Earlier today, Universal Studio Japan started streaming a new ad for its upcoming Evangelion attraction. The feature, which will run from January 23, 2015 through May 10, 2015, is part of the Universal Cool Japan event.
The event also includes attractions based on Attack on Titan, Monster Hunter, and Resident Evil.
The feature, formally known as “Evangelion the Real 4D”, will be run in the Universal Studio Cinema 4D theater, which features moving seats and effects like wing, mist, scents, and smoke for a more immersive experience.
“Evangelion the Real 4D” will feature a new, exclusive storyline, in which visitors take the role of civilians seeking refuge in a shelter in Tokyo-3. An emergency order from NERV headquarters will see fans on a large helicopter, right before an Angel attacks the City. EVA-01 will launch, and viewers will have a front row seat to the battle that ensues.
The feature will use 3D footage for the mecha fights. Hikaru Utada’s single Beautiful World will serve at the attraction’s ending theme.
In addition, the studio released a new trailer for the Attack on Titan attraction. The trailer, which is a 15-second teaser, shows off the 3D CGI that will be used in the feature itself.
Needless to say, that these won’t be “required viewing” for a lot of people, as they’ll be throwaway storylines made for theme park rides. That said, though, the animation shown is impressive, and the features themselves will undoubtedly be popular draws during their run.
Universal has always prided itself on the interactive features, whether it was the Back to the Future DeLorean ride, the Jurassic Park attraction, or even Transformers: The Ride 3D. They’re attractions that Universal relies on for word of mouth and repeat business, which ensures that even the most mundane property gets top-shelf treatment.
The rides will undoubtedly be tourist friendly, scaled down shows that show the coolest parts of the properties, like the showdown between Eren and the Female Titan in Attack on Titan and the big Eva battle. However, it’s experiences like these that really help to expose titles to a mainstream audience, outside of the core customer group, thereby growing the market.
Before you ask, I’m also skeptical about how much a brand like Monster Hunter or Attack on Titan can grow in Japan. This is the absolute best-case scenario. Still, it will absolutely be interesting to see how audiences react. At worst, it will be a win for all of the companies involved, and the fans who go to see will get a fun and unique show based on a favorite property.
In either case, everybody winds up a winner.