Q: He explained where his early vision of his concept of making animation came from.
In addition to the aesthetics of explosions, Anno was naturally drawn to apocalyptic visions as a child growing up during the Cold War, with its ever-present threat of nuclear war.
“It was imprinted on my psyche that Tokyo could be annihilated any minute,” he says. “That kind of imprinting expresses itself in my work. I never experienced the horrors of war that my parent’s generation did, but the imagery is very familiar to me, as is the Cold War-era fear of nuclear war. I’ve read many books and seen many TV dramas and movies that dealt with such themes. They’ve influenced me greatly. I no longer think we’re living on the brink of extinction, but the feeling that it could happen is still with me.”
Japan’s many natural disasters have also had their impact on his work, as shown by the tsunami that ravages the world of “Evangelion.”
“That leads to the beginning of something new,” Anno says. “The tsunami wipes out the world and the story then focuses on how the survivors rebuild it. That reflects how I imagine Japan. I don’t know about other countries, but if I were to symbolically tell the story of Japan that’s what it will look like.”