Photo of creator Hideaki Anno’s personal script is a sign that the long-awaited film is finally moving towards completion.

This week, something very special happened in Japan. Sure, we all knew it was going to happen eventually, but that didn’t make the anticipation any more intense, or the waiting any less painful.

But now, we’ve got beautiful photographs showing that it’s finally happening…What’s that? Cherry blossoms, you say? Oh, yeah, those started blooming, but this is about Evangelion.

Evangelion is the most influential anime of the modern era, and that status means that creator Hideaki Anno can pretty much take as much time as he wants between installments. 10 years later, after The End of Evangelion movie was supposed to be the franchise’s finishing flourish, Anno decided to start the Rebuild of Evangelion reboot/sequel movie series, with films that came out in 2007, 2009, and 2012. Rebuild isn’t a trilogy, though. It’s a four-parter, and fans have been waiting eight years for its finale.

This January, Studio Khara (Eva’s current rights holder) held a gala dinner to celebrate the fourth Rebuild movie officially starting in-earnest production, and this week comes a much more concrete milestone, as the official Evangelion Twitter account has announced that voice acting recording for the film has begun.

Posted with the announcement is a photo of the movie’s script. You might also be wondering why the booklet seemingly has “HAND” written on its cover, but that’s actually “H. Anno,” as in “Hideaki Anno,” since this is the director’s personal copy.

It’s worth keeping in mind that Eva’s production doesn’t always move forward in straight lines. For example, the original trailer for the third Rebuild film ended up having nothing to do with the actual movie, suggesting that Anno changed his mind about the initial work for Part 3 and tossed it. Still, it’s encouraging to see tangible signs of life in the production, even if the wait for the finished film isn’t over yet, as online comments acknowledge:

“Wait…it’s not April Fool’s Day, is it?”
“Even if it’s just the start or recording, I’m still so happy.”
“Wow! So it’ll be in theaters 10 years from now, right?”
“No, you’ve got it all wrong. It’s gonna debut 14 years from now.”
“[It’s been so long that] I’ve gotta review what happened in the last one!”
“Glad to hear it wasn’t an announcement about Ultraman.”

Then there was the fan who’s got mixed emotions, since the fourth Rebuild is ostensibly going to end Evangelion once and for all, prompting him to say “I want to keep looking forward to the next Eva installment forever, so I hope this doesn’t come out until 2050.”

He’s unlikely to get that wish, since Studio Khara, as per its lavish teaser trailer for the film, is promising a 2020 release. Then again, this is Evangelion, so an indefinite delay is entirely possible, as is Anno coming back a decade after the movie finally does come out and saying “You know what? I want to make more Eva.”

Source, featured image: Twitter/@evangelion_co
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]