When tentpole movies release, it’s become de rigueur for creatives to reach out and, while thanking fans for their support, casually remind them to respect their fellow fans and not leak and/or spoil anything online. Studio Khara’s taking a…more blunt approach when it comes to the final Evangelion rebuild film.
After multiple delays — a diplomatic description for a film originally projected to come out in 2015 — Evangelion 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon a Time finally released in Japan earlier this month, despite an extension of the country’s state of emergency due to the covid-19 pandemic threatening to once again scupper the film’s release (already delayed from January 2021). It’s a big deal, as not only is Thrice Upon a Time the long-awaited continuation of Hideaki Anno’s re-imagining of his weighty, daunting, and beloved series Neon Genesis Evangelion, it is being built as the final farewell to the franchise at large.
Whether or not it really is goodbye to Eva remains to be seen of course — after all, this is a franchise that’s already had several alternate takes on its ending. But that’s not stopped Japanese audiences flocking to theatres to see it, making it the highest-earning Evangelion film in Japan with a whopping, and perhaps appropriate, 3.3 billion yen (roughly $39 million) in its opening week.
But part of that fervor, combined with the fact that international Eva fans still have no idea when they’ll get to see the film — whether from the comfort of their homes or at a box office — also means that several recordings of the film’s key moments have inevitably already cropped up online. And Khara is not happy about it.
Pirated Movie Recordings of EVANGELION 3.0+1.0 pic.twitter.com/U89q5c7mew
— 株式会社カラー (@khara_inc) March 14, 2021
“Multiple pirated recordings taken in theatres of the feature film Evangelion 3.0+1.0 have been confirmed,” a statement released in both English and Japanese by Khara’s official Twitter account this weekend reads in part. “All information has been collected and appropriate action is being taken.”
It continued: “Pirated recordings are a criminal offence. The source of even anonymous uploads can be identified.”
While it’s not surprising that Khara is threatening illegal uploads of the film with severe action, the release of the statement in both English and Japanese — breaking away from the studio’s prior social media statements about the film — reads as much of a warning to international Evangelion fans as it does Japanese ones. There’s been no official word on just when those international fans will get to legally experience Thrice Upon a Time, but in the meantime, the studio behind it really wants you to avoid the temptation of all those leaks and rumours.
Maybe just stream some Utada Hikaru in the meantime?