Ordinarily our feelings would be hurt, but the language feels entirely appropriate when it’s coming from the voice of this character.

When the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series premiered back in 1995, anime was still an extremely niche hobby overseas. Fast forward to the present day, though, and anime in general, and Evangelion in particular, has found a large, passionate audience around the world. Because of that, the streaming release of Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time is a global event, with Amazon Prime Video making the Eva finale movie, as well as the other three instalments in the Rebuild of Evangelion film series, available both inside Japan and abroad as of August 13.

In keeping with this international atmosphere, Amazon has also released messages, in both Japanese and English, from Eva’s seven core voice cast members to mark the occasion.

Megumi Ogata (the voice of Shinji), Megumi Hayashibara (Rei), Yuko Miyamura (Asuka), Maaya Sakamoto (Mari), Kotono Mitsuishi (Misato), Yuriko Yamaguchi (Ritsuko), and Akira Ishida (Kaworu) all took a moment to thank the series’ fans and reflect upon its themes and ideas…well, except for Miyamura. Perhaps foreseeing that the co-stars’ messages would be full of such retrospective ruminations, Miyamura instead decided to lean in to the bossy, brassy tone of Asuka that’s won the character a loyal fanbase over the last two-and-a-half decades with a very strongly worded bathroom break directive:

“I hope all of you will watch Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time without pausing at home [in order] to get the same experience as watching in theaters. If you are going to pause the movie to go to the bathroom…What kind of idiot are you!? Go to the bathroom before you start watching!

I am also very happy that we can enjoy watching Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time
at home!!”

Tough talk, and no doubt at least a little-tongue-in-cheek, but Miyamura does have a point. Thrice Upon a Time’s speedy (by Japanese standards) arrival on a streaming platform was almost certainly prompted by the continuing coronavirus pandemic, and in-theater releases outside of Japan remain uncertain. You could make the argument, though, that the theatrical experience of events unfolding at their own pace, even if you want to stop or go back to how things were before, ties in very neatly with the key concepts at the heart of Evangelion.

Especially with the series being such a personally charged work of creator/director Hideaki Anno, there’s an undeniable artistic merit to experiencing it exactly as it was intended for theater audiences. Besides, if you’re watching it through a streaming service, you can always go back and rewatch whatever part you want to later, as you search for the little details that invariably go unnoticed in first watchings of the notoriously design and thematically-dense Eva.

And even if you’re not worried about tarnishing the emotional impact of Eva’s final gut punch, you might still want to hit the head before pressing play, since Thrice Upon a Time is, by far, the longest Evangelion movie ever.

Source: Twitter/@PrimeVideo_JP via Anime News Network/Kim Morrissy
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