The highly-anticipated final installment of the Rebuild of Evangelion film series is still yet to receive a firm release date, and director Hideaki Anno claims it’s all his fault.

The Neon Genesis Evangelion anime television series is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year having first hit screens in Japan in 1995. The first English version was broadcast in 1997, and the franchise has been a runaway success ever since.

Anime and video games

Thanks to the popularity of the television series, Evangelion began branching out beyond just anime and manga, and the first video game was released for the Sega Saturn console in 1996. Since then, more than 30 titles have been published across all genres and platforms including PC, mobile, console, mini-console and Pachinko games.

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There are numerous examples in the iGaming industry too, the likes of 888Casino NJ has plenty of casino games inspired by anime and even developed the Evangelion slot game. The latest and most impressive video game is Evangelion Battlefields that was released for Android and iOS earlier in 2020.

With a pedigree like that, coupled with the success of the first two films in the Rebuild of Evangelion series, it comes as little surprise there is significant hype around the release of the final installment. The disappointment at the lack of a firm release date is understandable from both the fans’ and the studio’s perspective.

Delayed Rebuild of Evangelion

The fourth and final film was supposed to be a celebration of a quarter of a decade of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Still, it’s looking increasingly likely that it will not be released until 2021 at the earliest. However, despite the disappointment being palpable, the general feeling is one of understanding.

Global circumstances in 2020 have seen the delay and downright cancellation of several films, events, sports tournaments and more but, believe it or not, the production crew is not using the easy excuse for the delay of the conclusion of Rebuild of Evangelion. According to the director of the film, the delay in releasing the final installment is all his fault.

“It’s been 27 years of work since then, but it’s finally coming to an end. It’s my fault that production has taken so long, but Evangelion has been able to come this far thanks to all the fans. I thank you once again,” he posted to Twitter via Studio Khara’s official Twitter account.

More Evangelion Than You Could Ever Need

Unfortunately, the post also caused some concern among fans because it was accompanied by a visual representation of a title card for test footage which had the runtime 5:59:50.00 at the top, leading many to believe the final installment of the series could be six hours long.

While that seems like an insane suggestion, if there is one entertainment franchise brave enough to hit their fans with a movie that is virtually as long as a quarter of a day, it is Evangelion. There is a consensus it’d be impossible to wrap up the entire story and all of its loose ends in a typical two-hour runtime.

Rumours and Conjecture

It is important to remember, at this stage, that nothing has been officially announced or confirmed by Anno or the production studio about any potential runtime or release date, so everything is just conjecture.

Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the most popular and influential anime of all time, so it stands to reason that hype and excitement will get a bit out of control as it nears its conclusion, but it’s also essential to maintain a level head to avoid getting carried away.