Despite multimillion dollar paydays flowing from sites such as Kickstarter and IndieGogo in the US and Australia, crowdfunding is yet to truly catch on in Japan.
That might be about to change now fans of the hugely popular anime Neon Genesis Evangelion are speeding toward their goal of recreating a famous scene from the movie.
This one, where giant mecha Evangelion Unit-00 throws the Spear of Longinus at the Moon:
So far, the project’s raised ¥37,595,000 – about 37% of its ¥100,000,000 goal. In Australian dollar terms, that’s $400,000 of a $1.07m goal.
According to RocketNews 24, in Japanese crowdfunding terms, “Project to Pierce the Moon With the Spear of Longinus” is the fastest crowdfunded project ever.
It sounds silly, but it’s actually an ingenious crossover project aimed at raising funds for a genuine moon landing.
In one corner, you’ve got fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion wanting to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the cult movie in unforgettable fashion.
In the other, there’s a group of scientists trying to win Google’s Lunar X Prize for being the first publicly funded team to land a rover on the Moon and drive it around for a bit.
There’s a $US20 million prize for doing so, and it’s proved so difficult to date that Google’s had to push the deadline for making the journey succesfully out by a couple of years since it launched in 2007.
The Japanese team, Hakuto, saw the chance to tap into Evangelion fans’ dreams and at the end of January, a partnerhip was formed.
But don’t expect Hakuto’s rover to be launched by a giant, spear-hurling robot. Here’s how it will work:
1. Hakuto lands rover on the moon:
2. Rover deploys Spear of Longinus:
3. Spear pierces lunar surface:
So it’s symbolic, but then again, so are the half-dozen American flags dotted here and there on the moon.
It’s only 24cm, but it means the world to Evangelion fans.
And they’ve got until April 5 to come up with the other $600,000. Here’s some more detail on their work on the bid so far: