What if you replaced all the characters in the opening sequence of the anime masterpiece Neon Genesis Evangelion with adorably pudgy cartoon cats? What if you replaced the lyrics to “Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” the series’ iconic theme song, with cat meows? Now, what if, instead of this just being some cute fan parody, original singer and J-pop superstar Yoko Takahashi sang all the meows herself, because this was for something very, very official?
Yes, the characters, mecha, and monsters of Evangelion were added to Battle Cats, a Japanese strategy game best known as a phone app (although it’s also on Nintendo Switch). Specifically, it’s a tower defence game where players use an assortment of cat warriors ranging from cute to upsetting monstrosities to protect their base. You might think being able to pilot a giant cyborg with arguably divine powers could easily handle any feline foe that comes your way, but then you have not met the Battle Cats.
If you don’t give a damn about some phone game but you are an Evangelion fan, I cannot be more clear you still need to watch this video. Seeing Shinji, Rei, et al. as goofy, Hello Kitty-esque cats is humorous, but the miracle is how thoroughly they’ve shoved the gag into every single shot of the anime’s opening credits. I mean, look at what they did to the Kabbalah Tree of Life:
This isn’t the first time the world of Evangelion and Battle Cats have merged; the anime and the app did a previous collaboration back in 2018, and the game has held similar events with properties like Street Fighter and Fate/Stay Night. The Evangelion promotion has come to a close, although it’s a neat way to get into the mood for more Evangelion, especially if you’ve just finished watching Thrice Upon A Time.