Giant Robots & Japan

One of the first things that students learn when I introduce myself to them is that I’m a fan of the Japanese animation series, Neon Genesis Evangelion.

I’m not going to geek out though in this post and write paragraph after paragraph of prose about it’s deep themes or excellent take on the giant robot genre of animation that is so quintessentially Japanese. What I do want to talk about though is just how endearingly popular this show is in Japan today even though it originally aired in 1995.

In fact there have even been three films released since 2007 in Japan that are a brand new take on the show with new characters and a slightly different story. They’ve been immensely popular and introduced a whole new generation of moviegoers to Shinji, Rei and Asuka and their giant Eva robots as they battle angels who seem bent on bringing about the Third Impact and the destruction of earth.

With the release of each new film in this Rebuild series local businesses are quick to cash in on viewers like me who will eagerly snap up anything and everything to do with the show.

The most recent example, and the one that inspired me to write this post, is the 7-11 convenience store chain that is running a campaign that includes the opportunity to buy a 2 meter tall Evangelion statue for ¥1,700,000!

During August you can also grab hold of charm straps and branded instant ramen noodles for a limited time.

And the kicker is that like everyone else I rushed to the 7-11 round the corner from my house and picked one of the Evangelion Bearbrick straps.

Let’s just not mention how many Rilakkuma goods I’ve redeemed via Lawson campaigns though…


Update: Apparently all 25 Evangelion statues managed to sell out within 2 minutes of being released!