Mizuno x Neon Genesis Evangelion is nerd revenge at its sweetest
In the world of Neon Genesis Evangelion, gifted teenagers pilot enormous battle robots to defeat the Angels: a hideous race of quasi-biblical beings who seek to extinguish the very flame of humanity itself. It is inspired by the themes of clinical depression, personal responsibility, by the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. It is without a doubt one of the best anime of all time. And not a single person – not a — can call the fanboys who’ve chosen this sprawling franchise over the past 27 years nerd. Just this week, Mizuno teased and pre-released an entire capsule collection in collaboration with Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Composed of caps, T-shirts, accessories and windbreakers (Squireis my favorite, because it’s a little technical and a little futuristic and a little 90s at the same time), this thing is portable, and it’s almost guaranteed to sell. Where most collabs tap into the loudest elements of their respective parts, Mizuno gave their own signature – clean, monochromatic sportswear – a slight facelift with a repurposed logo under the evangelization title card. It’s quietly confident. He looks great too.
The ensuing buzz around the collaboration is another sign that anime is firmly entrenched in menswear. Where detractors still strongly (and mistakenly) believe that Japanese animation is a niche interest for boring nerds, this stuff sells. People want it. And non-fashionheads should take note; Anime has long been a point of reference for hip-hop culture, which itself is the biggest tributary of hype culture today. Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA has long been a fan, even going as far as the 2007 soundtrack Afro samurai. Kanye West paid tribute to Akira in the music video for “Stronger” from 2007. And, more recently, Megan Thee Stallion peppered her debut album Good news with several nods to his favorite anime (but not Sailor Moonbecause “the story is not all fire” according to the rapper’s Twitter).
The flow of the anime-men pipeline is just as fast. Dating back to 2017 when Supreme sold a crossover with Akira (that movie again), Thai retailer Carnival then partnered with Dragon Ball Zand Prada digitally designed the costumes for the sci-fi action anime Appleseed Ex Machinaand the same brand then composed its S/S ’18 collection with the manga comics of Taiwanese-American artist James Jean. Now it’s Mizuno x evangelization pumping through.
Anime-infused anoraks. Not so corny these days.
Mizuno x Evangelion is available for pre-order now online at mizuno.com
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