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Five Times Evangelion Escaped into Other Parts of Our Lives

Evangelion has a tendency to get around...

It’s nearly time for Evangelion 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time to be unleashed upon the world. The upcoming film has been the focus of fan hype and theory for ages. And really, so has the show as a whole. Come to think of it, Eva just seems to get everywhere, doesn’t it?

Here are a few times Hideaki Anno’s series wreaked havoc in other parts of our lives. Some are simple crossovers, but others still surprise us.


Giant Floating Rei in Super Robot Wars

Rei Ayanami emerges in Super Robot Wars Alpha-3

Evangelion is a fixture in certain story arcs of the long-running Super Robot Wars franchise. You can expect to have Shinji, Asuka, and Rei — at the very least — as part of your reliable squad. In newer games, you’ll also get to control the Rebuild versions.

But imagine starting up Scenario 52 of Super Robot Wars Alpha-3, knowing your probably about to get End of Eva sprung on you… and this is how it looks. Rei/Lilith also makes an appearance in Super Robot Wars MX, but she’s pretty visibly part of the map art. She doesn’t spring through the map at you and look you dead in the eye while you’re exhausted from commanding your robot army. And this is still only a fraction of how freaked out Shinji would have been in the moment.


EVA-01 Trainbot in Shinkalion

A modified Eva-01 in Shinkalion

In one of the more benign appearances of Evangelion outside its home show, we see Shinji Ikari and others moonlighting in kids’ robot show Shinkalion. The series, whose robots are transformed versions of Japan’s bullet trains, welcomed the crossover as a tribute to the very real EVA-01 train that was once in operation. In a dreamlike scenario, young hero Hokuto finds himself fighting an Angel side-by-side with actual Shinji Ikari.

The actual cast showed up for the crossover, too. Megumi Ogata reprised her role as Shinji, and some other characters made surprise appearances. Notably, Junko Iwao also appeared as classmate Hikari, and her previously unseen sisters, Nozomi and Kodama!


Drugstore Merchandise in One Hour Photo

The Mass Production Eva as seen in One Hour Photo

The late, great Robin Williams made no secret of his anime and game fandom. So it was no surprise to fans when an Evangelion toy made its way into 2002 thriller One Hour Photo. The film, in which Williams plays an obsessive photo technician, features a scene where he talks toys with the son of the seemingly happy family he’s stalking. The boy mistakenly refers to the Mass Production Eva as a “good guy,” but perhaps that’s not an actual mistake.

Later in the film, we see a very bloody nightmare moment featuring Sy. Dressed all in white, standing in an aisle so the store’s bare white shelves look almost like wings, he initially looks oddly similar to the MP Unit. When he wakes from the gory visual, the figure is watching him from his bedside table. Maybe the boy just isn’t good at spotting things that are waiting to stab you.


Peni Parker’s Whole Deal

Peni Parker and classmates in Edge of the Spider-Verse

Thanks to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, even the most laid-back readers know there are lots of Spideys out there. One is Peni Parker, Earth-14512’s answer to Peter Parker. But instead of a super-suit, she’s got a giant robot that (in the comics) looks a whole lot like the EVAs from Evangelion.

And that’s not where the similarities end. You’re probably also familiar with that illustration of Peni and her classmates. They look pretty familiar, don’t they? While the Eva ties were scrubbed for Into the Spider-Verse, we know. We’ve seen it.


Victoria’s Secret 2012 Fashion Show

Jourdan Dunn models a version of Rei Ayanami's plugsuit

We’ve seen all manner of anime costume reinterpretations (lingerie and otherwise), but this moment from 2012 caught a lot of eyes. Model Jourdan Dunn showed us that Evangelion is everywhere and in all things when she took the catwalk in an ensemble inspired by Rei Ayanami’s plugsuit. (Even Justin Bieber is looking pretty shocked back there.)

Back in 2012, a company like VS even acknowledging that anime exists, much less putting a model out in a plugsuit, was shocking. It might be a little less surprising nowadays, with anime getting into all corners and proving itself to have a devoted fanbase… but it’s doubtful we’ll ever see the likes of this on a lingerie runway again. That said, we look forward to tagging ourselves in this article a few months from now when it totally does.

What havoc has Evangelion wreaked in your life?

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Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.