Shin Japan Heroes Universe isn’t the first time Godzilla and Evangelion have teamed up.
The announcement of the Shin Japan Heroes Universe project got fans excited and it’s easy to see why. The project combines four of Japan’s biggest franchises into Godzilla, Evangelion, Ultraman, and Kamen Rider. It also features the contribution of visionary creators Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi, so it’s no wonder people were excited about it. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Anno’s projects have been involved in promotional crossovers. In fact, Shin Japan Heroes Universe can be seen as the spiritual successor to another marketing event.
In 2016, Hideaki Anno shin godzilla was about to hit theaters, and he was still working on the long-delayed finale evangelization movie that would become Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Once Upon a Time. To promote the next movie Shin Godzilla, a marketing event called Godzilla vs. Evangelion spear.
This marketing push featured plenty of new merchandise that uniquely blended the two franchises. It included posters showing battle-locked Godzilla and Eva units, Mechagodzilla models that painted the robotic kaiju to look like the various Eva robots, and even a figure that depicted Rei Ayanami in the Legendary’s Xillian costume. Astro Monster Invasion movie.
This promotion went exceptionally well and continued in various forms over the following years. In 2019, collaboration was taken to the next level with the launch of Godzilla vs. Evangelion: The True 4-D. This short was released at Universal Studios Japan as part of its Cool Japan event. An annual event where Universal Studios Japan hosts exclusive rides and events based on Japan’s biggest franchises. The film featured most from Evangelion actors reprising their roles from the legendary series, including Megumi Hayashibara as Rei, Megumi Ogata as Shinji, and Kotono Mitsuishi as Misato.
This CGI movie takes place after Second Impact. During the cleanup, the capital of Japan is moved from Tokyo-II to Osaka-III. However, strange signals suddenly appear, causing confusion. At first, people assume these signals are related to an upcoming angel attack, so NERV prepares for war. Godzilla suddenly arrives and attacks the city, forcing Shinji, Rei, and Asuka to don their Eva costumes and battle the monster.
However, despite their power, they cannot damage the Kaiju King. When all seems lost, Godzilla charges up his heat ray. However, it does not fire at Eva units. Instead, he fires into the sky, knocking King Ghidorah to the ground. King Ghidorah and Godzilla then battle, with the Eva pilots helping Godzilla fight against this new common enemy.
The film was never screened outside of Universal Studios Japan, though fans often hope for an official release in some form. However, this promo gives us an idea of how the Shin Japan Heroes Universe project is likely to unfold. While this won’t lead to a full-fledged Cinematic Universe in the vein of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we might see another promotional short. Especially since Universal Studios Japan always airs exclusive 4D movies based on popular cartoons, with the park currently airing a unique show Sailor Moon movie.
Godzilla vs. Evangelion is a unique oddity as it sees two legendary yet very distinct franchises come together to celebrate their best parts. Hopefully Shin Japan Heroes Universe continues this trend and gives fans of all four franchises something they will love while attracting new fans to the franchises. I hope one day, Godzilla vs. Evangelion will get an official release online or at home so everyone can experience this one-of-a-kind crossover.
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