It’s been 20 years since the critically acclaimed Evangelion series first came to life on the small screen, and to this day it remains one of the most successful animated series to ever come out of Japan.

With such a dedicated legion of fans, the merchandising has been off the hook, with everything from burgers to lingerie and even a bullet train getting the Eva treatment. But amongst all this, there’s one special limited-edition range that’s really striking a chord with Japanese fans, as it takes the tough, sexy heroines of the series out of their futuristic battle cockpits and re-imagines them as katana sword-wielding ladies in kimono.

Evangelion first stepped back in time with a promotional crossover that involved a Japanese sword exhibition featuring Eva-styled blades, even a Lance of Longinus, created by some of the country’s best swordsmiths. Soon afterwards, a tie-in doll series from toy maker Takara Tomy was announced, with three of the female stars from the series chosen to walk the path of a doll in traditional kimono, with decorative blades by their side for protection.


The Asuka Langley Shikinami with Japanese Sword doll was the first to appear on the market, with September pre-orders priced at 16,200 yen (US$135.12) and delivery scheduled for January 2016.


Asuka’s tanto, or short blade, is taken from a design used by the samurai class of feudal Japan. It includes a red scabbard, to match the colour of her plugsuit in the series, and a Nerv display stand.


Asuka cuts a pretty figure in the red, peony-patterned kimono, complete with shoes, Eva-style hair accessories and an obi kimono sash around her waist adorned with the A.T. field design.


The second character to appear in the three-part series is Mari Makinami Illustrious, currently available for preorders from the Takara Tomy website for 16,200 yen.


She keeps her trademark glasses and “twin tail” pig-tail hairstyle for this traditional look.


Mari’s short blade is shaped more like a dagger and is dressed up in a pink and black scabbard complete with the Nerv logo.


Her pink kimono features a lily pattern and an A.T. field obi sash.


The third girl to join Asuka and Mari in traditional attire will be crowd favourite Rei. While her release date and other details are yet to be revealed, we have a feeling we know what colour her kimono will be…

Top Image: Takara Tomy
Insert Images: Takara Tomy 1, 2
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