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Hideaki Anno: I wanted to create an animation with a minimum amount of information.

Feb 20, 2021

Hideaki Anno says, "I wanted to create an animation with a minimum amount of information," about the animation with only voices and lines in Eva.

#NicoNico Super Conference 2015

NicoNico Ultra Conference 2015 (April 01, 2015 - April 26, 2015)

This is a full transcript of a conversation between Dwango's Takao Kawakami and Evangelion director Hideaki Anno, which took place at the Super Discourse Area of the Nico Nico Ultra Conference on April 25, 2015. Anno looked back on the anime expression of only voices and lines in the TV version of Evangelion episode 16 (Sickness Leading to Death, and), saying "I wanted to create images with the minimum amount of information".


  • Nobuo Kawakami, Chairman and CEO, KADOKAWA and DWANGO Inc.

  • Ryusuke Hikawa, Animation researcher

  • Hideaki Anno, President, Khara, inc.


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Hideaki Anno: "Anime is information. I make it with logic." In conversation with Kawakami, he talks about the theory of anime production #Niconico Super Meeting 2015.

The number of children who cannot read manga is increasing.

Kawakami: What I think about is that, for example, in manga, everyone imitates someone else, and as they imitate, their individuality comes out.

To put it simply, everyone imitates what they see, but they can't reproduce it exactly. I think that this blurring of lines is what gives everyone their individuality in the end.

Anno: Then there's the backlash. They say, "This is how you did it, but I would do it this way." Using that as a base, I'd take the idea to another place.

If you've never read manga before, you can't read manga out of the blue. My parents can't read at all either.

Kawakami: It's said that the number of children who can't read manga is increasing these days.

Anno: They don't know how the panels work, or what a bubble is. They wonder why these letters have jagged edges around them. They can't tell if it's an expression of anger or a loud voice.

If you don't know the rules, it's hard to read the text. If it's square, it's a monologue, and if it's shaped like a cloud, it's a dialogue.

Even the flow of a frame. It starts from the right and goes to the right side of the page.

Kawakami: When it comes to controlling the amount of information, in the book "Secrets of Content," the basic theory is that the more information, the better.

When you say it's better to have less information, how do you set your standards for control?

Anno: It's a matter of what I want to convey to the audience the most. In order to convey that, I have to control it.

Kawakami: In other words, too much is not good?

Anno: It's okay to have too much. It's better to have too much when you're trying to cover up what you want to disguise to the audience.

Kawakami: Disguise?

Anno: Right. If there are a lot of people, they will look at a whole cut, right?

Kawakami: Yes.

Anno: The whole group will say, "This cut is amazing.".

Live action is the most difficult to control.

Kawakami: It's said that you should put at least three things in your work. You have to put three things that you like or that catch your interest in one cut.

Anno: Well, I think that the animation (I can Friday by day!) that Tsurumaki (Kazuya) did at the Anime Trade Fair is the best textbook for controlling the amount of information.

Tsurumaki likes to keep the background white, so he doesn't draw too much. It was the same with "Fricli". He doesn't need much information about the background.

He doesn't need much information about the background in order to make the characters stand out. The background only needs to have a minimum of information about where it is.

You don't need more information than that, so he doesn't draw much in it. As long as the characters are cute, that's all that matters.

Kawakami: (laughs).

Anno: He uses the minimum amount of information to make them cute, and he uses a lot of CGI to draw the mechanisms in his mind.

The handles are detailed. Even the pipe chair has a hole in it. He was able to draw and show both the crisp parts and the fluffy parts. That's part of it.

Kawakami: This is part of controlling the amount of information.

Anno: In the case of Eva, there are parts where there's nothing at all, and parts where there's a lot of drawing.

Kawakami: But if you think about controlling the amount of information in that way, today's CG animations are getting closer and closer to realism, but I think it's difficult to control the amount of information in such animations.

Anno: Well, it's getting harder to do. Live action is the most difficult to control. When you try to control it with live action, it's like a stage play.

In a stage play, there are real people acting, but behind them is a set, right? I think it would be like that.

Kawakami: It's like having a set that looks like a stage.

Anno: There are films like that, but there are also films that are shot in places that really look like a stage. In those films, all you need is the characters, the story, and the drama, so as long as you show the information about where the scene is at the beginning, that's all you need.

From the point of view of the director, there are times when he doesn't want to give the audience any noise, and times when he wants to put in a lot of noise to make it hard to understand.

Kawakami: So there are both.

About the animation with only voices and lines in episode 16 of Eva.

Anno: When we were working on the TV version of Eva, I wanted to create images with a minimum amount of information. Just images with voices.

In episode 16 (In sickness unto death, and...), when Shinji and the other Shinji are talking, I wondered what the minimum amount of voice information was.

We were still using film, so when there were no pictures during post recording, we would draw lines on the film. I would draw a red line, and while the red line was showing, Shinji would speak. When there is a blue line, Rei should speak. When the line is black, Misato should speak.

Tell the voice actors, "You for red," and "You for black". And when there is a wave is coming out, you shout. when . There are also six or nine frames at the breath, where the film breaks up. When the line breaks, that's a pause.

That was really an amazing technique. It was really just black lines on a white background. Or the word "dialogue" would appear.

The simplest thing was the lines. I thought that lines alone were the most anime like.

Kawakami: (laughs). But when you look at it, you don't really notice it, do you?

Anno: That was done in the positive, so I think the hardest part was trying to recreate it in the negative.

Kawakami: I see. When it comes to controlling the amount of information, there's a tendency to want to eliminate the amount of information.

But in reality, whether it's live-action or animation, more and more detail and realism sells better, doesn't it?

Anno: There is a tendency to do that. It's as if the more detailed the drawing, the better. There is such a trend, but it's not just about that, is it?

Kawakami: I've been thinking about the reasons for this, and Toshio Suzuki says that people like things that look expensive. I thought that this was the most important decrease for the average user.

I was impressed by the amount of lines in Space Battleship Yamato.

Anno: It was the 80's when drawing became popular in anime. Before that, Yamato was the first. Yamato drew a huge amount of lines.

Hikawa: Especially the main gun of the main character, Yamato.

Anno: That's what impressed me about the first Space Battleship Yamato. The amount of lines. The fact that something with so many lines was moving properly. I was also impressed by the opening cut.

That cut made me want to follow it for the rest of my life.

Hikawa: It's not just a lot of lines, it's something complex.

Anno: Complex things are moving properly.

Hikawa: That's the ...... that started bringing the amount of information into the animation.

Anno: I think that's it. Until Yamato, they were trying to reduce the number of lines. They were trying to simplify it. After Yamato, the lines suddenly increased, didn't they?

Hikawa: That's right. I think the next increase came with Macross, didn't it?

Anno: I had a lot of fun where they were adding lines for Macross.

After Yamato, the lines suddenly increased, didn't they?

Hikawa: That's right. I think the next increase came with Macross, didn't it?

Anno: I had a lot of fun adding lines for Macross.

Hikawa: You're the one involved (laughs).

Anno: I think it was hard for the people who finished the movie, though. At that time, I was happy to write the details. The first Gundam movie also had a lot of detailing, didn't it?

Hikawa: We kept adding more and more panel lines and markings.

Anno: It's like the design of a display or a monitor.

Hikawa: Actually, as an anime fan myself, the first time I heard the word "information volume" was during the 1984 Macross movie "Macross: Do You Remember Love?". I said to a friend of mine, "This has a lot of information," and he said, "What do you mean, the amount of information?" He was puzzled for a moment.

Anno: At that time, animators liked to add lines.

Hikawa: At that time, it was all about lines, wasn't it?

Anno: Lines and shadows, right?

Hikawa: So the culture of Studio Nue is also involved. Studio Nue, the people who added more lines to the design.

Anno: When Gundam was released, there were single and double shadows in theaters, right?

The sound of "The Wind Rises" is 1.1 channel.

Kawakami: Is there a certain amount of information about movement?

Anno: The amount of information about movement hasn't changed much. It's just that the amount of information about what is moving has changed.

Kawakami: When something difficult is moving, the overall amount of information increases.

Anno: Also, the pleasantness of movement is a part of the amount of information. It feels good to move.

Kawakami: Are there more sounds as well?

Anno: Sound has also increased. In the past, it was mono, then stereo, then Dolby, and now it's 5.1 or 7.1, so there are suddenly sounds coming from behind you. The sound information has also increased.

Mr. Miyazaki's previous work, "The Wind Rises," was deliberately made into a 1.1 channel. "The sound is already too loud. It should just come out of the middle of the screen," he insisted.

I understand this. He said, "There is only one screen, so why is the sound coming out of the other part? It's distracting.".

I also think that one channel is fine, but it's difficult to synthesize sounds with one channel. I want to spread them out a bit. Considering the performance of sound, I think it would be good to have 7.1 channels.

Especially for a spectacle, it would be nice to have a lot of sound coming from behind to surprise the audience.

Kawakami: You'd be surprised, wouldn't you? When it comes out of nowhere from behind.

Anno: Even if you can't use it every time, I think it's good to use it to create a surprise at the right moment.

<Original JP site: https://logmi.jp/business/articles/53895>


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