Ikuhara on Kaworu

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Ikuhara on Kaworu

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Postby 1731298478 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:22 am

Here's an attempt at translating the full Ikuhara interview from the Kaworu book. Many, many thanks to 17th-angel for making the scan of the interview available. I tried to contact the person in question, but I don't use tumblr, and couldn't quite figure it out.... ^^;; Hopefully he or she won't mind me posting the translation here.

As usual, there may be mistakes in the translation, and all corrections and suggestions are highly appreciated. Please forgive these in advance. I was in particular a bit unsure about the end of the third paragraph. I'm also working on the next Anno CRC segment; hopefully that will be up before too long.

A quick note: The term anpo (or ampo) toso refers to the widespread protest movement against the U.S.-Japan security treaty, which led to massive demonstrations in 1960 and 1970 (against the signing of the 1960 treaty and its renewal in 1970).

「そのままの君はいいよ」という魔力

The magical power of "You're fine just the way you are"

「カヲルのモデルなんですか?」とは、今までに何人かにも直接訊かれたことがある。どこからの情報なの?本人としてまったく関知していないんだよね。カヲル君はルックスもかっこいいだし、僕がモデルなんて言ったらファンの人たちから苦情が来ると思うんだけど。でもね、まったく思い当たる節がないというわけでもない。庵野さんとは、まだ『エヴァンゲリオン』が準備中だったころ、密に交流があった。あるとき、『セーラームーン』のスタッフみんなで慰安旅行として温泉に行ったんだけど、そのメンバーに庵野さんも入っていたんだよね「1」。なんだかその夜は2人でずっと話しててね。みんあが潰れてしまったあとにも延々と、酒を飲んでは語り、露天風呂に2人並んでつかっては語り過ごしたんだ。

I have been asked directly by a few people before now if I was the model for Kaworu. Where did that information come from? I was completely uninvolved [in Kaworu's creation] as one of the principals. Kaworu is very good-looking, so if I said I was his model I imagine I would recieve complaints from his fans. However, it's not the case that I have no idea at all [what the speculation might refer to]. During the period when Evangelion was still in its preparatory stages, I was in very close contact with Anno-san. At that time, the staff of Sailor Moon went on a company trip to an onsen, and Anno-san was also among our members. [1] The two of us ended up talking the whole night. Even after everyone else had collapsed we went on and on, drinking sake and talking, sitting side by side in an open air bath and talking.

だから、その夜にカヲルとシンジのやりとり同じ匂いのする会話を僕らもしていたかもしれない、とは思うよ。それは実際に弐拾四話を見たときにも感じた。まあ、お風呂っていうシチュエーションも同じだし、わかりやすいよね。ただ、「好意に値するよ」というセリフを僕が庵野さんに言ったとか(笑)、そういう噂があるみたいだけどそれはよくわからない。僕がカヲルで庵野さんがシンジとか、そういうことではないと思うんだよね。だって、どっちかと言えば庵野さんのほうがカヲルみたいなシニカルなことを言うそうじゃない?そこで思春期のころの話をした記憶がある。僕は14,15歳の時には本当に絶望していて人生真っ黒だと思っていたんだよ。受験なんかのこともあって、少しの失敗も許されていないような気がしてね。今はさ、負け組のほうにも注目が集まっているというか、ダメになる自由もあるという感じがするけど、そのころは一回でも負けたらその先は闇でしかないように感じられた。'70年代まで安保闘争があったわけだけど、それも終わって、「ああ、やっぱり世界を革命するなんてことはできないんだな」って空気が蔓延してたんだ。だから自分は20歳までには死ぬんだろうと思っていたし、それ以降の人生なんてオマケみたいなものだって思っている―その話をしたんだ。もしかしたら、そういう話ができること自体がお互い貴重だったのかもしれないね。

So, I think the conversation we had that night had perhaps the same flavor as the exchange between Kaworu and Shinji. I also felt this way when I saw episode 24 for myself. Well, the situation with the bath was the same; that's easy enough to understand. But, it seems there are rumors - I'm not really sure - that the line of dialogue, "You are worthy of love," was something I said to Anno-san, and so on (laughs). I don't think it was a case where I was Kaworu and Anno-san was Shinji. Only, if I had to say which [is which], Anno-san seems to say more Kaworu-esque cynical things, right? So, I remember telling [Anno] a story about the time of my adolescence. When I was 14 or 15 years old, I was truly in despair, thinking my life prospects were very bleak. With tests and such things, I had the feeling that I was not permitted even a slight failure. Today it seems like even failures receive attention, or that there is freedom to be "dame," but at that time it seemed that you would have no future after failing even once. Up until the 70s there was the anpo toso, but when that ended, an atmosphere - "ah, as we suspected, you can't revolutionize the world" - began to spread. So, I thought that I would be dead before I was twenty years old, and any life I lived beyond that would be a kind of omake - that was the story I told [to Anno]. Probably, just the fact that I was able to tell that story was of value to both of us.

あと庵野さんはセーラームーン好きでいてくれて「ああいう楽しい作品を僕もやりたい」とも言ってた「2」。SF的な世界設定だったりマシンのディテールだったりと、リアリズムを追求する方向にあった意識が、セーラームーンみたいな作品に触れて揺り返しが起こったのかなって思う。普通に楽しめるアニメーションの楽しさ、みたいのものが庵野さんのなかで新鮮に感じられた時期だったのかもしれない。僕のなかの庵野さんの印象というと、なんかそれこそ「人じゃない」ような感じ。大きくて、猫背で、なんかエヴァンゲリオンみたいだよね。よくカッターを持って、チキチキチキって出して「やあっ」ってやってたし(笑)。

Beyond that, Anno-san loved Sailor Moon and told me he wanted to make a similarly enjoyable work. [2] I wonder if an aftershock had occured when this consciousness that was moving towards the pursuit of realism - a science fiction-like world setting, the details of machines, and so on - came into contact with a work like Sailor Moon. Maybe that was a period where something like the pleasure of an ordinarily enjoyable anime seemed novel to Anno-san. My own impression of Anno-san is a feeling like he's not human. He's big, hunches over, and seems to resemble an Evangelion. [For example,] often he's had a utility knife, and cried out "Yah!" as he slid the blade out (laughs).

父親に「帰れ」と言われたり、綾波から平手打ちを食らったり、アスカから「バカァ?」と言われたり、ミサとから「しっかりしなさい」と怒られたり……シンジはなかなか他者から肯定してもらえないよね。そんな中、唯一「そのままの君でいいんじゃないのか?」と言ってくれて存在がカヲルだったじゃないかと思う。「頑張らなくてもいいよ」って。だから、おもしろいけど男の子たちみたいには熱狂なになれないって思いながら『エヴァ』を見ていた女の子たちも、カヲルが出てきて初めて、ようたくシンジに感情移入ができるようになったのかもしれない。だから、みんなカヲルを好きなのかもしれない。ん?「そのままの君でいい」って僕が誰かに言ったことがあるかって?そんなのいつだって言ってるに決まってるじゃないか。

He's ordered to come back by his father, he's slapped by Ayanami, he's called stupid by Asuka, he's yelled at to straighten up by Misato... Shinji doesn't recieve much affirmation from others. I think, in this situation, the only one who tells him that he's fine just the way he is is Kaworu. "You don't have to try to so hard." Perhaps because of that, after Kaworu appeared, the girls who had been watching Eva and who found it interesting but didn't feel the kind of enthusiasm that the boys felt about it were able to finally connect emotionally with Shinji. Perhaps because of that everyone loves Kaworu. Hm? Have I ever said to anyone, "you're fine just the way you are"? Isn't that something I'm always saying?

「1」『エヴァンゲリオン』監督・庵野秀明も制作スタッフとして参加。『美少女戦士セーラームーンS』103話原画、ウラヌス&ネプチューン変身バンク演出や、幾原監督作『劇場版美少女戦士セーラームーンR』の原画などを手がけている。

[1] Evangelion director Hideaki Anno participated as a staff member. Among other things, he directed the bank transformation sequences of Uranus and Neptune in Sailor Moon S, and worked on the genga of episode 103 of Sailor Moon S and of the Ikuhara-directed series Sailor Moon R.

「2」『セーラームーン』主役の月野うさぎ役の声優三石琴乃(ミサト役)の起用や、『R』に少年役として出演していた緒方恵美(シンジ役)の起用など、強いリスペクトの意が感じられる。

[2] Among other things, the appointment (as Misato) of Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice actress of Sailor Moon's protagonist Usagi Tsukino, and the appointment (as Shinji) of Megumi Ogata, who had voiced a young boy in R, give an indication of Anno's strong respect [for the series].
Last edited by 1731298478 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:27 pm

The "young boy" Ogata voiced was little Mamoru in the Sailor Moon R movie. She also had a bunch of other roles in Season 2 (SM R) (some monsters of the day and the Ayakashi Sister, Petz) before voicing Sailor Uranus/Haruka Tenou in Season 3 (SM S).

Apparently SM S Episode 103 is the one where Chibiusa as Sailor Chibi Moon returns. I didn't realize Anno did the genga for that but I knew he worked on Uranus and Neptune's transformation sequences.

Anyway, great interview! I love Ikuhara and Anno's works so I really got a kick out of Ikuhara's thoughts!
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Re: Ikuhara on Kaworu

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Postby gwern » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:40 pm

View Original Post1731298478 wrote:I think, in this situation, the only one who tells him that he's fine just the way he is is Kaworu. "You don't have to try to so hard." Perhaps because of that, after Kaworu appeared, the girls who had been watching Eva and who found it interesting but didn't feel the kind of enthusiasm that the boys felt about it were able to finally connect emotionally with Shinji. Perhaps because of that everyone loves Kaworu. Hm? Have I ever said to anyone, "you're fine just the way you are"? Isn't that something I'm always saying?


Interesting thing to say. Could be a good lens to look at _Utena_ or _Mawaru Penguindrum_ through.

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Re: Ikuhara on Kaworu

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Postby ath » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:59 pm

View Original Postgwern wrote:Interesting thing to say. Could be a good lens to look at _Utena_ or _Mawaru Penguindrum_ through.

Exactly. This is one of Ikuhara's favourite themes, and it's not hard at all to find it expressed in his works.

From the entry for episode 32 in the Revolutionary Girl Utena booklet:
As a child, I tried to run away from home several times. Usually it was for trivial reasons, like my parents throwing away a manga I loved or a plastic model. I wanted a place to belong. And I believed that place was "somewhere else."

Everyone needs to hear someone say, "Nobody else will do. It has to be you," sometime in their lives, even if it only happen once. Just once is enough. As long as you can feel sure those words were sincere, you can live through anything, no matter how painful.

Being "chosen" or "needed" and accepted unconditionally by someone else, no matter how deep your flaws, is one of the main themes of Penguindrum. It's literally everywhere. I'm sure he talked about it in an interview, but it seems I can't find if at the moment. Here are a few quotes from the scripts:
Episode 19:
This is where unneeded children are gathered.
I'm an unneeded child?
If you stay in here long enough, you'll turn into an invisible entity, and eventually cease to exist in this world.

Episode 23:
I never amounted to anything.
No, I finally gained power.
I'm going to take my revenge on the world that never needed me.
I finally will become visible.

Episode 24:
I finally understand...
why we were left behind in this world.
You and I were lost children to begin with.
But most children in the world are same as us.
So, just once,
we needed someone to say "I love you."

Reading that, I can't help but be reminded of Shinji's dialogue from Episode 26' (fittingly titled Yours Sincerely / I need you)
Nobody wants me, so they can all just die.
Nobody cares whether or not I exists.
Nothing ever changes, so they can all just die!
It would be better if I never existed.
I should just die, too.


I swear I'd love to write some kind of essay about the connections between Anno, Ikuhara, their works and the influence the '80s-'90s in Japan, the Lost Decade and Aum had on them. Unfortunately, I lack both the skill and the time to organize the interviews I've collected over the years and my ramblings into some sort of coherently written work. Too bad.

Oh, I almost forgot: thanks a lot for the translation! More food for our crazy Anno-Ikuhara fanfics is always appreciated.

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Re: Ikuhara on Kaworu

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Postby gwern » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:11 pm

View Original Postath wrote:From the entry for episode 32 in the Revolutionary Girl Utena booklet:


Is that booklet transcribed anywhere? I tried searching but got swamped by quotes everywhere.

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Postby C.A.P. » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:49 pm

^I transcribed, pretty much, all of the first booklet, if you want it.
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"Cinema's value is that it is inhuman."-chee
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Postby gwern » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:28 pm

Sure.

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Postby C.A.P. » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:31 pm

Check your PM box in the next hour or so.
"Free-associative internet ravings know no proprietors."-Azathoth
"Cinema's value is that it is inhuman."-chee
"I only meant to stay a while."-ELO

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Postby Xard » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:59 am

I'd like to have it too
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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Postby C.A.P. » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:56 pm

^Wow, I got Xard interested. What a honor! :D

Like I said in the Utena thread, I'm hoping gwern will put it up sometime this week. He sent me a preview of the site sometime this weekend (before I lost the original file...hopefully he still has the copy I sent him), and it looks great. No clue on what's holding up with him.
"Free-associative internet ravings know no proprietors."-Azathoth
"Cinema's value is that it is inhuman."-chee
"I only meant to stay a while."-ELO


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