Hideaki Anno

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Hideaki Anno

Hideaki Anno (庵野秀明 Anno Hideaki) was born May 22, 1960, in Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan. He is the director of Neon Genesis Evangelion, The End of Evangelion, Rebuild of Evangelion, and is the creator of the Evangelion story who wrote or co-wrote the script for every episode of the TV series (with the exception of Episode 04). He was one of the founding members of Gainax anime studio in December 1964. Anno eventually left animation to work on several live-action films, only to return to animation in 2006 with the formation of Studio Khara to produce the Rebuild of Evangelion films.

Personal Life

A Young Hideaki Anno

Born in May 22, 1960, Hideaki Anno graduated from Ube’s Fujiyama Municipal Junior High School. From an early age, he was captivated by a wide variety of manga, anime, tokusatsu (live-action monster / superhero films), war stories, and the like. He liked to draw, and in junior high school, he was a member of the school’s art club. In 1976, he entered to Yamaguchi Prefectural Ube High School. During his second year in high school, Anno used all his savings to buy an 8mm movie camera setup that he had wanted for a very long time. It was then that Anno became transfixed by the pleasure and allure of film production.[1]

Anno married mangaka Moyoko Anno on April 27, 2002. Anno has said to be an agnostic, though Japanese spiritualism is closer to his beliefs,[2] and has also said that he is a vegetarian,[3] although more recent manifestations imply that he has relaxed his habits.[4]

Beyond Evangelion

Anno in his old days

Anno started attending Osaka University of Arts as an animator for the anime series The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, and produced the DAICON III and IV Opening Animations with his fellow students. During this time Anno and and his friend-group also dipped into live action, as they produced an half-hour Ultraman fan film, titled Return of Ultraman, where Anno doubled as the project's director (being his directorial debut) and the actor for the titular character. Being busy working with his friends on various creative projects, Anno stopped paying his tuition and was eventually expelled from Osaka University as a result.

His talent was recognized by Hayao Miyazaki after he responded to an advert in the famous Japanese animation magazine Animage. Anno headed down to the film's studio, where he met with Miyazaki and showed him some of his drawings. Impressed with Anno's work, Miyazaki hired him to draw some of the most complicated scenes near the end of the 1984 film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

From here, Anno went on to become one of the co-founders of Gainax. Working as an animation director for their first feature-length film, Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise, and ultimately became the premiere anime director, helming the majority of the studio's projects such as Gunbuster and Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water.

After Evangelion, Anno interspersed between animation and live-action productions. He made animes like Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances), Re:Cutie Honey and movies like Love & Pop and Shiki-Jitsu (Ritual). However, his major project outside of Evangelion was the films with the prefix Shin in their title. Starting with Shin Godzilla and going through Shin Ultraman and Shin Kamen Rider. Shin Godzilla was a big domestic hit and won 7 out of 11 awards at 40th Japan Academy Film Prize, including Picture of the Year and Director of the Year (prize shared with his longtime friend Shinji Higuchi).

Hideaki Anno was also involved in the production of Shin Ultraman, directed by Shinji Higuchi, serving as the movie's writer, co-editor and co-producer. In addition, he was one of the two actors involved in depicting Ultraman via motion capture, the other being Bin Furuya, the original Ultraman actor. This makes him one of the rare actors from an Ultraman fan film to reprise the titular role in an official production.


Director and screenwriter

  • Aim for the Top! Gunbuster (1988–1989)
  • Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (1990–1991)
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995–1996)
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth (1997)
  • The End of Evangelion (1997)
  • Love & Pop (1998)
  • Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances) (1998–1999)
  • Shiki-Jitsu (Ritual) (2000)
  • Cutie Honey [live-action] (2004)
  • Re: Cutie Honey (2004)
  • Gunbuster vs. Diebuster (2006)
  • Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (2007)
  • Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (2009)
  • Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (2012)
  • Shin Godzilla (2016)
  • Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time (2021)
  • Shin Kamen Rider (2023)


  • Shin Ultraman (2022)


  • Return of Ultraman: MAT Arrow 1 Takeoff Order (1983) (Ultraman)
  • Yamata no Orochi no Gyakushū (1985) (TV Reporter)
  • Otaku no Video (1991) (A Portrait of an Otaku interview, uncredited)
  • Abunai deka forever the movie (1998)
  • FLCL (2000–2001) (Voice of Miyu-Miyu, uncredited)
  • Frog River (2002) (Bar owner)
  • Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi (2002) (Cameo role in Episode 12, uncredited)
  • Cutie Honey (2004) (Office worker)
  • The Taste of Tea (2004) (Cameo, anime director)
  • Koi no Mon (Otakus in Love) (2004) (Cameo)
  • Funky Forest (2004) (Actor)
  • Nihon Chinbotsu (2006) (Yamashiro's Son in law)
  • The Catch Man (2006), (Actor)
  • Welcome to the Quiet Room (Quiet room ni yôkoso) (2007) (Doctor)
  • Death Kappa (2010) (Actor)
  • The Wind Rises (2013) (Voice, Jiro Horikoshi, main character)
  • The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (Documentary film) (2013) (Self)
  • Shin Godzilla (2016) (Passerby, uncredited)
  • Last Letter (2020)
  • Shin Ultraman (2022) (Motion capture actor for Ultraman, along with Bin Furuya)



  • Daicon III and IV Opening Animations (1981, 1983)
  • The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982–1983)
  • The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? (1984)
  • Birth (1984)
  • Cream Lemon (Episode 4) (1985–1987)
  • Urusei Yatsura (Episode 133) (1984–1986)
  • Urusei Yatsura 3: Remember My Love (1985)
  • Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (1987)
  • Crystal Triangle (1987)
  • Dangaioh (1987–1989)
  • Battle Royal High School (1987)
  • Madox-01 (1987)
  • Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
  • Baoh the Visitor (1989)
  • Crimson Wolf (1993)
  • Macross Plus (1994–1995)
  • Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still (1994–1998)
  • Macross Plus Movie Edition (1995)
  • FLCL (2000–2001)
  • Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi (2002)
  • Aim for the Top 2! Diebuster (2004–2006)
  • Sugar Sugar Rune (2005–2006)


  • Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden (2001)
  • Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi (2002)
  • Aim for the Top 2! Diebuster (2004–2006)
  • Sugar Sugar Rune (2005–2006)
  • Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (2012–2013)

Mechanical Designer

  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (1988) (Mecha designer)
  • Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi (2002) (Mechanical animator)


  • Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (1987) (Special effects)
  • Petite Princess Yucie (2003) (Supervising director)
  • The Dragon Dentist (2017) (Sound director)
  • Virtual-san Looking (2019) (Creative supervisor)
  • Shin Ultraman (2022) (Co-Editor and Co-Producer)

Hideaki Anno on Neon Genesis Evangelion

What were we trying to make here.

Hideaki Anno: Protoculture Addicts #43 (NewType 11/1996)

Statement about new Evangelion Movies

See Statements by Evangelion Staff for other excerpts and interviews with Hideaki Anno.


  1. Anno's personal biography
  2. Anno's round table discussion.
  3. Quotes by Hideaki Anno here.
  4. In the 2021 NHK documentary focused on the production of Thrice Upon a Time, Anno is seen eating at a diner with his fellow producers, and his wife describes how she has "reeducated" him to eat.