In the Japanese Portal Pia a special interview was published where the director Mamoru Oshii commented on the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise, in conjunction with director Hideaki Anno. When asked if he had seen Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0 Thrice upon Time, he replied that he has not already done so. However, he also generally commented on the direction style of Anno, and stressed that the two have very different ideas about what it means to be a director.
According to Oshii, Hideaki Anno is "plus a producer than a director." While Oshii has no interest on the commercial side of the animation industry and only wants to concentrate on whatever he is doing, Anno is more committed to that side. Oshii also mentioned that he believes he feels pretty good. On the other hand, due to this perspective difference, Oshii commented that Anno's works "lack a subject". He praised the visual aspects of the direction style of Anno, but said there was no issue that was expressed under the style.
"The expression and the issues are different things," he said. "A cutting-edge presentation or giving birth to a new style of presentation is not the same as a topic." He said that, perhaps because he and Hayao Miyazaki belong to a previous generation of filmmakers, the two are always thinking about what they want to express when they create movies. In his own case, he creates films to "fight with society", and he believes that Miyazaki does the same even if he says he creates films for children to enjoy them.
Oshii also commented that Anno's limitations are shared by Mamoru Hosoda and Makoto Shinkai, whose works "also lack a main theme". "To say it another way, I can not feel the fundamental motivation they have to create movies," he said. At the same time, he said that his comments about Anno are not necessarily a criticism. He described most of the works of Anno as "as an I-Novel (confessional novel on personal feelings)", so it does not matter what he does, he remains faithful to himself. The question is more about whether one can accept that approach or not. Towards the end of the interview, Oshii described a conversation that he had with Hideaki Anno at the time he was doing The Sky Crawlers (2008), where they talked about how Anno was awakening his interest in business. "I think Anno has that desire for upward trajectory," he concluded.
Synopsis of Neon Genesis Evangelion
In 2015, the world is on the verge of its destruction. The last hope of humanity resides in the hands of NERV, a special agency under the command of the United Nations, and its Evangelions, giant robots capable of defeating Los Angeles who announce the ruin of Earth. Gendou Ikari, head of the organization, looks for compatible pilots who can synchronize with the Evangelions and take out their true potential. Help in this defensive effort are the talented Misato Katsuragi strategist, head of tactical operations, and Ritsuko Akagi, the chief scientist. Face to face with her father for the first time in years, the life of the 14-year-old boy, Shinji Ikari, has to change irreversibly when he is taken to the NERV facilities and discovers his dyeing destination: it must become the pilot of the Evangelion Unit -01 with the fate of humanity in your hands.
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