Hideaki Anno on Ending Evangelion and His Future in Live-Action - VRGyani News and Media


Friday, August 13, 2021

Hideaki Anno on Ending Evangelion and His Future in Live-Action

After 25 years, the story of Evangelion has finally come to an end. Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time premieres this week on Amazon Prime, with creator Hideaki Anno bringing to an end the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy, which remade the story of Neon Genesis Evangelion while slowly adding in new material until becoming its own thing. Thrice Upon a Time picks up immediately after the events of You Can (Not) Redo, and follows Shinji Ikari in a near-catatonic state due to the events of the previous film, while the forces of NERV and WILLE approach the final fight for the future of mankind.

During the interview, Anno talked about new technology and a larger budget allowed him to tell the story the way he's always wanted to tell it, why this Shinji Ikari is different from the TV version, his future in live-action and the future of Evangelion.

Question: Why did you decide to remake Evangelion as a series of movies?

HIDEAKI ANNO: When it was time for me to work on my next project, at the time, Evangelion was the only option. And I actually tried to do various things. I tried to plan a new project, but the conclusion came out that I could do interesting stuff with Evangelion again, and for myself, I really want to do something interesting, the most interesting thing.So that at the time, that was Evangelion. And for the Rebuild I didn't want to do the same ending, this is because the time has changed. The world is now a different place from back then. And I am different. I changed from back then. So, I thought that I could do something different and interesting from before.

What do you feel that the influx of digital medium and streaming platforms has contributed to the popularity of anime across the globe?

ANNO: Animation is an entirely made-up fictional world. This also means that it's the best medium to put imagination to picture. What this means is that animation has the potential to get across to different countries across the border. So, there was a time when cartoons were for children, but I think that animation is something that now we're going to start developing more into the adult animation, where adults can enjoy this as well.

RELATED: 'Evangelion' Creator Hideaki Anno Reveals 'Evangelion 3.0+1.0' Might Not be the End

What is the message you want to spread with the Rebuild movies?

ANNO: In the TV series, Ikari Shinji was still only able to talk about his own story and basically only save himself, but in this movie he's matured a little bit more and he is able to save people who are around him as well.

Do you think Evangelion gets misinterpreted, and how do you think the themes of Evangelion are interpreted by those who haven't suffered anxiety or depression?

ANNO: I think that interpretation and misinterpretation is something that always happens. And when we create things, we always try to narrow that range, but it's totally up to the people who receive it. So, it's easier, I think, for people who are in similar situations as the protagonist to feel the themes but that's not the only people that we're aiming the show for. We're actually aiming the show for various people. So, we're trying to tell a story that a lot of people can get something out of.

You incorporate some elements of live-action while making this movie, like motion capture and virtual cameras, how does that affect the final animation?

ANNO: For animation, there's actually a limit to what you can describe and to reach that limit I've always tried implementing live-action techniques. This was something that I always kept in mind from making the original Evangelion, and after 30 years, the technology caught up now. For the fourth Evangelion movie I was able to use the current technology, such as 3D CGI and virtual cameras, to basically implement all these kinds of techniques I always wanted to use.

How do you feel having completed Evangelion?

ANNO: This is speaking for myself, but for me, the story of Evangelion ended. I am not going to continue on, but now that it's ended, it's actually very peaceful for me.

The movie expands on Shinji's father, Gendo, more so than we have seen before. Why was that important to you?

ANNO: In the TV series we actually didn't really have enough space to depict the relationship with Gendo, so when we were making this movie, one of the things we thought about doing, was that we want to make this a story of Shinji and his father. So, that's how we unfolded things.

Did the bigger movie budget allow you to construct your idea better than on TV?

ANNO: Yes, for the Rebuild series, I was able to spend quite the budget for it and was able to, it's for a lot of things that I want to do, especially the pre-visualization, which is a difficult process to do in a normal TV animation budget. And all this budget was made possible because so many people believed in a show called Evangelion.

Is there any chance that you will tackle an epic anime project like Evangelion ever again, or do you see your future in your live-action works?

ANNO: I've actually done a lot of things that I wanted to do in the Rebuild series, in terms of animation. So, for a while, I would like to focus on live-action and come back to animation maybe once I will have more stuff I want to do. As for large budget projects, I think it's a matter of whether the idea I come up with fits the capacity or not. Also, in Japan, it's hard to find opportunities to do such high-budget shows. So, I want to take as much opportunity as I can since I'm in my 60's as well.

Why did it take almost 10 years to make this particular movie?

ANNO: When I made the third film, I held myself together to finish it, but it really wore me out mentally and physically. So, I was actually in more of a broken state at that point. So, I actually needed some time off to work on something else to restart myself, to be able to face Evangelion again. So I did another project after the third movie [Shin Godzilla], but without it, I don't think I'd have been able to finish Evangelion yet.

Are there any plans to revisit Evangelion in the future?

ANNO: So, upon remaking Evangelion, there were many interesting things to do, but to remake something we had already done was a very stressful process. There were so many fans that have their own values for it, which I always kept in mind while making the movies, while also create something new and interesting to those fans as well. So, and for myself, at this point I don't feel that I have the desire to continue on with Evangelion, but there's always the 14-year gap in the story, so in some form, I want to shed light into that. But at this point, I don't feel that I'm going to continue on the story where I left off.

Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time​ is available on Amazon Prime Video.

KEEP READING: New 'Evangelion 3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time' Footage Teases the Final 'Rebuild of Evangelion' Installment​

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