Toshio Okada discusses Gunbuster, Eva, and Honneamise

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Toshio Okada discusses Gunbuster, Eva, and Honneamise

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Postby NAveryW » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:37 am

Hooray for the Wayback Machine!

Evangelion-related notes that interest me greatly:
-Hideaki Anno wanted End of Evangelion to have Evas fighting on a snowy mountain, but it would have been too difficult to animate by hand and too expensive to animate with CGI.
-Okada says Evangelion was produced at Tasunoko, so the scheduling problems were not GAINAX's or Anno's fault. Anno was very disappointed in Tatsunoko for screwing up and losing cels before they were shot.
-GAINAX had over fifty employees at the time, but only three of them worked on anime; the rest worked on making CD-ROMs, so almost all of the animation was farmed out. I don't think this is something that many people know about GAINAX; it's seen primarily as an anime company.
-Okada completely contradicts Hiroyuki Yamaga and says Evangelion's ending wasn't decided until the last moment. Anno likes to work episode-by-episode. And Yamaga freaking knew this. As discussion on this matter is bound to eclipse the rest, I gave it a separate thread here.
-Anno was asked about the last two episodes a lot and his answer was always different.

Non-Eva notes of particular interest to me:
-Japanese audiences were as confused as Americans as to how much of Gunbuster was supposed to be serious and how much was supposed to be parody. It was deliberately designed with an ambivalent nature.
-James Cameron, who as we all know loved Ghost in the Shell, contacted Production I.G. about doing a CGI movie for him but the pay he offered was too low. That seems pretty humorous now, but remember this interview was pre-Titanic.
-Okada wanted to do a distant sequel to Wings of Honneamise in which the planet of the first movie makes contact with Earth. The two planets would not have gotten along.
-The Simpsons is enjoyed in Japan only by "hard-core otaku". Has this changed since 1996?
-Elaborating on what Anno said at his one American con appearance about wanting to make a "space epic", he wanted to do a show like Star Trek but he couldn't get it greenlit.
-Okada says he plans the ending first when writing a story, and he mentions Gunbuster specifically when saying this, so presumably episode six's ending was indeed planned to be the ending from the beginning despite the show being extended to 150% of its initially planned runtime.

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Re: Toshio Okada discusses Gunbuster, Eva, and Honneamise

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Postby Xard » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:59 am

I think the "snow mechs" is actually about the "Star Trek" series or then Okada is talking out of his ass (which is not too rare and I'm suspicious of certain passages of this interview too). There was no room for such things in EoE. There isn't even any snow!


View Original PostNAveryW wrote:-GAINAX had over fifty employees at the time, but only three of them worked on anime; the rest worked on making CD-ROMs, so almost all of the animation was farmed out. I don't think this is something that many people know about GAINAX; it's seen primarily as an anime company.


Something I've been saying for ages. In early 90s GAINAX had manpower to animate Otaku no Video and the blockbuster megahit Nadia but due to shitty contract GAINAX got barely any money out of Nadia's success and early 90s post-bubble depression wrecked GAINAX good.

If it wasn't for Princess Maker they would've been finished. Afterwards GAINAX unsuccesfully tried to start making sequel to Honneamise (Anno was at helm, ment to direct the feature) while Anno was also planning directing Nausicaä film based on last vol. of manga with Ghibli as well as hoping to get make rebuild of Nadia in movie form (Island Arc after all fucked up his series).

Honneamise 2 fell through and GAINAX basically threw away its entire animation staff and started making games 24/7 in order to stay afloat.

This - NGE wasn't actually animated by GAINAX - is something that explains NGE's "rigid" and cold feel in term of technical aspects more than anything else, the feel that clearly separates it from rest of GAINAX canon.

In 1998 GAINAX started to rebuild its animation division with focus on young and upcoming talent (see Hiroyuki Imaishi's animation on Kare Kano, for starters). They ended up becoming one of the best studios in terms of animation brilliance. Since then GAINAX has animated its shows on its own or in tandem with Production I.G (and in Abenobashi's case with MADHOUSE)

View Original PostNAveryW wrote:-Okada completely contradicts Hiroyuki Yamaga and says Evangelion's ending wasn't decided until the last moment. Anno likes to work episode-by-episode. And Yamaga freaking knew this.


Yamaga is a big fat old liar. Take absolutely everything he says with grain of salt.

View Original PostNAveryW wrote:-Anno was asked about the last two episodes a lot and his answer was always different.


Glorious Anno trolling :D

View Original PostNAveryW wrote:-The Simpsons is enjoyed in Japan only by "hard-core otaku". Has this changed since 1996?


Not really.

View Original PostNAveryW wrote:-Elaborating on what Anno said at his one American con appearance about wanting to make a "space epic", he wanted to do a show like Star Trek but he couldn't get it greenlit.


And it sounded fucking awesome to boot. :(

You know, this really explains Anno's exile from anime industry. Simply getting fed up with Kare Kano's original mangaka & leaving the project doesn't really seem on its own big enough reason. But when we add to that his exhaustion and will to do live action films AND the fact no one wanted to fund his project, even after he had delivered frickin' Evangelion.
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Re: Toshio Okada discusses Gunbuster, Eva, and Honneamise

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Postby NAveryW » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:12 am

View Original PostXard wrote:I think the "snow mechs" is actually about the "Star Trek" series or then Okada is talking out of his ass (which is not too rare and I'm suspicious of certain passages of this interview too). There was no room for such things in EoE. There isn't even any snow!
It makes sense for Anno to want a scene of that sort in EoE in the context that:

-Okada said Anno was researching the Ghibli way of doing things, and Ghibli was working more with CGI. CGI ended up being utilized heavily in EoE.
-Anno was still clueless at the time as to how to end Evangelion. He'd finished the show once, cluelessly, then had to come up with another ending. When you don't know what you're going to do and part of the show takes place in Antarctica, a snow world isn't that hard to imagine.
-Okada specifically mentions Evas fighting and the difficulty of animating a robot walking through the snow, but says Anno's Star Trek doesn't have any concrete plans to include robots.

The rest of your post seems spotless, though.

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Re: Toshio Okada discusses Gunbuster, Eva, and Honneamise

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Postby EvangelionFan » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:19 am

View Original PostNAveryW wrote:- Hideaki Anno wanted End of Evangelion to have Evas fighting on a snowy mountain, but it would have been too difficult to animate by hand and too expensive to animate with CGI.


I wonder if Anno/Khara talked about trying something like that when they began putting Rebuild together I think it'd be a good question to ask sometime after the next two films come out.
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Re: Toshio Okada discusses Gunbuster, Eva, and Honneamise

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Postby Chrad » Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:41 am

I'm thinking maybe Anno wanted Asuka's battle to be in the snow.
In the final version, there seem to be traces of such a concept, with the overcast skies and the white of the MP-Evas contrasted with the red of 02/Asuka/the blood pouring everywhere.
If the scene or something like it were set amongst snowy mountains, it would be even more spectacular than what we've got. Asuka painting the snow red...
Actually, this idea is criminally good. The possibilities are endless: white MP-EVAs camouflaged in a blizzard, Evas hiding behind mountains or using them to dodge attacks, Evas being slammed up against/broken over mountains, avalanches...
It needs to find its way into Rebuild.

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Re: Toshio Okada discusses Gunbuster, Eva, and Honneamise

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Postby Azathoth » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:16 am

View Original PostChrad wrote:I'm thinking maybe Anno wanted Asuka's battle to be in the snow.
In the final version, there seem to be traces of such a concept, with the overcast skies and the white of the MP-Evas contrasted with the red of 02/Asuka/the blood pouring everywhere.
If the scene or something like it were set amongst snowy mountains, it would be even more spectacular than what we've got. Asuka painting the snow red...
Actually, this idea is criminally good. The possibilities are endless: white MP-EVAs camouflaged in a blizzard, Evas hiding behind mountains or using them to dodge attacks, Evas being slammed up against/broken over mountains, avalanches...


Agreed. I love the battle in the Geofront dearly, but for all the focus on the terrain it's still pretty boring surroundings-wise.

View Original PostChrad wrote:It needs to find its way into Rebuild.


Uhh...

Image

Maybe there's snow in Arka.
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Re: Toshio Okada discusses Gunbuster, Eva, and Honneamise

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Postby Chrad » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:30 am

View Original PostAzathoth wrote:Uhh...

Maybe there's snow in Arka.

I was thinking the same thing earlier, but the scene doesn't look too snow covered.
A blizzard could always close in though.

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Postby Hyper Shinchan » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:15 am

I suppose that the biggest obstacle to a battle on the snow inside the Geofront is the location, it's mentioned quite often that Japan doesn't have autumn and winter any more, how is it possible to have snow?
I never heard about that "Star Trek-like" show that Anno wanted to make and it sounds really interesting and it really gives further explanations for Anno's break from animation, actually it's his return to animation that is harder to explain at this point (especially the fact that he's facing Evangelion once again; is it possible that he will finally make a Nadia remake after the Rebuild?).
Anyway Toshio Okada mentions that back in those days there were only 3 Gainax's members working for the animation, Anno, Suzuki and another one; who was he referring to? I suppose Tsurumaki but I wonder why he doesn't mention him directly (he was forgetting his name?).
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Postby Chrad » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:18 am

View Original PostHyper Shinchan wrote:I never heard about that "Star Trek-like" show that Anno wanted to make and it sounds really interesting and it really gives further explanations for Anno's break from animation, actually it's his return to animation that is harder to explain at this point (especially the fact that he's facing Evangelion once again; is it possible that he will finally make a Nadia remake after the Rebuild?).

God, I hope not. Not that I don't like Nadia - I actually think it's far more suited to adaptation to a movie series than Eva is, and the new version would most likely be an improvement on the original - but I really want Anno to create another original anime.

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Postby Noriko is my wife » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:48 pm

Okada does not say that only 3 people from Gainax were working on anime production during Eva. He's saying "right now", as in 1996 after Eva was finsihed.

Anno, Tsurumaki, Masayuki, Shinji Higuchi, Takeshi Honda, Yo Yoshinari, Tadashi Hiramtasu, Shoichi Masuo, Nobutoshi Ogura, Katsuichi Nakayama etc = Gainax

Other members of the Eva staff like Mitsuo Iso, Yasushi Muraki, Shinya Hasegawa and Tensai Okamura might not have been Gainax employees per se but free-lancers hired specifically for the project.

All anime is produced by a combination of in-house staff, freelancers and sub-contracting studios. Eva probably relied more on the latter than most Gainax projects and suffered some in quality due to this. Even in the early episodes there's quite a difference between 1 or 2 which seem to be done in-house and 4 which don't (going by staff).

But still, Gainax (people associated with the studio) were working on it and so did some really talented outsiders that probably didn't end up there just due to the animation being "farmed out".

One thing I've wondered about is how much of Gunbuster is Okada's story. Anno's biography on Khara's site says he decided to direct it after reading Yamaga's script of the first 2 episodes. Yamaga is often cited as uncredited script writer of the whole show with Anno as uncredited co-writer of episode 5 and 6 but Okada clearly thinks of it as his work.

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Postby Xard » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:57 pm

View Original PostNoriko is my wife wrote:One thing I've wondered about is how much of Gunbuster is Okada's story. Anno's biography on Khara's site says he decided to direct it after reading Yamaga's script of the first 2 episodes. Yamaga is often cited as uncredited script writer of the whole show with Anno as uncredited co-writer of episode 5 and 6 but Okada clearly thinks of it as his work.


This is one of the areas where Okada is more than a bit untrustworthy. His comments on GAINAX must - too - be viewed with certain suspicion, due to their complicated relationship. The fact Okada doesn't even mention how Gunbuster initially was basically Aim for the Ace + space is very telling (and Aim for the Ace is "incidentally" one of Anno's favourite shows). He should've if he indeed was the "original creator". His influence seems to be typical of those that are active producers

And of course in anime director has far more power in comparison to writers than in, say, film industry typically. Anno does not have single writing credit on Nadia yet it's obviously written in his way in many ways.

But, say, it looks like you can read Japanese if you can read Anno's bio on Khara's site.

Could you translate it for us plebs? :)
ran1: Oh gosh this sentence gave me an internet boner. You're so tsundere.
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And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
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Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby Noriko is my wife » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:41 pm

I read it in English here
http://khara.weblogs.jp/hideakianno/personal-biography.html

Maybe the significance of Anno's driving license is just one of those things that gets lost in translation...

Good point about the role of a director. Anno wouldn't necessarily have to be the writer to influence the story. And yes, whoever came up with the story for Gunbuster was very familiar with Ace. The fact that Anno and Yamaga have several works they've written or directed whereas Okada does not is another thing that can make one suspect they might have contributed more than him.

Oh, and Yamaga's Wikipedia page claim that both Gunbuster and Otaku no Video were written by him in Okada's name.

Of course, for all I know Okada might have written the entire thing and just got some help to shape it into episodes. Which just make me more curious to find out how the original screenplay read.

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Postby NAveryW » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:58 pm

View Original PostNoriko is my wife wrote:One thing I've wondered about is how much of Gunbuster is Okada's story. Anno's biography on Khara's site says he decided to direct it after reading Yamaga's script of the first 2 episodes. Yamaga is often cited as uncredited script writer of the whole show with Anno as uncredited co-writer of episode 5 and 6 but Okada clearly thinks of it as his work.
I've wondered about this as well and intend to ask Yamaga if I return to Fanime for 2011. Where does it say in Anno's autobiography that he read the scripts for the first two episodes?
View Original PostXard wrote:This is one of the areas where Okada is more than a bit untrustworthy. His comments on GAINAX must - too - be viewed with certain suspicion, due to their complicated relationship. The fact Okada doesn't even mention how Gunbuster initially was basically Aim for the Ace + space is very telling (and Aim for the Ace is "incidentally" one of Anno's favourite shows). He should've if he indeed was the "original creator". His influence seems to be typical of those that are active producers
He says that all the original plots were taken so he had to make it a parody. Parody, by its definition, copies other works. He's covered there, whether he lied about writing Gunbuster or not.

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Postby Xard » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:05 pm

Oh man this biography is awesome! :lol:

Sounds like Anno was stereotypical talented and intelligent yet lazy and unmotivated high school student. The "might get 9 or 98 from test" depending solely on interest sounds familiar... :lol:

Funny anecdotes abound.
Later on, a series of short, hectic assignments would dominate Anno's work schedule. He would work on a promo video for Takako Matsu, then return to animation after a considerable hiatus with Anime Tenchō, and then work on a short, live-action film project, Ryusei Kachō.



WHAT IS THIS STUFF ABOUT TAKAKO MATSU!?!?!?

Following his marriage ceremonies in June of 2002, Anno started driving again. It occurred to Anno that driving is an interesting medium to facilitate communication.


lol? :lol:

inb4 Anno's post-RoE project is highly symbolic racing film (think Utena films climax but in movie lenght)

During production, Anno shed tears of joy over watching the rush print of his first live-action special effects scene that featured miniatures. It was a moment where he reaffirmed his love affair with the tokusatsu genre.


Dawwww


View Original PostNAveryW wrote:He says that all the original plots were taken so he had to make it a parody. Parody, by its definition, copies other works. He's covered there, whether he lied about writing Gunbuster or not.


Certainly and I'm sure Okada had great influence on show's basic concept. Then again, Gunbuster is perfect example of what early GAINAX was all about and it's unlikely Okada's influence was absolutely must for series to take the shape it had.

Okada's producing style - deciding the ending first, basic concepts for the work etc - are not something I doubt. But I don't like the leering implication behind the lines that he was the author of the work somehow, which simply isn't true. Anno had as a director easily the biggest influence and Yamaga did substantial writing for the title too. Early GAINAX was very tight knit bunch and they worked very collectively. No one man can hog up credits with Gunbuster.
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And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
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Gob Hobblin: Sanctimonious, subtly racist, vaguely misogynist, somehow says something while at the same time saying...nothing, really, at all....

Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby Chrad » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:53 pm

View Original PostXard wrote: And of course in anime director has far more power in comparison to writers than in, say, film industry typically. Anno does not have single writing credit on Nadia yet it's obviously written in his way in many ways.

Okada even mentions in the interview Anno's deliberating over the ending for Nadia.

Actually, I'm wondering what the hell is up with the writing credits for Nadia. Only the NHK staff writers are credited, when there is evidence that Anno, Okada, Akio Ohtsuka, etc all contributed.

View Original PostXard wrote:inb4 Anno's post-RoE project is highly symbolic racing film (think Utena films climax but in movie lenght)

So, artsy Redline?

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:40 am

View Original PostChrad wrote:writing credits for Nadia. Only the NHK staff writers are credited, when there is evidence that Anno, Okada, Akio Ohtsuka, etc all contributed


NHK screwed Gainax over with Nadia, maybe somebody else has more details on the how/why.
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Postby NAveryW » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:13 am

View Original PostChrad wrote:So, artsy Redline?
Redline isn't artsy?

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Postby Chrad » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:49 am

View Original PostNAveryW wrote:Redline isn't artsy?

Well, it is animation wise.
But it's not exactly concerned with symbolism and subtext that might fly over the head of a ten year old.
It's definitely less arty than the Wachowski's Speed Racer.

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Postby Noriko is my wife » Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:48 am

View Original PostNAveryW wrote:I've wondered about this as well and intend to ask Yamaga if I return to Fanime for 2011. Where does it say in Anno's autobiography that he read the scripts for the first two episodes?


I guess it said the second and not the first two but here it is

khara's site wrote:But one day,he happened by chance to read through the script of the 2nd episode of an original video animation project that had lapsed into development limbo because no director was attached to the project. This project was Gunbuster, and Anno was moved to tears by Hiroyuki Yamaga’s script."

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Postby Xard » Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:56 am

yeah, all the full frontal nudity and boobs in ep 2 would make any man cry
ran1: Oh gosh this sentence gave me an internet boner. You're so tsundere.
Mugwump: Goddamn it, Xard! Take me in your arms, you magnificent sex god bastard!
And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
Eva Yojimbo: You really are the Otaku equivalent of a Catholic and Jew rolled up into one giant dakimakura of guilt.
Gob Hobblin: Sanctimonious, subtly racist, vaguely misogynist, somehow says something while at the same time saying...nothing, really, at all....

Nice, Xard. That's nice.


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