June 27, Shinjuku Wald 9.

Celebrating the Blu-ray release of “Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo”, the updated version of “Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo”, the movie has been screened consecutively along with its sequel “Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time” during a special event.

The screening event opened with a greeting from 9 cast members. The event also featured a talk panel in which the cast discussed memorable episodes from the production of “Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo” and “Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time”. Ogata Megumi (Ikari Shinji) also delivered a surprise message to the fans.

A wedding announcement, and a statement: “I’m taking the secrets to the grave”. What other surprises did the cast share during the talk?

[ Event Cast (roles omitted) ]
Sakamoto Maaya, Mitsuishi Kotono, Yamaguchi Yuriko, Seki Tomokazu, Iwanaga Tetsuya, Iwao Junko, Nagasawa Miki, Sawashiro Miyuki, Katsu Anri.

[ What is “Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo”? ]
Premiered on January 2021, “Evangelion: 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo” is an updated version of the movie “Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo” made especially for IMAX theaters.
Not only the entire movie was re-edited and processed with high-resolution technology, but most of the film’s color palettes, designs, and scenes were revised in order to meet IMAX quality standards.

■ Appearing for the first time in a Thrice Upon a Time related event

At the time of the event (26th Saturday), the movie had surpassed the 9.5 billion box office mark with more than 6.2 million tickets sold.

Held amidst this continuously ongoing hype, the screening event featured a talk panel during which the cast smiled non-stop from beginning to end. The talk was delivered under a laid-back atmosphere, conveying a sense of teamwork that was likely nourished through the long hours of hard work in the production of the films.

It was the first time for Sakamoto Maaya, Seki Tomokazu, and Sawashiro Miyuki to participate in an event related to “Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time”.

Since it had been such a long time standing in front of a crowd, given the circumstance of the current times, Seki was first asked by the MC “Can you see the spectators’ faces well?”, to which he answered “Yes I can”. He quickly added “And I also memorized their faces. I memorized.. all of your faces!” while impersonating an evil villain voice, making the audience laugh, and relieving the tension for the rest of the cast.

Playing new characters who only appeared in the recent films, Sakamoto Maaya and Sawashiro Miyuki behaved more reserved among the cast who have been involved with the franchise since the TV anime.
They expressed how happy they were to be able to take part in this event, also lamenting not being able to participate in an early stage event held on March 28 along with the rest of the crew, remembering how sad they felt looking at the photos from the event they missed on the cast’s LINE app chat group.

■ Audition Stories from Sawashiro Miyuki and Katsu Anri.

The characters Tama Hideki, and Suzuhara Sakura, played respectively by Katsu Anri, and Sawashiro Miyuki, appeared for the first time on “Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo”. Among some secret stories behind their audition, Katsu Anri first revealed that he was happy simply by the fact that he was able to take the audition.

And that’s because Katsu himself had been a fan of the “Evangelion” series since high school. He recalled screaming out loud enthusiastically in public, despite being outdoors, after being told he got approved for the role.

Sawashiro Miyuki made mention to the director Tsurumaki Kazuya, whose job was to scoop up Anno Hideaki’s complex vision behind each scene and summarize it to the voice cast. She was surprised by the depth of his explanations and analysis from the storyboard. The audience listened carefully to her accounts which displayed the complexity of the narrative, unique to a series enigmatic as “Evangelion”.

■Taking “Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo” Secrets to the Grave

Sakamoto Maaya was nervous and charmingly ended up hitting the microphone against her own mouth as she proceeded to say that during the recordings Anno Hideaki told her secrets regarding her character, Mari. But on a fragmented basis, pushing her to interpret the character in an ad-lib fashion. She also mentioned being apprehensive during interviews, worrying about which information she could let out.

Mitsuishi Kotono who was sitting next to Sakamoto listened curiously as she revealed further that there are secrets that she cannot speak of without Anno’s permission. Seki Tomokazu then joked “Watch out, the journalists are on alert just waiting for you to slip up.” inviting a surge of laughter, which was quickly turned into silence by Sakamoto’s words “I can never, ever, speak about it. I’m taking it to the grave if I must”.

Among the anecdotes, she also pointed out a particular direction order from Anno Hideaki, which was to keep in mind and try to emulate the comedian Kariya Chosuke’s catchphrase “Let’s move on”. Such a peculiar instruction really stood out, said Sakamoto.

Mitsuishi Kotono explained why “Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo” takes place 14 years after the events of the previous movie: According to Anno Hideaki, it was to match the actual age of the voice performers to the characters. However, this led to a debate among the cast about how this must actually be a joke from the chief director. In the end, nobody really could tell the real reason behind the decision.

Yamaguchi Yuriko spoke about how deeply affected she was by the heaviness of the plot in the 14 years later setting. She mentioned not being able to cope with reality after the recording sessions, having to sneak into the restroom to cry. Releasing the emotions made her feel better, however, since the voice recording took place while the animation wasn’t complete yet, she had to use her imagination to supplement the visuals. So the whole process left a profound impact on her emotionally.

Nagasawa Miki talked about how important her Evangelion-themed nail polish was to her voice acting. Having her nails in the same colors as the waves in the poster, as well as Ritsuko’s earrings, helped her portray the more intricate personality nuances of Maya, as it served as a reminder of what her character cared about the most.

■ Suzuhara Toji and Horaki Hikari Marriage

The talk session for “Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time” started with a wedding announcement between the characters Toji and Hikari, to which the audiences reacted with a round of applause.

Hikari’s voice actress Iwao Junko was overjoyed by the fact that her character got to marry Toji, for whom she had feelings towards since middle school, also having a baby together called “Tsubame”.

Seki Tomokazu who played Toji, mentioned during an encounter with Iwao in a different context outside of the film production, talking about Toji, and how she was ecstatic about the fact that the character had a happy ending in the movies, as opposed to the TV anime series. Afterward, portraying their characters on stage, Toji (Seki) proceeds to make eye contact with Hikari (Iwao) claiming “We are so happy, aren’t we?”. They’re interrupted then by Misato (Mitsuishi), “Oh, that’s so annoying”, stirring up the audience.

Iwanaga Tetsuya explained that his character, Kensuke’s role in the movie is to connect other characters. It was thanks to his support that Shinji was able to stand up against Gendou. He was also responsible for relaying information to Misato about Ryoji and Shinji, acting as a bridge between the parties.

Iwanaga Tetsuya also opened up about the strong sense of obligation he felt towards helping the character Asuka, who has struggled with loneliness all along. In his performance, Iwanaga incorporated his personal intent of wanting to rescue her.

Sakamoto Maaya also spoke about the moments she shared with Miyamura Yuko during the voice recording sessions. So far Sakamoto had been by herself during the movies recording sessions, so it was the first time in a while she had the opportunity to collaborate with another cast member. She was fine by herself at first, since her character Mari, didn’t have a huge impact on the plot during her initial appearances.

However, in the final installment, there’s a significant amount of dialogue that connects to the core of the plot. And through working together with Miyamura, Sakamoto was able to build immeasurable chemistry between Mari and the “Asuka” developed through many years by Miyamura.

Sawashiro addressed her character in relation to the bond with her brother. She reported that it had been initially planned for Sakura to also speak in the same Kansai dialect as her brother Toji. Yet, that did not pan out. She also disclosed that the message written in the photo that appears in the film was handwritten by Seki himself.

Mitsuishi and Yamaguchi discussed about their characters Misato and Ritsuko long partnership.

Ritsuko, voiced by Yamaguchi, is a character who has lived an unhappy and troubled life following the same plot as in the TV anime. The only person to which she is able to open up to, and contend with is Misato, as their contrasting personalities complement each other. Yamaguchi elaborated also on the fact that the characters Ritsuko and Misato are deeply intertwined. The actresses expressed how fortunate they were to work together throughout the series, and how sad they were that the film series has reached its completion. They both exchanged thank you cheers on the stage.

At the end of the talk, a written message from Ogata Megumi, who voiced Ikari Shinji, was read out loud.

In the message were written words of appreciation and gratitude towards the fans who have come all the way to the venue to show their love towards the “Evangelion” franchise.