Anime, and specifically mecha-based anime, is enormous in Japan. Huge. Massive. Everybody watches it. It permeates the culture in a way animation of that type never could here in the United States. And, as much as I’d love to see a building or something devoted to EXO Squad in Los Angeles, it’s not gonna happen. But people in Tokyo now have the chance to ride a bullet train devoted to an anime icon. Weirdly enough, it’s Hideaki Anno’s seminal work of post-apocalyptic robots, teen angst, metaphysical spiritualism, and surrealist dream sequences known the world over as Neon Genesis Evangelion.
You can’t fly to the moon in this train, but you can travel on the ground really damn fast. Part transportation method, part interactive museum, the Eva bullet train is the perfect thing for fans of NERV and its group of underage pilots. All of the seats and walkways have the insignia of NERV, the fictional clandestine agency from the show, and you’ll also be able to spot characters on the window shades and plastered on mirrors like they’re standing right next to you.
Beyond that, though, there are compartments with designated “Diorama Areas,” which you can walk through to see intricately-made models of scenes from the series. The pièce de résistance, though, is the compartment where passengers can hop in a replica of the cockpit of an Eva unit with interactive screens that let you experience what it’s like to be Shinki Ikari. Let’s be fair — pretty much everyone would rather be Rei or Asuka; Shinji is the whiniest hero in the history of heroes. Or whining.
The exterior of the train itself is painted to resemble Eva Unit 01, meaning you’ll get the full experience even if you just need to go from here to there. The train won’t be up and running for another month, but several publications were on hand for a tour, pictures from which can be seen in the gallery below.
Would you ride an Evangelion train? What anime series would you like a mode of transportation to honor? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Inside Games
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!