Director Hideaki Anno and composer Shiro Sagisu have more than just a good working relationship--Anno sees Sagisu as an essential component in his projects, whether the “Evangelion” anime series or the live-action “Shin Godzilla” film.

The pair have known each other for more than 25 years, with their collaboration beginning in 1990 for the TV anime “Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water.”

Sagisu had already made his name as a leading pop music producer at the time, but he was so impressed by Anno’s drive as a creator that the composer decided to team with the anime director.

“Creative people make things because they either want to make good things or they want to make things that sell,” Sagisu said. “What’s incredible about Anno is that he always seeks both. He is amazingly ambitious.”

Sagisu’s father was cartoonist Soji Ushio, who took a job at film studio Toho Co. before World War II started and worked as an animator under the direction of special effects maestro Eiji Tsuburaya. Ushio founded his own production company after he left Toho.

Sagisu grew up on his father’s lap as he worked on manga and anime, as well as background artworks for “tokusatsu” live-action special effects projects. The young Sagisu started visiting a church near his father’s workplace before learning to play the violin and piano from nuns. He was 12 years old when he began composing music.

In 1978, Sagisu launched his career as a music arranger and produced a huge number of pop songs and classical scores, as well as TV show melodies and even fanfares for national horse racing.

One of his latest works is the original soundtrack for “Shin Godzilla.” With his elaborately structured music, the composer inspires awe for the gigantic creature and breathes reality into the monster movie in which the social order crumbles.

Sagisu was asked to make music for “Shin Godzilla” during the New Year holidays two years ago.

“My father used to work for Toho, and he often took me to the studio in the Seijo district (in Tokyo),” Sagisu recalled. “I had never dreamed that I’d come back there for work, so I was struck by dizziness when I returned as I felt it was some kind of a destiny.”

While Sagisu was in Paris working on “Shin Godzilla,” the composer exchanged e-mails every day with Anno in Tokyo to thoroughly work out the scores. He purposely used the main theme and other music from the original “Godzilla” movie created by Akira Ifukube to pay homage to the legendary composer. The original soundtrack for “Shin Godzilla” became a big hit and won a special award at the Japan Record Awards last year.

But as for his next project, Sagisu said with a smile: “I’m always asked about when the next Eva (Evangelion) comes out. Seriously, I, too, really want to know that.”

His latest album “Shiro’s Songbook Rokuonroku: The Hidden Wonder of Music” and book “Sagisu Shiro Shippitsuroku: Sono 1” are currently on sale.