younger, I was very selfish and insisted on doing what I wanted to do, but as I began to experience directing myself, I began to think about Anno and realized how difficult it is to be a director. I came to think that I should develop the good points of the director system. It's a system where one person gives orders and takes responsibility for them. Anno is also a producer, so he often has to juggle the contradictory positions of being a director on the making side and a producer on the selling side, which is quite a burden. So I thought it would be better to understand what he wanted to create, and work with him in a way that would make him feel comfortable.
―Did you think of that when you were working on ":3.0+1.0"?
Maeda: I didn't think about it that much when I was working on :3.0. When I asked Anno, "What's this about?" he wouldn't give me a straight answer. He would give me hints, but without specific words, he would say, "Please guess". So, in the past, I would have put a kind of pressure on him, saying, "You're the director, so answer the questions properly". But for ":3.0+1.0", I didn't do it that way. Instead, I took in what he said and thought about it for a while before replying, "If Anno thinks that way, what kind of answer does he want?" Khara is a group of people who create things with Anno at the center. I thought it would be better to do that in order to work well within that group.
—Please tell us about the job of "concept art director," which you also hold.
Maeda: The title "Concept Art Director" may have been given to me by Anno because he recognized that I had been working on creating various images while directing, or it may have been given to me by the production. I don't know exactly how it happened, but anyway, it was decided that I would also be the "concept art director". This may mislead you into thinking that I'm making all the concepts, but that's not the case.
一So you're a director who comes up with concepts as needed to make the whole thing work.
Maeda: That's my understanding of it. When you take Anno's plot and put it into visual form, there are countless things that need to be decided. I have been doing this because I want to be the person who creates the first draft. If I had to say, I would say that the plot Anno wrote is very interesting, but it is not detailed, so my job is to "turn zero into one". If I have done the first draft, Anno can clearly say, "This is totally different from what I had in mind." Once we know that, we can all start working on it together, saying, "Okay, then how about this?" The 3DCG person can create the layout, I can redraw it, or I can have Tsurumaki draw it. If you don't have something, you can't just sit at your desk and say, "No, this part should be more...", you're not going to get anything done.
—Is everything possible as a field of design?
Maeda: Yes. In the end, anything was possible. I heard from the production team that Anno wanted me to draw a lot of pictures. I was like, "Oh, yeah. I understand. That's what I want. I'll draw anything you want." I did the initial image boards, storyboards, design consultations, and everything in between. I also assisted Ikuto Yamashita in finalizing the basic design. I take the original artist's drawings and make them into clean lines, or come up with ideas for slight variations. No matter how many bullets I shot, they always missed, but I considered that part of my job. I think it's meaningful to miss, or rather, it's my job to make sure that Anno knows clearly that this is not what he wants. That's what I was thinking as I drew all kinds of pictures. There's also a cut where I worked on the in-between animation.
—So, you are in charge of the process of drawing a series of continuous movements between the original drawings?
Maeda" It just happened that way. I'm told, "I want to change the texture of the BANK cut [a system that saves the video of a particular scene, or background, like a bank, and uses it in another part of the story] in the past recollection, and I need you to redraw it." So, I redraw it. Then I can't ask someone else to do the video because I want to keep the touches the same. I have no choice but to do the in-between animation myself. Whenever I'm asked to do something, I just say "yes" and do it. That's the position I'm in.
It's the complete opposite of what I did for Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (laughs). When I was working on Nadia, I was protesting against Anno's opinions, but at the same time I was putting out my own ideas. But now that I think about it, it was Anno's final editing of the storyboard that brought the work together. That's the kind of talent Anno has. Editing in the broadest sense of the word, including editing the film. I put together a list of ingredients, and Anno made choices like, "I like this, this, and this," "I like to connect them in this order," and "I like to add this song by shifting it like this." I trusted in Anno's sense, and focused on how much good material I could get out of him.
—What was the most difficult part of the project?
Maeda: Fortunately, I had a lot of time to prepare between ":3.0" and ":3.0+1.0", so I was able to do a lot of trial and error in creating the image. The most time-consuming part was the image board.
—Is it after the scene where Shinji stands up?
Maeda: Yes. It took me a long time to create the board. It was a lot of work, but the plot that Anno presented to me was very interesting, so I did a lot of trial and error based on it, asking myself what to do with this scene, what to do with the flow of the story, and whether the last scene was really the right one.
—Did you also do design work in the past eight years?
Maeda: Yes. I had been working on it little by little, but it didn't start in a full-scale way until after I started coming up with the images, so I guess it's been about two to three years. Just before we solidified the scenario, we also had a story direction that Tsurumaki had given us. His proposal was very logical and persuasive: "Let's resolve the protagonist's conflict here, have a catharsis, and end it like this." I felt very comfortable with it, and I thought, "You're absolutely right." However, I thought it was interesting that Anno's initial plot had a certain degree of invisibility, because I had a feeling that he was going to create something I had never seen before. I thought, "This is the last one," and I thought it would be more interesting to make a film about Anno's thoughts and screams. I was thinking, " Macky [Tsurumaki's nickname] has a point, but I'll vote for Anno's plot as it is." In that case, I had to prove that I thought it was interesting in a way, so I kept drawing the board. In other words, it's like I wrote a book report homework on Anno's plot. Anno's plot has almost everything he wants to say, although it's not clear which. However, my board is just the "Anno plot as I read it," so it could be fundamentally different. He might say, "What are you reading?" But on the other hand, I gave him an image board based on that assumption. Saying, "If everything is wrong, I'll redraw it from scratch."
—Anno judges the work that is submitted to him.
Maeda: This is exactly what Anno, the general director, does. He makes edits on the spot as he creates. When he says, "I don't want this part," I sometimes think, "I have my own feelings about this part," since I am also participating as a painter. But if you look at it in the big picture, my opinion is a small thing. In other words, it's like music. This phrase is cool on its own, but it's not necessary in the flow of the song, so you might want to cut it out, or remove a certain part. I think it was more like the fun of composing through trial and error.
—This time, you picked up the scenes and incidents from ":1.0", ":2.0" and ":3.0" very carefully.
Maeda" By daring to use the same motifs, he is thinking deeply about conveying something to the audience and making them feel something. Of course, there is the fact that you can see the yield in the labor-saving process using BANK, but more than that, when I watch ":3.0+1.0", I think, "Oh, it's a movie." I feel that Anno really takes his work seriously. I'm just irresponsible and just throw in my impression of the plot and say, "I wonder if it's like this." People who do that kind of work want to throw out their own ideas and new visions first. But Anno is looking at the entire series from a bird's eye view and making detailed choices.
Proposing a virtual camera and creating animation that is more like live-action
―I heard that you were also in charge of the music scene.
Maeda: I was asked to come up with a few images of a Rei experiencing farming, and I drew a few. The purpose of this may have been to reduce the number of calories in the drawing, but he said, "This part will be handled in the music scene, so make it a still picture," and I was in charge of it. In fact, Anno may have been planning to use music scenes from the beginning, but it was just a matter of circumstance for me.
一Did you do a single storyboard?
Maeda: I didn't do a storyboard, but started from a layout based on a few materials. Anno would edit it and fit it in, and the flow would be set. We would work based on that. That's how it progressed.
一Do you have scenes created in this way here and there, not just in the music scenes?
Maeda: Yes, that's right.I felt that what Anno himself wanted to do the most was to make animation like a live action film, instead of having a blueprint and following it. I have been suggesting since ":3.0" that we use a virtual camera. When I used the virtual camera in my previous work [the movie "Mad Max: Fury Road"], I thought, "This is interesting, and I wonder if it's suitable for Anno." I could make a rough 3DCG setting and shoot it as many times as I wanted, so if I didn't like the angle, I could reshoot it. This time, Anno adopted it and used it to determine angles for layouts in various scenes. It's a method of creating based on the angles cut out by the virtual camera. I thought it would be very interesting to use this method. For the action scenes, Tsurumaki drew a rough outline of the flow, and for the theatrical scenes, the actors used motion capture to record the movements of the characters, and then used the virtual camera to shoot in 3DCG based on that. By preparing a lot of shooting materials and editing them, I think I was able to achieve a "slightly live-action-like" look somewhere in between, though not completely live-action-like.
Gendo's face, the center of interest that changes as I get older.
一I heard that the impactful Gendo's face was an idea of yours.
Maeda" The reason why he wears such a design of sunglasses is because I wanted to give the impression that Gendou is, to use a trendy word, "falling into darkness". In order to make him look like he can't go back, I lost all his eyes. The eyes are the windows to the soul, so I wanted him to no longer have a human perspective. This is also the part I proposed on the image board. As for Gendo, I put a lot of weight into drawing him on the board.
一Why did you put so much weight on it?
Maeda: It's because as I get older, the point at which I become emotionally involved changes. I'm sorry to the audience, but I find it easier to feel for Gendo than for Shinji and the others, who are eternally 14 years old. Death is the end of all living things, isn't it? Because there is death, there is life. Back and front. When people realize this, they can't help but feel sad. Gendo has experienced a great loss and is standing there, helpless, trapped in the past. I thought I'd depict Gendo's recollections of the past as I imagined them based on the scenario.
―Do you mean the part where he "read books all the time"?
Maeda: It was Anno's idea to say that he read only books, and it was also written in the scenario. I drew it while imagining various things in my own way. I projected Gendo onto Anno and wondered what Anno's childhood would have been like. I also thought a lot about Gendo's sins. Gendo is so consumed by his grief that he doesn't care about Shinji, and lives his life by giving up everything. That's something I can relate to myself. That's why I felt that I shouldn't forgive this man easily. It is possible to make Gendo's story a sad and beautiful story. However, in my own reality, if I let this guy off easy and let him go free in the drama, I would be ashamed of myself. I drew it because I wanted to get it right. I think that part of the story may have been unnecessary for Anno. In the end, not much was left. But I'm glad that I had time to think about it and work calmly. The work itself was time-consuming and difficult, but I think I was able to do a satisfactory job.
—Takashi Watabe and Ikuto Yamashita, who are also responsible for the climax of the universe behind the scenes. Were you in charge of the detailed drawing board (*1)?
- 1) Share with the director the information necessary for the background work, such as season, time, and weather. Draws the background to be used as a guideline when starting background work.
Maeda: The basic image was the rough sketch [a rough drawing, with a layout that includes a rough idea of the movement] and boards that I inherited from ":3.0", and Watabe's new image was also interesting. I was conscious of how I could integrate them into the dramatic progression of the Anno plot. The discussion started with the question of simply what is going on, and what is actually going on in space, but there are settings that have been built up so far, such as "Antarctica is the hypocenter of Second Impact." The "Guf's door" is often mentioned, but this time, the creator of the setting was forced to think about it in a more concrete and logical way. Even if it's not clearly explained in the work, if the creator doesn't understand it, it won't be understood by the audience. It seems that Anno has a clear vision, and when I asked him questions, he would answer, "This is what I want it to look like, and this is where I want it to be." So I drew pictures on the board while asking him questions frequently. I also drew a rough composition of the whole picture and a vertical diagram of the earth.
—I know you're still working on it, but how do you feel about the film?
Maeda: It's interesting! I can't wait to see the finished film. In many ways, I'm excited that we'll be able to create something I've never seen before. It shows that Anno has a lot of enthusiasm, or maybe he's just going his own way? For better or worse, it's a good example of the director's system, and his strong sense of selfishness and non-compliance is carried through.
―Is there a particular scene that you would like people to watch?
Maeda: All of them, of course. In fact, I would like people to watch all four films at once, starting with the first one, ":1.0". If you do that, I think you will be very convinced. The other day, I watched one of the films on TV for the first time in a long time, and I thought, "I see what you mean, that's Anno." Anno is not only the face of Studio Khara, but he is also the core of the Evangelion project. For that reason, I thought that Anno was the one who wanted to get out of here the most. But that doesn't mean that he wanted to escape because he was in pain, or that he wanted to leave everyone behind and go somewhere alone. The previous film ["The End of Evangelion"] was subtitled "Magokoro wo Kimi ni" ("Sincerely yours"), and I think that's it. The form of the work has changed, but I'm sure Anno has changed, and everyone has changed, too. Under such circumstances, I feel that the state of "Eva" is Anno's "sincerity as best he can". I can't say for sure because it's still unorganized in my mind. So, at this point, I can only say that there is a lot to see. However, I hope you can feel "Anno's sincerity". It may be an exaggeration for a third party to say such a thing, but I think it was made with such sincerity. It's not making fun of anything, and it's not a self-parody. It's very serious work.
The key colors of the booklet and the concept of the illustrations
―It seems to me that Eva has absorbed the current atmosphere in its own way and has become a work with a message.
Maeda: Yes, it really did. I think it came about naturally. When I started the Rebuild of Evangelion series, I thought "service" would be an important keyword. I thought it meant, "Thank you to all the fans who have been following us for so many years." I feel that the first film, ":1.0", has a strong character as a fan movie. But that's not the end of the story. I guess Anno was not satisfied with just that. Of course, there are a lot of services in this movie as well, but Anno's personality and what he feels now are the most important things that come out. I feel that this is the biggest selling point of the "Evangelion" content.
One of the highlights of the film is the art. Tatsuya Kushida's art is great. It's not enough to say that realism is good, but he also provides photo-realistic layouts of miniature models and locations. Of course there is a lot of information that comes from that. The fact that he was able to put it all together into a picture as an "anime background" was particularly amazing to me this time. When the rushes [movie data for checking after shooting] come in, I watch them with great admiration for his talent. I think it's worthy of a big red mark to say, "Great job, Kushida.” The background art is well done. The CGI and animation are also doing a great job, but it's the combined effort of all the staff that is amazing.
ーPlease tell us about the concept behind the cover of the booklet.
Maeda: Ikki Todoroki, the assistant to the general director, decides on the key color for each project, and he told me that he wanted to use white this time. White is the color of light. I was thinking about drawing a white color that has a sense of breaking through, or a white color that is untainted by anything. To express this, I was a little selfish and chose special inks and papers, and I'm proud of how it turned out (laughs). The original picture was kind of smoky or dark, and there was a suggestion to show more of the picture, but I thought it would be cooler for the booklet to show the whiteness of the paper first, so I asked the artist to finish it that way. However, the original picture was carefully drawn with all my heart and soul.
Pre-visualization is the key to a new way of making animation.
--When did you start working on "EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME"?
Tsurumaki: I went to Paris for location scouting in the summer of 2017, and then started storyboarding the prologue scene that plays before the opening.
--How many people went on location scouting in Paris?
Tsurumaki:There were six of us, mainly 3DCG animators and modelers.
--What is your role in EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0?
Tsurumaki: First of all, Anno proposed to me that he wanted to try a different way of making the film. He said, "I want to try a method other than the usual method of drawing a storyboard and deciding on the layout," and I thought it would be tough but interesting. I think it was probably an idea that came out of his experience with Shin Godzilla. My feeling is that the completion of the storyboard accounts for about 80% of the overall quality of the animation. You don't have to work on anything other than what is specified in the storyboard, so it's very efficient. The scene is created by building up the cuts one by one as instructed by the storyboard. In live-action filming, the scene is created first, shot from multiple angles, and then edited to select the best one. There are cases where a storyboard is drawn, but even so, multiple images are shot and then edited to complete the final product. A series of scenes are shot from multiple angles, including some that are not specified in the script, and the best cuts are selected and assembled in the final editing. I think he wanted to do something similar with "EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0".
--Does that mean you need to create a Pre-visualization?
Tsurumaki: Yes, in many scenes, we made pre-visualization [a simulation image that assumes the completed form with simple CGI or models in advance before producing the finished image]. Nowadays, there are not a few animations that make pre-visualization, but I think it is just a flow of "storyboard -> pre-visualization". After the storyboard is created, revisions are made during the pre-visualization process to achieve a more complete storyboard. In fact, "Shin Godzilla" was made in a similar way, but this time, Anno wanted to make the pre-visualization first, without going through the storyboarding process, and then complete the storyboarding process. It might be easier to say that he is creating a video storyboard. It was a fresh and interesting process to think that 3DCG, which is somewhere between animation and live-action, could be a good combination of animation and live-action by using live-action production methods.
--I heard that you used a virtual camera for the PreVisualization production.
Tsurumaki: In addition to setting up the stage in 3DCG and using virtual cameras to determine the angles, we also used motion capture to combine the actors' performances. We also built miniature sets and took pictures, so it was a combination of special effects, animation, and 3DCG. Since he was a student, Anno has been making films without separating animation and live-action special effects, so he has no problem with this kind of thing, in fact, it must be a natural feeling for him. In "Nakam Rider," which he shot in his high school days, the battle on the roof of the school building was shot in the usual way, the cutout of the fall from the roof was made by cutting out a photo and using a flowing PAN [an animation technique that slides a background drawn to look like it is flowing), and the explosion was animated using dynamic photography (in this case, moving images drawn with paints and shot in stop motion]. It's a mix of completely different elements in one work. I'm sure that the way he mixed 3DCG, miniatures, and hand-drawn animation is nothing special for him. However, there are only a few staff members who have had this experience. Obviously, I'm no different, so I didn't really know how to proceed with the actual work, or what the methodology would be... As I only knew how to make normal animation, I was completely at a loss as to how to proceed.
--It's quite different from the way the animation is done.
Tsurumaki: We have a script, but no storyboard, so we don't know the total amount of work. Moreover, pre-visualization is updated daily, so scenes may disappear and cuts may increase. We had no idea where to start, whether the scenes we were working on were really necessary, or how much work we would end up doing. I didn't even have an estimate, so I was just groping my way through the process. The storyboard is a creative part, but it is also a production part that determines the specific work to be done and the total amount of work to be done, and the animation production field is not designed so that the entire process can be carried out without instructions, so we had a hard time. By trying a completely different approach, I felt like I was opening up a new channel.
Part A approaching the live-action look, the actual work is a continuous struggle.
--How was it working on Part A?
Tsurumaki: I did some simple modeling in 3DCG, recorded the actors' performances in motion capture, and then used a virtual camera to determine the layout. Even if the actors' performances themselves were good, when I reproduced them in 3D models, the poses and movements would be loose and rough. Both the background 3DCG and the motion capture were rough, so in Part A, I had to keep working to make them look natural. It was difficult because it was very detailed work, and more importantly, we were groping.
--What was the most difficult part?
Tsurumaki: I had to create images that I've avoided in previous "Eva" works. For example, a character walking slowly from the back to the front. They stand up naturally. They sit down. In addition, everyday actions such as planting rice have been increased this time.
--General Director Anno once said, "Everyday acts such as coming into a room, sitting down and drinking a cup of coffee deliciously are likely to fail because the audience is used to seeing them. Even if it succeeds, it will look natural and will be passed over, so avoid it." So that's what you are doing.
Tsurumaki: The rice planting scene was particularly difficult. It was based on a movie of actual movement, but even if we didn't go as far as rotoscoping [a technique of tracing live action into animation], we wanted the movement to be just like that of live action, including camera shake, so the animators worked hard to achieve it.
--In the rushes [unedited prints with no sound or previews of the prints to check the shooting conditions], there was a section with live action next to the animation, was that the cut you were referring to?
Tsurumaki: That's right. It's a little different from the rotoscoping that you know [it's not a complete reproduction, but a reference for poses and timing], but in some cuts, the live action is directly replaced by the animation. Anno didn't want a live-action look in the scenes where the actors were acting in a drawn image, so he tried to use anime rules for those scenes. There are times when a character enters the screen from an unexpected angle without any preliminary movement, and the movement can look strange at first glance. I think Anno wanted the film to look like it was shot with a telephoto lens. Many scenes, such as close-ups of the hands, were taken from actual footage.
General Director Anno, who experienced live-action, aims to do what is impossible with existing animation.
--I was surprised at how different my impression was when I first read the storyboard and saw the near-finished rushes [unedited prints with no sound or previews of the prints to check the shooting conditions].
Tsurumaki: It's very different from the previous "Eva" series.
Ever since the TV series, I've been trying to do things that have never been done before in anime, so I've taken the direction of "sharpening the images". We have been experimenting with omitting things, replacing them with different things, and so on. In the "Rebuild of Evangelion" series, it had been a while since I had done anything like that, and I wanted to get back to that style of direction for ":1.0". In Rebuild of Evangelion, I was deeply moved by the fact that the challenge of doing something that hadn't been done before in anime had finally come to this point.
--Is this related to the incorporation of live-action methodologies?
Tsurumaki: I think that "Shikijitsu" and "Cutie Honey" were made with live-action rules. However, I think that "Shin Godzilla" was made with the idea that what was done in "Eva" could be done in live-action films. Of course, he mixed the "Eva" style with the live-action style to create a new style. And this time, I think he's feeding that new style back into "Rebuild of Evangelion" again. I think that's why he wants to put live-action elements into the animation.
--How did you feel about the live-action methodology?
Tsurumaki: There are good things about animation and good things about live-action, but there are also bad things or things that they are not good at. With animation, the editing process is practically complete at the storyboard stage, so there is no waste. With animation, the editing process is practically complete at the storyboard stage, so there is no waste. In live-action, for example, we shoot the entire scene. Even if you shoot the scene until the characters walk away from the room after the conversation is over, the resulting editing in the final stage may end the scene with the end of the conversation. In that case, the act of walking away from the room is not used. In the case of a normal animation, whether or not the act of walking away after a conversation is necessary is decided at the storyboard stage, so there is no waste. Even if, at the end of the production, you still want the scene where he leaves, it's basically impossible. This is one of the disadvantages of animation, but on the other hand, it is also an advantage in that there is no waste and it is overwhelmingly efficient. It's a shame that the work you put so much effort into drawing isn't being used. If using 3DCG can bring together the best of animation and live action, that would be wonderful.
--By the way, how did you feel about part C?
Tsurumaki: The C part was made in a relatively normal anime style. Anno also requested that we "keep this part normal". I drew the storyboard, created the pre-visualization from it, and then revised the storyboard.
How close can we make the "lie" of film to reality?
--How did you feel about the conclusion of the series after being involved with "Eva" for so long?
Tsurumaki: When we started the Rebuild of Evangelion series, about 10 years had passed since the TV series, and the number of fans had changed and the number of younger people had increased. So we decided to make a compilation that would allow people to enjoy Eva without having to watch the entire TV series. That was the starting point. We started with the idea that only the end of the four-part series might change, but basically 80% of the series would be a compilation, but that started to shift with ":2.0", and ":3.0" will start from a scene 14 years later, which is not even depicted in the TV series...
--So it became something unexpected along the way.
Tsurumaki: I thought that we were going to make something that would not put Anno in a state where he would be trapped like he was in the TV series and the previous "film version". I thought, " We've already experienced the extremes of that kind of thing, so we've had enough of that." I thought, "It's good to be able to make 'Eva' 10 years later, looking at the chaos from a bird's eye view." By doing so, it would result in a more " easy to watch" Eva. However, as it turned out, I got caught up in the chaos once again in ":3.0" (laughs).
--Did you recreate even the "chaotic" aspects of the TV series, which Anno described as "live"?
Tsurumaki: In the beginning, Anno may have thought that he could do a controlled creative work that didn't cross the line, given his experience in the strict live-action production system and his perspective as a director as well as a manager. However, when he started making the film, he was not satisfied with that. "It'd be lying if I didn't portray my own films as my own." And he may have thought, "Such a lie has little value as entertainment." Perhaps only Anno himself can understand this feeling.
--When I look at Anno's works, I feel that he has a way of making things that doesn't lie to himself. This is also the case with EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME.
Tsurumaki: He's very serious. That's for sure. But I think there is objectivity in "Shin Godzilla". It doesn't look like Anno is so absorbed in the characters that he is projecting himself onto them. If that's the case with "Eva," I thought it would be possible to portray Shinji and Gendo as separate from himself.
--It seems to be difficult to reproduce Anno's sense of "realism" in a group work.
Tsurumaki: On the one hand, he wants to be realistic, but on the other hand, he prefers cartoonish expressions influenced by old anime and special effects, expressions full of bluffing and keeping the truth hidden that can hardly be called realistic, and simplified cartoonish expressions. I don't know how to switch back and forth between these two extremes. That's a switch that only Anno can understand, so I wanted the storyboard to be a blueprint with instructions for that switch as well.
--But in "Eva", he drew the storyboards as well, didn't he?
Tsurumaki: For quite some time now, Anno has been saying that he doesn't want to draw storyboards and that he wants to make anime in a way that doesn't require storyboards. In fact, in "Rebuild of Evangelion", Anno did not draw most of the storyboards. I, Masayuki, Masahiro Maeda, and other staff drew the storyboards, and Anno himself drew only the parts that did not go according to his image. We play a role like an action supervisor in a live-action movie. In live-action films, the movements of the action scenes are decided by a specialist called an action supervisor. The director directs the main flow of the scene, but the action supervisor comes up with the ideas for the more detailed actions, decides on the arrangements, and then the actors perform them. If the director finds it interesting, he shoots it, and if not, he asks for corrections. The movements that are created in this way are shot with several cameras and many takes are edited to create the most appropriate scene for the director. In the same way, we draw the action storyboards like an action supervisor, and Anno edits them. However, unlike in live-action, we decide the best angle beforehand. Usually in anime, you draw a lot of image boards, and then you draw a storyboard using the image boards, and then you start the drawing process. For example, "Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise" was made in that way. The core creative staff interacts a lot in the creation of image boards and storyboards. As a result, the staff begins to understand what expressions are acceptable and what expressions are not, and what is cool and what is not. A certain common understanding is created among the staff. It seems that Anno was always searching for a different way to make a film, because he had seen that way of making a film completed in "Royal Space Force". However, although the drawing staff can improve and make more interesting what is drawn on the storyboard, they can't draw the original pictures directly from the script in the absence of a storyboard. If you want to do that, you have to train professional staff for that kind of production system.
The most important thing is to convince Director Anno.
--Anno's own "realism" comes out in his works, but what did you think about the many elements of Mali that you came up with for ":2.0"?
Tsurumaki: I think the Mari in "EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME" has changed a lot in terms of meaning since ":2.0". In ":2.0", when Anno himself created the character, he inevitably became himself, just like Shinji, so I think he wanted to make Mari a different character, so he entrusted her to an external person. In "EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME," which has a strong Anno element, I was surprised at how much this person was involved in the core of the story, and not just Mari. Mari is one of them. I originally thought that Mari should be a character that Anno would like, so I'm glad that the story and she ended up being well connected.
--Do you have any personal attachment to the story or the characters?
Tsurumaki: Of course, "Eva" is an important work for me, and I have been involved with it since the beginning of the TV series, so a part of me is projected onto "Eva", but I still feel that it is Anno's work. In making "EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME", I thought it was important that Anno be satisfied with the result, first and foremost. The first priority was to make sure that Anno was satisfied with the result. That was the only thing that mattered to me.
--You mean that everyone was concentrating all their attention on what Anno wanted to do and trying to make it happen?
Tsurumaki: On the other hand, in EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME, Anno asked the staff for their opinions. He didn't just ask the main staff like myself, Mahilo Maeda, and Ikki Todoroki, but he also asked the production staff and office staff for their opinions. From the clothing design to the nuances of the dialogue, I think unexpectedly he may have balanced there.
Surviving the Epidemic of the New Coronavirus
--This time, there was a major change in the staff, including the animation director.
Tsurumaki: A lot of people who hadn't been involved in "Eva" before joined us, but they were all very good, so we were relieved.
--How was the atmosphere on the studio?
Tsurumaki: When working on an animation film, there is a sense that enthusiasm rises toward the end of the film, and then the film finally goes into production. I think that if you have two years of production time, you should start seriously from the beginning, but it is impossible to start the engine until the end of the project. I can feel it when I see the staff working as one in the same studio, but this time, because of the new Corona, the animation director and other staff had to work separately, so I couldn't really feel the peak period. From the animation director's point of view, since the cuts are coming in and the schedule is set, we should all have the same feeling toward the goal, but during this peak period, we didn't share the same feeling of "Let's work hard together!" I wish we could have done it together in the same place. I wish I could have been there to share my passion for the project, especially with the staff I was working with for the first time.
--How was your own work with the Corona damages?
Tsurumaki: I have a nature that doesn't allow me to work at home, so I stayed in the studio all the time, even when the corona disaster was said to be the most dangerous. I was told that I would be fine as long as the population density in the studio decreased. As it turned out, some of the animation directors and others worked from home, and the density of the studio was reduced, so I was able to stay in the studio, which was a big help.
--Coincidentally, I feel that this work is needed by those of us who have passed through the Corona disaster.
Tsurumaki: Anno is sensitive to such a sense of skin that is close to the times and society. At first glance, people tend to think that he only makes what he likes, but he is not only making what he likes. I think it is interesting that he pays attention to the social situation and the atmosphere around him, and that he knows what he should be making now. While he is a geek who loves old movies and anime, I feel that he is also trying to somehow incorporate the current atmosphere within the scope of what his hands can touch.
Translation from Lyrical Nonsense:
(Can you give me one last kiss？)
Oh oh oh oh oh…
Oh oh oh oh oh…
I love you more than you’ll ever know
Oh, can you give me one last kiss？
Oh oh oh oh oh…
I love you more than you’ll ever know
Oh oh oh oh oh…
I love you more than you’ll ever know
Oh oh oh oh oh…
Oh oh oh oh oh…
I love you more than you’ll ever know
Oh oh oh oh oh…
Oh oh oh oh oh…
I love you more than you’ll ever know
|hajimete no ruuburu wa
nante koto wa nakatta wa
watashi dake no monariza
mou tokku ni deatteta kara
hajimete anata wo mita
ano hi ugokidashita haguruma
tomerarenai soushitsu no yokan
mouippai aru keredo
mou hitotsu fuyashimashou
(Can you give me one last kiss？)
Oh oh oh oh oh…
Oh oh oh oh oh…
I love you more than you’ll ever know
shashin wa nigate nan da
demo sonna mono wa iranai wa
anata ga yakitsuita mama
watashi no kokoro no purojekutaa
sabishikunai furi shiteta
maa, sonna no otagaisama ka
dareka wo motomeru koto wa
sunawachi kizutsuku koto datta
Oh, can you give me one last kiss?
moeru you na kisu wo shiyou
Oh oh oh oh oh…
I love you more than you’ll ever know
Oh oh oh oh oh…
I love you more than you’ll ever know
mou wakateiru yo
kono yo no owari demo
toshi wo tottemo
Oh oh oh oh oh…
Oh oh oh oh oh…
I love you more than you’ll ever know
Oh oh oh oh oh…
Oh oh oh oh oh…
I love you more than you’ll ever know
fuite itta kaze no ato wo
oikaketa mabushii gogo
|My first time at the Louvre was no big deal|
Because I’d already met my own Mona Lisa, long ago
The day I first laid eyes on you, wheels began to turn
An unstoppable premonition of loss
We already have so many
But let’s add another one
(Can you give me one last kiss?)
Something we don’t want to forget
Oh oh oh oh oh…
Something I don’t want to forget
Oh oh oh oh oh…
I love you more than you’ll ever know
“I don’t like being photographed”
But I don’t need such things
Your image is burnt forever
On my heart’s projector screen
I was pretending I wasn’t lonely
Well, I guess that makes two of us
Yearning for someone
Came hand in hand with heartache
Oh, can you give me one last kiss?
A kiss as hot as fire
So passionately that even if I wanted to
I won’t be able to forget it
Oh oh oh oh oh...
I love you more than you’ll ever know
Oh oh oh oh oh…
I love you more than you’ll ever know
I already know
Whether it’s the end of the world
Or I grow to be old
The one I won’t be able to forget
Oh oh oh oh oh…
The one I can’t forget
Oh oh oh oh oh…
I love you more than you’ll ever know
Oh oh oh oh oh…
The one I can’t forget
Oh oh oh oh oh…
I love you more than you’ll ever know
Chasing after a breeze that blew by
One dazzling afternoon
Miyamura Fanicon live stream
On March 20th 2021, Miyamura hosted a live audio stream with fans on the Fanicon platform clarifying some details of the movie and her character. This is a translated transcript of her statements. Note this is a partial transcript, as Miyamura says several things that are redundant or irrelevant.
(20-40 minute mark)
Let’s talk about Ken Ken. First, when I received the script, I noticed Kensuke was written into it. Even though he wasn’t called Ken Ken, there wasn’t that kind of connection in the previous film, Q. In the TV series, he was one of the “three idiots.”
Asuka will give people nicknames like “baka Shinji” and the like.
Because I’m a voice actress, I have no idea what will be included in the final script at the time of the recording.
I thought everyone who wasn’t on the crew of the Wunder died.
Even at the time of Q, there wasn’t an explanation about the details of the world.
Because there are so many takes for the Eva Series (I hear a lot that the takes I do are no good), it takes a lot of time to record and voice actors have recorded their parts individually since the old days. One line will be recorded 10 or 20 times.
We also don’t know which take will be used.
Therefore, all of the Eva voice actors aren’t able to watch the entire movie until the official release. That means that we watch it with the viewers.
The Eva voice actors read speculation articles on the internet and are able to understand what’s going for the first time. (when we don’t understand the explanations from the director)
Asuka’s not a human and can’t live with the people in the third village so she freeloads off of Kensuke.
Asuka was isolated, she couldn’t grow up, only her hair grew.
Ken Ken is trying to take care of an isolated Asuka.
Ken Ken took the place of Mr. Kaji.
Ken Ken’s demeanour made Asuka happy.
Try to think about this everyone. Ken Ken is such a good guy. Do you think such a good guy would try to advance a physical relation with a troubled 14-year-old girl?
Asuka says to Shinji that she's already become an adult but that doesn't mean sexually.
That is, she only trusts Ken Ken.
Asuka says “I am alone (in the film)”. Asuka was isolated.
Ken Ken has been watching over Asuka.
I think Ken Ken is like a father [to Asuka].
In the TV series, Ken Ken sold sneaky photos of Asuka (laughs).
The scene where Asuka shines is when Ken Ken is snapping photos. I was thinking, “What kind of relationship do you two have?”
I’ll give you an opinion from the performance perspective. When I asked the staff about why Asuka and Ken Ken are living together, I said, “Why Kensuke?” they answered with “Uh, is that a bad thing?” To which I answered, “It’s not a bad thing...”
Kensuke’s voice actor Iwanaga also surprisingly said “Huh, why me!?”
Before I knew it, Kensuke came out of Asuka’s cherished stuffed doll and became the major character to pat her on the head. The performers were really confused.
Mari’s voice actress, Maaya Sakamoto also surprisingly said “Huh!?” (lol)
Shinji probably wouldn’t say “Asuka is Asuka”
14-year-old Shinji and 28-year-old Kensuke are different.
I don’t know [about] the adult Shinji in the last scene when his voice changes (but).
Asuka and Kensuke’s relationship is not a romantic one but rather a parental one.
When Shinji said “I think I liked Asuka,” it means that at the time he liked Asuka, even though he never came back 14 years ago.
The last scene with Adult Asuka is a love letter to Asuka fans (laughs)
Adult Asuka in this scene was acting affectionately.
I was worried because Asuka has been eaten 3 times.
At the advance screening in the ending station scene, I couldn't find Asuka sitting alone at the bench.
To be honest, at the time of recording the last scene, Director Anno and Assistant Director Tsurumaki explained it.
Director Anno told me that Asuka’s ending scene correlates to the idea that Ken Ken is like a father to child Asuka.
Asuka really wants the father and mother that she's never had and Kenken could see this so his intention was to foster something like that.
I think that the end of Asuka’s loneliness would be better if there was a scene that hinted at a romantic relationship.
Personally, I really think that “Ken Ken’s not a bastard.”
I'm not a fan of the "Ken Ken" scene.
I believe that there is no way that Ken Ken will make a move on Asuka...
I personally strongly think "no way Ken Ken is acceptable [as Asuka's partner]"
As for Kensuke and Asuka, in the scene before the launch [of the Wunder] where Kensuke’s taking pictures, the performance might imply a physical relationship but the director’s stated intention was [the line], “I grew up first.”
I think the Original Asuka is not Asuka Soryu. My performance instructions were “Please do Soryu and Shikinami differently”
Asuka Soryu was not a clone.
I want an adult Asuka body pillow.
When I was recording, I thought it was cute when I was shown a character sheet of an adult Asuka. I said to the staff, "I want one!"
When adult Asuka says, “Baka Shinji,” it has a special meaning.
I was also happy with Mari and Asuka’s arc when Mari says “Farewell, Princess” and takes Shinji by the hand and runs off.
The way Shinji finally became an adult was incredibly cool. I thought he grew up really fast.
Kaji crashed his helicopter to stop the Third Impact.
––Was there any information written in the script that explained the ending?
In the last scene at Ube-Shinkawa Station, Mari and Shinji run off, they go into the present world, and it changes from an anime station to a live-action background.
Ken Ken doesn’t make a move on Asuka.
Ken Ken would never make a move on 14-year-old Asuka.
Ken Ken whose affection is deeper than the sea, stands by Asuka's side without laying a finger on her. [Imitating Asuka's voice].
Miyamura confirms Tsurumaki was in charge of everything Asuka-related, and asks fans to create new fanworks on pixiv for her to see.
Miyamura: 25 Years as Asuka
"Shin Evangelion Theatrical Version" (released) is the latest and final version of the "Evangelion New Theatrical Version" series, in which love is put into each of the characters and the "end that no one knew" was reached. Yuko Miyamura, a voice actor who has played the role of Asuka, one of the heroines, for 25 years since the start of the TV series "Neon Genesis Evangelion", wrote in "Neon Genesis Evangelion Theatrical Version Air / Magokoro to Kimi ni" (97). "Sometimes it was painful," she confessed. Miyamura, who said that her suffering was sublimated in the dubbing of the "Evangelion New Theatrical Version" series, talked about her encounter with Asuka and the "25 years of change" of director Hideaki Anno who saw and felt near her. She revealed.
- This article includes a description of the development of the work. Please be careful if you haven't seen it yet.
Since the TV series "Neon Genesis Evangelion" started broadcasting in 1995, "Evangelion" has caused a social phenomenon every time a new work is announced. The "Evangelion New Theatrical Version" series began in 2007, and the story that continued with ": Introduction", ": Destruction" (2009), and ": Q" (2012) was completed with this work. In this series featuring Shinji Ikari, a 14-year-old boy who was forced to board the first Evangelion and fight against the apostles, Miyamura is one of Eva's pilots, a victorious, lonely and complicated girl. She plays Shikinami Asuka Langley.
At the end of the play, Miyamura said, "It seems that I've been on the same ship for 25 years with the fans and the people involved in'Evangelion'. Finally, the ship is about the port and everyone is about to get off from there. I feel that "Shin Evangelion Theatrical Version" is a loving work that Anno is trying to save every character, because I was deeply moved by "Neon Genesis Evangelion Theatrical Version". It's completely different from that (laughs)! I'm very impressed to get here, including the twists and turns from there. "
Asuka in this work is living in the house of her former classmate Kensuke Aida. Miyamura said, "I read the script and thought," Asuka is living with Kensuke who knows various circumstances. "But when I went to dubbing, Asuka and Kenken's facial expressions, and their movements also seemed intimate. When I asked General Director Anno "Why are they intimate?", He said "No?" (Laughs). I remember having a conversation saying "It's not bad ..." I'm smiling. "
"Kenken is a really good guy. He can watch over Shinji with the attitude of waiting” until he recovers, "and I felt that to Asuka he was like a father. I'm sure Kenken is like a father. I think he was patient and waited for Asuka to open her heart and accepted him. I also want to be told, "Miyamu (Miyamura) can stay as it is" (laughs). ). However, in my interpretation, Asuka and Kenken have a clean relationship! "
Director Anno, the creator of this work. Miyamura, who has seen the appearance, reveals that Anno's appearance was "totally changed" at the time of production of the TV series and its movie version and the "Evangelion New Theatrical Version" series.
Asuka is hit by a spectacular event in "New Century Evangelion Theatrical Version Air / Magokoro to Kimi ni", in which Miyamura played the role of Soryu Asuka Langley. Miyamura says, "After that movie, there was a time when I couldn't watch" Eva "because I was scared." The scene where Asuka is against mass-produced units is popular with fans, so I thought "Let's review it", but I feel sorry for Asuka. After that, Asuka did not appear in ": Introduction" even when the "New Theatrical Version" series started, so "Is the world line without Asuka drawn as it is?" She heard that she had a turn in ": Destruction". I felt a lot of stress before dubbing (laughs)! "I don't want to go to dubbing, I'm scared," she said. "
Miyamura headed to the dubbing site of ": Destruction" while being nervous, but "I had a lot of fun when I went! I thought it was the first time that dubbing of" Eva "was so much fun. I really enjoyed going to Japan, "she said with a big smile. "The way Anno recorded it, which is to take many times, hasn't changed, but the situation is completely different (laughs). I think I was suffering a lot before. I was worried about what to do, but when I met him at ": Destruction," she always smiled, saying, "No matter what you do, it's okay." Wow! It's changed! I thought. "
Miyamura ponders the changes of Director Anno in this way, biting through the years that have passed. "Now Japan has become a very tolerant world of anime. The 1990s, when “Eva”became popular, was a time when even bookstores had an anime corner in the back corner. I think that Mr. Anno was suffering from the fact that he couldn't do what he wanted to do, including the technical and budgetary aspects. Now, they accept anime, and both "Eva" and Mr. Anno. With the acceptance and support of many people, I have created an environment where I can create what I want to do for Mr. Anno. I think I am very grateful that that environment has come true because it is General Director Anno who always faces the work sincerely. I think it's possible. When I saw this work, I was able to convey that feeling tremendously, "he said," I want you to do your best in the work after this! "
Miyamura made her debut as a voice actor in 1994. She is now a popular character in numerous works, but when she was picked up as Asuka in the television series Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1995, she was just beginning her career as a newcomer. Asuka, a strong and hard worker, became loved by fans because she put all her energy into her Asuka so much that Miyamura herself was hurt, but Miyamura said in the audition of the TV series, "Rei’s role. I was receiving it. "
"Auditions for anime works are often done by contacting the office saying,'There are auditions like this,' and the office suggests a role that suits that person. At that time, I was a newcomer and often played a role like a gentle lady, which is why the manager recommended an audition for the role of Rei. However, until then I had almost no experience on the stage. So, the vocalization is for the stage. At the audition, even though I thought I was playing a quiet girl, I was told "It’s fine" (laughs). I want it. It feels good to be energetic. ”I met Asuka-chan. I was able to accept it as Asuka, and when I saw Rei played by Megumi Hayashihara at the dubbing site, I said,“ This is what it is. It was a scale from my eyes. " "It was a coincidence, but I'm really glad I met Asuka that way," she says, overflowing with her love for Asuka.
"Working with Anno is really special. I feel like I'm in a session. I also had a great experience of saying,'I'm playing and there's such a fun action scene.' When I think that I've tasted such a delightful taste, such an addiction, I feel like, 'You've done it! You've done it!’ ", she said with a laugh. “I'm really glad that I was able to come to the final ending with the feeling that it was "fun". " she said, looking refreshed. [...]
--In a way, you yourself have been saved by this "Rebuild" series. Miyamura: It really is. I don't know what Anno-san's intentions were in directing this film, but I was glad that he let Shinji talk to me in certain scenes, and I felt a kind of relief.
However, when Ogata-san told us at the stage greeting that the other Shinji was staying behind after sending everyone off, we felt a strong desire to pick him up as an adult Asuka! I also had a strong feeling of "I want to pick him up as an adult Asuka! I'm sure that Shinji will be accompanied by many people, including the adult Asuka and Yui, but I'd like to leave the rest of the story to the fans (laughs).
Ikuto Yamashita's tweet on Kaworu in Unit 13, Translation by Nuclear Lunchbox: "We only said so much at the discussion today. In Shin Evangelion, this is what's actually inside the reactivated Unit 13's entry plug. Inside the LCL, the remains of what used to be him are floating about. Even with his soul gone, his body was reconstructed to allow Unit 13 to move, and his fingers sometimes flutter on the control keys."
Ghibli on helping Khara in the Third Village scenes.
Ogata on her unofficial "Image Song" for Shinji, translation by GhostlyOcam:
I asked Junichi Sato (of fhana): "What if we make a song as if it's an insert for the final Eva film?"
He doesn't know how the films ends and I didn't tell tell him, yet. But what he wrote is a 'best of the best' song.
The lyrics are my final feelings as Shinji ≒ Please listen to it after watching Shin Eva.
The song's title is "Repeat", completely from my personal feelings.
As Shinji who has been a part of me for the last 25 years ≒ It is my feelings as Shinji after finishing the final film.
As Shinji, who's still alive in me even after Shin Eva is finished.
(So it's not an official song, please understand)
There is a widely circulated "glossary" and list of terms from the booklet that explains key terms from the film, like the Book of Life. In reality, these explanations are not official, but fanmade. The list can be found in the forums here. The booklet does have a list of terms, which can be seen here, but it only contains the terms themselves, and no explanation. This is the most commonly cited excerpt:
生命の書 : シンジが幸せになれない無限ループにはまり込んだ時に、2人が会えるように、カヲルはシンジの名前を書き残した。
Book of Life: Shinji is stuck in an infinite/closed loop where can't become happy, Kaworu writes Shinji's name in the book so the two of them can meet.
The original source for the explanations comes from a Japanese fan blog that has already spread several other pieces of misinformation in the days after the film's release. As such, they can safely ignore these as fan interpretations, not official information.
- Eva Info
- Japanese Amazon page
- "Mr. Khara" is Anno. This is one of the ways Ogata refers to Anno.
- Q is the Japanese name for Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo
- She's referring to Fumihiko Tachiki, voice of Gendo Ikari.
- Japanese instant messaging app
- Megumi Ogata tweets a lot about how Shinji isn’t prominently featured as much in promotional material as the other characters.
- Japanese name for Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0 Thrice Upon a Time
- The key word Miyamura uses about her relationship with Kensuke is 慈愛 (jiai).
This refers to: 1. affection (esp. parental); love; fondness - Jisho dictionary
- This is the scene where Kensuke has his video camera and is recording the docking of the Wunder in the third village. Kensuke points his camera at her and she’s like: don’t point that camera at me!
- This refers to the original Shikinami clone, not Asuka Langley Soryu from the original series. Miyamura also directly denied this when asked in her audio stream.
- Translator's note: "Context-wise, they recorded various styles of saying her lines as Adult Asuka but she didn't know which one they used. One of the styles she tried was saying it like a baddie (so to say). It's because the interview was conducted before she saw the movie so she's not sure which take they put in there. Movie-context-wise, there's definitely a different feeling about the "original" Asuka when she appears so I think that's what this refers to."
- The part of the movie focused on the village, after Avant 1 and 2.
- He’s referring to scenes where Kaji is mentioned but not shown
- "Ha" is the Japanese name for Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance
- Hikari Utada noted this was the first time she wrote the song's lyrics based on actually reading the finished script of the film, unlike previous films in which she was only told of the brought initial drafts.
- Miyamura also says she loves reading Eva analysis books and the like in the March 28th cast talk
- Miyamura also says in the cast talk that "she's an Angel" is the reason she only wears a jacket with underwear, or her plugsuit, implying she doesn't care.
- Because she is still wearing a DSS Choker, Asuka is implied to not be fully trusted by Wille, much like Shinji. Her quarters with Mari on the Wunder are also a sort of isolation chamber. This is referenced as such in concept art for the 10th Khara anniversary exposition." Asuka and Mari are referred to as "dangerous persons" that must kept apart from the crew. This further adds to her estrangement from humanity.
- This is what Kensuke says to Asuka in her Instrumentality scene.
- Miyamura refers to her as "dere", probably making wordplay with the "dere" side of the tsundere.
- This refers to how she’s been eaten in EoE, 2.0, and 3.0+1.0.
- In the cast talk a week later, Miyamura notes she had watched the movie again and then found her there.
- Referring to the beach scene. That is, she's merely the original Shikinami clone.
- Hikawa was also the interviewer for 1.0 and 2.0 CRCs