When we left off last Saturday, Shannon and I were walking around Evangelion World at Fuji-Q Highlands theme park near Mt. Fuji in Japan.
Damn, my life IS kind of cool.
After touring all the other display rooms, we wandered into MAIN attraction: the 1:1 scale Evangelion Unit-01 head. It was built to look like the body was submerged and that you are, in fact, in the hanger where it is stored – just like the series/movies.
It’s BIG! About every eight minutes (or so) a video plays on either side featuring Misato talking to NERV staff. There were no subtitles, but I *assume* she is talking about activating the Eva unit. At one point, above the Eva’s head, a small window lights up and you can see Gendo looking down over the situation. I wasn’t able to get a photo of this due to lighting restrictions/timing/my lame skills.
Once the Eva unit “activates,” the lighting in the room changes and you can see the eyeballs move in that creepy kind of like a giant human anime way. The Eva roars, the room gets loud with alarms, and the experience becomes very immersive. It’s amazingly cool.
Here’s me in front of the GIANT HEAD. You can see the screens on either side.
While walking around, Shannon and I noticed three JAPANESE COSPLAYERS who had come to take photos in front of the Eva Unit.
Seriously. We were totally in Japan now.
Being as American as we could be, we approached them and asked to take a photo. They were thrilled at the prospect and I wound up taking the same photos with their cameras, too. So here you go: Shannon with Japanese cosplayers in a theme park with Neon Genesis Evangelion stuff.
ANIME NERD WIN.
They were all very nice, polite, and didn’t understand a single damn thing I said. We loved it!
Next post: the End of Evangelion (World) and back into the park.
As we walked down the hallways of NERV Headquarters inside Evangelion World at the Fuji-Q Highland theme park in Japan, we saw a series of doors with peepholes installed in them. We noticed other folks looking in, so we did the same. The peepholes were clever views into rooms where NERV staff (Misato, Kaji, etc.) were “working” on various things. One door, though, seemed somewhat odd for the fact that the peephole what LOWER than normal. I bent over, curious, and looked into it:
What I saw inside was EXACTLY what you expected in an Evangelion theme park attraction.
Yup. It was there so you could look up Misato’s skirt.
Welcome to Japan.
Keeping “in theme” with the exciting entertainment this attraction was providing, we came across a changing room where Rei was getting into her pilot suit. Shannon sat there and waited for her.
Did I mention we were in Japan?
After navigating through Evangelion World, we came to the FINALE of the attraction…
But more on that tomorrow…
After escaping the wrath of the berserker Eva Unit-02, Shannon and I found ourselves walking through the hallways of NERV Headquaters (in Evangelion World inside the Fuji-Q Highland theme park in Japan.) It felt like we were wandering inside an actual anime. VERY surreal.
Things got awkward when Shannon wound up in an elevator with these two girls who were OBVIOUSLY not talking to each other.
Kind of like this:
Then I sat down to take a break and, I can’t be sure, but I think this guy was TOTALLY hitting on me.
As we continued down the hallway, we came upon a series of doors with peepholes in them. Like this one:
We saw everyone else looking in them, so I decided to take a peek myself. Here’s what one of them looked like (through my camera lens.)
More geeky goodness tomorrow.
So there I was, walking around EVANGELION WORLD in the Fuji-Q Highland theme park in Japan. As a bona fide anime nerd, I was obligated to take as many geeky photos as I could… like this one of me ripping open an A.T. Field.
You know. Kind of like this:
Shannon, meanwhile, decided to sit in on a NERV staff meeting.
I tried to get Asuka’s attention while she was checking out her Eva Unit. Sadly, wouldn’t come down to talk to me.
Of COURSE she’d come down, though, to talk to Misato.
So I opted to hang out with Kaworu instead.
Afterwards, we walked into a room that was both spectacular and CREEPY. It was a 1/1 scale (read: “actual size” – if there were such a thing) model of the head of Eva Unit-02 after Mari hijacks it. In the film, she removes Unit-02′s restraints (and removes all “humanity” from it) and launches an all-out attack.
You know, this feel good scene in the movie:
Well, the model is built based on the scene where she crashed it through a wall to discover Shinji being, well, Shinji.
The model is AMAZING… and huge… and AMAZING. To the right of the head a short film is projected on the wall (about every eight minutes) featuring the scene I described above. We stayed and watched it and, of course, we didn’t understand a damn thing that was being said. Luckily, I made Shannon watch both (new) Evangelion movies right before we left for Japan – so we both had recent memory of the scene.
Here’s an extra photo to give the model some scale:
As cool as this was, though, it was only a teaser for the awesomeness we would find in the next large room…
That’s right, fellow anime nerds. There is an entire theme park attraction designed around the popular franchise in Japan featuring a walk through full of amazing statues, photo ops, and production material. This is the first thing you see in the first room of the attraction:
The statue, on a pedestal, is about four to five feet tall. SO AWESOME. As you walk further in, you come across a replica of the SEELE conference room where Gendo would meet and discuss (audio only!) evil, evil things. You know, this room:
Yup. THAT room.
Here’s a photo of Shannon next to one of the pillars for size:
As you probably guessed, since it’s themed around Neon Genesis Evangelion, all of the photo ops they had set up were 100% pleasant and designed to make you feel wonderful about life.
YES I AM LYING.
Here’s a creepy photo of me as Lilith, the second angel.
Not creepy enough for you? Well picture this: the photo taken right before me was from a couple with their infant AND THEY PUT THE INFANT’S FACE IN THE PHOTO. (I tried to covertly get a pic of this but failed.)
More to come.
What is Fuji-Q Highland aka Fujikyu Highland aka 富士急ハイランド?
Simply put: it’s a Six Flags style theme park at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan. For purely anime geek reasons (which will soon be made clear) we decided to make a stop and visit the park before driving back to Tokyo.
First off, those roller coasters are HUGE. Sadly, I didn’t get to ride any of them because we got there at the end of the day and Japanese theme park lines have INSANELY long wait times. (Just wait until we get to Tokyo Disney Resort – but I digress.)
So we parked the car and started heading into the park. One of the first things we saw near the entrance was this sign:
I have no idea what it says since I don’t speak/read Japanese. My best guess (and the phrase I kept saying to Shannon throughout the day as we walked around and saw the sign posted all over the park) is “please do not fight with bears.” If you are reading this blog post AND can read Japanese, please feel free to translate it and leave a comment. I’m sure other random readers from the Internet will thank you.
For me, I will continue to believe that it says ”please do not fight with bears” because I WANT it to say that.
We made our way past the entrance gift shop and towards the park itself. Outside near the entrance they had one of those wooden cutout photo ops for folks heading into the park. Apparently, the mascots for Fuji-Q Highland are sentai warriors. I made Shannon take this photo:
Amy Jo Johnson ain’t got nothing on her, AM I RIGHT?
After fumbling through the usual Japanese/English exchange of buying tickets, we walked into the park and straight to the main reason I wanted to go…
That’s right: EVANGELION WORLD. More to come…
On the way up the mountain earlier that day, we saw a colorful sign on the side of the road for a “Doggy Park” featuring a small white cartoon dog reminiscent of Snoopy. Driving back down Mount Fuji, we decided to stop for a couple of minutes to see what is was.
I pulled the car up to the front entrance and we saw this:
That’s right, THERE ARE VENDING MACHINES EVERYWHERE IN JAPAN. That, and there was a Doggy Park. I took a photo of the sign showing the park map:
It is, apparently, a theme park where you can take you dog for the day located at the base of Mount Fuji… or so I thought. I did some online research and found this: http://www.fujisan.ne.jp/spot/info_e.php?ca_id=2&if_id=382
From what i can tell, it’s actually a theme park where you hang out with the dogs they have there AND bring your own dog. Snazzy!
230 beautiful dogs (70 different kinds) are lined up. “Dog Rental” and “Fureai (Petting) House” provide an opportunity to play with your favorite dogs. And also your doggy can enter the park with you. The park has total of 9 dog runs (including special one only for small dogs or for big dogs) so that you can let your dog play freely without lead. Dog shows are performed every day. A variety of attractions, including Jumbo slide, SL forest train, and merry-go-round are available.
ANYWAY, we trekked on back down towards Fuji-Q Highland theme park.
Before going up the mountain earlier that day, though, we had stopped at the Visitors Center. Prior to leaving, Shannon made sure to use the restroom. She couldn’t help herself and snapped some photos of the Japanese style bathrooms…
Not sure what to do? That’s okay. The Japanese have instructions for everything posted almost everywhere:
In the end, Shannon opted to use the stall with this sign:
NEXT UP: Fuji-Q Highland theme park.