Get in the restaurant, Shinji, or Rei will be forced to eat your portion.

Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the most reliable franchises when it comes to getting anime otaku to splurge their hard-earned cash. Shinji and his fellow Evangelion pilots have been plastered on everything from credit cards to jewelry.

Restaurant enterprise Zensho, responsible for some of the biggest names in family dining such as Sukiya and Big Boy, thinks that the eternal popularity of the Evangelion cast is just what’s needed to drive up business in the time surrounding the final Evangelion film’s release.

▼ Mari, Rei, Shinji, Asuka, and Kaworu suit up in their restaurant-themed threads to dine out.

The initiative even has an Evangelion-style mission name, written in tightly clustered together kanji like many of the most memorable phrases in the series: The 5-Chain Dining Out Collaborative Operation. Participating restaurants from the chains Big Boy, Nakau, Hamazushi, and Coco’s Restaurant will offer up themed dishes and exclusive merchandise as an incentive to stop by and eat in their establishments. Each of the five pilots will represent an individual chain and goods will feature unique art where they sport fashion patterned after the eatery in question.

▼ Take this acrylic stand of Shinji styled to look like a Sukiya restaurant, for example.

The campaign will run from March 8 to April 20 at participating restaurants across Japan. Order one of the special Evangelion items from the main menu, and you’ll receive a free clear file relevant to the restaurant you visited.

▼ Yeah, Shinji, rock that bag with various tantalizing adjectives scrawled all over it!

Since the restaurants in question are all quite different, the featured Evangelion dish for each one changes accordingly. First up is Shinji with Sukiya’s offering, a Unit-01 Omelet Beef Curry priced at 890 yen (US$8.25). Gardenias and beets provide vivid purple coloring, with yellow egg and green spinach completing Eva-01’s trademark color scheme. The copy urges customers to enjoy the 100-percent synchronization rate between the spices of the curry, the rich beef taste, and the melty cheese in the omelet.

Next is Nakau, represented by the aloof Rei Ayanami. Their dish is a Unit-01 ver. Beef Plate, which contains a purple element in the form of its purple wasabi cream mayonnaise sauce. Succulent beef is layered over a bevy of grilled vegetables, as well as a tenderly coddled egg to top off the dish.

Nakau will also serve a Unit-0 Oyakodon dish, a rice bowl topped with both eggs and chicken, which…well, considering that “oyako” means parent and child, it’s…it’s, well. You’d have to watch Evangelion. It also costs 890 yen.

Hamazushi is a sushi chain that will have Asuka Langley/Shikinami Soryu serve as its poster child. The main dish on offer here is the Unit-01 Berserk Mode Roll, which costs 649 yen. Purple mayonnaise sauce adorns both sliced and minced tuna and avocado tucked into California rolls.

The Unit-02 Beast Roll contains vivid orange salmon alongside salmon and flying fish roe for the same price.

This leads us to Kaworu’s restaurant: Coco’s Restaurant. The Wrapped Core Hamburg Steak is definitely one of the most cinematic dishes; you unwrap the black foil to reveal a spicy tomato sauce, surrounding a slab of Hamburg steak topped with a tomato bright and red enough to pass for a molten core. Protruding out from this is a familiar long spear

▼ It costs 1,859 yen to feast on this scene.

Coco’s also offers the 1,309-yen Unit-01 Hamburg Steak Plate, which blends vivid colored vegetables with tender Hamburg steak and bacon to create an image of the series’ most famous Evangelion. You can also purchase one of the three kinds of Heroine’s Parfait for dessert: there’s a light blue ramune ice cream with passion fruit sauce and mango chunks for Rei; a mixed berry affair with strawberry syrup for Asuka; and lastly, a pink strawberry sorbet topped with strawberry whipped cream for Mari. Each parfait costs 979 yen.

Which, speaking of Mari, she’s the last in the line-up and caters to the family restaurant Big Boy. The signature dish, in this case, is the formidable Fourth Impact: juicy steak simmered in bouillon alongside spicy jambalaya, deliciously recreating the state of the world after the cataclysmic event from the third Evangelion movie.

▼ 1,518 yen for a sensationally spicy, meaty steak dish!

The Big Boy menu also includes two extra options. The first is Pudding A La Invert Mode, Backdoor Code: The Beast which claims to be an inverted take on the classic flan dessert, containing a whole kiwi and lashings of raspberry sorbet. It costs 1,078 yen. The other is the LCL Tapioca Mango (Sync Rate 100 percent), for 748 yen, which recreates LCL with its strong amber hue. LCL is the fluid the Evangelion pilots bathe in to better connect with their monstrous machines.

You can add a cup of soup to your meal, served in a Unit-01 soup mug, for an additional 300 yen at most establishments. Note that the onion soup won’t qualify for the free clear file unless it’s purchased with a main meal.

▼ Onion soup at Sukiya, Japanese-style soup at Nakau, and a soup bar at Big Boy.

You can also purchase a variety of flavors of black tea blancmange with Evangelion wrapping at most of the participating restaurants. Each one costs 240 yen and is accented with blueberries at Sukiya, mango at Nakau, and strawberry at Hamazushi. Pop open the stylized cap and find one of six designs waiting inside!

▼ The mango edition of the mild dessert.

And of course, like any good collaborative eatery campaign, you can purchase the themed dishware. Pick up your very own soup mug starring Unit-01, or one of the impressive dishes bearing its fearsome visage.

Naturally, there is a reason why most people haven’t been dining out with the passion they used to. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting pretty much every legitimate industry (as well as some less-than legitimate ones) so please take the necessary precautions before hurtling into your local Saizeriya.

Source, images: @Press
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