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I want to be told, "What are you, stupid ...

I want to be told, "What are you, stupid?" #3

Mar 23, 2021

Monthly Animage July 1996 issue, Hideaki Anno and Yuko Miyamura

Speaker

  • Animage(AM)

  • Hideaki Anno

  • Yuko Miyamura

Previous article (2/6)

I want to be told, "What are you, stupid?" #2 ("What are you, idiot?" That's a good line.)

・・・

Return to Reality

Anno

I think the basis of "Evangelion" was to do it as if it were a live performance, without betraying my current feelings.

As long as my feelings go that way, I won't betray them. At the very least, all I have to do is not betray myself.

However, if I don't continue with this work, I will be betraying the staff (who have worked with me on this work).

I asked the crew to make the last part of the TV show as a way of asking them to forgive me for doing another remake on video.

AM

If you had had plenty of money at this time, and could have extended the show for three weeks or so to make up for the time lost, would the ending have been different?

Anno

The methodologies are different, but what I was saying was probably the same. The theme is the same.

I think it came down to "return to reality".

I really didn't want animation, or at least the "Evangelion" that I've been working on, to become just a "refuge".

It was just a place to escape from reality, and by being completely involved in it, they were only escaping the pain of reality, and there was nothing to return to reality from. There was nothing to return to reality from there.

More and more people are escaping, and if things continue as they are, in the extreme, it will become a religion. It will be like Aum believers and Shoko Asahara.

I think I had the potential to become the guru of a new religion if I did well here, but I didn't want to do that.

I thought that I alone was enough to hang on to the spider's thread. (*2)".

(*2) The Spider's Thread: A short story by Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1918). The story is about a villainous hero who ascends to heaven by hanging on to a spider's thread that Shaka lowered from heaven, but falls into hell again because of his selfishness.

Miyamura

This is the kind of story that says, "Don't come here, you guys."

AM

Do you understand that feeling?

Miyamura

I do. There are people who are incredibly dependent on others, not just anime fans. It's hard to believe sometimes.

For example, people who write their problems in their fan letters. Of course, if they write their problems in their fan letters and it makes them feel better, that's fine. But if the person says, "I write so many problems in my letter to you, why don't you answer me?" I think that person is looking for something a little different. They don't realize the mistake.

I think that's because your vision has become narrow. You can't get rid of that unless you do it yourself.

That's why I really understand what the director meant by "rude awakening". But of course there are other ways.

Since I became an artist, I think that positive things (expressions and works) can definitely involve the people who receive them and make them positive.

So, I believe that if you can feel it even once, you can definitely get that perspective (from the recipient).

Anno

I guess I was too straightforward. There's nothing wrong with what we did.

As for the methodology, I think I could have done something different if I had had a little more time.

It would have been nice to just teach the reality that there is no such thing as a kind of (manufactured) pleasure that lasts forever.

The world can betray you.

AM

But Anno-san seems to be an anime fan.

Anno

Of course, that's because I don't like myself. That (disliking anime fans) is what I'm saying to myself, too. I think the pain is the same.

Miyamura

I've heard that people who hate themselves hurt others.

Anno

I think so, too. I've hurt a lot of people.

Miyamura

I think so, too. I hate myself, too, so ahahaha.

AM

"People who don't like themselves hurt other people." That's a line that's in there somewhere.

Anno

I barely know how much I can hurt (others), so I know the right distance between myself and them. That's about it.

I can recognize when I'm hurting someone. I think that's much better than being unaware of it.

Unawareness is the scariest thing. Like, 'Oh, I'm hurting you. But I can't do anything about it anymore.'

That's why I thought episodes 25 and 26 would hurt the viewers a lot, but that's okay too. I'd rather they get hurt.

If the story ends without anyone getting hurt, I think the only thing that would come would be praise, and the only response would be one-sided praise like "I was so moved." That would probably make me feel good when people said that, but I also felt really bad about the pre-established harmony of the ending.

I also thought it would be a good topic (laughs).

If I wanted to make it more commercially profitable, I could have dropped episodes 25 and 26 since I didn't have the time to do so, and made up the broadcast time with a video compilation and apologized.

If we had done that, the number of people who would have been upset would have been small, we would have gotten a lot of sympathy votes, and we could have said, "We're sorry we didn't have time." I'm sure I'll get letters from people saying, "I'm sorry you didn't have more time, but please show us the rest of the movie on video or whatever."

It's much better from a commercial point of view, because you get the sympathy of the customers and they buy the rest of the story.

However, in episodes 25 and 26, I wanted to throw away all commercial thoughts and put my honest feelings on the screen. It was a last-minute choice, though.

AM

But what about those 25 or 26 episodes that were made that way? It wasn't just about hurting people, was it?

Miyamura

I think so, because the director had a lot to say in episodes 25 and 26.

Anno

Was there anything? (laughs) (He's already drunk.)

Miyamura

I thought that way. Episode 25 is all about what the director wanted to say. I think that's how it turned out when you made an animation of what you wanted to say in that situation. Wasn't that what the director wanted to say?

Anno

I think that's what I wanted to say, but what did I say? (laughs). I've forgotten what I said.

But I'm OK with it because a woman I know, who's over 30, cried when she saw episode 25. She said she remembered it from her life. I'm okay with that.

AM

That's the part about Misato, isn't it?

Anno

The part about Misato, she remembered something about it. When a certain kind of woman sees that, it must make her feel very uncomfortable. Just the fact that she felt that way was OK with me.

At least, as far as I know, there are two of them. Two people is enough. I'm sure there are more, though.

AM

I wonder what it means to be able to cry. A kind of release?

Anno

No, I think she felt bad.

AM

I think so, too. That's what she meant.

Anno

The purpose of episode 25 was to make the viewer feel so bad that he or she would puke, but I wasn't able to do that. I couldn't do a good job of replacing reality instead of copying it.

・・・

つづく

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