~Newtype Monthly September '97~

An interview with Anno Hideaki right after the release of THE END OF EVANGELION.

At that time, he would have never thought that he would be rebuilding Eva himself ten years later, never knew that he would be married.

--Now that "Evangelion" has finally reached its conclusion with this film, what are your honest feelings about it?

Anno: I just thought, "It's over". And now I can move on.

But I don't think this feeling of being finished should be experienced twice with the same title. The staff who have been with us for so long and I have already started other works, so "Eva" is already over for us. My own feeling is all about the message I put at the beginning of episode 26. There is no fiction in that shot. It's real, and it's true.

Right now, my mind is occupied with the next live-action film, so I've already forgotten about "Eva". The erase head is spinning one after another, initializing and rewriting.

--I think the theme of "Eva" was communication between people, especially in the second half. How did you feel when you sent the message through video?

Anno: Not only in this film, but I think that expression is made up of a collection of misunderstandings. This is especially true for video, which is a complex and one-sided medium. That's why we have to translate things to make them easier for others to understand, but there are parts of "Eva" where we dared to discard this process. But there are parts of "Eva" where I purposely discarded the translation process because it would have resulted in something different. This is partly because I don't have the skills to do so, but it's also because I was under such pressure. That's why "Eva" is more like a scream than a word. I don't really think of it as a message.

--You have been saying in various media since the end of the TV series that "anime fans should return to reality".

Anno: It's better to be a little dramatic about such things.

I received a lot of criticism from various sides, saying that it was unnecessary for people who use anime as an emergency refuge from reality, and from the industry's point of view, that I should not say anything that would reduce the number of customers. I was prepared for that, but I thought it would be a bad idea if someone didn't mention the pitfalls of anime fans and online services from a different angle at that time.

It's true that both anime fans and this industry are essentially constitutionally not looking for change. That's why my actions and "Eva" itself are just the product of unfulfilled feelings. But I think it's better to look at things from as many angles as possible, to verify and recognize them. That's why I wanted people to at least know that if you look at anime fans from outside their shells, this is what they look like.

--Compared to your previous works, "Eva" has become a work that strongly reflects your own thoughts.

Anno: From the point of view of those who think it is good to portray others by forcing themselves to do so, I think my act is nothing but foolishness. However, after 10, 20, 30 years of living in a vague sense of isolation, we had no choice but to scream for ourselves. I think we are a lonely generation that can only recognize our own existence by having others recognize our individual existence.

--Do you feel that "Eva" brought you out of your shell?

Anno: I guess I haven't gotten out. However, I do have an image of the inside of my shell getting bigger. Maybe that's what breaking out of the shell is all about.

--Why do you think the ending of this film was chosen the way it was?

Anno: I don't think the intention of the film should be put into words, and if it were that simple, I wouldn't have bothered to make a video.

What He Aims to Achieve with Live Action "Love & Pop"

--Your first live-action film "Love & Pop (*1)" will be released in January next year. Did Mr. Murakami mention anything to you about making it into a movie?

(*1 A novel written by Ryu Murakami, about sugar daddy dating from the perspective of a high school girl.)

Anno: No, this is from us. When I first read about it, I thought I'd like to try it.

--Why did you choose "Love & Pop" as your next film?

Anno: Because it is practically possible to produce. Love & Pop" could be done without spending a lot of money, and since the characters are limited, it would be possible to schedule it during summer vacation.

Also, there are many things I wanted to try in the film, such as the possibility of a different approach from the novel, and the challenge of paralleling information.

--Do you have any thoughts on the subject, sugar daddy dating?

Anno: No, not really. The story just happened to be that kind of story, and I wasn't interested in sugar daddy dating, and I don't know anything about it yet. I'm just starting to do on-the-spot interviews, and I don't know anything about trends in the world. I doubt if I can film a high school girl in this situation (laughs).

But on the other hand, I hope I can be neutral without knowing anything about anything. I think it would be a failure if I were to misunderstand and assume that this is what high school girls are like these days.

--Do you have an image of how you would like to create it visually?

Anno: I have to quickly change my mind and think. The only problem is that I don't really like Shibuya. So I guess I'll have to start by asking why that is, and use the parts that stick out as a starting point to move forward. We don't have a lot of time before we have to start shooting (in August).

--Is the production process for live action different from that of animation?

Anno: Yes, it's different. In live-action photography, you have to make a quick decision, and it's a physical challenge. You can't shoot something that doesn't exist in front of the camera lens. Rather than a system for making pictures, the flow is very different. The stance of a director is also different. This is a good experience for me.

A sense of urgency to keep shooting

--Is there anything you'd like to do away from film now?

Anno: No, I don't have any. I guess I'm not interested in my own life. I'm not interested in eating, cleaning, or washing. What I wear is disposable. I buy shirts and pants at a nearby convenience store, wear them once, and then throw them away. I guess I don't have a sense of life (laughs).

--It's an amazing energy to make a new movie right after the long term work of "Eva", isn't it?.

Anno: I think I can continue to make films because the next one will be based on another person's work and the methodology is live-action. Anyway, I want to keep making as many films as possible while I have the chance. That's all I have right now. I don't seem to be able to have a family of my own, and I seem to be in a place that is far from being as happy as others. There will always be loneliness, but for now, I have no choice but to keep doing what I can with the energy I have. I think this is probably the best time in my life to create and leave something behind.

--What direction do you want to take as a director, and where do you hope to get to?

Anno: I don't think I have a goal. I think it would be boring if I had a goal. It's over when you reach your goal. It would be nice if I could find another goal at that time, but if not, that's it. I always leave things up to chance, and play things as they come.

--What do you think you are looking for in a film?

Anno: I have no idea what it is. I think I'm doing it because I don't know. Maybe.

<Original JP site: http://evangeliwon.blog107.fc2.com/blog-category-2-1.html>

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