Replicate Evangelion's Stark Episode Titles with Special Font Package

posted on by Eric Stimson
Both TV and movie fonts included

The 1995 TV anime Neon Genesis Evangelion was a watershed moment for anime for many reasons. Its visceral depictions of combat with nebulous alien foes marked a turn towards harder fare in mecha action, the dynamics of Shinji's relationships with his two co-pilots influenced later depictions of female leads, and the psychological turmoil evident throughout the show had a deep impact on both Japanese creators and audiences. But what about its font?

Episode 11: In the Still Darkness

It might not be as commonly cited as other factors, but the font used in Evangelion's episode titles was also influential. Maybe it's because later episodes use onscreen text so often, or maybe it's because its stark yet elegant white-on-black characters leave an impression on their own. Either way, the distinctive font is itself a recognizable symbol of the show and has been called "Eva Mincho" (minchō or Ming being a style of Japanese font with thick vertical strokes and thin horizontal ones). Now its original developer, Fontworks, is selling the font in a special package under the name "Matisse EB."

Technically, two different fonts are included: "Eva-Matisse-Classic," used in the original anime, and the slightly different "Eva-Matisse-Standard," used in the newer films (see above for an example of the differences). The fonts come with a booklet explaining their features in detail, why director Hideaki Anno chose the original font, and an overview of its impact on the anime industry over 20 years.

The Evangelion font will be sold on November 10 in CD-ROM form for 4,600 yen ($44.60); it will be available at the Evangelion Store. Note that Fontworks does not authorize its use for commercial entities and recommends using it for New Year's greetings, presents, websites, or fan art.

If you prefer scratchy, hard-to-read font, the downloadable font from World Break: Aria of Curse for a Holy Swordsman might be for you.

Sources: Netlab: Mach Kishomatsu and Kai-You; Images from Evangelion no Sekai and Evangelion Store

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