Witness the birth of Shin Universe Robo!

What do Godzilla, Ultraman, and Kamen Rider all have in common? The most obvious thing is that they’re all pioneers of the tokusatsu special-effects genre who remain titans in the field even decades after their debut. But another thing the characters/franchises share is that they had a major influence on Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno.

Anno grew up an unabashed fan of all three, so much so that Evangelion’s fight choreography and soundtrack often more closely resemble the style of a tokusatsu series than a conventional mecha anime. It almost felt like things had come full circle with the release of the Shin Kamen Rider movie this March, which Anno wrote and directed after writing/producing 2022’s Shin Ultraman and writing/directing 2016’s Shin Godzilla. But really, that circle would only be full with the creation of a tokusatsu video featuring the three Shin stars and Eva Unit-01. That’s finally happened, and not only do the four characters team-up, then combing into a giant robot!

We start off with the quartet all inhabiting their own individual bodies (and Godzilla somehow managing to keep up with his much speedier teammates without even breaking his customarily plodding stride). But with evil entities attacking the city, it’s time for them to pool their powers and fuse forms as Shin Universe Robo!

▼ Feel free to shout “Gattai!” as this happens.

As the physically largest member, Godzilla takes on torso duties, with his head sticking straight out of the chest with an Eva AT field as a protective collar. A second AT field becomes a shield for the robot’s left hand, while in its right it holds a sword created by solidifying one of Ultraman’s beams.

▼ By retaining Godzilla’s head in a forward-facing position, the robot can also fire his trademark atomic fire breath.

The short, part of the S.J.H.U. Project (Shin Japan Heroes, a crossover between Eva and the three Shin movies), isn’t shy about using CG embellishments, which holds true for modern tokusatsu series in general. But there are also plenty of practical effects on display as Shin Universe Robo strides confidently into battle and explosions go off around it, where it’s pretty clearly an actor in a suit.

Accompanying the action is a vocal performance by Yoko Takahashi, best known as the singer of “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” the opening theme of the Evangelion TV anime. Surprisingly, Anno himself doesn’t seem to have been personally involved in the creation of the short, which was directed by Hiroshi Butsuda, a special effects director on the Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and live-action Sailor Moon TV series.

If you’re thinking that in certain other shots Shin Universe Robo looks like a scale model, and wishing you could have one of our own, you’re in luck, since there’s also a Shin Universe Robo figure coming from Bandai.

What’s especially cool is rather than one already-fused figure, you actually get a set of all four that you then combine yourself. The tallest individual figure of the four, Godzilla, stands 16.4 centimeters (6.5 inches) tall.

▼ Come to think of it, this version of Godzilla, from Shin Godzilla, has never been canonically shown doing anything to help humans, so maybe the rest of the team shouldn’t fully trust him just yet.

The Shin Universe Robo figure set is priced at 23,100 yen (US$170) and can be pre-ordered through Premium Bandai and the Evangelion store (here and here), with delivery scheduled for January.

Source: YouTube/バンダイ公式チャンネル BANDAI OFFICIAL via Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/バンダイ公式チャンネル BANDAI OFFICIAL
Insert images: YouTube/バンダイ公式チャンネル BANDAI OFFICIAL, Evangelion Store
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