Apr 10, 2021
4 mins read
Interview & Writing: Ryusuke Hikawa
Previous article (6/8)
Describing the urban landscape and creating a zoom out image
Did you feel the reaction of the audience watching the film on the screen?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.