Mr. Anno has been written as if he was drunk.

However, in reality, he was not that drunk.

According to him, "I added the word 'drunk' later because it was boring if I left it as it was. I didn't drink that much."

From "Hideaki Anno: Schizo Evangelion"

Monthly Animage July 1996 issue, Hideaki Anno and Yuko Miyamura

-When we saw the last episode of Evangelion, we thought, "What? No way. Is this it?" The same feeling that we felt when we watched the final episode of Evangelion must have been felt by the voice actors who played the roles.

Yuko Miyamura, representative of your feelings, boldly approaches the core of "Evangelion" and director Anno's true feelings!

"Eva" is like a live performance

Animage(AM)

What's most talked about now is the final episode of the TV series. How did you feel about it, Miyamura-san, who has been playing the role of Asuka?

Miyamura

Hmm, I felt like I was left behind. In episode 24, Asuka ends up lying on a hospital bed with her eyes open, and that's where my image of Asuka stops, so please do something about it, director!

AM

She's still lying on the bed with her cheeks looking very hollow. I wonder when Asuka will be complemented.

Anno

I wonder when she will be complemented.

Miyamura

Oi, what are you going to do if the director says so?

AM

I think it was a total of 25 episodes, 26 episodes (the final episode), and one story.

Anno

Yes, we stretched it out and changed the story a bit. That still wasn't enough, so it's not like we stretched it out. It wasn't long enough at all. After all, the scenario was ‘written and sent off’.

AM

What do you mean by 'written and sent off'?

Anno

In short, if you can't do episode 1, you can't do episode 2, and if you can't do episode 2, you can't do episode 3.

From episode 1 to episode 6, we messed things up.

We would do episode 5 or 6, and then go back to episode 3, and so on.

I wanted to create a certain scene, but then I realized that I didn't need the whole scene.

The thing I wanted to do the most turned out to be something I didn't need.

It's like a live performance.

I make everything according to the situation at the time.

AM

I'm looking at it from here, it's extremely detailed, well I'm sure it will all add up, and the setting is very well thought out, which is amazing.

Anno

In fact, until about halfway through the Human Instrumentality Project, we hadn't really decided what we were going to instrumentalize in terms of human instrumentality.

AM

So, of course, there was no explanation to the voice actors as to what The Human Instrumentality Project is.

Miyamura

There was no explanation at all.

Anno

(Pretending to be innocent) Oh, there was no explanation? (Not eating, just drinking.)

Miyamura

So when I ask, "What is The Human Instrumentality Project?" he just says, "Well, I don't know."

Anno

It's not that I was playing around, it's just that I hadn't really decided.

AM

It's amazing that you made it to episode 24.

Anno

Well, it's like a miracle (laughs).

It was all done live.

While we were playing, we ran out of performance time, performers, instruments, money, and even the score.

AM

Anno-san, did you create your previous TV series with this kind of live feeling?

Anno

I also had a half-live feeling when I worked on Nadia, but this is the first time I laid out the rails from scratch.

It was like 'I've come this far, so lay out the rails for the next week.'

So who knows where it will go?

AM

The actors must have been working under a sense of uncertainty.

Miyamura

In the first half, we were shown the storyboards ahead of time, so we knew roughly what was going to happen next.

But after one episode or so, there was a point where we had no idea what was going to happen next.

Anno

I couldn't even finish the storyboard for the last episode.

AM

Was there anything whiter on the recording screen than the storyboard?

Anno

It wasn't white, was it?

The names of the actors and even their lines were written on the screen (laughs).

For episode 25, we did the post recording with just the names written on the screen.

But then I realized that if I wrote the dialogue along with the names, there would be no paper noise when they turned the script.

I thought that was a good idea (laughs).

AM

But as an actor, how did that work out for you?

Miyamura

Well, it's episode 26, right?

The only situation is that Shinji is standing on the stage like this, talking to himself, so just having the lines written like that didn't feel strange to me.

AM

I think that was directed in a very theatrical way.

Miyamura

When I was doing stage performances at university, I still do it now, but we used to incorporate that kind of feeling into certain scenes, and I also used to do it a lot in etude (practice) at university.

Because it's easier to think for yourself when there's nothing around you.

But the folding chair is theatrical, but I felt it was more like counseling.

Anno

Oh, really?

Miyamura

In counseling, for example, if a man goes to a counseling session because he has had a huge quarrel with his wife and is very angry with her, he is first made to sit on one of the two chairs facing each other.

The first thing they do is put him in one of the two chairs facing each other, and they make him say all the things he wants to say, such as what happened, what disgusted him, and what his wife is doing.

Then he is asked to sit on the other side of the chair he was sitting on, and he is asked to put himself in his wife's shoes and talk about what has happened. The way you look at yourself when you sit on this chair is different from the way you look at yourself when you sit on the other chair, so you can look at yourself calmly.

I heard that there is such a therapy. I thought it was similar to that.

Anno

I didn't know that. Why didn't you tell me such an interesting story before, while we were making it?

Miyamura

After I saw the finished product, I thought that's what the director must have meant.

Anno

I really didn't know that. Maybe I'm doing it unconsciously.

AM

Does that mean it might be true, if asked?

Anno

That's right.

I guess that's how things become more and more 'konjac questions and answers(*1)'(konjac mondo’ in Japanese).

*1) Ridiculous questions and answers. Also, misguided responses.

Miyamura

What is 'konjac mode'? (Mishearing 'mondo' and 'mode')

Anno

It's not 'konjac mode,' it's 'konjac question and answer.

Miyamura

When you said 'konjac mode,' I wondered what you were switching.

Anno

No, 'question and answer'! (laughs)

AM

I've always thought you were a bit of an eccentric person. It's interesting to hear about animation with a sense of live performance. Watching the last two episodes was like a live performance for me. Most of today's videos can be bought and watched whenever you want.

But watching the last two episodes of the TV series in real time and experiencing the various situations of the time was like watching a live performance.

Miyamura

I wonder what kind of ending the fans were expecting.

AM

I think you were confident that you could create the ending that everyone was expecting.

Anno

I don't know, but I was able to create an ending that people would enjoy. It was impossible, though.

AM

For example, what was the Human Instrumentality Project all about?For example, what was the Human Instrumentality Project, and what was the final goal of Gendo Ikari?At the end, you want to have a sense of satisfaction when you understand it all.

Miyamura

Is that going to be resolved in the new video version?

Anno

I don't know what's going to happen yet. I'll think about it from now on.

Miyamura

There's a graph that shows the stress levels of people all over Japan, and the stress gauge of people who watched the last episode of Evangelion went through the roof.

AM

How was your own stress gauge, Miyamura?

Miyamura

I gained five kilos because I couldn't take the stress with me...

Anno

It's called bulimia, isn't it?

Miyamura

I became bulimic.

AM

You look so skinny on screen.

Anno

I wonder if I should fatten her up for the retakes of episode 24.

Miyamura

You left me to fatten up a bit. But as an actor, I was deeply involved, so I was really shaken up by the work of 'Evangelion'. I think that's why I started to overeat after the show. My heart was shaken so badly.

What are you going to do about it, director?

Anno

It's like Heart of Darkness, that's cool. (He's already looking at the alcohol.)

・・・

つづく