Hideaki Anno (庵野 秀明,   Anno Hideaki?) is a Japanese animator, screenwriter, and director who is most well-known for writing and animating the popular anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. He is the writer and chief director of the 2016 film, Shin Godzilla.


Early Life

As a child, Anno was a fascinated by manga, anime, and tokusatsu, all of which influenced his later work. In junior high, he was a member of the school’s art club, where he spent his time sketching manga and creating oil paintings. Despite attending a high school with a reputation as a stepping-stone for admission into prestigious universities, however, Anno typically neglected his primary subjects, spending most of his time at the school’s art club.

Due to the fluctuating state of his grades, the school labeled Anno as a problem child. During his second year in high school, Anno filmed live-action tokusatsu productions and cel-animations, which he showed off at the school’s annual festivals. Towards the end of high school, he formed an independent production group known as SHADO with his school friends, but that was short-lived.

Early Work

During his sophomore year at Osaka University of Arts, Anno participated in the intro animation for DAICON III (also known as the 20th Japan Science Fiction Convention in Osaka), where he realized how much he enjoyed working with other people on big projects. Two years later, Anno participated as a director in the production of the next DAICON animation for the 22nd Japan Science Fiction Convention, where he learned of the difficulties that a directorial role entails. He later received an invitation from Studio Nue, who were impressed with his work on the DAICON III animation, to work as an animator on the television series Super Dimension Fortress Macross. This marked the beginning of Anno's professional career.

Professional Work

In 1984, Anno moved to Tokyo, where he was hired as the key animator for Hayao Miyazaki’s then-latest film Nausicaä and the Valley of the Wind. Later that year, he took up the same position on another film, Macross: Do You Remember Love?. During production, Anno established Studio Gravitron with Shō-ichi Masuo, which is where he spent most of his time.

Later that same year, Anno founded Studio Gainax, where he contributed to several major productions - though he would still occasionally work with Studio Gravitron on other projects. When Anno accepted the position of chief director for the 1990 anime series Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (1990), he began to sink into his now infamous depression due to the incredible amount of stress he had during production, leading to the cancellation of Blue Uru (a sequel to the 1987 film Royal Space Force).

Struggling with his depression, Anno was approached by King Records in 1993, who said they would guarantee Gainax a television time-slot for “something, anything”. Thus began the conceptualization of Anno’s most popular animated series: Neon Genesis Evangelion. The production of Evangelion suffered from numerous issues, involving multiple re-writes, poor budgetary planning, and the backing-out of sponsors after they realized the nature of the latter half of the series.

Once the show finished its initial run, Anno's depression set in once again. He didn’t work on anything until 1997, when he released The End of Evangelion. He then worked on multiple live-action projects, as well as a couple animated works before forming Studio Khara in 2006, where he rebooted the Evangelion franchise with Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone, and its sequels.

Anno wrote and directed the film Shin Godzilla alongside his longtime friend and collaborator Shinji Higuchi.


Directing and screenwriting credits

  • Gunbuster (1988)
  • Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (1990-1991)
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996)
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth (1997)
  • The End of Evangelion (1997)
  • Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances) (1998)
  • Love & Pop (1998)
  • Shiki-Jitsu (2000)
  • Anime Tenchou (2002)
  • Ryusei-Kacho (Short film) (2002)
  • Submarine 707R (director of the episodes' openings) (2003)
  • Cutie Honey (2004)
  • Re: Cutie Honey (2004)
  • Rebuild of Evangelion (2007–2021)
  • Shin Godzilla (2016)

Storyboarding credits

  • Gunbuster (1988)
  • Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (1990-1991)
  • Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances) (1998)
  • Mahoromatic|Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden (2001)
  • Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi (2002)
  • Diebuster (Gunbuster 2; 2004–2006)
  • Sugar Sugar Rune (2005–2006)
  • Space Battleship Yamato 2199

Animating credits

  • The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982–1983)
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
  • Birth (anime) (1984)
  • Urusei Yatsura (Episode 133) (1984)
  • Cream Lemon (Episode 4) (1985)
  • Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (1987)
  • Crystal Triangle (1987)
  • Dangaioh (1987)
  • Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
  • Gunbuster (1988)
  • Madox-01 (1988)
  • Crimson Wolf (1993)
  • Macross Plus (1994)
  • Macross Plus (1995)
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996)
  • Sugar Sugar Rune (2005–2006)

Acting credits

  • Gainax (1983), (Ultraman)
  • Otaku no Video, (A Portrait of an Otaku interview, uncredited) (1991)
  • FLCL, (voice of Miyu-Miyu, uncredited) (2000)
  • Frog River, (bar owner) (2002)
  • Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, (cameo role in Episode 12, uncredited) (2002)
  • Cutie Honey, (office worker) (2004)
  • The Taste of Tea, (cameo, anime director) (2004)
  • Koi no Mon (Otakus in Love), (cameo) (2004)
  • Funky Forest, (actor) (2004)
  • Nihon Chinbotsu, (actor) (2006)
  • Welcome to the Quiet Room (Quiet room ni yôkoso), (doctor) (2007)
  • Death Kappa, (actor) (2010)
  • The Wind Rises, (voice, Jiro Horikoshi, main character) (2013)
  • The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (documentary film) (2013)

Other credits

  • Kantoku Shikkaku, producer (2011)
  • Rebuild of Evangelion, executive producer (2007-)
  • Japan Animator Expo, executive producer (2014-2015)
  • The Dragon Dentist, executive producer, sound director (2017)



  • Hideaki Anno was frequently on set during the production of the Heisei Gamera trilogy, due to his friendship with special effects director Shinji Higuchi. Anno even directed a documentary about the making of the film Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris, titled GAMERA1999.
  • Hideaki Anno reportedly refused Toho's initial offer to write and direct Shin Godzilla, but was convinced to join the project after his friend Shinji Higuchi signed on.
Directors: Ishiro HondaEiji TsuburayaSFX directorMotoyoshi OdaKoji HashimotoKoichi KawakitaAssistant SFX directorJun FukudaYoshimitsu BannoMikio Naruse
Producers: Tomoyuki Tanaka
Writers: Shinichi SekizawaTakeo MurataTakeshi Kimura
Composers: Akira IfukubeMasaru Sato
Actors and actresses: Akira TakaradaAkihiko HirataMomoko KochiTakashi ShimuraFuyuki MurakamiRaymond BurrHiroshi KoizumiTadao TakashimaHideyo AmamotoKumi MizunoSusumu KurobeSeiji ŌnakaKoji FuruhataDon MessickTGPH
Suit actors: Haruo NakajimaKatsumi TezukaHiroshi SekitaKōji SoraSatoshi FuruyaKoetsu OmiyaShinji TakagiHideto OdachiIsao ZushiTadakki WatanabeToru Kawai
Directors: Kazuki OmoriTakao OkawaraWriters: Kazuki Omori
Composers: Reijiro KorokuKouichi SugiyamaTakayuki Hattori
Actors and actresses: Megumi OdakaMasahiro TakashimaJirō DanMayumi ŌkuwaKaori AizawaKenichirō Shimamura
Suit actors: Wataru FukudaRyō HaritaniKenpachiro SatsumaHurricane Ryu HarikenTsutomu KitagawaMizuho YoshidaAkira OhashiToshinori Sasaki
Printed media: Noriyoshi OhraiHurricane Ryu Hariken
Directors: Takao OkawaraMasaaki TezukaShusuke KanekoHirofumi IshigakiRyuhei Kitamura
Producers: Shogo Tomiyama
Writers: Wataru Mimura
Composers: Michiru OshimaKow Otani
Actors and actresses:Natalia D. AdamsOrga vocalizations
Suit actors: Rie OtaToshinori SasakiHirofumi IshigakiKazuhiro Yoshida
Directors: Roland Emmerich
Producers: Dean Devlin
Writers: Dean Devlin
Actors and actresses: Frank WelkerGodzilla vocalizations
Suit actors: Kurt Carley
Directors: Gareth EdwardsJordan Vogt-Roberts
Producers: Thomas TullJon JashniMary ParentBrian RogersYoshimitsu Banno
Writers: Max Borenstein
Composers: Alexandre DesplatHenry Jackman
Actors and actresses: Aaron Taylor-JohnsonKen WatanabeElizabeth OlsenJuliette BinocheSally HawkinsDavid StrathairnBryan CranstonCarson BoldeCJ AdamsAl SapienzaTom HiddlestonSamuel L. JacksonJohn GoodmanBrie LarsonJing TianToby KebbellJohn OrtizCorey HawkinsJason MitchellShea WhighamThomas MannJohn C. ReillyMillie Bobby BrownKyle ChandlerVera FarmigaO'Shea Jackson Jr.Aisha HindsAnthony RamosCharles DanceRandell HavensThomas MiddleditchBradley WhitfordZhang Ziyi
Suit actors: T.J. Storm
Directors: Hideaki AnnoShinji HiguchiKobun ShizunoHiroyuki Seshita
Writers: Hideaki Anno
Composers: Shiro SagisuTakayuki Hattori
Actors and actresses: Ren MatsuzawaMiwa SasakiHiroki HasegawaYutaka TakenouchiSatomi IshiharaMamoru MiyanoTakahiro SakuraiKana HanazawaTomokazu SugitaYuuki KajiJunichi Suwabe
Suit actors: Mansai Nomura
Directors: Willis O'Brien
Actors and actresses: Peter CullenKing Kong vocalizations
IDW Publishing: Chris MowryMatt FrankJeff ZornowPriscilla Tramontano