Japan has been all about life-size replicas lately, what with a 120-metre Godzilla in Hyogo prefecture and a giant moving Gundam in Yokohama, so it was only a matter of time before someone followed up with an Evangelion bio-machine that can actually be piloted.
The new giant robot is a part of the Toei Kyoto Studio Park, which is a bit of an odd choice given that the park’s theme is historical dramas in Japan set in a time when ninjas still roamed the streets. Nonetheless, the Eva attraction is bound to please both franchise fans and lovers of classic Japanese TV shows. Considering the impact 'Evangelion Neon Genesis' has had on global audiences since it first aired in the ‘90s, it’s almost surprising that a giant Evangelion unit hasn’t been built before.
Only the top section – measuring 15 metres tall – of Evangelion Unit-01 will be visible, as the other half is submerged in ruby-red ‘LCL’, an oxygenated fluid from the franchise which links the pilot’s nervous system to the Eva Unit from its entry plug. Outside of winter-time, there’ll be spontaneous three-minute demonstrations including the use of water cannons and other special effects.
Park goers will have the option of having their photos taken in the palm of the Eva, but if you think you’ve got the chops for it, you can also sign up for the test that all Eva pilots take to determine if they can join Nerv’s special forces. The hands-on assessment involves testing your synchronisation rate using the unit’s controls. Score high enough and you might be invited to help combat the Angels, but even if you don’t make it on your first try, the view from the cockpit alone is enough reason to give it a go.
The Eva unit will officially open on October 3 and tickets are now online. Note that tickets for the Eva attraction, which is priced at ¥1,000, is in addition to the park’s general admission ticket (adults ¥2,400, middle school and high school students ¥1,400, ¥1,200 for children over age 3).
Before heading off to join Nerv, remember to check out our guide on going out safely in Japan.
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