Akashi, a city in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, recently used posters based on the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion in a recruitment drive for administrative workers. The EVA effect resulted in the city receiving record number of applications for the position.
The 1 meter long and 1.4 meters wide posters appeared at 9 railway stations in August, including JR Kobe and Himeji Station, featuring the slogan “I mustn’t run away (from the wishes of the citizens)”, a quote from the series said by the main character, Shinji Ikari.
The city council adopted the theme of “Human Resources Instrumentality Project” to inform Evangelion fans about the implementation of recruitment tests for clerical workers. This was inspired by the series’ “Human Instrumentality Project,” which hired individuals to pilot EVAs.
In response to the theme, the number of applicants rose to 2036, four times the average number.
The city council revealed that due to budget constraints they were unable to collaborate with the franchise directly. Instead they took references from the anime in their design.
The posters in the recruitment drive featured the city emblem, “Ming(明),” which is similar to the character design of “Sachiel”, a mysterious life form in the series, which became a hot topic among the staff.
This not the first time that Akashi City has used EVA references in their campaigns. In Spring 2021, the City Fire Department deployed a small ladder truck to the Nakazaki Branch of the Akashi City Fire Department which had the “SL15” logo, resembling a 15-meter ladder at the side of the vehicle, and had the text and color scheme finished in Eva style.