This chapter considers the significance of Gainax's Neon Genesis Evangelion in Japan in the Heisei era and beyond. The original animated television and film series is often remembered as a ‘social phenomenon,’ which is meant to highlight its breakout success and broad effects. Not only does the case of Neon Genesis Evangelion demonstrate the power of moving audiences to act as fans but also a renegotiation of the ‘otaku’ image around the male producers at Gainax and male fans they so deeply affected with their work. Crucially, the producers of Neon Genesis Evangelion interacted with fans and supported their relationships with characters across multiple media and material forms to encourage and extend affection. This approach to affective economics centred on relationships with and between fans and characters was especially effective in the 1990s, or Japan's ‘lost decade,’ when young and not-so-young adults were feeling alienated and seeking solace, if not alternatives, in shared fiction. What came to be known as the Evangelion boom not only transformed the industry but also facilitated the rapid rise of manga/anime subculture, or ‘otaku subculture,’ specifically ways of living with and loving characters that can be observed around the world today.