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Hideaki Anno: Hayao Miyazaki's best wor ...

Hideaki Anno: Hayao Miyazaki's best work is "the manga version" of Nausicaä.

Feb 25, 2021

Hayao Miyazaki's best work is "the manga version" of Nausicaä. Hideaki Anno: "That's 100% Miya-san himself. "

#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. According to Anno, Hayao Miyazaki's works are most interesting in his "storyboard" state, and he said that the intervention of other people in the process of creating the animation diminishes the Hayao Miyazaki element.


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

  • Ryusuke Hikawa, Animation researcher

  • Hideaki Anno, President, Khara, inc.


Previous Article (3/4)

The last episode of Lupin's TV version looked like a live action movie" Hideaki Anno talks about the concept of "amount of information" in anime. #NicoNico Super Conference 2015

My favorite of Hayao Miyazaki's works is the manga version of "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind".

Kawakami: But from what I've heard, the public image of you is that you're always running as fast as you can and keep making things until you run out of steam, but you also make a lot of compromises, don't you?

Anno: I think the most stressful thing for a director is compromise. There is no such thing as 100% satisfaction. It's impossible.

It's all about making the film look better than it is, and trying to get it to a reasonable level. I think that's what both Mr. Miyazaki and Mr. Takahata are all about. Especially Mr. Miyazaki.

The best part of Mr. Miyazaki's work is always his storyboards.

Kawakami: Yes (laughs).

Hikawa: (laughs).

Anno: The storyboards are the most interesting. It's 100% Mr. Miyazaki. The ratio of Hayao Miyazaki goes down in the process of turning a storyboard into a film.

Other people inevitably intervene. That can't be helped. When I look at it later, I always think that the storyboard was more interesting.

My favorite work by Mr. Miyazaki is the "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" manga. That work is 100% composed by Mr. Miyazaki. Because it' a manga.

Kawakami: It's only drawn by Hayao Miyazaki.

Anno: That's why I think the Nausicaa manga, which is 100% Mr. Miyazaki's work, is so good.

Kawakami: When Anno-san showed me his storyboards, I thought they were really interesting, but with Anno-san, things that are interesting come out as something different, even though they are interesting. When it's finished.

Anno: That's right. People who can read storyboards create the images in their minds based on their own timing and preferences.

That's why when I read Mr. Miya's storyboards, I end up with Hayao Miyazaki's masterpiece in my mind. I have an idea of what I want the timing to be like, what the picture should look like here, and what the movements should be. I could kind of see it.

But when I saw the first screening, I thought, "No, that's not how it was supposed to work. It's like that.". That's how it is.

Sometimes there are good animators, so of course there are many cuts that are better than what I expected.

But when I look at the total picture, I think the storyboard was better. Also, the sound comes in.

I intentionally made the storyboard less complete.

Kawakami: So, in your case as well, Anno-san, is the storyboard the most complete?

Anno: In my case, I make the storyboard less complete.

Kawakami: You make it less complete?

Anno: I only put the elements of fun into the storyboard. People who read the storyboards think it's interesting, but the direction of how to make it interesting changes depending on the animator.

Kawakami: So it's all about the material?

Anno: In my case, I want the storyboard to be the hub for the creation of the work. It's not a blueprint. In Miya-san's case, the storyboard is a rough sketch of the finished work.

Rather, I want to leave room to make things more interesting, like, "Wouldn't it be interesting if this and this were connected like this?".

Kawakami: That's right. Mr. Miyazaki can basically create the same thing as a storyboard. On the other hand, Anno-san's work changes like a living thing, doesn't it?

Anno: I want to keep changing. This is where I'm completely different from Mr. Miyazaki. I don't want to create an image screen at the beginning, because then I can see where I'm going.

Instead, I want to explore until the very last minute, saying, "I don't know how it's going to turn out, but I think it should be this way or that way.". Well, it's a lot of work.

I'm working on the first previews to the point where IMAGICA (a Japanese post-production company for movies, television programmes and commercials, etc.) says, "We can't wait any longer.".

Kawakami: I was thinking, though, that you're trying to make it until the very last minute, so that's why you're making it until the very last minute, isn't it?

Anno: Yes, it's because I'm trying to make it until the very last minute. And that makes post-production more difficult.

But it's worth it because the screen is worth the last minute effort. "At the last minute, I want to add a little shade here."

Even just adding a little subtle shade around the feet makes a difference. It's really a small detail, but when I'm creating, I want to pay attention to that little detail.

Content can be represented as ramen.

Hikawa: What do you think? Kawakami. I'd like to ask you again about "Secrets of Content". I'd like to ask you if there is anything you feel about the amount of information in anime now that you've talked about it.

Kawakami: This book is very interesting.

Anno: It's interesting.

Kawakami: I don't think there's ever been a book like this before.

Hikawa: I've always said that if the only thing that matters is the story, there's no need to make such a complicated anime, so I'm very grateful.

Kawakami: When I was writing this book, I thought that everyone doesn't understand. Creators don't know what the end result will be, and the viewers don't really know what they're looking at.

I really thought that the relationship between fans and creators is one of communication between people who don't understand each other.

Hikawa: Oh, I see. Everyone is different. We all look at things differently.

Anno: That can't be helped. Things can only be measured by the experience and knowledge of the person watching. It can't be helped that it all depends on the person watching. It depends on the person's sense of value.

Kawakami: People often say that works of art don't belong to the creators, but to the individual readers. I think that's true in principle.

Anno: As I often say, it's just like a ramen shop. It's up to the customer to decide what kind of ramen they want to eat, but they can choose whether they want soy sauce or tonkotsu.

It is up to the customer to decide if the tonkotsu oil is too greasy or not. As the owner of a ramen shop, I would say that this level of oil is delicious, but whether the customer finds it tasty, rich, or weak is up to them. There's nothing I can do about that.

To those who find it delicious, I say, "Thank you very much," and that's it.

It's an interactive medium, and I think that's one of the good things about video. You don't have to think about the customer any more.

I think it's hard to provide a better service than that. After all, this is a service industry.

The only way to make it is to make it so hard that it shortens your life span.

Kawakami: But you're making works that serve all kinds of people, aren't you?

Anno: There are services for various people, and there are services that are extremely limited to just this person. I divide them up.

Kawakami: Do you also have services for yourself?

Anno: I don't really have a service for myself. I don't have any, so it's hard.

Kawakami: So it's tough?

Anno: It's tough. I feel like I'm "returning the favor of the vine" (*1). I'm cutting my own body. I'm cutting myself to make textiles. When I realized, there is nothing left.

*1) An old Japanese story. A crane is rescued by a man, who transforms her into a beautiful woman and becomes his wife, but he sees her weaving on a loom by pulling out her own feathers, so she leaves for the mountains.

Kawakami: Anno-san really puts more effort into his work than anyone else, doesn't he?

Anno: I don't think it's just me, though. That's the only way I can make it, so I can't help it.

Of course, there are times when I try to make things easier, but in the end, I can't. Even if I try to cut corners at first, I end up working until the very last minute.

I can't help it. It's just my nature.

Kawakami: I've been asking a lot of people when the next Eva (Evangelion) will be completed, but the information I get from Anno is the most wrong (laughs).

It's the furthest thing from the truth, and as you get further away from Anno, the more accurate it becomes. Fans' predictions on the Internet are usually the most accurate (laughs).

The diversity I felt at the "Japan Anime Trade Fair".

Hikawa: (laughs). I'd like to talk about the "Japan Anime Trade Fair" that the two of you are working on.

Kawakami-san, how did you come up with the idea of this trade fair, and what do you think of the finished product?

Kawakami: Well, it's amazing. I mean, it's done so freely. When you look at most commercial works, you can usually tell what they're aiming for.

It's not that I don't know what the aim of the anime (eater) works are, but they're all works that make me think, "Oh, that's it!". 

Hikawa: What about you, Anno? There're a lot of works already there.

Anno: There's not a single work in the same series.

Hikawa: That's impressive.

Anno: There is still a lot of diversity.

Hikawa: It's really amazing how many different things can be done with animation.

Anno: It's available on the Internet, so please have a look.

Kawakami: The shorter it is, the more pure it becomes. And what you're trying to do.

Anno: Everyone is really very different from each other. Even if the same director does it twice, it's still very different, so I think it's really interesting.

Kawakami: It just goes to show how little freedom there is in the production environment nowadays, doesn't it?

Anno: Well, that's true. The pictures, the stories, the world view, everything is all different. I think that's fine.

Hikawa: In that sense, from the perspective of today's topic, the amount of information, it seems a little chaotic or confusing. There's too much information all around.

Anno: Well, in the case of animation, I think it's good to be able to control the colors as well. Imaishi (Hiroyuki) did a piece (Sex & Violence with MACHSPEED) that used only three or four colors. He was able to achieve such a level of expression with that.

Well, if you put it that way, manga is also monochrome. It's possible to express that much of the world in just black and white. I think that's what makes animation so interesting.

"Ochibisan," which took less than a year to make by hand.

Kawakami: Regardless of the method of expression, the amount of information in this work is like a "lump".

Anno: Well, yes, it is. It's a mess.

Kawakami: (laughs).

Hikawa: Some were full CGI, others were just line drawings.

Anno: And then there are the stop motion ones.

Hikawa: That's right. Stop-motion animation, for example.

Anno: In "Ochibisan", we really made things like tea cups and handy fans.

Hikawa: Like 800 or 900 of them.

Anno: The falling leaves were also made by moving them one by one. I think you can feel that energy from the screen.

Hikawa: Then, what is the amount of information on the screen where you're working so hard on each of the fallen leaves?

Anno: There's the detail of each fallen leaf, but it's also the fact that each of them is moving, and you can feel the manual work. It's about whether or not you can feel what's behind the picture.

Hikawa: Is it like there's a person behind it?

Anno: I think it's good to know that there is something beyond the manual work. I think it's important to see if the soul of the person is in the screen.

Kawakami: Mr. Takahata's "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya" looks like an extraordinary work with a tremendous amount of information to the people who are actually making the animation. But ordinary people think, "I guess that's about right.".

Anno: When you're on the set, you can really feel how hard it is. "Wow, that's amazing! "But for those who don't understand it, it just looks like a picture of hard work. There's nothing I can do about that. Each person is different.

Kawakami: Because there are so few pictures, ordinary people might think that it's easy.

Anno: That's a lot of work.

Kawakami: They can't see the effort behind it.

Anno: I wonder how the difficulty of that can be conveyed from the screen, but I think Mr. Takahata doesn't want to convey that.

Kawakami: He doesn't think it's necessary to tell people.

Anno: So I think he cuts off the information. One of the good things about animation is that the creator can control how much he wants to convey. It's deliberately made to look easy.

Kawakami: When you look at stop-motion, there's something strange about it, isn't there.

Animation is easy to put your soul into.

Anno: I think a lot of people think that Ojibisan is CGI when they see it. I don't think you think they're making tea cups one by one.

They were really making the tea cups and handy fans one by one. They also moved each item in the bento box one by one. They make it out of things that can be eaten. That attention to detail...

Kawakami: It's important that you can see the grains of rice in the bento, isn't it?

Anno: That's right. You can see that it's made of ingredients. I think that's the beauty of it. I think the audience can feel what's behind the screen.

I think there's something in there. In the case of animation, it's easy to put your heart and soul into it.

In the case of live-action films, if the actors really put their hearts and souls into their performances, the audience can feel it. I think it's great that there is a technology in video that can capture that kind of spirit, and a technology in video that can convey it.

The soul of the creator can be reflected in the images. I think that's the beauty of video. If you break it down, you end up with information.

Quantity is the total image, right? It's about how much of the creator's soul can be supported.

Hikawa: Is it something like weight?

Anno: It includes weight. I think there is such a thing as heavy and light. I think that information can be heavy or light. It's not just about how much or how little.

Hikawa: Isn't there also the question of how much resonance it has?

Anno: That's right. There's also the question of how well they resonate. It's complicated and interesting. That's why images are so interesting.

Hikawa: We're getting close to the end of the interview, but with that in mind, I was wondering if you could give us a few words about what you want to make in the future.

Anno: Yes, that's right. I've been doing this for a long time, so I don't think anything will change at all (laughs). From now on and up until now. I don't think what we do will change.

Hikawa: What about you, Kawakami-san?

Kawakami: Everyone should buy the book "Secrets of Content"! Please buy it!  I was writing this until the very last minute, and I finished the manuscript about a week ago.

So it wasn't advertised at all, and it was shipped without any promotion at all. I was happy with the result, but I felt sorry for the publisher.

Hikawa: So, if you're interested, please buy it. I think it's time to end this interview. Thank you very much for your time today.

Let's have a big round of applause for both of you!

(Applause from the audience)

<Original JP site: https://logmi.jp/business/articles/53943>

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