Creator: Hideaki Anno

Hideaki Anno is one of the six co-founders of anime studio Gainax; he is most (in)famously known for his work on the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise, and he was rather famously involved in a dispute over the anime adaptation of Kare Kano with the author of the manga. Anno made a name for himself working as an animator on Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind — thanks to recognition from since-then friend, mentor, and collaborator Hayao Miyazaki note . His most high-profile work prior to Evangelion was for Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water and Gunbuster. He has also directed several live-action films, including an adaptation of popular 1970s anime Cutey Honey and is set to direct Toho's 2016 Godzilla film.

Anno once went back to his hometown to teach kids. Video here.

Any physical or mental resemblance to a certain Jerkass Father (Gendo Ikari) is entirely coincidental, though the one to his son probably isn't.note 

He is also a master of the Shrug of God.

Spike Spencer hates him immensely for running out of ink during the ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Anno is married to Moyoco Anno (no previous relation), who is the author of Sugar Sugar Rune. She wrote a short manga about her husband on the 20th anniversary of her mangaka career.

Kazuya Tsurumaki is his protege and successor, while Hayao Miyazaki is a friend and teacher.

Starred in the 2013 Hayao Miyazaki film The Wind Rises as the voice of the male lead.

A fictionalized version of him in college serves as The Rival in Shimamoto Kazuhiko's semi-autobiographical manga Blue Blazes (Aoi Honoo) as well as its 2014 live-action television adaptation, where he is played by Ken Yasuda.

Tropes present in Hideaki Anno's works:

  • Ascended Fanboy: he has always been a big fan of Tokusatsu and Kaiju films. He is now slated to direct the currently untitled new Godzilla film from Toho that is to be released In 2016.
  • Author Avatar: Most notably in Shinji Ikari, who Anno himself has said he resembles. However, there are also notable features present in other characters, such as Nadia and Rei's vegetarianism.
  • Author Tract/Contemplate Our Navels
  • Creative Differences: Most famously with Masami Tsuda over the Kare Kano anime. Fresh from the 26-episode long self-therapy session that was the NGE, Anno wanted something fun and lighthearted, and made the adaptation far too comedic for the mangaka, who was leading the story to the exactly opposite direction. In the end their clashes rose to the point that Tsuda went up and demanded Anno to be removed.
  • Creator Breakdown: By far the most popular example since Taylor Swift. Anno suffered a mental breakdown due to stress from Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water's infamously Troubled Production and Neon Genesis Evangelion is basically one extended therapy session masquerading as a Humongous Mecha, with the masquerade slowly collapsing towards the end.
    • Creator Recovery: Following his marriage and his gradual recovery from his clinical depression, Rebuild of Evangelion was markedly more stable in tone than Neon Genesis. And do note we said 'stable', not... less Nightmare Fuel-ish.
      • At first, that is. As revealed in an October 2014 interview, Anno's mental health couldn't take the strain of directing Rebuild and he fell into depression once more after completing the third film. This time however, he got back onto his feet with help from his wife and advice from Miyazaki, meaning that he actually took his own message in EoE to heart!
  • Creator Cameo: He does the voice for the Black Space God in the Audio Adaptation Self-Parody Evangelion: After the End.
    • Well maybe, no official source ever confirmed it.
    • He also has an uncredited cameo voicing Miyu Miyu (the cat) on FLCL
  • Deconstruction: A specialty of his.
  • Happily Married: To mangaka Moyoco Anno, for nearly a decade now. His marriage has drastically affected his work, disposition, and outlook on life. For a man whose previous works have dealt heavily with the inevitability of pain and the need to Earn Your Happy Ending, some would say this really is something special. In his own words:
    This was his first experience with married life. Later on, people close to him would remark that Anno had changed, both physically and mentally (he lost weight and became less edgy).
  • He Also Did: How many anime fans whoíve heard of, let alone watched, his artsy live-action films Love & Pop and Shiki-Jitsu do you know?
  • Intergenerational Friendship: One of his closer friends is his mentor Hayao Miyazaki, who is good 20 years older.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • For starters, he made a Cutey Honey anime, and an adaptation of Kare Kano.
    • If you look closely at the hometown video, he seems to get better on camera towards the end.
    • After years of using Ominous Gratuitous Greek to create moods of creepiness and dread in his audience, he named his studio Studio Khara. In other words Studio Joy.note 
  • Lying Creator: He has been accused of this. What few direct statements he's made about his most famous work have been vague at best, and outright contradictory at worst.
  • Mind Screw: He uses it quite a bit.
  • Odd Friendship: For a shy, melancholic man that he is, he has pretty assertive friends, like the straightforward, outspoken patriarch Hayao Miyazaki or the eccentric, flamboyant auteur Kunihiko Ikuhara.
  • One of Us: He and his works bridge the gap between the arthouse and otaku-driven venues of anime, melding high and low culture.
    • He forced Gainax's executives to give to SRW the rights to Evangelion. Because giant robot crossover, that's why.
      • Gurren Lagann is avalaible? Let me just call Takanobu and ask if he has some space left. At 2 AM.
    • Was part of a Gerry Anderson fan club (called S.H.A.D.O.) in his youth. Various works have elements that homage Anderson's work.
    • According to this, he really likes Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Incidentally, Madoka Magica has been described as Evangelion with magical girls.
  • Postmodernism: He has been cited as one of the primary inspirations of the Superflat movement.
  • Shout-Out: His works are typically packed with allusions or homages to anime, film, music, literature, philosophy, psychology, religion - anything he feels like.
  • Shrug of God: Well, he's the guy to whom the "I have no bloody clue, Fan Wank something" caption is most frequently affixed.
  • Signature Style: He has pretty clear stylistic choices in both his animated and live-action works, codified particularly after Neon Genesis Evangelionnote :
    • A villain whose motivation and characterisation are not explored in detail, if at all (Gunbuster, Neon Genesis Evangelion), influenced by his favourite film Battle Of Okinawa.
    • He usually collaborates with Shiro Sagisu (Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kare Kano) or with artists who produce soundtracks with the same effect, with a lot of quiet piano music and existing Western art music for introspective dramatic scenes (Love & Pop, Shiki-Jitsu).
    • He likes using a black or white screen with writing on it, representing questions characters ask or tell themselves, narration, or parts of dialogue of some characters (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kare Kano, Love & Pop, Shiki-Jitsu).
    • Frequently uses and designs Eldritch Abomination characters, both as a director and an animator (Gunbuster, Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind, Neon Genesis Evangelion)
    • Focus on industrial city views (electric wires, grey buildings, etc.), which Anno has said he is very fond of (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kare Kano, Love & Pop, Shiki-Jitsu).
    • Focus on sci-fi technology, using Technobabble and close-up shots (The opening sequence of Madox 01, Gunbuster, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Neon Genesis Evangelion).
    • Long, suspenseful scenes waiting for an enemy attack, accompanied by unnerving music, usually played on the piano (Gunbuster, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Neon Genesis Evangelion).
    • Cuts between scenes that feel ‘prematureí, often to industrial urban views, creating suspenseful pacing (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kare Kano, Love & Pop, Shiki-Jitsu).
    • Surreal imagery, usually containing rapid cuts, making the viewer stop focusing on external conditions and focus on a characterís (or charactersí) state of mind, accompanied by unsettling music and often a spotlight turning on loudly to indicate something (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kare Kanonote , Love & Pop, Shiki-Jitsu).
    • A general theme of a main character in a poor emotional state going through a crisis, or a series of crises, to grow as a person (Gunbusternote , Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kare Kano, Love & Pop, Shiki-Jitsunote ).
    • Generally, producing works far on the character end of the Sliding Scale of Plot Versus Characters.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: His works often occupy a unique position of being dark and uncompromising in their portrayal of human nature, yet ultimately (sometimes deceptively) idealistic in their emphasis on love, hope and the importance of interpersonal relationships.
  • Springtime for Hitler: It's theorised that Gainax attempted to use NGE as a means to avoid paying taxes by producing a flop. Even if this is true, it failed miserably. The truth itself is more mundane: Gainax hadn't seen any of the profits from Nadia because Toho were the guys who actually owned the rights to it, and they deliberately underreported their profits for NGE because they were unsure about what would happen (and if NGE would've actually flopped, Gainax would've just been bankrupt).
  • Take That, Audience!/This Loser Is You:
  • Trolling Creator: Rivals Yoshiyuki Tomino and John Kricfalusi for "Biggest Troll in the Animation Industry". Considering how much of a cash cow Evangelion has become as a result of the fandom he loves to hate (see Take That, Audience!, above), they're basically paying him to screw with them. Though, that be said, he still has nothing on his friend Kunihiko Ikuhara.
  • Troubled Production: Gainax's shifty accounting practices combined with advertisers pulling out in droves gave him a lot of grief over the years, and is at least partly the reason why his works sometimes suffer from poor quality animation and Gainax Endings.
  • True Companions: When Anno suffered another Creator Breakdown during the filming of the third Rebuild of Evangelion movie, Hayao Miyazaki came in to help him get back on his feet.