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A shocking encounter between Toshio Okada and Hideaki Anno.

Mar 06, 2021

Anno can draw as many tanks and robots as you want with one piece of toast.

The DAICON III opening animation is now the focus of attention in Kazuhiko Shimamoto's serialized manga, "Aoi Honoo".

In Toshio Okada's book "Well, I've got the money", the following process is described as a coming-of-age story of talented young people, along with the movement of huge amounts of money for them, college students, at that time.

  1. The launch of the event

  2. Meeting with Hideaki Anno, Takami Akai, and Hiroyuki Yamaga


  4. Launch of Gainax

This time, we will highlight the shocking encounter between Okada and Director Anno.


The budget for the science fiction convention was a total of 720,000 yen (approximately US$7K)!


 "With this much money, we can do anything!"

 "We can say goodbye to deficits!"

 "I mean, it's rather impossible to spend it all, isn't it? Ha-ha-ha-ha! Ha-ha-ha-ha!"

Our eyes were dazzled by the abundance of funds, and our previously student-like sense of money changed drastically.

 "Seven hundred thousand yen (approximately US$6,500) for the venue?"

 "That's cheap!"

 "I'll hold it for three days!"

Still, it was only two hundred thousand yen (approximately US$1,900). The four- or eight-page program book we had been using was not cool.

Let's try forty pages. No matter how much we spent, we couldn't run out of money, so we produced a variety of original goods.

Still, we didn't waste a single penny. For the mascot made from felt fabric, I stole the fabric from my parents' embroidery factory in the middle of the night, printed it out using the print gokko (*1), and had the female staff sew it.

For the boys, I had them make a garage kit by hand.

*1) A self-contained compact color printing system invented in 1977, by Noboru Hayama. 

One day, while we were running an event with no money to lose, one of the staff members mentioned that there was an interesting student at Osaka University of Arts.

 "A guy named Akai will draw as many cute girls as you want if you buy him a cup of coffee."

 "Anno draws as many tanks and robots as he can with a piece of toast."

That sounds good. Let them draw something, and the program book will be gorgeous.

 “I'll make Akai drink ten or twenty cups of coffee every day. I'll make Anno eat a belly full of toast. Let's get them on board, no matter what.”

With a light heart, I sent my staff to scout for them.

Soon after, I got a call from an excited staff member.

"This Anno guy is amazing! While eating a piece of toast, he draws a very complicated robot on a Daiei calculation sheet(*2) at a very high speed. When you flip through it, it's working!"

*2) Notepads sold in supermarkets that are inexpensive and have thin paper that makes it easy to see the picture underneath.

It was our first encounter with Anno Hideaki, the genius who would later create Evangelion.

He, Takami Akai, and Hiroyuki Yamaga, who came along as a bonus, and we decided to make a five-minute 8mm animation as the opening film for the SF convention.

It's hard to make an animation, even if it's only five minutes long.

I can call as many staff as I want from my university's science fiction club, but first I need a big place for them to work.

I had no choice but to use my house. I occupied my sister's room, who left home after marriage, as a permanent studio for more than half a year.

My room next door became a sleeping room for the staff.

Stationery such as paper and pencils can hardly be expensive.

But that's not all that is needed to make an animation.

You have to use special paints to paint on transparent plastic sheets called cels.

There are special cels available, but they are very expensive. We went to an industrial park in Minami-Osaka, bought a huge transparent PVC board, cut it to the required size, and punched holes in it with an office two-hole punch.

It's not as good as a real three-hole punch, but it completes the handmade cell.

I also ordered special paints from Tokyo.

I also bought some steel materials at Daiei (supermarket) and made a handmade shooting stand.

The large amount of film, the development costs, the test shooting, and the failed cell painting for staff training were all costly.

It was common to have to redo the entire film due to uneven painting and color mistakes.

My sister's room became too small for us, so I asked my parents to rent one floor of a small embroidery factory.

The whole floor was lined with drawing desks, painting desks, and art materials, and it was spectacular.

The rent was free, but I found we were running out of money.

(From "Well, I've Got Money" by Toshio Okada, Vol. 3 [Kindle Edition])

<Original JP site: http://blog.freeex.jp/archives/51404784.html>

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