Okada: Eva's Ending Was Decided at the Last Moment

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Okada: Eva's Ending Was Decided at the Last Moment

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Postby NAveryW » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:50 am

Merge this if it must be merged, but I think it's important enough that it merits its own thread because by burying it in the Yamaga thread, it will inevitably be missed and people will just read the first post and skim some before posting their own thoughts and missing this very important information. This always happens, so I'm starting a new thread. I'd prefer the old one be locked now that we have a more reliable source saying Yamaga's full of crap.

Read the relevant part of the interview with GAINAX founder and ex-president Toshio Okada here. It occurred in 1996, shortly after the conclusion of Evangelion.

Toshio Okada wrote:I think the style, or mood, of EVANGELION, is not so far, not so different, from the serious side of GUNBUSTER or NADIA. The biggest difference would have been in the style of planning the last episode. My style is to always plan the ending *first,* as I did with GUNBUSTER--everything then follows from that. In NADIA, Mr. Anno couldn't decide on the ending--it wasn't fixed until only three months before the final episode was shown. So subsequently, I was confused about NADIA, and there was a lack of control over the various episodes. EVANGELION is a very great series--I think it's one of the top anime ever made. But--the last scenes were never fixed. When I talked to Mr. Anno a month ago, he said he couldn't decide the ending until the time came. That's his style. So, if I had made EVANGELION with him, I couldn't do such a thing. I'd think I'd have to fix the ending, what would happen with every character. Then, everything would follow: the first episode, the second episode...If I wanted to show a boy's coming-of-age story, a *bildungsroman,* the last scene would show the grown-up man; the first scene, a boy who hates everything about the adult world. That would be the structure; I'm very careful about a regular construction. But Mr. Anno's style on EVANGELION was not so. He wants to put it together episode-by-episode. It's just like the style of a manga. In your typical manga, the artist doesn't have any picture of the last scene, or the last episode. They just think of building up on past episodes. And finally, the manga artist, and his assistants, and editor...[BURIES HEAD IN HANDS], they work out an idea about the last sequence. If it's a good idea, the whole episode is very good. If they can't make a good idea, the whole episode is not so good. It's an unhappy story. And I think that's what happened with the last two episodes of EVANGELION. Mr. Anno and his staff couldn't make a good idea for it. He told an anime magazine in Japan that he couldn't make what he wanted because of schedule or budget. But that's not correct. I talked with Mr. Yamaga and Mr. Anno. They said, "It's not only a problem of schedule or budget. It's a problem of what the ending is going to be." Mr. Anno couldn't decide. Mr. Anno's and my own style of production are very different.

Hey, notice something odd about what Okada says?

Okada wrote:I talked with Mr. Yamaga and Mr. Anno. They said, "It's not only a problem of schedule or budget. It's a problem of what the ending is going to be."

From this interview, we are presented with two facts: Yamaga was well aware that the ending hadn't been decided, despite what he said at Fanime. And keep reading the page to see that Anno gave contradictory answers every time he was asked about the ending. So I wouldn't put it past Yamaga to make crap up. Anno did.

Okada says many other wonderful things about Evangelion, Gunbuster, Wings of Honneamise, and The Simpsons in this interview, so I made a general thread about it here. Use that thread for the other stuff. I'm not sure really how to split it since a lot of the information is on Evangelion and a lot isn't.

Among other important Evangelion-related information is that there were scheduling problems, but they weren't GAINAX's fault, because the animation wasn't done at GAINAX, because GAINAX only had three staff members dedicated to anime. Anno blames the production company Tatsunoko for the scheduling problems.

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Postby Xard » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:06 am

As I said in other thread, Yamaga is big fat old liar. It surprises me you guys even considered taking his ridiculous "EoTV was planned ahead" statement seriously. :shrug:
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 Eva Yojimbo » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:23 am

View Original PostXard wrote:It surprises me you guys even considered taking his ridiculous "EoTV was planned ahead" statement seriously.
I never took it seriously. I don't know if it's possible to plan something like that ahead...
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Postby EvangelionFan » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:26 am

I've always been under the impression that NGE was written/planned episode-by-episode, so I guess I agree with Xard and Jimbo.
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Postby AuraTwilight » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:08 pm

Yamaga lies about fucking every project he's on, Evangelion or not.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:24 pm

So uhh...does Okada's statement means there were budget--not just scheduling--problems?

I'm not terribly surprised that Eva was given an episode-by-episode treatment (I kinda assumed as much myself), but thanks a lot for this information, Naw-kun! :nod:

While I wasn't sure what to make of Yamaga's Fanime 2010 statements either, this sure makes me skeptical of anything he says now. (If I make Fanime 2011 and he's there, I think I'll pass on asking him my EoTV/EoE concurrency question. >_> )
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Postby NAveryW » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:36 pm

View Original PostSailor Star Dust wrote:So uhh...does Okada's statement means there were budget--not just scheduling--problems?
He never says specifically that there were budget problems. He said Anno lied to a magazine by saying that the ending happened the way it did because of schedule and budget problems, and he said Yamaga and Anno told him "It's not only a problem of schedule or budget." I don't think we can take from that that budget resulted in the ending ending the way it did. He summarizes the production problems thusly:
Otaking wrote:You must remember that EVANGELION is produced at Tatsunoko, so the schedule is out of the control of Gainax--it's the responsibility of Tatsunoko. Tatsunoko almost rules, when it comes to control. So, I think, the responsibility was not with Gainax. People say, "It's the responsibility of Mr. Anno," but they're wrong. Control over schedule is the responsibility of the producer. But Tatsunoko and T.V. Tokyo couldn't handle it. It was out of Gainax's control. [...] I talked with Mr. Anno about this a month ago, and then he said, "I'm *almost* the producer of EVANGELION, but I must be so, because Tatsunoko did not do anything for EVANGELION." See, he is very disappointed with Tatsunoko, and some rumors have said that Tatsunoko lost the film, or cels before they were shot. And I asked Mr. Anno, "Is it the truth?" And he says, in a dark voice, "Yes." But that was in the middle of the episodes. That wasn't the trouble with the last two episodes, the confusion. It was just Mr. Anno's teleplay.

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Postby The Eva Monkey » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:44 pm

This reminds me of Takeshi Honda at Katsucon many years back. He said that Anno constantly changed things. He changed many of the later episodes at the last minute, and that was so frustrating for him that he did not speak to Anno until after The End of Evangelion was completed.
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Re: Okada: Eva's Ending Was Decided at the Last Moment

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Postby JoeD80 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:13 pm

View Original PostNAveryW wrote:they weren't GAINAX's fault, because the animation wasn't done at GAINAX

The animation production credit lists both Tatsunoko and Gainax.

View Original PostNAveryW wrote:because GAINAX only had three staff members dedicated to anime.

There are more than three Gainax animators in the credits (You Yoshinari, Tadashi Hiramatsu, Takeshi Honda, Hideyuki Morioka, and Katsuichi Nakayama is at least five not counting Masayuki, Tsurumaki, and Anno who all also did key animation work on the show).

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Postby Xard » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:16 pm

Those were not part of animation staff I gather but as they were animators in the past GAINAX used them 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 NAveryW » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:18 pm

Three does seem like a ridiculously small number. It only makes sense to me at all if things such as storyboard and layout aren't counted in the actual animation process. When the United States makes cartoons, all the animation is considered to be done in Korea, Taiwan, or Japan, but all the scripts, storyboards, and usually layouts are still done in the United States. The fact that some key animation is definitely credited as being done at GAINAX does seem to be a contradiction, though.

Could the statement that three out of >50 employees were involved with animation have been intended as a hyperbole?

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Postby JoeD80 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:27 pm

View Original PostXard wrote:Those were not part of animation staff I gather but as they were animators in the past GAINAX used them too.

They worked (and still work) for Gainax as key animators, so how were they not part of the animation staff exactly? I suppose I don't really know Gainax's business practices, but that sounds a little odd.
Last edited by JoeD80 on Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Xard » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:35 pm

View Original PostJoeD80 wrote:They worked (and still work) for Gainax as key animators, so how were they not part of the animation staff exactly? I suppose I don't really know Gainax's business practices, but that sounds a little odd.


See my post here

GAINAX was practically churning out Princess Makers etc. through early 90s and they had no animation staff to speak of apart from Anno. They relaunched in major way their animation studio in 1998.

It's unclear if You Yoshinari etc. were part of GAINAX-proper before 1998. Alternatively they were shifted to working on game art etc. like most of remaining GAINAX staff following end of Nadia and Otaku no Video
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 JoeD80 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:41 pm

Yoshinari first worked for Gainax in 1992 after leaving Madhouse. Honda and Hiramatsu were both on Nadia so presumably had worked for Gainax since then. Don't know when the other two joined. But regardless of Gainax reorganization status, or the employees' job descriptions, these guys did animation work on Evangelion.

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Postby gwern » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:55 pm

View Original PostThe Eva Monkey wrote:This reminds me of Takeshi Honda at Katsucon many years back. He said that Anno constantly changed things. He changed many of the later episodes at the last minute, and that was so frustrating for him that he did not speak to Anno until after The End of Evangelion was completed.


Were these comments at Katsucon written up or recorded anywhere?

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Postby The Eva Monkey » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:33 pm

View Original Postgwern wrote:Were these comments at Katsucon written up or recorded anywhere?

I have a DVD of it, courtesy of a friend of mine. I started transcribing it, but haven't finish it yet.
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Postby Xard » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:36 pm

View Original PostThe Eva Monkey wrote:I have a DVD of it, courtesy of a friend of mine. I started transcribing it, but haven't finish it yet.


yay! ^_^

How many years ago was this?
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 gwern » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:38 pm

View Original PostThe Eva Monkey wrote:I have a DVD of it, courtesy of a friend of mine. I started transcribing it, but haven't finish it yet.


Hm. So you were not present? Your phrasing implied that you were.

In any event, if the audio is good and you don't have time to transcribe it, I wouldn't mind doing it.

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Postby The Eva Monkey » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:41 pm

View Original Postgwern wrote:Hm. So you were not present? Your phrasing implied that you were.

I was there as well.

View Original Postgwern wrote:In any event, if the audio is good and you don't have time to transcribe it, I wouldn't mind doing it.

The audio is pretty clean for what it is. I tried ripping just the audio, so other people could tag team it, but I was unsuccessful. Which is frustrating, I'm usually pretty good at stuff like that.
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Postby NemZ » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:48 pm

What I get from all of this is that after 24 they started on something similar to 25', then because of time and/or budget issues + Anno being Anno they changed it to the EoTV we know. Thus 26 was as originally intended (as far as you can call something not decided upon at all until the last minute 'intended'), and afterwards they went back to follow up and expand upon that forgotten 25 draft for EoE.

Either that or we should just call the whole lot of them unreliable witnesses and stop worrying about it.
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