Did Hideaki Anno base Gendo on himself?

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Did Hideaki Anno base Gendo on himself?

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Postby babaGAReeb » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:43 am

They look quite alike.

Image

Image

Ive heard that Anno had mental problems during EVA's creation and was in depression and self loathing and stuff.

What was his relationship with his wife back then? Does Anno have a history of being a womanizer?

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Re: Did Hideaki Anno base Gendo on himself?

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:21 am

View Original PostbabaGAReeb wrote:What was his relationship with his wife back then?
They hadn't even met. He was the archetypal "So ronery" otaku at that point. Which may have contributed to his depression.

Shinji is Anno's more obvious self insert, and Kaworu is an Ikuhara expy.
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Re: Did Hideaki Anno base Gendo on himself?

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Postby babaGAReeb » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:34 am

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:They hadn't even met. He was the archetypal "So ronery" otaku at that point. Which may have contributed to his depression.

Shinji is Anno's more obvious self insert, and Kaworu is an Ikuhara expy.

Oh ok. That self loathing, I get the feeling from EVA that Anno hated otakus but hes one himself.

He must not think highly of himself if Shinji's the self insert! He masturbated on Asuka....

So is Gendo based on any person? Did Anno ever thought "wait a second... this guy looks a lot like me" or was he too crazy back then too realize?

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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:38 am

I don't believe any official materials say anything on the subject, although I may be wrong.

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Postby Guy Nacks » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:07 am

Gendo was probably more of an allegory for the people at NHK and/or the suits of the anime industry in general at the time, basically whoever had given Anno grief over anime production, particularly during Nadia.
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Postby Ray » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:09 am

Did Anno have any RL issues with his own parents that may have contributed to aspects of Gendo's Character?
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Postby Guy Nacks » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:13 am

View Original PostRay wrote:Did Anno have any RL issues with his own parents that may have contributed to aspects of Gendo's Character?



I think he said in some interview that that rumor was false and that his father never threw him out of the house or anything like that. I can't remember whether it was in the Anno Teaches Kids thing or in some other interview he gave, but I do remember reading it/seeing it.
Among the people who use the Internet, many are obtuse. Because they are locked in their rooms, they hang on to that vision which is spreading across the world. But this does not go beyond mere ‘data’. Data without analysis [thinking], which makes you think that you know everything. This complacency is nothing but a trap. Moreover, the sense of values that counters this notion is paralyzed by it.

And so we arrive at demagogy. - Hideaki Anno, 1996

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Postby Sachi » Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:51 am

Often in storytelling, the villain is written to create a dichotomy with the protagonist; one of Shinji's most important conflicts is between himself and Gendo. Gendo is a pessimistic potential future version of Shinji, and probably what Anno himself feared to become. Gendo suffers from many of the same insecurities as Shinji, but through his loneliness, obsession, and long career of bureaucracy, he eventually become a cold, pragmatic shell of his former self. Shinji is still naive and inexperienced to the hardships of the world, whereas Gendo has been long-weathered by it.

In other words, Shinji and Gendo are both shades of Anno.
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Postby babaGAReeb » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:52 am

So Gendo is based on Anno after all!

:lol: Anno is evil!

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Re: Did Hideaki Anno base Gendo on himself?

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Postby Kendrix » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:24 am

View Original PostbabaGAReeb wrote:Oh ok. That self loathing, I get the feeling from EVA that Anno hated otakus but hes one himself.


He doesn't hate otakus. That's a common misconception. He's not that much of a painted finger person at all, allthough many would like him to be;

It's more about being conscious of what you're doing, what you're letting yourself be ruled by and not close yourself off to new possibilities.

See here:

Anno wrote:I feel that otaku have already become common to all countries. In Europe, in Korea, in Taiwan, in Hong Kong, in America, otaku really do not change. I think that this is amazing. I say critical things towards otaku, but I don't reject them. I only say that we should take a step back and be self-conscious about these things. I think it's perfectly fine so long as you act with an awareness of what you are doing, self-conscious and cognizant of the current situation. I'm just not sure it's a good thing to reach the point where you cut yourself off from society. I don't understand the greatness of society, either. So I have no intention of going so far as to call for people to give up otaku-like things and become more suited to society. Only, I think there are many other interesting things in the world, and we don't have to reject them.

However, I take offense when otaku are criticized by non-otaku. Stupid idiots, I think, [criticizing] though you don't understand anything (laughs). There are truly many people who don't seem to really understand. I know these things without being lectured to by these people. It's like, why now? But saying those things is still better. There are many who completely missed the mark. When people don't even try to understand speak about otaku as though they were far above them, I think: what stupid people.



Gendo & Shinji both being self-inserts/potraits to a degree is not necessarily mutualy exclusive - there are parts of the characters that are very different and part of distinct stories, but in others, the Ikaris are alike; Their strong physical resemplance and 'gloomy demeanor' are compared right in the first episode.

It is worth noting that in one interview (in this large collection of quotes someone here assembled) Anno describes himself, in regards to how he acts in his job, as a manipulative bossy person; There are also certain comments by the VAs on how he works them pretty hard. ("Anno-san actually praised me!")


..In the sense of ep 16's indentity musings, Shinji would be the self that experiences, while Gendo would be the self that observes the self, and, at some point, expresses ome degree of rejection, the part of you that dislikes you.
Gendo's not literally rejecting/disliking Shinji, but for most of the show, Shinji feels like it. The scary shadow in his mind that represents the amorphous pressures of society, and the actual man are quite disjoint things, but for the purpose of the storytelling, they're a part of the same whole.

Part of this angle is also how Shinji (and in a similar way to a lesser extent, Rei) is still drawn to Gendo because he comes from him. To reject Gendo would be to reject part of himself, (or at least, that's how it would appear to the endifferentiated PoV of a child) and that's not a pleasant state to be in, being afraid of and internally at war with yourself.
He's Gendo's son, but he also owes loyalty to his mom that Gendo supposedly killed, or so Shinji thinks, and, of course, at Shinji's age, he's also got his own history to look back on and his own person to define/become.
It would be better for Shinji if he realized that these things are separate and that he can do that internal reconcilliation himself, independently of what he does with the RL Gendo.

But Gendo also gets portrayed as virtuous at times, as an appropiately pragmatic and goal-focussed leader, and heroic opponent of SEELE; It's not like Shinji can't learn from him at all.

I think writing of either of the Ikaris as a pure educational negative example is a real waste of them.
Last edited by Kendrix on Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby babaGAReeb » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:00 pm

^ Wow thanks dude. That clears things up a lot. I always thought Anno hated otakus and wanted them to go extinct.

Anno is bossy boss! Hes more evil then Gendo!!!

I get it, Gendo and Shinji are both good and bad sides of Anno-tan. Two Anno's! one Anno bullies the other Anno....

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Postby FinH » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:45 am

Was watching the Studio Ghibli doco 'The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness' at Sydney Film Festival and Anno was in it quite a bit, as he played the lead role in 'The Wind Rises'. Hazao Mizayaki was doing a bit of self-evaluation and reflected that he wasn't an otaku and seemed a little bit contemptuous of them, saying that otaku were very limited and insular, or something to that effect. It then cut straight to Anno in what seemed like a fairly pointed way. Thought it was kinda amusing. They have quite a senpai/kōhai thing going on.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:19 am

There’s a little bit of Anno inside [s:4kc8dd0y]all of us.[/s:4kc8dd0y] all of the NGE characters.

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Postby ElMariachi » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:37 am

View Original PostFinH wrote:Thought it was kinda amusing. They have quite a senpai/kōhai thing going on.

It's definitively here, Anno's first great "feat of arms" was in the God Warrior scene of Nausicaa, which was directed by Mizayaki, and the two stayed great acquaintances since then, it's not a coincidence that Mizayaki gave the main role of his last movie to Anno.
And Anno always held Mizayaki in extremely high esteem.

---
Now back to the topic, didn't Anno said that all of the characters comes from some part of his psyche? The only exception being Mari in the Rebuild, made on purpose to help him "break" the rigid structure of the story. (that and for marketing purpose!)
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Postby UrsusArctos » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:48 am

View Original PostbabaGAReeb wrote:^ Wow thanks dude. That clears things up a lot. I always thought Anno hated otakus and wanted them to go extinct.

Anno is bossy boss! Hes more evil then Gendo!!!

I get it, Gendo and Shinji are both good and bad sides of Anno-tan. Two Anno's! one Anno bullies the other Anno....

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Re: Did Hideaki Anno base Gendo on himself?

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Postby Rosenakahara » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:54 am

View Original PostKendrix wrote:*snip*

i am sooooo glad somebody finally posted this.
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Postby Ispellnogood » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:55 am

"I've always related to Gendo more than Shinji" is a line I can remember in an interveiw with Anno.

Anno Definitely definitely is a Gendo Fanboy, and it shows in eva, more obvious in EoE and Rebuild.
I remember watching a bit of Nadia, and cringing when I saw the stoic captain. When the two ladies and the Stoic Captain had a love triangle thing going on, I laughed my ass off and stoped watching.

In Anno's Evangelion, Gendo is always going to be pampered and repeatedly justified by, the plot, other characters, cheesey dramatic lines and Shinji's Screw ups.

Thinking that Anno bases Shinji on himself makes everything in eva seem deep, artistic and allows you to read into every single little thing.

(Only a director with an artistic soul would admit that about himself, and their work is worthy to be deconstructed and read into, Right?)

But something happens when you look at the eva characters in an upsidedown way, with Gendo as the main character, It becomes much more indulgent and much less artistic. Shinji purpose becomes the same as the Shinji's in the really bad SI fics "To be bashed".

I think Gendo is Anno's self insert, or at least is a Gendo Otaku. That's the reason I think Gendo is hated so, because when you take away his wrinkles, strap a sword on his back and give him an American name, he becomes something else that's hated.

The Dredded and frustrating Self-insert, that everybody dislikes and wants to see suffer.

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Postby ElMariachi » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:03 am

^
Interesting analysis, although you have to keep in mind that for all his nerves of steel, dramatic lines and pimpin', in the end he's portrayed as a really sad and pathetic person, someone who could never get past Yui's death, used everyone for it, estranged himself from his own son and ended dumped by his surrogate daughter and left crippled and impotent to see Instrumentality slipping out of his control and Yui to unleash on him her punishment.

Even in Rebuild, if you get past his new cyborg look and masterful manipulation in Q, in the end he's a man hated by the whole world, left alone in the silent ruins of his fortress with only a beleaguered old man in his dying years that barely tolerates him anymore and an endless supply of emotionless clones of his dead wife and surrogate daughter.
I'm sure that Gendo will get his comeuppance in FINAL and left as pathetic as in EoE.
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Postby Bryan » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:14 am

View Original PostIspellnogood wrote:"I've always related to Gendo more than Shinji" is a line I can remember in an interveiw with Anno.

Anno Definitely definitely is a Gendo Fanboy, and it shows in eva, more obvious in EoE and Rebuild.
I remember watching a bit of Nadia, and cringing when I saw the stoic captain. When the two ladies and the Stoic Captain had a love triangle thing going on, I laughed my ass off and stoped watching.

In Anno's Evangelion, Gendo is always going to be pampered and repeatedly justified by, the plot, other characters, cheesey dramatic lines and Shinji's Screw ups.

Thinking that Anno bases Shinji on himself makes everything in eva seem deep, artistic and allows you to read into every single little thing.

(Only a director with an artistic soul would admit that about himself, and their work is worthy to be deconstructed and read into, Right?)

But something happens when you look at the eva characters in an upsidedown way, with Gendo as the main character, It becomes much more indulgent and much less artistic. Shinji purpose becomes the same as the Shinji's in the really bad SI fics "To be bashed".

I think Gendo is Anno's self insert, or at least is a Gendo Otaku. That's the reason I think Gendo is hated so, because when you take away his wrinkles, strap a sword on his back and give him an American name, he becomes something else that's hated.

The Dredded and frustrating Self-insert, that everybody dislikes and wants to see suffer.


I wonder what it is about posts like these that give me such pleasure. By removing just a tiny bit, you could have just made your post a small observation on Gendo and let us judge what they mean, but you couldn't resist taking a little jab at NGE. I legitimately don't know what it is, but I really love it. As someone who thinks NGE really is worthy of being called "deep", I know I shouldn't feel good about someone saying "hey guys, maybe the mystery of the universe isn't in this cartoon.". Am I just such an open minded person that I can think of things that would make me a fool without feeling bad about it? Highly doubt that. Am I arrogant enough to believe that points I see are automatically true and anyone who doesn't see them just missed them proving my superiority? Holy shit, I hope not. Maybe it's because it makes me feel a bit more like a special snowflake. I could live with that.

I can totally get on board with some of the things you're saying about Gendo. He is a badass. He has the cool glasses. He has the cool pose. He has the cool way of talking. He remains calm in stressful situations. The rest is just details, he's pretty much your stereotypical macho, manly man. And hey, you can't even call him heartless because look at how he fought throught immense heat pain to save Rei. Of course, the problem is that Shinji is not the only character considered worthy of over-analysis, if it was I doubt this website would exist. Gendo also is. Even if we look past the minor details of things like him being the world's worst dad and the whole badass thing commonly interpreted as a scared way of hiding his feelings somewhat similar to Asuka's, it's pretty hard to overlook his motivation. To spend over a decade and sacrifice all of humanity for the chance to be with your dead wife is just not something that could fit in with any of that. It's at the same time too pathetic to admit unless you're the artsy fartsy guy we thought Anno was in the first place and just too bizarre be anything that could be considered indulgent fun non-art. So as far as I can tell, looking at it that way puts us back at square one. Or does it actually put us in the negative? After all, NGE ends with Gendo failing in his plans, rejected by Yui and eaten while Shinji's fate is not THAT bad.

As for whether Gendo really is a projection of Anno rather than Shinji, the much more commonly claimed target, that's an interesting thought. I have never thought of Shinji as being a self insert or equivalent in any way to Anno. I have thought of Shinji as being Anno's former self when he was Shinji's age, an important distinction. But then who most closely encapsulates Anno? It could be argued it's still Shinji. I think it could also be argued that it's Gendo. Gendo's psychological problems are very similar to Shinji's which he kind of admits in EoE. The main difference is Gendo by virtue of simply being older has more disillusionment and more temporary coping methods. Of course, I consider it impossible not to see that the most likely case is Anno's self insert is actually everyone in NGE to some extent. That is true of any creative work, but I think NGE is much moreso than average.

So yeah, we can look the other way on all of that and say all of the good, badass parts of Gendo are the hero Anno wishes he was. This is a show about giant robots using huge weaponry saving the Earth from annihilation complete with Michael Bay-esque explosions and ecchi sexual teasing about thermal expansion. And you know what, I really think that's probably true as it would seem to fit in with the type of person who would unashamedly do poses of his favorite heroes. This show definately isn't just 2deep4u all the time and I think Anno would never enjoy that if it was. But, it's impossible for me to believe that he really considered that manly Gendo stuff important at all compared to the other messages he was trying to get across which even if you can't look at as artful, at least must seem pretty ambitious.

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Postby Ispellnogood » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:37 am

In EoE the whole movie is about Shinji being portrayed really sad and pathetic person, who masturbates over comatose girls and suddenly starts Impacts. Gendo's 20 second plead with Rei, and his Stoic Retribution for closing of his heart was really weak, considering the series ended with Gendo starting third impact.

In Q the one that the world hates is Shinji for triggering impacts. Fuyutsuki tries to justify Gendo (aka, KING OF THE LILIUM!) facepalm with that "given up everything, even his very Soul" line.

Gendo getting any kind of real karma or gritty-shinji-level lynching in 4.0 is extremly unlikely, when you consider eoe and the rebuild direction.

Fans will still have to rely on fiction for that.


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