Did Evangelion really run out of budget?

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Did Evangelion really run out of budget?

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Postby TheCarkolum » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:45 pm

Some people say there were production issues, other people say they ran out of budget (this is the most accepted by the fandom), other say Anno went out of his mind... So, I'm sorta confused. Does anybody know the real deal? I mean, it's obvious that some scenes had not the best animation quality and the episodes came out with little planning, except some vague ideas that Anno had in his mind, and the elevator scene is thought to be the cause of a rushed production in the latter episodes. So, do you know of any evidence (like interviews or whatever) of what really happened: mental problems, low budget, production or all of them combined?
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Postby Ray » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:17 pm

One rumor is that they had an episode planned, but they had to scrap it and finish a new one up in half the time because of the Aum Shinryko gas attacks.
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Re: Did Evangelion really run out of budget?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:35 pm

The gas attacks occurred half way through the series, if I recall. It didn't relate to the last two episodes directly, but rather to some earlier episodes half way through, maybe. There was certainly enough of an adjustment half way through to throw the whole schedule off and cut time away from the production of later episodes.

Short answer: they ran out of time, not money. Eva was the first Gainax show to place the studio back in the black, even; so money was no issue.

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Postby TheCarkolum » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:50 am

Oh yeah I've forgotten to mention the sarin gas thing.
One I've heard some time ago is that the Ramiel battle was going to be very much impressive, like in Eva 1.0, but money was lacking. So, maybe money did affect production too...
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:00 am

I never really heard that one. But even so I would imagine the issue would still be more of a short production time and less money. It would take a lot of time to animate 1.0-style, CGI-assisted angel attacks with simple ink and paint.

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Postby Nahash » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:06 am

The 2 are true there was a lack of time and moneys(and very probably ideas).
Several interviews go in this direction.

Evangelion staff interviews from Schizo/Parano
SPOILER: Show
Takekuma: I heard that the second half of the production of Eva was dreadful in terms of the scheduling...
Anno: That's true. We held out well, I think. I don't think that people outside [of the production] realize this, but it was a miracle that we held out as long as we did. To finish that schedule with so few people. Although [you could] also [say] we did it because we were an elite few. To do something like that, with so few people, in such a short amount of time - in this sense, we did very well. There were many points where I depended upon the passion or the mentality of the staff. But these are things that people outside [of the production] are unable to see. The great majority of people judge only the final result. From my perspective, we did everything that we were able to do. Of course, doing something like this is impossible for someone who won't shed their own blood. People who don't shed their own blood won't be able to understand it at a deep level.
[…]
Oizumi: This has to do with the fact that you ended up spending all your money... From an economic standpoint, it's a well-known story that little money remains to be passed down to the animators, or those occupying the lowest positions [among the staff].
Anno: Right. [What they get] is not at all proportionate to the [amount of] content [they create]. All they get to compensate for that [insufficient amount of money] is something psychological. [I can] only have them be pleased with the fact, when they see the finished work, that it is interesting and they are glad to have worked on it. I could only arrange for them to receive a psychological [form of] remuneration. But that becomes a kind of pressure in its own way, because they may stop working on it if it becomes uninteresting. I always have to provide something interesting. It was a game played in earnest.

The lack of ideas is less proved, but probable. Because the production of the series was really chaotic.
SPOILER: Show
Interview with Anno Hideaki from New Type of June 1996

"The development of Evangelion gives me the feeling of a" Live "concert. Whether it is the story or the elaboration of the characters, I had done them without theory. During the realization, while listening to various opinions, While I was analyzing my own state of mind, I was questioning myself, and I was going to look for the concepts based on this inventory: at first I thought I would produce a simple work featuring robots.
But when the main stage became a high school, it changed nothing compared to other productions of the same style. At that time, I was not yet really thinking about creating a main character with two faces, two identities: at school and in his organization. The live concert impression that Eva's birth gives me is the team joining me as I improvise: someone plays the guitar and, in the Recovery, battery and bass. The recital ended with the end of the TV broadcast. We would only enter the following scenario once the previous one had been completed.
It took longer than normal work. When we finished a scenario, we checked it against the previous ones. When we said to ourselves: "Ah, I suspected it, it was fair here", we corrected on the storyboard. In fact, with the last episode getting closer, we could not even finish it in time. "

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Re: Did Evangelion really run out of budget?

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Postby robersora » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:36 am

Like the director of One Punch Man said. Almost every show has the same budged. In the end it comes down to how passionate the people working on it are, how much time there is, and how much goes wrong while production.
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Postby TheCarkolum » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:18 am

Thanks Nahash for the post, very useful. Yeah, I knew money had to do with the production issues of Evangelion. I don't know why people keep denying that.

View Original Postrobersora wrote:Almost every show has the same budged.

That's not slightly true. Fate/Zero had a large amount of money to use it on explosions and effects and so. Same as Attack on Titans or Karas.
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Postby robersora » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:17 pm

^
Can you provide sources for that claims?
Also, not I said almost every show. Three shows from the last decade seem more like a very small minority of the many, many shows produced in those years.
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Postby TheCarkolum » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:09 pm

Sources? Mmm actually it's hard to provide factual sources because usually they don't release official numbers, but it's commonly accepted that Ufotable, for example, as a big studio that it is, tend to expend large amounts of money in their projects. Look at this in the Crunchyroll website:

http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2011/10/30-1/how-much-does-one-episode-of-anime-cost-to-make

They say something obvious: CG shows like Karas are expensive as fuck, so there you are. Of course that current shows are more expensive that 90s shows, duh. But that doesn't mean that 90s shows are all equally budged either, the thing is, 90s anime used to be low budget, because the Japanese economy, but all the exactly same budget? I doubt that...
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Re: Did Evangelion really run out of budget?

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Postby robersora » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:19 pm

View Original PostTheCarkolum wrote:Sources? Mmm actually it's hard to provide factual sources because usually they don't release official numbers, but it's commonly accepted that Ufotable, for example, as a big studio that it is, tend to expend large amounts of money in their projects.


Well, just because something is commonly accepted, does not mean it's true.
Let me provide a counter claim from a man working in the industry:
Kubota-san: You guys really do your research well to find that tweet. A lot of people have this common misconception that the quality of the actual animation is based on the production’s budget. But in Japan, the TV production world, especially when it comes to anime, generally they all have the same budget. There are really rare situations where some have a little less and some tend to have a little bit more, but nothing that is very drastic. So, in reality, it is based on the staff.

(from this article)

View Original PostTheCarkolum wrote:They say something obvious: CG shows like Karas are expensive as fuck, so there you are.


First of all, Karas is not a TV show, but an OVA, so the pricing structure provided by the article does not apply.
Secondly, the article is from 2011 and it says,
Currently CG costs more than hand-drawn animation, but it's expected in the future that it will be cheaper and faster.

that's 6 years ago, which means it is outdated but also hints to the fact that prices for CG have plummeted - considering there's more and more shows relying on CG only. Kemono Friends from 2017 is a CG show and was produced by a few people on a very small budget. It was mostly fueled by passion and hard work.





View Original PostTheCarkolum wrote: Of course that current shows are more expensive that 90s shows, duh. But that doesn't mean that 90s shows are all equally budged either, the thing is, 90s anime used to be low budget, because the Japanese economy, but all the exactly same budget? I doubt that...


The way anime was financed in the 90s is different from today. While production committees consisting of a couple of companies to reduce risk if the show bombs is the common way to finance anime today, in the 90s it was still much more common that a show was financed by a TV station.
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Re: Did Evangelion really run out of budget?

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Postby TheCarkolum » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:15 pm

View Original Postrobersora wrote:Well, just because something is commonly accepted, does not mean it's true.

I know. In fact, the "Unlimited Budget Works" is a joke to emphasize that, maybe the rumor became overbloated, but I still think that they got a high budget compared to other shows.

First of all, Karas is not a TV show, but an OVA, so the pricing structure provided by the article does not apply.

So what? It's like a 6 episodes show with 30 min each, it doesn't make so much difference about the CG price. In fact, Wikipedia says that Karas inflated the budget of the production to three times the usual amount spent on an original video animation, not because of the CGI itself, but because they wanna make it good mixing it with 2D animation. To sum up, good CGI needs more budget, at least in the case of Karas. I'm sure it's also the case of Kara no Kyoukai and Fate/Zero.

Secondly, the article is from 2011 and it says, that's 6 years ago, which means it is outdated but also hints to the fact that prices for CG have plummeted - considering there's more and more shows relying on CG only. Kemono Friends from 2017 is a CG show and was produced by a few people on a very small budget.

Yeah... so what? You're moving the goal posts all the time. I am not talking about the current year 2017, where CG is literally everywhere, and honestly I know about only 3 or 4 shows that came out this year. Kemono Friends' CGI, IIRC, was not big deal. I believe you when you say it was cheap, because it's a cheap CGI. And of course, CG is becoming cheaper, of course. But if I am talking about EVA, and you say almost all anime (without specifying any context or era) has the same budget, you can't turn around the era and talk about 2017, saying that 2011 doesn't count.

About the misconception about budget and animation quality, I agree. You don't need a big budget but talent. In fact, CG doesn't imply animation quality. But I am referring to 3D animation, not animation quality, but CG. Anyway, Crunchyroll (in 2017) keeps claiming that 3DCG is still expensive:

http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-feature/2017/05/24/kado-the-right-answer-is-3dcgs-answer-to-rejection
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Re: Did Evangelion really run out of budget?

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Postby robersora » Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:11 pm

View Original PostTheCarkolum wrote:I know. In fact, the "Unlimited Budget Works" is a joke to emphasize that, maybe the rumor became overbloated, but I still think that they got a high budget compared to other shows.


That could very well be, considering that animating Fate was a safe bet. Still, we don't know that for sure. I'm more on the side that they just had capable people and great time management.

View Original PostTheCarkolum wrote:So what? It's like a 6 episodes show with 30 min each, it doesn't make so much difference about the CG price. In fact, Wikipedia says that Karas inflated the budget of the production to three times the usual amount spent on an original video animation, not because of the CGI itself, but because they wanna make it good mixing it with 2D animation. To sum up, good CGI needs more budget, at least in the case of Karas. I'm sure it's also the case of Kara no Kyoukai and Fate/Zero.


Yes, in the case of Karas. But it is 10 years old, and I'm sure that the inflated budget was most likely because they took their time experimenting to get the mixture between 2D&3D right. But all the know-how generated in Karas surely caught on, meaning that coupled with better technology today you won't need as much time (and thus more money) to create something of equal quality as Karas.
I'm also sure, that Kara no Kyoukai was comparably expensive to produce - because animation made for cinema tends to have much more money than a TV series. And I'm sure that due to the know-how gathered in the production of those movies aided the production of Fate/Zero greatly to make it look as impressive, as it does.

View Original PostTheCarkolum wrote:Yeah... so what? You're moving the goal posts all the time.


Fair enough, I kind of lost sight of the original argument, I apologize.



View Original PostTheCarkolum wrote:About the misconception about budget and animation quality, I agree.


Good, because that was the point I was trying to make, lol. I had the impression that you thought that simply throwing money at a production will make it amazing.

View Original PostTheCarkolum wrote:In fact, CG doesn't imply animation quality. But I am referring to 3D animation, not animation quality, but CG. Anyway, Crunchyroll (in 2017) keeps claiming that 3DCG is still expensive:

I see what your saying, but I believe that it's generally more true that some studios manage their funds and talent better to produce a better product, as opposed to being granted a bigger budget.
I can't find the article now, unfortunately, but most of the time production committees will hire the studio that will produce the show for the lowest price, so I think it's rather rare that production committees will throw money at a product that will cut into their profit just to make it look better. There are projects like Karas and Fate, in which I can see that happen, but to connect to the point I was trying to make, I can't see Neon Genesis Evangelion be one of those occasions. It was not a big franchise and it was not sure to be a hit.
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Re: Did Evangelion really run out of budget?

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Postby ath » Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:55 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:The gas attacks occurred half way through the series, if I recall.

Aum's cultists attacked the Tokyo Subway on the morning of March 20, 1995. The TV series started airing on October 4, 1995.

We know that the basic structure of the series was already planned out by 1993 (see the Proposal). A famous interview with critic Hiroki Azuma suggests that Anno himself rewrote the plot of the series after the attacks, but to the best of my knowledge the staff that worked on Evangelion never officially confirmed it:
KW: So Anno changed the original plot of the story when he saw the news about the invasion of Aum’s hide out by the police. Did he change it because it was too close to reality?
AH: Yes, he said so.
KW: But did why he change it? What is the problem with Evangelion being so close to the Aum case?
AH: Anno thought that the original scenario will not be suitable for broadcasting.

(also see this old thread from 2009).

I recently realized one thing during my last rewatch, and I'm surprised I never heard anyone talking about it. Episode 25 aired on March 20, 1996, exactly on the anniversary of Aum's attack. If episode 25 was planned to be a cut-down version of the first half of EoE (and there's disagreement on that), there was simply no way that the TV stations would've allowed it to air that day.

Multiple sources, even if not official ones, seem to agree that the production of the last few episodes was limited more by time than by money.
The script for the first episode took half a year to complete. He was stuck after that, so he wrote episodes 5 and 6, and then came back to episode 3. He felt he had to go beyond regular TV anime in developing realistic characters in episodes 3 and 4. However, the first six episodes left the staff drained and feeling weighed down by the heavy mood, so he felt it necessary to lighten the feeling of the series for episodes 7, 8, and 9. This early stage of production took 4 or 5 months in total; the storyboards were done in two months. However, the schedule became more and more constrained. The series was only finished thanks to the supreme efforts and talents of the staff. Episode 26 was completed in only three days. Episode 24 was put together almost entirely by Masayuki alone in the space of three weeks.

If they somehow overlooked the Episode 25 coincidence during the early planning, and if the rumors about the network (or the sponsors) complaining about the (admittedly tamer) content of Episode 24 are true, they simply had no choice but to wrote an alternate ending and actually animate it - and fast.

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Re: Did Evangelion really run out of budget?

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Postby esselfortium » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:54 am

The myth of "budget" in anime is a meme that needs to die.

No one at Gainax said "oh, well, we ran out of money, guess our animators are just going to sit on their thumbs now and wait for the next project" during Evangelion's production. They worked their tails off to get those episodes done on time, and also outsourced a lot of work to other studios (which costs money, y'know) to lighten their own workload.

Budget is basically never the limiting factor for TV anime, most of which have about the same (very low) budget for animation. In general, what sets impressive anime productions apart from the rest is a combination of good scheduling and having available talent. Having available talent often comes from people in the industry knowing each other and wanting to work on each others' projects.

Projects that fall behind on their schedule inevitably have to bring in more and more people to do the work in less time, as well as not having time to retake flawed cuts, which usually leads to sloppier production and less capability to maintain consistency and quality throughout.

UBW wasn't any more expensive a production than average, Ufotable just has some skilled people working on flashy digital effects. KyoAni's famously movielike TV productions don't have massive budgets, either, they just have a very capable in-house staff (rather than relying on freelance animators like most studios), train and treat their animators well, and do very good scheduling.

Also, CGI is definitely not cheaper than 2D animation. Kemono Friends is not a good counterpoint to this: yes, it was produced by a very small team, but I believe they spent over a year creating it as a passion project, and its charmingly amateurish production (like models frequently clipping into their surroundings, or the wheels on the Japari Bus not even spinning in the OP for the first half of the series!) doesn't make it a very good comparison to... well, anything.

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Re: Did Evangelion really run out of budget?

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:51 am

At opening post: It's been awhile since I gave these threads a read, but they might provide some insight:

post/392434/Okada-Evas-Ending-Was-Decided-at-the-Last-Moment/#392434

thread/9158/Yamaga-EoTV-planned-from-the-start-EoE-was-an-afterthought/#p359336
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Re: Did Evangelion really run out of budget?

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:57 pm

ath & SDD, thanks for the links and info.

esselfortium, CGI would have been even more expensive and time consuming in 1995 than it is now. I honestly don't think Ramiel was conceived to behave in any differently than what was in the show.

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Postby esselfortium » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:02 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:esselfortium, CGI would have been even more expensive and time consuming in 1995 than it is now. I honestly don't think Ramiel was conceived to behave in any differently than what was in the show.

Oh god, haha. I was just speaking generally since it was brought up in the thread here. 3D CGI in a 1995 TV anime would likely have been a lot of money wasted on primitive effects that would have looked cheap and dated before they even made it to broadcast.

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Re: Did Evangelion really run out of budget?

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Postby gwern » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:49 pm

While we're quoting primary sources here, you forgot my interview with Michael House asking about budget/time:

I had heard inside that Anno had essentially used up the original budget by about episode 9, and I recall that production was consistently behind schedule. Anno only had a couple of episodes done when I started there in April 1995, which was why the show's premiere was moved back from Spring to Autumn of that year. But he hadn't storyboarded, let alone animated, the opening and ending titles until less than three months prior to said premiere either. And things such as next-episode previews were increasingly shown as storyboards or even just conceptual sketches. The production team was getting increasingly worn down as the job fell further behind schedule. Even the voice actors were only seeing pencil tests rather than completed animation in the studio in the latter part of the series. All that said, if Anno did try to get some kind of postponement once the show was on the air, no word of it ever trickled down to me.


Presumably if NGE could 'use up the original budget by about episode 9' and then go on for another 17 episodes, planned budgets can't be that much of a constraint on production as compared to time.

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Re: Did Evangelion really run out of budget?

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Postby ath » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:48 pm

^ Thanks! Somehow I managed to miss it all this time. His comments on the age-old rumors about censorship, while surprising, were exactly what I was looking for.


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