For a brief period in the mid-’80s, Hideaki Anno illustrated a series of short comics for the magazine Comic Box Jr. In these early days before the creation of Gainax, Anno was an up-and-coming animator working on projects like Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love?  and Nausicaä: Valley of the Wind  and chronicled his behind-the-scenes experience in this regular series called ほふくぜんしん or “Crawling Along.”
Later installments of this comic series have popped up over the years, with one making the rounds on social media back in 2016 detailing how he spent 1984, another installment covered production details for the Daicon Film production, Return of Ultraman. This particular installment comes on the heels of Anno finishing work on Do You Remember Love? Unusually for the series (and perhaps because it was the first installment), it includes both a full-color page and two pages of black and white comic.
The two pages of black and white comic below are in the format of a board game, detailing Anno’s trials and tribulations working on the Macross movie and include plenty of insights into that film’s production and his own experiences. At the risk of fully explaining every joke or reference, there’s a couple of things in the comic worth mentioning:
- Kaiketsu Zubat was a late ’70s tokusatsu show of which Anno was a huge fan. According to the Notenki Memoirs, Anno showing it to Toshio Okada is what inspired the Daicon Film parody Kaiketsu Notenki.
- Complaints about how detailed Studio Nue designs were, and thus how difficult they were to animate, were shared by other animators as well, perhaps most notably Yoshikazu Yasuhiko [Mobile Suit Gundam, Venus Wars]. In an interview included in the recent Venus Wars bluray, Yasuhiko mentions Kow Yokoyama called described Studio Nue’s designs as “kenophobic,” a description that resonated with his experience as an animator.
Crawling Along by Hideaki Anno
Macross in Theaters: A Retrospective
Comic Box Jr.
Translated by Maude Duke
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