Copied from my tumblr post (sorry, I'm very busy):
I might comment more on this later. German interview with Kazuya Tsurumaki from 2002.
Tsurumaki wasn’t a writer on Evangelion, but he was deeply involved in the production as storyboarder and co-director (still his role in the Rebuild films).
Well I just had a fucking laugh attack reading his answer to the question “What do you think about Gendo Ikari?”
First he says people in Japan see him negatively (as expected). Then he says “they” (implying Gainax as a whole?) wanted to create a strong father, who motivates Shinji to become more adult, and he mentions that parents in Japan are becoming soft.
I couldn’t fucking read that with a straight face.
Tsurumaki, I fucking love you, but what the fuck.
What’s hard to get for me is that he implies this isn’t just his interpretation? I’m pretty sure Anno did NOT portray Gendo like this.
And Gendo is in no way, shape or form doing the right thing ever in Evangelion. He is an obstacle to himself and the people around him.
Edit: I should mention he literally says Gendo was supposed to be a positive influence on Shinji.