We visit the full-size Evangelion statue in Kyoto and especially rave about the food links

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Sure, testing Eva sync speed in input plugin it’s pretty cool, but it is food faithfully recreated from the anime.

Given the long-term success of various iterations Neon Genesis Gospel, fans of the popular anime have more than one place in the real world in Japan that they can visit to experience the connections to the fictional world. For example, Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture is the actual location of one of them Gospelmain settings, Tokyo-3 and Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture now houses the real version village-3 seen in the final Rebuilding the Evangelion movie.

As exciting as these stops are, nothing can beat the (possibly) life-sized Evangelion statue inside Toei Kyoto Studio Park in Uzumasa, Kyoto, a theme park tourist attraction that also serves as a functional filming location for films and dramas set in the Edo period (1603-1868). Opened October 2020. Part of the park’s draw is that visitors may attempt to respond to a fictional agency NERVs open recruitment for new Evangelion pilots. Our correspondent in Japanese Saya Togashi recently decided to visit the park on a recent tour of the area.

Most of the open theme park faithfully recreates the atmosphere of an Edo-era street with rows of wooden buildings and shops. On this particular day, however, Saya flew through the rows past Meiji Street and the Nakazawa Theater, crossing the entrance to the Attraction Zone.

Soon, a sight clearly not from the Edo period emerged: Evangelistic base in Kyoto.

▼ Eva Unit-01, Evangelion piloted by main character Shinji Ikari

On 15 meters (49 feet) high, The intricately crafted Unit-01 greets guests with an outstretched hand that is large enough for several people to stand comfortably. You have to stretch your neck to see the very top of the head.

Incidentally, the statue is in the process of emerging from a pool of bright red LCL, an oxidized liquid inside Eva’s input plug that allows her pilot to synchronize with her.

Speaking of entrance plugs, you can even see what it’s like to go inside for yourself, as NERV has built its Kyoto-3 branch right here.

Saya was ready to take Eva’s pilot skill test, so she got her own entry card. Never mind that she’s almost three times as old as Eva’s typical 14-year-old pilots – let’s hope Eva thinks she looks younger than she really is.

The test involved climbing the fourth floor of the building structure to the entrance gate. And lo and behold, right in front of it was the actual input plug. Anyone can sit in the plugin and measure their sync speed with Eva. Saya was surprised to find that the seat itself was also pleasantly comfortable.

▼ Unfortunately, Saya never shared the results of her sync test.

Looking down from this vantage point, she could see the rest of Toei Kyoto Studio Park and the city of Kyoto stretching out before her. She already felt quite tall – but if Eva had fully emerged from the LCL, she would probably have been twice as tall. It also occurred to her that few traditional wooden buildings had survived the Impacts in the world Gospelbut this point of view seemed to give an insight into the parallel world they had.

After descending back to earth, Saya went to the NERV photo booth to receive a souvenir photo. Now around Unit-01 you can take pictures in three main areas: input plug, hand and small stage. The entrance plug and hand are equipped with automatic photo taking, even without staff present, so that single guests such as Saya can easily take great photos of themselves. Think of it as the latest technology from NERV.

Once you’ve taken a few photos, you can use your Entry ID card to download and purchase them. Moreover, each group of people receives one novelty photo card as a free service. This gift greatly pleased Saya, who does not often spend money on souvenir photos from the trip.

▼ Free photo of Saya (the original has no mosaic or stamp)

She also spotted some other fun things to do on the grounds. The first is a super-dimensional ema (wooden prayer board) with the main characters Gospel as part of the 2022 Year of the Tiger themed illustration. New Year of the Rabbit 2023 ema will be displayed from December 17th.

There is also a shop selling special cooperative goods called “NERV Cooperative”.

Finally, what Japanese pop culture collaboration would be complete without a collaboration cafe? Welcome to the NERV Café.

While the curry at the NERV Café was tempting, Saya had her eye on another meal at a different eatery that also offered a variety of collaborative dishes –Kiraku Ramen.

Bundle menu items at Kiraku that made her smile include Rei Ayanami’s “Pork Free Garlic Ramen” and Asuka Langley Soryu’s “Shark Fin Soup with Roasted Pork”, large portion. However, the dish she ordered was inspired by Toji Suzuhara’s family recipe.

▼ Zosui (rice gruel) of the Suzuhara family (900 yen) [US$6.60])

This welcome meal is presented as a place of lightness in the midst of the characters’ harsh lives Rebuilding the Evangelion. It’s a simple stew with lots of toppings and pickled vegetables grown in Village-3 with the support of KREDIT. Saya couldn’t get enough of the real version – it warmed her body to the core.

Saya also wondered what impression the menu had made on her, faithfully recreated from the inside Gospel‘s history. Many of the dishes in the cooperating cafes are loosely inspired by specific characters rather than taken directly from the plot, but this dish of the Suzuhara family allowed them to truly immerse themselves in the story itself.

Evangelion Kyoto Base at Toei Kyoto Studio Park is indeed a hidden gem in Kyoto. A giant sci-fi mech doesn’t seem to be the type of thing to go with Japan’s ancient capital, but Saya believes that the Base has its own special appeal that everyone can enjoy.

Think about it, it’s something of a miracle that the Evangelion statue itself didn’t come to life and destroy all the buildings in the amusement park. Let’s hope they have a better fate than a nearby structure known as Japan’s oldest toilet, which was partially damaged when a car recently ran into it.

Reference: Evangelion Kyoto Base (Toei Kyoto Studio Park)
Pictures © SoraNews24
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