Sankei Sports has revealed the first casting for Hayao Miyazaki's Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Is Rising) with the surprising news that Evangelion's Hideaki Anno will be voicing the anime's subject, Zero fighter designer Jirō Horikoshi.
Anno has had limited voice roles in anime such as FLCL and live-action appearances in movies such as Japan Sinks and Funky Forest.
Hideaki Anno worked as an animator for Studio Ghibli forerunner Topcraft on Miyazaki's Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. He impressed the crew so much that Toshio Suzuki said that there was talk of making the ecological epic a trilogy with Anno directing the middle feature. More recently, he collaborated with the studio on the God Warrior Attacks Tokyo short for his tokusatsu exhibit.
They also appeared together in tsunami relief efforts.
Miyazaki previously created a Kaze Tachinu manga, and the upcoming movie will work off that and Tatsuo Hori's like-named novel in exploring the life of historic World War II Zero fighter designer Jirō Horikoshi's life.
Kaze Tachinu (The Wind is Rising), the first anime movie directed by Hayao Miyazaki since 2008's Ponyo, opens in Japanese theaters on July 20th.
A few shots of the movie have premiered on Japanese morning TV.