Theory and Analysis:Kaworu's lines in Episode 24

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After the 2019 Netflix re-release of Eva, the re-translation of Kaworu Nagisa's lines in Episode 24 were questioned by portions of the fan base, who believe it is mischaracterizing the original intent of the authors or altering something from the original show (which received no alterations in its Japanese release). This is mostly based on the third ADV localisation (Platinum), or even fansubs, but it misses some facts regarding both the previously existing translations and the current one, including false claims about older translations, and well as Evangelion as it was originally written. In fact, there is abundant evidence suggesting that not only the new Khara (and not Netflix) translation is by far the most accurate one ever made, it was also made under much stricter supervision by the original creators of the show compared to any of the older ADV ones.

Background for the translation

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Evangelion fan comic translated by Dan from the Eva Fan Club, which came out with the original Japanese Evangelion video release in 1996. Full issue available here.

The dub for Netflix is made by a company called VSI Group[1], and the translation work is credited to Dan Kanemitsu. who is Khara's in-house translator. Kanemitsu has worked directly with them since at least 2007, and has been involved with Gainax, Khara and Evangelion for a long time, since at least 1989, before Evangelion even existed.[2] He is known to have been involved in Eva translation work from at least 1996 (one known work displayed in the image on the right). He is directly responsible for official translations of Eva done in the past, and has worked directly with Khara since at least Evangelion 1.0.

Kanemitsu does the translation work inside the actual movies, does the film festival subtitles, translation work for Khara's publications, exhibitions, and such. He has also accompanied Anno and other Gainax staffers in conventions and served as an interpreter, such as during Anime Expo '96 in the United States. He has also participated in a doujin series with Anno, Sadamoto and others.[3] Anno has used him for his work in general, including non-Eva ones such as Shin Godzilla. He is directly credited with the subtitle track for Evangelion 3.0, for instance, and has also provided translations for other Khara projects such as Animator Expo.

The original 3.0 dub, which was available on initial theatrical showings, had significant inaccuracies or changes from the original - for example, when Asuka sees Shinji fleeing Wille with Rei, Asuka says "He's not an idiot, he's an asshole". The latter dub renders this as "brat" (an accurate translation of the Japanese word being used), reflecting an important plot point and Asuka's new relationship with Shinji. Due to this, Funimation had to re-dub Evangelion 3.0 for its DVD/Bluray release under much closer Khara supervision, which was only released in 2016, four years after the movie's original release. It is likely Khara has also closely supervised the new translation, in order to avoid mistranslations and misinterpretations. While we can't know for certain how much involvement the show's writers, or Anno, have had with this translation, Khara as a whole has kept much closer control over the 3.0 redub[4], and Kanemitsu, who was also responsible for the 3.0 revised subs has been involved with Evangelion for a long time and has been a fan since the original release more than 20 years ago (see the image). Kanemitsu has a degree in East Asian studies form the University of Minnesota. Their academic press specializes in translating anime criticism originating from Japan, for example, translations of books by Azuma Hiroki and Tamaki Saito and a academic journal called "Mechademia", specialized in anime and manga research. He also has extensive experience translating other anime and manga for 30 years.

Dan is, in all likelihood, extremely qualified to make this translation while conveying the desires of notoriously perfectionist Studio Khara.[5][6] He probably has direct input and direction from Khara themselves, as he claims to work directly with them. Although Dan has refused to comment on any specific change, he has defended his commitment to accuracy and the ambiguity and open-endedness present in Eva in general, something also repeatedly defended by Anno. Dan states that he commonly consults the original creator of a work when the meaning is unclear or needs to be specified.[2]

In a tweet, Carrie Keranen, the director for the English re-dub and new voice of Misato[7], stated that "Japan made the casting decisions" through blind auditions. This tweet appears to have been deleted, but you can find a screenshot here, the Web Archive here, and the Twitter conversation leading to it here.[8] Tiffany Grant also says Khara wished for a "more subdued" performance, which has led to the new VAs sounding much more similar to their original Japanese counterparts, yet another element of involvement from Khara that is apparently absent from the original.[4] Virtually all of the many old mistakes and inconsistencies present in the ADV translation which have bugged Evangelion fans for years seem to have been fixed.[9]

Because Khara's (and any Japanese company's) control of a localization is essentially as tight or as loose as they want to[10], it might also be worth noticing that, unlike the English dub, non-English localisations have largely kept their old cast and even retained many of the old mistakes for the Netflix re-release, as non-English localisations of Eva (and many anime) are often translated from the English version, not the original Japanese one[11] and tend to be entirely outsourced, with the translations being made by the local studios instead of Khara (much like ADV were responsible for the older English translation instead of Gainax).[12] Much like it also happened with the Rebuild movies, in which only Shinji, Asuka and Misato retained the same voice actors from the first ADV release by the time of Eva 1.0 and 2.0 (Gendo retained his Director's Cuts VA)[13], Khara generally only shows real interest in English localisations as far as international releases of Eva go, and takes a more off-hand approach for non-English releases.[14] The Italian localizer, Gualtieri Cannarsi, also explicitly stated Khara requested a greater adherence to the original text. However, Cannarsi preferred to translate the Japanese on his own and only used Kanemitsu's text as a reference.[15] The Brazilian localizer claims they were "orientated" to pronounce names in a manner similar to the original Japanese (as the previous versions modified their pronounciations), though he doesn't say who gave them that orientation. He also says their two older versions (from 1999 and 2007) were previously based on ADV's localizations, not the original Japanese.[16] Amazingly, Netflix still neglected to include some corrections Dan had made, which probably explain the initial grammar mistakes and inconsistencies, notably in the first iteration of the subtitles.[17] Anno has also stated in 2015 he wished to "have English subtitles" in all his works in order to share it to the world as part of his effort to fight what he saw as stagnation in the anime industry. Most if not all of these have been made by Kanemitsu.[18]

All of this seems to further indicate Khara has indeed kept much a much closer watch on the new localisation than they ever did with any ADV release of Evangelion.[19] The older ADV and Manga releases of Evangelion, the rights to which are still owned by Khara[20] which could have been re-used if they made the choice to, also took some creative liberties[21][22] and even contained many notorious translation errors, particularly in End of Evangelion[23], which are absent from this new release, which in turn exemplifies how Gainax's handling of them was likely more inconsistent and indirect, if not necessarily (though sometimes) lax, having instead gone through multiple licensors.[24]

This seems to have been the case particularly for the 1998 English dub, which according to Gendo's voice actor was based off fan translations.[25][26] While Gainax would naturally have to approve any localization, there is plenty of evidence that they did not give too much attention to the ADV and Manga ones, or at least much less than they did with the new translation, which helps explain why the many idiosyncrasies and mistakes ever got through[27], thanks to lack of resources, capacity or even commitment on Gainax's part, although that does not seem to be the case for the 2019 release, in which they have been eliminated.[28] This shouldn't come as a surprise, however, since it was uncommon for Japanese anime companies to commit to foreign localisations at the time (as well as lack of resources, professionalism and experience in the American anime dub industry)[29], and even though Gainax was not completely indifferent and were apparently more careful than other companies at the time (though the bar was extremely low at the time), their level of involvement and oversight, regardless of how much it actually was, was much, much lower compared to the 2019 release, which helps explain the aforementioned particularities, as a lot of things seem to have simply get past them. A multitude of interviews also make it clear how the show was not made with international audiences in mind, and how Gainax staff were not accounting for or expecting distribution, let alone success, outside Japan[30], or even in Japan, for that matter[31], giving them even less motivation to pay attention to foreign localisations at the time. ADV themselves revised the entire translation for the later DVD releases, which fixed numerous old problems and introduced other ones.[24][32][29][33][34] There was also a legal battle between ADV and Gainax beginning in 2003 over their attempt to buy rights for a live-action adaptation. This went on for almost a decade, until 2011, years after Anno left Gainax to work on the Rebuild movies at Khara, despite ADV's attempts. Gainax returned the money ADV had sent them, which ADV responded by suing them. Thanks to ADV and Gainax both being semi-defunct now, this legal battle is still somehwat unresolved. Anno later sued Gainax himself for the full Evangelion rights, and won, but he hasn't reached a settlement with ADV. This might have further damaged relations with ADV.[35][36]

In March 28th, 2021, Amanda Winn Lee, voice of Rei in the ADV dub and director of Manga Entertainment's End of Evangelion dub, stated that the script used in the Netflix release is in fact the original script sent to them by Gainax in 1995:

I just realized the NDA we sign for the @Netflix Evangelion has expired!! I've been waiting for 2 years to say this: You know the crappy, awful script they used? They tried to make us use that EXACT SAME script 25 years ago. Matt stood up to them and told them the script was ridiculous and too step off, we're using a script that actually makes sense. If only Netflix had had the balls to do that, I think the performances of the new crew would have been even more stellar. - Amanda's tweets

She says she isn't sure who was personally responsible for it, however. This also corroborates the additional evidence present in the article about the ADV staff insisting on making changes against Gainax's wishes. It seems likely Kanemitsu simply brushed over his old script, however, as he was already working for Gainax at the time, as previously mentioned. Tiffany Grant has confirmed this in her fan group as well.

Noticeably, the Evangelion 3.0 dub was not handled by Dan, including the redub. It introduces numerous mistakes both in translation, directing and performance which significantly alter the film. This was extended even to advertising, with Misato acting far more hostile to Shinji during the Central Dogma fight. Whereas in the original Japanese and the subtitle track by Dan she is concerned that Shinji might die when Fourth Impact is starting (and uses the affectionate -kun suffix), in the dub Allison Keith angrily grows at Shinji as if she is mad at him. This suggests that the Funimation dub director specifically imposed their (unfounded) interpretation of the movie into the dub performances. Many other important plot details are also omitted or changed, such as Kaworu being "defated" by the 13th Angel instead of "cast down" to the 13th Angel, or Asuka simply saying that Shinji has already caused an Impact instead of asking if he is trying to start another one, which omits the fact that Asuka (and Kaworu) is aware that pulling the Spears would inevitably start another Impact, but Shinji isn't. All of this contributes to the viewer incorrectly assuming Wille are far more hostile to Shinji and that he is a lot more at fault for things than he really is. None of these mistakes are present in the subtitle track by Khara and Dan.[37] This is merely an example of how much an anime with so much intricate detail such as Evangelion can get significantly affected by inaccurate translations of seemingly minor detail. There are a few excerpts of the original dub, with cam quality, here and in other videos from this YouTube channel. Note that there are considerable differences not only in the script but also in the directing and acting. It's worth mentioning that the Funimation president openly expressed his frustration at Khara granting Netflix the NGE anime licence instead of Funimation getting it for their own streaming service, as he says they "really wanted the title" for themselves.[38]

As such, it is not at all accurate to say this is Netflix's localisation. Rather, this is Khara's localisation, and whatever changes the new localisation have were directly approved or perhaps even mandated by Eva's own creators, in order to reflect their original intent and how the anime was originally written, in contrast to the much more inconsistent and indirect if not necessarily lax oversight they had over two decades earlier. Unlike with 3.0, this applies to both the English dub and sub, which reflect this desire on Khara's part to avoid mistakes again.

Older localisations

Comparison of ADV Platinum/Perfect Collection (DVD), Netflix/Khara and ADV VHS subtitles

The debate regarding Kaworu's line isn't new. It is in fact, reflected in our wiki:

Kaworu uses the ambiguous "suki" form which includes intimacy or friendship or anything more, and can simply mean "like" or "fond of", and that he is deserving of "koui" (好意), which means simply "good will" or "favor", not "koi", "love". When he mentions this to Misato later, Shinji also used the ambiguous "suki" form.

Some images circling around the Internet compare "the original translation" to the Netflix one. However, this is untrue. In fact, the choice of "like" is even more or as common as "love". The original ADV subtitle track, released with the original ADV VHS release in 1998, used "like", though the dub, which took some creative liberty, used "love". The ADV dub did use "love", but as mentioned above those were far more inaccurate, with less Gainax oversight and according to Gendo's voice actor were based off fan translations.[25] As such, it's likely they were simply reproducing whatever options and mistakes the fansubbers made.[39] However, the ADV DVD re-releases used "love" for both the sub and dub. The new Netflix/Khara release uses "like" for both the sub and dub once again. Likewise, several fansubbers have used both "like" and "love".[40][41] Note that this isn't to say that one subtitle is necessarily better than the other in this regard, only to illustrate that there is a precedent, even if there are other reasons to believe Khara's subtitles are more accurate.
Additionally, the "koui" has been misheard by some early fansubbers as "koi", but the Japanese subtitles as well as the scripts for the show make it clear this is not the case. "koi" refers to love as a concept, but "koui" is quite neutral, referring to good will, favour, sympathy, regard, appreciation etc. Some screenshots from a pre-2000 fansub with this mistake are also being circulated. The ADV VHS, ADV DVD and Netflix/Khara subs render this as "sympathy", "regard" and "grace", respectively.[42][43]

The nature of Kaworu's lines

Much like the rest of Evangelion, the discussion of Kaworu's lines is extensive and polarizing both in Western and Japanese fandoms, not because of the words he used, but what he means by them.

While this article will not concern itself with trying to interpret Kaworu's intentions, the episode or the character, this ambiguity is completely necessary and present in the original Japanese script as Kaworu is not entirely human and shows clear lack of understanding of levels of intimacy, personal space and societal norms, key aspects in Japanese society. In fact, this is probably one of the reasons why Shinji is so shocked by him - he does not act or talk like a normal person, because he isn't one. Kaworu's speech pattern, intonation, word choice and such might sound weird and unnerving to an English speaker, but that's absolutely present in the original Japanese as well. Kaworu does not sound like a normal human being, because he's neither a normal person nor exactly human. Interpretations of Kaworu himself also vary greatly, including those that range from him as manipulative, unaware or uncomprehending of human relations. Simply put, one is not supposed to wonder what he says, but what he means.

The usage of "suki" in Japanese is complicated - in the way it's present in the original text, it can be used to signify friendship, affection, proximity, appreciation, intimacy, fondness, platonic love, romantic love, godly love, and everything in between. Like the rest of Eva, it is necessary to try and get the context for this in order to understand what the text is trying to get across. Generally speaking, there is no "lesser" way of saying you even care about a person, directly to them. Regardless of what one thinks Kaworu means, the fact is that the original Japanese text is deliberately written as ambiguous and open-ended, and invites all of these interpretations. If the original Japanese text chose to use more specific words like "Ai" or "Aishiteru", which explicitly mean romantic love, that would have a specific meaning, taking away the ambiguity present here. However, that is not the case. Even "daisuki", which essentially means "strong/big love/like" would have been possible, indicating stronger or deeper feelings than just "suki". Similarly, "like" in English can be interpreted in many ways, but "love", despite also being interpretable in many ways, carries a stronger weight in English. As such, "like" is closer to the weight "suki" has in Japanese than "love", and a Japanese person might interpret it in multiple ways[44], including proximity, friendship[45][46] or love, much like a native English speaker could interpret "like" as friendship or "like-like".

Some have argued that the change lessens the weight of the relationship or that it is hard to believe that Shinji would be so affected by someone just saying "like", but Shinji makes it abundantly clear that he feels he has no one even cares about him in any sense, and Kaworu briefly makes him think otherwise, however he deposits all of his hopes onto Kaworu, and feels betrayed and used by him later. This belief is solidified and repeated later in Instrumentality both in EoE and EoTV, as Shinji, even after Kaworu, he also keeps saying that nobody cares about him and even refuses to believe Misato, Asuka and Rei are genuinely nice to him, thinking it is a lie, as Shinji is even more unwilling to navigate the uncertainties and ambiguity of interacting with other humans with their own needs and desires and insecurities. Regardless of how he interprets it or how Kaworu intends it, Shinji is not looking for romantic or platonic or godly or any sort of love, but instead for an emotional crutch, for any sort of connection whatsoever, partially because Shinji himself has isolated himself from others. This is extended to him asking the same from Asuka in EoE, as well, but she demands affection from him as well and refuses to just be an escape. Shinji is, for better or worse, that pathetic (as Asuka puts it) at both these points.

Even the stranger choice, "worthy of my grace", might make more sense in retrospect. While this is a completely valid translation, it is certainly strange to just be dropped in an interpersonal conversation like Kaworu does. This might be why Shinji felt the need to ask Kaworu what he meant by that in the first place. After all, Shinji still shows a lack of reaction besides surprise to these lines and is still unsure of how to react, as the way Kaworu acts is also shocking to him. He only says something on his part later, when he says that Kaworu has betrayed him just like his father, and even when he mentions this to Misato later, he still uses suki. He also uses this suki when he has his realization about learning to like himself and value his existence in at the end of Episode 26. Admittedly, "grace" does add some extra weight to interpretations of Kaworu as expressing a sort of godly affection for Shinji, and perhaps not just him but humanity as a whole, as Shinji seems to be some sort of avatar of humanity to him. This is backed by additional context, as Kaworu says this just after talking about human nature and fragility and human hearts. It is the most puzzling change, and might say something if it was deliberately chosen by Khara themselves. As previously mentioned, however, the previous official translations of "sympathy" and "regard" carried much less weight. As of June 2020, one year after the official release, Netflix has changed Kaworu's line again to a more middle-ground "affection", but the later scene with Misato and Shinji still uses "grace". "like" is still present, and the dub remains unchanged. However, even a year later, Netflix themselves have still neglected to include the final version sent to them by Kanemitsu.[17] This was likely done by Netflix independently, and they haven't bothered with anything else.

Some have claimed that Kaworu's "I think I was born to meet you" line also uses explicitly romantic language, but in fact he uses a word that applies to friends, classmates or co-workers, written as "会う" in the Japanese script, subtitles and storyboards, which in fact makes it more casual.[47] In general, Japanese people are hesitant about expressing their feelings, particularly directly, even in contexts of only friendship, family or work. An outgoing Japanese person would also easily use those terms casually with no romantic intention, even if it might shock the receiver. And Kaworu is hardly shy about expressing himself in the way an average Japanese person would, so it's doubtful he would feel the need to restrain himself or be unable to express everything he means. This is yet another reason for Shinji to be disarmed by Kaworu's straightforwardness, but it says nothing about what specific feelings or intentions were being expressed, or Shinji's interpretation of them. Because Japanese is a high-context culture[48], it is simply not possible to extract exact intentions based on the language used alone. The fact that the original Japanese never has any sort of clear meaning was in fact present in discussions for decades in the Western fandoms, even if it wasn't apparent in all subs or dubs, and having this reflected in the new translation only brings discussion in the West closer to the discussion in Japan. It's not hard to think of many other examples of this happening in Evangelion, with Asuka's final line in End of Evangelion, kimochi warui, being a subject of even more discussion. Conversely, there are also instances of Anno using very specific wording to convey certain meanings when much milder or more vague and imprecise terms were available.

Cultural differences and commentaries by staff

Anno (or rather, the character Hideaki Anno) takes a hot bath with fellow Gainax animators in the coming-of-age drama Aoi Honō

This is not the only case where cultural nuance can get lost in translation - some people point to Kaworu telling this to Shinji in NERV's public bath (sometimes incorrectly referred to as a shower) as being further proof of romantic intentions, but as a matter of fact public baths are extremely common and casual social occurrences in Japan. Kaworu doing so in a public bath carries no specific weight at all, in fact, due to his lack of understanding of such societal norms, it probably makes no difference to him whatsoever. Public baths in Japan can be shared by friends, co-workers, classmates, but also lovers. They are about as romantic, or as casual as parks can be. Anno, in fact, has specifically explained how casual public baths are, specially in the countryside, which he is from.[49] As a matter of fact, in Episode 10, Shinji and Asuka are frustrated that they can't go on a trip that includes going to public baths, and at the end of the episode Shinji shares a public bath with Pen Pen, while Asuka shares one with Misato. Remember, these are so common that there is an Anime Bath Scene Wiki.

Finally, while some Westerners might think that Anno and Gainax would need to "hide" homoerotic undertones under ambiguity for fear of censorship or criticism, that is an extremely shaky assumption, considering that not only have Anno and Gainax repeatedly defended their artistic decisions from heavy, scathing criticism and consciously chosen to take risky paths (the ending of the series being the most clear example) even though they knew it might not bode well with fans, but also because of the fact that Japan, even in 1995, already had a considerable amount of what might very well be seen as LGBT media, with numerous examples of anime and manga (Sailor Moon and Utena are good contemporary examples). Although Japanese society is not particularly progressive even today, it tends to have little to no problem with homoerotic and homosexual relationships in media.[50][51] In fact, it tends to be seen as a "phase" most of all or played for laughs instead of the morally reprehensible thing it could be for some Western audiences, particularly in 1995.[52] Instead, Anno chose to inject significant levels of violence, nudity and adult themes into his work (which was originally aired in a children's time slot), which did gather some criticism but he has always defended the need for it.[53][54] As such, Anno would not really have to fear repercussions if he chose to portray a unambiguous and decidedly homoerotic relationship by itself[55][50][51], being given complete leeway by the producers for the anime,[56] having faced other risks, nor would any notions of representation be novel to Japanese audiences in a way that would somehow be shocking or innovative as a sort of breakthrough. Rather, the ambiguity in the episode allows the narrative to explore several themes related to Kaworu's character, his condition as an Angel in relation to humanity, as well as of course the moment Shinji is going under in the larger context of the story and themes, and this ambiguity and open-endedness is present throughout all of Evangelion with many other relationships Shinji has, like those he has with Asuka, as well as with Misato or Rei, and mainly the ultimate results they have narratively, in order to get the viewer to think about what the show is trying to say and what points it is trying to convey.

Dan Kanemitsu has specifically defended the ambiguity here:

While I am not in a position to refer specifically to the decision involved in the scene you described, in all my translation of any title, I have tried my best to be faithful to the original source material. Bar none.

The power of storytelling sometime depends on the ability of audiences to establish emotional relationships with the characters, as well as, recognize intimacy between people based on inferences.

It is one thing for characters to confess their love. It is quite another for the audience to infer affection and leave them guessing. How committed are the characters? What possible misunderstandings might be talking place? Leaving room for interpretation make things exciting.

Dan's tweets on the matter. He has also expressed it was not his wish to erase or restrict queer relationships in media.[57] Dan has also defended that it is necessary for a localization to bring things closer to a target audience's cultural nuances.[58][59]

Kanemitsu also provided a quote from an Anno interview, one of the many in which he defends the open-endedness of Eva:

Anno: [Eva is a work] where the remaining process [of completing the work] is in the hands of the audience. I place strong emphasis in that relationship. After you get to a certain point, I want them to make their own judgment. There are portions where things are left ambiguous, so it all depends on how you view [and judge it for yourself.] I think the character of the person [e.g. a personality] reveals itself in that process. [Eva is a work] where if ten people watch it, not all of the ten will [compliment] it. In that sense, it’s very Japanese.[60]

About a month after the Netflix release, Megumi Ogata, the original Japanese VA for Shinji, also got wind of this and expressed her opinion, interpreting it as "like" and thinking the new translation is closer to the original anime:[44]

From the original cast I thought it was "Like" within the drama/play, but conversely in the 90's era Sailormoon, those girls* were Only you "Love". Nuance is difficult. #Eva #Sailormoon (*Haruka/Michiru)

Translation is difficult. But now, the original anime is since closer in translation, personally I'm glad for each individual flow (Those girls in Sailormoon were related, "female cousins" in those days of the North American broadcasting). #Eva #Sailormoon

Music is...difficult*...I absolutely want everyone to have the opportunity to experience the atmosphere of the original (Japanese language) version, to please enjoy it❤️#Eva #Sailormoon (*Netflix International Fly me to the Moon absence)

Ogata's tweets, translated by an EvaGeeks forum member. She also contrasts this to the notorious decision of an early American adaptation of Sailor Moon, in which she plays Sailor Uranus, a lesbian character that had her relationship with Sailor Neptune, changed into being "cousins" with her, but agrees to the new Eva localization as being according to her interpretation and how the show was written.[45] Shinji's voice actress Megumi Ogata also agrees with the translation for the Netflix/Khara release, saying she originally interpreted Kaworu's lines as "like", and says she's glad that the new version is closer to the Japanese original[61], as she interprets her relationship as friends.[45] Ogata rejects the idea that Kaworu is his lover, or that he is someone he can depend on, but instead sees him as a friend that's his equal.[62]"Ogata: I don't think "goes to" is the right word for it. I always have people asking me, even at conventions overseas, "Kaworu-kun and Shinji-kun are lovers, right?" and when I say no they're always like, "What!?" and totally disappointed (lol). He's been abandoned by everyone, he has no friends or parents to trust in, and no longer has a place where he belongs. And at this point, a single person comes to him and tells him he understands him. Wouldn't anyone act the same way if they were in Shinji's position? He has no one but Kaworu-kun at that point. In that way, he's still just a child."
"Ogata: He comes to meet Kaworu not as someone he can depend on, but as a friend that's his equal. " - Evangelion Special Talk with Megumi Ogata and Detective Tanaka</ref>

Supplemental material and extracanon

SchizoPranoCharacterGuide.jpg EvangelionChronicleCharactergGuideSideA.jpeg

Excerpt wrongly attributed to Anno; Evangelion Chronicle Character Guide (and other examples)

In order to defend one or another specific interpretations, some fans are also circulating supplemental evidence regarding this episode. A lot of this is incorrect information, however. An image of a character guide stating Kaworu is a "same-sex romantic interest" is real, but it is not an official Gainax statement. Rather, this is a character guide from two books with collected interviews, including some by Anno, called Schizo and Parano. However, this character guide was not written by Anno or anyone else from Gainax, but rather independently by the interviewer/editor themselves, Kentaro Takekuma, and is present on a section of the book separate from Anno's interviews.[63][64][65][66], not unlike, for instance, footnotes written by this editor.[67] This is also contradicted by other supplemental material, such as the Evangelion Chronicle Encyclopedia's own character guide, which lists both Kaworu and Rei as simply "Favourable feelings" in regards to Shinji, however Asuka is listed as "Complex feelings" and "Love/Hate". Usually Kaworu is either just listed as another friend,[68][69] or not even mentioned at all. Sometimes these guides even contradict themselves and other parts of the same material. In fact, Anno has explicitly denied "carnal feelings" on Shinji's part in an interview, one of the very few instances in which he directly explained something about Eva's plot.[55] Sadamoto also denies their relationship being romantic, though he was talking about his manga adaptation.[70] Some interviews also seem to suggest staff was generally unaware of Kaworu leaving such a strong impression on the audience, or him even becoming popular at all,[71][72] since Episode 24 was produced very quickly and hurriedly.[73][50]

AobaXMaya.png ReiWoru.jpeg

As examples, here is the scenario from Neon Genesis Evangelion 2 in which Maya and Aoba form a relationship, and official art with Rei and Kaworu, from the Die Sterne artbook.

This is not the only instance where people have mistakenly claimed obscure pieces of Japanese text as coming straight from Anno - it has happened even with visual novel video game guides featuring routes for Kaworu with Shinji (or others), but also Shinji with Asuka, Rei, or even Misato and Hikari. Guides such as these are written by people with usually no links to Gainax or Khara whatsoever, and often simply serve specific purposes, like such video games. Most supplemental material simply does not mention Kaworu, or put him on the same level as other characters. How much Gainax or Khara supervise them is unknown, and there is no reason to assume they are even aware of every single line written on them. Similarly, the almost mind-boggling amount of licenced Evangelion merchandise, art, video games and spin-off manga, while also featuring Kaworu in various lights (or not at all), also includes Kaworu being shown as barely a friend or even indifferent to Shinji, or interested in Rei. In one game, Kaworu is even seduced by Ritsuko. In this one spin-off manga, a character that looks just Kaworu works in an Eva pachinko parler, and dates the protagonist, a female obssesed Eva fan called Sakura Mogami. Likewise, Asuka and Rei are far more prominent than Kaworu in such material, which sometimes go as far as pairing Shinji (optionally or not) with improbable characters like Misato or Hikari, or even original characters such as Mana Kirishima and Mayumi Yamagishi. Kaworu is sometimes present as an option among these but he tends to get less space, is used as comic relief but quickly removed from the story, or has no ending routes.[74] It is standard practice in the anime industry to profit off material aimed at specific sectors and niches of fanbases by licencing intellectual property to a multitude of outsourced companies, and Eva is one of the most significant examples of this in anime history. Virtually every character has material implying romantic and sexual involvement with Shinji and many others, but Kaworu in fact tends to get less material than Asuka, Rei, Misato or Shinji himself. As such, derivative material such as this should never be taken as canon, as they are made for purely commercial purposes by outsourced companies with typically no output from the creators of the show, and support virtually every conceivable relationship in the Evangelion franchise, or even create new ones completely absent from canon or contradicted by it.[75][76] This should hardly be surprising, considering the sales of merchandising and other licenced material actually make up the bulk of the anime industry's profits, not advertising or home media. As previously mentioned, Evangelion is not a niche cult classic in Japan, but it is fact one of the highest grossing media franchises of all time - higher than The Simpsons (!), and pachinko and merchandise sales make up over two thirds of its revenue.[77] It is, in fact, harder to find a pairing that has not been featured in officially licenced material (see image). Even Anno himself is quoted as saying "As for all the merchandising, it's just a matter of economics."[31]

This is not even exclusive to Eva, as incorrect or inconsistent information is present in supplemental material for many anime, series and films. In fact, Anno and others have repeatedly stated many times that they will not provide all the answers and want the audience to figure things out by themselves, so it would seem strange that Anno would say that and then provide a character guide directly explaining what all characters mean to one another.[78] The problem with this approach is discussed in our Theory and Analysis:What Is Canon? page.

Notes and References

  1. VSI Group on AnimeNewsNetwork
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Kanemitsu has provided translations for the staff who would eventually form Khara since the early days of General Products in 1989-1990, the retail outlet and merchandising store that complimented Gainax. He has been working with Khara on translation assistance since the very first Rebuild film in 2007. Speaking generally about his translation methods, he told ANN that he commonly consults the original creator in cases where the meaning is unclear or needs to be specified." ANN Article on the subtitle debate
  3. Carl Horn is another person heavily involved with the localization of Evangelion. He was the editor of the Evangelion manga and spin-offs in the English language. Horn stated that this specific instance was translated by "Taka", but he does confirm Kanemitsu's familiarity with Gainax, mentions him doing interpretation work in other instances, and doesn't dispute Kanemitsu being present there, which was actually pointed out by another user. Horn also mentions the participation in the Chosen Ame doujin.
  4. 4.0 4.1 From Tiffany Grant's Facebook fan group. She goes into some detail about working with Dan for Evangelion 3.0 and how Khara very closely supervised their redub. She believes Anno had to have mandated all of this. She also defends the "asshole" line because "the crowd really roared for that one", whereas "the revised version [...] just didn't pack quite the same punch", and protests the original 3.0 script for not making sense. Collection of screenshots available here
  5. Dan's LinkedIn page. The Japanese page goes into more detail: "Translator of all Rebuild of Evangelion series", "I work directly for khara, inc. and help with Studio khara's animation production as well as translate their creations", and " I translated and subtitled 17 of the 36 episodes of this series. There were episodes where I provided production assistance." regarding Anno/Khara's Animator Expo.
  6. Dan's website
  7. ANN page on Carrie
  8. This tweet is also mentioned in another ANN article that discusses how much control Japanese creators have over localisations. This is an enlightening read to get a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding localisations such as this. Essentially, as much as they want and/or as much as they are able to, depending on time, money and resources. This can lead to multiple problems, miscommunications and delays. Nowadays, thanks to technology, experience and established companies, things are fairly stable and streamlined, but in the late 90s, particularly for anime, it was very different.
  9. All of these, for instance
  10. see the Ghost stories dub as an example of a Japanese company not caring and letting a dub studio have fun with a comical adaptation
  11. As a glaring example, Brazil never got an official translation, theatrical screenings or a DVD release of Evangelion 3.0, because the local distributor eventually gave up waiting on Funimation's DVD release.
  12. Italian article regarding their new translation. It mentions that the "dub manager" at VSI Italy asked the dub director to merely revise the earlier text, but the translator rewrote it out of his own initiative. It says something if Khara was uninvolved in such a decision for a non-English dub, yet Khara decided to do the English one themselves. As mentioned before, that seems to have been the case for other translations as well. See note 14 as well.
  13. Non-English Netflix dubs have largely kept their old cast as well.
  14. Another example is how the new Italian dub had very poor reception to the point of being considered incomprehensible, so much so that it was actually removed by Netflix, or how the Brazilian subs add Brazilian memes into dialogue that were obviously not present in the original text and rapidly became outdated.
  15. "Cannarsi confirms that Khara asked for great adherence to the text"
  16. Interview with Fábio Lucindo
  17. 17.0 17.1 Kanemit's tweets
  18. Interview with Anno, Tokyo Otaku Mode
  19. And presumably any Funimation release as well, except for the 3.0 redub
  20. This is standard practice in the industry. Some have speculated that it might not be the case for Eva due to the age of the dub and the legal grey area surrounding ADV after going defunct. However, Tiffany Grant says Khara owns their version. Here is another ANN article providing background information on this industry practice.
  21. Such as the added sound effects in EoE, like the brain splatter
  22. "For Twenty. F—king. Years. I’ve listened to fanboys b—ch that I took too many liberties with the translation of Eva. Now their knickers are in a twist because it’s too literal. Learn Japanese and translate yourself or eat a d—k. Either way STFU." - Amanda Winn-Lee, in a now deleted tweet. She played Rei on the ADV dub and directed the localisation of End of Evangelion. In the commentary track, she enthusiastically defends her additions.
  23. Misato's explanation of Adam and Lilith and the origin of the Angels is completely different from the original text, leading to potential confusion
  24. 24.0 24.1 Matt Greenfield (ADV director) paints a rather chaotic picture in his DVD audio commentary for Episode 1. He says that, while he would send his ADR scripts to Japan via one licensor, they would then get re-routed through four other licensors until they reached Gainax, eventually coming back with some delay, with corrections of varying size and consistency. He even says that some errors by the translator "somehow went through a half-dozen hands and never got caught" until after the VHS release, or that the feedback would be outdated and inconsistent, telling them to change lines and fix mistakes that had already been amended before.
  25. 25.0 25.1 "In it, he goes over the dub process over at Manga and ADV--including (most interestingly) the knowledge that the dub was transcribed from fan translations. This has some information, that--if true--is incredibly damning to the director of NGE's dub and the process in which we now have the Neon Genesis dub" GoatJesus Interviews Tristan MacAvery (Gendo's Dub Actor NGE)
  26. In the Platinum Commentary tracks, it is mentioned they had contact "with someone at Gainax" but there is no specification of it being anyone high up, like a writer, director, let alone Anno himself. This suggests that the apparently inconsistent oversight from Gainax as a whole was likely handled by some lower staffers, which would not be uncommon at the time.
  27. Before the 3rd subtitle release, many fans never realized Rei was a clone of Yui, for instance, as the subtitles just didn't make this clear enough.
  28. The only confirmed specific changes Gainax themselves made was the choice of specific English terms: “I read in an old animation magazine”Animefantastic" IIRC, an article by J. Lamplighter, that Gainax/Anno had some influence on the ADV TV dub for special vocabulary, & had to approve what was done before it could be printed." - Gwern Source Anthology.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Greenfield also notes that the episodes were dubbed two at a time, sometimes weeks or even months apart. This is likely one of the reasons why the VA's voices seem inconsistent as first, as many fans consider it takes them a while to get into character, with the notable exception of Asuka. He also says the dub was made on rented out spaces with substandard equipment and how most of the cast was dubbed by members of the production team, not professional voice actors.
  30. KT: There are a lot of giant robot shows in Japan, and we did want our story to have a religious theme to help distinguish us. Because Christianity is an uncommon religion in Japan we thought it would be mysterious. None of the staff who worked on Eva are Christians. There is no actual Christian meaning to the show, we just thought the visual symbols of Christianity look cool. If we had known the show would get distributed in the US and Europe we might have rethought that choice. - Kazuya Tsurumaki: Q&A from "Amusing Himself to Death"
  31. 31.0 31.1 "ANNO: As for all the merchandising, it's just a matter of economics. It's strange that Evangelion has been a hit. Everyone in it is sick!" - Hideaki Anno's Roundtable Discussion
  32. ADV resisted on some things and Gainax eventually gave up, particularly, they wanted to use "Third Children" like in the new release, but ADV disagreed, yet when ADV though they should translate the shito as "Apostles", a closer term to the original Japanese, Gainax determined the English term should be "Angel".
  33. There are also several instances of cast members claiming they did not understand what was going on at the time, such as: "The last two episodes of Eva I had no idea what was going on," said Tristan MacAvery, who played Gendou. "I had to figure how I should read the part, flat or philosophical." MacAvery and the other actors said there was nothing wrong with the English translation, that the Japanese original was incomprehensible. - Otakon Highlights - Evangelion Voice Actors - Aug. 7, 1998
  34. A Polygon article dealing with the long and messy history of Evangelion releases in the US
  35. Polygon article about the live-action adaptation and legal battle
  36. Earlier but more detailed Liveabout article about it
  37. Here is an email where Dan explains one of the differences between Funimation's translation, used in the dub, and his, used in the sub. He does mention he "supervised" the former, but that's different from translating it himself, and also contrasts this with the same word choice he made for a 3.0 film festival subtitle. This suggests that, even for second dub, Funimation was still allowed some creative liberty, however for the Netflix sub and dub this does not seem to have been the case, with Khara being directly in control of almost everything.
  38. Polygon article on this
  39. "When they were recording episode 24, the voice directors (Matt Greenfield and/or Amanda Winn Lee, he didn't really specify which) kept telling him to "stop sounding so gay". He actually is gay and that made felt pretty bad, and he didn't really have a very fun time recording for Kaworu, which is probably why he didn't know about Eva's fanbase until decades later (he probably just didn't bother looking up anything about it because of the shitty time he had). - Thread on his birthday, user claims to be a friend of Kaworu's first English VA"
  40. Forum thread - The newest most accurate EoE subs to date are out
  41. Forum thread - Neon Genesis Evangelion: Digitally Re-Created VHS Subtitles
  42. Some fans have suggested that this is an intentional choice to add to the ambiguity of Kaworu's lines, as "koui" being misheard as "koi" is a common mistake, even amongst both people fluent in Japanese and native speakers. However, Shinji does reply clearly with "koui", which would be strange to drop in interpersonal conversation regardless (as mentioned in another section of this article). Additionally, Megumi Ogata (Shinji) delivers the "koui" in a quite neutral and not particularly slow tone - Shinji sounds simply confused, not wondering if Kaworu meant "koi" or if Shinji misheard him as saying "koi". Assuming Anno directed this line, the fact that Shinji replied this way might mean he was just confused about it, particularly considering he was still uncomfortable with the situation. If he didn't, it might simply be because of a difference in accent, as Akira Ishida (Kaworu) pronounces it much faster. This is the sort of thing that a native Japanese would be unlikely to consider wordplay. Additionally, if Dan consulted with or was even instructed by Khara to translate the line as "grace", this might say something about what they were trying to get across originally. In the original screenplay for this episode, available in Evangelion Original I, Shinji's line is written in katakana, not kanji. This is a production document proper and not the "commercial" finalized script. Katakana is normally used in such instances to express emphasis, shock, variation etc. This was likely done to convey Shinji's shock to the rest of staff that was taking this screenplay as rerence.
  43. Another idea is that Kaworu was making a reference to Fly Me To The Moon with the proper translation being "In other words, I love you", something present in one ADV release, the 2002 Perfect Collection (early DVD release, not the much more well known Platinum Collection). However, there is no indication or foreshadowing whatsoever of this, particularly considering the song is associated with Rei, and the Moon, which is also associated with her, as well as the connection the show makes with the general themes of reaching out to one another, present throughout the whole series. This was simply a choice by ADV taking some liberty with something they probably thought could be a nice touch, but is completely absent from the original text. It is also, in fact not present in their other translations, or the Netflix/Khara one. Here are three examples of the lyrics of Fly Me To The Moon to Japanese that chose entirely different structures: here, here and here. Finally, these lyrics are printed in an actual Eva booklet, though the translation might be from the site. The translations for the songs usually use something such as "Tsumari sono, aishiteru no!". Kaworu says "Suki tte koto sa".
  44. 44.0 44.1 News article on Ogata interpreting as "like"
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 Ogata when asked about this in a conference: What are Shinji's feelings towards Kaworu? Friend friend friend friend. According to original poster: "One of the few responses that came out of her mouth rather than the translators. Legit "friends" for 3-4 times."
  46. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named
  47. Entry on the Jisho dictionary. "1. to meet; to encounter; to see​逢う is often used for close friends, etc. and may be associated with drama or pathos;". The example sentences cover many very different cases. As mentioned on Jisho, it is possible to use "逢う" for a deeper and more emotional connotation which applies to close friends and family members, and can also be potentially romantic, but this was not used in the original Japanese at all, another wrong claim sometimes made.
  48. High-context and low-context cultures on Wikpedia
  49. Anno: As might be expected, this was what you’d call above my tolerance level. [...] Anno: Around the time when you’re a middle school student, you often go with friends to public bath-houses and stuff, right? On the way home from school and so forth. Also, going there right after you go play at the beach, just as you are. There are more public baths in the boonies, you see. So it almost feels like a watering hole for men. Well, people don’t go washing each other’s backs or any skinship things like that. In any case, it’s a sort of place that you can all go to together, play there, and head home.
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 "After Episode 24 TV Tokyo did get irritated , but with the violence and gore:"Episode 24 arrived at the station so late that it couldn’t even be watched before being broadcast - it was slapped in a Beta drive and transmitted directly, without being reviewed by any staff at the station. Episode 24, you’ll recall, is the Kaworu episode, which aside from the homosexual overtones (probably not actually an issue), ends with, er, a pop. Bear in mind that this was broadcast in a 6.30pm weekday slot on Japanese national television. The network went apeshit - it may have been in silhouette, and he may have been technically non-human, but you can’t show a 14 year old popping his 14 year old friend’s head off at 6.30pm on TV, even in Japan." - Gwern Source Anthology
  51. 51.0 51.1 Similarly, the only notable instance of executive intereference in Eva as far as changing the actual content goes is Anno not being allowed to kill Toji: "Anno: No, um, I made a certain promise, though I think now I should have broken it. At the very beginiing, when [we] drew up the plan [for Eva], [I met] with the producer, from King Records, who told me, "I will approve the plan you submit, whatever it is, because I have faith in you. However, there will be two conditions. The first one is that you will remain with me for five years. You cannot, for example, do a film version with another [producer]. The additional condition is that you will not kill any children. The adults can die, but I don't want children dying." Because of that condition I couldn't kill [Toji]. " -Schizo/Parano books
  52. Additionally, whatever influence Eva may have had in subsequent works of this subgenre is only a small portion of the absolutely gigantic influence Eva had on Japanese culture and media, often being cited as a redefining work for the entire anime industry and beyond, personified by the gargantuan popularity Rei, the "Premium Girl", enjoyed for years, as well as the hundreds of characters inspired by her.
  53. …“EVANGELION is my life”, Anno says, “and I have put everything I know into this work. This is my entire life. My life itself!” As many fans want to know about the ending of this series, episodes 25 & 26, he says that he is making a different version and those two girls (Misato and Ritsuko) are dead in the end. He says, “I truly believe that sex and violence are part of our human life. These days in Japan, I think Japanese children need to know about those things more… instead of being protected too much from the society. Those matters are a little like a poison: we need to give them to the children little by little to establish an immunity, so they would have the ability and mental strength to resist. A lot of youth I know just don’t have this immunity, and when something terrible happens, they can’t deal with it. In a way, the poison can be the medication at the same time, and I believe that the more we know about those things, the more we can protect ourselves against specific matters.” - Miyako Graham, Protoculture Addicts #43 quoting Anno at AX9
  54. Tomino: Recently there have been rice shortages from time to time, and it’s a very good thing in my opinion. It allows them to imagine a little bit more seriously a case where there really isn’t any more food. The advantage for people creating entertainment in that case is to be able to say “Sorry if it’s disturbing, but we’re showing these austere parts in anime you like as well”, in case it helps 10 or 20 years from now (laugh). Anno: Indeed, we must put a bit of poison inside our works (laugh), particularly for children. -–July 1994 issue of Animage; “Interview: Hideaki Anno vs. Yoshiyuki Tomino (Animage - 07/​1994)”/“Japanese Children Averting Their Eyes From Repulsive Things…”; translated by Noh Acro for Wave Motion Cannon
  55. 55.0 55.1 Interviewer: Speaking about the blushing, is it because Shinji was happy that someone said they like him? Anno: Yes, Shinji kun really didn’t experience carnal desire there.
  56. "Producer Ootsuki said he allowed Anno to do whatever he wanted in the anime except for the theme music." - Yuko Miyamura, BS AnimeYAWA
  57. "In an email, Kanemitsu asserted that while he can’t discuss the decision-making that went into this scene, “It is not my intention to marginalize queer relations in media, as I have fought hard to ensure free speech should cover queer relations in manga and this material should be made available to the largest audience possible.” Referencing a 2010 Tokyo ordinance designed to restrict access to sexually explicit manga and other material, he noted, “I pointed out the hypocrisy of the laws that was being designed specifically to restrict manga and anime that featured relationships between same sex couples.” - Vox news article
  58. "“There are cases where you want to make a work especially accessible to a specific target audience by removing or replacing culturally specific concepts inherent in the original work, and instead employ expressions and concepts that the target audience is familiar with, even while these may not be close match to the concepts and nuances of the original source material,” he said." - Email from Dan in a DailyDot article
  59. "There are multiple ways to approach a translation assignment, and no approach is full proof. There may be instances where a particular methodology is more appropriate than others, but that judgement is something each person has to make on their own terms." - Email from Dan in a GeekDad article
  60. Schizo/Parano books, excerpt present in the Vox article from above. The fact that Kanemitsu knows about the existence of these books and can quote specific portions of them further indicate how much he probably is into Eva beyond purely professional involvement.
  62. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Ogata3
  63. Schizo/Parano forum thread, note from the same user responsible for translating most of the interviews Source anthology, including the vast amount of material translated from Schizo and Parano available here.
  64. A note from the editor reiterating that Anno indeed did not write the whole book himself, unlike a news article from 2014 implied, but only edited what he said in his interviews. This was later corrected in the original Japanese article but those corrections were not made in the English translation. This would in fact be impossible, since large portions of Schizo and Parano are composed of interviews with other people talking about different subjects, sometimes even about Anno, all of which in his absence. This would require Anno to produce multiple fake interviews falsely involving other people (but not himself) and fake essays using other people's names (with or without their authorization) giving their own opinion and making guesses that just happen to match what these people also say in many other sources. You can find many of them here.
    The entire Twitter thread is available here. Note that Takekuma explains that Anno's statements were misunderstood or misrepresented, and that Anno apologized to him, whereas Takekuma contacted the Japanese news site, and their article had been appropriately corrected.
  65. " In his email, however, Kanemitsu noted that Anno makes no reference to the characters’ sexuality in the interviews that appear in the two books." - also from the Vox article above. The article also mentions, without dwelling any further on its own that: "This is a section of the book that is separate from Anno’s interviews, and perhaps was written by its editor, Kentaro Takekuma, and not taken from Anno himself."
  66. Schizo and Parano are books of the "taidan"(対談, conversation/dialogue) format, those are common book formats in Japan but rare in the West. Essentially they consist of one or more relevant people, or in this case artists, meeting up and talking about a specific subject in a casual manner with loose moderation, and their discussions are later edited and collected as interviews. As previously mentioned, the character guide is not part of these interviews and, despite the book itself being credited to Anno (and Takekuma), partly for marketing reasons, a little over half of it isn't composed of Anno's interviews but this is how it's commonly done with these books regardless so he cannot be considered the "author", as he hasn't even touched most of the book. Here is an example of a taidan. There also other taidan books involving Anno, such as this one, in which he talks with multiple playwrights, theatre actors, visual artists and such about several subjects and works by him and other people, but Eva is barely mentioned. Even Schizo and Parano themselves deal with a broad range of subjects beyond Evangelion alone. Extracurricular Lesson With Hideaki Anno is another example of a work featuring Anno and with his name on it that was (more obviously in this case) not made by him, but rather a part of a running Japanese TV show. A way of putting it could be that Anno is the subject of these books, not the author.
  67. This thread contains an OCR scan of the opening pages of the book, and includes what is apparently the first footnote. In it, Takemuka, briefly mentions that the tonal shift after Episode 24, and presents his recollection of the series' Instrumentality, and how Evangelion fans at the time were speculating on how the then upcoming movie End of Evangelion would treat Instrumentality. This is obviously something that Anno would not write himself, but rather something Takemuka inserted, as an outsider to the production and to Gainax as a whole, in order to orientate a curious reader, not unlike the character guide he also wrote.
  68. Death & Rebith program book "He sought active contact with Shinji as a friend, but his true identity was that of the final Angel."
  69. End of Evangelion program book "He made contact with the Third Children -- Shinji Ikari-- as a human, and although he became friends with Shinji, he was ultimately crushed to death by Eva-01 piloted by Shinji."
  70. "Speaking about Kaworu and Shinji’s relationship, I want to write it like what often happen between primary school boys and middle school boys. For the boys, instead a girl’s admire, they actually want to have admire from the other boys. [...] It is this kind of feeling. It is not romance……It is a delicate feeling in a delicate age." - Interview with Yoshiyuki Sadamoto from All About Kaworu Nagisa book, pages 148-152
  71. I: But it caused female audiences in front of their televisions to shriek with joy. M: We never thought it will turn out like that. T: Was it not planned? M: We really only realised it afterwards and never thought of much at that time, after all we were going berserk. - Shizo/Parano interview "judging Hideaki Anno in his absence"
  72. H: Why hand-holding though? M: Because thats what the script said. H: (flips to the relevant page of the script) it says “touched his hand”. Isn’t it touched, but you drew “hold” (laughs). M: Because thats what the artist drew and I wasn’t really too concerned and ok-ed it. (laughs) there was basically no time. - NGE Storyboards Collection, Vol.3-4
  73. "Anno: [...] From the department, I was told to cut that out. We knew even before December that, past episode 22, the quality of the visual aspects couldn’t be maintained. About three months prior, when we went to cut out the calculated schedule that would follow, we realized, “Ah! It’s too late!” In those situations, there are a number of options available, you know. Among those, I think we chose the tightest one."
  74. Asuka also has the distinction of being the only character getting involved with Shinji in any spin-off manga, Angelic Days, and as the only or final love interest in video games without branching storylines such as the Petit Eva game.
  75. For Kaworu, a majority of his material was released immediately after the release of Episode 24 and steadily faded in quantity, much like the material released around or shortly after Evangelion 3.0 featured and marketed him heavily, similarly to what had happened with Rei after Evangelion 2.0, in which they are respectively very prominent, to reach more of an equilibrium again - though unlike with the release of EoE later, there is still no newer piece of "main" Evangelion canon to really influence new trends. This has, naturally, shifted over the years as tastes in the fandom have changed as well as whatever was most evidenced by recent releases and brought in new fans. Regardless, Kaworu over the years still has less material than Asuka or Rei. This also applies to fan-made material.
  76. Videogames have even created no less than five original characters as possible romantic interests for Shinji: Mayumi for 2nd Impression, Mana for Girlfriend of Steel 1, and Satsuki, Aoi and Kaede for Shinji Ikari Raising Project. Except for Mayumi, all of these are also featured in the manga adaptation of SIRP. The latter three are also adults.
  77. List of highest-grossing media franchises on Wikipedia
  78. Statements by Evangelion Staff: Protoculture Addicts #43 (NewType 11/1996) "Evangelion is like a puzzle, you know. Any person can see it and give his/her own answer. In other words, we're offering viewers to think by themselves, so that each person can imagine his/her own world. We will never offer the answers, even in the theatrical version. As for many Evangelion viewers, they may expect us to provide the 'all-about Eva' manuals, but there is no such thing. Don't expect to get answers by someone. Don't expect to be catered to all the time. We all have to find our own answers." -PA #43, translated by Miyako Graham from 11/96 Newtype