|Hideaki Anno (庵野秀明)|
|Born||May 22, 1960
Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan
|Known for||Neon Genesis Evangelion|
Hideaki Anno (庵野秀明 Anno Hideaki ), born 22 May 1960 in Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan, is a Japanese animation and film director. Anno is best known for his work on the popular anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. His style has come to be defined by the touches of superflatism and postmodernism that he injects into his work, as well as the thorough portrayal of characters' thoughts and emotions, often through unconventional sequences incorporating psychoanalysis and emotional deconstruction of these characters. He married comics artist Moyoco Anno in 27 April 2002.
However, he wasn't a recognized talent until the release of his work on Hayao Miyazaki's 1984 film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Running short on animators, the film's production studio posted an ad in the famous Japanese animation magazine Animage, announcing that they were in desperate need of more animators. Anno, in his early twenties at the time, read the ad and headed down to the film's studio, where he met with Miyazaki and showed him some of his drawings. Impressed with Anno's work, Miyazaki hired him to draw some of the most complicated scenes near the end of the movie, and regarded his work highly.
Anno went on to become one of the co-founders of Gainax in December 1984. He worked as an animation director for their first feature-length film, Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise (1987), and ultimately became Gainax's premiere anime director, helming the majority of the studio's projects such as Gunbuster (1988) and Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (1990–1991). However, Anno fell into a four-year depression following Nadia — the series was handed down to him from NHK from an original concept by Hayao Miyazaki (of which Castle in the Sky is also partly based upon) and he was given little creative control.
Anno directed a significant portion of the 1998 anime serie Kareshi Kanojo no Jijō (known in English as His and Her Circumstances or Kare Kano for short) — the first Gainax work to be directly adapted from previously-written material — until disputes with both the show's sponsors and the original manga author ended in the director's departure, leaving the show in the hands of his protegé, Kazuya Tsurumaki (see also FLCL). Since that dispute, Anno has gone on to work with Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli on several short films which have been shown at the Ghibli Museum.
The director has also made forays into live-action films, beginning with Love & Pop (1998), a cinéma vérité-style film about enjo kosai ("compensated dating", a form of teenage prostitution) in Japan, of which a major portion was shot on miniature digital cameras with constantly shifting aspect ratios. He won Best New Director Award at 1998 Yokohama Film Festival for the film. Asumi Miwa who played the lead role won Best New Talent award respectively. His second live-action film, Shiki-Jitsu (2000) ("Ritual Day" or "Ceremonial Day"), is the story of a burnt-out former animation director (played by popular indie director Shunji Iwai) who falls in love with a woman disconnected from reality. Though an experimental work like Love & Pop, this film was shot using the more traditional 2.35:1 aspect ratio and has a generally more polished presentation, eschewing the cinéma vérité grittiness of Anno's first live-action film. This movie earned him Best Artistic Contribution Award at Tokyo International Film Festival and very positive reviews.
Anno's third live-action film was Cutie Honey, released in the summer of 2004. A stark contrast to his earlier, more realist live-action works, Cutie Honey is a lighthearted fantasy/superhero movie. Later in 2004, Anno supervised but did not direct the three-part OVA, Re: Cutie Honey. The directors are Hiroyuki Imaishi (part 1), Takamichi Ito (part 2), and Masayuki (part 3).
Also released in 2004 was the movie Funky Forest (ナイスの森 Nice no Mori ), in which Anno makes several acting cameos: as the student in the front row of the "Home Room!" skit sitting next to Hataru, in "Who's the Director?" as an animator who feels he is being overworked, and finally in "Singles Picnic" he is among the men awaiting females who never come.
On August 1, 2006, Hideaki Anno's official website was updated with job listings for key animators and production staff at a company he founded, Studio Khara. In September 2006, it is reported by the October edition of the Japanese animation magazine Newtype. On September 9, 2006, GAINAX's official website confirmed that four new Evangelion movies are in the works. The first three movies will be an alternate retelling of the TV series (including many new scenes, settings, backgrounds, characters), and the fourth movie will be a completely new conclusion to the story. Hideaki Anno will write the scenario for the first movie and will be the general director and manager for the entire project. Kazuya Tsurumaki and Masayuki will direct the movies while Yoshiyuki Sadamoto will provide character designs and Ikuto Yamashita will provide mechanical designs. Shinji Higuchi will provide storyboards for the first movie. The first was launched in Summer 2007, and the second and third were planned to be launched in 2008, however, the second installment was released by itself on June 27, 2009. The third movie is now expected to be released simultaneously with the fourth. On February 17, 2007, Anno published an official statement  on the Japanese Yahoo Portal for the films regarding his personal involvement and goals in their production.