Promotion for Eva streaming in China looks an awful lot like French illustrator’s artwork.

At this point in time, marketing Evangelion seems like it should be a pretty easy job. It’s one of the most unique and influential anime franchises of all time, and one with worldwide popularity, so all you really have to do is let people know when and here they can find the content, and the fan community will take care of the hype themselves.

So it’s kind of strange that with Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time scheduled to start streaming online in China on January 20, the local distributor’s marketing team decided to create their own promotional poster-style image to celebrate, instead of just using pre-existing pieces of key art from Evangelion creator Studio Khara. Weirder still: even though Beijing Zhu Ye Culture Studio put together their own Thrice Upon a Time poster, part of it isn’t their own art.

▼ The Beijing Zhu Ye Culture Studio Thrice Upon a Time poster

Granted, the poster does look pretty cool, with Evangelion Unit-01 kneeling down in desolate landscape lit by a crescent moon, and ostensibly protagonist Shinji standing on the robot’s thigh. The problem, though, is part of the poster is copied from a preceding illustration from French artist Nico Delort celebrating Where the Wild Things Are.

Granted, you can’t claim ownership of an idea as broad as “crescent moon partially covered by clouds in monochrome,” but as Delort points out the Beijing Zhu Ye Culture Studio includes exact copies of the clouds in his Where the Wild Things Are piece.

With negative attention growing, Studio Khara posted a notice through its official Twitter account explaining that the poster was created entirely by the in-China distributor/marketer, with no involvement from the animation staff for Thrice Upon a Time or any other Studio Khara employees. This was followed by another tweet the following day, in which Kkara said the poster visual had been removed from Chinese websites and online promotions, and that it had received a statement of apology from Beijing Zhu Ye Culture Studio, which includes:

“We deeply apologize to Nico Delort and the other associated parties. We sincerely apologize for the use of assets during the design process without obtaining permission from the specific artist and for insufficient internal checks by our team, neither of which should have been allowed. We are currently contacting Nico to directly apologize and offer compensation.

We also wish to humbly apologize to all fans of Evangelion who have been troubled by our actions. We hope that our mismanagement of the situation has not damaged your love for Evangelion.”

It’s unlikely any Eva fans’ enthusiasm for the series itself has been hurt, but it’s still baffling that this all happened in the first place, considering that there’s no shortage of eye-catching Evangelion artwork already in existence that could have been used to promote Thrice Upon a Time streaming in China. On the bright side, the incident is at least bringing more attention to Delort’s work, such as the samples in his tweet here…

…so at least there’s a bit of a silver lining to all those dark clouds.

Source: Twitter/@evangelion_co via IT Media
Top image ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!