Hideaki Anno is undoubtedly one of the great anime directors of our time. Neon Genesis Evangelion and its sequels alone would be enough of a reason to celebrate the man, but he also did the award-winning anime series Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, among other things.
In any case, with the film Evangelion 3.0+1.0 having just come out, now is the perfect time for Japan’s NHK to do a special program on him. On Monday 22 March, the NHK’s Professional Work Style (Professional Shigoto no Ryugi) program will have a 75-minute special featuring the animation director and his production site.
According to the webpage for this TV special, the NHK had access to Anno for four years, so there should be some interesting stuff in this documentary. They also note that ‘long-term coverage’ of the production site is ‘never allowed,’ so this is clearly a rare chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at Anno and his creative process.
The documentary will also include manga artist, fashion writer, and Anno’s wife Moyoco Anno; anime film producer Toshio Suzuki; anime director Kazuya Tsurumaki; storyboard artist Shinji Higuchi; and some guy named Hayao Miyazaki. Apparently Miyazaki says that Anno makes movies ‘while shedding blood.’
I’ve seen other NHK documentaries, and the ones that I’ve seen are quite good. (Of course, other than visits to Japan, those have also been the ones which are good enough for foreign markets.) As a public broadcaster, they tend to be more subdued than Japanese television can be, where everything is ‘sugoi!’ (amazing!). But they also can get very up-close-and-personal with their subjects.
Hopefully, this will be similar.