Neon Genesis Evangelion is, in my mind, a near-perfect piece of entertainment, but I gotta admit that I would love to rewatch it through the eyes of Japanese artist Yukinori Dehara.
As pointed out by Twitter account Cutie Figures, Dehara’s unique take on Neon Genesis Evangelion characters Rei Ayanami, Shinji Ikari, and the Evangelion Unit-01 mech are wonderfully absurd compared to how they’re usually portrayed. The three-figure series gained attention thanks to this year’s Wonder Festival, an annual Japanese convention focusing on models, action figures, and other such collectibles that wrapped up earlier this month.
All three went up for sale during Wonder Festival courtesy of event organizer Kaiyodo, but promptly sold out due to only 100 of each figure being made available. Rei and Shinji were priced at ¥10,780 (around $98 USD) while Eva Unit-01 sold for ¥19,800 (around $173 USD). As I’m just now learning about them, I sadly never had a chance to grab my own. Damn you, past me.
Dehara first unveiled his Neon Genesis Evangelion figures last May, making just five full sets. Three lucky winners were given the chance to purchase this initial, hand-made run (all of which received special signatures and model numbers painted on the bottom of the figures’ feet by Dehara himself) via lottery. The prices, naturally, were even steeper: ¥30,000 (around $262 USD) apiece for Rei and Shinji, and ¥45,000 (around $393 USD) for Eva Unit-01.
Two more sets of Dehara’s models were set aside for display at the Kaiyodo Hobby Museum in Shimanto, a city located in the southwestern region of the Japanese archipelago.
As so few of these figures have been put up for sale, it’s easy to say Dehara’s work is some of the most distinctive and potentially hard-to-find Neon Genesis Evangelion merch around. If anyone reading this managed to snag one or more of these amazing little models and wants to sell them to me for what I assume will be an exorbitantly inflated price, please get in touch.