September 1999 – Der Mond artbook
Originated from eva.onegeek.org (8/2/13)
The following is an excerpt from the "Interview with Sadamoto Yoshiyuki" first published in the Deluxe Edition of the artbook "Der Mond" in September 1999, and then again in the "Osadabon (Book of Sadamoto)" included as a supplement to the December 2000 Ace-A manga magazine. ========== "The Initial Title was Alcion (Arushion)" - In the first place, just what kind of story was Evangelion in the initial stages? When the very first meeting was held before the title had even been decided, Anno had already provided the theme of "a battle between gods and humans". Both Anno and I -- our generation -- was influenced by Go Nagai, so making something on a grand scale meant it ended up like "Devilman". The character design request from Anno was that "the lead character is a girl, and has an older-sister type figure like Coach next to her," so it was structurally similar to "Gunbuster". So I first designed an Asuka-type girl as the lead character, but after "Gunbuster" and "Nadia" I felt some resistance to making the lead character a girl again. I mean a robot should be piloted by a trained person, and if that person just happens to be a girl then that is fine, but I couldn't see why a young girl would pilot a robot... So I remember saying to Anno, "It's a robot story, so let's make the lead character a boy." And just about that time, I was watching the NHK [public TV channel] program "Brain and Heart" and learned about the existence of the A10 nerve, and I told Anno about the idea that popped into my head at that time. That was the idea where "the dead mother is inside the robot, which is operated by mental/psychical bonding with the child. Moreover, parent-child relations are parched/strained due to the death of the mother at a young age." As soon as I had this idea I was filled with confidence that "This will work!" and I just whipped out a setting drawing. That setting drawing became the character chart for the Planning Papers. - What points did you take care for with that character chart? An easily recognizable silhouette is also important, but I designed the characters so that their personalities could be more or less understood at a glance. For example, even the color and length of the hair expresses personality. I thought that Asuka would occupy the position of an "idol" in the Eva world, and that [Asuka and] Shinji should be just like the relationship between Nadia and Jean. And then I set Rei as the opposing "Ying" portion. It was my idea to have her wrapped in bandages. The most difficult was Misato. So I thought it would be interesting to have someone like the older girl next door as a military person. I really wanted to make her a character who changed her clothes constantly, but I have no fashion sense so I wasn't able to do it. (laugh) I imagined Misato as a looser girl who, taken to the extreme, would be sleeping with all the men at Nerv and so on. Furthermore, she would not think too seriously about all of that... Gendo and Fuyutsuki were modeled after Commander Ed Staker and Col. Alec Freeman from the TV series "UFO". - Were there any title proposals other than "Evangelion"? One of the names proposed by Anno was "Alcion (Arushion)". But a robot story title that doesn't have a voiced consonant sound in it just isn't catching. So I pushed "Evangelion", which had been rejected once, as sounding stronger. We had talked a lot in the beginning about wanting a title like "Space Runaway Ideon (Legendary Giant God Ideon)", so I think I did push that. And to tell the truth, the story composition is also similar. For example, Nerv can be considered the same as the Solo Ship fighting a lonely battle against both humankind and the Buff Clan, and then there are the incomprehensible robots that can only communicate with children and tend to geo berserk, etc. It might not be an exaggeration to say that if you add "Ideon" and "Devilman" together and divide by two, you get "Evangelion". (laugh) At that time the media venue also had not been decided yet, but I really wanted to do it as a TV series or movie instead of as an OVA. Sure, you can do higher quality with an OVA, but I felt that OVAs were a minor media compared to TV, so it was out of self- gratification [that I wanted to do it as a TV series]. When you are in Tokyo and constantly reading the anime magazines, you succumb to the illusion that OVAs are a major media. But when you live in the provinces like me, the anime selection at the video rental shops isn't that great, so you think of it as a more minor world. ========== And the interview goes on and on for pages... But that is the relevant part.