"We have confirmed that there have been acts of slander, threats, and ... crimes against individuals," Khara said in a statement
Historically, the Evangelion franchise has been known to have a very dedicated fanbase who like to make their opinions known to the creators of the series. Though one would have hoped that since 1997's End of Evangelion, threats of violence against the staff members working on Evangelion would have ceased.
Unfortunately, anime studio Khara released a statement tonight in three different languages condemning the threats of "crimes" made against the staff of Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Time, and vowing to work with local law enforcement in not only Japan but in other countries as well to make sure the staff member(s) involved get compensation for the threats against them.
Here's Khara's English language version of the statement, as seen on the studio's official website:
Regarding defamation, libel and slander against the staff members of the production of “Evangelion: 3.0+1.0” .— 株式会社カラー (@khara_inc) May 13, 2021
May 13, 2021
Khara. inc pic.twitter.com/eRSss9U80h
"First, we would like to express our gratitude for your ongoing support of “Evangelion: 3.0+1.0”.
We have confirmed that there have been acts of slander, threats, and suggestions of crimes against of individuals involved in the production of the film in the form of misinterpretations of the film content and related press articles.
This work has been produced mainly by Khara. inc (Studio Khara) through a collaborative effort involving numerous staff members.
We take seriously the views and opinions of all viewers of our fictional creations.
However, we will strongly protest slander, threats, comments that suggest criminal intentions, and any other actions that undermine the dignity of the individuals involved in the work that stem from personal interpretations, inference, or dissatisfaction with content that does not meet individual wishes.
In addition, we make clear that we will not hesitate to take legal action and seek compensation for damages for statements that clearly constitute defamation, threats, death threats; and any other such crimes that constitute defamation, libel, slander, and threats. For domestic instances, we will report such actions to the National Police Agency of Japan. With foreign instances, we will report such actions to investigative agencies in respective countries."
The statements are also available in Japanese and Chinese on Khara's website.
In a time when anime studios are at a heightened sense of security — due in part to one person acting on those threats against Kyoto Animation in July 2019 and copycats around Japan threatening to do the same — it's no wonder why Studio Khara is taking every threat as seriously as possible, as is their right to do so.
As Khara noted in the statement, discussion and interpretation of the film are fine, but in no way shape or form is it okay to personally attack anyone involved with the film just because it may be written online that one character doesn't end up with another. That is never okay.
Evangelion 3.0+1.0 recently became Hideaki Anno's highest-grossing film ever, and currently stands as the highest-grossing Japanese film in 2021. The film opened on March 8 in Japanese theaters, with an international release still to be confirmed.
Source: Studio Khara on Twitter
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.