Evangelion 2.0 CRC: Higuchi Interview

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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Postby 1731298478 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:44 am

I'll start Higuchi by posting his comments on the famous Asuka "possession" storyboard. Of course, the same disclaimers apply as before regarding the translation: it's bound to have errors.

Here is the sketch included in the interview:

http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/3976/higuchi1.jpg

"Asuka corroded by the ninth Angel. Rough sketch for the image board."

The Asuka/Kaworu dialogue in question is: KAWORU: This isn't like you. / Asuka: It's not like me? / KAWORU: Because happiness doesn't suit you. / Asuka: The happy me... is scary. So I'll return to the usual me.

"Mysteries of the Human Body": http://www.jintai.co.jp/index_top.html

----

Higuchi: When I watched the preview screening, it was [the Asuka possession scene] that shocked me the most. The scene was supposed to be cruel, with Asuka becoming "corroded" and losing her face, but the [final] treatment had become incredibly gentle.

--- In the first scenario, her fortune was to be pierced by a number of ultra-fine needles.

Higuchi: So it was like the image of a "hedgehog". The fact that the needles were directed towards the interior meant that Asuka was becoming intropunitive [self-punishing].

--- Therefore the scenario unfolds with Kaworu's address: "It's not like you." In Higuchi-san's storyboard, the detached skin also becomes a face and addresses [Asuka]. The horror resembles Kazuo Umezu's "Nikumen," but from what image did this "peeling off" come from?

Higuchi: The order was, "something like 'plastination.'"

--- That's used in "Mysteries of the Human Body." Dissected, three-dimensional objects made by pouring resin into donated bodies, right?

Higuchi: Right. Here, I was thinking only of something that people would hate. Up to then there had been a somewhat "poka-poka" mood. Thinking "this 'homeroom drama' is not Eva!", I wanted to confront [the audience] with something hateful. In actuality, from the point of view of the story, from that point on "hell" begins and that sort of happiness does not endure. "Eva" is really like this; that "poka-poka" atmosphere will descend into chaos! I put that sort of feeling of ill-will into my drawing.

When that sort of shocking thing didn't happen, I thought that the development by which the happiness that had [been portrayed] up to that point changes to tragedy probably wouldn't occur. As for the Asuka of "Break," it was a situation where the entire team was at odds. This being the case, I thought this [scene?] was an absolute "death flag." I thought about a cruelty worse than death, and this was the result.

--- I thought that this "'Nikumen' version" had been selected [to be used]. It was also used in Tsurumaki-san's storyboards, and during the recording sessions I have a memory of it being recorded.

Higuchi: As for when and how it was changed, I don't know, but probably the malice [I felt] when I drew the scene was too much for people to see up front.
Last edited by 1731298478 on Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Xard » Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:53 am

Really interesting stuff. laughed at "poka poka" part :lol:

I think that storyboarded version of Asuka's face ripoff was cut either due to being too spoilertastic (kaworulolwtf) and/or it would've stolen the thunder from all the sick shit that followed that was supposed to be more horrible. He went too overboard, iow :P

Nice job once again!
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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:34 pm

Good conceptual idea- the drastic shift of a film in tones over the course of one scene. And I admit I sure would love to see how that sequence would've looked fully animated.

But yeah, it would've stolen too much thunder from the second half of the film. If anything, if the Rebuild crew threw these ideas around for this film I can only imagine (hope) that they've held off all their really dark ideas for the final act of Rebuild when they can just go all out.

These are great reads! Keep them up! I think we're all very grateful for these translations!

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Postby Nonoriri » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:45 pm

View Original Post1731298478 wrote:As for the Asuka of "Break," it was a situation where the entire team was at odds. This being the case, I thought this [scene?] was an absolute "death flag." I thought about a cruelty worse than death, and this was the result.


Hmm

The super tame version of this scene that made it in is kinda disappointing but I suppose we're supposed to care about the stuff that happens after it or something.

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Postby Azathoth » Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:00 pm

Higuchi wrote:As for the Asuka of "Break," it was a situation where the entire team was at odds.


At least someone realized it.

I'm actually going to say they should have kept this in, just to lend the impression that Shikinami is anything other than a dithering bimbo who doesn't realize when nobody likes her. And frankly for all the "oh no i am destroying the world, oh no now it is i who am being destroyed" in the movie's third act, there's not really much in there that evokes the horror of the corresponding scene in NGE. I hadn't really thought about that actually, but it's certainly true, there's nothing unsettling or visceral about anything Shinji does with Unit God. It's very ethereal in comparison to NGE's Unit 01, actually...she made herself an arm by mutating it out of a giant piece of toilet paper, he makes himself an arm out of shiny magic.

Hmm, might actually be something to think about there. By this point in NGE (episode 23) the biological horror was jumping straight the fuck off - we've had Leliel splattered (cut), Unit 03 splattered (remains), Zeruel fucked up and eaten (mostly cut), all the creepiness entailed by the salvage (cut) Armisael's creepy rape veins (cut), crispy Rei (cut) and the Reiquarium (maybe still coming up). NME adds...Sahaquiel's fuckhands, I guess, but that's not really body horror. And yet more giant naked Reis, which aren't really shocking. And...I guess Shinji's own facepeeling scene, but since he doesn't have a body at this point the effect of it is limited. And I guess the huge explosions into ACL? But they're cartoonish enough that it's difficult to care.

It sounds stupid, but Rebuild really does need a streak of cruelty to it. Right now it feels like all the characters are existing in a dippy little funland. Rei's dead, but at least she's happy. Shinji's committing omnicide to satisfy his own ego again...but at least he's happy as long as everything stays like it is. Asuka's having her dreams smashed, her agency taken away, her (inexplicable) crush stolen, her face raped by Angels, and her mind invaded, and the only indication we get that she even cares is an "aw shit" face right before Bardiel eats it. And then in Q she's going to be happy. And then there's Mari, who's so relentlessly happy that she thinks being a psychic child soldier with the power to destroy humanity should be fun. And here comes Kaworu, our old-fashioned harbinger of despair, with the intent to make Shinji happy.
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Postby shinji_ryoji_89 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:49 pm

View Original PostAzathoth wrote:
Hmm, might actually be something to think about there. By this point in NGE (episode 23) the biological horror was jumping straight the fuck off -

It sounds stupid, but Rebuild really does need a streak of cruelty to it.


This.

One of the things that I'd really like to see in Q is biological horror. The series had plenty of pretty scary moments and that's something I want to see more of. I hope the next film can really deliver that. And I understand what you're saying by cruelty and that's something I'd like to see more of too.

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Postby Xard » Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:41 pm

Umm guys, I'd like to point out that for the most part we're dealing with series up to ep 19 with only few minor elements incorporated from later eps, namely Tokyo-3 being wrecked beyond being livable (which happened only in ep 23). This actually makes more sense than in the series where Toji, Kensuke etc. are just forgotten after ep 19 (excluding short bit of Asuka living with Hikari) while they still lived in Tokyo-3. We have not had Shinji being trapped inside Eva-01, no reinitiation of Kaji/Misato relationship, Kaji's death, all backstory from ep 21, Asuka's breakdown, Ritsuko's breakdown, Misato's breakdown, truth about Rei revealed etc.

Rebuild's Bardiel fight is also more graphic and crueler than one in original series with guts being spilled around making up for lack of Zeruel munching.
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Postby Clover » Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:06 pm

I calculated the time difference between the release date announcement and the release of the film for 2.0 to be 128 days. We can expect a similar time frame for 3.0. Just a random tidbit.

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Postby shinji_ryoji_89 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:08 pm

View Original PostXard wrote:Umm guys, I'd like to point out that for the most part we're dealing with series up to ep 19 with only few minor elements incorporated from later eps, namely Tokyo-3 being wrecked beyond being livable (which happened only in ep 23). This actually makes more sense than in the series where Toji, Kensuke etc. are just forgotten after ep 19 (excluding short bit of Asuka living with Hikari) while they still lived in Tokyo-3. We have not had Shinji being trapped inside Eva-01, no reinitiation of Kaji/Misato relationship, Kaji's death, all backstory from ep 21, Asuka's breakdown, Ritsuko's breakdown, Misato's breakdown, truth about Rei revealed etc.

Rebuild's Bardiel fight is also more graphic and crueler than one in original series with guts being spilled around making up for lack of Zeruel munching.


Yeah, I see what you're saying. And considering the tone of the films so far, I can also see why the movies so far don't have that tone of cruelty and horror that the series would have from time to time. Which is why I can forgive it easily but it is an element that I miss from the series that I hope to see in Q.

And yes, the Bardiel fight was brutal in the original series. I was watching that episode last night and even though I knew it was coming, I was still shocked by it. However, I think that 2.22 took it even further and made it completely heartbreaking and disgusting to watch.

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Postby 1731298478 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:55 am

A couple more storyboards with shorter comments. Same disclaimers apply. Thanks once again to Reichu for the amazing scans ^__^

http://img101.imageshack.us/img101/8995/higuchi2.jpg

Early Provisional Draft Storyboard / Shinji HIGUCHI
Corresponding to section C-1367 of the completed work.
A scene where Shinji leaves Tokyo-3.
For provisional draft storyboards, cut numbers are omitted.

Mari: I'm not interested in boys who run away with their tail between their legs...! Are you stupid? [ANTA BAKA?] One person almost died? What? Are you a coward? Don't take [me?] for granted[?]. Instead, I'll only thank you if you fight. Your expression - like you alone carry all the burdens on your shoulders - looks idiotic! .... is what Asuka-chan would say if she was here. / MARI: It's not the case that you could become God because you piloted Eva. There are people you can save, and people you can't.

~

--- [...] As for Mari, there is a scene where she has a conversation with Shinji after he parts from Misato. She imitates Asuka's manner of speaking there, right? Afterwards, at the climax of the battle where Unit-01 grows wings, she is staring at it from a distance...

Higuchi: If I had to say, I'd say she was like a female version of Kaworu.

-----

http://img816.imageshack.us/img816/7936/higuchi3.jpg

Early Provisional Draft Storyboard / Shinji HIGUCHI
Corresponding to section C-1456 and following of the completed work.
A scene where Eva Unit-02 battles the 10th Angel in the Geofront.
An unconscious Asuka is restrained within the Entry Plug.

~

--- [...] Mari does not pilot Eva-02 during the climax in your June 2007 storyboard.

Higuchi: That's right, that's right. We had an unconscious, "puppet/doll-like" Asuka riding in Unit-02, right?

-----

http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/433/higuchi4.jpg

Early Provisional Draft Storyboard / Shinji HIGUCHI
Corresponding to section C-1676 and following of the completed work.
A scene where the 10th Angel invades Command Center No. 1 of Nerv HQ.
The HQ control tower retracts and gun turrets appear, firing upon the Angel.

~

--- Only, if we look at the first storyboards they are not completely the same [as the original episode 19]. Masayuki-san's new idea "the command center becomes a battleship" was also inserted.

Higuchi: "Let's add artillery. The artillery of a battleship will emerge from the command center and fire. Tee-hee!" I received a proposal like that from Banchou ["delinquent leader"] (Director Masayuki), so I drew the storyboard. But that development meeting took place much earlier than the "Prelude" premiere, in a distant haze; I don't know how long ago the conversation was.

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Postby LiLi » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:38 am

View Original Post1731298478 wrote:Higuchi: If I had to say, I'd say she was like a female version of Kaworu.


I was saying the same thing to NemZ just a little while ago!!! \0/

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Postby Azathoth » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:47 am

View Original Post1731298478 wrote:Higuchi: If I had to say, I'd say she was like a female version of Kaworu.


I do kind of think it's telling that you could replace Kaworu's name here with pretty much anyone else's.
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Postby NAveryW » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:16 pm

I really like the idea of battleship artillery in the command center. Shame for NGE's Nerv they didn't have it when the JSSDF attacked.
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Postby Azathoth » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:23 pm

View Original PostNAveryW wrote:I really like the idea of battleship artillery in the command center. Shame for NGE's Nerv they didn't have it when the JSSDF attacked.


Yeah, I'm amazed Anno didn't put that in there what with his battleship fetish. But then again, given that Q apparently involves Nerv being pretty much shut down by the powers that be, they may have omitted it for exactly the reason you mentioned - the JSSDF aren't going to be taking too many prisoners if there's a couple of 5-inch guns pointing at them.
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Postby NAveryW » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:24 pm

My guess is it was taken out because it seems redundant at that point: if an Angel was already able to penetrate Central Dogma, more guns aren't going to make much difference.

...Wait, five-inch guns?
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Postby Reichu » Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:15 pm

By the final storyboards, the giant turrets had been turned into a slide-up-from-under-floor partition. Of course, that got cut, too. I wonder if the partition was at Masayuki's insistence, too. XD I'll get a picture for everybody next time I see my books.
What if... Kaworu bonded with Misato instead of Shinji, and the two of them were siblings?
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Postby Azathoth » Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:36 pm

View Original PostNAveryW wrote:My guess is it was taken out because it seems redundant at that point: if an Angel was already able to penetrate Central Dogma, more guns aren't going to make much difference.


But the dakka. Won't someone think of the dakka?

View Original PostNAveryW wrote:...Wait, five-inch guns?


Caliber, not barrel length.
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Postby Kendrix » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:48 am

This shows how drastically Maris personality changed over the course of the production.
A dead serious, pragmatic Mari telling Shinji to act like an adult and going as far as mocking him with imitating Asukas Speech pattern.

It's a huge constrast to the eventual Mari's reaction who doesn't pressure Shinji AT ALL.
I think that it's more in-character for Shinji to listen to Final!Mari, tough. Proto!Mari sounded too much like a mix between Misato and Asuka - and trying to beat sense into him the classical way or to challenge him with cruel mocking never held too good results in NGE.
Final!Mari didn't pressure him (so he couldn't put himself into the victim position again) but simply showed him the consequences of his actions.

I think the comparision to Kaworu is not too far fetched.
They both have some sort of deep wisdon, even if Mari uses rather simple phrases instead of Kaworu's philosophical language (that is one of the things I liked about him, but honestly, the poor kid spent too much time with those SEELE guys. They're CONSTANTLY talking in metaphors.)

I'm patiently awaiting further translations^^ You're my heroes.

PS. Thigs like the 'needels' scene or the nucleolingus scene show that they haven't lost their creativity for the mind-fuck-y. They just didn't want to give us the full load in the second movie since they have two more to fill. Don't worry, I'm sure you sick Bastards will get plenty of Asuka torture soon enough...

The Unit 01/GNRR scene had something like a love confession. Of course, it's far too early for that, but as a hopeless crazy R/S shipper, I hope that they are saving it for later
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Postby SEELE-01 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:27 pm

I just read the 19 pages of posts of this thread....
Wow... Where to begin:

A) And I thought tha Anno had at the very least some idea of what he wanted... But juggling with random ideas to see what sticks... Not good...

B) I'm really happy that the Asuka face-rip scene was removed... It makes me uneasy (like 25' and the destruction of Unit 03 in NME)

C) I do hope to have 3.0 and/or Final at the very least 'till Winter 2011 (so that I can save enough money to buy the Revoltechs :drool:)

D) I really enjoyed the storyboard scans... TKZ to uploaders & translators

E) I'm against the double-pilot-in-1-Eva idea... I'ts not movie Wednesday to have 2x1!
And more importantly: no lesbian Asuka-Mari! [not that I have anything against gay people (having myself a BF)... But I just don't see it curdling...]

F) Does anyone knows where there may be scans of the Tv series/NGE movies storyboards? ;)
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Postby SaltyJoe » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:59 am

Hah, the first storyboard with Mari going all Misato on Shinji's ass and giving him a lecture is especially hilarious because Misato is standing right there in the background.

Mari: "You should accept that life can't always go the way you want it."
Misato: "Yeah!"
Mari: "But you shouldn't run away from your responsibilities."
Misato: "Yeah!"
Mari: "Face your life, and fight for tomorrow."
Misato: "... am i needed here?"

Readin this stuff is a blast. Once again, thanks to everyone involved!

View Original Postarael wrote:And more importantly: no lesbian Asuka-Mari! [not that I have anything against gay people (having myself a BF)... But I just don't see it curdling...]


v. cur·dled, cur·dling, cur·dles
v.intr.
1.
a. To change into curd. See Synonyms at coagulate.
b. To become congealed as if by having changed into curd: The blood in my veins curdled at the horrific sight.
2. To go bad or become spoiled.
v.tr.
To cause to change into or as if into curd.

.....

View Original PostXard wrote:no reinitiation of Kaji/Misato relationship,

Honestly, where and how do you expect that to happen? Toyko-III is in ruins, and Gendo's triggering of Eva-01 was the equivalent of him standing on a mountain top and yelling "I'm a traitor! And willing to act, too!". I will be honestly surprised if 3.0 doesn't open with U.N. troops invading what's left of Nerv and Kaji getting a few kicks in the kidney for all that "Key" business.
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