But Hideaki Anno isn’t sure he wants to be the one to direct it.

Evangelion has “ended” at least three times. The first time came in 1996, when the final episode of the original Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series aired. This was followed, though, by a trio of theatrical features a year later, culminating with the unambiguously, but in hindsight very inaccurately, titled The End of Evangelion. Then, after a decade-long break came the start of the four-part Rebuild of Evangelion movie series, which itself took 14 years to reach its conclusion with 2021’s Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time.

And yet, even with all those endings, there’s a chance that Evangelion still isn’t really over. Series creator Hideaki Anno spoke with Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun in an interview published earlier this week. While the impetus for the interview was the Hideaki Anno Exhibition that’s currently being held at the Kanayama Minami Building Art Museum in Nagoya, Evangelion inevitably came up during the conversation, as Anno was asked if he had any ideas for a continuation of the Eva series, or of letting someone else take the helm for the franchise, to which he responded:

“Hmm…there probably are some ideas like that. And I think it’d be an option for someone other than me to be the person to make it. There’s the question of whether or not there’s a business case for such content, or whether it’d be interesting or not. It’s not like I’ve decided ‘We will never make Eva anime again!’”

Within the same interview, the 63-year-old Anno also mentions that he’s “thoroughly exhausted” from his workload over the past three years, in which he wrote and directed Thrice Upon a Time, wrote and produced Shin Ultraman, and wrote and directed Shin Kamen Rider. “I think I’m OK with not directing anything for a while” he muses.

The prospect of a new Eva anime with someone other than Anno in charge is a massive question mark. While the franchise has an iconic visual aesthetic and a uniquely constructed world, many fans would argue what really makes Evangelion so compelling is its focus on the internal turmoil and desperate search for identity and purpose that consumes its characters, much of which stemmed from Anno himself going through such personal struggles. Rebuild of Evangelion is often seen as a fascinating reevaluation of those questions by an older, wiser, and much more professionally successful Anno, and with their sky’s-the-limit budgets and luxuriously long production and run times, it’s hard to think of much, visually or narratively, they were unable to do What’s more, and as a spoiler to the end of Thrice Upon a Time, the current finale to the Evangelion anime ends on a happy, peaceful note, one that feels like all of the series’ conflicts have been resolved.

Altogether, that would suggest that any new Evangelion anime would have to either undo the current ending or focus on a different storyline (and perhaps characters), and without Anno’s hands-on involvement and personal philosophical probing, there’s the question of whether a continuation to Evangelion would really feel true to the series. Still, if Anno does decide to hand Eva off to someone else, that would help keep his schedule clear to direct the long-hoped-for continuation to Studio Ghibli’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

Source: Jin, Asahi Shimbun
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