When he’s not been busy trying to wrangle a definitive new ending for Neon Genesis Evangelion this past decade, legendary director Hideaki Anno has been off living his nerd dreams, helping bring to life cinematic takes on Godzilla, Ultraman, and now even Kamen Rider next year. So he’s naturally taking the next step: smashing them together for a new collaborative project.
Announced overnight, Anno’s studio khara will work with Ultraman’s Tsuburaya Productions, Godzilla’s Toho, and Kamen Rider’s Toei to develop Shin Japan Heroes Universe, a four-way crossover uniting the director’s work on the Evangelion “rebuild” movie saga — dubbed Shin Evangelion Gekijōban in Japan — with his work with Shinji Higuchi on 2016’s Shin Godzilla, the newly rescheduled Shin Ultraman set to release in Japan this year, and his upcoming 2023 solo project Shin Kamen Rider. Little is known about what the project actually is, other than the website describing it as being “large-scale,” and a “dream collaboration” representing four of Japan’s most iconic heroes.
It could be simply a merchandise campaign, utilising the stunning artwork for the new website designed by Mahiro Maeda, seen above, or Yutaka Izubuchi’s new emblem for the project. It could be a series of tie-in events in the run up to Shin Ultraman’s May 13 release this year, and Shin Kamen Rider’s own in March 2023. Or Ultraman could tag in Unit 01 to stab Neronga or a zillion other Kaiju in a short movie, or we could get 50 years of Kamen Riders showing up through portals like Avengers: Endgame on steroids to beat up Gendo Ikari. Anno and his collaborators on the project are, for now, staying quiet on just what Shin Japan Heroes Universe will turn out to be, other than very big (we’d hope so, at least if Godzilla’s invited to the party!), and that more details will be announced soon.
We’ll bring you more on Shin Japan Heroes Universe as and when we learn it.