Interview & Writing: Ryusuke Hikawa

Previous article (4/8)

Evangelion:1.0 CRC interview, Kazuya Tsurumaki #4 (Narrowing down by color instead of special effects)

The highlight is the drawing of EVA

Interviewer

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.

Interviewer

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.

Interviewer

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.

Interviewer

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.

Interviewer

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.

Interviewer

In this episode, there are some surprising images such as the ocean being red, and Zele 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.

Interviewer

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.

・・・

つづく