Neon Genesis Evangelion's Impact on Pop Culture

From anime and manga to bullet trains and Godzilla, Evangelion Illustrations 2007-2017 has it all!

By David Brothers June 20, 2019

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Where do you even begin discussing the impact Neon Genesis Evangelion, Hideaki Anno's anime-turned-entertainment-juggernaut, has had on pop culture, both in the United States and in Japan? Do you start with the hit anime, which is finally coming to streaming platforms complete with an all-new dub in June 2019? Do you start with the manga, lovingly and beautifully written and drawn by Evangelion character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto over the course of fourteen volumes? The soundtracks, the video games, the posters, the figures, the frankly incredible amount of fan-created anime music videos homaging one of the biggest franchises out there?

Evangelion Illustrations 2007-2017 is an art book that looks at the impact of Evangelion from another angle by spotlighting the sheer amount of material created to support the series over the course of ten years.

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2007 is roughly ten years since the end of Evangelion's first television broadcast and the two movies—Death & Rebirth and The End of Evangelion—that marked the official end of the series. The Rebuild of Evangelion project launched with Neon Genesis Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone in 2007, and the ten years between the end of the beginning and the new beginning that film represents were packed with games, merchandise, and more. So it's no wonder that Evangelion Illustrations 2007-2017 is full of some of the coolest art Evangelion fans have ever seen. This is a book of material produced for a property that was and is on top of the world, with a deeply-entrenched fanbase eager to support all manner of material beyond the original series.

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For instance, did you know that, for a time, entire train cars in Japan were covered in Evangelion designs? Or what about the convenience store collaborations? Iconic Japanese convenience store Lawson was converted into an Evangelion-themed store and jam-packed with Evangelion-related material. Not to be outdone by their competitor, 7-Eleven got in on the action with a number of campaigns too. There have been special Evangelion headphones, LINE stickers, and just about everything else under the sun, including razors, mobile game collaborations, stickers, posters, and cars.

I mean, did you know that there was a crowdfunding effort to send a replica of the Spear of Longinus from the animation to the moon? The actual moon. The one in the sky. Evangelion has no limits.

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It's a testament to just how perfectly pitched Evangelion truly is. It blends super robot bombast with real robot verisimilitude, political intrigue with religious mysticism, and a coming-of-age tale with the realpolitik-style decision making of adulthood. Not to mention the beautiful graphic design. Have you ever really LOOKED at how Tokyo-3 and the NERV headquarters are designed? Even when everything in the world is falling apart, it's important that the branding of your secretive, shadowy operation has extremely crisp branding. There's something for pretty much everyone in Evangelion, and people with varied interests will find even more to enjoy. (It's the super robot and realpolitik stuff that really resonates with me, personally, alongside the incredible art of the manga.)

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Evangelion Illustrations 2007-2017 speaks to that broad spectrum of likability that made Evangelion such a cultural touchstone. This book has so many different kinds of art and collaborations from so many different artists that it's positively stunning. If you know the anime, if you know the manga, this book is the next step. If the anime and manga are the "everything" of the franchise, the material in here is the proverbial kitchen sink. You won't find a better example of just how far Evangelion has come and how far it's spread.

Pick up your copy of Evangelion Illustrations 2007-2017 today.