Japan is no stranger to enormous statues of anime-related characters. In Shinjuku, you can find Godzilla towering over Toho Cinemas. In Odaiba, there’s the Unicorn Gundam which even transforms throughout the day.
Now, Evangelion fans can rejoice: a new life-size statue of EVA Unit-01 will open at Toei Kyoto Studio Park this October.
You may remember that there are actually two other life-size Evangelion units in Japan. (The Unit-02 in Beast Mode and the Unit-01, which lights up and features an animation sequence.) Both of these exhibits are at Fuji Q Highland in Shizuoka Prefecture. They’ve been there since 2010.
So what makes this new version unique? Well, you can actually…
That’s right — visitors can take a seat in the Unit-01 pod!
This new attraction will be submerged in an LCL pool like when it’s off duty in the anime. Even then the EVA will stand 15 meters above ground, allowing fans to have the perfect photo op. That’s not all. Visitors will be able to get into the entry plug and measure their own synchronization rate to see if they would be able to pilot the Unit-01.
Toei Uzumasa Movie Village is primarily a theme park that is famous for recreating Japan’s Edo period. This explains all of the promo pics featuring maiko, dressed in beautiful kimono… well, that and Kyoto is synonymous with such imagery.
There is even a story to accompany this attraction. Special agency Nerv has established the 3rd New Kyoto City Branch and needs a new pilot. Thus it will preform synchronization tests to find the ultimate pilot. Really, the introduction of this Rebuild of Evangelion Unit-01 is probably for the last movie in the Rebuild Saga; Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time. Unfortunately, its June release has been postponed indefinitely due to Covid-19.
There will also be shows with water cannons, an Evangelion-themed cafe, and of course plenty of collaboration goods specially created for the park.
Additionally, a lucky 1,000 people will be able to enjoy an early bird experience from August 1st to September 27th. But for the rest of us — mark October the 3rd on your calendar.