Evangelion's Anno Criticizes In This Corner of the World's Heroine
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Nikkei Business Online published an interview with In This Corner of the World anime film director Sunao Katabuchi (Black Lagoon, Mai Mai Miracle) on Friday. At the end of the interview, which took place in Tokyo on November 30, Katabuchi mentions that he met Neon Genesis Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno the day before. Katabuchi asked Anno if he had seen In This Corner of the World, and Anno replied, "I saw it. What a woman, doing nothing. I wanted to strangle her."
Anno was referring to the film's protagonist Suzu, who marries a man she barely knows and moves to the naval port city of Kure, Hiroshima at the end of World War II. Suzu has always had a gift for drawing, but she lives a normal life as a housewife. Suzu tries to make the best of her new life, family, and surroundings. She daydreams and sees the world around her—even the images of war—with an artist's eye.
Katabuchi laughed when he reported Anno's harsh appraisal of Suzu. The director reacted to Anno's criticism, saying "But it's because inside that woman is a colorful imagination. I think about how endearing she becomes."
The film is based on Fumiyo Kōno's award-winning manga To All The Corners Of The World (Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni). Katabuchi and Anno have opposing perspectives on the film adaptation and its protagonist, likely because one man creates action-packed science fiction and the other directed and wrote this introspective view of one woman's day-to-day life. But while Anno depicts apocalyptic events through a harsher lens in his works like Evangelion and Shin Godzilla, both directors' anime have roots in Japan's reaction to World War II and its aftermath.
The film opened in 63 theaters in Japan on November 12. Ranking #10 in the Japanese box office in its opening weekend, the film sold 32,032 tickets to earn 47,042,090 yen (US$434,288). The film rose from #6 to #4 in its fourth weekend, and it is projected to earn 500 million yen (about US$4.50 million). The adaptation won the Hiroshima Peace Film Award at the Hiroshima International Film Festival in November.
The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported last Friday, around the day that Katabuchi reportedly met Anno, that Studio Khara has filed a lawsuit against Gainax regarding a 100 million yen (about US$878,777) debt that Gainax allegedly owes Khara. Anno co-founded Gainax but left in 2007 to found Studio Khara, where he worked on the new Evangelion anime film series in collaboration with Gainax. Anno directed this year's live-action Shin Godzilla film with fellow Gainax co-founder Shinji Higuchi.