This is a translation of the interview with Kazuya Tsurumaki from Evangelion 1.0 CRC interview.

#1 If I'm going to participate in this project, I want it to make worthwhile.

#2 Working on remembering 'Eva's grammar'.

#3 We can go further and explore the nuances of color with digital photography.

#4 Narrowing down by color instead of special effects

#5 The highlight is the drawing of EVA

#6 Balance with the overall impression of Eva

#7 Describing the urban landscape and creating a zoom out image

#8 In search of a new balance between drawing and CGI

・・・

Interview & Writing: Ryusuke Hikawa

Director:

Kazuya Tsurumaki

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.

Interviewer

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".

Interviewer

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.

Interviewer

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."

Interviewer

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."

Interviewer

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.

Interviewer

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.

Interviewer

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" (*1) 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.

(*1) You can watch the episode from here, https://www26.gogoanimes.tv/mobile-suit-victory-gundam-episode-45 or https://animeflix.eu.org/mobile-suit-victory-gundam-episode-45

Interviewer

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.

・・・

つづく