7 More Weird Evangelion Products
by Lynzee Loveridge,
A few years ago, I wrote a column about some of the strangest Evangelion merchandise I've encountered while working for Anime News Network. Since that time, I've yet to find another series franchise that's been slapped on to more random stuff that Evangelion, although Sailor Moon is starting to approach similar territory. The series has run the gambit from shaving Gendo's beard to promote razors to inflating a 61-foot-tall Rei Ayanami blow-up slide. I wish I could say things have calmed down for Evangelion but that's a giant nope.
The Evangelion Bullet Train Honestly, an anime graphic wrapped train isn't that weird anymore. Plenty of subway trains get limited makeovers to promote upcoming series. The Eva shinkansen is different, namely because what started out as a Unit-01-colored collaboration with some fun sights to see inside evolved into its own character. The train got its own limited edition merchandise, like engraved pocketwatches and eventually, Transformers-esque toys. Takara Tomy's Shinkanlion toy line paired up with the train to release the transforming toys and there's even talk for it to appear in the corresponding anime series.
Character-themed Dictionaries Characters that are at a loss on how to express their inner wants and needs seem an odd choice for the covers of dictionaries. This dictionary collection's publisher was unfazed, even putting Rei Ayanami on the front of the "emotional word" dictionary without batting an eye. The full set of dictionary study guides range in topic from "creative naming" to "world languages" and "difficult kanji." Shinji? He's the practical dictionary.
Curry-Seeking SatelliteIn a world of PostMates and Uber Eats, getting your specific food craving delivered to your door is just an app away. Such services exist in Japan too, with one particular campaign combining Evangelion and a GPS satellite to find the nearest curry restaurant. The Curry House CoCo Ichibanya (CoCoICHI) restaurant chain teamed up with the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) and an Eva-themed app to direct users to its nearest restaurant. The app includes characters from the show, both as avatars for the user and the GPS voice. Dedicated curry eaters could also earn enough points to rake in some exclusive Eva merch. The entire collaboration started (like a few other merch campaigns below) innocuously enough. Studio Khara designed the satellite's logo before it launched, and yeah, they used the Unit-01 colors for it which is either cool or creepy depending on how you look at it.
Fishing Gear I won't call the Eva-branded fishing gear useless. The collaboration was so popular that it pretty much sold out on the spot and this stuff is not cheap. The whole line includes lures, fish grips, tackle bags, and other storage for a fisherman's latest catch. The biggest question might be why?, and to that end I can only speculate. Outdoor activities aren't the first thing associated with otaku but if the popularity of Laid-Back Camp is any indication, it's an untapped market. The original viewers of the television series are also a lot older now, many with expendable income and want to combine their two hobbies.
Shinji & Kaworu Lingerie Frilly, character themed lingerie can be found for most popular series (yes, even Pokemon) so when it comes to Eva and its multiple leading ladies, some Asuka or Misato panties isn't much to bat an eye at. So what is it about Shinji that inspired this lacy number? I get that it takes color cues from his plug suit but when it comes down to trying to figure out the appeal of "this is my sexy-time underwear and also it matches my favorite anime character, a very depressed boy" I'm at a loss. Don't get me wrong it, and Kaworu's dark blue set, are both lovely. But Shinji isn't a character I would personally consider "fun" or "sexy."
All those Evangelion-colored Godzillas Earlier I mentioned the the curry satellite campaign that seems to have been dreamed up after studio Khara designed the satellite's logo. This campaign seems to have started in a similar fashion. Director Hideaki Anno signs on to do a Godzilla film, so Khara has a bit of fun with it by drawing Toho's classic monster facing off against Unit-01 for an April Fool's Day demonstration. Once that train got moving, there was no stopping it. Suddenly Eva x Godzilla was everywhere. Godzilla took on Eva colors, Eva Units got designs melded with Godzilla. There was merchandise. A designer from Metal Gear Solid got involved. Things continued to spiral with manga creator Moyoco Anno drawing art for Godzilla song CDs. Cross-over orchestral concerts. Lottery prizes. It went on and on and on.
Collectible Episode Juice Boxes The characters from the series took on a giant tomato in a Kagome juice ad in 2015. That campaign included a chance to win one of 500 Spear of Longinus glass reproductions and some Eva cutlery. Kagome teamed with Evangelion again for a second round, this time with collectible episode juice boxes.Consider it the Eva version of those Star Wars Episode 1 limited edition Pepsi cans. I guess you could display them but it's always going to look like you haven't taken the garbage out of your room in awhile.
The old poll: Which Spring 2018 series are you most looking forward to
- My Hero Academia Season 3
- STEINS;GATE 0
- Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory
- Golden Kamuy
- Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online
- PERSONA 5 the Animation
- Food Wars! The Third Plate
- Tokyo Ghoul:re
- High School DxD Hero
- Otaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii
- The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These
- Magical Girl Ore
- Piano no Mori
- Lupin the Third: Part 5
- Devils' Line
- Tada Never Falls in Love
- Cutie Honey Universe
- Hozuki's Coolheadedness
- Hisone to Masotan
When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Managing Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her sons on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.
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