Mobile Suit Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino has taken the box office successes of both Demon Slayer and Neon Genesis Evangelion’s latest theatrical releases as a challenge, vowing in a recent interview to “crush” both respective series with his own work.
To say Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train was a cinematic smash would be an understatement, as the R-rated adaptation of the Demon Slayer manga arc of the same name not only performed well enough to earn the title of 2020’s most successful animated film, but also surpassed Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away as the highest-grossing Japanese film of all time.
Though not quite to the same such extent, the latest and final cinematic release in the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise’s Rebuild series, Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time (Shin Evangelion Gekijō-ban:||), has been a financial success in its own right.
Earning JPY ¥ 7 Billion (USD $67.7 million) as of April 12th, the film surpassed both franchise earnings records, an amount previously set by the previous Rebuild film Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, and Japanese IMAX records, setting the country’s record for highest IMAX earnings on an opening day.
However, though the box-office accomplishments of both films are more than impressive, they’re not enough to intimidate Tomino.
In an April 14th interview with the TV Asahi variety program Isamu Hayashi’s Ima Deshou Koza, Tomnio shared his thoughts on the recent films by declaring that he would “crush” each respective series with his own work.
“As long as I’m still alive and making anime, I have no problem saying ‘I’m going to crush Demon Slayer’ or ‘I’m going to crush Eva,’” said the veteran anime creator, according to translations provided by Japan-centric news outlet SoraNews24. “If you don’t have that attitude, you can’t keep working in TV anime after you get into your 80s.”
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Living by his own words, the next entry in the Tomino-written-and-directed Gundam Reconguista compilation film series, Gundam Reconguista in G: The Legacy Of Space, is set to premiere this summer.
However, for the time being, whether the final Gundam Reconguista in G films or any of Tomino’s future work will surpass the success of Demon Slayer and Neon Genesis Evangelion’s latest films remains to be seen.
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