Nerv’s Kyoto branch says its looking for pilots.

Toei Kyoto Studio Park, also known as Toei Uzumasa Eigamura, is central Japan’s overlooked theme park. Universal Studios Japan, located over the prefectural border in Osaka, seems to get all the flashy stuff, like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a limited-time Final Famtasy roller coaster, and the upcoming Super Nintendo World expansion.

But this summer, Toei Eigamura is getting a new attraction that’s going to be very hard to ignore: a gigantic, possibly life-sized Evangelion statue.

We say “possibly life-sized” because in addition to being vague about several plot points and the meaning of much of its symbolism, the Evangelion anime franchise is notoriously fuzzy on exactly how big the Evas are, other than giant enough to qualify as part of the “giant robot” genre. What we do know for sure is that Toei Eigamura’s Eva Unit-01 statue, whose torso rises from a pool of blood-red LCL, will be 15 meters (49.2 feet) tall, making its upper body completely to scale for certain scenes in the series. As further proof of this, visitors will have the opportunity to stand on Unit-01’s palm and pose for pictures.

▼ Fans of Eva’s TV continuity may recall that this very hand was used in the crushing death of one of the most shocking demises in anime history…but it still makes for a nice photo spot!

But why settle for just hopping on Unit-01’s hand, when you can hop into its entry plug, the cylindrical cockpit from which the mecha is controlled? According to the statue’s backstory, the Kyoto branch of Evangelion manufacturer/operator Nerv is recruiting new Eva pilots, and candidates will be subjected to various aptitude tests, culminating with taking a seat in the entry plug, grabbing the controls, and measuring your synchronization rate.

▼ Fans of any Eva continuity may recall that crippling system shut-downs can occur if the synchronization rate is too low, and loss of physical human form if it’s too high…but you still get a nice view of Kyoto from up in the control seat!

If you’re wondering why everyone is wearing kimono in these photos, it’s because Toei Eigamura is primarily devoted to movie production company Toei’s long history of period pieces starring noble samurai, elegant courtesans, and craft ninja. While this makes Evangelion a bit of an unusual choice for a collaborative partner, it does present the opportunity to re-costume the anime’s cast for some cool new merch, like pins and acrylic figure stands.

The Eva Unit-01 statue’s grand opening is scheduled for October 3, but special advance previews will start much earlier, taking place daily from August 1 to 16, and on weekends and holidays afterwards through September 27. Access during the preview period require a supplemental 1,000-yen (US$9.35) in addition to a regular Toei Eigamura ticket, but you do get one of three character pair pins that can’t be purchased through normal means, plus a printout of your Eva hand photo in a commemorative “photo card” (likely a paper frame).

▼ Yes, Asuka shows up on two of them, but what did you expect?

A limited number of preview tickets per day will be offered through convenience store chain Lawson’s Lawson Ticket service (L Code 59405) with applications for the first batch opening on July 4, and those selected to be eligible to purchase tickets announced on July 22.

Related: Toei Kyoto Studio Park (Toei Uzumasa Eigamura) official website
Source: Press release
Top image: Press release
Insert images: Press release Toei Uzumasa Eigamura
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