You Can(Not) Board

by Kensatsukan Gaijin

Japan is a dream-come-true for many otaku, and this week Japan decided to give anime otaku a special gift.  JR West is dressing up one of its super-fast bullet trains to look like a mecha from the anime classic Neon Genesis Evangelion.  The launch of the train will also celebrate the 40 years since the completion of the Sanyo Shinkansen line.  The line opened 40 years ago while Neon Genesis Evangelion premiered on Japanese television 20 years ago. The two are coming together for the Shinkansen Evangelion Project. 


The Eva Unit-01 is getting a sleek remodel as the "500 TYPE EVA, " a bullet train that will run on Japan Railways' Sanyo Shinkansen Line.  Anime director Hideaki Anno and original mecha designer Ikuto Yamashitaare working directly on the project, which kicks off this fall and is expected to last through March 2017.   The "500 Type EVA," as it's now called, will get a purple paint job to match the Evangelion Unit-01 seen in the show, in addition to a new matching interior that will be stocked with special tie-in memorabilia and travel products for riders to buy.   The train will operate for two years, from Fall 2015 to March 2017. During that time, it will make two trips a day, running between Hakata and Shin-Osaka.


Anno, a train fan himself, expressed his enthusiasm during the project's announcement:  "The 500-kei is my favorite bullet train car; it's got the coolnessof a fast ball and it's like a dream super express [Super expressis a designation for Japanese trains that don't stop very much]. That this car gets to collaborate with 'Evangelion' is a great honor and I have the utmost thanks.
Yamashita also remarked why the 500-kei train was a perfect match.  Among the bullet trains, I think the 500-kei is a cool car that surpasses the others. I didn't think this kind of car that carries our dreams would appear, even in this Linear era [Linear is another kind of train]. So I think it's good that they used 'Eva' coloring with the original design to make the 500-kei look like it came from the future.”


Of course, if you aren’t an anime fan, you can still enjoy a taste of the future if you arrive at Haneda airport this year.  The airport is beginning to introduce robots who will carry passenger’s luggage while inside the terminal.  The airport is also introducing cybernetic exoskeletons for employees, in order to reduce injury and enhance strength and endurance.  The name of the company introducing these devices?  




That is not made up.  This company building robots in Japan is called Cyberdyne.  It’s exoskeleton is called HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb). 


Because Japan, that’s why.  





Anime News Network