Heroes of the Storm is designed as a crossover between Blizzard Entertainment’s various gaming universes, but it turns out it features some references from outside the company as well. A skin for D.Va, one of the game’s new featured Overwatch characters, clearly tips its hat to the anime masterpiece Neon Genesis Evangelion — and it’s not the only one.
D.Va just became playable in Heroes of the Storm as the fifth Overwatch fighter to join the multiplayer battle arena game’s roster. Among the skins available for her is “Fiery D.Va,” whose color palette bears more than a passing resemblance to Neon Genesis Evangelion hero Asuka Langley-Soryu.
Asuka and D.Va don’t have a ton in common — one’s a half-German professional robot pilot, the other a chips-loving South Korean pro gamer — so anyone who has yet to watch Evangelion may chalk this up to a coincidence. After members of the Overwatch subreddit made the initial comparison, they provided even more examples to back up that this Asuka-style design has to be intentional.
Genji came to Heroes of the Storm just before D.Va, and he has a skin that looks remarkably like an Evangelion character as well. His is patterned after one of the titular giant robots, copying Evangelion Unit-01’s color scheme perfectly.
That same color scheme is found on non-Overwatch characters in Heroes of the Storm, too. StarCraft’s Purifier Artanis and Probius also have skins that seems to take inspiration from Unit-01, among others.
The design team for Heroes of the Storm has made its Evangelion fandom well-known. In an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit last month, senior animator Michael Cuevas teased that he was big into the dystopian, existential anime hit.
“More like, who isn’t a fan???” he said, when asked who on staff was responsible for all the Evangelion references.
For Overwatch fans who want to use the skins in Overwatch itself, they’re out of luck. Heroes of the Storm often gets some pretty sweet, exclusive skins — although director Jeff Kaplan recently confirmed that two of the most popular outfits, Oni Genji and Officer D.Va, will make their way into Overwatch soon enough. But Evangelion die-hards who appreciate a good reference to the series might have to start playing Heroes of the Storm to get in on these.
Correction: D.Va is the fifth Overwatch character in the game, not third. We have edited the text above to reflect this.