Godzilla, Evangelion and Ultramen together in a new cinematic universe

A collaboration between anime giants has been announced to launch a crossover that can make Japanese animated film history

After all, these are times of the multiverse. Perhaps in the wake of the consolidation that the gaming industry is going through, even that of Japanese anime seems to want to join forces by merging the Godzilla, Evangelion, Kamen Rider and Ultraman in a cinematic universe. They are titans of Japanese animation: Toei, Toho, Tsuburaya Productions and Studio Khara by Hideaki Anno. The announcement was taken from the online magazine Techcrunch but for now there are no details of this historic collaboration.

The operation makes sense, writes the Japanese press, also because it is true that Toho and Toei were rivals in the domestic market. Toho is the studio behind Godzilla and Toei was known for Ultraman and Kamen Rider. Tsuburaya Productions, founded by Eiji Tsuburaya, who created the special effects for Godzilla Rug and for Ultramen and Kamen Rider, would have made this operation possible.

What are crossovers and team-ups?

The automatic thinking goes to the Marvel multiverse that in recent months is exploding in the cinema, that is to say a narrative engineering operation that has held together about 27 blockbusters since 2008 plus a dozen TV series and various spin-offs. The world of superheroes both in comics and in the cinema has always been crossed by crossover. A crossover refers to a multi-part story, spread over different series, which sees characters acting together who normally act apart. There are crossovers within the Marvel world or between multiple universes. Then there are team-ups, superhero encounters as in the case of King Kong and Godzilla, belonging to two distinct series, which faced each other in the films “The Triumph of King Kong” of 1962 and in “Godzilla vs. Kong ”of 2021. Even in manga and anime there are phenomena of this type. The most striking case is represented by CLAMP, the more extensive is the literature on Japanese animated films. Only a small part has arrived on the European market, for example Lupine III and Detective Conan, Mazinger Z against Devilman or UFO Robot Grendizer against Great Mazinger.

Why a “mappazzone” universe? 

Usually the answer is no, but crossovers or multiverses or team-ups are highly anticipated events for all fans. There is no superhero comic reader who hasn’t wondered whether Thor or Hulk is stronger, let’s say a question that belongs to this culture. However, bringing together such distant things as Godzilla and Evangelion is creepy. Also because they touch two sacred icons of Japanese fiction. The lizard is a piece of contemporary history of Japan, Neon Genesis Evangelion is the cult anime par excellence, an almost faith that still attracts fans of all ages. Keeping these very different and very distant things together is Hideaki Anno, the creator of Evangelion who wrote and co-directed Shin Godzilla, also wrote Shin Ultraman, which will be released in May in Japan, and is writing and directing the next Shin Kamen. Rider

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