Evangelion Theme Song Writer Makes Over Hundred Million Yen in Royalties
posted on by Eric Stimson
On September 10, the songwriter Neko Oikawa appeared on Out × Deluxe, a Japanese variety program, to discuss her enduring classic, "Zankoku na Tenshi no Thesis" ("Cruel Angel's Thesis"), the theme song to Neon Genesis Evangelion. It is the most popular anime song in karaoke — so much so that karaoke patrons are getting tired of hearing it — and widely recognizable two decades after its debut. Oikawa revealed that she made over a hundred million yen (currently equivalent to $828,796) annually in royalties from the piece. However, she said that she made about one yen (0.8 cent) each time the song was sung in karaoke and that pachinko royalties were more lucrative — "at least 30 million yen [$250,000]" a year and at times 100 million. She currently only has 100,000 yen ($829) in the bank, however, because her ex-husband bought a cave in Cappadocia (a region in Turkey known for its cave dwellings) for about 300 million yen ($2.5 million).
Startlingly, Oikawa also revealed that she still hasn't actually seen the anime yet. "It's a finished job, so [I'm] not really [interested]," she said. When she wrote the song, the anime hadn't been finished yet and she only had the proposal and the first two or three minutes to go by. "It wasn't even colored. I wrote the song, and my job was done. I wrote it in about two hours."
Oikawa has previously mentioned that she knew next to nothing about Evangelion before writing the song and that she never met the song's composer, Hidetoshi Sato.