Hideaki Anno, the next George Lucas?

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition").
The third installment debuted in Japan on November 17, 2012.

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Hideaki Anno, the next George Lucas?

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Postby BrikHaus » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:27 pm

The other day I read a comment that compared Hideaki Anno to the likes of legendary directors Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick. I thought the comparison was interesting, however, I see many more parallels between Anno and another director, George Lucas. This is meant to be "all in good fun" so please don't get riled up if my comparisons push a few buttons. Plus, it's general parallels of their careers, not their directing styles, or anything of that nature. Ultimately, my point is that I'm wondering if the outcome of the new Evangelion movies will be similar to the outcome from the latest Star Wars movies.

Early Projects
1.) Lucas works on short films (e.g. Freiheit) and toils in relative obscurity.
1.) Anno works on short films (e.g. Daicon III) and toils in relative obscurity.

First Success
2.) Lucas' first big project (Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138:4EB) earns acclaim and puts him on the map as a filmmaker.
2.) Anno's first big project (Gunbuster) earns acclaim and puts him on the map as a filmmaker.

To the Big Leagues
3.) Lucas uses momentum from his earlier works to direct a larger, more mainstream work, American Graffiti. It is well received. He uses the acclaim to bankroll later projects.
3.) Anno uses momentum from his earlier works to to direct a larger, more mainstream work, Nadia: Secret of Blue Water. It is well received. He uses the acclaim to bankroll later projects.

Personal Project
4.) Lucas creates Star Wars. It is a smash sci-fi hit. It generates critical and mainstream appraise. It is very marketable and spawns lines of toys, books, games, and more. Revenues ensure that Lucas will never have to work another day in his life, if he doesn't want to. To his fans, he is considered a genius, and one of the greatest filmmakers of his time.
4.) Anno creates Evangelion. It is a smash anime hit. It generates critical and mainstream appraise. It is very marketable and spawns lines of toys, books, games, and more. Revenues ensure that Anno will never have to work another day in his life, if he doesn't want to. To his fans, he is considered a genius, and one of the greatest filmmakers of his time.

Afterwards
5.) Lucas continues to work somewhat behind the scenes (of Lucasfilm and ILM), and also assists his friend (Steven Spielberg) with the creation of the Indiana Jones films.
5.) Anno continues to work somewhat behind the scenes (of Gainax), does a few independent live-action films, and also assists his friend (Tsurumaki) with FLCL and other projects.

Obscurity
6.) Lucas moves out of the spotlight. Years pass. He continues to rake in money from Stars Wars, but contributes nothing significant to the film industry.
6.) Anno moves out of the spotlight. Years pass. Anno continues to rake in money from Evangelion, but contributes nothing significant to the film or anime industries.

Frustration
This section is purely personal conjecture, nothing more.
7.) Lucas is frustrated that, despite his incredible talent, he hasn't done anything important in years. Perhaps he simply didn't have any other good ideas? Considers a return to his most culturally relevant work, Star Wars.
7.) Anno is frustrated that, despite his incredible talent, he hasn't done anything important in years. Perhaps he simply didn't have any other good ideas? Considers a return to his most culturally relevant work, Evangelion.

The Return
8.) Lucas announces his desire to create the first three films in the six part Star Wars saga. Fans are excited, slightly skeptical, but overall very enthusiastic.
8.) Anno announces his desire to create three brand new films as an alternate look at his Evangelion saga. Fans are excited, slightly skeptical, but overall very enthusiastic.

Fallout
9.) The new Star Wars films generate huge revenues. However, they are generally regarded as quite bad, forever tarnishing the once flawless memories of the original films. Lucas is now regarded as a talentless hack by even his most dedicated fans. He is accused of milking the series. Many agree he should have just left the series alone.
9.) The new Evangelion films...? Anno is now regarded as...? Many agree...?

To the Future
10.) Lucas fades into obscurity for the rest of his life, produces nothing else, although occasionally collaborates with his friend Spielberg. He continues to play a role in the Star Wars universe, but merely as a licensor for other works based off his original concepts.
10.) Anno...?

So what do you all think? Am I off my rocker? Am I on to something? Is it possible that Lucas and Anno only had a couple of really great ideas and that was it? Are they doomed to spend eternity constantly returning to the well of their one big hit? Let's hope that's not the case, but you never know.
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Postby Szmitten » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:54 pm

First of all, if Anno made a prequel to Evangelion, most fans would embrace it. Secondly: short-films, first sucesses, mainstream work, personal projects and breaks are common for nearly EVERY director. Ever.

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:02 pm

Off your rocker.

1. Anno doesn't actually have anything to do with the merchandise of Eva while George Lucas practically directs it.

2. Anno never really stopped working. After Eva he did "His & Her Circumstances" which until his departure is still one of the best character focused animes out there (it's also very original from a directorial standpoint). And while Anno is not as genius a live action director as he is an anime director, his films are unique and exciting oddities.
Lucas just stopped. He produced a few things (Indiana Jones which are really all Spielberg's baby and....Howard the Duck) but after directing the first Star Wars (he did not direct "Empire" or "Jedi") he didn't direct a movie until Star Wars Episode 1.

3. The futures uncertain but after finishing these Eva films I can very well see Anno going off to do new unEvalated shows. I truly believe he came back to do these films because of a desire to put a mindset on them.
Lucas HAS finished his film series and yet refuses to move on now having something like 4 or 5 Star Wars TV series (live and animated) in production.

4. Anno didn't linger around Eva once it was finished. Lucas did.

5. I find Lucas to be an overrated blowhard who's last decent film was "American Graffitti". Anno's "Shiki-Jitsu' and "Cutie Honey" are at least really interesting oddities.

6. I'm VERY bias. So nothing I say is hearsay.

7. Perhaps the one thing they do share is creation of a respective sci-fi series that is either PERFECT or OVERRATED depending on the viewer.

Oh, and both are WAY full of themselves!!!

I mean 'Anime is dead"? Eh? 'Star Wars' isn't shit? Pardon me!
"Mitichlorians?' what the fuck? 'More Kaworu?' PLease god No!!!!

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:16 pm

P.S. I'd hardly consider memories of the original Star Wars flawless.

Ewoks beat the Empire?

But then again Eva did have teh TV ending to piss off a lot.


-BUT is Star Wars REALLY that timeless? The only people I know who worship it are the people who saw the films when they originally came out. When I meet Star Wars heads they are usually in their late 20s to 30s and were there when STAR WARS was the THING!!!
Is the original trilogy still gaining new fans (i'm curious, I'm ignorant to the whole Star Wars series since I find it vaslty unimpressive, all 6 films)?
Because STAR WARS was made for kids, so when these 30 year old fans reached the age of bills, failed romances, and morgages of course they were jaded to their child eyes of wonderment. I actually find both Chewbacca and Jar Jar Binks to be equally obnoxious. BUT I didn't grow up with a Chewbacca plushie so I don't have any fond memories of him, despite the fact he's just a big obnoxious bear!
So are STAR WARS really a thing that keeps brining in new fans or do they just represent the epitome of nostalgia for the late 70s and early 80s?

As for EVA I'm not going to comment on it but in my personal experience I didn't watch a single episode until I was 21. I was past the period of childlike wonderment and was starting to dread the upcoming experience known as LIFE......
But I still found myself enthralled and I have no fond memories of Eva pre-legal driniking age stateside?


While I don't agree with Anno=Lucas I have to say this could become a wicked dialouge-
Eva=Star Wars???????

Is Kaworu Eva's equivilent of C-3PO?

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Postby BrikHaus » Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:43 pm

Gendo'sPapa wrote:So are STAR WARS really a thing that keeps brining in new fans or do they just represent the epitome of nostalgia for the late 70s and early 80s?

I certainly think it continues to get new fans. People who loved the originals as kids, and are now adults, are showing the films to their children. Those children will probably look back at Star Wars with fond nostalgia as something their parents shared with them. That's something you could never do with Eva. Share it with your friends, sure, but definitely not your kids. Just my take on it, though.

EDIT (added later)

szmitten wrote:First of all, if Anno made a prequel to Evangelion, most fans would embrace it. Secondly: short-films, first sucesses, mainstream work, personal projects and breaks are common for nearly EVERY director. Ever.

That's true, no argument from me. I was just very impressed that both men went from basically one small obscure art film, to one major release, and then to a huge blockbuster that has remained extremely popular for many, many years. Few other directors have been able to do such a thing, and do it so quickly. That's why I draw parallels between them. And if one can fail, is the other not far behind?
Last edited by BrikHaus on Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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-On EMF, as a thread becomes longer, the likelihood that fem-Kaworu will be mentioned increases exponentially.
-the only English language novel actually being developed in parallel to its Japanese version involving a pan-human Soviet in a galactic struggle to survive and to export the communist utopia/revolution to all the down trodden alien class and race- one of the premise being that Khrushchev remains and has abandoned Lysenko stupidity

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Postby Szmitten » Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:49 pm

^As a quick reply, I was born 1989, so that would make me 10 plus or minus several years and I was a fan of the original trilogy. I was a fan before I found out about the production of the prequels. I was quite a nut actually. I knew quite a bit about the films, Shadows of the Empire and some of the games - but screw the "expanded universe".

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Postby The Eva Monkey » Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:35 pm

George Lucas doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as Hideaki Anno. Hell, they don't even belong on the same page, unless of course you're talking about Daicon IV, where the bunny girl fights Darth Vader.

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Postby NAveryW » Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:26 pm

STAR WARS EPISODE III WAS CONSIDERED A VERY GOOD FILM BY MANY FANS AND MADE IT ONTO IMDB'S TOP 250 MOVIES LIST.




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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:33 pm

I find the entire Star Wars series overrated (except that lightsaber battle in Episode 1- that was wicked!) but when Epsiode III I remember everyone thought it was this great movie.

And try as I did I couldn't get into it, especially the third and MOST IMPORTANT ACT!!!!! and you know why?/

Because when I watched Episode III I suddenly recognized the whole movie is about people parking their damn cars!!!

Seriously, Lucas cut to any random vista on any random CGI made planet, and then a ship (be it Ford or BMW or Chevrolet) came on screen and then landed/parked on the landing pad/parking space. This was repeated after almost every scene and really destroyed any sense of narrative interest for me.

I kept looking for bumper stickers on teh spaceships and alas there were none. ..

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Postby NAveryW » Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:35 pm

Gendo'sPapa wrote:Seriously, Lucas cut to any random vista on any random CGI made planet, and then a ship (be it Ford or BMW or Chevrolet) came on screen and then landed/parked on the landing pad/parking space. This was repeated after almost every scene and really destroyed any sense of narrative interest for me.

HAHAHAHA XD
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Postby Executor » Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:25 pm

:shock: ... There were no fords in any of the movies, unless your talking about LEGO Star Wars.
Also, Eva Monkey, I'm still waiting for your anti-George Lucas Rant.

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Postby ThroneofDravaris » Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:51 am

You forgot the parallel of them both going back and adding extra footage to the original series/saga.

Or at least I think you did. tl;dr
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Postby Hunter21 » Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:54 am

But with Anno's edits they improved understanding and fit in well. Lucas's add ons were just for CGI's sake and sort of sucked.

I can't really see too much of a parallel between the two myself. Success/Failure and all that other jazz corollaries could be put on any successful director to compare one with another. That and Anno has proved he can direct. Lucas not so much.
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Postby AchtungAffen » Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:19 am

When a man who stagnated after Eva talks about animé industry stagnation, I can only feel bad for what's going to happen to my Eva.
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Postby Defectron » Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:58 pm

Share it with your friends, sure, but definitely not your kids. Just my take on it, though.


I know two girls who watched the second half of eva with their mom on fast foreward (this was the first time they saw it)

Yeah I sometimes regret that I saw spoilers for end of eva before actually seeing the movie, but hearing stuff like this makes me appreciate the cercumstances in which I saw it more.
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Postby BrikHaus » Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:18 pm

ThroneofDravaris wrote:You forgot the parallel of them both going back and adding extra footage to the original series/saga.

That's true, I totally forgot about that. You know, there used to be a day when something called a "Director's Cut" actually meant something. Today, everything is always the "Extended" or "Unrated" cut, and it has become practically synonymous with just being longer. It's an annoying trend and I hope it dies. True directors' cuts offer more substance, and are closer to the original artistic vision, not just longer. The only "Director's Cut" that was of any importance to a recent film (that I've seen anyway) was the one for "Kingdom of Heaven."

Lucas' additions to Star Wars were pretty much pointless, just to showcase CGI crap.

Anno's additions were a little more relevant to the story, you get more back story and more information on the characters, which is welcome. However, I also feel they give too much away for the first time viewer. One thing I liked about Eva was that I had to go back and rewatch it to understand things. Since you can pretty much figure out everything without the "DC" version, they are somewhat pointless. Besides, they actually ruined two things for me. First, the scene in which Unit-00 turns into a giant Rei before exploding. It was pointless. I liked it better when she hit the self-destruct, saw Gendo, and then exploded. It was quicker and more startling. In the "DC" version it's longer, less startling (you have to wait for her to blow up now), and just completely unnecessary. Besides, if all the Angels, as well as her Eva, are descended from Adam, why would it transform into a giant Rei? Giant Kaworu would have made a little more sense. That is why this change seemed so stupid to me. Second, they introduced a huge continuity error in episode 24'. Fanwank all you want, but there is no denying that they just plain fucked up. If Anno could screw up something like this relatively soon after completing Eva, how much can he potentially mess it up 12 years later? I suppose if it's Alternate Universe he can't technically mess it up...but he could still produce drivel* and be lowered to George Lucas' level.



*I sincerely hope this does not occur.
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-On EMF, as a thread becomes longer, the likelihood that fem-Kaworu will be mentioned increases exponentially.
-the only English language novel actually being developed in parallel to its Japanese version involving a pan-human Soviet in a galactic struggle to survive and to export the communist utopia/revolution to all the down trodden alien class and race- one of the premise being that Khrushchev remains and has abandoned Lysenko stupidity

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Postby THE Hal E. Burton 9000 » Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:20 pm

IMO, I do not think you are totally off your rocker.

Also, on the whole "Director's Cut/Uncut/Unrated" bit...
On the part of the film producers, the public perception is if something is "unrated," it was not put through the MPAA; and therefore, contains more "racier" things that would have been cut, even though that is not always the case.
On the part of the film creators, it's almost similar to an ugly baby. The creators always seem to fall in love with whatever they create and they want the whole world to stand in awe of their creation. However, if something detracts from the creation for whatever reason, and the creators do not make corrections, it does not work. Like that whole "Bennifer" thing with Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, that whole Gigli fiasco. It wasn't just the fact that it was one of the worst films ever. They were so enamored with themselves; and, the media was feeding off it, the public wanted to kill themselves by that point.
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Postby Ayana-Me » Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:35 pm

To make the connection between Anno and Lucas you'd have to have the "creation of racially stereotypical, obnoxious, despised by 99.98% of the fanbase, character" category.

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Postby THE Hal E. Burton 9000 » Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:40 pm

The biggest thing stopping Anno and Lucas from being completely similar is a Jar-Jar-esque kind of blunder, IMO.
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Postby DatDude » Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:57 pm

I hope not anno needs to not fall in love with his own legend like lucas
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