For Evangelion fans who are tired of Gundam hogging the spotlight when it comes to large-scale, replica robot statues, the wait for your vindication will be at an end in under a month, according to Japanese media.
That’s because the beloved anime franchise will finally boast its very own replica robot of series hero Shinji’s iconic mech, the Evangelion Unit-01. And while the famous 1:1-scale Gundam that looms over Odaiba stands outdoors, the Evangelion Unit-01 replica will be housed in its very own badass mech hangar!
EXPASA Ashigara – a highway rest station located near the border of Shizuoka and Kanagawa – will host the replica Unit-01. If you’re wondering what a rest stop has to do with Evangelion or even just mech anime in general, then you’re clearly not an Evangelion superfan, or else you’d already know that the EXPASA Ashigara rest stop is located smack in the real-life location that the anime series’ backdrop, Tokyo-3, would be (duh, you guys).
The Unit-1 statue will still be dwarfed by Odaiba’s Gundam (18 meters) at a much smaller 6 meters and some change, but the smaller size is more than made up for by the super cool concept of housing the beast in a mech hangar modeled after NERV headquarters.
Additionally, EXPASA Ashigara will be holding a variety of Evangelion-themed events during the statue’s stay at the facility from July 17 to December 23. Visitors will also be able to gorge themselves on Evangelion-themed foods and desserts, buy limited-edition goods, and take pictures with scantily clad booth babe-type ladies, for some reason.
If you’re in Japan and are as excited as we are about seeing Unit-01 in the flesh, you can get more info (in Japanese) and a countdown to the event’s launch here. There appears to be a train line nearby, but since walking down a busy highway is generally frowned upon by law enforcement, even if you try to explain yourself by shouting about robots and gesticulating wildly, those without a driver’s license will need to get a cab or hitchhike from the nearest station.