Eminent Person Introductory Blog Post

“In school tests, there’s only one answer for each question, and you might get zero or half points if you’re wrong. But in the real world, things aren’t so black and white, so think about things on your own and express them in words or pictures. That’s how you communicate with people. That’s so important.”

–  Hideaki Anno (“Welcome Back for an Extracurricular Lesson, Senpai!” 1999)


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I first watched Neon Genesis Evangelion in the summer of 2019. I had heard of the series because of its legendary status in the anime community and had dabbled briefly in the manga years earlier. That July, I soldiered through the twenty-six episodes and completed the movie. Although some of the themes were lost on me, I was struck by the incredibly complex storytelling, realistic and deep characters, and ambiguous ending. The next summer I watched Evangelion again, and again this year. I have been fascinated by the story which I discovered was inexplicably tied to its creator Hideaki Anno.

Hideaki Anno created Neon Genesis Evangelion to tell the story of his four-year battle with clinical depression6. As someone who struggles with self-esteem and mental illness as well, I find his story to be incredibly inspiring. Although I am certainly not an artist, Anno and I share a passion for storytelling, writing and, of course, anime and manga. I aspire to create something as beautiful, empathetic, and well-written as Neon Genesis Evangelion. Hideaki Anno’s clear compassion that is communicated through his work is something I aspire to achieve T.A.L.O.N.S. and in life. Neon Genesis Evangelion is a series that touched the hearts of many for its incredible critique of the human spirit. Evangelion alone is evidence of Anno’s mastery of storytelling and the critical acclaim of his other work shows that it is not far behind5.

Although Anno and I share many qualities, my connection with him is not without barriers. Hideaki Anno’s life is very tied to his Japanese heritage, which is something I do not share. A lot of his work critiques aspects of Japanese society, which although I can read about, I can never hope to fully understand. Hideaki Anno and I also have very different perspectives on schooling. There are clearly many flaws with the education system but throughout his school career, Anno was labelled as a problem child1 and actively rebelled which is an experience that I cannot relate to.

Core Gundam + Victory Saber by Khaizer93 on Newgrounds
A “Gundam” robot newgrounds.com

Hideaki Anno’s contributions to the anime community are hard to understate. Neon Genesis Evangelion was created at a time when Anno felt that most anime airing on TV was of low quality with surface-level themes5. Neon Genesis Evangelion changed that, being a series with action, drama, and mature, deep themes. Neon Genesis Evangelion also changed the Mecha genre of anime. At the time, the most popular giant robot series was Mobile Suit Gundam3. The show focused mainly on the robots which sold a copious number of models. On the other hand, Evangelion focused on the psyche of the pilots and their relationship with the supernatural mech combat in the show.

Hideaki Anno has left a ding in the universe in a very real way. In 1994, the minor planet 9081 Hideakianno was named by Japanese astronomer Akimasa Nakamura5. While this planet means that Anno’s legacy will likely last forever, his work has also forever changed the themes and ideas present in anime. As Hideaki Anno is still alive, it is unlikely he will fade away from the public consciousness any time soon, but as anime’s popularity continues to grow, many more people will look back on Evangelion and see it as the pivotal moment in television that it is.

ファイル:Osaka University of Arts Junior College Itami ...
The Osaka University of Arts ja.wikipedia.org
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (film) - Wikipedia
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind en.wikipedia.org

Anno’s legacy was not created without challenge. As mentioned earlier, Hideaki Anno fell into depression in 1991 after the airing of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, an anime he directed1. “[Anno] learned firsthand the horrors that lurk within the production of a TV anime series” (Hideaki Anno Personal Biography, 2008) through this project and Gunbuster, another TV anime he directed. Anno felt that he poorly handled the new scenarios he encountered as a director and was not satisfied with the result1. Anno lost motivation and spun his wheels for several years working on projects which all failed. Evangelion was the reason Anno was able to overcome his depression. Toshimichi Otsuki met with Anno to discuss the creation of an anime original series in 1993. Otsuki told Anno “Bring me something, anything, and I’ll get it green lit”1. If Anno had not poured his conclusions post-depression into Evangelion, I do not think he would have recovered. However, that is far from the only challenge Anno has gone through. Hideaki Anno’s least favourite subject in school was English and chose to not study for the class. Unfortunately, the year Anno was set to graduate, English was added to the Japanese college entrance exams1. Anno lost motivation to study and flunked the test. Thankfully, Anno found the application-based Osaka University of Arts. However soon after Hideaki Anno was then expelled from the school after no longer paying tuition, rather spending money on self-financed films1. Hideaki Anno was miraculously able to break into anime production by working as a key animator on the Hayao Miyazaki film Nausicaä Valley of the Wind5. Anno took an incredible risk moving to Tokyo to work on the film, and it became his first celebrated work in anime.

I chose to research Hideaki Anno because he is the director, writer, and artist who has affected me the most. Hideaki Anno’s story tells us that often our greatest struggles in life are our battles against ourselves, but overcoming these battles is what gives us our humanity. I do not doubt that there are other artists and writers who do the same with their work, but there is no other writer and artist I have a deeper connection with than Hideaki Anno. I hope that sharing my research on Hideaki Anno allows his incredible work to find a home in the hearts of many others and for his indisputable eminence to be recognized. To continue my research on Hideaki Anno I would like to learn more about his less popular work and more about Anno’s personality, mannerisms, and perspectives.



  1. Anno, H. (2015, June 29). Personal Biography – 庵野秀明公式web. Web.archive.org. https://web.archive.org/web/20150629113703/http:/khara.co.jp/hideakianno/personal-biography.html
  2. (2011). Hideaki Anno. IMDb. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0030417/bio
  3. Roe, M. (2021). Hideaki Anno: A Career Retrospective. Anime News Network. https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/watch/2021-10-01/hideaki-anno-a-career-retrospective/.178012
  4. Wikipedia Contributors. (2019, November 23). Shin Godzilla. Wikipedia; Wikimedia Foundation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shin_Godzilla
  5. Wikipedia Contributors. (2021a, September 18). Hideaki Anno. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hideaki_Anno
  6. Wikipedia Contributors. (2021b, October 19). Neon Genesis Evangelion. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neon_Genesis_Evangelion#cite_note-25


5 thoughts on “Eminent Person Introductory Blog Post

  1. This is fantastic Draedon! Extremely well detailed, and I especially love your connections with him. The numbering for your references was a great idea, I hadn’t thought of that before. The only critique I could possibly think of would be to possibly provide an image of Hideaki Anno. Other than that, I think you clearly researched him thoroughly and I can’t wait to learn more about him!

  2. Wonderfully written Draedon! Your writing and introduction really reeled me in, and every subject flowed really well together. I enjoyed how you included lots about Hideaki Anno’s personal life and struggles as well. It makes him much more of a real person, and I can see how you connect with him. Your formatting on the blog post was also really well done! My only wish would be to include a few hyperlinks, possibly leading to sites with even more info on the subject, or supporting evidence? Besides that, I really enjoyed reading about Hideaki Anno and am excited to see what you learn next!
    – Kalayla

  3. Great work Draedon! This was very well written and detailed. I was able to learn a lot about Hideaki Anno in this blog post. I am really touched by the connection you have with him, I think it is great. The only thing that I would add is maybe a video at the end. It could add to the effectiveness of this post. I am looking forward to reading more about Hideaki Anno in your future posts and keep up the good work!

  4. I really enjoyed reading your eminent person blog post Draedon. You did a very good job designing your blog it looks very nice and easy to read. I like the way you site your sources using numbers, it’s very creative.👍 My only critique is that you have 1060 words instead of 750, but that is awesome that you have much to say. I liked reading about Hideaki Anno hope to learn more about him. Great job 😀
    – Mark

  5. Awesome job Draedon! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog post about Hideaki Anno. You did a great job making personal connections with your eminent person and establishing his impact on the world. My only wish is that next time you should include hyperlinks to important websites to emphasize your point more. Other than that, it was a really good post and I cannot wait for the next one!

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