Also says that Rei is not his favorite character.

March 8 marked one full year since the release of Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time, which finally brought the groundbreaking anime franchise to a close 26 years after the original TV series premiered in Japan. That doesn’t mean fans have stopped thinking or talking about Eva, though, and series creator Hideaki Anno joined the conversation on Tuesday by way of a series of fan-submitted questions and Anno’s responses sent out by the official Evangelion Twitter account.

As fans already know, part of what makes Eva so unique is how willing it is to grapple with the psychological toil piloting the titular mecha takes on protagonist Shinji, and how that works as a metaphor for the emotional turmoil those of us in the real world can experience while looking for a sense of purpose, belonging, and fulfillment in our lives.

Those are issues Anno himself has dealt with for much of his career, so it’s easy to imagine him sympathizing with Shinji not wanting to “get in the damn robot,” as some viewers have harshly demanded. However, the popular opinion is that Anno is in a much more confident and stable frame of mind now than he was when he first started making Eva, which is probably what prompted one fan to ask “Mr. Anno, if someone actually commanded you to pilot Evangelion Unit-01, would you?”

Anno’s answer:

“I would not.”

Not a moment’s hesitation from Anno on that, though it might have something to do with the fact that, as the series creator, he knows full well just how much pain and suffering comes with piloting an Eva.

Not that he doesn’t have a special fondness for Unit-01, though.

“Question: Which are your favorite Evangelion and character?”
“Anno: Evangelion Unit-01. For charters, I like Misato, Asuka, and Ritsuko.”

Anno also talked about the creative process for his works, saying that he gets his best ideas right before going to sleep and just after waking up. With his anime owing so much to his personal vision, Anno tend to handle several different roles for his projects, and when asked which he likes best out of concept planning, screenplay writing, art production, and directing, he replied:

“I don’t really have one that I particularly like. I just involve myself in as much as I can to make the work its best, or better.”

There was a nine-year gap between the release of Thrice Upon a Time and the previous film in the Rebuild of Evngelion series, as Anno continued tinkering with the story and visuals to achieve the exact ending punctuation he wanted to give the series. Now that it’s all done, how does he feel about it?

“Question: How many points would you give Thrice Upon a Time?”
“Anno: It’d be somewhere between zero and infinity. It’s hard to convert a movie evaluation into a numerical score.”

On the other hand, there was another question that Anno could easily give an exact number for.

“Question: Up until now, how many times have you watched Rebuild of Evangelion?”
“Anno: After finishing the sound recording, zero times.”

Speaking of finishing, Evangelion was originally supposed to be over at the end of the 26-episode TV series in 1996, and then again with the 1997 movie The End of Evangelion, which now ironically comes more than a decade before even the midpoint of the franchise’s 26 years of activity. So you really can’t blame someone for asking…

“Question: Mr. Anno, are you truly finished with Evangelion?”
“Anno: This it the third time I’ve finished it, so I think that’s enough.”

And finally, someone asked what many would say is really the most important question of all:

“Question: Is Shinji happy now?”
“Anno: I’ll leave those interpretations of the characters up to the sensibilities and imagination of the viewers.”

Maybe it’s not the definite answer that some fans would like, but the idea that no one can tell someone else that they’re happy, and that a sense of fulfillment would ultimately be something Shinji could realize for himself, seems like a very fitting way to bring Eva to a close.

Source: Twitter/@evangelion_co (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
Images: SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!