But now, I found a chance to make up for it... a little.
I found this in the archives of a German anime magazine called "FUNime" - the link is cited as a source on the German Wikipedia, but since the article itself is on that magazine's official homepage, it's probably the real thing.
There is some guy with a Japanese-sounding name cited in the "we thank these and those ppl" section, that was probably the one who served as interpreter... The version text I found is in German, so I'll be translating it into English for the sake of this comunity. Not all of it is EVA related, but I'll be translating it all in case anyone is interested in the rest.
The original is here but there's sadly no version of Tsurumaki-san's exact words.
This is pretty old (It says March 2002) and was made on that year's Connichi (largest German anime convention) so nothing Rebuild related, tough I think that some passages may be interesting for the interpretation of Rebuild...
Here it is. Bold text is the interviever, normal text is Tsurumaki, and green italics are my occasional comments.
How did you get your job?
I've always been an anime-fan, just like you guys. I always liked to watch what the different studios would throw onto the market. One Day, I decided that I would also like to participate in the creation of a series.
*GASP* He's one of us!
What does a "key animator" actually do? How would you discribe that sort of work?
Usually, a single episode of a series requires about 3000 single pictures. Key Animations are pictures that are needed to draw the steps in-between and are meant as an orientation for the illustrators. There are about 300 to 500 Key-Animation-Pictures per episode.
How did you start working at studio Gainax?
I didn't work at Gainax from the beginning, but started at a small enterprise which specialized only in Key Animation. In the five years I worked for this studio, I always observed what Gainax was doing. My reason for taking further interest in Gainax was "Gunbuster". After "Gunbuster", they were beginning the production of "Nadia" and looking for employees. Since they were making a television series, they needed more people, and I was introduced to them. In the end, I decided to leave my old studio and to stark working at Gainax.
Isn't there a huge difference between working on shows like "Oh! My Goddess" (As Key Animator) and "Neon Genesis Evangelion" (main storyborading/directing)? Aren't those two completely different kinds of work?
Of course the different sorts of works are clearly separeted and very diverse in such productions. However, you can only work as a director (storyboard artist, Key animatot etc.) if you also have experience with the other jobs and know what these people are doing. I would say that it is the focus of my work that changes.
What is your usual day at work like?
The production of anime is very hard, time-comsuming work. There are times where there are more things to do, and times where there are less. During the production of Evangelion, I was only able to sleep six hours a night and spent the rest of the time working. I slept at the studio and only went home very rarely. Evangelion was an extreme case, I normally work twelve hours a day.
Whoa...! This puts the bridge bunnies' remark from episode 13 about how they're lucky to still have a home and not being forced to sleep at headquarters into a very different light... No wonder half the cast of EVA is made up of workaholics...
Did you ever visit a convention in Germany or Europe before?
I've been to lots of conventions in America. This is the first time I'm in Germany/Europe.
Which explains the obscurity of this thing here...
Does it surprise you that Evangelion, Nadia and OMG are considered "classics" in Germany? Do you occassionally hear of the reactions from Germany in Japan?
I know that anime is very popular in America. I wasn't aware that this also applies to Europe by now. There are almost no informations or feedback about fans in Europe. We get a lot more information from America.
Lol, we're finally being noticed XD I guess now they know that Europe also loves EVA! It's sorta weird, considering how EVA and Nadia are filled to the brim with Europeans... Asuka, Keel (German), Mari (British), Jean, Marie (French), Grandis... (Spanish)
How come that one Episode of Kare Kano was not produced with drawnings, but with "paper figurines"? Wasn't that very laborious?
This is something only Gainax could do, since it's very unusual to produce an episode in such a different fashion. At Gainax, we have people who like live action movies, Science Fiction and special effects, as well as others whi simply want to produce ordinary anime. Another group likes to mix different stylistic elements, which was very apparent in Kare Kano. Hideaki Anno already used to produce "amateur animes" with special effects before he started working at Gainax.
I KNEW Anno's name would be mentioned. Did anyone else know he was going to be mentioned? WTF Paper Figurines? This has his handwriting all over it... Well, it's nice to know that episodes 25 and 26 apparently paved the way for lots of alternative/modern arts, I think EoE is a nice example of such "mixed stylistic elements".
Ikari Gendo is a very controversial character. How do you see the role of Ikari Gendo in Evangelion?
Ikari Gendo is not exactly popular in Japan. Many think that he is too stern with Shinji and that he generally exudes the aura of a hard, traditional, strict father. Gendo was meant to be a strong father who should have a positive influence on Shinji so that he could grow to be more confident and adult-like. Many modern fathers in Japan are "mollycoddled" which was another reason to make Ikari Gendo into a strong father.
Wow. It's creepy. Just a few days ago, before I found this thing, I was arguing in the "Lillies for Yui" thread that the interpretation of the Shinji/Gendo relationship was too one-dimensional and how you don't make an asshole villain into your almost-self portrait.... mostly inspired by Rebuild and the advice scene. Rebuild has made me look at the old series again and find so many things. One could dispute the source, but... It fits so well with Anno's "Todays's ppl lack proper adult role models and don't know how to grow up" (The latter part of that sentence latter found its way into ReShinji's mouth... ) That "thank you, my father" in episode 26 has never really stopped bugging me... Episode 16 (or was it 20?) also implies that Gendo was the first person to say "You must not run away" to Shinji... I was right when I considered him an Anti hero! With emphasis on"Anti", but stil... Yeah, I love being right!
Also, it's interestingw he is comonly percieved in Japan...
What meaning does the cross symbol hold in Evangelion?
We didn't think that using this Christian symbol would lead to problems outside of Japan. In Japan, there were none. It's meant to make the series look more exotic and mysterious, there isn't any particular religious aspect to it. We thought that the mixture of science and religion would make the series more interesting.
...and hence "Metaphysical biology" was invented XD Nothing significantly new here, I guess.
Are you or other Gainax employees fans of classical music? (Which is used very prominently in Evangelion)
I don't like it that much, but other Gainax employees, expecially Hideaki Anno, do.
And now, here comes the obligatory question:
Who killed Kaji? What's your version of it?
This is a question that many Japanese fans also wonder about. Kaji wanted to investigate a deeper part of NERV (SEELE) and learn of its secrets. He was tricked by one of his informants and then killed. It wasn't Misato or Ritsuko.
This is also nothing all that new. If it was an "informant", it may habe been the lady with the pets, tough she appears to have been a Government person rather than a SEELE goon... forget the cat lady. It were probably the same guys who made him kidnap Fuyutsuki.
Why was FLCL produced?
Gainax needed to work on something new after Evangelion, but Hideaki Anno needed a little rest, so I came up with the idea for FLCL.
Where does the title for FLCL come from?
There is a Japanese rock group which has an album called "Fool Cool". I thought that title would be suited for an anime. (That later became "Furi Kuri" > FLCL) That was also kept in the last OVA episode where Mamimi wins the photo competetion.
Is the scooter in front of the Gainax shop really the vehicle from the FLCL ending?
Yes, it's the Vespa from the ending, and it's mine. Alas, it cannot fly.
Why are the male protagonists in Gainax-animes often "whimps"?
There are animes like Dragonball where the protagonists keep getting stronger and stronger, but we at Gainaxt tend to base the protagonists on Otakus, and that's why we can't make a story where the characters get stronger and stronger.
I really hope the interviewer stopped calling Shinji & co whimps after he/she saw 2.X.
Were you involved with Ebichu?
No, I wasn't.
What do you think of Anime-Musicvideos that are often made by fans?
I own a small broadcast station in Japan and I really like music videos. I don't have any problems with such videos - FLCL is already pretty close to a music clip, anyway.
Do you know the Fan-Video "Kodomo no EVA"? There are rumors that Gainax employees were involved with it.
No, these were real Otakus, not Gainax employees. (grins)
What project are you working on right now?
Until recently, we always needed about two years for each series. This has changed now as we will presenting four new projects in both this year and the next one. Our highest creed at Gainax is to keep everything as mysterious as possible, so I can't tell you anything about those.
So? Let me hear your thoughts on this.^^