tr:Evangelion 1.0 Complete Records Collection
"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."
You Are (Not) Alone
Complete Records Collection
|Author||Ryusuke Hikawa (氷川竜介)|
|Original Publication Date||May 2008|
|Pages||512 + 298 +234|
|Dimensions||32.6 x 23.3 x 8.3 cm/4200g|
The Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone Complete Records Collection (ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版：序 全記録全集)(ISBN 978-4-903713-17-5) (ISBN 978-4-905033-01-1)is a massive collection of material related to the first Rebuild movie. It consists of three books packed together in a cardboard box. The first book, hardcover and also in a hard slip cover, contains everything from interviews with staff to concept art and a breakdown of the movie cut by cut. The other two books are the storyboard for the movie split into A and B parts. It was re-released in 2012 with khara/Groundworks as publisher.
- 1 film
- 2 archives
- 3 art
- 4 interview
- 4.1 Yoshiyuki Sadamoto - Main Character Design, Animation Director (2007/07/25)
- 4.2 Ikuto Yamashita - Main Mechanical Design (2008/02/28)
- 4.3 Shinji Higuchi - Additional Storyboards for New Segments (2007/08/02)
- 4.4 Tomoki Kyouda - Additional Storyboards for New Segments (2007/08/03)
- 4.5 Shunji Suzuki - Lead Animation Director (2008/01/22)
- 4.6 Hidenori Matsubara - Animation Director, Design Works (2007/07/25)
- 4.7 Takeshi Honda - Mechanical Animation Director (2007/07/25)
- 4.8 Shoichi Masuo - Special Effects Director (2007/07/25)
- 4.9 Hiroshi Haraguchi - Production Supervisor (2007/07/25)
- 4.10 Takeshi Takakura - Design Works (2007/07/25)
- 4.11 Tatsuya Tanaka - Key Animator (2007/12/05)
- 4.12 Kazuko Kikuchi - Color Designer (2007/07/25)
- 4.13 Hiroshi Kato - Art Director (2007/07/25)
- 4.14 Daisuke Onitsuka, Hiroyasu Kobayashi - CGI Directors (2007/07/25)
- 4.15 Eiji Inomoto, Ryuta Undou - CGI/VFX (2007/11/05)
- 4.16 Atsuki Satou, Hibiki Watabe - CGI/VFX (2007/11/05)
- 4.17 Tomoko Masuda - 2D Digital Work (2007/12/05)
- 4.18 Susumu Fukushi - Director of Photography (2007/08/03)
- 4.19 Hiroshi Okuda - Editor (2007/11/07)
- 4.20 Shiro Sagisu - Music (2008/01/13)
- 4.21 Tooru Noguchi - Sound Effects (2007/11/07)
- 4.22 Toshimichi Ootsuki - Executive Producer (2007/11/16)
- 4.23 Masayuki - Director (2007/11/16)
- 4.24 Kazuya Tsurumaki - Director (2007/07/25 & 2007/12/05)
- 4.25 Hideaki Anno - Director in Chief (2007/12/17)
- 5 advertising
- 6 the other
- 7 scenario
- 8 poster
- 9 Notes & References
A breakdown of the entire movie cut by cut, with dialogue under some shots. From the khara logo all the way to the end trailer and credits. Music cue sheet and additional scenario also in this section.
New logo designs, color palettes for the various characters, new character, Eva and angel designs, 3D models of various vehicles, buildings and other structures, layout pages, monitor display screens and generally a metric ton of stuff.
One of the most interesting parts in this section is that it shows Evangelion Unit 01 on a 10m grid along with a train car and a regular car. This finally gives Evas an official height of 80m from the ground to the top of the pylons, although this is assumed to apply to Rebuild only.
Concept paintings of the various scenes from the movie.
Yoshiyuki Sadamoto - Main Character Design, Animation Director (2007/07/25)
Ikuto Yamashita - Main Mechanical Design (2008/02/28)
Shinji Higuchi - Additional Storyboards for New Segments (2007/08/02)
Tomoki Kyouda - Additional Storyboards for New Segments (2007/08/03)
Shunji Suzuki - Lead Animation Director (2008/01/22)
Hidenori Matsubara - Animation Director, Design Works (2007/07/25)
Takeshi Honda - Mechanical Animation Director (2007/07/25)
Shoichi Masuo - Special Effects Director (2007/07/25)
Hiroshi Haraguchi - Production Supervisor (2007/07/25)
Takeshi Takakura - Design Works (2007/07/25)
Tatsuya Tanaka - Key Animator (2007/12/05)
Kazuko Kikuchi - Color Designer (2007/07/25)
Hiroshi Kato - Art Director (2007/07/25)
Daisuke Onitsuka, Hiroyasu Kobayashi - CGI Directors (2007/07/25)
Eiji Inomoto, Ryuta Undou - CGI/VFX (2007/11/05)
Atsuki Satou, Hibiki Watabe - CGI/VFX (2007/11/05)
Tomoko Masuda - 2D Digital Work (2007/12/05)
Susumu Fukushi - Director of Photography (2007/08/03)
Hiroshi Okuda - Editor (2007/11/07)
Shiro Sagisu - Music (2008/01/13)
Tooru Noguchi - Sound Effects (2007/11/07)
Toshimichi Ootsuki - Executive Producer (2007/11/16)
Masayuki - Director (2007/11/16)
Kazuya Tsurumaki - Director (2007/07/25 & 2007/12/05)
Translated by Riki
He supported the TV series as an assistant director with Masayuki. In the film version of "The End of Evangelion", he created the dynamic Evangelion Mass Production Units and Evangelion Unit-02 action. Kazuya Tsurumaki, who also worked on "FLCL" and "GunBuster2", created edgy and sharp images. In "1.0", the climax of "Operation Yakushima", what is the meaning behind the act of "REBUILD"? And what is the meaning of doing a new Eva?
If I'm going to participate in this project, I want it to make worthwhile. -TSURUMAKI, Kazuya
According to Mr. Sadamoto, when he saw that you, who was the least likely to participate in the project, was taking part, he thought that something really special was going to happen. From your own point of view, what was the reason for your participation?
Tsurumaki: I was misunderstood at first, and ended up "participating" in the project before I understood exactly what was going on. When I first heard about the project, I was called by Anno, and I was thinking, "What, what?" He asked me out of the blue, "What would you like to work on next after GunBuster 2, Evangelion 2 or the new work of a very famous anime?" I was confused, but as I was giving my opinions on this and that, I came to the conclusion that "Eva 2" was the way to go. At that time, Anno's new work was supposed to be a completely different project from "Eva".
Is "Eva 2" something different from the "New Movie" that you're working on now?
Tsurumaki: I had assumed that Anno's next anime would be called "Evangelion 2". Even so, it's not a pure sequel, it's something as different as "First Gundam, Gundam 0079" and "MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM SEED". In short, the anime that Anno-san is going to make will all be titled "Evangelion".For example, a work like "The Gutsy Frog" would be called "The Gutsy Evangelion", and "Star of the Giants" would be called "Baseball Evangelion". It's a kind of branding, like "VAIO" for all Sony computers.
That's what he meant by "2". At that time, there was talk that if I wouldn't do it, he would assign it to someone else. Apparently, Mr. Anno wasn't going to officially direct the film, so it was okay to have a completely outsourced staff.
I see. There has been talk of a "G Evangelion" like the "Mobile Fighter G Gundam" in the Gundam series for a while, hasn't there?
Tsurumaki: Now that I think about it, there must have already been talk of a compilation at that time. But I just assumed that he was talking about "Evangelion 2" and listened to him. I told him, "If you're going to make Eva, you have to do it yourself, and if you're going to do anime again, I'll have to help you."
So there was a twist in the story, and it turned out that Anno's next project was a remake.
Tsurumaki: That's how it ended up (laughs). To be honest, if it hadn't been for the Evangelion remake, I think I would have felt more comfortable participating. That's my honest opinion. However, even if it was Evangelion, as long as Mr. Anno is going to do anime again, I think I should participate in that work, so I had mixed feelings about it.
Interviewer: Is "Eva" such a resistant existence?
Tsurumaki: Of course. I mean, I think, "Of course, everyone is resistant to it."
But as a result, it's not a remake, it's becoming something new called "REBUILD".
Tsurumaki: Yes. This "New Movie" is practically becoming "Evangelion 2". I don't know if Anno originally had this in mind, or if he just came to his senses during the script writing meetings. At first, it was just a compilation.
That's what everyone has been saying.
Tsurumaki: It's been a little over a decade since the TV anime ended, and for new fans who want to watch "Evangelion" now, it would be hard to rent all 26 TV episodes and the movie version at a video rental store. So if you're wondering, "What's the story behind Evangelion?", If you want to know what Evangelion is all about, you can rent it and watch the whole thing in about three to four hours on a holiday. If that's the way "Evangelion" is going to be developed in the future, it's better for business. Besides, it would be relatively easy to make. We were just saying, "Let's make it easy." At first, it was just a compilation.
In reality, though, you've come to a place that's far from easy at all.
Tsurumaki: According to the original plan, after "GunBuster2" was finished last summer, I completed one film every six months, and by the end of this year (2007), the trilogy was completed. It was supposed to be finished in a year and a half. I thought, "Well, that's not too hard, so it's okay." In the original plan, there must have been about a hundred new cuts for the first part, "1.0". The rest would be digitally edited. Even the 14 episodes of the TV series are not really a compilation, although they are a compilation in terms of pictures.
Yoshiyuki Tomino was always good at that kind of thing, and I think Anno made episode 14 based on works like "Uso dancing in a hallucination" from "Mobile Suit Victory Gundam". It was a compilation, but not a compilation. Anno may have had something similar in mind from the beginning. For me, too, if I'm going to do something, it's worth doing it if it's similar but different. That's why I don't think I had any motivation from the beginning, but rather after I started making it, I found the value in making it.
I see. How do you divide up the actual directing work?
Tsurumaki: To put it simply, Masayuki directed the first half of Part A, and I directed the second half Part B. In total, Mr. Anno is looking after the film as the general director.
The reason I thought, "Even if it's a compilation, it's okay," is because I can do Operation Yakushima in the second half. In the TV series, everything after the storyboard for episode 6 was ordered by another company, and Gainax had no control over it. So I had some regrets that I wanted to do something more.
WORKING ON REMEMBERING 'EVA'S GRAMMAR'
Shinji Higuchi and Tomoki Kyoda drew the storyboards for the new film, right?
Tsurumaki: The storyboard itself had two parts, one from the TV series and a new part created by the two of them, and I was the one who put it all together in the end. Both Mr. Higuchi and Mr. Kyoda came up with different storyboards from the previous Eva series. We ordered new storyboards, so of course they thought, "There's no point in making it the same as before." I think it turned out to be an interesting storyboard in its own way. But when we got to the stage of putting it together, some people said, " It doesn't feel like Evangelion." So we went back to the old storyboards and checked the DVD, and while remembering the "Evangelion grammar" again, we tried to incorporate their storyboards into the Evangelion. That's what I did for a long time.
Mr. Higuchi was in charge of the storyboard for "Operation Yakushima," but where did Mr. Kyoda work on the storyboard?
Tsurumaki: He is mainly in charge of the storyboards for the new cuts, which are detailed as connections, and the conversations and human drama. Mr. Kyoda's work on "Rahxephon" and "Psalms of Planets Eureka seveN good night, sleep tight, young lovers" may be perceived by the public as being influenced by Evangelion, but when you look at the storyboards, they are quite different from Evangelion. I think it's inevitable, because things may have changed after "Eureka", and I myself have changed over the past ten years. So I decided to remember the grammar.
What exactly is this "grammar" that you speak of?
Tsurumaki: It's difficult to explain, but the easiest way to understand is the way the cuts are connected. For example, the rhythmic insertion of cuts in the flow. You can break up the cuts to make the flow more pleasant, or leave out cuts that should normally be included. There is also the difference in size between close-up and panoramic shots of the characters, and a peculiar stoicism. This stoicism is related to the fact that I dare not move the film. Originally, this was a directing method that I developed in order to distribute resources well so that the schedule and quality of the TV series would not collapse, and it is directly related to cost performance. After that, I went in the opposite direction, moving things around. This was the case with "Kare Kano" and "FLCL" as well. I dared to go back to "Evangelion" again.
I realized once again that if I don't pursue the finely honed sensibility of the images of that time, it won't become Evangelion.
When did you start working on the storyboards?
Tsurumaki: It was from October to the beginning of December last year (2006). Originally, I had planned to make a 90-minute film, but I had already increased the length of the film through storyboarding, and it ended up being almost a hundred and ten minutes long, which is like a massive work. I think I dropped it once more in the rough editing stage.
The original script was tightly written, but at the stage of finalizing the script and storyboarding, we started to say, "Let's include that scene," or "Let's include this scene," and it ended up looking like a collection of famous scenes. I'm trying to trim it down once more.
To put it more fundamentally, is it an event film to entertain the original Evangelion fans, or is it a film to attract new fans? If it's the former, then it's okay if it's a collection of famous scenes, even if it's a broken story. My mind was wavering from day to day as to which it was. One day I'd say, "Fans will be upset if we don't include that scene," but the next day I'd say, "No, no, no, it's just a collection of famous scenes." I spent a lot of time compiling the storyboards while dealing with such conflicts.
When I finally got the film together, I started to get the feeling that I should make it into a movie, so Anno cut it down and made it into a film.
What were some of the difficulties you had in putting the film together?
Tsurumaki: I think making a film means cutting off the branches and leaves and concentrating on the trunk. But since it's originally a TV show, there are many good branches, and those are the ones that I enjoy. In particular, the first six episodes are usually completed in two sets, so there are many branches and leaves attached to the three sets of stories as the trunk. But if you don't remove the branches and leaves, the story doesn't become a movie.
Also, at the screenplay stage, a new branch was introduced: the adult-like conversation between Ritsuko and Misato. I thought it would be a response to the childish side of the story. In the early days of TV, it was still a robot animation. But Evangelion as a whole left a serious impression in the latter half of the series. I think Anno is trying to adjust the balance by adding an adult perspective and bringing in the serious atmosphere of the latter half. However, in order to put it all together in the main body of the story, these are branches and leaves that are not necessary.
Overall, it seems like the fourth episode where Shinji wanders was omitted.
Tsurumaki: That's a scene that was omitted in the initial script, but we were able to bring it back. In particular, Anno-san has been adding a lot of interesting urban scenery to the film, especially with the CGI buildings. In this way, the situation where Shinji wanders around is necessary to show the vastness of the terrain around TOKYO-3, and to give a sense of life through the monorail transportation. So I took it all back, and then cut down the parts that were too much, leaving only the necessary parts.
I also felt that overall, Shinji's feelings were slightly positive.
Tsurumaki: That's a difficult part. In a normal story, the protagonist grows up and ends up winning, but Shinji seems to be positioned as a character who never grows up. However, if you look at the TV series closely, you can see several milestones in Shinji's growth that you wouldn't mind seeing as the final episode. I think that's episode 6 and episode 19. The end of episode 19 goes in a different direction, but if they win against Angel and declare, "This is the last episode!", I think that would have made for a really good robot anime.
When you think about it, it's not that Shinji hasn't grown up. It's just that there's an even tougher development waiting for him, and he repeatedly worries and gets lost. The final "growth" was not portrayed clearly, especially in the last episode of the previous movie, so Shinji was perceived as a very spoiled character.
We haven't decided on the ending for this (1.0) yet, but it seems that there is a plan to make it a happy ending, so I thought it might be better to make it a more straightforward story of growth from the beginning. In the storyboard I submitted to Mr. Anno before the final draft, I had drawn a clear picture of growth. But Mr. Anno changed the nuance a bit. Maybe he thought that was too much.
If you look at "1.0" as a stand-alone movie, I wanted it to be a story about Shinji growing up, winning, and ending on a happy note. I tried to make it look like a normal movie.
I'm sure the audience will be highly satisfied with this movie, including the way it fits together.
Tsurumaki: I think it will definitely be easier to watch. Of course, people who like Shinji as a useless person might be repulsed, but I do think that if it's Shinji up to episode 6 on TV, it's not surprising that this would happen.
We can go further and explore the nuances of color with digital photography -TSURUMAKI, Kazuya
I'd like to ask you about the making of the film, but did you participate in the location scouting?
Tsurumaki: Mr. Anno has started to do location scouting more often, and a small group of us would go out on a quick trip just for a certain cut. I participated in about two or three of them, especially the ones in Hakone. We took aerial shots around Lake Ashinoko with a helicopter. I also went to the Keiyo substation in Chiba. I'm very reluctant to go out, so before I go there, I sometimes think, "I just need pictures," but it's fun to go there. Anno-san is so happy to be there that he flies all over the place. I even thought, "For Anno-san, this is more of a purpose than a location hunting trip." (laughs) I didn't participate, but I also went to the Miyagase Dam.
Mr. Tsurumaki, do you take a lot of photos when you are out on location?
Tsurumaki: Of course, location scouting is like going out to take pictures. But in my case, rather than using what I took as material, the photos are just clues to help me recall the atmosphere, and the slope and expanse of a place are things that you can't understand unless you go there. But once you've been there, you'll have to worry about how to visualize it, and whether you'll be able to capture it properly.
For example, in the previous TV series, we went to Hakone to do location scouting before the series started. At that time, I thought, "The ridges of the mountains are really high. Normally, when you draw buildings and then draw mountain ridges and horizons in the open spaces between the buildings, you would draw them low, but in Hakone, they are surprisingly high. That's because the geographical features are more like a basin. I thought I knew this when I drew it, but as I worked on it for a long time, I started to forget it (laughs). I was glad that I was able to remember it once again.
Some of the scenery that you scouted on location, such as telephone poles and buildings, were drawn in celluloid.
Tsurumaki: To begin with, Mr. Anno told me that he wanted to draw the poles and buildings in celluloid because they were characters. There are only two types of anime drawings: those with outlines and those without. Celluloid drawings have outlines, but backgrounds do not. From Anno's point of view, characters should be drawn as if they have outlines, while other things don't have to have outlines, in other words, they should be done with background art. That's why not only telephone poles, but also vending machines and public telephones are all cells, which in Anno's opinion are characters.
He was very particular about the outlines, and wanted to use cells for the buildings from the time of the TV series. However, with the technology of the time, if you drew it in celluloid, it wouldn't really blend in with the background, so I think they gave up on the idea because it would have been too difficult in terms of quality. One of the advantages of using CGI is that you can create a building with outlines that blend in with the background. I thought it would be better that way, too.
Including that, digital technology has been introduced in "Eva" this time, how do you deal with it?
Tsurumaki: For me, shooting digitally is much more important than 3D-CGI. I've been saying this since "GunBuster2", but the fact that I can create images that depict light using digital photography is huge. With celluloid, it was almost impossible to do that, and even though there were techniques such as incident light and transmitted light, they could only be used in a limited way. Now, with digital filming, we can depict the light itself, which I think is a huge step forward.
The glowing green parts of EVA-01 TEST TYPE in the night battle scene of episode 2 were supposed to look like that, but we couldn't do it in the celluloid era. To be more exact, we could do it if we tried, but it required a lot of work and cost. This has been dramatically reduced by digitalization. Even back then, there were ways to do things like multiple exposures and special effects like brushes, but the effects were not as good as the time and effort required.
Thanks to the use of digital technology, there are more colors to choose from and I can tweak them during the shooting process without having to use any safe colors. In the days of celluloid, you had to compromise to a certain extent. For example, if you wanted to draw a skirt with a bit of skin showing on the sides, you had to make the area skin tone, otherwise it wouldn't look like skin. Even if the scene is lit with red lights, the skin part has to be painted symbolically as skin tone, otherwise it won't look like skin. So there was a lot of compromise to ignore the light and keep the skin tone. However, with digital photography and digital coloring, we can go further and explore the nuances of skin tone in red light.
In that sense, who the director of photography is is just as important as the art director or the animation director in the digital world. Eventually, people will say, "I watch this anime just to see the work of this director of photography." With the advent of digital technology, shooting has the potential to grow to that level. I think that the dynamic character portrayal in "Gurren Lagann," which Gainax is currently working on, is a big part of the work, but I'm just as impressed with the hard work of the shooting as with the drawing. I think it's worth watching "Gurren Lagann" just to see that light.
So you're saying that anime is still evolving. That's great to hear.
Tsurumaki: Even if it's something that the shooting team is working hard on at the moment, the art director may come up with another suggestion like, "We'll draw all the light here," or the drawing team may say, "We want to express the texture of the skin better, so we'll draw the highlights of the skin in a separate cell and add something different to it. For example, I want to draw the highlights of the skin in a different cell, and then add something different to it." I think that borderlessness will continue to grow.
In the field of effects, they've already started to use different cells for shooting and processing.
Tsurumaki: Yes, that's right. Just as animators Hisashi Ezura and Mitsuo Iso originally did, I expect that the kind of shooting processing that can only be done by drawing artists by creating different materials will continue to develop. The way Mr. Emura processes the flames and the reflections on the surface of the water are things that can only be done by someone with a very high level of knowledge in the art of drawing. Then there's Makoto Shinkai. I feel that the ability to express the atmosphere of Mr. Shinkai's works has reached a considerable level, including the fact that he takes care of everything until the end.
On the other hand, in general, when you think about the animation industry, it is still difficult to decide how far to go in filming, and we are still in the trial and error stage. This is because it is difficult to determine how far to go in filming, how to make it better, and how to make it worse.
It's true that you can change the color of the art, the paint, and the texture of the special effects in any way you like.
Tsurumaki: That's right. I don't think it's been more than ten years since the industry went completely digital, but the TV industry is finally starting to establish a standard that says, "It's okay to shoot up to this level," and I don't think there are many works yet that are being made with a proactive stance instead of taking it easy. Of course, there are examples of theatrical films such as "BLOOD" and "INNOCENCE". It's just my personal intention, but I'd like to gradually pursue the filming aspect of "Rebuild of Evangelion", and by the time the final work is completed, I'd like it to be recognized by the world as "this is filming animation". Of course, this will require the involvement of the director of photography, Toru Fukushi.
Narrowing down by color instead of special effects -TSURUMAKI, Kazuya
You've been adding cell staining to "Eva" for a long time, and it's very distinctive. I think the special effects have changed since it went digital. What do you think about that?
Tsurumaki: Since the time of the first Gainax work, "Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise", staff members who are not specialists in special effects, such as Mr. Anno and Shoichi Masuo, have been directly smudging the cels with markers. I think this is one of the characteristics of Gainax's works, and it helps to create a unique world view.
However, with the introduction of digital technology, the cels are no longer an object, so it's harder to do. If you try to do it yourself, you have to be able to use the image processing software as if it were your own hands and feet to achieve the same thing. I had to decide what to do with the special effects again this time. If I didn't do that, I wondered if it would still be Evangelion.
This time, Shoichi Masuo did a great job, and I'm impressed by how well some of the digitalization was done, but I'm not sure how the parts where not much work was done will look. However, for that reason, for example, the advances in photography I mentioned earlier, or the increased number of colors that can be used to specify colors, can be pursued more than in the cell, so if we can make up for that, maybe we don't need to make those changes in the first place. Maybe I don't need to add texture special effects to every cut like I used to, but I can create more of a sense of presence with just the cell colors.
As you can see from the interview with Kazuko Kikuchi, this time Anno was standing next to Kikuchi all the time, working endlessly on color specifications. That's what happens when you do digital work.It was the same for me when I was working on FLCL. I'd be standing next to the color designer all the time, and I'd want to adjust the colors in every cut.
This must be Anno's first time making a digital animation. When he was working on "Re: Cutie Honey", he was in the position of a general director, so he didn't have much hands-on experience. This time, when he tried it for the first time, I think he was already enjoying the digital process.
With celluloid, I had to adjust the color of the shadows for each cut and reinforce them with special effects in order to bring out the texture. When I see something that has just come out of the painting, I think, "Hmm, that's not good enough." and then I add a touch. And it's not the special effects experts who do that, but the director or director who uses markers to smudge it. But I can only work on it in the direction of making it darker. The same thing can be done by adding shadows and lightening in the color specification stage to tighten up the image. Just by doing that, I think the finished image will be completely different.
Kikuchi said that it was also difficult to specify the colors to replace the celluloid paints with digital ones.
Tsurumaki: If you want to bring the colors together in a more sophisticated way, there are already many examples of this. The style of making the image look high quality by suppressing the saturation and brightness to make it look austere has been established. But Anno doesn't go in that direction. He wants to use flashy colors, but not look cheap. In order to do that, I think there are not enough samples yet. We have to create our own, with Kikuchi at the lead.
The highlight is the drawing of EVA -TSURUMAKI, Kazuya
If there is a highlight that you would recommend, could you introduce it?
Tsurumaki: I'd have to say the climax, "Operation Yakushima". The cut where Takeshi Honda draws the EVA-01 TEST TYPE holding the positron cannon and then pulls it back would normally have been done with 3DCG, but he dared to stick to drawing. It was a cut that even Honda had a lot of trouble with, so I think I should have thought of something else to do with it. But I also thought that if we used 3D, the screen would definitely be boring. I wonder why that is.
According to Honda's analysis, it was because there was nothing unexpected. By drawing by hand, there is always some false information in the picture, which he thinks is unexpected.
Tsurumaki: I expect that the 3D parts will gradually increase as the middle and latter parts of the story progress. I think the challenge will be to eliminate the "natural movement" from the 3D action, as Honda said.
The staff of this CGI project knew this very well, and they would make suggestions like, "Wouldn't it be better to use drawings for this?" For some reason, the simpler the cut, the more likely it is to happen.
On the other hand, the sixth Angel is relatively easy to make use of being 3D, in fact, being 3D is an advantage, so I'm glad I did this.
When I first read Shinji Higuchi's storyboards, I was surprised at how good they were.
Tsurumaki: I don't really understand Higuchi's storyboards . As for the drawings, they are drawn somewhat by momentum. In the section that instructed the characters' movements and actions, he wrote something like, "Transform into a shape that is incomprehensible to those who live in three dimensions" (laughs). "How can you draw a transformation that is incomprehensible to human vision?" That kind of thing. He just throws it over here and leaves it there. I'm seriously struggling.
Well, that's how you got your image, and I have the impression that you've been using CGI quite actively, including in EVA-01 TEST TYPE.
Tsurumaki: There are some cuts that are easily recognizable as 3D, such as the EVA train, and surprisingly, EVA-01 TEST TYPE is also 3D. Now that I'm getting pretty good at 3DCG expression, I'd like to go even further. Nowadays, even the most trivial scenes are done with drawings, which consumes the rare animators who draw robots. I'd rather leave more and more of the work to CGI, so that I can rely on the drawings when I really need them.
At the end of the trailer, the part where EVA walks to the front, was that drawn by Honda?
Tsurumaki: I'm very proud of him. The movements of the hands and the body are slightly out of sync, and it's well controlled to create a strange atmosphere. Trying to create that kind of subtlety with today's 3DCG seems to be quite a challenge. However, in the end, the movements are created by human beings, so if there are animators who can come up with such movements and express them in 3DCG, I believe that this will change in a big way.
In this episode, there are some surprising images such as the ocean being red, and Seele and Kaworu being on the moon. Can you give us some comments on this, if you don't mind?
Tsurumaki: When I originally decided to participate in the compilation, I was trying to secure my own motivation through different thematic approaches. Then Anno told me that I could change the story and settings, and I thought that if I could do that much, I could do it. I thought, I can make it as the Eva of today, not the Eva of ten years ago.
The story has already been told to the end, so just saying "this time there's a happy ending" wouldn't be enough of a performance, would it? It would be no different from any other anime if the story was just "fought hard and won," even though we went to the trouble of portraying Shinji's refusal to stand up in that situation. I'm trying to create a kind of balance between the best parts of the story, so that people who have seen the previous Evangelion series can enjoy it, and newcomers can be inspired to watch the previous Evangelion series.
However, this is just my intention, and I won't know how it will turn out until I actually make it. That kind of unexpectedness and outrageousness for the creator is also an important element of Evangelion.
I think there will be more new works in the future, such as the second and third ones. What do you think about that?
Tsurumaki: This time, we are working at a new studio called Khara, and all the staff except for the main one are new, so there are always difficulties. I am very grateful to the new staff, especially the digital staff, who came in. I'd like to be more proactive in bringing in new staff from the middle part onward.
BALANCE WITH THE OVERALL IMPRESSION OF EVA
Since you were still working on the film before, I'd like to ask you some additional questions, including your impressions of the finished film. First of all, how do you feel about the finished film frankly?
Tsurumaki: Immediately after the film was completed, I thought, "How did it get done?" In July and August, I was so occupied with just finishing it that I had no idea what kind of evaluation it would get. But as the first film in a trilogy, I think it has cleared a difficult hurdle. I'm glad I did it.
Last time, you said that you were honestly negative about the idea of doing another "Eva" film at first.
Tsurumaki: I've completely cleared that up. After all, when you're making something, you're making something that needs to be made. I guess the experience of "GunBuster 2" has helped me a lot. This is the first sequel to a famous anime in over a decade, and it's also a remake, so I have the impression that we were doing it for the Rebuild of Evangelion.
I was rather nervous just before the release of the film, wondering if the fans would approve of it. The movie business is still a gamble, even in this day and age. You can't just make what you want to make and think it's OK. Especially this time, we were in a situation where we were feeling more closely the risk of gambling with "Khara Inc". For Rebuild of Evangelion, like GunBuster 2, we had a clear goal in mind, and we aimed to create a way to get to that goal. I feel that it was good in a double sense.
The end part of the film was all new, so it was a very passionate film.
Tsurumaki: On the other hand, I felt sorry for Masayuki, who directed the A part. In terms of resources, we would have to focus most of our efforts on the second half of the new work, so the first half would have to be how we would compete with the remaining parts. However, I was able to do the part in episodes 5 and 6 where I wanted to redo "Operation Yakushima" once again, so I was able to achieve my personal goal, and I'm really glad that it was accepted as interesting.
There was a time when I was worried that people would think it was just a compilation until just before it was released. Were you worried about that?
Tsurumaki: I was rather afraid of the reaction of the fans since we have already seen "DEATH & REBIRTH" and "The End of Evangelion". This is a work that has already depicted the end of the world, and I think that fans will feel very half-hearted and uncomfortable if they are forced to watch episodes 1 through 6, which still have a school romantic comedy flavor to them. After this, there will be a middle part and a second part, and I want to say to myself, "That's the end of the first part, so it can't be helped," but the overall impression of "Eva" has already been established, so it's impossible to avoid the feeling of being half-hearted. It was difficult until the end to decide where to go with it. I had to decide if I should build on the impression I had from the last episode or if I should start from the beginning. In the end, I decided to make it more serious than the TV version.
So you didn't have such problems when you started the TV series?
Tsurumaki: In the beginning, we wanted to make a well-done robot animation, and it was intended to be like "Sailor Moon", which Anno liked at the time, and we didn't know what was going to happen in the end while it was on air. Up to the first six episodes of the TV series, you can feel the unique taste of the early days. I tried not to use any of the parts that I had discarded during the making of the TV version of Eva.
Is that what led to the evaluation after the screening that the story had become more mature?
Tsurumaki: I think it was more mature in the script stage. On the contrary, there were some things that we took back a bit. For example, the TV scenes of Misato drinking beer in her apartment are still left, but the depiction of Misato as a childlike adult and in a fun atmosphere is gradually lost. I thought that would make Misato look too much like a boring adult, like a serious teacher, so I tried to incorporate comical acting into the strategy meeting scenes.
As for the scene where Shinji is taken in front of Lilith, it is a depiction of Misato being an adult, so on the contrary, I try not to show her childishness too much. The situation itself had a serious feel to it, and Misato's impressions from the second half of the TV anime were still fresh in her mind, so it tended to get more serious. I remembered that Misato was softer and cuter than the character I had talked about with Sadamoto and Anno during the planning process. I was careful to draw her as a fun person as possible.
Shinji also seems to have changed a little more positively.
Tsurumaki: Shinji is going through the same process as in episodes 5 and 6 of the TV series, so I don't think he's going to change that much. In the TV series, when Misato came to pick him up in episode 4, Shinji just said "I'm home", but he didn't clearly express his intention to ride the EVA. In the next episode, Episode 5, he starts with the atmosphere of "It's natural that I'm already going to ride it", so it might be a difference that he once again expressed his decision in words.
I think that if Misato had shown a different attitude in episode 4, Shinji's reaction would have been different. If she had told Shinji everything she knew, like in 1.0, and then acted like an adult and said, "You decide," Shinji might have responded with a firm attitude. So the difference this time is not that I've changed the character's personality, but it's more like a virtual war story, or "if only I had made this decision here".
Since Central Dogma depicts people interacting with each other hand in hand, it was a kind of surprise to me.
Tsurumaki: That was a play that came out of my thinking about how to depict the differences I just mentioned in a straightforward and impressive way. In the TV version of "Eva," there is very little depiction of holding hands or touching each other. This was partly for directorial purposes, to avoid depicting the relationship as a common one, but also because it was too much work to draw. As a result, the number of scenes where the characters are talking apart from each other increased, and it became an established style of direction, and in the end we ended up with a worldview that said, "In this world, communication is incomplete". But this time, we're portraying things in such a way that we're going in as far as we can, so I thought this would be the most impressive if we put skin to skin.
As a fan of "Eva" from before, this may have been a surprise.
Describing the urban landscape and creating a zoom out image -TSURUMAKI, Kazuya
Did you feel the reaction of the audience watching the film on the screen?
Tsurumaki: Actually, I only know the reaction at the preview screening, but I was pleasantly surprised to feel that the atmosphere in the audience clearly changed when the sixth Angel first transforms. I was actually worried that people would think that the good qualities of Ramiel from the TV anime had been lost, so I was worried more than I should have been. I asked Shinji Higuchi if he was okay with that image, and he said he was, so I was relieved to hear that. The script for episodes one through six of the TV anime series was originally very well written. So if I could do the elements of the first six episodes properly, it could be made into a movie. I knew that, so I thought that even though it would inevitably leave an impression of a compilation, if I could draw a completely new scene at the end, I could say, "This is the movie."
I was reminded of how good it is to watch mecha battle anime on the screen.
Tsurumaki: I was more conscious of the screen than I was with the TV animation, and I was conscious of the sense of scale in the battle scenes. Originally, "Eva" was about the extremes of zooming in and zooming out, but this time, especially for the new scenes, I was interested in seeing how far I could move the camera away from the subject and create a picture that captured a wider image.
In the film, the buildings and Lake Ashinoko in TOKYO-3 are composed in a way that I've never seen before in a storyboard. Is that because you made a zoomed-out image in the layout stage?
Tsurumaki: Some of the cuts were drastically changed from the storyboard, while others were subtly zoomed out little by little. I made adjustments as I worked on them. Originally, both Masayuki and I like to zoom in. I thought it would be more like "Eva" if I used the extremes to bring the camera closer to the characters for the shots where the camera lens is closer to them, and further away for the shots where the camera is further away so that the whole scene is captured.
The reason why we were able to create the zoom out image was because we had the resources to do so. As the second half of the TV anime progressed, the depiction of TOKYO-3 as a stage was gradually lost, and the depiction of the city came to rely on the impressions of the first half. But in reality, I wanted to depict the city each time if I could afford it.
The scene in episode 4 where Shinji runs away from home and rides the monorail was also initially cut from the script. However, it makes TOKYO-3 look different without it, so I brought it back. I think it's working well. In the middle and second parts of the story, I would like to keep as much of the surrounding descriptions as possible as we move to the climax. Since the camera tends to focus on the main subject of the drama and situation, the rest of the story tends to be left out. But I want to make sure that doesn't happen.
In the vicinity, the people of NERV and Ichii also appeared, and that was also impressive.
Tsurumaki: That's also a description that I gave up on for the TV animation, considering the priority of the workload. As a result, it ended up giving the impression of an uninhabited city. Since it's a fake capital city, there are only a few people compared to the scale of the city, but I wanted to preserve the convenience stores and the people on their way to school as much as possible.
At first, I was a little reluctant to depict the crowds watching over Operation Yakushima because I thought it wouldn't be very "Eva" like. However, Hidenori Matsubara advised me that I needed more scenes like this. As for the people of NERV who were repairing the power system just before the second shot, I thought it would be better to show the hardships of the people who were working at the furthest point from the center of the organization. In that sense, I thought it was just as important as the scene where Ayanami is smiling, so I asked Sadamoto to draw it for me. In the TV anime series, it would be a still image or a pan around, but this time, I put a lot of importance on it. I think people think Sadamoto is good at drawing pretty girls, but he's also good at drawing old men in Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise, so I think it was a good choice.
That cut seems to have made an impression on Shinji Higuchi. It seems that those troops are thought to have been wiped out.
Tsurumaki: Shinji Higuchi's storyboard said something like, "If we don't do something, we'll die, but don't we have to have the escape scene?" So, in the completed film, I put in an announcement saying, "Everyone has evacuated," so everyone is safe. I hope everyone will check the DVD for peace of mind.
IN SEARCH OF A NEW BALANCE BETWEEN DRAWING AND CGI
By the way, from a production standpoint, I think it was an all-out battle at the end.
Tsurumaki: We were in such a critical situation that there was no way we could make it in time. If we had made a mistake somewhere, we would have been unsuccessful. I think we were lucky in any case. Since each department proceeded independently, it was only at the very end that we could see for sure whether we were on the right track.
Do you mean mistakes at a level that you can tell because you are the person in charge?
Tsurumaki: No matter how you make a film, there will always be things that you feel you should have done differently, and there will always be complaints. But that's not the same thing as completing a film.
Also, Anno is very good at presenting alternative ideas at the last minute, and showing them in a dramatic way without compromising the quality. People who obsessively create things often panic when they find themselves in such a situation, but Anno is calm and steady. But that doesn't mean that he gives up on everything. He has high ideals, but in the end he has a way of being OK with dropping them to a certain degree. Well, he may not be thinking that deeply (laughs).
I see. So that's one of the secrets of getting the work done in time. Moreover, the finished work was applauded. That's a rare thing in anime.
Tsurumaki: My impression is that it was like an event for fans to gather, like "Star Wars". It's true that Sadamoto's manga has been serialized in shonen magazines for a long time, and people in junior high and high school may have gone to see it because they felt that their favorite manga had finally become an animated feature film.
So, you've had a hit, and there is more to come. How do you feel about it now?
Tsurumaki: For ":1.0", I had a pretty clear idea of what I needed to do, so it was easy to work on, but for ":2.0", it's a lot of work. In fact, it's already become quite a challenge (laughs). But I keep thinking back to how it was when I was working on the TV animation.
Do you have any vision of what you would like to do next?
Tsurumaki: I'd like to develop the use of digital more, and the fact that I was able to get quite into making the TOKYO-3 building in 3D was a great achievement, so I have a desire to try to fill in that direction. Anno's concept is to "use 3DCG like a miniature", but I think there are more possibilities there. If you try to pursue something more realistic, the difficulty level rises considerably, but if you can do it in a "model special effects-like" way, you can do something more interesting. It was a valuable discovery to me that 3DCG in this direction was a good match for Anno's direction.
With tokusatsu, you only need to place a few miniature buildings in front of the camera, and if you control the angle of view, you can suddenly create an atmosphere. It would be a lot of work to try to create an entire cityscape using CGI, but instead, if you use the methodology of special effects to set up CGI buildings, you can efficiently create an atmosphere.
Thinking of it as a miniature means concentrating only on what you want to show off, and I think that's how you can bring out the fetish aspects of CGI. I have the impression that CGI tends to diminish the fetish, so I think it would be great to bring that out. I don't have much essence of special effects, but Anno and Masayuki are special effects geeks (laughs).
Finally, is there anything you would like to mention in ":1.0"?
Tsurumaki: As an animator, I can't help but pay attention to the drawings. Then again, I think Takeshi Honda is really good at it. The cut where the EVA collapses, which was used in the trailer, you can feel its mass, or the EVA's hip movement in the cut where it tears apart the A.T. field, both are great.
It's completely different from the original drawings for the TV animation. When I first saw Honda's original drawings for "Nadia," I was amazed at what a great guy he was, but now that I've worked with him for the first time in a long time, it's not just "he's as good as ever," but he's really good. At the same time, I'm impressed by his craftsman-like workmanship as he silently continues to draw.
It's great to see that he's always making progress.
Tsurumaki: However, in "Eva", the production was made in such a way that the skill of the drawing was not noticeable. It's made to look like an ordinary action scene, but it's actually a lot of work in the drawing. There are many cuts like that. The acting itself is generally simple, but on the other hand, there are always demands for highly difficult drawings. If they don't get it right, the cuts are no good. Once they get it right, the movements are natural, so now the drawings don't look as hard. Next time, I'd like to make a direction that makes the drawings stand out and reward their work.
After the second film, there will be more new works, and I think there will be more opportunities to show off EVA.
Tsurumaki: The second half of the film that I was in charge of was all cuts where EVA didn't move much, so next time I'd like to have a long talk with Honda and create a scene that will be a highlight.
Director: Kazuya Tsurumaki
Born in Niigata Prefecture in 1966.
After working at Studio Giants, joined GAINAX as an animator from ["Nadia, The Secret of Blue Water" (1990). First directed the LD-BOX video bonus "Nadia Omake Gekijo"(*1) for the same work.
His first directorial work was "GunBuster! New Science Lecture"(*2), a video bonus included in the 1994 LD-BOX "GunBuster! Welcome back BOX".
In "Neon Genesis Evangelion", he was the assistant director of the TV series, the director and director of the theatrical version of "Rebirth", and the director and director of "Air".
After that, he worked on the original video animation "FLCL" (2000), which became the topic of much attention for its innovative direction.
Following this, he was the original creator and director of the original video animation "GunBuster2!"
Hideaki Anno - Director in Chief (2007/12/17)
Translated by Riki
Notes by Riki
Written by Ryusuke Hikawa
Our interview concludes with General Director Hideaki Anno. In this interview, I would like to ask him about his vision and wishes for the grand project "Evangelion Again", which was a surprise to everyone. We hope that you will be able to feel the enthusiasm and ambition of this project in this very long interview, which lasted over four hours in total.
I wanted to make Eva one of the important contents supporting the industry. -ANNO, Hideaki
I think you were able to make "1.0" into a fulfilling film in a fairly short period of time. In this interview, we'll talk about how you were able to achieve that and check what Director Anno's goal is from various perspectives. First of all, please tell us when you decided on this project and if there was any reason for it.
ANNO: Well, let's see. I don't know when I first decided to work on... I think it was probably October of 2005 when I decided to do Rebuild of Evangelion. The earliest date I can find in my Word notes is November 10th.
What did you write in that note?
ANNO: I wrote a lot of things. The main thing was that I was aiming to make Eva into a Gundam, or a classic. One of the ideas was to create a new series under the title of Evangelion as part 2. My ideal was to create "G-Evangelion".
Do you mean a work that turns over the very concept of Eva, like G Gundam did in the past?
ANNO: Yes. Gundam did quite well with "G". It had a breakthrough with "W", but went downhill a bit with "X". Then "S" was the big breakthrough, and it continued. That's the ideal scenario (laughs). Before that, there was "V" though.
So the note was not about the content of your work, but rather about your business concept.
ANNO: That's right. It's not so much about business as it is about the future of the animation industry. I don't like to call anime "content," but when I think about business, this term is less misleading than calling it a product, so I call it "content" here. When you think of animation as content rather than a product, I think that animation content other than kids' content is currently on the point of not progressing well.
In terms of kids' works, there is a full range of content such as "Anpanman," "Doraemon," "Pocket Monsters," and "Crayon Shin-chan." The products are constantly being updated, and I think they're working well. Many of the works have already been running for more than ten years and still seem to be doing well in the future. I think this line will continue. However, when I think about it as my concept of animation, I worry about the fact that there is only "Gundam" at the moment.
That's an issue I've been thinking about myself. I worry that there are so few character goods that span a long period of time.
ANNO: Right. I wondered what would happen to the anime industry if it continued to have only "Gundam". Even in tokusatsu, which is said to be an industry that is losing ground to newcomers, there are "Kamen Rider", "Ultraman", and "Super Sentai" to support it. This has been going on for thirty or forty years. The great thing about "Super Sentai" in particular is that it has been renewed every year without stopping. This is not the case with "Ultraman" and "Kamen Rider," but in the end they have become a steady line that continues to this day.
The tokusatsu industry is supported by these three, but the anime industry I'm involved in has only one support, which is Gundam. "Space Battleship Yamato," which was intended to be a steady line a long time ago, has not been able to be realized due to various reasons.
The only other anime that I can think of that can be made into a steady line is "Macross".
ANNO: Macross is doing well, but it hasn't yet reached the point where it is accepted by the general public. Ghibli anime is also becoming more popular, but I feel like I'm watching Disney anime, so it's hard to say it's a steady line. After all, Gundam is the anime goods that office workers can put on their desks at work. If it's a Gundam mobile suit, even if others see it, they can just think, "He likes Gundam." It's not just for nerds, it's an anime that's approved by the general public. That's the great thing about that work.
There aren't many other anime goods that you can put on your desk at work. That's why I want there to be as many contents other than Gundam that support the animation industry in a different category than Ghibli, or Hayao Miyazaki now. That's one of my main motivations. Eva is an anime goods that you can barely put on your desk at work. So, I want the new "Evangelion" to continue ten or twenty years from now. I hope that young people, not me, will be able to do it one after another on their own.
I see. So the desire to develop "Eva" into something like that was a major motivation for you before "Rebuild of Evangelion", wasn't it?
ANNO: That's right. I hope that Eva can help as one of the contents that support the entire anime industry. If there was anything else, anything would have been fine, but objectively speaking, "Evangelion" has the highest potential. It's a work that you can go ahead with as you like without worrying about the original rights or other troublesome circumstances.
I started off determined that I would have to do it myself. -ANNO, Hideaki
I'd like to ask you about your methodology of "Rebuild" rather than "Remake". Is this another idea that came along with the thoughts you mentioned earlier?
ANNO: No, it just happened. As I recall, the idea of starting my own company came up before the "Rebuild of Evangelion" project. I remember that we had already talked about making a part 2 of "Eva" around the time of the "Nadia" DVD box set (2001).
Oh, I think it was in the summer, while editing the special feature by Masayuki at the studio of King Records, you and Toshimichi Otsuki were chatting about continuing to keep making sequels to Eva like Gundam and Space Battleship Yamato.
ANNO: Right. Already at that time, I began to think that if I didn't develop "Evangelion" as content, there would be no future for anime. If that's the case, I should do it while I can. Then I asked many people to make a part 2 of "Evangelion". But the only response I got was "Oooo I don't know," and no one was willing to do it (laughs).
Rather than "making G-Eva," I think the two of you had already talked about the possibility of making a completely different work, not necessarily a sequel, during the "Nadia" chat.
ANNO: Yeah. "Why don't you work on G-Eva?" I asked everyone, but it didn't work. They wouldn't accept it unless I did "V" first (laughs). If so, I thought I'd have to do "V" myself first. If I can create one sample that shows that it's okay to make "Evangelion" like this, I think it will be easier for other people to make it. In order to create that situation, I came to the conclusion that I had to do this title again myself.
Didn't you have the option of making a different kind of work like "G-Eva"?
ANNO: Just before this project, I had been working on a project that was different from "Eva" as a live-action film, but it wasn't moving forward. We decided to change the project from live-action to animation, so we reconsidered the plan for a TV animation series. I also thought that if it was possible, I could work on the theatrical version of "Eva" at the same time. At that time, I didn't plan to spend too much time on "Eva". I felt that the first and second films should be a compilation plus more, and only the last film should have a slightly different story.
What does this have to do with starting your own company?
ANNO: When I was thinking about that anime project, Gainax was already working on other projects, and I felt that there was no room for me. The studio structure had also changed. I thought that I should avoid ruining the new structure that was already in place by me making another anime at Gainax.
Also, if I had chance to work on "Eva" again, I wanted to try something new that I couldn't do at Gainax. I thought that it would be impossible to make a work that goes beyond the limitations at the studio that had previously made Evangelion. So, I decided to start from the beginning at a completely different place.
I see. So you established a studio and gathered people because you decided to take on a challenge?
ANNO: No, I didn't plan to set up a studio at first.
Is that so?
ANNO: I was thinking of renting a room at some other studio and making it there. When I started the company, it was just the two of us, with Kazuki Todoroki (assistant to the general director).
You're talking about the Khara Office in Nishi-Shinjuku, right?
ANNO: Yes, I am. I rented an office in February of 2006. After that, I rented desks, bought bookshelves, and made preparations little by little. I also asked my friends to help me with the company registration and accounting work, and it was in May that Khara, Inc. was born.
Film and digital are completely different things.
Is there a reason why the plan of renting a room at some other studio and making it there didn't work out?
ANNO: There weren't many studios that were willing to take on "Evangelion". Many of them in the industry took it more nervous anime work to take on than I had expected. They didn't like it 10 years ago, but that hadn't changed much. Ohtsuki helped us out a lot, and we had several candidates for studios, but none of them came together for various reasons. Well, that's okay, I thought. I went to Nishi-Shinjuku to work on the plot of the entire quadrilogy and the scenario for the first film.
You've changed your plan from that to establishing a studio, why is that?
ANNO: That's because Munenori Ogasawara joined us, saying that he wanted to work on Evangelion. We were able to get him as a line producer, so the way we made it, or the methodology, was completely different from what I had in mind. So things changed a lot from there. Ogasawara was an ambitious man, so he said, "We don't want to rent a room at some studio, we want to build a studio and do it ourselves. So, can we look for real estate?"
How did you feel at that time?
ANNO: I thought, "A studio, huh. Well, if that's the way it's going to be, then that' s fine too." I decided to leave the big picture to others. When we looked for a place, we happened to find a good, reasonable property along the Chuo Line, so we decided to use that as our studio. After that, the scale of the studio just grew and grew.
The director and main staff members had been decided to some extent around last summer, but how we would make the film was yet to be decided. Even at the stage when the script was done, I still had the re-editing plan in mind, so I was trying to find a way to make it clearer by digitally processing the old film. We did a few film tests at Imagica.
I heard that you also experimented at T2 Studio.
ANNO: Yes, I took the original pictures from the old TV version and made them into a movie, and then had them shot digitally as a temporary new part. The previous TV version was on 16mm film, so I made various digital changes and converted it to 35mm on film. It was not an optical blow-up, but a digital blow-up. So, after going through Cue Tech from T2, I had some film test patterns made using the latest technology from Imagica. However, when I saw it in the preview, it was so bad.
What was the problem?
ANNO: "Film and digital are completely different things," the video engineer told me. "It is impossible to convert the particles of optical film into data and replace them with electrical signals." I certainly agree. As a comparison, I asked them to show the same original cut filmed digitally alternately. Every part of the image looked inferior to the digitally shot image. The difference in texture and resolution was also a problem, and the roughness of the grain in 35mm was terrible, and the reproduction rate of colors, etc. was not good. Since we originally shot cels images, it was also a problem that the blow-up caused the line drawings to stand out. I did a test screening of a digital shot that had been processed to add noise to match the film scanning screen and HD telecine screen. However, that didn't make the fine new digital screen look clean. I felt that the screen resolution of the TV version was already too old after twelve years. We thought it would be impossible to mix a full new screen with it.
After the test screening, the entire staff was very disappointed. It was just too embarrassing to show this to the audience. I don't think we can get 1,800 yen for this. Addo to it, we found out that the cost performance would be too poor when we asked them to estimate how much it would cost if we had to scan the film or use HD telecine. Fortunately, there were still some of the original drawings left, so after considering the performance of the screen, I concluded that it would be inexpensive to digitally recreate everything from the original drawings into a new work.
By screen performance, you mean the way it can be processed later.
ANNO: Yes. We took into account the clarity of the screen and economic reasons. So we decided to reshoot everything digitally and start over.
Even if the original version of the TV animation had been 35mm instead of 16mm, does that mean it would have been no good?
ANNO: With 35mm, I think the more particles there are, the more data will be familiar, but I don't think the unique texture of the cels and the digital texture of the new film will match at all, so I probably would have stopped.
We're running on the same track at first, but then halfway through we switch track. -ANNO, Hideaki
When did you switch to the method named "REBUILD" later on?
ANNO: I wrote that (the declaration on the poster) in September, so I think we decided on all-digital shooting by August.
When I visited your office in early August, I saw a pile of original drawings there. I remember agreeing with you that it would be better to recreate them digitally, so they could be processed later.
ANNO: Yes. Our studio was established in mid-September, so by the beginning of autumn, we had completely shifted to all-digital shooting.
I heard from the director, Hiroshi Haraguchi, that the search for the original artworks took a long time unexpectedly.
ANNO: For a work that is twelve years old, the preservation itself was good. For example, the original images and videos were kept separate, and divided into cut bags, so it was fairly well organized. When I made the original art collection, I knew how it was stored, so I knew how to deal with it. However, due to the reorganization we did after that, they got separated and we lost track of them.
What was the reason why it was difficult to find at first?
ANNO: There were simple mistakes such as the cut bag itself being organized incorrectly, the numbers "1" and "7" being switched by mistake, the TV version often used BANK, so the original drawing and video went to the episode they were used for and went missing, the cut number was unknown without a time sheet, and the video was not well organized and I didn't even know what episode it was from. The situation was worse than I expected.
So, I managed to find the missing cuts by checking every single bag of all the existing cuts of all the episodes, including the movies, two episodes at a time per day. It was a lot of work, but I'm glad that I was able to find quite a few cuts. The original drawings for character close-ups, etc., that were found by reviewing all of them, were used in the future episodes by changing the storyboard.
For the cuts that still didn't come out, and for which there was nothing left, I printed them out from the DVD and reworked them.
Is that a way of printing out the image from the DVD on paper and then tracing over it?
ANNO: Yes, that's right. But if I had known in advance that I was going to make that many changes to the drawings, I wouldn't have had to be so stick to the TV anime drawings. It would have been fine to do some new work from the original drawings. It's not like re-editing a film, so I could have changed my plan and changed the storyboard a little. In the middle of the project, I made some changes to the timing of the movements in the original drawings, but I was too focused on brush-ups and making the reproduction rate high. That was a big point of regret for me this time. That's why I decided to stop focusing on reproduction for the second film.
Did you have to decide on the rate of reproduction as you went along?
ANNO: That's right. I didn't predict any of those regrets until the first preview. I don't know why I was so obsessed with it at the time of production.
That must mean that using the TV anime version was the first major direction. When I first saw the scenario, there was a section in the text that said, "This part is partially new" and "This part is completely new." I got the impression that you took into consideration how much of the TV anime version you were going to use when creating the scenario.
ANNO: That's right. When I was working on the scenario, I wrote things like, "This part uses BANK." I also made a script for the creators with such notes. I also worked on the storyboards accordingly. I still had the feeling of re-editing at the time.
Based on the change in the color of the scenario, it seemed to me that the amount of new work would increase as the latter half of the story progressed.
ANNO: Yes. That's in line with the concept Tsurumaki came up with. If we were going to start over as a film, we wanted to start from the same place. At first, we're running on the same tracks as we were ten years ago, but even though we're running in the same direction, halfway through we suddenly switch tracks and start running on different parallel tracks. Eventually, the tracks get farther and farther apart. Where the hell is this track going? That's how I wanted it to be.
That's why we had to start from a place where we thought, "What the heck, it's the same as the TV anime version." Eventually, it became more and more like, "Wow, the scenery is changing."
I see. It's a matter of the view from the window.
ANNO: It starts with a familiar view, but gradually that familiar view becomes more and more distant, and then it switches to a new view. At the end, you don't know where you're going at all. I thought that the concept of Tsurumaki was really great.
In fact, that's exactly how the movie turned out.
ANNO: Around the time of "Operation Yakushima," we switched to a completely different railroad track. Until then, we were running on the same tracks for the time being. Even so, the tracks have been cleaned and repaired, and because the tracks are maintained, there is less swaying and the ride is more comfortable and smooth. The trains themselves are also new. The interior of the train is the same, but it is cleaned very well.
Is "train" a key word in that, too?
ANNO: I'm using it because it's easy for me to talk about as a metaphor (laughs). Also, with a road, the driver can go anywhere he wants, but with a train, you can only go where the rails are already set. That's what I like about it, and it's a good way to describe the atmosphere of this film. That's how I feel. However, looking back now, I feel that I got too caught up in the initial concept.
The bigger the screen, the heavier the brain processing.
Did you already have a plan from the beginning to divide the story into two parts after the sixth episode?
ANNO: Yes, from the time I was thinking of making the film by re-editing.
I imagined that the last 20 minutes, which would be the climax, would be Operation Yakushima, and I wanted to use all new footage.
The story isn't that different, is it?
ANNO: The outline of the story has not changed. The end of the story is different as a drama. In a TV series, the climax would be in a 20-minute time frame, so I prefer a simple time-suspense story, with "If you don't hit it the first time, the first person to shoot it back the second time wins." So the climax is a drama with a sense of urgency as Unit-01 becomes a shield and gets beaten up.
But when I thought of it as the final climax of a 90-minute film, it seemed too simple. So I decided to add one more difficult situation until Shinji is able to shoot once more. That was the only major difference in the drama. But when I was writing the script, I still had doubts about whether it would work. I couldn't be sure until the final film was completed.
What were you worried about?
ANNO: For us and the fans, the tempo of the sixth episode of the TV series is still in our minds. In that episode, the speed of the development was very short, which makes it comfortable. However, I think it is necessary to have a different kind of comfort and still surpass the TV series. To be honest, I was a little worried until the film was completed whether it would be better than the TV series.
I think the music has a lot to do with it, but in the finished film, the drama is so majestic and powerful.
ANNO: The music was massive all the way through, and as a result, it was nice to have a good amount of pause. You can't tell whether the flow of time is good or bad until the whole film is finally connected. And that feeling of seeing it in a movie theater can only come out if you watch it on the biggest screen possible. This time, I was editing digitally, so I was watching it on a small Quicktime screen on my computer. So it's hard to get the flow of time on a big screen and at high volume in a movie theater.
That's something that's very much related to the idea of "making it into a movie" this time.
ANNO: That's right. I paid a lot of attention to how it would look on the big screen. In order to get as close to that impression as possible, I replaced the monitor in the meeting room with a larger one in preparation for the second film. If you see it at this size, it will probably give you an impression similar to that of seeing it in a movie theater. This is because the flow of time looks different from when I was watching it on a pc screen, so my impression has changed. The impression of the movement changes, and the size of the information that comes into your eyes is smaller when it comes from a small pc screen. So, I guess it's easier for the brain to process.
Does that mean that the stress on the brain is less?
ANNO: Yes, it is. I guess small images are also easier for the brain to process. So even if you put a large amount of information in a small image, your brain will be able to fully process it, and you'll think it's OK. However, when I see it on a large screen, my brain can't fully process it, and I think, "Oh no, there should be six more frames here."
Also, when my brain couldn't fully process the information on the screen, I felt like I couldn't fully process the sound information either, like I couldn't get the dialogue into my head. Again, I felt that the tempo of the TV series was still too much in my mind. Next time, I think I will be able to work more consciously on the tempo or length. However, it is also a pleasure to have your brain numbed by too much information. So, I need to control that.
Evangelion's visual gammar
When you composed the film by piecing together the first six episodes, did you have any positive prospects that this would turn out well?
ANNO: Rather than that, I was thinking of it as a series from the beginning, so I thought that would be the only way to make the first climax. When I was composing the TV series, I was thinking in terms of a character-driven story. From episode one to episode four, Shinji was the main character, and Misato was there as well. When Shinji and Misato have a close relationship where they can talk with "I'm home" and "welcome home," that's where the first Shinji growth story ends once and for all.
The next five and six episodes are about the next pick-up character, Rei Ayanami. There's a big climax in there called "Operation Yashima", so I figured I'd have to break it up before and after episode six.
Episode seven is an extra story about Misato alone, and by episode eight, Asuka has joined the story, so episodes eight, nine, and ten are about the new character Asuka mainly. Episode 11 is about the three of them getting to know each other a little better, and episode 12 is also about the three kids working together to deal with Angel. And episode 13 (production number) is a compilation. Episode 14 is the adult side of the story without the children, and episode 15 is just about the characters. Episode 16 goes back to Shinji's story a bit, and episodes 17, 18, and 19 are the next climax again.
So, if I were to divide the TV story into three major parts, it would be "1-6", "7-19", and "20 onwards". This time, 'Rebuild of Evangelion' will also follow this pattern.
When you decided to make "Operation Yashima" the climax of "1.0", was it also planned that Higuchi would be in charge of the storyboard?
ANNO: Yeah. I had already decided to ask Higuchi to do the new parts. I knew he wanted to do it, and for a huge project, I thought he would be the best person for the role, that's the honest reason.
He had just shot 'Japan Sinks', right?
ANNO: As you can see from "Project D" and the story of building a large number of nozzles in Antarctica (Toho's "Gorath"), Higuchi can handle that kind of visual work. I think the best person for the job is someone who can hear that music in his head when he's drawing a storyboard. He's a man who can do that.
I'm hearing that music in my head right now, too (laughs).
ANNO: In my imagination, first of all, there are a lot of cranes moving, and then a conveyor belt carrying containers (laughs). "I want to make sure the arrangements for Oparation Yashima are correct" was one of the things I wanted to do from the beginning, something I left undone in the TV series.
It was an amazing material warfare, wasn't it?
ANNO: That's how Higuchi's storyboard came to me, so I decided to go with that. As a result, the scene was made possible thanks to computer graphics.
How did it come about that you also asked Tomoki Kyoda to do the storyboard for the new part?
ANNO: It all started when Ogasawara, the line producer, said he wanted to ask Kyoda to do the storyboards as well. I heard that he was willing to do it, so I decided to go with him.
His storyboards were really good. But it was a little different from the way "Evangelion" was supposed to look. So I took the good parts of his storyboards and rewrote them in the style of Evangelion. I replaced them with still images, omitted set-ups, and so on. In the end, he said, there wasn't that much of a storyboard screen left. However, I took the ideas he had in the storyboard and the parts he wanted to draw, and replaced them with other forms. If he hadn't drawn the storyboard, I don't think it would have turned out the way it does now.
What is new about this new idea?
ANNO: For example, it was his idea to have Shinji wander along the highway after he left. He wanders along the elevated highway where there are no people. It was a great idea. Up until "Opration Yashima", he was basically in charge of storyboarding for all the new human drama. It's true that some of the storyboards are still missing. But the camera blocking is still there, and Tsurumaki has rewritten and reassembled the acting plans from the storyboards.
What was the reason why you had to do the rewrites?
ANNO: After all, "Eva" has a unique method of production that cannot be removed. This time, I tried to remove it at first. But it didn't come off. Rather, I should say that I couldn't remove it. I don't know exactly why, but there was always someone who said, "This doesn't look like Eva." I even tried to fight it, saying that I didn't want to make it look like Eva. But in the end, I always ended up going in the direction of what Eva is.
What's the difference? Some people say that if you go in a stoic direction, it becomes more like Eva.
ANNO: That's part of it, but I think it's just a matter of reducing waste as much as possible to save labor. The way we made "Eva" for TV was, roughly speaking, like making a Mitsubishi A6M Zero.
Oh, you mean like cutting down the thickness of the armor plate?
ANNO: That's right. Everything that can be cut down is cut down to make it lighter. There is nothing bulletproof, so if you get hit, you're done. But even so, we did a lot of recalculating and trial calculations, and by reducing the weight to the very limit, we were able to specialize in air combat functions and air-dwell capabilities. It really is that kind of aircraft. When I read a book about the development of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, I was really impressed. I thought, "This is what the Japanese are all about. "For "Eva," we thoroughly reviewed and eliminated waste.
In American culture, they go the other way. They go for glamorous and gorgeous.
ANNO: Their fighter planes have engines with overwhelming horsepower. Studio Ghibli and Mamoru Oshii's "Innocence" have horsepower, so I think that's fine. In the case of animation, horsepower means the size of the studio and the huge production costs. Mitsubishi A6M Zero is an engine with less than a thousand horsepower. If you don't have the horsepower, like khara, you have to make it extremely light as well. And specialize in something. This is the only way to do it. To put it another way, it's a way to make only one thing gorgeous. This time, there are 30K sheets of picture to be drawn.
Oh boy! Only 30K sheets? Is that so few? Really? Not like 50K?
ANNO: No, it's 30K. I only spent about the same amount as two episodes plus the amount for a TV animation with a lot of pictures (laughs).
It might be because the computer graphics cover it, but I'm shocked.
ANNO: That doesn't count. It was 30K sheets of animation and finishing. That's why we made it in time.That doesn't count. It was 30K sheets of animation and finishing. That's why we made it in time.
Oh, so that's how it is!
ANNO: With 50K sheets, we probably wouldn't have made the deadline. The schedule was that tight. In order to compress the time, we only needed about 30K sheets.
In the end, only the original images were used, and there were also revisions made by the animation director. So the animation and finishing are counted as a whole new cut in terms of the process, right?
ANNO: Yes, the entire movie is new work. So it counts as a completely new film. The previous movie was made for celluloid, so we used colored pencils to mark the surface, and we can't use it as it is.
Oh, I see. You can't scan a digital movie without putting a shadow on the back. So that's why you can't do it.
ANNO: Yeah. The previous drawing materials can't be used in digital work. The lines and thickness of the animation are not suitable for digital finishing. It's only for celluloid. We could only use the monitor display and some of the digital data as is.Yeah. The previous drawing materials can't be used in digital work. The lines and thickness of the animation are not suitable for digital finishing. It's only for celluloid. We could only use the monitor display and some of the digital data as is.
You used the illustrator data from that time as well, didn't you? It was quite an interesting story.
ANNO: Actually, I recreated the data just for reference. I used the previous data for the eye catching effects. I redrew the masks where the letters appear, though. I wanted to create the feeling of light from optical photography, or the halation of the cross filter and circular rainbow, etc. in digital. The T2 technology is amazing. That was just amazing.
Quality is determined at the last gate.
You were concerned that the quality would decline by changing from celluloid to digital video, so you had low expectations at first.
ANNO: Right. If we switched to digital video, the good qualities of the previous video would disappear. I was prepared for that at first. However, not only did it not disappear, but the atmosphere and light were overwhelmingly better, which was a surprise. When I first saw the composite screen from the test shots, the cut of Misato in the hospital lobby, on the master monitor, I was surprised and impressed. The feeling of color, air, light, etc. were all so fresh that I was really glad I went with full digital instead of re-editing. I finally realized the wonderful benefits of digital technology. It's partly because today's digital technology is getting better, but it's also because Anno's sense and skills are outstanding. Also, Tsurumaki's experience with digital video is amazing. This was the first time for me to work entirely digitally, including 3D, so I was surprised and pleased with everything I saw in the beginning.
It's been a while since animation shifted to digital video, and we were just getting used to it. So I think the timing was good.
ANNO: That may be true. It's progress that would have been unimaginable nine years ago, when we started moving from celluloid to digital video. When Tsurumaki was making "Gunbuster 2", I heard him complaining about how he couldn't do this or that with digital video. Even when I was working on "Re: Cutie Honey", I couldn't do much with it. At that time, I didn't have any particular intention to do anything with digital animation, and I only had an idea of how to reproduce celluloid animation with digital animation.
Even so, Tsurumaki went through a long process of trial and error with "Gunbuster 2", and in the final episode, he was able to achieve that level of quality with digital animation. That's why I thought we could do something about this.
So the technology is largely dependent on shooting, rather than 3D CGI?
ANNO: Yes, it depends heavily on shooting. Anyway, digital moving images have completely changed due to shooting techniques. In the future, I think the quality will depend on how much time can be spent on shooting. Once you realize what you can do with digital photography and coloring, you start to get greedy. That's why I want to do many takes.
To be more specific, do you mean a sense of atmosphere, or the expression of light and shadow, such as "para" and "flare"?
ANNO: Yes, that's part of it. When I was making TV animation, I did a lot of things to raise the quality during the shooting phase. There are times when we open the cut bag and the quality of the picture is so low that we want to cover our eyes. We're trying to make it better by the time we get to the shooting phase.
For example, what kind of processing did you add?
ANNO: Fill in all the areas that will become color pucks  with black. Or add details. I'd add shadows with markers and weathering  like stains.
One of the things that disturbed me when I watched the early Mobile Suit Gundam was that sometimes the holes in the sides of the Gundam's head were white. It was a mistake that could have been covered if someone had painted the holes with black magic. I've always had that feeling.
It's true that mistakes happen. But you are saying that the problem is that there are people who accept this as no problem.
ANNO: Yes, that's right. It's a shame that this is an obvious mistake, but it's ignored even before the film is shot. We all know that there's not much time in animation production. But I would have liked to see a little more effort put into it. Just a few minutes before shooting would have changed the impression of the screen dramatically. It's a shame that they don't do that.
In the Macross TV animation series, I saw that Shoji Kawamori used markers to draw the highlights of the Valkyrie (the main robot) and the red light spot directly on the cels. When I saw that, I was convinced that it was the way it should be. There are many things that the director can do before the shooting. I was convinced that working directly on the cels is really effective.
I heard from a friend of mine that Hayao Miyazaki has the same idea. I heard that when he was working on Detective Holmes, in the phase before shooting, he would say, "Hey, bring me a magic marker," and happily paint the cels with it.
ANNO: That's right. In his case, I heard that sometimes he even redrew the background. It seems that he really enjoyed the phase before the shooting.
In the days when we were making animation with cels, the director would open the cutting bag and do a final check of the cels, backgrounds, and time sheets. They would then brush up as much as possible. It was their last chance to get it right before shooting.
The phase before shooting is rarely talked about or mattered in magazines and other media. I've been wondering about that for a while. I'm aware that it's very important. In cooking, it's like adding a little extra flavor at the end, isn't it?
ANNO: That's the last bastion of maintaining the quality of the screen. Up until the phase before shooting, there's not much difference between "Eva" and other anime. When the person in charge of the production process tells us that we will be shooting in ten minutes, we do the maximum amount of brushing up that we can do in those ten minutes, and that's what we did with the TV anime "Eva". Even though we had a tight schedule, we managed to maintain the quality of the screen.
When you went digital, there were no cells in the cutting bag, so you couldn't do that anymore, right?
ANNO: It's true that I couldn't do it by myself anymore. But now I think I can distribute the work that I can do in the phase before shooting to all the processes.
Ah, so that's what the "para" and "flare" processing really is.
ANNO: That's what I did when I was editing the video for Karekano. Also, with digital technology, I was able to make detailed color corrections, add shading, and even fix the lines in the video on the spot using a tablet during the finishing check. Even if I couldn't do it there, I was able to ask him to send it back to me so that I could make corrections and add details directly to the video before sending it back to the person in charge of finishing. This time, Mr. Kikuchi and Wish were very flexible in handling these issues, and I was grateful for that.
So you don't go as far as "assembling the data before shooting and giving instructions"?
ANNO: No, I don't. I'm not that computer guy, and I can't use Photoshop very well. I tried to learn, but in the end I never did. I'd rather not learn more about computers than I have to. If I start on my own, I'll end up putting all the work together by myself, and I think I'll end up taking it on myself. Instead, I thought it would be much faster to ask someone else to do the work, and it would be better for the work to have the sensibility and skills of that person. Of course, as a last resort, I think it would be better if I could do it myself, but I think it would be better if I could keep my hands out of it as much as possible, and look at the big picture as much as possible. What I'm doing is fixing the mechanics. I think it would be a bad idea to do more than that.
Just like the TV anime "Eva", this time there are two directors, Masayuki and Tsurumaki. So I'm glad that we were able to spread out the directing duties and give them a little more extra space in the mental aspect.
Masayuki and Tsurumaki are also doing the same work as I am, looking at the big picture and making decisions. So I think it worked out well that I was able to spread out the work reasonably well, and not become the worst case where I alone had to deal with everything. Even so, by the end of the project, there was no room for everyone to relax (laughs).
If I work alone, nothing interesting will come out of it. So I think it would be better if the production work is divided up and the responsibility is concentrated on me alone.
That's interesting. I understand that the secret to the quality of the images was the processing that was done in the phase before shooting. So one of the big advantages of going digital is that you can fix things right away. In the case of film, you could only see the film two days after it was shot.
ANNO: Yes, now it can be fixed immediately. So it's less stressful. Also, with digital, the more you do as long as you have time, the better it gets for sure. There are more things you can do, so I think it's better for maintaining quality from a time and cost perspective. When I was working with celluloid, it was very difficult to fix a picture that had already been painted. So, I had to cover it up somehow. But with digital, it's easy to go back and correct. And you can check it on the spot, which is really great and helpful.
For the details of the drawing, I had the 2D pasted in this time. I think that's why we were able to get such fine and realistic details that would have been difficult to achieve with hand-drawn images. With digital technology, the more you work in any department, the higher the quality becomes. That was one of the great things. It's not just maintaining the celluloid era, but upgrading, which is astonishing.
Once you've tasted the benefits of digital technology, there's no going back to the celluloid era. I'm already nostalgic for the celluloid era that was just a while ago. Time flies, doesn't it?
Advances in digital technology have overcome the weaknesses of celluloid
One of the things that you gained this time was the joy of finding out that digital technology is useful enough.
ANNO: In the end, we were able to recreate everything that we were able to do in the celluloid era, and we were also able to clear most of the weaknesses that celluloid had. With today's technology, I think digital will be enough to compete in the future.
In my interviews so far, I've found that one of the advantages of digital is that light processing has become easier. For example, the green light emitted by EVA-01. At first, it was said that it was difficult to express transmitted light digitally, wasn't it?
ANNO: I think it was about ten years ago, when RETAS and Animo (software used in the process of coloring pictures) started to appear and the work switched to digital, it was difficult to express light digitally. No matter how I tried, I couldn't reproduce the feeling of transmitted light between the shooting stand and the film. In the end, I thought that digital was only suitable for cartoon-like animations like "Helitako Pu-chan," where the picture is painted evenly over the entire surface. I thought it would be impossible to create a serious drama with it.
When Photoshop first came out, the transparent light expression was a circle of brushes that looked like a lens ghost, and everyone was using that. It didn't matter who did it, the result would be the same. With digital effects, when you express water, all the plug-ins are the same, so they all look like the same water. I really didn't like the fact that no matter who did the fire or smoke, the result would be the same.
Nowadays, the range of expression has expanded, and I think that the expression of light and atmosphere has finally become a merit of digital technology in the past few years. Nowadays, the technology has advanced so much that we can freely control the size of the flare and the transmitted light. When I realized how far we could go in expressing light, I decided to create the first image for EVA-01.
When you say "first," do you mean the image drawn by Ikuto Yamashita?
ANNO: Yes, I do. At the very beginning he said, "I want EVA-01 to have only green and orange glow in the pitch black darkness, and I want the base color of the Evangelion itself to be pitch black. I want only the light of EVA-01 to be visible on the all-black screen."
I agreed with him that this was a good idea. I really wanted to go for that expression. It would make the process of coloring the picture easier if the plane was all black (laughs). But there were a lot of objections, so I gave up at the time.
If you paint on the cels, it's really only black, and it looks very flat. This was fine if you wanted to use stop-motion pictures, but there were many disadvantages such as not being able to show movement. This time, with digital technology, we were able to express subtle blacks instead of perfect blacks, and we were able to express light without difficulty, so we were finally able to create the original image on the screen.
In the first trailer, that was what surprised me the most. There were only green and orange lights shining in the nightscape. I'm also a big fan of electric lights in special effects (laughs), so when I saw that, I changed my mind and realized that digital technology can change the expression to such an extent. I realized that light is the key to digital.
ANNO: That's right. I grew up watching "Ultraman", so I can't help it (laughs). I was greatly influenced by the impact of seeing a giant standing in a darkened building district. I also like the second episode of "Kamen Rider".
Ah, the episode where he gets wind pressure on his belt in the dark and his eyes light up and he transforms into Kamen Rider.
ANNO: I heard that the night scene in that episode was considered by the producers to be a blooper because you couldn't see very well, and that was the reason for the white lines on the sides of the Kamen Rider's body later on. However, when I saw it as a child, I had a very grotesque image of it, and I liked it. In the dark of the night, there were strange people dressed in black and suddenly blood was spilled all over the place. At the time, I was watching it on a black-and-white TV set, so I didn't know what was going on, and it was really scary. I liked that sense of fear.
The fact that you can't see clearly makes your imagination run wild, doesn't it?
ANNO: Even if you don't see them clearly, you can tell that there are people dressed in black. That's the image of Shocker that I have in my mind, and episode 2 is amazing. Episode 4, which is in the same rotation, is also good for night scenes.
Is the fourth episode the one where the Sarracenians appear?
ANNO: Yes, it is. The last battle is a night scene. My visual image of Kamen Rider is that he is doing something scary in the dark of the night in the city. Of course, I also love the first appearance scene and the battle scene in the first episode where he is standing against the blue sky.
The first Ultraman (1966) also goes well at night, as do Alien Baltan and Green Monse. I especially like the night scenes in the episodes directed by Toshihiro Iijima. The lights in Ultraman's eyes are pure white, aren't they? It's really scary to see a giant with glowing white eyes standing in a dark building district. That's what I like about it.
It's true that in Ultraman, especially in Type A, there's a sense that there's a creepy person with glazed eyes standing there, and there's no direct connection to the hero of justice.
ANNO: Yeah, a silver giant with slanted eyes and a scary wrinkled face, just standing there in Marunouchi (a lively business district in Tokyo) late at night. It's very scary. I wanted to recreate a different kind of scary atmosphere in an anime. I've had this feeling ever since I was working on the TV animation version. EVA-01 was originally intended to be a "scary existence" like a demon. In terms of scary existence, it conveys the original image of the early first-generation Ultraman and Kamen Rider.
In "Rebuild of Evangelion", you can see that the higher up the camera goes, the darker the color of EVA-01 becomes, and that's the reason why it looks so much bigger than the TV anime version, and why it looks like you're looking up at it.
ANNO: The upper part of the body has been shadowed. I had originally imagined footlights. I also darkened the sky as much as possible to make the entire screen darker, which is an image Tsurumaki wanted to do during the TV animation version, so that scene is a burst of his obsession. The sense of perspective from the air and the sense of immensity from the light in Eva are mainly his obsessions.
The idea of lighting can be brought into the animation space digitally.
In the days of celluloid animation, the basis of the atmosphere was art. On the other hand, with digital technology, you can change the color and darkness in any way you want.
ANNO: With video, you can add some rough lighting during mastering. But with digital photography, I especially like how fine gradations can be fine-tuned with masks and layers. I can create delicate lines, like how the light gets darker and darker the further up in the sky it goes. That's something I really appreciated. I think in the end, only with the use of digital technology has it become possible to do proper detailed lighting in animation. In the days of celluloid, the lighting was very rough, and it was only possible to use lighting that had been decided at the stage of layout. That's how the light in the background is determined, and that's how the light in the cels is determined.
What happens if you decide on the light source and specify it in the layout when you direct?
ANNO: Once the light source is determined, it can no longer be changed. If I wanted to add something, I would have to shoot the material in duplicate, adjust the lighting in the video studio as I mentioned earlier, or have it redrawn. If you want to change the direction of the shadows, you have to modify the original image, so you can't change it by repainting the cells.
When shooting film in the era of animation production using cels, lighting was adjusted using real paraffin. So it is not surprising that it would be very rough, isn't it?
ANNO: There aren't that many types of paraffin. And there is no such thing as a gradation material. That's why the lighting is very rough. Now that we've gone digital, we can finally do detailed lighting. Spotlights can be specified at the time of shooting, so I can instruct the photographer to brighten only this area. It's a great improvement, isn't it?
When looking at the shadow color of a cell, the highlights. Think of the light as coming from over here." It's given, isn't it? So you can process it as if the light is really shining on it.
ANNO: The only main light source for the cell was a large light hanging above the stage. We turned off the lights on the other side and only lit the cell from this side at this angle. That was all we really could do. For example, we could use a board reflector to shine the light from this side, or put a small light underneath to shine only on the telegraph poles. We couldn't do such detailed work. If we really wanted to do that, we would have to draw a cell from the beginning to make it look like it was lit. Even if I wanted to do that, the number of colors in a cell is fixed. So, it is impossible to lighten or darken the color more than the color of the paint. And once the colors were painted, they could not be changed.
With digital technology, however, it is possible to fine-tune the color and brightness on the spot, even for already painted cells. Even if a cell is actually painted brightly, if I want to turn off the light so that there is no light shining on it, I can darken it with a single click. I really appreciate that. Conversely, you can add a fine gradient to just the character by simply requesting that this area be slightly darkened. In addition to the main light source, you can also use board reflectors and small lights. Plus, you can now use colored paraffin paper or flock paper to block out light. It is now possible to design lighting as a space in spite of the flatness of the animation. I think this is a great feature of digital. I think that is one of the things Tsurumaki really likes about it.
You mentioned before that "Tsurumaki does not play it safe and takes a proactive attitude in his art making".
ANNO: I feel that the technique of layering helps us to imagine a flat surface as a three-dimensional space. This is not only me, but people have a strong desire to make animation with the feel of live-action. In my case, it is more like special effects than live-action. So, I tend to look for the image of lighting on the animation screen.
Born in 1960. Born in Yamaguchi Prefecture. In 1981, while a student at Osaka University of Arts, he attracted attention with the opening animation for "DAICON III," a science fiction convention held in Osaka.
Later, while working on a number of films with the amateur film group "DAICON FILM," he moved to Tokyo and participated in the TV animation "Super Dimension Fortress Macross" (1982) as an original picture artist.
In the opening animation of "DAICON IV" in 1983, he presented even more outstanding depiction of mecha and effects.
In 1984, he was in charge of the Giant God Warrior in the climax of "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Since then, he has worked on effects and mecha drawings for numerous films, including Hiroyuki Yamaga's first Gainax film, "The Wings of Honnêamise
(1987), for which he is credited as special effects artist.
In 1988, he made his debut as an animation director with the OVA "Gunbuster".He received high acclaim for his direction that united otaku, special effects, and epic sci-fi drama.
He then directed his first TV series, "Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water," broadcast on NHK in 1990 (partly directed by Shinji Higuchi), which depicted an epic science fiction world set in the 19th century, the age of invention.
In 1995, he directed the TV series "Neon Genesis Evangelion," which became a huge sensation along with "Rebuild of Evangelion" in 1997.
In 1998, he directed his first live-action film, "Love & Pop".
In 1999, he directed the animated TV series "Kare Kano" (partly directed by Hiroki Sato) and the making-of video "GAMERA1999" for "Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris".
In 2000, he directed "Shiki-Jitsu," the first film for Studio Casino (Studio Ghibli's live-action label).
Directed the live-action short film "流星課長" and the animated short film "空想の機械達の中の破壊の発明" (Studio Ghibli) in 2002, directed the live-action film "Cutie Honey" in 2004, and was the general director of the OVA "Re: Cutie Honey".
In May 2006, he founded and became the president of khara, inc. In addition to the first Studio khara film "Rebuild of Evangelion", he also directed the Japanese version of the Danish puppet film "Strings" (released in April 2007).
Contains various posters as well as the two trailers broken down cut by cut.
Contains pic of all the other promotional stuff: movie tickets and pamphlets, OST and DVD covers, Doritos packs, UCC coffee cans and other stuff.
Contains the 42 page script.
(Numbers-kun translates a deleted scene involving Kaworu.)
A foldout poster of Rei drawn up by Sadamoto
Notes & References
- ↑ (yyyy/mm/dd)
- ↑ You can watch the episode from here  or 
- ↑ Refers to a genre of entertainment works that depict "IF" in historical fact (mostly World War II)
- ↑ A Japanese post-production company for films, television programmes and commercials, etc.
- ↑ To make a film for TV animation into a film size for movies.
- ↑ A Japanese post-production company that handles VTR editing of recordings, offline editing, non-linear editing, MA, and authoring of Blu-ray Discs, etc.
- ↑ A bag to hold materials such as layouts, original pictures, videos, and time sheets in units of cuts.
- ↑ A system for reusing the animation or background of a particular scene in a video work, especially in animation and special effects.
- ↑ In the animation industry, the gradation of shadows that darkens the screen is called "para", and the gradation of light that brightens the screen is called "flare".
- ↑ A bag used to carry the original and moving images.
- ↑ When there is a color painting mistake, the color of the area looks like it's flashing when you watch the video.
- ↑ A technique to give reality to an imaginary robot.
- ↑ Mechanical design and setting supervision for Macross. He was also in charge of directing several episodes, and wrote the script for the final episode.