Ever wonder what kind of connection the classic Japanese animation series Neon Genesis Evangelion has to EarthBound for the Super Nintendo? No?
Who cares! I've found a bone-shatteringly amazing connection between them that probably suggests a couple people on the animation team for Evangelion (which aired beginning in October 1995 on Japanese television) were playing EarthBound (known in Japan as Mother 2) while they worked on the famous cartoon. Mother 2 was released in Japan in August of 1994, meaning that it would be more than likely that animators of the geekier persuasions would have had more than ample opportunities to play the game. Consider it a little slice of pop cultural history! AHAHAHA slice
It's a flyer for Mach Pizza! That's right, at about the two-and-a-half minute mark of one particular episode of Evangelion, we get a brief shot of Misato's table, and at the top of it you can see this particular flyer for about two seconds, as shown above. Of course, any EarthBound fan will immediately recognize the picture of the little Italian pizza man himself, as being direct from the game. Mach Pizza, interestingly enough, is never mentioned or seen at any other point in the entire run of the series or any of the Evangelion movies, making this a true one-off reference.
Somehow nobody on the Internet seems to have ever noticed or posted about this, which seems impossible to me considering that Eva and Mother fans are the most rabid psychos in the entire world. To that end I am claiming it as my own discovery to be sung about upon high for ages. You can see the same little man on the Mach Pizza buildings throughout the EarthBound world:
Though the name "Mach Pizza" isn't written on the building, it's mentioned frequently via in-game text.
Logically enough, the English-rendered "Mach Pizza" doesn't actually appear in the Japanese version of EarthBound, where it is instead titled phonetically as マッハピザ. It was probably easy for the Evangelion animators to romanize as the word "mach" finds itself peppered throughout Japanese pop culture, in both the form of an old manga/anime series called マッハGoGoGo (known to the English world as Speed Racer), and even Nintendo's own マッハライダー, romanized as Mach Rider on the cartridge itself and for the American market.
And that is a little piece of EarthBound in a little show about the obliteration of Earth. Boing!