Evangelion 3.0+1.0: Twice Upon A Time is one of Japan’s hottest movies right about now. Anime fans worldwide are waiting for a chance to see it, but it remains exclusive to its home. That scarcity has made for a number of piracy incidents involving the film, according to Studio Khara.
The studio, which under Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno produced the Rebuild of Evangelion films, felt the need to comment on the situation via Twitter. A statement was released in three languages: Japanese, Chinese, and English:
Pirated Movie Recordings of EVANGELION 3.0+1.0 pic.twitter.com/rr7Agvi5z5
— エヴァンゲリオン公式 (@evangelion_co) March 14, 2021
Studio Khara’s statement on Evangelion 3.0+1.0 piracy notes that the company and its partners Toho and Toei “detected incidents” of pirated movie recordings of the film being distributed online. The studio affirmed that unauthorized recordings are illegal, and amount to copyright infringement. In Japan, violations of the Act on Prevention of Unauthorized Recording carries fines of up to 10 million Yen (about $9200 USD) or 10 years imprisonment. They reiterated that they would take “appropriate action,” including filing charges. As an example, a case involving pirated recordings taken in 2018 was brought up.
Movie piracy is a worldwide phenomenon and new releases that are exclusive to theaters (as Evangelion 3.0+1.0 currently is) are prime targets, as pirates obtain recordings of movies by smuggling cameras into the cinema. These so-called “camrips” are distributed, usually online via file-sharing services and video hosts or burned onto DVDs and Blu-ray discs. The recordings are usually of low quality, but it’s often enough to an impatient viewer, particularly when a given film doesn’t have a local release date planned. At the moment, that situation applies to Evangelion 3.0+1.0, since no international releases have yet been detailed by Khara or its partners.
Evangelion 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time is in theaters in Japan. It made over 82 million Yen in its first day. No release date outside Japan has been confirmed, though its theme song, Hikaru Utada’s “One Last Kiss” had its official music video uploaded to YouTube.