Hideaki Anno’s hometown celebrates its connection to Neon Genesis Evangelion with a 7-meter tall monument and month-long festivals.
According to Anime News Network, the popular anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion has taken over Ube city in Yamaguchi prefecture. This small city of 160,000 residents is the hometown of Evangelion director Hideaki Anno. Japan is no stranger to monuments dedicated to famous anime; From the countless life-sized planes scattered across the country to the One Piece statues of Kumamoto, Ube City now boasts an otaku-flavored tourist attraction.
Located in Tokiwa Park is a 7 meter tall replica of the Lance of Longinus. The prongs of the magical weapon were firmly planted in the ground with the handle pointing skyward, seemingly waiting for a giant purple armored hand to grasp it. The Lance is finished in dark gray by local Ube Steel Co.LTD. However, for fans accustomed to seeing it in its iconic red color, the spear is lit up with red floodlights as night falls.
This iconic Neon Genesis Evangelion weapon monument is part of a larger collaboration with Ube City. Hideaki Anno used the area as the setting for Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time, and the city has become a place of pilgrimage for fans hoping to recognize locations from the film. This will be the city’s third cooperation with this series of activities and the existing activities are very diverse. The main thrust was a stamp rally awarding attendees a variety of Eva merchandise.
Landing at Yamaguchi Ube Airport, fans were greeted by Evangelion banners and a miniature model of Eva-Unit 01. They can also purchase some special themed goods at the Evangelion store in the promotional corner of Ube City. From there, Japan Railways and Ube City Bus joined the festivities, taking visitors on a tour guided by Misato Katsuragi through an AR app featuring the voice talent of Kotono Miitsuishi. As fans move around, they will receive stamps at participating locations. Those who collect enough stamps will be rewarded with Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time-related prizes, such as an acrylic poster, bath bomb, Rei Ayanami statue, and original JR West Japan tote bag.
The stamp rally extends to the gourmet fair, rewarding visitors with one of five Evangelion-themed character coasters that you must collect to complete the set. Each restaurant serves Evangelion-themed dishes, such as the Angel Muffin Sandwich stuffed with Korean yangmyeom or the chilled spaghetti salad prepared Eva Unit 01 style. The event takes place from October 6, 2023 to January 8, 2024.
Source: AnimeAnime.jp via Anime News Network