2012 – 3.0 Promotional Pamphlet – Ishida

Obtained from pastebin.com (5/4/13)
Translated by anonymous
Japanese interview
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Translation notes in italics]

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Original: http://pastebin.com/4nNkJWb9
Corrected and revised translation (12/3/12)

Ishida Akira (Nagisa Kaworu)

Really, the sense of discomfort heading into “Q” was already put into place by 1.0 and 2.0. The whole, ‘It looks the same, right? But it’s not,’ thing.

––Even in the first two installments, Kaworu served to indicate that, ‘this isn’t the same old Eva.’ Mr. Ishida, how did you interpret the role and how did it influence your performance?

ISHIDA
Actually, during recording for 1.0, the director, Mr. Anno, gave me a lecture about who Kaworu and Shinji are in Rebuild. So, I based my performance [in 1.0 and 2.0] on my own understanding of the information I was given and the situation and lines in 1.0 and 2.0. And the same goes for my performance in Q. That said, I didn’t really have many scenes in 1.0 and 2.0. So, in Q it finally hit me, ‘So this is what it was all about…’ That sort of thing.

––I think everyone’s most interested in the ‘mystery’ at the core of that.

ISHIDA
If you’ll allow me to take a more circumspect approach, I think the background information Mr. Anno gave me in the beginning is something better left unsaid. Back during 1.0 and 2.0, people around me kept asking, ‘Is that another rehash of the TV series in movie form?’ and the like, and I couldn’t say anything but, ‘Please see for yourself.’ I don’t think anyone will think it’s a ‘rehash’ after seeing Q…

––It’s kind of funny that Kaworu seems to be acting on some information only he knows and the same situation seems to be replicated among the cast. Many people seem to be shocked by the content of “Q” too.

ISHIDA
The thing the rest of the cast was surprised about this time were the things that the director had revealed to me alone in the beginning, and how my role and what I knew sort of lined up neatly. On the other hand, I kept having, ‘Ooh! You guys didn’t know that?’ moments. I had to be evasive with anyone looking for explanations up until now, and on one hand I felt, ‘oh too bad, they think it’s a rehash,’ and on the other ‘heh, they totally fell for it!’ I kind of miss it to be honest.

––With all those complicated feelings about it, you must have really been looking forward to [getting your turn], Mr. Ishida.

ISHIDA
It’s less a ‘I can’t wait!’ and more a ‘now’s the hard part!’* As I’m sure you all know, I didn’t really appear much in 1.0, but after recording, Mr. Anno came up to me and told me, ‘We’ve got a lot to talk about what comes next now.’ Though, I guess if we’re gonna open that can of worms, I didn’t appear much in 2.0 either, did I? (lol) So when I went in to record for Q, I was all tense, it finally felt like the ‘real thing.’ To no one’s surprise, when Kaworu started talking a lot, the story went off in a direction no one could have expected until now. Of course, [no one] was expecting it to follow the same path as the TV series. Even if the story changes, the feelings Kaworu has for Ikari Shinji… they will never change. I had to make sure that everyone would understand that he knows this world is different from last time, and [how that affects] how he approaches this Ikari Shinji. That hurdle was especially high. I was also worried about what to do with the stuff I was told in the beginning. Like, how Nagisa Kaworu should be with his accumulated pasts, even if they [were part of] different cycles, and how ‘Eva’ itself has a really tight target zone to get it just right. You’ve gotta hit the bullseye.

[*- he’s punning 待望 (taibou/long-awaited) and 大変 (taihen/hard)]

Multiple takes during recording to polish the finished product

––What was recording like?

ISHIDA
Well, it’s been 10-something years of real-time for this Ishida Akira and, since I performed in the original series, I’ve done the spin-off games and whatnot, I’ve slowly digested the role [over the years], I guess you could say [the role] has ripened [inside me]. But, I can’t let that change [him] from the original image. It’s been really difficult to live up to the various demands of the staff putting this Eva together.

––What kind of exchange did you have with Director Anno?

ISHIDA
We had to do quite a few takes to fully realize the scenes and get Nagisa Kaworu, as a character, just right and solidify his image. Some takes took a whole day to get just right. So, it’s turned into a very carefully acted film. I went at [the role] again, melding together the image of Nagisa Kaworu inside Ishida Akira and the image of him when the audience saw him for the first time on TV… That’s kind of how recording went. I guess that makes episode 24 of the TV series the foundation [of my performance], but it’s not like I just tried to reproduce it. When you look at the TV series again, what everyone saw there was what was best at the time; I didn’t want to merely copy [that performance] under the assumption that it was the correct interpretation. Honestly, once recording for Q was over, I came to the conclusion that [the end result] was neither just the ‘Nagisa Kaworu’ of the past or the ‘Nagisa Kaworu’ I know, now, in 2012. Everyone’s impressions of a character are always changing and expanding, and they each have their own hopes and desires for characters, so I think we were sort of realigning those hopes and desires with this.

––I see. And this is the first time in Rebuild that we’ve seen [Kaworu] interacting with Shinji.

ISHIDA
The first conversation with Shinji was really massive to me. Up until now, [Kaworu] has just been one-sidedly expressing his feelings, bit by bit, about Rebuild’s seize-the-moment Ikari Shinji. And finally, he gets to talk to him in person… I’m sure Kaworu was anxiously awaiting that moment… Yeah… It was all [building up to] that face-to-face-meeting. [It’s more important to him to] spend time talking to him in the flesh than it is to support him, secretly from the shadows. It reminded me how central of a theme communication like that is in Evangelion. When you look at it like that, once Shinji’s been estranged from everyone and has no one to lean on, that’s when he meets Kaworu. The fact that they manage to have a conversation at that point is incredibly significant. I feel like first two movies were the perfect set up for that situation.

––That said, Kaworu is a bit of a tragic figure, isn’t he?

ISHIDA
The first two films in Rebuild were used to vividly remind the audience of specific scenes and nuances of the original TV series. No matter how many times it happens, it always ends the same way. It should have been different from the previous cycle, but the same mistakes are repeated once again. It’s unavoidable, like destiny. But, it’s like he switched tracks at a different point this time. {train track/destiny metaphor, suddenly I’m reminded of Penguindrum…} It’s like he struggles against the flow [of his fate] and sacrifices himself so that Shinji can survive [because Shinji has to survive].

––Seeing the always aloof Kaworu acting more agitated was quite refreshing.

ISHIDA
Nagisa Kaworu has a pretty good grip on things, he knows everything and has absolute freedom of action. He seems rather capricious, don’t you think? He acts on the knowledge of the purpose of his existence, but it’s not like he can control everything. He clashes with Gendou and Seele and co. who have the world figured out and try to make it work for them, and on top of that, while Kaworu seems to have this bird’s-eye-view of it all, but even he isn’t in a position of control.

––I get the impression from our talk that you really put your all into playing Kaworu.

ISHIDA
All of the staff, not just Director Anno, are working as hard as they can to make the current series [of films] into the ultimate installment of the ‘Eva’ franchise. Even in recording, we were trying to get everything down very precisely. To that end, it always seemed like everyone was working together, [figuring out] ‘not quite this, and not quite that either.’ When I was standing in front of the microphone, it was just me and Ms. Ogata alone in the booth together, we spent much more time interpreting scenes and lines than would possible on other projects. There was this atmosphere of, ‘let’s do it once we agree’ so the work itself was actually really hard, but, no one ever started shouting, ‘hurry up and do it!’ there was a real feeling of everyone working together on it. It wasn’t just simple pressure, but there was this [strange] sense of security in the knowledge that we were all working together to create the end product. I was really happy to be able to perform in the same scenes with Ms. Ogata this time around. Up until now [on Rebuild], I’d been recording all alone.

––Piloting an Eva in tandem with Shinji is a first for Kaworu, isn’t it? I think you could interpret it as a sort of ‘love scene’ in a sense.

ISHIDA
I don’t know if I can make that interpretation (lol). I think you should wait to hear from the director or leave it to the really involved fans. But, at the very least, them getting in the same unit is different, as they both pursue the same goal together. It seems [representative] of the depth of their connection.

––Any other impressions?

ISHIDA
I think the biggest shock, visually, was the scene of what had become of the moon. From the very beginning, the world of Q is depicted as a very orderly one, so it was quite a shock. Even though you see everyone living their lives in an environment supported by delicate technology, when he takes Shinji outside [of that technology] to show him what he wanted to see, it appears like ‘bam!’ out of the mist. The clear contrast between what he thought was the entirety of his world and ‘the reality [he] wanted to see’ packed quite a punch.

––Alright then, how about a final message for the fans?

ISHIDA
I’m sure those of you who have thoroughly read into the stories of 1.0 and 2.0 of Rebuild so far will think Q was a rather ‘fast development.’ But, 1.0 and 2.0 already developed the sense of malaise leading into Q. It’s like, ‘It looks the same right? But it’s not.’ To those of you who saw Q, please go back to the theater a few times to figure out, ‘just what is the meaning of this?’ But, if you were to ask ‘how to prepare for it?’ I’d ask that you return to 1.0 and 2.0 and watch them again, right? If you watch very carefully, you’ll see, ‘oh, this is where that’s from’ ‘and here too’ for sure. I think, if you watch it over from the beginning again, you’ll see how Q fits into the story for sure, and I know you’ll be even more interested in ‘where does it go from here?’ after Q’s rapid development. Since, at this point, we’ve just jumped past the established cannon with a ‘bam!’ there’s no way it’ll end like the TV series or previous movie {EoE} now. At least, that’s what I believe. If you look at it like that, I’m sure you’ll all be really exited to know ‘but what happens now?’ and ‘then what?’ for the next one. Please look forward to the conclusion.