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."
This page contains translated interviews, notes, tweets and other materials regarding Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0. The Evangelion New Theatrical Edition: 3.0+1.0 Program Book (booklet) became available at the theatrical release of the film It features the final character and mecha designs from the film, cast and director interviews, music lyrics, and theatrical posters. In addition, this page also features material from the subsequent events and publications concerning the film.
Please note most of these translations are early and are likely to get revised. Many interviews are still undergoing translation.
EVANGELION 3.0 (-120 min.), part of EVA-EXTRA-EXTRA, a 36 page booklet that includes the prequel manga to Evangelion 3.0 and additional illustrations. It was given to the audience of the Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 re-release, written by director Kazuya Tsurumaki under Anno's supervision..
- 1 Program Book
- 1.1 Intro by Hideaki Anno
- 1.2 Booklet cast interviews
- 1.2.1 Megumi Ogata as Shinji Ikari
- 1.2.2 Megumi Hayashibara as Rei Ayanami (tentative name)/Rei Ayanami/Yui Ikari
- 1.2.3 Yuko Miyamura as Asuka Langley Shikinami
- 1.2.4 Maaya Sakamoto as Mari Illustrious Makinami
- 1.2.5 Mitsuishi Kotono as Misato Katsuragi
- 1.2.6 Yuriko Yamaguchi as Ritsuko Akagi
- 1.2.7 Miriya Ise as Midori Kitakami
- 1.2.8 Miyuki Sawashiro as Sakura Suzuhara
- 1.2.9 Tomakazu Seki as Toji Suzuhara
- 1.2.10 Tetsuya Iwanaga as Kensuke Aida
- 1.2.11 Junko Iwao as Hikari Suzuhara
- 1.2.12 Akira Ishida as Kaworu Nagisa
- 1.2.13 Takehito Koyasu as Shigeru Aoba
- 1.2.14 Hiro Yuuki as Makoto Hyuga
- 1.2.15 Anri Katsu as Hideki Tama
- 1.2.16 Sayaka Ohara as Sumire Nagara
- 1.2.17 Miki Nagasawa as Maya Ibuki
- 1.2.18 Koki Uchiyama as Ryoji Kaji (Junior)
- 1.2.19 Motomu Kiyokawa as Kozo Fuyutsuki
- 1.2.20 Koichi Yamadera as Ryoji Kaji
- 1.2.21 Fumihiko Tachiki as Gendo Ikari
- 1.3 Director interviews
- 1.4 Music lyrics
- 2 Newtype June 2021 issue
- 3 Stage greetings
- 4 Other interviews
- 4.1 Miyamura Fanicon live stream
- 4.2 Miyamura: 25 Years as Asuka
- 4.3 Miyamura: AnimateTimes
- 4.4 "Congratulations on your graduation, Anno!" Megumi Ogata looks back on 25 years with Hideaki Anno and Shinji Ikari.
- 4.5 Stage greeting on NHK "Profesional" documentary
- 4.6 Toshio Okada (OTAKING)'s impressions on the NHK documentary
- 4.7 Maaya Sakamoto talks about the pain of understanding the role of Mari.
- 4.8 Hideaki Anno answers fans' questions about "Shin-Eva"! What scenes would you like to add?
- 4.9 'Evangelion' Creator Hideaki Anno Reveals 'Evangelion 3.0+1.0' Might Not be the End
- 4.10 ‘Evangelion’ Director Explains How He Finally Found His Ending
- 5 Other translations
- 6 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.
Booklet cast interviews
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.
"You mean you couldn't read the questions in Japanese?" "Right, I haven't learned all the Chinese characters yet. We didn't study it in college over there."
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
––Shin Evangelion: The Movie" is now in theaters. What do you think of the response?
My acquaintances also reported that they saw it (laughs). Friends who I haven't seen for a while also sent me messages like "Thank you for 26 years", which made me happy, even though I think it was them too. I also went to the theater on the first day of the movie's release, and I was surprised to see the number of "likes" on my tweet that said "I went to the movie. I was surprised to see the number of "likes" to my tweet saying "I went there" jump up quickly. The film's release had been postponed for a while, but it was suddenly decided to start without much opportunity for publicity, and I think it was a good thing that it spread to the right people.
––What did you think of the film when you saw it?
When I saw the first preview of the film, I felt like I had just finished reading my favorite author's first full-length novel in a long time. I felt a sigh of comfort. I went to see the movie with my son on the day it was released. My son is 13 years old, and he has already studied the previous stories, so he has a lot of ideas within his understanding. So after watching the movie, he said, "It was very interesting. I can't stop thinking about it. I can't wait to go home. From there, I was bombarded with questions all the way home. When I got stuck on a question, I would say, "Well, that's ......," and he would be a little disappointed, saying, "Oh, so only Mr. Anno can understand that part" (laughs). (laughs) There were some parts where my thoughts and my son's differed, and I really thought it was an interesting film. My son went to see the movie with his friends afterwards, so he was hooked.
–– Thirteen years old is about the same age as the Evangelion series, .......
Yes. During the recording of "Rebuild of Evangelion: 1.0 You Can (Not) Redo", I was in my last month (laughs). (laughs) The recording coincided with my due date. I remember asking for an ambulance to be called if anything happened, and taking breaks during the recording. I told my baby, "Today we're going to record something called Evangelion," and told her, "You might be surprised or shaken up, but don't worry, it's a play" (laughs).
–– (laughs) This episode alone shows that Evangelion is deeply involved in the milestones of your life.
There is no doubt that I have grown through Ritsuko, and there is also no doubt that my life has changed a lot since I met Eva. If it weren't for "Eva", I wouldn't have become a voice actor in the first place. Eva" was my first job as a voice actor, and I went into it not knowing the first thing about voice work, and I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know what to expect, and I didn't understand that I was surrounded by amazing people. But because it was Eva, the work continued, and because it was Ritsuko, it continued. It's the curse of Eva. My life became something I never thought it would be (laughs).
–– There was the TV series, the "New Century Eva: The Movie", and the "New Movie". In the meantime, a variety of content has been produced, including game collaborations.
Actually, for the first 10 or 15 years, I was at the mercy of the market. I had no confidence, and I felt guilty and lost, as if this was not my place. Thankfully, I was able to work on various projects during that time, and of course I worked straight on them, but that's why I couldn't tell anyone for a long time. There were a few times in my life when I actually thought about quitting this job. But then I would get another job at Eva's ....... As this continued to happen, I began to think that maybe there was a role here that I needed to play. Of course, now I think it's the most interesting job and I love it. I am very happy to have completed "Eva" now that I feel it is the best.
–– What did you feel when you saw the word "final drama" at the end?
The end of the story just sank into my heart. I felt like I had done it. But I've been thinking about Ritsuko for the past 26 years, and she's definitely in my life now, so I don't think that will ever go away. Ritsuko is a very human person. There were some depictions of infidelity, but she always has a raw heart that says, "Isn't that something that could happen to anyone? But she always has a raw heart. I think I will continue to be in touch with her as a woman and as a human being. It's not every day you get to see a film like that. ...... Oh, and there's another person! There is another woman who has been with me for more than 20 years (laughs).
–– The one with lots of hands.
Hmmm. Oh, I don't know where it was, but when I watched the movie for the second time, there was a scene where I thought, "Oh, I wish I could use my hands here. I can't do the technique! (laughs).
Miriya Ise as Midori Kitakami
Miyuki Sawashiro as Sakura Suzuhara
"You mean you couldn't read the questions in Japanese?" "Right, I haven't learned all the Chinese characters yet. We didn't study it in college over there."
Tomakazu Seki as Toji Suzuhara
Translated by 4chan user, posted on EvaGeeks by Mr. Tines
-What was your impression after reading the script of "Shin"?
I think Toji has become a cool adult. He was always a good kid, right? He is a manly man, and he is sensitive to other people's feelings. I'm glad to see that he has become a decent adult without losing any of the good qualities he had when he was 14. Back then in the TV series he's been seriously injured and has gone through a lot, so I'm glad he survived safely.
-Toji didn't make an appearance in "Q."
I was wondering is he would show up in some way but he didn't appear at all (laughs). At that time I was told "Next time Toji will also appear." In "Shin" Toji is an unlicensed doctor but I think the setting I was told about at the time of "Q" was a little bit different. As time went on the idea may have evolved.
-In "Q" his sister Sakura appeared instead of Toji.
We never got to appear together with Sakura in the end, but in "Q" Miyuki Sawashiro who played Sakura asked me if she should use the same intonation as my own Osaka dialect called "Ore-ben," since we were playing a brother and sister, and I gave her a lecture. Ms. Sawashiro asked me to say her line in the style mine, so I would read Sakura's line. It's a pretend "Ore-ben" (laughs).
-Seki-san and Sawashiro-san are both from the Kanto region.
I am an Edokko, born in Fukagawa. At the beginning of the TV series I was learning from a person from Kansai, but Mr. Anno told me "If the accent bothers you and makes it difficult to act, then just go with it." That's when I decided to split off into "ore-ben."
-How did you feel about the idea of being a doctor?
I don't know what Toji is doing exactly. I'm also the type of person who would rather try something I'm interested in on my own and ask someone for advice if I'm having difficulties. I can sympathize with Toji's situation because he had no choice but to become a doctor, but I wondered if he would ever be able to become one (laughs). I'm not sure if he's been in medicine up to that point, but he was always an athlete, so he might be good at athletic medical care. He would know what to do in case of a sprain or a broken bone for example. I don't think he'd be able to perform surgery though. For people who are feeling anxious, I think just having someone like him say "Everything is going to be fine," in a kind manner would be a kind of medical treatment. He is the spiritual pillar of his community and being a doctor is like a bonus, I think.
-It might be similar to Mr. Seki's "Ore-ben," which is his way of doing Osaka dialect.
If you must do something, you have no other options but to do it, right? As I played the role it crossed my mind that if I were in such a position, I might do it, even if I didn't know if I would last very long. I didn't have many scenes of doing medical treatment, though.
-How do you perceive Toji's personality?
If we're talking about similarities then I don't think we're alike, but I really understand his spirit. I feel like it would be nice to be a boy like Toji. Letting out my anger if I'm angry, but always realizing my mistakes and apologizing properly. He's a man who has absolutely no sense of cowardice. I think he is an example of an ideal male figure.
-By the way, have you ever played a role close to yourself?
Mr. Anno once told me that the role of Kaishonachi in "Oruchuban Ebichu" was the best fit for me (laughs). It's easier to play a role that is completely different from your own personality because you feel the gap between you and the role. There are often people who don't drink, but they are good at portraying drunks. I look at such roles dispassionately and study them. It's like the onnagata in Kabuki, where a man can look more feminine if he consciously imitates a woman's image. For example, when I played Toji I felt a sense of grace and masculinity that I didn't have, so it was easier for me to put that reality into my voice. At the same time I might have been influenced a little bit by the role of an ideal young man like Toji.
-What did you think about being married to the class representative?
There have been many different iterations of the "Eva" series made so far, and the fate of the characters has taken many twists and turns. When the atmosphere in the TV series gave off strong vibes of the beginning of love right before Toji got in the Evangelion it felt like a death flag for him. Ultimately he didn't die, and I think it would have been nice if their feelings at that time had come to fruition. Toji married the girl in his class he loved the most, and they have a baby. They survived the catastrophe, and their home is filled with the atmosphere of a happy family regardless of their poverty. On top of that, the people around them adore them. I'm really glad that they're happy. Junko Iwao who plays Hikari was also concerned about the relationship between the two in the TV series, so I think she's happy that everything came together the way it should (laughs).
-Ms. Iwao told me you were recording together.
We were together. On the set of the "Shin Eva" series I often recorded alone, but Toji and Hikari were together. Even though we had grown to 28 years of age and were now a married couple, I didn't feel uncomfortable at all and was able to act as if she was my "Inchou." If Toji had married Asuka I would've been like, "Huh, so that's what happened!?" I'm sure I'd be surprised and confused. With Class Rep I felt like he has settled down where he belongs.
-Was there anything you paid special attention to in the scenes where you and Shinji talk together?
I didn't record with Ms. Megumi Ogata, but those scenes left a strong impression on me. It's a strange feeling. I've aged, and he's still the same 14-year-old he was. When you get older, you may not be aware how much your body has changed. I don't lead a regular lifestyle of a salaryman in my particular line of work. When I meet my classmates from junior high at a reunion, I was amazed at how old they've become. Shinji and Toji are the opposite. Even though Toji became an adult, Shinji's appearance hasn't changed at all. When I first saw Kensuke I felt that kind of difference as I did between my classmates. But since we're all the same on the inside you just have to start a conversation to realize you're able to talk normally.
-Do you see any difference when facing 14-year-old Shinji and 28-year-old Hikari?
Surprisingly unlike with my old friends time didn't matter much in here and I was able to go back to the way I used to feel with ease. I didn't have to think that much about it. I don't think you need to go through the exact same process when you talk to a girl who has become your wife, it's a bit different because we've already become a family. With Shinji even though I haven't seen him in a long time the moment they started talking I felt like I was back at junior high right away.
-Have you thought about what has happened to Toji and how he had lived his life over the past 14 years?
I had a rough idea that he formed a kind of volunteer group of young people who worked together to help the local community and aid the people in their reconstruction efforts after the catastrophe. I wonder if that's how he became the Toji of today.
-Finally, looking back on your work for Evangelion, do you have a message for the readers of this pamphlet?
When the TV series started 25 years ago I remember getting into a fight with Maya's VA Miki Nagasawa, saying "This is not interesting, it'll never become popular" (laughs). Well, whatever I think won't become popular usually becomes very popular. That's exactly what happened to Eva. The fact that I was able to be involved, even if just by accident, in an anime work that has been loved and generally recognized by everyone for such a long time, and that I was able to be involved in this work until its conclusion 25 years later, is a big deal for me. I also had a lot of fun working with Mr. Anno and the rest of the staff on the final postrecording, and I'm very happy I was able to feel a part of the seriousness of the production.
Tetsuya Iwanaga as Kensuke Aida
Translation: Pluto; Nuclear Lunchbox
––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
Translation: 4chan user (Translation posted on EvaGeeks by Mr. Tines)
-First of all, please tell us how you felt when you read the script.
(With tears in her eyes) My heart was filled with joy. I thought, "Everyone has lived a fierce life. When I received the recording schedule in an email before the script was written, the name of the role was "Hikari Suzuhara" instead of "Hikari Horaki", so at first I thought it was a typo. I didn't even know if I should ask about it, my heart was pounding when I received the script. When I first opened the page with the list of characters I thought "It wasn't a typo. I (Hikari) really have become Hikari Suzuhara. Does that mean I've become Toji's wife?" I was so overcome with emotion that I cried before I knew the whole story. I was really curious about how it happened, so I opened the page and was shocked to see that the avant-garde was set in Bali, France, but I hurriedly looked for the scene where Hikari and Toji were appearing. After I confirmed that "Oh, it's true. We're married!" "Did Touji become a doctor?" "And we have a child!" I was also surprised to learn that! I was so moved we were gifted a treasure called Tsubame. As I was reading, I was crying so much that I almost cried into the script. I wondered if I was dreaming a strange dream. It took me a very long time to realize that the script in front of me was real.
-It impressed you this much.
In [Q], the world had become a place without Hikari, Toji, and Kensuke, and to be honest, I was feeling lonely, so my happiness to see that "You're all alive!" was very big! At the recording studio, I was talking with Mr. Tomo Seki, who played Toji, saying, "We're alive!" "And we even got married. So Hikari's a mother now." We rejoiced with each other. During the third recording session, we got together with Tetsuya Iwanaga who played Kensuke, and again we said "We're really alive" (laughs).
-Although you didn't appear in many scenes, you did appear in [1.0] and [2.0], and you were relatively close to Toji in those episodes. There was also a cut where Toji was protecting Hikari.
That scene is impressive. In the TV series setting, Hikari was harboring delicate feelings for Toji, but Toji was also there to protect Hikari at any time, and that was evident in that scene. However, I hadn't imagined that they would actually get together. I'm glad my dream came true. As a woman, I felt blessed, and it was as if Hikari was fulfilling my dream of becoming a mother that I had never achieved. I felt as if I were Hikari's mother, and I wanted to watch her grow up.
-In [Shin], Hikari is in charge of the household part.
She has become a strong and kind mother who not only protects her own children, but also leads others by understanding the feelings of the children and mothers around her. Because she was a leader who organized the class as the class representative, I feel that she has grown into a strong and compassionate woman who can support Toji, who is now a doctor.
-There's also Toji's "The wife of the world" line.
She's doing her best as a cook! (laughs) In the TV series, Hikari was a motherly figure who made bentos not only for Toji, but also for her older and younger sisters. It's heartwarming to see her become a mother while still being a good cook and being supported by a gentle husband who is so proud of her. It gives me strength to know that even though they live in an unimaginably difficult place with scars from the disaster still remaining, they still have a family that is full of laughter. I learned from Hikari and the others that the more difficult times are, the more we need to be like this, and the more we need to overcome them with a cheerful smile.
-Did you ever wonder how hard it was for Hikari to get through those 14 years?
The fact that Toji and Hikari have gone through more hardships than anyone else is evident in their facial expressions, and it was heartbreaking to think that they have experienced more sorrow than most people their age, and have overcome it by working together, drinking in the tears. The expression on her face which makes her look older than her age makes me imagine those years and it makes me love her even more. At first, I was worried about how mature I should make my voice tone, but then I realized that Hikari's natural cheerfulness was fine as it was, and when I actually heard Mr. Seki's voice playing Toji at the recording studio, I was able to act naturally by leaning on his deepened voice, and I felt that I was able to put my heart and soul into the two of them who struggled so much.
-How did you interpret the feelings of the 28-year-old Hikari when she met Rei and Shinji, who were still 14 years old?
I spoke to them one by one as if I were speaking to myself at the age of 14, the mother-to-be, I spoke to each of them one by one, hoping to show them that there was a warm future ahead. Each line was polite and gentle, there were many words that were so deeply felt in my heart that I felt as if I could hear my own mother's voice when I was reading the script at home and practicing, my eyes were burning many times. No matter how much I practiced, I felt like crying during the performance, but I took a deep breath and went into the recording with a bright and peaceful mind. I was also happy to see Ms. Megumi Hayashibara who played the role of Rei, smiling kindly at me.
-You have written a lot on your script.
(Showing the writing on the script) it may interfere with the production of the recording, sometimes I draw faces like emoji characters. I drew this face here next to the talk about umeboshi. The scene which starts with the line "My husband looks forward to it every year," leads to the following line, "Life is a repetition of painful and pleasant things. It's okay if every day is the same as today." It's because these words ooze from Hikari's own experience of rest that I can't help but feel the emotion before I say them out loud. Then, the general director said, "Be bright, don't cry" so I drew a smiley face and a note to remind myself "Bright and cheerful. Strive to be bright. You have to act lively." And then I've rewritten "It's hard to live" in hiragana and added an accent. I also marked the word "Tsubame" in the sentence "And also Tsubame." I made a conscious effort to bite down on the words.
-What did you think about the fact that Toji and Hikari's child was named Tsubame?
In the TV series Hikari's two sisters are named Kodama and Nozomi, so I guess her daughter is Tsubame because she also must be named after a shinkansen. I guess Toji and Hikari must have decided that "Tsubame is the only way to go!" It's not in the dialogue, but it's as if I can hear their conversation. Rather than going through a number of name suggestions, I imagined that they would have decided on a name before the baby was born Without hesitation. I imagined them smiling and saying "Let's name it Tsubame, whether it's a boy or a gir" and I felt happy.
-Speaking of the Shinkansen, the three Horaki sisters appeared in Shinkansen Transformation Robot Shinkalion.
When I went to ride the Eva Shinkansen, there were posters of the characters inside the train, and for the first time, I was able to take a closer look at the illustrations of the three sisters, Hikari, Nozomi and Kodama. When I saw the picture, I wondered who the voice actor would be (laughs). Of course I wanted to play Hikari as she was, but when I was asked if I could play all three sisters in Shinkalion, I was really excited. I was like, "No way! I can't believe it. I'm so happy!But really?" I was half in disbelief. I never thought I would be able to play the three sisters, and "Shinkalion" has become one of the unforgettable works along with "Eva". I've always had a connection with shinkansen (laughs). When I was a child, my father bought me a toy microphone at the station when I first rode the Shinkansen, and I used to play with it by myself, singing and reading picture books. This is something I have never had a chance to talk about before, but I feel that the Shinkansen is my destiny (laughs). I've had friends tell me that watching "Shinkalion" inspired them to watch "Eva," or that, "It's a hot topic among the mothers' generation," and I was delighted to meet all the children and new fans.
-Do you communicate with other cast members besides Seki-san and Iwanaga-san?
We have a group line with the cast members. The only thing I knew about it was [Shin]'s last line, and I was speechless, and even then I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't react, but everyone was sending up crying emoticons and stamps, and I thought, "Everyone is feeling the same way." I feel both excited and scared to go see the finished work in the theater. In a movie theater, I can't shout or cry with all my might because there are other people there, so I'd like to see it in a place where I can do those things, but I also want to see it on the big screen in the theater, It bothers me! (laughs)
-Finally, please give a message to those who are reading this pamphlet.
From the bottom of my heart, I'm really glad that Hikari who said she liked kind people was able to marry a "kind person."
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)
Translation: 4chan user "Luuki"
–– Despite it being the finale, we're introduced to a new and important character. What were your thoughts when you were first offered to play the role?
They hid the name of the work from me when I accepted the audition, it wasn't until after I was chosen that they told me it was for Evangelion - I was really shocked. I still had no idea just what kind of role I'd be playing even after accepting the offer, so I figured I'd have no choice but to ask a bunch of questions when I got to the recording studio.
I've never really known too much about Anime to begin with, so I could always just do my job normally without feeling any pressure. But I love both Eva and Shin Godzilla, and I was excited to get the opportunity to work with Anno-san. That's why this time I was really nervous during recording.
––Evangelion is now a 25-year old work, how did you first learn about Eva and what were your impressions of it before joining the voice acting crew?
Of course I had heard of it, but when it was first airing on TV I was still very young so I didn't watch it. Though I do recall one night during my freshman year of college there was a marathon of the entire series airing on TV, so I recorded it and watched it later in one go.
The show's atmosphere and the characters' feelings very much matched how I felt back when I was in my late teens, so I got really into it.
The various endings, the story's enigmatic world, the cool action in the battle scenes, the attractive character designs, all the catchy memorable lines, and the fresh tempo and great editing...I felt there were so many different kinds of fascinating things about the series. I then watched the End of Evangelion movie, and the Rebuild movies after that.
––Did you have any interest in Eva since you became a voice actor?
I always thought about how I'd like to voice a character in Eva, but not many new characters showed up in the previous Rebuild movies.
Plus when taking my gender and age into account, I thought the chance I'd get offered a role was next to zero.
––In a short amount of lines, your character is entrusted with an important scene that conveys his relationship with his parents. Did you have any particular thoughts or any conversation with the director and staff about your character in the studio?
I spent most of my time in the recording studio trying out different ways to voice my lines. I hadn't read the entirety of the script yet, so I wasn't really thinking about the importance of my character and their scenes in the film at that point.
I first just tried performing my lines using my normal voice, and from there the director and staff gave their own suggestions with each take until recording was completed. Actually, right before it was my turn to record, I ended up talking a bit with Miyuki Sawashiro-san (Sakura's Voice Actor) who had just finished recording her own lines. She warned me the staff would ask for a lot of takes before anything gets OK'd. But I've always been the type to be fine with re-recording things to improve my performance so I wasn't super worried.
––Were there any other memorable moments you had while working on the film?
In the movie, my character wears a tag with his handwritten name on it. The handwriting used there was actually done by me. Just like with recording, I had to write his name a bunch of different ways before one could be chosen.
I think it took even more time than when I was voicing my lines!
I tried all different styles where the thickness of the lines and calligraphy were completely different.
To think there were so many countless ways to write a name, I was surprised just how tough the designers have it!
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.
One Last Kiss
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
Megumi Ogata's "unnoficial image song"
僕より先に いや多分 ずっと前から
僕は僕らしく頑張ってくよ いつかまた交じり合う日まで その時まで
|I thought I'd lost everything and just stood there|
Before I knew it, the seasons had come and gone
That day you were in my arms
I wish I could go back in time and see you again
The way your uniform wafts in the wind, the way your arms are white and clear
On the other side of your fragile smile
The eyes that fluttered quietly, the lips that opened slightly
What did I want to say to you at that time?
I'm the one who's always thinking about that...
Even my tears have dried up on the dry, red earth
I was wailing over the little life that had sprouted before I knew it
I don't know what it means to have received the retribution for hurting you that day... ever again.
I'll turn it into food for such days
I'll cut the wind and run like a red dancing flame
I'm dazzled by the dignified way you look at me
The eyes that look at you strongly, the sorrow that you hide behind
I couldn't notice anything back then
I'm not the kind of person who looks for your smile...am I?
In a landscape where everything has changed
I wonder if I'll ever be able to live again with human feelings
Before me, or maybe long before me
I'm chasing after you who's grown up
I know I'll never be able to catch up with you as a weak, weak, sly, clever kid
I know I'll never catch up
I'll just keep on being me, until one day we're together again, until that day
And if I'm ever lost, I'll remember
I'll go back to that day one more time and repeat it to the future
Newtype June 2021 issue
Newtype Magazine had a special feature on the film, released in May 10, 2021. It features interviews with 30 staff members.
Partly translated, please note the interviews published in Newtype's website are different from those on the print version.
She was told 'pull out the spear and get rid of it' but then she was in despair and knew he might be able to do something about it. She said 'I don't care
"But I think it's natural to think 'If everyone gets well, it's fine'. I 'm glad I was able to settle with everyone this time."
-Ms. Ogata, What kind of woman was Mari Illustrious?
Ogata: I didn't know until the end ... because Shinji didn't even know her name until the end.
-It's always someone else.
Ogata: That's right, isn't it. Maybe. She was like a friend of his father and mother, right? At the end, I thought she would come to him to pick up that position.
-It has been 28 years since the TV series, and after repeating it many times, the last scene of all time has finally been drawn. How did you feel?
Ogata: I'm glad you guys think so. However, I don't feel like I'm done yet. I felt like I was left in a world of work at 14 years old because I didn't do the last Shinji.
-Is there another world that doesn't lead to that last scene? I still doubt haha.
Ogata: It may lead to a sensation that it is not over. I'm really grateful that I've been able to stay close to you for such a long time.
“I don't feel like "Eva" is over.” Interview with Megumi Ogata as Shinji Ikari in EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME.
"EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME" is now in theaters. We talked to Megumi Ogata, who plays Shinji Ikari, about this film, which is the final part of the series, and about the Evangelion series.
-"EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME" has finally been released. How did you feel when the first day of the movie was released?
On the first day, I felt like it was a normal start. On the first day of the release of "3.0", the fastest screening was held at midnight on the same day, and we were in an excited mood. But the first day of EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME didn't have the fastest screening, and it was a weekday (Monday), so when I woke up in the morning, I was like, "What? Was it today? Oh, it's today!" (laughs)
The competition for the opening day tickets was more exciting. Around midnight, my friend Makoto Uezu, a screenwriter, was making a big fuss about not being able to get tickets. I happened to see it on social media, so I joined him in the Clubhouse room where he was buying the tickets. It was nothing, he was just saying "I can't get a ticket" and "I think I can get a ticket here."(laughs)
I noticed that a lot of Eva-related people were listening to the Clubhouse feed, and I felt a strange kind of enthusiasm. That's why, for me personally, the day the tickets went on sale was probably more impressive than the first day of the release.
-It's true that right after the tickets went on sale, the ticket sales websites of theaters in Tokyo were all over the place, disconnected and with people having to wait their turn.
But from about 10:30 in the morning of the first day of the film's release, I started receiving a flood of messages on my phone from people who were involved in the film, or rather people who were working with me on other films, all reporting that they had just watched it. I thought, "Why is everyone watching the first show at seven in the morning? What's up with work⁉" (laughs).
I felt like I was in a festival after that happened. I wondered if they had gone to the cinema without sleeping, or if they had tried their best to rush in before work to watch the fist show. I felt happy. It was this feeling that finally made me realize that the end of "Eva" had just begun.
- I'd like to ask you about the postrecording of "EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME," but I heard that the cast members had to re-record a lot.
-How was the recording for you?
Well, I'm not sure. I'm sorry to not meet your expectations, but I didn't have many retakes in my recording this time. The first recording was done with Kensuke (Tetsuya Iwanaga) and Asuka (Yuko Miyamura), but after that I was mostly on my own, recording each scene little by little.It was a very long recording, so my memory is not clear, but there were many times when I was told after the first take, "The current one is fine," or "The current one is fine, but let's try one more time." I don't think I did too many takes.
No, but there was one line that had multiple takes! The line, "Goodbye, all Evangelions." That line was not in the original script, and was suddenly added at the end. I was instructed to say this line as Ogata's words. So I was asked to try various things. We recorded many different takes. Some of them were shouting, but I think the first take was used in the film. Maybe not (laughs).
-The line "Goodbye, all Evangelions" can be heard not only in the trailer but also in the film. When did you feel that "Evangelion" was over?
I don't really feel that (laughs).
Well, I'm sorry, but I'm actually writing about my feelings after finishing all of Shinji on the last page of my book, which was published by the publisher. So I'm not sure if I should talk about it here.Is it okay? I guess not (laughs). Anyway, I hope that the audience thinks it's over. However, Evangelion is a work of art, and each person has his or her own Evangelion. There is no such thing as "this is right" or "this is wrong," and I believe that each "Evangelion" is right and good in its own way. Once we have created a work, it is natural to leave the rest to the audience, so if some of them think that it is settled, that is fine, and if some think that it is not settled, that is fine too.
-Your book "Rebirth (tentative)" is an autobiography, but you also wrote about "EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME".
Yes. I had written about it in the closing of the book, so I decided to release it after the release of "EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME". Yoko Takahashi's song book ("Yoko Takahashi's Vocal Lesson: The Book That Will Make You Sing 'Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis' and 'Tamashii no Fururan' Better Than Anyone Else") was released, followed by Megumi Hayashibara's book ("Megumi Hayashibara's Power to Survive Now, as Taught by All the Characters"), and then my book. I hope that those who are interested in Eva will read each of them.
- Going back to the story, you said that "I don't feel like "Eva" is over". How did you feel when you saw the word "End of the Story" at the end of "EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME"?
Well, I first saw "EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME" at the first preview. At the screening, I had a chance to talk with Kazuya Tsurumaki, and he and I were talking about whether or not it would have been better if the word "End of Story" hadn't been included (laughs). We talked about the possibility of having a different world from the current one, and that there are many more possibilities. Oh, but please don't get me wrong, please don't expect anything (laughs). I had work to do later and left that time, but it would have been nice to have a party to celebrate the success of the film and talk about various things, but I don't know if it would be possible under the current circumstances. We talked about how sad it is that we don't have a party after 26 years of work.
- Now that the production of "Eva" is over, I just hope that you can have a party to celebrate the release someday.
Yeah, I think so. But I don't know. Hideaki Anno, the general director, is probably already working on his next project, and I'm sure the staff is too. Even if it takes a long time, I hope to have an opportunity to meet everyone in some way.
'The evolution of time has made us realise that we are not alone.
- Miyamura-san said of the film and Asuka, "You've finally started to walk, haven't you?", and this film literally begins at the place where you and Shinji and the others walked from.
Miyamura:I thought they were going to meet up with Misato and the others, but when they got to the third village, the look-alike [Rei Q] started farming, and Asuka was bunking with Kensuke, I was confused. Shinji needs time, and even if Asuka says something, it won't reach him. That's why Asuka went to check on him quietly. Like a mother who quietly leaves food in front of her son's room to see how he is doing when he is locked up in his room.
-As said in the pamphlet, the scene where she scolds Shinji for being "too weak mentally" was very emotional.
Miyamura: This is my favourite scene. It contains everything Asuka wants to say, and I almost cried too. You'll always be...... frustrated, too. I'm sure you'll be able to understand why. It is the role of Asuka to be kind and strict [lit. tsundere] with Shinji, isn't it? Especially the moment when she shoves food in his mouth, it really resonated with me. There was a Near Third Ipact, and the adults in Wille, Toji, Hikari, Kensuke, and everyone else had a hard time for a long time. On the other hand, there was also Shinji's pain at being confronted with that. But all of that is something that can't be helped, isn't it? Time has moved on, and everyone has to live. That helplessness is there.
-Shinji didn't speak at that time, but when Asuka visited him before the Yamato mission, he was able to speak. A friend of mine said, "Shinji, I have nothing but respect for you because you answered correctly the question that we will never be able to answer correctly: 'Why was I angry?'"
.Miyamura: (laughs) I thought that was great too! There aren't many boys who can say the right thing there. It's a great effort... I mean, Shinji has really grown up fast in this movie.
-Then, Asuka's confession and now famous line, "I grew up first," echoed...
Miyamura: It's a very poignant line, which expresses how Asuka has managed to survive the 14 years that Shinji was still trapped in Unit 01, and that she has grown up. What Asuka wants to say to Shinji now, she said it all before, but after she said everything she wanted to say, I think she wanted to see him one last time. She never said that she loved Shinji, not even once, looking back from the TV series. Well, past tense, I guess. Because we can't go back to 14 years ago. We can't go back to that time, but I (Asuka) loved you then. It doesn't mean that she loved him then but doesn't love him now, or that she loves someone else now, but that she genuinely wanted to tell him that. I think Asuka wanted to end to her childhood, to get some closure. But I think it was amazing that Asuka was able to say so clearly that she loved him. She's really an adult.
-What kind of interaction did you have with Anno (Hideaki) during the recording process?
Miyamura: I'm always the one who asks, "Why is it like this?" and "What does this mean?" in detail. Of course I also asked about "Kenken". Asuka had always called Rei "Ekohiki", Shinji "Nanahikari" and other nicknames, so I wondered if she was calling Kensuke "Kenken" in the same fashion? That's what I thought at first. But as we were dubbing, I started to think wasn't it a bit strange? That's what I started to think.
-The fans were also in an uproar.
Miyamura: I can understand why Asuka fans were indignant when they said "What's up with Kenken!". But in my opinion, while it's true that Kensuke saved Asuka's life, I don't think it's a relationship that we should worry about. Because, think about it. Even though they were classmates, one of them is an adult of 28 years old, and the other one is still 14 years old, physically. It isn't there, you guys need to calm down! Kenken is a warmth for those who are lonely or want to feel safe. Right?
-However, in the production process, the scene where Kensuke takes a picture of Asuka with a video camera was instructed to be a love scene for the time being.
Miyamura: That's what I was told during the recording, and I thought, "Why?" (laughs). But there are many kinds of love scenes. When a father takes a picture of his daughter in her furisode (a long-sleeved kimono), it's love. The daughter is like, "Hey, stop it, Dad!" I'm not trying to force to deny it, but Kensuke is a good guy... If he's a good guy, he won't touch her. If Asuka is lonely and wanted to be pampered, it ends only at "there, there". There's nothing more to it than that. In other words, Kensuke is a good guy. And that's what I think.”
-How did you approach the fighting scenes?
Miyamura: Eva's battles are fun because they're full of movement, but no matter how hard she tries, Asuka is always unrewarded. So this time too, we did our best to record each scene, saying things like "But it's no good" and talking to ourselves between lines. If I didn't do that, I felt that Asuka would be all alone. But that's not so bad compared to the time of "All My Heart for You" [[[Episode 26']]]. In the old days, there was no place for people to tweet their thoughts about the film like there is now, so I didn't know what people thought of it, so it was really lonely. But now, thanks to social networking sites, I know that people are watching our efforts as much as I am. I was really glad.
-You pulled the sealing pillar out of your eye, even if you ha to turn it into an apostle [Angel].
Miyamura: I think I would have been confused before, but after ":Q" I had read your [fan] discussion properly (laughs), so I wasn't surprised to see that the sealing pillar was here! I wasn't surprised. Thanks to you, I was prepared for a lot. At the third village, I said "This is not the place I live in. It's the place where I protect." This is also a line that expresses Asuka's sentiment, after becoming an apostle, isn't it?
-During the Yamato mission, Asuka meets the original. It is also revealed that Shikinami Asuka was also prepared by Gendou. (scan got cut off)
(continued from Miyamura:) I think it's right. It's natural that I should remain because I've been working hard all my life and I've been really strict with my talent.
-What do you think of the ending that Asuka arrived at in "Shin Evangelion the Movie"?
Miyamura: Shikinami and Soryu are different girls, but when I think of Asuka Langley, I can't help but think of Soryu-chan's circumstances in "End of Evangelion" as well. So, if it were possible, if she could start over with her father and mother in a world without Eva, ...I think that would be the best thing for her. I thought of that when I saw the scene between Yui, Gendou and Shinji, because that's where this film originated. So even if Kensuke's not there as her father, when he said it like a father to her "Asuka is Asuka. That's all that matters.", I think Asuka was saved.
-And then we meet Shinji in a beach scene reminiscent of the last scene in "End of Evangelion".
Miyamura:On that beach, it's Asuka in a red plug suit. Is that Soryu-chan or Shikinami-chan (scan got cut off)
(continued from Miyamura:) I was going to, but then we met again and he [Shinji] said "I" liked Asuka too. But it's the scene I like the most. I think it's very nice that they tell each other that they loved each other back then, even though they can't go back. And Asuka is so cute in that scene. Seeing that, my heart was filled with joy. I felt that she was being treated like a woman, that she was being cared for. Her plugsuit is tattered and plump, though. Also, as I said in the pamphlet, I think the line "Baka Shinji" is a love letter to everyone who supported Shinji and Asuka.
-By the way, other than Asuka, what was the most memorable scene for you?
Miyamura: There are many, but the scene where Misato entrusts her child to Ritsuko, I was really moved by it because I am a single mother myself. I think it's very reassuring to have someone you can trust when you feel like you're not going to make it, and to have that person tell you that "I'll do my best".
-Finally, when you saw the words "The End", what were your thoughts?
Miyamura: Ah, I thought it was a beautiful ending. When I saw the film, I thought that this is what Anno-san wanted to do at that time. Because five years ago, it was really difficult, and he was shouting, "Why can't people understand what I want to do!" You know what I mean? So I thought it was really nice to have all of that included.
We talked to Yuko Miyamura, who plays Shikinami Asuka Langley, about the final part of the series, and about the Evangelion series.
EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME" is now in theaters.
First of all, I was relieved that the film was released successfully. In the midst of the terrible situation caused by the Corona disaster, so many people watched the movie as soon as it was released, and I could feel how much everyone was waiting for the final version, and how strong their feelings were. I was very happy to hear the voices of people who said they would wait for the film no matter how many delays there were.
What did you feel when you saw the completed film?
Frankly speaking, when I saw the "Previous Evangelion" at the beginning of the film, I was confused at first, wondering if it was included because it was a preview, or if it would be included in the public version. I was surprised that they were so kind to the audience (laughs). Of course, the film has colors and sounds that weren't there when I was postrecording, and I could see footage of scenes I wasn't in and other cast members' performances for the first time, so I was completely into it.
The two and a half hours flew by. The scene where Rei Ayanami (tentative name) falls backwards in the rice field was cute, and the battles were really cool. Especially Misato, she was just so cool!
You talked about each scene in detail in the interview in the magazine, but please tell us about your thoughts on the woman Asuka and how you have depicted her mind for over 25 years.
It's been an amazing experience to be involved with a single work and a single character for such a long time, and to see the changes of the times together. Looking back on it now, at the time of the audition, the TV anime "Neon Genesis Evangelion" hadn't even had its broadcast slot decided yet. I was also auditioning for the role of Rei, not Asuka. I had heard that Rei was a quiet girl, so I played a quiet girl, but I had been a stage actress for a long time, so I guess I wasn't quiet at all (laughs).
It was your first time auditioning for an anime, right?
Yes. I didn't know how to use the microphone well either. When I came to think about it later, Megumi Hayashibara's voice for Rei was so soft that I couldn't hear it even though I was standing right next to her during the postrecording. So my voice for Rei was definitely not good. It made me realize, " Okay, that's how you use a microphone."
At the audition, after several retakes, I was asked, "Would you be willing to take on one more character?" He said, "This one will be fine with a cheerful voice," so Asuka jumped out with all the energy I had.
How has your impression of Asuka changed over the years and through your work?
We didn't know each other at first, but we've been together for a long time, and I felt like a mother to Asuka at times. So, I cannot watch "The End of Evangelion" even now because it's too painful.
What are your thoughts on Asuka as portrayed in Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time?
I feel that I could say everything I wanted to say as the current Asuka. Also, I was really happy to see Asuka so cute and looking bright and happy in some scenes. More than anything, I'm glad that Anno was able to depict Asuka without forgetting her. I felt as if I could release a long-standing tension (laughs).
What kind of changes do you feel in general director Hideaki Anno over the past 25 years?
Whether he has changed or not, I think he has definitely changed. If there were 100 people, I think 100 of them would say yes. To find out what kind of change that is, I think you have to watch his works. Anno was a famous director even before "Eva", but he became even more famous after "Eva", and as Japan became a major animation country in the world, I think the environment around him changed a lot. Newtype readers may not know this, but back in the day, you could find anime books on the farthest shelf from the entrance of the bookstore.
It certainly was (laughs).
Believing in the power of animation in those days, he continued to work, wanting to express himself in such and such a way or draw such and such a thing. Then, with the support of the times, he is now shining as a general director who has completed the four-part "Rebuild of Evangelion" series. Anno now has the energy and love to make "Evangelion" come to a happy ending. That's very different from the struggling man from the past. The fact that I and the fans were able to follow this process together was a blessing itself.
It's a feat of energy and love.
That's really true. And I believe that Anno is basically a kind person who cares for others. If he wasn't, he wouldn't have been able to give all the characters a proper ending like this. He saved the characters, he saved the cast, and then he sincerely responded to the wishes of the fans. Over the years, Evangelion has come a long way from the days when we said, "I wish everyone would just die," to now being able to say, "Let's get through it all together."
How did you feel when you saw the completed work?
At the time of the recording, we were already in the midst of the Covid-19 disaster, and we had been working on the recording of each scene separately since ":2.0" at Anno's request. So I had no idea what was going on except for the scenes I was in until I watched the completed film.I received the whole script, but it was only a written text. For "Evangelion", I had no idea what the characters would look like, what kind of whirling, squishy things would look like, and what kind of light would shine through them.
Yes, that's right.
So, when I watched the completed film, I watched it as if I were a fan, as if I were someone who had been watching over everyone's battles. I was simply happy to see the progress of Asuka, Misato, Shinji, and the others who had been fighting with us all this time. Each character was spotlighted and saved, so it was worth watching.
Oh, the surprising scene about Rei Ayanami (tentative name) doing agriculture was digested during the postrecording (laughs). I also wrote the song "The Fate of Gathering (集結の運命)" after ":2.0", when ":3.0" was barely formed, and when I listened to the song after watching ":3.0+1.0", there was a scary overlap with the content. I'm proud of it. I wrote the lyrics, "The rudderless Ark sinks into the spiral structure of life," and I thought, " It's Wunder!" Mari had appeared in it, and the lyrics says, "It moves around the rules." I was like, "Oh my god."
There's something about "Eva" that drives me, that I can't help but feel. I'm not trying to say, "I'm amazing," but there's something about the whole thing that makes you feel as if every cell is involved.
Didn't the actors find it difficult to record in small parts?
We didn't all get together and record separately. In this convenient age, we have an "Eva" LINE group. We used "Eva" stamps to exchange casual things like "I recorded it today" or "I got a retake". We were able to communicate in a way that we hadn't before with ":1.0", ":2.0" and ":3.0", and even more so, a way that we had never imagined when we were working on the TV series. We can be a little kinder to each other when we communicate only through text.
Do you feel that the communication between actors outside the studio has become more active?
Yes, I do. And it was very warm. Everyone is a "war buddy". We overcame the previous film project together. From the TV series before that, we all threw as much as we could at Anno, who craved for material anyway, and we got exhausted and made a monster hit. But by that time, the recording was finished, so I experienced the feeling of "What is everyone making a fuss about?" When I went to an izakaya (Japanese pub), there was a lot of talk about "Eva" all around. I feel that there are things that we can understand because we are friends who lived through those times together.
Do you feel that you have a better friendship with them than you did 25 years ago?
I don't know if it's better, but we've all grown up. As a character, Kensuke has become a model case of how a camera boy should have grown up. The characters and actors were all manipulated by the work without knowing what was going on, but they became adults. "Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time" is a work that gives you a chance to experience the flow of time in two and a half hours.
Now that you've finished "Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time", how do you feel about Rei's existence? How do you feel about Rei?
During the TV series, The End of Evangelion, and Rebuild of Evangelion, the distance between my feelings and Rei's was different from what people imagine. For example, if Rei came in first in some popularity contest, that was that, and if Asuka came in first, there was no question. That said, it was also interesting to see how the characters were accepted. At the time, a character like Rei was sensational because of her unparalleled impact. However, after Rei, there were more and more similar characters, or to put it simply, quiet heroines. That's why it's not so rare for people nowadays anymore.
That makes sense.
The influence of Evangelion on various genres such as manga, games, and novels, not to mention anime, was great.
Not only Rei, but when the work Evangelion drips even a drop of something, the ripples are far-reaching. Maybe that's just the way it is with popular works, but no matter what, I'm not on the surface when the ripples spread like that. I'm more under the water, in the place where the water doesn't move. So, even after "Rebuild of Evangelion," I feel that I have finished a huge work, nothing more, nothing less. Of course, I have feelings of sentiment, melancholy, and gratitude. If I put it into words again, it may seem like a cold reaction.
No, not at all.
But to tell the truth, I'm feeling rather refreshed right now. I think everyone involved in the previous film version had a little bit of a hard time understanding it. Yuko Miyamura also said that she couldn't look back on it until many years had passed.
As for me, I feel that I dared to hurt something that I didn't need to hurt. Maybe there were things I should have learned from those wounds, but I also wondered, "What are they for?" This time, I feel that I have seen a very good " final " in the sense of throwing entertainment to the world. However, even though this has happened, Rei still exists in my mind.
If someone says to me, "I'm going to make a digest version of 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0," and there are some new recordings, I'm going to synchronize with Rei at that point. So, it took me a long time to answer, but if you ask me what kind of existence Rei is, I don't know for sure (laughs). It's a character that took me a long time to manage, but that doesn't explain her enough.
I'm sure you'll agree with me. I believe I was able to save Asuka.” “I think it's up to each fan to imagine the relationship between the two.” “Kensuke is a good guy, so he won't touch her. I think that's all.”
Touko Yatabe (deputy director)
I was happy that Kensuke and Hikari were grown up. It seems Anno-san sometimes did and sometimes did not decide on everyone's relationships. I was drawing while imagining various things. For example, Kensuke has been supporting Asuka for a long time, so it looks like an old couple. While keeping in mind the intentions of the directors, I complement whatever I find may be lacking when I draft.
--Are there any cuts that left a lasting impression on you?
Yatabe: In the sequence where Kensuke points his video camera at Asuka, we were told, "Make it similar to a scene between lovers". Fans who've been watching Evangelion all these years would definitely be happy to see Asuka happy, so I felt it was important to get the scene done right.
--Did you think that you could create a new picture by making it based on Previs (Previsualisation)?"
Shigeto Koyama (art director)
――We will talk about the design of the plug suit carefully in NT magazine. From "Introduction" to "Shin", "New Theatrical Version" has been a big job for a long time.
In Koyama Eva's work, there are times when retakes are made even after the settings are cleaned up, and it is never a final draft until it finally appears on the screen, so I think it is "unusual" (laugh) .. Some people may not be able to tolerate that kind of thing, but ... I found that kind of situation interesting, so I was able to enjoy it until the end.
In order to promote the movie, Khara held several events featuring the cast and staff commenting on the film and the franchise. Although these have been mostly collected by Japanese media, a number of details are sketchy and unorganized. This section includes sources and notes translated variously on the forums. Some proper translated acounts by Japanese media are also available.
March 28 cast greeting
- Ogata (Shinji): "I didn't get to say Shinji-kun's final lines so I feel like I was the only one left in the Eva world"
- Miyamura (Asuka) is really into reading Eva analysis books. Actual fanwank. I wonder if she ever read EGF. "this is the right way of enjoying Evangelion" She saw the movie twice. Ogata mentions how relaxed and happy the Ghibli village scenes are, and Miyamura agrees. She says she finds it nice that Toji and Hikari have a child, as there was no such love in EoE (insofar as tone goes). Miyamura also the reason she only wears a jacket with underwear, or her plugsuit is because Asuka is an Angel (and presumably doesn't care).
- Hayashibara (Rei) is surprised at the movie being so cute and fluffy. She was taken over by Rei's three farmer sempais. She was like "wait what these kind of warm emotions in Eva what...?" first after getting the script, but those women made it roll for her during recording. I assume she refers to their seiyuu.
- Mitsuishi (Misato) says she cried good (she also cries in the documentary) over character drama but she doesn't really get "detailed settei" or what happened to Earth yet lol
- Yamadera (Kaji): "Katsuragi, you really did well. Thank you for also CENSORED NOISE my CENSORED NOISE" "It was foolish of me to almost cry for a moment" I'm happy I managed to get in it. It's not like I have that many lines, and then Anno "sorry I'm going to cut this". He was deeply impressed by Anno and staff on The Professional. Eva is unique work in entertainment work, Kaji is one of my representative roles. Thanks very much.
- Yamadera (Kaji): "I'm happy I managed to get in it. It's not like I have that many lines, and then Anno "sorry I'm going to cut this". He was deeply impressed by Anno and staff on The Professional. Eva is unique work in entertainment work, Kaji is one of my representative roles. Thanks very much.
- Yamaguchi (Ritsuko) sneaked to see the film on opening day at Walt 9 (same theatre this event is in) Yamaguchi (Ritsuko's seiyuu) kept bawwling "this is work of art that surpassed anime category" "I'm going to watch it 10 more times"
- Ishida (Kaworu): when Gendo tells Shinji at certain point he has become an adult Ishida wanted to scream YOU DON'T GET TO SAY THAT; Ishida "like Mitsuishi many parts of settei I can't understand but the story itself comes through loud and clear";
- Ishida (Kaworu): "In order to make Shinji happy, Kaworu did this and that... but none of those things were things Shinji actually wanted. In the end Shinji ended up finding his own meaning of happiness by himself so Kaworu was finally relieved of his post. I'm glad Kaworu realized his misunderstanding. The last scene of the backshot with Kaji and Kaworu and the shutter sound implies it's the closing of their story."
- Tachiki (Gendo) is very happy with Gendo, so is Ogata. Tachiki: rather than seeing this film as something he played Gendo in he saw it as a film that really loved all of its parts and you'd come to love all characters. While saying his opinion on Eva changed would be weird it's the case he came to love it twice as much
- Tachiki: "Eva really gives the aura it's not anime. This is a Film with capital F" Tachiki got very ronry now that Eva ended, but Shin gave him all kinds of things he had hoped for so he's happy. Ogata goes "Anno-san, omedetou!"
- Iwanaga (Kensuke): My first reaction was what an unthinkable film this turned out to be. Mechanical movement, people's expressions, using this kind of music in this kind of scene, it all surprised me, and it really is a great work.
- Junko (Hikari) was too scared to attend the screening (for the cast etc.) but after the film was released on the third day she finally dared to go to see the film by the time she sat (alone) on her seat she was already crying though "I won't leave any of you alone" "I felt director Anno's gentleness come through"
- Nagasawa (Maya): She goes goes on about watching the Professional documentary and how Anno mentioned liking things that are "lacking", and how that made her think Maya is strange in Eva since she's relatively normal: "she completely changed in Q? Hey Mayachin what's wrong "ith you? "Looking back on Q now this is one of the ways Anno showed his care for the characters" f"Fom now on I'm going to go on saying "'his is why young men are no good!' to people " Mman, Maya is middleaged too now"
- Higuchi seiyuu is going on about how amazing the seiyuus were, because they had to deliver all these very difficult lines while recording all their lines alone: "I'm going to go watch it again"
- Mariya Ise (Sakura) first got contact with Eva for 2.0 then after she was cast in Q she then went onto watch all of Eva for the first time "shocking stuff"; "I felt all that love from creators for the work and love of characters inside work itself"
- Anri Katsu (Hideki Tama): he was fan originally and is very happy he could partake in the work now he was one of those who saw the series in his teens originally and is thus long time fan, and he could partake in end of this thing directly = emotional overload "The work keeps changing every time I watch it over passing years"
June 26 Hikaru Utada stream
June 21 radio talk show
Sources are various tweets collected here and here. As such, their accuracy isn't entirely verifible. There are also several collected excerpts from this radio show, see 1; 2; 3 Translation: swagbuckking1; Konja7; Nuclear Lunchbox
- Ogata talks about the last scene in a round-about-way, saying "I feel like it just ended in front of my eyes" implying she can't really accept the way it ended
- Gendo's VA Tachiki says Eva will never end! And Ogata and Hayashibara say no, it already ended
- Hikari's VA calls her character Suzuhara Hikari now
- Kaji's VA still can't get over how Commander Nagisa in the script wasn't a typo of Commander Ikari
- Kensuke's VA says he'll tell Kaji jr. about his parents when he grows up a bit more
- Kensuke's VA thinks he was put in charge of raising Kaji Jr. by Misato and Kaji
- Hikari's VA is happy her character's first love was realized, and she keeps calling her Suzukara Hikari
- Fuyutsuki's VA says he was piloting Neo-Nerv's dark wunder, it wasn't automated
- Tsurumaki and Maeda had to do everything based on what Anno was feeling. If Anno wanted something and they couldn't do it with their current technology then Anno would delay the project until they could
- They say Anno was very fickle and would change his mind on things a lot
- They say to understand Shin Eva you don't have to watch Jo-Ha-Q (aka 1.0, 2.0, 3.0), just watch End of Evangelion
- Maeda struggled a lot working on Q, whereas Tsurumaki struggled the most working on Shin because he kept trying to match what Anno wanted but couldn't satisfy him and felt he was distanced from him/what he desired
- Many times Anno would ask for something, they would draw it, and then he would decide he didn't like it and cut out the scene
- Working on the A part of this film was the hardest part of Tsurumaki's career up to now
- Working on the middle of Q was the hardest part of Maeda's career up to now
- Most of the drawings Maeda did for Q ended up being cut and not used
- While working on Q they changed the story and started over from scratch over and over again
- Oh I forgot, they say at the beginning of production for 3.0+1.0, Anno just wrote a bunch of separate ideas he wanted in the movie on a whiteboard and they tried to connect them all with a plot based on that
- Maeda and Tsurumaki felt they had 400% sync rate with each other suffering while working on this movie lol
- Mr. Maeda comments: Mr. Anno says "isn't it boring if everything is easy to understand? I think it's more interesting if you're able to read between the lines for a moment and ponder your fantasies."
- Right at the beginning, Ogata dismisses the drawings in the new booklet as just fanart and as having no bearing on the actual film. She was surprised herself at some of the contents.
- OGT [Ogata] comments on the final scene, "They really tried to cushion the blow, but I feel like I'm having a very hard time accepting that just like that, it's over." "It's kind of crazy." "They're just drawing what they want." "It's just fanart." "It doesn't have anything to do with the movies." Listing to OGT, she was pretty surprised at the art in the booklet. Plus she said, "When I went to ask about it, they said that it was just fanart, that it was just whatever they wanted to draw".
- "There's no way 'Commander Nagisa' wasn't a typo!"
- "It was nice hearing about what might happen in the future with Kensuke and Ryouji Jr.~~"
- Anno: During the Gainax era loads of weird games came out without my knowledge - it was rough
June 27 stage greeting
July 11 stage greeting
- When Director Anno spoke about the 14-year timeskip at the final stage greeting, he addressed why Kaworu was wearing a commander's uniform. Fuyutsuki and Gendo were removed from power at Nerv, following the end of Ha. Kaworu became commander, and Kaji became Vice-Commander. Anno said Q was originally supposed to be a film about how this happened.
- Q was originally meant to be about the 14-year timeskip, and Anno planned to not have Shinji in the entire film. Shinji's voice actor, Ogata Megumi, was surprised at this. In the end, that idea was set aside, and Q became the film we got.
- Ultimately Anno thought it would be bad for the film if the main character wouldn't appear at all and hence Q's start was changed to when Shinji "wakes up", giving birth to the lost 14 years
- There are no details for the lost 14 years but a scenario for them exists. Preview at the end of Ha is from that story.
- Near-Third Impact in Ha → Gendo ousted → Kaworu and Kaji assume command in Gendo's absence, aid in the preservation of NERV and in protecting Misato and co. → Gendo somehow reassumes command at NERV → Gendo uses SEELE, another battle occurs, starts Third Impact → Kaji dies to stop Third Impact → WILLE is born → Q begins
- Regarding Kaworu, Kaji, and the reason they assumed command and assistance duties at Nerv, Kaworu did it for Shinji, while Kaji did it to take care of his seed research and to help Misato plus the WILLE faction. Both of them had their own interests to take care of, as well as the people they cared about and wanted to see happy, and worked together to that end.
- Naoko Akagi's settei wasn't written down with details and she was removed from NTE entirely
- Tweet six is the poster retracting his personal statement that this was the first time anybody had spoken about the original plan for Q; while it was the first time Anno said anything publicly about it, Tsurumaki actually mentioned it in the Newtype interview from the June issue on pages 138-139.
- At the final stage greeting for Shin Eva, Director Anno said that in episode 20 of NGE, in the scene with Kaji and Misato where the camera focuses on the dresser, he told TV Tokyo, "It's a massage scene" in order to get permission to broadcast it.
- The actors would get their scripts the night before dubbing without any visuals, just black words on a white page. Anno said, "I wanted a performance unrestrained by visual aids."
- Ogata describes the work as "being able to go back to being 14 years old whenever you want".
- Anno says, "I don't have any more scenes I'd like to add. I've spent half my life working toward this film, and it's filled with all the emotion I've poured into it."
- Ogata loved Rei's dialogue in the elevator scene between her and Asuka. Anno wanted to make a cut longer than anything in Hayao Miyazaki's Future Boy Conan series (he calls Miyazaki "Miya" as a nickname).
- Mitsuishi asks if the camera lingering on the dresser in the scene between Misato and Kaji was an edit they were made to make. Anno responds that he told the TV station it was a massage scene. Mitsuishi had never heard this before and exploded in laughter.
- Ogata jokes she must be the first female VA to voice a male character masturbating, referencing the opening of EoE. Anno says, "The scene was too short. We needed to make it longer to be realistic." Fumihiko Tachiki was on set that day and commented to Ogata, "Good job, Shinji."
- Tachiki asks Anno what happened during the missing 14 years, saying he's asking because he won't get the chance again. Anno says there was a plan for Q that would have followed the events shown in the preview for Q at the end of Ha and been a movie without Shinji. Gendo and Fuyutsuki are overthrown and Kaworu and Kaji assume command of NERV.
- Anno says, "In an industry where numbers are everything, being able to make a robot anime that made 10 billion makes it a possibility for all robot anime that come after to do the same."
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.
Date: March 23, 2011
“Miyamura Yuko will talk about the movie, “Shin Evangelion Theatrical Edition” and her role as Asuka Langley Shikinami and the “New Theatrical Edition” which healed her trauma of the End of Evangelion”
On March 8, 2021, the film “Shin Evangelion Theatrical Edition was released to the public (referred to as Shin Eva below). Following the 2007 release of “Evangelion New Theatrical Edition: Jo,” The theatrical edition series’ most recent work and final installment has recorded the highest box office earnings of the series, quickly become a big hit, and from the time of its release until now, the number of people who have seen the movie still continues to grow.
This time, we will interview the voice actress Yuko Miyamura who has continued to perform the role of Asuka Langley Shikinami in the “New Theatrical Edition” series as well as Asuka Langley Soryu from the original TV Series.
The Asuka Love that I felt from the Fan’s Impressions
Today (For the first time in 24 years, the interview was held during the stage greeting event), I think it’s been a long time since the other cast members have been together, what kind of things did you talk about?
I was overseas and couldn’t participate in the wrap party for the other “New Theatrical Edition” films so it’s really been a long time. I was travelling by bus but as expected everyone wanted to talk about many things so I was really excited. I only recorded my parts [alone] so I completely had no idea about what kind of acting or feelings the other cast put into their performance.
Of course, I had the script so I knew how the plot would develop but other than that, I essentially had the same experience as the audience in the movie theatre. Koto Mitsuishi [voice of Misato], Yuriko Yamaguchi [voice of Ritsuko] was next to me and Miki Nagasawa [voice of Maya] was behind me so they were really deeply moved by the scene when Misato leaves the rest to Ritsuko, I was too! I was full of emotion (laughs). It has been a really long time with everyone so besides that, there are really a lot of accumulated conversations that we’ve had but time is limited at the stage greeting event and there’s also social distancing so I wanted to talk with everyone more thoroughly [without rushing].
Also, to be honest, a lot of “Eva” is recorded in pieces. At the start of the TV series, everyone did it together but since my participation in “Ha”, the theatrical series was recorded separately and if I think if I remember correctly, End of Evangelion was recorded in pieces as well.
So for you, you never heard the timings of other people’s voices that were already recorded.
That’s right. I really only recorded my part and other than what was written in the script, I don't know anything else. In particular, in scenes connected to Shinji, there was also the feeling that Shinji (Ogata) should be there with me but that would also be difficult. I was the first to record and there was a lot of pressure too but including my own personal thoughts about not being able to easily meet, I was thinking, “Shinji and Ogata, get through this!” while I performed.
What feelings and thoughts did you arrive at when you actually saw the completed footage?
I hope I got through it but... in the end, Rei is the person who moves Shinji in Shin Eva and no matter what Asuka says, it doesn’t get through to him (laughs). However, Shin Eva’s Asuka is really kind and when I saw it I felt, “why does Shinji have such a nice girl…...!” (laughs). That is why I had a strong desire for Asuka to be happy.
I think it depends on your interpretation of what happened to Asuka at the end and when I read the fan’s impressions, their “Asuka love” is amazing. To that extent, I thought Asuka became a happy person once again.
Do you remember the final lines that you recorded?
Originally, Shin Eva had a June release date and to be honest, before the Coronavirus pandemic my recording was already finished. After that, there were a few places that needed retakes and I rerecorded them so I don’t clearly remember the last part so well. I think the scene I had to retake was when “Ms. Lookalike” (Ayanami Rei (Tentative Name)) came to Kensuke’s house to talk to Asuka.
So there was never a precise end timing?
That’s right. On the day that I was told “With this, I think there won’t be any more retakes,” Maya [Sakamoto, Mari’s voice actress]’s recording was done after me and was behind schedule so I didn’t have time to properly greet everyone. At the very end, I remember writing the signature of "Asuka Langley Shikinami" and being taught the spelling of Langley (laughs).
Was there something that Executive Director Anno said to you?
It wasn’t the last of the actual recording, but the time when I finished the recording before the retake I mentioned earlier. Anno greeted me and said “I’m glad Asuka is Miyamura.”
However, as you can see from the work, Anno is pouring love into every character in "Eva" this time. Other than me, it seems that all the cast members and staff members were also thankful, and Anno has grown up a lot (laughs).
Shikinami and Soryu are different people
In “Shin Eva,” a significant part of Asuka was revealed, did you know this when you read the script?
Of course. When the recording of “Q” was finished, there was no explanation about what would happen in the future, and when I asked why [Asuka’s name was changed to] “Shikinami”, I was only told that "it’s a battleship ...". So I found out about Asuka in this movie for the first time when I read the script.
The "New Theatrical Edition" series was recorded over a long time beginning with "Jo", but was there any difficulty because it was [recored] over a long period time?
From before the beginning of the “New Theatrical Edition” series, I occasionally performed as Asuka for Games or Pachinko machines but in this series it feels like it’s been a long time since “Jo” performing as Asuka. I decided from the beginning to perform Shikinami and Soryu as two different people. Furthermore, when I learned of the setting in Q that 14 years has passed and Asuka’s body has remained the same and only her mind has become an adult I was worried about what I should do. Even though her physical body hasn't changed, the human voice has a huge influence on the mental part, so I put that feeling into the preparation for my role while also thinking "I wonder if I should to make it a little closer to an adult ..."
I've redone each of my roles of "Ha" for "Ha" and " Q" for "Q", but overall, I've been playing a 14-year-old girl the whole time. On the other hand, I had the intuition that it was okay, and at the time same I also had the feeling that I should not forget my feelings when I was 14 years old.
After all, as I get older, I forget the feelings of those days. However, by saying, "I can already forget them," I also feel relieved [now that the series is over]. After all, as I get older, I forget the feelings of those days. After this, it's okay to get older (laughs).
Asuka was a different person in the TV series, and there was a passage of time, but did you have any difficulty in maintaining your voice?
There is also a mental influence, for example, it is hard for me to say that I was playing a 14-year-old Shikinami at the time of "Ha" because the real energy of a 14 year old is different so I can't do it unless I make something like a regular habit of it. I'm currently teaching voice acting at a vocational school and I've been excited about talking to young people, where our age difference is like that of parent and child, about our favorite YouTubers (laughs). I’m aware of maintaining that kind of energy. I don’t look young by any means so it’s part of my preparation for the role (laughs). However, I think it’s really just a valuable and good experience to have the privilege to have done.
Do you have any stories about performing Asuka from your students or their parents? .
I don’t have any stories like that. After all, there are really a lot of young people who have never even seen “Eva” even though they recognize the name. I think "Eva" is not just something that you watch, and in contrast to that, it appeals to the heart, it’s a kind of work that searches for answers. Rather than being something that people recommend, I think it's a work that you should watch when it's time for you to watch it, so I don’t really recommend it to my students.
A little while ago you said something about Shikinami and Soryu are different people, were you aware of how you separated your performance?
I separated my performance or should I say I made it different from the start so it’s completely different. For Soryu, Kaji was the one she was infatuated with, but in the case of Shikinami, the part of the story when she's interested in Kaji never happens and so she’s a completely different person from the start.
Both have a dark past, but I have the impression that Soryu’s past is darker and she can’t be straightforward about her feelings.
That’s right both have dark pasts and I’ve always felt bad for Shikinami. For me, "End of Evangelion" was quite painful ... Anyways, I was so scared that I couldn't watch it for years.
However, I know that there are many people who’ve told me that they like the scene when the mass-production Evas attack (laughs). I also rewatched it so I could try to say the lines from that scene.
Conversely, Asuka was able to be happy this time, wasn’t she? Until now, there was no one who said it’s okay if Asuka stays the same [unhappy]. I watched Shin Eva and I was able to understand Executive Director Anno’s feelings a little bit.
What is Asuka like for you, Ms. Miyamura?
For me, Asuka is like a daughter. I have one daughter but it seems like I have two daughters. Actually, my real daughter is a high school student now but I’ve been acquainted with Asuka for longer. Asuka is my eldest daughter and my real daughter seems like a second daughter to me (laughs).
Are there parts that you feel the two Asukas and your self have in common?
When it comes to the similarities to myself, it’s difficult to say but both Shikinami and Soryu both share a strong desire to be the best, and from the beginning, there are scenes where she clashes with Shinji and Rei.
Asuka is a character that has continued to have to shoulder the burden, was it a tough experience?
It was tough around 1995-96, when Japanese society still wasn't very open-minded about anime.
Now I can tell how much fans are worried about me and how much they like Asuka on SNS. It's really encouraging, but a long time ago there wasn't even a place to vent. At that time, I was really lonely, and even if I was called a popular voice actor or invited to appear on a TV program, I felt like I was out of place … Now my perspective of the voice acting profession is completely different.
Personally, the turning point was when I met Tiffany Grant, the person in charge of dubbing the English version of Asuka, at an overseas convention. We talked together about Asuka’s pain in the “End of Evangelion” and I felt like I was able to meet someone who understood Asuka’s feelings for the first time! It really helped.
Now that the times have changed, I saw the thoughts and opinions of various people and I was able to know that everyone wanted Asuka to be happy. Even back then, I just didn’t hear it and surely it’s conceivable to think that there was the same kind of fan love back then too and now it’s been rewarded.
So to an extent, you yourself were also saved in this series.
That’s absolutely right. I don’t know what kind of intention Anno had with his direction this time but I was also happy that Asuka was able to have a conversation with Shinji in a certain scene. In a sense, I was relieved.
However, at the stage greeting this time around - when Ogata talked about one more Shinji who remains behind after having sent off everyone - the feeling "I want him to go meet the adult Asuka!" grew stronger too." I think that Shinji also almost certainly meet the adult Asuka, meet Yui, and various other people but I definitely want the fans to complete the rest of the story.
[*she’s referring to the ending of the movie. By saying the other Shinji, she’s emphasizing the difference between adult Shinji and the teenage that Shinji Ogata voices. In the movie, adult Shinji and teenage Shinji were played by two different voice actors.]
Looking back on the time you’ve spent together with Asuka over the last 25 years, how was it?
I feel like it took 25 years for animation to come to the center of Japanese culture. The boom at the time of the TV series was very exciting among anime fans, and it spread to some extent to people who aren’t fans of anime but even so, I don’t think it reached the general public. Now “Demon Slayer” is a big hit and even though animation is in the center of Japanese culture, no one thinks it’s amazing.
The first anime picture I saw in a convenience store was “Eva.” Now, anime related products like lottery tickers are not rare, but at that time, I didn't have the chance to see products with anime character drawings at convenience stores and so I remember being very shocked when I saw magazines that featured Eva displayed in stores like normal.
Since then, the times have changed and every one around the world loves anime. I was abroad and even overseas, everyone knows "Eva".There are a lot of fans who say that they love Asuka, and it also makes me feel like the world is connected. Japan's "Eva" was accepted by the world, and I think it’s been a great 25 years.
After that, more than anything, I’m glad that Executive Director Anno’s vision was realized. At the time of “End of Evangelion” there was also live action filming, but honestly at that time, I wondered why he’s shooting live action footage for an anime. When I watch Shin Eva, I am able to understand what the director wanted to do this time. At the time of the TV series and its theatrical version, Anno-san was suffering, and the staff at that time and myself had seen it, so I’m really glad he’s better. I think there will be various pressures after Eva but I want to continue to do my best after this work.
[Note: “Neon Genesis Evangelion Theatrical Edition” is translated “End of Evangelion” for context]
"Congratulations on your graduation, Anno!" Megumi Ogata looks back on 25 years with Hideaki Anno and Shinji Ikari.
"EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME", the latest and final volume of the "Rebuild of Evangelion" series, has finally been released. The story, which began in 2007 with ":1.0", ":2.0" (2009), and ":3.0" (2012), has finally come to an end. Many of you must have been shaken by the shock and emotion.
"Congratulations on your graduation, Anno," says voice actress Megumi Ogata, who has played the main character Shinji Ikari for 25 years since the start of the TV series "Neon Genesis Evangelion". Now that a period of time has passed, Ogata's encounter with Shinji has been guided by luck, fate, and choice. She talks about the 25 years she spent with Shinji and General Director Anno.
Please note that this article contains descriptions of the development of the film.
"I'll miss it, but I can't help it. It's ending," Anno told me.
The TV series "Neon Genesis Evangelion" started broadcasting in 1995, and every time a new one is released, it has been a social phenomenon.
In 2007, the "Rebuild of Evangelion" series began, and with "Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time," people have been wondering, "What kind of ending will we get?"
However, the release of the film had to be postponed due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection, and it was finally released on March 8. It became a huge hit, grossing over 3.3 billion yen within 7 days of its release, as fans rushed to see it.
Ogata expressed her relief, "Anyway, I'm glad that we were able to release the film without any problems."
"If the film had been released in June of last year as planned, I might have felt more loss and various other feelings. There was a long period of time when we couldn't release the film, so now I'm glad that people can finally watch it," she says with joy. At the same time, after she watched the completed film, she says, "I felt that Anno was sincere in his response."
Shinji is a 14-year-old boy who is forced to fight Angel as the pilot of EVA-01. This series has depicted Shinji's emotional struggles and growth through his fierce battles, but there must be people who feel a sense of loss as the "Rebuild of Evangelion" series comes to an end. Ogata herself says, "Rather than feeling a sense of loss, I feel as if I'm being left behind at the age of 14," revealing her honest feelings at the moment.
“When we started post recording this film, I asked Anno if it was really going to end. And Anno replied that it was going to end. I told him, 'I'm going to miss it,' and he said, 'I'll miss it, but I can't help it. It ending.' (laughs). At that time, I was heading to the studio with mixed feelings, thinking, 'This is really the end, I'm glad, but I'm also sad, but I'm also glad.' I felt that way even more because I had only received the first half of the script. But now I feel like I'm still 14 years old and left behind. This is because, from the middle of the film onward, Shinji becomes a "Kyogen-mawashi" (a role that appears to help the audience understand the story's progression) and helps guide the people around him. Maybe that helps me to feel that way," she says.
She smiles and says, "I feel like I'm sending Anno off with 'Congratulations on your graduation,' when he said, 'It's over.'
Ogata also talks about Shinji's role as the "Sender".
“I thought about this when I was working on "Rebuild of Evangelion," but Eva often depicts the spiritual world, and it's not always clear how much of the story is reality. I'm not sure if Shinji really sees everyone off actively or not. I think it would be more accurate to say that he sent them off because they all graduated after he confronted them and asked them about their feelings.”
This time Shinji isn't just sulking and being quiet.
General Director Hideaki Anno, the creator of this work, has devoted himself to the creation of "Evangelion," which can be said to be his very soul. What was it like to spend time working with Anno, a director who puts his whole heart and soul into his work? Ogata smiles happily and says, "Once we started working on the Rebuild of Evangelion series, Anno smiled almost all the time when he faced me. So, on the contrary, I thought, 'That's scary, why is he smiling?' I wondered what was wrong with him.“
“When we were working on the TV series, he was even more tense. Anno, Kazuya Tsurumaki, and Masayuki were getting skinnier and skinnier every week. I wondered if they were all going to be okay," she says, referring to the changes over the years.
Ogata has a great sense of trust in General Director Anno. Nowadays, there are many anime productions that go through postrecording when the pictures are not yet ready. However, in the 1990s, when the TV series "Neon Genesis Evangelion" started, "all anime studios used to do postrecording when the pictures were 100% done."
“In the beginning of "Eva," the pictures were 100% complete before the postrecording. Gradually, the number of pictures decreased, but even then, Anno would explain in great detail, 'This scene is going to be like this,' or "This is how I want you to act.' Then, the footage would actually come out just as he had said. I know that's how he approaches his work, so I trust him a lot.”
Before the recording of this film, Ogata had her first experience.
"One day, I got a call from Khara, Inc. saying, 'We'd like to discuss the scenario,' so I went there and had a meeting. Anno said, 'I want to know your opinion on how to deal with Shinji's inability to speak at the end of 3.0.' "I told him, 'I'll do whatever Anno decides,' but he said, 'Now I feel closer to Gendou than Shinji. The only people who can understand Shinji's feelings now are Ogata and [Anno's assistant] Ikki Todoroki' (laughs)."
She continues with her memories.
"This time, Shinji wasn't just sulking and keeping quiet. He was determined to accomplish what he set out to do, but he didn't accomplish anything. On the contrary, he has dragged a lot of people into it, and he doesn't know why, but it turns out that everyone around him is like a stranger. He had only one friend among them who talked to him, but he lost that friend right in front of him. He was told that if he pulled out the spear, things would go back to normal, so he did his best, but it turned out to be worse. With all of that on his shoulders, he couldn't talk anymore. I told him how I felt about his feelings, and as I sorted them out, I exchanged opinions with him, saying, 'I think it will be alright if we can set up a situation where we can overcome these problems.'"
"In the field of animation, voice actors work at the very end of the process, so it's almost never the case that we are asked for our opinions at the scenario script stage, long before the recording script. This was my first experience," she says.
It seems that General Director Anno also had complete trust in her.
"The 'non-acting' is what actors do, and I was able to experience many things with the mind of a 14-year-old."
Ogata has been playing Shinji for 25 years, and playing the role of a 14-year-old boy has been a very special experience in her life.
Ogata mentions the age of 14.
"In the course of our lives, we may think, 'This word made people hate me. Then, I'll seal this,' or 'I shouldn't express this kind of emotion.' I think we become adults by putting on armor on our bodies one by one. Fourteen years old is the age when you can understand society from the same perspective as adults. In other words, even though they don't have armor yet, they are able to see the structure of society and various human relationships. Because they are defenseless, there are things they cannot fully accept, and they are very fragile."
This is what she says about her job as an actor.
"In the first place, I believe that the job of an actor is not to act. Everyone lives in their armor, and acting. I don't think there is anyone who lives their life with their true feelings exposed. It's not easy to take off the armor and communicate. However, professional actors are able to remove the armor they are wearing at any time. In addition, we voice actors need to remove our armor in a way that transcends age and gender."
"I look at every single event that happens in our society and ask, 'Instead of trying to make a public stance or maintain the appearance, what would I think if I removed all my armor and I was ......14 years old at that moment? What would I say?' I've been asking myself these questions for a long time. I don't think I'm a very good actor, so that's the only way I can survive as an actor. I thought that was the value of my existence," she says, referring to the practice of removing her armor on a regular basis."
"I suffered the most in my mid-thirties. Now, as a routine, I am able to return to the state I was in when I was 14 years old."
As an instructor, Ogata often teaches people who want to become voice actors, but she says, "There are so many women who want to play boy roles, but only a few who can really play boy roles," she says clearly.
“Don't get me wrong, I think boys will always be stupid like junior high school kids (laughs). But when a woman plays the role of a boy, she tends to look at it from a woman's perspective, because girls have been "women" ever since they can remember, and it's actually the most difficult thing to remove that armor. I probably have a unique person. I've always had a "Chu-ni" (*1) in my heart (laughs).”
She laughs, "I think that's why I've been playing a lot of roles with 'Chu-ni Sickness'(*1)' since 2010, besides Shinji, because I have that part of me." (laughs)
"Through Shinji, I have had a tremendous experience. Until then, the main character in robot anime would have stood up and said, 'I'll protect the earth!' But Shinji says, 'I'm scared, I'm scared, it's impossible.' But that's normal. My job was to 'represent a 14-year-old with a sense of reality.'
It was hard, but I was very happy to be able to experience many things with the mind of a 14-year-old," she says, rejoicing in her encounter with Shinji.
- 1) Both of them are a slang term that refers to the factors that cause people to say and do things that seem to be typical of adolescents, and also to people who make fun of such behavior. Typically, it is used to describe behaviors such as behaving in an unnaturally mature manner, being overly sarcastic, or thinking of themselves as special and different from normal people.
My first rebel led me to meet Shinji. I have so many people to thank for that.
Because of Ogata's dedication, Shinji's pain, loneliness, and fear reached the audience, and a "legendary" character was born in the history of Japanese anime.
However, I was surprised to learn that when the audition for the TV series came up, her agency turned it down due to scheduling reasons. Ogata talks about her connection with Shinji.
(She played the role of Mamoru Chiba's boyhood in the movie "Sailor Moon R.") "When I participated in the 'Sailor Moon' TV show trip, Anno was there and asked me to audition for the role. If I hadn't gone on that trip, I might not have been cast as Shinji, and that would have been a really, really big loss," she says with a sincere smile.
“I think that everything in the world is about how you connect with the opportunities you get. The agency had its own ideas and they had already turned the offer down once. But it was such a great honor to be asked directly by the director to take the audition. At the time, I was still a newcomer, so I knew I shouldn't go against what the agency said. That was the first time I rebelled and asked them to definitely let me take this chance. It was my first rebel (laughs). If I hadn't rebelled like that, I wouldn't have been able to go to the audition, so even if it was luck and fate, it was because I chose to move forward there that I was able to meet Shinji. I'm really grateful that I've been able to come this far because so many people have guided me to make that choice,” she says wholeheartedly.
Interview and text by Orie Narita
Stage greeting on NHK "Profesional" documentary
Transcript of a portion of the stage greeting
Hideaki Anno talked about his honest true feelings towards the documentary program "Professional"
“EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME” They thanked the audience for the big hit and gave a speech on stage.
After the completion of this film
Anno: When it was over, all I could do was thank them. Well, it was mainly to the staff, but I thanked them and went around at the end. NHK didn't film that part.
Ogata: I see. Yes, it's getting a little difficult...
Anno: I ended by going to each section, bowing my head, and saying thank you, thank you, thank you. That's how I ended it.
Close coverage on NHK "Professional"
Anno: I haven't seen it.
Ogata: You haven't seen it?
Ogata: I see.
Anno: I don't watch the shows I'm on.
Ogata: Is that so.
Anno: I don't like that.
Ogata: Did you get to see Tsurumaki and Maeda?
Maeda: I did.
Tsurumaki: Actually, I didn't see it either.
Ogata: Oh, really?
Maeda: Is that so?
Tsurumaki: I met with the director the day before, and I apologized to her, saying I'm sorry, but please let me see it in five years.
Maeda: I recorded it and watched it.
Ogata: Really? What did you think when you saw it, Maeda?
Maeda: I thought it was very well done.
Ogata: I see.
Maeda: They had a huge amount of records, but they edited them down to focus on what Anno, the creator, was making. I thought it was very interesting to see though it was a bit much to make Anno look so cool.
Anno: I haven't seen it, so I don't know. I mean, they say it's for four years, but it's not like we were together for four years. There were times when they didn't come for months at a time.
Ogata: But I frequently...
Anno: They weren't with me every day.
Ogata: I frequently go to the recording studio many times for a long time. They were always there then, weren't they?
Anno: They came to film pretty much at the time of the postrecording. You’re right. They came when Ogata was at the studio, but not when someone else was there.
Ogata: Well, I think it was hard work either way, though, really.
Anno: There were quite a lot of good moments in the production site where it is worth filming, but they were not there when it happened.
Ogata: The scene where you said that was broadcasted. (Toward the audience) Wasn't it?
Anno: Seriously, they didn't show up at the great chance for the shooting.
Ogata: Oh, I see, that's too bad.
Anno: It is too bad they didn't show up on the last day, because the last day was worth shooting when we were doing the virtual camera.
Ogata: I see. That's difficult.
Anno: They usually showed up on not the last day, but the first day. Even though the last day is the best for shooting.
Maeda: I see.
Ogata: Well, but that's also fate. They came at that time to film this.
Anno: But there were so many better moments, really. I think that's why I said that to the camera.
Ogata: It was shocking. I love the show "Professional". At the beginning, the narration says "We should not have gotten involved with this man". Then at the end, they ask "What is a ‘professional’ for you?", and you say "I hate the word ‘professional’".
Maeda: Come on! (laughing)
Anno: I had my reasons for refusing, but this time they said they'd focus on Eva, so I accepted it.
Ogata: Yes, I see.
Anno: I had been refusing for a long time.
Ogata: All right. Well, please take your time and watch it. It's probably going to be aired today, but the other day I was a guest on Suga Shikao's radio show. When I was a guest on his radio show, Suga said that he really liked Eva and was very moved by the scene where his professional music was played from Anno's close-up.
Anno: Thank you very much.
Ogata: I think everyone feels the same way. (To the audience) Did you enjoy it?
Anno: Thank you very much. How was the postrecording?
Ogata: Well, the expected question has come. The way we did the postrecording was very different from what we've done in the past. We recorded it in very small pieces. It took a long time to do it that way. I know you spent a long time recording, I mean it was a long term recording. Please tell us how you felt during the postrecording process, or what was the most memorable thing about it. This question is mainly for Anno and Tsurumaki. What do you think?
Anno: Even if you took postrecordings in pieces, it wouldn't give you that impression, right? The finished screen.
Anno: Each voice actor was recorded separately, and the takes were different. Even the sentences in a single line were recorded in different takes. We do things that are similar to singing depending on the voice actors. I decided that it would be okay to do that, since the participating voice actors originally have amazing acting skills and power to make the audience not feel it. I think it's amazing that they don't talk to each other, but it sounds like they do.
Ogata: It's really tough.
Anno: It was tough, wasn't it? But Ogata, it's still easy for you.
Ogata: Thank you for saying so.
Anno: It's rather easy for you.
Ogata: This time, I played the role of the receiver a lot. I see. It was tough. How was it for you, Tsurumaki, to be in this kind of postrecording situation?
Tsurumaki: Well, I didn't actually participate in all the recordings. The part that impressed me the most was Miyuki Sawashiro's performance as Sakura Suzuhara. The part where the drama develops in a rather difficult situation. I was worried about that part, in my own way I was quite worried. But it was OK at the first take, wasn't it? I think so.
Anno: Actually, it was a test one.
Tsurumaki: Oh, that's right.
Anno: That's what we recorded as a test. The type of voice actors like Sawashiro read the script before recording, build it up inside of her, and release it first. That's why you have to get the first one.
Ogata: I see.
Anno: And I think she's the type of person who, after the second time, will try to do better than the first time. Anyway, the first time is important. The first one was really good. That's why it's the first take we've included in the film. Later, Tsurumaki and others started to say they wanted a different take, but I had them listen to the first take again, and they agreed with me.
Ogata: The film is created with the help and opinions of many people, I guess. But it's true that the initial action is important.
Tsurumaki: As a result of giving various advice or saying "I want you to do this," things become worse and worse. In many cases, the result is that I end up getting further and further away from what I want. Anno is very good at that kind of thing. He knows how much to tell a person and how much to let that person challenge. Also, what he said earlier, "I don't want to create only from what's inside of me, but I also want people to influence me," is very obvious in the postrecording. In many cases, Shinji's feelings were entrusted to Ogata.
Ogata: Thank you very much. This time, as is always the case, there were a lot of lines that could be taken in different ways by everyone, not just me and not just Sawashiro. I feel like there were many lines that could have been taken in a completely different way with just a slight difference in emotion. In that sense, I think this process was difficult in many ways. Okay, thank you very much.
Anno: Thank you very much.
Final Remarks,br>Anno: I have already thanked you once at the beginning, but I would like to thank you again. Thank you very much.
Anno: In the middle of production, we were hit by the Corona disaster. It was a very difficult time, and it's still going on today. We are still going through such a difficult time, but you have come to this place and told us that you enjoyed our work. Thank you very much for coming to the theater even in such a difficult time. Thank you very much.
Ogata: Thank you very much.
Toshio Okada (OTAKING)'s impressions on the NHK documentary
Don't be impressed by NHK's sloppy work! Here's what's wrong with the Professional Work Style "Anno Hideaki Special"
OTAKING explains _Hideaki Anno
This is the translation of the free part of Okada Toshio's Seminar on March 30th.
On March 22, Professional Work Style "Anno Hideaki Special" was broadcasted. I was able to see various production scenes, but I had the impression that something was not quite right. I'll try to supplement it with some explanations of what was going on, using the pictures as reference material. Was there a God Killer? Can he reach Master's back, the "shelf of the heart"(*1)? Please enjoy.
- 1) "Make a shelf in your heart": A line uttered by Saburo Ibuki in the manga "The Flame Transfer Student" by Kazuhiko Shimamoto, Volume 6, Episode 3, "The Reward of Betrayal".
As you see in a comment, NHK is no longer making programs for people who really look at the images and think.
The narrator uses voice over to tell us how we should perceive the images. It's not a documentary anymore.
Professional Work Style "Anno Hideaki Special" Supplemental Project for Busy NHK
Producer: Toshio Okada
I watched Professional Work Style "Anno Hideaki Special" too.
There was a lot of talk about layout and composition, which I explained in the seminar on March 14. In the documentary, Anno used the word "angle" to describe it.
I'd like to talk about the scene that made me say " Wow". This is the scene that made me shout out.
I didn't see many people reacting to it, but it was the scene of the miniature of the third village. The third village is probably made of thin wood here. I think everything here is made of wood. The reason why I think it is wood is because when you get a close-up, the surface of the cross section is a little black. That's a phenomenon that occurred when the laser cutter was used to cut it, so I think the entire building was created using 3D data, and then the digital data was scanned by the leather cutter, and the parts were cut out and assembled. I think they decided on the angles by actually taking pictures with a smartphone or something in the miniature set of this place. It's pretty amazing.
I'd like to talk about the things that I thought, "Wow, I didn't know that" or "I didn't notice that." I don't know if many people noticed it, but I didn't recognize it at all while watching the film. But when I saw this model in the documentary, I realized that there is a building at the edge. This is the Ube New Station (thought to be a mistake of Ube Shinkawa Station).There's a platform a little to the left of Ube New Station here. This is, well, I don't know, the platform that Kaworu and Rei were on. In other words, in the last scene Shinji is on the platform of Ube New Station, and he is looking at the platform in the center, which is a little far away.
That means the front side from Ube New Station is the real world, and the other side is the third village. This was the composition. In this miniature, you can see where the third village is located in Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture. It's a very interesting structure. That's why, in the last scene, when you see an aerial shot of Ube in Yamaguchi Prefecture, it's a real scene, but at first you don't know if it's real. In fact, everything from the railroad tracks to the other side was drawn with CGI. So the moving train is CGI. However, when the camera panned around to show the real Ube, the bicycles and cars moving there were all real materials. They were real. So I thought to myself, "Ah, the characters in the anime are really there in the CGI world."
The thing is, Anno doesn't see anime and reality as something separate. Everything is inside his mind. In his mind, the world of animation, or the fictional world, and the world of live-action, or the real world, are worlds that are next to each other, worlds that are separated only by his own feelings. So he says that he has come back to this world. Shin Godzilla is about fiction versus reality, while EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME is about how fiction and reality are both real to you. I realized that it had a good ending.
So when I saw the miniature set, I thought, "Wow". I'm sure that in the near future, studio khara or Grand Works will release a book of EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 setting materials at a regular price of, I don't know, $500, $800, or $1K. I'm sure I'll buy it when it comes out, so I'll talk about it again after I check it out.
It's such a large miniature set. I don't know, maybe it's more than 2 meters wide, maybe even 3 meters. Since it's made of panels, it's probably a multiple of 90 centimeters, so it's probably about 7.2 meters wide by 2.7 meters long. The railroad is made of o-gauge rails. I thought it would be expensive to make a miniature, but it's the opposite. I later realized that it was cheaper. Why, considering the character of Hideaki Anno, he would have wanted to build a full-scale open set. He wanted to build a full-scale open set, shoot in it, and decide the composition, but he was reluctant to do so. He wants to build a full-scale open set. If that wasn't possible, he would have wanted to build the entire set in CGI and have the actors act in it, but that was not possible due to budget or schedule reasons, so he compromised and went with miniatures. So it was a rather good use of money. It's not that Hideaki Anno is being wasteful or extravagant, but on the contrary, it's a scene where he succeeded in reducing costs.
Seeing how it was made reminded me of something. NHK documentaries are full of, well, I don't know, lies or mistakes. It's not the first time this kind of method was used, there was an animation called Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise that was released in 1987. I participated in producing it, and we used the same method for that one.
The building of the Space Force headquarters was a very complicated structure, so we ordered a very large model. It was about 1.5 meters by 1.5 meters. We ordered one large building. We used it to explore the best angles. We didn't have smartphones or cell phones at the time, so we brought, or rather prepared, the smallest camera possible, and the staff took pictures from various angles with the camera inside the building. We discovered that we could take this composition and that composition. These discoveries helped us to determine the actual angles.
I also felt that the NHK staff didn't notice this either. It's an interesting scene. This is the scene of the Previsualization shooting. At first, the actors are greeting each other, and you can see that they are wearing full-body tights and have pointers and markers on them. This is a scene inside Toji's house. In the scene where he is having dinner with his family, there is a wooden frame around the house, and there is a string attached to it. This is something so that you can see that there is a pillar in this position and a fusuma line in this position. It is a string to show where the pillars are, where the low table is, where the low furniture is, and so on. It's a piece of wood to show that the pillars are standing around here. With this, I don't know, it can be used as a location marker. And they're taking pictures in this.
This method of making anime is also familiar to me. Why? When we made "The Wings of Honnêamise", Yamaga, the director, said that he didn't like the idea of building the layout in the animator's mind. If an artist drew the composition in his mind, it would end up being a good picture for the artist. He didn't want to do that, he wanted to get the composition correct. So he had the animators do the acting. So, actually more than half of the cuts in "The Wings of Honnêamise" are acted out by the animators themselves using a video camera. For example, there is a scene where Riquinni's arm is pulled. The scene where the female heroine, Riquinni, is about to go and someone says, "Hey," and pulls her hand, and her arm stretches a little. And the scene where she opens the door. For all of these scenes, we didn't build a set, but we prepared tables, chairs, and doors in GAINAX and had the animators act there. We shot a video of it and decided the composition based on it. The composition, acting, and timing of the movements were all decided based on that. Well, we didn't manage to do that for all of the cuts, but we did it as much as we could. I think that was probably the first previsualization in Japan.
In Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, they used a technique called "Previsualization", and although there was no word for it yet, I knew about it, and Yamaga heard about it. We tried to create an anti-Hayao Miyazaki approach to making a new anime. I, Yamaga, and Anno all love Miyazaki's anime. But we thought that if we followed Hayao Miyazaki's method of making animation, we would end up copying his works. To make a new anime, we had to do something new in the way we made it, which led us to making miniatures and having the animators act. There were a lot of animators who were very resistant to this new way of creating animation. In particular, the more experienced and talented animators insisted, "I can draw movement without acting. I know exactly what it is." But Yamaga repeatedly begged and persuaded them to do so. When the animators didn't participate, the production staff had to do the acting instead of them and videotape it.
EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 is actually a very complete version of what Yamaga did with The Wings of Honnêamise more than 40 years ago, as I found out from the NHK documentary. Anyway, it's the same with The Wings of Honnêamise, we searched for actual historical footage and materials. At that time, the slogan was, "There is no better creation than the truth." We bought a lot of foreign photo books and back issues of Life magazine. When we were creating a scene for The Wings of Honnêamise, we first looked for a composition that existed in the real world. We were very strict about starting from there. For example, the famous rocket separation scene. In the scene where the rocket is detached in space, we made a perfect trace of the scene where the Apollo Saturn rocket detaches its second stage rocket.
But Hayao Miyazaki, who came to visit us at the studio at the time, preached to us a lot. He said, "That's why Anno is no good." Miyazaki criticized Anno by name. You can see this criticism of Anno in various places, such as in anime magazines: "There is no point in imitating reality." "Animators nowadays use real-life images and videos as references. You can't just trace what you see in a cartoon. You can't trace what you see in a video. You have to look at reality and make a picture of it in your mind." Miyazaki was criticizing Anno almost exclusively.
At that time, illustrators were very much influenced by Miyazaki's words. That's why Yoshiyuki Sadamoto and Masahiro Maeda were actually quite critical of Yamaga behind his back. They were criticizing Yamaga. They said, "I don't think this is the right way to do it. In other words, it's no good to have the animators act in advance and then try to capture it on video, like in Previsualization. "If you're going to do that, then you should do this work in live action." I heard it over and over again from people outside the company, and also from people inside the company. Both Sadamoto and Maeda complained about it a lot. "If you want to do something like this, just do it in live-action." "Aren't we making something in animation that can't be done in live-action?" they said to me. Hideaki Anno was lost between those conflicting opinions. Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, or Hayao Miyazaki's opinion is behind this scene though Masahiro Maeda and Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, whose core beliefs are shaken by Hayao Miyazaki's words, first started criticizing Previsualization and live action. No matter how much criticism Yamaga received from them, he tried his best to keep his emotions hidden from his face and pretended to be fine. Anno was pretty much lost between them.
In fact, The Wings of Honnêamise was the first animation work in which Yamaga did not draw a storyboard. He said that he didn't want to do it because if he did, everyone would think that the story was explained by the storyboard. Instead, he tried to make anime with image boards. That's why when I saw NHK Professionals, I was really surprised to find that most of what Anno was saying were Yamaga's words at that time. It was so similar that I said, "You're even paying homage to this part?"
The opening animation for DAICON4 was done when Yamaga was an amateur, but even then he didn't draw storyboards very well. In those days of DAICON 3 and 4, Anno used to make fun of Yamaga saying, "He can't draw a storyboard." He said, "He calls himself a director, but he can't draw storyboards." Yamaga didn't say anything about it. He didn't really explain why he didn't draw the storyboards, but I guess he was trying to make it like Isao Takahata-style animation. Anno criticized him for not drawing storyboards. He said that in order to make an animation, the director or director must draw the storyboard and show the staff the image. But 40 years have passed since then..."Come on, that's not what you said." But thanks to that, he was able to reach the layout-focused style, or angles, this time.
However, the layout-focused style has its disadvantages. This is something I felt very strongly about when I was working on The Wings of Honnêamise. For example, this is a simple scene from Mobile Suit Gundam episode 28, "Dyeing the Atlantic Ocean in Blood". The camera starts with this frame. Something shiny appears on the radar, and the camera moves up. Then, there's a radar operator named Oska here. He reports that a missile is approaching on the radar, or that a missile is approaching, or that a mobile suit has been spotted, or whatever. So this is not the layout-focused style. By changing the angle, the beginning of the cut is the cause. The end of the cut shows the result. In other words, something on the radar is the cause, and the radar operator has found it, so there is a result. This makes the cause-and-effect relationship clear.
If Anno were to make this scene in EVANGELION:3.0+1.0, he wouldn't move the camera because of the layout-focused style. He would fix the camera at the coolest angle and shoot it. He shoots with the camera fixed. The composition and the layout-focused style makes the screen beautiful, but it's not as clear as it is now. If you focus on composition or layout, the picture will be beautiful, but it won't be as clear as the scene I just showed you. You can't show cause and effect separately, or with a time lag, so you lose the explanation power.
In EVANGELION:3.0+1.0, the composition is beautiful thanks to the abandonment of this "explanation". It sure is beautiful, but it somehow becomes more difficult to understand. In other words, it sacrifices the ease of understanding. If a film is beautiful and difficult to understand, the general audience will think it is difficult and wonderful. This is a characteristic of Mamoru Oshii's films. Why are Mamoru Oshii's movies so cool? The reason why they look like they are trying to tell something and have that kind of feeling is that, like Anno's films, they give priority to composition. It's the same with Anno's films, they prioritize composition, they shoot with a fixed camera, and they abandon explanation, so the audience has to think. That's when the audience starts to feel, "This is a difficult film, this is a cool film." So it's just the opposite of Hayao Miyazaki's films. This is also the same point as The Wings of Honnêamise. We did a lot of shooting with a fixed camera, and we didn't do a lot of explanatory cutting. That's why the goal of EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 is also to kill his mentor Hayao Miyazaki.
As you can see from the documentaries about Hayao Miyazaki, he has always drawn the image cuts and image boards by himself. He tries to have the staff draw and create the film according to what he has drawn. However, in the NHK documentary, Anno said,
"The images that I have in my mind are usually boring.”
“There's no point in making a work out of them.”
“It already exists within you. Why do you want the staff to create such things?”
He says that there is no point in creating such a thing. It's a declaration of the disciple killing the master.
In the movie, Misato says, "The only thing a son can do for his father is to tap him on the shoulder (1) or kill him.” That's exactly what it is. Anno criticizes Miyazaki, saying that the staff of Hayao Miyazaki's films are clogs (2), tools. They are tools that are meant to be used by Miyazaki. Basically, it only needs dozens of Hayao Miyazaki to produce Miyazaki's anime. Yet, there is only one Miyazaki in reality. So he uses his staff. So says Anno Hideaki with a laugh in Hayao Miyazaki's documentary NHK. So, in EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0, Anno tried to deny his method. It's really killing the master and killing the father. Anno has said many times in interviews that "there is nothing interesting in my mind", which is his denial to Miyazaki. Anno has said many times in interviews that "there is nothing interesting in my mind", which is his denial to Miyazaki. However, the angle-focused style and previsualization of EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 is not only because he is a fan of Miyazaki, but also, I don't know, a pat on his shoulder. I think it's also a way of saying that it's okay for him to retire.
- 1) A tap on the shoulder: A tap on the shoulder to relieve stiffness in the shoulders, and also a recommendation (by a superior) for retirement.
- 2) Clogging: Adding a certain quantity to the original quantity to make the overall quantity appear larger than it actually is.
But more than that, it's exactly what Yamaga was trying to do with The Wings of Honnêamise 40 years ago, and it's really the same thing he's saying. I found it interesting. For Anno Hideaki, The Wings of Honnêamise was a previsualization. It's really a previsualization video. It's a test film. It's almost like a homage, in the sense that you are redoing the techniques of a film made by someone else. EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 is a homage to Sci-fi films and historical footage, if you look at it cut by cut. But at the same time, it's interesting that the way it's made is also a homage to the films he's participated in in the past.
The NHK team is not doing their job properly. What I mean by "not working" is that they are certainly filming, but they are trying to figure out why by looking at the material they are filming. They took what Anno Hideaki and Tsurumaki said seriously, without question, and made their footage. That's not the way to make a documentary. There is testimony, and the way a documentary should be is to explore the truth of that testimony, or the other side of that testimony. It's called propaganda if you take what they say in their testimonies seriously, swallow it without question, put it in an easy-to-understand format, edit it, and say, "That's because Anno is a genius" or "He's amazing." I was disappointed to see that NHK has become a propaganda agency that simply interviews people and makes propaganda stories.
If you're going to make something, you should look deep into it, I felt.
That's why they came up with the idea that "Director Anno is such a genius that people don't understand him." There is certainly that aspect, but the content of the program became cheap to make such a statement with the footage they were able to shoot. What a waste! They could have made something more interesting with all the material they had.
There's something else I'd like to say. It's around here. After the preview, Mrs. Moyoko Anno gives Anno a small clap and says, "Well done." It's a scene of praise. Also, this is a partial cut of the screen, but it's very interesting to see Director Tsurumaki looking like he's in deep pain while Hideaki Anno says, "I can't do it." Both of these scenes are too funny, but if I were to explain here, it might be a problematic statement, so I'm going to talk about them in the Premium section as a funny story. I've already talked about the meaningful content here, so in the Premium, I'd like to talk about the meaningless, simple, nasty point of view that I saw.
Thank you for your time. These are my thoughts on watching NHK's professional Hideaki Anno special.
Maaya Sakamoto talks about the pain of understanding the role of Mari.
Maaya Sakamoto talks about the pain of understanding the role of Mari. I will take secrets to my grave.
On the 27th, voice actress Maaya Sakamoto attended the stage speech for the screenings of "EVANGELION: 3.0 YOU CAN (NOT) REDO. EVANGELION: 3.333" and "EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME" at Shinjuku Wald 9. She talked about her struggles in creating the role of Makinami Mari Illustrious, the character she played.
Kotono Mitsuishi, Yuriko Yamaguchi, Tomokazu Seki, Tetsuya Iwanaga, Junko Iwao, Miki Nagasawa, Miyuki Sawashiro, and Anri Katsu also attended the stage speech.
"EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME" is the final work in the four-part "Rebuild of Evangelion" series, which was restarted in 2007 from an anime series that caused a social phenomenon in the 1990s. The film depicts the pilots of the Evangelion as they fight against the mysterious enemy "Angel".
"EVANGELION: 3.0 YOU CAN (NOT) REDO. EVANGELION : 3.333", which is an upgraded version of this film and "EVANGELION: 3.0 YOU CAN (NOT) REDO." was screened together this time.
When asked about the episode when she recorded "EVANGELION: 3.0 YOU CAN (NOT) REDO.", Sakamoto said, "Mari is a role with many mysteries, and I don't know everything about it."
She said that she built up the role by taking hints from what Hideaki Anno had said to her during the recording. "Anno doesn't tell everything," Sakamoto said.
"Even in interviews and brochures, I didn't know how much of what he told me I should say," she explained, adding that it was hard to understand the character of Mari.
When Sakamoto hesitated to reveal his interaction with director Anno, Mitsuishi, who played the role of Misato Katsuragi, pushed her back, saying, "Don't worry, Anno will tell you that it's okay to say anything." But Sakamoto replied, "No, I still can't ......".
She continued, "Anno always mumbles in a mysterious tone, so I don't know which of his suggestions are important. Maybe he doesn't care at all, but I can't tell anyway. I'll take it to my grave," she said, revealing the difficulty of interpreting Mari.
Sakamoto has done most of the postrecording for the series so far by herself.
In "EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME", she recorded with Yuko Miyamura (Shikinami Asuka Langley).
"I was worried that I wouldn't be able to record with the actress who has been playing the role since the TV series, but this time I was able to work with Miyamura. I was impressed to see Asuka firmly in Miyamura's mind, and to feel the connection between the role and the voice actor. No matter how I try, I can't reach that level, but it was great to be able to feel the atmosphere," she said, expressing her respect for Miyamura.
Hideaki Anno answers fans' questions about "Shin-Eva"! What scenes would you like to add?
Hideaki Anno's "Eva" comes to an end! Bowing deeply to the audience
Hideaki Anno, the general director of "EVANGELION: 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME", attended the finale stage greeting of the film at Shinjuku Wald 9 with voice actors Emi Ogata, Kotono Mitsuishi, Yuriko Yamaguchi, and Fumihiko Tachiki. As it was the last stage speech, he bowed three times to the audience, saying "I want to thank you all again," and talked about his thoughts on the work.
This film is the conclusion of the "Rebuild of Evangelion" series, which restarted the TV anime "Neon Genesis Evangelion" that caused a social phenomenon. It was announced recently that the film's end date has been set for July 21. On this day, the last stage speech for "EVANGELION:3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME" was held.
With a bright and cheerful look on her face, Ogata said, "I heard that the members on stage today are the first people Shinji meets at the beginning of the first episode (of the TV version). Before Ayanami (Rei) joined, it was these four. I'm deeply moved to give my final speech with all of you." General Director Anno also said, "As Ogata said, the first recording was with this team. It brings back memories. I've been on stage once before, but today is the last time, so I wanted to thank you again." The audience applauded loudly.
The film, which released on March 8, has attracted 6.47 million viewers and grossed over 9.88 billion yen(about US$ 8M) by July 10. The film is now just one step away from Anno's goal of grossing over 10 billion yen(about US$ 9M). Upon hearing this figure, Ogata said, "I'm surprised. I'm so grateful that so many people have seen it."
After finishing this film, Anno said, "I feel like I've done almost everything I can do in anime now." With a proud expression on his face, he said, "I couldn't do this or that in 'Jo', 'Ha', and 'Q', but I think I've done most of it this time."
In response to the question, "Are there any scenes you wish you had added?" He replied, "At first, I was trying to make it within two hours, so I tried my best to cut this and that, but when I realized that I couldn't make it in two hours, I ended up making it two and a half hours. I added what I thought I had to add, so as far as "Shin Eva" is concerned, I haven't." Anno said clearly. However, he added, "The production staff may be frightened to hear this, but it's not happening now. Please don't worry," he told them, which made the audience laugh.
Ogata said about the role of Shinji Ikari, "When I played the TV series, I thought I was the complete opposite. I thought I was strong, and that I didn't have this kind of personality, but now, 26 years later, I think I am Shinji." For Ogata, "Evangelion" is "another record of being 14 years old.
When asked what "Evangelion" means to him, General Director Anno said, "It's hard to put it in one word, if I were to put it in a simple way, I would say that it's my latest work, but that's not the point." "In fact, I've been working on this project since 1992, so it's been almost 30 years. There were times when I was working on other things, but in total, I spent half of my life on this project, so I'm very emotional to have finished it."
After that, the speakers continued to talk about their overflowing feelings for "Evangelion". There was even a moment when Mitsuishi and Yamaguchi were so overwhelmed with emotion that they couldn't help but burst into tears. When asked to make a final comment, General Director Anno said, "I came here today just to say thank you to everyone. Thank you very much." Anno thanked the audience three times before leaving.
'Evangelion' Creator Hideaki Anno Reveals 'Evangelion 3.0+1.0' Might Not be the End
Date: August 8th, 2021
When Neon Genesis Evangelion first aired on TV it changed what we thought of TV anime and the mecha genre. Now, 25 years later, the story of Shinji and the Evas has finally come to an end (again). Except, creator Hideaki Anno says there may be more story to tell, in some form.
Collider was able to participate in a group interview with Anno to discuss Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time, and Anno was asked whether he was truly done with the franchise and if he had plans to revisit it in the future. Though the director seemed pretty eager to finish the story of Shinji, there is one aspect of the world he wants to explore in the future.
That gap refers to the 14-year time-skip at the beginning of Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, where we are introduced to a world that has experienced a near-apocalyptic event and has changed in drastic ways. Though the movies explore some of the consequences of such a catastrophic thing happening, there is always room for more stories, and Anno seems to think so too, just don't expect Anno to continue the story past the ending of Thrice Upon a Time.
If nothing else, the story of Evangelion is one of notorious endings. There was the original TV ending, which went in a completely different direction than originally intended, focusing more on the psychology of the characters, as the final two episodes take place entirely within the mind of young protagonist, Shinji Ikari. After many protests from fans about the psychology-heavy finale, the End of Evangelion movie got made, and showed the horrific apocalypse going on while Shinji had his therapy session. Now, 14 years after the first Rebuild of Evangelion movie started reimagining the story of the show while deviating into its own tale, it seems Evangelion is finally ready to return to nothing and keep tumbling down, tumbling down.
At least, until Anno is ready to get back in the robot.
Look for more from our interview with Anno on Collider soon.
‘Evangelion’ Director Explains How He Finally Found His Ending
Date: August 6th, 2021
“My influence on other creators isn’t something I think about when I’m working on a film,” Anno told me in an interview. “I decide what to make based on what I’m best suited for and what interests me most at the time. The ‘Evangelion’ project repeatedly came up, so I made the new theatrical movies. I don’t think that kind of opportunity will occur again.”
In the series, which takes place in the not-too-distant future, humanity is locked in a mortal struggle with bizarre, staggeringly powerful creatures known as Angels. The only effective weapons against them are the Evangelions or Evas, gigantic cyborgs guided by psychic teenagers. The hero is Shinji Ikari, an alienated 14-year-old who is drafted by his brutal father to pilot the Eva 01.
Despite its popularity, “Evangelion” never had a satisfactory ending. The original series failed to resolve the intricate plot, with its theological and ontological overtones. Shortly before “Evangelion” aired, Anno wrote that he had created it after four years of severe depression when he was “a wreck, unable to do anything” and that “the story has not yet ended in my mind.”
“I don’t know what will become of Shinji or (the other characters), or where they will go,” he wrote.
Speaking from Tokyo via Zoom and a translator, Anno said, “For the rebuild series, I intended the first ‘Evangelion’ movie to be similar to the TV series, the second would gradually change the story, and third and fourth would be totally different. From the first, I didn’t intend to do the same thing as the TV series.”
These four films showcase Anno’s skill at using new computer-graphic technology to create more powerful iterations of his original visions. In the TV series, when troops attacked the Angel Ramiel, it destroyed the humans and their weapons in a series of unremarkable explosions; in “You Are (Not) Alone,” the audience can almost feel the heat when the Angel reduces the tanks and missiles to glowing slag.
In the rebuild, Anno also delves deeper into the fragile psyche of his flawed, traumatized hero and the eccentric personalities around him. When Anno described his approach to the characters, he spoke with an intensity that crossed linguistic boundaries.
“In animation, nothing is real. But I wanted to bring more of a sense of reality into this made-up world — I wanted to make the characters more human,” he explained. “There’s a gap between what people say in real life and what they truly mean. In animation, unless the characters are intentionally lying, they always say what they mean. I wanted to reverse that: When the characters in ‘Evangelion’ speak, they don’t necessarily say what they mean. I wanted to add this human behavior to animation.”
“People feel Shinji is an unusual hero,” he continued. “I think that’s due to the sense of reality I brought, drawing on my experience and knowledge. But Shinji and the other characters are not just a reflection of me; they include elements of the personalities of all the artists on the creative team.”
The original “Evangelion” was a huge hit that helped reverse a slump in the Japanese animation industry: When the final episode was broadcast in March 1996, more than 10 percent of all televisions in Japan were tuned to it. “Evangelion” remains popular, with hundreds of millions of dollars in sales of videos and related merchandise. The newer features continued that success: “Thrice Upon a Time” opened in Japan on March 3 and played for more than 135 days in theaters there, earning more than 10.22 billion yen (about $93 million) — despite the pandemic.
Reflecting on that continued popularity, Anno said, “As a creator, I want to make things that are entertaining but have depth. I didn’t want our show to be some escape-from-reality type of entertainment, I wanted people who watched it to feel encouragement to live their own lives.”
Anno is shifting to live action for his next project. In April, the Toei Company announced he would direct “Shin Kamen Rider,” part of the 50th anniversary celebration of that popular superhero franchise. It’s planned for release in March 2023.
When asked how it felt to bid farewell to “Evangelion” after more than 25 years, Anno concluded, “I don’t feel a need to see Shinji and the other characters any time soon. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see them ever again: There might come a time when I meet them again.”
- The NHK Professional: Hideaki Anno Special documentary, a making-off documentary of 3.0+1.0 is available on in its extended 90-minute version (never fan subtitled) on Amazon as Hideaki Anno: The Final Challenge of Evangelion.
- Megumi Ogata talks about the final "Eva"! And a video message from Anno Hideaki! | Paris Japan Expo "Yoko TAKAHASHI x EVANGELION STAGE" Live Broadcast Video,  translation by Riki
- Hideaki Anno Interview for Evangelion 3.0+1.0 Amazon Prime Video's virtual panel for San Diego Comic-Con 2021, Comic-Con@Home 2021, uploaded by Intermediate O
- Moyoco Anno has commented on associating herself with Mari on her paid fan newsletter, from April 2nd: Don't compare me with Mari. It's great that people are talking about "Shin Evangelion" and their thoughts on it, but... But please don't compare me to the work any more than you have to. Please don't make me feel uncomfortable about it.
- Khara staff and official account had also commented also commented on on Gainax co-founder, Toshio Okada, talking about it on his Youtube channel: "Another disgusting video came around. I've never had any contact with the director, and I've never met Toshio Okada. I think it's time to stop making insulting remarks based on crazy assumptions." ; "Toshio Okada hasn't even met Anno for a quarter of a century, and he's never met Moyoco. And yet, there are people who misguidedly say that Mari is Moyoco and believe them. The most misguided part." ; "Mari only has Tsurumaki-san's libido in her. She has glasses, is strong, and could have been in FLCL. She's also a character with the same dialogue."
- 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 [Kaworu] 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."
- Ryusake Hikawa on the upcoming 3.0 and 3.0+1.0 CRC: "There's quite a lot material that will make you go "ehh!?"
- 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)
- Yamashita tweeting Sakura and Midori's cabin 1 ; 2
- Escape pods, translation by Nuclear Lunchbox: "If they're escape pods, why does it look like they have to drill their way out of the Wunder when they eject? Well, that's because those capsules were originally five orbital attack vessels, used by Kaji's team when they took the Wunder. They targeted the Wunder's umbilical cable connector, stabbing deep into it, and the area around the site was patched up to make it seem like they were actually part of the ship."
- Ship designs, translation by Nuclear Lunchbox: "The ship that Nerv uses in the aerial battle, which is the completed version of the Wunder's design, as well as the Wunder itself, were going to have the same prow in the beginning. While both look vaguely biological, the Wunder was originally designed to have viscera inside its armor plating like a living creature. So in the end, is it a machine or not? During the scene in Shin when the ship is destroyed, the entire thing appears mechanical throughout, so I guess the details are a bit fuzzy."
- On Asuka's dolltranslation: Asuka embroidered the name on the doll herself. (And that she's bad at it.) Also that Asuka's been repairing it for the past ten years, which is why the thread color and thickness of the stitching isn't always consistent. It was designed by Moyoco Anno.
- Shikinami drafts ; Misato's car using solar power
- Most of the Village-3 character designs were made by Moyoco Anno: Hikari and her daughter; Aunts; Kaji Jr.
- PenPen's descendants are voiced by Megumi Hayashibara (Rei's VA), who also voiced PenPen himself in NTE and NGE!
- Train car connected to a public bath This public bath is connected to an underground hot spring through a pump system
- They wanted to have the foundations of the ruins of the NERV building visible, but still realistic, so they asked advice from a professional construction work company to make sure that as it was shown the building shouldn't immediately crumble
- Other photos of the model of the NERV ruined building, and according to the timestamp, they were working on it since 2017
- Another model of around Kensuke's house with the lookout tower, according to the tweet, the floating train that we see in the distance in the finished product is due to "gravitational anomalies"
- Photos of Anno in the middle of the fully completed Village-3 model. Apparently the scale was made such as that a human would be around the same height as an Evangelion, and that this model and scale served as references for the 01 vs 13 fight in Tokyo-3. Also in the last image I see a cardboard cutout of an aircraft carrier in a drydock, is that ship present in the movie?
- Model of Kensuke's house, made in a converted train station platform, apparently the cliff side's shape behind the house was designed by Anno himself
- The size of the completed model of Village-3 is around 9m X 4m, that's one bigass model! If you're curious, it's on display in Small Worlds Tokyo:
- Anno personally adjusted the place of every house layout, road width, utility poles and vehicles to make it as realistic as possible. His back hurt like hell the day after, but he was very happy with the result
- The bog model for Village-3 was custom-built for Khara, before making the order, Anno created a smaller model (1:450) for the model builders, using a model of battleship Yamato as a point of reference for the warship in the village's drydock (so there is indeed a warship in this village)
- Staff consulted with a hair stylist for the scene with Mari cutting Asuka's hair
- htps://twitter.com/khara_inc2/status/1380077646487322624 The completed model] of Village-3 is in a 1:45 scale, and used both to help the 2D and 3D artists to create it, but also to find the best camera angles
- Anno bought and had quickly assembled a Gundam gunpla to use it to make sure that the Village-3 model was at the correct scale
- A closer look at some of the inhabitants of the village
- Yamashita on Unit 8+2 being scrapped, translation by GhostlyOcam: During early development stages for 3.0, Unit 2+8 was supposed to be a double entry unit and it got materialized once in the original preview from 2.0. However, it was eventually scrapped as it would diminish the novelty factor of Eva-13 which had the same system.
- Dropped concepts, translation: "This is a draft of what it would have looked like for one of the pilots to get pulled out of an Evangelion with a double-entry system. We were searching for a good way to respond to Director Tsuramaki, who was thinking along the lines of, "If an AT Field is the barrier defining one's own space..." and how that would look in battle, and our eventual response was Unit 02+08. Our plans for it were alive and well up until around the Japan Animator Expo."
- Asuka and Mari's quarters, the books are all hers.
- The handwriting made by the characters in the movie was actually made by their respective voice actors, Mari writes text in nine languages, except for Rei Q, made by Anno
- The ending scene was filmed by a drone, and Anno used CGI to restore his hometown to resemble the state it was in when he was growing up. Detailing of alterations made.
- The furniture in Kensuke's house are made from collected "oversized garbage" and furniture from abandoned houses, and the stickers in his steel locker were actually designed by Anno himself, who used specific colors and designs to evoke a sense of nostalgia, translation
- Village 3's cat
- The gas-mask that Kaji Jr wears in his introductory scene is based on the one that Rando Yaguchi (the protagonist of Shin Godzilla) wore during Operation Yashiori in Shin Godzilla
- Video of Anno showing how he want the collision between the Wunder and the neo-NERV battleship to look like to the responsible of the digital department
- Yamashita explaining the difficulty of working with a 3D model when you have to modify said model to show the damage taken, taking the example of the Wunder's battle damage during the final fight
- The plugsuit is designed to have an extra space around the neck for the DSS Choker to fit in so the explosion could be efficiently turned inward, to make sure pilot is decapitated should that happen
- Original Shikinami flashback suit designs: According to Yamashita's notes, it was designed to look like a wetsuit, and had AED (defibrillator) pads built in! (Locations indicated by orange arrows.) Yamashita comments, "This design looked like an old Soviet pressure suit when we colored it green. That didn't feel particularly Euro Nerv, so we stayed away from khaki." there's a hydrophone built into the collar of the plugsuit.
- One of Midori's lines had to be re-recorded because there was an error between the script when she reports the damage sustained by the Wunder and the actual damage shown in the CGI model. Note that they preferred re-recording the line instead of changing the model
- Jet Alone: 1 2
- This includes a cut line (apparently a mostly different scene from the an earlier version of Part A) by Asuka saying she "can't even have sex".
- Anno made staff go sky-diving in order to research for "air pluviation".
- Miyamura originally auditioned for Rei
- The suicide (unmanned) N2 ladden ships from the Wunder fleet are propelled by Soviet N1 rockets, Yamashita: turns out that initially the Wunder escape pods were planned to be propelled by N1 rockets, but it didn't worked because the Wunder (and its pods) were too big so the N1 rockets would on a wrong scale;
- He also adds that the capsule ejecting the seeds storage capsules with samples of plant life and the escape pods are very similar and that both launches happens very close in the movie, so he feared that the viewer would confuse the two, so he made the staging of their propulsion different.;
- The five "tubes" that are the Wunder's escape pods were seed storage capsule for a long time (it's ambiguous if he means that in-universe, they were used to store the seed capsule before being converted into escape pods, or if it was during the production that it was planned to be the seed storage capsules and then they changed their mind and instead made them escape pods), he also adds that the final design of the seed capsules was made by Toshiaki Weihara;
- He added the words "From Earth 1995" on the seed preservation capsules, as a nod to the year of NGE's initial broadcast, because when designing them, he imagined them as a sort of time capsule. But in the end, the inscription was deleted in the final version of Shin
- The train car abandoned around Kensuke's house in Village-3 is a 105 series with the livery from the Hiroshima trains, that could mean that Village-3 is around Hiroshima (in which case, the trio had made quite the trip!), but it could simply be a former train from there that was stopped wherever Village-3 is when the apocalypse happened. (IIRC someone said that a train buff identified that Village-3 was around Nagoya)
- We want to show you some of the art that was cut from the #ShinEvaBooklet now being distributed in theaters due to limitations on the number of pages we could include.
- Yamashita admits in his tweet that the final design is plain (but a pain in the ass to draw)
- The tweet also reveals that said arm bracers came from the Paris armory
- It's an illustration from 2013 with Units 01 and 13 piloted by Shinji and Gendo respectively, revealing that this final battle was planned from the beginning, but the circumstances of this battle were very different, as back then Tsurumaki instructed Yamashita "to simulate a father and son who would continue to fight for eternity, even after their bodies were lost, for as long as they could." and called it "the End of Everything"!
- Unit-01's limbs: 1 2 3 4
- Despite everything that happened to it, it still has its phases, the moon starts full at the beginning of Part A and wane as Part A advances, which means that unlike the rest of NTE, an attentive viewer can roughly estimate how much time Shinji and Asuka stayed in Village-3.
- Initially EVA-08 was supposed to have a shoulder mounted cannon on top of its arm-cannons, Yamashita adds that it's basically a giant self-propelled gun, and that for comparison, in ANIMA, EVA-02's sister unit uses a Dora-class train cannon at some point, and that the length is roughly the same of the one in this draft.
- Sound director in a VTuber interview, translation by Richitizer: In a recent interview with V-tuber Vivian, the sound director for Evangelion 3.0+1.0 says he did not instruct the seiyuus of Shinji and Mari to act as lovers, he interpreted their relationship to be that of friends. It is mentioned that the station scene was not instructed as romantic. Whether they're lovers, friends, or family is left up to the viewer. Even the seiyuu will have different opinions about it. I'm sure this is what Anno is intending, for Eva to be like a "mirror" and give back what the viewer sees in it. That is Eva's appeal.
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
- 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. Miyamura had also insisted on Shikinami and Sohryu being separate characters in earlier opportunities.
- 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.
- Miyamura had lived in Australia for years, but she moved back to Japan in 2018.
- 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.
- Also known as director for Darling in the FranXX, and one of Anno's protegés
- TL Note: lit old husband wife aka old married couple. Kind weird [for her] to use this term and 'love scene' when they don't really feel like that. Might point out that Shinji and Asuka got an 'old married couple' comment after not even a month.
- Yatabe is listed as below Anno, Tsurumaki/Maeda/Nakayama, Nishigori and Todorki
- TL Note: They do use the words 'love scene' but also 'similar to'. As in 'like a love scene'. Not literally 'make it a love scene'.
Watabe is just saying what the direction was [not the meaning of the relationship]. By the way, the shot in question is when the Wunder is arriving to make deliveries and to take back Asuka (and Shinji). It's a pretty cute scene.
- 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