Studio Khara, production team behind Rebuild of Evangelion: Thrice Upon a Time may take legal action after threats from disgruntled fans.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Neon Genesis Evangelion. This off the wall anime about teenagers in robot suits fighting creatures from space that may or may not be angels in the biblical sense premiered in 1995 and has managed to stay popular and relevant since then. For the more than twenty five years Evangelion is what anime fans would reference when asking if you like weird anime, and despite the years it still has an instantly recognizable theme song, characters, quotes, and even the animation has held up.
Eva is truly in a class of its own. Starting in 2007 Rebuild of Evangelion premiered, a series of animated films by Studio Khara retelling the original Evangelion series with a few twists and turns, but all of the same mind warping goodness Eva fans have come to expect. Starting with 1.0 You are (Not) Alone in 2007, 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance came out in 2009, followed by 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, and finally 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A Time was released to Japanese theaters in March of this year. The 2021 release alone earned $75.72 million, proving that there is still a lot of love in the world for Neon Genesis Evangelion, but this release has not been without its controversy or strife.
Aside from a good box office turnout, reviews and response to 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A Time has been largely positive, but some fans have had complaints. This should be par for the course for any animation studio, not everyone is going to like everything all of the time, but some fans have made threats against the studio and their team. After the Kyoto Animation arson attack in 2019 that killed 36 and injured 33, it’s no surprise that Studio Shara is taking these threats very seriously and felt it was time to put their foot down late last week.
Regarding defamation, libel and slander against the staff members of the production of “Evangelion: 3.0+1.0” .
— エヴァンゲリオン公式 (@evangelion_co) May 13, 2021
“We have confirmed that there have been acts of slander, threats, and suggestions of crimes against [the] individuals involved in the production of the film in the form of misinterpretations of the film content and related press articles….
In addition, we make clear that we will not hesitate to take legal action and seek compensation for damages for statements that clearly constitute defamation, threats, death threats, and any other such crimes,” the statement reads.
Supposedly some if not most of these issues stem originally from fans disappointment in a romantic pairing within the film and felt that the creative team should know that they, the fans, did not agree. Unfortunately, anyone who has existed in and around fandom spaces has seen this sort of behavior at one time or another between Star Wars fans harassing lead actors off of social media or into quitting acting altogether to 2017 Szechuan Sauce debacle, and of course the tragic Kyoto Animation arson. It’s more than reasonable at this point that the studio step in to protect their employees, even if that means threatening legal action against one-time fans.
But honestly, if you find yourself so worked up over a fictional romantic pairing that you’re considering writing a strongly worded letter to the writer or studio, consider reading some fanfiction instead. Everyone will be better off.
Have you seen the Rebuild of Evangelion Movies? Did you know about the Kyoto Animation arson attack before today? How would you suggest fans deal with romantic pairing disappointment next time? Let us know in the comments!
Ja Ne, Adventurers!