It’s not uncommon to see Evangelion-inspired products and collaborations in different places in Japan all the time. The anime has seemingly eternal popularity and remains relevant two decades later. Right now, though, Evangelion is popping up in more places than ever! This is because of the impending release of the new film, Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time. Japan doesn’t need an excuse to have an Evangelion collaboration, but having a highly anticipated film coming out just gives even more reason than normal to have Eva on everything!
Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time was actually meant to release in June 2020, but was delayed because of COVID-19 to January 2021. Japan has been in a state of emergency since early January, though, delaying the film yet again. That hasn’t stopped the hype from building, even without a revised release date, and Evangelion has been showing up in some unexpected places. Let’s check out a few of the coolest ones we found!
At the ATM
One of the most unique Evangelion collaborations right now is with Lawson, a convenience store chain across Japan. While it’s not uncommon for an anime to show up on snacks, drinks, or other products at a convenience store, this particular collaboration is one we have never seen before. It’s with the ATM! That’s right, for a limited time if you need to withdraw money from the ATM at Lawson you can choose an Evangelion user interface! It changes the design of all the pages and even speaks in the characters’ voices. Which character you get depends on the date that you use the machine. An ATM is the last place we expected to see anime!
Coffee and Sandwiches
There are always anime-themed snacks out there to buy in Japan, but Evangelion has taken over a couple of the most common ones. When you’re in need of a quick snack or breakfast, it’s easy to buy a delicious iced coffee and a small sandwich pack at the convenience store or supermarket. They’re a low price and come in many flavours.
The Mt. Rainier coffees have kept their original flavours, but the cups go from subtle designs that non-Evangelion fans might not even notice to huge pictures of the Eva units that are unmissable. The Lunch Pack sandwiches have taken it a step further. Instead of just printing the Eva unit on the outside of the packaging (which they have also done), the sandwiches themselves are in a two-pack, one green and one purple! The flavours are respectively blueberry and melon cream. Buying both an Evangelion Mt Rainier coffee and a Lunch Pack sandwich is the best quick lunch or snack for an otaku right now!
Giant Drink Holders
Of course the release of Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time (or, well, the anticipation for it…) means that there is tons of new merchandise out there just waiting for Evangelion fans. We want to highlight one specifically over the top item we found, which is for sale at cinemas planning to (eventually) screen the movie. It's a giant drink holder that fits onto your arm and looks like the arm of an Eva unit! That’s right, you can buy it along with your drink at the cinema and then enjoy your drink while looking like you’re synchronised with a real Eva unit - and of course, it's yours to keep so don’t forget to take it home. That’s the kind of totally pointless but awesome merchandise that diehard fans are looking for!
Anime characters wearing masks have been used across Japan for the last year to raise awareness of COVID-19, with most campaigns being cute more than anything else. The southern prefecture of Fukuoka has taken a different approach as of the end of January, when the prefecture declared another state of emergency. At two main train stations, Tenjin and Hakata (with Kokura to be added soon), there are massive billboards declaring the usual COVID-19 prevention measures - wear a mask, wash your hands, keep your distance, etc. But it’s all done in the instantly recognisable Evangelion font! There are no pictures of characters as this campaign is very serious, but even non-fans can recognise the style of the display.
Hopefully this intense campaign is the push people need to take the pandemic seriously! Especially if anyone ever wants to see Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time....
No matter how many times we see Evangelion on random things, we still get excited. And right now is a great time to be an Evangelion fan in Japan! There are so many different products to buy and collaborations to enjoy, even without going anywhere special (though if you do want something special, Tokyo Sky Tree is Evangelion-themed right now!). We hope to keep seeing Evangelion show up in unexpected places while we wait for Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time to release someday.
Which of these collaborations is your favourite? Where would you love to see some Evangelion in your normal life? Is there another anime you think could pull something like this off successfully? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments!