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 Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind — thanks to recognition from since-then friend and collaborator Hayao Miyazaki. His most high-profile work prior to Evangelion was for Nadia and The Secret of Blue Water and Gunbuster. He has also directed several live-action films, including an adaptation of popular 1970s anime Cutey Honey.
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.
He is also a master of the Shrug of God.
Anno is married to Moyoko Anno (no previous relation), who is the author of Sugar Sugar Rune and the successor of Kyoko Okazaki as writer of Helter Skelter due to the latter's And I Must Scream condition after an accident. She wrote a short manga about her husband on the 20th anniversary of her mangaka career.
Kazuya Tsurumaki is his protege and successor.
Tropes present in Hideaki Anno's works:
- Author Tract/Contemplate Our Navels
- Creator Breakdown - Neon Genesis Evangelion is basically one extended therapy session masquerading as a Humongous Mecha, with the masquerade slowly collapsing towards the end.
- Creator Cameo: He does the voice for the Black Space God in the Radio Drama Evangelion: After the End.
- 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).
- Lighter and Softer
- And how. For starters, he made a Cutey Honey anime.
- And Kare Kano. And if you look closely at the hometown video, he actually 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.
- 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.
- One of Us - He and his works bridge the gap between the arthouse and otaku-driven venues of anime, melding high and low culture.
- Post Modernism - 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.
- 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.
- Small Reference Pools - Probably the most frequent picture you'll see of him is the one from the Shrug of God page, which dates from around 1996 or so.
- 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! - His bitterness towards the old Otaku lifestyle really shows, especially in NGE. He was also majorly pissed about the sheer Fan Dumb and death threats he received after NGE's finale, to the point that End of Evangelion has sometimes been considered one 90-minute extended "fuck you" towards said Fan Dumb.
- Trolling Creator - Rivals Yoshiyuki Tomino and John Kricfalusi for "Biggest Troll in the Animation Industry".
- 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.