2001-2002 – Anime Kurieitā Intabyūzu
This book is called アニメクリエイタ-・インタビュ-ズ この人に話を聞きたい２００１-２００２ (ISBN 9784063648515). The scans for the book were found on 2ch.
Oguro: The relation between the fan and the work.
Anno: Right, right. So, they can’t meet the real Rei Ayanami, but because, as an act of compensation, they can meet the voice actress who does her voice, they go to events [where she appears]. Or, they get that picture signed by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, the man who drew it.
Oguro: As a substitute for the real Rei Ayanami.
Anno: I believe that anime character merchandise sells well simply because it is a means of getting close to the character. You can’t express your love for Rei Ayanami except by putting her poster up on your wall. So, character merchandise sells well because of that.
Oguro: Express your love?
Anno: Everyone understands that it’s a fiction, but precisely because it’s a fiction you have a pure feeling, you fall for the character to an even greater extent. You assume that an anime character will not betray you. Iku-chan said [to me], “in the last episode, please have Rei Ayanami get married and become pregnant. Just please betray the Ayanami fans. The Rei Ayanami they are thinking of is not real. The real Rei Ayanami gets married, and her belly…”
Oguro: (laughs) Ah, if Ayanami really existed.
Anno: He told me something like, “please, make them realize that, If she were real, she would get married, become pregnant, have a child, and grow older.” I was thinking, “we don’t have to go that far…” (laughs).
Oguro: (laughs) Iku-chan is a wicked man.