[EVA] Evangelion Kaibunsho
bochan at r4.dion.ne.jp
Tue Sep 19 22:04:48 EDT 2006
> To say that he drifted in and out of the company makes it sound
> like Gainax had regular board meetings in suits and ties of the
> sort they lampooned in OTAKU NO VIDEO. Again, Gainax has rarely
> been what you would call a organized company, but more a group of
> friends collaborating on projects.
Most accounts over here have him "drifting in and out" with spotty
participation and not really getting serious about anything until
Nadia. The exception to this might be Gunbuster, but that has a
slightly different backstory as noted below.
> Even Bandai snubbed them based on the past results of the huge
> failure of "Wings of Honneamise (Royal Space Force)". (laugh)
> It's a laugh, all right. First of all, Bandai is proud, and was
> proud, of Honneamise. We've seen they've named their recent DVD
> label after it, but even two years before this "Kaibunsho," Shigeru
> Watanabe, president of Bandai Visual, spoke proudly at a press
> conference in San Francisco (to promote MEMORIES) of how Honneamise
> had in fact eventually turned a profit for Bandai, and of his long-
> standing belief in the film.
I like Honneamise. A lot. I even have one of possibly the only
surviving copies of the original e-konte storyboards that was used as
an animators' reference.
However, that it -eventually- turned a profit does not change the
fact that the film was initially a financial failure which caused a
number of problems. To quote from the Japanese Wikipedia page for
"Gainax was established in 1984 as the parent company for the
production of 'Royal Space Force - Wings of Honneamise'." <snip>
"The original plan was to disband [Gainax] simultaneously with
completion of 'Royal Space Force - Wings of Honneamise', but the poor
theater results put them in the red, and the company was forced to
continue operation as a subcontractor for anime productions. To
improve profits, the company also began to plan and serve as
principal contractor for anime productions."
Of course one of these productions was Gunbuster, but as mentioned
above there is some backstory here as well:
> Secondly, even if the statement about Honneamise were true, you
> will nowhere find in the translated portion of this "Kaibunsho" the
> name GUNBUSTER or AIM FOR THE TOP!, the Gainax OAV series Bandai
> financed immediately after the "huge failure" of HONNEAMISE, and
> which was an unqualified success in rentals and sales. GUNBUSTER,
> of course, not NADIA, was Anno's directorial debut.
Gunbuster was financed(!?) by Bandai for different reasons.
Quoting from the Japanese Wikipedia page for Gunbuster/Toppu wo Nerae!:
"To begin with, this work was created to pay back the debts resulting
from the poor theater showing of Gainax's first anime production
'Royal Space Force - Wings of Honneamise'. (Gainax was originally
intended as an organization to produce only 'Royal Space Force' and
then disband.)" <snip> "In this manner, [Gunbuster] was a business
success, but this time in the opposite manner of 'Royal Space Force',
it was also criticized for battle uniforms designed for excessive
exposure, strangely jiggling breasts, an unnaturally large number of
female nude scenes, and so on."
Basically, Gainax "learned" from the poor reaction to Honneamise's
bland style, and embraced fan service based on the truism that "sex
sells". This, together with other adult-oriented projects and their
hit-and-miss business record during that period, made a lot of
"respectable" sponsors apprehensive, including Bandai.
> It therefore seems highly unlikely to me that Bandai would simply
> snub Gainax either for artistic or commercial reasons. It is Gainax
> who was reluctant to work with Bandai, not because they don't
> respect them, but because they wanted to keep a greater ownership
> of their work.
Well, I know independently of the Kaibunsho that Gainax did have to
shop Eva around for quite a while before anyone would pick it up, so
I hardly think it was then snubbing bandai. Also, Bandai was not
present at the series' start, and only showed up after it was more or
less confirmed to be a hit.
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