The 1997 anime movie The End of Evangelion was in many ways an unprecedented exercise in creative freedom for animation studio Gainax. The franchise-starting TV series had wrapped up a year earlier, with Gainax’s coffers drained and a highly metaphorical, sparsely animated finale. End of Eva would be a reimagining of the ground-breaking anime’s final act, and its theatrical release format meant a bigger budget and no more pesky broadcast content restrictions.

As a result, the film is graphic and jarring in its raw depictions of both violent urges and sexual desire. But while none of that was a problem in theatres, it was a different story when End of Eva was recently shown on TV in Japan, which necessitated some fan-angering cuts, including the movie’s most infamously shocking scene.

Heads-up, gainfully employed readers! While you won’t see any offensive pictures below, the subject matter might not be the sort of thing you’ll want your coworkers to see you reading at work.

Actually, viewers noticed a couple of edits made to the version broadcast this week on Nippon TV. A particularly gruesome animation sequence in which the sinister, vulture-like Mass Production EVAs devour an opponent’s internal organs was missing, for example.

Let’s just say these guys don’t exactly have nice table manners.

Also, a scene of teenage EVA pilot Asuka screaming, “I don’t want to die!” was apparently deemed too upsetting for TV.

▼ Given how much money Gainax makes from selling Asuka figures, we’re pretty sure their marketing division doesn’t want her to die either.

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But what really got some fans riled up was an edit made to the very first scene of the movie, involving Asuka and her compatriot, Evangelion protagonist Shinji. As End of Eva opens, Shinji visits an unconscious Asuka in her hospital room.

Spoiler: This isn’t the time Shinji does something cool.

Distraught over the intense emotional and psychological weight of having to fight to protect humanity from invading aliens, Shinji pleads to Asuka for help. As he jostles her comatose body, he accidentally causes her to turn over, opening the front of her gown and giving him a clear look at her exposed breasts.

It’s all too much for Shinji’s hormonally raging adolescent mind to handle, and, in the theatrical version, the next thing that appears on screen is the Eva lead’s hand covered in a gloopy white liquid, which is puzzling as we never see even a single bottle of ranch dressing in Asuka’s salad bar-lacking hospital room.

Not surprisingly, Nippon TV decided not to show the close-up of Shinji’s self-redecorated palm, prompting angry responses on Twitter from fans who’ve come to expect the come in End of Evangelion.

“Hey Nippon TV! What’s up with cutting that scene? Show us the close-up of his palm slathered in white liquid!”
“You’re so messed up, Nippon TV!”
“I believe Shinji’s later choice of a world that includes Asuka is related to his discharge of the mysterious white liquid, so cutting this scene will cause confusion.”

In Nippon TV’s defense, it’s airing the various Evangelion films as part of its weekly Friday night movie program, which starts at the relatively early hour of 9 p.m. It’s also upfront in advertising them as the “TV broadcast versions” on its website.

▼ It’s kind of hard to miss, really.

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So while the cut didn’t sit well with some purists, it’s not hard to see how the broadcaster came to its decision. Perhaps the situation was best summed up by a tweet from Megumi Ogata, the voice actress who plays Shinji. After one fan told her about the removal of the close-up, Ogata responded with:

“What! I’m a little relieved, and also a little sad.”

Spoken like a pro.

Source: Hachima Kikou
Insert images: Google, Nippon TV (edited by RocketNews24